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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.
No. 1041420 ID: fd2dfa
File 166103623405.png - (5.46MB , 2251x3073 , 65.png )

Okay. Back up. Um...how do I do that? I just fell down the hole and it was kind of a long drop


:nusergei:"What? You're alive?! Or maybe the new ones Balzhemund said he had? Are you here to help?"
No. 1041421 ID: fd2dfa
File 166103629093.png - (546.86KB , 1321x1011 , 66.png )


Not helping! Not helping!
No. 1041440 ID: e5709d

Sergei, remember your training!
Do a barrel roll!
>He has me in a chokeh-
No. 1041442 ID: 1afdda

Bloodrage! Embrace the pain and make it hatred! Rip them apart!
No. 1041471 ID: 90c451

Sergei, you may be trained in CQB but this is gonna be a little different given they're bigger, stronger, and more equipped than you. Your best bet is fighting like an asshole.
Go low, stay under the range of the big meat hooks they call fists and try to trip them up, grab their legs or punch their nuts, anything to put them off balance.
In the meantime I suppose we can see how well the shell of this thing still works, though it'll probably do nothing.
No. 1043648 ID: fd2dfa
File 166304503248.png - (460.72KB , 1280x1024 , 67.png )

What ro-okay! Right! Rolling! Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck!

No. 1043649 ID: fd2dfa
File 166304507626.png - (208.55KB , 1280x1024 , 68.png )

Did...did you get them?
No. 1043650 ID: fd2dfa
File 166304520696.png - (164.13KB , 1280x1024 , 69.png )


:nusergei:"Ow fuck!"

You didn't!
No. 1043652 ID: 15c72a

If you get out of the way, the security systems can attack better.
No. 1043653 ID: e5709d

Well, the good news is that the security system is on your side. Now scoot out of the way so it can zap 'em harder.
No. 1043713 ID: 90c451

The security system seems to be holding back because you're there. Not much we can do about it even though I'm sure you'd be fine even if it went all out.

Best go with what we know then, and use that to our advantage. Try swinging at their legs, limiting their movement and making it easier for you to escape while the security system finishes them off.
[Infuse Axe]
No. 1044250 ID: fd2dfa
File 166365371678.png - (520.05KB , 1567x1200 , 70.png )

Right...right! Like last time! Hit me!

:nusergei:"Hey! Ugly! Think fast!"
No. 1044251 ID: fd2dfa
File 166365376136.gif - (22.09KB , 560x560 , 71.gif )

No. 1044252 ID: fd2dfa
File 166365378248.png - (193.44KB , 1044x786 , 73.png )


Well that was crazy! You know often I forget I actually took martial arts training. Then I use it and I surprise myself.
No. 1044254 ID: 15c72a

Hey, weren't those things what you supposedly traded your blood for? Seems a little sus that they attacked you like that. Almost like the person you negotiated with immediately betrayed you.

I'm not sure how to get out of this hole, but the ship just obeyed an order from you, so try asking it for help getting out?
No. 1044275 ID: fdc2fc

Double tap. Those things refuse to die so just in case the robot is wrong, brain them with your axe. Last thing you need is these guys stabbgin you in the back.

Then we can see about getting the robot to at least blow us a path to the surface.
No. 1044790 ID: 0c5c34
File 166417306844.png - (182.45KB , 1019x736 , 74.png )

Yeah. Yeah it's kind of odd how right after I 'bought' these things two of them try to kill me. That Balzhemund was pretty damn weird to start with...

:nusergei:"Uh...list weapons capabilities"

Power failure. Standby mode activated.


No. 1044791 ID: 0c5c34
File 166417312099.png - (339.87KB , 915x846 , 75.png )

"Oh sir Rezan. Oh mister First generation specimen. Are you here? Are you alive? I'd like to not blow too many holes in my new acquisition so please answer back~"

"'Allo? Master Sergei? You are still alive?"

Yeah...he's weird but I don't think he's responsible. But then again he is the one who built-er-rebuilt them. I dunno.

>Stay quiet, listen in
>Come out accusing Balzhemund
>Come out acting like nothing is wrong.
No. 1044803 ID: e5709d

Wait for him to yap his secret intel to an open room.
No. 1044809 ID: 15c72a

No. 1044848 ID: f5a3f0

Hide and let him monologue his dastardly scheme. Then jump out and make loud noises
No. 1046853 ID: fd2dfa
File 166606771582.png - (622.03KB , 1367x1280 , 76.png )

Right. Hide. Hiding. I'm hiding. I'm rambling. I'm nervous. I'm still running on adrenaline. I'm anxious. Stop talking to yourself Sergei!

"Hrm. It seems ze master Sergei is not here."

"It means he's still alive. A shame."

"A shame?"

"I ruined this section of the artifact for nothing. I have no idea what valable technology I just ruined, and I have nothing to show for it. Not a body, not ah-hello. What's this?"

"What? What 'ave you-oh Holy!"

"Mrmmm. These are mine. What are they doing down here?"

No. 1046867 ID: 15c72a

Great. So he didn't send them after you, he just tried to kill you with that breach. Who else could have controlled them?
Well, come out and tell him what happened, since he's seemingly unaware.
No. 1046868 ID: e5709d

Oh look, he's trying to kill you.

Don't come out, not until you're sure Nunette can guard you from a snap-shot. Wait until he leaves, then find a way to lure Nunette to your position.
No. 1046882 ID: 90c451

Step out and state that since he didn't give up all his Gormoamhi and also tried to take your life, the deal is null and void. He isn't allowed your blood anymore.
Of course, say this after you clocked him in the back of the head and knocked him out. Seriously, just knock him out and take your blood back from his unconscious body.
Also, seeing as no rezan is allowed past the cordon and this man has decided to backstab you, I'd say there's no one with the authorization to bring in anything to pull this thing apart. This is now an investigation, so no tampering with the crime scene.
What I'm saying is use this to your advantage, if you had to cede due to international law, you can make them halt due to standard procedure. Even if they refuse you can paint them as hypocrites, only following law when it specifically suits them.
Hopefully that should put you in better light with your people.

As far as I'm aware Nunette was uninvolved, have her help with cleanup.
No. 1049004 ID: fd2dfa
File 166815403462.png - (259.46KB , 1200x1200 , 77.png )


"Oh hello Rezan, you live. What we're you doing bac-"

:nusergei:"You lied to me! You promised me all of them!"

"All of wha
No. 1049005 ID: fd2dfa
File 166815404521.png - (135.12KB , 951x426 , 78.png )

:nusergei:"Deal's off!"

"Wait a maaoough"

No. 1049006 ID: fd2dfa
File 166815405237.png - (167.84KB , 938x719 , 79.png )

"REZAN! Do you know what you have done?!"

:nusergei:"Canceling our agreement! Ach-ka does he have a jaw of steel?"
No. 1049007 ID: fd2dfa
File 166815409734.png - (166.82KB , 871x667 , 80.png )

"No, tungsten. I apparently did it in my sleep some seven years back. You have no idea how annoying it is to chew food now."

:nusergei:"What in the?!"


"A good strike sir Rezan hybrid but I must ask you not do that again."

Dammit now my hand hurts and I didn't get my blood back
No. 1049013 ID: e5709d

[Hacking Minigame - Target Balzhemund's Cybernetic Implants, Secondary Target Balzhemund's Brain]
No. 1051498 ID: fd2dfa
File 167075168922.gif - (844.22KB , 544x306 , 81.gif )

Your attempts to have fun have been blocked.

No. 1051499 ID: fd2dfa
File 167075169573.png - (761.71KB , 2059x1833 , 82.png )

"Oh hello, it appears something just tried to hijack control of my brain."

Ach-ka! Whatever you just did? Never do it again! My ears are-OH GODS WHY DOES IT HURT LIKE THIS?!
No. 1051545 ID: 666927

Well, they seem to outclass us right now but at least isn't against us. May as well ask what all this is about so we can get a plan of what next to do from here.
No. 1053270 ID: 7a1a17
File 167291950444.png - (437.47KB , 2085x1461 , 83.png )

Well I guess we're stuck here for now. An escort was called to pull us out, and...escort us back to headquarters. Apparently there will be a dressing down, but not for me! For Nunnette. Apparently it's her fault I was injured which I think is a bit unfair. Yes I got hurt but nothing I can't walk off.

But no mention of the incident with the rampaging Gormoamhi. Balzhemund examined them and according to him

"Well no wonder these things went on a rampage! The reward mechanism has been melted, the wires are crossed? The regulator that was supposed to stimulate their pleasure center for pulverizing rock wasn't functional. They were effectively getting blue-balled everytime they punched something. Always at the edge but never quite tipping over. Drove the poor stupid things insane."

:nusergei:"So what you're saying is-"

"This was sabotage! My designs were my own! And yet some pretender tampered with my work and made a mockery of my project! "

:nusergei:"I was going to say use your creations to murder me and frame you."

"Yes but the important part is that someone SABOTAGED MY DESIGNS! I am going to rip their excretory system out and swap it with their circulatory system for this!"

And that rage over something so stupid is the only reason I believe he didn't do it.
No. 1053271 ID: 7a1a17
File 167291951410.png - (572.39KB , 2250x1616 , 84.png )

The escort was a grim thing. Felt like a whole damn regiment came by to bring us back. Felt more like a detainment. I had to stand outside the office while Nunnette tried to debrief her bosses on what we found. I think she's convinced as much as I am that something in this whole operation of hers stinks. Imperial or Hegemony, this thing is working against the both of us. I just hope they can see it. I'm not close enough for you guys to work so a lot of it is in that garble-speak Heggies use. But from the tone, I don't think they're having any of it.
No. 1053272 ID: 7a1a17
File 167291963756.png - (628.47KB , 2250x1671 , 85.png )

"I am to be relieved of duty."


"Do not pretend to be 'ard of 'earing. I am finished. I endanger you. I endanger ze mission. I am a disgrace. Zat is the final judgement. You will be confined to your quarters as I am to mine. You will recieve a new escort in ze morning."

:nusergei:"B-but what about the ship?"

"Zere will be no investigation. Anderz will be put on probation, and is to await a court marshall..."

>>No that's bullshit!
No. 1053276 ID: a2d88b

Obviously the conspiracy reaches higher than anticipated.
No. 1053277 ID: 30b9f6

Tell Nunette that if she has freedom of movement to go call on Balz and tell him whoever sabotaged his designs now appears to be getting another one of his clever creations court-martialed for shits and giggles. Share your discoveries so far if he appears to care.

In lieu of the other deal you made, you'll take his assistance with this matter - specifically in working against those forces that are for whatever reason trying to use this invasion for their own ends, some ends of which appear to be very specifically involving you.

... unless it's him, in which case he can do whatever the fuck he pleases - you're really running short on ally options here, ain'tcha.
No. 1053321 ID: e5709d

"Are you a Daoine or a Rezan? Show some backbone!"
No. 1053356 ID: 90c451

Ask them under what charges is Anders being put on probation. The only thing they've done so far is notice a discrepancy, as far as you're aware this has nothing to do with his plot.
Also, please ignore what we're about to do Sergei. Just want to see if subtlety is possible.
Nunette: Realize that without your help Sergei would be dead in the water. Find some way to work around this.
No. 1054786 ID: 7a1a17
File 167481081177.png - (435.86KB , 1905x1260 , 86.png )

:nusergi:”Nunnette that’s bullshit. You’re a Rezan and a Daoine! You don’t just roll over when someone is telling you to look away from an obvious coverup! You-“ she cuts me off.

“I am more than what my blood is! I…I cannot go against orders. I am sorry…” she turns away. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to do this. Just what do heggies have on her to make her do this? Wait! Yeah that sounds like a good idea! Anders!

:nusergei:“What about Anders? She doesn’t deserve this! She’s getting thrown under the train as well!”

I think I got her attention cause she’s turning back around. “I’m still the puppet, they need me to stay still, but you can still move around can’t you? Can’t you at least warn Anders? Or tell Balzhemund what command is going to do? If he finds out what is happening to his creation then-“

“Balzhemund will be informed in due course after his operations are competed,” dammit she cut me off again! Looks like command is covering everything. “He does not need ze distraction at this time.”

:nusergei:“No that is not fair to Anders! She helped us. Only fair that we help her in turn! Do you think Balzhemund will ever learn what happened to Anders? Do you think Anders will even be around? Like at all?”


I put my foot down :nusergei: “No! Anders was brushed under the rug already. They aren’t going to put her in a corner and wait for her to just go away. I can see what is happening. I investigate criminals for a living. She is going to disappear. And any trace of her will be destroyed. She does not deserve that. If you aren’t going to do anything for me, or for Balzehmund, or dammit even yourself! Do it…for her.”

Nunnette is silent. I…I think I got through to her. Right up until I feel someone grab my shoulder.

“Your escort is here to take you back to your quarters. Zis may be ze last time you see me. I am sorry…” suddenly she comes up and hugs me! “I will tell Anders she needs to make herself ‘arder to find…I don’t promise I can warn Balzy…but I will try,” she whispers then turns away. “Goodbye Sergei. I know you briefly…but it was a pleasure.”

Huh. I think you got through to her. “This way sir.”
No. 1054787 ID: 7a1a17
File 167481082641.png - (337.53KB , 980x738 , 87.png )

:nusergei: “Get off me! I know how to get back to my own room! I’m not a child!” Yeah it’s petty, but petty is all I can do right now.
No. 1054788 ID: 7a1a17
File 167481084028.png - (395.35KB , 980x738 , 88.png )

“Oh really? Cause you seem to act like a baby. Course compared to me you are a baby aren’t ya? Hey Little Shit.”
Okay I have so many questions and no idea what order to ask them.
>The fuck?
>Why now?
>Stop puppetting that soldier!
No. 1054790 ID: e5709d

... I know that look. But from where?
Forget it, time for 20 questions.

First up, ask if she wants to meet your mom. Then talk about her previous toys boyfriends. Keep the conversation centered around her; get her to act like a person rather than a weapon. You got through to Nunette, keep up the tempo.
No. 1054805 ID: 90c451

So, Vidian, I'm assuming "father" is back in hegemony lands? Why else would you and a suspiciously large amount of posses-able soldiers be on that hegemony ship. Seriously though, what kind of conspiracy are you guys pulling? Supposedly you're trying to bring us back to father but there are also elements of the hegemony actively trying to kill us.

What we want right now is an explanation and a drawing of lines. What the fuck are you trying to pull Vidian? What's your plan? We need answers.
No. 1055146 ID: 7a1a17
File 167542060146.png - (362.89KB , 1262x1448 , 89.png )

Before I can say anything Vidian pushes me into a nearby room and closes the door. I can tell she's got something to say, but you're right. We need answers!

:nusergei:"Vidian, the hells is going on? Is "father" back in hegemony lands? Why else would you and a suspiciously large amount of possesable soldiers be on those ships?"


:nusergei:"Just what the hells are you guys trying to do? Bring me back? Cause it seems like a lot of these people just want to kill me!"


:nusergei:"I need an explanation Vidian, and a drawing of lines. What the fuck are you trying to pull Vidian? What's your plan?"

Vidi is quiet for what feels like a long time. "Alright Sergei," she sighs. Huh. She actually used my name. Does this mean she's taking things seriously? Oh wait. She's pulling out a pen. "-you want a drawing of lines? I'll do you better," and she starts drawing.
No. 1055148 ID: 7a1a17
File 167542061833.png - (259.68KB , 1280x1024 , 90.png )

"First of all Sergei. Daddy is not in hegemony land. He's in the Busharahad that's not Hegemony land! Second, he sent me to get you back cause that's what the good god wants us to do. It'll make him happy that I bring back the bones of three."

Does she just carry paper everywhere she goes? She just had a stack of it ready to go and everything.

:nusergei:"So why are you all trying to kill me?"

"Shut up, I'm getting to that."

She tosses the paper and starts scribbling on another. Why did she add stink lines to me-oh. Right. Little shit. Funny...
No. 1055149 ID: 7a1a17
File 167542062499.png - (347.08KB , 1280x1024 , 91.png )

"There's lots of other bad gods that don't like you coming back with me to Busharahad and want to kill you. And here's the thing, the bad guy gods want lots of bloodshed and war, so when they kill you, they want to make sure it causes lots of conflict and chaos. Notice that a lot of people were trying to kill you recently?"

:nusergei:"Huh...yeah. Ever since I became governor."

"That would do it. A guy in charge of an island would cause all kinds of chaos if he was murdered. One of them brought his cultists in as soldiers that are part of this invasion. I snuck in with them rest cause this invasion was a total mess. I don't think anyone was paying attention to all the extras joining up."

:nusergei:"Not quite. Someone found out..."

"And did they do anything about it?"

:nusergei:"...no. But to be fair, I don't think anyone would listen to her"

"Yeah just proves my point. Nobody that'd notice is in charge of this. It was easy for me and my pets to sneak on."

:nusergei:"So how many of there are you?"
No. 1055150 ID: 7a1a17
File 167542065662.png - (287.59KB , 1280x1024 , 92.png )

"I started out with four, two died during that landing, and you saw to Dan, which I'm still mad about by the way, and Bon, whose letting me ride him right now."

:nusergei:"So where does that put you?"

"Someplace safe don't worry about that."

She was awful quick to shut me down. Is she worried about something? Or maybe she just doesn't want me to know. Not sure. All I know is she drew me again in the side of the page with a caption saying 'I am dumb.'
No. 1055151 ID: 7a1a17
File 167542068429.png - (197.92KB , 1280x1024 , 93.png )

She draws me several more pictures, going into things that are completely irrelevant as they're just some long winded explanation to why she thinks I'm dumber than a box of rocks and how she's actually been saving my life over and over so the only assassination attempts I had to foil were the ones she was sure even a doofus like me could handle.

:nusergei:"So why are you showing yourself now?"

She was in the middle of explaining how I was about to die again yesterday and looks up. "Huh? Oh yeah. You should break into the hegemony armory tonight?"

:nusergei:"Why would I want to do that?"

"Cause there's a rifle in there. Rezan made, fed with Rezan ammunition."


"And it's going to be used to murder you during your speech. The Hegemony will think the locals are in open revolt and crack down, the war will escalate and lots of people are gonna die. Normally I don't care but see, the part I don't like is you dying. So...yeah you'll want to find that rifle."

:nusergei:"I'm under house arrest, they'll be watching me to make sure I don't leave my room! How and why should I look for it? Why can't you?"

"Cause Bon's got full patrol all night, I can't let him miss it or he'll be arrested and then I can't help you. Also you're Rezan. You know Rezan guns. You can sabotage the thing. It'll be a lot harder to cover up these cultist assholes when one is found injured with a wrecked Rezan rifle right?"

>You're pretty smart you know that?
>Does anyone notice Bon doesn't look like Bon?
>Can't you still help me with Anders?
No. 1055152 ID: 15c72a

Bon probably only looks like her to you right now, because of your connection or whatever. Or she's shielding her appearance from others, one of the two.

Also yeah thank her for her help. Not sure just how we're going to get out and to the rifle, but... maybe she can cause a distraction for you, so you can sneak away?
No. 1055157 ID: e5709d

Okay, this is valuable intel you needed a week ago. I'm not certain we can trust Vidian's sources, but the premise of a turf war among various tribal cultists is more plausible and less of a hazard than a united front of shadows, especially since they're not afraid to die. As long as you can find some way to make them suicide bomb each other, we're good.

Start with the basics. You're a governor, a commander. So command the people you govern. Nunette might be out of the picture for now, but Anders has admin access, regardless of the accusations of dereliction of duty. Vidian can send a message while on patrol, they won't expect a grunt to have magical superpowers. Anders can handle the cult, she's got two halves of an extra brain watching out for her.

And here's another idea: Direct Vidian to Servina. I'm sure she'll be very intrigued at the cult's zombification practices. If she needs buttering up, have Vidian claim her influence was responsible for getting 'that bnnuy traitor' court-martialed and suspended by her own Hegemony.

Also, consider hiring Vidian an art instructor. I should note that this isn't an insult against her; I suck more at drawing. But it's clear that she has a passion for doodling, which is something you can channel into constructive behavior if you can get her to improve through mentoring.
No. 1055218 ID: 90c451

So... Do all of your "pets" look like you or are you messing with the way we see you?
Also, what gods are we talking about? We've met two already but we don't know if they're directly involved. Does a weird vagina monster or tall yellow man with a glowing head sound familiar?

Well, we'll need to set things up a bit. Bon's on night patrol right? Does he know the schedules because then we can use that to sneak past the guards and head to the armory. One problem though, what do we do if they post a guard at the door- either to the armory or our room -as we don't have a way to get past that isn't particularly conspicuous.
No. 1055843 ID: fd2dfa
File 167620002206.png - (222.90KB , 1280x1024 , 94.png )

I dunno if you can call it tribal if these guys can infiltrate an alliance of nations with no one catching on. It's really starting to sound like some weird Imperial Service stuff...

:nusergei:"Couple questions. Do all of your "pets" look like you or are you messing with the way we see you?"

"What are you talking about?"

:nusergei:"I mean you look like me"

"Oh yeah, when a pet lets me ride them, I become them until they're not needed anymore."

:nusergei:"This have anything to do with the gods?"

"I dunno. All I know is there's the good guy god and all the bad guy gods. I dunno who they are besides the one jerkbag you said you saw that one time."

I think that confirms it yellow one. So he's opposed to her god which I guess is a good thing. But will also try to kill me to spite them. Which is bad. So I guess getting help is off the table.

Whatever, time for action right? I take her pen-


-and start laying out a plan

:nusergei:"Oookay so here's how it'll go. Bon knows the patrols right? He should know the schedules. You can use that to help me sneak around the guards and we can go to the armory. After that you just vault me in through the window so I don't make any noise trying to force that lock. I mess with the rifle inside while you distract the guards outside the armory with something. I dunno what it is, I'm sure Bon can think of something. When they run off, I sneak out, you can sneak away and we can both celebrate a job done."
No. 1055844 ID: fd2dfa
File 167620004553.png - (456.42KB , 1796x1619 , 95.png )

:nusergei:"Well how does that sound?"

"How do you draw all good like that?"


"Huh? O-oh. Yeah it's fine. I guess...I can help you with that."

:nusergei:"Oh and maybe you can send Anders a message."

"Anders? Why?"

:nusergei:"She figured out the discrepancy and all the cults who infiltrated the armed forces. And she's getting um. 'Removed' for it. I want you to warn her to make herself scarce. In case Nunnette can't do anything."

Vidian sighs, like a pouty child.

"Fiiiiiine. Anything else you want me to do Little Shit?"
No. 1056151 ID: 90c451

Stop calling us "little shit" maybe?
Otherwise, no, it's best if you don't extend yourself and get yourself in trouble for now.

Hey Sergei, would it be possible to contact the mainland using the remains of that mech? I'm certain they already know by now that you've been occupied but if we can relay the current situation it could help, though I'm not certain if they could pick it up or even if it would be secure.
No. 1056170 ID: e5709d

You need to apologize to Alicia and Nunnette. Maybe give Alicia a card, but I expect you to talk to Nunnette.

Get some civilian clothing. You can easily pass as a half-human half-Tsang-Naji, but you'll need to put in the external effort.

One other thing: was that really Muschio? We haven't seen him in years. It seemed like an illusion, but those eyes...
Pity it didn't last long. He lost a hand against a necromantic attack, we're not sure if he ever got it replaced.

Oh, and prepare to talk to Mrs. Kristof. Look, even if she does react to you with scorn and disgust, what's the worst she can do to you? Call a bunch of sexual favors to summon mooks? You can take 'em. You're strong enough to learn the truth.

...I make a habit of not trusting any god that doesn't do anything for us. Maybe your god means well, but if all they sent you on this gloriously important mission were three traumatized mutilated boy-toys, I am not impressed.

And please understand: however you might see yourself, we've seen worse. We're here for you, if you'll have us.
Just know that we'll fight like an army of wolverines if you kill any of our friends.
No. 1058244 ID: fd2dfa
File 167857310596.png - (135.90KB , 654x639 , 96.png )

Two things. One. What the hells is a Muschio? Was that the green thing you made in my dream? I thought I did that.

And two. I...don't think I can use the mech at all anymore. Cause one, I gave it to Balzhemund, and he'll probably try to take my blood again or worse. And two, those blue guys smashed up a LOT of machines in that head. I think chances are good the thing is just scrap now.

Now for Vidian.

:nusergei:"First off stop calling me "Little shit"


:nusergei:"Next when we find Alicia, you're going to apologize to her. And Nunnette for trying to spook them like you did."


:nusergei:"Stop riding whoever you're riding, that's just...wrong."


Good progress
No. 1058245 ID: fd2dfa
File 167857315925.png - (99.05KB , 654x639 , 97.png )

:nusergei:"And find some other way to blend in. A soldier stands out too much."

"Okay that I will do. What do you think is in fashion this season?"

:nusergei:"Nothing eye catching! Just take what Nunnette wore today and try for that."

"Oh but that's so stupid! What do you even need those arm flap things for anyway?"

:nusergei:"Doesn't matter. The point is no one will think twice about seeing you walk around in those. And Dr. Kristof won't have a fit when you walk into her office."

"And I should care about this Kristof because...?"

:nusergei:"Well Danielsi's remains are there."

"Really now? Well then I should drop by~"

:nusergei:"What are you-"
No. 1058246 ID: fd2dfa
File 167857316448.png - (303.46KB , 974x768 , 98.png )


No. 1058247 ID: fd2dfa
File 167857317621.png - (307.13KB , 1153x652 , 99.png )


"Look this door's hinges never line up correctly. If you close it completely, you'll be stuck in here. That's why you always leave it open a crack s-"
No. 1058248 ID: fd2dfa
File 167857320879.png - (233.40KB , 806x586 , 100.png )

"Oh. I see."

:nusergei:"NO YOU DON'T GO AWAY!"

"You heard the man~"

Ah! I dunno if you can hear that but Vidi changed her voice! I swear I was listening to Viv right there!

"Yeah look sir, it's above my grade what you do with um whoever that is but regulations do state-"

"Oh give it a rest Lafrain, it's just a bit of fun. Let the governor have his fun~"

The guys gives the heaviest sigh I've ever heard and tips his helmet down. "You got five minutes before my patrol shift ends and you gotta do this again with another guy. You'd best finish up or take it somewhere else."

"You heard him Sergei. We're done here.", her voice changed back when she whispered to me. So I'm confused here. You're helping her to do this? Can I do it?
Cause I can think of like three cases where I could have used something like a voice changer.

No. 1058689 ID: b44f0c

I guess we can but you're infiltrating the armory in the middle of the night. I don't see how you'd need it. So yeah, you should get on that.

Oh and your sister's kind of a bitch, but we can put a mark in that for later.
No. 1058698 ID: e5709d

"Horny Salad"
I mean [r]eady. Tunnel into the armory.
No. 1059745 ID: fd2dfa
File 168005816866.png - (1.14MB , 2316x1317 , 101.png )

I don't need to tunnel into the armory. We cleared that already. I'm getting boosted up!

:nusergei:"Wait wait not so fast! Not so-"

No. 1059746 ID: fd2dfa
File 168005821277.png - (1.19MB , 2316x1317 , 102.png )

:nusergei:"Oh...I think I broke something."

"No you didn't, now hurry up and find that weapon."

:nusergei:"Right right. Rezan rifle is..."

It's not that hard to find it. Find the one rifle whose hammer has a glyph ignition cap. And those things glow if the cap is still fresh-and THERE it is.
No. 1059747 ID: fd2dfa
File 168005824314.png - (368.71KB , 1000x1000 , 103.png )

That wasn't hard. Huh. Someone was planning to kill me with this. Feels weird holding a murder weapon. I mean I know it's not murdered me yet but just knowing this was going to do it...

:nusergei:"What the hells is this?"

"You find something?"

:nusergei:"Yeah the butt has something carved into it. Doesn't look like Hej script or Rezan glyphs. Do you know what this is?"

"I'm outside Little Shit how am I supposed to see anything?"

:nusergei:"It's all funky. Like a bunch of curly lines instead of letters or marks."

"That's great. Can you hurry up and get out? I'm freezing out here!"

:nusergei:"Hang on! This is a mystery!"

"Are you serious? Here? Now? Can't you do your mysterying somewhere warmer and not in the open?"

:nusergei:"Was this meant for the assassin to read? Is this some code they pass between each other?"

"I can't believe this, you're really doing it out here!"

I guess I can mess with this while I speculate. By the way have any of you seen this before?

>Rewrite the ignition glyph to blow back at the gunner. (lethal)
>Block the barrel so the cartridge explodes (VERY lethal)
>Seal the feed with wax so the cartridge detonates but the bullet gets caught in the rifle (nonlethal)
No. 1059773 ID: e5709d

Nope, but it looks like some obscure programming language directly translated into Egyptian.

Block the barrel. This might threaten bystanders, but we're messing with augmented zealots who will likely survive standard ordinance and are willing to take hostages. We can use the backfire as a justification; sure, I'm suggesting martial law, but that only happens if someone really does try to murder the governor and throw the island into a genocidal riot. If the gun is never fired the ordinance is never used and we can thankfully de-escalate. Which won't happen.
No. 1059796 ID: f8083d

Blocking the barrel is a no-go, it may hurt more than just the gunner.
I think solution 1 is good, have the gunner take themselves out. It's also the one least likely to be discovered by a cursory examination of the rifle before use.
No. 1059801 ID: b8122b

Orokin language????
It's phonetic, and it reads out:
"Nest is compromised
Competition is present
(Purge the third?)
Cleanse the nest"
No. 1059902 ID: 90c451

The second option would be overboard and easily spotted, and while doing non-lethal could help in trying to catch and question them I'm afraid that it might just lead to their escape and the attempted assassination going entirely unnoticed. Best mess with the glyph because it's also something that can't be easily written down as tampering and could just be seen as a mistake on the assassin's part.
No. 1060239 ID: 7a1a17
File 168038005349.png - (144.79KB , 1000x1000 , 2341.png )

Okay if you say so. Personally I would have just replaced the glyph with a dud but-
:nusergei:"Hey what does this say? "Vuh-low-tillie?"


And then everyone died the end
No. 1060367 ID: 7a1a17
File 168048325873.png - (542.42KB , 1677x1189 , 104.png )

Nest is compromised...perhaps they are referring to their base of operations. Or possibly a site they are trying to protect. Either way, I think that means these people are going to start acting more erratic. Prone to taking drastic action. I mean yeah they are trying to kill me, but this assassination is different from the method they've been trying, which is sending pants-crapping monsters at me in some secret place.
Competition is present...Vidian mentioned followers of other gods. Including her even if she isn't quite the sort of loopy nutjob the rest seem to act like...Purge the third. Yeah I dunno what that means either. Is Vidi the third? Are they referring to me? Can't be if they wanted to kill me already. Unless this is a separate group that wants me dead.

Cleanse the nest. That one troubles me the most. These secret groups like to disguise their actions in cleaner words. Cleanse. Purge. Repair. Garden. Almost always it's code for 'kill lots of people'. I don't think this assassin was going to be satisfied with just me. So yeah. Glyph tampering sounds like the best option.

But who the hells is the third?
No. 1060368 ID: 7a1a17
File 168048326878.png - (247.99KB , 1697x1057 , 105.png )

:nusergei:"Hey have you heard anyone mention something called "The third?"

"No why?"

:nusergei:"That's what the inscription said. What are you doing?"

"I was offered this from some guy when I said I'd cover their shift."

:nusergei:"That sounds like a bad idea so close to all this ammunition."

"Why, what am I supposed to do with it?"

:nusergei:"...put it out?"

"But I like the smell."

Wait...if this group has multiple agents...and they are in the hegemony forces...I think I should get everyone I can trust together! At least until these people make their next move! In these cases, having allies separated only makes it harder to maneuver!

>Drop it and find Anders
>Tell her to drop it and find Nunnette
>Do something else
No. 1060419 ID: f8083d

>I think I should get everyone I can trust together!
And provide a big, juicy bombing target to the enemy? I think you should warn them, but not gather them in the same location.
No. 1061035 ID: 7a1a17
File 168102491311.png - (303.12KB , 986x1041 , 106.png )

Okay fine, but I want it known I don't think a warning is enough for them. These people have wormed their way into one military that took over this island in a single friggin night. Just feels like if I leave them alone is asking for them to disappear even if they know the bad guy's are coming.

...but bringing them all together is also dangerous. I just hope this way is less.

"Oh. Hello what was it? The sugar-hair man"

Huh. So Bellany can control the whole body if Anders is asleep. Good to know I guess.

:nusergei:"It's Sergei Miss Bellany."

"Master Sergei then-", she stifles a yawn "To what do I owe the pleasure of being woken three hours before my duty shift?"

:nusergei:"I assume Nunnette told you anything?"

"Nunnette? Oh the poor dear looked quite flustered but was called away before she could tell me anything. Why?"

Oh no.

:nusergei:"Wait called away? By who?"

"I didn't recognize him. But with the number of pins on his uniform, he must have been an officer. Outside of the commander, I have no idea who any of them are. Look I'm sure she's fine, if you can just wait until morning-"

:nusergei:"You're going to be court marshaled!

"...I beg your pardon?"

:nusergei:"The rot runs all the way to the top. Nunnette is being silenced, and they're going to put you away so no one follows this! You're in danger if you don't make yourself scarce!"

She's quiet for a moment. It feels tense. Like I need to run, but I don't know in what direction.

"That is worrying. But...not that I don't believe you sir Rezan liaison", She emphasizes the last part. "But that's just it. You aren't part of the established Task Force structure. I hope you have more than just your word."


"You are asking me to disobey orders, abandon my station, and possibly betray my country. I need more than just this warning Sugar-hair."

No. 1061071 ID: e5709d

We could conjure non-Rezan magic to disprove her localized laws of realism.

I've got a small set from watching the other dimensions. What do you want? Spell-thief [Pymary]? Sorcerer-mutating [Constellations]? Or some standard program-like [Gemblood-Magic]?

...Screw it, [All of them at once].
No. 1061072 ID: df8a2e

All we have is our word. And I'm pretty sure Vidi would just convince her we are lying.

"You came to me with a problem. A problem you couldn't fix because nobody would listen. I was with Nunnette. People could listen to her. Now Nunnette is getting pushed around, an I'm coming to you with a warning. Remember we are technically enemies. I have no benefit helping you unless I genuinely think something far worse is threatening the both of us."

If she is still doubtful, remind her again of Junnette, ask how often does she get pushed around like that. We don't need her to follow us after all. Just doubtful enough to be cautious about showing up to work tomorrow
No. 1062143 ID: fd2dfa
File 168253442294.png - (517.67KB , 1920x1200 , 107.png )

Pyma-what? Gemblood?! Hang on I don't know what any of those-

:nusergei:"OH! WHOA-HO! OW!"

"Oh! Now that's an interesting display. Looks painful!"

:nusergei:"It's worse than it looks!"

"I have no doubt. Why is this happening?"

:nusergei:"A very, very stupid idea! Doesn't matter! Listen!"
:nusergei:deep inhale
:nusergei:"You came to me with aAAAIRG problem! A problem you couldn't fix because nobody would listen. I was with Nunnette! People-ACK! could listen to her. Now Nunnette is getting pushed around, an I'm-OOOOFA! coming to you with a warning. Remember we are tehteh-teEEEKchnically enemies. I have no benefit helping you unless I genuinely think something far worse is threatening the both of us!"

It seems the heartfelt speech and my agonizing lightshow was enough to convince. Miss Bellany agrees to to Anders when they wake up and they'll discuss about making themselves scarce. Job done everybody! But next time use something that doesn't hurt so fucking much! Ach-Ka I can barely move my legs!
No. 1062144 ID: fd2dfa
File 168253448672.png - (434.52KB , 1318x1149 , 108.png )

And further I


:nusergei:"Not so loud!"

"Huh? Oh yeah, late and stuff. Hey listen, your woman? I fixed everything!"

:nusergei:"My w-you spoke with Nunnette? Warned her? I mean-you actually got her to listen?

"Oh yeah I did that too."

:nusergei:"Did that too? What do you-"
No. 1062145 ID: fd2dfa
File 168253454526.png - (367.54KB , 1318x1149 , 109.png )

She drops-hey! That's the orb I found in that Other Place. What'd she call it? Crack Between or something?

:nusergei:"When did you get this?"

She pushes it into my hands and has this huge shit eating grin like she just made some joke but I missed the punchline.

"I just did. Look little shit, don't worry, I fixed it. Now if you'll excuse me I gotta go see a mortician about Danny."

:nusergei:"W-wait! You can't just say cryptic shit like that aaaaand she's gone...."

The hells was she talking about? You know? Fuck it. Too tired to think. I need rest. So much for resilience and all that crap...
No. 1062146 ID: fd2dfa
File 168253456508.png - (495.41KB , 1638x1416 , 110.png )

Aaaaand good morning cruel world. Seems to be happening more often where I just close my eyes and suddenly it's morning. And the pillows and blankets are all over the place. I wonder if that means something.

No. 1062147 ID: fd2dfa
File 168253457775.png - (494.58KB , 1638x1416 , 111.png )

No. 1062148 ID: fd2dfa
File 168253459579.png - (599.43KB , 1638x1416 , 112.png )

Gods dammit. Vidi I know this is your doing somehow...I should probably be shocked by this. But I'm too tired to even be surprised.

>Gently nudge Nunnette awake and calmly inquire what the fuck she is doing
>Try to pull yourself free without waking her
>Incoherent rage noise
No. 1062149 ID: 44f1ec

Okay so Vidian bound Nunnette. Which means she not only stole your orb, but your blood too, somehow. We need to have a very long talk with her about consent.

Might as well see what the damage is. Wake Nunny up and ask how she's feeling. Then test how aware she is of the binding by asking her something innocent like getting your shirt.
No. 1062154 ID: e5709d

If you stay here and take advantage of her drugged horny, she'll peg you in the ass. Just saying.

Think about how you would want to react if Vivian was secretly in here right now. Then do that.
No. 1063571 ID: 7a1a17
File 168387766419.png - (373.36KB , 1420x1185 , 113.png )

Right nothing terrible. Just test how she is. I don't think I want a pegging.
:nusergei:"Hey Nunnette. Wake up I need a shirt."

"Mrrmm. Ke-qui? Of course une menute."
No. 1063572 ID: 7a1a17
File 168387767262.png - (384.13KB , 1000x1000 , 114.png )

She gets up, doesn't care she's topless and is just moving around like a zombie. Is this what Vidi meant by thrall? Just makes them into a zombie?

Hang on let me try something else.

"Mmmm? What do you mean? We spoke, I was to be reassigned, you were to get a new liaison, and we went our separate ways."

:nusergei:"Really? You remember nothing else?"

"Should I?"

:nusergei:"Well you are half-naked, in my room, and getting my shirt."
No. 1063573 ID: 7a1a17
File 168387768498.png - (375.51KB , 1000x1000 , 115.png )

Wow. She just froze for a solid minute.

Two minutes

...three minutes? Okay I think something is wrong.


Huh. I guess your autotranslation magic has its limits cause I got none of that.


Oh gods she's pissed!

>Reveal the truth
>Make something up
No. 1063574 ID: f8083d

Tell her the truth: Your sister screwed with her mind because she's a bit of an asshole.
No. 1063575 ID: 30b9f6

While understandable her rage at getting involuntary involved with forces beyond her comprehension and understanding is misdirected, and shared.

Tell her welcome to your life of late and lay down what you know, and that you have a very uncertain grasp on what's been done to her by your enigmatic sister, but apparently you're bonded in some way now.

The best you can do is promise to not abuse this new state of... things. (affairs might be a bad word here)
No. 1063617 ID: 8f9bc4

Whatever the "heggies have on her" she better tell you it now, because she just went against her orders, broke out of her mandatory confinement, and snuck into your bed while you were sleeping. You don't know what your sister did to get her to do that, but whatever reason Nunnette had for following orders to cover up the conspiracy are well and truly fucked, so you have to act fast to salvage ....aaanything of the current situation.

Or you could cuddle in bed a little longer, that'd be nice too.
No. 1063676 ID: e5709d

"...You know what? Kick me in the nuts. Get it over with. I take full responsibility for letting myself think I could keep Vidian from abusing you for five goddamn minutes."
*One hopefully-short ass-kicking later*
"On the plus side, Vidian's really responsive to me and her backstory is a textbook neglected-warped childhood. I mean, she saved you from getting killed, in her own twisted way. I think therapy can work!"
No. 1063694 ID: 4170f2

Tell her to calm her ass down while you explain. Just to see if it actually compels her to calm down. Then do
No. 1064265 ID: 7a1a17
File 168465913805.png - (200.66KB , 1023x918 , 116.png )


And she immediately plants her butt on the floor! My sister really did screw her brain hard.

:nusergei:"Now listen up okay? My sister screwed with you. I don't know what she did, but she did something that's gonna make your life a living hell. Much like she did with mine."
No. 1064266 ID: 7a1a17
File 168465915510.png - (631.23KB , 1337x1377 , 117.png )

Nunnette puts my shirt on and sits next to me. I think the fact I'm not the one responsible is keeping my nuts kick-free for now. And I think I'd like it to stay that way.

"So what happens now? Will you force me to tell you all my secrets? Make me betray my people?


"You know what I mean Sergei..."

:nusergei:"No. What my sister did, that was her. I admit she did it because she thought she was helping me; but I didn't want you to be my little spy or anything. Whatever you tell me will be your decision, not because I compelled you to. I just wanted to help you out of a situation where you were clearly being screwed over by a command staff that is silencing you."

"There is no conspi-"

It's my turn to cut her off

:nusergei:"Dammit Nunnette! You know as well as I do whatever plans the Hegemony had for this island, for me, for your own troops, it's all going down the trash chute! Your own command staff is planning to kill me today! Covering for them will only get more people killed! If you still see me as the enemy and don't want to help me, then fine! Help me to save them!"
No. 1064267 ID: 7a1a17
File 168465921281.png - (626.89KB , 1337x1377 , 118.png )

It's basically the same speech as last time. But I think the fact that she is indeed disobeying orders by being here, or maybe Vidian's "help" she seems to be considering it. I think. She's been quiet for far longer than last time.

"Pfff. Disobedience. Fraternizing with ze enemy. Abandoning my post. And committing treason. All in ze name of protecting ze Hegemony. Alo lo lo lo lo what a strange direction my life iz taking..."

:nusergei:"So does that mean you'll help?"

"Yes. I may not tell you everyzing now. It iz too much. But if I feel it iz relevant, I will tell you. An' in truth, you may be an Imperialist dog, but you're ze nicest I've met. I do not want you to die. Whatever plan you have I will 'elp."
No. 1064268 ID: 7a1a17
File 168465922550.png - (342.70KB , 1000x1000 , 119.png )

"Oh, and in regarding your sister..."


"When I see her, I am going to kill 'er~"

>"No, bad Nunnette! No killing my family!"
>"I called dibs"
>Grill Nunnette for information.
>Get on with the ceremony
No. 1064269 ID: f8083d

Convincing her not to will be your sister's job, not yours. Time to review the plan.
No. 1064270 ID: e5709d

"We can take turns killing her, okay?"
"That's the good and the bad news. You can kill her over and over and she won't stay dead. Last time I killed her, I chilled her brain and cut it in half and ate it raw. Didn't take, she wasn't even mad. So we're going with plan A, try to get her a semi-normal life instead of taking the lives our cult dad orders us."
No. 1064280 ID: 8f9bc4

She'll have to get in line.
No. 1064932 ID: 7a1a17
File 168558255386.png - (736.23KB , 1185x928 , 120.png )

:nusergei:"You'll have to get in line. Or, we can take turns killing her. Either works"

"...I suppose it is anozzer magic thing?"

:nusergei:"Sort of. You can kill her over and over and she won't stay dead. Last time I killed her. Didn't take, she wasn't even mad. So while you can kill her, I'm still going to try to get her a semi-normal life instead of taking the lives our cult dad orders us."

"Just when I think Rezans cannot get stranger...so I will kill 'er and you will save 'er. Everyone is 'appy in ze end."

:nusergei:"Well before we do that there's still the issue we have today. My assassin."

"Oh right. Zat is still 'appening."

I pull out a pencil and start laying out my very intricate, and well thought out plan.

So. Operation Cover-Blow.

"Zat is a terrible name."

Shush. I'll be at the center of the stage, giving my speech in the Grand Theater-

"Ze one everybody 'as been saying is 'aunted yes?"

Yes that one. Shush. It's also got a good view from above where I expect the assassin will be hiding.

"What makes you think so?"

Because that's where they were the last time someone tried to assassinate me.
No. 1064933 ID: 7a1a17
File 168558260350.png - (926.56KB , 1185x928 , 121.png )

I sabotaged the gun he's going to use. It will kill him-

"And 'ow do you know it will?"

Nothing survives their head getting flash-scorched in several hundred degrees. Well my sister maybe, but I've already cleared she isn't trying to kill me.

"Ah yes. Just 'urt you over and over."
No. 1064934 ID: 7a1a17
File 168558264480.png - (582.38KB , 1000x1000 , 122.png )

You'll be hiding in the top floor. That way when the explosion goes off, you can get to the body before the conspirators can, cart it off before anyone can make the evidence disappear, and present it to the command staff you trust. I'm sure there is at least one right?

"Of course."
No. 1064935 ID: 7a1a17
File 168558265115.png - (601.87KB , 1000x1000 , 123.png )

We blow the conspiracy, the military turns out every traitor and prevent the island from breaking out into a complete hot mess; and we celebrate over a pint. And that's 'Cover-Blow'

Any questions?

"Zis feels quite rushed, and ze name is still terrible. But given ze circumstances, better zan I can make at ze moment. I zink we can do zis!"
No. 1064936 ID: 7a1a17
File 168558266070.png - (614.63KB , 1307x1407 , 124.png )

:nusergei:"Great! So um...do you still feel bad? Nervous? Angry? Need a hug?"

I was expecting her to get all stoic again, since I'm not ordering her or anything, but she just giggles. Then jumps into my lap and leans into me. We hug.

"Hmmm. You know, zis actually does 'elp..."

>Begin Operation "Cover-Blow"
>other(write in)
No. 1064950 ID: e5709d

>Operation: Cover-Blow
>Nunnette:"Zat is a terrible name"
I agree. We're calling it Operation ACME Buy-Back. Lil' joke from a children's show from our world.

But this isn't enough.
There are multiple cults, there may be multiple assassinations. The assassination may be one of those battle-royale objectives where everyone is competing to complete the ritual themselves and get the power from your death, even if they temporarily worked together to set the ritual up. There could be another set of cultists planning to kill you on the same day in the same place, and it's all because the amphitheater is geared up to use your death as the catalyst for any cult faction.
Wear gear, have bodyguards, set up a kinetic shield to trigger after hearing a loud explosion. Don't leave this one up to chance.
No. 1066187 ID: 7a1a17
File 168712980925.png - (531.15KB , 1440x1400 , 125.png )

I don't think they'd work together. Granted I don't have much experience with cults, but just based on what Vidi says, they seem to have opposing objectives.

Still you do have a point. I'm not going onto that stage totally unprepared! So I'm getting plates stuffed in everywhere I can put them without giving it away. As the very real, and not a puppet serving everyone and their aunt Gritilda, I can't be seen fearing for my life. It's one of those stupid political things that doesn't make sense if you think about it, but everyone expects me to do it anyway.

Nunnette was very helpful for that at least. She's been helping me put plates in places I didn't even know they could fit.

No. 1066188 ID: 7a1a17
File 168712983237.png - (385.45KB , 1000x1000 , 126.png )

And I invited the Rezan representative to be-

"I had to see it to believe it."

Remember the Gamin Guardian? I do. It still hurts


"Hello yourself little puppet."

:nusergei:"No need to be upset"

"I think there are plenty of reasons. Thankfully for you, I've seen enough Gamin playthings to know your brief taste of power with be as short as it will be meaningless. So I won't hold it against you. I'll even protect you little puppet, as that is my obligation. I will still call you what you are. Puppet."

"Are all guardians so bitter all ze time?"

:nusergei:"I've only met this one so I guess so?"
No. 1066189 ID: 7a1a17
File 168712984699.png - (319.75KB , 1000x1000 , 127.png )

The speech goes as planned. Except for the speech itself. All that work to keep myself alive and I never got it down, so I'm forced to ad-lib large amounts of it. But years of being ambushed by the press when some murder happens has helped me sharpen my skills at the Art of Bullshitting. It's a bit hard to see, but I keep my eyes on the silhouettes moving around from the balconies. One of them is the killer, and they could be aiming at me right now, pointing at me. But I don't let the anxiety show!

I should have been an actor.

No. 1066190 ID: 7a1a17
File 168713008581.png - (252.18KB , 1000x1000 , 128.png )

I keep myself braced for the moment I know is coming. It's all I know when it comes to staring potential death in the fa-


And as I thought, an explosion tears one of the balconies open. There's fire breaking out in the theater, people are panicking. Got the bastard though. No way someone is getting out of


Oh crap I guess you were right.
No. 1066191 ID: 7a1a17
File 168713018149.png - (364.11KB , 1440x1400 , 129.png )

Oooorrr maybe we're both right. Kinda. Those other shots were either really poorly aimed or they weren't for me. The Heggie officer got one straight in the heart, and the Guardian took one in his arm. That guy is already jumping into the crowd hurling furniture and making the situation worse. As they do.

So I may not be the only target. Not sure how to feel about



>>It can't get much more pear shaped than this!
>Reconnect with Nunnette and get the hell out
>Follow the Guardian. Being next to a precision built death machine will keep you safe by proximity!
>Screw this noise, slip out the back!
No. 1066240 ID: e5709d

You can't interrupt Nunnette's survival tactics and the guardian's out of commission, time to run!
No. 1066242 ID: d685ed

Guardian is a big target. He'll draw most of the danger to himself. Going alone may be part of the plan. Find Nunnette and get out together!
No. 1068096 ID: 7a1a17
File 168963536081.png - (666.99KB , 2010x1377 , 130.png )

I don't even know where Nunnette is anymore. For all I know she's dead in all this mess! And the guardian-



No. 1068097 ID: 7a1a17
File 168963541313.png - (630.41KB , 1673x1200 , 131.png )


Fuck! Those shots nearly got me! Wait a minute. Those are Rezan shots. That's an islander accent! This really isn't some Hegemony plot anymore, it's a gods damned revolt!

:nusergei:"Stand down! Can't you see this is what they want us to do?"


Either this guy is a fanatic or he's hopped up on something. Oh fuck he's just killing everyone he sees. Someone from the balcony had run out and he tore the poor guy to shreds! And I'm running out of door fast. How the hells did an islander get a hold of a heavy weapon like that? That's military issue and the Heggies rounded all that up!
No. 1068098 ID: 7a1a17
File 168963563849.png - (421.18KB , 1673x1200 , 132.png )


New gunshots. Smaller caliber. Chemical explosives instead of Rezan-shot.

No. 1068099 ID: 7a1a17
File 168963579824.png - (386.08KB , 1673x1200 , 133.png )

"Sergei! You won't believe it! It's a damned war outside! Everyone is fighting everyone else."

Looks like we were both wrong then. Unless the cults are just using the chaos as an excuse to kill each other or...no it doesn't matter. We failed...Vidian said they wanted mass slaughter. And they're getting it...

"Wait how did you find me? it feels like everyone knows where I am."

"It is strange so do not laugh. I just felt like I knew where you were. I do not know if zis fellow."

She kicks the corpse of the guy filling the hall with bulletholes. Now that I see him, that's mining gear just stapled together. Was this revenge for the robot head?

:nusergei:"Nothing about this makes sense, so assume people know where I am. How do you suggest we get out of here?"

"Better question is where should we go? Zis isn't exactly well defended."


"And it's coming apart. Ze people outside are lobbing bombs!"

>The station. It's built like a fortress and every officer will be there gearing up
>The undercity. The transition layer is basically a killzone that will keep the worst out
>The palace. It's swarming with Heg-military and nobody has time for political bullshittery right now.
No. 1068101 ID: e5709d

Huh. I thought Venian outlived everyone in his empire by a few centuries. Y'know, with the constant backstabbing.

Okay, the bad news is that he probably jury-rigged a tech-based blender to a Rezan magic-based firing mechanism, which means you're going to be seeing frequent miniguns in the hands of MEGA-freaks. Good news is, that thing was designed with ingenuity over reliability, so some basic magical hacking should-

Ahp never mind. Is that a Mauser 1967? Might be worth something to a collector.

Undercity's a gamble. If you can make it to the lowest level, there should be enough stuff between you and everything that wants you dead, but you'll have to outrun the purge protocols such as neurotoxin. Just like fighting through Ark again...
You can't trust the hegemony to protect you if some upstart officer thinks killing you and throwing your head to the crowd will lower the chaos. Police station might be worth a shot, but there's just not enough officers. Undercity it is; try to save some of the civilians on your run.
No. 1068106 ID: 273c18

This makes sense if someone needed all this violence as a smokescreen to cover up something else. Like, if the assassin had killed you, all this chaos would have erupted anyway, right? So that would massively contaminate the crime scene and make it impossible for anyone to figure out who was behind it. Or if anyone was behind it, even-- you could have been considered to be collateral damage. Caught in the crossfire, etc.
It's also possible more than one person made plans for today. Is one of these uprisings meant to succeed?
The worst case scenario is that there are multiple assassins and the chaos is a way to try to kill you multiple times, which means the palace is the last place you want to be right now.

Are you sure you can get through the killzone to reach the safe areas of the undercity? If so, go for it. If not, try the station.
No. 1069028 ID: 7a1a17
File 169040976930.png - (170.20KB , 1280x1024 , 134.png )

:nusergei:"First the station. We can kit ourselves out, group up with any officers there, and use that to fight our way to the undercity! The transit passageways will funnel the rioters so their numbers can't work."

And my mother knows the safest place when a riot starts is in the station. I'm getting her out!

"I do not sink I have ze ammo to get zat far."

:nusergei:"The sewers then. It's supposed to be big enough to move around when traffic is clogged."

"Ehhh...do we 'ave to?"

No. 1069029 ID: 7a1a17
File 169040977921.png - (656.92KB , 1280x1024 , 135.png )

Even though I know she isn't trying to kill me, anytime Vidi does that, I flinch. She's hiding behind a bus waving at us. The thing is holding up well considering I can hear the sound of heavy caliber autogun fire out there.

"Wait. Is zat-"

:nusergei:"My sister yes. We. Well we didn't make up, but it's halfway there. Long story."


:nusergei:"And she still calls me that."
No. 1069030 ID: 7a1a17
File 169040984194.png - (335.41KB , 1280x1024 , 136.png )

We run for cover, but Nunnette practically storms over, ignoring the bullets flying over our heads!

"Hey Little Shit! You found your woman! Good thing too! Remember what I said about the mass death? We're hitting it!"

"Did you call me 'is woman?"

"Oh yeah. More polite. Hello Sergei's woman, I am-"
No. 1069032 ID: 7a1a17
File 169040985687.png - (313.89KB , 1280x1024 , 137.png )



"I told you I was gonna kill 'er."

:nusergei:"No! I mean headshots only makes her mad!"
No. 1069033 ID: 7a1a17
File 169040991166.png - (333.77KB , 1280x1024 , 138.png )

"Ha ha ha! That really hurt!"

"What the [exrement of a person-rendered-simple-by-incest]?"

"Sergei, I'm trying very hard to be polite. Please do the same, or you can put your woman in a bucket when I'm done with her!"

No. 1069039 ID: e5709d

"I should note that in some countries, stabbing a man to death is considered the appropriate response for him raping his wife. Same principle, just let me know if she keeps doing it."

>[excrement of a person-rendered-simple-by-incest]
I'm not sure if that's overly bigoted. Oh well.

Okay, new plan! The whole island knows you have access to powers, so work with Vidian to push the bus! You concentrate on driving, we'll set up a kinetic barrier so you don't get hit by potshots!
No. 1069042 ID: 273c18

Well you can control Nunette by direct orders, so do that, tell her to stop trying to kill Vidi.
Then tell Vidi your plan to see what she thinks.
No. 1069044 ID: 3e8daf

One: Peace, please. Tell sister dear she would get that sort of greeting less if she actually cared not to upset people’s lives so abruptly and without conference. Is there a way to later undo the ‘his woman’ thing without harm to Nunette? Yes or no.

Also tell Nunette that if she keeps shooting her your sister will likely do worse than already done, and you’d kinda appreciate both their help in the present shitstorm. Also you don’t have a bucket. Also the reason why she isn’t mind controlled crazy right now like some of the blokes around here might be because she’s already… someone’s. Is that it? Give your sister a weird look.

Two: more important shit’s going down, bullets flying, so let’s get going without further ado, yes? There seems to be so much more going on than you anticipated or were told. What even is the situation around here? Where do you go from here?
No. 1069048 ID: 4fe157

"Don't worry, she's a quick learner. But we have to go now. Can you help us..."

We shouldn't tell her where our mom is, do we?
No. 1069588 ID: 7a1a17
File 169095281983.png - (560.53KB , 2046x1883 , 139.png )

I think Nunnette was put off by how Vidian just didn't die. Which is strange, you think she would have figured that out the last time we ran into Vidi when she was half a torso. But just in case-

:nusergei:"Nunnette, please stop trying to murder my sister, we have more important things right now. Vidi, if you want people to not greet you like that you need to be more polite. As in stop messing with them without their permission."

"But why though? It's so easy to do it and it makes life easier when they just obey!"

:nusergei:"And you just saw what happens when it doesn't work. You get shot in the head."

"Fffiiiiiiiine!" she groans like some preteen; but I guess I should be grateful this eldritch thing that is my sibling isn't backtalking. Whatever. Time to layout the plan.
No. 1069589 ID: 7a1a17
File 169095283385.png - (598.30KB , 1353x1289 , 140.png )

I lay out the plan pretty clear. No worries about my mom. She knows most folks at the station and if things all to shit, she'll hole up there. But Vidi seems kinda iffy about the part where we drive this bus down town.

"Yeah I'm not going to do that."

:nusergei:"Why not? I know getting shot hurts and stuff, but-"

"What? You think I'm hiding cause of some tiny bullets? Fuck no!" she laughs.

:nusergei:"Then why are you here?"


She points to the charred husk of a car-aaaaaand someone is burning it.

"I dunno how I can handle fire. If you want to try it, you're welcome to step out and give it a shot."
No. 1069591 ID: 7a1a17
File 169095287424.png - (712.27KB , 1800x1600 , 141.png )

Oooh that guy is a lot bigger than the shooter from last time. And got more layers.

:nusergei:"Okay I see your problem. We need to get rid of Mr. Burner guy."

"Or take the sewer. It's how I got here. No one is fighting down there."

:nusergei:"-yet. I can guarantee you there will be fighting down there soon. Gangs are gonna be spilling down to the undercity that way and the turf wars are gonna get ugly."

"Lo lo lo why are you Rezanz so violent?"

:nusergei:"Look it will be three against one. The odds are in our favor. Even if he is a big guy."

"Two against one. I'm not going out there."

:nusergei:"Come on. Don't you want a big flamethrower? Hmm? You get to burn things."

"...yes. But if you expect be to run up and try to nab it from him, you're crazy!"

>Strategy now!
No. 1069600 ID: e5709d

Hm... okay, I have a weird idea with multiple moving parts.

Vidian, grab a gun and mutate your hand so it's stretchier than Luffy and has eyeballs or some cheaper vision. When the time comes, snake your way through the air and shoot him in the face.
Nunette, stay out of the range of (literal) fire and run interference. Sergei will cast basic distraction magics behind the car.
...Except we're doing the basic distractions with your brain matter. [Play Painis Cupcake audio clip exactly five meters away from the flamethrower's brain behind his line-of-sight]
No. 1070971 ID: fd2dfa
File 169309271134.png - (968.41KB , 3010x2736 , 142.png )

I relay the plan to Nunnette and Vidi. They look at me like I'm an idiot, but since no one else has anything better, they go along with it. I still have no idea what a 'Penis Cupcake' is but do the thing!

I am PAYNis Cupcake. I will eat you!

That's what that thing is? That's it? He's looking away, but....really?
Distraction works long enough for him to get focused on Nunnette after she has shifted.
She takes shots from the park, but the plating just knocks it away. Vidi did the meaty-arm-thing and shoots on full auto. Ach-ka! That thing sounds like it's about to fall apart! But I can already see chunks being chipped off the plating. One clean shot to the fuel line shoul-

No. 1070972 ID: fd2dfa
File 169309275046.png - (1.94MB , 3010x2736 , 143.png )

There it goes! We got him!
No. 1070973 ID: fd2dfa
File 169309277643.png - (1.35MB , 3010x2736 , 144.png )

You think noise and fire is enough to kill me?



Oh fuck, it's him again! That thing from the morgue!
No. 1070974 ID: fd2dfa
File 169309278320.png - (1.02MB , 2949x1941 , 145.png )

Silence that infernal noise! You overwhelmed me once, it won't work a second time!

He hits the bus like a ram! Shit! It got torn to shreds, but I grabbed onto the largest chunk! I'll be fine for now, but I hope you got something stronger than just 'shoot him again'

>Shoot him again
>Please no
>Do something else

No. 1070981 ID: 273c18

Run away. A broken body can't move for long, even with something powerful puppetting it, and he's got no ranged weapon.
Use delaying tactics. Like, get him tangled up in something, drop him in a pit, or break one of his legs somehow.
No. 1070982 ID: 8f9bc4

Need to incapacitate him somehow. He's down a limb but his legs aren't holding explosive fire machines. If you could get him to charge you off a cliff, you might be able to side step it somehow. Drop him down into the sewers maybe?

... is serving him still an option? That sounds like a pretty good idea at this point!
No. 1070984 ID: e5709d

He no longer has an elemental weapon, which means Vidian can whoop his ass.
Just cut a leg off and he'll be too incapacitated for combat. His cult will likely cut losses rather than waste magic keeping a soldier who can't attack alive.
No. 1071095 ID: 74d0e7

Yeah, tell her to get rid of his legs, and then keep moving.
No. 1071133 ID: 4a1a25

Okay. Hear me out: shoot him, but do it to knock him back. Maybe even aim for the joints to blow his limbs of because we saw how that gun chopped up unarmored civies. But that is just step 1.

Step 2 is you and Nunnette get behind your bus husk and push it on top of him after he's downed. Even is he's not dead trying to push that off with no limbs is gonna be hard. Then book it out of there!
No. 1074477 ID: fd2dfa
File 169698927781.png - (1.24MB , 2649x2177 , 146.png )

:nusergei:"VIDI! Shoot his limbs off!"

Vidi is real accurate with that cludged together gun. The bullets ricochet off the wrecked husk, but not before limbs are shot off. Even now I can see something growing out of the stubs as I start pushing bus down. But he stops it! He's got one leg left and he's able to keep this giant metal weight off of him!

No. 1074478 ID: fd2dfa
File 169698932421.png - (798.14KB , 2649x2177 , 147.png )

-then Nunnette bodyslams into the wreck and it topples over with a wet thunk! Oh gods I can hear him wriggling underneath. It sounds like a meat grinder. Of course he's still not dead.

:nusergei:"I don't think that will hold forever, let's go!"
No. 1074479 ID: fd2dfa
File 169698938381.png - (0.96MB , 2983x2241 , 148.png )

The sewers are a pain in the butt. Thankfully I remember where all the connector hubs and other spots gangs like to use as havens so we avoid any conflict down there. You do NOT want a gunfight in the sewer...but I don't think Vidi would care.

Nunnette complains about everything from the smell, the narrow passages, the low light, and Rezans in general. I guess I can get her frustration but that last one feels stupid. Or maybe I'm still on a rush and not thinking straight.

We climb back out near the station and-

:nusergei:"Oh crap."

The place has been ransacked...

"Well zat plan is ruined."

:nusergei:"No. We still go in."

"What?! Why?", Nunnette's voice actually cracked that time. I think this is really getting to her.

:nusergei:"Unless they know what to look for, looters won't have taken everything. And my mother may still be there. I have to make sure!"

"Crazy! You Rezans are all crazy!"

"Pff, your woman's funny Sergei. Hey can I keep this guy's jacket?"
No. 1074481 ID: fd2dfa
File 169698944785.png - (138.53KB , 1000x1000 , 149.png )

Like I suspected, the solitary cells were left untouched. This is where we keep criminals that are too violent to share a room with others while we wait for tranport from the mainland to pick them up. It's also where we store a lot of riot gear because these doors are built to withstand anything short of an artillery barrage.

"Hello! Someone out there?"

:nusergei:"Guildmaster?! What are you doing here?"

"Being stuck! Me an' everyone else from the house got moved down here when the station was attacked! We've been here for hours now, and it smells like pee!"

:nusergei:"Is my mother in there?!"

"Uh...no. But she might have been put in another cell. Can you please let us out? There's no toilet and no privacy in here!"
No. 1074482 ID: fd2dfa
File 169698946627.png - (406.32KB , 1000x1000 , 150.png )

That's going to be tricky. The solitary cells only have two sets of keys for every door. One held by the chief, and the other by the deputy in charge of this floor. And I saw what was left of the deputy sprawled in the breakroom. No keys. And this lock is real complex. I can't open it. Can't even make a workaround. But maybe...



:nusergei:"Hurry up and help get this open!"


Vidi sulks over and tries to rip the door off. It doesn't budge.


No matter how hard she pulls, even when she does the meaty muscle tentacle thing, it doesn't move.

"FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT DOOR!", and Vidi pulls her gun-

"WAIT VIDI DON'T! The bullets will just bounce off and hit us!"

:nusergei:"What's going on out there? Sergei, who else is out there?"

No. 1074490 ID: 273c18

I guess the door is magically reinforced? What about the wall or ceiling?
Ask the guildmaster where the deputy is. Tell him that's Vidi helping you, but give no further explanation.
No. 1074510 ID: 8f9bc4


The deputy was in the breakroom, what's left of him at least. No keys. Where's the chief?
No. 1074511 ID: 273c18

Er, sorry I meant the other one, the chief.
No. 1076397 ID: fd2dfa
File 169907454212.png - (601.28KB , 1959x1154 , 151.png )

Right. The chief. When things go south, he'd head to his private armory. He always boasted that even if the whole building collapsed, that would be the one part of the structure left standing. Only one way in, and he could defend that for days! But with what happened, I bet the boss is on a hair trigger.

:nusergei:"Chief...it's Sergei."

No answer.


I knock on the door.

"We don't got time to be fucking around Sergei."


Vidi moves to kick the door in before I can stop her-
No. 1076398 ID: fd2dfa
File 169907455129.png - (491.98KB , 1959x1154 , 152.png )


Just like I thought, machine gun fire! Chief had it aimed at the door the moment he heard something.


Still nothing. I dunno if he can hear me over his own gun! That's a damned RR-90! Those things can keep firing as long as you got ammo and I know chief would be sitting on a pile of it!
No. 1076402 ID: eb0a9c

I think he smelled the hegemony uniform and your sister and assumed you were compromised.

Pull Vidian back and keep her from mauling your boss.
No. 1076404 ID: 273c18

Just get away from the door. If the gunfire doesn't stop within 10 seconds then I guess we can just go somewhere else.
No. 1078814 ID: fd2dfa
File 170190417617.png - (471.19KB , 1959x1154 , 153.png )

He's got a good sense of smell, but I don't think he'd be that trigger happy. Would he?

"Augh that hurt! And you ruined my jacket you ffffFFFFFFFUCKER!"

:nusergei:"Vidi wait! Don't kill him!"



"He's dead!"

:nusergei:"Please don't ki-"

"No I mean he's been dead like for a long time."

No. 1078815 ID: fd2dfa
File 170190419259.png - (1.33MB , 2261x1701 , 154.png )

"This asshole was all rigged up see?"

Looking inside, first I see lines of...empty gun racks. Well the racks are empty, drawers and cabinets are still full of ammunition. Who the hells takes all the guns but leaves the ammo behind?

"Someone rigged this guy up. Finger's tied to the gun. Once the door opened, it set the body off. This was planned."

"'Ow do you know?"

Vidi gives Nunnette a look. "You're still here?"

"Ow do you know who zis was planned?"

"What, it's obvious. Little shit works here. It's fortified as all hell. And look what they did to the place. They came here for a reason."


Vidi snorts. "Nah! That was just a bonus. Booby trapping this guy was too. Anyone coming in behind them would get shredded. Course they didn't plan for me!", she smiles at that. "They were hoping to find Sergei. They couldn't find Sergei so-"

...they went for my family.

No. 1078816 ID: fd2dfa
File 170190442284.png - (1.24MB , 3000x2000 , 155.png )

"Hey! Sergei's mom!"

:nusergei:"Next time someone might be behind that door Vidi..."

"Oh S-sergei! There's two of you now?"

:nusergei:"You said this was packed."

"What are you ta-"

:nusergei:"Don't lie to me Jenwin! Not a second time!"

I can see it now. He was lying again. It's just him.

:nusergei:"I know they came here for my mother. Where is she?"

He looks away. There's shame. Or maybe guilt...

"They finally came. The ones who sent the letter. I...I tried to get everyone out Sergei. I really did. But there were so many of them. I-your mother. We got here. To the station. And they just followed us. The chief didn't lock us down here. I ran. I ran down here. I didn't even look back."

"Oh so that's what I was smelling. It was fear-piss!"

I can't even tell Vidi to stop. It's true. Jenwin is a coward. I want to be angry at him I should be angry at him!

But I can't...

:nusergei:"This was a waste of time. They took my mother. I need to find her."

"They're probably taking her back home."

:nusergei:"How do you know this?"

Vidi shrugs "It's what I'd do. Lot of those guys are in the sirassate. Nobody cares about them out there."

The Guildmaster calls out. "Wait! Let me come along! ...please?"
No. 1078817 ID: eb0a9c

Leave them here. They can use the LMG and reams of ammo upstairs to defend themselves - maybe even re-rig the deadman trap.

>Your old boss is dead
No. 1078830 ID: 273c18

Take the guildmaster, leave Vidi. Tell him if you see him again you're going to kill him.
No. 1079283 ID: 1e2a0e

Either he goes with you or stays here to see if the rioters or starvation kills him first.

At least you won't have his death on your conscience. Ar best he might be useful. Weirdos with plot relevant tasks seem attracted to him like a magnet
No. 1081780 ID: fd2dfa
File 170614486789.png - (759.80KB , 2249x2313 , 156.png )

It's tempting. It really is tempting to just leave the guildmaster and let him deal with this crap by himself and his flock of followers. But I just can't do it. If he wants to come, he can come. If not, good luck to him. Me on the other hand...
No. 1081781 ID: fd2dfa
File 170614491260.png - (776.10KB , 1937x1306 , 157.png )

Riot club's heavy in my hand. Bigger and weightier than the usual guardstick. But the glow really helps navigate the tunnels.

And as I suspected, the tunnels are filling up with people trying to escape the surface fighting. And they're getting clogged at the first sublevel. I heard the gunshots when the cultists found their way down. I can still hear them. Sound travels far in the transit tunnels. But they are also a maze for people who don't know what to look for. I'll admit I don't know EVERY turn in this place, but I know the obvious chokepoints, and to stay the hells away from them. Sure enough, more shouting and gunfire down that passage. The cultists are running into the gangs, and they are much better armed than your typical civilian.

"Um Sergei", I hear Nunnette grunt out. "Where exactly are we going? And 'ow much longer until we arrive?" she squeezes against Vidi as they fight for the same space. The tunnels are narrow in some points and for some damn reason both she and Vidi fight to be closer to me. I can't fathom why. It's not like Nunnette likes me, and she isn't enough of a threat that Vidi thinks she'd be a danger. Maybe they just irritate each other.

:nusergei:"There's a couple of hard points. They were built to serve as a sort of escape tunnel if the city was ever bombarded."

"And from zere?"

:nusergei:"Depends on what we find."

"In other words you have no fucking idea."

:nusergei:"I didn't hear you give any ideas."

"I would have just killed everyone..."
No. 1081783 ID: fd2dfa
File 170614496445.png - (1.25MB , 4000x4000 , 158.png )

Hardpoint 22 is the closest. I think that slides along the coastline. Hopefully the boats aren't damage-whoa. The fighting somehow managed to get ahead of us!

"Oh! Ah Sugar Hair!"


"Right! Sergei! Over here!"

:nusergei:"Anders! Bellany! What's-"

"I-we", she gestures to Anders. "Decided to do a bit of digging. Went through a lot of paperwork. Anders helped keep people from being suspicious."

"I threatened to bite them..."

"Turns out there was a long list of people that were slated for 'decommission'. I realized something was wrong when it turns out some of the names on that list had an unexpected transfer to the first wave during the initial invasion. I didn't think anything of it at the time, soldiers get shuffled regularly. But after what you said, I started thinking decommission wasn't just a discharge. So I went and found every soldier on the list with me!"

"Then the shooting started..."

"It all happened so fast. The palace was overrun as we were about to leave. Soldiers and rebels all killing each other. Then soldiers started shooting soldiers, it was terrible! I think we were the only ones to get out!"

"We were closest to the garage...first to leave...didn't look back."

:nusergei:"Yeah but how did you end up down here?"

"Luck more than anything. The local police in the sublevels here actually helped get us to Hardpoint. A good thing too. Apparently some of those rebels were holding this place before we arrived. I don't think we could have broken through if these nice Rezans didn't know the maintenance tunnels."

:nusergei:"Wait. Rebels. Did they take any of the boats?"

"Funny you mention that, but yes. A couple are missing, but if you're planning on getting to the mainland, you can come with us! The whole operation is a bust. Fleet's gone, the troops are in disarray. We need to get back home and report this failure."

"Except we're in Imperial territory....All ports are enemy controlled...."

"I don' think we have much choice Anders. It's stay here and I honestly don't see us getting any help on the island, or negotiate our way on those Avarr lines?"

"Or held hostage..."

"Would you rather stay here?"

>Come with me
>Well good luck to you
>I can't leave, not yet.
No. 1081821 ID: eb0a9c

>for some damn reason both she and Vidi fight to be closer to me. I can't fathom why
Literal brain damage from mind control side-effects, forcing her to be attracted to you. Another thing to confront the cult over.

Vidi may be sociopathic, but deep down there's a girl who knows she should be getting parental affection and always gets everything but that. So she's latching on to you.

At the end of the day, you're still a high-ranking officer of the Empire and the Hegemony will gladly do some 'decommissioning' themselves if you hand yourself over for 'asylum' and not defection. These cult bastards had months to plan a contingency in case you simply up and fled, so you can't boat back to the capital either.

If any of your party members want to chance it on a spare ship or retreat with Anders (Nunnette in particular), now's the time.
No. 1084556 ID: fd2dfa
File 170892536658.png - (234.54KB , 1800x1500 , 159.png )

These boats aren't equipped to get anywhere near anything the Hegemony holds. Not that it helps me. I'm a governor in name only. Hells even that was just given to me as a cover. And the island I was supposed to oversee is burning.

None of it matters though. Those things, the fuckers that orchestrated my birth, that followed my mother everywhere she went, that tried to kill me or convert me? All of them. They got me involved in something I don't want to be involved in. And now they have my mother. I need to find her.

...I feel terrible. Not emotionally. Like
No. 1084557 ID: fd2dfa
File 170892539877.png - (245.28KB , 1800x1500 , 160.png )


"I take zis is your first time on a boat?"
No. 1084558 ID: fd2dfa
File 170892542371.png - (1.24MB , 2698x1671 , 161.png )

:nusergei:"Thanks gods I'm off that thing."

"You should be thankful you are an 'eavy sleeper."

"And how the hell'd you puke on my shirt? You didn't even eat anything!"

"Where is zis anyway?"

"Port Ho Kyon. Just about everything we get on the island comes from this city. It's easily one of the biggest cities in the mainland. Not just because it is important for our home. But because it's a hub that trades with the rest of the continent."

:nusergei:"...what Jenwin said."

"It's about as neutral an Imperial city will be to Hegemony agents. They'll probably keep you for a brief interrogation and let the rest of you go...should be about ten years, give or take a month."


"Why do you care? You're Rezan."

"Anders is not! Zey do not deserve to be locked away for so long!"
No. 1084559 ID: eb0a9c

Ask if the interrogation period is meant to be an indirect punishment based on the wild differences in age demographics between competing nations, or if the bureaucracy really is that messed up.
No. 1085547 ID: fd2dfa
File 170968504378.png - (2.36MB , 2825x3129 , 162.png )

:nusergei:"That doesn't seem rather fair. Is that period just punishing her for being Hegemony, or is this a bureaucracy problem? Not everyone lives as long as a Rezan."

"Anders certainly won't!"

"No, but that's how it is. Communication between the Empire and the Hegemony is only done through a few channels, and none of them are direct. If your occupation went through as you planned, it still would have taken a decade just to establish who should talk with who. A problem with your Hegemony is that it is a collection of powers that don't like to share. Anytime the Empire wants to talk, all the member states argue with each other who gets to be the one act as the representative, who will be the second voice in case the first cannot speak, the third voice if the first two representatives cannot be reached and so on. A lot of waiting and arguing before any response is sent and actual talks can start. And then there is what each side prioritizes. Military related agreements always take precedent, followed by trade deals, negotiations for repatriation of annexed territories, safe escort of sovereign civilians, and near the bottom is prisoner exchange.

That's lowest priority as nobody wants to dig through their byzantine records to find out who was taken, which member state they were from, their extradition procedures, and determining how valuable they are by rank. Anders, from what you told me dear Nunnette, is a pencil pusher at best. She's of little value to the Hegemony. The Empire likely won't need to hold her the ten years if the Hegemony tells them Anders is not worth anything to them. Then I'm afraid she'll be stuck here, an officer in a city of her enemy."

"Ow do you know so much about Hegemony relations?"

Jenwin gives Nunnette a pitying look. "My dear Nunnette, I'm a guildmaster of prostitutes and brothels. Half my employees are Hegemony that came to this forgotten corner of the Empire to be forgotten. They're the ones telling me all about their system so its easier to get their brothers, their sisters, their parents, or spouses out here."

:nusergei:"That doesn't explain how to keep Anders out of prison."

"Oh there's a couple ways. None of them exactly legal. You'll likely have to leave once you get them out before port authority realizes what you did."

:nusergei:"Well then we should-"

Wait. We're on the mainland. Jun Ma Zen is on the mainland. Alicia might be here! And if Alicia is here...would Viv be here?

"Um...Sergei? Is everything alright?"

:nusergei:"Uh Jenwin. Do you know where Jun Ma Zen is?"

"What? Oh yes that would be a three hour walk west of the city. Why? Do you think hiding out in the ass end of the prefecture will keep authority from finding you? Forget it. You'll have to leave this province altogether."

:nusergei:"No, no! It's that-"

>There's something I have to do (Go to Jun Ma Zen)
>Just curious.(Help Anders and leave)
No. 1085548 ID: eb0a9c

So... the Hegemony is a proper, honest-to-the-gods democracy, but there has been no work done on improving or compromising against the inherent weakness of long-term tribal arguing. On principle.

"Y'know, less people would join the bad guys if the good guys didn't present sitting around solving nothing as a virtue."

And to that effect, I think we should work on getting Anders and the other Hegemony grunts to defect. Really, she saved your mid-official ass (somehow), that should count for a lot. Vivian and her team can wait, they're elite agents and they've waited through worse.
No. 1087601 ID: 1e0c72
File 171200060030.png - (54.31KB , 800x600 , 4.png )

Giant explosion, everyone dies again.
No. 1087657 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1088770 ID: 7a1a17
File 171313222280.png - (1.40MB , 2140x1908 , 163.png )

Good point. I don't really have many options left to me. Which means I'll probably need all the help I can get. I'd feel better with Viv but she probably wouldn't be sticking around waiting for me would she? She'll be long gone. And better they come with me than rotting in an Imperial holding block. Well time to see if my lessons in speaking paid off.

:nusergei:"Heyha, are you done with my assistant?"

"Your assistant?"

"Your assistant?"

:nusergei:"Yes, Miss Bellany is my assistant, and the best that I've had. And I would like to have her back now."

"And you are?"

:nusergei:"G-Governor Sergei. I believe you've heard of me."


:nusergei:"Well that sounds like your problem, I'm sure Miss Bellany can confirm my character, as can everyone else with me. Perhaps you know the honorable Jenwin?"

I gesture to the guildmaster and he gives a polite wave to the harbormaster.

:nusergei:"So if you don't mind I'd like to get settled in while I wait for you to get reclaim my island-"

"Wait just a moment! She's Hegemony!"

>Quick, bullshit something fast.
No. 1088773 ID: eb0a9c

"Captain Balzhemund lent his slave to me as a favor, after his experimental Gormoamhi cyborgs went rampant and tried to kill me. Said he'd pick her up in 50 years. And yes, I know Balzhemund's a human. Or at least, he was.
Guy's a @#$%ing maniac. Did you know he sleep-experimented on himself to replace his jaw? Point is, I fully intend to process Anders' complete defection to the Rezan Empire to keep her the @#$% away from him."
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