Fine. I'll do both.
But #1 first, since that got called first. Also, because it'll probably be a part that won't be drawn. Or a radically different style. I'm lazy sometimes.
It was strange, really. The troll's body didn't simply absorb all her shots. Rather, the shots passed through him. It was as if he was intangible.
"My dear, how long do you plan to try to make this work? It's clear to both of us this isn't working.
I am the first, the magician. I am the master of the universe, the eater of worlds! I am death incarnate!"
"Also, I love hamming it up. I would've been an actor had I a normal life. Like William Trolner or Raul Trolia."
And what would the girl say? She didn't have to, and neither did she have to hide. Her helmet concealed her face completely; couldn't take chances.
But no, really, what would she say? How do you respond to someone that's taken one of Avernus' most destructive weapons with nary a scratch?
So she ran. She ran to her squadmates, who barricaded themselves behind their vehicles. An eye was trained on Lumeros, who calmly walked back to the village.
"What happened there? He just phased through them like he was intangible!"
"I don't know, but we can't take any chances. We have to glass this place."
"Not right now! We still got Scalpel to extract before calling in the artillery!"
"Well, they better get out soon!"
She turned a dial on her helmet, switching to mission control, where one of her more.... casual acquaintances was recently assigned. Reassigned. Something about recklessness.
The suppression rifles used by the Hammer team were very loud, and in fact, that was one of its design plans. Anyone not using ear protection would have guaranteed ear damage.
So while her rather large, brutish friend used his very large weapon in a way that did not insinuate any overcompensation whatsoever, she radioed a friend.
CL: Chernigov leader reporting in! Situation has grown worse!
MC: Fuck. Err, sorry, breach of protocol.
MC: What do you need us to do?
CL: We need to burn this place down. Lumeros must be killed at all costs.
MC: The worst then. Well, artillery's been trained on this place since the start. Get away from the danger zone.
CL: Not immediately. Scalpel team still needs extraction.
MC: Sitrep, CL. What are your odds of successful extraction?
CL: Somewhere within 40~55%.
MC: Do you want it now?
CL: No, I'll take those odds.
MC: Thatta girl. Go bail them out!
"Give me covering fire. I'll snipe off a mage, then run interference for me.
Shoot the priests first, kite their knights.
"Don't we always?"
But no, she didn't snipe one off. Not just one. She circled the village, sniping off targets when she could.
The first few were easy enough.
The village of Chernigov was planted near a forest of cinderwood. Cinderwood is called such because it has an ashy color, not to mention it was durable.
With the white snow, the mages in their red robes were easy to spot. A red robe with matching cape, with sleeves that well, to quote a foreigner man I once met, it hangs like sleeve of wizard.
She never could see if she hit them. Their blood was as red as their robes, and with the winter wind, she couldn't hear that far.
Then they adapted. They continually shifted their positions, always making sure she could never see them.
And they sent knights. She never thought of knights as what she saw. She always imagined brave, handsome men in shining armor. On a pony, because real men wore pink.
No, these knights were washed out. Dull, heavy grey armor. They had heavy shields, however, which defied explanation. They remained intact through her shots.
However, the human behind it often did not. They either instinctively dug their feet into the ground, or had their shields stripped from them, into the snowy ground.
Then she got to redecorate the grey with a little red. The snow was like a white canvas, all there for her to redesign as she saw fit.
Then they smartened up again. They stopped sending knights.
Instead, they hid. Lumeros, no doubt.
Scalpel, artillery's been waiting. Status?
We've made some progress, but we've made a blunder. Knights have barricaded us, priest support has held out.
You give a guy a heavy shield and a staff, and suddenly they're made of iron.
Enough of that. Just continue on. I'll keep watch for Lumeros. He won't escape.
And of course, she met him again. Actually, he strode out to her. A giant, even by troll standards, with a heroic stature, with horns that would make any other troll green, or whatever trolls do, with envy.
"Hello, my dear, how do you do?
"Mr. Dolpilo. I must ask you to turn yourself in, for the good of the people."
"The people. Riiiight.
Let me tell you what's going to happen.
You're going to try to stop me from walking out of here.
And you will fail, because you actually assumed I'm alone in this.
I would like you to meet a friend."
She turned around to find someone standing behind her. A troll, likely nearing adulthood. Normal black hair, but with green and yellow highlights.
Her skin was rather... she wasn't sure what. But it looked healthy, like the troll. She must've been a freak of the highest order, since her body had ideal proportions for her height.
Also a threat, since she couldn't find any implant marks on her either. Which meant strong willpower. Though she was a yellowblood. Even more dangerous.
"Right. Don't worry, you'll understand. Eventually. Sorry about doing this."
"I am the Rogue of Life. And today I will be your challenger.
Once again, I'm sorry about all this."
Then she gestured with her hand. Trees shriveled, her own heartbeat slowed, even Lumeros began to breathe a bit more noticeably.
She did the only thing anyone could do in that situation. She shot her. It connected, but she didn't stick around to see if she fell. She just ran for her life.
Alright, had to do some stuff for the weekend, but since I'm back, updates should be back on daily.
The girl continued running, while her mind ran faster than her legs. Her heart was beating regularly again, which meant her shot must've hit home. She was on the eastern outskirts of the village, while the extraction zone was on the western side. Lumeros had gotten to her when she was farthest away. She would be forced to go north, as the village was built along a cliff to the south. Or that's what he wanted, she realized. That would be just as apparent to him, and if he had one ally, who was to say he didn't have others? At the very least, he had an entire village at his disposal. She refused to be beaten at this game. So she defied his gamble, and headed straight into the village.
The eastern end of the village looked deserted. Looked was an apt description; she did not dare slow down or lose focus by looking behind her. A half open door appeared three houses down on her left. She slammed into it, then ran up the stairs. She ran into what was likely the master bedroom, out into the balcony, turned, jumped on a sturdy table, then onto the roof. She took a moment to look at a hulking figure standing at the front of the house. It was Lumeros, all right. Though judging by a nearby car template, he must've grown about a foot.
"Why hello there! I'm just going for a morning jog!"
"It's 7PM you idiot!"
"Ok, enough of this facade. Get down here already."
"No! And where's your girlfriend?"
"I neither confirm nor deny that sentiment. In any case, go ahead. Run. Run on the rooftops. Go
He would've probably said more, but then she shot him with a pistol. Then again. She expended a full clip in him, evenly distributed between his chest and his head.
Then she ran. Again. She jumped onto the next rooftop and again on a series of houses that would likely facilitate a fire very easily by being so close together.
"Stop running away right before I'm about to exposition! Seriously!
Kids these days."
The girl continued running for about half a dozen rooftops, before the mages noticed. From this distance, she could make out facial expressions and other nuances in their uniforms.
For example, they all had blank faces. Not angry, not psychotically happy, completely and utterly blank. Contrary to the drone mindset she derived from that, she noticed their uniforms weren't exactly uniform.
The first one she killed, the one that got her hood knocked off before she fell over; she had a light, silky red, about the same as her hair. Perhaps in another life they would've been friends. But here, she was an enemy, and she had a spell, which had exploded when she was shot, knocking her off.
The second one had a slightly darker, slightly thicker woolen robe. Whoever it was had fired a few magic missiles, actually setting a house on fire, making her jump to the next house more dangerous than it should've been. Sadly, it seemed for all the firepower he had, he didn't notice the first one dying a few houses away from him, instead firing on where the Scalpel team was besieged. In an act of showing off, she instead shot another mage further from her. The mage had not noticed her coming until she was one house away; by the time he had another spell ready, he was rather busy dealing with a rather large gash through his throat.
The girl sniped off the last mage, scouted for a sign of any reinforcements, then sat down. She needed to get off the rooftops if she was going to be any use, but she'd need help.
Sitrep. How's it going on your end?
They've been pulling back. I assume Scalpel has been doing something other than being locked down helplessly.
Possibly. Also, I've been making my way towards them.
We have another problem. Lumeros has a friend. She somehow slowed my heartbeat down, killed nearby life, and transferred that life force to Lumeros.
I can only assume she can do this to everyone else as well. Which would explain why our Hunters failed.
A hard counter to biological attacks. Chemical must work similarly.
In any case, we should be at the team's position in about a minute, barring ambushes.
Uh, guys. We're here too you know. Not like being under siege prevents communication.
Alright, listen up. Where are you?
Second floor, center of the building.
We need to prepare accordingly. They'll have to realize we're coming for them.
We pincer them. Blow a hole on the western side, I'll go through the eastern side.
There are five knights, six priests, and two mages. We've slowly ceded ground, and we're going to be stuck in a few minutes.
Let me go in first so I can expose them. Then blow your way in and smash them.
The plan was adequate.
However, Lumeros and his friend didn't feel that way.
Upon closer inspection, their relationship could easily be derived. Lumeros would stride in front of her, leading her on. He had a calm look on his face, the same look a chess mastermind has when he's simply toying with his opponent, the look generals have when they laugh at how their enemy squirms in a brilliantly devised trap. He knew exactly how all this would play out.
The female also knew that he knew. She was also relaxed, but her walk betrayed her as someone who was truly paranoid, and her eyes would occasionally dart to some alleyway or such.
They weren't an item. They were indeed allies, and not of convenience, like soldiers of two allied nations that fight alongside each other for the first time. Perhaps with time, they would come to trust each other more. Lumeros' supposed omniscience and her acceptance that his omniscience was reliable merely masked the fact that they were only tangentially allied.
"It seems they're breaking through now."
"Sure does. Just curious, why am I here anyway?
I thought you could do this on your own."
"I can, but I just thought you should meet her before you meet her."
"But I just met her now! Just cause you're the Time guy doesn't let you mess with our heads."
"You're right. That's just a perk. But I'm sorry regardless."
You've gone through this conversation before, haven't you?"
"Seriously. Fucking twenty-six times, and no matter what, I seem to be unable to prevent this particular part."
"Alright, so your plan. It sounds viable."
"My dear, I am the Time player. I do know what I'm doing. I've run through this part several times."
"Which is why you have what, 5? 6? 8 years on us?"
"I can only say that my aesthetic value has failed to depreciate, and in fact, I believe I'm reaching the God tiers of sexiness."
"Right. Whatever you say. Now, the plan."
"It sounds brutal, I know. But you were only living in this nation a few weeks ago from your perspective.
We both know this is going to work."
"Alright. For Avernus!"
"Feel free to kill everyone else. They end up dying anyway even if they live."
Yeah, sorry about that. I've been drowning in work I have to catch up on. Thank Hussie for Spring Break.
(Yes, I am a proud member of the Order of the Hussie-ites-people... thing.
Also, listening to the Derp song while writing this probably doesn't help.
The girl found a window on the building. Inside was what seemed to be a reception area, with couches, coffee tables, random pictures that corporate people seem to be able to randomly pull out of their asses, and blood. Yes, even the last was common around these parts.
In any case, she took a breath, went through her plan one more time, and broke the window. She jumped in, turned left, ran up the stairs, stopped short of the upstairs threshold, threw a grenade, ran back down, stuck explosives on the ceiling, and ran out. They obviously wouldn't come pursue her, so she had to make them pursue her.
Their explosions were synchronized. The Hammer team broke through the same time as her explosives. As she began firing, she wished she'd taken a position besides directly across from her allies, but they should've thought of that before going ahead with the plan. Friendly fire was just going to be inevitable.
Six figures fell through the ceiling. The ones in white were likely the priests. Both mages fell through, as well as the priests. Not a single knight among them. Better than they dared hope.
Mages are capable of many things. They can destroy buildings, they can incinerate Hunters at range, psychically match Conduits in mind battles, even give class +8 organisms and mechanicals alike pause. However, these guys couldn't have been trained as well. There was a reason why there was a special team for finding cults and destroying them before they took root. Granted, it was just four people, who also tracked troop and intelligence movements on Talematros, Lisphere, and Saxony, but still, they were still important enough to get their own picture in the staff sweepbook.
What they cannot do, however, is close range combat. As in, if they could see the whites of their eyes, they could just count themselves out. They could try, but they'd take themselves out too.
Which they did. Or tried to.
There was a miscommunication on their part. Every one of those mages were ready to destroy themselves along with the enemy. It was a magey thing, or something of the sort.
However, the priests both had the same idea, but with barriers. They erected barriers on both sides. Right before the mages' spells went off.
"What the hell?!"
"Eye, you there?"
"Roger. I think they had a bit of friendly fire."
"Girl. You there. Girl."
"Just fine and dandy. My boys and I are a bit scratched up, but we're fine."
Lumeros is a force to behold. He can simply use time to appear in a certain moment in time in a thousand places, if he wished. He did try that before, and it involved about half an hour of warping to that moment, doing his work, warping back, immediately warping back again in a different spot, and etc.
However, he's also one for theatrics. As can be deduced from a massive, twelve-foot troll bursting in halfway through the building. Even bigger than last time. (Totally not compensating.) In this case, all that time shenanigan ability was used to say all those oh nos. He wasn't here for anything serious. He knew he'd win. He'd run over this particular course of action four times. Worked every time.
So he burst in, and his first target was the ceiling. He managed to drag his arm through the ceiling, taking the second floor with him. The Scalpel team fell. One fell on his horn, being impaled through the calf, then again through the thigh. The rest of him hung limply over his shoulder.
Bernard doesn't wish he dreamed this part. But what could he do? He saw the entire Scalpel and Hammer teams massacred before him. A pair of blades ripped through them. A cut through the stomach, chopped off arms, eyes being scratched out. What he noticed, much to his dismay, was that none of them were killing blows. And what could they do? They were paralyzed by the woman that followed behind him.
And what was the girl doing? She was busy having heart problems. Her muscles spasmed, heart slowed significantly, lungs seized up, the works.
"They tell me the hero always has the swords."
"As I told you earlier, I'm sorry about all this, but you'll thank me later."
"Right. This is a delicate process, so bear with me.
It's going to hurt like hell. Your flesh will melt, your bones will shatter, your mind will scream for a salvation that will never come, no matter what the cultists of the highest mountains say, no matter how many fanatical knights of variously shaped tables and kings of said tables proclaim. Thou shalt feel pain, like how you left me.... as you left her. Marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive... buried alive.... echo.... echoooo... echoooooooo...!"
"One thing I don't miss. The geeky movies."
Then he proceeded to cut off her head.
"Alright, I shalt extract the brain, regrow the head around it."
"You got it."
In a manner that I really don't wish to describe, mostly because it's getting late, and Bernard didn't fully comprehend it, her head regrew. Now that her mask was off, he could read her face more clearly. Eyes were the same color, but more bland, duller. Perhaps a touch of the thousand yard stare. She was bald, but perhaps when she recovered from whatever this was, she would have hair again. Or for the first time. Maybe she was bald to begin with, who knows?
The rest of the body grew back as well. Bernard was about 14 or so, but he was friends with Jason. He knew more about the female anatomy than did most females. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on whether or not Mr. Hansen roams the forums as well, a bright green glow left only a silhouette that grew back.
"Alright, that's all I can do. Any more, and I'll need more organisms to draw from. If I were a witch, I probably wouldn't have this problem."
"That is enough. You brought the clothes, correct? I would really rather not leave her in the snow naked."
"Whatever. Probably stole looks during your many runs through this. Pervert."
"No, I did that to you, then discarded them as doomed timelines.
Currently Tracked Mission: Prepare for Infiltration
itd be good if i could just get my smith corona to work. just that, and this sassy lass is ready to put some foots in asses.
Continue Working on Dreadnought
gonna need to build me the biggest, baddest robot i can get. i need a soulless killing machine that can ruin some faces.
Alright. She doesn't have a name, though. So you should give the poor girl a name.
And a Pesterchum handle while you're at it. Here's some supplemental stuff to help you.
And anything else you'd like to add. Feel free to do as much as you want.
Dr. Finnian Medical Check-up
in the medical community, other than her legs, she is what we call completely fine.
in addition, it seems that with the nearly infinite creations that we can make here, we could just make her new legs.
she doesn't want them, but did settle for an antigrav platform. good too, since the wheelchair was getting old.
she'll have to exercise independently now, though. diet needs to change a little too, but nothing drastic.
-Her disability seems to motivate her to do well intellectually.
-In addition, the powers she has received as a result of the session seems to have validated her motivations. Vindicated them, as it were.
-She also has a craving for contact. Supposedly, Cassandra has found her snuggling in her bed more than once. When she's in it. I'm not sure if I should be turned on or disturbed. Regardless, she craves physical contact, and I must express my concerns that said craving may apply mentally as well, and it's at this point that I must thank the powers that be that she is not the thief or rogue. Even so, she's very extroverted. Case in point; how I will be unable to finish this as in about five seconds she will dangle me from the air using shackles she must've found somewhere. I must talk to---
As the witch of mind, her powers will be far more useful due to the unseen obstacles in this session; namely, the fact that there are a few million more humans and trolls here than we anticipated.
From what I've seen so far, her specific power is duality. She seems to be able to control the minds of others, though only one at a time. It also doesn't reach across planets, though that doesn't mean anything tactically. If we could leave our house on LoSaI, we could do a bit more testing. For now, I will assume she can manipulate the mind of another while still being able to act independently.
this girls got some swagger. she can pilot a conduit better than most of us can drive a car. if anyone was ever dumb enough to entrust us with cars. got some nasty typewriters, and even a literal typewriter to boot. shes coming with me when we go in four days. theres definitely some doom coming, and who better to know that than me.
Alright, so what do you want her to do?
Also, anyone reading this should stop by, if only to give one of the characters a name/pesterchum handle.
(Bottom left is Cassie, middle left is Ms. Finnian, bottom right has dD as a pesterchum. Other than that, go nuts.)
Currently Tracked Mission: Prepare for Infiltration
The sabotage mission needs the details worked out. Once she stops listening to her iPod, I'll have to work out where exactly we put the C4.
Continue Working on Dreadnought
The legs need work. Even if Imperial drones work by melee, no doubt the guilds will not feel the same way.
Salvage Actual Relationship
He needs to stop staring at his mission control panel interface for a while and act like an actual boyfriend for once.
You are now Cassandra.
>C?: Intervene on behalf of the poor man being strung up by his legs.
"Excuse me, miss. Cassandra. I would like to ask you to inquire as to whether this dangling of my form will stop anytime soon, as there is an imbalanced proportion of blood in my head, despite the emotions I feel that facilitate said blood."
"Yes, go ahead. Don't help someone out. Just stare like you always do, attempting to comprehend the insanity that is life."
"Cassie, don't listen to him! You know this is fun for him too! Also, can you pick up his glasses right there?"
"Cassie! Don't listen to her! I require my glasses to see!"
"Why not get contacts? The glasses are rather bothersome, and you have some icky stuff in your nose pads."
"It's simply a matter of preference. Now, before I proceed to completely flip the fuck out, please get her to stop."
"No, Cassie! Run! Run like the wind!"
>Guy: Go into long-winded speech.
"Cassandra, a word with you if I may. You are currently holding something precious to me. Those are not mere synthetic frames with calibrated glass lens on them. They are, in fact, an extension of my soul. For you see, the glasses have a purpose; they help me see. The windows to the soul are the eyes. In my particular case, the windows are somewhat imperfect. These glasses help me view the outside world, to use one of my senses as my birthright, nay, a birthright of all sentient beings. If fate has deemed that one of my biological faculties be flawed, by what can you claim that it should stay so?
Did we claim that when the culmination of the Great Wars led to the destruction of the world by meteors, did we take it? No, we did not. We persevered, we fought, we survived. And now, we are here. When you and your mate first met in first grade, and he said he would never like, tolerate, nor even breathe the same air as a girl, did you say that it must remain so? No! You continued, and now, here you are together. I admit, I've seen better relationships in Hollywood, but regardless, I'm getting further from the point the more I take this metaphor about... God, I can't even remember. Was it about roulette tables and coins?"
"It was about how she wasn't giving you back your glasses."
"Oh right. Where was I... Right. So thus you must give me back my glasses. To not do so is to deprive me of a right that has been guaranteed by dint of my own existence!"
>Benny Hill Theme Music: Play
"..... Why. Why."
"I think you're now an airplane. Fly, airplane! Fly like some feathery asshole that is totally not some shout-out!"
>Heir: Settle the rabble.
"Hey! Stop that shit already! Baby, give him his glasses back, and Stephen, shift yourself over here, I need some advice of tactics and whatnot."
"Thank you, brother.
I'll take my glasses back, thank you very much."
"Cassie, make up with him. I ain't tolerating no infighting in this session."
"It's all for fun, we need to do this to unwind."
"Well, that may be, and I sure as hell find it hilarious, but corollaries to the Bro Code force me to at say it.
Note I said say, not actually do anything about it."
"He knows I only do it to tease him. Isn't that right, Steph?"
Daniel Harris opened (18th Strategy Log) on board Relevant Tactical Discussion
DH: Ok, let's get a few things worked out here. Stefan, brother-man, did you happen to check over my brilliant plan?
CA: Dear, I told you already. The plan has a very high risk of failure.
ST: While I have to concur with your current mate on that, I must also say that this is really the only method I can think of that could work.
ST: It really is either this or holding out and manually building a teleporter somewhere on the planet.
CA: That seems safer than hijacking, then crashing a ship!
ST: I can think of no other avenues. If it weren't for your mate saying that we should do so on 3/28, I would be glad to wait until a later date.
DH: Also, because I am the heir after all, and we all know what happens when we don't listen to the heir....
CA: Yes, but none us are sweaty perverts... Wait, I take that back.
ST: Since when have I ever made a move?
DH: Alright. Drop every problem you have and listen to me only!
DH: We need to work out exactly what in hell we're gonna get done while we're down there.
DH: We can take relaxing trips where the entire population of assholes and assholes with horns aren't trying to kill us dead.
CA: There's the retrieval of the DNA of both Bernard Bartlett, as well as Cirona Keates. The latter is only optional and can be discarded if needed, but the former is absolutely necessary.
CA: We're still working on deciphering the materials needed for the beacon.
ST: Meanwhile, we will split into three teams. One will go infiltrate the ship on Prospit, a second will plant various weapons of destruction around Alternis, using them in diplomacy or warfare, depending on what we see fit. A third will assassinate the diplomats Lena Travencal and Velias Narfos.
DH: Hey, Stephen, hold on just a damn minute there. I thought we agreed we'd take down Aiolos Virken.
CA: Excuse me? We agreed to take down Tripis Mavler, along with the entire support staff of the 7th Legion.
DH: We're taking down Virken. He's the hero man to their posse, like I am to you.
DH: Imagine what happens when people look in the newspaper with their morning coffee and see a national hero died.
DH: Besides jacking up towel prices everywhere from sweat and spit-taken coffee, they won't want to fight no more.
CA: While I agree, I must emphasize that Mavler is the gears of the operation. He handles a disproportionate amount of the various numbers and figures that go into managing the guild, and as a result, if he is killed, there will be a massive vacuum to fill as they rush to cover his processing ability.
ST: I must ask, why clip a bird to kill it, when you could simply declare hunting season?
ST: Without the diplomatic abilities and influence of the modern major diplomats, the tensions of the humans and trolls will rise to the point where they erupt and plunge the city into, essentially, a massive gang war.
CA: We can just as easily incite a gang war by placing the right bombs and such in the right place at the right times.
CA: And we'll also demoralize them as such. Fear is a powerful weapon, as shown by the highblood presence.
DH: Virken is a prince of breath, likely storm or wind. If he finds us... hell, if he even realizes what planet we're on, there ain't no escaping his petulant wrath.
DH: I've done some book reading too, you know. I know what Egbert could do.
ST: So we're going by that, then? Ok, how about this? Narfos is a sylph of rage. Imagine the unholy wrath Makara brought upon his own friends. Now imagine that same wrath, magnified over thousands, on their enemies.
ST: If quest beds still existed in this session, we would be, as you would likely put, absolutely screwed.
CA: We can do all of that by destabilizing the 7th Legion. If the guild collapses, the other guilds will likely muscle in, creating a war to fill the void left by the guild.
CA: Or the military does so. If we go with Danny's prediction that the military and the royalty are useless, then this can only be good for us.
DH: Ok, this is hurting my head. Let's stab my brain with a hot poker later. For now, Stefan, go work on the dreadnought. Cassie, go help him and make sure he doesn't slip on an oil spill or something equally stupid, ridiculous, and thus obviously slated to happen like a fancy supermarket display being wrecked. Thus spake your boss guy!
>Cassandra: Make small talk while the teleporter works.
CA: So, did you figure out where our own planets went?
ST: It seems that one planet was actually retrofitted as a massive kinetic weapon, then sent towards the Horrorterrors. No definitive proof on the others.
CA: What about the planet we're based off of?
ST: From what I can tell, it belonged not to a void player, as shadows may suggest, but rather, to a mind player, as suggested by illusions.
ST: Why the mind player was isolated, I haven't a clue. I have found, however, that mind did not survive the civil war presented in their creation myths.
CA: Are they accurate?
ST: No, but what else do we have to go off of? It seems that a week after the session started, ten players were killed, two were unaccounted for after running off, and only three survived.
ST: And I made sure to check everything I could get my hands on. My searches came up empty on concrete evidence.
ST: It's all pure speculation from that point onward.
CA: Could they have destroyed the planets?
ST: Some speculate such a thing happened, and I have very good reason to believe so too.
CA: Wait. That's only fifteen. Where are the other six?
ST: They presume it was merely a typo and it was eight that ran off, not two.
ST: Alright, let's get to work.
CA: What could turn players on each other anyhow?
CA: What could cause them to engage in such violence?
ST: The session was comprised entirely of trolls. I imagine there must've been at least one Vriska, Eridan, and Gamzee-archetype characters in the mix.
CA: Did it say which players were left alive?
ST: The life player was likely alive, but other than that, it's unclear. The mind player definitely didn't.
>Stephen: Continue previous argument.
ST: Speaking of which, we need to decide who we're going after so we can attune the Smith Coronas properly. A generic denouncement is less effective than a personalized wicked burn.
CA: Tripis Mavler. Destabilize them and let them collapse under their own weight.
ST: And I've already said we go after the diplomats. Let them collapse under everyone else's weight.
CA: And if they don't? I seriously doubt two people have so much influence in Skaia.
ST: They're politicians for the politicians. It's an unspoken requirement that you must be either completely insane or insanely good at what you do.
ST: Also because the troll diplomat has the absolute trust of the seadweller aristocrats. It's allowed them to keep themselves in check by having a reliable third party to settle disagreements.
CA: And what do we gain? They lose a substantial amount, but what do we gain?
CA: If we attack the 7th Legion directly, we can raid their base, gut their support lines, and come out of it with valuable combat experience.
ST: And exactly how do you plan to assault an entire base?
CA: We use Jenny's mind abilities. Turn them against each other one at a time.
CA: We can transplant most of the Conduit's inner workings on her, maintaining enough psionic power to overwhelm their natural defenses.
CA: Alternatively, we could just unleash the Hunter virus on them.
ST: Trolls have lived on Alternia with roving mobs of undead organisms in the daytime for how long?
CA: Then we use chemicals.
ST: So will they. Their shaving cream is far more powerful than anything I've seen back home.
ST: If anything, we'll need her as a shield against any highbloods they may have.
>Cassandra: Be tired.
CA: I'm sleepy.
ST: You're always sleepy. I don't recall a single week that went by without you dozing off.
CA: Hey, I could afford to sleep. The classes were easy, and I was always doing well.
ST: Sadly, considering Danny did as well, I have to agree with you on that one.
CA: Well, behind every great man...
CA: Is an even greater woman ready to smack him if he messes up.
ST: And yet you're the one that tears up more.
CA: I get teary when I'm tired! I can't help it!
ST: Sure, sure.
"Move it already! Class 10 organisms just don't make themselves, you know!"
>Jenny: Question the sudden change in leadership.
"So, all great and powerful leader, why is she calling the shots here?"
"Because she's the smart chick. Also, I know jack shit about any of all this. All I know is we feed some giant monster, then we get said monster to eat everything else."
"Uh... I'm... not really sure if the... lab coats are of the... appropriate length."
"Dammit man, get a spine already! Do I need to go over on how to be a man?"
"But I don't... I don't like free form jazz!"
>Jenny: Make small talk with Michael while you loaf around.
"So, brother, help me out. Why are we even here?"
"I don't know... I guess they don't... want to leave me alone... with anyone."
"Oh please. So you're a heart guy. So you dated half the girls in our last school. I think they're worried about things I ain't gonna talk about, but you know."
"That's none of your bloody business!"
"You ain't freaking British!"
"So? Wait... there's no country.... called Britain."
"Oops. Uh, wrong universe, um... what pumpkin!"
"Ah. Gotcha. Anyway... So, did you guys... figure out what you're gonna... do while you're down... there?"
"Alright, do I have a story to tell you.
Alright, so I was in my room, and I put in a copy of Con Air.
As soon as I put it in, I get this voice in my head, right? It was saying something about overloads and the game is breaking, all that garbage."
"Could it be a... First Guardian?"
"I was thinking that too. But then suddenly Danny comes charging in, then smashes my tv to bits!"
"Can't you just.... alchemize another?"
"I did. Then I looked it up later, and it said that it could tear something from beyond space and time, and whatever it was could royally kick all our asses."
"Wow. Wait, why hasn't Danny told anyone yet?"
"I may have not had all my stylishly efficient clothing on.
Also, stop thinking about it before I drop you, or imma find out if I can snap a neck using my mind."
>Daniel: Ask why you have to do this.
"Girl, can I lay a question?"
"I'm going to pretend I understood you and say yes."
Why is it that I, your glorious, seductive, and very, very hot-blooded leader has to manually cart around food?
When we can just make a robot to do it?
Or get Jenny to do it with her mind?"
"Because every hero has to do manual labor at one point. Or do you not want the full hero experience?"
"Fine. I shall cart this food like none have ever done before, nor shall they ever do again!"
"Whatever you need to tell yourself, bro."
"Stefan. I need you to look up something."
"Sure, what is it?"
"I need you to look up any connections between Bernard Bartlett and any of our targets."
"I'll get right on it, sir."
"Is this related to your powers as a hero of doom?"
"Yes. If we don't do this perfect the first time, we're gonna end up with a shitload of trouble."
"Alright... Ah, there.
Ok, so Bernard Bartlett. Just an ordinary teenage boy, until you closely peruse his background.
His official guardian is in fact, Lena Travencal. He is also aware of the other two targets, but not on a level that would inspire him to conspire against us."
"How is he in a fight?"
"I can't say. However, considering how fast we can level up, and also considering who he is, I wouldn't rule it out the possibility that he could pose a lethal threat."
"We'll have to be extra careful then.
Also, my knowledge tells me that you were with her she got hit, but that still wasn't enough."
"Do you know if I had to be with her for certain for this to transpire? Perhaps if she and I are separated, this cannot come to pass."
"She goes on the ship, you go on the ground."
"That seems satisfactory."
>Daniel: Look cool while shooting up shit like a true gangsta.
"Eat lead, bitches!"
"Why sir! I do believe you have reached the top of the Stupid, Incompetent, and Disappointing Hero echeladder!"
"Fuck you. Emily! I need a band aid."
>Stephen: Hand in blood.
"Alright, Miss. So what's with me? Why is my blood pink?"
"I'm not sure. It looks like it's... wait, no I got a match.
It's... wow. Trickster blood."
"Wait, wait. What."
"You know. Trickster mode. The candy and the shiny colors and all that jazz."
"Uh... Right. So why am I suddenly a candyblood fountain?"
"You are the blood player after all. How should I know?
The cache was really old though. Maybe a contamination? The people who made the cache were tricksters?"
"It would explain quite a bit if their idea of a joke was making us waste time on trying to open a container that may not even have anything."
"Cassie tried scanning it. It's blacked out, like a void guy. Whatever it is, I'm not sure they'd waste a fine thing like that on a joke."
"Regardless, if we can't open the cache, that only robs us of an advantage we never expected to have.
"So does the blood do anything besides making me look strange?"
"Increased strength. Also, trickster blood congeals and regenerates faster."
"You sound like you're looking to use it."
"Well, it'd serve us well."
"Anyway, any way to get rid of the trickster blood?"
"Well why would you want to do a thing like that? I think you'd look better if you had a little color about you.
Like caramel just... dripping over your fine looking body, and I'll just--"
"Ok, that's quite enough, woman. Now go treat Daniel so he stops whining."
>Stephen: Give Daniel the lowdown.
"Alright, three things must be discussed.
One, why do people find flirting with me comedic?"
"Because it's easy to get you flustered, man. You're getting played like Gamzee with a horn."
"Moving on. Second thing. My blood's been identified as trickster blood."
"So can I get caramel and just--"
"In about five seconds, I will exert myself and punch you in the face."
"Trololololol. Anyway, so why'd you bring it up?"
"For our class 10 bio, what if we put in trickster blood along with Keates' DNA? The result may be horrifying, but undoubtedly very, very effective."
"Alright. That might just be a very good idea."
"Third, we need to choose. It's March 25. We have three days until we make Skaiafall, and we need to decide who we're going to hit."
"Can't we just hit them all?"
"You mean kill all four of them? And eliminate the support staff of the 7th Legion? And possibly have to deal with Cirona Keates and Bernard Bartlett as well?
Not to mention that if all of them are gathered, so will likely dozens of others.
No, we can't. We can't get them all at once. We simply have to pick one and kill her or him.
And even with all those insurmountable odds, we still have to wait for them to find Cirona Keates."
"Why can't this shit ever be easy..."
"We need a decision now. Or we could make it random. Regardless, you are the leader, sir. A choice must be made."
You heard the flustered boy. Who's up for the chopping block?
Really hate it when my computer decides to crash on me with an almost finished update.
Daniel Harris opened (19th Strategy Log) on board Relevant Tactical Discussion
ST: No, my dear. The hero's word is law, and it must be upheld.
CA: Look over here. I am your girlfriend. According to the laws of life, I own you. Not to mention, I'm the freaking time player. I can stop time and think of every single last outcome. I have all the time. All of it. I know every single last argument you can think of, and I can think of every single counter to every one of those arguments.
ST: Ms. Anderson, please save that feisty spirit for the bedroom. It has no place in strategy.
JB: Oh snap girl! You ain't gonna take that lying down, are you?
ME: She does for one guy, may as well do it for others.
EJ: Mikey, shut up, let the auspistice work his job.
EJ: Yes, Danny, it seems you've become the auspistice. Have fun. Come on, Mike, let's up this test now!
JB: Steph, you need to word your stuff better, man.
CA: Oh, let him. It's not like he'll ever actually get laid.
ST: How comedic. Especially considering how you both sleep in twin beds that have been nailed to the floor.
DH: Wait a minute, when did you...
ST: Besides, I am told by his various complaints and bull sessions or whatever it is called that you have yet to actually open up to him.
CA: I'm pretty sure that's illegal.
ST: Who knows. Did you check the laws for such clauses?
Here we go again....
CA: What do I look like? I don't put out on the first date!
ST: You've known him even longer than I have. It's no longer a first date.
DH:BOTH OF YOU SETTLE DOWN RIGHT THE FUCK NOW. I'M THE ONLY ONE ALLOWED TO DEAL OUT WICKED BURNS!
JB: So to break the ice with one of the sickest axes ever, the Conduit's smoother than a baby's bottom. Only 65% power, but it's better than nothing.
EJ: Another icebreaker for ya. Michael Evans has absolutely no muscle whatsoever. And yet he's lifting 25 kilograms with one arm. The trickster blood is a success.
EJ: Also, Steffie, I'll need you to give more blood. You are the blood player after all, so it should be expected.
ST: How wonderful.
DH: We're taking down Aiolos Virken, and that's final. I'll have no discussion over this here matter.
CA: Ugh. Fine. We'll just have to compensate with the bombs. Emmey, how're the bombs going?
EJ: The Hunter virus should give them some pause. It definitely won't stand up to them when they adapt, but the fear should work well.
EJ: Nothing nuclear, right?
DH: Absolutely the fuck not. Nothing permanent. I don't want to enter as lord of the universe to find little mutant suns crawling around.
ST: Alright, so we'll have to work on the actual details. We won't just find royalty sauntering around his garden or whatever it is.
ST: We'll have to get him when he's out with a retinue of bodyguards. Simply shoot him, then retreat.
CA: We could use the bombs to kill him at a later time.
ST: No way. In case you haven't noticed, this man is tougher than nails. An army of hunters wouldn't take him down. He is a prince of breath after all.
DH: Then we'll bring Jenny to the surface. She can turn them on each other one by one.
CA: I was thinking about that, and I had a plan.
CA: There will be both humans and trolls present.
CA: We have her probe everyone's mind and give them the impression that she's actively trying to take over their minds.
CA: We have her half-try on a troll and give the impression that trolls are immune. Divergence has ensured our methods of psychic attacks are different, so they'll be on their guard.
CA: She'll then take control of all the humans. They'll either be forced to restrain the humans, or kill them, and they might kill a few while they're at it.
CA: Then we run and cement the impression that trolls are immune to us.
CA: Then we take the best opportunity and control a troll to fatally wound Virken.
ST: I see nothing wrong with that for the moment. Then again, she has all the moments, so how would I know.
ST: I'll triangulate his location on March 28 and make plans around it. If anything goes wrong and we have to play a little speed chess, you'll be providing perfect backup from the ship.
CA: Wait. Why am I on the ship?
DH: Because as the hero of doom, I foresee doom if you are on the surface.
CA: Fine. I'll defer to you on that.
EJ: Oh crap. We have a problem! Get over here! NOW!
"So... Let me get this straight," Mr. Evans said. "You pick on a girl with leg-wheels, then use her sweet ride to doof up a guy who tried to protect her. That's reaaaaaaaal nice."
"What happened to violence being a last resort?" Jonathan asked rather loudly.
"Shut up," Stephen interjected. "I hardly think throwing someone off their wheelchair allows wordcraft."
Jon's friend Max stepped in, saying "Err, for the record, I was just watching till I stepped in for my friend here. This Steve guy here, he's an animal."
"You're just jealous cause he could kick both your asses at once." Emeline, the girl who had intervened on Stephen's side, intervened once more. "Like that fool over there is cause a girl one-shot KOed him."
"Bitch, you just caught me off-guard." Max got up at this point, looking directly at her. "I'd whup your sweet ass in a fair fight."
"Alright, shut up! All of you!" Mr. Evans said calmly. He never had to raise his voice. When he talked, people listened. "You're acting like I did when I was a kid. 'Cept, of course, without half the irony or rapping skills."
"Right. Alright, here's my almighty judgment. Jonathan, you're staying here. The rest of you are going to get to the principal's office. I'm afraid my coworker isn't as coolly lenient as I am.
Alright, Jonathan, this isn't the first time. This isn't the second time. This sure as hell ain't the third time. And sure as fuck ain't the fourth time, and I know your dad. He knows you know that word, so don't go crying off to him. I'm his bro."
Dave Evans walked in the bar, striding over to his usual place of drink. Others were waiting for him, as usual.
John was, of course, very enthusiastic. One might say disgustingly so.
"Hi Dave! Hey, Karkat, Terezi, Dave's here!" He yelled, even though they were sitting right across from him.
Karkat, having developed a healthy platonic hate with Dave, which humans call vitriolic, greeted him with the usual "Oi fuckass. How are you?"
Terezi had a similar relationship, where she would attempt to hit on Dave. Dave would then scoff it off, or dryly comment on how long she had been trying so. Of course, this was when Jade wasn't around. Their fights were things of legend.
"Hello, Dave. Good to smell you."
"Sup bros and sis. Alright, John, we got some school-type business. Involving your son."
John settled into a sadly all-too-familiar stance where he tilted his head back, then rested it on his right hand. "Oh no. What did he do this time?"
"Pushed over a girl in a wheelchair."
"Vriska needs to stop coaching him."
"Dammit, Egbert-- er, Albert, I told you. She's not good with kids. Even I have to admit she's trying, but she's just not quality lusus-- parent material."
Terezi nodded. "I agree. Her children are very competitive. I have good reason to believe she's causing a shift in opinion towards banning dodgeball again."
John, much to Terezi's and Dave's amusement, and to Karkat's eternal rage, waved his finger in Karkat's face. "Karkles, I won't tolerate you demeaning her. She's still my moirail. I'm working on it, alright? Trust me."
Mr. Karkles crouched further into his seat. "Fucking asshole Guardian. No, none of us had this universe in mind. We had a few hundred dozen lined up, and that nooksmeller suddenly picks this one out of some black hole of douchebaggery. " He crossed his arms and scrunched back into his red leathery seat. "Why the asshole felt we needed to be in this universe in particular I don't even know. All I know is I'm picking one where there are more trolls than humans. Maybe we'll go into that squiddle universe. They're cute and cuddly. You'd like that kind of stuff."
"As long as there's red."
"Anyway, while the trollnut gallery gets all their shit nice and loosened up like bitches after a good place-putting... John. You need to get your son under control. I don't care if he don't listen to a single damn sound that your vocal cords make, I don't care if he isn't even your real blood related son, I don't care if the sex changed spiderman wife lets him fire off a few rounds every day. Just get your son under control man. Mike had to run to me, not to mention Steve got banged up like an English near a Strider-bot."
"Good job, Fuckbert. You brought Roxy's kid into all this. Rose is going to flip her shit." He then stood and applauded. The others at the bar, being used to this troll's often hilarious yet always inexplicable actions, ignored it.
"Did someone just invoke my name?"
Rose appeared behind John, surprising even Dave, yet exacting exactly zero flinches. It was alright; her hubby had flinched enough for his bro as well.
"Mr. Varkel? Vantas? Whichever name you prefer. Did you just call for me?"
Karkat, having recovered from his momentary stupor, responded in a clearly obvious way everyone saw coming.
"The fuck, Lalonde? Lamperouge. Whatever. I don't give two shits. Yes, I called for you. I called for you to let you know that your friend here can't control his child."
Rose had that kind of "You poor, silly boy" look. "John, John. Raising a child is a very easily executed task. You nurture them, then you follow up on it, and let the child determine the flow of your upraising of the child."
John had his head on his hand again. Really, by this point, he had a permanent imprint on his face where his hand went. Two, actually. Second one was on his forehead.
"Anyway... His kid put a beatdown on some other kid, then your mom's kid got a similarly silvered platter of his own ass for trying to defend the second kid."
"Yes, that must be discussed, I suppose. But first, I am simply famished. We must have food. What do you feel like? I'm particular towards a nice pasta today."
Re: 216 Days (Dave, wrong story. Wait. How... Who brought you here?)
Alright. What the fuck. Explain yourself.
Oh come on! It's not like I actively wiped it out. I merely prevented its existence. Can't kill that which does not exist.
No, instead you replace it. I spent how long planning it out? Mapped out every star, selectively randomized locations, wrote a freaking algorithm for how the life of that universe breeds forth new life. And then you get rid of it. All of it.
Well, it's not like anyone will mind. Hussie does not frown upon fanfiction. Except the really shitty ones.
Like this one? Cause rewriting two universes to pay homage to a webcomic writer is always a good idea.
He conjures forth lugubrious enchanting texts forged by the blood and flesh of unicorn ninja-wizards. He weaves such poignant, apathetic, simply wonderfully colloquialistic tales of the fabric of reality, as woven by the spider pirate-poobahs of the void! He has already taken my soul, in exchange for absolutely nothing, as he has already freed the world from its inequities and sanity merely by existing without temporal or spatial links.
Oh no. I've lost you. You went full fandumb. You never go full fandumb. Also, I don't believe those words mean what you think they mean. Anyway, I'm done eating. But I will save you from this obsession. This I swear!
Time for a sweet rave party!
Hello? Where'd you go? I will find you, you know. Then we can make the lights blink and have a wicked sick party... I'll even change out of this dusty old thing just for the occasion! My legs need to get out anyway.
Hussie... wherever you are... I hope you realize the hell you've created for me.
Re: 216 Days (Dave, wrong story. Wait. How... Who brought you here?)
"Amazing. He beats you senseless, and you're still the first to check up on him when he goes down."
"Well, it was the blood talking, not him. Also, it helps that I'm stronger than him."
"But what about you? You're the one I got the blood from. If you go like he does, then I... never mind. I can't think about it."
"I'm the blood player. Hopefully that gives me a bit of leeway.
Besides, you're not the only one. I rather very much feel like hell too."
"Shouldn't I be carrying you?"
"I'm nearing 80 kilograms. I really doubt you'd be strong enough, even if you weren't thrown around for a bit."
"Heh. Good old Steffie.
You know I'd have taken your place if I could've."
"Even if you were, I wouldn't allow it. I'm the guardian archetype of the group, both as a person and as my aspect.
Therefore, it's my job to do so."
"Well still. You may be the guardian, but I'm the death seeker, obviously."
"I'm sorry, you? No. Nah. Never. That's not death seeking, that's having a martyr complex.
You need to not sacrifice yourself. That's my job."
"How hypocritical. You have it too."
"Better you than me, my dear."
"So why'd we stick the IVs through his shirt instead of taking it off first?"
"Don't look at me, ask Stephen. He's the one that did it."
"So do you think... they'll forgive me? For this?"
"Steph already has. Either that, or he didn't see it as something to forgive in the first place.
Emmey'll probably come around too. He has ways of making people come around to his thinking."
"Don't worry man. Stefan's genuine. Besides, he can't hold grudges. Literally. After around a week, he just gives up and forgets."
"Anyway, so what's the schedule, Danny? Dinner, then the mandatory crafting montage?"
"Crafting... montage? Is this that... what pumpkin thing?"
"Yeah it is. So yeah, we should make some new tools. There's plenty of media to combine. We got your cloned heavenly biologicals, demonic wings with brimstone, nanobot biomechanical armor, giant chainsaw people with extra organs, 15kg vampire guns with limitless ammo, and if worse comes to worst, the entire contents of every gun magazine, survival guide, and military periodical ever made."