Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?


Hard =0 | Cool +2 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1
Barter=4 | Harm=9:00 | XP ●●●○○»

Oh Holy gently caress
I was expecting some yelling, maybe a brawl. Not this clusterfucking shitshow. Its almost enough to distract me from the pain. Almost. And as much as I want to just say gently caress them all, poor Rosa doesn’t deserve to get gutted. To have her blooood draaaa….

poo poo. Almost blacked out. Gotta think fast. She’s in Thumper, but there’s no way she’s gonna stick her head out to button up. Does she know about the auto-lock? poo poo, getting too fuzzy. My link-helmet, gently caress me its still strapped to my head. Can’t access the controls without a hardline, but its still got a tight-beam multifreq radio link to the cockpit. I finagle the mouthpiece, blood making things slippery. “Listen Rosa, I’m stuck on the other side of this shitshow, and there’s some fucker with a pigsticker and a grudge wandering about in addition to the fuckholes shooting. Hit the three red toggles right in front of the hatch, it’ll close Thumper up tight and you’ll be good until this dies out. I gotta go mensi, need to deal with this blood.”

Aaand I’m done. I really hope that Rosa survives, and I say a short prayer to Zee that she’ll protect her. But I need to make sure I loving survive, its off to the Infirmary.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"


Cool: 0 Hard: +1 Hot: +2 Sharp: +1 Weird -1
XP: 4

I'm thinking I got this. I'm thinking it's all going well. And then things suddenly go real fast. Crazy Ivan pulls his gun and tries to shoot at Boya, and the other soldiers follow training and shoot him and the Shrikes follow their training and shoot at them, eveyrthing explodes with fire and ashes as Cpl. Alboah bursts out and then everyone follows their training and takes cover position and opens fire at eachother.

I can't really yell about not acting like soldiers. Returning fire when being fired on is a pretty standard rule. Only person I can blame really is Crazy Ivan, current status likely deceased.

I can't just Sarge my way through this. This poo poo got drilled into them so they can do it without thinking. I'm probably a bad soldier for still having my shotgun on my back and not taking shots myself. But I guess I was a civvie for too long. Point is, no order I'm giving is really gonna get through to them now. Their attention is on the guys with guns on the other side. I need to get to something that's drilled in them just as hard for them to stop shooting.

I look at the Shrike medic, looking nervously at one of the fallen Shrikes, clearly wanting to go help them, but worried about braving the killing ground. That's when the idea strikes. Because no matter how desperate and raw we are, one thing is drilled into a soldier. It's poo poo to shoot at medics. Or unarmed people. We all make a big show of how we're big killers, but most soldiers. They see an unarmed figure, they're not gonna shoot. And so I stand, my arms wide and empty hands visible. "MEDIC COMING THROUGH, DON'T SHOOT!" It's not a sudden end to hostilities, but it is basic, vital enough that even with tunnel vision on opponents, it draws your attention. Makes people hesitate, make people pause shooting and give their brains the chance to catch up on them. And if they're not shooting at others but taking cover, than that gives some brains on the other side the time to also catch up, and maybe we'll end up with less of those brains spread all over this planet's surface.

I physically cover the medic, moving slow, deliberate, never lowering hands below my shoulders as I try to guide them through the blood soaked, dust clogged no man's land.

@Sgt. Vasile Petrescu (Shogeton): 2d6+1 chaotic free for all = (5+4)+1 = 10 (except my cool is 0, so that's a nine) I will prevent harm to the lead medic (or the medics if they can count as a gathered npc) and calm the choas, meaning everyone deals and takes -1 harm

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Cool: +3 | Hard 0 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1

"God loving drat it," I hiss. "Fuckfuckfuck. Should have shot him when I had the chance." Profit should at least see the big picture, even if she's still got it in for me.

"Hold on..." I say, and eye Reine. She's on my side, which means... "You okay to handle a weapon?"

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Cool +1 | Hard +2 | Hot -1 | Sharp +1 | Weird +2
Harm: 3:00 | Experience: ●●●○○» | 7-barter

I pat Leroy's — my, I suppose — DMR and give Casino a quick nod, "Yes, ma'am. I won't slow you down."

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Cool: +3 | Hard 0 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1

"Good," I answer. "Then let's go. Gotta be prepared," I say, "sounds like everybody getting some of the duststorms." It's a Martianism I drop in without really thinking about it. Whenever somebody had been out of the domes, in a rover or one of the little emergency habs, they could start to hallucinate. Some were so bad people would rip themselves out of their suits and suffocate.

With Reine in tow, I start humping it back to command.

Platonicsolid fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2018 around 03:18

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


I'm half-cooked, coughing my lungs out, my head feels like it wants to split, that rear end in a top hat Huan just threw into the deep end of poo poo creek, and most of all I am pissed the gently caress off. And whatever the hell is going on out here is going to get everyone killed.

I shove the PDA into a pocket on my fatigues, then get up on the top of the nearest convenient stationary object that isn't on goddamn fire, which happens to be Sideways' little tank. Then I'm channeling my drill sergeants and shouting as loud as I can, into the comms too. "CEASE FIRE! ALL UNITS CEASE FIRE! CEASE loving FIRE! GODDAMMIT THAT'S AN ORDER!"

@Profit (Comrade Gorbash): 2d6+2 Pack Alpha = (6+5)+2 = 13

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.





Cool+1 | Hard=0 | Hot+1 | Sharp-1 | Weird+2
Harm: 0:00 | 1-armor | 4-barter | 3/5 XP

"Isaiah, you're right. I've seen everything I need to see. We need to take Central, now."

Without another word, I'm off, back on our original plan, my crew close behind me.

Mr. Prokosch
Feb 14, 2012

Behold My Magnificence!


META - I think the 'session' is winding down unless someone like Reine wants to wind it up again immediately. There won't be much time skip but I figure if Profit wants to secure her hold from Been and Zee wants to head into the jungle we should handle that after a session break.

Sideways

You stumble into the infirmary. Most of the docs have keeled over and most of the medical supplies have been stolen or hoarded. But, Brandon happens to be there. Brandon eyes you critically, "yeah, sure, I think I can keep you from dying. Medical poo poo ain't cheap and I'm not some Martian commu-cultist. I'm an American through and through and we get paid for our work."

What do you do?

Petrescu

You stride into that mess like a goddamn hero. These soldiers know not to shoot a medic, hell if they thought for a second they wouldn't even be shooting each other. You escort the medical personnel from person to person, their own training taking hold as they perform field triage and save lives with practiced efficiency. Their first impulse is to prioritize Shrikes, but you firmly guide them towards treating both sides of the battlefield.

You're so focused on your task it takes you don't even notice when you're hit by a stray round. It's only after you calm down and take stock that you see that some of the blood on your clothes is your own.

Take 2 harm from participating in the free for all

What do you do?

Profit

It takes a few seconds for your orders to take hold, but for most of these guys it's not a blood feud, yet. The Shrikes are used to listening to you, and the Old Guard are eager for a strong authority to give them orders again. So, bit by bit, the fighting calms down. Everyone who is still standing is behind some kind of cover, eyeing their target on the other side. Petrescu is with the medics out in the open. His actions have helped save a lot of wounded. Taking stock of the situation, if this had gone much worse there would be no Shrikes left worth mentioning. As it stands after these last two engagements you have more casualties than healthy fighters. You're going to need a poo poo-ton of medical supplies and able doctors to get them back in action. Been has most of the horded medical supplies. And, as it stands Been's gang outmatches yours.

The Shrikes take another 2-harm from this conflict. You currently only have a small gang of able fighters.

What do you do?

Casino

You end up just outside of a tense situation, able to scope it out easily enough. The gunfire died down but there are a lot of bodies on the ground. Petrescu and the medics are working on them. Shrikes and Old Guard are in wary pockets of cover, having ceased fire but not all hostilities. Major Profit is standing on top of the baby tank, in the open, shouting orders. If you have grudges, now would be an excellent opportunity to get even.

What do you do?

Reine

You can see the same thing as Casino. Since you have a kind of bond to him, you notice that good old Crazy Ivan, having taken enough punishment to kill a dozen men, is still 'alive.' He's missing a lot of major chunks but you notice his arm twitch and then bend, like he's going to try and rise again. No one has noticed him yet.

What do you do?

Zee

Armed and armored, though short your driver, the cult moves out. It will be a long trip through hostile territory before you reach Central Command. Once you get there you've already spied that it's a mess of allies and enemies, with large chunks of the base already fallen. You'll have a fight ahead of you.

You can leave now on foot, but you can also seize the motorpool to make the journey easier.

What do you do?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


"That's more loving like it," I snap. I take a breath, and then continue. "Major Huan is dead. I'm taking command of the firebase, as of this moment. I want the wounded collected, brought inside, and cared for. I want that making GBS threads fire out. I want Crazy Ivan up here, now, or what's left of him. And I want a unit ready for a fight assembled here in the next 10 minutes. We're soldiers, goddammit, now act like it."

I glare around at the assembled to drive the point home, then hop down off the mini-tank and grab a radio, twisting the dial to the main channel. "Casino, Zee. This is Profit. If you haven't gotten yourselves killed, I want to talk. Over."

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Cool +1 | Hard +2 | Hot -1 | Sharp +1 | Weird +2
Harm: 3:00 | Experience: ●●●○○» | 7-barter

Jesus. Looks like they got busy while I was playing hero, huh. I catch the general gist of things from the way Profit is hollering. Is she the new boss? I... guess I hitched myself to the right faction. And speaking of... Well, gently caress. Crazy Ivan didn't waste much time going from dying one way to dying another. But... hm, wait. He doesn't feel dead. In fact, he feels a lot like he's going to do some zombie poo poo and get everyone all riled up again. Profit should be so drat happy that I'm on her side. Saving her men, not letting their strange new attributes freak out her non-Shrike soldiers... And hey! She already knows a little bit about what's going on, so it shouldn't be too bad when I tell her why he's not really dead. It was a for a good cause.

I pat Jen on the shoulder and point her towards Profit, "Go ahead and report back in, okay? I'll be right there." Maybe that'll give me enough time to think about how to calm her down when she sees what happened to Ivan. I probably should ask Casino if my wandering off is okay with her, but since Profit gave everyone an order... that's just good soldiering.

I pick my way through the carnage and follow that itch in the back of my mind towards where Ivan's at. Before his arm can draw too much more attention, I take off Leroy's... or mine, I guess... jacket and do my best to wrap it around him. Part to keep him from moving, part to keep him together. That guy ate a ton of ammo. I'm not sure if I'd be doing so hot after something like that and he's only got a comparative taste of what I am. Once I've got him as contained as I can, I heft him up into my arms and start making for Profit.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?


Hard =0 | Cool +2 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1
Barter=3 | Harm=9:00 | XP ●●●○○»

I want to shoot the fucker. I want to scream the regs and MOS’ at him. But I’m just too drat tired. I lean against the big desk Brandon is sitting behind and stare him in the eyes. I pull out a couple of PX cards and place them on the metal in front of him, and put my other hand on the butt of my sawed-off. I try to speak, but it takes a couple tries for my voice to work properly.

“Listen. I’ve had a very weird and hosed-up day, and I’m just the first of the wounded that’s going to end up here. So how’s about you take these chits, shut your goddamn mouth, and stitch me up. And once I’m not dying on your little area rug here, we can get shitfaced and debate the merits of Terran late-stage capitalism vs. Martian anarcho-syndicalism. Deal?”

giving 1-barter to Brandon, but with strings attached so that I ace the Manipulation to patch me up

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.





Cool+1 | Hard=0 | Hot+1 | Sharp-1 | Weird+2
Harm: 0:00 | 1-armor | 4-barter | 3/5 XP

Gotta get to Central Command, that's the only way of having the resources and communication I need to defend myself. And everyone else too, I guess. Getting there on foot is slow and probably suicidal, and seizing a motorpool isn't real great either. Thankfully, there's a third option. Lyft.

Once again I grab my radio, but this time I call Sideways. "Sister Sideways," --gotta keep this poo poo formal-- "we're returning to Lyft. Get there if you can, but if not may my blessing sustain you. Let us know if we should wait."

Let's roll. Again.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?


Hard =0 | Cool +2 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1
Barter=3 | Harm=9:00 | XP ●●●○○»

quiggy posted:

"Sister Sideways, we're returning to Lyft. Get there if you can, but if not may my blessing sustain you. Let us know if we should wait."

“Go, and do what needs must. Rosa and I are stuck on the wrong side of this shitshow.” And then I pulse the transmit button, giving her a series of clicks over the line. And even if Mother Zee doesn’t know Martian click-code, there are several of us in the Family that could hear or that she has been inside the head of. Caution. Hunter. Hidden.

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"


Cool: 0 Hard: +1 Hot: +2 Sharp: +1 Weird -1
XP: 4 harm: 6.00


Everything feels kinda distant, dreamy. I'm guessing that watching some of the good soldiers start shooting each other, watching it all fall apart is kind of a blow. Or maybe that's just shock from the bullet having hit me. Maybe some kind of after effect of whatever knocked me out. As the guns stop, the medics don't really need my help getting to where they need to go. I'm walking wounded and they're doing triage, so I'm not top of their list. Walking kinda hurts though. What to do now? Oh yeah, report.

I stagger to where Major Profit is, managing a salute, though I think I shouldn't straighten up to full height with a bullet possibly in me. "Major Profit, urgent report. I lost consciousness near the armory because of unknown reasons. I woke up in a tunnel... which led straight into the garden near the mess."

"Also, I need to report that Crazy Ivan was acting... erratic before the firefight. He shot one of colonel Huan's aids as the... medics were helping him. And while the situation was tense... he tried to shoot PFC Boya, getting himself shot and setting off the firefight." He looked up at her. "I would consider... the possibility of mental manipulation. By someone who has interest in eroding the... chain of command. Someone who's been acting outside of it. And I'm not even talking about Been."

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2018 around 13:30

Mr. Prokosch
Feb 14, 2012

Behold My Magnificence!


Profit

You get no immediate response from Casino or Zee. You spot Jen as she limps over to report.

"Sir! I'm sorry for my absence. Bravo 4 was ambushed in medical while trying to install an improved peg they'd scavenged. I was kidnapped while restrained and remained in their control before I was rescued by a specialist, Reine."

After that Petrescu comes with his report while Jen gives him the stink-eye.

Then Reine drags in the mutilated Crazy Ivan. Somehow, he's still breathing though you're not sure how that's possible. His eyes struggle to focus on you. Jen sobs when she sees him, her face an amalgam of rage and grief. "You fuckers! You did this to him! Erratic my rear end, he was trying to ID the loving traitors in our midst and you shot him before he could!"

What do you do?

Petrescu

You see what's left of Crazy Ivan, who should definitely be dead, get dragged in and you hear Jen's accusation.

What do you do?

Reine

Crazy Ivan gasps and twitches in your arms. You think you can take your gift back from him, if you try. But for now, he lives on through the power of the Light. The direct blood transfer is stronger than just a small fluid exchange. He may not be able to repair himself without an electrical charge though.

Jen nods at your gratefully, but her face falls when she sees Ivan. You hear what she says to Profit.

What do you do?

Sideways

The doctor works on you with the promise of payment. Rosa's fate is unknown, but she should be safe in that metal shell. Zee is taking the strongest of the congregation to make a journey through the jungle to the promised land. But you? You're heading off to dream land.

We'll pick this up next session

Zee

You can stuff some of your congregation with the best of your stolen equipment in Lyft. It will only be a small gang, but if your vision is any indication it could make a difference in the tense situation going on in Central Command. Tank is listening to the radio and laughs, "Thomson says be careful there's a hidden hunter after us. She should tell us something we don't know."

We'll pick this up next session

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"


Cool: 0 Hard: +1 Hot: +2 Sharp: +1 Weird -1
XP: 4 harm: 3.00

"The gently caress?" Petrescu just said, blinking in confusion, then anger.

"He loving drew a bead in the middle of a standoff. Even if his accusation were true, that stuff could have waited until his CO wasn't in the middle of a fire. And that doesn't explain why he shot at someone the Shrike's own medics were trying to save. And it doesn't explain how he's still alive after all this. I was standing right in front of him, Major. I know what happened. Normally, I'd say he's a traitor. But considering the suicidal way he did this, I'm thinking he's under influence. And he's not the only one."

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


I set down the radio handset when Jen comes over and lean on the tank, trying to muster my strength. Listen coldly to her story, then Petrescu's. Look over my shoulder at what should be a corpse, that Reine's dragged in. Too many questions, and not enough time. And no response from Zee or Casino. I tap my fingers on the minitank for a moment, grinding my teeth.

"No, I don't think he's the only one," I tell Petrescu flatly. "It strikes me that everything I've been dealing with today, somehow you always turn up in the thick of it, like a bad loving penny. And now I've got dead Shrikes and... this," I nod at Ivan. "And you with some crazy goddamn story about tunnels and mind control."

I turn and step close to Petrescu. "I'm going to give you one chance to unfuck yourself, Sergeant. I want two things. One," I hold up a finger. "The people responsible for this bullshit with Bravo 4 on a silver goddamn platter. And two," I hold up another. "The rest of the able bodied soldiers on this base who are still interested in doing their goddamn jobs. Huan left me holding the bag on this. Your job is to make sure it's not full of poo poo. Now, is that something you can do, or do we have a problem?" I snarl.

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"


Cool: 0 Hard: +1 Hot: +2 Sharp: +1 Weird -1
XP: 4 harm: 3.00

So my anger is just raising to hitherto unknown levels at this point. If I hadn't turned up, she'd not have any goddamn Shrikes left. "Sir, I can show you that tunnel. I just left it." I said through gritted teeth. "As to your other request," It's real tempting to point at Jen and say 'there's the one responsible' but that's not the soldier's way to handle this. You say "Sir, yes, sir." and then, I guess I'll just ignore that order.

"Sir, no sir. No problem." I say with an edge of frost in my voice.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


“Good,” I reply. This isn’t over, I can tell, but I just need it not to be an immediate disaster. I turn to Reine. “Specialist...” I find myself at a loss for words. “What the gently caress?” I end up asking, spreading my hands.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Cool +1 | Hard +2 | Hot -1 | Sharp +1 | Weird +2
Harm: 3:00 | Experience: ●●●○○» | 7-barter

As the Major and Sarge throw barbs at each other, I've been pretty quiet. Mostly because, hey, I'm just a lowly specialist in the presence of superior officers. Also a little because I'm figuring out exactly what pulling back the Light from Ivan would look like. I mean, don't get me wrong. I tried to save him! I want him alive as much as I want everyone here to be alive. But... I don't know. The Sarge is giving me a real hinky vibe, like he's just looking for an excuse to do something. Like he did with his boys and that peg leg. poo poo... I don't know. I don't know! This isn't exactly something I was trained to deal with.

I say, "It's... a complicated situation, ma'am, but Jen has the right of it. I came across a soldier holding Ivan captive, then followed that lead to where Jen was being held. Attempts to negotiate with the..." I pause, delicately considering how to put it. "...the captor failed and hostilities erupted. Major Casino can also add context to the aftermath of Jen's rescue. I can submit a full report if you would like. Given the sensitivity of the matter, perhaps in a more secure location?"

I've made my decision: I'm throwing in my lot with the Shrikes. If Profit goes for it, I'll tell her just about everything. She'll know what to do. What to do with Ivan, what to do with Patrescu, hell, maybe even what to do with getting some of those parts I need.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


"Huh. Fine," I eye her, remembering a time I pressed a live wire into her hand. Whatever Reine is now, she's probably useful. "We've got a poo poo ton of work to do. Let's get it done."

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Cool: +3 | Hard 0 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1

A hard and fast hike, but we still don't make it before the fighting's over.

Well this poo poo is hosed up.

I spend a few minutes checking on some of the wounded. I'm no medic, but it's good to be seen, what with having some actual responsibilities now, and I can check with the medics too.

Finally I saunter back towards Reine and Profit. "Major," I say. "Specialist's right, far as I can tell from the blasts. Can't speak to what came before. Not sure I care. We've got bug problems, we've got cult problems, and we've got Been problems," I say, the last name getting most of my venom. "Medics are saying he's hoarding the medical supplies and they're running short. Time to finally deal with him, or we won't be able to deal with everything else." A pause. "Believe you need the next ranking officer to sign off on your assumption of command," I add, letting some of my pleasure show. "If I remember right. Pretty sure that's me." If you don't count Been, and I certainly don't.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


"So good to have your support, Lt. Duff," I tell her. Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth. Having her backing my move does help, but we also both know I'd be doing it regardless. "Been is the top of my list right now. Unless you're going to preempt that with this cult poo poo. Where the gently caress is Zee anyways?"

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Cool: +3 | Hard 0 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1

"Left her checking out the bugs with psychic juju, when I went off to check TacCom. Haven't seen her since," I answer. "She should be priority two. Need to know what's up with the bugs next time we face them. Just won't matter if we can't tend to our wounded, get some of these troops back into action. Might be able to hit Been through the Dome, if we're lucky, but not holding my breath. So either we coax him out somehow, or get a ringer to go in so we can get a clear shot."

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


"Zee will hold for now then." I grab the radio handset again, adjusting the dial. "Been. poo poo's hosed. We need to talk, now."

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


harm 0:00 hunger 3:00 | XP 2/5
Armor systems// armor 2 damage 10:00 charge 9:00 ammo 3:00// 1-resupply


Before I can think to do much else, the light pinging of small arms fire stops, followed by the quieter pinging of my armor cooling down. I stand, in the dark of my suit, waiting for the auto-repair to kick in, it's no replacement for getting into a machine shop, but it can do small reroutes and diagnostics in the field without my needing to leave the armor. after a minute of of quiet, my HUD flickers once, then pops back on.

I survey the scene, the few bodies, the more wounded as I trudge forward as Profit finishes her speech, there's nothing I can add, so I keep quiet as she talks to Petrescu, Reine, and Casino.

So we're rolling on Been in 10? Cool. No time for any actual repairs, but as long as we're not shooting each other we should do alright against that rear end in a top hat.

Mr. Prokosch
Feb 14, 2012

Behold My Magnificence!


Aboah

Big Toni gives you a field patch once the action is over, and you can see again. It's a Frankenstein job, not a full repair, but it's good enough. Once you can see, you notice his hands are twitching and he's sweating heavily. You know the symptoms of morphine withdrawal. He's got a lot of old burn scars on his face, probably the rest of him too.

"Good enough," he grunts. He paces around you, eyeballing the burned-up husk of the command center and the nearby TacSim building that's serving as a triage site. There are a lot of bodies on the ground, "this is hosed up. You know that? We really gonna gun down more of our own people? I thought we was here to stomp on bugs, not Army for R&R. If we gotta shot someone, why down a man with a silver star doing the best he can to keep things going, while we get chummy with baby-killers? You cool with this?"

What do you do?

Casino

You still looking to kill Been? Radio chatter says he's holed up in the Pleasure Dome, and he's gathered a gently caress-ton of unaffiliated personnel who came there after poo poo popped off between the two Majors. The rumor flying around right now is that she busted down the door, shot Huan in the head, then set fire to central command and blew up the server room so there'd be no record of what happened once the Brass gets their poo poo together. They say Profit's stopped loving around and she's going to kill anyone who's been in dereliction, which is drat near everyone. Been is the next highest-ranked officer on base. He's their only hope, and he's next on the list.

Someone has been working PR. You're real familiar with that poo poo working against you, it doesn't take long for freedom fighters to become terrorists, and for terrorists to become animals. Meanwhile, a lot of Shrikes are still giving you the stank eye. They're under orders not to lynch you, but you're on thin ice with these allies of yours.

What do you do?

Reine & Profit

You didn't get an immediate reply on the radio, but Reine insisted on a private discussion between you, her, and the undead Ivan. Let's shortcut the full exchange:

Reine, what exactly did you tell Profit and what did you leave out?

Profit, how do you feel about this poo poo and what's your course of action?

After this conversation Been comes over the radio, "Yes Major? As the next highest ranking officer, I assume you need me to sign off on your coup? Or was there something else?"

Petrescu

You have orders to keep close to Profit, but when she heads inside the TacSim offices (the wing that wasn't blown up) with Reine, you figure someone needs to watch the tunnels. The base seems weirdly empty. You know you didn't gather everyone who can fight, just some volunteers and the Shrikes, but that seems to be everyone in plain view. Everyone else on base must have taken shelter when the fighting started. You click through the local radio channels, and chatter confirms the worst. Most people ended up at the Infirmary, the Mess, or the Pleasure Dome. Been has more support than ever. The Mess, meanwhile, is in chaos. Your best regulars, the ones who keep the peace, are bleeding on the ground. Katembo is in a standoff, calling for reinforcements before a group breaks into storage. The tunnel system in the garden currently has no one watching it but you.

What do you do?

Zee

You drove in the free and clear for a while, Sideway's transport lets you make good time, and her auto-mapper let you avoid the danger spots she'd already recorded. There's a major warning around one of the clearings, so you drove deeper into the dense foliage. Then, you hit a snag. Sister Sasha said it was some kind of glowing pollen cloud clogging up the engine. So, now you're grounded. You can wait for her to try and repair the engine, or you can move forward on foot. It's getting harder to tell direction though, the GPS keeps shorting out and giving bullshit readings.

As you ponder your next move, you feel something watching you in the jungle.

What do you do?

Sideways

You wake up to chattering a movement all around you. Alarmingly, it's not the infirmary. The cut-outs from porn mags plastering the walls and the scavenged-mattress-covered floor tells you that you're in the Pleasure Dome. You've got medical straps around your ankles, wrists, and chest. You hear a voice, Been, trying to be gentle.

"Heeey girl, don't freak out. I did buy you for another shipment of meds to the doc. But if I wanted to hurt you or something, you would be hurt by now. You feel pretty good, right? No pain? That's the good stuff. The stuff that gets a little... rough if you don't taper off just right... Anyway, I know you're close to Zee, I know she had a vision or some poo poo, I know she went off to the jungle. I want to know where and why. I want to know if she'd be interested in a partnership. She can't be for Profit, Profit will lock her back up the second she can 'cause it's regulation. gently caress, these days Profit will burn her for a Witch. I don't give a poo poo for regulation. I want to live. And if she's got an inside line to the bugs, I want it."

What do you do?

Mr. Prokosch fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2018 around 19:23

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"


Cool: 0 Hard: +1 Hot: +2 Sharp: +1 Weird -1
XP: 4 harm: 3.00

This is a goddamn mess. loving hell, everything is falling apart, and Been is gaining an advantage, and Intel's little project is loose, and I don't have folks to go after her this time. We've got a major who actually does things, but she's ignoring threats, and for all I know, she's compromised as well. gently caress, I've got missing time. I'm compromised for all I know. Alright. Don't lose your poo poo like a boot. Deal with one problem at a time.

And the problem that is currently the worst is that the mess. MY mess is apparently under a goddamn attack.

That is not happening. Apparently, not enough soldiers died today? Fine. I'm gonna show some people the door, and if they have to leave feet first, that's just the way it's gonna be.

"Katembo, I'm on my way. Hold out."

Going to the mess

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.





Cool+1 | Hard=0 | Hot+1 | Sharp-1 | Weird+2
Harm: 0:00 | 1-armor | 3-barter | 4/5 XP

First things first. I am not bringing a skeleton crew out into the jungle unprotected, psychic powers or no. Absolutely the first order of business then is to get this thing back up and running, and that means getting Sister Sasha to fix the engine. Of course, we're not idiots and immediately recognize that the glowing spores here on this hell planet are probably bad news to breathe in, so we look for an alternative. Thankfully, Brother Isaiah, crazy fanatic that he is, saw ahead enough to snag a gas mask before we took off. I give the mask to Sasha, and instruct everyone else to stand clear of the pollen cloud.

Now then, on to matter two: there's something out there. I haven't seen it, I haven't felt it, but I have felt its weight on the world's psychic maelstrom. I'd love to link arms again and connect, but we don't have the time, and if something were to go wrong I don't want to get stranded out here alone. Better to just risk myself. I close my eyes, focus my thoughts, and reach out into the darkness. Maybe I can figure out what's watching me, or at least know where to look.

@Zee (quiggy): 2d6+2 Open your brain = (4+2)+2 = 8. Highlighted stat, marking XP

@Zee (quiggy): 2d6+1 Fortunes = (5+2)+1 = 8: Surplus, and also want: desertion

Spending 1-barter on lifestyle, out here in the jungle there's not much luxury to be had

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Cool +1 | Hard +2 | Hot -1 | Sharp +1 | Weird +2
Harm: 3:00 | Experience: ●●●○○» | 7-barter

Spending 0-barter per Lily of the Pits!

Right, so, I filled in Profit... at least as far as I know what's going on. How I came to be what I am, what I can do, and what they want. Escape. Survival. For Zee to stop goddamn poking the beehive. Profit knows about Ivan, how I fixed him, and... how I could take that back. Up to her whether he lives or dies. That's gotta be a tough decision to make, I guess, but that's why she's in charge. She can make that kind of decision. Not sure what's going to happen from here... I mean, I just came out as being the next best thing to the enemy. If I need to, I'll run. I know they can't kill me. Not easily. But... it'd be a helluva lot easier to make the shuttle, to escape this hellhole, if I had her on my side. That's the risk I'm taking.

So... here I am. Waiting for her verdict. Waiting to see what she makes of it all.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot=0 Sharp+1 Weird-1 | 3:00 Harm | 2-Armor | XP ●●●●○» | 0-Barter
RLS-4B Dagger Speed+1 Handling=0 Massive=0 0-armor | Shrikes 3-harm gang medium savage 1-armor


Before Reine tells me her story, I scan over the files I took out of Huan's office. The connection between what she's telling me and what's in them is impossible to miss. It's also impossible to miss just how hosed we are.

"poo poo," I say once the specialist winds down. I pace, trying to get my head around it. "Command loving knows about this. Knew about it. And doesn't want to let anyone off planet because of it. Which means we're on our own down here." I turn back to her. "Don't loving tell anyone else. Not unless I tell you to. And if you sense anyone else who's got it, tell me right away."

"As for him," I point at Ivan, "Get him back on his feet. I'm down too many people already. But keep him in line."

"Right now I've got to get control of this base. Then we can worry about figuring out how to get off this loving poo poo hole. All of us who want off anyways. But that's not gonna happen if we're all loving dead."

When Been comes on the comm, I grab a set and reply. "Huan put a round in his own head and left a loving mess on our hands. It's my command now, like it or not. I'm pulling together all assets to make a plan to keep us all loving alive. That includes you."

Spending 2-barter on lifestyle.

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?


Hard =0 | Cool +2 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1
Barter=2 | Harm=6:00 | XP ●●●●○»

gently caress, everything is so goddamned fuzzy. At least my side isn’t on fire and I can breathe through my nose again. Been? poo poo, that’s Been crooning at me. I rattle the restraints a bit, but they’ve been done good. I try and focus on Been’s face, forcing his words to cut through the haze.

poo poo

Normally I would give the fucker what he needed, Mother Zee might forgive me since she knows what its like to do things to survive. But even in the Motor Pool, I’ve heard the scuttle about Profit and Been butting heads. And now she is probably the honcho now, so helping Been would be crossing the Major. You don’t cross the Major, not if you don’t want your heart ripped out through your rear end in a top hat. But he’s got me good here, need to figure something out.

“W-water.” My lips are cracked and my throat is parched, so the pathetic warble in my voice isn’t acting. But it will hopefully buy me a little time, as I look over this part of the Pleasure Dome hoping for something to help me.

@PFC 'Sideways' Thompson (PG): 2d6+1 Reading the Sitch in the Pleasure Dome = (6+2)+1 = 9
-Where’s my best escape route

I also pay 1-barter for lifestyle, ‘cause they aren’t going to find all my poo poo

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


harm 0:00 hunger 3:00 | XP 2/5
Armor systems// armor 2 damage 10:00 charge 9:00 ammo 3:00// 1-resupply


I watch Big Toni for a moment, not sure how to answer at first, "Silver star? are you talking about the man who just firebombed his own office rather than face the unit he neglected? or the chem-pushing pimp hoarding supplies and acting like he owns the place over in his pleasuredome?

As far as I'm concerned, they're bugs. and like you said, we're here to stomp bugs."

I've got 0 barter, and I'm not sure how I pay my lifestyle, or even if I do with the resupply thing.

Platonicsolid
Nov 17, 2008




Cool: +3 | Hard 0 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1 | 0 Harm | 1-Armor | XP ●○○○○» | 3-Barter

All that went down, and I'm not in a much better place than before. Positive, Profit and I have a peace, of a kind. Negative, my secret's out there. Positive, got a line on the bug's weird poo poo and have Zee willing to help. Negative, everybody's going into their corners and I'm stuck without a dance partner.

Time to forge an insurgency. Best start - Aboah. He worked with me on Been and seems solid, and is less tied into the other shenanigans going around. I heard he was off meeting with Big Toni. I linger just at the edge of earshot, and have to smile at Aboah's take.

"We agree on that," I say, moving in to join the two of them. "Some have lost sight of that. You and I," I gesture between us with a wave of my hand. "We need to talk."


SidekickBOT - Today at 9:17 PM
@Casino (Platonicsolid): 2d6+1 Reading Aboah = (3+1)+1 = 5
And a miss, marking XP.
Also spending 1 barter to maintain lifestyle.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


harm 0:00 hunger 6:00 | XP 2/5
Armor systems// armor 2 damage 6:00 charge 9:00 ammo 3:00// 1-resupply


I guess I spend food for lifestyle, so I'm doing that now.

My HUD tags Casino as she approaches, I'm silently grateful she's here before Toni gets a chance to respond to my statement. I hand sign a smile, and say thanks before focusing on Casino.

With a salute I say, "What's going on L-T?"

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




Cool +1 | Hard +2 | Hot -1 | Sharp +1 | Weird +2
Harm: 3:00 | Experience: ●●●○○» | 7-barter

I wait for Profit to finish up her call to Been, but I do have some answers for her. The prospect of the shuttle getting fast-tracked should help keep Them from getting too antsy about looping her in... I hope, anyway. If Zee stops poking her stupid, psychic nose in their business, then hopefully we can just go back to the status quo.

I nod, "Can do. I'll need access to some high-voltage lines and a room where people aren't going to see the regen process, but I can get him fixed up in no time. There's some others out at the other firebases, but I don't think there's many of us in the base. Me, Ivan, and... maybe Jacobs? I'll check for sure. We're all connected, so I don't think there should be any surprise visitors." I look down at my — Leroy's — outfit and pull at the baggy fabric. "Can I requisition some new gear, Major? My clothes... didn't really survive the rescue."

Any new contaminated in the Hive Mind?

Mr. Prokosch
Feb 14, 2012

Behold My Magnificence!


Zee

You open your mind to whatever is out there. The feeling is strange, more physical than you’re used to. You are suddenly aware of all the cells in your body. Your brain is not one whole, it is billions of tiny thinkers working together. Your muscles are pullers, all aligned. Your stomach cells die for you, but are eternally replaced. You feel something growing on your body, like a kind of mold. It bothers you a little, but you tolerate it. But then it begins to crawl inside of you. An infection! Your white blood cells mass to fight it! You produce more and more! This is right. But then something worse: the mold crawls into your brain! You have no defense against this. You can feel it is killing you. Worse, it is hollowing you out, zombifying you. You are in pain. You are desperate.

What do you do?

Profit

There’s a long pause and then a sigh. “You have a plan I’m all ears. Just don’t expect me to be anywhere where I just happen to conveniently put a round in my own head, you dig?”

What do you do?

Reine
There’s one new contaminated. You feel her presence very weakly from the PleasureDome. Whoever it is, her Light is extremely diluted. Jacob has probably been having some fun, but she’s a copy of a copy of a copy.

You know how to fix Ivan, just give him the juice.

What do you do?

Aboah
Toni doesn’t get the chance to reply, but he’s frowning at you. When you talk with Casino all respectful-like the frown deepens. He moves towards a few more Shrikes and you can see some discussion and rude gestures out of the corner of your eye. It’s clear what’s going on here, some of the Shrikes are close with Been and more of the Shrikes loving hate Casino. A few seconds ago you were cool. Now, you’re the Jarhead Boot whose into baby-killers.

Sideways
Your best way out is to lie and tell Been what he wants to hear. You can hear something in his voice that other people seem to miss: he’s scared shitless. All of this bullshit? It’s because he’s deathly loving afraid of the bugs. Getting high, pimping people out, stockpiling poo poo, it’s all a reaction to that fear. He lost a marble or two and now he’s doing everything he can to control people so he can build a little bubble where he can feel safe again. Tell him he’s safe if he lets you go. Tell him Mama Zee will take care of him in the Promised Land.

What do you do?

Petrescu
You arrive at a stand-off, not a shoot out. In fact, Katembo is the only man with his gun pulled at the moment. He’s standing in front of the locked storehouse, surrounding by people. There’s a lot of shouting as he keeps them at bay with his side-arm and they inch closer with sheer numbers. You can tell instantly what’s going on: they want the food. You pick out a number of people who are no longer welcome at the mess, including some of Been’s people. But there are others, people you’ve been feeding who are now looking to loot the food supplies.

What do you do?

Casino

You've always been good at reading people. But Aboah has one hell of a poker-face in the form of a giant bucket covering his head. You don't know what he's thinking. You are much better at reading the people behind him. Bish, Big Toni, Sasha, Lopez. All Air-Cav. All on their third tour, long enough to have caught the tail end of Martian resistance. They're too far away to hear but you come to a sudden realization: they are planning to kill you. Maybe a bullet in the head next time you're in a firefight, maybe an ambush when you're sleeping, maybe they'll poison your oatmeal. These people want you dead and they are going to act on that soon, even against Profit's orders. From the way Big Toni is gesturing at Aboah, they aren't going to shed a tear if he goes down with you.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT


harm 0:00 hunger 6:00 | XP 2/5
Armor systems// armor 2 damage 6:00 charge 9:00 ammo 3:00// 1-resupply


Fun fact, my HUD is actually a 360 degree view, but the back 180 degrees are just squashed into the sides. It takes awhile to get used to but when you do you barely notice the perspective being skewed. I see Casino's expression, and then follow her gaze to where the Shrikes are glaring at us-without moving my head.

"L-T, maybe we'd better finish this conversation somewhere else?"

quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.





Cool+1 | Hard=0 | Hot+1 | Sharp-1 | Weird+2
Harm: 0:00 | 1-armor | 3-barter | 4/5 XP

I feel the mold crawling in me, hollowing me out, threatening to burn my brain and leave me a shattered husk. But I've experienced this sensation before--not this exact one, of course, but the feeling of opening my mind and receiving too much. Back in those torture chambers I was raised in, they would intentionally induce this state. Not all the other children lived. I did.

I focus myself on pushing my way through the abyss, closing my mind to the psychic energies filling it. I can feel something in the physical world, and I suspect it is my followers, noticing something is wrong, pushing me back into the vehicle, taking me to safety. Keep breathing. Close your brain. Keep breathing. Close your brain. Keep breathing. Close your brain.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

PoultryGeist
Feb 26, 2013

Crystals?


Hard =0 | Cool +2 | Hot +1 | Sharp +1 | Weird -1
Barter=2 | Harm=6:00 | XP ●●●●○»

I see the desperation in his eyes and realize that I don’t have to actually give him the goods on Mama Zee, I just have to give him something. “Yeah, Zee is definitely looking for an ally in this power struggle slash shitshow that’s brewing. And if you’re willing to let us be us and you be you, well you’ve got my vote.” I look down at the restraints and rattle them dramatically. “Although this isn’t a good look. I can pitch your deal to Zee much better if I’m in the free and clear, she’d know if you’ve got me locked down. And she’d definitely not share any of her juicy bug intel if I was under duress. A gesture of goodwill goes a long ways these days.”

I’ve blown better smoke up people’s asses, but I think Been really wants to believe Mama Zee can save him. And who knows maybe she will, Zee moves in mysterious ways. But that’s between her and Been, and I’ll tell him about anything to get out of here and into Thumper.

(Eye On The Door: my escape is to tell Been that Zee will definitely be his Lady and Savior, yesirreebob.
@PFC 'Sideways' Thompson (PG): 2d6+3 Eye on the Door to escape Been (+1 from RtS) = (1+6)+3 = 10. I’m gone.)

  • Locked thread