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File 162847150691.png - (361.37KB , 1000x1000 , chp2header.png )
1007458 No. 1007458 ID: 5bf1bd

Prelude:>>/questarch/970260
Chapter 1:>>/questarch/985116
Discussion:>>/questdis/133296
Wiki:https://tgchan.org/wiki/Last_Trace


Hey... you think she'll understand?

She doesn't need to.
12 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1009064 ID: 094652

I expect the traps to emulate the environment they're placed in. For instance, expect primitive spike pits in the jungle area to fool your implants. In urban combat, you'll find conventional civilian tools re-purposed as deadly weapons; explosives made from bleach, turrets made of leather chairs and vacuum cleaners, alarm systems triggered to flammable gas, etc.
First and foremost, to the east is a narrow corridor. Avoid it; if she hasn't placed a flamethrower turret or a tripwire bomb, it's because she wants to line up a straight shot with her sniper rifle.
The double-doors to your left are an excellent point to put two cross-firing turrets; one on the other side of the second door to get you to instinctively dodge, and another in the dead-end to finish you off.
I recommend you power on ahead. It's the most likely for low trap density; Nickel just walked through there, and if you pushed her through where she currently is, she'd risk getting hit by her own traps.
In fact, your strategy should be to stick to close-combat and disable her sniper rifle, either by theft or destruction. Once you're sure she can't use long-range attacks, dash through corridors with your barrier and make it to the exit. Keep your blink a secret until you find a section that is short but clearly littered in defenses.
Start by throwing an explosive disc at her, since she was so kind to get in range.
>>
No. 1009066 ID: 2f6ee3

>>1009060
I have an idea of how she might be able to use her knife with guns. If she can manifest them in the vicinity of any bullets she's fired, she can use that to ricochet and change the bullet's path.

Hmm. Think you could blink behind her? I'm not sure what the range on the blink is. If you chasing her is what she wants, she'll have traps in front of her; she won't have an answer to you suddenly being behind her. If you can go for a grapple, all you have to worry about is her knife, and how deadly it might be in close range. Though, considering who her normal sparring partner is she might actually be more comfortable with a close range fight. Perhaps the safer bet would be to shotgun her at close range instead of trying to grab her or her gun.

I'm going to guess there's some sort of trap on the wall just in front of her, since at your angle there's a small blind spot there. It's probably something meant to delay you so she can retreat to long range.
>>
No. 1009083 ID: 2f6ee3

Oh wait, she looks strange, wobbly even. Is that a hologram?
>>
No. 1009378 ID: 5fd55c

Wo-how! That Nickel gif is so detailed! Really worth the time and effort!

Firing a few tentative shots at Nickel while getting to cover is highly advisable.
>>
No. 1009596 ID: 5bf1bd
Audio NickelPhase1_ElCargo.mp3 - (6.10MB )
1009596


Title: El Cargo - Splinter Cell
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SzhjG6OkvI


>>
No. 1009597 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163093081317.png - (451.04KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch04.png )
1009597

>Fire a couple of tentative shots at Nickel while getting to cover
I'll do you one better.

>Blink in front of her.
>Cut off her escape routes.

The little cube thrums as I blink forward past her, Diagram's handiwork manifesting itself in my grasp.
I squeeze the trigger, blasting the position I had just been a moment ago -
And the shot phases through Nickel completely.
I'm left with the scent of gunsmoke, the pellets buried in the floor.
>Was that a hologram?
Seems so. Figures that she wouldn't meet me this front on, but she still showed up for the pledge, at very least.
A little projector in the corner was making it, it seems. More like she was beaming a video of herself at that location, instead of it being some static hologram.
>>
No. 1009598 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163093082814.png - (30.90KB , 1000x1000 , covertopsroom2.png )
1009598

Question is, how I breach into the next room.
Now that we know Nickel isn't actually here, and that she's likely watching me from afar - what's her plan gonna be when I try to step into that next room? It's a big one, so it's difficult to anticipate what kind of trap she's got in mind.

Blink's on cooldown for around two rooms. Guess even with a better battery in this thing, literally warping me through the air's going to ask a lot of any kind of tech.

A few preliminary options for the room ahead...
I could crack the door open, toss a modded Disc in and detonate - but that'll be ridding me of one of the three discs I have in total. I'll say that, the discs are probably most useful here, as the urban environment's structure means that throwin' them has more applications than out in a big forest. But I could also hold onto them for the final section in the power grid.
These walls are looking thin - I could also shoot it, making a bit of a hole for me to shoot or look through.
Or I could blast the door down with my shotgun from a distance if I'm concerned about something like a tripwire right in front of the door.
And for a little more of an alternative solution, I blast a hole through the wall using one of the discs and come in through an unexpected angle.

What's the plan of action?
>>
No. 1009599 ID: 094652

Go with shooting the walls. You've got near-unlimited ammo so there's little detriment.
>>
No. 1009604 ID: 5232cd

Shooting through a wall should be enough.
When Blink is back, think you could get on top of a wall? I presume climbing up isn't likely to work.
>>
No. 1009605 ID: 36784c

>>1009598
If she’s watching you, then look for hidden cameras and destroy them. If she has less ways to track you, that’ll make it harder for her.

She’s also got goggles to help her see in the dark, so any unexpected bright flashes will probably blind her for a bit. But you’ll need to find her for that to work.
>>
No. 1009608 ID: 7a3b7d

Well, if you bust through the right wall, it's a straight shot to the exit. It bypasses almost every room.
>>
No. 1010422 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163153917832.png - (288.71KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch05.png )
1010422

>Can you get up onto the tops of the walls with the Blink?
Probably could, yeah. Problem is, they're thin as all hell. I've got good balance of course, but that's like asking someone to fight in the middle of a tightrope. Not a good idea if I don't want to fall into a room and set off the presumable dozen IEDs she's got lying around.


>Shoot through the wall, you've got nigh unlimited ammunition.
Damn right I do. I may have to reload, but when I can keep printing more using my Parasignia, it's real bloody convenient.

I stand back, aim, and squeeze the trigger.
In an instant, I hear not one, but two blasts.
There's a brief rush of heat from under the door and the hole I've just created - fire?
For good measure, I shoot down the door as well - and the room's a mess.
A small fire's crackling in the middle of the room - guess when I shot the wall, the debris ended up setting off motion sensors. If I shot down the door first, I probably would've gotten blasted as well.

I look around in the blasted room, but there's not much to see - bits of debris are lying around, but the explosion was concentrated in the center of the room, presumably to stop it from blasting down some of the walls accidentally. Still no sign of Nickel, but there's probably no cameras in here, given how close it was to an active explosive.
>>
No. 1010423 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163153920483.png - (30.89KB , 1000x1000 , covertopsroom3.png )
1010423

We're at an intersection now - several different paths we can take, here.
What's the plan, folks? Take one of the existing three paths, or something a bit more creative?
There's definitely a few walls I could try and blast through with an explosive disc, if you're willing to spend it.

I'm personally betting on the straight path - get through two doors, and I'm straight to the exit.

Before you suggest it, while making a spiderhole's well enough with the shotgun, trying to cut out a hole in the wall with it for me to go through's just giving her all the more time to add even more traps to this place.


And a quick reminder that I've got those 'magic' cards on me as well, if I need 'em.

The wiki has Argine's current card count displayed, as well as the effects.
>>
No. 1010452 ID: a1eb5b

Shoot the walls to the two rooms to the south in order to set off the traps inside. THEN go to the one south-west of you.
>>
No. 1010455 ID: 96c896

Hmm, yes, it may be a viable strategy to blow holes into multiple adjacent rooms to make it harder to predict our movements.
>>
No. 1010998 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163205621863.png - (369.59KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch06.png )
1010998

>Shoot something to the south two rooms to set off the traps inside of them.
>Make it harder to predict our movements.

Good call, yeah.
With a swift kick of the door to my left, I jump back in anticipation of an explosion that doesn't come.
Following that, two shots to each of the walls, busting a small hole through both.

Next is moving up into the narrow hallway.
With that, there's only two more rooms until the-
>>
No. 1010999 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163205631647.png - (755.70KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch07.png )
1010999

>THWANG!

>Trap nullified!
A massive arrow attempts to embed itself into my chest.

...ugh. Good thing I had the armour up. That's busted now, so I end up discarding the plates. As they are now, they're more likely to get in the way than anything else. Better that than any of my actual limbs, though.
Chest stings a little from the impact, but otherwise I'm fine. Projectiles have this kind of habit of... just breaking up after getting near you. I don't think it was like that before, according to some of the older clones around, but I'll take all the benefits I can get.
>>
No. 1011000 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163205636237.png - (37.62KB , 1000x1000 , covertopsroom4.png )
1011000

Next room's up ahead. Nickel's probably got another motion-sensing trap up in there, but just like with the arrow just now, she's gonna vary things up.

So, here's my quick proposal - I kick the doors down and blitz through the next two rooms, straight to the exit. This place's a hellhole and the longer I stay, the more likely I'm gonna get blown up. So I rush through, dodging the best I can. Like before, I'll blast the walls with a few shots before heading through.
If I do it right, I may be able to catch up to Nickel earlier than expected, meaning it's more of a straight shot to the end in the next zone, instead of having to wade through bear traps.

You got any brighter ideas up in there? Blink's still on cooldown and I've still got my shield, but my offensive tools aren't worth as much when I can't even find her.
>>
No. 1011002 ID: 6e4236

Let's leg it to the exit using Briarspirit, then. Check all corners once you are there!
>>
No. 1011063 ID: 96c896

>>1011000
Well, she knows where you are now. Shotgun the door, peek inside. That's a very evenly-shaped room so there's probably an explosive in it. Might want to bust down the door from quite a distance.
>>
No. 1011730 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163274523927.png - (713.64KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch08.png )
1011730

>Now she knows where you are.
Fah, what a pain.
She's probably waiting at the end of the area, just waiting to squeeze a trigger and watch me go up in flames.

See, this is why I don't like dealing with her. She just loves to play keepaway until you get hasty and she shanks you in the back - but bitching about her's not going to change the fact that at the end of the day, I'm going to press her face into the concrete.

>Use Briarspirit to charge through
Good idea. I'll have to test this thing's protective capabilities, and there's no point in having 20 of these damn cards if I'm never going to use any of them.

I reach into the waist holster for the cards that Diagram had made for me, and focus -
Without even having to riffle through the things, the Briarspirit card flies into my hand.
Real handy. And kinda scary. It's one thing for someone to make a working machine, but... magic? I'm glad this thing hasn't exploded al-
>>
No. 1011731 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163274527044.png - (763.46KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch08point5.png )
1011731

The card explodes, surrounding me with a comforting green glow.
...Better than having a flashbang go off in front of my eyes, at least.
And for some reason, even though I've never used one of these before... it feels like there's going to be very few things that can put me down now.

>One Briarspirit card has been consumed. 2 remain.
Dunno how effective this barrier's going to be, but there's one way to find out.
>>
No. 1011732 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163274528604.png - (386.10KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch09.png )
1011732

>Shotgun the doors again.
Can do. Swapping between my guns ain't much of a problem when there's nobody actively hounding me. I just swapped to my revolvers as well just in case, but all I got was that arrow to the chest.
The door falls, my fingers feeding more shells into the Creirwy as I peer into the now opened-room.

>Check your corners.
Nothing in the corners...

And right smack dab in the middle of the room is a nice block of plastic explosives.
Knowing Nickel, she probably has three others planted in the room, near the walls if I try to sneak around. It's an ultimatum, a big insult. It's like yanking on someone's tail, knowing that she'll start something and get a reprimand while you won't. There's no situation in a real battlefield where someone would simply leave a big chunk of explosive sitting in the middle of room, where it won't even damage me if I stay outside.

I'm not patient enough to go around it, and she knows that too.

Ha. Ha ha ha. Hahahahaha!
I just had an idea.

What if I used all of this shielding, and Nickel's plans to my advantage? If these cards are weaker than the Barrier Generator, then there's no bloody point to using them outside of being an off-hand utility tool, right? And no matter how good it's protection is - that force has to go somewhere, right?
What if I jumped over the plastic explosive and intentionally set it off, launching me over the wall and straight to the exit? Nickel'll be caught off-guard, because there's literally no way she can anticipate me literally having magic bullshit on my person.

It'll be just like that one plan that I had come up with to escape once - gearing myself up in protective gear, strapping explosives to a wall, and catapulting me over some of the defenses and into the Weave Nexus' area.
...Of course, that didn't work since I didn't account for how thick the walls were. Or how the layout of the area changes every so often. Or the actual quality of that protective gear against explosives.
Nevermind that!
Point is... I can do some crazy shit here. Are you lot in, or are you gonna talk me down from this?
>>
No. 1011734 ID: c92a02

You don’t know what direction the blast will send you because there are other explosives you can’t see yet. Find and defuse them first.
>>
No. 1011743 ID: 96c896

I'm in. No guts, no glory.
>>
No. 1012271 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163323289934.png - (570.51KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndchEXPLOSION.png )
1012271

>You can't guess what direction that the explosions would launch you if Nickel put more in there.
That may be true, but that would require the explosives to be facing me, on the other side of the wall. I don't see any.

>No guts, no glory.

The timing on this is going to be interesting - and so, I jump forward.
There's a brief twang as I cross some invisible threshold, setting off a hook.

I can feel the searing heat of the blast behind me - and yet, as much as I can understand how hot it is - it feels like nothing more but a warm breeze.
>>
No. 1012272 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163323293054.png - (228.52KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch11flipped.png )
1012272

I soar above the walls, smoke and dust trailing behind me. So this is what it feels like to be a mortar shell, hah!
It takes just a moment to reform my gun as I look downward for any sign of her.
>>
No. 1012273 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163323297124.png - (185.69KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch11point5flipped.png )
1012273

And there, down below - there's Nickel, her rifle aimed squarely at the entrance.
...Where the hell did she get that trolley from? She's sitting in it like it's a little tank or something.

Of course, she's not going to see me coming, is she? Nobody ever looks up.

I point and aim, correcting the angle as I fly - I've still got to make a landing after all of this, too.
>>
No. 1012274 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163323299302.png - (512.29KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch12.png )
1012274

Nickel tries to shoot at me while I'm mid-flight, but as I answer her with a blast from my shotgun, the recoil pushes me out of the way of her own shot.
The clatter of buckshot against the metal shell of the trolley rings out in the chamber, breaking the silence.

Boom! Landed a hit there, even if it's small.
Nickel withdraws her rifle, ducking back under the cover of the trolley itself.
There's a 'beep' as it starts rolling away from me.
>>
No. 1012275 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163323301519.png - (221.70KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch13flipped.png )
1012275

I roll as I land, the trolley disappearing off into the next area. Not that it's going to go far on the grass, so she'll probably be footing it afterward.
Lil' bastard is already long out of my reach - She had a getaway route planned and everything!
Still - this was what a card let me do? This stuff's crazy. I don't feel it's protective force any more, but if the other cards are on a similar level to this, I can't imagine what getting my hands on more... magicky stuff outside would do for me.
Anything I should keep in mind as I go into the next area? Got a bit of a moment for a breather after all, but we'll talk deeper strategy once we get the new area scans in.
>>
No. 1012284 ID: 96c896

>>1012275
She'll probably have a different strategy in place for the next room. Instead of traps... let's expect her to have set things up to most effectively use her parasignia and rifle. Difficult terrain, and perches she can snipe from.

So basically, once you get near the new area, be ready to get behind cover.
>>
No. 1012323 ID: b72032

But beware of the _obvious_ cover, which will probably be trapped still.
>>
No. 1012423 ID: 3328c7

Using the trolley for coverwhile setting fire to the grass in the next area could cause quite the ruckus for Nickel.
>>
No. 1012560 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163359974287.png - (253.61KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch014.png )
1012560

Going through the dark tunnel leads me to the second area of this division - the natural simulation area.

Ever since people started leaving, it's fallen into a bit of disuse, as there's no longer a need to take apart the various setpieces and put them back together to simulate different types of environments. I guess it's just stuck in whatever configuration it's in forever now.

Not only do we have little artificial trees arranged around in what's supposed to be a forest, we've also got these simulated cliffs around the main area. Don't remember how exactly they made it - but since it's not like we could go off-facility for training, they apparently made a bunch of plastic or fibreglass rubble and painted it over. Keeps it at least somewhat moveable if the environment needs to be changed around.
They basically designed this room so it feels like you're in a forest - while it's enclosed by walls, it's also got one-sided windows so that spectators can see in. I wonder if Diagram or someone else's looking in right now.

I breathe in, the outlines of my guns flickering in and out of existence. I can smell the dirt and grass in the air - so different to the rest of the facility. I wonder if this kind of humid air's what waits for me out there in the bigger world.
>>
No. 1012562 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163359982841.png - (105.66KB , 1000x1000 , covertopsroom5.png )
1012562

[RELATIVE TIME DILATION: 100:1]
[RENDERING SAI-ASSISTANCE DIALOG – DISPLAYING]
>Assessment Phase initialized. Displaying environmental data.

New floorplan is in.
Time for a bit of a planning meeting of my own.

>Use the trolley as cover
It's tucked away next to the tunnel's exit... but I don't think it'll help me much here.

>Set fire to the grass!
Huh, well, not the worst idea - the smoke can block her vision, but the question is whether there's even enough to get a good blaze going.

The biggest problem about this area is Nickel's ability to exploit the high ground against me. I could probably climb it myself, but that'll leave me in a pretty bad spot, as there's absolutely no cover if I'm trying to fight Nickel on even ground - not to mention that Nickel will most likely see me coming
I'm anticipating a lot of those artificial trees to end up blocking line of sight from me and Nickel so that's at least good enough to stop a bullet or two from her rifle. If I let her camp me out, we won't be getting anywhere soon. The traps would be hidden within the grass for the most part, unless she's wanting to glue C4 to trees or something..

My first plan's going to be going through the middle path, then taking the path on the right (my left). Then I can try and maximize the amount of cover I get while closing the distance between the two of us, while also accounting for snares she may have planted near the densest foliage. She can't stay and camp me out if I keep pushing her back, meaning I'll be able to push her back into the power grid for an actual confrontation instead of playing hide and seek, but with bullets instead of rubber knives.
Setting fire to the grass has some potential, but with how the paths are looking, I feel like it could end up hurting me more in the long run. Plus, I'd actually have to go through that fire at some point.

Any suggestions?
So far, I've used one of my three Explosive Discs, but otherwise, my gadgets are all ready to go.
>>
No. 1012564 ID: 96c896

>>1012562
In this scenario, blinking up to the top of one of the rocks is a good idea, at least to find out where Nickel is. Or...
How well are those "trees" attached to the ground? Maybe you could shove one around, use it to test for traps or as mobile cover. You do have your shield for that though...
Be wary of the trees that are close together; a tripwire would be easy to set between two trees.
>>
No. 1012565 ID: 96c896

Also check to see if the "rocks" are hollow by knocking on them. I kinda doubt they're tricks like that though, it wouldn't reflect a real world combat scenario and this is clearly meant to emulate one.
>>
No. 1012568 ID: 094652

You could try to move the rocks around as cover.
>>
No. 1012596 ID: 3328c7

1) First-off, since Nickel already knows your current position, yell "Nickel, just wanna let you know your philosophy is a bunch of derivative, fatalistic bullshit!" Just to annoy her. She might even reply!

2) Check the rocks to see how solid they truly are. If they are hollow, go through them instead of around! If not....

3) Take the path to your immediate left, then hug the rock-wall while slowly advancing.

4) Check for traps and sniper nests every few steps.
>>
No. 1012805 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163403966998.png - (233.36KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch15.png )
1012805

>Yell "Nickel, just wanna let you know your philosophy is a bunch of derivative, fatalistic bullshit!" Just to annoy her. She might even reply!
I don't even know her philosophy all that well. And I'm pretty sure she's been insulted hundreds of times for being a midget with six eyes in the past, so I'm not going to do that and make her even more aware of me.

>Beware of the trees that are close together; a tripwire would be easy to set between two trees.
Noted. In this kind of lighting, it's not like I can see those well at all.


>You could use the rocks as cover.
It's probably true enough that if I hug the walls, she'll have a hard time gunning for me, but it'll also be pretty bad if she was right above me. Still, there's no way she can hit me behind cover, right?
I crouch down, lowering my profile. I sneak over to the nearest rock and huddle up against it.

>Check to see if the rocks are hollow.
A quick knock proves that they're not. Though, I think they are lighter than actual rocks and cement so that it can be transported more easily. But when it's all set up like this, it's not budging without extra equipment involved.

>Blinking up to the rocks could be a good strategy
Huh, yeah, I'll do that.
Once again, the little box hums, wrapping me in a thin glow - and I warp upwards, giving me enough time to catch myself on the edge of the rocks.
Damn! That thing had just enough range for it.

I pull myself up - and in the distance, I spot a small, blurry figure.

A shot flies past my head, barely missing.
I duck back down, hiding myself behind the ledge.

Guess she's already got a bead on me now. How is she this mobile? It's one thing to know where all of the traps have been set up beforehand, but how the hell did she get all the way over there?
The sides of the rocks are pretty hard to get a grip on since they're not especially rough, but I'm steady for now.
>>
No. 1012806 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163403973278.png - (110.45KB , 1000x1000 , covertopsroom6.png )
1012806

It's a good thing I can make my weaponry appear and disappear at will, or we'd be having some issues right now.

So I do have a bead on where Nickel is, but given how close I was to losing a few grams of my head, I think running along the tops of these rocks is a poor choice, especially when the Blink Capacitor's on cooldown now. These things aren't easy to scale!

Currently, the middle path does seem like my best bet - the issue is that Nickel's able to see me the whole time I'm going there, since there's some parts of it that leave me exposed before I can hop into the tall grass.
I could probably try to set up a smoke-screen with the Pitch Prefect and setting some of the grass ablaze - given that I've made it air-burstable, it should definitely cover a decent enough area.
But I could also use that to go for the right-most route from your perspective, which has more solid cover due to the abundance of trees over there. Grass ain't going to stop bullets now.

I'm thinking of using the Pitch Prefect as a fake-out- I fire it towards the right-most path, creating a smokescreen. Then I use that distraction to go for the middle path instead, staying close to the rock wall so that visibility's low.
Your thoughts?
>>
No. 1012807 ID: 5bf1bd
Audio NickelPhase2_Yakuza_0_OST_-_30_Growling_Hound.mp3 - (2.88MB , NickelPhase2_Yakuza 0 OST - 30 Growling Hound.mp3 )
1012807


Title: Growling Hound (Yakuza 0)
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtndbeucAbk

>>
No. 1012818 ID: 96c896

Hmm, either she can use the knives as spikes to climb rocks quickly, or she can freeze them in the air and jump off them to "fly".

Anyway, she's just going to wait where she is. A sniper's best trait is patience. So you can exercise patience as well, and wait for your blink to come back, using it to move from cover to cover. Can you use it while prone, and blink into the grass? Or is that easily spotted? I like the idea of a feint.

...hmm, do you have enough demolition expertise to use your explosives to break off a large chunk of rock, then carry it as mobile cover?
>>
No. 1012848 ID: e7c7d3

>>1012818
I like waiting for blink to recharge
>>
No. 1012852 ID: 3328c7

Alright, let's go with your plan, but watch for traps and activate a soulburst as soon as Nickel sees past the Pitch Perfect decoy.

Also, make a mental note: she may have missed and revealed her position on purpose because she secretly cares about you and wants you to suceed. <3 <3 <3
>>
No. 1012979 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163437884710.png - (524.72KB , 1000x1000 , 2ndch016.png )
1012979

>Hmm, either she can use the knives as spikes to climb rocks quickly, or she can freeze them in the air and jump off them to "fly".
Huh, if her knife does go through things easily, then maybe it can be used as a way of helping her scale rocks. Kinda doubt the whole using it as an aerial footstool idea though, since she only has one of things in the first place.

>Do you have enough demolition expertise to use your explosives to break off a large chunk of rock, then carry it as mobile cover?
It's not that I don't know how to blow off a chunk for my own use, but I don't have the proper setup! Can't really blow off a chunk that's even shaped in a way that makes it so I'd be able to hold it and protect myself with it at the same time.

>She may have missed and revealed her position on purpose because she secretly cares about you and wants you to succeed.
She's been trying to blow me up for the past section this whole time, yeah right.

>Wait for the Blink to recharge.
Ugh, I never like doing this kind of thing, but you're right. Against people who outrange me, rushing in's only going to make things worse.
So I wait.
...

...

It's quiet.
A little pulse reminds me that the gadget's now charged up properly.

Time to put the plan into action.

Solburst's on stand-by in case Nickel tries to get a shot through, but I've also got armour good enough to stop one shot without actually hurting me if it comes down to it.

The Pitch Prefect's been put into the Explosive Discs, which is pretty convenient since that means I don't need to go out of my way to set the field on fire, heh.
As I hang off the side of the cliff - I manifest one of the discs in my free hand, pitching it towards the middle path.
It flies out, catching on the air for a moment - and I set it off, lighting up the room.
Flaming hot tar flies across the area, landing in the grass and burning it up.
Eugh. I can already smell the smoke.
That's One of my three Explosive Discs consumed in the process.

As the sounds of crackling fire fills my ears, I blink over to the patch of grass on the right path.
It feels a little weird, as it's more like I blink above the grass' physical mass before I flop into it. The feeling of the packed dirt beneath my sleeves and the tickling of the grass against my body... I can't seem to get used to it.
Shuffling down, I move up as much as I can, watching for potential hidden traps in the grass itself.
By the time I crawl to the end of the grass, I hear a shot in the distance ring out. I don't hear any bullets impact nearby, though.
When bullets are going this fast, it's hard to know where they come from at all. That's why I'm glad that the map at least can tell where it's...
>>
No. 1012980 ID: 5bf1bd
File 163437889751.png - (134.76KB , 1000x1000 , covertopsroom7.png )
1012980

...
Okay, what the hell is this?
There is no way there's this many shots coming from this many angles! So either Nickel actually does have multiple bodies like you lunatics have been rambling about before, or there's something extremely strange going on.

Is this her Parasignia's effect? It could be.
Makes it a far harder task of tracking where she's gone, though. I'm not even sure if the previous position that's been shown is even accurate if she can spoof data like this.

Alright, here's my plan then - I keep going forward with the current path. There's no grass between me and the next safe spot, but I don't actually know where Nickel is at this moment anyway. If I sit around and wait for the blink to recharge again, the smokescreen's going to clear up and I'm far more likely to get shot again anyway.
Nickel's bound to start falling back as I get closer, since she wants to maintain the range advantage, especially since I can warp and mess her up that way.
For now, got any bright ideas for how I can try and close the gap without drawing too much attention to myself?
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No. 1012981 ID: 96c896

I doubt she has multiple bodies. It's more likely she has robot drones. She had a hologram at the entrance, and was riding in a cart, so clearly she's allowed to have gadgets of her own. I think she's got remote controlled guns at various sniper perches, and she's acting as the spotter for all of them. She might have holograms at each one as well, which would mean you couldn't tell which one is the real one with your own eyes... I sure hope not, because that would mean you'd have to either figure out which one is real before attacking, or just attack all of them.
At least it seems like she's not allowed to have cameras spotting for her...
Oh, you said you were surprised that she got up on the rocks so fast. Maybe the one enemy dot we see on the ground is her?
...another possibility, instead of remote guns: she can *shatter* her parasignia's knife, creating electrical chaff, or something else that interferes with our ability to scan the battlefield. Like, a special echo? I have to assume our sensorium can deal with all the echoes that happen in a large indoor room like this one.

Either way, the first shot came from a perch somewhere on the rocks. We saw the bullet's trajectory, you can't fool our visuals that easily even if somehow our audio data is being disrupted.

If you make it to the exit, does she lose? Even if not, if you can get around the rocks at the end of the room, and the enemy dot on the ground is her, maybe you can ambush her from behind. I still want to continue sneaking... oh, can you manage some camouflage?
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No. 1013057 ID: 183556

Keep moving through the left-most path (right-most from our perspective), until you reach the final rock formation.
After that move circumvent it and move towards the red dot on ground level for backstab attack.
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No. 1013450 ID: ed0bfa

>>1012981
This

… is she able to freeze time?
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