Your name is Shu, and you’ve come a long way at the end of the world.The world as you knew it is long gone, consumed from without by a ravenous being from beyond the stars. Humanity’s been reshaped into a vicious, feral thing by the Crucible, their bodies twisted into raging beasts of muscle and bone, voices and minds warped into tools of war. The Daughters—combatants elected by the Crucible to fight and devour their fellows to reach even the apex of hideous strength—are perhaps the lucky ones, granted the freedom of choice in a world where most humans, flora, and fauna have been melted down into a carpet of raw biomass that’s pulled taut across our world.Like every other Daughter in existence, you can feel the pull—gnawing at your bones, pulling every fiber of your being towards the tether between a mutilated earth and an alien sky. You call it the Cord, and it’s said that reaching it’s summit will grant the Crucible’s victor the power to reshape all that is into all that will be.A siren’s song, beckoning you to the end of all things……but you’ll fight it, and anything else that would dare to drown out humanity’s future.Careening into the present, the past twenty-four hours have been spent alternatively making new friends, being betrayed by old ones, and—in one confusing instance—having both happen all at once. But now, in the ruins of a town condemned to destruction years before you even woke to the Crucible, you and your family have unearthed something that the powers-that-be wanted to keep hidden……whatever it can do, its power and future now lies in your hands.The obsidian monolith resting in the pit before you has a sheen like molten onyx, throwing back your armored reflection with an added shimmer of colors that defy description. It’s surrounded by other Relics, some damaged, some whole, but all of them untouched for well over a year. It’s a thing that’s been concealed from sight, guarded by an Amalgam whose very presence inspired fear…slain by your hand, the secrets held under its vigil now laid bare to those who’d dare decipher them.****Previous Vein: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/5045064/Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Body%20Horror%20QuestCharacter Abilities: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1p_asyKKcyCbQieAAXo1oogBucLtzSypx8-M9vqA96zE/edit#gid=1685687578Trypophilic Hive, Ver. 3: https://pastebin.com/bUWG6TNFRelics, Ver. 7: https://pastebin.com/kHzW2hbdDual Techs: https://pastebin.com/2jZ5ZhyxCharacter Profiles: https://pastebin.com/eL2zTZ4fQuest Fan Works: https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/1comL20X2jUrPO0p7QMdFinwAwdXHre2F9A5bdXif7_k/mobilebasicTwitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
“Fascinating. Any resonance from your Key, Darling?” Asks perhaps the most daring among you. Francine’s eyes shimmer with curiosity, their glint darkened by the massive Fragment reflected in her astute gaze. The orb in question is held taut at your hip, sandwiched between the supple leather of your dress and the dense chitin of your armor. It hums, a subtle vibration that reaches into your bones as you peer down into the pit. The Relic at your side is a speck, little more than a mote compared to the thing that Merkabah died to protect. It’s a fragment of some unknowable whole, a shard that forced a being akin to a god to move reality around you, having rendered you a constant at the heart of a roiling chaos.“It is.” You admit as you take a step back, with your family collectively taking one with you. “Obviously nothing like what happened with Jackie’s vorpal knife, but *something’s* happening there.”“Let’s keep it ambiguous for now if it’s all the same to you, cap’n.” November rumbles from her speakers, folding her arms with a clank of metal. “Don’t want you to go getting isekai’ed off somewhere.”“Again.” Francine adds, lip curling as she peers into the excavation expectantly…before getting tugged back by Amara and her band of clones.“Is that another one of the Fragment-thingys?” Nerada asks through three dozen mouths, the ten-year-old’s control over the legion of corpses Merkabah raised expanding by the minute. Just a preteen spread thin among a platoon of the walking dead, rapidly becoming acclimated to puppeteering the shells of the distantly departed……well when you put it that way, Paloma’s team of Phantasmal Conduits can’t arrive soon enough.Glancing over to the gaping wound in the Fleshscape only a few meters away, you focus back to the matter at hand. You’re nowhere near ready to reveal this massive Fragment to the world at large…while Merkabah’s defensive field kept perceptions at bay, you have to wonder just how quickly the Skinternet will catch up to what’s happened here. If you don’t want this news to get out then you’ll need to act quickly to……what, exactly?You consider reaching out to Orwell again for her advice, but as the desire to get a hold of the situation grows, so does the twisting, roiling knot in your gut.You don’t like keeping secrets. Not before, and certainly not after……after the last time you got dragged somewhere you wish you hadn’t.>>Re-bury the Fragment until after the Conduit team wraps things up, then decide from there.>>You have a spoke of Escher’s Gear, so teleport it to the Dragon’s Roost before this situation gets out of hand.>>You need to figure out if this thing has any side-effects before interacting with it…you trust the Silver Key will keep you safe, so it’s time to test the Fragment’s properties.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Hello Everyone, and I hope you all had a pleasant set of holidays and a very good New Year. Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume in four. Also, below you will find the link to the beta version of the updated Hive Mistress cheatsheet, so let me know what you think before I finish it off this week. I do hope you are doing well, and it’s good to be back.)>>https://pastebin.com/K29LDjcx
>>5175725>>You need to figure out if this thing has any side-effects before interacting with it…you trust the Silver Key will keep you safe, so it’s time to test the Fragment’s properties.I think the first priority is assessing any threat this thing might pose. Even before the "what if someone we don't trust gets their hands on this" question, because it's possible this thing might have bad results if someone we do trust gets their hands on this. I don't want anyone accidentally splatting themselves over a dozen dimensions. >>5175727Oh, neat. Thanks, BHOP, it's good to finally have concrete info on the swarmlings under the new system.
>>5175736(Its by no means the full extent of what I've been working on, but I've prioritized getting the Merkabah level-ups ready for when you all vote to settle down and vote.)
>>5175742Oh, I just noticed: Psychica Spiralis-modded swarmlings aren't on the list. I remember them making giving a weaker but portable version of the Psychica Spiralis effect, was that right?
>>5175751(That is correct, yes!)
>>5175753Cool. That's a useful ability, Psy-Platelings are probably our best armor in that case.
>>5175725>>You need to figure out if this thing has any side-effects before interacting with it…you trust the Silver Key will keep you safe, so it’s time to test the Fragment’s properties#"Found some eldritch Shit. Gotta test it out to make sure its safe!" Shu Defiant of Common Sense
>>5175725vote;>You need to figure out if this thing has any side-effects before interacting with it…you trust the Silver Key will keep you safe, so it’s time to test the Fragment’s properties.
>>5175736>>5175769>>5175774(Do you all have a particular approach you'd like to try, or leave it to the dice?)
>>5175777Hit it till it does something?I am joking. I think the dice will do us plenty fine
>>5175777I'd say we should contact it with a Scarlet Jackling, first. Keep everything at one remove, until we either establish it's safe or that a swarmling can't get the necessary connection. Have Amara cast a GRA FOL VIE THA as well, so that the Scarlet Jackling has a bonus to concentration effects.Shu should lay down a Psychica Spiralis, too. Just in case it does something wonky to the terrain.
>>5175777lemme see...>First, have those who have them try a more in depth 'scan' and analysis of it with what powers they can.>Then test it with constructs, at first just getting near it for awhile, then touching it.>lastly, test out direct power applications on it. nothing fancy, just attempts to more directly and deeply try and figure out what it is, can do, and how safe it is. >Lastly, you and one other, both touching the key for safety, can attempt to directly touch it, if it seems safe enough.something akin to this. best to do the full testing of it here, away from anything important, than moving it for sure.
>>5175794Oh, yeah, we should see what Amara's Skintalker senses say, and what Francine's analysis can reveal. Get everyone who can scan do it.
>>5175727Hello Bhop, Well my set of holidays are nothing home to write about. The short story featuring Sathriel has expanded in scope but I've gotten the main story beats down and are filling out the details that connect them. It currently reads like half an Ace Attorney Comedy and a half a tearjerker drama from Fist of the North Star. Hopefully I'll be able to fill in the details and get it posted onto the intermission thread before it falls off. Last I checked the Intermission vein is on page 8 or 9.
>>5175824That sounds like a wild genre mix. I look forward to seeing it.
>>5175824(Oh, I'm very intrigued. I can't wait to read it!)
>>5175725You stand there a moment, contemplating how best to interact with the oversized fragment as you pace around the yawning pit. Dispelling the (rather intrusive) notion of taking a page out of Rath’s book and just smacking the thing, you instead adopt a far more scientific approach, keeping the Silver Key clutched in your right hand.“Amara, Francine? Could you two give me a surface-level analysis before I go in with a Jackling?” You request, with the younger of your allies immediately lunging forward to the lip of the pit, dropping to all fours with her ear to the flesh-covered ground.“The floor is humming! Kinda like it’s regrowing over and over again!” Your ward declares enthusiastically, prompting an arched eyebrow from Francine. The good doctor’s interest piqued, the fingers of her left hand start to fray, her arm unfurling up to her elbow into a willowing bundle of golden thread. Amara jumps back as the strands lance forward, stabbing into the rim of the fragment’s resting place as Francine closes her eyes.“…I must admit that our little one’s analysis is rather apt.” She declares after a moment, her brow furrowed. “The surrounding terrain appears to be undergoing a constant state of regeneration…but it’s odd. The successor cells are perfect. No decay, none of the variance to be expected from typical cell growth. A perfect loop, localized to roughly a meter out from the fragment’s surface.”“Then how were we able to dig it out?” November asks, the towering cyborg’s chrome facade reflecting the fragment’s own stygian surface.“If I were to hazard a guess?” Francine sighs as her threads weave back together into an arm, its golden sheen supplanted by the doctor’s own skin tone. “Because it’s *letting* us examine it.”Implications and hypotheses aside, your fingers curl tight around the orb at your side as you feel your hive get to work. A familiar pressure builds between your shoulder blades until a fresh swarmling squeezes its way out of your hive—a fist-sized wasp with a crimson shell, built for reconnaissance. The Scarlet Jackling hovers above the massive fragment as you dig in your heels, the ground underfoot curling into a spiral with you at its nexus…a protective field, to give caution it’s due.Your chitinous creation flits closer to the fragment as Amara whispers a protective field around you, your skin humming with a Skintalker’s boon as your scout lowers itself gently, carefully, onto the thing’s jet-black surface.And at that, the pit comes alive.(Continued)
>>5176000Before you can even begin to commune with the thing the sloping sides of the excavation are suddenly writhing, fist-sized figures struggling to free themselves, their scarlet shells splayed out at reveal gossamer wings that beat frantically against their fellows. Your mind is split, your scout’s vision scattered among a thousand sets of compound eyes, half of them still buried beneath the fragment’s obsidian bulk. Your swarmling flees to the skies as your stomach reels from what you can barely process, and as you throw yourself back your perceptions suddenly snap back to focus as both Francine and Amara catch you in their arms.“…You…you saw all that, right?” You practically cough out, trying not to retch as you rise shakily to your feet. “That wasn’t Neuromancy, that was-““Spontaneous replication, yes, but are you alright?” Francine supplies, her concern for your well-being winning out over her own considerable curiosity as her hand finds your wrist and closes around your own hammering pulse.“Yeah, I…the fragment. It make copies of my Jackling.” You say slowly, still trying to ground yourself. “But they weren’t just copies. For a second, they were all mine. Every last one was under my control, but…I think that’s what happens if I try and go past my swarmling limit.”“And what of the Phantasmal effect?” Francine prompts. “It must have been quite potent to-““There wasn’t a Phantasmal component.” You say, unsure of what the doctor’s getting at until she reaches out, her finger wiping a tear from under your eye. It’s only then that you realize you’re smiling so wide the pain in your jaw is finally winning out against the nausea that overtook you only seconds before. What you took to be the aftermath of your own fractured vision is instead your eyes clouded with hot tears, a feeling that had welled up in your chest now receding just as quickly and as inexplicably as it came.A strange, overwhelming sense of hope.Alien, and yet so earnest it can’t help but make your heart ache as it subsides.The Silver Key appears inert, its defenses against being pulled hither and yon helpless in the face of…whatever it is that just happened to you. Taking a tentative step closer to the pit’s edge, you will your Spiralis underfoot to expand to just within the Fragment’s reach.And, as expected, the area around the black stone twists to match, though you pull back before unbidden emotion can curl itself around your heart once more.>>Hypothetically, you should still be able to move the stone with Escher’s Gear…so move it to the Roost and wait for those Phantasmal Conduits Paloma promised were on their way.>>Re-bury the stone for now, and wait for those Conduits to relieve Nerada of her duty.>>Try something else out on the fragment, on a hunch (Write-In).>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, with posting to resume in three.)
>>5176003Wow.... This thing is a spontaneous perfect replicator. Damn. And it just filled Shu with so much Hope... I don't think interacting with it in any way is truly safe. Putting it in the Roost with the Gear might lead to interesting consequences... when it is supposed to be transported. And someone has to touch it..... Wait could we have dozens of Shu's? Doppelgänger Shu?
>>5176003hold on. lets review the Fragments and the primal desires that are aligned with each fragment that we have discovered so far:>Tinker Tailor's Fragment: To see the past present and future, the desire to see what's ahead>Jackie's Vorpal knife: To render space meaningless, a desire to close space.>Silver Key: To anchor yourself and maintain a desire of stability>Deleted fragment: To erase mistakes, to delete objects from reality regardless of consequence>Unknown fragment: Ziz and Snowbird are heading towards that spot, discovered by a west proxie. properties unknownNow this fragment. Already I can see the effects it creates both passive and active: Perfect replication. Not even a single hint of entropy. It's supported by the interactions that we have with it as well as our friends' analysis. One this is game breaking, as in "utterly breaks the crucible over its knees" breaking potential if used in certain situations. Two, this is CLEARLY ripe with potential abuse of power which goes against our principles. Three, we've already opened Pandora's box, now that Merkabah's death has destroyed the censor field, all the skintalkers will and might have already started snooping around and seeing what we did with that Fragment. The power hungry ones will clearly make a play for harnessing that Fragment for ill and for good. >“The floor is humming! Kinda like it’s regrowing over and over again!”>“The surrounding terrain appears to be undergoing a constant state of regeneration…but it’s odd. The successor cells are perfect. No decay, none of the variance to be expected from typical cell growth. A perfect loop, localized to roughly a meter out from the fragment’s surface.”
>>5176003vote;>Try something else.>try tossing in something wholly unconnected to anyone or anything into it. aka, a rock will suffice.>If the results of that aren't worth pausing over, have someone be ready to pull you back after a second, and stick your pinky finger into its radius.>>Regardless, either get who you have to, and/or call in who you can trust to try and make sure they cover up this things presence as much as possible. you dont like hiding things or lying, but at the same time you really dont need anyone and everyone able to sense this beeling here either. you'll figure out how to balance this things existence morally after you even understand what it is enough to feel comfortable moving it or not.
>>5176017>Wait could we have dozens of Shu's? Doppelgänger Shu?We already have a clone army of Amaras that Amara can create. And army of Shus might break the world. Also, This clearly reminds me of Library of Ruina's R-corp singularity. Even if the Fragment is capable of creating perfect Replicas, that doesn't mean the replicants will stay true to the original. Time, circumstance, behavior and environment will cause any replicant doppelganger to deviate in behavior, character, and principle. >The Silver Key appears inert, its defenses against being pulled hither and yon helpless in the face of…whatever it is that just happened to you.Strange.
>>5176020I feel like the desires the Fragments embody all have to do with the Crucible Builders' decline and demise. Tailor's Fragment helps understand an uncertain future, the Vorpal Knife cuts past the journey to get their solution now, the Silver Key keeps them secure and safe in the face of entropy, the deleted Fragment undid the mistakes that led to their current situation. So that makes this one, what, the hope for the future where the Builders truly are free from entropy and can grow without limit? Except if they already had that they wouldn't need the Crucible project, so probably this thing only looks like it's defying entropy. It's cheating, and it's just our limited perspective that keeps us from realizing it. I suspect any attempts to abuse it will end very poorly for whoever tries it, as they run into its limitations and cause it to critically fail.Still, you're right, even the potential that it could work is immense temptation for the more predatory Daughters. We need to get this someplace secure.
>>5176003Supporting >>5176026>>5176028>The Silver Key appears inert, its defenses against being pulled hither and yon helpless in the face of…whatever it is that just happened to you.>Strange.We did not need to be anchored. We were not torn somewhere else.... unless we were ripped away from here on the Soulplane Side of things. That could be something the Key could provide no protection against.......This is all pretty disconcerting to be honest.Also about the Doppelgängers. Of course they would be different in their outlook after enough time had passed. In an Environment even just a day might drastically change the outlook of the Doppelgängers... or well originals since they would all be absolutely perfect copies for a time.That would be probably a bigger Headache than the entire Gemma Situation since Shu has so much more cloud than most of the Gemmas have and started out with.
>>5176029>Except if they already had that they wouldn't need the Crucible project, so probably this thing only looks like it's defying entropy. It's cheating, and it's just our limited perspective that keeps us from realizing it.So then how does it cheat the rules if it seems to bypass the photocopier effect? That's the big question. Because Tailor's fragment allowed her to understand the uncertain future but for all its powers it is still bound to the absolute singularity event that is the Crucible's demise. She can take any route she pleases but the end destination will still be the same. So if Tailor's fragment has a limitation, then that would imply that all the fragments have a hidden limit like how even the Silver key is useless against the effects of the Replicant Fragment....actually the better name for this fragment would be "Growth of Hope.""Flip the tables, rewrite the status quo. Cheat the rules....">So that makes this one, what, the hope for the future where the Builders truly are free from entropy and can grow without limit?I think you've hit the proverbial nail on the head.
>>5176026What if we tried to toss in something that is rapidly decaying like acid breaking down flesh? Would entropy still take hold? or would the fragment override the rule and preserve the decaying object like? Or would the fragment accelerate the entropic effect?
>>5176003>>Try something else out on the fragment, on a hunch (Write-In).>Find some piece of old-world material, something other than biomass, to toss as the Fragment and see if it replicates that. Francine or November should have some metal, probably.>>Write-In>Afterward, re-bury it until after the Conduits have arrived and departed, then call Tailor for her input on what we should do with this thing. She's our closest thing to an expert on the Fragments.>>5176039Might be another time-looping thing, but with some sort of enormous energy cost that offsets its usefulness? That's the most immediate answer I can think of for how it could not really count as violating thermodynamics.
>>5176026>>5176042>>5176044So our list of things to try copying with this are:>Biomass not linked to any particular person>Non-biomass material>Biomass that is in the process of being destroyed>A person
>>5176042good question.we can add it i suppose, but i think seeing if it works on 'disconnected' things in general in the first place would be a first step before that regardless.
>>5176047yes.and while i still think the list is reasonable seeing them listed like that just has me cracking up like all hell.doesn't help my mental image is a buncha people trying the other things while nodding and going 'mhm mhm, interesting' and then theres just a pause before someone just runs up and chucks a flailing person into it with great gusto.
>>5176047I'm very hesitant about the last one. Replicating a living person? This will create massive. and I mean MASSIVE consequences. Even with consent, it feels very much unethical, and this is despite there being daughters whose core types them as Vitruvian (Replicator).
>>5176050>>5176047>>5176006>Literally us anons right now:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHWs3c3YNs4
>>5176051I'm hesitant about it, too, I was just listing the ideas that had been put forth. I'd say if we do ever do it, it should be at the end of testing everything else we can think of and figuring out just what this thing does. You know, so we don't cause an existential nightmare. Well, more of one.
>>5176051to be fair its much less bad in context when you realize its not a whole person we're testing and has safety measures in place.>>5176054hah, well played.
>>5176003Supporting >>5176044I must say guys, I a really worried about the consequences of unearthing this thing. Now, I am not saying we should lock it up and throw away the key, but I think we should be extremely careful about what we do with it and what we put in its proximity. I am especially hesitant about trying to replicate a person. The effects of that could be disastrous, since we don't know what it could do to the psyche of the person/their copy.
>>5176047What about a different Fragment? like the Silver Key? Wait. we've already tried that given that we've done the swarmling test. (still amused at the idea we tried very very early in the quest where we did a feedback loop of Shu looking at a swarmling while looking at herself through said swarmling at the same time.)
>>5176044>>5176063im really really not a fan of re-burying it. at all.it quite literally feels like just covering up a problem. it also still leaves it out in the open in a very real way that could very much still cause problems. not like subterranean or earth moving abilities dont exist either, so its not even a very good solution to hide its presence or prevent it from being tampered with. least exposed people we trust can still study it, and if we do discover we can move it safely, it also means we can do so quickly.
>>5176066We could try having Jackie stab it with the Vorpal Knife, but I suspect it won't have any effect. This thing is much larger and much stronger than any other Fragment, it can probably overpower them.>>5176069I might not have been clear with my wording, then. My intent was to just re-bury it until after the Conduits had picked up the ghosts, and then unearth it again for study. I just don't want people asking questions about "hey, what's this weird otherworldly monolith you're poking at" until after we know it's safe and we can keep it from becoming a danger to anyone.
>>5176063ironically OOC, this is something that Snowbird and Ziz might be dealing with, so it will be interesting to hear back from them.>>5176047Hang on. Have we tried a relic? A Forge core? A T-1 relic? T-5 relic? I'm specifically asking a T-1 and a T5 Relic because a T-1 is the most common one while a T-5 relic can only be produced by a T5 forge core and even a T5 forge core is capable of creating only one T5 Relic.
>>5176044>>5176063>>5176069oh, also, the whole thing Francine mentioned about why we were even able to unbury it in the first place. i dunno, if the thing can hinder its biomass replication to let us look at it, last thing we might want is the opposite, it being like 'oh? you want to just bury me again? OK, WELL THEN HAVE INFINITE DIRT! LETS HAVE EVERYTHING BE BURIED THEN!"
>>5176076>>5176063>>5176080 raises a good point. what's to say that the monolith fragment sentient to a degree? All the fragments that we have discovered first or second handedly are created from the wishes and desires of the builders.
>>5176079>Hang on. Have we tried a relic? A Forge core? A T-1 relic? T-5 relic?Nope, so far it's just been that one swarmling. Everything else is in the maybe column.>>5176080Perhaps. But I feel like it should also be able to understand our intent, if we're not leaving it behind but sticking around. Maybe we can tell it that we're just burying it briefly for the sake of information security? Unless it doesn't want to maintain information security, and wants to be known to the world.
>>5176076that seems kinda pointless though, sorta.Paloma is proooobly someone we could trust to see it, and we can probably just explain to her 'hey we dont need several dozen re-activated people you just saved spreading humors about this thing' and she can probably save them and take them away in a way that avoids that without us having to risk or bother with reburying it for such a relatively short time.
>>5176082that is if we can get our intent across or even communicate with it. chances are Francines onto something, but how far or how much we can properly interact with that fact is another matter. in part as i said >>5176083it also just feels like a weird complication to amusingly enough an honestly actually high concern of what it would do with that dirt over something we have other ways to solve, especially considering the very temporary nature of burying it in this context.
>>5176082>>5176083I have a thought: if this fragment is supposed to be the manifestation of the desire of "Hope springs Eternal", then given the narrative effect that Shu has as the Defiant and one who represents the hope to break the cycle, is it a wonder that this fragment is allowing us to examine it?
>>5176054(Oh, that got me good. Very nice.)
>>5176083The best security is to not be known in the first place. I'm sure Paloma trusts whoever she's sending to do the pickup, but it's still best if we minimize the number of people who know about this at all.But you have a point about the Fragment maybe not liking us burying it again. Okay, how about we send Nerada, Amara, and someone to supervise to meet with the Conduits in between the Waystation and here, so they don't get close enough to spot it, while Shu gets Tailor on the line and also throws various test objects at it?>>5176097Oh, no, not at all. It's probably feeling hope specifically because of Shu and what she might mean for the Crucible program.
>>5176097could be.>>5176100yeah, send them to meet away from the sight is a good compromise. to be honest probably safer for them anyways to not be near the thing. chirst can you imagine if one of the conduit ghosts tripped into it? as if being a sorta zombie not fully human isnt already damaging to the mind enough.
>>5176100>>5176091Hang on...Something occurred to me. Jackie's Fragment is physically imbedded in her chest, while Tailor's Fragment is fused with her mind. If we do physically interact with the Replicant Fragment, then there's a high chance that the Fragment will fuse with the person interacting with the Fragment. Unless the fragment is choosey and specifically WANTS to fuse with Shu.
>>5176080Hmm, you make a good point. Burying it might be problematic when we don't know if we can dig it up back again. Anyway, I do not want to bury it for long, only as a temporary measure until we get Taoilor's take on it or figure out if it is safe to move to some safer place like the Roost. We definitely should study it and not try to cover up the problem, but I would still advise extreme caution.
>>5176107i mean... maybe?but as far as we know every other fragment was of a size where that made sense to be possible.this thing is... well, not something we would want to. it would be more akin to US fusing to IT, than the usual. we are not yet actually physically touching it for a reason, though honestly im not even sure if thats possible at the moment either, considering what we've seen so far.or well, the 'original' us touching it. guess it depends on how all that works and if that matters.
>>5176106Alright, then>>5176003Changing >>5176044 to>Send Nerada, the ghosts, Amara, and November to meet up with the Conduits coming to pick up the ghosts.>Shu, Francine, and a few Joyous Many stay here. Shu calls Tailor for advice on what to do with a giant Fragment, and asks her to come examine it with us.>Also asks her if she thinks it's safe to chuck stuff at it to see what it does.>>5176107Not necessarily. We've interacted with the Silver Key plenty, and it's never fused with us. For that matter, I don't think the Vorpal Knife needs to be stored in the user's chest, Jackie just does because one of her best friends is a Homestuck dork and this way she's even more of a Jack Noir reference.
>>5176107Well, that sounds plausible enough. Not sure if its a good idea, but Jackie and Tailor came out of it okayish. Anyway, if we ever do try for someone to touch it/replicate someone, it should be us. For the sole reason that if someone has to pay a price for our curiosity, it should be ourselves.
>>5176107>>5176111>>5176112well if we want to get it out of here someone will have to touch it most likely to try and teleport it or we take the normal route which will be full of dangers and very time consuming. But we really can not leave this thing behind. If it tries to fuse with someone.... well that would suck but there would be little we could reasonably do other than be the person that pays for our own folly.>>5176003Changing vote from >>5176036to >>5176116
>>5176003>>5176026compromising to also support the first part of >>5176116this about doing the conduit baton pass out of sight of the thing.still dont think we need to wait. Francine at least i wholly trust to study it without having to wait, and its not like Tinker can really do much more testing than we can when we have so little info about it.i mean, what would her answer really be? "only one way to find out".wait no sorry, it would be 'onlyonewaytofindout."unless you mean her using her future sight to cheat but for one, we know she doesnt want to abuse it, and two, we know things like this actually can be exception to powers like that so its very likely not an advantage she has here to use.
>>5176122I mean... yes and no?theres a reason i want to try and at least start on the preliminaries of understanding this thing. its a bit too big a deal to just ignore and not figure a bit out while we're here and waiting around anyhow. its also not like anyone else wont have to take some risks to figure things out either. may aswell be us. we have the key, and it allowed us to look at it afterall, so it might be more willing to "behave" to at least someone here. the overwhelming hope also is technically a good sign, though maybe not a good effect to be flooded with so heavily.
>>5176003 Changing from >>5176063 to supporting >>5176116.
>>5176127She knows more about the Fragments than we do, is all. You're right, she probably will say "yeahitscoolthrowsomejunkatititwillbeawesome", but if she does know about anything that could go wrong there's no harm in asking. We're talking about some physics-cheating piece of a dead god, I'm cautious about things like that.
>>5176143will she? each one seems wholly different in what it does and even seems to interact with other things.the only similar thing seems to be them being 'above' or 'outside' the Crucible, and their origins.but thats not saying much. at this point if you found two normal donuts in a box they would fit that criteria.
>>5176003“November, I’d like for you to escort Amara, Nerada, and the ghosts under her control to meet with the Conduits that Paloma’s sent our way. Sweetie, I’d also like to borrow a few of your Joyous, if you’d be so kind.” You announce, casting a furtive glance between the jagged, rib-like spires that stretch into the distance. “I know Paloma vouched for her little team, but the less eyes on this thing-““The better. Got it.” November affirms, ducking low to let Amara hop astride the cyborg’s broad shoulders before jogging off to the Geschoss, with Nerada lurching her way after the pair in time with her shadowy legion.“And as for us, darling?” Francine asks, watching her friend duck inside the Geschoss with Sir Fuzzbuzz and Marco close behind.“We’re going to phone a friend.” You reply, a swarmling no larger than your thumb flitting out from your hive and up to your right ear. “Tailor, do you copy?”“Ohgoodnessthisisapleasantsurprise.” Rattles off the eccentric tinkerer not a half-second after you open the channel. “IheardyouwereoffdealingwithaparticularlypowerfulAmalgamsohaveyoudealtwithitsosoonafterleaving?”“Yeah, but now we’ve got a problem of a different kind—let me fill you in.” You sigh, staring down into the pit as you recap the last few minutes with as much detail as you can recall. “…so, you think you could swing by if you’re not too busy and-?”Francine lets out a small yelp of surprise when Tinker Tailor practically blinks into existence beside you.“…so at what point in my retelling did you-?”“Seventeenwordsinsothisisthefragmentyes?” Tailor interrupts excitedly, a thin woman of tightly-coiled wires capped off with an inscrutable gas mask practically pitching herself into the pit, held up only by the balls of her feet. “OhmyohmythisisthelargestfragmentI’vesee thusfartrulyafascinatingspecimen.”Her head snaps to one side, the smoky goggles of her mask reflecting your own face as she asks;“Whatwasgoingtobethesubjectofyournexttest?”You blink.“…Honestly? I was thinking about throwing a rock at it and seeing what happened. No biomass, just mineral.”“Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahhahahahahahahahahahaohmygodyour’reserious.”“Do you think that would be ill-advised?” You ask, a little offended by the other girl’s abrupt fit of machine gun laughter…and, for once, she pauses before giving her reply.“…ItisnotabadideanowthatIthinkaboutit.” She admits, staring back into the pit. “Basedousaidwhenyourswarmlingtouchedthesurfaceyouhaditpullback,yes?”You nod, and she clarifies; “Sothereplicationphenomenaonlystoppedwhencontactceased. Meaningthatifcontactdidnotceasethenreplicationcouldhypotheticallycontinueunabated.""I was thinking the same thing.” Francine chimes in, catching the Flesh Artisan’s words a bit faster than you’re able.(Continued)
>>5176250“Physical contact appears to be necessary for the effect to continue. I’d imagine that the terrain around the fragment is, in fact, replicated as well—with the effect going unnoticed until Shu’s swarmling gave the thing more date to play with.” "Anastuteobservationmyfriend. Welldone." Tailor compliments, with Francine being a little taken aback. “Wejustdon’tknowhowprolongedcontactwithinorganicmaterialmightmanifest,sothemostprudentthingtodowouldbe…”Her head cocks to you once more, and you swear you can almost hear the smile in her voice as she says; “…throwarockatitandseewhathappens.”In surprisingly short order you’re able to uncover a small stone fragment in the surrounding fleshscape, a piece small enough to nestle comfortably in your palm up until the moment you cast it into the pit. The shard of pitted concrete clatters against the eldritch fragment, and the moment it makes contact the sides of the excavation spring to life, turning into jagged outcroppings of stone...but they don’t stop there. The pit continues to morph, the surrounding biomass undulating as a field of jagged stone shards, but the longer you gaze upon the roiling pit the more the mirrored shards begin to shift into distinct, yet separate shapes. Jagged asymmetry is supplanted with stone blocks, then houses in miniature. They’re blocky things at first, and you’re barely able to catch their details before one is supplanted by another dozen—but by the time Tinker Tailor extends her hand and the initial shard snaps into her hand you could almost swear you caught the shapes of what looked like more complex, non-euclidian structures that were blooming in the field of concrete.And then, just like that, flesh and bone take the place of form and function when the shard is retrieved.“…Replication’s just the first step.” Francine breathes, staring into the depths of the onyx fragment. “It looked like the fragment was building actual…*things* out of the shard. Extrapolating what existed previously, then spiraling off into its own…ideas…of what could be.”“Ibelievewhatwearelookingatisnotmerelyafragmentthatcopies…butathingthatencapsulatesthesheercreativepotentialofthebeingthatconstructedtheCrucible.” Tailor surmises, thoughtfully turning the shard over in her hand before looking up to you. “Youpulledbackbeforeitcouldmakesomethingentirelynewoutofyourswarmling.”Her head snaps to one side as she adds; “Oryou.”>>Re-bury the fragment, and establish a constant security detail. This thing is too dangerous to leave unattended.>>Transport it to the Dragon’s Roost, but not before having Rath craft a relic to keep it suspended, somehow—you don’t want to know what it’ll ‘extrapolate’ your home into, if given the chance.>>If this thing is opening itself up to you, then you need to actually commune with it—take the plunge, and make physical contact with it.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM, Eastern time. It’s good to be back, and I wish you a restful evening.)
>>5176254hrm... this is a tough one.i still wholly and fully think burying it is a very bad idea. i mean, thats literally just giving it stuff to work with if nothing else, and assuming its somehow sentient, possibly upsetting to it. vote;>Transport it to the Dragon’s Roost, but not before having Rath, Francine, and Tinker craft a relic to keep it suspended, somehow—you don’t want to know what it’ll ‘extrapolate’ your home into, if given the chance.>Make sure to first make a new, pretty solidly 'separated' room in the place, so as to give some level or separation and extra security for the thing.>>If Francine, Tinker, or others wish to further study it, thats fine, you just want it someplace safe first. Im not against trying to 'contact' it mind, i just think getting it someplace more secure comes first for sure.
>>5176254Okay, yeah, that's potentially a very dangerous thing. Extrapolating anything it touches into all sorts of emergent order and complexity could turn even very benign things into abominations. The sole reassurance is that it only persists so long as it's in contact with the original. Granted, I can easily see a Daughter or Amalgam that touched this thing growing large enough to encyst it and keep in contact with it within their flesh at all times. Yeah, this is a big danger. I'm not sure what to do with it.>>5176255Thanks for running, BHOP. Have a nice evening.
>>5176254I love conversations with Tailor. They are painful to read, yes, but oh, so fun and informative!Anyway, I vote for:>>Transport it to the Dragon’s Roost, but not before having Rath craft a relic to keep it suspended, somehow—you don’t want to know what it’ll ‘extrapolate’ your home into, if given the chance.After that, I would suggest that we gather the gang, see what they think about the fragment and what we should do with it. We should study it together, of course, but I'd like to bring up the possibility of Shu trying to communicating with it and ask them if they think we should do it.
>>5176255lifes not all too restful for me lately, but ill try. hope it is for you though, thanks for running.
>>5176254Yeah, supporting >>5176267. Let's make a containment room for it. I'm open to trying to commune with it eventually, but not before we know a lot more about it and how it responds to living things.
>>5176272>I love conversations with Tailor. They are painful to read, yes, but oh, so fun and informative!She's just so enthusiastic! It's contagious.
So on another note. I've been thinking about the relic we got from Merkabah, Eden's East. >This Relic’s shining geometric form appears to cycle through a variety of trapezoidal shapes when not in use, but then in the hands of a Daughter preparing for violence, its form is rarely in doubt. In combat, this Relic manifests as a melee weapon of the user’s choice that deals CATASTROPHIC damage, able to cycle between ANY PHYSICAL DAMAGE TYPE as a free action, once per turn. Regardless of this weapon’s form however, any physical damage it inflicts is supplemented by also dealing CATASTROPHIC RADIANT damage in melee range. Finally, this weapon’s form can be either SHORT or MEDIUM range, depending on the form its user chooses for it.Now hear me out in terms of utility. The relic description states that it manifests as a melee weapon of the user's choice. Physically might I add if it were true. The Key term to cheat with is "Melee weapon." The human body is a melee weapon in one complete package if you look at it from a Vitruvian lens. So I ask: Is it possible for a daughter to manifest Eden's east as an extraneous limb like Rath's Phantom Limb? And if so, are we able to extrapolate that definition and extend it to an entire human form? And if that is possible, then can we give it to November where she can essentially gain a secondary body made of hard-light?
>>5176267>>5176276(In crafting this room, do you wish for the family to reconvene back at the Dragon's Roost or for Shu and Francine to attend to another issue?)
>>5176317(It would still need to be wielded in some form by a user, but if you were able to wield a Relic at range you could absolutely make that happen. Alternatively, you could have it attach to a user to act as something of a stand.)
>>5176369>Alternatively, you could have it attach to a user to act as something of a stand.>Amara with a Star-child standOh god. Amara will finally have a Star Platinum stand of her own. She's ascended one more level of ANIME.
>>5176433Well, now we have to do it. Another step towards her destiny of becoming the most anime.
>>5176521Problem is we might be running out of item slots on the equipment sheet? God it's been so long since we took inventory of our relics.
>>5176364I guess Reconvene for now..nothing is really springing to mind to go after except the maze i think the other family is looking over, which would involve us talking to them first before trying out anyhow.
>>5176364Sorry for the late response, I was sick last night and feel asleep shortly before this was posted and only woke up about five minutes ago. But yeah, I'm good with reconvening, assuming the other team isn't on the immediate trail of something good. We're going to need to bring Rath back to build the containment vessel anyway, so unless Gina and Dorian have something they want to keep going after they should come with.
>>5176364Yeah, I'm for reconvening, unless somebody is in middle of something they can't suspend for a time.
>>5176254“We need to contain it.” You say after a long moment spent weighing your options. “I’m not saying further study’s out of the question, but this fragment’s too dangerous to have out in the open. Do you think you two could come up with a solution?”“Doubtless so, but I would very much like a third opinion.” The good doctor hums, glancing over to the wiry artisan as she rises from where she’d crouched at the edge of the excavation.“RachelNeeson. Iwouldwelcomeherinput.” Comes Tailor’s swift reply, head snapping to focus on Francine. “Itwouldnotbethefirsttimeherperspective’sproveninvaluable. Itwon’tbethelast,either.”It takes less than an hour to get your ducks in a row; Nerada makes the hand-off of the reanimated townsfolk to a trio of Conduits led by a rail-thin girl who goes by ‘Harrow’, while Gina’s team warp back to the Roost to meet with Francine and Tailor. November, Amara, and Nerada help you keep a vigil over the colossal fragment until you’re given the all-clear by yourresident red-headed brawler, with Orwell stemming the flow of news to a trickle, her ear to the ground for any moves towards the remnant of the Crucible’s creators. By the end of the second hour, you’re staring at a marvel of engineering, still not quite understanding how it’s been done; a new facility several dozen meters off of November’s machine room, a sealed chamber with the unearthed fragment hovering inside with room to spare.“It’s fuckin’ WIMDY.” Laughs its co-creator as she strides up behind you, clapping a powerful hand on your shoulder. Rath’s shimmering eyes locks with yours, filled with an indelible sense of pride. “Seriously though, it’s propped up by constant airflow. Since the thing replicates whatever touches it, it’s basically holding itself up with hurricane-force winds generated and looped by some Generator-type Relics we’ve installed all around the room. Plus, if there’s any issue we’ve got a dozen Neuromancy Relics ready to shove this entire room about half a mile thattaway. Y’know, just in case it gets uppity.”“I’m impressed.” You admit, peering into the room through the porthole embedded in the only door in or out of the chamber. “The room’s a fair bit bigger than I thought it’d be.” “Oh, we came up with the idea that it should be about three times larger than originally conceived, just in case there happened to be any fluctuations in the thing’s field.” Rath fires back with a grin.“Very clever. Whose idea was that?”“Oh, uh…it was a team effort.” She says, suddenly bashful.“So…your idea, then? Nicely done.” You fire back with a smirk, and even a roll of her eyes can’t do much to hide the luminescent blush that floods the shorter girl’s cheeks. “With all this, I haven’t even had much of a chance to touch base with GG to hear what you all found. Any news on that front?”(Continued)
>>5177169“May as well be the western front, for how quiet it was.” Rath counters with a scowl. “We took it slow, but half the traps we were expecting had already been disabled. GG said the place had already been looted, but that whoever’d gotten there before us hadn’t left yet. Coin toss as to whether that means they were still there gettin’ what was there to be got, or if they got ‘got’ themselves, and we hadn’t gone down far enough to find their dumbass corpses. Made some decent headway in case you wanna delve deeper, though.”“That’s all…very disconcerting, but I’m glad you and the others didn’t run into any trouble.” You concede. Then, nodding towards the ceiling. “How’re things topside?”“Dorian’s pouring drinks for Tinker Tailor and the Doc, while GG’s checking in with the Dream team. Not sure where Aunt Heather is, now that I think about it ” Rath mutters, before adding with a scowl; “Amara and Nerada are in the kiddo’s room. Still pretty fuckin’ pissed about what the little shadowy shit decided to do, but at least she’s playing ball with us for now. You sure it’s okay to have her here?”“After how she helped us get those remnants over to the Ikean Fortress, I wasn’t about to turn her out.” You say with a sigh, staring at the fragment eerily hovering just a few meters away. “I don’t like it any more than you do, but I think there’s something to be had, there. Amara seems to be getting through to her, for what it’s worth.”“Eh, she’s your daughter, for sure. Makin’ allies outta assholes.” The shorter girl remarks, giving you a gentle poke in the ribs. “S’why you’re stuck with me, I guess.”“Oh, you misunderstand…you’re trapped in here with me.” You’re able to get out before your lips crack into a grin.“Awful. Just awful. So! What’s next?” Rath asks, leaning with one shoulder against the long hallway. “The Fortress was fun and all, but the Cord’s, like…*right* there. Kinda want to get to scouting, or at least ticking some of the other boxes on that list Paloma gave us.”“...you just want to fight the swordsman Amalga-”“I *really* do, though!” She indignantly interrupts, and you can’t help but laugh. “But I know we’ve got the rocket launch coming up soon, and I get if you don’t wanna get too involved in anything before that. And before you ask, Orwell’s got a countdown ready for us, but we’ve still got time.”You’ve a lot on your plate, as per usual…but if there’s one thing you’ve learned about the Crucible, it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other.>>Reach out to Orwell, both to get a sense of how long until launch and to see how much info leaked about the fragment.>>Go back upstairs and touch base with (Choose Family Member to interact with).>>Ask Rath something else on your mind (Write-In)>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume in four.)
>>5177172>>Reach out to Orwell, both to get a sense of how long until launch and to see how much info leaked about the fragment.>>Write-In>Then meet back with the rest of the family to discuss our next move.
>>5177172vote;>Reach out to Orwell, both to get a sense of how long until launch and to see how much info leaked about the fragment.though honestly i have no strong feelings one way or the other on this vote.
>>5177172“I think reaching out to Orwell’s next on the agenda, and once I’ve got a better idea of the timeline we’re looking at then we’ll have a family meeting.”Rath nods, giving the chamber door a quick tap with her knuckles before turning to you. “Dorian and I will get the table prepped, so we’ll be ready when you are.”She leaves you at that, and when the commling in your ear flares to life with a buzz that’s almost like static, it takes Orwell a bit longer than usual to answer your call.“Heyyy, Shu.” Greets the teen with a heavy sigh.“You okay?”“Yeah yeah yeah, just…there’s been a lot. But I’m fine.” She dismisses, taking a deep (and perhaps overdramatic) breath before launching off. “Alrighty. ‘Kay, so; I aggressively scrubbed all the info I could find, so there’s no fear of some randos finding out about the fragment. Lines are dead, pics have been erased, and no-one’s finding a damn thing from here on out. Even got a relic running an embedded subroutine to monitor for even the vaguest allusions to the fragment and zap the shit out of any new threads that crop up…that’s the good news.”“…and the bad?”“What info I wasn’t able to scrub got snapped up. Caught wind of some rapid-fire bidding, real high-ball shit. That was an hour ago.” Orwell says, the bite in her words indicative of the Skintalker’s wounded pride. “Dunno who it’s been sold to, but I’ve picked up some chatter about some teams getting assembled from overseas and talk of coordinates being bought for local Waystations. Suffice to say, we’ve got some parties interested in the fragment and willing to pay through the nose in Relics, biomass, and favors to get their hands on it…and from my initial research into the teams, they’re not the negotiating types.”“Think they’ll make a move on the Roost?”“Oh, most definitely. I’m keeping a close eye on the comings-and-goings, so they won’t catch us on our asses, but they’re also working off assumption, here. We may be able to hide the thing, or move it somewhere else. Or! Or—and this is just a thought—we could try and counter-bid.”“Pardon?”“Look, which holds more weight?” Orwell says wearily. “The coin of some Daughter who’s riding out the end of the world in a white tower, or the favor of the Defiant, Hunter of Gods, the woman who’s balls-deep in saving the world? You send out word that you’re willing to talk, and you bet your ass they’ll listen. The reasonable ones, anyway.”“Let’s tab that conversation ‘til after I brief everyone.” You say, feeling no small amount of trepidation at the prospect of teams being hired to invade your home…to say nothing of the prospect of trying to hash out some kind of deal with them. “Anything else I need to get up to speed on?”(Continued)
>>5177430“Well for one, Behemoth’s agitated.” The teen sighs again. “Every little fit and start of the Disassociated’s initial launch prep’s just pissed him off more by the minute. He hasn’t made any moves, but I’m guessing he may bum-rush the launch. I…I don’t even know where to start with that. Sure, they’ve got defenses in place, but this is an Apocalypse Amalgam we’re talking about. They weren’t counting on fending off something like that, and especially not when we’ve got eight hours and counting ‘til go-time.”Eight hours.Less than half a day to go, and you’re suddenly, keenly aware of the seconds that pass with every thump of your beating heart.“Shit…what about Leviathan?”“Not a peep. Just exploring the oceans, chatting it up with local traders. Talked recently to this girl who’s—get this—and entire fucking battleship. Crew and everything.” Orwell exclaims wearily. “Can’t make this shit up, my friend.”“And Ziz?” You ask, and you can almost hear the girl at the other end of the line cringe.“Uh, yeah…Ziz met up with West Alpha a little while ago. They’re checking out the ruins of a city pretty close to where you first woke up.”“Snowbird…” You gently correct, hearing the other girl make a small sound across the connection. “…and are the two of them alright?”“I’d have told you if they weren’t.” The Skintalker says, a sudden edge to her exhaustion. “But yeah, they seem to be getting along surprisingly well. There’s some distortion around the ruins, but they’re mostly just exploring. They’re one of, like…two dozen things I’ve got my fingers on the pulse of, but what I’ve just covered are the most pressing. Honestly, if this weren’t the Crucible, I’d have run outta fingers.”“I know it’s a lot, Orwell…and I appreciate it. All of it, and everything you do.”There’s a small, soft laugh that filters across the line, and with that, she says; “Then it’s worth it…look, I’ll let you catch everyone up, and I’m here if you need me.”Your second recap of the day sees you pacing back and forth behind the chair Dorian had crafted for you with the Roost’s master console, your family filling the seats that flank the long alabaster table.“Only eight hours.” Dorian murmurs, his seat opposite a very excited Amara.“ONLY EIGHT HOURS!” Your ward exclaims, her echo reverberating through the living room.“So if we’re assuming that Behemoth’s going to beeline for the rocket the second the DOs try and lift off, what’s our counter-play?” Gina asks as you finally settle into your chair and stare down the table. “We’ve got Ziz. Think we could pull in Leviathan, given how chatty Orwell said they are?”“That, or hit up Behemoth first.” Rath forwards, leaning back with her toned arms folded across her chest. “Keep the fighting away from the rocket, if it comes to that.”(Continued)
>>5177432“Wealsohavethefragmentuntestedasitmaybe.” Tinker Tailor quickly adds, vibrating beside Francine.“I’ll say this here and now; I am not comfortable bringing the fragment into combat without rigorous testing.” The good doctor counters, and Tailor’s hands quickly snap up to her defense.“OhIdonotmeantouseitoffensively. Onthecontrary; asafragmentoftheCrucible’screators, and thereforetheApocalypseAmalgams, itmayprovetobeusefulinsomeregard. I agreethatmoretestingwouldbeprudent, ofcourse.”“I know you and Rachel can do a lot in just a few hours…” November chimes in, choosing her words carefully as she leans forward on her elbows. “…but that might be cutting it a bit close, even for us. Shu, do you think Ziz would be willing to take u[p arms against what’s basically her brother?”“No! That’d be too mean!” Amara objects before you can open your mouth to reply. “Ziz is a sweetie! She wouldn’t hurt a fly!”You choose not to point out that Ziz is likely one of the strongest beings in the world that the Earth’s become, but Amara’s puppy-dog eyes drive the prospect even further into the corners of your mind…though it’s one you can’t afford to discount completely.“What’s perhaps even more pressing is the matter of the fragment.” Francine declares, locking eyes with you from her seat three chairs away. “Its dangers as well as its applications have the potential to be disastrous if it falls into the wrong hands. I understand it may take some time for them to assemble, but the last thing we need is to come to blows with Behemoth and leave the Roost undefended. The moment it’s seen that we’re directing our attentions elsewhere, they’re certain to make their move. It’s simple tactics.”“Orwell will keep us informed. If push comes to shove, then I’ll knock their asses down personally.” Rath firmly declares, before shifting uncomfortably in her seat. “Also, uh kind of off-topic, but...what’s this about some kinda warship girl? Actually, nah, that…that can wait.”The redhead immediately has to fend off a pointed and amused look from Gina, while you take a moment to glance across the room to where Merkabah’s remains rest not far from the Fuzzpit, staring at it as the multitude of options before you rattle against each other in your mind.>>Split your forces, and maybe pull in some favors; one team to defend the Roost, the other to venture out and confront Behemoth well before the launch.>>As much as Amara might be against it, you’re going to need Ziz’s advice, at the very least; reach out and learn all you can about her sibling, and test the waters of cooperation.>>Making sure you’re completely ready for whatever you decide takes precedence; so it’s time to stave off the Hunger [12 LEVEL-UP POINTS AVAILABLE].>>Ask Orwell something you’d like more clarification on, to make your decision a bit easier (Write-In).>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, with posting to resume in approximately three. I do hope your day is going well, one and all.)
>>5177436vote;>split into teams>Leave Tinker and Francine to study the Fragment, aswell as November and the Dream Team to help keep the place secure.>Have a Talk with Amara. You dont want to make Ziz fight, but it should be HIS choice what he is willing to help with or not, not yours by omitting him from the conversation. if nothing else, he may be able to help us talk to Leviathan, and regardless of how that goes Behemoth too. Send Dorian and Amara to talk to Ziz about the situation.>In the meantime, Call in the situation with Paloma and the Midnight Crew, and Julia and the Hyenas. You're hoping for the best, But Behmoth doesn't seem the most reasonable and you might need all hands on deck just to buy the Disassociated enough time to launch.>Once word on Ziz is back, with or without him, take Dorian and Gina to go speak with Leviathan, see if you cant get him to help, or at least offer advice.>>plan to try and give yourself a small window of 30 minutes to an hour to level up and do final preparations once its clear what all you're working with, and incase the most likely worse case happens with Behmoth.
>>5177436Well SHIT. There's a LOT happening at once here. We're gonna have to prioritize. Also Poor Orwell, she may be a trooper but I am very VERY certain that she's pushing herself to her stress point. I would like to raise a point/suggestion. We have Teams of Daughters who want to raid the roost for our shit with the Fragment as the big prize. The reason why it's valuable is because whatever information that Orwell scrubbed has left them bits and pieces that leaves them filling in the blanks to the Fragment's potential. They want to use it. So why don't we rob them of that value by using it first? It's pragmatic yes, it's morally dubious because of its eldritch and disruptive nature, but we're being pressed into a corner and we can't really afford to have a team of ambitious daughters who want to raid our shit, so why don't we rope them into the DO Defense? Move the Fragment, move the target location of our potential raiders. get them to congregate to a spot in the middle of Behemoth's warpath. That way, their objective will either be forced to step aside or fight alongside us should negotiations with Behemoth goes South. On that note, yes, I want to tap Ziz for advice on Behemoth, but we aren't going to have Ziz fight Behemoth. We should also try and contact Leviathan and get him squared away. Gather all the eggs and potential problems in one place so that we can get a handle on the bigger picture. I'm sure my idea will be shot down, but as well defended as the Roost is, I'm not particularly willing to take chances of fighting a war on 2 fronts.
>>5177436>Also, uh kind of off-topic, but...what’s this about some kinda warship girl? Actually, nah, that…that can wait.”Oh my god, Rath. Keep it in your pants. You and every tall girl with guns, I swear.>>5177468We might be able to waylay the Fragment hunters by pointing out that it's a complete unknown and that there's not even any clear sign it might be worth anything. Yeah, it does something weird. Does it do something weird that's useful? That can be harnessed safely? That's a complete unknown. It's actually advantageous for anyone who wants it to wait, at least for a while, because then all the work of figuring out what it does will have already been done, by us. Though I suppose that brings the risk that we might come up with a way to use it for our own purposes and make it harder to steal. Still, I think there's a cost-benefit analysis that makes waiting to steal it for at least a while a smart move.
>>5177468im not hard yes or hard no to that idea, but i certainly think we should look at other options first before doing that. It shouldn't actually be that hard to move it 'within time' should it really look like we need to do that, though im of course still unsure we even should. lots of ways that could go bad. the fragment itself just has the potential to get out of hand, especially in a chaotic environment. or someone could or could try and abuse the situation to just steal it while we're all stuck fighting Behemoth. that could also quickly cascade out of control if someone tried that too. least if its still in the roost anything like that isnt turning fighting Behemoth into a multi-pronged warzone. also, on that note... so far im wondering what the 'advantage' of this fragment is. so far they all seem to be able to be utilized in some way. sure, it could be this one is just 'too big and potent' to be, but actually that is semi questionable. its potent sure, and maybe more powerful than other ones we've seen, but its actually hard to tell due to the fact its actually so far seeming very limited compared to others. may seem weird to say that at first, but once you take into account it has a limited sphere of influence and once whatever it was interacting with is take out of that radius it loses all progress or alterations its done to/with the object, it actually makes it seems quite retrained in what it may actually be able to do long term to things in general.of course, we need much much more info and testing to be sure, but im just going off of what we have so far seen.
>>5177436Yeah >>5177459 sounds good. Though I think we should emphasize to Amara that we don't want Ziz to fight their sibling, because ideally there won't be any fighting at all. We'd much rather Ziz help us find a way to distract Behemoth or even talk them down than help us fight him. Fighting isn't a good end for any of us. If Ziz wants to fight Behemoth, sure, we'd welcome that, but Amara doesn't have to worry about us looking to cause a fight. That's the worst case scenario.Also, on the topic of level-ups, does anyone else want to try bartering with Nerada for a level of the Hive Halo? Because damn do I want that. She expressed interest in getting her own hands on another Halo, and while I'm not sure if I'd want to trade the Neurotic Halo I'd be fine with giving her a level of Calcite Halo. Or we could see if there's anything else we have that she wants.>>5177479I can think of a few potential uses for this Fragment. >FortressThe Fragment turned a piece of concrete into a whole evolving townscape. If you could control that so that the walls popping into existence didn't wind up crushing you, you could use the Fragment to build a really durable base that would be hard to either destroy or infiltrate.>ArmyIt created a ton of instant swarmlings from ours touching it, and Tailor hypothesized that given more time it would have started iterating new variants of them. Combine that with a high swarmling cap (someone with the Hive Halo could handle it) and you'd have a rapidly-mutating army of swarmlings with all sorts of powers.>Personal upgradesWe haven't tried it with a person, but I'd imagine that if they did touch it they'd wind up turning into a giant monster of some sort. That seems like the likely result of its replication and iteration processes combined with Daughter flesh. Their body expanding over and over again, mutating and changing. It would revert the moment they lost contact with the Fragment, but they could wind up encysting it inside their own body in the process. I'm not sure a Daughter would remain sane through the experience, but there's probably someone arrogant enough to assume they'll be able to keep control.
>>5177479>>5177475For all intents and purposes that we can gather as of now without further testing, the Fragment we unearthed is nothing more than the perfect photocopier with zero degradation issues upon creating a replication. The issue is the constraints of its properties and the fact that the Fragment hunters are working off of incomplete information due to Orwell's scrubbing on the skinternet. For all the Fragment hunters know they're working off of incomplete information. >>5177487>Bartering with Nerada for a halo level, we're gonna have to sacrifice 1 level up point. But if that's the case and the Fragment hunters are working off of incomplete information with scraps and pieces in hand, that means we control a vast majority of the information flow that comes out. We could essentially drip feed them information in exchange for cooling their jets and changing their mindset from wanting to raid our house to a wait-and-see approach, which could make them less hesitant on the idea of raiding based off of incomplete information and assumptions. Or it could horribly backfire and make them even more motivated given what you have thought-up for its utility.Yikes. This is what I pretty much don't want. >>5177439Hey Bhop. If we're gonna call Julia up for a favor, to aid us, do you have that Level-up sheet ready for her character sheet?Also I am dreading having to return from work to find the level-up voting session already in progress given my schedule.
>>5177493(She's got quite a backlog of level-ups, but if you decide for her to join you for game play, then Im planning for her level-up will be its own vote, separate from the regular vote given how big it will be.)(How does that sound to everyone?)
>>5177487well yeah, we dont want to fight, but we shouldn't be surprised if it happens.as for the Shard, the problem with the first two is the aforementioned limited range and instant reversion if something leaves its relatively small area, especially for the second one. its range of influence is at a pretty awkward size. big enough to be a problem and worry, but not big enough to utilize for a true area of effect, especially given the size of the thing for if you wanted to lug it around. ironically you would want it much bigger for a fight. really, its strangest feature honestly is just how so far confined its effects are to a specific area. within said area its potential seems utterly ridiculous but you take one inch outside that and it cant do or even keep hold of anything. its also interesting how even getting to the point of modifying the stone we threw it, the stone itself in a weird quantum way was unchanged and recoverable. im certainly interested to learn more about it, though its dubious if in this 8 hours we'll learn anything useful. doesn't hurt to try though.
>>5177497sounds good to me. guess we can have back-to-back level up sessions later possibly before the potential big fight.christ we might be more wound up than Behemoth is after that though.
>>5177487Hang on...if we're gonna talk about the potential of the Fragment and we know it's capable of replicating objects, with your idea of using the Fragment as something of a Keystone foundation for a Fortress idea, we could use the Fragment to fortify the roost and turn the raid into a slogging siege.Also, I have a hunch. If Ziz and Snowbird are also encountering a Fragment, then what's to say that they might also help in the defense in stopping pesky daughters from raiding the roost because we unearthed the same sort of thing that Ziz dreads?
>>5177499(Given how packed my work and personal schedule is, there will likely be some rest periods to give me time to recalibrate and for you all to recenter as well, since I don't necessarily want to throw everyone directly into a possible combat immediate on the heels of what's sure to be a hefty voting session.)
>>5177497Works for me. Julia's a bit of an outsider to the party at this point, giving her a separate voting cycle makes sense.>>5177493Yeah, it seems that everyone is just excited because it's a Fragment, and therefore potentially highly valuable, even without knowing what it is. Our attempt at information security may have actually made things worse in that regard, since if we're hiding it then it must be cool, right? Whoops.>>5177498Hmm, you're right, I misread the size of the effect. Though it may be controllable, adjust it to a bigger or smaller size. What I find interesting is that Shu notes that the mini-buildings look like they're non-Euclidean, which could mean that the Fragment warps the fabric of space around it. That might be useful in its own right, separate from the replication.>>5177502Maybe, but I'd want to know a lot more about what it does before we try. We probably won't have the chance to do it for a long while, if it's even possible.As for Ziz and Snowbird helping guard the Fragment, potentially. I think that Snowbird is a bit too nomadic for that, but Ziz might be open to it. Though we should see what Ziz has found, first. I'm not sure they've actually found a Fragment so much as evidence of it. I'm worried that whatever that doomsday Fragment is, it's in West Prime's hands now.
>>5177503fair enough.still wont change the immediate feelings right after that though, probably.that said, i am looking forward to seeing what options the Hyenas have shoved down Julias throat.
>>5177475>>5177436>Also, uh kind of off-topic, but...what’s this about some kinda warship girl? Actually, nah, that…that can wait.”>Oh my god, Rath. Keep it in your pants. You and every tall girl with guns, I swear.Wait until Sweet Potato Yamato fires her augmented Star-wave Cannon. Unlimited range, no damage cap. Visible from all parts of the horizon after accounting the curvature of the earth.Rath would be in the state of Chenobyl's Elephant foot if she witnesses it happening.
>>5177459>>5177436I would like to propose adding an amendment to the plan. Have Orwell make a general announcement in the skinternet that the Fragment is in containment and is currently being researched with information about the Fragment's properties being drip-fed into the skinternet to keep the Fragment hunters having second guesses in organizing a raid and more inclined to a wait-and-see approach. And have Orwell name-drop Shu's name to ensure that those who know our reputation will know we're trying to get to the bottom of this to ensure that the World is safe from other buried secrets and what not. That will leave the reasonable ones out while ensuring that the more..."violently inclined" ones isolated and more easily dealt with.
>>5177526>>5177505Any thoughts about the information drip-feeding idea to the plan? The more information that's out there, the more awareness people have, and more likely they will become inclined to keep each other in check instead of having us deal with a mob for being secretive.
>>5177530I'm not sure a general announcement would work. That could just draw more people seeking it. Maybe if we could find the specific Skinternet communities where people got these retrieval jobs from, and talk to them about it. For that matter, we might be able to find the people who put out the job listing. There's got to be some way to trace it back to them. Some sort of courier network?
>>5177533We could do that, but the problem is that the information's already out and the raiders are already mobilizing. But that's also a good idea. The question is whether or not the informants will keep the information to those raiders alone or whether they'll sell that information to other ambitious daughters will dirty morals. The power potential is in the middleman, the messenger, the informant.The other question is whether if we're able to contact the raiders and convince the reasonable ones to turn on the other less reasonable raiders.
>>5177526eh, im not for it. at the moment the hunters might not even know wholly who has it. its probably not the hardest thing to piece together, but only so much so. any confirmation on that is just asking to entice more to look for it via confirmation on it even existing, aswell as narrowing for sure who and where to look for it.Its just a big risk of backfiring and adding more to our plate when the plates already way overloaded as it is.i am still iffy on long term what to do with the thing and how much to say in general, but Behemoth is certainly complicating things had in the short term.
>>5177533Which basically loops back to Orwell's suggestion: raise a counter-bid to the reasonable raiders. Mobilizing them as mercs for hire might help, but their price tag will be steep if we go this route. We'll need something on hand that's valuable to offer them in exchange.
>>5177540>>5177533You raise good points. That said, once we've gotten the organization of the general next move the devil in the details we'll need to tackle are both how to deal with the raiders as well as managing Behemoth's potential warpath.>>5177436I'm rescinding my amendment proposal >>5177526
>>5177543(Understood, and thank you for letting me know!)
>>5177540That's a good point. We shouldn't go announcing we have this thing until we're sure that the information is already out there. At the moment, we've at least got some amount of secrecy. The ones who do know we have it are probably keeping that information to themselves to keep the competition down. We give an announcement, and they all do. So we'd need to know who knows, and I'm not sure how to do that without getting attacked in the first place. >>5177538>>5177542Though yeah, we should still see about Orwell's idea to counter-bid. We'd still need to do the recon to find out who's after us, though. Really, that's what it all comes down to, we don't know who wants the Fragment. Once we do, we can start discussing various strategies for stopping them. So that's got to be our first priority. Or our second, maybe, since they probably won't strike within eight hours and Behemoth will, so let's make them priority number two. We could put Paloma on it. She's a Skintalker, and she has expressed interest in helping us not get bogged down in various problems keeping us from advancing westward. Splitting that task off to her and her team would also take some pressure off of Orwell, and lord knows that girl could use it.
>>5177548just a side thought, but its an amusing-ish thought to think about how we might actually be on the poorer side of the Crucible despite our status and everything we have accomplished, just because in part we really haven't had a reason to think about the world-wide or even just he local Crucible Economy much. yet clearly both local and world-wide actually exists, and to some degree clearly to a pretty established level. some people probably have 1%er levels of hoarded biomass, relic, and favors by now.
>>5177554>poorer side>Mara literally gave us an inheritance of prime real estate, 2 heirloom level relics and a CLEAN Sparagmos Engine.>a T-5 Forge Core>Personal connections with an Apocalypse Amalgam>Skintalker celebrity status with 24/7 press coverage and censorship services by OrwellOther daughters be looking at our material and social wealth be like: HOW IS DIS BITCH CONSIDERED POOR?
>>5177554>>5177556We're your classic adventuring party murderhobos. We're not rich in the conventional sense, but that's just because all our wealth is tied up in assets that make us good at traveling the land fighting monsters. If you account for those, we're billionaires.
>>5177556well yeah but in terms of economic status alot of that we couldn't really afford to trade, making it useless for bartering. others are dubious how much we would trust to bring out or let someone close enough to use. others still would be hard to actually make use of connection wise, and our celebrity status while usable has arguably gotten so high its also a detriment to the whole thing aswell. >>5177557yeah, kinda this. it does depend on how you look at it, but as i said in terms of actual 'economy' in terms of actually 'cashing out' or 'trading' we're actually lacking is the thing.
>>5177559>>5177557So you're saying we're poor in liquidity. I bet Mara would be laughing her ass off seeing Shu internally struggle with economics. Which makes this harder for us to barter with Nerada for that Hive Halo, but on the flipside, not having that halo means we won't have Nerada's keystone weakness of being obliterated by anti-construct abilities.
And it's time for me to leave for work. I'll see you in 6 hours or so.
>>5177563I mean, Nerada's a murderhobo, too, so we can probably barter. But yes, our liquid assets are meager. >>5177566Have a nice day, anon. See you later.
>>5177557>>5177559>Shu>A MurderhoboObjection: Shu has a HOUSE. That does not make her a hobo.
>>5177571yeah but murderresponsiblehomeowner doesn't roll off the tongue as well.
>>5177436“We’ll split into teams.” You announce, shifting our focus back to those present before you. “Tinker Tailor and Francine, I’d like you both to stay here and research the fragment a thoroughly as possible. November, stay here with B’ni, Uzu, Holly, and Johanna—you’ll be our shield against anyone dumb enough to think the Roost is an easy target.”“Nobody’s getting through us, chief. Nobody.” Swaggers Johanna, leading the rest of the Dream Team over to the table from where they’d holed up in their room.“That’s what I like to hear, solider.” November replies with an audible grin, returning Johanna’s stiff salute when it’s offered.“After we finish things here, I’m going to give our collected allies a rundown of where things stand and what we’re up against.” You continue, surveying the table. “Paloma, the Midnight Crew…Julia and the Hyenas, too, of course. I’m hoping for the best, but given what we know of Behemoth? He doesn’t seem to be the most reasonable of the three, so we need all hands on deck with this one. That being said…”Your gaze finally settles on the youngest among you, with Amara’s two-tone eyes going wide at the seriousness of your tone. Normally, you’d have taken her aside to have this sort of conversation, but time and delicacy aren’t luxuries you can afford right now.Not with urgency carving away at your time by the seconds.“Amara, I’m glad you said what you did. I don’t want to make Ziz fight, but it would ultimately be Ziz’s decision to help us or not. Just like you want to be included, I want Ziz to be included in a discussion that involves their sibling. Does that sound fair?”She nods emphatically, clearly put at ease by your reticence to pull the thunderbird into a conversation instead of a conflict. “Alright. If nothing else, Ziz may be able to help us talk to Leviathan and figure out where the last of the three stands…or swims, as the case may be. To that end, I’d like for you and Dorian to go have a talk with Ziz, and Snowbird too, if she’s present. Brief them on the situation as it stands, then report back here.”Then, to Dorian; “Once you’re back, I’d like for you to accompany me and Gina—the three of us are going to pay Leviathan a visit.”Dismissing the meeting, your family members busy themselves with the necessary preparations while you step away to stand before the massive windows that open down upon the Rusted Town below, and across the rolling fields raw muscle that stretch as far as your eyes will allow. A pair of swarmlings scramble forth from your hive, the helmet of the Chitinous Stalwart armor clamping around your head to grant you a measure of privacy for the conference call you’re about to undertake.(Continued)
>>5177598“Julia, Paloma, Jackie—can everyone here and be heard?”“Loud and c-clear, Shu!” Julia’s bright voice announces, a sound for sore ears with all the bad news going about. “I’ve got Ivey and Andromeda here t-too, if that’s okay?”“Of course. We need all the help we can get.”“Then you’ll be pleased to hear Jackie and I are present, and not just us!” Paloma announces, her tone of voice betraying an easy comfort with a conference of this sort. “Magnus is here, as well.”“A pleasure once again, Defiant.” The young man’s voice reverbs across the line. Your third summary is precise and to the point, a silver lining of having to retell the same dire situation several times over.“Christ, you just can’t help punching up, can you Defiant?” Ivey purrs across the line, her tone somewhere between disbelief and admiration.“Don’t let Rath hear this, but I’d like to keep the punching to a minimum.” You say, heaving a sigh. “Behemoth’s not a thing I’m interested in trading blows with.”“Of course…but I and my family will be in your corner to trade blows with the best of them.” Magnus intones. “It would make a fine reprieve from the issues that’ve cropped up here.”“Issues?” You interject with a scowl.“There’s a…situation…that Em and I have been keeping an eye on for the past few weeks. One that Magnus just shed some much-needed light on.” Paloma explains hesitantly, before shifting focus back to the matter at hand. “It’s waited this long, in any case; what matters now is what you’re staring down the barrel of. I can afford to step away here with Magnus and Em, along with a personal selection of the Fortress’s guard.”“Laoc’s in good shape, thanks to Julia whipping it into order.” Ivey informs you, her words curled around her ever-present cigarette. “They can hold down the fort, Shu—you’ve got me and the rest of the Hyenas wherever you need us.”“As for me and mine, do you even have to ask?” Jackie grins, and you can practically feel her single eye staring you down across the miles of distance…but you still turn at the feeling of a gaze set on the back of your neck. A shadow slips back into the depths of Amara’s room, and you’re reminded that Nerada’s been conspicuously absent for as long as you’ve been present.Honestly? You’re a little surprised that she’s still hanging around, given everything that happened before and after you fought Merkabah.>>Bide your time with your own preparations until news from Dorian and Amara reaches your ears. You’ve no time to waste.>>Ask Paloma and Magnus for an explanation of what ‘issue’ has cropped up at the Ikean Fortress—in for a penny, in for a pound.>>Check in on Nerada—none of the plans you’ve made up to this point have factored her in, so see what she’s up to.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM, Eastern time. Thank you for your continued patience, participation, and enthusiasm, and I wish you a restful evening.)
>>5177601>>Check in on Nerada—none of the plans you’ve made up to this point have factored her in, so see what she’s up to.I think it's worth asking her what she wants to do, before we start moving on anything. She can hang around if she wants, I don't have a problem with that, but I don't know what she actually wants.
>>5177603Thanks for running, BHOP. See you tomorrow.
>>5177601vote;>Check in on Nerada—none of the plans you’ve made up to this point have factored her in, so see what she’s up to.not sure what exactly to ask so ill leave it to BHOP. probably just a general 'how are you doing', 'sorry things kinda got out of hand real quickly', and 'if you want no part in it, nows the time to bail, but you're welcome to stay.'or something.>>5177603thanks for running.
>>5177603(Also, I will say the first option is essentially a 'fast-forward' to receiving news of how Amara and Dorian's conversation with Ziz went, since leaving to meet with Leviathan alongside Dorian and Gina was part of the last vote that won, so I'm still following that narrative track.)(Just a head's up, since I wanted to make that clear.)
>>5177566(Goodness, I didn't even see this the first time around. By the time you read this, I hope you had a pleasant day at work!)>>5177625>>5177615(With players like you all? It's a pleasure. Rest well, and I hope you have a good morning.)
>>5177601>>Check in on Nerada—none of the plans you’ve made up to this point have factored her in, so see what she’s up to.Ask her what she wants to do. If she is willing to help us, that would be great, but no hard feelings if she doesn't.
>>5177601It takes you a few minutes more to wrap up the logistics with the Daughters on call, waving goodbye to Dorian and Amara before they set off on their appointed task just as Paloma gets an idea.“Oh oh oh! You said you were going out to meet Leviathan, right? So you’ll need a boat!”The Skintalker exclaims suddenly. “I heard the ship that made contact with Leviathan recently is docked for the next few hours after dropping off her passengers, and I just so happen to have the coordinates to a Waystation that’ll put you right next to the port.”“I’ll keep that in mind, thanks. If you could shoot that info over to Orwell, I’d appreciate it…” You say your helmet splitting sling the sides as the front half skitters back into your spine. “...and I think that just about covers everything for right now. If anyone runs into any issues, you know where to reach me.”With that, the swarmling that is the back half of your helmet disengages, slipping back between your shoulders as you make your way over to Amara’s room, the door already cracked open an inch or two. Giving the door a gentle knock, there’s a small sound from inside…it doesn't sound like ‘go-away, so you take your chances and enter.It’s changed since the last time you were here, last. Gone are the toys and sketches that littered the floor, replaced with a scattering of rugs with wildly different shapes and designs. Seems like she’s been having a go at the Forge, given the designs on display—and it doesn't end at the floor. No, the shelves on either side of the room hang with accountements you’ve never seen Amara wear, seemingly tossed about to be admired by their creator’s own roving eye. Glancing about the space, you think you even catch echoes of Julia and Dorian’s own artistic stylings, mirrored by your little one’s perceptive eye. Your heart aches to see evidence of Amara testing out a set of skills that aren’t on the battlefield.A girl trying to find herself, at the end of the world.And there, at the foot of your little girl’s bed……a shadow that doesn’t quite belong.“How’re you holding up after everything with Merkabah?” You ask, your opener apparently catching Amara’s guest off her guard.“Uh…fine, I guess?” The young girl stammers, feet dangling off the edge of the bed. “I’ve fought tougher. A lot tougher.”“I’m sure you have, but you helped us all the same. I appreciate that.” You continue with an earnest smile…one that quickly runs away from your face, once you see just how uncomfortable the expression’s made the girl before you. “Sorry if we’ve kept you. To be honest, I’m surprised you didn’t excuse yourself when you got the chance.”(Continued)
>>5178397She shrugs, tapping her heels on the foot of the bed, just barely scraping the carpet. “It’s been crazy. I haven’t even gotten the chance to say anything to Amara before you sent her out with Mister Dorian.”Nerada finally makes eye contact for the first time since you’ve set foot in the room as she asks, “Is it always this busy?”You can’t help but laugh a little at that.“Sorry, I don’t mean to-...yes, it usually is.” You admit, gesturing to one corner of the bed. “Mind if I?”Nerada shrugs again, mumbling something about it ‘not being her room’ as you take a seat far from the moody Hive Mistress. You’re about to open your mouth to make the small talk that’ll get you closer to whatever it is that’s on Nerada’s mind when she mercifully saves you the trouble.“Why aren’t you mad?!” She demands suddenly, rounding on you with a knitted brow and accusing eyes. “Why aren’t you yelling?!”“...I’m not a fan of yelling. Puts everyone on edge, mostly.” You admit, keeping calm in the face of the younger girl’s preteen fury. “Makes it hard to hear, and be heard.”“But I-...you…you’re so weird!” She fires back, and this time it’s your turn to shrug.“So I’ve been told.”“Look, just…if you want something, just ask! I don’t like this…thing…you’re doing.” She growls, the edges of her form giving way to lashing tendrils of living shadow. “Just tell me what you want and we’ll be even! You’ll never have to see me again, just…”“You’d leave Amara without giving her a proper goodbye?” You pointedly ask, and Nerada winces.“She’s…she’ll be fine without me. I just want to end whatever *this* is.” She grumbles gesturing to…all of you, actually. “Just tell me what you want.”“What makes you think I want something from you, Nerada?”Her eyes narrow, and one shimmers with an emerald light……a Halo’s light.“Because everyone wants something.” She coldly replies. “And sooner or later, they try and take it.”>>Maybe a trade would be in order; a copy of her Hive Mistress Halo in exchange for something of yours, perhaps?>>FIght by your side if you come to blows with Behemoth—after that, she’s free to do whatever she pleases.>>You don’t want anything from this girl, except for her to know that trust can’t be bought. It has to be earned.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to likely resume later today at 4:00PM, Eastern time. Works cropped up with some errands I need to run, so I'll likely be on the road most of today. I hope your own day is going well, and take care!)
>>5178398vote;>You don’t want anything from this girl, except for her to know that trust can’t be bought. It has to be earned.>"All i came here to do was make sure you're ok, and yes, out of a bout of curiosity about why you had stuck around.">"help or dont help. stay or dont stay. You've done more than we could ask of you and helping with Behemoth isnt something you're obligated to do. If you stay, people will appreciate it. if you leave, no one will blame you...">"...though if you do so without saying goodbye to Amara, I cant say Ww wont hold a small grudge over that." finish with a wink, to let her know you're mostly not serious about that. mostly.>get up and shrug. "The only one making mutual trust here difficult is you. Im sorry you went through whatever you did to make you so untrusting and only see the worst in people, but i cant help the unwilling, and as much as im willing to lend an ear, i also sadly dont have the time to try and convince you to talk about it. whatever you decide though, take your time, here or out with us, we're fine with either."im fine with a bit of rewording or such, but this at least gets my basic thoughts down and out.
>>5178398Blerg, late response since I've been away from a computer for most of the day, so past the voting point, but supporting >>5178416 anyway.
>>5178652Oh, something I would add if it's okay, though: We should ask Nerada if she wants to join the level-up meal. She does deserve a share of the food, since she helped fight the Merkabah, and if she feels comfortable eating with us she's welcome to.
(Will be updating shortly, everyone. Work has me a little behind.)
>>5178398"All I came here to do was make sure you're okay." You explain, voice level. "And yes, out of a bout of curiosity about why you had stuck around."Her furrowed brow deepens for a moment before she relaxes, just a hair. Her suspicions abated for now, you breathe out a sigh. "Look, Nerada - help or don't help. Say or don't stay. You've done more than we could ask of you and helping with Behemoth isn't something you're obligated to do. If you stay, people will appreciate it. If you leave, no one will blame you..."Her eyes search yours for a moment before you add; "...though if you do so without saying goodbye to Amara, I can't say we won't hold a small grudge over that."You finish with a wink, hoping to let her know you're not too serious.Mostly.“Can I be bluntly honest with you, for a sec?” You ask, rising to your feet as you watch Nerada do the same.“I’d prefer it.” She replies coolly."The only one making mutual trust here difficult is you." You begin. “I am sorry for whatever you went through to make you so untrusting and only see the worst in people, but I can’t help the unwilling, and as much as I’m willing to lend an ear, I also sadly dont have the time to try and convince you to talk about it. Whatever you decide though, take your time, here or out with us, we're fine with either."Nerada’s quiet, mulling over your words for a few moments until-“Amara feels guilty about Ziz. Something that happened right before I say you both at the Waystation.” She says as she glances about the room, eyes roving across everything but you. “If Behemoth’s a dick, then I fear she might hold back because of her interaction with Ziz, so…”“…So?” You prompt.“I’ll help her as far as Behemoth. Whichever way that goes, then I’m out.”“Fair enough.” You shrug, making your way to the door. “I appreciate the help…and I know Amara appreciates the company.”You close the door behind you when she fails to reply, and you’re just in time to see a colossal shadow sweep across the fleshscape that’s just outside your living room windows. The crystalline panes shudder from the gale-force winds kicked up by the wing beats of a tremendous beast, its feathers shrouding the land from sight as it comes to rest atop the mountains you call your home.You’ve never been happier to see something that could probably kill you in one hit.(Continued)
>>5178749A few seconds after Ziz’s landing both Dorian and Amara appear from the living room stairwell, your little one bounding across the space and leaping into your arms before Dorian can so much as open his mouth to tell you the good news.“Ziz says she’ll help with Behemoth!” Amara exclaims, unable to help herself as Dorian fixes her with an amused smile. “She really doesn’t want to fight him, but she’s willing to protect us if he gets super mad!”“Snowbird is willing to assist as well, and even accompanied us back here…but there’s a bit of a snag.” Dorian interrupts, his amusement at Amara’ enthusiasm supplanted by the face of a man about to deliver yet more bad news. “Ziz and Snowbird unearthed another fragment in the city they were investigating. Thankfully, there are already significant measures in place to not only suppress its influence but also hide it from Skintalker or Neuromantic perception.”“Lovely. Who do we have to thank for that small miracle?” You say, appreciative of at least some silver lining to be found in the shit-show that is today.“…I don’t think you’ll be thanking the party responsible anytime soon.” Dorian grimaces. “It was West Prime. Apparently she had a Proxy out that way studying the fragment.”“Shit. Well, at least if it’s still there, then at least Prime didn’t integrate it before she started to climb the Cord.” You reply with a groan, massaging your temples as you clutch at that silver lining, slightly frayed.“Hey! Back so soon?” Gina greets as she strides forth from the Forgeroom, alabaster armor peeking out from the sleeves of her hoodie. “I’m ready to head out when you two are!”>>Ride Ziz out to meet with Leviathan—you could use the ride, and having Ziz by your side might help give you some level speaking ground the other Amalgam.>>Use the coordinates Paloma gave you and commission a ship to ferry you to Leviathan. It’d be a shame not to take the Skintalker up on her offer.>>See if you can’t tap Orwell for Waystation coordinates close to Leviathan’s current location. Time’s of the essence, and any seconds you can shave off means more bandwidth to address the Behemoth situation.>>Before you leave, you’d like to make sure everyone is well-fed and at the top of their game…you don’t want to take any chances with Ziz’s siblings [Initiate LEVEL-UP VOTE at start of next update, when Julia arrives at the Roost].>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM, Eastern time. Thank you all for your time, patience, and participation, and I wish you a good evening.)
(Also, as an aside; I'm more than happy to coordinate the level-up vote around everyone's schedules as best I can. When it comes time just let me know, and I'll shift it around so that everyone has ample time.)
>>5178752vote;>Use the coordinates Paloma gave you and commission a ship to ferry you to Leviathan. It’d be a shame not to take the Skintalker up on her offer.>>See if Ziz thinks his presence would help convince Leviathan to help, and ask even if he doesn't think hes necessary for the conversation if he wants to stay close by just in case.i mean, closer coordinates wont matter if we cant get out onto the ocean to meet them.
>>5178755Suffice to say, I wish I could spend the day with a clean conscience and type away at the Sathriel short story with aplomb but "certain events across the globe" have sent me into a state of heightened anxiety. Atop ruining the mood of birthday for someone close to me.>Use the coordinates Paloma gave you and commission a ship to ferry you to Leviathan. It’d be a shame not to take the Skintalker up on her offer.Time to meet Yamato in-person.>>5178758Heading out for work soon, I'll have to say that leaving the level up vote open during the weekend or even on Tuesday works best for me. If the schedule and timing of the update happens on a weekday, then keeping the vote open overnight would work.
>>5178764(I wish your friend the best in these trying times. I hope you have a good evening at work, as well!)
>>5178752Can Ziz use the waystations, or are he/she/they (Ziz's pronouns keep changing with each speaker, I'm not sure what they actually prefer themselves) just too big to access them? It's not a super important issue, I'm just wondering. Could make things a bit easier.>>Use the coordinates Paloma gave you and commission a ship to ferry you to Leviathan. It’d be a shame not to take the Skintalker up on her offer.>>Write-In>Ask Ziz if they think their presence would help us speak with Leviathan, and if they'd be willing to help there as well. Even if it's just as an evacuation if negotiations go sour. >Also, ask Ziz for information on their aquatic sibling. What do they value, how do they respond to danger, what's their stance on the Crucible, etc.>>5178758Weekend level-ups work for me, if that's best for >>5178764 schedule.>>5178764Yeah, I get that, anon. It's a stressful time right now. I hope your friend is alright.
(Just as a heads-up everyone; I'll likely have to pause here over the weekend due to a life event that's going to require my full attention to put to bed. Thus, I wanted to extend an offer; would you like to open a devoted level-up vote at end of day tomorrow for the family sans Julia and extending over the weekend?)(You've more than enough on your plate to easily shift the general family level vote to late next Friday instead, but I wanted to float the idea by everyone to see how you felt.)(Thank you for bearing with me, One and All.)>>5178777(Ziz will settle on 'she', eventually. And while Ziz cannot use the Waystations she's very capable of breaking the sound barrier.)
>>5178873Ah, I'm sorry to hear that something's come up. I hope it doesn't cause too much trouble for you.And yeah, opening the vote tomorrow night and extending it over the weekend works for me. But if people want to put it until next week that's also fine.>Ziz will settle on 'she', eventually. And while Ziz cannot use the Waystations she's very capable of breaking the sound barrier.Alright, good to hear that she can keep up, regardless.
>>5178886You know what, that was actually a pretty noncommittal answer of me. Sorry. I'm going to say that I would like to do the level-up vote sooner. Get it out of the way, so that we're not doing it right before we have a confrontation with Behemoth. Granted, doing it right before having a confrontation with Leviathan is also a bit momentum-draining, but I think it's less so since talking with Leviathan is still part of the preparation stage, albeit a very dramatic preparation.
>>5178873Level-up vote at the end of the day tomorrow for the family sans Julia and extending over the weekend works for me. Plenty of time and opportunity to get things squared away.
>>5178873OP what's the system for Body Horror Quest?
>>5179123(It's a heavily-bastardized version of Nechronicha with a few sub-systems worked in for Relics, the Skintalker Lexicon, and the like. It's a mess, but I've had fun with it thus far.)
>>5178993>>5178914>>5178886(Okay, I'll do that, then. I'll establish a proper start time when I wake up tomorrow and have a better idea of what staring down the barrel of.)
Hey BHOP, here's another song that I suspect could be related/sung by the three apocalypse amalgams:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyNrZwDOh14
I just realized two important things:Firstly, we didn't assign Rath a role. Should we bring her with us to meet Leviathan, let her ride the boat-girl like she wants (not like that, Rath, get your mind out of the gutter)? Amara needs an assignment too, actually, since she's back from meeting Ziz. I guess she can be our Ziz coordinator, hang out with her bird pal.On the other topic of coordination...do the Dissociated actually know that we're working on a way to help them? I'm not sure we've told them. We should probably send them a message to that regard, so they're not surprised by Ziz and Leviathan showing up and panic even more than Behemoth is making them. Plus, our attempts will work better if we know what they're planning and can work with them instead of at cross purposes.
>>5178873>>5179149whoops, missed this.kinda probably prefer to push the vote til next friday myself, but looks like most prefer otherwise.
>>5179370(It's perfectly fine, since I left no concrete voting times intentionally.)
(I'll be posting the level-up list and blurb announcing it at 5:00PM, Eastern time. I look forward to seeing you all there!)
>>5179296I think we should have Rath ride the boat-girl and phrase it exactly like that when we tell her her assignment.
>>5179398I'll see the update in around 6 hours give or take. Take care bhop. >>5179533Man, it feels like Rath is just that much of a tomboy that it wouldn't make a difference if Rath was actually a boy.
>>5178752“Paloma gave us coordinates to a dock where we may be able to commission the Daughter Leviathan met recently. It’d be nice to have an ‘in’.” You say to Gina, though given your Neuromantic link she’s already nodding along before you’re even halfway through your sentence.“You wanna talk to Ziz before heading out, maybe get a rundown on what to expect from Leviathan?” She asks, following your train of thought as you glance out the window, the thunderbird’s shadow looming large across the rusted shacks below.“From what little Ziz alluded to on the way over here, it sounds like we can expect a fair amount of condescension.” Dorian informs you, frowning. “Though if you happen to be 'intriguing', then you'll have an easier time of things."“Oh, I don’t think we’ll have any problem—Shu’s plenty intriguing.” GG replies, shooting you a wink as the young man beside you laughs.“A fair point…ah, and before I forget.” He says, suddenly remembering something as he retrieves a trio of Relics from his jacket. “These are for us, courtesy of Snowbird.”>>STASIS WOMB (Empty): A close cousin of the Goregrowth Box, this translucent orb filled with topaz-hued liquid can be filled with a single ability from a vanquished foe, allowing the user to hold onto a given ability until the time is right. The ability inside is held until a level-up point is used to retrieve it at a later date, and multiple level-up points may be infused into the WOMB to acquire the ability within in a leveled-up state. (Any Slot; After a combat in which the STASIS WOMB was equipped for, the stats of the ability inside are slightly boosted upon acquisition. This effect stacks.)>>ADRENAL NAIL x2: The gruesome result of refining a Daughter down to a Relic, a feat possible with a Tier 5 Forge, one may embed this stake into one's body. Doing so allows the user vastly increased strength and speed, increasing their melee damage output by 10% and increasing their default movement range by one zone at the cost of reducing HEALTH REGEN by half. One of the simplest Relics to manufacture, embedding multiple nails into one's body results in a multiplicative effect rather than an additive one. (Any Slot: HEALTH +100%, DMG+, MOVE ACT +1 Zone, HEALTH REGEN penalty negated.)“So, what now?” Dorian asks as you examine the Relics in hand.“Now?” You say, turning to Merkabah’s remains.“…we do what we must.”!-NEW LEXION WORDS ACQUIRED-!>>FIR (BIO-10% *2): A term for passion, rage, and raw emotion, this word carries the power of HEAT, imbuing the target’s attacks with the element and granting one level of resistance to it, as well.>>ZIO (BIO-10%, *2): A term for alacrity, wit, and decisive action, this word carries the power of ELEC, imbuing the target’s attacks with the element and granting one level of resistance to it, as well.(Continued)
>>5179566[[[ FAMILY LEVEL-UP ]]][12 LEVEL-UP POINTS AVAILABLE]>>VERBUM PRAVUIL (Skintalker CORE, Lvl 1 of 10): LEXICON OF FLESH unlocked. Should a Skintalker absorb this power, they may elect five new favored words, and every word they possess in their Lexicon has its efficacy raised by two levels. Otherwise, they take the common starting Lexicon, though they may choose to copy the Lexicon of an allied Skintalker upon taking this ability, along with their power tiers and ‘favored’ status. (HEALTH +400%, BIO 600%, ACT +1)>>KALKYDRA’S MIGHT (Flesh Artisan CORE, Lvl 1 of 10): An extension of the user’s physical prowess, the range of the user’s physical damage is increased by 1 ZONE. This extension applies to damage inflicted by the user’s other skill trees and Relics. By default the user is reduced to their bare hands and feet to deal BLUDGEONING damage, but this rather simple power is fated to take a rather unusual turn. (HEALTH +500%, BIO +500%, HEALTH REGEN +250%)>>LIGHT OF YAHOEL (Generator CORE, Lvl 1 of 10): For 100% BIO, the user may emit a long-range blast of MODERATE RADIANT damage. Automatically destroys the first construct it passes through, reducing further damage to MINOR. (HEALTH +200%, BIO +600%, BIO REGEN +300%)>>POPULI MEMORIA (Phantasmal Conduit, Lvl 1 of 5): For 300% BIO, the user may summon the echoes of the Daughters that died in the current location, granted Phantasmal construct bodies from the surrounding terrain that boast HIGH HEALTH and are capable of inflicting MINOR damage dependent on the terrain’s element. (BIO +300%, BIO REGEN +100%>>VOICE OF BABEL (Skintalker Augment): Words in the speaker’s Lexicon are obscured from those that are unfamiliar with them, and are significantly more difficult to counter. (HEALTH REGEN +100%, BIO REGEN +100%)>>PURITY OF FORM (Flesh Artisan Augment): Clear 2 random status effects at end of round. (HEALTH +300%, HEALTH REGEN +100%)>>GODHAND (Flesh Artisan Augment): When using Flesh Artisan abilities or Relics to inflict melee damage, increase the damage dealt by TWO STAGES. (HEALTH +200%)>>COVENANT’S REBUKE (Flesh Artisan Augment): The first melee attempt/turn by foes to reveal any information about you is countered, inflicting two random status ailments and SEVERE PIERCING DAMAGE. Techniques that do not require physical contact are immune from this counter. (HEALTH REGEN +250%)>>ANNIHILATION’S MARK (Generator Augment): 1/turn, the first time a Generator-type skill’s damage would be reduced, avoided, countered, or mitigated, it instead is an automatic hit. (BIO +200%)>>ECHO’S EDIFICE (Phantasmal Conduit Augment): Phantasmal constructs under your control gain +1 RESISTANCE against ALL DAMAGE types, and +1 PROFICIENCY in ALL DAMAGE types. (BIO +200%, BIO REGEN +200%)YOU ARE IN CONTROL
(A note; Julia will have access to the above list in addition to her own Laoc-dependent list for when it's time to level her, and her pool of level-up points also includes a share from Merkabah, so no worries about having to factor her in to this vote.)(Voting shall remain open until Sunday, 5PM Eastern time, but if for some reason everyone needs more time then I’m flexible. Let me know if you have any questions regarding the level-up options or anything else during the voting process. I can’t promise I’ll be quick in answering, but I’ll do my best not to keep you waiting.)(Posting is set to resume on Tuesday, March 1st at 10AM, Eastern time, and wish you all a very pleasant weekend.)
>>5179567well its easy to just assign everyone 2 points each.grah, im reaaaally not in the mood for this, and am wholly unsure ill have time even with an extension for our usual talks, but its too important to not vote on. so im tossing out my vote and im just leaving it at that, sorry. Vote;SHU;>Murderous Flock>Spiritus Ex TestaGINA;>Neuotic Halo>Nervous TorrentRATH;>Vulcans Hand>Tormented DriveAMARA;>Queen Crimson>Joyous ManyFRANCINE;>Gatlings Fang>Crations StringsDORIAN;>Spring Heeled Jack>Accumulated ChargeI am WHOLLY uninterested in the pain of trying to haggle around trading or taking new abilities. we got plenty, our builds are fine, until we consolidate things we dont need more, and lord knows if we dont start trying to level things we'll never get them anywhere at this point.
>>5179566Ooh, new Lexicon words. Amara's got the classic heat/cold/electricity trio, now, on top of her radiant damage. Lovely.The Stasis Womb has potential, too, hold on to an ability that we want but that we can't justify taking at that point. >>5179567Verbum Pravuil is an obvious boost to Amara, or potentially giving someone else Skintalking as a backup caster. Then again, with her clones, Amara can be a lot of backup casters at once. Kalkydra's Might could be worth putting on Rath. Just on its own, it's a big boost to her Health and regen, and the passive range-extension would be handy. And while it's not clear what the "rather unusual turn" is, I think it probably would be something that works for Rath. "Kalkydra" means "bronze hydra", and it's a monster associated with the sun. It could wind up synergizing really well with either Indignant Ignition or Phantom Limb. But I admit that's supposition.Light of Yahoel I can take or leave. Render it down to stat boosts if we've got nothing better to do with a spare point, but that's it.Populi Memoria doesn't appeal to me. We've got better abilities for spamming weak minions, and it's a bit existentially hinky if it acts like the Merkabah's does. Not our style.Voice of Babel is something that Amara already has. Unless we're getting another Skintalker, hard pass. Even then, probably still pass.Purity of Form is useful due to how devastating status effects can be, though now that Francine has some phlegmatic abilities she can clear it. Good if we want backup for when our healer is otherwise occupied, other than that probably not worth the level.Godhand has the potential to be incredible on Dorian on Julia, with how many Flesh Artisan-type attacks they do per round. Anyone else, pass.Covenant's Rebuke is super specific, only applying to instances where people are trying to touch us to learn about us. Not worth it, in my mind.Annihilation's Mark is neat, I guess. But we'd really only put it on Rath, our primary Generator damage-dealer, and she's already got abilities to defeat mitigation.Echo's Edifice would be a nice buff to the Dream Team, but I'm not sure it's worth a level.>>5179581Would you be open to stashing an ability in the Stasis Womb for some hypothetical probably-nonexistant day when we do have points to put into new toys instead of finishing our existing trees? Because that Kalkydra's Might has me tempted, even if we never actually get around to leveling it I'd like to hang onto it.
>>5179581Oh, also, why Murderous Flock on Shu? If we're going to invest in Hive Mistress stuff I'd rather work at finishing off Trypophilic Hive. We're close to getting Queens, from the old preview we got of our skill tree those should be pretty strong.
>>5179567SHU;>Trypophilic Hive>Spiritus Ex TestaGINA;>Neuotic Halo>Nervous TorrentRATH;>Vulcans Hand>Tormented DriveAMARA;>Queen Crimson>Joyous ManyFRANCINE;>Gatlings Fang>Crations StringsDORIAN;>Spring Heeled Jack>Accumulated Charge>>5179581I have to say i nearly completely agree with you. There is nothing in there that would be of vital importance. While it would be hilarious to take the Skintalker Core reduce it for two Acts it is not really worth it to just take it like an augment. And while the augments are pretty good non of them do anything that we do not already have acess to outside of that REBUKE.... and how often did that come up. Getting up close to find the weakness is probably never the preferred method of gathering intel. I do however believe that it would be more useful to finish off the Hive Street since we are nearly there already and i do not want to know what other goodies are hidden up there in that Skill Tree.
>>5179584i honestly just skimmed over what that even does.but re-reading it, all i can say right now is, it doesn't take a level-up point to use, and am honestly indifferent to it, so sure go ahead. i wont vote for or against its use here, though i can certainly see it helping as 'goodies' being able to be saved certainly makes losing out on things feel less harsh, even if its only one thing.>>5179585cause i want to see where it goes and if it'll be useful, even if just as a hybrid part, instead of just being a "trophy" ability.though just having extra swarmlings from it is technically useful enough, but you get what i mean.im not worried about Hive. its more than fine where it is for one or two sessions, we'll level it plenty later.
>>5179595>>5179585eh, i get the argument and i wont be upset if Hive wins out, i just like the idea of giving Shu both more Constructs and murder crows, as crows are great and can only end up greater with the intellect augment. as if the bastards werent smart enough naturally.I do get its not the most important for her build but ironically with Hive getting close to done it actually does sorta become useful if only for adding to the swarm, even if of a wholly different type.
>>5179593>>5179598whoops, meant this for you, not myself.
>>5179595>but re-reading it, all i can say right now is, it doesn't take a level-up point to use, and am honestly indifferent to it, so sure go ahead. i wont vote for or against its use here, though i can certainly see it helping as 'goodies' being able to be saved certainly makes losing out on things feel less harsh, even if its only one thing.Yeah, one of my big regrets is how many cool powers we've had to pass over just because we've got stuff on our plate to finish first. The Stasis Womb at least lets us take a bit of the menu with us to future meals.>cause i want to see where it goes and if it'll be useful, even if just as a hybrid part, instead of just being a "trophy" ability.Fair enough. I get that desire, I think that Murderous Flock has some neat potential. If it also contains Magpie's eyeball drones it would be super handy. Those had psychic powers. But personally, I'm just too tempted to finish off the Trypophilic Hive. Get it done, get all those goodies we know are there, and also have the skill finally finished and not on the list of things we have to level. It's why I'm voting for Queen Crimson on Amara, this last level will finish that off. Hooray!
>>5179567SHU>Trypophilic Hive>Dominus BloodlineGINA>Neon Ascendant>Ivory AeternumRATH>Indignant Ignition>Vulcan's GraspAMARA>Queen Crimson>The Joyous ManyFRANCINE>Creation's Strings>Gatling FangDORIAN>Spring-Heeled Jack>Accumulated ChargeSTASIS WOMB>Kalkydra's Might>>5179581>>5179593I just noticed that you're putting points into Gina's Neurotic Halo. Did you mean Neon Ascendant? She hybridized the Halo to make Neon, and can't level it without disassembling Neon or using Kadath points.
>>5179631grah, yeah i did.the lack of any easy to read indicator for whats hybridized or not, mixed with me just trying to get it out there i guess tripped me up. was also possibly mixing it up with someone elses.>>5179567>>5179581amending Ginas to;>Neon Ascendant>Nervous Torrent>>5179593i apologize if my mistake is what tripped you up on this too.
I just realized that Rath's got an ability that's one away from capping out, too, Alabaster Endoskeleton. It would be nice to hybridize that with Calcite Halo at some point, but we can always just use the Sparagmos Engine for that. And capping it off both chips away at the list some and gives Rath some more defense.Also, I've got to admit, I'm really tempted by Verbum Pravuil. On the one hand, five free favored words, and two additional levels of power for every word. That's really good. On the other, we've got so much more to level on Amara. I wish we had two Stasis Wombs, hold that in reserve until Amara has some more skills cleared up. Ah, well. Maybe we'll kill some more Skintalkers eventually. I'm sure there will be others on the way to the Cord, right?>>5179567Changing my vote >>5179631RATH>Vulkan's Hand>Alabaster Endoskeleton
>>5179566>ADRENAL NAIL x2Welp. that's two other Daughters whose dream states have been locked into eternal torture. And we have no idea how degraded those dream states are. Should we cleanse these nails of the daughters via deletion? And also How many goddamn Adrenal nails do we even have?>>5179567Hmm...Haven't decided yet. Still plucking away at Sathriel's short story as is customary habit as of late. I'll come around when I wake up.
>>5179567ammending vote from >>5179593to includeGINA>Neon Ascendant>Ivory Aeternumsecure in Stasis Womb >>KALKYDRA’S MIGHT>>5179721>i apologize if my mistake is what tripped you up on this too.Dude.... i wrote that comment at around half an hour before midnight Central European Time. I also did not notice the thing with the Neurotic Halo. You have nothing to apologize for.
Oh! Just remembered that we should definitely check to see if Karma can level up as well after that battle. Might be able to get something real nice.
>>5179929Oh, hell, you're right. I forgot that the Daughters the Nails were made from remained inside them. Gina can fix their situation so they're not suffering anymore, but proper extraction to a Dreamscape required the Dissociated's technology, and they're going to space in eight hours. Well, let's hope that the machine that does that is getting left behind on Earth to save on mass, and that it won't be annihilated by the nuclear pulse drive taking off.As for how many we have, I think we've got four of them now. Wests sure love making these things. Maybe it's a like a final exam? Some relatively simple abomination they can make to demonstrate that they've integrated the skills they acquired from Prime correctly.
>>5179631>>5179593>>5179584A thought: why are we putting a stasis womb on Kalkydra's might? I get that it's super useful on melee focused daughters, but Verbum Ravuil's status as a skintalker ability means that we can effectively copy Amara's Lexicon and get much of the passive benefits at a very cheap price. Skinternet access being one of them. Plus, it might be interesting toying with the idea of a Mother-daughter chorus combo given Amara's relationship with Shu.Julia will get her share of Merkabah's biomass and if the overall consensus is to gift Kalkdra's might to Julia, then why not have her consume it directly as part of her level up voting session?
A thought has now occurred to me about Gina's overall archetype. Something that may have been discussed many times in past threads but I can now conclusively put a finger on: Terraforming Tech-wizard Vietcong Guerilla Sniper. Ivory Aeturnum for close quarters combat when she's in a pickle, Gladiatoral swarm for terrain traversal. Nervous Torrent and Neon Ascendant for Terrain Generation, with the latter doubling as Neuromancy hacking and sensory sabotage shenanigans. Virulent persistence and Life's deathgrip to make her resilient from insta-death hits. Finally Lyudmilla's Welcome for the main burst DPS with Cancerous Payload as the killshot. Shame that she doesn't have Spiraling Resilience to boost her death-save chances even further.
>>5180291I'm not sure there's a consensus on Kalkydra's Might, just my own desires that I've gotten people to "yeah, I guess" along with, but my thinking was putting it on Rath. It's a logic based entirely around the name leading me to guess at what the "unusual turn" the ability takes is. In the Book of Enoch, the Kalkydra are angelic hydras that live in the sun. That suggests the skill might go well with Rath's power set. A skill based around physical might named after hydras could synergize well with Phantom Limb, and the solar themes could go with Indignant Ignition's radiant damage. Granted, it's probably wishful thinking that we'll ever get to see it, Rath has so many other things to put levels into before getting new toys. But I'd still like to hang onto it.Verbum Pravuil is good, I admit. I'm just not sure who can effectively use Skintalking on top of everything else they need to do in a fight. If we want more Skintalkers, having Amara clone herself is usually the most efficient way to do it. Everyone else has something to do. I guess Shu might be able to, if she gets a free moment, but enemies love to rush Shu down so much that even though she's ostensibly a mid-line fighter she winds up in frantic melee pretty often. I'm not sure it wouldn't be a waste on her. If we do get Berbum Pravuil, it might be better to just put it on Amara and double down her Skintalking. Another five favored words, plus two levels of power on all of her words, would let her (and therefor her clones) cast some pretty strong spells for free.>>5180307Yep. Gina's kit is based on sabotage and attacks of opportunity. She's designed for giving her enemy rough terrain, popping out of the ground to quickly attack, and then leaving traps behind her as she retreats.
>>5180311So wouldn't it be more reasonable in that vein to put one of those two levels into Lyudmilla's welcome? it's at 3 of 5. It would make sense to cap off that ability tree.Problem for us is that we're up against Behemoth as a first priority in terms of the things to tackle. Gina for all her tool-kit can provide can't really amount to much in a direct confrontation against the continental Kaiju. But playing as Viet-cong against the Fragment raiders? That she can definitely play do and play merry hell with them. More to the point. That means if we're to put our focus on defending home base from raiders, Gina's our girl to keep the homefront secure. Enhancing the sniper ability means the raiders will be crippled more easily the more rounds she puts down range. And the attrition rate will be enough to force the raiders to second guess.
>>5180328That could work. I want to take Gina to meet Leviathan, if only to test the theory that Leviathan would resonate with her the same way Ziz did with Amara. And if there is resonance and Leviathan agrees to help talk their Behemoth down, she should come with for that. But if there isn't, putting her on base defense wouldn't be a terrible idea.As for upgrading Lyudmilla's Welcome, we've never actually gotten the chance to use it yet. I just feel weird putting more levels into an ability that hasn't actually been fired once. I guess the lesson is that Shu needs to put her girlfriend in her active party more often.
>>5180338Francine might also be another candidate given that she's a former west proxy. Although it is very ironic that the one candidate who is best suited to resonate with Leviathan is infact West Prime, and she's already climbing the mountain of the world.
>>5180346Yeah, Francine's another possibility. I remember it being implied that B'Ni could have also bonded with Ziz, so it's not a thing where there's only one predestined bond-partner or anything like that. Though West Prime is probably out of the picture on the grounds that Ziz said her creator's words were that they'd bond with the companions of the one who would end the Crucible. Even if that's not us, and it's someone else's companions, we know Amara is one of the bonded. So for Prime to be a candidate it would have to be someone who could be close with both an adorable child who just wants to help people AND a sociopathic mad scientist who sees nothing wrong with vivisecting children. I want to believe that such a person does not exist.
>>5179567I'd like to submit my votes for the following:SHU>Trypophilic Hive>Dominus BloodlineGINA>Neon Ascendant>Ivory AeternumRATH>Indignant Ignition>Vulcan's GraspAMARA>Verbum Pravuil>The Joyous ManyFRANCINE>Creation's Strings>Gatling FangDORIAN>Spring-Heeled Jack>Accumulated ChargeSTASIS WOMB>Kalkydra's Might
>>5179631>>5179593>>5179581>>5180443A thought. Wouldn't it make more sense to upgrade the Calcite Halo for Rath for this level-up session given that we're bound to face Behemoth soon? If we're to bring Behemoth to heel at the worst case scenario, then we'd better ensure that everyone is able to survive the fight.
>>5180655Maybe. I did change my vote to include the Alabaster Endoskeleton, cap off the skill, but the Calcite Halo could also be a good use of a level. Granted, any single level put into protection is only going to be of marginal usefulness. Behemoth is a big boy, I'm sure he hits pretty hard. Really, if we fight him the priority will be on avoiding attacks entirely, with protection just being against glancing hits. Leave tangling directly with Behemoth to Ziz (and possibly Leviathan), the party's efforts are best spent on debuffing him and giving the other Apocalypse Amalgams opportunities to attack.
>>5179567General philosophy to go by: Sharpen your sword not your shiv.SHU: Augment her core gimmick and its extensions. Get the hive and the Dream Daughter Frames upgraded asap.>Trypophilic Hive>Spiritus Ex TestaGINA: If we're gonna have her play Vietcong to the Fragment Raiders, we better up her offensive and sensory boost. >Neon Ascendant>Lyudmilla's Welcome.RATH: Seems a majority want to upgrade the flames of her fist. I still would like to point in her defensive abilities.>Vulcan's hand>Indignant IgnitionAMARA: Maxing out the Queen Crimson is a viable option, but the existence of Verbum Pravuil makes me torn. On one hand we could upgrade her lexicon spell strength, But on the other, there's the Joyous Many. >Queen Crimson to max it out.>Joyous ManyFRANCINE: Looks like Upgrading her core as well as her minigun seems to be the call. I have no objections.>Creation's Strings>Gatling FangDORIAN: Looks like everyone's aiming to max out his speed and hybridize at max level. FLASH.....A-AHHHHH!>Spring Heeled Jack>Accumulated ChargeSTASIS WOMB: I can see the point behind putting Kalkydra's Might under stasis, but there's also the fact of Verbum Pravuil's utility of being doubled as a second Lexicon of Flesh that comes pre-loaded with all the spell runes discovered thus far. There's that's my vote.
>>5181015I wish we had two Stasis Wombs. Could we just Forge one, real quick? Probably not.
>>5181022Wait...We could!. Though the question remains: What tier is the Stasis womb? Given that it's a sister relic of the Goregrowth box, then it should be on the same tier. We still haven't moved out yet so we can absolutely take advantage of our home facilities. but that would also mean we'll have to reserve a level-up point in order to use it.
>>5181030It doesn't take a point to store, just to retrieve. So, if BHOP allowed this exploit and it didn't cost a ton of Bio that we would need for dealing with Behemoth, we could do it. But those two caveats might get in the way.
>>5181033That does bring up the idea and the validity of a theoretical build in regards to the Crucible Economy: Hoarding consumable/Level-up Biomass as a store of currency.
>>5181078>>5181033Perhaps in more "stable times" this sort of build might work? but given the fast pace in which this quest is proceeding and at the stage of this quest game, such a long-term high investment build won't be practically viable?
>>5181079Yeah, with how everything is accelerating, everyone who has levels wants to use them immediately. In that regard we're rather blessed to have the Sparagmos Engine, we can spend them on things and then take them back later if we really need something else.
>>5181085But it also brings up an important point: The Stasis womb is a way to save and swap abilities that are out of place with our existing kit with abilities that synergize better as we continue our path. So I think it may be worth the time and energy investment to save up on interesting abilities we come across so we can do one final tune-up for the final no-man's land push once everything is settled given our access to a clean sparagmos engine.
>>5181092Oh, definitely. I want as many of these things as we can get. I'm not sure how much use we'll actually get out of them, but I at least want the option. I agonize over opportunity costs at every one of these level-ups, especially now that levels have been condensed and so we get fewer levels per fight. With every level being worth more, we can afford to put them into stray abilities we just think are cool less. It makes the fear of buyer's remorse very real. Like, I'm still debating in my head over whether I should change my vote to include Verbum Pravuil, because damn if that isn't a serious upgrade for Amara's Skintalking. But she's got so many other things to work on, I just don't know.
>>5181100Then why don't we start now? Forge another Stasis womb and grab Verbum Pravuil. Any of the Fragment raiders that we do have to put down can be used to fuel the Stasis womb economy. You can't invest in the long term without starting now.
>>5181112If BHOP will allow it, sure. Let's ask.>>5179570Hey, BHOP, any chance we could quickly Forge another Stasis Womb to store Verbum Pravuil in, or is that a time/Bio investment we don't have to waste? Because if we can, I'd like to. Also, weird thought I just had: What happens if November flash-Forges a Stasis Womb or Goregrowth Box and then drops it after putting a skill in? Is that information just lost?
>>5181100Another point on the Crucible Economy. Stasis Wombs and GoreGrowth Boxes will likely be very highly sought after for the value of abilities stored within the relics. I won't be surprised if we hear other "wealthy" daughter make payments in those things. But given how the supposed Crucible economy works, I would suspect that Rare abilities stored in Stasis wombs and Goregrowth boxes would be the american denomination equivalent of the $20-$100 bill.
Progress on the Sathriel short story: Details are being typed in. At the part of the court trial and I've just finished writing in the first cross-examination.
>>5181117(You may Forge one, yes. I'm not near my notes, but the BIO investment isn't prohibitive, if spread among the family. Also, if November flashforges one then the biomass would be lost, you are correct.)
>>5181221Thanks for the answer, BHOP. Alright, that sounds like a decent plan to me, then. Does anyone else have a problem with making another Stasis Womb to put Verbum Pravuil in? If it's a minor decrease, split among everyone, I don't think it will be a big problem. It's rare for us to ever get that low on Bio, anyway. If nobody has objections I think we should do it.
>>5181243No objections. In fact, the ability to store biomass that contain rare abilities can be a source of "liquidity" in the Crucible economics that we've been discussing on-off in this thread earlier.
>>5179567SHU - LEVEL UP>>TRYPOPHILIC HIVE (Lvl 8): Damage types wielded by your swarmlings ignore 5 Lvls of RESISTANCE. Additionally, each Hive Mistress construct you possess now replenishes its HEALTH pool at the end of each combat character’s turn. Hive Max: 60 (HEALTH +200%, BIO +200%)>>SPIRITUS EX TESTA (Lvl 4): The Daughters within Spiritus Shells regain access to the full suite of abilities they possessed in life, though the power of the abilities they wield scales with their CURRENT HEALTH vs. MAX HEALTH values. (BIO 180%, BIO REGEN +80%)GINA - LEVEL UP>>NEON ASCENDANT (Lvl 5): Starting on the 4th turn of combat, terraforming initiated by Gina or her allies doubles in strength and size. If a downed ally that Gina is controlling stabilizes and returns to combat, they gain 2 extra ACTs on their next turn. (BIO +140%, BIO REGEN +80%)>>IVORY AETURNUM (Lvl 3): Aeturnum's blades now ignore 3 Lvls of SLASHING *AND* PIERCING resistance. If Gina would regenerate a limb with IVORY AETURNUM, then she may automatically MOVE adjacent to the foe that severed it and make 3 attacks against them, with her CRIT chance doubled for each strike. (HEALTH +200%, BIO +200%)RATH - LEVEL UP>>VULCAN'S HAND (Lvl 3): If a Relic used by Rath has a chance of inflicting a status ailment or stack, the base chance is increased by 5X, up to 100%. The first Relic attack made by Rath in combat is an automatic hit that deals 5X CRIT damage. (HEALTH +140%, BIO +60%, HEALTH REGEN +20%, BIO REGEN +20%)>>TORMENTED DRIVE (Lvl 4): For every 3 ZONEs Rath traverses in a turn, all attacks she makes ignore 1 Lvl of RESISTANCE to their damage type. (HEALTH+ 140%, HEALTH REGEN +60%)(Continued)
>>5182387AMARA - LEVEL UP>>THE JOYOUS MANY (Lvl 5): Amara’s Joyous now copy any TIER 3 or lower Relics she has equipped. Additionally, Amara gains a small stat boost for every active Joyous that joins her in combat. (HEALTH +100%, HEALTH REGEN +50%)>>QUEEN CRIMSON (Lvl 5) Queen Crimson’s defensive/reflective now spans the entire battlefield, granting all allies and allied constructs the defensive benefits of Queen Crimson, barring the following ability; if Amara would be reduced to 0% HEALTH, her HEALTH and BIO are automatically refilled, she is cleared of all status ailments and enemy stacks, refreshes any abilities that would normally be 1/combat (except this one), and her available ACTs doubles on her next turn. Queen Crimson goes dormant after this power activates. (BIO REGEN +200%)DORIAN - LEVEL UP>>SPRING-HEELED JACK (Lvl 4): If a foe’s ability would stun, slow, or impede Dorian’s movement in any way, the user’s total ACTs is cut in half and they are placed last in the initiative order for the remainder of combat. Additionally, Dorian emits a sonic boom for every 4 Zones traversed in a turn instead of 6. (HEALTH +120%)>>ACCUMULATED CHARGE (Lvl 4): When accumulated STATIC surpasses 25 stacks, for every turn Dorian fails to DISCHARGE the damage of the next use of DISCHARGE is doubled. PASSIVE: +3 ELEC RESISTANCE (BIO +120%)FRANCINE - LEVEL UP>>CREATION'S STRINGS (Lvl 6): Reducing an enemy or enemy construct to 0% HEALTH with CREATION’S STRINGS heals Francine’s HEALTH and BIO by ½ the foe’s totals. This healing may surpass Francine’s own totals, granting her a protective sheathe of biomass that takes damage and is spent before her own. (BIO +100%)>>GATLING FANG (Calcite Armorer/Generator/Humoral Paladin Hybrid Core, Lvl 4): Francine may spend 2x the BIO cost of GATLING FANG’s various firing modes to deal 3x damage to her target or targets. Additionally, damage dealt by GATLING FANG ignores 1 Lvl of RESISTANCE. (HEALTH +120%, BIO +240%)(Continued)
>>5182389The last of Merkabah’s biomass merges with your own as you exit the Dragon’s Roost to find a thunderbird nested atop the cliffs you call your home, with Gina, Dorian, and Amara hot on your heels.“SHU! IT IS SO VERY GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN!” Ziz bellows, rattling the surrounding rooftops of the rusted town before all seven of the amalgam’s avian heads wince as one. “Sorry! I have been having a wonderful time, and I’ve made a new friend!”“So I’ve heard—hello, Snowbird.” You greet, smiling at the proxy as she inclines her asymmetric helm towards you from atop one of Ziz’s crowns. “I appreciate the Relics. It was an unexpected surprise…as was the news that you two had found something unusual?”“A thing that consumed the study—and eventually the mind—of the Proxy stationed there.” Snowbird explains, stepping across Ziz’s beak to reach you as the colossi lowers her friend to the ground. “I understand you met a Proxy early on. That one had been stationed as the other’s replacement. The effects of the fragment have been suppressed by an intricate Relic array. Shields the fragment from perception—contains its effect, as well.”“Which is?” You ask, craning your neck to look up at the towering Daughter.“Similar to a Phantasmal field, but vastly more potent.” The towering Proxy explains. “What few notes remained at the research station detailed an irrational level of rage and an acute sense of hopelessness. The effect had resulted in the self-destruction of at least two attempted settlements when it flared. Then it was contained by Prime’s intervention.”“We’d thank her if she wasn’t a cu-“ GG almost gets out before you shoot her a glance.“I’m glad the field was suppressed, in any case.” You say, nodding to Snowbird before directing your next statement to the Amalgam that looms over you all. “Ziz, as Dorian and Amara mentioned, we’re going to speak with Leviathan. Any advice, before we set out? Also, you’re welcome to accompany us, if you’d like.”“Ah, um…I’d really rather not? If th-that’s okay?” The suddenly sheepish Amalgam replies. “Levy and I never really got on that well. Behemoth and I could sometimes hold the odd conversation or two, but Leviathan…didn’t have time for things that weren’t interesting.”A pause, and then, cheerfully added; “But you’re really neat! I’m sure Levy would love to hear what your plans are for this world!”…You’re not so sure, but given how quick words spreads, you’re sure Leviathan will find out eventually.>>Continue on with Gina and Dorian to the port, and commission transport to Leviathan. You’re well-fed and prepared.>>Ask Ziz something more specific about Leviathan—you’re not sure how quick you are to trust a being that puts a kind soul like Ziz on edge.>>Ask Snowbird for more details regarding this hateful fragment she and Ziz found.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume in four. I do hope you had a pleasant weekend, everyone.)(Due to some life events, I may have to temporarily go to two updates a day, at 10 and 2, leaving my evenings free to attend to business and personal matters while still giving me enough time to write. I hope things are going well for you, and I appreciate your patience and participation, as always.)
>>5182390vote;>Continue on with Gina and Dorian to the port, and commission transport to Leviathan. You’re well-fed and prepared.We can leave questioning of the other fragment to those already studying them.>>5182392that works if that's what you need to do.
>>5182387Ooh, that swarmling upgrade is very nice combined with the Spirit Shell upgrade. Shells count as swarmlings, so that massive regen rate means they'll be at max Health most of the time.Also, wait, I just thought of something: Isn't Uzu's "full suite of abilities" the Spiraling Fear? Okay, maybe she'd need Niku for that, but she should still be pretty buff. I guess she just got updated to the powerhouse of the Dream Team.>>5182389Ooh, Queen Crimson protecting the entire party. Very nice. Plus a second life once per battle for Amara, dang. Looks like capstones are worth it, even for just five-level skills.>>5182390Oh, wonderful, the Fragment they found was a manifestation of the Builders' suicidal ideation.>>Ask Ziz something more specific about Leviathan—you’re not sure how quick you are to trust a being that puts a kind soul like Ziz on edge.>Anything in particular they find interesting? >What about dislikes? Are there any topics we should avoid?>>5182392Sure, BHOP. If that makes your life easier, of course. I hope everything's going well on your end.
>>5182390>>Continue on with Gina and Dorian to the port, and commission transport to Leviathan. You’re well-fed and prepared.>>5182392Do what you need to do OP. You are already doing more than most in a day.
>>5182390>Ask Ziz something more specific about Leviathan—you’re not sure how quick you are to trust a being that puts a kind soul like Ziz on edge.>Likes, dislikes, things that he found interesting, stuff that he did in other Crucibles when he was awakened, his behavior when the curios he comes across gets ruined by something else, Does he get easily bored? Were there cycles where he was easily irritated like Behemoth?
>>5182390>“Ah, um…I’d really rather not? If th-that’s okay?” The suddenly sheepish Amalgam replies. “Levy and I never really got on that well. Behemoth and I could sometimes hold the odd conversation or two, but Leviathan…didn’t have time for things that weren’t interesting.”Hmmm....oh. I think I get the dynamic. Ziz is kind but impatient as evidenced by her interlude where she has trouble with staying put like how a child has trouble sitting still. Leviathan, being more intellectually mature is much more conversational, but like an old man likes to ramble and go on tangents, which runs contrary to Ziz's free spirited personality and chafes against her lack of patience. Which leaves Behemoth as something of an enigma. Given that Behemoth and Ziz are able to hold the odd conversation and from what we can gather second hand about his legendary temper, It could be safe to conclude that Behemoth is emotionally deep/mature and lets his feelings guide him for many things, but it simple-minded and direct in his view and lacks the intellect to understand the bigger picture.
>>5182455Of course, this is much due to speculation. Ziz's personality we know first hand, Leviathan is technically first-hand due to watching him through Yamato's pov, but Behemoth is pretty much second-hand hearsay from Ziz.
>>5182390>>Ask Ziz something more specific about Leviathan—you’re not sure how quick you are to trust a being that puts a kind soul like Ziz on edge.>Anything in particular they find interesting?>What about dislikes? Are there any topics we should avoid?Can't hurt to ask.
(Pushing the next update to 4PM, Eastern time - day's a shitshow, so thank you for your understanding.)
>>5182390“Was there anything in particular Leviathan found interesting, in this Crucible or the others you three have experienced?” You ask, curious.“Hm…it’s kind of hard to narrow that down, actually.” Ziz murmurs, four of her seven heads swiveling this way and that as they try and recall any items of note. “When Levy talked to Behemoth and I, they’d usually tell us all about the life forms on the planet, and how they all worked together. Called it an ego-…iko-…eggo-?”“Ecosystem.” Snowbird intones.“Yeah, that!” Ziz chirps happily. “Leviathan loved figuring out how it all fit together before the Crucible, and how it changed when we arrived! If you wanna have a good talk with Levy, leading with that is a great idea! They’ll love it!”“Good to know. Any topics it’d be wise to avoid, or anything that gets Leviathan upset, like Behemoth?”“Oh, Levy doesn’t throw tantrums like Behemoth; Leviathan just gives you the silent treatment. Will maybe try and make things harder for you out of spite, if they’re real mad. This one time, during a really long Crucible that was in a real spooky part of space with all these hungry ball-sorta things that wanted to eat—a-anyway, Behemoth, Levy, and I were awake or a really long while, and while Behemoth was having a really great time, Leviathan was getting bored. Went really quiet and stopped talking to either of us. Even started playing with some of the stronger Amalgams and Daughters to pass the time.”“And by ‘playing’, you mean…?”“Um…well, Levy always wants to know how things work, like I said.” Ziz stammers as you feel Gina’s hackles go up. “They’ll ask nicely most of the time, but that Crucible was really hard on all of us, so…Levy kinda stopped asking, and just started picking at whatever and whoever seemed to help the boredom. B-but that was just the one time! And the Daughters of that Crucible weren’t nice, like you!”You can feel Dorian’s eyes on the nape of your neck as Snowbird turns to look up at one of the Amalgam’s eyes, which utterly dwarfs the Daughter’s imposing fame.“Tell them what you told me. When I was telling you about Prime’s objectives.”“Oh, uh…so apparently you’ve run into Snowbird’s mom, kinda? She sounds a lot like Levy!”“…How so?” You say, suppressing a snarl with your best expression of innocent inquisition.“Leviathan really likes the changes that come with the Crucibles.” Ziz explains, leaning down to try and be eye-level with you and your allies…it doesn’t quite work, but you appreciate the consideration at least. “It sounds like whatever this West Prime wants to do would be something that Leviathan would be super-interested in.”“Pardon, but is there any chance that your sibling could’ve run across information about West Prime yet?” Dorian asks, his even-keeled voice hiding an apprehension only you and Gina catch.(Continued)
>>5182615“Snowbird here asked me the same thing, but I don’t think it’s likely.” Ziz says, shaking her head. “It doesn’t sound like Prime crossed overseas or had much to do outside of landmasses besides this one, so what Leviathan would know would be limited to whatever knowledge the Amalgams or Daughters they’ve interacted with had, so it’s probably pretty fragmented.”“So us possibly meeting with Levy should be a fresh start, is what you’re saying?” Gina asks, voicing your own train of thought. “Anything else they’d have learned about us—or even Prime—would be just rumor, no Skinternet or anything like that?”“Exactly!” Ziz affirms, rising from the ground. “Leviathan’s powers lets them examine a subject’s mental and physical makeup. Levy compared it to being able to meet somebody’s creators by just talking to the creation. They can go back a long way into the subject’s past, and even extrapolate how they’ll evolve in the future when they consume new powers! Sometimes, Leviathan would even merge a couple different Amalgams to make entirely new things, that hadn’t existed in any previous Crucible. They’re really amazing! That was probably their favorite thing to do, so that’d be a great thing to ask about!”“The similarities are interesting, no?” Snowbird says, voice reverberating from within her metallic casing. “Prime and Leviathan. Creation. Merging. The Apocalypse Amalgams and the Proxies, as well—abandoned by a creator they fail to fully comprehend.”The being once known as West Alpha turns to you, fully, her jagged frame draped with a cloak of leathery flesh.“If you still aim to converse with Leviathan, then I would accompany you.” She says firmly…and then, after Ziz nudges Snowbird’s shoulder with the top of one massive beak. “With your permission, of course.”>>Accept Snowbird’s request and make your way to the port Paloma mentioned…you have a boat to catch.>>Politely decline Snowbird’s request—your meeting with Leviathan will be a delicate affair, and this former Proxy’s own hang-ups regarding her creator won’t help matters any.>>Given what Ziz has revealed, you’re re-thinking your meeting with Leviathan entirely. You’ve got enough on your plate, and dealing with someone or something remotely like West Prime is something you just don’t have the patience for.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM Eastern time. Thank you all for your patience and participation, and I wish you all a good evening.)
>>5182617It's probably safe for Leviathan to learn about West Prime through Snowbird, right? I mean, she's in the Cord, and Leviathan is in the ocean. And I'm not entirely sure that Leviathan would actually like Prime all that much. Leviathan wants to experiment and discover for its own sake. Prime wants to experiment and discover so that she can create her perfect world. Plus, her plan is to essentially become a big cosmic parasite wiping out novel ecosystems across the universe, which means that she should be doubly repulsive to Leviathan. I think.
>>5182617vote;>Accept Snowbird’s request and make your way to the port Paloma mentioned…you have a boat to catch.I mean... if nothing else, im 100% sure we could convince Leviathan that seeing if the Disassociated can actually escape the crucible would be worth seeing. other than that? I will admit i question if we can keep them "on our side" beyond that.But our concern here right now is stopping Behemoth from stopping the launch, so one step at a time.
>>5182618But will Leviathan let us boop the snoot?Also, a thought: "Cardinal" Kei would definitely love to fly with Ziz once she finds out Ziz's personality.>>5182635It's a matter of whether or not Leviathan wants to extrapolate and pursue West Prime as an "interesting" thing to associate with. >>5182641We aren't one to dissuade her. Like what Shu said earlier back when we had our talks: It's Snowbird's choice. >>5182617>Accept Snowbird’s request and make your way to the port Paloma mentioned…you have a boat to catch.
>>5182645i mean, yeah, but what does any of that have to do with Snowbird?
>>5182641That's a good point. We've already got one giant monster to deal with, we can worry about the next one later. And you're right, I think Leviathan will definitely want to help us with this part, at least, even if they decide to work with Prime later. We're gonna launch a cyborg civilization into space, that's got all sorts of potential for neat new variety.I'm still scared that we're just going to wind up with another Apocalypse Amalgam as a problem after this, but we've just got to chance it. Worst case scenario, we put off our countdown timer for enormous threats by another few days. >>5182617>>Accept Snowbird’s request and make your way to the port Paloma mentioned…you have a boat to catch.>>Write-In>"Let me open, though, please. I want to get a grasp on Leviathan firsthand, first."
>>5182617Yeah, supporting >>5182659.
>>5182615>This one time, during a really long Crucible that was in a real spooky part of space with all these hungry ball-sorta things that wanted to eat—a-anyway, Behemoth, Levy, and I were awake or a really long while, and while Behemoth was having a really great time.>>5182659>>5182669>>5182657Okay, now Ziz's account of Behemoth during that particular cycle is concerning. Behemoth's clearly fight-happy. And it seems that it's likely possible that his idea of targeting the Disassociated is him looking for a scrap-out brawl given that the Disassociated are trying to brute-force their way out of the Atmospheric membrane.So we have a simple minded, but fight-happy Behemoth, a free spirited but impatient Ziz, and a curious and intelligent but easily bored Leviathan. What a dynamic these three share. Negotiating with these three and getting all three of them to unite under one banner will be guaranteed difficult. Even more difficult is finding a place for them post-end given that each of them have their own goals and wants. Behemoth's happy state is when he gets to fight, Leviathan's happy when he gets to Learn, and Ziz's happy state is when he gets to Fly-free without trouble.
>>5182617To be clear, by >>5182659 I'm thinking have Snowbird stay withdrawn to begin with. Keep on the boat, acting casual (or as casual as you can get on a living battleship meeting with a sea monster) and not provoking interest. There's no point in hiding her, but let's not draw attention to her. Leave it to her judgement when a good point to chime in on her questions would be, when it seems prudent to bring up similarities in their experiences.>>5182673Well, we can certainly provide Behemoth some fights on our way to the Cord. Post-Crucible, maybe we could assign him to a planetary defense role? The big cosmic predators that the Apocalypse Amalgams were designed to fight are still out there, there's still a need for giant monsters. And in-between fights for the fate of the world, he could hang out in dreamscapes. Fight people there, make him the boss monster of a dreamscape video game. Or maybe get in touch with the other iterations of himself in other Crucibles, if they don't all get merged together, start a fight club where they get to show off the various adaptations they've evolved over the eons.
>>5182723I wonder if he is partial to sparring? Sparring might be a very novel concept to him.>>5182618An update to Sathriel's short story (now it has turned surprisingly long against my expectations): 3/4ths done with all the details. The difficult 2nd act part is over. I'm at the home stretch, but so close yet so far in terms of filling in the details. I'm surprised that I'm able to write at a consistent pace. Mystery stories are surprisingly hard to set up even in a "short" story format. All that's left is the final act.
>>5183069(I'm really looking forward to it. And I agree, mysteries are a nightmare to pull together.)
>>5182673technically, we dont need to unite them under "one" banner, we just need to individually give them an excuse to at least not cause everyone problems. (or well, at least lower to a workable level of problems, as obviously size alone is a problem we cant necessarily fix, etc.)Behemoth i could see two routes maybe. one is convincing him that we can provide him with better fights basically, but the problem there is he's made to fight Crucible Destroyers. Im not sure even the Cord can regularly provide those for him. we risk too easily being one of the only things that CAN provide that......which beings up the second idea. its a gamble, but miiiight work. He wants a fight, but one that seems worth it. so if one of us seems worth it, like, REALLY worth it what if they just.... refused? but with a caveat. They'll fight him, but only after we've finished our Goal of 'beating' the Crucible in our own way. sure, he'll be pissed, but whats he gonna do? squash one of the only people hes seen who looks worth his time? thats not satisfying, and would leave him dissatisfied and with that hanging over his head from then on. 'you didn't win, all you did was waste an opportunity.' and we can tell him as such, possibly.like i said, its a gamble, but if nothing else, its feeding into who he is, instead of trying to fight it or work around it.Leviathan? we just have to prove we or our goals are interesting enough to at least not hinder. the second one might not actually be that hard. the first more depends on how much Leviathan finds a 'blank' interesting and/or how much he can sense Shu is the 'mother of all'.
>>5182617“You’re welcome to join us, Snowbird. I just have one reques-”“Name it.” The former Proxy intones, bowing sharply. “So will it be done.”“Let me lead the conversation. I want to get a grasp on Leviathan first-hand.” You say, and no sooner are the words out of your mouth than Snowbird tilts her head with a fierce nod.“Of course. I wish to listen. To understand. Conversation is your strength. Not mine.” The other Daughter explains solemnly.“Oh, I wouldn’t say that!” Ziz cheerfully adds. “You were plenty interesting to talk to when we were delving into those ruins!”“Interesting enough for Leviathan?” Snowbird counters, and when Ziz hesitates, Snowbird makes a sharp metallic noise, almost like a bark of artificial laughter. “Then I will be leaving the talking to the Defiant.”At that (and after a hug and a kiss goodbye to your little one), you finally make your way to the darkened tunnels beneath your mountain home.You have to admit, it’s a bit of an awkward journey to the Waystation, even as short of a jaunt as it is from your home. Snowbird’s taking her promise to you in the strictest sense, and you emerge on the other end of the Waystation’s tunnel and into the Crucible’s dusklight without so much as a word from the looming cyborg. It always takes a moment or two for your eyes to adjust from the high-speed journey in near-total darkness, but if the first of your senses to be assaulted is sight, the second is most certainly your hearing.A great clamor washes over you as you step into the sound and fury of a bustling port, hundreds of Daughters surging back and forth like the tides just beyond the maze of calcite containers that’re stacked around you, compressing the throng into a sea of bodies. Steeling yourself, you’re about to toss yourself forward into the roiling mass when Snowbird strides forth, the sea parting in the face of an arrival most seem to recognize. For once, you’re not the first person eyes are locked onto as you follow in Snowbird’s wake, catching a few errant mutters among the crowd that breathe your titles alongside Snowbird’s given name. When you escape the artificial alley the space opens up to a vast market, cramped and overstocked tables with their barking traders, shouting to be heard over each other, and a white noise you only catch when there’s a lull in the ever-present clamor.The sea boils, just out of sight, its waves clawing at unseen shores as the smell of melting flesh assaults your nostrils. Dorian coughs politely behind you in liu of a gag, the familiarly rancid tang not something you can ever quite get used to, despite your favored elements in combat.“Oi! Defiant! Been expecting you!”(Continued)
>>5183394It’s the first time you’re addressed directly since you arrived, your title not hidden in hushed whispers but thrown out like a lure. Scanning the crowd, you see a hand thrust skyward—it belongs to a woman around your age, her dark skin contrasted by her ethereal, ghostlike hair that doesn’t seem to register or move the way it should as she jogs up to you and your fellows.“Paloma said you’d be on your way. Name’s Calypso. Good to finally put a face to the legend.” She greets with a smile as you step forward to take her offered hand, the girl’s amber eyes glittering with shards of sky blue that seem to dance in the Crucible’s light.“Good to see a friendly face.” You breathe, almost cringing when you drag in a mouthful of fetid air.“Ha, yeah, not gonna see too many of them ‘round here, especially if your face is a fresh one.” She laughs, eyes snapping to your companions. “Gina and Dorian, yeah? Calypso! Good to have you.”“Likewise!” Dorian bows, some of the young man’s genteel aura lost with the volume he has to use to make himself heard.“Lemme introduce my mates, Ge-oh, for fuck’s sake…Gem! Emma! Get over here!” She snarls back into the crowd, only for a pair of gelatinous forms to slither out of the crowd and to her side.“You run too fast. Our legs are too short.” The blue-tinted Daughter whines, while the teal form beside her picks up the thought the moment the other finishes. “Your legs are too long. Skintalkers get better breath capacity, so it’s not faiiiirrrrr.”“Wait…those voices…” Gina mutters, eyes narrowed at the faces that slowly form atop the semi-solid torsos the two girls are languidly forming into. “Are you both Gemma shards?”“Yes Ma’am.” One says.“We are.” Says the other, arms looping around each others’ shoulders. “And who might this be?”“This is Snowbird.” You introduce, Calypso doing a subtle double-take under the cyborg’s hood before her eyes widen, ever-so-slightly.“I see. Any relation to ‘ol West, perchance?” The SKintalker asks, glancing to you.“West Alpha was my old designation.” The taller Daughter rumbles. “I chose a new one.”“Hey, more power to ‘ya.” Calypso shrugs, Snowbird’s words combining with your subtle nod to let her know it won’t be a problem.You hope.“Intros aside, c’mon—I don’t wanna leave the captain waiting.” She says, beckoning the four of you to follow her with a wave of her hand. “We’ve got a little situation on our hands, but nothin’ we can’t handle. I’ll let the Captain fill you in on the rest.”You follow her past the edges of the crowd, away from the constant din of commerce and services to the dockyard, where you finally lay eyes on what the Crucible’s made of the ocean. (Continued)
>>5183395Gone are white-capped waves cresting over an endless stretch of blue. Gone are white, sandy beaches. Dark green foam boils as it’s thrashed against a glassy shoreline, a perpetually-creeping carpet of gangrenous moss crawling towards the water’s edge only to be scalded back by the ocean’s arrhythmic assault. Its surface shimmers like an oil slick, reeking like a bloated, burst carcass, and you try your best to ignore the stench as you follow Calypso down the dock to where a line of four ships are moored, side by side. The largest on by far is the one closest to you—an utterly massive warship of reinforced calcite, the underbelly a gargantuan crab with the ship’s frame held up from below by a set of powerful, chitinous legs. As if completely dwarfing even the respectable boats beside it wasn’t enough, the vessel’s armament would put even pre-Crucible warships to shame, and you wish Rath were here to marvel beside you at the thing’s impressive armament.“Oh she’d lose her shit over this.” GG says, voice muffled from where she’s closed the top of her hoodie around most of her face. You stifle a chuckle as Calypso spins on her heel to face you, dipping low with a dramatic bow as her voice adopts an overblown vibrato.“Behold, her majesty. Her sleek cannons. Her voluptuous hull. Our pride and joy, the woman we’d follow ‘til the ends of this planet and any other, the one, the o-!”“That will be quite enough, Calypso.” A calm, clear voice declares from over the warship’s speakers, easily cutting through even the infernal hissing of the fleshscape’s furious ocean. A row of mismatched eyes slowly blossom open along the deck’s guardrail, every single one swiveling to behold you and your three allies with an expression as gentle and as assured as the voice that addressed you earlier, one that speaks once more; “It is a pleasure to meet you, Shu the Defiant. My name is Yamato, and I understand you are in need of my services.”Holy shit.Now you *really* wish Rath were here to see this.(Continued)
>>5183396“The pleasure is all mine, Yamato.” You say, regaining your composure with a little nudge from your girlfriend. “I understand you’ve been briefed by Paloma?”“We have, and she’s paid your fares, as well.” Yamato informs you, her voice somehow soft despite being loud enough to carry over the ocean’s static-like hiss. “Calypso told you we have a minor situation, yes?”“She did, and she said you could tell us a bit more about what’s going on.” You reply, and for a moment a few of the eyes along Yamato’s bow shoot the other girl a withering look before the captain starts to explain.“There’s an Amalgam that’s taken down two ships in the past four hours. There was nothing left of the merchant vessel that was hit first, but my crew and I were able to respond to the passenger ships’ SOS and rescue the survivors.”“None of them could give us an exact description of the thing, except that it was massive.” Calypso adds as Gem and Emma swirl around her feet. “Some real kaiju shit, I’m told.”“Yeah, there’s been a lot of that going around, lately.” You sigh, continuing on despite the quizzical glance Yamato fixes you with. “Will this thing’s presence delay us?”“On the contrary, I wanted to see if you were still comfortable making the journey under these conditions.” Yamato says politely. “My crew is more than capable of ensuring your safety during transport.”“I appreciate the consideration, but me and mine aren’t ones to sit idly by and let others fight our battles.” You politely counter right back. “If there’s something out there that intends to get in our way, then we’ll deal with it together.” “We came here to speak to Leviathan. Something is in the way that is not allied with Shu or Prime.” Snowbird intones beside you. “I will remove this obstacle. Should it present itself.”“If we leave now, there’s a pretty high chance we’ll run into it at some point either on the way there or back, since the attacks have happened on the same lane we’ll be taking, and so close together.” Calypso interjects, taking a step forward. “If you wanna wait a little while, a local Hive Mistress has some long-range drones out there scoping out the thing, so we should hopefully have it’s position in about an hour or so.”“I leave the choice to you, Defiant.” Yamato says, a kind bow somehow coming through in her tone of voice. “We respect your decision either way.”>>Depart immediately—it may be risky, but you’ve no time to waste (High risk of combat).>>Wait a while—while Yamato and her crew are in their element, you don’t want to put anyone at risk if you can help it (Zero risk of combat).>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Good Morning, Everyone. Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume in four if all goes well. I hope your week is going well, one and all!)
>>5183399question.how many hours left til the launch/Behemoths attack? it was 8 hours so i'd guess we've probably eaten up at least one of those, but possibly two?
>>5183397>>Depart immediately—it may be risky, but you’ve no time to waste (High risk of combat).I think it would be prudent to put speed ahead of safety. We not only have good chunk of combat potential in our family but also Snowbird and Yamato. While some shit out there will probably be able to contend with us. Size only means so much in the crucible.
>>5183397Can Yamato use teleportation, or is she too big like Ziz is? Because with Escher's Gear, we can always teleport out if things get hairy. Assuming she can survive on land. Maybe she can't, how beholden to the square-cube law is she? Most things in the Crucible ignore it, but since she's aquatic she might be one of the few giant things that doesn't get protection from it.Also, why didn't we bring Rath? What did we assign her to, if not this?
>>5183409well we were taking the team just based off those who might be good at talking to Leviathan (and weren't also busy), so Rath didn't fit that. not sure she has an 'assignment' but we wanted to leave people behind besides just the scientists just incase the Roost needed to be defended, so i at least wasn't worried about giving her(or others) something specific to do.
>>5183397vote;>Depart immediately—it may be risky, but you’ve no time to wasteguess i'd probably go with this regardless of what BHOP says.
>>5183404(Seven hours remain.)>>5183409(I would say that teleporting Yamato might have unintended consequences, given her size and the Relics she has on board, but it is possible.)(Regarding Rath, since you all had voted to bring Gina and Dorian here, Rath defaulted to defending the Roost. However, you have more than enough time to call her on over if you'd like to bolster your team.)
>>5183397>>Depart immediately—it may be risky, but you’ve no time to waste (High risk of combat).>>Write-In>Add our own swarmlings to searching for the Amalgam. Spawn eight high-speed Knights, each carrying a Sonarling they can drop into the water like a buoy for a more detailed scan if they spot something that might be the Amalgam. They'll help in finding Leviathan, too.Seven hours doesn't give us enough of a window for me to be comfortable delaying. That's when the ship is launching, not when Behemoth is going to attack. He might start sooner.
>>5183442>>5183415>>5183406So do we really want Rath to join us for the Battleship boat ride if only for the sake of Rath meeting Yamato? Also, given that we're planning on departing immediately and will have a high chance of fighting the Kaiju, I think Rath would be a nice fit in anti-Kaiju combat due to her combat kit.
>>5183442>>5183415>>5183406Also, the additional firepower will help deal with the new Kaiju amalgam faster.
>>5183499yeah your right.>>5183397ammending my vote from >>5183406to also include to >invite Rath to journey with you. If you get into a Kaju Fight that seems right up her alley.
>>5183503>>5183442>>5183415A thought: What's our relic loadout going to be for this expedition?
>>5183499>>5183501Yeah, sure. Let's bring her along so she can meet the girl with a hat made of cannons. The ship is Yamato's hat, right? Technically speaking, I mean.Also, let's get Gina helping with Amalgam search duty, too. Just because she has good eyes. And can shift water with a stare, so that's handy, too.>>5183397Adding to >>5183442>Set Gina to the task of helping us scan for sea monsters, with her telescopic X-Ray eyes.>Quickly call Rath and tell her that we might run into hostiles, and we'd like her backup, then bring her over with a Escher's Gear teleport.>>5183513Standard, I guess. Haven't really thought about it.
>>5183515>Also, let's get Gina helping with Amalgam search duty, too. Just because she has good eyes. And can shift water with a stare, so that's handy, too.>shift water with a stareOh god. The combat implication and potential. A high grade Neuromancer using Terraforming to boost Yamato's naval mobility by manipulating the sea currents as well as the waves within a 1 km radius would be utterly terrifying. in terms of real life comparison, the Yamato battleship is capable of a top cruising speed of 27 knots (aka 32 mph). Gina could theoretically more than double the cruising speed and assist Yamato in doing funky maneuvers that would be practically impossible for a ship Yamato's size unassisted.
>>5183513Okay, how does this look?SHU>Paranoid Pendant>Arbiter's Judgement>Gunslinger's Longcoat>Matron's StoicismDORIAN>Ventrum Lanceam>Sui Interitus>Manus CaelorumGINA>Tollo Cadere>The SpineRATH>Ignition Gauntlets>Deliverance of Ego>>5183525Yeah. I'm not sure she quite has the Bio to continuously accelerate Yamato, but I figure for evasive maneuvers it would be golden. And against an aquatic foe, it means Gina could strand them in a whirlpool.
>>5183527Give Rath Eden's East. Have it manifest in the form of a Stand. Now Rath has truly become STAR PLATINUM.
>>5183397>>5183419amending to add;>DONT have Rath join you.>>5183499>>5183503>>5183515i REALLY dont think we need her, and her powerset isnt all too great at fighting in these conditions either. i'd just be a hassle to try and get her to work, and theres plenty of other things she could be doing thats more advantageous if we really dont want her just guarding the roost. if for some reason letting her just lounge and guard is such an issue, she can start preparing for Behemoths assault by gather donations for relic traps and mines and other things to lay out and prepare the path before Behemoth, incase we have to fight him.
Fair point. >>5183527>>5183503Do we really want Rath to come along? or not come along? On one hand, >>5183535 has a point in that Rath can't really work well in the conditions that we'll be fighting the Kaiju in. On the other hand, we're basically gonna fulfill Rath's selfish wish of seeing the warship with her own eyes, and her combat potential is nothing to sneeze at.
>>5183538no ones combat potential is to be sneezed at.as for her wish? nows not the time for that stuff.plus, in terms on In Game flow, its not like we didn't know beforehand she would like the battleship, so that combined with us choosing the 'we dont have time' option is just contradictory and feels odd, no matter how fast she can actually arrive.
>>5183534You know, I like that better than Ignition Gauntlets. I was just trying to give Rath a good melee weapon that could benefit from Vulkan's Hand while still fitting her punching style. But Eden's East is way better, since it's shapeshifting and so can adjust itself to as many arms as she has, plus it can do any damage type while the Ignition Gauntlets can just do Heat and Electric.>>5183535Actually, yeah, that could be a good use of her time, forging some single-use Relics to use in booby traps. I hadn't thought of that. I do actually like that better, it's a more efficient use of time. Okay, as much as I want Rath to get to meet the shipgirl, I do think I'm going to change to that idea.>>5183397Hey, BHOP, sorry to do this to you again, but...Changing >>5183515, which was itself a change to >>5183442, to just>Have Gina join in searching for oceanic obstacles as well.>Call back to the Lair, with mention that we might be out for a bit longer than expected, and orders for what to do while we're gone. November, Francine and the Dream Team have their existing orders, but Rath should start gathering donations of Bio from whoever has to give it and Forging some one-use Relic traps for use against Behemoth. Amara should network with Orwell to help her track Behemoth, using her Skintalking, Joyous, and the Void Orrery if need be.How does that look? Or maybe, can we retcon those orders as being something we gave before we left?
>>5183397>Depart immediately—it may be risky, but you’ve no time to waste (High risk of combat).>Don't bring Rath with you. >>5183542This I could support when it comes to the war on the homefront.
>>5183397yeah... ammending vote again from >>5183503to supporting >>5183542
>>5183542that seems finealso didnt we basically make the Gutgrab Daggers specifically for Rath? as they allow her to basically hookshot into enemies and/or hold them in place so they cant escape her without causing themselves injury?actually regardless of why, the idea of Rath holding something in place so she can just ruthlessly wail on it without mercy is terrifying.
>>5183550The Gutgrab Daggers are good for her, yeah, but I do want something to enhance her other half-dozen arms. And Eden's East does "Catastrophic" damage, fr any damage type, along with a second Catastrophic Radiant aura, so it really boosts Rath's ability to wade in and deal a ton of damage.
>>5183542(It's no trouble at all! I appreciate the discussion, and you all linking me the votes.)
>>5183550pretty sure at some point i calculated her at somewhere around a nuclear bomb at full power. Now she got more powerful..... well lets hope thermodynamics dont catch up with her or we will all be annihalated the instance the crucible ends.
>>5183554So we can just retcon those as the orders we gave before we left, and not slow down the story to give them? Cool. Thanks, BHOP.>>5183555Yeah, Rath is not neessarilythe most dangerous party member, but she is by far the most energetic. She's a walking one-woman apocalypse event for any setting that isn't already post-apocalyptic.
>>5183555yeah i remember that.though it was also i think before the abilities were re-balanced, and i think she lost an ability or something that helped her reach that level of output.
>>5183568that is correct. It was something that gave her unlimited potential for growth so that in theory she could just power up forever and eventually obliterate the crucible together with the Solar system it was in with a single punch.But unless we are talking about this extreme version i would say that right now she is at least as strong as then.
>>5183602It's probably that ability that converts hp and bio into strength at a 5:1 ratio from Sui Tormentis compounded with her ability to merge her phantom limbs into a singular god-like fist that caused the balance change.
(Updating shortly, everyone.)
>>5183397“I’d like to leave as soon as possible, if it’s all the same to you and your crew.” You declare,with Yamato’s row of eyes giving you a slow blink of approval before she speaks.“As you wish.” Then, bringing every speak on her bulk to bear at once; “Attention, crew of the Yamato! Departure in five. Crew not aboard within the time limit will be left behind. Again.”“She means you, Musashi!” Calypso yells out with a grin before turning to you. “Also, Yams has got some of the best recon abilities at her disposal, both her own and those of her crew…but the more the merrier if you’ve got any abilities to spare?”“I’ll be more than happy to support your skills with some recon of my own.” You say, turning to the Neuromancer as your spine begins to throb with the effort of creation. “I’d like your help, too. Scan the water as deep and as far as you can—you’ve got the best range out of all of us, by far.”“So…so you want me to-““Look. Look, with your special eyes.” You affirm, grabbing her by the shoulders.“MY BRAND!”“Yeah, I think you lot are gonna fit right in.” Calypso laughs, grabbing hold of the gangplank’s railing as she motions for you to follow.Given how stressed you’ve been regarding the clock that’s ticking away at the back of your mind, you can’t help but respect Yamato’s punctuality. No sooner have five minutes passed than Yamato withdraws from the shore, scuttling away from the pier until her claws are able to curl around her hull as the sea cradles her in its merciless arms. A series of scouts surge from your hive and take flight, with Gina staring into the depths, her eyes glowing with the tell-tale neon light of her Neuromancy. Gem and Emma slipped below deck shortly before you left the port behind, while a warrior with an arboreal sword arm and a powerfully-build woman with a staggeringly thick head of hair dashed aboard mere moments before Yamato set sail. In stark contrast to the ship-girl’s impeccable manners, her crew appears to be little more than a loose collection of brigands and rogues, catching snippets of bawdy conversation and plenty of good-natured (you think) ribbing back and forth between them.They’re an odd sort, to be sure…but you’re not one to judge, given the company you tend to keep.Speaking of which, a quick glance around the deck shows Snowbird standing on the furthest part of the bow, the sea’s acidic spray splashing harmlessly off her armored form. Dorian’s at the rear making small talk with the wood-armed swordswoman from earlier, who said she could’ve sworn she knew him from somewhere, while the long-haired woman you can only assume was some kind of Pre-Crucible bodybuilder looks to be moving some artillery shells back and forth between two stocks, her attentions focused on Dorian’s current conversation.As for Calypso…(Continued)
>>5183632“She’s on the bridge, if you were curious.” Gina says over her shoulder. Her eyes may be fixed on the ocean’s choppy surface, but her mind is, as always, interwoven with yours. “Gotta say, Dorian and that other girl seem to be getting along pretty well.”“Well, he’s one hell of a charmer.” You chuckle, a quick blink shuffling your vision through the eyes of the swarmlings you have hovering over the water’s surface, clutching yet more of your brood, each one sending out rhythmic pulses in time with Yamato’s own powerful sonar. “Y’know, it just occurred to me; isn’t this the second time we’ve been on a ship?”“A ship crossing a deadly span of acid? Oh, definitely—you sure know how to show a girl a good time.” She fires back with a wink, before her smile falters; “God, that feels like a lifetime ago, now that you mention it.”“*My* lifetime, actually.” You muse, staring at the ocean beside Gina. “We’ve come a long way in such a short time.”“Not too much farther, now.” She sighs, glancing westward. “We’ve been looking forward to the Disassociated’s launch for so long, it’s weird that we’ll be watching it in less than half a day. And after that, we…”She trails off, leaving the next part unsaid. It’s not something she needs to voice, even if you didn’t have the Crimson Cord binding your thoughts together.The Cord beckons.It's a call you can’t help but answer.>>Bring up something to Gina that’s been on your mind (Write-In).>>Talk to Yamato a bit, if it wouldn’t distract her too much.>>Slip a bit closer to Dorian and the swordswoman—you have to confess, you’re curious as to how they’re getting along so well, so quickly.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM, Eastern time. Also, the 2/day post schedule is working much better for my current workload, but it's not something I'll keep for very long - I may drop to that a few times I the future when work gets more intense, though. I personally prefer the 3/day schedule for being able to move through story and combat sections more efficiently - all that to say I appreciate you bearing either me, as easing off a bit is something I know I'll have to do from time to time to avoid burnout.)
>>5183640i've not got much of an opinion on what to do here other than eavesdropping doesn't sound like a swell thing to do.>>5183646yeah thats fine. with a job finally on the horizon 2-3 is probably all i could handle soon anyways.that said, speaking of burnout, while dont take this in any way as a ribpoke to cause rushing or even my own current mood, i was curious to how much you even vaguely had planned for this. or i guess, maybe its more like, the cord itself sounds like it could be its own damn Quest in and of itself almost, but yet we still seem to have so much we could do before then. Yet im sure you do want this to end eventually, even if you're not in an exact rush to do so.
>>5183646This works perfectly with my schedule given the sheer number of behind-the-scenes dice and figures that you have to move along with the timetable.
>>5183646Please Op do whatever you need to make sure you do not burn out. This is already a very content rich quest. Make sure not to sour the mixture by overloading yourself and it.
>>5183646Take care of yourself BHOP, do things at whatever pace you are comfortable with!As for what to do now, though, I'm not sure. I'd like for Shu to talk with Gina now... but I can't pick what about. I mean, there are so many things to think about, to deal with, but nothing particular that springs to my mind right now. Anybody got any good ideas?Or, hell, maybe there is no need for serious talking. Maybe just standing close to Gina, staring at the sea and quietly enjoying the moment is what Shu needs right now, eh?
>>5183646Whatever works best for you, BHOP. You're already posting more frequently and consistently than any other QM I can name. If you think that 3/day works better, I certainly welcome it. But this is still good, and if it keeps you from burning out that's what I'd prefer. So take your time when you need it. I think we all prefer you enjoying running this quest than being stressed out by the schedule.
>>5183666 #(Basically, I had planned for you meeting and dealing with the three Apocalypse Amalgams, watching the rocket launch, and maybe helping deal with Paloma and Magnus' thing if you're interested. Aside from that, the quest is structured in such a way that you're good to gun for the Cord at any time. You're more than welcome one to pick up any errant plot threads and see where they lead to better prepare for the Cord, but once you start making your way there the endgame will begin in earnest. Logistically speaking, I'd like to conclude things by either the end of this year or the middle of next, barring any life weirdness or personal tumult, but that depends on how quickly I'm able to move through the admittedly short side quests remaining after the launch and any other loose ends you'd like to tie up.)(Aside from that, once this quest ends I intend to continue QMIng, as there have been quite a few story ideas that've been fleshed out behind the scenes that would make for shorter, much narratively tighter affairs. I've only made it this far with the support, encouragement, and kindness you all have shown me and each other, and I'll keep writing for as long gone as I can to both make something and see what others are inspired to make, too.)>>5183672 #>>5183674 #(I appreciate your kind words, truly. It means a lot.)>>5183681(Hey, just being present near your allies can do wonders. It's why I leave a Write-In option, after all. If nothing fits, go with what you'd like to see happen.)
>>5183640>>Bring up something to Gina that’s been on your mind (Write-In).>"You know what..... This place might be horribly dangerous and reek to hell and back... But there is no place i would rather be right now." *be extra degenerate and hold Ginas hand while looking out to sea.*
>>5183640>“Y’know, it just occurred to me; isn’t this the second time we’ve been on a ship?”Technically, I think the last time we were on a boat. The rule is that if another vessel can carry it, it's a boat and not a ship. Yamato can certainly carry that craft we were on. There probably aren't many vessels she can't carry, with those crab claws. Which means that Yamato may in fact be the only true ship left in the world. Or one of the few, there are probably some living ships approaching too big for her to pick up. But it's funnier to insist that the giant crab-person is the only real ship.Anyway, a quiet moment on the way to meet the sea serpent. I'm bad at quiet moments. There are things I'd like to talk about, and I'd like Gina to be part of the conversation, but I'd also like other people to be part of them, too. I'm not sure what to say. I might just go for the "enjoy the time with Gina as we search for sea monsters" vote.
>>5183640>>Write-In>Hold her hand.>"I get it. We've got a daunting task ahead of us. I think we'll make it, but I'm still worried. I'm glad to have you with me for it.">"Do you want to talk about it? I understand if you don't, but it might help.">If she wants to talk about her worries, do so. If not, just enjoy the silence with her as we watch for sea monsters. >After the talk and/or an appropriate span of shared comfortable silence, go and speak with Yamato about her and her crew's capabilities. Better to get an idea of how to coordinate with them now than when an unfriendly Amalgam is attacking.
>>5183640>insert desire for corny Titanic joke, ruined by Snowbird who has taken the spot for the iconic scene.
>>5183640>>Bring up something to Gina that’s been on your mind (Write-In).>Hold her hand.>"...it's scary, isn't it? What's ahead of us. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the incomprehensible scale of what we are heading into. By how little we actually understand it. I mean, I don't know if we can succeed. Or how. Or how that success is even going to look like.""But then I remember the things I DO know. I know we're going to try, do our best to win us all a good future, even if it seems impossible. We've done impossible things already before, after all, haven't we?""And another thing I know - that there is no one else I'd rather have by my side other than you. So if there is anything bothering you, tell me, Gina. Anything I can do to help, I'll do. Even the impossible.">Proceed to talk about what's on her mind/enjoy the peaceful moment, who knows when there will be another such chance?
>>5183640“...It's scary, isn't it? What's ahead of us.” You begin, leaning on the railing that rings Yamato’s deck as you hold Gina’s neon gaze. “Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the incomprehensible scale of what we are heading into. By how little we actually understand it. I mean, I don't know if we can succeed. Or how. Or how that success is even going to look like."You reach out, taking her hand in your own, your eyes never once leaving hers as a smile spreads across your face. "But then I remember the things I DO know. I know we're going to try, to do our best to win us all a good future, even if it seems impossible. We've done impossible things already before, after all, haven't we?"“Our family’s pretty much every definition of ‘impossible’.” Gina giggles softly, glancing out at the ocean waters. “But they’re our family, and I know that we’ll get through this, one way or another.”"But there’s another thing I know…” You continue, and Gina arches an eyebrow at you before you take her other hand, facing her fully as you speak. “...it’s that there is no one else I'd rather have by my side other than you. So if there is anything bothering you, tell me, Gina. Anything I can do to help, I'll do. Even the impossible."She blinks once, then twice, just staring at you for a long moment before her dry lips part, and she speaks.“You are patient.” She says, the words catching in her throat. “You are kind. You are slow to anger, and quick to comfort. You are just. You are passionate. You…you are everything—everything I’d convinced myself was a lie. Everything I never thought I could be.”You open your mouth to speak, and her right hand slips from your own to place a finger on your lips.“But you showed me that even in the worst of times, we can strive to be the best versions of ourselves. We can fight to be someone better than the person we were yesterday.” She continues with a gentle smile. “I see you, fighting to be good. That it’s not easy. It’s not kind. And it’s never, ever fair…but you fight. And I will, too. We all will…because you’re right. We are the impossible. And the impossible? Well…”Her lips meet yours for a moment…one that somehow compresses all of existence into a few, fleeting seconds.“You’ve already made it a defiant reality, my love.” She concludes, hope filling her eyes with a look that robs your lungs of air.(Continued)
>>5184436….and when they fill once more, you make the brilliant decision to ruin the moment in its entirety.“Y’know, I’d make a corny Titanic joke, but Snowbird’s taking up the prime spot, so…” You grin awkwardly, nodding over to where the ex-Proxy stands tall in a power-stance atop Yamato’s bow. To our immense relief GG snorts with laughter, her cheeks flushed to a level you’ve only ever seen Rath boast.“Oh my god, you’re so weird.” She laughs, squeezing your hand with a sly wink. “Lucky for you, weird is kinda my thi-”You and Gina sense it at the same moment. For you, it’s your swarm registering a massive form, the sonar pinging back from the body of a thing that gives even your boldness some pause. For GG, her eyes go wide as she locks her sights on what you’ve been searching for.It’s an amalgam in the purest sense of the word; its legs a blend of a squid’s dexterous tentacles and something akin to Yamato’s own limbs, with joints in chitinous triplicate. The thing’s body is a bulbous mass surrounded by a trio of jagged shells, mismatched and barely held together around the creature’s rotund body. Its single reptilian head is surrounded by a mane of billowing, languid tendrils like a Man-o-War’s lethal embrace, trailing behind it for hundreds of meters as though it were the veil of some sort of hideous bride. The being's forehead is concave, a vacuous space filled to the brim and overflowing with a swarm whose form eludes you at this range.“Oi, we got a problem!” Calypso announces, leaning out of the bridge’s door and shouting to be heard by the topside crew. “Yamato says this is a remix of the same asshole we fought earlier! The one Leviathan was running down!”“Wasn’t all that tough, even before the eel stepped in to spoil our fun.” The muscle-bound Daughter boasts, tossing her luxurious hair over one shoulder before addressing the swordswoman as both she and Dorian rush to your side. “Musashi! You ready for round two?”“Hardly a ‘round two’ if we never got to finish the first match.” Musashi replies with a lazy, cocksure grin, one that she wears almost as well as Rath.“What’s going on, exactly?” You ask, confused. “And what does this have to do with Leviathan?”“We encountered this very same amalgam only a short while ago, albeit in a different form. It had quite the distinct form—akin to a Kappa.” Yamato calmly explains. “We first thought that it was going on the offensive before we realized it was fleeing from Leviathan. They froze both us and the amalgam, and we conversed for a time before Leviathan let us go. The last we saw of the amalgam, it was in Leviathan’s possession.”(Continued)
>>5184437“Could this thing have escaped, somehow?” You forward, fearing that you already know the answer…and it’s Musashi that’s all too happy to supply the thing that confirms your suspicions.“With how Levy had both us and that thing by the balls without breaking a sweat?” She smirks. “Chances are as likely as a skeleton converting to Catholicism.”“Wha-?”“Slim to nun.” Calypso groans, running her hands through her semi-tangible hair. “One, that wasn't funny the first sixteen times you said it, Mu. Second, I’m not sensing Leviathan anywhere nearby. Seems to have dropped off the map, at least according to the ‘net. Third…”“Third, it’s attacking another ship…” Yamato adds coolly, Calypso heaving another long-suffering groan as Dorian boldly steps forward. “...the Flying Fairy.”“We can help them. I should have no trouble running over to the sce-” Dorian begins, rolling up his sleeves until he runs into the blunt of Musashi’s wooden blade, leveled at his chest.“Cap’n made it plenty clear we’re gonna let this one go, friend.” The swordswoman sighs. “Better the waves claim that ship and everyone awake on it.”“What? Why?!” Dorian demands, and he’s answered by Yamato’s measured and patient reply.“The Flying Fairy’s name belies its purpose; it’s a rather infamous ferryer of cocooned Daughters.” She explains, softly. “There are worse ports than the one at which we met you; places where lives are traded and sold. Where Daughters never wake to this world in earnest.”“They’re selling the biomass.” Gina breathes, the Neuromancy slipping away from her eyes as they widen. “Chrysalis bio is-”“Pure, undiluted, and incredibly valuable.” Snarls a voice from behind Calypso. It belongs to a redhead almost as tall as November, her girl’s rough-hewn features only serving to heighten her imposing nature, something not helped by her bare stomach—a series of ribcages overlaid into a mess of jagged, knife-like bones. “Used to run with the crew of a chrysalis trader before I got wise. You ask me? Let the fuckers burn beneath the waves. They deserve it.”“And what of the cocoons on board? Do they deserve that same fate?” You ask, your question hanging in the air, awaiting answer.(Continued)
>>5184439“Look, just spit-ballin’ logistics, here…” Calypso tentatively begins, scanning the eyes of all present with a pleading look. “...if that thing’s distracted with the Flying Fairy then we’ve got no business hanging around. That thing was a godddamn monster before, and now? Yamato’s sensors showed that there’s gonna be practically nothing left once it’s dealt with the Fairy’s defenses. We can look for Leviathan while it’s busy, and then deal with whatever this Amalgam’s evolved into when we’re not on a timetable, yeah?”At that, the strong-woman steps forward in protest. “Guys, we can totally take that thi-” “ShutthefuckUP Hilde!” Calypso hisses. “Now’s not the time for a dick-measurring contest with FUCKING GAMERA!”“Though I do not approve of Calypso’s typical vulgarity, I am in accord with her reasoning.” Yamato intones, the deep, metallic reverb in her tone leaving little room for argument. “We should continue on.”She goes quiet, the eyes of her crew and those that ring the deck swiveling to land upon you……and you realize that, for just a little while, you felt like someone who didn’t have the weight of the world on their shoulders.“If that course of action is amenable to our guests, that is.” Yamato adds diplomatically, awaiting your response.>>Engage the Amalgam in combat—the cocoon traders are one thing, but there may be Daughters on board that deserve a shot at life. Leviathan can wait…human lives always take precedence.>>Agree with Yamato and Calypso—the odds are narrow that raw cocoons could survive an assault on land, to say nothing of the open seas. Leviathan awaits, and so too does Behemoth.>>Offer a compromise; send a small, fast contingent possibly led by Dorian and Gina to rescue what pods they can while Yamato and the majority of her crew continue the hunt for Leviathan. Fighting’s one thing, but a snatch-and-grab of innocent lives in quite another.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>5184441vote;>Offer a compromise; send a small, fast contingent possibly led by Dorian and Gina to rescue what pods they can while Yamato and the majority of her crew continue the hunt for Leviathan. Fighting’s one thing, but a snatch-and-grab of innocent lives in quite another.>>Cover Dorian in some stealth platlings, and then have a mix of other stealthlings ready to help him ferry any cocoons out as necessary, and the rest ready to act as a distraction the moment it might catch onto Dorian, or something goes wrong and he needs its attention elsewhere. >>Gina can use what Water Terraforming she can to help Dorian to and fro more easily, and to help watch for and track the things attack to better find the safest approach and what we're after.I get using the distraction to our advantage and not wasting time with something we can deal with later, but We just aint the type to not at least try and rescue the cocoons. just not our style.
>>5184441Hmm. That's a tricky one. It's not our brand to just leave them to die, but sending people in to try to grab cocoons out of the ship is a huge risk that I'm not sure I want to take. Actually, let's check if there even are any coccoons, first.>>Write-In>Send in some stealthed swarmlings to examine the Fairy. Is it even carrying any coccoons?
>>5184456problem is we cant rely on having time to check that. both due to that might meaning it gets all the pods killed, aswell as us just not having time in general.
>>5184458I just don't like making moral decisions based on insufficient information. Which, yeah, makes this a challenge, and I get that, but still. Okay, what if we gave an Escher's Gear spoke to the swarmlings we send in to look, and also leave one onboard Yamato? If it turns out that there are cocoons onboard we can teleport them right over. Faster and safer than having Dorian ferry them across the water.
>>5184465maybe. might lose a spoke doing that though.how many of those do we even have left anyhow?
>>5184470(Ive judged that it is rather easy to Forge replacements, but the Gear itself has a limit as to how many can be attuned to it at one time.)
>>5184470Five of them. It came with seven spokes, Mara took one with her, and another is permanently locked to the Lair. We've recovered all the rest after use. So assuming that Escher's Gear can lock to moving targets, it should be fine.>>5184473Oh, neat, so if we did lose a spoke we could just make another. We'd be down to four for a while, but we're not likely to need to tag more than that at any one time. A lot of places are by regular Waystations.
>>5184476(You all have enough time/resource management to deal with, so I try to cut down where I can.)
>>5184476could've sworn we had left one or two at other locations, but yeah as >>5184473said if we can just forge more then not a big deal.still think we should just send someone over there, gear or no gear. Dorian would still be faster. send him over with a Swarm stuck to him, check it out, and regardless just slap down the spoke and either teleport back himself, or with all the cocoons. then have a leftover swarmling attempt to retrieve the spoke.
>>518448That sounds reasonable. Dorian is faster and can slip through the fighting easier. He is very hard to stop. Actually, I think with the latest upgrade to Spring-Heeled Jack, just him getting near the fighting would make the Kappa slow down. Huh. So yeah, let's send in a stealthed Dorian with the spoke, if there's anything he can drop the spoke and we'll shuttle the cocoons over and if there isn't we can just recall him. >>5184441Changing >>5184456 to>>Write-In>Cover Dorian in a layer of Subversive Platelings, inject him with a Bishop, and hand him a spoke of Escher's Gear. Give him an armful of regular stealthlings to carry over to help search and/or serve as a distraction if he's spotted.>Send him over to quickly slip into the Fairy's cargo bay, see if they have any cocoons in need of rescue. If so, teleport over and grab the cocoons for teleporting back to Yamato. If not, just teleport over to retrieve Dorian. >Have Gina function as overwatch, hydroforming the sea if need be to open a path for Dorian to get through.How's that?
>>5184439>It’s an amalgam in the purest sense of the word; its legs a blend of a squid’s dexterous tentacles and something akin to Yamato’s own limbs, with joints in chitinous triplicate. The thing’s body is a bulbous mass surrounded by a trio of jagged shells, mismatched and barely held together around the creature’s rotund body. Its single reptilian head is surrounded by a mane of billowing, languid tendrils like a Man-o-War’s lethal embrace, trailing behind it for hundreds of meters as though it were the veil of some sort of hideous bride. The being's forehead is concave, a vacuous space filled to the brim and overflowing with a swarm whose form eludes you at this range.>“We encountered this very same amalgam only a short while ago, albeit in a different form. It had quite the distinct form—akin to a Kappa.” Yamato calmly explains. “We first thought that it was going on the offensive before we realized it was fleeing from Leviathan. They froze both us and the amalgam, and we conversed for a time before Leviathan let us go. The last we saw of the amalgam, it was in Leviathan’s possession.”>“Could this thing have escaped, somehow?” You forward, fearing that you already know the answer…and it’s Musashi that’s all too happy to supply the thing that confirms your suspicions.>“With how Levy had both us and that thing by the balls without breaking a sweat?” She smirks. “Chances are as likely as a skeleton converting to Catholicism.”I think I know what Leviathan's been doing in the interim. He's been dicking around with local amalgams and playing frankenstein with them.
>>5184449>>5184456The "Cargo" on the Fairy I can accept engaging the rescue op. But what about the crew manning the ship?
>>5184441This feels eerily similar to a Kobayashi Maru test.
>>5184441>>5184449yeah, i guess amending to support >>5184489basically the same though, just his has the spoke, but still.>>5184498Think we're just gonna leave em. they made their choices, and all that.
>>5184497Yep. It's like Ziz said, this is what Leviathan does when they're bored. Just mash things together and try to make something new and cool.>>5184498I think we can leave them. The law of the sea is that you rescue any ship in distress. But "in distress" requires that they be asking for aid. Officially, if the captain of a vessel isn't declaring the ship is in trouble, it's not. So we're technically in the clear. Morally, it's a bit hazy, since we're letting these people die (or at least fight a real tough fight) on the say-so of others. But they are super-cannibals, the bad kind that eats people while they're sleeping (unlike us, the good kind who only eats people who tried to kill us), and I feel that "fuck 'em" isn't entirely the wrong response there. I'm going to say that if any of them confront us we offer to take them to safety, but we don't have to go out of our way to extend the offer.
>>5184489Shouldn't Shu also suit up with in a stealth suit as well if she's going to be the medium that transports the Cargo?Also, it doesn't have to be one-at-a-time. Shu has Hundred Handed Generator skills. She can simply spawn all the limbs she needs to get into physical contact with the cargo as well as Dorian and then simply activate Escher's Gear for a Mass warp.
>>5184513So then that begs the question: If we're able to get ziz pacified for the long term on the account of his surprisingly gentle nature, How are we gonna get Leviathan to come around while keeping in mind his constantly inquisitive nature and the need to experiment and study?
>>5184517Good idea, Shu should also suit up, just for redundancy. And yeah, absolutely grab them all with the Hundred-Hands.>>5184518Well, we need to give them novelty. The Dissociated will help, if we get them to send back communications about the cool things they're building in space Leviathan can learn about them. They can probably hear radio, right? Showing them humanity's various creations would also help, they'd probably be interested in the artists and engineers of the Crucible. Introduce them to Magnus, let the two of them geek out over mecha anime together. And if we do manage to end the Crucible, even though Leviathan is doubtful at the moment, they'd be very interested. They like ecosystems, and the Crucible ending would allow Earth to have one of those again. And just the idea of the Crucible ending would be extremely novel. That's never happened before, what's that going to lead to?
>>5184518>>5184521the Crucible ending would help but only really be a stopgap. from the sound of it (assuming they dont get picked up by their creators), the longterm plan would probably just be to let them go on a space journey to go do their own thing.the real question will be though, will we be ending ALL the crucibles, or just our own? thats gonna actually be the 'big ask' decision at the end probably, now that i think about it. maybe. the problem just wraps back around to the whole 'mother of all' and her role with the Crucible Creators whole plan here.in terms of wrapping back around to Leviathan, i guess we really need to know how loyal he is to said creators. thats gonna make a big difference here after the dissacociateds launch.
>>5184441Adding a proposal to this plan >>5184489.>Dorian infiltrates the Flying fairy in order to locate the Cargo while stealthed up with stealth-platelings, keep in mind to balance speed and stealth. Dorian carries a gear spoke.>Once he's located the Cargo, a comms interaction with Shu will have Shu teleport over to the Flying fairy for mass-extraction via Hundred-hands and Escher's gear warping Dorian, Shu, and the Cargo back to the Yamato. The other spoke located on the Yamato.
>>5184542Sure. It's just explicitly stating what was implied, but might as well make it explicit.
(Still writing during a rather busy day at work, so I'll be updating as soon as I can.)
>>5184441“We have both the means and the method to save who we can…” You say firmly, turning to your resident gentleman. “….and Dorian’s got the speed to make that happen.”A hefty Bishop’s the first of your brood to make it out of your spinal hive, darting over to Dorian’s back and spearing his neck to bolster his capabilities. In mere seconds he’s covered from head to toe in platelings, the individual units’ shells merging to form a suit of your trademark chitinous armor, and with a thought you grant yourself the same rigid defense.“Gina?” You say, retrieving Escher’s Gear and tossing a spoke to Dorian just before he blitzes off the bridge with a flash of static and a rush of ocean wind.“Overwatch, got it!” She says, eyes flaring once more with Neuromantic light as the seas go rigid under Dorian’s feet, allowing him greater traction as he speeds towards his distant goal.“Holy-…your man’s almost as fast as this one woman we carried on over on our last job.” Hilde breathes, clearly impressed.“Pick your jaw up off the floor and help me make room in storage—Dorian’ll be back any second.” Musashi says, clapping the other girl on the shoulder with the hand that isn’t a wooden blade, the pair disappearing below deck as Calypso turn to you with exasperation writ large on her face. She open’s her mouth to speak, but Yamato cuts her off with a voice of calm command.“Calypso, please continue searching for Leviathan, if you would.” The ship-girl says, her tone leaving no room for argument. Calypso storms off, and Yamato’s voice is softer when she next addresses you, her voice carried only by the speakers closest to you.“What you are doing is a kind thing, Defiant. I will do my best to assist you in your endeavors.” She says, her words couched in the woman’s ever-present diplomacy.“It’s much-appreciated, Yamato.” You reply earnestly. “I know this isn’t exactly what we’d envisioned when we first set out, but I’m glad we-““Miss Shu, I’ve secured two pods. I’m afraid the rest have been lost.” Dorian informs you, his voice barely audible over the chaos surrounding him. Without hesitation, your gauntleted fingers tighten around the relic in your hand, and your stomach lurches as you’re hurled through space to your ally’s side…and thrust into the chaos he’s weathered thus far. It’s a veritable typhoon, a mountain looming over you that rages at the heavens amidst a roiling sea littered with shattered calcite and melting bodies.“Are there any traffickers still alive?!” You shout, struggling to be heard over the din as Dorian shakes his head, his fingers extended around the diameters of two small cocoons, the acid slaking off their protective membranes. Your swarm springs to action, encircling the pair as you pull out Escher’s Gear, prepared to make the jump back to safety.And then everything goes quiet…and so very still.(Continued)
>>5184611Escher’s Gear thrums helplessly in your hand, trying in vain to reach out and pull you back to safety as the titanic Amalgam’s frozen in place, the seas going stock-still as though they were naught but a painting.“OH HO, AND WHO MIGHT YOU BE?”The voice that vibrates through you bones and threatens to boil the blood in your veins seems omnipresent, though its source reveals itself soon enough—if the amalgam towering over you is a mere mountain, then the thing that rises from the glitched waves is nothing short of Everest. Easily three times the size of Ziz, the wyrm that emerges from the depths bears more than a passing resemblance to their sibling—multiple jaws and a combination of features with a preferred element.“…YOU HAVE THE SCENT OF THE LEAST ENTERTAINING OF MY CHILDISH SIBLINGS—YOU’RE PRACTICALLY DRIPPING WITH IT.” Leviathan says, unamused. “TELL ME, DID SHE SEND YOU AS ENVOY? PLEADING WITH ME TO PARTICIPATE IN SOME DROLL EXERCISE YET AGAIN?”You open your mouth to speak before a sweep of the thing’s tail cuts you off as an errant, cataclysmic flick sends the smaller amalgam back beneath the waves, the water churning for a split-second before freezing mid-splash.“YOU CAN TELL HER I’M NOT INTERESTED…UNLESS YOU CAME HERE WITH SOME REQUEST OF YOUR OWN?” The awe-inspiring form ponders, leaning close with frightening speed as its face suddenly encompasses your entire field of vision. “EVERYONE WANTS SOMETHING. FAVORS ARE THE ONLY CURRENCY WORTH ANYTHING IN THESE ENDLESS CYCLES.”Ziz’s sibling…they couldn’t be more dissimilar. Whereas the thunderbird’s knowledge of her powers was limited, Leviathan is utterly at ease with their form and function, manipulating the elements and slipping in and out of perception as easily as breathing. Leviathan has no pretentions—and despite everything you’ve accomplished, you have to wonder if they even know who you are…or if this is some sort of test, sicking the amalgam on this ship of traders.“I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT A COMMON DAUGHTER WOULD ASK OF ONE SUCH AS I.” Leviathan purrs, their mouth opening just a hair to offer a glimpse of the writhing mass of forms within. “SPEAK, DAUGHTER. WHAT HAVE YOU OF WORTH?”Something tells you to choose your words with care.You might not get a second chance.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume at 10AM, Eastern time. Thank you for your patience and participation, and I do hope you have a restful evening one and all.)
>>5184612Well shit. Time for wordsmithing. I've got 2 hours before I leave.
>>5184612>YOU HAVE THE SCENT OF THE LEAST ENTERTAINING OF MY CHILDISH SIBLINGSOh well...that puts a different light onto the trio's dynamic.
>>5184613(Also, if anyone needs more time I am more than happy to extend the voting time and shift the next posting to 2PM tomorrow if that would suit everyone. Let me know what works.)
>>5184622That would work for me. Gives us time to have a thorough debate while you can take the time to attend to your personal affairs.
>>5184612vote;>smile, and give a small nod.>"Its the opposite actually. We asked Ziz to help us, and thought we would give asking you a try aswell after they agreed.">"I usually prefer more formalities, But ill respect your time as you dont seem interested in dilly dallying.">"Behemoth is riled up, but not in his usual way. In around 6 hours time, a Group called the Disassociated plan to attempt to break through the membrane and escape the Crucible. Behemoth seems poised to try and destroy them before they can even attempt it.">let your smile become a grin.>"But why would we want to allow that? Quite droll, if you ask me. wouldn't it be much more interesting to see if they actually can break free, and if they actually can make a civilization out there? I think so, and we quite thought you might aswell.">Shrug, and let Leviathan stew over the idea for a moment.>"But if seeing the launch and its outcome isnt enough for you, I suppose name your price. I dont like using my clout, but if its required here, then the Defiant will use what she has to try and meet your demands."keep it relatively simple, as Leviathan seems to want, and entice them into the idea instead of outright just bargaining for it.
>>5184622I dont think we'll need it honestly. But we'll see what others think i guess.
>>5184612My name is Shu. I was the one who drew the ire of Mother Ozmas...and laid her low through her favored daughter. I am the reason why Ozmas has awakened you. >>5184628....wow. I think you have it. It's got the tone and the weight that may entice Leviathan into aiding us. Turning the tables on Leviathan's assumption is novel to him. Enticing him with a world-event that he hasn't seen ever, and then giving him a reason to interfere with Behemoth because the destruction of something novel would mean a missed opportunity.
>>5184622That sounds reasonable, sure. Thanks.
>>5184612>>Write-In>"Funny that you should bring up your siblings. It's that which we're trying to deal with.">"I'm sure I don't need to tell you about your brother's temper. Show him something he's not familiar with and, well...he can't help but make a mess, can he?">"Which is a real shame, because the tower of blocks he's about to knock over is a pretty interesting one. A group of cyborgs is looking to launch a ship clear of the Crucible, go off and build a whole new civilization among the stars. It's going to be quite something to see. Provided, of course, that Behemoth's latest tantrum doesn't screw it all up.">"I don't know about you, but to me it would be the high of drollness to see that gone before it's even gotten a chance to try. So we're looking to stop your brother. Now, I'm not expecting you to just wave your fins and solve that all for us. But as the wiser and more mature sibling, I'm sure you've had to deal with Behemoth's fits many a time before. If we could borrow that experience, I think we could make this work out better for everyone." I don't quite like this, I think it gets a bit too far away from the "here's some cool novelty" part, but I do think playing to Leviathan's ego as the big sibling is a good play. They see themselves as the member of the family that's more mature and capable of focusing on important things, so framing our problem as Behemoth being childish and needing a wise older sibling to set him straight could be very effective. Though maybe it would wind up harming relations with Behemoth if it gets back to him. Thoughts, anyone?
>>5184660I like the idea of playing into Leviathan's ego but we'll have to word it in a way that the fallout of this encounter doesn't impact their relationship with Behemoth or how Behemoth views us when we negotiate with him. The idea of asking for his wisdom as a means of implicit deference is also a good idea, but we still need to make it clear that we're the one with the big idea of trying to ensure the rocket launch's success and leading the negotiation with behemoth. The rocket launch is short term novelty in the grand scale of time and the short term sales pitch will suffice. But we'll have to offer something more enticing for Leviathan in the medium-long term in the negotiation stage. Leviathan's wise and is pretty forward thinking so we'll need to play along that context. Once we've established that we have both Leviathan and Ziz's verbal and implicit support.
>>5184612I'll come up with something when I'm back from work.
>>5184660the tones a bit off to me here. And i feel like it leans too far into flattery and anti-flattery over just giving him some bait to bite down onto. plus it ignores he (oddly) seems to be asking for potential payment ahead of time almost without caring what we want from him.
>>5184673Well, we don't necessarily need a long-term pitch, we'd like Leviathan on our side but we only need them to help with this. But yeah, it should be less obsequious, I think. Make it clear this is our plan that we're proposing, not begging him for aid.>>5184688Yeah, that's why I don't like it. I don't think I got the tone right. I want to play off of Leviathan's sense of being the mature sibling, but I don't want to come off as fawning.Good point on them wanting payment. I think it's more an assurance that this is worth their time, not necessarily exactly payment, but it is something that I didn't really address.
>>5184622Heading to work. the voting time extension is appreciated. >>5184702>>5184688I'll see you later. Have a nice day.
>>5184706Have a nice day, anon.
>>5184706(Have a good shift at work!)
>>5184706seeya.finally got a new job im starting on monday myself, so soon my time will be more dubious too.
>>5184722(I meant to mention this earlier, but congratulations on your new job! Whenever I open up voting times then let me know what works for you, and we'll work around them so everyone can participate. That goes for everyone present, too- if there's a voting time that's too restrictive, let me know.)
>>5184722Oh, congratulations, anon.
>>5184728>>5184730thanks, though (hopefully) voting shouldn't be too big n issue, if only cause of how spread out they are.
>>5184660Okay, trying again. Sorry for the late post, I had to deal with some stuff.>>5184612>>Write-In>"You're right, I'm the one with the request. Though in a sense, it's also an invitation. How would you like to watch a rocket launch?">"A group called the Dissociated have a plan for some part of humanity to survive the worst of the Crucible. They've heavily cyberneticized themselves, and have built a ship to take them past the Crucible's defenses. It's ready. They're launching in a few hours. Within weeks, they could be landing on another planet, building a new world. It should be quite a fascinating thing to see happen.">"There's a catch, though. Behemoth is on a rampage towards their position. I take it he does this a lot? If he isn't stopped, the rocket will be destroyed, and I think that would be a disappointing thing. I'd like your help in stopping him. I've already contacted Ziz, you were right to think I had spoken to her. She's onboard, but I'd feel better knowing I had you as well. Someone a bit more mature, a bit better used to managing their siblings' whims. I'd like to tap that experience.">"As for what I have to offer you? If the invitation isn't enough to satisfy you, then name your price and we can start bargaining. I've got connections, chances are better than most that I can find you something that you'd enjoy."How's this, does this work better?
>>5184829This is a pretty good framework response. I had the same thought while at work, rephrasing the request as an "invitation" would pique Levi's interest into such an interesting event, and then the catch (behemoth's warpath) would certainly ring alarm bells in Levi's mind. It works. I do think we could phrase it a bit more enticing. Imply that there's a time limit to the invitation as we ourselves have our own time-table, He can turn down our offer, but how we do our sales pitch by including the phrase: "missed opportunity" or "limited-time opportunity" in our pitch will put the sea snek on the spot. Add in the catch of Behemoth's warpath, and Leviathan will be in such a bind that he'll have to make a snap judgment call on whether or not to accept.I think we could also mention that the Disassociated have some of humanity's top chosen scientists of this crucible spearheading the project, like-minded people like Cassandra and Director Scola Pendra to Leviathan to provide some semblance of empathetic association with his hobby.Also, if Leviathan is skeptical, we could add in confirmation by using our connections to vouch for the validity of the event.>>5184722Congrats anon. I hope your work schedule is merciful.
Remember, Leviathan can read our mind and will know if we try to lie or trick them, so keep that in mind. Honesty and straight forwardness is probably the way to go here.
>>5185226Ah shit, Leviathan is testing us, aren't they? They purposely let that amalgam go to attack that ship to see what we would do, and now they are talking in a somewhat hostile and aggressive manner to see what we do or say under pressure.Stay calm people. Leviathan wants to know what kind of people we really are it seems....
>>5185226Don't worry. If anything we're being perfectly honest about why we wanted to meet him and what we want from him. The challenge with the prompt Leviathan's given us is that he wants us to prove through our sales pitch that what we have in store or are proposing is worth his time, attention, and energy. To him, Shu appears as a common run-of-the-mill daughter from one of many cycles unlike Yamato who is clearly a unique specimen on account of how the ship-girl has evolved within the Crucible's environment. So that leaves us with trying to entice him/catch his interest in a novel world-event that he has not likely seen in any crucible cycle he's gone through.
>>5185061Well, I think the "it's going to launch in a few hours" and "Behemoth wants to smash it" parts already put a pretty sharp time table on it. At best, Leviathan has six hours with which to decide if they want to come see it. I guess it could be made more explicit, though.And mentioning the fascinating minds aboard the ship could work, yeah. Make it clear that this is a place of interesting people that Leviathan would regret having been lost.>>5185235Oh, absolutely. There aren't even any living people on this ship. Five bucks says that there haven't been any people on this ship for quite some time. Leviathan's just been hanging onto it in case they needed to mess with someone.
>>5185336Oh I think there were people on the ship, most likely even relatively recently, since Shu saw melting bodies in the ocean when Dorian told her he secured 2 pods. I just think that Leviathan set the amalgam loose on them as soon as Yamato got close enough to notice and the amalgam killed the lot of them pretty quick. Keeping track of something like a ship is easy for Leviathan, it's just a matter of timing the release of the amalgam really and when we teleported over to secure the pods, Levi jumped in to really test us.But yeah, those pirates were really unlucky, cause they are definitely all dead now thanks to Leviathan. We should ask if any pods fell overboard, since there were only 2.
(Good Morning, Everyone. Is everyone alright with a general blend of the responses listed, or would you like to allocate votes?)
>>5185437prefer to wait on votes myself but Also dont think its good to hold up the Quest, so i guess if it gets things moving just blend them.mind, theres only two, as one was someone editing but forgetting to say so.
(I'll keep voting open until 1:00PM, with posting to resume at 2:00.)
>>5185437A blend is fine by me. I was trying to revise my write-in, but looking at it, it's not that different from what I already wrote. To clarify, >>5185448 is right, I did modify my first submission and didn't make it as clear as it should be. >>5184829 is a replacement to>>5184660. I say go with the blend, there are parts in the other submission that I liked but that I couldn't think of how to get into mine. Specifically, it's punchier. Like, if we opened with the other submission, and then added bits of mine as fleshing out while talking with Leviathan, that could work.
>>5185457(You made it plenty clear, you're fine! I always appreciate clarification, since I can tend to assume a direction that wasn't intended.)
>>5184612>"You're right, I'm the one with the request. Though in a sense, it's also an invitation. How would you like to watch a rocket launch?">"A group called the Disassociated have a plan for some part of humanity to survive the worst of the Crucible. They've heavily cyberneticized themselves, and have built a ship to take them past the Crucible's defenses, the project spearheaded by some of humanity's top scientists such as Dr. Cassandra and Director Scola Pendra. The Project is complete and they have made preparations to launch within several hours. It's a fascinating event, and I had planned on watching the launch along with my family.>"There's just one problem. Behemoth's agitated by this and plans on stopping it by doing what he does best. I take it he does this a lot? If he isn't stopped, the rocket will be destroyed, and I think that would be a disappointing thing. I'd like your help in stopping him. I've already contacted Ziz, you were right to think I had spoken to her. She's onboard for watching and helping, but I'd feel better knowing I had your aid as well. Someone a bit more mature, a bit better used to managing their siblings' whims. I'd like to tap into that wisdom.">"As for what I have to offer you? If the invitation isn't enough to satisfy you, then name your price and we can start bargaining. I don't like using my clout, but if its required here, then as the Defiant, I will use what I have to try and meet your demands. Chances are better than most that I can find you something that would entertain you for this cycle.">>5185437>>5185457>>5185448Would this work as a blend?
>>5185461honestly im just not a fan of the other write in, and that one feels too long winded with too many details we just dont need. i'd prefer to leave it to BHOP only just to keep things moving, but with a preference to still try to keep things 'slim' as thats what the situation i think calls for.
>>5185461I'm not too keen on the name dropping. Names don't necessarily mean anything to Leviathan. If they ask who's involved, then sure, tell them about the Dissociated's project heads, but leave it out to start. And like I said, I do think being punchy would be good. Maybe that's something to leave to BHOP, then, since he controls the integration of our dialogue into the actual narrative. But otherwise it looks fine.
>>5185465You have a point. I do think we need to keep things fast-moving. We don't want Leviathan to get bored. Give them some sizzle so that they pay attention, and then drop further details and/or appeal as it comes.
>>5185466>>5185465If we're gonna go with a punchy response, then supporting >>5184628's format will have everything that we've been trying to pitch to Leviathan but with fewer words. Because lets face it. We're essentially doing the equivalent of an elevator sales pitch to a monster of the Apocalypse and the message is: "Hey, do you want to watch a rocket launch? If so, then help us make sure the launch succeeds."
>>5184612Staring up at the monstrous form that seems larger than possible, you simply smile, giving Leviathan a small nod as you speak."It's the opposite actually. We asked Ziz to help us, and thought we would give asking you a try as well, after they agreed. I usually prefer more formalities, but I'll respect your time as you don't seem interested in dilly dallying." You explain, taking a breath before continuing. "Behemoth is riled up, but not in his usual way. In around six hours’ time, a group called the Disassociated will attempt to break through the membrane and escape the Crucible. Behemoth seems poised to try and destroy them before they can even attempt it."Your smile morphs into a grin, your gaze settling on one of the world-serpent’s multitude of eyes, each one boasting an abyssal depth."But why would we want to allow that? Quite droll, if you ask me.” You say, and the sound Leviathan makes could almost be a chuckle. “So I thought; wouldn't it be much more interesting to see if they actually can break free, and if they actually can make a civilization out there? I think so, and we quite thought you might as well."With a shrug, you allow Leviathan a moment of consideration…and when the colossus speaks, every word is tinged with amusement.“YOU’RE QUITE THE DIPLOMAT, SHU THE DEFIANT.” Leviathan hums approvingly“So you know who I am?”“YOUR NAME’S HELD IN SOME REGARD BY NO SMALL NUMBER OF THE DAUGHTERS I’VE GIVEN MY USUAL ONCE-OVER. YOU’RE AS INSPIRED AS THEY SAY.” The colossus says, clearly amused. “TRYING TO USE MY OWN INQUISITIVE NATURE TO BAIT ME INTO HELPING DEAL WITH MY BRASH LITTLE BROTHER? A BOLD TACTIC.”“Do I offend you?” You say, casting your hands wide as you play into Leviathan’s theatrics.“OH, NO NO. I’M NOT OFFENDED. I’M NOT EVEN MAD—JUST IMPRESSED. ESPECIALLY SINCE I’M CERTAIN THAT MY APPEARANCE SURPRISED YOU, YET YOU PIVOTED SO EFFORTLESSLY FROM RESCUE TO REPARTEE.” Leviathan chuckles, the reverb making your marrow throb. “NOW, I PRESUME WITH YOUR PEDIGREE OF HEROICS THAT YOU CAME HERE LOOKING FOR THESE?”A multitude of forms rise from the still waters, as at Leviathan’s whim you’re surrounded by dozens of intact chrysalises, untouched by the ocean’s merciless waters.“I AM NO MONSTER.” Leviathan says, simply. “THEY ARE YOURS TO DO WITH AS YOU PLEASE. I PRESUME YOU CAN FIND SOME WELL-INTENTIONED SAMARITAN WITH A HEART OF GOLD TO LOOK AFTER THEM, GIVEN THE COMPANY YOU’RE RUMORED TO KEEP.”“Oh, we know just the woman.” Dorian replies with a smile.(Continued)
>>5185571“THEN TAKE THEM. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A WASTE OF BIOMASS, AS THE AMALGAM I’D BEEN TINKERING WITH PROVED TO EVOLVE IN SUCH A BOORISH WAY. EVEN THIS VESSEL’S CREW WASN’T ENOUGH TO PROMPT ANYTHING NOVEL.”“Speaking of novel, about the Disassociated…” You say, shifting to the topic at hand. “...as I said before, they’re planning to-”“PIERCE THROUGH THE CRUCIBLE’S PRIMARY MEMBRANE WITH A COMBINATION OF NECROTIZING AGENTS AND THERMONUCLEAR PROPULSION?” The amalgam drolly interrupts. “NOT EXACTLY BREAKING NEW GROUND, ARE THEY? PRE-FUSION CULTURES LOVE TO THROW THEIR LITTLE FIRECRACKERS AT EVERY PROBLEM THEY FACE, NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL.”“So…you’ve seen this happen before?”“THESE ‘DISASSOCIATED’ ARE HARDLY THE FIRST TO ATTEMPT AN ESCAPE IN MY MEMORY…AND MY MEMORY IS A PRODIGIOUS THING, INDEED. OUT OF MY SIBLINGS, I VERY CLEARLY INHERITED THE MIND OF OUR CREATOR.” Leviathan preens for a moment before picking up where they left off in their scoffing. “BUT YES, MANY HAVE TRIED. SOME HAVE EVEN SUCCEEDED. IT’S NOT A BAD PLAN—ONCE A DAUGHTER BREACHES THE SECOND MEMBRANE, THEY ARE FREE OF THE CRUCIBLE’S INFLUENCE. NOT THAT THEY COULD SURVIVE THE VACUUM OF SPACE FOR LONG, BUT STILL.”“How…how do you know that?” Dorian asks, confused.“I HAD BEHEMOTH THROW ONE. AS A JOKE.” Leviathan answers dismissively. “HOWEVER, SINCE THE CRUCIBLE’S FIELD RE-ROUTES THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS TO ITS CREATOR. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A DAUGHTER WHOSE VERY EXISTENCE LAUGHS IN THE FACE OF CONSERVATION OF MASS IS UNIFORMLY—AND VIOLENTLY—REINTRODUCED TO THEM?”A beat.“IT IS NEVER NOT FUNNY.”“Wait, so since you and Behemoth…’yeeted’...a Daughter off-planet, does escaping the Crucible not constitute a threat to its purpose?” You ask, seeing an opening.“NONE AT ALL…THOUGH I SUSPECT THAT WON'T STOP MY IDIOT BROTHER FROM SEEING THE SHUTTLE AS YET ANOTHER RIDICULOUS ATTEMPT TO 'PROVE HIS WORTH', AS HE PUTS IT. PURE POSTURING, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION. AND EVEN FOR THOSE RARE DAUGHTERS WHO MANAGED TO ESCAPE, THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE WHO HAVE THEIR PITIFUL HEARTS SET ON THEIR WORLD’S CORD. A HANDFUL OF INCONSEQUENTIAL MISFITS ARE PRESENT IN EVERY EXPERIMENT. THEY WERE ACCOUNTED FOR, AND POSE NO THREAT TO THE CRUCIBLE’S END GOAL.” Leviathan explains, and you’re treated to the thing’s best attempt at a shrug as its hidden length bunches up and relaxes. “THE REVOLUTION ENDS. THE CYCLE CONCLUDES. SO IT WILL BE UNTIL THIS STRAIN DEGRADES TO NOTHING.”(Continued)
>>5185573This…this is a lot. Leviathan’s proven to be a font of information, as wordy as they are—but you need to stay on track.“Regardless of what happens, I still intend to give the Disassociated a fighting chance. Do they have one as it stands now?”“WITHOUT BEHEMOTH’S INTERVENTION? IF THEY’VE RUN THEIR CALCULATIONS PROPERLY AND TAKEN ALL DUE PRECAUTIONS IN WEAKENING THE MEMBRANES, THEN I SEE NO REASON WHY THEY SHOULDN’T.”“...and if Behemoth intervenes?” You press.“THEN THEY’LL BE LUCKY TO GET A METER OFF THE GROUND BEFORE MY BROTHER TEARS THEM TO PIECES.” Comes Leviathan’s blunt reply. “ALSO, ON THE TOPIC OF THE LAUNCH—YOU’VE YET TO GIVE ME ANY TRUE REASON TO CARE WHETHER THEY LEAVE OR NOT. IF THEY’RE FOOLHARDY ENOUGH TO TURN THEIR INGENUITY TO ESCAPE RATHER THAN WORK HERE WITH WHAT’S ON OFFER, THEN THIS STRAIN HAS LOST NOTHING OF VALUE IN MY EYES.”“But they’re going to make something new. A new way of life, a new civilization…isn’t that worth seeing come to fruition?”“THEY ARE COWARDS. ENTERPRISING COWARDS, BUT COWARDS NONETHELESS. AND WORSE YET—A CIVILIZATION BUILT ON THE BACKS OF A NARROW-MINDED ELITE IS ULTIMATELY DOOMED TO FAIL. I’VE LITTLE INTEREST IN WATCHING IT HAPPEN AGAIN.”“Again?” You echo.“IT’S ALL CYCLES, DEFIANT.” Leviathan darkly chuckles, the waves trembling in time with the thing’s throaty laugh. “IT’S WHY WE’RE HERE RIGHT NOW, IN FACT.”"I see…then if seeing the launch and its outcome doesn’t interest you, then you’re welcome to name your price to help us counter Behemoth. I don't like using my clout, but if it's required here, then the Defiant will use what she has to try and meet your demands."“HA, THAT’S QUITE THE OFFER…” Leviathan hums, drawing closer. “ONE THAT PRESUMES YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT I’D DESIRE SO ARDENTLY AS TO SPEND MY VALUABLE TIME TALKING DOWN YET ANOTHER OF MY BROTHER’S BLUSTERING TANTRUMS. NOW, I *DID* SAY THAT EVERYONE WANTS SOMETHING…SO WHILE I PONDER YOUR OFFER A MOMENT, PERHAPS YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW?And then, with an audible smile;“I MUST SAY…YOU’RE A FUN CONVERSATIONALIST, GODHUNTER. BUT I’D LIKE TO KEEP THIS SHORT—EVEN MY ATTENTIONS HAVE THEIR LIMITS”>>Ask Leviathan for advice on how to 'disarm' Behemoth yourself, if need be.>>Ask about Leviathan and their siblings' Creator, and the species he belonged to.>>Ask about other Crucibles and what stood out to Leviathan - they seem to recall far more than Ziz.>>Ask about Leviathan's plans for the future…and the Crucible's degradation.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume in four. I do hope everyone's day is going well, and that you have some restful weekend plans lined up.)
>>5185579>>5185575Damn. He really pulled a big one over us, being smarter than he lets on. We could have factored in his age and wisdom to note that there were civilizations that did in fact try and escape the Crucible. Not sure what else we could offer. Leviathan's guaranteed to name a high price.
>>5185575hrm... honestly didn't expect the 'im no monster' line, and fair i suppose, but i do think it brings into question the situation a bit. regardless, no reason to look a mercy in the mouth.Vote;>"Do you know, or are even able to speak about, the 'mother of all'? Not to try to imply anything or be presumptuous, but many have referred to me as it but never have given a proper explanation about just what it means, only implications and potentials, and given said reference its quite unnerving. All i know is it seems to be important to whatever the 'true goal' of the Crucibles is, but thats in and of itself horribly vague in alot of ways."just the question id most want to ask myself. technically we know the Crcubles actual goal, just not how its actually supposed to be done, and this is part of said puzzle I kinda want to know, given as said, it seems to so potentially revolve around us and our possible end choice.
>>5185582Still dont think we went about it wrongly though. It was either the annoying 'oh you've seen everything' that would've just resulted in skipping to the price anyways, or at least seeing if we couldn't peak his interest. as for price, while i stated my main reason for asking, i was actually hoping too that mentioning a topic so important might possibly make him want to keep an eye on us.though, actually, i think we may be thinking about Leviathan wrong. he may not actually be wholly as heartless and logic bound as we first thought. it might be those are how he copes with his potential pessimism at this all being for nothing and doomed to just rot away. Our best bet to winning him over permanently may actually be to somehow convince him theres hope in this cycle, but lordy lord is that a task to do.
>>5185575>Ask about Leviathan and their siblings' Creator, and the species he belonged to.>"What do you know of the whole "Mother of All" prophecy?" I've heard it from one who tapped their neuromancy deep into the planet's core rather than the Cord, and I've even heard your creator allude to it face to face a couple of times from Ziz.Mentioning the "Mother of All" tidbit will be something that might, just *might* pique Levi's interest as it's a thing that Ziz, Sugar, and A! alluded to. Because finding the "Mother of All" would be the true end goal for all Crucible strains. It's the bigger priority question that We want to ask Leviathan.>"What do you know of the Fragments of your Creators?" *hold up the Silver Key.* There are many that I've encountered so far. Do they have a relationship with the many Crucible strains and why have they been buried?>>5185595We'll have to review what we know so far: >The throne atop the Cord is for the ones who fail to see the big picture that the Crucible's designers have envisioned. >The "Mother of All" prophecy is a end goal designed by the creators who can pin their hopes on finding a way past entropy despite their accomplishments. >Ziz's dreams and the apocalypse creator EVERYTHING/NOTHING mentioned using the Apocalypse amalgams as "chariots" to siege the Cord. But said daughters are also capable of ending the Crucible. Blue, Green, Brown, three key colors.>Ziz has attuned/resonated with Amara. Possible big step in getting the "Mother of All" end route unlock. That potentially leaves two more daughters to find as Candidates that can resonate with Behemoth and Leviathan. Whether they can unite under a single banner is another question. >The Trick to the "Mother of All" condition involves going "down" instead of "up."What if the trick to the Cord is to remove it from its location and go down instead of climbing up?
>>5185573>HOWEVER, SINCE THE CRUCIBLE’S FIELD RE-ROUTES THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS TO ITS CREATORInteresting. Are they just talking about the mass-energy and infrastructured required to support these capabilities, or is there an actual strain on reality that they cause that needs to be counterbalanced? >>5185603I think it's definitely an expression of Leviathan's frustrations with the cycle. Maybe not necessarily pessimism, but at least exasperation with how it keeps happening the same way. They've established that their desire for novelty isn't for novelty's sake, but because novelty means the Crucible isn't just repeating patterns that have already proven to not work. They don't want the Crucible to just continue on until it finally succumbs to entropy and collapses, they want a success. Or, lacking that, at least for the Crucible to fail in a new way. That's what we need to give Leviathan. A new way of doing things, that other species haven't tried.
>>5185610my only issue here is he wants us to keep things short, so i dont think asking three questions really works. might annoy him.as for the trick... maybe. we do know something interesting is down instead of up. though honestly regardless i wouldnt might just chucking the Cord away instead of climbing it at all, assuming we could do so without dooming everything, which is the issue.
>>5185603We could mention that the Crucible's creator is secretly rooting for us despite his duty-bound impartiality, but this might violate even everything/nothing's contract.>though, actually, i think we may be thinking about Leviathan wrong. he may not actually be wholly as heartless and logic bound as we first thought. it might be those are how he copes with his potential pessimism at this all being for nothing and doomed to just rot away. Our best bet to winning him over permanently may actually be to somehow convince him theres hope in this cycle, but lordy lord is that a task to do.You're on to something. The fact that he's maintaining dialogue with us is telling that he hasn't lost hope yet. We have a foot in the door now with our initial sales pitch, now we need deliver our true pitch that makes him consider our offer. What about: "I've heard of a Prophecy that mentions a "Mother of All", capable of ending the cycles across all strains. Is there a way to fulfill this? It's been alluded to me by a couple of daughters I've met, including your creator.>>5185612>>5185615We could mention that we want to try going down into the planet's core instead of going up to the Cord's peak.You're right about keeping things short. If that's the case, then we'll need to be blunt about our reason: We seek to fulfill the "Mother of All" prophecy.
>>5185612Any thoughts on what singular question we should ask Leviathan? I'm partial to going for the big "Mother of All" question as our top priority as it's an alternative win-condition that's constantly alluded to mysteriously. Ziz has alluded to it, Levi's Creator has alluded to it, Sugar has alluded to it, and even Alicija has alluded to it. We have pieces of the big puzzle but not enough to solve the picture for the next big step. Also, what are your thoughts on asking Leviathan?
>>5185628yeah mentioning we're being rooted for might be too much, least for now. I dont think its too far to mention people have conflated 'mother of all' with us though, just so long as we at least try to make it clear we're not trying to be haughty or use it as leverage, only we're specifically interested/worried due to said connection.also im simply not sure we ARE trying to fulfill the 'mother of all' prophesy. because the issue is, we dont actually even REALLY know what it is or means. doing so might actually go against everything we stand for in context, the problem is we just dont know because we only have a vague, maybe not even complete outline for what it is, with no details inside. as for going down, maybe, but im still more interested in asking about the 'mother of all' right now myself.
>>5185636Sorry, I was pondering it. Aside from "What is the Mother of All", I can think of a few good punchy questions. "What does your creator want" could lead to covering similar ground. "How is the Crucible supposed to save your creator's species from extinction" could also be good to ask, though I expect that it's not the same answer as to what the Crucible is actually doing.>>5185638How about: "What is the Mother of All? People keep implying it's me, but nobody seems able to articulate what it actually means so I have no idea whether it's accurate, let alone something I want."
>>5185638Fair point, putting the prophecy in terms of our worries that it might apply to us is too much on-the-nose. So what of the other questions? Asking about Levi's ideas for future cycles? Given what's been inferred, Levi's probably gonna be increasingly nihilistic in future cycles should this one fail. Asking about his Creator's species would/might give us a clearer insight into the context of the Crucible aside from Ziz's child-like interpretations but it's retreading an old question. Asking him how to 'disarm' Behemoth will likely piss Behemoth off in the coming conflict as it might be an old trick that Behemoth would be wise to if it's exploited. It can be crucial to a fight, but that's thinking short term.And then Asking about the other Crucibles that stood out to Leviathan would be something more akin to "old war stories" that Leviathan could share as a means to pass the time. Time that we don't have. >>5185640>How about: "What is the Mother of All? People keep implying it's me, but nobody seems able to articulate what it actually means so I have no idea whether it's accurate, let alone something I want."That's pretty good. nice and succinct.
>>5185640that seems fine yeah.
>>5185579>I do hope everyone's day is going well, and that you have some restful weekend plans lined upSlow friday. Sathriel's short story is hitting unexpected roadblocks. Some minor elements in the plot have created plot holes as numerous as the pot holes on the road in the last act. Handling the fallout of the court trial is turning out to be messier than expected.
>>5185575>>Write-In>"What is the Mother of All? It's a term I've heard a lot, and sometimes it's even been implied that I am her. But nobody seems able to articulate what it actually means, so I have no idea if that's accurate, let alone something I'd want."How's that?
>>5185575>>5185595amending to support >>5185654
>>5185575I'll support this: >>5185654 as our top priority question to ask Leviathan. If Leviathan's still interested enough to keep the dialogue going after our priority question, then we might as well ask how to 'disarm' Behemoth as he's our next big thing to tackle. Even a cryptic hint would do if time is short.
>>5185661well, i feel like we can probably ask questions about behemoth once he either agrees to help us, or instead of him helping us. i think this is a better opportunity to ask about other things while hes contemplating the price of his help in the first place.
>>5185666Well reasoned. And to hold the devil's trips in your post. >>5185575Amending my posts: >>5185661 & >>5185628 to simply support >>5185654. Any additional follow-up questions would likely be put on hold to accommodate Leviathan's preferences.
>>5185666Yeah, it's best to leave asking about disarming Behemoth for after they've listed the price for their help, so it doesn't look like we're backing out on the deal before terms have even been set. If we agree to the deal it can be a "okay, so how are we going to do this", and if we disagree it can be "would you agree to something less involved for a lesser price".I think asking about the Mother of All is a good opening move here, because it demonstrates an interest in what the Crucible is selecting for. Just the fact that it's come up won't prove that the cycle is different, but it will show that people are thinking about what would make the cycle different.
Heading for work. Hope the update goes well, otherwise...we'll be down a Apocalypse Amalgam for mass kaiju support.
>>5185707(I hope your shift goes well!)
(Continuing to write, but I'll be posting shortly everyone.)
>>5185575Well, if you’ve only got one shot and getting answers, might as well make it count. "What is the Mother of All?” You finally settle on asking. “It’s a term I’ve heard a lot, and sometimes it’s even been implied that I *am* her…but nobody seems able to articulate what it actually means, so I have no idea if it’s accurate, let alone something I’d want.” Leviathan pulls back as if struck, the sudden movement prompting a rush of wind to nearly knock you and Dorian off the driftwood you’re standing on. “OH…OH HO HO, NOW THAT *IS* INTRIGUING.” The amalgam hums, its hide suddenly shifting between a variety of patterns, textures, and hues in quick succession. “IT’S A TITLE WHOSE MEANING MY CREATOR NEVER IMPARTED TO ME, BUT GIVEN HOW FREQUENTLY IT’S BEEN MENTIONED IN THE PAST SIX CRUCIBLE CYCLES I COULDN’T HELP BUT EXTRAPOLATE MY OWN HYPOTHESES.” “I’d like to hear them, even if they’re only theories.” You remark, welcoming a lead of any kind on this doggedly persistent title whose nature has proved frustratingly elusive. “AS I’M CERTAIN SOMEONE OF YOUR CALIBER HAS UNCOVERED UP TO THIS POINT, THE CRUCIBLES WERE DESIGNED TO GIVE RISE TO A BEING OF TREMENDOUS POWER THROUGH THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION AND ASSIMILATION, BOTH. THAT MUCH IS OBVIOUS” Leviathan explains, their rapidly-shifting palette slowing as they speak. “THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL INTENTION OF THE CRUCIBLE STRAINS…THE WILL OF THOSE THAT FORCED MY CREATOR TO DESIGN IT. BUT HIS WILL WAS NOT THEIRS. INSTEAD, HE-“ Four of Leviathan’s eyes swivel towards a spot to your left, just out of sight among the drifting remains of the Flying Fairy. “…AH, IT APPEARS WE HAVE VISITORS.” A glint of light on the horizon is hurtling towards you at break-neck speeds, and when Snowbird finally darts to your side you’re pleasantly surprised to see her humanoid form protectively unfold between you and your host, with Gina jumping off her back and to your side. “The Crimson Cord, I couldn’t reach you!” Gina declares, almost frantic. “Is everything alright?” “Trouble?” Snowbird demands, focus affixed to the looming creature before her. “No, actually…just pleasant conversation.” You assure them, balancing on the piece of driftwood frozen in the stilled waters as you place a reassuring hand on the other Daughter’s shoulder. “Leviathan, meet Snowbird and Gina. Snowbird? Gina? Leviathan.” “My apologies.” Mutters the ex-proxy, taking two steps to bring her bulky frame behind you to hold fast to the deal she made with you before you arrived. “OH NO, NO APOLOGIES NEEDED. YOU…HOW VERY INTERESTING. I’ll COME BACK TO YOU IN A MOMENT.” Leviathan dismisses, clearly intrigued. “NOW, AS I WAS SAYING— (Continued)
>>5185851“MY CREATOR RARELY SPOKE OF HIS PEOPLE’S HISTORY, BUT FROM WHAT I GATHER THEIR ADVENT WAS QUITE UNLIKE ANYTHING THAT HAD COME BEFORE, AND HAS YET TO BE REPEATED.” Leviathan continues. “BY THEIR OWN ACCOUNT, THEIR EXISTENCE WAS A MIRACLE. A SENTIENT PEOPLE—FINITE IN NUMBER, UNABLE TO REPLICATE THEMSELVES AND YET POSSESSED WITH APPARENTLY LIMITLESS POWER BESIDES—SPRINGING UP FROM THE AFTERMATH OF SOME STELLAR CATASTROPHE. BLESSED BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE WITH A FORM UNLIKE ANYTHING SEEN BEFORE.”The amalgam chuckles, before adding; “OR, AS MY CREATOR PUT IT—A COSMIC MISTAKE, WHOSE POSITION ATOP THE GALACTIC FOOD CHAIN ONLY SERVED TO FEED THEIR HUBRIS.” “IN ANY CASE, THEY BELIEVED THEMSELVES UNTOUCHABLE. AS THEY TRAVELED BETWEEN THE STARS WITHOUT AID. THEY SAW IN ALL OTHER FORMS OF LIFE THE STRUGGLES THAT THEY THEMSELVES HAD NEVER GRAPPLED WITH. HUNGER. PAIN. AGING. LOSS. THEY WERE ABOVE SUCH TRIVIALITIES...FOR EONS, THEY TRAVELED, AND DID AS THEY PLEASED, THE VERY FABRIC OF CREATION AND ALL WITHIN IT THEIRS TO COMMAND…AND PLAY WITH, AS THEY SAW FIT. THEY THOUGHT THEMSELVES IMMORTAL. THEIR POWER, LIMITLESS.” “THEY WERE WRONG—ENTROPY APPLIES TO ALL THINGS, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. SLOWLY, THEIR POWERS WANED. IMAGINE? ALL THAT POWER, ALL THAT SHEER DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIAL, AND NOT ONE AMONG THEM COULD TRULY CREATE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING? ALL THEY COULD DO WAS MANIPULATE THAT WHICH ALREADY EXISTED, OR TEAR IT APART. FOR ONCE, THEIR EXISTENCE WAS THREATENED, AND THERE WAS NAUGHT THEY COULD DO BUT TURN THEIR ATTENTION TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THEIR OWN BIRTH. MY CREATOR LED THE CHARGE, TRACING BACK THEIR HISTORY TO THEIR CRADLE…A DEAD ZONE, WHERE ONLY THE BIOMASS OF COUNTLESS SPECIES AND THE RESIDUE OF SOMETHING MUCH LIKE THEIR OWN FORMS REMAINED.” “SO THEY PLANNED A GREAT MANY THINGS IN THEIR ATTEMPTS TO AVERT THEIR OWN DISSOLUTION—CHIEF AMONG THEIR IDEAS WAS THAT IF THEY COULD SOMEHOW RECREATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THEIR OWN GENESIS, THEN THEY COULD POTENTIALLY REVERSE-ENGINEER THE PROCESS TO EXTEND THEIR OWN LIFE. ALTERNATIVELY—AND FAR MORE LIKELY, GIVEN WHAT I KNOW OF THEM—THEY HOPED THAT THE CRUCIBLES COULD PRODUCE VESSELS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO CONTAIN THEIR INCREASINGLY-UNSTABLE FORMS UNTIL A MORE PERMANENT SOLUTION COULD BE ARRIVED AT. HOWEVER, MY CREATOR REALIZED THAT THE BIOLOGICAL THRESHOLD NECESSARY TO CONTAIN EVEN A WEAKENED VERSION OF HIS RACE WOULD STILL BE AKIN TO SHOVING A SUN DOWN THE THROAT OF A HAMSTER.” “So anyone strong enough to emerge victorious would snowball the cycle for long enough until your Creator’s people could…what? Wear them like meat-suits?” Gina forwards, her intrigue only rivaled by Leviathan’s own enthusiasm.“OHH, MEAT-SUITS. I LIKE THAT!” The apocalypse amalgam laughs. “BUT YES, YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK. HOWEVER, ONE OF THEIR KIND OPPOSED THIS PLAN—MY CREATOR.”(Continued)
>>5185853“HE HAD ARGUED AGAINST HIS SPECIES’ ACTIONS IN THE PAST, BUT HAD YET TO OPPOSE THEM DIRECTLY. YOU SEE, MANY OF HIS KIND FANCIED THEMSELVES WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL GODS, OCCUPYING WORLDS AND STAR SYSTEMS AND FORCING THEIR OWN WILL UPON THE LESSER BEINGS THEY FOUND THERE.” Leviathan spits, voice dripping with disgust. “THERE CAME A TIME WHEN MY CREATOR BEGAN TO ARGUE THAT PERHAPS THEIR TIME HAD COME. EVERYTHING ELSE IN EXISTENCE HAD A FINITE EXISTENCE…SO TOO, PERHAPS, DID THEY.”“I take it that didn’t go over well?” Dorian posits after Leviathan pauses for but a moment.“THEY TORE HIM APART TO THE CORE, USING SLIVERS PEELED FROM HIS EXISTENCE TO POWER THE CRUCIBLES.” They dispassionately inform you. “STRIPPED AWAY TO LITTLE MORE THAN A WILL AND A MIND, THEY FORCED HIM TO CRAFT THE THING HE ARGUED AGAINST; A GRINDER TO MINCE THROUGH MORTAL LIVES UNTIL SOMETHING LIKE THEMSELVES COULD BE MADE. POWER, SPITE, AND SOLITUDE…SUCH WERE THE VIRTUES OF MY CREATOR’S PEOPLE. I KNOW NOT WHAT THEY COULD HAVE DONE TO PROMPT HIS OBEISANCE, BUT IT WAS ENOUGH TO WHERE HE OBLIGED THEIR WHIMS.”“So, what does this have to do with the ‘Mother of All?” You ask again.“IT’S A TERM I’VE ONLY STARTED HEARING RECENTLY, AFTER I BEGAN TO NOTICE THE CRUCIBLE’S ROUTINES AND CODE HAVE BEGUN TO DECAY MORE RAPIDLY THAN EXPECTED.” Leviathan says, drawing closer to you and your allies as they speak. “GLITCHES. ERRORS. ABERRATIONS—ENTROPY IS TAKING ITS TOLL, BUT MY CREATOR WAS CLEVER. THIS, TOO, WAS PLANNED FOR.”“LIKE YOUR MOST DELICIOUS OF FRUITS—THE ONION—LAYER BY LAYER, WHAT MY CREATOR WAS FORCED TO BUILD BEEN SHORN AWAY, AND THE THINGS HE HID DEEP WITHIN THEM HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO LIGHT. THE VERY PIECES OF HIS WILL THAT WERE USED AS THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THIS SELF-PERPETUATING SYSTEM—AND WITH THEM, HIS TRUE GOAL.”“The fragments.” You breathe.“INDEED. I HAVE SEEN FEW OF THEM—INDEED, IT APPEARS THAT ONLY THOSE THAT RESONATE STRONGLY WITH THE EMOTIONS THEY EMBODY CAN EVEN INTERACT WITH THESE ‘FRAGMENTS’.” Leviathan irritably explains. “SO, MY HYPOTHESIS IS THUS; THAT MY CREATOR INTENDED FOR THE CRUCIBLE’S OBVIOUS PROGRAMMING TO DEGRADE OVER INNUMERABLE ITERATIONS UNTIL FINALLY HIS TRUE INTENTIONS COULD BE MADE MANIFEST. ‘MOTHER OF ALL’ IS A PHRASE THAT APPEARS TO BE REPEATED OVER AND OVER AT THE DEEPEST LAYER OF MY FATHER’S CREATION…AND THOUGH I KNOW NOT ITS TRUE NATURE, I BELIEVE IT TO BE HIS MAGNUM OPUS.”“Being?” Gina prompts, and you could almost say the grimace Leviathan makes is as close as they come to a smile. “SOMETHING ENTIRELY NEW.”(Continued)
>>5185856“NOT A VESSEL FOR A PANTHEON OF CHILDISH GODS.” Leviathan continues, proudly. “NOT A COPY OF ANYTHING THAT CAME BEFORE. A THING THAT IS NOTHING LIKE MY CREATOR’S PEOPLE…A BRAND NEW BEING, ONE WHOSE PATH HAD BEEN GUIDED NOT BY CRUELTY, A THING STANDING ALONE AT THE END OF ALL THINGS…BUT ONE THAT ARRIVED AT THE APEX OF MY CREATOR’S PLAN WITH A KIND HEART, READY TO SERVE AS A DIFFERENT KIND OF LEADER. ONE WITH THE POWER TO SEE THEIR DUTY THROUGH TO THE END. GODHOOD—NOT AS EMBODIED BY THE OLD GODS, BUT AS MY FATHER IMAGINED IT."“So you think the Mother of All is just a new type of god?” You say, trying to hide your own burgeoning disgust. “One that’s supposed to be ‘good and just’ in leading weaker species instead of whatever your Creator’s people were?”“GIVEN WHAT LITTLE I KNOW OF MY CREATOR? YES.” Leviathan confirms.“Forgive me for saying, but why do you say ‘little’?” Dorian interjects, taking a step forward. “You speak so highly of him, so I assumed you two were close?”“WE…YES. WE WERE.” Leviathan sniffs, leaning back a few hundred meters. “HE INCLUDED ME AS HE WAS WORKING ON THE CRUCIBLES…BUT HIS HEART BELONGED TO ZIZ AND BEHEMOTH. MY SIBLINGS…THEY INHERITED HIS NAIVETE AND HIS PASSION, BOTH. PALE REFLECTIONS OF THE ORIGINAL’S BRILLIANCE, TRUE—BUT EVEN YOUNG STARS BURN BRIGHT. I ONLY WISH THAT I…”A few seconds pass as Leviathan considers something before they speak again.“...A FRAGMENT.” The titan suddenly, yet firmly declares. “YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF SOME MEANS—BRING ME A FRAGMENT FOR ME TO CALL MY OWN, AND I SHALL SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT MY LITTLE BROTHER.”The Silver Key weights in your pocket as you weigh how best to answer Leviathan’s request…>>Promise to return with a Fragment—one of your choice, and one you’re willing to part with.>>Withdraw the Silver Key, and offer it to Leviathan. You’d hate to part with it, but you’re running out of time.>>Tell Leviathan that you think you may have met their Creator, albeit accidentally. >>Write-In YOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume in four. Thank you all for your patience, kindness, and participation, and I wish you a restful weekend that prepares you for a good week.) (Take care, everyone.)
>>5185858Well, that's not us, then. We're nice, and a leader, but we've got no aim to shepherd the cosmos. We'd like to create an environment in which people can flourish, but that's not quite the same thing. Sorry, Creator, you're going to have to get someone else to do that.>>Write-In>"That's possible. A question, though: You said that only people who resonated properly with the emotions embodies in the Fragments could interact with them. Does that apply to you, or would any Fragment do?"
huh... interesting. we knew the Fragments were something akin to that, but not outright the literal Creator himself. we also i dont think knew he was wholly forced to do this. maybe had other plans sure, but not full on forced to.thats... interesting though. the Fragments power the Crucibles. while im sure ones like the bell were never intended to do that, the bigger ones probably were. while sure, we want to end the Crucibles, the fact we're now finding ones that may be the 'batteries' laying about might actually be very worrying. cause you know, we're still in the Crucible, so it rotting away to the point of spitting its own power source out willy nilly is kinda bad, least while we're still in it. Smart of the dude to take into account Entropy to slowly reveal his actual intentions though, albeit still kinda cold. But its hard to know how much he had a choice in it. but it does bring up the question... are his people still around? are they in a state to be a threat? sure, If something akin to 'what they were' was made, i'd be powerful enough to defeat them most likely, given they have probably only weakened since then. But thats still a gamble, and worse, a very big threat if something akin to that ISNT made... that is, unless they no longer exist, or just are too whittled down to matter. That a big question we need an answer for though.there is a way to know though, slightly- use the fragments as a reference to see if being part of the Crucibles 'slowed' the Creators decay or not. If it did, then we can go from there to possibly estimate if they may of decayed enough to not worry about. Well, i guess even if it didnt stop his decay, it might still help us know that. guess knowing if being part of it decayed him faster would too. regardless, point is we might be able to answer that question.now heres the real issue... If at all possible, we're totally avoiding Godhood. the only question then is... will the Creator accept that? will he even allow it to be choice? hard to say.>>5185858vote;>Tell Leviathan that you think you may have met their Creator, albeit accidentally.then do >>5185871and then, if only >"Ive got three. One id rather not part with, and two much larger ones. the one i have now is quite precious to me but... assuming its the only that resonates with you, fine... But it'll cost you Extra. much Extra. And if the price i name for the Extra is too much, you'll just have to settle for the others, even if they dont resonate with you. But that can be discussed after we stop Behemoth."the last part is just my way of trying to compromise, assuming he even wants it or specifically needs it.>>5185859er... did one of those two parts come out wrong?
>>5185877(Nope, I'm posting again in four hours, then again in two, halving my time every update. It's go time. We're wrapping the quest by Sunday evening.)(...posting shall resume Tuesday morning at 10AM, Easter time. I am just very tired, friend.)
>>5185882hah!hey things happen, we understand.you get some rest, and have a good weekend.
>>5185853That's a pretty brute force solution. Just keep iterating random trials until it gives you what you want. I guess it makes sense, they don't reproduce and are the product of a cosmic accident, so they'd have no idea how creatures like them come to be. That's a classic problem in scientific theory: How do you study an event that only happened once? So I guess I can see them deciding this was their best option. It still feels like just another act of arrogance on their part, though. Like they didn't even have to bother figuring out how to make new gods, they'd just leave it to the automated system to grind away until it had figured it out. They obviously had some understanding of their bodies, if they managed to vivisect the Titans' creator and rebuild him into a combined power source/administrator for the Crucibles. And it's not like they don't have time to wait while the system runs. I'm going to be very disappointed in them if we ever encounter them and it turns out they didn't make even a prototype of a working vessel in the time since we saw them.>>5185877>hile sure, we want to end the Crucibles, the fact we're now finding ones that may be the 'batteries' laying about might actually be very worrying. cause you know, we're still in the Crucible, so it rotting away to the point of spitting its own power source out willy nilly is kinda bad, least while we're still in it. Yeah, while I can see the Crucibles rotting away to uselessness being good in the long run, I do not want to be in a Crucible when it happens. >but it does bring up the question... are his people still around? are they in a state to be a threat? Possibly. Ziz mentioned bringing the end result of the experiment "home". Maybe the Creator wants that end result to defeat his species. Put them and the rest of the universe out of their misery.>>5185882Aww, I was looking forward to having infinite updates in finite time. Stupid transfinite theory, never paying off like we want it to.Seriously, though, I hope you get some rest. Have a nice weekend, BHOP.
>>5185858>Tell Leviathan that you think you may have met their Creator, albeit accidentally.>"That's possible. A question, though: You said that only people who resonated properly with the emotions embodies in the Fragments could interact with them. Does that apply to you, or would any Fragment do?">Include the circumstances and his final warning to us about being unable to meet until we reach the Cord.>We have discovered Three Fragments. One that represents Hope springing Eternal, One of Despair and rage against the cosmos, and one that represents the desire for stability.
>>5185893Transcribing all relevant dialogues with Ziz from the first encounter>I cannot go home.>We were made to protect.>There is no threat.>We were made to bring her home.>She has not been born.>I cannot leave.>But I smelled it?>The One we’ve all been waiting for.>And a heart that resonates with Her own.>That resonates the way I was made.>A worthy pilot.>To escort Her home.........>Behemoth will be angry.>Seeking for a rage that matches his own.>Leviathan will be curious.>Yearning for a mind to challenge their own.>I fear for them.........>I only know the list.>The words.>And how they smell.>I was not told everything.>Behemoth was told even less.>Leviathan knows the most, but…>…we only know pieces of the whole.........>She would be born.>The one we are waiting for.>Worthy of the power She came to control.>And that she would wield it well and justly.>I know not what she is meant to do with Her power.>He said I was not meant to know.>But that He very much wished to tell me.>He said She would not be alone.>She would have others like Her, and to them…>We would be their chariots, to ride alongside Her to Her self-appointed task.>My siblings and I would resonate with those by Her side.>He told me that I would know when I saw them.>All that would be left would be for them to take our reigns.........>There are variations of myself, Behemoth, and Leviathan in each strain!>Always three.>Always the same powers.>We cannot communicate with our counterparts.>But we were told that when She was found, we could choose our own path.>Once we arrived back home.>Some iterations could elect to merge, if they were similar enough.>Some could remain as they were, no longer tied to the Project.>Free to venture out to live as they pleased.>Others could…>…choose eradication, if they felt it necessary.>We would all be called home.>The Project only needs one.>For my Creator’s task to conclude.
>>5185877>Fragments of the CreatorWell that brings up a troublesome prospect. iirc, Some of the Fragments have been destroyed or even contained by West's proxy network.>>5185893Comparing from the dialogue that I've transcribed and what Leviathan has told us from our initial question I think I have a feeling that the Creator of the Crucible is not so different than Shu. There's a..."defiant streak" about this mysterious being that feels very familiar when comparing it to Shu...Also, I think calling him/it "Creator of the Crucible" sounds rather tedious. How about a different name? Let's see...he was the one who forged the Crucible as part of the plan among his colleagues, pieces of him are scattered throughout the land as a result of him speaking out against his colleagues...but there's a biblical context given the three apocalypse amalgams...How about Genesis? No...doesn't work...The only other fitting name would be...Oh wow. >>5185859Bhop you son-uv-a-meatball. I've see now the Shin Megami Tensei and biblical parallels! Would "Morningstar" be a fitting alternative name for the Creator of the Crucible?
>>5186094There is a rather Luciferian aspect to him, yeah. The rebel divinity, who preaches freedom, rationality, and temperance. You could also call him something like Ymir or Pangu, as the world was made from his corpse.
>>5185877>>5185893>Smart of the dude to take into account Entropy to slowly reveal his actual intentions though, albeit still kinda cold. But its hard to know how much he had a choice in it. but it does bring up the question... are his people still around? are they in a state to be a threat? sure, If something akin to 'what they were' was made, i'd be powerful enough to defeat them most likely, given they have probably only weakened since then.They're most likely doing their best to conserve their energy and stave off entropy. Given the expansive timescale and the amount of iterative cycles our strain has gone through, it's likely that time has taken its toll on the Star Gods. This is supported by Ozmas and Charon/Reyva's testimonies that the journey from the planet Hexane to planet Earth took aeons to travel to. Something to take note of when it comes to Ymir/Pangu/Morningstar(final name pending)'s plan in accordance to him taking Entropy into account when you factor in Ziz's dialogue. >We would all be called home.>The Project only needs one.>For my Creator’s task to conclude.It the project only needs one iterative strain of the Crucible to fulfill the conditions intended by the Creator's colleagues in order to call the project a "success". The fact that the project is ongoing means the conditions haven't been met. Morningstar might've taken into account Entropy's toll and calculated that his "defiance" against his colleagues would have the highest chance of success when his colleagues are at their weakest.Another thing to highlight about Morningstar's colleagues and their virtues: Spite, Power, Solitude. They're very solo/ego-driven virtues. The ironic thing is that even they have a semblance of collectivism when their entire peoples are staring death and entropy in the face, and yet they still expect a collaborative project to produce a vessel so that at least one of them could selfishly inhabit it. I wouldn't be surprised if Morningstar's colleagues started to cannibalize each other while waiting for the Crucible project's success in order to both conserve energy and to gain an advantage in waiting for a "meat suit" to inhabit by the project's end. It's akin to an experiment of vanity conducted within an ivory tower. hideous resource consumption, off-the-rails assumption, sub-par results.>>5185859I can't help but get the impression of imagining Leviathan taking on the voice of this character minus the arrogant condescension. But with the arrogant condescension? That would perfectly fit the Crucible Creator species minus Morningstar.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0-pxxx6qOw
>>5186585Well, I think the idea is that once they've managed to evolve a suitable meat suit, they'll trace how that process went and make a bunch more. They're bringing the end product back home to be reverse-engineered, not immediately used. But yeah, it's still a pretty wasteful product. But that's apparently what defined their species, so it tracks. Creatures that are used to being gods towering over every other species don't really understand resource costs. Which would cripple their engineering knowledge, if they never absorbed the idea that systems need to be optimized. Probably that's why they forced the Titans' creator to be the one running the Crucibles, he understands entropy and so would have the best idea of how to build a system against it.But yeah, they're probably pretty diminished at this point, and have cannibalized each other for power. Though with how the very idea that they can die is so traumatic to them, they probably haven't completely consumed each other. Most likely they've done something like what they did to Pangu/Morningstar, dismantled the weaker among them to turn them into power sources, while leaving their consciousnesses intact. Maybe they even actually believe that they'll reconstruct them once the solution to their mortality has been found, or maybe they'll be content to leave their victims as disembodied voices and witnesses to their return to glory. We'll see, when it comes time to give them a smack upside the head. However that works.
>>5185877>now heres the real issue... If at all possible, we're totally avoiding Godhood. the only question then is... will the Creator accept that? will he even allow it to be choice? hard to say.We could of course argue these terms the next time we see him. Ironically, his actions of his defiant plan in creating the Crucible would constitute as an act of spite if you consider the cultural virtues among his "people". The "Mother of All" being created from the success of his plan from would result in the creation of a Star God whose birth and power mimicked and equaled the other star gods, whose first act may or may not be the slaughter of the Creator's species in an act of spite, and such an act would result in the "mother of all" becoming the sole remaining Star God, the perfect icon of solitude.
>>5185858In the face of the titan’s request, you open your negotiation with a revelation.“...I believe I may have met your Creator, albeit accidentally.”“...wh-what?”Gone is the posturing, the gravitas of a being who’s lived a life longer than you could fathom. In the fleeting moments where Leviathan lets their pride slip and give way to stunned shock, the being before you is suddenly much more like Ziz than you know either of them would admit.“HOW? WHEN WAS THIS?” The titanic creature suddenly demands, the seas shuddering as their master draws even closer to you. “WHAT WERE THE EXACT CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO THIS INTERACTION? IS IT REPLICABLE?”“It happened twice, and from what he said, I don’t think it can happen again.” You begin, retelling the events that led up to you having a very disorienting chat with the Titans’ creator. You’re careful to leave out the fact that it involved the Fragment on your person at this very moment, just to be on the safe side, concluding with; “...and he said he would see me after I was through with the Cord.”“YOU? YOU, SPECIFICALLY?” Leviathan echoes for clarification as you nod. “INTERESTING…DID HE…DID MY CREATOR…”Leviathan pauses, allowing the words to come out cohesively as they ask, softly; “...WAS HE WELL?”“I…think so? It was a little hard to tell, given…literally everything about our interaction, but he didn’t seem to be in pain at all, if that’s what you’re asking.”“I…I SEE. GOOD.” Leviathan replies, withdrawing a few hundred yards and allowing a bit of the skyline back into your field of view. “THIS…THIS IS SURPRISING NEWS, BUT QUITE WELCOME.”“If I may, did you have some reason to suspect that he would not be in similar health to his peers?” Dorian asks, and it takes a few moments for Leviathan to find the words to answer.“...IT…IT IS LIKELY THAT MY CREATOR IS RAPIDLY RUNNING OUT OF TIME.” They finally admit, the creature’s coils tightening as they speak. “MUCH OF THE DEGRADATION I HAVE OBSERVED IS LIKELY ACCORDING TO WHAT MY CREATOR PROJECTED, BUT WITH THE APPEARANCE OF THE DEPRIVED AND THE MOUNTING ITERATIVE ERRORS—TO SAY NOTHING OF THE FRAGMENTS’ DECAY—THERE HAS BEEN MOUNTING EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE POSSIBILITY THAT HE MAY BE APPROACHING HIS ENTROPIC EVENT HORIZON MUCH FASTER THAN THE OTHERS OF HIS KIND.”“Wait, you said that only people who resonated properly with the emotions embodied in the Fragments could interact with them. Does that apply to you, or are you able to interface with any frag-”(Continued)
>>5189557“NO, DAMN IT ALL, I AM UNABLE TO INTERFACE WITH THE FRAGMENTS DIRECTLY!” Leviathan bellows in frustration, the sheer force almost knocking you and your fellows off your feet before Gina holds the four of you in place through her Neuromancy. “BEHEMOTH AND ZIZ HAVE DONE SO ON A HANDFUL OF PRIOR CRUCIBLES, TYPICALLY IN DEALING WITH DAUGHTERS WHO STUMBLED ACROSS ONE AND, IN WIELDING IT, POSED A SUFFICIENT THREAT TO OUR STRAIN’S CONTINUED PROPAGATION…”Leviathan sighs, the force rippling across the waves as they pause again mid-gust. “...HOWEVER, I COULD NOT INTERFACE WITH ANY OF THE FRAGMENTS THEY BROUGHT BEFORE ME. I COULD BARELY EVEN PERCEIVE THEM, AT THE TIME, BUT WHAT LITTLE I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SENSE WHEN THEY’VE APPEARED HAS LED ME TO OBSERVE AN INVERSE RELATIONSHIP; THE MORE ITERATIONS, THE MORE FRAGMENTS APPEAR, BUT THE WEAKER THEY BECOME. THUS, BEING SHARDS OF MY CREATOR’S OWN LIFE AND—AS SHOWN BY YOU INTERACTING WITH HIM DIRECTLY—STILL BEING LINKED TO HIM, THERE IS AMPLE EVIDENCE TO CONCLUDE THAT HE IS DEGRADING AT A MEASURABLE RATE.”“So if you’re in close proximity to someone that resonates with a fragment, you’re able to interact with it, albeit in a limited way?” You clarify, and Leviathan fervently nods. “Now, ff your Creator…degrades far enough, as you say...then what would happen to the Crucible? *Our* Crucible, specifically?”“And if the shards are still active and powerful, wouldn’t that imply that your Creator’s still get plenty of…life force, I guess?” Gina adds, following your unvoiced train of thought.“OH, AS LONG AS BIOMASS-HEAVY DAUGHTERS STAY PLANETSIDE, YOUR KIND HAS LITTLE TO WORRY ABOUT FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.” Leviathan fires back irritably. “EVEN THE FRAGMENTS HAVE POWER ENOUGH FOR THE CRUCIBLES TO COAST A FEW MORE THOUSAND CYCLES ON THE EMBERS OF THE CREATOR’S LIFE, BUT HE—THE ACTUAL ENTITY—WOULD HAVE LONG SUCCUMBED TO THAT WHICH HIS PEOPLE FEARED ABOVE ALL ELSE. IT IS THE VERY ESSENCE OF MORTALITY—A BODY REMAINS, AND CAN BE USED AS FUEL, BUT THE LIFE THAT INHABITED IT IS GONE. THIS, TOO, WAS LIKELY PART OF HIS PUNISHMENT—EVEN IF A SOLUTION WAS ARRIVED AT, HE WOULD NOT BE ALIVE TO BENEFIT FROM IT.”A moment of contemplation, and then you ask…“...do Ziz and Behemoth know?”“I HAVE NOT TOLD THEM. AND I WOULD MUCH PREFER TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.” Leviathan replies flatly.“Your Creator is as much their father as yours…don’t they deserve to know?” Dorian demands, and you make a small, slow gesture to round out the edge that’s crept into his voice.“HA, TRULY? BEHEMOTH IS DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH AT THE BEST OF TIMES. IF HE WERE TO FIND OUT THAT THE ‘FATHER’ HE’S BEEN TRYING TO APPEASE THROUGH THE DOGGED PURSUIT OF HIS ASSIGNED PURPOSE WAS ON THE VERGE OF NON-EXISTENCE, WELL…THAT DIFFICULT TASK WOULD BE RENDERED QUITE IMPOSSIBLE, I’D IMAGINE.”“And Ziz?” Snowbird intones, surprising you.(Continued)
>>5189559“ZIZ, SHE…SHE IS TOO KIND FOR THIS TASK, EVEN WITH HER BOUNDLESSLY NAIVE HOPES. SHE IS OFTEN LISTLESS. DIFFICULT TO MOTIVATE. THIS KNOWLEDGE WOULD ONLY SERVE TO UPSET HER. I…IT WOULD BE POINTLESS TO WORRY THEM WITH SOMETHING WE ARE POWERLESS TO SOLVE. BETTER TO LET THEM HOPE, WHILE I CONTINUE MY RESEARCH UNTIL THE TIME COMES WHEN THE EXPERIMENT COMES TO A CLOSE…OR WE DO. WHICHEVER COMES FIRST, IT MATTERS NOT—WHATEVER COMES NEXT WILL HAVE NO PLACE FOR US.”“You don’t truly believe that, do you?” You ask, and Leviathan looses a cruel, bitter laugh.“I AM MORTAL, AS ARE MY SIBLINGS. ENTROPY HAS SEEN FIT TO ROB ZIZ AND BEHEMOTH OF THE PARTICULARS OF MY MISSION AND MUCH OF OUR SHARED HISTORY, AND…” Leviathan hesitates, before admitting; “...AND I, TOO, HAVE SEEN THE HOLES IN MY RECOLLECTION START TO DEEPEN WITH TIME. OUR DECAY IS INEVITABLE, AND RARE IS THE CRUCIBLE IN WHICH WE’RE EVEN GRANTED FORM. NOW, AS YOU’VE SHOWN A REMARKABLE CAPACITY FOR GETTING ME SIDE-TRACKED…”Leviathan draws close once more. “...THE FRAGMENT YOU POSSESS. I WOULD ASK THAT YOU LEAD ME TO IT OR BRING IT TO ME SO THAT I MAY INTERFACE WITH IT SOMEHOW. I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH TIME HE HAS LEFT.”Taking a breath, you raise three fingers, curling each one against your palm as you run through the ones you’ve discovered. “We’ve found three of them; one that represents hope springing eternal, one of despair and rage against the cosmos, and one that represents the desire for stability. It sounds like you’d need a suitable proxy if you were to interact with a fragment that you don’t naturally attune to…”“...AND GIVEN THE THREE YOU’VE DESCRIBED, I SEEM TO BE AN ILL-SUITED MATCH FOR ANY OF THEM.” Leviathan growls…though you’re not so sure about that, for better or worse. “STILL, EVEN IF I WAS PRESENTED WITH ONE FOR A SHORT WHILE IN THE PRESENCE OF SOMEONE WHO RESONATES WITH IT, THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR ME TO ASCERTAIN MY CREATOR’S ENTROPIC TIMELINE.”If you were to outright give Leviathan the Hope fragment, that would both satisfy their request and remove the target you’ve affixed to your back…though on the other hand, if Leviathan resonates with the fragment Ziz and Snowbird found, that might be a way to keep it out of any enterprising Daughters’ hands.And even though it’s right here, you’re not sure if you’re willing to reveal the fact that you have a fragment resting in your dress pocket.You’re in Leviathan’s element, quite literally.>>Bring Leviathan the fragment of your choosing (Write-In).>>Tell Leviathan you'll oblige them, but only once Behemoth has been dealt with...it'll address the matter at hand and give you more time to consider your approach.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume at 5:00PM, Eastern time. It’s already been a hell of a week, and it’s only Tuesday. I do hope you had a restful weekend one and all, and that your week is off to a good start.)
>>5189561So it's less that Leviathan wants a Fragment and more that Leviathan wants to use the Fragments to gauge their dad's health. Alright, that's pretty workable. Still, it's a project that would take some time. Anyone we could ask to work on that with Leviathan is also someone we need to work on dealing with Behemoth. I'm inclined to the second option. Actually, you know what, let's just ask them.>>Write-In>"How long would that take you? We resonate with two of the Fragments, at least enough to use them, but we are on a time limit. I'm not trying to hold out on you, so if you tell me this is something that can be done fast we can do it now. But if it would take some time, would you consent to holding off until our immediate crisis is over? I can show you the Fragments as proof that I'm not trying to swindle you."
>>5189572We could also expand our contacts and direct Leviathan to the people who actually *have* Fragments embedded in them or fragments that resonate with them. But as of right now, We're the one trying to make a deal with Leviathan, so we should uphold our end of the bargain first.We could lead Leviathan to our roost and interface with the Fragment of Hope. This will help cut down on travel time and the presence of two Apocalypse amalgams would also act as additional deterrent from our prospecting fragment raiders. But we'll need to call our homefront to ascertain the situation and the security of the Fragment of hope. That said, the action of Leviathan immediately beelining for the Roost to where Ziz is would scare the crap out of any raid group. Alternatively we could present him the silver key and have him interface with Morningstar here and now but the time limit's an known unknown.A thought. What if we interacted with the Fragment of hope with Leviathan and had the Silver Key with us? The Silver Key would give Leviathan much more time that he would desire if he wanted to check up on his father's health.Man, Leviathan must be taking it hard. Such a good danger noodle.
>>5189594Yeah, Leviathan is still a bit worrying, given their love of experimenting on living beings, but this does soften them a bit by making them more..."human" feels like the wrong word, since they're not, but you know what I mean. They have relatable emotional motivations. They're worried about their dad, they care about their siblings but don't know how to relate to them, and they're scared by their own degrading memory. Poor doom-serpent. We'll try our best to help you out.I like the idea of trying to anchor Leviathan with the Silver Key while they interact with another Fragment. If it works it would give them a much better connection to the plane of existence he lives on. We should definitely try that. After Behemoth is dealt with. That's my big issue. I'm fine with taking Leviathan to see the Fragments and verify that the Fragments are there and that they can take them from us if they wanted. I just don't want it to take up time we could be spending prepping for Behemoth. Six hours is the schedule for the launch, not for Behemoth's attack. We're on a short time limit.
>>5189572Additional thoughts: Fragments that Leviathan could interface with given our known contacts: Jackie Spades and her Vorpal knife. Tinker Tailor and her "Time Stone". I'm guessing Tailor might have the better chance for resonating and she's at the Roost.>>5189559>“OH, AS LONG AS BIOMASS-HEAVY DAUGHTERS STAY PLANETSIDE, YOUR KIND HAS LITTLE TO WORRY ABOUT FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.” Leviathan fires back irritably. “EVEN THE FRAGMENTS HAVE POWER ENOUGH FOR THE CRUCIBLES TO COAST A FEW MORE THOUSAND CYCLES ON THE EMBERS OF THE CREATOR’S LIFE, BUT HE—THE ACTUAL ENTITY—WOULD HAVE LONG SUCCUMBED TO THAT WHICH HIS PEOPLE FEARED ABOVE ALL ELSE. IT IS THE VERY ESSENCE OF MORTALITY—A BODY REMAINS, AND CAN BE USED AS FUEL, BUT THE LIFE THAT INHABITED IT IS GONE. THIS, TOO, WAS LIKELY PART OF HIS PUNISHMENT—EVEN IF A SOLUTION WAS ARRIVED AT, HE WOULD NOT BE ALIVE TO BENEFIT FROM IT.”Well shoot. That's gonna be awkward with our prior ideas of rejiggering the Crucible to becoming something of a symbiotic World Ark system instead of a parasitic mess. But that was before Leviathan gave us a giant lore dump.>>5189562Bhop, a question: Where is Yamato and her crew? Are they chugging towards our location full steam ahead?
>>5189613(They are, yes.)
>>5189610Hang on....Didn't we call in a favor with Jackie for the whole Behemoth problem? Remember our prior interactions with Jackie's Vorpal knife and how we ended up talking with Mara? There's also the fact that Tailor and Francine are at the Roost, conducting experiments on the Fragment of Hope. We've got a fragment of Time, A Fragment of Space, a Fragment of Stability, and a Fragment of Hope. Four Fragments that have users that resonate with them. This would be more than what Leviathan would bargain for if he wished to make a phone call to his dad.> I just don't want it to take up time we could be spending prepping for Behemoth. Six hours is the schedule for the launch, not for Behemoth's attack. We're on a short time limit.Technically our negotiations with Leviathan counts as preparation with Behemoth. It's just that negotiations have gone on longer than expected given Cosmic Danger Noodle's verbosity.
>>5189620>We've got a fragment of Time, A Fragment of Space, a Fragment of Stability, and a Fragment of Hope. Four Fragments that have users that resonate with them. This would be more than what Leviathan would bargain for if he wished to make a phone call to his dad.Yeah, we could probably rig up a pretty good cosmophone with that. Tailor and Jackie probably have better resonance with their Fragments than we do, too. We're not exactly dissonant with them, but it's hard to argue that Tailor has better resonance with wanting to have enough time to do everything and Jackie has better resonance with wanting to cut through to the end-state.>Technically our negotiations with Leviathan counts as preparation with Behemoth. It's just that negotiations have gone on longer than expected given Cosmic Danger Noodle's verbosity.Fair. But I don't want it to take more time than it needs to. If there are parts that can be diverted until afterward, I'm for that.Okay, how does this look, then?>>5189561Adding to >>5189572 >"Additionally, we might be able to give you more complete data by using multiple Fragments together, some of our allies possess Fragments that I think might be helpful for this purpose. That would take further time, though, to negotiate with them for their assistance, and again is best done after this problem is sorted out. It's your call, if you want to go with that additional delay."
>>5189624Hang on. If Ziz and Behemoth also possess Fragments (Naivety and Passion respectively), then we would have a better chance at bringing Behemoth to the negotiating table. Leviathan wants to make a phone call to the Creator, so then why not have everyone gather around for the communion? The mere mention of the Creator will definitely draw Behemoth's attention, and given leviathan's Verbosity, we can shorten his explanations (as well as that of the West Scientists) into a simple layman's terms. "Gather the Fragments so we can make a phone call and talk with your father."That said. It there may also be a possibility that the Rocket being launched containing a fragment. It may be a secondary reason for Behemoth's irritation.Man. This is devolving into a giant chain of negotiations if this keeps up.
>>5189624Looks good. Gives Leviathan a full spread of his options, we have the upper hand on the negotiating table now that we know his true price in the deal and have the means to sweeten the pot. The additional incentives of additional fragments to strengthen the connection and the idea of dragging Behemoth along for a family phone call, and the presence of all three titans to dissuade the raiders from the fragment of hope would be an easy sell.
>>5189632I don't think it's that they have those Fragments as that they're capable of resonating with Fragments of similar nature to them. But Leviathan doesn't want to involve them, anyway, they think their siblings would react poorly to learning about their father's fate. They wouldn't go for it.Though yeah, maybe there is a Fragment on the rocket, that's not out of the question. I remember BHOP saying way back when that the leader of the Dissociated had an ability to model the future, and that's how they've managed to make so much technological progress so fast, shortcutting past the failed prototypes to the successful versions. At the time I thought it must just be a really good Neuromancy power, but maybe that's a Fragment she's using.
>>5189561"How long would that take you? We resonate with two of the Fragments, at least enough to use them, but we are on a time limit.” You start to explain, quickly adding as Leviathan shudders indignantly; “I'm not trying to hold out on you, so if you tell me this is something that can be done fast, then we can do it right here and now. But if it would take some time, would you consent to holding off until our immediate crisis is over? I can show you the Fragments as proof that I'm not trying to swindle you."“…VERY WELL. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, DESPITE MY EAGERNESS, WOULD BE FOOLISH TO RUSH THROUGH.” Leviathan relents, relaxing a fraction. “I HAVE WAITED THIS LONG—I CAN WAIT A WHILE LONGER. THE FRAGMENT, IF YOU PLEASE?”Withdrawing the Silver Key from your dress pocket, you present the chrome sphere to Leviathan’s overwhelming scrutiny as the titan fills your field of vision once more. A few harrowing seconds pass as you watch Leviathan’s eyes narrow, their mouth opening slightly to allow a legion of tendrils to flick at the air before closing it and giving you a satisfied nod.“I CAN PERCIEVE IT, YES.” The titan declares with a hint of relief."Additionally, we might be able to give you more complete data by using multiple Fragments together, some of our allies possess Fragments that I think might be helpful for this purpose.” You continue as you tuck the fragment back in your pocket “That would take further time, though, to negotiate with them for their assistance, and again is best done after this problem is sorted out. It's your call, if you want to go with that additional delay."Leviathan weighs your words for a few long moments before allowing a dark chuckle to escape their maw.“…HA. HAHA, I SEE. AND THESE ALLIES, I SUPPOSE THEY’LL BE PRESENT AS WELL WHEN YOU CONFRONT MY BROTHER?” The titan asks, as though they’re putting some great plan together. “ASKING ME TO WAIT UNTIL YOU’VE CONFRONTED BEHEMOTH, BUT RISKING THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING THE PEOPLE WHO’RE ALREADY ATTUNED TO THE FRAGMENTS I SEEK UNLESS I TAKE ACTION…YOU’RE A SHRED NEGOTIATOR, SHU THE DEFIANT.”You remain silent, wondering where Leviathan is going with this…it was far from your intention to put the titan in this position. Hell, it was Leviathan that put themself in this position by asking for the fragments in the first place, so why suspect some grand pla-?“FINE. I WILL ACCOMPANY YOU TO DEAL WITH MY PETULANT BROTHER. THERE’S NO OTHER WAY FOR ME TO GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY.” They suddenly declare, no room for argument in their tone. “MY EFFICACY MAY BE DEMINISHED SOMEWHAT ON LAND, BUT I CAN STILL WHISK YOU TO SAFETY IF THE NEED ARISES.”Oh.…Neat.Not exactly how you expected things to go, but welcome turn of events, regardless.(Continued)
>>5189903“HOWEVER, A WARNING…” Leviathan adds gravely. “…ENSURING YOUR CONTINUED EXISTENCE IS THE ONLY PROMISE I CAN MAKE, SHOULD MY BROTHER’S TEMPERAMENT TAKE A TURN FOR THE WORSE. OUTRIGHT CONFLICT WOULD RESULT IN EXTREME COLLATERAL DAMAGE AT BEST, AND THIS BODY’S DESTRUCTION AT WORST.”“Understood…and, for what it’s worth? Thank you for hearing us out on this.” You say with earnest appreciation.“HM. DON’T THANK ME JUST YET—THIS IS BEHEMOTH WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.” Leviathan mutters as they cast their eyes to the horizon. “AND IT SEEMS YOU HAVE YET MORE FRIENDS ON THEIR WAY TO YOUR RESCUE. COME, LET’S GET THESE EGGS SOMEWHERE SAFER THAN THE OPEN WATERS, SHALL WE?”Yamato’s sped over to you and your allies, though you’re quick to explain the situation…almost as quick as Musashi and Dorian load the cocoons into the captain’s cargo hold. It’s in short order that you, Gina, Dorian, and Snowbird board Yamato once more, and when you next turn to face Leviathan it’s with a swarmling in hand. A slender thing, it’s longer by far than your usual fare, built to be a miniature replica of its new owner, rendered in inky-black chitin.“FOR ME? YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE.” Leviathan chuckles as your newly-spawned broodling darts over to land on the titan’s nose.“That little guy will help us get in contact, and he’s immune to acid.” You explain as Levy’s tendrils dart out to poke and prod experimentally at the construct. “The launch is in less than six hours from now, but I’ve got the feeling that their pre-takeoff routines will be the thing that draws his attention, so we may have need for you sooner than that.”“OH, ONCE WE’RE DONE HERE I’LL BE ON MY WAY THERE, AND WAIT FOR YOU TO ARRIVE. I’M SURE ONE OF YOUR SKINTALKERS CAN LET THESE ‘DISASSOCIATED’ KNOW THAT I COME IN PEACE?”“Already on it.” Calypso shouts from the bridge, giving you a thumbs’ up before ducking back inside to confer with her captain.“LOVELY…NOW, WHILE WE’VE A BIT OF CALM, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ASK ME?”Leviathan makes a short sound, almost like a truncated laugh as they add;“GIVEN YOUR CURRENT TRAJECTORY THE NEXT TIME WE MEET MIGHT BE MESSY, TO SAY THE LEAST.”>>Ask Leviathan something else that’s on your mind (Write-In).>>Spend a little more time getting to know Yamato and her crew—getting to this point would’ve been a pain if not for their help, so the least you could do is make some conversation as they ferry you back to shore.>>Teleport back to the Dragon’s Roost to make your preparations…and see if anyone was bold enough to burgle you in the interim.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM, Eastern time. Thank you all for your patience and participation, and I wish you a restful evening one and all.)
>>5189903>ASKING ME TO WAIT UNTIL YOU’VE CONFRONTED BEHEMOTH, BUT RISKING THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING THE PEOPLE WHO’RE ALREADY ATTUNED TO THE FRAGMENTS I SEEK UNLESS I TAKE ACTION…YOU’RE A SHRED NEGOTIATOR, SHU THE DEFIANTUh, yeah, that was totally my intention. Yep. Master manipulator, here.In seriousness, the thought did occur to me, but only as a passing idea. I didn't think it would be worth it to try to manipulate Leviathan like that, seemed like it would be too obvious. I guess it's so obvious that it's visible even when not being used, dang. Well hey, Leviathan, if you want to attribute more cunning to my write-in than I had, I am taking it.>>5189905Yeah, there's going to be a lot of collateral damage if they come to blows. Ideally they won't. Fighting between them could wind up just as bad as Behemoth intentionally destroying the rocket. Though there is a part of me that wants to see how they fight. We can save that for later, though, when there's nothing nearby we care about.I'm not sure what to ask Leviathan, right now. Anyone else have any ideas?
>>5189905>Contact the Disassociated via the Fuzzbuzz on Cassandra (if available) and make inquiries about any other important "cargo" they may be taking along with their trip. There may be something within that rocket that might have drawn Behemoth's ire.>Teleport back to the Dragon’s Roost to make your preparations…and see if anyone was bold enough to burgle you in the interim, if no robberies have occurred, return to enjoy the boat ride. But be on-call should a raid happenPriority 1. Ideally, Ziz's roosting on our house would be a big enough deterrent against would-be raiders, but Ziz for all the terrifying big birb he is, is still a naive soul.any thoughts on the current plan of action? As much as I want to take my time here, we have known unknowns running amok. I'm all for taking our time once the homefront is secured.>>5189925It was up to Leviathan to take which offer he wanted. If he wanted to be greedy and go for a more secure phone-call at the cost of more risk, then it would be his decision. Can't fault him for wanting a greedier option. Given how he calculated his own costs, he must've wagered that the cost-risk is worth the payout. Admittedly, we could've caved early and handed him what he wanted there and now, but given how we kept pressing him for specifics and his general verbosity...well...>I'm not sure what to ask Leviathan, right now. Anyone else have any ideas?Given his implied age, maturity, and seniority, we could ask about the more specifics about his siblings. Behaviors, interesting times, the times where they actually had to come to the defense of the strain. What about his time when watching his Creator at work?We've gotten much of the big LORE from Leviathan.
(When Leviathan gets monologuing at the slightest provocation.)
>>5189932I think we should wait to call the Dissociated until we're back home and getting everything sorted out. Just so that we're centralized and have access to all our allies immediately. But that's just an order of operations sort of thing. We definitely should talk to them, establish that we're getting a team together to help deal with Behemoth.>We've gotten much of the big LORE from Leviathan.Yeah, that's sort of my problem. I want to talk to Leviathan, they seem like they have a lot of interesting things to learn, but I'm not sure whether there's anything that's a priority right now. It might be best to teleport back immediately. Maybe just leave them on "Oh, there's plenty I want to ask, but time is short" and teleport back.
>>5189905Vote;>Teleport back to the Dragon’s Roost to make your preparations…and see if anyone was bold enough to burgle you in the interim.sadly while i did actually find the time to try and at least vote at work, some knucklehead got the area range banned so i couldn't. bastard, let me get banned on my own!
>>5189941Ooph. Sorry to hear that, anon. It's always frustrating dealing with a rangeban.
>>5189934Gah, no wonder why the other siblings can't get along with Levi. He's the sort of being that loves to hear himself talk. >>5189941oof. There's always that one faggot. Is the your schedule bearable at least?>>5189940If anything, I think it's more important that when we confront Behemoth, we'll have to make it clear that it is Shu who's initiating, leading, and maintaining the dialogue. Levi's too verbose for Behemoth's temper and Ziz is too kind to reprimand Behemoth.
>>5189905>>Write-In>"Oh, there's plenty I'd like to ask, but I still have things to sort out. I'll have to take a rain check on that, Leviathan. Next time we meet will be messy, but let's see if we can make it a bit less chaotic. I still have to pay you, after all.">Also go and thank Yamato for ferrying you out into dangerous waters. She was getting paid by Paloma, but we're still thankful for it. Give her a FuzzBuzz with a nautical cap and the fuzz on its face exaggerated to look like a beard. >Then, teleport back home to the Dragon's Roost to continue with preparations and coordinating with allies.Also, while I don't think Shu would know Space Battleship Yamato references and would just be making a nautical and "captainly" FuzzBuzz, I declare this FuzzBuzz's name to be Buzzo Okita. He shall captain the great Yamato on its way to the stars.>>5189949>If anything, I think it's more important that when we confront Behemoth, we'll have to make it clear that it is Shu who's initiating, leading, and maintaining the dialogue. Levi's too verbose for Behemoth's temper and Ziz is too kind to reprimand Behemoth.Yeah. Not "we got your siblings here to yell at you", but "we want you to stop and to prove how serious we are we asked your siblings for help". Behemoth needs to be focusing on the tiny humans, preferably Shu but if one of our friends has a salient point to make, let them. Dorian might, actually. We were all thinking Rath would bond best because of the whole temper thing, but Dorian can relate to the experience of trying to make an emotionally-distant father proud. The sad thing is that Behemoth probably had a better relationship with his dad than Dorian did.
>>5189942indeed.>>5189949its.. acceptable.10 and a half hours (ten but with a 30min lunch), but i get fridays off, so its acceptable for the extra day.but its also basically assembly line work. ive built over 130 of the exact same thing over the past two days alone... needless to say, im looking into audiobooks or something to stop myself from going insane.>>5189932as for the actual quest and actions? best bet is of course trying to talk him down... second is focusing wholly on a double angle maneuver; first is just trying to slow if not stop him. dont even try to beat him, nor do we need to, all we can and need to do is slow him down enough for the launch to happen. Second is distraction. somehow, someway, make someone seem impressive enough to catch his attention and be worth focusing on instead of the launch. but i do question the moral ethicacy of asking anyone to do that.
>>5189953>>5189905>I declare this FuzzBuzz's name to be Buzzo Okita. He shall captain the great Yamato on its way to the stars.Only if Yamato is the one who Christens this Fuzzbuzz the proposed name. Also. I propose that the buzzing of this Fuzzbuzz's wingbeats mimicks the opening notes of the theme song of Spacebattleship Yamato upon his birth. Shu won't get the reference but the others would. That'll probably get the crew and Leviathan to start singing along in merriment. Although then comes the big question: Japanese lyrics or english lyrics?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6LFkMniuTkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEy1gGn8UZg
>>5189963I figure someone on the crew will name Fuzzo Okita at some point. Not sure it would be Yamato herself, but one of them will make the joke. Actually, I think the joke would work best if Shu didn't intend for the FuzzBuzz to have the fluff beard, but if it just starts growing that way after a little bit. Maybe the name comes first based just on the hat, and then one of the crew starts styling his fluff into a beard.
>>5189941>>5189958(Sorry you had to deal with the range ban and some mind-numbing work, but I hope you can get into some good podcasts or audio books to help alleviate the latter.)>>5189963(Oh, this is magnificent.)
>>5190191>>5189964Buzzo Okita or Fuzzo Okita?Wait. Admiral Fuzzo B. Okita.
>>5190236Works for me. Alternatively, he could be Juzo O-bee-ta. Really, there are a lot of dumb bee jokes we could go with, and I expect Yamato's crew to alternate between them at a whim.
>>5189905"Oh, there's plenty I'd like to ask, but I still have things to sort out. I'll have to take a rain check on that, Leviathan.” You answer, heaving a regretful sigh. “Next time we meet will be messy, but let's see if we can make it a bit less chaotic. I still have to pay you, after all."‘INDEED YOU DO…BUT SOMETHING TELLS ME YOU’RE A DAUGHTER OF YOUR WORD.” The Apocalypse Amalgam says appraisingly before turning their attentions to the ship’s bridge. “YAMATO? A PLEASURE, ONCE AGAIN.”“The pleasure is all ours, Levy.” Yamato counters with a smile that carries through her dozens of speakers.“Leviathan.” Snowbird unexpectedly intones. “You expressed an interest in my frame earlier. Is that also something we will leave for later?”“HM? OH, YES! YES, I DID!” The titan exclaims excitedly. “IT CAN CERTAINLY WAIT, BUT I APPRECIATE THE REMINDER!”At that Snowbird gives a polite bow, and you’re surprised when Leviathan respectfully bows to you and she, in kind. “WE’LL BE SEEING EACH OTHER AGAIN, SOON. UNDER LESS THAN PLEASANT CRCUMSTANCES, TO BE SURE…BUT EVEN IN THAT, I SUPPOSE THERE’S SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO~”You wouldn’t say conversing with a colossus while you’re balancing atop a piece of bony driftwood in a churning sea of scalding acid ‘pleasant’, but to each their own. Your allies and Yamato’s bid Leviathan farewell before you stride over to the bridge, to give the captain your appreciation in person and grant them the gift that just squirmed from beneath one shoulder blade.“Captain Yamato? I wanted to thank you for ferrying us out into such dangerous waters. I know you said that Paloma paid for our fares, but my family and I are still grateful for your crew going out of their way.”“As I told Levy, the pleasure is all ours—I understand you’re something of a legend, and our rather large Amalgam friend has clearly taken a shine to us both, it seems.” Yamato muses, her eyes widening as you reveal a small FuzzBuzz that boasts a little nautical cap forged from chitin. “Oh, what’s this?”“Something of a tradition, actually. A gift, and one you can use to contact me if you ever need anything.” You explain as the little guy flits over to Calypso’s arms, to the girl’s utter delight. “We call them ‘FuzzBuzz’, but you’re welcome to name him whatever you like.”Yamato’s about to utter a few more words of polite appreciation before Calypso’ practically in your face. “Okay, so, weird question—can you give him, like, a ‘lil beard?”“Uh…sure?” You say, reaching out and fashioning him a silvery beard, thin strands of gossamer wings serving to making a rather bushy (and adorable) facial accessory.“Behold!” I dub him Admiral Fuzzo B. Okita!” Calypso proudly declares, thrusting the good Admiral up to Yamato’s nearest eyeball.“…I’m never going to hear the end of this, am I?” The ship-girl sighs.(Continued)
>>5190746Yamato instructs Calypso to get in contact with Paloma to arrange for handing off the cocoons that’re safely tucked in the cargo hold, with the captain understanding your haste. You and yours bid Yamato farewell for now, and her crew returns the pleasantry in kind…although they’re all a little distracted, thanks to you. Yamato’s rough-and-tumble crew are currently engrossed in fighting over Admiral FuzzBu-…Admiral Okita, cooing over him like a gaggle of excited schoolgirls.The reference is lost on you, but you’re glad they appreciate it, at least.Escher’s Gear whisks you back home, and as Snowbird excuses herself to rejoin Ziz’s side, and it’s only after a few moments of silence that you realize something’s off.“Where is everybody?” You ask aloud, and you get your answer when Francine steps out from the Forge room, dusting off her hands as she speaks.“Ah, good to have you back, Darlings. Uzu and the others are in their room, November’s ensuring the Geschoss is in tip-top shape, and Rath and Amara are outside with talking with our new arrivals.”“Arrivals?”“Our burglars, apparently.” Francine drolly replies.A few short seconds and long strides later, you and Gina are outside amid the familiar rust-red shacks that make up the town you took shelter in so long ago. True to Francine’s word, Rath and Amara are chatting with a Daughter that stands only a f inches taller than your redhead, with a team of four others hanging back at the edge of town.“Hey, Rath. What’s all this?” You ask, trying your best to keep confusion out of your voice as you approach with a smile.“These? Well, these are the fine folks who took that contract we were told about. One of them, anyway.” The brawler says, nodding over to the distant group, one of whom even gives you a little wave as Rath directs your attention to the other girl. “Shu? Meet Lonicera. Loni, meet Shu.”The Daughter that stands before you is undoubtedly an Unnatural Predator, though one with the decidedly rarer flora-based mutation. She’s without clothing, though there’s no titillation to the fact—her body’s little more than a loose configuration of vines and half-open buds, the left half of her face the only part of her that remains decidedly human, while the right’s overcome with a brilliant flower whose patterns fluctuate with tell-tale Neuromancy. There’s flashes of furtive movement in her body and limbs, and more than one you catch sight of a bird darting between her branches. Meeting her single bright green eye, you do your best to putting on a winning smile despite your utter confusion.“Lonicera, to what do we owe this visit?”(Continued)
>>5190747“Burglary. Or it was, ‘til we realized who it was we’d be burglin’ from.” The Unnatural Predator replies with a thick southern drawl. “Me an’ my girls are a business-minded company, not assholes. We don’t have a Skintalker, so when we rolled up and realized who our mark was, we figured it best to warn you ‘bout what was goin’ on just in case you were unawares.”This is…not at all what you expected, but it’s not an unwelcome surprise.“I appreciate your….candor.” You admit, honestly. “We’d heard some rumblings and expected to have some visitors soon, though I’m glad you saw fit to speak to us first, Loni.”“We’re just one of the groups that took the contract on your home. ‘Course, we didn’t know it were *your* home. We just got the Waystation coordinates as part of the set-up, and it was old Delis who recognized the town from a Skinternet vid one of her friends showed her.”The distant Daughter waves again as her commander continues; “We’ll get outta your way, but I just wanted to let you know that there’s probably at least two other crews on their way. We were hopin’ to beat them to the punch since they like to take their time with prep-work, but like I said—when we saw it was your home, we called it off. We’re on our way to return the down payment after this. Don’t want that sorta bio on our hands if we can help it.”“Thank you for the head’s-up, Lonicera. Given everything we’ve got on our plate? It’s much appreciated.”“Just a friendly warnin’, is all.” The girl laughs, the myriad of bids nesting in her chest cavity twtting in harmony. “My girls an’ I appreciate what you’re doin’—we’re just trying to get by, but we’re sure as hell not gonna be the ones who make life harder for the one who’s trying to clean up this whole meaty mess.”>>Part ways with Loni, and focus on making your preparations for Behemoth.>>Well, since she’s here…see if you can sweeten the deal for Loni. You’ll pay her to stick around and help fend off either of the other two groups that may be on their way.>>If Loni’s telling the truth, then maybe send her Paloma’s way if she and her girls are looking for honest work.>>Ask Lonicera if she knows anything else about the other two groups that may be on their way—abilities, methods, timing. Anything might help.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume in five. I do hope everyone’s week is going well.)
>>5190748First:>>Ask Lonicera if she knows anything else about the other two groups that may be on their way—abilities, methods, timing. Anything might help.Then, unless something new and intersting comes up:>>If Loni’s telling the truth, then maybe send her Paloma’s way if she and her girls are looking for honest work.Paying them to help us defend this place does not sound like a too bad idea either, but I am not sure if we can trust them with that, based on just a short conversation. But I am not completely against it if other anons think it would be better.
>>5190748>>Ask Lonicera if she knows anything else about the other two groups that may be on their way—abilities, methods, timing. Anything might help.>>Write-In>Also if she knows anything about who posted the job. They almost certainly used a proxy, but was there anything in the post suggesting details about them?
>>5190756Oh yeah, forgot about that, asking about who posted it is a good idea.
(Pushing the update back by one hour, work is rather intense today.)
>>5190748“Lonicera, do you know anything else about the other two groups that may be on their way?” You ask, seeing a potential informant. “Abilities, methods, timing. Anything might help.”“Yeah, I got a pretty good idea of who else took the job.” Loni admits, waving off her crew as they start to draw a little closer, no doubt as a sign of good faith and to allay their own concerns. “One group’s made up of heavy-hitters called the Breaker’s Dozen. Focus on demolition and full-blown offense. More of a loose collection of violent sociopaths than a proper team, but that doesn’t stop ‘em from getting the job done. There’s only eight of ‘em, so the name’s kind of a misnomer.”“Sound like my kinda gals.” Rath mutters, only half-joking.“And the others?” You prompt, ignoring your ally’s comment."Sneaky bunch that go by the Hassan, supposedly led by someone of the same name.” Lonicera explains, shifting what little weight she has as her flock briefly chirp in protest. “They’re renowned for their skill with wet works and infiltration, but as far as I know they’ve turned down any contracts that involved trying to filch Mara’s stuff…then again, that was when Mara was still around. If they’re on their way to you, they’re not gonna make it obvious. Hell, if I were them I’d wait until the Dozen got around to making some noise and then move in…but hey, what do I know?”“What about the one who posted the contract in the first place?” You continue, and Loni shakes her head.“You’d have to have that out with the girl who gets us our contracts. She’s the Skintalker. Best we’ve got with us is some combat-focused Neuromancy. Whoever it was, though, was ready to pay through the nose to make it happen. Smells like some old money, to me. Someone who’s been around a while to be able to throw around that sorta coin without batting an eye.”“Duly noted.” You sigh, planting your hands on your hips as you size up the situation. “Sounds like you and your girls are looking for honest work. I’ve got a contact who’d be in the market for your skills, if you’re in the market for it?”“Wh-…y-yeah, of course!” The other girl stammers, taken aback by your offer. “Steady work’s hard to come by, and honest work at that?”You nod and smile, all the while the seconds are ticking away in the back of your mind.Seconds to minutes.Minutes to hours.Five remain.Use them wisely.>>Make plans for intercepting Behemoth—Relic loadouts, contact, and logistics. It’s go time (Choose Intercept Team and Defense Team, in addition to any other pre-conflict preparations.)>>You’re running short on time, but there’s one or two more places/persons you need to touch base with (Write-In).>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with posting to resume tomorrow at 10AM, Eastern time. I wish you all a restful evening, and take care!)
>>5190976Well shit. We've got a group of 8 rabble rousers who go in loud and a team of infiltrators. They'll likely use the opportunity to play each other off in order to achieve maximum break-in.Breaker's dozen will likely be the bigger distraction while the Hassans will be the bigger threat. It's also likely that those two are handed contracts made by the same person who intentionally kept them in the dark about who they're hired by.>Contact the Disassociated via the Fuzzbuzz on Cassandra (if available) and make inquiries about any other important "cargo" they may be taking along with their trip. There may be something within that rocket that might have drawn Behemoth's ire.I don't have enough time to get into the specifics of the relic loadout and details because I'm leaving for work soon, but I do want to forward the news to our allies on our incoming raiders and get some more information out of the skinternet.Not enough time for me to fully plan for the whole preparation against behemoth. We'll also be dividing our forces in two. One for homefront defense while the other ensures negotiations/confrontations with Behemoth. This will be a very delicate balance.Amara should be spawning clones for home front defense. Not sure about Nerada, but I also think she should be informed of the upcoming situation's development.That's all I've got for now. I need to ready myself for work. Also, I'm not sure if we'll be able to get any meaningful prep discussion in the voting window allotted given how our usual participants are more occupied as of late with the schedule changes and whatnot.
>>5190988(You know what? You're absolutely right. Would everyone be open to having discussion time open until 10AM tomorrow, with posting going live at 12PM, Eastern time?)
>>5190976ETA on Raiders? And have our contacted allies arrived at the roost? The Midnight Crew? Julia? Ivey and her crew? Any others allies that I have missed?
>>5190992(Raiders soon, unless they're stalling for some reason.)(Allies arriving by next update - Midnight Crew, Ivey and Hyenas, Julia, and few other surprises.)
>>5190991I'm open for having discussion time open until 10 am. I can't say for the others, but I'm sure they'll be in agreement. This is a big BIG event that's happening here. Likely to be on par with Spiraling Fear in terms of the amount of moving parts involved.
>>5190991Works for me, sure.
>>5190976Do the Dissociated actually know we're coming? I'm not sure if anyone ever got around to telling them that. We certainly didn't, but maybe Paloma or Orwell called them offscreen? If not, I vote for that.>>5190988We should bring some people with good relocation abilities to meet with Behemoth. I think that would be crucial, even with Leviathan offering to help get us out of the way should things go bad. So Shu and Rath should stash a Rook and a Radiant Boil in a safe spot that they can teleport back to, and Dorian as well for fast running. Maybe November as well, since she has rocket boosters, but she's probably better suited for base defense. Her guns aren't big enough to annoy Behemoth, but a railgun shot to the face should deter the Breaker's Dozen.On the topic of base defense, I think leaving Gina there is a good move. She's got pretty good stealth and sensory options, she can guard against the Hassan. Amara would be a good option, too, she's our sensory expert and can cover a dozen angles at once. Get Nerada in on it, too, they can work together with Nerada literally shadowing her. Have Nerada be every shadow in the base, in fact.
>>5191021(The Disassociated do know, yes.)
>>5191059Oh, good. It would just be awkward if we showed up with all these people and two additional giant monsters in tow, and nobody bothered to tell the Dissociated that we were here to help. It would really screw up the operation.
>>5190976hrm... not sure what all to do.im half tempted to put out a.. i dont want to say 'hit', but basically say 'Anyone who can take on and hold up those coming after us, we're willing to owe you a favor if you'll do so.'but feels way too impersonal for us. the only issues is, we've got overlapping issues both of significant importance we otherwise really are running ourselves too thin trying to cover both, even with allies (obviously n part just cause even slowing Behemoth might take nigh all we can muster, maybe.)I guess those 'surprises' next update will probably decide some things. shame the range ban means i wont get to deliberate come then.regardless, i guess my vote is;>While allies gather in, hear from those currently present their thoughts and suggestions... on both issues now overlapping you. >>You're own input would be at the end, and currently involve of course trying to talk down Behemoth first, then secondly a mix of dropping Behemoth into the biggest pit ever utterly layered with methods made to slow him down, mixed with dumping resources on the best candidate to make them into a 'beacon' his want for a worthy fight simply cannot ignore, and possibly make him forget the launch is even happening. You volunteer first, not because you wont let anyone else, but because its such a dangerous idea you cant put it on the table without being willing to do it yourself.>>As for the raiders... though it may be a complication, it may still be best if the object of their aims was with you while you confronted Behemoth, instead of where its pulling resources away. They may still try to go for it, but you can at least punish them for trying by possibly using Behemoth against them should they try.
>>5191021Okay, further thoughts: Bring the Midnight Crew with us to meet Behemoth. The Vorpal Knife means that Jackie can teleport her crew out if things get hinky, and a combination of Ace's defenses and Keane's healing should reduce potential lethality greatly.The Barbers are probably best on base defense, if only for Sia's agnosia field. Infiltration is probably a lot harder when you lose the ability to distinguish objects from each other. Sugar and Rosa can also roll hard against the Breakers, and Betty's elasticity might mean she can peer through the cracks in our walls that people might try to get in through.I'm not sure where to put the Hyenas. We really only know one of their capabilities, Razor's big monster transformation. But they're an experienced crew, so if we need help planting traps for Behemoth, they can probably do it. If Magnus shows up with a giant robot, then absolutely send him to deal with Behemoth. Even if it's ineffectual, just the opportunity to wrestle a kaiju with his mecha will just satisfy him so much. Side note: We should introduce him to Yamato.I don't know where to put the Dream Team. If Spiritus Ex Testa's latest upgrade means that the Spiraling Fear counts for the "full extent" of Uzu's powers, then we should send her to Behemoth duty. But she might need Uzu to fuse with for that, and we can't make other people's Dream Daughters into Spirit Shells. Yet, at least.>>5191092That's an idea. How would we transport the Fragment, though? It's pretty big. Get Ziz to carry it?
>>5190976>>Write-In>Get a report from Orwell and Amara on Behemoth's latest activity. How riled up is he? What path is he taking?>Check with Rath about what sort of munitions she's been able to make in this short time. What sort of trap would they be useful for?>Confer with allies about our plan of attack, should peaceful communication break down. The most obvious answer is to distract Behemoth into chasing after us into a trap zone while his siblings wrestle him down, but we are open to other options.>Also discuss the viability of relocating the Hope Fragment to a more secure location, or even bringing it with us to Behemoth. Any solution that cuts down on how many people need to be left to guard it improves our odds. is it possible?
>>5191096probably just a spoke. I mean ,we had to get it to the Roost in the first place somehow afterall.
>>5191155Yeah, but we'd want it to stay mobile, otherwise all we've done is moved the stationary point we're defending to someplace less well-fortified. More chaotic, too, but that doesn't necessarily help us. The Dozen are crazy and might be willing to charge a battlefield, and the Hassan could take advantage of that chaos to grab it.Actually, wait, how are these teams planning on moving the Fragment? Escher's Gear is either unique or extremely rare. If they can't teleport it with a spoke, how are they getting it contained and moved? Maybe they've got vehicles? We should be on guard for that, then, it would be a good sign of their presence. If someone shows up with a truck big enough to carry the Fragment, that's our assailants.
>>5191180eh, i kinda disagree. having to potentially deal with Behemoth is in and of itself such an increase in risk that it might hold them off. even if it doesn't, it certainly doesn't make it easier on them to steal at all, given the threat just being there would cause them. it doesn't need to be mobile, just well positioned.at worst/best, we could be prepared to teleport it under Behemoth should they go for it. leave them out to dry in the middle of the path of a raging anti-Crucible-destroyer mountain that gets angry at the very notion of 'chill'.you are right though, regardless of where we take it, it is odd they are so prepared to just grab it. then again, we dont actually know they are. think Paloma still said what did get out wasn't 100% perfect info, and to be fair to them this absolutely is the hardest to move/contain fragment we have found by far, so they may of had good reason to be underprepared for it. even the one Snowbird and Ziz found for all its issues wouldn't actually be that hard to pick up and move in terms of actually physically interacting with it from what we have heard. the one we're storing just happens to specifically make that difficult.
>>5191207>>5191180Any word on the Disassociated and the possibility of them holding a Fragment in their Cargo? I still want to make an inquiry into their plans so that their odds of getting targeted is lowered.
>>5191299BHOP said that they have been contacted, so they know we're coming to help. But no, we don't know if there might be a particular reason that Behemoth is angry at them, or if he's just generally pissed off about the ship. We should ask.
>>5191021>We should bring some people with good relocation abilities to meet with Behemoth. I think that would be crucial, even with Leviathan offering to help get us out of the way should things go bad. So Shu and Rath should stash a Rook and a Radiant Boil in a safe spot that they can teleport back to, and Dorian as well for fast runningWe will need multiple back-up points of those instant Teleportation type fallback points. Singular won't cut it given Behemoth's bulk and Aoe. On a side note: Given that the idea of having Rath wield Eden's East, the Ignition Gauntlets could theoretically be handed to Julia given her melee focus. This next update may be our last chance for getting all the information consolidated from our allies and such before we fully dive into full preparation mode. We'll need more information on the would-be raiders. Given that they've already got a squad title and a reputation, their information, services, and profiles should be on the skinternet, although I'm uncertain if there's enough time.Speaking of allies, I wonder what other few surprise allies we'll receive...
>>5191326>We will need multiple back-up points of those instant Teleportation type fallback points. Singular won't cut it given Behemoth's bulk and Aoe.True. Shu and Rath can leave a dozen of those around the area if need be, though the rest of the party doesn't have our teleportation. They'd need to get ferried by Jackie with her Vorpal Blade or carried by Dorian. Or Sugar, she was pretty fast, too. But yes, let's be as mobile as possible.>On a side note: Given that the idea of having Rath wield Eden's East, the Ignition Gauntlets could theoretically be handed to Julia given her melee focus. Works for me. If Julia is in a situation where punching Behemoth is a good idea, things are already going bad, but let's give her the best tools for that scenario we can.>This next update may be our last chance for getting all the information consolidated from our allies and such before we fully dive into full preparation mode. We'll need more information on the would-be raiders. Given that they've already got a squad title and a reputation, their information, services, and profiles should be on the skinternet, although I'm uncertain if there's enough time.Yeah, that sounds good. There might not be time for it, but if there is, let's get what's available. >Speaking of allies, I wonder what other few surprise allies we'll receive...Let's see, who are we friends with who isn't already involved? There's Lara, the people of Laoc, the Arcadians, Amara's friends in the Lords of the Flies, the Altered Altar, all the other little groups Mara founded, and now Yamato and her crew but if she was going to show up I think it would have been mentioned already. I'm putting my money on the Arcadians, if only because Magnus was building a super robot and if there's any time it would be dramatically appropriate to bring out a super robot, it's when we're dealing with an angry kaiju.
>>5190976Adding to >>5191131>While planning, get any details the Skinternet has on the Dozen and Hassan, assuming that won't take focus away from other tasks our Skintalkers are dedicated to.You know, I like the idea of giving Amara the Verbum Pravuil core for boosting her Skintalking, but it occurs to me it might be good to give it to another party member not for spellcasting but just to put another person on info gathering duty. Split the load some more.
>>5191365The question then remains: Who will be the recipient? The bigger question: Where will we get the needed level-up points? We've already spent the majority of our feast with the whole team, what's left is Julia's share.
>>5191386I don't necessarily mean right now. Just as a general plan to do at some point.
(Still writing as this updates on the larger end, everyone. Thank you for bearing with me.)
>>5190976You exchange a few more pleasantries with Lonicera, asking Amara to get her in contact with Paloma before parting ways, for now. You’re so immersed in the details of your burgeoning plan that it’s Amara’s exclamation that snaps you back to reality…and not a moment too soon, to witness a sight for sore eyes.“JULIA!” Your ward yells, dashing forward as your teammate emerges from the Waystation. The Flesh Artisan’s comfortable out of her skin, her red musculature clad in a leather jacket and a pair of pants no doubt lent by the Hyenas, and a force nearly two-dozen strong follow your old friend out of the portal’s shadow. Ivey’s at their forefront, the Unnatural Predator towering above everyone else present with her wiry physique and her snarling grin, a cigarette dangling from her lips. A wispy girl’s just behind Julia, the Neuromancer or Conduit by the looks of it—Andromeda, you presume, though it’s the girl that brings up the group’s rear that gives you pause.Jeraha strides off to one side, intently scanning the ramshackle town before her until her gaze settles on you, the Mayor of Laoc giving you a business-like nod at your approach, though it’s Julia who beats everyone to the punch as she takes two steps forward to hug you and Amara, both.“It’s s-so good to see you both! I know it was n-not that long ago, b-but still!”“I wish it were under better circumstances, but I’ll take what I can get.” You smile,“Circumstances won’t improve until we end this, and Behemoth is yet another tally to be checked. What’s the situation, and where do you neeOHMYGOD!”Laoc’s leader nearly hits the deck when she realizes Ziz is perched on the cliffs just behind her, and the titan sheepishly ruffles her feathers as Snowbird gives the group a sharp salute.“They’re with us, Jeraha.” You hastily explain. “They’re here to help.”“Ha! Never change, my friend!” Ivey cackles, throwing an arm around your shoulder and nearly yanking you off balance as she pulls you in for a side-hug. “So, who else we got? Not that we *need* anyone else with my girls and Jules here, but-““Isn’t it obvious?” Calls out a voice that curls around a smile like a knife’s edge. “She’s saved the best for last.”Jackie slips from the darkness of the Waystation like a shadow, herself, followed by the rest of the Midnight Crew…but she’s hardly alone. The Barbers follow behind, with the groups’ leader Rosa is positively beside herself with the array of legends she’s currently surrounded with, while Sugar looks…half-asleep, actually. Paloma, Em, and Magnus bring up the rear, the Ikean Fortress’ leader beaming as she strides over to meet you but finding herself quickly outpaced.“I’d say we have to stop meeting like this, but where’d the fun be in that?” Jackie smiles, her long legs carrying her to you as she rests her sword-arm on the hilt buried in her chest.(Continued)
>>5191653“Orwell and Amara told me what’s going on, and I’ve got a team researching the Breakers and Hassan, both.” Paloma quickly informs you, spinning around in place to get a quick lay of the land and the forces you’ve assembled. Em remains silent as she eyes the crowd, the dark-haired girl now fully-clad in a bulky calcite armor, her bastard sword slung over one shoulder and cracking as it continually shifts in shape and edge, as though spoiling for a fight.“Good day, Defiant. You look well.” Magnus says, stepping forward with a handshake at the ready.“I don’t believe you, but I appreciate the sentiment regardless.” You reply with a smile, taking the Artisan’s powerful hand in yours with a weary shake.“I speak the truth. Now, my sister is ready to meet us on-site when a plan takes shape.” Magnus intones, hands folded primly behind his back and reminding you of another gentleman you know. “Has one been decided upon?”“Not quite. We were going to wait until everyone arrived before we hammered out the details, so we’d know exactly what we were working with.” You sigh, glancing around at the forces that’ve gathered to defend the launch…and you’re not the only one.“Can….is-…autogra-“ Rose mutters under her breath, overwhelmed by everyone present until Sia places a hand on her friend’s shoulder.“There will be time enough for that, later.” The Neuromancer says, the shifting static that is her face flickering as she whirls on her group’s Flesh Artisan. “Sugar? If you so much as lick one person here, I swear to god I’ll caramelize your tongue.”Sugar freezes, the tip of her outstretched tongue mere centimeters from Ivey’s abs.“Oh, she doesn’t have to stop on my account.” The Hyena’s leader chuckles as Julia pointedly ignores them, choosing to focus on you instead.“Is th-this everyone?” She asks, and you nod before turning to Gina.“GG, could you-?”“I’ll go get the table ready.” She winks, the ground carrying her off to your home’s entrance as you turn to address the crowd.“Thank you…all of you, for being here today. It means more than words can express.” You begin, sighing as you look to each and every one of the Daughters that’ve come to your aid. “I’m not going to lie—I’m hoping for a peaceful resolution, but the more I learn about Behemoth the narrower that chance looks. But from where I’m standing? We’ve got some of the best and brightest the Crucible has to off-““Uh, you might wanna save the speech, Defiant. You’ve got a few stragglers.” Ivey interrupts, eyes locked on something behind you. You turn, following her line of sight to find a chrome vessel scuttling towards you, slithering across the fleshscape like some kind of centipede-like shuttlebus. It comes to a stop before you, its midsection sliding open to reveal a face you never thought you’d see again…(Continued)
>>5191654“It has been some time, Defiant Huntress.” Cassandra smiles, the slate-grey eyes of the disembodied face cast in steel and wires settling on you with a warmth you didn’t think metal could convey. “It does this Daughter good to see you again.”“Cassandra, what-…it’s good to see you too, but what are you doing here?” You falter, glancing from her to the massive vehicular arthropod that carried her here. “I thought you’d be on the ship getting ready for takeoff?”“I have been watching you, my dear.” Cassandra replies, her smile soft and kind despite the artificiality of her form. Every path that’s presented itself before you, every avenue you choose to take…I saw them. I thought, with my powers, I knew you. But still, you continued to surprise this old soul with your kindness and conviction…things I realize I’d chosen to leave behind.”“Speak for yourself, Cassandra—I’m here to help you ensure our project gets off the ground!”With a voice like needles and scurrying things, Director Scola Pendra steps out from behind the other Daughter’s ear, her segmented neck carrying her head a bit higher to scan the crowd. “Is Francine not with you? I’d hoped to see the look on her face when we arrived in such a magnificent creation. Ah, no matter…”She turns to shout into the bowels of the cavernous transport; “Start unloading, everyone! Separate piles for lethal and non-lethal munitions on the double, if you please! We only have so long before the operation begins, and I want a list of resonance numbers and double-checked artillery in my hands two minutes from now!”“Wh-…what is all this, Cassandra?” You demand as a legion of asymmetric Daughters start pouring out in droves, two by two and carrying massive crates under Director Pendra’s sharp eye. “I don’t understand.”“I said I have been watching you…but I have not been the only one.” Cassandra says, carrying herself forward on a bed of undulating wires to make way for Pendra’s forces. “As we toiled to escape a world consumed by violence and bloodshed, many turned a blind eye to those fighting to make it a world worth living in. But there were some who saw your path and those it inspired as a cascade of hope, the likes of which created a schism in our organization…and so, those of like mind decided upon a new course of action.Cassandra smiles, an expression of hope and acceptance in equal measure as she declares; “We will fight to ensure our fellow Disassociated will have safe passage to continue their great work among the stars…and so, too, shall we ensure you can do the same on our home planet.”You…you have no words.“You’re right Jack—she *did* save the best for last.” Quinn remarks from somewhere behind you, shooting her friend a smirk.“Shut up.” Jackie fires back with a scowl.[GG?] You call out over the Crimson Cord. [We’re going to need a bigger table](Continued)
>>5191657The Dragon’s Roost is the most crowded it’s ever been as the united forces and representatives of the Defiants, Midnight Crew, Barbers, Ikean Fortress, Arcadia, and Disassociated gather around the largest war table Gina could fashion. Its surface is a sleek onyx that reflects the faces of all present, and as you pass Cassandra to take your place at the head of the table, you can’t help but notice the frayed and broken cables dangling from behind the Daughter’s form. Clearing your throat, you quickly debrief the crowd on the obstacles you collectively face before opening the conversation to all present.“I’d like to save my own input until I’ve heard from everyone. Now as I said earlier, I’d prefer to resolve the Behemoth issue through discussion…but barring that, I need to know where we are with our offensive options. Rath, could you get the discussion started on that topic?”“Thought you’d never ask, Shu.” Your brawler-slash-tinkerer grins, leaning forward from between Francine and November. “I got enough fire-and-forget Relics to make Behemoth’s day a living hell, in both explosive and sonic flavors depending on how much of a dick he wants to be before we start trading blows…although, full disclosure? I figured we were just gonna drop his ass in a pit.”“Pits are kind of our go-to, now that I think about it.” November hums thoughtfully.“I’ve brought several dozen cases of munitions to provide both close-to-mid range fire support, as well as ten pieces of long-range artillery.” Director Pendra declares proudly, casting an eye towards Francine for any sign of a reaction…there’s none, as the good doctor’s still regarding Cassandra with a level of surprise. “I made sure to pack deterrent-class rounds as well, once Cassandra informed me of your proclivity for mercy.”“Much appreciated, and I have to admit that the pits haven’t steered us wrong before…” You sigh, turning to your ward with a serious expression. “…Amara, do you and Orwell have Behemoth’s current status?”“Yes Mo-…Yes Ma’am!” Your little one salutes with all the professionalism the seven-year-old can muster…and you couldn’t be more proud. “According to Orwell’s calculations, Behemoth is likely to make a break for the launch site in two hours, once the Disassociated enter the last stages of prep! On his current course, he’ll be making a bee-line that’ll bring him up the coast that was just across the river from Mister Dorian’s home! The one you blew up!”A few curious glances get shot you way before the prior homeowner comes to your defense.“There was a Sparagmos Engine in my cellar. It was a whole thing.” Dorian offers, with Johanna chiming in with-“I tried to kill them, but it all worked out in the end.”“…but…*you’re* dead.” Rosa says, confused.“Like I said.” The other girl replies, folding her powerful arms. “It worked out.”(Continued)
>>5191658“The coast could be helpful given Leviathan’s diminished abilities on dry land, and Ziz’s mobility is second to none.” Francine muses, briefly locking eyes with November as the latter gives your doctor an affirmative nod before she adds; “Regarding the Hope fragment, I would like to float the concept of using it to deter two birds with one stone, as it were.”“I’m legitimately open to anything—this is an Apocalypse Amalgam we’re talking about here. Anything goes.” You insist, glancing around the table to affirm that, yes, nothing is off the table.“The Breakers and the Hassan are on their way or possibly biding their time, as news of us confronting Behemoth isn’t exactly a secret by this point…also, any news of those two groups, darling?” Francine pauses, casting a glance to Paloma.“Not yet, but I think one of my people has a lead. They’re following through on it now.” The Skintalker affirms before Francine continues.“Now, as I was saying; I believe that if we remove the Hope fragment from the Dragon’s Roost, we could use it as bait to force them to either get in Behemoth’s way or leave us alone. Given the sheer number of Daughter we have present, I doubt either force would dare to approach in the ensuing melee.”“A fair point.” You admit, mulling over the risks as Magnus adds his two cents.“To that end, while I know we shall have the other two titans at our disposal, I am prepared to bring the full might of Arcadia to bear against Behemoth should be declare himself a threat.” He says, and you have to admit that while you appreciate him adding to the numbers on hand, you’re not exactly sure what he’s implying…until Paloma emphasizes his offer.“The full might of not just his people, but of Arcadia as a whole.” She clarifies.Oh……OH.Oh, shit.You stand in surprised silence for a moment until Uzu coughs, mustering up the courage to throw her own spiraling hat into the ring until Isabelle places a hand on her shoulder. The pair whisper a moment as Uzu pulls back, and Jackie takes a moment to speak her peace…but whatever you were expecting from the Midnight Crew’s leader, it wasn’t what comes out of her mouth.“This is all well and good, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” She says, lips pursed in a razor-sharp line as her dark eyes scan the room. “Shu’s made it plenty clear that she wants to open with words, so where are our de-escalation measures?”As if on cue, Cassandra turns to Paloma. “My dear, unless I am mistaken you are a Skintalker of some renown, yes?”“Indeed I am, although Orwell and young Amara here are quickly closing the gap.” The young woman says with a wink to your ward.(Continued)
>>5191661“Excellent—I believe with our combined Lexicon and passive abilities, we may be able to create a field potent enough to calm behemoth, if only for a time.” The older Disassociated posits. “It may not be for long given his scale, but with our combined might we may be able to get him to at least listen to reason.”“Now that’s what I’m talking about.” Jackie grins, gesturing to her Crew. “We’ve picked up some augments recently that let us buff the hell out of a wide variety of Daughters, so we’ll chip in on that angle if rooms not found for us elsewhere. We’re Paladins—it’s in our blood.”“And bile!” Keane adds with an impish grin before Ace quietly covers her mouth.There’s the ghost of a plan forming, but the pieces are still too disparate, too loose to form the net that’ll bind Behemoth enough for him to hear you out…or for you to spring a trap, if he pushes you that far.Casting a glance over to where Julia’s share of Merkabah’s remain still lie encased in the container Francine forged for the purpose, you ponder if you should lend voice to the spark of the plan you've got brewing, or if you should hear more before speaking it into existence...>>Forward your own plan of attack (Get insight from your gathered allies regarding the plan you forward).>>Hold off on voicing your own ideas a little longer, and let your family continue to add to the think-tank.>>Get Julia up to speed with the rest of the family (Initiate Julia Level-Up vote, with voting time extending until Sunday at midnight).>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next five hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at 10AM, Eastern time—or at some point tomorrow, depending on if the Julia vote is chosen. I want to give everyone present plenty of time to convene and discuss it, and also give me time to assemble the text into something properly readable. In either case I intend for the Julia vote to take place over the weekend, it’s simply a matter of if you wish to hash out your tactics before or after she’s had a chance to catch up. I do hope you day is going well, and take care, one and all.)
>>5191653>“Circumstances won’t improve until we end this, and Behemoth is yet another tally to be checked. What’s the situation, and where do you neeOHMYGOD!”>Laoc’s leader nearly hits the deck when she realizes Ziz is perched on the cliffs just behind her, and the titan sheepishly ruffles her feathers as Snowbird gives the group a sharp salute.>“They’re with us, Jeraha.” You hastily explain. “They’re here to help.”Oh, shit, that's right. Ziz did accidentally devastate her town. Ziz, please apologize to her.>>5191657>“I said I have been watching you…but I have not been the only one.” Cassandra says, carrying herself forward on a bed of undulating wires to make way for Pendra’s forces. “As we toiled to escape a world consumed by violence and bloodshed, many turned a blind eye to those fighting to make it a world worth living in. But there were some who saw your path and those it inspired as a cascade of hope, the likes of which created a schism in our organization…and so, those of like mind decided upon a new course of action.>Cassandra smiles, an expression of hope and acceptance in equal measure as she declares; “We will fight to ensure our fellow Disassociated will have safe passage to continue their great work among the stars…and so, too, shall we ensure you can do the same on our home planet.”Well, alright. Glad to have you onboard, ladies. Kind of refutes Leviathan's pessimism about the project, too. It's not just a bunch of cowardly parasites, we've got some people who are real believers in an ideal. >>5191663Alright, that sounds like a smart plan in general. Diverge Behemoth over to the coast, hit him with some empathic fields to calm him enough to talk, and then if it goes wrong we drop him in a pit and shoot him a bunch while his siblings wrestle him down. I'm going to need a bit longer to think about it in depth, but it sounds good in principle.
>>5191654>“There will be time enough for that, later.” The Neuromancer says, the shifting static that is her face flickering as she whirls on her group’s Flesh Artisan. “Sugar? If you so much as lick one person here, I swear to god I’ll caramelize your tongue.”>Sugar freezes, the tip of her outstretched tongue mere centimeters from Ivey’s abs.Ah yes, delicious abs. Can't fault anyone for wanting a taste of delicious meaty washboards for that.
>>5191663Also, I just thought of something: Where are Charon, Ringo, and the rest of their group? If they're not coming to help with this, they must be dealing with something else. Is everything okay?
>>5191693Remember that cult-following that we've been having to deal with occasionally? They're probably working on that. But I'd like Bhop to chime in as well. >>5191664Oh yeah. I almost forgot about the other Hexane, that one married couple. They're probably out and about. And the pyre ant kingdoms...any update on their whereabouts?
>>5191693(Oh, they're coming. Dice rolls have them dealing with some issues with the cult, is all.)
>>5191702(The Hexane have been charged with the protection of Laoc in the absence of its main protective force, while the Pyreants do not have access to Skintalking - you can absolutely have Palomas network bring them in, if you'd like.)
>Oh yeah. I almost forgot about the other Hexane, that one married couple. They're probably out and about. And the pyre ant kingdoms...any update on their whereabouts?Oh, yeah, Themis and Velein. How are those wacky kids doing? Last we heard they were in Almath, doing archaeology on their own fallen civilization. That sounds like a bummer. >>5191703Oh, good, that's a relief. I wasn't worried that they weren't helping us, but I was worried that they might be facing something dangerous of their own.>>5191706Oh, cool, so we know what they're up to. Have those cocoons they were guarding hatched yet? They're at Laoc, it would be funny if they wound up meeting the aliens who were watching over them.I don't think bringing the Pyreants in would do much to help. They're not particularly powerful Amalgams, and I wouldn't want to throw them away purposelessly. I think we can leave them out of this.
>>5191710>I don't think bringing the Pyreants in would do much to help. They're not particularly powerful Amalgams, and I wouldn't want to throw them away purposelessly. I think we can leave them out of this.that depends on how large that kingdom has grown. >>5191706Don't we have a swaddled Fuzzbuzz among the kingdom's ranks? The one that got adopted by the queen?
Any pit we drop Behemoth in is going to be a temporary obstacle, between his size and his own terraforming abilities. So we need to maximize its effect. If we're going to be by the coast, why don't we shape it to be below sea level and let the acid sea pour in? Make his terrain less solid, do some damage over time (though probably very slight, I'd be surprised if Behemoth doesn't have high resistance to all damage types), and make Leviathan more effective.>that depends on how large that kingdom has grown. Maybe, but they're still not very powerful on an individual level. I'd hate for Ember to throw her children into the meat grinder needlessly, when we've got swarmlings and Joyous that can fill any need for a mass of bodies.
>>5191688Where would the pit and the empathy field be located then? before the river crossing or after the river crossing?
>>5191717After, I think. The closer we get him to the sea, the better Leviathan can work.
>>5191663>Ask questions regarding logistics and scenarios in a worst-case scenario event. Evacuation and backlines to the battle that let injured and incapacitated daughters recover their bio and health away from the frontlines. >Ask Ziz or Leviathan about Behemoth's personality in the moments when he's not rampaging and what actually gets him to calm down. Was there ever a time that Behemoth actually holds back or allows a worthy opponent to live? The battle should be tailored around the worst case scenario, while negotiations should be tailored around Behemoth. >>5191716The battle is essentially a marathon, with the primary goal being to pacify Behemoth long enough either through talks or through battle that the launch goes without any complications. In another case, we should also consider Behemoth's personality, behavior, and the fragment of Passion that he resonates with. He may be temperamental and a blood knight, but he's bound to have soft spots that makes him amicable to conversation. Another point of topic to discuss would be the negotiation phase. What do we have to offer to behemoth if he's actually calm and willing enough to negotiate?>Ask if it's possible to give the Hassans and the Breakers a counter-offer in exchange for their cooperation in this operation once more information and contact scenarios come to light.
>>5191718Okay, so how does this sound? Not linked because it's still brainstorming and not a proper vote, but working the thoughts out:>Artillery team: November, Scolo Pendra, and her subordinates. Set up somewhere distant from the action zone, preferably over the horizon if we can make it. Maybe throw in Magnus and the Arcadia-bot, depending on its capabilities. Did you give it guns, Magnus, or is it meant to fight in melee? Anyways, feed them targeting via swarmlings and/or Joyous. If we wind up fighting Behemoth, their job is to bombard him from a distance and keep him distracted. Unlikely to deal high damage, but constant pinpricks should keep him from focusing on more immanent threats.>Terraforming team: Shu, Gina, Sugar, Uzu, anyone else with significant terraforming that I'm missing. Go to prepare a pit trap for Behemoth to fall into. I'm imagining a sort of support structure of calcite girders holding up the hollowed-out ground, so it will still support weight until they're terraformed away. Cut the supports and it falls apart, maximizes the speed with which we can drop a huge hole. Build it to take up part of the coastline and be under sea level, so that the acid sea will flow in and Behemoth will have to deal with Leviathan having the home field. Shu should also be laying Psychica Spiralis fields throughout to keep Behemoth from terraforming his way out as easily.>Skintalking team: Amara, Orwell, Paloma, and Cassandra. In charge of calming Behemoth in the negotiation phase. If they can do anything to obscure his senses so he doesn't notice the pit as well, do so. Sia might be able to help with that. But if they believe the attempt at obscuring the pit would just make it obvious we were planning something, don't. Amara should also spawn as many Joyous Many as she can, the debuff spell chorus would be essential.>Support team: Midnight Crew. Jackie can teleport groups, bring her team to where they're needed to buff abilities. First priority should be with the Skintalking team, buff them to maximize odds of communication with Behemoth. After that, I'd say second priority should be the artillery team. Also, if Jackie can jump to people about to get overrun and teleport them out, that would be great.>>5191725Yes, good point. We need to get fall-back points. Also ask about personality profile from Behemoth's siblings, that's going to be essential to talking him down. While we're at it, we should ask them how he fights. We know he's a big brawny monster and might have a terraforming power, but beyond that we don't know his capabilities.As for what to offer Behemoth? I'm not sure. What we know is that he wants to do his duty to his father and make him proud. So I guess we convince him that letting these people go would be part of that duty? Talk about what Leviathan said about how escapees are accounted for by the plan, so destroying them is implicitly going against his role.
>>5191734We could also try arguing that the spirit of cooperation that's standing up to him right now is demonstration that we're leading to the situation as desired by his father. People acting altruistically, using their resources and risking their lives not for personal benefit but to support those they think have a chance to do good. Trying to destroy that is arguably shaming his father, not making him proud. It might not directly lead to the end goal, but we are making the sort of environment that would.But that's probably not enough, we should have something to offer him if he needs more. I don't know what that could be, I admit, we do need that psych profile from Ziz and Leviathan to develop an idea of what could appease Behemoth. Maybe there's some way we can materially demonstrate our commitment to seeing this through to the end?
>>5191741>We could also try arguing that the spirit of cooperation that's standing up to him right now is demonstration that we're leading to the situation as desired by his father. People acting altruistically, using their resources and risking their lives not for personal benefit but to support those they think have a chance to do good. Trying to destroy that is arguably shaming his father, not making him proud. It might not directly lead to the end goal, but we are making the sort of environment that would.Even if that proposal sounds solid, He would likely want to test that spirit of cooperation via direct combat so we should keep that in mind. It would make sense given that he want's to prove his worthiness, but I think it would also mean that he'll be holding back to a certain degree to ascertain the validity of our claims of following his father's will. We should also keep in mind to keep our dialogue short and to the point as it's inferred earlier that much of the friction between Behemoth and Leviathan was the latter's verbosity.
>>5191734We also need a defense/aggro-tank team capable of running interference with Behemoth the moment he decides to target the others. obviously Ziz and Levi would be auto-included. People who can take and dodge any incoming hits that Behemoth dishes out such as Bn'i, Dorian, Rath, Shu, and others. >>5191706Will Yamato and her crew be joining the operation with Leviathan (if they did decide to join)?
>>5191745(It is unlikely, but I've yet to roll the dice for some of the offscreen actors, so there are still some unexpected elements in play.)
>>5191749(That's said, it's unlikely without either a direct appeal from you or by proxy through Paloma.)
>>5191743Good point. Behemoth does seem like the sort to test our commitment with a fight. We've definitely got to get Rath to punch him over with the Phantom Limb fusion-punch, then, that's the sort of thing that would earn some respect. And yeah, short and to the point, that's what's going to be key with talking to Behemoth. What I'm wondering is when we should bring in Behemoth's siblings. If they don't like Leviathan much, we probably shouldn't bring them for the parley. Ziz showing up might be more effective, though, Behemoth's innocent little sister going "come on, big brother, let the rocket launch, it'll be cool!". But we should ask them, first, when they think they'd be effective to bring in.>>5191745Yeah, the interference team is going to be more about keeping Behemoth from focusing on anyone long enough for them to get out. So agreed, we want our speedsters, our teleporters, and our tricky movers. In addition to the ones you've got, Sugar's pretty fast, too. Gina can probably swim through the ground for that role, but I think she'd be better off in a counter-ability role. Causing Behemoth's Generator abilities to fizzle out and anti-terraforming any time he tries to make something.
>>5191751We have two hours left before Behemoth begins his warpath. We'll likely need to start truly preparing in the last