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File 164129060103.png - (274.47KB , 800x799 , 1.png )
1019446 No. 1019446 ID: 7a1a17

Unofficial Discussion thread - https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/129715.html
Wiki - https://questden.org/wiki/The_Family_Business
Family Tradition Chapter 1 - https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/372338.html

"Pushing the speech forward? You know I just gave one like right before you invaded right? People are going to start getting ideas. Conspiracy nuts will be coming after me. After you for this."

"We anticipate zis. In fact, we are 'oping for it. Ze sooner we identify problem cases in your city, ze sooner we can form plans that isolate zem from ze populace with minimal damage."
Expand all images
No. 1019447 ID: 7a1a17
File 164129068023.png - (374.76KB , 1600x1200 , 2.png )

Shit, pretend that says 5 instead of 4

:nusergei:"But why haven't I been given anything? Do you expect me to write something?"

"Non non, you will receive somezhing by tomorrow. Stop fussing."
No. 1019448 ID: 7a1a17
File 164129072066.png - (792.77KB , 2596x2160 , 3.png )

:nusergei:"But you promised to-"

"Yes yes we are still doing ze investigations like I promised you. I will even be discreet guun?"

:nusergei:"I'm not sure that will work. You don't see many Rezans that look like me you know."

"Will you stop fussing? Zis is a big city non? You will disappear into ze crowd with no uniform. Now go to sleep fussy-boy."

Oh. You're here. You were gone this afternoon, I was wondering what happened. Wait. How did I know that you were gone? How did I know you came back? Is that something I should be worried about?
No. 1019449 ID: 094652

Let me put it this way:
We've been busy with a ragtag-clan of gang-rapists and a medieval political intrigue with murder-machines and double-marriages.

I fucking missed you.
No. 1019498 ID: dfbac0

Yeah, no need to worry or rather, no point in worrying, nothing you can do about it anyways, we sometimes have little control over where we focus our attention, or when, lately we've been spending a lot of time in the past, but I'm sure our exploits will have an effect, I mean, Venian Makag is proof enough that we can have quite an impact on the timeline.
No. 1019545 ID: 7a1a17
File 164135039197.png - (246.96KB , 1080x971 , 4.png )

Gang ra-wow that's...something. Yeah I think I'll go with your advice and not worry about it. And that thing about Emperor Venian, I'm sure if I asked you'd confuse me even more.

I guess I'm kinda dull by comparison. Since you were gone, Nunnette got me to help her find the coroner that's doing the autopsy on uh...up what's his name? Donny? Dimmy? Dimsdale? The guy the scary woman was possessing. That guy. Apparently he was a missing soldier and wants to find out what happened to him? Without telling her commander what she's doing? I'm going through all the paperwork on that now since it's in Rezan script and she can't read it.

In exchange Nunnette agreed to let me investigate what happened to the Head. You know, the one the Hegemony blew up? I'm going to be part of the salvaging operations. See if I can find out what happened to Viv. Cause this is all pretty crazy and I think having someone from RIS help me, and also cause um...that stuff we were doing?

:nusergei:"What the-?"

What is this, high school dorms? Who is slipping a letter under my door this late?
No. 1019546 ID: 7a1a17
File 164135039577.png - (202.61KB , 926x867 , 5.png )

:nusergei:"Let's see. Sergei, sorry about the letter but I can't meet with you right now. Too dangerous to be seen. I know what you're doing. Check the Hegemony's manifest on active personnel. I'm sure you'll find something. Signed, V.

Oh. Viv's still out there. That's a relief"

No. 1019547 ID: 7a1a17
File 164135039884.png - (203.21KB , 926x867 , 6.png )

:nusergei:"P.S Be careful about who you trust, elements of the occupation force are here to kill you."
No. 1019548 ID: ea4991

Step away from windows, draw curtains (or wish you had them).
No. 1019555 ID: 094652

Nearly every country has infighting. The question is, does the majority or a minority have your death knell on their itinerary?

Destroy the letter, but casually; sniff the letter, lick it, snub your nose in disgust, rub it all over your face, blow your nose with it, then wipe some dirt off the floor with what's left.
No. 1019573 ID: dfbac0

I figured it would be obvious people wanted you dead, I mean right now you're pretty much a liability, I imagine the only reason they didn't kill you and use a look-alike is because you're pretty unique, with the kind of magic that let Viv's old boyfriend pretend to be you, I imagine that's not an issue for much longer.
Either way, this doesn't change much, it's obvious you shouldn't trust the occupation force, they're enemies after all, other than that I don't think Nunette is out to kill you at the very least, unless she's planning to stab you in the back at the very last moment, which I doubt, either way, be wary.
No. 1019701 ID: 7a1a17
File 164143651883.png - (949.46KB , 2207x2155 , 7.png )

This is a house built for Gamin! There is no such thing as privacy here! INFIGHTING?! YOU'RE NOT HELPING! I AM NOT OKAY ANYMORE!
No. 1019734 ID: dfbac0

Woah, Sergei, calm yourself. You're not in immediate danger, just potential danger, and anyway how is this any different from any other day you put your life on the line as an officer? From our perspective this changes nothing, of course the people who invaded our lands, and is holding us hostage and having us do their bidding are enemies, what else would they be? I mean seriously, did a small bit of comfort and pretty words convince you they're on your side? I mean her talk of "isolating problem cases" is really just about rounding up and killing of dissidents, she's literally using you as bait. As I said before, this doesn't change much, just be on your guard and you'll probably get out of this alive. I mean, if you were any more politically savvy I'd have us gathering favor for the side of this that wants things seamless and without needless bloodshed but you're not so... Let's just focus on not getting ourselves killed. As it stands we should still be going along with our captor's demands, just be wary, I'm sure Viv will let us know if there's a change in their internal politics that requires us to take more drastic actions.
Either way, keep on your toes, keep your head on a swivel and your ears open, and of course, stay compliant.
We don't have enough information or capabilities to do anything drastic anyway.
No. 1019879 ID: 7a1a17
File 164160852010.png - (372.89KB , 2109x2155 , 8.png )

I-I...you're right. I'm not in danger. Not yet. Just pull myself together, just-you know? That might have been a delayed thing. I've had so much bad stuff happen to me for the past few days, and that letter was what set me over the edge. I mean I've already been to some hellish dimension! How many people can say that? Oh no...
No. 1019880 ID: 7a1a17
File 164160852831.png - (2.19MB , 2494x2160 , 9.png )

I'm back?! What even set it off this time!? Is there some stupid ritual happening in the house, is there another one of those stupid metal balls?
No. 1019881 ID: 7a1a17
File 164160853497.png - (792.02KB , 1908x1337 , 10.png )

And am I naked again? Yes I am naked again.


Oh gods dammit all and she's here too?! I can hear her, but I can't see her! Oh fuck what do I do what do I do?
No. 1019883 ID: 8a51ec

Well you've already got on the signature attire of a streaker, all you need to do now is put those hamstrings to work! RUN!
No. 1019913 ID: dfbac0

Yeah,we don't have much info on this place so our best bet is to explore.
Last time you were brought here you got back by confronting the weird demon dude who brought you here, my guess is those weird demons have brought you back to try and make you accept your "destiny" again. Our best bet is to confront the person who brought you here or cause a paradox by punching your past as apparently this is some sort of extra-planar space with no sense of linear time.
No. 1019914 ID: 094652

Grab anything remaining in the closet, and head out to capture/destroy the relay doing all this!
No. 1020067 ID: 7a1a17
File 164177075770.png - (1.78MB , 2158x2149 , 11.png )

Run which direction?!


Oh gods it's closer this time! The closet's disappeared! All I got is my truncheon-wait why do I have my truncheon?
No. 1020068 ID: 7a1a17
File 164177078746.png - (866.80KB , 1520x1508 , 12.png )

"Little shit! Just what in hell are you doing out here?!"

:nusergei:"Back! Stay back!"

"I'm not playing games today Sergei I mean it! This place is dangerous, you can be killed!"

No. 1020077 ID: 96c896

Tell her you don't know how you got here, it just happened. How do you leave?
No. 1020117 ID: 8d46d8

Ah shit she's back!
Sensory overload!
No. 1020179 ID: 7a1a17
File 164185689864.png - (403.28KB , 1533x830 , 13.png )

Attack?! Now?

"Tell your friend to shut his noise hole. And put your stick down Sergei I told you I'm not playing games. Why aren't you in your sanctuary?"


"Oh for the love of, don't you know anything? Don't answer that."
No. 1020180 ID: 7a1a17
File 164185691085.gif - (503.50KB , 1680x1050 , 14.gif )

"Fine, just this once, we can use mine."

:nusergei:"Oh gods! What?! WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?! WHERE AM I!?"

"Shut up Sergei I told you. My sanctuary. We're safe here."

:nusergei: "Oh."
No. 1020181 ID: 7a1a17
File 164185692306.png - (800.23KB , 1680x1050 , 15.png )

"Now then-HM!"

:nusergei:"Ow! What was that for!"

"For being an idiot Little Shit! You should know better than to be crawling around in the Space Between especially in the nude!"

:nusergei:"Ow! Why do you care? You were trying to kill me-ow! Stop hitting me!"

"Idiot! Idiot! Idiot! I."









:nusergei:"Quit it!"


:nusergei:"How is putting a hole in my gut not trying to kill-Hey I said stop!"

"LITTLE SHIT! I did that because I knew you'd live. Did you look at your stomach?! There's no hole there! You healed it! Like you were supposed to! Quit being so stupid!"

:nusergei:"What do you mean like I was supposed to-DON'T HIT!"

"What you think everyone can heal a gut wound like that in a single day! NO! That's just us! We do that! It's the reason why you can be here! It's the reason you can talk to those idiots in the blue bauble without ever touching it! Come on Sergei you should know some of this stuff!"

:nusergei:"Well clearly I don't."

"Fine! Fine...fine. Where should I start?"

>Well first of all where is this?
>That stuff about 'just us' what do you mean?
>I was actually wondering...
No. 1020183 ID: 094652

First off, how should we address you? I'm... going to begrudgingly apologize for being derisive about your identity. I'm sorry, you don't deserve heckling for merely existing, even if we're enemies or rivals.
That said, I don't regret treating you with scorn because it's what you deserve. You continually address your brother as an inferior, and you treat other women as your playthings. You molested Nunette with your inappropriate contact while wearing Danielsei's corpse. This is not appropriate behavior.
I don't know what kind of environment you've been living in, but here's some advice: take a vacation. You don't need to spend every waking moment under your father's grip.

Second: What are your/Sergei's abilities? We don't have a full handle on that.
Third: What is the end-goal of the prophecy?
No. 1020247 ID: 7a1a17
File 164194694694.png - (485.76KB , 992x1050 , 16.png )

:nusergei:"So um...what should I call you?"

"Your friends call me Vidian, might as well stick with it."


"Daddy always called me "girl" or "you, girl". The club he was with just called me "child". No one ever told me what my name was. Vidian's as good as everything else I've been called."

:nusergei:"Well that's messed up. Is that why you did that thing with Alicia? And Nunnette?"

"What? I thought they were your women. It's nice to have a pet right?"

:nusergei:"They weren't pets. Aren't! You can't make people pets Vidian."

"Why not? That's what Dan was."

:nusergei:"Okay that you need to explain."

"Daddy's club gave him to me. They said he got all the training he needed to be an obedient boy. And I guess he was. Died for me you know. Real nice of him."

:nusergei:"Wow okay that's a lot to unpack. People aren't pets. They are friends. You can ask them to do things, and if they like you they do it."

"Like a pet."

:nusergei:"No, a friend does it because they like you!"

"Dan liked me."

:nusergei:"A friend likes you because of what you do for them. A pet, or-YOUR pets, were just trained to like you. It isn't the same."

"Bleh this sounds too complicated. That doesn't matter anyway, the real problem isn't me. It's you! You're older than me. You should have had plenty of time to hone your power but you know less than me? Hasn't mom taught you anything?"

:nusergei:"Wha-my mother? She doesn' know any of this?"

"Pff is that what she tells you?"

:nusergei:"...what's that supposed to mean?"

"You can ask her when you see her."

:nusergei:"Hey! No! My mother didn't understand any of this cult stuff, and wanted to get away from it! That's why she took me and ran!"

"Daddy said it's cause she didn't want to share what they BOTH learned."

:nusergei:"And "daddy" is such a reliable source isn't he? Right, "girl"?
No. 1020248 ID: 7a1a17
File 164194694722.png - (533.42KB , 992x1050 , 17.png )

No. 1020249 ID: 7a1a17
File 164194705531.png - (594.71KB , 1565x1080 , 18.png )

:nusergei:"Okay new subject. What power are you talking about."

"Well sanctuaries for one. We are Dreamers after all. It's a haven where we can speak with our toys, meditate, or just relax. It can be anything we want. Like mine."

:nusergei:"Your sanctuary is a...a port?"

"No, this is Busharahad. It's where I grew up. I know every street, every alley. This roof was my little home away from everyone and everything, when Daddy was angry and smashing things, and the club was getting too clingy to me. I'd come up here.

Oh, it's also where daddy left me when he told me to come get you. Told me to figure out how to get to you. That would be my greatest test."

:nusergei:"The more you talk about dad, the more he sounds like a real asshole."

"Well he is the one who taught me about the sanctuary, and you're the one wandering the Space Between naked."

:nusergei:"Okay so obviously I'm dumb. How do I make one?"

"See that's why I call you stupid. It's obvious. You just think of a place. Anyplace. It will manifest. This is the Space Between. Abstract concept and Material objects are one and the same here. Come on. Think of something."

>My apartment. I always felt safe there.
>The Imperial Palace. Always wanted to see it for myself.
>The station. Never actually felt like I was in danger, even when the boss threatened to eat me.
No. 1020253 ID: 094652

>Vidian's abusive backstory
... da feels.
Barring the possibility that she's lying, I demand you get her therapy and anime plushies.
Should consider summoning a dying stuffie from the plushverse.

Hang on I want to try something.
Picture a tree shaped like an arrow, with needles for leaves. It's larger than any you've seen. It's surrounded by green grass, beyond is a white void. At the edge of this hollow meadow is a mailbox. It has the name "Richard Gatling" on it.
No. 1020322 ID: 0a8028

When this is over, you need to have some serious bonding time with Vidian. Until then, Imperial Palace. Let's see what we've done to the place.
No. 1020327 ID: dfbac0

Come on Sergei, be creative! If you can make anything then make something new or unique, someplace you normally wouldn't be able to go by yourself. Like space. Can we make a space ship? Please tell me we can make a space ship. Make a space ship Sergei, give it FTL drives and giant lasers and stuff, maybe an antimatter cannon? Please make a space ship Sergei. You need a space ship.
No. 1020503 ID: df4c65

Leeets keep it simple before experimenting. Sergei doesn't even have a frame of reference for half of that stuff.

Try out the Imperial Palace. The other two places are home, but jumping around while so close begs for confusing the 'Scape for reality. And feel free to go full-on fairytale with it, if that helps you see it as a safe and desirable place.

Mind, chosing a palace has other advantages. Fortifications and chokepoints, throne-rooms and dungeons, relaxing parlors and gardens for picnics and... "picnics." But that's all later, once you've got a grip on this.

If you're having trouble picking a spot to congure, might I suggest a bedroom? The thought of rest should help ground you and let your imagination do it's thing.

Deep breaths kid, you've got this.
No. 1020780 ID: fd2dfa
File 164265206672.png - (815.15KB , 1863x1542 , 19.png )

I have know idea who Richard Gatling is, I have no idea what a spaceship should look like. Uh maybe if I recall that one pciture I saw I could...
"Huh. The Imperial Palace? Really?"
:nusergei:"What? I always wanted to see it in real life. And I was thinking 'Where is the safest place in the Empire?' Did I get it wrong?"
"No, no this is...actually good. The safer you think a place is, the safer it becomes. Remember, concept becomes truth. You really shouldn't leave unless you have to as this lets a Dreamer have someplace safe when they come to the Space Between."
:nusergei:"Okay you keep talking about this Space Between but what is it really?"
"You know I'm not too sure myself. I only know what daddy's club let me know. It's dangerous, I'm sure you've seen some nasty stuff before I saved your sorry ass. It's a sort of place within time and outside of time but you can only manipulate events relevant to your time?"
"Gah I dunno how to explain this. Okay, so imagine the timeline of the whole universe was a road made of stones. Each stone is an event that is placed next to every other event. You being in that exploding robot is one brick. The brick above is me having fun-"
:nusergei:"Impaling me"
"Oh you were fine get over it-and then the one next to that is me going into hiding, while the one below that is you waking up after those Hegemony soldiers found you. Everything is placed one after the other, not connected but still organized. And it's not connected because between everybrick is a small amount of space in between. Hence Space Between."
:nusergei:"Wouldn't a brick road by held by mortar?"
"Yes but then it wouldn't make sense, just think of it like that. The Space Between is where all events of time exist. You can't go to the past, but you can certainly see your past, and your future, and the past and future of others. If you know how to navigate it."
:nusergei:"But what about all those weird things I saw floating around?"
"That's why I'm having such a hard time explaining it. It's more than that. It's so much more than that, but I have no reference to explain it to you. Just know that it's dangerous. Most mortals pass through this place never knowing they drift along the currents in their sleep. Dreamers? We can walk through it."
"I dunno we just do!"
No. 1020781 ID: fd2dfa
File 164265207043.png - (1.39MB , 2146x2501 , 20.png )

"Also please put on some clothes. I'm gonna puke if I have to keep looking at you nude. I'm serious."
:nusergei:"So what do I think of those too then?"
"Yeah yeah, that's part of the sanctuary."

>So what else can I do?
>Does the sanctuary do anything else?
>I'd like to wake up now...
No. 1020826 ID: f8a743

What a romantic sunset. Are you sure you didn't plan it this way Sergei?
Figure out what it is you can do. Clearly Vidi knows a lot more than you, even if she doesn't understand it.
No. 1020827 ID: 9a2966

So what else is a sanctuary good for?
No. 1021429 ID: 7a1a17
File 164326555477.png - (475.95KB , 1295x1155 , 21.png )

:nusergei: “Well can you tell me what else these sanctuaries are good for?”
“You mean besides safety and place to meditate? Well it’s also a place to pry into the minds of your thralls.”
:nusergei: “No, not Vidian, they are people-“
“I know that, but the ones who serve you, they can be thralls. They swear themselves to you and all that stuff, even get their souls bound to you.”
:nusergei: “Now I’m lost again.”
“Okay let’s try it another way…”

Thralls are people Sergei can bind to his soul, giving him their complete loyalty and in return share Sergei's unnaturally quick regeneration. It doesn’t matter where they are, through the Sanctuary Sergei can reach out and communicate with them, or even give orders to those he imposes his will on. At the advanced level he can even possess them. Binding a person to Sergei requires the person to touch one of the orbs in his possession alongside a blood ritual where both he and the thrall-to-be spill it upon the orb.

:nusergei:”Why does all this stuff require blood?”
“I dunno, it just does? I thought you might have had some connection with that Nunnette woman. She was following you around like Danielsi followed me. Her and that Tauress. How many orbs do you have?”
:nusergei: “Actually I got uh two of them?”
No. 1021430 ID: 7a1a17
File 164326556082.png - (457.47KB , 1295x1155 , 22.png )

:nusergei: ”Yeah one I actually got while here. In the uh. Space Between thing? I had to jump through some weird holes and strange rock-meat things and talked to bright yellow jerk that basically gave it to me. That was before the whole invasion. You know the one you had a part in?”
No. 1021431 ID: 7a1a17
File 164326556353.png - (268.14KB , 937x906 , 23.png )

:nusergei: “I dunno why you would think Nunnette is a…thrall. She’s a nice enough girl I guess, but I can’t really bring myself to just dominate her mind out of nowhere-“

No. 1021432 ID: 7a1a17
File 164326556728.png - (314.91KB , 937x906 , 24.png )

:nusergei: *hrk*
“Little shit, I need you to give a command to that Nunnette woman you were with?”
:nusergei: *kk*”B-but she's not a thrall”*k*

>…give Nunnette a command
No. 1021440 ID: dfbac0

Sergei, I think the whole being a thrall and being subjected to your will... would be facilitated by us? Which means it's sort of our doing? I mean, the whole thrall thing just sounds like an extension of what we do with you when we give suggestions. Except I guess thralls can't disobey commands.
We should look into whether we can make Thralls in the past or future, do you think you might have accidentally made a thrall out of Venian Makag? I never felt like the whole "rezans are susceptible to magic" stuff really explained our ability to completely take over like that, so maybe he was a thrall.
Anyways... Best start with something Nunette wouldn't do normally that would easily be noticed.
Nunette: Slap yourself.
No. 1021441 ID: 9a2966

"Nunette, help me!"
No. 1021447 ID: 19a200

...Let's get dangerous.
Nunette: Propose to Ceridwen
Nunette: Deliver Eadoo's lastborn child to Sergei
Nunette: Crown Muschio Emperor of the Rezan Empire
Nunette: Determine if P=NP
No. 1021448 ID: 8a51ec

Nunette: Do a sexy pose.
No. 1021864 ID: fd2dfa
File 164361323967.png - (1.21MB , 3000x3000 , 25.png )

Who the hells is Musch-


:nusergei:"Nunnette?!" Who the hells is that?!"

"I HAVE NO IDEA~! AH! Une memant! Wo oblivee la parte gravie!"
No. 1021865 ID: fd2dfa
File 164361324439.gif - (96.81KB , 560x560 , 26.gif )

"Qi se la fu-"
No. 1021866 ID: fd2dfa
File 164361330264.png - (427.76KB , 1449x1165 , 27.png )

:nusergei:"Okay what the hells was that all about?"

"Quiet...okay nothing happened."

:nusergei:"No, a lot just happened!"

"I mean the sky. It means your Nunnette was not compromised."


"Listen close Sergei. Daddy and his friends want you to come home. But I didn't come here alone. And if that yellow jerk you described is who I think it is, then the others that came here want you dead."


"If He found you, then chances are good, those guys are his worshippers. In fact, I better go. I'd attract their attention being here."

:nusergei:"Wait I still don't understand!"

"Well you'll have to make do with what you know!"

:nusergei:"Can't you answer one more question?"

"AGH! Fine! Make it good!"

>Make it good
No. 1021891 ID: 094652


That's creepy, yet oddly familiar... A symptom of the Metamyriad, perhaps?

"How do I train myself to not suck so much?!"
No. 1021892 ID: 9a2966

How do I stop being naked in here all the time?
No. 1021934 ID: 899fea

Try to not stare at her chest.
Ask how to choose to come back instead of popping in and out at random
No. 1021936 ID: 96c896

Controlling entry and exit sounds like the most useful info.
No. 1023339 ID: 7a1a17
File 164474822564.gif - (39.92KB , 800x800 , 28.gif )

:nusergei:"How do I get back here? How can I talk with you again?"

"Huh? Oh that part's easy. It's like, you know this place now. Just 'will' yourself here. Easier when your mortal body's asleep. As for finding. Oh don't worry. I'll know."

:nusergei:"I don't know if that's reassuring or worrying."

"Oh and when you wake up, ask Nunnette about their registry. You might find some stowaways."

:nusergei:"Why is that importa-oh come on..."
No. 1023340 ID: 7a1a17
File 164474823737.png - (321.02KB , 1256x1156 , 29.png )

"Oh yoo-hoo~ Sergei! It iz morning~!"

:nusergei:"...what are you doing?"

"You know I'm not sure, but it felt right zat I do zis today.

Must be your influence. Just how long does that last anyway?

"Come come now, we 'ave a long day, an' you still need to prepare for your own show."

:nusergei:"Um you know that we'll be wearing civilian clothes right?"


:nusergei:"Well I don't want to draw attention. As governor of a captured territory, and apparently the target of at least one cult, I don't think I want people to know who I am based on a military escort."

"Oh fine, but what does one wear to a coroner? I 'ave no concept of Rezan fashion!"
No. 1023341 ID: 7a1a17
File 164474824193.png - (118.65KB , 1056x1200 , 30.png )

:nusergei:"Right right, the coroner. But I was thinking. Is there a way we can check with a quartermaster?"

"Oh? Why do you want zat?"

:nusergei:"I was thinking maybe whoever um...did that to Danielsi may have been on the list,or added themselves to blend in."

"Ah so you zink we have a spy?"

:nusergei:"Well, definitely someone that doesn't belong."

"Interesant...well zat may be a bit 'ard. Master Anders is a [Grouch who sits on his balls]...I do not know what you call zat in Rezanti...an asshole?"


That is weird how I know what she said but still can't understand the words. You make things so strange!

"So zat begs ze question guun? Shall we see poor Danielsi first, or speak with Anders? It is your choice oh Governor."

>Coroner or Quartermaster?
>Help Nunnette learn Rezan fashion! Or not.
No. 1023342 ID: 96c896

No. 1023346 ID: dfbac0

Quartermaster, we've dealt with assholes before, we can again.
As for fashion... If my understanding of Rezan fashion is to be understood it's a little all over the place with different families having different styles...
You will be wearing civilian clothes but they should still be clothes resembling that of the upper echelon...
I also believe the people here tend to wear darker clothes so I think she should wear a magenta dress.
A magenta dress with some gold embroidery along the shoulders seems good, should put her as a high-class rezan to most.
No. 1025150 ID: 7a1a17
File 164621640118.png - (284.78KB , 1187x1333 , 31.png )

Anders it is. Getting Nunnette to dress Rezan was a pain and a half, but I finally got her in something presentable.

"Zis iz Rezan fashion?"

:nusergei: "On the islands yeah. I don't know what the mainland is like though so it may be out of date?"

"I hate it."

:nusergei:"Why? You look like a proper highborn."

"I look like a schoolgirl."

:nusergei:"...what kind of schools do you...nevermind. This Anders fellow. Can you tell me more about him?"

"He iz always upset about somezhing, his siblings irritate him, he loves 'iz rulez so zat means one person at a time may enter; and he is ze only one of his kind."

:nusergei:"What was that last part?"

"Only one of his kind. 'E was made you see. Chimera. It makes him even more upset so try not to mention it. Or imply it, or draw attention to it. Oh and he likez to lord his pozition over anyone he think is 'getting oopity' wit him."

:nusergei:"When you say lord his position..."
No. 1025151 ID: 7a1a17
File 164621641353.png - (273.17KB , 1200x1319 , 32.png )


"'Allo Paulin."


"Oh dear."

:nusergei:"Ah. So like the chief."

No. 1025152 ID: 7a1a17
File 164621642408.png - (216.97KB , 1656x1356 , 33.png )

Right, so he'll be just like the chief, stroke his ego, don't draw attention to his uniqueness and-oh. So that's what he is. Okay I'll just wait for the Anders head to talk.

None of them are talking. They're just staring. Oh Dof-ka what do I do?

>Oh Dof-ka what do I do?
No. 1025154 ID: 3328c7

Bow courteously, introduce yourself and plead your case as if you were talking to single person.
No. 1025817 ID: 7a1a17
File 164688793687.png - (158.67KB , 1000x879 , 34.png )

Ah so act pathetic and noncombative. Like with the chief. I can do that.

:nusergei:"Uh hrm hrm! Hello, I'm sorry for the intrusion, but I am investigating a possible crime and I need to check with you regarding a very, very small matter. I won't take up much time, I promise."


"Ho ho! Pathetic and groveling! Doesn't even address you or me! It's so indirect and nonthreatening!
He has you there Anders, now you don't have an excuse to throw him out!"

"And I wanted to......his face grinds my tail."

"And I'm glad you can't."

"You just say that Bellany......cause you wonder if he tastes......like candy."

So the middle one is Anders and...the other dark one is Anders? What?

"That hair! It's like spun sugar!"

:nusergei:"Um please don't, it takes a lot to clean. And I'm sorry that you want to throw me. I don't mean to offend."

"You don't sweet thing, he's just angry with everyone!"

"You would too if......some asshole put your brain......in two heads!"

"Are you going to tell that to everyone we meet Anders?"


:nusergei:"Okay, I sympathize with your predicament, I really do, but I really need to look at the roster of soldiers you have deployed here, I have a suspicion that -hoip!"
No. 1025818 ID: 7a1a17
File 164688795086.png - (282.15KB , 1318x1089 , 35.png )

Oh gods he's strong. And dog breath. Smelly dog breath!
"Oh, you doubt my organization......skills? You think cause I'm two heads.......I'm slower than everyone else? Oh look at the stupid Chimera.......he has two people living in one body..........he can't even control all his arms, let's make him.........a bean counter for fun! He won't.......even complain he can't get an office to keep his work together.......he's too slow to refuse! Well guess.........what! It may take a couple of........seconds more to complete a sentence, but none........at all to eat your face!"

"Anders! Manners! He meant nothing by it Master...?"


"Ah~ you're the governor liason we've been hearing about. And what is it about the unit roster that you think can help you Master Sergei?"

:nusergei:"There was a soldier! Danielsi! I-we" I gesture to Nunnette waving from outside Anders' 'office' "suspect he was involved in a plot to alter the roster and bring spies with you!"

"Spies from......where?"

:nusergei:"That's what we want to find out! Please don't throw me!"

"Mmmmm, so he suspects too. Let him look Anders."

"But! He's the enemy!"

"He's a liason Anders. And he may help us bring this up with the commander." Bellany faces me. "Master Sergei, we have noticed some alterations to the Roster. A number of soldiers, of no particular battallion, were suddenly attatched to this task force. There names started appearing in duty rosters and work details on 13/13/2124."

Bellany leans in and whispers in my ear "We were in open sea on that day, a months sail from any port!"

>"Why didn't you tell anyone?"
>"Who else just appeared?"
No. 1025825 ID: 094652

Ask what maintenance tasks the infiltrators had while onboard the ship. Did they have free reign to mingle onboard during off-duty hours?
No. 1026089 ID: a52540

Did they make sure to double check cargo to see if they could have stowed away until the ship was out at sea, any discrepancies of that sort?
Also, is there any cultural trend with the names? We can assume them all fake but people tend to use names that are from their culture so we may be able to gleam an idea of where the spies might have come from.
No. 1026094 ID: 6dd64f

To be honest, sir, having two brains sounds like quite a boon.
No. 1026471 ID: fd2dfa
File 164750351442.png - (132.62KB , 997x816 , 36.png )

:nusergei:"Was there any tasks the infiltrators had onboard? Did they have their own places to mingle during of duty hours?"

"That I am not sure of. I can't speak for every vessel, but I have noticed their names appearing afterwards on work details, but none of them seemed to be around at their scheduled times or designations; and because the work crews already were at full, nobody seemed to notice. That's why I'm so concerned. I don't think they mingled with the others at anytime except at meals."

:nusergei:"How did you know it was them?"

"I didn't. I just knew because we were feeding extra mouths. Our supplies ran out faster than anticipated."

Or maybe they didn't notice? I know I sometimes can't tell humans apart. Seems more like a question for Nunnette. She seemed to know our attacker.

:nusergei:"Maybe they stowed away in there until it was out at sea. Could they have hidden in your supply stores, and that could account for what's missing?"

"Everything was sealed, even the landing craft. Understand this operation was run very tight. If even a seal was damaged, there would have been an investigation with a filed report. None occurred."

"I think......they just tampered with records........removed reports."

"Under our noses Anders? Don't be silly."

She seems confident in their skills, but Anders thinks they couldn't keep track of everything. Maybe I can convince Nunnette to look through their cargo hold for clues?

:nusergei:"What about names? Any cultural trend? We can assume them all fake but people tend to use names that are from their culture so we may be able to gleam an idea of where the spies might have come from."

"Well the names seemed to be from all over the Hegemony. Very...oh what's the word? How would you describe a name that you give to a foreigner as a joke based on where they come from? Because it was that. Danielsi's record claimed he was from Channalone, but his name is exactly the sort of name someone would give to a Channalonnite. Or Bob! It's so generic sounding, and it's exactly what we think of for someone from Landfair! Can you guess where Bob came from?"

So our infiltrators only had second hand knowledge of Hegemony members. Or maybe they were making themselves obvious for each other to located when they came aboard? Could be they were trying to leave some obvious signal to each other most people wouldn't think of as suspicious. Well someone not like Anders.

"Tell him about the pattern."


"Oh, well Anders thinks so, but he has a grudge with Balzhemund so he finds all sorts of patterns around him; but all the names come from member countries surrounding Balzhemund's homeland, Metria."

Metria? Why does that name sound familiar? Is it that the historic site where Emperor Venian caused that huge living statue to melt? Or was it the birthplace of the Empress Consort Gwendolyn? Wait, who is Balzhemund?

"Before you ask, Balzhemund is our creator."

"We are Manbuilt."

"You say it like a bad thing."

"It is."

:nusergei:"Sorry, but I can't stop thinking about it sir. Having two brains sounds like quite a boon."

"Not when you have to share half a brain......between two heads, and the third one......gets a brain all to herself!"

:nusergei:"How does that even work?!"

"I don't know! I asked Balzhemund and even he didn't know! Or maybe he was lying!"

"Easy Anders your blood pressure."
No. 1026472 ID: fd2dfa
File 164750352795.png - (133.35KB , 1006x608 , 37.png )

:nusergei:"What's this?""

"Letters requesting a formal investigation, along with all the discrepancies we've found. I'm sure you can get this to where it belongs."

"Holy knows we can't......you're holding up the line! NEXT!"

Aaaaand I suppose my time is up. These papers are kinda bulky. Just how many infiltrators are on the island anyway?

>Go to the Coroner's next
>Go to the Excavation site next
>Convince Nunnette to investigate Daniesli's ship.
No. 1026494 ID: 8fc39f

I think it's better we get their approval to explore their ships. And it'll be easier the more evidence we have. Go to the coroner.
No. 1026509 ID: 094652

We've met. The legends about her psychotic badassery are true.
Stop by the archives later, I want to see her family tree. I wonder what Goraelden's kids look like...

Do a quick check of the Coroner's, then head to Excavation. Whatever they want is going to be buried.
No. 1026761 ID: 25be00

Going to the Coroner might be best.

Also, make a note to try dating Bellany later. A chimera child would be all kinds of cool.
No. 1027642 ID: fd2dfa
File 164863272934.png - (1.22MB , 2193x2046 , 38.png )

The Coroner it is. Unfortunately her main office was destroyed in the landing, so she's had to relocate her quarters to the corpse-vault in the sub-city strata. I don't like coming here. The officers are a nasty bunch, and the the attack only made their attitude worse. I guess it's understandable? With everyone moving to the sub-city after the attack, criminals will have free rein to abuse and take advantage of them. The gangs down here make the ones topside look civil, so I guess they got a reason to be pissed just wish they didn't have to treat me like I'm just another civvie.

"So zis is why your city seemed so small" Nunnette doesn't sound impressed. More like I answered a question nagging at her.

:nusergei:"Well we are near the front, we were told to prepare for an attack from any direction at any point; and you sort of proved the propaganda department right..."

"So 'ow far does it go?"

:nusergei:"Most cities only go for one or two levels. The big ones can do down ten. Here? Just five."

"Just five 'e says. Zat is an incredible distance. You realize if somezhing were to 'appen to your support struts..."

:nusergei:"No! No sabotaging my city."

"I am just saying. It seems razher dangerous."

:nusergei:"No more dangerous than being on the surface during a Heg-barrage."

"I'll give you zat. Our gunz are quite formidable guun?"

:nusergei:"I was referring more to how indiscriminate the bombardments are."

"Well it's your fault for 'aving weapon stores everywhere so it becomes a valid target guun?"

We don't have stores EVERYWHERE...
No. 1027643 ID: fd2dfa
File 164863277444.png - (724.01KB , 1910x1457 , 39.png )

Nunnette runs ahead, I don't know why. I guess this is the first time she's seen a sub-city? She keeps peeking into the apartments and shops, peeking over the edge at passersby. It's a good thing she's wearing that outfit. Most folk just think she's another high born ditz come to see how the lower classes live. If she wore Hegemony colors, well. It wouldn't matter their soldiers are occupying the city. They'd make an example of her anyway.

"Ah you must be ze cor-"

"Get out."


"Get out, no Heggies in my vault."

"Why would you-"

"You may look Rezan, but you got the accent of a Heggie. Out I said."

"Sergei, please speak reason with this [Person whos Mother is their Sister]?"

"Sergei?!" What are you doing bringing the enemy to my door?!"

:nusergei:"Miss Servina we're here about the body. You know, the weird Hegemony body?"

"Do you have any idea how many "weird" bodies are in my vault cause of that damned landing? Heg and Imperial. Half of them make no sense! So you need to be a lot more specific and a much better reason to let this bitch anywhere near my corpses!"

Oh no I was afraid this would happen. All of Servina's husbands were killed in the war. And she had to autopsy their remains so she knows what happened to them. It wasn't gentle.

>>Servina, please...
No. 1027645 ID: 90c451

Okay, explain the fact that this isn't your choice, the hegemony is keeping you under constant supervision an there isn't much we can do about it.
Next, we can narrow down weird to the body itself being weird, and not something weird happening to the body, so if so we can check off somebody's spine being turned into a pretzel if it was due to a horrid explosion and not transfiguring magic.
Next weird is well... eldritch, so you know, tentacle limbs, large fleshy sinewy arms, bones contorting in nonsensical ways. Also, she's a coroner, so she should be able to tell if they had the eldritch mutations before they died, so we can know if it was freak magic that killed them or they operated as eldritch abominations. We want the latter.
So yeah, simplest terms: weird as in eldritch, functioning?, and not the cause of death.
No. 1027651 ID: e5709d

>sub-city strata
I'm going to scream at Venian when we see him again. These needed to be regulated from day one.
While I'm all for building sub-terranean cities, the fact that we didn't learn about this undercity until just now indicates this is an underground ghetto. I've been to one of these, in a city called Ark; they're monstrous plague-incubators that serve more as a dumping ground for undesirables than a productive slave force. For every citizen living normally above, there are dozens stuck in cramped, toxic areas that only hasten the spread of tormenting diseases. Gangs aren't just thriving, they're typically government-sponsored to keep the population down. And then I learned about the pre-planned neurotoxic gas.

>[Person whose Mother is their Sister]
Hegemony frowns upon parental incest. That's good.

>No Heggies in my vault
"I didn't want her on my island any more than you do, you've seen the casualty list to prove that. But she's proven herself, and we're here to stop the rot affecting both our countries. If you care more about the sanctity of the dead than the safety of the living, I'll have to force you on a paid vacation to clear your head."

>Half of them make no sense
"Explain. Now."
No. 1027924 ID: fd2dfa
File 164884663123.png - (267.42KB , 1300x1300 , 2241.png )

:nusergei:"This isn't my choice-"

"Fiff iffn't mah choife!"

:nusergei:"Now stop that! You're being immature!"

"Ftop fat yer myeh myeh myeh! That's you stupid man! That's what you sound like!"

I hate my life...
No. 1027936 ID: e5709d

I see the local Actors' Guild will have new material. Happy April Fool's Day, Sergei.
No. 1028831 ID: 7a1a17
File 164965766883.png - (381.63KB , 1600x1200 , 40.png )

:nusergei:"Servina please, this isn't my choice. I didn't want her on my island any more than you do, you've seen the casualty list to prove that. But she's proven herself, and we're here to stop the rot affecting both our countries."

"[Why speak of my like I am not here?]"

Servina isn't buying it. I've seen her give that look before, she's going to go crazy on me. I need to distract her. Like-

:nusergei:"What's weird about the bodies? Do you mean like large, fleshy sinewy mutations or freak magic?"

That stopped her tirade. Rage becomes confusion. She leaves her desk and grabs me, leaning in close. "No, it's not like that at all. More like they were torn apart. The wounds indicate tearing, like they were grabbed by some large beast and pulled apart."

Oh. Well then nothing we're worried about

"Larger than anything on island."

Okay. Partially related.
No. 1028833 ID: 7a1a17
File 164965768925.png - (601.57KB , 1949x1857 , 41.png )

She leads me to the vaults, pulling back the corpse-sheets on two of her cases. It's a good thing I'm an officer and used to seeing messed up dead people. Still these look less like corpses and more like a pile of meat and clothes. If it wasn't for the skin, I never would have known they were Rezan or human or whatever race THAT thing was.

"I have never seen anything this violent. An animal would have carried the meat away, these? They were all present. Granted it had to be scraped off walls and ceilings, but they were there."

:nusergei:"Are they all like this? Did any of them show signs of scorching from magic run-off?"

"You mean like your Danny? Some, but for all I know the burns could have beenfrom weapons malfunctions, they too messed up for me to tell."

:nusergei:"But not 'my Danny'?"

"None of them are like him!" she opens another drawer and-there's Danielsi.

"I've determined that the body had the skin boiled away."

:nusergei:"What like dropped in hot water?"

"No, like a chemical burn. Like an acid eroded it all away. It would explain the state of the body."

>Let me examine the body
>Maybe Nunnette is familiar with human anatomy. Let her have a look
>"So would you say he was digested alive?"
No. 1029102 ID: 08983b

Bring Nunnette in and both of you examine Danielsi. Show Servina she can be trusted by example
No. 1029110 ID: 90c451

Ask for more details on the recovery, were any bits and pieces positioned in a purposeful way?
I feel like as the bodies are now they won't provide much information, but maybe one of the people recovering the bodies noticed something odd about where they died.
No. 1029579 ID: 7a1a17
File 165024008769.png - (669.56KB , 1954x1721 , 42.png )

:nusergei:"Anything specific about the way the bodies were placed? Where were they recovered."

"They were piled in groups. Your corpse collectors marked each site. Here."
No. 1029580 ID: 7a1a17
File 165024017875.gif - (296.33KB , 1954x1721 , 43.gif )

She shows me a map of the city. She points to them one by one: First were the mangled bodies found in the governor's palace. Then the one impaled on landing struts by the air-pads, two sites where the bodies of Imperial and Hegemony were piled into mounds of meat. The fifth site was in the trade quarter just above Strut 02, each body was missing their left limbs. Sixth was on the road out of the city, the bodies were hanging from tree. And the eighth was in the hills, or, more like all the missing left limbs from the previous sites. I wonder what that says about me that I'm getting used to how grisly these murders are.


No. 1029581 ID: 7a1a17
File 165024019443.png - (647.47KB , 1954x1721 , 44.png )

Eight sites. The arrangement is too clean. If these are more cult related killing those sites might have been-yes they form a circle around the city! And the center-
No. 1029582 ID: 7a1a17
File 165024020138.gif - (328.71KB , 1954x1721 , 45.gif )

Ka-Grovda it's the fucking Grand Theater again. Where I was supposed to give that false speech before the invasion. And where I'm going to give another one tomorrow. Of course that's the center!

"Sergei, are you alright."

:nusergei:"Fine! Just...contemplating life choices. Nunnette what did you find?"

No. 1029583 ID: 7a1a17
File 165024022359.png - (604.65KB , 1600x1200 , 46.png )

"Zis body iz 'orribly decomposed, but zere are still clear signs of mutilation before death. Ze left wrist bone. Marks of being sawn off. It iz too clean a line for it to 'ave been melted or ripped off, but ze wound iz too messy for a clean cut. Ze left eye socket, marks on ze bone show signs of rough 'andling. Compared to ze right, which still has a half rotted eye and all ze gooey things behind it, ze left is bare."

Servina WAS ready to shoo Nunnette out, but her observations awoke the Mortician. She looks at the corpse and does that thing I've seen her do with a dozen other bodies: the dead becomes her world. She forgets who we are. We just become background characters, or stooges to hand her tools.


And looks like I'm the toolboy again. I get the probe and she's prodding Danielsi

"Yes I see. Left eye scooped out. And it wasn't a gentle process. Marks on the orbital plate, and the greater wing. It wasn't a clean removal. They had to do it several times."


"Whoever tortured this man-"

:nusergei:"You mean he was alive for this?"

"Yes, he was in agony no doubt, but he was still alive when this happened. Signs of scar tissue imply much of this had healed up before death."

Oh gods I hope the guy was at least on painkillers. But knowing these cults he was probably experiencing every moment vividly. The weirdos do like their pain.

:nusergei:"Ugh...anything else?"

"Organs shifted but. Scalpel! Yes...yes the left kidney was removed. It was cut off and...now why would they do that? The renal blood vessels were tied into a knot!"

"Holy...and zat did not kill him?"

"Maybe it did, maybe not. There are signs of paracausal sustainment. Residue of magic in the nerves."

:nusergei:"What does that mean?"

"It means someone kept him alive. At least for a little while. The rate of decomposition would put this one's death around...eight months ago!"

"[Shit on my face that was before the deployment. We were ferrying a corpse zis entire time...]"

That mess of Usparao snaps Servina out of her trance

"The fuck are you doing in my vault?!"

"Are we really doing zis now?"

>Oh shit defuse. DEFUSE!
No. 1029597 ID: 90c451

Right, Servina, as much as you want to yell at Heggies and as understandable as that is, we gotta go yell at some other Heggies for more useful reasons.
Bye Servina! Thanks for the help!

Then we drag Nunette away.
No. 1029602 ID: e5709d

"Servina, don't murder Nunette with the formaldehyde pump or you're fired."
No. 1031284 ID: 7a1a17
File 165174595172.png - (642.02KB , 1251x1102 , 47.png )

:nusergei:"Servina, I know how you feel, but please put down the bonesaw and let me explain. You see-RUN!"


No. 1031285 ID: 7a1a17
File 165174597001.png - (339.51KB , 1300x1200 , 48.png )

I only stop running once we're several blocks and strata away. I've known Servina to go hunting in the past, but not this far. I hope.
"Why are-who did-why? Why are Rezans so crazy?!"

:nusergei:"Ugh. You're Rezan!"

"But I can't be, I'm not crazy!"

So recap, Danielsi's body was all cut up, but still alive. A bunch of left body parts were missing. On top of that, there were MORE ritual murders during the invasion, with missing body parts. From the left side of the body. Which is way too similar to Danielsi to be a coincidence.

According to Vidi, Dan voluntarily gave himself up to let her ride his body? Or something? But these murders, clearly it's to fuel more esoteric weird shit. Is Vidi involved?

She did say there were others. Perhaps they use the same methods for their bizarre culty magic. But Vidi did try to kill me. She said she wasn't actually trying as she knew I would survive. But-dammit can I even trust her?

Gods dammit I can't even tell Nunnette this stuff can I? I wish Viv was here...

No. 1031289 ID: e5709d

Careful, Nunette triggered her Rage ability.
If you don't find some way to calm down, she'll grab the nearest weapon and start rampaging all across the ghetto. Or across your ass if she reaches down.

>Vidi - Trust or Don't Trust
Don't Trust. It's not Vidi I'm worried about, it's her programming. They've had millennia to study the Heirs and how your eldritch brains tick. She's like a machine to them, with patsies that have instruction manuals on how to guide her and the obedient stupidity to follow the last order as it kills them.
Vidi, however, is salvageable; it's clear that she hasn't had a responsible parent-figure all her life. Be that figure.

... Aaand I just realized we forgot to ask about any other siblings.
No. 1033465 ID: 7a1a17
File 165342518217.png - (285.66KB , 1300x1300 , 49.png )

Oh dear that doesn't sound good. I do know this old lullaby my mother used to sing. She said it was used by Daoine so maybe it could work?"

"What are you doing?"

:nusergei:"Oh good it's working!"

"Nnnno? I was just curious. Where did you hear zat song?"

:nusergei:"My mother? Why?"

"...I'd like to speak with her one day."

No. 1033466 ID: 7a1a17
File 165342518762.png - (257.31KB , 2010x1116 , 50.png )

I think you got my mother involved with something I shouldn't have mentioned. So thanks for that. Nunnette decided that it was time to visit the excavation so here we are. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe it's because nothing is on fire anymore. And as we get closer I feel less sure I want to go. Like if I don't go in the ruins, I can keep pretending Viv is fine.

"Oh merrabo what is zis now?"
No. 1033468 ID: 7a1a17
File 165342555414.png - (744.62KB , 2211x1272 , 51.png )

:nusergei:"What is what?"

"Zat crowd. No Rezan should be here. 'Ow did zey get past the cordon? Sir Balzhemund doez not andle people well. Sergei, be a dear and disperse your people?"

:nusergei:"My people?"

"Well zey are certainly not mine."
No. 1033490 ID: e5709d

Ew, you look like a young soprano from that one movie.

Listen in on the conversation first. See what each side says when they think the governor isn't in earshot.

Then shoot their ears.
No. 1034162 ID: 7a1a17
File 165407639121.png - (461.88KB , 2031x1586 , 52.png )

Well it is hard to not be noticed when there's nothing but flat ground between me and them, but I can try.

"they are spoils of war, and as such I am obligated to take what I want."

"This isn't even a matter of war anymore, it's robbery! We excavated it, we recovered it."

"And now I take it. Simple yes."

"No, you can't just bring those-THINGS here and act like it's all yours."

"I can because I just did Rezan. My 'things' as you call them are quite docile. They won't get loose on your island to do their usual nasty business, rest assured."

"That's not what I-Governor!"

"Hrm? Oh hello Nunnette."

"Allo Balzhemund, are you bozering ze locals again?"

"Only because they won't get out of the way. I'm trying to secure this weapon."

"It's a relic, and that goes against the Rules of Conduct!"

"It's a weapon, it fired on us."

"And you destroyed it! It's now just a relic!"

"A relic with priceless technology inside."

"That belongs to the Empire, not some gods-touched human! Governor, tell them! Tell them they must leave it alone."

"You can't do that Governor. Nunnette?"

"I am sorry Balzhemund, but zis is outside my department..."

:nusergei:"Um, I'm a bit in the dark here. What's the Rules of Conduct?"

"Just ze rules of war agreed between ze Hegemony, ze Empire, and a number of neutral nations. The rule being called is section 9 I believe regarding war spoils. Weapons of war are considered fair lootings, but cultural relics must be left untouched."

"Which you lot have violated!"

"If it was a relic. Which it's not, it's a weapon."

"If a weapon cannot work, then it's not a weapon anymore. It's a relic!"

"Oh dear, zis sounds like a headache waiting to happen.

>Side with the Rezans
>Side with Balzhemund.
No. 1034166 ID: e5709d


I know it's going to suck just giving away precursor tech to the Hegemony (especially after they turned those Gormoamhi into prototype Husks), but Balzhemund is right. We literally used that 'relic' as a weapon of war less than 24 hours ago, with intent to reign death and chaos on the battlefield to defeat Hegemony forces. This is not inherently dishonorable (though possibly unethical). What is dishonorable, however, is attempting to claim cultural heritage over something that has not been properly appraised as such by a team of archaeologists, which was impossible by design, because the Rezan Empire intentionally kept the weaponized artifact a classified military secret and made all attempts to prevent it from being culturally appraised, directly and indirectly!

"Believe me, I don't want to give an inch to a sick freak that makes our slaver ancestors look like noble saviors. But we are an Empire, not a gods-damned horde. We grit our teeth and follow international law, because we can't defeat the Hegemony yet without destroying our own sanity in the process and torturing our own children. We will not stoop to that level, or we will be worse than failures. Yes, this artifact is no longer a weapon of war, but it can't be considered a cultural artifact because it was a classified state secret until today. I can't, in good conscience, defend this hunk of metal. They pulled off a good trickshot to defeat this weapon honorably, and I'm eager to learn how the hells they managed it.

Just get out of here, Balzhemund. And leave your damn Gormoamhi alone, they don't deserve this crap."

Once Balzhemund leaves with the artifact, off-handedly give them something placating:
"Besides, the reactor core is spewing transparent toxic sludge and I wanted it off my island anyway. See? We win. Oh, and we're all taking a bath, that's an order. Seriously, go, go, go, we have to wash this stuff off or we'll catch the cancer."
No. 1034172 ID: ce39da

"In a grey area such as this, I'd be inclined to side with whoever got to this 'weaponized relic' first. However, while I understand miss Balzey's reasoning for it being a lootable weapon, I think you're going to have to make a very convincing argument for why this military installation - which was classified up until yesterday - has any of this 'cultural significance' you proscribe to it. That's not even getting into the fact that you weren't authorized to be here in the first place."

"If you truly care about preserving the memory of that day, then very well, I'll submit plans for a war memorial here. I might even be able to convince them to leave the outer shell of the weapon behind to act as a foundation for it - surely, leaving in the potentially hazardous innards isn't necessary for such a project?"
No. 1034582 ID: 6f4b03

Heavens on High, are those the.....like the ones from Guk's story?

How do you manage to domesticate those?!
No. 1035042 ID: 0a9e06
File 165527556163.png - (742.34KB , 1967x2400 , 53.png )

Huh, that sounds professional enough. except for the 'slaver ancestor' part. Let me try that.

:nusergei:"Believe me, I don't want to give an inch to uh...him"

I nod my head to Balzhemund, who is giving me a weird look.

:nusergei:"But we are the Rezan Empire, not a horde. We grit our teeth and follow international law, because we can't defeat the Hegemony yet without destroying our own sanity in the process and torturing our own children. We will not stoop to that level, or we will be worse than failures. Yes, this artifact is no longer a weapon of war, but it can't be considered a cultural artifact because it was a classified state secret until today. I can't, in good conscience, defend this hunk of metal."

"Are you serious?"

:nusergei:"I am. That's not even getting into the fact that you weren't authorized to be here in the first place."

"I-WHAT?! You and those damn invaders commissioned us to come out here! That's our crane! You see nothing wrong with giving the contents of that artifat to THIS THING?!"

He points to Balzhemund who seems to have forgotten they exist. He keeps staring at me.

:nusergei:"Oh. Well that is information that would have been nice to know earlier. Nevertheless if you truly care about preserving the memory of that day, then very well, I'll submit plans for a war memorial here. I might even be able to convince them to leave the outer shell of the weapon behind to act as a foundation for it - surely, leaving in the potentially hazardous innards isn't necessary for such a project?"

The men growl and trudge back to the crane. I heard something about "being a heg-loving traitor". I think I made things worse.

"Abnormal skin tone for a rezan. Second generation abnormality? No, no, those eyes. A first generation surely. Skeletal structure indicative of possible gnoll ancestry. Or maybe Tsang Naji."


"Hrm? OH! Nicely done governor Rezan. Now that that matter is done with, tell me would you mind doing a few exercises for me?"

"Balzhemund, zis is ze governor, not one of your Gomahee toys."

"What those things?" Balzhemund waves at them dismissively. "A passing fancy, a distraction. Rezans though. I've always been fascinated with your kind. What decides which traits are chosen? What is retained? Why do some traits skip a generation? Why is the gorod even a thing? You my dear have been a fascinating study; but oh so limiting. Not like this one here! A demonstration of Rezan genetic malleability!"

I don't know whether to be flattered or scared.

"A blood sample! A spare toe? I'll compensate for the inevitable loss of balance."
No. 1035044 ID: 273c18

No. You've already given them enough.
No. 1035046 ID: e5709d

If the cult still needed a blood sample, they would have used one of their moles to collect some bloodstains, or just asked Vidian for the guts she backstabbed right out of you. Organs, though, might be on the menu.

I know one thing Balzhemund has that I want you to nab. Let's trick him

"I can spare a few liters of blood. On one condition. In fact, let's make it a game. I'll give you a function, with either discrete or continuous inputs and outputs, and you have to guess what I'm asking for. The more blood you draw, the more of what I request you have to submit to me. Then I'll tell you what I want, and you have to give me what I want. And if you renege on the deal, you have to give me the square root of my request while I keep the blood and drawing apparatus. Oh, and you cannot kill me, because Nunette will either arrest you or have you executed on the spot for going rogue.
So... wanna play?"

Just in case he can read minds with culty powers, here's the plan. He'll draw Sergei's blood. If he draws a little, fine. But if he lets his greed consume him, we reveal he must relinquish his slaves to Sergei. Once he gets mad, we put Nunette and the Gormoamhi in the way - which means he has 'drawn blood' yet again and now has an even greater debt, meaning we can then pressure him into surrendering Sergei's blood samples or freeing the entire Gormoamhi slave population in one go.
No. 1035055 ID: ce39da

"Considering I am the mayor, it would take something significant to sway me into humoring you. As much as I want to be a servant to my people, I feel I should be insulted for being mistaken for being impoverished and desperate."
No. 1035664 ID: fd2dfa
File 165587735024.png - (483.38KB , 1600x1600 , 54.png )

:nusergei:"I can spare a few liters of blood. On one condition. In fact, let's make it a game. I'll give you a function, with either discrete or continuous inputs and outputs, and you have to guess what I'm asking for. The more blood you draw, the more of what I request you have to submit to me."

"Sergei zis might not be a guun idea..."

:nusergei:"It's okay Nunnette, I have a plan. I'll tell you what I want, and you have to give me what I want-"

No. 1035665 ID: fd2dfa
File 165587743831.png - (518.60KB , 1600x1600 , 55.png )

:nusergei:"H-hold one, if you renege on the deal, you have to give-"

"I won't. There's not much I won't give to crack the secrets of the Resoan gene-amalgamate. Now I don't have my marrow extraction tools, but I can make this pointy thing work if you keep still..."

Uh-oh, up the ante, up the ante!
No. 1035671 ID: e5709d

>Up the ante
UHHH YOUR MOM, no wait that's stup-
No wait maybe - I got it, has your mother ever literally had so much sex her partner died from the strain?!

Too silly? How about you force him to genetically modify himself with your blood multiple times before he can publish or distribute his work?

No wait the answer is obvious! How many soul karvings you're allowed to inflict on him and the Hegemony soldiers! If he reneges to that war crime, the Hegemony deserves your genes, and all the screwed-up curses of your society that come along with it!

And be sure to declare the square root fold cost!
No. 1035748 ID: 90c451

Oh, also he will have to sign a limited Non-Disclosure agreement in regards to the contents and information of your blood.
Basically, he cannot share any of your blood, publish any papers about it, release any information about it or anything for about 6 years.
Basically, he can study it to his heart's content but not a single soul other than him gets even a hint of it until 6 years are up.
Of course he can still study it and make his own breakthroughs, they just cannot be known by anyone but him for 6 years.

This is a necessary precaution as there is trouble with cultists and corpse magic so letting the enemy get even your blood type would be troublesome. You'd be doomed if they got access to your dna.
No. 1035750 ID: 90c451

Also, and this is extremely important, make sure he can only take up to 10% of your blood and no more, that syringe doesn't look like it can hold much but he might pull out more.
10% is the max where you won't start getting sick, anymore and you will start feeling very ill.

In order to clarify, say he can take no more than 1 pint, as the body contains about 10 pints of blood.
No. 1035754 ID: 273c18

Are you seriously considering selling state secrets?
No. 1035895 ID: e5709d

For the low, low price of immediately turning those we're selling the state secrets to, into state-owned, soul-karved slaves.

I'm wondering if he's stupid enough to take such a deal.
No. 1036062 ID: fd2dfa
File 165629932146.png - (453.23KB , 1600x1600 , 56.png )

He took it. Oh gods he took it. I even told him about the Gormoamhi. You know what he did? He flicked a switch. Said "All yours" and they dropped dead! Said because they were technically property of the task force, they were soldiers and I was free to 'karve away' then stuck that fucking needle in my neck!

"I tried to warn you. Balzhemund is a tricky fellow. 'Ow do you zink he survived making Anderz?"

:nusergei:"Point. Taken."

"Well you now own a dozen Gormoamhi master Sergei. Or at least a dozen Gormoamhi corpses, and I doubt you will like Balzhemund's terms to revive zem..."

:nusergei:"He can do that?"

"He'll probably try for ze challenge."

:nusergei:"Friggin humans.,,"
No. 1036063 ID: fd2dfa
File 165629934362.png - (347.04KB , 1600x1600 , 57.png )

Oh, another one of my 'prizes'. Just what the hell am I supposed to do with these n-
No. 1036064 ID: fd2dfa
File 165629936096.png - (326.62KB , 1600x1600 , 58.png )

No. 1036065 ID: fd2dfa
File 165629939788.gif - (45.82KB , 560x468 , 59.gif )

:nusergei:"Ugh! fuck..."
No. 1036066 ID: fd2dfa
File 165629946885.png - (533.51KB , 1280x1088 , 60.png )


"Oh Governor Rezan thing, are you dead?"


"Are you sure? That was a long way you fell."

:nusergei:"If I was dead, then this is the afterlife. And you wouldn't be here!"

"Good point. I'm sure you've dropped to the level of the superweapon, it's far too dangerous for me to send anyone down. I'll think of something though."

"We'll try to reach you Sergei, just 'old on!"

You know I was a little suspicious of Vidian's claims I can survive stuff that would kill other people. Now I kinda wish she was wrong because I didn't know pain like this could be real...

Wait did he say I was near the weapon?
No. 1036084 ID: 273c18

Obviously you should go mess with it, mister will-sell-blood-for-corpses.
No. 1036105 ID: e5709d

... Let's kill him. In fact, get Vidian to do it.

So, uh... is your middle name "Dan"?
Get to exploring stuff.
No. 1036921 ID: 7a1a17
File 165687303015.png - (184.47KB , 787x981 , 61.png )

Hey you're the one who told me to offer! Who knows what he's going to do with it.

Acha-this thing really is made of some stern stuff. Direct hit, dropped to the sublevels and it's still mostly intact. I mean yeah, it's a wreck now but look at it! Anything else would be scrap!
No. 1036922 ID: 7a1a17
File 165687304519.gif - (17.99KB , 560x373 , 62.gif )

I almost don't want to be here. I didn't find Viv last time but maybe this time I will and I kind of don't?

Wow this thing really can take a beating. There's still lights on. That console looks like it's flashing something. And the chair is missing? Like not torn out, it looks like it dropped beneath the floor on some rail-things. I see blinking lights down there but damned if I know what it is.

No. 1036933 ID: 273c18

>you're the one who told me to offer
No, I very clearly said not to.

Blinking light is either an important notification or something malfunctioning. Go check that out first, then the console.
No. 1036959 ID: 90c451

I suppose that Rezan technology is a lot more robust than I assumed. If this thing still works it's probably running on backup power.
If this still works, you don't want the Hegemony to be able to use it.
There's nothing we can do now about them taking apart and studying it but if it still has backup power maybe we can activate the console and lock the controls. If they found some way to activate it, it would go terribly, best we make sure they can't.
Find a neural interface or a slot for us, and preferably don't use the giant weapon to watch porn this time.

Also yeah, check the blinking light, it's probably just about how the whole thing is ruined but blue usually stands for communication and if it's a message we better find out what it is.
No. 1038870 ID: fd2dfa
File 63.webm - (1.18MB )

:nusergei:"Hoip! FFffuck, landed on a sore spot!"

Okay. I can't see where I'm going save for the glowy spots down here. And the blinking thing...is a. I think it's a. Yeah I dunno the word for this thing. It's just flashing the same text over and over. The language is a bit choppy but it says:

-Pilot Jettison: Critical Failure
-Error: Unknown.
-Teleport system activated.
-Error: Home node not responding.
-Destination reset
-Emergency Teleport to Site of Manufacture.

The hells does that mean?
No. 1038873 ID: 15c72a

Looks like this thing got damaged, the pilot tried to eject- by which I mean, launching themself out of the pilot seat- but the ejection system failed. Then the weapon tried to do an emergency teleport either automatically or from the pilot telling it to, couldn't teleport to home base because something was wrong at home base, and instead teleported back to the place it was made.

So, lots of information but nothing immediately useful. Check that red screen next.
No. 1039874 ID: fd2dfa
File 165950817699.png - (344.91KB , 909x989 , 64.png )

The red thing is a-what is this? A script?

Am--Opposition present on island. Assets compromised.
H--And the target?
Am--Alive. Contact was made.
H--The Sibling is present?
H--Then the Target will be secure. Retreat.
Am--But I can still ensure Target safety.
H--You know what the Sibling will do after contact with the Target. Wait for them.
Am--And the threat?
H--Whatever was sent will not be adequate for killing the Target. Retreat.
Am--Escape system offline.
H--Teleportation is in hardened section. Use it.
Am--Confirmed. Will need transport. Jun Ma Zen is still an undeveloped region.
H--Safehouse established in nearby province. You know the password.

Is this spy talk? I'm...I'm the Target aren't I?
No. 1039876 ID: e5709d

But the only people who have been in this thing...
No. 1039877 ID: 15c72a

Oh nice, the pilot is on your side.
Alright we're almost done here, go back up to the first room and check the console there.

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