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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +0 | Trouble +3 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
2/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: Labyrinth, Floor -121


"Well.", Percy starts. "I don't want Gear on the next scheme. I don't want to live near him. I don't want to risk breathing the same air he does.", she says, her voice calmly echoing from inside the chamber. "I don't care about what he does or if he's hurt, I just literally don't have time to waste listening to him rattle his empty skull. All I could think of while talking with him over the comm is 'what if I die in the middle of this stupid argument?' I'd come back from the dead to slap myself if that happened."

She twitches. Not really a comfortable place to be in. The talk is a distraction from it at least, though. "Anyway, that's what I've been rolling over in my head."

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2017 around 18:23

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SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +1 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +2 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Afraid Insecure


I nod. "Any of us could have died on that mission. We all risked the last words rattling in our skulls his nonsense." I sigh. "I had not considered my own mortality. If you believe it. I'm sure I seem to have one foot in the grave given my own condition, but it has led to a safe insulated life. I..." I hold myself and shutter. "We are all dying in slow motion. But you are brave enough to embrace it. Really, all deaths are as arbitrary as the curse's vague idea of time. I could catch pneumonia tomorrow. Tock's heart could have a spring jostled out of place. High Gear's suit could malfunction with him in it. And that's discounting brain aneurysms. Let alone the danger we subject ourselves to. This alliance certainly doesn't feel like a good use of time, and if anything is shortening the time I have. I agree completely." I rest my head on the side of the machine. Being closer to Percy isn't going to make it any easier to hear me through the metal shell. But I wish I could actually rest my head on her shoulder right now. "But we can change that. We can squeeze out more from those idiots than we were able to get with just the two of us. More to fuel my research. Until then it really will be a waste of time."

The scan completes and the data is already displayed on the monitor. "That's... odd." I sit up, energized by the enigma. I slide the monitor over to the bed slowly pulling itself out. "Take a look at these results."

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +3 | Menace +1
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

"Yes yes", crackled the comms as High Gear replied to Ea's polite request, "Since I'm fairly sure by this point that abject and utter humiliation is a necessary part of your species' diet, I suppose I'm forced to oblige. You're too useful still to let starve after all."

A moment passed (not too long a moment, thanks to the high speed elevators), after which High Gear strode imperiously to Ea's room, the usual snacks in tow, but thanks to his excess amount of appendages he had other things too. Mainly, a softly ticking, largely featureless brass isocahedron that felt ever so subtly wrong to the psionically sensitive alien, as well as a bowl of some sort of... yellow thing.

"Mac and cheese", explained High Gear, pointing at the bowl with a free hand as he picked up his controller and started the console, "an Earth delicacy. I got it as...", High Gear gave Ea an appraising look. Did these aliens have a concept of rent? Probably. He'd still much rather go with a more grandiose descriptor, "a tributary offering from my inferiors. It would go bad before I'd manage to eat it by myself though, so might as well let you have some since eating far more than anything your size should be capable of is apparently also a superhuman quality you seem to possess."

"Now", High Gear turned to face the screen, gaze intent, "Be ready to be schooled."

__________________________________

"...Now that's some bullshit", snarled High Gear, as he lost, "I'd almost think that you'd been practicing, if I didn't know for a fact that such a rigorous pursuit is obviously beyond any actual effort you can put into anything. And also if you did anything but clearly just smash buttons, ever."

Now, High Gear was not subject to the very worst depths of gamer rage, but even he couldn't help but get slightly irate when his Perfectly Executed Zachyana Meteor Dash + Soaring Uppercut + Aurora + Stardriver combo got countered by a simple mid punch in the singular frame where that was actually a viable strategy, especially by someone who apparently only did it by accident.

And really, by this point he had started to realize that his score this session was no longer salvageable.

"Hm. I think we should call it by now. I clearly cannot properly focus, since I've got actual work to worry about, unlike some of us", said High Gear, expertly deflecting his own failures onto other people, "Some of which actually concerns you", said High Gear, expertly changing subjects before Ea could properly gloat, "See, somehow, you actually managed to be genuinely useful in acquiring the Unobtainium. NOT a high bar to hurdle, mind you, since that just means that unlike the others, you at least did something instead of nothing, and the something that you did wasn't blowing up my engines due to idiocy. Basically, you only win due to your opposition being utter trash. But still, that means you technically win", High Gear turned to stare at Ea, "Just like you technically won at Caliburn X-2. So don't get too full of yourself", he continued staring, to emphasize his point. After a while though, he looked away, shrugged, and tossed the isocahedron towards Ea, "So I made you a thing with some of the Unobtainium, shielded and enriched even further."

"I call it the Nihilum Psibomb", High Gear explained, his tone turning dry as he got to the technicalities, "Internal psivoltaic cells recharge the unobtainium capacitors with ambient psionic energies when you're near the thing. Once full, you can unleash it to suppress all psionic function on a radius of... several city blocks, at minimum, thus dispersing any psionic effects and rendering everyone affected catatonic, in practice. You'll be immune to the effects, as will any effects caused by you, since it's attuned to your", at this point High Gear poked Ea's forehead slightly, "brainwaves. In fact, the superposition of the psionic wavefronts might actually mean YOU in particular will get even stronger when the thing is activated."

"Now, how will the rest of us be protected you might ask? Well, with special protected gear attuned to this device in particular", at this point a wry grin appeared on High Gear's face, "constructed out of lattices of this particularly interesting crystal I happened to find a vein of a couple floors down", a latch opened on High Gear's suit, and he gingerly procured a small bit of the crystal in question and placed it onto a table in front of them.

"Neat isn't it? Who would've thought that we were sitting on an entire vein of Glianite?"

quote:

Theantero: High Gear, show you UNBEATABLE APTITUDE at VIDYA!
Theantero: !r 2d6
Krysmbot: Theantero, 9 = 9
Theantero: haha
TheFireMagi: oh jeez
Theantero: YOUR FATE IS SEAALED
TheFireMagi: Ea is very furiously button mashing at vidja games!
TheFireMagi: !r 2d6
Krysmbot: TheFireMagi, 10 = 10
Theantero: D:
TheFireMagi: YES.
Theantero: I AM UNDONE

Also, as my Caper Move I hang out with Ea, taking Curses! and also she gains Influence on me, but since she already has that, she gets to shift my labels instead. My beautiful +3 Superior

Also, I buy the Asset: Glianite Crystal Stash, a strange crystal with particularly potent anti-psionic properties, extremely rare and sought after. High Gear knew how to find it due to the Mask Piercing he inflicted upon Ea earlier.

I also spend one Influence to buy two of my allies Unobtainium inspired assets. Ea gets one, the Nihilum Psibomb, a destructive sort of weapon that you can actually use because it doesn't automatically result in mass murder! Yay! The other asset remains yet unannounced

Theantero fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2017 around 17:33

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006




Freak +0 | Danger +2 | Trouble +0 | Superior -1 | Menace +2
Curses! 0/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: The Labyrinth


quote:

<Hugzilla> Is Bull famous?
<Hugzilla> !r 2d6+3
<Krysmbot> Hugzilla, 12+3 = 15

Gaining 1 Infamy and +1 forward

I should be celebrating.

People are talking about me. I'm the feared Wild Bull, the villain who suplexed a train, piledrived a mecha, and (almost) took out one of the Knights, all without taking a scratch. They all know how strong I really am, and they know that I'm not one to be hosed with. My name means something now.

...But I really don't feel like celebrating.

I don't feel like doing much of anything. I should get back at High Gear for what he did at Percy, but he'll just be a smarmy rear end about it, like he always is. God, I loving hate this team. Why the hell am I still here? The only person I actually care about is Percy, and I'm not even sure if she cares about me the way I do for her.

I... guess I should try asking her out on the movie date. Maybe. I hope she's not mad at me for not listening to her orders...

Oh, great, Tock's here now. Just what I needed. I cross my arms, and give him an irritated glare, "...What the hell do you want?"

quote:

<Hugzilla> Piercing Tock's mask! (+1 from influence)
<Hugzilla> !r 2d6+3
<Krysmbot> Hugzilla, 9+3 = 12

What weakness are you hiding?
What do you care about most right now? (Does Tock even care about anything?)
What do you intend to do?

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +3 | Menace +1
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

"Wild Bull", rang High Gear's voice, surprisingly dry as he intercepted the girl in one of the many corridors in the Labyrinth. Turning to look at him, he isn't even looking at her, but instead gazing intently (well, as far as you can tell with the featureless mask) at some sort of sleek brass device about the size of a backpack with two gleaming thruster nozzles, holding it with two of his hands whilst tinkering with the other two. After a moment he nods in satisfaction, before addressing the girl.

"Congratulations", a bit of his usual smarm was leaking into his tone, "You did some pretty good work out there. As in, you were given a job and you actually did it without managing to screw up somehow, which is more than I can say about most of the people who took part. I can appreciate that. And since you've given some indication of actually being helpful to keep around, I made you something to help you be even more useful", High Gear presented the object to the girl, "So, I was thinking that you make a pretty good shock trooper, but your mobility is an issue. It would get annoying to redeploy you wherever you need to be should such be necessary. So to solve this issue, I used my unparallelled genius to enrich some of our unobtainium to make the power cells for this Portable Hyperthaumic Turbojet. It functions as a jetpack, and due to the unprecedented energy density of enriched unobtainium, you should be able to, with your mass..." High Gear paused for a bit, as if doing some calculations in his head, "go fast enough to overtake most military grade aircraft fairly easily. Built in gravitonic stabilizers also give whoever is flying excellent maneuverability and agility in the air. Other built-in features obviously include a kill-switch for my use in case you decide to throw a tantrum like a big baby and try to wreck my things."

"It's yours. Any questions?"

High Gear appeared almost bored, as if this was just routine resource allocation. As if there weren't any unsolved issues between the two at all.


Wild Bull gets the other one of my Special Ally Two-For-One-Infamy Assets, this one being the Portable Hyperthaumic Turbojet. It's an unobtainium powered jetpack that goes super fast and has excellent maneuverability to boot. Also, in case this isn't clear, this is a different scene than the one between Tock and WB, taking place in a different place and a different time.

Theantero fucked around with this message at Apr 13, 2017 around 17:04

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.



Freak +1 | Danger -1 | Trouble +1 | Superior +0 | Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: Everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

"Frankly? To thank you." Tock gave the raptor a belly rub. It's leg kicking in appreciation. "You're about the only person on this team who'd come to my aid when I'm trying to distract a Table member. And despite all expectations, and all reason for you not to... You did." He fixed her a look, part confused, part annoyed. "Honestly, I can't even work out why. Yes, there's always the potential chance you just felt like beating up an old wizard. But if that was the case you'd go through me, not around. So why purposefully avoid me? Almost like you were trying to protect me."

Tock looked away, focusing on the middle distance. "If that's the case..." He paused, and then pulled two ice cold bottles out from nowhere. That sly old grin, spreading on his face. "You've earned yourself at least a drink." He tossed one of the bottles her way. Opening the other and taking a long swig.

- - -

What weakness are you hiding?

Tock is in constant pain. His kind where never meant to live like this. Bound into an unnatural shape. Like a girl with bound feet to keep them small, it's agony. He hides it well. Almost accustom to it. But it leaves him detached. His treatment at BlackStaff's hands leave him incapable of truly trusting anyone. It wears heavy on him. His isolation and loneliness only embitters him more. He's like a bear chained up and forced to dance. A wild animal ripped from it's homeland and attempted to be tamed. For all of his sardonic wit, the wild is bubbling below the surface.

What do you care about most right now? (Does Tock even care about anything?)

Tock cares that he's alive, and still able to take vengeance on BlackStaff. There's maybe the tiniest shred of his heart that still cares about you. Like super deep down, buried deep and hidden away from the world. But it's there in those moments where he teases you. Like he's not actually doing it to insult you. He's doing it because he enjoys your company, and is secretly impressed at your constant drive to outdo yourself and hide your true self.


What do you intend to do?

Tock isn't going anywhere. He's looking to gently caress up BlackStaff, and watch him tumble, and when his people are free, return to his ancestral home. But he's waiting for something. Waiting and watching. What he's waiting for is unclear. But like a praying mantis, the moment he sees it, he'll strike like a lighting bolt. As for right now, he's looking to congratulate you. No plans. No plots. Just sharing a drink.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +0 | Trouble +3 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
2/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: Labyrinth, Floor -121


"Eh... the Round Table would have tried not to kill us... well, most of them, anyway. I wouldn't bet my life on a drunk wizard, though.", Black Squire says as she's tying her tie back on, flicking it out with her fingertip. "It's not a matter of when I trip off, Ursula, it's a matter of enjoying the time I have left." She sighs with resignment, tugging her cummerbund back on as she goes to look over Ursula's shoulder, leaning her shoulder slightly on the back of the genius' seat. "What am I looking at, exactly?", she asks.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?


Freak +2 | Danger +0 | Trouble -1 | Superior +2 | Menace +0
Curses! 3/5 | Infamy: 2 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Paranoid | Hold: Far From Home (1) | Location: - The Labyrinth

Time passed, and Ea triumphed over High Gear at Caliburn X-2. Of course it did. Why wouldn’t they? They were totally, obviously, most definitely holding back last time, after all. It was only natural that once Ea got serious, they would not only beat High Gear, but do so easily. Hearing him attempt to cover for his weakness was all so amusing, so much so that the alien wanted nothing more than to laugh. But, no, they had to be the better person here. With how childish as the man of metal could be in victory, someone had to be the adult in the game room. As such, Ea turned to High Gear as he spoke with only the slightest ‘hint’ of a smug, self-certain grin. By that, the alien was attempting to and failing very greatly at (possibly intentionally) hiding their smirk.

“Hmhmhm, interpret it as you like, man of metal, but you cannot deny your lost on this day. This one needs not this Sidebomb of yours, but will take it nonetheless as a trophy-”

Ea paused. Something was wrong, they knew, but couldn’t figure out what it was. There was an odd queasiness, but that was likely due to an overconsumption of The Dew… wasn’t it? And then, the alien realized: their words were spoken. Out loud, that is. And they couldn’t hear High Gear’s thoughts, not even ones on the surface level. They assumed that was merely because of their focus on the game at hand, but...

...he had some of the crystals why did he have some of the crystals why did he bring them here aaaaa-

Nononono, couldn’t panic, Ea told themself. Sure, High Gear had found the store of crystal that completely negated their psychic powers, but it wasn’t all bad. It was only High Gear of all people that found the store of crystal that completely negated their psychic powers.

Wait. Aaaaa-

“-aaaa… most curious discovery, yes. Er, this one tires from the triumph, man of metal. You may excuse yourself from this one’s room, and continue this discussion another time.”

By the stars that was a terrible deflection, Ea thought, but maybe he’ll take the hint and leave them be… right?

Nah.

OOC: Aaaaaaa- I mean, shifting High Gear’s Superior down and Menace up, because Ea (very momentarily) took a position of power before now seeing him somewhat more as a threat because of the Glianate discovery.

As for my Caper Move, I am of course hanging out with High Gear… and marking Curses! also because of the Glianate discovery and oh my god so mad at this stupid jerk!!! Influence already given, so High Gear gets to shift my labels back now. Still haven’t decided what to replace the Apartment Base asset with yet, sorry.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +2 | Menace +2
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

High Gear would never admit that he was grasping. No no, he had utterly managed to convince himself that he only ever followed the truths of cold and hard logic to their inevitable conclusions, unlike all the idiot sheeple who were swayed by excess emotional response or fell victim to fallacy due to their ill trained minds. But still, it was the actual, factual truth that his excuses today were particularly feeble, and thus, Ea's barbs managed to penetrate somewhere deep in his subconscious. Barbs that said, 'maybe you're not always ineffable in all things all the time and are in fact being a huge baby right about now?'. Consciously though, he only grit his teeth under his mask as the alien spoke. Well, until she got all flustered. High Gear would almost have described it as adorable (as in, actually adorable, not adorable in that 'I am actually being condescending right now' way that he usually used the term), if his brain didn't immediately intercept and annihilate those thoughts. It was a very... human response, however. Surprisingly so. Thus, High Gear merely scoffed, ever so slightly as Ea asked him to leave.

"Sure, princess, I'll leave you here to wallow in your 'victory' which is certainly what you're going to do instead of panicking feebly due to my find, I'm sure", his words were the same as before, but his tone seemed different. Amused, almost. Really, if the two were friends, it would have been a fairly open-and-shut case of friendly ribbing. The two weren't friend though really, so who knows what was up with that.

"Also", High Gear spoke from the doorway, "Since I don't know if your vocal chords can actually take all your constant idiotic yammering taken how little you actually use them, I can rig up something that lets through telepathic messages only, if you'd like."

"...You can keep the rest of the food too. I'm not really hungry."

And with that, he was gone.


Due to her transparent verbal fumbling, HG sees Ea as slightly less of a weird alien and more of a pompous windbag, which in his opinion is a very human quality. Thus, Ea lowers her Freak by one and raises her Menace by one as High Gear's demeanor takes effect on her.

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +1 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +2 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Afraid Insecure


"You're the peak of health." I point to highlighted points on the display. "In fact energy is swelling at these focal points. Most mages would be envious of such a powerful flow." But why are there build ups at the points to project energy while she's at rest? My understanding of inner arcanics is not robust, but it is much like a pressure chamber for chi or whatever word you prefer. You draw the energy into it to concentrate it into what you intend to do then release. There should be less energy in those spots at rest. I think I have an idea for the next test.
"Well. Anyway." Just say it. "Um." Come on Ursula. "If you want any help eh-enjoying your time, I'd be happy to help." No no that sounds too desperate. "Mirth is b-better shared they say, right?" I deflate, even my nervousness gets forced out and replaced with a familiar emptiness. "I know well that it dries up quickly when alone. I was hoping with the alliance..." I sigh. "To think I am being the least practical minded of us all."

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +0 | Trouble +3 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
2/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: Labyrinth, Floor -121


"Huh. Really?", Percy says, squinting. "But I've never been able to cast more than low-order spells and draw some basic sigils. What I mean is I cast bad spells good, but that's all. I didn't get picked for apprenticing or anything like that when I was signed up for squireship." Sitting up straight, she rolls her tights on before getting her boots on. "But I was thinking of going out for drinks, though, can you take elementonics?"

She looks away. It's harder to bring up bailing than she thought. Maybe coming down was a mistake after all?... things just feel a lot more complicated, now. She frowns faintly for a moment before suppressing it.

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +1 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +2 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Afraid Insecure


"Of course!" I lie with a big grin. I've never had one of those before. I'm sure I can properly ration myself though. It's simple chemistry. "I would love to join you. Really I've been cooped up in here too much. I struggle to make the effort to take the climb for some fresh air. But that is probably exactly what I need. Oh! I should should put on something nicer than this gown." I motion for N-Prime to push me to the armoire next to my bed. "What kind of place do you like to go for drinks?"

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006




Freak +0 | Danger +2 | Trouble +0 | Superior -1 | Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: The Labyrinth


"...It's not like I wanted to save you..." I grumble.

I sigh, and turn my head away from Tock, "Honestly? I don't even know why I did it myself. I could've left you to deal with the wizard dude on your own, but I just... couldn't bring myself to do it."

I grabbed one of the tossed bottles, and a small smile crosses my face when I take a closer look at it, "Heh, you remember my favorite non-alcoholic brand." For all my tough girl talk, I can't actually stand alcohol. Tock would always tease me about it, but I... don't think I ever minded it when he did. I open it up, and take a long swig at it.

There's a moment, after we drank our bottles down, where nothing is said. "...Hey," I say, breaking the awkward silence between us, "Christie's planning on having a movie night soon. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but d'ya wanna join us? I think she'd like to see you again."

OOC: Clinging to Tock for my Caper Move. He already has influence on me, so he gets to shift my labels, and I mark Curses!

----

"Oh, it's you." Oh, great, I can't wait to hear about how much of an idiot I am again, and how High Gear is sooooooooo much smarter than I am. Yea, well, let's see how "smarter" he is when I deck him right in his stupid smug fa- Wait, what was that? Is he... complimenting me? I stare at High Gear with wide-eyed surprise, and say, "Uh... thanks?"

I'm at a loss for words when he gives me what is basically a loving SUPERPOWERED JETPACK HOLY poo poo. "There... there has to be a catch, right? You can't actually be giving this to me for free, right?"

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +2 | Menace +2
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

"..."

"Is there an issue?", High Gear asks after a moment, irritation clear in his voice, as if he felt his time was being wasted, "I thought I explained myself perfectly clearly already, but in case you need a recap, which in all honesty I suppose I shouldn't find that surprising taken you faculties, let me reiterate: I" High Gear pointed at himself with one of his hands, "am giving you an asset", High Gear pointed at the jetpack with another hand, "so that you" a third hand pointed at Wild Bull, "can be even more useful", the final hand opened into a palm. All the movements were exaggeratedly slow, the sort of pantomime you would use when teaching new words to toddlers.

"There is no catch other than the kill-switch I mentioned earlier, one that I will use to detonate the jetpack remotely should you try to cross me. So you know, try not to do that. Simple enough for you?"

High Gear crossed his arms. "Or perhaps there is a misunderstanding about our relationship here? I mean, I certainly wouldn't put such a moronic mistake beyond you. You did not think this was a gift or a bribe, by any chance, did you? Well, it is not. I simply made you this thing since it's one of the best allocations of the unobtainium we uncovered based on the information I have thus far. See out of the six of us, only me, you, and Ea actually contributed in a major way. As for the rest, well, Ursula destroyed my engine because she's a failure of an engineer, Tock barely managed to hang about thinking that being 'too cool to care'", High Gear embellished this point with air quotes, "makes it acceptable to contribute nothing material to the whole operation, and the Black Squire, for her part, abused the considerable trust I had invested in her out of nothing but sheer petulance. Thus, it is you and Ea who get priority access to equipment upgrades, because you actually did what was expected of you, and I thus have at least some reason to think investment in you won't be wasted."

"Now certainly, you two were not the ones I expected to perform well, but the fact is that you were", High Gear lifted a hand to his chin, "Maybe it is because your aptitudes are so exceedingly simple. It's pretty hard to misuse someone who only really excels at wanton violence."

High Gear shrugged. "But that is that. Am I understood?" he scoffed, "Or will I have to beat these simple concepts into your peanut brain a third time?"

Theantero fucked around with this message at Apr 14, 2017 around 14:41

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.



Freak +1 | Danger -1 | Trouble +1 | Superior +0 | Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: Everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.


Tardzilla posted:

"Honestly? I don't even know why I did it myself. I could've left you to deal with the wizard dude on your own, but I just... couldn't bring myself to do it."

Tock stayed silent for a time. Drinking his beer slowly. Thoughts turning in his mind. She was conflicted. Maybe as conflicted as he was. Perhaps it required another perspective.

"For all your power, you're still.... human. You make human choices. You try to pretend not to be, try to burn it away underneath the fury you wear in public. There's no denying that you're strong. But you're more then just your strength. It... hurts to watch you try to pretend otherwise Ivy." Tock spoke slowly, as though he'd given himself permission to actually talk honestly with someone. Maybe for the first time in months. Maybe even years. He sounds... tired. Wait, holy poo poo, is Tock... not talking down to you? When was the last time he actually called you by your name?

The moment passes, he takes a quick swig of his drink. His expression hardening to his usual smirk. The armour back up again. "Sure, I'd like that. But only if I get a bean bag chair, near that plant she keeps."

- - -

Shifting Bull's lables: -Freak +Trouble

Arashiofordo3 fucked around with this message at Apr 14, 2017 around 19:45

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +0 | Trouble +3 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
2/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: Labyrinth, Floor -121


Stowing her gun away in her jacket, Percy rubs her neck. "There's a place called the Cornered Cat that's does alchemic drinks, it's quiet and there aren't a lot of questions. Well. They'll ask you what you want to drink and how you're going to pay." She shakes her head slightly with a smirk. "Going to have to do a spare job at this rate just to keep the bills thick.", she adds, though she doesn't sound particularly regretful about it, at least. She shoves her hands in her pockets as she turns away from Ursula as she dresses. "... maybe we should see if any of the others want to go... except Gear."

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +1 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +2 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Insecure


Hmm yes. We are running on the thin budget (thanks High Gear), perhaps for our next big move we should secure a reliable source of our basic needs. I like my Unobtanium scalpel, less than a gram of the actual stuff used in its construction no one noticed it missing, but it doesn't feed me or even give me anything to use it on. Now I think I have something casual for a low key establishment. So much of my life has been spent on a bed or shaking hands at some gala my parents dragged me to I never stockpiled "normal" clothes. Well I can improvise. A white slip dress to cover my leg braces. And a blazer to add some muted pizzazz, I suppose. I have no idea what I'm doing. But it kind of looks like a skirt and a nice top. And I think I have some heels in here. Were they always this tight? How do people walk in these things.

I am less worried about my look than what Percy says though. I have N-Prime push me up next to her when I'm ready post haste. I give a warm smile to hide my agitation. "We don't need to invite anyone else. I am enjoying your company. And if you're worried about the tab-" I pull a brooch from the pile out of the blazer pocket I stuffed it in. Awarded to me at the yearly ball for my thesis submitted to the Astute Thinker's Society. Worthless to me. I think I eared twelve before I joined the Institute. This one has an emerald in the center, and is solid silver. "My treat."

End of Issue, clinging to Black Squire. She gains influence and I clear Afraid

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +0 | Trouble +3 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: Labyrinth, Floor -121


Percy takes pause. This would be a good opportunity to make her next move with the group... but on the other hand, she'd wronged Ursula at the meeting table last time, as least as far as her internal scale measured things. This could make up for backing the wrong plan... and... well, free drinks!

"Sure.", she says once her brain kicks back into gear. She looks down to Ursula with that grin. "Let's get out of here for a bit."

Clinging to Ursula, marking Curses! (already reflected above) and giving her Influence over Squire. In turn, I'll shift Ursula's Freak down and her Superior up.

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006




Freak -1 | Danger +2 | Trouble +1 | Superior -1 | Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: The Labyrinth


There's another moment of silence between us as Tock's words slowly start to sink in, which is eventually broken by laughter. I start laughing so hard, tears start running down my eyes. How long has it been since I laughed like this?

"Holy poo poo, Tock!" I try to wipe away the tears with a finger, "Are you actually worried about me!? Wow! What happened to that whole "too cool to care" thing you had going on!?" I laugh some more.

The laughter eventually slows down, and I smile at Tock. It's the first, genuine smile I've had in ages. I walk closer to Tock, grab him, and pull him in for a kiss. A deep, forceful one, that would leave him weak on his knees. After what felt like forever, I break away from our embrace, and softly say, "Consider this my way of thanking you for the drinks."

I let go of Tock, and grab Gertie's leash. "I'm going out for a walk. You're free to join me if ya want. Oh, and don't think this means we're dating again," my smile widens, "This just means I don't hate you anymore."

---

And theeeeeerrrrrrrreeeee it is. He's lucky I'm in one of my rare good moods, or else there'd be a High Gear-shaped hole in the wall. I roll my eyes at him, "Wow, thanks for taking so much of your "precious" time explaining that all to me! There's no way someone as "stupid" or as "simple" as I am would have understood any of that!" My voice is practically dripping with sarcasm. "Seriously, dude, are you like, incapable of not insulting everybody around you? Y'know I could literally tear you apart, and there's nothing you can do about it, right?"

Ugh, why did I bother asking that? He's probably going to give me another smarmy answer, and insult me a few more times. Ah well, too late to take it back now. If he really is as "smart" as he says he is, then he'd know not to push my buttons any further.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +2 | Menace +2
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

There is a moment of silence as High Gear stared at Wild Bull. Eventually he brought a hand to his faceplate, tenting two fingers on its surface as if he were pinching the bridge of his nose.

"That is a bit self-defeating, now isn't it?", he says, finally, "To ask why I disparage you with a statement filled with so much total nonsense and utter hypocrisy that honestly even I'm almost at a loss where to even begin. But just almost. So let's unpack your sentiments a bit, shall we? Point. By. Point."

"First of all", High Gear practically snarled, "Yes, you ARE in fact wasting my precious time by asking me dumb goddamn questions. And yes you should, unironically, be thankful that I took the time to explain them to you in spite of that. Which is something that I do, because I feel it integral that people know where I'm coming from. That people know that what I say has at least some level of rudimentary reasoning behind it. You know, unlike a certain someone who oh so cleverly", a snort, "tries to disparage me for mean words and then immediately follows with threats of actual violence. You realize that makes any point you try to make sound really hollow, don't you? Well, you probably don't. Yet ANOTHER obvious failure of reasoning on your part that I have to take the time to explain to you, because you cannot get there by your own brainpower."

High Gear crossed a pair of his arms, "As for you being capable of beating me up? I don't doubt that. In fact, that is a painfully obvious statement to make. If you were to claim, 'High Gear you are a weakling' in a context where that is relevant in any way, I would not dispute that, since it's clearly true. I mean, you did suplex a train. Which I still maintain, was very impressive. Good work", High Gear clapped his other pair of hands a couple of times, in such a way that seemed a show of genuine appreciation instead of mocking derision "So yes, I do not deny you being stronger than me in any sense, that would be dumb and counterfactual. Which of course, begs the question. Why do you think I'm not smarter than you, when that is clearly the case? And I mean, answer honestly. Do you seriously think your aptitudes lie in sitting for hours on end crafting multi-phase plans for heists? Do you seriously think you would have even nearly the same aptitude for arcaneering or ANY cerebral discipline at all as I, even if you were to put some actual effort into it? I mean, certainly you don't lack the power. My thaumic scanners do tell me that you have almost an excess of magical energy, but it's all unfocused and chaotic. Hell, you have enough power to make an extremely powerful wizard, if you just had enough patience and smarts to craft your power into anything but wanton destruction. Like, have you even considered the possibility of getting a magical education?"

High Gear leaned in ever so slightly, "Hmm? Is that a no?" he spread his arms wide in exasperation, "Well, why do you get all pissy when I call you stupid then? Huh? When you clearly are? Perhaps this makes you sad and you don't want to accept it, but sometimes people that you dislike actually are smarter than you, no matter how sarcastically you try to call them that. Just as how sometimes people that you dislike are stronger than you, as is my case with you. That is to say, not everyone can be smart, like me. And not everyone can be strong, like you. We all have our aptitudes, Wild Bull. Mine just lie in being an utterly genius prodigious magical mastermind, whilst yours lie in being a bruiser. Simple as that."

"And you know what? I'm fine with that. I'm okay with respecting you to the degree that I actually recognize your talents for what they are. Can you say the same, hm? Yeah, it's you who needs to do some self-reflection here, not me. After all, it's you who chose to get angry at me for not coddling your feefees enough or praising you for phantom qualities that you don't, clearly and factually, even possess. You know, instead of being grateful for the awesome and in all ways ingenious loot I just straight up gave you."

High Gear scoffed. "And why do I insult you, you might ask? Why do I get so frustrated with you and treat you like the idiot children that you are? Because I know you won't actually address anything I just said. In fact, I think you probably stopped paying attention half-way through. Instead, I bet your pulse is ever so slightly rising, perhaps your fist is clenching a bit, maybe you're even daydreaming a little about the various ways you could beat me up if you wanted to. Maybe you're about to give in to one of your usual angry outbursts, yet another negative trait of yours that I bet you'll be unwilling to acknowledge or address? Hah. All the while still thinking you're in the right, with nothing to back it up, because you're functionally incapable of appraising yourself or those around you with anything even approaching objectivity, and answer with violence whenever your assumptions are questioned."

"But really, I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised by any of this", High Gear stated as he turned on his heels and started walking away, "You are a bit slow, after all."

And with that, several meter thick bulkheads slammed from the roof between the two. A speaker near Wild Bull crackled to life.

"Stick to punching, Wild Bull. It's something you're actually good at."

"And enjoy your jetpack."

quote:

Theantero: High Gear Cows Wild Bull with his GENIUS ARGUMENT!
Theantero: !r 2d6+2
Krysmbot: Theantero, 8+2 = 10

Heyy if you heed me you get the good stuff! Maybe WB cannot quite refute HG's point to her own satisfaction for Curses! Maybe she sees some actual value in his words and shifts up Danger? Maybe you'll do something entirely different????? The opportunities are ~endless~

Nevertheless, adding Plan to pool for the next caper as HG elucidates on the internal hierarchies and of this outfit and what positions we hold therein.

Theantero fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2017 around 21:03

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

WHEN ONE STRIKES THY NEIGHBOR THEY STRIKE THEMSELVES.
WHEN ONE FEEDS THY NEIGHBOR THEY FEED THEMSELVES.
THERE IS NO OTHER.


The Cornered Cat (Clicky for music)

Black Squire – Dim, but in a comfortable way, with a sparse clientele of quiet people gazing thoughtfully into their drinks – the Cornered Cat hasn’t changed a bit since you’ve last visited. Jacklyn, the bartender –



a troll woman with extremely vibrant red skin – nods in recognition as you enter. Her eyes widen, and her head tilts in slight shock, at the sight of your companion, who is dressed in some… rather unusual fashion… and being pushed in by N-Prime. She opens her mouth as if to ask, can Ursula handle what we’re selling here? But closes it without saying anything. That’s the customer’s decision, after all.

“What do you want, and how are you paying?” Jacklyn asks in a placid tone as you approach the bar. And that is the question.

You want to get drunk. But is that really the responsible thing to do your first time out with Ursula? And, given that it’s the first time she’s been here – probably the first time she’s been to a bar at all! – what are you going recommend to her? Something weak to get her started? Something strong to have some fun? Heck, N-Prime looks big enough to seat two; you wouldn’t even have to walk home! Ursula would probably appreciate that, anyways…

What do you do drink?


>>

Ursula – You follow behind Percy, feeling like as awkward as an elephant mimicking a ballet dancer.

What? This is your first time in a bar, and you’re nervous.

Does the cool dimness feel like a foreboding darkness? Do the brief glances of the patrons transform in your eyes to a focused judgment? Does the squeaking of the wheels under you sound deafeningly loud, despite the fact you know you just oiled them? Or, do you keep your eyes on Percy, and let everything else wash away?

Were you sheltered as a child? Yes, absolutely, first by your parents, and then by Simmons. Oh, she let you attend ‘adult’ conference dinners, but while everyone else got the wine, Simmons made sure you got grape juice. She tried to comfort you, promising that you weren’t missing out on much. And to be fair to her, she herself was a… temperate drinker. The Margravine always refused to indulge the ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude that many of her fellow academics held.

That’s all in the past, though. Now, you’re in a bar, there is a list of potent chemicals on the wall, and you’re free to make up for years of sobriety in one, great night.

The bartender approaches, voice only slightly strained with suppressed concern for your physical condition, “What do you want, and how are you paying?”

You feel the weight of the brooch in your palm.

What do you do drink?



At Christie's Place (Clicky for music)

Wild Bull & Tock – At your knock, Christie comes running to her door, “Don’t break my door, Ivy! I’ll be right there~”



She opens the door, she sees Tock.

Her eyebrows raise in shock.

Her eyes dart back and forth between the two of you.

A very amused smile comes to Christie’s face, “Hi, Tock. I’ll go get the beanbag chair.” She walks away with a small laugh.

As you enter the living room, a olive-skinned young man is already siting on the couch, he stands up,



“Hey, I’m Jerome. I guess you could call me Christie’s current--” He is interrupted by Christie, who steps in bear-hugging a large beanbag chair, “Hey! Jerome was born in the grass-wastes to the south and only moved to The City as a kid and is surprisingly not boring!” He looks at her, then at you two, then shrugs his shoulders, “Yep, basically.”

>>

Wild Bull – After introductions are made and snacks are laid out, the movie begins.

The plot is about a pragmatic and decisive magical girl from the moon, who has to rescue her starstruck but clusmy little sister from the nefarious clutches of a maniacal yet fashionable robot villainous.

These characters seem familiar. Have you seen this movie before? Or like, a prequel?

Despite the somewhat girly characters and straightforward plot, Jerome looks pretty into the movie, huh, who would’ve guessed?

>>

Tock – Ah, the old chair, by the old plant, while some schlock plays on the tv. You don’t normally get nostalgic for places that aren’t the Aierie, but right now…

Some time into the film, a small furred creature wanders out from the kitchen.



It walks next to Jerome, who idly scratches it’s head, and turns it’s head towards you. It’s eyes meet your eyes, and – You Both Know.

It approaches you, “Hello, cuz.” The sprite introduces himself politely, “I am Hunt, of the Wide Grass Sea. I have come to Avalon City as the companion of the human, Jerome. What brings you to this strange land?” And then it pushes a little closer and asks the question really on it’s mind, “And why in such a… peculiar form?”

Such an innocent question, from such an innocent creature. Eyes that have never seen horror, a mouth that has never been forced to lie, hands that have never been chained – how does it make you feel, seeing a visage of what you used to be?

And yet; this is the first time you’ve met free and sane family – even distant as the grasslands are to The Forest – in… so long. Is this a chance to vent? An opportunity to explain the feelings impossible to relate to the humans that surround you? Or do take, as you always do, a more pragmatic stance?

How do you respond?

>>

Wild Bull – Spurred by the tears of her little sister, the main heroine refuses to die, reaches her Strongest Level of Power, and unleashes a blast of energy that completely annihilates the vile sludge monster poised to destroy the City. As the sun rises on the horizon, the siblings embrace, and the credits start to roll.

It was… a pretty okay movie! The main character was a little bland, but the villain had a lot of style. Even if the whole ‘consumed by the very monster she unleashed’ death scene was a little predictable. And you totally called that the cat was actually the reincarnated spirit of the mother, watching over her daughters from the afterlife. Okay, maybe the movie was more than a little predictable, but it kept your attention! Which was desperately needed, after the day you’ve had…

Was it enough? Hanging out with friends, forgetting about the… professional difficulties caused by High Gear being a complete asshat? Was it enough to sooth your rage, or did it only serve as a brief distraction?

“Come on, Ivy, back me up on this!” Christie’s voice draws you back to reality. You replay the conversation in your head – the couple had been arguing over who was the more interesting side character. Jerome claimed the little sister was the most inspiring because she tried her hardest despite being kind of a dope. Christie, on the other hand, thought that the villain stood head and shoulders above the rest of the cast because of her fearless composure (and dope jacket).

They both turn their heads to you, looking for a tiebreaker to their argument.

Well, what’s your opinion?

Oh, and Tock is talking with a… cat-thing?



Back at the Labyrinth… (Clicky for music)

Ea’Lyiz – You’re on the surface, looking at the stars. You needed to get away after High Gear revealed those accursed rocks. The black box rests in your hands, the simple texture oddly comforting.

A junker approaches you, unfocused eyes looking off into the horizon, “Ea’Lyiz.” That gets your attention. They are NOT to refer to superior beings in such an uncouth manner! Before you can unleash discipline, he continues, “A celestial object is descending to this planet’s surface; proceed to the Observatory and record the path of it’s descent. This is an order.” After speaking, the Junker nearly collapses, only catching himself at the last moment. He holds his head and looks around, confused, “...Boss?” he mumbles.

Obvious signs of psychic manipulation. Manipulation… from a fellow Hymfazther? Were those orders from Zuda’hym? You scan the Junker’s memories – everything from the past day, after arriving at the labyrinth, is a blur. Well, it’s not unheard of for Zuda’hym intelligence to use manipulated proxies. Although it is odd that they gave you no way of communicating with them.

Your top-eyes dart to the black box, maybe this is all connected? But if it isn’t, and you open it now, you might unleash a trap upon yourself just as Zuda’hym calls for your service.

And… if this was a real request from the homeworld, and you don’t show up, might they think you’ve gone rogue? Like that sentimental fool, Fhy’oni.

You are loyal to the homeworld above all us… right?

Without concern, the stars twinkle in the sky, so, so far away.

What do you do?



High Gear – For the first time in a while, you find yourself with free time.

Your troublesome teammates seem to vanished into the night. In couples, you can’t help but notice. And going to Ea’lyiz so soon after she beat you at she got lucky at Caliburn X-2 seems a little… desperate? Plus, you can’t find her on the Labyrinth cameras anyways. Maybe she’s on the surface?

You’ve already organized the repairs of the Brass Juggernaut. The Grand Manufactory can’t raise out put without more material input, so any planning there is purely theoretical and thus somewhat useless. The Seven Signet Society went out on a ‘spirit binding venture’ – they brought a keg with them, you don’t expect them back before morning – and Metallica is the strong, but silent type.

There’s nobody to talk to. Nothing to argue about. Not even anything to do!

Here you sit, the king in his castle. Alone.



Are your thoughts as awful to yourself as you are to others?



….

…..

ring ring, ring ring – the communicator breaks the silence of the Labyrinth.

Oh, thank god! But you don’t! Because it can’t be scientifically proven he exists!

Ebony Mask appears on screen,


“Hello, Anton. I’ve received the news of your most recent venture. Marvelous work, I must say. To be honest, after Lancelot’s little raid I somewhat suspected you’d be tempted to bring the fight straight to the Knight’s, yet how wrong I was.” He nods his head in an approving manner, “You struck somewhere vulnerable, for something valuable – a most logical course of action.”

“Yet...” His voice shifts from praise to a distinctly more serious tone, “The HPAT wasn’t carrying Unobtaimium solely for use by the city bureaucrats. Onyx Industries had it’s claim in the haul. Oh, you couldn’t have known. It wasn’t official – let’s just say the Unobtainium would’ve suffered an inexplicable 10% ‘loss of volume’ as it was being unloaded. When the news reached us the train had been raided, well, Onyx doesn’t let things they want slip away. We pursued the thieves, and learned that the HPAT was raided by--” Ebony Mask pauses, and the video feed briefly switches to a recording of a guard from the HPAT inside an interrogation room. The guard speaks in a somewhat-frightened tone, “It was some rear end in a top hat in an airship. Called himself ‘High Gear’, if I remember right. He yelled it at us right before the train got flipped.”

The feed returns to Ebony Mask, “Hearing that name was a surprise, and a relief. Because I know you’re a reasonable man, Anton. Let’s make right this accidental wrong between us. Onyx Industries will wire the allotted money directly to your account, full market price, of course, and you’ll arrange transport of 10% of the Unobtainium cargo from the HPAT to our warehouses. Both sides will benefit.”

For the first time, Ebony Mask is speaking to you as a peer instead of some kind pupil. Does his recognition feel affirming? Yet, there is one, glaring problem with the deal he is offering…

You didn’t get the full Unobtainium haul from the HPAT. Ea’Lyiz carried back two large chunks of the ore, but the rest was… probably sucked into the black hole Kite accidentally created. Unrecoverable by any definition of the word.

Doing quick calculations in your head of what a tenth of the full haul should have been compared to what you have in storage now… Yes, you could get Ebony Mask what he is requesting, but it would essentially wipe out your stores.

No amount of money is worth losing all access to Unobtainium, yet…

Is any amount of Unobtainium worth losing Ebony Mask’s friendship? If you denied him, would you lose his friendship? His investment in your upbringing has been significant, surely he wouldn’t turn against you over one refusal, right?

You could also simply inform him you didn’t get the full haul, and that most of it slipped away into a black hole. Why didn’t you get the full haul, well, the utter incompetence of your teammates, of course! Why couldn’t you acquire it yourself? Well, you were baiting a cool metal golem unto your airship to capture him – which you successfully did! – and in the process somewhat destroyed your airship and had to leave immediately and that doesn’t sound too childish an explanation, does it?

What do you do?

--

As always, if I hosed up/you have concerns, yell at me on IRC!

Scrree fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2017 around 04:27

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

...She's behind me, isn't she?


Freak +1 | Danger +0 | Trouble -1 | Superior +2 | Menace +1
Curses! 3/5 | Infamy: 2 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Paranoid | Hold: Far From Home (1) | Location: - The Surface

Silence. It was… a less welcome change than Ea expected. The faint breeze, the open sky, the stars beyond. What should have been peaceful, only disturbed the alien’s heart all the more. How long would they have to remain on this planet, where so much felt uncertain? The man of metal, High Gear, who Ea believed was oh so predictable, showed… restraint? In a very High Gear sort of way, anyways. But it was undoubtedly restraint, considering who it came from. He was almost… not kind or friendly, stars no, but almost acceptable to be around. Almost, of course. He was still High Gear in the end, which meant he was in the end utterly insufferable. Still. He created a new device for them, one that amplified their powers. He also left an abundance of food. Obviously, such offerings were expected, yet…

Thankfully, this increasingly worrisome train of thoughts were waylaid by the approach of one of the Junkers. Immediately, Ea’lyiz’s eyes began to flare when their full name so was so rudely declared, when the alien realized. Mental manipulation? Here? At the Labyrinth? When they were the only psionic in the proximity? (...right?) How? Whom? Why? Was this some strange, even cruel trick by Fhy’oni? No, they were hardly the type. Could it be Riot, somehow? Surely she would not be so foolish as to return? Then… a true message from the Hymfazther? Could it truly be? Yet if that was so, why simply deliver orders? Where was the sign from the homeworld that all was well? Or… no, that thought was foolish. Once more, what should have eased Ea’s heart, only led to further confusion. Further hesitation. Further doubt- no, no, no! To doubt the homeworld, to doubt the Hymfazther, to doubt Mother was nothing short of heresy. But…but…

Ea held the black box up to the starlight. Stared at it with their secondary eyes. Searched for any sign that it was real, that it was fake. For any sign at all. That was all the alien sought. And nothing did they find. No mind was there to read for information. No Mother was there to guide them. Nobody but themself. No one but the outsider from Zuda’hym, alone on this world, so unfamiliar even after all this time spent here. Ea closed their eyes. Of course they were alone. How could any one of the associates understand? High Gear, Wild Bull, Ursula, Black Squire… for all of their many faults, they were still born here, on this abominable planet. Only Tock, the clockwork spirit, was anywhere close to being able to understand. And even then, he at least could… blend in. Not that he would ever choose to. But he could. How vexing. All of it. All of them. Ea glanced back at the Junker, his brain still rattled from his experience. For a moment, a single thought passed through the alien’s mind.

This one does not have to return.

Yet, where else would this one go?

And that, as they say, was that. It was not the homeworld. It was not home. It was not even enjoyable, most days. But it was all that Ea had, on this unfamiliar planet. The company of these vile, impudent, and despicable children of Earth. How vexing. It truly, truly was vexing. But it was all they had. And so, Ea’lyiz gave a short and simple command to the Junker.

[Inform the man of metal that this one will be away. Inform the man of metal that this one will return.]

With that, they left, towards the direction of the Observatory. Flying, all the while, as high as they could.

As close as they could be to the homeworld.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +2 | Menace +2
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

A dull clanging echoed in the empty halls and corridors of the Labyrinth as High Gear stalked them, suited up and both sets of arms crossed beneath his back for that extra self-important look. Finally, he had the Labyrinth all to himself. Finally, he could do some actual work around here without idiots getting entangled in his work and ruining everything. Which was good, since he was the only one who ever actually got anything done in these parts. The others were, after all, far too busy 'having fun' with 'friends'.

...

How asinine.

He wanted nothing like that. He worked best alone, after all. Others just tended to get into the way of his master plan, and really, they were good for little except the occasional well-earned distraction, like Ea.

...Since when had he started calling her by name anyhow? Eh. Irrelevant details.

...

High Gear stalked the empty corridors. The unobtainium was being enriched. What was he going to spend the afternoon on as he waited, anyway? Certainly there had to be something to do. The work of genius was never endig, after all...

He fitted a finger between an air vent grill and peered inside. Had the AECUs installed the alchemical scrubbers as per their instruction? They should have, but honestly, the overall design -or lack of it really- of the Labyrinth didn't fill him with too much confidence. Might as well run a check and install new ones, just in case. High Gear didn't particularly fancy the thought of being taken by surprise by a chemical or biological assault, after all, and it would take care of a couple of hou-

ring ring, ring ring

Ah. It was going to be one of those days. High Gear sat down, removed his faceplate, and listened as Ebony Mask spoke. His face was noncommittal, and to his credit, he barely furrowed his brows in response to the news.

"Ah. That is indeed rather unfortunate", he stated, tone calm and professional, "See, there is a bit of an issue here, sir. For even though the mission was a rousing success, it must be noted that there seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding as to my objective", High Gear adjusted his glasses ever so slightly, "For whilst it is true I sought the unobtainium, I sought a fairly limited amount, for a particular purpose", the whitest of lies, especially since it held a fair nugget of truth. Really, it was like two thirds of white lie at most. "And once this had been procured, I did not see it in my interests to risk my assets for more, even though it would have been doubtless good to have. Not when Kite, High Wizard of the Table, showed up and started charging spells in the low Megathaums. Unwise to gamble against that when you already have what you wanted, correct? He took most of the unobtainium with him through a magical singularity of some description."

"And as for your share", and really, High Gear couldn't shake the possibility that this so-called 'share' had never even existed, and that Ebony Mask was only trying to get a cut. Not something he could prove, and Onyx Inc. definitely might have dealt with clandestine unobtainium trade, but not something he could discount either. And besides, whether that was true or not was irrelevant anyway, since the fact remained that he had to get it back regardless, "I'm afraid it constitutes an unacceptably high percentage of my current stores, and besides, most of it is being enriched already and is thus rather unsuited towards resale."

"Now certainly", he continued, "I am aware that you have invested in the unobtainium in question, and I will naturally endeavor to get it back into your rightful possession. However, I cannot do so quite immediately. I'll get your 10% slightly later on. With a suitable cut in the payment due to late delivery, naturally."

"I apologize for the inconvenience."

A bit regrettable, High Gear reflected, that the only person he interacted with on the regular that could actually be reasoned with to any degree was a glorified mob boss with constant demands.

Oh well. You took what you could get.


Righto, I'm basically locking my next caper move into the 'You strike out on a solo Caper' one to get Ebony Mask his cut.

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +0 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +3 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Insecure


Well. I certainly am made to feel out of place. If there is indeed a place for me at all. My attire's tones are rather light for this crowd but I thought it might be nice to contrast with my droids. It does not bother me much however. To stare at an anomaly is simply human nature. And seedy bars are always trying to scare off fresh faces, right? If you can't take the heat you're not tough enough to stay.

And I am. The notion that I can't handle alcohol is ridiculous. I haven't had much reason to press for it. But with the amount of chemicals I have ran through my body what is one more? And as I already concluded it is projecting confidence that is important in a situation like this.

I place the broach onto the bar. Slam is a bit too strong a word for it. But I am forceful. "How far will this take us?" I look to Percy to make the order. She knows this place so I trust her recommendations.

SHY NUDIST GRRL fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2017 around 01:26

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +0 | Trouble +3 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


"What, no tab?" A loose tongue after a previous session and a mention of her impending death had killed that notion. As for the caper, Percy had tried to be calculating and clever and careful, and what had it gotten her so far? Bruises, failure, and expenses, mainly. So to heck with that. “She’s got the coin.”, she says openly, leaning on the bar, and looks over to Ursula, pointing to the drink board.

“There are a lot of tonic mixes, um… we can start with what I'm familiar with, the . There’s the greens, they tend to make you feel confident, reds kind of… amplify everything, yellows are exciting, whites help you focus, and blues make you really mellow. Often a drink will mix two or three. Like, a Waterfall Meditation has a lot of whites and blues and you just kind of get lost in yourself a little. A Kitten Grenade is mostly reds and yellows, which is like being let off the chain. A Ziploc mostly makes you really chatty.” She pauses. “Or there’s just beer, which is nasty enough to distract you from your troubles, but makes you suffer later.” She leans towards Ursula for a moment. "So Taoist mixes are a good stat, they're pretty gentle, there's Rasayan pearl and coral drinks, and Paracelsian... is pretty strong. Supposed to purify you for immortality, but some of it will make you just hope for death." She sways away, shrugging. "Never try a Mercury Drop."

"Choice makes tonics harder than liquor, I guess, but most of them don't taste spoiled or give you as harsh a hangover. They can leave you weird for little longer if you overindulge, though. Part of the art is trying to end up balanced by the end of the evening and just kind of buzzy." She holds up her hand. "Two Midnight Suns." Blue and yellow. "Alchemists never got immortality down, but they sure got creative with chemical delights. I swear, I can't believe I spent so much time in alchemia learning mixes without getting taught any of this, but that's life as a squire."

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2017 around 01:10

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +0 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +3 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Insecure


I scan the long list of mixed drinks. "It is indeed a staggering selection." One catches my eye. Night Quill. Red and greens with a shot of vodka for 'flavor.' It must indeed taste like red, and green. Instead of anything resembling food. I enjoy the word play with medicine. Though I suppose it would be lost on most people my age unless they had a medical background like me. It was an enduring classic, and I've heard of more tenuous drink names.

"I would like to try that one." I point at the name. Percy has already ordered two drinks, presumably one for me. I doubt we're only getting one round so this is fine.

"Academia doesn't teach you the fun stuff. Treatment is the most banal of subjects for medicine. It's what you'll find in university, but not because more ink has been spilled over it."

Forgot to shift Squire's labels, -1 trouble +1 Danger. Attempting to clear insecure by braving strong drink

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.



Freak +1 | Danger -1 | Trouble +1 | Superior +0 | Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: Everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Then...

Tock returns the kiss. He'd missed this. For all of her faults (and she had many, she was only human) Ivy was a hell of a kisser. Spirits needed interaction, even for a spirit like Tock, contact with other beings was needed. Perhaps it would be enough to soften the unfeeling steel of his clockwork heart.

"Ha, I think I can live with not being hated. I'll have to see about the other stuff though." Tock said, teasingly. Yes, a walk sounded good. Admittedly while he walked everywhere in frozen time, it was lonely and silent wander. Perhaps some time with someone else would take the edge off.

"Lead the way, Ivy."


Now...


The film was passable. The usual shlock that Christie likes to treat as high art. It was one of the things Tock liked about her. But the company was enjoyable enough regardless. Especially when Hunt padded into the room.

Tock looks at the spirit. One should never besmirch innocence out of spite. If that is pragmatic, then so be it. I speak the traditional greeting. Bowing my head.

"I took this form to walk amongst them unseen. That they might believe me one of them. It has it's advantages." He chuckled. "I wouldn't recommend it though. Two legs are rather difficult to adapt too after four legs. But tell me Hunt, what news of the grass seas? It has been eer long since I have swam those wind ruffled grasses."

Tock looked to Jerome as well, his eyes flicking back to the spirit. "What brings you into Jerome's company? Or even to this city? The steel spires are not the place I'd expect to find more of our kind."

Arashiofordo3 fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2017 around 20:54

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +2 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


"We can get that for the next round. Novelty is good at distracting from disaster." Percy looks straight ahead, towards the wall. "I hope I'm not the leader of our crew, and I hope that most of the others aren't." She folds her arms, resting her chin on them. "I thought we'd have a big payout, but I don't even want to confront him about it. I want to blow up the top twenty floors and bury him in his own ego and forget that stupid hole in the ground exists." She picks up her drink as it comes up. She tilts up a little, taking a small sip, and then seems to think better of it and takes the rest down in one slug, getting a wide-eyed look for a moment as she swallows.

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +0 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +3 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Insecure


"I sympathize." I can't help but sigh. "I am going to insist on the next objective. Giving a few of us great trinkets is of value but not so much that we should all be content to risk ourselves for it. I intend to propose we secure something which will see us fed for the time being. Petty theft to just eat is ridiculous."
Then follow her lead and down my drink. Oh my. I exhale and shake my head. It is an upper and a downer at the same time. Anxious is not the correct word but I don't know what else to call it. I shiver as I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I just want to sink into my chair and burst out into the room. "Interest-" I cough. "Interesting chemistry."

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +2 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


Taking a deep breath, Percy sits up straight. "Powers and practicality don't team up. You get that with the Knights, too, folks with talents get hung on using them whether or not it makes any sense." She sets the glass down. She looks over to the bartender. "Two Night Quills." This is irresponsible, but if she's not going to be miles away by sunup, she needs another escape. Raising an eyebrow, she turns back to Ursula. "Should feel both relaxed and awake, just don't fight it."

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +0 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +3 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Insecure


I nod and sigh. With my eyes closed I try to relax and just accept the feeling. I hope it isn't reacting to something I took. Well if I take one of each color it should equalize right?
I quaff the new drink in short order. I cough and pat my chest. "Vodka living down to expectations. It really does taste like cold medicine." I let out an exasperated laugh. Still, I'm glad to be hanging out with Percy and I have no intention to blow it due to foul tasting brews. Just her being here makes it fun. I feel like I could stare at her forever...

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +2 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


Drinking, Percy takes a moment to clear her throat. "Oh, poor grains, what did they do to you?", she says, looking at the glass for a moment. As she stares into her distorted, translucent reflection, she adds, "I was planning to leave, you know, tonight. Just... walk away." She rests her chin on a palm before looking over to Ursula. "You kind of caught me halfway up the stairs. I just don't know how to make the cogs spin on this. Maybe just go on a job and don't tell Gear. I don't know if that was the smartest thing for me or the worst thing. Or both." She looks down. "I think I'm allowed to be selfish, though, considering the circumstances."

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +0 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +3 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions: Insecure


A primal animal fear grows within me after Percy says she was planning on leaving. I don't show it on my face. As much as the red is fueling it the blue is keeping a lid on it. She talks about a solo job but that seems like an addendum. If Percy left... Well Ea is interesting of the bunch but that is very much despite her personality at this point. I wouldn't see much reason to stick around myself. Not after how unprofitable the alliance has decided to make itself for me.
I reach out and take Percy's hand that she isn't propping up her head with. I lean a little to much into it. "You don't have to run a job alone. I am not dealing with their bufoonish tomfoolery and knuckleheaded shenigans pro Bono again. At the very least the planning could be up to the level of hair brained schemes. Honestly the only clever bits of that whole plan were squandered by simpletons. Honestly I'm glad we didn't go with my idea. I had no idea how childish they could be and an overseer AI would be a disaster of bruised egos and-" my lean had been pushing until I had my head on the table.
"Ahem." I sit back up. "We should just do our own job and show them how it's done." Is that like a date? It's too soon to ask for a date. Uhh uhuhhhhh... "Maybe bring Tock." He did get short changed too. "Maybe."

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +2 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


"Well, I guess I need to thank Tock for actually following the plan... and Ea, too.", Percy says, sitting up. "I must sound like a never-may-care with vague words like that, huh, well. I put up with what Gear did once because I thought it was best for the job. Not making that mistake a habit." She holds up a finger. "I think I need a Waterfall Meditation, how about you?"

She did already walk out on her whole life once, doing it again must seem easy enough, though... being wanted made leaving her life easier. Being wanted in another way is making leaving the group harder.

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Communism will help more white people than anyone else. Any equal measures unfairly provide less to minority populations just because there's less of them. Democracy is truly the tyranny of the mob.



Freak +0 Danger -1 Trouble -1 Superior +3 Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 Infamy 2 Conditions:


I huff. "I can do communal moping with my droids back at the base. Chemically assisted zoning out is the purest waste of time I could think of." I fold my arms and turn my head to the side. "I came here to avoid wallowing. As much of a disaster that job was it was still a success. We should celebrate, our own competence if nothing else." I put a fist down into my palm, forcefully considering it's me. "Give me a traffic light. And I say that's what you really need. Something to lift you up, not let you slip beneath the undertow."

Cow 10. Clearing Insecure.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +2 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
3/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


"It's not a waste of time as long as we're having a ball-", starts Percy, before realizing her tongue is moving faster than her brain as she falls right into Ursula's trap. "We could trade drinks- or- ah-" She shakes her head, cutting herself short as if to clear her head. "I mean, as long as you keep up-" She then leans against the counter, but then suddenly slides, dipping towards her drinking partner to faceplant against her for a moment before sitting up. She looks away, not managing to veil her embarrassment. "Fiiiine, Traffic Light it is." She scratches her cheek lightly. "Guess I'm more half-empty than half-full at the moment."

Marking Curses! to go along with the Cow, and trying to Provoke in turn, but a 1 (2d6 -2) will definitely mark Curses! again. (Got the Want coming up in theory to deal with the Condition, if necessary.)

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006




Freak -1 | Danger +2 | Trouble +1 | Superior -1 | Menace +2
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: The Labyrinth -> Christie's place


At the Labryinth

I could easily rip through the bulkhead in front of me, and tear High Gear apart, but I don't. Instead, I stand there, motionless, staring at the cold, metal floor. No angry outbursts, no threats being thrown around, no punching walls in anger, nothing. It's not because I think he's right, or that he has a point, oh no.

It's because he's wrong.

"You don't know a drat thing about me."

He, and almost everybody else in this lovely excuse for a team, think I'm nothing more than a wild, unhinged animal, but they're wrong.I have seen, with my own two eyes, the dark flames consume those who are supposed to be "stronger," but not me. I have conquered the unconquerable flames, and made them mine. Can an "unfocused idiot" do that?

He's just like them, the people who tortured me for so long at that godforsaken poo poo-hole of an orphanage. He looks down on others to make himself feel better. What does he know about suffering? What does he know about the torture I went through? What does he know about my neverending rage? He talks like he knows everything, but he knows nothing.

I turn, and march back to my room, taking the jetpack with me. I'll show him how weak he is, and make him regret for ever looking down on me.

I'll show him how sharp my horns are soon enough.

OOC: Rejecting HG's rebuke! Also making High Gear my new rival, and Tock as my Love now. Tock can shift my labels again!

---
At Christie's Place

"Huh? Oh, yea. I'm going to have to go with Christie on this one. The villain has so many layers to her, and she's by far the most fleshed out character in the film, and have you seen that jacket!? It's rad!" I'm a sucker for cool jackets, which is why it hurts so much to lose my favorite jacket during that fight.

"Anyways," I sit up a little straighter on the couch, "I actually wanted to talk to you and Tock about something, Christie. It's about our mutual.... friend," I say, venom practically dripping from my voice, "D'ya mind if your little boytoy can sit outside for a few minutes?"

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

WHEN ONE STRIKES THY NEIGHBOR THEY STRIKE THEMSELVES.
WHEN ONE FEEDS THY NEIGHBOR THEY FEED THEMSELVES.
THERE IS NO OTHER.




-----

Ea’Lyiz – The Observatory is not far from the Labyrinth. At least, as the crow or Hymfazther flies; your ability to the transcend the winding streets of Avalon City – and bypass the architectural borders built between the ‘proper’ and ‘improper’ sections of town – has never come more in handy than now. Floating over building and blockade alike, you ascend easily to the highest point in Avalon City. The Observatory offers you not only a brilliant view of the stars above, but the sprawling city below. From where you float, you can see the hundreds of thousand of homes, businesses, and slums that the people of this planet live their lives in. It is teeming. It is disorderly. It is miraculous. For a brief moment, you’re allowed the peace to take it all in. What do you think?

Then it hits you.

Or, nearly hits you. A throw dagger, polished steel glittering with reflected stars, skims by your face. An intentional miss? Your secondary eyes immediately spot the source of the attack; there, sitting on the very tip of the Observatory’s massive telescope, is a Human you’ve clashed with once before.



He stands, revolver loosely held in his hand, expression hidden by his mask. “About time you showed up, Alien,” he almost spits the word, “I was beginning to think I was being toyed with.” He tightens his grip, and swings the gun towards you, “I’ll give you one last chance. Free the Junkers and leave this planet immediately, or, “ he cocks the hammer in a very loud, obvious motion, “take your final rest in a foreign land. Your choice.”

A Hero wants Payback, and for more than just your latest crimes!

Irritating. Irritating irritating irritating! This human blocks the mission you’ve been assigned! Unless… Maqina was waiting for you. It doesn’t take psychic powers to realize he knew you were coming. Could it have all been a lie?

There are many questions, but little time for answers. Maqina’s weapon glints in the starlight. Above, the falling object you were sent to observe hits the atmosphere, glowing a bright, angry red.

What do you do?

-----

High Gear – Ebony Mask is silent as you explain your compromise. His expression is stony. Which makes sense, given that the face you can see is literally a stone mask. Finally, after you finish, he raises his hand in an odd flourish, “Oh, no need to apologize, Anton. No need at all.” He rises from his chair, the camera on him automatically zooms out, “What you find out, after a few years in this business,” he begins to pace lightly on camera, “is that in many ways, it’s no different from any business. Logistics, are key. Reliability, is key. Timing, is key.” He pauses his stride, “Those are the qualities one learns to value most, and those are the qualities I see in you, Anton. What you say, I know you will do.” He chuckles, “Really, it’s a virtue almost as rare as your mechanical genius.”

A silence hangs in the air as Ebony Mask searches for something else to say, “When my agents scouted you at that science fair, so long ago, I knew they’d made quite the find, and--” he is interrupted by a somewhat disoriented Junker bursting through the door. The gang member is breathing heavily, obviously having run here in the greatest possible haste.

“The Supreme One, Inherently Greater Being Than Us Shortsighted Humans, wishes for you to be informed of her departure from the Labyrinth.” The Junker halts, taking a big gulp of air, “The Supreme One also wishes you to be informed of her plans to return to the Labyrinth. That is all.”

Before you can even reprimand the fool for interrupting you, another, far more distressing sound plays from the speakers stationed over the base. All computer screens flash to black, before bright red text begins to blink in time with the alarm.

INTRUDER ALERT

On the main screen Ebony Mask’s feed is squashed to a corner as a new one opens up. A camera, activated by movement, displays a strange looking woman walking quickly through the first floor of the Labyrinth. Behind her, hidden by shadow, are three hulking, only vaguely-human forms. She glances up at the camera, and then, with a movement so fast it outpaces the frames of the video, her daggers tear through the lens. The feed turns to static.

Now squashed in the corner of the screen, Ebony Mask stares directly at you, “Let’s not waste any time. Relocating your facility – again – is impractical. I -- Onyx Industries, have some resources in the area. Say the word, and they will be yours.” How kind of the man who just extorted you to offer such assistance. Do you take his offer, and fall deeper into his debt?

Do you activate the emergency signal on your teammate’s communicators?

(Do you think they’ll even respond?)

What do you do?

-----

Wild Bull – “Yeeessss.” Christie grins as you throw in your support for the villain and her dope jacket. Her face turns more serious as you ask for a private conversation. She turns to Jerome, “You heard the lady, shoo!” She playfully shoves him off the couch, “Go to the kitchen! Make snacks or something!” He complies with a grunt.

She turns to you, now alone together on the couch, , “What’s up?”

>>>

Tock – If Hunt doubts your answer, he does not show it, “Bold, Cuz. To change oneself so far is,” he pauses, choosing his words carefully so not to be rude, “impressive. Truly impressive. I shall never underestimate the devotion of those of The Forest to their craft.”

He spins in a quick circle, find a comfortable spot on the carpet, and lays down in front of you, “Last I saw of it, the Grass Sea was as it ever was. The blades sway tall in the summer, are blown down in the fall, bend to dirt under snow in the winter, and rise again in the spring. At sunrise the beasts begin their swim through the brush, prey on their noses, and at sunset they retreat back to their nooks.” He begins to lick a paw, “It was like that when I first dripped from the Ether, and it was like that when I left.”

He turns his head towards Jerome as the young man heads into the kitchen, “Well, the number of humans grew, slowly. Although they’re villages would often swelled into nothing more than an ample feast for the true Lords of the Grass Sea. Jerome’s village was consumed whole by the King Snake, who could stretch to the sun if he wished.” Hunt turns back to you, “I planned to lead the boy to a den of wolves, to see if he could learn their ways, but at the last moment I turned him towards a caravan of traders. When they took him in, I decided to follow. My kin could not understand me, but maybe you can?”

Hunt closes his eyes, and almost purrs as he lets himself slip into memory, “The world felt narrow. Even if I tricked the boy into becoming the greatest hunter, even if he slew the King Snake and bathed in the lake of it’s blood. Eventually, I knew that he would crumble from time itself. His body turnt to fresh silt where the seeds grow strongest, and my efforts once again leading only to a tide of rising grass. The thought was… revolting.”

His eyes open again, “You’ve felt that, right? That’s why you’re here; it must be. I hate this place. The air is foul. The ground is harsh. The native spirits are unruly and mad, yet...” He thwaps his tail against the carpet excitedly, “Accompanying Jerome is something I cannot regret. In this land, nothing is sacred. I have seen the weak defeat the strong. I have seen the meek hunt the fierce. The grass could rise in the winter, fall in the spring, or be burnt away and paved with stone forever! These humans have built a most profane and wondrous home for themselves!”

His words, and tail, begin to calm, “That is my story. Since I left the Grass Sea, I have seen no other Kin – until you, Cuz.” Hunt tilts his head again, this time towards Isabelle, “It is a great relief to see another who shares my interest in humans.” He raises both paws to his snout, covering them as if embarrassed, “I was sure I was some kind of oddity for our kind!”

Well, that’s quite the tale. Hunt seems happy to finally have another spirit to explain himself to, even if he assumes much about your own interests.

How do you respond?

If you want to really dig into Hunt’s character/Tock’s opinions on his story, let me know and I’ll open a google doc for the conversation.

-----

Black Squire & Ursula – The drinks flow in, and the worries flow out. Inside of you the chemicals swirl into guaranteed delight. Sure, vision might blur, and grips might slacken, but what’s the worst that can happen?

You’ve both indulged deeply into your own insecurities by drinking deeply of your cups! At the end of the scene, clear Insecure. However, for the rest of the scene, mark the (I just made this up) Drunk condition: Take -1 to Directly Engaging, Assessing the Situation, and Absconding.

Drunk will automatically clear the next time time passes.

Ursula: I should’ve told you I planned to do this when you noted that you wanted to try to clear Insecure by drinking. If you want, you can retcon the choice for your 10+ Rebuke roll, re-add Insecure to your character sheet, and then add a Plan to the pool. Your choice.

Black Squire: Mark the ‘Get Drunk with a Peer’ Want, and mark Curses!, clear a condition, take influence over someone involved.


>>>

Ursula & Black Squire – You just want to have a fun, relaxing time. It’s really unfair, what happens next.

A fishman flies through the windows.

He’s all pretty beat up, and not all of his cuts are from the newly-broken glass. Following behind him through the door are four Troll bruisers, the biggest one steps up and yells at the patrons as he enters –



“This is Family business. I don’t want to see no phones. I don’t want to see no ‘heroes’. And I definitely don’t want to see no ‘unnecessary bloodshed’. You got me?” He pauses, then yells. “You got me!?” Most of the other patrons respond by staring deeper into their cups. “Good.”

The fishman stands back up, swords in hand, a silent determination on his face. He hasn’t given up yet, and the Trolls move towards him warily, trying to get to past sides without him noticing. The atmosphere is tense, but both of you understand it’s just the calm before the storm.

You were both Knights, (or at least Knight-adjacent), once. You both had mentors who spoke of the needs of protecting the populace, of thwarting evil whenever it rears it’s head. For a Young Knight to offend the wrong people, and be disposed ignominiously in dim bar on a dim night – isn’t it so unfair? Does it make what little sense of justice you have left in your heart burn with anger?

Even if it does, do you care enough to intervene?

>>>

Black Squire – Through the haze of the Traffic Light, you gaze at the fishman’s back. There’s something in his back pocket that’s flashing, and you know what it is. It’s on the tip of your tongue, it was standard gear for when you were a Young Knight, it’s! It’s!!!

Oh, duh! It’s the Emergency Communicator! And it’s flashing because he’s activated the SOS signal.

Then she arrives,



“Don’t worry, I’m here, and more backup is -- PERCY!?” Saint Georgia physically stumbles as she sees you. Two of the trolls turn, violence in their eyes.

Guess staying uninvolved just stopped being an option.

What do you do?

>>>

Ursula – WHO IS THIS ATTRACTIVE GIRL AND WHY DOES SHE KNOW PERCY BY NAME?

What do you do?



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Been a while! As always, contact me through PMS/IRC if you have ANY issues. I'll try to get back to you ASAP.

Scrree fucked around with this message at May 1, 2017 around 04:20

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...


Freak +0 | Danger -1 | Trouble +0 | Superior +2 | Menace +2
Curses! 2/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: - | Cards: 0 | Location: The Labyrinth

High Gear merely stared at the junker, an expression of dull annoyance on his face.

"Now is that so? Fine. You're dismissed."

Sighing, and then squeezing the bridge of his nose briefly, High Gear brought his mask back on his face before addressing Ebony Mask once again. "Nevermind that man, he's just a minion of a psionically capable ally rather deeply steeped in alien hubris. As for your suggestion, I appreciate the offer, but would prefer to not be a burden quite so soon after already bringing bad news", once more, ingenious avoidance of yet more debt, "Besides, we know nothing about this woman other than that she's trespassing. If she's a knight affiliate, her knowing that we're here would be bad regardless. If she's independent, there might yet remain both easier and potentially more profitable ways to solve this... issue. Thus, I would appreciate a quick comms line to these assets of yours, but I do not wish to commit to their use quite yet. It would be foolish to act so rashly with this little information after all, when more information is readily available."

Sure, he had his actual allies too, but taken how little they had done to improve their collective lot thus far, High Gear had no particular belief they would answer.

...He might send them a message if the invader could not be negotioted with anyway, even if just to somehow use that as a way to claim moral high ground in an argument later on. You had to think these things through in advance. He hadn't been the president of the debate club for nothing, after all. The fact that it completely dissolved less than a month after he joined notwithstanding.

****

Suddenly, dull fluorescent lamps turned on in the corridor the invasive lady was inhabiting, cameras flipped from behind wall paneling, all pointing at her and her strange companions.

"Generally we knock", rang High Gear's irate voice from embedded loudspeakers, "And introduce ourselves before invading someone else's LAIR. Now who are you, and why are you here? Know that I am magnanimous and almost excessively reasonable as a person, but if you fail to immediately identify both yourself and your intentions, you will NOT enjoy your stay."

Of course, whilst there was a nugget of truth to High Gear's negotiations, this also bought him time to run extensive psychotronic, thaumic and gravitonic scans on the invaders with hidden arrays, as well as perform a number of important database cross-references and diagnostics. As well as properly warm up the dormant machinery inside the base...

quote:

Theantero: High Gear Assesses the Situation to figure out stuff about the rude knife lady
Theantero: !r 2d6+2
Krysmbot: Theantero, 11+2 = 13

Regardless of his fairly peaceful overtures, High Gear prepares for the possibility of violent altercation. Thus, I ask the following:
-What here can I use to kick the butt of these invaders (what's their kryptonite???)?
-What here is the biggest threat?

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Freak -1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +2 | Superior +0 | Menace +1
Curses!:
1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


As the fish- wait. Isn’t he more of a squidman? Well, semantics. As the squidman comes crashing in, she frowns a little. She was just riding the wave and now it’s come crashing down. Looking sidelong to the troll, she sighs, and shifts her jacket slightly to make sure she has access to her pistol. Her head is swimming, wandering between notions. While part of her is saying not to get involved, the other is pointing out how satisfying it would be to plant a shock-slug right between the troll’s eyes for interrupting her evening. Instead of benevolence and malevolence on her shoulders, right now it's more like sloth and wrath.

As Saint Georgia shows up, her face lights up. This was at least an interesting sort of annoyance. “Oh, hey, Georgie. ‘Sup?”, she manages after a moment. “Hey, sit down and have a sip with-”, she starts, patting a seat before seeming to remember that, oh, right, the whole troll-and-squid deal. “Aw, fudge ducks.”, she says, and pats Ursula's shoulder as she starts to stand. “Wait right here while I shoot a fool or two, okay?” But who to shoot first...?

Taking the Rogue move A Dame to Kill For because how could I not at this point to clear Curses!, then taking Curses! again from the Want, reflected above. Assessing the Situation for a total of 9 (2d6 -1), and let's go with "what here is the biggest threat?"

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