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459093 No. 459093 ID: a407a5

You awaken in pain, and it doesn't help that you can't see a damn think. You know, at least, that you're tied to a chair. You try pulling at the rope, but get nothing in response. Damn. You were at least hoping to punch someone in the face. You wait for what seems like hours before a bright light comes one overhead and you see forms moving through the room, draggin in a table and a chair by the looks of it. Most of the forms leave, but two remain, one standing off to the side, the other sitting down. As your eyes adjust, you confirm them to be the Demon and 23. The Demon ignores you for a little while, humming a bouncy little song, opening up folders going through paperwork and pictures. Abruptly, he glances up at you and offers a disarming smile.

"Welcome back to the world of the living, Miss McCallahan. I'm Special Agent McCarthy, Division 7."

Division... 7? You only ever heard about 5 Divisions. National, International, Military, Economics and Judicial. 1-5 Respectively. Well... you learn something new every day.

"If you don't mind, I have some questions for you. Do you happen to know who this is?"

He places a picture of a much younger Cass in front of you, although instead of being dressed as your used to her dressing, she's naked, and quite literally covered in blood from head to toe.

"Perpetrator of over thirty murders. Took the UNA over 3 years to even track her down. Took us another month to actually apprehend her. She disappeared mysteriously about three months ago. Shame to have her walking the streets again..."

The Demon sighs, then places the picture back in the folder it had come from and places it to the side. He opens up another folder in front of him, and begins reading off some things.

"But that's not what we're really here to talk about. Now then. You're one Linda McCallahan. Age 23. Born a ways north of Central, although you moved away as you turned 18. You never went to college, but are generally regarded by your peers as an economics genius. You've worked with the same company for most of your adult life. About a month ago, you called in sick to work, and instead were noticed by some people entering and exiting a hotel on numerous occasions during the day. This is the day you became a Breaker. You disappeared from public view a few days later, and suddenly showed up here, in Sun City, a few days ago. Would you mind filling in the blanks? Like how you managed to come across these?"

The Demon places your neck pouch on the table, and by the way they clink together, you can tell your foci are still inside. The minute your eyes spot the pouch, you can feel a pulse and hum of feeling come back into your hands, like something you hadn't even realized was gone suddenly came back. The data might still be in there as well. Either way, there's no getting at it right now.

>>>Input Command
Expand all images
>>
No. 459095 ID: 886a4d

Might as well tell some truth. If the governement has formed an entire division for breaking I'm sure they know the basics.

Off of other breakers as I'm sure you guessed.

Oh and while we can feel our power, spend 3 XP into finesse.
>>
No. 459096 ID: 86c3a7

Well, shit. They know your name, and where our home base is. That's not going to be good for our family, or our allies.

>Like how you managed to come across these?
Much the same way you did.

How about you tell me what you're after? You're obviously not a breaker- you die differently. And you're more than a spook- you're not investigating breakers, I know you're interested in me in particular. Drop the pretense, Demon. What's your business with the Angel?
>>
No. 459097 ID: 886a4d

>>459096
Agreed on asking what he is and why he wanted Linda specifically.

However, gonna veto confronting him about the demon \ angel thing. Remember thats just how Elizabeth sees both of us.
>>
No. 459099 ID: 86c3a7

>Remember thats just how Elizabeth sees both of us.
Yeah, but it's a good line, and a fun way of fucking with him. If the government is gonna be after us, why not provide them with our choice of codename? And calling him a demon will either net amusement, annoyance, or perhaps ring true.
>>
No. 459102 ID: 886a4d

He already knows our name, and he gave his own. There is no need for codenames.
>>
No. 459112 ID: 6e44d2

Put all three experience points into will right now.
>>
No. 459113 ID: 6e44d2

>>459102
Also, codenames are fun!
>>
No. 459115 ID: 4a328b

If we can still distribute stats away from our foci--three points to will
>>
No. 459116 ID: 886a4d

I see no point in going for will. Especially not 3 points.
>>
No. 459117 ID: 4a328b

"I would mind, actually. You already know so much of me, and I hardly know you at all. That hardly seems fair, does it?"

Ask how he survived being shot in the head, to start
>>
No. 459118 ID: a407a5

"Off of other Breakers, same as you.

"How about you tell me what you're after? You're obviously not a breaker- you die differently. And you're more than a spook- you're not investigating breakers, I know you're interested in me in particular. Drop the pretense, Demon. What's your business with the Angel?"

McCarthy blinks, then he chuckles a little to himself.

"Ah... a demon, am I? Yes... I suppose you could call me that. I'm your anathema. I hunt you down, cage you up, and sick scientists on you to find out how you tick. Irrelevant to the conversation though. At the very least, you're cooperating nicely. Otherwise, things might have gotten a bit... ugly..."

McCarthy shuffles through some more papers, then nods his head.

"I see here that you are currently engaged in a relationship with Cally Brooks, AKA DJ Winter, a respected member of Sun City. Does she have anything to do with this Breaker business?"

"No."

"Hm... Then, may I ask who the other person was with you a few days ago?"

? A few days ago?

"What do you mean?"

"At the facility. Who was the other person with you?"

It's been days since you were there? Damn. You sure hope your allies aren't just messing around or arguing all to hell and back.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459120 ID: 4a328b

>>459116
Alternatively, one point to will, one to finesse, and one to save for what it becomes apparent we may need here.
>>
No. 459122 ID: 886a4d

Anathema eh? Lemme guess your immune to breaking. As to my companion he is called Nightmare. Some breakers are rather paranoid you know.

Telling the truth, but avoiding giving things away, all in all... finesse!
>>
No. 459124 ID: 6e44d2

>>459120
Saving one is dumb. They aren't BP. All three to will. We really need it. At the very least, two to will and one to something else.
>>
No. 459125 ID: 86c3a7

...damn. We weren't out in public with Cally much. The club, the doctors, our hotel, our new base, the arena. The places he was likely to see us with her are all locations we'd rather they don't know about. Breaker locations.

Although if they'd made the hideout, you'd think they'd have hit it already.

>who the other person was with you a few days ago?
Let's try and get a rise of out them.

Look at 23 as you answer, and smile. "She didn't tell you? I was there with her worst nightmare".

>>459115
Huh. Not a bad idea. Helps us resist being broken, possibly we can dominate someone in order to escape. Also, I'm sick of failing diplomacy rolls, and dominating people in combat sounds useful (melee types are usually low will- and they're our greatest weakness).

+3 Will
+2 Finesse
>>
No. 459126 ID: 886a4d

Well I'm kinda sick of getting out finessed so constantly. Its supposed to be our core stat and yet every time we face someone else who focuses on it we get stomped. Will might not help us out here, if I'm right he will be immune to Will checks simply because he is our 'anathema'. And the girl is obviously programmed completely. She would only listen to him.

If we do spend all our points put only 1-2 into will and the rest into finesse. We'll have to save adjusting our weapons for later.
>>
No. 459127 ID: 86c3a7

>>459126
I didn't mean trying to dominate these two. That'd be abysmally stupid. They're both almost assuredly immune, or too strong. But we might be able to use it on a guard or something, later.
>>
No. 459128 ID: 886a4d

>>459127
Norms have at most 2 will. We can dominate them already. If you want to match Ralph then the most we need is 2 will. I don't see any reason to get 3.
>>
No. 459136 ID: a407a5

Experience Allocated
Finesse Increased to 8
Will Increased to 6


"Anathema, eh? What, you're immune to breaking?"

"Hm. Believe what you will. Your companion?"

"What? You mean she didn't tell you? I was there with her worst nightmare~"

The man's eyebrow twitches, and he glances at 23. She doesn't move or react at all. If anything, she seems to get even more withdrawn.

"I... see. Well then, that changes some things... I think that's all for now. We'll be seeing you again soon, Angel"

The man and 23 leave, taking with them everything they brought, the door closing behind them and the lights flickering out, dropping you into darkness again. You tug again at the ropes binding you, but aren't disappointed when they don't really move at all. Damn darkness... least they could do was leave the lights on. Hours seem to pass, then you hear a thud come from the doorway. Lights flicker on again, and you can hear faint bickering coming from the door as something starts to fiddle with the handle. You frown, tensing, only to see the door swing open and familiar voices drift through.

"-on't see you trying your luck with the door! Remember what happened with the last one? You almost broke your foot!"

"Shut up, Nightmare Boy, and grab Linda. Time for us to get the hell out of here. Elizabeth! You hear me? Anything going on up there?"

Raphael hops into view, eyes scanning the room before stopping at you. He flashes you a smile, one you can't be more grateful to see again, and he strides over and starts undoing your bindings. A few minutes later, you're free, and you work some of the kinks out of your limbs. After you stretch a little, Raphael hands you your neck pouch, which surprises you quite a bit, and after checking it, you find all your foci and the data inside. The only one missing is...

"There's was a focus in there to, one I haven't seen before, but Elizabeth took it. Said she wanted it. She never wanted anything before, so I let her have it. Hope that wasn't a bad idea."

Raphael is watching you, and once you have the pouch secured around your neck again, he suddenly comes up and hugs you.

"Damn, it's good to see you again. Can't tell you how fucking scared I was they were gonna turn you into one of those mindless breaker freaks. Numbered and all that. Still-" He suddenly lets go, looking a little embarrassed, and then turns and heads for the door. "-we gotta get the hell out of here. We could've just snuck out, but NOOOOOO. Chainsaw here had to decide that making a whole bunch of noise with her weapon of choice was the greatest idea ever! Thanks for letting the entire facility know we're here!"

"Like you had a better idea! The fucking door wouldn't open!"

"Yeah, yeah. If you'd have told me that, I could've picked the lock."

"Yeah well... shut it."

"Anyway, Elizabeth and Nicole are waiting for us in the car up top. Welcome back, Linda. Been weird not having you around last couple of days. What's the battle plan?"

Current BP: 20
>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459140 ID: 4a328b

"I don't remember the last few days so if I start acting weird knock me out, got it?"

Let's see if we can't save 23 while we're in here, too. What do they know of the layout of the building?
>>
No. 459141 ID: f6cff9

You wanna save 23 and not our foci/data? I guess you have a bigger heart then me. I'm all up for running out of this place as fast as possible.
>>
No. 459142 ID: 886a4d

Right, with Cass, Raphael AND Elizabeth here we should have a much better chance verse 23. Still we can't face off every single agent here so the plan is to get the hell out of here quickly. Use our Will for the grunts. Anyone who hesitates in obeying us should be shot immediately. If we find a technician \ scientist we get any information we can on Section 7. This might turn out to be war.

>focii gone
Elizabeth wanted the drain \ puppet wire? Interesting.

>XP spending
I think we should get 10 finesse then lay off of upping stats for now. Focii, BP and Spirit is what we should concentrate on.

>23
Shes not completely gone. She actually withheld information from her masters. If we get a chance we should try capturing her.
>>
No. 459144 ID: 86c3a7

Been a little less weird for me. I only woke up a few hours ago. *Grin* Damn but I'm glad to see you guys again, though.

Hug Cass too. Apologize again for having to shoot her last time.

*serious* ...these guys are serious shit though. A whole fucking secret division to deal with breakers. They've made the hotel back east. They've been watching us here too. ...and they're the same people who fucked with you, Cass.
>>
No. 459146 ID: a407a5

"Plan's simple. We get the hell out of here. The Demon or whatever that Elizabeth was freaking out about is around here somewhere. Breaking doesn't seem to hurt him either, so we're avoiding him like the plague. Everyone else, we bust straight through... if we run into 23, we beat her down or capture her, everyone got it?"

"Gotcha, Boss."

"Sounded clear to me, Boss."

"... Boss?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah, the new guys are all calling you that now. Boss. Kinda catchy, really, and it makes more sense to use that when we need to be all professional."

"Yeah.. whatever. I'm taking the lead, Nightmare Boy. You falling in the rear?"

"Gotcha covered. Boss, you take the middle, yeah?"

You fall in behind Cass, manifesting the 9mm, mostly because the rifle wouldn't be of any use in the corridors your traversing. You follow behind Cass, and for a few corridors, you seem fine, like nothing is wrong at all. Then you suddenly hear the singing of her chainsaw, and blood flies everywhere, covering your long time partner. Maybe because McCarthy mentioned it, but it's the first time you notice Cass actually lick the blood from around her lips as she smiles.

"Their gonna start hitting us now, Boss. Should I try avoiding the normals, or are we just going straight through em?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459148 ID: f6cff9

We gotta go straight through the normals. Reason number one is that these guys don't fuck around and will try to take us out as fast as possible. Reason two is they are all in this together so fuck them.
>>
No. 459149 ID: 86c3a7

...the newbies are all calling Linda boss even though they met her once, and then she disappeared on them. :p We must have made quite the impression!

Oh come on, right to orders? We don't greet or thank them at all? Lame, Linda. Oh well, I suppose we can resort to hugs and thanks once we're safe. Queue it up Linda. You owe Cass a hug. And Elizabeth. And Nicole. And Raphael another one.

>Should I try avoiding the normals, or are we just going straight through em?
...if you can. But they're not exactly normals, they're goddamn breaker hunting and torturing secret agents. I lost track of how many I killed that night.

>Queued action
Also, once we're clear, do not return strait to base. We need to take Linda somewhere neutral, and check her for tracking devices. We were out for days- we could have one implanted in us.
>>
No. 459150 ID: 4a328b

> Maybe because McCarthy mentioned it, but it's the first time you notice Cass actually lick the blood from around her lips as she smiles.

If you're going to start doubting Cass, remember that this was information provided to you very deliberately by the enemy--he admitted to having her in custody at one point, it's entirely possible that her berserker problem was caused or exacerbated by these guys--trying to turn Breakers into weapons, remember?

Still avoiding killing normals, when possible. Yes, even these jerks.
>>
No. 459154 ID: 86c3a7

>Plot trying to drop hints that Cass is an irredeemable monster, again
Screw you, plot! We're sticking to our redemption plan.
>>
No. 459157 ID: a407a5

"Try avoiding them but... well, if we do end up killing them, no tears shed he- Oh fuck..."

Cass barely hears you, already heading off again, her chainsaw humming slightly. You dart after her, hoping to keep pace and calm her down if necessary, but she just keeps carving through enemies one after another, slowly leading you upwards. Men start to come from behind, but Raphael turns into the same monster thing he was when 23 attacked you, and carves through them with ease, letting out a roar that sounds like a cross between a lion and a gurgle... not sure how that works, but it's a disturbing thing to listen to. All in all... you don't ever get a chance to shoot anything. It's like they're both being... overly protective. The path seems devoid of Breakers, controlled or otherwise, and eventually you manage to break out into sunlight, eyes catching the sight of groups of agents attacking other groups of agents. You pause to stare, but Raphael merely grabs you with a tentacle and charges on, heading towards a vehicle that looks like some sort of van, the side doors open wide. You catch sight of Nicole pouncing someone that managed to make it through the blockade of agents, smashing her fist into his face hard and practically pulping it in one go. Raphael shoves you into the van, then pauses and turns towards the compound again, body stiffening. Cass seems to notice this, and she revs her chainsaw, turning back as well with a bloody grin on her face. Nicole pounces another guy, while you suddenly notice Elizabeth sitting next to you, looking a little more lucid than normal, and with wires coming from her fingers, extending past you into the open area behind you.

"23rd Demon is coming."

You blink, then frown. 23rd? What the hell did that me-

"Enemy infiltrators found. Eliminating threat."

Oh.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459160 ID: 886a4d

Right, lets hope our finesse is high enough not to get stomped again. Pistol out. Cold Magnum out. Use the Cold Magnum to steer her path into the 9mm. If she looks like shes going to cut someone yell STOP and put all your will into it. Then plug her. Try to aim for disabling hits. Knees, arms.
>>
No. 459161 ID: 4a328b

Get out your ice-gun and aim for her feet
>>
No. 459162 ID: 86c3a7

>eyes catching the sight of groups of agents attacking other groups of agents
Someone is making use of their will score. Looks like it's Elizabeth, actually. Hmm. If the wire just does mind control, where did Cass' other 20 or so BP go when 17 jumped her?

Decision time. Running or fighting? ...yeah, like that's even a question.

Let's see how tough she is without plot armor, and now that we've got more finesse, and people screening us. First boss fight we've got the whole damn party for.

Tank gun the bitch.

Shout out a warning to the rest of the party. She's got crazy dodge, teleports, and that sword cuts through anything.

>>>>Input Comman
>Message too long. Click here to view the full text.
I am amused to no end that the board would rather print a full sentence instead of the last d.
>>
No. 459163 ID: 4a328b

>>459162
Oh yeah, speaking of that sword--protect the van. If she slices it up you're going to have to commandeer another vehicle or leave on foot
>>
No. 459166 ID: 86c3a7

>>459160
Actually you know what, I like this better than tank-gunning. Timing will attacks to try and get her to mess up strikes or dodges is perfect- we only need to throw off her timing a second.

Disabling shots might be a problem if she's still in body armor. I think last time we fired 3 9mm rounds into her stomach without hurting her. We need to plug her places the armor ain't.

Although, we really only need to keep her down long enough for Elizabeth to tag her, then we can disarm her.

>High finesse w/ will secondary build.
So our core strength is having better reflexes and control of our body. Backing that up we have diplomatic manipulation and outright mental attacks / control via our voice.

Guys, we're now basically a bene gesserit now. With guns. Fuck yeah.
>>
No. 459170 ID: c8be92

>>459160
Throwing support behind this;
and dumping the link to the discussion thread.

http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/59148.html
>>
No. 459172 ID: a407a5

You manifest the ice gun, and smile a little to yourself. Bitch. This time, I have friends backing me up, and you don't have a shit-ton of rocket launchers. We'll see how you like it. You open fire, aiming to hit her with the ice, but she sidesteps, and continues to do so when you keep the beam going and slide it after her. Then Cass gets in your way, forcing you to cut off the beam, even as your partner brings her weapon down towards the other woman. 23 slashes upwards in response, even as she moves to evade the attack, and Cass is neatly sliced in two along with her weapon, dropping her number by 1. 23 continues to move forward, hunting through the enemies for the more dangerous ranged attacker, only to come into contact with a group of agents. Completely unaware they aren't on her side, the dog-pile her, and the only thing that saves her is her reaction, which is kill them all. Every member that comes near her turns into so much meat, but 23's charge is interrupted. She won't be going anywhere fast. Then it's Raphael in his new form. She snaps her blade out again, only this time, instead of cutting through, the blade bounces off, and her fear is almost clear in her face.

"That won't work again, little girl. I have TASTED your fear." Raphael's voice has changed, significantly. It somehow rasps and gurgles at the same time, sending chills up your spine, even though you know he's a friend. "You fear that which cannot be cut. A demon which cannot be stopped. It will hunt and hunt and hunt for you, and you will run, never escaping it's gaze."

23 stumbles back then something seems to hit her and she suddenly darts forwards, blade flashing out again. This time, the cut sticks, cutting Raphael in half as she passes by him, but he's done his job. He's given you the time to line up the big gun, and distracted her from it's use. She's in the middle of repositioning herself to move again, and you're waiting for her when she does. Just to add a little more hesitation in her movements...

"STOP!"

You fire, and the massive caliber round tears straight through her body armor like it isn't even there. Blood flows freely, and the girl collapses onto the ground. Deserved it, the bitch. Teach you to mess with me. Unexpectedly, it's Nicole who dives on top of 23, pinning her to the ground in much the same way you'd been pinned. 23 revives, almost immediately trying to get free, but her body position and lack of strength keeps her from breaking free. Nicole looks to you, asking the unspoken question, even as Cass revives and drags herself unsteadily to her feet, and Raphael flips back to his human form.

"We killin her, boss?"

"You got my vote to beat her to death. Crazy bitch."

"Ah, shut it nightmare boy. We all got issues. Her's is that she's mind controlled up the ass."

"23rd Demon... No judgement from this one."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459174 ID: 886a4d

No judgement... I believe that means she is blameless for her actions. Also CASS jut said to save her life. CASS! The murderous one. We're keepign her alive.

Find her focus, restrain her. And lets take her back. Both of you should be stripped and searched for tracking devices. Elizabeth should be asked to check as well.

Then we ask what else has been going on while we've been away.
>>
No. 459178 ID: 4a328b

Knock her out, confiscate her focus, tie her up, and see about getting her some help. Keep in mind that you shouldn't go directly back to base or use your credit cards to rent the hotel room or whereever you end up going. Safety reasons, same as when you didn't take Elizabeth directly back to base when you rescued her.
>>
No. 459186 ID: 86c3a7

Well, that was almost disappointingly easy. Guess 5 on 1 really makes a difference.

...was that Cass advocating mercy there? Hard to tell, we got too many people and the dialog isn't labeled.

>Kill or no?
We kill when we have to. Disarm her, get her foci. We're taking her with us, see if she can be deprogrammed. That could have just as easily been me, or any of us, if we'd fallen into their hands long enough. *look to Cass*.

Was George or anyone able to make any progress with the others?

Disarm her, knock her out, shoot the sword to break the manifestation. Lock her in the trunk or something.

Have Elizabeth scan you and 23 for tracking devices, or any kind of implant.

Then GTFO, hugs and profuse thank yous in the car. These are you friends, and you should talk to them.

After the niceties, start talking about the important things you picked up. There's a whole fucking secret division for dealing with breakers. We have to warn Marc and everyone back east- they've made the hotel. Cally too.

Remember, Linda. Evil feds know your name, and face. Your old life is done, even more so now. You can't ever contact work again. That job is now over. You have to abandon you old bank accounts (thankfully, money is easy in out business). Ditch you personal cell phone. Never contact you family again for fear they could be used against us. Discard and replace your old laptop. Get a fake ID, pay for everything in cash.
>>
No. 459187 ID: 886a4d

>>459184
Actually we can go to our bank and close our accounts to get all our money out. Use our new will to bypass any alarms it might bring. Do it quick enough and perhaps they won't freeze the assets in time.
>>
No. 459188 ID: 86c3a7

>>459187
I'm not worried about them being frozen, I'm worried about money transfers being tracked.

Although, with breaking and Linda's talent in with economics, maybe we can pull it off.
>>
No. 459191 ID: f6cff9

Well if we take her back there could be some info in her head that we could use. That scientist seem to love to hear himself talk so he probably blab about a lot stuff he really shouldn't. The agent could have blab some stuff in front of her as well because he thought she was just some puppet but he seemed more careful.
>>
No. 459210 ID: 86c3a7

Oh, and some medium term goals, once things have calmed down again:

-When we get the chance, we need to talk with Cass. ...those assholes had you at some point, didn't they?
-Visit doctor. Acquire mech (squee!) / dreamtime tool to prevent Raphael from doing something stupid by himself.
-Get Raphael alone. Talk about things- and keep him pinned in one place long enough that the voices in your head can write some cogent dialog to run through your new and improved will score.
-Sit down and talk to Cally. The evil feds know her name and that she was invoked with you. Needs to be warned.
>>
No. 459217 ID: a407a5

"We kill when we have to, not just on a whim. It could have been anyone of us that got brainwashed. Knock her out. Someone grab her focus, and then lock her in the trunk or something. We got to figure this shit out. Elizabeth, we got anything on us? Tracking or anything like that?"

"... No."

Your orders are carried out, then everyone piles into the van and your off, heading where, you have no idea. Cass is at the wheel at the moment, you preferring to spend your time doing something you do best. Getting touchy feely with everyone else. Hugs are administered to everyone except Cass(crashing would not be a good idea) and your practically gush thanks, until Cass finally tells you to shut up about it before she pulls over right now and punches you in the face. You shrug off the comment though, clearly seeing the red in her cheeks. Feels good to have friends to count on. Still... time for business.

"What happened to the other three we helped out?"

"Those three? Mind-hacker guy messed around in their heads a little, but they lost their breaking powers a day or two ago, so we removed any memories from their heads about breaking and tossed em. Seemed the better choice than having them hang around."

"That's good. Maybe we can do something for this girl, then. Who's got her focus?"

Elizabeth ends up being the one holding it, a small engraved statuette of a samurai. Very similar to the statue that Raphael carries around, but it feels slightly different... Oh well. You then go over everything you've learned from your little talk. Everyone looks troubled after that, and Cass gives Daniels a call to let him know. Still, it's best not to go directly home.

It's Raphael who actually suggest you head back to the Doc's place, since you need to turn in the data anyway, right? Eventually, you find yourself on the road headed towards the old bunker. After a mere half hour, everyone else bu you and Cass have fallen asleep, and you find yourself turning in your seat to regard Subject #23, eyeing her in her unconsciousness. The van you're using doesn't really have a trunk, so you'd ended up sticking her in the back seat... she looks pretty peaceful, for being a homicidal brainwashed breaker.

"Hey Linda... what do you think made her like that? So willing to kill?"

You blink and turn back around. Cass is staring straight ahead, driving, but you can tell she's in thinking mode, thoughts whirling around in her head.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459222 ID: 886a4d

They broke her most likely. Hard to say how. You heard that other girl... calling the scientist Papa. Sickening.

As far as willing to kill? I have that in me too Cass. Look at those scientists, those soldiers. The breakers I've killed. I don't have a berzerker to blame... thats all me. What we want to do is to give you the ability to control when you kill. Leash your hunger so you control it and not the other way around.
>>
No. 459232 ID: 4a328b

"I'm assuming mind control or brainwashing until I learn otherwise; there's a chance she's not wholly opposed to what they're doing [Sort of like if she fell in with the Fixers, y'know?]. She might hate killing, she might love it, she might think it's justified -- Point is there's too many possibilities and too little information to know why she did what she did. I'd like to hear her version of events, at any rate."
>>
No. 459234 ID: 86c3a7

...there's something in all of us willing to kill. Even me; I don't even know how many people are dead beacuse of me anymore. All it needs is the chance- for the walls around it to come down, or for something to be more important to you than others' lives.

I think they just took everything else away from her. Nothing to prop up the walls. All she has left are orders, mission, purpose. That's so important she doesn't care about anything, anymore. Let alone lives. Even her deepest fear is just failure at this point- something she can't cut through.
>>
No. 459244 ID: 86c3a7

...but just because they found a way to get at that willingness, to knock down everything else around it, doesn't mean they understand it.

That scientist? The one we were sent to deal with, who did this to people? He was stunned that I'd be willing to shoot my friend. He just couldn't believe that I'd see her dead before a broken slave. They know how to set it free, Cass but they don't understand what it means to harness it.
>>
No. 459245 ID: 86c3a7

(Obviously leading up to the point that whatever they did to her, or whatever she's been through- there's still a way for her to harness it too, instead of letting it run free. Whether or not we come out and say it depends on how well she takes things leading up to it).
>>
No. 459258 ID: 4a328b

After re-reading everything [and failing to sleep well last night] I'm feeling a bit suspicious of the situation here.

Instead of answering properly, say you're not sure and ask what she thinks.
>>
No. 459267 ID: 4a328b

Some things that make me suspicious:
>We're out for several days, the enemy has our bag o' foci, and they don't open it up and take their data card with all the top secret Breaker research on it back?
>Liz hates combat, and suddenly she's happily puppeteering people around? How did she get the foci from our bag when Raph and Cass brought it to us, anyway?
>A strange van instead of the car we bought for our group's use?
>Raphael, who causes horrible nightmares in sleepers, and everyone in the car is napping, including him?
>Being called "Boss" doesn't seem to make much sense
>Elizabeth gives everyone nicknames based on their spirit sight appearance or something--here she just used the number
>Tossing Breakers out when they can no longer break doesn't hold true for our group--Remember Mac?
etc etc etc

Casually suggest that you pull over for a bit, perhaps.
>>
No. 459276 ID: f6cff9

>>459267
Sounds like a good idea to me
>>
No. 459280 ID: 86c3a7

>>459267
>Suspecting this is all fake
Argh. After the last chapter in Polo-quest, I don't even want to consider this. But I guess we have to.

Problem is, if this is all in our head, an interrogation method to get information out of us- we're already in trouble. We've used names of companions we left unnamed before. We named allies back at the hideout and back east they never knew about. We confirmed the hotel as our hideout, and that Cally was a breaker. We've given away the existence and possibly the location of the doctor. We've already said too much!

In comparison, talking to Cass about her issues (proxied through 23) is a pretty safe topic. There's not much of tactical or strategic value to our enemies there. And if this is real, we can't afford to brush Cass off. Talking to her about this is important if we ever want to help her!

Let's see if I can explain away any of these plot holes though. Maybe this is real.

>We're out for several days, the enemy has our bag o' foci, and they don't open it up and take their data card with all the top secret Breaker research on it back?
Yeah, this one makes no sense. They shouldn't even have our foci in the same building as us, let alone left the data in there (actually from what they said about the rescued breakers- that's what they did for them. When the feds lost possession of them, they broke or retuned their foci, disabling them remotely). Only explanation that makes sense is a meta one: the GM not punishing us for losing a scripted battle. We get to keep our power-items, and the plot coupon for the new one we had on order.
>Liz hates combat, and suddenly she's happily puppeteering people around?
Elizabeth is also fanatically interested in Linda's safety. If one thing would rouse her to action, her Angel in the hands of the demon would be it. Also, an indirect weapon may appeal to her in a way that direct fighting does not. Manipulation was already kind of her deal (Linda and Raphael, most obviously). A tool that lets her impose her vision on others kind of makes sense, thematically.
>How did she get the foci from our bag when Raph and Cass brought it to us, anyway?
It's likely that they found our bag higher up in the facility, and that's when they passed her the needle. Heck, they may have even need Elizabeth to locate it. Then Nicole / Elizabeth stayed behind to deal with guards up top (they have nonlethal weapons) while Cass and Raph snuck in to rescue us.
>A strange van instead of the car we bought for our group's use?
They do have their own resources. And, if I remember right, the car only sat 4 people. Possibly this vehicle is meant to be disposable or temporary (not a bad idea when attacking a secret government installation). Possibly the old car didn't survive the feds attacking the building we last drove out to, or the party couldn't retrieve it and had to abandon it.
>Raphael, who causes horrible nightmares in sleepers, and everyone in the car is napping, including him?
It's possible since the upgrade that he has more control over stuff like that. If you're getting your focus powered up, why not try and remove one of it's glaring weakness?
>Being called "Boss" doesn't seem to make much sense
Nicole had already started the practice earlier. Does seem a little odd, but it's at least plausible.
>Elizabeth gives everyone nicknames based on their spirit sight appearance or something--here she just used the number
The names Elizabeth gives are based off the core identity of the person. Something critical to their sense of self. As a mind-broken slave 23 doesn't have anything but her number anymore for Elizabeth to latch onto.
>Tossing Breakers out when they can no longer break doesn't hold true for our group--Remember Mac?
Presumably, Mac was already one of us. These guys were new, helpless, and recovering from buttloads of trauma and torture. Kind of makes sense they'd be better off as normals again rather than powerless breakers hiding with us while the feds hunt us all. Besides, why remember all that suffering if there's no point to it any more?
Besides, Daniels or the hacker would have made that decision. They're both rather less soft than Marc or Linda.

Okay... that's the best I can do to answer concerns. Hardly ironclad, but it could be real. Problem is we really have no way to be sure (short of the demon bring us out of it and laughing in our face, or dreamer saying "no this is real, stop worring about it").
>>
No. 459282 ID: f6cff9

Thank you for alleviating some of my paranoia. Didn't get rid of all of my thoughts but then again no one can get rid of this problem for me.

I guess roll with it anyways even if there is a chance this is all fake. I doubt we could break out of it if we wanted to if this was fake so no point worrying about it I guess. The silver lining is if we can have paranoid thoughts then there probably a better chance this is real. If I was mind controlling someone I wouldn't even let those kinds of thoughts to pop up on the off chance they could break free.
>>
No. 459299 ID: a407a5

"They broke her most likely. Hard to say how. You heard that other girl... calling the scientist Papa. Sickening."

You pause, considering your own words a moment before continuing.

"...there's something in all of us willing to kill. Even me; I don't even know how many people are dead beacuse of me anymore. All it needs is the chance- for the walls around it to come down, or for something to be more important to you than others' lives.

I think they just took everything else away from her. Nothing to prop up the walls. All she has left are orders, mission, purpose. That's so important she doesn't care about anything, anymore. Let alone lives. Even her deepest fear is just failure at this point- something she can't cut through. But then again... that's all just guess work. I have no real evidence either way. We'll have to hear her side of the story in the end, to connect the puzzle pieces."

Cass just sits there, continuing to drive on for a few minutes, before she opens her mouth to speak again.

"Then... why am I like this? Why do I enjoy the killing so much? Why do I get some sort of perverted pleasure from feeling it, the warm blood running down my arm, the screams passing my ears... feels so... good..."

Cass suddenly licks her lips, even as her eyes start to get an almost misty sheen to them. Suddenly, she snaps out of it as the car starts to drift to the side, and she rights your course and takes a deep breath, letting it all out in one breath.

"Damn, got to pay attention to the road... forget I said anything, Linda. Not that big a deal."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459300 ID: 886a4d

Of course its a big deal. Cass, your my friend, one of the first I've had in a long time. And this is something you want to change. I'll do everything in my power to help you with it, even if its just a voice calling you back from the darkness.

I just wish I knew how to really help you though.
>>
No. 459302 ID: 86c3a7

(I'm going to continue assuming this is real. Because faked character development is just evil).

...I told you before Cass, I don't mind talking about it.

I don't know why you are the way you are, Cass. I don't know what you've been through. Something makes your walls come down easy. There's still there though- I've seen you put them up. I've propped them up.
>>
No. 459307 ID: c8be92

>>459302
And we'll Keep propping them up for you.
You have friends, and that's something that keeps you from becoming a monster.
>>
No. 459341 ID: 6e44d2

It seems like a primal passion for you, maybe even sexual. I certainly understand the pleasure one can derive from having that kind of power over another. It's a visceral, innervating type of sensation. It seems very human and natural. The important part, however, is that you learn how to control it, rather than letting it control you. You're in a business that involves lots of killing, so that kind of martial trance is rather useful, and it's good to enjoy one's work. However... It's also important that you are the captain of your own ship, you know?
>>
No. 459349 ID: a407a5
File 134913665436.jpg - (205.55KB , 516x516 , thumb_big_other_9b051421ae728c32305c724061a2b731.jpg )
459349

"...I told you before Cass, I don't mind talking about it.

I don't know why you are the way you are, Cass. I don't know what you've been through. Something makes your walls come down easy. There's still there though- I've seen you put them up. I've propped them up. And we'll keep propping them up for you. You have friends, and that's something that keeps you from becoming a monster."

Cass remains silent, dropping back into thought. Hours later, due to Cass choosing the "scenic" route to avoid getting captured again, you arrive at the place where you're supposed to be. You all pile out of the car and stare at the large door leading into the Doctor's domain.

"Well... that certainly looks inviting, doesn't it."

"Yeah..."

The door, which used to be relatively normal, for a bunker, now has a high-voltage sign attached to it, and you can clearly see electicity running along it's surface. You wouldn't want to touch that. Thankfully, there's another sign that points to an intercom, stating one should use that to contact the Doctor and arrange an appointment. You sigh, and hit the communicate button.

"HELLO! ANYONE HOME!"

"YOU DON'T NEED TO SHOUT!"

"Oh... Hey, Doc. We got your data."

"The easterners? Good, good. I just finished up with your project... well... the primary components anyway. Some tests need to be run, field data gathered for research purposes, feedback systems need to be updated, the shock-absorbers need to be recalibrated, the-"

"Yeah, we get it, ya crazy bastard, just open the damn door."

Cass suddenly leans over you, interrupting the Doctor. Some grumbling comes from the intercom, then the door swings open slowly and your instructed to take the right path upon entry. Following his instructions, you make it back to the lab area, only this time you find a mass of cords, wires, discarded machine parts, some random looking gears and machinery, and what looks like a kitchen. Everywhere is still covered in papers and diagrams and various other pieces of data. The Doc seems to be working on what appears to be a large looking metal leg, messing with something mechanical, although you were never into machinery too much, so you have not real way of telling what it is he's messing with.

"You have the data?"

"Yeah. You got the mech?"

"Hm. Don't underestimate me and my talents. Get that suit on, it serves as a buffer between you and the machinery."

He points to a corner of the room, and you find what looks to be a single piece of cloth. Touching it reveals a thin sort fabric, although it doesn't feel like any fabric you've ever felt before. You find somewhere a little more private to put it on, and soon realize that the thing allows for literally no other clothing to be on with it. Not to mention is seems to conform to your skin. You frown slightly, then shrug. You have to admit, you kinda expected this. Anime does it all the time. After coming back outside(AW! Look at Raphael with his nosebleed!) you're directed to a small capsule looking thing, which when you enter, closes up behind you, putting you in total darkness. This is quickly replaces as small bits of your suits suddenly burst with bright light, and the world around you lights up, granting you a sort of digital computer interface. You hear a crackle as a comm turns on, then the Docs voice drifts through.

"Testing! Testing! Can you hear me, Easterner?"

"Holy shit, this this is awesome! And this is just the inside control suite?"

"Shut up, I'm trying to run a field test! Can you hear me in there?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459354 ID: 886a4d

Alright getting called Easterner is getting annoying. Its Linda. And yes I can hear you.

... now what next? (I'm gonna pilot a goddamn, real-life mech!)
>>
No. 459355 ID: b137cf

next we should ask the doctor to turn or ring clone into a mecha-maid
>>
No. 459374 ID: 86c3a7

Hmm. I'd hoped Cass might open up, tell us what did happen to her. Oh well- we don't want to push it, and she'll get there in her own time.

I sure hope there's gonna be a focus somewhere for all this, or else it's going to be inconvenient to use. I mean, do we have to pull a superman and wear the suit under everything all the time? A summoning and/or transformation sequence would be a lot better. (...although we didn't save an XP to tune this thing to us. Oh well, if it's got a focus, it should come with a free XP, right?).

The important thing to do now is to reach out with your senses. Does your gun affinity tell you how to use any of this? If so, that's the weapons systems. Not the thing you want to poke first.

>>459354
Yes. Entirely too few people using our name. Or if he has to give us a title, could we get one a little more specific?

>>459355
If we make her a robot, hive-mind won't be available as an upgrade. And if we wanted to dress her up as a maid, we can do that on our own, pretty easy. Hell, upgrading her to have variable outfits might not even up the manifestation cost.

Oh, Also.

>mech!~
Cass: really Linda? We attacked a government facility, and you got your ass captured and almost brainwashed and tortured so you could play out a fantasy?
Linda: ...yes?
>>
No. 459383 ID: 86c3a7

Wait.

> You all pile out of the car

That better exclude whoever stayed to watch over our prisoner. That, or she's tied up and thrown over Raphael's shoulder, toting her around with Weight Null. We are not leaving her alone to run off!

(...it also now occurs of me to wonder how the Doc got such accurate measurements to use for making the skin-tight suit. Must have been some nice sensors on that mech we trashed).
>>
No. 459385 ID: 886a4d

>>459383
It might just be a property of the fabric.
>>
No. 459391 ID: 0213bd

Oh yeah that's right we didn't tell anyone else what we'd get for doing that job HAH! I also hope this comes with an easy transport option because that would suck seeing as it seems like he went with the mid sized super robo.... oh god the idea of a sports utility mech just popped into my head hahaha!
>>
No. 459402 ID: a407a5

"Yeah, I can hear you. And my name is LINDA, please you use it."

"Fine, fine. LINDA. But now is hardly the time for that. First things first. Set up. That thing you're in right now is currently calibrating you to the mech's interface. Give it a few seconds, and then it'll automatically move you to the mech itself. Which reminds me... I've built a frame-work and added basic functionality to it, but... well, I couldn't decide what to actually stick on it, so I built an auto-fabricator. Just send along some basic designs to the machine through the uplink on your upper left there, and it should be done and ready to strap you in within a couple of minutes. I still have to fix this system here... maybe get the stabilizers functioning..."

>>>Submit IDEAS or DIE!
>>
No. 459411 ID: 86c3a7

...we have to design it ourself?

Okay, size-wise, we want something useable. Without automatically destroying whatever city or building we happen to be in. That means we need a medium size, mech. Bigger than powered armor, smaller than ridiculous. Probably something around 10-20 ft tall? You know, the range where we can pick people up in one hand, not where they run around said hand like ants.

Bipedal, humanoid, obviously. Should reflect our strengths, so it should be agile, not slow (although we don't want to go all the way to fragile speedster. We just don't want to go the slow tank route). And guns, obviously. Big fucking guns. Leaning more towards explosions or accurate powerful stuff than more dakka, since, again, that's our style. Although I suppose it can have an optional mow-down type weapon for our recurring finesse opponents.

Actually, it would be most awesome if we could just tie our manifestations strait into it. Manifest scaled up super-versions of our weapons to mecha-weild. In addition to some minimum onboard weapondry, of course.
>>
No. 459413 ID: c31f72

It needs a drill! I don't care about any other details.
>>
No. 459414 ID: 886a4d

>>459409
Sounds about right. Our inbuilt weapons should be lots of smaller weapons mounted everywhere Wrists, shoulders, torso, head etc. It will reflect Linda's habit of collecting smaller guns to pull out whenever she needs them. Our main weapon will still be a fuckhuge rifle though. As far as look, something sleek and streamlined. More Evangelion then Gundam Wing. I'm partial to pink, silver and black.
>>
No. 459420 ID: 4a328b

Keep the size something manageable--no higher than a single story building, maybe?

Lots of varied types of guns everywhere. >>459411
Good ideas, yeah.

Keep the colors functional and not at all eye-catching---running around in a bright pink mech is just tacky. Be CLASSY. Maybe a near black with a non-reflective finish or similar.
>>
No. 459423 ID: 4a328b

>>459413
Eh, we're a gunfighter, though.
>>
No. 459426 ID: cb8d76

>>459411
>>Actually, it would be most awesome if we could just tie our manifestations strait into it. Manifest scaled up super-versions of our weapons to mecha-weild. In addition to some minimum onboard weapondry, of course.
Brilliant!

We need some kinda of invisibility cloak/optic camo so we can use this without freaking out the locals too much. Not being picked up by radar and infrared would also be nice.

A secondary cockpit could be useful if we need to make a getaway with someone, but I'm not sure size will allow that.

Near term feature options (if not this build then soon): flight and subterranean (drill based burrowing) modes
Longer term feature options: space flight, short ranged teleporting and dreamtime entry/defensive/offensive capabilities

See if doc might be able to integrate a gravity based final resort type weapon into the next revision.

Anyway, see what doc can do with the list.

I assume if we decide to go with a speed build (or a speed form, transforming mecha?) we're going with a red paint job
>>
No. 459428 ID: b6edd6

Keep in mind that many of our most dangerous opponents will be lone humans on foot, so we should plan accordingly. That means we need to invest heavily in area denial (like napalm or gas weapons) and/or area saturation (like large explosions or bullet hell). The giant manifested weapons would be great if we can get that.

Some other factors to keep in mind are repair and storage. We will probably want to ask what he has in mind for those first.

And lastly, we should warn the doctor that the USB was in enemy hands for a few days, so it might have been loaded with come kind of super-trojan.
>>
No. 459429 ID: cb8d76

>>459426
Dreamtime entry and exit capable
>>forgot rule to always give mad scientists specific goals, though with this one it's probably fine
>>
No. 459430 ID: a407a5

"Hm. Some rather... odd... requests. But... most of this isn't doable in a short amount of time. If we scaled it down here and here... one story tall maybe, with the arms connecting to the Nerve Suit here and here... legs here... spinal column here... Add this and this... a basic sensor system... holographic displays, obviously... a few adjustments here and here... weapons will have to come later... this pushed back... jumps jets? No. Waste of power. Need as much energy as can be pumped into the other systems. Reactive armor. Open hatch from the back... yes... this will do nicely for initial tests. Obviously, I've prepared a few weapon already, but a rifle... unnecessary. Sniper Rifles are useless in mech combat, from what I've seen, unless you have another mech to back you up. You won't, anytime soon, I had to rip apart my precious robot just to make this project feasible. Integrated Manifested Weaponry? A fine idea, but impractical, given as this machine is already a manifestation... might have to work on that. Integrated Weaponry... localized here and here... another cockpit? No. Nerve Suit connection would be necessary, and overlapping signals would cause errors. Auto-fabricators here and here to supply replenished munitions to arms and shoulder mounted weapons... Main weapon, a high-powered auto-cannon, using a the barrel from an artillery piece. Should provide more than enough penetration. Anti-Infantry weapon? Pointless. Should have men on the ground to defend against that, and open warfare is not expected. Designed for speed. Speed. Always speed. Armor should be made of lightest metal available that still provides adequate defense... this should do. FIRST TEST, BEGIN!"

You suddenly find yourself not where you used to be. Instead, you're suddenly feel something attached to your arms, legs and torso, with some sort of helmet thing wrapping around your head. There's no sound for a moment, and you almost think his machine screwed up somehow. Then a mechanical voice suddenly sounds off.

"Uploading User Information. Generator output at 50%. Configuring Movement Mode to Safe. Bringing up HUD.

Sensor... Online.
External Communications... Online
Internal Communications... Online
Damage Display... Online
Weapon Display... Online
Systems Display... Online
Visual Display... Online"

The world suddenly lights up, and you realize that your looking through the "eyes" of the mech, mostly because you can see the Doctor jumping up and down to the right of you, your companions staring at the thing in awe. Damn, do you feel big.

"System Checks... Complete
Releasing Movement Locks"

You feel as if a weight has been suddenly lifted off your limbs, and with the light coming from the HUD, you see that something resembling an exoskeleton is wrapped around large portions of your body, likely to transmit movement from your own body to the mech. Your only thought?

"THIS IS FUCKING AMAZING! HEY CASS! LOOK AT ME! I'M IN A MECH~ I'M DRIVING A MECH~"

"Yeah! I can see that! TURN THE FUCKING VOLUME DOWN."

You blink in surprise, not really sure how to do that, until you see what looks like volume controller start to adjust itself. The onboard computer must still be configuring itself... HOW COOL IS THAT! YOU HAVE AN ONBOARD COMPUTER~

"Hey Cass! I have an onboard COMPUTER~"

"Oh god..."

"Linda. If you would. Try moving or... something. The system can't finish calibrating if all you do is sit there and go gaga over an incomplete piece of junk."

YOU. I WILL murder YOU.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459431 ID: 886a4d

Take your first steps as a mech pilot. Take it slow at first. Do some basic stretches to see how well it synchs. See if it can jump. Finally do a spin kick just to test the limits.
>>
No. 459432 ID: c88f57

Remember, this is only the start up. As far as any self respecting scientist would be concerned it is only in prototype stage. Oh and thank god there is an onboard pilot-assist ai computer thingy. No need to spend days reading the manual, though considering Linda she will like do it anyway gushing like the fangirl she is the entire time.
>>
No. 459435 ID: c88f57

Wohwohwoh hold off on the crazy stuff no jumping or spin kicks in the under ground bunker considering the amount of machinery likely around our friends and the cramped spacing. Don't want to hurt anyone in a fangirl related incident involving a mech.... wow that actually sounds horrifying.
>>
No. 459440 ID: cb8d76

The mech builder has immunity by virtue of BUILDING YOU A MECH! No murdering the Doc. Yes, this is the the best moment of your life, but force yourself to stay calm. Start by moving the arms slowly while maintaining your balance. Then move on to shuffling the mech's feet and walking. Start scaling up the test within reason given the confines of your surroundings, listen to the doc and do what he needs (within reason).

Oh, and make sure Liz and Raph still have the prisoner under control.
>>
No. 459441 ID: 86c3a7

Oh it is a manifestation. Thank goodness. Of course, now I'm gonna wonder what the focus is.

Just basic motion first. See if you can move an arm without destroying a wall. Then walking. Have the arms ready for balance- if this thing is poorly coordinated, you could come down, hard.

If you've got fins control at all, walk up to your friends, crouch is front of them, and then poke at Cass with a single finger. Revel in the hugeness.
>>
No. 459448 ID: c88f57

Why am i worried about how much manifesting the mech will cost..... oh well i just hope we'll be able to use active break to fix it, though considering the docs last mech it might have self repair abilities. Which on that mech seemed really fast.
>>
No. 459450 ID: 86c3a7

Can Maria show up soon? Because I can't wait to see her face when she finally catches up with us, cocky, murderous, and prepared to kill the golem... only to find herself facing down this instead.

Manifestation cost on this thing is gonna be huge. I'm guessing it starts at 10BP or something. Hopefully we can pay BP for repairs the same way avatar users can.

We've officially broken typing now. We've got what amounts to an avy (Twinda) and a form (Mech). Even if they do count as weapons.

There was no mention of dreamtime capacity in what the doc mentioned, or the checklist. Hopefully that's built in, since it was part of the initial request (and the dreamdrive just isn't online yet).

Not integrating other manifestations is disappointing. I guess we'll pick that up as an upgrade some day?

If anyone ever calls or questions us on getting this, our response is to be "What? He said he'd make anything I desired. I went with the obvious choice."
>>
No. 459457 ID: 886a4d

>>459450
Ya we probably can get a Insert Mod upgrade.
>>
No. 459463 ID: 886a4d

Get Hivemind for Twinda, put Twinda in the mech. Hivemind Mech and a use for her that doesn't cost an arm and a leg!
>>
No. 459468 ID: 86c3a7

>>459463
Yeah, this occurred to me as well. Although we'll probably want to do the finesse match too. Presumably reflexes matter for piloting.
>>
No. 459470 ID: a407a5

"What possessed you to get THIS thing made? When would we possibly use it?"

"Well... you never know when a building needs to be conveniently gone..."

"Hahahaha! It's official, people. Linda is now the most insane out of all of us here!"

"Hey! That's no fair at all! Elizabeth, back me up!"

"Agreement. The Angel is the most lost to reality."

"WHAT!? Even Elizabeth is against me?"

The whole time you're holding your conversation, you're testing your limits of control. You feel a bit heavier than you're used to, maybe because you have large amounts of metal attached to you, but within minutes, the AI readjusts, and you are moving normally. The machine has far more limitations than you'd like, complex maneuvers like backflips or dodge rolls seem difficult to perform, but the layers of armor should prove pretty difficult to punch through with anything less than a tank. Even then, you doubt that it would penetrate first shot. All in all, you find that for the most part, only your ability to evade is really affected. If anything, you feel quite a bit stronger.

"Hm. Initial Calibration is fine. Weapon systems check out as well, although that was just simulation testing... That's enough for now. I should have the mech ready at some point. Get the AI to help you get out when you're done messing around. I'm going to go check what's on this USB drive."

Huh? Wasn't that in your- Oh yeah... you had to take that off. HE must of gotten into your things when you weren't looking. You frown, then shrug, and wander the mech over to your companions. You crouch the thing down, pause a moment, then carefully begin poking at Cass.

"Hey... HEY! Quit it, Linda! Before I decide to dismantle that hunk of junk!"

"... Junk?"

"Uh... beautiful... masterful... piece of machinery..."

"Haha! Serves you right, Chainsaw!"

"Shut it, Nightmare boy, before I decide to rip YOU in half!"

"Bring it. I can take you any day of the week."

"How bout right now?"

"23rd awakening."

You blink, then realize you'd never told anyone to bring 23 with you, did you? Thankfully, someone was paying attention, and Nicole has her propped up against a wall, smoking while she watches over the woman and the antics. 23 seems to be coming around, although she looks a bit confused and uncertain. Her eyes suddenly snap focused, and she almost starts to attack Nicole. Almost, until she suddenly spots the mech as you stand up to your full height. She stares at it a moment, then scrunches up into a ball and goes docile. Self-preservation... she must have something in her that tells her not to fight useless battles.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459472 ID: 886a4d

Might as well ask her if she is willing to talk.
>>
No. 459479 ID: 86c3a7

You know, I think this thing is the best broken out of enemy captivity present ever. Totally worth getting captured for.

>I'm going to go check what's on this USB drive
You might want to pull that up on a secondary, firewalled machine, if you've got one. I can't promise they didn't hide something nasty in there.

>had to remove foci bag
You mean you took it off temporarily when you changed, right? You didn't leave it with your clothes? Not being able to wear that in the mech could be a problem.

>Cass vs Raphael
Hmm. I'm both interested and kind of scared to think of what Cass' worst fear would be if that fight actually happened.

>23
Well, she's not much of a threat now. Without her focus, she'd unarmed, and can't break. I think her stats default to normal levels too (otherwise, you'd think Linda's superhuman strength would have been enough to break her bonds).

I'm not sure if talking to her will help before we get her deprogrammed, but we could always try. Maybe that will will work after all?

After that, we probably have to dismount (sigh~) and talk to the doc. See if he's got anything in the data, or how the hell we collapse the mech and suit to a transportable focus (or if we have to wait till he's done with it).
>>
No. 459480 ID: b6edd6

>Hmm. I'm both interested and kind of scared to think of what Cass' worst fear would be if that fight actually happened.
... It would be a completely crazy version of her, wouldn't it?
>>
No. 459482 ID: 86c3a7

>>459480
Or whatever made her that way. Think about it- something you're so afraid of, that you hate so much, that you want to kill so so badly that killing itself becomes an insane addictive high afterwards. That's what I think broke her.
>>
No. 459483 ID: 886a4d

I just thought of a perfect 'live fire' test. Leviathan.
>>
No. 459485 ID: 86c3a7

>>459483
Eat me now, Snakey!

I'd prefer we did that at some kind of private arrangement though. The mech is ridiculous enough I'd kind of like it as a secret weapon, instead of showing it off to everyone at the arena and getting word about it out.
>>
No. 459487 ID: 886a4d

>>459485
Ya, I think we talked to her about holding it somewhere else with lots of room so we could both cut loose.

Little did I suspect then just what we were going to get. Hah!
>>
No. 459488 ID: a407a5

"You might want to open that thing up on a secondary compu-"

"HHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH! FOOLS! DID YOU REALLY THINK MY GENIUS COULD BE STOPPED BY A MERE VIRUS! GAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

"... Yeah, you got that covered apparently."

You follow the AI's instructions and dismount, taking a bit of pleasure in the fact that Raphael keeps having to drag his eyes away from you, even though they drift back afte a minute or two, and you trudge your way up to 23, staring down at her.

"Soo.... You gonna talk to us at all?"

"Subject #23. Division 7."

"... Am I supposed to take that as a no?"

"Subject #23. Division 7."

"Yeah.... kinda figured. Let's try this another way then. What does McCarthy want with me?"

"I don't- Subject #23. Division 7."

Yeah... nothing new there. You'll have to wait till after her deprogramming to get anything useful out of her. You start to walk away, muttering curses, and leave Cass and Nicole to watch over your prisoner of war. You head back into the research lab, and just as you do so, you hear the Doc cackling.

"OH, GLOURIOUS! I never thought a non-breaker could come up with this sort of thing. He must have had quite an extensive amount of time to research. From a scientific viewpoint, he was a genius. A crazy madman, but still... so many things to try out, just from the data alone... I because I can break, I don't even have to use other people to try them. Still... most of this is useless. Only two or three projects of note... this one in particular..."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459490 ID: 886a4d

Lets see what he found. "Whats so interesting Doc?"
>>
No. 459494 ID: 86c3a7

>Division 7
Huh. The name, rank, service number mantra doesn't really work as well when you're part of a secret organization no one is authorized to know exist.

>Doc
It's good that you can put that to use without using people. I saw what that information did to people, and I'd rather not see it repeated. *Glance at 23*

See if you can find out what he's interested in.

Thank him for the mech, it's everything you ever wanted. Ask him how you're supposed to collapse it, or if it needs more work. ...and if the dreamtime access you asked for was included at all. Make sure Raphael can't hear you for that.

Just occurred to me that the focus is probably an anime DVD. Although... that wouldn't fit in our pouch. Maybe a micro-DVD?
>>
No. 459495 ID: 886a4d

My guess its a toy figure, like Raph's horse and 23's samurai.
>>
No. 459559 ID: a407a5

"What did you find, Doc?"

"Nothing as of yet. It's mostly research data on our physiology. Which, surprisingly, is EXACTLY the same as a normal human. The rest of it though... it's all the start of research into various weapon and things to hunt us down... I'll have to do some experiments to get anything concrete... If you ever come across any raw reality, retrieve it for me, will you? I'll reward you without cost, as before. And before you ask, you'll know raw reality when you see it. Very hard to miss."

"Uh... okay. Thanks for the mech, by the way. How am I supposed to take it anywhere though?"

"For now, you WON'T be. It's still incomplete, and needs more work. Stabilizers, a safer nuclear reactor, some other odds and ends. I'll have it completely functional eventually. Hopefully. I tend to get distracted easily. Half my projects unfinished, you know? But your's is a request, I tend to finish those. Where'd I put that wrench..."

"And, uh... the uh... the dreamtime thing..."

"Hm? Oh.Not functioning. At least, I have no way of accessing the dreamtime, so I can't send something there. If I had a gateway or something to start me off... but not important. I'm still working on the issue. Give me some time, accessing new realms of reality is a very difficult task. Or at least, and elusive one.

"Was there anything else you needed, or are we done here?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459561 ID: 86c3a7

Aw. C'mon. You got days of extra time to work on the thing after Linda got captured! Such a tease.

...the reactor makes me a little leery though. Manifestations tend to get destroyed, and I'd rather not irradiate a whole city. Maybe we'll have to setup an emergency de-manifestation protocol in case of core breach.

>Need anything else?
No, I think we're good. You've got my number if you finish the mech, or need anything else. We'll keep an eye out for your raw reality.

Time to change back, and head out. Probably back to base, see if George can fix 23 at all. Then maybe a shower and time in a real bed. Been days since you had either.

...although maybe you want Mr. Mind Hacker to do a quick once over on you too. You were unconscious for days. Hopefully they didn't spend that missing time turning you into a sleeper agent or something.

Hmm. Wonder what happened to Cally? Either they told her what happened to you (in which case she's probably worried, and will glomp you upon return) or they didn't, in which case she's probably annoyed you ditched her for days.

>no dreamtime
Phoo. That means we have to rely on diplomacy to get through to Raphael. No barge in after him backup option.
>>
No. 459562 ID: 9718f3

>>459561
I don't particularly trust the mind hacker guy. I'd like to at least try talking to 23 a bit more. Ask her totally mundane questions, like what she likes to eat, her favourite type of music. The trick is to form a bond that isn't you asking for her secrets before you start... asking for her secrets.

And speaking of Cally, the spooks will be watching her now that we've escaped. We can't see her. Not unless they've already driven her underground. It just isn't safe for either of us.
>>
No. 459564 ID: 86c3a7

>>459562
Hmm. I could see not trusting him enough to check our head, but I think we're gonna need help with 23. No real way around it.

>Cally, We can't see her.
Well, I'm half hoping she heard what happened, and has been hanging around. But you're right we can't got to her if her or her club is being watched. We'll still have to get a warning out somehow, though.
>>
No. 459576 ID: f6cff9

I have to agree with 86c3a7 with the issue of subject 23. They basically reprogram her entire mind to obey division 7/UNA so just talking to her isn't kinda help much. We gonna need the mind hacker guy for this problem.
>>
No. 459591 ID: c88f57

Does the usb have any info on 23?
>>
No. 459593 ID: 86c3a7

>>459591
That's a good idea. Ask that.
>>
No. 459594 ID: 888a6d

>>459559
>> "Was there anything else you needed, or are we done here?"
See if he can weave some anti ballistic material into the suit. If we have to ditch the mech it'd be nice to have some protection from aggressors.
>>
No. 459602 ID: a407a5

"Can you get any anti-ballistic material into this suit?"

"No. The material is made up of nerve cells. It connects things directly to your nervous system, allowing the ease of movement you experienced. Putting synthetic materials into it would disrupt the connection."

"Oh... Well, does that have any information on a Subject #23?"

"23? Hold on... hm... no. There's data on other subjects, but nothing of any note. Oh. Wait, here's something. Subject #16. Apparently he is "Active", whatever that means, and is currently assigned to a Special Agent Durkon. Huh. I would assume that means he's a threat to you and us, but there's nothing else regarding any 23. That the girl out there? I would love to get a crack at her, see what they did to her hea-"

"Yeah. Thanks for the help. We'll drop by again. Goodbye!"

You, get changed quickly, collect your group and get them outside and into the car. Then it's time to head for home. This time, 23 is placed in between Nicole and Cass, with Raphael driving, you in the passenger seat, and Elizabeth in the very back. 23 seems to have decided to go back to sleep, and Cass quickly follows suit, while Nicole starts playing a guessing game with Elizabeth, who proceeds to not miss a single guess. The drive is long and boring, as Raphael takes another long, windy route back towards the city, but you don't feel tired at all. Maybe because all you ever did during your imprisonment was sleep a lot. You sit in silence for awhile, except for the noise from the two chatting behind you, then a thought suddenly pops into your head.

"Whatever happened to Cally?"

"Hm? Oh, she came a few times during the first two days, but she stopped after awhile. Never really gave a reason. Said something about not being allowed around us anymore or something. I wasn't really paying attention to her, my job was locating you through the dreamtime. You wouldn't believe how hard that is to do when a person is knocked out. The dreams are all messed up and hard to pinpoint. Really annoying."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459603 ID: 886a4d

Welp, look like Cally's boss has decided we might be enemies. We've grown pretty large now adn we've proven we are no pushovers.
>>
No. 459606 ID: f6cff9

>>459603
That or Cally had to stay on the down low because of the feds. Doesn't matter either way because it's something we can't really change at the moment. I'm hoping it's the first one because I rather not fight the feds again after what happened.
>>
No. 459607 ID: 886a4d

This might be a good time to talk to Ralph about things. He can't escape now.
>>
No. 459608 ID: 86c3a7

>We ask Raphael about Cally.
Smooth. Great decision, Linda.

Hmm. Well, that means we won't have happy-sexings waiting for us when we get back. That would have been the icing on the getting rescued and getting a mech cake. Aw well. Not quite the best day possible.

I can't tell if that means they told her what happened to Linda (kind of makes a difference for later diplomacy if and when the factions come to blows- does she think she was blown off or not?). Interesting though that Jake is breaking it off already- he didn't try to use us once.

We'll still have to pass a warning to her somehow.

I'd like to press Raphael about stuff (cars make for a nice captive audience!), except we've got Nicole and Elizabeth awake in the car. Nicole's a poor audience for our personal issues, and Elizabeth wants to keep the plan from us. We kind of need to get him alone.

>Questions
Sorry, I'll try and work on more cogent dreaming next time. How long was I out, anyways?
>>
No. 459619 ID: 86c3a7

Actually, you know what, what the hell. Best opportunity we've had to chat, even if it's not ideal. Let's just keep our voice low- it can be hard to tell what the people in the font of the car are saying from all the way in the back. We'll be good till Elizabeth's precog kicks in.

...look, Raphael, I'm sorry. About everything. For fucking up and getting you dragged into a war with that dreamtime monster. For the stupid fights we've been having. For shooting you in the face. ...and even though it's none of your business who I chose to sleep with, I'm sorry that drove a wedge between us. A gorgeous girl practically threw herself at me, and I didn't give it much of a second thought. If I'd known it was going to nearly cost me a friend, I might have.

At this point, if he tries to make an excuse that it wasn't your fault 'cause you're gay, give a sad smile and point out that you're not. Don't make a big deal about it, just correct him. Be pithy about it, if at all possible.

If this goes well, we'll move on next to pressing him about the dream time stuff. Hopefully we'll get a chance to write that, and Elizabeth doesn't but in.
>>
No. 459641 ID: 86c3a7

...or I could just keep writing dialog instead of expecting the updates to be split up.

>pressing him about the dream time stuff

I'm not sorry about pushing you on this dreamtime plan stuff though. You refuse to tell me what's going on. Elizabeth does too. The only reason I can think of for that is that you're going to do something very stupid. I stopped you from killing yourself over this once. I wasn't going to let anyone sacrifice themselves that night. I'm still not going to let anyone sacrifice themselves.

If he calls you out on what you did (sacrificing yourself so everyone else could get out): that was different. Calculated risk. I had a plan to get out. Two, even. They just didn't work. I can't help but think the reason no one will tell me anything is you don't.
>>
No. 459713 ID: a407a5

"Sorry, I'll try and work on more cogent dreaming next time. How long was I out, anyways?"

"Don't know. Hard to find you. We ended up raiding at least three different government buildings just to find out where you were. It's where we picked up all your stuff. Had the foci in this other place. Looked like an office building. Really funny to watch people run off in fear."

There's silence again, and you find yourself staring out the window as you try to organize your thoughts. This is probably not going to go over well... but you'd rather be in a place where he won't be able to get away, then in a place where he'll just find a way to back out again. Eventually, you decide you really can't put if off anymore, and you turn to regard the albino.

"...look, Raphael, I'm sorry."

"About what?"

"About everything. For fucking up and getting you dragged into a war with that dreamtime monster. For the stupid fights we've been having. For shooting you in the face. ...and even though it's none of your business who I chose to sleep with, I'm sorry that drove a wedge between us. A gorgeous girl practically threw herself at me, and I didn't give it much of a second thought. If I'd known it was going to nearly cost me a friend, I might have. "

"Hm? I don't see why it matters. I mean, if that's your thing, that's your thing."

"But it's not. I'm bi. Like both."

"... Oh..." Raphael gets this blank look on his face, the thought running through his head, then he shrugs. "Don't really see how it changes things. Sure, it hurt a little, but that's the way life goes, you know?"

"Yeah... I'm not sorry about pushing you on this dreamtime plan stuff though."

Raphael's face goes from the relaxed, accepting expression of before to a hard, tense one. You can almost feel the aura coming from him go from carefree to almost hostile. Yeah. He definitely doesn't want to talk about this.

"You refuse to tell me what's going on. Elizabeth does too. The only reason I can think of for that is that you're going to do something very stupid. I stopped you from killing yourself over this once. I wasn't going to let anyone sacrifice themselves that night. I'm still not going to let anyone sacrifice themselves."

"This isn't your problem anymore. Daniels gave me the go ahead. I'm finishing what I started."

"God damnit! That has nothing to do with it! You're my friend, I don't want to see one of my friends get themselves killed over something like this! Not when we could probably figure something out together-"

"I don't want to find something out together..."

What?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459733 ID: 4a328b

Well then, what /do/ you want, Raphael? If he says he wants to get himself killed or something similar feel free to punch him in the face. Otherwise this might give us some clues as to what he's planning
>>
No. 459739 ID: 86c3a7

>foci stored elsewhere.
Well, at the least the bad guys tried to be sensible about it. Still, less than reassuring that they had so many local facilities. Kind of tight timing if we were only awake in the dark for a few hours though- demon shows us our foci, moves them offsite, companions raid that location and recover them, move on, raid next location and recover us.

>Raphael
Well, that could have gone better. Damn stubborn horsie. Wish the doctor had come through for us on the dreamtime front- we could have used it. Surprised no one else has butted in if we've escalated to yelling.

>"I don't want to find something out together..."
Okay, calm down, Linda. Stop yelling at him. Quietly now:

...what the hell is that supposed to mean? Look, give me something to work with here, please. Why is this so important to you? Why's it have to be this way? Make me understand. Or convenience me you're coming back from this. Don't make me watch you go off a cliff for nothing. Something, please.

(C'mon will rolls! Get us through to him).
>>
No. 459742 ID: cb8d76

You know, we've reached the point where Linda needs to decide that she's willing to blindly trust Raph (and Liz) or kick him out of the group. Personally I think Linda should try grudgingly to trust him.
>>
No. 459743 ID: a407a5

"Wha- What the HELL is that supposed to mean!?"

You suddenly realize your almost yelling, and you calm yourself down with a couple of deep breaths. Once your heart rate is down again, you get back into the conversation again, refusing to let the matter drop. Not while you're both on the same page for once.

"What do you want, Raphael? Give me something to work with here, please. Why is this so important to you? Why's it have to be this way? Make me understand. Or convince me you're coming back from this. Don't make me watch you go off a cliff for nothing."

Raphael ignores you, instead choosing to halt the car in the middle of the road instead. He sits there, and by this time everyone in the car is awake and paying attention. Even 23 is watching the events unfold with a sort of detached interest, like it really doesn't matter to her, but might as well watch just for the giggles. Raphael's knuckles are practically white against the steering wheel, and you can see him churning thoughts through his head.

"... You want to know what my goal is that fucking badly?"

"Yes."

"... Fine. Fuck it. I don't care anymore. I want to be a hero for once. I want to stop being that guy Marc Conner sends after the people that get in his way to give them nightmares, to stalk them everywhere they go and drive them into insanity. I want to be someone who people might actually look up to. I want to be someone that maybe kids will end up talking about, emulating, if any of this ever goes public. I want to be the guy that can actually go after what he wants, and not feel like he's inconveniencing somebody. I want these damn nightmares to stop bothering me every fucking time I go to sleep. I want these fucking bullshit eyes to never have happened. I want my fucking PTSD to fucking go away. I want the fucking memories of my best friends getting fucking torn apart in front of me not to have ever fucking happened. I want to stop being so fucking useless. I want to have a fucking healthy body. I WANT TO BE THE FUCKING GUY THAT THE GIRL HE'S IN LOVE WITH CAN FUCKING RELY ON, WITHOUT HER UPSTAGING HIM WITH EVERY FUCKING WORD THAT COMES OUT OF HER MOUTH AND EVERY FUCKING STEP SHE TAKES AND EVERY FUCKING THOUGHT THAT DRIFTS THROUGH HER HEAD!"

Raphael is suddenly out of the car, moving to the opposite side of the road to get a breather. He strips his sunglasses from his face and starts massaging the bridge of his nose, while leaving you and pretty much everyone else in the car completely stunned. Minutes pass without any real reactions from anyone, and then the ice breaker comes from a rather unexpected source.

"Squad unity is terrible."

"... No one asked you, you brainwashed, crazy bitch."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459750 ID: c8be92

Well.
I.

Uh.

I have nothing to say. Jegus. Maybe that date should become a priority.
>>
No. 459751 ID: 86c3a7

Welp. *Awkward glance at Nicole*.

>>459742
Yeah, too late now, but trusting him would probably have gone over better than pushing him to the breaking point. Something alone the lines of "...look. Just tell me I'm wrong. Tell me this isn't some crazy suicide mission, and I'll trust you."

...although, of note, we didn't actually confirm he wasn't on a suicide mission. You could read his trying to escape his problems and prove himself either way. As an attempt to remake himself, or escape/transcend himself.

>Response
...Raphael? Look, if you want to be the hero, then be the hero. Stop acting all doom and gloom about it. If you want me to rely on you, then tell me honestly I can trust you with this- and I will.

...I can't do anything about most of that, but if you want out, the psy-ops missions stop today. I don't care what Marc or Daniels or any of the rest of them say. You're on my team now. My friend. I wouldn't let anyone make Cass out to be a monster- and I won't let them do that to you either. It stops, even if we have to break away.

*smile* ...you're going to have to deal with being upstaged though. I'm not stopping that for anyone, anytime soon.

>my fucked up priorities
Damn it, he confessed to us. That means we're never getting to sleep with Cally again if we don't want to lose him completely. We can't hide behind Linda's denial / ignoring him anymore. I'd hoped we could hold on to her a little longer.~ *le sigh*
>>
No. 459763 ID: 886a4d

Welp he just confessed.

Ralph I'm sorry I just don't feel the same way. I could. Your an attractive man. But for me it takes time to fall in love. In fact it takes too long for most people to put up with.Making up character background whee! As for you being the hero for once. Ralph are you stupid? You've saved my life at least thrice. You saved Elizabeth from those breakers who were torturing her. Then promptly saved mine. You already are a hero. As far as being upstaged sorry about that. I tend to rush in to things before thinking. Always have. Left my home and went halfway across the country with nothing just because I couldn't stand it there anymore. No plan except get away. I do need people to bring me back when that lands me in trouble.
>>
No. 459775 ID: 4a328b

Well, actually saying what you want is a good first step for most of those things, Raphael...


You say you want to be relied on. Ok. Can you look me in the eyes and honestly say, that as your plan is now, you expect to come back alive from it?
>>
No. 459796 ID: 4a328b

>>459763
Not sure this would go over well
Aside from the pointing out previous heroics bit--that's good

Regarding the nightmare/ptsd stuff: I wonder if it's even possible to fix that stuff, or if coping's the most we'll get as a Breaker...
>>
No. 459801 ID: 86c3a7

>>459796
Yeah, I quite like reminding him of his own heroics. But we should not apologize for upstaging anyone. I mean come on, we're us. We're never gonna stop giving speeches. We just got a goddamn mech. And Linda can't help it if everything about her is awesome. None of that's gonna stop- he's gonna have to learn to cope.

More possible dialog: if he objects to us overruling Marc using him as a dream assassin- throw the 'boss' bit back in their faces. Linda's their boss- not Marc. He's our problem.
>>
No. 459848 ID: a407a5

You sigh, then jump out of the car and head off to talk to Raphael. You can't leave him there, and you certainly wouldn't even if it was an option, but at the same time... you're apparently not very good at dealing with people, except when they're Cass, or all they seem to want out of you is sex... Ah, damnit. Now you'll never be able to hook up with Cally again. Shit.

"...Raphael? Look, if you want to be the hero, then be the hero. Stop acting all doom and gloom about it. If you want me to rely on you, then tell me honestly I can trust you with this- and I will.

...I can't do anything about most of that, but if you want out, the psy-ops missions stop today. I don't care what Marc or Daniels or any of the rest of them say. You're on my team now. My friend. I wouldn't let anyone make Cass out to be a monster- and I won't let them do that to you either. It stops, even if we have to break away.

"But I'm not apologizing for the upstaging. I mean, come on, I got a mech. A MECH! How are you supposed to beat that?"

"... Heh. Guess you're right. But the missions... Nah. It won't stop. It's what I'm best at. Besides, most of it's just personal favors for the Boss. Get rid of this guy who's in his way financially, screw over that guy. Make that guy disappear. Nothing that has anything to do with the group. At least, not directly. I'll still do it. It's just... very stressful, seeing people go slowly insane do to fear and lack of sleep...

"Look, I'm not gonna tell you what the plan is, because you won't like it, and I'm not gonna let you bully Elizabeth into telling you what the plan is. You'll just have to be satisfied with knowing that mister Dream man is going to be available for you to shoot. Repeatedly. Hopefully in the face. Well... if it works. If not... well, I'll be fighting him one on one then, and I'm not so confident about that. Still, I just need you to trust me with this. Is that alright?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 459849 ID: f6cff9

Oh thank you Raphael, all I wanted was a straight answer.

Yeah this is definitely good enough. It looks like death is a possible risk and not the outcome which makes it good enough for me.
>>
No. 459858 ID: 86c3a7

>Ah, damnit. Now you'll never be able to hook up with Cally again. Shit.
Bad Linda! That was supposed to be a me-thought, not a you-thought.

Still, we'll see how it goes. Our current standing with Cally is unresolved, and we have no idea what the hell we're doing (or going to do) with Raphael. I like the way >>/questdis/61636 looked at it.

>Trust
Yeah... I can do that. Risk I can accept.

>Nicole
We're probably gonna have to talk to her later. Maybe when we get back to base, we go with her while we're escorting 23 wherever and apologize. You had no idea that was going to happen.
>>
No. 460054 ID: a407a5

"Yeah, alright. I'll trust you. As long as you're not intentionally trying to get yourself killed."

"Yeah, no. Dying is painful, don't want to experience that anytime soon, although I probably will. Anyway, I got some shit to think through. You guys go ahead, I'll catch up sometime tonight."

You start to protest, but Raphael just waves you off and then proceeds to ignore you. Figuring he's probably the literally scariest thing in the woods anyway, you climb into the driver's seat and head off. An hour or two later, you arrive at the apartments to find it bustling with far more activity than you had originally. You notice a few more familiar faces, Mac and Mike among them, and even more unfamiliar ones. The minute you're noticed though, all activity seems to stop for a moment, until Duke suddenly jumps up on a table and points at you, a massive smile on his face.

"THAT'S El Jefe around here, when Daniels can't be around to issue orders. She's strong as shit, Muchachos, so if you gonna gun for her, I suggest you be prepared for a bala to the face, no?"

There's another moment of silence, then a chorus of voices spring up, all of them greeting you as you move through the crowd. Cassandra splits of at some point and disappears, while Elizabeth head off towards the stairs to escape the noise. You and Nicole weave your way through the crowd, searching for the mind-hacker, and almost constantly, you have people come up to you to shake your hand, or say hello, or various other forms of greeting. You even have a few of the guys start hitting on you, which you ignore in favor of continuing your search. Eventually, you do find the mind-hacker, sitting at a table reading a book, apparently oblivious to what's going on around him. He glances up as you arrive, and his eyes flick between the three women in front of him.

"Can I help, Miss Linda?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460055 ID: 886a4d

Yes I have another project for you. Like those three we brought back from the facility except more. Completely loyal, and very deadly. I was wondering if you'd look her over and see if you can't help her. Also I was in these guys hands for a few days. Check me over to make sure they didn't do anything.
>>
No. 460064 ID: 4a328b

I'd like you to make certain my mind wasn't messed with while I was out of it, then see what you can do to help this lady.
>>
No. 460065 ID: 86c3a7

Huh. Honestly, kind of a tame reaction for a returning prisoner of war. I'm starting to suspect they didn't even tell everyone on your own side what really happened, let alone Cally.

>Duke
Thanks for the respect, bro. Although leading by strength or fear isn't really so much our angle.

>George
Got another deprogramming project for you. Only she's the finished product, not like those last three. I'd like to see if you could go about turning her back into a person.

And I'd like a quick brain scan myself. Call me paranoid, but I've got a few days missing and I'd like to be sure they didn't turn me into a sleeper agent or something.
>>
No. 460067 ID: a407a5

"Got another project for you. Need you to check out this girl. She's like the last three we brought to you, only... finished. And deadly. Think you can make her normal again?"

"Hm. Perhaps. It's difficult to tell with the mind. I'll see about figuring something out. Hopefully. The last ones weren't too far gone, most likely only recently started on whatever they do to break them, but if this is the finished product... well, we'll see."

"I was also hoping you could do a once over of my head. I wouldn't want to start doing stuff I didn't want to cause of something they did to my head."

"Easy enough. Close your eyes... Relax... think happy thoughts..."

"Why the happy thou- ARRRRRRRRGH!"

"Hm. Nope. Nothing. Least nothing I could find."

"What the hell was that?"

"That was me forcibly digging through your subconcious. Not something I normally do unless a patient is asleep with large amounts of painkillers, but it was only a quick look. Don't be such a baby, Miss Linda."

"Yeah... least you could do was warn me about it..."

You leave Nicole with him in case 23 starts acting up, and as you head yourself towards the stairs, you're intercepted by Daniels, who seems to appear out of nowhere.

"Hey. Good to have you back. We got an issue you need to deal with. In case you hadn't noticed, we're getting a whole shit ton of people joining up with us, and that's starting to piss other people off. Namely, there's a group of breakers that are trying to pull an eastern fight to the death style turf war against us. Obviously, they don't know who they're messing with. I figure, yeah, your back, but we could use some motivational support. If the lower members see you in action and capable, even after the shit you went through, it would go a long way. Plus, we could easily expand our influence into the area once the enemies taken care off.

"You up for it?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460069 ID: 4a328b

Hells yes. ACTION!

Where do we go and how quickly can we get there?

Oh we should probably make sure to drag some people along with us, maybe make a tiny motivational speech on your way out the door [remind people who want to come that it ain't a game, don't do anything stupid and don't get yourself perma-killed--if possible don't perma-kill the other team, just take their foci or make them run]
>>
No. 460070 ID: 4a328b

Oh right, current number?
>>
No. 460071 ID: 86c3a7

Hm. Well, we should be at or close to full power (4BP to manifest each weapon once, + a few hours regen). Expanding influence is good, XP is good, as is building personal loyalty and influence with people under our command. Plus, I like these kinds of things better if we're in a position to make moral command decisions.

I don't think we have much to do otherwise. If we were hanging around here, I'd suggest taking a shower (we've been in a cell, in the same clothes, for days). After that, probably starting to disassemble your old life, now that the feds are after you. But that can wait.

This isn't Jake's group, right?

We should probably grab Cass. She's good for a show of force against the locals, and is probably still up for a rumble.

Hmm. Gear assessment. I'm assuming we lost the satchel with the flashbangs when we were taken into custody?
>>
No. 460084 ID: 4a328b

If we're full up right now, or nearly so, we can manifest something and let our numbers fill up again, perhaps?
>>
No. 460086 ID: 86c3a7

>>460084
We've already got the pistol out and holstered. The tank gun and cold magnum are kind of inconvenient to carry around.
>>
No. 460093 ID: a407a5

"This isn't Jake's group, is it?"

"No. Relations with them... aren't too great, tell you the truth, but at this point, we're strong enough it doesn't matter. They're one of maybe three groups that matter to us in the city. The other two... well, you're going to go hunt down one of them, right?"

"Yeah. I'll go. Am I taking a bunch of people, or just a few?"

"We're having a bunch of our fighters hit some of they're smaller bases, but I'm sending you after the main base. Guy is supposed to be pretty tough. The boss, I mean. We're trying to find out about the second one... Oh yeah, and this group apparently has normals in it. Big Boss made the call. Kill em all or wipe em. We don't have the ability to wipe all of them, so..."

The order is left unspoken, but clear. Normals are no exception this time. Everyone is an enemy. Everyone dies.

"For now though, get some rest, take a shower, relax a little. Mike and Mac are out here with us now, although the Boss won't tell me why. Said eventually he'll be moving everyone from back east out here. It's a little troubling but... well, we just follow commands at this point. I'll be around if you need me though."

He heads off, and you head upstairs, mulling over the orders you've just been given. Kill normals? That doesn't seem right, even if they are enemies. You keep mulling over the issue as you take a shower, get on some new, clean clothes, and eventually when you find Twinda, still messing around on your laptop, although she's moved on from massages and is apparently busily studying particle physics, with little success. You always hated physics...

You've got a bit of time before you're supposed to head out, so you might as well spend some time with somebody, maybe deal with any issues that they might have.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460099 ID: 4a328b

Hey, if there are too many people to wipe at once we can just hold them captive for a bit until we get to them, right? Or, if they're used to working with Breakers anyway, we could induct them into our group?

As for who to hang out with, I'm going to default to Cass
>>
No. 460101 ID: cb8d76

Killing a normal really shook Cass and I'm not sure this mission is healthy for her berserking issues. This time we wouldn't be stopping her...kinda feels like a betrayal, no? So if we're taking her (which despite her being extremely useful in combat I'm against) we need to talk about this before hand. If she wants to come I'm not sure if we want her in the thick of things, in charge of a reserve force or something else. It depends on where her head is at.
>>
No. 460107 ID: 86c3a7

Twinda stayed manifested the whole time? That's interesting. I expected the manifestation to disappear when you were separated from your foci! ...probably creepy/comforting for your friends though, who could come in here and watch or talk to your weird almost-you duplicate while wondering where the hell you were or if you'd be alright.

We should probably dismiss her now. See if you get her memories, or pick up what she learned. We may pick up something interesting- especially if anyone talked to her.

Also, the government has been watching you. You should disable the wireless on that computer, and plan to scrub or replace it later.

>Kill normals.
Yeah, you know what? It was one thing when it was life or death- when secret agents had us surrounded and we had to kill them to get out. Over a turf war? No. I think we're disobeying that order. Unless we don't have a choice, or these guys turn out to be the absolute scum of the earth, that's not the route we're going.

If there's a rival gang out to hurt us, our goal is to take away their ability to hurt us. Break them up, take away their power. Kill as a last resort.

>As for who to hang out with, I'm going to default to Cass
Sounds good to me. Although, if we've got time for it, I'd like to say hi to our Snake-bro. Maybe check in with Elizabeth too- it's been a while since we just talked to her as her, and not trying to get info out of her. Especially since we had some character development- she was willing to fight for us, and even picked up an actual weapon, of a sort.

But then yeah, crash with Cass. Considering the mission parameters- and that we're pretty much planning on breaking them- we should probably talk with her first.
>>
No. 460111 ID: f6cff9

We might have to take care of killing the normals (if it comes to that) instead of Cass because she is closer to the breaking point then we are. Just something to think about if we have to go though with it.
>>
No. 460122 ID: 86c3a7

We are definitely starting to see Marc's darker side, aren't we? Sending Raphael on psyops insanity-assignation missions, launching a preemptive strikes, authorizing killing normals, whatever went down with him and the doctor...

>>460111
Well, the first bothered her. She was killing them left and right when she rescued us though. Although I'm not sure how 'normal' you want to consider black ops secret agents complicit in abductions, torture, and brainwashing. (She still seems concerned about her willingness to kill afterwards, though). And Linda's only normal kills were basically Nazi-scientiests.

Killing solely for being part of a rival gang is rather different. Especially since normal fighters are no threat to us (well, without rocket launchers, tanks, or vast numerical superiority). We can dodge anything they throw at us, dominate them, beat them down in melee, break their weapons, or shoot them non-fatally in any limb.
>>
No. 460123 ID: 4a328b

>>460111
I say we give orders to avoid killing the normals. I don't care if the Boss orders it, we have our own opinions, and we can inconvenience him to avoid doing something horrible when need-be.
>>
No. 460124 ID: f6cff9

>>460120
Well that's why I said if it comes down to that which probably won't happen but if we have to kill the normals for whatever reason I rather not let Cass do if at all possible.
>>
No. 460130 ID: 86c3a7

Yup. Worst that'll happen is we butt heads with Daniels afterwards. We've actually got some cover- despite our absence, we seem to be more popular than him. Toss on the POW war hero cred, leading the troops to victory personally at the front line, and showing mercy in victory? People are going to be more loyal to us than him. He won't be able to move against us much, openly, at least. Especially if he wants that moral boost.
>>
No. 460134 ID: 3dd855

>>460107
Don't dismiss Twinda, not yet. If one of the functions of the twin is memory-sharing upon dismissal, it would be best for Linda's state of mind for that particular discovery to take place when Linda can afford to be knocked out for some lengthy period of time. Which, since Linda is now going out for a mission, does not qualify.

As for Cass, don't take her for this mission. Killing normals is part of the reason for that decision, but remember that she (along with Elizabeth and Raphael, but we are definitely not taking Elizabeth along and Raphael isn't available) spent at least hours fighting and searching for Linda, if not days. She deserves her rest. Linda, on the other hand, basically spent most of her time for the last few days sleeping/unconscious (probably). While going out on a mission so soon after a (highly probable) traumatic event is suboptimal, her position demands it and she can do it, so it can't be helped.
>>
No. 460136 ID: 2b7692

I... honestly have no clue why normals are such a big deal to you guys. Consider how a bullet to the brain is still lethal to almost all breakers. They can chainkill as easily as most weapon user, they just have less leeway to fuck-up. Any normal that decides to join up with breakers has made a choice. A choice which a lot of breakers never even got.

Also,
>Namely, there's a group of breakers that are trying to pull an eastern fight to the death style turf war against us.
sounds like, in this case at least we're not the ones starting the fight.
>>
No. 460137 ID: 86c3a7

>>460134
I'll concede temporary memory overload is a good reason to delay dismissing Twinda.

It should be Cass' decision to not come along if she's not ready for it. I doubt just leaving without her would go over well (I think she'd be insulted, and pretty pissed). And really, we could use someone we know we can trust, and who respects our authority, along for the ride if everyone else is gonna be a bunch of newbs. Especially if the rival boss is actually a threat, and if we're going to disobey orders.

>>460136
>Why are normals a big deal?
Mostly because I don't like having to kill people at all, and they're a lot more fragile than breakers. We don't get second chances to spare them. We kill when we have to- not when it's convenient.

And considering a normal will only have fin 1-2, a bullet in their hands is never gonna reach Linda's brain. Especially since if we wanted it so, the gun would never fire. Normals have to work at it to be a real threat (numbers, lots of firepower, etc).

>They made a choice
True. But they may not have realized the stakes.

>sounds like, in this case at least we're not the ones starting the fight.
If the intel is accurate. I'm not 100% sure we should be taking what our commanders say at face value anymore.
>>
No. 460138 ID: 4a328b

>>460136
I thought we were going for not perma-killing when we don't have to, in general? Mercy and whatnot? With a Breaker you have a bit of leeway--you can mess them up and take their foci or get them to run after killing them a few times. With a normal you mess them up and they're stuck with it--kill them once and they are dead. So it's harder to scare them away when we are working with over-the-top weaponry and opponents who come back to life without flat out squashing them, but the "not-killing-normals" is just an extension of our general philosophy

That's my take on it, anyway
>>
No. 460159 ID: a407a5

You sigh, then head out in search of Cass. Almost immediately, you find Elizabeth in your path, and she's blocking you, intent on talking to you. You pause in your course, waiting for her to say something, and after a minute you frown, and almost start to head out again. Elizabeth chooses that moment to speak, although her voice doesn't sound quite like her normal one.

"The Angel shall bring Demon closer, although to what, even this one cannot see."

Then it's over, and Elizabeth is back to normal, wandering off to go stare at a wall and mouth words at it. You stare at her a few minutes more, then shrug. You have way too much to deal with right now. Whatever it is, she usually gives you advance warning before anything actually happens. You have plenty of time. Yeah, plenty of time.

Your next stop is downstairs, and you can see Mac and Mike living it up among the newbies, telling them all sorts of stories about the eastern group and what's been going on over there. By the sounds of it, it's been pretty bad for breakers in general, although the Conner Group, as it's begun to be called, has managed to avoid most of that by keeping to themselves and not causing any trouble. Still, if the boss is moving things out here, then that must mean shit is starting to hit the fan. You'd better be prepared for his long winded discussions again.

You finally find Cass tucked away into a corner, looking bored and trying to ignore the man who's unsuccessfully trying to get into her pants. She looks dangerously close to ripping his arm off and beating him to death with it, but thankfully, your arrival seems to convince the man to leave, although you suspect that's more because he's thinking you have something to talk to her about. You sit yourself down at the table, and don't really say anything for a little while, simply enjoying your friends presence. Then it's time for business.

"So... Cass, this time, we're going to come into contact with normals again... might have to kill them."

"Yeah? Fuck em. They want to get involved, they'd best know what they're getting themselves into. Don't matter to me, my chainsaw's getting bloody either way."

... Not the reaction you were expecting.

"Didn't you say you were bothered by killing normals?"

"Yeah. If they're civilians and don't have shit to do with breakers. Fucking normals that are WITH the breakers by choice? Fuck em. Their bad decision, not mine. Bastards. Who else we bringing on this thing? Nightmare boy still isn't here, god knows what he's doing, but we got a few faces.

"Pervert Mike's here, and pretty handy in a fight when he doesn't get ambushed. There's the school kids, little brats. Nicole is still guarding psycho bitch, but we can replace her with somebody. Elizabeth may not like it, but her newest toy is useful as shit for getting by defenses and confusing the enemy. Gangstar guy is hanging around as well... what's his name... Duke? Whatever. Can't think of anyone else off the top of my head, but... you're the leader anyway. You should know all this shit already.

"Oh yeah, apparently, only 4 people going with you this time. Well, 3, cause I'm your PARTNER partner, and I'm not missing this for the world. Pick wisely, yeah?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460165 ID: 86c3a7

Yeah... not completely surprised by Cass' reaction. (Damn. Are we losing her? Maybe we didn't push hard enough in the car).

...be that as it may, Cass, I'd still prefer to avoid killing people. Try to stick your saw in people who can take it.

Okay, if we actually want a chance to do this non-lethally? Nicole seems a must. Plus she's our only character that does reliable knock outs, which is also useful against breakers.

I'd be interested to see what Mike's capabilities actually are. And he's already indebted to us- he's not likely to turn us in of we go off mission.

If Elizabeth's actually combat ready now, she would be interesting (and useful!) to have along. Plus I'd love to get her more XP. Although I feel a little guilty putting her in that position if she hates it. Not exactly sure how to ask her either.
>>
No. 460168 ID: 4a328b

> (Damn. Are we losing her? Maybe we didn't push hard enough in the car).

I dunno, I think her position on this is a valid one--just not one we have to agree with.
Say you'd rather not kill them anyway, if it's all the same. They might /need/ to be killed, depending on the situation, but you'd rather not if you have a choice.

I wanna see what Mike can do, too
If we take him AND Nicole though I'm not sure who we can trust to watch 23--Mac doesn't have powers and most of these new recruits we don't really know if they're reliable.
edit: We could get the school kids to do it and take Nicole along
Maybe Duke? He showboats but he might be serious if we tell him to tone it down a bit.
>>
No. 460169 ID: 2b7692

I think we should leave Nicole here. Bringing Mike sounds good, but I also kinda wanna see about bringing a couple new people. Ask around and get a feel for anyone with an unusual foci. We've never really had someone with an avatar tag along, and I'd like to get a better feel on how those work.
>>
No. 460200 ID: 86c3a7

>I'm not sure who we can trust to watch 23
You'd think with a whole base full of breakers, they'd be able to prevent one temporarily normal prisoner from escaping! Like Cass said, nearly anyone can do that job, that's no reason not to brin 'Nic.

>We've never really had someone with an avatar
I think that's because Marc is the only one we've got, at the movement. And furthermore, I think bringing people we can trust is more important than grabbing people with interesting foci.
>>
No. 460237 ID: a407a5

You stand as your mind goes over who to bring with you this time. Cass is coming, you doubt she'll allow you to leave her out. You decide to grab Mike as well, you've been a little curious to see what he can do. Hopefully it not something useless. Nicole is the next on your list... might as well. You'll get someone to replace her. The last member you decide to bring is Duke. Much as he showboats, he did take Cass out once before she went berserk on him. That's got to count for something. That, and you'd rather not force Elizabeth into doing something she doesn't like. You gather everyone you need together and tell them to get to the car. You need to see Daniels to find out where exactly you're supposed to go.

You find your temporary boss talking with George, a sleeping 23 nearby. You can't quite make out what they're talking about, but George cuts it off as you get close, pointing to you to let Daniels know you're their. When you arrive, they're both silently waiting.

"What can I help you with, Linda?"

"Need to know where I'm going to deal with this gang of yours."

"Ah. They're hold up at a hotel... um, the Beachside, I think it was called. Should be east of here. It's a pretty big building, you should have no trouble finding it."

"Alright. How's the thing with 23 going?"

"More difficult than I'd thought. Whatever they did to her, it stuck good. Her mind is fractured to the point of being almost incapable of a firm train of thought, but at the same time, there's a set of core ideas that won't budge at all. It's like, if I try to work with the fractured thoughts, her mind lets them go too quickly for them to stick, and prodding the solid ideas produces nothing more than resistance. I'll need some more time before I can give you anything concrete."

"Alright. Well, I'm headed out then."

"Gotcha."

You head back to the car and head off, Mike giving his usual lewd comments to pretty much every female in the car except for Cass, who he's learned not to antagonize. 20 minutes later, you're parked a few blocks away from your target, staring up at the big building. Your targets could be anywhere in that thing...

Current BP: 20
Cass BP: 29
Nicole BP: 17
Duke BP: 29
Mike BP: 17


>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460238 ID: 886a4d

First things first, scout the building with your scope. Look for people with weapons. The normals will probably have guns of some sort and the breakers mostly melee. Also look for large stocks of money or drugs. That might point to the general area they live in.
>>
No. 460239 ID: 86c3a7

Well, let's start out by grabbing a secluded location, and doing an x-ray scan of the building (obviously, we can't just pull the rifle out in the middle of the street). Importantly, we need to figure out if this place is like our hotel back east (a cover for an entire breaker hideout), or if this is a real hotel with real civilians around. Killing hostile breakers is one thing, killing hostile normals another, but killing civies is a big no no.

We'll need to look for an entry point. Front door may not be a good option, since it may cost us the element of surprise. Mike also can't really walk in off the street in broad daylight (unless he's invested in the warped skill tree).

If anyone asks what you're doing, tell them the scope sees through walls. I don't think we ever explained that to anyone, and it might be getting odd.
>>
No. 460244 ID: 886a4d

This kind of situation is where I wish we had cartoon ice or some sort of way to restrain normals. Right now we have no real choice BUT to kill them. Especially since George has said he just doesn't have the skill \ power to mindwipe in job lots.

On the otherhand once we get our mech this sorta job becomes a lot more interesting. Need a building gone. No problem.
>>
No. 460246 ID: 86c3a7

Well, we have Nicole. Her controlled force punches are pretty much our best option for disabling normals- just knock 'em out. (So long as we're using TinTin logic and pretending head injury isn't really a serious thing). Pretty good way to take out breakers too, actually. She just needs Linda or Duke providing ranged support so she can close and deal the knockout blow uncontested.

And hell, even Linda should be able shoot a gun out of normal hands, dodge in close, and slam them against a wall. Normals just don't have the stats to compete.

The real issue is going to be if we want to kill them. It's one thing if we can say fuck 'em, they're fuckers (like the insane fixers, murderous kidnappers, evil scientists, black hat spooks). But if it turns out they're not, executing them just to protect Marc's interests becomes a lot harder.

>mech, Need a building gone. No problem.
...geeze, and a minute ago you were complaining we didn't have a way to reduce collateral damage. :p
>>
No. 460249 ID: 886a4d

If we do get a way to scale our weapons imagine the cold magnum on a mech scale.
>>
No. 460252 ID: 86c3a7

>>460249
That would be the most interesting of our current weapons to scale up, I think. (The pistol would probably be equivalent to the onboard weaponry, and the rifle a BFG). Mech-scale cartoon ice would essentially allow us to amber the building and then dig prisoners out!

Really though, I want the mech around in case we ever cross Marc too badly. Daniels I think we can take if he tries to kill us, but I want to be able to put the smack down if we ever face Amelia. And potentially the Maria rematch, too.
>>
No. 460257 ID: a407a5

You find somewhere to use your scope from, without freaking out the normals, and begin your investigation. You stay look around the hotel of a good 20 minutes only to lower the weapon and snarl in annoyance. Nothing. Literally... nothing. You can't tell who's a breaker and who's not. Who's an enemy and who's not. This... this is not going so great. You sigh, then turn to glance at your compatriots. As always, they seem to be fooling around somewhat, at least, Duke, Nicole and Mike are. Cass is off to the side, waiting patiently. So, plannings up to you again.

You try searching through the hotel one last time, and notice something different from last time. If you were to just glance at it, it wouldn't seem to be odd. But up near the top floor is something you don't think should normally be there... it looks like...

An Angel?

Angel's don't exist. Shouldn't exist. So that must mean... an avatar? Well, at least you know that whoever's on the top floor is someone to hunt down. But other than that, it's all going to be guess work. In the end, these guys know how to keep a low profile. Time for an actual plan to get in though.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460260 ID: 886a4d

Well one way to draw them out would be to shoot the angel. We'd be able to see who is with the group. They'll start running around for example. We'd loose any element of surprise but I think that'd be better then going in blind.

Alright heres the plan. Duke, Cass, Mike and Nicole can enter the hotel, approach the desk as if going to book a room. You shoot the angel the same instant they enter the hotel through the front. If the entire hotel is hostile they are to take everyone out. Otherwise they should knock out anyone who doesn't react and kill the rest. You do overwatch while they canvas the hotel.

This is finally a situation where our rifle can truly shine.
>>
No. 460261 ID: 86c3a7

Okay. 1 avatar, an unknown number of hostile breakers, hostile normals, and honest civilians. That's a cluster-fuck waiting to happen.

Really wish we'd brought Elizabeth now. Intel would be nice.

What are the available entrances to work with? Front door, back, side? Underground access? Rooftop access? (Sequence break- go right for the boss! Yeah, too bad we can't fly. Yet).

We could try something to get the normals out- pull a fire alarm or something- but that costs us the element of surprise, and it puts us on a time limit, with civilian or a military response incoming (neither of which we want).

It's kind of looking like out best option is to infiltrate, start heading upwards, and deal with anyone who tries to fight us. Kinda sucks to be on a respond and react path, but I don't see another option.
>>
No. 460263 ID: 86c3a7

>>460260
I really don't like sniping from a building over. Makes it hard for us to lead, we don't actually know if that will hurt an avy, and gunfire outdoors is gonna draw in a response fast. We'll have police and then the secret police on our ass (especially since the demon will automatically assume heavy rifle fire is Linda). At least indoors, up a few floors, and potentially fighting people with warped <foo> we're less likely to attract company.
>>
No. 460269 ID: 4a328b

>"The Angel shall bring Demon closer, although to what, even this one cannot see."
>An angel appears at our mission
I think the Demon might be showing up at some point here--tell our crew members to be on their toes and try to keep a route of escape open

Do some sniping to start things off, maybe?

>>460263
True about the noise, but I think we are going to attract attention anyway

We can take a few shots then close in
>>
No. 460270 ID: 886a4d

Any noise from the gun is going to be drowned out by the city. and if indeed norms are going to react to gunfire the hotel itself is going to be a problem. We can take measures by cutting phone lines. But in the age of wifi and cell phones thats not going to do much.
>>
No. 460276 ID: 86c3a7

I really don't think sniping will be beneficial. I mean really, at best, we hit a breaker a few times, and sound the alarm. More likely, we just ding the angel. I don't see how that's worth sounding the alarm before we're in, or taking ourselves out of the action to make on the spot tactical decisions and control out team.

I mean, really. Long range sniping and sending Cass in unsupervised is not the way to minimize civilian casualties. We want to be on site to give orders, control our team, make intelligent disables (something we can't do from far away or with the tank gun), and loot foci (XP!).

>if indeed norms are going to react to gunfire the hotel itself is going to be a problem
It is going to be a problem. No if about it. Because there are either normals civilians inside who will react, or everyone inside the large, multistory hotel is a hostile. Either case is a serious problem.
>>
No. 460277 ID: 886a4d

One reason to do overwatch is to look out for ambushes which in dealing with dozens upon dozens of rooms is going be a real issue... especially when we have no way to tell the enemies from the civvies.
>>
No. 460281 ID: 4a328b

>>460276
What about sniping to draw them out of the hotel so we don't have to deal with all the bullshit of WALLS and DOORS

We can keep changing location
And then when they come out to fight we close in to fight them in close quarters
>>
No. 460283 ID: 886a4d

>>460281
Then we will have police involved. Firefights in the street kinda attract them.
>>
No. 460284 ID: 7afc2f

Weird idea, but. Can you grab a normal off the street and Break/Will convince them to run overwatch for you (leave him the rifle; you can always dismiss and resummon it yourself). I don't think it's even that morally iffy as long as you don't make him shoot people. The good thing is, people will normally go along when a (perceived) person of authority tells them to do something. Tell them you're special ops, then use Break/Will to convince them that this is entirely normal. Hey, if you're lucky, they've had this fantasy.
>>
No. 460285 ID: 886a4d

You know what, the biggest issue is the civilians. We need to get them out of there. How about instead of pulling a fire alarm ourselves we have Cass go in and pull Normality on the front desk to conduct a fire drill or maybe a health inspector closing the hotel for the day. I'm sure hotels have that sort of thing right? (No clue in truth but I'm sure Normality will cover it.)
>>
No. 460287 ID: 4a328b

>>460283
Well in that case I will go and second the infiltration plan, why not.
>>460261
This one
>>
No. 460288 ID: 86c3a7

Personally, I'd love it if we could just go in from the top, sequence break, and take out the boss. We got no flight options though...

>>460281
Drawing them out might work, although the problem is we're out to take out the group, not just whoever comes to deal with us. We'd have to figure out a place to draw them to, though.

>>460283
Any sniping option will have police response. We're in the middle of the city here. There will be civilians in whatever building we set up in, and someone will call the cops, and it will ping the demon's radar.

Really, we have to send people in. The only choice is whether or not Linda goes in.

If she does go in: we get tactical control, the option to use the freeze ray and pistol intelligently, better control of Cass, the ability to loot foci, the option to minimize casualties. Plus there's the moral from leading from the front.

If we don't go in: we have strategic control. We gain over-watch, and more awareness of ambushes. We can strike uncontested. We increase the odds of an outside response. We're alone if and when someone comes after the sniper.

...actually, can we reliably shoot through walls at this range? How much energy do our slugs lose over that distance? Especially for targets not in rooms adjacent to the walls. Or if we have to shoot diagonally up across multiple floors because the hotel is the tallest thing around. Sniping may not even be feasible!
>>
No. 460290 ID: 86c3a7

>>460284
If we want to that, we should use Twinda. Really inconvenient we got this mission before hive mind or finesse match- having a spare Linda sniper would have been pretty excellent. And if the feds or cops showed up, she could just poof away.

>>460285
Yeah, something like that is probably our best bet.
>>
No. 460303 ID: a407a5

"Hey Cass... you think you can clear out the civies by closing down the hotel or something?"

"What? You mean, like a fire drill?"

"Yeah."

"Sure, I'll give it a shot."

"Oy! I'm going to. I'll ssslip in and sssee about finding sssome enemiesss to hurt."

Mike and Cass makes their way towards the hotel, disappearing inside. You track the two of them up until they make it about half-way through the lobby, then Mike suddenly disappears. You blink in surprise, but don't have time to deal with it, as Cass makes it to the front desk and starts talking. After a few minutes, people start leaving the hotel, while Cass collects what looks like a clipboard from one of the hotel workers. Over your earpiece, you hear Cass' voice drift through.

"Alright, Linda. Get everyone else in here. We'll see about doing this right."

You frown down at the rifle in your hands, then sigh and dismiss it. That's going to be useless indoors. The rest of you head inside, and Cass is looking bored as she waves a clipboard at you.

"Seems the three upper floors are reserved for some bigshot. They tried calling up, but they got no response. Seems like that's our target, yeah? I've bought us maybe 20 minutes to get this done. I could probably give you another 10 if I stayed behind and Normalized a couple of more people that are probably going to get suspicious. It's up to you though, Linda."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460307 ID: 886a4d

Close and lock the doors now thats everyone is out. That'll buy us some time. Nicole can handle any of the employees by knocking them out. Then lets head on up.
>>
No. 460310 ID: 86c3a7

Hmm. So getting Twinda hive mind and finesse match after this. Then next mission we do this kind of thing we can have our double on overwatch.

Huh. Mike has some kind of invisibility or stealth ability? Kind of makes sense for a snake, I suppose. Too bad the guy who went off on his own is one of the ones without a comm.

>dismissed rifle.
I wish you'd taken a moment to count the people who didn't leave with the fire drill, first. Then at least we'd know how many we're expecting.

>Cass
I'm kind of amused our crazy girl is the one we use to impose sanity on things. But I like clearing things out with her better than leaving her to cover for us.

Let's all head on up.
>>
No. 460426 ID: 466404

You briefly think about locking the doors to buy some more time, but... you don't have the key necessary to do that. You try asking Cass about it, but she just shrugs. She has not idea where it would be either, and you don't have the time to go searching for it. Instead, you pile everyone into the elevator and hit the button for the highest floor it'll go to, which is the bottom of the three you need to target. As the elevator rises to the top, your team gets itself prepared, which mainly just means Duke manifests his own handgun. Cass and Nicole take up positions closest to the elevator doors, while you and Duke find yourselves farther towards the back. Everyone is tense as the floors click by, until you reach your destination and the doors slide open to reveal two men with guns, standing there waiting for you. Both Cass and Nicole react instantly, Nicole knocking her target out with a jab to the face, while Cass grabs the man by the arms and kicks him in the chest with enough force to rip his arms clean off. He stumbles backwards, screaming in pain, until Cass smashes her fist into his face and sends him crumpling to the floor.

"Whoops."

"Yeah, nice going, Chainsssaw."

Mike suddenly appears from a nearby vent, his head popping out of the ceiling. Cass glares back at him, but Mike just offers her a disarming smile. He's clearly in his element, utilizing small cramped spaces to make his way throughout the building. Somehow, that doesn't offer any comfort, with Mike's tendency towards lewd thoughts.

"I've already ssscouted this place out. A few guysss, mossst of them are waiting for you in the corridorsss and sssuch. The ssstairs up are the lassst door down the right corridor. There'sss a room at the end of the left hallway, though, that looksss like it might have a few breakersss in it. They ssseem too relaxssed to be normalsss. I'll leave that up to you, Linda, while I ssscout out the nexsst floor."

Mike disappears into the shaft again after tasting the air in Cass' direction, making is blatently obvious he's leering at her blood covered form. This leaves Cass ready to kill someone, and you have no doubt she'll be willing to slaughter her way through pretty much anyone at this point. Still, you've only got so much time. You check your cell for the time.

17 Minutes go go before people start asking questions and calling police.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460428 ID: 886a4d

Snipe the ambushers through the walls if possible. They know we are here. Any breakers will have to close in on us if they want to fight.
>>
No. 460429 ID: 86c3a7

Welp. 1 dead. No way that guy survives the blood loss of a dual arm-amputation.

Maybe Cass needs some actually training. An improvised fighting style with overwhelming strength is hard to apply delicately.

Hmm. Time to clear this is gonna be tight, I think (although, the time limit actually gives us a convenient excuse for not murdering everybody. Sorry Daniels. We broke them up, but then had to bail). Another 3 min down elevator ride leaves 14 to clear, or 4.6 minutes a floor. With a boss fight up top we're probably not making that. Hopefully we can normalize the cops and run, or cut out a basement exit or something.

We should go deal with the room of breakers. If we want this gang shut down, we have to kill or loot them all. Take out any normals who get in our way (if they're close, 'Nic or Cass can knock them out, if they're far Linda or Duke can shoot to disable. If we encounter an actual firing squad? Just active break the whole lot of the guns into useless shit). If numbers / positioning allow, the breakers will go down faster if we gang up on them and fight cooperatively rather than all squaring off 1 on 1.
>>
No. 460433 ID: 4a328b

I think we should go straight for the top as much as the position of troops and giving Mike time to scout allows

If we can take out these breakers quickly, then go for it
If we have to wade through patrols to get to them, ignore it
>>
No. 460434 ID: 86c3a7

>>460428
The scope isn't gonna be usable at this range (the building can't be bigger than a city block, and our minimum range is considerably longer than that!)

And I'd rather close on them- take out the enemy while they're spread out in small clumps, not have them all come to us.

Besides, every time we bring out the tank gun prematurely, we end up just wasting BP and being forced to drop it. We'll call it to hand when we need it (like when the angel shows up). For now, let's stay maneuverable, and with a hand free to pull the cold magnum if we need it.

>>460433
The drawback of skipping breakers is we miss out on loot, and then we run the risk of them being in our way on the the way out, or jumping in from behind during the boss fight.
>>
No. 460435 ID: 4a328b

>>460434
Mm, that's true. I guess we'll just deal with the cops when we run out of time and take out all the breakers here.
>>
No. 460436 ID: 86c3a7

...actually, I just noticed it's 17 minutes till people start calling the police, not till they actually get here. That buys us a little more time. And it's not necessarily going to be a swat team or D7 that responds to a suspicious fire alarm. We might be able to sneak or normalcy past them.
>>
No. 460490 ID: 466404

You hardly wait, directing Nicole to the front, Cass right behind her. You're next, with Duke covering the rear. Nicole ignores the side doors, heading straight for the junction at the end of this corridor. She slides to a halt right in front of it and peeks around, only to duck back as a bullet narrowly misses taking her head off. She gives you a lame smile, probably try to play off her sudden fear, then she takes a deep breath and seems to come up with an idea, then heads back to you.

Hey, boss. You guys give me and Duke here a few minutes. I gotta an idea. Once we're through, you can head into the corridor here and head for the upstairs. We'll deal with the breakers down here, keep anyone new from getting onto your backs. Come one Duke."

Nicole takes off, Duke hesitating before following after her, and she kicks her way into one of the side rooms, disappearing inside. A few minutes later, you hear a crash coming from somewhere down the left corridor, a lot of shouting, and the distinct sound of bodies slamming against walls. Gunshots ring out, then someone starts shouting about a demon coming out of the walls. More crashing, more gunshots, and whole lot more screaming. The sounds eventually stop, then Nicoles voice drifts down the corridor to you.

"Damn Duke... you suck."

"Cállate la boca! I've never had to actually shoot someone before!"

"Yeah, yeah. No one said you had to kill them. Look, you hit that guy in the face!"

"I'm sorry, I panicked."

"No, see. That was praise, idiot. Rather he be dead than you. Oh yeah... Hey Boss! You can head off now! We'll handle the breakers! Come on, Duke."

"Yeah, yeah. Let me reload first..."

Both you and Cass stand there, until Cass decides to say something.

"So... what the hell did she do?"

"I... I don't know."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460492 ID: 886a4d

>>460490
Best way to get to someone who can't shoot through walls and you can.

Anyway I think Nicole and Duke can handle themselves. Lets head towards the Angel. We might need Cass for this fight.
>>
No. 460494 ID: 86c3a7

Well, splitting up sort of makes sense if we're trying to clear this place fast (although that means we're giving those two all the xp from those breakers, grumble). I remain kind of disappointed by how little tactical control we maintain. ...and really, if Nicole was going to surprise those guys by busting through the walls, why weren't we distracting them by shooting from the front? Or just moving on? Just standing there seems a stupid waste of time.

>"So... what the hell did she do?"
Broke right through the wall, I think. Possibly using a forceful break- that would make for a pretty impressive entrance.

>No one said you had to kill them
Confirmation Daniels gave orders to us, but not to anyone else. Oh well, at least we're leaving some people alive. Kind of hard to avoid any deaths (especially with all these friggen normals around).

>Cállate la boca! I've never had to actually shoot someone before!
...huh. All arena fights I guess. Sun city native niceties. I kinda feel we should talk to him after all this. Offer some reassurances. It kind of sucks when this business first makes you kill someone.

Let's grab Cass, and head on up. Nicole and Duke can handle 3-4 scrub breakers on their own, I think. If level 1 is normals and weak breakers, level 2 is probably breakers, and level 3 the boss fight. We're finally gonna get to do some partner fighting!~ Fire support for Cass as she cuts through things (well, until we're outnumbered and forced to take people on indavidually).

>Shouting
Hmm. Now that Mac's in town, we should grab a comm for Nicole. Since she's a persistent part of the squad now, after all. (Actually, come to think of it, why didn't we lose ours when we were captured? Did our buddies recover it? Or did we just swipe Twinda's when we changed clothes? :p).
>>
No. 460513 ID: 4a328b

Tell them not to forget to take the foci then be on your merry way--UP THE STAIRS
>>
No. 460537 ID: 466404

"Smash through the wall, I think..."

"Heh. Hulk smash. Alright, I'll lead the way. You keep behind me, shoot anyone coming after me while I'm... dismembering the next next."

You head off, Cass swinging around the corner easily, taking down a guard in the right corridor by smashing her fist into his chest. You hear the snap of bone, but Cass doesn't bother waiting to see if he's dead or not. She keeps moving forward, running into very little resistance from a few normals as she makes her way to the stairs. You come up behind, shooting a few that of those she'd smashed her way through that managed to survive, just to make sure they stay down, and you head up the stairs with 11 rounds in the clip.

Almost as soon as Cass hits the top second floor, a breaker shoots out, arms bringing an axe down towards her head. Her own hand shoots out, stopping the fall of the axe and wrapping around the arm, all in a single motion snapping the bone. The man drops his weapon, and Cass grabs him by face and starts smashing his head into a wall over and over again. A normal comes from an open doorway, a shotgun starting to come up to level with Cass, and you put two rounds into his arm before he even finishes the motion. Fucker trying to hurt Cass. Sucks to be him. You go up to him and make sure he's out by kicking him in the face, then turn back to Cass to find her covered in fresh blood and what looks like bits of brain matter. It doesn't help that the man she's just incapacitated has his skull caved in. Cass searches through his pockets and extracts a focus(a bit of a fire hose, by the looks of it) then turns to continue on, pausing only to make sure you're with her. As you start down the next corridor to a pair of double doors, Mike shows up again, this time popping out of a floor vent.

"Well. I sssee chainsssaw continuesss to live up to her name."

"Spare me, Pervert. I'm not in the mood."

"Yesss, yesss. I underssstand. Thisss nexsst room isss sssome type of ballroom. A bunch of breakersss. Didn't get a good count though. I'll help out asss I can, but there'sss only ssso much a sssnake man can do."

Mike disappears again, and you're left to figure out your attack on your own. You manage to halt Cass' advance, although you can tell she's getting impatient. She wants to kill. Her eyes are filled with it, the bloodlust. Better come up with something fast.

>>>Input Command
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No. 460551 ID: 86c3a7

Huh. That's weird. If she knocked the axeman out, he would have stayed down to be looted. But if she cracked his skull open, you'd really think he'd have died and respawned. ...so that's either non-lethal brain leakage, or he was already out of BP?

Hell, Cass hasn't pulled her Chainsaw out yet! It's all been pummeling.

Hmm. Ballroom. As in a big open space? To a gunner that says targets. I think it's time to manifest the cold mangum. Rifle would be nice, but we want higher maneuverability while fighting multiple opponents (both for dodging and quickly acquiring new targets). Before Cass gets in the way, you can open up with a sweeping beam attack. Pistol is to be used for rapidly jumping from person to person, or when possible, chain kills. After the initial sweep and Cass's charge (hack slash, burn!), your job is to basically run interference- prevent anyone from engaging with you, while shooting anyone open or who pressed Cass to much, while she hacks everyone to a bloody mess. A berserker with untouchable ranged support should be good against several opponents.

Reload as necessary, don't stop to watch other breakers doing weird new shit. Remember also you're not entirely effective at double wielding- fire or focus on one gun at a time, even though you're going to have both out at once.

If you get a tight moment, don't hesitate to use a will based attack to trip someone up for a moment- just long enough to stop a dodge or attack. Weapon types especially tend to have bad will.
>>
No. 460554 ID: 86c3a7

...actually, if we still have our flashbangs (you'd expect the secret agent men to have disarmed us), lobbing one into the room ahead of us (and then closing the door again) would be a pretty nice way to open the fight by disabling everyone at once.

Although I suppose that won't work. Someone in the room will have active break and disable it. :/ (Unless we can override, will it to work anyways?)
>>
No. 460561 ID: 86c3a7

Oh, and most of that tactical advice was on the assumption these are mostly going to be melee weapon types. Obviously, if there's a ranged fighter (another gunner say) you're gonna have to prioritize shutting them down.
>>
No. 460700 ID: f6cff9

Damn 86c3a7 you pretty much said everything but I have no problem with this plan so go for it.
>>
No. 460703 ID: 466404

You manifest the cold gun, a strategy forming in your head. Yeah. That would be easiest. Just provide support for Cass. Let's go. Only one thing that even needs to be said.

"Hey Cass?"

"Hm?"

"Go wild."

Cass' smile grows wide, and she wastes no time in busting her way through the double doors, grabbing one of them and hurling it into one of the six breakers faces. Her head snaps backwards, blood already beginning to form as she falls, but by then, Cass is already headed for her next taget. You step into the room after her, eyes scanning the group, even as you open up with the cold ray, sweeping it across the room once, layering things in ice. Most shake it off without any real difficulty, but there's one who ducks it, comes up with a some ancient looking musket or something. You're about to fire at him, when he suddenly screams and is dragged from sight by something. His comrades start to freak out a little, even as Cass grabs her next victim, punching him in the stomach to weaken him, then grabbing his own weapon, what looks like a knife, and plunging it into his chest before ripping it out and repeating it over and over again. Others start to rush to his aid, but you keep them away with well placed gunshots until Cass is done with her target.

She give herself a moment, where she seems to shudder slightly at the sight in front of her, then she turns to the next target and hurls the knife at him, the blade embedding itself in his throat. Seconds later, she's straddling his prone form, bashing her fist into his face again and again.

You keep focused on the other three breakers, who are all trying to get to their friend. You drop one of them for the fifth time, moving to the next target just as he starts to get up, and notice him suddenly scream and get dragged from sight. You blink, then snap back to reality to drop the third guy, who'd managed to get close to Cass. The spray of blood catches Cass' attention, and she glances away from her currently target to notice the guy next to her. She stands in one fluid motion, grabs the man in front of her by the arm and pulls him up and over, slamming him into the downed man's chest as he revives with enough for to kill them both again. Her seconds target stays dead, BP gone, so she hurls the body to the side to get at the guy underneath. He starts begging for his life, but Cass is unfeeling and uncaring. She grabs him by the head and start to pummel it into the ground again, her giggling getting louder with every slam. You finish taking care of the last man as she find his head a bloody mess. She gives off one last giggle, then stands and wipes her hand against her mouth, leaving a trail of blood behind.

"Up we go, yeah?"

Current BP: 17
9mm: 7 rounds
Cold Magnum: 24 seconds


>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460707 ID: f6cff9

Sure let's go up but tell her to keep her cool. No point having fun and then have someone who can put up a fight get a free hit on her.
>>
No. 460709 ID: 86c3a7

Jebus was that one sided. Did not expect to take out the whole room in one update. Who needs a friggen team when we have Cass? She still hasn't even pulled the chainsaw! Weapon: environment really makes a difference.

Also: invisibility confirmed for Mike.

>He starts begging for his life, but Cass is unfeeling and uncaring.
Okay, Linda? For future reference? This is exactly when you're supposed to intervene for her. You'd already won the fight and everyone was down. It would have cost nothing tactically to have her spare him, and this is the kind of shit she's going to feel guilty about later. (Hell, did we spare anyone? I saw no references to knockouts).

>"Up we go, yeah?"
Loot, first. 6 breakers mean at least 2 foci each split between Linda, Cass and Mike. Just grab 'em, we can worry about trading or distributing intelligently later (not sure we need a musket, or Cass needs a knife, but whatever. At worst, we've got trade-able currency and materials for the 'Doc).

Top floor, Boss fight. Warn them this is where it probably gets tough- there's an avatar up there. (If possible: a good strategy would be to have one person keep the avy busy while another disabled it's breaker. Say, Cass duels the angel while you shoot him. Or, assuming the angel-avy is tougher than she can handle on her own, you support Cass vs avy-angle, Mike jumps the breaker).

Time remaining?
>>
No. 460715 ID: 6e44d2

Loot all the foci!
>>
No. 460764 ID: 886a4d

Ya grab the focii then head on up. We all should have an easier time of it now being spirit 4.

Battle Plan for da boss:

Cass and you engage the angel. If possible use the rifle to do massive damage so he has to heal her.

Mike snipes the boss from stealth once hes sufficiently distracted.

You two keep on the angel to make sure it doesn't get to Mike while hes chain killing him. Shatter its wings with the cold magnum if need be.
>>
No. 460852 ID: 466404
File 134958184612.jpg - (134.56KB , 450x338 , 426909-bigthumbnail.jpg )
460852

You collect all the foci you can get to, a total of four, as the two bodies of the ones you assume Mike took down are missing. Then, you let Cass charge up the stairs to the next level, the woman looking ready to execute someone else. You'd been a little preocupied trying to keep people from killing that last girl, but now... well, there shouldn't be anyone too difficult here, as long as it continued to follow anime logic. And that did seem to work quite well. Still, when you make it to the top floor, you feel a little worried. An avatar... this would be only your second fight against one. You hope your up to the task, as the Leviathan thing got you quite a few times. Upon making it to the top, you find a rather surprising sight.

A rather plain looking girl. She's in a suit, maybe not quite so surprising in and of itself. Her number is pretty average to, a 23. She's sitting, waiting for you, humming a little to herself before she finally spots you. She stares a moment, and then lets out a laugh.

"Haha! Wow! That lot I got together really was useless. Although, you guys didn't really give me much time to mold them into anything useful. Ah well..."

The girl seems to sigh, and then she stands, a cross looking thing seeming to form behind her. Instead of "arms" though, the cross has blades attached to it, only the center sitting on her back being the "safe" bit to touch.

"I don't suppose there's any hope we can just talk this whole thing out, is there?"

Cass is looking ready to murder, but she's managing to hold herself back, instead glancing at you for permission to begin the murdering.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460853 ID: 886a4d

I wish we had more info on why this gang needed to be wiped out. Maybe we should ask about details the next time.

Hmm, to talk or not to talk. My first instinct is to say yes... but something tells me thats a bad idea. Ah what the hell. Tell her your willing to talk it out first. Tell her we have orders to wipe out her gang and thats pretty much done so theres no harm in talking. If it eliminates the threat of her forming another gang in its place without her death then all the better.


Also this looks like she has at least two Avatars! The cross thing and the Angel.

Thematic.
>>
No. 460858 ID: 4a328b

Don't give Cass the go-ahead yet.

Standing orders are to just slaughter you for starting a turf war with us but if you want to surrender we can relocate and discuss it more civilly. If you take that option no harm will come to you while you remain in my custody and I won't steal your focus, but I'll still need you to hand it over as part of the surrender.
>>
No. 460893 ID: 86c3a7

Oh, door to face girl survived. That's something.

>"I don't suppose there's any hope we can just talk this whole thing out, is there?"
Well, that's more up to you than me. You could always surrender. Or hell, toss down your foci and walk away- go normal. I don't care. But I can't just leave you to mold a new batch of recruits to oppose us.

Your call.

(Will roll... go! Of course it's going to fail though, as a leader and an avy user, that's her core stat.)

Be prepared to dodge at a moment's notice- she's totally gonna attack without warning. Her number may not even change, as the angel may already be manifested.

>Also this looks like she has at least two Avatars! The cross thing and the Angel. Thematic.
I'd suspect one is tied into the other. The cross being an ancillary to, or control for, the angel. It kind of makes sense high level avatars might extend to give the breaker something of their own to work with so they're not completely defenseless. This may even be our first example of multiple manifestations from the same focus, which is theoretically possible.
>>
No. 460900 ID: 4a328b

>>460893
It might also be a weapon manifestation, or a form manifestation--we're pretty much guessing that it's an avatar by a silhouette
>>
No. 460908 ID: 86c3a7

>>460900
I suppose you're right. As Linda herself has demonstrated, the typing lines aren't always very clearly drawn.
>>
No. 460916 ID: 466404

"Standing orders are to just slaughter you for starting a turf war with us but if you want to surrender we can relocate and discuss it more civilly. If you take that option no harm will come to you while you remain in my custody and I won't steal your focus, but I'll still need you to hand it over as part of the surrender."

"Hm? Foci? PLURAL? I only have one. This little beauty here. That other one is just a prize I picked up along the way."

The woman doesn't dismiss her weapon, but she does take a more relaxed posture. Cass seems to start calming down as well, although her body is tense, and you can still feel the murderous intent coming off of her like heat.

"Besides. I wasn't supposed to cause ALL of you trouble. Just get rid of the... expendable ones. The little pieces of trash on the sides. I guess that business guy decided we weren't needed anymore. I also guess that means I won't be getting paid. Oh well. I'm more than happy to head back east, got no reason to stay. Least I got myself an avatar focus out of i-"

She stops talking as she glances over her shoulder, and you follow her gaze to the inactive avatar behind her. Mike, in all his snake-like glory, has literally opened his mouth wide and is swallowing the angel-looking doll, although the moment he catches sight of you all staring at him he pauses halfway. For a moment, there's complete silence as everyone just stares at each other. Then Mike somehow manages to give a weak smile even with his mouth stretched out like that, and the woman, whoever she is, goes from being relaxed to completely unhappy. Her weapon goes from it's position at her back to somehow being separated into four separate blades, a knife, two swords, and a larger greatsword. The dagger is shoved into a ready sheath, the two swords taken into her hands, and the greatsword left where it's at.

"I don't know what the hell is going on here, and personally, I don't care. But I follow eastern rules. And the rules are clear, snake-boy. THAT. IS. MINE.

"You two woman. I'll gladly hightail it out of here if you want. Don't really care either way, I'm just the hired help from back east. But I'm not leaving without that focus. I earned it out here in this backwards hellhole of a city."

The woman starts towards the snake, who quickly spits out the focus and rises onto his... tail to make himself appear larger. At the same time, it's the first instance you've ever actually seen him in combat, and you suddenly notice the large fangs that are literally dripping venom.

You hesitate a moment, unsure. The lady agreed to leave, right? But then... she wants the focus she earned herself to take back with her.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460918 ID: 4a328b

Woah now, she ain't leaving until we get a LITTLE more information from her, like who hired her etc etc. She's not going to get to just take off, she has to come answer some questions, but her foci are her own, no contest.

The deal is that she comes with us to talk somewhere else, and THEN we let her go--she doesn't get to just walk out of here after pulling this without answering any questions. Moreover, if we're going to bring a possible hostile back to base you can be damn sure we need to be holding on to her focus--she can hold on to the prize if it's a different type than she tunes to. And she will get the focus back.

But yeah. Back off, Mike!
>>
No. 460920 ID: 86c3a7

Interesting. So she's an elaborate weapon type. The avatar is just loot.

>Stuff.
Mike, Blades, Stand down. Both of you. (Raise your gun if she doesn't stop advancing. If she backs off, lower it again).

Fine. You're hired help. You're not who we're interested in. You want to walk out of here with your prize? Tell me who we should be interested in. Who's (not) paying you? Who's the business guy who set this up?

(It's totally fucking Marc Conners, isn't it. He's playing a double game, using an opposition group to control his own. Or to set up a bunch of would be enemies for convenient slaughter).
>>
No. 460941 ID: 886a4d

Hmm well it does seem like Marc, there is another possibility.She was supposed to get rid of the expendable ones. The Trash. That sounds familiar. Remember our meeting? Ya McButler called the lower breakers insects which is remarkably similiar sentiment to trash.

Get a description. And a location where they met.
>>
No. 460968 ID: 466404

"Both of you, just STOP!"

"Tell him to get his hands off my prize."

"No can do. I've got my ordersss. Any avatarsss I find, I get em and take them back to the bossss. No excsseptions."

Shit.... Just shit... This is getting dangerously close to blood time, and neither the blade-woman or Mike look like they're ready to back down.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 460971 ID: f6cff9

God damn it Mike you're breaking my balls here. All Linda wanted to do is find out who was going to pay Miss Boss Character for doing this then you had to go and fuck it up. This is not gonna end peacefully because Mike is afraid what Marc would do to him if he disobeyed orders and Miss Boss isn't gonna leave with that avatar foci without a fight. Just prepare for the shootout that's gonna begin.
>>
No. 460973 ID: 886a4d

Shoot her. Loose Cass on her. But don't kill her. We want answers.
>>
No. 460975 ID: 86c3a7

...goddammit Mike. You know, if you really wanted to gank her shit, it would have been a lot easier after we got her to surrender. Or after we got our intel. We are so going to chew him out for this later. I don't care what order are- in the field, under my command, you follow my orders, goddamnit.

The only way I see to get her to back down now is if we dropped Mike. And I don't think we can afford to turn on an ally for the intel, even if it is what I think it is.

She's facing Mike. Away from you. Shoot her in the back of the head. (Don't fire such that a miss will hit Mike). While she's falling- hit and disable / shatter one of her swords with ice (say, the greatsword. It's got the most reach, it's the biggest target, and is across her back, conveniently facing you).

"I want her alive!"
>>
No. 460980 ID: 4a328b

I don't especially care about your orders, Mike--if you don't want this to be your first and last mission with me you WILL back away from that focus.

If he doesn't then freeze'm with the cold magnum
>>
No. 460992 ID: 466404

Damnit! Fine! Time for the fighting! The cold magnum comes up and your already firing, the ray icing over the greatsword. You keep it trained on that, while the 9mm is fired off at the woman. Two rounds , bam, bam. The woman barely avoids the first shot, the bullet grazing her ear as she tilts herself to the side, while the second shot punches its way through her arm. She hisses in pain, but is already moving. Cass is the next to reach her, having manifested her chainsaw as she made her approach, and the swing seems almost blindingly fast. The woman, however, seems to mover her body almost perfecty, the blade in one hand pushing the chainsaw to the side, while the other comes across, taking Cass' head off in one smooth motion. By the time Cass' body has hit the ground, the woman is already moving towards the real target, you. On her face is a look of almost pure contempt.

"Amateurs. They think swinging around a big weapon makes up for lack of skill. Idiots."

You blink in surprise, then suddenly realize for the first time... that's true. Everyone you've ever fought before... they weren't trained or anything, were they? Still, your thoughts are interrupted by the sudden introduction of a sword aimed at your stomach, and you take the necessary steps back to get yourself out of the range of her swing. You fire off a couple more rounds at her, not really caring where they hit, and the woman takes a hit to the chest. Instead of dropping dead, she takes a step back from the impact, then pushed forward, both blades coming in to stab at you. You duck the first one, then use the cold magnum to deflect the second, forcing you to drop your focused beam of cold at the greatsword. You managed to roll backwards with the force, separating the two of you by a few feet, and with the small pause in combat, you glance at your companions.

Cass is starting to get back to her feet, chainsaw revving to accent her rage, while Mike... is swallowing the avatar again? What the hell!? He notices your attention, and gives you a shrug and an apologetic bow... Bastard's gonna get it next time you see him...

>>>Input Command
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No. 460993 ID: 886a4d

Body armor most likely.Continue shooting her with the 9mm, take attacks of opprotunity whenever Cass distracts her. Focus on the greatsword with the cold magnum always. The chill should start being noticable to her as well. You do not want to touch cold metal with bare hands and it will take a long while to heat back up unless she dismisses it so that eliminates that weapon. And if she ignores you doing it otherwise she'll soon discover she has a giant shrapnel bomb on her.
>>
No. 460997 ID: 4a328b

That's it, we're not bringing Mike on any more missions.
Jerk.
I still vote to hit him with the cold magnum.

Use the cold magnum to control her movements-go for the feet
>>
No. 460999 ID: 86c3a7

Headshot first Linda, then the great sword. You gave her warning to dodge.

You want to keep her at range with the pistol (and maybe ice immediately in front of you, forcing her to go around or leap at you. Buys you a few more seconds to increase your separation- or a free shot while she's ballistic). Ice shots will disable and eventually shatter her weapons (forcing her to pay manifestation costs- and if she only has one focus, she's likely upgraded it a few time) and possibly her armor. A layer of ice may make her body armor weak enough to shatter when shot, although you should take a head shot if there's opportunity.

Best option would be to punch right though the armor with the tank gun, but we're too close to set that up right now, and can't afford the dodging penalty or losing ice for parries. Also, I don't think Cass could keep her occupied long enough to let you set it up.

If Cass does press her, take advantage of that. Place your shots to prevent her from striking killing blows on Cass (buying room for Cass to press her harder, or get a kill in), and take what kill openings Cass presents you with. You need to work in concert to keep this girl busy. Superior training/skill can only help you so much.

Cass might be better off trying hit her with the flamethrower than the saw-blade, that's a lot harder to dodge.

>Mike
...you deal with active threats before looting, asshole.

>Side comment
We may want to get an alternate ammo for the pistol. Armor penetrating, or explosive rounds or something. Annoying people in body armor are becoming more frequent.
>>
No. 461000 ID: 86c3a7

>>460997
We'll chew Mike out after the mission. No friendly fire for now.
>>
No. 461001 ID: 886a4d

We have the headset, use it. Help us coordinate with Cass. A perfectly timed flaming chainsaw would ruin Miss Blade's day.
>>
No. 461081 ID: aa1a47

Brief moment of insight to file away for later: ordering your people to always take tokens (forcing an engagement) is either incompetence or malice.
>>
No. 461402 ID: a407a5

You start trying to help Cass, viewing it as you supporting your friend, and for a moment, the woman looks a little surprised and overwhelmed. Cass swings start to get a little sharper and more bold as you provide cover, every time the woman tries to go for a kill, your bullets are getting in the way, forcing her to focus on defense instead of murder. Your cold magnum you use to cover the floor under the woman in ice, forcing her off balance and providing Cass with a much needed kill, the chainsaw tearing through the vest underneath her clothing. The woman stumbles back as reality saves her, only to have her head blown in by a couple of 9mm rounds to the face. Another death. You start to line up for another, except the woman manages to roll herself backwards and on to her feet as you fire, using the lack of ice in her new position to let her move normally. Cass goes after her again, but this time, the woman puts Cass in between you and her...

You don't think you can shoot through a friend.

Cass is down again in moment, but instead of hunting you down immediately, the mercenary manages to catch hold of Cass' chainsaw and use it as a shield, blocking the two rounds you put her way as Cass drops to the ground. At the same time, The woman plants her foot on Cass' back, preventing her from getting up.

"This is hardly sporting. Two against one? See, now I like a challenge and all, but we're breakers, we come back to life. I can't put one of you down and expect you to stay down. That's just even more unreasonable. Cut me some slack at least, I don't even want to fight you... HEY SNAKE BOY! STOP EATING MY FOCUS!"

Mike is about 2/3 of his way through eating the angel, but he just winks at the woman as he continues slowly consuming the avatar.

[b]Current BP: 16
9mm: 11
Cold Magnum: 20 seconds
>>
No. 461404 ID: 886a4d

If you don't want to fight. Give up. You'll get to leave. Alive. We would like a couple questions answered first though.

As for your focus? I'm afraid our own business man of a boss is an avatar user. You KNOW how rare they are. And you heard snakeboy. No exceptions.
>>
No. 461405 ID: 86c3a7

Yeah! First real battle where we're actually offering fire support for Cass, and it works.

>You don't think you can shoot through a friend.
Even if you could bring yourself to do it, we don't have the right gun out. The ice beam stops on impact, and I doubt the pistol has the penetrative power for that (unless you pulled a Rizzoli or something), especially with Miss Blade's body armor. And if we did put them both down at once, that's not much of an edge for our team.

Okay... we spent 1BP reloading the pistol. Blades died twice, so she's down to 21 (unless we missed a manifestation cost when the swords came out). Cass... no idea. She's died once, manifested the chainsaw, and normalized at least once, which puts her at 23 at most.

We're going to need to get Blades down and disabled (unconscious, unarmed, de-focus-ed and/or chain killed) if we want to win this.

Where are her hands at? If she's got the chainsaw in a one or two handed grip, then she's been forced to release one or more of her swords (in addition to the greatsword on her back, which is largely disabled by all the ice on it- even if it's not fixed in place, the cutting edge is covered and the balance is ruined). Did she drop the sword(s) she released, or are they floating with her?

...is she holding the chainsaw in such a way you could shoot the flame-on button and light her on fire? It's possible it's pointed towards her, since she's using it as a shield.

We could also swap to the tank gun and shoot her right through the chainsaw and her body armor, but we'd have to drop or discard the other guns first, manifest, and line up the shot, all of which gives her a few seconds to react, likely killing Cass and moving away. Not really the best option unless something changes.

>Yakkit yak
Hey, a boss who actually continues the attempt at diplomacy after the battle starts! That's normally our stupid shtick. Anyways, response:

(Keep the goddamn gun trained on her as you talk, be ready to fire at a moment's notice).
Numerical superiority is as fair a tactical edge as superior training. If you don't want to fight, the offer to surrender still stands. But I don't think you're getting that angel back.

How well do you think you can dodge and keep her pinned?

She's made herself stationary. This is your big chance to take her down. If she tries to kill Cass at all (with the chainsaw, or any of her 4 blades), that's your chance to drop her (she has to commit to the motion for at least a split second or two). If she tries to continue the fight otherwise (say, dodging away from Cass) headshot her, and then Cass can jump up and pin or disable her.

Also be aware there's a good chance Cass won't take lying down, well, lying down. She may manifest her knife and strike at Miss Blades (or use one of her own against her). Be ready to react and fire if this happens.
>>
No. 461408 ID: 886a4d

Isn't manifestation pretty well instant? And our finesse should make aiming pretty damn quick.
>>
No. 461418 ID: c8be92

Listen, right now there is basically no way you can kill both of us before Mike over there finishes eating your focus, and once he finishes it's going to be three on one. I'm not saying that you're not going to get the damn thing back, it just means you're going to have to come talk to the boss with us while we rage at him for giving Mike that stupid order to take all the avatar foci we encounter without exception anyway. WE DON'T WANT TO FIGHT YOU EITHER.
>>
No. 461421 ID: 86c3a7

>>461408
It's not instant- there's a short delay while the weapon poofs in. As we've seen twice before, Linda can line up a shot and fire on someone faster than their manifestation could appear (see- Trevor's brother, spear guy). If we dropped our guns and called up the tank gun, Blades would have enough time to stab Cass, or Chainsaw her, or dodge away from her before we could take the shot.

>>461418
Well, that's an honest assessment of our feelings, but I don't think we're honestly going to get Marc to give it up, or that it's advantageous to let lose our frustrations with our own team right now. We want to be cool and in control, not showing our weaknesses and division. ...I also kind of doubt it will be three on one. I expect Mike to bail with the loot- not give her the chance to cut it out of him.
>>
No. 461452 ID: 4a328b

I really wish we had yelled at Mike earlier instead of attacking.
Showing weakness or division, whatever you want to say, I don't think it mattered or matters as much as y'all think, especially since Mike is ignoring us, the squad leader. If anything we should be disciplining him instead of letting him get away with his bad behavior/insubordination. :I
>>
No. 461460 ID: 86c3a7

>>461452
Technically, he's ignoring orders to follow orders. It's the old star trek next generation problem again- the captain is ignoring (or acting in ignorance of) the admiral's orders. So which is disobeying orders for the crew: to follow the captain, or the admiral? Do you side with your superior even as they turn on their superior, or not? (Answer: depends on who's right, and/or who's secretly an evil replacement or mind controlled this episode!)

Obviously, since Linda is the captain in this analogy, and this is our op and tactical situation, we want him following our orders, goddamnit! But when you come right down to it, I don't think we could have talked either Mike or Blades into giving up the avatar without resorting to force. And if we have to shoot someone, why should we put the mercenary paid to attack us above a teammate?

Not that we shouldn't chew him a new one later. ...and if he was attacking Leviathan say (who's a friendly, or at least neutral) I'd be all for shutting him down, or standing aside and letting him get his ass handed to him.
>>
No. 461478 ID: 4a328b

>>461460
Except she was willing to come with us BEFORE HE STARTED STEALING HER SHIT

Moreover, she probably could have been persuaded to part with it if we offered her a good deal

He's just fucking up right now and citing previous orders to get away with it
>>
No. 461480 ID: 86c3a7

>>461478
Oh, I agree. We'd have been far better off it he'd shut his trap, stayed hidden, and let us negotiate the surrender.

But once he made his (and our boss') desires clear, there was no way she would have agreed to surrender without us promising she would be allowed to keep the avy. Which is a promise we wouldn't be able to keep.

Which left us the options of attacking Mike, standing by while she and Mike fought, or attacking her. Unfortunately, not much of a choice, even if he did fuck up.

More pragmatically though, why does the girl who was planning to attack us deserve to keep her prize, anyways? It's generous of us to let her walk away with her cruciform focus at all. And if Marc isn't playing us, we're better off with him more powerful.
>>
No. 461758 ID: a407a5

"If you don't want to fight, give up. You'll get to leave. Alive. We would like a couple questions answered first though. You won't get the avatar back though. Boss wants that."

"Yeah? Fuck that. Or at least pay me for the damn thi- STOP TRYING TO STAB ME IN THE LEG!"

The woman kicks Cass in the face in response to the rather vicious attempts Cass just made towards amputating the woman's leg. The second long distraction is all you need. You fire, aiming for killing shots instead of disabling, and hit your mark, the woman's falling backwards as her head is filled with lead. Cass gets to her feet quickly, grabbing at her chainsaw, only to take the sharp end to the face. The woman is back to life far more quickly than normal, smile wide.

"Sometimes, it helps not having any delay in coming back."

The woman uses the blade in her other hand to cut Cass' stomach open, ending her life again, before letting the chainsaw go to get out the smaller blade. Her smile remains small and almost light-hearted, the woman even humming to herself a little as she sets about her next task. Which is. namely, to start making her way back across the room, using pieces of furniture and a bit of lucky dodging to skip across the room, narrowly dodging a bullet her and there, while getting hit quite a few times and just reviving to continue. Eventually, she makes it to Mike and gives him a smile, using the larger sword on her back to block incoming fire to her vital head.

"Sorry, snake boy. That's mine though, and unless you're paying for it, you can't have it."

The woman rams her blade into his stomach and rips him open all the way to his mouth, releasing the avatar onto the floor. The bloody mess that is Mike is tosses up and over to land near you, and soon, everyone is back to life and facing off against the woman. She hides behind her larger sword to keep out of your gunfire, and happily calls over to you from her hiding spot.

"So... you got any offers for this thing? Cause I'd prefer to make a little cash off of it at least."

9mm: 4
>>>Input Command
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No. 461759 ID: b6edd6

By cash, does she actually mean cash as in non-breaker currency? A strange request from a breaker, but we are pretty sure Marc has plenty of it if that is what she wants. We should get our information first though.
>>
No. 461770 ID: 86c3a7

Ooh. Blades has a respawn faster spirit ability. Explains how she escaped the kill chain in the first place.

Next time you get the chance go for a non-fatal headshot. Graze her. The head trauma will disable her more than killing her.

Okay... you killed Blades once for sure, and quite a few means more than 3. So... she's at 16BP max now, although it would be nice to get an actual sighting on that. Cass died twice, and is down to 21 or less, and I have no idea about Mike, since we didn't have a total when this fight started.

>She hides behind her larger sword to keep out of your gunfire, immobile, and across the room.
>pistol almost out of ammo
This sounds like an excellent time to pull up the tank gun and shoot her. It'll shatter the iced up sword, and punch through her armor.

Respond to her offer as you shoot her.

I thought your life and continued freedom was a pretty generous offer. But if cash is all it takes, that's cheap in this business.

Unless she surrenders or something, continue to chain kill her with tank rounds. She's across the room, and your allies can prevent her from closing. When and if they engage her in melee, switch back to the handguns and offer support as before. Go for a grazing headshot, if possible, to disable and disorient her long enough to be pinned and disarmed.
>>
No. 461779 ID: 86c3a7

Excuse me, Cass should be at 20BP or less. I neglected the cost of her manifesting the knife before. (Linda, please make note of the numbers of the others in the room if you catch sight of them. Don't waste time looking for them though).

If necessary, note you can shoot the focus to knock it away from her. Especially if she tries to escape- her logical exit is to jump out the side of the building with it, respawn on the pavement below, and run away. If she tries it, a well timed tank round to the angel could knock it away from her before the jump, making her accidently leave it behind. (I'm assuming the foci itself is fairly durable, and will survive this treatment).

...if we do actually agree to pay her, Linda can just hand over her bank cards and the pin. Any accounts in our name are either frozen or being surveilled anyways.
>>
No. 461787 ID: 886a4d

>>461770
Sounds like a plan.
>>
No. 461835 ID: 86c3a7

Oh, and the off chance that this goes terribly right? Remember that we want her alive. Dead mercs don't give up their bosses. So don't shoot her all the way to death, and don't let your allies kill her dead either, if it comes to that.
>>
No. 461861 ID: 4a328b

Economics genius here, right? And a breaker?

Money: Not a problem.

Cash, usable foci, whatever, she'll be suitably compensated for the avatar, but we should get out of the building to discuss the terms, really.
20 minutes is not a long time limit before people start arriving!

If she wants numbers say something reasonable sounding.
>>
No. 461886 ID: 86c3a7

>If she wants numbers say something reasonable sounding.
Except we have no context for what reasonable sounding is. We don't know what an avatar focus is worth on the black market in terms of either lesser foci or highly inflated non-breaker currency.

Really, I have no problem compensating her if she surrenders, but she's expecting rather generous treatment, here. Standard breaker operating practice is to kill and/or loot opponents. She's organizing a group to attack us, and expects us to let her walk away scott free, and pay her to boot?
>>
No. 462020 ID: a407a5

"Yeah? Alright... I'll pay you for the damn thing, but... we need you to surrender... Sorta. We just want a few questions answered is all. And that focus, but as I said, I'll pay you for that."

You manifest the rifle as you speak, happily taking aim. Fuck her, and her deals. You tried to be nice. Mike might have fucked it up, royally, but that doesn't mean you're just going to stop fighting her ass. Eat lead, bitch.

"Really? Let's say... 100,000 for the an-"

Her body practically falls to pieces as your round punches through her sword, her armor, her, and the window behind her. Wind whips through the room, throwing off your aim as glass and dust fly up into your face, forcing you to raise your arms in defense. The angel hits the floor as it's dropped, and Mike immediately rushes forward, trying to grab a hold of it before it can be grabbed again. He manages to shove most of it into his mouth, only to suddenly have his body pinned against the woman's, blade to his neck. She backs them both up to the edge of the broken window, glancing over the edge and whistling.

"Well~ That's certainly a looooong way down. And I think I can drop this guy and get my prize out before I hit the bottom. What do you think? Especially because I was all ready to sell this thing and do whatever else you wanted, and you had to go shoot me with that... what the hell is that? Big ass rifle. Damn. Still, I want money out of this, and you guy's really want what I got. So, while I was going to go with the a smaller number, fuck it. $500,000. In cash. Delivered to a guy named Billy, lives down on the beach. Hobo type. Likes that sort of thing. He'll take it from you. On top of that, you get three questions. That's it. And get this snake boy to spit out my prize. Out the window, if you'd please. Otherwise we both go over. And he won't be coming back alive.

>>>Input Command
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No. 462024 ID: 6e44d2

Dude. He's a breaker. Don't take death so seriously. Anyway, yeah, I'm pretty sure we can swing that kind of money. Lemme call Marc right now, set this deal up posthaste...

Call Marc.
>>
No. 462026 ID: 886a4d

This rifle can shoot through walls, and don't think going into buildings will help. It has an xray scope and a range of 8 kilometers. You drop him and I won't kill you again and again while you run.
>>
No. 462027 ID: 86c3a7

Jesus, Mike, you can't just grab it and get out of there? What's with this damn oral fixation of yours. You're really causing us problems here.

Was that 100k for the angel or answers, I wonder? Too late now.

You know, it'd be real handy if we had a comm on Nicole. We could send her down to pick up the Angel when it goes out the window.

>The deal
We do the Q&A now. Then he vomits and you get to walk away. Then we pay your friend, and that thing shows up giftwrapped on our doorstop. Fair?

If Mike protests at all: "Mike, do you want to die? Shut up."

>3 Questions.
Who's your employer? The businessman, the one who isn't going to pay you.
If she says "Marc Conners", the second thing you need to ask for is proof.

...not entirely sure about the other questions. Maybe getting her exact orders, or what her employer wanted, fucking with us.

>0.5 mil
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess Linda doesn't have that kind of cash at her disposal. Even assuming her assets aren't frozen. We'll need to hit up company resources for that. Marc will be less happy than if we had brought it in for free... but oh well. I'm pretty sure he has that kind of dosh, and if we have to, we can put on our Econ hat later and start using breaking to do some unethical funds-raising to make it up. Especially since we're unemployed now anyways.

>Emergency plan.
...we could just shoot right through the two of them. The force of the impact would probably separate them (the force of the impact would smack them together like the balls in newtons cradle- but since Blades is on the back end, more momentum would end up dumped into her). Problem is she respawns real fast and would be in a position to pull them both over the edge (if we don't knock them both off with the tank gun to begin with). We'd need to use an active break to either pull Mike back into the room (or at least, crash him into the building on a lower floor where he could safely respawn), or throw her out. Spirit 4 should allow decent telekinetic stuff, right?

We should only try this if things go to shit, though.

>>462024
She's saying she'll chain kill him in the air, or when they hit the ground. And I don't think we need to make a call. If we don't pay up, worst that happens is we don't get the focus.
>>
No. 462031 ID: 886a4d

Shoot through Mike, then again and again until she dies.

She revives faster then him. Which means we can shoot her more times then Mike dies on the way down too.

If you jump I'll shoot you on the way down. I can manage (how ever many shots) it is before you land. Drop him and I won't kill you.

In fact I bet blowing them away mid-air will seperate them enough so she can't chain kill him and allow us to kill her permenantly.
>>
No. 462039 ID: 86c3a7

If she was going to respond to overwhelming force, she would have, by now. I think we have to deal. If we let her go over with him, we're putting Mike and civilians on the street at serious risk. I mean, what the hell, that's not worth trying to save a little of Marc's money.

And critically, we need to get our answers out of her before we shoot her (if we shoot her). I want to know who the fuck she's working for.

I wouldn't mind adapting that to a warning to go along with the offer of the deal, though. Something like:

You coming back faster works against you there. I'll be able to shoot you dead over and over on the way down. More times than you can cut him open. And you won't be running far- I've got an 8 kilometer range on this thing, bullets that go right through walls, an x-ray scope, and the highest vantage point around.

Sometimes, having a big weapon to swing around makes a difference.
>>
No. 462040 ID: 9718f3

I am also for shooting through Mike to get to her. I'm confident it'll separate them effectively. And if it doesn't, eh. Worst that could happen would be he ends up dead. Oh, and she could steal the focus I guess. But we're in a position to be able to continuously kill her as she attempts to flee. I don't think she would make it without some kind of interference.
>>
No. 462046 ID: 86c3a7

>Worst that could happen would be he ends up dead.
Worst that could happen is Mike ends up dead, we never find out her employer, she gets away clean with the avatar, and we end up killing innocent civilians firing after her as she runs on city streets in the middle of the day.

Our first priority should be keeping ourselves and our teammates alive (even if Mike was being an idiot). Our secondary objective is not hurting innocent people. Third is finding out who she works for. Getting Marc the avy, free or paid for, comes in fourth.

Other bad case is we pull it off, but she comes back later to make us pay for it.

>Plan
Let's start with the bluff/threat (shooting her on the way down, 8k, etc). If she caves, great, we've got everything we want. If the intimidation check doesn't work, we offer the deal I outlined here >>462027. Get our answers.

Then we either honor the deal and let her walk away, and burn some cash to get the avy (and cash is cheap for us, seriously) or we break the deal and shoot, hope we can save Mike, get the avy for free.
>>
No. 462206 ID: 86c3a7

You know what, after some thought, I don't like telling her her escape plan won't work, or think trying to bluff is even worth trying. For two reasons (1) she isn't going to back down. If she was gonna give, she would have earlier. (2) It's really not that sure a plan. No matter how tall this place is, the descent is only going to be on the order of seconds. We have to run up to the window, line up the shot (strait down), and then start firing. Even if we hit every time, we'll only get a few in before impact- nowhere enough to kill her. And then on the street, she will start putting civilians in the way. We won't be able to kill her.

Our only options are to either deal (saving Mike, getting our answers, and then Marc having to shill out for the avy) or shoot through the two of them now, the impact separating the two of them, and use an active break to throw/pull Mike back indoors (hopefully saves Mike, nets us a free avy, but costs us the intel).
>>
No. 462207 ID: 86c3a7

You know what, after some thought, I don't like telling her her escape plan won't work, or think trying to bluff is even worth trying. For two reasons (1) she isn't going to back down. If she was gonna give, she would have earlier. It will likely just prompt her to jump. (2) It's really not that sure a plan. No matter how tall this place is, the descent is only going to be on the order of seconds. We have to run up to the window, line up the shot (strait down), and then start firing. Even if we hit every time, we'll only get a few in before impact- nowhere enough to kill her. And then on the street, she will start putting civilians in the way. We won't be able to kill her.

Our only options are to either deal (saving Mike, getting our answers, and then Marc having to shill out for the avy) or shoot through the two of them now, the impact separating the two of them, and use an active break to throw/pull Mike back indoors while she plummets to the street (hopefully saves Mike, nets us a free avy, but costs us the intel).
>>
No. 462208 ID: 86c3a7

(...and my browser spontaneously changed my password, so I can't delete either of those. Whoops. Edit fail).
>>
No. 462272 ID: a407a5

"... Alright. Fine. Mike, spit that out."

Mike glares at you, clearly not liking that course of action. You glare back. He's got his own lecture coming, but until then, he's still one of yours.

"I said spit it out, Mike."

Reluctantly, the Snake-man spits out the angel, the avatar collapsing onto the ground. Good. That's the first part. Now to the more important bit.

"How's this going to work? I'm assuming I get my questions now, and you release Mike, then we get the money to this friend of your's later?"

"Right on the money. I'll let this guy go when we're done with the questions, if that's alright with you. I'm just a little paranoid right now."

"... Fine. First question. Who's this employer? The one who isn't paying you."

"Don't know. Never said his name. Had to go up into a hotel though. Real fancy one. Rich guy, by the sound of it. Not that I really care. Didn't sound all that happy about something, but eh. Most who hire me aren't too happy with something. It's why they hire me. Next question."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462279 ID: 9718f3

We need to know which hotel. The name, address, city, etc. We have to be absolutely sure on this matter. Either it is Marc and we need definitive confirmation, or it isn't and Marc will want to know the identity of his competitor.
>>
No. 462281 ID: 86c3a7

Keep your gun trained on them. In an emergency, we can still go with plan separate-them-via-ballistic-elastic-collision, and yank Mike back into the room with an active break while she falls off the building.

>the avatar collapsing onto the ground
On the floor in the room? Or out the window? (Obviously, she's not worth double crossing if the avy is already out of reach).

>Next question
Give me the information I need to find him then. Physical description, time and place of the meet. I'll do my own detective work.

If we still get a third question after that... dunno, get her exact orders?
>>
No. 462313 ID: a407a5

"Where this employer at? City, address. Wherever."

"Don't know the address. Least, I don't remember exactly. I have it in my email somewhere, but I'm obviously not going to go digging through my email just for you. It was back in Capital though. Nice place, Capital."

Capital. That's where you're from. Things are not looking good for Marc's case... unless there's some other rich hotel owning bastard running around. You somehow doubt it. Well, best not to jumpt to any conclusions.

"What about a physical descriptoin?"

"Kinda tall. Darker hair I think... kinda smelled like smoke. Obviously dressed like some business guy. Felt... afraid... when I was talking to him. Like he was stalking me with every word we exchanged. I don't ever want to go directly against him. That's for sure. Anyway. That's all I really got for you. I'll be giving you your snake-boy back, and taking THIS with me."

The woman shoves Mike your way, drops low to grab hold of the angel, then lets herself fall backwards, giving you a wave as she starts to disappear from view.

"Don't forget the money."

Then she's gone. Mike hisses in annoyance, somehow making a rattling noise without a rattle on his tale, then disappears into a nearby vent. You and Cass are left on the top floor. Sirens can be heard from below, although everything is really just specks to your sight. You frown in thought, letting the information process through your head, then Nicole and Duke bust into the room.

"Boss! Oh... you're done already... Nevermind. We should probably go though, right?"

"Fucking bitch... but my head off. I hope we get to kill her someday."

"Wow... that's harsh, Cass. What happened?"

"Don't ask. I'm still pissed."

"Ooook."

The group head out, collecting Mike on the ground floor again, normalizing their way through the cops and officials, then head for home. On the ride back, you, Cass and Mike argue over prize allotments, and in the end, you find yourself holding 2 for yourself, the other four splitting amongst your companions. You arrive to find the groups of people still lazing around, although you can see a few of them have had some boosts to their numbers. Raphael and Elizabeth are in a corner again, talking amongst themselves. Cass depart to places unknown, maybe to work off some steam, while Nicole and Duke head over to the larger gathering of breakers and start boasting about their achievements. Daniels makes his way to you upon spotting you, looking a little worried.

"So... how'd it go? You get all of em?"

Experience Gained: 4
>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462328 ID: 3a3169

>>462313
>>Daniels makes his way to you upon spotting you, looking a little worried.

I do believe we are about to find out whether Daniels was dumb enough to make a power play against the boss. Then again he's not the one potentially implicated in a coup...probably paranoia, but watch for any signs of Danny boy turning on us or retribution from Marc.
>>
No. 462333 ID: 86c3a7

>Employer
Well, we've got circumstance evidence that looks like Marc, but certainly nothing hard. For now, we remain suspicious, but take no action.

>2 pieces of loot
Could we have an ID/description on the foci we ended up holding on to?

>4XP
Welp. We know exactly what we're getting then. Been over it enough in Diss.

*Finesse to 9
*Finesse match for Twinda
*Establish voluntary mental link with Twinda
(although, maybe wait on that until we're alone, in our room- in case there's a rush of feedback or days worth of memories to suddenly accommodate).
*Cartoon ice alt firing mode for the cold magnum

>Daniels
Hmm. Worried is bad. That supports the Marc was in on it theory. Daniels knows, and wanted them all dead so they couldn't talk.


>So... how'd it go? You get all of em?
Shut down the group, but their leader managed to get away. Her death wouldn't have been the end of it anyways though- she was hired help. A mercenary. Whoever sicked her on us is still out there.

...might have gotten her if Mike hadn't had act-like-an-idiot-if-you-see-an-avatar orders. Or if I'd known about them. Speaking of which, crazy bitch left us instructions on how to purchase the thing if Marc is willing to part with half a million in cash for a new doll.

>Fucking bitch... cut my head off. I hope we get to kill her someday.
Aw, c'mon Cass. We killed her more than half a dozen times in return.

>What do?
Things we could do: chat with Mike about him being an idiot. Check up on Duke, see how he's doing after his first kill(s). Chill with Cass (hey, even if she got away, this was the first time we actually fought together, and it worked damn well). Maybe check in with Raphael and Elizabeth (no drama this time! let the man recover). And possible Twinda experimenting, and checking out the backlog of new memories from her (interestingly- anyone go and use her as a confessional proxy, talking to you while you were MIA?).
>>
No. 462353 ID: 86c3a7

>>462328
Oh, that's an interesting idea!

So for theories then we have either:
-Marc cleaning up mercenaries he hired to control/pick off his own people with
-Daniels covering up a move he was making against Marc.
-Third party acting against us, trying to make us distrust Marc.

The problem is, we know higher level breakers can disguise their appearance, so what evidence we have is useless. And we have no guarantee we can trust the intel either (although, Blades didn't seem the type to lie. Unless she was being paid to feed us false intel, or course...)

Which all means we've basically got nothing. Although...
>Felt... afraid... when I was talking to him. Like he was stalking me with every word we exchanged
That sounds more like Jake than Marc. Although Marc certainly has the will to pull that kind of impression off if he's done being nice.

>To do
Forgot to mention, we should also put checking in on 23 on the list. (Hopefully we're not deployed again immediately, we got a bunch of things to do, really).
>>
No. 462425 ID: a407a5

Experience Allocated
Finesse: 9
Cartoon Ice
Finesse Match
Limited Mental Link

Foci Gathered: Small Black ball, round stone-like ball, Spear-head


"Shut down the group, but their leader managed to get away. Her death wouldn't have been the end of it anyways though- she was hired help. A mercenary. Whoever sicked her on us is still out there... might have gotten her if Mike hadn't had act-like-an-idiot-if-you-see-an-avatar orders. Or if I'd known about them. Speaking of which, crazy bitch left us instructions on how to purchase the thing if Marc is willing to part with half a million in cash for a new doll."

"Mike huh? Don't know anything about that... still, I'll make sure he gets talked to. You leave that to me though. As for the money... I'll talk to the boss about it. For now, you get some rest and relaxation. You've been through a lot recently."

Daniels leaves you alone, looking thoughtful, but you dismiss it for now. Without any evidence, you've got nothing against anyone. First stop, more work. You head through the groups of people and find 23 and George at a table, both of their eyes closed. Once you arrive, George cracks one eye to glance at you.

"Miss Linda. How can I be of help?"

"Got anything on 23 yet?"

"Yes and No. I found something to manipulate but... all It really does is change who she's loyal to. I've set it to you for the moment, since you're the most likely to take her out of missions, but other than that... her mind's too far gone for this to be a quick fix. I'll have to continue working with her in between times you want to use her. If you want to use her, I can obviously try more things if she's with me all the time. Either way, that's all I have to report for now. If you ever want to take her along with you, just come get her from me."

You give him your thanks, then head off again, this time to find Duke. You find him still talking in the big group, gloating about his victories, and in the end, you decide that you'll have to talk to him later, if at all. You depart again and head over to Raphael and Elizabeth. They don't seem to care that you're listening in, and you soon discover why.

"- just think that it would be better if we got the sword first, and THEN attacked the boss. Otherwise we're going to have to waste a ton of potions, and that's a lot of money."

"The Nightmare is unreasonable. I am healer. Can heal."

"Yeah, but I'm not. And what happens if you die? There goes all the healing... we need another player..."

Both pause, then both turn to you, eyes fixed and grins wide.

"Hey, Linda~"

Oh shit.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462426 ID: c31f72

Manifest Twinda, order her to distract them. Run while they're being distracted by Twinda.
>>
No. 462427 ID: 86c3a7

>23
Hmm. We wanted to make her a person again, not just hijack a weapon. Still, a loyalty swap may be useful. At the very least we can get her to talk to us. I'm a little leery of using her as a weapon though, unless we really need the firepower. It kind of doesn't make us any better than the demon just to use her.

>You leave Mike to me though
Hey, if Daniels wants to have words with him, fine. But we should still talk to him later. There's a fine line to be walked between chewing someone out and making sure they know you're still their friend despite their idiocy. (We are working to shift as much personal loyalty of people to us as possible, right?).

>limited mental link
Hmm. No immediate feedback? I suppose we have to turn on our internal wifi switch, first. Really should wait till we're alone to experiment with that though. Getting used to the 2way mental communication, or getting several days worth of new memories dumped into our head could be temporarily disabling.

>Linda~
...go along with it. Really, when was the last time you got to bond with these two? I think it was the beach when you first arrived. It'd be nice to spend some non-drama time with Raphael, and actual person (as opposed to prophet) time with Elizabeth.

We can talk to Mike and experiment with Twinda later.

Alright, alright, what am I being dragged into here?

>>462426
Already manifested. She's been in our room on our laptop, studying, since before we were kidnapped. Although, if we need a fourth person for whatever game they're playing, no reason not to bring Twinda in (she can play something simple).

>foci
Pass the new ones to Elizabeth for analysis. Hmm. Depending on how the loot got allocated, Cass should have 2 or 3 unturned by now (club, axe, possibly one of the two you gave up). She should have enough to get something custom made when next we go see the doctor and pick up the mech. And if she took the knife from the ballroom fight, she's got a base of her own specialization to start with. I wonder if she's got any good ideas for crazy custom knives yet...
>>
No. 462428 ID: 86c3a7

Ooh! Wiki update! Nicole picked up the ever awesome weapon:environment, Cass tuned that knife, and we now have access to 23's complete stats.
>>
No. 462430 ID: f6cff9

Yeah we might as well stick around... what are we sticking around for anyways? Might as well ask them.
>>
No. 462432 ID: 886a4d

I'm going to say play whatever game they want. Pick a high-damage dealer like a wizard. Also learn the rules of the game, see if you can't make them squeel.
>>
No. 462447 ID: 86c3a7

>>462432
Assuming Raphael is either some kind of melee character (rogue seems more likely for his personality, but a fighter/healer would have been an easier 2person game than a rogue/healer), Linda should pick up a ranged role (obviously). Caster, gunner, ranger- whatever shoots and has the equivalent of a BFG.

If we drag Twinda in, give her something easy to play, like a Tank or something.
>>
No. 462452 ID: a407a5

"Alright. Alright. What am I getting dragged into?"

"I got Elizabeth here a little hooked on video games. Seems she can't predict the outcomes for some reason. Anyway, we've been playing this Dragon's Reach game for a few hours, and Liz here loves it, but we can't get passed this one part. We're hoping we can get you to play."

Elizabeth gives you what can only be described as puppy dog eyes, and you really have no other choice but to agree when faced with an onslaught like that. Still, you've never been particularly good at video games. Here's hoping you don't royally screw it up.

A few minutes later, you've been set up with a character, some wizard or sorceress or something like that, and the other two are slowly taking you through the games controls. Elizabeth is happily hanging back, not really fighting at all, instead focusing on keeping you and Raphael alive with healing, as she plays some sort of priest or something like that. Raphael is a warrior, or "tank" as he calls it, although you're not really sure why. Seems he stays at the front though, carving a path of destruction through the lesser enemies. You remain useless for the most part, as your character is really weak and can only shoot little bolts of glowy dust by the looks of it, but after good hours of solid playing, and your companions slowly walking you through some of the more difficult areas, you start to rack up levels and new spells. You quickly find you enjoy the explosions from fire spells the most, and soon, the screen is almost constantly filled with fiery death. You make sure to grab a few other spells as well(something about resistance to fire), so ice is on the menu as well, but why, when people can die engulfed in flames?

Eventually, though, everyone gets tired of carving through enemies, and Elizabeth starts yawning. You decide it's time for her to get some sleep, and send her off to your apartment. You, on the other hand, find that sleeping is the farthest thing from your mind. Maybe because you really did almost nothing else other than get rest while you were captured. The game is turned off though, and you really don't want to keep troubling Raphael just so you can burn some more things. As you start to leave though, Raphael stops you, looking slightly embarrassed.

"Hey... uh... er... you're... not dating... Cally... right?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 462453 ID: f6cff9

To be honest Linda wasn't really dating Cally and was more in it for the sex but was willing to give it a shot if it went that far. Did I get that right? Anyways with the Jake problem that boat seems sunk for now.
>>
No. 462465 ID: 86c3a7

>you've never been particularly good at video games
Hey, you did alright last time, and you were drunk then, and you went for the edge case! Plus there's the superhuman reflexes, although that matters less in an RPG kinda thing.

>Are you dating Cally?
I don't think so. More of a fling than anything else. But I'd kind of like a clearer ending than dropping off the face of the earth for a few days, you know?

Although at this point I'm just hoping I don't have to shoot her when we throw down with Jake.

(Translation: Probably not, but I have to talk to her and make sure it's over before anything else happens, horse-boy).

>What now
It's late, we're not tired, and we're about to be alone. Time to go back to our room, turn on the mental link, and experiment with the new improved Twinda! Check out how the 2way communication works. Leave her standing oders to call you if she gets stuck, needs input, or someone shows up to talk to you. Test out how the swapping works. Go through her backlog of new memories. Particularity while you were held captive- I suspect some of your teammates may have come and used her as a sounding board.

If you run out of Twinda things to do, and you're still not ready for bed, start cleaning up your old life. The feds knew who you are. So you gotta abandon your old email, your job, bank accounts. Ditch your personal cell phone (the one you had since your pre-breaker days). Protect your computer- set it up to run through some proxies, etc.
>>
No. 462529 ID: 9718f3

They were never dating, her boss gave a no contact order, and while Linda was captured by the feds they displayed knowledge of their relationship but not of Cally's Breaker status. Whether or not it is true that they don't know she is a Breaker, Linda can't associate with Cally any further now that she is a wanted woman. Not fair to Cally, she has a career and reputation that actually matters to her, we can't risk messing that up if we can help it.
>>
No. 462533 ID: 86c3a7

>>462529
Hmm. Not being able to associate with her without fucking up her life is a good point, actually. (Well, provided it's not too late for that already. I kind of expect the feds are already watching her). But still, that's the kind of thing that should be her decision, not ours. Cutting yourself off from someone 'for their protection' is almost universally a dick move.
>>
No. 462538 ID: 2008db

Cally was a fling, quite possibly an unwise one since we recognized her boss as a monster before starting it. But this is quest where even with little investment in the social stat people like to blindly try and convert anyone who has ever been friendly while ignoring the potential consequences of failure.
>>
No. 462564 ID: a407a5

>swapping unavailable. Insufficient Spirit

"Uh... Not really. More a fling than anything else. It wasn't anything particularly special. Just physical. I don't think anything will really happen now, especially with things as they are. Still, I'd like to smooth things over with Cally before I move on. I just think it would be better that way."

"I see... well, you mind doing me a favo- You know what. No. That's not the right thing to do. See you around, Linda. Hope you have a good night's sleep."

You frown in question at Raphael, but he just waves you away. A moment passes, then you shrug. Whatever. You leave and head over to your own apartment, where you find Twinda still messing around idly with your laptop, although she seems to have so many tabs open you're not even sure how she got that far. You stare at her a moment, then close your eyes and try reaching out on a whim with your thoughts. For a moment, nothing, and then you suddenly feel something brush your against your mind, something familiar and foreign at the same time. You frown, then try sending over a thought. An order.

Stand.

Twinda suddenly blinks, then stands up, looking not the least bit confused or unwilling. You blink in surprise, then try some other commands. She follows all of them to the letter, and eventually, you leave her to her work, albeit with new orders to send over a question if she doesn't know what to do in a situation. With the twin doing it's own thing, you try sitting down and focusing again, finding that brushing sensation against your mind and pushing further into it, trying to drag out memories. Again, at first, there's nothing, then a flood of information hits you square in the face. Your mind hastens to conpensate, and eventually, you find that you have several days worth of memories all battling for your attention. You sort through a few of them and find that Elizabeth generally would do little other than sit next to Twinda and wait on the days you weren't here, while Cass never showed up and Raphael came over to take care of Elizabeth more than anything else, only passively acknowledging the twin. Apparently, they were more focused on finding the real you. All in all, mostly useless information was picked up from your counterpart.

Still, it's better than nothing. You are starting to feel tired , and it's almost 10, but you spend another hour cleaning up the loose ends of your old life. Your job is quit, your accounts ignored, the cellphone tossed, and email account abandoned. Not that you really used your email for anything but work anyways. Damn. And you really liked that job to. They didn't bug you all the time. Still, your work complete for the night, you yawn and get to bed. Tomorrow is a busy day.
>>
No. 462565 ID: a407a5

... You can feel it. The last person in the apartment building is asleep... good. Time to get to work. Putting it off won't change anything, and you'd rather your friends not have to deal with the bastard's shit anymore. Master of dreams your fucking ass.

Morpheus.

You caught his name the last time you'd fought him, and you also knew that he wasn't Morpheus. You'd run into the ACTUAL Morpheus before, in your wandering of the dreamtime, and you had no doubts about their difference in power. The real one could easily have killed you. The fake... this time, he'd be the one dying. Hopefully. If everything worked out... yeah. Lying to Linda wasn't your favorite move, but... it was better than letting her worry.

Death or Glory, right?

With a sigh, you stand, stretching out your limbs, and let yourself slip into the dreamtime through Cass' dream. A pleasant affair, where her life wasn't ruled by the monster within. You'd never tasted her fear, and you weren't going to. You might call her Chainsaw, but she was a friend, and you sure as hell weren't going to alienate her. You pass through her dream quickly, entering another and another in hopes of finding the bastard. You can feel him here. He doesn't taste of fear. Not yet. Soon, hopefully, and then we'll see who the master of dreams is.

Finally, you enter the dream the new girl, 23. She dreams peacefully, although her fractured mind produces a dream world made of fractured buildings and landscapes. A nice, open battlefield to kill an annoyance. You can hear him whispering across the dreamscape.

"Hehe! You're back! Ready to die, Horse-Boy! Because that thing you did before, yeah, not real scary. HEHEHEHEHEH!"

"Yeah? You're not all that scary yourself. I don't know why you're trying to take the name of Morpheus, but I've met the real one. You're NOT him. Never will be."

"Oh? Think what you want. You'll die either way."

Then you feel it. This dream... he chose it on purpose, damnit! It's easily forced into new forms! You hurl yourself forwards as you feel the ground rip itself apart, spikes of steel ripping open the ground. You keep moving forward, relying on your ability to feel the dreamscape to keep yourself from getting stabbed through the chest, all while trying to find the bastard. Eventually, you spot him, up a tilted building, laughing happily.

"Come on! Come on! Die already! You fucking MAGGOT!"

[b]Current BP: 29
Available Forms:
Giant Spider
That Which Cannot Be Cut
That Which Is Unknowable
Flaming Man
Nightmare Horse
>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462569 ID: 4a328b

That Which Cannot Be Cut seems a good counter to him trying to cut you?
>>
No. 462571 ID: 86c3a7

>swapping unavailable. Insufficient Spirit
Well, dang. Good thing we were planning on investing in spirit soon anyways. (Current plan is to get some rifle ammo, then go strait for spirit 5 and 6, maybe stack some BP too).

>Raphael
Huh. Odd. Only character we haven't gotten a last name for when we swapped to them. I wonder if that means this isn't his original name?

>Cass
...slightly offput by all the past tense there. That means he knew Cass before she became Chainsaw? Or he's talking about their relationship in past tense because he already expects to die?

>Lying to Linda
>Death or Glory, right?
Oh goddamnit, you idiot. We invest in all that will and push you to the breaking point and we still can't get through to you. Just for that, I'm having Linda trap you in relationship limbo a while longer. Enjoy the blueballs and angst, bronie.

>Talking
Huh. Raphael didn't used to be able to take on human form, or talk, while in the dreamtime. Must be part of the upgrade he sold the golem for.

>Plan
So... what's your strategy here, Raph? You got a trick up your sleeve, or is this just a beat him till he dies type of thing?

>Form choice
Giant spider might be good for charging up a building at this guy. Although, have you practiced that one at all? Not a good choice if you haven't. That Which Is Unknowable sounds interesting too- it's abstract enough your opponent might have a hard time countering it.

You can swap between these on the fly, right? It only costs BP to go from human to form- changing fear sub-forms is free?

>>462538
We're *tg*. We try to recruit everyone, even people trying to kill us. Besides, trying to turn the girl sent by your enemy to spy on you is a good move. Best case, you gain an asset and double agent. Worst case? You have to fight her exactly the same as you would have anyways.
>>
No. 462576 ID: f6cff9

Let's use the Giant Spider to get up there then switch to That Which Cannot Be Cut if things get really bad real fast a.k.a. slashing you up.
>>
No. 462580 ID: 86c3a7

>>462576
That works. Assuming we can swap fear forms on the fly, that's what we should be doing. Here's some basic tactics:

Use the nightmare when you need speed and endurance- covering distance. 23's fear can swapped to counter or block attacks, or for frontal assault. The flaming man might be useful in close combat- jump or tackle in another shape, and he suddenly finds himself grappling with fire (or if he pins or tackles you). The spider can be used to go up walls, slanted surfaces, and across ceilings; potentially for ambush and poison. If there's webbing, you might be able to trap or disable him with that.

Not sure what to do with Elizabeth's though, since we don't know how that abstract concept manifests itself yet.
>>
No. 462605 ID: a407a5

Up a building? No fucking problem. You change direction and run up the first few feet of the building, the blades stopping as your opponent squints in confusion. Then his eyes go wide as you feel your form shift and warp, body changing to match a new, larger form. You new legs catch the edges of the building, and you easily scale the thing, letting your practice take hold. As much as this form freaks the shit out of Linda... it is really, really useful. Morpheus stares at you a moment, then hisses in annoyance and almost literally rips the top of the building clean off, lifting it over his head and hurling it at you.

You shift in response, going straight from a spider into the horse form, and using it to literally gallop up the side of the building, the boulder flying overhead as it aims for a much larger target no longer there. The man rips another chunk out of the building to use as ammo, but you're next to him sooner than he thought, already shifting into That Which Cannot Be Cut.

"Dreamtime perceptions, fucker. Learn them."

You clawed arm rams into the man, but he's suddenly not there, literally flying above you, anger all over his face.

"How! You weren't this versatile before!"

The chunk of rock he has with him is hurled your way, but you easily bat it aside with you much larger and stronger arm. With him in the air, though, you can't catch him in this form. So, it's back to spider, this time so you can launch some webbing at him, Morpheus blinking in surprise. You drag him back to earth, even as the dreamscape shifts around you again, and as you plunge your fangs into his flesh, you feel a burst of steel and rock shoves it's way into your soft arachnid body. Fucking shit!

You feel consciousness fade, then your awake again, still in your arachnid form, vines wrapped around your entire body as they slowly try to crush you, Morpheus hanging in the air above you.

"Well. You actually managed to kill me this time. How surprising. Still, I don't think you're that much of a threat, not once you realize you're limited in your attacks."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462612 ID: f6cff9

What vines? Seems like a job for the flaming man. Time to set some stuff on fire.
>>
No. 462615 ID: 4a328b

Switch to That Which Is Unknowable

that'll teach'im
>>
No. 462616 ID: 86c3a7

>BP
Hmm. The only reference we have for Jake's BP is Linda's sighting in the club, when he was at 18. But we don't know if he was at full power, if there's a manifestation cost he had to pay, or how much he has now.

Raphael should be at 23 now (-5 for taking a form, -1 for death). Assuming Jake doesn't have more than 18, we can actually win by trading deaths.

>once you realize you're limited in your attacks
Versatility of form versus versatility of environment! Sounds like an even battle to me, if we're clever enough.

>bound in vines
That Which Is Unknowable seems the least concrete form. Probably the best for slipping bounds. That, or just go to the burning man- that'll take care of the vines.
>>
No. 462671 ID: 302fc8

+1 for Burning Man. That Which Is Unknowable seems like the thing to go for when we're about to kill the fuck out of this guy.

Actually, can we Taste HIS fear?
>>
No. 462684 ID: a407a5
File 135018913974.jpg - (27.15KB , 220x299 , 220px-Yog-Sothoth.jpg )
462684

Current BP: 28

You change form again, the vines loosing their grip as you slide into the smaller Burning Man form. You find yourself landing on one of the vines underneath you, and it catches fire immediately, but you're already moving on, making your way ever upward as vines try desperately to grab at you. But your fire burns them away and by the time you make it to the top, your opponent isn't smile anymore.

"Why are you so stubborn! Fine then, let see how well you can deal with this..."

Water begins to flow from the ground(?), and as it touches you the fires that surround you are put out. You hiss in pain, the fire being an integral part of this form, then you shift again, this time to That Which Is Unknowable. The form is a mass of tentacles and teeth and eyes. You don't know what it is, and you don't care. All you know is that Elizabeth fears it above all else. And your going to damn well make sure you find this guys fear. You just need him to feel it first. And you need to get close enough to TASTE of it.

A tentacle lashes out, wrapping around the other man's leg, and drags him to you. You literally shove him without mercy into one of your mouths and begin devouring. The screaming starts up, but you remain uncaring. There is no other way to withstand driving men to insanity without loosing a piece of your own morals. Reality asserts itself, and the man is deposited next to your new form. You move to grab him again, but he sinks into the ground, like he's melting. He reappears a few vines away, the water having stopped. He brings a massive wall of rock and steel to block your path towards him, but even you can tell that smashing your way through would be easy.

"What... what the hell is that!?"

Fear... You can taste fear. Not enough though. You aren't close enough to TASTE of his fear. You will have it. His mind will be driven to madness. THAT is your weapon. Not physical death. Mental death. Emotional death.

Time to do what you do best.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462692 ID: 86c3a7

>current BP: 28
What. Taking on a form costs nothing now? Interesting. Maybe we only have to pay the 5BP if Raphael assumes a form in the real world now? Although maybe not, now that I think of it, I think I noticed BP discrepancies earlier. So the cost is gone altogether? There's probably some kind of hidden cost to that, though. Like... in exchange for getting so close to his form(s) it doesn't need BP, he can't tune other foci now. Or it's slowly killing him.

>horrors
Man, who was reading Elizabeth Lovecraft?

>Plan
Aaaah. I see now. We just have to hold on to the advantage in this fight long enough for Jake's fear to become strong enough to taste. Then we assume the form of his greatest fear, and chase him through his own mind until he's lost to madness and exhaustion.

>Need fear
Scream. You're an Eldritch horror, at the moment. With each of your thousand mouths, sing the song that will end the earth. And then come at him, through the walls he put up.
>>
No. 462693 ID: f6cff9

Obviously we need to play it up to jack up his fear levels something like "It's not enough, not enough, NOT ENOUGH. I need to FEEL your fear, TOUCH your fear, TASTE YOUR FEAR. My stomach is just churning and twisting at the thought of eating you. I WANT IT NOW." Or something like that.
>>
No. 462694 ID: f6cff9

>>462692
Hey you don't know maybe some asshole breaker made some lovecraft monsters for kicks but anyways just do something to scare the shit out of him because I don't really care what it is. So yeah smash his little walls
>>
No. 462700 ID: 86c3a7

>>462693
Actually, we can improve on this. We've got multiple mouths, right? Make a symphony of horror. Set some mouths to screaming in different pitches. Set others to incoherent, terrifying rambling (crazy stuff about wanting to eat him, it hurt it hurts, etc). Let that sink in for a second, and then come after him.

Also, to rebut Linda's earlier comment? I think we found a way Raphael could hope to complete with a Mech. (Oh my gods, can you imagine a giant robot and Eldritch horror team up?).
>>
No. 462711 ID: f6cff9

>>462700
This sounds great so let's do it. Commencing Operation: Death By Fear
>>
No. 462714 ID: 6e44d2

>>462700
>it hurts

Someone is a Trilby fan.

Anyway, this plan is awesome.
>>
No. 462734 ID: a407a5
File 135019648921.jpg - (176.19KB , 1600x1200 , death1.jpg )
462734

""It's not enough, not enough, NOT ENOUGH. I need to FEEL your fear, TOUCH your fear, TASTE YOUR FEAR. My stomach is just churning and twisting at the thought of eating you. I WANT IT NOW."

Fear. Make it more. Make it stronger. MAKE IT TASTEFUL!

You set yourself to gibbering like a mad man, each mouth doing something different, each mouth saying something different, each mouth screaming something different. Instead of crashing through the walls, you exert your will on the dreamtime and literally pass through the wall like they aren't even there. Morpheus' eyes go wide, even as you close on him, he tries to erect walls to keep you away as he back peddles along his new perch, trying desperately to get away from you. You let only one mouth, your own completely controlled mouth, do the thing you've learned scares the shit out of people the most.

"You? A master of dreams? Fine! Than I shall be the MASTER of NIGHTMARES!"

You begin to laugh. You laugh and laugh and laugh. Fear. Nightmares. They are like wine, now. Something to be tasted and enjoyed. Let fear come.

"Your fear! Your FEAR! It grows! IT GROWS! It smells... SOOOOO delicious! Come! Fear! Fear! More FEAR!"

The man's fear grows, and you can taste it. Yes, this plan... you were right to go with this plan. Before you tried to fight with only a horse. Of course you couldn't win. Now, the fears of your comrades give you strength. A perverted, sick, unhealthy form of friendship, but that matters little.

"Your FEAR I shall DRINK! Your FEAR I shall EAT! AND THEN, I WILL BECOME THAT FEAR!"

Morpheus stumbles and falls, landing heavily on his ass, and you shift back into your human form and drop down in front of him, grabbing him by the collar and removing your sunglasses in one motion, staring him dead in the eyes. His fear. You can taste it. You feel your body shift and warp, ditching the flaming man in favor of this new form. You body writhes and warps and changes, and you smile at him, feeling something in this new form you don't feel in others. Death. You are DEATH.

"Fear me."

You finish your transformation, and you can feel the mind in front of you starting to crack. He fears death itself. Fine then.

Let him fear YOU.
>>
No. 462735 ID: a407a5

You shout yourself awake, feeling like something important just happened. You feel yourself breathing heavily, then glance at a nearby clock. 2 in the morning. Huh. You get up and wander the apartment, eyes scanning for anything odd, but you find nothing. Eventually you put on some clothes and leave quietly, eyes scanning the area around you. Still nothing. You head down to the lobby area, and this time, you do find something. A man, a figure, curled into a ball, babbling mindlessly. Sitting in a chair next to him is Raphael, who's facing you, eyes somehow seeming to shine a bright red that somehow keeps your eyes captivated to them, and yet you also get the horrible feeling your staring at something that should not exist in reality. Even with his eyes fixed on you, he doesn't seem to notice your presence at all.

"Death... I was... death... couldn't ... shouldn't... reach me... dreams... dreams are free... no death... dreams... DREAMS.... NIGHTMARES AND DREAMS!"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462776 ID: c8be92

Give him a hug. He looks like he did what he was going to do; the thing he couldn't tell us about. It also looks like it might have made him a bit insane.

Raphael needs some support right now.
>>
No. 462791 ID: 86c3a7

Huh. Raphael could control a horror-terror just fine, but taking the form of the reaper broke him? Odd (well, I suppose a very literal Eldritch horror might be less psychologically damaging than the naked concept of death itself). Unless it was something else- say the feedback of breaking another dreamwalker for the first time.

Okay now, is that Raphael babbling like that, or his victim? Either way, I think you should ignore the crazy person, and focus on Raphael. Walk up to him, physical contact (don't recoil, no matter what he is) and try and talk him into coming back to us.

Possibly, if words don't work, try to snap him out of it with a beacon, again. Sit there with him and think of spiders until you get a reaction.
>>
No. 462797 ID: f6cff9

>>462791
Sounds alright to me. I also think the babbling is coming from the crazy guy because he going on about how "dreams are free" and "death not reaching" so I'm thinking he assumed dreams were free of death or something. It looks like he was wrong.
>>
No. 462806 ID: 4a328b

Tie the babbling man up while he's incapacitated! Or knock him out or something. Raph caught him, so make sure he doesn't get away!
>>
No. 462808 ID: 86c3a7

>>462797
Yeah, probably.

Also, just noticed Raph lost the flaming man when he picked up death. Apparently he can only hold on to so many fear-forms at once. (I'm betting that scales with spirit, seeing as how his current cap is 4).

>>462806
Pff! Raphael drove him insane. Broke his mind (and Linda knows this, even without our OOC perspective, because he told her that's what he does, earlier). He's not a threat. All we might have to do is take his focus (provided his number hasn't hit zero already). And if by some miracle he can still fight, he's in the middle of our base. We can put him down, easy.
>>
No. 462809 ID: 4a328b

>>462808
Take it and give it to Raph--it's his prize
>>
No. 462814 ID: 86c3a7

>>462809
Kind of depends on what type Jake ends up being. If he's not form, Raph can't use it, and it'll just get passed uselessly to Marc (for whatever secret use he has for extra foci).

Still, loot is a secondary priority. Snapping Raph out of it is our immediate concern.
>>
No. 462863 ID: a407a5

"Raphael?"

You walk up to him and place your hand gently on his shoulder. For a moment, there's no response at all, then his eyes seem to focus and he finally notices you.

"Ah. Linda. Hey. Got that bastard, obviously. Was a lot easier now that I got a few forms... not really all that intimidating when he's not in control."

"What the hell did you do to him?"

"Blew his mind out... well, almost. He's still somewhat coherent. But I'm not done with him yet. Just figured I'd take a quick break. You should get back to sleep. Oh yeah. Quick note. This isn't Jake. Runs with him, I guess, but this isn't him. I'd suggest taking the real Jake out quick, before he starts gathering his own army, yeah?"

Raphael kicks the man on the floor lightly, which sets the man screaming. Raphael offers a little smile at that, but it quickly fades as he goes back into thought.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 462896 ID: 86c3a7

>Not Jake
So what, Jake just had his sadistic dream-bud hang out and try to influence anyone he interacted with? Which makes him a high finesse bouncy ball weapon type after all, I suppose. And faux-Morpheus here a form type? (Hey~. If we get his focus to the doc, that's the starting point he needed to research dreamtime. Not that we really need dreamtime access now, but he'd probably give us a good price for that).

That complicates things, though. I was hoping with Jake out of the picture, we could just roll in and take control of his operation, nice and clean. His butterball frontman would have certainly caved. Damn. We're still gonna have to fight Cally... Oh well. If diplomacy and the will check fails, we always have cartoon ice.

>Raphael
You okay? You seem a little out of it.

>I'm not done with him yet.
Well, that sounds dark. Go for compassionate outreach, let's try and bring him back the edge.

You've already beat him Raphael. You did the hero thing- we're safe. Unless you're trying to get information or something out of him, there's no reason to drag it out. Take his focus and dump him. Or we put him out of his misery.
>>
No. 462945 ID: c8be92

Did you take his foci already? If so, that's probably all you need to do. After all, if you destroy his mind, we can't have our resident mind-hacker get ALL the information on Jake.

By the way, how does Friday sound?
>>
No. 462973 ID: 86c3a7

>By the way, how does Friday sound?
A thousand times no. So not the time for it, we still have to make sure things are actually over with Cally, and I'm still not convinced we should start actually encouraging him. To say nothing of the unresolved affections Nicole has for him, as well. We don't need to encourage stupid overlapping love triangles stupidity.
>>
No. 462974 ID: 2008db

>>462971
This, plus everyone knows first girl wins, so we really should just save the hassle and go straight for Cass.
>>
No. 462992 ID: 886a4d

Quietly roots for Linda and Cass
>>
No. 462997 ID: a407a5

"You okay, Raphael? You seem a little out of it..."

"I'm fine. Just dealing with this asshole. Thought it would be harder. Definitely wasn't."

"Did you already take his foci? If you did, there's really nothing else that needs to be done to him. He's harmless. And if you keep shattering his mind, we won't be able to get anything useful out of him."

"I don't care about anything useful. He tormented me when I was at his mercy. I'm just getting payback. Besides, he's already far gone from sanity. I'm just messing with him at this point. His foci... I'll be handing it over to the Boss. I haven't been doing that recently, and I'd rather not get kicked out for something stupid like that. But seriously. When I meant you should probably attack Jake now, I meant now. He probably doesn't know what's happened, and I'd think it would be easiest to not involve normals right about now. Unless his nightclub is still open or something. I guess it might be. Either way, right now he's vulnerable. Only got 3 other fighters with him right now. So get moving. Don't bother about me or this guy. I'll handle him, and I'll see about hooking up with you later."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463009 ID: 86c3a7

>>462974
>>462992
Hell, if Cass ever expresses an interest, I'd be cool with it. Linda probably would too. Not that their relationship need ever swing that way, of course.

>Get going
Alright, I'm gone. Just don't do anything you'll regret later. You're better than he was.

>Time for battle!
Okay. 4 hostiles. Who we bringing? Cass, obviously. Nicole too. Mike... I'd rather not deal with. I'm not waking Elizabeth up for after hours opps. Duke I think we used enough today. I guess that means we give 23 a test drive? (Make a point of asking her to come, not ordering. Hell, give her permission to speak freely too, while you're at it).

How we doing for BP? Do we want to bring Twinda along for sniper support? We'd have to dismiss her and re-summon her with a new rifle to the tune of 7BP... and we don't have the option to swap yet. I suppose we could just bring her along, manifest our rifle, do our usual spy thing, and the hand it too her, with instructions to shoot the bad guys when the fighting starts. That just costs 2 and deprives us of one weapon when we go in.
>>
No. 463014 ID: 6e44d2

Okay. Round up a posse.
>>
No. 463026 ID: 4a328b

>>462974
>>462992
I'm opposed to having it develop into a romance. Sometimes having a best friend is better than having a love interest!

Bring Cass and Nicole, leave 23 and Elizabeth, don't even ask Mike. What about the high school kids? Ask them to come along. Maybe bring another of the new guys along
>>
No. 463027 ID: f6cff9

Man seems like Raphael is on top of his game today. Bring the obviously choices (Cass and Nicole) maybe bring the high school kids (they might as well count as one person if the brother does all the fighting). I'm not that comfortable about bringing subject 23 just because her loyalty was modified to us.
>>
No. 463036 ID: 86c3a7

>highschool kids
pfff. Past their bedtime.

>Other new guys
I don't really want to bring more newbs out on black ops missions. Besides, they've all seen action today already, attacking the outlying parts of Blade's group.

>23
Yeah... using her as a weapon is kind of morally questionable. That's kind of why I wanted to make a point of asking her, seeing if we could actually get a response out of her. That, and she's devastatingly competent. I don't think we'd have to worry about her turning on us of anything like that though.

Also: as much as possible, I want people along we know will follow orders. We can control Cass (mostly), Nicole has proven herself, and 23 can't disobey orders. Neither can Twinda. I don't want unpredictable. There's a good chance Cally is gonna be there, and I want to neutralize her without getting her killed if we can't talk her down. So limit it to people we know we can trust.
>>
No. 463037 ID: f6cff9

>>463036
Fine let's go with this. I don't mind too much.

(Jesus I'm a pushover.)
>>
No. 463062 ID: 4a328b

I still don't want to bring 23.
>>
No. 463067 ID: a407a5

You frown slightly, then sigh.

"Fine, fine. I'm gone. See you around."

"Yeah... around..."

You leave Raphael where he is, and as you reach the stairs, turn to find both the man and your friend gone. The dreamtime, perhaps? Oh well, it's no longer your concern. You have a bastard to be hunting. You go through the building, waking up those you think will be useful. Cass is the first, obviously, and upon hearing what's going on she immediately starts to get herself ready. Nicole follows suit, then you find yourself knocking on Georges door. He opens it slowly, yawning as he does so. After a quick explanation, he lets you in to see 23, who's sitting up at the couch watching you, waiting for something to happen. You pause a moment at the sight of her, but then walk up and squat down in front of her.

"I... need your help. Will you?"

"Without question, Master."

"Uh... okay... you can drop the Master. I'm Linda."

"You are the Master."

You sigh, but you don't have the strength or time to argue right now. You retrieve her focus from your neck-bag and hand it to the woman, and almost instantly her weapon manifests. Well, you can't fault her for being ready to go. As you start to head downstairs again, Daniels catches you in the hallway.

"Headed off to go take down this Jake character, I take it?"

"Yeah."

"... Do what you have to do, then. Just be ready to not get much sleep today. Boss is flying in as we speak."

The boss? Coming here? You suppose that makes sense. Everyone seems to be flying in recently. Well, that's something to worry about later. For now, time to go beat someone half-to-death.

Everyone meets up downstairs and piles into the car, and twenty minutes later, everyone is at the nightclub. It seems eerily quiet, the normal loud noises and partying seeming to be absent. You park a few blocks away, as has become customary, and everyone gets out to eye the place.

"So... what's the plan? Besides the usual scout it out from here first."

"I don't see how much different this could possibly be. We've got mostly melee fighters here, by the looks of it."

"Yeah, yeah."

Current BP: 20
Cass BP: 29
Nicole BP: 17
Subject 23 BP: 16

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463074 ID: f6cff9

Did we bring Twinda? If we didn't should we summon the anti-material rifle(Check out the place with it) and summon her as well(Shooting support)? It's not like we can use it against Jake because how fucking fast he throws that ball around.
>>
No. 463083 ID: 86c3a7

Hmmm. We didn't bring Twinda? Too bad. I'm not sure it's worth burning nearly half our BP to get her setup in a sniper position. I suppose we'll wait a moment to make that call, though. (We can always decide to copy her in after we take our sighting).

Start with the x-ray scan. According to Raph, we should be expecting 4 hostiles (Jake, and 3 goons). We pick a point of entry based on their distribution and placement. If possible, we'd like to pick a loner or two off first, so we have a numerical advantage against the rest (instead of cutting right to an all out 4 v 4).

If Cally's there, we have to adjust tactics. It's possible we can get her to stand down diplomatically- she should be approached first. (And if not- we want her disabled cleanly before the real fighting starts).

Well we're scouting, brief the others on what you know about Jake (fast fucker- fights with a ball he throws at you), and make sure 23 knows the rules of engagement (disable if possible, kill otherwise).
>>
No. 463087 ID: f6cff9

>>463083
Sounds alright
>>
No. 463089 ID: 86c3a7

>We forgot to get S-23 a headset didn't we...?
And Nicole still doesn't have one. I doubt Mac would have had them ready if we'd woke him up in the middle of the night through. We should check in about requisitioning a few more comms come morning.

Still, we're not going to do a lot of splitting up, I think.
>>
No. 463097 ID: a407a5

Scouting first. As always, you find yourself a nice building, setting yourself up and scanning the place. A fairly uncomplicated building. Most of it is dominated by the dance floor, then there's a basement area and Jake's office. Jake, Cally and two other men are in his office, talking about something, while the dance floor is filled with rough looking gangster types. Normals, you think. You can't imagine he'd have been able to gather than many breakers in such a short amount of time. Still, that limites your options. You wait a little whie, hoping something will change, and eventually it does, one of the men pausing as he's about to say something. For a moment, everything seems silent, then he turns and looks directly at you, smiling. Almost at the same time, everyone in the breaker group scatters, Cally moving down to the dance floor, the last man heading with her, and Jake and the last man waiting in his office. The normals all start preparing themselves, pulling out guns and clubs and various other weapons. Well... there goes the surprise attack. That still leave you with where to try hitting first. Or maybe splitting everybody up some. Either way, this fight isn't going to be short.

"23."

"Yes, Master."

"... Aim to disable before anything else. Kill only when you have to. Correction. Permanent Kill only when you have to."

"Understood."

Now then... who to hit first...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463102 ID: 886a4d

Spawn the Cold Magnum, then Twinda, leave her up here with her rifle. She is to follow you with her sights and take out people on mental command. If she is approached she should alert you immediately.

I want to see how well these normals can stand up to 6 will. Enter through the front with both cold magnums set to Cartoon Ice. These guys aren't really worth saving since they are willing to murder for this guy. But we can try otherwise it'll get messy.

Demand the normals leave or die. If the breaker interferes or one of the hired guns gets uppity have Twinda shoot them. Tell them again to leave or die. If it looks like a fight ice the lot of 'em.

After they are gone we can talk to Cally.
>>
No. 463104 ID: 86c3a7

Damnit, Cally.

Okay, so two possible fields of engagement- dancefloor (normals, 1 unknown breaker, Cally) and boss' office (Jake, 1 unknown breaker).

Is Jake's office in the basement? If it's underground, we can't snipe him from outside, and there's not much point in calling Twinda.

If we do manifest her, Twinda's orders should be stay here, prone, to observe, relay in changes you can't see (like Jake on the move), or if she's discovered, and be ready to fire on whoever on your order with the rifle. Or to fire on her own initiative to break any observed enemy kill-chains on allies. Close air support, baby.

So let's say... manifest Twinda. Dismiss rifle, manifest ice ray toggle to cartoon ice, draw pistol. (11BP left). We all go in topside first, to deal wuth the ballroom crowd. You have two people with weapon:environment, and one who can cut through anything- use this to exploit unorthodox points of entry. Open by sweeping the room with a beam cartoon ice, disable as many normals as possible. Set Nicole and 23 mopping up the rest, Set Cass lose on the unknown breaker, and we square off with Cally.

We should try to get Cally to stand down, via a will / diplomacy check. If that fails, try (regular) icing her glow stick- I expect the temperature differential will make it shatter, violently. Or chunks of ice forming in the chain would mess her up. As soon as possible, immobilize her with cartoon ice, and knock her out.
>>
No. 463109 ID: 86c3a7

>>463102
Ooh. Dual ice magnums is a great idea.

So the manifest order goes: +cold magnum, + Twinda, take Twinda's CM, -Linda's rifle. That leaves Twinda outside with the rifle and holstered pistol, and Linda with dual CMs, a holstered pistol.
>>
No. 463139 ID: f6cff9

>>463109
Why demanifest the rifle? I don't think Twinda can make ammo out of thin air like we can so we might as well leave it with her so she has more ammo to play. Then again she just suppose to be there for support so it might be better to demanifist it anyways.
>>
No. 463145 ID: 86c3a7

>>463139
I was primarily thinking we didn't want to try and walk in toting the rifle again instead of eating the 2BP (because that never works). I suppose there's no immediate harm in leaving Twinda a spare rifle, though. Except we add an extra delay for Linda manifesting it if she needs it (gotta dismiss then manifest). Although we probably won't- Cally and Jake are both agile finesse types. Handguns, ice and surprise undodgeable sniping out of nowhere will serve us better than trying to bring the tank gun to bear in close quarters.
>>
No. 463203 ID: 4a328b

We haven't even TRIED manifesting a weapon twice to see if that's even possible or if it just demanifests and remanifests each time. A combat situation isn't the time to test it, I don't think. Twinda takes up a lot of BP to manifest, and isn't skilled in shooting a gun. We can sit here and snipe just fine, let the enemies come out to us, switch to smaller guns at close range. And I remember from the last time we duel wielded that we're not exactly good at it.
>>
No. 463204 ID: 886a4d

>>463203
We're not manifesting a weapon twice. We're manifesting a weapon and then manifesting Twinda, whos properties include copying everything on Linda.

As to how well Twinda shoots? Finesse covers that. She might not have our affinity with guns but 9 Finesse will make up for a lot.
>>
No. 463205 ID: 86c3a7

>>463203
We're not field testing uncertain dual-manifestations. We're using Twinda to make dupes of all our weapons. We know manifesting her dupes everything on our person, it's right there in her description.

Not sure how deeply her lack of affinity matters. The superhuman finesse should do a great deal to help with that, as should her access to Linda's memories and first hand experience with the rifle.

Last time we dual wielded was against Blades, and we did pretty well while she was actually fighting us (and not trying to escape).

Staying out here and sniping, waiting for them to come to use, fails to exploit several of our key advantages. It's not putting our melee type allies to use. It's depriving us of using non-lethal shutdowns (cartoon ice, Nicole) on the normals. It costs us a chance at diplomacy with Cally. Waiting for them to come to us doesn't take advantage of the fact they're currently split up.

Also, I'd rather have unexpected surprise wallsniping hit our opponents when we need it, rather than it be our only mode of attack. And having Twinda out there to warn us if she sees Jake making a break for it, or coming to reinforce the others, is worth knowing.

Yeah, getting down to 11BP sucks, but that's why we're planning on buying more spirit and BP.
>>
No. 463353 ID: a407a5

You stand, then place the rifle on the floor next to you. You manifest the Cold Magnum, dismiss Twinda, then remanifest her, the copy forming next to with an extra weapon of similar design to all those you currently have manifested. She doesn't seem the least bit confused at all, instead seeming to understand what's going on and setting herself up as best she can, rifle pointed at the club building. You nod in satisfaction, then start to head across, your team following with you. You direct 23 to head to one side and cut her way in, Nicole another to punch her way in, and you and Cass through the normal entrance, which proves little trouble. As you start into the dimly lit club, you don't see anyone, normal, breaker or otherwise, and you actually manage to make your way a decent way inside before something happens. Namely, you hear a crash off to the side, and your own voice drifts over the comm.

"Nicole. Attacked. Breaker through wall."

You hear another crash off on the opposite side of you, although this one is quickly followed by screams of pain. The nightclub suddenly lights up, strobe lights going off and bouncing techno music bursting from the speakers scattered throughout the place. Up on the DJ's podium, you can see Cally, a pair of headphones placed over her ears, body swaying and moving to the heavy beat. Just below her sits the other breaker, with a number of 14, looking smug as he rests a metal baseball bat against his shoulder. Various men and women seem to melt from the shadows surrounding you, all smiling in anticipation. You don't give them the satisfaction. A sweep of the ice gun with its new setting takes almost all of the normals out of the fight, while the other breaker literally launches himself up to the ceiling, then pushes off and slams into the ground next to you, baseball bat mere inches from smashing open your skull, halted only by Cass placing her chainsaw between you and it. Her weapon roars, sending sparks everywhere as metal meets metal, then the ground seems to open up underneath the pair of them and they disappear underground. That leaves you alone with Cally. For a moment, you just wait, wondering how you're going to work this, then Cally hops down from her place and land a few feet away, the plasma stick already set to spinning. She slides one of the headphone ears off and looks at you a little sadly, with a hint of yearning almost.

"Hey, beautiful... you really set to dance this dance on this stage?"

You nod. There's nothing you can really say at this point.

"I... don't want to dance a style that conflicts with yours. Like trying to dance ballroom at a rave. Just doesn't mesh. But... that's the way it's got to be, I guess. Let's see then, who's the better dancer."

>>>Input Command and/or Select Character
>>
No. 463363 ID: 813de2

Stick with Linda.

Cass just sucked underground to fight the other breaker? Weird. Oh well, she can probably handle it. Wonder where Nicole and 23 ended up if we're alone with Cally?

Request a mental update from Twinda on overwatch. Where have your allies ended up, what's their situation? (We may have to order her to support someone if they're in trouble).

>Cally
Dual ice guns in hand, be ready to dodge or fire if and when she strikes. Don't take aim just yet through- we're going to try diplomacy first. From all appearances she's reluctant.

Cally... I don't really want to fight you. We're just here to settle up with Jake. He's an asshole. I've seen him kill and torment his own just to make a point of it (even if he was a worthless fatman). He's had his goddamn freaky dreamwalker hunting us since the night we met him. He doesn't deserve your loyalty. Just walk away, and we'll give you your club back when you're done. Or hell, you're more than welcome to change sides. It doesn't have to go down this way between you and me. My problem's with him.

If diplomacy fails? Aim for the glowstick. A blast of real cold to hot metal could shatter it. Or cartoon ice forming anywhere in the chain will seriously trip her up (essentially creating mass in the middle of a swing, changing the orbits and moments of inertia). Then disable her with a freeze, and go for a knockout and disarming.

Oh, and I don't know if she'll bring it up, but if she rebuts with your disappearing on her for a few days, explain you spent the last few days locked in a cell by crazy breaker hunting government types. Check in with the crazy girl with the sword later- she's a brainwashing experiment we rescued.
>>
No. 463365 ID: 6e44d2

Don't try diplomacy. She's not offering us room to negotiate; she just wants us to surrender or die, even if she is sad about it.

>>463363
Fight like this, though.
>>
No. 463366 ID: 813de2

>>463365
Attempting diplomacy costs us nothing. Cally's no match for us in a fight.
>>
No. 463367 ID: 886a4d

I agree, try to get Cally to stand down. Mention that you don't want things to be over with.
>>
No. 463374 ID: a407a5

"Cally... I don't really want to fight you. We're just here to settle up with Jake. He's an asshole. I've seen him kill and torment his own just to make a point of it (even if he was a worthless fatman). He's had his goddamn freaky dreamwalker hunting us since the night we met him. He doesn't deserve your loyalty. Just walk away, and we'll give you your club back when you're done. Or hell, you're more than welcome to change sides. It doesn't have to go down this way between you and me. My problem's with him."

She stays silent, thinking it over, then shakes her head.

"No. In the end, we each dance our own dance, and the only way one can prove better than the other... is to clash."

Then the plasma rod shoots out, the chain somehow seeming to be longer than when you last remember it, easily reaching your position. You have more than enough time to react though, stepping to the side and bringing up the cold gun, aimed for her. You really don't want to have a rod of plasma suddenly explode in your own face. Suddenly, however, there's another glowstick, shooting out as from Cally's other hand, aimed directly at your firing hand. You managed to drop the weapon in it and hurl yourself to the side, the cold magnum exploding in a shower of metal, steam, plasma and freezing liquid. You feel pieces slam into you, mostly of the freezing liquid variety, although most miss anywhere vital. One does slam into your leg, and you can almost feel the chill sweep through the muscles inside, locking them up and making movement painful. That wasn't going to help with the dodging.

You throw yourself again, this time behind a table, as another rod of plasma narrowly misses you. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Where the hell did she get a second one?

---------------------

Report.

23. Killing a group of normals. Two breakers moving towards. Jake and Unknown.

Nicole. Fighting a form type using a massive claw like appendage. Currently at a disadvantage. Died once that was seen.

Cass. Currently hunting target, as Unknown has disappeared from sight. Can not find.

---------------

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463380 ID: 813de2

Twinda should offer support to Nicole. Drop the guy once or twice- give Nicole a chance to get in, knock him out, and disarm. Once she's done, be ready to support 23. We'll turn 2 on 1 to 2 on 2. Notify us when Nicole is clear (or if it gets worse), when Cass finds her target, and when Jake and co reach 23. We'll call in a strike on Cally if we need it.

Well, fuck. Cally was holding back before (or she's had the chance to invest XP in the days we were out). We've now got dual wielding and variable length to contend with. Still she's limited in how she can bring them to bear- she can't twirl them in such a way that they cross paths. In opposite hands that's tricky- they'll want to go in opposite directions.

We did take Twinda's ice gun, right? So we're only down 1 of two. Time for cold and pistol. Go on the offensive- bang bang bang. Force her to start moving- it'll be harder for her to manage the swirling chains, keeping them from getting tangled, hitting the wrong things, etc, if she's forced to move (especially unexpectedly, as a dodge forces). While she's moving sweep (don't aim) a beam of cartoon ice across mid air to try and catch the chains, anywhere. Block(s) of ice forming on the middle of those will change the inertia and direction of the chains mid flight, fouling her.

As soon as you've got your chance, shoot her. While she'd down (disabled, or respawning) pin her to the ground with cartoon ice- first hands, then legs. If it gets too bad, and you can't foul her long enough to get a chance, call in your sniper, and then do the same.

Once she's down, knock her out (if she's fighting, trying to break free) and disarm her (take her focus). If she seems amicable at gunpoint, don't bother knocking her out. Looks like I proved better than you. We good now? Right. You'll get this back later.
>>
No. 463381 ID: 886a4d

Twinda should back up Nicole. She should also keep an eye out for the bat guy. He might be heading for Twinda.

Get out your handgun, and use the Cold Magnum to start making an obstacle course. We have 9 finesse and we can now wall run. Put those two things together for fun times.
>>
No. 463385 ID: f6cff9

The next time Cally says a dance pun or metaphor again scream "Enough with the dance metaphors!" then have Twinda shoot her. When she asks what just happen say it's divine wrath for awful dance metaphors.

Sorry for some reason I just find it weird that someone would actually think up of stuff like this in the middle of a fight. If this is how she naturally talks and not when she just flirting then oh my god we dodge a bullet. It's cute at first but Linda would just lose her sanity after awhile. It's kinda like dating a guy who rhymes all the damn time.

>>463380
>>463381
Sounds good
>>
No. 463389 ID: 813de2

>>463381
We might be able to wall run, in normal circumstances, except we've got a hurt leg right now, and we've never tried it.

Another way to mess her up- put a bullet through one of the two hemisphere of her headphones. The sonic backlash when they break should be quite painful, especially at close range and high volume. Good way to disable her for a few seconds, possibly longer than a respawn would. Especially if it's powerful enough to give her a headache, or throw off her balance / inner ear.

>Enough with the dance metaphors!
Meh. It's just a slightly overplayed quirk. It's not worth tearing her out over.

>diplomacy check fail
It occurs to me the only time we seem to have had a successful will check was that one time versus Cass and dead-brother where we rolled a critical success with the worst possible dice pool. Obviously we should have stuck with that one lucky die and never invested further in will. :p
>>
No. 463391 ID: f6cff9

>>463380
>>463389
Stick with these two

P.S. I was just imagining if we never had to fight with Cally and she just keep going on about dancing all the time and it never stopped. So Yeah I'll admit I overreacted a little bit but we are fighting her anyways so meh.
>>
No. 463392 ID: 813de2

>>463391
In a meta sense, I think it's a function of the way the quest is set up. Since we don't have images to go with, we have to rely more heavily on difference in speech patterns to distinguish characters (especially since the text doesn't otherwise identify who's speaking).

In universe, it is a little heavy handed, yes. But I'd kind of see it as a kind of defense mechanism. She's a diva- a star. She wants to stand out- be different. She does it on purpose. But it has another purpose. Note the frequency of the dance metaphors/term substitutions seem to go up when she's upset. It serves as a filter, an escape, a cleaner way to look at things. Look at her internal monologue when she freaked out with lightning, and didn't want to face what she'd actually done. Or now, not really wanted to acknowledge that she's choosing to fight Linda. It's a way to hide from things, same as wearing full headphones all the time.

Don't forget she's a breaker. That means somehow she's as fucked up as the rest of us, and I suspect her quirk is just a way to cover for it.
>>
No. 463400 ID: a407a5

There's a distant crack of gunfire, but you don't have the time to check for success, as your too busy fighting for your own life. Flashes of plasma start cutting through the flimsy table, missing you here and there by scant inches on occasion, and you take the quick opportunity to roll over the table and spray ice into the air. You see a chain get tangled with it, losing a good deal of its momentum, only to have to throw yourself back behind cover as the other rod come dangerously close to melting a hole through your chest. You fire off a couple normal shots at Cally just for good measure, but the shots are wide, as your more intent on staying alive then killing Cally.

With only one chain swinging through the air, your left in a much better position. You dart out of cover, choosing to head towards another table farther along, while actually going for a shot at Cally. She's doesn't really seem to be moving, instead choosing to sort of bob and weave in place, eyes tracking you even as the twin plasma rods swing and dance around her in mesmerizing colors. You hesistate a split second, allowing the single glowstick of doom to get hurled at you again, but you sidestep it, the plasma coming close enough to leave a burn along your arm, screwing up your aim a little, still, you fire off a pair of shots, both aimed for the head. The first shot goes wide, not even clipping her at all as she seems to bob and weave, then somehow seeming to slide past it. The second, on the other hand... the bullet punches a hole in her stomach, causing her to pause in her movements a little, but she soon resumes, her pair of glowsticks dancing again the colors shifting in almost rainbow like patterns as the whirl and snap through the air. The ice... seems to have melted on the one you'd caught with ice just moments ago.

The twins plasma rods dart towards you, and you manage to duck under one before the other catches you in the stomach as well, melting a painful hole straight through, before Cally snaps it straight up and kills you in one motion. You're revived quickly enough though, without Cally sitting above you, and you manage to roll out of the way of both sticks as they come in straight down on you. You scramble behind cover, and rest there, breathing heavily from the sudden need to sprint. Fuck. She'd either gotten better, or had been holding back on you since the beginning. Shit.

"You know, beautiful? All I wanted was to make music. To make something everyone would want to dance to... really dance to, not just dance to cause their friends did, or everyone else did... Jake made that happen... gave me that shot at stardom..."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463404 ID: f6cff9

Well bad thing is we can't do a lot to stop her but the good thing is she barely moving to dodge us so just have Twinda shoot her and ice up that corpse. Just keep her busy while Twinda lines up the shot.
>>
No. 463413 ID: 813de2

Death 10. Congrats, Cally, you got Linda to double digits. BP also down to 10- half power now. At least the death cleaned up our leg.

Cally's got kind of a bellsprout fighting style going on. Stay in one place, bend around attacks, strike at range with the vine whips glow sticks. Interesting she didn't fall when she respawned. Possible spirit ability, or just force of will? (Waiting out the death on her feet).

>the colors shifting in almost rainbow like patterns
Okay, she's definitely been to see the Doc for a further upgrade, then. He mentioned offering that to her before.

>"You know, beautiful? All I wanted..."
See, called it. Her issues are coming through.

>Jake
*Sigh*. She knew who her real boss was the whole time.

>Jake made that happen...
Throw Jake's words back in her face. Throw all your disgust for him behind your words. He's responsible for all your fucking misery and angst with Raphael, the stress you've had to deal with for days- the reason Cally's trying to kill you instead of sleep with you. Pour all of that emotion into it.

"I'll leave her with you. Maybe the useless whore will finally get herself killed." That's what he had to say about you that first night, when he ok-ed you hanging with us. He doesn't give a fuck for you.

Keep on the defensive as you shout that back at her- don't let her get a free hit just because of words.

If that gives her pause, and gets us a lull in the fighting continue trying to get through to her:

You never needed him to be a star. Your music is more than good enough to stand on it's own- so much so that first night I thought you were breaking. And whatever I saw in you- it wasn't because everyone else saw it, or because he put you on a stage. It's all you, Cally. You don't need them.

(Be warned, we don't actually know exactly what her issues are. If we say the wrong thing, rather than disarming her, it might set her off! Be ready for her to strike).

If that doesn't get a response from her, or just nets rage, keep fighting. Have Twinda drop her, and then pin down her limbs with ice. If she revives and starts trying to break free, shoot the headphones to stun her with the feedback. Get her focus, fast. Then we try talking again before we go.

Twinda, give report too. What's the situation elsewhere?
>>
No. 463447 ID: c8be92

A deal with the devil always starts out perfect. It's only later, when you've gotten your side of the bargin and still have to pay, since there's always fine print, that the deal stops seeming so good. When your chance to share your music with the world turns to eternal servitude to a demon who thinks of you as a worthless whore to be thrown into deadly situations so he doesn't have to waste someone he cares about.
You don't need to stay with him anymore. You can come with us. Keep your music, share it with the world, and Don't continue to be under his thumb.
>>
No. 463479 ID: 4a328b

Stay quiet, let her keep talking.

Look for an opening.
>>
No. 463502 ID: 2008db

Yeah, I'm not really caring about this. Let her talk and shoot her when you've got a chance. She's willing to kill people she's fond of if she thinks she has to in order to stay a star then I don't really want her on our side, issues be damned.
>>
No. 463508 ID: 44f93b

Chesus, you guys. We've been trying just shoot her for two updates now- it hasn't been working. I don't see how shout and dodge costs us anything (put that friggin wil to work instead of just our fin). And we can still call Twinda in to kill her if it fails- she can't dodge what she can't see coming. Then we go for the disable- fast and hard.

And cut her a little slack. It's more than she's choosing fame over us. She's emotionally fragile (hence the silliness, immaturity, and defense mechanisms) with an identity problem. She feels she owes who she is to Jake, and we're attacking that. People generally don't want to betray their allies, or give up a part of themselves! Turning people isn't meant to be easy. To boot, we don't know how she took us disappearing for days, and how much Jake's been working her over / what he's told her in the interim. Remember- the last time she fought she was downright reluctant to do harm at all (and that couldn't have all been an act, since we were inside her head, and she had no way to know there was an audience to preform for). I think it's pretty apparent he's been building her up for this to trip us up- maybe even having his dream asshole influence her. So don't give up on her just because the first fig leave was brushed away incinerated in flaming plasma.

Besides, if Blades could talk and fight at the same time, why can't we? :V
>>
No. 463515 ID: 2008db

>>463508
It isn't the difficulty of it. She was told her boss has been hunting down someone since the night they met when that someone she's fond of and was supposed to be her boss' ally. Her responce was to feel bad but kill her anyway. Not question it, not attempt to talk, but just accept it and kill her. So yeah, I actively do not want her on our side. On top of that we're losing pretty badly even if we have a backup plan, and we've got other breakers to deal with after, and more important actual allies that would benefit from our help as soon as possible so I don't want to waste time talking or give her the opportunity to kill us during a speech.
>>
No. 463517 ID: 4a328b

It's not that I don't want to talk her down, I just feel like doing so right now is premature. Let her rant, look for openings, start actually WINNING this fight before trying to convince her again. She did say we had to fight about this, fine. She might listen if we can best her. Let her rant, and you'll get more material to work with when it comes time to talk her down. Right now, we need to focus on the fight.
>>
No. 463519 ID: 44f93b

>>463515
Hey, we've had confirmation Marc's involved in similar dark dealings (Raphael's psych missions are pretty similar to Morpheus', except more surgical) and we haven't turned on him, either.

It's also quite possible none of what we said was new to her. Jake could have told her day one that they were playing a double game, that we were never really allies, and she was supposed to spy for when our sides came to blows. Or that he informed her in the days we were gone. Or hell, that he made it look like our fault (we are the violent intruder easterners after all, and we just laid waste to several government facilities and annihilated another breaker group). It's hard to outrage someone with their employer's darkness if they were in on it, and if you're not so clean yourself.

And hell, she did try to talk. She opened by given us a chance to back down (not that Linda took it), and she's trying to explain herself now. That means she's still reachable.

But yeah, I don't really want to make a vulnerable with a speech either. Shout our reply about how Jake really feels about her, and if and only if that makes her pause, then we try one last time to talk her down. Otherwise we shut her down.

Part of the reason I'm for this is I believe she deserves the chance. The other is that you're right- we really aren't doing that great here in the fight. Words might be our best option to getting not killed.
>>
No. 463765 ID: a407a5

Report.

Nicole is currently fighting on equal ground with her opponent. Neither seems to have an advantage one way or the other, although they have caused significant damage to the street and are drawing quite a large crowd of normals.

Cass is still hunting for her target. No change.

23 is currently engaged with both enemy breakers, as well as the remaining normals in her area. She is currently fighting defensively.

-------------------

"A deal with the devil always starts out perfect. It's only later, when you've gotten your side of the bargin and still have to pay, since there's always fine print, that the deal stops seeming so good. When your chance to share your music with the world turns to eternal servitude to a demon who thinks of you as a worthless whore to be thrown into deadly situations so he doesn't have to waste someone he cares about. You don't need to stay with him anymore. You can come with us. Keep your music, share it with the world, and Don't continue to be under his thumb."

The whole time, you're dodging your way from one hiding spot to the next, trying to keep away from the rods of plasma, and look for a good shot. You manage to dodge most of the attacks, but just as you finish up, one of the chains manages to trip you, providing a crucial seconds for another one to punch another hole in your chest. Revival come soon, and you scramble back behind cover as two more attacks miss you.

Whelp, guess that means talking is over and done with. Time to get to the killing. You have friends you need to help, you can't be bothered to keep sacrificing lives to her, and much as you'd like to.

"Do it."

Another shot rings out, and only this time, you see the results. Cally's stomach is suddenly blown out, and she stumbles back and collapses onto her knees, dropping the chains. She breathing starts getting shallower, and she clutches at the wound, and then she laughs a little before coughing up blood.

"Yeah... looks like this is the last dance, huh?"

Cally flashes a grin before she slumps forward, taking a ragged breath in before she suddenly relaxes completely. There's no further movement after that. She just sits there... waiting.

"... Hey. Hey! You're... You're not dead, are you? Hey, Cally!"

There's no response. Just her still form in the middle of a dance floor pounding with music.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463772 ID: 44f93b

...oh fuck. Death 11, 9BP remaining, yadda yadda.

This is either a trap, or she's really dying. And I don't see that she needed a trap to kill us- she was doing a decent job of it before. Meaning this is more than likely it.

We've only got one chance to save her before she dies if she's down to zero. Rush up to and check on her. Leave Twinda orders to fire if you're attacked or trapped or something. You need to check if she's still alive. She's probably in shock and bleeding out. We've got one roll to try and fix this- failure will kill her same as her wounds.

Don't think of the break in terms of healing. You're bad at that. Think of it in terms of guns. That's your thing. You did a thing with a gun... now undo it. Like the shot was never fired.

If it doesn't work... it doesn't work. She was worth spending one point trying to save. Take her focus, and the headphones. We'll cry later- for now we have to make sure Jake dies.

Twinda: Drop Nicole's opponent once- give her the chance to take him down or get away. Then move to engaging the breakers fighting 23- buy her her the space to go on the offensive. Contact Cass via earpiece- give her directions on how to reach the Jake v 23 fight if she can't find bat-boy. Cover Linda during her initial rush to check on Cally- if she's attacked or killed, respond in kind.
>>
No. 463778 ID: f6cff9

>>463772
Bleeding out? She just had her entire stomach blown out. I'm honestly surprised she was even able to talk at all. She is probably dead if she doesn't come back to life by now but trying anyways is something Linda would do so go ahead and try.
>>
No. 463783 ID: 44f93b

>>463778
I took 'blown out' to mean 'had a hole blown through', not 'had the organ knocked from her body' (our handgun really isn't high caliber enough for that!). And that Linda meant the region of her body, not the organ specifically. Regardless, if she's alive, and hasn't respawned, then she's in shock, losing blood, and possibly going into sepsis (if she survives the blood loss and internal damage long enough).

My point is we have little time. We know healing is difficult, but possible. We don't know if resurrection is possible, and we need to hurry up and make the attempt before we have to find out. (Although... secret Angel powers? We'll see).
>>
No. 463784 ID: 6e44d2

... Well, that must hurt. sorry, Linda. :/

Take her foci so the enemy doesn't. You can give her a proper burial after you make sure your friends get out of this alive.
>>
No. 463789 ID: f6cff9

>>463783
Yeah thanks for pointing that out because I read that completely wrong. I guess that's what I get for trying to multitask. My bad
>>
No. 463809 ID: a407a5

Oh god DAMN!

You sprint forward, kneeling next to Cally to find her just barely alive. She barely has any life in her left but... well, here goes nothing. You briefly remember what happened the last two time you'd tried this but... no. That's was ages ago, and you're a lot stronger now. A lot stronger. You focus, pushing your will into the world... there's a flash of static, then... nothing. No heartbeat. No breathing. No blood pouring out. Her body is just... limp. Lifeless. You start cursing at nothing, cursing at the world, cursing at reality... FUCKING JAKE!

YOU ARE GOING TO KILL HIS ASS!

For a moment, you cradle Cally's lifeless body in your arms... then you pull yourself to your feet and search her for her focus and pull it out. A small chain, with a tiny glowing rod looking thing. Kinda like a glowstick. You stare at it a moment, then turn away. You'll be back to give her the rights she deserves. For now...

"Where the FUCK is Jake?!"

"23 is currently engaged with them both. What should I-"

"Leave Jake. Shoot the other bastard. Let 23 get some breathing space. Guide Cass upstairs to help Nicole. Double team the fuckers. Find that last guy. We need to know where he's at."

There's a crack of gunfire again, and over your own comm you can hear your voice guiding Cass towards a basement stairwell. You, on the other hand, start to make your way over towards 23, and Jake. You arrive to find 23 cutting a path of bloody destruction through groups of normals, flashes of steel that can barely be scene followed quickly by gouts of blood. Jake is hanging back, launching his ball thing through the air to force 23 to move back into the defensive, dodging and weaving to avoid getting hit. The second man is firing a shotgun at her, forcing her to dodge even more. The death didn't seem to faze him much, but then again... once you get used to dying, it sort of become second nature. They don't seem to have noticed you yet, so... time to have some fun.

[b]Current BP: 9
23 BP: 13

Jake BP: 15
Unknown BP: 12

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463817 ID: 44f93b

>A small chain, with a tiny glowing rod looking thing.
...we'll keep that one. We won't trade it, or burn it for materials. It's not even any good for us to tune. We'll just... keep it.

I think tonight going to be the night we make good on our promise to unload our issues on Cass.

>9BP
We must have regened a point mid fight, because after trying to heal Cally, we should be at 8.

>Fight
Go for pain. Fire on the man with the shotgun with the cold magnum. Ruin his hands so he can't fight with them, but don't make it fatal.

Then go for Jake. Manifest the tank gun. Blow his throwing arm off. Active break it gone before he can respawn. Then do the same the same for the other. Then walk over, to his helpless body, holding Cally's chain, and your pistol. "This is for her." Then unload in his face, over and over, until he's dead.
>>
No. 463843 ID: 2008db

>We'll just... keep it.
Yeah, no. If it was some sort of mundane item, sure. But the things have uses that keep us and our friends alive. Keepsakes of someone who tried to kill us are not worth more then something that could save lives.

>Go for pain.
>Going up close to a melee guy with a ranged girl to taunt him when we get him dead to rights.

Also no. We're the fucking leader and we're responsible for the lives of everyone under us. Stupid shit like that gets people killed and we've got a dangerous opponent and an enemy missing to deal with.

Use the surprise to cartoon ice the normals, sarting the sweep on one of the breakers, to give 23 more freedom to move. The fact that she doing this well defensively versus normals and those two means that opening up her options should give us a big advantage.
>>
No. 463849 ID: 886a4d

>>463843
I also say we keep it. She is a lover who commited suicide. She deserves to be remembered in a way that is real to Linda. And what better way then to keep her weapon. I say we either wear it as a necklace or earrings.
>>
No. 463860 ID: 44f93b

>someone who tried to kill us
She didn't try to kill us. She committed suicide. She goaded us into killing her. She went in, with one life, and put up just enough of a fight that Linda had to stop trying to talk her down or disable her and fight back for real. She knew damn well what she was doing, and he dialog reflects it. ("You know, beautiful..." makes a lot more sense if she meant them as last words. To say nothing of "do it").

And we don't need to use the focus. We've got 3 unused spares already kicking around, and there's plenty more where that came from. We can afford to keep a remembrance of Cally. As long as we leave it tuned to her... some tiny echo of her remains. And fuck, we've got a tiny magic glowstick to cup in our hands and cry over. You can't really do that with a full sized set of headphones.

Plus, if we ever find ourselves trapped in the dark someday with no BP left, hey, light source.

>>463849
Necklace. Earring would be too easy too lose in a fight.
>>
No. 463866 ID: 886a4d

Have Twinda start to relocate. I bet the missing Breaker is headed her way. Remember they detected us before we attacked.
>>
No. 463888 ID: a407a5

You don't hesitate in the slightest. Sure, Cally was, at best, a fling. A temporary thing not meant to last very long. Even then, you'd rather liked the girl, bubbly personality and all. Jake didn't deserve to throw her life away. So fuck him. Fuck him all to hell.

You freeze blast the shotgunner in the hands, and he find that suddenly his hands can't and won't move. That act however, grabs Jake's attention, and he backsteps behind the safety of a pillar even as he hurls a second ball your way, the thing zipping impossibly fast through the air at you. Instead of dodging, you literally holster the 9mm and snap your own hand out, catching the thing in midair just right to defuse the force it exerts. Fuck him. You wind up and hurl it back, rebounding it off the wall into his hiding spot, and you hear thud as it hits its target.

Fuck Jake.

The other man manages to unseal his hands via breaking, although just barely, as you can see skin damage from the freezing temperatures all along his arms. You starts to bring his weapon to bear, only for 23 to dart out of nowhere, her number dropping by 5, to cut his arms clean off and kick him into a nearby wall. A few normals try to help their comrade, but they are quickly cut down. 23 has no mercy at the moment. Neither do you. You can't manifest the rifle without releasing it first, but that doesn't stop you from wanting to murder the bastard. You start to take a diagnol path to get yourself a view of Jake, only to have a ball launched out towards you. You dodge to the side, but the ball rebounds off the walls and comes at you a second time, somehow aligned perfectly to hit you again, this one you don't dodge, and it slams into your chest, cracking bones damaging organs before bouncing off again. It rebounds across walls and your body in split seconds, crushing you under the repeated assault. Another is hurled at 23, and out of the corner of your eye you see her go back into the defensive as the shotgunner stares in shock at his own arms.

You regenerate just as the bouncy ball disappears back behind the pillar, and you hiss in annoyance. Suddenly, you get a backlash of pain from across the mental link, and you get the distinct impression that Twinda is no longer alive. Fucking batter... fucking Jake.

"Linda. It's Cass. I'm with Nicole... fuck, that's guys arm is big... let's see how much blood'll come out when I cut it off..."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 463893 ID: 886a4d

Pity my suggestion to get her to relocate didn't work. And its too expensive to resummon her. Dismiss the rifle and Twinda's corpse so the batter can't use the guns.


Crap, homing bouncy ball. Freeze it to make it shatter instead of bouncing.

Lets also use our own finesse to our advantage. Start moving always. Freeze the 23's opponent's feet when you have a clear shot then tuck away (not dismiss) the hand guns and summon the rifle. Blow away Jake's cover.
>>
No. 463897 ID: 44f93b

Death 12 to Jake. 8BP remaining. We killed Jake once (with his own ball! nice!), putting him at 14.

If shotgun guy hasn't respawned or been killed, break his arms to stay that way. Shoot Jake right through the pillar- he doesn't realize his cover is worthless yet.

Are there any normals left? Or is it a 2 on 2 breaker fight now? If there are normals, we should shut them down with a wave of cartoon ice, freeing 23 up to take care of shotgun, or to press Jake.

Make sure you dismiss Twinda, and the rifle you left with her. If she's just a corpse, he can pick up the rifle and guns and use them against you. If she depoofs though, those should go with her.

>To Cass (when you get a moment)
23 and I are killing Jake. When you finish with that guy, your bat-boy's outside somewhere- just took out my twin.
>>
No. 463899 ID: 886a4d

Actually ya, 'heal' that guys arms to permanently make them gone. Then us and 23 can start working on Jake.
>>
No. 463902 ID: 44f93b

This gonna be a close fucking fight. Once we get out the rifle, we're down to 6BP. 5 after breaking shotgun's arms. We're gonna need to massacre Jake if we don't want to gt Linda killed. Although, if we get the normals and shotgun out of the fight fast, it's 2 on 1. And I think us offering fire support for 23 will be even deadlier than that time we did for Cass.

(Hopefully Nic and Cass deal with bat boy- we don't have the BP to deal with another breaker at close to full power ourselves).

...just make sure we get the last kill in. Don't let 23 finish him. I want him helpless. To look him in the eyes and tell him why we're killing him. Then shoot in the gut- let him die the way she did.

...totally voting to dump 3XP from this into BP. We desperately need the points if we plan to use Twinda in the future.
>>
No. 463930 ID: 886a4d

Personally I want spirit 5 if possible. We might have saved Cally with an extra roll. Then we can dump some points into BP.
>>
No. 463942 ID: c8be92

>>463930
Same. The whole point of increasing Spirit is that we get Better at doing anything when we attempt to affect reality; a bonus to the dice is usually better in situations where the person is Dying and we only get one roll.

Plus, we'll get three BP from that, still a pretty nice bonus.
>>
No. 463992 ID: 44f93b

>>463930
...actually, we might get the 4XP we'd need to do that. (Provided we survive, of course). Two from the mission complete, 2 from foci loot (Cally and either Jake or shotgun). Maybe more if we end up looting them both, or if there's a murdering your lover bonus.

A bigger spirit pool and new ability would be worth it, but we're still going to have to stack BP after. If we get to ~30, we can burn the ~10 points it takes to kit up and summon Twinda and still be ready to rock (instead of barely having the points to function, as now).

Hmm. Killing shotgun means we're going to have another gun at our disposal. I wonder what we should mod it it into? Part of me wants to say healing weapon (you know it's going to be Cass dying in front of us next time) except my intuition says it won't come ready to deal with fatal wounds, and we'd have to dump more XP into it to be ready for that.
>>
No. 464152 ID: a407a5

It's only a 2v2 fight now. Any normals that were involved either ran or are dead.

You dismiss Twinda, but as you prepare to dismiss the rifle as well, the Cold Magnum in your hands dissipates as well... shit! You'd forgotten you'd borrowed one! And you hadn't been keeping track of which was which! Well... shit! Still, you dismiss the rifle as well, and tuck yourself into a roll as another ball of death starts flying, bouncing around in a deadly pattern of ricochets and pain. You manage to get through this volley with minor injuries, a cracked rib and a broken left hand, but at the same time, you've managed to spot the shotgunner again. He's stopped his useless floundering and is focuing on his hands, and you can feel reality starting to warp and shift.

Hell no.

You throw your own will outwards to try and prevent him from healing himself, or trying to anyway, and you both start yanking on reality. Oddly enough, you are both attempting to "heal" his arms, although one is trying a little harder than the other, and aiming for a completely different end goal. In the end, you both fail, and the man is left with bloody stumps for hands. He moans in pain, but you don't have time to keep watching him, as another volley is thrown out, forcing you to take evasive yet again. This time, with your added injuries, you're incapable of reacting fast enough, however, and you're dropped as your pummeled to death again. You revive only to watch 23 get shotgun blasted to the back, dropping your newest companion in one smooth motion. For some reason, the shotgunner has his arms back, and does't look happy, but just being able to see his face is fatal for him. You easily bring your 9mm up and plug him in the head, dropping him by one, and then you're up and moving again, sliding behind your own pillar to avoid immediate attacks. 23 follows suit as she revives, sliding behind a pillar next to yours, eyes focused on you and waiting for a response. You can hear the shotgunner pump his weapon of choice, even as he starts hurling curses at you in some language you don't recognize. Sounds eastern though.

Current BP: 5
23 BP: 12

Jake BP: ?
Shotgun BP: 9

9mm: 12


>>>Input Command
>>
No. 464153 ID: 886a4d

This is not going well. We must have the most horrible dice rolls ever.

.... Both you and 23 go after shotgun. 23 is to keep an eye out for Jake's ball and slice it in half while keeping Shotguns attention on her. Use Blink if need-be. Linda's job is to sneak up on him get that shotgun away from him and turn it on him. Her finesse should be good enough for that sorta thing.

We've seen two people manifest their weapon forms twice over now. Could be an upgrade... or it could be something we just never tried.
>>
No. 464157 ID: 44f93b

...okay. Death 13 to Jake, and we broke. That's 2BP down. I guess we spent the third one reloading, damnit.

I'm confused as hell as to what's going on with shotgun. He shouldn't have been trying to heal himself at all- that's risky, and could fail badly. He should have been waiting for blood loss to kill him and death avoidance to kick in automatically. I've also go no idea why two failed healing attempts didn't ruin his limbs like every other instance we've seen!

The ice gun disappearing is bad, but at least we've confirmed Twinda's possessions persist after her death. We weren't sure that was true. Useful to know, I suppose, but the timing is bad.

Our biggest problem right now is we have no versatile options. Manifesting either of our other weapons puts us down to three BP. It'd be nice to be able to freeze-shatter incoming balls, or shoot Jake through cover, but I don't think we'll survive if we go that low. We're down to the wire here!

...If we can, throw the XP from Cally's focus into BP. Now.

Our other issue is Jake can fire from behind cover, and his ball is basically undodgeble. Misses come back and hit again, non fatal shots become fatal after a rebound. Evasion is essentially useless. As long as shotgun can keep us from pressing Jake he will continue to kill us with impunity.

We need to get shotgun out the picture, so we can go after Jake. If we keep Jake on the defensive, dodging bullets, that gives 23 the room to close to melee. Then it's all over. Sword and gun combo overwhelm him, the same way we did with Cass against Blades.

Go for Shotgun. Have 23 come with, and focus on providing cover for Linda. Slice or catch Jake's balls as they come (hold on to them if caught- he'll be forced to waste a BP dismissing and remanifesting). Linda should fire at the shotgunner while closing- force him to dodge or die instead of firing. Our weapon be easier to bring to bear in close quarters than his is. Kill him, grab his weapon away, cut his shotgun in half or his arms off, disable him by shooting him in the knee or hands, slaming his head into the wall, whatever. Use whatever means available and convenient- we just need him down long enough to get his focus off of him, or start chain killing, and then he's out. Then we can gang up on Jake.

>We've seen two people manifest their weapon forms twice over now. Could be an upgrade... or it could be something we just never tried.
We'll test if it's possible with the pistol, later. If we can't, it's either an upgrade or a spirit ability (I suspect upgrade).
>>
No. 464165 ID: 44f93b

>But because of that, I wouldn't suggest cutting the ball... it's not... really... a ball... persay...
Time for a change in strategy! Belay our previous plan of attack, while I think up a new one.
>>
No. 464175 ID: 44f93b

Okay. I can think of a few options.

>plan 1
We manifest the rifle, and plug Jake through his cover, while 23 blinks / charges shotgun.

So long as we're fast enough on the initial draw that neither Jake nor Shotgun get a shot off, we've got control of the battlefield. 23 will massacre shotgun at close range, and we can keep Jake busy, chain killing him at range with the rifle (if possible) or just keeping him too busy to fire back.

Disadvantage is it puts us down to three BP, a very narrow margin if Jake or Shotgun hit us, and prevent us from setting up a chain to keep Jake busy. Although it's slightly safer if we can dump the 1XP from the glowstick into more BP prematurely.

>Plan 2
Linda fires at shotgun (with pistol), while 23 blinks to Jake, cuts right through his cover. Jake can't match 23 in close combat- he's got nothing to block with, and not enough room to throw. Assuming he can't get a shot off against us- we're better than shotgun. Linda's more agile, her weapon can track faster, and fire faster. We put him down again and again, until we get close enough to knock or snatch the shotgun away- then we chain kill him the same way we did spear dude way back when. Then we help 23 finish Jake at range.

Which do we think has better odds of success? I'm leaning plan 2- we know 23 is very good at closing with a ranged fighter and forcing them to run for their lives if nothing gets in her way. Also, chain killing a finesse type at range is kind of dodgy- and Jake might be able to get balls off in between deaths.
>>
No. 464176 ID: 886a4d

>>464175
Alright I'm gonna say plan 2. We need to keep both of them somewhat occupied and I do not want to risk dropping us down to 3 BP. This is going to close enough as it is.
>>
No. 464181 ID: 44f93b

>>464176
I say we leaving a standing order that if our BP falls to 3 or less, Linda should spend the XP from Cally's focus on BP to stay alive.

I'd prefer to save it for spirit 4, and we're kind of cheating assigning XP before mission complete- but I think we'll get away with it if the situation is dire enough.
>>
No. 464184 ID: a407a5

"23. On three. My count. Go for Jake. The guy throwing the balls."

"Understood."

"1... 2... 3!"

You swing out of cover in one smooth motions, dropping to one knee to steady yourself some more and pumping out rounds towards your target. 3 shots in one, controlled, short burst. All three find their mark, putting holes in the man's chest. He drops easily, and you catch 23 moving forward in a smooth motion. Suddenly, she's seems to blink out of sight, and instead appears in front of the pillar, blade already drawn out as if she'd cut already. There's nothing for a moment, then the sound of someone collapsing onto the ground. 23 wastes no time and spins around the pillar, slicing vertically, and you hear and scream of pain and see a spurt of blood as something gets cut.

You lose track after that, focusing instead on your own target, who's already getting up, you push off with one foot and start forward, putting two rounds down range, and both find their mark, snapping the man's head back as he drops again. You make it halfway to him before your forced to dodge as he fires his shotgun from his prone position, using the opportunity to get up and move himself. You managed to dodge a good portion of the hail of pellets, but you can't make it all the way out, and you find your lower body riddled with holes. You bleed out quickly, and a few seconds later, you revived, staring into the barrel of a shotgun. You roll to the side instantly, but the blast manges to mangle your arm fairly well. You complete your dodge and fire on the man at point blank, putting 4 rounds into him this time in your panic. He drops back, and you pull yourself to your feet and kick the rifle away, placing one foot on his stomach to keep him from moving and aiming your pistol at his face. Then the chain killing starts. You run out of rounds halfway through, leaving him with three lives left, but you get the brilliant idea to kick his face in as he revives, then retrieve his own shotgun and cock it. Eat your own medicine. You finish him off with that, and as he dies the shotgun dissipates. Your breathing heavily at this point, blood pouring out of your arm, and you're fairly certain you're going to bleed out soon if you don't get it bandaged up.

A ball suddenly whizzes by your body, clipping your leg and sending a shot of pain straight up it, and you immediately dodge to the side. The ball rebounds and clips your stomach again, cracking the rib, AGAIN, before you manage to hide yourself behind a nearby pillar for cover. The balls path can't get you, and it returns to where it came from, a new pillar near the stairway up to the office. 23 is hiding behind a pillar opposite of you, looking a little pained, but otherwise fine.

Current BP: 4
23 BP: 6

Jake BP: ?

9mm: 0


>>>Input Command
>>
No. 464186 ID: 4a328b

Manifest the tank gun and blast a hole through Jake?
>>
No. 464190 ID: 886a4d

>>464186
I'm going to say yes. He can shoot around obstacles... well we shoot through them. The BP difference between reloading and summoning the rifle is only one and it seems getting close to Jake is a losing proposition. If possible shoot his ball while its in his hands do so. I want to turn that hint to our advantage.
>>
No. 464192 ID: 44f93b

Death 14 to shotgun. Soon to be 15, when we bleed out. Jake killed 23 once. That's not too bad... wonder why she's behind cover instead of pressing him?

>Shotgun disappears when he dies.
That's... odd. I could have sworn Cally's plasma chains lingered.

Okay, we have two options.

>reload the pistol
We reload the pistol, and try and keep him pinned down while 23 charges to engage. Problem is, we're injured, our dodge is hampers, and we'd expose ourself to his fire without actually compromising him. We're very liable to get killed.

>manifest the tank gun
Brings us to 2BP, one after we bleed out.

We need to fire on him through his cover. 23 chrarges (doesn't blink) as he dies and respawns. We move out to a point where we can see him when he revives. Shout at 23- she needs to set up a chain kill or make him unconscious now, or we aren't winning this fight.

We're less likely to be killed this way- but we have so few lives it almost doesn't matter.

Go for the rifle. Pray the dice don't roll a critical failure, and that Nicole and Cally took care off arm-guy and bat boy, or we're dead. We can't do another breaker fight.

>Desperation options
If our BP falls below to 1 (or less!) dump Cally XP into 3 BP. It's cheating, slightly, but we get XP as soon as we loot foci. Normally we wait to do it in discrete chunks, but desperate times call for bending the rules.

If things really go south, pray that Raphael has finished fucking with Morpheus and is on his way. He said he'd be hooking up later, maybe he's close enough to help. Start screaming spidersspidersspiders in your mind to give him a location, and hope he steps out of the dreamtime just in time to be the fucking hero.
>>
No. 464194 ID: 886a4d

>>464190
Imagine Jake is the biggest, nastiest spider ever. The only way to get rid of it is to kill it.

So kill it dead Linda. Kill that damn webspinning Spider who has devoured far too many.
>>
No. 464196 ID: 44f93b

>3rd option
Or we could go with something stupid. Go for will. Try talking. Lie. You're outnumbered now, Jake. If you want to get out of this alive- surrender. Now.

If he questions you, or calls you on it, lie and claim you let Cally surrender too- she's just all iced up at the moment. She was spying for you- you should know my tactics. I'm merciful when the option presents itself.

Then if it works, and he throws down his focus? Fucking kill him.

...of course, this isn't a very good plan. He's a leader, so he's likely got an investment in will, so he'll have a good roll to resist or sense motive. If he has break sight, he knows you're bluffing and almost dead (although- we don't know where he is. For all we know, those chain homing attacks require him to burn BP). It also gives him time to pick you off again.

The tank gun is really our best option. We're going to live or die by our main gun, here.

(We can't die now! We never got to drive the goddamn mech!).
>>
No. 464204 ID: 44f93b

Oh, wait. Here's not a stupid option. Use will anyways- attack him the same way we did 23. Trip him up as he respawns- give 23 the chance to knock him unconscious or set up a kill chain.

...okay, I think that's literally everything we can try. Hopefully something sticks. Mega-hopefully 23 knocks him out, leaving Linda the privileged of looting him and then executing him herself.
>>
No. 464210 ID: a407a5

Pistol or Rifle...?

Rifle. All the way. Fuck him up. Bastard.

You manifest the larger weapon, feeling it's familiar weight in your hands, and while their is a sharp pain shooting up your shoulder, but you grit your teeth and work through it. Now then... you crouch down again and poke your head out of cover. You line up your weapon as best you can, then you fire, the recoil significantly greater with only one arm effectively taking the recoil. The pillar doesn't stand a chance. A whole is blown out of it, followed quickly by the man behind it. 23 rushes without hesitation, and even as Jake gets up and move as if to throw, she comes around the corner, blade flashing out and cutting off his arm. Jake doesn't collapse however, instead somehow catching the ball and hurling it with his other hand into a new target, namely, 23. At point blank range, at with his sudden movement, she can't react fast enough, and you hear the crack as the ball bounces off her skull.

Still, the extra time gave you what you needed, and you fire again, taking him down by leaving a massive hole in his chest. 23 is up and moving before he is, and as she moves to kill him again, you shout at her to stop.

"Incapacitate! I have things I'd like to talk to him about!"

In response, 23 grabs him and smashes the hilt of her weapon against his forehead, dropping him into unconsciousness. You go about the process of looting, and are left with a shotgun shell, and two small vials of some sort of liquid, both clear. Huh. Just as you get ready to exact you're revenge, the wall suddenly explodes inwards and the man with the baseball bat strides in, whistling a tune. He seems almost bouncy, pausing only when he spots you, he whistles quietly to himself for a moment, eyeing the scene then smiles brightly.

"Well. Guess that means this job is over with. You wouldn't happen to be hiring, would you?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 464212 ID: 886a4d

Not really, but I'll keep you in mind for later. Do you have a card?
>>
No. 464214 ID: 44f93b

2BP, slowly bleeding out, and a new breaker on the scene. Shit.

...and he's looking for money. Another mercenary, geeze!

First priority is to get rid of this guy without a fight. Second is to stop the bleeding so we don't burn a BP dying again. Third is calling Cally, make sure she's okay.

Then 4, we wake up Jake. Tell him exactly what we think of him, and why he has to die. See if he responds, or offers up any info about Cally (or Marc). Then kill him. No mercy. This is one cold blooded rifle killing you won't feel bad about.

Five, we get Cally's body and go.

>>464212
This, only more bitter and less flippant. We might be willing to pay you for information later if he doesn't tell me what I want to hear. *Kick Jake*.
>>
No. 464215 ID: 886a4d

>>464214
You meant Calling Cass for 3. I hope anyway. We don't have the ability to talk to the dead yet.
>>
No. 464217 ID: 44f93b

>>464215
Yes. Man, and I've been very conscious about trying not to mix up the two C-vowel-repeated-consonant names because of how easy that would be. Figures I don't fuck up till after she's dead.

>Two small vials
Huh. He had... a different focus for each ball. He had the doctor rebuild a spare focus into a copy of his original?

We may want to share loot with 23, so she gets XP. We keep Cally's, obviously, and the shotgun is a gun- we can either use that, or more likely burn some of our spare foci to get the doctor to turn it into something good.

Actually... if bat walks away, and 'Nic and Cass loot arm, that means each teammate gets one piece of loot (arm, vial, vial) while we keep the glowstick and shotgun shell.
>>
No. 464219 ID: 44f93b

Oh, and if he complains Jake still owes him money? Makes a point of not wanting to leave without getting paid? (Pulls a Blades, basically). Toss the guy Jake's wallet.

Oh, and remember to make a point of thanking 23 before we leave this room. We need to remember to treat her as a person, and not think of her as a weapon. It might help her in recovering, and hopefully help when she regains her mind (so she doesn't see us just as another set of assholes who were using her).
>>
No. 464221 ID: 886a4d

Honestly... I'm of the opinion we should keep all the focii we looted. We kinda need the exp right now. This battle showed we are WAY too low on BP. Put 4 from the focii into spirit 5, and the final into BP. If we get more then 1 exp for this boss battle (I hope we do) We can get homing for one of our weapons. Or another BP.
>>
No. 464223 ID: 9718f3

We don't hire people, our boss might be interested though. He should give us his number, we'll make sure the right person calls him in the morning.

>>464214
What. We aren't killing him. Seriously, what the hell. We don't kill subdued foes after a fight is over. Period. That's been our thing the whole way along and there's no good reason to change now. We benefit in no way. At all.
We even lose out. If he dies what happens to all of his business holdings? Holdings Marc would, I'm sure, love to get his hands on? No, we keep him alive and drain him of everything we can then cut him loose with no memory of anything that happened. We've got that mind-hacker guy, remember?

We should interrogate him ourselves somewhere private first, of course.
>>
No. 464225 ID: 44f93b

>>464221
From a meta gaming perspective, yeah, it's advantageous to build up our main character into a powerhouse, especially when she's actually still behind in total XP compared to most her allies. (Raphael and Cass have more, at least. Elizabeth is further behind, and I haven't checked Nicole and 23 since they joined).

In game though, I don't think Linda is enough of a dick to hoard the loot. She treats her people fairly, and this fight was pretty close for 23 and Nicole too. She's not about to screw them over.

Battle won + Cally + Shotgun gives us 4XP for spirit 5. If we get any more? BP. If this battle taught us anything it's that we are in desperate need of a bigger pool. Homing can wait till after we hit 29BP (Spirit 5 + 2X in BP gets us there).

>What. We aren't killing him. Seriously, what the hell.
He's been hunting us from day one, and he's the reason Cally's dead. Fucker is going to die.

I don't give a fuck about information, or his business holdings. If we want them, Linda can walk in and take them for herself with her skills, and a little breaking to grease the wheels. This is about justice. He gets it.
>>
No. 464226 ID: 886a4d

We'll do a brief interrogation, if he doesn't tell us right away what we want he dies. If he does tell us what we want he still dies. We'll lie to him about letting him live if thats what it takes. Sure its probably wiser to hand him over to Raph and George... but no, then he might just live.

He dies.
>>
No. 464230 ID: 9718f3

If we were out for revenge or justice or whatever we'd have been killing anyone who has ever attacked us, but that isn't how we've been behaving. Linda disables her enemies when possible. Takes away their foci, so they aren't a threat. She does what is necessary to protect her and her own, killing Jake doesn't do that any more than disarming him does. There's just no reason.

He hasn't even been that bad. He was terribly impolite when we first met, and set his dreamtimer on us. Oh no. Our group sends our dreamtimer to break the minds of people all the time. Cally? Her death is as much her own responsibility as it is Jake's. She was a grown woman and capable of making her own decisions. Turns out she made really bad ones. He's been an annoying B villain at worst. Not worth compromising our values over.
>>
No. 464232 ID: 44f93b

You're leaving emotion out of the equation. Linda is very rational- but not that much. We just murdered someone we cared about (or were forced to be complicit in her suicide). This wasn't more than 10 minutes ago- and Linda is deeply upset about this. And she holds Jake responsible. What would you expect her to do? We're the angel, not the saint. "so very kind to those it holds dear, but so very cruel to anyone who threatens them..."

We spare people when we can because we aren't normally out for vengeance. It's just to get the job done (even on our last op- Daniels ordered to kill 'em all- but we left at least one ex-breaker alive with just looting, several normals survived, and we were willing to let Blades live too). Even here, that was our goal. We came in planning to take Jake alive, if possible. Then Cally died. And the objective changed from "complete the mission" to "make him pay".

Normally, yes, we try to spare those we can. They're just people who happen to be in our way. But Linda has no problem killing people once she's convinced they don't deserve her mercy. We had no problem wasting those kidnappers. Or the nazi breaker scientists. Or McCarthy, when we thought he was normal. Or the scores of normal D7 agents.

There's a line to be crossed. And sending a friend of ours to her death crosses it.

>Our group sends our dreamtimer to break the minds of people all the time.
Actually, we seem to be more okay with that. We were willing to seek mercy for Morpheus himself! And we don't condemn Raphael for it either (remains to be seen long term how we'll consider Marc order it, though). This is one of the reasons we wanted to take Jake down. Wanting him dead came after.
>>
No. 464237 ID: a407a5

"Maybe. I don't deal with that sort of thing in my group. That's above me. You got a card? I'll make sure it gets to the right people."

"Huh? A card? Uh... Huh. I don't really think so. Just come find me if you need me. I hang around the fight bar, if you know where that is. Warehouse district and all that? Yeah, I'll wait a few days over there."

The man gives a wave before disappearing back the way he came, a humming tune floating back that slowly gets softer as he gets farther away. Huh... whatever. Your too out of it to care. Instead, you kick Jake awake. He stares up at you, dizzy and clearly not completely lucid.

"Wha-"

"Shut up. I'm going to make this brief, because I'm tired, I'm drained, and because I don't like the fact you're still alive.

"I hate you. I hate your guts. If I could, I'd probably find the most painful way imaginable to make you suffer for everything you've ever done. Cally's dead, because she was loyal to you and she wouldn't back down from that. Why? I don't know. You're a piece of shit, and I don't really see why anyone would be loyal to your fucking pointless existence. But hey, that's the why shit rolls. Fine. She's died. You die."

You don't even offer him the chance to respond. Instead, you level the rifle down on him and pull the trigger, turning him into a warm corpse.

"Stay dead, fucker."

You suddenly feel all the weight that's been on you hit you all at once, and you stagger from it all. Or maybe it's the loss of blood. Kinda hard to tell. 23 catches you and lays you down, then grabs hold of some random person's clothing and rips strips off of it, using them to bandage your wound. It takes a few minutes of work, and through out it all, 23 is completely silent. After she's finished her task, she offers you her shoulder and helps you outside. It's there you run into Nicole, looking just as drained and worn as you, although she's happily smoking. She offers you both one, but 23 ignores her and you don't smoke, although you kinda wish you'd picked up the habit. Cass joins you a few minutes later at the car, covered in blood again and toting around a claw looking thing. She drives you all back, and upon arrival you redistribute the foci and let everyone disperse. Cass elects to stay with you, while Nicole heads off for some much needed sleep and 23 disappears off to somewhere. Raphael and Morpheus have long since cleared out. An hour... it's been only an hour since you'd left this place. God damn.

You just feel so tired.

Experience Gained: 5
>>>Input Command
>>
No. 464246 ID: 44f93b

>5XP
*Spend 4XP to unlock spirit 5. If we get a choice like last time, go for an offensive skill.
*Spend 1XP to stack BP.
(So all together, our new BP total should be 26).

Hey... uh. We didn't go back for Cally. I guess we were kinda preoccupied bleeding half to death, and with 23 carrying us out... but damn. We'll send someone to pick up the body later?

>You just feel so tired.
Just sit there with Cass. If she sits with you, learn against her. Cup the glowstick in your hand, watching it, sadly.

Keep your word to Cass. You promised there would be a time you'd have issues to unload on her. This seems like that time.

I killed her, Cass. ...I don't know what that makes me. I don't know why she set herself up to die on purpose. What is that? I...

And then cry. Until the tears stop, or you fall asleep.

>Tomorrow
Find a chain (or break one out of thin air) and hang the glowstick from it. We'll wear it as a necklace beneath our clothes. We've done the crying, and the vengeance. It's... just something to remember her by.

Track down Mac, requisition more comms. Our squad has grown- we need units for Nicole and 23. Really, we should have gotten 'Nic one days ago.

Make a point of tracking down 23 and thanking her. You wouldn't have made it through that without her, and we need to make a point of treating her like a person. A member of our unit- not a weapon to be deployed.

We should really say something to 'Nic too, when we track her down and hand her her comm. Between getting captured and all the chaos today, we haven't barely spoke to her since she signed on. But she's come through for us, time and time again. So yeah, thanks, and good work. Glad to have you on the team.
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No. 464283 ID: 886a4d

>>464246
Seconding. Use one of the melee focii we have lying around from the fight with the redshirts during the attack on Miss Blades for the trade.
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No. 464289 ID: 44f93b

>>464283
I had assumed we'd get them for free ("he said he'll give us more if we ever get more people attached to"), but yeah, that's how we pay for them, if we have to.

That still leaves us with 2 spare foci to burn later to get the Doctor to turn the shotgun into something good.
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No. 464390 ID: a407a5

Experience Points Allocated
Spirit 5: Battlefield Instinct- For Linda, the battlefield has quickly taught her more about fighting than anything else, particularly in regards to the need to hit multiple targets at once. As long as Linda has a gun in her hand, she can expend 5BP to instantly unload the entire clip of whatever weapon(s) she has into any number of visible targets without any recoil or delay. This does not reload a weapon, however, every hit does count as a death.
Max BP: 26


You find yourself a seat in the lobby and collapse into it, sliding out that glowy stick while you're at it. You eyes seem to half focus on it, making the stick as sort of glowy blur in your vision. Further still, the focus is warm to the touch, spreading a little bit of that warmth into the palm of your hand. Shit... way too much like Cally. You start to feel the tears form, then you find Cass sitting next to you, looking extremely bored. You frown, then laugh bitterly for no reason. Yeah... you suppose Cass doesn't really care for other people's lives THAT much. She can't, or she'd go even more insane.

"I killed her, Cass. ...I don't know what that makes me. I don't know why she set herself up to die on purpose. What is that? I..."

You break down completely, crying your eyes out, but Cass doesn't say anything, looking embarrassed and a little uncertain of what to do, other than put her arm awkwardly around you. Eventually, you cry yourself into unconsciousness, the world blacking out around you.

-----------------

You wake up hours later, body moaning in protest, in your own bed. You frown in annoyance, but force yourself to get up. You can't brood forever. Cally certainly wouldn't have wanted that. You collect your prizes up and slide them into a pocket, while you take the glowstick and strap it to a chain you rummage from somewhere and slide it around your neck, the bag dangling next to it. The warmth from it starts to seep into your chest, and you stare down at it a moment before tearing yourself away. You have things to do today. Elizabeth is nowhere to be seen in the apartment, so you figure she must have left already. Time to go get the days activities going.

However, the moment you step out of your door. Daniels is waiting for you. He motions for you to follow and leads you down the hallways to another door, which he opens and gestures inside. Just from the smell alone you can tell who it is. You enter and find that sure enough, it's Marc, smoking again as he looks over some documents. His doll-avatar is sitting on the couch, inert at the moment, although you'd rather not ever see it wake up.

"Ah. Linda! Been awhile, hasn't it? I hear you've met quite a few varieties of people out here. I, ah, also heard about the mess with Jake. Shame. It would have been easier to get his contacts out of him before he was dead. Still, it's really of no real importance. Out here should be safer than back east. Now that... that's turned into a hellhole. I'm afraid going back would be near suicidal at this point, although from what I can see, we seem to have a growing power base here. But that's not what I called you in for. Please, give me a report of the events from your point of view. I want to know as much as I can. And please, if you have any questions of me, let me know."

>>>Input Command
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No. 464399 ID: 44f93b

...god damn. Dat ability.

>Yeah... you suppose Cass doesn't really care for other people's lives THAT much. She can't, or she'd go even more insane.
Well, that, and she might not have even known (or thought about the fact) she was dead yet. The fight was a lot simpler from her perspective. Chase bat boy, kill arm guy, collect allies, leave.

>Marc
Hey, Marc. Still the polite charmer, I see.

Has his number changed? I would expect it to have gone up since we've last scene him.

>Report
Who boy. This is gonna be a long one.

Go over the basic events and your opinions, but gloss over certain specifics. He doesn't need to hear about your relationship with Cally, or your fights with Raphael (although you can go over the difficulty of dealing with the rival dreamwalker). Don't explain what new powers or foci you've picked up, or that you're expecting (the mech).

General impressions on sun city- the oddly different way most breakers seem to operate here. More peaceful, less deadly, kind of civilized, with a code, almost. On the surface, anyways.

Give your impression of the doctor (useful, helpful, waaay too big a number, kind of crazy. Hates you though. And that he'll still work for us on commission, despite that). Don't discuss specific weapons you or your allies had made, or are still waiting for.

Go over the whole thing with division 7. The lab we wasted, the experiments, the demon (and why we think he's something else). This is probably our biggest threat. Get on to 23 too, and how you intend to have George keep working on her- make her a person again.

When recounting the fight with Blade's group, don't mention that you ignored the kill order and left people alive. Gauge his reaction when you tell him that they were led by a mercenary- that someone was paying her to oppose you. She might have been easier to take down if Mike hadn't had that inflexible avatar acquire order- or if you'd know about it.

Leave the personal shit out when you go over the fight with Jake. Feel free to recount the trouble he caused us though. Sorry I didn't bring him in alive- but there was no way that was going to happen that night. Make sure to mention the merc looking for work. (He's fast- and got some kind of sensory skill).

>Questions.
Ask what the hell is going on back east. Did the fixers get that bad? Or was it the feds cracking down?

Are you going to buy that avatar the mercenary we fought is selling? Sorry we weren't able to grab it for free. If you do though- I recommend running it through Elizabeth first. I've met very few avatar types besides you- and they mostly seem to be off in the head, affected by them. You might want to know what it does before plugging it in.

...the next time you send me to meet with someone, could you warn me in advance if you know he's an evil asshole going to cross us from the very start?

You want me to work on picking up the pieces of Jake's empire? Since the feds nabbed me I've been unemployed. Put my real world skills to work, see how far I can push it and cheat with breaking.
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No. 464400 ID: 44f93b

Oh, and when you go over the arena (part of your efforts to recruit people) don't discuss your opponents specifically. We don't want him sending someone after Michelle and Leviathan because of avatar lust.
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No. 464401 ID: f6cff9

Ask him what are the chances of the more "extreme" groups coming over to the west. Any real chance of an influx of breakers coming over here?
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No. 464426 ID: 44f93b

Additional bits of dialog I don't feel like editing in:

>sorry we couldn't bring Jake in alive
He made it personal. (Don't elaborate).

>when recommending he be careful about the avatar
I mean, for me a gun is just a gun, but for you...

Let's also pay attention to if he tries to will us into anything this time around. We've got enough now to have a decent chance to resist (unless he's been stacking it since we last saw his stats). If you do resist a will effort, just give him an odd look as he looks surprised it didn't work.

>questions
And uh... we might want to ask if a cleanup crew has been sent over to Jake's club yet. There's someone there... you'd prefer was treated right. You shouldn't let Cally's death get normalized if you can help it- the last thing she would want would be for people to forget her. (I'm assuming normalization only erases the memory of the dead from normals).
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No. 464481 ID: 4a328b

>Cally's death, cleanup thereof

It might be difficult to Normalize this one, since she was pretty darn famous in this area...
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No. 464482 ID: 44f93b

>>464481
What I'm afraid of is that suddenly that won't be the case anymore. Retcon power.

>the random people who died will be erased from existence itself.

Poof. There never was a DJ Winter. At least, so far as most people remember. There used to be a club over there? No, that place has been a condemned wreck with walls knocked out for years.

I suppose it would be nice if she was too big for them to make the spirit roll... but I don't want to rely on that.
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No. 465356 ID: a407a5

You go over the events since you'd arrived in the city nearly... a week ago? Something like that. Wow, shit happens fast now a days. Still, you go over everything you feel is important, skipping over the sensitive bits, and end off with the recent fight.

"Hm... a lot to think about... a lot indeed... ah, but that's something for another time. You have questions, I'd assume."

"Yeah. What's been going on back east?"

"Huh. A difficult question. Fixers have gotten a great deal stronger, and while there a two gangs of free breakers running around as well, the fixers have pretty much won. There's nothing I could do to prevent that. I'm hoping to set up a safe haven here in the west for us free birds. Hopefully, I'll have the time to do that, although, from what you've said, it might be a great deal easier to do so."

"Alright... what about that Avatar?"

"I'll handle that. Among normals, I'm still quite rich, to put it nicely. I'll see about handling that myself."

"And Jake's assets?"

"The club? Maybe a few underground enterprises? Nothing we want, except maybe the club, and a simple normalize will deal with that."

"Uh... about that... there's... there's someone... I want buried right. Not just... erased. Cally... uh... DJ Winter, if that's easier to deal with."

He stares at you in confusion a moment, then seems to give a mental shrug and a calm smile slides onto his face.

"I understand. I'll have my people do what needs to be done. Still, leave that to us. And you must have had a hard day. Take the rest of the day off to do what you need to do. I'll make sure all arrangements are made and taken care of. I'm sure you have your own matters to deal with. Send Raphael in here when you get the chance, would you?"

You nod in agreement, then take your leave, heading down to the common area. The place is filled with people, the new standard, but at the same time, everyone is waiting in anticipation for their own meetings with the Boss. You ignore most of them, not in the mood to give greetings today, and find your own small group at a pair of tables. Cass is yawning, looking tired. Nicole is smoking and relaxing back into her chair while she watches Elizabeth. The teenage girl is busily making random patterns on the table with some sand she'd dumped onto it, looking troubled.

23 is silent, sitting in a chair without reaction as George sits next to her, muttering to himself. Raphael has his sunglasses over his eyes, muttering curses at the bright sunlight that gives the city its name.

>>>Input Command
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No. 465360 ID: 4a328b

Tell Raph he's up, remind him not to let himself be forced into anything he doesn't want to do. Then go sit by Cass, maybe join Nicole in 'Liz-watching
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No. 465361 ID: c8be92

"Hey Raphael, boss wants to talk to you."
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No. 465366 ID: f6cff9

Wow I'm kinda surprised that Marc just said yes to not normalizing Cally's death without asking for an explanation. We might as ask Elizabeth what's wrong since everyone else is just hanging around doing nothing and we have no pressing issues to talk about with them. Send Raphael to talk to the boss before anything though.
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No. 465367 ID: 44f93b

>Take the rest of the day off to do what you need to do.
Alright. Day of npc conversations and relaxing. At least until some bullshit crisis rises up.

>I'll make sure all arrangements are made and taken care of.
...thanks Marc. You're a good dude. Seriously, I have expected him to say it was too late, or get hard and deny the request. This one little thing just noticeably raised my esteem for him. Way to know when to be considerate of the feelings of others.

>Peoples.
Alright. We have a day off, we got people to talk to.

>Raphael
Honestly, I have no idea what to say at him at this point, but we should probably start by touching base with him, and letting him know Marc wants him. I hope to gods someone told him what happened last night (...or he saw it in your sleep) because the conversation could go all kinds of bad if he's dumb enough to ask us out, or bring her up again.

>Cass
Gotta stop by our best bud. She probably deserves a "thank you" after last night, and a sad "yeah, I'll be okay" if she asks.

>Elizabeth
Obviously, we need to check in with our resident precog and see what's bothering her. Hopefully it's as simple as "the Angel stopped the Music" (...and kind of hates herself for that), and not another looming disaster.

After that, I say we find Mac, and requisition 2 more comms (if we have to pay a focus, which we shouldn't, spend the spearhead).

Visit Nicole, give her one. She's more than proved herself part of the team- you should have grabbed her one days ago. She's done damn well for herself, and you're glad to have her along.

Then visit 23 and give her a comm. See what progress George has made with her, and make a point of thanking her for helping last night, and saving your ass to boot. Treat her like a person.

Then hell, if we've still got time, let's fine Mike. I want to smooth things over after that stupid avatar debacle, especially if Daniels chewed him out. He's an idiot, but he's still a friend.
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No. 465370 ID: f6cff9

>>465367
And I keep forgetting the comms... yeah sounds like a pretty good list of what to do.
>>
No. 465372 ID: a407a5

You step up to Raphael first, giving him the message to head up to see the Boss. He nods without comment and sets off, looking a little bored, but already fussing with a small glowing stone. Oh... you'd forgotten about that one. He's probably going to have to turn that one in, isn't he?

Then you hunt down Mac and collect two more comms. He gladly hands them over, waving you off when you bring up payment. You return to your allies after that, and hit up Nicole first, handing over the symbolic element that almost literally makes her truly part of the team. She seems to get a bit happier after that, but makes no actual comments other than a small grunt. Then it's 23's turn, who accepts the comm without comment and immediately puts it on. She remains unresponsive towards your thanks either, just staring straight ahead. George simply shakes his head at your questions towards her condition. No changes at all.

Then, its to Cally, who waves off your thanks and mutters something about doing the same for her numerous times already. Just repaying favors and being a friend, that's all. You give her a light hug anyway, which she shrugs off while looking a bit more red-faced than before. Lastly, it's Elizabeth, the girl is still making patters in the sand, and Nicole notices you're attention and walks up to you before you can really say anything.

"She's been doing that since I came down here. Just keeps drawing pictures in that sand. She's pretty good, in my opinion. She only draws the same three things though. Something sort of woman in a cloak holding a baby. A wolf and a full moon. And a hole. Just a hole. I don't get it but... well, maybe you can figure it out."

You frown, the wolf bringing up a bad memory from what feels like forever ago, but the other two... what does that mean? Well, hopefully it doesn't mean what you think it means. You move up to Elizabeth and crouch stare down at her as she draws, the form of a wolf quickly taking shape.

"The Angel is sad, right?"

"... Yeah..."

"The Music... it was hopeful, all the time, never quiet. Very pleasant... But the Music keeps playing, right? Because you have it with you, that Music."

Have it with yo...? Oh. The focus... yeah, you suppose Elizabeth is right. Cally, at least in spirit, will always be with you. Hopefully some of her vibrance will transfer to you before too long.

"Yeah, I guess you're right. What's these drawing of yours?"

"A dream. A thought. A whisper. The future is undefined. The future is lost to me. I cannot see."

She finishes the wolf and stares at it a moment.

"A Wolf that is not a Wolf will come, hunting the Warrior and hungering for blood."

Elizabeth wipes away the drawing and quickly scratches out another, this time of a woman holding a child.

"This one is one who hunts me, but not to have me. To hurt me. To hunt me. To blind my visions and cripple the Angel."

Finally, the last drawing is presented, a hole. Just a simple hole.

"Unknowable. I cannot see. Something blocks my sight. Something that I should know, but cannot see..."

>>>Input Command
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No. 465373 ID: 886a4d

Great, wolfboy is coming for revenge. An avatar user seeks to remove Elizabeth from the equation and the demon in on the move.I'm just guessing on the last but it makes sense.

Wait, woman holding a small girl, that sounds something like Aria. Though it could be an avatar user.

Thank her for her warnings.
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No. 465374 ID: f6cff9

Yeah we should always thank Elizabeth for any warning about the future.
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No. 465375 ID: 4a328b

The wolf is probably the one from the beginning whose brother Cass killed. If someone's after Elizabeth we should keep her close... No idea what to do about what she cannot see, other than to stay alert, and don't let her obsess over it. It's her fear, after all, isn't it? The unknowable?
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No. 465379 ID: 44f93b

>then it's Cally Cass
Ha! I'm not the only one to confuse the Ca double consonant names!

>Very pleasant... But the Music keeps playing, right? Because you have it with you, that Music.
...I think I was right. Even when you kill the breaker, their focus remains spiritually attuned to them (well, until someone else tunes it). There's an echo, or a piece, or a connection of/to them. I wonder if we'll be able to use that some day?

>Visions
Trevor's coming. The woman with the babe is probably Maria- we know she's hunting Elizabeth. Maria- Mary- kind of makes sense her icon is a woman and child.

The hole is the breaker killing weapons we have spoilers about. Logically, it's the only thing that could block her sight.

Thank Elizabeth, reassure her. We'll be on guard.

Not sure what to do next... only thing left on my list was Mike, but we've now got Cally and downer doom visions to mope about / mull over. Not really in a mood for bridge building.
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No. 465392 ID: 44f93b

Okay... hit up the dis thread, checked up on what ideas we had saved up. We can't do a lot of them, because we planned on having more time at our disposal. Also, it's probably been less than 8 hours since we got home last night- Linda's probably at 10BP or less right now, and we're expecting hostile fixers, so we can't burn points experimenting.

I'd like to test if we can do the Twinda body swap now, but I'm not willing to waste 5BP.

I'd like the mech, but the doc hasn't said it's done yet, and today doesn't really feel like a day for gleeful self-indulgence.

Burning a single point to try and make ourself some super shades (breaking our sunglasses so we can toggle them to x-ray and/or night vision at will) might be worth trying.

I'm also for buying some low profile body armor from Mac (sell the spearhead focus). Something like 23 or Blades had- doesn't restrict movement, but stops us from getting killed as easy. No need to wear it all the time- we can get dressed before missions, or burn a BP for an emergency transformation sequence if we're ambushed. (Or if it can be worn under lose clothes. A little uncomfortable in this heat, but an advantage is worth concealing).

If we never reloaded the pistol after last night, we should spend a point to do that.
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No. 465411 ID: a407a5

"Thanks for the warning, Elizabeth."

"It is not a warning. It is inevitable. I cannot help but see things."

"Heh. Well, thanks anyway."

You head off, this time back to Mac, and requisition a few things for yourself. You trade in your spearhead focus for a small, concealable body armor. Although it's somewhat time consuming to get on, a few minutes to wiggle into the thing do to its more compact design, you find that it fits almost perfectly, and while you doubt the material it's made of could stop rifle rounds effectively, you do know that most pistol fire and blunt weapons probably won't hurt quite as much. At least, not on your torso.

As you return to your group, you find Raphael looking annoyed and a bit peeved, but otherwise fine. He seems to be asking Elizabeth about something, but the girl merely shakes her head. He sighs as you get closer, but upon noticing you he gives you a wave in greeting.

"Hey. You wouldn't mind helping me with something, would you? Boss has me running a job, and... well... security's a bit tight on this one. It makes it worse that I can't really 'walk' my way in, since, you know, it's daytime and all that. Damn sun...

"We're going after a normal, so I can understand why you wouldn't want to get involved, but... well, the guy isn't exactly the most virtuous guy on the block, you know?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 465416 ID: 886a4d

What exactly is the job. Becuase if its just to kill him. Easy. I go to a building near him. go to the roof... and bang.
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No. 465423 ID: 44f93b

Current BP? Assuming we got in after midnight last night and we didn't sleep past noon, we can't have more than 10BP with a 1BP/hr recovery rate.

>Go?
...it wouldn't be the first time we've hurt a normal, and hell, we've done worse. Gotta keep busy somehow, and who wants to leave your friends in a lurch?

Agree, but ask what the mission is up front. We after information? Pressuring him into doing something? Taking him alive? (Cartoon ice makes that easy). A hit? (X-ray rifle scope makes that real easy. Especially if Raphael has warped reality on- makes it easy to get to an ideal sniper perch).

Make a point of warning Cass and Nic before you go out. Elizabeth's got visions of something bad coming- they should be on guard.
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No. 465468 ID: 886a4d

You'd think higher spirit people would start regenerating spirit faster...
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No. 465470 ID: 44f93b

>>465468
That reminds me. We should keep an eye out for Daniels. We're doing more field work them him lately, and his growth will be further hampered by the spirit xp curve. Eventually we're going to make the spirit roll to see past his normalcy cloak.

But yeah, it's possible our regen rate has improved. We'll know for sure when Linda checks her BP.
>>
No. 465503 ID: 9718f3

Some details would be nice.
>>
No. 465655 ID: a407a5

"You got any details? Like what exactly we're supposed to do?"

"Only one thing I do, Linda. And that's drive people insane. This time, it's to pave the way for us to go in and start expanding into an actual corporation or business. We need that, apparently, to help safeguard ourselves from some of the nasties coming our way."

Raphael shrugs a little, not really getting it himself, but continues anyway.

"Don't know much more than that. Just go in, drive the guy out of his own mind, then come on home. I was actually just wanting to see if I could get someone to run a distraction for me, once I'm in, I'm golden, but I don't want to stress everyone out, after what you've all been through today already..."

>>>Input Command
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No. 465657 ID: 886a4d

I'm a tad lethal for a distraction. I suppose I could ice up their security though. Be a blip on anyones radar who are looking for breakers though.
>>
No. 465658 ID: 44f93b

>Only one thing I do, Linda. And that's drive people insane.
You're good for more than that, no matter what you say.

Yeah, I'll back you up. There are nasties on the way, and none of us should be out there alone.

>I'm a tad lethal for a distraction.
...we could maybe not use our guns for that. Lots of ways to distract people. Rely on finesse to make a physical ruckus- will and charm to start a fight or something, or a nice impressive (but harmless) active break.
>>
No. 465659 ID: 886a4d

True enough, before we go lets try making those xray glasses at the very least. Be helpful to notice any surprises. Find a pair or two of sunglasses and practice on them while on the way maybe.
>>
No. 465662 ID: 44f93b

>>465659
We have a pair already from the shopping trip, if we didn't lose them.

I don't think we can experiment on the way though- pretty sure we're driving if he can't function in the sun.
>>
No. 465676 ID: a407a5

"Well... better to travel in groups right now. Elizabeth thinks some nasties are coming, and given her record... I'm inclined to believe her."

"Yeah, I'd agree. So, who we taking with us? Only got room for 2 more in the car, right now, I have some things I want to bring alo-"

"I am going with the Nightmare. Will be useful."

"Uh... okay. Well then... guess that means we're bringing one more along."

You tell Raphael that you'll think about it and meet him and Elizabeth at the car. In the meantime, you head back up to the apartment to grab those sunglasses of yours. You glare at them a moment, wondering if you might be able to do it, then throw you're will at it. Go with something more normal first... well, sorta normal. Night Vision?

Suddenly, the sunglasses shatter in your hands. You curse in annoyance, but you get the feeling that it wasn't because you weren't strong enough. Maybe you'd just gotten really unlucky? Whatever. You'd better head back downstairs and grab the fourth member of your little adventuring group.
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No. 465678 ID: 886a4d

>>465676
Damn our dice. One more try?

As for who to bring along... Cass? I mean she would hold it against us if we left her behind even if we're just looking to cause non-lethal trouble.
>>
No. 465683 ID: f6cff9

>>465678
We can view it as practice on some non-lethal fights with Cass. She also fought those breakers at the beach without killing them so she can do it if she tries.

We also need more sunglasses if we want to try that experiment again so save it for latter.
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No. 465690 ID: 44f93b

...and here I thought this was gonna be a simple two person op. Oh well.

>Damn our dice. One more try?
We'll have to get more sunglasses first. And I'd like Linda to please check her BP before we spend any more.

>Who bring?
23 is best off getting mind surgery. That leaves Nic and Cass.

If we're worried about running into fixers, Cass is the stronger of the two- and burnt less BP last night. Normality is also always good for this kind of thing. In Nicole's favor, she's actually built for taking out normals, and forceful break could make a nice distraction.

>We can view it as practice on some non-lethal fights with Cass
Hopefully, shouldn't come to a fight. We have loads of ways to distract normals- a flashy active break, a smart use of the control wire, a normality, etc. Hell, Linda could just use her business background and some will rolls to talk them in and start distracting people. 3 people just to get Raphael in is overkill.

It's more a matter of we have the firepower with us if and when fixers (or other threats) show up.
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No. 465693 ID: 886a4d

As far as getting more sunglasses... lets try to repair the ones we just broke.
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No. 465699 ID: f6cff9

>>465690
Well if we aren't planning fighting normals then bringing Cass would still be a good idea just for normality. Subject 27 has normality but I think she has less break points compared to Cass. Nicole doesn't have it at all. If a fight does break out for whatever reason Cass is still a good fit if killing needs to be done.
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No. 465702 ID: 44f93b

>>465693
I'm going to say no, unless Linda glances down at her left hand and notices she doesn't have a pathetic number remaining. I don't think we have the BP to dick around with rerolls right now, especially with prophesied trouble looming.

>>465699
Yeah, Cass is a solid choice.
>>
No. 465719 ID: a407a5

You check your hand and find an 11 on it. Definitely not the best you could be. Still, it's far better than what you had before. Then it's down the stairs while muttering curses at bad luck in general. You collect Cass from her seat, and a good half hour later find yourself outside what appears to be a normal looking office building. A very tall one, but normal.

"So... who are we going after?"

"Some bigshot. Don't know his name. Don't care. I'll hunt him down, get the job done, then get out. You guys can start up whenever you like, I'll go get into position to start making my way inside whenever you do. Try not to let yourselves go too much though, yeah?"

Raphael throws a meaningful look Cass' way, which earns him an equally hateful glare, but he's soon gone, slipping into the crowds moving along the street. Guess that means it's time to have fun. You glance at Elizabeth, but she's already got a wire out, sliding it nonchalantly into the back of a random man's neck. He goes limp a moment, then catches himself before he collapses completely and simply stands there, waiting.

"Shall we begin, Angel?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 465721 ID: 886a4d

Lets start out by freezing all the doors. Just so we have a captive audience. Leave the elevators free though. Use cartoon ice. Also can you tell what kind of business this is? We can play cartoon villian and ham it up. Cass is the Destroyer. Liz is the Puppetteer. And you. Your the Snow Queen. Here to turn the world into your own icy paradise.

Try using an active break to get it to start snowing indoors to top everything off.
>>
No. 465723 ID: f6cff9

>>465721
Sounds good but we shall be called THE SNOW ANGEL... yeah that was lame but I don't care I wanna do it anyways.
>>
No. 465726 ID: 44f93b

>11
Our regen rate hasn't improved, then. It's been 10hrs or so since we got back last night.

>"Shall we begin, Angel?"
Yeah. Just remember- we're here to cause a ruckus, not get the normals hurt, or killed. Make some chaos.

I kind of regret we're not drunk. Chaos comes naturally to drunk Linda.

We go in and start creating a mess in the lobby. Set Cass to wrecking the place (not people. She's better as a destructive distraction than a bloody murder, here), Linda and Elizabeth deal with the security response. Either dextrous finesse dodges and disables, or cartoon ice if we have too, with puppetting thrown for extra fun. If guns come out, waste an active break to ruin all the ones in the room (jam 'em all or something). Continue the distraction until we get the all clear from Raphael, then Cass normalizes to cover our tracks and we bug out.

Keep an eye on Cass- do not let her engage normals unless absolutely necessary.
>>
No. 465874 ID: 44f93b

>Try using an active break to get it to start snowing indoors to top everything off.
...I think I can one up this.

We have three people breakers right now, and all of us capable of using active break. So what happens if we have them collaborate on one break? Seems to me we could craft a pretty big distraction that way. Especially if we center it through Elizabeth- her thing is "seeing". So we could craft a big illusion of mass hallucination. Way less effort than beating up normals manually.
>>
No. 465950 ID: a407a5

"Yeah... hey Elizabeth, you think we could do one MASSIVE break? Screw over everything at once?"

"Combine feeling to create a larger influence on reality? Yes. Possible."

"Huh. Hey Cass! Come here!"

"Hm? Sure."

The other woman wanders over, and minutes later you're all standing in the lobby in a circle, hands clasped together, you forcing your will into Elizabeth. You can feel something coming from Cass as well, but then suddenly, Elizabeth's eyes snap open, and she smiles a brilliantly insane smile.

"It's Gojira!"

"Wha-"

BOOM!


A massive thundering comes from outside, and sirens you didn't know existed suddenly pop into being. You hurry over to a window and stare in shock as a giant foot seems wedged into the ground. A roar rips through the air, deafening you with the sheer volume of it, and after a few minutes, you get to see the massive lizard thing start ripping it's way through southern Sun City. It's not as large as in the movies, maybe only 4 stories tall, but still...

"You know something, Elizabeth?"

"Yes Angel?"

"That... was totally fucking awesome."

"I know." The younger girl flashes you a smile, then trots away to watch the lizard rip apart a feeble police "blockade". Cass, on the other hand, is looking at you both in shock.

"You're both out of your mind."

"Heh. Still... how do we get that thing to stop after we're done with it?"

"Obviously, Linda, you use the giant robot you commissioned from me. It's done. Mostly. Hopefully. It has yet to be combat tested. The weapon should be functional... maybe. And I've added a few... details... but I'll get into that later. Get dressed! NOW! FOR SCIENCE!"

You glance behind you and find the doctor in a large truck, looking happy. You frown, then trot over to talk to the man.

"How'd you know we'd be out here?"

"Elizabeth called. Said something needing the robot was going to happen soon. I don't see why she'd go through all the trouble to break a giant fire breathing lizard into reality, but... well, who cares? WE MUST TEST THE ROBOT! GET DRESSED!"

>>>Input Command
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No. 465952 ID: 886a4d

This is the best day. Ever.

Well get dressed.
>>
No. 465955 ID: f6cff9

Oh god.... this is insane. Man at one point Cass could have been called the unstable one in our group but not anymore. It's official that Linda is the craziest one because at least Elizabeth can see the future so she at least knows something is gonna work out if she does something crazy. I mean when Linda saw the monster the first thought that came into her head was how cool it was.

Well get to the Mecha as fast as you can. Time to kick some ass
>>
No. 465961 ID: 44f93b

>Everything went horribly right
...oh my fucking goodness. That only cost 1BP each? We're going to have to mess around with collaborative breaking again, because this is awesome.

Although, a giant monster attack and robot battle is going to introduce civilian casualties if we don't know what we're doing. ...hopefully it's just going to cause property damage?

>Mecha!~
Ohmygodsyesgasms. This is certainly a way to power through any lingering feelings of grief. A direct injection of sheer awesomeness.

>GET DRESSED!
...all that trouble wiggling into the body armor for nothing!

I hope once we actually tune this thing we get an animesc a transformation sequence instead?
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No. 465989 ID: 2b9912

COMBO BREAKER!!!
Lol i bet the op been waiting for someone to suggest doing that.
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No. 465991 ID: 2b9912

Ah Liz set up an awesome first run combat trial for our new mech. That is at once both the sweetest and most insane thing i think she's done. And it against something we can go all out against and not worry about pesky things like morals or or emotional sentiments. Awesome!!!
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No. 465992 ID: 44f93b

>we can go all out against and not worry about pesky things like morals or or emotional sentiments
*cough* collateral damage in the middle of a civilian business district, in daytime *cough*

But yeah, as long as we can avoid getting the helpless normal bystanders slaughtered, we're in the clear.
>>
No. 466028 ID: 2b9912

>>465992
Bah anyone dumb enough to still be around by the time we deploy, after that roar and the sirens, probably better off removed from the gene pool. We're in the business district right? Those building are probably completely empty in no time. Especially if those cops actually do their job. Besides its only four stories tall and we went with speed build so we likely won't be knocking more than one building at a time. If there are alot of other 2-3 story buildings we'll be fighting in tight quarters anyway with our finesse and speed we should shine so long as we don't try to take him front on.
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No. 466231 ID: a407a5

You blink in surprise, then a massive grin spreads across your face. HELL YES! TIME TO HAVE SOME FUN!

You hop up into the back of the truck, really the only place for privacy, and find the mecha inside. You stare at it in surprise, the machine having a much sleeker design than the last time you saw it. You quickly strip and slide into the nerve suit that the Doctor provided, then find the hatch to the cockpit. Upon sliding into it, the machines systems automatically slide around you, reading body movements and providing information. The AI starts up again, going through the systems checks. After the standard start-up procedure, you not a few things were added to the cockpit. A weapons systems display now seems to have appeared, marking a few weapons available to you. A hard-mounted cannon with unknown capabilites strapped to the underside of your left arm(with a label saying to use only in emergencies), twin missile launchers strapped to the shoulders of the machine, a .50 caliber machine gun holstered in a back mount, and an emergency sword, just in case. You never know. You smile, the machine already calibrated to your movements, although it makes some minor adjustments, and as you stand, the trucks trailer pops open, revealing you and you're fairly certain blinding quite a few people with the completely metallic frame. Yeah, this thing is going to need a paint job. But you can save that till later.

The lizard has already torn its way through a couple buildings, and the military has quickly mobilized a small group of helicopters to harass the monster, with little effect. Oh well. Looks like it's your turn.

How to kill this thing?

>>>Input Command
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No. 466233 ID: 44f93b

>stripped
Please, please tell me you're still wearing your foci necklaces over your plug suit. We can't afford to be separated from those.

>torn though buildings
...I hope those were empty? We were supposed to avoid hurting normals by active breaking a distraction, not get them all killed by a monster! -_-

>paint job
Hmm. Dang. Means we won't be walking away with a completed mech today.

>How kill?
Well, let's start by drawing it's attention away from the normals with the machine gun, and then once it's out in the open, hit it up with some missiles and start shooting to kill instead of just harassing it.

Don't let it get too close, remember dinos have problems with quick moving prey, and be ready to dodge thrown debris, fire breath, eye lasers, whatever.

We can't manifest as is, but remember we can still active break offensively if necessary.

Have the bot's speakers off, but your comm on so your friends can contact you, or offer advice as necessary (...you didn't strip that off, I hope?). Or if you did ditch the comm, have the computer tap into the team's communication channel.
>>
No. 466234 ID: f6cff9

>>466233
Sounds like a plan
>>
No. 466317 ID: a407a5

>Strip
Strip meant you stripped, and if you remember correctly, you can't have ANYTHING on while you're connected to the mech. The interference would cause issues with the nerve integration. So, you took EVERYTHING off. Well, except the nerve suit. That was put on.

For now though, you switch the mech's comm system to hooking into your own network, and mere seconds pass before you can hear a soft static. It must be always active, unlike the normal comm.

"Testing. Testing. Anyone here me out there?"

"Ah. Hey Linda! How's it going?"

"The Angel has armor. Lots of it."

"Yeah! It's a MECH! Isn't is cool~"

Still, you have little time to be distracted right now. You draw the machine gun from it's place on your back and try aiming and firing, quickly learning that the thing has proportionate recoil. Still, you pepper the thing with a truly massive amount of fire, turning it's body almost literally into a useless mass of meat. At least, until it starts regenerating. Then it's suddenly a lizard again, and almost in your face, and trying to eat you. You react on instinct, throwing yourself instinctively to the side, only to suddenly remember that you're a massive mech now, and don't have quite the same agility. Still, the lizard misses its target, and you find yourself on your side, hissing in rage.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit,shit-

You open fire again, hoping to pulp the thing at least enough to buy you some time to make it back onto your feet. The lizard decides getting shot, however, is not a fun experience, and moves behind a few buildings, causing you to carve a path of destruction through the upper floors. Ooops...

"What the hell, Linda? What the fuck is that thing? And where'd the mech come from? Are you IN that thing?"

Ah! Raphael! Seems he just noticed the awesomeness occurring outside. Too bad his missing it.

"Just focus on getting your job done, okay Raphael? I'll handle the giant lizard in my mech~"

"Uh... you know, when I said I needed a distraction, I didn't mean I needed a giant battle between a robot and a lizard..."

Sucks for him. You're having way too much fun and have way too much adrenaline in you right now to care what he thinks. You swear, you almost feel drunk off the exhilerati-

OH SHIT LIZARD!

>>>Input Command
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No. 466321 ID: 886a4d

Well if we want to avoid collateral damage. We have to sword it... but I doubt thats going to put down godzilla. Dismember him, get some distance and try a rocket salvo.

Don't Miss.
>>
No. 466322 ID: f6cff9

IS the lizard in your face? Use the sword if that's the case. If it's good enough for Gundams it's good enough for us.
>>
No. 466323 ID: 44f93b

>you can't have ANYTHING on while you're connected to the mech
>no foci
...that's highly problematic. That means we can't break. And if we're killed while separated from our foci (which is possible, while fighting a giant lizard), I'm not sure if we can respawn! It also means we're essentially helpless if we're forced to bail out for any reason.

Hopefully Cass or Elizabeth is holding on to those for you, and we didn't make the colossal mistake of leaving all our foci unattended in the back of an open truck.
(If you didn't, sheepishly radio them to grab it before an opportunistic street urchin makes off with all your foci).

I hope the final version of the mech removes this flaw. We need to be able to keep our foci with us. Either modify the nerve suit to compensate for the minor interference of wearing your necklace over it, or use an anime-esc transformation sequence to go from your regular clothes to nerve suit, hiding your foci safely in hammer space or something. Or fuck, just give the damn thing a glove compartment for us to stow our shit in. Bring this up with the doc during the after action debrief.

>Shooting the building
...please please no civilian deaths.

And Linda, we can't very well take over this company for our own purposes if you destroy it!

>OH SHIT LIZARD!
Sword, dodge, rockets, run.
>>
No. 466324 ID: 886a4d

>>466323
The mech is a manifestation. In fact I bet the suit itself is a focus. It would make sense. If you can't wear anything but the suit then the suit has to be the focus.
>>
No. 466328 ID: 44f93b

>The mech is a manifestation
We haven't tuned it yet, though! We might be able to break reality via the mech, but I'm not sure. I kind of think the mech will be a manifestation, once it's finished, but for the moment it's a mostly real object.

And even if we can break via the mech, that doesn't change the fact leaving our other foci, tuned and untuned, with a pile of clothes on the floor is abysmally stupid.

We'll also never be able to mod the mech to allow integrated giant manifestations of our other weapons if we can't bring our other foci on board with us!

>In fact I bet the suit itself is a focus
I hope the suit is part of the manifestation, and not the focus. (I'm thinking a two stage manifestation- magical girl style transformation into pilot suit, followed jumping up and manifesting the mech around us).

If the suit is the focus, that means we have to wear it under our clothes all the time, or carry it around to change into. -_-'
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No. 466874 ID: 466404

While you'd very much like to use your sword right now, you're kinda busy HOLDING ITS MOUTH AWAY FROM YOUR FACE!

You'd dropped the machine gun in favor of grabbing both halves of its open jaw and holding the opening somewhere else so it doesn't blast you in the face with hot flames, but you can't really seem to get it off of you either. After struggling a minute, you manage to work one of your legs against its stomach and kick out, sending the thing hurtling backwards. Then it's time to book it, you practically sprinting down the street to get away from the thing as it picks itself up. You turn as you make it to the end and unload the missile launchers on it, the explosions ripping apart the buildings around it as well. You wince in pain, you really hope there wasn't any normals in there, but you don't really have time to worry about it as the lizard sends a burst of flame at you, and you dodge behind a nearby building to avoid melting. You see the missile count on the launchers start to increase again after a moment, and you frown at it.

Should it be doing that?

"Hey Doc? Should the missiles be increasing after I unloaded them all?"

"HAHA! AUTOFABRICATORS! THE WONDERS OF REALITY!"

"Ah... I see..."

You don't see, but then again, that just means more missiles for later, right? You draw your sword in preparation, since you don't have the machine gun at the moment, and then you feel something explode against your back and turn to find a bunch of tanks coming up the street, aiming at you.

Well shit.

>>>Input Command
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No. 466880 ID: 44f93b

>tanks
Well, you can't kill them. Unless that's Division 7, these are just normal soldiers come to try and defend the city from a monster battle.

Options:

Talk. Turn on your speakers, and go for a will roll. They're only normals, they should be fairly susceptible to your will 6 persuasion. Hey guys, how about you shoot at the monster attacking the city and not the person trying to put it down? (It's... not like the giant monster is kind of my fault or anything). Pity you lack normalcy- you could just make yourself a commanding officer and order them to help, then (although maybe we could have Cass do that? If we had our onboard computer patch her headset into the soldiers communication net...)

Break. Assuming you still can with your foci at least a building's length away from you, left on the floor of the truck picked up by Cass and/or Elizabeth out of common sense (oh gods, please), of course. Do a spirit 5 active break, and disable the main guns on the tanks (don't make them misfire and explode, just make 'em inoperable). These guys don't have magic super science- they won't be fixed fast enough to matter before the battle ends.

Just get out of the way. They're slow, you can dodge, and go kill dino-face. Dodge what they throw at you, try to set up their misses so they shoot your reptilian opponent.

When you get the chance, dodge back around the building to sword the lizard, unload missiles into the wound. Blow it to pieces.
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No. 466881 ID: f6cff9

Well the lizard might charge you again so you might use his own momentum against him and throw him towards the tanks. Let the tanks take care of the lizard and vice versa. Hell if things go well the tank barrage plus your missile barrage might put a dint in the lizard.
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No. 467203 ID: a407a5

You move behind a couple of buildings, hoping to keep the tanks from shooting you in the back a couple dozen more times, while keeping an eye out for the giant lizard. Almost inevitably, it somehow comes out of a building behind you, and starts ripping away at your back. Or would, if you didn't shoulder throw the damn thing into the ground at your feet. You try stabbing it a couple of dozen times, even lopping off some hunks of flesh, just to see if it'll kindly stay dead for you, but all you get is a blast of flame to the face, forcing you to stumble backwards. The little damage readout goes from green to a slightly off-green, so you assume that means you're a little hurt, but you stab the thing in the face just for good measure as a tank starts to come around the corner, signaling the need for you to hightail it behind some buildings as they open fire on YOU.

"Hey, uh... Linda... you want I should stop those tanks? Just a little? I can do that..."

"I as well, if the Angel wants. Make them on your side. One or two, anyway."

"Linda! Stop blowing up the building!"

>>>Input Command
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No. 467214 ID: f6cff9

Having help with the tanks would be nice but how the hell are we suppose to stop this lizard since it's healing? Do we need the power of friendship or what? Elizabeth help made this thing so maybe she knows a weakness that we don't. We could always go for broke and try to do a finishing move like in mecha anime. Grab the lizard, flip him above you, then use the hard-mounted cannon with the unknown capabilities to shoot it while it's above you/pointed towards the sky. That way it won't hit any buildings and hopefully not destroy the entire town.
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No. 467221 ID: 3338b5

>you want I should stop those tanks? Just a little? I can do that...
Yeah, alright. Wreck the tanks, not the crews- they're just people trying to stop a monster. (She can do this, using weapon environment and massive str just to break guns, treads, etc).

>"Linda! Stop blowing up the building!"
... '-_-

We need to end this. The whole point of a flashy distraction was to do less damage, not more. We're putting way too many people at risk now. Take advantage of Cass and Elizabeth distracting the tanks to close back with the dinosaur. Decapitate it. While it fails around, regrowing it's head and without flame breath, retrieve your machine gun, and unload into it- chewing the lizard to a fine pulp. When you run out of ammo, empty your missile launchers into it. And if the scorched ooze starts to regenerate again after that, use the emergency arm cannon.

If necessary, break it dead at the end.

Then we need to gtfo, retrieve our stuff (gods I hope one of our friends picked up our clothes and foci), regroup and have Cass normalize that as best she can. If possible, retreat to the lab with the damaged robot, maybe get some custom gear made (we can modify the shotgun, and Cass' spare knife).

Remember to give an after action report to the doctor. We have suggestions for improvements (we need a way to keep stuff with us, for one. A glove compartment, magical girl transformation, something).
>>
No. 467227 ID: f6cff9

>>467221
Yeah let's go for broke and do this. This sounds alright to me.
>>
No. 467490 ID: a407a5

"Go ahead and wreck the tanks. BUT NOT THE PEOPLE! People are to be ignored unless you need to knock them out or something."

"Gotcha, Linda. I'm on it."

"As you desire, Angel."

"TANKS! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING OUT THER- Whoa! Guns! Wow! Haven't had to fight those yet... hehe, this guy's nightmare is gonna taste delicious..."

Choosing to ignore that rather disturbing thought, you instead go for another kill on the lizard, dodge its flailing limbs to get past it and recover your machine gun. Just as it starts to stand again, you drop it with a hail of machine gun fire, emptying everything you have into the bloody mess. Then, missiles fully loaded, you fire those to, the explosion taking out a good chunk of the buildings surrounding the site out as well. The building on the right side of the lizard collapses on top of the thing, and it's about this time you figure it would be good to hightail it. THe thing looks thoroughly dead, and it's probably best not to hang around too long. With that, you retreat, grabbing Elizabeth on your way out, as Cass hitches a ride with the Doc. Raphael sends out a message that he'll be fine getting out, that's no problem with the scene you caused.

Still, an hour later and quite a few close shaves with some jet-fighters, you manage to make it back to the Doc's lab/base thing, and dismount, recollecting your clothing and precious belongings, finding everything exactly where you left it. Almost the moment you're done confirming you're not missing anything, the Doc is suddenly right next to you, staring at you intently.

"Soooo?"

"So what?"

"How did the mech handle? I need data, woman! Data!"

>>>Input Command
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No. 467498 ID: 886a4d

It was beautiful. Describe the specifics in as much detail as you can. Then tell him the only complaint we have is that having to change every time we use it is gonna be a pain. Even a storage locker somewhere in the mech would help.

Still thats a small price to pay. Its a mech!
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No. 467505 ID: 3338b5

>taking out a good chunk of the buildings surrounding the site
>Building collapses on top of the thing
*wince* oh gods, there's no way we didn't kill scores of helpless bystanders. I try and avoid splattering the inhabitants of the lobby and we end up nearly leveling a city block instead...

Did Cass manage to throw up some kind of normalize over that? Turn it into some kind of gas main explosion or bomb threat gone wrong? We can't really afford to have a giant lizard v robot battle on the news...

>How did the mech handle?
Pretty fantastic. Handling and maneuverability was about as good as we could ask for.

Armaments could use a little tweaking. We could use some sort of precision weapon (ie, something without automatic, or a blast radius) for when we need to avoid collateral damage- hard to do that with the machine gun, rockets, or the holdout gun. An ancillary gun would be nice to add.

It's a little concerning we couldn't wear our foci over the nerve suit. It'd be nice if accommodations could be made for that- or if storage for your possessions was provided for.

How will we deploy the finished product? Do we get a transformation sequence into the nerve suit, and then the mech? (ask with longing. You want a transformation sequence). Or is the suit the focus, and I'll have to carry it around and change when I need it?

(You don't need to change back immediately though. Just slip the necklaces back on for now, and hold on to your clothes while we talk. Rock the nerve suit for a little while).

We should probably discuss the color pallet too. How do we want this thing painted?
>>
No. 467509 ID: f6cff9

>>467498
>>467505
All great ideas so they get my vote. Still want to know about the "hard-mounted cannon with the unknown capabilities". Don't want to use that one day and blow up half the city.
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No. 467558 ID: 4a328b

We can't wear anything with the nerve suit, so that means when we use the mech we have to leave our foci behind. Ask if he can install a small compartment for your stuff or something in case you need to break while in the mech.

If the recoil on the machine gun could be reduced or the mech able to absorb it better you might be able to get more accuracy with it.

Otherwise, I get the impression that it handled well--give him all the details, Linda!
>>
No. 467755 ID: a407a5

"Well... uh... you think you could... I don't know... put a compartment into it to store my foci and stuff in?"

"How would you put anything in the compartment? The system insides connects immediately to your nervous system. There isn't any cockpit, in the traditional sense. It's more like you are serving as the brain. Only the brain is in the torso instead of the head... eh, whatever. So no, a compartment would get you no where."

"Ah... well then... what about deploying this thing? Do I get a magical girls transformation or something?"

"A what?"

"You know... magical girls?"

"You are confusing me. Magic doesn't exist. Not yet anyway. Someone hasn't broken it into existence yet. God help us if someone does."

"Uh... right... just something to deploy this thing better. It is a focus, right?"

"Nnnnnnooooooo? If you recall, I ripped apart my giant robot to make this. That wasn't anything broken by reality at all. Everything involved in the robot was real to begin with. All of that was merely science. Very, very good science."

Wha- "How the hell am I suppose to use this all the time then?!"

"Why would you need to? I hardly see this thing as being worth it most of the time. Far to flashy and noticeable. Especially with this Division 7 running around, or whatever it was they called themselves. I would think you'd only want to use this when absolutely necessary, which is why I'm trying to develop matter transference. Or orbital drops, but I need to build a satellite station for that..."

... You have no response to that...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 467757 ID: f6cff9

Be horribly crushed. Seriously how sad Linda has to be when she learns she can't use her mecha whenever she wants.
>>
No. 467767 ID: 3338b5

Wait wait wait, he's contradicting himself. The whole reason he said we couldn't manifest super weapons for this thing is because it counts as a manifestation!

>Integrated Manifested Weaponry? A fine idea, but impractical, given as this machine is already a manifestation.
If it's a manifestation, there should a focus. And if there's not, we should be able to make it one somehow, right? That, or we'd be able to work in the integrated manifested weaponry.

Matter transference might work, but summoning something remotely that way is mechanically the same as manifesting, at least from our perspective. Except that the transference can have more plot restrictions.

>magical girl
Rephrase: we were looking for a way to rapidly change into the nerve suit. Of course, the point is kind of moot if we can't rapidly deploy the mech.

Storage also doesn't matter much if rapid deployment isn't an option (since if we're planning in advance we can always pass them to someone else). But I don't see why working a storage space the size of a crumpled pile of clothes (or even just the size of a few foci) into a giant robot is unfeasible. It doesn't have to be in the 'cockpit', per se.

>THIS IS IMPORTANT
>Raise this concern, if nothing esle
The biggest problem, more than anything else, is if we can't carry our foci, and the mech doesn't have one, then we have no access to breaking as we pilot. We want access to active break and death avoidance. We need to correct one of these problems- make the mech a manifestation, of find a way to carry our others on board.

He was worried about how to make his robot break proof before? The best solution is a pilot who can break back.

>God help us if someone breaks Magic into existence.
Pff. What could we do with magic we can't do with breaking? It's redundant.
>>
No. 467774 ID: 8b5c1f

>>467767
>God help us if someone breaks Magic into existence.
>. What could we do with magic we can't do with breaking? It's redundant.

Magic probably would not require use of bp, so one might be able to ignore the laws of physics and reality without being a breaker. Shrug.

Anyway, even if the mech needs an absurd deployment time we're going to need the nerve suit at least to be a foci manifestation. Doc isn't always going to be showing up with our giant robot (hopefully he'll be able to send it to us autonomously sooner than later) and we can't just wear the suit constantly or it might get battle damaged (do you want to trust our breaking ability to repair it?).

Ideally, if the nerve suit becomes a manifestation we could invest exp in making something like a pocket dimension within the suit to store Linda's foci and whatever else (clothes, equipment, etc.) she had on her person for the manifestation's duration.

A thought anyway...
>>
No. 467778 ID: 3338b5

>>467774
>magic
Is suppose breaking physics such that normals could start casting would change things. Although, fundamentally, a normal with fireballs isn't much more dangerous than a normal with guns. It would more be a problem for the world order than us breakers.

>manifesting
Yeah, the perfect solution is if we can manifest the suit, swapping our current clothes, carried foci, and equipment into hammerspace a pocket dimension, and then we manifest (or transmaterialize :p) the mech. A two step process.

>repairs
The other big advantage of a manifestation. Right now, if the suit or mech gets damaged or trashed, we're fucked.

If you're worried about us dropping the mech on everything I'm sure you can drop in some kind of recharge or restriction to prevent us from using it constantly. Or just make the BP cost exorbitant.

I'm still going to complain we need to carry a focus, somehow. I'm not getting Linda killed when the mech inevitably explodes someday. (Last ditch solution: barring anything else, we could tune one of our unused foci, and just have it embedded somewhere inside the mech, close enough to Linda that she can use it to break and avoid death while piloting. We'll never be able to manifest whatever it is, but we'd lose one piloting disadvantage).
>>
No. 467791 ID: 886a4d

Ask if providing multiple focii to burn would allow him to convert the mech + nerve suit into a manifestation of some sort.I mean hes built things from scratch before and we do have a bunch of untuned focii to burn.
>>
No. 467793 ID: 3338b5

>>467791
...that's a good idea. We have 3 spares to burn right now, although that will prevent us from making a custom gun out of the shotgun. 4 spares if we need to burn the shotgun too (we'll find another gun to mod eventually). We'd have 5 to burn if we sacrificed Cally's... but after Elizabeth's comment I really don't think we want to.

After we're done robot faffing with the doc, check in with your teammates. How'd the tanks go? I don't suppose Cass normalized any of that mess? And I Hope Cass is gonna take this opportunity to turn her second knife into something kick ass? And if Raphael doesn't show up, we need to arrange to meet somewhere, make sure he got out okay (although of all of us, he's in the least danger traveling alone, since he can escape ambush by ducking into the dreamtime).
>>
No. 467797 ID: 8b5c1f

>>467793
>We'd have 5 to burn if we sacrificed Cally's... but after Elizabeth's comment I really don't think we want to.

Gotta agree, that focus is off the table with regard to trade and tuning.
>>
No. 467951 ID: a407a5

[/b]Experience Gained: 2[/b]

"So no calling up the mech whenever I want?"

"No. Fortunately for the rest of the world. I suppose you haven't seen the internet feeds yet? No, course not, you don't have a computer hardwired to your brain. I would suggest watching the news soon. You're becoming somewhat of a celebrity. Or at least, the mech is. They've even started on trying to give it a name."

"Huh?"

"HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, that is funny shit. Oh... fuck... I'm gonna suficate... I'm gonna... Oh boy..."

You stalk over to Cass, glaring down at her in annoyance.

"You didn't normalize."

"Sorry... sorry... didn't think about it at the time... oh man... Linda... a celebrity... fuck, it's going to be funny as hell when they see you in that nerve suit. You're gonna have fans EVERYWHERE. And anime made about. And porno to."

"Fucking... you know what, forget it. It's not worth." You stride back over to the Doc, trying to resist thinking about what just happened. You were becoming an internet celebrity? That was... bad. People focusing on you was bad. Very bad. That meant more people to track you're movements, if they ever found out about who you really were. Regardless, now wasn't the best time to figure that one out. Now, you had another concern.

"Hey Doc. I accept the fact that I won't be calling up the mech all the time. But changing into this suit isn't exactly fast, so is it possible I could turn THIS thing in a focus or manifestation?"

"Hm... yes. Just hand over one foci, please. I'll handle the rest. AH, I haven't had this much fun designing something in years. Much more interesting than hand-held railguns... AH! I have another job for you! Here... where did I put that... AH! Here we go!"

The Doc pulls out a thin cylinder with a cap on one end, shoving into your arms. The thing is heavy, very heavy, but you don't find it too difficult to hold. The Doc rushes off again, returning with a similar cylinder, although this one is empty judging by the weight of it.

"Take those. They're weapons I developed off those blueprints that you got from the bastards of Division 7. Try them out for me. The first one should cause a collapse in their ability to break reality. The other should then gather that into a condensed, liquid form. You'll need to test both multiple times, preferably on live subjects, although it might work on dead subjects as well... no, live subjects preferably. You think you can do that? Oh yes, and have you found anything regarding the solid reality?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 467954 ID: 886a4d

Fraid not Doc. I've been keeping an eye out though.

>Focus to give to the Doc
vial of unknown

We know what it does mostly and we don't really want it.

>New Weapons
Welp. This should be... fun.

>xp
1 into double manifestation of the pistol
1 into greater clip size for the pistol.

Might as well make sure we can get maximum gain from our new ability right away.
>>
No. 467955 ID: 3338b5

>Experience Gained: 2
Spend:

*1XP unlock second manifestation of the pistol (cost unchanged- 1BP per pistol).
*1XP increase pistol clip size (increases BP cost to 2).

We're expecting a boss fight soon- this lets us unload up to a 40shot kill chain with our new spirit ability.

>All over the internet
Fuck. Marc's not going to be happy about that. ...oh well, at least now we have something to do with our computer on our downtime. It's not the same as having work, but keeping track of your own celebrity should be... interesting.

Cass' reaction is kind of awesome, though. Don't be too hard on her Linda, not her fault. I kind of doubt she could have covered all that up on her own, anyways.

>Make the suit a manifestation
Alright, that works. That way it can be repaired, changed into fast, our clothes and gear will go somewhere when we change, and if the focus embeds in the suit when we manifest, then we have access to breaking when we pilot.
>Just hand over one foci, please
Let's give him the vial of unknown. We know what that one does, and we don't need stupid homing balls, we got guns. Goodbye, last vestige of Jake (asshole).

>anti breaker weapons
Well, we'll want to see how they work, since we might be facing them in the future!

We'll have to wait till someone picks a fight with us (not that that should take long...). Any idea if what these things do is permanent? Or fatal?

>have you found anything regarding the solid reality?
Haven't seen or heard anything.

>Before we go...
So... is Cass going to spend some of her looted foci to make something awesome out of her second knife? I'm hoping she does.

>When we're ready to leave
Radio Raphael, check that he got out alright, see if he needs pickup. Then we need to rendezvous somewhere, or head back to base.
>>
No. 467959 ID: 3338b5

>>467954
Heh. I like it that we independently gave the exact same orders.

>thin cylinder
What are the dimensions on these things? How big? Are we talking paper towel tubes, toilet paper roll, rolled up poster...? Does an examination reveal how they're meant to be used? Are they a ranged weapon, or melee? Can they easily be carried on your person without impeding your movement or gun-toting in battle? Are they meant to be used in the heat of battle, or on a subdued foe? We kind of need a better description so we know when and how to try these things.
>>
No. 468007 ID: 8b5c1f

>>467954
>>467955

I agree with these posts accept expending our 2 xp. Dual pistols with extended mags are a worthwhile investment, but while we have access to the doc we might want to rebuild that shotgun (my personal preference would be a temporal stasis gun - incapacitate enemies and pause allies in the process of bleeding out until a medic can treat them) or see what a xp or two could do for the nerve suit (dare I suggest...pockets! No, that would be silly. Storage pocket dimension maybe?). Again, I like the xp use ideas thus far put forth, but (assuming we are not kicked out of doc's lair next post) I'd rather hold off for now.
>>
No. 468019 ID: 3338b5

>>468007
>upgrading the shotgun
We already have problems juggling all our guns at once. And we have a devastating new ability that relies on a big pile of ammo to work. We don't need a new special gun that doesn't use bullets, or that requires us to experiment to figure out how to use it. We need the ability to maximize our new ability in the coming boss fight.

>tuning / upgrading the nerve suit
I suspect we'll get a free XP to tune it. And if we don't? We're not going to be allowed to use the mech soon. Upgrading that is not a priority. Being prepared for the foes Elizabeth saw hunting us is.
(Also- it's kind of policy not to buy upgrades for anything until we've hashed them over in dis and made double sure we know exactly what we're buying).
>>
No. 468023 ID: 4a328b

We are putting those two xp straight to BP.
>>
No. 468024 ID: f6cff9

>>468023
I have to agree with this. We keep putting that off. We need more BP now.
>>
No. 468029 ID: 3338b5

>>468023
>>468024
Ooh. Votes are 2 to 2 now- pistol upgrades vs BP. Gotta win people over.

I'd endorse putting our next point of XP or 2 into BP, but not these 2. I really want to be able to throw 40 bullets at once at Maria, right now. If we up BP, the best we can manage is 15. And she's going to have at least 38BP (assuming she hasn't leveled at all since we last saw her, and you know she has), she's going to dodge some of our shots, and she'll have backup (Trevor).

If I can't win you over to the dual pistols & clip upgrade, I'd be willing to compromise: dual pistols & BP. That's still good for a 30shot chain.
>>
No. 468034 ID: f6cff9

>>468029
I can deal with the dual gun and BP combo.
>>
No. 468064 ID: 3338b5

>>468034
I'd prefer to go dual pistol + clip upgrade, but I can tolerate that as a second pick compromise if no one breaks the tie.

>Hey Cass, you getting any work done while we're here?
Does anyone have any cool ideas we could suggest to her for modifying her spare knife, while we're here? She should have the requisit 2 spare foci on her to burn unless she spent them off screen (She should have the fireman's axe, the club from the arena, and giant arm at least. Potentially more from the loot we split from Blade's lackeys, don't know if she got more than her second knife out of that).

Only thing I've been able to think of is an energy or plasma blade (for cutting through metal, concrete, etc. Basically, a solution for anything she can't cut through with a chainsaw, or light on fire. Or as a convenient light source). Although she might have an idea of her own, or the doctor might have an insane idea or two to suggest if we broach the topic.
>>
No. 468085 ID: 9b155d

>>468064
Cass has a Chainsaw and a Machete. If you think she's giving up the fireaxe, I think you've missed the fact that she has a theme going. That theme being all her weapons are Slasher classics. Actually, depending on just what the Giant Claw looks like, she might keep that too. Or regardless of how it looks she might modify it for a greater resemblance of Krueger's glove.
>>
No. 468112 ID: 3338b5

>>468085
She has a chainsaw, her initial knife, and her new one. (Looted in the ballroom fight).

It makes sense to modify the second knife- unless she plans on throwing them, a second one doesn't offer her anything the first doesn't, and it potentially unlocks something awesome she has a natural bonus for. (Just like Linda's thing is guns, Cass' is technically knives- the chainsaw wasn't her first weapon).

If she gave a damn about the axe she would have tuned it already (it's inferior to the chainsaw anyways, without any other advantages, unlike the knives), we know she doesn't give a shit about the club, and the arm is a form type and useless to her. And making Krueger gloves seems an absurdly wasted opportunity considering the cost of these modifications, and what we know the doctor is capable of.

I'm pretty sure Cass' weapon choice is more based on what's up bloody, up close and personal. She's not going to pass up awesome for memorabilia.
>>
No. 468445 ID: 466404

Experience Allocated:
2nd 9mm Allowed
BP Limit: 29

"Nope, sorry. No solid reality yet." You hand over the vial of... stuff, and The Doc quickly gets to work as soon as you strip out of the suit and hand it over. You quickly get back into your normal clothing, taking the few extra minutes to get the bulletproof vest on. By the time you're done, the Doc is handing you a small wrist watch looking thing. You assume it's the newly generated focus.

"Oh well, not all THAT important."

"Uh... before we go. How's this thing work? Or, these things, really."

"Hm? Oh. Just pop the cap off of them while aiming them at whatever you want them to work on. That should work."

You frown at the new objects, then shrug. Whatever he said. You were the tester, you suppose, so you can't really expect to have all your questions answered.

"Hey, Cass? Or anyone, for that matter, anyone need any work done by the Doc while we're here?"

"Nope."

"I have no interest."

You blink a little, at least expecting Cass to have done something with the new knife, but she seems completely uninterested in doing anything. Regardless, you don't really have to force her into anything, and you don't really want to either. Time to leave, then. Or at least head home.

"Alright, I think that's everything. We'll be back if we need anything, Doc."

"Mmm hmm."

You head out, taking the van back to the apartments, and in the meantime you listen in on the radio.

"- onsumer goods. In other news, we have received numerous reports of a giant, Godzilla like creature attacking Sun City. Halfway through its assault, a giant robot apparently arrived to defend the city from the monster, and according to an eyewitness, 'Killed it with a badass missile attack'. Authorities are calling for the arrest of the robot, or the pilot of the robot, but civilians are claiming whoever it is to be a hero, and have taken to calling the robot, 'God-Killer', after it having killed Godzilla. There appear to have been no casualties during the attack. Moving on to the weather-"

"No casualties? Fuck. I don't know how you managed that, Linda. Those explosions were pretty big."

"Yeah, I don't know either Cass..."

"Yeah, well... hey, Linda... what do you think about all this smoke and dagger crap that the Boss seems to be doing..."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 468455 ID: f6cff9

I guess it depends on his intentions. He could just be trying to make himself richer and more powerful. He could also be trying to make us safer by hiding behind the power of money and whatnot. It's just hard to tell what his intentions are without seeing the big picture.
>>
No. 468463 ID: 3338b5

>she seems completely uninterested in doing anything
Boo! Bad Cass. I am disappoint.

>God-Killer
Yeah, like Linda really needed something more to go to her head when it comes to piloting her giant mech.

>I don't know how you managed that, Linda.
That's either lots and lots of luck, or merciful GM fiat, Cass.

>what do you think about all this smoke and dagger crap that the Boss seems to be doing...
Wow. Didn't expect her to raise that one. Ahem.

...I don't know what to think yet, Cass. I mean, I don't really like it, but we've got so little to really go on.

We know he's got old associates who hate him, but hell, if we'd left any of the people who crossed us alive, I doubt they'd have kind words.

Blade's boss sounded a hell of of a lot like Marc, but she could have been paid to lie, or it could have been anyone strong and able to break themselves into looking like him.

And I can't tell if the stuff that smells bad really is, or if we just don't have the whole picture. I mean, hell, it's not hard to take some of the things we do out of context.

I honestly can't tell if everything is fine, if someone is playing some kind of game to turn us on each other, or if he's up to something nasty. And I'm not sure how to find out. How do you trust any evidence you find in a world with breaking? I don't know what else to do but try and keep us all alive until we know something real.

>a small wrist watch looking thing
Oh, hey, take a look at that. Does it actually work as a watch, or have any other functionality? A focus that does something on it's own, even without manifesting, is an unexpected bonus.
>>
No. 468473 ID: 886a4d

>>468463
Sounds good. Mention that maybe next time we come to the doc we can ask him what caused the break between him and Marc. And even though it might be a false trail via Breaking we should do the trace the money of Marc's holdings. You never know, maybe he slipped up somewhere when he wasn't as strong.
>>
No. 468556 ID: 466404

"Honestly, Cass? I don't know... I really don't know. I want to trust him. But..."

"Yeah... yeah, I get it. Still, I don't really like this whole cloak and dagger thing he's got going. Not really my style, I guess. Whatever. I'd rather not think about it too much... Still, I don't really feel like going home... you think we could swing by that arena place? I need to let off some steam."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 468557 ID: 886a4d

Sounds good to me. Hows our BP looking? We can also get in contact with Michelle and arrange our duel.
>>
No. 468569 ID: 70c0f2

>you think we could swing by that arena place? I need to let off some steam.
What, the tanks weren't enough for you? *grin* Yeah, no problem.

Actually, in retrospect, I'm a little amused that of the two of them, Cass got to kill some tanks before Linda. It's not like Linda totes anti tank weaponry or anything.

...I wonder if Elizabeth will want to fight? (Don't ask her). With her control needle, it's pretty an automatic win if she has higher will than her opponent, and a lose otherwise. She doesn't have a spare focus to gamble, but Linda could spot her one. And with her vision, it's entirely possible she'll know if her opponent would be someone beatable before she goes in.

...I'm really hoping she does that out of the blue now. It'll be hilarious.

>Hows our BP looking?
Assuming it's been another hour or two since we left base, that the collaborative active break only cost 1 point each, and with the 3BP we just added, Linda's probably got 12-15BP right now. That's enough to work an arena fight with, but we'd likely be at single digits afterwards, especially after a tough opponent like Leviathan.

I'd prefer to have Linda charge up, for the trouble we're expecting. And if we don't get attacked today, we'll have the spare BP to manifest Twinda and set her working on extra tasks again.

Oh, and Linda? Take a look at your watch focus when you get a chance. I want to know if it actually keeps time, or has a stopwatch, or a life meter, or whatever in it.

>also
Definately radio Rapheal if he's in range, let him know you're not coming strait back.
>>
No. 468571 ID: 886a4d

Oh hey we got a new focii in that wristwatch +1 xp! (To spend tuning the wristwatch)
>>
No. 468572 ID: f6cff9

I don't mind going to the arena. We gotta do some stuff Cass likes and it's not like we mind going to the arena.
>>
No. 468577 ID: 70c0f2

>>468571
Unfortunately not, I think. We didn't gain a new focus, we transformed one we already had. For comparison, we didn't get an XP when we converted the .45mm into the vial of liquid nitrogen. Actually, I take that back. No way to tell. We got 4XP after the first visit to the doctors, no way to know if that was all from the mech fight, or if one point was from the focus.

So yeah, if we somehow did get XP, I'm all for tuning it. :p
>>
No. 468926 ID: a407a5

Current BP: 15

"Works for me. Just don't count me in to fight anyone."

"Wasn't planning on it. Just need to beat someone's face in till they stop me."

Cass starts driving you in the right direction, while you take a look at this watch thing on your wrist. While it looks like a watch at a glance, it actually seems to be made of a much smoother material than metal, and doesn't seem to keep any finger prints on it, like a normal metal would. Furthermore, instead of having time on it, you find a blank LCD looking screen, with nothing showing up on it. You try fiddling with it a bit, but other than noting that the little machine is in fact on, you don't discover much else. You also take the time to call up Raphael on the coms, and let him know you won't be headed back immediately.

Upon arriving at your destination, you get out and enter the place only to find it trashed beyond anything recognizable. Bodies litter the area, some filled with bullet holes, others literally ripped into pieces. You can really only stare at the carnage for a moment, before Elizabeth suddenly slides behind you, grasping your shirt sleeve.

Then a slow, rhythmic clap starts up from somewhere above and as you glance up you see someone you'd prefer not to see.

"Well, well. Looks like Maria was right. You guys did come to investigate after all. Too bad. I already dealt with everyone here."

Trevor. Wolf-man incarnate. You tense, ready to move if need be, but the man notices and simply smirks. Your eyes manage to pick out a 16, but you somehow doubt that's his highest. You spot someone next to him, wringing his hands nervously, and trying very hard to keep himself in the corner. The man speaks up, nervously trying to calm things down.

"T-Trevor? W-We're not s-supposed to do a-anything..."

"Yeah, whatever. Don't get so worked up. I'm not here to kill them... yet. I still have some things Maria wants me to do first. Still, I gotta say, you've come a looooong way from offing people's brothers for no reason whatsoever."

"The wolf... so hungry... so very hungry..."

"Hmmm? Who's that? Looks like... oh. The chick Maria wants. Well, I'm on my own right now, so I can't really expect to win... still..."

"T-Trevor..."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 468937 ID: 70c0f2

>Watch does nothing
Kind of what I expected. It might gain some kind of display once it's tuned to us, though.

>Arena, wrecked.
...well, I half expected that to happen.

And we've confirmed Elizabeth isn't good for stopping us from walking into ambushes, regrettably.

>You guys did come to investigate after all.
Don't flatter yourself. We didn't know you'd be here. And how many people's brothers did you kill yourself, today?

Let's end this, quickly. No fucking around- he just killed a bunch of honest people who followed a code of not killing each other. And we can't afford to let him run whatever errands he wants, or face him and Maria at the same time.

Draw your pistol in one hand, and manifest the second one in your other (I'm hoping the sight of his brother's gun will give him pause for a split second, too). Activate your spirit 5 ability, and unload rounds into Trevor until he dies (at least 16 shots, more if any miss)- send any extra rounds into his companion. As you're doing this, Elizabeth should throw out control needles as your fire, potentially disabling one or both of the enemy, taking them prisoner.

Outcomes:

If they're both dead, loot them. Apologize to the stunned and suddenly battle-blocked Cass. "Sorry, I wasn't in the mood for any shit".

If Trevor dies, but his companion survives- demand he surrender. Go for an intimidation check- with our will, him outnumbered, and his companion just blown away, we have good odds.

If you manage to control wire one or more of them, subdue the other, foci loot them, and bring them back to headquarters for questioning.

If Trevor survives, reload your dominant hand pistol, dismiss the empty spare. Dodge, and keep shooting, normally. Protect / cover Elizabeth as she tries to get wires out, and as Cass charges to engage in melee (cover her as needed, as as possible, too).

Note that from the bodies, Trevor's nervous companion is probably a gun user. Take that into account. If you end up having to fight him normally, you can use the cold magnum to freeze his weapon, and the 9mm to shoot him.

>ALSO
If at all possible, get a warning off via radio. I don't know if anyone is in range to help, or to hear, but get the message off that there are goddamn eastern fixers at the arena!
>>
No. 468938 ID: f6cff9

>>468937
We could do that since we know Trevor is out for blood and diplomacy isn't gonna work.
>>
No. 468943 ID: 886a4d

... I don't think we can let this pass. We want Trevor to fight.


Me? Kill you brother? That was Cass. Cass here did it. Of course I didn't walk away from that with nothing. Look familiar? You're brother's gun has been very useful. Use your will and your tone of voice to get him fighting mad.

Summon the dual 9mm. You and Liz take on the stutterer while Cass takes on mr Wolf. Have Liz get a needle into him and try to make the fight a mock one. We might e able to use those new weapons. Keep an eye on the other fight even if she doesn't and as soon as Cass has Trevor immoblized briefly take him down with your new ability.
>>
No. 468949 ID: 70c0f2

>>468943
Actually, if we can taunt him into jumping off the roof beam before we start the 30-bullet burst, that drastically increases our odds of killing him (he goes from having partial cover in the beams to hanging mid air while we do our bullet time unloading thing).
>>
No. 469014 ID: 70c0f2

Partial reassessment:

The people full of holes doesn't mean Trevor's companion is a gun user- rather, it could mean Maria was here (or still is!). We didn't get a number for the nervous guy- meaning he's a normal or another fucker with normalcy cloak (which I really hate- all it does is make us kill people, it doesn't give the people hiding any advantage in combat unless they're trying to get killed). ...:( </3

Try and draw Trevor out on the "I'm own my own" comment. "You're on your own? You seem to have a friend. And someone filled these bodies full of holes". If Trevor confirms his companion as a worthless normal or non-com, we probably don't want to send a burst of bullets into him. We could also maybe ask something along the lines of "If she thought we'd be here, why didn't the bitch stick around?" and try and draw if Maria is still here out of him.

Then we taunt him into attacking (his brother's killer is right here, and so's his brother. *shows gun*. I hear something of us persists, after, in these things...).

If he's truly alone, it's three on one- we can probably get away with being more conservative in our BP expenditures- Cass in melee, us at range covering her and protecting Elizabeth- Elizabeth trying to get needles into the normal and wolf boy. We can kill or disable him without burning the BP for a burst. If he doesn't confirm the stutterer as a normal, I'm still for filling them with 30 rounds rapid and ending this quick.

Worst case- the stutterer is more dangerous than he appears, and is the hole from Elizabeth's visions.
>>
No. 469019 ID: 886a4d

>>469014
Most likely it was hit by Maria and all her fixers. They left Trevor (or he volunteered) to stay and see who else came by.
>>
No. 469134 ID: a407a5

"Me? Kill your brother? That was Cass here, if I remember correctly. Although, I suppose I did take this..."

You draw the handgun, manifesting its twin while your at it. You see Trevor's body tense, then he dropping down, ready to murder. You waste no time, moving both guns into position and unloading on the asshole. Round after round and round smashes home, but instead of reducing in number, he lands perfectly and stands up to a good 7 feet in height, Were-wolf body shrugging off the bullets you'd pumped into him.

"Haven't you heard? You need silver to kill a Were-wolf."

Then he charges, even as you scramble to reload the weapons. Cass pushes herself in front of you, chainsaw singing as she tries to stop his advance. Claws meet roaring blades, and both manage to halt each other, anger clear on both of their faces. It becomes a matter of pure strength after that, and it seems that Trevor wins as he literally shoves Cass' weapon wide and jabs his claws into her stomach, ripping and tearing his way through her. He lets out a roar of feral delight, then seems to notice his friend hasn't joined in.

"Get down here, Casey! Before I have to go up there and drag your ass down!"

"I-I'm coming!"

The other man seems to to start to glance around for a way down, only to trip and fall, somehow managing to right himself mid-flight and land on his feet, seeming remarkably different from when he was further up. He's carrying a wooden cane, quite a fancy looking one, and suddenly looks extremely bored, not a trace of cowardice or hesitation at all in his stance.

"How dull. Why do I always have to deal with this boring crap. At least make this more interesting for the rest of us."

"SHUT UP, CASEY! Just grab who we need to grab and lets leave. As much as I'd love to kill both of them, Maria wants everything all proper and official like."

"Yes, yes. Well, she's just as dull as the rest of this."

Casey, or whatever his name is, starts striding over towards you as Trevor grabs hold of a revived Cass and hurls her through a wall, snarling as he goes after her to by some more time. The cane starts twirling lazily in the man's hands as he starts whistling to himself, looking completely uninterested in the world around him, heading instead straight for Elizabeth.

Your only thought is: LIKE FUCKING HELL.

You reload the weapons then open fire again, hoping at least to drive him back while Elizabeth can try something. Instead, suddenly, the man is next to you, cane poised to thrust into your gut. You step to the side, matching speed for speed, but you're just the slightest bit slower, and you feel the cane smash into you stomach, knocking the wind from you. You collapse onto the ground, struggling for breath, while the man regards you with complete and utter disdain.

"How dull. Guns are so horribly overrated. You think people would realize that sooner rather than later. Now the- Ow!"

You see Elizabeth hurl a control wire into the man's neck, and he quickly reaches up to grasp it, only to freeze, face pained, as if he's struggling with something you can't see. Both Elizabeth and Casey just stand there, struggling, while the sounds of battle echo in from outside, shouts and roars accompanying the more familiar sound of a singing chainsaw. Still, even as you feel your breath start to return, you doubt you're in the best position, and your limbs still feel weak from the blow to your stomach.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 469140 ID: 70c0f2

>Haven't you heard? You need silver to kill a Were-wolf.
...oh come on, that's just lame. When I suggested getting silver bullets for the pistols in dis, I was was joking. -_- Fucker.

Le sigh, I guess we just need to hit him with the tank gun.

>Wasted points
We burnt 5BP on a burst for nothing, I think. Despite the fact the shots should have been instantaneous (and therefore faster than his transformation), and that I wanted to spread some of them into Trevor's companion (which Linda should have started doing as soon as it was apparent the shots weren't hurting Trevor). So what the heck. (Unless that was just a normal, non-BP aided frantic unloading of ammunition? Unlikely, but it would explain how his shift was faster).

Additionally, Linda reloaded both pistols, instead of just 1, contrary to orders.

We're down to 7BP.

At least the investment in the body armor paid off, or that blow to the gut probably would have killed us.

>What now?
Let Cass fight Trevor. Even if he's better than her, it won't be by much, and Cass has more BP than him, atm (she should be at full power, or close to it, by my math). She can afford to burn some lives to keep him occupied.

We need to take Casey out of the fight. Elizabeth is trying to dominate him- help her. Get up, pistol whip him in the head (hard to concentrate with a head injury). Don't knock the needle out. Grab him, hold a gun to his temple, look him in the eyes, throw your will behind your words and order him to submit. Let's see him beat two will 6 checks.

If he somehow makes the will check, shoot him in the face, let her try again.

Once he's down and out, holster your pistols, manifest the tank gun (down to 5BP and almost dead already! Yay!), and start killing Trevor as Cass keeps him busy. Keep dominated Casey by Elizabeth, protecting her (if we send him into melee, Trevor might break the wire). Elizabeth tries to dominate the wolf as you shoot him.

..Alternatively, if we have the doc's anti breaker weapons on us, we could use those on Trevor instead of the tank gun. Although I'm assuming we left those in the car, and it's not like we know the range or possible area of effect on those, making them difficult and dangerous to use as he fights Cass.
>>
No. 469142 ID: 70c0f2

Oh, and once Casey's dominated, before you help Cass? Hand to that headset, call it in.

FUCKING FIXERS AT THE ARENA! The ones from back east followed us!

I don't know if anyone in the comm net is close enough to help in time, but at the very lease they can raise the alarm at base.
>>
No. 469199 ID: 70c0f2

Actually, rethinking:

What do we do with Casey once he's dominated? I'm all for keeping him alive and giving him to George to rip apart for information later, but right now we can't afford to risk Trevor engaging him, knocking him across the room, and dislodging the needle. Maybe we should take his focus and leave him a helpless meat shield? Or burn his BP off (rapid manifest-dismiss chain) so he's still able to guard Elizabeth, but only a shot away from death if he is freed? (Or so freeing him would be fatal).

I mean, 3 on 1 is good enough to beat Trevor. 4 on 1 is unnecessary, and I don't want to risk it turning back to 3 to 2, especially since one of our 3 is low on BP, and another not well suited to close combat, and with the enemy objective to capture her and escape.

Yeah, I think ruthlessly making Casey helpless to ensure he can't turn the tide of this battle is more important than trying to ensure his survival for interrogation.
>>
No. 469204 ID: f6cff9

>>469199
Yeah making Casey give us his foci if he is under Elizabeth's control sounds like a good idea to me. That way he becomes less of a threat.
>>
No. 469385 ID: 886a4d

>>469204
We can also use the weapons the doc gave us. Suck the breaker right out of him.
>>
No. 469387 ID: 70c0f2

>>469385
That could work, if we have them on us. I'd assumed we'd left them in the car, given their conspicuous size and that Linda expected the arena to be full of non-hostile breakers. That, and I don't know how Linda is carrying them while dual-wielding pistols.

It's slightly riskier than just disarming him though. It potentially takes longer than simply handing over a focus (or foci) and the anti-breaking might fry the control wire in him. Or worse- effect Elizabeth through the wire. Or supper worse- it's not meant to be used at close range at all and effects him, Elizabeth and Linda.

I certainly have no qualms using him as a Guenna pig, though.
>>
No. 469389 ID: a407a5

You struggle back to your feet, sucking lung fulls of air to get your body moving again. Still, by the time your on your feet, the man has somehow pushed Elizabeth back and knocked her out cold. He doesn't however pick her up, instead frowning at the wire in his hand.

"What is this? How... interesting."

You don't waste time, choosing to open fire now instead of dealing with some insanely complicated plan. The man barely catches your actions, attempting to dive behind a ruined table, but he doesn't make it in time, his body getting pumped with three out of the five rounds you fired his way. His body still makes it behind the table, stopping you from plugging him again when he revives, so you head over to the Elizabeth and check on the girl while keeping an eye on that table. She's fine, aside from being out cold and a small lump on her head, but that effectively means she's out of the fight for now. You're not in a very good position at the moment, Cass tied up with Trevor, and you alone against an unknown quantity, but thankfully, you're radio still works.

"Hey uh... anyone who can hear this... FUCKING FIXERS AT THE ARENA!"

"Wha- OH SHIT! Hold on, Linda! On the way!"

"Motherfu- Alright! I don't know why we'd be scared of fixers, ones out here suck, but I'm on my way, boss. Grabbing that 23 chick as well."

>>>Input Command
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No. 469390 ID: 886a4d

BP check. Both him and you.

Right this is a pain. Why do we keep on getting into fights with such a low BP? Bleh. First things first. Flush him out with your pistols. Those tables aren't that great of a cover. Try to kill him and predict where his ability will throw him. THen I suggest using the freeze ray with cartoon ice as a surprise to immobilize him.
>>
No. 469394 ID: 70c0f2

...oh come on. Why give us a chance to issue orders at all if the only thing we'd have time to do is stand up?

We're kind of fucked. A burst could be used to kill this guy, but we don't have the BP to spare for it. He's a finesse type, and can dodge some of what we're throwing at him, and he can blink to melee just like 23. And worse, we're pinned in one place protecting Elizabeth. And we're low enough on BP we can't get creative with breaking, or with versatile gun use. Especially after we squandered mass points manifesting, bursting and dual reloading.

...uh, awful as this sounds, our best course of action might be to kill Elizabeth. Kill her, and she comes back awake, and without the bump to the head (especially if he shoot her in the bump in the head). Then at least she's somewhat mobile as we hold him off, and we can go for round two with the control wire. (We're going to be due for some guilt wracked awkward Linda apologies after, even if Elizabeth isn't bothered by that (...although she might be) assuming we all make it out of this fight).

Ice gun and pistol is probably the best approach to fucking Casey over. Trip him up, freeze him or his weapon to something (wall, floor, support columns), kill and chain kill with pistol. Holster your extra pistol, if the one you're using runs out of ammo, dismiss it and draw the holstered spare.

Don't be afraid to throw will checks at him to trip him up the way we did with 23.

If we get Elizabeth on her feet again, and if she gets another wire in, immediately make your own will check, and order him to submit. If successful, take his focus/foci and convert him to expendable meat shield.

>BP check. Both him and you.
I think he's cloaked, but yes please, give us our BP and anyone else's you see. (Don't expose yourself, waste time, etc, looking for numbers though, goddamn it. Just report the ones you've seen/see).

>Advice for Cass, if she can hear us disembodied Linda voices
Fight dirty. Use weapon environment and active breaks to hit him hard (this place must be full of sharp rubble to throw at him). Cut through support structures and drop the roof on him. Throw a knife in his eye. Chainsaw-castrate the mad dog. Anything. The next time it's down to claw and saw, hit the switch and light him on fire. Werewolves are weak to fire, right?

>Orders
If and when Raphael shows up- shout at him to get Elizabeth out (assuming she's still unconscious, or we're still in a tight spot). They're here for her, and he can get her to a safe distance easiest.
>>
No. 469397 ID: 886a4d

I'm gonna say kill Liz to get her up again. Shes a liability while on the floor.
>>
No. 469482 ID: a407a5

Current BP: 7
Elizabeth BP: 17


You steel yourself, then shoot Elizabeth in the head. You need her awake and ready to go, not out cold, and as much as you hate killing her, it's the fastest way to get her mobile again. The girl is quickly revived, and seems a bit surprised she's awake, then goes passive again before you feel a pulse of something pass through the air, and her glass eye starts glowing more brightly. For a moment, the world seems to stand still, then Elizabeth suddenly turns to you, eyes fixed on you.

"Need to make Angel into a puppet. Can fight then. Really fight."

You blink, glance over your shoulder at where the man is and discover the man is no longer behind the table. Quickly, you fire with one pistol, wrapping your other arm around the younger girl and taking off, hoping to keep ahead of the bastard. You empty the rest of the 9mm clip towards the man before sliding behind a nice safe bar counter, just as you watch the enemy slip behind another table. Elizabeth looks a little put off being thrown over your shoulder, but still stares at you with that glowing eye.

"Not much time. Need Angel Puppet."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 469483 ID: 886a4d

Submit.
>>
No. 469490 ID: 70c0f2

...I trust you.
>>
No. 469508 ID: 70c0f2

(Planning ahead- if Linda or Elizabeth badly botches a roll during whatever she's planning to do and the control needle somehow gets knocked clear? Linda's reaction should be to use her finesse to immediately shoot out a hand, grab the needle, and jam it back in).
>>
No. 469530 ID: a407a5

"... I trust you."

"Understood."

Elizabeth manifests a control wire and jams it into your neck, a sharp pain pushing its way through your brain. Then you suddenly feel so relaxed. So... calm. And not like your in your body at all. If anything, you feel almost like your floating on air. You watch a little dispassionately as your body rolls over the top of the counter, both pistols drawn and reloaded as necessary. The man seems a bit surprised, but he leaps out as well, headed straight for you. You fire directly at him with one pistol, the other suddenly snapping to the side and firing even as Casey tries to dodge. He blinks in utter shock, only to die again. Instead of following it up, you find yourself backing off a little, placing a table in between you and his body. You place your foot on it, pause, then suddenly kick it outward, the table sailing beautifully into the man's legs as he tries to get up and dash forward again. He collapses forward, and is met with another two bullets to the face. This time, you find yourself standing above him, his awkward position making it difficult to do anything, and without hesitation, you find your new power activate, unloading every round you have point blank into his face.

The silence after that is deafening, then you feel control return to your body and your legs give out under you. Your breathing heavily, but before you can really react to anything you hear a moan come from where Elizabeth is. You hurry over and check on her to find her glass eye crying a tears of blood, but she waves you away before you can really check on her.

"I'm fine. Get focus. Have to get ready to leave. Can't beat him. Not now. Need... time. Need... more time."

You nod and search the now dead man for his focus, a small ball, like you would find on top of a cane, and then head back to Elizabeth, whom you find is having difficulty standing. You put one of her arms over your shoulder and move outside, stopping when you find Nicole and 23 running up.

"Hey Boss! Where the bastard I need to kill?"

"What are you order... Boss?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 469531 ID: 886a4d

Lets go help Cass. We need to extract her. Linda will calm her down. Nicole and 23 focus on driving wolf boy back. Liz says we can't kill him yet and we trust her.
>>
No. 469535 ID: 70c0f2

Way to fucking go, Elizabeth. Perfect precog fighting for impossible success beats bad rolls anyday. You go girl. A bunch more cool points in my book. (Next time we're safe and she's conscious again? Apologize for shooting her. And tell her that precog puppet fighting thing she did with us? Weird, but kind of awesome).

...okay, depending on whether we had to reload one or both pistols, we're now at 1 or 0BP. With no ammo in our guns. Remaining BP, Linda?

>orders, boss?
Cass is fighting wolf boy in there, I'm out of juice, and Elizabeth is out cold. Last thing she said was we don't have the time to finish this. Extricate Cass, we need to get the fuck out of here before worse shows up.

We either force Trevor into retreat with 3 on 1 melee. If he doesn't, we can order Cass back- she listens to Linda- and execute a fighting retreat and getaway. (Cass! We need to get the fuck out of here- NOW)
>>
No. 469536 ID: f6cff9

We also gotta tell them as we retreat that these fixers came from the east so don't underestimate them because the last thing we need right now is some of our team members being cocky.
>>
No. 471853 ID: 8b4dd1

"You two. Cass is around back, fighting some were-wolf guy. Go help her out, while I see about maybe getting some transportation or something. We need to be gone, like... now."

"Alright, we'll go help her hold him off a bit longer. You go do your thing."

The two women disappear around the corner quickly, and you quickly hear the sounds of conflict suddenly erupt into even more destruction, if it were possible. You listen a moment, just to make sure nothing unpleasant happens, then you head off into the main street, eyes scanning for anything that could be used for transportation. The problem is quickly solved as Raphael appears from around another corner, chest heaving. He'd apparently been in a hurry.

"Linda... shit.... came... came as quick as I could... fuck... What do you need me to d-"

"Take her and get her back to the base. How many people can you transport?"

"Wha-"

"With that dream thingy!"

"Walking? I don't know... maybe 3 or 4, if I try hard enough."

"In addition to you?"

"Yeah."

"Good enough. Get her back, then get back here and get US out, understood?"

"Yeah! Be back as soon as I can!"

Raphael takes Elizabeth from you and heads off, disappearing around another corner. You, on the other hand, head back to the fighting, and soon discover that while Trevor has numerous wounds all over his body, he is far from dead. If anything, he seems to be getting even stronger the more damage he takes, although it seems like 23 is the only one really hurting him.

"I'LL RIP ALL OF YOU APART!!!"

Cass, in her infinite wisdom, decides hurling a broken table is the best response to this. Trevor simply busts straight through and slams a clawed fist into her hastily raised chainsaw defense, sending HER through a nearby wall. Nicole quickly moves to her defense, using her gloves to launch the were-wolf through the opposite wall.

"DAMNIT CASS! Stop antagonizing the god-damn dog!"

So... that apparently hadn't scared him off. New plan?

>>>Input Command
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No. 471859 ID: f6cff9

We are in no shape to fight and we don't need Trevor's attention right at this moment. Don't bother reloading the pistols because it won't do us any good right now against Trevor. Linda needs to hide and keep a look out for Maria or other fixers. We should also do a BP check to see if Elizabeth drain your BP pool while she was being a better gunner than you.
>>
No. 471890 ID: 70c0f2

Nice to see Raphael took the time to test bringing people through the dreamtime while we were kidnapped.

Has Trevor lost any BP since this started?

>looking for transport
...didn't we drive here?

>New plan?
Well, it might have helped if you'd given us that BP check we asked for, Linda. By my count you should have either 1 or 0 BP (which is a world of difference) and no bullets in your gun. Your options are pretty limited here.

You do still have a comm though, which means we can effectively coordinate your teammates.

>Plan 1
I can't help but notice all the walls that keep getting crashed through. There can't be many walls or support columns left, can there? And you've got chainsaw girl, slicey McSlicey, and bursts through walls girl all in the field. You see where I'm going with this? Take out what's left holding up the building, and drop it on him. 23 makes the last cut, since she can take down the final support and blink to safety after everyone else has already started running.

If this works, it actually uses Trevor's unkillableness against him- leaving him trapped, but alive, under the rubble. May backfire if it kills him but he respawns on top. (In which case, be ready and waiting to enact plan 2).

>Plan 2
You have a car outside. There are the doctor's experimental anti-breaking weapons inside. Head out, grab, them, and then head in for a little field testing. Wait for an opening, use the comms to get your people the hell out of the way before you fire, and then mess that wolf up.

If this works, it should outright disable Trevor, if not kill his breaking all together (we don't know how permanent, or fatal these things are). Downsides? It puts Linda (who's in the red zone for lives) in the battle again, and these things are untested and may not work as advertised. Or at all! ("A collapse in their ability to break reality" might just stop him from being to spend BP on anything, temporarily. Doesn't necessarily mean it breaks his manifestation).

I'm not sure which plan is really better (although you could always just do both), but either way, you shouldn't bail without the doctor's stuff. It would suck to lose it, and it would suck a whole lot more if the fixers got their hands on it.

We can afford to abandon the car if driving out isn't an option.
>>
No. 472144 ID: 8b4dd1

Alright. Looks like those three are at least holding him off for now. If you could just get back to the car...

You dart out again, heading for where you'd left the vehicle, and upon reaching it, drag out your newest experimental toys. You haul them back to the fighting, where 23 is trying to slice off sections of the wolf, only to have the damage ignored by the much larger man, and you frown as you realize you have very little instruction on what the thing actually does. You hope to god it's something non-lethal to the user. You manuver the thing to aim at Trevor, then pull off the cap of the full one, something rocketing out and slamming into him, suddenly forcing him into suddenly warping and changing as his body and transformation goes erratic. It's almost like he can't remain in a stable form anymore. Still, he taking swings at people as much as he can, which sometimes is upwards of 20 or 30 as he starts taking increasingly odd forms, but he can't really persue anybody. You try out the empty one as well, and find that it sucks something in, Trevor going from his original 16 to 6. He seems disoriented, unsure of where he's at a moment, although he's retained his wolf form, before he shakes the confusion from his head and suddenly spots you.

"WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO ME YOU BI-"

He's rudely interrupted by something very large popping into existence in front of him and shoving him through another wall. That Which Cannot Be Cut stands there, gurgling a little and looking generally menacing, before turning to the remaining members of the group.

"Time to go, you lot. We've got places to be, and it isn't here."

23 heads over a little reluctantly, pulled along by Nicole, while you grab Cass, snapping a command at her to break her berserker rage. Trevor bursts through the wall again just as Raphael kicks off, and you get one last glimpse and hear a howl of rage before you find yourself walking through a graveyard of some kind, the moon hanging low in the air, mist, the whole stereotypical thing for a spooky setting. Cartoon like skeletons start to drag themselves to the ground, by you watch as Raphael merely waves at them with disinterest and they seem to melt away without incident.

"Alright. I got Elizabeth back, but I don't know if we want to head back there right now. At least, not right away. Besides, I've checked, and there aren't any dreamers around the base right now. Lucky I caught some driver falling asleep on my first trip. Anyway, welcome to the realm of dreams. Home sweet home, I guess. Where we headed?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 472150 ID: 70c0f2

First things first, make sure everyone's alright, and that Cass has cooled down.

>Where we headed?
I'm not sure. Elizabeth just made it pretty clear we had to get out there, fast, as much as I would have liked to finish that bastard off. I'm not sure where we need to be, real world. ...maybe someplace where we can watch what the hell we just dodged? Get up on a tall building, and see what shows up, and what we're up against (I fully expect massive fixer reinforcements or Division 7 to come crashing down on the ruined arena).

>test fire.
Interesting. So the weapon destabilizes breaking. Trevor lost control of his manifestation and dissolved into a chaos-creature until you sucked it up (taking a portion of his corrupted BP with it). Presumably the same thing would happen to weapon manifestations if hit. Not sure what would happen to avys, since they tend to have a per-existing physical form. A breakdown of their mental control? Just spazzing out?

It's regrettable our test subject lived to tell the tale, though. I'd rather the fixers didn't know we had something that explicitly fucks up breaking- they're gonna be very interested in that, I should think.

Check out the tubes now. Is there any inundation on the first one that it's used up ammo? Even if there's no external indication, your preternatural gun affinity might be able to sense it (or not, these things might not play nice with your breaking), or it might feel empty or lighter now. Look at the second tube. Can you tell how 'full' it is now? Can you open it to examine the stuff you sucked up? The Doc said it would collect and condense the ability to break reality into a liquid form. I don't suppose you can absorb that, and recharge? You are pretty low on BP now.

Holster your pistol, dismiss the spare, and dream up shoulder slings so you can carry the cylinders, easily. If you successfully refuel your BP, go ahead and reload. If you don't- save your last point.

>As much as I'd love to kill both of them, Maria wants everything all proper and official like.
I didn't comment on this at the time, but that's a very odd attitude from what little we know about the fixers. Their goal seems to be killing off any breakers who don't play by their rules- what kind of rules or official structure do they need to follow?
>>
No. 472158 ID: f6cff9

>>472150
I would rather not adsorbed anything from a machine designed to screw up breaking because something awful would probably happen to Linda. The shoulder slings may not exist in the real world if we dream them up but it doesn't hurt to try if it doesn't cost BP. The rest of your plan is fine though.
>>
No. 472190 ID: 70c0f2

>>472158
I suppose it does kind of depend on how the weapons work. I was assuming the first one just separated a chunk of Trevor's BP (the power or ability to break reality) from Trevor's control, where undirected it proceeded to act out of control until we vacuumed it up. So we've got a tube of liquid BP.

But I suppose it could be more than a mere separation- the process could have very well have corrupted or altered it. Or even if it hasn't, a direct injection of power might not exactly be healthy.

I guess we'll have to wait for more desperate times to risk it, or wait till the doctor gets a chance to examine it. There must be a use for the collected stuff- if D7 wasn't planning to use it to recharge their tamed subjects, maybe to power a breaker equivalent of magicteck?
>>
No. 475178 ID: 8b4dd1

"Get us somewhere high up, on a building or something, nearby. I want to see what we were running from."

"Gotcha, Linda. Give me a moment or two to find something..."

Minutes later, you find yourself in a nearby building, the guard on duty out cold, Raphael leading you down hallways till you find a window overlooking the now destroyed arena. You see Trevor mucking about a little bit, confirming his companions death and muttering curses, then the sounds of car doors being slammed seemed to attract his attention and he disappears into the alleyways. Another minute passes, then the suits show up, the familiar figure of the Demon coming into view as the low level guys fan out and start going over the place, looking for remains or other people. The activity seems rather dull to watch, right up until the Demon, who's picking his way through a ruined pile of wood, suddenly stops and looks straight up at you, a smile forming on his lips.

You throw yourself away from the window on reflex, fear pushing its way into your chest, then you turn to Raphael.

"Time to go. Now. Now, now, now."

"Alright, come on."

You make your way back the way you'd come, entering the realm of dreams just as quickly, and pause there to think and come up with something. A plan of action. Anything. If the Demon knew you were there... heading back to base might not be the best idea.

>>>Input Command
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No. 475192 ID: 70c0f2

Alright. Did we learn anything useful there? Division 7 will respond to big disturbances, but has a slow-ish reaction time (there was time for the fixers to storm the place, kill everybody, loot, depart, leave sentries to see who showed up, and for your arrival and engagement). But not really big disturbances- the mech fight was too public, and they left it to the police and military. That, or we didn't run on big or long enough for them to pull out the full stop countermeasures.

The demon has some kind of extra-sensory ability. Possibly he senses or detects breakers- makes sense if he's their anathema (although, from his and 17's one-short count before- this doesn't seem to work on Raphael). Possibly he sense or detects Linda in particular (either part of why she's apparently of special interest to him, or as a result of something he did while we were in his captivity). Or maybe he really is just a breaker (with an unusual regenerative alternative respawn) and has the same passive spirit ability that allows him to pick up on being watched that the bat-boy mercenary from the club had.

Either way, it makes me want to get a look at his eyes. He makes a point of keeping them covered- next time we fight him? Shoot him in the sunglasses pocket, blow his head off, and then let's see what he was concealing.

What kind of gear did you see the D7 goons carrying? Was it firearms and stuff, or did you see any cylinders like the Doc lent you?

>What do?
From what we know, it seems unlikely that the demon can sense or track Raphael directly. However, that doesn't mean he can't track the group of you traveling with him, even if you're on another plane. The practical thing to do now would be to start putting distance between you and him. Head out- time for a dream walkabout. We'll head back to the real world after you've gotten well away, and we'll double back to base once we're sure we're not leading him there.

This might be a good time to ask 23 if she knows anything useful about McCarthy. What he's capable of, or what he is. There's a reasonable chance she witnessed something, or faced it herself.

When not talking to people or admiring the dreamscape, your hike might be a good time to examine the cylinders. Try to see if the first one seems lighter, or if it's used up ammo- try to see how much the second one has filled up, and if you can examine the fluid it sucked up.
>>
No. 475216 ID: f6cff9

Jesus Agent McCarthy is a creepy bastard.

>>475192
>The demon has some kind of extra-sensory ability.
Yeah he could have a extra-sensory ability. Demon also could have did something to Subject 23 to keep track of her, or he could have did something to Linda when she was captured. We have to figure that out later though. We might as well put as much distance as possible. We could take a roundabout way back to base, or Linda could go to a motel to see if they can track her down. The motel idea might be best for now.
>>
No. 475229 ID: 70c0f2

>>475216
Neither 23 nor Linda has conventional tracking devices on them though- we had Elizabeth check. Could be some kind of mumbo-jumbo spiritual thing, but it would still be unusual that Elizabeth was ignorant of it. A passive power (an I'm being watched sense, breaker sense, and/or Angel sense) seems more likely than an active link, to me. Well, unless he tagged us with one just now.

Holing up in a motel or something on the other side of town, to see if we're followed, before we take the real-world trip back to base seems reasonable.

Not sure if we're going to be allowed to crash and regen BP in peace, or if more combat is somehow going to happen. Since Linda's out of BP and ammo (her only offensive option right now is the cylinders- and we don't even know if the