The sun shines radiant as it always does, a soft breeze has picked up the petals of a few loose flowers that now line the streets as well as their fragrance, sharing it with everyone which crosses it's path
The qualia-sharing experiment seems to have yielded a few more unusual results, seems like in the end something was a little more permanent than expected- A distant, distance soft hum, imperceptible if you're not looking for it, is now a constant company in your hearing- And sometimes, sometimes when you're walking among many people something seems to catch your eye, just to disappear before you can see what it was
But, that aside, nothing seems to be happening- Though Hughbert and Anton certainly have been keeping busy as the Church slowly ramps up the city to house the peace talks, picking up on the security and protocols. Though perhaps Harriet's absolute crash after the experiment that landed her a full day in the hospital might have also been pretty exciting (it was resolved by copious amounts of sugar).
And slowly, slowly the appointed day comes. In fact, the day of the meeting of the leaders you have assisted so much will be in four days from now. And now is when you're summoned back for a meeting with Cor
Harriet is fascinated by those effects when she finally wakes up. She is, naturally, the worst patient, insisting she's Fine and she Doesn't Need All This Fussing. Thank Goddess for sweet goods.
Amal baked a bunch of cinnamon buns for Harriet themself and they didn't even taste like gunpowder or weird science experiments!
Serenity‘ stumbles into the meeting room, looking exhausted and yawning loudly.
Harriet inhales them, naturally, because, you know… hospital food. And then she gets home, and gets fussed over by her parents and has to go to bed at a reasonable time. But then Cor calls her back! And in she goes, looking for all the world to be in pretty good shape.
The way into the Grand Chapel is somewhat different, the trees lining the central plaza are in full bloom in yellow, pink, purple and white and you’ve never seen those trees bloom before. At the base of a tree a group of people are fussing over it (Serenity can identify one of them from the chemical division of the college). Standing at each of the main doorways are a guard on each side but they wear an uniform you're very unfamiliar with, though it certainly looks very fancy with it's long light blue cape with spiderweb pattern/
Serenity: "The fuck are you even wearing?"
Hughbert: "Temple Guard uniform." Hughbert arrives and salutes the guards. "You'll only see it on occasions that are very important."
Amal: "Hehe, even I knew that."
Anton: "Like now!"
Serenity: "I didn't even realize we still had a Temple Guard."
One of the guards, who's fiddling with their cape and certainly uncomfortable "Oh, yeah hello Lieutenant-" he just gets even more distraught and confused when tryign to salute and failing somehow tangling the cape on his arm "Goddess above, was I that much smaller…" he mumbles to himself
Harriet: "Huh, weird. Guess it's one of those diplomacy things."
Anton: "Tsk tsk, Serenity. That's not exactly a secret, you know!" He makes his way over to Amal before ruffling their hair and slipping them a note.
Serenity: "It's also not really relevant to my day to day life and most everything about the religion's been dismantel's except Cor and Popey fuck awful outfits."
Amal reads the note excitedly.
Serenity: "Anyway you're welcome while you asshats were fucking around doing goddess knows what since I was too busy to look for myself, I was getting a head start on the Final Confrontation."
Serenity: "Or as many of them as I could find anyway."
Harriet: "Hey, don't look at me, my parents wouldn't let me out of their sight."
Hughbert gives the guards a nod before opening the door, stepping inside, and holding it for the party. "What manner of extradimensional activities have you been up to, then?" He also adds, for the guards: "Don't worry, you look regal."
Eventually you make your way into the meeting room. There you find… More people than expected, because you see Major Celestine and Cor sitting at the meeting table "I know they're your unit but we need all the mediums on security detail and I would appreciate having all my officers on Command" "Whereas that is true, the fact that I don't see anything going wrong in the future is proof enough for me I'd rather have them-" Cor sees you arriving "Ah, there you are"
Serenity: "Being in a post mad science excursion comma counts as an acceptable use of time Harriet."
Serenity: "Also I was sending gravity bombs to Alcor and Lola."
Surprisingly, you don't see the Pope anywhere
Harriet: "Oh, cool. Oh, cool!"
Nor, in fact, do you see any sign of the mountain of books that were in the shelves before
Amal reads the note and then gives Anton a Determined Look.
Amal subsequently eats the note.
Harriet looks around, blinking. "… hey, where'd the books go? … and the Pope, come to think of it."
Serenity‘ heads directly towards the lollipop bowl, ignoring the presense of the General, whom seems preoccupied with Cor.
Hughbert salutes Cor, and the major. "How can we help? … Right, good questions."
Anton: "Well Sooooorrry for being interested in viewing the entire timeline." He sulks.
Serenity: "Was is a good use of time, Anton?"
Anton: "You bet it was! I even got to see the sandwich again on my trip to the past. I have to go in order." He nods seriously.
Serenity` tosses a lollipop in Anton’s direction before shoving one into her mouth and slumping into a chair.
Cor looks at the shelves, then back at Harriet. She waves them to take a seat in the table, the lollipop bowl is… Almost empty, there's a bunch of empty wrappers inside, too "She's doing her job at the moment, most specifically coordinating with her diplomatic advisors and preparing the central meeting room. As for the books, the plans have been moved to the meeting room so they can be viewed by the representatives as required"
Anton catches it with a wink before plopping it in his mouth.
Harriet sits on down. "Yeah, okay, that makes sense."
Serenity: "Did you remember to rewrite the plans so they make sense?
Serenity: "Cause fucking Oracle notation is impossible to read."
Cor Caroli: "Oh, please, the Pope wrote them not me. But yes the last six days were spent in making a simple summary to be shared during the meeting"
Serenity‘ thumbs up, head down on table.
Amal: "Accessibility is important!" They seem slightly distracted.
Cor takes a drink from a water bottle "Alright, down to business so the two of us can get ourselves free of eachother" she says sparing a glance at the Major "Right now we’re having a bit of an indecision on how to employ your skills and expertise"
Major Celestine: "Pretty much. The plan is to have nobody armed in the meeting itself, but the Orsis delegation is bringing in Glacies as a representative due to the President's health state and she's a living weapon, the Black Viper is part of the Rissani security detail given I trust what you said she's one pretty much and the Akaviri security is going to bring Zander, a medium himself- Lack of armaments is just for show because I don't think anyone there needs a weapon, so i'm bringing the most powerful mediums as veiled security, plus Amal. I definitely want all my officers on call, including Hughbert and Anton would be a very good addition to Command during this operation"
Serenity: "Yeah I think Amal trumps any of those mentioned anyway… technically."
Anton scrunches up his face. "I'll rub shoulders with all these stuffed shirts just this ONCE. But I'm still not wearing a suit!" He stares at Hughbert.
Cor Caroli: "That said, I'd rather have you all trying to figure out whatever Alcor is up to. I've obviously been looking at the future at every moment, and I don't see him interfering anywhere. Which doesn't make sense"
Amal straightens up in their seat proudly and then grins at Serenity.
Cor Caroli: "The only logical outcome is that he is going to interfere right at the height of the meeting, presumably when the Pope is starting her speech, with something immensely drastic"
Serenity: "Lola said they were already done for what it's worth."
Cor Caroli: "Because he wouldn't just go away like this and that would be the most… Theatric place to itnerfere"
Serenity: "And basically just waiting. I found myself fighting Alcor a few times, but like… I don't know, Oracle vision is weird. Couldn't parse out the context surrounding most of the events."
Anton: "No, no, you have it all wrong Cor. You need to rope the Pope along and have her get to the BEST part of the speech before you make your entrance. Coming in at the start is so much ruined potential!"
Hughbert nods. "I believe I submitted a security proposal for the event shortly after we returned. Given how we're among the most knowledgable troops you can mobilize when it comes to familiarity with each nation, I planned out some recommended patrol routes for us to take. Even without weapons, it'd be best to deploy each of us."
Harriet: "Yeah, we'll all do what we can, you know? No one wants Alcor to do his dumb shit."
Serenity: "I'm not fucking going on patrol."
Harriet: "Okay, everyone but Serenity."
Major Celestine: "Hrm… A good enough compromise, Serenity, Hughbert and Anton can stay on Command for the next three days, the rest can take those patrol routes while searcing for Alcor's influence?"
Hughbert levels his gaze through his glasses and at Serenity. "Then I suppose your quality time playing with Harriet's new machine gives you a better idea? Or were you going to sneak off and raid Anton's lunch box during the meeting?"
Anton gasps.
Serenity: "LIsten."
Serenity: "We all know if Alcor shows his dumb ass up, it's going to be in front of one of three people:"
Anton is actually closing his eyes now. You can probably guess what he's checking.
Serenity: "Cor, Me, or Anton. There is absolutely no point in having us aimlessly wandering around the city we could be in more predictable locations."
Harriet: "I mean, I figured Hughbert'd already calculated for that shit with his route. He's kind of the planning guy."
Serenity: "Likelyhood in that order."
AURUM: "I mean, Alcor IS super predictable. 'gosh wow what is the most dramatic and extra thing I can do', bam, there he'll be."
Cor crosses her arms and leans back on the chair "Hrm… That much is true"
Anton: "Much like myself, he no doubt can resist the allure." He nods in agreement with Amal.
Anton: "That said, out of all possible futures at the moment, I haven't seen a single one where Alcor shows up before the world is destroyed."
Cor Caroli: "Hrm… That's… About the same as me, aside from the destruction?" she looks at Anton "Did I miss something?"
Hughbert: "Right. In order to minimize collateral damage, it's best to properly 'set the stage' for his foolish theatrics, prepare evacuation routes for bystanders, and set up a network of runners to notify us when he does show up."
Anton: "Normally he'd be gloating off screen with no one watching specifically for when I would pan over to him with Oracle vision."
Serenity: "…Is that a thing?"
Anton: "Is what a thing?"
Serenity: "Does Alcor honest to god sit there monologuing in a taunting fashion just on the off chance that you happen across the scene."
Anton: "He's done it on a few occasions, yes."
Serenity: "Wow."
Harriet: "… oh my Goddess he's so dumb."
Serenity: "Just when you thought you couldn't hate someone more than you already do."
AURUM: "Ahahahahah that's adorable."
Cor Caroli: "Yeah, pretty typical of him. To be honest we used to see who could leave the craziest messages on eachother's visions back then"
Anton glances to Cor. "You aren't familiar with the eventuality in which all timelines converge?"
Cor Caroli: "Yeah, that much I can see it's there"
Cor Caroli: "I can't quite specifically see anything in there or after"
Anton: "Well. I'd prefer to leave it as schrodingers box, so to speak. If we don't open it, perhaps Amal will stay on the beaten path easier and we'd be none the wiser."
Hughbert: "I would hate if all my planning went to waste due to a loose policy on… spoilers, you call them?" Hughbert tilts his head at Anton.
Amal: "Hehehe. That's the spirit. Oracle vision isn't /everything/, remember." They wink at Anton. I'm not sure if anyone ELSE knows about their experiments with the Qualia Machine but Anton and Amal sure do and that's what matters!
Anton bites down on his lollipop before giving Amal a thumbs up.
Anton: "C'mon Hugh, when have I ever let you down? Recently."
Cor chuckles "Alright" she looks at the Major "Now I have an idea… Can you change the arrangement of the meeting room to have a quick escape route that funnels everyone in one direction? We'll have the Fatebreakers put on a show of presence on the day of, that should be enough to draw Alcor out without too much more trouble"
The Major brings her good hand to her chin, thinking "Hrm… Actually I see what you're planning. It's possible to rearrange the seating setup and change the guard positioning to funnel them all out in one direction and have a rescue and evacuation crew at the ready"
Cor Caroli: "Perfect. He might even appreciate the effort. Now we just need to make sure the meeting itself doesn't gets too disrupted by the chaos"
Major Celestine: "I'm certain the Pope will be more than capable of spinning the chaos in her favor"
Harriet: "Yeah, I'm sure the Pope's got /something/ up her… … outfit."
Major Celestine: "Alright, Fatebreakers, change of plans. I'm still taking Hughbert to Command but the rest do as you will. If you need any particular piece of support i'm willing to lend it"
Hughbert: "I would suggest some lookouts, but… They do not need to be instructed to watch for Alcor. He can sort of… Be there, wherever he wants to be. Some sort of extradimensional shortcut." Hughbert salutes, "Yes, ma'am."
Serenity: "Oh yeah absolutely be on the look out for non-Alcor related incidents,"
Serenity: "Like dumb war mongers, dumb mercenaries, and other dumb rogue Oracles."
Serenity: "Though I can't imagine that last one giving enough of a shit about this to do anything about it."
Anton hops out of his chair before stretching. "Free reign, you say? I do think I could use some fine delectables. The very prospect of fine dining… my mouth can barely contain itself!"
Anton: "Care to join me, my dear companions?"
Serenity: "Anton I hate to break this too you,"
Serenity: "You idiot,"
Serenity‘ tosses another lollipop at him, "But the army doesn’t run fine dining establishments."
Amal: "Oh man it's a major diplomatic shindig. The food is gonna be AMAZING."
Amal: "I'm in."
Harriet: "I mean, if anyone could find one, it'd be Anton."
Serenity: "Eh okay."
Anton catches the lollipop before waving a finger with his other hand. "Tut-tut Serenity. Allow me to elucidate, for I spent a chunk of time prior to this meeting looking at all possibilites. The ultimate dining experience!"
Anton: "So worry not, for it was time well spent!"
Serenity: "I feel like maybe that was not the best use of the da but alright."
Hughbert: "Should you find yourselves particularly unproductive in my absence… I can send you a copy of my security planning proposal to give you a thorough list of areas to examine that I believe will be worth your time." Hughbert adjusts his glasses. "Fortunately, we have access to various restricted facilities that we normally wouldn't. I'm sure you'll enjoy yourselves."
Harriet: "A…are you assigning us homework."
Harriet: "Is that what's going on here."
Amal: "I mean you could come get cool food with me and Anton instead."
JayM: Sounds like the plan is food and a theatrics
I mean, when ISN'T that the plan when Anton is involved?
Anton can keep true to his word, he really does know the best place to eat at the moment. Particularly there is one restaurant that has been commandeered for this event, and cooks from the entire country have congregated here to show off their skill and make dishes worthy enough to impress the visitors with the greatest of awe
In there, you actually wind up meeting someone in there: The Black Viper seems to have arrived early, and she's apparently happily been spending the entire day eating here if the commentary from the staff is anything to go by
Amal hangs out with her, obviously.
Serenity: "Man if I was a tax payer I would be really upset at this flagret misappropriation of funds… but I'm not so whatever."
Hughbert shows up for tonight's dinner… fine… but starting tomorrow, he expects the team to make the most of what little time is left!
The Black Viper is more than happy to have Amal hang out with her! And she does try to make him try out every last bit of food she's been sampling, which is perhaps far more than any living being could actually handle.
Amal tries… a very very tiny bit of almost everything, that'd obviously be their general strategy in the first place. Eventually they start to slow down, though.
The next days are somewhat less exciting, for the two days after it's a somewhat boring bit of work, Hughbert gets to stay in Command to help oversee everything while the rest of the party gets to implement whatever security measures they expect to. If anything, Hughbert's got some exciting days as he neesd to help organize all the security forces but halfway through the second day he starts feeling like perhaps this is too much security- As the delegations start to arrive you see all those familiar faces, given all the work you've put in beforehand would any of them really try to pull something off?
Are there even any external threats to be handled?
Serenity‘ listed a few of them the other day yeah……..
Harriet helps out with security, sure. She won’t wear the uniform though.
And then it's time The Day arrives- The day of the meeting itself. You should be showing up to the meeting room for the initial security briefing slightly before the sun rises
Serenity‘ is probably going to spend most of the rest of the time with Harriet’s machine though. There's a lot of facets of reality to familairize herself with, and space/time traps to deploy.
There's a considerable amount of guards in Temple Guard uniform in front of the Grand Chapel as you arrive, they're mostly nervous for doing their task and currently recieving a cheer-up briefing by their commanding officer
Amal doesn't trust ANYBODY so yes the security is important and they'll go around cheering Hughbert on as much as they need to.
Hughbert makes sure all the Temple Guard are accounted for, and that nobody's appearance is… off. There will be no moles sneaking their way onto today's roster!
Harriet is glad to stop off and make sure Serenity's all set with that stuff, too.
Serenity‘ headtilts a lot, looking around after she shows up.
As Serenity looks around- You hear an immense, powerful rumbing
You feel the ground shaking
And then you hear the ground crack, and see the Grand Chapel shake
And suddenly the entire building starts rising up in the air, the stones around and the buildings around rise as well
Anton finishes off his current lollipop before nodding. "It’s time."
The tremors throw everyone into the ground as crystalline crimson ragnite grows on the outside of the Grand Chapel, changing it's appearance badly making it almost seem like a caricature of an evil version of itself
Serenity‘ takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly, then punches Anton in the arm as hard as she can.
Serenity: "Warn me about shit like that!!!!"
Slowly, it rises up higher in the air than the very mountains themselves
Serenity: "Is it Cor doing that or….?"
And the stones and buildings around spiral as if a great giant set of stairs, leading up to the floating chapel
Amal: "….well."
Amal: "That’s… certainly… dramatic enough."
Anton seems to be a bit giddy, honestly. He starts walking before gesturing to the others. "Come along, now! Adventure awaits!"
Amal certainly wasn't expecting that. Although they look almost more /impressed/ than anything else, taking a few steps in that direction. "They really rolled out the red carpet for us, wow."
Serenity: "That wasn't actually an answer!"
Hughbert rubs his forehead and groans. "I made reasonable plans for the protection of our visiting parties. This is not reasonable. This is quite unreasonable. I am starting to question how I am able to work in these conditions without losing my temper."
Serenity‘ sighs, placing a hand over her heart.
Serenity: "Just punch Anton it helps."
Anton chimes back at Serenity. "And here I thought you were warming up to me~."
The stairs are definitely incredibly, unreasonably long. One speaks of circular stairs made of floating stone and debris that go higher than the tallest mountains in the known world
Serenity: "It’s like one step forward three steps back with your stupid ass, fuck."
Yet, somehow, the trip is not nearly as long as it should be by any means. For every time you turn to look down or to the side you've transgressed through hundred and hundreds of meters, no matter how little or much you seem to have walked
Amal: "At least now we know how we got to this point in the story without being able to fly around, it'd no-sell this part hard." Amal seems almost, but not quite, like they're flickering around the edges.
Harriet: "What the hell… could it /always/ do that?"
Hughbert gestures towards the stairs, annoyed. "Purely on the principle of the manner, would one of you ladies, gentlemen, or otherwordly avatars kindly find a shortcut for us to cheat this stair climb?"
Amal: "…oh, right. It's… okay."
Anton: "I mean, I could technically just fly up the stairs with someone, but…"
Anton: "I never thought you'd ask, Hughbert!"
As you walk higher and higher you see something- The floating stones seem to be held in place by completely colorless spiderweb… And then you reach a certain height and- You cross the skyline, as if you were swimming up past the waterline of a gentle lake- And from there you see both nothing and something- A void of absolute emptyness- Yet riddled with stars in every direction
Amal frowns and scrunches up their face. "Hey Serenity yell at the Goddess for us and tell her we already saw her so the whole Sealed Space thing with this staircase is a moot point." And then they clamber up some more of the stairs and the scenery actually shifts: "Wait nevermind hold that thought just keep climbing."
And the castle, for the Chapel has turned into a veritable castle of crimson ragnite, lies yet further above that. You continue your climb until you finally reach the gates of the castle- In doing so you cross a second skyline- Into an endless plain of rolling grass and a gentle spring sun
Hughbert is crossing his arms and scowling at the dumb overly-dramatic and - most importantly - unplanned stairs the entire flight up.
Serenity: "I'm pretty sure she didn't do this, she hates interferring."
Serenity: "I mean, you've heard her crying about it before right?"
Yet, the Crimson Castle looks terrifying, full of spikes and forms to inspire terror. Yet something feels terribly off about it's appearance, you could say it looks 'evil' but it looks almost… Archetypically so. In a manner that is lazy in it's description but not in it's existance, in such a manner that makes you feel as if each of you sees in it different forms of your own creation
Serenity: "…"
Harriet: "This is so dumb."
Serenity: "Wait is this a fucking Alcor thing and not a Cor thing,"
Serenity‘ grabs Anton by the shoulder, shakes him.
Standing at the top of the talles spire is Alcor, body covered in strands and silk, red-and-black "How do you like my final meeting grounds?"
Amal: "You can tell because it’s super super extra."
Anton sighs. "This is an Alcor thing."
He chuckles loudly, you're uncertain how is it you can hear or see him as clearly given the distance "Such strong opinions, Serenity. Why don't you meet me in the throne room, then, to show me what you really think?" and he falls backwards, vanishing into the building
Amal: "I LOVE IT IT'S GREAT. We'll get to be heroes right in front of everybody who's watching!"
Serenity: "Some of us have adult things to do can we just not have you being yourself for one damn day?"
Harriet: "And here I thought my sense of fashion was shit."
Serenity: "No, I suppose we cannot."
Anton reaches into his bag before handing out some water bottles. "That was a LONG staircase and he's going to be talking for a while, I already looked. So have some snacks!"
Serenity‘ groans.
Serenity: "Lola I hate you and everything you stand for because I can tell like seventy percnt of this is your handiwork."
Harriet siiiip. "Yeah, it’s ridiculous."
And then the front doors open
Hughbert: "I am going to tell you exactly what I think of your general disregard for all those days I spent planning security for this day. I am running on half a night's sleep and have no patience for your random interruptions." Hughbert is mostly grumbling to himself.
Anton: "Oh. My bad, he does the speech AT the throne room."
Anton: "We can still drink up, though!"
You can tell this place could definitely be a nightmare. It doesn't opens into the front plaza, no, it opens into a wide open room larger than it has the right to be, with twenty doorways heading different directions. But of the doorways only one is open, only one is even real enough to go through
Hughbert gladly takes the snacks. Halfway through his bottle of water, he calms down a bit. "Thank you, Anton."
Amal: "Heh. This was a rush job, wasn't it, Alcor?"
This place could be a giant maze, a giant maze in which you could spend days hunting for the way forward. Inside you meet things that can best be described as monsters: Giants made of metal wielding great swords, plans full of teeth, eyeless cougars wearing armor! And, why is there a glowing ball of fluff?
Harriet reaches up and pats Hughbert on the shoulder. "It's okay, man. You tried."
Still, the monsters don't show you aggression, they block pathways and are absolutely unmoving. Turning the grand maze into a straight hallway
Harriet does not trust that fluff.
Anton glances at Harriet. "(That's probably the most dangerous thing in the hallway.)"
You take winding paths that double on themselves and go up and down stairways- Up to the third floor, down to the first, up to the second, then to the seventh, down to the third again and up to the sixth- It's quite unreasonable!
Harriet: "(Yeah, you're telling me…)"
Harriet: "And this castle IS NOT LOGICAL AND I HATE IT."
Still, you ultimately reach a grand throne room-
Or it should theoretically be a grand throne room. Instead the floor is made of a strange yet familiar metal alloy, ragnite tubes run under it glowing through the metal. A gigantic room as large as the city itself. And despite the distance walking towards it's center is quick, but a few paces. In it's center lies a single cylindric chamber, inside the chamber a seat, comfortable but spartan. Alcor is in the seat, the chamber is open.
Alcor is writing in a book. Once you get close he closes it and tosses it up, causing it to vanish "I figured we could play for days… But honest even I would be grumpy after going through such mazelike challanges"
Amal: "Let's be real, you were impatient to get to your big villain speech."
Alcor: "But it was such a beautiful creation, I could not bear to take it down, so I decided, it would be best to simply show you the path" "
Alcor chuckles as he stands up "Oh, indeed"
Harriet: "Uuuugh. Go on, get on with it." Harriet waves a hand.
Alcor: "There was something I wanted to ask all of you, to see where it'd lead to"
Alcor: "Have you already figure out why is it that i'm helping Lola, and not myself?"
Hughbert walks up to Alcor, stares him down, and hands him a slip of paper. "Before that, I insist on giving you this. I am billing you the requisitions fee for the snacks we consumed during our break on this ascent. I am quite upset with this extra unplanned delay and rather frustrating staircase."
Alcor blinks, picks up the paper and looks at it "Well, damn. You sure picked up the finest in snacks for this mission"
Alcor: "I can promise you will be reinbursed in full for your expenses on this mission, lieutenant"
JayM: You're not sure how to take how seriously he says that
Hughbert: "Thank you. You may continue, in that case. Is it because you're playing out the fantasy of a villain to act as the coals under our feet?"
Amal giggles.
Amal: "It's because Lola had the idea for the GMM, right?"
Alcor chuckles "Indeed, she did. But if I were to step into this machine now" he looks at the chamber behind him "Wouldn't I rise to a state as high as her?"
Anton: "Higher technically giving she doesn't have much time."
[OOC] Anton: *given
Alcor: "If so, then, wouldn't I have the power to alter the past, and in turn, wouldn't this second God helping me be… Myself?"
Serenity: "Wow that made literally no sense at all."
Amal: "I'm… pretty sure that one doesn't actually work, by the way. I don't think you can actually get one to function in this universe, although the theory behind it is sound."
Anton sighs. "No, Alcor. That is a time paradox."
Serenity: "Off to a great start, dickwad."
Alcor: "You are perfectly correct, Amal" he taps the chamber "This one… does not works"
Alcor: "In fact, even Lola's is a failure, for though it has risen her to a higher state she has become deeply and irrevocably entangled and tied to the fabric of time of the very instant of her ascension"
Harriet: "That's why you build prototypes first!"
Amal: "Do youuuu knooow that probably the greatest artificer who's ever lived in any world was impressed with your design, though, and built an entire elaborate pocket universe using it as a baseline design?"
Amal: "Like, that's something to be proud of. Anyways."
Serenity: "What?"
Anton: "So this is when you mention that your best talent as an Oracle always was looking at and sending things to parallel dimensions right?"
Alcor chuckles "Indeed, Harriet, it is." he smiles "And this was it, the failed prototype. Somewhere, somewhen, someone else will get it right"
Alcor: "But as for my machine? Well, that's the end for it, this experiment is over"
Amal: "Don't worry about it, I'm just trying to make him feel better."
Serenity: "Why would you do that? Bad Amal."
Harriet: "Cool, does that mean we can crush you now?"
Alcor shakes his head at Anton "Sadly no, only the present is real, you can't really bring anything form parallel dimensions either" he raises his right hand, and something comes down from the ceiling slowly… A cocoon of silk "Yes, Harriet, shall we get to it?"
Alcor: "Let me entertain you for a while, until my dear friend feels like the time is ripe"
Alcor: "Let's give her a good show shall we?"
Harriet: "Yeah, yeah, whatever, dumb theatrics, I get it."
Serenity‘ blinks, tilts her head.
JayM: Battle order: Harriet [B]:0 Anton [B]:0 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:0 Amal [B]:3 Serenity [B]:3 Hughbert [F]:5 S-Anton C [F]:11 S-Anton B [F]:12 S-Anton A [F]:13
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [==========] Interference[-20](4)
Alcor waves to the sides and… Boxes? appear around- And they start blasting music! []
Serenity` leans backwards, pushes Hughbert’s head to the side slightly.
Serenity: "Oh."
JayM: That status is not supposed to be there btw
Serenity: "Oh ahahaha."
Serenity: "I remember this place!"
Serenity: "Hahahahah."
Serenity: "Okay."
JayM: Harriet and Anton!
Anton smiles. "My clones are even still here."
Alcor looks at the clones
He blinks
Alcor: "Hrm… One more little kink in the Goddess's Storymaker Engine"
Serenity: "I don't know if you know this,"
Alcor: "Hrm… Be real careful with those ones, by the by"
Serenity: "But I am WAY BETTER than Lola."
Serenity: "She just had a massive head start."
Harriet flicks a switch, flicks a couple more, and then starts cranking up her ECC. Sparks begin forming in the turbine. [50CT]
JayM: Anton!
Anton simply waits for the time being as the air around him begins to distort. [Intangibility - 30D]
[OOC] Anton: HP: 550/550, MP: 550/550, LP: 6/6, SoS: 137 - TimeCards[5] (U)
Alcor spreads his arms wide, and five distortions appear around him, in the same manner as Anton [Incongruity]
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Serenity [B]:0 Hughbert [F]:2 S-Anton C [F]:8 S-Anton B [F]:9 S-Anton A [F]:10 Anton [B]:27 Harriet [B]:47 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:47
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency C [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency D [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency E [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Amal!
Serenity: "Right now that've you both whipped out your invisible dicks, and Hughbert was there, and Harriet was there… Amal did that thing and it should be right… about…"
[OOC] Amal: uhhhh am I doing the battle item tango or something I do that sometimes
Anton: "I don't wave my arms around when I do it!"
Serenity‘ rocks her head back and forth then snaps her fingers as the silk cacoon bends and a lance of pale grey energy spirals through and slams into Alcor. [Q = Inertia Canceller]. "Hah! Right. OKay aimed that right." She then jumps back, swinging her force gear around and firing as the space behind Alcor. [Sniper Beam 50D] [@60D]
Serenity` rolled d100 and got 79 ( Total: 79 ) for and delays him +15D.
d12+180: 1 [Total: 181]
[OOC] Sugarlips: Grand Total: 260
[OOC] Serenity: uhhh not for me at least, maybe if you can time it for harriet.
JayM: An unexpected strike!
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Hughbert [F]:2 S-Anton C [F]:8 S-Anton B [F]:9 S-Anton A [F]:10 Anton [B]:27 Harriet [B]:47 Serenity [B]:50 Sniper Beam:60 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:62
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency A [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency B [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency C [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency D [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency E [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Amal!
Amal wiggles their fingers at Alcor, gathering light, but patterned, this time, carefully and intricately! [CT 15]
Alcor: "Ah… Conjuration magic, Serenity? I see you’re on your path to become an Oracle as well"
JayM: Hughbert!
Hughbert gestures behind him and creates a barrier of shimmering compressed air between himself and the rest of the party. "There's a high chance you're done running away, aren't you?" [Compressed Curtain, 30D]
Serenity: "This went on for a while yeah."
Alcor: "This is the final confrontation, indeed!"
JayM: Anton's Shadows!
JayM: Why are they even here?
Serenity: "Or well, 'a while' by our standards."
Harriet: "But I bet you'll drag it out for like, three different battles."
Harriet: "Each more fucked up than the last."
Anton waves an arm much like Alcor did to call upon the distortions. All three Anton fire a bolt at the three Incongruency's.
Anton rolled 3d100 and got 42, 91, 18 ( Total: 151 )
JayM: The three bolt strike true
JayM: They're followed by a trail of ice and frost
Anton rolled d12+140 and got 8 ( Total: 148.0 )
JayM: And the three Incongruencies disappear- But the trails remain in place
Alcor blinks, stares at the trails "Hrm… This is definitely not correct"
Alcor: "Don't touch these would you?"
Serenity: "I just told you, I'm better than Lola."
Amal: "Hehehe."
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Anton [B]:12 Hughbert [F]:17 S-Anton C [F]:23 S-Anton B [F]:24 S-Anton A [F]:25 Harriet [B]:32 Serenity [B]:35 Sniper Beam:45 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:47
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency D [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Status for Incongruency E [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Amal!
Anton then smiles as he summons three more clones. [Phantom Rush - 70D] "I'm afraid you won't be touching anything." The air around Alcor begins to shift. [Fate Misadjustment - After Acting - 120 Damage, Alcors Delay is set to 71]
[OOC] Anton: Oh.
[OOC] Anton: Amal first
Amal gestures dismissively at Alcor and elaborate panels of light form around his body, obscuring his view of everything. They're… fancy, stylised scenes of winter. "That's what it looks like when your story's almost over, Alcor. Sorry you had to find out this way." [Interference D35 - Reduce all spell and technique CoS by 20 (4)]!
JayM: Anton!
Alcor: "Hrm… Well, that's a problem isn't it? I wonder what caused it"
Amal: "Probably your stupid meddling, or Lola's. Or mine but I'm inclined to doubt that, I've been pretty careful."
Anton scrunches up his face before glancing at Serenity. "FINE. But only because the future you got mad."
Serenity: "Gee I don't know maybe it was the time travelling demi God, or the Oracle, or the Medium that figured out how to do at least four seperate things that asbolutely eren't working as intended."
Serenity: "Huh?"
Anton shakes his head. "Don't worry about it!" He takes a deep breath. [Copycat]
Anton rolled d4 and got 1 ( Total: 1 )
Alcor then chuckles "Ah, who knows. We've more important matters at hand!"
Serenity: "Or whatever Hughbert does that gets under your radar every single time somehow."
Serenity: "SORRY I GOT NOTHIN' FOR YOU HARRIET you'll jsut have to nuke his ass I guess."
Anton then fires off a bolt at Alcor. [Attack - 40D]
Anton rolled 1d100 and got 99 ( Total: 99 )
JayM: That looks like a miss
Harriet: "Uh, yeah, that's kind of what I do?"
Harriet: "Hello, resident genius, I have so many ways to murder this guy."
[OOC] Anton: Uhhh I meant the Incongruency if that helps.
Amal: "Naively I'd assume Harriet to be the MOST likely of all of us to tear holes in reality."
JayM: Oh, still has to hit normally
Serenity: "Wrong, both me and you have actually done that already."
Amal: "Although Catastrophe is self-evidently more her jam."
Amal: "Oh yeah I mean that's why I said naively."
Harriet: "Hey, I have been really good at not building doomsday machines in this reality!"
Serenity: "Oh okay."
Hughbert swings his airblade at one of the Alcor images he's hiding behind. (image D) [Opening Shelling, 50D]
Hughbert rolled 1d100 and got 69 ( Total: 69 )
JayM: That's a hit!
Hughbert rolled d10+156*1.5 and got 6 ( Total: 240.0 )
JayM: Shattered in one strike
[OOC] Hughbert: and Anton gets to act 9D quicker
JayM: Battle order: W-Anton C [F]:0 W-Anton B [F]:1 W-Anton A [F]:2 Harriet [B]:9 Amal [B]:12 Serenity [B]:12 Anton [B]:20 Sniper Beam:22 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:24 Hughbert [F]:44
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [==========] Interference[-20](4)
JayM: Status for Incongruency E [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Something's wrong about those shadows… Why haven't they dispelled as normal?
Anton nods as the shadows fire another barrage of bolts leaving a trail along their trajectory. One collides with the final Incongruency, the others into Alcor.
JayM: The Incongruence is dispelled!
Anton rolled 1d12*5+140*5 and got 3 ( Total: 715.0 )
Alcor sidesteps and the bolt barely scratches him, somehow that was significantly effective
JayM: Battle order: Harriet [B]:0 Amal [B]:3 Serenity [B]:3 Anton [B]:11 Sniper Beam:13 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:15 W-Anton C [F]:21 W-Anton B [F]:22 W-Anton A [F]:23 Hughbert [F]:35
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [========= ] Interference[-20](4)
JayM: Status for Incongruency E [F]: : [==========]
JayM: Harriet!
[OOC] Anton: I destroyed E right?
Harriet flicks a series of switches, cranks her ECC up, and flips a switch. "Eat science!!" [Storm Guillotine, 50D]
JayM: Yes
Harriet rolled 1d12+450*1.2 and got 2 ( Total: 542.0 )
A blast of lightning courses through his body, he raises up his arms as it gathers on his hands "Ahahaha, yes!" and throws it aside
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Serenity [B]:0 Anton [B]:8 Sniper Beam:10 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:12 W-Anton C [F]:18 W-Anton B [F]:19 W-Anton A [F]:20 Hughbert [F]:32 Harriet [B]:47
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [======== ] Interference[-20](4)
JayM: Amal and Serenity!
Amal raises both arms and two bright jets of light go off in different directions and then conceal themselves within time and space. "Y'know, this looks fun. I kinda wanna get in on this, too." [CT 10]
Harriet: "Okay, see, that was exactly the opposite of what I just told you to do."
Alcor: "It's part of the job being contrarian sometimes"
Alcor: "Isn't it, Amal? Couldn't you do this just about forever?"
Anton casually writes out a note mid-combat and tosses it to Amal.
Serenity: "Okay but seriously what's his REAL plan?" . [Q - Ground Trap] [Scanner Sweep - 40D] As drak grey energy this time forms a seal around Alcor, then flares up arond him.
Serenity‘ rolled d100 and got 91 ( Total: 91 )
d12+150,130%: 10 [Total: 208.0]
[OOC] Sugarlips: Grand Total: 299.0
[OOC] Serenity: and Alcor deals -50% damage (1)
Amal: "At this point, I’m looking forward to taking a break and enjoying life." They look at Alcor, and their eyes are more tired than Alcor can possibly imagine; he snatches the note out of mid-air without looking away from Alcor, reads it, looks a little sad, eats the note, nods.
JayM: Anton!
[OOC] Serenity: Scanner Sweep (3) also fwiw
[OOC] Anton: What's the +% to that again
[OOC] Serenity: +30%
Anton follows up Serenity's attack with an [Attack Assist] first.
Anton rolled 1d100 and got 59 ( Total: 59 )
Anton rolled d12+140 and got 5 ( Total: 145.0 )
Anton then takes a deep breath trying to focus. [Copycat]
Anton rolled d4 and got 4 ( Total: 4 )
Anton aims his crossbow at the ceiling as a giant rift begins to form. [Cross-Dimensional Beam - 50D | 60D Time card] He snaps his finger and the rift gets more unstable. [Destruction - +100%]
JayM: Amal!
JayM: Battle order: Amal [B]:0 Sniper Beam:0 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:2 W-Anton C [F]:8 W-Anton B [F]:9 W-Anton A [F]:10 Hughbert [F]:22 Serenity [B]:30 Harriet [B]:37 Anton [B]:48 Cross-Dimensional Beam EX:58
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [======== ] Interference[-20](4) Ground Trap [-50](1) Scanner Sweep [+30](3)
JayM: And!
Serenity: "This is,"
Serenity: "EVEN DUMBER than most of you thought by the way."
Serenity‘ rolled d100 and got 51 ( Total: 51 )
d12+360,130%: 6 [Total: 475.8]
[OOC] Sugarlips: Grand Total: 526.8
Harriet: "Oh no, how is it dumber."
Anton: "I’m already aware of what Lola is doing, if that's what you're referring to."
Amal watches as an arc of light slashes precisely through Alcor's body, and then he glows… [Prominence D25]
Alcor starts laughing, laughing in such a happy and carefree manner even as he's hammered backwards by the beam "Yes, yes it is!"
Alcor: "Come let us play harder!"
Serenity: "Because they're literally done with their shit and have been for weeks, this is just Alcor masterbaiting furiously for the hell of it out in public."
Anton: "Yup."
Anton: "I was gonna let him have his little show, though!" He grins.
Serenity‘ sighs.
Amal rolled d8+72,130% and got 7 ( Total: 102.7 ) for Shining (4) - after Alcor’s struck three more times he explodes for another d12+108 damage
Serenity: "Even if I WANTED to stop I think I sent like, eight choice spells to this version of the encounter so…."
Alcor laughs "Oh, come on, have some fun, enjoy yourself Serenity! Be the hero of this dumb dime novel without shame or regret!"
Serenity: "The plot you wrote was so fucking RETARDED though."
Serenity: "Like, the only parts of this that will be cool or interesting in the retelling are the parts that didn't involve you in any way."
Anton: "I'm not sure that's actually true as that would be giving more credit to Mai than she actually deserves."
Serenity: "Who the fuck writes an epic where the main plot and struggle are not only stupid but BORING in all but two cases, and all the interesting stuff in the small little side plots that are easily forgotten!"
Alcor raises up his right hand as stones rise up from the ground and gather around him, they connect to his body like armor and in fact turn into stone armor! "Variant Totem!"
Serenity: "You're a goddamn awful writer!"
JayM: Battle order: W-Anton C [F]:0 W-Anton B [F]:1 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:1 W-Anton A [F]:2 Hughbert [F]:14 Amal [B]:17 Serenity [B]:22 Harriet [B]:29 Anton [B]:40 Cross-Dimensional Beam EX:50
JayM: Anton's shadows C and B!
Alcor chuckles
Serenity: "Ugh."
Serenity: "No even Mai was better!"
Anton: "… huh. How'd my shadows get displaced anyways? Oh well!"
Harriet: "It was fun because I made some friends, not because you did… all this shit you do."
Anton waves a hand and Antons two shadows fire bolts into Alcor.
Anton rolled 1d100 and got 6 ( Total: 6 )
Serenity: "That whole encounter in Yggy with the dude hooked up and the ice walls and shit! That was exciting, got your heart racing!"
Alcor: "A writer who's grown tired of the main plot bringing nothing but despair for the forgotten people on the sides"
Serenity: "Alcor mustache twirling though?! Not even."
Alcor: "Those side-stories? They're everything there is, Serenity. A main plot doesn't happens in this world. You should be grateful for it"
JayM: They strike true!
Amal: "Hehehe. It's okay, /I/ got what you were goin' for."
Serenity: "Uuuughhhhh."
Anton rolled d12*6+140*6 and got 10 ( Total: 900.0 )
Harriet: "Actually, the main plot has always been about me figuring out how to elevate humanity so that everyone experiences the same shit."
Serenity: "This is why publishers don't let any hack off the street get printed! Even the shit tier writers have some damn respect for the form."
Harriet: "Like… sorry to break it to you."
Alcor: "I'm just… Riding the waves, taking advantage of what I can"
Harriet: "Except I'm not sorry at all, because you're awful?"
Alcor: "Thank you, I worked hard on that, Harriet"
Alcor: "Oh, come on Serenity. On a world built on pure hathred for the form? Why would I respect it?"
Anton: "So are you going to do that attack you were charging up or what?"
Serenity: "I'm just saying, this is why you're a fucking no-talent hack."
JayM: Battle order: Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:0 W-Anton A [F]:1 Hughbert [F]:13 Amal [B]:16 Serenity [B]:21 Harriet [B]:28 W-Anton C [F]:29 W-Anton B [F]:30 Anton [B]:39 Cross-Dimensional Beam EX:49
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [===== ] Interference[-20](4) Ground Trap [-50](1) Scanner Sweep [+30](3) Shining [1d12+108](4)
Alcor finishes forming his armor, and disappears, appearing right above Serenity "Right now, don't worry" [Variant Totem]
Serenity: "Like!"
JayM rolled 1d100 and got 35 ( Total: 35 )
JayM rolled 1d10+144 and got 7 ( Total: 151 )
He punches her for [151] Physical damage and whenever he's hit he'll recover 144 HP until next action
[OOC] Serenity: 75 you mean
JayM: Yes
JayM: rows
[OOC] Serenity: right rows, so… less even
Anton: "I'm not sure ditching the crossbow was a good idea… Flashy, but… yeah!"
JayM: What am I talking
[OOC] Serenity: 45 damage lol
JayM: It misses entirely
JayM: Because of 2 -CoS modifiers
[OOC] Serenity: i used ground trap for the second time all campaign for -50% damage, then 20% from row
JayM: Oh, oih right it's - damage not - CoS
JayM: So 45 and hits
JayM: Okay
JayM: Now the last shadow!
Anton rolled 1d100 and got 67 ( Total: 67 )
Anton rolled d12*5+140*5 and got 8 ( Total: 740.0 )
Alcor: "What was the point? I mean, I did want you guys running damage control on what I was doing" he jumps aside from the bolt, it wasn't even a glancing blow yet it still caused so much damage "But that aside? My own enjoyment"
Anton: "Can we skip to the part of the fight where my giant beam goes off and we win? Please?"
JayM: Anton's images have caused enough trail that they're not an environmental hazard…
JayM: Any roll under 50 will cause you to get in contact with them, causing [500] damage
JayM: Hughbert!
[OOC] Anton: Over 50…?
JayM: A CoS roll under 50
JayM: Er
JayM: Over 50
JayM: Yes
[OOC] Hughbert: when's alcor going next?
JayM: 50-100
Serenity: "I hate you and everything you stand for."
JayM: Battle order: Hughbert [F]:0 Amal [B]:3 Serenity [B]:8 Harriet [B]:15 W-Anton C [F]:16 W-Anton B [F]:17 W-Anton A [F]:18 Anton [B]:26 Cross-Dimensional Beam EX:36 Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]:37
JayM: Status for Alcor, the Fate Igniter [B]: : [===== ] Interference[-20](3) Scanner Sweep [+30](2) Shining [1d12+108](3)
Amal: "Seriously though Anton what is the deal with the images."
Serenity: "He's fucking weaving what part of this is hard to understand."
Anton: "I wasn't JUST thinking about places to eat, you know! I just… didn't need to be in the machine for two days since I actually knew how to navigate unlike Serenity!"
Hughbert steps back from the trails and looks for an opening… [Wait, 15D]
A voice booms out of nowhere "Now, if you two would help me out with just this thing, yes? Then we can get to the next step"
Alcor looks up "Ah, so it's time. Come on then, dear, it's your turn"
Anton: "I have a wombo-combo coming up!"
A hand, a hand that is gigantic makes it's way out of the cocoon "Amal, Aura, if you would help me stitch this together" the hand grasps all of the winter-trails together, dragging them into a single line
The music dies at this point… Instead turning into a different one: []
Harriet: "Oh boy, here comes stage two."
Amal side-eyes Anton like, 'should I go along with this'?
Anton: "Sadly it's required to stay on the beaten path."
Anton: "We'll play along and make our own way when the time comes."
Amal focuses- and then they start darting through the air like it's water, reaching out, grabbing the wintertrails, weaving them together… [D???] "Sorry, Alcor. Nice trick, though. Managed to upstage her after all."
Serenity: "Uhh."
Serenity: "Where do I remember this song from though for real?"
Flowers sprout out of the ground… Vines gather up in a somewhat humanoid form- And then dissolve into silver and golden leaves as something is left undearneath them. Familiar great wings of white come into being- But they're attached to a different being, nearly two meters tall, the look of someone just edging their way into adulthood, soft white fur marred by black marks and tatoos over their face, curled horns in their head and a cloak full of all colors. They pull out their cloak and srap them on the wintertrails, grasping them all with both hands and the combined force of the three of them makes the trails, and the shadows, disappear!
Then, this one jumps backwards behind the party "Well, then, Lola… I'm here now so… How about you come out too, so we can finish this in style?"
Harriet: "Hi, Paws!"
Serenity: "This is really bugging me!"
The giant hand falls limp- It seems to have immense weight as it drags whatever it's attached to down to the ground- And it fall falls uncermoniously through the ground… And then a hand- A woman's hand, bleeding and covered in strings, comes out of the ground. The hand itself is gigantic, easily 30 meters in width. A second hand comes up, and they both drag Lola's titanic form out of the ground, the strongs that cover her body pull her down into the ground with such immense force they cut into her skin, blood covers her and when it drops into the grond it turns into crimson ragnite. She supports herself with her left arm while the right hand points at the party "Well, then, shall we?"
[OOC] JayM: To Be Continued
Hughbert looks over his shoulder. "I'm not sure if I should be relieved or worried- that you're fighting with us, or that you feel the need to mobilize."
JayM: The End is incoming
JayM: I hope you're ready

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