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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
26/26 HP; 1/12 XP; 4 Armor
Murgo's company's shareholders are not happy that he's used company money to fund his little expedition, and appears to have gone insane and set himself up to be kingpin of the underwater city. Unfortunately, he has enough allies on the board that make it impossible to oust him. They can't protect him from an untimely accidental death though, and Murgo has no living kin, heirs or even a will. The man is deranged enough to think he's invincible, and his enemies were too impatient to wait for time to prove him wrong. That's why they hired Ramona. That's why anyone does.

The bounty killer stopped drinking outside of Sanctuary after Aqualantis. It was not easy to wean herself off it after all the poo poo that happened, but nothing's ever come easy to her anyway. She tunes out liquor-talk, on this ship and everywhere else, especially when it's used to try to establish rapport with her. "Word is you can hold your liquor!" "Hold your tongue." By her tone it was clear that if they didn't, she would, after cutting it out. Too bad then word wouldn't spread that you shouldn't talk to Ramona about alcohol. Her canteen is actually full of water now, pure and distilled. The closest she gets to drunkenness is the Martini Effect when she dives, or the medicine hidden in her suit that she's never needed to take.

The song of the bard though, is pushing it. Avoiding any quick moves that might set off her bodyguard, whose armor is either so thin as to be useless or is actually an android, like Bishop, she walks up to Serenity, waits for a pause in the song, when her hand leaves the strings. At that moment Ramona takes the harp and throws it overboard. "Stop." Then, without looking, she fires her grappler at the instrument and yanks it back before it hits the water or side of the boat. "You'll summon a kraken." She hands it back.

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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 4 Armor
"Good."

Realizing she's being terse, and that might spook the crew as much as the bard had annoyed them, she too tries defuse the tension with a joke. "Yes, I am paid by the word." She sits, and finds herself impatiently tapping her fingers to the beat of the song. Magic. Hmph. It'd better not gently caress up her motions in combat.

Aid Serenity: 2d6 3

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 4 Armor
The bounty killer puts her helmet on and mutters before turning on the radio, "A ship that needs no wind. We should trade up."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 4 Armor
"No, stay here: within minimum range of the line, or you get hooked. Also let me magnetize your big leg-shaver: ghosts sense our E-fields. Like abelhas." Bees. Well, ghosts were more like the flowers, actually slowly losing the charge the living bees leave on them before they're done eating all the candy, and wishing they'd come back, hating them for never losing their charge... unless they die. People were the bees, and magnetized weapons bent the ghost's fading fields and disrupted them. This was common knowledge among exterminators.

Point is, a mundane sword would be useless. Just like Juan's air gun or bass drum or whatever the hell it was that he wasn't even aiming at the immediate threat. Some bodyguard he was.

The ladies stay back to back and start brandishing their weapons, crackling electric whip and blue lightning letter opener, trying to stave off the ball of moaning ghosts. "You better know your steps, diva."

Defend plus double aid: 2d6+4 9

Gonna deal 5 messy forceful damage to every ghost in the ball if they get in range of the Blades of Chaos.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
24/26 HP; 3/11 XP; 4 Armor
You’re never caught by surprise. When an enemy would get the drop on you, you get to act first instead.

The rising wave of ghosts crashes on Ramona first, since she was the lead dancer. Hit through the suit, what bullshit these spirits were. She'd have to invest in some kind of soul armor. Chicken soup probably wouldn't do it.

On the other hand, magical musical healing went through armor too. The first good new so far, and she mutters as much into her helmet, "Hactenus re primam bonam fio," mic muted. The bard probably only sang that dead language anyway. So, she wanted to be saved... fine.

Ramona grabs the bard by the back of the pants before the spirits start chewing on her, and hurls her up onto the mast. No ghosts up there. No crow's nest either, because who needed to see things coming anyway? Point is it'd buy her some time to do whatever she does out of harms way for a while.

So she's gonna 'shoot first' to throw the bard out of the damage before she takes the damage. Ramona will take the damage and healing.

Next, to draw the rest of them away. They like Juan's overdesigned, long-named butterknife, do they? Then it just had to be over there, far away. She uses the inertia from throwing Serenity up the mast to rotate herself and somersault jump up the same mast. Her eyes narrow at the sword, then she fires her wrist-mounted grappler in an arc above the slapfighting over the stupid thing, and kicks off the mast, reeling herself in firing her blaster just to clear her way. Killing all the ghosts would make them go after her, out of self preservation. She wants them to just be afraid to approach her, such that they'd rather take a free meal. The free meal that would belong to Ramona soon.

When she approaches the sword, it's about to be brought down on Juan's head while he distracts the thief. She slows her grapple-reel, and the change in acceleration makes her legs rise behind her, like a face-down trapeze artist at the peak of a swing. It also makes her arm and hand dip, such that she can reach out, grab the sword, then pull into another quickly spinning somersault and land. She rises sword first, waves it around to get everything's attention, then tosses it into the drink.

Of course, just like with the harp, she shoots the uncharged grappler after it as well.

DD Str shooting through the ghosts: 2d6+2 6
okay jumping through a ball of ghosts might hurt a little.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 23, 2016 around 18:54

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
24/26 HP; 3/11 XP; 4 Armor
Dammit, none of the ghosts were taking the bait, and the sword was somehow ungraspable--of course! The weapon had been drained of its thingness. It was a nigh empty flower now, holding barely a charge, and the skeleton ghost was an engorged bee, as charged as any other at least for the time being. Her grappler had no soul, nor was it charged with electricity--that would have probably destroyed the sword even if it had just been a sword--so it couldn't interact with the fading shell of a weapon. Ramona knew what she had to do now--first, get the sword back, with her own hand. That meant jumping after it.

On the quick couple steps back to make room to get a running start, she whips out her telescoping harpoon, magnetizes it, and throws it such that it sticks vertically across the ship side of the three guard rails. Her loadout was heavy, and reeling herself in was likely to go poorly if she didn't distribute that weight among all them more or less evenly. That spear, of course, had better tensile strength than any of the vertical bars linking the rails. Then she leaps after the sword fires her grappler back at the harpoon, grabs the butterknife again, and reels herself back to the hull of the ship feet first, like a rappeler. Rather than run straight up the ship's side and have to halt her momentum, instead she runs once to the side, then faster to the other, like a pendulum--or a windshield wiper cutting through skeleton-raindrops with an energy cannon. When she's about to peak her second wall run, she reels in hard. The conservation of angular momentum makes her fly by the side of the ship, grinding atop the guard rails and shooting sparks.

Serenity is now facing the green skeleton alone, Juan having decided to nap on the job. What a disgrace. At least her target is distracted again. She lightly charges Juan's weapon to ensure it at least can do his job, disengages her grappler, and plunges the sword--appetite piqued but doubtlessly ravenous for its old soul--into the green ghost that stole it. "Suck it dry," she growls, maybe to her victim, maybe to her weapon, maybe both.

DD strength (blast through all the skellingtons): 2d6+2 9
Maybe that should be a forceful Hack and Slash now that I think of it, assuming the skeletons can fight back while climbing. Otherwise I think I got it right, because either way they could slow Ramona's momentum and not give her the flying backstab on Captain Kermit.
damage of windshield wiping (forceful, messy, probably against a lot of skeletons): 1d10+1 7
I really hope that's enough to oneshot them all.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2016 around 17:44

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
17/26 HP; 4/11 XP; 4 Armor
"Oh, no you don't," thinks Ramona, gripping the sword hard and hefting the skeleton back over the guardrails. Juan is coming her way like an angry toddler helicoptering his arms and closing his eyes, so she slides away making more cinematic sparks. What the hell are these rails made of anyway?

Her kryptonite, music, starts playing while she's preparing to beat the poo poo out of the ghost skeleton, and sure enough she starts punching him in the face with her blaster arm to the beat.

Hack and Slash; messy forceful damage; Aid Serenity: 2d6+2 4 1d10+1 2 2d6 11

It's loving her violence up a lot--she could be hitting him so fast he starts spinning around on the sword, then she'd shoot all his limbs off with a lathe knife made of lasers--and that pisses her off. This was a life and death situation, not a concert. She was hired to kill people, not to jazz them up.

Rolled natural ones on every die except to aid, where almost got boxcars.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

read last

Ramona
17/26 HP; 4/11 XP; 4 Armor
The bountykiller sees the portal open and sees Tootsie on the other side holding that telltale unstable star. She looks through it at them with a "come on, really?" look on her face that's obscured completely by her visor the explosive is shoved through the immediately closed portal. Luckily, the star seems to be collapsing without the normal explosion, like a dud mine. But Ramona loves death, so she stops trying to punch the ghost, yanks the sword out, and aims for the star instead.
Aid Tootsie: 2d6+2 8
This was a crazy idea. She should have shot Tootsie through the portal before the thing was pushed through and let them reap what they sowed. But she has one last trick up her sleeve. If she survives the explosion and her enemy doesn't, that's victory. All she had to do that was take a defensive stance and hope for the best.
dd con: 2d6+2 7

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
19/26 HP; 4/11 XP; 3 Armor
really, a ddcon 7 makes me shoot myself in the face +3 which just so happens to be my armor? whatever.

bullshit shooting myself in the face damage: 1d10+4 11

The powersuit rolls into a loose somersault to avoid limb or head trauma, and crashes through the flimsy guard rails in a backwards somersault. Ramona doesn't feel a thing, because she's biting a stopper and sipping on her old friend, hard alcohol. She could have stayed together with this nectar of the gods, with the predictable high of oblivion, forgetting all the horrors she had seen, narrowly escaped, and inflicted on her many, many enemies, who wanted nothing more than to kill her very slowly; and the predictable pain of hangover. Instead she got addicted to the harder drug of constant adrenaline, and body highs from intense training, and she built thicker armor to make up for her thinning sense of self preservation. She lets herself sink instead of turning on her pressure modulator and air jets. Just stay curled up in the ball for another second. Ignore the skeletons...

She needed to get out of the water now. The outer shell of the suit had been compromised, but even if the first layer filled with water,the pressure modulator could still work in the sealed, innermost cavity of the suit. The one she was in. This obviously would be a terrible idea if she stayed in it, unless she liked her lungs rupturing. She would leave it behind, track it by radio and summon it back to her later. It'd be safer in the water than on the ship, which was probably hosed because nothing she did mattered until it went wrong. Take another drink.

She grapples the side of the ship, and reels herself onto the side of the hull, above the water line. From there, the armor opens and she slips out, taking along the suit's detachable forearms, which hold the grappler and power fist in one, gun in the other. The rest of the suit reseals its inner layer and falls into the sea, radioing her its position and staying safely near until it positively identifies her. If any skeleton is stupid enough to approach her while she climbs the side of the ship one-handed, with magnetic fields and clawed feet helping out, she shoots them point blank with barely a look. It doesn't matter if it destroys them, it blows them away and probably apart. While she's at it, she shoots the ghost ship too.

Hack and Slash; messy forceful damage: 2d6+2 12 1d10+1 2
1/2 healing potion, scale underarmor (2 armor, 3wt, clumsy), sniper rifle and ammo stay in the power armor.
9/14 Load

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Breathe? How can she breathe when Jaime's throat is crushed? The three-fingered bruise makes the identity of the attacker obvious: Juan, who was clearly out of control. At least the last android was harmless enough... she was reconsidering how useful this group was compared to the dead or missing one before.

She takes Juan's sword and slices off the valve opening of her empty alcohol bladder-pouch, then slices Jaime's throat below the bruise and inserts it, pointing lungward. Then she storms up to Juan, cold cocks him--powerfist not engaged, since he wasn't her property to destroy--and throws the blasted sword point down into the floor at his feet, where it sticks straight up, wobbling from the force. "Sword, sanity, promises, job: learn to keep them or you aren't worth keeping." Next is Serenity, whose hand she takes in hers, and leaves an invoice in, "My without-notice bodyguarding fee, and Jaime's disability--I suggest you take it out of whatever you're paying Juan. 90 days to pay, because I like you: we humans need to stick together or the rest of these assholes will loving kill us."

Tootsie is last, "Do that again, and I'm shooting you through the portal, so you can deal with the lit-fuse bomb you would drop in my lap." Then she follows the shouts down below decks. "Hurry up and help me send the rest of those ghosts to hell where they belong, they are working together--if you can comprehend that--to manifest their ship."

She takes point, signaling people to slice the pie and takedown each room and hallway, and keeping her eyes down the sights of her gun.

Defend: 2d6+2 6

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2016 around 01:44

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona walks in the engine room looking down her sights, signaling for everyone to stay far back until she gave the signal. As soon as she's out of line of sight and earshot of anyone else she holsters her gun and starts cutting deals.

"All right ghosts, if you are as smart as I hear, and can get inside the engines without taking them apart, you are more useful than the drunk failures whose fault it is that we are so becalmed. With the years of experience you have running your own ship, searching for scraps, I would like to offer you all a job: the pay is you can keep what I kill or some of what I capture. Bodies will fuel this ship, at worst I will need to collect a head, hand, or ear afterwards. If you've any concern for how steady your pay will be, ask yourselves if you've ever dined on someone who was sharkbait or trapped aboard a sinking ship cursing the name Ramona, 'slave bitch' 'the Rhythm' or Captain Sahagún: those are all referring to me. You could be those sharks, with many sinking ships worth of souls: all you need to do is fix and run my engines. As a bonus, if you want to experience shore leave again, I also have gold: more than any of the other deadbeats you've boarded. I will also have much more after my mission in Aqualantis is complete. Yes, that one, with all the half dead mutants who still want to kill me, who I will have to kill. Think it over."

When you put out word that you’re looking to hire help, roll:
+1 if you make it known that your pay is generous
+1 if you make it known what you’re setting out to do
+1 if you make it known that they’ll get a share of whatever you find
+1 if you have a useful reputation around these parts

recruit: 2d6+4 10

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 4, 2016 around 06:48

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
She sighs her silent as the bodyguard shows up to "save" her. Oh-one, more like oh-for-five if her count of his gently caress ups were right. Her hand goes to her holstered gun, and turns it all the way down. Thing will still kick, but that's it. While the poltergeists' projectiles fly even right by her head at the robot at the door, she turns around and draws on Juan, giving him a "don't worry" wink.

Then she shoots him back out the door, reholsters, and yells over her shoulder, "Back to work: you are my crew now, while I am here I will deal with threats. If I need you to attack I will order you! This is your warning, let it be known that I know what I want, and I am not impressed by sycophants and flatterers that attempt to read my mind and do what they think I want before I tell them."

Did she want to drink all the liquor in the bar? Yes. Did she want mister smooth to buy her a drink? gently caress no. Did she want the ghosts to make it so Serenity had to either leave Juan in the cargo hold or tote him around in a backpack? Of course. But he was Serenity's crew, and she was Ramona's. So attacking him without her orders was crew attacking crew. She wouldn't stand for that.

Before the next idiot she might not want to shoot burst through the door, she leaves and closes it behind her. Hauls Juan back up--by the throat, because robots didn't need to breathe or feel pain so whatever--sweeps his shoulder once for invisible dust, then gets back above deck. Clavo and Trash are dealing with the wounded, good for them, didn't need her. She uses the time to think up a plan by which she'd fill some coffins with garbage for "burial at sea" for the crew who died, then feed them to the ghosts before they got cold. Maybe even the terminal too. Good a way to go as any.

Hirelings do what you tell them to, so long as it isn’t obviously dangerous, degrading, or stupid, and their cost is met.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2016 around 09:44

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Some of the ghosts rise up behind Ramona to eat her, not taking her offer. She has pretended not to know until they follow her out of the engine room, where firing a gun would be stupid. As far as she knows, Juan couldn't see them, so he wouldn't give her plan away. They're right behind her.

After politely brushing the android's shoulder off with her left hand, face to face, she grabs his shoulder and right wrist, yanks downward and pulls him toward her, forcing his head to duck under her left elbow as she turns him 360 degrees. The dance move ends with Juan in front of her and in a headlock, with both of them facing the ghosts. In the meantime Ramona's released his right wrist to draw her pistol and aim it sideways over his right shoulder. She fires a shot for every ghost, sweeping the gun from right to left and ending with it under Juan's chin. The old "use a guy as a human shield then cut his throat" maneuver. Except without the last part.

Ghosts all destroyed, she brushes off his right shoulder with her headlock hand and lets him go. "Alright, alright, maybe you can bodyguard, Owen."

HnS +1 for defense: 2d6+3 13
dmg: 1d10+1 11

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona cracks her knuckles and looks down on the shorter man, "You threaten my life because I hired engineers who can actually do their jobs? I also hired the bard, alien, and lantern, also my crew, the last of which I see is busy saving your crew, the rest up above fighting the enemy who sent them to the infirmary in the first place. You raised no such nonsense about mutiny when I brought them aboard, and in case you've forgotten, I was never your crew, I hired you.

"Tell you what, If you want to throw down--use that butterknife and whatever pea shooter is in your pocket--come up to the main deck with me and join that fight. Otherwise, tend to your men and stay out of my way. If you threaten me again, let alone try to kill me, your ship's as good as mine. If I wanted another one, I'd buy it."

If he takes a shot I'll Shoot First with my grappler.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
She makes a cursory effort to save the Captain, trying to bind the bot's arms to his side with her uncharged grappler, but her heart really isn't in it. A year or so ago she would have been doing the same thing he was--before she gave a poo poo about 'people power' and took every threat deadly serious. At worst, any onlookers would know she tried, at best, the Captain would owe her his life and listen to the reason in her words, because she wisely had not included the android in her aforementioned crew. She never would. drat thing didn't follow orders, and obviously had his own agenda, secret and not-so-secret.

Interfere: 2d6 9
Have an XP on me.

I'm probably gonna get shot.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2016 around 18:43

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
She tunes out the crying and weak-willed, and this man is no exception. He's obviously never been rich enough to buy enemies into friends, or likely even interesting enough to have enemies worth buying. Not to mention, the ghosts she hired seemed to be pretty goofy compared to the ones that tried to jump her--they were either the most cunning ones or the least violent. If they were the former, she'd just have to kill them later.

Without a word, especially to Juan, she goes back above decks. Heard an explosion, wanted to see what it was.

"...gently caress." is how she starts, then she notices an upright snow angel. Serenity, probably not too far away from extreme frostbite. "Don't move or speak until that ice is melted!" is the command near the frozen and likely closed ear, but there's a beat before an idea of how to make that happen arrives "--Ah!"

Ramona presses a series of buttons hidden under her forearm sleeve, then runes to the side of the boat, fires the grappler into the water and squats, clasping her hands together for more leverage. She exhales and growls a little, muscles even quaking a bit, then a splash is heard and she pivots, hauling her armor out of the sea. Its chest opens and the bard is carefully placed inside the Ramona-sized cavity. "Don't drink my liquor!" is the last warning before the suit closes and begins melting all the ice off.

It's 2 armor and clumsy: -1 ongoing while using it. Rack up those experience points I guess. There's a sniper rifle and 3 ammo in there, I have the other weapons and shield.

Jaime was just standing around worrying about the elf the whole time, so Ramona gives him something useful to do--"Go to the engine room and yell at them to...reverse and turn the ship...30 degrees!" That should keep it from overlapping with the ice ship completely.

She breaks the silence with Juan, too. "You ignore the cold, so magnetize yourself--or I will do it--get on that ship and deal with it." So much for stealing that ship herself. It'd have been too much trouble anyway. Maybe if she came back as a ghost she'd pay it another visit.

No time for that though, she needed to make sure the deck was clear of foes, and that no other bullshit enemies were hiding. Or showing up--Serenity had called that kraken earlier. She pulls her hood over her head to protect herself from frostbite, and while poking snow piles with her recovered spear and shooting experimentally at the ghost ship and such, she grins. She hadn't thought of it at the time, but she had pretty much actually followed the Captain's entreaty that she had only half listened to. Get Juan off his ship.

DR: 2d6+1 7

What is about to happen?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
"Moments pass, haha that's a good one," thinks Ramona to herself, she'll always shoot first in a situation like this. She takes off at a sprint towards Serenity, then slides to a stop, barks out a "Trade," and gives the elf her spear--they liked those kind of foresty weapons, right?--and takes the sniper rifle in return, eyes fixed on the sky. For the instant they're both holding the same weapon, she notices her suit's hands are trembling. There's no way that's a hardware issue, so Ramona lets out a silent sigh and gives the gloved hands her approximation of a "comforting" squeeze, and mutters, "You can help in another way--stay still."

She moves herself such that the suit of armor was between her and the anomaly, and rests the barrel of the long rifle on Serenity's shoulder and draws a bead on it. She exhales out, "Don't breathe..." does the same, and takes the shot.

Volley w/ DR; damage: 2d6+2 14 1d10 4

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
She recoils at the soft touch, the soft words.

They raised the dead, took her home like a slave catcher in the guise of a childhood friend, unlocked the door that sealed her memories of that naive young girl, sharing her dream of finding treasure deep in the sea, paying her way to freedom, then paving the road for her family, friends, and people to follow her.

She had nearly drowned to pull that accursed black pearl from the ocean floor, worth more than enough to be the first slave to personally buy her freedom. But when others caught wind of her treasure, she found an and all of them would rather trample her to death than let her be the first in line.

That stupid girl died in one of those knife fights with the slave catchers, the alley men, the merchant's muscle, or the field-slaves after the announcement that whoever killed her would live easy, in the house. The bloodbath blurred together like the words of a diary soaked in scotch--but it didn't matter. Whenever it had actually happened, the stab that miraculously missed all her organs still stopped her heart. Made her who she is today. She knew whenever it beat for anyone else, it would only get stabbed again. That was her eternally recurring and ever prophetic nightmare...

She breaks from her reverie and forms a fist. A life in her hands? There was only one thing her hands could do with a life. She looks into the opaque visor and whispers, "Don't ever say that again..."

Good. That's the end of that. But then, while she's turning aside, she mutters without thought, "The only life I want is one time can't cut short, or fray it enough that someone else can. Whoever offers me that will live to pay up, to say the least--"

Ramona stops herself again. drat bard, distracting her, like with the music before. They were lucky they weren't under attack. She shakes her head, and tries to refocus, but can't. Her mind races, imagining a long, comfortable life with the elf--elves, having outlived all her enemies and having no one left to fear. But these are not her thoughts, or dreams. Are they? She's back in Aqualantis--that apartment building, that stun gun knocked her out, having that horrible, lucid dream about lying on that operating table all over again. She tries to take control of this new dream, reaching for her gun or knife or flask of hard alcohol, but she grasps only air, or the petals of a flower, or a soft hand. Why? Had she been ensorcelled? Possessed?

She chokes on her breath, She needs her medicine! But she left it in the suit.

What do you wish I would do? Stop.
How can I get you to [make me live as long as an elf]?

Unlike your dearly departed. PS Ramona is some kind of medium or has crazy hallucinations knocked loose from being electrocuted or something. That part in the last game was weird, I'm bringing it back.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2016 around 21:58

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
She shakes her head harder and finally Serenity isn't wearing the face of her childhood friend anymore. The one who used life-talk and handholding to get within knife range, then tried to steal her pearl. Exhale. No, the elf is just another boss, giving her the same old spiel--inevitable suffering, risk of death, having to ignore some flaw or another of theirs, and the final, cliche addendum: "oh, and smile for me lady." Nothing put her in the mood for that like the usual origin of those words: out of fat mouths with hairy, around the cheap cigar, past the rotting teeth, through the raspy, goitrous throat.

Just because this time the words came from a pretty place this time didn't mean Ramona's refusal to play that game, to "pretty up." She narrows her eyes, stops inhaling through her nose, and flatly states, "I am smiling."

All the lights in her vision bloom and this makes her eyes water: the spirit or mental illness is aggravated by her response. "--Fine, payment on delivery. I'll smile when I have something to smile about." It's an empty promise: even the greatest rewards hadn't provided any catharsis or euphoria. Not the massive payout she got from the last mission, nor all the things she bought with it. They were no different from the pearl from before, once she found out what a burden it really was.

Nausea and a massive headache attack her--the old gut-to-temple combo--and Ramona figures that whatever curse or evil spirit was torturing her, she'd need to figure out how to authentically convey "joy" to turn the tables on it.

Her first thought is that since these unbidden traumatic memories of her past were flowing so freely, perhaps she could pluck a good one out of the stream. Like the bear with the salmon. It doesn't work. Whenever she catches one, it's emotionally nourishing like the dry skeleton bones that litter the deck. She hadn't been feeding her fish, and why would she when they were in such toxic waters.

Next, she tries to imagine alcohol, but it's just a painkiller and antiseptic. Nothing lives in those peaceful pools but oblivion, which she used to like, but no more. Now it was a vice she had been successfully shaking until today.

That leaves only one more route--stealing a happy memory from whatever witch or spirit she was channeling this time. Or just hallucinate one, if she was just going insane from being electrocuted so many times. Point was, there could be treasure in unknown waters.

Maybe that's what that bitch really wanted: to show her the kind of pain she had in store. Not the physical kind Ramona that powered through and turned back on whatever dished it out, the kind that came from within, and which she could only hope to contain and keep herself distracted from. Until now.

DD wis (insanity navigation): 2d6+1 8
Gonna blow through dead husbando memories for something happy. And go insane.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
The best "happy" memory she can find is when the spirit died, peacefully and without regrets, secure that he had made a difference and lived on in peoples' hearts and--what trash! Ramona interrupts the visions with a snort. Of course it was a white knight, a man's, death. Truth, Justice, Equality of all men under God, and the heaping helping of blissful ignorance necessary to choke down all the Faith necessary to sustain such delusions. She wasn't even jealous of the charmed life, it was just a joke to her. If she would have lived her life just making the most of what path was laid before her like him, she'd still be under the watchful eye and heavy hand of a whip-wielding taskmaster. What a waste of her time this trial was. A foolish attempt to dissuade her from climbing higher, demanding more than pittance was offered to one of her station.

Yes, this specter had tipped his hand by switching the "growing old" vision from just with Serenity to with all the elves. Trying to convince Ramona her own life wasn't worth living, let alone extending, like a coward...no, what he really thought was that there was nothing worth risking the elf's life. What a hypocrite. If the elf he loved so much wanted to go through with it, that was that. And Ramona's life was as good a reason as any. They were both women, equals.

Some white knight he turned out to be, more like a martyr-tyrant with no real experience with servitude towards a real person. Not just those airy ideals. This challenge to the possessing spirit begins to clear her head, and she senses an opening.

"You have no power over me, or anyone. You're dead, you don't matter anymore!" she spits, blinking away the saltwater clouding her vision. This is what banishes it back to heaven or hell or, most likely, oblivion.

Just in time for Tootsie to hose everyone again. It's not an armor-rending explosion that punts her off the deck, but this is a bad time. "Another blowhard from another dimension trying to blind me and spouting self-absorbed nonsense..." she hisses, storming over to the stinking gray blob that marked the location of the rotten albatross--and maybe the alien, who cares--making a fist so tight that the mechanical gauntlet quakes with potential energy. Using her free hand as her guide, she reaches for feathers. As soon as she feels them she shuffles in and throws an uppercut fit to send the vermin back into the sky whence it came. When it connects, she even lets herself let out a loud, exasperated "Yah!"

Hack and Slash; messy forceful falcon punch: 2d6+2 13 1d10+1 7
forgot to add in the -1 fwd but it wouldn't have mattered

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2016 around 04:39

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona wipes a viscera-covered glove off on her pants, takes another look and removes the glove entirely, then opens the armor back up and helps Serenity out. Bird guts wouldn't age well in the fancy alloy cask, and the only air freshener in there was her liquor, so she decides to get clean. She jokes, "Ugh, smells like wet elf in here..." then jumps into the sea to rinse off, and look at the ghost ship from another perspective. Clear her head from the rage at all the morons that surrounded her too.

There lie the cryo cannons, unmanned and ripe for the taking. Before the ships start separating she grapples back on deck, kicks away any railing if it's still in the way, and shoots the grappler down to disarm the enemy ship. It bangs against the side of the Harpy, then she starts yanking it up to her, eyes shining with avarice, mind racing with all the possibilities that'd open from adapting the magic or technology into her weapons. The gun, specifically. Ice fist and ice whip probably wouldn't be worth the effort.

The first thing she does with it is point it at the wheelhouse and whistle to Captain Overpriced. "What are you up to in there? You look pretty shaken up, like you could use some time alone in your quarters."

Parley: 2d6+2 13

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 1, 2016 around 01:33

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
19/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona wrings out her hair, "Well enough. Clean."

Then she puts it back in its lazy rear end one-handed ponytail, while walking back and into her suit, "What's that song? Sounds familiar. Again? Or if there's more... you know I'll make the most of the healing."

Actually, keeping a free hand while she deals with the only gold that she wishes she didn't have was an old and necessary habit. Might need to defend herself, trigger the ice cannon. You never know until you have very little time to act.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2016 around 21:59

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
"Harsh." Ramona comments about being told she obviously doesn't care about her appearance or want anyone to help her with it. But it's true, the second part. She'd never let anyone touch her head, can't let your guard down like that. "You should act like hair you've taken care of, then." That was pretty harsh too. You don't do that to someone who can heal you in the future. Ramona tries to apply an humor ointment for the burn. "I need it long for my senses to stay sharp, haven't you heard the stories?"

She lowers her voice and tells her a secret though, in case that wasn't enough to keep the bard off her back, "Actually it's my lizard tail. An extension." Yeah she does like looking good, to herself.

As in a wig that comes off relatively easily.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
"Don't bother--trying to learn how to play this instrument, read my notes, know my songs." says Ramona, referring to herself as the finely tuned instrument that she was. It's not that the wall comes back up, because it's never really down. She responds without turning her head before she takes her first step and reaches her first arm into the open suit. "Also I, ah, don't care what you want me to do--whether it's right, and I do it, or not. You want me to care, I have more invoices."

Getting into the armor is like putting on a jacket and mounting a horse, literally and figuratively, so when Ramona finishes getting inside, she's turned back around, looking down at Serenity from even higher than normal. Then she's sealed away. The liquor is untouched, at least, but it still smells like wet elf. No good deed goes unpunished. drat bards, had a reputation for theft, taste, betrayal, and lechery. The scent of the last one didn't belong anywhere near her, let alone in her suit.

Why couldn't she ever run into someone competent and confident, who knew the right thing to do, said they were gonna do it--didn't ask anyone--did it, and survived? Not by relying on someone else to save her, like a damsel in distress, either. Was that so hard that only she could manage it? Everyone else either hit their limit, or proved that they had only gotten lucky before--until they met her.

That was reminds her: there was a story about shooting albatrosses, but she had just done it anyway. She not superstitious, and even if she were, it was already dead and she was already wreathed in them anyway. It was just, no one else could adjust to being cursed like she could, having had a lifetime to adjust to the weight of the bad luck and the either spiritual attunement or mental illness. Whoever else got too close got drawn in and crushed. It'd gotten to the point where Ramona almost smiled when it happened. Like a running gag.

But right now, she's not smiling. "Fix my hair, bah." she mutters into the suit, unaware the mic was still on, because its 'on' light had gone out. "Like I want another Knife living up to her name." That was the one who broke her heart, figuratively and nearly literally, trying to steal her pearl. Knife could keep up with her back then, and maybe they would have found the pearl together if she'd made it to the beach that week. But instead she'd probably been dallying with the boys, or girls, settling for what scraps she might enjoy even living like a slave, instead of rolling the dice and either drowning or just maybe finding something that'd buy her freedom.

Diagnostics look good. Still a little compromised from that explosion but it was enough to deal with whatever the crazy captain could throw at her if it came to that.

tl;dr be like Ramona. The easier route, that she's not as aware of, is happen to be saved by her a lot. From anything, internal or external. Eventually she has to come up with a non-monetary, non "you're my crew for now" reason for it. Basically the Ben Franklin effect/cognitive dissonance.

My question: what do you really desire? Ramona has something that you must want, because that's the only reason anyone tries to be her friend, or offers her eternal life.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2016 around 04:41

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
"Domhnall and the rest of the crew are unconscious, dying or dead down there, former thanks to the drat orc," she murmurs, eyes fixed on the captain. As soon as Price looks away from her she raises her gun and shoots him in the head.

It was the only play to make: the man had proven himself more and more psychologically unfit to command since the attack, and there was no way he really just wanted to talk. Also, the "you won't last an hour without me" bullshit was a threat, which she had warned him about. There were a thousand ways he could have put that better, but he put it the way that tipped his hand.

The elf looks upset about it though, as if Ramona should have waited until the last loving second before defending herself. But who the gently caress cared what she--dammit, she was the healer. And she might not have been kidding about that eternal life thing, right..? No way, she must have been loving with her, like everyone always was when they made big promises like that, and when they said poo poo like "oh let me touch your head, and by the way my fingers can hit all the high notes, hair flip." All just attempts to get under her skin, unbalance her. Obviously.

"Man was unfit to command, and definitely going to try to kill me. And you, if we came together." She starts walking to the side of the boat where she heard the zombie albatross get sucked under the water.

"Listen, he's been loving with something in his pocket since this bullshit started, and threatened me and Juan while his hand was in there. Now whatever was in there, it's gone. Zoomed in and checked now that I'm back in the suit . Now, since it's gone missing he gets crazier eyes and wants to disarm me and denude me and lure me into his quarters. Right where he could have a weapon of his own? Trap.

"Boat's easy to steer without them anyway. Trash could do it. Now help me over here, I have another bad feeling." She touches her polarized visor, which turns on a spotlight, and crouches, scanning the area.
Discern Realities: 2d6+1 12
What is about to happen?
What should I be on the lookout for?
What here is not what it appears to be?

ps: two links.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona turns her hearing down a little so she can concentrate on what she's scanning. When the sword's thrown away and the ineffectual hitting starts, she continues to scan while grappling the elf's scabbard and pressing it into its owner's hands, also a way of pushing her back. She says something in Elvish, then shifts back to Common, "You should hang on to this--watch your back, whatever happens." It's a callback to what the drat bard had said to her earlier, back before apparently three hundred years of innocence had to come to an end. Made sense though. Lot of lucky people lived long, lucky lives, where the worst things that happened were inconveniences, setbacks, predictable failures, embarrassments. That was what it was like to start out with a giant family of immortals and to take a profession all about traveling the world, meeting people and trading songs. The currency of love. No matter where you ended up, you could just sing for your supper. Not everyone had it so safe.

The epithets get louder, so Ramona turns up her amp so her steely voice can stand up to the bard's ability to project her profanity. She speaks Elvish, in the hopes that it'd matter. "You didn't see everything I did. You wouldn't be doing what you're doing if you really thought I just shoot randomly at anything that annoys me, defies me. But I can't afford to rely on my reflexes to keep evr--me alive. I have to use my brain, evaluate the risks. I can't afford to place infinite value on just anyone's life. I have to save that for people who matter."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
gently caress you and your played out past-swap, guilt-absolving redemption fantasy, Ramona thinks to herself, not wanting to chance it against the elf's hearing or her mic toggle with the faulty light. It's a good thing the lights hide her sneering face.

The inane apology, and "if only it had been me" were never more than empty words. Slaves and freewomen heard them time and time again from the privileged ignoramus attempting a grand gesture of sympathy. All they really wanted to do was ease their guilty conscience, not help you, not even listen to you. Listening hurt them, and their present and future pain was more important than yours. So all you get is them wishing the impossible, whose subtext wasn't even "I love you and am ashamed that the world, my people and I failed you," it was "I hate what you have become as a result of the suffering you survived and adapted to, I could have recovered into a real, whole person, dealt with it better." Only a doormat thanked them for such a "gift."

Not Ramona, she just continues her scan, back to the bard, comments on the unsolicited lecture, and answers the implied question: "I already know all that poo poo. But I'll tell you what happened to me: I grew up!"

Interfere: 2d6 8
feel my pain, feel it!

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 3 Armor
It's less than surprising that drat pearl shows itself again like it always did, or that a nearby scavenger immediately scooped out the captain's spirit she severed from his body, so it might manifest itself like all the other ones on the ghost ship had done. And just like all the ghosts that talked at her when she lost focus, or through her radio, this one tries to gently caress with her, and not even in an original way this time. They always "fought it," that was barely true at best, considering how suddenly the would lose to it and decide to try to kill her. Oh, he had a wife? So what. Just meant getting home to her again was the excuse he used to steel himself to take on Ramona.

Ah well, it was just a stupid kid, or taking that form at least. Can't expect something like that to know that Ramona isn't manipulated by anything that mutable, and doesn't pity her enemies no matter how sad their eulogies were.

She turns on the machete and slices the manifestation in two, dispersing it and its late meal. She owed it nothing, but considered setting it free a gift, perhaps in return for the annoying thing's taking care of the captain's ghost before it started haunting her. As for him, at least the wire around his blade is made out of some special metal, so it goes into a compartment in the suit. It'd outlive him, and she'd make it better than it was. The crappy battery, ugly wires--pretty much all the rest of it is garbage, like the captain's body that the ghost picked clean. They go into the sea together, fittingly. She'll tell crew that a zombie albatross carried him off and she shot it down.

The pearl goes into another compartment, in case it was tricking people with that flickering form--that coin form. Maybe that's why even if she didn't try to get rid of it--kept it in a purse or whatever like she'd been doing--it'd still switch places. Be in a pocket instead of the purse. Be stuck in her boot or fall out of her hair. Made sense, those things had been happening more since she hosed it by staying on an island by herself, far away from anyone else. It must have started teleporting around, causing mischief. To punish her for trying to be clever. Or maybe there were more of them, and when they met, the bigger one ate the smaller one--like everything worked in the ocean.

From the bridge, she just focuses on the fog and the ghost ship drifting away.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 5/11 XP; 2 Armor
drat, the ships weren't diverging as smoothly as she predicted. The ghost ship was trying to stay in whatever contact it could for as long as it could, so right now they were forming a perfect cross. Ramona alters course for straight ahead full bore, such that the best the ghost ship could do is let the connection turn from a cross to a T before breaking off and getting left in the Harpy's wake.

Just in case another manifested ghost comes up to try to take the wheel, Ramona leaves the suit behind again, with her gun so it can defend itself via remote control. A portable visor and earpiece come with her, checked and ready with her whip and power fist, so she can defend herself from the inevitable fights that erupted around her thanks to the conflict-curse. Staying above decks wasn't going to do anything for the people down below, so that's where she goes.

Also she needs to make sure Serenity and Tutresiel stay alive.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
21/26 HP; 6/11 XP; 1 Armor
"I'm sorry," creaks Ramona, who clears her throat and sniffs. "Let me ... help," she holds a finger to her earpiece and tries to hum along with the song, but chokes up and coughs, turning her head. Serenity really was a good person. Blest. Holy. The one clear voice on her radio, that silenced all the others--his voice--convinced her of that. Being willing to lie for a wretch like Ramona, let alone die for her...now she knew it wasn't a bardic ruse, and for one shameful second she even believed it might not be worth the risk.

Too bad that second was that one, in the middle of a spell that was losing itself.

Aid Serenity: 2d6 5

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
21/26 HP; 6/11 XP; 1 Armor
The second ends, and whatever shimmer in her eyes the words from the radio caused, they dry up now. Ramona holds her breath to keep the noxious vapors the man is venting outside of her, and returns his fake friendly voice.

"You're right, I'd do anything to make sure my little secret stays with you."

She offers her hand to shake. Then she squeezes, and doesn't let go. As her handshake is firmer than his, so too is the split second of her harsh glare. The fake friendly voice continues now that the 'anything' isn't desperation or relief, it's a warning.

"What a good grip you have, healthy man! You must want to live a long time to keep so fit. Since you're already keeping one for me, I might as well let you in on another little secret: I just hate it when someone I don't trust tries to get the better of me--with the gloating, the wanting me to beg for mercy or bargain--for my life. I'm tired of listening to the same old poo poo , so nowadays I just...skip to the end."

She squeezes harder. Still hasn't blinked.

"That reminds me, whatever your name is, could you repeat your terms? I don't recall anything after the 'and.' Make it quick, because If I don't get moving there won't be a ship for you to captain, right?"

Damned blackmailers, it's never worth paying them anything, because they never stop asking for more. When it came down to it, it's about unchecked power corrupting. She'd done enough pro bono work for freewomen trying to make it on their own to learn that. Turns out the best you could do is show those assholes that the money they demand can be better spent making friends. Very temperamental, overprotective friends, who like to keep their power in check. But it isn't just that.

It's the beginning of the conflict curse coming into play. Stoking this man's greed, making him think she owed him, more and more, and then she wasn't paying him enough, what he deserved, but what might he be able to get for taking Ramona dead or alive, and for her loot, how might he accomplish that? Men went manic when the curse ignited the vice--or "virtue"--that fueled them, the idea of Ramona's dying made them giddy. Maybe it didn't have to be that way. Maybe this idiot could be the first one to successfully shake it off once it found its entrance. It sucks that he's drunk and concussed, but his best chance to do so was now--early treatment--and her veiled threats were the way to help that along. Bowing and scraping would make it worse, and imagining having to do that again, as if she were still in chains, repulses her. And not that it's every been a possibility in her mind before, but there's also no dead lover around to convince Domnhall that she's really... really great and he should value her as a person.

Parley: 2d6+2 9
Not bluffing. I have ideas of how to kill him if he doesn't get the picture and back off.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 6/11 XP; 1 Armor
Dom's hand is released. "Done." It was already part of the contract with Price anyway. As soon as she can break her steely gaze it immediately follows Serenity disappearing into the ghost ship. This was bad--if the Harpy kept its pace such that ghost ship's relative movement through it were technically reduced in duration, then the ghost ship would pass completely through the rear of the Harpy soon. Ramona had been prepared to just hope that the guys stuck back there could survive that, because they were already insured if they didn't. But it just got complicated, because the elf had infinite value now.

The ghost ship would have to pass through the Harpy on its own, and Ramona knew how to make that happen. She speaks quickly while moving back to get space for a running start, "Can't stay, these will survive--trust the alien. The other side though, might not. Drop sea anchor and stop the Harpy's movement or their odds go down. Good man. I'm going through."

She blocks her ears eyes nose and lips in the crook of her arm to protect them from the cold, and powers through the ghost ship.
DD strength: 2d6+2 9

On the other side, she ignores the flames for now and follows the screams, whip drawn and held in her powerfist like a garrote. She beholds the scene and immediately silences any voices in her head--she's completely focused on the rhythm of battle now. "Sound off the living!" she orders, so she knows who not to kill, then--when she beholds what is and isn't still fighting--"and remove the heads!" Her first priority is Nori, being throttled. From across the room she tries to whip her grappler around the neck of the donut with arms, then she runs forward, reeling the line in taut all the way and letting it slide through the grip of her power fist, then she yanks it behind her and twists it around her body while attempting to drop a falling backfist with her amplified arm onto the skull of the zombie that pulled Jaime to the ground.
Hack and Slash; messy forceful damage: 2d6+2 12 1d10+1 5

I figure I'm still saving some people that should fulfill the guy's thing.

If the DD str is actually a BBLG trigger instead, then I'll choose "It doesn't take a long time" and "Nothing of value is damaged," leaving "It doesn’t make an inordinate amount of noise" and "You can fix the thing again without a lot of effort."

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2016 around 17:10

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
21/26 HP; 6/11 XP; 0 Armor


"Hold it, idiot," snaps Ramona at Jaime, "remember how I fixed the exact same problem with you not ten minutes ago?" She holds up the tube that was no longer necessary after Clavo used some bullshit magic to heal his neck when stupid rear end Juan had strangled him, and sterilizes it. Why'd she even bother learning emergency care instead of just magic? She scowls, not only for that but also for being a loner, guessing Nori and Jaime shared more intimate things than a trach tube.

She does the same rear end thing, finds out the immediate danger is over and the ghost ship has completely passed through the Harpy, otherwise Jaime wouldn't be able to try to run from the engine room to the infirmary, sees a new helmsman is in place, and fucks off to her quarters with her suit walking behind her. If Dom bothers her about helping in the infirmary, she brushes him off, "Ask the Padre to heal everyone, I'd just get in the way." It's not a question of first aid training, but of state of mind.

Also she bids Serenity to come to her quarters at some point, she has something to tell her.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2016 around 16:25

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Before Serenity arrives, if she even deigns to do so, Ramona gets halfway in her power suit, just enough that she can walk it to her quarters. There would be a lot to fix, some of which she lacked the parts to do so, but her mind is elsewhere.

Despite taking a cleansing dip in the sea, she still feels a layer of invisible filth clinging to her, and changes out of her high-necked, throat-covering, chest-zipped bodysuit. It was probably just phantom sensations from the nerve damage under the burn scars that she had gotten courtesy of the combined efforts of an ally and enemy the last time she was in Aqualantis. They covered her back, neck, and shoulders, and in some places discolored her tan skin with splotches of stark, albino white. That psychosomatic gross feeling was just temporary: the scars just needed to air out. The giant abdominal bruise, though--reminiscent of the one she got to acquire the sub she had named The Priceless--hurts just fine, and for real. Without the abdominal muscles between her shorts and sleeveless crop, the impact could have ruptured organs. She takes a seat on her bed to rest those muscles and ices the area.

Speaking of damage from allies, drat that Tutresiel. She was never backing one of their plays ever again. loving aliens never saw people as anything other than means to an end, and had no reservations or regrets for putting her in the line of fire. As allies they were worse than useless--they were counterproductive, dangerous. No one threatened her life and lived, not even an ally, she thinks, discarding her deflecting glove--just useless for the time being--but keeping her gun and whip ever strapped to either side of her waist in case Serenity came to kill her. She wouldn't care either way if the extraterrestrial lived or died, and she would be the first person to loot that little star he almost killed her with. Only seemed fair.

But according to the ghost of that man standing guard over Serenity, Ramona had begun to change the way she thought about fairness. After she rebuked him for trying to convince her that a human life wasn't worth extending, he stayed to haunt her, and was repulsed by the company he found himself keeping--the hundreds of vile ghosts attached to her, constantly taking turns harrying her with what fate would befall her once she joined their ranks and they could carry out their revenge. They taunted her that their power over her was all thanks to the curse that had befallen her by pure bad luck, that she had never been and would never be in control of her life or afterlife. She was born a slave, she'd die a slave, and she'd stay a slave, their slave, forever after.

When he could hear no more the paladin evoked a Holy Word, banishing them for a time, that he not be interrupted. He delivered to Ramona a lyrical message for his Serenity:

the song posted:

My stance on your undertaking immortality ritual has changed, for I am now convinced that this woman you have chosen does not lust for a life of endless drunken decadence and shameless killing as I feared. Instead she flees from an afterlife of endless torture and degradation, at the hands of the ghosts of men she was forced to kill in self defense or those whose domain she unknowingly traversed. She had no choice in the matter, it was made for her by a curse that corrupts men, tempting them to sin by her and take her life. It fell upon her through no fault of her own.

I was lucky enough to choose my own path in life, and walk it with you to its rightful end, and also my afterlife: to follow you and protect you, my love, for all eternity. I chose to set you free: not only because I lived long and well enough, but also so the world would not be deprived of the happiness you bring wherever you go. I knew then and know now that it is your destiny to do great things. Saving a doomed, piteous wretch whose life was stolen from her might be one of them.
Ramona wishes she could have just recorded the message, played it back for the bard and never need to hear it again, but no machine could record the voices of ghosts, even though anyone could hear them if they listened closely to the soft static of a radio. Even if it were possible, he explained that this message was blessed so that upon its delivery verbatim there would be a sign of Nashira and Serenity would know they were true--for she was not a medium that he might speak to himself, and his power to manifest waned. Until then the song would also magically echo in her mind, that she would not forget the words. Lastly, he vowed that whether or not the ritual was undertaken or successful, he would stand by her against the horde when the time came.

That, and the message before it, and the sound of silence that Ramona had long forgotten before that, they together made her guard lower for one crucial moment. For two heartbeats she let herself imagine that the words echoing in her mind were meant not for Serenity but for her. That she was so loved, so valued. It struck deeper than what gave her that bruise, enough to take her breath away. but she regained composure as soon as the elf had run through the spectral ship. When she followed her through the cold--which always brought with it a sense of loneliness, same as the ice she she was pressing to herself now--she realized that she might lose her balance again when she recited the words to the elf who would be her savior. Even only by proxy. She wasn't trained to do it, and didn't know the regiment: Ramona only ever professed her love for another--always a man--in songs others wrote about her--also always men. The least damning of them always portrayed her as a violent, frustrated tomboy, ashamed of her inherent soft femininity, always reaching beyond her grasp for the power possessed by a strong man. She would find happiness or death depending on whether she fought to the end or submitted to the truth.

In other words, the songs were bullshit, on every level. She didn't give a poo poo about them, but would prove them all wrong anyway.

What she does give a poo poo about though, is making sure Serenity didn't back out on her deal. The thought of it weighs heavily on her, especially considering the elf's reaction to her nipping Price's inevitable betrayal in the bud. At first, Ramona thought that as usual she had only moved the effects of the curse from Price, in whom it was in the later stages, to Serenity, who beat on her armor. Others had been convinced she needed to die by their sense of justice, the elf was no different. Back then she thought then that the bard's offer of her soul, and what seemed like a pass afterwards, were both just bluffs, the kind all bards make to exploit people and inevitably break their hearts. But now she knew the reaction wasn't the work of the curse, it was sincere: Serenity was a fundamentally good person. Why was her gun out? At any rate, it was no wonder the spirit of Maximilian had assumed someone with such a murderous mind would be a scourge on the world if given immortality, he and his late wife shared the same morals. The paladin thought differently now, and hopefully Serenity would too, but Ramona knew that she could still tip the scales for better or worse. The consequences of the latter were so unthinkable that she had to err toward the former. She could not lose this chance. She'd have to think back to the kind of stuff she thought she'd be doing as a naive child dreaming of buying her way out of slavery and setting them all free and being a hero. She'd have to be merciful, to sit by and watch people be corrupted by the curse and until they acted on it, and to only react in self defense, in the seconds before it would be too late. And she'd probably have to risk her life to save others without reward.

Not all the time, just enough to stay in the elf's good graces, she thinks to herself desperately, trying not to imagine it backfiring, her losing everything just trying to increase her odds. The voices become audible as she loses her focus, now with new ammunition to fire at her. It hurts. She curls up and wraps her arms around her knees, but it makes the pain from her bruise worse. She can't afford to lengthen the time it took to heal, so she reverses her stance, leaning back and looking straight up at the ceiling, finding a point to focus on until the voices ceased to be audible.

In their place is a knock at the door. She leans forward, elbows on knees, turning her head against her hands to wipe one side of her face, "Come in, lock it behind you please."

quote:

Mechanics/tl;dr

Resolved bond
I sure don't miss Hamon compared to the better space alien, Tootsie. They're a good spotter, and we can set up some devastating lines of fire with the portal shenanigans. Very useful. Unlike the other one who crowded my shots with a bunch of useless goons.
Now I'm sure Tutresiel is worse than useless. They can go to hell.

New Bond
I had to tell Serenity how much Maximilian loved her. If he can be believed, she's a fundamentally good person. I am terrified that she will leave me to die or that I'll die myself trying to keep that from happening.

Resolved alignment
Kill a defenseless or surrendered enemy. Everyone's been trying to kill me for a looong time. Trust no one. Show no mercy.
Killed Captain Price, and a ghost that was nagging me I guess.

New Alignment
Don't kill what I know from the beginning is an enemy until my life is in imminent danger.

Questions Three
Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Ghosts haunt places and people forever, bad ones suck souls in order to manifest on the mortal plane again, where they can be destroyed.

Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
The Ghost Ship itself didn't kill everyone, we disarmed it and destroyed its Captain and crew. Who knows how many other ships fell prey to it before it ran into us.

Did we loot a memorable treasure?
The cursed pearl returned. It will always return to me, but I still have to keep it from falling into anyone else's possession. Only those with steel will or pure hearts aren't subject to its influence.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2016 around 02:08

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 0 Armor
"That's good news. I knew he could do it. I don't mind it if your tone goes the way of your makeup. You don't have to say anything anyway, just listen."

Ramona wipes the other side of her face and tells Serenity everything. Sings the lyrical message verbatim to summon Nashira's sign, tells her about the curse, shows her the pearl, tells her what she thought and what she now knows about her, how she's willing to change and that is scares her and why--everything.

"What do you wish I would do?"
Listen, hopefully don't give up on her.

What are you really feeling right now?

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2016 around 02:09

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 0 Armor
Ramona stands up too, reaching out with one hand, covering her feverish forehead with the other and wincing. Not from her injuries, from her migraine. The channeling enervated her, now the voices are loud and clear. She rubs her temple with her thumb and forces one bloodshot eye open to meet the elf's, in profile, "Wait. First ghosts, then a cursed artifact, a goddess, and now you. Choosing me. It's really happened, it's not a dream--I know that deep down. But I don't believe it. They keep telling me it's all just a sick joke. I need you to tell me how--why did you choose me at first, before all this?"

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 3 Armor
"Yeah, rest." It didn't come easy. After Serenity leaves Ramona locks the door behind her and walks to her suit, clutching her head by the temple. A hidden compartment is opened, and eyeglasses come out. Then she works at mending the rupture in the suit, cursing aliens to lessen the headache.

Once it's finally done she wastes no time jumping in, getting on deck, and jumping in the sea, where the voices were muted and bubbly, and couldn't touch her dreams. She grapples the bottom of the boat and curls up into a ball. All those hours spent developing gills for the thing paid off.

But just because ghosts weren't there to give her nightmares doesn't mean she still doesn't have them. She dreams of the alien using the ritual to experiment on her and Serenity to whatever end, and the android interpreting its inherent risk as an attack on his master's life. Both of these inclinations were the work of the conflict curse--there's no reason that it'd only affected the terrestrial and the organic. The elf could do something stupid and romantic like taking a blow for her from her nominal guardian, who Ramona had seen use lethal force while blind. It was in their programming to see people as meatbags with no inherent value--it made calculations easy for them. Anything that got in the way, just gently caress it up. There was no pity, like the elf, or remorse, like herself.

The worst nightmare is of the pearl trying to absorb her, and pulling her into a hellgate filled with eager haunters, rubbing their hands together and sharpening their blades. She's clawing at the ground, stabbing it with a knife and leaving a great gash in the earth, grappling onto stalagmites and stone columns and the bottoms of ships, but they all break and barely slow the speed she's being dragged. She reaches a continental shelf, and the bard grabs her hand in the right on the edge, but it's too much for the waif. "You're too heavy, and I'm not strong enough. I tried," are the last words she hears before she loses her grip, dies, wakes up, and climbs back onto the ship.

The elf said there was a lot of work ahead of them, and the first of it seems to be making sure these idiots ate and drank enough to work and no more. It was easy enough to calculate their necessary caloric intake, but no doubt the men had hidden food and nasty homebrewed wine and spirits in their bunks. Some went the other way. Workaholics or those who were bullied out of their rations. Their usefulness took a dive unless she made sure they had enough in spite of it all. Juan and Tootsie get the cold shoulder, she's pretty sure they don't eat people food anyway--they can do whatever the gently caress they do themselves.

So bad-luck Ramona isn't even surprised when she sees another hungry person on the boat, the elf. Ever the conversationalist in public, she keeps it to, "Eat, or I will feed you."

QM: 2d6+1 7

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2016 around 16:52

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 0/12 XP; 3 Armor
Ramona is awakened by an alarm. You have been pinged by sonar, in or out the thing didn't say. Time to get above decks. Kraken, but just a juvenile. "Someone ask the alien about it. They're one to know about tentacled monstrosities. I guess if it were up to me I'd fire a warning shot to scare it away from us, and ships in general."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
The helmet opens up so Ramona can lower her voice, "Ahem, it's 'drop' anchor."

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2016 around 04:44

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slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
26/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
She always had a way of knowing when something bad was going to happen, and getting it before it got her. Maybe it had something to do with her spiritual sensitivity. Maybe it was combat training and her life being a never ending fight for her life. Probably both. But the why doesn't matter, what matters is what she can do.

The visor comes down at the first ping, and her whip comes out. On the second--faster than before--she snatches away Juan's sound wave blaster. She'd been eyeing it for some time, ready to do this earlier should she inherit it upon its owner's destruction, so she's quick to disassemble it. On the third she jams the part she needs onto her blaster arm. Turning and taking aim, she braces herself and shouts out on the fourth ping's cue, "Ears closed, eyes away!"

The kraken didn't like sonar pings, did it? Nothing likes being disintegrated by a laser either. This weapon was the best of both worlds. For her enemy, this beam was the opening of the gates of hell.



Volley; messy, forceful damage: 2d6+1 5 1d10+1 9

It's getting away from her, wrenching her blaster arm up to the sky and scraping her metal boots backwards against the deck. Her bracing arm strains trying to keep the drat thing steady, but it's not enough...

Ramona doesn't panic, she just reminisces, whispering to herself, "Shooting the star was a gamble, so is this. I am prepared to face whatever happens. I am ready. I am ready."

So long, everybody!

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