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486668 No. 486668 ID: 8b4dd1

You find yourself floating. Weightless. For a moment, that confuses you, why would you be floating around in complete darkness? Then you realize it's because you have your eyes closed. Opening them up just seems like such a bad idea though. You just want to sleep...

"-inda."

A voice. Faint, far off. It doesn't sound familiar at all. But the voice sounds warm. Inviting. Purposeful. A little frightening to. Still, you wish it would just go away. You don't want to have to deal with it right now. Leave me alone for another five minutes, sleep is desired.

"Linda!"

Go away! I'm tired! I just rewrote reality, and don't want to deal with any more crap today! Besides, you know somethings up by now, and you'd rather not know. Knowing inevitably means more fighting.

"LINDA MCCALLAHAN! GET UP RIGHT NOW!"

You sigh, then sit up as best you can and open your eyes. Oh look, an angel floating in the middle of space. Pretend I'm surprised. You look around you, and can spot plants you recognize, Mars, Jupiter, that's Saturn over there, you think. Stars everywhere from what you can see. You gaze out at everything for a moment, then turn your attention back to this angel, and find, on closer examination, that it is THE angel everyone's been fighting over.

"I assume I'm dead then?"

"Ha! No. Just... indisposed... at the moment. Your friends are waiting for you when you awaken, but for now, you and I have some things to talk about. After all, you've just rewritten time itself. Rather roughly at that. You wouldn't believe the cosmic damage you could have caused if you'd failed. Reality would have been well and truly fucked. But regardless, the only real damage done is that you are no longer part of reality's fabric. Your strands have been permanently removed. What comes of that remains to be seen."

The angel goes silent, and you frown in thought.

"What does that mean, not part of reality?"

"I have no idea. As far as I'm aware, no one who is removed from reality can be alive, yet somehow, you are. Reality recognizes your influence but not your existence... it is very troubling, to those of us that watch of reality. Still, it is not something you should trouble yourself with.

"Now then, I have been instructed to offer you aid, the best I can, and I find it very interesting that even with what you did, you still didn't use up all of this reality that I was forced to make."

The raw reality appears in the angel's hands, although it is significantly diminished. The angel examines it thoughtfully, then smiles.

"Yes. I think that would do nicely. A choice then, as with everything. A choice between the gift I will give.

"A power, once hidden, will be revealed.

"An Ally, once lost, will be returned.

"A Friend, once broken, will be healed.

"Make your choice, and ask any questions you may have. I shall do my best to aid you in the time provided."

>>>Input Command
Expand all images
>>
No. 486671 ID: 7b0ada

Oohf. This is messy.

>You wouldn't believe the cosmic damage you could have caused if you'd failed.
Which should be a lesson that we shouldn't consider doing something like this often. It also shows just how insane Marc was attempting this on his own.

>power, ally, or friend
As useful as more power might be, I don't think we can even consider it. Linda is not suddenly about to start putting herself above those she cares for. Besides- it's a power revealed, not given. Information. It's possible we could figure it out ourself.

The tough choice is between ally or friend. Presumably, the lost ally is Cally. Who's death Linda regrets causing terribly. The friend... she would cure Raphael or Cassandra's problems?

Don't make the decision yet- we need to get more information first. We ask for our boon last.

>questions
How did you make that, anyways? That's not a regular avatar... thing. You aren't a regular avatar, either (if there is such a thing). You're not a broken piece of someone's mind, you're... something from outside reality? Who's instructing you to help me? I don't suppose you can explain how any of that works? Because all we have to go by is guesswork.

What about me, anyways? You're the third person to treat me as if I'm more than just a regular breaker. You, Elizabeth, the Demon. What is it about me that's special, here? (Um, and if this involved the "power revealed" choice, could you not answer yet? Still asking questions here, not picking a gift).

Speaking about the Demon... what can you tell me about him? What is he? What does he want?

What about reality? You tell me I could have well and truly fucked it over. But... what about the other stuff we do? The "normal" breaking? Are the fixers right- are we really part of the problem? Is there something that needs to be fixed- that can be fixed? Or is a little cheating just supposed to be part of how the game is played?
>>
No. 486673 ID: 7b0ada

Oh, probably the most important question:

The gifts I don't chose- are there other ways to gain them? Are their other ways to restore the lost ally, to discover the hidden power, to heal my broken friend?

Oh, and maybe ask what she wants us to do with her (at least avatar her) once we wake up. Does she want us to find her another breaker?
>>
No. 486674 ID: 4ede1b

Either "A friend, once broken, will be healed." or "A power, once hidden, will be revealed.". I genuinely and strongly dislike the concept of reviving characters who died a chapter or more ago whose death had been made peace with. Ends and consequences are part of being human, and I'm personally a little burnt out on the number of quests that remove that from the playing field entirely.

I suspect that either Chris or Cass are the ones to be healed, so it's my first choice unless the power turns out to be something important enough that it's likely to prevent the death of our allies.
>>
No. 486676 ID: 7b0ada

We should probably just ask who the friend and ally in question are. For instance, if Raphael still died buying us time in the new timeline, we sure as hell want to reverse that.
>>
No. 486677 ID: 8b4dd1

"How did you make that, anyways? That's not a regular avatar... thing. You aren't a regular avatar, either, if there is such a thing. You're not a broken piece of someone's mind, you're... something from outside reality? Who's instructing you to help me? I don't suppose you can explain how any of that works? Because all we have to go by is guesswork.

"What about me, anyways? You're the third person to treat me as if I'm more than just a regular breaker. You, Elizabeth, the Demon. What is it about me that's special, here? Um, and if this involved the "power revealed" choice, could you not answer yet? Still asking questions here, not picking a gift.

"Speaking about the Demon... what can you tell me about him? What is he? What does he want?

"What about reality? You tell me I could have well and truly fucked it over. But... what about the other stuff we do? The "normal" breaking? Are the fixers right- are we really part of the problem? Is there something that needs to be fixed- that can be fixed? Or is a little cheating just supposed to be part of how the game is played?"

You point to the raw reality, and the angel suddenly looks very sad. For a moment, she pauses, as if considering things and weighting options, then with a sigh, she set the raw reality floating next to her and looks distressed as she begins to speak.

"I'll start from the easiest answers. No, I am not a normal avatar. I willingly allowed myself to be wrought into an avatar, so as to observe reality from a different perspective. I am... I am not sure how to describe myself. A warden for reality, I suppose. A watchdog. Someone who steps in then necessary to ensure that reality continues. I'm afraid I can't explain further.

"And you are special. Something very special. I cannot say what, I do not know, but I can say that you're have a profound affect on reality. Bringing someone back from the dead, and even more than that, rewriting history, is not something even I can do. Bringing back the dead is one of those things that reality does not accept, and yet... you told reality to ignore deaths, and it did. I cannot say how that is possible.

"This Demon... a tear in reality's fabric. I cannot aid you in this. Merely being near him causes me pain, and thinking of him for too long draws his attention... We must move on.

"As for the Children... I cannot say. It is not my place to say. It is my purview to watch the endless cycles of this universe. When this universe finally collapses, I will go with it, my task done. It is another's task to watch over the Children. You have met him, I think, upon gaining your power. He is unlikely to appear again, though. A very unhappy man."

Finally, the Angel turns to the raw reality, staring at it sadly. For a moment, she seems hesitant, then she shakes her head, as if clearing away a thought, and turns back to you, determination laced with sorrow on her face.

"... I... must apologize, for even being an unwilling participant in the creation of this. It was not my intention for something like this to happen, but I did not think that anyone would be capable of forcing me to do it. This... is the one you call Raphael. His existence in it's entirety. You can think of it as taking his threads from reality and using them to affect something else. He is... nonexistent, in the grand scheme of things. Even your affect on time could not change that, as once removed, the threads do not rejoin the weave. In time, you will be the only one who will even remember he existed, as you own nonexistence offers some protection against such changes. Still, everyone else who knew him will have his memory slowly fade away, until only the vaguest of feelings remain. Once again, I... apologize."

You blink, the words just spoken reaching your ears but refusing to be translated...

What?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 486681 ID: 7b0ada

Oh what the fuck. We finally trust Raphael, give himself the chance to prove himself, to overcome his own darkness, and he gets FRIDGED for it?! I mean... fuck. All he wanted was for someone to be proud of him. And now no one will remember. That is profoundly unfair in the worst kind of way. (We are officially get your love interested killed quest, now).

There's nothing we can do about that? Because that's what I want to fix. We can't bring him back? Or burn Marc to fix Raphael (let the punishment fit the crime). Or, cheat, and make his thread work outside reality the way ours does? Or... remake him? Even less than he was? Even if he comes back as a normal he once was- and no one but us remembers. Or if we can't save him, let people remember. He deserves something, goddamnit.

...and don't take this the wrong way, but when I wake up? I'm breaking your avatar. Sorry if that messes up your observations, but I'm not taking the risk someone could force you to do this again.
>>
No. 486684 ID: de5bc9

...Is the raw reality made from Raphael's thread? That would, I think, adequately explain why the Angel looked at the raw reality with sorrow before explaining that Raphael cannot be revived.
>>
No. 486685 ID: 7b0ada

>>486684
I would assume so, yes. But why can't it be rewoven? (Especially if she copies our own cheating in but out thread. Or if we burn Marc's thread to fuel it).

An important distinction as well- is that all that's left of Raphael (we burned a good chunk of him up already) or was the original ball a composite (made up of several of Marc's victims) and this last piece is Raphael?
>>
No. 486686 ID: 8b4dd1

"There's nothing we can do about that? Because that's what I want to fix. We can't bring him back? Or burn Marc to fix Raphael? Or, cheat, and make his thread work outside reality the way ours does? Or... remake him? Even less than he was? Even if he comes back as a normal he once was- and no one but us remembers. Or if we can't save him, let people remember. He deserves something, goddamnit.

...and don't take this the wrong way, but when I wake up? I'm breaking your avatar. Sorry if that messes up your observations, but I'm not taking the risk someone could force you to do this again."

The Angel is silent, thinking, then she nods hesitantly.

"I understand destroying my avatar form, and that is unnecessary. It is already disposed of. My observations are complete. You are free of me. But... others can learn to draw the threads of other from the weave, and create reality. You yourself could accomplish this, if you set your mind to it, although you'd need a way to view the weave in order to draw out what you need.

"I... I could not restore the old Raphael, his thread is no longer whole. No longer a complete thread. A baby may only have a single strand, but as strands begin to wrap around the single strand, they become part of that person's thread. Raphael is missing too many threads to be safely woven back into his place. And using another's thread... it is forbidden. But I could fashion a new one thread from what remains. He would have... some of his memories, perhaps, he would still be himself, but... there would be no telling what he actually remembers and what he doesn't. More than likely, he would no longer be a breaker. Just a another normal, living in the world. It would use of all of the reality we have here, but... Raphael would be alive, in some fashion."

The Angel gazes at you, awaiting your decision.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 486695 ID: 7b0ada

Sad smile, reach out touch what's left of him for one last goodbye.

Heh. I guess... he finally gets to escape the nightmare.

Do it.
>>
No. 486700 ID: 4a328b

No, use the reality to heal your friends. Keep the horse close, like you do with Cally's memento.
>>
No. 486705 ID: 7b0ada

>>486700
We do not trade people's lives like that. We're not Marc.

There will be other chances to help Cass. This is Rachael's last, and only, chance. Linda is not spending the rest of her life watching Cass, and having every moment of the happiness she sees poisoned by the knowledge she chose to kill Raphael for it.

He deserves a life. Give it to him. And we'll continue to fight to give Cass one.
>>
No. 486712 ID: 875ef1

He faced death to give us a chance. Least we can do is use his death to give him one. man, quests are weird
>>
No. 486739 ID: 76b151

I agree, let him live, let him be remembered. Let him find the happiness as a normal he couldn't as a breaker.
>>
No. 486741 ID: 8b4dd1

"... Do it."

You make the decision to allow Raphael a chance at living a normal life, and the angel nods in understanding.

"I will do my best. I will even give you a final opportunity to meet him, although he may not remember you. For now, however, our time is up. It was a pleasure speaking with you, Miss McCallahan. To future meetings..."

A bright light suddenly washes over you, and you feel yourself pulled away. The next thing you know, your eyes are opening to the sight of a dark blue sky, the sound of waves crashing nearby and the feel of sand under you. You sit up and stare at the ocean, realizing your back in the normal world. You frown in thought, not seeing any of your friends around you, but your thinking is interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Miss? Miss? Are you alright?"

You turn to see Raphael, red eyes staring back at you. He seems fine, perfectly healthy, as normal as he could possibly be. There's no number floating around him though, and he seems not to recognize you at all.

"Yeah... yeah, I'm fine."

"That's good. I gotta say though, I don't know what I'm doing here. Hell, for some reason, I don't even know where I am. Or who I am. Except for this wallet here, says my name is Daniel Tanner. So I guess that's who I am. Picture matches anyway. So... Nice to meet you, I'm Daniel."

The man in front of you, once Raphael and now Daniel, presents his hand to you. You stare at it a moment, a wave of depression hitting you as you realize he doesn't remember you at all, then you grasp the offered hand and he helps you up. You both stand there a moment, you feeling depressed and him slightly confused.

"You know, you're pretty cute when your all depressed like that. Makes me want to take you on a date."

Your head shoots up to stare at him in shock, but Raphael/Daniel winks at you, letting you know he's joking. You blink a little in surprise, remembering this sort of thing happening all the time before all this shit, and you start to feel tears welling up, both depressed that he'll be leaving your life and a little relieved that he doesn't seem to have changed much personality wise.

"Ah! Whoa! Uh... shit, I didn't mean to make you... ah crap... um..."

Daniel starts panicking for a moment, but you shake your head.

"It's fine, I'm fine. Just... a little relieved, I guess."

"Relieved? Huh... I guess so."

There's silence after that, the both of you standing awkwardly, not really sure what to say. Then the first rays of sunlight start to break over the horizon, and Daniel blinks in surprise before fumbling in his pockets and pulling out a pair of sunglasses, sliding them over his sensitive eyes.

"Ah... um... sorry... you know... albino's have uh... sensitive-"

"I know. I... used to have a friend, was an albino. He said he was in love with me once... I don't think I ever gave him a proper response."

"Really? What happened to him?"

"Gone now... I guess... I guess that's why I started crying. You... remind me of him, I guess."

"Oh..."

There's more silence, and you descend into your depression again, and then Daniel takes your hand and places an object into it, closing your fingers around it before you can get a good look at it.

"Here. I don't really know why, but I don't think I need it anymore, and for some reason I think you should have it. My mother used to say nightmares brought bad dreams, but she told me about what she called the 'white nightmares who scared away all the scary things'. Heh. I found out years later there was no such thing as white nightmares. You know, those horse things. Only the bad ones. I think she told me to help me get over my albinism... either way, I've always felt that thing has kept away the bad dreams. Maybe it'll help you..."

As he talks, you open up your hand to stare down at the little black statue of a horse. His focus... even now, you can feel a sense of tingling fear coming from it, the haris on the back of your neck rising. A memento of the man you used to know...

"Well... can't spend forever reminiscing about the past. Besides, I've got to go find myself in the world. I hope everything works out for you. Who knows, yeah? Maybe your friend'll come back. I'll see you around!"

Daniel starts off, waving a goodbye over his shoulder, and he strides off down the beach, trying his best to avoid getting sunlight in his eyes. You stare after him a moment, saying your own goodbyes to Raphael. You hope his life turns out for the best. A minute passes, then you suddenly feels yourself get tackled from behind, and you tumble to the floor again.

"LINDA! Your alive! HAHA! I KNEW IT!"

"Cass! Get... offa me!"

"Oh! Right!"

The other woman scrambles to her feet, and as you right yourself again, you find yourself surrounded by your companions. Cass of course, is standing next to you, leaning over you and looking happy as hell to see you. Nicole is standing near the back, a lit cigarrette in her mouth, happily puffing away, although she's got a bandage around her head for some reason. Chris is silent, standing a little of to the side, although she nods at you amiably as your eyes catch hers. Perhaps the happiest thing you see, however, is Elizabeth, who smiles at you happily and waves a little.

"The Angel has returned, and the Nightmare is now just a man."

"Yeah... I hope his life goes well."

"It will. His futures are all bright and filled with life. He will continue on. He will not be forgotten."

"Good..."

"What's this about old Nightmare boy? He around?"

"Not anymore. At least, not like he was. I'll explain later, for now, bring me up to speed."

"Well, first thing to start off with is some crazy lady showing up after you disappeared. She said you'd called her, but we didn't know anything about it. Calls herself Aria or something like that. Anyway, we hightailed it after those D7 fucks started showing up, and then we kinda got back home. No one there seemed to know what was going on, but... well, whatever. Anyway, after awhile, we didn't really know what to do, then Elizabeth sort of took charge a little, and a bunch of stuff happened really fast and-"

"Oh, for fucks sake. Nicole, shut up. Short version, your the boss now, and this Aria chick is waiting for you back at the base. Oh, and you've got yourself your four lieutenants right here."

Cass gestures around her at the others, and then helps you up.

"So, your call Linda. What's the plan?"

>>>Input Command

Experience Gained: 7

New Ability Gained: Nonexistent
As long as you have this trait, anyone who is not a breaker who meets you will inevitably forget you exist. Even Breakers, given enough time, will forget you exist, except for those that spend a considerable amount of time in your presence.

>>
No. 486745 ID: 7b0ada

>Nonexistent
Goddamn, that's a depressing ability. Good thing we have lieutenants and an organization to work though. Even if we're forgotten, they won't be.

...I wonder if this applies to the Godkiller? We still never got around to having Twinda look into our celebrity....

>7 XP
Spend 5 XP to get to spirit 6.
Dump the reaming 2 XP into finesse, we've been neglecting it.
>>/questdis/65570
These are still my opinions on how the others should be spending their XP. Well, except for Raphael, since he's out, now.

>questions
Who remembers what happened before we broke everything that night? Is it just those of us who were there?

What happened with Blade's and Jared's group? I'm thinking diplomatic efforts might go better at this point. (Hell, I'm even considering sending her the money Marc owed her, once we break into his accounts).

>lieutenants
Nobody I'd trust more. Consider yourselves confirmed.

What about Marc's old guard? (Rodriguez, Mike, Daniels, George...) Who did we lose? Who stayed?

...what happened to Amelia? (seriously, going to get the doc to melt her down. We cannot let her drive another breaker insane).

>plan
Head back to base, meet with Aria. We can have a talk with her. Trade information about Marc, and the weirder stuff we've seen.

If we still have George working for us, I'd like to meet with him too. Not gonna hold it against him, but if Marc had him put anything nasty in the heads of anyone in our organization, like he did Raphael? We want those taken out.

Be nice to schedule meets with Jared and Blades (if that hasn't already been taken care of).

We also need to schedule time to visit the doctor, see if he'll be more helpful now that we killed Marc. (And get Amelia melted down to slag).

Should also talk to Nic at some point (so... you wanted a reward right? Apparently I now run this place. And I'm probably rich. What did you have in mind?). Also be nice to stop by Michelle and Levi, see their reaction to all this (Leviathin is totally gonna remember).

Manifest Twinda when we get back to base, put her on computer duty again. In addition to the guns and Cass research, we really owe it to ourselves to at least check out the Godkiller phenomenon. And I want her to start going through Marc's money, too.
>>
No. 486746 ID: 76b151

Holy. Fuck.

We need a face man for sure. Anyway.

>XP
Spirit 6.
1 more finesse.
Marksman of the Void - We've seen siphon like abilities several times, leviathan, the needles, the tubes. It's time to integrate that with ourselves. From now on killing someone with our guns (or just the rifle right now since its 1 xp) steals some BP from our target and adds it to our own.

>Wat Do
Talk to Aria. Explain to her what happened, how Marc basically went insane in the end. How you killed him after he tried to kill most of the group.

If she asks what our plans are it boils down to finishing cleaning up whatever mess Marc made of our people, paying Blades with Marc's money and visiting the good Doctor to spread the news. After that we'll probably have to push the fixers back.

After Aria has decided what she is going to do lets gather the people Marc had trusted for the most part. We need to see what they are going to do and make sure that if they don't want to continue on with us we won't begrudge them that.

Finally after that I think its time to revisit the Doc. We have his test results and some news for him.

Once thats done lets call in those who else Marc had running things for him. See what they want to do now that he is dead and gone.

Finally lets call the Doc.
>>
No. 486748 ID: 7b0ada

Wait. Just occurred to me. This isn't likely going to be a problem any time soon with all the emotional fuckery we've gone through losing Cass and then Raphael, but Nonexistent now makes hookups absurdly creepy. Anyone you have a one night stand or temporary fling with will forget you ever existed while you remember everything. Eugh. Lonely for you, and the nagging feeling it's wrong remembering things your partners don't.

>We need a face man for sure. Anyway.
And our choices are... the terse practically android girl, a short tempered maniac, someone who's bad at explanations and likes to punch things... and a girl who speaks in riddles with creeper powers. XD

Well, Elizabeth has sort of already taken that role upon herself. And she's the only one of them that's will based, which is the interpersonal stat. Congratulations on your promotion to face-girl. Can't wait till you get the chance to use fear itself in a tense negotiation.

>Marksman of the Void
What is that, a gun upgrade, or kind of bullet? It kind of looks more like an ability, which we aren't allowed to craft.

It's not a bad idea, but I'm against spending XP on things like that till dreamer has actually vetted them in dis and told us how they'd be allowed to function.

(Same thing might be accomplished by turning the tubes into a manifestation. And then merging them with a gun focus?).
>>
No. 486749 ID: 76b151

It'd be a gun upgrade if allowed.
>>
No. 486750 ID: 4a328b

Spirit 6, one to BP [we can do finesse next time we get xp], and let's tune another weapon. How about the ball that "makes holes"? It sounds potentially useful.

First we give a formal "I'm the boss now sup guys"-type speech or something to our crew, then we meet with Aria, then we call the Doc and schedule a meeting to talk about the raw reality thing.
>>
No. 486756 ID: 7b0ada

>BP
I don't see that we need it- we'll get some from the spirit upgrade.

>let's tune another weapon. How about the ball that "makes holes"?
Meh, we have too many weapons to juggle as is, and as we get stronger, just active breaking is in many cases the simpler and more powerful option. I'd rather improve what we have (and ourselves) rather than get more.

"Makes holes" is incredibly vague anyways. And a lot of the possible interpretations are things we can already do with active breaks, or bullets. Unless we know for sure it does something absurdly awesome like make black hole grenades we can lob around, it's not worth it.

Only weapon I would consider tuning right now is if someone comes up with some kind of awesome scifi / magic gun for the doctor to make out of the shotgun focus. (Dis is open for brainstorming and vetting!).
>>
No. 486759 ID: 76b151

You know what I'm kinda curious of what it could do as well. Maybe its a portal maker. That would be fun.

If only we could get a better idea on what it does.... oh wait we can. We have another thing to ask the Doc.

Maybe hold off on that last XP for now until we get a few things straightened out.
>>
No. 486763 ID: 8b4dd1

"There's nobody I'd rather have with me. Consider yourselves official. Now then, let's get back home. I've got things I need to look into."

The other happily lead the way to a car much nicer than what you'd been driving around, a midnight black Mercedes Benz. You whistle a little in appreciation, but you don't get to gaze at it much, as you're hurried inside and driven off.

You spend the car ride asking questions about what's going on. It had been about a week since the explosion of light and your disappearance. Most of the old crew stuck around, just as shocked as the others to find Marc going bat shit crazy. Daniels hightailed it as soon as he could, disappearing before anyone was really aware of it. Amelia, once Marc had been put down, had been stored away in a newly constructed vault, which the members of the group had already taken to simply calling it The Vault. It was already starting to be filled with foci of all shapes and sizes, but no one was allowed near Amelia. Mac had taken over as overseer of the Vault, as well as still continuing to manage his own cluttered business. Both could be found in the basement, guarded by a few of the stronger fighters in the group.

A few minutes later, you're led into the base, and greeted by dozens of faces. Silence reigns over the place for a moment, until you nervously wave at the lot and a cheer breaks out. A few come over to say high, familiar faces like Rodriguez and the school kids. Still, Cass muscles her way through, opening up a pathway for you, and you're led past your old room and past even Marc's old room to the top of the apartments, where you suddenly find a suite, complete with a living room, bedroom, office, and a few other odds and ends. You blink in surprise, but you don't have much time to ask about what's going on when your dumped into the office chair and find yourself facing a distantly remembered face. Aria sits elegantly at one of the chairs, smiling warmly as she regards you, a suit of armor sitting behind her. Elizabeth is the only one that follows you into the room, the others choosing to wait out in the living room.

"A pleasure to see you again, Miss McCallahan. I've heard the general idea of what's happened, so we can skip such things. Ah! Before I forget. This is my avatar, Golem. He's harmless at the moment, although, like most avatar breakers, I'm prone to my outbursts of rage. Still, I doubt we'll have any concern for that here, I came to help out, after all. What plans do you have, now that you're the leader?"

"For now? Cleaning up after Marc. Setting up an actual safe haven for breakers here in the west. Hopefully push that fixers back east and out of... well... our territory, I guess you could call it."

"Hm. An excellent plan, although lacking in specifics. If you don't mind, your venture sounds... interesting, I suppose you could put it. I would be delighted if you'd allow me the pleasure of aiding in your endeavors. Precious little is occurring back home in good old Britannia, and I've had little to occupy my time. Think on it, since I believe you should never rush into any decision. Now if you'll excuse me."

Aria picks herself up and leaves, bowing slightly as she does so, her avatar awakening temporarily to follow along behind its master. You slump down a little, still amazed at her level of strength. She made it all the way from Britannia... in less than a week. No one enters the UNA that quickly... damn, you really are running in some powerful circles now. Elizabeth steps up next to you from somewhere behind you, and leans down a little to speak into your ear.

"Angel, did you require someone else?"

"Hm? Oh! Yeah, um, if you could send George up, the mindhacker guy, if he's still around, and uh... maybe see if you can contact Jared and Blades? That'd be nice. See if you can't find the Doc as well, I want to talk to him to."

"Understood."

Elizabeth leaves for a moment, then returns, George striding in behind her, he looks a little frightened, but sits down and tries a vague smile. Elizabeth bends down to speak in your ear again.

"I've sent the Moon to find the Lovers. The 23rd was sent to find the Maker of Things that Never Were. Is this acceptable?"

"Yes... that's fine." The Moon? Not the time to think about it. Instead, you turn your attention George.

"Relax. I'm not holding any grudges. Not now anyway. Raphael... wouldn't have wanted that, I don't think. Still, I have to know... you with me now?"

"Uh. Yeah. I was just as believing in Marc as everyone else. Betrayal doesn't sit well with me, Miss Linda. I'd like to think I mind fucked the bastard at least once in that fight."

"Then I've only got one question. Is there any other nasty surprises in our head I should know about?"

"Not anymore. I've removed any still in place from Marc's time as leader, and I never got the chance to put anything in you. You were never really in one place long enough and your precog there wouldn't let me anywhere near you when you were defenseless. She's got some strong powers, that one."

He nods at Elizabeth, who doesn't react at all, but you smile in her place. A mother's pride you suppose. You nod your acceptance of his words and send him on his way, then sigh into your seat. Elizabeth doesn't come forward, so you assume that means you have some time to yourself for a little bit. Maybe you should go around and see how things are going. Or maybe something else? You've got too many options for things to do, and you doubt you'll have much time to do them.

>>>Input Command
>Only two actions can be done at this time, before the Doc or Jared and Blades arrive
>>
No. 486769 ID: 76b151

Right, manifest Twinda (with all our gear of course) if we have the BP for it. Get her on to doing to base work of gettting together all of Marcs old businesses. If she finds anything that needs Breaking to smooth over she should contact us for it.

The other thing we should do is try those experiments we've been meaing to do for a while. armored clothing, xray specs, that sorta thing.

Maybe ask Elizabeth what the fixers have been doing all this time we've given them.
>>
No. 486778 ID: 7b0ada

In light of Dreamer giving the no go on Marksman of the Void (too bad) I'll reaffirm my XP votes as spirit 6 and 2 finesse.

>Golem
What did he look like? Not a child Aria? I guess she disguised herself or her avy that time.

...we also didn't discuss any of the weird stuff she was interested with her (and we've seen a lot now). Oh well, maybe later.

>What do
Manifest tank gun + Twinda so she's on standby. Put her back on computer duty (still looking at guns and Cass' condition, review the accounts and money we have from Marc, and just for fun, check out how God Killer is doing on the web. It's been over a week).

Hey, Elizabeth, are we past any of the three dangers you saw coming? Was Marc or that night or anything the hole?

Can't meet with Nic if she's out on errand (she's the Moon, I think).

I'd like to check in with Michelle and Levi, after everything that's happened.

Possibly checking in with Mac and this vault deal is a good idea. We're sitting on a warchest of foci? What are we doing with them? (Or what as Marc?).

Possibly we could institute a new system- instead of only allowing 1 for 1 trades, we could put those to use. Offer certain foci to members appropriate for, or in need of them. Could help some people without forcing them to kill for trade materials (although, we kind of have to be careful not to let our government handouts break the foci economy we have going).

If we still have time, do the leader thing. Check the place out, talk to people, hear concerns, touch base with people we haven't seen in a while (c'mon, where's Mike! Haven't had any laughably inappropriate comments thrown our way in a while).
>>
No. 487134 ID: 8b4dd1

>Golem
It looked like a suit of armor, standing maybe a little taller than Cass. You didn't really see anything inside of it, so you assume that the suit itself is the avatar, not something inside of it.

You manifest your rifle, then Twinda, and set her up on your laptop again. Guns, Cass, Marc's finances, and the Godkiller. Hopefully that'll yield some interesting things. While you're setting that up, you talk to Elizabeth, asking some questions that have been bugging you.

"Hey Elizabeth? You remember those dangers you were drawing? Any of that Marc? Or that hole?"

"The Wolf remains, as does the Mother. The hole is gone, my fate was reversed."

Elizabeth doesn't offer anything more, but you figure that Leviathan sucking her life away was probably the hole. She couldn't see past that because she was meant to die. With a shrug, you finish setting up Twinda, then you head downstairs, glancing around and trying to look for someone you think needs the talk. You spot her with her brother, cuddling the snake doll in her arms.

"Hey! Michelle. How have you been?"

"Ah! L-Linda. I'm fine. The Marc thing was scary, but Levi kept me safe."

Michelle hugs the doll tighter to her chest, and for a moment you can almost see the doll coil its tail around the girls arm in something resembling a hug. You blink, and the movements gone, but Michelle seem more calm.

"Levi says thank you. He won't tell me why, but he says I should help you out as much as I can, so if you ever need me and Levi, just come find us. Brother's pretty good at fighting as well."

"Heh, leave it to me! I might not be a breaker, but I can hold my own well enough!"

"Really? Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

You get the feeling Leviathan remembers the events from before the time warp, but you decide against bringing it up. Michelle doesn't seem to know what's going on, and you'd rather not bring up her possible death. Before you can really do anything else, Elizabeth appears behind you again, tapping your shoulder.

"Angel. The Maker of Things that Never Were is here."

"Alright. I'll head to the office then."

You make your way up the office and take your seat in your new chair, the Doc getting shown in a few moments later.

"Ah! Linda! How have you been! You would not believe the things I've managed. I think I can adapt the mech to become teleport to the watch's location, although I'll need a few materials for that. I also heard about Marc dying. About damn time. Deserved it, the ass. Still, Amelia would make a wonderful piece of research material. Maybe if I used her as a catalyst, I could construct a different avatar? Avatars are so difficult to construct, they are heavily based on someone's fractured mind... "

The Doc keeps going on and on, and you listen silently for a moment as you get your thoughts in order.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 487135 ID: 14bafe

So, Marc mentioned he failed to kill our good 'Maker of Things that Never Were'. Could we get some backstory on that?
>>
No. 487141 ID: 7b0ada

>Levi is grateful
Thanks, snake dude. We'll try to see to it you never have to lose her again. Glad to have you aboard.

>teleport- needs materials
I'll see what we can do about getting you what you need. I still have to go through and see what Marc left behind, but we should have a good hunk of cash and a stockpile of foci. If all goes well, maybe we can see what you'd accomplish with something like an actual research budget.

>possible other improvements for the mech
Once the teleport works, I'd still be interested in integrating manifested weaponry, if possible. Or integrating anti-breaking tech, like the tubes (hell, we could use the siphoned "blue potion" as an auxiliary power source).

>Amelia
She's yours. She's too dangerous and too crazy to leave as is. Hell, she claimed to have put Marc up to all of it. So cut her up for research. Build someone new, if you can. Although if you do create a new avatar, I'd prefer it if you let Elizabeth feel it out before you let anyone tune it. I'd prefer to know it won't be driving anyone insane.

>Tubes
We should probably share our finding on the tubes he had us testing. Findings:
-breakers can't break when hit
-although death avoidance still works
-form types lose control of their transformation (they become shifting masses of body horror).
-avatars hit suffer damage (forcing the breaker to spend BP, although it costs less than if the breaker had been hit).
-if an avatar type is hit, his or her avatars freeze up (although they don't demanifest).
-using the second tube on a breaker restores them to normal, but sucks a good chunk of BP out of them.
-The siphoned BP accumulates as a fluid in the second tube. This can be drunk to restore BP (may have other uses as a power source?).
-We have not observed any permanent side effects in test subjects, so far. (...because they've all died or escaped).

>The serious shit
Hey Doc, that raw reality stuff you had me looking for? Do you know what it is? What it's made of? (Wait to see if he knows soylent reality is people).

If he doesn't share the awful truth. And that you have it on pretty good authority that using it has dire consequences. You lost a friend. You damn near destroyed reality. And... you damaged yourself. You don't quite understand how it works, but in some fundamental way, you no longer exist.

Marc wanted to use it to bring back his dead wife, and damn the consequences. I used to undo as much of the damage Marc had caused as I could- because I naively did not know the cost or the risk. What's important enough to you to want to risk using raw reality?

>regular check ins
Set up regular meets with him. It would really suck if he forgot you existed, or why he was building that mech, and started to take it apart to work on something else.
>>
No. 487366 ID: 4a328b

>Amelia

We aren't just giving it away, there has to be an exchange of some kind. Perhaps, now that Mark is gone, we could get the Doc on board to join our group/help with making our territory a safe haven for breakers. The biggest threat to breakers is probably D7 and he-who-apparently-can-not-be-mentioned therein, so anything Doc can think of to deal with that--be it being able to kill the guy or just delay his showing up--would be a nifty line of research to get him working on, maybe?

don't make it seem like the /only/ source of raw reality is people, doc is a mad scientist, he may not mind too terribly much. if we must reveal that raw reality can come from people at all make it seem like it's just one of many ways to get it
>>
No. 487367 ID: 908c2d

>>487366
Fair enough trading Amelia away. (Although, really, it's in our best interest to see her dead. Disassembled. Exorcised. Whatever).

I agree it's a risk telling Doc how the reality is made- that he might be willing to make those compromises. (Although that's kind of one reason why asking him what he needs it for is so important. And hope our disapproval carries some weight). I kind of expect him to already know, though.

Another reason to discuss it: he's one of very few people who might be able to help us with this whole "not existing" thing. Even if he doesn't see a way to cure it, mitigating or even understanding it better could be useful.

Not sure about asking him about the demon. The problem is we don't have anything concrete for the doctor to work with, and if he's he's thinking about the problem... ugh. We can't afford to lead that bastard right to the Doc.
>>
No. 487526 ID: 8b4dd1

Wiki Updated

Experience Allocated
Finesse: 12
Spirit: 6
BP: 32
Break Generation Obtained


"She's yours. She's too dangerous and too crazy to leave as is. Hell, she claimed to have put Marc up to all of it. So cut her up for research. Build someone new, if you can. Although if you do create a new avatar, I'd prefer it if you let Elizabeth feel it out before you let anyone tune it. I'd prefer to know it won't be driving anyone insane."

The interruption catches the Doc off guard, but he smiles just as quickly, looking delighted.

"This will be soo much fun! Of course, I wouldn't dream of putting anyone at risk. Well, without good reason, I suppose. But an avatar is nothing to simply play with. I'll collect Amelia on the way out. Oh, the fun we'll have..."

You quickly cut in again, sharing your finding of the tubes and giving him a rundown on some ideas you had. He listens attentively, muttering to himself occasionally, and when you finished he's lost in thought.

"Hm... a remarkable device... too unwieldy though. Must make it more user friendly. Perhaps if the casing was made of a lighter material... or a better trigger method perhaps... either way, the issue must be dealt with... Is that all? Are we done? I have soo much work to do..."

"... Doc, you know what raw reality is?"

"Hm? The manifestation of pure reality, I suppose."

"No. It's people. Their lives. Their existence."

"... What?"

"I've seen it. Raphael, the nightmare guy, he's not a breaker anymore, because I had to use his raw reality to reverse the shit Marc caused. Shit Marc caused trying to use the same stuff to bring back his dead wife. Hell, I almost destroyed the fabric of reality myself, when I fixed everything. Still managed to damage myself in the process, ripped myself clean out of reality. I don't even know what that means, but apparently it's bad.

"So tell me, Doc, what's so damn important you have to use people to make it?"

The Doctor is silent, thoughts buzzing in his head, muttering to low to hear, and seeming to draw equations in the air in front of him. Suddenly, he stops, mutters something again, then turns his attention back to you.

"It's not so much something I'm making as this D7 is making. The bastards, in their infinite wisdom, have figured out a way to construct what they are calling Unmaker rounds. It takes this raw reality to make, and I doubt they can get their hands on the stuff easily, but... I know they at least have a single case of the things, about 20 rounds in all. These unmaker rounds, if they do as advertised and they should, given what I could dig up, completely wipe someone's existence from reality. Thankfully, they require a special gun to fire, and there is only one of those. Where it is, I don't know, but, the rounds and the gun travel together. I was hoping to find someway to counter it, but I need some of those rounds to even begin studying them. Still, if what you say is true..."

The Doc lapses into silence again, muttering some more. Finally, he snaps his attention back up to you, eyeing you curiously.

"I'm not saying you should make more of this... raw reality, but if you come across any of it, and are unable to restore whoever it was, please, get it to me. Better yet, if you run across any of these unmaker rounds, see if you can collect them for me. In the meantime, I'd like your permission to move my research here. It seems the world is getting more dangerous, and with Marc gone, I at least know I have one real ally here."

There's a knock at the door, and Jared and Blades walk in, only to halt when they see you're with someone. Blades is looking a lot better, her body no where near the amount of damage it had, although she still seems weak and her BP still hasn't started to restore itself.

"Ah... whoops. Is this a bad time?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 487531 ID: 14bafe

"no, we were just finishing up. The good doctor is moving in."
>>
No. 487538 ID: 908c2d

>Wiki updates
Oh my gods, Nicole can go super saiyan. XD That's awesome (she really needs to invest in more BP to power things now, though). Elizabeth's new power will most likely be most useful if combined with Linda (being outside the weave yet able to see it must have some kind of useful application / manipulation besides ripping pieces out to make raw reality) or the Doc (uber-er maker power, or allowing him to research Linda's condition). Michele's build is interesting- apparently you don't need to stack will for avatar control. In fact with avatar(s) and allies to hide behind, her "beloved by avatars" and immunity to mind control, she doesn't have any real reason to raise her base stats! (Just stack on spirit, BP, and avy upgrades). Also, Siphon must have been an upgrade bastard Marc purchased for Levi since it's absent.

I'd also like to note Cass choosing to up fin more, as well as relying on her daggers in the last few updates. She's starting to care more about skill and less pure power. That marks a change in her fighting style- and some progress, I think.

>unmaker rounds
Well... fuck. I wonder if Linda is immune to those by virtue of not existing? At the very least, as a gun that uses that kind of power Linda will know / sense it when she sees it. Priority one: we cannot let that ever hit any of our allies. We kill or active break them out of the line of fire if we have to (remove the floor, knock them flying, whatever).

>Bad time?
No, come in, we're just about done here.

Thanks, Doc. More than happy to have you on board. I'll get some people to help you move your lab and stuff, if you need it.

Looks like we get to talk things out after all, huh?

Make introductions, apologize for the whole goddamn mess with Marc, and make the peace overtures towards Jared's group. We've got enough enemies with the fixers trying to kill everyone who isn't them, and D7 possibly up to worse. So long as they're not up to something awful, or making themselves our enemy, we got no quarrel with them.

If Twinda's gotten you any sense of how much money we have at our disposal yet, it might be a nice gesture to offer Blades what Marc owed her. (Assuming we can afford that, and Marc wasn't bluffing about being having more money than god all this time. ...really hope he wasn't though. If we have a good pile to start with, Linda can just play with the money and make it grow during her downtime. Been a while since she got a chance to put those skills to use).

>her BP still hasn't started to restore itself
Well, that certainly shows a good level of trust if they were willing to show up here. Might want to offer Rodriguez looking her over, or hell, that blue potion we sucked from Marc if we still have it. Breakers with no safety net make me nervous.
>>
No. 487615 ID: 76b151

>>487538
Ya giving her a booster shot of BP just might help her out. Also ask her plans and whether she and Jared would be willing to work together with you against the fixers. If they're thinking of getting out of dodge we won't blame them though.
>>
No. 487701 ID: 4a328b

Actually, ask if she's regenerated at all, and if not, have the doctor stay for a bit. He might know what's up, and maybe how to fix it.
>>
No. 487702 ID: 908c2d

>>487701
I'm pretty sure she's just been too hurt to regen. The regular 1BP/hr rate only seem to apply under normal conditions. You need to be rested / stable enough to have energy to spare. When Raphael was not sleeping and in death warmed over mode, he went a whole day without regening. Linda and Cass regened at a slower rate the night we left everyone open to Morpheus' nightmares. I would think deathbed recuperation counts as a suitably strained situation.

He's not exactly the treating people kind of doctor, either.
>>
No. 488588 ID: 8b4dd1

"No, come in, we're just about done here."

You gesture the pair inside, nodding to a few empty chairs. The two newest arrivals make their way over to the offered seats, Jared hovering protectively around Blades. You turn back to the Doc, ushering the conversation to completion so you can move on.

"Thanks, Doc. More than happy to have you on board. I'll get some people to help you move your lab and stuff, if you need it."

"That will be unnecessary. I'll have everything moved and ready within a day. Just need a suitable spot..."

The Doctor strides out of the room, Cass hastening to get out of his way. Once the man is past, the other woman flips the Doc the bird before entering the room herself and taking up a position near the door. It would seem Cass is being a bit more cautious then she normally was.

"Looks like we get to talk things out after all, huh? I'm Linda McCallahan, the new leader of this group, by the looks of it. I apologize for anything Marc might have done, it seems no one in the group really knew what was going on, and I'll try to help alleviate some of the damage."

Blades seems to wave your apology away, having no interest in them. Instead, she smiles at you and begins her reply.

"No worries. No worries. From what I hear, you burnt the bastard good, so we'll call it even. Either way, I'm Sonia, this here's my husband, Jared. I apologize for him in advance, he can be somewhat of a stick in the mud."

"Hey!"

"You are. So up tight about everything. Even wanted to scope this place out for fear of ambush, or something equally ludicrous."

"It was just... being cautious."

"Yeah, whatever."

The two bicker back and forth easily, but at the same time, there's a unmistakable warmth in their voices, both knowing full well that is really nothing more than simple bickering. Still, they stop quickly enough, getting back to the matter at hand.

"Still, I'd like to pay you the amount agreed upon for the avatar, as well as hopefully get you back on your feet. We have this... method, I guess you could say, that let's us transfer breaking power to other people. Their number I guess."

Jared perks up, clearly interested, but Sonia merely shrugs that away as well.

"I'm fine with recovering slowly. Besides, I've been meaning to see about finally having a kid, if this ass would stop being so stuck up."

"I just don't think now's the best time for tha-"

"What better time, when we've got some new friends right here? I hope you don't mind me calling you friends."

"Not at all. I was kinda hoping for a favorable relationship between our two groups."

"No problems here. You guys don't seem like you have a whole lot of training, and more so if your taking in the performer types as well. If you care to, we wouldn't mind hooking up with you guys, help you get situated and trained up and all that, pull security till your lot is ready. For a price, or course, we still gotta eat."

Sonia flashes you a care free smile, clearly about a random in her thought processes and freely trusting of nearly everybody. Jared looks a little less than enthused about the arrangement, but says nothing really, clearly leaving it up to you two to decide what's going to happen.

Which reminds you that you have to get back to Aria as well, although it would be a little stupid to call her up only to tell her no.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 488595 ID: 908c2d

Welp. Linda's officially on the Alison path now- recruit everyone.

>take deal?
With Division 7 and the Fixers out for blood, seems to me every free and non-crazy group of breakers can use every friend they got.

Plus, training is something we've been meaning to work in for a while. It certainly makes a difference in combat (just lookit Sonia and Christin). There's probably someone in their group who could teach Linda a practical thing or two about guns (there's only so much Twinda can learn by reading). And formal training of some kind could give Cass more self control.

Mental link to Twinda, see how much money she's been able to dig up so far. Use business skills to negotiate a fair deal (Twinda or Linda can use said business skills later to keep the pool of money sustainable, or growing, if possible).

Security is a tough one though. As we saw when we attacked their compound, there's not a lot even prepared and trained breakers can do to stop an enemy force from punching in and engaging where they want. The best defense would seem to be secrecy, good intel, and a good offense (and plans for evacuation of non-coms and resources and a fighting retreat if the home base is hit hard). At the very least, you'd want some kind of a joint operation, drawing on several people's skills, and try to learn from the past mistakes of places you've attacked (and because you don't hand everything over to mercs right off the bat).

>Oh and just because I'm paranoid and she's a merc...
Delicately inquire if there are any outside business interests paying her to be here. If there are, we'll happily buy them out and get her to flip before things get ugly. If Sonia's gonna be working for us, we expect it to be an exclusive contract.

>Cass being protective
>"Fucking bitch... cut my head off. I hope we get to kill her someday."
If Cass complains after they leave, reassure her. Hell, we certainly blew Sonia's head off enough times. If she can look past that... And you're rapidly running out of friends and teammates you haven't shot, yourself (down to Nic, now).

...someone should probably check in with Mike too, make sure he knows she'll be around and there won't be a scene when he sees her.

>Other things on the agenda
(short term)
*talk to Nic at some point. We owe the moon a reward, right? ;)
*talk terms and about weird stuff with Aria.
*make rounds of the base, keep people and acquaintances from forgetting we exist.
*check out this vault of foci we're sitting on (possibly set up a system where some of them are put to use by deserving / appropriate people).

(longer term)
*experimental breaking (not sure what else we might want to make besides super-shades).
*intelligence gathering on opposing factions (we need to take action against the fixers, and D7, before they do against us).
*training and preparedness (individually, and for the whole group).
*investigate non-Existence (work with Elizabeth to see what Linda might be able to do with the weave beside just rip pieces out and make raw reality. Are their other, less reprehensible applications? Or see what the good doctor can make of the condition).
*Keep George working on Chris. Even if she doesn't want to remember her past, it would be nice if the compulsion to obey were removed- let her serve by her free will. (so D7 can't inevitably try to flip her back).
*Conversations with friends and allies. (Can't let Cass grow distant! And I'm curious how Chris will feel about becoming an officer...).

I swear I try to keep this posts small, but by the time I get everything in... D:
>>
No. 488605 ID: 76b151

>experiments
super shades for indoor battles where we can use the rifle effectively

>armored clothing
as tough as we can get them. diamond \ kevler weave hah

>Twinda \ Linda switching.
We have a higher spirit now.

>basic teleportation
items, and ourselves. If its successful how far can we move things. Considering this is a spirit ability (Blink) I'm not expecting much for self-teleportation though.
>>
No. 488617 ID: 908c2d

>>488605
All of that sounds good. With 6B/hr (1BP every 10 minutes!) we can afford to dick around a little.

>super shades details
*at will toggle-able x-ray vision (the same unrealistic cartoony superman kind we put on the rifle) and night-vision.
*automatic adjustment/compensation to sudden changes in brightness (so we can't be blinded by sudden lights or explosions in night vision mode).
>>
No. 488810 ID: 2f4b71

>>488588
>Sonia flashes you a care free smile, clearly about a random in her thought processes and freely trusting of nearly everybody.
With training, offering security services for hire, and surviving this long? No way is she as carefree as she appears. Not that that necessarily makes her untrustworthy, just be careful not to underestimate her.
>>
No. 489174 ID: 8b4dd1

"You wouldn't happen to have any other... contracts... going at the moment, would you?"

"Hm? Oh, no. Not really. We had to cancel some business, but other than that, nope, got nothing. Nothing to really worry about on our end."

As you listen to her response, you send a quick thought off to Twinda, hoping she's got something on Marc. After mere moments, a thought fires back, alerting you to an offshore bank account containing something in the measures of 20-40 million, depending on certain factors. You blink in surprise, not really expecting quite so much money, but Twinda continues, naming off another 4 similar bank accounts, as well as a ownership of at least 3 different major companies and and at partial ownership in a dozen more. Marc, for being a bastard, did know how to run business.

"Hm... well, what would you suggest for payment then?"

"Eh? Oh, a hundred thousand should be fine. We don't actually do this for the money, more just being able to stick together, keep up the facade of a normal overly militaristic life."

Only a hundred thousand? You resolve to hand over two when the deal if finally finalized, but for now you agree, and Sonia and Jared take their leave, letting you know they'll be showing up in a few days with their gang. Cass seems to visibly relax once they've left, and mutters something to herself. She's the next to take a seat, although it seems likes it's more for the purpose of taking a rest than anything else.

"Damn. Being someone important sucks. Every time I go downstairs, someone's got questions about something."

"Heh. Well, that's the way things go, Cass. Uh... we're not gonna have any issues with Sonia and them being around, right? You did promise to kill her at some point."

"Eh. I'll be fine. Well, maybe not completely, but it's nothing to worry about. Besides, we need the allies, right? Don't worry about me, I'll take care of myself."

Cass pauses a moment, letting out a long sigh, then she levers herself up onto her feet and shoves her hands in her pockets.

"Hard to think it's only been a few months since you became one of us, huh? You certainly don't waste time making waves. Regardless, I'll get out of your hair. Oh yeah, that Aria chick wanted to see you again. Something about a decision or something. Should I send her up?"

"Please."

"On it. Catch you around."

Cass disappears out the door, and as you spin in your chair to stave off boredom a little, you notice Elizabeth frowning slightly.

"What's up?"

"The Queen... she is... an uncertainty. Choices before you, but... they are unclear."

You frown as well at that, something else to add to you thoughts, then there's a polite knock on the door, and you call out that the doors open. Aria slides inside, her avatar not with her, and she finds a seat quickly, a pleasant smile on her face.

"It's been a few hours, and I thought that I might as well check in, see if you've come to any decisions. Ah! I've also wanted to ask about this little one. She's quite interesting. I can feel her staring at me, and yet it's more like she's staring at something beyond me. A very interesting individual."

Aria peers at Elizabeth a moment, no malice in her gaze, only curiosity. Regardless, she moves her eyes once she notices Elizabeth retreating a little, returning her attention to you and waiting for you to speak.

>>>Input Commands
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No. 489175 ID: 14bafe

And now that we have access to a LOT of capital, I'm intrigued by the possibility of using future sight to make investments.

Considering how powerful Aria seems to be, we might want to see what we can have her do in regards to Agent Demon.
>>
No. 489179 ID: 908c2d

Cheesus. We are one rich bitch, now.
>>489175
Huge seed money + prescience + "economic genius" probably equals huge profit. I don't think we're gonna have to worry about money again (although we're probably resting comfortably enough that Twinda alone could keep the money growing).

>Hard to think it's only been a few months since you became one of us, huh? You certainly don't waste time making waves.
Honestly, we tried hanging back and not completely taking control of everything, for once. The narrative had other ideas, though.

>Sonia issues
Cass may be cool, but we absolutely have to talk to Mike before she comes back in a few days.

>Aria, Elizabeth
You're not wrong. Sight is her gift... if you want to call what any of us have a gift.

>if you've come to any decisions
What kind of arrangement are we talking here anyways? The original offer was for anything odd, especially concerning Conner. Marc's kind of a moot point now, but I have seen things that qualify as odd, even by our standards. Some of which are still ongoing, and I could probably still use help with.

I mean, I know why I'm here. I have people to protect. A few mysteries to solve, and problems to overcome. Is curiosity really all you're after? (Because if nothing else, we can be sure things are going to stay interesting around Linda).

Let's wait to hear what Aria has to say, and how this works, before we go spilling all the secret crazy info.

Oh by the way, are we still unable to see Aria's number? We're a lot stronger than we were that night. Although her spirit is still probably higher...
>>
No. 489318 ID: 8b4dd1

"You're not wrong. Sight is her gift... if you want to call what any of us have a gift."

Aria appears thoughtful, but quickly discards whatever it is she's thinking, sitting back in her chair.

"Well. I don't want to go prying into anyone else's problems or talents. Perhaps another time I'll ask the girl herself."

"Which brings us to the next thing. What kind of arrangement are we talking here anyways? The original offer was for anything odd, especially concerning Conner. Marc's kind of a moot point now, but I have seen things that qualify as odd, even by our standards. Some of which are still ongoing, and I could probably still use help with.

I mean, I know why I'm here. I have people to protect. A few mysteries to solve, and problems to overcome. Is curiosity really all you're after?"

"Yes. I have no desire for money, such things are easily obtainable, even more so now that I can break. Interesting things, on the other hand, always seem to be in abundance around us breakers, and the more of us that gather, the higher the chance. All I want is the opportunity to participate. If that's alright with you, Britannia really has nothing interesting in the way of breakers, we're all far to proper. As long as I get to see interesting things, I'm happy, and more than willing to help."

You mull over her reply, settling into silent contemplation. You take the opportunity to stare intently at the other woman, trying to break through whatever is stopping you from spotting her number. Suddenly, you see almost a flickering affect, and you spot a number suddenly spring into existence, floating above Aria's head. A 53. A decent number, although you get the feeling the number itself isn't really all that important. Still, you'd rather not have her as an enemy.

Aria seems to notice your gaze, and she flashes you a smile, a flicker of something else touching her own eyes.

"You wouldn't be thinking of something inappropriate now, would you Miss McCallahan?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 489320 ID: 76b151

Aha! Someone to flirt with. Do so, lightly though. Otherwise accept her offer to hang around. Give her an overview of the strange things you've encountered thus far. The Demon of Section 7. Raw Reality. Even the angel.
>>
No. 489332 ID: 908c2d

>You wouldn't be thinking of something inappropriate now, would you Miss McCallahan?
Oh, come on, the one time we weren't. XD

Flash a smile and laugh, but I'm not sure now is really the time too pursue anything. We're rather busy, and we've lost two people who were interested in us in as many weeks. Raw wounds and all. (...and even if Elizabeth would know anyways, It's a little weird flirting right in front of her).

Not that a hookup wouldn't be nice... but it can't afford to be forefront in our mind right now.

>Deal?
Alright, inform Aria's she's on board. If there's one thing we can promise, it's that interesting things are gonna happen around us. Apparently, you don't even exist anymore, there's a secret agency lead by a tear in reality hunting us that we're not supposed to speak of to avoid drawing his attention, and you just recently met a warden of reality disguised as an avatar. And that's just the really weird stuff.

I'd avoid a big whole thing where we explain everything right now- we've got stuff even our friends don't know about yet, and it would be easier to talk all this stuff out at once rather than confiding everything at once to just the new girl.

>and then
Provided nothing else requires our attention sooner, the following are still on the agenda:

(short term)
*talk to Nic
*make rounds of the base
*check out the vault
*talk to Mike
*breaking experiments

(longer term)
*intelligence gathering on opposing factions
*training and preparedness (individually, and for the whole group. Including defensive plans, evacuation, shit like that).
*investigate non-Existence
*Keep George working on Chris.
*Conversations with friends and allies.
>>
No. 489353 ID: 8b4dd1

You flash a smile and laugh away the remark.

"Maybe~"

There it is again, a flash of something in the other woman's eyes, and this time it seems to stick, but you move on before the conversation can continue down that path. You have other, more serious things to worry about, and you'd rather let the fresh wound of Raphael's death(sorta) heal over before you try anything with anyone else.

"But regardless, I'd be glad to have you aboard. I'd rather not get into too much detail right now, still have to explain this thing to everyone at once than one at a time, but the generals... Apparently, I don't even exist anymore, there's a secret agency lead by a tear in reality hunting us that we're not supposed to speak of to avoid drawing his attention, and I just recently met a warden of reality disguised as an avatar. And that's just the really weird stuff. I can at least promise interesting things."

Aria eyes seem to glow with barely contained joy. Clearly, you've just made her day. Aria stands quickly and bows, happiness written on her face.

"I thank you very much. I'll do my best to help however I can. Come find me if you ever have anything you require. I'll leave you to yourself now."

Aria makes for the door, but pauses before exiting, glancing back over her shoulder at you, eyes narrowing slightly, as if contemplating something. That flicker of something enters her eyes again, and you stare back at her, then she exits, humming to herself in thought.

You sigh as she finally leaves, relaxing back into your chair. Damn... this is more stressful than you thought. And this was just an easy first day. Still, you've got more to do today, although none of it should be in this office. You leave yourself, Elizabeth following along quietly behind you, and you descend to where everyone else has gathered, the first floor lounging area, people brighten up as you enter the room, and you greet some random people and generally mingle for awhile as you make your way over to Mike. The snake man greets you as you arrive, leering with little attempt to conceal it.

"Well. If it isssn't Msss. Sssexssy. What can this humble sssnake do for you?"

"Sexy? I remember being beautiful before?"

"Thingsss change, Sssexy. You've got to be fluid, with the change in timesss."

"I see. Well, I only dropped by to let you know that the Blades lady, Sonia, is going to be on our side now, so she'll be hanging around here now..."

Mike shrinks back, hissing rather violently, a hood you'd never noticed before suddenly flaring out acros his neck. Clearly, he isn't happy at all.

"You gonna be alright?"

"Ssshe ssstaysss away from me. I have no desssire to be anywhere near her, or anyone who asssocssiatesss with her."

"Alright. Alright. I'll let her know to keep away from you."

You depart, Mike still agitated, but you don't really have time to hang around for to long. You mingle a little more, than find Nicole hanging around near what looks to be a hastily set up ring, other breakers having little bouts to see who's better, while the woman smokes a cigarette. She notices you walking up, and quickly puts the cigarette out before turning to you.

"Hey, Boss. What's up? Want to take a turn in the ring? Thought it would be a good idea, we've got quite a few rather agressive types hanging around, wouldn't want them getting restless."

>>>Input Command
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No. 489355 ID: 76b151

Might as well. Whats the rules?
>>
No. 489359 ID: 908c2d

>dem eye flashes
Whoo boy. Aria's gonna be trouble, isn't she.

Poor Mike. If it's any consolation, I killed her way more times than she killed you. Marc's the one you should be pissed at anyways- he's the one who set them on each other.

>set up our own arena
Not a bad idea at all, Nicole.

>want to take a round?
...and the plot moves away from lots and lots of talking! (though we've still got more to do). Sure, we're game, although we'll have to be careful. It won't look good to see the boss lady curbstomped, or beating down too hard on her own people.

*Grin* Saaay, don't I owe you some kind of reward? I do sort of run this place and have a good chunk of cash to throw around...
>>
No. 489617 ID: 528e81

We're the boss, we gotta stop fraternizing with enlisted men.
>>
No. 489622 ID: 8b4dd1

"Saaay, don't I owe you some kind of reward? I do sort of run this place and have a good chunk of cash to throw around..."

You move to get ready to fight, checking your pistols and getting yourself ready. Nicole frowns slightly, then shrugs.

"Didn't really mean that. But hey, if you really want to reward me, let's say you and me go at it. Nice friendly bout, first to five deaths wins."

You pause a moment, then nod your agreement. There's really no reason to say no, and if that's what she wants as a reward, it can't hurt. You feel like you'll be fine, even with just that. After the current match up ends, you take your place at one end of the circular "arena" checking the surrounding one last time. There are numerous boxes and assorted other obstacles and places to hide, so at least that prevents you from simply laying down gunfire like crazy and winning by default. This match is about as fair as it could possibly be. Nicole is on the other end, tugging her gloves tight onto her hands, then, when she's good and ready, she settles into a sort of ready stance, eyes focused entirely on you. For a moment, there's almost complete stillness, like someone had hit pause on a video. Then there's a shout from the sidelines to begin, and you both rocket into motion, Nicole doing an almost baseball slide behind cover, while you plant yourself and draw your weapons, keeping eyes open for your opponent. You're not sure how much she's picked up since being with you, but you doubt she hasn't thought up a few tricks to use.

>>>Input Command
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No. 489626 ID: 76b151

Get on top of the boxes and 'hop' your way to her. She'll either have to join you (And lose cover) or knock over the box stack you are on.) You have super high finesse so you can probably jump off boxes even if they are in midair. If need be switch out to the Cartoon Ice and make your own platforms. Its part of the reason we got the thing afterall.
>>
No. 489632 ID: 908c2d

Oy. I wondered if we'd be fighting one of the main party. Interesting. Nic's got the second lowest XP pool- I'm interested to see how what she's got can be creatively put to use.

Alright. Friendly match. That means battlefield instinct and the anti-breaking tubes are off the table. Back to basics.

>Things to watch for
Weapon environment. She's like Cass- she could use anything here against you. That cover could go from a defensive position to in your face pretty quick. Which, considering she has to get close (and past your gunfire) to land a punch, might very well be a tactic she tries.

She could also potentially knock you out, ending the fight without five kills. So avoid getting hit in the head.

And if she starts glowing or explodes right at you unexpectedly as her number suddenly drops by five... don't even try to shoot her. Dodge, get the fuck out of her way. (Maybe use ice and her momentum against her, if possible).

>Tactics
We might be able to use the tank gun to hit her though cover. But I'm a little leery of going that way, since I expect she's going to close with us, fast and hard. And that weapon is hard to use close in. I'd rather go for ice and the handgun.

Ice on the ground at the right time to trip or slip her up, or as a bonus to increase our own dodges and movement (it's a lot easier to suddenly move/slide one way if there's no friction). Or use cartoon ice to suddenly block her path with an obstacle as she moves away, or between the obstacles. Pistol to shoot at her, obviously.

Not sure what way active breaks might be useful, except for force-push style stuff- knocking her away, or moving around cover.

Hell, if we get a chance to show off, maybe we can try wall running this time. We should have the finesse for it, now.

If we actually win this? There's no need to take the fifth shot. A spoken "bang" once it's clear we've got her should suffice.

And we should be gracious no matter which way this goes. If Nic manages to actually kick our ass, I expect Linda to congratulate her. While laughing.
>>
No. 489633 ID: 908c2d

>>489626
>Cartoon ice platforming.
Hah! Awesome idea.

If we're getting up on the boxes though, be doubly careful of her trying to weapon environment use them against us.
>>
No. 489679 ID: 2f4b71

Unless these boxes are made of fairly solid metal (and by 'solid', I mean 'thicker than ~20mm steel'), just fire through them.
>>
No. 489758 ID: 908c2d

Oh, it occurs to me we could use active break to support impossible ice platforming / floating boxes / etc if it can't do that with the ice gun alone. Or I'm pretty sure when we fought him Jake was using active breaks to pull off those impossible multi-hits with his balls- we could try and see if we can cheat with bullets the way (make a miss turn around and come at back at her for a second pass).

I mean, we are trying to win, but this is the first low-pressure chance we've had in a while to try new tricks.

>>489679
Not sure that works too well with the handgun.
>>
No. 491406 ID: 8b4dd1

You decide to try out something you saw Jake do when you fought him, and fire off a single pistol round, focusing your will on it and pushing it to rebound just the way you want it to. The bullet, however, proves rather difficult to focus on, and refuses to do what you want, disappearing off somewhere. You barely get the chance to frown before a barrel comes flying at you. You duck to the side, the attack you suspect not meant to hit, and you find this confirmed as another comes at you, much faster than the first. You go prone, dropping on your back, then hurl your weight backwards and get back on your feet, Nicole fist slamming into the ground you were laying on and leaving a small crater behind. The both of you go into a flurry of activity, fists and gun shots narrowly missing each other, before your speed overcomes hers and you pump three rounds into your opponent. She manages to slide behind cover before she bleeds out, then she's up again, although she chooses to stay behind cover.

"Damn, Linda... forgot how fast you can be without that big ass cannon of yours weighing you down."

"I'd better be fast, you could pulp my skull with one of your punches."

"Heh. That's assuming I hit. One death for you, let's see if I can try something else..."

Nicole against starts throwing stuff at you, but those are easily dodged, you settling into a comfortable rhythm again. Soon enough, however, Nicole comes out again, going into a straight charge at you. You try firing a couple of rounds at her, but she seems to anticipate your aim and simply angles her body so the bullets slip past her, then she's next to you and slamming her fist not into you, but the ground, sending up a spray of dust and debris. The stuff gets into the air and into your eyes, and you barely get the chance to back up a little before you feel someone grab hold of you and a fist slams into your chest. You feel bones crack, and your fairly sure something just punctured your lungs. Then you a flash of pain in your skull and your waking up on the ground, Nicole already bringing her fist down. You pull you head to the side, and there's another spray of debris as the ground is cratered again. You snap your handgun up, putting a round into her forehead, then you kick the other woman off of yourself, and get away from her, still trying to rub the dirt from your eyes. When you finally do, Nicole is sitting on a nearby crate, smoking a cigarette, looking very unsatisfied.

"Damn. Still can't beat you. Don't have the speed for it, I think. Pretty sure I could beat Cass though. Her weapon is slow as shit. I don't really feel like continuing anymore, boss. Can't really think of anything worth trying out right now either. I need new weapons..."

The woman looks a little dejected, but quickly sighs it away and stands up again, shaking her limbs out.

"Well, I'm done. I thought I'd be able to put up at least somewhat of a fight, but I guess not. Need more power first, I think. More speed... well, just something to think about."

>>>Input Command
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No. 491408 ID: 76b151

Huh, she wants new weapons. Lets go see what Mac has in store for her. If nothing he has strikes her fancy maybe she would like a custom job from the Doc. We do owe her quite a bit for sticking around especially since her original reason for coming is gone.
>>
No. 491419 ID: 908c2d

Death 16 to Nicole, and she's finally lost her distinction as the only teammate we haven't shot. Guess the trophy passes to Aria now that she's signed up.

>Jake trick failed
Hmm. No physics defying flight patterns on bullets, then. Guess it was easier for him because the non-Newtonian fluid ball was his weapon, and they were all about impossible bouncing (in both cases, unlike out bullets). It was his thing. It's not ours.

>Reassuring Nic
*Offer her a hand* Hey, you got me at least. And if there's anyone who's living proof you can overcome someone starting out with an edge on you... *grin*

(yes, we're joking about killing our boss to the girl disappointed in not being able to kill her boss. Not sure who that's in bad taste for. XD)

>I need new weapons...
Well, we do have this foci vault thing Mac's been sitting on I need to check out. Between that and the Doc we should be able to find something that suits you.

Your... thing is a little harder to pin down, though. I mean, I know mine is guns. They come naturally to me. I can sort of sense them. Any kind of breaking related to them is just easier. Elizabeth's is sight. Cass' is cutting things. Yours... I kind of think it's more force than punching things. Makes it a little harder to come up with something that plays to it.
>>
No. 491447 ID: 4a328b

Ask if she wants to go with you to Mac to exchange foci, or if she's interested in any of your unused foci [besides the mementos]. After all, IF we ever tune them it won't be for a while :\
>>
No. 491456 ID: 908c2d

>>491447
>any of Linda's unused foci (besides the mementos)
Hmm. That's... the stone ball (which does who knows what) the small black ball (makes holes, whatever that means), the cane top (she doesn't really need that), and the shotgun shell (which we're saving if and when we need the doc to make us a new gun. Maybe for the next gen of the anti-breaking tech? A shotgun does have two barrels...).

The holes one might fit her, depending on what it actually does. (Although, it sounds to me like some sort of support tool, rather than a direct weapon. Might be useful, but Nic's complaining about a lack of direct power). Other than that, I think the only opportunities she's had for loot is the battles at Blade's place and Jakes (which puts her at 2-3 unspecified spare foci for trades or Doc-work, I think).
>>
No. 492164 ID: 8b4dd1

"Well, we do apparently have this vault full of foci now. Let's go check it out, see what we can dig up for you."

Nicole looks a bit surprised, but hops off of her seat and follows along after you, nodding towards someone who immediately takes over running the newly constructed arena. You both head downstairs the the basement, and it's here you find Mac, once again filling a room with a mass of what looks like various random objects, as well as a large metal door stored behind him.

"Hm? Ah! The new boss! How ya been doin? Havn't really gottin a chance ta talk ta ya lately, have I? Wha can I help you wit?"

"Nice to see you to, Mac. We're looking to check out this Vault you've got here. Maybe see if there's anything in it Nicole could use."

"Um... let meh think... she a puncher an kicker type, ya? Then I think we got a pair of greaves or something like that, if she wants the-"

"Hand it over! Getting some kicks in always helps!"

Nicole practically jumps down his throat, and within a few minutes Nicole has a pair of boot looking things in her hands. She seems happy with it, and waves at you as she heads off, muttering to herself. Regardless, you stick around, vaguely curious yourself as to what else is inside the vault. It's bare for the most part, but you do get the chance to spot a few bullets by the look of things, and you mention them to Mac.

"Ah! Those! We got that .45 ya turned in awhile back. There's also a .22, a .44 and a .357. Picked them up just before we left Central. Might be able ta get some more modern military type stuff off of the mercs comin in later, if you want ta wait awhile. Trade rule is still in effect too, unless you feel like changin it. Yer the boss now, after all."

>>>Input Command
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No. 492248 ID: 908c2d

Oh hey, nightime update and the favicon went in. =D

>kicks
...I guess I was overthinking it with the force angle? With another manifestation she can use at the same time now, she's going to need to stack BP even more now, though.

>We got that .45 ya turned in awhile back.
We didn't turn in the .45. We burned the needle to covert it from a colt magnum to the cold magnum. :V It's now our vial of liquid Nitrogen.

>.22, a .44 and a .357
Okay... so without Elizabeth or the people who recovered those telling us what they were, according to wiki Twinda's in-game and totally legit research as to what those could be:
.22: rifle, pistol, revolver, or smoothbore shotgun
.44: revolver, carbine, or rifle
.357: revolver or handgun

That's... not a lot to go on. But I think we can agree that we don't need a revolver, and we're already covered in the handgun department. And we already have a kickass rifle.

Leading me to conclude that while we could trade the stone-ball or cane-top for any of those, I don't think we really need any of them. Unless someone has a really cool idea for doc-modifying them into a magic and/or science gun, but even then we already don't use the ice gun often enough. I do kind of like saving the shotgun to later upgrade with anti-breaking tech (one barrel for each kind of tube?).

>Trade rule is still in effect too, unless you feel like changing it.
I got mixed feelings, here. On the one side, the trading is a nice, fair, stable means of swapping foci around. On the other, we are kind of at war here, and we've got all this power just sitting here. But how exactly could we do handouts without upsetting balance? (jealousy, accusations of favoritism, why's the weak newbie get shit for free and I don't, ect).

I guess... leave the system in place for now? Maybe consider exceptions or pay-later plans for people without a combat-oriented focus who want to contribute. Or for people Elizabeth says need to get together with certain foci (although, if she's helping us run the place, I'm not sure how much time she has to play with unaffiliated foci).

What was Marc doing with this stockpile, anyways?

>What next
Alright, again, assuming nothing demands our attention... I think the only thing we have left on the short term list was breaking experiments. Super shades for in building wall shooting, cheating armor clothes (test in private, so a failed break don't leave us naked! :V), Twinda switching.

At some point we need to have a meeting with our lieutenants, and talk about all the crazy shit we haven't had a chance to before (although, we can't talk about the demon, much, unfortunately :V). Not just for Aria's benefit- our friends deserve to know what's going on, and you aren't going to hide everything like Marc.

(longer term)
*intelligence gathering on opposing factions
*training and preparedness (individually, and for the whole group. Including defensive plans, evacuation, shit like that).
*investigate non-Existence (use the Doc and/or Elizabeth)
*Keep George working on Chris.
*Conversations with friends and allies.

...when we're done for the day we should check to see if our new office has any rich-person booze hidden around. Boss-lady can't afford to get hammered, but a drink or two might be nice. :V
>>
No. 492337 ID: 2f4b71

Whatever happened to the minigun focus Cass picked up way back when?
>>
No. 492340 ID: 908c2d

>>492337
She traded it for the comm set. It wasn't there next time we checked the shop, so presumably it got traded to someone else?
>>
No. 492848 ID: 8b4dd1

"Just keep trading them for now. Maybe I'll do something with them later."

"Gotcha!"

"By the way, what was Marc doing with all these anyway?"

"Couldn't tell ya. Never knew it was even down here till we killed his ass. Whatever it was, he ain't doin it now."

"Fair enough. I'll catch you later."

"See ya."

You head back upstairs, frowning in thought, but quickly drop the subject. Marc is dead and gone, and soon Amelia will follow suit. Instead, you go back to your more private apartments and decide to test some things. You scrounge up a pair of sunglasses from somewhere and manage to break them into seeing through walls. The lens suddenly go translucent though, making them more like normal glasses than sunglasses, but maybe that could be something you could work on later. For now, these should give you limited x-ray vision through walls, although it doesn't seem to work on walls that are too thick. The amor clothes ends... badly... and you can only be thankful that you didn't try that in the open somewhere. Twinda switching gets rejected as well, although not for lack of trying. You do take the opportunity to check in with Twinda, and find that the Godkiller is becoming somewhat of an internet sensation, at least locally. There's already speculations and conspiracy theories, not to mention various discussion threads about who the pilot might be. Most seem to believe your either an alien or a sexy woman. You agree with the last one, although you might be biased. There's also a few things that Twinda found on Cass' condition, although the papers she found seemed long and wordy, so that's something to figure out at a later date.

With all that done, you send the word out for the lieutenants to gather, as well Aria and the Doc if he's around. The group gathers in your new living room, the Doc showing up last minute as he just moved his entire lab to the basement. You let everyone settle in, then cough to get their attention and ready yourself.

"Alright... um... I guess this would be the first official meeting we've ever had, so... yeah... anyway, I figured I didn't want to be like Marc, keeping secrets and all that, so I'm gonna talk a little about what I've found out recently, and about what's happened to me.

"First off... well... I apparently don't exist anymore. At least, as far as reality is concerned. I don't really know what that means, but I was looking to find out, or at least understand it a bit better. Doc, Elizabeth, I'm hoping you can help me with that."

Both nod, the Doc already muttering things under his breath, maybe experiments to attempt or something. Cass, on the other hand, interrupts with a raised hand.

"Um... what do you mean, don't exist? And when did that happen?"

"Like I said, I'm not really sure what that means. I just... don't exist, I guess. As for when, well, when we did that crazy break with the raw reality, it seems like we fucked some shit up, me being one of the major bits."

"Ah... well damn, that sucks..."

"Which brings us to other stuff... the raw reality we used? Yeah, that was Raphael. Or, rather, Raphael's existence. Apparently, raw reality is literally the stuff that make's up a person's existence. Or something like that, I don't really get it myself."

Now it's Nicole's turn to interrupt, looking even more confused than you feel.

"Wait, wait. Your telling me we used Raphael's... existence to reverse everything Marc did?"

"Yeah, more or less."

"That's... then wouldn't we, like... not remember him or something? He should never have existed right?"

"Well, we didn't use up ALL of his, as it turns out, so I traded the raw reality to... remake him a little. He's not a breaker anymore, and he doesn't remember us or anything that happened, but... he's alive. And seems he'll do fine, according to Elizabeth."

"The Nightmare will have pleasant dreams."

"That brings us up to speed I think... ah! One last thing. You guys know that bastard from D7?"

"The one Elizabeth calls the Demon or whatever? Yeah, what about him?"

"Try to avoid talking or thinking about it too much. Apparently that draws his attention. Or something."

"Oh yeah, thanks. Now I'm gonna want to think about the bastard."

Aria, who'd been silent the entire time, finally speaks, gears in her head seeming to turn as she frown in thought.

"A lot of interesting things to think about, but regardless, all that will take time. For now, we should probably focus on a clear goal, so that we can deal with things more easily. This D7 seems to be an issue, but I doubt going against the government at this time will prove worthwhile. I'd personally suggest working on removing the Fixers from the region. There's presence isn't too strong yet, if we move quickly we could deal quite a bit of damage."

"Yeah, but if we spread ourselves too thin, we aren't gonna be able to defend at all. Not that defending really seems to work too well against breakers..."

"I can deal with that! Given time and resources, I can try to put up a few sort of... anti-breaker machines, the data from the tubes provided a lot of useful options. Regardless, I still have quite a bit to work on right now..."

You quickly cut in before the conversations get completely out of hand, and let everyone go on their way. You have some time now, so you grab a quick bite to eat and a shower before heading back downstairs, glancing about for anyone to talk to. You really haven't done that too much lately. You spot all of your lieutenants hanging around, as well as Aria sitting next to her avatar. You also guess that the Doc is downstairs, given the sounds of machinery and the occasional explosion.
>>
No. 492853 ID: 76b151

I... think we're going to need to find out what the Fixers are up to. And that means scouting them out. Lets go get Mike and anyone else really good at stealth and send them on a scouting mission. Ony if they feel like they can manage it. If they're capable finding out what their plans are but I'd settle for knowing their current base and general whereabouts.

As for the rest. Lets organize some classes to get them more skilled with their weapons. the Lovers can help with that. We should also see about training people together to work more cohesively. Lets see what we can do with a couple dozen Breakers working together collectively to Break something. Might be a pretty powerful weapon if needed.
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No. 492861 ID: 9ee360

>x-ray sunglasses
Sun, non, whatever. Looses some of the cool factor, but good to have the next time we're fighting inside a building. Put em in a case and pocket them till we need 'em.

>Um... what do you mean, don't exist?
Best way I've thought of to think of it is I kind of had to step outside of reality to change what I did. And... I didn't make it completely back.

>That brings us up to speed I think...
We forgot to talk about the angel from outside the universe, or our supposed inexplicable magic specialness, but whatever. We can cover that later.

>clear goal, fixers
I agree with Aria. Taking out the Fixer presence in this city is a good first goal. Their hunting of breakers has been more overt and aggressive than D7's (which has mostly been reactionary, or covert). And once they're out of the way, all (or most) of the breakers in the area will either be working for, allied with, or peaceful with our faction. Puts us in a much better position to deal with he who should not be named.

And yes, of the two factions, they look to be the easiest to take out.

...and if there really is any truth to their philosophy- if the world really is broken, and if it can even be fixed- I'd like to know.

>Not that defending really seems to work too well against breakers...
I think our best defense, at the moment, is a good offense, preparedness, and good intel- so we can't be caught by surprise. Elizabeth is good for part of that, but she doesn't always get to see everything in advance. We must have some people in the organization good at keeping tabs on enemies and finding things out, right? (After all, he somehow knew when Linda and Mathew were going to break).

>talking time
...let's just hang with Cass. It's been ages since we just spent time with our best bud (fights and shop talk don't count). And I'm not quite ready to try striking anything up with Aria.
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No. 492866 ID: 9ee360

>>492853
We should make sure our scouts need to come equipped with some kind of panic button or distress call, though. We're not leaving our people hanging.
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No. 492892 ID: 8b4dd1

You briefly consider sending out some scouts to figure out the situation tonight, but decide against it. It's night time, and you'd prefer people be ready. You do grab someone and tell them to start spreading the word that some people will be going out tomorrow, then head over to drop down next to Cass.

"Hey. How have you been, Cass?"

"Hm? Ah... pretty good, I guess. Could be worse. I'm not very good at this whole lieutenant thing. Elizabeth is the ultimate secretary, Nicole's got her ring thing set up, twe-Chris is thinking about starting patrols around our territory, although she doesn't want anyone mentioning that to you till she figures it out better, so you didn't hear that from me. As for me, well... all I'm good for is as a murder machine, and maybe getting drunk with. Which, by the way, I dug up some of Marc's old wine shit. Probably worth my entire savings, but hey, who says we can't indulge a little, yeah?"

"Maybe..."

Cass drags out a bottle of something expensive looking, and expertly uncorks the thing with her bare hand. She takes a drink, than passes it off to you. You swallow some of the liquid yourself, while Cass starts brooding.

"Damn... can't believe old nightmare boy's gone. Felt like having a brother whenever he was around. Us two constantly bickering. Heh, guess that won't be happening anymore... Wonder how many more of us are gonna bite it by the end of this..."

"Come on Cass, don't think like that. We'll be fine. I'm sure everything will work out."

You take another drink of the bitter liquid, then pass it back to Cass, who downs another swallow as well.

"Yeah? I hope so sometimes, but realistically, we're at war. People die during wars, Linda. Usually the one's that can't really defend themselves."

You get the feeling she's talking about herself and her berserker rages, and let that sink in as she takes another swig from the bottle.

"Cass, I don't think wallowing in despair is gonna get you anywhere. I told you, I'd always be there for you, as long as you need me."

Cass grunts, then downs more of the wine. She clearly getting more and more drunk, and she sighs tiredly before seeming to refocus a little. It seems like she's deliberately making herself drunk, like she's trying to find a little courage in her bottle of wine.

"Hey Linda... You ever wonder what broke me? What made me all psychopathic and shit?"
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No. 492896 ID: 4a328b

"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wondered."
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No. 492900 ID: 9ee360

>You ever wonder what broke me? What made me all psychopathic and shit?
...can't say my guesses have been pretty, considering some of the things that set you off. I know you were young, at least.

Then let her tell you what she needs to.

If it feels appropriate after she's spoke her peice, reciprocate, and tell her what happened to you.

>we're at war. People die during wars
As a parting shot to try and lift her spirits- Cass, we're at war here. But it's so someday maybe we won't have to be.
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No. 493061 ID: 8b4dd1

"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wondered. Still, I can't say my guesses have been pretty, considering some of the things that set you off. I know you were young, at least."

"Hm... yeah..."

Cass downs another large helping of wine, then settles herself, looking a little miserable, but determined to push herself a little farther than she had with others.

"So... I never had a great family life. My mom died giving birth to me, I think, and dad died after getting remarried. My step-mom wasn't really bad to me, she just... ignored me. Kept me as far from her thoughts as possible. Treated me more like an annoying animal that kept eating from the kitchen everyday. Still, it was fine, I learned to cope in my own ways. It was probably the best time of my life, back then. Well, not counting recently, hanging around with you guys is probably the most fun I've ever had.

"Anyway... I was about 7, I think, when my step-mom remarried. Everything seemed fine at first, maybe a little better than fine, because he... he seemed nice to me. He actually paid attention to me. Made me feel like I had a father to rely on. That lasted maybe a month. After that, the... 'sessions' started. It was simple stuff at first, didn't even know I was doing anything. He'd hug me, or touch my face, or any other of normal things. Once I'd gotten used to that physical contact, stuff started escalating. He ask me to do... things... and at that age I really didn't think anything of it. Once I started to get older, I started noticing though. And then I refused for the first time..."

Cass shivers suddenly, then down another chug of wine, steadying herself and rubbing a stray tear from her eyes.

"God damnit, that time hurt. Beat me till I couldn't move anymore. He'd planned it that way to. Waited for someone to be out of the house. Took me somewhere nobody would see, then started hitting me. Again and again. Eventually, I couldn't help it. I'd give in to him just to avoid the pain. And my step-mother wouldn't do anything. Pretend it never happened. She didn't care, preferring her own children to me.

"Once I hit 13, I had my first period and... and..."

Cass suddenly breaks down, the wine bottle shattering against the floor as she lets go of it to curl herself into a fetal ball. You take hold of her and press her body to your chest, feeling her whole body shaking with her sobbing. These are obviously old wounds. Very old wounds. Still, Cass calms eventually, taking a shaking breath in before sitting up straight again.

"Ah... Alright... almost done..."

"Cass, if you don't want to-"

"No... you said it yourself, right? No secrets. And I... trust you with this. Probably more than anyone else...

"Where was I? Oh yeah... the uh... sessions... kept going till I was 15. No... just before my fifteenth birthday, I think. Either way, one night, I guess he couldn't contain himself. He caught me in the kitchen, with step-mother and my step-brothers in the living room next to us. He... did it right there. With them in the house. I let him do it to, just to avoid the pain. Part of me hoped step-mom would walk in, finally notice or acknowledge it or something and put a stop to it.... heh... well, she walked in alright. I could even see it in her eyes. She knew what was going on. Bastard didn't even stop when she came in. But she ignored it, trying her hardest to avoid making eye contact with me, to avoid the issue completely.

"And I... couldn't take it anymore. That was... that was the last straw. The man on top of me, the woman who ignored the issue, the brothers who were too ignorant to even care. I remember... grabbing a kitchen knife, I think, and driving into the asshole's forehead. Maybe that's why I get such pleasure from killing people. The warm blood. Killing for the first time like that. All I know, is that I seemed to black out after that, and I remember waking up in police custody the next day, covered in blood... but gods, it felt good. So good... just to be free of that bastard. They let me go, thought it was someone else, especially cause I'd apparently been... used... so I just kinda walked out scot free. Three years, I wandered around, doing shit... killing people, when they pissed me off. Somehow I didn't even notice I was doing it, at least not at first. I'd just... get soo much pleasure out of it. I finally got arrested a few months ago, but then this breaking thing happened, and... well... you can guess the rest."

Cass, over the course of her story, seemed to get more and more sober, regardless of the alcohol she'd consumed, now she seemed positively wired. She goes silent for a moment, thinking, then she sighs and leans back in her chair.

"So... that's it. All of it..."

>>>Input Command
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No. 493071 ID: 9c0d68

Hug that creepy bitch. your wound isn't even half as bad as hers. Hell, you get to play surrogate mom, she just kills people. hug the FUCK out of her.
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No. 493105 ID: 9ee360

(Damn, my guess was right on the money. ...I kind of wish it hadn't been, though).

(And then there's the nagging knowledge we could have fixed this. You could have spared her this pain... if you'd been willing to more than kill Raphael. You shouldn't feel guilty about that but... fuck. That's a choice you wish you'd never had to make.)

>>493071
Seconding hugs.

...It's just not fair at all. Makes my injury seem like a joke, in comparison (unless she asks, we don't need to elaborate. This isn't about us).

And I do think you're slowly getting better. You have some control, and I swear it seems like you're fighting smarter.

Stay with Cass, tonight (if she lets you hang around). Not sure I could bear to leave her alone after all that. (Plus, we can keep anything terrible and/or humiliating from happening to her if she climbs back into that bottle. No Raph to clean up our messes this time round...).

>Parting shot
Hey, you were right that we're at war here. But it's so someday maybe we won't have to be. And... I think I've already proved willing to do some pretty stupid things to keep my friends safe. If I can help it all, we're going to get through this.

>Mental note:
The most dangerous things around, the most likely to be able to kill your friends in this war, is shit that bypasses death avoidance. The Demon touching people, or that fucking gun that erases people. Or a breaker who can burn through a lot of numbers at once, like Marc could, or you can. You will not let this happen to them. You won't stand by and watch them die (or worse) like you did with Elizabeth. You will break whatever the fuck you have to to keep it from happening. Shoot the gun/demon/bullet, snatch the gun away, counterbreak the personal power as you feel it coming into effect, throw up some kind of barrier in the way, shove your friends out of the way, kill them yourself if that's what it takes to avoid a true death. Whatever you have to do. Because there might not be a way to fix things afterwards, next time.

>Also
...we should probably put finding something for Cass to do on our list for tomorrow. She hasn't found her own thing to run yet, she might feel a little better if she did feel she was contributing meaningfully to this whole lieutenant thing.
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No. 493113 ID: 8b4dd1

You pull your chair closer to Cass' and wrap your arms around her in a hug. You feel her tense in your grasp, then she relaxes again, hugging you back and sighing again.

"...It's just not fair at all. Makes my injury seem like a joke, in comparison. And I do think you're slowly getting better. You have some control, and I swear it seems like you're fighting smarter."

"Heh... maybe..."

You stay like that a long time, Cass slowly seeming to drift away into sleep. Just before she leaves the waking world completely, she seems to stir again and mutters almost silently.

"Hey Linda?"

"Yeah?"

"You're still gonna be here when I wake up, right? I'm not dreaming, am I? I'm not really stuck in a loony bin, having weird delusions?"

"No Cass. You're not. I'll be here when you wake up."

"Mm."

Cass falls asleep completely, and her body relaxes into yours, making it somewhat difficult to extract yourself. Not that you really wanted to anyway. You promised you'd be there, you're going to damn well be there. You direct someone to bring you a blanket, and once you have it in hand you settle in yourself, feeling sleep coming quickly. Just before you finally hit dreamland yourself, you decide something yourself.

No one else is going to die in this war as long as you can help it.

You wake the next day, feeling sore from your sleeping position. Cass is still asleep, although she must have repositioned herself at some point, because her head is resting on your shoulder instead of against your chest. You debate whether to wake her or not, but decide against it, choosing instead to think some other things over.

You're going to fix Cass. She's been your friend since the beginning of all this, and you're going to try your hardest to let her live completely free of her trauma. Still, you have no idea how to really deal with this, your not a doctor in any sense of the word. Maybe those papers that Twinda found will help.

Cass suddenly stirs, sitting up blearily and staring at you in confusion, and then she's clutching her head.

"MOTHER OF ALL THAT'S FUCKING-"

You frown in confusion, then realize she'd downed most of that bottle of wine last night on her own, and she'd normally have been smashed after to cans of beer. She must be feeling in this morning.

"How you feeling Cass?"

"Like utter shit. I'm gonna go find me some water or something, maybe try and get Rodriguez to heal this crap for me... god damn..."

Cass lurches to her feet and starts away, then pauses suddenly and turns back to look at you.

"Hey Linda? Thanks for... listening... I guess..."

Then she's gone, heading off to find some way to relieve herself of the painful throbbing in her head. You stand yourself, stretching out your sore limbs, grab a quick bite and a shower, then you have the day ahead of you.

>>>Input Command
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No. 493115 ID: 9ee360

Alright. Time to get down to business.

If we're going to take action against the fixers, before they entrench themselves or come after us, we need information. Elizabeth is good for warnings and intel to some extent, but she can't see everything in advance. We need some hard data. Where are enemies are, what they're doing, how many of them there are. So the first thing we need to do is send out the scouts and sneaky types, see what we can find out (this is recon stuff, though. Not infiltration or combat). Make sure they have the ability to cal for backup if things go south.

Actually having Elizabeth work with organizing the information gathering would probably work pretty well. Fill in details on what she can see, check on things she can't, and avoid sending people into known danger.

Second to that is getting the group ready for war. We need organized teams, people prepared to fight, communications. Some preparations for if we're attacked. Not sure how much we can get going with formal training just yet, but there's that too.

That's probably enough to keep us busy for a while. Once we're done organizing all that we'll look for something else to do while waiting for results to come in. Maybe check in with the Doc, or start investigating non-existance?
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No. 493784 ID: 8b4dd1

Most of the day is spent quickly, dealing with sending out scouts and dealing with all the organization details. You've also begun to see the non-existent thing start to work, people asking you who you were, or if you were a newbie. This proves difficult, at least until you find Cass again, who then proceeds to start being the hard-ass for you, ripping her way through anyone who dares disobey. Most of the morning gone, you finally disentangle yourself from the mess, noticing that Cass seem to have things well in hand. Mostly through the constant use of drill sergeant like tactics, but she does seem to be beating all the warriors into groups. You take the opportunity to head downstairs, and find the Doc staring at what looks like a ball of glowing something. With nothing better to do, you head over.

"Hey Doc. What's this?"

"A baby avatar. It seems that new avatar don't actually get made so much as born from the minds of their first wielder. I doubt I can be more specific than that, but suffice it to say this avatar will shape itself depending on who it comes into contact with first. A shame... although at least Amelia no longer exists."

The Doctor looks bored a moment, then suddenly brightens up.

"Ah! That's right! I thought about something I wanted to try! I was wondering if your non-existence give you some immunity to things like Elizabeth's sight! Do you have any idea? And could you possibly think of anything you might like me to test on you... purely for science, of course."

>>>Input Command
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No. 493798 ID: 9ee360

>drill sergeant
Well, Cass certainly found her place.

Damn, though. Breakers are supposed to be more resistant to the effects of non-existence, but we've got people on our own side forgetting us already? We did the rounds of the base just yesterday. I was hoping we wouldn't need to do that every day, but even that looks like it might not be enough.

...as a plus though, I wonder what's going to be happening with our enemies. There's a certain someone I'm sure is immune, but D7's records on us might not be. And then there's the fixers...

>A baby avatar
Interesting. Any idea on how it might be different than normal? We get the sort of things the Doc's work can do for weapons, and sort of what he can do for forms, but I've no idea what that means for an avy.

We'll also have to decide who gets / wants it later. Aria or Michelle? Michelle's loyalty is more assured, and her Beloved By Avatars makes her a strong choice. Aria might have more expectations though, and she's stronger too. Either or them might have understandable reservations about getting a new avy, though. It's a lot bigger thing than a weapon is for us.

>non-existant testing
Hmm. Checking in to see how it works with Elizabeth's sight might be interesting (would probably lead to her showing off her new spirit 5 ability, and showing us).

Not sure what we could test more directly though. The first consequence seems to be people forgetting us if we're away from them too long. There's obviously some kind of function dependent on how long we're been away, how much exposure they had previously, and their own power all factoring into how long they can resist... but that's tricky to track experimentally (mostly because we're unwilling to just wait and see how long it takes people to forget- especially strong people, or people close to us).

Maybe we could test what effect we have on normals? (Are we basically just perpetually being normalized? Would they see us at all, or just forget the moment they look away, like the Silent from Doctor Who?).

Everything else seems to work normally. I'm still here (somehow), breaking isn't any different, dying isn't any different.

A little off track, but it did occur to me we found a focus that might be a good place to start for the improved anti-breaking weapons. Double barrel shotgun. So it can accommodate each kind of tube?
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No. 493804 ID: 17cb5e

People forgetting about us already? It's no surprising but it's still awful news. Odds are how well a person remembers Linda is how much of an effect Linda had on their personal lives as well as the time spent with them (this could all be baloney because it's just a guess). We might as well relay what's happening to the doc. It's the closest thing he probably going to get at observing this at real time.
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No. 493942 ID: 2f4b71

Just on the off-chance: let's see how well people remember Twinda.
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No. 494117 ID: f33ace

...here's a crazy idea for the baby av.
tune it.

yes, i mean Linda. yes, i know we're a tool type. yes, i agree we should have Elizabeth look at it first.
but seriously, wouldn't it be crazy if our new non-existence let us bend the rules about foci types? we could be ALL the types. that would sure give us a couple surprises for anyone we fight.

ok, yes, it's really unlikely, but we should still try poking it with our breaking senses or something to see if it might be possible, if we can tell that. and, again, ask Elizabeth, if she can tell.


also, more rationally, i support the idea of seeing if the anti-breaking tubes can be integrated into the shotgun. not sure how well they'd combine with a broken weapon, but it's worth asking about.
if they can combine, though, it'll need a more convenient potion dispensing method. maybe vials in the handle, or something?

anyway, that's my ¢ for now.
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No. 494135 ID: 9ee360

>>494117
I dunno. Even if we could (we probably can't) I don't see why we'd want to branch into different types. Using an avy doesn't give us any advantage fighting with allies doesn't (doubly so, since 2 of our allies use avys), our stats / build isn't set up to support an avy (unlike Michelle or Aria), and there are potential mental hazards associated with avatars Linda is unprepared for. Doesn't seem like a win to me.
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No. 494356 ID: f33ace

i said it was crazy, didn't i? but it insisted on being posted.
as far as the potential mental problems, that was part of why we'd have Elizabeth look at it, to see if it would give it's user new problems, or if, due to it's unformed state, it would just take a form based on the owner's state of mind, and not add anything new. if it does add new problems, then yeah, definitely no tuning.
you do bring up a good point about our stats/skills not really being set up for using an avatar, though, i hadn't thought of that. i suppose it probably wouldn't be such a good idea. (i did say it was crazy, though, right? :P)
however, even if we don't tune the av, i would still like to know if it would even be possible for us. what with our non-existence and the av's undefined form, both of which are pretty unheard of, we can't be entirely certain what effect they'll have, or how they'd interact.
if we still can't use avs, that's fine, business as usual. if we can, well, that's a potentially useful option that we didn't have before. and even if we don't actually take it, it's always nice to have options, yes?
that's my ¢ for now anyway.
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No. 495683 ID: 8b4dd1
File 136172150451.jpg - (21.00KB , 400x250 , Green Strand.jpg )
495683

"Hm. That's... interesting... you seem to be able to do quite a bit for form and weapon types... you sure you couldn't do anything with this?"

"I could probably influence what form it takes somewhat, what feelings or memories it associates itself with, but ultimately, the avatar will follow what it wants to. I'll leave it right here, and let you decide who to give it to. Or I could use it as material for something else. Up to you."

"I'll... I'll have to think about that. In the meantime, you think you could work on another project for me?"

"Of course!"

"I need this shotgun changed. Maybe you can use those tubes for the barrels or something like that. It would make it much easier to use than having to drag around those cylinders everywhere."

"Hm... yes... I think... with a little adjustment here and there... add a few... no, no, too finicky. Might need a new trigger... hm... always the interesting requests... I'll see what I can do."

"Thank you."

You hand over the shotgun shell, then head off, hunting down Elizabeth in your living room, the girl staring at a wall with disinterest. When you come in, however, the girl's eyes snap to you, and she seems expectant.

"Hey... you think you could tell me what I look like to you. Or... don't look like, I guess."

"Can do better. Will show."

"Show? What you do mean sho- Gah!"

You reel backwards as something hits you square in the face, flinching, and when your eyes open you see it. Between you and Elizabeth is a massive cylinder of glowing, moving, pulsing strands. You stare at it in amazement, barely registering that Elizabeth is talking at all.

"This is what I see. Sort of. Not really. I made it simpler for you. Too many strands to view otherwise. Cannot comprehend normally. Still, this includes me, and the chair, and the tv, and the couch... and where you are supposed to be."

Elizabeth points out a spot in the twisting cylinder of threads, and looking carefully, you spot an empty space. Like a hole where a thread is supposed to go. You frown, and notice that as you do so, the threads surrounding it vibrate a little. Not by much, but it's there. You frown again, then grab a chair and tip it over. You see a thread suddenly shift slightly, but it doesn't look like anything touched it or moved it. Elizabeth copies your actions, and you spot one thread suddenly tap another thread, causing the second to vibrate and shift.

"All things influence one another. You are not there, but still play a part. The Angel is changed, but still the Angel. I will still follow her."

"... Thanks..."

"Did you require anything else?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 495689 ID: a31717

Check out the threads some more!

Does Elizabeth's thread appear differently from the other threads you see? Either as a person (compared to the inanimate objects you're looking at) or as a breaker? (When Angelica was talking about threads and Raphael she made it sound as if breakers had more of whatever threads are made of).

I wonder, does this effect also bestow us with Elizabeth's spirit sight? Is there a mirror in the room? If so- take a look. Maybe Linda gets to meet the Angel. (If this works- I definitely want to try and see what the other party members look like first hand before our hour of sight runs out. Starting with Elizabeth. After all, she's never commented on her own aura).

Try doing a small break of some kind. What does the activity of the threads look like if you use a break to affect something in the room? Does it show up differently than the normal interaction we just tested?

Ask Elizabeth:
If my thread is sort of not there, but still affects things, does that mean you can't see what's going to happen if I'm involved?

As a last test... reach out, and see if you can directly feel or interact with the threads of one of the objects in the room. Ask her about the bad stuff:

The angel, the other one that is, said if I could see the weave, I could learn to tear pieces of it out (may need to make it clear we don't like that idea much at all). Like she did. ...is that why the Fixers want you?
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No. 495717 ID: a31717

Oh, and I almost forgot, we should probably ask if she has any insight on who to give the baby avy to. After all, avatars are a little more dangerous than normal foci. We won't know what it's going to latch onto- or what it's going to bring out in a person. (As Amelia proved). ...she's probably going to say it's uncertain though.

Personally, I'm leaning Michelle. Partially because her beloved by avatars ability, and partially because Amelia killed her in the alternate timeline. It's kind of fitting that Michelle gives her a rebirth this time around (and that she take instead of being taken from). Only thing holding me back is wondering if that would alienate Aria in any way (although maybe that explanation is interesting enough she might be satisfied with it).
>>
No. 495792 ID: 8b4dd1

You turn your attention to the threads again first, eyeing them curiously. After watching them for a few minutes, you begin to see slight differences. That one is larger than that one. And that one is more brightly lit than that one. There really is no way to distinguish between the different threads, at least, none that you can see.They all seem somehow distinct from each other in some way.

"Hey Elizabeth?"

"Hm?"

"How can you tell what's matched to which thread?"

"Things do not look like this normally, they look more like-"

The world suddenly lights up, hundreds of threads surrounding you and encasing you. You can move through them easily enough, like they aren't there, without anything happening to them, but you do notice a particularly bright thread seeming to come right out of Elizabeth. It converges with other threads, twisting around and touching this and that, before the view is extinguished and you are once again only staring at a cylinder.

"-that."

You gape for a moment longer, the sight still fresh in your mind. That's what Elizabeth sees, all the time. Never anything else... Wow. No wonder she's so spacy all the time. You would be to, constantly seeing those threads everywhere. Still, she seems to be able to narrow it down when she wants to. Maybe she just doesn't like to?

Regardless, you quickly move on to something else, namely, hunting down a mirror so you can stare at yourself. If this is what Elizabeth sees, then by definition, you should be able to see yourself and this angel thing, right? There you are. Damn, nothing at all. It would have been nice to see what you look like as an ang-

Then you stop. Because your reflection shimmers a little before a pair of white feathered wings sprout from your reflections back and suddenly spread out, encasing the room in feathers. The feeling, even just seeing it, is warm and comforting, and you feel safer than you've ever felt in your life. The image quickly vanishes as you glance behind you at Elizabeth, wondering if this is how she always sees you. You pause a moment, focusing on the girl, but she simply stares back at you. You frown a moment, not understanding, but Elizabeth seems to understand your intent.

"I have nothing. My sight cannot unlock my own soul. It would be... bad."

You're not sure you quite understand, but you leave it at that. You don't really feel like pushing the girl too hard right now. Besides, you're having way too much fun with this. You make your way back over to the threads after taking another look at your angel self, then try tipping over a chair again. The thread for it wobbles a little, and you focus on it before you try throwing a break at the chair, deliberately wanting it to do anything. The break happens, and the chair suddenly falls to pieces, and you notice the thread isn't one thread anymore, but many smaller threads. You try looking further back along those threads to see if they tore apart or something, but it was like those pieces of chair had never been a chair at all. You smile to yourself. Another good discovery.

"Hey Elizabeth, if you can't see my thread, or whatever is going on, but I still affect things, then..."

"That is correct. I can't factor the Angel into my visions anymore. You are an... unknown quantity. There are others that are the same."

You don't even need to ask who that is.

"One more question. Do you have any suggestions for who that avatar should go to? The baby one, down stairs."

Elizabeth blinks for a moment, looking at something you can't see, then she frowns.

"It has no fate, no thread, till it is given a thread. There is no good or bad decision, only a choice. No opinion."

>>>Input Command
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No. 495806 ID: a31717

Alright then. Thanks for showing me this, by the way. It's kind of incredible.

>What now?
I'd kind of like to take the opportunity to walk around the base and see how Elizabeth sees everyone else (damn Cass, you're scary) before our hour of oracle-high runs out. It'll be interesting, and it doubles as an excuse to keep your face out there (delaying some more people from forgetting). Plus, you know, possible chance to get better insight on people.

If nothing needs our attention after that (Scouts still out and all) maybe we should deal with the avy next?

>It has no fate, no thread, till it is given a thread
Aw, I was afraid she'd say that.

Personally, I'm still leaning towards offering it to Michelle- for the meta-reason of her special skill, for the nice karmic symmetry I explained before, and because I'm more sure we can trust her (Aria's more an unknown). Only real reason I might hesitate is Aria might be offended by not being offered this new, interesting, opportunity, but I don't think Michelle would so much (although I'm reasonably certain if we explained our reasoning she'd be satisfied). It would be a chance to earn some points with Aria, and she's seemingly the stronger of the two as well (although we haven't seen her full stats yet).

Anyone else wanna weigh in on that?
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No. 495810 ID: 4a328b

I'm also thinking Aria might already have another avatar--remember the kid-Aria?

Give it to Michelle.
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No. 495814 ID: a31717

>>495810
I initially assume her mini-me was the avatar. Since meeting golem though, my assumption has now been that she disguised herself with a break. Especially after the way dreamer answered a question about breakers aging (or not) in dis.
>>/questdis/61380
>>
No. 495937 ID: 9f5b78

I say it should go to Michelle as she's more trustworthy, and I think we'll learn more from it. We have little idea regarding what Aria's avatar really is or means, or if the one we've seen is her first or one she got from someone else, where-as we know what Levi is and that he's Michelle's original avatar. Whether the avatar she gets is another Demon Prince, tied to hunger, or something else entirely, we have more information to draw on.
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No. 495967 ID: 47a120

Is there any chance we could get it?
Normally breakers are limited to their type but with not being a part of reality anymore and the angel did mention we have a secret ability that can be revealed. (although perhaps that requires raw reality)

Michelle is certainly trustworthy but she manifested her first avatar as a demon and has enough trouble controlling it, could she handle a second demon?
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No. 496004 ID: 8b4dd1
File 136181937417.jpg - (49.89KB , 350x250 , Orc_Berserker_Wallpaper_ok60c.jpg )
496004

Well, you suppose that really leaves only one option. You hope it doesn't end up pissing Aria off, although you're quite sure she'll be happy either way, as long as you spin it right. For now though...

You've got spirit sight. Time to go investigate some people. Your first stop is Nicole, who's lazing around next to the arena again. She glances at you curiously as you stare at her intently, but you don't care. You got what you came to see. Behind her, an aura takes form, representing a beautiful moon. You have no idea what that means about her, but you can confirm who the Moon that Elizabeth is talking about is her. You move on after giving a little wave to the other woman, who waves back in confusion. Then it's Chris, who remains passive as you place your gaze on her and will your sight to work. A demon takes shape behind her, the creature chained to the ground, a 23 burned into it's forehead. It roars silently, then disappears as you take off again, wanting to see as many people close to you as you can. This is far too interesting to pass up.

Michelle is next, the girl glancing around shyly and trying to avoid eye contact while you watch her intently. Her aura takes form, and you see a perhaps 13 year old girl sitting on a small throne, Leviathan curled around it protectively. It turns its gaze on you and huffs slightly, and Michelle suddenly starts in surprise before finally staring back at you.

"You... You can see Levi?"

"Huh? What do you mean, see Levi? I see him all the time, right?"

"No, no no! Not just see him, SEE him? When he isn't awake?"

"Uh... yeah, I borrowed some of Elizabeth's power."

"Ah! Levi is happy! He says you should do that more often, although he thinks you smell to much of something nasty. Uh, I mean..."

"It's alright. Apparently, I'm an angel or something like that, so I can understand us not getting along all the time. I'll see you later, alright?"

"Mmmhmm."

"Oh yeah! Before I forget. There's a baby avatar downstairs. Sort of. Anyway, I was wondering if you might like to take it and tune it to yourself."

Michelle goes wide eyed, then starts muttering to seemingly nothing, although you get the feeling it's more like she's having a debate with Leviathan. After a few minutes, Michelle stands and pulls her hat down a little further over her head.

"I'll... I'll go see it first... I.... think that's best..."

She disappears off towards the basement, still muttering, and you frown in concern. Maybe you should check on her later, to see how things went. Still, now's the best time for one last thing before the sight runs out.

Last, but certainly not least, you turn your attention to Cass, whose still shouting insults at a group of breakers she managed to round up and is trying to explain how to fight properly, or at least how not to get killed. You frown a moment, tendrils of black seeming to erupt from her back, and you watch in horror as they take form into a massive hulking form, the thing standing easily 8 feet tall. It's encased in armor, and you can almost feel the murderous intent coming off of it. Still, you notice it has a chain wrapped around its chest and extending out to you, and you glance down to find the chain wrapped securely around your wrist. This must mean...

The sight ends, the auras vanishing from your eyes, but you still stand there, pondering to yourself. Whatever that was... that was much different from what you pictured when Elizabeth had called her a warrior. The murderous rage coming from that aura... it wasn't a pleasant feeling at all.

>>>Input Command
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No. 496010 ID: a31717

>Cass
Yeah, she's got a dark side. A terrible dark side. And you're what's keeping it in check. You knew that- although perhaps the knowledge wasn't as visceral as the vision.

It's probably healthier to see the warrior as something that's been done to her, or that she's a prisoner of- rather than her true self. You've helped her bind it- next you'll find a way to release her from it. Do not let let this shake your faith in your friend- let it strengthen your resolve instead.

>Maybe you should check on her later, to see how things went.
I'd think you'd want to observe this. She may need the support. And you may need to be there to help if anything goes wrong. (Possibly to remind her it's a choice if it appears to be troubling her too much).

If everything goes smoothly, next order of business is probably checking on the scouts (assuming they're back) and planning what to about the fixers.

>moon
Full or crescent? Waning or waxing? What color? That kind of detail might help in guessing what it means about her.
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No. 496063 ID: 47a120

Definitely go observe the tuning of the baby avatar; even if she doesn't need help and her mind doesn't form it to a second demon it still warrants observation.
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No. 496293 ID: 087872

Hmm i wonder if the chain implies we don't need to be in physical contact to reign her in when she goes berserk.
And if Nicole's moon has something to do with her powers or her personality cause so far the images tend to lean to one or the other. Also with 23's bound demon it seems like the chains represent her memory blocks and if so we might not want to free them completely until we get it bound more like Cass is to us. From what little we know of her so far she could turn out to be very bad if unbound. But Michele on a throne with Levi wrapped protectively around it sounds amazingly cute lol and makes me feel more trusting of Levi.
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No. 496315 ID: d6ef5d

>>496293
I'm pretty sure the chain is the obvious metaphor. We set out to help Cass, or bring her to heel, and we've succeeded in the latter. The physical contact is just a stronger way of getting past her rage- words don't carry as much weight in that state.

As for 23... I wouldn't worry about it so much. There was no feeling of terrible darkness like with Cass'. I think it's more a representative of what she's afraid she'll be if she's free, rather than what is, or a premonition on what will be. It would certainly fit with her reluctance to completely cooperate with George. And Elizabeth not passing judgement on her. She's not free to choose her own path- and she's not choosing to work for that freedom.

That said, I think we still want to be working to help her overcome it, and free her from her constraints. Even ignoring the memory loss- she shouldn't be compelled to obey us. Everyone else follows us by choice- she should have that right too. That, and I'm afraid one day D7 will try to flip her back if we leave the control circuits in place.
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No. 496319 ID: 8b4dd1
File 136190659006.jpg - (27.63KB , 649x394 , Behemoth.jpg )
496319

The moon behind Nicole had been full, shedding it's silver light all over the room. You still can't imagine what that means, but... well, it was something to think on anyway.

Still, you hurry down to the basement, not wanting to miss whatever it was. When you make it down, Michelle is standing in front of the little glowing ball, muttering to herself. The Doc is nearby, watching with interest, and even Elizabeth is hanging around, watching the creation of a new thread, no doubt. You hang back as well, not wanting to interrupt whatever Michelle is doing, especially as she suddenly reaches forward and strokes the nascent avatar.

"A child... a baby... not yet given form... not given life or purpose..."

Michelle is starting to talk loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, and she seems almost trancelike as she drops the snake doll she usually carries around. Before it even hits the ground, Leviathan comes into existence, his body smashing holes in the sides of the room, although his head remains protectively near Michelle.

"A poor, poor lost child. It needs a home. Needs somewhere to be... you can come with me and Leviathan. We'll take care of you... you'll be perfectly safe with us..."

Michelle wraps her arms around the little glowing ball, bring into her own embrace. The balls seems to gel against her chest for a moment, then it disappears into her with a flash of light. For a moment, there is nothing further, the Michelle doubles over as a massive claw seems to rip its way out of her back. You watch in horror as Michelle practically screams in pain, but whatever it is keeps pushing out of her back. A massive snout soon follows the claws, and it lets out a roar of challenge, quickly answered by Leviathan. The room is literally vibrating with the two roaring at each other, and one isn't even fully in the room yet. Still, things continuing to pull out of Michelle, every time the woman screaming in pain, but Leviathan refuses to let anyone go anywhere near the woman. Minutes pass by as the thing pulling itself out of Michelle grows in size, and 30 minutes after the process started, it finally stands on its own. The thing looks like a weird mix between wolf and bull, and just slightly smaller than Leviathan. Still, it makes up for its smaller size with more bulk, you're fairly sure this thing could punch it's way through a bit more than Leviathan could. Probably take a lot more damage as well.

Michelle is the next to get up, and just in time to see Leviathan lunge at the newcomer. She quickly orders him to stop, and the snake backs off, if a little unhappily. Michelle sighs in relief, then begins talking to the newcomer, stroking its snout and trying to get across to it. Eventually she turns to the small crowd that has somehow gathered thanks to all the noise, starting in surprise.

"Ah! Uh... um... err..."

"Hey! Sis, you alright?"

"Um... yeah... Er... Everyone, this... this is my new avatar! He's... Behemoth. He's... he says he's Leviathans brother. Please treat him well, alright?"

Michelle bows awkwardly to the crowd, likes she's asking for permission to keep him or something. You frown in thought, eyeing the massive creature.

>>>Input Command
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No. 496320 ID: 76b151

Very, very nice. Congragulate her and welcome Behemoth to our little family.
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No. 496326 ID: d6ef5d

Aw. That's certainly not support or defense oriented! Oh well.

Different build, though. More of a tank than a glass cannon? And the predominant opposite gender trend continues. Wonder if his focus will be a plushie too, or something different.

>the room
Doc'll have to waste a point to break in the repairs.

>reaction
Michelle looks like she needs some reassurance. I'd approach and offer it, and greet the newcomer.

Welcome, Behemoth. I'm the Angel, though I hope you won't hold it against me. *Awkward offering of a handshake he can't return, Leviathan huffs at us. :V*

We might want to glance to Elizabeth at some point and see how she took it. Hopefully she's responding positively, and not seeing something bad. She and Michelle are sort of friends- maybe she'll help her work out things between the brothers if they're squabbling.

We'll probably want to talk to Aria afterwards, as I'm sure she showed up for this. (Interesting, right?). We can explain our reasoning for offering Michelle the chance and not her (Amelia killed her and Marc stole her avatar before- it seemed fitting this time she get to be the one to be given something, and to give the avatar a rebirth).

>after all that
If we still have time to kill before the scouts are back with what we need to begin planning against the fixers, Chris is really the only one of our close allies we haven't got much of a chance to chat with since walking up again.
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No. 496329 ID: 47a120

>Another demon
Called it :P. Elizabeth did say that at the moment no true demons exist so such avatars are figments of the mind of the breaker; obviously her break makes her manifest demons.
Well, at least her "demons" are fairly tame and even honorable.

Give her congrats and go commission some silver bullets for your guns so you could manually load them and use them next time you fight the werewolf.

Then ask elizabeth if she knows where we can find a breaker whose power is teleportation which could be use to teleport someone else into outer space. We need to either recruit that person or defeat them and claim their power (probably not for using ourselves but to give an ally).
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No. 496333 ID: d6ef5d

>>496326
Perhaps adding to the reassurance- there's not terrible odds we'll find another one among the fixers. Or that they took off some poor bastard they killed.

>>496329
Manual silver bullets aren't a terrible idea, but I'm pretty sure the tank gun would work. (Dreamer said we were overrating to the "need silver" impulse before). I think the problem was more we were using insufficient force / too small caliber to get through his hide rather than running into a supernatural resistance.

>breaker specializing in teleportation
...wouldn't that be Chris? Granted, she probably needs more spirit before she unlocks further applications for it.

There aren't many breakers left to recruit in the area though. Everyone is either with the fixers, killed by the fixers, or allied with our group for self protection. And teleporting our enemies into outer space seems like something that would take way more spirit than any of us have yet (and that the game wouldn't allow us to use to remove the demon from the picture. He'd just resist).
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No. 496341 ID: 47a120

>>496333
Chris specializes in sword fighting and has an expensive short range self teleport. It isn't what I am looking for.

I mean someone who specializes in teleporting only like the father specializes in healing. Raphael could teleport 3 or 4 people via dream but he wasn't specialized in it either.

I want a tool that does nothing but teleporting, both in utility (teleport self AND a strike team anywhere in world) and in offensive manner. (teleport enemy into space, volcano, bottom of sea, center of earth, etc). Obviously that is a LOT to ask but even just being able to teleport someone else across the ocean could give us hours to dismantle D7 in their absence.
Although in retrospect it will probably be expensive as hell to teleport an enemy somewhere fatal without their consent (counter breaking basically) so a physical method of moving ... someone might be more practical.

And I don't want us to limit our search to this city but worldwide, if we need to take a flight across the ocean to find that person/foci so be it (maybe we can fly on the back of levi?). Also perhaps its best to discuss this with the doctor, maybe he can create such a foci or upgrade a lesser teleport item to specialize it in doing nothing but teleporting.
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No. 496343 ID: d6ef5d

>>496341
I dunno. Dreamer discussed placing restrictions on high spirit characters to prevent them just turning the floor beneath their enemies to lava, or the air to poison, in order to trivially chain-kill them. Using teleportation to move people to hostile environments seems much the same thing, and seems kind of against the spirit of what we're supposed to be doing.

I suspect part of the reason Raphael 'died' might actually be to nerf his get into and out of places powers we were abusing. :p

Not sure I like the idea of taking a trip (leaving our allies here undefended and our enemies unresolved, while punching into some other group's territory) hunting for a focus at all. ...and we've already got the Doc working on half a dozen things.

Although if you want specific types of characters for us to recruit, or foci for us to steal, the best way to go about it would be to make up and post character ideas in the dis thread to show up later. That's how we got Elizabeth and her Oracle eye, after all.
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No. 496369 ID: 47a120

>>496343
You are right I was being stupid, lets move this to questdis.
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No. 496494 ID: 8b4dd1

"No worries, Michelle, he's welcome to stay as long as he wants."

You take the initiative, walking over and giving Michelle a warm smile. You have no intention of taking away her new friend, nor would you really want to try. Him and Leviathan together would probably be extremely difficult to deal with. You turn your attention to the beast and bow a little, not quite sure how to act around the thing.

"Welcome, Behemoth. I'm Linda McCallahan, or the Angel to some. I... uh... I hope you don't hold that against me."

The demon thing huffs at you, then turns its attention elsewhere. You get the feeling it doesn't really mind you either way, and is more interested in finding its surroundings. Still, it's better than nothing. You take the opportunity to glance at Elizabeth, who is staring intently at Behemoth before she simply nods and wanders off. Whatever she saw, it wasn't bad at all.

"Um... Moth says he thanks you for your kindness, and asks that you continue to provide us a safe haven from persecution..."

You blink, then nod, another smiling spreading across your face.

"Of course, Michelle. I wouldn't dream of just kicking you to the curb. Why don't you let... Moth... settle in, and I'll talk to you later sometime, alright?"

Michelle nods, and you make your way back towards the door, eyes scanning for the person you know should be here. It was interesting after all, wasn't it? Sure enough, the woman is standing off to the side, leaning against a wall, a smirk placed on her face and her eyes thoughtful. She notices your approach quickly, however, and straightens up to greet you properly.

"Good afternoon, Miss McCallahan. How can I help you?"

"How are you, Aria? I wanted to know your thoughts on what just happened."

"Oh? Quite interesting. It's not everyday one gets to see a baby avatar take form. I admit, I woke up with mine in my room, and I suspect so did every other avatar user. Regardless, I hope someday I'll get to see what my own mind can produce once given an unborn avatar... Irrelevant now, of course. Perhaps another time. Which reminds me, I had some things I'd like to discuss with you at a later date. Regarding recruitment and utilization of manpower. I'm aware you're rather busy most days, but if you'd be so kind as to grant me a bit of your time somewhere in the next few days, I'd be very grateful."

"Ah... yeah. Sure. I'll come find you when I have the time to spare."

"Thank you. Now if you'll excuse me."

Aria heads back upstairs, and after a minute of contemplation, you follow suit, this time hunting for perhaps the least talkative of your companions. Chris is found in a corner, silently standing guard over the main entrance to your little compound. As you walk over the woman pauses a beat before nodding at you politely.

"Master. How may I be of service?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 496517 ID: 47a120

Ask about her brother.
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No. 496550 ID: d6ef5d

>Moth
Heheh. I wouldn't have thought there was a way to get a cute nickname out of "Behemoth", but there you go.

>what Aria's mind would produce
Well... Michelle is Lilith, right? Mother of demons. So what she got, and how it emerged from her sort of makes sense. Aria's the Queen though. And she's already got one knight. So if she were to produce another, it would probably be along those thematic lines (and maybe more armor forming around her, than pulling itself out of her?).

>recruitment
Oh, that's something we haven't thought about in a while. New breakers are still going to be cropping up, aren't they? They'll need people to show them the ropes, and keep them from being killed or recruited by the fixers, or abducted by D7 (and the really nutso ones might need to be normalized before they do any harm). I wonder how Marc knew where to send recruiters in advance of it happening?

>Chris
How's she doing, and taking all the changes? She's kind of gone from being a slave to an officer, after all.

I'm not sure how to approach it, but we're still kind of uncomfortable if she's still being forced to obey. She should have the choice (if she protests, or makes some kind of excuse about how she's too dangerous or can't be trusted- we can point out everyone else's loyalty is based solely on trust. Or we can use Cass as a counterexample- even she can be controlled). There's also the fear that if we leave the control circuits on long enough... eventually D7 will try to flip her back.
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No. 496806 ID: 8b4dd1

"Just wanted to know how you were doing."

"Fine. Could be better, this position isn't very solid. Need more information. Should start attacking enemies soon, but unlikely to be helpful until the decision to act against Division 7 is made."

"Hm. Well, that won't be for awhile... how are you taking all the changes? You're more of an officer now, so..."

"... It is... different. I'm not a leader. I doubt any will follow any orders I give willingly. I'd prefer to be left on my own, used more like a shocktrooper when necessary."

"I see..."

There's silence for a long time, then you break the awkward pause with a question that had been bugging you for a little.

"Hey, you have a brother right?"

"That is correct, according to my memories."

"You wouldn't happen to remember anything else would you?"

There's a very long pause, Chris seeming to think very hard on the issue before she seems to relax from her constantly ready state and turn to face you.

"I... remember a facility... somewhere east. Near Central. I... grew up there, I think. George has stated that anything else in my head has been locked away by something else, but... if there is anything regarding my past, it will be there. I personally have no interest, but if you like, I can show you where it is."

You take all that in, then nod your head. That doesn't seem like a worthwhile trip right now, but you'll have to head back that way eventually. For now, you'll keep it in mind, and focus on clearing out the area as it is. Still, it is another step closer to releasing Chris from whatever is going on with her. It's about this time that you notice the scouts starting to come in, so looks like it's about time to get back to work.

"Hey Chris, gather all the others together. It's time for another strategy meeting."

"Understood."

20 minutes later, your getting briefed on the locations of a number of fixer bases. There are three altogether in Sun City, and two more along the west coast entirely, which suggests that the fixers don't have a strong presence here at all. The ones in Sun City are small, only one of them poses any clear threat, although there are rumors spreading that the ones in Sun City are lead by some wolf-man. There's a base to the south, which appears to be the main headquarters of the fixers here in the west, but that one seems to be keeping to itself, instead offering support to the city branches. The last is in a small town up north called Havers, it seems like it really doesn't have a purpose there, but it was still a base, so the scouts made sure to report it. You notice rather absentmindedly that when Havers is mentioned, Cass seems to jump a little in surprise, although she settles quickly, her face going blank and her attention returning to the issue at hand. The scouts leave after they've finished they're report, letting the officers begin to deal with the issue.

"Well... this is certainly less than I expected."

"Actually, it's not that unexpected. Fixers aren't anywhere at all in Britannia, instead we have a bunch of old bastards constantly playing power games. My guess is that the UNA D7 is keeping things as contained as possible, and that the fixers are just being mostly kept in the east, although I would expect them to be very strong there. For now, we remain the strongest force in this region, although I personally think we'll need to expand quickly if we want any hope of keeping ourselves from being wiped out by D7."

"Yeah... well, we'll have to wait and see. For now, what's the plan, Linda?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 496810 ID: 454447

Heh. We're getting details for our ally's quests. Be sure to ask Cass later about what made her jump.
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No. 496824 ID: d6ef5d

Huh. That's kind of sparse on details. The fixers that are in the city, do we know what they're up to (or have been up to)? Does Elizabeth have any insight to add to what's being reported? (They were looking for her, after all).

We probably do want to ask Cass what Havers meant to her, but privately, not in front of everyone.

So, possible targets:
-3 forward bases in Sun City. Only 1 a real threat, lead by Trevor
-Small outpost of unknown purpose to the north (with a connection to Cass' past?)
-Sun City fixer HQ- currently not taking action
-2 other west coast bases

We can write off the 2 more distant bases for the moment. The outpost in Havers may be worth investigating, but we're in the middle of a war. We gotta deal with pressing threats first.

If we're serious about protecting our people, and establishing our own territory, the obvious target are the 3 bases in town. They're the ones actively hunting us, and killing breakers. We do it like we did in Blade's group- smaller groups to hit the smaller outposts, while we lead the attack on the big place with the boss fight.

Hitting the leadership is tempting, except even if we wiped them, Trevor wouldn't lay down his grudge (so cutting off the head doesn't really stop anything). And I'm reluctant to divide our forces 4 ways (5 ways if you count whoever left on defense) to hit their HQ at the same time as the forward bases. Their strongest people are likely to either be leading the attack, or in leadership positions, after all.

There's also the question of how we split the party. Managing 7 characters in one battle is a little much. You'd think we'd want to have 1 or more of our senior people running the smaller battles (and/or in charge of keeping the base safe?), and I'm not sure we want to bring Elizabeth to the people hunting her, at all (although I desperately wanna get her more XP :V). Do we do a 3/2/2 or a 4/1/1/1 though? (Linda and Cass are obviously on the same team. Nicole seems more than ready to run something. Michelle could probably steamroll a weaker base on her own with minimal support and would be interesting to play as...)

If there's a party split actually, it might be fun to play through the battles in series? Give us a chance to have fun making more characters shine.

If possible it would be nice to capture someone who knows something. Alive. We want to know what the fixers believe and/or know. And we want to know why they're after Elizabeth.
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No. 496828 ID: 76b151

Hmm I agree, taking all the intercity bases at once might work well. However leaving Liz behind is probably a bad idea. We will need her especially if we're splitting up.

Lets see.

Linda, Cass, Chris, Twinda and Liz: Wolfman base. 3/5 of the breakers backing us up. Chris should help organize our breakers. Putting her into leadership roles is good for her. Liz's job will be to support Chris in leadership and use Twinda as a pupper when need-be. Us and Cass will take on wolfy.

Aria, Michelle: Base 2. 1/5th of the breakers supporting them. Michelle is to use Levi and Moth and the breakers to devestate and attract their attention while Aria finds the more powerful opponants to get her thrill.

Nicole, the Lovers: Base 3. These guys are the professionals. Thus their job is different. We want captives. The higher up in the food chain the better. 1/5th of the breakers, primarily the lovers group.
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No. 496835 ID: d6ef5d

Oh, and it should go without saying that Marc's kill 'em all orders are rescinded. We encourage foci taking instead of killing, but ultimately, the decision is left up to the people in the life and death situation. We know it's not always feasible or safe to take someone down without killing them.

>>496828
Regrettably, I don't think we have the Lovers or their group at our disposal, yet. They said they'd need a few days, and it's only been one. (And we were never informed of their arrival). We might want to consider using some of our B-team non main party breakers to support the non-Linda groups instead (the schoolkids, Mike, Duke, etc).

...and Michelle and Aria together kinda seems like overkill. 3 avatars and Aria's "rebuild the entire environment at a whim" breaks? I might move Aria under Nic (if Golem's got an unarmed fighting style, that might compliment her quite nicely, actually) and use B-team people to support Michelle instead. Although I suppose we could stick to overkill and have the B-team under Nicole instead. :p

Rodriguez and George should probably be on the home defense team (ready to organize, and to deal with wounded and prisoners respectively).
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No. 496838 ID: 76b151

>>496835
I think we can afford to wait a few days to plan the assault and get the Lovers on board.

As far as Aria... I can see that. However I don't want to leave Michelle alone. Maybe give her Liz and Twinda instead?
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No. 496844 ID: 4a328b

Any chance at diplomacy before we attack the fixers? I doubt the upper level guys are going to change their stance, but some of the infantry might defect if we hit them with some propaganda about our goal? i.e. trying to create a safe haven for reality breakers.
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No. 496846 ID: 76b151

Well thats why Im pairing Liz with Twinda, if need be she can Assume Direct Control and use Twinda like she did us during the cane fight. Twinda has excellent finesse and that coupled with Liz's predictions could make a devestating combo.
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No. 496848 ID: d6ef5d

I really wouldn't want to wait, unless we really need the forces. (Hard to say, since we don't even have numbers on the relative sizes of our and our enemy's forces. Although we did successfully pull off a multi-pronged attack under Marc, and that was before we united most of sun-city under our leadership). Giving the enemy time to maneuver and prepare just increases the chances they might hit us first, or that they'll do more damage to others while we wait. And heck, Sonia and the others signed on to defend and train, didn't they? An attack might be outside what we agreed on (I'm not sure). ...we also don't know when she'll actually be combat ready. (Although she's just one person).

Twinda supporting Michelle might work? I mean, she's heavy melee, what she needs is ranged to keep her safe. I don't know if Twinda's good enough to be deployed in a completely different battle and function well, though (and it might mess up running through 3 battles in a row from different perspectives if Linda has access to two of them?). Michelle and Elizabeth together is also rather amusing.

Although it's a fragile setup if anything goes wrong- Twinda can be killed in one shot, and in the wrong situation, neither Michelle or Elizabeth are the most stable individual. Plus, then we lose Liz coordinating forces at the bigger base while Linda and Cass go for the boss.

Gaaah... this is messy to balance. Part of the reason I was so reluctant to deal with Marc for so long, being a squad leader is so much easier than a general.

>>496844
We have to take out the leadership before we can hope to do anything. Trevor is driven by revenge, and Maria by some kind of hate and passion (and she wants Elizabeth). And from Cass' report at the sewer treatment plant, a lot of the rank and file are just as bloodthirsty as she is. We're facing an organization that seems to believe (correctly or not) that breakers are part of the problem, and if they're not helping fix it, they need to be put down. I don't see how we can hope to get past that unless we're negotiating from a position of strength.

...besides, they're the ones who came to this town and started killing and driving refuges into our arms. It's a little late to negotiate when the war has already started.
>>
No. 496878 ID: d6ef5d

(...and my stupid editing got the posts out of order!)

>>496846
True, although there's a limitation in that Twinda can't reload or battlefield instinct, and Elizabeth can only run her precog on full unstoppable mode for a short time before she burns out.

Although now I'm wondering if the main group is strong enough for the boss compound with just 3 people and no Elizabeth management. Swap Chris and Aria, maybe?
>>
No. 496928 ID: 47a120

DO NOT split up. Attack main base first with most of the force and then follow up on secondary bases.

Focusing all together on one base at a time means we waste fewer BP each due to overwhelming force and can go longer, and if we run out of BP after the 1 base even with our full force that means we would have had lost and suffered casualties had we split up; Or worse, if we suffer casualties regardless on where we attack, casualties would be minimized by ganging up on enemies.
It is better to win one base and let the other 2 combine/escape then to lose on 3 bases. It is better to let enemy escape then to win but with heavy casualties (aka as Pyrrhic victory)

I expect that using cell phones they would be able to communicate, so expect reinforcements from secondary bases to arrive, hopefully by the time we would have already beat the main base and set an ambush for them. Followed by tracking down those who are escaping thanks to elizabeth.

I second the notion of prioritizing depowerment via foci claiming over killing. But its ultimately up to their judgement on feasibility.
Accept surrenders with either permanent depowerment or just temporary holding without claiming enemy foci before we decide what to do with them (based on what they say). Heck, we might be able to de-brainwash some of the newer recruits and get them on our side (as per confirmation with elizabethe or mindhacker that they are not lying to us; do not mindhack anyone into our view though, if they cannot be convinced they get depowered, amnesia, and shown the door).

Regardless we should capture depowered enemy leadership for our mind-hacker to find out what they really know; their exact tenents; their sales pitch to new recruits; training methods, etc.

Another advantage with the ganging up on each base with the doctor's device that transfers BP we could be used to recharge us after each base. So not only do we minimize casualties but we actually focus fire and hit the 3 bases one after the other without a break in between, take out main base, recharge BP, go after secondary bases.

As far as BP recharging goes. Ideally the doc could design a disposable container and a device that can manufacture it (maybe by using a small portion of the BP it collects to form the disposable carrying shell? like, make it a gummy candy?). So, willingly drain BP, transfer to main container, transfer to disposable containers (plural), distribute blue potions. That way there is no risk of losing the devices that are used to make the blue potion; and it gives us one heck of a trade good (Say, give 50 BP to get 10BP potion, other 4 to be used as a trade good, which people can buy with foci or trade with each other... extras are given freely to anyone who participate in missions as well as being used as a reward for any mission participation).
>>
No. 496944 ID: d6ef5d

I dunno. The problem with series instead of parallel is it gives the enemy more room to maneuver and/or counterattack, and the overall length of fighting will be longer (giving D7 more time to respond and intervene, and tiring our people out more).

Plus, having the heavy hitters spearhead everything means less xp/foci/combat experience for the weaker people. I'd kind of like some of them to be able to cut their teeth.

(Besides, the party always gets split into smaller battles anyways. We might as well divide it into balanced groups of our choosing, if we can).

Not that preventing attrition of our own forces due to losses or Pyrrhic victories isn't important! But it's kind of hard to say how big a concern that is without knowing how small a threat the smaller bases are- and how big our numerical advantage actually is.

...and while rollover abuses of the BP-draining tubes would be nice, they're currently in the shop being upgraded. An easily passed around and separable version of the blue potion would be nice, though.
>>
No. 497025 ID: 8b4dd1

After mulling over the available information, you split your men up as best you can. With only a minimal idea of what kind of numbers the enemy has, you have to do based on your own thoughts, and really, that's mostly guess work. Still, you think you have something that should work. You inform Cass that she'll be coming with you, which only warrants a nod as the other woman seems lost in thought, and give the others their assignments as well. Chris and Michelle will be assaulting a base, with orders to raise it to the ground. Nicole will be headed out with Aria, attempting to capture someone of importance so that you could have George start digging through his head. The rest of the men are split as best you can figure out amongst the three targets, with another split made to have people defending the base. That should work for now.

Everyone splits off after that, headed their own ways to prepare for the assaults being mounted. You check on Twinda, who's still lazily digging through all the shit Marc left behind, and nod in appreciation as another bank account is found. Resources are always good to have.

You have a little time before it's time to head out, so it might be a good idea to prepare yourself a little bit, or perhaps talk to someone.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 497030 ID: d6ef5d

So... Elizabeth didn't have anything to add? Too bad. And she's not coming with anyone? I suppose that's tactically sound as then we don't have to protect her, or risk bringing her strait to her hunters, and she doesn't like combat, and can serve as an early warning beacon for home base if there's any trouble, but waah- I want to score her some XP! (Maybe we can afford to divert some of our share of the foci loot her way. Do an XP-share that way).

>Twinda
It should go without saying that she's coming. Her backup in the short term is more useful than hunting down resources we can use in the long term. (Hmm. Hopefully a Linda/Cass/Twinda combo is enough to put down Trevor while our backup handles his).

I guess we can think about investing some of those monies after she's done unearthing them all. We may at least have to do something about accounts Marc had in his own name- if his death becomes public knowledge we might lose those funds.

>Chris and Michelle
>raze it to the ground
Oof. Demons-girl and stormtrooper-demon girl? Careful with those orders. Standard "you don't have to kill 'em" rules should apply. Although I hope there's someone with a little less killatude among their support team.

>Prepare
Have someone make sure the new teammembers have comms.

>Talk
I don't think we have time to get into Aria's recruitment plan right now (after the fights, maybe). So maybe ask Cass what Havers means to her (I don't think anyone else noticed).
>>
No. 497033 ID: 9747ef

Masturbate furiously.
>>
No. 497036 ID: d6ef5d

>>497033
Wow, text quests don't usually attract that kind of suggestion. We didn't even get one of those when we started off alone in our room with no idea what to do! :V

It's like a milestone or something.
>>
No. 497735 ID: 8b4dd1

After making some last minute preparations, and ensuring that the newest members of the team have comms on them, you head off in search of Cass, who you eventually find waiting by the entrance impatiently. She still seems distracted, so much so that she doesn't even notice you until you begin talking.

"Hey Cass."

"Hm? Oh. Linda, hey, how's it going?"

"You just seemed a bit distracted is all. I was wondering if there was anything on your mind."

"Not really..."

"... Hm. Alright then. What's Havers mean to you?"

Cass jumps again at the mentioning of the name, and she immediately averts her eyes. She seems to get more uncomfortable as well, fidgeting in place and trying rather hilariously to find a way out of the conversation, and failing because she doesn't really have anyone besides you who could help her.

"Uh... it's... it's nothing, nothing at al-"

"Cass? Don't get so defensive. If you don't want to talk about it, I won't force you. I was just curious is all. I'll wait till you're good and ready."

"... Thanks for that. It's not something I really want to get into right now. Perhaps another time. Uh... you ready to go? It's about time."

"Yeah. Let's go beat down some fixers."

The cars are quickly filled with people, some newcomers with little experience in actual combat, others veterans, ready to lay down the hurt on people who had hurt them or those they cared about. In some way, it was like a gang, ready to defend their turf from an encroaching force. In another, it was a family, defending all of its members from pain and misery. Let's just hope everything goes well...

>>>Select Combatant
>Linda McCallahan
>Chris Wayneright
>Nicole Reed
>>
No. 497741 ID: d6ef5d

Please tell me we get to run through all three battles? I don't want to command just one and have the others auto-resolve.

Assuming we're playing through in series my preferred order is:

Nicole, Christin (although I kind of think playing their route from Michele's perspective might be more interesting), Linda (save the boss route for last, obviously).

>Cass' discomfort
It's gotta be something benign and amusing like Linda's own secret mecha anime addiction (although it's become somewhat less of a secret since we got our own mech. And the sheer awesome of that has kind of pushed any guilty shame to the side). I mean really, what serious secrets would she be uncomfortable revealing to Linda after last night?
>>
No. 498486 ID: fffb8a

I have no strong feelings one way or another. Let's do what >>497741 suggests.
>>
No. 499052 ID: 8b4dd1

>Nicole Reed

You had arrived at your destination a few minutes ago, and were now waiting as the rest of your group got set up. You leaned against your car, smoking away the next few minutes as you regarded your target. The building looked uninteresting, and you guessed that if you hadn't known what it was, you'd have never given it a second look. Still, looking at it now, you could occasionally spot people coming in and out of it, and they didn't all look right in the head. You finish off your smoke break, the stand up straight, hearing someone behind you say it was time. Good. Let's hop to it.

You lead the charge, your fist putting a new entryway in the wall, and soon enough the sounds of combat can be heard all around you. You duck under some random asshole and smash his face in, all the while searching for someone specific to grab. You spot Aria duking it put with someone off to the side, a playful smirk spread across her face, but you quickly lose sight of her as you continue pushing forward. Then you are suddenly in a conference room, people fighting all around you, and you get a look at a few possible targets. There's a man standing on top of a table, firing off orders. There's another that looks important, people surrounding him protectively, although he doesn't seem to register it at all, kinda like little Elizabeth.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 499060 ID: d6ef5d

Hey, how you doing, 'Nic? How you feel about everything that's been happening? (Maybe battle isn't the best time for reflection, but it's not as if we get in your head very often).

You got a chance to tune your cool boots yet, or we doing this all with punches?

>Who target?
A commander, giving orders, might be a good person to take out if you want to shut the battle down quicker. And he's might have tactical information about the other installations.

But tactical layouts change. And if Linda wants to know what the fixers are really up to... the truth behind the message, and the slaughter? A creepy Elizabeth-type seems like the kind of person who would know. And the enemy usually protects things they don't want you getting to.

Although, be careful. If he's anything like her, the spacy guy might have a weird weapon like her wires or something.

So I'd say go for the spacy one, and maybe use weapon:environment to mess up the guy on the table as you go by to temporarily disrupt command (he is vulnerable to being flipped, or having something thrown at the table). You should be knocking out who you can, when you can though- a pulled punch to the head at the right time will take an enemy out of the fight, while they just come back from being killed. It gives your side an advantage, and leaves you a choice of people to loot and/or capture when the dust settles.
>>
No. 522215 ID: 184dd1

You know, you're actually feeling pretty good about all thi-

WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW!?

You quickly push the odd self contemplation out of your mind, focusing instead on the task at hand. Unfortunately, you haven't tuned the boots yet, although you're wearing them to get yourself used to the feeling and weight. Better to start that now than later, although it is slowing your kicks a little bit. Regardless, the boy is your decided target, the commander is just in the way at this point. You can spend a moment to make it easier on your allies, though...

You dart forward in a dead sprint, heading towards the table the leader is on. Instead of trying to take him head on, though, you throw yourself into a baseball slide under the object, building force in your fist until you pass under and jabbing upwards in the far edge, catapulting the would-be leader into the waiting fangs of your buddies. They descend on him with all the relish of people who've been threatened for a little too long, although they make sure to restrain from beating him too thoroughly. You smile to yourself. The arena had done some good, letting people test themselves and grow, while Cass had easily worked in some of the more accepted battle tactics, including avoiding the killing, however much she herself didn't follow that.

You drag your attention away and right yourself with your continued momentum, already angling yourself towards the boy. Before you can react, however, a man darts from the crowds and snatches said child up, disappearing into a doorway. You growl in frustration and start after him. Never get the easy way out...

You quickly discover that the building itself is a maze of walls. You just spot the man disappear around a corner, but you are very much aware you could lose yourself in here if you just take off after him. Maybe it's time to start busting walls? Or maybe you could try that new power you felt welling up inside you, ready and quivering with excitement to use?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 522226 ID: 19b3c3

Rail cannon right through the maze after the guy? Oh hell yes.

We run the risk of losing him running the maze, and even wall-bursting takes time. Punching right through everything is better. And you gotta test this out.

Lead with one fist for punching through, while charging the other to hit the breaker with when you catch up. Also so you're ready in case your rail break runs out of momentum just as you get there.

20BP minus 3 manifest, maybe 1 for the wall, and 5 for the rail cannon puts you at 12-11.
>>
No. 522688 ID: 184dd1

You brace yourself, dropping to one knee as you feel power start to gather in your body. Every muscle in your body seems to tense up to impossible levels, everything pulled tight, expectant, waiting. Mere seconds pass as the process completes, then, in a burst of motion, force, power, you find yourself at the wall, through the wall, the next as well, and the next and the next. You carve a line of destruction straight through the walls in your path, going headfirst through everything, and just as your momentum slows and your body returns to normal, you suddenly collide with someone and smash into the ground.

You groan in pain as your face protests the sudden broken nose you'd given yourself, and you drag yourself back onto you feet and face this new person. Sure enough, the man has the boy in his arms. He glances up at you in surprise, then unceremoniously tosses the boy to the side like a rag doll and stand to face you, stance perfect. A boxer, from what you'd guess. Or something similar. Someone like you, then. Should make this fight a little more interesting. You test a jab and his direction, which he expertly blocks and counters, but you've already dipped out of his reach by the time it comes.

Not bad. Not bad at all. You begin circling each other, each measuring the other. This might actually turn out to be a decent fight...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 522731 ID: 19b3c3

Ouch. You may need to fine tune your technique, using that. Aim for more of a rocket punch than a rocket face. ...although I guess a broken nose slows you down less than a broken hand would.

Hmm. I'd say our immediate advantage is he doesn't know about your force charge up thing. If you build the force up while trading a few regular blows, he won't be expecting it when you slam him. You can fake him out into blocking something he's not blocking without breaking his arms, instead of dodging. Which then gives you a nice easy opening to hit him in the head and knock him out.

Be sure to throw a glance the kid's way, when you can or the circling allows it. He may not be a direct combat type, but he may still have a trick up his sleeves. Elizabeth sure does. It would suck to be caught from behind by some weird thing while engrossed with this guy.

If you do find yourself attacked on two fronts, your immediate focus may shift to dodging the hell out of the way. Or putting some rubble between you and them.

Actually, don't be afraid to use the terrain as a weapon. That last thing you did will have smashed up the area pretty good, and combining weapon:enviroment and the ability to either swing or kick rubble into position could be pretty nasty.
>>
No. 523046 ID: 184dd1

The circling motion continues for a few seconds more, and you take the opportunity to take a peek at the boy. He seems to be just as spacy as your own space cadet, little Elizabeth, but for whatever reason, he's actually starting to get up... that could be bad, couldn't it? It just so happens that there is all this rubble around, so why not just...

You kick a piece of rock up into your own grasp, then deck the kid with it, the rubble slamming into the side of his head with just enough force to knock him out. This leaves you a little exposed to your opponent, who wastes no time in surging forward, quickly placing you on the defensive. Blows are traded, blocked, and countered, but you find the man to be better at the technique of it then you are. Kicks aren't going to help much either, you're too slow at the moment, with the added weight of these boots. A trump card easily presents itself however. You've been steadily building force in your gloves, and with amount you have right now...

You send a light jab his way, the man predictably blocking it with his forearm, even as you release your weapon's fury on him. The shatter of bone is quickly followed by the man getting hurled into and through the wall behind him, and you quickly move to make sure he's down for the count. You quickly find this confirmed, even more so when your allies come to join you. You set about directing them, telling them to tie up those still alive(most of them, as it turns out, only one fought till death), and to grab the boy above all others. He was to be handled with... caution. You'd seen what Elizabeth could do when she felt spurred into action, and you didn't want to chance things with this one. Only thing left to do now was to call it in. Loot for everyone. You hoped you'd get a good share out of it at least.

>>>Select Next Target
>Chris Wayenright
>Linda McCallahan
>>
No. 523052 ID: 23b97a

Well, you can always disarm the kid, Nic. Just hold onto his focus and the space cadet can't do much. Plus, if he isn't feeling talkative, Elizabeth can always take a look at it and see what he does.

>Who next
Chris! Swordgirl. Twenty-third demon and those other demons. Linda and Cass are almost certainly gonna have the boss fight with Trevor- save them for last.
>>
No. 523062 ID: 5d4146

indeed.
Linda's prolly FINAL DESTINATION, so let's make sure samurai agent girl is ok.
>>
No. 523353 ID: 184dd1

>10 Minutes into the Past

You stand perfectly rigid and yet oddly relaxed, the expectation of combat doing more to calm your nerves than to excite you. For the past ten minutes, counted out to the second since before you could even notice you were doing so, you have been in the pseudo-meditation. Your breathing is calm. Relaxed. Ready. You know that there are a few around you, fellow agents of the Master, that are expecting you to lead them. You know you will have to disappoint. You are not a leader. You are a follower. And an agent of death when it comes to battle.

Suddenly, you feel the shift. The young one, Michelle, if you remember correctly, has manifested not her serpent, but the wolf-bull. Behemoth. The Creature roars in rage and barely hidden excitement, then begins its charge, smashing through the walls and into the complex, Michelle herself hanging back with a few guards. You note a few routes you could take quickly. Many of your own allies are splitting off to hunt for other targets to deal with through out the compound. The idea has some appeal to you, you are used to working more or less alone. Still, Master has always emphasized teamwork, and while you doubt the monster of an avatar would be easily defeated, you suppose you could choose to support the creature as well.

You can already hear the cry of battle and the song of death beginning. You have little time to make your decision.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 523362 ID: 23b97a

You are not the sledgehammer. You are the sword, the scalpel. A honed instrument of speed, precision, accuracy. Your master's tool and blade.

You cannot lead these people, but your master has made it clear in her own actions that she considers it a leader's responsibility to protect. She turned on her one time leader, the collector of avatars, when he turned his back on this responsibility. You can fulfill that responsibility. You can stay with the group and cut down those that would divert the sledgehammer. You can keep the resolve of the lesser fighters strong when they see they have your blade to depend upon.

Remember your own experiences- for all an avatar's strength, it is nothing if its master can be brought down. And teamwork was what brought about the collector's defeat, and your own (your rescue?). You will not allow your enemies to rally, or to apply these tactics, today.
>>
No. 523605 ID: 184dd1

Yes. You are a precise instrument of death, a scalpel to cut away that which seeks to harm, not a sledgehammer to unreservedly destroy all around you. Your purpose is clear. Your allies require your attention more than any personal feelings. The master will be pleased.

A quick glance at the young Michelle sees her other avatar, Leviathan, wrapped securely around her, keeping her from any immediate harm. That leaves one problem taken care of. The other is the possible rallying of the enemy. You follow along quickly behind Behemoth, his destructive tendencies leaving an easy trail to follow, and eventually come upon some sort of balcony. Behemoth rages below, some of your allies alongside him keeping the enemy off of the beast's back. Still, you notice a group forming among the enemy, composed mostly of those wielding guns, and you smile slightly to yourself.

Yes. This path was good to take.

You step across the balcony till you are above this group, then drop off the side, landing crouched among them. You feel the surprise from those around you, people beginning to scatter again, but they are too slow. Much too slow.

Muramasa slides from its resting place, the beautiful blade seeming to sparkle and the soft hiss as it leaves its sheathe like music. And then only the deadly dance of your craft is left. You dance among your foes, Muramasa biting into flesh and bone, cutting them away, leaving those behind you unable to fight. You remembered your master's words. Disable instead of kill. Defeat, but do not end. As your dance ends, all those who had once been able were missing limbs, some arms, some hands, others legs. All will survive. None will be continuing to offer resistance.

Still, one escaped your dance. Another wielder of guns, the woman much like the master. A revolver spins in her hand, and a crazy grin spreads along her face.

"HAHAHAHAH! I thought I'd have to go hunting for you fuckers, and instead you all come to me! Yes! YES! Come then, let's do this!"

She is... loud. Obnoxious...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 523627 ID: ae4944

She's the leader. Disable her and be sure to take all her foci.
>>
No. 523636 ID: 23b97a

Holy fuck. Maria? I expected her to be at breaker HQ, and the boss the whole party had to deal with.

...well, all in all, it's not a bad match-up. Of our three groups, this is probably the strongest pair, with two avatars and our melee speed demon. Chris is possibly the best match for Maria, maybe even more than Linda. She's even more finessed up, and we'd seen before with devastating effect how gun users are at a disadvantage and pressed by her build. And unless Maria's upgraded, she doesn't have the firepower to deal directly with the demons (though if Chris were out of the picture, she might be able to dance around them while killing Michelle).

Immediately: we're going to need to focus on her. Leave the remaining enemy to your allies and the demons to mop up. This one is strong, and requires your full attention.

Our first problem is Maria's personal power that allows her to power through a fatal injury and keep moving. That's going to be very dangerous at melee range, as it exposes us to otherwise impossible counter-attacks, and death-for-death trading. It will also prevent us from being able to disable and/or cheap-shot her, ending the fight while she still has BP. This also means Maria can lock Chris into a chain kill, but we can't lock her into one.

The second problem is the disparity in BP. Maria had a pool of 37 a two months ago, has been killing non-stop since then, and Chris can only cut through those points one of those at a time. We don't have Linda's bullet burst, or the Doc's tubes to burn though her reserves. We do have Leviathin, but I'm not sure if he still knows Siphon after we broke time. There's also the problem neither of Michelle's demons has the finesse to target her easily. Although if Levi were to use Siphon, Chris could always imitate the tactic she saw the stone angel used before- and use her speed to feed Maria too him.

Speaking of the bullet burst, this is Linda's opposite, and we know she's offense focused. There's a serious risk she knows battlefield instinct. The only way I can think to counter that is if we can get one of the avatars to tank the hit, or if we used Chris' Instant Movement to blink past the attack and counter from behind. (Both parties lose 5BP, but we avoid being killed and Maria loses a life).

Maria's evasion, power through death, and the BP gap can be somewhat countered by altering our mode of attack. Instead of targeting her, target her weapon. Muramasa should cut right through her gun like butter. She'll spend more BP on remanifestation than she would on respawn, and it makes her automatic power through recovery irrelevant. Alternatively- if you miss the gun, feel free to disarm her. Literally. She'll still have to respawn, and her ability will still kick in, but she'll still have to spend BP either breaking her weapon back to her hand (if she's got active break) or manifesting.

...this also hinges on our knowledge of her abilities and past performance. Which Chris won't know unless she's heard the story from someone else in the group.

This is a leader among the enemy. A powerful foe. The woman who almost killed your master. Who hunts her daughter. Who seeks to undo her work. You will defeat her, claim her weapon for your master, and drag the unworthy churl before her.
>>
No. 523691 ID: 184dd1

[Damn, your rolls are good...]

The leader of the enemy, it would seem. Skilled as well. Regardless, your course is set. An opponent of skill has been found, and you must test yourself. Muramasa disappears into its resting place again, while you crouch down, one knee against the ground to balance yourself, body relaxed and tense all at once. You feel rather than know the techniques you use, and try as you might, you can't feel yourself place names to things, but you feel your actions easily. For a moment, the world stills, and you feel this woman suddenly seem to notice you in particular, instead of just everyone in general.

"Eh? What the hell is tha-"

Step Forward. Blink. Draw. Cut. Sheathe. Step Back. Crouch.

The woman, maybe by luck, maybe by skill, or maybe by broken reality, seems to evade your strike, but just barely, Muramasa leaving a thing cut along your opponents stomach that you can tell is quite painful. She'll be distracted from her tasks for sure, now.

"Wha- THE HELL WAS THAT?!"

The woman suddenly manifests another revolver, the pair gleaming, and just as suddenly, you notice the firing hammers start to slide forward. She attacks, even at this close range. Blinking won't be necessary. Just strike.

Step Forward. Draw. Cu-

The woman learns quickly, dragging her body backwards even as she keeps her revolvers trained on their prey, the bullets coming out of them almost too quickly to catch. Almost. You turn a strike into a parry, even against bullets, and Muramasa gleams twice before resting once again, the bullets aimed at you neatly bisected and flicked to the sides. You admit yourself a little surprised, not aware you had the skill to perform the task, but quickly surmise that you probably could not do such at long ranges. The close proximity allowed you to observe her firing her weapons, adding a precious second to react.

The woman snarls in annoyance, seeing you clearly matching her stride for stride, and backpedals a little to provide herself room to manuever. I briefly contemplate following her, only to have two of the enemy block my path. They are incapacitated with ease, but have left her the time necessary to gain some ground. Incapacitating this one will be... difficult.

"DAMNIT! DAMNITDAMNITDAMNIT! I'M NOT EVEN HERE FOR YOU! WHERE IS SHE?! WHERE IS SHE!?"

The woman seems intent on hunting someone else. Although she stills faces you warily. You don't relish your chances of surprising her again, not with your previous tricks, but still, you must close the distance to kill. Unless, perhaps, you can somehow call upon Little Michelle.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 523697 ID: 5d4146

She has skill, but seems to lack mental discipline.
Perhaps a defense she cannot penetrate, facilitated by your speed, combined with some taunting would provoke her into making a careless mistake, one that you could capitalize on?
>>
No. 523705 ID: 23b97a

Down a blink. That puts us down to 21BP. Maria's down a manifestation cost (of course, we don't know how high that is, or how big her pool is). I can't believe no one died, though. That's amazing.

...we'll have to be careful with blinks, though. Those burn through BP fast, and Maria has a bigger pool than Chris. Unless we got lucky and caught her not at full power. (Really would make her Linda's opposite, wouldn't it? :V).

>I'M NOT EVEN HERE FOR YOU! WHERE IS SHE?! WHERE IS SHE!?
She is... the one who swore an oath against your master? The woman the seer child sees hunting her in her visions?

Perhaps, should she be survive, you will drag her before them.

>tactics review
...well, cutting her guns probably isn't going to work. She's fast enough to dodge Chris out of a blink with only a scratch. And the guns are a small target, and likely the fasting moving part of her.

Tag teaming her with an avatar, or counting a possible battlefield instinct with an avy tanking it, or blinking past the attack, might still work.

>Unless, perhaps, you can somehow call upon Little Michelle.
Not a bad idea. Master emphasizes teamwork, and after fighting Conner, you have seen how avatars can work together. Only this time you fight besides them, filling the doll's speed and blink role, rather than against them. And the three of you will not be so careless as to leave Michelle as exposed as he was.

Use communicator your master left you with. (...we gave one to Michelle, right?). This one is strong- she matches me speed for speed. I request your assistance.

If Behemoth presses her- she'll be forced to use her finesse to dodge and avoid. Which opens an opportunity for you to strike- she can only dodge so much at once. And her weapons will be ineffective against such a beast. If she changes to a larger, more powerful weapon to face the beast, as your master could, this also presents an opportunity. It will slow her down, and make it much harder for her to track you, or avoid your attacks.

The real, unknown danger, is what additional powers she may have. She seems strong enough to have one, and you have seen firsthand what happens when your master releases a hail of bullets in an instant.

>[Damn, your rolls are good...]
I have noticed the dice being pretty forgiving since we came out of hiatus. Guy hasn't suffered any significant failures yet, and Nicole prettymuch had a flawless run.

...making the roll to cut bullets out of the air is insanely impressive though, I'll admit.

>taunting
Not exactly Chris' strong suit. Maria seems obviously agitated she can't find who she's looking for though (Linda or Elizabeth, presumably). It wouldn't take much to exploit that. "We are not fools enough to bring your prey to you. You will not find her here."
>>
No. 523784 ID: 184dd1

"We are not fools enough to bring your prey to you. You will not find her here."

The woman reacts to you finally talking, looking slightly pleased. She seems to focus around her a moment, then smiles a little more to herself before turning back to you.

"She isn't here then? Damn. Still, just means I can go wild without having to lose anything out of it. Don't really know who you are, but you're in my way. Lay down and die, or fight and die, either one is fine with me."

She starts firing again, rounds headed my way, but expecting the attacks makes dodging much easier, and I'm behind some cover before she really manages to focus on me. Regardless, some aid against this one would be much appreciated. Little Michelle will help.

"This one is strong- she matches me speed for speed. I request your assistance."

"Wha- Huh? Oh. Oh! Yeah. The... the comm thingy... um... uh... here... ah! Yes. Um. Moth says he'll help. Levi wants to guard me, in case I''m attacked."

"This is acceptable."

The gun fire continues, although you are certain she's reloaded twice already, when the far wall bursts open, sending rubble everywhere, and Behemoth comes through, roaring a challenge. With his aid, this should be much easier than fighting the woman alone.

"What the HELL!?"

Behemoth wastes little time in charging his prey, the woman firing off a couple of rounds that do little before she begins focusing on weaving in and out of his strikes, just barely managing to avoid getting pummeled. Still, she seems to be doing alrigh, almost jovial in her emotions.

"HAHA! This thing? What the hell is this thing supposed to do? NOT hit me?"

"No. To distract."

The woman barely gets a glance at you before Muramasa bites into her flesh, cleaving one of her arms clean off. The woman does manage to dance away, however, gaining much needed ground. You stand with Behemoth, who rumbles a little in annoyance, observing her. She starts cursing loudly, before wrapping her arm in some cloth she drags from somewhere and glaring at you.

"That's not nice. You gonna fight me, you might as well do it fairly and kill me at least."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 523786 ID: 76b151

>>523784
She said to disable. So I shall disable.
>>
No. 523801 ID: 23b97a

Huh. You're slipping into first person narration in a few places. Kind of jarring against the established use of second person.

>you might as well do it fairly and kill me
You see no reason to honor her request. Against a powerful opponent, injury holds more value than death. An injured opponent is slowed and weakened, left exposed to being rendered unconscious and ending the fight. A dead opponent will simply come back to life at full strength.

...and it's out of character knowledge, but with Maria's spirit ability, fatal injuries really don't slow her down much. She can power right through those.

And besides, you are following your master's wishes.

Continue the fight. Do not underestimate her, even injured.

Nice to see Maria's burning BP a good rate, though. And without even landing a kill so far. Chris is proving to be as much a problem for her as she did for Linda.

>just means I can go wild without having to lose anything out of it
Hmm. That language implies she was looking for someone she wanted alive- Elizabeth, not Linda. ...I wonder if she even remembers Linda? Their only encounter was two months ago- the nonexistence might have kicked in.
>>
No. 523808 ID: 5d4146

Oh lovely. It's also possible that when Linda got away, Maria pretty much considered Linda her own personal DULUUUUUUUU!!!!
And that rage just powered through the non-existance thing, so she'll remember Linda. This means enemies will remember Linda if they dislike her enough, so it's something to be wary of.
>>
No. 523810 ID: 23b97a

Oh, right. We might need some actual tactics in there.

Do the tag team thing with 'Moth. If she's dodging his strikes- she's open to your sword. If she's dodging your sword- it's into his fangs and claws.

You could even ride his initial charge- put his power behind your speed for your initial attack.
>>
No. 523844 ID: 184dd1

"She said to disable. I will disable."

Behemoth charges forwards again, ready to rip and tear, but suddenly he's shoved backwards, the crack of something far stronger than a revolver echoing inside the room. As Behemoth falls back a little, you spot something new in your adversaries arsenal, what looks to be a shotgun, possibly causing the new hole in Behemoth's face.

"Wait... you said she... you know! YOU KNOW! WHERE IS SHE!?"

The woman cocks the shotgun in an almost Hollywood fashion and fires into Behemoth again, then simply drops the thing and draws a revolver, this aimed at you. You've pushed forward though, trying to close the distance, and as you see the her finger squeeze the trigger, you try for a second attempt at parrying bullets.

All six rounds from the gun fire. Not a one touches you, Muramasa intercepting each and sending them skittering away. At the same time, you close again, again, Muramasa sliding into its resting place as you crouch literally right in front of her, eyes focused on the woman.

Breath in. Cut. Breath out. Sheathe.

She doesn't dodge this in time, not to fully escape Muramasa, but she does manage to dance away enough to leave only a deep gash in her other arm. Out of the corner of your eye, you see Behemoth retreating, Little Michelle likely too emotionally attached to let him, young as he is, get too injured. Some sort of maternal thing, you think. Instead, you feel a rumble from the earth, and Leviathan rips it's way out of the ground, looking to consume its prey. The woman bounces away from this, using the force of Leviathan's entry to propel herself to the top of the balcony recently vacated, the woman snarling in anger. Then static happens, and you see the woman pick herself back up again, shotgun pumping with her one good arm, the other neatly dressed and bleeding stopped. It seems she has some skill at healing herself.

"Seriously?! Two god damned monster things, and the crazy sword chick? What the fuck? How is this even remotely fucking fair?"

Leviathan lunges, only to have its eye torn into by a shotgun burst to the face, the beast roaring in pain and challenge. You attempt your own rush as Leviathan is moving, only to have to retreat behind cover, pistol rounds keeping you at bay. Still, there's no way she could have switched weapons that quickly unless...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 523860 ID: 5d4146

She's either got a power that lets her change her arsenal (Did we see something like that as a possibility for Linda?) Or she's breaking like crazy to make it happen. Either way, she's probably burning BP like mad to do that.
To continue the taunting: 'You're so focused on vengance, you recall her when others do not. when you share your tale of vengance, others see you as mad.'
I doubt Chris will say that, but if my hunch is right, she will lose it in one way or another. Too berzerk to think straight, or just plain old roll over and join the defeated boss crew.
>>
No. 523867 ID: 23b97a

>...you know! YOU KNOW! WHERE IS SHE!?
If she wants to know so badly, you'll show her. Should she survive, you'll drag her before her.

>Then static happens, healing herself
Huh. Looks like she has active break now. But why heal her arm broken, instead of healing it back...

>there's no way she could have switched weapons that quickly unless...
The severed arm. The god damn severed arm is armed and firing at us. She's responded to multiple attackers by converting her severed limb to a drone to keep us busy!

Disarm the arm. Feed it to one of the beasts, if you have to.

>Seriously?! Two god damned monster things, and the crazy sword chick? What the fuck? How is this even remotely fucking fair?
Pff. Oh god, her reaction was exactly what I thought. Suck it, bitch.
>>
No. 523962 ID: 184dd1

An arm. You are not sure whether to be confused or to applaud the woman for her ingenuity. If she could not have her arm back, she would simply use it another way. Regardless, it is becoming troublesome. A quick glance around shows where the offending appendage is, and rather fortuitously, Leviathan notices it as well. The beast roars a challenge, getting shot in the face again for it, before it lunges after the thing, it's snake like body creating coils and twists in itself as the snake chases the arm around the room in something that would most likely be comical to anyone but you. Since it is you, however, you ignore the event in exchange for using the newly acquired walkways of Leviathan's body to reach the balcony and start your own assault. The shotgun proves a powerful weapon, especially against you, who can only move so quickly against so many pellets, so you do the logical thing. You cut the shotgun in two, destroying any use it might have. The woman easily drops the weapon in favor of her pistol, drawing it amazingly quickly and firing again, this time at near point blank. Still, your increasing skill and experience with cutting bullets from the air aids you, and the bullet is just an inconvenience. So are the next five rounds, each merely neatly parried, even as the woman proves just as capable at dodging your own lightning fast sword, seemingly keeping just a hair's breadth away from having her arm cut clean off. The two of you begin a deadly dance, bullets flying and sword flashing as death blows are traded and evaded, yet neither can effectively gain the upper hand.

Finally, you both find purchase on the ground again, both facing off against each other, and both nearly breathless with the physical exertion. Exhaustion is starting to set in, and you doubt this can continue without one of you making a mistake.

The woman evidently comes to the same conclusion, taking a deep breath before speaking again.

"This is getting us nowhere. How about we have ourselves a little duel, yeah? Easy like. You do your little vanishing, sword drawing thing at me, and I see if I can hit you before you make it to me. Whichever of us wins walks away the victor. Agreed?"

... She does not seem to be lying.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 523965 ID: 5d4146

Can I just say that if Linda saw that last fight her inner fangirl would probably be squealing in glee? Cause that looked awesome when I saw it in my mind's eye.
Either way...I'm thinking let's play that game. This fight's definately stalled with Levi chasing the arm around, and I don't know if re spawn breaking fixes little things like you being out of stamina. I'd think it would? But let's not test it out...
>>
No. 523966 ID: 76b151

Instead of going straight at her with a blink I think we should do it to the side she is lacking an arm. Or if possible behind her.
>>
No. 523967 ID: 23b97a

Exhaustion works more to our advantage than hers. If she's tired, she can't outrun Michelle's monsters, who likely tire slower than either of you.

>this so anime
>Linda inner fangirl squealing
Pff. Probably.

>duel
Goddamnit, this would be the perfect time for the dice to fail us. We can't afford to have Chris die or be taken prisoner. ...although a Maria victory could just mean Chris lets her walk away, or that she drops out of the fight. Not that she allows herself to be taken or killed. And there's no guarantee the demons will honor the deal. If Maria has to run from them, Chris is safe. And neither does defeat mean we have to surrender the information she wants. Your first obligation is to your master, not a code of honor between combatants. You will not betray her.

That said, if Chris wins, we are so taking her in.

Fuck, do it anyways. Bust out all the tricks. Normality the enviroment- full on Samurai duel with illusionary cherry blossoms blowing in the wind that isn't there. Appear where-ever she is most vulnerable. Violate conservation of momentum if you have to- appear wall running (or wall crouching) to get yourself the surprise you need if you have to.

>I don't know if re spawn breaking fixes little things like you being out of stamina
I'm pretty sure previous fights have established it doesn't. Death avoidance cures physical injuries that haven't been healed to 'permanency', but that's it. Breakers still run down even when dying. Linda v Jake is a good example.
>>
No. 523970 ID: 184dd1

"Accepted."

The woman takes a place directly opposite you, the revolver reloading and then being placed in a holster at her hip. She looks almost like the typical gunslinger of the west, and you swear you can see the sun setting behind her for dramatic effect. You choose your own stance, knees only slightly bent, one hand holding Muramasa, the other grasping and steadying the sheathe. At this point, it is all or nothing. You notice, oddly, that sakura petals seem to be blowing around you, swirling in impossible ways, but you quickly ignore them, focusing entirely upon your enemy. Both of you remain tensed, expectant, waiting...


Then tension becomes action, and both of you move impossibly fast. Six bullets are in the air within seconds, buy you're not where they were aimed, instead blinking to the ceiling, using that instant movement's worth of momentum to keep you there for a mere second. The woman proves equal to the challange, however, manually reloading faster than you can follow and firing off another volley. Again, you are simply not there, instead appearing right in front of the woman, stance unbroken, perfectly placed to do what you do best. Even as you complete the action, the name for it finally comes to you. The art of drawing and striking as one movement.

Iai.

For a moment, there is nothing. Only silence. Then the woman falls back, her arm dropping to the floor, blood pouring out of the newly opened wound. You replace Muramasa in its resting place, staring down at the woman.

"Yeah... damn... fast as shit, you little fucker. I'll hold up my end. Do what you want... fuck. Who the hell are you, anyway?"

"Twenty- thr-" You pause, remembering. That's right. The master gave you a... name. "Chris. Chris Wayneright."

"Ha... that's... that's good. Maria. Just Maria. Well... can't do much now, can I? Foci are in the left pocket, by the way. I don't need to get felt up or anything, like everyone else seems to want to do... damn... losing a lot of blood here..."

You bandage this... Maria's... arm, then step back, wondering if there is anything else to do here before reporting in and returning home.

>>>Switch to Linda or Input Command
>>
No. 523973 ID: 23b97a

Holy fuck. Maria's down. ...and Chris didn't take a hit the whole time. Another flawless takedown, just like with Linda. And she didn't even have railroading on her side!

>what do
Take her foci.

Ask her a simple question. Who was she looking for? If she describes Linda (she was looking for her rematch) inform Maria that she is your master- that she bested you, and leads your group. If she describes Elizabeth, ask Maria why the child with the visions is so important to her. Why did she hunt her, what were her plans? (You overhead the girl tell your master of her visions that day, and your master will want to know). Actually, ask that as a follow up, even if she wasn't looking for Elizabeth.

If she complies, honor her skill and cooperation by taking a moment to break her arms back (outside of a battle all it should take is concentration, no active break required). You may leave her normal, but it would be a shame to leave her crippled.
>>
No. 524117 ID: 184dd1

"Who were you looking for?"

You ask the question as you collect Maria's foci, leaving her without breaking anymore. She frowns for a moment, then shrugs a little, clearly just having a mental debate with herself.

"Some girl, sees visions or something. The boss wanted her for something. I don't know. I'm just an Assault Captain, I kill things. Or rather, killed things."

You nod to yourself. This is good information. Perhaps more could be extracted. You will drag her before the master. She will have more questions you think. Still, this one was a worthy opponent. She should not be left crippled. You ,however, will not be attempting a healing. You know how that could turn out badly. Instead, the one called Rodriguez shall perform the action required.

>>>Swtich to Linda or Input Command
>>
No. 524118 ID: 76b151

>>524117
To LINDA!

Lets see how we fair against someone who can block our bullets.
>>
No. 524124 ID: 6b40ea

All right. You did well. (Fantastically awesome, actually). Collect your prisoner, supervise the mop up and extraction. Get your people out clean before your former masters arrive. Thank Michelle for her assistance at some point.

We don't need to supervise that, though. Perspective swap- Linda. Linda, Twinda, Cass v Trevor. Callback boss fight number two is a go.

>I don't know.
Hmm. Rules out my crazy theories that Maria might have been the one who shot her in the face. Or that she might have been her mother.
>>
No. 524136 ID: 184dd1

You sit idly in your ride over, Cass in the seat next to you. Niether of you are particularly talkative at the moment, although maybe it's only because you haven't really though up anything to say. Cass seems lost in her thoughts, and you don't really know if you should interrupt those thoughts or not. Regardless, the silence is broken when someone raps on the window.

"Hey! Time to get the party started."

You get out and head take another look at your target. The building is clearly being used for something illegal, but you doubt the local authorities would have been able to do anything anyway. The entire building is surrounded by a wall, topped with barbed wire. The fixers are well prepared for conventional assault. Too bad, you aren't conventional. Twinda sends you a thought message, stating she is in place. Good. Everyone here is as ready as they're gonna get as well. Time to hunt down this wolf bastard. You know he's here. He has to be.

The revving of a chainsaw next to you signals Cass' state of mind, and you give the signal, even as you start forward yourself. Moments later, the outer wall of this compound is breached, and the telltale sound of a rifle shot tells you Twinda's set to work as well. There are people everywhere, and Cass happily rushes into combat, chainsaw singing as she proceeds to start cleaving through people. That leaves you as the only really sane one of the two to search for Trevor. Or you suppose, you could just cause so much damage to his people that he's gotta come looking for you. A couple of guys come at you, but a pair of well placed shots to the face drop them, leaving them open to one of your men to knock them out.

Still, planning time. You always seem to plan best when your getting threatened with eminent death...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 524190 ID: 6b40ea

All right, Cass had to manifest her chainsaw, which starts he out at 28 BP. But we had Twinda, her rifle, and our handguns all out in advance. Which means Linda should be starting with a full tank.

>What do?
Depends on how the main battle looks. If you think your allies have things in hand, we can go ahead and try something while Cass and the troops deal with the people outside. But if you're at all concerned for your people, we drop into a support role. Do it like we did with the ballroom fight- dropping shots into enemies to cover for allies or give them opportunities.

If you do think Cass and co have thing in hand, I'd kind of like to dart ahead, and get into the building. Use the handguns to deal with any immediate scrubs, and then get your new specs on. With the wall-seeing we can infiltrate, find Trevor, and try shooting him through the walls with our rifle.

If you don't find him first though, he is going to find the two of you. The only thing slowing him down now is if he's in charge, he's organizing and giving orders before going to wolf form and engaging.

Best possible outcome really would be if we could get to him fast, actually. Remember Raphael and Maria- he couldn't do much as long as she kept killing him before he was fully into form. Ambushing his human form would make this a lot easier.

Remember that your handguns don't work on him (unless we can nail an eye or something). That means we need to use heavy ordinance for the wolf. The ice gun probably won't help much either- wolves are built to handle cold, and he looks strong enough to break out if you froze him.
>>
No. 524249 ID: 2f4b71

Crap, too slow. ETA on Maria offing herself to regenerate, and having a handy last Foci somewhere on/in her person...
>>
No. 524264 ID: 6b40ea

>>524249
Hmm. Unlikely. She can't easily suicide without her arms, and under Chris' supervision. And she'll be outnumbered and guarded when she gets back and is healed.

There might be the risk one of the prisoners has a tracking device on them, but interrogations / interviews are almost certainly going to involve Elizabeth and George (precog and mindreader for truthsense. Will and future seeing and fear itself for getting answers if they won't cooperate. Mind control if we can't get the answers another way). You'd think having an escape plan or gambit like that would be a thought close to the surface or an obvious future, if it was there. If she has a holdout, they'd know. Fast.

A bigger risk is the enemy might have ways of finding them we can't disable. We could kill an electronic bug- we can't stop someone with a powerset like Elizabeth or Raphael from hunting down their missing people. (Which means we're going to have to force the rest of the fixers to come to terms with us, or finish them off).

It couldn't hurt to ask Elizabeth the obvious question if she sees a counterattack or rescuing coming after we regroup.
>>
No. 524272 ID: 2f4b71

>>524264
Bitten tongue, and an element of surprise (unless Chris keeps her under constant personal supervision).
>>
No. 524275 ID: 6b40ea

>>524272
Her arms are broken 'permanently' gone, though. If if she does suicide, death avoidance doesn't fix that on respawn. Someone has to actually break her arms back.

And really, I don't think Maria has anything like that planned. She seems pretty straightforward in her methods.
>>
No. 524349 ID: 184dd1

You take a quick look around, trying to determine the flow of the battle. It doesn't necessarily look like your side is losing. If anything, Cass is kinda ripping apart the enemy with an almost brutal efficiency, which just serves to cause more havoc. You definitely could go off on your own to find Trevor safely, confident that Cass can hold down the fort here.

You take off, taking out a few people just for good measure, and you hit the compound proper, busting in with a combat roll and taking out another guy guarding the door. Sucks to be him. You hardly slow in your pace, sliding your x-ray glasses onto you face, already scanning around yourself to find the ass. It takes a few minutes of searching, and not a few run ins with some more guards, easily dispatched, before you finally spot the asshole. He's two floors up, and snarling orders at people from the looks of it. You manifest the rifle, smiling a little to yourself, before taking aim and pumping a round in his direction, adjusting your aim a little to compensate for there being two floor of concrete in between the two of you. Still, you peg him dead in the face, and he collapses backwards. You quickly follow with another shot, but instead of hitting him, his wolf thing foci comes out of nowhere, blocking the round with it's body, even as it begins to fade and Trevor shifts to his full bestial ferocity. You take aim again and fire, putting another round into him, but his hide seems tough enough to prevent any real damage. You prepare to take aim again, this time to aim for the eyes or through the mouth, only to have Trevor do something you probably would have thought of doing on your own.

Instead of trying to go for the stair, the monster literally smashes it's way straight through the floor, dropping down to the second level, then does the same again, dropping down to the first. It lets out a roar, then begins hunting for you, clearly catching on to your presence near immediately. Fucking, hell, the bastard is-

You fire off another round just as he rounds the corner, trying to aim for his eye, and peg him dead center on target, his skull exploding in a shower of gore. Regardless, you're up and moving, hoping to build some distance before he regens, only to have him barrel down after you, the sound of claws meeting floor distinctive and way too loud for him to be anywhere but right behind yo-

Just as you start to react, you feel a clawed hand rip into your torso, tearing out vital organs and sending you hurtling into the courtyard. You're back up and running before you even touch the ground, righting yourself and hefting your rifle, prepared for the inevitable follow on. He's right on you again, arm coming down on your fa-

A screaming chainsaw suddenly intercepts the arm, sending the wolf-man hurtling backwards through sheer force of strength. What quickly follows it is what you can only guess is a very, very insane Cass.

"COME HERE YOU LITTLE FUCKED UP BASTARD! I'M GONNA RIP OUT YOUR SPLEEN AND FUCKING CHOKE YOU WITH IT!"

Cass intercepts Trevor again, bloodlust written on her face, this time, she goes for a straight thrust to the man's face, the chainsaw cutting into his open jaw and pulping his skull again. His death avoidance occurs, only to have the chainsaw still in his face thanks to where it put him. And then his head is on fire and he's howling in pain and rage.

"FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU YOU LITTE MANGY BASTARD! I'M I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU BLEED ENOUGH YET! COME HERE!"

Well... Cass certainly seems enthused, to say the least...

Linda BP: 29
Pistol Rounds: 48
Rifle Rounds: 6

Cass BP: 26

Trevor BP: 22


>>>Input Command
>>
No. 524362 ID: 6b40ea

Good old Cass to the rescue. Linda- probably the only person in the world comforted by a chainsaw swung close by her face.

Hmm. Damn. Death number 17. And after we made it through the other two battles completely clean.

...well, at least we drew him out, got a free hit, and deprived the others leadership. And our death will have triggered bloody massacre for Cass, and I think she needs that strength boost against him. He was managing to out-strength her at the arena.

Kind of disappointed wolf-boy's hide stops the frigging tank gun. That's gonna slow this down. And his astral wolf thing can too! I wonder if covering for him like that takes a spirit ability?

>tactics
If you didn't lose or break your x-ray shades in the confusion (if you did, that's fine. You can spend a BP repairing or replacing them later) snatch them off- they're only going to distract you now.

Our primary advantage is you can back Cass up, turning the fight in her advantage. Don't let any of Trevor's allies try to turn that around, by helping him or attacking Cass. If anyone tries you can blast them (tank gun, or draw a pistol with your off hand, and holster when done) or Twinda can snipe them.

I don't know if he can manifest the wolf while he's in werewolf form, but that might try to get in the way, same as a breaker ally. As it's ethereal, I don't think physical damage will work on it. The ice gun might, though.

I would have thought we could have gotten away without using homing rounds, but if we're aiming for the eyes, we may need them.

We can take shots at his head when we can, but with Cass face to face with him, we may not get many of those shots. A better use might be making opportunities for Cass- our bullets may not penetrate Trevor's hide, but he can't resist the momentum of the blow. With correctly timed shots we could block a blow by blasting him in the paw or wrist, or knock him off balance with a slam to his ankle or knee. (Joint shots may have the additional bonus of breaking something, even if it doesn't put a hole in him. If that happens, we could always try breaking the injury 'permanent' to hinder him further). We can also one-two strike him from multiple angles with Twinda (although she only has so many shots). We could also try strategically placed ice shots- fire at the ground below Trevor just as he lunges or something to get him to slip (wolves should be somewhat good at ice, but he's big, and a lot of weight hitting a lot less friction than it expects will have an effect). I doubt cartoon ice could make a wall he couldn't break though, but it could potentially be used to support Cass at the right moment- give her solid ground to stand on if it's smashed under her, or the immovable object she needs to push off against.

Battlefield instinct will be expensive to try, and we'd need to use the tank gun exactly when we had an open shot at the head (every shot into it, or down through the exploded head into the body). That's 9BP (5 for the ability, and a homing reload before and after) for 10 deaths, if it works. Not the safest bet, or something I really favor. ...if we get pressed by lesser fixers though, you could draw both pistols and take advantage of the ability letting you split your shots- we could take down an entire attacking group at once- using break sight to drop just as many bullets as required into each.
>>
No. 524792 ID: 184dd1

You resolve to let Cass handle the big wolf-man, opting instead to act as support. Twinda should be running fairly low on ammo, but that doesn't mean you ever will. An asshole with a gun tries to take a shot at Cass, but it's kinda difficult to aim without your eyes. And the most of the rest of your head.

You quickly find yourself a nice point with which to keep an eye on Cass while still watching over the rest of the courtyard, occasionally shooting someone getting a little too close to the fight. Still, you can't imagine Cass being any more insane than she was, only to get proven wrong as she seems to delve deeper into her own madness to draw out even more strength

"YOUR BLOOD IS SOOOOO WARM~ MORE! MORE! MORE! GIVE ME MORE!"

Even Trevor's looking a little off balance with all this shit going on, although he's still putting up a hell of a fight. Chainsaw and claws meet again, Trevor just barely managing to push the spinning blades to the side, getting his paws cut up in the process. He snarls something too low for you to hear, but whatever it is, it sets Cass giggling like a schoolgirl. Then her chainsaw is whipped around impossibly fast to bury itself in Trevor's furry chest, the blades spinning across the tender flesh within and spilling his guts onto the floor. Static and he's back, only for Cass to suddenly smash a piece of debris over his head, sending him reeling. She backs off only long enough to grab what looks like a downed telephone pole, which is then used as a club to repeatedly smash the wolf-man into the concrete. Well... points for style, you suppose.

Your attention is suddenly grabbed when you notice a group of your followers duking it out with a group of fixers. They don't seem to be in too much trouble, but still, it could hurt to help. You direct Twinda to the issue, then notice Trevor's number drop again before he rolls up and away, snarling again. Hey look, his face is nice and unguarded... You fire, and only just miss his exposed eye, although the round still sends him reeling in surprise, and then Cass smashes him into the ground one more time before discarding her now useless telephone pole in favor of taking up her chainsaw again. The giggling starts up again, this time because Cass apparently has a splendid idea. She darts towards her prey, who for once seems more like he just wants away from the crazy bitch, and slams the chainsaw into his shoulder, dragging him down and pinning him to the ground by driving the other side into the ground. She straddles the monster-man, that smile growing almost sexual in nature as she slide her fingers along the man's stomach.

"Ah... so strong, aren't you? So ready and willing to kill... Your kind are always the best to kill."

Cass gives her wicked smile, then drives her fist into Trevor's stomach. The first punch just seems to bounce off, but the one that follows breaks through his hide and into his stomach area, pushed through with sheer insane strength. Trevor screams in pain, and Cass just starts laughing along with him, slowly pulling out his intestines in front of his eyes.

"FUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUN! SOOOOOOO MUCH FUUUUUUUN!"

Trevor dies, mercifully saving him from further torment, and then it's Cass who gets launched into a wall, a clearly surprised look on her face. Death comes much quicker for her, but now Trevor seems even more feral in nature than before.

"I'm gonna KILL YOU, YOU FUCKING INSANE BITCH! AS MANY GOD DAMNED TIMES AS IT TAKES!"

Trevor starts to stalk forwards, but you drive him back with a few well placed shots, and he glares in anger at you. Still, checking Cass' BP, whatever she's doing is draining her fast. She doesn't have a lot of time left.

Linda BP: 29
Rifle Rounds: 1
Pistol Rounds: 48

Cass BP: 12

Trevor BP: 14
>>
No. 524828 ID: c95833

Geeze. This can't be healthy for her. We'll have to set aside some Cass hangout/therapy time for later.

Alright. This would be working, except bloody massacre's drain is too steep. In the time it's taken her to kill him 8 times, she's only gone down once, but she's bled off another 13 points. That ain't sustainable. At this rate, she dies first.

Support isn't enough. We got step this up and take a more active role.

Our only real option to do enough damage quick enough is Battlefield Instinct. But since he can shrug off blows, and since we have less ammo with the rifle, we need to set this up so every shot counts. Each round right through the eye, or down the mouth, or down past the bloody pulp that was his head into his body cavity. (We can't just shoot from the side so the first round pulps his head, and then the remaining 9 have nowhere to go).

We duped Twinda in full gear, right? So she should have an ice gun. Have her draw and empty it into Trevor (not sure if regular cold or cartoon ice would work better, actually?). We just need him distracted / immobilized in one spot long enough for you to get into position, line up your shot, and empty a full mag 50 caliber rounds into his face. Ten rounds rapid. If that works, and he's down to 4BP.

Then... we either reload and keep pressing him while Cass shreds through what he has left, or we swap and manifest our own ice gun. Get in there and harry him- use our finnese and evasion to dodge and distract while trying to immobilize or disable or slow him down with icing while Cass closes to finish the job. At the rate Cass is losing BP- we can afford to take a hit or two protecting her. She can't, as much.

No idea if we can end this without killing him. Normally Linda has pretty good control over Cass, but she's really far gone this time. Not sure we could call her off (though we'll damn well try. We got her into this fight, and she doesn't need anything else on her conscience). And even at zero, Trevor will still be a wolf monster, and his wolf-focus will be kind of hard to take away from him. ...maybe we can knock him out by using an active break? (Slam something into his head?). There's also the problem Cass will hit 0BP and collapse- leaving her vulnerable. We can't leave her exposed and at risk trying not to kill him.
>>
No. 524991 ID: 184dd1

You decide quickly that Cass, insane and strong as she is, isn't going to be able to last much longer. You send a quick request to Twina, and suddenly, as if from nowhere, a beam of ice slams home, coating the area in the stuff. Trevor miscalculates a jump, most because of the sudden ice in his path, and slams onto his face, the crunch of his breaking nose quite satisfying, all things considered. You put the last round in your clip into his eye again, dropping his number by one and giving Cass a chance to get back up again. Then you drop the rifle. You don't have time to reload it again, not without putting Cass in more danger. Besides, if you can get him to open his jaw, a use of your one shot kill ability would-

As you pull out the twin pistols, Cass is already lunging at her target, and you quickly dart in, emptying a few round into Trevor's face to get his attention. He turns on you faster than you expected, claw darting out in an attempt to rip into your chest. You, unfortunately, don't make it in time to dodge completely, and a nasty gash spring up across you chest. Not immediately life threatening, but it's still very painful. Cass comes barreling in right after that, jumping on top of the wolf-man and jamming her two knives into the bastards eyes, sending him dying insantly and then hurling her off of him as he roars in anger. Oh hey look... his mouth is exposed.

Die.

You focus a second, then both pistols empty every round you have in them into the bastard gaping maw. You notice some still don't penetrate as well, but others punch through his skull, and others do, but not enough to kill him outright. Instead, he tumbles backwards, roaring in pain, before he's back up again and snapping at you with another claw. You attempt a roll to the side, only to have the other claw snatch you from the ground and hold you in the air.

"STOP SHOOTING ME!"

Trevor grabs hold of you with his other claw and quite literally rips you in two, and you can't say you enjoy the feeling very much. Still, you come back to life on the ground underneath him, without the chest injury this time, and you notice your in a position to hit something very sensitive. A swift kick straight up leaves Trevor almost sqeaking, and you chuckle a little to yourself as you get out from under him and get some distance. Second later, Trevor is hounding you again, refusing to give you a chance to do anything creative, although he seems especially wary of where your feet are. You reload your pistols, looking for another chance to hit the man hard, only to have Trevor seem to actually act smartly, keeping his head moving to create a difficult target and avoiding the roaring bit. You two continue your little dance around each other, both trying to avoid slipping on the ice, before the singing of a chainsaw stars up again and Trevor suddenly ducks backwards, avoiding Cass' chainsaw that was hurled at him from across the courtyard.

It quickly turns into a sort of Mexican standoff, although Cass seems like she's just taking the chance to ready her knives again.

>>>Input Command

Linda BP: 22

Cass BP: 5

Trevor BP: 3

>>
No. 525006 ID: c95833

And death 18. At least we chose that one- we can afford to burn BP right now, Cass can't. Dang her for manifesting her knives, though. That pulled her down another 2BP, and shaves our margins to complete this even narrower. Even with our bullet spam, her points are still dropping almost as fast as his. We gotta end this fast. If she hits 0 while he's still alive and/or conscious, I don't know how we keep her alive.

...hopefully 'readying her knives' doesn't mean manifesting them again.

No sure if we can end this without killing him. No way he yields, wolf-form is going to be extremely tough to knock out, he's probably strong enough to break out of a cartoon ice sealing (unless we hurt him a lot first), and if we faff around Cass dies.

All right. Options. Cass' chainsaw is in the wind. It's laying wherever it landed after that throw (or still flying?). That gives us a third angle of attack if and when we need it- use an active break to launch it back at him, or turn it around mid-air (that would be a great surprise to use right now, actually). If Twinda has any rifle rounds left, that's an emergency fourth angle of attack, too.

I'd swap one pistol for the ice gun. Throw some more bullets in his face, trip him up and kill him again if you can, and then empty a load of cartoon ice into him. I'm sure he can break free- but we just need him immobilized long enough to get the clean shot we need at his head, or for Cass to strike. His only chance at survival, I think, is if we can get Cass to use that opportunity to knock him out- hit him in the head, hard- instead of cutting him up.

Cass comes first, though. We'll try and spare Trevor from his brother's fate, but we won't risk Cass to do it. If all else fails, we can always use another bullet burst. We don't even need a good shot at his head- only 3 out of 30 need make it home.
>>
No. 525083 ID: 2f4b71

We've still got our icemaker, right? Freeze him to the spot. If we can force him to use a break just to move, and then hit him afterwards, then he's down to his final BP. Better do it fast, if Cass closes and keeps burning BP, she's also in danger of going down for good.

(Did we ever get those tubes back from Doc?)
>>
No. 525086 ID: c95833

>Did we ever get those tubes back from Doc?
Nope. They're still in the shop, being combined with the shotgun focus.

Arguably they might have worked in this battle, but they were kind of dangerous and unreliable as they were. Marc took them away from us, and it's only luck he or Amelia didn't think to use them against us. In theory, Trevor could have disarmed us just as easily, or he could have damaged or broken them when he killed us.
>>
No. 525115 ID: 6651ed

>>524991
Can't we just use BI to finish this asshole off?
>>
No. 525218 ID: 184dd1

You hiss in fustration. Why won't the bastard just stay dead? You manifest the freeze gun, holstering the pistol it's replacing, only to have Cass beat you to the punch, her knives digging into his face, dropping him another 1. His response to grab the woman by her own face and dig his claws into her in response, dropping her again. Then it's back against the wall with her. You fire off the freeze gun a second later, coating the wolf in the ice. You can see his movements visibly slowing, but he doesn't seem to mind overly much, choosing instead to grab at a nearby piece of rubble and hurl it at you. You start to duck out of the way, but the cement block clips you along the forehead, sending a burst of pain through you and screwing with your focus. By the time your back on your feet, ready to face his expected attack, you suddenly realize you're not who he's after.

Cass, having finally run out of juice in her frenzy, is being held suspended in the air like some sort of sick trophy, her body limp. You can just see her breathing, shallow and labored, as Trevor's claws slowly begin to squeeze her torse. He looks thrilled to finally, after all this time, kill the person who dared harm his brother. You start to bring your weapon's to bear, yet still, you know you aren't going to be able to make it-

Suddenly, as if some great being from on high is rewarding you for something, a man, a fellow breaker you only vaguely recognize, comes screaming out from behind cover, wielding what looks to be a red hot fire iron. The random comrade of yours leaps onto the wolf from behind, jamming his weapon into the beasts eye, forcing Trevor to drop Cass to the floor as he roars in pain and agony. The attack was obviously too shallow to kill, but it was enough. Cass is alive. The man is grabbed from on top of the wolf's back and hurled through a nearby window, disappearing from sight, although his number was still relatively high. He should be fine. Thanks to him though, Cass was saved, and perhaps an even better opportunity had presented itself.

Trevor had his mouth hanging open.

Eat it, you asshole.

Another 30 round get pumped into Trevor, perhaps a little overkill maybe, but you take no chances. That done, the bastard is finally brought down, and with him dead, you quickly move to check on Cass. She seems fine, if unconscious, and you have no doubt she'll likely have a nasty headache when she comes to. All that remains is cleanup, which your followers are achieving with ease. It seems without a leading force, this particular group is almost useless. Still, it takes another ten minutes to finally clear the place out, and your group quickly scatters as police sirens are heard in the distance. No one wants to hang around with D7 on the loose.

Your return to greeted by Elizabeth, who reports that the other groups also completed their tasks, and have captured two people of some importance. The first is Maria, who is being held in a room in the basement, under close guard, Chris among them. The second is someone Elizabeth feels... uncomfortable around. She doesn't seem to want to go into details regarding the matter, although you're certain if you pressed her you'd be able to get her to talk. You check up on Cass as well, who by now has woken up nursing a painful headache. When asked how she is, she waves away the issue, although after a moments consideration, she mumbles something about needing to talk to you once you were done with everything that needed to get handled.

The foci harvest from the assaults is also tallied and divided among the participants, and you receive your share with a little surprise. You find in your hands various foci, none looking all that unique or of interest. Still, the total amount, some 6 in total, really does surprise you. Although... you remember considering giving some to Elizabeth.

>>>Input Command

Experience Gained: 8?
>>
No. 525220 ID: 76b151

I'm kinda tempted to spend 6 get us Spirit 7 and give Elizabeth the remaining 2 xp to get her will up to 8.
>>
No. 525228 ID: acb7da

>>525220
This.

Don't press Elizabeth, she has her reasons. Go on down to see the captives.
>>
No. 525250 ID: c95833

>Trevor
Alas, poor wolf-boy. If things had gone differently, we might have been on your side. Kind of surprised he hit us again, though, getting past all that finesse and Evasion. Either we botched the dodge roll or he must have have been allowed to put his str roll towards his to-hit too.

>red hot iron guy poker saves Cass
...Jeeze, I just became a Mary Sue!

>XP
Give four to Elizabeth. I want her will up to 10, dangit. You want her to be strong, and safe (and if we plan on bringing her to the questioning of the prisoners, her will is about to come directly into play). Of the remaining 4 points:

-Save 1XP to tune the shotgun / antibreaking tubes when we get 'em back from the doc.
-2XP finesse (We missed shots and failed dodges versus a strength build, even with homing ammo and evasion).
-1XP alternate ammo ethereal bullets for the pistols. The next time we run into something weird bullets don't work on (Trevor's wolf focus, or the windy thing Guy ran into) I want Linda to be ready.

>What do
Check with Elizabeth that we're good for the moment, and that she doesn't see a counter-attacking coming.

Interrogations- obviously you want to be around, to ask questions. George is good too, for mind reading, and outright digging info out of people if we have to resort to that. Elizabeth, if she'll cooperate, would be a big help too- precog is just as useful as getting info out of someone as mind reading, and we might finally get to see a moment of awesome with fear itself.

But Geeze, Maria? You remember that fight. You're pretty amazed Chris took her down as neatly and decisively as she did.

We may not need to push Elizabeth if we can get the information we need out of the prisoner himself. But... the fixers wanted her. Specifically. Is he part of the reason why?
>>
No. 525278 ID: c95833

Oh, and because we're the leader now, we're making the the life and death decisions, and it behooves us to ask-

How did the fight go for our side? Any casualties?
>>
No. 525286 ID: 76b151

>>525250
>Wolf catching us
I have a feeling Wolf-Boy added an ability to his wolf-form that said 'make me as fast as I'm strong' so we were dealing with someone who probably had both higher strength and speed.

>XP
I'd agree if it wasn't so dificult for us to save up XP for spirit. We have a bad habit of spending everything once we get it. And upping spirit is pretty damn important. If we really need more XP we can go for more fixer bases outside the city this time. Or raid a D7 base for their cache of focii.

>Wat do
Sounds good.
>>
No. 525296 ID: c95833

>>525286
Yeah, I agree Trevor must have had an ability or upgrade acting like that.

Assuming we don't get significant new information from either Cass or the prisoners to follow up on, the next mission would probably be dealing with the fixer HQ, one way or another (can't leave it sitting there). D7 can wait.

We upgraded spirit the very last time we had XP (Which was a day or two ago in universe, or at the begging of this thread for us, which I'll admit, feels like a while ago due to the hiatus). And chances to upgrade spirit seem a lot more common than chances to improve our weaker allies. We've been getting bigger chunks of XP in recent battles, and it's not always transferable.

I think keeping Elizabeth competent and competitive is a lot more important than a new spirit ability for Linda.

But thinking about spirit abilities, though, if we go that way; if there's nothing new, and ignoring basic abilities, the choice would really be Forceful Break and Someone Else. Both potentially useful, I'll admit. FB is a nice edge and good insurance, but I think SE would be more valuable. It would allow emergency saves of allies (Cass wouldn't have needed a deus ex machina to survive Trevor if Linda could have saved her by stepping into her place in reality temporarily), and maybe offer the option of an infiltration mission (get the information we need out of Maria, and then become her to walk right into the fixer base) and probably unlock further options in the nonexistent tree later on.

...although I'm not sure if investing in nonexistence instead of trying to fight it is the right approach. Hopefully if we ever corrected it, we'd be allowed to reassign those spirit slots, at least. (I'd expect some of Cass' abilities to change too, if we ever help her find peace and real self-control).
>>
No. 525298 ID: 2f4b71

OK, we have our sitrep from Elizabeth. Tasks:
- Red-hot tire-iron guy: promote that man!
- Debrief Maria as to what (beyond REVENGE) she is doing here
- Clear schedule for 24/7 emergency Cass Hugs.
>>
No. 525350 ID: 184dd1

You decide against pushing Elizabeth for information right now. Maybe later, in a more personal setting, but you don't feel like causing her any worry. Besides, you have other things you could be doing. You tell Elizabeth to meet you down stairs in an hour, then head off to find the more leader type breakers in the groups, inquiring about a number of things. The first is the number of casualties. Of the some 30 in each group, some 4 died on average, and they have twice that with injuries that need to get looked at. Rodriguez is already handling the latter, while the former are already being prepared for a sort of burial service. You immediately decide to show up, although it won't be anything really grand or cerimonial.

Then it's on to other things. You head downstairs to the basement, grabbing a confused George as you do, and find Elizabeth already waiting patiently for you. In your experience, that means she probably just came down here earlier and sat down to wait, but you don't have the time to ponder it too much. First stop. Maria. Chris and two others are guarding the door, and the woman leads the way inside, bowing slightly to Maria as she let you in. Maria sort of head nods back, then her eyes fix on Elizabeth.

"Well, shit. Didn't expect you to just walk into the same room as me. Not that I can do much. Fuck. Who're you?"

"I'm Linda McCallahan... not that it'll matter in a few hours."

"What?"

"Ignore that. Anyway, let's have a chat."

"Sure. What do'you want to know?"

"Huh?"

"Confused? Yeah, look, I may hate breakers and the idea of breaking, but I'm not a complete asshole. Well, not unless I get a gun in my hand. Regardless, Chris over there beat me fair and square, and judging by how she's acting, you're this master she kept going on about. So what do you want to know?"

"Um... uh... honestly I thought this would be harder. Why are the fixers here?"

"Uh, there's breakers here? Duh. Why else would we be here? I mean, sure, D7 kinda sucks back at Central, fucking getting in the way of everything, but there's really no other reason. I'M here because she's here. The half blind girl."

"Which reminds me, why is she so important?"

"She's my daughter?"

... What?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525368 ID: c95833

Hah! Called it!

We gotta be very careful here. Elizabeth is very important to Linda, and we're very protective of her. Vengeful angel territory. Not to mention, this skirts dangerously close to Linda's injury (she's our adoptive child- the one we'd never have, otherwise). Together that puts us at serious risk of blowing up or breaking down.

Deep breath Linda. Keep your cool. Don't let it get to you. You know Elizabeth can't tell you everything, but dangit, you wish you'd known this going in.

>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.
Remember what Elizabeth said before, though. The third of the visions. If this is her, mother or no, she's not exactly looking for her for good reasons. Time to be hard.

>what say
...that's something else we have in common, then.

You mind telling me how she ended up in that orphanage then, without any record of her parents? Or why she's never saw fit to mention you, even with all she sees? Or what your intentions are for her?

Or who put that bullet through her head?
>>
No. 525488 ID: 533790

>>525350
I'd like to finally find out what the fixers even want. Currently they seem to be the same as breakers only they want to kill everyone not part of their group.
>>
No. 525490 ID: 184dd1

You feel it almost as soon as Maria's words register. THIS bitch is Elizabeth's mother? THIS BITCH? Fuck no. Just... fuck no. This is not how a mother treats their kid. This is not how this work-

You catch yourself doing something you hadn't done since you'd arrived in Sun City. You were idly rubbing at the scar across your abdomen. You quickly pull your hand away, but the break in your thought process helps to calm you down. A few deep breaths later, and you're back to some semblance of calm, although you still feel it bubbling underneath the surface. You really hope Maria doesn't say anything really offensive to you. You might just end up shooting her in the face.

"...that's something else we have in common, then."

"Hm? I don't get it."

"Nothing you need to worry about... Mind telling me how she ended up in that orphanage then, without any record of her parents? Or why she's never saw fit to mention you, even with all she sees? Or what your intentions are for her?

Or who put that bullet through her head?"

Maria laughs suddenly, giggling like a schoolgirl at prom. For a moment, that's all that fills the silence, and you contemplate punching her in the face to snap her out of it. She stops within a few seconds though, and quiets before refocusing.

"Heh. Can't blame you I guess. Guessing ages can be kinda difficult with all this breaking of reality. Elizabeth would be what, 16 now? 17 at most? I'm barely reaching 30. I had her when I was 13."

The news sends you reeling. You... what? Maria, however, doesn't seem to be bothered by it, pressing on with her answers as if she's talking about the weather.

"God, that was a crappy time in my life. I was an idiot then, too. Not that it really matters now. Still, Having Elizabeth was far from planned. Even worse when her father up and left when he found out about it. Can't really blame him though. As for the orphanage thing, my father suggested that. Leave her on the doorstep of a police station and vanish. Can only guess they were the ones who took her to the orphanage. All I left was the name. Elizabeth Baker. I can't really speak for the girl. What she tells and doesn't tell is up to her. Not like I can really claim to have any control over her. As for the bullet thing... I don't know. Don't care. Not my problem. I can here to end the poor girl, let her out of this fucked up existen-"

Before you can even remember reacting, you have Maria shoved into a wall and a pistol in her mouth. You're breathing heavily, anger clear on your face, and about the only reason you haven't ended her yet is Chris' hand on your shoulder.

"Master. Calm yourself."

You take ragged breaths before pulling the gun from your adversaries mouth and retreating back to the other side of the room. You didn't realize you were this protective... definitely need to do something about this. Regardless, you only have one more thing to ask anyway.

"What do the fixers want? Over all."

"To... to make this world, this universe, normal again. It was bad enough with normal people populating it, it doesn't need people who can completely ignore the rules of reality."

You take that in, then leave, ignoring the woman as best you can. You don't want to make a decision as to her fate right now. You doubt you'd make an unbiased one. After cooling off outside for a little bit, you notice Elizabeth standing next to you. You take a deep breath, then turn to the girl, offering her a strained smile.

"Heh. I can't be a very good mother either, it seems."

"Done more than her."

"... Maybe."

To your surprise, it's Elizabeth who initiates the hug, wrapping her arms around your waist and calmly holding you. You hug her back, tentatively, and you both stay like that for a few minutes, just holding each other. Then Elizabeth pulls away, going back to being spacey. Almost.

"Elizabeth Baker is not my name."

"Hm? Isn't it?"

"No. Adopted. Elizabeth McCallahan. Says on paper. You are my mother. Will always be."

Elizabeth disappears back upstairs, while you stare after her dumbly. Some part of you can't help but melt at that, and you stumble over to a wall and collapse against it, feeling tears already sliding down your face.

Mother.

You're a... Mother.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525500 ID: c95833

Goddamn that was heart-wrenching. And way to fucking go, Elizabeth.

>You didn't realize you were this protective... definitely need to do something about this.
You found your weak spot. You reacted the way Marc did when someone pushed on the doll- or the way Cass does when someone pushes her. You'll protect her... but you can't let yourself lose control. You know how dangerous that is.

>to make this world, this universe, normal again
Critically, we're still missing important information. Namely- we don't know that the universe ever was normal to begin with, or if there have been breakers in the background throughout all of history (if the fixers have proof one way or the other, that would be nice). We also don't know if the fixers have a viable plan that will actually do this. They can kill breakers all day long, but if they don't have a way to stop new ones from appearing, it will never end.

(Not that you're going in there again to face... that... again and ask right now. Let someone else ask the follow up questions, and pump her for information about what's left of the fixer forces here).

Whatever their plans, it doesn't involve 'curing' or normalizing existing breakers. Maria really believes it's better putting her- your- daughter down (she's lost the right to call her that). If that way of thinking extends to themselves... then the fixer endgame is a suicide run. That only makes them more dangerous.

Maybe they're right. Would the world be better off without breakers? You don't know. Breaking is certainly dangerous, but you don't know if that makes it wrong. Doesn't help that all that power ends up in the hands of some very messed up people. But their way of thinking isn't any better than D7's. These fucked up people don't deserve to be killed off, dehumanized, or locked in cages. They deserve a chance, damnit, and help. To be treated as people.

...screw saving the universe. You don't want any part of a universe that casts aside its children to survive. *laugh* Not that you are anymore, come to think of it. (Nonexistent joke).

>what do
Take a few minutes to let the tears run dry, compose yourself, and calm down. Leave orders for someone else to see if they can get any other useful information out of her- you're too close to get back in there.

If you're up to it, we move on to the next prisoner. See what he knows, and why he makes Elizabeth nervous. How's he fit into this fix the world scheme?
>>
No. 525570 ID: c6f6d1

That was sweet.

-regardless, I need to bring something up. The fixers are deeply and critically wrong in their entire philosophy. Reality is not a question of consent. If all the breakers were dead, that wouldn't make reality "okay" again, it wouldn't make it impossible for breakers to exist - it'd just look that way. Whatever the laws of our reality look like, at the bottom, they have to necessarily allow for breakers, and in fact the existence of breakers offers us a view on what reality is _actually_ like. Killing all the breakers won't make that true, underlying reality work one single iota differently; it's the philosophical equivalent of sticking your head in the sand. Organized denial.
>>
No. 525579 ID: af8414

Let's take a break before the next prisoner. That's an emotional bombshell that just got dropped on you [in a good way] and you don't want to interrogate a prisoner when you're off-balance.

Maybe check in with some of your rank and file you haven't seen for a while? After all, this "not existing" thing means you're gonna have to work a bit harder to keep your own people aware that you exist...
>>
No. 525580 ID: c95833

>>525570
You're overlooking what breaking is, though. For all intents and purposes, it's altering reality to suit your will. From what we know, in theory, there's no reason someone powerful enough, or a group of people powerful enough, couldn't alter reality in such a way to lock out further changes. Using the exploit to deny further access to the exploit, as it were. It might be possible. Logically, killing off other breakers is just a stopgap measure to limit the damage in the meantime, or a step in getting strong enough for their endgame.

I mean, if we look at reality as Elizabeth seems it- everything is strings, and physical interactions between those strings. Except for breaking- which shows up as action at a distance- affecting a string remotely. To disallow breaking, all the fixers would have to do is set something up something self sustaining that blocks that action at a distance.

...of course, most breaking is changing reality in small ways. Saying that something that does not exist now does, changing the qualities or position of something that does exist, ect. Breaking time even just a few hours back actually ran the risk of destroying reality. Breaking reality so as to change to change fundamental base code or laws... probably even more dangerous.
>>
No. 525593 ID: 01531c

To 'fix' is to maintain, to "repair to status quo".
Their mission should only be to police the continuity of reality.

Continuity is what defines reality as opposed to a dream.
>>
No. 525599 ID: c95833

>>525593
Well, you can't expect their mission statement to line up perfectly with the name we gave them. :V
>>
No. 525652 ID: b757c6

>>525580
No what I mean is, we once thought that reality didn't allow superpowers that, essentially, amount to magic. But now that we know better, it has to be the case that reality _always_ allowed for Breakers; or rather, whatever allows Breakers to exist _is_ reality. If "reality" was changed to allow Breakers, then whatever system governs how "reality" can be changed _is_ reality. What the Fixers are trying to do is like saying "we once thought heavier-than-air flight was impossible, so now if we destroy all planes we can go back to that time." But heavier-than-air flight was always possible, we just didn't know about it. It's quixotic. Likewise, locking out all further Breaks doesn't "save" reality, it's a deliberate choice to constrain our reality to an impoverished subset of what it, evidently, could be.
>>
No. 525682 ID: 184dd1

You allow yourself some time to calm down, then pull yourself completely together before pulling yourself to your feet and wiping the tears from your face as best you can. You have no doubt you probably still look pretty bad, but you still have things to do today. Not least among them is this other prisoner you have. George comes out of Maria's room and moves up to you, looking concerned.

"Um... are you alright?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. Let's go talk to this other one."

You lead the way into the room, and fine the boy sitting against a corner, staring at the door without comment. Reminds you a little of Elizabeth, if only just. Unlike Elizabeth, who seems spacey all the time, completely uninterested in what happens around her, this boy seems almost too attentive, noting everything going on. His eyes snap to you momentarily, then he's once again staring at the door.

You grab a chair and sit down a little ways away from the boy, expecting this to go a little better than it did with Maria. You start by trying to talk as if you're talking with Elizabeth, hoping the softer, gentler tone will work better in getting him to open up. Almost as an afterthought, you check him, and find his BP to be at 5. Oddly weak.

"Hey. Mind if I ask your name?"

"Name. Voices. A woman. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Tanned skin. First sight. First sounds. Later, would find out is mother. Much later. Jacob, she says. My beautiful baby Jacob."

You blink. The boy had hardly moved his gaze, but you could see it in his eyes. They had glazed over, almost like he was remembering something.

"Um. Okay, Jacob. I have some questions. About what you were doing with the fixers."

"A man. Tall, no hair. Dark skin. Hates himself. Hates me. Hates everyone. Has questions also. About things."

Suddenly, the boy's voice changes to match someone else. A much deeper voice, a much angrier voice.

"There was someone who took the future sight girl! I know there was! Who was she? Who!?"

"I answered. Linda. McCallahan. 23. Long hair, brown. Brown eyes. Beautiful, by most standards. Weapon type. Gun use specifically. Powerful. Can change things. Many things. Funny. Others don't remember. Very odd. Has many allies. Face with caution."

You stare at the boy. He... knows you? How could he... you're nonexistent, right? How could he...?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525684 ID: 76b151

Ask him how he Sees things. We know Elizabeth sees strands.
>>
No. 525699 ID: c95833

...it's not just Maria's personal vendetta, then. Another leader among the fixers knows what Elizabeth can do, and wants her sight.

And hating himself, the boy, and everything is worryingly consistent with the picture of the fixer mindset we got from Maria. It's not about repair. It's a self destructive purge.

>you're nonexistent, right? How could he...?
Elizabeth sees reality, and since you stopped existing, you disappeared from her sight. But you know there's more than that. You don't exist, but you are. And you've met two beings from outside reality. From that vantage point... he'd see you.

I'm guessing he's either another outsider (like the man in the room, or the angel), or he's just someone with their perspective.

>What ask
...how come you don't forget her, though? She doesn't exist.

And more critically: What other things did you tell them? ...did you give them a way to fix things?
>>
No. 525708 ID: 184dd1

"You... you're seeing things, right?"

"No."

The boy's voice had returned to normal, but he wasn't saying anything more. Maybe he needed to be prodded a little bit...

"If you're not seeing things, then what are you doing?"

"Remembering."

"What?"

"Ah... um. I can explain that." George cuts into the conversation, looking a little exasperated. "It's called eidetic memory. More commonly photographic memory. It's actually something thought impossible, as most scientific studies into it find the results... skeptical at best."

"So... what? He can recall his memories perfectly?"

"Hypothetically. You'd have to run tests to be sure, but if he does have it, he'd be the first I've ever seen. Almost like reality broke around him, no?"

You turn your attention back to the boy, who has remained largely silent the entire time. That still doesn't explain how he can remember you, since you don't exist...

"Everyone else seems to have forgotten me. Why haven't you?"

"Memories are mine. I do not allow them to be taken."

"O... k... Did... uh... what did you tell the fixers? Anything else about Elizabeth or maybe about 'fixing' reality?"

"Cannot give an answer to fixing reality. Do not recall a method ever being given. Elizabeth... black man asked-"

The boys voice begins flipping, between various voices as he seems to have a conversation with himself.

"You say she's in Sun City?"

"D7 databanks. Printed on known location. Doubtful of trickery."

"Haha! Maria, you better make sure you get her for us, you understand? We'll kill her when it's our time to go as well."

"Understood. I'll be taking Trevor with me, if you don't mind."

"Not at all. Get going, alright?"

The sound of a door closing is heard, a surprisingly accurate sound, considering it came from the boys mouth.

"Now then... you tell me all you know about this Linda McCallahan."

"Have already given all known information. D7 had no records."

"I see..."

The boy stops talking, going back to catching everything perfectly. He seems to be constantly paying attention for that express purpose, even more so to you, now that he seems to have realized who he's talking to specifically. Information on you must be hard to come by, given who you are.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525710 ID: c95833

That confirms it then. The fixers are definitely on a suicide mission. Which makes them all the more dangerous- as they have nothing to lose. It absolves us from some of our guilt over stopping them, though.

>Perfect memory, D7 records
...now that might be useful.

You remember D7 records? Do you remember anything about a subject 23? Or about where they're getting raw reality? Or where the Unmaker rounds, or the weapon that fires them is? (Don't ask about McCarthy. We don't want the demon's attention on us).

>focused on you
...you know what the fixers goals are. And that they were using you for information. That I'm using you for information. What is it you're after, though? What is it you want?
>>
No. 525729 ID: 184dd1

"You remember D7 records? Do you remember anything about a subject 23? Or about where they're getting raw reality? Or where the Unmaker rounds, or the weapon that fires them is?"

"A screen. Glows with electronic light. Numbers flash across its surface. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. Original Name, Makoto Muramasa. Female. Two parents, Jin Muramasa and Sakura Muramasa. Two siblings, Junichi and Rise. Genius in her families traditional sword style, an unnamed form of swordsmanship that follows the basic teachings of Itto-Ryu. Currently assigned to Special Agent James McCarthy. Correction. Captured by enemy breaker gang. Status: unknown. Correction. Status: Traitor. Orders: Recover upon contact. Correction. Orders: Terminate."

Jacob suddenly goes into a very long, very detailed description of health records, training records and various details about her development, but you quickly stop him, not wanting to sit all day listening to him speak. Instead, you tell him to move on to your next question, and it takes a minute for him to apparently shift gears into something else.

"Raw reality. Development. Classified. Unmaker Rounds. Development. Classified. Unmaker Rounds. Deployment. Classified."

The room goes silent, and you contemplate everything you have learned for a second before turning to one last issue before letting the boy get some rest.

"...you know what the fixers goals are. And that they were using you for information. That I'm using you for information. What is it you're after, though? What is it you want?"

"To know. To remember. Everything."

You nod a little to yourself, then exit the room, George behind you. You sigh a little. All that, and you can't really see why Elizabeth would so loathe to be near him. Maybe she just doesn't like him. You frown a little, still unsure, when George taps you on the shoulder.

"So, uh... not that I really know who you are, or why you're interrogating everybody, but... you want I should dig around in their heads a little?"

... Damn. You'd forgotten people would be forgetting you.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525731 ID: 010ba9

I feel like the Doctor might want to take a look at this kid.
I mean, he can resist Reality trying to tell him that you're nonexistant. That's fairly impressive! I wonder if the Doctor can find out anything about how he does that, and maybe learn more about how Breakers are different from Normals...
As for George? I kinda wanna say yes to Maria rooting, but IDK really what that'd give us...
>>
No. 525733 ID: c95833

>Chris
...well we know her real name, at least. Pass that and the information on her family along to Twinda, and see what she can look up on her (later once we're up to full BP again, we need to dismiss and remanifest Twinda with full gear. She's down to just the pistols, right now).

Terminate means they aren't looking for a way to flip the loyalty switch back, at least. Not that her death would be much better, but we know how to fight that easier.

We'll talk to Chris later. She says she isn't interested, but she has a right to know. Her call what name she wants to use.

>To know. To remember. Everything.
>you can't really see why Elizabeth would so loathe to be near him
...I might. Elizabeth can see, well, almost anything, right? But she can only think about or process so much of it at a time. She still has to look at things, as it were. Constrained omniscience.

So what do you think would happen if her sight we to be combined with his recall? If she showed him what she sees, the way she did for you. For one moment he would perceive everything... and without any of her constraints. That would be actual omniscience. I have no idea what that would do to a person. Could the human mind even handle that? Would it kill the boy or drive him to insanity? Would it make him a god? It seems dangerous, both in general, and to the child.

...whatever it would do, he wants it. And Elizabeth knows. Hence the discomfort.

>George
Sorry George, I'm broken in the opposite way he is. He remembers- I get forgotten. Don't worry about it.

I don't think you need to dig around in the boy. He seems perfectly willing to recite anything he knows. And... it might be dangerous ducking inside a head like his. Feel free to try and get what useful information you can out of the two of them. If she stops cooperating, yes, dig around a little. But leave her intact. (You still don't feel like you're in a position to decide her fate).

>>525731
The Doc might be interested, yes, but he's a tad busy right now. We left him with like 3 projects and it hasn't even been a day yet. We'll discuss Jacob with him when next we visit.

>What do
It's getting late, and you're emotionally wearing out, here. I think it's time to wrap things up.

If Elizabeth is around, you could ask her a simple question to confirm your suspicions about why Jacob makes her uncomfortable. He wants to see it, doesn't he? How she does? Everything.

If she isn't, no reason to push it. Let's find Cass.
>>
No. 525766 ID: 184dd1

"Sorry George, I'm broken in the opposite way he is. He remembers- I get forgotten. Don't worry about it.

"I don't think you need to dig around in the boy. He seems perfectly willing to recite anything he knows. And... it might be dangerous ducking inside a head like his. Feel free to try and get what useful information you can out of the two of them. If she stops cooperating, yes, dig around a little. But leave her intact."

George nods his understanding, then disappears again. You take a moment to collect yourself, finding all the emotional baggage you're starting to carry around weighing on you a little bit, before you head back upstairs to the main area, spotting clumps of people around. It's barely getting to the point where the sun is starting to set, yet you already feel so tired. You really should try to get some sleep. Regardless, you have one more stop on your list before turning in for what is hopefully a very long sleep.

As you search for your friend, you send Twinda a message via your connection, telling her to look into someone named Makoto Muramasa. You don't hope for much, but it's something, and maybe there'll be something floating around the internet somewhere. Eventually, you find who you were looking for, Cass is seated by herself, or rather, she looks like she wants to be by herself, but is getting practically fan-girled over by a few other breakers. The minute she spots you however, she says something likely sharp and scathing, and all her fans seem to lock up before scurrying away in confusion.

"Hey, Cass. You said you wanted to see me?"

"Yeah... this... is gonna get a little... touchy. You alright with that?"

"I told you. No matter what, I'm always here for you."

"That's... good to hear. You remember the scouts reporting something about Havers?"

"Yeah, some town up north. Why? It important?"

"To me it is... It's home. Where... yeah."

"Ah..."

Silence for a long moment, and you find yourself trying to work out what to say without making yourself seem likely a pushy bitch, or worse, unconcerned about the entire issue altogether. Thankfully, Cass speaks up before the pause in conversation gets too awkward.

"So... I was thinking... it's home and all. And... I figured, since the group wasn't that big up there, apparently... I wanted... to... uh... check it out... on my own... or something... I feel like... it's important... to me... And, well... I was... uh... kinda hoping you'd... um... you'd... come along... uh... damn it... this is harder than I thought..."

Cass is looking a little awkward, trying to convey her feeling on the matter, something she clearly isn't completely used to. Regardless, she seems rather serious about it. Probably a chance to rid herself of some old ghosts, you suppose. You'd relish the chance to help her deal with whatever it is she needs to face. At the same time though, this place kinda needs you, doesn't it? You can't just leave this place alone...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525776 ID: b18a7a

Hrm...On the one hand, Cass, one of our closest friends...On the other hand...If we leave, we might be forgotten by everyone here, and loose our leadership status...Then again, that's kinda already fading out a bit as it is isn't it?
I kinda think we should leave, and let the whole 'forgotten' thing come to the full. It's going to be a pity to lose being in charge but...At the same time, it was only a matter of time. We might have to settle for leaving Chris- Makoto! Elizabeth, and and anyone else who remembers us in charge here in our stead.
On the flipside...We COULD let Cass go alone, but I see that as all to likely to end up with reuniting with her as Number 24, instead, which could be deveastating. I don't see that ending without massive loss of life for all involved.
>>
No. 525779 ID: c95833

>Cass, fan-girled over
Pff. That brings a smile to your face.

>Go or not to go?
Part of me wants to push on against the fixers, but the group probably needs a day to regroup, recharge (anyone without break generation and spent 20 BP or more...), and get used to any new powers and foci they've picked up. And maybe gather more intel and process what we've learned- the fixers won't necessarily stand still. Besides, if I remember the timeline right, Sonia's mercenaries are going to be showing up either tomorrow or the next day, and we'll need the time to integrate them before another big event.

And besides, this is Cass. She needs you- you can't let her go alone. And you've got a lot of capable friends you trust. They can keep this place and each other safe for a day. And it's not as if half the people here can even remember you. We'll go with her. It'll be like old times, right? Just you and me, before we got a whole team, and then stuck running the place.

Tomorrow, I think we'd want to check in with the doc before leaving (just to see if he's got anything for us yet, and to keep him from forgetting. Although, he's strong- with 100BP you'd think he's got more of a margin than certain other people), and maybe check to see if Elizabeth sees anything new on the horizon. Maybe say hi to the mercs that's the day they show. (Still wondering if we'll have to say something else to Mike. Not sure that's going to go well. Did anyone ever explain Marc's double game to him? That he pitted mercenaries against his own people, and that fight only happened because of it?).
>>
No. 525791 ID: c95833

>>525776
No matter how much of the rank and file forgets us (which is unavoidable, and already happening) we're still in charge. Everyone else sees our lieutenants as running the place, and they still follow us. I mean, heck, they accepted Elizabeth as our front-girl while we were unconscious!

It's a weird inversion on the play where a faction's lieutenants make up a figurehead leader. We're not an empty suit or armor- we're the real leader, in an invisibility cloak.

>Twinda!
Oh... and I just realized we can sort of be in two places at once. We just upped spirit again- if we leave Twinda behind on research duty, we can probably switch perspectives to her if anyone really needs our insight. Or at least use her as a communication relay if we still can't swap.

...actually, having her move throughout the base while we're gone might be a good experiment. Can she reinforce our memory on people when we're not around?
>>
No. 525835 ID: 184dd1

Spirit Ability Chosen
Someone Else Acquired
??? Acquired


"Cass. Of course I'll go with you. You ARE my best friend, after all."

"Oh... uh... yeah, of course. Um... you know Havers is like... a week away, right? Maybe a week and a half, if we take it slow, but I doubt we'll be doing that."

You blink in surprise. A week? That's a little longer than you expected. Still, you don't have any intention of backing out now. Twinda is here as well, she can inform you of anything crazy going on. And the others will be here. No problems there at all. Still, a week...

"The Angel should go. Will be... better. Or worse."

Elizabeth surprises the hell out of both you and Cass, but you soon calm down. You smile at the girl, letting a bit of your own quickly growing maternal instinct to take over a bit, and you hug the girl almost on reflex, the mother thing still fresh in your mind.

"Hey, Elizabeth. Hate to ask this of you, but..."

"Something will change. Someone will come. New, and yet not. When, I cannot say. The ones who fix... not active. Most bases in west, gone. Eastern branches in war with the slayers. Busy. Not going to come here. We can work on returning life to... normalcy. The Angel not needed, will make things... not normal."

You flinch a little, but you know she's right. Weird seems to follow you like a plague. Regardless, you agree to meet up with Cass just after breakfast, then head off too get to bed early. You have things to do early in the morning, after all...

------------------------

Waking proves difficult, if only because you felt so tired yesterday. As you finally get up and get moving, you feel something... different, about yourself. Almost but not quite... something. As you place your foci bag around your neck again, you feel something akin to a heartbeat pulse from inside the bag, but upon inspection, nothing seems changed about the foci within at all. Huh... odd. The same happens when you placed Cally's foci around your neck, the glowstick like object pulsing like a heartbeat before going dormant again. Your frown in confusion, but suddenly notice the time and push thoughts about the occurrence from your mind. You have things to do.

First of which is to visit the Doc. His lab is already a cluttered mess, but he already seems to be awake, and he's busy messing with what looks like your mech. You find yourself smiling involuntarily at the sight of the thing, even half taken apart, but the Doc glances over his shoulder and interrupts your happy thoughts entirely too early.

"Ah! Hello, Linda. I was wondering when you'd come around. I was starting to lose thoughts about you. I think I've found a way to mitigate that somewhat, actually. Foci tuned to you seem to bear your... presence, I suppose, and seems to reinforce immunity too it. Elizabeth was actually the one who pointed it out. Smart girl, if a bit out of her mind. Wonder if she'd consider a path in meta-physics. Bah, pointless, she'd already know all the answers. Regardless, I have a little gift for you."

The Doc pulls out a double barreled shotgun, the tubes mounted in place of barrels looking significantly slimmer and shorter than previous.

"I managed to lighten up the tubes a bit, and merge them with the shotgun foci you gave me. It works as well, I've tested it. A few issues, however. The range is reduced heavily, you'll have to get into close combat for them to be effective at all, perhaps withing five, ten feet at most. Also, the tubes seem to use... ah... shells. I suppose. Meaning after you fire, you'll have to reload them, as this particular configuration has them working like a double barreled shotgun. Hm. An issue, but I've found no way to correct them myself. Ah! But they otherwise function exactly the same. Fire one tube with this trigger here, causing breakers to become disrupted. Fire this other one with this one here, and you should be able to absorb break energy from a disrupted target. Ah! I've almost forgotten! I'll need to keep your watch with me! I've been experimenting, and I think I can tune the mech to your watch, allowing it to become something like an upgrade to the watch. I think. Maybe... I might need to check with Elizabeth first. Ah, regardless, here you go. And I'll just take that. Have fun on your trip!"

You suddenly find yourself booted from the office, a small capsule foci in your hands and your wrist watch suit thing confiscated. Huh. Hopefully everything goes well. Well... to move on to the next thing you suppose. You head upstairs, where a number of your closer allies have gathered. Nicole gives a simple see ya, while Elizabeth hugs you before departing to go downstairs and see the Doc, saying something about needing to help. It's Chris you actually intend to talk to the most, however, wanting to report what you've found to her. After taking her to a convenient corner, you report everything you discovered from Jacob, and once you're done watch as Chris goes silent. For a long time, there's no response then Chris simply shrugs.

"I have to think. Am not this Makoto however. She was before. Now I am Chris. Such is the way of things."

She nods to herself in finality, then wishes you well on your journey and says she'll keep the place safe for you. You smile at the woman, then head off, grabbing a quick breakfast before leaving instructions for the lietenants staying here to do what they can and to talk to Twinda if they need to get into contact with you badly. Then it's time to meet Cass out front, who's tapping on the car roof impatiently, her nervousness from yesterday gone in her zeal to get there and be done with it.

"You ready? Got everything you need? Done everything you have to? It'll be two weeks before we get back, you know. At least."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525837 ID: 76b151

hmmm, leave our Twinda focus with Elizabeth. We aren't going to use it while out and it'll be a good reminder.

Otherwise lets head on out with Cass.

Oh as an experiment try to use Someone Else in conjuntion with a focus we looted. Who knows we might be able to become that Breaker for a while.
>>
No. 525843 ID: c95833

>leave watch with Doc
All right, mech upgrading capacity! And good that the focus will keep him forgetting. He's one we can't afford to lose.

>check on anything before we're gone for two weeks
Hmm. I might want to check in with Michelle before we leave. Make sure she's adjusting to having two demons okay. Make sure she knows she can turn to others if she's feeling overwhelmed- she's got Elizabeth, and she can reach you through Twinda if she needs to. (We've seen too many avatar users crack to just leave that hanging).

Not that you'd ever take Moth away from her or anything, but maybe there's ways the rest of us could help if she needs it. She doesn't need to be alone or overwhelemed.

We should really test if the Twinda perspective-swapping works. Which I think is a reason we'd need to hold onto the focus rather than leaving it with Elizabeth. (I think she and the other lieutenants are immune to short-term degradation anyways. And if they check in with Twinda, or the watch, they should be fine).

...might want to check in with Mike again too. I don't want there to be a problem between him and the mercs, and I think he's blaming Sonia for things that were very much Marc's fault. We never made that clear.

>Oh as an experiment try to use Someone Else in conjuntion with a focus we looted.
Back when we first discussed the ability in the dis thread, Dreamer made it pretty clear that becoming someone else doesn't give us access to their foci.
>>
No. 525846 ID: 76b151

I'm just wondering about the heartbeat thing we felt. Maybe we can become dead Breakers.
>>
No. 525848 ID: c95833

>>525846
Oh! That's an interesting idea. We'll have to experiment with that, later. Testing someone else will give Cass and Linda something to do at the hotel, at least.

I had assumed the heartbeat had something to do with Raphael. That he's waking back up, or breaking again, or something along those lines. Someone new, and yet not new.
>>
No. 525862 ID: 184dd1

"Uh... hold on. Two more things. I swear, I'll be right back!"

You take off again as you hear Cass loudly huff in mock annoyance behind you. You smile a little to yourself, happy that Cass is trying to get better, or at least face her own personal demons. Still, you quickly hunt down both Michelle and Mike, checking on them. Mike seems to have disappeared, although it's apparently not permanent, as he seems to have taken quite a few breakers under his wing, mostly of the espionage and sneaking variety. They tell you he went to... uh... well... "get it on" with one of his more... perverted... charges. You decide against asking anything further. Michelle however, seems to appreciate your concern, although Behemoth seems to have settled itself into her mind rather well, as it's foci seems to be a cuddly looking doll of a demonic beast sent to walk across the earth scouring all life from existence. You know. Normal demon stuff. Both of these things done, you decide it's time to head out, and hours later, you're traveling along the highway headed north, into the ever colder climates of Northern UNA territory. Cass doesn't say much, and you don't really have much to talk about either, at least not on the first day. As you hit the first hotel, conversation starts up again, although from Cass' side it's mostly just bitching about getting fan girls(quite literally, in some cases), while you spend a great deal of time teasing her about it. The next few days continue in the same fashion, with the addition of you experimenting with your new found ability to assume other identities, even seeing if maybe you can use a foci to do the same, but to no changes. Still, every morning, when you wake up, there's that heartbeat like pulse that comes from your foci bad and Cally's glowstick. As you start to draw ever closer to Havers, Cass gets more and more quiet. The last day of travel, Cass says nothing at all, refusing to comment on anything, no matter how much you poke and prod. You eventually decide it would be best to keep quiet, and the silence that follows can only be described as tense.

Eventually, you arrive, just as noon hits, and you get a look at Cass' place of birth. It's fairly small, the sign outside the town saying in worn letters that the population is a mere 5,000 people. Looking at the town itself, it seems to be in shambles, and there almost no signs of life at all. Cass leads the way down into the city, and you follow along silently, letting her go where she needs to. As you walk through the deserted streets, Cass starts listing off places, as if trying to distract herself from her final destination.

"... There's the grocer. Used to be a nice place. Always used to go there just to hang out. Whatever kept me away from home longer... Barber shop there, liked the old lady that owned the place. Real nice. Fixed up my hair for me for free all the time. I think she knew what was going on, but couldn't really say anything without proof, you know? Maybe the free hair thing was penance or something. That's the school. Had all the grades in the same place. Funny. Not too many kids there back then. Only three people in my grade, even. Kinda scared me when they sent me to that foster home, being around so many kids my age..."

Cass grows silent again as you make your way into a more suburban area. The silence seems oppressive, even more so than the big cities constant noise, which you are more used to. Still, you trudge on, and eventually Cass pauses in front of one of a dozen cookie cutter houses, exactly the same as its neighboring houses, except for the slightly different shade of blue. You can see Cass shaking almost imperceptibly, fighting with something inside of herself.

"I... I can't do this... I can't... do this... I CAN'T... DO... THIS... Oh god, I can't do this..."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525863 ID: 76b151

You can do anything Cass. I believe in you.

Hug her.
>>
No. 525870 ID: c95833

>Mike's training sneaky breakers
That is a fantastic idea. We need sneaks and spies. Good on him for taking the initiative.
>...and getting some
*Pff* I wholeheartedly approve. Doublegood on him. Glad snakeboy found someone who likes him the way he is. You wouldn't hit that, but hey.

>pulse from the foci bag and glowstick
Huh. So we can't become dead people, but there's something there. Maybe that power the angel offered to tell you about, the one we turned down to save Raphael. Tapping into the power of others maybe? We don't know enough about what your angel thing means to interpret it.

...I hope it's not making raw reality. You're not about to resort to that, even if she said you could do it.

Something to ask Elizabeth about maybe, when we get home.

>Cass
Hand on her shoulder. You can damn well do anything now Cass, and I'm behind you.
>>
No. 525890 ID: 184dd1
File 137436176267.jpg - (52.72KB , 333x500 , 51qWCyK4XLL.jpg )
525890

"You're alright Cass. You can do anything, I believe in you."

You put your hand on Cass' shoulder, and the woman turns slightly to face you, staring back at you. You offer an encouraging smile in return, and Cass manages to smile weakly before turning back around. Her shaking has stopped however, and Cass leads the way into the building. Upon entering the place, you can see it's been neglected a long time. Cass glances around the room looking somewhat disgusted, and shudders slightly before moving on, glancing around this way and that as if searching for something. Eventually, she arrives in the kitchen, and you can see her freeze up and her eyes fall on a rather large bloodstain on the floor. Judging from the story she'd told, you can guess who that came from. Cass bends down and brushes her fingers across the dried blood, looking almost... aroused... before both of you jump in surprise as something in the living room suddenly turns on. You turn to glance back over your shoulder, but Cass brushes past you before you get much farther than that, and when you follow, you find her crouched in front of the television, the thing clearly not hooked up to anything but still functioning. For a moment, there's nothing, then static and a picture sharpens into view.

"Ah! Hello! Glad to see you made it. Wonderful place, wouldn't you agree, Miss Geld. Simply a wonderful place. A little run down, I grant you, could use a little cleaning up, but... well... you know how it goes. Ah! You have Miss McCallahan with you. I figured you would. You two are almost inseperable. If it weren't for the fact that Miss Geld seems to only get off on killing people, I'd suspect you two were... oh, what's the term... rolling in the hay? Archaic. Ah! I know. FUCKING!"

McCarthy.

The fucking bastard McCarthy.

"Haha! Ah, I'm sure the looks on your faces are just priceless. Well, mostely priceless. If only I could see it. Sadly, this is only a recording. Still, I think the few tens of thousands of dollars I spent on this whole charade were well worth the price. Speaking of prices, how do you like my new look? Ah, the forties. Love the era. Gangsters, mob bosses, backstabbings, betrayals, family stabbing family, oh the glory days of the UNA. But I digress. We are here about Miss Geld, aren't we. Poor, poor, Miss Geld. Truly, a terrible story. Raped by her own step-father. Step-mother, ignoring the entire thing. So much pain for sooooooo many years."

You can practically feel the sarcasm oozing out of the tv screen. Regardless, that smug face tells you this isn't something you can ignore. Definitely not something you'd choose to ignore anyway. Bastard was playing on Cass' trauma.

"Ah! But you know what? I feel like it's time for a little family reunion. You see, yes, you killed your family in a horribly brutal and bloody way. Good work, by the way, Miss Geld. Saw the crime scene myself, and oooooh. The exquisite use of the knife in all it's primal glory. Truly a sight to behold. But... But you did miss one important fact. One of your little brother's didn't... quite... die. Funny little thing, that. Wouldn't matter much really, if you hadn't traumatized him for life. And, wouldn't you know it? He broke to! Just like that!"

A creak is heard from upstairs, but Cass remains locked onto the tv, clearly not believing what the bastard is saying. You draw your pistols in contemplation, eyeing the ceiling suspiciously. This... whatever is going on can't be good.

"And he was ever so eager to meet you Miss Geld. Ever so eager. You see... I think he ended up very much like someone you know and love... But it seems I've overstayed my welcome. Do try not to die. I'd hate to have all this effort at your reunion go to waste. Maybe you can... oh, I don't know. Act out some old family traditions.

"I hear assault is all the rage in yours."

The tv cuts out, and Cass screams before hurling the damn thing out the window in rage. Another bump comes from the cieling, and a voice you can only describe as some strange mix between lust and evil come floating down from upstairs.

"Cassandra~ You're HOME~"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525895 ID: 76b151

Break x-ray glasses onto your face and shoot him with the rifle.
>>
No. 525898 ID: c95833

Geeze, we can't go anywhere without a fight.

>FUCKING
...hey, not that you would have had a problem taking her to bed at one point, but you figured out pretty fast she needed a friend more than a lover. Turns out you did too, actually. And uh, you're pretty sure Cass doesn't swing that way. If she swings any way, at this point.

So yeah, not an insult that really bothers you. The fact that he's here, and we've got a crazed murder sibling? That matters, though.

>noise, above you.
Glasses to face. Get a look at what we're dealing with before responding. Form type? Weapon? Number?

Don't go for the rifle yet, as there's probably a good chance he's going to come crashing down in a second, and that puts you at a disadvantage in close combat.

Cass, keep your cool as long as you can. I can't have you burning out on me- we don't know what we're dealing with here.

Although, remember that we now have someone else as an option. If things get really bad for Cass- you become her. She disappears, safe until you bring her back.
>>
No. 525911 ID: 184dd1

You pull out your glasses and slide them onto your face, eyes already angled upward. What you see confuses you more than answering any questions. The entire upper floor is covered in shadows. Inky, black shadows that you can't seem to pierce through. Where the stairs come down, however, you can see some of the black shit starting to seep downward, like water, quickly starting to come towards you. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. This is not good. Not good at all. You don't think being in here is the best place to be.

"Cass. We have to move."

You turn to your friend, only to find her huddled on the floor, curled into a ball. She shaking again, although now it's much more noticeable than before. She seems to not even register that you'd spoken to her, and she keeps mumbling incoherently under her breath. You quickly move over to her, glancing around to measure the inky black shits progress, but when you try to grab hold of her, Cass lashes out, punching you square in the jaw, sending you reeling backwards. You shake the sudden dizziness from your skull and try to get onto your feet, but it doesn't seem to be working out quite as you'd hoped. You stumble forwards towards Cass again, and you can hear yourself, in a sort of far off way, begging Cass to move, to run, to do something!

Still, you find yourself collapsing onto your hands and knees, staring hard at the floor as you try to figure out why you suddenly have a minor concussion. At least, you think it's a minor concussion. You didn't major in medical science or anything, so you really can't be sure. You think you might've had one of these before though. Something about a gang.

Regardless, you see on the edge of your vision something very dark and very fog like start to invade the room, slowly approaching Cass, and as you try to struggle forward again, you feel your legs give out, and you collapse onto your stomach. Damn. Definitely not a minor concussion. You feel yourself starting to black out, even as the shadowy thing takes a bit more form and substance as it reaches Cass. A man by the looks of it, staring at her with a completely inhuman lust.

"Ah~ Big Sister Cassandra~ So... Beautiful~... So... Sexy~ Oh, how we'll enjoy our time together~"

You feel yourself fade away completely as the man reaches down and picks Cass up in his arms before turning to head back towards the stairs.

Damn it! FUCK! You couldn't DO ANYTHING!

Then, suddenly, you find yourself not on the floor. Not anywhere in fact. For a moment, you just stand there, glancing around you at the... nothing. No darkness. No light. Just... nothing... and then paths begin to form. Two, one on either side. One path feels... bubbly. Cheerful. Music pulses from that side as well, something bouncy and fun and rave worthy, and light dances across the sky as you can just barely make out what looks like a stage off in the distance.

Turning to the other side, you feel the opposite. Fear. Pure fear. Uncertainty. Insanity. Heart wrenching despair. Screams fill the air in that direction, and the only light you see is from the soulless eyes of countless midnight horrors.

Which leaves only one question?
Which path to walk down?
The path that leads to fun, dancing and music?
The path that leads to fear, despair and creatures unknown?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 525913 ID: d78743

The path that leads to fear, despair and creatures unknown!

Black inky-ness may demand intangible means to fight it.
>>
No. 525914 ID: c95833

>Still, it does lead to finding out about the ??? ability you got
...okay. If I thought this was a part of the shadow creeper, I'd say go to the horror. That's the way to get to him. The happy is a distraction.

But it's not. This is about our own power. This is connected to our new power. And our foci.

The paths are Raphael and Cally.

We already spent the Angel's boon saving Raphael. Cally's the one who's unresolved. Well, more unsolved. You've regrets both ways, but at least you managed to save him, somewhat. To the rave. We don't need power over nightmares right now- we need vibrance. We need to be awake if you're going to help Cass. You would use your power to take her place this instant, if you could.
>>
No. 525916 ID: da113d

CALLY RAVER TIME! Let's start the music and rock this shadow thing! Whooo~!
>>
No. 525919 ID: 184dd1

You stare a little longer at the shadows, perhaps guessing a little at who they represent, but eventually, you turn towards the light. Someone else you hoped to maybe one day meet again. Even if it is only some freaky manifestation of your mind. Regardless, a journey that at the same times seems like it took days and mere minutes all at once commences, and in the end you find yourself standing as the lone member of a rave concert, DJ Winters, Cally Brooks herself, working the tables. The music that fills the air seems vibrant with life, and you feel so much more energetic by basking in its glow. The woman herself notices you quickly and promptly sets the music to continue on its own before hopping down and wrapping her arms around your neck in a familiar embrace. Within seconds she's making out with you, although she cuts it far shorter than you would have liked, offering you a playful smile as she presses herself a little too closely than might be absolutely necessary.

"Hey Beautiful. How's the dance floor treating you?"
>>
No. 525921 ID: c95833

(Poor Raphael. He got chosen second to her, again. I struggled with that, but we still have a chance of seeing him in the real world some day. So Cally gets the freaky coma-dream).

>How's the dance floor treating you?
Hi, Cally. Not terrible, in general. I actually ended up running things, if you can believe it. Trying to make this city safe, again, after everyone fucked that up. I've got my friends... and my daughter.

...right now, though, not very good at all. I've got a friend in trouble, and I can't help her. I need to help her, and I don't know how to get to her.

...I tried to save you, you know. I don't understand why you wouldn't let me but... please. I can't fail her. Can you help me? Do you know what I can do, or how I get out of here?
>>
No. 525923 ID: 76b151

I need help. Will you dance with me?
>>
No. 525926 ID: c95833

>>525923
Bam.
>>
No. 525931 ID: 184dd1
File 137437522610.jpg - (139.28KB , 450x312 , 894910-bigthumbnail.jpg )
525931

For a moment, you try to come up with something witty, or flirty, or try to downplay what's going on. Or anything but what you're really feeling. Some part of you wants to dive into the issue of the things you wanted to say to Cally before she died. Maybe even ask her why she wouldn't let you. But... now isn't the time for that.

"... Cass is in danger. She... she needs my help. I can't... I can't fail her. I can't fail anyone. Not again. Please. I need help.

"Will you dance with me?"

Cally smiles at you kindly, and kisses you again, softly and gently instead of the lustful kisses of the past. She pulls away a little, and strokes her hand against the glimmering glowstick that is her focus. The smile grows back into her normal, overly cheerful, smile as you feel that heartbeat of resonance pulse from the item far more strongly than before.

"Of course, Beautiful! Anytime you need me!"

The heartbeat again, and then a flash of light and sound takes over your senses. You suddenly find yourself standing in the living room again, rave music blasting in your ears thanks to the sudden headphones planted firmly over your ears. Your hair, to your surprise, has lengthened and turned an almost bluish purple, and you feel like your personality has been... changed somehow. Made more... bubbly? It's hard to explain. Regardless, you can't help but feel yourself smile even with all the doom and gloom in the place, and a quick glance outside shows that to be partly the fact that it's now night time.

Works for you. The parties are always best at night.

Some sort of shadow monster thing starts to rise out of the ground on the other side of the room, and it starts trying to say something to you. Briefly, you consider removing a headphone to pay attention, then decide, nah, fuck that. Shadow shits took Cass. These assholes want to dance, they better make damn sure they can dance well. With a flick of your wrist, a chained plasma rod of brilliant and vibrant color bursts outwards, slamming into the thing and pulsing along with the beat of the music in your ears. The pulses of light seem to drive away the gloom, and you start spinning the little rods twin in your other hand, driving away more of the gloom surrounding you even as you begin bouncing and swaying to the beat. It's incredibly similar to...

"Damn straight, lets party hard, eh Beautiful?"

You glance over your shoulder and find a ghostly Cally floating behind you mimicking your movements perfectly. Or maybe you're mimicking her? Regardless, you get the feeling you can draw on her abilities and focus, if only for a little while. Which seem oddly apt for battling these odd shadowy things. Maybe you could do the same for Raph as well?

Either way, you don't know how long this will last, so you'd better come up with a plan of attack. Or at least decide whether you're just gonna say fuck it and go all straight up rave party of doom on their asses. Oh god. You're even starting to think like Cally.

>>>Input Command

Spirit Ability Gained:

Remember The Fallen- Any fallen breaker leaves behind in their foci a piece of themselves, a shard of their essence and being. As part of being someone else, Linda may now utilize that essence and temporarily take on aspects of the fallen. She still retains her all physical stats, Spirit levels and BP levels, but loses access to her own foci in exchange for wielding the power of others.

Cally Brooks Spirit 5 Ability:
Tempo Shift/ BP Cost- 3: Cally, and by extension, Rave Linda, can shift the speed of an action however she pleases. This shift occurs immediately, like the sudden change of beats in a techno song, and can occur to any object the user desires. What was once a slow attack becomes a blur of plasma, while a lightning fast assault from the enemy becomes a slow, easily avoided performance.

>>
No. 525938 ID: c95833

>Rave Linda
Fuck yes. This is the coolest thing to happen to us since we got our mech. We have officially broken all the rules. Linda now can do awesome merger forms with foci she's not even tuned to!

>Oh god. You're even starting to think like Cally.
...well, good. You could use some vibrance in the dark. And you've got a man who certainly deserves your hate.

>Night
...oh damnit, what time was it when the lights went out? That's more than enough time for... fucker's gonna die.

>plan of attack
Find Cass. Cut a path of burning plasma through anything that gets in your way. You're already Cally, so you can't save her by being her. So you'll have to bring the party to her instead.

Draw on your bond with her- throw out your senses. You'll know which way to go.

Be nice if we could read a number on this thing we're fighting, too. No way he's stronger than spirit 7- you can see through any normality he could throw up.

Dodge everything he throws at you. You've got your skills, and Cally's on top of those. And don't worry about burning BP to fuel those new time hacks- we don't have any other foci to juggle, reloading to do, and no bullets to let go in a burst. We got 35 BP just with nothing to do but twist the tempo in a knot around this bastard.

>straight up rave party of doom
Fuck it, why not do that too? Let's see what kind of active break you can fuel at level 7. Your thing isn't guns anymore. It's Cally's. And she's rhythm, light, plasma. Let's see how the goddamn shadow monster likes it if you light this place up.
>>
No. 526284 ID: 184dd1
File 137448601715.jpg - (398.70KB , 1920x1440 , supernova-408268.jpg )
526284

Night time. It hits you hard again, as you mind jumps to the possibilites. Or more like certainties. Damn son of a bitch! Someone is going to die tonight. Painfully. With hot plasma.

Then you find your mind jump to another topic again, finding Cass. You need to find Cass. She shouldn't be alone right now. Especially with this bastard probably with her. You're going to END him if he's with her. Regardless, you'll have to cut a path through first, even more so because she's on the... third floor? Attic. Attic! You don't know how you know that, maybe just your familiarity with her, but she's in the Attic! Asshole must have set up some sick bedroom or something.

Your twirling glowsticks of plasma continue shedding light, apparently something the shadow fog shit doesn't like. Must have really, REALLY wanted Cass then. Sucks for them. Your light hurts more than sunlight. And it's time to stop this stupid standing around and get to the dancing. For some reason, the music in your headphones switches over to... Gurren Lagaan? Couldn't ask for anything better to get you pumped. Fuck everything.

WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!?

Then you're glowsticks start to brighten as you begins moving, the chained light leaping out to cut down these shadow being like puppets that seem to spring from the fog. They make no sound as they die, but you can see the agony they feel. Hope that goes back to you, asshole. One manges to get in close, his clawed shadowy hand reaching for you, but with a flick of your will, you see him slow suddenly, as if his entire body is moving through quicksand or something. A plasma rod caught and redirected into his face finishes him, and you find yourself snap your will again as you hurl another plasma rod, the thing in one place then suddenly another and another and another as you speed your own movements for a few seconds, downing a good twenty of them.

Still, there's a lot of those things. And they keep coming from this damned shadowy shit. Then, as if sensing your need to go faster, the Cally ghost behind you starts doing her own little bounce motion along with your's(hadn't even noticed you'd been doing that. More Cally influence, huh) and starts to say things, which, despite the music, you catch.

"First step, add more fuel to the hydrogen/helium cores within the plasma rods."

You feel a piece of yourself leave you, your number dropping by 2, and you suddenly feel the two rods get heavier, slowing down in their arcs as they seem to collect more mass.

"Then, up the heat and pressure even more to start the reaction."

The rods are drawn in and sent into twirling arcs around you to keep the bastards off you while Cally does... whatever it is she's doing. Some of the shadow things try to breach the sudden barrier are turned into so much dead... shadow. Still, the things start to back even further away as the twirling rods start emitting more and more light, even enough to start blinding you. Still, the brightness surprises you, until Cally happily finishes her little tale.

"And, once the pressure builds up enough and starts up the final phase..."

You suddenly feel the heat hit you like a wave, and you notice the rods starting to do... something. Get even brighter and brighter. Then, the light is gone completley, as if two bright stars suddenly went out. The only thing stopping you from freaking out is Cally Ghost's calm, as she leads you in bringing the two rods smashing together right in front of you. Then...

"BOOM!"

The rods emit light, heat and pressure in equal measure. The shadows, originally covering the room and almost on you are all vaporized as all that light comes cascading outwards. The twin plasma rods are back to normal, and the shadows are temporarily driven up stairs. You also note that you died in that little display, as did most of the house. Not only did whatever you did kill the shadows, the house is now simply... gone. You spot Cally, naked and suddenly very awake, a few feet away. The shadow man, Cass' brother, is similarly awake, although it seems he'd been coming down to face you, as he's off to the side, getting on his feet with murder on his face. Huh... 31. Bastard was decently powerful then. Hope he liked his little shadow pets dying.

"Haha! Haven't done that in ages! Supernovas. Can't live without em at a good rave!"

... You get the feeling Cally isn't... wasn't... whatever, isn't as dumb as she made herself out to be.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 526287 ID: b1c062

...Jake was an idiot sending Cally to fight us with 0 BP. Or maybe she did that on purpose, to save us, and give us a chance to save her?
either way, that? That is a game-changing attack right there.
Yanno what we should try sometime? Battlefield instinct with the ice gun. ABSOLUTE ZERO ATTACK!
The name can be worked on later.
Anyhow, as for right now? Now it's Cally's turn to dance! let's see if we can't comfort her and help give her the strength to fight.
>>
No. 526291 ID: c95833

All right, we used 2BP on that supernova break, and did two tempo shifts, and we vaporized everybody, ourselves included. Death 19 to Cally (who'd have thought she's get another) via kamikaze. So we're down to 26BP, I think. Might be a fair fight, if he can hit us.

Can we get a read on Cass?

>What do
Cass ain't dressed for the party. Fix that. Active break clothes onto her (with fashion sensibilities affected by Cally's raver mindset, of course), and her foci from wherever her brother put them back to her hands (no fucking way he can overpower a spirit 7 roll, or a break Linda's doing on a part of Cass. I don't care if he's her brother, or holding them. We've got the stronger connection). Then call for her to get up. This is a dance for two now and there's someone who needs to taste the kiss of her chainsaw.

(Shift the techno beat again- work the chainsaw right into the music).

Time for a repeat of the Blades fight. You protected her with bullets then- this time she's got two red hot guardian angels dancing around her. Block his attacks, give her openings. Cover for your partner when her feet falter, and let her lead when the song goes that way.

Sing him a song of burning plasma and roaring steel. Light and sound, cutting a rave through the darkness.

>Cally isn't as dumb as she made herself out to be
Nope. That last was break was directly manipulating nuclear physics.
>...Jake was an idiot sending Cally to fight us with 0 BP. Or maybe she did that on purpose, to save us, and give us a chance to save her?
Well, technically, 1BP plus twice the manifestation cost of her rods. Asshole did seem to not care if he got her killed, despite her being the star attraction of his club, and loyal.

Ultimately though, it was her. She knew exactly what she was doing. She had to. No other conclusion makes sense. Which means she was deliberately trying to provoke Linda into killing her. Why she wanted that, or thought she had to, is the part that's hard to understand. (Not that Linda can afford to be thinking about any of this right now. She's got a fight to focus on, and Cass needs her. As long as we've got her focus, we can always talk to Cally later).

>Battlefield instinct with the ice gun.
We've already discussed that, unfortunately. Battlefield instinct explicitly doesn't work without bullets. Even though arguably the ice gun has a certain kill potential you'd think you could release all at once, it just doesn't work that way.
>>
No. 526303 ID: c95833

Oh, and remember that our tempo shifts can be applied against that bastard or to Cass as needed. (With that ability and the reach on our weapons, we're a lot better a support build now that usual).
>>
No. 526468 ID: 184dd1

You snap your will out, clothing Cass and returning her foci to her possesion. That should even the playing field somewhat. The music in your ears shifts again, this time creating lulls in the beat here and there for Cass to add her own singing harmony, but what comes instead is silence. You blink in surprise, and glance at your companion, only to find her crouched on the floor again, her head clutched in her hands. She seems to be whispering something to herself, but you can't make out what with the distance between you, and even more so with the bastard over there laughing his ass off.

"HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE! Sister is MINE now! ALL MINE! You tried to take her from me... oh how you did... but... but she's MINE! EHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEH! ALL FUCKING MINE!"

His tone goes from almost complete exstacy to anger in mere seconds, and a horde of shadows emerges, coming at you like a tidal wave. These are easily batted away with a tempo shift and your twin stars of plasma, and you quickly dance your way(almost literally) to Cass' side, batting away more shadows as they try to overwhelm you. Closer now, you can finally here what she's saying, and it doesn't bode well.

"I can't... he's... he's... everything... god... everything... I can't... I can't... I'm... he's... his... I'm his... he.... he... god, he... he's so... I can't... can't... god... why... why me... why... me..."

You doubt Cass will be of any use right now. You'll have to figure out a way to snap her out of this, or at least give her a reason to go bat shit insane, although you aren't sure letting her go completely berserk will allow her to properly face this piece of her past. Whatever you do, you better do it fast, because as much as you'd like to, Your glowsticks can only hold those shadow things off for so long.

>>>Input Command

Linda BP: 23
Cass BP: 32

??? BP: 30

>>
No. 526499 ID: c95833

Well, fuck. I guess it was kind of optimistic to expect her to shrug that off so quickly. It's the worst thing to ever happen to her in her life, and it happened again.

Can we left Cally, uh, drive? Have her cut the dance through the shadows while we drop down to our knees, grab hold of Cass, lock eyes, and try to get through to her? (And for the love of everything, Cally, throw up a tempo shift if Cass snaps and tries to cheapshot Linda again). If that isn't doable we're left basically just shouting at her as we dance around, which seems less effective.

Throw every ounce of will you have behind your words. And then some. You couldn't break the wire girl's control over her, but you're stronger now. Closer. And you have to get through to her. He. Can't. Have. Her.

Cass! You do not deserve this. This is not your fault. He does not own you- he is nothing. He's the empty shadow cast by the bastard that dared to call himself your father. He's his last victim, not yours.

I am so sorry this had to happen to you again. I would have taken your place in an instant- and you know I can. But I need you now. You need to get up. You need to fight this. We need to finish this. You are the girl who doesn't take shit from anybody. Who has fangirls she doesn't even want. Who has absolutely no tolerance for alcohol. Who can still enjoy horror despite everything you've been through. Who has come to my aid more times than I can count. You are Cassandra fucking Geld, the best friend I've got in the world, and he. Does. Not. Own. You!

Assuming this gets her going, fall back to the dance plan we composed before.

(...also, I am totally waiting for Cass' "Linda? What the fuck are you wearing? What the fuck am I wearing?").

>how long will the music last?
...until the party's over. That's how it works, right? And this dance is gonna go till dawn. The rave isn't over till the darkness dies.

>more shadow puppets
It only costs him a single BP to throw waves of them at you? Cheap trick. ...I wonder if they work like Elizabeth's puppets though? Can they still dance if their DJ misses a beat? If there's an opening for it, try cutting into his song, taking him off the stage, and seeing if they falter or fall.
>>
No. 526809 ID: 184dd1

You doubt Cally can't dance the dance for you. She's a guide, a mere DJ at this point. It's up to others to lend the physical aspect of the music now. Still, you cut a swathe of desctruction around you, giving you some room to operate, and even manage to hurl a rod at the make of these shadows, forcing him to dodge off to the side. You see the shadow things falter, and grin a little despite the situation. At least you know you can make the shadow things halt for a little while. You chuck the other plasma rod his way, just to buy you a little more time, then drop down next to Cass, taking her into a gentle hug.

"Cass! You do not deserve this. This is not your fault. He does not own you- he is nothing. He's the empty shadow cast by the bastard that dared to call himself your father. He's his last victim, not yours.

I am so sorry this had to happen to you again. I would have taken your place in an instant- and you know I can. But I need you now. You need to get up. You need to fight this. We need to finish this. You are the girl who doesn't take shit from anybody. Who has fangirls she doesn't even want. Who has absolutely no tolerance for alcohol. Who can still enjoy horror despite everything you've been through. Who has come to my aid more times than I can count. You are Cassandra fucking Geld, the best friend I've got in the world, and he. Does. Not. Own. You!"

Cass doesn't respond for a moment, just laying there, although her mumbling has ceased. Then the shadow things start to come at you again, and even as you draw back the rods and start to ready yourself for a few tempo shifts, Cass' hands shoots out and grabs one of the things, using it as an improvised club to beat off the other ones, even as the one she carries starts trying to scratch at her arms. Done beating down her shadowy opponents, she rips the last one in half, blood streaming down her arm, and she licks her own blood up, looking a tad bit more aroused than she should. Still, she's back in action, and you can see her chainsaw form in her non injured hand as she licks her arm clean before setting herself up to fight. She shaking, you can see her body vibrating, but the chainsaw seems to calm her somewhat, and she doesn't look like she'll crack again without further disturbing shit going down.

"Alright... I'm... I'm here. I can... I can do this... I can do this... Let's kill the bastard......... WHAT THE FUCK AM I WEARING!?"

Cass is not exactly wearing clothing she's used to. Perhaps because you're mind set is influenced heavily by Cally right now, but you can't help but dress Cass in something that can only be described as extremely... tempting. Even the part of you that is Linda is catching itself thinking a few less than pure thoughts, but with the fight to focus on, you barely register them. Time to get to the dancing.

"Don't mind it, Cass! We have a dance to get to, and I don't think he'll be able to keep up with our rhythm at all!"

"Huh? What the hell does that even- WHY THE FUCK IS YOUR HAIR PURPLE!?"

"Tsk, tsk. Cass, focus please. I'll explain later."

"FUCK EXPLAINING LATER! EXPLAIN NOW!"

You find yourself wondering why the hell Cass is so focused on you, even as she's tearing through groups of shadow beings, you're twin glowsticks dancing around the pair of you to keep others off you. Even more confusing is why Cass hasn't descended into insanity yet, considering everything. Then it occurs to you. Her own fear must be keeping her berserk in check. After all, her berserk manifest thanks to a situation altogether too much like what's already occurred. As for the talking... she must be using it to give herself something other than her insane, incestuous brother. Half brother. Step brother. Whatever. Either way, she's keeping her mind only half focused on who and what she's fighting, thus allowing her to avoid thinking about the issue that would likely send her mind straight back into the catatonic state it was in. Pretty smart, and rather fast thinking. Unless she's just doing it as a natural defense mechanism.

Regardless, Cass seems to be actively avoiding the area she knows her brother is in, like she doesn't exactly want to deal with him at all. You'll either have to corral her in that direction, or come up with some way to convince her to face her nightmares.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 526835 ID: c95833

>corral or convince
I'd favor the later. If we push her into this when she's not ready, we run the risk of her shutting down again- or costing her her control. She'll be better off in the long run, if we can get her to face this sane. And of her own resolve.

>talking, focused on you
If that helps her, than keep talking to her. If this song needs lyrics, it'll get them. If discussing your ridiculou- awesome Cally-ness works, go with it.

We build from there. Use the frivolity and the absurdity as a distraction to keep her going, and stable, and then up the ante. You killed her. It was probably the worst thing you've ever done. And then, alone, and powerless and lost in the dark, you turned inside and faced it. You asked for help and there was light. A terrible wrong became a source of strength- a fire in the night.

That is what it is to be a breaker. The world doesn't break us- it tries. It throws every terrible thing it can at us, and it's our own choice if we let it break us, or if we rise up, face it down, and break the world back harder.

(Trying to build her up into facing him while sneaking some of what we wanted to say to Cally in there. ...if anyone has better or more concise suggestions for dialog, I'm all ears).

>brother. Half brother. Step brother. Whatever.
No brother at all. He's like Maria- he's lost all claims to call her family.

>battle tactics
We got our dance partner now. We can party harder now- kick things up a beat. With Cass shredding shadows, that means there are less to dance with you, giving you more openings to use your reach to strike at their master. Breaking his concentration, and whittling down his number. And every time you do that, the shadow's dance will falter, making it all the easier for Cass to clear more of them from the floor.

Things will change if and when you can get through to Cass, get her to face the darkness. Then she becomes the one to face him, while you keep the shadows off her back, and aid her as you can with dancing lights and shifting tempos.
>>
No. 527702 ID: 184dd1

"Well, um, I think I tapped into Cally's focus and kinda... became her, I guess? I don't know, it's really weird to tell you the truth. Still, I think because I'm sorta Cally and not Cally, I get influenced by her style and flair. Hence all the dancing and rave stuff. And these cool headphones. You realize these things have voice canceling? How cool is that!"

"Huh? What are you even-"

"But I think this is only possible because I killed her. It was probably the worst thing I've ever done. Killing Cally I mean. I didn't even intend to do that. Then that asshole shows up, does his whole shadow routine. You freak out. When I tried to help you, you punched me in the face. Gave me a minor concussion."

"Oh... sorry about that."

"And then, alone, and powerless and lost in the dark, I... turned inside and faced it, I guess. Faced what I'd done in the form of a dream. Or a possibility. Or maybe it really is a piece of Cally hidden away within the focus. Either way, I asked for help and there was light. A terrible wrong became a source of strength- a fire in the night. Cally... is helping me. After everything I did, everything I've done... Cally is choosing to lend me her power. Cool rave music and plasma rods included.

"That is what it is to be a breaker. The world doesn't break us- it tries. It throws every terrible thing it can at us, and it's our own choice if we let it break us, or if we rise up, face it down, and break the world back harder. You have to face him yourself, Cass. I can't do it for you. He's your darkness. He's everything you fear and hate and want gone. Or maybe he's everything you secretly wish you were, in some sick twisted form. I can't tell you that. That's up to you. All I can say is that it's your choice how this goes. You and him are the main dancers on this stage. I'm just the backup dancer, giving a little more flair to your performance."

This entire time you're having your little peptalk with Cass, shadows are slaughtered by the dozen, and you even chuck a few shots at Mr. Shadow, killing him a few times. Ass deserves to be brought down a few. Cass halts in her movements as you finish your speech, obviously thinking hard and struggling with herself. You easily keep the shadows off her and you both, wanting to give Cass the time she needs. Or at least as much as you can, there ARE a lot of shadows to be killing.

"... My darkness, huh? My darkness..."

Cass seems to take a deep, shuddering breath after a moment, then turns to directly face her deranged sibling, chainsaw singing full force.

"You. You're not my step-father, if he could ever even be called that. But you're close enough. I was never assertive back then. Just sort of... let stuff happen. Went with the flow. Fuck that. Fuck that and fuck you and fuck him and fuck EVERYTHING! I'M ME! I'M ME! I'M JUST AS FUCKED UP AS YOU ARE! I GET OFF ON PEOPLE DYING! I GET OFF ON WARM GODDAMN BLOOD FLOWING DOWN MY ARMS! I GET OFF ON ALL THAT GORY BULLSHIT! BECAUSE OF YOU AND THAT FUCKER WHO TRIED TO CALL HIMSELF MY FATHER! FUCK YOU BOTH! I DON'T FUCKING NEED THAT SHIT ANYMORE! I DON'T NEED TO GO FUCKING INSANE TO HELP THOSE I CARE ABOUT!

"I DON'T FUCKING NEED YOU ANYMORE!"

Cass launches herself and her sibling, and the two begin a deadly dance of screaming chainsaw and grasping shadows. You keep the ones coming at her from the sides off of her, but she simply cuts through any and all that get in her path. For a moment, you think she's gone berserk, but instead, upon checking on her, you notice a cool calmness that maybe scares you even more. Unlike the wanton destruction that is the Berserk Cass, this new one is... coldly determined. Like an sociopath intent on his prey.

Still, upon reaching her sibling, they both launch into a deadly dance, the brother laughing like mad.

"HAHAHAHAH! THE LIES YOU TELL YOURSELF, SIS! THE LIES YOU TELL YOURSELF! You wouldn't BE anything without Father! You wouldn't be ANYTHING WITHOUT ME! Your insanity is what makes you you! You can't deny that! What use do these people have for you without that strength of your's? What use would you have been if you hadn't broken your own mind just to kill Father? Doesn't that mean that he was the one who gave you your friends? Who gave you that chance to be happy? Doesn't it? DOESN'T IT?!"

Cass falters, and the shadows begin to surround her. You sweep them away and put a hole in the bastards head, but it looks like Cass' resolve is starting to slip again. You'll need to come up with something to say to bolster her will.

>>>Input Command
>Cass Control: 10%

Cass' Will Roles: Every time Cass confronts her brother, she rolls a will check to continue. The more successes, the closer she gets to relinquishing herself of her insanity(to a certain degree). The more successes, the more control she gains. Linda, depending on what is said to support Cass, will add part of her own Will score to Cass'. Using the same argument can be done, but will have lesser results if successful.
>>
No. 527710 ID: b1c062

Her power as a breaker? Yea right. That wasn't why we befriended Cass in the first place!
And as far as friends go, she used to be a loner, always called 'Chainsaw' instead of her real name, for how crazy she got in a fight!
That's as far you OR that twisted being could get her! Make her a weapon to be used! You might be what made her a breaker, but you didn't completely break HER. Even through living with the demon you sung into her, she was still human enough to befriend me!
>>
No. 527762 ID: c95833

>Will rolls for Cass tied to Linda's score
...damn it, I wish we'd got around to bumping Linda up a few points. Shadow magic stuff seems like will stuff. We may be outmatched, in terms of stats.

>Counter argument
It's not what your father did to you that earned you friends, it's what you chose to do with it that made us stand by you! If all I wanted was strength, I would have sided against you when you were outnumbered that first day! Strength is meaningless on it's own. I've killed plenty of strong breakers. Chainsaw isn't anything special, there. But Cass is one of the few friends I've got close enough to remember me. Believe in that, that's real Cass, more real than I am!

We don't owe people for the wrongs they did us! I'm not grateful to the assholes who kidnapped Elizabeth. I'm not grateful to Maria for fucking up her life, or to the bastard who shot her. Not grateful to Marc for betraying us all and putting me in charge. Not grateful to whatever asshole gave Raphael his PTSD. Not grateful to the nutjob who gave me this scar. Or the men who dared call themselves your family.

They didn't give us anything. They tried to take from us, and we dragged the good out of life in spite of them, kicking and screaming. If you have something good now, that's on you, not him. You don't owe him anything.

He didn't make you- he tried to break you. You broke things back, instead.
>>
No. 527783 ID: af8414

Help make you what you are? Please. There's nothing he's ever done for you but to make a normal existence such a living hell that a life on the battlefront of reality seems preferable in comparison.

You became a breaker when you stood up for yourself, Cass. You took the first step towards regaining control of your own life.

The berserker rage? It's a lingering wound, a loss of control, much the as when your stepdad made you feel a loss of control over your own body.

You don't need it. You can fight back. You're not helpless.
>>
No. 527869 ID: c95833

Oh hey, idea to bolster the will rolls, and to try and keep the dice from screwing us.

You're Cally, right? She's a performer. The whole sun city thing about using breaking to put on a show. Draw on that to support the delivery of your message, to push it through. Active break if we have to (we can afford it- now that he's in melee with Cass and doesn't have the room to create and direct all those shadows, we don't need as many tempo shifts), make visuals, and effects. Bring your words and any memories we call up to life. Counter the darkness with vision.
>>
No. 528103 ID: 184dd1

"Help make you what you are? Please. There's nothing he's ever done for you but to make a normal existence such a living hell that a life on the battlefront of reality seems preferable in comparison.

"The berserker rage? It's a lingering wound, a loss of control, much the as when your stepdad made you feel a loss of control over your own body. That's as far he OR that twisted being could get you! Make you a weapon to be used! He might be what made you a breaker, but they didn't completely break you. Even through living with the demon he sung into you soul, you were still human enough to befriend me! They didn't give us anything. They tried to take from us, and we dragged the good out of life in spite of them, kicking and screaming. If you have something good now, that's on you, not him. You don't owe him anything. He didn't make you- he tried to break you. You broke things back, instead."

Cass shudders suddenly, then seems to throw off her hesitation with the physical act of tearing her brother in half with her chainsaw. She kicks the body away from her, putting some distance between the two of them even as she backs up a little herself, cementing her control a little bit. Then she's off again, cutting a path of devastation towards her brother again. Waves a shadow's begin to converge on her, now completely ignoring you in favor of stopping his sibling. They are little more than weeds in her path. Yet, even as he's cut down, he's already laughing.

"Really, Sis? You would kill the last of your family? For what? Will killing me heal your pain? Will killing me make up for all the pain you've felt? If it will, then FINE! KILL! RAGE! LET YOUR ANGER RULE YOUR ACTIONS! LET THE PAIN DICTATE WHAT YOU'LL DO WITH MY LIFE!"

Cass falters again, this time for something else. You can see her starting to lose that control again, although she's struggling to hold herself back from going into her own berserk rage. The only reason she hasn't died at all is because her brother has no interest in killing her. You sweep away another group of shadows, frowning in annoyance. Damn asshole kept getting in the way of her healing.

>>>Input Command
>Cass Contolr: 40%
>>
No. 528113 ID: 76b151

I think the time for long speeches is past.
"Cass is better then that. After her worst nightmare has occurred she hasn't given in to that rage yet. And she won't. Not this time. I believe in her. " Put all our conviction into those words.

After our next pep talk Break that man's vocal cords. No more talking outta him. Or wrap silence around him, or make them music so loud he can't be heard.
>>
No. 528117 ID: c95833

The last of her family? She's got one, and you aren't in it. You lost the right to call yourself that.

...killing them doesn't stop the pain, Cass. In the moment, the anger and the righteousness is something, but it doesn't make things any better after. Killing Jake didn't make losing Cally any easier. Killing Marc didn't get me to accept Elizabeth's death.

But that's not why we do what we do. The bastards don't get to walk. We face the darkness, and we stop them. Sometimes we're able to beat them down and spare them. Sometimes they don't give us any choice but to put them down. I can't make that call for you. I can't tell you what's right.

But what's important is that it's the choice you make. That you do what you have to- that you don't let something else rule your actions. I turned before I let Marc turn us into his pet killers. Don't let yourself be your father's.

>>528113
He's a form type though- not sure he so much has vocal cords to break.

And as frustrating as it is- this is about Cass. Silencing him might make it easier for her to get through this, but this isn't about making it easy for her. We keep saying she has to face this- let her face it. All of it. If we can keep building her resolve, get her through everything he can throw at her, she'll be better for it. She has to overcome all her demons.

When you get home and look through Elizabeth's eyes, you want to Cass for who see is, not the monstrous armor her pain chained her inside.
>>
No. 528155 ID: 184dd1

"Your first words are directed at the bastard himself, in an attempt to get him to at least SHUT THE FUCK UP!

"Cass is better then that! After her worst nightmare has occurred she hasn't given in to that rage yet! And she won't. Not this time. I believe in her!"

Then you move on to Cass, trying to soothe her anger, help her keep control of herself. You can tell, she's trying very hard, and you hope you can help keep her anchored.

"...killing them doesn't stop the pain, Cass. In the moment, the anger and the righteousness is something, but it doesn't make things any better after. Killing Jake didn't make losing Cally any easier. Killing Marc didn't get me to accept Elizabeth's death.

"But that's not why we do what we do. The bastards don't get to walk. We face the darkness, and we stop them. Sometimes we're able to beat them down and spare them. Sometimes they don't give us any choice but to put them down. I can't make that call for you. I can't tell you what's right.

"But what's important is that it's the choice you make. That you do what you have to- that you don't let something else rule your actions. I turned before I let Marc turn us into his pet killers. Don't let yourself be your father's."

Shadow's are slain all around you as you continue your dance, but even Cally, her music playing in your ears, is growing quiet. It's almost time for the back up to leave the stage. The main event is coming soon.

Cass, regains control of herself, and instead of slaughtering her brother, kicks him through another building nearby. She takes another deep breath to calm herself, then reassumes that single minded, purpose filled persona. You can't even begin to guess what choice she's made, but in the end, all that matters is she's made her choice. Time to get to doing whatever it is she's going to do.

"Linda. You mind... distracting him for a bit? I need... a little time to get prepared. Say my goodbyes to my old self, I guess."

You nod your understanding and head through the hole Cass made in the building, finding a mass of shadowy like tentacles that reminds you a bit of Raphael in that gibbering mad tentacle form. This one isn't nearly as scary, however, as you start your plasma glow sticks spinning. You find yourself grinning, even as you get ready to go to town. Cass is gonna be alright. Well... you hope.
>>
No. 528173 ID: 184dd1

Your head hurts. Actually, a lot of you hurts, in more way than one, but now isn't the best time to be considering that. Given your penchant for turning into a nervous wreck when confronted by deranged, psychotic, lustful younger brothers(recently discovered), you'd like to avoid that train of thought. Not that you can't help but notice the feeling of being dirty. It's making your skin crawl, and really, REALLY want to take a hot shower. Still, you have business to take care of. Hopefully Linda doesn't kill the bastard before you finish what you're about to start.

You plant your chainsaw into the road and sit down with your back against the flat part. Then you draw out the other two foci you posses. Knives. Very personal objects. Well, one of them is. The other you just picked up off some random asshole. Regardless, it's time you faced a bit of yourself. You'd thought to try this after watching Linda do her "impersonate others" thing, but you doubted it would work anywhere near the same level. Hopefully it was enough to confront yourself.

You push forward in your mind, letting yourself sort of feel your way towards what you want to do, then suddenly, you're there, standing in a coliseum like room, you feel the chainsaw pressed firmly into your back, the familiar weight clear in your mind. What is missing, however, is the knife. Or rather, the knife isn't in your hands.

It's in HERS.

Your other self. Your psychotic self. You can't deny she's a part of you, or at least she has been. But you need to face that in order to release yourself from your own living hell. Linda can't follow you here, but her words still echo in your ears. She's with you. She won't let you fail. Rather, she expects you to win, regardless of her help. You'd better not disappoint.

"So weak. So fragile. You can't do anything without me. Can't fight. Can't protect yourself. Can't enjoy yourself. Can't even live your own life. You need me, just like I need you."

Damn doppelgänger was already spewing shit. And hey, look at that, she's already licking the knife like some sort of homicidal crazy bitch. Oh wait. Yeah. Never mind. Let's just get this over with. Need a plan though. Got to think, not act. Have to resist the urge to go berserk.

>>>Input Command
>Cass Control: 60%
>>
No. 528176 ID: b1c062

She's got a Knife, You've got a Chainsaw. You've got the range on her, and she's CRAZY! Use that to your advantage, stand ready, wait for her to come to you, and strike. If need be you can use the flamethrower if you're worried about her closing in.
But in general? Just stay defensive, and counter her wild charges. She's the Berzerker, you are the trained Warrior, use her rage and recklessness to your advantage.
>>
No. 528194 ID: c95833

>It's almost time for the back up to leave the stage.
Remember to say goodbye when she leaves this time, Linda. And thank her. Maybe she'll have something so say before going.

>You can't do anything without me. Can't fight. Can't protect yourself. Can't enjoy yourself. Can't even live your own life. You need me, just like I need you.
She's wrong. You can fight without her. You don't do it often, but you can. You managed to kick ass in the arena all on your own before going crazy. You fought just now without losing it. And you've had fun with Linda that had nothing to do with getting off on the blood and insanity.

If anything, she's a liability. Can't protect yourself? It's the crazy that puts you in danger. Even though it was two on one, Linda barely kept you alive against the wolf-bastard. Your rage burnt you out- almost killed you. Can't live your own life? Who the fuck you think is getting in the way of that?

So yeah. She needs you all right. Bitch fucking feeds off you, sucks you dry. You don't need her, though. And you can't afford to keep feeding her. Not if you want anything left for yourself. Or for your friends.

>combat
Chainsaw. Your advantages are reach, and a more destructive weapon. Knife. Her advantages are higher speed and maneuverability. And the fact she's going to have crazy strengthen her, and use it to try and weaken you.

...but not crazy has advantages too. You can think things through. Play smart. Look at you right now, thinking about goddamn weapons tradeoffs. You're acting like fucking Linda now.
>>
No. 528460 ID: 184dd1

You get yourself ready, expecting her to come for you pretty quickly. Your chainsaw has reach and power. That'll be useful when you hit her in the goddamn face. She's got flexibility though. Flexibility and speed. That'll be bad. Especially if she uses that to dodge. Doubt she will though, she sorta the insane murder crazy part of you. Strategy really ain't her thing. Dear god... you're thinking like Linda. That's... scary. Very scary. Especially considering all the crazy shit she gets into.

Regardless, you spring into action, doing your best to keep yourself at a nice range to use your chainsaw effectively. The damned woman, however, has other ideas, and happily throws herself at you, chainsaw or no. She practically impales herself on the thing, yet still runs forward, blood pouring from her mouth as she waltzes right up to you and strokes your face.

"We're one and the same, you and I. You made me to fight for you. To protect you from all the pain. Denying me is denying yourself. Denying me is denying who you are. You can love through me. You can heal through me. Let me deal with all the pain. All the sadness. All the fighting. Let me sing the song of death for you."

You kick her off the chainsaw, body shuddering as you do so. It would be so easy... so easy just to let it all go... just to... let her take over... But no. NO! You are not like that! Not anymore!

"Go fuck yourself, you crazy bitch."

You bisect the other you with the chainsaw, cutting her neatly in half, before you back up, giving yourself some breathing room. She's already putting herself back together(damn dream self) but it takes a few seconds. A few seconds you can use to do... something. You feel it taking shape in your mind. Yes... this isn't just a fight between you and this... thing. This is a chance to reshape yourself. This crazy has dominated your life for a long time. Perhaps it's time to construct someone new to take her place. Someone less... violent.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 528496 ID: b1c062

gonna write this from Cass's perspective, or try too.
Hrrrm...There's no denying I'm a pretty sweet fighter. And even if I rip crazy pants here out, I'm probably still gonna fight with this here Chainsaw...But I don't have to be this demon.
What was it that creepy eye chick said about me? A warrior in a woman's body?
Not just a warrior, someone who's seen and taken down some of the biggest and baddest monsters around. I slew that Werewolf, with Linda's aid. Probably could have handled him on my own if Crazy here didn't fling herself onto his claws.
Rgh, focus. Make myself better. Beast slayer? Wait, this thing shoots fire like a flamethrower right? Like a Dragon...But that's still kinda monsterous. But she who slays monsters? A Dragon knight, dragoon for short. Dragoon Cassandra. Eh, I can refine the idea later.
>>
No. 528514 ID: c95833

>Dear god... you're thinking like Linda. That's... scary. Very scary.
Pff-heheh. Still loving the regard Cass holds Linda in.

>Perhaps it's time to construct someone new to take her place. Someone less... violent.
What was that Elizabeth would call you? The Warrior? Maybe you should try living up to that. Linda gets to be the Angel, right? She protects people. Leads them to the light. Gets to do this new bring back the dead thing (as messed up and crazy as her being Cally in the middle of all this is). Maybe you can do yours. A real Warrior knows her limits, right? When to stop. When not to fight. How to hold back. She doesn't let the blood and rage and hate and lust overwhelm her. She fights, she kills, but she's not a murderer.

You can do that, right? It's not such a big change. You don't have to be Linda's dog anymore. Chained, reined it, let lose. You'll be her sword. The one she can rely on.

...even if your sword has teeth and sings a song of it's own. Oh gods, she's got in your head too.
>>
No. 528677 ID: a23afd

A dragon knight is noble, and fights with purpose and focus. I support this.
>>
No. 528684 ID: 184dd1

What was the little space cadet said? A Warrior? Yeah. That might work. Warrior. Opposite of berserker. A controlled strength. Dragons? Where'd that pop up from? Wait... hold on... Not a bad idea. Warrior's fought dragons, right? Kinda like you were fighting yourself now. Something strong, bestial, destructive, beaten by something calm, controlled, purposeful. A warrior, filled with purpose and controlled, directed violence.

A Knight.

Yes. A knight. Has purpose. Has a reason to use violence, and knows when that violence should be applied. You doubt you'll ever get to the point of those old knights, swearing eternal loyalty or whatever the fuck it was. You're not THAT controlled. But you remember some of those old history lessons. Knights fought in the name of their lord. Fine then. You'd fight. But you'd fight for your friends. For the sake of keeping others safe. That works. Even if your chosen weapon is a chainsaw. Doesn't really fit the image does it? Oh well.

Around you, the world seems to shift. The berserker you is already dragging herself to her feet, ready to kill in the name of pure bloodshed. On the other side of the room though, something else starts to form. Another you. Another possibility. You think this is a little fast for healing psychological damage, and then you remember. Right. Realities broken anyway. Who the hell said you couldn't bitch-slap your own insanity into submission.

The other you forming is dressed in a bit more business-like clothing. Much more business-like. It also doesn't have that berserker craziness in it. Instead, there's this cold sense of purpose coming from her. A single minded dedication to... something. You guess it doesn't help that none of your friends are here to defend. That's kinda what you made her for, right? Still, she hasn't solidified yet, although your berserker form is starting to take notice.

You need more. Solidify the image more. A NAME is only a start. Substance is what gave rise to your BERSERKER. She's filled with RAGE, LUST, HATRED, FEAR. Similarly, the KNIGHT must be filled with something. Better get to it fast, or she'll just get cut down by the berserk you.

>>>Input Command
>Cass Control: 80%
>>
No. 528692 ID: b1c062

hrrrm...This is tricky.
BRAVERY, for starters.
HONOR seems like a nice addition.
EMPATHY, so as to not be blind to the situations of others-we don't need a robotic overlord here!
SKILL-this one's a bit dangerous, but the idea is to always be honing oneself. The worry is if this particular aspect turns obssessive.
>>
No. 528706 ID: 76b151

Above all else...

LOYALTY
>>
No. 528714 ID: c95833

Old you, the berserker, made you strong, tried to protect you, by making you too crazy for anything to hurt, or to be afraid. Although it wasn't so much of a defense as scorched earth- don't leave anything left for anyone else to hurt.

New you needs to be RESOLUTE. She won't deny the fear and pain, she'll choose to face it and bear it for you when you can't. She'll need CONTROL- to keep you in check when you'd lose yourself. To keep you from hurting those you don't mean to, anymore. Gotta the SKILLED- if you can't just insanely brute force through everything, the alternative is to fight smart. Not that you're gonna stop smashing things- you're just gonna be a better breaker about it.

No need to take it as far as some made up code of honor or oaths of service. You aren't the fucking crazy swordgirl, here.

>>528706, but yeah, you'll be loyal. Give yourself something to fight for. Something t draw strength from. Power of friendship bullshit's worked so far, right?
>>
No. 528718 ID: 10ca6c

>>528714
Okay, damn, I like this. Deleting my old vote and voting for this.
>>
No. 528749 ID: 2f4b71

DETERMINATION: You're changing your personality, your raison d'être, by sheer force of will. If that isn't determination, I don't know what is. You are not going to fall back into the old ways.

CAMARADERIE: Not loyalty to a person or allegiance to a concept, but fighting for and with your friends. You're not just a meat shield or an aimed weapon, you fight for them and they fight for you.

CONTROL and SKILL have already been covered.
>>
No. 528753 ID: 1a525d

>>528714
Supporting this. I was going to suggest PROFESSIONALISM, but I think the combination of SKILL and CONTROL have that covered. I also agree we can't really afford to be tied to a strict code of honor. Being a breaker is about breaking rules afterall.
>>
No. 528792 ID: 76b151

>>528714
these are good.
>>
No. 528833 ID: acb7da

Remember, you made her for helping your friends, but you can't help others until you first help yourself.
>>
No. 528836 ID: 184dd1

Within moments, you're frantically packing in ideals, thoughts, patterns, trying to get your other self up and running before crazy you decides to impale the poor thing through the face. Maybe it's the fact that all this is in your head, kinda sorta, that you are working so much faster than you thought. Regardless, ideas form and are injected into your new you, solidifying it piece of piece.

First and foremost. LOYALTY. CAMARADERIE. You will fight in the name of your friends. Your purpose will be their safety. Your own happiness your normal personality can handle, but this one is for fighting(mostly). You won't hesitate to HURT anyone who dares strike against your friends.

Which you quickly temper with CONTROL and EMPATHY. CONTROL to keep yourself in check. To know your bounds, when it's time to stop fighting and when it's time to hold yourself back. EMPATHY, to understand others and know them. Know when they wish to fight, and know when it's not time to bring pain to those around you.

DETERMINATION, RESOLUTE, these shall allow you to face your own pain. Your own fears. You will not deny they exist. You are insane, there's little you can do to change that right now. But you can accept your fucked in the head. You can understand you're fucked in the head. And hopefully, in time, you'll face that pain and fear on your own. For now though, this... KNIGHT will have to do.

Last, a personal goal, a personal desire. SKILL. You want to hone yourself and your abilities. You need to. If you're to continue protecting your friends, you need to become better. You need to fight both smarter and harder. Hopefully that'll temper your obsession with berserker rages some. Maybe get rid of it completely.

As your new persona begins to manifest, you briefly consider throwing HONOR into the mix. You dismiss this though. Not that the idea isn't sound, but you'd rather be able to do whatever you have to do in order to safeguard your companions than get screwed over by some stupid sense of honor and leave some asshole alive to kill you later.

The KNIGHT takes form completely, a chainsaw similar to yours in her hands. Her clothing is a lot more open than what you would normally wear, the stuff somewhat reminiscent of Linda in a way. Huh. You must have been influenced by her more than you thought. Regardless, the BERSERKER moves forward finally, intent on slaughtering your other self, but the KNIGHT, with a disdain bordering on apathy, merely sidesteps the widely thrown stabs and impales the BERSERKER on the chainsaw, ripping up her insides and turning her into a bloody mess. The remains are tossed away, although the fight is far from done, as the BERSERKER is regenerating again. And talking somehow. That's odd.

"YOU CAN'T JUST THROW ME AWAY! I'VE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS! YEARS! I AM YOU! I AM YOU! THIS THING YOU CRAFTED IS NOTHING MORE THAN SOME FAKE THING YOU ARE TRYING TO USE TO DENY ME! BUT I WILL! NOT! DIE!"

>>>Input Command
>Cass Control: 90%
>>
No. 528837 ID: 76b151

>>528836
No, you aren't me. Just a mask, a fake thing i used and am now discarding.

Turn your back on her. Trust your new self to finish her off.
>>
No. 528838 ID: a4b6b4

Knight: Fake? You were born of desperation. I was forged willingly by Cassandra to fight for her. She merely put up with you, rushed and made to hold her together, but I will be truly accepted, as a proper creation. If you are so determined to survive, contemplate the fact she felt the need to try and replace you with a so-called 'fake'.
>>
No. 528842 ID: c95833

No. You're not me. She's not either. You're just how I chose to deal with the world.

When I couldn't face my problems, I just let loose. Lost control. Went insane. So I didn't have to.

I'm choosing to do things differently now. I've grown up. I'm facing my problems, and what I am. Eyes open. I'm still crazy- I still need something to put between the world and myself. But I don't need a film of madness draped eyes. I can face it. Just the shield will suffice.
>>
No. 528913 ID: 184dd1

"No, you aren't me. Just a mask, a fake thing I used in desperation to protect myself from pain. And now I am discarding you."

You turn your attention away from the BERSERKER, choosing to focus on waking yourself from your trance. You have to get back to the real world now. It's time to deal with your fucked up brother. Or whatever he is now. You still feel yourself shudder just thinking about him, that nasty dirty urge to take a long shower, to wash away all that... but at the same time, you get the feeling that the BERSERKER, who couldn't or wouldn't face him, is replaced by something that draws strength from another source. As you fall back into conciousness, you hear your new self begin to speak for the first time, and find comfort in it's sense of purpose and fulfillment. So that's what my friends have given me...

"Fake? You were born of desperation. I was forged willingly by Cassandra to fight for her. She merely put up with you, rushed and made to hold her together, but I will be as a shield, helping us face our fears. If you are so determined to survive, contemplate the fact she felt the need to try and replace you with a so-called 'fake'."

The familiar hum of a chainsaw sings into your mind, and the last screams of rage and pain echo as well as that painful, angry rage filled person within dies out once and for all. Then the light of the stars is in your eyes. You awake again, weaker, you think, because of all the breaking you've just done. But you can hear Linda off in the distance, killing shit. She's helped you out a lot. Time to finish this and go home. Even as you stand and place your hand on the reassuring weapon at your back, you feel the new you rising to take control. Instead of blind rage, however, there is a calmness of purpose and inner strength. The shaking you've felt at the thought of facing your brother disappears completely. You are not a rager. You are not a murderer. You are a shield. A sword. You will protect your friends. And the first step is ending the life of someone who will never leave you in peace.
>>
No. 528923 ID: 184dd1

You've spent the last ten minutes cutting away at this asshole, ripping his shadow's to pieces and dancing away from his own strikes back at you. It seems his little shadow men were just one piece of his powers, he can wear shadows like armor to, although your glowsticks helped tremendously at cutting through that. Well... mostly. It seems this odd fusion between you and Cally could only hold for a few minutes more after Cass told you to hold him off, and she departed in a cloud of static, telling you to stay safe and she'd talk to you later. Apparently, using that wasn't a one off kinda thing. At least... you hope not.

Regardless, you'd used Cally's skills extensively, and because of that you were significantly weaker than when you started. Which isn't to say the asshole wasn't weaker either. But still, your guns don't do quiet as much to the weird shadow shits as you'd like. You can shoot the smaller puppet ones easy, but the larger shadow mass is much less touchable, especially cause the bastard tends to move himself around in it, while also blocking your sight of him.

"Fucking BASTARD! STOP MOVING AND LET ME SHOOT YOU!"

"HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!"

You blow away another shadow coming up behind you without even glancing at him, handgun pumping two rounds into the things face, when the mass of shadows lunges at you for the upteenth time tonight. You roll away, keeping yourself away from the thing, but what surprises you is the lack of a follow up from shadow puppets of any kind. Or rather, maybe it's the fact the shadow monster thing just got it's face smashed in with a car. Huh.

You glance over in the direction it came from and find Cass striding it, eyes scanning the area. She seems remarkably... calm... all things considered, if noticably weaker on the points scale, and is holding the chainsaw steady and even, no signs of hesitation at all. She eyes the shadow thing with something you'd almost describe as boredom, if it weren't for the sense of deep purpose and hostility she's giving off.

"How you doing, Linda? Have fun with this asshole?"

"Uh... yeah. A little... You feeling alright?"

"A lot better. We gotta a plan, or we just gonna keep throwing cars at him? I can do that."

... Cass is acting funny. REALLY funny. Where the hell did this plan thing come from? Normally she'd be violating the bastards personal space with her weapon of choice, not asking if we were going to keep throwing cars at him. Although...

>>>Input Command

Linda BP: 12
Pistol Rounds: 41

Cass BP: 14

??? BP: 17

>>
No. 528926 ID: a4b6b4

A plan? Errr...Right.
Shadow foe here's wrapped up in that shadow mass, and he's a pain in the neck for me to shoot. I WOULD say take him down like the Werewolf, but I dunno if that's as feasible, since it's more like shooting a guy in a haystack here, then a big blastable target.
Since his shadows are the issue, maybe your flamethrower could bust up that mass, and let me knock a few points off. Or another car toss. Either way, I'm not exactly suited for dealing with shadow guy here.
>>
No. 528933 ID: 2f4b71

>Shadow
What we need is some light. What we need is some FIRE.
>>
No. 528942 ID: c95833

Damn. Hoped Cally would hold out till the end of the dance. Guess it's just you two now. Crowd's thinned out. Rave's over. Last number's just for you and your partner.

...gah. You gotta stop thinking like that. And what is Cass wearing. You'll have to apologize for that later. You were pretty high on Cally at the time.

>Talk to Cally later, not a one time thing
That's good. You've got things you'd like to say to her, in less desperate settings. And being her was pretty fun, actually. Although you kind of hope you can get back to that place on your own and you don't have to ask Cass to hit you in the head again.

>bullets not really working well
Dangit, wish we'd invested in those ether bullets. At least they do something, though.

>battle plan
Man, looked those numbers. All so low. We're playing like the old days, now. Not much margin for error, or for showing off. Every point counts.

Tank gun's not much use here, I think. We don't really have the points to burn on battlefield instinct, especially since our pistol rounds don't seem to be as effective against his main body.

Ice gun might be worth trying. Shadows aren't exactly physical, but neither is the cold beam. Sweep it around, freeze up the puppets. See if the cold can penetrate his shell, or fix the shifting shadows into something your bullets or Cass' blows can shatter.

The real plan though, has to be Cass. She's the star now. Her saw cuts through this shadow shit a lot better than your bullets do. And maybe she could burn some of the stuff surrounding him away.

If we do manage to clear the extra stuff away from him (no more armor or obscuring) we might be able to hit him with a burst of bullets. Although you aren't killing him, if you can help it. Cass gets to finish this, one way or the other.

>41 pistol rounds
...uh, that's not right. We're supposed to have a clip of 15 rounds per pistol. So we can't have more than 30 at our disposal.
>>
No. 529015 ID: 184dd1

"Well... uh... we need to get rid of that shadowy stuff first. I can't really do much if I can't hit him. I guess if we used your fire we could get rid of that. Then we can start picking him to pieces. Course, that could take awhile. Maybe the car trick?"

"Too risky. Too long. I'll be exposed like that, probably get killed a few times, and if he makes more I have to rev up before firing again. You got that crazy ability that kills assholes, right?"

"Uh... the shoot everything ability? Yeah. Why?"

"Alright. Plan time. I'll hit the fucker with a car, then close and banish the shadows with fire. Follow in behind me and hit the bastard in the face with the bullet thing."

"Uh... don't you want to kill him?"

"Why?"

Cass gives you a look that tells you all you need to know about what she thinks of that idea. Her eyes show utter confusion and apathy towards the idea. Even a little contempt. There's no reason to even bother killing him. It has become... beneath her. You eye her for a moment, then nod your understanding. It seems some part of her has stopped putting any importance on his death. He is an enemy. He will be killed. Whether by you or by her, it doesn't matter anymore.

The plan is quickly set in motion, Cass hurling a car through the air to slam into the shadow things face yet again. The shadows falter, and as you rush forward alongside your friend, you practically slam into the things side, the shadow puppets incapable of dealing without their master controlling them. Cass follows by slamming her chainsaw into it and letting loose with a cold professionalism that surprises you again, the flames tearing through the feeble shadows that try desperately to block them. Then the bastard himself is revealed, you hesitate for a fraction of a second, then let loose, having already reloaded on the way over here. Rounds pummel into the man, and although you fired into him, you aimed for mostly non-vital points. Still, his number goes down drastically, and his shadows all but disappear. Seconds later and Cass is standing over him, her chainsaw jammed into his shoulder to keep him pinned to the ground. She's staring at him with disinterest, even as he stares back at her, some twisted sense of love stuck in his own head.

"Sister~ SISTER~ You came for me~ You CAME~ We can be together~ Together FOREVER~"

"... No. No we can't. I have things to do, and you... you're not yourself anymore. Linda, a gun please."

You hesitantly hand over one of your pistols, being sure to load it so she can have a full clip. She takes it, glances at it a moment, then fires a round into his skull. He dies instantly, only to revive again, the chainsaw out of his arm. He stares up in disbelief however, perhaps not comprehending that he's been rejected completely, even as Cass drops him again and again. Finally, on his last life, Cass draws to foci from her pockets, holding them in her hand and staring down at them. Two shards of metal, the knife foci. The things tying her to her own, disrupted path. Or at least one of them was. Still, the other was likely just as painful a reminder. For a moment, that apathetic state she's in drops, and tears stream down her face as she moves her gaze to her brother.

"I'm sorry. But I don't need to carry you with me anymore."

She drops the foci onto his chest, then puts the final round into his forehead, a single clean shot. He dies still wearing that look of utter shock. You both stand there as the echo of the gunshot fades, before Cass finally wipes her tears from her face and hands back the gun.

"Alright... that's... that's it, I think... I don't... need to be here anymore."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 529017 ID: acb7da

This went really well. Give her a hug and just hold her for a while.
>>
No. 529025 ID: a4b6b4

Discarded the shadows
discarded the blades
thrown away all the rage
fear the fiend no more
finally the demon is done.

Hey, ask Cass what was up with her during that fight. She came back...Calmer, and actually tried to plan, normally she just charges in and starts carving everything up.
>>
No. 529033 ID: c95833

Hug her. Just hold her, for a while.

When you break, awkwardly apologize for the outfit. You were... pretty high on Cally at the time.

...and then we need to get the hell out of here. Worry about that fixer place later- You guys need sleep. She needs a shower. And a goddamned morning after pill.

>discarding the knife foci
...okay, I get the symbolism there and why Cass did that, but don't leave those there, Linda. Or the shadow shit one. McCarthy set this trap, D7 will be by later to check what happened. No reason to leave them foci they can arm whoever they've captured with.

More importantly, Cass is inside those things, same as Cally was inside hers. We're not leaving a part of her laying around to see if they can find a way to use that to hurt her. You'll carry them for her, until we dispose of them properly.

...although it seems a shame to counter the narrative that way. Maybe... reach out with your senses first? Can you tell if they're still tuned to Cass? If she managed to pull herself back out of them, and they're un-attuned, there's no danger. You can safely leave them.

And as much as that symbolic gesture pleases the story following me, the bitter stats-master and tactician in me bemoans the loss of spare foci (backups against normalization) and of cheaply manifested and quiet combat option.
>>
No. 529042 ID: a4b6b4

>>529033
We take the foci, we give them to doc for unweaving. If we don't have any ideas on what to do with them, we can just let him have his fun with them, maybe?
>>
No. 529043 ID: 184dd1

You grab hold of Cass and draw her into a hug, keeping your body pressed to hers for a few minutes. Cass hugs you awkwardly back, obviously a little unsure as to how to react, which you find odd. Still, after those few minutes are up, you draw away and start getting prepared to leave.

"Uh. Sorry about the clothing I was a little...yeah. Cally was in my skull I think."

"Hm? Oh. Don't worry about that. I needed clothes and... I think I'll be fine. Maybe. Where'd my jacket go?"

"Ah... well... um... I might have blown it up?"

"You... you blew up my jacket?"

"Well... more like I blew up the house that had your jacket in it..."

"... I don't even want to know. I'm done. We're done here. Moving on. Which ways the car?"

"That way I... think..."

You point off in the direction you're pretty sure the car was, but you take a glance back at the foci you've left on the bastards chest. And think of the one he has to have on him. There's something you want to confiscate. And you don't want to leave anything they could try to hurt Cass with later.

As you start to head towards them though, Cass' voice cuts sharply through the silent air, a calm determination and command in her voice that surprises you.

"Leave them."

"Huh? But... D7-"

"Leave them, Linda. It's like a grave. For me and him both. The rest of the family died here. He deserves to die here to. And that part of me is dead. Gone. Not coming back. If they want the foci so badly, D7 can have them."

You watch her leave, and reach out with your senses to touch at the foci left behind. Nothing... at least, nothing that is her. The shadow thing obviously has something in it, but the two knives... there's no feeling at all. It's a littler disconcerting actually, like a child without any life in them. You shudder slightly, maybe you're a little more sensitive to that sort of thing now, but regardless, it's time to be gone.

You head off after Cass, jogging a little to catch up, and the walk to the car is silent. Both of you are going over things in your respective heads, and it's not until you reach the car that something else finally hits you.

"Hey Cass?"

"Yeah?"

"So... you're not psychotic anymore, right?"

"... Mostly."

"Mostly? Is that what that odd calm you is or something? Cause you planning is a little scarier than you going bat shit insane on people..."

"I'll explain in the car. Now come on."

"Alright... you think you'll actually try to get to know people now?"

"Dear GOD!"

>>>Select Target
>Nicole Reed
>Elizabeth McCallahan
>Chris Wayneright
>>
No. 529046 ID: af8414

Let's go for NICOLE
>>
No. 529048 ID: a4b6b4

Elizabeth! We never got into Seer girl's head!
>>
No. 529050 ID: c95833

The foci are empty. Good.

>change perspective
Oh gods, we can play as Elizabeth? That. So much that. Time for prescient running of the organization while Linda's away, freaky friendship with Michelle, and maybe finally doing something awesome with fear itself.

...though I hope we switch back when it's time for Linda and Cass to check out that fixer base. Haven't decided if it would be better to sneak in by becoming Maria, or using Raphael's powers.
>>
No. 529056 ID: 60fee2

>Elizabeth McCallahan
>>
No. 529057 ID: 184dd1
File 137511024512.jpg - (142.05KB , 400x566 , tumblr_mn6fjwxwV31snximfo1_400.jpg )
529057

You spend your morning doing what you always do. Gazing. Watching. Reading the threads and the weave and the woven. You watch the intricate dance of threads-made-stars as they twinkle above you. You stare for a long time, not comprehending the world around you as you delve into possibility after possibility, discarding them just as quickly, only to be interrupted by someone becoming fast familiar in your life since the Angel left.

"Hey. HEY! Liz! Earth to Liz? Yeah. I don't know what you're doing, but finish your breakfast first, alright? Your mom'd kill me if you weren't fed right. Geeze. Glad this babysitting thing is almost over. She should be back tomorrow."

"Day after. Wants to visit convention."

"Huh? Convention for what?"

"..."

"Yeah... alright, whatever."

The Moon shines just as brightly as ever, if not brighter today. The 23rd sits across from you, already having finished eating but waiting patiently for the days instructions. You see her threads weave and vibrate, ah... someone did something connected to her. A vibration of someone linked. Family? Most likely. A strong vibration. Her past is coming back whether she wants it or not. Will have to consider changes. Ideas, and flows.

Suddenly, a ripple springs across the threads set in place. A thought? No. A Dream? Yes. Something dreamt has entered reality. Only one so close could do that...

"Michelle."

"Huh? Oh! Damn it! Again?"

"Levi and Moth are... brothers."

"Alright. I'll go get em. Chris, make sure she eats properly.God damned sons of- can't they stop trying to eat each other for more than a few hours? You'd think siblings would get along bett-"

You delve back into the weave even as you put another forkful of egg into your mouth. The possibilites stretch out before you, but you have little focus. The things needed to be done have been done. Reports will wait for the Angel to return. Until then you are... noticeably lacking in things to predict. The quiet within the threads is... unsettling.

You desire focus.

>>>Input Command.
>>
No. 529059 ID: a4b6b4

With the threads so empty, let's enjoy breakfast, first off. After that?
Either go mess around with the Doctor's workshop, or maybe talk to that Fire guy? Didn't he step up in that mission before Angel left?
>>
No. 529069 ID: c95833

Pff. Poor Michelle. Hopefully they grow out of the sibling rumble phase. They may be brothers, but relatively, their time together is still young.

>You desire focus.
Hmm. If the threads aren't doing anything on their own, we need perspective. Something to stir things up, give us something to focus on.

The Crafter of Things that Never Were might be worth a visit. There's enough chaos in his work, and potential ties from his projects to our our futures that there could be something interesting. And he does appreciate your insight.

Or there's always walking the place, and throwing an eye over other allies. Seeing if anything pings interest, or draws concern.
>>
No. 529112 ID: af8414

How about visiting the memory boy?
>>
No. 529117 ID: c95833

Another possible diversion would be to visit the vault, and borrow another few foci for identification. Unlocking their secrets is something, and it slowly makes the supply useful as their keeper learns what his trade wares are. Although more interesting than that is if you manage to discover a focus intended for someone.

>>529112
What became of him, anyways? Or what about the woman who is no longer your mother? The Angel left before final arrangements could be made for what to do with the prisoners, but they haven't been left to rot in their cells, have they?

The memory child makes you uncomfortable, yes, and is unsettling to others, but he was never really a fixer. While I doubt he's been allowed free reign, I doubt the others would have felt comfortable locking a child in a cell forever. Not sure what would have been done (or should be done?) with Maria. (Take away her memory of our location and release her? Memory edit her so she never remembers being a breaker and release her? Keep her prisoner?).
>>
No. 529163 ID: 2f4b71

>>529057
>Convention
Abuse of breaking powers #4782: Instant Cosplay.
>>
No. 529191 ID: c95833

>>529163
That is 100% canon.

The only question is whether Linda will successfully drag Cass into it too.
>>
No. 529319 ID: 184dd1

The Mother Who is Not is still kept within the room, although she has been provided with things to entertain herself and keep her in good health. You have little desire to deal with her however, and have avoided going to visit. The Memory is the same, kept within his place, provided for as long as he causes no trouble. He has not. Still, you don't want to be near him. He... remembers things he should not, and the threads around him are scattered and broken. It is unsettling.

Still, you have time. Today, nothing is supposed to happen, although the threads are as always mutable by someone who can touch them. You finish your breakfast in silence, trying to ignore the threads as best you can, although they are still twinkling above your head, and when you finish, Chris quickly swipes the plate away to clean it. You wander off, heading downstairs to see about maybe visiting the vault or the Crafter of Things that Never Were.

Halfway down, just as you enter the main hall, however, a wave of activity sparks across the threads, and you halt in your movements, eyes scanning the newly reordered weave. There. And there again. They were not changes to physical things. They were... a call? A dream. A dream from someone else who is not a dream yet is and... confusing. Trying to correct damage. Damage? Reality damage. Reversal of foretold death.

They are... trying to erase you.

Not sure if you should fight them. Your death was required, is required, by reality, but the Angel rewrote that. Should not have to occur. Breaker attempting to fix? Maybe. Need more information. They are... anathema to your sight. All you see is death with them. Possibility. Other groups within the city might know. Very few not assimilated into your family. Working to correct. Maybe do both.

Three small groups still resisting integration. North family, took over what the club the music loved. Said it was there's to begin with. Presented paperwork. Could do little to stop them. Mostly performers. Did not want to attack.

Second group. Call themselves the Dead Ones. Like to go out at night. Hold street fights at night. Locals not care, it is entertaining to watch for them. Will get tired of destruction eventually. Will deal with problem. D7 already taking notice.

Last group highly destructive. Do not want within group. Elimination preferable. Can not expect smooth takeover otherwise. Preferred to have the Angel here, combat is hers to direct, but will hunt down if necessary.

"Hey little one. How have you been?"

The Bladed Cross. She is better. Seed within her is growing. Will be strong. Live long. Live well. Not a breaker in most futures.

"Child is happy. Will be strong in 9 months."

"Huh? What do you mean, strong in 9 mo-... Oh... OH! HAHAHAHA! Then I'm-"

"Yes."

"Oh damn... This is... I'm just... Anyway, that down along the line. I should get checked out though..."

"Will no appear to doctors for another two weeks. Would be pointless."

"Oh... thanks for this."

"Do not mention. Futures are bright. Bright futures are... good."

"Ha! That's true. Anything you need help with, now that I think about it?"

... Suppose Bladed Cross might be of use. Not an important piece, but able to influence outcome to some degree.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 529329 ID: a4b6b4

Hunh. So it seems Reality isn't too happy about Elizabeth still being alive...Hrrrm. On the one hand, to...
Actually, wait. Nonexistance means Reality ignores you. But being in Realiy's viewpoint means the continued attempts of being erased...
That can be something to prepare for, the eventual 'break' into Nonexistance, alongside our mother. Perhaps...We can become weave watchers, perhaps?
But that is to be dealt with later. For now, I think, perpare to deal with that last group of Breakers, at least set things in place so that Angel can move in and mop things up. Tell Bladed Cross of that third group and that we're going to move to deal with it. Maybe she'd like to come along and help with that.
>>
No. 529355 ID: c95833

>You have little desire to deal with her and have avoided going to visit
It is difficult to visit with one who only wishes for your death.

>They are... trying to erase you.
>Not sure if you should fight them. Your death was required, is required
You should resist. Before, when Conner ended your life, you accepted it. You did not resist. You thought it necessary. But the Angel changed that. And since then she has given you some of her power. She wants you to be strong. To be able to protect yourself when she cannot.

If reality truly requires your death, it will find a means to take you. And you accept that. But you will resist as long as you still can. It is... what the Angel would want. Perhaps the effort will be futile. But she has taught you the effort is important.

>three groups
Not sure what to do about the performers. No one is jumping out at me as suited to reaching out to them. Would the Angel's connection to Music make it easier or harder for her to approach them? Or the Queen, perhaps? She is... eccentric. She might find the alternate performance based system here interesting. As well as trying to gather information on the unique problem you face. You could indulge her wish to speak with you.

The Dead Ones should be approached. Someone who understands their desire to compete and fight, but can reach out to them now that D7 is encroaching on them. The Moon is that kind of warrior- she might be able to relate to them. She fights to prove herself, reestablished the arena, fought gangs, etc. As might the Bladed Cross- they might be open to mercenary assistance, or an arrangement similar to her own.

The destructive group can probably wait for the return of the Angel and the Warrior. Although if they present a problem, our group is strong. There are others who can stand and fight. The Moon, the Twenty-third Demon, Michelle, the Queen, the Bladed Cross and her allies.

>Bladed Cross might be of use.
She is strong, and she has friends.

We could ask her to approach the dead ones, and/or warn her to prepare her people if and when we need to deal with the remaining destructive faction.

>Need more information.
...if we exhaust other options, you may have to consider consulting the Memory. What is anathema to your sight may not be outside his scope. It will not be your first choice, but if you are resolved to fight, you may have to consign yourself to confronting that which is unsettling.
>>
No. 529427 ID: 184dd1

Yes. The Moon. She is will deal with the Dead Ones. Similar thoughts. Threads weave together well in that future. Mostly. Problems arise elsewhere. In a few possibilities. Someone strong faces her. Possibilities abound. One possible future involves her falling in love. Interesting. Small chance however. Too focused on helping the Angel. Could influence you suppose. If one wanted. As for the violent ones...

"Bladed Cross must prepare. Maybe fight later. Maybe not. Violent gang is... violent. Possibility of confrontation. May require aid."

"Hm? Oh. Those violent motherfuckers? Yeah, I've heard of them. Haven't really run into them though. Why would you need our help though, you got plenty of strong people here?"

"Need to do other things. The Moon will be talking to Dead Ones. Others will be needed elsewhere as well. Hoping Bladed Cross will help in defending home if needed."

"Of course! Don't worry about that at all! You hired us to help train all your guys, and if you're all dead, we can't exactly train anyone, yeah? We'll help. Besides, I like you. Kinda hope my child is like you. Well... less spacey maybe."

You wander off, the Bladed Cross having had her threads assured. The Moon is quickly found and instructed in what you think needs doing, and after consideration, she agrees. Her plan is to go have herself a brawl with them tonight, bringing a couple of guys along if necessary, just in case she needs to even out the numbers. That leaves the rest of the day though, as the Dead Ones come out at night. You have another stop to do though. Time to seek out someone else you have difficulty dealing with.

The Queen is found in her usual place, isolated from the rest of the group as she observes everyone's activities with interest. Her soldier stands behind her, inactive but ever watchful, and as you approach, he begins to move, aiming a burst of protective feelings along the threads. The Queen waves him down, however, turning her interest on you with a bit of surprise, you having chosen to avoid her gaze for the most part.

"Oh? So the seer comes to talk to me then. What can I help you with, little seer?"

Her tone is playful, implying she's not taking you serious at all. Regardless, you are certain she can be of help, or at least will try to help. Her interest in doing and seeing interesting things is always been such. It doesn't help you, however, that her threads frequently are erratic and ever changing, although her desire to help the Angel at least is solid enough. Frequently her threads cross with the Angel's various forms of intimate relationships, although the Angel seems to not notice or care at the moment. The pain of lost friends seem to hold her back somewhat, although you doubt the Angel will hold onto that for long.

Linda is... strong, in her own insane way. She will endure and overcome.

Still. One must focus on the task at hand.

"I require help."

"Hm? With what, exactly?"

"A group of performers, breakers, are still holding themselves apart from us. I do not require they join us, but I must speak with them regarding a... problem... I am having. I require your aid in speaking with them. I am willing to offer payment for you service."

"Payment? What kind?"

"I will speak with you about the weave."

"Weave? Oh! Your sight? Alright, of course I'll help! When do we leave?"

You will be going. You must. The threads require your attention now more than ever. Especially with the hunter of your death coming to find you. Still, preparations. Are there any further things to be done before going to the Music Grave?

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 529461 ID: c95833

>The Moon is too focused on helping the Angel
Ah, that confirms my guess as to the significance of her name. The moon is a follower. She glows with anther's light- she only shines when there is a sun to reflect.

...maybe a small nudge wouldn't hurt. Give the moon a fair chance to make it happen, if she wishes. If it doesn't have negative consequences, there's no reason not to allow her a chance at happiness.

>Linda and Aria
Pff. Even the future is putting the moves on us. I think we've got things to clear up still first, though. I'd like to have that conversation with Cally, and one with Raphael. Linda's got a busy night or two of dreaming to do, I think.

>the hunter of your death coming to find you
Frustrating. As soon as one is dealt with, another arises.

>Anything else to set in motion
I'm having trouble thinking of anything. I assume Michelle's rambunctious demon siblings aren't a problem that needs addressing. And it is not yet time for the 23rd to face her past, and we have time enough to nudge her later if you wish or if it seems necessary. And that leaves pretty much every character accounted before. Even Mike's got something to be happy about!

...Mike. Hmm. I suppose we could deploy the sneaky people. We have allies who have their own contacts in this city, and their own ways of gathering information. No harm in casting a wide net, right? Perhaps the information you seek isn't contained in the three well defined groups, but drifting somewhere in between.

Do we require additional allies on this journey? If the residents of the Music Grave are those who seek to erase you, will the Queen be enough of a defense? (That depends on how strong this group is, but I kind of expect Aria will be sufficient, and combat is a low probability outcome anyways).

I suppose you never made it to the Maker or the vaults. Foci identification can wait. Can the Maker? Does he need your insight to complete anything before the Angel returns, or to be steered in a direction that will improve our outcomes?

(Pff. I like it how all my suggestions are all questions. I'm giving the character things to do- I'm asking the prescient character if it will be worth doing these things. :V )
>>
No. 529498 ID: 184dd1

A nudge for the Moon then. The Angel might no approve of so... direct... an intervention into others lives, but you have little issues with directing the flow of events. You will need to speak to her later at some point, but for now, she is preparing for her night jaunt, and you are going to be busy with the Music Grave. And rather than aid the Maker, you would be intruding at this point. He is busy with his projects, particularly something to do with the Angel's focus. You would rather not drag him away from that. As for allies... the threads do not speak of danger. Still, perhaps bringing the 23rd would be sufficient to ward of any unexpected changes to the threads.

"Now. Bring the 23rd. She may be needed. Will wait by car."

"23r- Oh! The one everyone said called herself 23? Chris then. Alright, I'll go get her and meet you by the car, little seer."

Maybe a half hour later, the three of you are at the club, and are being brought into an office to talk with what you suppose are the leaders of this group. The threads seem to revolve around them anyway. They do not seem particularly hostile, but they don't seem to want to be particularly helpful either.

"Alright. We're seeing you. That's more than you'd get from other groups, I'd think. What the fuck is it you want from us?"

"Isabelle! Be nicer! They have a younger one with them."

"Oh, COME ON! She's probably heard this all before!... Fine! What is it you want from us? Trying to take us over too, or what?"

You find yourself examining the weave again, eyes flickering to and fro. For the most part, you are being ignored, but you catch glimpses of things. Water. Fear. Revulsion. So many traumas here. You could easily use them to begin your fear. Or you could attempt to read the future, find what might be the best possibility. Not many to work with, but it might be a lot nicer to avoid people's personal issues. Of course, you'd use the futures that aren't so nice, but...

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you why we three are here. The little seer said we should come, so we came."

"Little seer?"

"The spaced out one here."

"Ah... what, she like... see the future or something?"

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 529510 ID: f208be

Perhaps...
"Futures, and fears, to be clear, but the fact of why we are here is because someone desires to correct a 'break' in the actual reality, and we wish to know who it is...Besides which, while we do *approve* of what you do here, we wish to improve relations. Not all breakers are suited for war, like myself."
I THINK that covers all we came here to do...
>>
No. 529542 ID: c95833

>Trying to take us over too, or what?
Well no, actually, we aren't. I mean, our faction has kind of set ourselves up as the protector of this city, but we don't have a problem cohabiting with other factions that aren't causing problems. In fact, I had kind of hoped some of the natives who came to us for sanctuary would start drifting back to entertainment once we'd pushed back the fixers and D7 and made it safe to do so.

...if the conversation and what we discover allows it, there's nothing wrong with extending their group the offer of cooperation. Influence may be sufficient for our goals- direct control is not necessary. And the Angel would like seeing Music's Grave restored as a place of life.

>fear
Huh. As much as I want to see Elizabeth do something cool with that, is that the best way to get information out of them? I suppose it's a tool to catch them off balance, shake them up, open a wedge that can be maneuvered in, in the face of their unhelpfulness.

I'd use the future, rather than their past traumas. We don't have reason to come down that hard yet, and it does answer her question (you see the future?). It also provides a segueway to where we're going- If they are or they know the ones interested in correcting the weave / erasing you, your abilities may catch their attention. Either because they recognize you as the target, or because they do not, but recognize that your powers and insight would be relevant to the efforts of anyone trying to manipulate the weave in such a way. (Potentially being consulted to achieve your own demise is an amusing possibility).

>Aria doesn't know why we're here
Oh. Right. Huh. That makes it harder for her to play to our goals. Although I suppose she's good at improvising.
>>
No. 529562 ID: af8414

The future, and the past. Unnerve them a bit with references to the latter.
>>
No. 529684 ID: 184dd1

"No interest in takeover. Will not attack others who are not threat. Most futures are safe here. Club will become active again. Memories of Music will not fade. It is good. Isabelle will bring many to hear her own music, as will dozens of others. Becomes famous. Still, not important. Seeking information. Someone new in city. Someone dangerous."

"Huh? What the hell is she talking about?"

"Ah! I believe the little seer is saying we don't want to fight you at all, we just want to talk. We're looking for someone it seems. Oh, and apparently in the future this place will be famous again."

"Really... how would that happen? We barely have any funds to open this place as is."

"Group can supply sponsorship. The Angel has interest in seeing this place alive again. Money is not issue. Will send later."

"Huh?"

"We'll sponsor you guys till your on your feet. Our boss apparently likes this place, for whatever reason."

"Ah... she always like this?"

"As far as I can tell, yes."

"Huh. So... you're looking for someone?"

"Yes."

"Don't think we've heard anything about anyone new..."

"Yeah we did! There was that one guy asking around about some girl with fore... sight..."

"Oh...OH! Shit, he's looking for you?!"

Everyone turns their attention to you, eyes on inquisitive. You find yourself squirming slightly, you are normally not someone who likes to deal directly with this. People's attention upon you makes you... uncomfortable. Regardless, they have information you require. Perhaps indulging them would sate their curiosity enough to give them what you want. Still, telling them would likely draw them into your problems, and put them in the way of unnecessary risk...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 529686 ID: 76b151

Tell them that. Give them the choice. You can just get what they know of this gun and leave... or involve them further, help them know their futures but there WILL be danger.
>>
No. 529697 ID: c95833

>what do
You cannot acquire the information by yourself. You will have to involve someone, to some extent, to learn what you need to know.

They don't need to know the whole picture, right? Your death, the rewriting of reality, the nonexistence, the attempted correction. Indulge them as is necessary, but limit the exposure. Keep information that is need to know need to know. Limit their exposure and risk.

>thinking here
What would be the consequences if your opponents were successful in their efforts to erase you? When the Angel broke time and changed the course of events, she unknowingly ran the risk of destroying... everything. And even successful, the act damaged, changed her- made her nonexistant.

That was only for an alternation of hours. To restore your previous fate would require reaching back weeks. Doesn't that make the risk and power needed for the alteration all the greater? And what would become of the Angel- would erasing you restore her as she was? Leave her as she is? Push her out of reality all together, instead of existing in something she is no longer a part of?
>>
No. 529705 ID: 7f6760

check weave first maybe about this? But I'm thinking you should say:
'Yes. But again, I warn you, if your future turns out bleak, there is little chance of escape. It is...extremely difficult to escape should Reality demand you do something.'
>>
No. 529722 ID: c95833

>>529697
There's also the fact that your life was far from the only one saved that day. Conner killed Michelle, and went on a rampage through our base. The Angel lead an attack that decimated the Lover's forces.

If the changes were reversed, you would not be the only thread erased. Much of our faction is invested in preserving this timeline, I would think.
>>
No. 530238 ID: 184dd1

"Involvement risky. Do not wish to threaten lives of those unconcerned. Require information, little else. Would be happier to receive and leave, rather then cause harm."

"Huh?"

"I think she's saying that if she tells you too much, you all will be in danger. Therefore, she'd rather keep as much information out of it and leave you to continue on in peace then have you get threatened by whatever is hunting her."

"Oh. Well, uh. He didn't seem all that dangerous. Just some guy in suit asking around about her. Said he had to talk to her about something. Didn't say what. We didn't really have anything to tell him, so... well, you know."

"That is all? Thank you."

You get up to leave, the 23rd and the Queen quickly moving to follow suit, only to have the Beat stop you, looking a little sheepish.

"There's one other bit. Said he was going to be hanging around the port side of town, if you feel like checking it out. I don't know if he's there now, but..."

"... Understood."

You lead the way out, mind quickly delving into the patterns of the weave. Was the hunter at this port? No. Will he be? Yes. Perhaps. Death awaits you in many possible futures in the weave, especially there. Yet, at the same time... there is other possibilities. Another route? The same route, different ending. A major turning point. A decision. Tomorrow. That would be tomorrow. Still, you had things you could do today. Must see about influencing the Moon towards her option of love. A Moon shines brightest with a Sun, and there is no brighter Sun then a lover. Perhaps a little unbelievable, coming from someone who can see the future, but you find that believing in such things makes the world seem brighter. Much better than believing in the death of the world.

Regardless, you return home, and the Queen decides she'll have her conversation about your sight with you during dinner that night. The Maker is still untouchable right now, the distraction would be bad, while the 23rd seems to remain beside you. A glance at her threads reveals concern for you, but you ignore it in favor of searching out other, more important threads.

Action must be taken to reduce the number of cut threads.

The Moon is still busily preparing, although if you are to influence her thread towards your intent, you will require... more information. You decide a more intense session is required, for more than one reason, and you retreat to the Angel's private rooms, easing yourself onto the couch and closing your eyes to focus a second. A twitch is felt as your glass eye begins to "see", and upon opening them, the weave spreads out before you. Options sing in your ears, and you find yourself having difficulty deciding what to see. The weave reveals so much in its most pure form.

-There, threads seems to disappear periodically as they cross paths with an absence. The Angel. While you can't influence her fate directly, to touch something nonexistent is painful, you can influence the threads around her. Meetings. Partings. Friends. Lovers. You could choose to see that as well as you can right now, although doing that for too long would begin to bring pain.

-The Hunter. You cannot see him directly. Definitely could not influence it such. But you could see the futures contact with him at different points would bring, at least to those around you. You're own thread you loathe to look at directly, as influencing yourself directly could be... worse than influencing others through words.

-Obviously, the Moon could be viewed, as well as her futures with and without her Sun. Of course, there are many possible Suns, even within your own group, but the chances of them are abysmal in comparison with the coming confrontation.

-And of course, you could look at anyone else you are familiar with, if you so choose. Possible futures would be seen, but you would have trouble influencing them without knowing what intent to look for. Something to think about.

>>>Select 2 to SEE
>>
No. 530245 ID: cf8f63

Hrrm...
The Hunter...we're going to want to stop him by the sounds of it. He sounds like the Demon, or related to him somehow...Don't look at your own thread, but still, let's see if we can't find a way to deal with the guy.
Moon...A Sun for the Moon...Sounds like she won't be properly 'complete' without a Sun...
I'm kinda not wanting to break up the whole LindaXCass ship though, sooo maybe...Moon and that Fire guy Matthew for a literal Sun?
>>
No. 530248 ID: 13d429

>>530245
Actually, it sounds like there's an upcoming NPC that'll provide the shipping opportunity.

Might as well check out the Hunter and Moon. The Angel can probably take care of herself for a while.
>>
No. 530251 ID: b5df96

>concern for you
Well, she did just discover someone is hunting you, and that you consider it important enough to investigate personally. She isn't stupid- she can see that means danger.

>What futures to consider
If you're going to nudge the Moon's orbit, it seems to me it would be irresponsible not to consider the consequences of that.

The Angel v the Hunter is the harder choice. While on the one hand, interaction between the Angel and her friends is something important to keep up on (partings?! We've had so many already), but a threat is possibly even more important. I would lean towards the Hunter.

Unless... can we sort of combine the two? See first where the Hunter crosses paths with our allies, and then follow how they cross with the Angel. One does lead sort of naturally into the other.

>other things to consider looking at
Well, there's Chris' looming family event, but that can probably wait. Michelle might be of passing interest here- Leviathan has a certain degree of his own sight. If he perceives the threat against you, he may understand the threat against the new timeline. And Michelle, in turn. Another conscious actor complicates things.

>>530245
You're kind of missing the point. She can't see the hunter not because he is like the Demon (she never said she can't see the Demon. She saw him coming like a week in advance. It's just that looking at McCarthy is dangerous, since he can tell when someone is doing that, and look back). She can't see the hunter because he's connected to her own death. It's the same thing that prevented her from seeing the confrontation with Marc, before.

...and I think you're misunderstanding or poorly stating the shipping thing. Cass and Linda are pretty solidly bffs at this point and not in any real danger of damaging that (no matter what happens to Nic, or between Linda and Aria). And Mathew would be a terrible match for Nic.
>>
No. 530269 ID: 184dd1

>The Moon
A criss cross of threads weave in and out of hers. Loosely at best, for most of them, signaling little impact or importance, or a low chance of something major happening. You focus on her thread specifically, hunting for the best possible chance at finding her Sun. And find a burning passion. A man who decides on what he wants and hunts for it with a single minded determination. That drive would push her to greater things herself, her desire to match and exceed her lover making her even better than she could be on her own. Regardless, if you were to push her towards that path, you would have to encourage her to continue fighting when she might otherwise have finished doing so, and on top of that, somehow convince her to fight a specific opponent at a specific time at a specific place. Namely the Stars, at midnight, on the side of the tallest building in the city... hm. Harder than anticipated. Will have to consider your words... carefully.

>The Hunter
Something you can't see directly, your death being the only thing that seems to want to intrude upon your visions. Yet, at the same time, the woven threads of your allies shows you thing you could not see otherwise. The most common occurrence of your death appears to be the port. Your allies seem to gather there. Remaining here, in the safety of this place, results only in the lower members of your group dying needlessly. Tomorrow, you shall have to leave or endanger them. And of course, there is the matter of your more close-knit allies. They will follow you, regardless of your whims. A few of the futures result in their deaths, but these are of significantly low chances, and can be discarded as possibilities safely. A few more are thrown away as well, places where nothing but death exists. This leaves you, after examining the threads again and again, to understanding three places of relative safety.

The Music Grave is actually the most likely to result in your survival, if only because it has the most breakers there that are not overly hostile. However, others will die there. Non connected to your group in any major way, but others will die.

The sight of your previous death seems to be a place as well, oddly enough, although this is of average survival chances. The chances of dragging others into your troubles is reduced significantly, but in so doing, the chances of your death rise sharply. Safe for others, not safe for you.

The final place of significant survival is the port. A direct assault on the enemy, you think. While this has the highest chance of your death, most resulting in bad ends, you can sense... something... resting here. Waiting. OBSERVING you in much the way you are attempting to observe it. IT knows you are watching, yet refuses to reveal itself. A test? No. Not actively trying to hide itself. Still... something interesting is there. Waiting. You could choose to risk a direct attack against the hunter, in exchange for a chance to meet this... observer... but the risk of death would be higher.

>>>Please Roll a D6
>>
No. 530270 ID: 76b151

rolled 5 = 5

welp
>>
No. 530278 ID: b5df96

>encourage her to continue fighting when she might otherwise have finished doing so
In the context of this one battle, not her life, right? The first will just be troublesome to set up, but not harmful. The latter case would be kind of a hard choice- trading peace for love?

>trade offs between certain deaths for others and risk of death for yourself
...that's a hard choice, and not one I'm willing to make until we've finished the vision and seen what the dice tell us.

A harder choice still for the Angel. She is committed to protecting others, but especially you. She saved you once- by unwitting placing reality itself at risk. Choosing between one who is so important to her and sacrificing those who place their trust in her, takes her back to Conner's path. A difficult choice indeed.

>tomorrow
...wait, the Angel returns the day after tomorrow. We will have to take action without her?

>>530270
That's a good roll!
>>
No. 530308 ID: 184dd1

You smash your will and desires against this thing opposing your sight, for the first time in a long while finding yourself getting actively angry. Something thinks it can simply ignore your sight? The Angel you can understand, she is beyond your sight because Reality says she does not exist. But this one? This one!?

You will NOT be denied.

The thing caves against your will, the block put in place in tatters, and you SEE. An observer was an apt description. The thing is... the same. The same as the angel that destroyed the Nightmare. Ripped asunder his threads. Only this one is here for a different purpose. And is decidedly not hiding its form. For whatever reason, it's attention is focused on you, but you have no idea why. It's motives are strong, and it's threads do not intersect with anything. Yet it exists. It is present. More like its threads have been... removed.

Regardless, the strain proves too much, and you feel your concentration slip before the purest form of the threads is hazed over by something dark and red. You reach up with a grimace and slides your fingers across your cheek, pulling the hand away to find the red of blood. Ah. The price has been paid again then. You quickly move into the bathroom and clean yourself up, the blood refusing to cease flowing for another few minutes before you manage to stem the flow and make yourself look presentable. Showing this sight to others will only cause needless worry. More so if they find out the reason for it is you wound never fully healing.

When you finally do get downstairs, it's late in the evening, and the Moon is getting ready to go. You'll have to mention something to her now, before she leaves, because you won't be going with her this time. Still, you don't to make it seem like you'd forced this. Even if you are...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 530328 ID: b5df96

>another outsider
Oh. That's significant. I'm not sure if we can ignore that- you may need to take the more dangerous path. Especially if it's at the same place you believe the hunter is. If an observer from outside reality is responsible for the hunt... dealing with the present hunter may not be sufficient.

I would not want to confront something like that without the Angel, however.

Possibly the observer is why this path is the most dangerous. A chance for resolution, or to give that who wishes you erased a chance to sunder your thread, even as the Nightmare's was.

>a wound that never heals
...something all breakers bear, more or less, in one way or another. You are fortunate to be stronger now than you once were. The Angel has provided you with... stability. Strength. You are not so much at the mercy of your visions as you once were. (Elizabeth has grown. Not so dramatically as Linda, or Cass' recent transformation, but she's slowly grown much more lucid, and she's no longer reduced to a crying wreck by what she sees. She's found a measure of stability and peace).

>you don't to make it seem like you'd forced this. Even if you are.
You're looking at it the wrong way! You are not forcing anything- you're giving her an opportunity. She deserves as much.

That said, we obviously can't just come out and say "do such and such and you'll find love". She'll be thrown off, and possibly rebel against being manipulated that way. So phase it more cryptically, as advise on the outcome. Because it will yield better results. Not better for the team or the mission- there are multiple paths for that to succeed. But if she listens, it will be better for her. She does wish to grow stronger, yes? This is a path that will lead her there.

She'll figure it out later, of course. What you really meant. There will be a "you knew!" moment. But hopefully one of happiness at the outcome, not annoyance at being manipulated.
>>
No. 530892 ID: 184dd1

You make your way over towards the Moon, settling what you're going to say in your mind during the short trip across the hall. Still, your estimate the chances of her actually obtaining love to be slim at best, your words or no. A little luck is going to need to be involved.

"Moon."

"Hm? Oh. What's up, Liz?"

"The future. Possibilities. A fight. Midnight. Many stars. Only you. Building... tall building. Must fight on the side of tall building. Fight and win. Then the Sun might rise. Might be better that way."

"Huh? I wish I had Linda's patience sometimes. Can't you say anything clearly."

"A fight. At midnight. On the side of the tallest building. Against the Stars. Make it happen."

Your seemingly sudden lucidity surprises the hell out of everybody, but you take the opportunity to disappear, heading instead for the dining area. You had a... dinner date... you had to get to. And hopefully dealing with the Queen would be easier. Even if you didn't want to have to talk about yourself at all. Promises were promises. They must be kept. Except when they shouldn't.

You arrive at the table the Queen favors to find delicacies laid out across the table, ready to be eaten. Most of them appear expensive, although there are a few simpler dishes here and there. The Queen herself smiles kindly at your arrival, although you can practically see the gears turning in her head. She's expecting something from you, and all this food is a bribe. You have no use for such things. Bribes only work on those who can't already see what you want.

"Pleasure to have you join me, little seer. Please have a seat, enjoy the meal."

You sit and take some food, although it's mostly just to nibble on as the Queen keeps talking and you wait for her to actually asking you something relevant.

"You know, I didn't expect you to agree to something like this. Or bring it up yourself. A little odd in my opinion, but then again, I haven't known you for very long. You see the future, correct?"

"I see the weave."

"Weave?"

"The fabric of reality. Each thread woven together to form the greater whole."

"Ah... then I would assume every person and thing is a thread?"

"Yes."

"Very interesting. And you see these threads, and can predict the future based on how these threads come together?"

"Yes."

"What do mine say?"

Ah... a more... touchy subject. Hers are erratic as always, there they touch nothing, there they are touching yours again. She gravitates towards what provides the most interesting events. The nothing that is the Angel is the most common at this point, eventually, unless the Angel provides a means and reason for staying, the Queen will move on as she always has in the past. Regardless, there is little of interest caused by herself, and nothing here that will focus on her. She is of Britannia, and that is across the sea. Any who would focus on her and become an event specifically for her are there. Everything else she touches is someone else's, and she just a side character... still, you do not know if that is what she is looking for...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 530958 ID: b5df96

Huh, tough sell to Nicole. Ordering her there instead of making it appealing to her might make her resent your interference more later. Ah well, hopefully things will still work out well.

...if she does confront you about it later, I think the important point to make is even with you pushing her on the right path, this outcome was unlikely. If she made it work, it was her own doing. You just gave her the chance.

Also, side of the building? Dude. Unstoppable force. Immoveable object. Why didn't I think of that before. With the addition of her cool boots Nicole's powerset totally make her capable of fighting on a vertical surface. This is going to be awesome.

>Aria, food bribes
Pff. Same thing she tried with Linda.

>her future
Well, that her future is erratic and more unpredictable than most might please her. But... most of the rest of what you're describing is fairly apparent. Things that could be seen without your sight, even. She knows she is in search of the interesting, and that she has left her home, and that she will continue one day, if nothing prompts her to put down roots.

Maybe you're looking at this the wrong way. Don't look for future events that focus on her. If she was interested in that, she would have stayed where she was important, instead of looking for something else. Try instead... looking for truths about her. What does spirit sight show you about her nature. What does who and what her avatar is tell you about her. What does her past tell you about her. What can you tell her about herself that she doesn't already know?

...after all, bribes only work on those who don't know what they want. Tell her what she didn't know she wanted to hear.
>>
No. 531013 ID: 184dd1

"Instability. Erratic behavior. You seek things that are interesting. The Angel is chief among those right now, although later, maybe not. The future is always the same. Go here, enjoy, go there, enjoy. Past and present... less changeable."

"The past? You can see the past?"

"Glimpse. Understand. Not see. That which has happened is of no interest. Do not need to remember, because can see what will happen regardless of past. You. The Queen. A ruler. Yet nothing to rule. Nobility. Yet no place to call own. So, sought out other places. Interesting places. Have little interest in long term relationships. Grow dull. Uninteresting. Despise patterns and routines. Absolutely hate being kept in a tidy box. Odd. Avatar represents shackles. Keeps you grounded even as you seek to involve yourself in the unreal. Also..."

You know you are hitting incredibly close to home for her. She is not used to someone picking apart her mentality so thourougly. Probably why she avoids psychatrists. For a half second, you consider continuing, but that path leads to resentment and violence. Instead, you use a throw away comment about her dating preferences, wondering briefly if she'd even get that if her relations with the Angel go in that direction. Not that the Angel needs help with getting dates.

"Enjoy long walks in the park and street races that end in sex in the back seat."

"... Wha-?"

The Queen is suddenly taken by surprise, your completely straight face apparently throwing your analysis into an odd context. Regardless, you go back to ignoring her, nibbling on some pastry you vaguely remember the name of but can't quite place. What was it? You want to remember so you can ask the Angel for them later... what was it?

"How did you-? No. Wrong question. WHY did you comment on my... dating habits?"

"You are interested in the Angel. The Angel is not quite so interested, if only because she feels guilty over the deaths of the Music and the Nightmare."

"Music...? Nightmare...?"

You pause a moment, trying to dredge up the name from your memory. Using what they appear to you as nicknames certainly doesn't help you when you need their real names at all.

"Music... Cally Brooks. DJ at a club. Nice. Bubbly. Very bubbly. Too touchy feely. Warrior was good deterrent. Nightmare. Raphael. Daniel Tanner. Casey James. Matt Ester. Real name, Rick Donavan. Used to be... personal. Don't wish to share."

The Nightmare had told you all of it. Before he'd gone into the dark on his own. He'd come back, but he had wanted to be sure he told somebody. Not that you hadn't already known. He'd been in a psychiatric ward for most of his early life, plagued by waking nightmares and delusions. He'd insisted to everyone who questioned him that a black horse with flaming eyes was trying to kill him. His mother had been the only one who'd come to see him, she'd spend nights in his padded cell with him, singing softly and holding him. He was eventually "cured", although he would still have constant nightmares about a black horse coming for him. Then the breaker business started happening.

"So... she's at least interested then?"

"Who?"

"Linda? She wouldn't mind?"

"Can't say. Can't see her."

"Can' see he- Oh! She doesn't exist! Then, she doesn't have a thread?"

"Don't know. Maybe has thread that I can't see. Maybe has no thread, yet still makes things happen, like gravity."

"Hm. I see... Well, it's interesting to know I might interest someone who doesn't exist... Still, to think there's someone who can actually see the future..."

"Predict. Not always perfect."

"What do you mean?"

"Can influence events to get to future I want, but cannot force. Events change always."

"I see... so, could you look at something for me?"

"Maybe."

"Alright. I'll say my piece and let you respond if you like. Linda is... shall we say... an important person in the world of breakers now. Quite strong, and leading an entire faction. More than likely, even with this nonexistence thing, she will start to attract the notice of equally strong people. Including myself, obviously. And some might, shall we say, develop a thing for her, as it seems a few people already have. How many of those out there might she... have relations with?"

"Reason for question?"

"A few, actually. Rivals and all that. Interest in a person who doesn't exist. Girlish enthusiasm for that sort of thing. Maybe get to see Linda taken off her feet by someone more charming than even she is, even if she doesn't realize she's quite attractive. Who knows, I might try to steer her towards one of them, if I know them and think it'll do her some good."

... You could answer that, although still only vaguely. Her nonexistence makes it vague if those touching her threads will be lovers to the Angel or not. However... you find yourself somewhat interested. She is, after all, your mother. And if you WERE to bother looking into it, you would want your mother to end up with someone suited to her...

Still, on the other end, you don't particularly think viewing the weave is supposed to be used for such banal things. Nor do you think the Angel would be particularly happy with you if you decided to meddle in her more personal matters.

Decision, decisions...

...Ah! Crumb cake! That was it!

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 531017 ID: 13d429

>>531013
Such a thing would require... caution. Matchmaking is a tricky business, and one that can potentially go wrong and cause upset feelings. As is, you were kinda pushing it a little with the Moon. At most maybe check if there're anyone that're particularly bad news.
>>
No. 531026 ID: b5df96

Huh. This took an odd turn. Erratic Aria, indeed.

Weird that she's considering both her potential rivals, or opportunities to step aside / set things up.

>Cally and Raphael holding her back
At least we should have some closure there, soon. Cally said they'd talk later, and we're due for a dream with Raphael too.

Plot is holding Linda back, too. We were too busy running everything to spare time for Aria before, and then we moved right into attacking the fixers, and then ran off for weeks on Cass' thing. And dealing with this Hunter and the involvement of a new outsider is gonna grab our attention when we get back. Pacing kind of has to allow things to happen, or they won't.

>look into Linda
Huh. Kind of torn, here. On the one hand, it makes sense for Elizabeth to at least consider looking into this. Curiosity, and the impulse to do right by Linda, even if she might not appreciate the meddling. Those with strength who might enter her life simply as allies or enemies or major influences of any kind are of interest, even before we consider which of them might be lovers. On the other hand, having these kinds of decisions made for us before we ever even meet the characters in question is frustrating, from a player perspective.

...character veracity over mechanics worries. Elizabeth should look.

Although be careful in how much detail we go into here. It's one thing for you to try and alter the outcomes, and for the Queen to try and make an informed decision as to what she'd doing. It's another all together to let her manipulate the outcomes. Important to stress you can't be sure of the nature of the Angel's relationships with those she crosses.

(I'm really hoping we don't see something that makes Aria step aside and try to play matchmaker instead. That's kind of less interesting- we haven't had much chance to explore her character yet. ...and I really don't want to see a potential when her paths cross with Guy. A PC x PC ship would be such a mess. I'll bet Cass is somewhere in the possibilities, but only as a trainwreck, and something that wouldn't happen without manipulation anyways. :V).
>>
No. 531033 ID: 184dd1

In the end, the temptation to look is overwhelming, particularly when you feel like you could personally filter out anything detrimental to the Angel. The Queen does not have to know about all of them after all, especially ones that might be dangerous for the Angel to involve herself with. You prep slightly, centering yourself, than open up your sight again for the second time today, eyes scanning through the various threads that twine themselves with the nothing that is the Angel. You double check your work, just to be sure, before dropping out of it, already reaching for a napkin as you feel the sharp pain in your eye, and before anyone notices you have the cloth firmly pressed against your face, absorbing the blood that inevitably comes out.

"Are you alright?"

"Yes. I have an answer."

"Do you? What would that be?"

"Currently, there are two who the Angel might touch closely. Yours has the highest probability at this time, although there is another among our group here. She hasn't met him yet, and he doesn't even know she exists. Probability of that event occurring is within the .01 to .15 percentile. Unless she gets drunk at some point within a week of arrival. Then the probability jumps to 70 - 80 percent. That results in a one night stand however, that gets nowhere."

"Rather mathematical about all this, aren't you?"

"I am insane. Not stupid."

The pain helps keep you grounded in reality a little bit, and you find yourself getting much more lucid than you normally would be. What an odd feeling, not noticing and observing the threads around you. The only other times you really felt like this were when you played video games. Too many unknown electronic signals to constantly view. Your passive sight couldn't keep up. Regardless, you weren't done with your report. At least, not done with what you were going to report to the Queen.

"Another 7 appear over the next month, most relying on an absence of your possible relationship and her use of large amounts of alcohol. All result in one night stands that both she and the participant will not remember. 2 of them are brides at weddings. Something to do with reenacting a past exploit while trying to remember the results. She fails at that."

"Huh... Linda did that? How entertaining. I might just aid her in that..."

"Probability of events just increased."

"... Just like that?"

"All events are influenced by decisions. Such is the way of things."

"Anyone else? What about someone from her immediate surroundings? Nicole? Or maybe Cassandra?"

"The Moon is already... engaged... at the moment. She has been dealt with. Regardless, the Moon is also not interested in woman. Similarly can be said of the Warrior, although the Warrior has a lack of interest in either gender. Unless a certain event occurs next week, in which case, she might develop interest in men. Chances are moderate at best. In no threads does the Warrior romance females."

"Shame. And this... Chris?"

"Loves her sword."

"Ah. The serious type."

"Yes."

"That everyone then?"

"The Nightmare still lives. May return to her side in the future, under certain circumstances and events. Will happen within the month."

"The Nightmare? Ah! The one you called Raphael. And a bunch of other names."

"Yes. Others present themselves further out. Can't see clearly, will no make judgement."

"I see. So basically, me, and a bunch of one night stands, and this Nightmare character, if conditions are right, and a lot of others, although they are too far out to see properly."

"Correct."

As the Queen descends into thought, you allow yourself to go over the information you DIDN'T give her. Three others had presented themselves, but you saw no reason to draw her attention to those. One of them was a man coming from the LR. Possibility of meeting him was large, but while not dangerous to her in the least, almost helpful if they met, you were not certain yet as to his intentions for getting close to the Angel, and the Queen would know him already, and likely get into a rivalry with him regarding the Angel. Especially if the Angel and the Queen got into a relationship. The King would not hesitate regardless of the Angel's current relationship status.

The other two, however... they alarmed you the most. It surprised you they would even show up at all. While they were both similar, the chances of the meeting were wild and varied. The first was an almost certain meeting, yet the chances of a relationship starting were abysmal. The first had a better chance of romancing the Warrior then the Angel. The second, on the other hand, was erratic in both regards. Meeting and relationship. Even as you viewed them, they changed almost constantly shifting up and down erratically and without any real pattern. You tried changing some of your own decisions regarding the information, and if anything, the just seemed to make it more erratic. Regardless, the chances were not the surprising bits regarding these two possibilities.

What surprised you was the fact they were tears.

Regardless, you pull yourself away from your considerations as the Queen suddenly looks up at you, smiling slightly.

"Well, it certainly appears that I'll have to be the one to show Linda a good time then, doesn't it?"

"I suppose."

"Haha! Don't worry, that's all I wanted to know for now. Ah... I heard about the pier and all that. Someone hunting you, hm? I'll help as I can, and while I doubt it means much, it's been my experience that attacking tends to give the best rewards. Although it's infinitely more dangerous. Don't over think things either. I don't know how much information you've got from the weave seeing of yours, but sometimes it's better to go with your gut reaction than some overanalyzed overcomplicated plan."

The Queen excuses yourself, and you do as well, heading up to the empty room you occupy in the Angel's absence. Much to think about, and plans must be put in place regarding tomorrow. You do not have time to wait for the Angel's arrival. At least, no here. If you were to hide, it would have to be elsewhere... So much to do. You'll be glad with the Angel back. She'll do more thinking, and you can go back to viewing the weave as you like instead of dealing with all these people you don't want to.

>>>Input Command
>Addition: All Role a single D6
>>
No. 531041 ID: b5df96

rolled 1 = 1

>Linda's possibilities
Huh. I feel kinda funny about the one night stands knowing the other participant will forget. The one from within our own group might be the weirdest- someone who never got close to us, has already forgotten us, and will realize he's going to forget us again. The bride thing popping up again is hilarious, though.

Not sure how to handle Aria and Raphael, though. Or the LR guy or anyone else. It's not like we have information, or context. I guess we see what happens, and what makes sense for Linda at the time.

>tears
Holy shit there's more where he came from. Dang. And yeah, those being any kind of option are all is all kinds of crazy.

>much to do, plans to make, input command
...uh, not actually sure what we should be doing right now.

I suppose we need to choose between the three routes? You shouldn't make the Angel chose between keeping you safe and sacrificing others. Between those she cares about, and her responsibility as protector and leader. She hated Conner for how he made that choice- and it will disturb her to make the same.

Personally, I'm leaning towards Aria's suggestion. To go to the port, and deal with the problem directly. Choosing between futures comes with a deciding the fate of others, to a certain degree, but you don't really wish to sacrifice the uninvolved for your sake. It is... entirely too cynical an approach. This route has danger for you, but you do not think you can overlook the involvement of the observer. One way or another, it should be understood.
>>
No. 531043 ID: b5df96

>>531041
...well dang. I hope that was a selection roll, and not a success one. And that we're not rolling for Nic's outcome.

Someone get in there and pull that average up!

>Can't wait for the Angel
Do you mean we'd have to go into the riskiest battle without her, if we decide to? That makes me really nervous. She's pretty much the only counter I see to try and keep you safe if things go really wrong.
>>
No. 531056 ID: cf8f63

rolled 5 = 5

Here's too hoping we don't loose our seer...
I bet these rolls are for what level of breakers we find, or the ones we fight.
AS for suggestions...It's gonna suck, but I think the only thing to do is go to that pier, it sounds like far too much is lost in exchange for Elizabeth's life...But at the same time, that makes me wonder- how important IS this group to us? We defended it from the madness that enveloped Marc, but...Could we just...leave it alone? Leave it as a haven and wage war on D7 ourselves?
Breakers work more like comic book heros than anything it seems like-a small but powerful bunch of breakers is FAR more effective than a large mob that hasn't gained much power.
>>
No. 531058 ID: 13d429

rolled 4 = 4

The thing with those tears is kinda baffling. That situation really should be monitored when a chance comes up. But in the meantime, the higher priority's the matter of your possibly impending death.

It's dangerous going to the pier, but I kinda want to bet on beating the odds. But you'll need people with you, most likely, and that might put them into risk. Such is the perils of leadership. At least they know there're risks--they aren't uninvolved parties.

What we need to do, then, is load the odds as best as we can. Too many unknowns, but anything that could swing the results toward a greater odds of survival and discovering the nature of your opposition, without unnecessarily endangering uninvolved parties. And if you do die, a game plan of some kind for getting the info out to Linda, like someone recording the whole thing? I dunno.

Actually, making contingency plans for your death would be wisest. That doesn't mean giving in to it, but making sure that the worst outcome has minimal impact if it should come to pass. A note with what you've seen? Other such preparations?
>>
No. 531067 ID: b5df96

>>531056
Well, it wasn't so much preventing casualties to our side we were worried about (all Elizabeth had to do about that is leave the base), but collateral damage. We had the option to hide behind those who were uninvolved, and let them bear the brunt of it.

As for how important leadership is... it's not being in charge so much that's important. It's changing the status quo. Instead of the system where breakers split up into small gangs and make war with each, we've united most of a city into a cooperative venture. People looking out for each other, protecting the weak, making the entertainers a viable option again, a safe arena for combat and training, a safe place to exchange foci, etc. And a united front to respond to and protect against larger external threats, like D7 or fixer crackdowns.

Fundamentally, we took an anarchy and created a government.

It's entirely possible we could loosen up on the reigns when things calm down. If we do it right, it should be self sustaining.

>>531058
...not sure how much she could leave behind if 'erased', though. Unless she hides information with Twinda. Or to be retrieved later with Remember the Fallen. Or heaven help us, with the Memory. (Really don't like planning this way, though...).
>>
No. 531188 ID: acb7da

rolled 2 = 2

I think we should attack.
>>
No. 531582 ID: 184dd1

You decide after a small amount of contemplation. Going to the pier is necessary. You doubt it will be easy, but such is the way of things. You'll have to reduce the number of people that get involved as well. Maybe if this hunter has followers... you head to sleep even as your mind ponders the possible pathways and futures available to you.

Awakening the next day gives you the same process as it has for the past two weeks. The Moon inevitably arrives to wake you up and prepare breakfast, although she looks a bit tired from last night's activities. The 23rd joins you as well, eating around the dining table placed in a corner of the Angel's apartment. You all eat in silence, except for the occasional reminder from the Moon that you should eat properly. As the meal concludes, however, you decide to inquire about the Moon's success. Her reply is less than stellar.

"Huh? Oh. That. I don't know. There was some asshole guy there who kept going on about this and that and whatever. I wasn't really paying attention. We beat the crap out of a couple of there low end guys, then these three chicks started picking a fight with me, so I beat them down. Then the asshole leader guy tried something, and I smashed his face in a couple of times. Didn't even last till midnight. Still, there was a whole bunch of stuff we had to do to get these guys under our wing and to stop them from drawing attention to themselves. We got a better arena set up though, took over some of those old factories again, where the old arena's were. Real nice stuff getting done over there. Gonna need to get a budget from Linda when she get's back.

"Oh yeah. Apparently you guys went and visited the club place where that Jake bastard was? Yeah, uh... they got wiped last night. Like... gone. Bodies everywhere, it was a mess. D7 got there first, so we couldn't do much, but... yeah..."

That... the Hunter moves faster than you expected. You'll have to be more careful from now on. Much more careful. Not that you aren't planning to face him today anyway, but that is beside the point.

And nothing at all of love. That thread is closed now, it seems. Ah well. Worth a try. Not that big a thing in the weave, over all. Still, you have to focus on yourself now. Preparations others can't see are made, and you mentally ready yourself for facing one of the most odd beings you've ever met. An observer has to be strong, right?

Regardless, as the time to leave approaches, you have to decide if you're going to take anyone with you, and if so, who? As well as the decision to simply face them directly or try a more... covert approach. The port, however cluttered it is, is also very large. If you choose the direct approach, at least you'll be more likely to reduce the number of noncombatant participants. The opposite is true of the covert, although you'll likely be able to garner the element of surprise.

Ah... there was the idea of a message as well. A parting remark to the Angel if this does not go well... the possibilities for such a message are endless... so much to choose from, and what to say...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 531597 ID: b5df96

>Nic missed out
>We got Cally's peers got massacred
I. Uh. Jesus. Fuck. I really wish I'd cheated and deleted that one roll now. That's fucking awful. I'm depressed now. Like, ruined my night sad. I thought Nic had a chance. That sideways battle sounded awesome, and I wanted something good in her life. Was looking forward to Linda giving her a hard time about that. And I really wanted that club to survive. For something of our efforts to make this a safe place to pan out. Maybe to have Rave Linda put in an appearance. And now we got them all killed, even after we decided to try and not tell them anything for their safety, and to take the most dangerous path for ourselves to try and keep others out of danger! Fuck.

Shit, what's the point of setting up stuff just to have it all fall down. That hurts worse than failing any combat roll. It's like none of the decisions we made or stuff we saw yesterday even mattered.

>you have to decide if you're going to take anyone with you, and if so, who?
Are you kidding me. The hunter and his allies (if he has any) just wiped a whole faction of breakers. Even if the entertainers aren't the strongest bunch in combat, this guy isn't someone you can face alone. You've got your tricks, but you're no warrior, Elizabeth.

>stealth or direct attack
I like stealth better. Look at who we have to bring. There's you, obviously. And Aria. And Chris. Stacked all together that's someone with active break who's thing is sight, someone who's proven skilled at using breaking for deception and/or illusions, and a goddamn ninja with Normality Blanket. Between the three of you we should be able to sequence break right to the goddamn boss, fuck everyone else.

Maybe take Michelle for more firepower? She's not much help with sneaking, but the port is Leviathan's element. And she died that night too- if they seek to correct the timeline, and erase you, they seek to erase her as well. And when facing the observer, it would be nice to have another person with extra-perceptory abilities.

Nic's useful, but if she was up all night fighting, I don't know how low her number is, or how tired she is. She might not be up to this. If she is, though, she would certainly be ideal for dealing with those non-coms you're worried about. ...and she's also appointed herself your guardian in Linda's absence. I'm not sure she'll forgive herself if she lets you go without her and something happens.

Mike's useful on stealth, too. If we really wanted to keep collateral down, and any others from interfering? Put him and his stealth team on it. When we hit the boss, they hit the grunts, keep reinforcements away, and the non-coms and civilians from running into the meatgrinder.

>direct attack may reduce noncombatants being involved
Bullshit. Yes, a direct attack has the advantage in that the combatants come to you, and any non-coms go running the other way. But there's still the chance for collateral. A properly executed, precise, successful stealth op will do the job too.

>note
Cheat. Break- create something to leave with Twinda that will become a note if you do not return for it. A transformation with a timer.

...I have no idea what the contents should be, though. She'll never forgive herself if you died when she wasn't there for you. She already broke everything for you, once. Any message of thanks, or love, or reassurance for the future, or explanation as to why you took this risk would seem to fall short.

>And for the record
I still hate that we're doing this without Linda. If things really go south, she's the only one who's shown any hope of being able to do anything about an outsider.
>>
No. 531632 ID: 5663f2

...
Dem dice.
Wellp, I guess I could think of it as things going wrong.
Here's the message:
'A hunter, a tear seeking to undo what you became a ghost for. Would have cost too many threads to assure safety. Chose to engage head-on, to prevent life, but as smart as possible, to maintain my thread...Or tried to.
Sorry Mother.'
Something after that to help ease her pain. I would say that Eye foci of yours, so you can be remembered should you fall.
>>
No. 531637 ID: b5df96

>>531632
The Hunter's not a tear. Or at least, if he is, Elizabeth hasn't said so. The only tears we know of are the demon and two Elizabeth saw in Linda's future.

And we can't leave either of her foci- she's going to need them. If we fall, in order for those to make it back it has to be in anther's hands.
>>
No. 531799 ID: 184dd1

Ah. A break message. Easily done. You perform the task as you begin setting things up in your mind's eye. You will need the services of a few members of your group to come out of this alive. The 23rd shall serve as a personal guard. The Snake shall be as a snake, gliding through the grass and biting it's prey when least expected. The Queen... yes, the Queen can help you avoid pointless fights. Reach your destination without pain. Lastly... Your friend... she could help, although you loathe to cause her pain or put her in harms way. Still, she can be farther from the battle than anyone else, and her child would be useful. You shall ask for her help. The Moon, however... she must rest. Too weak. Too tired. Already she is yawning, expecting sleep. She may feel responsible for you, but you do not want to needlessly endanger the life of an important piece of the puzzle.

Regardless, your thoughts briefly touch the tragedy that is the destruction of the Music Grave group... and you find yourself lacking in interest. Their threads have ended. Their story is done. Perhaps their lives were not meant to end then. Perhaps they were. You did not look into it at the time. At least, not that far. They were not your's to concern yourself with either. Your goal is to not die, and aid the Angel when she returns. Anything else is simply a bonus. A shame they died, but the weave continues.

Breakfast is eaten in silence and finished quickly now that conversation is done, and once you have completed the task of the morning, you set about your plan, hunting down the Snake and giving him his assigned work, with an appropriate message to work with caution. Then it's off to the Queen to enlist her aid. She agrees quickly enough, although she makes you promise another night of conversation is to be had. You barely finish agreeing before you're off again, this time to round up your friend. You entreat her children just as much as her, and while Levi agrees grudgingly, and Michelle without you even having to promise anything in return, Moth is a little less enthusiatic, perhaps because of all the water. Regardless, he goes with his brother and mother, and you have their support. With that, however, your preparations are complete, the plan is set in motion quickly and quietly. The Moon is already asleep by the time you leave, and hopefully it will stay that way. No one else in the compound knows of what is going to happen, and you have little reason to let them know.

Within an hour of leaving your place of safety, you check the weave to find the greatest disaster averted. The compound is safe, no current futures involve it's particular destruction. The number with your deaths have increased though. Or maybe they are just clearer to see... regardless, you have set your course. Relying heavily on the weave now will only cause you headaches and uncertainty. Now is the time to act.

You halt the car a few blocks from the port, and your friend hops out with her brother in tow, clutching the two dolls that represent her avatars. She walks quietly over to the side of a small overhang looking out over the ocean, and tosses Levi into the abyss. A crackle of static, and you can feel the weight of his presence fill your sight for a moment. As well as a conviction he is not sharing with his mother.

He WILL not let you die.

You thank him, in your own way through the weave, but move on with your plan. The Queen disappears off into the crowds milling about the port, nodding at you with a smirk before simply vanishing. You are not surprised, however, when a few minutes later a young girl of maybe half your age, sidles up to you, an ice cream cone in one hand and a ballon in the other, a mischievous twinkle never seeming to leave her eye. You don't bother checking the weave for who this is. The 23rd remains with you, her weapon of choice hidden beneath a long trenchcoat scrounged up from somewhere. It makes her look somewhat ridiculous, but you're prepared to make some sacrifices regarding her style in exchange for your life.

Still, blending into the crowd is easily achieved, and when you feel like you've sufficiently hidden yourself within your place, you have the 23rd hide you all within her cloak. Hopefully that will help hide you from the gaze of the Hunter and observer alike. Then you watch the weave, not for future paths, but for threads of the enemy. You find them all around you, although the remain unaware of your presence. Most are weak, likely fodder used to distract or infuriate prey. Hounds to force the birds from the grass. Further you spot your Hunter as well, though, and he seems just as oblivious to you as his fellows. The observer on the other hand, notices you easily, although nothing seems to change in the nature of your enemies... interesting.

Still, you find yourself nursing two notions. You could perhaps capture a few of these lesser pawns to use for yourself in the fight to come, although that runs the risk of discovery. Or you could simply head straight for your target, and leave the weak ones to the Snake and his family. There's also how to approach the Hunter in the end, he seems to have placed himself in a restaurant, likely eating breakfast. Or was it brunch? Was brunch the word? Regardless, there weren't too many people in the restaurant judging by the threads, but the few that were inside... they were normals. Not involved in these affairs.

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 531844 ID: b5df96

>you stop the car
>Elizabeth driving
I, uh ...why do I not think that is a good idea.

Although my current mental image of spacy girl at the wheel with Michelle and a lap full of plushies in the passenger seat is adorable. And I suddenly can't stop wondering what they're driving.

>He WILL not let you die.
Appreciate the sentiment, Levi. You remember, and possibly see what's at stake here as much as Elizabeth does. Good to have you with us. (I got a surprising amount of respect for that snake. Interesting how well you can get to know a side character who almost never speaks directly).

But all right! This is looking good. Freaky friends deployed, Levi in action, Aria pulling her incorrigible child routine again, and Chris rocking the trenhcoat samurai look.

>observer notices, but does not interfere
Interesting. We still do not know the observer's purpose or motives here. If it has set the hunter in motion, or is here for another reason. Whether it will challenge you, communicate with you, or simply leave when there is nothing left to observe.

>the Hunter
Are you close enough to get a read on his number? Or on his aura, relative spirit level, type, or manifestation? Don't shift to active scrying if it risks alerting him prematurely, but if we can get anything passively, forearmed is forewarned. Even if only by a few minutes.

>how to approach the Hunter
I see two basic options. They kind of depend on what you can sense off of him.

>option 1- Sneak
The first option is to go for a silent capture. An instant-gib. To take him out of the fight without a fight. The observer has not outed you- Aria should be invisible to any breaker weaker than the Angel, and Chris has your whole group cloaked (in more ways than one, actually). You take advantage of this. Get close to him. Very close.

Get inside the restaurant. And then, say... Aria approaches him as a distraction (either as the child he can tell is not a child, or the breaker who offers information relevant to his quest, etc. She can improvise interesting and mysterious pretty easily), and then you needle him from behind as Chris strikes from the side at same time (to keep him from avoiding your attack, thinking she was the real threat. A second layer of distraction. Feint within feint). As soon as he is struck by your needle, he loses. The outcome of the mental struggle will not even matter, because before it ends, he will be helpless to resist as the 23rd and Queen fall on him, disarming him, knocking him out, and relieving him of his focus. It will be over in moments, and as soon as Chris or Aria drops a normality, all the normals will see is a woman and two children helping a man up and leaving.

The obvious risk here is if we fail a single roll on the approach, or if he's strong enough to see through any of the tricks we're putting up, we'll blow it before we get close enough to spring such a trap. I'm kind of counting of Elizabeth's abilities allowing her to assess if he's too strong for this to work.

>option 2- attack
The alternative plan, in case Elizabeth isn't confident in the first, is we simply approach the restaurant covertly as we can, and then attack suddenly, with the assumption that he will be surprised, but still able to fight back (not committing everything and exposing ourselves on the assumption he can be quickly shut down). The first strike against him can (and should) be precise to avoid hurting normals, but it's important to do something flashy and/or scary in the opening moments of the fight- get the normals to take off running before the fight heats up.

If it does come to a fight, I think your best option is to go full on psychological. Crank fear itself up to 11. While he's fighting against the others, trying to get to you, you just take him apart. Tell him everything that's wrong about himself. Bring up all his pain. How wrong his mission is and his motives are (and if relevant, the hypocrisy in trying to fix the weave by the slaughter he has committed). Throw the fact that his mission and failed, and you have come for him instead. Push him and push until he cracks and we have an opportunity.

Where are we anyways? Are we still on land, or are we on structures built out over the water, yet? A boardwalk like location has tactical advantages for us- Leviathan can strike from below, for one. For another, you can snake a wire below the floor, ready to lance up through a crack at the hunter when there's an opportunity. Hard to dodge what you never see coming.

>collect puppets?
Not if we're going for option 1. Seeing his followers close in for no reason would raise attention.

How feasible is grabbing a puppet in the crowd? I worry that once controlled, you'd have to keep them close to you, or risk the wires getting walked into by normals, accidentally freeing you. That would make your approach more obvious.

If we do go for the attack, and you're not worried about them accidentally being freed, seems to me the easiest way to catch them is to give them a stick when they're distracted by a certain small child skipping past in front of them.
>>
No. 532354 ID: 184dd1
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532354

Attacking him directly through espionage is... unadvised. You cannot gain enough information regarding him without making your presence known. At least to the observer, and you still have little knowledge regarding that pieces goals and whims. For now, the safer route will have to be chosen. You inform your fellows of the plan, and have the Snake maneuver some of the enemy into positions closer to your target. Once that is done, you make your own move, asking the Queen to provide distractions as you begin taking control of your enemies one by one. Your head is a jumble of thoughts and emotions and wills pushing back against yours, but they are weak willed overall. Still, you'll have to focus to maintain this many connections. You're just barely hanging on as it is. Still, you think this is best. More people are always helpful. You select a bench outside the restaurant, making sure to tell Levi your location in case he needs to intervene. The Queen elects to lead your small ragtag group of subverted enemies. Hopefully she'll be fine on her own, although she assures you she can take care of herself. The 23rd chooses to stay with you, her vigil holding in the face of the possible deaths awaiting her, even if she is unaware of them. Only three, but they exist mostly on this path of guarding. Regardless, the die is cast. The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. It's time to find out where your thread will lead you.

The signal is given. Your assault begins. The small group disappears into the restaurant, and for a few minutes, it's just waiting, even as your eyes are closed and your concentration is devoted to your captured minions. Then, as partly in relief and partly in pain, the connection to all of your minions is severed one after another, as the sound of gunfire rings out, piercing the air, you feel rather than hear the normals beginning to panic. Similar things are happening all over the port, although thanks to the Snake's teachings, his followers complete their tasks with far less sound and notice until long after they themselves have disappeared into the crowds. For the most part. Looks like a few normalizing changes will be needed today. Regardless, you're distracted from your thoughts by the sudden sound of the sound barrier being shattered, and then the Queen being located embedded into the building across the way. That... can't be good. A man steps from the ruined wall of the restaurant, pulling a skull mask over his face as he does so. The expressionless mask does little to hide his elation however, even as your own eyes flicker open and the somewhat comforting hiss of a blade escaping it scabbard touches your ears.

"Ha.... haha... hahahahaha! Oh... FUCK! That... that was beautiful. Very well executed. Damn. I... I applaud you guys. Really I do. Damn. Came way sooner than I thought. Still, you brought the prey to me. How stupid is that. I'd have left her at home at least. Regardless, I'm afraid she's a little... well, let's just say she's not supposed to be alive right now, yeah? I don't mean to make that sound rude or selfish or anything, but it's things like her that tend to tear up reality. Causes problems, you know? So, you see, I gotta fix that. Not saying her life isn't important or anything."

The man manifests his weapons, a pair of baseball bats made of solid steel, that he waves around like they aren't any real issue of weight. Somehow, even with his face covered, he manages to look a little sorry about what he's doing.

"Oh wait... I guess I am. My bad. No hard feelings, alright?"

You have maybe a moment before he makes his own move. Less than that to issue and commands you like. The weave is convenient for that. You are of little use in open combat, and this... this will be painful for you, no matter what you do. You do, however, have a notable advantage of the Angel in combat.

The Hunter's weapons cause the opponent to rapidly accelerate in a given direction. This caused the sonic boom from earlier. The obvious dangers associated with them and the sudden breaking of people's bodies applies.

>>>Input Command
BP: 16
Queen BP: 71
23rd BP: 29

Hunter BP: 43

>>
No. 532359 ID: 5663f2

...Of course.
He's a Fixer. Probably higher ranking than Maria.
Ok. How to handle him...Quick thought-could you use the wires to 'radio' in the information about him to any allied breakers who can fight him? Just attach, give brief message, detach.
Now, as far as how handle this fight...
Very carefully.
He can use those bats to accelerate things. That probably includes himself. Get behind cover large enough that he can't just launch something or himself into you. I know 23rd is a Ninja, but I don't trust that asking her to slice him in half is wise at all.
>>
No. 532371 ID: 2f4b71

You can't fight him directly, but can you link to 23, and give her a precognitive boost? Let her blink to where he's about to be before he even gets there, negating any sped advantage he may have.
>>
No. 532381 ID: 41690e

All right. Cue up your boss music, and get your tables ready to flip if we get Elizabeth killed. Again.

>Bat man
...is this the same person who survived the battle with the Angel and the others at the Music Grave?

>rapid acceleration weapons
Hmm. Dang. Could have used Nicole for this. Her cool boots and her personal power seem like the perfect counter for blocking or redirecting that.

>skull mask
Is that a manifestation? Or his focus? Any idea what that is doing? He's also strong enough he might have a personal power, no idea what that is.

>You do, however, have a notable advantage of the Angel in combat.
...except the Angel isn't here. Did you mean you have an advantage over the Angel in combat? Or are we counting on her using Someone Else to save you? Or I suppose if we need a direct counter to the observer, we could shunt see the weave to Linda. Angelica said she should be able to manipulate it directly.

>BP: 16
Erm. Spent 10BP on 5 puppets. That's 5 underlings out of the way, I suppose, and it forced him to burn some points fighting them off, but probably less than we spent.

>tactics
All right. Aria has butt-loads of BP. If Golem has sudden appearance (I presume that's why he didn't come along?) she'll summon him soon, hopefully to make a surprise attack. She's almost certainly strong enough to have a personal power, though I can't plan for that since we don't know what it is. She's high spirit, high BP, and I think she has active break. Her obvious course of action is to use those breaks to hinder or otherwise fuck with the enemy, or blunt his attacks. She has power to burn.

...first idea for a cool active break. He has to slam those bats together just right to get a controlled sonic boom aimed in the direction he want, right? What happens if something makes him slip- hit too early, too late, at the wrong angel? I'm thinking catastrophic failure.

Leviathan is of course to come bursting right through the boardwalk directly below our attacker, when it's unexpected and unavoidable, and we have the opportunity.

Chris' situation is interesting. She can probably cut right through his weapons if she hits them dead on with her blade (which is good- we can sap his BP forcing him to remanifest). But that doesn't necessarily do anything about the momentum transfer, and he has two of them, and if it's not a dead on hit, it's an explosive str weapon versus a finesse one. She risks her blade being broken, sent flying, and/or herself being sent flying.

...just how fast and sharp is her blade, actually? Can she cut through the sonic boom? Use a slash of her blade to act as or create an air-spike to shield her from the attack? (and you, if she's standing in front of you, or shoves you behind. Although if she's not close enough, it's not worth her burning 5BP on a blink to save you 1BP from getting blown away by this attack). Doesn't seem any crazier than cutting down bullets. If it works, it could prevent the two of you from taking injury or dying in this attack, and create an opening for a counter-attack he's not expecting.

Ninja-girl has enough finesse she might be able to ride the sonic booms too, if she has the right object to balance on. Or with a jump and using her blade or a perfectly timed slice as a wing, air spike, or airfoil. He'd probably never expect that, and it could give us fast surprise attacks from unexpected angles.

A long fight also means she has to be careful when she blinks. If she overuses that power, she's dead.

Your objective of course is to command the others as best you can. And, when possible, to put distance between yourself and the hunter so the others can engage him. When you have the freedom to do so, you want to turn on fear itself. Get psychological, take him apart with your words. Anything that will shake his resolve, or stress him to give opportunities to your allies in combat.

Do not allow yourself to be chain killed or taken hostage. Active break your way out of such a situation, if it arises. Even if you have to kill yourself separating the two of you (an explosion, a slam of force, a spout of water from below, whatever).

With your affinity for sight, there's also the option to active break him blind at a critical moment. Save that trick for when it matters- I expect he'll be able to reverse it, and you don't have the BP to afford too many direct tricks yourself.

>>532359
>He's a Fixer. Probably higher ranking than Maria.
Er, no, I don't think so. The fixers are anti-breaker. They're explicitly trying to stop breaking from being a thing, restore the world to how it was before (assuming it ever was) and kill every breaker there is, themselves included.

This guy is trying to reverse the fact we cheated death. That we broke something not supposed to be broke. Went against what reality and the weave said was supposed to happen. He's not anti-breaker, he's anti-aberration.

Similar, but decidedly different ideals. I mean sure, they're both trying to 'fix' things, but that's just sloppy naming on our part.

>use control wires to relay information
>precog fight with Chris?
They're not intended for communication, and trying to control our allies directly would make this battle go worse, really (lag time connecting, stuns Elizabeth and our allies when he severs the wire (and he will), precog fighting burns Elizabeth out in minutes, and it saps more of Elizabeth's very limited BP). Elizabeth has pretty much said she can use the weave to communicate rapidly, though (the same way she did to Levi, and presumably how she talked to Linda when she faced Subject 23 and the Demon). Which shouldn't even cost BP, it's a passive power.

We're much better off just sending them advice and instructions via the weave than trying to control them directly.
>>
No. 532407 ID: 41690e

Oh, and obviously, if there's a really good chance for needling him? (Where he's suitably distracted, immobilized, grappled, etc). Take it.

Again, you don't even have to win the battle for control. Just occupy him long enough for an ally to disarm him or knock him out or something.
>>
No. 532885 ID: 184dd1

You react by beginning to move away from him. While your intention is to kill him, you are of little use in open combat. Still, you don't want to move too far away. If you have to, you will intercede in order to protect those pieces your mother calls friends. The Hunter, however, seems to anticipate your decision, and moves to come after you, the 23rd similarly moving to interrupt him and block his advance. At least, that is the Hunter's intent, only to be blindsided by the massive soldier of the Queen. The armored warrior come out of the sky like a comet, sending up a cloud of debris as it crashes into the man, killing him almost instantly. You hear a slight cheer from the Queen, then the barking of an order. The suit reaches down, aiming to pick up the Hunter, only to have one of the bats slam into its side. For a moment there is no reaction as at all, and then theres the clap of a sonic boom and soldier is wrenched through the air into a building. The Hunter gets up, shaking his head as if to rid himself of something before refocusing his attention on you, offering the Queen only a glance.

"God DAMNIT! That HURT! Wow! Damn! That bitch wasn't kidding when she said you had some powerful friends. Still, I think killing you should be pretty easy if I jus-"

His head comes off as the 23rd steps up to him, blade a flash of steel. He collapses backwards with his bats before he's alive again, bringing his weapons up to block another blow, unsuccessfully, as her blade cuts through the manifested weapons, rendering them useless and killing him again. His next awakening, however, he kicks upwards, hitting her in the stomach and sending her hurling backwards up and over you, leaving you relatively exposed.

"What the FUCK was that? Didn't think they'd just cut through. Usually it takes some acceleration to do that. Maybe they cut because of a monomolecular blade? Hell, she might not even know. Or... you know, it's just reality going screwy. Eh. She's not my target though. Get back her you lit-"

The next interruption comes from the Queen herself, back to her normal size and wielding a rapier with stunning proficiency. A few skillfully placed thrusts and the Hunter is dead again. This time, he seems to have noticed trying to do anything defensively is pretty much pointless, so he revives and simply throws the remains of his weapons at the Queen, forcing her to duck to avoid getting hit and allowing him the time to get back on his feet. Then he's remanifested his weapons and is bringing one of the bats down in an overhead smash, which the Queen expertly avoids only to have the weapon accelerate and reduce the ground to so much rock. He breaks away from the Queen, using the flying rubble to evade her attempts to get in his way, and once again advances on you, a little more wary of possible threats.

"Seriously? Seriously? The second time someone interrupts me. I mean, sure, I'm trying to kill the precog. But I mean, come on. Cut me some slack. I'm just doing what I was born to do. Sure, maybe it's a little murderou-"

Then it's Levi's turn, and the Hunter is consumed from below by the massive snake. He revives on the outside again, but Levi is already swinging around again, placing your body in a perfect cocoon of hard scales and flesh. It seems he literally meant you wouldn't get touched. This does, however, present a few problems. Namely, you can't help with breaks if this goes south... how... unfortunate...

"God... Damn... Snake... Stop... Eating... Me.... Gah!"

You feel rather than see Levi's body shake as he's hit by what you suppose is one of the bats. The crack of a sonic boom is heard, and then the sounds of metal on metal and more cracks and booms. Trapped as you are, you can do little, unless...

You settle down, ignoring the noises from outside, and take a deep breath. Then you begin again, viewing the weave, watching the threads touch and part on such tiny, minute levels that it's almost imperceptibal. The chances of the different paths constantly collide and change, but overall they remain constant. Still, the future is not what you want now. Now it is time to work magic upon the present.

The Queen, it seems, has perfected her own preferred fighting style, using her soldier as a mobile shield from attacks while she herself darts around it, stabbing at the enemy before disappearing back behind her shield. The 23rd continues to press her attacks, and with both working together in harmony, the Hunter is hard pressed to attack himself. Or so it would seem. In his own way, his threads weaves between the two of theirs easily, with a grace and flow that only a master of combat could manage. There. And there again. One comes close to killing him, but since he seems to have noted you are beyond his reach for the moment, he has refocused his attention upon his attackers. A slight shift of body here, a tilted head there, he evades the attempts to sever his thread with ease. Clearly, some things are going to have to be done. The world around you is an oyster with which you might work. Your other allies remain around, Michelle off a few "blocks" that way, waiting for... something. Uncertain. Mike and his crew are surrounding the area, waiting until such a time as they might be needed. Perhaps they could be used as well. The environment is also yours to play with. Reweaving the threads is not something you are experienced in, but from what you can tell, it is possible for you to simply... cause things... to happen, even when it would be beyond normal breakers. Perhaps because of your heightened knowledge of the weave.

Regardless, you throw a break at the Hunter, causing his thread to falter, and get severed several times as he works to regain his sight. Being blind when you weren't before does cause problems, doesn't it?

>>>Input Command
BP: 13
Queen BP: 67
23rd BP: 28

Hunter BP: 34

>>
No. 532896 ID: 41690e

Haha! That went well. Looks like everyone made their rolls. And Aria is kicking ass and proving that it is possible for breaker to fight side by side with avatar, and use a non-manifested weapon to devastating effect (unless the sword counts as a part of Golem?). There's hope for you yet, Guy. Although you're a lot of practice and finesse away from being able to pull off anything similar. Aria's also got tons of BP reserves left, and hasn't dipped into whatever power she's got hidden or active breaks, yet.

Still, he's only down 9BP. We gotta do that another 3 times to beat him, and he's probably got a personal power to pull out.

...wait how many times did he die? I count 5 deaths, up until the 'several' caused by his blindness at the end. Assuming several means 'at least 3' that's at least 8BP lost just on respawning. So how did he get away with not paying to remanifest his bats? He should have had to pay at least two points (one for each bat) and I'd expect a weapon with a feature as strong as that momentum hack to cost more than 1BP each to manifest.

Either he's regening points really fast, he's got an ability letting him spend less than he should, or all the costs weren't accounted for.

Also not sure how Elizabeth is now down 3 BP. I don't think she died once in that sequence, and she only active broke once. Again, either the count is off, or something else is at work here. Is the observer interfering? Making things easier for the Hunter, harder for you?

>That bitch wasn't kidding when she said you had some powerful friends.
Hmm. Someone providing him with information. Who? Did the observer appear to him in female form? Or did the Beat and the others say something when he killed them?

>monomolecular blade?
I assumed it was due to the fact she's upgraded her blade six times. It's probably as close to indestructible and as sharp as you can get a physical blade.

>Michelle waiting for something, uncertain
Probably for word from Levi to take action. At least she should be safe, she's still got Moth if anything happens. I don't really see a way to bring her to bear at the moment, though. She's got lots of BP, but few active powers. Sending Moth in now probably wouldn't help- it would give the Hunter an obstacle to put between himself and his other attackers, and the Hunter might be able to momentum-launch him at Levi.

Levi's Devour ability is really best used against a group of enemies, not one enemy fighting a group of allies. Likely not going to be worth is unless the Hunter temporary gets past both Chris and Aria due to awful luck on our part.

>Mike and his crew
I doubt any of the stealth types are up for a direct confrontation with this guy, but they still might be useful support. If any of them have a ranged weapon (silenced gun? Blowgun? Or maybe the archer girl joined his crew? A ranger archetype fits stealth) a surprise attack at the right moment might help. Or if the Snake could sneak in invisibly and strike before slinking off again. He has venom, right? That would slow the hunter down, maybe give the others opportunity to disable him outright.

>other plans
One danger versus the bats is that if the hunter gets a lucky hit in the right place he could knock out Aria or Chris without killing them. That could unacceptably shift the balance of power- your remaining allies should respond by killing them awake. (The same thing Linda did to you in the fight at the Arena).

If you can use the weave to speak directly to the minds of others, you should totally use that against the Hunter. Dump fear itself directly into his head. He's only holding off the Queen and 23rd with great skill and precision- if you can take the edge off that, throw him off balance a little, the battle will go a lot worse for him. And every mistake he makes will just give the fear something real to take root in.

Not sure what you should do for active breaks. Obviously, if the 23rd severs any limbs, you can break the injury 'permanent'. One armed and one batted against several opponents might leave him exposed enough to overwhelm him and render him unconscious or disabled. Or you could always shift the enviroment in some way to trap or immobilize him.

...oh. Really viscous idea. The skull mask. What if you made that heat up? A lot? Or even better, create a link between them and Moth's flames. That's a way to bring Michelle's power to bear. Tap into the flames of hell. He won't be able to overpower someone else's element the way he might if you just dumped a bunch of thermal energy, and death avoidance might not even get him away from the mask.
>>
No. 533527 ID: 184dd1
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533527

You begin throwing orders across the weave, setting things up to deal with your enemy. You can feel the observer's attention on you, although it is still not hostile. If anything, it seems more curious than anything. You ignore it in favor of trying out a few tricks, hoping to throw off the Hunter and maximize the deaths you can bring to him.

The first is simple. You try targeting the Hunter's mask. While you can't cause problems for him using Moth, the child does not technically exist at the moment, and therefore his flames do not, you take an idea from it. Using your sight, you begin to vibrate the threads of the mask, strumming them as you might a guitar string, and focus that vibration upon the things that makes up the mask. Let the mask itself generate heat. Let it be as hot as a forge. You can feel the Hunter initial discomfort and confusion, then the pain. His focus is thrown off for a moment, and he dies again. The break in his defense lets your allies kill him a couple more times, the heat remaining in his mask until he breaks it in return, forcing the heat to dissipate into the air faster than normal. You are certain that trick won't work that way again, so you turn your attention to other tasks.

The Snake has maneuvered not himself but someone else with him into an advantageous position. An unfamiliar woman... A hunter as well but not... How odd. You can't quite pin her own place in the threads. Ah... there... The Lover of the Snake. An odd woman, she finds an odd pleasure in the Snakes twisted form. Still, she sets herself up on a rooftop a few blocks away with a clear view, humming something to herself, before she manifests her personal weapon again. A familiar yet unfamiliar trait. Ah... a long range rifle. Weaker than the Angel's, but... much quieter. Much faster. She places the weapon against a ledge, then, humming to herself, she takes aim and waits patiently. Within seconds, the soft thump of the weapon, and the Hunter is interrupted again. Deaths follow. A smile. Happiness. The silent practice of a born assassin. The replacing of the bullet. Another smile. Another hum. Another soft thump.

"Boom."

You draw yourself away, already aware of yourself having connected with her more than you should have. Her mind would require some time to repair itself from your intrusions. Still, you can sense that she continues to silently kill her target, causing him to die both from his interrupted defense and the combined efforts of his three assailants. Even Levi consumes him at some points. Still, he does not die quickly enough, and he is quickly anticipating your assaults. There and there, he sends the Queen and the 23rd flying, and he moves behind a building, forcing the Sniper to move her position. Then once again he is doing his defensive dance, although he's beginning to counter attack as well. He knows he will lose before long if he does not do something.

You have one last trick as well. You reach out towards the Hunter, past all the premonitions of death, which you note are rapidly decreasing, and try to touch the mind of the Hunter. You feel the first tendrils of thought, only to have something intercede, shoving it's way into your path and looking down on you with both admiration and a little hate.

The Observer.

"You are remarkably difficult to kill, Little Watcher. I am both pleased and rather disappointed. You of all people should know the importance of your own death. If you remain, reality may tear more than it already is."

"My place was decided by the Angel. My death would only cause her pain."

"The Angel? Ah. The nonexistence. A thing both noticed and unnoticed. I can not move against her. She does not exist, therefore I can not see her. Yet still, she remains the hope of we observers. How odd, that she would become what she is saving you. Still, you should not exist now. Not as you are."

"Irrelevant. My life is not my own any longer. It belongs to the Angel."

"Even more irrelevant. Your life should not exist. I am simply correcting a mistake."

"Mistakes do not exist. Only decisions."

"And that is what makes you only a Watcher, and I an Observer. You must be dead. To die is to return reality to as it should be."

"And yet I refuse to die."

"... Yes. And continuing on will have my agent die. So then. We must come to an agreement. You wish for me to stop pursuing your death. I wish for my agent. Still... your existence is something too large to ignore for the sake of one person. Other agents may be used to hunt you at a later date..."

You can feel the eye wander away, musing to itself. After what seems an eternity, it refocuses on you, even though only seconds have passed in reality.

"What say you then, Little Watcher? What would you offer in exchange for you life?"
>>
No. 533528 ID: 184dd1

You hum happily as you walk in the front door of the base. It's been two weeks since you'd left, and Cass behind you is a lot better than she was. Almost her birthday too, you'll have to think about presents, and maybe a party. Nothing too big, she doesn't seem to enjoy large crowds, but the main group together should work for her. Still, your arrival back is met with confusion by most here. Not unusual, given what you are, but still a little unsettling. You hope your friends haven't-

"Hey! Linda! How ya been?"

Nicole bounds up, followed behind by a few people holding what look to be reports. She waves them away, even as they look on in confusion. You ignore them in favor of focusing on her.

"Good to see you, Nicole. What's going on around here?"

"Nothing much. Cleared up some stuff a couple of days ago. Liz disappeared yesterday with a bunch of guys, but they came back later. Didn't say much. Liz didn't really want to talk about it, but apparently someone wanted her dead. She took care of it. On her own, soooo... Anyway, there's some people here to see you, whenever you're ready for them, and the Doc wanted you... uh, what else... oh yeah. We pretty much unified the city, and we've started expanding a little. You know, to the rest of the west coast. Not much else. If you need me, I'll be running the ring again. God, I don't want your job again. NO! You assholes leave me the fuck alone!"

A group holding reports is headed towards her again, but quickly backtracks as soon as she rounds on them. She might not want the job, but from the way things are looking, she's done a good job in keeping the place going. Liz might have helped her, but...

Anyway, time to get back into the swing of things. The trip was good, you even managed to get Cass into cosplay(Which she rocked hard. You can only envy her curves) and you'd picked up a few... things... that seemed to depict you. It amazed you how quickly people were jumping on the Godkiller bandwagon. Barely weeks later they had comics of you. Some of them were... less than child-friendly, you have to say. Not really your thing though, you preferred doing it yourself after all, but they had acted rather gratuitously with your looks. Ah well, such was life.

You shake your reminiscing from your thoughts and focus on the current tasks. Still, what to do first...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 533529 ID: ab1da0

Well, check in with everyone, or at least everyone you can find. Explain what happened when you were out, all that jazz-assuming Cass doesn't mind you talking about the shadowbro fight.
As far as what to do now...I'm not sure. I mean, we've got the city and we're expanding, I'd think maybe just keep an eye out for D7, check in on training/ maybe offer limited time-classes for any and all snipers and gunmen we've got.
Basically, take stock of the organization and whatnot.
>>
No. 533532 ID: 13d429

Let's see those people. Including Liz, what's this about someone trying to kill her?
>>
No. 533533 ID: 41690e

>observer interceded
Huh. Almost disappointed. I expected the battle to go on for longer, and to see some personal powers put into play. At least no one died. And we made the right choice- coming to terms with the power behind the attack prevents further attempts from being made.

I was right that Linda is important to the outsiders, though. That gives us some leverage.

...I'm seriously worried about what Elizabeth would have offered, though. Geeze. What a place to cut away.

>godkiller hentai
Well, Cass called it.

>what do
First, thank Nic. She's been looking after Elizabeth for you, and even if she doesn't like your job, she's been doing it for you, and well.

...next thing is to check in on Elizabeth. You haven't seen your daughter in weeks, and you owe her a hug. And, uh, maybe you should hear about this people out to kill her business. That doesn't make you happy, although you're glad she saw it coming and was strong enough to do something about it.

(Also, Linda will end up being grateful to whoever was involved in that. That's a starting point with Aria, at least. Although we've yet to get the closure I wanted from Cally or Raphael's ghosts, yet).

Doctor probably comes after Elizabeth. Or maybe Aria. Or Chris, depending on what Elizabeth says.

Basic game plan is to go around reconnecting with people. We can hold a general meeting of the senior staff later, to share important plot and discuss what we're doing next.

>Explain what happened when you were out, all that jazz
...uh, yeah, no. That's personal shit. We're not putting Cass out there like that. All we need to discuss with the others was that it was a D7 trap, and the two of you took care of it.
>>
No. 533534 ID: 13d429

>>533533
Okay, yeah, I pretty much agree with this comment.
>>
No. 533538 ID: 184dd1

"Right. Thanks Nicole, for doing all of this. And looking after Elizabeth."

"Sure, no problem. I might say I don't want to do it, but... if you ever need me to again, I'll take care of it."

"Thanks again. Now..."

You have business elsewhere. Namely with this daughter of yours. Cass has already headed off to drop off her stuff in her room, which leaves you free. You head up to your own living space hoping to find your daughter there. Sure enough, she's sitting on the couch, gently tapping away at a video game you don't recognize. After dropping off your stuff somewhere out of the way, you sit down on the couch next to her. Elizabeth ignores you a moment, then pauses the game and turns her attention to you, eyes expectant. You smile happily at her, then wrap her in your arms in a hug. Still, even like this, there's some stern words to say.

"What's this about you getting killed?"

"It's been taken care of."

"Oh no. I'm your mother now, damnit. You spit it out."

"An Observer was trying to correct a mistake. I made a deal to have them ignore me."

"And in exchange?"

"Cannot say."

"Why not?"

"Cannot say."

"Is that all your going to tell me if I keep asking?"

"Yes."

"... I see."

You frown at her, but she just stares at you blankly. You sigh, then move onto other topics. Namely, who you should be thanking for helping her out with her problem, since you doubted she did it all on her own. Elizabeth rattles off a bunch of names, and you recognize a few of them. Chris and Mike will go quickly, simple thanks in order there, but what surprises you is Aria's help. She doesn't seem like she'd move unless promised something... still, you'll have to thank her as well. For now, you let Elizabeth get back to her game and head back downstairs. You head to Mike first, but he seems confused by you talking to him at all. He doesn't even hit on you, maybe because he already has a girl hanging off his shoulder. Regardless, you thank him, much to his confusion, before heading off a little less enthusiastic than you were before. Damnit... he'd forgotten you. This sucked. That doesn't bode well for some other people...

Chris is next, although she quickly waves away your thanks. She was doing as was expected of her, little more. She doesn't even move from her position at the front door, obviously guarding it from possible, if unlikely, threats. You find yourself thinking she needed to loosen up more, but that was beside the point. Still, that done, you decide with a little bit of roundabout thinking that hitting up Aria next is easier. She's already on this floor, her and her avatar hanging around what appears to quickly be there usual table. She spots you coming up to her and smiles as you arrive, looking rather happy for someone who's only really met you three times before this. Odd, that she still remembers you then.

"Hello, Ms. McCallahan. How can I help you today?"

"Hi. How's it going Aria? I just thought I'd thank you for all the help you gave Elizabeth. It means a lot to me."

"The little seer? Think nothing of it, she's already payed me back in full for my help."

"Really? What did Elizabeth help with?"

"Oh, nothing I care to mention, really. Still, if you really wanted to thank me, there are other ways to do it. More... appropriate ways, one might say. Why, we might even call it a date, if you might be tempted in that direction."

Aria seems oddly pushy regarding the subject, and you get the feeling there's something going on you're not seeing. Hopefully it's not something you wouldn't approve of. Especially on the whole date word, her eyes seem to sparkle like a hunters in regards to that. You find yourself taking a cautious step back, but quickly hide your discomfort. You find the idea bouncing around in your head, and with Aria looking at you so expectantly...

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 533541 ID: 41690e

>an observer trying to correct a mistake
...like the angel from before? Dammit, Elizabeth only died because she interfered. Stuck her nose into reality where it didn't belong, gave Marc power he shouldn't have. They made the mistake.

Elizabeth doesn't owe them anything. If anything, they owe you. Especially as you seem important to them. The deal doesn't seem to have hurt her (she didn't trade away her life or her breaking, it seems), but you're bringing this up when next you run into one of these things. You have a feeling you're going to, and you're not happy with them.

>snakebro forgotten us
Alas, poor Mike. You were a cool dude, despite the perviness.

>date
...why not. You've come to some kind of peace with Cally, although you're still hoping to talk to her later, without the pressure of looming danger. You keep wondering if you'll get the chance to see Raphael too but... you kept putting him off. Why make that mistake again?

I mean, you deserve to have a little fun. And she's into you, and she's hot, and one of the few people who currently remember you exist (the whole idea of one nights stands has become more unsettling, lately. Anyone would be guaranteed to forget you, after. That kind of hurts, and oddly feels like it would be taking advantage of people). And it's not like you wouldn't enjoy figuring out more of who she is.

So... let's say yes. Cautiously. Try not to lose your head this time.

>next on the list
The Doc, probably. See if there's any new on the science front. Or what the story is with your mech. There's another excuse to enjoy yourself.
>>
No. 533626 ID: 13d429

Okay, Aria acting like this is weird. It's kinda sudden. Did she get some new motivation, or did Elizabeth tell her something? Well, you already know what she's like, seeking novelty, so this might be some new novelty for her.

Still, not much reason to say no. At the very least, it might be fun for a while. Don't necessarily expect it to long, but it'd definitely be better than an one-night stand that'd promptly get forgotten by the other person.

As for other matters, maybe the Doc has a shiny new toy for you!
>>
No. 534049 ID: 184dd1

"Alright, I suppose. A... date... doesn't sound bad at all."

"Marvelous! I'll put it off till tomorrow I think, I'm sure you have quite a few things to do today, not to mention a little recovery from your journey. In the meantime, you know where to find me if you need me for anything."

Aria waves a goodbye as you depart, agreeing to hook up with her sometime tomorrow night to go out on the town. Your next stop takes you to the basements, where your two captives are being kept. You briefly pause outside their doors before frowning slightly and shaking your head. You still don't know what it is you want to do with them, but that can wait for a later date. Now, it's Doc's turn. Immediately upon entering the lab area, you find the place in even more disarray then you left it, half finished projects littering the room. You frown at something that looks vaguely like a cannon with that odd whirling gravity thing strapped to it's insides, then shove your way past a couple more projects before finding the Doc fiddling with what you think is a camera of some kind. He doesn't seem to notice you at first, but as you draw closer, he snaps his finger absentmindedly and a chair breaks itself into existence.

"Welcome back, Linda. Pleasure to see you, bla bla bla. I've finished that watch of yours, or at least, modified it heavily. The thing can now call to the God-Killer mech, and will cause it to appear in the most cinematically appropriate method possible. I've watched a few of your anime collection to get an idea of what you might like, just in case. I put them back, don't worry. Ah, and I discovered a trait of your foci, or at least an interesting side effect. To give you the most simple idea.

"Anyone with possession of a foci tuned to you remembers you. Or rather, suffers no detrimental memory loss. It's a rather odd trait. I only discovered it by accident, mostly because I expected some loss of memories, only to find that as long as I carried this watch around with me, I didn't seem to lose anything. Then I laid it aside to work on other projects and began to forget. Then picked it up again and stopped having blank spots in my memories. A fairly odd discovery process, that. Anyway, if you wish to keep someone from forgetting you who is not already acclimated to your peculiar condition, I would suggest tuning foci and giving them to them. Obviously that can lead to some... expenses... in terms of your own growth, but... well, I'll leave you to decide the rewards vs. the risks.

"And finally. I'd like to outline some things I would like from you. I'm developing... well... a weapon, I discovered the idea to from one of your manga. That's what they are called, right?"

"The written form of anime? Yeah. Not really my thing personally, I prefer the flashy effects, but yeah."

"Well, I find ideas flow from them quite a bit. So anyway, I was perusing some things and stumbled across the idea of a gravity based matter collapsing gun. A wonderful project. The issue, however, is that it takes a considerable amount of power to function. I can produce the gravity, but making the weapon to anything the scale of a human could use is... improbable with current technology. Which, really, isn't a problem at all, except that I still need a power source. So! I was thinking, if we wanted power, why not steal it directly from the weave. The issue being I can't view this weave, and that I need Elizabeth's help to try. And she's.... a little off putting. Anyway, I was hoping you would participate as well, to help in both securing a viable source of... weave energy? Weave energy. A viable source of weave energy without damaging reality. Or at least keeping it to such a minuscule amount that reality can easily repair the damage.

"I'd also like to have the God-Killer mech tested some more, and why not grow the legend, right? I've refitted it to have multiple loadouts, selectable from the wristwatch now, so if you ever want to have a... practice... match with some monstrosity or some such, I'm sure I could gather a few breakers to make it happen. We'll be sure to prevent civilian casualties, of course.

"And lastly, if you have any projects you might need...?"

>>>Input Command
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No. 534056 ID: ab1da0

Ok, let's keep track of our schedule here.
Date with Aria is tommorow. Sometime soon, we'd like to also do the God-Killer fight, because it's awesome.
As far as the prisoners...Maria might be 'out' of the game but normals can still be a problem. Plus, she still has Break Points, and gets them back, right?
I wonder if we could start siphoning break point energy to...IDK, doo something with it. Maybe try and return it to the weave in order to help 'fix' reality?
Heck, depending on how it works Maria might actually be WILLING to go along with it.
And we know we're probably going to cause more damage to reality as we go, so it might be a good idea to try and help patch the wounds.
>>
No. 534057 ID: 41690e

>tuned foci can block forgetting
That's... probably a precaution we're going to have to take. We can't afford to lose what close friends and allies we have left, and it would be nice if us traveling, or them traveling, or anyone getting captured wouldn't cause permanent amnesia.

Next time we get some XP, we should take our junk foci down to Mac and trade them for some bullet foci. (Thematically appropriate, and that way the foci we're leaving with our friends also serve as backups we could theoretically use).

People we need to remember us: The Doc, Aria, Cass, Elizabeth, Nicole, Chris, Michelle. That's... 7. 6 if Elizabeth is immune from forgetting us due to her sight. I suspect Levi might be immune too, although I don't know if that extends to Michelle. I don't think Aria is immune, she's just interested in us and possibly the strongest living breaker we know.

In the meantime, we just have to keep close to our friends until we can. Check in with people at least once a day. (Which reminds me, you should say hi to Michelle today. To keep her from forgetting, and you owe her a thank you for helping Elizabeth too).

>Weave energy?
We'll talk to Elizabeth about the feasibility of that. More than just a gravity weapon or power source, a safe way to tap into the weave might be a viable alternative or counter to raw reality. ...if it works, and is safe, that is.

We have other stuff I wanted to talk to Elizabeth about, anyways. She was right about Music being with us. I kind of wanted to hear what she had to say about our ghosts. Or about us using someone else to displace or posses threads in the weave at all. There's also checking about Cass. ...I mean, we know the answer, but I still want to ask if her Aura looks different now. (Be kinda cool to see it, too). And double checking if we have to worry about her forgetting.

>upgraded mech
>anime customization
Grin, and be sure to thank him. Enthusiastically. Then start flipping through the menus and options on the watch. Even if we're not going to manifest it at this moment, be nice to see what some of our options are.

>exhibition match / test fight with the mech
Something I wouldn't mind doing in a bit, but I kind of feel like we have to finish checking operations around here, first. Finishing seeing who we wanted to, skim the reports of what's happened and what is going on (oh, that should probably include stopping in and checking on Twinda. See what she's gotten done or learned in the last two weeks, and see how we might have to update her orders). If everything is stable and nothing needs our attention (like, is D7 up to anything?) mech testing is something we can consider.

>new projects?
We got the mech and the shotgun and ice gun and twinda. I think that's enough augmented equipment for us at the moment, and he's still working on this new power concept and thinking about ways to counter D7's tech.

>prisoners
We can't hold Maria forever. I mean, yes, you hate what she's wanted to do, and she's killed a lot of breakers. But we're no prison. And we probably don't want to start executing people. Without her powers, and with the fixers kicked out of this area, she's not much of a real threat. Eventually, we'll have to release her. The only question is whether you tell George to wipe her memories, first.

>>534056
...using Maria as some kind of human-prisoner battery is just sickening. No. We're not D7, we're not using people that way. Even if she is a murderous bitch who wants to hurt the daughter she should be protecting.

Not so sure about the boy. He's not so much hostile or dangerous, although what he knows could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Kind of cruel to lock him up indefinitely for that. Maybe we should talk to him again later, and see if we could recruit him? Or at least offer him more freedom.

...I wonder if he can offer any advice about people forgetting us. Memories are his thing, after all.
>>
No. 534058 ID: 41690e

>Someone Else
Oh, by the way, have you tested using that on a living breaker yet? Or any of your friends? (The previous testing didn't specify if we'd actually used it on Cass).

As I understand it, breakers can roll to resist that. I kind of want your close allies to know what your trying to become them feels like and that they shouldn't try to resist it.

Because that ability is our strongest life-saving ability. If any of our allies are in a situation where they are literally about to die, you can save them by making them disappear. (Especially since Linda doesn't change location- the target disappears, and Linda stays in the same place, only now reality say's she's them). We do not want anyone resisting that, especially with those unmaker rounds in play.
>>
No. 534079 ID: 41690e

Oh, and another thing on the docket- you'll have to manifest the shotgun and try it out, later.

We still don't know the manifestation cost, or how often you have to reload, etc, and you should at least get a feel for using it before we need it in combat.
>>
No. 534133 ID: 2f4b71

>>534049
>Gravity Blast Cannon
Niiiiice

>Power source
We should probably mention to the Doc that we casually initiated a compact nuclear fusion reaction yesterday.
>>
No. 534148 ID: 41690e

>>534133
Ooh! Actually a week ago, but yeah, he'd probably think that's cool. Especially since he rigged up the plasma rods for Cally in the first place.
>>
No. 534216 ID: d671fc

I'd be extremely careful about weave weaponry. I suspect developing technology in this direction could start the kind of arms race that ends with "and this 500-lightyear maelstrom is where the Milky Way galaxy used to be."
>>
No. 534561 ID: 184dd1

"I'll see about making some time for all this stuff you want to do. Ah! By the way. I can apparently meld with dead breakers. Or something like that. Anyway, I melded with Cally, and we did some sort of... supernova she called it?"

"You artificially induced a miniature supernova?"

"I guess?"

"... We'll have to recreate that at some point. To create a miniature supernova using little more than... you said Cally?"

"Yes."

"Cally Brooks?"

"Yes?"

"The overly energetic DJ Cally?"

"Is there another Cally I'm unaware of?"

"Hm... interesting..."

The Doc descends into thoughts as you look through the various settings on your watch. Seems the mech itself stays mostly the same, except for the various weapons attached to it. The main cannon is still attached solidly onto the arm of the machine, but the weapons change from what looks to be low power rifles and handgun like things to shotguns to snipers to rocket launchers and everywhere in between. There are even a few weapons you don't even recognize. What the hell is a high-energy particle collider grenade launcher? Doesn't sound safe, whatever it is.

Regardless, the Doc is lost to you as he starts muttering and going through the mass of papers scattered around what you can only assume is his desk. You say your goodbyes, which are met with a waved hand, and depart, heading back upstairs. You hunt down Michelle after a thought pops into your head, and spend some time with her and her avatars, although you don't get very far. After a few minutes of talking, you take your leave from her as well, heading upstairs to your office and gathering your lieutenants. You fill them in on the basics of Cass' thing, not wanting to intrude on her privacy, and they go over the recent changes. Nicole reports exactly what she meant by a little expansion, which actually turns out to mean you now "own" the entirety of the west coast when it comes to breaker gangs, and have already expanded inland a little, although she kept you from going further. Most of the "bases" throughout the west coast aren't military in nature, instead made up of more passive breakers coming under your umbrella of protection. In exchange for keeping your rules in mind and avoiding causing problems for normals, they are allowed to continue in whatever capacity they placed themselves in(most are performers of various kinds, or are simply leading normalish lives as best they can) and gain the direct aid of your more military minded members, who are organized into loose "forts" spaced out amongst your territory, who have a set region they provide service for. Since setting up the system, the amount of breaker related incidents of violence and destruction in your territory has decreased sharply, most either under your protection or fearing reprisal from your "police" force.

Sonia is also around, having set up her group. She has been providing training and support for you military forces, each of your police forts having a few of her followers with them to help out and train your men. More personal training is also being provided to those who are willing to pay a little extra, but that's a small issue, as most of the military breakers have their needs provided for by your performers. They have little issue in giving donations to the organization, even if it is entirely unnecessary, and the finances seem stable, if not even growing. The performer groups are getting better as well, instead of fighting over the street stages they used, they are beginning to band together and make even bigger and more fantastic productions.

The only other thing to report, at least of any real importance, is that each of your direct companions seems to have taken over an area in your absence. Nicole, obviously, has become the face of the leadership to the organization, Elizabeth having avoided the issue herself while still being spacey. The precog, however, as taken to watching for issues and changes in the weave, much like she did before, although she now takes it upon herself to warn Nicole instead of just you, or those the issue applies to if she can find them. Chris has settled into something of a role model for your military arm, they seeing her as the epitome of discipline and service without question. A group centered specifically around her has assembled itself completely without her aid, calling themselves Bladedancers, after her rather unique fighting style and thought process. Once it was set up, Chris actually took some inkling of notice in it, preferring to simply watch as they stumbled through sword techniques before she apparently got fed up with "watching them make idiots of themselves and the master" and actually started instructing them. While they aren't nearly ready for open combat, they are showing remarkable amounts of discipline and tenacity.

The reports all done, and with another load of reports dropped on you by Twinda, you sigh and spend most of the rest of the day just getting through everything. By the time dinner comes around, you've been drained of all semblance of energy. You yawn even before you sit down, and once dinner's done, you head off to sleep, an odd pounding in your head and chest. Falling asleep comes quickly, yet you find yourself opening your eyes again mere moments later. Confusion sets in a moment, then thousands of eyes open in the gloom all around you, each one staring at you intently. You feel fear beginning to creep into your body, frozen as it is, until you feel a warm hand rest on your shoulder.

"Been awhile there, Linda. How's life going?"

A flash of a warm smile and red eyes that seem to glow in the gloom greet you as you turn to face another familiar, though long gone, face.

"Raphael?"

"The one and only. Don't act so surprised. I'm only a figment of your eternal dreams you know."

>>>Input Command
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No. 534567 ID: ab1da0

Hey. It's...Kinda weird seeing you as a Breaker, given that you're still alive...How are you doing?

So, um, how's this whole 'Nightmare' thing of yours work?
>>
No. 534568 ID: 41690e

>Cally / Supernova / Doc Interested
...well, we'll have to be careful where where recreate that, seeing as how we vaporized the last building we used it in, and killed everyone in the blast radius. He's not usually so good at remembering names or people, though, unless they catch his interest. There something he never told us?

>expansion, teamates assuming roles
Nice. The protection / support / cooperative model is exactly what I wanted to set up. We've achieved one of our big initial goals- introducing some stability for breakers, cutting down on the constant infighting between gangs.

Interesting that Elizabeth had pulled away from being our face-girl and Nicole has stepped up. Didn't expect that. Chris training sword peeps is cool. I guess that still leaves Cass looking for a way to fall into things, though she was pretty good at the drill sergeant routine, and she does have a fanclub she can mold into something.

...I guess D7 hasn't caused us much trouble then. Although we're going to have to deal with them eventually.

>Twinda
What did we have her working on- gun research, stuff that might help Cass, and dealing with Marc's money? We've probably got as much of an understanding as you can get of guns from reading stuff online at this point, and we've already helped Cass, although who knows, maybe psycho-babble will be useful someday. That just leaves managing the organization's financing and keeping the money growing. She can probably handle that, although you might have to make a few guiding decisions?

Unless anyone has any other cool ideas as to stuff we could have our spare body learning?

>Raphael
Hugs. Hugs now.

Things are... good. You think.

You're sorry you wasted so much time getting into stupid arguments with him. And you're so sorry about what happened. You finally trusted him in a bad situation and it got him killed. You tried to fix it but... it didn't quiet work. At least all the way. That's kind of weird to think about, actually. There's two of you now- one in here, and one out there.

...you saved Elizabeth, you know. And probably a lot of other people. I know you didn't get a choice in that part of it, but thank you.

Once the dialog and stuff is over, this better end with a tour / test drive. Dream-walkabout time. There's no poser-Morpheus to ruin it this time, and with the upgraded focus, he shouldn't be stuck in horse form either this time. We get some cool time checking on on other people's dreams, and Raphael still gets to be protecting the group on that front.
>>
No. 534609 ID: 8b25cb

>Rapheal
I guess I'm the only one questioning whether this is really Raphael? On the otherhand, dream walking is pretty rare...
>>
No. 534619 ID: 41690e

>>534609
There's no reason to question it. This is exactly what remember the fallen does. It taps into the fragments of passed breakers left behind inside their foci, and we're still carrying Raphael's nightmare statue. ...also we spent XP to make sure this would happen. :V >>/questdis/74351

...now, how much he's really him, and how much he's a construct of our own mind is a hard question to answer, and more a matter of semantics.
>>
No. 534712 ID: af8414

Point out that he's still alive
>>
No. 535086 ID: d77784

You scramble to your feet and throw your arms around Raphael's neck, happiness coming out of your like light out of a lightbulb. You apparently take Raphael completely by surprise, as he fumbles with what to do for a moment before wrapping his arms awkwardly around you in return. You stay like that for a few minutes, then back off, a smile still plastered on your face.

"Life is... alright, I suppose. Always stuff going on, like always, but... well... I'm sorry."

"Huh? What for?"

"For... everything. For always getting into fights with you about stupid things. For finally trusting you, and yet... you died. For... never really giving you a proper response."

"That all? Look, Linda. The past is the past. I'm dead. Or, at least the me that is the Nightmare is dead. I can't come back anymore. At least, not without using you as some sort of freaky conduit thing. But that's the way life is. Besides, my death wasn't your fault, and from what I can tell, you took care of the bastard that caused all this."

"Yeah... I... still... I... used you, Raph. I used you. Your... reality. Your existence. I used it and..."

"Hey. Calm down. At least in the end I can say I was the main reason the bastard died, right?"

"Bu-"

"NA! Stop! Done! No more of this line of thinking. We don't have all night. All I've got to say, Linda, is that you live your life the way you want to. Follow that heart of yours. It hasn't lead you wrong yet, I think. Well, mostly. Some parts here and there could use some improvement. Moving on!"

Raphael seems to click his fingers, smiling in a bit himself, then he slaps you lightly across the cheek, surprising you quite a bit.

"Wakey, Wakey, Linda! Time to have some fun!"

The next thing you know, you're shocked awake and staring across the empty room. For a moment, everything is quiet, and then you suddenly noticing something in your mouth. An odd... taste. It's hard to describe. Regardless, you feel Raphael's presence with you, like Cally's was before, but instead of dressing like a raver, you feel your own clothing and find it to be more like how Raphael used to dress. Functional above all else. A pair of sunglasses is slid into a pocket, and after turning on the lights and examining yourself in the mirror, you find your eyes have shifted to red, while your hair has turned stark white and shortened to a more boyish look. Huh. Odd to see yourself like tha-

"Alright Linda! Let's get started! I don't know how Cally's was, but you're going to have to get used to my power's which were... noticeably different from yours. First step, of course, is tasting fears. You don't have anything in you right now. Like... at all. Or we could dreamwalk I guess, but... without any forms, that's pretty dangerous. Well... maybe. Depends on where we end up. I'll let you decide what you want to do, but just be sure you know what you're attempting. Tasting fears is easy, the more a person is scared, the easy it is to pick up on and change yourself to that fear. Dreamwalking... what's different for everybody. Just... decide how you want to imagine entering the dreamtime works. I used to imagine a hole in space-time, but everybody got there own thing."

>>>Input Command
>>
No. 535090 ID: 0d5797

Anime style Launch out a mech-deployment chute?
Cause why not?
As for fear... Let's do Emily or Chris-Emily would be interesting, Chris we know what that'd look like. Make ourself a big block of jelly! Can't really be cut but harmless anyhow!
>>
No. 535099 ID: 76b151

If we don't want to spook our friends by awakening their nightmares we could always go for Maria.
>>
No. 535100 ID: 41690e

No fears at all? We can't do the nightmare? That was Raphael's default. Or... the nightmare was listed as his fear. Does that mean nightmare Linda's default is the spider? You got kind of used to digging down deep and calling on your own fear to use it to as a beacon, before. What happens if you draw on it now?

And yes, Linda should totally use some kind of anime transition for getting into the dreamtime.

Look over at wherever you had her and your computer set up. Did Twinda shift to match you, or she still look like regular you?

Not sure who we could use for a fear form. I mean, who's awake right now? (We can sense that, right? Just, the people who we don't sense sleeping). If our friends are all asleep, that kind of means we have to go scare them in their sleep, right?

...Elizabeth might be up if she saw this coming. And she volunteered herself last time, even if we shot Raphael in the face for it. Although terrifying her is gonna be kind of hard on Linda. (She'll probably talk Linda through/into it. She'll want us to get the hang of this power, and have her strength available to her).

Chris' fear form was pretty strong, if we can get it. Nicole's wasn't that useful, unfortunately (Raph dropped it). No idea what Aria's would be, although we'd be giving her an 'interesting' experience coming for it, wouldn't we? (Although setting off maybe the strongest breaker we know may not be smart). Michelle's fear is one we haven't seen either, but I don't know if Unbroken Will protects her from dream entry. ...and I really don't want to see how the demons of her mind react to an intrusion, or if we make her lose control with fear.

One thing I'm sure of is that Cass is off limits. You have a pretty damn good idea what her worst fear is, and why Raphael never used it. She already faced it once, you aren't dredging that up again. (Although stopping by her dreams just for non fear collecting purposes is fine).

>Conversation
We never thanked him, or pointed out he was still alive. (Sort of). I guess we can do that near the end of the night?

>>535090
Emily? The girl Guy met in the mall? And as for Chris, we've seen That Which Can not be Cut before. It's hardly cute. Although it might be interesting if known fears manifest themselves differently for Linda than they did for Raphael. She is a different person or lens, if you will. And we have a different stat build- while his forms favored a will / str split, ours should be finesse heavy.
>>
No. 535116 ID: efa8f6

That'll be me derping. I meant Elizabeth.
See, now I'm REALLY curious what Aria would fear, but then again it might not be a bad idea to go and get a fear we can predict...
But more off-beat ideas for fears to collect-
Rodriquez- Might be interesting to see his fear.
Matthew- I'm guessing we're gonna end up with a mob of kid Lindas like this, but let's find out!
Mike- Ice powers amplify, cause he's a cold-blooded snake. We have an ice gun tuned- it might react interestingly with that weapon.
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No. 535139 ID: 2f4b71

>entering the dreamtime
Orbital drop, with angel wings to brake.

Elizabeth is probably out best bet at finding someone who won't immediately freak out, but we need to approach this slowly. Not just to avoid frightening her, but tasting fear may not be such a pleasant experience for us.
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No. 535368 ID: d77784

"Hey, Raph?"

"Yeah?"

"How does this nightmare eating thing work? Do the nightmares change since I might look at other peoples fears differently?"

"Uh... I don't think so? You're not eating a perception of someone's fears. Your becoming what they fear. If what they fear most changes, then the form would change, but you being you instead of me shouldn't do anything."

"Oh... I was kinda hoping..."

"Yeah. Anyway, what we trying first?"

"I think we'll drop into the dreamtime. Everyone is asleep right now, so if I wanted to gather fear anyway..."

"Ah! Well then, just sort of... imagine yourself getting into the dreamtime. It's all up to you, just... do it."

"That's it?"

"That's all I can tell you. It should come naturally. Well... it did for me."

"Very comforting."

You try a few things, imagining this and that, but nothing seems to really work for you. Then, on a whim, you decide, why not try something more anime styled? If you were to... you don't know, FALL into the dreamtime and then suddenly-

Next thing you know, the floor seems to drop away, and you find yourself hurtling through the air, descending ever deeper into an inky blackness you can't quite define. Moments later, you feel something sprout from your back, and glowing, white wings seems to catch you just before you crash into a mass of shimmering threads woven intricately together.

"Wha-"

"Ah! The Dreamtime! Elizabeth's, if I remember correctly. Her's never changed much. She'd be in the center of all that I think, although she always seems to know- Ah! There it is!"

You watch as threads move out of the way to reveal a simple wooden chair in the center of the orb of threads. A very young girl, perhaps the age of nine, stares at you in confusion. You simply stare back for a moment, till Raphael provides some input.

"That's Elizabeth. Or rather, how she is in her own head. Sort of. I think it's because her thought process never really got farther than that. Maybe. It's hard to describe. Her place is always like this though."

"Odd... can see yet... not see. The Angel and the Nightmare, woven as one and yet not. Don't understand. Not necessary to understand. Nightmare Angel. Simple. Have you come for my fear?"

The girl looks at you expectantly, confusion clearly gone. For a long moment, there's only silence, then you crouch down and clutch your head in mock agony. Damn it! Why'd she have to be this tiny nine year old!? Why'd she have to get even cuter!? Why didn't you have a picture of this!?

"Ah... her nightmare. That Which Is Unknowable. That's what I called it anyway. Strong, very strong, but... well... it felt wrong getting it. And that was from the 17 year old Elizabeth..."

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No. 535378 ID: 41690e

Aw. We didn't try digging up our own fear. That seems like something we should try before this is over.

Linda's reaction to tiny-Elizabeth is adorable, by the way. ...maybe you could get a picture of adorable dreambeth, if you cheated and broke yourself one, later.

Okay... so, I'm not sure how Linda is supposed to overcome her urge to protect the little girl and actually frighten Elizabeth. Seems like one of the hardest things we could ask from her. I mean, I guess try to put aside all the love and protection and focus on every time she's made you frustrated or angry or hid something from you. Harden yourself enough to actually do it.

...or this might be an awesome time for Elizabeth to tap into fear itself. Either against herself if Linda can't bring herself to do it, or maybe against Linda, after. Return the favor, pull on Linda's fears enough to unlock spider-form. I mean, it won't be pleasant, but I think this will be easier on Linda if it's not one way. She won't feel as terrible about it if Elizabeth gets her back.

However this goes though, it should end with hugging, comforting, stammered thanks and/or apologies, and calming the nightmare back into a dream before moving on. Because there's no way Linda could leave 'Liz suffering.

>Have you come for my fear?
...I guess I have. I'm... not really sure what I'm doing, though.
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No. 537036 ID: d77784

"...I guess I have. I'm... not really sure what I'm doing, though..."

Part of you screams that tis is wrong beyond belief. You're supposed to be her mother, and that means protecting her from things like this, not encouraging it. Whatever your beliefs are, however, Elizabeth ends up helping you along, extending her hands to touch your face and staring into your eyes.

"See. See me. See what I am and what I fear. Taste of it, drink of it, and remember that which has been forgotten."

Then Elizabeth does... something... and you can suddenly taste it. A bitter sweet taste, like something initially disgusting and unpalatable, only to have it transform into... a wondrous taste. I lovely taste. A beautiful sweet, almost alcoholic taste. You drink of it in an almost drunken stupor, only to have yourself brought back by Raphael.

"HEY! HEY! That's enough! You're gonna drive her mad with too much more! Well... more mad..."

You pull yourself away from that taste only to feel yourself as if pulled it dozens of directions. Tendrils snake out of you like some sort of sick perversion of nature, and you can see Elizabeth huddled within her cocoon, fear wracking her body. Your sense of protectiveness overwhelms you, and seems to push back against another, more sick desire. You feel your form warp and condense, eventually returning to your normalish form. You quickly take Elizabeth into your arms and begin stroking her hair softly, murmuring words of comfort and safety. Eventually, the girl calms herself, then extracts herself from your grasp and sits back into her chair.

"Work here is done. Your fear of spiders is... personal. Not the Nightmare's. His fear of the horse is not your's. You protect each other from your own fears when you are as one."

Huh?

"Uh. I think she's saying we can't be afraid of our own fears while we're joined like this. Cause I'm not afraid of spiders and your not scared of nightmares in general. Or something like that."

"Correct."

"Great. So... no creepy spider form then."

"Probably not... well, there's not much to do here. Elizabeth keeps her dreams pretty orderly. Uh... if you wanted to go dream hopping, you can try that I suppose. Or we could sniff out some more nightmares to eat. Real world or dreamtime. It's up to you, Linda, you run this show. If you want to practice with that new fear of yours, though, I'd suggest finding a different dream to mess around in. That chick we stole from D7 is a pretty good one to use, really easy to manipulate."

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No. 537045 ID: d2ad4a

Sounds like it's time for fun in Maria's dream world! I'm curious what her mental landscape will look like.
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No. 537054 ID: 41690e

> no creepy spider form then.
Dangit! ...although I wonder what will happen if we find something they're both afraid of.

>what do
Kiss little 'liz on the forehead and say goodbye. Thank you. Maybe... you'll be back another night to spend time with her. Without the scary nightmare stuff.

I say going to Chris' dream to practice a little seems reasonable. Get the hang of being something that's not you. And maybe we can poke around a little while we're in there. George did just about everything he could do for her, but is there anything we could do from the dream side of things?

Then, nightmare hunting doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. Maybe a new fear to take, and we can do the dream protector thing.
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No. 537089 ID: 2f4b71

>>537036
>we can't be afraid of our own fears while we're joined like this
Gotta remember this if someone ever tries a fear-based attack on us.
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No. 537944 ID: d77784

You give Elizabeth another hug and a kiss on her forehead. Thanking her for her help. She seems not to notice or care, although the cocoon of threads surrounding her pulses with vibrant colors. You smile to yourself before heading off, staring into the infinite darkness around you with a mixture of uncertainty and excitement.

"Well. Off we go then. Just... I don't know, to tell you the truth. Just FEEL your way to where you want to go I guess."

With Raphael's ever so helpful advice, you close your eyes, picturing Chris in your mind, and simply take a step forward. At the same moment, the ground seems to fall away again, and your once again hurtling through the air. This time, the fall is not quite so surprising, you having half-expected it, and you land without any difficulty. What you discover is a broken landscape, various buildings and rooms seeming to dot the endless expanse. You take a look around, but can't really seem to find Chris. Raphael seems unconcerned however, explaining away the situation as simply "her broken memories". That, however, just gets you thinking.

"If these are her broken memories, then... if we find some of the pieces that fit together, we should be able to get her to remember something, right?"

"Uh... Makes sense, I guess. Still, I can't tell you how she'd react to that, nor could I tell you what goes where. I was more in the business of causing this sort of thing, not fixing it. Regardless, you could try I suppose. Or we could do some dreamtime training. Or we could gather some more fears. I'd prefer to gather some more fears before anything else, but... well, you are the captain of this particular ship."

You take a look at the landscape, eying it as you mull over your choices. That one there seems like it's made of an almost japanese design. Those over there are more utilitarian. That one there is more like Central from the looks of it. And that one looks like the shattered remnants of a park. If you're going to try fixing something, you'd have to decide what to focus on first.

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No. 537948 ID: 41690e

Let's practice a little first. You're not really used to being a form type, or doing this dream and/or nightmare manipulation thing. If you run into something, or something goes wrong, you might need to defend yourself. And if you practice first, maybe things are less likely to go wrong.

After that, we could try putting a memory together. Maybe the park? A childhood memory would hopefully be a good one. (And hopefully before D7 got ahold of them and tried to induce breaking).

I wouldn't do more than one thing, tonight, though. I wouldn't want to overwhelm her, with too much at once. We can come back another night and do more. (Assuming Raphael stopping by will be a semi-regular thing. I mean, we don't need to pilot through it every time, but now that Linda can access dreamtime, checking up on her friends and going walkabout some nights makes sense as a thing to do).

If we still have time after that (no idea how long this will last, or how fast time is passing in the dream, anyways), I'd like to go looking for another fear, and do kind of a tour of our friends' dreams. Like, it would be interesting to see the inside of Cass' head (especially post overcoming her berserking), even if there's no way in hell we'd want to touch her fear. Kind of interested to see what Aria's thinking too, and curiosity on Linda's part fits after their meeting earlier today. We've no idea what she fears, either. I'm half interested to see if the demons or her spirit ability guard Michelle's mind from intrusion. I wouldn't go after her fear though- her control is somewhat fragile and I've no desire to set the brothers off. Chris' fear is pretty combat useful, but I'm not sure I'd want to draw on it and mess with her memories in the same night. Maria's one we could explore without much remorse, and insight into her mind might help with deciding what to do with her. ...although we just saw how hard it was to control the fear-tasting thing even with Elizabeth, and you could barely restrain yourself the last time you were in a room with Maria. Looking at what's in her head directly might prompt you to shatter her mind before you could stop yourself. Really not how you're supposed to treat a prisoner.
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No. 537978 ID: ddd0ce

I'm guessing either park or Japanese buildings might be a good idea to rebuild...As for fears...Hrm.
I figure visit Aria for another fear, so as to figure out more what her deal is, maybe? Also practice so that we know WHEN to stop, instead of simply feeding recklessly.
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No. 538103 ID: efa330

Practice a bit, and look for Chris. Fear-sampling should be priority, yeah.
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No. 539035 ID: d77784

You decide to spend some time practicing your shifting first, using the open, broken landscape to attempt shifting in various situations and states. For the most part, you find it takes a few seconds to change from your human form into your only nightmare form, and those precious few seconds leave you vulnerable. However, you aren't constrained in WHEN you can shift, so you can be in the middle of dodging and be able to start your shift, and finish changing as the dodge is finished. Still, there's only so much you can do with only one form, however many arms/tentacles it has, so you eventually decide to move on. You briefly consider hunting for another fear to eat, but something in you just doesn't like the idea of driving someone into that state of terror that seems to be required to eat fears. Instead you focus on something else you wanted to try.

Namely, nudging the broken pieces of Chris' mind back into place. The park ends up being the focus of your attention, and as you nudge the pieces back together, you start to get this background noise effect. The sounds of birds chirping and the gentle trickle of a fountain. Still, as more and more pieces start to slot into place, you also start to get a sense of foreboding, and once the final piece slots into place, you find yourself viewing something decidedly not pleasant. Chris, or rather at this point in time, 23, is standing with McCarthy, a group of what you think are breakers trapped in a ring of agents. They all seem fairly weak, probably significantly drained from whatever had happened before. Watching them, you notice they have younger breakers as well, children and such. Not something you'd ever really noticed yourself. Were they breakers as well? Your train of thought is interrupted as McCarthy begins to speak.

"These ones are all breakers?"

"Only the one sir. The male. The others are normal."

"Really? How... quaint. A family. We can't have any of this getting out, though. Memory device?"

"Unavailable. The nearest one is a couple hundred miles away, and only a prototype really."

"Hm... shame. Still... Subject 23. It seems it's time to test this conditioning of yours. Kill them. All of them."

23 starts to reach for her weapon, only to hesitate, as if fighting herself. McCarthy seems to notice, but instead of frowning, he only smiles. Her struggle only really seems to amuse him, and he takes even greater pleasure in affirming his own orders.

"I said kill, 23. All of them."

This time, the hesitation is gone, and what follows is the clean deaths of the entire family. 23, however, doesn't stop there, leaping at the agents surrounding her and beginning to cut them down as well until McCarthy calls her to heel. He considers the damage, then shrugs, clearly unconcerned, even as the agents around him start to clear up the bodies.

"It seems we still have awhile to go with you. Perhaps a few more conditioning sessions, and some way to differentiate hostile from friendly. Still... all in all, a good first test, would you say, little flower of death?"

McCarthy strokes 23's cheek, then the memory fades, disappearing completely from you sight. For a moment, you're confused, then You feel a presence next to you and you glance over to find Chris, who seems very unaffected by everything.

"... Last memory before waking up to George and you."

"You... did that?"

"Didn't want to. Didn't have much choice. Conditioning was... through."

"Do you regret it?"

"Wasn't me. Was 23. Maybe Makoto. Doesn't matter. I'm not either of them anymore."

"Chris..."

"Ah... hate to interrupt, Linda, but... it's almost daytime. Just... uh... thought I'd let you know. Might want to finish this up and get back to the real before you get forcibly ejected. Not pleasant, let me tell you. Our times almost up as well, so..."

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No. 539046 ID: 07e3a8

Ooh, dang. Not a happy childhood memory. Maybe we should have gone for the janan-y one.

>out of time
Aw dang, so many things we didn't get to see.

Nod to Raphael. You'll wrap up here, and we'll see about getting back.

>that was not me
Chris compartmentalizing her life that way is interesting. Maybe it's sort of a healthy way to look at it. I mean, if she didn't have a choice, it wasn't her. She's not responsible.

...just remember that, okay? You're no one's slave, anymore. Choice is important. It's fine that you choose to follow me, but you're still your own person. Whoever you are. (Hugs? It's not like she's very susceptible in the real world).

>wrap up
Then we'll see about dreamwalking back where we started, and finding your room again. He'll be back again, right? Maybe not every night, but there's a lot we didn't get to see. And it's kind of nice he still gets to watch over the groups' dreams.

...you know you're still out there, right? Sort of. There's another you. He's out there, but normal, and doesn't remember. Funny. I don't know which of you that makes more real. Or are you both fragments of the same person?
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No. 539708 ID: d77784

"...just remember that, okay? You're no one's slave, anymore. Choice is important. It's fine that you choose to follow me, but you're still your own person. Whoever you are."

Chris seems to regard you with interest for a moment, then smiles a little to herself. She says nothing in return however, only standing and striding off into the broken landscape again, body tense and expectant, as always. You hope your intent stuck with her regardless. You want her to follow her own desires after all, not just blindly wander from place to place following whoever's orders.

Putting Chris from your mind at the moment, however, seems the prudent course, given as Raphael had just warned you it was more or less time to go. You turn to your companion, and he answers the most pressing question before you even start asking.

"Just want to get back to the real. It might feel different than getting into the dreamtime, since, you know, your becoming real again, but we shouldn't have to travel far at all to get back to your room, so you'll be fine just leaving directly from Chris' head."

You nod your understanding and focus again, letting yourself go much more easily than your first attempt at dreamwalking, and then falling sensation you're quickly growing accustomed to hits you, only to be quickly replaced with soft carpet under your feet. Huh. You really are back in your room. That was... easier than expected. The major difference you note, however, is that the sun is starting to come up. Huh... well, that could be an... issue...

"Yeah... uh... you're not going to be very awake the rest of the day. I'd suggest getting a nap in or something. Still, you'll be fine I think."

"Alright. Makes sense, I mean, we were jumping around in dreams all night. Didn't know it took that long though."

"Dreamtime... time... is a lot less predictable than normal time. It doesn't follow the conventions of normal thought after all."

"Makes sense... sorta. Hey Raph?"

"Yeah?"

"...you know you're still out there, right? Sort of. There's another you. He's out there, but normal, and doesn't remember. Funny. I don't know which of you that makes more real. Or are you both fragments of the same person?"

"Um... hate to break it to you, Linda, but I'm not alive. Neither is Cally, she just probably doesn't want to break it to you. Yeah, a fragment of our former selves is locked away inside the foci, but... we're not living. Nor can we ever be living again. We're more like constructs built from your own thoughts and emotions and memories regarding us, given more realism and some substance thanks to the foci. Nothing more. It be safer to say we're fragments of YOU, Linda. So, to answer your question, he's the real one. I'm just a memory. A lingering thought."

Raphael seems kinda depressed talking about it, but quickly shakes himself from his stupor. You can already feel him pulling away the same way Cally had a week ago back in Havers.

"Looks like times up. Don't hesitate to ring me if you need anything, although I'd give me a few days before we do this melding thing we do. It... tires me out, I guess you could say. Using it too often could break me or Cally."

"Alright... see you around, Raph."

"See you, Linda. Don't be a stranger if you ever meet the new me, yeah?"

He gives you an odd spirit hug before dissipating, and your left in your normal appearance. You feel the sudden lack of sleep hit you like a sledgehammer, but you push it back and get yourself ready for the day. Thankfully, breakfast is already handled, and it seems your lieutenants have gathered to both eat and give a morning report. There's nothing really to report, which is a huge relief, and your left with little to do regarding obligations as everyone breaks off to go do what they can to help out around the place. Nicole suggests maybe getting some training in(why not?), Cass seems largely uninterested in really doing anything, although you watch her make a beeline for the haphazardly set up training ground. Chris watches silently as people wielding katanas and the like are going through training drills, occasionally barking something instructional at the group. Everyone else just seems to be hanging around, and most ignore you completely. That leaves the day mostly... open.

The feeling is odd. Not having any major obligations to work on is actually becoming disconcerting, and you find yourself fidgeting uncomfortably as you try desperately to find something requiring you attention, or at least decide what to do.

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No. 539710 ID: 1444c7

>>539708
How about we take the nap our raphaelian fragment suggested? We should also make a note to continue rebuilding Chris' mind when Raph is available again.

We could also take another look at our prisoners. It's not nice to just lock them up and forget them.
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No. 539712 ID: 4d99b6

Ahhh...Maybe go see how michelle or Elizabeth is doing, post-nap.
Or, alternately, put our non-existing status to good use and try joining the information gathering guys, whoever they may be.
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No. 539715 ID: 07e3a8

On thing I'd like to do today is spend some time with Elizabeth. Actual hanging out with her time, not asking about the future or discussing the latest weird problem to come about or protecting her from danger. The nice side of this daughter stuff. I mean, when was the last time you did that? You've been away for two weeks, and the last times you saw her you were discussing the attempt on her life and borrowing her nightmare.

After we've spent some quality time, maybe we can ask her questions about more weird stuff before leaving. Like what's her sight make of this you becoming people stuff? Or if she's seen what Cass looks like since... yeah. Or if she thinks the doc's idea for thread energy is something she'd be willing to help with, or if it's just a disaster waiting to happen.

Need to squeeze a nap in at some point. Remember Aria expects us tonight, and it wouldn't do to be falling asleep on a date!

Elizabeth, nap, date probably takes up a good third to half the day right there. In between...

I don't think we quite have time for anything big the Doc had planned (energy experiments, or the mech test). Both of those have the potential to run long, (or bring up complications) and maybe aren't the best idea when you're tired. We could make preparations for a mech test tomorrow or something, though.

Maybe double check what's been done with the prisoners in your absence. We'll need to make decisions eventually, there. You can't keep people indefinitely detained. Maria's harder, because of the emotional component and she's an enemy combatant. But Jacob we might be able to come to some kind of understanding with.

Training seems like a good idea. You haven't fought much recently, except a week ago in Havers. Can't afford to get rusty, and it's not like you've had any kind of formal training at all. You've had to learn everything on the fly. (Plus we desperately need xp for memory-foci to give to allies, and training is probably the lowest time and risk investment that might return an xp).

>fragments, more you than us.
Well, ghosts of the mind rather than strait up ghosts, then. You suppose it makes sense they'd have to lean on you in they're in your head, especially if they're fragments with parts that need filling in. But... there's still something of them there. Something real. That's enough for you, for now.

Kind of makes sense Raphael would cling to the more morose explanation, anyways. *sad / amused*.

>several day timeout if you don't want to damage them
Righto.
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No. 539718 ID: 07e3a8

Oh, and make sure you see everyone who still remembers you exist for at least a few minutes today. Even if you're not doing anything with them, just make contact so they don't slip away.

At least everyone who showed up to breakfast is covered already, and you have plans to see Aria later. I think that only leaves the Doc and Michelle for hellos you have to squeeze in.
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No. 540001 ID: d77784

With nothing to do, you decide to catch up on some sleep, and let everyone know to leave you alone until about noon. You have obligations later today, and you don't want to be completely dead by the time you make it to said obligations. As promised, no one bothers you at all, and when you do get up at noon, you feel significantly more rested and ready to do what needs doing. Not that it really matters completely at the moment.

You first head around the base, making sure to visit the Doc and Michelle to help solidify their memories of you. Michelle seems especially glad to see you, happily informing you that Levi and Moth are getting along much better than before. Maybe because she'd be letting them out a bit more recently. She also mentioned maybe wanting to find another baby to set free, muttering about another voice in her head that wanted to be let out, but she understands if that's not possible. At least for now.

You also take the time to set up a testing event for the Godkiller with the Doc. He says he'll handle setting up an opponent and clearing the area of civilians and others who could be... problematic, but that'll otherwise it would be up to you for exact times and what kind of opponents you wanted. You'll have to think about it, but at the latest he'll need something before the end of the day, to get some time to actually prep what he needs.

That done, and with ideas already buzzing through your head thanks to your infatuation with mecha anime, you turn your attention to you daughter, and find her lazily hanging around, staring into nothing like always. She pulls herself a little more into reality, however, as you approach, and before you even open your mouth, she's already demanding you attention to her own interests.

"Game."

"... Seriously? I walk up, and THAT is the first words out of your mouth?"

"Yes."

You sigh, then shrug. Well, you can't say you didn't expect this kind of thing. Here's hoping this turns out well. Elizabeth leads the way upstairs, but you pause, suddenly remembering that the last time you'd played these games of hers, you'd had Raphael with you. He'd been that warrior type. If you were going to play that again, you'd need...

"Hey Elizabeth?"

"Hm?"

"Are we playing that one game with all the fireballs and such?"

"Yes."

"Don't we need a... what did Raph call it..."

"Tank."

"Yeah. That. Don't we need one of those?"

"..."

"I'll take that as a yes. Hold on, maybe I can drag someone else into this."

You take off again, zig-zagging your way through people until your eyes find who you're looking for. Cass. If you're getting dragged into this, so is she. It helps she really isn't doing anything overly important looking anyway. Within minutes, you've got your best friend in a headlock and are dragging her towards the stairs. Halfway there, you're intercepted by Chris, who simply stares for a moment then seems to breath out sharply. You frown, until you realize it's her own muted way of sighing. Huh.

"Is Elizabeth getting everyone to play games again?"

"Ah... you know about that?"

"She would make me play while you were gone."

"Oh... sorry about that. And thanks for looking after her."

"It was not a problem. I shall play as well."

"You can do four people?"

"With her preferred game, yes. Others, no."

"Ok! Let's get going, then."

"Don't I get a say in thi-"

"No."

The next two hours are spent happily laughing at Cass' attempts to both understand and play the game. Most fights, as far as you can tell, end up devolving quickly into Cass running around the map, trying to kill things far higher in level than she is, and everyone else rushing to keep up with her and keep her alive. Regardless, Elizabeth seems to enjoy herself, even is she spends most of her time tapping the heal button trying to keep Cass alive. Once Elizabeth has had her fill however, everyone scatters, Cass quickest of all, clearly expecting you to drag her into something else. You let her go, instead focusing on some questions you had for your daughter.

"Elizabeth?"

"Yes?"

"I had some questions, if that's alright."

"..."

"Uh... alright. Here we go then. First off, I wanted to know if you've seen anything different regarding Cass."

"The Warrior walks not alone or with one, but with many. Her chains no longer bind, instead they strengthen."

"That's... a good thing, right?"

"Yes."

"Ok... What about me? When I do that melding thing with these two other foci? How'd I look with Raph?"

"An angel... touched by nightmares. Difficult to describe."

"I... see... Well, that was it for now, I guess... I'll talk to you later, alright?"

"Mm."

You leave Elizabeth by herself for now, heading back downstairs to take a look at this training that's going on. For most, it seems simple drills, either with guns or various melee weapons. Still, you can see Chris' group going through some more complicated maneuvers, and you recognize Sonia doing what appears to be one vs. many drills. Little else seems to be going on right now, but you can't expect much. Still, if you want to join in, maybe you could get Sonia to set up a one vs. many for you. Or you could try setting something up with Chris' group you suppose. Maybe work on evasion some? Of course, there's always the simple gun range, might help to get some practice with that. Maybe you could come up with a few training ideas yourself...

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No. 540003 ID: 4d99b6

let's do the 1 vs. many thing. Should be fun and interesting to see who& what we end up against.
As far as interesting new training excersises...
Maybe a battle on a frozen surface, with ice blocks to knock around. Or maybe a 'searchlight' battle where you're in darkness and going into the light exposes you to gunners. Better yet if there's other breakers holding and moving said lights around for their gunner teammates...
Ya know what? Maybe make three-man teams of this.
A gunner who tries to shoot the opponent, a Will-focused Breaker who uses the flashlight to spot their foes, and a STR/FIN (whichever one is up to the breaker team's discretion) Breaker down on the field fighting.
And maybe we could start thinking about referees. While Memory Boy probably would be the ultimate ref, there might be other breakers who have talents in this department.
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No. 540010 ID: 07e3a8

>another baby to set free
Really? Hum. Hope we haven't started a dangerous precedent, here. (I wonder what the upper bound on that is? Is she shooting for 7, a prince of each sin? ...she's not host to a full codex of 72, right?).

Still, for that to happen, we'd need to find another avatar for the doc to distil down, and they're pretty rare. Even rarer with the relative peace we've established around here; you can't exactly beat up one of the very few avatar types and take their avy if they're on your side. (Hopefully the voices don't get insistent enough that she considers that. We don't need another Marc). I suppose we could ask Mac to keep his eye open for one. There were avatars floating on the market for trade near central, there might be one somewhere within our west coast area of influence, too.

...unless the doc could produce one from scratch? Maybe the right fusion of some of the vault foci could result in a fresh avatar?

>video gaaames
Well, you really should have seen this coming. Still, time spent with your friends is time well spent. You don't get the chance to enjoy yourselves enough.

>training
One thing you should probably test is the shotgun. You haven't manifested that yet (we don't even know the cost), and it would be nice to get familiar with it before you have to use it on a battlefield. That seems like something you'd test on the range, though. The anti-breaking properties make me nervous about live testing it on allies.

One weapon I'd really like to practice with is the ice gun. You don't get nearly creative enough with that, especially the cartoon ice module. We should be able to do cool stuff like dynamically shaping battlefields around us. We've used it to slip people up, and immobilize normals. But you should be able to do stuff like icing right in front of yourself for faster frictionless assisted dodges or slides. Modifying terrain with obstacles, or making platforms or stairs or a ramp or rail midair.

I mean, you've seen how Chris' speed lets her move in a stable enviroment. You're not quiet as fast as her, but what could you do with an enviroment you can set up ahead of you?

I wouldn't object to combining that with one verus many, or evasion practice or something, once you started getting the hang of it.
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No. 540652 ID: d77784

Ideas pop into your head, especially regarding the ice gun, but first things first, you need to try out this new shotgun of yours. You manifest it for the first time, and it seems the drain on your body is minimal(1BP Cost). Regardless, after a few minutes of trying it out on the targets, you find the weapon to be relatively short ranged, maybe fifty meters at best if you're trying to be accurate with it. After that discovery, you can't really look into the weapon much more, thanks in part to the problem of nothing to drain out of a paper target. You'll need living breakers to have any hope of testing this thing further.

After dismissing the shotgun and manifesting your ice gun, you try testing out a few ideas with that. You try using the crafted ice to assist in your own movements, hoping the frictionless surfaces might help get your movements and such. You discover that when you have time to set up, yes, you can use the ice effectively to help speed you along. When trying to set up in the middle of actions however... things prove more difficult. Significantly. Not to mention, that as you continue to ice over your practice area, it's getting more and more difficult to keep track of where you left ice and where you haven't. More than once you'd think you were doing well, only to slip on a ice you'd forgotten were there, or suddenly halt and fall over when you'd expected to slide. You might be able to do it more effectively use the ice for evasion if you practiced a lot more, but it would take long days of practice. And probably enhancing your own ability to memorize and process information in some way. You have little confidence in regards to getting that done anytime soon.

Still, you eventually move on to some actual training, overseen by Sonya(who doesn't seem to remember you much, only vague recollections). The training begins easily enough, with the rules simple. Anyone can jump in to fight you, but they can only die once before having to leave the arena. You are given one life, and must survive as long as possible. They have a few people acting as judges, to make sure the rules are followed. You happily agree to the conditions, and last for nearly 20 minutes of continuous attackers, only really having to start getting serious as you start getting tired from all the moving and when members of Sonya's group take an interest and start joining in the fray. Finally, you are taken down thanks to a combination of muscle failure and the dual attacks of machine gun wielding breakers. An unfair advantage in your estimate, but rules are rules. Still, over the course of the day, you feel like you've learned a lot, and as you pick yourself up of the ground, you notice it's about time to get ready to go on this date with Aria.

You head back up to your room to shower and get changed into something more appropriate, even if you have no idea where she's planning to drag you. Elizabeth is in the living room when you finally come out, and she turns to you as you make your way towards the door.

"Enjoy yourself, Angel."

"Ah... yeah, I'll try. Don't wait up for me, alright?"

There's no response, but you're already headed downstairs anyway. You make it to the main floor to find Aria looking absolutely stunning, her clothes hugging her curves perfectly. Still, her clothing seems a bit more... casual than you'd initially expected from her, given her manner of speech and her usual attire, but you weren't complaining. She waiting for you by the door, and upon seeing you a smile lights up her face.

"Well. You're certainly a little more dressed up than usual."

"You said this was a date. Although I kept it more casual since I didn't know what your plans were. Seems it was a good idea."

"Hm. Yes. I have two options actually depending on how... serious... we're going to be taking this. I've managed to scrounge up a rather nice car from a dealer downtown. Very nice. I had it fixed up a little, and might have added a few... breaks to it. Just a few, really. Mostly because I've heard there's some... less than legal racing going on in the city. We could always try our hand at that, although I don't know how good of a driver you are.

"If we want more relaxed though, some reservations at a nice resturaunt that you actually apparently own have been put in as well. They have breakers performing there nightly, and from what I understand, the atmosphere is kept as casual as possible. Still, not nearly as exciting or as interesting, but you've been though a lot recently.

"Of course, if you have any of your own ideas, I'm perfectly open to those as well."

That smile never leaves Aria's lips, and as she lets you think, her arm links with your's the movement performed so naturally that you almost didn't notice. Damn she's good.

>>>Input Command

Finesse Increased: 14
Experienced Gained: 2

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No. 540653 ID: f3d1de

>Finesse increased
WOOT! That's awesome right there!
Experience:2
I know, I know, Linda has FAR too many Foci as is, but I wonder if it'd be possible for a Breaker to 'tune' a foci that someone else has tuned.
And it seems we'll need to work with the ice gun if we want to be going around Freeze-sliding like Frozone.
As for Aria...Hrrm. Racing? Exciting and Awesome, but yea, we just came from exciting and awesome. I figure do the casual thing, but talk with her about the whole 1v many thing you just did. She might be interested enough to try it out!
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No. 540659 ID: 07e3a8

>Shotgun
Do you have to break to reload with every shot? Was how you'd get the 'blue potion' out obvious? But yes, we'll have to test that in a fight, later.

>enhancing your own ability to memorize and process information in some way
You could always delegate to Twinda. You do sort of have a second processor, there. When relevant, assign her to do doing nothing but keeping track of the ice around you and providing warnings / advice on which way to go.

I mean, it can't be any more complex than managing Marc's business holdings. The real limitation would be if she can pass information / instructions off to you fast enough to make use of in real time. (The mental link is a big help, there. It would be impossible for use over comms). You'd also need to be passing information to her to use, of course. ...maybe a string of close together memory syncs? So she sees you lay down the ice, and then thinks about it for you.

>training
And death number 20! Whoo.

>+1 fin, +2 XP
Nice! And that's just from half a day's (or less) training.

Save the XP for now. We're going to need that to tune spare foci to keep people from forgetting us. We'll trade two of our spare junk foci to Mac for bullets, tomorrow.

The only question is which two people do we start with protecting? The Doc seems kind of obvious for a first choice (he's very valuable, and we don't work with him as closely as our other friends).

>I wonder if it'd be possible for a Breaker to 'tune' a foci that someone else has tuned
So far as we know, it's impossible for a focus to be tuned to two people at once. (Although, hell, there's probably an exception to that somewhere. Twin breakers with a shared focus? Someone with a ditto power?). A good deal of our 'untuned' foci were actually tuned to someone up until we attuned them to ourself- they just happened to be dead or unable to reach said foci. I think the only truly empty ones we've ever seen were Cass' knives after she foresook them, and maybe ones the Doc made from scratch (the ring, the watch?). Trying to tune an ally's focus would just steal it for ourselves.

>Dressed up!
...which I assume means we've forgone the low profile body armor? And we probably aren't wearing the handgun holsters, either.

>Date
Hmm. I can't help but thing breakers preforming might bring back a twinge or two of sadness, which isn't what we want. And the street racing sounds too cool to pass up. (It occurs to me that switching driver / passenger on the move could be done trivially with a break. There's a way both of you could get in on the fun, unless we're doing multiple runs?). Only real downside is the quiet evening is probably the better way to get to know each other, and you really don't very well, yet.
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No. 540662 ID: 07e3a8

>twinge of sadness
Although I guess knowing you're responsible for this town being safe again for the performers is good?

>race v dinner
Gah. As cool as the racing might be to play though, getting to know her better might cinch it. I mean, unless we end up talking either way? (Just indoors versus hanging out of the hood of the car, afterwards?).

Because part of me doesn't want to rush Linda into anything again, and they do have things to talk about.

Like the fact that Elizabeth opened up to her, huh? (Actually, Elizabeth vetting her is kind of cute- what child of a single parent doesn't take a hard look at that kind of thing?). ...we might even be able to ask her about the Hunter thing (if there's anyone who might have seen more than what was said, or read between the lines of what really happened on the Docks, it's Miss Looking for the Interesting, here. Although done wrong that's sort of a mood killer, and I don't want to give the impression we only went out to try and pump her for intel, either).
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No. 540988 ID: d77784

"Let's... let's keep things calm for tonight, alright? I've been though a lot of exciting already recently."

"Of course. Off we go then. A short walk, but I had a few questions, if you don't mind me asking."

"Ask away."

The "short" walk turns out to be about a half hour, and her questions are mostly about your younger days. From what you can tell, she seems genuinely interested in what you have to say about yourself, although every once in awhile she makes a comment to refute you claims, mostly regarding your own inability to work well in large groups and the like. Still, you notice she tends to shy away from topics that start to lead towards questions regarding her own life, although when you ask anything directly she seems happy to answer. It feels more like she just isn't interested in talking about herself.

Eventually, you make it to this "nice resturant" turns out to be one of the premier places around her, although when you and Aria arrive at the front desk, you are immediately and without hesitation hastened inside and shown to a very private and well placed table. You find yourself quickly attened to by a waiter, who takes your orders for drinks and presents you with a menu before disappearing off somewhere, leaving you bewildered and not altogether sure what just happaned. Aria, for her part, takes it all in stride and seems to be more amused by your reactions then anything.

"I take it this is a first for you?"

"Uh... yeah."

"Hm. Simply act as you always do, and you'll do fine. Not like they could say much anyway, you practically own the establishment."

"I... do?"

"Yes. A bit of investing from that twin of your's while you were away. I admit, I might have helped a little in the selections. Not that you needed any help, from what I could see, you handle money as well as those guns of yours."

"Well... I don't like to brag. Still, it probably is my one real skill in life."

"That and wooing every eligible young breaker that seems to cross your path for longer than five minutes."

"Uh... well..."

"I'm sorry. That was... uncalled for. Too soon for that sort of talk, I think."

The conversation dies a little after that, leaving a rather uncomfortable silence. You really hadn't felt the sting too badly, but the pain you felt regarding that particular topic seems to have bled through anyway, and you can only blame yourself for killing all conversation...

Damn... you really wish you'd dated more when you were younger, so you'd have some suave way to brighten the mood again.

>>>Input Command
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No. 540998 ID: df5c97

Errm...What to talk about...OH!
were there any awesome breakers that she met back home? And by 'awesome' we mean had cool powers and abilites or even weapons, like our ice gun or something.
I mean, even if the breakers had lame personalities some of them might have had a fun trick or two right?
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