[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]

Report completed threads!

[Catalog View] :: [Archive] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki] :: [Discord]

[Return]
Posting mode: Reply
Name (optional)
Email (optional, will be displayed)
Subject    (optional, usually best left blank)
Message
File []
Embed (advanced)   Help
Password  (for deleting posts, automatically generated)
  • How to format text
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, MP3, MP4, PNG, SWF, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 25600 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.

File 165486684307.png - (732.10KB , 1000x1000 , Chapter3OpeningImageFinal.png )
1034710 No. 1034710 ID: 73aaab

Prelude:>>/questarch/970260
Chapter 1:>>/questarch/985116
Chapter 2:>>/questarch/1007458
Discussion:>>/questdis/133296
Wiki:https://tgchan.org/wiki/Last_Trace

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/x9QHPvzhdD
----------

Things were different before. But now, I'm going to have fun caving her head in.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1034711 ID: 73aaab
File 165486687646.png - (402.71KB , 1000x1000 , ch301altaltalt.png )
1034711

...
>The lone soldier marches grimly onward.
>Day after day, week after week, no answers were ever given. But now there's change. The SAI, Amica and the prototype, the corpse she was handed last night.
>Even though she had wanted it for so long - having grasped that difference herself, she found nothing but a bitter taste in her mouth.
>>
No. 1034712 ID: 73aaab
File 165486689515.png - (181.63KB , 1000x1000 , Chapter3Map.png )
1034712

...It's time again, isn't it?
I was... a little worried that whatever happened last night knocked you out of my system for good. Would've had an excuse to sneak away if the Weave Nexus wasn't on full lockdown.
But if we're going to fight, I'd rather have some backup than nothing at all.

I know there's... probably a lot to think about, with what happened last night. But we have to focus on what's ahead of me first.

And so I've got to fight Astrolysis, the so-called Foundry Sector Boss. We didn't exactly get that much gear to use against her, but - this fight's going to be straightforward. I've gotten more skilled - more equipped than I when I had first fought Astrolysis in front of you Sykes.
We do have a primitive floorplan of the area that we can use. Given how it was just a blueprint for the shape of the sector, it probably won't give us much information on what the area actually contains besides the general shape.

...I know there's a lot we haven't accounted for. Her Parasignia, how she fights, what her weaknesses are... but we have to bite the bullet and go in, as prepared as we can be.

We didn't get any standard-issue equipment or sub-items that'll help us out here, so I don't have to list 'em.
Whatever Astrolysis' fighting style is, she's a melee combatant of some sort - she can't aim at all. As such, it's probably a good idea if we stay outside of the rooms where we have the advantage.

My current equipment:
Twin Revolvers - The Sound and The Fury
Shotgun - The Creirwy D-3
Sniper Rifle - Prototype H-ED DSTR
Auxiliary Melee - Silkweave Gauntlets



Deck of the Storyteller:
2 Solburst
3 Frozeneye
3 Breezecycle
2 Briarspirit
2 Voidsplit
4 Echoscribe

If I forget anything or get a number wrong, let me know. It's hard keeping track of everything on me, you know. Part of why I like having my Parasignia is not having to count my ammunition.
>>
No. 1034714 ID: 73aaab
File 165486701957.png - (778.96KB , 1500x1000 , ch302.png )
1034714

And here's my gadgets - you know how the drill goes, yeah? Pick some main gadgets, cram the others in the main ones to give 'em extra properties. That's how we get the show on the road.

Oh, almost forgot to mention - I got a bundle of clothes this morning. Apparently you lot made them for me? That's... weirdly nice of you. But I guess Judicium had to actually put whatever crazy designs you've got into reality, huh.
Still, I appreciate it - I'll put it on while you guys figure things out.

Gadgets:
Barrier Generator - Projected Forcefield.
Beam Unit - Long-ranged Beam Attack.
Explosive Discs (3) - Throwable plastic explosives.
Pitch Prefect - Wrist-mounted tar launcher.
Blink Capacitor - Short-ranged teleportation and intangibility.
Blade Printer - Aerodynamic disposable knife creation.

Alright, Sykes - let's figure out a loadout using all of this info.
Any recommendations?
>>
No. 1034717 ID: e5709d

Here's the gist of what we learned on our intel review:
This hellhole is not a 'hero factory', it is a Psionics laboratory. They stopped caring about winning the war and obsessed over developing the perfect brainwasher. Good thing that didn't work out. I think.
The two main explanations for why you are all biologically born female are (A)females develop psionics better or something, or (B) someone sabotaged all the male test samples to slow this project to a crawl.
Testemillion became a Machiavellian sociopath due to the war. He got the other project leaders to put a memetic self-destruct in your minds, in case any of you went rouge. The trigger has to do with murdering innocents or betraying allies, or some other war crime.
One of the base's captains was a royal princess. You might want to find her.
Diagram may be a clone of her older sister - apparently, she had Banshee's Grasp. We don't know if she made it.

>>1034712
First off, I'm setting up a challenge for you; try to beat your next opponent without using more than three cards. The fact that you're permanently sacrificing magical artifacts to pass a test is something I am extremely uncomfortable with; even if this is the most important test of your life, the admins are going to look at your conspicuous spending and indirectly grade you by shredding their letters of recommendation. Nobody will trust you with shiny objects if you vore them like aspirin.
>Opponent is a dedicated melee specialist
Hm... that's too good to be true. She's a veteran. She's trained with Nickel. She'll have traps or a drone rig to compensate for ranged attackers. And since you don't have any melee supports beyond your own gauntlets, her best bet is to find ways to outsmart or bypass your defenses and just get in for a spine-breaker 'bear hug'.

>>1034714
My favorite part of our prep sessions; let's customize this Transistor!

General Teleportation For OMGWTFBBQ
* Blink Capacitor
** Barrier Generator
** Beam Unit
You need an exit strategy. If you get cornered in this fight, Astro will take a chunk of your health before you can disengage and can pursue like a killer from then on. You need a few GTFO charges to reset your position. Increase the BC's range so you can teleport across the entire sector and add a barrier so you can bypass any traps in your way.

Torgue's Butterblade Dispenser
* Blade Printer
** Explosive Discs
This is the kind of toaster you'd expect Mister Torgue Flexington to store his knives in. Why does he keep his knives in his toaster? "Why do you not have a grenade launcher?" You'll get less explosive damage from your blades, but you can spam them or make near-unlimited explosive traps. Which can detonate...

* Pitch Perfect
And be sure to spread some goopy cheer. She'll expect you to soup this gadget up with mods to pin her down. Don't fall for it.
>>
No. 1034719 ID: e51896

Oh good. The glitches stopped.

Yeah, when you grabbed that gift from Amicia, our visual got glitched up a bit, making it a little hard to see. maybe we got damaged somehow.

but just to make sure, can you hear us alright? I W̴a̷n̸t̵ ̸t̶o̸ ̵m̷a̷k̴e̷ ̸sure our audio didn't get damaged either.
>>
No. 1034811 ID: c1b6b2

The classic Pitch-Perfect/Explosive Discs burning tar projectiles could help a lot against her heat sense.

Same goes for Beam Unit/Barrier Generator for heat-emanating force fields.

Unless there is a better combination that could throw her off in that fashion.


Before the battle begins, allow us some words of encouragement:

Uhm... what's important is to participate!
>>
No. 1034814 ID: 273c18

>>1034714
Here are the tags again:
Beam Unit - Focusing, Energizing, Pinpointing
Explosive Disc - Explosive, Volatile, Destructive
Barrier Generator - Reflective, Protective, Repelling
Pitch Prefect - Slowing, Sticky, Congealing
Blink Capacitor - Displacing, Replacing, Intangible
Blade Printer - Replicating, Cutting, Aerodynamic

>>1034717
I like this loadout, tbh. We need a strong teleport because we are going to have a lot of trouble keeping away from her, having defense-piercing explosives is a no-brainer, and spreading tar (burning or not) is a great strategy against a melee opponent.

We can ignite the tar with the exploding blades!
>>
No. 1035014 ID: 73aaab
File 165525732724.png - (356.33KB , 1000x1000 , FoundryRoom.png )
1035014

>Oh good, the glitches stopped!
Yeah... that thing.
Something still feels different after that. Maybe it's just me. I haven't seen any glitches on my part, but I'll have to keep it in mind.

>Change can be imperceptible. Like cracking a geode - sometimes it is necessary to damage something to uncover the secrets within.

>Intel Review
Huh? Just what kind of things are you seeing while you're not around?
From the sound of it, I guess you're talking about the past Project Leaders. I don't know much about them and I guess the classes about them weren't especially interesting so I'm not sure I'm actually understanding everything you're talking about.
Given that there's only one woman in the Project Leads, you're talking about Leeza, right? Never heard anything about her being a princess sort - and I don't actually know what happened to her, considering she's left her stuff in the locker last we went looking. I'd have to ask Ozone about it, which isn't exactly something I want to do.
All of this... greater stuff, I'm going to have to consider it later. For now, I've got a Sector Boss to defeat. We'll review it when I've got time to look into it.


>Try beating Astrolysis without using more than three cards.
Are you kidding? What's the point of having these things if I don't actually use all of them? I get saving a few for the next fight, but resources are meant to be spent. I'll try, but if I lose because I didn't use enough of 'em, it's on you.


Alright, let's take a look here...

From the suggestions you've provided, I'll be taking this loadout:

Blink Capacitor, with Barrier Generator and Beam Unit integrated into it.
With some quick tests, the effects are clear - when I teleport in to an area, it ends up creating a short-lived barrier around me that means I won't be surprised by anything unpleasant. And the Beam Unit slotted in there means that the teleport's fairly quick to use - so I don't have to wait around all too much.
The Beam Unit's effect doesn't really improve the Blink Capacitor's range however, so we'll still be operating within a similar range as before.

The Blade Printer simply has the Explosive Discs in it so they become timed-detonation knives. No matter how good Astrolysis' defenses are, a point-blank explosion'll do a lot of damage to anything.
I didn't think it would've been this easy getting sticky bombs of a sort, but hey, this'll help teach that beast who's the real boss around here!

Finally, I take the Pitch Prefect (you guys do realize it's Prefect, not Perfect?) since the tar'll help slow Astrolysis down. It would actually be nice to mod it a bit more, but I just don't have the gadgets for this.

Still - with this loadout? I'm sure I've got a good chance behind me of succeeding. So it's go time.

Getting the new gear on - I think it feels pretty good. Easy to move in. Haven't really had a change of clothes in a long time so.... thanks. I don't think I've gotten a present like THIS before.

>Once, heat flowed forth from the doorways leading in and out of the foundry, the war machine fuelled through the production of weapons and equipment.
>Though it lays dormant, the only war machines left are the people who dwell in the facility itself.

Pwah. Feels like a layer of dust's starting to settle now that nobody's around any more. No need to make more weapons on a bigger scale - nowadays all of the new stuff being put together's what you can do yourself. We're lucky there's still enough parts lying around to do stuff with.

And there, in the middle of the Sector... there she is.
Astrolysis... she's all by herself.
She's got a wrapped thing at her side - is that a weapon?

She's all armored up. Guess she's as serious as me.
I warily approach, but she doesn't need to see me to feel me coming.
>>
No. 1035015 ID: 73aaab
File 165525738537.png - (957.31KB , 1000x1000 , AstroKneeling.png )
1035015

And there she is.
That bundle by her side. Is that a sword, or a club? It's so big, I'm not sure which it is.
"Yo. Wirehead. So we're doing this, huh?"
It's strange seeing her so calm. Like a sleeping monster.
There's not much desire for smalltalk between us. I guess, in spite of everything, we're on a similar wavelength when it comes to beating the tar out of someone.
I stay a safe distance away, ready to get my guns out at any moment. But first, there's a lot of other stuff to sort through.

"Yeah. We are. You got the weapon for me, like you promised?"
I don't forget what I'm owed.

"Yeah. Right here, take it."
She reaches behind and kicks something over to me - it's long, but - it's not even in a case. It's a leather sheath of some kind.
>>
No. 1035018 ID: 73aaab
File 165525751860.png - (765.58KB , 1000x1000 , swordpickup.png )
1035018

I go to pick it up and...
This is... a sword?!

I look up at her.
"I thought you were making me a gun?"

"Did I say that? All I remember's you begging for a weapon made by me. And so I made the thing I'm best at making."

I turn the thing over and back in my hands. It's certainly something - if anything, it is well-made.
Swords... can't say I find the appeal in them, given that guns are so much better in the kinds of engagements we're familiar with, but melee weapon training was included early on in our curriculums as cadets. I can use this thing as competently as anyone else.

"Alright, fine, I'll take it. How'd you make it anyway?"

"Had an idea or two in mind. Took some inspiration from a friend."
I wonder who it is?
"You make this yourself?"

"Yeah. Got a little bit of help, but making it's something I learned from the best."
The metal shines under the light. Interesting colour.
Hard to believe that she put this together mostly by herself though.
>>
No. 1035019 ID: 73aaab
File 165525753176.png - (506.29KB , 1000x1000 , plugacquired.png )
1035019

Holding it up to the light - this thing's... it feels right holding it.
A few practice swings, and it's like the sword's already an extension of my arm.
"So... what's it called?"

"Plug."

"The Plug?"

"No, just Plug."

...Somehow I feel like she's telling me to go stick this in an electrical outlet.
"Go on, do your whole magic thing to the sword - I can wait a few more minutes."

I glare at her as I disassemble the sword - but the construction of the sword is fairly simple. Good quality, too. Maybe it's because of how simple its construction is, but I think I can manifest it faster than my other weapons.
Feh. I'm tempted to rename this thing, but that doesn't feel right to me - a name's like a mark you put on the weapons you create, right? I didn't make this, and it would be wrong for me to just rename it, even if it's got a weird one.

Not sure what's going to happen if I start using Guns Blazing to combine my other gear with it - it's been a long time since I've had a sword of this quality.
>>
No. 1035020 ID: 73aaab
File 165525755810.png - (524.86KB , 1000x1000 , AstroChoice.png )
1035020

The sword's finally been integrated, so I take a step back.
My revolvers reappear in my hands, but Astrolysis stops me.

"Wait. Before anything else..."

"You've got to make a choice."
I leer.
"A choice? This isn't the cafeteria line, Astrolysis."

Her grin continues.
"Hey, I like my fights like my meals - on time, and prepared to my tastes."

Her armor jangles as she makes a quick flourish. Two options, huh?
"Here's the deal - we can fight each other the cowards' way."
She spits. "Using Parasignias, running and hiding as you try to plink away at me with those peashooters of yours from a distance. The way you probably thought you were going to fight me."

"Or. We can do this the way that these tournaments were MEANT to be fought. Two soldiers, two living weapons armed with nothing but blades and sticks, trying to maul each other."
She's proposing that I fight her in her area of specialty? Get real!

"Yeah? And what's in it for me? My Parasignia's specced for modification of gadgets and weaponry. Why the hell should I agree to your conditions when I'm going to be at a big disadvantage up close?"

She shrugs. "Feh. You can keep your little toy gadgets if you want. I just want to enjoy myself, not chase you in circles as you gradually wear yourself out."
Oh, like you're not going to be the one who's eating facefuls of bullets each time we run around.

"Point is - I want you to fight me with the weapon I just made for you. And if you're not going to agree..."
She leers, showing all her teeth in that signature smile of hers.
"...I'm not going to hold anything back. You'll regret it."

>The rebel stares the behemoth before her down, pondering the possibilities. A duel for the ages, an echo of a past neither know for themselves.
"Don't give me that look. You think I'd really sabotage the best opportunity I have at having a good fight? You can fight however you want, wirehead. But if you're listening to those little voices in your head, then you'd better hope that they give you a decision that you're going to be happy with. "

"What about the sword? Does it still count if I jam something else into it?"
She shrugs. Awfully casual about all this for someone who's setting the rules.
"Eh. You sure you can keep your guns jammed inside a perfectly good sword that long? Still a sword in my book, even if it's got pieces glued on to it."

So, the question is... whether or not I actually take her offer.
I can fight her with just my gadgets and that new sword, or I can actually go at her with my full kit.
Pssh. I mean, she has to be kidding, right? Why the hell would I fight her with just a sword?
>>
No. 1035021 ID: e51896

do it for honor
>>
No. 1035023 ID: e5709d

>>1035014
Strange, I could smell a fortune cookie or something while you were talking about the glitches clearing up...
No really, and I don't know what that was about.

>>1035015
>Blade or Bludgeon
Tanto Markings, rectangular guard, it's wearing a scarf... pretty sure that's a blade. Since it's a long-ass weapon and she covered it in cloth instead of a scabbard, I infer this is probably an Odachi - Lightweight Greatsword, if you can believe those exist.
Their low durability and lower optimization for high-quality materials makes them ineffective in heated fights... when the wielder doesn't have powers. She has powers. This is going to suck. Expect strong, faster-than-average long-range strikes. And according to the datalogs, swordplay schools use Odachi like fast-flying hammers, so expect downward strikes.
Or maybe she just chose this because she thinks you're going to charge like a rabid animal - apparently these were made to cut down tamed beasts.

>>1035018
Dang. Still, we have some blueprints for modernized swords. I told you about Trick Weapons, right?

>>1035019
I dub thee... The Linker Sword!
... It's a joke. You do NOT want to choose The Baiter.

>>1035020
I get the feeling that she's purposely trying to hold back just so beating you up will be sweeter.
But don't take the deal. You don't have secret melee training, and she's physically stronger than you. A straight fight is suicide.
We'll just have to push you to your strategic limits on this one.
>>
No. 1035024 ID: a53150

>The rebel stares the behemoth before her down, pondering the possibilities. A duel for the ages, an echo of a past neither know for themselves.
I'm sorry, who are you again and why are you butting in to say this stuff?




Honor duels are meant to b fought in equal terms. Same weapons, same fighting style, and the one who is most skilled or talented wins.

But I leave it up to you, Argine, do you want to win abbiding to the rules of the duel or abbiding to its spirit?
>>
No. 1035026 ID: 273c18

I think this deal is to your advantage. Considering Nickel's bullets got multiplied, I'd say Astrolysis can clone herself. Force multiplication AND defense multiplication-- you won't be able to win a fight against five of her. You just won't.

Ask her what happens if someone breaks the deal once it's taken. What's stopping her from changing her mind halfway through the fight?
>>
No. 1035058 ID: 5bc683

Heh. She's actually playing into your personality a bit here. So play into hers.
"We could always spar later. Besides, how could I pass up a chance to fight you at full strength? Even better, how could I pass up a chance to beat you at full strength?"
>>
No. 1035179 ID: 73aaab
File 165543284142.png - (539.40KB , 1000x1000 , ArginePush.png )
1035179

>Who are you again?
Uh... you sure you're thinking right, Syke?
>Consider me a spectator. I've been here all along, much like you have. The host cannot hear me - and we should hope that she cannot. For when she can - that's a sign of worse things to come.

I ain't hearing anyone else you're talking to. Whatever, moving on.

>Honor duels are meant to b fought in equal terms. Same weapons, same fighting style, and the one who is most skilled or talented wins.
If this was fist-fighting, I think I would be given a couple of handicaps, given how much larger Astrolysis is compared to me.

>You don't have secret melee training, and she's physically stronger than you. A straight fight is suicide.
>We'll just have to push you to your strategic limits on this one.

Actually, I DO have secret melee training. With Nickel, remember?

Break and Blood Circle - respectively, it lets me escape grapples with people larger than me, getting to a safer distance, and lets me take less hits because I'm better at dodging and weaving than I was before.
You're still right though - Astrolysis is at far more of an advantage when at these ranges. I can't take this choice, regardless of how 'honourable' it is.

>Ask her for more details.
"So what happens if one of us breaks the rules after we agree to it?"

"Can't talk for you, but I don't have any other gear I'm planning to use. If you break the rules, then I'll just go all out, like I said."

Feh. She's not exactly being very specific about it at all, is she?

>I think this deal is to your advantage.
I'm not so sure it is.

>Heh. She's actually playing into your personality a bit here. So play into hers.
Time to see how she'd respond to this -
"We could always spar later, if that's what you really want. But we don't get to go full force often - why should I pass you up on that? Better than that - what's better than me beating you at full power, with everything I've got?"

This gets her thinking for a bit - not that she has much going on in that cake-shaped head of hers.
"You really think you can do this, huh?"

She shakes her head, that stupid grin of hers plastered over her face.
"Your funeral. I gave you a choice."

I continue to stare at her, watching for her next move.
"We gonna do the pledge?"
The words are still etched into my mind.

"No."

No? First time I've ever heard that.
"Stop clinging onto the past, Argine. We ain't living there. I'm going to be destroying you now, not years ago!"

"Yeah? And how do you expect us to do things if we're not looking at what past heroes have done?"

"It's easy."
She takes a step forward and I raise my guns in response.

"We do things OUR OWN WAY!"
It's like a blur -
I'm knocked back, and there's a throbbing pain in my chest.
How can she move so fast?!
>>
No. 1035180 ID: 73aaab
File 165543286202.png - (698.17KB , 1000x1000 , ArginePushed.png )
1035180

I grunt as I push myself off the ground.

"The hell happened to the idea of honor and ceremony?", I shout as she kneels back down like she didn't just shove me a meter away.

"You really think I'M the sort to care about that kind of thing? I'm here for a fight, not talking. You turned down the offer, after I made such a nice sword for you too!"

I'm trying to recover, but wherever she hit me - I feel pretty damn disoriented.

"So, what do you want, Argine? Are you really just fighting to be... some kind of hero? Didn't think you were serious."

I grit my teeth. Now she's asking?
"That's damn right. Me, when I'm getting the hell out of here, I'm going to be a hero. Someday, people are going to look up to me - respect me, because there'll be nobody who can stop me."

My revolver's gone - I can try to reform it, but - if needs be, I can go and re-manifest the sword - it's simple, so getting it back together should be faster than my revolvers.

She laughs, and a chill runs down my spine.
>>
No. 1035184 ID: 73aaab
File CompressedAstroFinalIntro.mp4 - (17.53MB )
1035184

(Compressed Videofile attached)
Youtube Link & Full Resolution:
https://youtu.be/nunx2v4WVpI
>>
No. 1035185 ID: 73aaab
File 165543343401.png - (105.99KB , 1000x1000 , FoundryMap01.png )
1035185

>[HOST ENGAGED IN ACTIVE COMBAT. BOOTING SPECIAL FUNCTIONALITY]
>[SAI PROTOTYPE COMBAT PROTOCOLS INITIATED – ENGAGING TRI-A TACTICAL PROFILE]
>[DISPLAYING STATISTICAL INTERFACE - INCREASING PROCESSOR SPEED]
>[RELATIVE TIME DILATION: 100:1]
>[RENDERING SAI-ASSISTANCE DIALOG – DISPLAYING]

>Assessment Phase initialized. Displaying environmental data.

>Relevant data to current opponent rendering...
>[SB-ASTROLYSIS]

>Parasignia Classification: ???
>Preferred Weapon archetype: Bladed (Longswords)

>Potential Weaknesses (Subject to change):
>- Blind - alternative sense of sights in use. Can be exploited.
>- Aggressive - can be baited into attacks.
>- Blade can be disarmed, lowering reach and firepower.


Ghh- what the hell!
Just as I was trying to get a breather.
Options, now!
>>
No. 1035190 ID: 273c18

>>1035185
Blink into a room, use Pitch Prefect to goop up the entrance she's most likely to use. Either hit her with your sword as she's slowed, or use an explosive knife.
Actually, you should prefer to use any tools that boost your Parasignia's charge. You probably won't be able to win without that big burst of damage.

Hmm, you seem pretty decent at blocking with that sword, so maybe you could use its quickdraw advantage to do that with it? You need to get better at manifesting it into your hand... you had to pick it off the ground back there.
>>
No. 1035193 ID: 8483cf

Bait her into attacking and try to tire her out. Buy time!
>>
No. 1035202 ID: e5709d

Hold off on using Blink, or she'll figure out how to subvert it quickly - especially since she's a blind warrior. Save it for a moment when you can cash in on a major sneak attack.

Instead, ask if whoever blinded her stuck their sausages into her eye holes, or if she overcompensates for being a simp to princess jut-out-your-juggling-chainsaws.

Run like hell and squirt brown juice behind you.

This is intentionally offensive. If Astrolysis is reading Argine's thoughts with hypertelepathy, let's creep her out and get her to show a tell of disgust.
>>
No. 1035580 ID: 462c22

I'm going for this strategy.
Bait her into a tar-smeared chokehold and shoot her full of holes.
>>
No. 1035586 ID: 73aaab
File 165581577407.png - (597.64KB , 1000x1000 , ArgineRunning.png )
1035586

Even from blocking one swing, my arms feel sorer than they should. What kind of force is she putting behind her attacks?
I turn to run, but I can feel the burning edge of the blade bearing down on me.

>Blink into a room!

I can't blink through solid material!
But I can use it to get some distance!

With a quick swipe of the hand, I activate the Blink Capacitor, teleporting back and into a safe distance. But a quick glance behind me, and Astrolysis is ALREADY sprinting full force towards me, her sword at the ready.
If I were to fire the Pitch Prefect at her now, I'd have to slow down a bit, and that's even MORE liable to get me caught.

>Hold off on using Blink, or she'll figure out how to subvert it quickly.
Too late for that! If I didn't use it, she probably would've cut me in half!
I'm not sure how 'seeing' a blink would look like from her perspective, but I don't have the time to just play around and find out.

I keep running toward the nearest room, but Astrolysis' speed means that she's gaining on me.
Not much time before she's going to try and thrust that thing through my chest!
>>
No. 1035587 ID: 73aaab
File 165581578949.png - (491.19KB , 1000x1000 , closedadoor.png )
1035587

I duck inside the room, slamming the 'lock' button.
The doors slam closed and I quickly survey my surroundings, taking a breather.


From the looks of it, this specific room seems to be full of boxes of building materials.

There's boxes of nails, some cans of paint and adhesive tape rolls. Maybe I could go and create a diversion using them? But I won't be able to beat Astrolysis just from running around all day.

>Actually, you should prefer to use any tools that boost your Parasignia's charge. You probably won't be able to win without that big burst of damage.
Good suggestion, but - she hasn't actually USED her Parasignia properly yet, not from the looks of it! I'm going to have to play keepaway as she tires herself out, or at least I figure out WHAT she can do!
So that means ideally, we'd try to -
>>
No. 1035588 ID: 73aaab
File 165581580782.png - (592.87KB , 1000x1000 , closedadoorPENETRATE.png )
1035588

There's a sickening crack as her heated blade penetrates through the door.
A muffled shout from behind the thick metal greets me.
"Playing hide and seek, wirehead? I thought you weren't a coward, that you were going to push me over and keep walkin' forwards?"

And there's THAT again. Damn it, I feel like I need to respond to all of that - running her bloody mouth, dissing how I live my life!
She's trying to psyche me out like that - and I hate it.

I can hear her grunting from the other side - whatever the door's made of, it's going to buy me some time at very least.
>>
No. 1035589 ID: 73aaab
File 165581584030.png - (90.59KB , 1000x1000 , FoundryMap02.png )
1035589

She's trying to pry the doors open - I've got only a few seconds to come up with something against her - but unless I can turn the flow of battle against her, I'm not going to win this fight.
Being indoors is NOT a good situation - normally, her sword would get caught on the shelves and furniture of the room, but with how that thing gouged a crack into the concrete floor? Yeah, I think that thing's going to go through objects like butter.

A few options come to me -

1. I can try to gum up her sword using the Pitch Prefect's tar while it's stuck in the door. This should buy me some time to reposition elsewhere and try to gain an advantage.

2. I could probably fashion a quick trap out of the materials in this room, but you're going to have to give me the best choice out of what we've got - with paint, nails and tape.

3. I could try to argue with her about what she said before the fight started - trying to buy some time for me to slip out the back as she's explaining what the hell she even means.

4. Maybe you've got an idea that I haven't thought of yet?


Whatever it is, we're going to have to move fast - that door doesn't look like it's going to last much longer!
>>
No. 1035590 ID: e5709d

>>1035586
>I can't blink through solid material!
YOU CAN'T WHAT?!
That would have been nice to remember five minutes ago!

>>1035588
Oh wait, problem solved. This idiot will poke enough holes to induce tryptophobia. Port through those.

>Damn it, I feel like I need to respond to all of that
Mouth shut, eyes open, improvise with what you've got.

For now, grab as much stuff as you can from this room and bug out. I have an idea, but we don't have the time.
>>
No. 1035593 ID: e5709d

Oh right, and hide an explosive knife in the nails.
>>
No. 1035666 ID: 798908

>>1035588
Is there a source of water or something nearby? I imagine that sword would quickly become a hindrance if steam became a factor. Even if she's blind, a significant enough amount of steam and mist should obscure most extra senses.

There should be big water pipes around, foundries use a lot of it.

Use that to slow them down, we may have to resort to a LOT of collateral damage here.
>>
No. 1035673 ID: c5322d

If any of that paint is spray paint, it sure would make your explosive knives more explosive.
Otherwise, nails would make good improvised caltrops.

Though if you really want to go big, why not blow that sword of hers to pieces with your knives?

>>1035666
That's be worse for Argine you dope, she can't shoot what she can't see!
>>
No. 1035675 ID: e35782

>>1035673
Quick clarification:
Tape explosive knives to her blade.
>>
No. 1035680 ID: c1d4af

Let's use the Pitch Per-

*sigh*

the Pitch Prefect on the door and floor, it will give us time to prepare some projectiles to throw at her while she tries to move past the tar.

We should also use the Barrier Generator to ram her out of the way so we can leave the room.
>>
No. 1035697 ID: 30b9f6

>>1035184
Mmm. Hell of a thing going down here. Astrolysis, whatever you hope to get out of this: may it be more than you expected - and twice as funny.

>Another plan
Pull out Plug and a Voidsplit card. Argine, no matter who you are and what you want, you can take Astrolysis' point and impale her with it. Make her have to acknowledge that you drew first blood, just the way she wanted, in the way she wanted it... when she supposedly wasn't even holding back.

>Edge against the edge
Brush the 'unlock' button just as Astro's blade slices through. Yes, it slices unnaturally, but the molecular dividing effect must run along the edge itself, not the whole thing. Just make sure the blade is such that the movement of the door can yank it.

>Singular moment of awe
Activate the card, spend your next act lunging out the opening door, using Plug to draw first blood (however bad a blow you can deliver) and from there - second action - dodge/parry Astro's inevitable counterstrike, kick or elbow. She's a melee monster with blind-sense, I refuse to believe she won't have an interrupt on the way no matter how fast you go. If for whatever reason she does not - draw blood again, but do not be tempted for a third blow. You need your third act to be your getaway.

>Strike and disappear
Run past her and scatter her feet and your line of retreat with explosive knives on short timer. Use those explosions to shift yourself around in directions you weren't going before; make her have to guess where you're headed - make YOURSELF guess where you're headed so she can't read your body language. Even if Astro powers through it all and picks the right way to follow, at least you'll have dinged her or slowed her down.

>Breathing room
Make for another room, another door, and set up a similar-seeming situation. It is only AFTER drawing first blood that you should use Astrolysis' easily riled aggression against her. Maybe with a pitch prefect trap for her to step into. Just don't pop your back against a wall or door - she's not been showing you the full extent of her sensory capabilities - or her wall-busting ones either. I will damn well bet on that.
>>
No. 1035698 ID: 30b9f6

>>1035697
Ugh, and if you wanted to be dead boring you could instead use those three acts to sticky her stuck with the Prefect, step back and fill her and her zone full of quick-timed explosive knives and THEN run like heck and hope she doesn't manage to somehow avoid the 'splosions and stay on your tail.

If it works, I dare say that'd make her flaming mad too - especially if the pitch lights from all them 'sploses.
>>
No. 1036463 ID: 73aaab
File 165651029772.png - (382.11KB , 1000x1000 , AstroSwordStuck.png )
1036463

>That would have been nice to remember five minutes ago!
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, REMEMBER? I TOLD YOU THAT IT CAN'T TELEPORT ME THROUGH SOLID WALLS BEFORE!


>Find big water pipes, that should slow her down!

Good idea, but there's no pipes in THIS specific room. If we find one, you bet I'm going to use it to my advantage.
Too much of it'll make it harder for me to shoot her, but with enough... I imagine she'd have a tough time figuring out where I am, since I think she 'sees' through heat-detection.

>Tape explosive knives to her blade.
And how to you expect me to do that without my fingers getting chopped off to begin with?

>We should also use the Barrier Generator to ram her out of the way so we can leave the room.
Newsflash, the Barrier Generator's in the Blink Capacitor so that I get shielded when I warp somewhere. Which, incidentally, is still briefly on cooldown, but it should be ready again real soon.


>Brush the unlock button just as Astro's blade slices through.
That'll do it!
The metallic creaking around me grows louder as her sword gradually cleaves it open, Astrolysis chuckling to herself on the other side.

"You got any presents for me, Argine? I'm DYING TO GET SOME!"
I slam the button, right as she's ready to retrieve her sword.
I wince as a horrible grinding noise comes from the door mechanism, now that Astrolysis' sword is caught in the gap.
From the combined force of the door trying to close and the sword trying to cut a big enough hole for it to slide back out - it's stuck for now.
>>
No. 1036464 ID: 73aaab
File 165651038568.png - (822.97KB , 1000x1000 , RGSlash.png )
1036464

>Make her have to acknowledge that you drew first blood, just the way she wanted, in the way she wanted it...
Probably too late for changing the rules, but...
Time to put the plan in action.

I draw from the deck - the very card I wanted appearing in my fingertips.
One Voidsplit card has been consumed.
I'm down to my last Voidsplit card. Whether it's in this fight or in the future, you'd BETTER make sure it's used for the right reasons.
Time slows down, and for a moment, it feels like every moment I'm experiencing is as clear as day.

And so I strike.

I run in, sword at the ready - and swing.

Another metal scrape -
She's wearing armor under that robe of hers!
Plug - whatever the hell it's made out of - STILL gouges a cut through the plating, though it feels like I'm grinding it against concrete.

I expected her to yell in anger, but instead, her laughter chases after me as I quickly step back, still empowered by the card's magic.
"Using your sword? Too late to go back now, wirehead!"

She's got a point. Still - I can't believe how well the damn thing cuts.

Time for step two.
>>
No. 1036465 ID: 73aaab
File 165651042475.png - (321.55KB , 1000x1000 , RGKnifethrow.png )
1036465

A safe distance away, the next instant I leap back after the strike, I manifest the Blade Printer.
One, two, three.
I gather the blades in my hand, feeling the air rush past me as I'm carried backward by my initial jump.

I only need one arm to throw these.
The aerodynamic blades sail out, the glowing tips a reminder that - these things aren't just a practical joke of a weapon any more.
>>
No. 1036466 ID: 73aaab
File 165651049065.png - (695.90KB , 1000x1000 , ArgineSplosion.png )
1036466

And there's the blast.
Feels like I get one of these every fight, but I ain't complaining. I'm starting to really like riding the aftershocks of these things, but i'm careful to land on my feet.

I don't bother watching the smoke clear as I make my escape, but her voice's as loud as usual.
There's a coughing, and a growl.
"What the hell was that?"

Keep guessing, big girl.
>>
No. 1036467 ID: 73aaab
File 165651055015.png - (101.70KB , 1000x1000 , FoundryMap03.png )
1036467

I've secured some breathing room for myself - Astrolysis is going to be a LITTLE dazed after that onslaught, right? There's another room above me that seems to be where a lot of the material in-flow exists. Not that we're going to be able to get molten steel or something since there's none of that, but at VERY LEAST, water should be piping through it perfectly.


But I've got a few options for movement here -
1. - I can maneuvre into the next room with the water pipes, in hopes of making use of them against Astrolysis. Her heated edge means that the steam will help disrupt her blindsense, and I could potentially use it as an opportunity for an offensive play.

2. - I instead, go out back into the open and try to use my head start to deal damage to her with my ranged weapons. While the pipes are an option, being stuck indoors with nowhere to run - especially if I get caught by a locked door and I don't have my shotgun out to blast it down - I'm going to be in a pretty bad situation.

3. - Maybe there's another route? Going up on top of a building is possible but these things aren't suited for climbing - I'd have to blink up there. While Astrolysis wouldn't be able to attack me immediately, I have a feeling like she'd be able to do something crazy like using her sword to climb, or being able to actually jump up there. That'll leave me stuck, and it's high up enough that I'd probably get hurt if I tried to jump off.

4. - Something else I haven't thought of yet.

What's the best option?
>>
No. 1036531 ID: 3c6a01

>And how to you expect me to do that without my fingers getting chopped off to begin with?
Probably should have elaborated. Oh well. Still, the insult is too clever to go to waste...
Ever slapped a flat strip of tape to a wall? Like that, except there's a knife on the flat piece of tape, and instead of a wall, it's the blunt side of a blade.
Seriously, it's a sword Argine. Just like your brain, there's a large section that's not sharp. Little late now, though.

Either way, go for the open area, you'll have room to dodge and places to fall back to.
>>
No. 1036539 ID: 8aba56

>>1036531
Er... replace "blunt side" with "flat side"
>>
No. 1036544 ID: 273c18

I'm predicting that if you get in a hot steamy room she'll either refuse to stay there (negating your advantage) or start using her parasignia. In an enclosed space, you don't want any surprises like that. After you find out what her parasignia does, then the steamy room becomes a good idea.

Go out in the open. Don't try to shoot her with bullets, instead see if you can hit her with Pitch Prefect to slow her down, or start covering the floor with it. In the open, you can use your blink to retreat if necessary, like to the other locations you said would be useful.
>>
No. 1036577 ID: e5709d

>Blindness means she doesn't realize those are exploding knives
I have an idea. Her 'echosight' might be a superior form of alternate vision, but it isn't vision. She probably doesn't 'visualize' trajectories so much as witness them in interpolated motion. Which means...
Throw the knives into the walls so they form a path, but take a wildly different one. A standard soldier would see that they stick out in a way and deduce that they're being misled. Astrolysis is literally blind; she'll notice the explosives by echolocation but won't realize they're all planted so that they clearly form a path. She'll think she just needs to follow the knives to catch up to you, and then BOOM.


Delete post []
Password  
Report post
Reason