The chirping of birds accompanies the soft shine of the sun much how the taste of chocolate accompanies the smell of coffee. Yet the shadows you cast behind you stare ever eternally onwards, to paths unknown.
That is, you've finally made your way out of the side-road that leads to the presidential villa and had to make a very short stop at the side of the road to change the car's battery for one of the spares. Which is as good a chance as any to decide: Where to go next?
Harriet switches out the batteries, giving her car an encouraging pep talk as she goes. "You're doing great, honey."
The options that lie ahead are three, finding the elusive Icy Maiden, ghoul and daugther of the president to get the aid of the poorer populace; Talk with the Miner and Crafter's guilds so they can turn their attention to actual important matters rather than decoys; Guard the important judge whose assassination is bound to take place the moment they leave home (although he won't leave without your escort)
Amal ambles along, glancing up at Hughbert. "Mmm. Guess it comes down to what we think would be more important in the short-term, right?"
Anton scratches his head. "The sooner we get the judge safely to his destination the less chance he has to get assassinated, right?"
Serenity: "Anton did sort of make a promise to not let someone's daughter die which he definitely hasn't forgotten about."
Amal: "Well, it sounds like he's safe for right now and won't leave without us? So it's not like there's -pressure-…"
Anton glances at Serenity before blinking twice. "… right. That is the worldline we're on, huh? After viewing how everyone else would have handled it I kind of forgot who actually did."
Serenity: "It was you."
Serenity: "In the 'no one died yet but you promise to do something within the week to prove it was possible' scenario."
Amal pats Anton on the shoulder consolingly.
Serenity‘ sighs, giving a shake her head head while leaning back into her chair.
Harriet: "Yeah, that was definitely you."
Anton: "Well, I mean we’re on day two. We have lots of time to change the country!"
Serenity: "Just sayin', maybe that's something you wanna factor into the plan making."
Anton: "You heard her, Hugh!" He smiles.
Hughbert flips through some pages in a notebook as he scans the party's faces and thinks. "The guild business… Those massive organizations are bureaucratic nightmares. There is a high chance that it needs the most time to trickle from us doing OUR part, to seeing actual change. Therefore, I believe 'the sooner, the better' towards that one."
Hughbert: "At the least, I would wager that this Icy Maiden would be a better listener if we've completed the guild business. We would have proof that we share a common goal- from actions, not words."
Serenity: "I like the part where we're less likely to be eaten by a ghoul."
Serenity‘ turns the car back on after Harriet’s settled back in, and starts driving.
Amal: "Sounds like a good plan to me!"
Anton: "Don't worry Serenity. If you're going to have any chance at all of getting eaten by a ghoul I'll give you a few minutes heads up."
Serenity: "Thanks."
JayM: So to meet with the guilds, huhn?
Harriet: "Let's do it. I'm in favour of fixing that bullshit, too."
Harriet bustles back on into that car! Cannon on lap, there's no room for it otherwise.
JayM: You have a map with yourself, and it shows where the biggest cities are, as well as all the biggest mining and wood harvesting operations are, as they are often small cities in and of themselves. It would only make sense for the search for the guilds to start somewhere in one of those
Hughbert: "If there's no argument, then I'd like to present the plan as this: Our first priority shall be the guild problem. Afterwards, we'll decide based on convenience and urgency whether to pursue the Icy Maiden, or guide the judge. There is a high likelihood that the judge's plight requires more immediate attention - keeping him waiting is one thing, but keeping his assassins waiting is another."
Hughbert is rambling on about this once the journey has begun, of course.
Harriet: "I'll follow your lead, sure."
Serenity: "I guess that makes sense."
JayM: Thankfully, it appears that there is a logging camp from Maelphas Logging about a day's worth of travel eastwards… Why is everything so far away here?
Serenity‘ reckon it’s on account of it being a goddamn wasteland.
JayM: A day, well, more like you're going to arrive at night same day
Serenity: "Also I imagine this is probably…"
Serenity: "One of those situations where you wanna take point, Hugh…?"
And off you go, towards Camp #775, because they had absolutely no better name to give it. There is certainly something in the air here as you travel, the air is thicker, dustier than that of Terchuan, and warmer than that of Masharas
Anton nods in agreement. "If the assassins are forced to wait too long they'll likely opt to take a more aggressive approach."
Amal: "What kind of person names a city Camp Some-Number-Or-Other. Gosh."
The travel is quite uneventful, in fact almost terrifyingly uneventful as you hardly see any cities or small towns as you go. You notice at one point some cattle at the side of the road- But it's hardly what you'd call a farm in the traditional sense, it is a veritably gigantic field of nothing but grass (the grass is far too even to be natural growth) fenced in, with cows mingling about. The cattle is plentiful, but lean.
Serenity: "Someone that sets up a lot of tiny towns to support mining operations and has long sense stop caring about names and wants them easier to organize in reports."
Harriet naps on the way there, because cows are boring.
In fact, most of the day is spent driving by the side of the gigantic field- As you're halfway through it you notice a very flinch-inducing moment. There's a large vehicle that comes up and- That is not how you slaugther a cow, not at all what the hell is this- The front of the vehicle has an opening, and blades- The thing just eats the damn cow, grass and some chunk of dirt. Other nearby cows scatter, but it grabs five more before the driver finally moves the vehicle away.
JayM: The noise is kind of terrifying
Hughbert scribbles down those notes about that prototype ventilation system for Harriet. Notable scribbles: 'due to safety features, causes engine to shut down randomly. if safety is disabled, causes ventilation to catch fire. fix?????'
Serenity: "Harriet."
Serenity: "Harriet wake up holy shit what the fuck."
Harriet startles awake at the noise, peers out the window. "Huh what? Wow."
Serenity: "Why."
Harriet: "Did they - that's just - that's not even an efficient way to -"
Hughbert: "That is quite terrible. I have the answer to none of those questions."
Harriet: "At least do that in a place where you're not going to suck up a bunch of dirt too!"
Serenity: "I can only imagine some idiot doesn't realize that's for flora and not fauna… Fuck."
Still, after a while you finally clear the strange farmland… Ahead of you there's a strange visage… A field of ash, ash everywhere in the plains ahead, a perfect wasteland of ash extends forward until there's a sudden appearance of trees, someone has been cutting those trees alright, and then carefully removing every remain out of the ground. There's trucks and workers putting down square patches of ground with grass already on it covering the field. Flowing in the gutter that's formed beside the road is a stream of water black with ash
Harriet: "… just remind me not to eat the mince here." Harriet tries to go back to napping but can't quite manage it because cow screams are harrowing. So she gets to see ash central, too!
Serenity: "I don't… feel like much of anything here is gunna be that edible really…"
Hughbert: "Out of morbid curiosity… Serenity? What exactly was that horrid machine, er… saying?"
Anton: "Guess we should be sticking to the ration plan, huh…?" He frowns.
Amal looks out the window and… looks away from the windows and closes their eyes, looking like they want to cheer someone up, badly.
Much further ahead are more of those container-houses organized around a central plaza where store trucks are. Except the place is much, much larger than the last one you saw. And there is a single actual building here, large and square made of some matter you don't recognize, it looks like it might be cement but looks far more fragile. The building itself looks like it was made parts put together hastily
Amal: "(…this place isn't okay…)"
Harriet: "Hate to see an earthquake or a hurricane pass through here."
Hughbert: "I would wager that the administration in this town is likely to be enjoying the luxury of being attached to the ground that they are actually working on. Let's begin questioning residents there."
Serenity‘ glances back over at Hughbert through the rearview mirror. "’Food'."
Serenity: "But it sounded sick…? So there's that too."
Serenity: "Not that any machine here has sounded even halfway decent aside from one (head of security detail on the president's baby sitters.)"
Hughbert frowns.
Amal: "Have any of you ever seen a building like that…?"
Serenity: "Uhh."
Serenity: "Looks like shit tier cement to me."
Anton: "Afraid not. I haven't left Masharas before this operation."
Serenity: "Not looking forward to a slab of of that being over my head to be honest."
Amal: "Naw, it's… there's no way these buildings are even stable, ugh. Yeah."
Harriet: "Haven't come across anything like this personally. Masharas actually has standards."
Serenity: "Getting the lay of the land sounds like… Hugh and Anton's specialities though." Serenity glances around, looking for a good place to park.
Anton glances at Serenity. "Well, I mean if you want me to take Harriets camera and fly really high and take an aerial photo for something, yeah sure I can scout out the land. Not sure how that'd help here, though."
JayM: To converse with the residents, huhn? Any specific information you seek?
Serenity: "Clearly you peer into the future to find the random person wandering around with the most information to give us with the least amount of fuss and then we do it."
Serenity: "God, I should have your power you don't even know how to use it."
Amal snickers.
Harriet: "Still workin' on it."
Anton scrunches up his face. "I somehow think you misunderstand my powers more than I misunderstand yours. How much fuss they give or whether person A actually gives us what we want is a diverging point where multiple futures exist. Much like there existed a future for each of us talking to that miner."
Amal: "It makes sense to me, Anton~!"
Anton: "Basically my powers become way more useful when what we're looking for is incredibly hard to find since there isn't many futures where we obtain what we want and I can pinpoint it and figure out what we've got to do."
Serenity‘ waves dismissively.
Harriet: "So what you’re saying is, we can talk to anyone here and get results?"
Anton: "Basically, yeah! Who actually talks isn't set in stone as it has no impact on the worldline."
Harriet: "Cool." Harriet hops on out and flags down the nearest person. "Hey, you!"
Hughbert: "Anton, be careful. Serenity has become the Superpower Police. We must keep her in check, or the next thing you know, she will make me wear… Civvies." He feigns a shocked look.
Who you happen to get is a middle-aged man who's sitting outshide his box-house looking at the darkening sky. He sighs "Really, now? What is it?"
Amal: "She'd -never-."
Serenity: "Wear what?"
Harriet: "We're here to fix everything and we need to know what's going on here so we can get on that. You're a worker here, right?"
He sighs- And starts coughing for a while. Once the fit's over he shakes his head "Retired, kind of, but yes"
Hughbert leans over and mentions to Serenity- "Civvies are what us in the service call civilian garments."
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity‘ folds her arms over her chest, thinking.
Serenity: "…I honestly can’t imagine you not in uniform? Anton totally doesn't even wear one though."
Harriet: "Okay, cool, so you're not gonna yell at me for asking. Where's your union rep?"
Hughbert clears his throat and offers the man a tissue. "Are you feeling alright, sir? Has your work left you in poor health?
Hughbert: "(The privilege of the divine oracle's heir, perhaps?)"
Amal: "(We should totally get him to wear a uniform sometime.)"
Serenity: "Yes, definitely."
The retired man raises an eyebrow at Harriet "They're in the only actual building here" he looks at Hughbert "What do you thinking swinging an acid blade in this ashen nightmare does to your lungs? There's a reason I can't work anymore"
Anton: "Just by having this discussion you've opened up a very scary sea of potential futures."
Harriet: "Huh, they're in the building? Would've thought that was where the foreman would be."
Retired Man: "Like that asshole would hang out in this fucking cesspit"
Harriet: "So he's not even on-site? Wow, what an asshole, but also I guess that makes my job easier."
Serenity‘ glances over at Anton. "I can’t imagine making you look good ends that poorly."
Harriet: "Is there anyone here who actually is gonna give us shit for trying to fix things?"
Amal surreptitiously wills some healing energy the retired man's way. It's… it's not much, but they'll breathe a little easier for a while…?
JayM: Probably so, Amal
Anton raises a hand and stage whispers to Serenity. "(On my Oracles word, it will bring forward a future worse than when we tore open that dimensional hole and Lola was able to funnel things through.)" He nods gravely.
Hughbert: "Once we meet with your union rep, we'll have our technicians-" he gestures to Harriet, Serenity, and himself "- tear that tool apart and demand that it be made safer to operate. Meanwhile… Amal, could you talk to this gentleman and compile some notes about his symptoms?" He turns back to the old guy, adding, "If you'd be alright sharing? We would be grateful."
The man chuckles "Oh, I don't know. Maybe half the guild" it's a dark chuckle
Retired Man: "Look, if you wanna play doctor go find someone else"
Serenity: "Guess you got more time ro brace for ti this time at least, then."
Retired Man: "I got a whole lot of nothing i'd rather be doing with my time"
Amal: "…it's okay. I already know everything I need to."
Hughbert nods at Amal. "One of these days, I might actually get used to that sort of thing happening…" He rubs his forehead. "…not today, though."
Harriet: "Half the guild, huh? That means half won't, I can work with those odds."
Serenity: "Why would even half the guild care in the first place?"
Retired Man: "You go fucking ask them"
Retired Man: "Now you would do well to leave me to the time I have"
Serenity‘ rolls her eyes.
Amal: "…it’s okay, Harriet. Let's go talk to the guild."
Anton scratches at his cheek. "Some people at least have to be making a lot of money from how many corners are cut here."
Harriet: "Sure, let's do it."
Serenity: "It's not gunna collapse after we enter, right?"
Hughbert: "If you see Anton quickly leaving, follow him." He shrugs at Serenity.
Serenity: "I guess."
Harriet: "So he's our canary, huh?"
As you head over to the sole building it looks… It looks like it's not shaking at least, but you can't be certain of the structural strenght of anything except for the main pillars, that appear to be solid steel bars recycled from something else. There's large sign atop the entrance which says "Miner's Guild Branch 8" , one would imagine they serve the loggers here too. There are now indows, howevers
Anton: "No worries, my friends! At present time there exists no future where this building will collapse on us. So unless another Oracle causes a zero-fate between my last reading and it collapsing it is literally impossible."
The entrance leads to a small reception room, but you see nobody. You hear the muffled sounds of shouting somewhere vaguely in the direction of the stairs upwards. The one who appears to be the receptionist has actually gone off to the side corridor the stairs are in and is looking up worried
Serenity: "You know,"
Serenity: "You probably coulda stopped before the qualifier there, just sayin'."
Anton winks back at Serenity.
Amal grins brightly at Anton.
Harriet just… casually slips her goggles on in case.
Serenity: "Anyway."
Serenity: "Who's fighting up there?"
Anton: "The whole staff is upstairs so I can't really give a head count, but the two who are shouting definitely are emitting some strong hatred and contempt."
Hughbert: "We had best talk to them first and calm them down, then." He leads the way up.
Serenity: "Was directing the question at the person who actually works here… but duly noted."
The reception eeps in an almost chirpy manner as they hear Serenity's voice, now that you notice this one can't have yet finished their teen years, or maybe they are just done with them. Maybe an apparentice? "Oh, uhn… Volkes and Strumm from HQ came visiting this branch since apparently something different was going on here… And they… They started fighting"
Serenity: "Oh, awesome. Thanks."
Serenity‘ follows Hughbert up.
Hughbert: "Ah, if they’re from headquarters, then that means they will be our contacts when we send our complaint straight to the top."
Harriet goes on up!
The two floors following are just echoing the shouting, screams calling the other ignorant, blind, traitor, accusing of ignoring the people. The workers here are huddled here and there trying to make heads or tails out of the rambling and shouting
The third floor, the boss' office, is where things are heated. The stairs lead into a small reception zone for the actual boss room, the receptionist has hidden under his desk. The shouting is intense "You chase after any shiny fucking thing, you know what they're doing and I know who you are!" "You keep going on about the 'bigger picture' but forget the people down here!" the voices shout at eachother, growing hoarse
Amal: "(Someone shut me up if I get mad at these jerks…!)"
Anton glances at Hughbert. "(Mostly as an aside, but due to them all exhibiting the same emotion and being so close together I was unable to get an accurate head count as the auras blended together. Limitations should probably be mentioned to the man in the suit.)" He smiles.
Serenity‘ pokes her head into the room. "Yo which one of you is in charge? Wanna lodge a complaint."
Hughbert: "(Appreciate it.)"
Heading through the double-doors you see two people face-to-face. And by face to face I mean grasping at eachother’s collars, having brought themselves so close they're almost touching. The blood in their faces show their heads have crashed against each other more than once. They dislodge themselves from each other when Serenity pokes her head in, who turns to stare at her is a man in his late sixties with dark skin and flecked skin, head shaved completely bald and wearing business attire that's been thoroughly damaged by some lesser wrestling "We are having a meeting here" he almost nearly shouts at you
Serenity: "That's fine, I have no issue interrupting it."
Serenity: "Doesn't sound like you're making much headway anyway."
The other one, a woman with broad soulders and ancient cut scars covering what is visible of her skin, cap that's long since been thrown to the ground would have been hiding the missing crimson hairs of the right side of her head whose skin has once been removed by something, she wears instead of a suit the usual attire of a miner, although not as damaged as work would indicate "You better have a damn good reason to stop me from putting some sense in this imbecile"
Serenity‘ walks in, glances around for somewhere to sit down, and then does so.
Serenity has to turn either a chair or a couch upright to sit
Serenity` just sits on top of the upturned couch, giving no particular fucks.
Hughbert stays calm and looks imposing, staying standing. He’s reminded a bit of getting slammed into a table, and lets them be for a minute.
Serenity: "Kinda yeah. We're the Ambassassadors here from Masharas here to fix your shit."
JayM: To be honest they both look rather late in their years, then again they also look terrifying and straight out of combat
Harriet stands behind Hughbert because she knows who the tank is here. She folds her arms.
Serenity: "And Goddess above, do you have a lot of shit to fix."
The man looks at Serenity "Then kindly go-" "Shut the fuck up, Volkes. Or didn't you hear about the message the president sent a couple of weeks ago?" "There was no message, Strumm" "Just because you and your cronies don't want to believe he can get anything done doesn't mean it isn't reality" the woman, Strumm, turns to Serenity "Alright, say your piece"
Serenity: "I duno I'm kinda curious where he was gunna tell me to go."
Serenity‘ leans forward, elbows rested on her knees and head upon her hands.
Strumm: "Because you and your people wanted to, because you know exactly what you were doing"
Serenity: "Anyway which one of you two is actually in charge, this whole yelling over each other thing is gunna get real boring real fast"
Volkes: "Oh do you wanna know what you can go? You can go back to whatever cesspit you found what you are smoking and keep smoking it. Because the goddess knows those high and mighty bookworms wouldn’t come help us in any way"
Amal: "Hey! Both of you."
Serenity: "So… the lady then?"
Strumm: "We're, unfortunately both in charge. We happen to be the two heads of the Miner's Guild, elected by popular vote. Mostly."
Amal: "While you're arguing, people are dying. Answer her question."
Serenity: "Oh I wasn't really going anywhere in particular with this I was just defusing it 'cause it was gunna be hard for Hughbert to get a word in with them screaming at one another."
Volkes: "So what now, you gota lecture to give us?"
Harriet yawns.
Anton seems to be staring off into space again. He found a nice corner to stand in.
Serenity: "Yes, pretty much."
Serenity: "But then also give you detailed outlines on how to actually… you know, fix things."
Strumm: "While i'd love to have a magical solution, i'm not sure there is one, sadly"
Hughbert clears his throat and salutes the two. "So, we've had the chance to see the conditions your guild keeps their workers in. We've seen the sort of body count your machines leave behind when they malfunction, and I'd like to have a rational discussion about that."
Serenity‘ swings both her pointer fingers in the air for a moment, before gesturing towards Hughbert with them.
Strumm: "Oh, you’re a little out of luck there, then. Maybe if some company other than Athas Heavy Industries built them, but nope, there's just Athas"
Volkes: "Are you perhaps forgotten Farstone Manufacturing and the Red Forge?"
Harriet shakes her head a bit and looks over.
Harriet: "Yeah, see, here's the thing… stop buying shit from the company whose drills don't have an off switch."
Strumm: "The ones owned by the nephew and aunt of the owner of Athas? Yes, yes I am forgetting them"
Strumm: "They might as well not exist given they're just a pretend-front for Athas machinery" she points at Harriet "See? The same bullshit is in all of them"
Hughbert: "I find it hard to believe that you're incapable of putting pressure on your suppliers to give you equipment that is able to manually shut down properly."
Volkes: "Oh but we can! Experimental Site Seven, for example, look at what we've accomplished"
Strum: "WHAT?! You think Site Seven is anything approaching even worthwhile?!"
Strumm: "Have you been there?"
Volkes: "No, not yet, but i've seen the reports. There's been far less wounds in there"
Serenity: "I mean…"
Strumm: "First off, yes, because half the staff has been fired. Second, do you know the… The price paid for that? Dealing with that new company is worse than Athas"
Serenity: "Even beyond prices of shitty equipment and complete lakc of any safefy features non with standing…"
Harriet: "Why's the new guy worse?"
Serenity: "The gear your guys have is complete and utter shit that barely functions in the first place. You need to be working smarter and more efficently, not harder."
Amal: "What's the deal with Site Seven?"
Hughbert rubs his forehead and mumbles to himself, "(and yet the mines are still equipped with…)"
Strumm makes a scowl "Oh, you don't know?" she looks at Serenity "See, the problem with that is that this guy here" she points to Volke "Has some market share on Athas too" <Volke> "What? Do you have any proof of that?" <Strumm> "I do, but you know what, i'll do you one better" she looks at Amal "How about I show you?"
Amal: "I'm all eyes and ears."
Strumm: "Do you wanna know why the stuff we use is this bad? Because there's only one company that makes it, and they get money out of it, why bother changing it in any way? They don't care, they got nobody to compete with them" she sighs "Until, of course, this new company showed up, started buying rights for certain mines and extraction fields, calling them 'special sites', pulling out those… Monstrosities to work on them"
Amal looks grim!
Serenity: "…The ghouls?"
Strumm starts heading out "Terra Medical's Special Site Seven is just twenty minutes out from here, how about I take you all there and show you how their mine works, huhn?" she turns out and points at Volke "Maybe, just maybe you'll get some fucking empathy in your empty brain" she turns back around and starts heading out
Volke: "Strumm you will not walk out of here like that"
Serenity: "Oh boy Terra Medical!"
Serenity‘ hops off the couch, grabs Volke’s hand, then walks out of the room with him after Strumm.
Strumm: "Yes, yes I fucking will" she looks at… At… There's not a single big or strong looking person in the party so she looks at Hughbert instead "And drag that-" except Serenity takes initiative, Strumm grins at her "Good enough"
Despite how big Volke might look he's not as strong- Age and work take it's toll
Amal: "Serenity walks fast, try to keep up!" Amal smiles cheerfully as they can and follows Strumm out.
Harriet shakes her head and heads out.
Hughbert nods to Strumm understandingly. He walks over to the receptionist hiding behind the desk and kneels down. "Looks like we'll be taking them out for a walk. You can get some rest soon." He then leaves the room.
Serenity: "Geeze man."
Strumm takes you all outside, there's a large truck that's been haphazardly converted into a large transport vehicle. Strumm takes the driver's seat, there's space for quite a few in the back, a trap covers the space
Serenity: "How much fucking ragnite do you bath in?"
Once you're all safely in the transport truck Strumm starts up the engine and gets going "A whole fucking lot, idiot worked all his life operating a hand driller" "I'm proud of my work, you better know that" "Oh, yeah, proud of being the fucking bowels of the mountains breathing fucking rocks while your drill can't go five minutes without leaking ragnite all over your damn arm"
Strumm: "Didn't you start working for Maelphas halfway through your third decade? Hah, bet most of that is from the damned acid blade, fucks up the wielder as bad as it fucks up trees"
Serenity: "Totally would not date dude with lizard hands, just sayin'."
Hughbert reaches for the seat belt, and is no doubt disappointed (yet certainly not surprised) to find there are none.
Harriet: "Yeah, about those acid blades."
Harriet: "Gonna need to fix those."
JayM: There's a rope, Hugh, if you need
Amal: "…it'd be better if -nobody- used tools that ruined their body. It's… we can help with that, I think."
Strumm: "Is the exact same bullshit as the previous three with a different name a different paint! You didn't even fucking bother looking at the specifications before agreeing to use those!"
Serenity: "I'm pretty sure Harriet has three different designs for better ways to do the same thing in her pocket yeah, Amal."
Harriet pulls out her notebook. "Actually, yeah. I couldn't sleep after that thing with the cows."
Strumm: "And look, by some fucking act of the goddess my signature was in the acceptance document while was sick in bed due to some mysterious and magical lead poisoning that week"
Anton opens up his notebook and jots something down.
Volke: "Listen, you probably was just a little too sick to remember but-" he looks at Harriet "I admit the mobile grinder is a little grim looking, yes, but the time it saves allows us to produce a lot more meat to feed everyone, I doubt other countries have as easy access to meat as we do"
Amal: "Like, for-real, better technology that isn't based on the stuff that kills people and ruins their lungs, but is probably as efficient in the long run. You don't -need- to be doing any of what you're doing, you just fell into a local optimum for profit that's hard to back out of."
Hughbert adjusts his glasses and leans in. "If you have any paperwork you'd like analyzed for fraudulence, Strumm, by all means, I have quite the eye."
Harriet: "Here, have a look at this." Harriet flips to a page of her notebook and hands it over to Volke. "I improved your shitty drill."
Amal: "But, I mean, that's why we're here!"
Strumm: "Hah… The big companies think they're bringing around man-made miracles just because they're getting money"
Harriet: "See the off switch? Very important."
Volke furroes his eyebrows at Harriet
Serenity: "Also the splash guards and guides."
Strumm: "Don't bother… I don't think I got your name. There's nobody left to care about authenticity of documents anymore"
Amal: "We're going to teach you about negative externalities! Even if Hughbert has to start smacking people in the head with the textbook until they get the picture~." Far too cheerful.
Serenity: "Spoiler: it also probably doesn't cost any more to build them this way either."
Serenity: "Efficency!"
Strumm: "What we need is a literal riot at this point… There, look, it's Site Seven"
Unlike the previous mining operation you saw this one looks pretty impressive, especially due to the lack of worker's town (probably they live in Maelphas' camp). The impressive factor comes from the giant auger sticking out of the ground and into the earth, it's upper part rotates slowly as mounds of rock and rubble are moved by conveyor belt out of it's sides
Strumm parks the car near the entrance of the mine "Look at this place, looks pretty, right?"
Strumm: "No leaky tanks, no weirdly reinforced material storage"
Amal: "Nothin' that has an obvious catch is ever pretty."
Strumm: "The ore washing is even automated!" indeed it is "Wanna know what's in the goddess-forsaken core of this monster? Come on, then"
Harriet: "Yeah, Terra Medical's always a double-edged sword." Harriet grabs her notebook and tucks it back into her vest pocket.
Strumm leads you over to the entrance of the auger
Hughbert introduces himself, name and rank, then goes down the whole party roster while he's at it. "Hmm… Serenity. How's it sound to you?"
Amal is actually half legit interested and half already horrified.
Serenity: "Duno, tell you when we get closer. It's not super loud."
Serenity: "Which is a nice change of pace."
Hughbert: "I'll take that as a good sign. Yes, a high chance of being an improvement."
Serenity: "Well,"
Serenity: "I mean it's a nice change of pace,"
Serenity: "But I'm giving it ten to one odds you're not gunna be happen when she opens that panel."
[OOC] Serenity: happy^
Hughbert: "That would be an unfortunate development. Let's hope not."
Serenity‘ mouths the words ’muffled screaming' in Amal's direction.
Amal Looks Grim.
Hughbert shrugs at the group and continues following Strumm (which we were surely doing the entire time).
There is, in fact, two people in guard in front of the entrance, Strumm goes up to them and shows a card "I'm Strumm Angriff of the Miner's Guild in an inspection. This is my team, let us in" "Look ma'am-" they look like they aren't going to let her in. She resolves that but grabbing both by the collar and hitting them against eachother so hard they're out like lights "Not like they have a lot more staff than those two idiots"
Strumm: "Breaking and entering? Yes it is"
Serenity: "Haha."
Amal: "I like your style…"
Strumm fiddles with a panel besides them and opens the entrance, it's an elevator
Once you're all inside she presses the only button, written "Core" , and off it goes
Serenity: "Cannot what? Can hear you now."
You slowly descend, and you have a strange foreboding feeling. Once you're at the final level the door opens to reveal… The place looks like the raw insides of a force gear, there are no walls, just tubing and mechanisms on sight. Unlike previous designs you saw here they are expertly placed, tubing is shielded and reinforced, there's proper space for maitenance. At the distance the corridor opens up in a wide room, from this distance you can only see the glow of ragnite in lines in the distance
JayM: "…not…" echoes a muffled voice far in the distance
Serenity: "Oh."
Strumm: "Go on, go along" she shoves Volke ahead "Go ahead, see what powers this goddess-forsaken beast"
Serenity: "Huh you can talk in people? That's new."
Harriet looks around, considering the framework. It certainly looks better than the drill, but…
Amal: "Oh no."
Serenity: "Sounds like human core to me!"
Serenity‘ walks on forwards.
Hughbert nervously goes along. "Serenity, am I supposed to hear the voice too? Is that the voice you hear?"
Serenity: "Sorta."
Harriet: "I’m gonna be really mad about this aren't I." It's not even a question as she heads on in.
Serenity: "Actually you're gunna be fascinated as shit by it,"
Serenity: "Everyone else though, pretty horrified."
You head further ahead… And as you come closer you see… Chains? Glowing chains? No, they're not glowing chains but reinforced tubing, they come from every wall of this room. A man stands at the center, body held aloft tubing that connects of metal plates on his body- Are the metal plates welded to the skin? "This… This cannot…" everything around you shudder
Serenity: "Yup human core. I'm so good at this."
Harriet: "No, I mean, human power sources don't work. We've studied them! They're interesting, from a scientific perspective, but humans are squishy and delicate and - yeah, see? They've got to plate his body just to keep him up there."
Anton glances at Serenity before pouting. "I can't make guesses like that since I'll just be told I cheated."
Amal: "Oh, no."
JayM: His eyes are glowing red, visible through the hands he covers his face with. He looks at you with the eyes of a wild beast, ragnite tubes connected to the plates in his skin, body looking like it's seen better days "This… Cannot…" everything shudders again- Bits and pieces of machinery fall off from the ceiling and walls "Continue…"
Hughbert just gestures at the person connected and stares at the duo in charge. "Please explain yourselves. Quickly."
Core: "This…" the pieces starts floating "Cannot…" he's sounding angry "Continue!" "
Serenity‘ tilts her head back at Harriet. "Naw it’s not the power source, it's the uh, logical drive."
Serenity: "Like at Yggy, when Mai tried to hook that bandit up to it and -"
Amal: "Why does -everyone- try the stupid Omelas thing."
The machinery coems together forming… Three entire sets of armor, drills floating in the air- One of the drills shoots staright at Serenity, though she does dodges it
Anton scrunches up his face. "This is actually kind of not pleasant to be down here. That feeling of pure rage I'm getting is rather overbearing."
Serenity‘ sighs as she scrambles to one side.
The Core roars like a beast as more machinery floats and goes at you as he repeats, over and over "This cannot continue" []
Serenity: "Do you want help or not dip shit?"
Harriet: "Same difference," Harriet waves it off. "He’s gonna go mad in there and die, and - whoa!"
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity: "Yeah that's a good point his mind is probably long gone."
Hughbert just shoves the two guild bosses way back, behind everyone else- into the back-back row. "Get to cover! Leave this to us!"
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Serenity [B]:0 Anton [B]:2 Harriet [B]:3 Animated Blade A [F]:3 Animated Armor B [F]:3 Animated Armor A [F]:4 Animated Drill A [F]:6 Hughbert [F]:8 Animated Armor C [F]:8
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Amal, you're going to get hurt
Harriet: "Oh, he might be a medium, by the way."
Serenity: "Hughbert are you sure we really want to cover for them…?"
[OOC] Anton: I act 10D faster. Always.
Serenity: "I mean one of them wants shitty machinery that doesn't work right…"
Harriet: "The last I heard about those studies, they'd discovered that mediums are best for this sort of work."
JayM: Battle order: Anton [B]:-8 Amal [B]:0 Serenity [B]:0 Harriet [B]:3 Animated Blade A [F]:3 Animated Armor B [F]:3 Animated Armor A [F]:4 Animated Drill A [F]:6 Hughbert [F]:8 Animated Armor C [F]:8
JayM: Right forgot that
Serenity: "And the other one wants good machinery but you need to feed it humans."
Amal: "How… how dare they…"
Both of the guild bosses are shoved back, a bit out of the fight ozne "What the fuck is that, Strumm"
Serenity: "Both of these seem like poor solutions in my professional opinino."
Hughbert: "Once we prove ourselves responsible for their continued existence, we will be able to insist they owe us what I believe you'd call 'a solid'."
Strumm: "The kind of shit i'm tryign to stop"
Serenity: "Oh, good point."
The Core cannot be hit until the adds are dealt with
Harriet: "Also this is really gross, by the way. Like, I feel like I should just state that for the record beyond the fact that it's fucking stupid from an engineering perspective."
Harriet: "You're right though, it is interesting."
Anton glances at the situation at hand before taking his hand out of his pocket and snapping his fingers. Five small spots get a bit hazy around him. [Ingenuity - 30D]
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 550/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U)
JayM: Ingenious. Amal!
Serenity: "This must have been a prototype for the thing Mai was working on, Yggy made a lot more sense from a design standpoint, at least."
[OOC] Hughbert: HP: 650/650, tHP: 80, Stored: 0, MP: 650/650, LP: 5/6, SoS: 162, -20% dt once
Amal -furiously- begins charging up a shimmering light… [CT 10]
JayM: Serenity!
Serenity‘ sighs, stands back up, then fires a mote of energy behind the flailing machinery. [50D - Inertia Canceller] which then splits off into two motes. [Somebody Loves Me] [@40D and 60D]
JayM: Harriet!
Harriet flicks a few switches on her ECC, turns the crank, and aims. "Let me show you what you can do with tech which is neither fucking faulty or evil." [CT50]
The blade, it is a crude but interesting thing, there’s a pack it's connected to and the blade is less like a blade and more square-ish. The edge of the blade slowly gains a dull green glow and then some form of liquid of same color (or maybe it just looks so due to the glow) starts moving around it. The Core brings back a hand and points it forward at HArriet, sending the blade flying at her for an [Acid Blade] attack.
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 40 ( Total: 40 ) for 90
JayM rolled 1d8+135,80 and got 4 ( Total: 111.2 )
JayM: Dealing [111] Physical Melee damage (after row) and Acid(U), next time you're healed take 150 Physical damage before applying the heal
Harriet: "Shield, set up!" Harriet puts her Force Diffuser between her and the blade [-20%], but it doesn't help with the burning nearly as much as she'd like to. "- shit! Shit! That fucking hurts!"
The Animated Armor B, it looks simple- Powered pistons at the legs and arms to increase carrying power, but it has no user. The Core makes the motion of walking, shambling, ahead- The armor moves with the command, running at Harriet, and delivering a simple [Punch] at her
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 21 ( Total: 21 ) for 80/30
JayM rolled 1d10+120,200 and got 3 ( Total: 246.0 )
Harriet notices a little bit too late that the blade left a glowing mark on her shield, the exact point the armor is homing on. She is the Prey(U)
Math: (123*1.8) = 221.4
JayM: Actually that just deald [221] Physical Melee after row modifier
Harriet: "That fucking - oh shit shield set up!" It might be a simple punch, but even with the diffusion she skids back a meter.
Armor A does it one better, it starts revving up and takes a step back… [Kill Order] [Pin Rush]
[OOC] Harriet: HP: 334/600, [TMP: 80] MP: 700/700, LP: 0/8, SoS: 150
Anton frowns. "Don't worry Harriet. I'll save you when that goes off. If that connects you will go down. Anton guarantee. Once you're marked it amplifies the damage. A lot."
The Animated Drill is a dirty little thing, the drill is a little out of balance and the engine leaks sparks and ragnite as it spins. It revs up and the Core points at Hughbert, the drill goes flying at him [Overdrill]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 99 ( Total: 99 ) for 80
Harriet: "Goddess shit." Harriet shakes her Force Diffuser, but it's gonna need time to recharge.
The drill goes flying past and strikes the ground, then the drill starts spinning wildly until there's the sound of an explosin as it takes 100 damage, with a wave from the Core the drill returns to formation
JayM: However, now it's Hughbert that hsa been marked Prey
Harriet: "Listen, if this is about what I said you're getting mad at the wrong person here. I'm meant to do that sort of analysis! We have Amal to get really mad about moral shit!"
JayM: Hughbert!
Hughbert kicks his force gear into activation and deflects the drill off to the side. Now there's a glow attached to his blade. "…Hm. I suppose it's better this way."
Harriet: "I can see you're really angry about this shit but we didn't do this."
Amal: "…we'll end this, I promise…"
Volke: "Strumm, who let this… Who let this happen?"
Amal: "You're the one who voluntarily worked with Terra Medical!"
Strumm: "Remember when I tried to tell people not to go to this place? And who the hell told them that working for someone super shady was perhaps a good idea?!"
Hughbert looks back to confirm the bosses are safely hidden before he charges at the blade. As he slices into it, the air swirls- the armors seem like they're pushed a bit further away after his sweeping cut! [Speartip Formation + Opening Shelling, 50D]
Hughbert rolled 1d100 and got 21 ( Total: 21 ) for 80 / 10
JayM: A powerful strike
Hughbert rolled 1d10+156,120 and got 3 ( Total: 190.79999999999998 )
JayM: Which armor, btw
[OOC] Hughbert: the sword is what I hit
JayM: Oh okay
JayM: Right I misread!
Anton follows up with a shot of his own. [Attack Assist]
Anton rolled 1d100 and got 41 ( Total: 41 ) for 80
JayM: That also hits!
Anton rolled d10+140 and got 2 ( Total: 142.0 ) for I am quickened by 10D from hughberts thing? >.>
JayM: Yes you are
Hughbert: "You should have a clear line of sight until the armors rearrange themselves. Take it down quickly." [Places a condition for (2) - all damaging abilities used on the target are sped up by -10D]
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 550/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U),+40% Next Spell (U)
JayM: Battle order: Animated Armor C [F]:0 Amal [B]:2 Anton [B]:4 Animated Armor A [F]:26 Animated Blade A [F]:35 Serenity [B]:42 Harriet [B]:45 Animated Armor B [F]:45 Animated Drill A [F]:48 Hughbert [F]:50
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [======== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [====== ] Accel Strike(2)
Animated Armor C runs at Hughbert to punch him [Punch]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 43 ( Total: 43 ) for 80/30
JayM rolled 1d10+120 and got 2 ( Total: 122 )
JayM: Striking for [122] Physical Melee
JayM: Amal!
JayM: … Shit, hold on
Amal hurls the sphere of light at Harriet, cleansing her of all negative conditions! [Perfect Cleanse D15]
JayM: 8 since Serenity, okay
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Anton [B]:2 Animated Armor A [F]:24 Inertia Canceller:32 Animated Blade A [F]:33 Serenity [B]:40 Harriet [B]:43 Animated Armor B [F]:43 Animated Drill A [F]:46 Hughbert [F]:48 Animated Armor C [F]:48 Inertia Canceller 2:52
JayM: Here
JayM: Harriet's cleansed! How wonderful
JayM: Anton!
Harriet: "I don't know how you got the acid off with some light, but thanks."
Anton summons three clones on the field. [Phantom Rush - 60D | 30D]
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 4/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U),+40% Next Spell (U)
JayM: And now… Amal!
Serenity: "Magic."
Amal sets their feet and slams one fist into their palm and looks determined! They glow with rainbow light, as a dramatic wind ruffles their cloak! [Miracle Thesis! Rainbow Protshell! CT 30! +20% damage taken during CT!]
A beautiful and refreshing wind blows around Amal, his cloak ruffles and spreads in the wind- For a moment, it's as if he had a pair of majestic wings
JayM: Battle order: Animated Armor A [F]:0 S-Anton A [F]:8 S-Anton B [F]:8 S-Anton C [F]:8 Inertia Canceller:8 Animated Blade A [F]:9 Serenity [B]:16 Harriet [B]:19 Animated Armor B [F]:19 Amal [B]:21 Animated Drill A [F]:22 Hughbert [F]:24 Animated Armor C [F]:24 Inertia Canceller 2:28 Anton [B]:38
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [======== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [====== ] Accel Strike(2)
Animated Armor A is done winding up and rushes ahead at Hughbert, punching and punching and punching and trying to pin him into the ground [Pin Rush]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 96 ( Total: 96 ) for 80
Amal: "Hang in there for a little longer!"
JayM: Strikes abound- But you dodge, how lucky
JayM: Anton's shadows!
Anton fires bolts at Blade A, Drill A and Armor C.
Anton rolled 3d100 and got 95, 50, 22 ( Total: 167 ) for 80
[OOC] Anton: -2 LP why not
Anton rolled d12+140 and got 1 ( Total: 141.0 )
Hughbert flattens his blade into a disc- yet, something's strange, it's not a disc of shimmering air but a dark, black disc that no light can escape. A keen eye could catch the disc pulling the armor's fists ever so slightly into hitting it…
JayM: Damage is spread evenly
JayM: Battle order: Inertia Canceller:0 Animated Blade A [F]:1 Serenity [B]:8 Harriet [B]:11 Animated Armor B [F]:11 Amal [B]:13 Animated Drill A [F]:14 Hughbert [F]:16 Animated Armor C [F]:16 Inertia Canceller 2:20 Anton [B]:30 Animated Armor A [F]:62
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [======= ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [====== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [==== ] Accel Strike(2)
JayM: Inertia Canceller!
One mote collapses in on itself, dragging Animated Blade A back a bit as it does.
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 2/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U),+160% Next Spell (U)
Serenity‘ rolled d100 and got 72 ( Total: 72 ) for +10D to it as well
d12+180: 1 [Total: 181]
[OOC] Sugarlips: Grand Total: 253
JayM: Then it’s Serenity again
Serenity‘ rolls her sholders, aiming for a second before pulling the trigger and forming a red mote. [50D - Spell Demolition] [@60D]
The Core shouts louder as it struggles and thrashes about.
JayM: Harriet!
Harriet swings her ECC around and pulls the lever - an arc of electricity jumps from the drum to the Animated Blade! [Storm Guillotine, 50D 180MP]
JayM: Oh nooo
Harriet rolled 1d12+450*1.2 and got 12 ( Total: 552.0 )
The lightning strikes it blade, and sends it flying across the room! [KO]
[OOC] Harriet: Also, I Guess That’s Just 40D, Thanks Hughbert
JayM: Battle order: Animated Armor B [F]:0 Amal [B]:2 Animated Drill A [F]:3 Hughbert [F]:5 Animated Armor C [F]:5 Inertia Canceller 2:9 Anton [B]:19 Harriet [B]:40 Serenity [B]:47 Animated Armor A [F]:51 Spell Demolition:57
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [======= ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [====== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [-KO-]
Animated Armor B decides to then rev up to attack [Kill Order] [Punch]
JayM: Amal!
Serenity: [Attack Assist Do +10% Damage Now]
Amal focuses, and the light they've been channeling condenses into the shape of an iridescent heart in front of their chest! The heart shimmers and then splits into different colours, each of which twirls through the air to surround the others! [Rainbow Protshell, D30, -30% physical and magical damage! Healing effect!]
Amal rolled d12+120 and got 10 ( Total: 130 ) for healing for everyone
Harriet: "Wow, that's - actually really pretty, good job."
As Amal focuses his energy you can see a shadow behind him for a split second- Though it certainly doesn't looks human it looks… Very much like a child, still. And with a pair of majestic wings that seem to mirror the movement of Amal's cape
JayM: So much healing and defense
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 2/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U),+160% Next Spell (U),ProShell[-30%] (5)
[OOC] Harriet: HP: 464/600, MP: 600/700, LP: 0/8, SoS: 150 - L.Ether - 1 (U),I.Ether - 0 (U),STracking - 20% (U),Rainbow Protshell (5)
[OOC] Hughbert: HP: 650/650, tHP: 32, Stored: 48, MP: 650/650, LP: 2/6, SoS: 162, Proshell (5)
The Core thrashes around some more- The drill swings wildly here and until it comes crashing down on Anton! [Earthbreaker]
JayM rolled 2d100 and got 69, 69 ( Total: 138 ) for 80
Anton winks at the camera knowingly.
The drill strikes Anton hard- So hard he's sent flying back into the wall and bounces back crashing against Harriet
JayM rolled 1d10+124,80 and got 1 ( Total: 100.0 )
Harriet catches Anton, but since her ECC's right there it's probably kind of a rough landing. "Whoa!"
[OOC] Amal: -30% damage!!!
Both Anton and Harriet take [100] damage, the drill is sputtering and there's ragnite leaking off of the connection between engine and drill bit
JayM: Right!
Math: (125*0.5) = 62.5
JayM: So [62]
JayM: Hughbert!
[OOC] Anton: HP: 518/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 2/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U),+160% Next Spell (U),ProShell[-30%] (5)
Serenity‘ frowns at the leaking ragnite. "So much for better designed equipment."
Hughbert points his blade behind him- the usual tracer of shimmering air is absent, replaced by a dark afterimage. It seems like it’s very, very gently pulling Hughbert along the ground in its direction. (Related, an extra unit added with the blade labeled 'Output Limiter' seems inactive.) He creates a barrier where he's pointing, carefully curving it to guide any blows away from any sensitive ragnite tubing. [Compressed Curtain, 30D]
Animated Armor C moves in at… Anton! Who's the Prey since the drill hit him and I forgot to warn, gomen. And it's going for a [Punch]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 2 ( Total: 2 ) for 80
JayM rolled 1d10+120 and got 4 ( Total: 124 ) for 50
Harriet: "Hughbert, I've got to have a closer look at your gear sometime."
Striking for [62] damage!
JayM: Battle order: Inertia Canceller 2:0 Anton [B]:10 Animated Armor B [F]:11 Amal [B]:23 Hughbert [F]:26 Harriet [B]:31 Serenity [B]:38 Animated Armor A [F]:42 Animated Drill A [F]:44 Animated Armor C [F]:46 Spell Demolition:48
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [======= ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [====== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [-KO-]
JayM: Inertia Canceller 2!
[OOC] Hughbert: 62… after row + armor + proshell?
JayM: After row+proshell
JayM: Not armor
The second mote implodes, pulling Armor B back a bit as it does.
Serenity‘ rolled d100 and got 72 ( Total: 72 ) for and +15D to it
d12+180: 10 [Total: 190]
[OOC] Sugarlips: Grand Total: 262
JayM: Dealing quit a bit of damage actually
JayM: Anton!
Harriet swings her ECC around, flicks a switch, and a brief flash of electricity follows. [AA]
[OOC] Anton: HP: 496/550, MP: 490/550, LP: 2/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U),+160% Next Spell (U),ProShell[-30%] (5)
Harriet rolled 1d12+180*1.1 and got 10 ( Total: 208.00000000000003 )
JayM: Dealing a lot mf agical damage!
JayM: Battle order: Anton [B]:0 Animated Armor B [F]:11 Amal [B]:13 Hughbert [F]:16 Harriet [B]:21 Serenity [B]:28 Animated Armor A [F]:32 Animated Drill A [F]:34 Animated Armor C [F]:36 Spell Demolition:38
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [======= ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [====== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [-KO-]
JayM: Just so you know where you stand
Anton takes a deep breath before a copy of Amal forms in front of him. They set their feet firmly on the ground and slam one fist into their palm. It shimmers in and out of view in a rainbow light. [Motion Blur - 40D Amal Image, 40D | Two distortions that float around Anton crumble. [Disaster]]
Amal tilts their head to the side grinning curiously. "Huh."
JayM: Battle order: Animated Armor B [F]:0 Amal [B]:2 Hughbert [F]:5 Harriet [B]:10 Serenity [B]:17 Animated Armor A [F]:21 Animated Drill A [F]:23 Animated Armor C [F]:25 Spell Demolition:27 Anton [B]:29 S-Amal [F]:29
JayM: I wonder what that’s going to do. Either way, Animated Armor B finally fnishes winding up and vaults at Anton! [Punch]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 44 ( Total: 44 ) for 80/30
JayM rolled 1d10+120,150 and got 3 ( Total: 184.5 )
The machine's in overdrive, dealing a massive blow for [184] Physical Melee damage!
JayM: Amal!
Amal starts charging up a web of light! [CT 10]
JayM: Hughbert!
Hughbert maintains his barrier! [30D]
JayM: Such a dedicated tank
JayM: Harriet!
Harriet flicks a couple switches and starts charging up her cannon again. [CT20]
JayM: Amal!
The Core continues to struggle for a while, and then points at the two guild leaders behind you, continually repeating his phrase
[OOC] Amal: is Armor B still alive?
JayM: If barely, it is still
[OOC] JayM: yes)
[OOC] Serenity: yes but I'm going to kill it with spell demo
[OOC] Serenity: which is aoe
[OOC] Amal: What are we targeting next, I have a Chorus charged
[OOC] Serenity: drop it on C
[OOC] Hughbert: I'd drop it on C, yeah, I might be able to Quarter Draw on A still
Amal hucks the web of light at Armor C! [Chorus D25]
Amal rolled d12+99 and got 9 ( Total: 108 ) for +20% to next attack
JayM: Serenity!
Serenity‘ glances up at all the random flailing machinery… shrugs, and fires off a shot at Armor A. [Forward Strike - 60D] [Assist Off This Shit And Deal +30% total damage and recover 72 HP]
Serenity` rolled d100 and got 42 ( Total: 42 )
Serenity` rolled d12+108 and got 7 ( Total: 115 )
JayM: A heavy impact on Armor A!
Hughbert seems like he’s getting dragged into a slash by his blade! [Distance Compression / AA]
Hughbert rolled 1d100 and got 69 ( Total: 69 )
JayM: Now that's what I call a sword
JayM: A hit!
Hughbert rolled 1d10+120,130 and got 9 ( Total: 167.70000000000002 )
The armor's, well, armor softens the strike a bit but not nearly enough. It winds up for one final attempt at doing something terrifying [Kill Order] [Pin Rush]
JayM: Battle order: Animated Drill A [F]:0 Animated Armor C [F]:2 Spell Demolition:4 Anton [B]:6 S-Amal [F]:6 Harriet [B]:7 Hughbert [F]:12 Amal [B]:14 Animated Armor A [F]:28 Animated Armor B [F]:47 Serenity [B]:54
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [===== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [====== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [-KO-]
The Core shouts loudly and thrusts forward, sending the Animated Drill flying at, and maybe through, Amal! [Overdrill]
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 48 ( Total: 48 ) for 80
JayM rolled 1d10+192,50 and got 7 ( Total: 99.5 )
Amal: "Y- you hang in there, too…" …even though there's not anything any of them are gonna be able to do for him, at this point…
Striking dead on for [99] Physical Melee damage as it goes wild! The drill refuses to try to move back for a moment- But it backs off still, looking worse for the wear as it explodes a little bit
Serenity: "Oh yeah he's pretty much fucked."
Animated Armor C runs in and tries to [Punch] Amal! (who's the Prey)
Serenity: "It was a miracle we managed to extract that guy at the grove and keep him alive with his sense of self in tact."
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 68 ( Total: 68 ) for 80/30
Serenity: "That connection had just happened."
JayM rolled 1d10+120 and got 2 ( Total: 122 ) for 50
Amal: "Yeah, I know… there's no forgiving something like this…"
JayM: Dealing [61]!
[OOC] Amal: HP: 390/550, MP: 470/550, LP: 8/9, SoS: 137
[OOC] Amal: HP: 390/550, MP: 470/550, LP: 8/9, SoS: 137 - Protshell (3)
The Core thrashes this way and that way "What is that thing doing" says Volke, who's looking away
Strumm: "Fucking look at what your policies did!"
Harriet: "Even if he does have the physiology to stay alive in there, isolation's fucked him. Sensory deprivation, too, by the look of it."
Serenity: "Killing all humans. Or well trying, anyway."
JayM: Battle order: Spell Demolition:0 Anton [B]:2 S-Amal [F]:2 Harriet [B]:3 Hughbert [F]:8 Amal [B]:10 Animated Armor A [F]:24 Animated Armor B [F]:43 Animated Drill A [F]:46 Animated Armor C [F]:48 Serenity [B]:50
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [===== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [==== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [-KO-]
JayM: Spell, demolish all things!
Hughbert: "I'm glad you two still have the energy to bicker. You should have plenty of zest left for coming up with a real solution soon."
[OOC] Hughbert: HP: 500/650, Stored: 0, MP: 650/650, LP: 2/6, SoS: 162, Proshell (3)
Serenity‘ rolls a shrug as the tiny red mote errupts into flames over the various flailing bits.
Serenity` rolled d100 and got 85 ( Total: 85 )
d12+120,140%: 4 [Total: 173.6]
[OOC] Sugarlips: Grand Total: 258.6
The flames explode among the units for heavy damage!
[OOC] Anton: I though tthat did 258 for a second
[OOC] Anton: Roll parses weird lol
Amal: "…he’s trying to get revenge. It's all he can think of. And frankly, I can't blame him. This is what working with Terra Medical means."
The animated armor B scatters across the ground
JayM: Battle order: Anton [B]:0 S-Amal [F]:0 Harriet [B]:1 Hughbert [F]:6 Amal [B]:8 Animated Armor A [F]:22 Animated Drill A [F]:44 Animated Armor C [F]:46 Serenity [B]:48
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [= ]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [-KO-]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [== ]
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [-KO-]
JayM: Anton!
Harriet: "I'm not a medic. Rehabilitation's not even close to my wheelhouse." Harriet pauses, frowns behind her goggles. "The kindest thing I can do here is fry him."
Amal: "This is what caring more about profits than the lives of the people you're supposed to be /working for/ means."
[OOC] Serenity: oh uhh add…. 24 more to C, that ate chorus
Amal: "I want you to look him in the eye and never forget what it looks like."
Serenity: [Assist Do +20% Now]
JayM: Not ging to finish him off but still
Anton summons a single clone. [After Image - 30D | 60D]. The image of Amal stops flickering and becomes fully visible as a luminous heart appears in front of them. It splits into different colours as each twirl through the air.
Anton snaps his fingers and the hearts flicker one by one from colorful to monochrome. [Invert] The hearts shatter, their remains scattering on the enemies. [Enemies take +30% Physical/Magical (5)]
Amal is shaking with rage, but keeping their voice calm.
JayM: Harriet!
Amal: "…try to blow up the drill next."
[OOC] Amal: feel free to ignore me for tactical purposes >_>
Harriet is kind of unnerved by the echo, but she just shakes her head and swings her ECC around, pulling the lever. "Sure thing." Lightning arcs into the drill. [Atom Smasher, 35D]
JayM: Your magic can't deal low enough damage it won't survive
Harriet rolled 1d12+240*1.5 and got 3 ( Total: 363.0 ) for Storm Tracking, Inverse Protshell
JayM: The drill is sent flying away
JayM: Hughbert!
Hughbert flicks a switch on his Damage Control and Redistribution F.G., making it beep gently. It inverts the energy absorbed by the barrier- The disruptive, damaging energy is released as recovery feedback instead! [DCRFG Inversion]
Harriet also sends a little electricity arcing into Armor A. [I HAVE L-ETHER, SURPRISE]
Hughbert rolled 1d10+96 and got 3 ( Total: 99 ) for to self
[OOC] Harriet: It's 30 Damage
Amal relaxes, a little bit. "(…Anton, that was really cool.)"
Hughbert: "…That's enough tactics for now. Unless the Core has a trick hidden, we simply need to sweep up the remnants now." A single slice cuts through Armor A! [Attack]
Hughbert rolled 1d100 and got 63 ( Total: 63 )
Hughbert rolled 1d10+120 and got 5 ( Total: 125 )
JayM: What s surprise, Harriet's little spark takes down Armor A
Hughbert rolled 1d10+120,130 and got 4 ( Total: 161.20000000000002 )
Anton glances at Amal. "(… I'm mostly experimenting with a new technique. If I let an image of you guys linger instead of immediately performing it I can modify it in a lot of interesting ways.)"
[OOC] Hughbert: I didn't forget the +30%!!!
Anton: "(Think of it like distorting a recording of history.)" He winks.
Meanwhile, obviously Hughbert has redirected his attack to the still working Armor C- But- Instead of his blade meeting the target it's parried by a different blade
Serenity‘ snaps her fingers, causing a tiny micro implosion to rip through Hughbert’s Actual Target Which Probably Survives The Initial Hit. [Assist]
Serenity‘ rolled d12+100,160% and got 7 ( Total: 171.20000000000002 )
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Animated Armor A [F]:14 Anton [B]:22 Harriet [B]:28 Hughbert [F]:28 Animated Drill A [F]:36 Animated Blade A [F]:38 Animated Armor C [F]:38 Serenity [B]:40 Animated Armor B [F]:41 S-Anton A [F]:52
JayM: Status for Animated Armor A [F]: : [==========] Deproshell(5)
JayM: Status for Animated Armor B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Animated Armor C [F]: : [==========] Deproshell(5)
JayM: Status for Animated Drill A [F]: : [==========] Deproshell(5)
JayM: Status for Animated Blade A [F]: : [==========]
The blade moves again as the Core roars- The machinery that should have been disabled starts floating again, being ready for more
JayM: Amal!
Serenity: "Huh…"
Anton laughs. "My bad Hugh, I should have looked for that."
Amal: "…aw, crap, what happened?"
Hughbert: "I agree. You should have."
The Core starts thrashing more and more, tubing gets ripped off of the ceiling and floor as the blade and drill thrashe as must as their controller
Serenity: "I imagine it just pumped more power into them…? Duno."
Harriet: "So we have to fry them all over again…?"
Serenity` squints up.
Amal: "S- stop that, you’re gonna overload the system..!" Amal frowns at the drill and starts charging a web of light! [CT 10]
Serenity: "Honestly it kind of looks like it's going to tear itself a part."
Serenity: "Maybe just… leave?"
Serenity: "I mean it's not like it can follow us."
Harriet: "It might cause catastrophic failure."
Harriet: "If we're gonna leave, we should do it now so we can evac everyone."
At this point the Core rips itself out of the tubing, falling on the ground
He looks with the eyes of a beast at the the two guildmasters past you- With a movement of his hand he sends the drill flying at them-
Anton smiles. He's already there. [Guard Assist]
But it isntead hits something else and is sent flying backwards- Wearing a kind of sleek black power armor is someone… Someone familiar. Serenity can identify this young man who just punched the drill away
He looks at Serenity with a sad grin, takes a step forward looking at the Core "I'm sorry John…" he mutters- And in his second step he's moving so fast he can't be seen- A single punch in the Core's chest sending him flying back, through and into the opposing wall "But it's time you die"
Anton: "I was wondering if you were going to show up or not."
Gerald: "Oh.
[OOC] Gerald: flkgg
Serenity: "Hey, Exceter."
He slowly turns around and looks at Serenity "Hey there"
Serenity: "Been juicin'?"
Exceter: "Just trying to get by…"
Exceter: "I made a deal with the devil after all…"
Serenity: "That was really stupid, man."
Exceter: "I needed to find someone that would get my family out of this goddess-forsaken land…"
Hughbert keeps his blade out, wary, keeping himself between the new guy and the two bosses. "It sounds like this fellow is your friend, Serenity…?"
Anton: "… technically isn't everywhere goddess forsaken land at this point?"
Exceter: "I guess you figured out what happened already, yeah?" he sighs "She was the only one willing to buy them a golden ticket to Masharas"
Exceter: "They're… Safe now"
Serenity‘ holds up a hand in front of her, fingers spread wide and pointed in Execter’s direction. "That's good. Because you're not." Light flashes out from Serenity and Exceter both, and then a second later he collapses to the ground as the ragnite device shuts down completely. [Seal -1LP]
Exceter growls and falls to a knee-
Harriet looks from the new addition to Serenity, but doesn't interrupt.
JayM: Serenity, you will need a [Mystic] skill check
JayM: The Pressure is 20
Serenity: "Fuck what did you do to that thing after you left? Fuck."
Serenity‘ rolled d100 and got 74 ( Total: 74 )
JayM: So base CoS 40, minus pressure 20, final 20 chance
[OOC] Serenity: -6LP, passu
Serenity` exhales slowly as she closes her fist, eyes taking on a very bright teal shine and sweat dripping from her forehead the longer she stands there concentrating.
Exceter slowly stands up "I don’t know what she did-" he's trying his best not get captured "B-but…" flakes of ragnite congeal around his armor- But they're different… They're red "But… This thing's a part of me now…" he's grunting, he's putting up severe resistance
JayM: He's… Not going anywhere for now
JayM: But you'll need to keep focus to keep him sitting still
Anton raises a hand and stage whispers to Amal. "(Geeze. You have NO idea how hard it was to not mention this was going to happen.)"
Serenity: "OH you dumb ass mother fucking peice of shit son of a bitch!"
Serenity: "WITH MAI? REALLY?"
Exceter: "Ahaha… I know… I don't like this deal, really…"
Serenity‘ swings her rifle around and just shoots him in the knee.
Exceter: "But it was the only recourse left"
The bullet impacts heavily against the knee joint of his armor- You can’t be sure wether it hurt him or not
Exceter: "Ahaha… I'm… Really sorry for resisting so hard… But I don't want to die here either"
Serenity‘ grinds her teeth together.
Amal: "(What an idiot…)"
Serenity: "Okay maybe this isn’t super clear but this is hard as fuck to maintain so someone please KNOCK HIS STUPID ASS OUT FOR ME? Thanks."
Harriet frowns, goggles obscuring most of the expression. "(It's red…) - oh! Right, yeah." Harriet grabs a cryogrenade, and lobs it at him, intending to freeze his joints up.
Exceter: "Ahaha… Don't try… If I don't go back for my medicine i'm going to die before the day is over"
Serenity: "Shut up and go to sleep Exceter!"
Ice gathers around his joints "I don't… Plan on… Letting that… Happen!" he continues to try to move, struggling badly- Moving milimiters at a time
Exceter: "Ahaha… I dunno if you can… I don't-"
Amal scrunches up their face.
Harriet: "… uh, okay. Hmm." Harriet walks up behind him, and whacks him about the back of his head with her cannon.
Surprisingly, Exceter's armor grants immense protection even against that, he falls forward, both hands on the ground, now on all fours "Grr…"
Exceter's breathing heavily…
Amal: "…I'm pretty sure at the very least I can keep him stable if I don't need to do much else than that…"
Hughbert: "Hm. Let me try this…"
Amal: "Maybe more, we're thinkin'."
Harriet: "Oh come on I had to disturb my baby's delicate systems for that! (Don't worry, baby, I'll tune you back up.)"
Exceter: "(Did she… Plan this too… The devil…)"
Serenity: "No, Mai doesn't know how to fucking handle me."
Amal: "Hahaha."
Serenity: "And you don't know what the fuck you're talking about you goddamit idiot."
Amal …sideeye glances at Anton just to be sure though.
Serenity: "Me and Amal will fix you, it's not even a question."
Exceter's arms give out- He falls flat
Serenity: "We fixed the bandit and I didn't even give a shit about him."
JayM: You know he's powerless now
JayM: He can't act, doesn't means he isn'st still trying
Hughbert steps up and tosses his blade out. It hovers in the air, above him. Hughbert then turns around, and with a flick of the wrist, flattens it into a dark disc. He then falls back, kicking his feet off the ground, and drops his elbow back down. It hits the flattened blade, and keeps going, drawing him down, down, with a speed that mere gravity can't match- and slams him flat on the ground.
Amal: "Someone tie this idiot up before Serenity has a stroke or something."
Serenity‘ shakes her fist in the air brief as the light in Exceter’s gear and her slowly fades out, then Serenity collapses to the ground. panting.
Hughbert picks himself up, dusts himself off, releases the blade, re-activates the limiter, and straightens his suit…
Harriet waits for Hughbert to be done with that acrobatic fucking pirouette, and then pulls out the duct tape, kneeling down to tape up Exceter's hands.
Amal scoots over to Serenity and pats her on the shoulder (and she finds it a little easier to catch her breath.)
Serenity: "Thanks Hugh."
Serenity: "Fuck."
Anton furrows his brows before letting out a deep breath. "Well. The good news is Mai isn't even remotely close to us right now. So that's one thing we don't have to worry about."
[OOC] Amal: [Care] on Serenity, btw.
Serenity: "Since when the fuck are you a Medium Exceter? Or is that just a side effect of you letting Mai graft a fucking force gear into your body."
Harriet: "You okay, Serenity?"
Serenity‘ doesn’t even bother trying to sit up, but makes enough effort to turn her face in his direction.
Serenity: "I'll be fine."
Harriet: "Cool, don't die, I need you to have my back engineering-wise." Harriet moves on to taping up Exceter's ankles.
Exceter: "I… I don't know… She said that this armor could… Use some energy in my body"
Exceter: "The same kind of energy you do your magic with"
Hughbert nods to Amal - a quiet acknowledgement of 'good work' - then checks up on the Core. He confirms his pulse… or lack thereof.
Serenity: "PS,"
Serenity: "You know the ghouls? They were an earlier version of her trying to figure out how to make artificial mediums."
Anton: "Well, yeah. That was implied by the reports…?"
Serenity: "I guess being half machine is probably a step up. Fuck."
Serenity: "I'm telling dip shit over there, not you!"
Serenity: "I don't think he fully comprehends how much he fucked up!"
Exceter: "Hey… I know how bad I fucked up, okay…"
Anton scrunches up his face before taking out a lollipop and plopping it into his mouth.
Exceter: "But if it meant getting my grandparents and my niblings out of this damned place, i'd have let her kill me if she wanted…"
Exceter: "This is just what she did instead"
Serenity: "You're such a goddamn fucking retarded martyr!"
Serenity: "Ugh I don't have the energy to keep yelling at you."
Amal: "…we need to make it easier for people to get out of this place… Anton, write a letter to- to whoever, okay?"
Serenity: "Just pretent I kept swearing at you for another two hours okay? Okay."
Amal scoots over to Exceter and focuses on him, frowning.
Exceter just sighs "Sure"
Exceter: "Not like i'm going anywhere at this rate…"
Serenity: "Anyway once I can move again me and Amal and Harriet will work on the whole 'don't let dumb cute boys kill themselves for no reason because they tried to fix everything themselves' thing."
Anton nods to Amal. "We should try to get some relief setup for the end of our operation, certainly. Until Mai is dealt with the people who need saving the most however aren't going to get help."
Serenity: "Preferably somewhere that isn't in the bowls of a human eating boring machine. Anton!"
The two guildmasters are, btw, just kind of cowering in the corner
Amal: "You two. Make yourselves useful."
Hughbert picks up the Core on his shoulder and drags him over to the two guild bosses. "You two… Up. Here…" He offloads his body onto the two of them. "You… Have to do something about this. This is your responsibility, and it cannot happen again."
Strumm is the one that stands up, carrying the Core's body on her hands "… That's what I plan on doing" she looks at Volke "Look at this shit, man"
Anton glances at Serenity. "We done here, then?"
Serenity: "Yes."
Strumm: "You're just trying to stay alive, I know. But look at what we're doing. Where we are… Do you really think we can just 'try to stay alive'?"
Serenity: "That was in fact your cue to pick me up."
Anton smiles. "Yeah, sorry I've just been a bit sidetracked trying to get a reading on something. Sorry to leave you waiting~." He smiles and picks her up.
Strumm: "We're often told we're only going to be blessed if we make our own miracles. They say work hard and you'll get a better life"
Harriet: "Thank you I was just about to say that."
Anton: "You'll be happy to know however unlike that dimensional beam I'm not sure I could replicate what you did right there with minimal effort~. So good job, today!"
Serenity: "Huh? Oh yeah I'm great."
Amal: "…yeah, that's a song they sing to get you to do whatever they want." They scowl. "Could learn some things from Rissan. The world is a garden in a desert of swirling sand, and you need to tend it carefully together."
Serenity‘ limps hangs in Anton’s arm.
Strumm: "But look at this, look at what just 'working hard' does. This is what 'working hard' DOES" she nods at Serenity "See… They don't want us to 'work hard' the want us to work to death"
[OOC] Serenity: limpy hangs in Anton's arms^
Volke stands up slowly "Uhn…"
Harriet: "The thing about working to death is it's not really sustainable. Uh, someone should probably get Serenity's friend too."
Strumm: "Now let's go back…" she looks at Serenity "I'll take us back, okay? Is your friend… Fine?"
Serenity: "One two three not it."
Amal: "Wouldn't say 'fine' but he's not gonna die on my watch."
Serenity: "I vote Hughbert and his fancy ass gravity machine."
Hughbert hauls Exceter up on his shoulder next, dragging him over. "And yet, that drill avoided you by sheer luck. You didn't make that miracle." Hughbert conveniently leaves out the part where Anton was already standing in the path because that doesn't support the narrative of Volke being a little shit.
Harriet: "Don't look at me, I'm already carrying an armory."
Exceter's incredibly heavy, given the armor he's wearing
Amal: "Probably should stick close to him for now, though."
Harriet: "Yeah, I can help with the tech but the flesh isn't my wheelhouse."
Serenity: "Yeah that thing is designed first and formost for speed when it's working right… haha."
Anton shakes his head before making his way towards the elevator. "… I really hope we aren't on that 6% chance worldline where the elevator broke down."
Harriet: "If it did I'll just fix it."
Going up the elevator isn't difficult, it's working
Hughbert looks around at who's got hands free… and opts to just turn his force gear on instead, dragging him up ever so slightly with a controlled air current. He's still going slowly, though.
Anton glances at Harriet before smiling. "Ah, yes of course. What would we do without you, my muse~?"
With three limb bodies at hand you board Strumm's transport car, and are ready to go back
Serenity: "Anton,"
Strumm starts up the car, and then off you are in the road
Hughbert: "…How did Exceter get down here anyway? Did he actually just take the elevator?"
Serenity: "You're not supposed to flirt with other girls when you're pretending to be the knight in shining armor, just sayin'."
Anton: "Hold up, Serenity. I have to prepare my heart for thi-"
Harriet grins at Anton. "Besides, there are already, like, five people who claim I'm their muse back home."
Serenity: "Uhh he probably just jumped."
Amal: "You're all adorable."
Anton wags a finger at Amal. "Someones jealous!"
Exceter: "Jumped down the elevator shaft… It was kind of badass, really"
Harriet: "Wait, who's jealous?"
After a couple of minutes you're on the road… By this time the sun has already given way to the moon
Exceter: "Hey, Serenity…"
Serenity: "What?"
Exceter: "I didn't get to tell you about one more change made to… Me"
Anton lets out a sigh. "… why can we never get on the worldline where my genius is actually understood?"
Serenity: "Is this one of those things where I'm going to need to shoot you, Exceter?"
Harriet: "I just assume everyone around me is jealous. It saves time."
Serenity: "Or punch Anton for not warning me about?"
Amal: "Please don't shoot him it'll make it a lot harder for me to keep him alive."
Amal also, pats Anton consolingly.
Exceter: "See… What's killing are… Little diaragnite crystals that are forming in my blood…"
Amal: "Oh, is -that- what's going on? I figured that was it but I wasn't sure of the details."
Exceter: "The ragnite of the force gear doesn't reacts well with human blood after all"
Harriet: "Wow, introducing ragnite to a biological system forms diaragnite." Harriet's voice is entirely flat.
Anton glances at the others. "By the way just a heads up."
Serenity‘ gives the loudest, longest, most suffered sigh anyone has ever heard her make before.
Anton: "He has a 96% chance of escaping shortly. Mentioning this might cause a zero-fate?"
Exceter: "… Except I can also use them for power. They can give me a very powerful short burst of energy"
Harriet: "Oh, okay. Hey, Hughbert, drop him."
Harriet flings another cryogrenade at the guy.
Hughbert: "Not sure that’s a-" Hughbert quickly ducks and holds him up as cover "-what are you doing-"
There's a crimson glow- There's ragnite dust in the air "Trans-Am!" he literally backflips in the air, leaving shadows in the air "I can't get capture yet-"
Serenity: "HEY EXCETER!"
Exceter: "But you're going to help me soon enough Serenity, don't screw it up, okay?"
Exceter: "Ahahaha… I'll put my faith in your- Next I use this… I hope you'll be okay with it, alright?"
And he just vanishes, as if he hadn't ever been htere
Harriet: "Oh come on!"
Serenity: "Rrrrgh!"
Harriet: "Serenity, you're a good colleague, so I'm going to give you a heads up here."
Harriet: "I'm gonna throttle your friend as soon as you're done with him."
Amal: "…Anton, can you tell me anything about the characteristics of the worldlines in which he didn't escape?"
Serenity: "Goddammit."
Amal: "Like… did they start with me shouting 'HEY GUYS THE DUMBASS IS ABOUT TO ESCAPE' even sooner than you did?"
Anton scratches at his cheek with one hand. "Fascinating. That speed was definitely above supersonic. Uh…"
Hughbert stands up… He brushes off his damage control force gear. It's beeping gently… "By the way, the damage this guy is absorbing wasn't from the grenade. Just keeping a grip on him was enough to- …Huh?" He picks up something that fell off his sleeve when brushed off.
Hughbert opens up the piece of paper and gives it a read.
Harriet is mighty displeased by the fact that the truck is now horribly cold. What do you mean actions have consequences.
Amal: "Please tell me he dropped a GPS transponder or something."
Amal: "Do these barbarians even have GPS transponders?"
Anton glances down at Serenity before awkwardly patting her on the head twice. "(We'll get him next time. I understand how this works now.)"
Hughbert: "Please explain what a jipi-ess is, Amal."
Amal: "Ugh, anyways, that gives me more time to figure out how to reverse the diaragnite crystallisation, I guess. What an idiot…"
Anton: "Uh… so I wasn't able to find a worldline where we stopped him from escaping before it happened but the easiest way to do that is to disassemble a certain part of his armor. I'm not a tech savant so I can't do much but point at on a diagram but it would stop him from moving that fast and also cause him to bleed profusely and likely die."
Amal: "Uh it's a thing that lets people know where they are all the time. Or where someone else is. They're super useful. Also I guess that answers my question, ugh."
Anton: "Rather I couldn't find it when it mattered."
Anton: "I found that one right now."
Amal: "Harriet let's invent rocketry and artificial satellites and GPS after this is all over."
Amal: "Rrrrgh, I'm mad!"
Amal flops hard back into their seat, grumbling.
Hughbert: "Oh. Right, you're technically from the future, aren't you, Amal?"
Serenity: "Ugh."
Harriet: "You're gonna have to tell me what all those things are at some point." Harriet frowns. She's Thinking.
The glovebox in in the driver's seat opens up on it's own- A large paper flies off and unfolds before landong on Amal's shoulder
Serenity: "How the fuck did he use his blood to force boot that, it should have been incapable of that…"
Amal blinks and reads the piece of paper.
Serenity: "Unless Mai is like Amal…?"
Anton: "I've been looking out for Mai since he showed up."
Anton: "She hasn't been in range of me."
Amal: "I don't… think she is? I'll think about it, though."
Hughbert grabs the map from the glove box before closing it back up. "…Right, so, I can point out where these directions lead to without any tracking systems, at least."
Harriet: "No, see, I think he's using the diaragnite."
Harriet: "Except it's not supposed to be bioavailable?"
Anton: "Harriet please explain to me how someone can move from zero velocity to supersonic speeds and disappear in a flash and NOT destroy the enclosed vehicle they are in? My head hurts."
Serenity: "Right that's what I mean, the entire system should have been inert."
Serenity‘ rubs at her face with both hands, then leaves them covering it up.
Hughbert: "Also, to reiterate- my damage control force gear was absorbing damage from him by contact. Use that information how you will."
Amal: "There’s some kind of medicine she gives him that keeps the diaragnite from crystallising."
Amal: "It probably makes the diaragnite bioavailable?
Harriet: "Okay, so, like, essentially, he's got fuel in his blood, and he used that fuel to suddenly go from zero to a hundred. That's my theory."
Harriet: "It'd have to do some weird shit to it to make it - ugh, I really should have double-majored."
Amal: "I know that feel."
Harriet: "The thing about diaragnite is it's - it's a really useful tool but it's not supposed to do this."
Harriet: "It's Rule A! You don't fuck with Rule A!"
Strumm and Volke, which are in the cabin, are looking back to see what's going on
Harriet: "And yet, here she is, fucking with Rule A."
Harriet: "And somehow it's working?"
Amal: "Just means you need better rules."
Harriet: "I need to get a hold of her research this is just fucking with me."
Harriet: "God, my mother is gonna kill me."
Harriet: "'Don't get biology involved in your engineering, Harriet! You're smarter than that, Harriet!'"
Anton chews at his lip. "… Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I can't find any future where we stop him from being able to do things like that where he also doesn't bleed profusely and die. The only way to stop it is to disassemble that part of the machine and he'll likely die from it."
Serenity‘ sighs. "…The the was designed for speed for what it’s worth, it's got… like… fucking top of the line absorbers and shit built right in." Serenity sounds tired.
[OOC] Serenity: The thing^
Harriet: "Terra Medical can eat my entire ass." Grumble grumble.
Amal: "I mean, yeah, we're gonna have to reverse-engineer the medicine."
[OOC] Harriet: ^Goddess
Amal: "It's gonna be a huge pain in the ass."
Harriet: "I was gonna raid their research eventually because reinventing the wheel never works, but I guess we're gonna have to move it up."
Amal: "Can we tear Terra Medical apart brick by brick yet?"
JayM: I don't know, Amal
JayM: Do you have the tools for that yet
Amal: "I hope to the Goddess that's at least on our heckin' docket."
Anton shakes his head. "To think I invited Mai to tea the first time we met her."
Amal: "You invite everyone to tea, it's your thing."
Harriet: "Well, yeah, we can't leave Serenity's friend like that. How's she gonna smack him until he realises how dumb he was if she can't affect him through a shitload of armor?"
Amal: "She'll have to buff up."
Harriet: "If I'm gonna create an effective qualia translation device, I'm gonna need to know how to navigate through the pratfalls. This seems like a good place to start."
Harriet: "Fix this guy, figure out how that works."
As the moon looks down at the mess
The truck continues to chug along the road
JayM: I wonder, do you know where you are going to go next?
JayM: Either way, how about some [+6 XP] for all your troubles today?

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