Updates roughly once a day around 1-2 AM ish EST-----Your name is Jack Lake, and you are dead.It's not like it was something you expected to take a while. You were 24 years old on the day that you died, with some bullshit degree from a local community college that got your foot in the door enough that you could get an unfulfilling job at a call center that paid the bills just enough. You lived in an expensive apartment split between four people total, made for three, and slept on a bed on the floor like everyone else, to conserve space.The year is 2024. Your birthday was today, January 1st. That makes it really suck, huh?...Man, you expected dying to hurt a lot less than this. Your entire body screams out, metaphorically speaking, in twisted pain, and you have enough awareness of yourself left to determine that your right arm is just completely fucked up. Just absolutely fucked beyond repair. You're reasonably certain that the bones are all jutting out, each one, and you're not sure the rest of your body is doing any better. You'd look to find out, but, a: you're a little scared to find out exactly what you look like, b: your eyes are swollen shut, and c: you are still dead, remember, chief? It's not like you can lift your neck up.At least, that's what you think is happening.You look down at your mangled corpse with a sense of calm, almost dejected resignation. Like, oh well, this might as well have happened, huh? Never had a girlfriend, never had sex, never made a great work of art. You existed for a moment, and then you didn't, utterly replaceable, effecting absolutely nothing in anyone's life except your own - and even then, barely.Poor fucker. Alright, time to pass on, right? That's how this works? You can clearly see yourself lying, dead, in a pile of rubble, with an entire fucking subway train crashed through you. A piece of rebar is crammed all the way through your sternum from behind. You're about as dead as can be, so either you're having the world's shittiest out of body experience, or you're finally experiencing what it's like to be a spirit of the departed. When you feel a hand on your shoulder, followed by one on your other shoulder, followed by one on your head, you pull your face into a scowl and turn around.You can't even put into words the things in front of you, faces melding through the concrete your disembodied presence hovering in front of. They hurt to look at, and hurt even more to listen to, three voices speaking at once.
>>5058462"Poor lost lamb, a meaningless soul leaving society worse off than it started...""What a pathetic sight! You really couldn't have done any better than this, kid?""We all have our stories, Jack, and it seems like yours wants to end here..."You stare at them for a moment. "Alright, let's go then. I'm fine dying now. What, do you think I'm protagonist material? Nah. Get it over with. Let me go. It's over."The voices laugh and smile, each in their own separate way."Gaaauhahahaha! "It's over."! What a fuckin' riot! You really think you're just gonna up and die here, kid?""Ah, hmm-hmhmhm... No, you're certainly not "protagonist material", but that doesn't mean it needs to end, child.""You have your place in the great stageplay, and we have ours.""Make some fucking sense! Am I dead or am I just hallucinating? Just give me a straight fucking answer, Christ, don't do this riddle shit to me." You find yourself yelling, as the aches and pains of your dead body start making themselves more apparent. "Yes or no!""What makes you think we get to choose, Jack?""What makes you think you get to choose, child?""That's not anyone's decision to make, kid."You open your spectral mouth to retort, and jerk awake, gasping in pain, grabbing for your mangled arm. It hurts so much it's beyond your ability to even describe, clearly broken in all the ways it's possible for a limb to be broken, simply shattered into a mangled heap of blood and gore. Your legs, too, are broken, and the derailed subway car that struck you is lying in a pile of twisted metal and blood, corpses lining the subway station in various states of disrepair and mutilation.Then, your hand starts creaking. It starts with a tiny little sound, like a click, like the whirring of a motor, and you watch in a mixture of awe and disgust as your pinky finger cracks, twists, and yanks itself back into place, the pain giving way to a dull burning heat. Then, the rest of your fingers follow shortly thereafter, skin pulling itself back overtop, shattered knuckles fitting into a matrix of bone. Something thick and black and gooey leaks out of the seams between patchwork skin bits, drooling onto the subway station floor in a puddle that quickly evaporates into a thin, ashy smoke, leaving its residue all over your skin.There's a loud CRACK as your elbow jerks back into place and you yell in pain. Then another CRACK as your forearm, broken neatly in half in the middle, tugs itself into stable alignment, black gunk spraying out and hardening upon contact into the air into what looks like a layer of needles. Almost like those ferrofluid videos you used to watch. Over the next 20 seconds, you watch with a mixture of awe, fear, and disgust as your entire right arm knits itself back together, from your nails to your shoulder, skin re-forged in a sort of black armor.
>>5058464You're too absorbed in the process to even notice that, by the time it's done, the rest of your limbs are at least functional enough to move. You grab the piece of rebar impaled through your chest, almost as if by instinct, and pull it straight with a grunt of effort, pushing yourself off the wall with herculean resilience you've never been able to summon before in a single moment of your life. You gasp for air. Your lungs claw for breath, and by the time you extricate yourself from the rebar, they hiss with a leak, albeit one that quickly repairs itself in moments.You fall to your knees, sucking in air between your teeth. Your entire body aches from scalp to sole like you've been hit by a truck (ha ha), but the rest of you is... fine, albeit beaten up, battered, bruised, and covered in blood. Your right arm is still completely encased in that strange black armor, but it feels even less injured than the rest of you. You give it a flex, still able to feel the damaged tile floor beneath you through it, and stand back up to your feet.You wipe a thin layer of blood that's collected on your upper lip, leaking from your nose, and look around at the carnage around you. Slowly, some...thing stumbles out of the derailed subway car, blood leaking from its incredibly yonic torso mouth, smacking its lips together while its frantic eyes dart around for, presumably, more food. You assess your position in the dark, with the ceiling lights above you having gotten absolutely demolished during the train crash.The creature continues to roam. Your right arm twitches and creaks near-silently.>Let it pass you by. Just sit down in the dark.>Do you still have your gun on you? Shoot it until it dies. That is VERY clearly a monster, what else are you gonna use it for? Home defense?>Look for for survivors. Maybe you can... save someone?>Free Option.
>>5058465>Follow it until it tries to eat another corpse, THEN shoot it.No sense trying to earn our marksman medal with a fresh set of arms. If we end up crushing the gun, at least we'll be in a good position to punch.
Hello readers, and welcome to the Thursday Morning Update, courtesy of the ritalin currently pumping through my veins like gasoline. And also, in general, welcome to the quest, I hope you enjoy it!>>5058501>>5058504>>5058555>>5058672First, you check your concealed carry holster to make sure your gun is actually there, before you do something stupid and get eaten by Vagina Dentata the Movie over here. Thankfully, despite the fact that you were hit by a fucking train, your gun remains firmly where it was, although your cell phone is missing, you note with some displeasure. You grab it with your new arm, check the ammo, check the safety, all clear. It’s a pistol, a cheap little one you got in case you got mugged, nothing crazy, but that thing definitely looks made of meat and this little kid’ll put a hole through most meat based organisms you can think of.You move as silently as your dress shoes will allow, trying to shuffle along the blood slick tile as slowly and cautiously as possible. You were all dressed for success at work today, a nice button down shirt sleeve polo for the spring weather combined with your usual slacks, but considering this morning started with your apparent death you think your boss won’t mind if you take the day off.For some reason, the site of all the death surrounding you doesn't shock you or shake you nearly as much as you think it should. The only thing you can think about, watching the blank, pale, lifeless faces of the corpses strewn about stare at the few remaining off-yellow ill-maintained fluorescent lights flickering above them like dying stars. Maybe you really do watch too many violent movies. Or all that time on the internet as a kid just ruined your brain. Either way, you keep your finger resting on the side of the trigger just like your muscle memory tells you to. The thing continues to wander about, almost aimlessly, while you press yourself against the flattest part of the wall that you can find in an effort to remain unseen. When it eats, it's a horror show, its arms folding backwards and its teeth wiggling like centipede legs in an effort to cram the entire slightly twitching corpse down its gullet. You can't even tell where the corpse is going, just some dark internal void where it vanishes with a choir of wet squishes and gulps. The creature's eyes trail along the ground like earthworms, sniffing out a fresh body a little bit closer to you.You point and aim for center mass. The thing gets close, and starts to bend over. You don't give it the opportunity.BANGtink!
>>5058698A spark flies off from the crashed subway cars. You pull the trigger again. BANGtink! BANGtink! BANGtink!, gunfire in an enclosed space reverberates around you, gunpowder thunder interrupted regularly by what you can only mentally describe as "an invincibility sound from a video game". You unload, ears be damned, panic emptying the entire clip into the thing as it advances towards you.It doesn't even look remotely fazed, and it seems far more interested in the prospect of live prey than it does at the prospect of scavenging for meat. In an adrenalin daze, you click the trigger a couple more times to the decidedly uncool sound of no bullets popping out. The creature gets mere feet from you, drooling saliva and blood on the ground, a fine black mist surrounding it."ThaT WaSn'T veRy NIcE..." it groans, and in one final act of desperation, you aim for its head(?) and pull the trigger as hard as you can.BANG!The thing stumbles backwards, a huge hole blown in its shoulder, its arm limply dangling off from a few strands of black flesh, almost like a cross between meat and spiderwebs and iron filings. Then, unable to support its weight any longer, the arm drops off and begins to dissolve into more black mist on the ground. "OuCh..." It groans, iron filings(?) leaking out of its missing arm hole.You stare at your gun in disbelief, greenish smoke wafting from the tip of the barrel, your fingers tingling. Then, you notice the same greenish smoke emerging from several vents on your reconstructed arm, each one slowly closing up after a couple of seconds. The tingles spread to the rest of your arm, and your wrist hurts. The thing takes a couple of steps backwards, and then begins to amble back towards you.>You can kill it if you need to, but this thing can deflect normal gunfire like a tank - you need to get out of here, first priority.>What are you waiting for? Shoot it again!>Wait, it can talk? Try threatening it to... make it go away or something.>Free Option
>>5058700>Wait, it can talk? Try threatening it to... make it go away or something.You fool. You've started an SMT quest. You better not drop this now, you hear me Casual? You cannot escape my hunger for quality SMT content.
>>5058700>Wait, it can talk? Try threatening it to... make it go away or something.>"Could I convince you to stop eating people?"
>>5058707I guarantee nothing but solid 6/10 writing and a slight sprinkling of cheese.
>>5058710That alone is enough for me. I finally have a chance to use my images saved from /smtg/ over the years, though haven't been back there in a few myself.
>>5058700>Wait, it can talk? Try threatening it to... make it go away or something.
>>5058735>>5058709>>5058707You keep your gun raised. "Hey, hey hey hey. You can talk. I can talk. I have a gun. You do not." You say, pointing it back towards the creature's center mass. "Let's talk this over."The creature's yellow eyes curl towards you, lids narrowed into a thin line. You keep your finger resting next to the trigger. "TaLK...?""Yeah, talk. Like... could I convince you to stop eating people? I'm sure whatever you've got going on, we could see a doctor... Maybe get you some supplements. You ever have tofu? It's pretty good." You say, taking a step to the side now that there's no need to shuffle along the ground and hide. You take another step, and the creature leers at you. "I hear pork tenderloin tastes like people, if you really need that succulent personflesh flavor."The creature lets out a breathy hiss and lowers itself into a small squat. "POrk... TenDeRlOin..." It mumbles, one eye affixed to the barrel of your gun, the other looking straight at you. C'mon, weird mutant human thing, work with us here..."Yeah, I know a guy. Great butcher up near Jefferson and 23rd, he's got the best pork. You don't need to do this scavenging shit." You continue, keeping it at least not attacking you with mild banter. You gesture your gun towards the other side of the tracks. "Just up that a way. You go down the road a little north-wise, take the right onto 23rd and keep waling. You can read road signs, right?"The creature blinks at you a couple of times, drool leaking out of its maw like a broken faucet. "NO..." It starts, and you pull into an exaggerated frown."No? That's a shame, well--""No! I thINk I wiLl EaT whAt i WaNt...!" It growls, and you don't waste a second pulling the trigger. Clik.... Nothing but clicks, like an empty Pez dispenser. Click, click, click. The corners of the thing's jaw turn upwards in what you think is a smile, and it leans back, teeth flaring outwards.There's an awful, awful ringing sound that forms deep within the creature's bellows, and your entire body goes stiff and numb. You try to move your legs, pull on your pistol's trigger, but neither of those two things happen. You feel like you're dreaming, that sort of fuzzy heaviness you get when you're trying to run away from something in a dream.Maybe that's what's happening. Maybe you're just dreaming. And then this 7 foot tall Kirby motherfucker will eat you and you'll wake up.Yeah, right. The thing is inches from your face now, and you can see down its gullet, a pitch black abyss just continuing on far deeper than the thing's dimensions. For a second, you think that maybe fearing for your life is the secret sauce, but even if you're as afraid as you've ever been, it's all for nothing if you can't pull the trigger.The sound of wind chimes fills the air. You pull the trigger.
>>5058757BANG!. The creature stumbles back, a huge hole ripped through its torso, black iron filings leaking out onto the floor in a steady stream while green steam hisses out from your right arm. You pull the trigger again, BANG!, and this time, it's accompanied by a spray of black dust from your arm and a surge of pain, even as you nail the creature right in the head, the combined holes ripping it in half vertically down to the groin.It lets out a final, surprised groan and then dissolves away completely in a mist of red light and black dust.Standing behind it is something that you can't tell immediately if you think it's freakier or not. What it definitely is is an alien. You are absolutely staring at an alien. Are you in an alien invasion manga now? Is this Gantz? You point your gun at it, but it raises both hands up into the air and silently blinks at you. It takes two steps back, its chain dragging against the bloody tile.It blinks at you a couple more times, blank-faced, hands still raised in surrender. Then, it gets down onto one knee, followed by another. It tilts its head down towards the pile of ash(?) that used to be the creature, and a small, black sphere of some sort of gem-like material sitting there, shimmering in the light. Then, it looks back towards you.(You may pick multiple options as long as they make sense to do in a single update together.)>Lower your gun, be polite. You don't think you recovered from that paralysis on your own, do you? Thank the little guy.>Keep your gun raised. You're not taking any second chances here, even if this thing is friendly and/or surrendering.>Kick the black sphere towards him. He clearly wants it, and will probably leave you alone if you give him his food or whatever.>Take the black sphere with your funky new alien arm. That thing just dropped loot, right? Crack it open, get your Gil or whatever.>Ask it if it can speak.>Ask it if it can understand you.>Free Option.
>>5058762>>Lower your gun, be polite. You don't think you recovered from that paralysis on your own, do you? Thank the little guy.>Ask it what the black sphere is, and take it with you
>>5058765+1>Are you in an alien invasion manga now? Is this Gantz?B A S E D
>>5058770>>5058767>>5058765You lower your gun down but keep it ready just in case this thing is going to try to eat you too. You're not exactly sure with what mouth it'd do that with, but, well, you didn't exactly think monsters were real in the first place and here's one staring at you over the corpse of another. "Did you save me just then?"It blinks a couple of times. You rephrase the question. "I couldn't move, and then I could, did you do that?"It blinks again, and then nods mechanically. You scratch your head with your non-weird hand, and then rub your chin. "Do you answer yes to any question anyone asks?"It shakes its head no. Alright, great, so it can understand you and answer yes or no questions. You bend down into a squat, resting your elbows on your knees, and sigh. "Thanks for that, little buddy. I owe you one. Do you want that thing right there?"It nods. You keep your gun hanging down low, but don't holster it yet. "What is it?" You ask, and then immediately feel stupid as the alien stares at you and blinks a couple of times. "Right, yes or no, I forgot... Is that... Uh... Let's see... Is that loot?"The alien tilts its head, so you keep explaining. "Like, in a video game, when you beat a monster it'll drop an item. If you shoot someone with a gun, they'll drop ammo." You say, patting your gun gently with your free hand and then gesturing to its empty clip. "Or in an action movie, when the good guy runs out of weapons to use and takes one from a guy they just beat up. That's loot. Is that loot?"You point towards the sphere. Slowly, the alien nods. It's loot. Great. You take a step towards it, grab it with your normal hand, and immediately feel your entire body tense up with pain like you just got hit with a taser. Your cool arm hisses and screams and squeals like a tea-kettle, sucking up all of the black, iron-like ash that the dead thing left behind, and your veins feel thick and sludgey for a moment, your heart stopping to catch its breath. The sphere sucks itself into your right arm and vanishes with a little pop.Green lines make themselves readily apparent from your fingertips up to your shoulders and you shake out the sensation flowing through you, flapping your gums a little bit. Great, alright, what weird thing is going to happen next? Let's get this over with.You feel a burning in your guts.(Choose One - Four Slots Remaining)>Claim Ailment (Paralysis) Rank 1>Claim Affinity (Dark) Rank 1The creature stares at you quietly.
>>5058784>>Claim Affinity (Dark) Rank 1
>>5058784>Claim Ailment (Paralysis) Rank 1Bind Fundraise. Paralyze/Bind the demons, then rob them blind while they can't do anything about it, then execute them back to Makai where they belong
>>5058784>Claim Ailment (Paralysis) Rank 1uh, was this one of the SMTs where ailments actually work on bosses
>>5058794>>5058792You feel something twitch inside your chest, and your arm lets out another hiss of steam before crackling with little sparks and ladders of orange electricity. You flex your fingers, and then unflex them. Well, that felt weird."Alright, well, if I turn around and walk out, you aren't gonna eat me, are you, little guy?" You ask, your gun resting pointed down at the ground now. You feel at ease enough to holster it, even.The little grey man nods at you, and you give him an awkward wave. "Well, uh. Thanks for the help. See you around?"He waves back, and you half-turn away to start walking towards the exit of the subway, still wondering where the hell your phone went. You keep an eye on him, though, right in your periphery, and when you notice him starting to try and sneakily move towards you, you snap your head towards him to catch him in the act.He stops moving and blinks at you. You roll your eyes. "First you save my life, then you try to sneak up on me to eat me, is that it?" You ask, and he shakes his head no. "Oh, well what is it, then? Trying to just stab me in the back for kicks?" You ask, mostly rhetorically, and he shakes his head no.He points at you. Then he points at your arm. Then he points at himself. All done with the same level of mechanical smoothness as every other motion he makes. You scrub your face with your hands. "I'm sorry, little guy, I don't speak gesture and I don't really want to play charades. You're going to have to figure out a way to talk to me that doesn't involve passing back and forth vague yes-or-no questions. Can you do that?"The alien nods at you. He looks around, finds the nearest puddle of blood, and immediately, dunks his hands in it before waddling to the nearest lit, mostly clean surface. You wince slightly at the sight of him scrawling something out in blood, but it's English, and you can read it.JACKCONTHe stops for a moment to refresh his "ink", so he can finish his sentence on the floor.JACKCONTRACTZEEDOne last dip...JACKCONTRACTZEED?"Zeed? Is that your name?" You ask, turning all the way back towards the alien. It looks at you, shakes its head no, and then nods, and then shakes its head, and then grabs its head quietly and squints. "Different question, don't worry about that one. Contract... like an agreement, right? Same kind of contract? A little "you scratch my back I scratch yours" action going on?"Zeed nods. Vigorously. It raises both hands up like it's surrendering again, and you hear the sound of wind chimes surrounding it.>You don't have time for this funny business. Just go find a phone somewhere so you can call your boss and go home and go to sleep and then make a doctor's appointment so you can figure out what's going on with your arm.>Are you kidding? This is the first exciting thing that's happened in your entire life barring that one make out session in high school. Time to get a new peak. Contract time.>Free Option.
>>5058817>Are you kidding? This is the first exciting thing that's happened in your entire life barring that one make out session in high school. Time to get a new peak. Contract time.It's kinda rare for a demon to be incapable of speech and still this accommodating to sane communication.
>>5058817>Are you kidding? This is the first exciting thing that's happened in your entire life barring that one make out session in high school. Time to get a new peak. Contract time.
>>5058823+1, the path to having a cool crew begins
>>5058832>>5058827>>5058825>>5058823>>5058836You don't even really need to think about it twice. "Yeah, I can do that. What do we need to do, shake on it?"Zeed extends a hand out. You extend your cool hand, and then realize that Zeed also has his left hand out, and feel weird about it, so you start to move to switch to your left hand. Zeed is faster than you, though, and swaps hands almost immediately so that you can both have a good right handed shake, and then steps up to you.From this close up, you can make out his features easily - he's not particularly large or strong looking, a little translucent in the right light, with his silly-putty body containing some kind of almost-skeleton that just doesn't fit together correctly. His big blue eyes look more like plastic toy parts than anything else, and the only thing that appears to have any significant weight to the three foot tall alien thing is the hefty gold chain collar he's wearing. He offers it to you in his grip, but you grab it and gently plonk it on the floor before taking his hand in yours. The two of you share a firm shake. "Alright, Zeed. Contract it is."You feel a little twitch roll through your body, and Zeed's hand feels glued to your own. Black dust swirls around the two of you like a snowstorm, crackling with electricity and static, and for a moment, you think you've made a horrible, awful mistake... and then it disperses, and you let go.Zeed blinks at you a couple of times, and you pop a squat, wiping the blood now on your palm against your slacks. "So, uh... Zeed... You wouldn't happen to know anything about why I have now seen two monsters in five minutes, and also why I was hit by a train, would you? Those are two questions."Zeed stares at you, processing, thinking like a computer does, you imagine, and then shakes his head no. Then, he pauses, and shakes his head no a second time. You pinch the bridge of your nose."Alright, so, my current operating assumption is that something horrendously wrong has happened and now the subway is full of monsters. I don't think I know enough to say if the rest of the city is either, I'd say it's a 50/50 shot, depending on what kind of story I'm in. And... you don't know anything, do you?"Zeed shakes his head. You sigh and continue. "Alright, well, at least, I guess... can you tell me what sort of cool stuff you can do besides un-paralyzing me?" And then you stop and think for a moment. "And then I can tell you the cool stuff I can do, I guess. If there's anything."Zeed looks around, and then wipes his hands off on his legs in imitation of you wiping your hands off on your slacks. He points towards your normal arm, where the evidence of your prior, uh, manglement still stands in the form of various scrapes, bruises, and white scars, and runs a finger along the most prominent looking one. You almost flinch, but then he looks up at you. He points to the nearest dead person, and then points at you.
>>5058856"Did you... heal me?" You ask, standing back up to your full height. Zeed nods vigorously. "Okay, so you're like... a support party member. You can heal me. And you can remove... "status effects"?" Again, a nod. "Can you attack?"Zeed looks at his hands and then blinks quietly, before looking back at you. An inconclusive answer. Maybe you will get him a gun too. "Uh... are you smart? Like, according to your own self assessment, I guess." No. "Strong?" No. "Fast?" No. "Uh..." You take a moment to count your RPG stats on your fingers. "Charismatic?" No. "Healthy?" No. "Statistically outstanding in any particular way?" No. "Generally below average?" Yes.Great. "Well, at least you don't want to kill me, do you?" No. Lovely, the alien you could probably slap to death doesn't want to kill you anyway. You run your hand through your hair to fix it and give Zeed a pat on the head. "Well, at least keeping me from dying is useful."Zeed nods silently, and then points at you. You point at yourself. "Me?". Oh, right, exchange of information. Time to make yourself sound impressive to an alien made of clay. "Oh, right..."(Pick two)>I'm great with computers! That's what they tell me at work, anyway.>I'm a lot stronger than I look. It's not like I have anything else to do with my day other than strength training.>I'm a real good shot - as you may have seen.>All of my, uh, internet friends like me a lot. I promise! Seriously.>I know so much about the occult. No, more than that. Like, *so* much.>I can run a five minute mile. Five minutes flat. I, that's pretty fast, I mean, I don't know how fast *you* are, but it's pretty fast for a person.>I have so thoroughly absorbed common media and pop culture elements into my brain that I have become, to an extent, prescient. At least regarding stories.>I have literally no redeeming qualities. Everyone in my life hates me, except my parents, who tolerate me at best. Sorry.>Free Option.
>>5058857>>I'm a real good shot - as you may have seen.
>>5058857>I know so much about the occult. No, more than that. Like, *so* much.>I'm a real good shot - as you may have seen.
>>5058857>I have so thoroughly absorbed common media and pop culture elements into my brain that I have become, to an extent, prescient. At least regarding stories.>I'm a real good shot - as you may have seen.Cowboy LARPer. "I am a kind man, pow pow."
>>5058857>I have literally no redeeming qualities. Everyone in my life hates me, except my parents, who tolerate me at best. Sorry.Honesty is the best policy.
Rolled 2 (1d3)We're all agreed on the protagonist being a good shot, so...>>50588721>>50588682>>50588633
>>5058868>>5058860"For one, I'm a pretty good shot... you know, as you've seen. With the gun and all." You say, tapping your holstered gun. "And, uh... I've got an encyclopedic knowledge of storytelling devices from years of media consumption to such an extent that I do believe I have become slightly clairvoyant. They should really do a study on me."You sort of fumble for literally anything else to brag about besides being good with a gun. Zeed does not appear to do the whole facial expressions thing, but you think if he did he would be very impressed. He reaches up and tries to pat you on the head, but settles for patting you on the elbow instead. "Thanks." You say, feeling mildly condescended to by a small alien who both cannot speak and who you could punt across the room.You glance around. If there's anyone left after that subway train derailing, they certainly aren't making themselves known. You cup your mouth. "Oi! If you're still alive and aren't a hideous monster, try to come to the sound of my voice! I have a gun and I can kill things that are mean!"......You wait a minute, but nobody shows up, so you think it's reasonable to assume that everyone in your immediate vicinity is either KO'd or dead as shit. Zeed clings to your leg almost like a dog (not literally), standing close enough that you're a little afraid you're gonna step on him whenever you move. You strain your ears and still your breathing and just listen for a moment....Nothing but the whistling wind. And you do mean nothing - no sound of muttering voices, no distant rumble of other railway lines, no footsteps, no growls. Nothing.>What the hell even happened? Let's head down the subway line in case something terrible is aboveground that fucked everything up. There's probably survivors somewhere along the subway line, and we've got the power to help them, so we might as well use it.>Absolutely not. We're going up, finding the nearest Starbucks, and asking the barista if we can borrow their cell phone to call out of work. Or just like, assessing the surface situation if God forbid something awful happened up top too.>Free Option.
>>5058915>Absolutely not. We're going up, finding the nearest Starbucks, and asking the barista if we can borrow their cell phone to call out of work. Or just like, assessing the surface situation if God forbid something awful happened up top too.[Horror Movie Buff] Basements are a real killer. Subways are like big basements, right? So let's not go there.
>>5058915>Absolutely not. We're going up, finding the nearest Starbucks, and asking the barista if we can borrow their cell phone to call out of work. Or just like, assessing the surface situation if God forbid something awful happened up top too.
>>5058922>>5058947Oh no, you're not headed down into a deep dark well when you're involved in some horror movie shit. Your own self preservation comes first, and you know better than that. "Alright, fella, let's get a move on."Zeed nods silently and trails behind you as you work your way up the labyrinthine maze of familiar stairs and grimy tile hallways that you walk down every weekday morning to get to work. Everything is thoroughly wrecked in a way that you've never seen before, not even on the most pessimistic news reports of shit going southwise like the recent floods in New York. Tiled walls with pretty murals are buckled inwards like the tunnels themselves were snapped out of place like bones, the floor is cracked and unstable, and bodies lie in just about all the places you'd expect people to be instead.It is slowly dawning on you that the subway train crash may not have been a one-off.As you grab what's left of the railing and haul yourself out into what was a bright, sun-shiney day about an hour ago (or at least, you assume an hour ago, given that you don't have your phone and all the clocks are broken), even you can't help but gape a little at the raw devastation. The asphalt itself is ripped up to shreds, and several buildings are just gone, with only thin piles of rubble left where they used to be. You'd expect after a disaster like this to hear at least screaming, the wailing of sirens, anything, but the only noise is the thin whistle of wind and the crackling of a nearby car on fire.It buckles, and the windshield cracks. Can't have been on fire for super long.You know this neighborhood reasonably well, given that you live near here. You don't break into a sprint, but you do make a pretty reasonable pace along the sidewalk's remains along to where you remember there used to be a store. Thankfully, somehow, the Starbucks is still there, and you pull the door open, quietly peeking inside."Hello? Anyone still alive?" You ask to the open air, figuring that at this point it's almost certainly not worth calling your boss. Just let him assume you died, you have an alien buddy now.You slip all the way inside the Starbucks and crack the door open just enough to let Zeed follow you inside. The door dings a little bit as it opens, and then dings again as it shuts. Looks like all the food that was here has been cleared completely out, at least, of whatever people could take."Don't move!" Someone shouts, and you hear the click of a gun pointed at you. It takes you a second or two to register the sound as that of a reasonably young sounding girl, no younger than sixteen but probably no older than, say, twenty?"Hey, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, hey! I'm just a person! I ain't a weird monster. Please, do not shoot me." You say, trying to keep an air of nonchalant concern about you.
>>5058955You have to admit, after being hit by a train car to death and being impaled on rebar and also almost killed by a monster, the prospect of someone pointing a gun at you seems almost quaint by comparison. "Also, finger off the trigger. You do not want to accidentally pull that thing. Let's be reasonable people here.""I'm not giving you a goddamn thing!" She shouts, voice hoarse and pitchy and raw. Her head barely peeks over the barista... desk? Table? Whatever you call that thing. "Get out!""Hey, hey, look. I'm not hear to take anything, I've had my breakfast. I just want to know what time it is, and also, if anyone is alive." You reply, pulling your hands up. Zeed mirrors you, behind your left leg."What time...? It's, uh. It's 9. 9 AM." She replies, still pointing a gun at you. She has not taken her finger off the trigger."Oh, great, so I was only out, like... half an hour." You mumble to yourself. "Wait, how the hell did all this happen in half an hour? Is it still January 1st?""Uh-huh." She replies, hands jiggling like jello. "Out? Like... knocked out?"You laugh, hands still above your head. "Yeah, imagine that. One minute, I'm alive, and the next I got hit by a train. And then I wake up and there's a big fella with a toothy torso crawling around trying to eat me. Crazy, huh? Do you know what happened, exposition lass?"She steadies her hands a little bit, her face hidden under that Starbucks visor. "What did you call me...?" She mumbles."Don't worry about it. What happened?"She visibly gulps, glancing behind you. "It was... You really missed it?" She asks, in disbelief. You nod your head. "It was really bad. You know those new phone that just came out, the COMP?"You take a step forward and she points the gun slightly higher. You take a step backwards. "I'm aware of it." You reply, truthfully. A high end phone with a supposed hyper-personalized AI assistant that really learns from you. You had gotten one yesterday as a birthday present from your parents, but you never really ended up setting it up yet."Well, about an hour ago, they started exploding." She says, sounding like she's speaking through a mouthful of mucous and misery. She swallows it. "Sort of. And then the monsters started coming out of them. And then, well, it was like... It was like a hurricane and an earthquake both hit at the same time.""But with monsters," You finish for her."But with monsters." She repeats. "I got to watch it happen."She gestures with her head over to the tables. You note the distinct presence of blood smears across them, and the chairs, and the floor, and the wall, that indicate that a person was there who very rapidly and explosively became not a person. "Brutal." You note.It's then that she peeks out enough from her makeshift barricade to notice Zeed, and lets out a tiny squeak, aiming her gun directly at him instead.
>>5058956>"There's no fucking way that killed *everyone* in half an hour. Where is everybody?">"Do you have a weird robot demon arm too, or am I special?">"...Okay, well, you have fun with your empty Starbucks, lady, I'm gonna go find a survivor commune or something.">"Hey, hey, chill. Zeed's cool. Gun down. Finger off the trigger.">"Hey, don't bother, lady. These guys are immune to small arms fire, apparently.">Binding Voice.>Free Option.
>>5058957>binding voice Yep its rape time. Or if not we can have a look around uninhibited.
>>5058973Please do not sexually assault people in this quest.
>>5058974Didnt smt have some sexual themes?
>>5058957>"Hey, hey, chill. Zeed's cool. Gun down. Finger off the trigger.">"You really need better gun safety if you don't want to die.">>5058974I'm with you on that>>5058983Yeah, here and there. Not that common though, happens at least a couple times in each game. It's usually limited to story implications, or demon negotiation lines, or demon compendium bio entries, or subtle mentions.
>>5058957>"Hey, don't bother, lady. These guys are immune to small arms fire, apparently."
>we have Binding Voice as our first skill>we have 4 slots total>we have an Ailment of Paralysis>Binding Voice is Bind and NOT Paralysis/Stun, but QM must have merged those statuses for quest reasons>we could have had an Affinity of DarkI wonder if our slots are permanent? At the very least we should be null or resistant to Light due to being human in SMT, but we have a cool black iron demon arm, which could be human-demon fusion rules in play and we're normal to Light. We should be immune to Paralysis/Bind at least, potentially other Nerve status related shit. Is it 1 Ailment, 1 Affinity, 1 ???, and 1 ??? we can have and no more, for quest balancing reasons and encouraging creativity with a limited skillset? Could be more unlocked later as we build up over the quest to SMT endgame final form, where we delete entire demon hordes in one action. At least our first skill is AoE and a sound, that'll help in urban fighting and close-quarters.Potential skills we might be able to get:>Paraladi>Shibaboo>Paralama?>Stun Needle(s)>Stun Claw>Stun Bite?>Paral Eyes/Stun Gaze>Wire Breath?>Magnetic Storm?>Arachno Wire?>Death Ring?>Demon Teeth Grind?>Stunning Slice?>Stun Circle?>Shadow Bind?>Stasis Blade>>5058857>great with computersINT?>strength trainingSTR>good shotDEX>friends like meCHA>occult knowledge?>fastAGI>autism?>nothingWaste of SkinStrangely there doesn't seem to be any END/VIT
Just got home, taking a little rest and then will update when I wake up.>>5059032You'll have to play and find out the answers to your burning systems questions
>>5059042Glad to hear that>>5059032I am dumb for not thinking "occult knowledge" is MAG when I made my post. "Computers" could be TEC and "autism" could be INT
>>5058973m8, MC here has seen enough tropes to know that the guys who rape the first chance they get in an apocalypse have the opposite of plot armor>>5058957>I can't imagine people would start raiding each other for food in just an hour.>"Hey, don't bother, lady. These guys are immune to small arms fire, apparently."
>>5059105True enough. Or we could have became demon lord. Anyways the rape suggestion was more in jest than anything
>>5058957>>"Hey, don't bother, lady. These guys are immune to small arms fire, apparently."
>>5059042>when Zeed eventually ascends into thishttps://digimon.fandom.com/wiki/ZeedMillenniummon
Whew, that's a lot of you. Going back to bed for real now, but thank you all for joining us on this journey and I hope you are all enjoying the quest so far!>>5059235>>5059105>>5058986>>5058997"Hey, hey, hey, don't bother, lady. These guys are immune to small arms fire, apparently. I tried." You say. This immediately gets her to point her gun back at you. "And please, finger off the trigger. Off to the side, like this--" You say, demonstrating with your hands above your head, one doing a finger gun. "You really need better gun safety if you don't want to die.""I'll do what I want, thanks." She bites back, and you shrug quietly, your left arm getting a little sore from being held up for so long."Hey, suit yourself. Anyway, I can't imagine people would start raiding each other for food in just an hour, so what the hell happened here?" You ask, flicking your nose towards the mostly emptied out shelves.She sighs quietly. "Some dudes with trucks rolled up. Suits and ties and all that. "Oh, we're requisitioning your food supplies. Come join us at blah-blah-blah park if you want to survive. Or don't.", but they all had guns, so I really couldn't stop them.""Is that where everyone else who isn't dead is?" You reply, glancing behind you. You figure she's probably referring to Washington Park, one of hundreds if not thousands of Washington Parks in the nation, which is literally, like, down the road. Either that, or Lincoln Park, but you imagine the one closer to the river is probably where emergency services will want to set up, if they even were emergency services."How would I know?" She whines. You grit your teeth a little bit."Yeah, okay, fair. Okay, I'm gonna go now, alright, exposition fairy?" You say, turning around. You don't even bother reaching for any of the food."Wait!" She says, and you can still feel the gun pointed at your back. "That guy. How come he's not trying to kill you like the rest of them?""Oh, Zeed? Iunno. Probably because we shook hands and made a contract." You reply, glancing back towards her, hands still up."Contract...?" She mumbles.>Whip around and blast the gun out of her hand, action hero style, while she's distracted with contemplation.>Don't do that, you psycho, you'll hurt her. Even if you do correctly do that the shrapnel will probably fuck her hand up. Just use your paralysis powers or whatever.>"Yeah, a contract. Like, shake hands and make peace sort of thing. I can teach you, if you promise to put the gun down.">Just leave her be. Not your problem, and she seems to be able to handle herself with that gun :^).>Tell Zeed to heal her of any minor injuries as a show of good will.>Free Option.
>>5059269>Yeah I shook hands with him, here I'll show you>Grab the hand holding the gun, then paralyze. "Second lesson, you don't put your guard down until you're ready to put your gun down."I don't think we should actually take the gun though
>>5059269>Yeah, a contract. Like, shake hands and make peace sort of thing. I can teach you, if you promise to put the gun down.">Tell Zeed to heal her of any minor injuries as a show of good will.Not too familiar with Shin Megami, I have played some Soul Hacker (yes yes different series) and Apocalypse. I have to ask though since we died and were brought back to life does that make us a Godslayer?
>>5059269>>"Yeah, a contract. Like, shake hands and make peace sort of thing. I can teach you, if you promise to put the gun down."
>>5059269>"Yeah, a contract. Like, shake hands and make peace sort of thing. I can teach you, if you promise to put the gun down."
>>5059269>did i stutter dumb bitch?>Tell Zeed to heal her of any minor injuries as a show of good will.
>>5059317>>5059482>>5059492>>5059498>>5059502>>5059539"Yeah, a contract. Like, shake hands and make peace sort of thing. I can teach you, if you promise to put the gun down." You say, your head still turned towards her. "Watch this. Zeed?"Zeed turns towards you, blinking silently. "Can you patch her up like you did with me?"Zeed nods, just as silently, and turns towards her. The sound of windchimes fills the air for a scant moment, and a greenish-yellow light washes over the Starbucks interior, joined by a shocked squeak from the girl in question. Then, Zeed looks at his hands for a moment, and goes back to standing next to you, ramrod stiff."H-How..." She mumbles, glancing at her hands."First one's free. Second one, well, you'll need a Zeed of your own, I imagine. You said there were monsters about, yeah? Just find one that doesn't immediately kill you and shake hands with it. At least, that's how I think it works." You explain, shrugging your shoulders at her. She puts the gun down, and you finally put your somewhat sore arms down. "Look, I don't know what's happening either, I'm just running off ritalin fumes and my gut."She stares at you silently, gun still down but hands hovering close to it. You're not sure how to interpret the expression on her face, but, then again, you were never great at that to begin with. "Maybe you should go to the park with those feds?" You offer. "Probably safer than staying here. Unless they were lying about being feds, in which case it's probably not safer than staying here.""I'll take my chances, thanks." She grumbles, grabbing her gun and ducking back behind the counter. You breathe a tiny sigh of relief through your teeth, glad that you managed to make it through your first social exchange today with another human being without getting shot in the face. Or without getting your cool alien friend shot in the face. Both of those would be bad.>"Alright. Well. Bye." Leave her be, she is clearly not interested in conversation anymore. You have a park to investigate, since apparently actual groups of people will be there.>"...Do you need me to walk you around until we find a suitably non-threatening ghoulie for you to shake hands with?" Hey, maybe if you lead her by the nose enough you can get a party member. One who has a gun!>"You got any of those chocolate covered graham crackers left? I never bought any because it was like five dollars for two of them but I could really go for a snack right now and I imagine money is pretty worthless.">"Oh, hey, before I forget, can I borrow your phone? Yours didn't explode into monsters, right? I gotta check some stuff.">Free Option.
>>5059573>"Alright. Well. Bye." Leave her be, she is clearly not interested in conversation anymore. You have a park to investigate, since apparently actual groups of people will be there.
>>5059582+1, we Devil Survivor now?
>>5059573>"You got any of those chocolate covered graham crackers left? I never bought any because it was like five dollars for two of them but I could really go for a snack right now and I imagine money is pretty worthless."We need to feed our Zeed. As a reward more than anything. Maybe it can heal him as well.>"Oh, hey, before I forget, can I borrow your phone? Yours didn't explode into monsters, right? I gotta check some stuff."May as well try to push my luck
>>5059573>"Oh, hey, before I forget, can I borrow your phone? Yours didn't explode into monsters, right? I gotta check some stuff."gotta find out that there's no more signal from the exposition fairy>Head home. You doubt it's been raided for food yet, and you may as well pack up whatever ammo you've left lying around.
>>5059573>You got any of those chocolate covered graham crackers left? I never bought any because it was like five dollars for two of them but I could really go for a snack right now and I imagine money is pretty worthless.">"...Do you need me to walk you around until we find a suitably non-threatening ghoulie for you to shake hands with?" Hey, maybe if you lead her by the nose enough you can get a party member. One who has a gun!
>>5059573>"Oh, hey, before I forget, can I borrow your phone? Yours didn't explode into monsters, right? I gotta check some stuff.">"...Do you need me to walk you around until we find a suitably non-threatening ghoulie for you to shake hands with?" Hey, maybe if you lead her by the nose enough you can get a party member. One who has a gun!
>>5059598>>5059703>>5059766>>5059635You rummage through your options in your head and take a couple of seconds to come to what feels like a reasonable next step. "Oh, right, I almost forgot why I even popped my head in. Can I borrow your phone for a sec, before I forget?" You ask, turning all the way back towards her. She peeks up at you from behind the counter incredulously, brown hair scattered about in dense, collected strands slightly matted with sweat and blood across her forehead."...What?" She squeaks."Your phone. If it didn't explode into monsters, I would like to use it so that I can check some stuff real quick. Also, if you've got any of those chocolate covered graham crackers left, I think I need to feed Zeed. I never bought any because it was like... five dollars for two of them but I imagine money is pretty useless right now." You rattle off, gesturing with your normal hand to your Silent Bob-esque alien buddy. He blinks at the girl. "I mean, he did just heal you. I think.""Are you, like, on crack?" She asks, staring at you."Kind of? I think Ritalin is a close chemical analogue. No, wait, meth. It's meth that I'm on." You reply, intentionally missing the joke in an over the top way in an attempt to get her to laugh. It does not take. You lock eyes with her for an uncomfortable seven seconds. "So, can I use your phone?""Fine. Just give it back when you're done or I'm shooting you." She says, and you are incredibly unable to tell if she's joking. Instead of walking around the counter or something along those lines, she just puts it on top of the counter, ducks back behind it, and then pops back up with a remaining package of the chocolate covered graham crackers. She slaps that down on the countertop hard enough to crack them, and then vanishes back down with her gun."Sweet, thanks." You say, taking a couple cautious steps forward and scooping both of the requested items. You peel open the package of chocolate covered graham crackers and offer one to Zeed, who does not appear to want it. He gently pushes on your hand with his own, and you shrug and get to chewing while you dial up your boss's number, the only phone number you have memorized besides your parents's.It immediately goes to voice mail, which you are not super surprised by, given the situation. Then, you look up your apartment building on the internet and call your landlord, to the same sort of response, which is good. Last thing you want to deal with is paying rent in the apocalypse. Then, you actually check to see if you have cell reception, and you do, so it's not that.
dubs>>5059900Finally, you check Discord. You log out of the girl's account without bothering to look at any of it and finagle your way back into your own account, just to check, just to make sure. You don't really have what you'd call a copious amount of friends, just a couple of acquaintances across the United States and Europe, like three dudes in Brazil, and one person who ended up just sort of coincidentally being in the same city as you - BigO, who is a giant nerd that took his online handle from a robot anime.Empty, for the most part. Looks like everyone stopped posting at basically the same time, at 8:30 ish, which... bodes ill, considering you know people in entirely different timezones across the planet. You scroll down the server list with an increasing feeling of racing anxiety pumping through your veins a little bit. 8:31. 8:31. 8:31. Even the most active servers just up and stopped. Discord isn't warning you about any connection issues, so...Bloop! You get a ping.BigO/<oh shit youre online>BigO/<stay safe dude>BigO/<if we both survive today meet me at the ferris wheel on the boardwalk>BigO/<gtg>BigO/<ily>And then, before your brain has enough rational thinking time left to conjure any response, his online light goes off. You sigh quietly to yourself, take a second to try and breathe and get rid of that icy feeling running through your limbs, and then log out of Discord. You pass the phone back."Alright, great, thanks for the help, lady." You say, watching as her hand blindly fumbles upwards for it and then yanks it down behind the counter.>"Have fun holding down the fort while I'm gone. Try not to die." Be playfully sarcastic at her. People enjoy it when you do that, right?>"Well, uh. Good luck, I guess. I'm gonna get going now." We should head home at least and try to stockpile some stuff and assess the situation.>"I'm gonna head to the park and check it out. Uh, good luck with... all this?" There's people there, who apparently have guns. They probably have this situation moderately under control.>Head to the boardwalk now. It'll be an adventure and you don't trust the park enough to go in that particular direction right now. Feds or not.>"Oh, and, uh, if you're still alive by the end of tonight. Boardwalk, the big ferris wheel. Alive people are gonna be there." Might as well be a chum and extend her the invitation, right?>Free Option.
>>5059901>>"Well, uh. Good luck, I guess. I'm gonna get going now." We should head home at least and try to stockpile some stuff and assess the situation.
>>5059901>"Oh, and, uh, if you're still alive by the end of tonight. Boardwalk, the big ferris wheel. Alive people are gonna be there." Might as well be a chum and extend her the invitation, right?>We should head home at least and try to stockpile some stuff and assess the situation.
>>5059908+1, though we should keep an eye out for more baddies to kill and loot
>>5059901Leave her on her own. She is clearly noto interested. No need to simp.>Head to the boardwalk now. It'll be an adventure and you don't trust the park enough to go in that particular direction right now. Feds or not.
>>5059901>Head to the boardwalk now. It'll be an adventure and you don't trust the park enough to go in that particular direction right now. Feds or not.
>>5059908>>5059909>>5059927>>5059903"Oh, and, uh, before I go. If you're still alive by the end of tonight. Boardwalk, the big Ferris wheel. Alive people are gonna be there." You say, passing it over your shoulder like a parting gift. "Thanks for the graham crackers."She doesn't really respond, and you leave quietly.The city streets are quiet outside of the disconcerting ringing of distant sirens echoing out into a distorted wail, and the sound of crackling fire. You keep your hand on your empty gun and the other urging Zeed behind you. The devastation is surreal, but worse is the sheer quiet, with no screaming, no yelling, no nothing. A number of cars are ditched in the street, some of them looking blown open from within like they've been infested by car-sized metal chestbursters - probably the result of the COMPsplosion the girl mentioned.You pass by one of the cars and peek inside. Someone peeks back at you from underneath a jacket, curled up into a ball, trying to look as small as possible. You nod at them, and they shut their eyes, and you move on. Okay, so not everyone's dead, maybe most people were smart and decided to hide away once they realized there were monsters on the street.Yeah, who are you kidding?Your apartment is only about a block and some change away from the subway station. Deciding to perhaps not be an idiot, you peek through each opening and door before actually going through them, making your way into a blood-stained, wrecked lobby with plenty of people bits scattered about. The metallic smell of blood is sharp on your nose.Zeed tugs on your hand. "What's up?" You ask, as quietly as humanly possible. He glances around, and then tugs on your hand again. Clearly, he wants to get your attention for something but can't seem to articulate it.Your arm clicks quietly, and then lets out a hiss of steam. You hear noises, indistinct, but detectable, once you shut up and start listening. Something gloppy and wet, like mac and cheese, or good pussy, and then some kind of indistinct chittering in a language you don't recognize. From where you are in the lobby, all the sounds just sort of mix together, making pinpointing their locations difficult.Your apartment is on the fourth floor. You can handle some stairs, right?>Elevators, you've been through enough shit today.>Stairs for normal people.>Go up the emergency fire escape stairs. Who's gonna bitch at you for making the alarm go off, your possibly dead landlord?>Free Option.
BONUS ZEED courtesy of a friend of mine
>>5060149>>Stairs for normal people.
>>5060150On this note, if you draw any Zeeds, even shitty scribbly ones, I will owe you my firstborn. If multiple people do this you will all get equal portions of my firstborn.
>>5060149>Stairs for normal peopleWe can trigger the alarm as we leave, assuming there aren't any people alive to be killed by doing so.>>5060162Maybe after we get Zeed a nice hat
>>5060149>Stairs for normal people.
>>5060149>if this truly was a catastrophic event the elevators would be the first to go. Naturally everyone would take the stairs where the monsters/angels/demons would be lying in wait and turned the staircase into a meat grinder.>lets take the fire escape ladders on the side of the building
>>5060149>>Go up the emergency fire escape stairs
Apologies for the delay, I don't have an excuse I'm just Really Unreliable>>5060214>>5060170>>5060156>>5060531You decide that today you will be taking the stairs, because you mildly recalled that if there was some sort of catastrophe going on the elevators would probably be the first things to go. You push open the doors to the stairwell and begin making your way up, slowly and cautiously, using all those skills you gathered from years of watching television and playing video games. Peeking around corners, sweeping your sight cones or whatever the fuck. The sounds only get louder, but somehow less distinct, yet you don't appear to be able to catch any source even on your way up.Plus, you gotta go a LITTLE slow for Zeed. He's got tiny legs. You will admit that you are slightly charmed by how cute he looks bobbling up the stairs like a weird penguin. The two of you make it up to the fourth floor, and push open the stairs into the hallway, where you are immediately confronted by an absolutely fetid combination of scents - some kind of acrid, iron-y smell you can immediately recognize now as "a shitton of blood", and then something that smells like what you'd imagine raw sewage from a septic tank smells like.Your apartment building is not gigantic, so you just sort of walk down the hallway and press your wallet to your apartment's RFID reader to click the door open. You take a deep breath and shut and lock the door behind you before scooting your sole kitchen chair over to it. Your apartment isn't exactly what you'd call "luxurious", given that it's the most affordable studio apartment you could find in the city while also trying to put away literally any money for retirement, but it's a place to sleep and play video games and you have one of your parents's old CRTs so it's a little cozy in the process. Time to pack the essentials. You have no idea how long the apocalypse will last before people get bailed out, if you're going to get bailed out, and you also sort of have a minor hoarding problem so everything's in piles. Not, like, big piles you have to wade through, but suffice to say you both a: have a lot of shit and b: are incredibly disorganized. You do have a backpack - your travel bag that you use for work presumably got fucking annihilated by getting hit by a train, so that's out of the question for stuff transport, but a backpack is probably the more convenient inventory option anyway.While you rummage around your piles, you peek your head out for a moment. "Zeed, can you stand by the door and let me know if you hear anything coming?" You ask. Zeed obediently wobbles over to do just that.What are you bringing?Pick any number of small or medium sized objects you can stuff in a backpack and that you think Jack would have. Assume you're going to be grabbing at the minimum the non-perishable foodstuffs, although you may choose to pack more or less if you think other stuff is a priority.
>>5061091>ammo>A cheapo swiss army knife. You got it for the nail cutter, but the knife bit should work fine.>A slightly less cheap lighter, the bigger kind for lighting stoves. You were too lazy for candles and too cheap for flashlights.>TissueI'm assuming Jack is not really handsy enough to dismantle his fridge for useful parts.>Clothes and a second set of shoes.>A hat>A USB>Pens and Paper for Zeed. Or markers.>Rubbing Alcohol>Your video game memory cards>Tape>Rubber bands>Scissors>A bunch of empty potato chip bags and a soda can or twoAluminum is pretty handy
>>5061144I would add literally any first aid kit that Jack has should be in. A pack of tarot cards because he's up against weird monsters and it might help. A decent-capacity jug or thermos of water. A roll of toilet paper too. Anything else we're missing?
>>5061091>The Apocalypse Survival Guide for Dummies: Urban Edition
my dude John is a pretty genre-savvy guy, so I can see him impulse-buying weird shit like lockpicks, "just in case". Besides what other anons added, I would add lockpicking tools, a roll of duct tape, some rope, and that one nice hip flask he filled with scotch and forgot about.I'd also vote to get a clean set of "normal" clothes, but changing our clothes for something a tad more appropriate.
>>5061212>he doesn't face the apocalypse and demons with a suit on
>>5061091>>5061176Let's also throw in a toothbrush and toothpaste, a flashlight with spare batteries and a compass
>>5061212>>5061144+1 for rope, knife and ammo.
>>5061091Also lets tell zeed to pick out anything he wants us to bring for him if he wants
Find zeed a nice hat, he deserves it
>>5061144>>5061176>>5061212>>5061223>>5061293>>5061294>>5061365You first decide to shuffle out of your bloodied, torn clothes and replace them with a fresh pair of slacks and button down, just because the blood was starting to crust up and it was getting a little uncomfortable to move around in.Then, it's time to start packing. You open your backpack up and dump out all the folders and papers in there from work that you will no longer need, probably. If you do, well... they're here! Then, you start stuffing it with stuff, everything you can find that you think might even be slightly useful that you can fit into your backpack.InventoryChange of clothes x2Cheap Swiss Army Knife x1Stick Lighter x1Wad of Tissues x1Home First Aid Kit x1Duct Tape Roll x1Cheap Lockpicks x1Toiletries x130ft Coil of Shibari Rope (Unused) x1Rubber Band Ball x1Kitchen Shears x1Aluminum Garbage x116GB USB Stick x2Pile of Important Memories (From Video Games) x1Water Flask (Filled) x1Flashlight x1Batteries x1You stuff everything as tightly into your backpack as possible, a slightly arduous and sweat-inducing process, and fill the rest with the most calorie dense stuff you have in your tiny pantry, which ended up being a bunch of Chef Boyardee and your protein bars, among other things.EquipmentLocal Sports Cap (Head)Short-Sleeve Flannel (Torso)Work Slacks (Legs)Running Sneakers (Feet)9mm Compact (Gun)N/A (Melee)Then, you grab another identical hat to the one you are wearing and slap it on Zeed, whose preternaturally smooth head is literally the perfect size for it to squeeze onto. Zeed pokes at it once, and then lets his hands drop back to his side. "Anything you want, buddy?" You ask.Zeed looks at you and then shakes his head, before going back to lookout. You boot up your computer for a moment, loading anything you think is important onto one of your flash drives real quick, just like, general life documents, writing up a quick little last will and testament in a .txt file just in case, checking the internet (internet's down), that sort of thing. You stuff that into your backpack. You also grab as much of your ammo as you can shove in and your brain immediately abstracts it into a pile that you will probably become more aware of as it becomes relevant.Unfortunately, you do not possess a printer, paper, or really anything that can be used for writing except maybe some of your tissues as long as Zeed can find more wet stuff to smear on it with his little clay fingers. You'll figure something out, maybe raid a Staples or something.While you're packing up, Zeed thumps on the fridge nearby with his knuckkles to draw your attention. You stuff the last things you can cram inside inside, kiss your lovely box fan good night, and ready your gun while Zeed scrambles behind you.
Note: I do not know THAT much about guns, although I do think Jack browses /k/ so if you have any particular model you think he'd probably have feel free to let me know and it'll probably become canon.>>5061605You peek through the peephole and recoil at the smell and also the sound of several strange looking purple zombies with their dicks out. They're almost dancing, movements mechanical yet fluid, marching down the hallway and craning their necks around, jaws opening and shutting repeatedly. Several of them have bloodstains across their claws, a couple still have bloodstains on their lips. You can see maybe four total, but through the peephole is not exactly the best vantage point. The air doesn't smell nearly as fetid from your cursory sniff, but it does smell like refrigerated meat that was left out to get stale.One of them turns towards your door and begins babbling something towards the other ones.>Stay in your room and hope they pass you by.>Load up with actual metal bullets and start shooting through the door.>Bind Voice[/i]>Try to see if you can summon up whatever those green energy blasts were, you can probably polykill a couple with one of those if you can line it up.>Ask Zeed (quietly) if he has any offensive capabilities to deploy.>Free Action.
>>5061606>>Try to see if you can summon up whatever those green energy blasts were, you can probably polykill a couple with one of those if you can line it up.
>>5061606>Try to see if you can summon up whatever those green energy blasts were, you can probably polykill a couple with one of those if you can line it up.
>>5061606>Free Action>pull your dick out and start dancing like themMaybe we can confuse them until we get into point blank range and then fire off
>>5061606>Try to see if you can summon up whatever those green energy blasts were, you can probably polykill a couple with one of those if you can line it up.It shouldn't be Zan or Garu. Green energy blasts remind me of some Demonica attack or... I'm not sure
>>5061606>Try to see if you can summon up whatever those green energy blasts were, you can probably polykill a couple with one of those if you can line it up.Think back to our days in BO2 and channel that nostalgia
>>5061606>Ask Zeed (quietly) if he has any offensive capabilities to deploy.
>>5061723>>5061675>>5061612>>5061608For a moment you consider the blissful proposition of whipping your dick out and starting to dance, but you're pretty certain that would just get you killed and you don't feel like traumatizing Zeed with your penis today. Or ever, really. You're not exactly sure if Zeed can feel the emotion of trauma but whatever. Instead, you check your gun, still empty of bullets, and then check your arm.It seems like it's... evolved? Slightly since you woke up from the "being dead" situation. The armor has become more distinct instead of a metallic black arm-shaped mass, with visible valves and pipes peeking out from beneath layers of black material. Some sort of fluid system, sort of like veins, you imagine, is stuck full of black goop, and it takes a second for you to actually realize that it's flowing from how matte and nonreflective it is. "Okay, crazy robot arm... How do... we do that thing again? That we did in the subway." You ask it, feeling thoroughly insane.A panel sort of folds open, revealing what looks like four battery icons, glowing the same off-teal-greenish glow that your crazy monster killer shot showed off. Three of them are red, actually, blinking and crossed out in the most obvious indicator of "empty" that you've seen yet. The other one is subdivided into four segments of charge. You have no idea if your big awesome fuck you shot takes up a full battery and a half and you started with all four or what, but that's the information you have at the moment. "Okay, cool, put that away." You whisper, and give your arm a little twist, and it folds back."Okay, Zeed, get behind me." You say, unlocking the door, grabbing the handle, and beginning to pull. At the same time, you take a couple steps backwards. There's only so much space, and if your aim is good, you might be able to nail all of these fuckers in one shot if you can get them in a choke point. "Hey, fellas! Fresh meat!"They all turn to you, slavering hunger in their eyes, and begin to chitter and pounce, each one scrabbling over another to try and cram itself into your narrow apartment doorway. You take aim with your empty gun and pull the trigger.This time, it's a lot more... visceral.
>>5061931You feel the material rushing through your new arm, the veins glowing white hot with pressure for a moment before your arm discharges like a venting hydraulic piston, a series of narrow cylinders on your shoulder slamming shut into it and releasing a hiss of off-green battery-color steam. Your gun kicks like a mule, almost shrieking out of your hand while a BANG! ricochets through the air, the projectile itself ripping a clean hole through the crowd of dicks-out monsters, and the hallway, and the wall, into the apartment across from you. Your arm calms down, leaking steam, and you check the battery again - all out. Underneath the battery icons looks to be a couple of LCD hearts, five in total, the first of which surrounded by a battery-green outline.Okay, so if you fire again, it'll eat one of those hearts, whatever that represents. That probably means it'll hurt you. Good to know.MP: 0/4HP: 5/5You click your gun just for dramatic effect, watching as the monsters that you directly hit basically burst into black iron filings like a popped water balloon, while the ones you barely skimmed bleed thick, sludgey red blood out and reveal meaty insides. You had to aim a little down because they're all, like, four feet tall, so your projectile, which you do not see anywhere, left a trail of increasingly-shredded carpeting along the hallway before punching an approximately fist-sized hole in the drywall and continuing on to greener pastures.The crowd's definitely bigger than you thought they were, but you did clear out a clean four monsters with one shot, injuring the other three. Two of them, the most injured, start trying to hobble away in opposite directions down the hallway, while the one you barely grazed (enough to rip out an eye and a chunk of hair and face) clicks at you and prepares to lunge.Eraser Bolt Online. Current Element: Gun. Fire at will.>Use another Eraser Bolt, don't bother taking chances. That first one could deflect small arms fire, remember? (-1 HP)>Grab your biggest kitchen knife and go to slasher town. Maybe your arm could do something cool with a knife too? That would be neat.>Fumble some ammo in and just unload 9mms into it until it stops moving.>Kick it in the balls.>Hit it with the chair you were barricading the door with about twenty minutes ago.>Point the gun at it and tell it to stand down.>Use the Bind Voice to try and paralyze it and then deftly maneuver around it.>Free Option
>>5061932>Use the Bind Voice to try and paralyze it>Then take your time unloading some regular bullets into it.
>>5061932>Attempt to talk to it>"Hey scrawny shit! You sure you wanna eat me after I killed four of you? Look! Your two friends are trying to get away! That's like... Free food..."
>>5061957I was +1ing it but I went back on that because I remembered Binding Voice costs MP and we're at 0 MP
>>5061932>Grab your biggest kitchen knife and go to slasher town. Maybe your arm could do something cool with a knife too? That would be neat.
>>5062042>>5062072>>5062025You reach over into your little kitchenette and withdraw your biggest, honkingest kitchen knife, a nice, big santoku that your parents got you for the holidays. You flip your gun into your holster in the seconds between, and clench the ergonomic, well-made handle of the knife between the fingers of your robot arm.The creature launches itself at you, and you swing like you're back in the little leagues trying so hard to hit a 30 mph underhanded ball. Your arm lets out a little hiss of steam, and suddenly your swing accelerates, your arm whipping forward far faster than you intended to, all the way through the creature's lower jaw, ripping right through its torso above its swollen stomach. Its upper half goes sailing through the air while its lower half stumbles forward, flopping down onto the ground and kicking like a daddy long legs having its legs removed.Neither half dissolves into black dust. They just remain meaty and bloody, the creature letting out a pained gasp as it tries to drag itself across the floor at Zeed. Thankfully, your alien buddy has some self-preservation instinct and scoots out of the way, climbing on top of your bed where it can't reach. "OaaaUuuggHhhhHgggh..." The creature groans, life ebbing out of it. You stare at your arm for a moment, and a servo whirrs and clicks into place. You barely even felt anything as your knife went through, even though you can clearly see the presence of a spinal column of some sort, bones, organs, although all of them looking... simplified, not quite correct. Like an organ on a drawing or diagram of organs, without all the messy little folds, wrinkles, and details.What to do with the creature?>Finish it with the knife.>Just leave it here to die, there's no way it's coming back from being cut in half like that. >Get Zeed to heal it in exchange for mercy.>Free Option.Next steps after that?>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the stairs.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the elevators.>Just leave them be. You can cut them in half with a kitchen knife if necessary, don't worry about it too much. We gotta get going to the boardwalk.>Free Option.
>>5062540>>Finish it with the knife.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the elevators.
>>5062540>Grab it with the arm. For all you know, it runs on monster blood.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the elevators.
>>5062540>Finish it with the knife.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the elevators.
>>5062540>Get Zeed to heal it in exchange for mercy.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the stairs.
>>5062540>Finish it with the knife.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the stairs.We are the COOL
>>5062540>Finish it with the knife.>Chase after the one going down the hall towards the elevators
>>5062540>Finish it with the knife.Chase after the one going down the hall towards the elevators.
>>5062714>>5062692>>5062673>>5062594>>5062559>>5062562You don't waste any time. You pivot around on your heel and cram your knife down the thing's head vertically, bisecting it from behind into two evenly divided meat chunks. It quivers a little bit, and then stops moving entirely. "Follow me, Zeed!" You whisper-shout, charging out the room with Zeed moving quickly behind you. He moves surprisingly quickly on his arms like a gorilla, launching himself forward rather than waddling like a penguin.As you run over the burnt-off ashes of the monsters you killed with your overpowered gun thing, the iron filing-like dust gets sucked up into your arm like it's being cleaned by a vacuum, scooping up a surprisingly large amount (but not all of it) just by passing by. As you charge down the hall towards the elevators, you check your battery icons, which are still red, but full of yellow sections now rather than a "crossed-out" red line.Okay, so scooping up that powder starts charging you back up, but it's not instant. Noted, noted.One of the monsters, behind you, goes stumbling towards the stairs. You don't bother catching it, because it probably can't get very far, but the elevator door awaits you on the exact opposite side of the hallway. Because whoever designed this apartment building was a sadist, apparently. You wind up your arm and it lets out a hiss of steam before accelerating your grip forward, and you whip the knife out of your hands with bullet-like speed towards the fleeing creature.It does not go quite as planned. As it turns out, throwing things is a lot harder than shooting. You have good aim, but fail to compensate for the extra oomph your arm provides, and instead of nailing it with a sick headshot, your knife just whizzes through one of its feet and lodges itself in the wooden paneling at the back end of the open elevator door, buzzing like one of those little door spring things.Still, you slow it down. The creature lets out a wordless shriek as it stumbles towards the elevator door. You catch up to it and grab it by the damaged head with your new arm, and your servos and motors begin to whirr.It squirms and squeals, chittering in some language that, now that you can hear it up close, you're 80% sure is Sanskrit. Your arm display lights up, displaying vital information.UNREGISTERED DEMONGHOST PRETAYou hear a humorous noise behind you, tilting your head back to watch the other Preta go tumbling ass-over-head down the stairs, before turning your attention back to the captured one. It flails around, trying ineffectually to scratch you, only managing to land some (admittedly painful, but non-damaging) clawings on your mechanical arm.>Try to negotiate with it. (Item/Macca/Essence)>Kill it.>Erase it. (-1 MP, acquire Essence)>Let it go. Maybe one day it will return the favor.>Tell it a shitty joke.>Kick it in the balls.>Free Option.
>>5062775Test bind voice on it, see if it uses the same resource reserves.Do you have a spare phone? A translator would be really handy right now
>>5062788+1failing negotiation, we kill and go kill the stairs one
>>5062775>drain him of power
>>5062775>Kill it.Fucking trash mobs. 'ate Pretas. Simple as.
Apologies for only one update today, will be later this evening, dealing with some incredible quantities of IRL bullshit. Thank you all for sticking with me so far, and I appreciate your readership and participation.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>5062788>>50628681>>5062952>>50630452
>>5063045>>5062952You grip it tight by the head and your arm flares out, burning through all the energy reserves you started re-charging through earlier. They burst out of your arm in a gout of black material, splattering against the wall like blood, and you feel an immense pain rocket through your arm from fingertip to shoulder. You feel a single cut just rip open across your cheek, like your skin can't contain its own blood, and then another one across the back of your flesh hand. You don't think you're injured yet, but all the little yellow dots on your battery icons are gone, leaving them all red, flickering, and empty, and it certainly hurts like a motherfucker.A large black piston extends out from the back of your straightened arm, from the shoulder, and your arm locks into place. "Sorry, fella." You say, slightly apologetically, before the piston SLAMS into place with a flare of off-teal-green energy rippling from the loose vents in your arm, and the Preta shudders for a moment before stopping its movements entirely. You let go of it, and it drops to the floor like a ragdoll, dissolving away into the thick black sludge and iron filing-like ash that your overpowered gun shot produced on direct impact too. Except this time, it also drops a little sphere, shining like a marble, about the size of a fist.Preta EssenceAffinity: DrainTechnique: Bite>Feed the Preta Essence to Zeed.>Absorb the Preta Essence into your arm (Acquire either the Affinity or Technique for future use)You whip your head around to watch the somewhat comedic sound of the other Preta continuing to fall down the stairs. Your battery absorbs the left over iron-stuff from the fallen Preta and the first icon ticks up to two yellow charging notches (about halfway full), which you'd imagine probably isn't enough for another whatever it is you just did.>Chase after it. No monster unturned.>It's not a threat to you anymore and it's missing a leg. If there's other people out there with wacky demon arms or demon partners, they can probably handle it. You have a boardwalk to be getting to.>Free Option.
>>5063493>Feed the Preta Essence to Zeed.>Chase after it. No monster unturned.At this point it's a mercy killing.
>>5063493>Feed the Preta Essence to Zeed.>Chase after it. No monster unturned.isn't drain almighty? If we can get around casting from HP like this, we could stock up a lot of essence while Zeed heals us.
>>5063493>Feed the Preta Essence to Zeed.We must make our boi stronger >Chase after it. No monster unturned. You know what happens when you spare an enemy like that? It comes back but stronger. We've watched enough stuff to know that.
>>5063493>Feed the Preta Essence to Zeed.>Chase after it. No monster unturned.
>>5063493>Feed the Preta Essence to Zeed.Once we get Mana Drain or Spirit Drain, its over>Chase after it. No monster unturned.Free exp
>>5063637>>5063622>>5063663>>5063542>>5063534>>5063512You gingerly grab for the small orb and then, remembering that Zeed was grabbing for it earlier with the bigger monster, give it to him instead.Zeed stares at it for a second or two, blank, blue eyes just staring, and then he presses it into his forehead and it vanishes into his skin. He blinks a couple of times, and then points down the hall towards the other Preta."Don't worry about it, buddy, that's what I was planning on." You say, grabbing a clip from the side compartment of your backpack and loading it into your gun. You don't think you'll be able to fire one of those overpowered shots in a while, so it's good to make sure you have normal bullets available if necessary. Then, you open the elevator door with the button and retrieve your knife before advancing down the hallway.The air is full of the smell of corpses and the sound of wet, gentle squishing. Most of the Sanskrit tittering is inaudible now, so you've probably handled most of the Pretas - and now you'll handle all of them. You know your movies. You know what happens when you spare an enemy? It comes back, but stronger. No way.You stalk down into the stairwell, keeping your corners covered by peeking back and forth like a madman. The last Preta is two floors down and continuing to try and slowly make their way down the stairs, leaving a trail of thick, sludgey blood, and then Zeed points at it through the railing and lets out a noise. Some white sparks seem to flow out of the Preta and into Zeed, and the Preta trips and falls again, visibly exhausted.Impressive.>Give Zeed a pat on the head for his good work.>Time for another knife flinging?>Just shoot the trash mob with a normal bullet. It's squishy enough that a knife can take it out, it's squishy enough that a bullet can handle it.>Actually make your way downstairs and just give it a quick, humane through-the-head stabbing.>Free Option.
>>5063793>Just shoot the trash mob with a normal bullet. It's squishy enough that a knife can take it out, it's squishy enough that a bullet can handle it.
>>5063793>Just shoot the trash mob with a normal bullet. It's squishy enough that a knife can take it out, it's squishy enough that a bullet can handle it.Grind up that DEX
>>5063793>Try Bind Voice, then do the stabbing
>>5063793>Give Zeed a pat on the head for his good work.>Time for another knife flinging?Practice makes perfect.
>>5063793>Just shoot the trash mob with a normal bullet. It's squishy enough that a knife can take it out, it's squishy enough that a bullet can handle it.>Give Zeed a pat on the head for his good work.
>>5063811I personally wanna headpat Zeed to congratulate him AFTER we finish off the escaping early game trash mobs
>>5064294>>5064286>>5063811>>5063799You point down at the slowly moving target and pull the trigger. There's a muzzle flash and a loud echo of noise ricocheting through the stairwell, and then the Preta drops over, stumbling over itself, slowly bleeding out from a hole in its chest that you think also went through to its weird chin. Unmoving, deadly still, you take careful aim towards its head and fire again right down the sights, and then the Preta stops moving at all, collapsed into a dead pile of meat.You reach over and give Zeed a pat on the head through his fitted cap. He looks at you, not seeming to understand, and then looks back down at the Preta. The two of you continue down the stairs, with Zeed swinging down gently from the railing, hauling himself along with his disproportionately long arms, while you just walk like a normal person, gun holstered and safety on and all that.By the time you make it down the two flights, you are certain the Preta is dead, kicking it over and fully expecting it to bite your foot. It never does, remaining well and dead, although you definitely notice the fact that something seems to be leaking out of the ventilation shafts and creeping down the walls.You stare at the green sludge, taking a step closer to the stairs as a bright red sphere plops out, followed by another, forming into a groaning face looking at you.And then another groaning face, and a third.>Can you even shoot a pile of sludge? No, let's just book it. We have places to be and we on't get there in time if we're dilly dallying. Every second we wait is another second that the monster infestation is probably going to be getting worse everywhere.>No, wait, wait and see what it's going to do. Maybe it's friendly and just wants to eat the Preta corpse.>Kick the corpse at whatever's coming out of the ventilation.>Have Zeed do whatever it was he did to the Preta to whatever's coming out the vents.>Free Option.
>>5064321>>Kick the corpse at whatever's coming out of the ventilation.
>>5064321>Kick the corpse at whatever's coming out of the ventilation.Oh boy, are these resistant to physical/gun, or weak to it like all the other elements?
>>5064321>Try to shoot the red spheres
When will we have a serious moment fitting of these?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAzBPqIRhKkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX_MtHU4hR4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brd-uXOEMuAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M2wBGxBEf0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ-skOf5wHA
>>5064342dropped my pic
>>5064323>>5064331Instead of waiting to see what they plan on doing to you, you just walk over and kick the corpse towards whatever it is that's coming out of the ventilation shaft. The sick little creatures, accursed by god, all collectively climb over the corpse until it's no longer visible, and you imagine they are digesting it, red eyes disappearing under the surface with the air full of squishy, wet squelching noises you haven't heard since the last time you jacked it to tentacle hentai.They seem distracted enough by it, so you suppose your options here are pretty clear. Still, you take a couple of steps backward onto the stairs, watching your back so you don't accidentally slip down them backwards and go cracking your skull or something. Now, to survive all this and then crack your skull open on some stairs? That would be really embarrassing.>Try striking a deal. You just gave them some food, now maybe we can do a scratch-your-back sort of thing? (Choose Item/Macca/Essence)>Shoot the shit out of them with your bullets. This is the exact scenario that bullets were designed for.>Flee. There's probably more sludge in the ventilation shafts than just this, and you doubt it'll be friendly and placid once it's done eating its way through your trail of bodies.>Free Option.
>>5064321>Kick the corpse at whatever's coming out of the ventilation.
>>5064496>Try striking a deal. You just gave them some food, now maybe we can do a scratch-your-back sort of thing? Item: Your smallest can of food or whatever is closets to expiring
>>5064501Oh, no, when it says "Choose Item/Macca/Essence" that means what you're trying to haggle out of them, not give them. Should make that clearer next time, apologies!
>>5064503My bad, changing vote toTry striking a deal. You just gave them some food, now maybe we can do a scratch-your-back sort of thing? Essence
>>5064496>Try striking a deal. You just gave them some food, now maybe we can do a scratch-your-back sort of thing? Item: Essence
>>5064496>Try striking a deal. You just gave them some food, now maybe we can do a scratch-your-back sort of thing?Essence
>>5064496>Strike a deal. Try using the graham crackers.
>>5064496>Try striking a deal. You just gave them some food, now maybe we can do a scratch-your-back sort of thing? Item: EssenceHave to say, I'm enjoying Jack the Black Armored Larper as a protagonist so far. Good job QM, I'm hooked.
Happy Turkey Day everyone! I am full of turkey and then leftover turkey and mac and cheese as well as several other things. Typing is hard! I also have more socialization to deal with tomorrow so tl;dr possible update skip for tonight, possibly not, we shall see.>>5065036Where did you find that arm? That's basically what I was imagining, except up to the shoulder and a little more mecha-like.
>>5064506>>5064633>>5064650>>5064717"Hey, hey, hey hey hey. Fellas." You say, drawing their attention. The piles of ooze all begin to form and resolve into more solid shapes, each one looking a little more fetid than the last, all of them gaping at you. They slide an inch closer. You point a gun at them, and they back away."WhAT yUo WaNt?" The lead one burbles."I want to make a deal. I just kicked you some prime meat, yeah? And I could've taken that meat for myself, but now you're enjoying a nice little digestion party. I can give you more food, but there's gotta be a little tit-for-tat, yeah?" You say, keeping your gun trained directly at them. Zeed strikes his best attempt at an aggressive pose but it does not look very threatening.The three creatures (that your arm helpfully identifies as UNREGISTERED DEMONFOUL SLIME) murmur among themselves before turning back to you. "CoUlD EeT YuO...""No you couldn't, I have a sick robot arm and would blow you all up with it. And I could shoot you like I did with this Preta. I have a better deal." You say, and the back one's face contorts as if it's in imitation of a raised eyebrow."DeeEel?" It gurbles."Yeah. How about you join me, and we can make a contract. Be my Demon buddy and I can make sure to get you plenty of food." You offer. The other back-most Slime looks like they're considering it, but then they sniff the air.Then they sniff it some more. "YUo... AlReaDY CoNTraCTed... WhOorrrrrRRr..." You wince slightly. You did not expect to be called a whore by a slime monster today, you will be honest with yourself. "WhO YuO thINK We IS?"You rub the back of your head nervously with your free hand. "I figured I could have, like, a whole party following me around, honestly. A little at loss for the rules here..." You mumble.The backmost Slime breaks into phlegmy laughter. "GiVe FOOD... WilL JoIn in SPiriT..." It hacks and wheezes. Oh, this is a no brainer, you reach back into your backpack and pull out a box of stale, year old Graham crackers you probably intended on eating at some point but at this point might just give you some sort of mold illness."Deal." You say. "Let's both do it at the same time, alright? On three... One... Two... Three!"You toss the box of Graham crackers towards the Slimes, and the lead one hacks up a small, gross looking marble at you, the same as the marble that came out of the Preta, which you snatch out of the air with your normal human hand. You wipe it off a little on your backpack fabric. "Pleasure doing business with you, fellas.""PlEasurRee... OuRs..." They groan in almost-unison, diving in on the food and filling the air with salacious lip smacks while they dissolve it into pre-digested muck, cardboard and all.Slime EssenceAffinity: Weak to AllTechnique: Lunge
>>5065228You examine the marble in your hand, and figure now would be a good time to get out of dodge, making your way back down to the lobby. There's no sounds indicating any human presence, just the display of bloodshed painted along the walls like graffiti.>Feed the Slime Essence to Zeed.>Absorb the Slime Essence into your arm. (Acquire either the Affinity or Technique for future use)>Store the Slime Essence for later.You make your way out the front door, and a quick scan of the street indicates an all clear.>Make haste to the boardwalk.>Hey, there's no rush. We could be... like a badass, saving people and doing some level grinding with other demons, right? There's definitely people needing saving. Let's wander around until we get into some random encounters.>Actually, head to the park. How many of them have room-clearing power shots like you do? Probably none.>Free Option.
>>5065229Keep it. With slime's weakness to all and penchant for fusion accidents, it's a better weapon thrown into some demon's mouth.>Hey, there's no rush. We could be... like a badass, saving people and doing some level grinding with other demons, right? There's definitely people needing saving. Let's wander around until we get into some random encounters.Get a handle on our powers, figure out MP, and get some levels into Zeed just incase he's squishy.
>>5065229>Store the Slime Essence for later.>>5065229>Hey, there's no rush. We could be... like a badass, saving people and doing some level grinding with other demons, right? There's definitely people needing saving. Let's wander around until we get into some random encounters.
>>5065340+1, time to roam the streets
>>5065340+1 but lets remain stealthy
>>5065229>Store the Slime Essence for later >Hey, there's no rush. We could be... like a badass, saving people and doing some level grinding with other demons, right? There's definitely people needing saving. Let's wander around until we get into some random encounters.Each of us absorbing it would be a net loss if anything, unless we somehow gain something from being horribly weak.
>>5065450Lunge is potentially useful as a mobility option, since Zeed can just heal us up.But yeah WEAK ALL is kinda scary
>>5065458If you absorb it for yourself you only pick one option to take in. Zeed absorbing it gets him ??? options, but you can selectively take Lunge and ignore the Weak All
>>5065463Can we trade it to somebody for something else?
>>5065340+1 on this as well.>>5065036I literally just looked up black prosthetic arm armor and it popped up on like the first scroll down.
Apologies for the missed update, I got high as shit and could not focus on writing. I will get you an afternoon one when I wake up from a nap. Thank you all for reading!
>>5065340>>5065450You pocket the Slime Essence for later in your pants pocket and get the hell out of dodge.You still know how to get to the boardwalk - it's pretty much exactly due West down the main roads - so you figure you'll meander down that way until you find some action. The more you look around, the more you find people, but all hidden, worried, fearful, tucked in their cars with children huddled to chest. When you walk by, you pass them a smile and lift your gun, hoping that even your goofy little larp can bring them some measure of peace....But even then, it looks like you're late to most of the action. You get another block down and come to what looks like a very makeshift barricade with a couple of injured humans all visibly trying to catch their breath, no demons in sight. They just pulled up cars into lines and surrounded them around the block."Demon!" One of them calls out, and very suddenly, a staggering quantity of handguns and one shotgun are pointed at Zeed. In what feels like a very repetitious speech pattern right now, you put your hands up defensively, and call,"Hey, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, hey! That's my buddy, Zeed. We're contracted. He can't hurt a fly. Please. Guns down." You say, with Zeed mirroring you, hands raised up above his cap-wearing head. It's about seven people and then four children. The children, obviously, are not pointing guns at you, but the adults all are, each one with their own firearm, each one slightly different, except two who you'd guess to be are husband and wife with an identical set.Everyone wears some sort of scowl in your direction, although the nature of the scowl changes from person to person.>"I'm just passing through, promise. Point me where the action's at and I'll get out of your hair.">"What even happened? I just woke up a couple minutes ago - where are the police? The army? Why are we making barricades on the street?">"Look, if I give you guys some of my supplies can we have a conversation like rational people who aren't about to shoot each other?">Have an autism moment. "Do you have any small tasks or general gruntwork you'd like me and my demon buddy and my weird robot arm to handle so that I can get you guys to trust me and not shoot my face off?">Just turn around and walk down another random street, looking for something less (or at least differently) potentially lethal.>Free Option.
>>5066976>"What even happened? I just woke up a couple minutes ago - where are the police? The army? Why are we making barricades on the street?"
>>5066976>"What even happened? I just woke up a couple minutes ago - where are the police? The army? Why are we making barricades on the street?"aw shit>a couple of injured humans all visibly trying to catch their breathI see people Zeed can heal
>>5066976>"What even happened? I just woke up a couple minutes ago - where are the police? The army? Why are we making barricades on the street?">"Also no offense to Zeed but I don't think he could hurt you even if he tried."
>>5066976>"What even happened? I just woke up a couple minutes ago - where are the police? The army? Why are we making barricades on the street?">aw shit>a couple of injured humans all visibly trying to catch their breath>I see people Zeed can heal
>>5067081>>5066991>>5067055"What even happened? I just woke up a couple minutes ago - where are the police? The army? Why are we making barricades on the street?" You ask, hands still up. The lactic acid buildup in your normal hand is aggravating, you can feel it boiling through you, but your robot arm is just fine being kept up for extended periods of time, which you note with a mild degree of smugness. "Bullshit." The old man with the shotgun spits, and then the wife tugs on his ear a little bit, whispering something to him."Your guess is as good as ours." Someone pipes up from the crowd, one of the younger looking gunslingers. No younger than 16 but definitely no older than early 20s, with some patchy, not good looking facial hair stretched out over his chin and jaw. "A bunch of people's phones just... exploded. And then demons started crawling out and killing anyone who didn't get blown up. And they take a lot of bullets to put down.""Right, I think I gathered that much. What about the police? Anyone?" You ask, rolling your biological shoulder a little bit."There's an invisible wall around the edge of the borough. If you leave it, you die." The same youth explains. "I'd imagine if you come in from the outside you die too.""Oh, lovely. Die how?" You ask. He shrugs. "Great. Anyway, I'm going to have my buddy Zeed here cast a little magic spell. I promise, I am going to heal you all and not hurt anyone. If I do not, you are free to riddle me with bullets and loot my corpse." You say, flicking your head over to Zeed. "Zeed, the heals, please?"Zeed keeps his hands up and squishes his face a little bit as the sound of windchimes and a faint greenish wind fills the air. Several of the people have their scrapes and bruises close up, lightening in color until they look just fine... but about the same number don't get healed at all. Zeed lets out some kind of ringing noise, brow furrowed with effort, and his hands drop by his sides while he begins to dizzily sway back and forth.You brace yourself for being perforated and scoot over to catch Zeed as he stumbles back onto your leg, visibly showing signs of exhaustion. "...Well, looks like that's as much juice as he's got. Are we cool? No perforation going on tonight?"
>>5067741"No perforation." The old man grumbles. "At ease.", he says, and the rest of the group returns to their posts. The husband and wife both see fit to entertaining the children, along with the youngest gunman, while the other four adults keep watch down each road, although they're still clustered sort of towards you and glancing towards you with a mixture of apprehension and disgust.>"...Well, it's not gonna be for free. You got some gum? Cigarettes?">"Mind if I stay here with you while Zeed rests up for a bit?">"Hey, you guys should get some rest. I'm a good shot. I'll take over a spot or two for y'all". Can't hurt to try to endear yourself to a bunch of people with guns, can it?>Well, we have a new destination in mind - we have to find this borough edge and see what's up with that. Thank them for their time and move on.>Ask if they have any little marbles that they got from dead demons for you to collect.>Just pop down with the kiddos and collect your breath for as long as it takes for Zeed to stop looking like he's about to collapse.>Free Option.
>>5067744>"Mind if I stay here with you while Zeed rests up for a bit?"And while that happens.>Ask if they have any little marbles that they got from dead demons for you to collect.And obviously stay on high alert
>>5067744>Ask if they have any little marbles that they got from dead demons for you to collect.>Well, we have a new destination in mind - we have to find this borough edge and see what's up with that. Thank them for their time and move on.
>>5067744>Ask if they have any little marbles that they got from dead demons for you to collect.>Carry Zeed around until he's feeling better.Chilling around here would be good for grinding demons, at least. Wonder if they're willing to trade guns
>>5067744>Mind if I stay here with you while Zeed rests up for a bit?"Ask if they have any little marbles that they got from dead demons for you to collect.
>>5067784+1 if I haven't already voted, I find it hard to keep track and don't want to someday accidentally
>>5067760>>5067784>>5068005>>5068022>>5067818"Do you guys mind if we sit with you all for a bit while Zeed catches his breath?" You ask, sort of awkwardly ambling over to the pile of children of various ages. "Just don't cause a ruckus." The old man says, sounding particularly old in that moment as he checks the guts of his shotgun. You attempt to lift Zeed up into your arms to help carry him over, but he's far, far heavier than he appears to be at first, even though he doesn't feel particularly dense, so you settle for just sort of guiding him along with a hand on his shoulder. He sits down with the kids, and you pop down next to him, watching as he takes an immediate interest in the children's book being read on a small tablet plugged into what looks like a solar-powered battery pack of some kind. The wife looks at you with a concerned expression while the husband keeps reading, his attention focused on, presumably, keeping these kids entertained and not freaking out."Hey, while I'm here - you guys ever find any little glass marble things in the uh, remains of a demon?" You ask over to the watching adults, trying to figure out how to phrase it in a way that does not teach the children a fancy new word like "corpse" their parents wouldn't appreciate them learning. "Like, in the ash stuff they leave behind.""Ash?" One of the people that hadn't spoke before pipes up, shaking their head. "No, they just turn to meat, man. No ash here."You coil your mouth in a way that's difficult to describe without narratively interjecting the :/ emoticon, so that will have to substitute for now. Then, one of the kids - bright eyed, brown-haired, looking as helpful as possible, pokes you on the shoulder and presses something into your hands. They can't be older than 7, which makes your belly do a little flip flop of discomfort at the thought of its wider implications, but then you grab the proffered item with as comforting of a smile as you can provide. "You mean like this?""Yeah, exactly like that." You say, grabbing it and examining it for a moment.Pixie EssenceAffinity: ElectricityTechnique: Basic Offensive Magic"Where'd you get this, kid? Find it yourself?" You ask, squatting down to get closer to eye-level with them while Zeed enjoys storytime.They shake their head. "Found it! A guy like you with a weird arm left it behind." They say, and for a tiny moment, your heart skips a beat. You pat the kid on the head."Great, thanks. This'll be useful." You say, and they smile and give you a 'mmhmm!' and return to the Very Hungry Caterpillar being read by a world-weary dude in his mid to late thirties.>Feed the Pixie Essence to Zeed.>Absorb the Pixie Essence into your arm. (Acquire either the Affinity or Technique for future use)>Store the Pixie Essence for later.
>>5068764>Just take a load off. You were still hit by a train, remember? Relax. You don't need to be at the boardwalk *now*.>Wait until Zeed is feeling a little better and then thank them for their time and head off to the boardwalk.>Wait until Zeed is feeling a little better, thank them for their time, and go to examine the city's edge instead.>Free Option.
>>5068764>Absorb the Pixie Essence into your arm. (Acquire the Technique)>>5068767>Just take a load off. You were still hit by a train, remember? Relax. You don't need to be at the boardwalk *now*
>>5068764>>Absorb the Pixie Essence into your arm. (Acquire waifu)whoops, mistyped>Absorb the Pixie Essence into your arm. (Acquire Technique)>Ask about weird arm guyIt's only been a couple hours>Wait until Zeed is feeling a little better and then thank them for their time and head off to the boardwalk.
>>5068764>Absorb Essence (Technique)> Wait until Zeed is feeling a little better and then thank them for their time and head off to the boardwalk.
>>5068873+1>he wants pixie as the waifu demonthere's a whole load of them to choose from, and I don't want the basic starter one even though I like the redhead and the leotard and the wings look pretty
>>5068767>>Absorb Essence (Technique)>Wait until Zeed is feeling a little better and then thank them for their time and head off to the boardwalk. >>5068980Who would be your WAIFU(trademark) DEMON, then?
>>5069050Lilim and Lilith and Succubus though I have others like original design Nekomata and Apsaras and Yaksini
>>5069050I guess some others are Fortuna and Doi's Cleopatra design and Lamia. I'm not sure myself honestly. There's a lot of waifus to choose from
>>5069063>>5069068Coomer alert>>5068764>Absorb the Pixie Essence into your arm. (Acquire either the Affinity or Technique for future use)>Wait until Zeed is feeling a little better and then thank them for their time and head off to the boardwalk.
>>5069116I didnt emphasize to absorb technique. Which I am doing now
Possible missed update tomorrow - will be visiting a sick relative in the hospital + burnt the shit out of my finger lmao so might need to rest it. Will keep you updated.>>5069719>>5069116>>5069050>>5068886>>5068873>>5068791>>5068767You grab the small marble and feel it absorb all the way into your palm, easily dissolving into your hand. Your servos and joints and various clickity-clackity parts open up for a moment, hiss green, and then close back up, startling one of the children.Then, you sit and watch storytime continue, occasionally testing your weird arm to make sure it's still functional. The entire experience has been profoundly surreal, as you wait the two hours to about 1 PM that it takes for Zeed to get up and start ambling around once again. You spend another half an hour taking your turn with storytime, while the husband and wife escort the two youngest children out to one of the parked vans, which appears to be functioning as home base for the group. Or, one of them, anyway.Then, when you're done, you thank the group for their time, adjust Zeed's hat, adjust your hat, and head off into the sunset.---You feel the creeping edge of uncomfortable winter afternoons in your bones as the sun begins to slowly lower past its apex point. While you don't bump into any monsters on the way to the boardwalk, you get the sinking feeling in your bones that that won't last forever - in fact, it probably won't even last a day.The boardwalk itself is still that triple-lane highway of human feet, still as empty during the wintertime as it usually is, but now splattered with rare streaks of blood. Occasionally, you catch sight of a Preta or two scattering off into the shadows before you can get a bead on them. By now, your batteries have recharged to a whole two, uh, units, and are in the process of recharging a third, a couple of ticks in.The parking lots are all empty, save for a couple of cars that have been smashed open entirely. >Scavenge for supplies in some of the wrecked stores.>Head south, straight for the amusement park. Might as well get there as early as possible and hunker down.>Head north, towards the borough's edge. Maybe we can see whatever "die field" the people were talking about even from on the boardwalk. One mystery at a time.>Free Option.
>>5069830>Head north, towards the borough's edge. Maybe we can see whatever "die field" the people were talking about even from on the boardwalk. One mystery at a time.
>>5069830Let's get to the amusement park and meet up with our buddy.
>>5069830>>Scavenge for supplies in some of the wrecked stores.We can check the killfield later.
>>5069830>Scavenge for supplies in some of the wrecked stores.
>>5070321>>5070421>>5070629>>5069900No need to rush things. You're literally in the apocalypse, probably, remember, dipshit? Take your time. There's a dozen and one different stores here and they're all wrecked to shit, because, surprise, you were not the first person to think "I will raid the stores for goods".Unlike you, however, they do not have a weird robot arm that allows you to fling knives at relativistic speeds or something like that. Well, they probably don't. Still, nobody took the marbles. Not the marbles that come out of the demons, the actual marbles, made of glass, that you expect you can probably bean someone pretty damn hard with. Maybe you'll get some kind of upgrade that lets you shoot them out of your fingers like bullets? That would be cool. But actually, basically the only things left are like... machinery bits that are too big to handle and also useless for you, and various tzotchkes. Most of the stores were running on low-stock anyway due to the season - god, they even took the fry oil from the fry place?All in all, you spend about an hour rifling through trash, accumulating a solid collection of Magic the Gathering packs which you can't guarantee aren't for personal gratification purposes and instead tell yourself they will be valuable later. You discarded the marbles after giving one a test throw - you were able to make a tiny dent in the wood but with your arm the way it is, your aim is far too unreliable to actually hit anything you're aiming at with them.You DO get a shirt for Zeed though. It is a shirt with Curious George on it, relaxing and reclining, with the words "ALL DAYEVERY DAY"surrounding him. You stuff it over Zeed's shoulders. He offers no resistance. You feel very silly, but also very accomplished.By the time you are finished ravaging the only souvenir store that hasn't been basically stripped to the bone, you notice there are... people. You know, actual people, out and about. People, moving in groups cautiously with guns raised, god bless America, but people ambling about on the boardwalk. You count like maybe 6 in twice as many minutes from your perch watching, but looking out down the streets shows rickety looking cars strapped with barbed wire and the slow approach of... People towards the boardwalk.Towards the ferris wheel. Of course.>You're not comfortable. Where there's people, there's probably monsters trying to eat them - look for anywhere where an attack could happen and try to pre-empt it.>Follow them towards the ferris wheel. If anyone messes with you you can almost certainly handle it, and, hey, if you take out a monster in public that'll probably give you a lot of hero points. If anyone asks, Zeed is your little brother.>Free Option.
>>5072011>You're not comfortable. Where there's people, there's probably monsters trying to eat them - look for anywhere where an attack could happen and try to pre-empt it.Surely there were a couple pens and paper in there?
>>5072015Oh, yeah, and you grabbed some stationary, too. For the little guy, the last scraps of it.
>>5072011>>Follow them towards the ferris wheel. If anyone messes with you you can almost certainly handle it, and, hey, if you take out a monster in public that'll probably give you a lot of hero points. If anyone asks, Zeed is your little brother.HERO TIME
>>5072011>You're not comfortable. Where there's people, there's probably monsters trying to eat them - look for anywhere where an attack could happen and try to pre-empt it.
>>5072011>follow in the shadows from a distance.
Update tomorrow, very exhausted tonight. Thank you all for reading along so far.
>>5072116>>5072201>>5072247Instead of doing anything stupid, like going out of your way to pick fights with monsters that may or may not be there, or going out in public where people can point and yell at the very obvious monster you are holding the hand of, you have, for once, a smarter plan than that. You slip out through the railings down past the wooden ramps leading up to the boardwalk, and slip yourself beneath the boardwalk proper.It's dark here, of course, even in the early afternoon, but the sunlight cast around gives you more than enough light to see by. Occasionally, you think you catch something scuttling around in the darkness under the boardwalk, but before you can point the glowy bits of your arm at it, or get close enough to make sure you're not hallucinating, it's gone. So instead, you just... follow along the boardwalk, following the growing sets of footsteps, staying out of sight and out of mind until you can hear the ruckus of a crowd above you.You peek out just enough to see the ferris wheel, and a crowd of at least three dozen people clustered together, with maybe another dozen or two scattered around the edges. Almost everyone has a gun of some kind, which feels somewhat absurd and yet perfectly logical, and also makes you fear for your life even though you have a sick robot arm.Nobody's paying attention to you though. They're paying attention to the top of the ferris wheel, and when you squint, you can see why.Someone just like you. With a bright white arm gleaming in the afternoon light, trailing wisps of pink-magenta light from it, but that's all the detail you can make out from here. Standing on top of the top-most cart of the ferris wheel, with a blue, tiny shape standing next to them, too far away for you to easily make out.>Shoot at them.>Look for your friend in the crowd. See if BigO is there. You know vaguely what he looks like, you've seen his face before, you'd recognize it in a crowd.>Stay hidden underneath the boardwalk and just... watch. Be prepared to start shooting if people need saving.>Free Option.
>>5074331>Look for your friend in the crowd. See if BigO is there. You know vaguely what he looks like, you've seen his face before, you'd recognize it in a crowd.That's why we're here. We can deal with the obvious rival later.
>>5074331>Look for your friend in the crowd. See if BigO is there. You know vaguely what he looks like, you've seen his face before, you'd recognize it in a crowd.
>>5074331>Stay hidden underneath the boardwalk and just... watch. Be prepared to start shooting if people need saving.
>>5074331>Stay hidden underneath the boardwalk and just... watch. Be prepared to start shooting if people need saving.>That guy with the white arm, spewing pink-magenta smoke...>(look down at you black robot arm, with its green smoke and tron lines)>...is he your rival? Are you going to have to someday duel him to the death 1v1 over something ridiculously important?
>Stay hidden underneath the boardwalk and just... watch. Be prepared to start shooting if people need saving.
>>5075007>>5074866>>5074598>>5074565A strong desire to look for your friend bubbles up inside you, but knowing your strange appearance and the demon with you, you will probably get turned into swiss cheese if you pop your head up. Instead, you stay down low, beneath the boardwalk, watching the action as the crowd collects, peeking out every so often while the chattering voices get louder with the addition of more people.Louder.Louder.Louder.The time ticks away, for half an hour, and then...KZZZEEHTTTYYYCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHERRRRRRRREEEng, the unmistakable and incredibly hard to describe sound of microphone feedback rips through the air like a poorly maintained knife. It's jagged, rough, and makes at least half the people in the crowd begin yelling in frustration while you pop your head out from underneath the boardwalk, shoes shuffling around in sand. You attempt to pull out your phone to zoom in with its camera, but then remember that it exploded, and feel a little upset at that, before the man on the ferris wheel (you're sure it's a man now, from the voice) begins talking.Then, you are not thinking enough about yourself to be upset."Goooooood morning all you fucking NPCs!" Comes a voice from the top of the ferris wheel, projected almost into screeching incomprehensibility by what you assume is, judging from the way their hands are arranged, a combination of two megaphones, one placed inside the other. "It is now five o'clock in the afternoon in lovely ol' Goldspring! You may be wondering, "how did I get here?". You may ask yourself, "oh my God, what have I done?". And if you all sit down and shut the fuck up for five minutes, I will give you the answers you seek.""Fuck you!" Someone yells from the crowd. You think the man on the ferris wheel flips them off, but you can't see. For a second, you're worried that someone's going to start shooting, but, somehow... it doesn't happen."My name is Julius, your Devil Eater! Before this morning, I worked at the Nakajima Corporation headquarters in this neighborhood like I'm sure at least some of you clowns did. Then, apparently, the CEOs tried to summon God through your COMPs! Well, let me tell you all, little buddies, God didn't like that one bit! So here we are in lovely Goldspring, pulling straws, and we got the last one." The man - Julius, evidently, - explains, delivering to you a whole bunch of useful exposition that you sure are glad you came here to receive. "Now, God himself has decided that we're too much work, and this lovely neighborhood is your Gomorrah of 2024! Everyone else on this fucking planet is dead! If you leave this borough, you will die! If you get attacked by a demon, you will probably die! If you can make it to the end of this week with me, then maybe, just maybe, you can come with me to the next world!"
Then, he pauses to audibly, but quietly, laugh through just one megaphone. "Or don't! I don't give a shit! But out of the goodness of my superheroic heart, let me tell you what to do. There are demons, like my here buddy Jack Frost!" He says, pausing while the small blue figure shouts a "Hee-ho!" through the paired megaphones. "You are a squishy person! You cannot use magic! All you have is guns. Demons? Demons are not squishy. Demons can use plenty of magic. And all the demons want stuff from us, so make a contract and that demon at least can't kill you anymore, even if you have to give it something in return. Survive, and you can all join me in the new world! Die, and become another corpse leaking Magnetite for the rest! Do you understand? The old world is dead! The new world is struggling to be born - now is the time of monsters!"There's a moment of stunned silence, accompanied by a steadily growing sound - the noise of raucous chatter from the crowd.>Start laughing underneath the bridge.>Make your own debut. This guy's a blowhard - you don't have a megaphone, but that just means you need to actually be close, wheras this dude is staying as far away from the people as possible. What sort of a leader does he think he is?>This was a waste of time. Slink back into the shadows, we have level grinding to do.>Just try to mix your way into the distracted crowd and look for BigO. Julius definitely isn't him, since you've heard BigO's voice on call before, but it'd be nice to not be alone here with only Zeed to keep you company.>Shoot the ground in order to cause a panic. Throw Julius off his game.>Free Option.
>>5075552>Just try to mix your way into the distracted crowd and look for BigO. Julius definitely isn't him, since you've heard BigO's voice on call before, but it'd be nice to not be alone here with only Zeed to keep you company.
>>5075552>Just try to mix your way into the distracted crowd and look for BigO. Julius definitely isn't him, since you've heard BigO's voice on call before, but it'd be nice to not be alone here with only Zeed to keep you company.Hope this isn't too bad>"Goooooood morning all you fucking NPCs!">this entire speech>calls people NPCs>calls himself a superhero>calls people squishy>definitely lying about everybody else being dead>using a double megaphoneWay to make me want to kill a chaosfag on sight with this intro, OP>flawlessly makes a Talking Heads referenceOkay maybe he's not THAT cringe>Nakajima CorporationWhy didn't Nakajima just abandon the Devil Summoner life to fuck Yumiko silly for years? I guess it really is all about money even in muh japanese animes...
>>5075552>>Make your own debut. This guy's a blowhard - you don't have a megaphone, but that just means you need to actually be close, wheras this dude is staying as far away from the people as possible. What sort of a leader does he think he is?Weaponized autism to the rescue. I mean, Jack may or may not have the social graces of a lobotomized frog, but at least he didn't climb a fucking ferry wheel with TWO MEGAPHONES in tow.
>>5075707Do you really wanna autism combat this edgelord in front of a fuckton of people?
>>5075552>Shoot the ground in order to cause a panic. Throw Julius off his game. Hopefully in the confusion he slips up and attacks someone. We use that opportunity to come in and be the peoples hero just like daddy c.i.a.
>>5075707+1 I like this idea let the spaghetti flow.
>>5075552>Just try to mix your way into the distracted crowd and look for BigO. Julius definitely isn't him, since you've heard BigO's voice on call before, but it'd be nice to not be alone here with only Zeed to keep you company.This seems the least likely to get us dead. Also damn, this guy went from 0 to douchebag in one day. Fuck him, let’s find BigO and get outta here.
>>5075552>>Make your own debut. This guy's a blowhard - you don't have a megaphone, but that just means you need to actually be close, wheras this dude is staying as far away from the people as possible. What sort of a leader does he think he is?
>>5075552>Start laughing underneath the bridge.
>>5075552>Make your own debut. This guy's a blowhard - you don't have a megaphone, but that just means you need to actually be close, wheras this dude is staying as far away from the people as possible. What sort of a leader does he think he is?
>>5075552>Just try to mix your way into the distracted crowd and look for BigO. Julius definitely isn't him, since you've heard BigO's voice on call before, but it'd be nice to not be alone
>>5076278>>5075692>>5075573>>5076557>>5076611While the idea of attempting to out-autism Julius does have its own particular sort of appeal, you decide that the subtle approach will do for now. You watch Julius sit down on top of the ferris wheel, presumably to rest his weary bones after making such a goofy announcement, and climb your way up the stairs, making sure to keep your hand on Zeed while you look around.The crowd is hard to discern any functional speech from, given that they're all busy either panicking, trying to give each other reasons to not panic (such as claiming that Julius is clearly lying), or, for the more astute among them, planning.You know, sort of, what BigO looks like, against the glow of a computer screen in a dark room. It's harder to translate that into real world knowledge with a well lit environment, but, thankfully, it doesn't take super long. There are very few people who you know would wear an ahegao hoodie to the apocalypse. Especially not ones sitting on the bench, rapidly tapping notes away in their phone instead of milling about with a group. You tug Zeed along with you and kick the bench a couple of times."Oi. BigO." You say. He doesn't respond. Then you repeat it, a little louder, and he looks up at you. He looks at you, raises an eyebrow, goes back to his phone, and then coughs twice before returning his gaze to you, incredulous."Lakewalker?" He asks, and you laugh to yourself. "It sounds so lame when you say it out loud. Jack." You say, putting your good (robot) arm forward. "Why is our first meeting face to face both in the apocalypse and while you're wearing that fucking hoodie." You say. It is not a question.He laughs, getting up from the bench, and flips it inside out to its black interior, tossing it back up over his head. "Because I knew it'd get your attention. Roger. Roger Smith. No need keeping myself private."Your brain makes a little bzzt noise as a neural connection is formed. The two of you share a quick bro handshake, and then you go "Wait a second, your name is fucking Roger Smith?""No bullshit. I can assure you, I have nothing but enmity for Big O notation. Who's the little guy, you, uh, pop one out before everything exploded?" He asks, pointing with a gloved hand towards Zeed, leaning back slightly. He shoves them back in his pocket."Oh, uh, that's Zeed. My contracted demon. I'm kind of trying to keep him on the down low because I think if people saw my crazy arm and a fucking grey alien they'd all immediately turn me into a fishing net." You say, immediately self clarifying. "With bullets.""Oh, don't worry about that. I've got one of my own too - Pixie - but she's off keeping watch. I figured bringing her here was probably a bad idea." Roger explains to you, waving a hand at the both of you."Yeah. Probably for the best. I do not have good impulse control." You reply, and the two of you share a laugh.
>>5076668>This is great! You've both got contracted demons, you both know guns... why don't you suggest teaming up?>Ask him what he thought of Julius's whole grandstanding thing.>This could very well be the first AND last time you get to see Roger in a while, if everything's about to get crazy. Why's everything gotta be about The Situation At Hand? Just enjoy the friendship moment, dude.>Wish him luck and ask him what his plan is.>Free Option.
>>5076669>This is great! You've both got contracted demons, you both know guns... why don't you suggest teaming up?Kinda need a direction at this point. Are we looking to secure a food source, a properly fortified place, communication, etc?
>>5076669>This could very well be the first AND last time you get to see Roger in a while, if everything's about to get crazy. Why's everything gotta be about The Situation At Hand? Just enjoy the friendship moment, dude.fwiendship
>>5076669>This is great! You've both got contracted demons, you both know guns... why don't you suggest teaming up?We gotta start somewhere, yes?>>5076676In SMT, you will always kill your friends.
>>5076669>This is great! You've both got contracted demons, you both know guns... why don't you suggest teaming up?>Ask him what he thought of Julius's whole grandstanding thing.
Enjoy the friendship moment, then propose teaming up.
>>5076821>>5076960>>5076799Unfortunately, while you'd love to burn time having a lovely friendship moment, the world itself feels a little too tenuous for that right now. Instead, you get to business, popping a squat down onto the bench next to him while Zeed gets between the two of you."Well, hey, you've got a demon, I've got a demon, we've both got guns, I've got... this." You say, flexing your weird robot arm. It lets out a little hiss and spits out a thin stream of glowing green gas into the air that quickly dissipates. "Yeah, I was gonna ask about that. Is that, uh... a new development? Captain Talking Heads up there has one too, doesn't he?" Roger replies, flicking his head over towards the ferris wheel. "Yeah. It lets me shoot magic bullets, I think. And does weird shit to demons. And I'm not sure how I got it, but my phone's missing, and I have the impression it might've fused with my arm somehow? I'm not questioning too much." You reply, continuing on the conversation in a natural and not weird way. "Right, what did you think of Mr. Talking Heads's little speech up there? You think you believe him when he said everyone else is dead?"Roger shrugs. "I don't know, but I have been to the edge of the borough. If there's any signs of life outside this neighborhood, I haven't seen 'em. Abandoned cars for miles. Not a single soul."Your heart thumps quite hard in its chest. "Grisly." You reply."Yeah." He says, quietly, looking towards the slowly dispersing crowd. The two of you sit in uncomfortable silence for a minute or two."So... what's the plan?" You ask, giving him a nudge with your normal arm."What do you mean?" He replies, looking at you a little funny, eyebrow quirked."I mean like... Are we gonna find a food source? Hunker down somewhere? Seize a radio tower? Like, what's our plan?" You say, putting a little emphasis on "our".He chuckles a little bit, running his hand through his hair nervously. "My plan is that I am going to go home and masturbate until I pass out, and Pixie will wake me up if anyone is trying to bust my door down and I will shoot them. I didn't get all those canned foods and MREs for nothing. I am going to just... wait out the week.""Ah." You say, feeling a little bit... rejected? What a weird emotion. You are not exactly comfortable with it. You try not to let it show on your face. "No level grinding, no heroics?"He laughs harder. "While I'm sure your crazy robo-arm can let you do a great many things, I'm no hero, Jack. I'm just trying to get by. I came here to see what the hubbub was about, since Julius's invitation had been swimming about, and, you know what? I'm good without... that." He says. "I've got some steel plates from my job and I'm going to drill them into my apartment walls so nobody can shoot through them. And I've got my little fortress and enough food for me for a bit. You wanna go be a superhero, go ahead. I'm going to clear my backlog and shoot anyone that knocks."
>>5077858>"Sensible. I should probably do that but, you know, great power, great responsibility and all that.">"...Can I join you? I mean, I can go to the bathroom or something if you need to beat your schmeat. It's no big deal.">"That's a little selfish of you, dude.">Remain awkwardly silent, then pat him on the back, wish him luck, and leave.>Free Option.
>>5077864>"Can't exactly blame you but I feel somewhat obligated to use my funny gun hand to help others." >"Just look out for any marble-like objects. Your demon will like 'em." He's a rando human who's in a world full of demons and insane people. I can't blame him for wanting to lay low and wait it out.
>>5077864>That's a solid plan dude. You got someplace to meet up at the end of the week? Or hell, a spare phone so we can chat.>Pick up some marble stuff by the way. EXP for your demon, though some of them make them weaker.>Also stay out of the sewers. Filled with slimes that call you a whore.
>>5077864>Remain awkwardly silent, then pat him on the back, wish him luck, and leave.I mean, we don't exactly know the guy. Kinda hard to sell him on going on unspecified adventures for an unspecified cause facing unspecified-but-definitely-higher-than-staying-at-home levels of danger.Make sure we get his contact deets, especially location, though. Never know when we might need a safehouse. ...Actually, what we really should do right now is either figure out how to set our roboarm to phone mode, or buy/borrow/steal a phone we can use.
>>5077864>"Sensible. I should probably do that but, you know, great power, great responsibility and all that."
>>5077858>>5077875This seems aight.
Sorry about the delay, QM's curse kicking me in the dick very hard right now. Should have more time this weekend.
>>5080045Glad to hear it, don't give up
Okay, last day of my break. Been dealing with an absurd, unreasonable amount of silly bullshit that is so stupid if you read it in a book you'd go "Bullshit!" and it would ruin your suspension of disbelief. Update tomorrow.
>>5082536Hang in there
>>5077875>>5078013>>5078070>>5078928"That's a solid plan, dude. I should probably do that, but, you know, great power, great responsibility, yadda yadda..." You reply, and he nods knowingly."If I get my own fucked up robot arm I may consider superheroics. For now, I am sequestering." He replies, reaching out and giving you a thump on the back. You thump him right back... with your normal arm, so you don't accidentally cave his chest in. You don't think you will, but, can't hurt."You got some place to meet up at the end of the week, assuming we both make it through? Or, hell, a spare phone so we can stay in touch? Mine sort of, uh..." You say, gesturing to your hand. "Exploded. Kind of."He rummages into his hoodie pocket, sticking his hand in underneath, and tosses out a real old looking flip phone. "It's my burner. I don't think I'll really need it any more, so you can take it." He says, underhanding it through the air. Out of instinct you grab it with your robot arm and... it immediately, messily, and kind of loudly eats the phone. "Ah.""Hm." You reply, looking at your empty palm. You flick your arm slot open, and a small number pad forms out of like... the circumference of the space on your forearm near your wrist? A little like a rotary phone. You think it away and it all closes up. "That's cool, but also really inconvenient.""I'll say..." He mumbles. "Coulda used that phone...""Hey, hey. If this all blows over, I'll get you another one. I'll get you a billion." You reply, thumping him on the back again awkwardly with your left arm. "No, I probably won't. But. I'll handle it. We just gotta make it through this week. You got a number?"He nods. You exchange contact information. Thankfully, your arm... phone seems to be able to keep contacts AND access them at a thought, which is actually legitimately convenient."Alright, pick up any little marbles you see, they're like EXP for your demon. But, watch out, I think, because I think some of them will fuck your demon partner up." You say, giving him some friendly advice. "And, uh. Stay out of the sewers. Filled with slimes that call you a whore.""You know what? I'm not going to question why you were in the sewers." He says. You are about to correct him and say that you were not in the sewers, but he busts out a big, stupid grin and claps his hand over your shoulder. "Hey, look. You call me later whenever you're done superheroing for the day, I'll give you a place to nap the night. Just for tonight, if you intent on going in and out a lot. I love the saving lives and fighting for justice thing but... I don't need any supervillains finding my crib and holding me hostage, you know? I don't want to be your Gwen Stacy.""Is that your way of hitting on me?" You reply, clapping your own hand over his shoulder. He laughs, a loud, barking laugh that sounds distinctly like a dog."No." He replies.
>>5083621You say your farewells, and he vanishes off into the crowd before you can do much else about it. By the time you realize you might've had more to say, he's gone.>No. Wait. No, we're not done with you, Roger. We gotta find him and... tell him something? We are suddenly filled with bad vibes. [Free Option - what do we need to tell him or do?]>See if Starbucks Girl made it. Is there a way we could pick her out of the crowd? Maybe get her contact info too, if she's alive.>Enter the amusement park, bust through the locked gates (everything's locked up in the winter) and start picking on Julian. Julius. Whatever.>Ask Zeed if he has any opinions yet.>Ask around if anyone has any sidequests for you. What? It's worth a shot.>You still have that bad feeling in your gut from earlier. Is there something dangerous here? We need to find it somehow and get rid of it before it causes a problem.>Free Option.
>>5083623>Ask Zeed if he's got any opinions of bad feelings about the people here>Get a car man, or at least a trolley if the roads are busted up. Food and clothes is nice, but you'd rather not sleep on concrete. It'll make superheroing a lot faster and more stylish, too.
>>5083623>See if Starbucks Girl made it. Is there a way we could pick her out of the crowd? Maybe get her contact info too, if she's alive.
>>5083623>Ask around if anyone has any sidequests for you. What? It's worth a shot.>Get a car man, or at least a trolley if the roads are busted up. Food and clothes is nice, but you'd rather not sleep on concrete. It'll make superheroing a lot faster and more stylish, too.
>>5083623>Ask around if anyone has any sidequests for you. What? It's worth a shot.>You still have that bad feeling in your gut from earlier. Is there something dangerous here? We need to find it somehow and get rid of it before it causes a problem.
>>5083733+1 with>Ask Zeed if he's got any opinions of bad feelings about the people here
>>5083623>Ask Zeed if he has any opinions yet.
>>5083623>Ask Zeed if he has any opinions yet.He probably doesn't, but it's only polite to ask.>Enter the amusement park, bust through the locked gates (everything's locked up in the winter) and start picking on Julian. Julius. Whatever.So sue me, I want to pick a fight with that nerd. (Or at least tail him and find out what the fuck his deal really is).>Captcha:HMOMDThrow in "try to call mom and pops" just in case, I guess.
>>5083733>>5083784>>5083629>>5083895>>5084021The only idea that sticks out in your head above the others is to ask Zeed for his opinion, so you turn to your little fella, break down into a squat, and get a little closer to eye level with him. "You got any, uh, opinions on this sort of stuff yet? Any bad vibes?" You ask, not expecting much of an answer. "You feeling that too?"You are then slightly unsurprised when he nods his head no. And then he nods his head yes, and you are surprised, and disconcerted. And then he nods his head yes again, in response to your third question, and your hair stands on end.Zeed points behind you, and you notice the quiet. You turn your head around, goosebumps forming along your arms and legs underneath your clothes, eyes sweeping through the crowd, half expecting them to all be dead.But, no. No deaths yet. Just mute horror as a woman convulses along the ground, a large, green hand and arm emerging bloodily from her throat, far too large to actually have fit. And then, her jaw audibly CRAKs open, giving enough room for another finger to break through, grabbing the inside of her face and ripping it all the way off. That gets someone to scream. What looks to be like some sort of horrific parasite emerging its way from someone's body actually changes in tenor the more you pay attention. The woman's ankle is twisted horrifically, clearly broken - something tripped her. You take a step back, giving the convulsing corpse a wide berth like the rest of the crowd, guns all aimed towards the emerging figure ripping itself free from its little hidey-hole in the bottom of the boardwalk.How did you miss that? Was it... following you? Waiting?You flick out your gun and Zeed hides behind your leg.
UNREGISTERED DEMONZOMAThe Zoma rips itself up onto the boardwalk, slowly stumbling to its feet, about six and a half feet tall and pulsating like a beating heart. Every movement is accompanied by a wet, meaty twitching as it bends down over the fallen woman and begins ripping into her torso, shredding through her clothes and immediately mutilating her. As her blood falls away, it looks like the meat of her body is slowly dissolving into the same black iron filing-y ash as the demons that get hit by your magic shots turn into, the Zoma slowly pulling it into its skin.It barely even seems cognizant of the surrounding crowd, hungrily eating ashen material from the woman's body, slowly converting her down into... stuff.Eraser Bolt Online. Current Element: Gun. Fire at will.>"What are you waiting for? Shoot that fucker!">No, wait, there's too many people in a circle, everyone's going to get caught in the crossfire! "Scatter!">Huh? It's a stationary target. You've got a full charge. Perforate it. (-1 MP)>Use your uh, newfound ... magic? To attempt to paralyze the Zoma. (-1 MP)>Free Option.You may pick an option for Zeed, as your contracted demon, during combat. Zeed will attempt to carry out your instructions to the best of his ability in the heat of battle>Life Drain the Zoma.>Free Option.
>>5084953>Use your uh, newfound ... magic? To attempt to paralyze the Zoma. (-1 MP)>Life Drain the Zoma.I feel like it won't stay stationary for long once people lose their temper and start firing.
>>5084953>>Use your uh, newfound ... magic? To attempt to paralyze the Zoma. (-1 MP)>Life DrainI'm kinda concerned it's made of the same stuff as Eraser Bolt
>>5084953>>No, wait, there's too many people in a circle, everyone's going to get caught in the crossfire! "Scatter!"
>>5084953>No, wait, there's too many people in a circle, everyone's going to get caught in the crossfire! "Scatter!">Yell at the crowd something Jack would say so they realize their shit positioning, and move away to make distance or room for escape.Gun safety 101 people. Inertia. If you miss, SOMETHING will be hit, whether that be the environment or others behind and to the side of the target. And when people are all in a circle facing in, that's a lot of collateral. At least get the crowd to notice this and make more space to run away or build distance properly.>Use your uh, newfound ... magic? To attempt to paralyze the Zoma. (-1 MP)>Life Drain the Zoma.
>>5084953>No, wait, there's too many people in a circle, everyone's going to get caught in the crossfire! "Scatter!">Use your uh, newfound ... magic? To attempt to paralyze the Zoma. (-1 MP)>Life Drain the Zoma.
>>5085145>>5085078>>5084998>>5084958>>5084956"Scatter! If you shoot, you'll hit somebody else!" You shout, drawing the crowd out of its horrified reverie long enough to get them to start actually listening to instructions. Barked by the only person here who looks like they've at all got it together, eyes flicker between your visible mechanical arm dripping wisps of greenish smoke, what is very unambiguously an alien of some kind standing next to you, and your gun, and you imagine the majority of them just assume you know what you're doing.They run. Most of them do, anyway, the crowd thin enough that it doesn't cause a full on stampede, but some of them are getting squished against the closed doors to the amusement park, some of them are fleeing over the edge of the boardwalk, taking their chances tumbling into the sand. But the most of the group just flees down the boardwalk, their footsteps not even drawing the attention of the Zoma in the slightest.That's... not good, though. You turn your head around to the two or three people who tumbled over into the sand and watch, hand on your gun, body frozen in fear, as something snatches them down into the sand. There's a moment of horrific crunching, and then a splatter of red paints the beach. The Zoma slowly wafts iron-stuff into its skin, absorbing it through its veins, ignoring the commotion entirely as it feasts.You try to figure out how to use magic. Your arm twists and churns, a single fingertip turning into a glowing green flare in the air. An electronic voice, distorted and ringing, calls out from your wrist "Shibaboo." and you feel your arm snap back with invisible recoil like you're firing a bullet out of your wrist. A bolt of orange lightning snaps out of your hand, branching out into a dozen dozen little fractalline formations that rip silently and painlessly through the Zoma.Then, in a moment, it begins to slow down. It turns towards you, its eyes blank and lifeless, and reaches out before its muscles visibly constrict, twitching, shivering, holding it in place. Behind your leg, Zeed sips out small flickering motes of light from the Zoma's skin, dragging out little tiny firefly-sized spheres from its veins and into Zeed's body with his fingers, like he's summoning forth fairies.A couple of stragglers haven't exited your sight yet, and even the ones that tried to flee into the amusement park have managed to hop the gate or go a different way. But your danger vibes are only getting worse.Was this an ambush? You turn your head around to glance in a circle, just catching out of the corner of your eye someone limping, fleeing from the sand, bleeding heavily from a deep claw mark on their back.MP: 3/4HP: 5/5
>Ignore the Zoma. Get out of here! It's paralyzed, and the longer you stick around the higher chance you'll get pinned by another demon - there's already one in the beach!>Primary threat first. Eraser Bolt the Zoma to get it out of the way before you handle anything else. Then we can focus on a secondary objective (Save the beachgoer/Flee/Charge the amusement park)(-1 MP)>Whoever's on the beach isn't going to survive another moment unaided. Whip around and blow whatever's chasing it to bits, your magic shots have more than enough power to blow through some sand dunes and you can see where its traveling by the trail it's leaving. (-1 MP)>You still have some time while the Zoma is paralyzed. You don't know what its combat capabilities are yet, so while it's stunned, use Shibaboo again on the thing in the sand to make sure it can't blindside you and give that bystander a chance to escape. Then we can focus on blowing away the Zoma. (-1 MP)>Free Option.Zeed Command>Life Drain the Zoma>Try to get the Zoma's attention>Life Drain the thing in the sand.>Try to get the thing in the sand's attention.>Free Option.
If you need some BGM for your brain visualizer, may I recommend the Hellion Sounds remix of the Soul Hackers basic battle theme?https://youtu.be/6P99YzZ3OcY
>>5086178>Whoever's on the beach isn't going to survive another moment unaided. Whip around and blow whatever's chasing it to bits, your magic shots have more than enough power to blow through some sand dunes and you can see where its traveling by the trail it's leaving. (-1 MP)shock and awe>Life Drain the Zoma
>>5086178>Whoever's on the beach isn't going to survive another moment unaided. Whip around and blow whatever's chasing it to bits, your magic shots have more than enough power to blow through some sand dunes and you can see where its traveling by the trail it's leaving. (-1 MP)>Life Drain the ZomaOH GOD OH FUCK
>>5086178>Whoever's on the beach isn't going to survive another moment unaided. Whip around and blow whatever's chasing it to bits, your magic shots have more than enough power to blow through some sand dunes and you can see where its traveling by the trail it's leaving. (-1 MP)>Life Drain the Zoma
>>5086178>Whoever's on the beach isn't going to survive another moment unaided. Whip around and blow whatever's chasing it to bits, your magic shots have more than enough power to blow through some sand dunes and you can see where its traveling by the trail it's leaving. (-1 MP)>Life Drain the Zomaremember we need to go to the sand dunes to suck up that iron filling dust into our arm to get back some MP, plus to loot any essence or items, but that's provided we hit it and kill it
>>5086180Not quite this one?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyhqyV9YDZc>>5086192>>5086196>>5086229Those demons in the sand are most likely thesehttps://megamitensei.fandom.com/wiki/MyrmecoleonLiteral ant lions lurking in the sand on the beach. This is Half Life all over againhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khm2Hvjib14
>>5086178>Whoever's on the beach isn't going to survive another moment unaided. Whip around and blow whatever's chasing it to bits, your magic shots have more than enough power to blow through some sand dunes and you can see where its traveling by the trail it's leaving. (-1 MP)Hate to waste MP, but a life's a life.Zeed Command>Life Drain the ZomaHopefully that'll weaken it enough tha tee can just shoot it dead with normal bullets.
Sorry for missing two days in a row - very exhausted, will try to get you multi-day updates tomorrow if I have the time.
>>5086612>>5086380>>5086229>>5086196>>5086192Your mind is dead-set on a single action more than anything else - while Zeed works his magic slowly pulling any vitality he can out of the Zoma, you whip around on your heel and aim for the worm-trail of bursting sand flying out of the beach's waving dunes. You don't need to have an empty clip this time. Your brain and body just know how to work it, your arm releasing a hiss of green steam as something internal snaps into place in your armor, and you pull the trigger, and the air fills with noise.BANG!Your arm kicks back with recoil, even with a second hand to steady it, flinging itself almost vertically. You have to let go with your normal arm lest you sprain a joint, but your prosthetic goes nearly vertical and you stumble back a couple of steps from the force of the shot. You don't even see anything travel, just a flash of green light followed by a burst of sand and black dust filling the air. "Run!" You shout to the fleeing man as he stumbles up the stairs onto the boardwalk. Just before you stumble backwards into the paralyzed Zoma, Zeed reaches out and grabs you by the pants, steadying your trip before it turns into a fall.The man collapses in a heap on the boardwalk. The beach crawls with activity, sand flinging every which way as tracks of burrowed creatures converge on the fallen foe, spraying blood every which way, leaving a stain of black iron filing-dust. For a second, you think you see something like finned limbs, dark blue with deep scales, and a green shell, but the shape is too indistinct for you to recognize it as anything in particular. Just a fucked up turtle, you suppose.The Zoma behind you doesn't make a sound, with its lack of mouth and all that, but you can hear its body creaking with effort as the binding spell slowly starts to come undone around it. Little crackles of orange electricity spark outwards from the Zoma as it struggles against its prison. You can't imagine it'll remain paralyzed for much longer.MP: 2/4HP: 5/5>You have enough time to run - collect the fallen friend and get him out of here. Once you get too far away, you don't expect the Zoma to chase you, not when there's so much fresh food.>Turn back around and blow the Zoma to bits. (-1 MP)>Turn the Zoma into swiss cheese with all your regular ammunition.>Fire wildly into the beach in hopes that you can clear out the sand enough to get that Essence the thing you just shot probably left behind.>Shibaboo the Zoma again! Stunlock! Stunlock! (-1 MP)>Free Option.Zeed Command>Heal the injured human>Life Drain the Zoma>Distract the Zoma>Free Option.
>>5089856>Hit fast, hit hard, do a solid melee on the Zoma>Life Drain the other burrowed creatures
>>5089856>Turn back around and blow the Zoma to bits. (-1 MP)>Heal the injured human
>>5089856>Shank the Zoma>Heal the injured human
>>5089940+1, while he's still bound
>>5089859>>5089940>>5089952>>5090595You don't want to waste ammo or precious battery charges on a bound enemy while they're bound. Not when you still have a kitchen knife on you.You grip it tight in your mechanical hand and take a breath. You've never stabbed anything before, at least not anything that looks a lot like a human. Take a breath and just... charge and swing. Just like in the animes. Charge and swing, Jack. Charge and swing.You lurch forward towards the Zoma and swing. Your arm kicks in like you expect it to, and you stumble over your own feet, launching about a foot forward, propelled by the force of your own arm. There's a distressing sound, sort of like a tink!, and as you lean into a forward somersault against the boardwalk proper, the slowly accelerating Zoma lets out a silent creaking sound of what you imagine is frustration.Then you look at the knife handle in your hand. And only the knife handle, because, despite being a solid hunk of metal from tip to tail, the rest of the actual blade was sheered right off by the apparent density of the Zoma's body, leaving a twisted, mangled heel in your hand. Since the knife is now effectively useless, you wind up and bean it at the back of the Zoma's head, which you don't think hurts it given how it bounces off with a light, bell-like ringing, but it sure is cathartic. The Zoma's limbs slowly regain a degree of cognizance while its torso lags behind. Greenish, glowing fluid, a similar but not identical color to the stuff from your mechanical arm, leaks out in spurts, along with particles of flaking black iron-dust-stuff from the wound. While you're unsure how much actual damage you've dealt, lacking any sort of convenient sci fi vitality scanner, the Zoma is clearly distressed and distracted by the blade lodged in its flank, trying and failing to get a grip on the flat metal and pry it loose. Meanwhile,Zeed stumbles out of the way of the moving Zoma, presumably knowing better than to get in the way of a big demon, especially once you got your hands on them. Instead of engaging in combat, he walks over to the fallen human and presses his stubby alien fingers into their back, a greenish glow filling their wound as he presses around in the blood and fat. Slowly, Zeed pulls their hands away, and while a ridiculous and still-gnarly and still-bleeding scar is left behind, at least it's not a gaping claw mark anymore. Zeed stumbles about a little bit, body heaving with exertion, silently trying to pick the man up to their feet.
>>5091098>Given that a knife shot like that would've probably ripped a normal person in half, you don't expect small arms fire to be of any use here. If you don't want to leave this Zoma to be someone else's problem, you're going to need to nuke it with an Eraser Bolt. (-1 MP)>Given that it now has a new distressing problem that is distracting it from actually attacking you, if you can stun it a second time you can probably buy enough time to scoop up the person Zeed just healed and get the hell out of dodge. It'll have to let the paralysis run down completely and THEN take the knife out, and by then you can be long gone. (-1 MP)>You don't feel comfortable burning this much energy. You need to get the guy, get Zeed, and get out of here. Maybe pepper it with some small arms just to distract it with pain, it doesn't appear particularly interested in moving quickly.>Free Option.Zeed needs a round to recover!
>>5091100>>Given that a knife shot like that would've probably ripped a normal person in half, you don't expect small arms fire to be of any use here. If you don't want to leave this Zoma to be someone else's problem, you're going to need to nuke it with an Eraser Bolt. (-1 MP)The marble though...
>>5091100>Given that a knife shot like that would've probably ripped a normal person in half, you don't expect small arms fire to be of any use here. If you don't want to leave this Zoma to be someone else's problem, you're going to need to nuke it with an Eraser Bolt. (-1 MP)That's an impressive number of resistances. We could still try other elements, but we're spending MP anyway.I guess we need to loot some korean stores for butane and lighters.
>>5091164+1throwing a null phys demon at us this early? the fuck QM?
>>5091100>Given that a knife shot like that would've probably ripped a normal person in half, you don't expect small arms fire to be of any use here. If you don't want to leave this Zoma to be someone else's problem, you're going to need to nuke it with an Eraser Bolt. (-1 MP)
>>5091100>yell as loud as you can in gibberish to hopefully get the Zoma to talk to us>Keep our arm gun ready in case it comes after us to blow a hole in a wall and run.
>>5091100>>You don't feel comfortable burning this much energy. You need to get the guy, get Zeed, and get out of here. Maybe pepper it with some small arms just to distract it with pain, it doesn't appear particularly interested in moving quickly.If the Eraser Bolt is Gun element wouldn't it get resisted?
>>5091590phys and gun aren't the same in some gamesbut good point>>5091100changing my stupid vote from >>5091227 to>You don't feel comfortable burning this much energy. You need to get the guy, get Zeed, and get out of here. Maybe pepper it with some small arms just to distract it with pain, it doesn't appear particularly interested in moving quickly.I dunno if we can loot that Azumi essence though
>>5091227If it null phys'd the knife wouldn't do anything at all.>>5091614Phys and gun are separate, yes.
>>5091624OKAY NEVERMIND FUCK MY VOTE IN >>5091614I WANT TO ERASER BOLT THE ZOMA AND GET THE FUCK OUT IF IT FAILS
>>5091101>>5091164>>5091360You sigh quietly to yourself, grit your teeth, and steel your ribs, flipping your gun in your finger like a badass because it's literally the only gun trick you know. You don't know what exactly is the best point of firing for things like this - conventional logic is to of course aim for center mass, but that requires them to have biology anything like standard people. All you know is that this thing is humanoid and that it can tank a hit like a motherfucker. You don't know if you should blow off its head or if this goes by Dead Space rules and you have to cut off its limbs, but as Zeed is busy slowly helping the man to his feet, you take aim for what you think is the best spot.Right around the sternum, maybe a couple centimeters higher, right down the sights. If this hits, it has a decent chance of blowing off both arms, the head, and carving a lovely hole in that torso. Well, if it hits and it can't shrug off a magic gunshot, which, if it can, you have bigger problems to deal with. You get into a better stance as the Zoma finally wrenches the knife free and tosses it aside."Eat shit." You say, trying to think of something cooler to sBANG!The Zoma stumbles backwards while you try to avoid getting flung back into the boardwalk railing from recoil, both arms jerking backwards even with all the steadying you did, and all the prep work. Fuck kicking like a mule, this thing kicks like a bandsaw blade that just snapped, and you're reasonably certain that if someone could somehow fire the magic bullets with a normal person's arms it would just completely rip their arm off, or at the very least give them a nasty, nasty sprain.But, then you realize that through the flash of green light and the wisps of greenish steam emerging from your arm, you didn't actually see any overpenetration. And when the black wisps of vaporized iron-stuff clear out, you can see the bullet, rotating there like a top, digging and carving into the Zoma's chest. It's dug out a massive, almost perfectly spherical cavity where it struck, and the Zoma's head and arms are hanging on by a literal thread of material and those strange pulsating black veins, but against all odds you did not one shot it.Little curls of green energy spiral off your bullet like tentacles from a dancing squid, licking at the Zoma's skin, carving small divots and grooves where they touch, until, eventually, the bullet loses its rotational momentum, stops spinning, and drops down onto the ground with an audible clatter.MP: 1/4HP: 5/5
Fuck it I'm not fixing the formatting a second time I'm tired lmao.>>5092172The Zoma lets out a loud, miserable chiming sound that you can only interpret as "pained", trying very hard to reach out towards you and failing miserably as its arms no longer have the required structure to do anything other than dangle limply by its sides. At the very least, without shoulders, it doesn't seem capable of moving its arms very much except through its elbows and wrists, and likewise with its head, which is dangling backwards and seems to be incapable of actually seeing you. It's simply trying to stumble forward in the direction it last saw you in, which, good for it, you still are at!>Even if this thing can regenerate, it's clearly debilitated enough that it doesn't pose a threat anymore. It can't chase you, you're almost running on empty, and every second you spend here is time for another demon to get in position to ambush you. Scoop your pal and let's git.>No! We're so god damn close! It's hanging on by a *literal thread*, just hit it a couple more times in the neck with regular ass bullets and it won't have the density to deflect them. >Even if it can handle one, you know its limits now and there's no way and hell it can handle a second one. Aim for the same spot. If it is even able to survive the second shot, it will be headless and armless, completely neutered.>Free Option.Zeed Command>Life Drain the Zoma.>Heal the injured human again.>Free Option.
>>5092174Oh ffs "Even if it can handle one" is a -1 MP option, also.
>>5092174>No! We're so god damn close! It's hanging on by a *literal thread*, just hit it a couple more times in the neck with regular ass bullets and it won't have the density to deflect them.>Heal the injured human again.
>>5092174>It's not going anywhere for a while, let Zeed do the rest and start dealing with the other demons in the sand>Life Drain Zoma
>>5092178>>5092190Can't we just let Zeed Life Drain and hopefully kill with the Almighty magic damage? Spending bullets here would be a waste, and we already spent two Eraser Bolts so far. We need to conserve MP more. I think the injured guy is stable enough to get outta here, and he can be healed more later if he sticks with us for a time. I want that Azumi essence because Zeed can get Bufu from that or we can get physicals from that. Problem is there's like 2-3 other Azumi there at the beach, though walking over there should let us siphon some of the dust with our arm.
>>5092435that's.....exactly what I'm saying?
>>5092439Okay I am dumb and didn't see that.>>5092174Backing >>5092190
>>5092174>No! We're so god damn close! It's hanging on by a *literal thread*, just hit it a couple more times in the neck with regular ass bullets and it won't have the density to deflect them.>Life Drain the Zoma.If it somehow survives THIS, then we have a bigger problem.
>>5092444I don't think Zoma resists Almighty. That it resists both Physical AND Gun really makes me want to get its essence... but will killing it normally give us an essence? Or will we get stuff like Macca or a Life Stone?
>No! We're so god damn close! It's hanging on by a *literal thread*, just hit it a couple more times in the neck with regular ass bullets and it won't have the density to deflect them.Die motherfucker die.
>>5092190Backing this too
Gotta pass on tonight, got my Double Autism shot and my arm feels like it's been ran over by a truck. You will live in suspense for another evening. Thanks for reading!
>>5092174>No! We're so god damn close! It's hanging on by a *literal thread*, just hit it a couple more times in the neck with regular ass bullets and it won't have the density to deflect them.>Life Drain the Zoma.
I expected it to get better tonight but it unfortunately did not (it got worse!) so I kindly request one more day of break while my arm recovers. Sorry, readers!
>>5094389>>5093309avoid pic related
>>5093366>>5092564>>5092444>>5092178No. No more burning energy. You check to make sure your gun is actually loaded with normal bullets, and Zeed whips around with you to start pinging it with magic while you take aim at its neck-threads and start firing. "Die, motherfucker, die!" You repeat, hoping your yelling will give just that much an extra kick to the bullets.The air is filled with the sound of gunshots. Each bullet penetrates into thick, green flesh, crumpling into uselessness but depositing their immense kinetic energy in, and you fire, fire, fire, fire away, your ears ringing, desperately trying to kill this thing. Your gun goes click, and you dump out the clip onto the ground, preparing to grab a new one, before the air fills with a wet, gooey rrrrrrrrippppping noise. The Zoma's head begins to loll to one side, and then, where your bullets hit the mark, it forms first as a pinprick and then rapidly expanding outwards, a hole in its resistant flesh stretching outwards like a rip in someone's too-tight leggings.There's a soft thump as the Zoma's head hits the ground. It collapses, and its body immediately begins to decohere, slumping unnaturally, visibly softening in texture. You don't really feel like watching it as it slowly decomposes into a soft, green goo, but your arm seems happy to suck up the black dust being released by its cracked-open veins, drawing it out into your wrist with an eagerness only matched by a thirsty programmer drinking Diet Coke.You slump yourself a little, holstering your gun and stumbling over to Zeed to give him a high five. He does not seem to understand the gesture, so you make a mental note to teach him it later and settle for an exhausted head pat. Then, you check out the fella. He's not looking great, but he's not looking dead, with his claw marks up his back sealed shut but also looking quite red and agitated. More importantly, after a little nudging, you are 100% sure he is out cold, which could prove... problematic.>You're a hale and healthy man of twenty-something years of age. At the bare minimum you owe it to this guy to get him somewhere a *little* safer, like indoors in one of the stores.>Not to be the pragmatic asshole, but every second you waste is another second you could be getting pulled into deeper shit. You've done your duty by preventing him from immediately dying, he needs to handle the rest.>Shoot the boardwalk from a position close to his face so the noise startles him awake. Then if that doesn't work, maybe slap him a little?>Free Option.
>>5095589>You're a hale and healthy man of twenty-something years of age. At the bare minimum you owe it to this guy to get him somewhere a *little* safer, like indoors in one of the stores.
>>5095589>Try to do that scan thing on the sands. You're not waking him up just for him to get eaten again. Hell, those demons still owe you an essence.
>>5095611>>5095619>>5095679>>5095615>>5095645>>5095751>>5096044You shuffle over to the guy and start slowly hoisting him up onto your shoulder - thankfully, not only does he appear a lot lighter than you imagined, but your arm is... really strong, at least when it comes to lifting up people. Or maybe it's the same thing? He's light because you're using your robot arm for most of the lifting. Either way, you sling him over your shoulder with a grunt and a quiet puff of air, since it's not like your legs or back are robotic, and real quick point your gun towards the sand, not intending to fire, just trying to catch sight of whatever's in the sand.Well, firstly, there's blood. It seems like the shooting of the first one has caused a stir, and now whatever demons are peeking out are trying to attack each other, so you can't get a very clean read. After a couple of precious seconds, you do get a lock, though;UNREGISTERED DEMONYOMA VODYANIK...What the fuck is a Vodyanik?At least that explains the green shelled one, although you do catch glimpses here and there of something else blue, with a thick, prominent fin and sleek skin, ripping through the sand like it's water. You aren't sure if you want to stick around to find out what it is, though, given it's ripping the Vodyaniks to shreds, thick ice crystals beginning to form underneath the surface of the sand.You keep the guy hoisted. "Keep a look out, Z-man." You instruct Zeed, who nods slowly at you, before turning around 180 degrees to keep pace with you but while watching in the opposite direction. He doesn't seem to even need to look at you, keeping the space to a minimum while backwards walking while you find the nearest Kohr Bros' frozen custard stand and dump the dude ceremoniously on the floor. At least that seems to jostle him awake a little bit. He sucks in air from between his teeth, and his eyes flutter. "Jesus, Christ, fuck me and Joseph that hurts like a motherfucker." He whine-whimpers."Yeah, it looked pretty gnarly." You reply, bending down into a squat, holstering your gun. "Jack.""Dave." He replies, adjusting his hair a little bit, probably out of nervous habit. "W-what now?""Well...">"Just follow my lead. I know some guys holed up behind a barricade and I can take you to them.">"Just follow my lead. We'll find some ditched place to hunker down in and I'll keep you safe.">"This is where we part ways, friend. I need to clear this place out so it's demon-safe for a little bit - but you should try and find one to contract with in the meanwhile. I imagine it'll be essential to the whole not dying thing.">"You got a gun? We can go hunting together. It'll be cool, and probably not lethal.">"Just hunker down here and hold the fort. I'll be back either with reinforcements or more bullets.">"...Iunno, you got any ideas?">Free Option.
>>5096624>"I'm going to clear this place out until it's a bit more demon-safe. You can either stay here and shoot some buggers and figure out your contract, or look for your friends.
>>5096624>"This is where we part ways, friend. I need to clear this place out so it's demon-safe for a little bit - but you should try and find one to contract with in the meanwhile. I imagine it'll be essential to the whole not dying thing.">Give him instructions on how to do said contract and point him to the barricade.
>>5096624Ask him for ideas.
>>5096624>>"This is where we part ways, friend. I need to clear this place out so it's demon-safe for a little bit - but you should try and find one to contract with in the meanwhile. I imagine it'll be essential to the whole not dying thing."
>>5097070>>5096688"Well... this is where I'm afraid we'll part ways, friend. I need to clear this place out so it's demon-safe for a little bit, so bad shit doesn't happen to anyone else like it did to you. You should try to find a reasonably friendly looking demon to contract with in the meanwhile. I imagine it'll be a little bit essential to your survival." You instruct him, squatting down and reloading your pistol all the while."C-Contract? Like that crazy dude on the ferris wheel said?" He asks, sounding a little immediately panicked by the idea."Yeah, contract. Zeed, mind explaining?" You ask, turning to your little alien buddy.Zeed looks at Dave. Then, Zeed points a finger at Dave, and then points a finger at himself. You immediately feel a little stupid. "Right, Zeed can't talk. I'm going mostly off intuition here, but I think you just sort of need to ask? And maybe have something you can offer them? I don't know, blood, a big dick, whatever." You ask, shaking your head and holstering your gun. You stand up and peek outside, only immediately have a small rock beaned at your face."You know, if you would've warned me in advance that there would've been a huge demon ambush here I probably would've reconsidered coming!" shouts Starbucks Girl, looking nearly unrecognizable outside of a work uniform and very, very angry. You shrug your shoulders. "Oh well. Get in here, I've got a wounded to tend to.""A-Actually, I think I'm--" Dave starts, but you shush him while Starbucks Girl sighs her way over to the abandoned frozen yogurt stand."While you're here... Did you ever figure out the contracting with a demon thing?" You ask as she rounds the corner into the employee entrance and then vanishes momentarily before popping back up in your eyesight. Behind her is a large, swirling starfish-like thing, with a single peeping, staring eye situated right in the dead center while it hovers about a foot off the ground."Huh? Are you telling me you told me what to do without actually knowing if it'd get me killed or not!?" She says, starting off sounding slightly composed before breaking out into a shout. Dave winces, covering his ears."Yeah, that's pretty much how the whole day has been. Uh, you, starfish dude, do you know any more than we do?""Certainly, young man." The starfish speaks, with a startlingly polite accent. "Simply request parlay with any demon, attacking or otherwise and, for the most part, we are honor-bound to comply. Of course, if you are unable to offer us anything we desire, the more polite of us like myself may request we swiftly return to combat like proper men.""Decarabia..." Starbucks Girl chides the starfish at the mentioning of "proper men", giving him a little ruffle on one of his limbs. He spins around in the air before returning to his horizontal position. "Great! Well, there's your instructions, Dave." You say cheerfully, hands on your hips."Gee, thanks..." Dave mumbles.
>>5097482>You think you can convince Starbucks Girl to go demon hunting with you? 'S more fun to farm trash mobs with friends!>You know what, there's bigger buildings and now you've got two demon contractors here, which is more than enough to cover each other's back. Let's find somewhere and set up a home camp first.>Grab Dave and let's go grab him a Vodyanik! Or something else. Cajole Starbucks Girl into it too. Woo! RPG party time!>Free Option.
>>5097483>Play 20 questions with decarabia. Ask about essence and resistances and stuff
>>5097483>Grab Dave and let's go grab him a Vodyanik! Or something else. Cajole Starbucks Girl into it too. Woo! RPG party time!>Play 20 questions with Decarabia. Ask about essence and resistances and stuff.Both at once!
>>5097624+1it's the herbs and stones starfish
Merry Shitscram, readers! Will be taking a break - I need to sleep early because I will be going on vacation this week. I will try to get updates when I have the time to. Thank you all fo reading and participating!
>>5098071Have fun and do be sure to come back to us
On reflection, I do think this actually would be a good place to close up the thread for the day and I will open up the next one with the next update!Thank you all for reading. I appreciate it very much, and I hope you are enjoying this SMT-y adventure I have concocted for you. :)
And here's the archive:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2021/5058462/Feel free to upvote it if updoots are a thing you give a shit about. Or don't, it's a free country and I'm not your mom.NEXT TIME:MORE DEMONSMORE GUN'SMORE DEVIL ERASER
>>5098947See you then
>>5097483>>Grab Dave and let's go grab him a Vodyanik! Or something else. Cajole Starbucks Girl into it too. Woo! RPG party time!I know we just told him to stay safe, but I smell party dynamic hijinks.
Happy new year! Been very busy with IRL stuff to start a new thread, will hopefully have time tomorrow. Cheers, everyone.
>>5104281Happy New Year, see you next thread
DEVIL ERASER II>>5107197>>5107197