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File 167521088444.png - (623.43KB , 1000x1000 , ThreadHeaderCH4PSD.png )
1055064 No. 1055064 ID: 1015ea

Chapter 1:>>/questarch/985116
Chapter 2:>>/questarch/1007458
Chapter 3:>>/questarch/1034710

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


There's nobody left to help.
144 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1067442 ID: 1371b2

If you’re hearing the shot before you see it that says to me the distance the shots must travel between portals is VERY far.
Which suggests delayed attacks-
She canon shot straight at you but portal trickery is much slower- slow enough to dodge if in neutral, so to speak:
The worry is that well.
If she’s going to go full-storm now is the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets aggressive and does her best to use portal shots to force you into the open where she can nail you. And it’s likely to be portal to smoke out or ambush, her shot as a finisher, if the portal shots must be slow.
No. 1068883 ID: 78048b
File 169028778125.png - (354.78KB , 1000x1000 , sprintgine.png )

>So... did she not step through a portal?

That wasn't what I meant, whatever she's doing with them, she can't do it often or else she would've been using it from the start. There weren't any portals on the wall before I decked her into it, so she had to have made it there and then. She wouldn't have escaped in time otherwise.
The document we got on Mnemosyne's abilities said she still needs to actually make contact with a surface in order to create portals. Otherwise, she wouldn't have slammed right into the wall, she'd make a portal as she was sent flying towards it and get spit out somewhere safe.

>Could she be closing portals as she goes, gaining bandwidth to do more clever stunts with them?
Makes sense. It's smart too, set up traps with it early on like the floating guns, then as they're triggered, close the portals and now you've got more power for making portals late into the fight.
She wouldn't make traps like the floating guns if she couldn't close them at will, since then there'd be no guarantee that I'd be triggering them, making it a waste of energy.
Her document did say that automating the smaller portals is easy for her, but that doesn't mean they don't take up some of her 'capacity' to make portals.

>Outmaneuvering her might require both luck and a few traps of our own. Any chance we can get into (and out of) the ammo dump fast enough to set up a few surprises?
Dunno if I've got the time to set up traps, but an ambush may be safer. I'll bait her out.

>I think it might be good to use the pitch-prefect to throw a burning projectile down the hallway, making it look like we miss the shot and accidentally set the floor is on fire.
Even if the floor's on fire, she's not going to care all that much when she can fly. Given that she has wind powers, it could be bad for me, that she could blow the flames back at me.
That being said, remember that the Pitch prefect's got two functions I added onto it later - the 'Airburst' and the 'Extra Volatility', that allow me to detonate it midair, as well as have it catch fire when shot with conventional firearms.

I think if I airburst it, Mnemosyne will have a harder time avoiding the shot due to it covering a wide area midair.

>If you're hearing the projectiles before they can be seen, then that must mean there's a very long distance or delay with the attacks.
I think you're onto something here, Sykes. I said that if she could shoot me from below me all the time, she'd be doing it whenever she could.
So... for whatever reason, if she fires through her portals, she has to put them on a delay.
Given that attempts to send drones INTO her Protocosm has been unsuccessful, I get the feeling that she's doing something to make it so her bullets aren't blown off course by the winds inside of it.
Maybe it's also dependent on range? I've only been shot through a portal once so far, and that portal was close by to where Mnemosyne was slammed against a wall.

>We need to make it look like we're running or going to blink, following the light blue path. In reality, we're going haul ass and blink following the dark blue path right into the ammo dump. This way we can better ambush her.

Huh, nice map. Thanks, Sykes - I'll use this as a starting plan.

There's enough of this sitting and hiding. Stealth has never been a strong suit of mine, even if I've gotten training from Nickel.
I'm going on the move - with the Blink Capacitor in hand.
No. 1068884 ID: 78048b
File 169028781441.png - (593.62KB , 1000x1000 , encounter.png )

I make it seem as if I'm running away from the Ammo Dump as I stomp towards Mnemosyne's previous location.

It only takes a moment.
Our eyes meet, guns in hand.
Gotta say, it's intimidating staring someone down when the other person has a bunch of guns floating around her like that.

The stirring of wind in the air, from both her gadget and her powers - I can't imagine what it would have been like, to face her down in different circumstances.

Unfortunately for her, I react faster than she can pull the triggers.
Just because she can make guns float doesn't mean they're automated.
No. 1068885 ID: 78048b
File 169028784464.png - (401.95KB , 1000x1000 , grabthepetal.png )

The guns rotate toward me in an instant, but I'm ready for it.

The Blink Capacitor thrums with power - and I'm displaced.

Gunfire, missed bullets.
A before, and an after. Didn't Diagram describe using the gadget like skipping pages of a storybook before?
We're in the Ammo Dump and I'm thankfully unharmed.

I take only a brief moment to get my bearings, but...

Hey... wait a second.
This must be one of her weapon stashes, isn't there?
A couple of guns, the same type as the kind she had floating around her.
It's at least the
Dunno if we could use this against her or not, but we could gunk it up with the tar, deny her one more tool.

There's a... red petal on top.

I go to touch it, and...
No. 1068886 ID: 78048b
File 169028786535.png - (346.42KB , 1000x1000 , petal2.png )

It flickers.
It didn't even feel... real. More like a hologram.
I step back in case something happens. The moment passes. I'm fine.

But what the hell is that?
Egh. I don't have the time to figure this out. If things go well, I've got an ambush against her.
No. 1068887 ID: 78048b
File 169028789237.png - (81.36KB , 1000x1000 , SecurityMapThree07.png )

>It wasn't really smart to touch something you guessed was part of her powers. What if it blew up or something?

Okay, I'll give you that one - but it would be odd if Mnemosyne had some kind of Pseudosignia that could do that. She doesn't strike me as someone with a lot of connections.
Still, being in the Ammo Dump for a prolonged period of time is going to be a bad idea. Stuff's volatile and while we've got some element of surprise on our side, I don't know how well our ploy worked. What's the next move?

We're almost good to go.
Sooner or later, we'll have an opportunity for me to bring out Guns Blazing. But which combination do you have in mind, Sykes?

Planning things out in advance makes it easier, I don't need to stop before hammering her with a faceful of lead.
I know the Wallflower has been our most destructive combination, but that's only going to be useful against big targets like Astrolysis.
When our opponent is as evasive as Mnemosyne, I doubt it'll be as effective as we'd want for it to be.
Plus, it's either going to break my arm again, or fry the Amp Rings if I use in tandem. Which I can't, because they're currently slotted into the Blink Capacitor.

Give me your suggestions.

Blink Capacitor's on cooldown until the next action.
No. 1068890 ID: 473202

Pitch the guns. Pitch out the door, airburst it.

Follow on out right using the cover of the airburst (don’t step in pitch) and for Guns Blazing combine the shotgun and the sniper rifle or the pistols. She’s a wounded, possibly-stickied, flying dodgy girl - so fan the hammer and flak fire her down.

Air around you went a bit sparkly when you touched that petal. Some kinda SAI reaction? Maybe a memory. Maybe… Mnemosyne got some kinda SAI assistance thing going herself and that’s how she’s blocking the map?
No. 1068911 ID: 273c18

Ah. I think that's a device she's using to keep track of winds inside the typhoon. She sent a bunch of petals inside that are tracked by some sort of computer, which allows her to precisely aim the path of a bullet through the winds. If we were to sabotage the computer she'd lose the ability to shoot through her portals.
Although... if that's true, why haven't we seen any petals coming out of the portals? Well... if they're holograms with a small physical component to them then I guess the computer could erase any petals that escape?

>Guns BLazing
Well we already did shotgun+pistol, and shotgun+rifle, why not try pistol+rifle? Although... you could use the blunderbuss again if you can get between her and the exit, to knock her further in while you get further out, and stun her at the same time which would give you the opportunity to ignite the ammo before she can portal out. Hmm, her being able to portal away really makes it difficult to get her caught in the blast at all doesn't it?

>what to do right now
We're in a precarious position. Defenses are down, she's about to get within line of sight, and there's no safe escape route. So, time to get creative. Aim a pitch prefect as she rounds the corner, positioned to knock her further inside the room. Not sure if you'd need to air burst it or not. You might need to knock over a table to have enough cover so she doesn't immediately fill you full of holes while she's rounding the corner and you're aiming the tar.
You should consider throwing a pitch prefect inside the room as well to get ammo cooking, though I'm not sure you have time to throw two. Maybe if you used a card?
Anyway once she's off balance you can go towards the exit she came in from, and pressure her so she has to go further into the room, which is of course a terrible place to be in at the moment.
No. 1068919 ID: 273c18

Wait, you can use your tar without it exploding? I thought attaching explosive discs to the device guaranteed an explosion.

It might be nice to spread tar around all over the place in here, to get her stuck and prevent use of portals.
No. 1068937 ID: e5709d

Right now, I expect your best option is to find some way to demolish the wall and bring it crashing down on Mnemosyne.

Grab a gun, stuff it in your hammerspace, then gunk up the rest if you can't parasignia them all.
No. 1069297 ID: 15a025

Touching that petal might have gave away our location.

An interesting thought. Use your dead silence to set the table up like you'll use it for a shield. Let's make her think we're turtling up in here. Continue being silent and head north, and get ready to surprise her from the other side of the room, if time permits.
No. 1070339 ID: 78048b
File 169231848256.png - (205.25KB , 1000x1000 , tabledown.png )

>The petals are little computer devices that help her keep track of her portals!
...Seems a bit overcomplicated. Wouldn't it be easier to say that they're tied to her Parasignia?
She's likely marking her gun collections somehow, so maybe this is how she grabs her guns from the other side of the portal.

>Grab the gun and stuff it into your hammerspace.
I take hold of one of them but something's off. Despite how hard I try it, it doesn't disassemble at all.

Hell. Am I not able to deconstruct stuff affected by other Parasignias?
I never got to try it, but if I grabbed Astrolysis' sword back then, I'd get nothing but my palms burned off.

>Tar up the guns.
Can do.
One shot's all I need - and the pile's all gunked up.

>You can use the Pitch Prefect (when there's the Explosive Discs slotted in) without it exploding?
Oh - damn it, I forgot to point out this change when I was doing tests last time.
Previously, it would explode instantly. I changed the formula so that it would explode when hit really hard or shot, so now when I've slotted the Explosive Discs in there, they'd go off harder. Dunno how my Parasignia accounts for it, but it would suck if I lost functionality after I made changes to the ammunition, right?
When I opened using it before, I figured that after the tar covers Mnemosyne and I strike her, I'd back off and the resulting explosion would do even more damage. Didn't work out, considering Cold War froze the tar and rendered it unable to explode when when I hit it pretty hard.

>Find some way to demolish the wall and send it crumbling down on Mnemosyne
That's going to crush me as well while I'm at it, but I think it isn't going to work when she can portal herself out of situations.

>An interesting thought. Use your dead silence to set the table up like you'll use it for a shield. Let's make her think we're turtling up in here. Head north, and get ready to surprise her from the other side of the room.

Setting up the tables for a second ambush... perfect.
It'll take just a sec.

An ambush inside of the ammo dump's begging for trouble, but I'm wanting to close this fight out.

It's simple:
I set the tables up as if I'm hunkering down, then airburst a tar shot to bait her in.
No. 1070340 ID: 78048b
File 169231850320.png - (438.11KB , 1000x1000 , gunsup1.png )

I move to the north side of the room. The trick won't last too long, but it'll buy me a few seconds.

But before I start... I'll prepare myself.

>Combine your pistols and the sniper rifle.
Never thought I'd have to do this while trying not to be seen.

I'll keep it on the down-low.
It's not mandatory to say the name of my 'signia, but it makes it a bit more intuitive. Like counting the pages of an instruction manual as you try to find the right one.

I focus, the Sound and the Fury floating out from their holsters and taking their place beside me. The rifle in my hands feels weightier.
No. 1070341 ID: 78048b
File 169231852908.png - (917.40KB , 1000x1000 , gunsup2.png )

[Ignition Complex].

The glow radiates, but gives off no light.

[Guns Blazing].
No. 1070342 ID: 78048b
File 169231856743.png - (686.85KB , 1000x1000 , gunsblazingvolvers.png )

Two new guns.
Another set of weaponry that needs a name.

How's about...

Outcast and Downcast?
Goes without saying but if Nickel was wired a bit different, I imagine the two of us could be good friends. As it is, she wouldn't be too much of a chatterbox.
But the two of us are pretty alike. That's how it is down here in Site 70, huh.

Haven't used weapons with barrels these long in a while. Audacious considering how quiet Nickel is.
Reminds me of one of those films where two people with revolvers of their own duke it out.
High velocity, medium range.
And these won't break my arms either.
No. 1070343 ID: 78048b
File 169231859336.png - (810.52KB , 1000x1000 , claypigeons.png )

Time to get the plan rolling.
With a quick flick of the wrist, I fire and airburst one of the Pitch Prefect's shots, inevitably alerting Mnemosyne in the process.
Three shots left.

I'm hunkered down at the north.

The whirring of a hoverpack makes her presence obvious, but any pretense of stealth is long gone.

She aims, firing a salvo with her array of floating guns.
They obliterate the table in seconds.

I shoot, aiming each shot toward her guns, breaking them in the process.

Mnemo reacts, the shattered gun parts falling to the floor as I see new guns drop in from telltale portals, forming a new set.

I smirk as I hear the slimy click of a non-functioning gun.

This time, I aim for her head.
But then I see them flying toward me.

Shots whistle through the air, adjusting my aim.
They crunch against the tarred up metal before bursting aflame, breaking apart from the sheer force of the bullets.
No. 1070344 ID: 78048b
File 169231866054.png - (729.48KB , 1000x1000 , throughthesmoke.png )

I grit my teeth.
Seriously? She's using her own guns as temporary shields now?

I keep firing, reloading one gun as I fire the other.
More guns fly towards me - and more are shattered.
Together, they combust in a single moment and block my vision.

There's a telltale, wet collision as some of my shots finds its mark.
She emerges from the smoke, another few stripes added to her facepaint.
No. 1070345 ID: 78048b
File 169231868398.png - (538.66KB , 1000x1000 , chokehold.png )

But she doesn't stop.
Whether aided by her winds or her hoverpack, she ducks, pivots and swerves behind me.
I feel a tight grip around my neck.

In one flowing motion, she somehow managed to put me into a chokehold!
"Got you."

She's - she's not even trying to grab onto my shirt, she's grappling me entirely!

"Get off!"
I kick at her but her grip is bloody tight, even after I put a shot through her shoulder!
No. 1070346 ID: 78048b
File 169231870611.png - (107.20KB , 1000x1000 , SecurityMapThree08.png )

The right choice here is to use the training Nickel gave me - to Break from her grasp and reassert myself.
But I don't know what she's thinking, playing the close-up game when I've got a sword on me.

There's a solid chance that she's playing a trick on me as well.
My gadgets are off cooldown, but at this proximity, she could also try to stop me from making a getaway.
No. 1070347 ID: bdebf4

What ever you do please remember to dismember her, a missing limb will greatly limit tactical options.
No. 1070348 ID: 3ed3c3

Gun to her elbow.
No. 1070349 ID: 8f9bc4

She's lining you up for a shot. Where are her guns?
No. 1070353 ID: 4ccaad

roll forwards or fall back onto her. fuck up her shot, fuck up her balance, AND pin her before you break this hold.
No. 1070355 ID: 273c18

There's two reasons she could be doing this: 1, she's going to shoot you with a floating gun, or 2, she's going to try to bring you with her when she does that portal trick, whatever it is.

You could try to blink away but she's probably prepared for that. Manifest Plug and stab it backwards into her; that'll be faster than pulling out a gadget. If you see something nasty coming that you can definitely blink away from or use the shield to guard, go ahead.
No. 1070363 ID: 1e39e4

Perhaps since she grabbed un-oiled skin/fur she's going for the instakill. Shoot her arm with pitch. Probably good to bust out that 3 move card too so you have several chances to flip this. Several plans she might have, so it'd even the odds.
No. 1070368 ID: 1371b2

No games-wait-
Did she see you had a sword? Does she know?
Because if she doesn’t know then you can just shank her in the face right now and win.
I am more partial to that then getting thrown into a fake portal and getting turned into confetti!
No. 1070369 ID: e5709d

The main reason standard training discourages countering a chokehold with your gun is because you run the very serious risk of the attacker redirecting your aim and you shooting yourself in the face.

But that risk isn't so serious for you, is it.
Pull out a shotgun and BLAST AWAY!

If you want to be subtle, pretend you're still trying to pull her off with one hand and aim the gun at her groin.
No. 1070371 ID: f8083d

Can't let her pin you. You've got to move, preferably trying to bump her against walls or furniture, while you retrieve a pistol.
No. 1070382 ID: f14228

>"Got you."

If you can't figure out what she's trying to do with THAT advantage, I suggest you just pitch her up. Doesn't matter if you get any on yourself, or if you stick yourselves together, just pour it on, gunk up her helmet and arms, the hoverpack if you can cover it. Just limit her mobility and stop her from disrupting you using your guns or gadgets - the tar being a liquid of sorts is gonna mess with her ability to form portals.

With her restricted and tarred up, you can try to Blink out of her chokehold and once you're clear or she's flinched away (or the tar alights, by your design or hers) trigger Cold War to extinguish / remove any pitch from yourself.

Flame for thee, but not for me.
No. 1070443 ID: 15a025

She definitely has something lined up or aiming right at you. Break out of that choke hold, blink due west on the map towards that hallway there and continue to unload shots at her.
No. 1070446 ID: 273c18

Shit you're right this is exactly the right time to use Frozeneye.
No. 1070453 ID: 4481aa

Frozeneye definitely is the way to go. Use it to help seal the deal.
No. 1070455 ID: e5709d

FFFfine use the damn card, it's not like you're going to keep a magical deck consisting of the only remains of a previous hero out on your adventures... *grumble*
No. 1072002 ID: 78048b
File 169422030773.png - (486.58KB , 1000x1000 , fallingin.png )

>Spend a card!

>Cut her arm off!
I can't use these options when she's got a hold on me like that! She's not going to just let me get away with reaching down for a tool!

The sword, however...

>Flip her forwards!

I jolt forwards, suddenly swinging my weight, along with Mnemosyne in front of me.

I expect her to fall forwards - but instead, she floats.
I can feel a strong blast of wind - she activated her hoverpack even in that position?

We meet, eye to eye.
"See you soon."

What the hell does that mean?!

There's a faint glow under me, and...
I lose my footing, a windy crevice opening right below me.
No. 1072003 ID: 78048b
File 169422053449.png - (489.01KB , 1000x1000 , falling.png )

I'm... falling.

Moments after crossing the threshold, I can feel wind blasting against me.
But in spite of that, I'm still falling down.
The atmosphere around me spins - and it's hard to even tell what's up or down.

Even if I had the Blink Capacitor on hand, I wouldn't be able to aim it properly!
But for some reason, my fall slows - like the air itself was cushioning me.
No. 1072004 ID: 78048b
File 169422055184.png - (645.39KB , 1000x1000 , softlanding.png )

Moments later, my landing is surprisingly soft as I'm dropped like a brick onto some flowers.

I only take a moment to reorient myself - but no attacks, no traps go off.
This place... I've never seen anywhere like it.
A faint, pleasant scent lingers in the air.
No. 1072005 ID: 78048b
Audio Mnemosyne_FinalPhase_Kaine_Salvation.mp3 - (3.83MB )

Mnemosyne Final Phase

Title: Kaine Salvation

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?si=aeSuPOLMKBvyXosk&v=Gibu0sJQwkM&feature=youtu.be

No. 1072006 ID: 78048b
File 169422061506.png - (626.00KB , 1000x1000 , staredownamidstflowers.png )

...It's full of flowers swaying in the wind.
Occasionally, a petal drifts onto my bloodstained coat.

Despite there being some wind, I don't hear it.
In fact... this whole place is quiet. Peaceful, even. I can barely hear myself breathe.
Though I can see flashes of light in the distance, there's no thunder.

Mnemosyne stands in the distance...
In one sweep of the arm, she tosses her shattered helmet away.
No. 1072007 ID: 78048b
File 169422063587.png - (669.66KB , 1000x1000 , mnemosignia.png )

It's odd - Mnemosyne's not even armed, but as we lock gazes, a strange feeling comes over me.

This place feels... familiar, in a different sense.
I'm reminded of that grave above, with the flowers all around her.

"This world of mine... it's always felt nostalgic, even though I've only had it for a short time."
Her voice rings through the silence, causing me to tense up.

She'd barely spoken a whole sentence during this whole fight.

"Armintell. He was one of the first people to welcome me into this world. We used to spar with one-another, then laugh about it outside. Picnics. At a blacksite."

Reminiscing, huh?
I don't have much to reminisce over, but there's something about this...

"Do you think about your purpose, Argine? As a soldier? What were you made for?"

I still have my guns. I could shoot her right now if I wanted, but...
The atmosphere feels different. I've got all the gadgets, cards and guns I could need right now against an injured opponent.
But somehow, that doesn't feel right.
No. 1072008 ID: 3ed3c3

Let me answer your question with another question: What use is a sword in a world of plowshares?
Let's say I do get out. I get out, and the whole world is wrong for me.
Either I'm outdated and no longer suitable for the purpose I was created, or I'm too much, a walking, talking war crime unfit for the battlefield.
It's an ironic sort of Hell for people like us. But staying here is worse. Here, we're as good as buried. This place is a mass grave just waiting for us to rot, a scrap pile for us to rust on.
So, there we are. Either we stay here, corpses in denial, or we go out and accept our impotence.
Are we fighting for anything? Or do we need the distraction?
I don't even know anymore.
No. 1072009 ID: 918cdb

I knew it, she acquired a pseudosignia from he time Armintell and now she can teleport in and out of this pocket dimension at will.
Be on your guard, this whole place may be hostile, andMnemosyne might use it to her advantage while you answer her question.

Speaking of which:
"That's what I want to find out. I was created as a sendoff to a war that had already ended, where almost nobody remained alive to tell of it. A simple goodbye to an ugly weapons project from an ugly nation.

I fear a cage. To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.

I want to do something that matters, something that changes things for good. To be a force for good. Someone who will be remembered.

But most of all,

I want to be seen."
No. 1072010 ID: 4481aa

If she wants to talk, then talk. Don't drop your guard, but it's not like you can hide right now. May as well converse.

You've probably thought about your purpose more than anyone. While they all get to leave and try to live up to whatever they're here for, you've been trapped inside, either waiting or trying to force the next day to be the one where you finally get to live up to your potential.

Everyone else seems to think they know your purpose better than you do. The people running this place, Ozone, Jin, fuck them. Always insisting that they know better, that you're not good enough, and that you should just keep your head down until *they* think you're ready for whatever it is they might want to use you for. Your "purpose" was apparently failed from the moment that you came out worse than Jin. She fit what they were looking for, and you were just leftover scraps.

So fuck them, and fuck what they want. Their intentions and desires stopped mattering the minute they stopped giving a shit about you. Your only purpose is what you say your damn purpose is, and that's to get the hell out of here and be a hero.

Because that's what you want to do, and you don't need a better reason than that.
No. 1072011 ID: 273c18

Eye of the storm. Of course there'd be one.

>doesn't feel right
Trust your feelings. This place is personal to her, to the one she loved. Show her the respect you know she deserves.

Tell her you want to be a hero, to save people, and be celebrated for it. After living your life in your sister's shadow, you want to be in the spotlight. To get the recognition you deserve.

Tell her you're sorry about what happened to Armintell.
No. 1072012 ID: e5709d

Argine, she's going to attack you with constructs of the past.
Not sure how thermodynamics is fueled by illusions, but whatever.

"I was made because people put their heart and soul into making the right women. But my whole life, I've never known what those women were supposed to do, or if I'd agree with their definition of 'right'. I can not find those answers in this prison, where the trauma that keeps you shackled also gives you the power to shackle everyone else. And I'm sick of you trying to convince me that I can.

My purpose is to do what's right. My will is to observe and decide what 'right' truly means."
No. 1072026 ID: 2bd3eb

(to remember the basics of cqc, big boss)
No. 1072029 ID: 1371b2

This…Might be not the sort of answer either of you want but…
Your parasignia is infinite potential, a forge that absorbs ideas and makes them reality.

Well, Firstborn here is a force of nature, a literally Tempestuous force of destruction, that’s had the time and skill to learn to focus and channel herself down from unleashing tornadoes into something far more controlled.
I think a thing about Parasignias is not just the base power.
It’s the abilities that surround them. The Pseudosignias that alter and amplify them.
That frozen gun from earlier is a Pseudosignia from Judicaim, as you might have guessed. It’s the option to destroy things…
And it’s a game-changer, especially one I really start playing with it, but this place…
A part of me can’t help but look at this literal eye of the storm and boggle at what it unlocks for you. Your portals are transportation thanks to this safe zone, a home and safety even in the most terrible of battlefields…The ability to instantly relocate like our blink capcitator, but probably with even less limits. And if I recall, she can scale up her portals very large, large enough to dump Ozone’s biggest tanks into this place…But that…How to put it….
I, or rather, this unit within Skyes, would like to ask that we not bring war here, to this place of solace and peace. And yes, it could be argued that Mnemosyne brought us here, true, but…
This place is sacred. And this then, becomes to the truth of this conflict.
The Ammo depot removed the option to go full collateral damage. This, is the atrocity we could create. Desecration, Warcrimes, attacking non combatants…
And on the other side…Anything to win.
And we were just wielding flame-throwers, to bring that here, into a field of flowers…This isn’t fighting a veteran, it’s murdering a maiden.
It’s a question of if we can win…Without torching a young girl’s dreams.
No. 1072053 ID: 15a025

"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It's what you chose to do with the gift of life that matters."

We do not want to stay locked away, endlessly training for a future that might not even come. We want to get out and do something with what time we have before the cold fate that awaits us all comes.
No. 1072061 ID: f14228

>Mnemosyne didn't strike me as a person who likes to talk during combat anyway, seems too professional for that.
>"When we fight, I hope it's an honourable one."
Harken back to your own assessment and Mnemosyne's words. As long as she is talking and you're not actively threatening her? I want to say you should be safe.

>Inside the Quiet
Engram Fields. Perhaps here Mnemosyne can manifest memories as if real? The flowers seem like they'd be from the field where she used to train with Armintell. More worrying, even if you can pull off a successful win in here - how are you gonna get out? You may want to just engage in conversation and see where it leads.

(Is there a map - and anything on it? Are there any SAI signals? Is that portal still open in the distance?)

>Do you think about your purpose, Argine? As a soldier? What were you made for?
'Yes, duh' seems like the too-easy answer, but we should reflect a bit further on this. This is a very deliberate question. What's Mnemosyne getting at? The fact you'll have to kill, as a soldier? Armintell may have died in her arms, so she might be testing whether you're too blase about the losses of life involved in your job of choice.

But, like, your sense of purpose comes in part from your upbringing, right? A soldier was raised, so a soldier they got - if a rebellious one. If they wanted to raise you different they could've done something like what was done with Diagram, read you fairy tales or whatever. Tried, at least. But they didn't, so you are part who you are because of the legacy of Site 70. And since you display less of (or, well, none of) the inherited memories others do, your experiences in Site 70 may have played a bigger role in defining you.

You got plenty self-determination though, a very personal sense of purpose. You want to make something else of yourself, put your abilities and training to "good" use. Despite your fears, you got some mad serious skills and you should know it. I think you'd want to work in a way that gives that validation and soldiering, especially with the heroic legends you were raised on, has just seemed like THE calling for you. Even if it's not something - as Nanoweaver has emphasized - that you'd have to do out there beyond the Nexus Weave.

You've certainly had your rough times - and while those may pale compared to the shit others here went through, and while not all the negatives ere what you thought they were, like with Judy, it has still given you a deep desire to prove your worth.

A part that seems very uniquely 'you' lies in your tinkering and gadgeteering. Taking things apart, making sense of them and putting them together again, often in cooler ways, is something you actively enjoy, are good at and could maybe find worth in outside the whole soldier purpose thing. Thinking about it, maybe you should figure out if crafting gadgets and whatnot for others feels fulfilling? There are a lot of people here you'll not be seeing again once you leave... perhaps something unique to remember you by will be worth passing along.

>Counter question
Ask her if she's found a reason to hate you yet. If so - what is it? If not - what's keeping her in the fight?
No. 1072219 ID: 34a1b1

She lowered her weapons, and isn't threatening you. You aren't going to drop your guard, but it's only respectful of your opponent to respect that they just want to talk, to ask what it's really about.

Think about it for a second. You are a weapon. Do you think they'll let you go if your answer to every problem is to blow someone up? You want to escape but there's no war out there you're preparing for, it's the opposite. You are only proving that once you get out, you'll be the most dangerous thing anywhere out there.

An appropriate test for a monster waiting to happen is to get them good and worked up, angry from being hurt, adrenaline pumping because they are winning, and then ask them to stop and talk.

You want to leave. Are you going to go looking for trouble? Start fights? Become a rebel, challenge the status quo, make noise and become a household name. How far are you willing to go to prove yourself?

If getting out means a life of boring servitude, using your insane gifts and the ease with which you master skills to... design better gadgets, or build things, something that will be useful to a peaceful society not at war.

If you wanted to be a hero but found villains lacking, would humbly accept a job with law enforcement?

Argine, the reason they are so reticent about you leaving, is that you are a hothead who wants to be acknowledged for their greatness. Most civilizations aren't fans of vigilantes, revolutionaries, and others who do violence, even if it's for the right reasons. Also generally not fans of murderous psychopaths, or sociopathic tyrants. Not saying you are one of those, just that as powerful as you already are you could become that way.

Now having briefly reflect all those things about yourself, you have an opponent before you. You can defeat them with violence, but if you defeat them with words it'll help you in another battle.
No. 1073177 ID: 78048b
File 169565556995.png - (734.93KB , 1000x1000 , fistsup.png )

>This is an opportunity to talk.
>Show her the respect you know she deserves.

Sure. Let's talk, then.

"Been doin' a lot of thinking since I was locked in here with all of you", I start.
"Can't say that this hasn't been valuable. But why talk now? Plenty of time to do that after swappin' blows."

"Lessons taught are less effective without context."

She looks off into the distance at the swirling clouds and wind.
"This is the first time someone has pushed me to this extent since I gained this power."

Good to know that I'm doing well.

Silence hangs over the two of us as we stand there.
More time to ponder.

>Do you think they'll let you go if your answer to every problem is to blow someone up? You are only proving that once you get out, you'll be the most dangerous thing anywhere out there.
Hah. Like that's true. From what I've heard from other Trace Clones, the ones who actually got to leave?
We're hired as mercenaries.
Turns out there's a lotta demand for people who can get blown up and shrug it off, even when everyone's cushioned by their Parasignias out there.
Even that crazy pink bitch who blew herself up got hired, along with her two friends.

There's conflict, war out there.
It's just that the one we got made for's no longer relevant.
Peace reigns, above all the pain that the 'normal' folk don't see, and we're the ones who help it along.

>She acquired a Pseudosignia from her time with Armintell!

...Is that something possible? He's dead, isn't he? Maybe it's her memories of him instead...
But I don't think a Pseudosignia alone would lead to the creation of a whole world like this.

Whatever this is, I can feel my fur tingle on end. The whole place feels like what happens when other people's Parasignias resonate with mine.
I feel empowered but at the same time... it's like I've got a hundred eyes on me. Maybe it's because I'm INSIDE her Parasignia or something. Whatever it is.

"Have you figured out your answer? What would you be if you had another choice, Argine?"
The question catches me by surprise, breaking the flow of my thoughts.

"I... what do you mean, another choice?"
She gestures up, towards the swirling storm in the distance.

"Another choice of lifestyle, Argine. Years of training have instilled in us one, and the memories we possess grant us so many skills that we only need training to further nurture. For most, it was learned. For us, it was innate. But what if you had a choice?"

...I probably shouldn't mention that my memories come from someone a little... different.
But honestly, I'm not sure I'd have taken another route.

>Maybe you should figure out if crafting gadgets for others feels fulfilling?
Diagram's got the trust to do that.
But who's to say that they're not gonna use the stuff I make for worse purposes? When it gets out there, it's out there. I don't have control over it anymore.
At least, in my hands, I'll be using them in a way that I believe to be right. Doesn't mean other people have to agree, but it's something.

>If there were no villains to fight, would you be interested in law enforcement?
I don't know if it's like how it's cracked up to be out there, but I've got issues with that. What happens when a problem needs action now, but due to all the bureaucracy, shit doesn't get done?

More work, more pain, more destruction.
I've spent all my life listening to orders and that hasn't paid off.
Risking it, trusting my intuition... that's how I'll roll.
Even if it's a mistake I make... that's MY mistake to make. I want to be a hero of my own actions, not a slave to someone else's rules.

I'm gonna be a bloody hero that everyone will know.
And I'll have done so through my own strength, not climbing the ranks of some irrelevant social ladder.

I've got my answer.

"I'd still fight. If we're given a purpose, there's nothing saying that we can't lean into it. Take it for a drive, see how far we get. Tools are meant to be used, but I think I'm most comfortable when I'm controlling myself."

I raise my fists.
No. 1073178 ID: 78048b
File 169565561426.png - (279.47KB , 1000x1000 , mnemohand2.png )

>Everyone else seems to think they know your purpose better than you do.
At least when you talk to me, Sykes, you're giving me something to think about. That deserves acknowledgement.

"So, I've got a question for you. Why fight to keep me here? It ain't because you all seriously think there's something wrong with me, is there? You wouldn't need a whole tournament to figure that out, if it's even true."

I stand my ground, looking her in the eye. Then, she speaks.

"Would you believe it was on your sister's insistence?"


...She was the one who had this planned out?

All those failed escapes, humiliations, all the blood I shed getting here?
They were because of her?
"To be honest, I do not understand her obsession. I found it hard to move on myself, and yet... you are still here."

Her fist clenches tighter.
"Perhaps she's trying to stop herself from making a mistake like I had in the past. I cannot blame her - and I admit, I was curious. Morbidly so."

I can see the wind gather around her fist, then dissipate.
"I fought to protect people. I no longer have anyone I truly wish to protect."

The storm flashes in the background, a faint light through the clouds.
"I am tired of weapons. Of fighting pointless battles over and over to prepare for something that came after my original purpose. I have no interest in becoming a mercenary like the others."

She holds herself stiffly, like every movement is laborious.
"In a way, this is the closest thing to closure I can get. I am sorry."

I breathe in.
No. I'll save my anger for her, not Mnemosyne.
In a way, Mnemo's another victim of this place. Just like me.

"You and me both. Let's call it a spar, then. We can fight for ourselves, with nothing but ourselves. How's that sound?"

She nods, the cold look in her eyes unchanging.
Sparring, huh.
Been a long time since I even fought someone like this without it feeling like I'm getting my teeth kicked in.
Fist to fist, against someone who doesn't tower above me.

And I'm going to win this.
No. 1073179 ID: 78048b
File 169565563035.png - (560.55KB , 1000x1000 , grownalone.png )

A burst of petals - and she vanishes.

I'm left alone in the quiet field of flowers, as I maintain my stance.
The stinging pains of my injuries fade back into the background.

You know...
A strange sense of focus settles in.
I'm at a disadvantage, in a field of flowers whose properties are all but unknown to me.
But I don't feel any fear at all.

I know what I have to do, and I can take a good guess at what she's doing.

I'm betting she's going to appear behind me, but - we're going to need a strategy.
No cards, no gadgets, no guns.
It's only fair - if this is her world, she would have easily annihilated me.
Luckily for me, we're in a tournament.
I'd be dead if we weren't.

I'm going to want to cover my options, as I don't know her limitations.
>Do we have a map?
We don't need one when I know she's going to have to get near me in order to make me lose.
I don't think she'd do something like flinging me out using her portals, because I get the impression that she wants to make the most of this opportunity.

Question is, how am I going to cover every angle of attack?
No. 1073180 ID: bcde53

Just run forwards? Hitting yer behind while it's moving is tough. Juke randomly and she'd have to get lucky to get ya on the side too. Just be ready if she goes frontal.
No. 1073182 ID: b6ec4d

Call her out on her BS of "Nothing but ourselves" before immediately taking advantage of her parasignia's powers for stealth, and see if she agrees wnough to step out into the open for a more honest fight. She probably won't, but it's worth trying at least.

As for how to cover every angle, try moving around and incorporating spins into your movements. Something like Baguazhang if you're familiar with that form of martial arts. This won't prevent her from being able to land an attack, but it raises your odds of her attacking from an easier to block angle.

As for the flowers, maybe those are all she can see while vanished as she currently is, and can judge loosely where you are based on which flowers are disturbed? Try tossing some clothing or equipment (nothing that she can use against you though) nearby, and see if that throws off her reading of your location.
No. 1073227 ID: f14228

>"This is the first time someone has pushed me to this extent since I gained this power."
Hm. She won't have trained this on live people before, at least.

>How am I going to cover every angle of attack?
If her control remains partially subconscious... look or feel for tells. Maybe swaying flowers from otherwise invisible air currents to indicate she's about to close in through whatever illusory effect - or a portal's opened. You could pretend not to see or sense this and counter or grab her the moment she strikes. Options are headshots, the exposed chest, wounded arm or calf, or her jetpack if you can fuck that one up. Keep in mind she might still be flying - no guarantee she'll attack you from angles a ground-based sparring opponent might.

If there are no tells, try to become a hard target in general until her methods of attack is revealed. Apply the principles of your Blood Circle training as if you were fighting a phantom foe, but toss in random directional changes, circling, backtracking to lessen her invisibility/portaling/home field advantage.

Note that she may attack your side, as your wound probably provides a handy weak point. If she can come from nowhere to stun you with pain, or worsen the damage, that'd seem like her go-to play. If that's true - well, you know where a part of her will be.

Spar rules are 'till yield or KO, yes?

>As for the flowers, maybe those are all she can see while vanished as she currently is, and can judge loosely where you are based on which flowers are disturbed? Try tossing some clothing or equipment (nothing that she can use against you though) nearby, and see if that throws off her reading of your location.
Hm. She did use a petal to 'bookmark' her gunpile earlier. That said, she did not appear to realize Argine had messed with her guns, since she tried to shoot with them despite them being tarred, so the sensory angle may not be entirely correct either.

Maybe the flowers are like... quick travel portal points? She did vanish in a burst of petals there.
No. 1073234 ID: 273c18

She went invisible? Either she portaled out using her parasignia or she has Nickel's pseudosignia. Hmm, yeah, I could see the two of them as friends.
Well, if your 'signias are fair play in this fight, you still have that freezing pseudosignia.

To cover all angles you can plan to duck and sweep. It's a wide attack that can be adjusted to hit any direction.
No. 1073237 ID: 2bd3eb

she can control wind, which means she may be able to control sound if she focuses. be cautious of trusting your ears, focus on what you can see.
No. 1073668 ID: 15a025

Keep focused to your surroundings, but don't panic about not seeing her. Pay attention to the direction of the wind, or any feelings of it blowing around.
No. 1073712 ID: 34a1b1

This is tough. A spar is what you want, I think... regardless of what happens, this is a victory, because when it's done you'll have common ground with your foe, and mutual respect.

I think to win, you have to think like she is. She's spent all this time setting you up for ambushes, trying to give herself an advantage, lure you into traps, and you beat that by being incredibly aggressive out of the gates, then switching it up when she started accounting for that, only to go back on the aggression when she realized the tone had changed.

That's what's won you this advantage. Now you are in her territory without an idea what her capabilities here are. We can assume she's going to attempt something that would be a counter to whatever you do. Wherever your attention goes, the attack will come from whatever is the best angle of attack on your blindside. Just think about what you'd do if you could disappear and reappear. IF you could blink infinitely, you would disappear to somewhere where you can see your opponent, watch long enough to judge an opening, and then strike them on their blindside.

I'm not sure how subtle her ability is, if there are tell tale signs, rushes of wind, sound, a discharge of energy. Just remember, when that presence is felt, the attack will come from your blindside.
No. 1073713 ID: 34a1b1

Oh, and clearly she doesn't really want to be here anymore. If when you get to know her a bit personally and you find you don't dislike her, you might wanna ask her to go with you, just because she kind of shares some of your own disdain for this place and life.
No. 1074761 ID: 78048b
File 169732436177.png - (656.62KB , 1000x1000 , legsweep.png )

>Call her out on her hypocrisy.

Even if I'm at a disadvantage, I don't see a problem with this.
Our Parasignias ARE a part of ourselves. Hell, it's literally stopped me from dying from a bullet to the face before.

I'm going to beat her regardless.
And besides... she's not the only one with a Pseudosignia here.

>Ask if she wants to come with you.

Honestly, I figured that when this tournament is done, everyone's gonna be leaving when I leave.
No reason staying if I'm not around, right?
Just gotta make that happen first.

There's sound like the air's getting sucked out right in front of me.
Nice of her to provide a tell.

I duck down, her hands slicing through the air as it narrowly misses my neck.

Tch. That was a close one.

I sweep my leg out, ready to catch her mid-swing, and I feel the hit connect.
She stumbles, and I'm ready to seize the opportunity.
No. 1074762 ID: 78048b
File 169732439363.png - (645.32KB , 1000x1000 , leggrap.png )

Though I go for a followup, I miss as she drops down, falling into the floor.

Gah! I'm so close to taking her down!

>I think to win, you have to think like she does.

Think like she does...
I don't know all the limitations to her abilities, but..

>She may be able to control sound. Focus on what you can see.
Yeah. Right now, that's all I CAN do. But with these many flowers around, it isn't as if it's easy to see her actual exit and entry points.

I keep my distance from where she disappeared, waiting for her next attempt.
Without getting any strikes in, we won't win either.

>She used her petals to bookmark her gunpiles earlier, right?
Yeah, and given that she didn't realize they were tarred up, she likely can't see what's on the other end or feel it.

Then, I feel a tight grip around my ankle.
I'm forced to the ground in an instant, and it almost feels like my foot's stuck in mud.
No. 1074763 ID: 78048b
File 169732441615.png - (895.99KB , 1000x1000 , sternumpawnch.png )

Her grip loosens before I see her popping out in front of me.
A fist slams against me, just below the ribs.


For a moment, I can't tell what's up or down.

I think rib's been cracked.
Once again, I feel a tight grip on my leg.
I topple forwards, my knees digging into the flowers and the dirt.
She releases her grip and once again, she disappears.
My head's a centimeter away from the flowers, filling my vision with red.

Her grip loosens, and for a moment, I have a second to breathe.

There's not long before her next strike.
When she pulls me down, she has to reposition herself somehow.
I was able to catch her out last time, but she was able to get away just in time.
She can't be in two places at once either... whenever she goes for a strike, she can to come out of her portals fully.

If I catch her...
If I can just catch her off guard once more without her getting away, I can finish her off.
That's all I need, but what can I do?
No. 1074767 ID: 5deda1

Grapple. She goes for a punch, grab her wrist and redirect her strike. Such a grip should let you get behind her where you have options. Personal favorite? Grab her head and twist til her neck snaps.
No. 1074768 ID: f14228

I told you, you would know where she'll be by where she'll strike. The footgrab was to set up for the wound punch. The wound punch was logical to get you to where you're now, kneeling, dazed, in pain. A setup for a finisher. She knows she can't stay in close melee with you for long. You've already shown her why.

Where would one strike to finish this, on an enemy in this position? From what direction would she imagine herself safest to strike decisively?

The head? Surely. A hard blow - a kick at speed. From your blind spot - behind you or above you. She would not want you to have details of her coming and react in the split second.

Throw yourself backwards - let her strike glance past. Grab something as she goes and cling to it. Her body is her weapon now, and she used her Pseudosignia to full advantage. Your path is obvious. It's what she feared.

Hug her tight and make her blood run cold.
No. 1074779 ID: 15a025

Gonna agree that she's going to for your face next. Think about it, wherever the head goes, the rest of the body follows. A powerful strike to the head and you're down and out.
No. 1074792 ID: e5709d

Grab a flower, throw it in her face.
No. 1075776 ID: 3ea497

Get up. Keep your ears peeled for the sucking sound of a portal opening. Put one arm over your head, one over the torso. Mind both everything immeadiatedly above and below you.

She might especially try to strike you from above.
No. 1076893 ID: 78048b
File 169957782195.png - (477.86KB , 1000x1000 , grabbedthrough.png )

>Where would an opponent strike to finish you off?

The head.
I see the attack coming, just barely.
She's like a blur when she emerges, but the telltale sound of the portal opening gives her away in this quiet place.
I duck, but as she sails over me - this time, I borrow one of her tricks.

I grab onto her leg as she attempts to fall into her field of flowers and I find myself carried in, the portal spitting both of us out at high velocity.
>She may try to strike you from above!
Even if she can't make portals on air, it seems momentum still carries over. It's the opposite of the Blink Capacitor - she retains her speed through her portals.

Mnemosyne can feel my weight threatening to dislocate her leg. Hah.
Too bad she's probably never experienced anything like this before.
Lets turn the tables on her.

We're carried into the sky by the unnatural momentum. Like this, she's not going to be able to correct her angle or make a soft landing.

She tries to throw me off - but, like this? You're gonna have to pry my bloody hands off yourself. It's not like she has a chance considering how disorienting it is, trying to pry someone off of you while tumbling through the sky.
Neither of us had been trained for mid-air combat. Who could blame her? She's used to using it as a vantage point, a strategy only she can bear.
But I twist myself around as both of us plummet through the eye of the storm.
No. 1076894 ID: 78048b
File 169957783788.png - (796.98KB , 1000x1319 , comeonandslam.png )

The air blows past us as we fall through the windless sky.

I let the momentum carry her. I've already chosen a new direction for us.
I can feel her fist striking at my face, my chest.
Doesn't matter though.
She can't make portals instantly under herself - I already learned that from before.

Now, I'm the one pushing her away.
I thrust out my palm, a chill wrapping itself around my arm.
We collide with the field of flowers, a harsh layer of ice forming on her body.
No. 1076895 ID: 78048b
File 169957785475.png - (1.80MB , 1000x1000 , dunked.png )

Cracks spread across growing ice as I hold her there, the impact shaking both of us to our cores.
The field of flowers are engulfed by a layer of frost, thick enough that escape would be difficult.
My arm stings, and in the corner of my eye, I can see stray hairs freeze, shatter, scatter on the wind.

Silence hangs over us both.

Finally, as I steady my shaking body, I stand up.
I hold myself at a distance, waiting for her to teleport away, to form another portal and escape. Both arms are frozen, one sticking out like she's reaching out for someone.
There's no telltale sound of a portal being formed.
And there, Mnemosyne lies.

A new sound fills my ears.
No. 1076896 ID: 78048b
File 169957787347.png - (1.16MB , 1000x1000 , shelaughed.png )

She's... laughing?

I wanted to ask, 'What's the matter with you?'.
She just lost to me, someone she's supposed to prevent from getting out. Someone who, more likely than not, reminds her of something that led to the death of someone she cared about.

Instead... I find myself asking something else.
"You doin' okay, Mnemosyne?"

It feels weird even saying her name. Like invoking a natural disaster, rather than calling out to a woman.

"Yes, yes... you win, Argine. I concede."
That... wasn't what I expected.
No. 1076897 ID: 78048b
File 169957788617.png - (428.65KB , 1000x1000 , reachingout.png )

I step over her, the ice sticking to my boots.
The aches and pains in my body make themselves apparent again, now that the fight's over.
I've earned it though.

"This was one of the hardest fights I've been in. You... you fought well. Honourably."
God, look at me. I sound like a bloody idiot. Talking with 'honor' isn't something I'm good at.

Not sure how I'm supposed to make this ice go away... but as I reached out to take Mnemosyne's arm, the ice around her cracked, then dissipated.

I extend a hand to Mnemosyne to help her up.
No. 1076898 ID: 78048b
File 169957790751.png - (651.97KB , 1000x1000 , sidebyside.png )

Finally, we clean ourselves up a little. I watch as Mnemosyne wipes the blood from her face with her arm. The throbbing pain in my side; it's not going to go away for a bit. I should get myself bandaged up after this.

Unclipping my gunbelt, I breathe a sigh of relief.
Sitting here in the middle of the storm... the silence is pleasant. If I listen closely, I can hear our breathing.
This is honestly a really nice place.
I don't know how her Pseudosignia works, or what exactly this place is supposed to be... but it's nice. If Parasignias are an extension of us... then is this place a reflection of Mnemosyne?

We'll head out soon enough, but... for now, a break is in order.
"Something on your mind?", I ask, watching Mnemosyne contemplate something.

"It's just... it's been a long time since I've last fought like this. Without guns."
She flexes her arm, and I watch the tendons bulge underneath her armor.

"I forgot that conflict can be fun."

"Yeah. I get that."
Fun, huh...
A long time ago, before everything, before I found out that my sister was a sociopath, we used to have fun. Learning, together.
I'll admit, sometimes this can be fun. Surpassing your opponents, watching as they fall for your plans and traps.
But the fact that my freedom rides on this makes it less pleasant than it should be.
And apparently she's the one who's planned all this out? I don't know what Jin's thinking.
But it doesn't change much either. I'm going to beat her and leave all of this behind.


This place's quiet when we're not talking. Serene, not eerie.
The storm rages on outside, sparing the both of us.

I'll ask for my gadgets in time, but... you guys were the ones who saw her past, right? I didn't get to see that, only past recollections. Is there.. something you'd like to ask?
No. 1076906 ID: 273c18

Your sister isn't a sociopath... well, it's not the time to talk about that, nevermind.

Well, the obvious question is to ask how he died.

Secondly, I'm curious as to how she developed this pseudosignia. It's like... the absence of her parasignia... was it brought about by her bond with HIM? I thought a pseudosignia was parasignias sharing power and creating a hybrid mini-power but it might be a kind of... recontextualization instead.
No. 1076942 ID: 3ea497

Apparently, pseudosignias are born from bonding with other people.

Speaking of which, Mnemosyne wanted you to win all along? Is this tournament really about proving your combat prowess... or something else entirely?

And what happened in the past? What was Site-77 like in those early years? And how did the war reach them?

Oh, yeah, and does she know Amica?
No. 1076968 ID: b5377a

Ever fought Nickel? She seems to find... fulfillment in conflict so it just seems she'd at least attempt to have the title you have. Of ultimate soldier that is. How'd you get that title if you don't mind?
No. 1076982 ID: eb0a9c

Did Armintell adopt a kid?

How did the world get nuked, and what were the days of evacuation like?
No. 1077082 ID: 15a025

I think it'd be great to just hear about Armintell from herself. Not from some recordings from the past, but right from the heart herself.
No. 1077423 ID: f14228

An ever-dour face smiling is a strange sort of sublime, but there it is. You did that. Congratulations on a hard fought and well-deserved victory, Argine.

Let Mnemosyne enjoy her good mood a while longer. She's rediscovering something lost to her. Let her have these moments, before we start prying into the painful past. And as we pry, let's do it delicately. Or at least make the attempt. That matters, even if we do end up picking at old scabs.

As for what to ask?

There are many things you could inquire about. Whether she'd be interested in sparring again. This windy realm of hers. How it was formed and how it ended up being integral to the work done on the portal that'll let you leave. The past of the base and the mysteries we've poked at so far regarding the directors' goals and intentions. Armintell, his fate, or more indirectly what happened with the deaths (and you have a natural way into asking about this - you were at the graves, after all) that occured on the base, the ones we know about. What she knows of the others still here at base - you have impressions of them, but you clearly don't know them as well as you thought. Does she, or has she kept her distance, too?

You could focus on just getting to know her a little better, speak of more mundane matters, her interests and beliefs. She's not some natural disaster, clearly, just someone who has been caught in a tempest her entire life. Your feelings are just a matter of distance - and a bit of alienation, self-inflicted. Which you can close and reduce. You have beat her once fair and square, seen a long-held façade crack. How could she remain some distant figure after this? You know - and we know - there is far more to her. Or was, once. Perhaps again.

You could also share. Some of your own thoughts, woes and troubles; regarding your sister and her mysterious motivations, the need for this whole tournament. Or something of your worries regarding Amica. Or us, the SAI. Or the base's past and your own uniqueness that Nanoweaver has attempted to hide. Here, after all, is as private a place as you'll likely ever find in the base - since it's NOT in the base. Beaten in this contest she is under no obligation to aid the others, too, so told anything in confidence she may be likely to keep it so. The question is - what do you think you can trust her with? Hm. Maybe you should just get to know her better first.

But still. As private a place as any. Maybe you can return here later. For sparring.
No. 1077424 ID: f14228

Oh, one more thing. You could ask.

Does she need help with anything?
No. 1080643 ID: 78048b
File 170476309741.png - (1.01MB , 1000x1000 , lyingdown.png )

>Ask about how Armintell died.
You... sure?

>Let her enjoy the good mood a while longer.
It's rare to even see someone like her smile. Really, it's odd seeing most of the oldest clones smile at all.

>You should hear about Armintell from her directly.
Yeah. Even if we're wanting to know how he died... I'm more curious about what he meant to her.
Because he's a part of her strength. Part of this world of hers.

"So... what was Armintell like? He must have meant a lot to you."

"He was the first to greet me. And someone I loved. Not everyone could say that they had someone like that in this facility."
The flowers swayed, an invisible breeze passing through the eye of the storm.
"He made things easier. And he was strong too. Though I was granted many, many advantages he was not, he was a genuine individual."

Genuine. Weird way to talk about a person. Am I genuine?
"I miss him. But I remember him, too."

"Sometimes that's what you need to do the most."
I wish I could let go of some of the people in my life. But like usual, I don't have a choice. At least for her, it's something that makes her stronger.

>What was Site 70 like in the earlier years?

"So what was it like in the years before I was around?"
I've only ever heard little snippets here and there. And Diagram certainly didn't talk that much about her past.
I guess until you Sykes came around, the past wasn't really something I was curious about.
Doesn't really matter what past a cage has when the one thing I want is freedom.

"Quieter. Even though we were trained, we never did see the war we were intended for."
She reclines on the flowerbed, the two of us staring up at the sky.
Lying down in the flower's a bit pokier than I expected. The grass nips at the skin under my fur.

"Sometimes I wonder how useful we would have been. This was before Parasignias, when a bullet or a grenade could kill you instantly. Would our training have overcome our lack of experience?"
The idea of loss, of actually seeing someone die... I don't think I'd know what it's like.
I'm no stranger to being blown up now, but getting away with nasty burns and blackened fur's better than what Mnemo's seen.

"I hear that many of us are finding success out there in the Weave. Perhaps this all did amount to something in the end. But I can't imagine that being my life either."
If I gotta knock some heads around to get food and a place to sleep, then so be it. I'm doing it my way first and foremost.

"Judicium has been encouraging me to join the PCC, find new people to protect. But I never even met the people I was supposed to protect in the first place, besides the one at my side. And I failed him in the end."

"We can still fight for ourselves like we did a few minutes ago."

"Maybe. But that's the danger of being made for someone else's sake. Even if you're trapped here - when you leave, you won't be bound by anyone."
I hope so. It feels like a lie to me.
The idea of people like Jin haunting me for the rest of my life... it makes me wonder why I'm even doing any of this.
No. 1080644 ID: 78048b
File 170476311607.png - (542.22KB , 1000x1000 , gadgetselection1.png )

Fighting and sparring with Mnemosyne... I should ask her about it eventually. Maybe now that I've beaten her, it's an option. I'm aching too much right now to even think about the idea though.

>How'd she get the title of Ultimate Soldier anyway?
I think it's more of a reputation she built up as one of the oldest clones around. She thoroughly annihilated most people who've even tried to spar with her. I'm sure Nickel would be amongst that rank, but she's someone who lets other people challenge her.

>Aren't Pseudosignias formed with people?
Yeah... that's supposed to be the case, but Diagram mentioned there was exceptions. That they can be formed with places and objects too.
Given the documents that Nanoweaver gave us though... whatever this world is, it's not a Parasignia or a Pseudosignia. Maybe it grew out of her Parasignia or something?

Mnemosyne turns to me, this time asking me a question.
"You don't have those nightmares, do you?"

There's a disturbed look in her eyes.
"So the rumors are true. You don't have memories of the past before you were born. Belonging to other people."

I can't say that I have. People have brought this up before, but... I don't have those memories, or flashes.
I've had dreams before. But never memories belonging to other people.
...There's those brief flashes from the past, from other people's perspectives. But I'm pretty sure that's a 'you' thing, not me. Never had 'em before I had a SAI in my bloodstream.
And before... you told me that Nanoweaver's been having nightmares, too. I just wonder if these were what she meant.

"What do you mean, memories belonging to other people?"

"It's something unpleasant. You'd feel nostalgia for countries that no longer exist, or want to be with people you've never met. Most clones in Site 70 have had these dreams. It's a good thing you don't."
Does Diagram get them too?
"It's hard to leave a place when it's all you've ever known in your life, for many, many years. Harder still when you remember a world that you were never part of."

She turns to look at me.
"This fight makes for a good excuse to leave. I had one of my questions answered."
...What's that supposed to mean?
Mnemosyne stands up in the field, staring off into the distant storm.
I've still got a question for her.

"Do you need help with anything?"
The adrenaline's wearing off a little, and.. in spite of it, Mnemosyne reminds me a bit of my sister. The two most independent people in the facility, and I've beaten one of them.
If the circumstances were different, I'd feel bad for her.
But my own freedom matters too. It feels like this fight means more to her than to Nickel and Astrolysis.
She was never playing around.

"You already did", comes the reply.
If she says so. It's really not my business to pry into someone else's problems more if they don't want my help.
Similarly, I'm not one to share my woes with others so quick. Different story for a bunch of idiots in my bloodstream though, hah!
No. 1080647 ID: 78048b
File 170476320687.png - (475.84KB , 1000x1000 , gadgetselection2.png )

"Before we depart, I think it is necessary to grant you one of my gadgets."
Mnemosyne, in a brief flash, re-equips her previous gadgets. It's amazing how quick she can slide her gear on.

"Choose wisely. Remember, you only get one."
Hard choice coming up.



>Though ill-suited for long sustained periods of flight, the Squall Jet was prized for its ability to let soldiers quickly correct their position and navigate hostile terrain through controlled bursts of powerful blasts of air. Naturally, this technology was a cornerstone of the Keletzar's Seventh Flight's military, widely built upon and utilized by their soldiers due to their familiarity with airborne combat. While less suited for specie without innate gliding capabilities or wings, other divisions of militaries have found use for the device in repositioning their troops due to its long battery life. Due to its design, it can also be used as a short-ranged horizontal 'dash', though one must take care to land properly.

>DIAGRAM'S NOTE: Who doesn't want to fly? It's a shame that you can't get very high up with the Squall Jet unless your Parasignia happens to support it, so it's mostly something used to help people jump to higher vantage spots.
>The Squall Jet's also proportionally better depending on how big the user is. I don't think someone as big as Astrolysis or Reichenbach could use the Squall Jet at all. On the other hand, if you're as small as Nickel, you're probably going to get launched into the roof! The Keletzar didn't exactly plan for multiple different species to use this technology to begin with. I'm sure most people could still use it properly!

>Tags: Blustering, Streamlining, Leaping


>A more recent creation of Site 70, the Velocity Javelin was invented by Engineer Sawdust while experimenting with high speed payload delivery mechanisms intended for usage in mounted gun turrets. Now, it's been re-engineered into a palm-sized device that imbues held projectiles with principles derived from the Weave Nexus and other paracosmic technologies.
>Though ill-suited for the purposes of automated weaponry due to critical overheating issues, the Velocity Javelin's ability to turn projectiles into super-accelerated slugs with high destructive force had made it a particularly prized gadget for usage in the Weave, at least in situations where friendly fire, property damage and ricochets are not an issue. One downside to the Velocity Javelin is its relatively poor accuracy due to most objects being ill-suited for throwing at high speeds. In addition, the hyper-acceleration provided by the gadget only lingers temporarily, meaning projectiles quickly lose speed due to drag. Conventional rifles and long-ranged weaponry are able to out-range this device and its heat dissipation issues still persist, meaning it has a lengthy cooldown unless an operator wishes to have their hand covered in molten slag.

>DIAGRAM'S NOTE: Using the Velocity Javelin in stealth situations isn't advised, either. Considering how loud and bright it is due to the energies wrapping around whatever you're throwing, it's very noticeable! You're likely not catching anyone off-guard with it. And maybe this is obvious, but you have to think about what you're throwing with the Velocity Javelin! If it's something soft, then it won't be very destructive if it hits the target.

>Tags: Accelerating, Imbuing, Overclocking

>Currently owned Tags:
>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
>Amp Rings: Empowering, Amplifying, Intensifying

...Oh, the Javelin was made by Sawdust? She didn't bring it up last I talked to her. Can't blame me considering she has turrets in the brain. What's the point of guns you're not shooting yourself? Takes out a lot of the joy of making your own weapons if you don't even get to fire them yourself.
There's only two opponents left in this sham of a tournament.
What's the pick you guys have in mind? These are both really good options, so either one would be a big addition to my kit.
And if you guys want to reiterate a question to ask Mnemosyne about before we head to the medbay or something, you should bring that up now. I didn't feel like I could ask all of it when we were having that quiet moment just then.
No. 1080651 ID: eb0a9c

>I wish I could let go of some of the people in my life.
It's easier than you think, but the consequences are serious.
Rule of thumb is that certain relationships which make it easier and more tempting to break others are the ones that need to be dropped first.

>"Judicium has been encouraging me to join the PCC, find new people to protect. But I never even met the people I was supposed to protect in the first place, besides the one at my side. And I failed him in the end."
It's just tragic. This world was diseased, but it had its own culture, and an entire population that just wanted what was best for their respective peoples. Now it's all gone... and the one thing it gave to the universe was the exact opposite of what it represented. Worse than being forgotten, they will be worshipped and respected for everything that they didn't believe in.
Or maybe just hated for what they unintentionally unleashed.

...Hm. I was never good at ordering troopers with these. Still, you can't deny how useful they are. They can save you in a fight, reverse-uno an entire tactical round of careful positioning against you. If you do take them, I recommend you use them for flanking or repositioning and not direct combat; essential for sniper builds in poor vertical-mobility areas, but if your giant jetpack is shot up, you're screwed.

>What's the point of guns you're not shooting yours-
Argine, the greatest threat to superior firepower in a war was losing all the people who could shoot the damn things! Having the guns shoot by themselves means less of your soldiers need to risk themselves dying to a hail of gunfire to get them into shooting position! Please understand that most biological organisms were more likely to break from sustained firepower than the guns were!
Turrets are essential on any industrial-age battlefield and beyond! While they may be inefficient due to accuracy and jamming issues, and that's if they're made with sub-par engineering, it means all the unused ammo in your packs get spent faster where they're needed the most. More things shooting at once means your opponents have to concentrate on more targets to neutralize or evade! And that's not getting into the sheer intelligence that can be programmed into something the size of your fist! It's like having a disposable sidekick!
Also, you can manually shoot a turret if you really need to. So now you have the versatility of more guns to use before you need to reload.
Get this. It'll pair well with your other utilities and turn them into DPS-centralized superweapons. Your shotguns will get the most value out of these shortenings.
No. 1080654 ID: 273c18

Hmm. I'd say Velocity Javelin. Overclocking your gadgets will be useful for burst damage, and using it as a tool means you can really chuck stuff. Rubble, explosive discs, knives, even Plug if it can handle the rough treatment.
It's an anti-Mnemosyne gadget. She blocks bullets but nothing else, so use the javelin to make everything else your weapon. Shame about the cooldown though. You'd probably have to set your loadout to something you can stand up to Mnemosyne in melee with for long enough to get away with blink or amp, and use the javelin for occasional big hits.

I also like its tags more.
No. 1080683 ID: cdd487

I'm in favor of the Squall Jet, focusing on mobility has been very helpful so far.
No. 1080698 ID: fe12b4

Squall jet, I see use in the the velocity javelin for throwing props around or even potentially creating cover, but it would be somewhat more situational than the ability to go fast on command in any direction we need and doubling down on mobility has helped us most so far.
No. 1080959 ID: 15a025

I'd say go with the Velocity Javelin. We can already blink away if we're in a pinch. Can't stop thinking about all the possibilities we could use that with other gadgets for.
No. 1082350 ID: f6204d

I'll make a vote for Squall Jet, as it's likely that flight or self-propelled jumps will likely be very useful going forward, pun intended.

As for questions left unanswered, I would like to ask:
What did Mnemosyne figure out about herself with this fight?


Who attacked the Site all those years ago, and why?
No. 1082609 ID: 32ff81
File 170717430108.png - (696.45KB , 1000x1000 , jetpackin.png )

>Turrets, Argine! They're essential on any battlefield!
Ehh... I mean, I see what you're talking about, but turrets don't mean much in the context of this facility. There's not a lot of honor to just watching a remote-controlled gun mow someone down, you're not really proving anything there. I guess battlefields don't really care about 'proving' oneself though.

>We could ask Mnemosyne about what she learned or what exactly happened to the site.
Maybe not when we're in the middle of her big mind world. I can already hazard a good enough guess myself, given the information we've been given. People died. Armintell died.
She lost him. I think that's all I need to know for now.

But anyway...
I'm going with the Squall Jet. Close vote this time.
Honestly, both these gadgets are amazing for me, but when I can literally teleport a jetpack onto my back with my Parasignia?
That's going to be extremely useful for getting around.
It's a shame I have to give up the Velocity Javelin, but that's just how things are.
Beside that, we did spend some cards in this fight... given that we won, it was a worthwhile investment.

We're down to:
Solburst - 2 (None used)
Frozeneye - 3 (None used)
Breezecycle - 2 (1 used)
Briarspirit - 1 (None used)
Voidsplit - 1 (None used)
Echoscribe - 3 (1 used)

Given that we've got two fights left, this is going pretty well. I wanted to use a Frozeneye against Mnemosyne earlier, but when I can't actually physically reach them, then they're not viable. Better keep my distance in future.
Picking up the jetpack, it feels surprisingly light when I hook the device to my back. Lots of little parts inside - this one's going to be interesting to break down.
No. 1082610 ID: 32ff81
File 170717432887.png - (628.00KB , 1000x1000 , offintothedistance.png )

With the new gadget in tow, I stand.
My legs ache.
"Mind accompanying me to the medbay?"

Feels nice actually getting to ask that this time around.
"Would you like me to drop you there with a portal?"
The sensation of plummeting through the air, tumbling without any idea of where the ground is...

"Then we'll take the longer way out. This portal won't drop you quite so far."
"Fine. Let's go."
A portal forms on the ground, under the flowers. While Mnemosyne doesn't seem to use her Parasignia much... I can imagine how convenient it is for her, like mine is for me.
But speaking of things I'm carrying around...
Agh. I'm going to need a new shirt, and a shower.
No. 1082612 ID: 32ff81
File 170717434531.png - (0.96MB , 1017x1017 , LTSTATIC.png )

No. 1082613 ID: 32ff81
File 170717436558.png - (830.94KB , 1000x1000 , gossip.png )

Whispers dance through the evening halls of the facility.

"...it's so tragic..."

"I heard that over a dozen were killed..."

"Who'd have thought that the enemy would come from within..."

The lone soldier in red trains by her lonesome, her thoughts a thousand miles away.
She wasn't there for him.
If she had been, things could have been different. She could have made a difference.
A week had passed, and her dye was fading.
Thwack. Thwack.
Her knuckles bleed, a thin trickle of blood seeping into her fur, dying her hands red.
Her body ached. Compared to taking a grenade, it felt all-encompassing.
No. 1082616 ID: 32ff81
File 170717440322.png - (928.84KB , 1000x1000 , trauma.png )

She wouldn't let go. She couldn't let go.
Where else was there to go from here?

The others didn't understand.
The first - or was it the second - time loss had been felt in Site 70.

Is this what war is? Is this what the citizenry felt, all the time?

If so, she wasn't ready.
She needed to be ready.
So that she would be there when she needed to be.
No. 1082617 ID: 32ff81
File 170717442490.png - (0.96MB , 1017x1017 , LTSTATIC.png )

No. 1082620 ID: 32ff81
File 170717445886.png - (762.88KB , 1000x1000 , shesitt.png )

Feels good to be here because I won, for once.
Mnemosyne's already left a while back, said something about picking something up for me, but I deserve a bit of a break while I'm here.
Got a chunk taken out of my side after all.
We mostly dressed each others' wounds... I don't think I'm ready to see Nanoweaver yet. Sent her to Judi's, to get my coat and shirt fixed up as well, so I'm in the 'bay blues again.

Still got the rest of the day, though. While we wait, we may as well plan some things out and address some things.

I've got a Pseudosignia now! With Judi, of all people.
I was expecting it to be Diagram, but what I said before, about not really feeling like I know her or her past? Maybe that's a big reason why I connected up with Judi's sentiments instead.
Cold War's a completely different experience. Like jumping into the ocean after having a hot shower.
Simplest way to explain it's that it's combining Judi's 'freezing' ability with my focus on equipment to disable things or make them more brittle.
Risky, but it's technically a defensive move considering it seemed to make my gauntlets even tougher. Even if I didn't have the gauntlets, I'm pretty sure I could block a rifle shot with it... but maybe not an explosive.

It's a bit bittersweet, isn't it? Figures the instructor who beat the shit out of me for most of my life would leave a few bruises, heh.
I still feel like a bloody idiot, that I didn't listen to all of what she had to say before. Thought she was just a frigid bitch for months...
At least I'm past that now.
...But those memories, they happened after the fight with Judicium.
This happened with Nickel and Astrolysis before too, right?
I don't remember the ones with those two well, but the one with Judicium in it? That one featured me, and it changed how I saw her for the better. Explained some of what was going on.
I just... who's the one talking in those memories?
Sounds like a guy, but not one I've ever heard before.
In fact, he kinda sounds like one of your voices. But why would a Splinter be showing me these thoughts? You're all recordings able to respond to what I'm doing, not complete replicas of someone's mind.
I get the feeling we're going to get some answers soon.

More importantly, there was that situation with the vial - whether we should bring it to Amica or Nanoweaver or not.
A vial of SAI splinters, hidden in the Project Lead's Office. A prototype SAI that led us to it in the first place.
What's the beef between Amica and Nanoweaver?
I'm going to see Amica before the fight with Ozone no matter what, but it doesn't mean I have to bring the vial to her.
We don't even have to make this decision now - we could hear out both their stories before the fight, then give the vial over to whomever we trust.
Something's going on with this facility. Even if I'm going to leave it behind, I don't want there to be any regrets for me, Diagram, or the few damn people who give a shit about me.
No. 1082827 ID: fe12b4

hypothesis: we might not be what we seem, or in some way built off the architecture of this dude.
No. 1082845 ID: 273c18

Most likely explanation is, the way we interface with you "stimulates" the trace or whatever that you were born from.
No. 1083116 ID: 15a025

With how you've been seeing recordings of the past. Maybe you could bring up the vial to Nanoweaver. Don't tell her you have it, but describe a vague "recording"/memory trace that played while you were dreaming.
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