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


Who is this woman that Percy is so familiar with?! Hold on. Calm down. Think about this. That's what you're good for Ursula. So they're friends. Well were friends. Just like my associates at the institute. The ones I left on good terms with. Sort of. Regardless, our meeting would be amicable but it would not mean much. So this is just an old friend. And even if... well that would be in the past! It's very unlikely regardless. But if they are friends then she is a way in with Percy right? That's how that works isn't it? People are more inclined to like you if you are seen as favorable by their peers. Yes. Yes. It's logical, it doesn't need much practice to figure something like that out. So I need to figure out a way to impress uh, Georgie it was. Yeah.

Would helping with the ugly dudes do that? That would require something that I am not well experienced at. Surely brain power can help with this. Even something as crass as a bar fight.

[url=http://orokos.com/roll/513243] 11 to assess. What here can I use to impress Georgie/Percy? How can I end this quickly?

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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.

Tock chuckles. "Ahhh, I thought as much. The humans are truly a strange creature. They are both fascinating and infuriating in equal measure." He glanced over to the sofa where the girls were in discussion. Given Bull's expression, no doubt it was about High Gear. If she needed or wanted his help, she would Ask. Tock knew Ivy hated help to be forced upon her. She was strong and powerful. And the powerful hated being made to feel weak.

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 Observatory

Peace. Or at least, the closest thing to peace that Ea could feel on this planet. Not bad, they supposed. From here, they came close to the stars. From here, they looked down on the city. Yes, this Observatory was not so bad, Ea thought. A place to relax, to soothe their mind, and to watch from an elevated position of power. Perhaps this location would need to be remembered, even after the mission for the Hymfazther was complete. Still, peaceful as it may have been, it was not a place the alien desired to stay around for long. They did not much like the company of the impudent children of Earth, but they at least made things interesting-

Something speeds by. Blinking with their primary eyes, comprehending yet uncomprehending, Ea’s secondary eyes pivot up to the tip of the Observatory. A familiar ‘face,’ even to the alien who spent little time in memorizing those on this planet. After all, this was a child of Earth who had caused Ea trouble countless times in the past. All over a singular group of humans. If the truth must be made, the alien found the usefulness of the Junkers worth less than the repeated annoyance of this Maqina. But their pride and sense of self refused to accept defeat, refused to accept surrender. As such, Ea slowly floated upwards until they reached eye level with the masked hero, ignoring the revolver aimed in their direction. Voice dripping with barely restrained fury, they said,

[You. Dare. Threaten. Me. Here. And. Now!?]

How vexing. It truly, truly was vexing. That so many children of Earth considered themselves even worthy of speaking without being spoken to, considered themselves even worthy of acting without being commanded to, considered themselves even worthy of standing in the alien’s presence. But. At least the associates had something to offer Ea. So their disrespect was… ‘tolerated’, for a certain definition of the word. Yet, this Maqina somehow thought they were in any position to do the same. Here, in a place where Ea felt so superior, so supreme. (Why were they here?) Here, in a place where Ea was assigned a mission from the homeworld itself. (How had they known?) Here, in a place where Ea was not at all secretly hoping the celestial object would crush this upstart hero. (Could the mission be a l-)

[One last chance? You have already wasted yours, challenging this one alone.]

Kneel.

quote:

[00:24] <TheFireMagi> Ea'lyiz spreads the mental Contagion to Maqina!
[00:25] <TheFireMagi> !r 2d6+1
[00:25] <Krysmbot> TheFireMagi, 7+1 = 8
[00:26] <TheFireMagi> On a 7-9, they choose one. They mark a condition. They make themselves vulnerable. They give you Influence on them.

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006

...Can I feel your muscles?



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


“What’s up?”

Bull looks at Christie with a serious look on her face. “I need you to do something for me. You know High Gear? The prick who thinks he’s better than everybody else? I want you to find me everything about him. I want to know every, dirty little detail that I could use against him.” Crushing High Gear would be easy enough for Bull. There’s nothing he could do to stop her if she chooses to go after him, but no, that would not be enough. For people like High Gear, it was not enough to crush their body. She wanted to crush his spirit.

”Oh woow.” Christie arches an eyebrow high, “You’re serious about this. I haven’t seen you this mad since --” her eyes flicker to Tock, obviously thinking of the breakup “-- a while ago.” Christie leans back, hand on her chin a thinking pose, “Hmmm, I know some basics about him; he’s a techie, wants to ‘reform society’ in his own image, which, you already know that just by being around him for a couple minutes, right? One thing that is a little more low-key is that he has some kind of deal with Onyx Industries. Some kind of patronage thing. I can find out more about that…”

Christie snaps out of her thoughts and looks you straight in the eye, “Normally I don’t ask clients about their intentions; it’s bad form, you know? But we’re a bit closer than that Isabell. So I have to ask -- is this going to be your new goal? The mighty Wild Bull tearing down some small time villain in the gutters of the city? I’ll help you as much as I can, of course, it’s just… You don’t seem to be doing this for fun, and that’s unusual.”

Bull opens her mouth to answer Christie, but she quickly stops herself. She’s known for being incredibly stubborn, but Christie has a way of making her stop and actually consider her actions. Probably has something to do with how she’s one of the few people who don’t talk down to Bull. She crosses her arms, and leans back on the sofa, and thinks about it for a few minutes. Is this really something she wants to devote all her time too? Yea, he made her mad, but lots of people made her mad. Getting mad is kinda her thing. What makes High Gear so different from Jun, who she actually has a legitimate (Well, legitimate to her, anyways) reason to get angry over.

She sighs, and says, with no real hint of anger in her voice anymore, “It is unusual, isn’t it? Why am I getting so worked up over a nobody like High Gear,” she stares up at the ceiling, and thinks about it for a moment, “I think it’s just because… everything that guy says just pisses me off. He just has this really obnoxious way of talking, and he just makes ya wanna throttle the life outta him whenever he starts opening that big mouth of his. Like, just today, he gave this kick-rear end jetpack, and then he insults me for 10 minutes straight! Who does that!?”

Bull looks back at her friend, with a tired look on her face, “I guess I just wanted to teach that rear end in a top hat a lesson in humility, but I just don’t know if he’s worth it anymore. Maybe I should, I dunno,” she shrugs, “Just ignore him, I guess?”

“Heh,” Bull gives Christie a tired smile, “Sorry for unloading all this crap on you, Christie. It’s been a long day.”

Christie’s eyebrow raise at the word ‘jetpack’, “Did that seriously happen? The guy sounds like a five year-old trying impress a girl in kindergarden.”

She shuffles a bit closer to Isabelle, “No need to apologize, girl, we’ve all been there before -- boys are terrible. I don’t think ignoring him is the way to go, though.” Christie taps her fingers against the surface of the couch, “He sounds like the kind of guy who will think your silence is a challenge to get your attention, and I know you, Isabelle, you’re not one to back down from a challenge. You’ll just end up angry over him and then frustrated about how he isn’t even worth your anger. If you really want to hurt him, try taking his gifts, letting him believe you agree with him, and then right when he needs you most, right when he’s most vulnerable--”

Christie punches the couch

“Bam! That’s when you rip his heart out!” She pauses a second, “Not literally. Although I guess if he’s a really bad guy that’d be okay too, I guess… My point is; in my experience people who think they’re above everyone else are just desperately lonely assholes. They demand your respect because they crave your attention. It makes them suuuuuuuper predictable, so if you want to hurt someone like that, that’s how I’d do it.”

“I’ll look into the Onyx Industries connections, just in case you do end up pounding out his front teeth.” Christie gives you a wink, “Wouldn’t want my best customer to end up as the underworld’s most wanted without knowing about it first!”

“Hah! That plan’s so loving evil, I love it! Make him think I’m on his side, and then, when he least expects it,” she smacks a fist into an open palm, “WHAM! Last minute betrayal! Oh man, I can’t wait to see the look on his face when that happens! It’s going to be hilarious! Oh, sure, he’ll probably get mad and, I dunno, try to throw me into a volcano or whatever, but ehhh. There’s not much that stuck-up nerd could do to actually hurt me.”

Bull nods at Christie, “Sure, lemme know what you find.” Bull stretches on the couch, and then looks at her friend with a rare smile on her face, “Alright, I think that’s enough talking about lovely co-workers for now. What’dya say we go out for some pizza and ice cream?” she winks at her, “You’re free to bring along your new boytoy if ya want.”

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 - You seep into Maqina. Your vision obscures his sight. Your taste embitters his tongue. Your touch sears his skin.

Your essence oppresses his being.

Within him, you feel a great surge of adrenaline and angry. He knows this is how you took control of the Junkers, and he is riotous are your attempt to do it to him. It’s no matter. You just need to reach in a little deeper, bind a little tighter, and--

Maqina is affected by your mental Contagion! He chooses to mark a condition, and marks Angry!

BANG!

Maqina’s revolver rings loudly into the night. His aim wasn’t perfect, but you weren’t exactly trying to dodge, were you?

Take a powerful blow!


As you reel back from the shock, your vision flies skywards. Because of that you realize two things:

The first is that the falling celestial object is a… giant lizard?

The second is that the giant-space-lizard is disintegrating from the stress of reentry. It looks a lot like this,



And the beast appears to be missing one wing. Wait, not missing, you’ve found it, it’s falling quite a bit lower and quite a bit faster than the rest of the body.

Just before it hits the ground, the membrane of the wing catches the wind. It begins to parachute out, but it’s so torn and out of balance that it begins to spin. Each rotation causes it to gain horizontal momentum, spinning it like a massive frisbee over the city.

If Avalon City were still just a collection of squat huts, the wing would probably pass over the city without hitting anything or harming anything.

Unfortunately, one place has been built up just a little too high. And unfortunately for you, you’re hovering right over it.

So as the absolutely massive dragon wing smashes into the side of the hill under you, as the telescope under Maqina’s feet buckles and shatters, as a cloud of dust and small stone shards flies upwards, blind you, you think,

What the hell is wrong with this world?

–--

High Gear – Ebony Mask nods, “Of course, I’ll put my resources at the ready, but the call will be yours. I trust your judgment.”

A phone number appears on screen. Wait, just an ordinary phone number? That’s surprisingly pedestrian, but you suppose that's what happens when your villainy becomes corperate…

~555-192-0166~

You gained Onyx Industries’ Local Resources Digits!?

While you save the number, most of your attention is on screen observing the invader. She pauses as the lights turn on around her. She listens to your demands with care, and after a moment of thought, replies with a simple, “I am Mallor

swip swip swip

Faster than the limited frames of the camera can capture, she strikes out the lights in the room. Video feed blackens out, then you hear the sound of scraping stone, heavy slamming, and then audio feed cuts off. One by one, the various sensors in the room are destroyed.

How are they finding them? Not through technological means; your scan showed a complete absence of electronics. Not even a phone! It must be through some magical or spiritual sense, which is just, ugh, so unscientific. So uncool!

But if Mallor is trying to blind you, little does she know she’s already failed. Your first scan was thorough enough to tell you all you wanted to know, and actually, her destruction of your sensors is to your benefit, as it slows down her invasion of the manufactory! Although the task of replacing them will yet another annoyance…

Anyways, the three hulking things following behind her; you now know they’re stone golems.



Fairly well made ones at that. To shape hands flexible enough to hold weapons is an arduous task for the Golemcrafter; for one to create three individual golems with such fineness implies the skill of a master. From that, you can safely assume that their Runes will be well placed in guarded areas, and the seams of their wrought rock connected without fault. There won’t be any way easy way to disable them.

Except…

As Golemcrafter Isling famously wrote, ‘The bigger golem always wins.” And you have a bigger golem. What is the purity of stone compared to the RIGOR of black iron? Metallica could grind these automatons into dust. Metallica will, if you order him to.

The weakness of Golems is a bigger, stronger Golem. Take +1 Forward to using Metallica against the three stone golems.

Now that you know the enemy configuration, your instincts flare up a warning. Three golems guarding a single person? That’s not the formation for a base-invasion, that’s what someone would send on a raid. This is a loud and open burglary. The real threat here is the woman, the golems are just a (albeit destructive) distraction.

The Biggest Threat here is Mallor. Specifically, if Mallor gets into the Labyrinth, gets what she wants, and gets away scott-free while you’re dealing with her guard golems. Take +1 Forward to impairing or tracking her movement.

This realization brings you to a troublesome decision. With the Brass Juggernaut down, your personal mobility is crippled. If the raiders went for a deathmatch in your hometurf, you’re sure you could win, but if they just want to swipe something and run? You aren’t able to – you’re incapable of – you can’t – that’s not your role! You’re the genius, the technological wunderkind, not the bloodhound! That’s what the others are for. To deal with situations like this that fall outside your forte.

So… you need them, right? And you need to call them to let them know, right? To let them know you can’t defend the base on your own.

Right?

What do you do?

–---

Wild Bull – Christie grins at your suggestion, “Hell yeah, that sounds amazing. And I know just the place!” She hollers into the kitchen for Jerome’s attention. Hunt trots over, interested look on his face. Christie whips the whole party into motion, and within a minute you’re on your way too…

--

Tock – The humans get very excited about something, and you’re dragged in their wake. Before you know it, you end up at...

>>>

Wild Bull, TockArchimedes Corner. Standing on the intersection of 3rd and 14th, Christie explains that it’s “A place that serves every kind of pie! Pizza, shepherds, ice cream – But!! You can cheat, and ask for ice cream pie without the crust and just get a huge serving of ice cream in a tin!”

The place is deserted when you arrive. Maybe people are too concerned by the giant dragon falling towards the city to have much of an appetite? Whatever the reason for the public’s malaise, Christie is unaffected, and keeps discipline in your post-plotting quest for junk food.

The waiter brings out your food promptly, and then heads back into the kitchen to finish a mid-life crisis triggered by the night’s potential impending apocalypse. Other than you, the store is totally empty. Christie saunters over to the stereo, fiddles with it, and a steamy tune starts to play.

>>>

Tock – What did you order? Do you even need to eat food? The atmosphere of Christie’s house, in the chair, next to the plant, was nice. Now you’re… now you’re in another place totally unlike the Forest. Can you remember the glens? The clear waterfalls? The crisp air? Sure, this place might have some charm, but it’s not like your homeland. Very few places in Avalon City are like your homeland. But, you’re with Isabelle, and that has to count for something, right?

Jerome takes the pepperoni off his pizza and places it gently on the ground, “I’m a vegetarian.” He explains. Hunt trots up and takes a nibble of the meat pile, “I have lapped the thickened blood of prey that ran ‘til it died of thirst. This is far saltier.” He takes another bite, “Yet most humans love it. It’s absurd.”

What do you do?

>>>

Wild Bull – What did you order? Did you combine pizza and ice cream together into some kind of beautiful dairy monstrosity? Did you tell Tock about the in-depth plan you made to screw over High Gear because he's such a pill?

Christie can’t keep her hands off Jerome. Right now, she’s trying to force-feed a piece of sausage; basically wrestling him down into the foam of the booth. You’re sitting next to Tock, and the place is pretty private… Not like you’d care if there was a crowd! You’re not shy, or embarrassed by public displays of affection, no way!

Tock’s an old flame, rekindled, and your flames always burn hotter than hell, so…

You gonna get your mack on or what?

---

Black Squire – Saint George slips out of battle mode at your casual address, “Sup? Em, I’m good. You know, the same old Knightly grind--” Her pun is interrupted by the roaring battlecries of the two Troll bruisers.

Clang! She catches the impact of a club with her sword. Clang! George barely shifts in time to block the second blow with the hilt of her blade. The force of the blows send her stepping back out of the bar, “Ocho! Don’t do anything crazy!” She cries out from the entrance.

>>>

Black Squire, Ursula – But it’s too late, Ocho, the squidman, has already charged the biggest Troll. They strike at eachother, weapon on weapon. Both break. They grapple with each other, hand to tentacle. Neither allow themselves to budge. And finally, in an amazingly stupid display of brute masculinity, they headbutt each other.



Chief Troll Bruiser, Elfonso, marks Angry!

Ocho has already marked all conditions, and passes out!

Both fighters stagger back a little punchdrunk, but the victor soon becomes clear. Ocho is just too worn down by the day to remain standing, and collapses backwards unto the table of a few unlucky patrons. Elfonso is ecstatic, “Yeah. Yeah! Who’s the strongest in Avalon? The Trolls!” He picks up his sundered club and hurls into the wall of bottles behind the Bartender. The shelf holding them gives out, and they shatter on the floor into an absolute mess of enticing chemical smells and jagged glass. “Who owns Avalon!? The Trolls!” He roars again.

The bartender looks furious, she whispers to you both, “Free drinks for the rest of your life if you end him.” That would be a much more tempting offer for anyone other than the two of you, but, that’s probably why she’s willing to offer it?

>>>

Black Squire – Okay, shoot the big guy, easy. But that’s not the real threat here. The real problem is the blinking signals on Ocho’s and George’s belts; you can handle a couple rowdy boys who don’t know how far out of their depth they are, but if more Knights start to show up things are going to get complicated. God forbid, if Gungnir shows up, very complicated.

Take +1 Forward to convincing or fooling Saint George (and Ocho, if he should reawaken) that there is no need for backup, you're on the up-and-up, and that involving other Knights in this would be a bad idea.

Good news is that you have a pretty good hunch on how much time you have before the big guns show up. If you can clean up this mess in the bar and turn the charm on Georgie in the next few minutes, you might actually be able to get those drinks with her in peace.

Don’t forget to mark Drunk in your header!


What do you do?


>>>

Ursula – You coolly remain calm as a rival love interest another good friend of Percy’s shows up. It’s no problem. No problem at all. In fact, it’s an opportunity! If you can get on Georgie’s good side, that’ll probably get you on Percy’s good side through the transitive property of relationships! And given what just happened in the bar, you know a pretty guaranteed way to earn her favor.

To impress Saint George, you need to show her you’re a great, selfless person. Take +1 Forward to healing up Ocho, bragging about your 'philanthropic' work at the Institute, or generally acting like a Paragon of Knightly Virtue.

Thanks to your cool temperment, you noticed something many others missed. When the chief bruiser hurled his club in the barwall, the other Trolls flinched. They’re not nearly as confident as he is. Looking tough and easily angered to scam protection money is one thing, actually going directly against the authorities is another. If you can take the big guy out, or send him running, the others are sure to follow.

The small fry will rout if you take out the big guy. Take +1 Forward towards inflicting violence or fear upon Elfonso, the chief bruiser!

Your mind, moving in somewhat unusual directions from the inebriation caused by your former chemical indulgence, whirls at the idea of infliction. Your drone purrs underneath your butt, a satchel of emergency supplies you never leave without rests within easy reach.

What do you do?

-----

Ea'Lyiz -- The dust begins the thin. The rubble of the observatory finally stills from it's collapse. You'd wished for the celestial object to hit Maqina... Is this what humans call Irony?--

Bang! Bang! Bang!

That worthless monkey is STILL ALIVE and STILL SHOOTING at you! Argh! You catch a glimpse of him standing on the massive, now-cracked lens of the main telescope. There's too much dust in the air to get a good shot, but that doesn't stop him from trying.

In the distance, you hear the howl of sirens as the city reacts to the crash.

What do you do?

Scrree fucked around with this message at May 15, 2017 around 04:21

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 Observatory

It is with a smirk that Ea oppresses the hero before them, one hand unnecessarily stretched out in a crushing motion. While gestures were not in any way needed for the alien’s psionic abilities to activate, there was a certain flair to doing so that they quite enjoyed. If effort must be wasted on fools such as these, then at least may it be done with a theatrical grace worthy of a supreme being. Yes, just a little more, and his mind would bend, his will would break, and he would be nothing more than a puppet just like those Junkers he sought to reclaim.

A bang. Primary eyes unmoving, seconds pass before Ea processes what has just happened. How odd. ‘Twas a familiar sound. One that the candled one often emitted. The alien had never thought much of it then. Yet now, as blood seeped out from their chest, it occurred to Ea that bullets truly were quite a dangerous thing. After all, it meant that utterly wretched, putrid, lesser beings such as the children of Earth could actually harm a member of the Hymfazther, in spite of the sheer difference of everything between the two species. Ridiculous. Absurd. Unacceptable. Unacceptable. Unacceptable.

[Absolutely-]

Then, a crash. An object from orbit. The celestial object they were meant to track. The telescope breaks. Dust rises up. Vision is hampered.

quote:

[00:31] <TheFireMagi> Ea'Lyiz takes a Powerful Blow from Maqina shooting at them!
[00:31] <TheFireMagi> !r 2d6+3
[00:31] <Krysmbot> TheFireMagi, 9+3 = 12
Choosing “You lose control of yourself or your powers in a terrible way!”

Gunfire. Sirens. Cracking earth. Voices. Voices. Voices echoing in the mind. Maqina’s. High Gear’s. Ursula’s. Black Squire’s. Tock’s. Wild Bull’s. Those, and countless more. Every voice but Ea’s. Static on the radio, and it wouldn’t shut off. No clear line of sight between the alien and the hero. It was not needed. They could sense his presence, his movements, his thoughts. His thoughts, and so many others. Emotions of surprise, fear, concern at the celestial object that had fallen. What was it? Why had it fallen? Was it safe?

silent

So much noise. So much clamor. So much worthless chatter from the chattel. Useless, meaningless, pointless. All of it, all of them, all of their existences. Their only value was for this one’s amusement. So why did they continue their drivel, their resistance, their impudence? And why? Why could Ea not shut them out, shut them off, shut them up? Voices. Voices. Voices echoing in the mind, and they refused to cease.

be silent

No. It was not that they refused to cease. It was that Ea’lyiz could not make them cease. No matter how much the alien tried, the voices would not recede. They had tuned in, but now they could not tune out. A psychic driven to the brink by anger, fears, and isolation. Mental overload for the mental overlord.

“Be silentsilentsilentsilentsilent!

Ea’lyiz lashed out, not even in particular at the hero before them that proved so troublesome, his presence already forgotten, drowned out by the voices. It was simply nothing more than an unleashing of uncontrolled, sheer psionic power that Maqina happened to be in the vicinity of.

quote:

[16:02] <TheFireMagi> Ea'Lyiz Directly Engages Maqina by overloading his brain with mind blasts!
[16:02] <TheFireMagi> !r 2d6
[16:02] <Krysmbot> TheFireMagi, 7 = 7
Choosing to impress/surprise/frighten the opposition.

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

"I am afraid", the comms crackled with High Gear's voice, cold and disdainful, "That is not quite good enough. Let me show you how to handle an introduction."

There was a mighty whir as High Gear instructed the ambient machinery that had been constructed in the Labyrinth like an orchestra, cold servos heating up and roaring to life as they clacked together plates and tubes coated in nano-alchemic lubricants, quickly fabricating together a tube leading downward, ever downward. And when Mallor and her golems entered the assigned bit of corridor, heavy duty bulkheads slammed down on both ahead and behind. Something they might have found workarounds for, given time. Alas, that they did not have as the floor underneath them gave away, the chutes below them whisking them into darkness...

Luckily, there was light at the end of this tunnel. Indeed, both Mallor and her servants quickly found themselves in a giant, dome-shaped arena, easily 50 meters in both diameter and height. And as their makeshift slip and slide wormed its way into the ceiling, behind triply reinforced trapdoors, it might as well have been airtight as well. A metallic curtain unfurled on the far wall, revealing a giant, high-definition screen, bearing the likeness of High Gear, face masked, both arms behind his back.

"Welcome", he spoke as he spread his upper set of arms, "to the magnificent LAIR of HIGH GEAR, the greatest thing quarrelsome fools like yourself have ever, or will ever behold. Too bad that you will not have the chance to truly marvel at the various fruits of my utter genius, taken how you will be fully occupied by all the traps", spikes appeared from the floors, hidden chutes shot gouts of iridescent flame, spinning saw blades on mechanical arms appeared from the walls menacingly, and all manner of other traps, both novel and classic, made their presence known, "my INFINITE LEGIONS of minions", doors opened, revealing swarms of various clockwork robots with all sorts of ranged and close combat armaments that immediately encircled Mallor, but left a good 10 meters of space, "and other, even more dangerous things", METALLICA stomped in from the very back of the arena, cracking its fingers and neck (not that it needed to, but High Gear had commanded it to do so for added emphasis), "that I have prepared for you."

High Gear snorted, and finally brought the pair of arms he'd been showily gesticulating with back behind his back, "See, THAT is how you introduce yourself, you base cretin."

"Now, be sure to make a good show of your fight before your inevitable defeat. The recording will be more popular in the UnderWeb that way."

"MWAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH"

High Gear turned around with a flourish, causing his cape to flutter ever so slightly, before the camera feed went black and the metallic curtain slammed back in front of the screen.

Then, as one, the robots attacked.

****

High Gear sighed as he removed his mask and rubbed his eyes with a thumb and index finger. As fun as it was showing off on occasion, and to promote himself into public consciousness, he had sort of been hoping to get some actual work done. It's not as if anyone ELSE did anything actually useful around here. Well, the Black Squire was a good cook, but still. The point still remained: he was stuck dealing with some idiot. Which, naturally, meant that their base location had already been compromised.

Great.

He probably should relocate the manufactory deeper in that case, to protect from surface level attacks. But that was a tangent, and to be dealt with later. He had more pressings concerns now, as much as it irritated him.

High Gear rubbed his chin, as he scowled and gazed intently at the feeds from the arena. Who was this girl anyway? She had some sort of magical sixth sense, some subclassification of precognition most likely. Did she build those golems, or were they a loan? Was she an independent operator, or was she aligned? Hmph. Well, he'd find out eventually. As for now, he should probably inform the Team. Not that he expected anything from them, but they deserved to know nonetheless.

And thus, the chosen comms devices of everybody in the team received the following message.

Message posted:

Message from High Gear:

Base under assault (most likely a raid/smash and grab attempt based on force present) by girl in red hooded outfit who fights with knives and with considerable martial skill, possesses some level of magical ability including at least some level of cognitive enhancement but that has not yet been fully analyzed, identifies self as 'Mallor'. Accompanied by three stone golems of above average quality.

All attackers currently contained and being monitored.

Insider knowledge on attacker would be appreciated, should any of you have such.

There. A neutral tone that nobody could take offense at. Something he could probably point at later to win some sort of argument. Perfect.

quote:

Theantero - HG Unleashes by trapping Mallor and her Golems in an underground arena where they'll have to run a gauntlet of MENACING MECHANICAL MINIONS, TERRIFYINGLY TERMINATING TRAPS, and drumroll METALLICAAAAAA (+2 from both Assess information points, +1 from the Infamy roll Forward, +1 from Wagering Metallica)(edited)
Theantero - /r 2d6+4
SidekickBOT - @Theantero: 2d6+4 = (6+6)+4 = 16

Well. Those guys sure are trapped, huh

BTW, if anybody with moves that let them KNOW STUFF about PEOPLE want to pitch in, I'd like to remind them that Mallor is a character from Tock's background so anything you say probably shouldn't directly contradict that.

Theantero fucked around with this message at May 16, 2017 around 00:10

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: Drunk, Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


Percy reaches into her jacket. It’s all that she has at the moment, not expecting action, with… she checks the clip. Blue gel tip on top of a candle core - shock rounds. The “keep loaded around the house and if a friend accidentally gets shot they probably won’t actually be dead” sort of round. Not the best to face down a troll with. Maybe between the eyes… but… her hand dances a bit. Confidence is having a tussle with reality.

She waves the gun loosely in his direction. "Don't worry, Georgie, me and you, we can take a dope like this between our twosome." A slight pause as she looks back to Ursula. "Oh. Threesome?" She seems to be working that out in her somewhat addled state exactly what Ursula might contribute for a moment, but remembers that she's still got a troll going on. Turning back, she rambles, "Anyway, take a tinkle off a bridge and then sleep under it, okay? And yeah, you're going, oh, troll insult, unsensitive, but no, when we're done here you'll think 'I wish I'd done that instead'."

Distracting Elfonso is only a 7 (2d6 + 2), but that should be enough to "make him vulnerable" and give Squire +1 to Exploit Weakness against him for this scene.

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 1 Conditions: Drunk Insecure


"Percy target the big one." I mention before turning my attention to the task which all my focus in this state. I am a doctor after all, and there is someone hurt. This will ingratiate me with Percy's old friend and likely her by proxy. And... this will distract Simmons. Yes. Heh heh heh. Let her think her petty moralizing is having an effect. I was never above charity, not that this is charity, no my disagreement is in what to stop short of doing. I'm getting distracted. The nurse series of droids all have simple first aid implements built in. The prime unit has a more robust kit like all the primes. Luckily this does not call for a steady hand. Just some blunt trauma. A cryopatch to numb the area, adrenaline to get him back up sooner, and a miliounce of phoenix blood for vigor. Now just-

Threesome?! "What?!" That's way too fast! I don't even know George. I get anxious when I need to preform without data and I cannot afford to embarrass myself. I didn't even template the data from Percy to map the most efficient stimulation of erogenous zones. I know more about preforming an owlectamy on a naga!

Unleash Powers 8 (10, +1 forward, using infamy.) Healing Ocho.

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.

Food was unnecessary. For a thing like Tock, his existence was self sustaining. the heart that kept him bound in this shape fed his essence all of the sustenance he needed. That said, it wasn't like he wasn't incapable of eating. Just he didn't need to. He'd been here a few times. It wasn't a new experience. But being here with Hunt, and the girls, it was like something saying to him just how out of touch he was with his roots. Had BlackStaff really changed him that much? That he didn't even flinch at the lack of growing life. That he didn't even miss the forests.

It was a sobering thought.

At the very least he's got something to take the edge off of things. Ether in the form of Ivy, or her plan to take vengeance on High Gear. Frankly it was childish. But he'd assisted in a lot worse. A hell of a lot worse.

"So Ivy, what's on your mind?"

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006

...Can I feel your muscles?



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


Being the growing girl that I am, I order about 10 large meat-lovers pizzas, and devour them all like they're nothing. Using my powers takes a lot of energy from me, so I usually need a lot of food to replenish that lost energy. A lot of food. I don't combine the pizza and the ice-cream, though. I like to enjoy them both seperately... just like how I'm planning on "enjoying" Tock soon.

"What's on my mind is..." I slide my arm across his shoulder, "Is you, and me, making out. And then," I pull him even closer, "We'll head back to my place, and make out even more, and after that... well," I flash a slightly, let's say, hungry smile at him, "I'll let you decide how things go from there." I bring my face closer to his, my grin growing even wider, "I'm sure ya don't have a problem with any of that?"

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.

Tock gave Bull a look, the ghost of a smile at the corners of his lips. He rolled his eyes over dramatically. "Work work work." he muttered jokingly. Then he grabbed Bull and kissed her deeply. He remembered the method of it. What she liked. What made the bull go week at the knees. He made use of it. It was one of the great joys of his life. Bringing the Ivy, out of the Bull.

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

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




-----

At the Broken Observatory

Ea’Lyiz – Is this the first time Hymfazther blood has been spilled on Earthen soil? You know how the universe works. You know the hierarchy of beings. This isn’t supposed to happen. They shouldn’t be able to hurt you.

And as you bleed out, so do your powers. Your memories flow over the broken observatory. They splatter uselessly against the shattered rebar and dragon-scale. They stream downwards into the minds of others.

>>

Maqina, that's not right
– You clutch the bullet wound on your chest. It is gone. No, it was never there to begin with. You didn’t catch a bullet, you shot one. How could you forget that? More tricks from the alien Ea’lyiz?

Hm, how do you how it’s name?

As you fight for breath in a world of dust. As you struggle for footing on a ruptured ground. You see a vision. The alien Ea’Lyiz gazes upon your home. The earth. Her safehouse. Her exile. There are feelings of anxiety, there are feelings of indignity, and in spite of your own disgust, you hold on to the vision. The more you understand it her, the easier it’ll be to destroy it her.

Maqina takes Influence over Ea’lyiz

>>

Isaac, I’m not such a pathetic being! – You never wanted to live an exciting life. The opposite, in fact, and that’s why you became a janitor for the Avalon Observatory. Empty the trash bins, sterilize the scopes. An easy and quiet job.

But not tonight.

First you heard a gunshot, then the whole place just exploded. You feel grateful to have survived, and as you carefully pick shards of broken glass out of your uniform, you see a vision of your mother. No, that’s not your mother, your mother was a waitress. But. But. But right now, your mother is a politician on another planet. She is powerful. She is ruthless. She reminds you of a shark, always seeking weaker prey. You’re sure she loves you, and you’re sure she knows and appreciates your fear of her.

And you hold on to the vision because it just seems so sad.

Isaac the Janitor takes Inflence over Ea’lyiz!

>>

Something Ea’Lyiz Cannot Perceive, What!? Who? No, no, no! – Hm, the alien is losing control. Well, you’re not one to let an opportunity slip. You dive into the alien’s uncontrolled psychic stream, you let fear and anxiety pass you by. Those are pedestrian feelings. What you want are the most sensitive, the most delicate of emotions. Ah, there!

The first sip of the dew. A controller in her hand as she experiences loss. She bodyslams a metal giant, just(?) to impress him. A controller in her hand as she experiences victory. A head pat. The head pat.

You grin, those feelings were once hers alone, and now they’re yours, too.

Something Ea’lyiz Cannot Perceive takes Influence over Ea’lyiz!

>>>

Ea’Lyiz – As you realize these thefts, you let out a psychic scream.

There is no meaning in it. Just raw, unfettered anger and power. You cannot see or hear Maqina, but you viscerally feel his knees buckle under him as your rage hits him. Across the destroyed observatory, there is silence.

Maqina marks Guilty!

And then Maqina gets up. His battered synapses reach his legs. His tired arms raises his revolver. His quivering sight focuses on your bleeding body. And he fires.

Bang! Ea’lyiz does Not Take A Powerful Blow! Because,

He misses. His hands are just too shaky. He can’t hit you at the range he’s at.

So he begins to walk towards you. Slowly, over a dusty, jagged battleground, he takes step after step. You can taste the grim panic rolling through his mind – I can’t fail. I made a deal. I need to save the Junkers. I need to end this menace. I made a deal, if I fail my part, then… it’s so wretched that this wretch is your rival.

But the second he steps within a range where he literally cannot miss, he is going to shoot you. Again. This demands an answer. The black void that tasted the feelings you yourself don’t even want to acknowledge also demands an answer.

And if you take the briefest second to check your phone, you’ll see High Gear just called for help. Does that demand an answer?

What do you do?

-----

Within the Grand Manufactory

High Gear – It’s utter mayhem. It’s complete carnage. It’s drat good tv.

What is happening within the dome feels too violent to even describe as a battle. There are the whining screams of dying electronics. There is the unending stream of chipped rocks, blasted off the golems by bullets and fire, pebbling softly against the ground. There is the crunching of steel as the golems tread carelessly atop your gundrones. There is the crack of wood giving way, as the clubs they wield shatter into splinters. It is a war in miniature. Stone and metal, conscripted by mad and capricious masters, generating cataclysm within a 50m dome.

Your robots push in. The stone golems push out. This scene could repeated for hours without variation – if not for the two characters taking center stage. Metallica is the ultimate bouncer, the unbreakable back-line that keeps the invaders pinned within the iron-death-dome. Mallor is the ultimate escapee, probing your line for any weakness, knifes soaked to the hilt in oil as she tears into your robots fuel-tanks over and over again. The two of them are beyond anything else; wherever they stand, the war intensifies around them, so when Mallor finally finds that weakness in your line…

She darts forward, Metallica moves to block. The interception is perfect; his palm comes down like a hammer, his grip like a vice. In that instance, the raid should have failed, but –

blink

Mallor teleports a few meters forwards. Metallica slams his fist into floor, grasping only air. The raider ducks into a chute that reinforcing robots enter through. Automatic emergency doors slam shut as they sense an unknown presence, but,

blink

She phases through the bulkhead. Magical sensors positioned within the dome stream preliminary data back to your control panel. Spiritual energy similar, but not identical, to the readings you’ve observed from Tock. Perhaps as he is to time, she is to space? Whatever the details of her ability, she uses it to exit the dome.

Which is not necessarily good for her. Turrets harry her at every corner. Robots on their way to the Dome reroute themselves to chase her. Walls rise in front of her, turning hallways into blockades. But every time she falls into a new trap, there is that damned blinksound, and she ends up in another rooms, or bursting out of a vent, or just somehow keeps moving.

She is a rat within your maze, but a rat that can create a new path to the cheese despite every dead-end you throw up. It’s…

How much do you trust your teammates? For assistance? Or even good information? The stone golems within your lair of doom should be ground down to useless dust within the hour, but until then their entrapment is drawing quite a few of your resources. If you used your suburb genius to orchestrate Metallica and your robots together, you could shorten the golem’s life span significantly, freeing up resources for Mallor’s capture.

But can you really turn your attention from Mallor for that long? She is on the far edge of the Manufactory now. But every dead-end she circumvents spirals her another step closer to the heart of your base. Your static defenses seem unable to stop her, but perhaps that’s simply the signal it’s time for some hands on involvement.

Mallor is Far from the heart of the Manufactory. The three stone golems are Trapped within the Dome. Metallica is fighting Conservatively within the Dome. Your Camera Bots are getting drat Good footage. Your teammates have Been Notified, but no one has responded yet.

What do you do?

-----

Within the Cat's Cradle

Ursula – Fishman have basically the same nervous system as humans, right? Or at least, close enough? You’re too busy pondering certain, specific details of human autonomy to remember what was covered in the Comparative Biology course you took at the Institute. While your own face is reddening at Percy’s musings, the ever loyal Unit Prime grasps one of Ocho’s slack tentacles. Twin needles go in, injecting a full shot of rejuvenating chemicals directly into his body. Unit Prime puts a hand over Ocho’s heart, and gives it a very gentle pat, as if to say ‘there you go, buddy.’

The fishman stirs, his eyes open, and – Thud!

Oh wow, you’ve never seen someone do a pushup so vigorous they hit the ceiling. Ocho lands on his feet, breathing so hard you could easily imagine steam coming out of his mouth. No, wait, there’s definitely steam coming out of his mouth. Phoenix blood is some powerful stuff.

Ocho points towards the troll bruiser intimidating the Cat’s Cradle’s patrons, “The Eight Legs of Justice rides again, evildoer! Surrender now, or suffer justice!” The troll bruiser looks at Ocho in surprise, and then does a quick count on his fingers, “You’ve only got two legs, and six arms, you dumbass--” Ocho charges.



>>

Black Squire
– “Hah! Ha, ha, hah!” Elfonso lets out a laugh that lacks any hint of joy, “Very funny, human. Haven’t heard that one before.” He lies. “Have you ever heard the one about the drunken fool who pretended she was some big drat hero, and then got decked right in the face for her trouble?” He starts to walk towards you, right fist clenched, “No? Well, it’s pretty popular among us trolls, little woman--”

slam!

His tirade is interrupted as the body of his underling is collides violently into his side. The two trolls tumble back in an uncontrolled, slapstick fashion, eventually rolling into and shattering in half a nearby table. You take a quick glance at the source of the throw. Ah, there’s Ocho, he looks real fired up.

Elfonso marks Vulnerable!

You hear a soft groan behind you as the Bartender places a hand over her eyes.

“Get off me, you worm!” Elfonso roars as he shoves the unconscious troll bruiser off of him. His empression is one of raw anger and frustration, but he doesn’t charge you. He looks around the room, takes stock of the situation, and something like worry begins to creep up his face.

Saint George is being kept busy by his two other underlings, but that means they’re also being kept busy by her. You're here, the fishman is back up, and then there is the mysterious waif in a mechanized wheelchair who probably had something to do with said fishman’s revival. You can figuratively see the gears turning in Elfonso’s head as he calculates the bully’s algorithm-- he’s supposed to outnumber his prey, not be outnumbered.

You know, as a Knight, there was a whole set of protocols you were supposed to follow about always allowing villains an earnest opportunity to surrender. Your finger lightly grazes the shock round in your gun. You’re not a Knight anymore, (Although Georgie might not believe that), their rules don’t mean anything to you, right?

What do you do?

>>

Ursula – Ocho stands still, surprised at how hard he was able to throw the troll bruiser, “What is this...” He gazes at his many hands, flexing them over and over, “Is this the power of a hero?”

No, it’s not, he’s on drugs. You could tell him exactly what kind of drugs, if you wished.

Percy has the big, mouthy troll right in her sights. Georgie – that was her name, right? – is pushing her opponents back as they worry about what’s happening behind them. The Bartender is pressing her forehead against the bar counter, understanding that every time she lifts her eyes she’s just going to see more destruction.

Ah, and your communicator just buzzed. A message from High Gear? Isn't this whole trip just to escape him? Are you even going to bother checking it?

What do you do?

-----

Within the Archimedes Corner

Tock & Wild Bull – The smell of baked cheese, spicy pepperoni, and love hangs over the air of Archimedes Corner. You two are about to need to import the Adult Moves from Apocalypse World, when –

Message From High Gear posted:


Base under assault (most likely a raid/smash and grab attempt based on force present) by girl in red hooded outfit who fights with knives and with considerable martial skill, possesses some level of magical ability including at least some level of cognitive enhancement but that has not yet been fully analyzed, identifies self as 'Mallor'. Accompanied by three stone golems of above average quality.

All attackers currently contained and being monitored.

Insider knowledge on attacker would be appreciated, should any of you have such.

>>

Tock – Does your expression change when you see the word Mallor? Do the humans around you transform from what you could call, perhaps sardonically, your friends into fully disposable tools you simply need to find a use for? Does the light of the moon and stars dim as you think of him? As you think of Black-Staff?

(Ivy’s suggestion lingers in the air. This means more to you than it does to her. The plan she laid out before wasn’t bad, was it? Just the two of you having a good night…)

High Gear is asking for information or assistance. You could offer either.

What do you do?

>>

Wild Bull – Aghhhhghhhhh! Of all the nights for High Gear to get the base raided, it had to be tonight! What a prick!

Yet... this is a golden opportunity to follow through with the Nefarious Scheme you and Christie whipped up. Showing up to save the day and ‘following his orders’ would surely endear yourself to him. Sink your horns deeper into his heart, so that when you finally decide to gore him…

But you had such a good night planned! Maybe the whole backstabbing scheme could wait until AFTER you reconnected with your once-and-now-again boyfriend. Just put it off until tomorrow. Lot’s of things can be put off until tomorrow without causing any problems at all, so why not this raid on the Alliance’s base?

Christie glances up, noticing the two of you distracted from the important act of kissing by your phones, “Anything happening?”

What do you do?

Scrree fucked around with this message at May 29, 2017 around 13:08

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: Drunk, Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


”Remember, even the most nonlethal round can be dangerous.”, Gungnir said. “At close range, the blast can do a lot of damage even if you’re using a water round.” Eyeing her empty weapon as she stares down the range, Percy looks thoughtful. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

Snapping out of her memory, Percy laughs. “Hero. Yyyeah. Maybe not, jawflapper.” She takes a few unsteady steps forward, and then dips for a moment as if she’s going to stumble off of her feet. In an alarmingly fast moment, she stands bolt upright, leveling the gun between his eyes with a drunk’s unpredictability. “Don’t blink.”

"Remember, a Knight never delivers violence without warning. Always give your foes a fair chance to surrender. Remember the code." Percy squints. "But what if lives are in danger?" Gungnir looked off into the distance. "You can't always control that. Just know that in the long term, mercy always saves more than it hurts. That's why it's part of the code. If you start making judgements, then-

With that, there’s only a single breath before she tugs the trigger, releasing the shock round and the muzzle flash directly in his face. He’s a troll, so it probably won’t kill him. It’s not her intent, but precision or caution isn’t her finest point at the moment.

Also, he was a real prick, and her patience for real pricks was very short at the moment. She lifts her gun as it smokes, and wags the barrel to make a s-curl of smoke. "Gonna look over in a moment, hope there's nobody else that needs a slug in their softies when I do."

Exploit Weakness against Elfonso for... boxcars. 15. He gets to choose an option off the move list, but that fight's done.

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.

Tock looked at his phone. Glancing to the side, considering... "I hope you don't mind." He said to Ivy. Then he pressed a button and raised it to his ear.

"High Gear. I don't know what you did, but you are facing Mallor. Which is unfortunate. Because there is very little someone like you can do to stop her. She is the unstoppable force, Blackstaff's perfect assassin. She both exists and doesn't exist in real space. Blackstaff once tried to lock her into one location on a quantum level, and.... well, do you remember the explosion eight years ago, which left that permanent scar on the fabric of space itself? The one on the sight where the Knights built their gate to that extra-dimensional prison of theirs? That's what happen when you try to stick Mallor. You and everything in the labyrinth would be torn apart, and she would step out unharmed. Your only hope is to give her what she wants and let her be on her way. Otherwise you'll find out how dangerous someone is when they can bypass your armour and go straight for your vital organs. Any idea what she's after?"

As funny as it would be for Mallor to leave HG to bleed out from internal stab wounds. He'd rather not lose his playing piece quite so soon. Especially not one as attention grabbing as HG. He was the only one who'd been able to counter Mallor's attacks, and only because he didn't have to be in the space she was attacking when she did. But High Gear? His best chance was not to be wherever she was going.

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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


Freak +1 | Danger +0 | Trouble -1 | Superior +2 | Menace +1
Curses! 4/5 | Infamy: 2 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Paranoid | Hold: Far From Home (1) | Location: - The Observatory

Wrong. Wrong. It was all wrong, wrong, wrong. Minds were meant to be read, but not theirs. Thoughts were meant to be heard, but not theirs. Secrets were meant to be taken, but not theirs. Stop, stop, stop! Stay out, stay out, stay out! A mental scream of anguish, of shame, of sorrow. Agony, embarrassment, hate. Someone, anyone, make the voices cease. From reaching out. From reaching in. Ea’lyiz clutches their head as their eyes, all their eyes, twitch, shake, convulse, move without focus. Searching for something to ease the pain.

Another bullet rings by. It is only subconsciously noticed, acknowledged as a threat. But the alien does not dodge, nor even react. There is no reason to do so. Even as they broke down, especially as they broke down, Ea’lyiz could sense the masked hero’s presence. Feel the orders from his brain to fire, hear the inner scolding as he recognizes he’s out of range. It is the alien’s instinct that realizes this. It is the alien’s instinct that realizes there’s another presence here. Out of sight, but not out of mind. Realized, recognized, but not observed. Cannot be observed. Impossible. That was impossible.

It hurt. All of it. So much so that Ea’lyiz no longer understood what was hurting, what was hurt. Only that it was so. Instinct drove them now, and whether it was a child of Earth or one of the Hymfazther, instinct reacted to pain much in the same way. Fight, or flight. But how could a foe such as this be fought? A foe on the inside, a foe that was known but could not be seen. How could one fight one’s self, whose overflowing powers could not be shut off? It couldn’t be done. Couldn’t be done, couldn’t be done, couldn’t-

Shut off. Shut off? Shut… off. Something about that gave them pause, gave them focus. Their eyes narrowed, signs of pain and desperation still reflected, yet there was a clarity to them as well. Wrong. They were wrong. It was not a preferred method, but it existed. All thoughts now of Maqina, of the third party, had all but vanished. Ea’lyiz drifted backwards, their thoughts turned to the Labyrinth. There was a will. There was a way.

quote:

TheFireMagi-Today at 3:48 PM
/roll 2d6-3 #Ea'Lyiz is done with this nonsense and is trying to abscond!
SidekickBOT-Today at 3:48 PM
@TheFireMagi: 2d6-3 Ea'Lyiz is done with this nonsense and is trying to abscond! = (2+3)-3 = 2
I tried, Theantero

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 1 Conditions: Drunk Insecure


The drat communicator buzzes. The last thing I need is one of those nuisances distracting me from this greatly important and delicate time that requires my utmost concentration. Oh good it's from High Gear.

quote:

so you got in under control right or is this a cry for help its okay to ask for help the whole point of this whole alliance is so we can help each other when we get attacked like this but im pretty busy so if you dont absolutely need it i will have to stay here percy some old friedns of hers showed up and im going to schmooz and get some info out of them might even get in with them and dig up as much as I can I plan to get real deep tonight it is night right this place is dark and im kind of tired honestly

anyway mallor should be no problem no back up she has a big grudge against science and left the knights when she got in a spat with the margavnie so she flys solo now as a bad rear end lose canon that doesnt play by the rules and allthat dumbassed bull

you have no expereince with girls righrt

I look up from the communicator and nearly missed it. Percy pastes that ugly jerk. "You did it!" I launch myself from my chair to throw my arms around her. My excitement well outpaces my ability and just fall into Percy.

Inside man 7. Mallor is a rogue agent

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

"I see", High Gear's voice cut into the channel after a few seconds of deliberate silence, "Yet another fae with their abilities talked up to the high heavens, but that for some reason remain largely unmanifest on the actual field", there is a scoff, his voice having returned to his usual smarmy tone, with a tinge of annoyance in it, "Really, maybe I should use some of this unobtainium we got to build ocular motors for myself since I've reached the physical limit of how hard I can roll my eyes unassisted."

Another spiteful scoff. Another second or two of silence.

"But, your unearned smugness aside, that is some actually useful information that I can act on. Which, in case you're not lying just to spite me, I appreciate", there was a wariness in his voice as he spoke, "And as for me being unable to stop her, well, I suppose we'll just have to see, won't we? But you know, just to make you happy", a short burst of nasal laughter, "I'll try diplomacy one last time."

****

The corridor speakers, once again, crackle to life as High Gear addressed the intruder. "That's a neat trick", he said, tone flat, "I know a couple topomancers who can probably pull it off better, but you know, not bad. Seven out of ten. Fairly impressive, taken that I am picking up a distinctly fae flavor to your magic, which is something I trust... not at all, really."

"Which, in a brilliant segue, brings us to my actual point. Are you here for Tock?"

Mallor posted:

Mallor slows down her sprint through the Labyrinth, taking note of High Gear's voice and words.

"No."

A tone of irritation crept into High Gear's voice, "Tock's things? Things relating to Tock?"

Mallor posted:

"...What you took from the train."

slight pause

"Not the golem. That stays with you."

"The Unobtainium? Right, cannot have you have that. Need it for my own projects."

"Why don't you go pester Kite instead?"

"I have no doubt whatever defenses he has are far inferior to this base, so it is clearly a far more sensible choice."

quote:

A very, very slight smile appears on Mallor's lips, "True. This," she gestures to the sturdy walls and defenses of the Grand Manufactory, "is very well done."

"But that old man has many more friends than you."

And she picks up her speed again, phasing through barricades when they appear, hunting for the Unobtainium

"...So be it."

****

The comms to Tock crackled on once again, "She wants to steal our Unobtainium. I won't allow for that of course. Now, let's see if this gnat is truly as unbeatable as you claim."

As High Gear spoke, and waited for Mallor to approach a fated intersection, his free hands were deftly gliding across a control panel that had flipped from the wall, the entire thing surrounded by yellow-black striped hazard tape. His hand passed various buttons and levers, most labeled things like 'initiate fake self-destruct countdown', 'release the cyber-mastiffs' or 'reverse reactor core thaum-polarity'. He pressed or twisted or pulled none of those, however, his hand instead stopping above a big, red button encased in safety glass labeled 'ACTIVATE TOTAL MEGA-LASER BASE LOCKDOWN MATRIX'. His three other hands procured three different keys, which they all twisted in unison, as the final one smashed through the safety glass with a satisfying crash and pressed the button underneath.

Immediately, several things happened. Klaxons started ringing, flashing red alarm lights started flashing (totally pointless taken that there was nobody present that needed to be alarmed, but High Gear felt it was important to achieve the right feel), and a huge amount of droids armed with laser blasters flooded the hallways, taking cover where knives couldn't easily reach them, and a variety of laser cannons flipped from the walls, everywhere in the labyrinth. And they all started firing in unison.

****

"Now, I would stop moving if I were you", High Gear snarled, smugly, from the corridor loudspeakers, "Since as it happens, you are currently inhabiting one of the three bits of space inside the entirety of this base where somebody your size can stand without being perforated in at least three separate places. And trust me, I've done the math on this", a haughty laugh, "the second bit being the one where I'm standing, obviously."

"And the third, you might ask?"

"Well, that's the ballistic trajectory you're about to depart on, RIGHT NOW!"

And with that, powerful pneumatics lifted the entire intersection floorplate Mallor was standing on at breakneck speeds, launching her through an ejection tube leading outside the Labyrinth.

"Keep your arms and legs tucked in, and try not to move, or I can't guarantee your safety or indeed even your current, non-vaporized body-state", echoed his last words as the invading fae was forcibly removed from the premises, invisible gamma lasers and the currently being laid smart-mine field ensuring that she wouldn't find any room to invade in the near future, either.

****

High Gear scoffed. Then laughed.

So much for her so-called 'invincibility'.

His eyes turned to yet another message buzzing his communicator, this one from Ursula. Hmph, why not? Might as well allay their concerns.

Message from High Gear posted:

Mallor (who apparently was intending to steal our Unobtainium) has been ejected from the premises.

Situation under control.

Assistance no longer necessary, unless unforeseen threats present themselves later.

All information given regarding the threat has been duly noted and appreciated.

Maybe this night was going to be a salvageable one after all?


quote:

Theantero: /roll 2d6+1 #WITNESS! THE UNBRIDLED FURY OF HIGH GEAR'S GESTALT GENIUS UNLEASHED!
SidekickBOT: @Theantero: 2d6+1 WITNESS! THE UNBRIDLED FURY OF HIGH GEAR'S GESTALT GENIUS UNLEASHED! = (5+5)+1 = 11

Mallor status: Removed

Theantero fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2017 around 23:29

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006

...Can I feel your muscles?



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


Huh, that sure resolved itself quickly. Whatever, this just means I don't have to worry about saving High Gear's worthless rear end for now. Now I can get back to doing something important, like... like.... like...

....

...What the hell am I doing?

"...Tock, it's been nice reconnecting with you and all, but, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this thing between us... just isn't going to work out," I sigh, "I was really hoping this whole date thing would've reignited the old spark that we used to have, but I... don't really feel anything. I think it's better if we just call this whole thing off before we make a big mistake and start hating each other again." I give him an apologetic shrug, "Sorry."

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.

Tock looked at Ivy, his face impassive. Then he started to laugh. He laughed so hard that he wiped away a tear.

"HAHAHAAA! Oh my dear Ivy. That is the smartest thing you've said all day." He fixed her with a look. "I'm a poison, and you have wisely chosen to avoid drinking it." He stood up slowly. "Frankly this whole partnership was to put a few meat shields between myself and BlackStaff. I never expected you to become one of them." Tock shook his head. "But I am, truthfully, fond of you. Even if the others were only chess pieces to be used. So I will grant you a boon. The greatest one I can." Tock began to leave the cafe. "I give you the boon of life. You will never have to feel the sting of the BlackStaff ending yours because of me. If he chooses to attack you however, it will be on your head be it. For what it's worth, I had fun. Goodbye Ivy. Tell High Gear he's a prick for me, will you?"

With that he was gone. Flashing away into the darkness. Furious with himself, letting Ivy get close enough for her to mean something to him again. It wasn't love. He knew that much. But he cared enough that he didn't want her to die. He would find other pawns, other meat shields. But he would not leave them abandoned. He had a few people who owed him favours...

Tock paused in a small square. The streetlight above flickered threateningly. This was not the place one would expect to find a lone girl at this time of night. Not in this rough and dangerous part of town.

But this was no ordinary girl.

"Maddy. I need to talk to you."




Freak +2 | Danger +1 | Trouble +0 | Superior -1 | Menace +1
Curses! 1/5 | Infamy: 1 | Conditions: None | Location: Getting owned by Tock


Maddy sat on a wall, swinging her legs. Waiting. She'd chosen this part of town specifically. It was perfect! Rarely visited. Rumoured to be highly dangerous. The authorities never visited. Lot's of murders and other lurid crimes. And here she was alone and defenceless. There was even at least five people following her! Waiting for their chance to strike! This was perfect! She'd always wanted to know what being mugged was like!

That was how she'd felt twenty minutes ago. Now she was sitting here. Watching them with her hair. Waiting for them to do something! Anything! Instead they were just sitting there! She'd even pulled out the sheth of bills she had and started loudly counting them! Come on! How can you resist this! Did she have to start saying 'woe is me!' and things like that? Ughh! This was just killing her mood. Then a man popped into existance in front of her. Her hair shot around defensively!

"Maddy. I need to talk to you." The man said. Well, it wasn't fair to call him a man. He was a nature spirit. Technically that meant she outranked him.

"Oh! Hey Tocky the Clocky!" She said brightly! "Um, hey, strange request. But can you get those guys to mug me? I've been waiting for hours for someone to try! An-"

"Another time perhaps." He cut her off. "I need to call in that favour you owe me." Maddy gulped. That was the downside to dealing with things like Tock, he was smart enough to get the better of her in most deals. She had hoped to get time powers. By the end of it, she owed him a favour and all she had was a watch.

"Sure, um, what do you need?"

"There's someone I need you to look after." Tock said flatly. His tone got her Fae side riled up. She winced at the hissing voices. If Tock realised what he'd done, he didn't show it. "WIld Bull. Do you know her?"

"The cool girl at the animal shelter? Sure I do! Oh wow!" Maddy hopped off the wall. "I get to meet her? That's going to be so cool! Do you think I should bring Muffins?"

Tock sighed. "Whatever, just... go and look after her, and her team. Work with them. If you can do that, then your debt is repaid."

"Wait! No." Maddy said, a crafty look on her face.

"No?"

"I want a pact. With time! A real pact!"

"You are not in a position to barter, Maddison." Tock hissed. Maddy's hair hissed back

"No pact. No looky after!" Maddy said, closing her eyes and crossing her arms. Tock turned his attention to her hair, which was watching him. He thought about it for a moment. A sly smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

"Very well. Once you've looked after Wild Bull, you can make a pact with time."

"HAHA! Yes! Consider it done!" Maddy did a little victory dance. "So, when I've done it, how do I....?" But Tock was already gone. "Hey! No fair!" She called into the darkness. She waited a few moments, and then sighed. Realising she'd just agreed to some very subjective objectives. How does one 'look after' someone. When is it considered that you've completed such a task? Parents look after their children their whole lives.

"..... SON OF A BITC-!!!!!"


And that was how Maddy was made to join the gang.

Arashiofordo3 fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2017 around 17:28

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 – Can you imagine the burden of being unable to fly? Of having to place one foot in front of the next, forever? To bear the exhaustion of stumbling, tripping, and blundering throughout life. To experience the pain of living underneath the sky, and never being able to reach it. Such a worm-like life would be awful.

And thus, the sole source of joy for you in this whole debacle is Maqina’s frustration as he sees you float away. He pushes his feet into the rubble with all his remaining might, and it’s just not enough. The terrain is too rough. There are too many obstacles. You are growing smaller in his sight, and finally he let’s loose a volley of shots that he knows will miss.

And they do.

Through your dwindling psychic link, you feel him fall to his knees. Through the ears on your head, you hear him unleash an anguished howl as he recognizes he’s once again failed to have the Junkers.. Ha ha ha! Fall on the ground where you belong, grub!

As you crest the ridge blocking the Labyrinth from sight you realize something is wrong. To your main eyes, the city below you is the same darkness speckled with glowing windows and street lamps, but to your secondary eyes the Grand Manufactory is outlined by incredibly bright beams of light. They soar high into the night sky, piercing through the atmosphere into the void above.

The difference in vision between your pairs of eyes forces you to blink several times. Questions and worries race through your mind. What? Why? Does this mean that High Gearis in danger?

And that’s when you feel a hand grasp the back of your neck.

”Hello again, newbie.”

>>>

High Gear – Right before being Mallor is ejected from the Manufactory, she sticks her hand into the newly formed wall of lasers.

bzzt

There is an odd, electrical sound. She does not recoil her hand as if she was shocked, but merely draws it back slowly. A frown appears on her face. Then, the mechanisms under her feet activate, and she is thrown high into the sky and far away from the Manufactory. Hm, that will teach her to underest--

bzzt!

Your cameras automatically switch to the Manufactory’s entrance. Mallor is there, hand hovering inches away from the invisible wall of lasers, the same frown on her face. She pushes. Again. Again.

bzzt. bzzt. bzzzzt.

It’s hard to tell through the camera, but… Yes. You see her frown deepen. It’s the most expressive she’s been this entire raid. She pushes again, bzzt. Rejected for a fifth time, Mallor brings her arm back an inch. For a moment she goes entirely still, then her head tilts up slightly, her lips part enough to bare a sliver of her teeth, and ---

>

Ursula, Inside Man – The message you sent High Gear was mostly correct. Mallor was part of the Knights for a short period of time, and it was Simmons’ actions that lead to her ejection for possibly being a spy. The Margravine used just-invented technology to discover the girl’s true, inhuman nature, and things unraveled from there.

You’re absolutely correct that Mallor holds a deep loathing for when unexpected science impedes her mission.

>

Back to High Gear – ...to bare a sliver of her teeth, and pushes very hard

bzzzzzzzzzzTT!!!!


A pebble ricochets off a wall, bouncing upward into the lens of a laser. The grass cracks to uselessness. One of the Smart Mines inexplicably explodes, a piece of debris pierces through the wall and cuts through the intricate wiring that lays within. Instant replay from your camera’s reveal a knife flying into the mine’s ignition sensor from… seemingly nowhere. A gamma ray begins to dim to nothing as the power required to charge it flows out of a now severed wire.

Mallor is still standing at the entrance, but now a gray smoke is wafting from her outreached hand. You see her push forward again, there is another electrical sound, another spark, and one more gamma ray suffers a failure. A hypothesis comes to your mind; Mallor must be using her control of space to push forward through the gamma rays on a level of space so small that there are gaps in-between them. Those ‘sparks’ you’ve been seeing are not sparks at all, they’re nuclear reactions in miniature. Atoms appearing inside other atoms, sputtering their energy out in one useless release.

There is a change on the camera. Mallor has turned away from the wall of lasers still blocking her path. She takes a few steps, turns back around, and crouches with her fingers touch the ground. She looks like… she’s about to start a sprint? And that’s what she does, charging forward into your unbreachable barrier. Right before she physically hits the lasers, she completely disappears off your camera.

bzzzzzzzTT!!

Sparks, no, explosions. Hundreds and hundreds of them occur over the next few seconds. Inside the Manufactory a multitude of gamma rays are destroyed, knocked out of alignment, or depowered. Within no time at all the invisible bulwark covering the entrance of the Manufactory is turned into a useless patchwork of flickering lights. Then, Mallor reappears, right where you last saw her.

But in a very different condition. Her entire body is smoking, there are numerous cuts on her skin and clothing, and most strikingly of all is her face. Mallor’s expression has changed from a frown to a full snarl. Her fangs are bared.

Mallor marks Angry! And harnesses the power of her rage to start dismantling the Manufactory’s defenses through brute force!

She charges forward and disappears again. There are more sparks, more explosions, and more destroyed lasers. Her stratergy has changed. No longer is she trying to circumvent your defenses, now she’s just destroying them. She’s still Far from actually reaching the Unobtainium. It’s a slow, grinding war against your defenses. But each time she charges forwards…

Particles bouncing off particles. The light and sound of sub-nuclear force. Too loud, too much racket. She’s going to bring the whole city down on you if she doesn’t quiet down.

“You’re going to bring the whole city down on us if you don’t quiet down, dear.”

A voice comes through the camera. A familiar voice. Mallor reappears at the entrance, more cuts on her body. Her expression does not soften as she looks back at the new intruder.



Riot. The bastard smirk still on her face, just like before. And in her arms, both sets of eyes closed, lies…

Ea’Lyiz.

“Hello again, High Gear! Let’s make a deal.”

-----

Black Squire – Elfonso blinks.

Bang!

The shock round hits him hard. His head snaps back, and any last words are lost in the wild convulsions of his face and throat. Finally, his arms can no longer support his body, and he falls face first in the ground. You can see his lungs deflate as air leaves his body, and…

You can see his lungs re-inflate as he takes a breath. Hm, guess he had a particularly thick skull.

With a wild cry, Saint George lands a high kick directly onto the chin of one of the troll bruisers bothering her. He takes one step, two step, three steps back, and then falls like a logged tree directly on top of Elfonso.

The final troll brusier holds his club close to his chest, “You, uh, you all’ve made a biiig mistake! The Family doesn’t forget. Elfonso’s grandpa is Don Umburnto himsel--!” With a loud crack!, one of the regulars of the Cat’s Cradle smashes a bottle over the cowering troll’s head. He falls to the ground with a thud. “What. I just wanted a quiet night out.” The chemical drunk explains.

Elfonso’s last gambit is Actually Being Someone In The Troll Mafia. Gain +1 Heat at the start of the next Caper as you’ve gained significant notoriety in the world.

Saint George let’s out a breath and sheaths her sword. She looks at the pile of unconscious trolls, then turns her head to you. Trolls. You. Trolls. You. Ursula. Bar. You.

She reaches behind her back and pulls out her communicator, “Cancel that backup request. Ocho is safe. The situation has been handled.” with a soft click, she flicks off the automatic SoS signal.

Saint George pauses, as if doubting her own actions for the briefest second. Her eyes flicker back to your face, and she puts the communicator back in her pocket. “Um, time for one more drink?”

If you take her offer then sit down, have a drink, and ask her Any one question. Saint George will answer to the best of her knowledge.

What do you do?

>>>

Ursula – The battle is over, yet a new obstacle has appeared to block you from getting closer to Georgie and figuring more about her relationship to Percy (and your relationship to her, which might be important, given Percy’s all-inclusive comment eariler…)

That obstacle’s name is Ocho. The fishman you revived. He is all over you, well, not literally, but almost literally. “Hi! I’m Ocho. What’s your name? Are you a medic? Do you come around here often?” He notices Saint George’s wavering gaze turning away from the fallen trolls and do the mysterious gunwoman that had come to his rescue, “Are you with her? Can I… help you to the bar?”

His aim is obvious. Perhaps the drugs circulating through his body are intensifying certain… interests? It all goes back to biology, in some way.

You’ve smitten Ocho! Ask him one favor and/or one question, and he will comply to the best of his ability! That favor can be ‘Stop blocking me from that cute dame that came to rescue you.’ and he will comply, but he will be Sad!

What do you do?

–---

Wild Bull – That was very mature of you. And probably very hard, and probably very sad. Sometimes after break ups like that you just need time. Time to remember. Time to consider. Time to heal.

Time just to be alone.

Then this cute little tart showed up!



Where were you when Maddy found you, and did you tell her -- of course you told her! -- How did you tell her about the time you supplexed a train?

-----

Ea’Lyiz – You are asleep. You are dreaming.

What is the color of the sky on Hymfazther? What is your favorite meal? Why are you just so happy right now?

Scrree fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2017 around 22:50

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's faceplate rested solidly on the palm of one of his hands. This evening just continued getting worse and worse, even after he thought it possibly couldn't. And especially after he'd dared to have even the slightest sliver of hope that things could go in his advantage, just once. Nevertheless, he finally raised his head to stare at the transmission feed.

They had Ea, after all. He'd rather not screw this up. She was a... very useful asset, after all. Yes, top form, Anton.

quote:

"How did you end up like this, anyways?" Riot asked Mallor, and waved a hand in her direction. "Come on, dear, let me in." Mallor shuffled her feet slightly, "Ah, I see. Yes. That's how he is." Riot nodded to herself after checking Mallor's memories. She turned back the camera, "High Gear, you want this, right?" and kind of bumped Ea'Lyiz up and down in her arms

Top form. Don't let the anger show.

High Gear stayed silent, for an uncharacteristically long period of time, even, as a camera on a servo that escaped Mallor's ravages scanned the trio outside. "...She is of more use to me alive and in good condition than she is otherwise, if that is what you mean", he finally said, "Is that what you mean?" he continued, a tinge of annoyance in his voice.

quote:

"That's exactly what I mean. And nothing more." The smirk was still there.

"Yes, yes, get to the catch, Raid."

quote:

"You can get her back, 'alive and in good condition', by doing two simple things for me. First, come up here and meet us face to face. Second, bring Mallor what she wants when you do. Oh, and feel free to bring a Glianite Crystal with you. Riot brushes her hand over Ea'lyiz' head I mean, you'd do that even I tried to forbid you. I know you're no idiot, High Gear."

"Oh you think? Man who builds a giant underground lair filled with magitech is no idiot? Astute observation as ever, Raid. I mean, not to disparage your deductive ability or anything, but why would I do either of those things you asked. They would be very stupid of me to do, and as you yourself noted, I am no idiot."

"You think I care for the alien that much?"

...he didn't, of course. No that would be dumb, what did she ever do but bum off his mountain dew? Yeah...

quote:

"She tried so hard to get you that Unobtainium. She did it just for you, you know." Riot pouted a little, "Don't think I'm trying to deal in bad faith here, High Gear, it's easiest for me if the night ends well for everyone."

"I fail to see how the night ends well for me with the fruits of our entire job taken from us", came a sardonic reply.

quote:

"One job. And Unobtainium is, well, a bit poorly named, isn't it? There'll be another chance; we just happen to need it now. You know what's really one of a kind...?" Riot gave Ea'lyiz another little shake in her arms.

The camera performs a rolling sort of gesture, as a proxy for an eye-roll "Which explains why you need to meet me in person... how, exactly? Your logic is a bit shaky, is what I'm saying."


quote:

"To make a deal, both sides need to trust eachother. I'm sure you want to inspect the goods, right? Make sure she's, ahem, real with your own eyes. I need to be sure you won't hide away in that very well crafted fortress you've made. Plus, face to face is just so more intimate."
Riot's smirk fell a little bit, "Mmmm. I wish I could tell Mallor to leave so this could be a one-on-one conversation, but given how she works, her leaving doesn't really mean much, does it? How about that doll, ah," a light stroke over Ea'lyiz's forehead, "Metallica? You could bring him out. Mallor's basically a doll, anyways."

...

This was going nowhere fast. There had to be some catch. Some gambit he could play to seize victory even against the od-

Nah. He was HIGH GEAR! He was never against the odds. He was just too great to be an underdog. And he'd prove it. There had to be something

quote:

High Gear (Theantero): /roll 2d6+2 #High Gear Pierces the mask with his BARGAINING TECHNIQUE BASED ON PURE CARTESIAN LOGIC
SidekickBOT @High Gear (Theantero): 2d6+2 High Gear Pierces the mask with his BARGAINING TECHNIQUE BASED ON PURE CARTESIAN LOGIC = (6+1)+2 = 9

I ask: "How could I get you to leave without having to give you all that I've worked for whilst getting back Ea"

Answer: Neither Mallor nor Riot are too science minded. They probably have some device to check if what they have is actually have unobtainium, but how precise can it be?
Take what you have, cut it in half, dilute the half back to full size with cruft and give them that.


Yes, of course. The answer lied in what they were after in the first place. Unobtainium was often a difficult thing to analyze, the centrifuges and magi-molecular arrays for exact isotope composition were often bulky, and only the very best of tech geniuses (eh heh heh) usually had access to portable ones. Thus, they could probably figure out whether he was giving them Unobtainium or not. But whether that Unobtainium was the good stuff, or the unstable, highly toxic slag he got as a side-effect of his own enrichment program? Well, that was a much more difficult question altogether...

"Right. You don't actually need to shake her about to make your point since I'm not a toddler", there was another brief period of silence. "I guess this is what I get for relying on others though. Just endless grief due to their complete ineptitude. I'll see you there."

High Gear just couldn't help but smirk unbearably smugly as he went about his plot. Summoning Metallica, gathering his maginuclear waste in a suitable container, checking out his Glianite shielding just one final time. It was time to show these idiot goons why you didn't try to blackmail the likes of him. You would be outplayed, without a doubt.

Thus, High Gear strode (well, a robot wearing a simulacrum of his armor), cape flapping, arms crossed behind his back, with Metallica carrying a brass, barrel-shaped container, and a group of robotic minions behind him.

quote:

Nothing happened as the bots exited the building, Mallor tensed up some? But just a little. Riot spoke first, "Good to see you in person, High Gear." she smiled, "Face to face, like we agreed. No masks, no lies, a fair deal.

A moment passed, after which High Gear surfaced from underneath the floor with a pneumatic hiss, causing the bot bearing his likeness to bow theatrically as it retreated. High Gear removed his mask, bags underneath his eyes, his demeanor its usual grumpy self. "Just a basic anti-betrayal measure, that one. Taken your history, you probably understand."

A bunch of robotic goons approached from behind, clearly intent on retrieving Ea. "Now, just take your thing, give me mine, and get out. I don't have time for your juvenile games taken that I have a bunch of Unobtainium I have to newly replace."

quote:

"Oh, of course. I hope you understand as well." She looked at the box, "That could be anything. I've seen things from one perspective," she glanced at Ea'Lyiz, "But perhaps you're the type of person to trade one friend for two enemies? She might not know, or just might not want to believe. It's sad, how often things go that way..."

"But I'm wasting our precious time." She snapped her fingers, "Mallor!" And uses her powers to float Ea'Lyiz a fair distance away from her.

Mallor walked steadily towards Metallica. She took the briefest moment to look at your face. Is she grinding her teeth? Well, she doesn't say anything to you.

Mallor took the box, tooka small object out of her pocket and scanned it. She gave Riot a nod. Riot let your robots carry Ea'lyiz to you.
"Pleasure doing business!" Riot bowed, "May we never need come here again!"

There she was. The girl whose idiotic bumbling had once more caused him far more headache than was in any way reasonable. What had she been up to anyway? She looked... hurt?

High Gear picked up the girl as the doors closed behind him, fairly gingerly too, and brushed some of her strange hair aside. Was she bleeding? How badly? Well he could probably fix it whatever it was, now where had he left th-

Alas, High Gear did not have the time to finish that line of thought, for something he absolutely had not foreseen occurred just then.


SMOOCH

His face as red as a beetroot, pupils dilate, his lip twitching as they were reflexively trying to form the words for the smarm that had always followed this sort of situation before. Alas, that part of High Gear's brain was currently just about as functional as a broken spark-plug. He could feel his increasing heartbeat in his ears, drowning out some vestige of mocking laughter he though he could hear from somewhere far away, as he merely stared at the alien, frozen and very much dumbfounded.

"Whuuhg?" he asked.

Theantero fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2017 around 01:23

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

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




Maddy -- Welcome to the Labyrinth!

Is there anyone you're interested in? Does Muffins like the room you found?

And, of course, how did you end up connecting your Lair to the Labyrinth?

---

Everybody -- This long, long night has to come to an end eventually...

But not quite yet.

Just a warning; the next prompt will include the start of the Caper! Planning Phase!

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: Drunk, Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


"Oh, geez, there's more of you dumbskulls? Sure, pfffhwahahahaha-", Black Squire starts up, the sort of inappropriate laughter one gets when one has a jaded view of one's mortality + too many drinks. She rubs tears from her eyes before almost belatedly catching Ursula, blinking. "Whoa there." Slipping her onto a stool carefully to put her on the same level as the others, she takes off her jacket, wrapping it around the genius before sitting down beside, leaving the gun lazily on the bar for a moment as she sprawls out. "That was kinda cool, thanks for crashing in.", she says to Georgia as she leans against the bar. "Like old times except for the part where I just violated like three statutes in one shot... but, you know. The Table can put it on my tab." She stretches for a moment with a squint, giving the "Saint" an apologetic but guiltless smile. She leans over, looking over to Ocho and Ursula. "Heh, this oughta be a sight..."

A slight roll of her eyes, and she gives one of her little smiles to the More Literal Young Knight Than Most. "Anyway, how've things been with the Young Knights? Kinda miss some of the others, but bridge burned, hey? Don't get me wrong, it's not like I have regrets, but... you know, let Darkside or Maqina know I'm doing alright for an outlaw." As she orders a Waterfall Meditation - fudge it, she gets her come-down now - she shrugs deeply, quiet for a long moment. For some reason, it's almost too hard to ask. Didn't she just say she didn't have regrets, though? Shoot. "How's Gungnir handled all this- this being, y'know, me? I didn't exactly get much of a chance to say goodbye. Bet she wants my head twice, but I've still only got the one." She takes a sip, looking into George's eyes. Almost like old times, except with Black Squire's roguish loose cannon tendencies completely unchained now. Or unleashed. Or unbound. One of those uns.

Using A Dame to Kill for on George for an 11 (2d6 + 2), so she'll take Influence on the knight!

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2017 around 23:19

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006

...Can I feel your muscles?



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


"...And then WHAM! Down comes the train, smashed into a billion pieces! Hah, ya shoulda seen it, the conductor was so pissed, but that's what happens when ya go up against a badass like me!" I flex a little, showing off some muscle.

Goddamn, I was feeling a little down after the whole Tock thing, so I decided to take Pompom out for a walk in the park to try to cheer me up, and then this little cutie showed up, and we started talking for a bit. You bet I told her about the time I suplex a train!

"Oh, uh, sorry. I don't think I got your name?

Maddy posted:


Maddy gave Pompom some serious pets. Her contract with Beasts gave her ear scritches that could make even a tiger kick it's legs in pleasure. She looked up. Eyes sparking. (Possibly literally).

"Oh my god! Have you even wrestled anything bigger? Because those are some serious guns!" She reached up and gave Bull's bicep a squeeze. Gosh, she could swing on them!

"I'm Maddy. I'm totally a bad girl. I even know some serious super villains!" She said, trying to show off a little bit.

"They sure are! And uh, I got a dinosaur into a headlock once, buuut..." I wave it off, "That's a story for another time."

"Maddy, huh? That's a cute name!" I hold out a hand to shake hers, "Name's Isabelle, but you can call me Wild Bull, or just Bull."

"You're a bad girl?" I look her up and down (drat she's super cute), "Hah, alright Ms. Bad Girl, who're these "serious super villains" you know?"

Maddy posted:


"You're Wild Bull?!" Maddy clapped her hands together in delight! "You're just who I was looking for!"

Maddy made a pose. "See, I know that tricksy Spirit. Tocky the Clocky! He's calling in the favour I owed him!" She crossed her arms. "He said that I had to 'look after Wild Bull'. I don't see why though, you're super tough!" And cute. And had a super cute pet.

Sure Maddy had kissed a girl before.... But shed not kissed a bad girl.

That was totally a different thing!

She made a mental note to add it to the list

"If I do this. I can make a contract with Time! Although that's how I ended up owing him a favour in the first place...."

...If I was drinking anything, this would be the part where I spittake. "He said WHAT!?"

You're drat right I don't need anybody to look out for me! Does he think I'm some kinda idiot kid who can't take care of herself, is that it!? Does he think I'm weak!? gently caress this! I don't need anybody's help! Especially not from a "friend" of Tock's!

I was about to tell Maddy what I thought about Tock's 'favor,' but when I see that adorable face of hers, and those sparkling eyes, I feel my heart start to melt a little, and any anger I was feeling is gone now, "...Fine," I say, in an usually soft tone for me, "I won't stop you if you wanna come along, but you do know what I do for a living, right? Are ya sure you can handle it? And... have you even done the whole villain thing before?"

Maddy posted:


"Wellllll......" Maddy scratched her chin.

With her hair. With her arms still crossed. Wow.

"I can't actually die. So there's no inherant risk. Oh! And I'm slowly turning into a True Fae! So I want to do everything I can before it stops mattering! And Crime is next on my list! Question, do we have to suply the clothing? Or are we given uniforms? Because sometimes they look really bad. Like....ummm Gear Stick? Change Gear? Gear Box? Something like that. I think he'd look so much better if he added a bit of colour to his armour! Like Pink, or yellow, or something!"

She paused for a few moments.

"Um... please don't tell him I said that, if you ever run into him."

"Other then that I've met all kinds of dangerious monsters, and they've all been super friendly! OOOOH! I've got to show you Muffins! He is just the cutest little guy!"

"Uh..." I blink. I'm pretty sure I only understood half of that, and how the hell did she do that thing with her hair? "No uniforms, not like I'd wear one anyways, and you gotta bring your own clothing."

"Hah! Don't worry, I won't tell him. Word a warning though; guy's kind of an rear end."

Maddy's a little weird, but, eh, whatever. At least she ain't talking down on me, and she's cute, which is always a plus. "Alright, well, it looks like you've got your heart set on this, so I won't stop you, and it'll be nice to have a new face around, too. C'mon," I bring my arm around her shoulder, pulling her in a little closer, and smile, "I'll take you back to our base, even help move your stuff in if ya want . We could, uh, talk some more on our way there, and you can show me muffins!"

Maddy posted:

"Yesssssssssssssss!" Maddy hissed excitedly. Muffins was the best!

Maddy is now Wild Bull's Love! She gets influence on Wild Bull!

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.



Freak +1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +0 | Superior -1 | Menace +1
Curses! 0/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: None | Location: Who can say?

Wow, this place was cool! And HUGE! Maddy felt a little like a stranger in this place. Which was strange, given that she was used to a realm full of dreams. She followed Ivy (oh hey! Cute butt!) through the twisted corridors. Until she arrives at Ivy's little place. She didn't really want to be isolated and on her own in this place. So she just decided to make herself a room.

"Hey, Ivy!" She called excitedly! "Watch this!" She turned back to the wall, and commanded it to move. The rock followed like it was alive. Shifting and flowing like water. Until it formed itself into a reasonably large chamber with a circular doorway! Stepping inside she gestures to the floor and plants sprung up growing at an alarming rate! Beautiful flowers, and ferns filled the floor, while vines and tree trunks climbed to fill the ceiling. Maddy scatters a few amenities. Lastly adding in a ring of seven stones in a circle. With a solid obsidian mirror in the centre.

"What do you think? Pretty cool right!" She pops finger guns. Finger guns are cool, right? Kinda the downside of having your parents spending lots of time in the Hedge. You kinda miss out on a lot of popular culture. "That's not even the best part!" Maddy walks over to the mirror, and runs her finger over it. She mutters some made up words. (She was trying super hard to be cool, okay?). The mirror frosts over like it was being covered in Ice. Then it cracked. The pieces falling to the floor in a sudden rush of wind! With a sweep of her hand, Maddy displays a gate through to her little realm. It wasn't much, but it was her's. Muffins came bounding out! Stumbling over the gate's rim and going sprawling head over heels. But the little Chimera got back to it's adorable little feet in moments. Shaking off the tumble like it never happened.



Muffins was about as big as a corgi. And just as goofy. But undeniably cute. Maddy immediately pounced and started giving him belly rubs. "MUFFINS!!!" She cried. Muffins gave a little yip and quite obviously enjoyed it. His little feet kicking, his little tongue waggling, his little tail waving back and forth. He scampered out from Maddy's fingers, and started to explore the room. Snuffling around at the flowers, and sneezing when the pollen went up his nose. Maddy melted. He was her little baby. There were other little beauties in her realm. But Muffins was by far her favourite.

"So that's Muffines. Isn't he just to die for!!" She squeed at Ivy. "Muffins! Come here! Come say hi to Ivy!" The Chimera bounced over at Maddy's call. Large puppy dog eyes looking up at Bull.

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 1 Conditions: Drunk Insecure


I snuggle into the coat as Percy sets me down on a seat. I dare say this is going well. I'm sure she's completely forgotten whatever it was she was bummed out about before. Whatever it was. Why the only thing that could spoil my mood is-

Ugh. This dude is totally in my personal space. I'd have some joke about tentacles leading into a beak here but I'm too distracted by how vivid everything is. Ugh. An idea pops into my head and my grimace turns into a warm smile. "Oh, I'm Ursula. More of a medical researcher. You should put in a good word for me with Simmons at the Institute." I scribble the treatment I gave him on a napkin and hand it over with a poo poo eating grin. That'll really chap Isabelle's rear end. It's about going big or going hope. The 'safe' dosages would just have people bleeding out. "And yes, I came here with Percy..." I motion over to her and my gaze lingers. She's just so suave. That bold drat the consequences attitude radiates from her even at rest. I love it. If anyone can beat that curse it's her. I just kind of get lost in looking at her.

N-Prime pushes me up closer to the two. Oh I should say something. Uh um. "Ah, Percy. Um, did you have any plans after this?" I'm not sure if she can hear me. Hell I almost didn't hear me. It's like that moment seizing up before the scalpel touches the flesh.

Provoke 5. Failing to even enter the conversation with a roll like that

SHY NUDIST GRRL fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2017 around 04:31

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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


Freak +1 | Danger +0 | Trouble -1 | Superior +2 | Menace +1
Curses! 0/5 | Infamy: 2 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Paranoid, Afraid | Hold: Far From Home (1) | Location: - A Dreamstate (and also the Labyrinth)

Peace. Serenity. Tranquility. These were not familiar words to Ea’lyiz of the Hymfazther. Even before the rebellion, Zuda’Hym was not a planet where one rested without worry. There was always something, always someone, that you must fear. A war of minds could be just as dangerous as a war of swords. Yet, for the first time in possibly all of eternity, the homeworld knew peace. It knew serenity. It knew tranquility. There was no need to shelter your thoughts, your feelings, to bury them so deep that even the individual themself could not remember them. One could live freely. One could live openly. One could… live.

It was nice.

Ea’lyiz closed their many eyes and listened to the wind weave through the blades of grass, the emerald sky overhead unmarked by clouds, or of other Hymfazther taking flight through the air. Nothing to interrupt, nothing to disturb, nothing to ruin this transient calm before the never-coming storm. How long had it been since they were able to simply expose themself in this fashion? Had they ever been able to do so? On Earth? On the homeworld? They did not believe so. Not once, not ever. To actually experience it… if more could see what Ea’lyiz saw now, this world, all worlds across the stars, might be a better place. Perhaps it could be done. Even if it was but one at a time, the seeds of something better could be sown. Black Squire. Ursula. Wild Bull. Tock.

High Gear.

“Still lazing about, I see.” Footsteps. Not heavy, not metal. Normal, soft. “Peace is no excuse to be sitting on your rear, you realize. Well, not that I expected anything more, really.” A familiar voice. One that should be infuriating. That was infuriating. Yet Ea’lyiz could accept it, was fond of it, even so. Because it was theirs, and no one else’s. How many others could say the same? Not that the alien would ever admit to such a thing, no matter the time or place. It was the game they played, and it was one they enjoyed.

[The-] Ea’lyiz stops. “The man of metal accuses this one of sloth, yet arrives second to the meeting arranged by him. Who then, is the one sitting on their rear?”

“Still you, because I was actually doing something productive with my time.” It is only now that Ea’lyiz realizes that he is carrying something with him. Some sort of plate. “Here. It’s that… Pha’cod you mentioned before.”

There is clear surprise on the alien’s face as they receive the meal, for a number of reasons. There was the fact the Ea’lyiz could themself only faintly recall mentioning the fish off-handedly, on one of those cheerless days before… all of this. Something that they had eaten in their youth, in celebration for… something? A lifetime ago had it happened, even Ea’lyiz had forgotten the reason why. And there was also the fact that the fish had gone extinct, not long after the alien’s first and only experience with it. So for it to be here before them now was impossible. Should have been impossible. Yet it certainly appeared the same, at least if less beautifully prepared.

“This one comprehends not. The last Pha’cod was seen on the homeworld over a decade past.”

“And your point is…?” Anton raised a brow, appearing genuinely puzzled by the inquiry, though whether it was over the method or the question itself was unclear. Ea’lyiz could have simply read his thoughts, of course. Yet to do so felt rather… disingenuous, after the presumed effort he had gone through. Instead, they meekly pulled back and shook their head.

“No. It is nothing by this one.” There is a pause as he stares with an extremely expectant smirk. Sighing, the alien finishes, “And... this one’s gratitude.”

“There we are. Now eat up. I already know it’ll taste perfect, but I want to hear it firsthand.”

Time went by. How much, Ea’lyiz couldn’t say. It didn’t matter much, really. All that did matter, is that it was spent. Not by themself. Not shrouded in caution and anxiety. But with another, with freedom of heart. There was nowhere else, no one else, that would give the alien more happiness than this. Basking in the atmosphere, it’s to Ea’lyiz’ utter surprise when the loud sounds of Metallica’s footfalls crest over the horizon. A single eye opens, turning to Anton. For once, he seems to have not expected the sight either. But that crack in the facade vanishes almost immediately, so fast that a stranger would never had noticed. A stranger, perhaps. He smirks that tiresome but not actually tiresome smirk at Ea’lyiz, saying,

“Figured you could do with some post-meal entertainment. Or exercise, even. With how much I feed you and how little you do nowadays, I wonder if you can even take flight, let alone beat Metallica like you used to?”

Very visibly pouting, Ea’lyiz slowly hovers off the ground, facing in the giant mecha’s direction now. So, he thought they couldn’t handle this pathetic machine? Well, he was wrong. Ea’lyiz would prove it to him, just as they had done before. Rearing back, the alien gave Anton a half-serious glare, before rushing forward like a bullet. Or a bullet train would perhaps be more accurate, considering their strength. One punch. That was all that it would take to knock it down, put it out for the count. The alien reached out and-

---



When Ea comes out of their dream state, the world they’re in is a very, very different one. They were inside the Labyrinth now, not outside of it. Which meant they were on Earth, and most definitively not the homeworld. Or at least, not the version of the homeworld that they had just seen. The alien was also being carried by High Gear, for some reason. They were surrounded by a number of the man in metal’s mechanical creations. Oh, and his lips were being pressed against theirs. Wait. What.

Ea pulls back, eyes opened as wide as any of the team had ever seen them. There was no frantic movement, as with Maqina. They were utterly still now, and very, very focused on the man in front of them. The alien as a whole, was utterly still. Save for the faintest trembling of Ea’s lips, and slight tears beginning to well up around the corners of their primary eyes. They start to reach out with their mind, before realizing that it’s not working. So it is with a soft voice, and an entirely uncertain tone, that Ea’lyiz asks,

“This… this one understands not. What have you done, man of metal?”

Tagging Afraid for failing my compulsion roll and taking the Scion’s Shadow Boxing as my Advance, flavoring it as Ea’lyiz’ freakout sparking the ability to mentally link with others and help assault their minds.

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: Drunk, Insecure | Location: The Cornered Cat


She doesn't hear the exact words from Ursula, no. But Squire's eyes shift over to her over for a moment as she takes her gun off the table, stepping aside as she flicks the safety on and empties the chamber. Then, she leans over Ursula's shoulders to slide the gun back into the coat's concealment holster. "Tired? Don't worry, we won't stay long enough to greet the guards." Something about the chance of more unwelcome visitors after an unsilenced gunshot, after all. She rubs Ursula's shoulder for a moment before moving her attention back to Georgia, stepping back closer to her stool.

Tardzilla
Aug 31, 2006

...Can I feel your muscles?



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


I let out a low whistle magicked up her own room, "drat, girl. No idea how you did that, but that was really drat cool."

I make a high-pitched squee-ing sound, the kind I never usually make, when Muffins appears. "Oh my gosh he's so cute!!" I crouch down, and pet the cute little thing, "Aren't you just the most adorable thing!? Yes you are! Yes you are!" I hug the small chimera, "Oh my Gosh, Maddy. Where did you find this li' cutie!? He's the cutest thing I've ever seen!!!"

Look, I know I'm a tough badass and all that, but even a tough badass like me is unable to resist the charms of super adorable cute fuzzy animals ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

TheFireMagi
Nov 6, 2011

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


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

When Ea comes out of their dream state, the world they’re in is a very, very different one. They were inside the Labyrinth now, not outside of it. Which meant they were on Earth, and most definitively not the homeworld. Or at least, not the version of the homeworld that they had just seen. The alien was also being carried by High Gear, for some reason. They were surrounded by a number of the man in metal’s mechanical creations. Oh, and his lips were being pressed against theirs. Wait. What.

Ea pulls back, eyes opened as wide as any of the team had ever seen them. There was no frantic movement, as with Maqina. They were utterly still now, and very, very focused on the man in front of them. The alien as a whole, was utterly still. Save for the faintest trembling of Ea’s lips, and slight tears beginning to well up around the corners of their primary eyes. They start to reach out with their mind, before realizing that it’s not working. So it is with a soft voice, and an entirely uncertain tone, that Ea’lyiz asks,

“This… this one understands not. What have you done, man of metal?”

quote:

High Gear, for his part, was still blushing. But at least he managed to change his expression of total bewilderment into that of more inquisitive confusion, his wide-eyed glare quickly transforming into a quizzical stare topped with a cocked eyebrow.

“…I should ask you the same thing? I just managed to trick your unconscious self from Raid who was trying to ransom you off, just so that you’re aware. I was just in the process of inspecting your wounds and carrying you back into the Labyrinth, when you k-, hmm, did what you just did.”

His brows furrowed, “So, if this is your idea of a 'thank you' of some description, you reeeeally should ask first before committing. Considered common courtesy on this planet, in case you weren’t in the know. You probably should explain yourself.”

There was a moment of silence as High Gear stared at the alien, still more confused than anything but quickly getting a hold of himself. Still holding her aloft. A fact that he only now seemed to remember.

“…You’re bleeding. Can you walk? Now I know you’re not particularly brittle, but taken you’ve managed to somehow get yourself beaten to a pulp in the span of one evening, I think that’s a fair thing to ask.”

Still stunned by the scenario playing out here, many of High Gear’s words passed through the alien’s brain without really being comprehended. Raid? Who? Why did they matter? And they had fallen unconscious? When? They remembered flying away from the Observatory, back towards the Labyrinth, and then they were here. It was so confusing, all so confusing. And a mess. Such a mess. Of thoughts, of emotions, of… everything. Then, the alien realized they were being carried. As in, actually realized, not just subconsciously recognized it. More welling of tears now, but out of shame and embarrassment now rather than utter bewilderment and fear. Kicking their legs out in the air in what can only be described as a child-like fashion, Ea replied,

“Fine! This one is fine, so set-”

A wince, a sting of pain as the alien kicks out too far, pulls on something injured from the bullet from before. The small pool of blood seeping through Ea’s jacket widens, but rather than shout or gasp, the alien keeps silent. If anything, the look in Ea’s eyes grows only more obstinate, as if daring High Gear to say anything about this. Moving in this state, possibly even flying, would be challenging. Ea knows that, even if it’s buried beneath seven layers of pride. But even so,

“...Set this one down, man of metal. Walking can be done.”

quote:

High Gear raised an eyebrow but said nothing, uncharacteristically enough, as he gingerly set the alien down, still clearly paying close attention to her wounds and general status. The drones with him moved subtly closer nevertheless, in order to support her if she were to lose her balance.

“So to reiterate what just occurred: Raid, or was it Riot I forget, that one psion that betrayed us during the LANCELOT debacle. She came here and tried to ransom your unconscious body for unobtainium.”

“As for how that situation came to be, I’d hazard to guess that it has something to do with all these wounds of yours, even though I am no biomancer”, he added, sardonically, but he was still squinting in a somewhat worried sort of way as he spoke, “And just to note, if your wounded pride gets a bit heavy to carry, I can just whip one of these bots into some sort of chassis or small self-propelling vehicle to push you about. No problem really, wouldn’t want one of the few people here who actually contribute at least a little bit in exchange for leeching my resources to get hurt. Well, hurt more.”

High Gear scratched his neck awkwardly with one of his mechanical hands before continuing, the red on his face starting to gradually fade “But as to what happened with you before that particular altercation, or after really, I currently know no more of than you. I mean, if you don’t know why you kissed me, I certainly don’t.”

A glance, now equal parts curious as it was worried, was spared to the alien, as High Gear’s eyes surveyed her and her variety of wounds, “What have you been up to anyway? Maybe that’ll give us some answers.”

Steadying themself as they are set down, Ea takes a slow step forward, and then another. It hurt. It hurt, but it could be done. For how long, well, as long as it took to hold this conversation and make it to back to their room. That was what the alien wanted anyways. Whether they’d actually be able to keep it up… that was a concern for later.

Riot. That name was familiar at least, much as Ea wished otherwise. So it was Riot that brought them to the point of unconsciousness? How vexing. To be overpowered twice by her was utterly humiliating. And this time, Ea wasn’t even able to offer up any resistance. Of course, there was the fact they were dealing with a bullet wound on top of a psionic breakdown, but that was hardly comforting. If they had just handled those situations quicker, better, then this… this incident would never have occurred.

At High Gear’s comment about contributing, however, Ea starts to brighten for a moment, before ‘nonchalantly’ placing their hands in their jacket as they look away. Hearing that from him, even surrounded with criticisms as it was, felt… nice. They weren’t sure why, but it did. They also weren’t sure whether they liked that feeling or not. No, well, they did, but should they like that feeling, and why did they like that feeling, and why were they feeling that feeling, and-

“P-pride has nothing to do with it, man of metal. Your assistance is simply not required by this one in the current moment. That is all.”

Finding the situation far more awkward than they could ever dream to handle, Ea eagerly latched on when High Gear shifted the discussion to what had happened to them.

“As for the busy-ness this one has been up to, the man of metal will be honored to be informed that this one has at last received word from the homeworld! A mission, assigned to this one alone and this one alone, to witness and monitor the descent of a heavenly body! ...Which was then interrupted most crudely by the one known as Maqina. This one and that one contested in heated battle, before…”

Ea paused as they considered how to phrase the rest of that incredibly messy evening. “... before this one, um, was overloaded with psionic power! Which was then used to, er, disengage from Maqina, and return to the Labyrinth. There, Riot was in the waiting, and struck while this one still in recovery from the prior battle. From there, the rest is known to the man of metal, leading up to this one’s awakening via k-k-”

Realizing where their train of thought is taking them, Ea pulls their jacket cover up over their mouth, unwilling to finish that sentence. It was just a k- just a ki- just an interlocking of lips between two individual beings. There was nothing inherently embarrassing or shameful about that. So why were their cheeks so flushed at the thought? It was truly, honestly, terribly vexing in a way they had never felt before.

quote:

High Gear, to his vexement, realized his suit didn’t really have pockets to stuff his hands into. Convenient compartment of highly optimized dimensions, sure. But pockets? No. Thus he had to resort to the next best thing currently available to him, which was to walk with his arms crossed in front of him as his face awkwardly scanned the ceilings and the floor and the walls, now that Ea had demonstrated enough ability to at least walk.

A bit of awkward silence followed. High Gear was not someone usually prone to those, but nevertheless he had found himself in a situation where, for some reason, he had trouble finding anything to say.

He’d rather not dwell on why that was the case.

“…Sounds like our enemies are on the move in force. I don’t know this Maqina, but a fae akin to Tock but apparently far more strong named Mallor tried to take our unobtainium too. She was working with Riot, and they seemed really intent on getting it”, High Gear’s monologue faded, not really gaining much immediate traction, and he racked his brain for something more, “And in case you’re wondering, I did give them unobtainium, just the largely unusable and unstable waste isotopes from my enrichment program”, his usual self-satisfied smirk lingered on High Gear’s face for a bit, but that too faded.

It was as if there was a weight about this whole interaction that needed to be addressed. High Gear noted that his throat was unusually dry. He swallowed to deal with that. Odd that he would notice such a trivial thing, he thought to himself before speaking.

“Look… Riot’s a psion right? So, since neither you or me knew what was going on, it could’ve been… some sort of compulsion? Seems like the only reasonable explanation. And taken that it probably was, it’s not… a big deal, correct? Not something that we need to dwell on, since it was not something we could affect.”

“Really, the only thing that has happened here is Riot proving how dumb she is by using her compulsion on something so… trivial”, for some reason, High Gear had trouble enunciating that last word with the usual smarm he slathered such condescending terminology with, “This whole thing has been nothing but a clear tactical blunder by an utter moron. She gained nothing, since the whole uhm, happening was robbed of all its impact by the fact that it was forced by an outside party. Her methods themselves contradict the outcome she wanted”, what did she want anyway, High Gear did not know but chose not to dwell, “Therefore there’s no reason for us to care at all. It would be dumb to dwell on this. QED.”

But even though High Gear spoke in the terms of his usual meandering logic, he was still finding it difficult to speak with total conviction Why though? He was totally right as always, after all, his logic was ineffable. Nevertheless he found himself giving the alien side-eye.

“…You agree, right?”

Mallor. Another name without meaning, perhaps gleaned once from Tock, if that. But the unobtanium was given? Just like that? For Ea? Certainly, it may have just been the isotopes (whatever that actually meant), yet for High Gear to mostly accept the terms of the deal presented to him was unexpected, unusual even. Unusual. There was a word that could be used to describe much of the past twenty-four hours. Would they have done the same in his suit? Ea was unsure, but… maybe so?

Compulsion. Yes, that could have been it. Must have been it. Much as the alien found it loathsome to admit, Riot undoubtedly had the capability to do such a thing. To override Ea’s mental defenses should have totally been completely impossible, but with that state they were in when it happened, they were far from being in perfect condition. To be controlled, then, was reasonable if still shameful. Yes. Yes, that sense of defeat was what burned Ea up now. Nothing else. Once more, as High Gear offers up a plausible explanation for the whole scenario, Ea follows on it without hesitation,

“Of course!” Speaking louder than they originally intended, Ea repeats in a softer voice, “Of course this one is in agreeance. That is correct. Just this once, this one shall… shall concede to being caught off guard by the one known as Riot, as pained as it makes this one. So, so, let the matter not be dwelled upon any furthermore, yes. This is acceptable.”

That’s right. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t worry about it. Don’t even think about it. Bury it deep, so deep down that even Ea themself would forget about it. That’s what should be done. That’s what would best be done. But… it was hard. Harder to bury than anything else the alien had encountered. Not helping the matter was the fact that High Gear was still unmasked, which meant that his face was still revealed, which meant that it was extremely challenging to forget what had just happened! Also, they were totally staring. They should, should probably stop that.

“...Um, and this one also insists the man of metal re-dons his mask. This one finds it distracting to see your true appearance.” Realizing how that might sound, they hastily add, “Distracting because it is, is, is… distracting?”

Weakly finishing, the pout comes back out, and Ea keeps their head down as they say,

“If this matter is resolved, then this one should see the shackled inventor about the injury.”

quote:

Right. The mask. Of course, why hadn’t he thought of that? High Gear donned his facial cover without really tarrying or hesitating, more than happy to cover his face for now.

“Ursula is not here, I’m afraid. I can send her a message to come here to tend you but I don’t know how fast she will respond, if she will at all”, High Gear checked his commscreen to look at his message log, “And judging by the quality of her writing from earlier, there’s a high chance she won’t be in shape to operate until tomorrow, at least.”

“As for any others… well there aren’t any. Everybody else is busy elsewhere, making us two the only people in the entire Labyrinth”, well, discounting METALLICA, at least.

Yep. Just the two of them, together in the Labyrinth without a single additional soul to be found…

"...I'm not a surgeon. Or a doctor. But I do know enough to at least stop the bleeding until she gets back."

Ah. Right. Now that Ea thought about it, they did vaguely recall Ursula leaving the Labyrinth at some point. Hm. That was unfortunate. Not necessarily the absence, since it wasn’t as if the two were particularly close, but being absent now was most ill timed. Especially because it left Ea and High Gear alone- rather, the only two individuals currently present in this facility. Which was… bad? Possibly?

“...Very well. The shackled inventor would have been the preferred, but as they are not present, this one shall entrust the man of metal instead.”

quote:

For a moment, silence reigned, as High Gear tried to figure out how to respond, but his attempts to speak died in his throat. All he could finally manage, was a curt nod, and a short statement.

"Right. The Clinic is this way."

And thus, without further discussion, High Gear led the alien to the room, the heavy reinforced doors sliding shut behind them as he did.

-sceeeene?-

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.



Freak +1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +0 | Superior -1 | Menace +1
Curses! 0/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: None | Location: Hiding in the basement. Filling it with plants and animals.

Maddy pointed to the Obsidian mirror. "In there, my realm. He's what we'd call a Hedge Goblin. Though, that's what all creates who are native to the Hedge are called. They come in various shapes, forms and sizes. Some of them are even intelligent and can speak! But they should all be treated with caution. They're all quite dangerous. You'd have to be to survive in there!" She giggled.

Scrree
Jan 15, 2008

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


Black Squire & Ursula – Ocho leaves pretty quickly, believing he can make himself useful and attractive by running some errand for Ursula. With just you two next to her, Saint Georgia feels safe to speak freely about Gungrir, and herself.

Georgie lets you know – Gungrir has changed since you left the Knights, Black Squire. It’s not a big change. She doesn’t throw tantrums over your actions, or cry over your absence. Someone who doesn’t know her probably wouldn’t even notice. But Georgie knows her, and can see that the fierce expression Gungrir wears has become colder, and in some ways, more desperate.

Georgie also lets you know her feelings, and oh girl, does she have a lot of feelings.

On that night, Saint Georgie Marks Vulnerable

She’s happy to see and be with you again.

She’s mad. Not because you did what you did, but because you didn’t tell her. Did you not trust her? Did you not want to burden her? She understand, but… learning about your condition like she did. It stung.

She’s very, very sad you’re dying.

When Ursula says that she’s looking for a treatment, Georgie perks up. It makes her feel like maybe leaving the Knights was the better option for you, Black Squire.

Eventually, though, the chemicals get to all of you, and feelings that are already mushy become even mushier. After calling a quick pickup-order for the downed trolls, Saint Georgie leads both of you out of the bar…

-----

Jacklyn, Bartender of the Cornered Cat – God, what a night. Not the craziest you’ve had on shift – but definitely up there.

Looking over the damage caused by the battle, you frown. It’s been a long night, but it has to go even longer. There are people to call, debts to check on, and favors to ask.

Eventually, though, the repairs are made.

And the Cornered Cat remains the premier establishment for the particularly thirsty of Avalon City.

–---

Black Squire & Ursula – The next day, past noon, you wake up.

In Saint Georgia’s apartment. In various states of… robe.

Heads ache, and memories are fuzzy. But, how do you remember the night ending?

-----



Over the week a couple things happen. But not much.

---

Wild Bull – So, for the last few days, you’ve been living with an incredibly bubbly and incredibly hot demi-fae girl. And! She also brought a baby manticore with her.

How does it feel having everything you’ve ever wanted right in front of you?

Let’s be real here, sometimes it’s hard to deal with how… vigorous Maddy is. Makes you feel a little awkward. Has that remained, or have you come to terms with it? Made her brand of madness the new normal in your life.

Oh, and does her presence put any pressure on you to, ahem, perform well during the next mission? You really talked up that time you supplexed a train. Soon, Maddy’s going to see you in action for real…

---

Maddy – You know Ivy. She’s great, and you live with her! You met Percy. She’s got a gun! The others you’ve seen around, even if you haven’t had a chance to have a real chat with them yet. They seem… well, what did you expect from a group of supervillians?

There is one person you’ve barely even seen at all, though. You just caught of glimpse of them one day, and their presence fills you with a question…

Who’s the sour-looking Goblin in the infirmity!?

---

High Gear – You managed to fight off the raiders. Bring Ea’lyiz home safely, keep the Unobtainium, and not end the night getting punched for being kissed!

You don’t find a bullet in Ea’lyiz. Maqina might have some connection to the Junkers and the rough side of Avalon, but he’s still a Knight, and he’s not going to load his guns with hollow point ammo. The wound was straight, small, and after you were finished, clean. Can Earthen bacteria even infect a Hymfazther? Well, better safe than sorry.

One thing you can’t patch up, even with all the technological wonder of the Labyrinth, is… Look, it doesn’t take a genius or a psychic to realize that Ea’lyiz isn’t doing great. You are a genius, though.

And you saw Ea’lyiz cry. In front of the Labyrinth entrance, right after she k-ki--- right after you saved her from Riot. Raid? Riot, probably.

...

Maybe you could help her.

It’s not like you’re worried about her, or thinking about her constantly. It’s just, that, well, uh… A thought just happened to come to your mind one day that in a perfect society ruled by the most intelligent, the leaders would take measures to improve their citizenry. It’s patently obvious that people can degrade, but if that’s true then so must the corollary fact; people can improve.

It would be easy to do something to impress Ea’lyiz. Or to make something useful for her. There are tried and true methods for that kind of thing. Improving someone, helping her someone, that’s a whole new puzzle.

That’s what people are, right? Puzzles. Often very simple ones, and once you figure out how to solve them you become their master. Set the pieces in place, pull the right strings, and you can make people move as you want and definitely never suffer any blowback at all.

So, do you want to get close to, help, solve Ea’Lyiz?

---

Ea’Lyiz – You’re kind of a wreck.

Physically, you’re fine. The gunshot missed your (bullshit Hymfazther Organ) by a few inches, and healed up fine over the course of the week. Oh, there will always be a little patch of scar tissue on front and back of your abdomen. You can run your fingers over it, feel the change in the texture in your skin, and think about That Night again and again…

The pain is gone, at least.

This is not a directive. But simply a reminder for both me and you.

To clear Angry, hurt someone or break something important.
To clear Afraid, run from something difficult.
To clear Insecure, take foolhardy action without talking to your team.
To clear Paranoid, take pre-emptive action against one of your allies.


There’s no escape; not from this planet. Not physically. Have you had any dreams as good as That Dream? Or, does your mind end up recreating the awakening. When you opened your eyes and took a breath in through your nose and realized you were k-ki---

How many hours have you spent looking at the black box?


-----

Some of you, many of you, don’t have time to waste.

Many of you have limited time. Not enough to waste, barely enough to spend.

Others have an unlimited ambition that points ever forward. Minds too sharp to still. Bodies too hard to soften.

Some of you simply have no where else to be, and nothing of to do.

So, for whatever reason, you’re brought back to the Labyrinth’s kitchen table. To talk, and to make plans for the future.

As the previous Mastermind, Black Squire has the right to propose the first Caper Suggestion, or abstain!

--
---
--

Maddy --- The conversation you had with Black Squire comes back, now. Reliable. Reliable. What does it mean to be reliable?

Well, you promised to keep Isabelle save, so that might be a start?

Otherwise, though... Being reliable is weird. You can't be reliable until you need to be reliable and then don't gently caress up! It's kind of hard to engineer that kind of situation on purpose! Well, this will be your first mission. Probably your first test.

What do you think you need to do?

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.



Freak +1 | Danger +1 | Trouble +0 | Superior -1 | Menace +1
Curses! 0/5 | Infamy: 0 | Conditions: None | Location: Hiding in the basement. Filling it with plants and animals.


Speaking of Goblins, there was one lose in the base. Maddy had seen it in the infirmary, possibly sleeping. infirmaries were great! So many shiny surfaces to sneak through out from the Hedge. She rose up slowly over the bed. Looking over the Hedge Goblin. She'd never seen one like this before. But that's not suppressing. Goblins were as varied as people. More so.

"Huh, you're a funny looking thing. I like you! I'm gonna call you.....! 'Drumstick!' You've ventured a little far from the Hedge Drumstick. Hmmm.... but I don't want to just drag you home. You might be a talky one! I love talky ones! They're funny!" She said, more to herself then anyone else. She should really take it back home. But, Goblins that have been in the human world could be dangerous. Wild! They were no threat to her, but they could certainly cause a lot of trouble. So she sunk back into the Hedge. She'd think about how to approach this. She would need a plan. Maybe if she got some food....


- - -

They were back in the kitchen. Percy had insisted. Something about a meeting. Super villains were so much fun! Maybe someone would get shot! Someone once told her that that happened a lot when bad guys got together. She'd put the channel back in place. Percy had insisted. After all, she needed to be

"Reliable"

It wasn't something that made sense to something a capricious as a Fae. But Maddy was half human, so she could at least grasp at the idea. From what she knew, it meant being Someone you can trust. Who get's things done. That was right, right? Maybe? The fact was that she would need to work on it. So she sat at the table, beaming at the assembled group. Even Drumstick showed up! That was so adorable! And it was wearing clothes too! Awwwwww~!

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: None | Location: The Labyrinth - 23rd Floor - Cafe


Yes, a cure. In Percy's state of enhanced honesty, one might get the impression she's humoring Ursula... or, at the very least, she's committed to her "fu-dge everything" attitude. However, cursing properly doesn't seem to be on the list of things she wants to get out of the way before she dies. They went back to the apartment, and... and...

She remembers demanding to spar on the table "before she dies", like in that movie, but that doesn't work when drunk, and she remembers falling off and on to Ursula...

And if her head was a rainbow before, now it's a tie-dyed mess as she wakes up on the foot on the bed, draped off of it, her cummerbund and collar entirely unbuttoned and her dress in a degree of unsleeved mess. Looking over the edge of the bed, she spots Georgia's pouch. Looking over and seeing Georgia slumped at a ninety-degree angle from her, she reaches out, pulling out her badge. It takes three tries for her fumbling fingers to get the cantrip down, but after a moment she manages to copy the new arcane key they're using. It's actually just a cantrip made to copy writing into an illusion key, and she slumps off the bed, forcing herself up into her pouch, where she deposits the spark of information in a small mercury bead. Looking at it for a moment, she then looks up her mess of hair and sighs, untying her 'tails to start working on maintenance as she sits down next to Ursula.

"We're all dying." she mumbles. "I'm just facing towards it."

*LATER, AT THE LABYRINTH OF DOOM*

Walking in with a steaming pot, Percy sets down a bowl of spicy meat buns. Drinks are already available, she's seen to that much. In fact, one might suspect the cafe is a second piece of territory she's marked out. She sits down, gesturing to the silver-haired girl. "This is Maddy, and... she'll have to introduce her plus one. Tock'll be taking a break until forever, and so he cut-and-pasted her. If you have any issues with it, you can take it up with Bully, as I understand it." She raises an eyebrow to Wild Bull with a grin and a shrug, and adds, "But before we talk about what we need for our next job..."

She looks over to High Gear. "So, when do we get a cut from the unobtanium sale? That was part of the plan, and last I saw you'd taken it off to your lab. About time you slipped your tuckus off the treasure chest and made sure we've all gotten our take, yeah?" She picks up one of the spicy meat buns, taking a bite as she looks expectant.

"Oh, also, taking suggestions for our gang's handle, if you've got one.", she adds more generally.

Looking to Pierce the Mask right off the bat with High Gear with an 8, asking "how could I get your character to compensate those of us who didn't get diddly-squat?"

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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 leered at Weaver in apprehension. There was a new fae in his base, and as was only perfectly logical, he was not exactly thrilled by the prospect. Then again, apparently the girl was a replacement for Tock, and even another fae was bound to be a good trade for that particular moronic sod. Hmph.

Only when the Black Squire addressed him, did his gaze likewise change direction to this new nuisance. He listened to the girl's complaints while silently chewing on a meat bun, and he continued chewing on that bun a bit after she was done talking, too, as if not really considering a response to be his first priority. He wiped his mouth with a napkin after he was done and pressed his fingers upon his forehead as if he was having a headache (it is plainly obvious he was not having a headache), before he started talking.

"First of all", he started talking in his usual annoyed/condescending tone, "The base and its operations are powered by Unobtainium now. Thus saying that you do not benefit is false in itself. Second, your lack of gear is largely because you've yet to approach me with anything you need. Now certainly, some people's share has been largely used up to fortify my flagship due to the circumstances of it destruction", he gave a quick, angry glance towards Ursula before continuing, "But I could easily whip something quick up for you, in particular."

"Third", High Gear leaned back in his chair, "If it's base lucre you want, I'm working on that. You cannot exactly pawn Unobtainium on the market you know, or sell it to street thugs. Fencing it takes effort. Effort that I could not fully realize due to the Labyrinth getting assaulted multiple times, with none but me present to defend it", High Gear scoffed, "Really, the fact that I managed to get as much done as I did is in itself nothing sort of miraculous. I should get that done sometime after our next job, but realize that money is coming your way soon enough."

"Now of course, all this talk about our lacking base security works as a perfect segue towards my next point, so thank you for providing it", High Gear flashed a smarmy sort of grin, "See, the Labyrinth is the most expansive base of operations we could reasonably hope for. Forced relocation would thus be a great loss. Unfortunately, as proven by the various assaults and infiltration attempts on it, our location is badly compromised. This is an issue, as I am sure even you can tell", High Gear cleared his throat before continuing, "Thankfully, my genius has provided us with a solution, as always."

High Gear snapped his fingers, causing a small drone to approach and project a hologram of a building on the middle of the table.



"See, we could just build up our mundane defenses, but arrayed against all the forces that could breach such barriers, they would require constant upkeep. Our lair would require constant vigil, that is to say, which would eat into both our resources and time. Thus, obviously, the best way to defend ourselves is to make it so that we cannot be attacked at all. But how?"

The hologram helpfully splice itself into a cutout of the different floors, places of interest highlighted and annotated.

"This gaudy white building is no normal office. It is, in fact, the location of the Institute of Illumination's hidden research facility 'Gamma-two'. For years now, the facility has devoted its resources into developing, in conjunction with a variety of more magically leaning institutions, a device known only as the Obfuscatron. It is THE premier in cloaking and hiding methods, the combined fruit of the efforts of the very best minds of various scientific and magical disciplines. Galvanic particle jammers, working in unison with Heisenberg rectifiers and topomantic reality twisters, all topped with fae glamors and more. It is that sort of device. Needless to say, should we become the new possessors of this magnificent piece of kit, the Labyrinth might as well not exist for anyone but us. We would be near impossible to assault. In addition, I could easily fit the Brass Juggernaut with one, allowing us to take it to mission sites while hidden, thus increasing the possible range and scope of our future endeavors massively."

"All we need to do is go in, snatch their prototype, blueprints and research, and we're basically unassailable."

High Gear crossed both sets of his arms, tapping his left arms with his his right hand fingers impatiently.

"Thoughts?"



quote:

"how could I get your character to compensate those of us who didn't get diddly-squat?"
You don't actually have to do anything. High Gear is already set on fencing a bunch of Unobtainium as his next after caper action, and is going to invest a point of Infamy in a shared 'RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY' asset. (This is because he is being pressured by Ebony Mask, not because he particularly cares about you lot, which BS would not know. She can probably figure out that there's some reason driving him towards this line of action in addition to keeping you lot mollified, however)


Also, due to Black Squire abstaining from caper suggestions, I propose the Caper: Steal the Obfuscatron

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