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File 163054550438.png - (122.48KB , 1000x1000 , 495.png )
1009279 No. 1009279 ID: 5fc3a0

6 Months Later

33-67. The first of the preliminary polls came in, and people who want to stay in town outnumber us nearly an exact two to one.
224 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1014684 ID: b73e3a

That was easy. Too easy... but whatever.

Ask Crook if you're doing a good job in acting according to his plan.
>>
No. 1014696 ID: fb1eae

You are a proper politcal figure now so act like one! Crook gets treated politely and so do his men unless they act up.

Go slow and careful and don't back Crook all the way into a corner. If there are deadman's switches full of explosives on your memory jar pushing him to hard might be a bad idea.

"Crook I don't mind you making a play for some power and if you turn over a new leaf we will need lots of career gang leaders turned politian's. But I can't bargin with power or influence I don't have."

"If you hand over my memories and knowledge of where they were found you will get the best deal. A chance to go legit with the new system. Something similar to the deal we worked out actually. Or you can make this complicated and we will just have to see how it all plays out."
>>
No. 1015068 ID: 15a025

This could have all been a setup seeing how the canister doesn't seem to be here.

Call in Delli for now though, maybe he isn't close enough to sense it yet?
>>
No. 1022358 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164400306285.png - (271.16KB , 1000x1000 , 559.png )
1022358

This is too easy. Fighting gangs has been trivial lately, but I expected more out of Crook! It still makes me think this is a setup, but I'm not going to abort this operation because my enemy is acting incompetent.

This could just be a waypoint island, but that doesn't change the plan for now. I could negotiate with Crook like a real political figure, but the guy's toyed with warcrimes, using my memories as ransom!

"Pat him down, Delli!" I call out through Poison. He's holding a megaphone, but his thick clothes could hide a lot more. "Crook, we're taking you and your guys in. Don't blow yourself up or I'll punch you into insignificance!"
"Haha, really?" Delli asks, pulling a gun from Crook's clothes. "You packed heat, Crook? What did you think that was going to do?"
>>
No. 1022359 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164400309666.png - (274.87KB , 1000x1000 , 560.png )
1022359

"Come on." I tell everyone hanging back. "We're going in together. Finnigan, and you two with the masks, gather up Crook's crew and knock 'em out if they try blowing themselves up. Delli will handle Crook while I talk to them. The rest of you search the island with Splice."

I already didn't see anything with Poison on my flyby of the island and I don't see or sense anything new as I turn the bend with the others, so there's no point is beating around the bush. There's also no point in negotiating if I can read his memories and confirm the existence and location of the memory tank!

>Someone had to have come up with energy shielding some time, so it's not impossible it's still here.
It's virtually impossible. Blocking energy isn't something someone just comes up with and then does. It's closer to being on par with memory extraction than it is making vending machines or energy blasts.

But on reflection, this entire scenario has put me on edge. The one founder who could block energy, Aumstail, is the only one that could have possibly evaded Delli's rampage. She's the one who put me on the wheel and made me do what she wanted, meaning that for a time, *she* was the town's memory extractor. She could have done anything she wanted with that power, including making her own memory backups somewhere else without me remembering. I'm more tense now that I've remembered her, because she's one of the most dangerous ones to engage in combat with.

Delli just grabbed Crook's gun. Crook was going to use a gun, against us, whos energy shrugs off bullets without effort? And now that I'm thinking of Aumstail, the only person who could block that energy so well that even Delli might be affected?
>>
No. 1022360 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164400310784.png - (164.88KB , 1200x1200 , 561.png )
1022360

This lead has looked like an obvious trap from the start, but now I have a sinking feeling about this. Maybe it's nothing - it's just instincts; I can't place any of my memories that would yield useful information.

If my paranoia is justified then I'm nearly at the point of no return. I need to either trust my instincts and get Delli - and Splice I guess - off that island right now, or go in hard.
>>
No. 1022361 ID: e07ed2

>>1022360
trust to the power of friendship :) uwu

also possibly more importantly, delli's desire to bone you
>>
No. 1022368 ID: d9495a

Trust your instincts then. Worse case is you look a bit paranoid for no reason.

This feels like a trap for people who are way to used to energy combat and would falter if that power got distrupted and be easily taken out with guns. Then all that power could be harvested.
>>
No. 1022369 ID: c92a02

Better than being trapped here forever, right?
>>
No. 1022400 ID: 9a2966

Go hard. You either get to be paranoid and wrong and come off as a loon (and what else is new?), or paranoid and right and in a position to deal with a serious threat you hadn't even been appropriately aware of before.

One who could fuck with your memories again if you fuck up bad.

One who could initiate a sincere-seeming betrayal by extracting enough of a person's "loyalty" memories.

...

Go really hard.

Tell Delli to throw you the gun, KO the others (including Crook) and crack this island in half ASAP, at a distance - start with the bigger building. Then declare:

"Scenario 'Permadeath Aumstail!' is go! Remember what I told you!"

(The others won't know what Aumstail means, but they do know about you calling this training for a permadeath scenario. It also sounds appropriately ominous in a 'Wait, she expected this, remembers me and figured out how to kill me?' way, if Aumstail is actually here and observing.)

"Any dirty trick to stay out of harm and in the game, you better fucking pull it! Our powers might get blocked, so make your initial moves count! Stay alive, duck and cover, grab arms and ammo from Crook's downed!"

You could send Poison in a suicide bombing against one of the buildings, timed to hit just after Delli's first crack-attempt, just full bore 'knock a comet through a door/window/wall' type attack - something that will still keep going if your power suddenly fades, based on sheer velocity alone - and could take out any armed goons inside who are about to go outside. And make a breach you could exploit. If you feel confident you can keep it in the air, you could also keep it in reserve as a one-off suicide bomb where needed.

Be glad you brought a proper backup team - if numbers are going to matter here more so than usual you at least have more bodies than just you and Delli.

Reflect if Crook is actually in cahoots with who you think he is - or is using some trick of hers - you are going to make his day miserable if you make it through this and he's still KO'd and captive.

Assuming his memories weren't messed with. Fuck. You're going to have to deal with the assumption any number of people could be mindfuckled now. Better make this count - better see it through and figure what was up - or you're REALLY going to end up as a paranoid mess.

Take your own advice and take cover while the island is getting demolished, but make sure Delli does as well as needed - he's the king in this potential multidimensional chess gambit, and he might still be able to pull some moves thanks to being ridiculously OP, even against a power blocker... or else he'd have lost to Aumstail initially, way back when.

But, yeah, like... everyone else here better fucking take a bullet or several for him if need be.
>>
No. 1022401 ID: 9a2966

>>1022370
Probably because blowing yourself up requires using power and you can't do that if it's blocked.

In this scenario, one can probably 'get away' by leaping into the fog - but there might be tricks in place to prevent that as well. If we're really dealing with a memory-retaining last founder - or her legacy - pretty much anything goes.
>>
No. 1022404 ID: 96c896

>>1022360
Trust your instincts. It makes no sense for Crook to pull out a GUN against you. Assume everyone's shielding is compromised. You're enough to handle things from here on, I expect. Worst case scenario is you get captured again, and you can probably just blow yourself up to escape this time. Why didn't you do that before?

>>1022401
Er, right. Great, then... how do we even fight that?

Regardless, getting Delli out is the main concern here. If he gets killed and his energy stolen, then we are FUCKED.

Slicing the island apart to reveal whatever tricks they have up their sleeve is a good idea. We could also do a small experiment to confirm shields are compromised- a tiny amount of friendly fire. Something that wouldn't kill anybody, but would tell us if shields are down.

Our true objective is just to capture Crook though, so we can steal his memories. If Delli can take him while escaping, then everyone can just leave.
>>
No. 1022410 ID: 9a2966

>how do we even fight that?
The anti-power power likely requires focus and concentration to use, so KO or 'kill' them and the user probably can't do shit. They may even be unable to user their own powers offensively or defensively (although I wouldn't entirely discount it) when in use, so would rely on help or aid to see their ploys through.

Overwhelming force before they can bring their bull to bear might also be workable. At the very least it might take out whatever goonsquad was laying in wait - or parts of them, which will level the playing field. The fact Crook's people will probably be better armed for an ambush is pretty oof, which is why sudden overwhelming force is also a must.

He could have his own guys out here in the fog, waiting for a signal to get in there, all armed and ready.

Speaking of which, we can also presume - from the fact big-wig probably-has-more-power-than-his-crew Crook was sitting on a gun - that the anti-power power probably works on an area, or on everyone within a certain range. Otherwise he'd have stuck to his power powers, rather than pick up an actual literal antiquated tool of violence.
>>
No. 1022413 ID: 9a2966

>>1022410
Mind you, all of this is speculation and Pillet suggesting Aumstail was one of the most dangerous ones does make me nervous for what manner of danger we might be facing.

If there was a way to verify whether one's memories had been fuckled with, we could just pull Crook for a trip down memory lane and GTFO ASAP. But it might be giving up an opportunity to counter-ambush an ambush, if it can be managed.
>>
No. 1022510 ID: 15a025

I think we need to go in hard and all out here. If your paranoia is right, we need to snip Aumstail out of the picture while we can. Doesn't sound like someone we want running around free and out of our radar.
>>
No. 1022586 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164418155028.png - (350.42KB , 1563x1200 , 562.png )
1022586

Worst case, I come off as overly intense. Nothing new!

>Why didn't you blow yourself up when you were captured before?
There's multiple ways to blow myself up, but it all needs energy control that Aumstail can prevent. In other words, I couldn't, and if I get caught again, I can't. Same with anyone else. Even Delli! The more energy he has, the more he has to use to blow himself up.

The idiots gawk at my sudden urgency instead of leaping, but they start to follow when they see me unleash all the energy I can to fly at Crook! Delli might hesitate, too, but he's already on the island. I have to go in hard. I can not afford to let Aumstail test her power on Delli when it's just him, Splice, and a disconnected Poison.

"Permadeath scenario, go! Grab their guns and clear the island!" Those are all the words I can get out before I reach Crook.
>>
No. 1022587 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164418156103.png - (248.13KB , 1200x1200 , 563.png )
1022587

Got him! I just need a second. Not even a second, as I haven't let the millenia put a speck of rust on my memory extraction. I can't think any faster than normal, but absorbing a memory is nearly instant. Once absorbed, I can recall it as though I had experienced it in full. The split second I need is to find the appropriate memories, and compartmentalize them. I experience them as though I were Crook, and if I didn't compartmentalize them, I'd start taking on Crook's personality.

Like anyone in town who isn't me, Crook's head has the organization of a crumpled up cobweb. But that's fine, it's still nice and compact. I have to enter through his surface thoughts, and based on those thoughts, I can enter the relevant memories.

His thoughts are of Delli and me approaching, meaning I could get start getting memories he has of us two. He also has lingering thoughts about his gun, which he does think is important! He's more distraught about losing it than he let on, which is fueling my paranoia about the whole thing. He's also confused about me flying in... oh, he actually thought Poison was me?! I thought there was no way he'd get fooled by that! But that's why he was confused why something hadn't happened yet.

Normally I'd mull over which memories to dig into, but I'm wasting no time. Plus, every single one of his surface thoughts form a venn diagram, and there's a single memory where they all overlap. The choice is obvious.
>>
No. 1022588 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164418157437.png - (387.18KB , 1200x1200 , 564.png )
1022588

Memory Extraction - Crook [AB-12-a] - 25 hours prior

>"Do you understand the plan?"

All she's told me to do is be bait for Pillet, and she doesn't think I understand this basic plan?

"Are you absolutely certain she can't forcibly read my memories?"
>"We've gone over this so much, Crook. She told me herself that she cannot extract memories of those who refuse. I have the utmost confidence she was honest with me, as while I cannot extract memories myself, my methods of extracting the truth are well researched."
"How do you know she hasn't learned how to force people since then? That was thousands of years ago."
>"Aha, yes, your concerns are well placed. We cannot assume she hasn't learned how to force memories out, but if she has, it's clear she didn't use this ability in her more recent struggles against you. If she had, that fight would have lasted for months, not decades. But that's something we can't plan around. If we lure her into my energy blocking field, then her specialty won't be a danger."
"Our 'plan' is clumsy. Sending Trezil was a clumsy effort and it only made things awkward. All we're doing is throwing snare traps around and hoping she steps in one."
>"Yet you've agreed that this is the best we've got. As many uncontrolled variables as there are, doing something in the middle of town would be chaotic and foolish. I'm aware of the issues, but we must make haste. Each day I spend out of hiding is a day she could learn I'm involved, and if she learns this, you'll find that her tactics will become efficient and focused. Brutal, even. I just do not think you fully grasp how terrifying her specialty is. You are okay with killing Delli if necessary, yes?"
"If it has to be that way. I'll remind you that I'd rather have his power than lose it to the fog."
>"I'm aware. Take no risks in doing so, please. Pillet is the important one. If I activate my field, and she escapes after that, our interactions will be concluded. Now, help me calm my nerves, tell me the plan so I know you remember every detail."

There's nothing to do but wait, so I cover the details with her.

End of Memory
>>
No. 1022589 ID: 5fc3a0
File 164418160862.png - (247.60KB , 1200x1200 , 565.png )
1022589

Damn my instincts for being right, Aumstail is here! The conversation was the vivid part, and it took place on the inside of this very island. Crook's recital of the plan lets me remember its details through him, which I can recall as needed like any other memory. There were a lot of what-if scenarios that aren't relevant, like what happens if I don't show up or if I show up with an army.

Now that I've brought 8 people including me, I recall the plan. Aumstail is inside the island, holding an energy blocking field just large enough to cover the interior of the island. That way, her and at least 15 individuals armed with firearms cannot be sensed. She'll be monitoring the security cameras for my arrival. Once I land, she'll begin expanding her field to include the entire fog pocket. This takes three seconds, and I've already spent one extracting Crook's memory.

That slanted building further in on the island leads to the island's interior. In two seconds, right as the energy blocker engulfs us, several soldiers are going to rush out of that slanted building and start opening fire on everyone but me. That, and a fence is going to deploy to prevent us from just being able to jump off.

There's enough time to get another memory or two of Crook's, such as any remaining information about this island not covered by that one memory.

And then there's Delli. His energy won't disappear completely, but he won't be totally immune to bullets. Even if he can brute force some weak energy blasts and still is the strongest of my group of 8, his immediate safety is more important than mine. I have to consider spending the last two seconds I have to toss him off the island before the fence deploys.
>>
No. 1022593 ID: d9495a

Trust your Goat.

Right now you should be focused on continuing your momentum. Your crew will be following in hot in a moment and you need to find them cover and get them weapons.

Grab Delli in your other hand and continue your charge into one of the buildings. Blow it open so your crew can follow in as they land. Get Delli focusing on wiping out gun totting bad guys so he can throw guns to your crew.

You bellow out instructions based on your memory map.
>>
No. 1022605 ID: 9a2966

>Poison multitask
Launch the Poison Pillet straight down Aumstail's mouth through the doors of the slanted building at speed, timed just as they're supposed to be opening and the blocking field hits. Doesn't matter if it gets depowered - momentum'll take care of the rest, and without powers it should make for a painful mess.

Though it could pass along a message to Slice as it leaves. Like "Kill d cams." as it zips off. He's off on his own up there, might be able to pull some flanking moves and someone needs to be warned that the cameras will coordinate gungoon efforts. Losing eyes on the situation should also be cause for worry for Aumstail, especially if...

>2 second trial, 1 second solution
Turn to Delli - he's probably not going to let himself get thrown - and make yourself look WORRIED to rapidly impress him with the importance of your next word(s). Say something like "Instahole!" or "Tunnel now!" and point straight down.

Or extract a memory of the island's interior layout and point Delli so you can for sure blast a path to a section inside before the blocking field reaches. Bonus points if it's in the direction Aumstail is holing up in.

The hole he's blasting (IF he gets it in time) might meet the anti-power wave and get cancelled, but best case you have a hole to the interior of the island that you can follow and charge down, avoiding the goonsquads stationed to capture you and protect Aumstail (not to mention it'll lessen the effects of her cameras). Even in a more worse-case scenario you might still have a foxhole to jump into and snipe back from with Delli's power and Crook's gun.

Apply powered elbow to Crook's head in the last second before the wave reaches - and blasts to his other outside buddies (excepting our traitor). He's a liability once you no longer can extract memories.

Get some of your team to follow you if they got in intact and you have a hole to invade with. If the door got messed up by Poison Pillet, direct some there to grab guns - but don't linger, if you got a shock and awe entrance, use it before they can reposition.

>"as I cannot extract memories myself"
If she IS the only other memory extractor, she's been lying to Crook. But I don't think we have the time to convince him he's been pawn'd and then some. Though if we did... this situation would turn around real quick. His goons listen to him, not Aumstail, who sounds like she's been living deep in hiding from fear of all things you.

>Post-timetrial
Tell Delli as you're going down the hole (or lying in a foxhole, having dragged him down with you): "There's a founder. She's an energy blocker. That's how she survived you. She's also a memory extractor. That's how I forgot. Until now. Not good. But also good. If we can get her. And not be got."

Or something like that.
>>
No. 1022606 ID: 53560f

Considering that Aumstail knows you can read memories, I’m willing to bet at least part of the information she fed her underlings is false, as such, I’m hesitant to put all our eggs in one basket. Throw Delli of the Island while shouting whatever key info/instructions you can cram in the 2 seconds you have left and get to cover. Make sure to grab the gun from him too, he won’t need it but you will.
>>
No. 1022608 ID: 96c896

>>1022589
Toss Delli off the island. He can assault it from a distance and save everyone. Since you're excluded from the assault you can spend the next second finding out where Crook stashed your memory.
>>
No. 1022679 ID: 9a2966

>>1022608
Memory might be a lie to draw Pillet in. Even if it wasn't, Crook would probably not be the one sitting on that info: it'd be Aumstail.
>>
No. 1022785 ID: 2a1481

Can Crook FEEL his memories being read? You could possibly blast his skull in and pretend like that's what the head grab was for.
>>
No. 1023313 ID: 15a025

Yeet the poor goat boy off the island. We're going to be in worse danger if he ends up losing all his power, and even worse if it gets absorbed.
>>
No. 1023467 ID: b01382

>>1022589
My brain is too smooth for this quest. Ill continue to lurk and leave it to smarter people to make the decisions making.
All i know is that we have 1 gun. I dont know if becoming more powerful increase youre reflexes (Neo tier bullet dodging), but i wonder about these guns. Are they as strong as a normal gun but are 200x more effective againdt people, or do the bullets just react normally when hitting normal solid objects? I'm wonder this cuz whats stopping us from pick up chunks out the ground and using them as shields?

Idea:? If we can find cover away from all the incoming mooks and the 2 oe 1 seconds we have left, we can give Poison the gun to shoot at the mooks. Its not like a headshot would make the doll not continue to work.
>>
No. 1023504 ID: f57349

Maintain momentum, continue in a straight line off the edge of the island and into the fog, dragging Crook along with you. That gets you personally out of the trap and Crook back to territory where you can interrogate him at leisure, and you can still communicate with the rest of your team here through the telepresence robot. Quick enough, remaining enemy forces might not have gotten a good enough look for ID, and still think the decoy is the real you.
>>
No. 1023514 ID: 34dfce

>>1023504
This is the best course of action.
>>
No. 1023515 ID: 36784c

>>1022589
>Once I land, Aumstail will begin expanding her field to include the entire fog pocket.
>a fence is going to deploy to prevent us from just being able to jump off.
Getting Delli off the island and before the fence comes up would be best.

Because if he gets caught in the energy blocking field while being off the island, he’ll just fall into the fog and be sent back to town.
>>
No. 1023533 ID: 96c896

Maybe we can just cut to the chase and tell Delli to blow up the island?
>>
No. 1023536 ID: f04a82

Grab Delli, Fly off the island out of range of the energy dampening field, have Delli blow up the island.
>>
No. 1023569 ID: 96c896

Aw hell if we toss Delli away he won't be able to fight, because the ENTIRE fog bubble is going to be neutralized.
Well, do it anyway. We're heavily outnumbered and have almost no guns. Everyone that remains on the island will die, which means you cannot let Delli die.
Honestly, Pillet should probably evacuate with Delli.

I do have one idea for a plan that MIGHT work, though. Fire an energy blast to collapse the door they're planning on using. Then they can't get to you, and we can either work on breaking through the fence or using the one gun (and/or other guns we steal from the troops on the surface) to snipe them through the rubble.
If there's time to make a second attack I'd use it to eliminate more of the troops up here before they can draw guns.
>>
No. 1032572 ID: 96c896

Changing my vote to keeping Delli around. This is why:
if we collapse the stairs and eliminate all forces on the surface, that gives us time to fortify and prepare for the bigger fight to come. We can use Delli's small amount of remaining energy manipulation to use materials from the structures on the surface to create ballistic shields at the very least. It might even be possible to detach some cables and use the electricity as a weapon. Plus, Delli should be able to curve energy attacks around cover, even if they're weak.
>>
No. 1032577 ID: b01382

>>1032572
>>1032572
holy shit. Well hello to you from three months ago.
>>
No. 1032585 ID: b01382

I cant tell if this quest is on hiatus or its shelved food good. The story is pretty neat, but i still wondee if people can habe kids here. I never did see a child in the story.
>>
No. 1032849 ID: 41cf4d

Lagotrope tends to update their quests in spurts, usually with months of break between. You can add a suggestion to a thread without bumping it by typing 'sage' in the email field.
>>
No. 1032855 ID: b01382

>>1032849
I got nothing to add until the next update. I only caught up to the story a few months ago, and even then I don't have the motivation to add anything. Yet.
>>
No. 1054155 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418830686.png - (222.11KB , 1200x1000 , 566.png )
1054155

"Delli flee!"
>"Wha-?"
>>
No. 1054156 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418832570.png - (468.98KB , 1200x1200 , 567.png )
1054156

One hand takes his gun, the other tosses him off the island while the first drops the gun to throw an energy bomb into Crook's building. I also blow it up while I still can, and the windows are blown out.

Since I have some good control over Poison still, I throw her towards that far building's entrance to serve as a distraction. I bet it's going to open the second the barrier goes up.
>>
No. 1054157 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418834343.png - (620.38KB , 1200x1200 , 568.png )
1054157

And I feel it. The air around me solidifies and my sense of energy and auras disappears. It's times like these I'm especially glad that I've got perfect control of my memories, because having all the memories of the last time I was subjected to this come flooding back into my mind would not help me with what I've got to do.

I've got other concerns too! There's another explosion that shakes the island while a giant circular fence swings up and cuts us off from just running off the island. Zero doubt it's electrified.

But Delli cleared the fence. He can even fly! Like I thought, Aumstail is either rusty, or she's simply never honed her craft! This feeling is still oppressive enough to keep him from blowing up the island. If my gut instinct is right, then he has just enough energy to fly around. Even if Aumstail's bubble doesn't extend out to him, any blast he sends inside will be like throwing a fireball into water.

"I'm falling!" One of Phantom's guys above me yells. Any fliers whos names aren't Delli are on their way to the ground.
I'm not waiting for them.
>>
No. 1054158 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418836431.png - (577.87KB , 1200x1200 , 569.png )
1054158

"Act alive and take cover! Stay off the island Delli, I didn't throw you off for fun!" I yell back to everyone else and dive into Crook's building. My bomb was too quick and weak to kill people with as much energy as Crook's best. It didn't even blast open this door in the hall! But it's given off so much smoke that they're firing blindly in a panic.

Outside there's a couple other gunfights going on. The ground is rumbling concerningly, but one problem at a time!
>>
No. 1054159 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418837324.png - (496.58KB , 1200x1200 , 570.png )
1054159

Judging by their aim, Crook brought them in for their loyalty, not their ability to fight in conventional combat. All they're doing is kneeling right out where I can shoot them. So I do! I don't know how much I need to conserve my ammo, but the faster I drop them the more ammo I get from them.
>>
No. 1054162 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418846024.png - (335.58KB , 800x800 , 571.png )
1054162

"Splice, you okay?!" I yell out towards the radar building. There's more gunfire in there, and I can't pinpoint where the other gunfight is. I'd love to rush in to help him, but I think if any of the old ganglords know how to use a gun, it'd be Splice. He's not responding.

There goes Finnigan and one of Phantom's people dropping down in front of the fountain. I don't know where the other phantom or my two rebels are, but that must be them firing off more guns somewhere around the building where I can't see.

And finally, Poison, if I count her as her own unit. I've lost control of her, but like I thought, that slanted building's door opens up. She's on course and ragdolls through it. I'm pretty pleased to hear them get tricked and open fire on a puppet! I'm not pleased that it sounds like a half dozen heavy machine guns doing it. With any luck, she's our only casualty so far.

There's even more noise in there, too. It's some kind of engine, a -
>>
No. 1054163 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167418846743.png - (223.87KB , 800x800 , 572.png )
1054163

"Tank! We've got a tank!" The others have better have heard me yelling over the gunfire! It's dangerous, but it's not the kind of tank the founders would have access to. This is just a bog standard modern tank, easy to take care of if we remove any foot support coming up from behind it.
>>
No. 1054167 ID: 99f29a

Cool, fuck up the treads quick like.
>>
No. 1054197 ID: e7c7d3

Got any explosives to chuck at it?
>>
No. 1054198 ID: f8083d

Ideally we'd need some explosives and someone close enough to the slanted building to throw them.

Failing that, we need cover. Preferably some cover the tank gunner is not willing to shoot just to get at you.
>>
No. 1054200 ID: fa3034

Do you have anything to stop it where it's at right now? Clog the tunnel so it's support tropes can't flood out?
>>
No. 1054202 ID: 15c72a

>>1054163
Does your squad even know what a tank is...?
With that cannon, anything but the heaviest cover isn't going to last long. If you have to flank it to take it down, then some of your allies will have to distract it, or the other way around if you can communicate how they're going to destroy it. Whoever's doing the feint is going to need very solid cover. Maybe that building over there?

You're actually in a decent position to distract the tank, since you've cleared the ground floor. Encouraging it to fire upon the second floor means it won't hit the ground and the only shrapnel will come from the walls it hits. ...what happens if the cannon shoots the fence? Could you get it to blow a hole big enough to escape through?
>>
No. 1054203 ID: a8f755

How quickly can you take out it's treads? There's no clearance either side for people to get past if the tank is immobilised, and the chassis is currently tilted upwards so it can't bring it's gun to bear. If you can do it before it gets out of that crate or building it's in, I'd go for the treads.
>>
No. 1054205 ID: 30b9f6

Dead its tread.

Get someone to distract the tank while you do. Or distract the tank while someone else do.

Also: time to upgrade 'gun' to 'better guns'.

Actually, Delli's at the edge of the field and low on power and all but - and this is just a thought - could he retreat far enough away that he'd have the power to conjure up mass - like dirt, stones, spears - and then chuck that mass into the zone at full tilt? As long as it keeps velocity he could play long range sniper support. Or artillery, pending how hard he can chuck.
>>
No. 1054225 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167425292998.png - (278.36KB , 800x800 , 573.png )
1054225

>Does your squad even know what a tank is?
They do! Tanks and big guns are common for the gang's lower rank and file that aren't given food. The higher up the totem pole people got on the gang, the less familiar they get with conventional combat. They just blow it up, but they know what it is.

My rebellion was very familiar with tanks and how to take them out, but I got too high up the totem pole and didn't think I'd need explosives. If I can get close, I can jam a gun just right in a wheel and fuck it and its treads up, but I can't run that fast before it clears the tunnel, it can train its turret on me, its foot support has a clear shot on me, as does the tank gunner if it has one. It's going to be tricky.

Now if Delli knew how to conjure objects, he's got plenty of energy out there to do it! But he doesn't know how to do that. Although...

"Delli! Are you outside of the bubble?!"
>"Yep! It stops ju - "
"Crush your phone into a bullet!" He doesn't need to conjure anything, he's already got material!
>>
No. 1054226 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167425294210.png - (183.94KB , 800x800 , 574.png )
1054226

>"I have a better idea!"

Is he - He's taking off his shirt. I know him and I'm sure it's because unlike his phone, his shirt hasn't downloaded or taken a bunch of raunchy photos he's unwilling to part with.
>>
No. 1054227 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167425295460.png - (138.19KB , 1200x800 , 575.png )
1054227

That still should be about 100 grams, many times heavier than a bullet. So if he has good control over his energy and puts it into a smooth, compact pellet, then!
>>
No. 1054228 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167425301820.png - (503.20KB , 1200x1200 , 576.png )
1054228

"Nice shot!"

He remembered to hit the treads and everything. Now the tank is dead in the water and blocking the tunnel. The turret might be active, but Delli can handle it with, I don't know, his shorts. There's enough room for the people behind it to crawl over and out of it, but that's a heck of a lot more awkward than if they could walk out behind a moving tank.
>>
No. 1054229 ID: 99f29a

Move besides the tank. Range of motion isn't great and lets you surprise anyone coming up a bit.
>>
No. 1054236 ID: 53560f

So Delli’s shot hit the treads, which means the main gun is probably still active. However the tank is stopped right in the entrance and it doesn’t look like the foot troops behind it can get through without crawling on and around it.

Is it possible to start throwing things off the island for Delli to use as ammunition? Could just have him fire a few more shots down the bunker entrance if so. Otherwise just have him calling out anything important he sees that we might miss being on the ground.
>>
No. 1054255 ID: 15c72a

>>1054228
Good, you turned a huge problem into a tactical advantage. Time to clear the zone you occupy while avoiding the turret, and then use the blocked ramp as a killbox. I bet this nullzone doesn't last forever, so you just have to outlast the opponent.

Or you can see if Delli can break a hole in the fence?
>>
No. 1054257 ID: 15c72a

Aw hell there's a machinegunner behind the tank. Forget using the ramp as a killbox, he's using the tank as cover now. At least he can't easily move out of position, so you could... make a firebomb? Or a gas grenade? Surely there's some volatile ingredients in one of these buildings you can use to make something really unpleasant to throw at him.
>>
No. 1054282 ID: a512df

The easyist way to give delli bullets would be to just shoot him a bit.
>>
No. 1054302 ID: 1e4948

Shirtless Delli was not on today’s bingo card, but I am here for it.

>>1054282
Clever! Might be worth holding on to that surprise until more machine gunner goons expose themselves. Then hou can pick up more machine guns, too.

Or maybe it’s better just to pour on the advantage while you have allies that still need backup. Those guys are going to be YOUR backup when going into the interior of this trap, after all.
>>
No. 1054305 ID: df45e0

That is not a bad idea. If you could shoot at Delli for a bit he could catch the bullets and toss them back to take out anything in sight.

But you need that machine gun first so charge the position from your right going around wide by the building. Should keep you safe from turret fire unless the working tread can drag the tank out.
>>
No. 1054312 ID: 9285e5

you may as well check all the foot mobiles you've popped for extra rounds that you can try and throw off the island for deli to use.
>>
No. 1054341 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167434949973.png - (306.57KB , 800x800 , 577.png )
1054341

I'd keep moving to make myself a harder target, but there's no real reason. Aumstail wants to get me alive, so I'm certain the tank driver is receiving clear orders not to fire on my building. I still want to shut down the turret, especially in case it's working tread is able to pull itself out and clear to shoot the radar building.

"Turret!" I yell to Delli. He's flying farther than I can throw, so I give him ammunition by shooting at him. I don't think I even fire off my first bullet before he throws something else and takes out the turret. I can appreciate the haste.
>>
No. 1054342 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167434951152.png - (356.89KB , 1200x1200 , 578.png )
1054342

My bullets still get use. Delli can see things I can't. He disappears from my vision, probably to snipe other things.

>"You're clear, Niles!" Delli calls out a second later. Niles must have been in a gunfight in those ruins opposite the radar building. I've slowly got an idea of where people are at. I noticed Finnigan was behind the fountain taking cover.

I go grab the weapons off Crook's guys. Another pistol, a good rifle, and... two tazers. I bet they thought I was Delli or just forgot their orders, because I expect they were supposed to taze me, not shoot live bullets. I'll have to be careful; I can't just run at people thinking they don't have ways to take me down.

The ones in the interior are Aumtail's own. They're more likely to be careful not to kill me. If I rush outside, all the cameras will see me, too. All of this tells me that rushing out in the open to the tank isn't as dangerous as it would be for anyone else. I'll only be in danger once I get in a tazer's reach.

"Niles, cover me!" I have to scream over the firefight still going on in the radar building. I think a grenade just went off in there too. I'd like Delli's cover, too, but whatever's going on under the radar isn't something I want to deny from having Delli's support.
>>
No. 1054343 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167434952834.png - (341.62KB , 1200x1200 , 579.png )
1054343

I sprint to the tank to try to take out the machine gunner. I don't see him. Either he's gone to hiding underneath the tank, where it's overhanging the lip of the ramp, or he and anyone has fallen back. Falling back would make sense, but then again, having me alone right at the entryway must be tempting Aumstail into ordering them to try to rush and apprehend me.

Delli must be giving sniper support to the radar tower now, so I'll trust Splice and the others can take care of it. Once they've got it all cleared up, the island's topside will be ours. Aumstail won't be able to launch an effective offense, especially once Delli gets his hands on some boulders we toss over the fence. He'll be instant artillery. We'll have the option to destroy the fence and flee.

Fleeing is possible. Even if we couldn't take out the fence, we can still suicide ourselves away with bullets. The issue is that Aumstail and my memory she has is in there. To get to her and it, we'd have to launch our own offense through there. We'd be outnumbered and without Delli's overwatch. Even with Aumstail's memories of the layout and knowing what to look out for, I don't like our chances of a regular frontal attack, or what would happen to us failed and survived.

>"Radar's clear!" Delli shouts. "We've got some dead! I don't know where Crook is!"
>>
No. 1054344 ID: 99f29a

get to tunneling
>>
No. 1054349 ID: 8657cc

>>1054344
Could Delli degrade the isle with chucked matter to make a hole into the interior NOT covered by overwatch? Especially if you tear down the fence to better feed him mass.

You essentially have a siege situation here - and a siege weapon in Delli. It’s cray to run into a secure fixed underground bunker half-cocked, and Aumstail and her people can’t exactly leave or they’ll get Delli’d. It’s a stalemate you’ll have to resolve, but arguably it favors you since you can use Delli and send for backup - not just flee.

Sure, Aumstail could move around the isle to try to cover Delli better with the weakening field, maybe make him drop into the fog, or come up with another trick. Warn him to circle fast if he feels himself growing rapidly weaker. Or stronger, for that matter, might mean she’s trying to bail.

>Can’t find Crook
Ugh, consider the backup contingencies from his memories - were there secret exits all over the topside he could’ve slipped away in or something? You and yours should be wary of getting flanked - whatever aum’s victory condition is it involves capturing you!

At least you’ve taken out Crook’s crew - but there’s Aum and at least 15 of her elites down below - not counting whatever poor sap is in the tank - hey, that should be an elite, no? Can you grab and memory robble them for more details?

... just realized Aum is also right worried about Delli. Has to be. She tried to exclude him from this process from the start, that was on her prompting. She wanted Crook to be okay with straight killing him, despite the power loss. Whatever flaws Aum’s plan has, the goat is among them. Or perhaps she’s still traumatized by him eradicating all her old peers’ memories. Wonder if we could use that.

Maybe you can grab a radio (tank’s might work) and chat a bit for old times’ sakes. Aum still possesses your old memories. If she can give them to you, certain things might be negotiable. Like her surrender - as opposed to a whatever-it-takes hunt ending in her utter annihilation.

Might also want to clue your allies in on the current mindfuck. A fucking founder is here and tried to get the drop on you all.
>>
No. 1054353 ID: 15a025

Is it possible you have enough power to scrap pieces off that tank to have Delli use as material for more attacks?
>>
No. 1054354 ID: 15c72a

>>1054343
Stay out of rushing range until topside is clear. You'll want to stay out in the open to keep lookout, making sure there are others who can support you, but mainly you need to abuse your position as capture-only to maximum effect. Your squad needs to loot the place and come up with improvised fire/chem weapons to smoke out the opposition underground.
Honestly, they're probably going to bring guys with riot shields and stunguns to try to rush forwards and grab you, but so long as you can stay out of easy reach you can run away and lure the rushers into an ambush.

Another worry is they might have a second tunnel somewhere...
>>
No. 1054357 ID: a7a180

Can you free up reinforcements by intervening in their firefights? Maybe you can grab some piece off the tank to throw as a distraction inside the corridor.
>>
No. 1054372 ID: 53560f

First, do a headcount. We need to know how much manpower we have left.
Second, send someone back to town with a description of Aumstail so we can have our lackeys scour town in case she tries to escape into the fog, kill herself or if this is all a distraction for something else.
Third, don’t fight on their terms, set up a permanent base topside and wait them out. Let their trap become their cage.

Also Delli is a natural at this.
>>
No. 1054415 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167442844959.png - (591.02KB , 1200x1200 , 580.png )
1054415

The cameras have seen me walk up all alone up here, and it won't take more than a talented soldier and a bit of luck to get the drop on me, taze me, and drag me down there during a second in which Delli is looking away. I bet the tank has a radio inside it I could use to talk to Aumstail, but it also has a full tank crew I haven't seen step out of the tank. So I take a handful of loose screws, bolts and broken plates from the tank and back up. I'm not strong enough to break it up further.

The radar building is where I rush to instead. I find Splice, a phantom, several corpses and a bunch of damage. A bunch of those corpses are in riot gear, just like I was afraid of. With that, I pull out my phone and call up everyone into a group call. Splice and the nearby phantom decline the call since they're by me, and I notice a phone ringing from a corpse down the hall. Looks like it's the other phantom. Once Delli, Finnigan and Niles answer, I start speaking.

"This is Pillet. I'm with Splice. Niles! Cover that ramp! We're dealing with 15 or more elite units down there, and they could be equipped with full riot gear. You watch it too, Finnigan! Give them support, Delli, and watch their backs. There may be a secret entrance somewhere, and we don't know where Crook is."
>"I saw the bastard jump into the same building you went in. He must be hiding out in there." Finnigan answers.
"We'll have to clear it to be sure. Splice is here with me, with one of the phantoms. Looks like the other phantom's dead, but I don't see Tammamo, my other rebel. Anyone seen him?"
>"Yeah, he's one of yours alright." Splice says. "Dropped from the ceiling like he wanted to be badass and tackled an enemy. Got filled with holes of course, but he managed to unpin the dude's grenade without him noticing. Blew half of 'em away."
"Sounds like he's getting a raise. How many enemies in riot gear were here?"
>"Pretty sure five."
"That many?"
>"They all popped out of that cabinet. It's not a secret tunnel, they were just hiding in there from the start."
"Okay. That leaves who knows how many more underground. It can't be that many, otherwise we'd have gotten completely swarmed by now with sheer numbers. I bet there's at least two in that disabled tank still. Could be more."
>"Ya got something you want to explain to us, woman?" Finnigan asks.
"Yeah yeah, the reason you guys can't use energy is because of an old founder. Unless someone else figured out energy blocking or there was an old artificial blocker installed here, it's Aumstail." I know full well it's Aumstail, and there's likely at least 10 left excluding the 5 that were dropped. But as far as Aumstail knows, I can't read memories off the unwilling. This conversation is definitely heard, so I've got to act ignorant. If she learns I can extract memories from the unwilling, she's going to learn what kind of danger she's in. I don't want that. Not yet anyway.
>>
No. 1054416 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167442845725.png - (382.27KB , 1200x1200 , 581.png )
1054416

I walk over to some of the deceased rioters. Maybe some of it can fit me, but I definitely start looting the weapons. They're dead, alright. If they were alive, it wouldn't matter much. I don't need much energy to force the memories out of people, but I do need more than I have. Which is zero.

>"Splice - no, your arm's bad. Phantom - what do I call you?"
>"Fazzy."
>"Go toss crap over the fence for Delli. Delli, catch it down below and make sure no one's trying to fall through the bottom of the island to escape. Crush the debris into cannonballs so you can be our siege weapon. Splice, go watch the backs of the other two while Delli is playing catch. Once we're sure there's no secret tunnels, we can think about sending someone back to get backup."

Even if there's only ten people left in Aumstail's group, there's only 6 of us left in ours. Only 5 of which are on the island. We're still outnumbered 2 to 1. I didn't think I'd be sieging an island today, but here we are. It's not my favorite kind of operation. I grab a radio off one of Aumstail's rioteers, and walk out into the open to keep an eye on everyone's backs. Maybe we don't have to do this. I toss my tank debris over the fence for Delli to pick up, and speak into the transceiver.

"Aumstail, you old crone. Are you involved in this? You gave these guys transceivers, don't act like you can't hear me or talk back."

...

...

...

>"Hello, Pillet." And that would be Aumstail. "It's nice to see you again. I do mean it."
>>
No. 1054418 ID: 99f29a

So she can see you. Noted. Get to business.
>>
No. 1054437 ID: 15c72a

>>1054416
Ask what she wants. Why go through all this trouble to kidnap you? Didn't work out well for them last time.
>>
No. 1054446 ID: 9a2966

>Tammamo, a raise
Technically they get a medal posthumously, since everyone were to treat this like a permadeath scenario. It can be an extra nice medal, though. Made of chocolate.

>Cameras all over
Ah yes, enemy eyes and ears, and already you've told them you haven't sent for additional backup yet, oops. Tell your squad to start poking holes in any they see while they make a pass and . If Delli's not too distracted covering the entire island, he could probably do a little target practice too.

>Two guys hiding in the tank
Delli, cannonball please~

(make him do it during the radio chat to emphasize how few fucks left to give you have - and how the number of bodies between you and her are dropping)

>Radio chat by the fountain
Don't stay in the open too much and don't let them pin your location for long, in case they do have options or Aumstail drops her energy damper for a moment so someone else can blow a hole in the ground for them to stun you / snatch you through.

Also, get your team to take care of the Crook wildcard - he could snag a gun from the fallen and do something irrational, like kill you for revenge. Or just further reduce your numbers and embolden the guards below. Or warn Aumstail that you took his memories involuntarily. Which you don't want her to be aware of, as she'd be the PRIME justified memory theft target. Even if you actually get captured, you could get something out of her as long as you get in contact. And as long as Delli's powerful and knows he shouldn't be getting in range of her, you'll at least have hope... but nah, fuck it, you'll just not let it come to that. Ever again.

>Should keep a lid on the fact you can extract memories from the unwilling
Let out a long, pained sigh and thank her for verifying that your unreasonable paranoia was in fact the very most reasonable. You'll never doubt a millenia-old hunch ever again. (implying you weren't sure - and sticking pretty close to the truth, for that matter!)

>Nice to see you again, mean it
You guess it could be true, you're pretty much been the only other constant in this world. Must be 'nice' to have a point of reference, since she ran out of friends and colleagues a while ago. Weird how that happened! But 'nice' doesn't cut it when she's probably been working against you from the shadows since the old power structure crumbled. Her popping up like this, just when you and yours get a whiff of authority and the possibility to argue your way out of this place? Not exactly a coincidence, is it? She, like so many others, ain't so keen on you uncorking this bottle world.

>Threaten/extort her
Before she pitches anything, tell her that for what she did - for what she took - and what she apparently planned to do again! For the threat she represents. For being part of the group that made this stupid-ass place - and for not knowing better than to ever show herself to you again. For all that, and more:

She needs to give you something, fast. Funny business time is over. Delli will put a serving of cannonball through the nose of anyone coming topside to fuck about. Take too long and he'll start peppering holes through the island. Failing this - or if she kills herself or somehow blasts off into the fog without your say - that ends all thought of detente.

Instead, you'll be getting inventive.

(It's a vague enough empty threat, at least. YOUR and HER memories could be quite important to your goals of busting outta this damn self-made prison and surviving the fallout, so letting either of those be lost forever seems... well, it's probably survivable, so maybe the threat isn't quite empty. You've just so many better things to spend your time one these days than spending years hunting her down to eradicate her memories from the world. Or maybe you don't! Mmm. Yep, you might not be entirely objective here.)

>Aum's ransom
You want your memory repos - all of 'em, all she has here, at the very least, locations for others (she can haggle, but drive into her with tilted 'do not test me' attitude). That's what she will have to START OFF with for you to consider a reasonable, rational surrender for her. By which you mean: she gives you access to your power again to tear down this shit trap proper - and all you'll actually do is turn this crap little island of hers into a proper prison while you - and, sadly, other people - figure out what to do with the last fucking founder, holy fuck one's still around - the worst one!

You'll fully admit you're not objective in your deep-seated grudge against her and that it might be affecting your judgement. But, unlike many others, you remember a lot of what she did. And she did just try to pull this shit and you have no reason not to believe this was going to be Round 2 of What She Did Before. So again: she should start complying or else INVENTIVE
>>
No. 1054467 ID: 53560f

“And it’s great to know Delli gets to cross another founder off the list. Enough about my boyfriend’s old hobbies though, why did you wanna lure me here so badly? Could it be my winning personality and natural charisma?”
>>
No. 1054511 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167449666787.png - (389.06KB , 1200x1200 , 582.png )
1054511

"What a way to show it! Going through all this just to kidnap me."
>"You, and Delli."
"What for? Wanted to talk with our winning personalities? Seeking a repeat of what happened last time you captured me?"
>"Deary, please do not play. You two are working to expose ourselves to the unforgiving universe, and we will die. I was in a position to at least make an attempt to stop this. It's odd, really. I noticed you touched Crook, and only then threw Delli off. It's as though you learned what was coming at that instant."

Hmm. Is she on to me?

"Hey, it's been a long time, but I of all people would remember you. The one founder who could have possibly lived, and now an old memory resurfaces, I'm lured to a fog pocket this deep? Then I go grab Crook and notice he's got a gun! A gun! Until then I thought I was just being paranoid from all those mental scars you left me with."
>"I would happily take a mental scar or two in return for my standard of living, my colleagues, my livelihood."
"And someone like me to torment on the wheel, I bet!"
>"Pillet, please. You should at least remember I was acting under orders."
"And now?"
>"And it seems like you are."
"Huh?"
>"Oh, yes. You don't have this memory."
"I sure don't! I'm confused! How about you send it up to get me up to speed?"
>"Hmm... I think it's best if everyone else know its contents."
"Alright, that's enough yanking each other around, let's get to business! That's my memory and my memory alone to share. Hand it over, or my boyfriend's going to finish the job. Hang on just a second. Hey, Delli! There's guys in that tank, still! Take care of them!"

A chain of a dozen meteorites comes puncturing through the body of the tank. I wish I could do that.

The thought's occurred to me that if I had that power, I could launch an offensive. I could brute force enough energy through Aumstail's barrier to pull her memories out. All I'd need is physical contact. If I could get Delli to subtly pass it to me, I could slip up and let myself get captured, then all I'd need is physical contact... no, that's risky, and I've tried to angle to get Delli's power too frequently. He wouldn't agree. Even if I do think I'd pass the power back to him, now, watching him from down here. He's a natural at this, and his focus hasn't been slipping.

I lower the radio, keeping its outgoing audio off, and whisper to Finnigan then exclusively Delli's phone.

"Take another guy or two and clear out the house to find Crook. Kill him if you have to. Delli, stay attentive. Aumstail must have enough energy on her own to rip her way up here and yank me down by pure force. If she lets down her barrier, make sure to beat her to it."
>>
No. 1054512 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167449667996.png - (354.54KB , 1200x1200 , 583.png )
1054512

I take a walk around while Finnigan goes to gather who he wants. Any camera can see about where I'm at, but the more out in the open I am, the more Delli can cover me. Maybe Niles' position has another machine gun I can take. Once Crook is taken care of, I'll send someone to get backup.

>"If he begins digging through the island, I will destroy this memory and then myself."
"That'll give me a full month to get inventive on how all of us can hunt down the last and worst founder."
>"There's an easy joke about how that's you, but enough. I've got nothing left. I'm not interested in surrender. If you're interested in getting your memory back, bring Phantom here."
"Phantom?"
>"Yes. Phantom has shown herself to be a respectable third party to this. I'd like to bring her into this."
>>
No. 1054519 ID: c28082

>>1054512

What's the all too obvious catch?
>>
No. 1054520 ID: df45e0

How about I tell Delli to start tearing things up now? If you don't want to surrender or give me back my memories then we don't have anything to discuss honestly. And

Also you do still have something left you will want to protect. Your currently intact mind and soul. Unless you want Delli to grind that down and make sure you never come back like he did the others.

Honestly a polite return of my memories would get you a faster meeting with Phantom than this mess.
>>
No. 1054523 ID: 9a2966

>Last and worst founder
>Easy joke, it's you
Is the 'Oh, it turns out the true perp was an amoral amnesiac all along' sowing of discordian seeds what she's gonna be trying out or is she actually alluding to things that happened? Cuz' if so, even IF you were some kinda double agent at some point in time that motivation went with the memories. Your desire to bust outta this haze has been 100% homegrown 'tired of this shit' and you honestly can't believe she isn't at least a little tired of it either, seeing as she also remembers most of it.

Or has she been having such a jolly old time of it? Sure didn't sound like it just now.

>Orders
Speaking of orders - so she was under some, whoop dee doo! That's always a great defense, isn't it? Solid ploy, to admit you did a wrong, but hey, someone else told you to, so it's fine! Did she ever make a jot of difference for you when it mattered? Huh? No? If all she did was hunker down and keep aces up her sleeve for this very day, you don't find that particularly comforting!

>I have nothing left
Also a whooper. She has her memories! And your memories! And she's using them to blackmail you right this very moment and you'd be really upset if it wasn't so predictable that she was gonna! Anyway, if she really thought they mattered so much - if she was so concerned about you busting this place wide open - why didn't she just return them anonymously or some shit, so you could find out what made you all actually be so desperate as to hide in here in the first place and maybe - just maybe - think twice?

Or does she worry that your 'orders' or whatever will come back into sway when the memories do? That's... plausible, but not by much. Shit excuse. 3/10. She could've showed those memories to others already, but since you're not awash in people who distrust you - any more than normally that is - you can't say she has. Yet. But apparently that's coming out now!

>I won't surrender, bring Phantom
That's okay! You'll bring in others! You kind of have to! As much as you're ordering Delli around, he's the one with the actual power and there's other folks around who get to have opinions too. Like everyone, goddamnit! You have it on good authority that if half the people in this place weren't constantly offing themselves every time they spawned in order to escape ennui, apathy and bad breakups, you'd already have the key to get outta here!

It's a real shit system you built up, Aumstail! That we built up! Whatever!

>neutral
That said, Phantom ain't nowhere near a neutral party - not on her own. That gal's going to be drooling at the idea of talking to someone hailing from the very start of it all that isn't her longtime nemesis, and Aumstail could dangle any number of things in front of her to get her on her side and to her line of thinking. You'd still like to bring her in on this, of course - boy she'd hate being excluded! - but you don't think you can let Phantom do the negotiations here. She'd just be TOO sympathetic and interested in Aumstail - and if she'd probably admit it herself.

So you'll be there! And Soletta. And others. Heck, why not have a big old pow-wow by all the current movers and shakers? Aumstail can convince them all you're the one to blame for everything at the same time. Maybe make it a public spectacle, let everyone listen in, send questions, wonder what even the fuck, who is this coward creeping outta her hidey hole after all these years!

You're a shit public speaker, at least. Perhaps she'll grab some wins out there. That said, your general stance is going to be that they just build her a nice cell - you mean retirement home - and put her in a nice wheel - you mean rocking chair - where she can dodder on like the old fool she is and should be treated as.

... honestly, you think you've missed calling her mean things and railing at her. Is this familiar at all to her?
>>
No. 1054541 ID: 15c72a

Hold on, think about this for a second. If that memory really contains something regarding you having been given orders to, for instance, lift the fog, and it was revealed to the public (or even just Phantom), then that would completely sink any support you'd have from anyone. It would cast doubt on your motivations. Especially if the order is of the kind that can't be disobeyed.

Did any of the founders have that power? ...if it really is like that, then you're basically under mind control and you can't even trust your own mind. In which case, maybe you could expose it yourself.

>get Phantom here
How would we even do that? Delli is outside the fence so he could potentially return to base, but we absolutely need him here to maintain the stalemate. Do we still have a line of communication back to base? Or is it possible for Delli to break a hole in the fence at this point, to allow one of Phantom's troupe to go fetch her? ...oh at this point we could just pile up rubble to jump over it, can't we. Or collapse it with the weight. Running away is an option, I suppose? The implied threat is that she'll release the memory's contents if we run away now, but fetching Phantom would require at least one of your squad leaving so she must be willing to let that happen.

There's nothing stopping you from bringing reinforcements along with Phantom. Fully equipped reinforcements, with explosives, body armor, and heavy weapons. Enough for everyone here too. I'd say agree to bringing Phantom (and reinforcements). The reinforcements can stay outside the fence until negotiations break down, of course.
>>
No. 1054611 ID: 90c451

Do you really think Phantom would willingly walk into an active siege where her powers would be nullified? No third-party would ever do something so stupid
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No. 1054612 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167459278884.png - (355.42KB , 1200x1200 , 584.png )
1054612

"I could bring Phantom in, if I wanted, and if she wanted to walk into an active siege where her powers are nullified! But for argument's sake, let's pretend I agree. Tell me all about the all too obvious catch."
>"The catch? Do you not trust Phantom?"
"Haha, that girl's about as neutral as a cultist. She's a big nerd and will gush all over a founder that remembers stuff! Maybe you can bond over that and feel like you have something to live for! But let me tell you something, you already do have something like that. Your currently intact mind and soul."

I hear some commotion and gunshots in the house. Finnigan is yelling at Crook to give it up, while Splice and Phantom-lite take positions around the house. I take cover near Niles just in case Crook actually ends up getting the drop on those three. Once things aren't so hot, I'm going to send the injured Splice out to gather an army in case this somehow takes hours.

"Delli." I talk to him alone. "Throw some boulders straight down onto the fence in a few places. Get us an escape route."
>"Kay."

I see Delli throw a huge rock through the fence, blasting a hole through the chain link. It's not exactly what I ordered, but that works just fine. He flies around the outskirts of the sphere to catch it on the other side, since that's still faster than trying to fly in a straight line through Aumstail's barrier. Even while he skirting dangerously close to the fog, he's got a good sense about how close he can get to it without falling back into town.
>>
No. 1054613 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167459279869.png - (365.65KB , 1200x1200 , 585.png )
1054613

Aumstail keeps speaking.

>"And what use do I have my wellbeing? To see the last few months of the town, until the end? This town is what I lived for and you're about to kill it, so you may as well finish me."
"Don't be such a downer, damn. You can still enjoy an old retirement home in a rocking chair, old girl. Hey is this familiar? Us throwing barbs at one another?"
>"It doesn't matter. I'm disappointed, I honestly did not think requesting Phantom was that unreasonable a request."
"I'm her longtime nemesis, girl! As far as I can tell you're just going to pass your plans to Phantom! The only way you'll get to talk with Phantom is if you come up here with my memories, or come up here yourself while I bring out every powerful person in town to have a big meeting. Until you accept that... Hey, Delli! Get a big cannonball, fire into the island's center -!"
>"Wait! Hold on." Aumstail says. "First of all, Let me tell Crook to give it up. There's no reason for him to die here."
"You've got a few seconds."

A few seconds is what it takes.

>"I'm coming out!" Crook calls. Finnigan and the others to start moving to the other side of the house to converge on him.
"Cool. Want to send up the memory, next?"
>"I want to speak to Phantom."

Delli throws that boulder behind me to open an escape route behind my cover.

"Hey, Delli! That's enough fence holes, thanks. Send that boulder into the island's center mass! Splice, make sure Crook's tied up and all that, but I'm about have you jump through the fence and back to town so you can bring in an army."
>"Won't that take a couple hours?" asks Splice.
"Yep. And if this takes over two hours, then you can bet that in two hours I am going to have a big need for a big army!"
>>
No. 1054614 ID: 5fc3a0
File 167459281193.png - (127.94KB , 1200x1200 , 586.png )
1054614

Delli dips under the island to hit it on the underside.

Aumstail comes back on the comms.

>"Let this be your final warning, Pillet. I see that boulder. If it strikes the island, I'm destroying it. Just send for Phantom, please. It's all I'm asking."

Alright. Losing the memory would sting, but I've done fine without it. Plus, if it does have details that shine badly on me, and it gets out via a more reputable source than Aumstail, all that credibility I've worked on for myself will go right down the drain. My support would sink! Even Delli would start to doubt me again! Perhaps that's exactly what Aumstail is planning! Give the memory to Phantom, my nemesis, who has the credibility to expose me based on a memory she alone saw! But would Phantom really do that for Aumstail? When Phantom realized what Aumstail had done to me, she was disturbed by it. Perhaps Phantom won't be so quick to play Aumstail's game.

Yet on the other hand, maybe I can still pull this off. There must be some way I can intercept Aumstail! If I get that memory, I can understand what she meant by implying I was acting under orders. Was I altered? Mind controlled? Is it still active? No, I seriously doubt that, but without that memory I would never be able to confirm any of that. She could just be messing with my head. Aumstail could even be bluffing about destroying the memory. Maybe if Delli throws that boulder hard enough, she'll get knocked out in the blast. That would remove the barrier. Do I even know that Aumstail has the memory? I don't believe I managed to confirm that through Crook. This could all be a plan to stall for time! She could have set up all kinds of things in town during the near three hours we've been gone.
>>
No. 1054615 ID: 99f29a

Eh. You're asking a lot of people to put a lot of trust into you at a crucial time. It's worth giving someone else a little trust at least once even under circumstances like these.
>>
No. 1054620 ID: f8083d

Let's trust Phantom. Dialogue is her thing.
>>
No. 1054622 ID: 90c451

So... either we get a third party that could possibly have a bias and give you an advantage, or you destroy your only bargaining chip?
How does destroying your only bargaining chip help you? You aren't even selling us on it, just making vague statements in hopes that a random mystery would matter. Did you forget who we are?
>>
No. 1054623 ID: 90c451

>>1054620
While I don't support bringing in Phantom, if we do we can use it to stall and make a bigger and denser boulder, the harder we hit her, the better.
>>
No. 1054624 ID: 15c72a

>>1054614
Well, if you delay Delli a little bit, you can tell her to tell Crook to consent to a mind read so you can confirm the lost memory is real.

...is there some way Aumstail can fake the memory's contents when/if she shows Phantom?
>>
No. 1054639 ID: 9a2966

>Delli below
Suggest that Delli be at the side of the island rather than just below - if he's beneath then Aumstail could jump down and suppress his power and have them both fall into the fog.

>Crook surrenders
Goody. Tell them to bind him, gag him and bring him over. The uses of a captive Crook are many and varied. You could sit on him. Use him for cover against snipers. Resist the temptation to grab more of his memories in front of Aumstail so she starts doubting her earlier suspicions.

>Months?
Tell Delli to hold on a hair trigger. Then ask Aumstail why she's thinking she's only got 'months'. You lost that first election. There's time. You don't presume her intel is bad either - so was she thinking you'd get impatient and jump Phantom for the key or something? Because newsflash: you ain't.

You need time to prep, to teach people about what reality is like, back out there, so that everyone who cares - and to some extent those who don't - can be ready when the time comes. We're talking a few decades here at the very least - that's already something you agreed to with Phantom! You have a conservatory (and giant fuckoff lasers) to build now! And boy do some people need a shot or ten of that vitamin K-nowledge!

Aumstail knows how bad it still is, right? Phantom thought heaven and hell were real pieces of cosmology based on some crappy old religious book she found in a ruin! It's fucked up how much has been twisted and lost - common sense, context, everything - and you're not that much better off based on the few memories Aumstail left you. And here she is, sitting on all that old lore, hoarding it for a rainy day. Threatening to destroy some of it and herself.

Before she blows, she should consider this: if things go bad once you all get outta haze town, she will be as responsible for that as you. Twice over with this.

>Unreasonable request
Asking for Phantom is in itself not unreasonable but it sure as fuck ain't a neutral approach. Phantom's the last keyholder and the one insisting for her to mediate is a founder with full knowledge and unknown capacities for fuckery. So she'll have to forgive you for listening to your every hyped-up paranoid instinct at the moment - they appear, after all, to have been substantially correct just now. Not to mention, you made an offer for a full meeting of bigwigs of all stripes. Calling 'Phantom or bust' after that is... suspicious, is what it is.

>Town is what I lived for, if you kill it, kill me
The whole damn point of prepping to leave would be so that the town and its people gets to at least live past the transition - you aren't in this for a suicide, no matter what she may think. And turning over those memories - or at least allowing you to poke through hers and share them with others - could make an actual fucking difference.

Or is the only sort of difference she'd care to make the one where she props up powerhungry catspaws? If she had a power-blocking ability all along, why didn't she ever topple some of the derpier tyrants, rather than ~ hello Crook ~ support them because fuck Pillet, that's why.

>Random people questions for the founder
Say, I need a break, and since we're doing this stalemate, does anyone have any comments or pressing questions for the sole remaining founder of haze town with their mental state and memories arguably intact, before she offs herself and destroys a slice of my being just to be a sore butt?

Finnigan? Splice? Niles? - not you Crook - Fazzy? Delli? Anything goes.

Send Splice off for reinforcements after that. Tell him to tell Phantom everything and let her be the judge of whether she shows up or not, considering the inherent bias she'll have in this.
>>
No. 1054650 ID: df45e0

"Please? Now I know you are trying to lure Phantom here for some plot. No deal. I can't trust anything you say and this feels like delaying tactics so goodbye Aumstail. If you feel like surrendering come out with your hands up but if not say hello to the rock."
>>
No. 1054654 ID: 53560f

Have we noticed yet that we’re about to have a bunch of the major players from the town in a single well hidden location with a founder who’s exact capabilities and defences are unknown?

Speak with Delli, explain your thoughts on the situation and ask his opinions. Even if Aumstail is honest and we do get the memory we should trust Delli a little more to handle it, and it works better if you show him that you’re trusting him.
>>
No. 1054660 ID: 9285e5

First off, she's trying very hard to maintain control of the situation (ha!) and the conversation.

don't let her have either anymore. start pointing out the flaws in her assumptions because she's been out here under a rock while everyone else has been out doing things and improving things for thirty years from now, not a few months.
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No. 1054963 ID: 15a025

Entertain the thought for now.
Perhaps a middle ground could work. Phantom being with Aumstail in person is just flat out too risky. Is there a way a proxy could go down there with a phone and a private call between them be made? Phantom would still have to here be on the island though, but at least they'd be further away or out of direct contact.
>>
No. 1054964 ID: 7de295

Just call Phantom. If absolutely nothing else it buys you time, and this is a weird thing to be paranoid about.
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