Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN
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MULTI_MEDIA_MAN

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Geralt of Rivia

Ancestral Farmstead

Lvl 3 (8/30) -> Lvl 3 (9/30)

Word Count: 588 words

Stress Level: 15


Geralt hadn't expected Euden to come blazing in from the skies to carve a chunk out of the Brachydios' tail just before he went to swing. Geralt hadn't expected his own blow to remove the monster's tail outright. He certainly hadn't expected the Cadet to attach himself to the monster and ride it like an unbroken stallion, getting knocked around but holding firm. Man, what do they feed those guys over there? Geralt casually wondered as he attempted to bob and weave out of the way of the monster's erratic stomping.

He was unsuccessful, however, and a massive foot slammed into his body, flinging him back while both shattering his Quen shielding, and absolutely smothering him with sticky, explosive goo. Geralt rolled once, twice, and a third time before halting his own momentum and shakily standing, scooping a handful of goo off his armor. "Ugh, that's just disgusting..." Remembering the Cadet's warning as well as what happened to Bowser, Geralt made removing this goo his focus. He had to contend with more farmhands attacking him now that he was pushed away from the giant saurian monster, though, and it was hardly ideal to try and clean himself off while dodging sickles, hoes and shovels.

Still, he was used to this. Fighting humanoids was simple, compared to remembering all the different types of monsters he'd come across, where they were weakest, what concoctions and blade poisons were deadliest to them, and other such information that made his life easier. No, humanoids were simple: cut them apart and they'd die quick enough. He wasn't sure if these crystal-bearing things were any different, but he could always just find out. It wasn't like he was in any real danger, unless-

Yep, that was a pitchfork.

Whoresons. Geralt stumbled backwards, the goo impacting his agility more than he expected it to, and the farming implement stuck into his armor, the angle catching it in the chain mail and sending both Witcher and strange, mutated farmhand falling to the ground, one atop the other. "You're a lot uglier up close," Geralt muttered while drawing his hunting dagger and plunging it into the farmhand's exposed neck, green energy pouring out as the thing folded in on itself, threatening to crush Geralt under its weight.

Forcing himself out from underneath the creature, Geralt rubbed his arm against the crystal that formed, some more goo coming off of him. The distraction that the farmhand provided was more than he could afford, however, and after a moment of sparking, the goo exploded, sending Geralt back to the ground, coughing and a little bloody.

Kid wasn't kidding, that shit hurt. His ears were ringing just a little, and Geralt was lucky enough that the other farmhands hadn't yet advanced on him, but he wasn't taking any chances. Grabbing his sword from the ground, Geralt stabbed it into the crystal, which shattered harmlessly at the attack.

He was out of time, as the other farmhands descended upon him angrily, making eldritch noises and swinging their weapons. A parry here, a quick cut there, and he was already back near the Brachydios, albeit with more farmhands on his back. Damn.

"Keep that thing busy and I'll keep these Whoresons off your backs!" He called out to the others. While they'd mostly been able to avoid interference from the strange enemies so far, Geralt's blunder could have exposed their backs, and that would have been unacceptable. He wasn't dead weight, and he wasn't gonna let the kids get hurt on his watch, either.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Genon
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Genon

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Donnie

Word Count: 2,115

EXP: (34/40) + 3 = 37/40


Donnie examined his options as he looked over the map he had been given. This ghost was a criminal. A dangerous and violent one. Therefore, it would probably want to avoid places associated with punishment, such as the jail in the garage, or the interrogation room. On the other hand, where was the most secure, safe place in a city garrison, where one could afford to breathe easy? The office of the garrison’s commanding officer. The perfect place for someone who craved wealth, lived a fast life and led a petty gang of bandits. Donnie was sure that Pichai would appreciate the irony of being able to kick his feet back and relax in a place where he would have definitely been loathed in life. Hell, he’d probably killed the former police chief back when this place was operational. The other option was this “Break Room.” He assumed that was where the guards had lunch and stuff. Probably another place for him to relax--THAT WAS IT!

“I’m going to the Break Room,” Donnie said. “This ghost is starving, right? Has a mouth the size of a pinhole, unable to eat or drink? Where would a starving man, trapped in a city garrison, go for food? The place the guards eat and drink, obviously.”

“Anyway…” he turned to Fox. “You want to head there with me?”

The vulpine pilot pointed a finger at himself, eyebrows raised in surprise. Evidently, he’d assumed himself out of the running for possible companions given his captain’s distribution of duties, but the monk invited him to join him nonetheless. “Er, well, uh…” There were a million things he could be doing to try and help everyone out, including basic sentry duty, but the heart of a hero beat within Fox’s chest. Not that he’d been petitioned, he couldn’t bring himself to turn the offer down. “Sure, I’ll come with you. Or, since you’re new here, I’ll just take you.” Confident in his newfound comrade’s complicity, Fox took off at a brisk pace, leaving Donnie to follow.

“I mean, I know you weren’t singled out, but I’m not going on my own and I figured the more people on this, the better,” Donnie said.

Fox led the way through the corridors of the museum-turned-police station, past a singular fortified checkpoint established for the purpose of containment in case of an undead breach. Their journey, to a destination also on the first floor, lasted only a couple minutes. With an air of alertness, Fox pushed the door open softly, as if Donnie’s suspicions had manifested some danger in a room in a secure part of the station often frequented by survivors. His taciturn intrusion revealed a single occupant, a big, fluffy white dog in splendid battle armor, sound asleep on a shiny brown leather sofa. Even asnooze the canine exuded an aura of inspiring majesty. Littered around the room were various empty cans, discarded packages, and torn-open wrappers, the byproduct of taken consumables. There were also a number of magazines and comic books, and even a couple of board games.

“...Huh. I’d imagine if the ghost was here, the armored hound over there wouldn’t be happily snoozing...and he seems to have eaten most of the things Mr. Manpaiboon would have wanted anyway.” He walked in and started looking through some of the lockers and boxes. “We might as well see if another newspaper clipping or something turns up, though.”

While Fox broke off to briefly pet the glorious labrador, Donnie got busy searching the room. With only some shelves and tables as storage, nothing lay hidden by anything more formidable than another magazine or book or two, so he could scan his surroundings quickly and easily. He found material covering a variety of subjects, from food to cars to lifestyle, most of it for entertainment. There were more professional works like magazines on vacationing, gardening, fashion, and sports, counterbalanced by more dubious publications covering curated wellness, spiritualism, and celebrity gossip. Once the dog was pet, Fox joined Donnie in looking around, but he didn’t seem to find much of anything interesting on his side of the room.

“Nothing,” Donnie said as he put down a spiritual magazine on several religions with a deeply annoyed sigh, more at the fact that he had to sit through the magazine’s underwhelming list of folklore than anything else, as the stuff he read through seemed quaint at best--wait, what was that?!

“Hey Fox, I found something!”

Monsters from Myth: Incredible Spirits the World Over, the headline of a subsection of the spiritual magazine read. After a brief introduction talking about how fascinating different cultures’ interpretations of supernatural phenomena were, the first page gave a table of contents of the creatures to be outlined. Strigoi, banshee, skondhokata, La Llorona, preta, jiangshi, it read, promising a page-and-a-half look at each complete with illustration. When Donnie turned excitedly to the next page, however, he found the entire subsection ripped out.

“Dammit, the rest of the magazine’s probably in that dog’s stomach!” Donnie said, “We already checked the room enough, it would have turned up by now. Let’s get back to the Main Hall. Hopefully the others had better luck.”

For a moment Fox didn’t move. He leaned over to look at the torn-out magazine. “Huh...a dog wouldn’t eat something like that, especially this guy. Too classy. Actually, someone probably took them, maybe as a reference in case something like this came up. It’d have to be someone with ghosts in their homeworld, otherwise it probably wouldn’t occur to them. But almost everyone was in the Main Hall while the radio was talking, and nobody said anything.” The gears and cogs in his head turned, powering through every one of his acquaintances to determine who might possess the pages. Donnie could practically hear the clockwork.

“You said almost everyone. But it doesn’t need to be one of ours. It could be an outside actor who’s clearly intelligent enough to know exactly what we were going to need before we even realized we needed it. As if they knew about this whole issue ahead of time. Or they’ve rehearsed this scenario.”

He put a hand to his chin. “And the culprit doesn’t need to be among the living either. This is the Dead Zone, a decaying metropolis full of rotting corpses and demonic trees the size of multiple castles. There were probably thousands of ghosts in this place even before the killing started, all dumped here when the worlds collided. And a ghost could get away with it much easier. Intangibility, invisibility, a lack of breathing, no body heat or scent or ability to collide with anyone they don’t want to...they’d easily have been able to waltz around this place completely unnoticed, doing whatever they wanted with absolute impunity. Maybe even sitting on the sidelines during your battles with the undead and treating it as first-class entertainment. I’ve seen people that depraved, in life and death. They might have even known the other ghost was there the entire time and stolen the papers days ago.”

He caught his breath before he kept rambling on. “Look, I know there’s no direct evidence for what I just cooked up, but I don’t think any of you guys are suicidal enough that you’d opt to screw over yourselves and everyone else here, based on information you couldn’t have even known about without being in the Main Hall at the specific time the radio was playing, then ripped out the pages at just the right time to deny everyone critical information. But a ghost has nothing to fear from another ghost or this place in general. They’re already dead, and they’d know about the hungry ghost anyway. I feel it’s much more plausible.”

The verbosity with which Donnie outlined his theory impressed Fox. “Well, you make a strong point. Why don’t we take both angles? I’ll go and ask the survivors, and you can do...whatever you think will help with your situation.” It didn’t take a leap of logic to conclude that Fox didn’t know how to make use of the monk’s hypothesis, but splitting up made reasonable sense regardless.

“...To be honest, I’m frankly not sure how I’d try to find him if he’s intent on not being found, and it is still an untested theory. But we know Pichai is a threat, so we should focus on him. And now that I think about it, judging by some of the rituals and rites and such in this magazine that I already saw, I’m half-certain that we don’t have to eliminate him, just give him what he wants so he stops screwing with us. Like that ‘ofrenda’ thing in the Day of the Dead article, or that time I had to deal with a depressed banshee and ended up giving her a ghost-thread comb. It was all a plot to make a telescope of all things and it didn’t do much for her mental state, but I got what I wanted. What better to draw out a hungry ghost than food?”

He opened the nearby fridge, looking inside it to see if there was any food left. “I might not know how to make the offering or what words to say or how much to give or if this’ll even work, but I think we’re going to need food if we want to stop this thing. Maybe we’ll even pre-smash it so it’s easy to eat.”

Pivoting from ruminations on the perpetrator of the missing pages to a solution to the haunting itself made for a somewhat quick line of logic to follow, but Fox was all about fast. And he was quick to leave the matter in the hands of an expert. “Alright then, good luck with that. Not really my area. I’ll go and ask around. Be back in a bit.” Then he sped off, gone the way the two came. The general commotion had awoken the dog, who treated Donnie to a regal but not unfriendly stare, the sort a king might offer to the people of his hometown on a visit. He then started panting, what with the slightly warmer air circulating through the station.

There wasn’t much inside the mini-fridge to reward Donnie’s instincts, given that he’d never seen a food-cooling apparatus before. With the whole station low in supplies, it figured that the well-used break room would be no exception. Two bottles of water, a can of beer, and squat. The snack cupboard nearby, the main source of food for a room where people might idly chow down on something small without any preparation, wasn’t much better. The only thing there was a singular unit of Cup Noodles.

Donnie was more of a cat person himself (perhaps his tiger theme had influenced his pet-keeping habits), but he pet the dog anyway out of sheer respect for his aura of majesty. And because it was cute and friendly. After petting Caesar (not that he knew the dog’s name), he looked again at what he’d turned up: Some kind of pre-packaged ramen product. Pre-dried, and judging by the helpful directions printed on the package, it just needed boiling water and something to hold the lid closed. Brain-dead easy to make, but it wasn’t edible in its current state. But that fortunately meant that it would keep at room temperature until it was prepared, which would be critical since he didn’t even know where the ghost was right now.

He had some supplies in his Luggage, of course, but there was no chance that he was going to use any of it on a ghost that could probably be punched anyway unless he needed to. The food, in the absence of any further information, was probably going to be bait. And he was fine with that, as, again, he could always opt for his supplies if he needed anything other than that.

And with that, took the Cup Noodles in hand and headed back to the Main Hall to meet up with the others.

“He’s not in the Break Room,” he told Captain Howard. “I had a hunch that we’re going to need food to stop it, so I took this. I figured we might be able to draw it out with an offering of food, maybe even satisfy it.” he put the Cup Noodles on the front desk. “And Fox,” he turned to the vulpine, “Did you have any luck?”

Fox gave him a look. “I’ve been here about a minute and a half. Asked one guy.” Beside him, Ghalt waved. “Give me a sec.”

Donnie laughed a little at his own mistake. “Sorry about that. I’ll leave you to it.”
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Ghost who chose life

Member Seen 27 min ago

Nero and Louis

Location: RCPD, Dead Zone


While he didn't notice Joker until he was in the midst of the assembled survivors, Howard was happy to give the kid his full attention as he replied. “Well, you are a minor by the looks of you, but since we're busting ghosts instead of heads I think it'll work out fine. Sure, welcome to the team.” The others were already peeling away. Banjo and Kazooie followed Ms. Fortune up the left-hand stairs, Louis led the chipper medabot toward the garage, and Donnie was off in search of the break room with Fox. “Got any idea where you're going?” the chief asked, wanting to make sure the youth would be paired with someone reliable, just in case.

Of the other appointed searchers, Lucatiel had already wandered through the east door, and Leon was poised to go west, but had conscientiously stopped to look back and make sure the others were good. Nero stepped up to the plate. “You can come with me, kid. We'll see what's up in the chief's office and that side room of his.” Motioning for Joker to follow, Nero headed up the right-side stairs after Louis and Blazermate. The four passed down the walkway overlooking the main hall, through the waiting room, right by the Art Room Blazermate visited only a few minutes ago, and into the chief's office. At that point Louis and Blazermate continued on toward the chief's elevator, the only real option into the basement now that the stairs had been sealed off. The others, however, remained behind to have a good look around.




Though his partner seemed inquisitive, Louis regretted that he had nothing to share. Their brief trip alone to the elevator after parting with the others, through a narrow and disused hall never meant for the public to see, was as quiet as the ride that followed. Only one scarlet eye peered out from his long, wavy hair, but it studied Blazermate closely. She was, put simply, marvelous technology. In his world, fighting strength with no chance of going blood-mad made for one hell of an asset. Plus, if she specialized in support as much as her appearance and actions to this point suggested, his team could have conducted its research with basically no risk of dispersal. Here, however, he would settle for a steady supply of healing.

His examination lasted only a few moments, after which he began preparation. “Last I saw, the garage was completely overrun. Monsters busted through the gate to the street. Be ready.” He reached up to his back and removed the sword stowed there, carefully moving it into a ready position given the limited space. It was beautiful, an elegant curved sword of jet black with a ruby-red streak across the reverse side of the blade. He held it as familiarly as he might the hand of a lover, like the two belonged to one another. When the elevator dinged and the doors open, he rushed out in a whirlwind of steel, leather, and silk.

The nearest monsters turned to look, but they did not comprehend. Louis disappeared, teleporting in a burst of red midst into the air between the beasts, and his blade flashed between them. Two strokes, one apiece, and the Lost fell apart with muted growls.

Louis stood up straight. “This is better than I remember. They must have wandered back outside. Or destroyed one another.” Some fodder zombies, creepy things, and Lost milled around, most near the stairwell door, keeping their distance from a couple more distinctive threats. Louis could see a chainsaw zombie, a clawed zombie, and a couple of trunk-nosed creatures with weapons. There was also a lumbering, headless behemoth together with a flying imp: Judgement. Not an overwhelming force, but the two would have their hands full.

Louis readied his blade and charged at the freak with the chainsaw.




Stepping into the chief's office took Nero momentarily by surprise. It looked like the last thing someone would expect to find in a police station. Well-fitted wood floor, posh red rug with cream patterning, expertly made cupboards, green wallpaper, and a luxurious desk with a plush black chair. Even the lights were upscale, the glass casings around the bulbs tapered like hanging flower buds. Most striking were the animals. Just about every wall featured a mounted animal head, expertly taxidermied and preserved. Deer, bear, bison. Standing on the ground was a wolf locked eternally in motion, and a raccoon frozen mid-patter lay on the chief's desk. It looked like a room straight out of a museum, save for the cardboard boxes.



Not very interested, Nero started rifling through the chief's desk. Some drawers were locked, with no key in sight. The devil hunter punched straight through the wood with his mechanical arm to get at their insides. He didn't think twice about it, and didn't need to. The police captain on duty was down in the thick of it, working to get problems solved. He was a practical, reliable sort. An old-fashioned hero type. This wasn't his office. That black chair by the desk was the chair of a fat man who spent a lot of time in it, and this office was more of a show of taxidermy than policing. Whoever used this office, lording it up in an overdecorated, too-comfortable corner of the station while his subordinates did the work, was an asshole.

Something among the papers caught his interest, and he stood reading them. Joker was left to his own devices.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Dawnrider
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Dawnrider

Member Seen 7 mos ago



feat.

GM

@Lugubrious

Level: 4 (6 -> 9/40)
Location: RCPD HQ - Exterior -> Interior; Main Hall -> Library -> ???
Word Count (Player/Total): 1911/3193 (+3 EXP)


The battle on the roof quickly came to a head with the rapid, successive arrival of slightly overstaffed reinforcements. As it turned out, they wouldn’t be needed that badly, or for very much longer. The feline woman happened to be a more than capable duelist. All she needed was to have some of the attention taken off of her. Jak, the duo, and a mage who came from out of nowhere held off the fliers while her and the monk went to work on the centaurian angels that had just showed up to replenish their ranks, and in an eye-catching display of creatively grotesque self-dismemberment and a series of puns that were already wearing out their charm, the battle had reached an appropriate climax.

By this point, Banjo had already put away Kazooie, who he’d been using as a stabbing weapon as opposed to the blunt paddle he forget he had. It was clear some seconds before the finishing blow that the fight was already over. The feliness, seamingly appreciative of the assistance, enthusiastically offered to be helped again some time… in the form of another cat pun, of course. While she did cover the gratitude base in her line as well, it was pretty obvious that she was just reaching for an excuse to spit out another pun.

Nyah,” retorted Kazooie, as if to say ‘nah’ in catspeak, “I think we’d better not.”

Banjo, a little warmer on the welcome and more forgiving of the excess of quips, took it for what it was with casual acceptance.

“Sure thing, Miss! Any time,” he returned with a nod and soft smile.

Shortly, their escort arrived to usher everyone inside. Banjo decided him and Kazooie would be right behind them, opting to grab one of the fallen angel spirits. He motioned to crush it, but stopped short of it with a second’s consideration before handing it to Kazooie while he picked up another of the same. They then clamped down on their handled spirits to see if either of them yielded anything different from the other, or at all useful to either of them. Depending on the latter, they would decide whether or not the remaining few spirits were worth collecting and itemizing before heading inside, getting in step behind the feliness.



“Looks like there are a lot of you stuck here,” Banjo observed. “What happened?” he inquired to her.

“Besides what we were here for,” Kazooie interjected, making sure to get the obvious out of the way.

“Erm… yeah. Like, How’d you all end up here? For how long? What’s been going on since? How’s morale? That sort of thing.” The latter most point of questioning would become more readily apparent to them by the time they made it to the first floor to see for themselves. The scene they arrived at was a freshly quieted one of low mood, high anxiety, and sudden confusion that had some breaking off this way and that trying to make sense of the ‘ghost’ talk that went on without them, the lingering whispers of it they could overhear as some continued to discuss it among themselves.

The feral pivoted her arms above herself, stretching lazily. “Weeeell, I’m not really with ‘them.’ Just stuck here. But I don’t mind letting the cat out of the bag. We came here from all over for shelter. Things are pretty bad, and have been for a while, about a week for the earliest arrivals, maybe? Supplies keep on dwindlin’, and people keep gettin’ picked off or turned.” Fortune motioned broadly to the survivors. “Most fighters are still around, ‘specially thanks to that Zombrex stuff, but soon there won’t be anything for ‘em to protect.” Thinking that to be sufficient, Fortune reached down to flick a bit of angel plaster off her tummy. “Aw, jeez. What’ll people say if they see angel dust on me?” She glanced at the newcomers with a smirk.

“Typical zombie movie fair kind of bad… got it.” Based on what they were given, and what they had seen for themselves, one couldn’t blame the breegull for coming to that conclusion. By appearances, it was very much in line with what could be expected from the average tropey zombie plot, but now with a paranormal twist. The feline woman seemed to gloss over Banjo’s first question regarding how they got there in the first place, but recalling his and Kazooie’s lack of remembering how they arrived at Peach’s Castle before, they chalked it up to an identical case of conditional amnesia. Her mention of the survivors ‘protecting’ something didn’t go unnoticed, which made a little more sense as to why they were still there when a group so relatively sizeable and capable as theirs could have fought their way out by now. The question of how was more easily answered by the current situation at large.

“And what’re they protecting exactly?”

Fortune blinked twice, as if her questioners were dumb. “Uh, the normal people?” She didn’t gesticulate again, but a simple look around was all it took to confirm the presence of a number of ordinary-looking people. Some were human, some other species, but nothing really stood out about them and they tended to sink into the background. Nevertheless, they were living, thinking beings, and being unable to defend themselves against the horrors of the night, they needed to rely on those Fortune called ‘fighters’ for protection. “Unlike where I’m from, the police here actually seem to take their job seriously--keeping folks safe.”

While their interviewee’s eyes and tone called Banjo’s intelligence and awareness into question, Kazooie was turning her head about in surveillance to notice the ‘normal’ survivors in advance of her partner. Banjo rubbed the back of his head in slight embarrassment at his lack of realizing the obvious before responding.

“Erm… r-right… Anyways, I guess it’s good we got here when we did. You guys look like you could use the help. More of it, that is.”

“Now, to figure out how we’re supposed to help them…” Kazooie suggested, genuinely curious as to what came next for them. Banjo opened his mouth to respond, pausing short of his speech and cupping his chin in contemplation. He began to listen closer to the audio loop that he had thus far neglected to acknowledge in spite of its apparent importance, absentmindedly nodding along while letting it play one complete run before formulating any thoughts on it. Sadly, said thoughts weren’t many, as it left him with little in the way of clues or much of anything else to work with. The only idea he could generate from it was to see if they couldn’t find something spooky and out of place.

“I guess we could go look for whatever that is…”

“We gonna be ghost hunters now?”

“Looks that way,” Banjo said with a standing, preparatory stretch. They had no idea where to start looking (for when did they ever), but they were content for now to defer to their usual instinct of going through the nearest areas on the lowest level they could access, starting with the east wing of the building.




Perhaps unsurprisingly, their aimless search for signs of ghostly activity turned up inconclusive. They were usually much better at finding things than this--it was kinda their thing--but it was clear that they were out of their element here. The task at hand was much more in line with detective work than the glorified scavenger hunting they were used to. Luckily, not everyone came up empty-handed. Donnie and Blazer were presenting their evidence to the Captain as Nero returned to read his own findings aloud. With these new developments, gears began to turn in everyone’s heads as plans and search parties started to form. The feral lady wisely her sights on the library, which the duo were thinking they probably should have done before. With this in mind, Banjo thought they might pair up with her to split the investigative effort.

“Care if we tag along, Miss…?” He let his question hang for a moment while he waited for the woman’s name and reply to the offer.

“Fortune!” The catgirl gave a brilliantly white, fang-toothed smile. Not everyone was so pleased with their name, but not everyone’s name made for a natural pun.

"Figures," Kazooie offhandedly remarked in immediate recognition of the fact.

“And nyeah, by all means. Let’s see how purr-ceptive you two are.” Laughing, Fortune led the way to the second floor west side stairs, raced to the top, and through the door.



Inside the trio found a double-decker room packed wall to wall with books, complete with its own internal staircase. Fortune wasted no time crouching by the nearest shelf, running a claw down the books’ spines one after another in search of a book that might help with the haunting. Her tail swished back and forth as her hungry eyes gobbled up one title after another.

The bear and bird took to a different bookshelf on the wall opposite of Fortune where Banjo started thumbing and scanning through the assortment at eye and foot level while Kazooie reached over him to do the same. When or if They failed to turn up anything of interest on the bottom half of the shelf, Banjo would climb and shimmy along it so him and Kazooie could continue their search into the upper half of the bookcase. They searched mostly by cover and/or title for anything especially distinctive or relevant that might stand out to them as important, and would repeat their simple procedure either until they found something or cleared their half of the shelves on the room's first level before moving up to the second to try there.

Nobody turned up anything for a while. The books situated on the ground level were ordinary, run-of-the-mill, stuff that had broad appeal. Nothing more interesting, or more useful, presented itself. At the very least, sections were bound together by related subjects, which helped the three speed up their searches by omitting rows at a time. Unfortunately, taking their hunt to the next level proved no more successful. More specific, in-depth, and clandestine books the upper level had, but anything directly related to the matter at hand it had not.

"Bunk… Junk… Rubbish…" Kazooie sounded off as she indiscriminately tossed one book after another over her shoulder upon cursory assessment of the absence within them of relative worth to their cause. "You sure we're looking for the right thing?" she proposed to her partner, resisting the temptation to instead say 'write' in cheeky allusion to the matter. Without being specific about it, or what to try next, she had a point in that they were clearly getting nowhere trying to find any evidence in print.

In one spot, however, Banjo and Kazooie stumbled upon a number of spiritualist and folklore books nestled neatly and noncommittally in between a fiction and nonfiction section. There, they found a thin paperback covering ghosts, haunting, and exorcism in a general sense. Whether it would prove terribly useful or not, Banjo handed it booklet to Kazooie to hang onto just in case.

“Hmm… maybe there’s something hidden in them? Like a switch or a secret passage or something,” Banjo conjectured, entering the realm of obvious cliches once more with his thought process. Though, for all either of them knew, the solution might just be that simple. Either way, it couldn’t hurt for them to rule it out by checking around, atop, inside, and behind the bookcase, just as Banjo set to doing.

At about the same time, a curious purr from Miss Fortune -also on the second level- suggested that she found something, too. One look her way was all it took to trash the possibility that she’d found the perfect book, though. Instead, she stood in front of a door with her hands on her hips. “Hey,” she said. “Doesn’t this look out of place to you?”

Someone on the hunt for written material alone might never have noticed, but Fortune’s eyes were as sharp as knives in the dark, always on the prowl for something or other. This time they flushed a door--not at all hidden--that looked totally dissimilar to any other in the police station, and to the police station itself, for that matter. Wooden, neglected, and old, it was the sort that you might find at the porch of a house in some quaint backwoods, not a museum-turned-police station in what was once a large city. Without waiting for an answer, Fortune turned the misshapen knob and pushed the door open.

Inside was a room of completely different style. It was the interior of a wooden bungalow, one clearly lived in at some point given the clutter lying everywhere. Another door stood to the left, a dilapidated cupboard stood across from it, and a rack of what might have been charms hung from the wall under a series of pictures. Candles provided light.

Fortune went in, her eyes bright with wonder. “Whoa, how weird!” Dextrous hands rustled through the cupboard, turning up old tableware and moth-eaten cloths. She then walked along the decorated wall, brushing the hanging charms with her fingers. Those sharp eyes examined the subjects in the pictures. “Hmm...one family, it looks like. And not from this part of the world.” The next door was ajar. She went through.

The second door led to a longer, rectangular room, with a staircase on the far side leading upward, a plain dining table sideways across the path. Its most glaring feature was the wide, shutterless window in the left wall, more of a neatly-cut hole than a real window, and on the other side the thick, impenetrable night. Long, cylindrical shapes could be dimly made out in the dark, swaying softly in the wind. Fortune realized that the air was warm and humid, shortly before realizing something else.

“Wait a sec. That’s impossible. The library’s in the middle of the building on the second floor. We can’t be far enough to see outside.” Now her eyes held a tremulous spark of confusion, and therefore fear. Looking back the way she came, Fortune ran over her path in her head. “And...this is a window looking out left after we turned left. I should be seeing the library right now.” Her angle didn’t give her a straight view out the window, so she started moving forward, as if the library was hiding out of sight. The table lay in her way, a solidly-built thing, and very heavy.

“And we shouldn’t be standing inside a bungalow… within a library… in a police station… that was, up until recently, a museum. What else suddenly looks out of place to you?” Kazooie questioned somewhat sarcastically, more out of habit than curiosity, but not without a small amount of the latter to go with it.

“Kazooie…” Banjo uttered correctively to remind his partner of her manners while going through the booklet they found earlier to find whatever information he could on the present phenomenon.

“Right… Sorry,” she conceded. Banjo, slow in the moment (and perhaps in general) to find anything on spatial anomalies and paradoxes, having not even thought to search by such keywords, handed the book back to Kazooie, who continued picked up where he left off in his reading while he walked over to help Fortune move the table out of their way so they may get a better look ‘outside’.

Fortune had been tensing to spring and bypass the obstacle entirely, but when Banjo went to push, the cat decided to help the bear out. Better than to brush him off or something; she did appreciate him being around after all, especially since being one of two smart-talkers in the same place rubbed her the wrong way. Together they shoved the dining table out of the way, and no sooner had they done so than something came out of the dark.

A giant hand stretched through the open window and slammed down on the table, shaking the room like an earthquake and turning the furniture to splinters.

From both the surprise and impact, Banjo strongly and instinctively recoiled, both the shock to the nerves and the trembling of the foundations throwing him off-balance for a second. The book Kazooie held went flying from her grasp as she flapped frantically to steer Banjo back onto both feet, all the while cawing loudly in alarmed aggravation.

Fortune flew back, yowling in terror at the jumpscare, her wide eyes fixated on the shape outside of the window. A giant, spindly-limbed, with mottled gray-brown flesh, a stretched lower jaw with no visible mouth, and a single red eye glaring balefully into the room. The heroes were on the second floor, but the giant was hunching over to see inside, a hideous monstrosity with terrible strength.

The duo backed what they presumed with no amount of certainty to be a safe distance from the window, all but hugging their backs to the wall as the made their way cautiously to the door. Banjo sidled and tip-toed along the corner while trying to elude the creature’s prying gaze, motioning advisingly to Fortune to do the same--or similar--to make herself smaller and stay out of sight while they made their way out. On that note, before simply bolting through the door back the way they came, the two took as quick a glance through it as they could spare to see if anything had changed about the previous room without them looking. Whether they could ascertain as much before having to make an escape would be moot still, as they certainly couldn’t afford to stay where they were in such a case. If there was anything to find out about that, they would probably find it out after leaving the room.

With a final glare, the ghost moved on, disappearing from view into the night in one giant stride. With it went the sound of raspy, desperate breathing, of massive volumes of air sucking through a tiny hole. Fortune’s hair, having stood nearly on end, settled down and she joined the others heading back out. With some relief she noted along with them that nothing seemed to have changed about the room behind them, offering a safe way back to the police station. But the feral wouldn’t be forgetting that thing anytime soon.

She shuddered as she went through the door into the library, but not from any cold. “Well…” she began after a moment. “That matches the description. Safe to say that’s our ghost, huh?”

“Yeah…” Banjo concurred, hunched down with his hands to his knees panting with exhilaration to catch his breath. “I think so.”

Kazooie's feathers ruffled with a similar tremor of chill running through her. “I miss when giant ghosts ended at the wrists and just played piano, she commented none too subtly in reference to past experience.

“We should go tell the others what we found,” the ursine directed to both of his companions.

“And then never speak of it again.” With that, Banjo casually nodded in agreement and proceeded back into the main hall with Fortune to convey to everyone else their findings.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by ProPro
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ProPro Pierce the Heavens with your spoon!

Member Seen 1 yr ago

Courier 6 and Ratchet and Jak & Daxter

Level 6 - (16/60) EXP (+3),Level 6 - (5/60) (+3), Level 3 - (28/30) (+3)
Location: Ancestral Farmstead
Dead Zone - Redgraccoon Police Department
Word Count:3563
Courier Stress: 15


The Courier lucked out. Even if the brachydios wasn’t concerned with fighting off his companions, the blow he had struck to the damn thing’s head was simply too disorienting for the monster to provide a legitimate follow up. Though his landing was clumsy, the Ghost of the Mojave was easily back up on his feet and out of the way of the dinosaur like monster. That wasn’t to say there weren’t other threats running around, though. The farmhands with their crude farming implements-turned-weapons were still converging, and he was down one striker (Bastion was probably going to hate him before all this was over).

A group of the farmhands had surrounded the Courier, some carrying more deadly weapons than the blunt shovel he already got hit with, and he didn’t want to measure the strength of his sub-dermal armor against the piercing power of a pitchfork. None of his weapons could provide the necessary widespread attack needed to get rid of these things either, which meant he needed a little bit of help.

”Yer up, Ivories!” he called out, tossing the pokeball at his hip. The proud, stalwart donphan materialized from thin air, blocking the path between the corrupted farmhands and the Courier. ”Do that thing where you shake up the ground!” he ordered.

“Don! Phan! Donphan!” The strange elephant-armadillo creature used Bulldoze, stomping the ground with massive strength and sending a rippling shockwave directly toward the creatures. The very earth itself upended around them, burying the farmhands alive in rock and dirt. Whether they survived or not was irrelevant: they couldn’t dig their way out, and the exploding crystals their corpses turned into weren’t going to affect the surface.

”Heh. Good job, Ivories.” The Courier gave a thumbs up and the proud donphan snorted happily. Just then the atmosphere around them changed back. Looking up, he noticed that the Thing from the Stars had been killed, but another threat was emerging: scarecrows.

The Courier whistled, signalling for Drumstick to come running, which the loyal chocobo did without hesitation. He hopped up on her and turned back to his donphan. ”I’m guessin’ all these hombres turn into those explodin’ crystals, so I need you ta bury’em all just like those last hombres!”

“Donphan!” Ivories replied with a nod, showing he understood. The Courier spurred Drumstick on and Ivories curled up into a Rollout, both taking off. The Courier pulled out the Equalizer, the pickaxe he had picked up early on back at the robot battle arena, and rode through the farmhands and scarecrows, swinging the weapon at their heads in a drive-by attack. They went down fairly easily with this method, but some didn’t outright die or even get knocked over. Ivories was quick to slam the stragglers with his Rollout, the Bulldoze them all into the dirt safely. Meanwhile others who had more experience or were heavier hitters in general kept up against the brachydios. The Courier was running low on ammo with everything but his shotgun at this point, so mopping up the little guys atop his feathered steed suited his current situation better anyway.





Ratchet lit up at the sight of Jak’s morph gun transforming into a new form based on the spirit that was smashed into it. It looked like some sort of speargun! Ah man, Jak had all the luck, having a transforming weapon that could make use of the spirits, while Ratchet still had to scrounge together whatever weapons he could on the fly. A whole arsenal in one weapon that was the morph gun. The lombax couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous, but there was work to be done, so to take his mind off of it he announced his intentions aloud. ”I’ll head to the safety deposit room then, see if I can scrounge up anything useful to fortify the police station while we figure out this ghost business.”

Meanwhile Jak and Daxter celebrated the new weapon with a dance together before the minor festivity was interrupted by Daxter noticing something. ”Ah heck, this thing uses yellow eco!” he exclaimed. ”And we’re almost out, Jak!”

Jak snorted. ”No worries, Dax. I’m sure we’ll find some soon. Or I’ll start channeling eco again, whichever comes first. We’ll just have to postpone this gun mode for a while. Now let’s head to the collection room, see what we can find in there.”




Just about every department had a name for where its officers kept evidence, contraband, and confiscated items, and what had once been the Raccoon City Police Department called its the Collection Room. It featured several rows of plain, gray metal shelves freestanding end-to-end in the otherwise empty space, forming three aisles. The rightmost, closest to the door, contained the most organization and protocol. Everything on it was neatly squared away, with a slip-in label describing what it was, when it came, and a serial number with much more significance to an officer than Jak and Daxter. The other two shelf rolls harbored miscellaneous items, personal effects and once-suspicious things no longer useful. Overall there wasn’t that much of it, leaving plenty of dull metal shelfspace unoccupied.

”What a DUMP!” Daxter exclaimed, gesticulating in an exaggerated manner. His movements threatened to set off his new shockwave powers and topple the shelves by accident.

”This is a collection room?” Jak commented, looking around rather unimpressed.

”Where are the breakable crates? The pick-ups? Eco deposits? Power cells? Heck, there aren’t even any orbs floating around here!” Daxter hopped up onto one of the shelves and started glancing at papers and tossing them aside haphazardly while Jak calmly looked over some of the miscellaneous objects, hoping to find something even remotely useful. Maybe there was something related to that ghost’s death, or a small piece to the larger puzzle?

They found a lot of irrelevant junk. Whatever the deal with Manapaiboon and the ghost, the items collected here must have been exclusive to the police department before it was transported to the World of Light. They did, however, find something incongruous with the rest of the room’s stuff. All of it, from pocket contents like lighters and pens to coats, watches, and shoes left over following an in-house arrest, was modern. Not modern by the standards of any denizens of a technological future, but reasonably modern. Except one thing. On the bottom shelf of the far side of the middle row sat a handwoven fabric bag, decorated with long strings of beads and charms attached to its upper rim. Around it were a few candles, and they were lit.

”Hey, what’s this?” Jak asked aloud, getting Dax’s attention who paused his random throwing of papers to take a look.

”Woah, that’s some spooky hooky dooky mumbo jumbo if I ever saw one it!”

Jak nodded in agreement, then slowly reached his hand out to take the bag. ”Wait!” Daxter interrupted.

”What?” Jak asked, reeling back and pulling out his scatter gun, looking around the room for some invisible threat.

”Don’t touch it! You may be a special chosen one in our world and I got lucky with the dark eco, but how much y’wanna bet that luck doesn’t carry over to this freaky deaky place?”

Jak shook his head in slight exasperation and snagged the bag. Daxter yelped and attempted to stop Jak from grabbing it but in doing so set off a shockwave that toppled the shelf he was standing on, forcing him to fall to the floor. As he got back on his feet, the shelf itself smacked him on the head. Needless to say, he wasn’t successful in stopping Jak.

Daxter’s comedic reaction turned out to be a comedic overreaction. Touching the unusual bag did not summon any ghoulies, nor inflict any curses, nor drop any anvils. Instead, it behaved exactly like someone might expect a bag to, including opening right up when Jak loosened the drawstrings. Inside was a colorful tablecloth, neatly folded, a couple black sticks with a distinctive texture on their matching, thicker red ends, and two well-handled papers with torn edges, black with white text. Cursed Nails Jinx, the big text at the top of one read.

Jak thumbed through the contents of the bag for a moment before tossing the bag toward Daxter, saying, ”See Dax? Nothing to worry about.” He blew out the candles, not wanting to keep a fire hazard around.

Daxter jumped up to snatch the bag from the air, poking his head into the opening, looking like a scarecrow with his new wooden body. ”What? Oh come on, but with the candles in a circle and everything, how could it not have been something spooky?” The ottsel got the bag stuck on his head, snagged on a stray twig. As he wrestled with it, Jak looked at the papers in more detail.

The Cursed Nails Jinx: Do you have hatred towards someone,enough to want them dead? Then you are at the right place! The cursed nails jinx, is a spell that can make your enemy suffer from nails piercing through their stomach. The result can be deadly! This jinx has existed and been passed on for many generations and can still be found today on rare occasions.

Instruction:
You’ll need something from your target such as a nail or some hair. Next, put the minside the doll made from graveyard clay. Tie the doll with the thread used for shrouding corpses, not the holy thread used for other occasions and ceremonies. Pierce the nails (which were used to seal the coffins of those who died unnaturally) right through the doll. Once it’s done, your target will experience an agonizing pain as their stomach is filled with cursed nails. Only skillful casters can perform this, it cannot be achieved by novices.


”What… is this?” Jak asked incredulously. He tilted his head to the side as if he were reading a map upside down. ”I don’t think whoever wrote this speaks English.”

Nearby, Daxter finally tugged the bag off his head, giving it a nice long tear in the process, completely ruining it for future use. Shaking his head, he tossed the bag aside and snagged the papers from Jak. ”Wooo, this is some weeeeird juju! Sounds like something Seem would say!”

”Yeah, well,” Jak looked over the sticks and the tablecloth, ”Doesn’t look like this is all that relevant to what’s going on? Huh. I wonder what this cloth and these sticks have to do with that spell?”

”Soooo Jak? You wanna try it out on Pecker?” Daxter wiggled his eyebrows, while Jak just glared at him. ”Whaaat? I’m just joking! …. Mostly.”

”Well, this room was a total bust,” Jak grumbled, kicking a nearby shelf. The two left the room, hoping that maybe what they had found might possibly be noteworthy to one of the more mystical members of their group.




Sleek, stark, coldly discouraging. The safety deposit room was a ring of wall-to-wall secure boxes, like high-tech filing cabinets, around an inner wall. A single stroll around the loop would take only a matter of moments and take the stroller past every box in the place, although not much else. As might be expected of what amounted to an important and personalized storage area, every door was secure, and what wasn’t secure was empty with the door wide open. Nothing about the room, meant to be useless to those not conducting proper business, was remotely inviting. Inside was one person, fairly normal-looking, a scrappy-looking survivor in a hood. He was fiddling with the lock on a box low to the ground, clearly consternated.

Ratchet glanced around the room, noticing a number of things under lock and key. Undoubtedly something in here would be helpful, but how to get to it all? He could just smash in with his wrench, or have Clank hack the keypads. That’s when he noticed a scruffy looking human working hard to get into one of the safes. ”What’re you trying to get at in there?” Ratchet asked. ”If it’ll make this situation easier for us all, I can definitely help.”

The human looked up, his movement unhurried. Ratchet had spoken out of the blue, and caught him in what some might consider a compromising position, but the guy seemed at ease. “Sure,” he said. “Fiddly little thing won’t cooperate. Ain’t much of a tech guy, but that kid Fox wanted me to give it a try this morning. Just trying to be nice, I know. But I left a charm in there, and now that I need it back, damn thing doesn’t remember me.” Standing up, he took a step back and waved an arm at it, helplessly. It was an invitation for Ratchet to give it a try.

”No problem, just sit back and watch the master at work. Ahem.” Ratchet cleared his throat and lifted up his wrench. After giving it a couple practice swings he looked to be about to give it a give thwack when suddenly he stopped mid-motion. ”Go for it, Clank.”

The small robot appeared suddenly with his signature laugh. “Hmhmhmhmhmhm. Glad to hear that I’m the master, Ratchet.” Without another word Clank extended his arm out and began interfacing with the cabinet safe, accessing the absolutely (by his standards) archaic and ancient computer software. Unless something unexpected were to happen, it’d unlock in a matter of miliseconds.

Surprised by and interested in the little robot, the stranger watched him work. He sprung the lock with remarkable speed. The man was taken aback by the suddenness and unceremoniousness of his newfound companions’ success. “Well...that works.” A difficult task trivialized. Chuckling, he scooped something small out of the deposit box, stowing it before the others could really take a look at it. “Thanks, fellas. The name’s Jones.” He offered a hand to shake.

Ratchet reached out to accept the handshake only for Clank to extend his robotic arm and snipe the opportunity. “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Jones. You may call me Clank. My partner is Ratchet.”

Another easy snicker. The guy wasn’t young, but he hadn’t lost his sense of humor. The laugh lines by his eyes said as much.

Ratchet couldn’t help but chuckle. He took Jones’ hand soon as Clank let go and shook it himself. ”What my partner said. Heh. We’ll get to work opening up all these lockers to see if there’s anything useful. Mind if I ask what was so important for you to grab?”

“Uh…” Shrugging, Jones reached into a pocket and pulled it out. He held a circular disk like a seal or a badge, emblazoned with a softly glowing symbol. “Obscuris. Not too useful right now, but I came into some artifacts thanks to our guests today.”

Jones continued. “S’also something...a little precious to me. Kinda like how these boxes have things precious to other folks.” He pocketed the disk again and crossed his arms. “These ain’t storage lockers, or treasure chests to be looted. ‘Safety deposit boxes’, the most secure place people from the station’s world got. People put stuff in ‘em they need to keep safe. Stuff that helps ‘em remember, or gives ‘em hope.” He went silent to let the significance of that sink in, leaving a choice hanging in the air. Not a binary, but a choice of an array of possiblities. Having taking no action himself, he left it for Ratchet and Clank to make.

”Oh yeah, we’ve got those too,” Ratchet said with a shrug.

“In concept certainly,” Clank chimed in, “though ours tend to be constructed of Gadgetech brand omnisteel with high powered magne-lock seals.”

”And sometimes Mr. Zirkon.”

“Yes,” Clank added. “Sometimes they come with a Mr. Zirkon.”

”So I guess the question becomes, are the people who put things in these deposit boxes still around to need them?” Ratchet put his hands up to prompt Jones. After all, the survivor had been here longer, and would know better who was still able to make use of these items.

Jones shrugged again. “You’d have a lot of hunting to do. There’s no record of whose stuff is where.” These guys still saw the boxes’ contents as loot to be taken, so long as its owner wasn’t around. No respect for the dead, and the things they treasured. “Situation out there really so bad we gotta raid the private stuff for supplies?”

”Well, things are pretty dire out there…” Ratchet said. ”Logically speaking, it only makes sense to save who we can.”

“If I may interject, Ratchet,” Clank started. “If these items are personal in nature, I believe it would be a better solution to return the objects of the deceased to their proper resting places, rather than make use of them ourselves.”

”Well yeah, but-“ Ratchet stopped in his tracks. The allure of loot was enticing. Gadgets and guns were his thing. Like, his whole schtick. And there were dozens of people that needed saving right now. He was a hero, dammit! A Galactic Ranger! Surely it was justifiable, right?

”Naw, you’re right, little buddy. Almost got ahead of myself there. I’m glad I’ve got a friend like you to always keep me straight.” He shook his head, then turned to speak to Jones again. ”Sorry about that little spat, but it’s decided. We’ll keep things where they’re at unless someone asks for one. Once we’re all cleared out, Clank and I will return any lost items where they belong.”

Jones had watched the conversation in silence. When Ratchet came out with his final decision, he nodded firmly. “Sounds like a plan.” Trusting the two to follow through with their choice, he started to leave. When he passed by the Lombax, Jones clapped him on the shoulder, a brief but warm touch. Then he made to continue on, out of the room and back toward the main hall.

Before Jones vanished behind the door, Ratchet spoke up again. ”I’m glad you were here to let us know what’s up with this stuff.” He sighed. ”This definitely isn’t what I expected the apocalypse to look like. How about you?”

This time, he didn’t receive a chuckle. It was a full-on belly laugh, brief, but wholehearted. “Boy,” Jones said after a moment, shaking his head. “Don’t get me started.”

Ratchet laughed as Jones left, then turned back to the deposit boxes. ”Well, let’s get a good look at this stuff, take an inventory so we know what still needs to be returned once this whole thing is over.”

“I shall keep a detailed record in my memory banks,” Clank agreed. Together, they looked over everything still locked up.

Some sort of injector device, a pair of sunglasses, an empty vial labeled “DEVIL Vaccine,” a chromium medal emblazoned with a green sprout and “GARDEN” in gold, a pulsing spiky crystal of blood about the size of a palm, a purple heart military medal, a broken high tech baton, the soul of an intrepid hero, a chipped guitar pick, a moonstone, five orbs, a dud grenade, a mini baseball bat, a spent bullet casing, a scribbled page, an inert device, and a toy soldier doll. Once they had taken stock of all the items, Clank vanished back into Ratchet, who left the room to head back to the main hall.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

Member Seen 9 hrs ago

Blazermate

Level 5 - (48/50) EXP +1
Location: Police Station Garage
Word Count: 320


Louis knew just as much as Blazermate did about this whole situation. As the two arrived near the garage, Louis pulled out his sword and looked at it a bit longingly. It was an elegent looking sword, and he wielded it much like a samurai would, before slicing down a few zombies guarding the entrance to the garage itself with a quick movement turning them into bloody mist. Following behind the Swordsman, Blazermate saw what he saw, the garage was pretty bare for a place that was apparently an entry point for the undead, although there were a lot of very crazy looking zombies here. "Well, I guess we'll find out what this thing does!" Blazermate said, tapping her new backpack as her medigun emitted electrical arcs of energy. As Louis dashed forward, Blazermate commanded the shambling undead that'd listen to her by saying "Get that demon looking guy zombies!". Hopefully they'd tear apart the demon looking fellow (Judgement) and his imp buddy, leaving Louis alone.

As her shield arm barked these orders, Blazermate kept her medigun on Louis, and activated her ubercharge whenever something took a swing at him. She didn't really know what this new addition to her medigun could actually do, so she figured now was probably the best time to test it while there wasn't any immediate danger of someone dying. What she didn't expect was Louis and herself glowing a metallic blue with basically all of their features becoming extremely simplified while both of their eyes glowed. Nor did she expect that this made herself and Louis completely invulnerable. "Oooh, this is cool!" Blazermate said, using this ability to join Louis in the fray, smashing one of the trunk guys with her shield, the Suffering's tongue lashing out to stab the creature. She could see the charge dropping fairly quickly, so she made sure to keep a path of retreat if needed.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Majoras End
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Majoras End Oyasumi~

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago



Level: 1
EXP 0/10
Word Count: 218
Current Location: Dead Zone, RCPD (Main Hall to Chief's Office)



Both Joker and Blazermate shrugged at the same time when she asked if she knew him. He was pretty sure he'd recognize a robot if he knew one. Personas don't count though. He was glad that Captain Howard allowed him to help with their investigation. But the thief couldn't help but furrow his brows when the captain said he was just a kid. Joker wanted to say something, but he had a point. Besides, they're just dealing with ghosts, so it won't be that bad.

The thief nodded to Nero when the demon hunter decided to partner up with him, and followed him and the other two to the Chief's Office. With Blazermate and Louis going ahead to the garage, that left him and Nero to investigate the office by themselves.

Once they stepped inside, both the hunter and the thief just about had the same reaction. “What kind of chief is this?” Joker asked, looking around the room. Though he was confused, he also felt a bit disgusted. Whoever owned the office was a prideful bastard, he bet.

While Nero searched through the desk, he decided to search through the cardboard boxes for anything first. "Find something?" he asked him, having looked over to the hunter to see him reading over something in the papers he found.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Ghost who chose life

Member Seen 27 min ago

Ancestral Farmstead

Level 5 Tora - (35/50) EXP and Level 4 Poppi - (33/40) EXP
Tora Stress: 95/100 and Poppi Stress: 35/100
Location: the Land of Adventure
Word Count: 682


The Thing had fallen, but the battle continued. More enemies emerged from the Farmstead surrounding the hilltop battlefield, not in droves but in a steady trickle, and with how tough the husks were it made for daunting opposition. With Tora down and Poppi by his side, and the others forced back together, the situation looked grim. The color-infested things lurched over the bleached soil and grass, farm tools and tainted seed in hand, to finish what they started. Their foremen and scarecrows were turning the tide, striking from afar with biting lash and repugnant wails to tear down body and mind alike.

Behind the defenders, the others attempted to rally. Since landing her last attack, Hat Kid had been frozen stiff, her big eyes paralyzed by a color altogether too much for a young mind. Mimikyu and Kamek attended to Bowser Junior, but the light had left the young koopa's eyes. His limbs and eyelids were heavy, sore from bearing the weight of crushing despair, telling him to lie down and accept the futility of the battle.

Linkle took in the grim scene and chose to act. Overflowing with righteous anger, she took off like a top, spinning wildly as she unleashed a torrential fusillade of arrows. The night lit up with an awesome tornado of fireworks. Tora squeezed his eyes shut, and Poppi threw herself over him, protecting him with her body. Flame, force, and gunpowder filled the air, but miraculously her allies were totally unharmed. It was as if the breathtaking fury chose to ignore them. When Poppi looked up, eyes wide and wondering, she saw the fading smoke leave behind dust, ash, and crystal shards. Even the explosive aberrations had been vanquished by the onslaught.

But not all their foes. A quick headcount, initiated by the portion of Poppi's mind still calm and logical despite the bloodcurdling chaos, came up with nine farmhands, three foremen, and two scarecrows still standing. They were already under attack, with Michael evaporating one foreman and Franklin peppering a scarecrow with practically useless bullets, but there they were.

And one scarecrow was about to scream.

Tora couldn't take it. Poppi didn't know how she knew, but she did. No sensor or analytic routine told her, but she could still feel it. Her master was doing a two-part samba on the fine line between sanity and insanity, and he wasn't a very good dancer. Too round. One little tap could send him right over, and Poppi wouldn't let that happen.

Her heels burst into flame that scoured the earth, blasting her forward. In both hands a new Mech Arm materialized from her ether. Her eyes relayed the data to her mind, a deadly supercomputer, and it spat out exact numbers describing time and force. Poppi hit the scarecrow in just shy of a second with a right hook, her actuators at full tilt. Its head simply disappeared, becoming a spray of straw, cloth, and crystal. Instead of trying to stop the blow, Poppi let its massive force carry her around in a spin made wild by her still-firing boosters. At that point she needed only to extend her leg and catch a brief glimpse of the metal limb ripping the scarecrow's body into two raggedy pieces.

Stage one, complete. Stage two, begin. This wouldn't be as complicated. Still spinning, Poppi transformed into her Alpha form, shield in hand, and let it go at just the right moment. The massive centrifugal force sent the shield zipping like a massive, circular bullet at the second scarecrow, catching it square in the chest. It was carried backward a hundred yards before hitting an abandoned wagon and exploded into an indeterminable shower of debris, the wagon along with it.

Poppi eased off her boosters, falling to the ground. Her ether furnace, massively overclocked, struggled fitfully to remain operational. It must have been painful, as far as machines felt pain, but the artificial Blade dragged herself over to Tora. Once there she lay against his roundness, watching the fight. At this point, she trusted her friends to finish the fight.

Some were doing better than others. With only the will of others driving him on, Junior commanded his legion of minions to attack, but with their power already on the low end and their leader near-inert the koopa and goombas were slaughtered. They were simply out of their league against the husks, two different worlds of strength. Bowser took the fight to the enemy, a burly flamethrower on a rampage, and his own strikers lent their hammers to the cause.

Having put down one foreman Michael readied himself for another shot. As in every battle so far, he'd found himself a safe spot to set up shop and start hawking his wares in an opportunistic lightning sale—everything must go. But this time would be different. Above and behind the prone man, a gruesome shape moved like a dark cloud, unseen. If one tried to look at it straight-on, it disappeared, invisible and untargetable, but it could be seen in one's periphery, the corner of the eye: a plow horse. It snorted, pawing the ground, and raised a hoof to bring down atop his skull.

Not too far away from Michael's foxhole, the fight against the Brachydios continued. Things were getting messy. The heroes were spending their energy and taking hits, and enough husks remained to maintain the perilous divide in their focus. After burying three husks using his Donphan, Courier 6 mounted up to join his friends on the other side of the battlefield against the husks remaining there. Over by the Brachydios, however, four closed in on Geralt, the only ones that remained on this side other than a lone foreman. Euden couldn't break his gaze away from the blue-scaled beast to look at Geralt as he called, but he nodded and shouted in reply. “Right! Thanks!” Draconic power was building in him; he needed just a few more moments.

Unfortunately, the reality was that if he stood alone against the monster, even shapeshifted, he couldn't fell the beast. Midgardsormr possessed great strength, but it was fleeting, and not as overwhelming as might be hoped. Euden knew he could surprise the Brachydios and wrestle it to the ground, cut it up a bit with the dragon's claws, but just a few seconds later the window would close. Euden rolled out of the way of another punch, collecting himself to leap over the monster's now-stubbier tail sweep, and landed right in a puddle of goop. “Dang!” he said, a swear not at all appropriate to the gravity of the situation. The slime had already yellowed, and it would blow at any moment. He wanted to thrash around and wipe it off, but the monster would surely hit him. It had been some time since Ace Cadet grabbed the beast's focus, and since Geralt was on husk duty, that meant the prince had the monster's undivided attention.

The Brachydios stepped forward, couching an arm for a punch the size of Euden himself. Adrenaline punched, and time slowed down. One word flooded his mind: out. He needed to get out, no matter what. Aiming his blade downward, Euden slit the laces on his shoes. At the same time he dropped his shield to lie flat on the goo, and both sock-clad feet were on it before it hit slime. Then it exploded, launching Euden up into the sky, out of the way of the punch, the horn, and everything else. For a solitary moment, he was alone in the night.

On ground-level, one more husk was stirring. Way out of the reach of Linkle's bombardment, it was roused by the heavy concussions of feverish battle. It lofted into the air, glowing from within, and cracked open like an ancient egg to hatch a new cosmos.

The night sky evaporated, and was replaced by gold. Around the hilltop stretched an infinite expanse of glittering, gleaming golden light. Immaculate, awe-inspiring. Hearts skipped a beat; breaths caught in throats. The dazzling, gorgeous, beautiful yellow radiance cast the gray and brown of the remaining landscape in hues of dark purplish-red, perhaps maroon. Alien geometry floated and stretched through the boundless sky, islands and pillars and bridges, ornamentation for the opulent infinity.

The light has become Splendorous,
Enemies grow less resistant. Heroes' hearts swell with virtue, and stress-related skills gain potency.


Euden then fell, eyes full of wonder, and hit scales. Nearby, the Ace Cadet had a hold of the Brachydios' ridge, stabbing away with a knife. So that's where he went. Joining in, Euden started working the beast's upper body. Totally unreachable for the thing, he could build up the energy he needed quickly.

Nero

Location: Chief's Office, RCPD, Dead Zone


Nodding, Nero passed Joker a page. “Check this out. Probably stuff that doesn't matter anymore, given how things shifted around, but still interesting. The PD also owns and operates an orphanage, somewhere nearby. And this guy, the police chief. Brian Irons? He's been buddying it up with some guy from this Umbrella Corporation. I don't do business or anything, but that literally means 'cover up corporation', right?” He snickered and set it down. “Nothing on hungry ghosts though.”

A few more moments of searching turned up nothing. Nothing relevant, at least. The lack of findings drove Nero over to the other door, the one opposite the route taken by Blazermate and Louis. He tried the door. Locked, but not for a devil hunter. A little coaxing and the thing swung open, admitting the pair inside.



Inside, they found more stuffed animals and a wooden display case with all sorts of stuff, mostly leftover museum pieces. A number of plates stood prominently on it, and it held a drawerful each of long-disused cutlery (cheap, where one would be forgiven for expecting silver) and pristine candles. If the heroes had been putting on a lovely formal dinner it would have come in handy, but a brief search turned up precious little.

Nero shook his head. “Not right. There's got to be something we're missing. Secrets out there, so there have to be secrets in here. Right?” He looked around, giving a full second to each piece of furniture. He did not take a second glance at any of the taxidermy.

Louis

Location: Garage, RCPD, Dead Zone


Louis met the clawed zombie in a clash of sparks. It closed its fingers around the blade, jamming its hideous face against his own. A violently self-defeating act for anyone in the world of the living, but this undead seemed smart enough to use its body to its advantage. It commanded notable strength, too, but not enough that Louis couldn't hold it off with one hand. He held out his other to the side, and it started to change. Strips of leather wriggled across metal and flesh like worms, melding together in a giant, ghoulish mitt claws far bigger than the zombie's. Louis smiled. A drain attack took a long time to start, but once it got going, it would take a lot more than this zombie to stop it. It watched, deadpan, as he the ogre claw finished charging and swept into him like giant rake, tearing through cloth and mutated skin. In a mere moment the zombie was reduced to a pile of scraps, and Louis flicked the dangling forearms from his blade.

At that point he got the chance to watch, incredulous, while the weak zombies heeded Blazermate's command. They went for the giant, headless axeman all at once, alarming the imp. In a shrill voice it screamed for its protector to attack, and the monster swung at its former allies with mindless strength. Zombie parts splattered across the floor, yielding easily to the huge blade. It was no contest, but the skirmish bought Louis and Blazermate a chance to go to work.

The revenant cruised forward, like a dancer. He got in three punishing slices on the first trunked executioner before its overhead chop fell. Once again Louis morphed his arm, this time to block and parry, but when the axeblade made contact he found his efforts unnecessary. A stream of protected power, channeled from Blazermate, surrounded his body in a shining blue barrier that completely repelled the attack and sent the lost reeling. Louis looked down at himself briefly. “Oh. Well now...that'll be useful.” It extended to the medabot herself as well, which he saw as she flew forward to bash the executioner head-on. A tongue extended from her shield to embed itself messily in forsaken flesh, and while it struggled Louis readied his blade and cut into its legs. One, two, and the trunked beast was falling backward, its legs cut at the shins. An impressive display, but Louis had the tools at his disposal to do far better.

What followed could only be described as exquisite. He moved like a river, iridescent blue streaked with crimson. Louis made his way through the crowd in a hypnotizing series of slips, dashes, and blinks, each stroke cleaving through a zombie's dead hide whether it be ally or enemy. What he didn't put down, Blazermate cleaned up. The second trunked executioner swung horizontally at him, but he didn't even notice. He simply let it clang off him, then took an arm, the trunk, and the monster's left knee. On its other side, the axeman was winding up for a giant swing. Louis teleported to the other side of the executioner, spinning in the air to slice off its head before using its failing body as a springboard to leap up. Louis took the axe square in the chest, felt nothing, and clambered atop it to get another boost that carried him all the way up to where the panicking imp called the shots. Three cuts were made in the blink of an eye, and Louis fell to the ground with the imp scattered around him. He touched down, and the ubercharge faded away.

A noise to his right made him turn. He saw a bright light, then a blinding flash. And when he could see again, he could no longer move.

“Hahahahaha! Incredible!”

A few feet away, a dark-haired man in a blue suit with a red scarf wrapped around his neck like a tie stood facing Louis and Blazermate, frozen in time. In one hand he held a camera, and in the other an enormous, wicked-looking knife. He strolled forward into the bluish, distorted zone surrounding the heroes, and spoke in an intense, accented murmur. “You, my friend, have a true talent for killing. An appreciation for the art.” The stranger came to a stop only a foot away. At that distance, the two men didn't look two dissimilar. Well-dressed, dark hair covering one eye, self-assured bearing. Only now, Louis was afraid. His was a fear borne of helplessness, of inability. The other man noticed and smiled. “And your fear. So beautiful. Surely you will enjoy a treasured spot in my gallery. You are now my art!”

Clenching his teeth, he lifted the blade of his knife and drove it into Louis' chest. He carved downward, sawing back and forth, diaphragm to navel, and when he ripped it out he snapped a photo of the red spray. The blue zone faded, and Louis dropped backward. He hit the garage floor already dissolving into bright mist. His head lolled to the side, one last look at Blazermate before he dissolved completely. Particles streamed out through the busted metal gate and into the night air.

The man looked at Blazermate, pointing his camera like a gun. Any move and he could freeze her again. One lesson, and she already new as well as he did. Confident in his position, he told her. “You are not yet finished. You have a job to do, little light. Been stuck here too long. Tell the others that if they stick around much longer, I'll be taking more photos.” A smarmy, venomous grin filled his face. “Now run along.”

Another flash. Not blue, but white. When it faded, there was only darkness. Darkness inside a metal cage, slowly rising.

Maximilian Howard

Location: Main Hall, RCPD, Dead Zone


Standing up, Howard planted both hands on the receptionist's desk authoritatively. One by one the hunting parties returned, not all of them but most. Nero, Joker, Blazermate, Louis, Leon, and Lucatiel had yet to show. Fox, after returning with Donnie, had departed again with questions on his mind to seek those last two down and hopefully get some answers. With the various reports in, enough puzzle pieces had been laid out to get an idea of the bigger picture, and Howard wanted to sum it up.

“Okay, people. What we're looking at is this. Big-time ghost, tortured and hungry 'cause of the suffering it inflicted while alive. This guy Manapaiboon robs and hurts a bunch of people, including his own mom, then gets spiked through the head by an iron bar.” He pointed to Fortune, Banjo, and Kazooie. “You all saw it in this impossible space in the library. Giant, angry, one red eye. Gotta be the guy. And a pitch-black darkness, heavy as a concrete wall.” His eyes landed on Jak and Daxter. “You found a satchel with decorations like the stuff in the weird rooms. Must be linked. Cloth, incense, cursed nails. Keep a hold of that stuff.” A nod at Donnie. “You found some booklet with some pages about ghosts torn out. We got some names for whatever it's called, but don't know which one. But we do know ghosts mess with stuff like machines and locks. Gotta be what's keeping us stuck here.” Nodding again, he swept his gaze around all those present. “We find the pages, we find our solution, and we're out of here. Any questions?”

In the silence that followed, everyone became aware of a muffled mechanical grinding. At first nobody could place it. Heads turned in every direction, but Fortune's twitching ears zeroed in on the source. “Down there!” She pointed at the circular dias beneath the goddess statue standing in the main hall's center. As everyone watched, the front part of the dias wall slid down, revealing a mechanism. An elevator. It was lifting something upward, out of the dark and into the main hall's yellow light. A dozen eyes peered inside, watching the shape that came up. It was Blazermate.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

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Blazermate

Level 6 - (0/60) EXP +2 Learned Medaforce
Location: Police Station
Word Count: 784


Things were going good. Louis used Blazermate's invincibility to cut up a bunch of zombies, Blazermate turned most of the zombies on each other, and things were getting cleaned up really well. Heck, Louis was quite a team player, and followed up on what Blazermate did with his own thing, the two working through the zombies pretty quickly. Just as her ubercharged had faded, most everything was dead and they could begin to search the place. That was, until a bright flash occurred. After said flash, Blazermate and Louis were completely immobilized. The good news, was that they didn't really have to search for clues as soon Blazermate would learn that this was the ghost they were looking for that was interfering with everything in the station.

He looked kind of similar to Louis, although without a sword and a lot more sinister. He also talked like a madman, congratulating Louis on his ability to slice up the zombies before doing the same to the paralyzed Louis using a knife. Calling what he did 'art' and snapping a picture of the act, he let the paralysis field drop so that Louis could drop to the ground. Louis, having just been eviscerated, looked at Blazermate for a second while he lay on the floor, before he poofed into that same spirit dust all the other defeated characters did as well.

Seeing she was alone, Blazermate was ready to do what she had to in order to get out or defeat this man though. People like him were very rare where she came from, but they did exist, and they were pretty horrible, and she wasn't going to lose her medal here. This didn't matter though, as apparently this ghost had no taste in ripping apart a medabot, instead taunting her like a killer would in a movie before causing another bright flash of light, but this time instead of blue it was white. After her optics recovered from the bright flash, she saw that she was in a dark room. Turning on her optic lights, she saw that it was an incredibly small cramped room with bars on one end. She could also hear a metal grating sound as the room seemed to move.

As the elevator ascended, Blazermate thought about what had happened back there. Apparently this ghost could just materialize and de materialize at will, paralyze, and teleport people with his camera? That would be troublesome, especially if he got Blazermate in those stunning flashes, as she couldn't get out of them herself. "No wonder why some people are scared of ghosts if they can od this." Blazermate thought to herself. But first she'd have to be ready for wherever this elevator took her.

A few moments later, Blazermate saw light. She turned off her optic lights and got ready for what was about to happen, but instead of finding some sort of sick artist gallery or something, she instead saw her group of friends, all starring at her. "Hi guys... Did you beat up that camera ghost?" She said, a bit confused at what was going on. The others looked just as confused as she was, and from the looks on their faces, they didn't know what she was talking about.

With a bit of help from the others, she got herself out of the elevator and explained what had happened to her and Louis in the garage. She spared no details, at least when it came to her and Louis' encounter with the ghost. "The ghost appeared out of nowhere, hit us with this blue light just as we had almost cleared out the garage. He used a camera to freeze us, a knife to eviscerate Louis while he was frozen, then teleported me to that elevator apparently with that same camera." She explained. She then relayed all the stuff the camera ghost had said to hope that'd help. She paused for a bit to see everyone's expressions to see if this rung a bell with any of them before continuing. "This is a killer ghost, and he is pretty insane at that. Louis found that out the hard way..." Blazermate continued. "So does anyone have any ideas on what to do next? I don't know of a way to actually attack a ghost."

Blazermate waited for everyone else to explain what they did, looking for a place to sit down. Being a medabot, Blazermate wasn't too phased about what happened back there, well, not in a way that made her sad or shell shocked. But such a callous disregard for something and finding murder an art, this was some slasher stuff they were dealing with.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

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Word Count: 466 (+1 exp)
Level: 2 - Total EXP: 8/20
Location: Ancestral Farmstead

Stress Level: 15

The battle raged on, and the various shouts and explosions from the other side of the hilltop really, really, really made the Ace Cadet want look over and check to make sure the squad battling the nasty space Thing were alright... but he was currently attached to the bucking Brachydios' back, and it was more important to focus on the task at hand right now than risk getting thrown off into a pile of slime or the waiting hands of the husked farmhands, or both. So far the hunter had managed to avoid serious injuries, getting away with minor scratches, scraps and burns, and he'd really like to keep it that way. An non-seriously injured Cadet meant a Cadet that could run around and fill in where he was needed - after this monster went down, that is.

Like he'd always do, Cadet stashed the larger sword behind his back in it's holster and drew his hunting knife - a thick, sharp blade that was designed to penetrate a monster's hide - and got to work stabbing away at the Brachydios. He hoped it would agitate the monster enough to focus on bucking him off, but unfortunately the monster seemed to be more focused on attacking those still on the ground. Great! Plan backfired. Not the first time of course, so instead of begin discouraged the Cadet instead kept a firm hold on the beast's back and stabbed into it with more vigor.

"Stupid. Brachydios. Pay. Attention. To. Me!" Cadet grunted between stabs. He felt the brute lurch, and from the corner of his eye he saw it's club-like tail separate from it's body. "Nice!"

His current companions seemed to be doing a number on it despite being kicked around themselves. He heard Geralt and the Courier on the ground taking out the small fry, and trusted them to do just that. On this side of the hill that left Euden, who the Cadet hoped would be getting his chance to shape shift soon. It didn't really help the kid that this enraged monster was more keen on attacking them than knocking the Cadet off it's back, but the red haired hunter wasn't about to stop his assault until the monster went down. Well, that was what he intended - but the sudden spark of gold that enveloped the hilltop and stretched across the sky caught Cadet's eye and gave him the briefest of pauses. It was beautiful, unexpected, and... unimportant! I need to bring this guy down, quick!

As the Ace Cadet raised his knife to stab at the Brachydios again, Euden himself fell onto the brute wyvern's back beside him. Cadet met Euden's eyes and gave the blonde boy a nod of acknowledgement before he shuffled up, reaching for the Brachydio's head in order to attack it there.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Stekkmen
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Stekkmen Head shotted.

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Magnumus Agoston, Centurion.

Level 3 - (23/30) EXP
Location: Ancestral Farmland, Land of Adventure
Word Count: 333

Stress: 80/100




The Thing fell. At last! While Scarecrows emerged and new enemies were coming, Centurion felt renwed by this victory. Indeed, literally as well as figuratively. A new skill he had recently acquired turned the thrill of victory into a physical reward, and Centurion's wounds began to seal, the blod and ickor evaporated off of him and his stamina returned to him. Body Count, a Centurion needs only battle to sustain himself. Exhaustion had vanished from his core and he felt renewed once again. Upon killing the Thing he had fallen to one knee and planted his gladius in the ground, taking a moment to recurperate. Grinning, the Centurion became more powerful than ever.

Unblockable, his strikes became. The longer a Centurion fights, the more eager he becomes to win. Brilliant passionate flames began to lick up the side of gladius and emerge from his gauntlet and the edges of his armor. His eyes glinted with battle fervor. Linkle had taken action, unloading a lethal whirldwind of attacks upon the battlefield. At that moment, the sky broke and the light of some alien dawn pierced the veil. The clouds were painted purple. This was it. The beast was still alive on the other side of the battlefield. He would reach it, in time. Right now, Agoston wanted to kill more husks. Put more undead fiends back in the ground.

Foremen. Agoston sought to make quick work of them. With a rousing roar he lunged forward, slamming into the nearest undead infantry. It would be ignited by the flames Agoston now controlled, and the Centurion himself began his relentless onslaught on the inferior beings before him. Dawn had broken! The battle was theirs! The tide wasn't turning- it had always been in ther favor! Victory was INEVITABLE! Centurion decapitated a husk with a single strike and moved onto the next. After eliminating all of the husks he would rush towards the monster on the other side of the field and engage it aswell.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Genon
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Genon

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Donnie

Word Count: 1,253
EXP: (37/40) + 3 = 40/40
LEVEL UP!


A crazy serial killer on the loose. On top of the tower-sized ghost, the horde of zombies that would attack at any moment, and the GIANT DEMONIC TREE they were here to kill. Just what he needed. And on top of that, they were down yet another person. Excellent. He didn't know Louis personally, but he seemed like a good man for the hour or so Donnie knew him, and the monk knew the pain of losing one of your own to something random and out of your control. He didn't envy the survivors, not one bit. And to make matters worse, if the freezing ever wore off, Louis might come back as a zombie, which none of them needed right now. FUCKING. WONDERFUL.

"Dammit, I figured there were multiple ghosts!" Donnie said to Blazermate. "Look, before you tell us everything, you missed a lot. So here's the deal: Fox and I went to the Break Room and found a magazine with an article on numerous monsters. We've got a bunch of potential names for this thing, but we don't know which one it is, because someone ripped out the rest of the pages. I figured the key to stopping the hungry ghost was food, so I picked up some Cup Noodles. But more importantly, Banjo, Kazooie, and Miss Fortune headed to the Library, where there was a door that wasn't supposed to be there and opened into a section that didn't make any spacial sense, at which point the hungry ghost, which is roughly as big as the police station, smashed its arm through the window and they ran away. It looked like Pichai: Small mouth, long neck, and one red eye. Jak and Daxter found a satchel filled with incense, candles, and cursed nails and it might be linked to Pichai's area."

"So now that we've got THAT out of the way," he said with some exasperation, "we need to catch this killer. This is a city guard barracks, right? It's a bit more advanced than what I'm used to, but some tools we can use to help us out."

He turned to Captain Howard. "Captain, I saw cameras on the ceiling here and there. You guys have some kind of surveillance system here? If you can get access to the footage, that might help us track him down, maybe we could see the killing itself."

"Anyway," he continued, "I vote we stick together from now on. We move as a group and make sure someone is always watching our backs. He can strike from any direction and freeze you with the press of a button, we cannot afford to take him lightly. If we keep moving in smaller groups, he will strike again, and easily overwhelm us. But if several sight lines are covering every direction, it becomes exponentially harder for him to take us down. We can rush him, break that camera, and then kill him, assuming he's even willing to engage a group that large at all."

"I also vote we don't try to deal with him right now, but instead focus on Pichai. I've taken out giant monsters before. If we can all focus on him and stay away from his attacks, we might be able to kill him through brute force alone. I'm sure he has some kind of weakness that would let us skip the whole process, but I'm almost 100% sure that our sharp-dressed killer is the one who stole the pages, and we're on a timer. The next wave could come at any moment. And while I don't trust the word of a depraved murderer for even a second, we at least know he's not willing to attack large groups. Otherwise, he would already have made his move. While the fight against Pichai will be brutal for sure, I think it gives us the highest odds of getting out without becoming zombie food."

Speaking of zombie food, Donnie was internally seething at the revelation of just one more stressor to his already-full plate. How were they even supposed to deal with Galeem's Guardian when the Dead Zone's wildlife--or what passed for wildlife, given that everything was dead--was enough to pose a massive threat on its own?

On the other hand, he had heard about Master Hand last night. Apparently, Galeem's agents liked to dress themselves up as patronizing guardians that liked to show false concern for their subjects. But he only had to take a look at the Dead Zone to lay all of Galeem's lies bare.

The Dead Zone was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most vile and disgusting place he had seen in a long time. He could understand a capricious god obsessed with creating an interesting world including a monster-filled area to provide conflict. It was hideously unethical, but he could at least understand it. But these survivors. They didn't willingly travel to the Dead Zone like Donnie and his companions did. These survivors...they had been dropped here and forced to fend for themselves.

What kind of callous monster would willingly throw dozens of people into a disgusting, bloodthirsty, disease-ridden meatgrinder of a city with no escape route, no chance of rescue, and no sense of direction? Galeem, that's who.

Stopping Galeem, at this point, was a matter of principle. For all of the chaos and horror of Donnie's own world, the problems were borne from the fact that it was defined by conflict between powers both great and small. Life fought death, light fought darkness, order fought chaos, Alliance fought Horde, and no one being was responsible for it all. On a certain level, he wouldn't mind a nice vacation from Old God attacks and race wars and cosmic struggles for dominance. But not like this. This world was a sick joke, a prank played by a malicious and unloving god who only cared for his own desires.

And Donovan would personally be there to end him.

But at the end of the day, was he actually Donovan? The body, mind, and soul of the original Donovan had been shredded when Galeem joined the worlds. His body was a cheap fake that would probably turn to ash when he died. The Spirit inhabiting it didn't seem to be a soul per se, more like some kind of conceptual essence. Otherwise, forcing it into someone else wouldn't give them superpowers. He couldn't even say he was the original Donnie in mind, not when he was missing half his memories and two entire disciplines. He supposed it was a side-effect of the Spirit gradually attaining its full power, but at the end of the day, one thing was clear.

What Galeem had done to him was an act of pure, unadulterated, bodily violation. on a cosmic level. Any concept of his body being his had been completely overridden. He had been brutally torn apart, mind, body, and soul, and co-opted to be a set piece for some patronizing prick of a god's little play.

With this single act, Galeem had made himself worse than Arthas, worse than the Old Gods, and worse than Sargeras. At least their corruptive influences didn't completely rewrite who you were on a conceptual level. There was something especially grotesque about treating living beings as playing pieces to do whatever you wanted with.

But back to the matter at hand. They had a police station to escape.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by ProPro
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ProPro Pierce the Heavens with your spoon!

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Courier 6 and Ratchet and Jak & Daxter

Level 6 - (18/60) EXP (+2),Level 6 - (7/60) (+2), Level 4 - (0/40) (+2)
Location: Ancestral Farmstead
Dead Zone - Redgraccoon Police Department
Word Count:1153
Courier Stress: 15

Jak new skill: “Yes, you were that child. I took from Damas, hoping to harness your eco powers for my experiments.” Jak’s ability to channel eco has expanded to generating eco from his body. Not enough to use individual eco powers on their own, but enough to provide a steady stream of ammo for his morph gun. Essentially, he has infinite ammo for eco-powered weapons, though refill takes about as much time as it would take to reload manually.


The environment around them at the farmstead changed a second time, still alien but a more splendid sort of alien sky. Golden, shimmering, inspiring even. Just what was going on here? It kind of reminded the Courier of a nuclear glow off in the distance, but clearly wasn’t the case. Well it’s not like it mattered at the moment, one crisis at a time. Besides, chances were that once all the freaky alien brahmin crap was killed off, it’d probably go back to normal. Best to refocus on the task at hand, which was… Aw crap, not a lot of focus was being put into the brachydios anymore. It looked like pretty much just the Cadet, clinging to the monster’s back, was the extent of their fighting strategy right now. Things would turn sour right quick if that weren’t rectified.

And rectify it was, by the centurion, still battle-mad and blood crazed. The Roman advanced, slicing down the corrupted farmers in his way in the process, but leaving their husks to grow into those exploding crystals in the process. ”Dammit you fuckwit! Ugh. Ivories! Git them buried, pronto!”

“Donphan!” Ivories replied, changing the trajectory of its spinning to head for the warpath of the centurion. Just like with those taken down by the Courier himself, the mighty donphan used Bulldoze to bury the husks in the dirt so they’d never again see the light of day.

Meanwhile the Courier urged Drumstick in another direction, back down toward the brachydios. The thing rampaged and lurched with the Cadet upon its back, but it needed to be put down in a hurry before it could hurt someone in its thrashing and stomping. There was no way he’d let his chocobo get too close to that thing, nor did it show any inclination to do so, but it would be able to get him close enough for his plan to unfold.

As they charged forward together, the Courier put away his pickaxe and instead produced his caravan shotgun. Five shots, that’s what was loaded. He wanted to save his ammunition for later, but this thing had to go down, and fast. The pair zipped past the centurion, the Courier throwing himself off his mount for the second time this battle, but unlike last time he did not intend to go up and over the beast. Oh no, quite the opposite, in fact.

6 waited for the right moment, the perfect opportunity, as the monster reared up its front legs while thrashing to get the Cadet off, and he activated it. GRX Implant active - 3 doses remain. For a handful of seconds, he was the fastest creature on the battlefield. He charged in right beneath the brachydios, its head and, more importantly, the underside of its neck exposed, and unloaded all five shotgun shells into the beast’s most vulnerable part so quickly, others may not have even comprehended what happened. Then, as quickly as he came, the Courier dove back, real time returning to him as he rolled through the air.





Jak, Daxter, and Ratchet returned to the main hall where they met up with, and exchanged details with, the rest of the survivors. Ratchet honestly didn’t have too much to report, and he figured the less said the better in regards to the safety deposit box room. He knew Jak and Daxter fairly well and knew that they’d probably be less… Restrained when it came to looting other people’s property if they thought it would help them. Jak mostly remained silent as Daxter explained, in his own Daxter way, what they had located. The most the human of the duo contributed to the conversation was a gruff grunt and tossing the torn bag on the floor for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

It seemed like everyone else had far more interesting stories to tell of their own searching. They now knew at least something of what they were dealing with, and neither Ratchet nor Jak were intimidated by the size of the thing. Each had taken down more than their fair share of giant bosses before, after all. This confidence wasn’t extended to Daxter however, who nervously chewed at his fingertips. Then the scales were tipped as Blazermate returned with news of another foe they had to look out for.

”So you’re telling me that now, not only are we dealing with HORDES of the undead that could break down the doors at any minute, or flying gold-and-white freakshows shooting down aircrafts on top of our heads, OR a giant scary ghost that we can’t even physically touch! But now we’re dealing with a crazy serial killer that can freeze people in time?! Where’s my agent, I demand to be in a new game! This crossover is gonna be the death of me!”

”I’m sorry to hear that we lost someone,” Ratchet said in earnest. ”But this is a task specially suited for me and Clank. See, Clank is the Chosen One of the Zoni, a race of time controlling aliens. Time powers don’t work on him, and he extends that protection to anybody he’s touching.”

Clank appeared from nowhere to continue to exposition. “Indeed, and since my usual position is attached to Ratchet, his full combat capability will be readily able to dispose of such a foul fellow most handily. In fact, I estimate that even should I not be manifested at the time, based on my ability to remain aware of our surroundings while even in spirit form, I could detect the moment Ratchet is caught in this suspended animation and act accordingly. Perhaps a sudden sneak attack? Hmhmhmhmhm.”

Ratchet nodded, and followed along with Donnie’s questioning of captain Howard. ”And if you have any radios or similar communication, think we can distribute that out ot the group? Not that I’ll need one, just give us a frequency and Clank can keep tabs, but if we can all share info as soon as we get it that’d be great.”

“Indeed. This is a police station, is it not? The overall technology level of this station suggests they should possess short wave radios for just that purpose.”

”Heh.” Jak broke his silence, first eyeing his morph gun, then his hand. A yellowish glow rippled around his body. ”Well I say bring it on. The zombies, the angels, the ghost, and the killer.” Jak hefted up his morph gun in its new form, showing off the harpoon generated from yellow eco. It began to spin around as he revved up a shot, then slowed again as he pulled his finger off the trigger.

”Ooh, I know that look!” Daxter commented. ”Is my boy back in form?”

Jak nodded. ”Yeah Dax. I’m generating eco again.”
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,345 (+3)
Bowser: Level 5 EXP: /////////////////////////////////////////////////// (57/50)
Stress: 45/100
Bowser Jr: Level 4 EXP: ////////////////////////////////////// (28/40)
Stress: 88/100
Kamek: Level 4 EXP: ///////////////////////////////////////// (34/40)
Stress: 85/100
Location: Ancestral Farmstead, the Land of Adventure


”Of course they couldn’t cut it even against these guys” was Bowser Jr’s dispassionate response to his gooma swarm being slaughtered by lowly farmhands. The koopas and dry bones where more resilient thanks to their shells but they weren't really capable of harming the few remaining husks attacking them. That was left to the mage and Mimikyu, as they blasted and clawed at the husks respectively. Neither were particularly effective however, the weak rapid fire scratches of Mimikyu barley harming their foe’s stony exterior while Kamek’s fireballs and magic blasts where too slow firing to make a sizable dent in the enemy lines.

It was clear to Jr that all their subgroups power had all been consolidated in his clown car and the weapon within, which was a depressing weakness and vulnerability that had been exposed the moment he’d been knocked clear of it.

The husks beat down Koopa after Koopa, either smashing the Drybones into bits and then seeding the remains or forcing the koopas into their shells before booting them away as they advanced. The troop’s line faltered. Then it buckled and then, at long last, it broke.

The farmhand lurched through the gap it had punched in, trampling over the shattered remains of the dry bones it had beaten back into death with its shovel, and charged the trio that had been hiding behind it.

”Get back sire!” Kamek called to Jr as he back puddled away from the attacker while priming another spell within his wand. Yet instead of heeding the mage’s instruction Jr was gripped a near suicidal desire to be of some, or any, use. The boy charged forwards instead, his heart beat thundering in his ears, deafening him to shouts of alarm coming from Kamek behind him and from Mimikyu as they fell off of his shoulder (the tiny rodent impersonator having been taken entirely by surprise by jr’s sudden burst of energy).

Jr stormed forwards, screaming wordlessly, raising his fist high and driving it into the stomach of the farmhand as the two met. The husk staggered at the blow, but quickly regained its footing as jr practically slumped against it, raising his fists up and uselessly pounding on its chest while yelling at it. Utterly indifferent to this display of anguish the farmhand raised up their weapon to strike down the petulant child, only for both the head of the shovel and the head of the husk to be severed by a bright orange glowing blade.

Jr stumbled back from the corpse as the two heads fell to the ground. The body immediately began to compact down into its vengeful explosive state, only for a great steel to caped boot crunched down onto the farmhand’s remains.

With tired eyes jr looked up and beheld his father, basked in radiant golden light that had suddenly begun to bath the hilltop in its luminous glory.

His boots and trousers were stained with dust and gore, his face was still a mess of wounds, he was breathing heavily from over exertion and he was carrying the dazed and dazzled Hat kid (whom he had stashed in his hat which he now cradled under one arm) yet after Bowser had smashed his way through the last of the undead assailing his family's location his expression showed no concern for his own state and every concern for that of his son.

”Papa” was all the boy managed to say, his voice utterly exhausted.

Bowser at first said nothing. Instead he flicked off the power for his mecha mit, stepped forwards and scooped jr up into a tight one armed hug.

”It’s ok. You’re safe now,” He promised as his held his son tightly while the boy clung tightly to his chest.

Jr relieves 22 Stress damage





Kamek sighed in relief as Bowser rejoined them just in time for a daring rescue. However, thought the King’s arrival had sent their small battle line into disarray his arrival had not quite finished the fight. What it had done was bought them a respite as he continued to stand there embracing his son and attempting to soothe the boy’s nerves, created a considerably more effective wall than the Koopas, Goombas and Drybones had done.

As the farmhands learned that beating on the massive spiny shell of the king was an effort in futility Kamek rallied what troops they had left and quickly formulated a plan in the few moments of time they had before they were attacked again.

First he asked, ”Mimikyu, can you copy this spell?” before casting the minor enlargement spell on one of the dry bones with a wave of his wand, causing it to increase in size by about 50%.

“Mmmmmm kyu!” they responded after a few moments of concentration, waving the stick that they used as fake tail like it was a wand and enlarging one of the Koopas using a [CopyCat] of Kamek’s spell.

”Ehehehe, excellent”, Kamek laughed a touch madly before quickly informing them all of the plan he had thrown together in the span of about 5 seconds.




”Papa... You can let go now. You’ve still got stuff to do and I’m just,” jr was saying after the initial elation had worn off, aware that he was taking up time where Bowser could be fighting, but the king just shushed him.

”Nothing more important than looking after you,” he insisted as he used a thumb to gently rub jr’ s hair.

”But the zombie’s?” Jr replied. The noise of clanging of metal against armored shell was unignorable but Bowser simply shook his head before saying that, ”Kamek’s can handle them”

Jr was going to reply dismissively based on the mage’s earlier performance, but he was cut off by the sound of Kamek whistling.

”GO GO GO!” “Kyu Kyu Kyu!” Came the shouts , causing jr to look away from his father's chest to see the remaining drybones circling round either side of him, each and every one enlarged by about 50% by Kamek and Mimikyu’s casting spree. Initially he thought they were going to perform a pincer maneuver while the farm hands were still distracted by Bowser’s bulk. A stupid plan, because though they’d have a size and strength increase they’d lose it as soon as they got hit and then it was right back to being in the meat grinder that they couldn't win. Then he saw where the Koopas had gone. Namely, into their shells which where being dribbled and passed between the dry bones as they moved into position.

”Wait. Seriously?”, jr said a touch disbelievingly as the troops got into position, two groups on either side and a little ways away from the king and the horde assailing him. The farm hands, having seemingly realized the futility of attacking Bowser’s rear, responded to this new maneuver by disengaging from the king and charging the Koopas.

In response they received a swift volley of Koopa shell to the legs as the dry bones kicked their living brethren at their foes. The enlarged shells bashed into the farmhands, the impact damage harming the zombies while the spells enlarging the shells took the brunt of damage they would have received as it dissipated. Then the now normal sized shells bounced back and away, only to be interpreted by a dry bones, stopped and then dribbled until Kamek swooped past on his broom (with Mimikyu riding on the very end like a witch's cat) to enlarge the shell’s once again.

With Jr safely in Bowser’s arm and Kamek up in the sky the Koopa troop engaged in a running skirmish battle with the farmhands, making use of the skills they’d gained two times the mushroom kingdom had held some extremely violent football tournaments.

”See,” Bowser said with a grin as he kicked one of the flunked shell shots back to a dry bones.

”That's just. So dumb,” jr said as he watched the farce, but even with his dower mood he couldn’t help but feel just a bit better about how things where going.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Gentlemanvaultboy

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Linkle


Level 5 - (38/50) + 1

Location: The Darkest Steppe ~ Yog-Sothoth's Jurassic Fight Club Part 4: Golden Time
Word Count: 513

@Lugubrious@ProPro@Stekkmen@thedman @Yankee



Linkle came down off the brief combat high of becoming a human bomb and beheld a blasted land swirling in sacred light. It was as though the goddess Hylia herself was looking down upon them, it was completely different from the green light before.

In this moment of respite that she and Poppi had bought them she took a moment to survey the battlefield. The farmers were almost handled, not that least of which by the impromptu koopa troop kickball game. Across the field the centurion was cutting a swath through the farmers. She was going to head that way to take out the crystals that formed but the Courier had some strange monster bury the crystals in the ground, the strange light still glowing out from under the cracks in the earth. The cadet and Euden were both on the monsters back, holding on for dear life.

The farmers were getting cleared out, but experience told her that they wouldn't stop coming until they beat the big boss. "Princess!" She called out, looking around for Princess Toadstool as Tora and Pop pi cuddled near her on the groumd.. "If anything comes near these two, shoot it!" With that she took off after Agoston toward the Brachy.

As she charged down the hill she could swear she heard a phantom whinny, like the ghost of her kart coming back to haunt her.

As she approached the buried crystals she suddenly got a strange idea. She stepped back to what she thought was a safe range, holstered her crossbows, and pulled her square bow off her shoulders. Pulling out one of her blocky arrows she put the buried crystals between her and the Brachy and narrowed her eyes. Which part would get that things attention the most, the eyes or the belly or...

She got her opportunity when the Courier put on a burst of speed and, as the monster reared up, blasted the underside of the monsters neck so quickly it was more like one shot then five. Zeroing in on any wound that assault would have left she let the arrow fly directly into it. A moment later she put her fingers in her mouth and whistled as loudly as she could before nocking another arrow and firing.

She didn't really plan on hurting it. She just wanted to get it angry enough to come after her, to try and lure it into the impromptu minefield Agoston and The Courier had created. With the crystals buried she hoped that the resulting explosions would be low enough to the ground that they would just hit the monster and not the boys riding atop it.

Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN
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MULTI_MEDIA_MAN

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Geralt of Rivia

Ancestral Farmstead

Lvl 3 (9/30) -> Lvl 3 (11/30)

Word Count: 796 words

Stress Level: 25 (+10 from Sow the Seeds)


Geralt found himself occupied by a quartet of farmhands insistent upon his death. One wielded a shovel, two had hoes, and the fourth held a sickle in its hand. A quick thought gave Geralt his plan of attack.

Dodging and deflecting blows until the one with the sickle swung at him, Geralt caught the thing's arm just before the wrist, taking advantage of the weapon's shorter haft which had forced his enemy closer. Silver burst from the creature's back, and Geralt shoved the crystallizing body at its allies before jumping at them and parrying a botched hoe swing. His blade nicked the tool's haft, sending a small vibration through Geralt, one which he ignored as he stepped into the farmhand's personal space and smashed its nose with the pommel of his sword.

Stepping back, Geralt plunged his weapon into the crystal below him, removing his weapon from the destroyed 'corpse' just as a shovel swung through the air where he'd just been nary a moment ago. These enemies were inconvenient, that was for sure. He had to be sure to destroy their bodies, lest they become an even bigger issue than they were in life.

Readying his sword once more, Geralt danced between attacks, one of the hoes clipping his lower leg but doing little more than leaving a bruise beneath his greaves. Geralt took the farmhand's temporary loss of balance as an opportunity to strike, scoring a deep gash into the strange, cursed-looking humanoid with his blade, one which bled noticeably. Remembering the strange pendant he received from the large fishman's spirit, Geralt nodded to himself. "Good to see it's got some use." He mumbled, stepping back and changing his priority to the enemy wielding the shovel.

Said enemy jabbed their farming implement directly at Geralt's chest, and Geralt deflected the blow to the side when all of a sudden, a burst of crystals clattered into his face. Stepping back, Geralt coughed as he felt an unfamiliar feeling well up inside him: he was...sick? Poisoned?

The damned pendant! Of course these things were using poison just after he'd acquired something that made him more vulnerable to poison. Still, he didn't feel overly bothered, just...a little unwell. Like he'd taken a small cut during a fight, was all. He'd taken worse than this and come out feeling better.

His momentary distraction cost him, however, and a hoe crashed into his chest, sending him stumbling back once more with a snarl on his face. He wasn't quite ready to cast a sign again, and Igni sure would have been useful right about now. However, Geralt did the next best thing: he drew his hunting knife and prepared to use it as a sort of parrying dagger. It wouldn't be perfect, but it was better than catching the haft of a hoe being swung with force on his arm.

It proved unnecessary with the next attack that came his way, however, as Geralt pivoted to the side and brought his sword up, removing the farmhand's arm just below the elbow. The creature stumbled, looked at him confusedly, and collapsed in on itself, transforming into a crystal. At the same time, the farmhand he'd gashed fell to the floor, looking exhausted as it to transformed into a crystalline bomb.

That left one. Geralt snarled as he charged the final farmhand, which raised its hose defensively and tried to shove the Witcher as he tackled them both to the ground. On top of his opponent this time, Geralt stabbed it in the chest with his hunting knife, pried the hoe out of its hands with his now free hand, and drew the blade of his sword along its throat, opening a lethal wound in the final farmhand.

Removing his knife as he stood, Geralt stabbed the crystal below him with his sword, destroying it. He quickly set about destroying the other two, striking with his blade once more.

Satisfied that he was finished with the farmhands, Geralt looked back on the fight before him, now consciously taking in the changed atmosphere. The sky had now changed to a more welcoming golden-yellowish hue, and the battlefield was clearing up rather well. The poison Geralt had been inflicted with had left him slightly weaker than he'd otherwise have been after what was still a good fight against the farmhands, but it was still the hit from the Brachydios that had wounded him the most, Quen Sign or no.

Making his way back to their oversized enemy, Geralt watched as Linkle attacked the monster with some strange, blocky-looking bow while just....standing there. It took him a moment to notice the churned-up earth between her and the Brachydios. Huh, clever girl. Using them against each other. Not a bad plan at all.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by thedman
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thedman Fanatical Purifier

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Michael and Franklin

Level 4- (31/40) EXP / Level 3- (25/30) EXP (+1 EXP)
Location: Ancestral Farmland, Land of Adventure
Wordcount: 358
Michael's Stress: 80 / Franklin's Stress: 55



Michael grinned as he saw the foreman get eviscerated by his sniper shot, the sight bringing an almost primordial satisfaction to him. He quickly moved his scope back over the thinning horde, looking for his next target. He settled on one of the other foremen, seeing them as higher priority targets. He took a deep breath, settling his crosshairs...

His focus on the battle, however, would leave him distracted enough for an enemy to slip by. Confident that he was far enough from the battlefield to be out of harm's way, he wouldn't see the plow horse approach him. His earplugs, worn to protect his hearing but leaving him deaf, would make him miss the sound of its approach. Thus, Michael was completely caught off guard as the ghoul horse's hoof slammed down on his head, a sick crack ringing out. He didn't have time to scream as he landed on the ground with a thud, his rifle clattering beside him uselessly. He was stunned, struggling to lift his eyes open as he tried to look around, still unsure of what happened.

Franklin, meanwhile, continued his fight against the horde, sticking mainly to the machete as it was evident that his pistol had little effect on the creatures. Expecting some more covering fire from Michael, he turned around to see what was causing him to take so long. What he saw caused his stomach to drop. "MIKE!" He yelled out, taking a moment to look between his allies fighting the horde and his friend knocked out in the distance. While he didn't want to leave them to fight the horde alone, he didn't have a choice- if he didn't leave, his friend was going to die. Turning away, he ran in Michael's direction.

Franklin ran as fast as he could, trying to close the distance. As he ran, he let out a loud yell and fired his pistol towards the plow horse several times, trying to draw attention away from Michael and onto him. Running as fast as he could, he swung his flaming machete at the creature, aiming for its neck in an attempt to decapitate it.



Michael gains 40 stress. Franklin gains 15 stress.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lugubrious Ghost who chose life

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Ancestral Farmstead

Level 5 Tora - (37/50) EXP and Level 4 Poppi - (35/40) EXP
Tora Stress: 95/100 and Poppi Stress: 35/100
Location: the Land of Adventure
Word Count: 1083


Dodging out of the way of a perilous Koopa shell, Peach called out to Linkle in reply. “Got it!” After the heroic efforts of Tora and Poppi to keep fighting despite the heavy damage taken by the Nopon, she wasn't about to let a hair on his furry head be harmed. With the moment of peace offered to her by the Bowser crew's gambit, she took the chance to survey the hilltop. The sky, still a spectacular infinity of undulating gold, looked down upon a scene almost devoid of husks. After helping to fell the Thing from the Stars, the Centurion kept the momentum up, taking out the stragglers one after another. On the other side of the bucking Brachydios, which fought to dislodge the young men clinging to its back, Geralt seemed to be dispatching the last few. Another shell bounced Peach's way, and this time she stepped forward to plant her new boot right onto it, kicking it toward the last farmhand. The rock-hard puck swept the fossilized human's legs out from under it, sending it to the ground in a heap. Peach then sauntered up, planted the barrel of her scattershot against its back, and casually pulled the trigger. The recoil of the bone-jarring blast forced her to looked away, but when she looked again she saw only ash and crystal shards reassembling themselves into a Crystalline Aberration. Sighing, Peach reloaded and fired again.

One to go.

At least, she thought so. An agonized yell from one corner of the battlefield sparked panic in Peach and drew her gaze. Out of the corner of her eye she saw something ghastly floating above Michael, reeling from pain on the ground, but when she looked straight at it the monster disappeared. Linkle and Franklin saw it too. The latter, egged on by fear and rage, sprinted in to try and attack it straight-on, but his hurled machete missed its invisible mark. Linkle, however, fired off a couple bomb bolts in the general area. As they detonated on the ground in two subsequent plumes of flame and smoke, somehow leaving the nearby men completely unharmed, the explosions' area of effect caught the unseen entity in the blast. A distorted whinny pierced the air, and after another moment the Plow Horse reappeared about six feet to the right of where Michael lay—and within sprinting distance from Peach.

Before, the princess might have not seized the chance, but she was not the same as before. New battle sense galvanized new muscle to action, and Peach sprang forward. She dashed a short distance, momentarily leaving behind Bowser, Hat Kid, Junior, and Tora, and tossed a Grenaduck. The yellow, rubbery explosive bounced off the ground, over the horse, and behind the Plow Horse. Its small burst left Michael unharmed, but it pushed the airborne husk Peach's way, and more importantly got Michael out of her scattershot's gratuitous line of fire. Thunder and flame erupted from her weapon and ripped straight through the beast, tearing it into two hovering halves. They still moved, still alive, but Peach doubted they'd be much trouble to dispatch. The team had more pressing matters on its hands.

When she turned her attention to the Brachydios, however, she found her teammates already on the job. The Ace Cadet had shimmied onto the monster's head to offer his knife more tender targets, and as Peach watched Courier 6 approach the head from another angle. Cadet's dagger slid into the soft, thin scales behind the Brachydios's eye, making it rear its head back, and amped up on chems 6 took his shoot. Five of them, in fact. Almost a half-dozen slugs slammed into the monster's throat, spraying blood and provoking a wet, muted growl. The next moment a cubic arrow lodged there, launched by Linkle a fair distance away, and she sent a friend to join it soonafter. All the mounting injury reached a boiling point, and the already-temperamental monster went mad. It let loose an eardrum-rattling roar, forcing anyone without protection to clamp over their ears to avoid headsplitting pain, and charged. Literally steaming mad, it stomped toward the Courier to throw out a hefty sideswipe before thundering toward Linkle. It threatened to trample the Centurion on the way, bulling mindlessly toward its target until it stepped foot on the volatile ground left by the buried Aberrations.

The timing was perfect. Earth burst up as the interred crystals exploded, sending spiky fragments and maddening Color upward in a huge arc. Linkle herself barely avoided the chaos, but the Brachydios took it wholesale, and those gripping its hide took a portion, too.

Ace Cadet and Euden gain 20 stress


Head spinning, Euden watched as the Cadet seized the opportunity. This time his knife hit the monster's unguarded eye. The Brachydios staggered, its rage muddled into confusion by the Aberrations. Like a bolt from the blue the realization hit Euden, too: this was his chance as well. Draconic power flowed through him, begging to be unleashed. He took a deep breath to steady himself, released his grip on the monster's scales, and jumped into the air. Around him the wind surged, and then, in a gale-force whirlwind, he transformed.

A giant green dragon appeared and dropped with its full weight on the Brachydios. The monster wanted to run, to flee from the losing fight and nurse its wounds, but thanks to Midgardsormr he was going nowhere. Employing his full strength, the dragon planted an elbow across Brachydios' neck, splayed its limbs with his own, and ensnared a back leg at a bad angle with his tale. Splashing slimy spittle everywhere, the Brachydios struggled, but could not escape the pin. The path to victory lay open.

Peach did not intend to squander it. The princess hustled over, scattershot in hand. Poppi looked down at Tora, both having gotten a minute or two to compose themselves, and the Nopon nodded his encouragement. “Now is Poppi time to shine!”

“Roger, roger.” With an affirmative nod of her own Poppi stood, switched back to QT mode, and boosted into the fight. Once in range she started hammering the beast's back with her Mech Arms, aiming to break bones while leaving its exposed belly for allies with cutting weapons. Her flaming metal gauntlets careened into the blue scales again and again, a constant barrage that turned scales into slivers and mashed the flesh beneath. Peach ran up to the monster's head and fired into its slimy horn, tearing a huge chunk free.

Nero

Location: Chief's Office, RCPD, Dead Zone


The pair searched in a near-total silence, hearing only the ticking of the elaborate grandfather clock in the chief's office and distant rumblings from somewhere in the building. Nero found nothing that might be used to open the strange lock on the gate barring the way into the adjunct attached to the private collection room, not even a hint. Joker remained quiet as he examined the place, taciturn and contemplative, but the devil hunter's patience wore thin. With the situation bearing down on the police station, he could not afford to waste time. After shaking his head in resignation, he strode over to the gate. “Well, there's more than one way to skin a cat.” He reached up with his prosthetic hand, closed it around the edges of the locking mechanism, and yanked it off. It tore free with a wrenching noise of protest, and after a few more choice applications of force, the gate swung open.

Inside he found a miniature treasure trove. An honest-to-goodness chest lay nestled in the middle of various supplies, including emergency rations, ammunition, and medicine. Curious despite himself, Nero went ahead and opened the chest, which took a little more doing than he expected. When the lid flung open after a moment, the chest itself broke down and five items flew out to lie on the ground. There was a ceremonial dagger with a thin black blade, a handsome crucible, a brisk-looking scarf, and -though Nero didn't know what it was- an alternate costume contained within a police badge.

Nero shrugged. “Well, nothing really interesting, but at least we won't be going back empty-handed after all this time.” He grabbed as much as he could carry, figuring that Joker would do the same, and headed back out of the room toward the Main Hall.

Maximilian Howard

Location: Main Hall, RCPD, Dead Zone


Groaning, the police captain rubbed his head. Just when everyone got together with all their information and a resolution to this crisis was visible, something terrible had to happen. From the moment Blazermate gave the assembly her news, the mood over the entire hall had transfigured from cautiously optimistic to massively dreadful. It reminded Howard of something that happened in a lot of movies: someone asked 'how could it get any worse?' and just like that, it got worse. This time, of course, nobody had asked. Yet misfortune arrived all the same. Losing Louis hit Howard especially hard. Since his arrival the soft-spoken but extremely capable young man did everything in his power to help out those trapped in this hell, and now he was dead.

While he struggled to get his thoughts together, Donnie filled the dead air. He summed up every clue at the survivors' disposal and suggested a course of action, mentioning the station's surveillance system as well. Ratchet and Clank's postulation of radio use reached him as well. “Yeah, good calls. Radios were outdated where I'm from, so it didn't cross my mind, but there must be some in the east office, where we keep the various equipment. We can figure out who took the pages, too.” With a nod Howard turned to assign the task, only to find Jill already at work on the computer. Her eyes moved like hummingbirds, poring through four camera feeds at once for anything that might help to solve any one of the problems facing her team. Howard threw her an appreciative look, whether she saw it or not, and turned back. “Alright then. Form your own teams if you like, but do it fast. We've still got some units in the station somewhere. Nero and the kid, Lucatiel, Leon, and the guy with the cane.” Four more faces flashed in his mind, reminding him. “Plus that guy who went with Olivia. Fox went looking for Lucatiel and Leon, too.”

Howard rolled his neck and pivoted his shoulders, working out a few cramps. The others discussed a few advantages they did have, such as Jak's recovery of somewhat confusing ammo-generating capabilities, and Ratchet and Clank's apparent immunity to time-stopping. The entire idea of stopping time made Howard's head hurt, but he trusted the others knew what they were doing. When he stilled himself again, his collapsed x-baton was in his right hand. “Nowhere's safe anymore. We need to get all the civilians in one place. Damn it, we don't have enough people. Ghalt, stay here with Jill and I.” The shotgun-wielding mad nodded stiffly. “Eddie, Tess, get to the civvies on the east side, including the stair guard. If that dog's still in the break room, get him, too.” He scanned the area, searching for more fighters. He found only Fortune, aside from the new arrivals, but their previous conversations had made it clear she didn't exactly expect authority. “Can anyone grab the civvies on the west side?”

“Captain!”

Howard turned to look at Jill. She launched into her discovery without any need for prompting. “Found them. Both of them. Whoever this killer is, he's been posing as a civilian. There's a good chance he's with one of the civilian groups now. There's a fight in the Operations Room, I can't make out the details in the chaos. And I got who took the pages.” Narrowed brows overlooked hard eyes. “It was the swordfighter. Lucatiel.”

V

Location: Operations Room, RCPD, Dead Zone


Taking hold of Griffon's talons, V jumped into the air and allowed the bird to carry him backward. Not a second later, the fist of Mr. X crushed the metal desk he thought he'd pinned his quarry against. His eyes followed V as he fled, dead and unfeeling in a stony gray face. V clenched his teeth and glanced again at the red orb hovering above a black ashen spire near the room's door. Shadow needed another few moments to recuperate, but with X on the offensive, he might not get that time. Even with one of the dividing walls smashed by the brute giving him more space to flee in, he could not retreat forever.

X took a half step back before bodily kicking the crumpled desk. It tumbled through the air and struck V in the chest, knocking him to the ground in a wheezing heap. A few yards away, Leon pulled himself to his feet using the wall, and shouted, “Hey!” to get the tyrant's attention. X glanced his way and got a bullet in the face for his efforts, though Leon's second and third missed, and the next pull of his pistol's trigger gave up only a despairing click. Empty. Ignoring him X moved forward, shouldering debris aside as he approached V. Griffon fired off a volley of purple bolts, but none so much as phased X as he advanced.

Another shout from behind alerted X, prompting him to turn and catch Lucatiel's greatsword on his arm. Its blade cut through cloth and flesh, but not nearly far enough, and X unhurriedly brought up his other arm to sock the hollowing woman in her masked face. She staggered sideways and X resumed his march toward V, now only a couple feet away and still fighting to work his bruised lungs. Lucatiel, however, stopped her fall with a hastily-planted foot, and with a guttural scream she pivoted around to shove the tip of her greatsword into X's back.

Without a word the silent man spun around, wrenching the weapon out of Lucatiel's grasp, and delivered a blistering hook to her back that sent her sprawling, down for the count. Her mask clattered to the ground, bounced one, and stopped. Leon appeared, having limping his way over, but X elbowed him aside. Then nothing remained in the way.

He bent to pick up V by the neck and held him against the wall. V grabbed at his hand, his efforts to break free futile. Tighter and tighter the tyrant squeezed, until the darkness closed in around V. Griffon clawed at his tormentor, screeching an incoherent series of insults in a vain attempt to get X's attention, but nothing was working.

Just as his vision was about to go dark, a red laser blast struck X in the back, and he glanced over his shoulder to see the source of the disturbance. In the open doorway to the Operations Room stood an anthropomorphic fox, holding a blaster trained on X. “Put that man down!” he screamed.

V's eyes weren't on Fox. They lay on the red orb floating right by him, a cone of black sand whirling beneath it. He watched it break, the crimson magic inside released, and called his demon to his side. Reaching for the last of his air, he croaked, “...Gouge him.”

Shadow burst from below in the form of a huge maw, like a nightmarish venus flytrap, and bit down on X from behind. A pivot of the vice's thick stem yanked the tyrant off his feet, through a backward arc, and onto the ground head-first. He went to get up as though nothing happened, but Griffon flew over him, charging his magic. “BUUUUUUURN, LITTLE PIGGY!” A sphere of brilliant purple lightning expanded from him, electrocuting X until steam rose from his coat, and his nervous system failed. Like a giant puppet his toppled over, and Shadow was waiting beneath him.

Transforming into an ashen saw, it caught X as he fell, keeping him suspended on top of the ripping blade. Black needles rose beneath X as he was sawed, piercing both forearms and calves to hold him up on the living sawblade. Laboriously Lucatiel rose again, lifting her sword from the ground a she lurched neared. She upended the blade, placing it right next to X's neck with its tip against the ground, and with all her strength she pulled from the other side. Leon, sporting a nasty bruise on his face, joined in to help her pull, and together they dragged the greatsword's blade through X's neck and out the other side. His head hit the floor and rolled, no more dead than his still-thrashing body.

But it was faded.

An unhealthy, whitish-violet pallor had overtaken X. Still rubbing his neck, V almost laughed when he recognized it. With a flourish of his cane he blinked over to where the head lay, glaring at him with baleful, soulless eyes. V cleared his throat, raised his cane and told it, “He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. Die.” He plunged his cane's blade into the stony face, creating an impression like cracked glass that gave forth lavender sparks. When he withdrew it, the monster died.

Exhaling, V collapsed onto the ground, where he held himself on his side. Fox approached, clearly appalled by the brutality of the tyrant's execution, and swallowed before speaking. “I...was, uh, wondering where you guys were. Are you...okay?”

He let the somewhat rhetorical question hang. Nobody before him was okay, but they were alive. That, he knew, beat the alternatives. After a few seconds he continued. “I needed to ask. Donovan found a book that might tell us about the ghost, but it's missing pages. Do any of you know where they are?”

In turn the three shook their heads. Lucatiel, however, narrowed her eyebrows after doing so, thinking hard. A couple of second later her expression turned into one of realization, and shame. “I...am sorry. I must have forgotten. It is so damnably hard to remember...these days.” She rummaged in her pockets, and turned up a couple papers. “There are ghosts where I am from. I saw the writing and thought I should take them to be prepared.”

She held them out to Fox, who took them excitedly. “Great!” He read quickly, checking each entry for familiar information one by one. “Oh, this is it! 'Preta'!” Filled with vigor he took off running, only to stop for a moment at the door. “Hurry back to the main hall. We need to get rid of this thing, pronto!” Then Fox disappeared, though the echo of his frenzied footsteps through the corridor could still be heard.

The others picked themselves up to leave, moving slowly to relieve their collective wounds. Through the ajar door to the records room a single eye above a humorless smile watched them go, the other sightless and hidden beneath its owner's hairdo. “Inspirational,” he breathed, before vanishing in a plume of blue smoke.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Archmage MC
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Archmage MC

Member Seen 9 hrs ago

Blazermate

Level 6 - (0/60) EXP +0
Location: Police Station
Word Count: Less than 500


Blazermate wasn't really sure what to do next. Donnie's suggestion of finding the missing pages of that book seemed fine, and the police captain's idea of gathering everyone would make it easier to protect them from camera killer. "OK, so while you guys go get the civilians, I'll go with Ratchet and Clank there to collect pages. I don't wanna be frozen in time again." Blazermate said, upon hearing everyone's plan. "There was a medabot that could do stuff like this I fought once, well sorta. It was with a weird head part, not a camera, but still, not fun." Blazermate offhandedly commented as she partnered with Ratchet. "Think you can carry two robots? I'm pretty light~." She said, giving Ratchet a wink as she went with him to look for more pages.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Yankee
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Yankee God of Typos

Member Seen 14 hrs ago


Word Count: 852 (+2 exp)
Level: 2 - Total EXP: 10/20
Location: Ancestral Farmstead

Stress Level: 35

Holding on to the Brachydios' back was proving to be one of the toughest mounts the Cadet had ever had. The monster was crazed, and between it's thrashing, it's roar, his allies' attacks, and the general confusion of the battlefield as a whole... well, it wasn't easy. Still, the hunter clung to it's scales and stabbed it for all he was worth. Even as the earth exploded underneath the creature and threw debris and whatever alien energy was filling the area up, cutting the Cadet's arms and face, he painfully hung on.

"Come on...!" he hissed, getting a little impatient at the Brute Wyvern's refusal to go down. He managed to land a solid blow to the Brachydios' eye, and seeing the monster stagger relieved the Cadet so much that he let his guard down enough for the sudden burst of wind from Euden's transformation to finally fling him off the monster's back. The red haired hunter was thrown a few dozen feet from the fight, tumbling backwards a few times before he ground his heel into the earth to get himself back upright. As he recovered, he surveyed the area - the first thing that caught his eye being the massive green dragon that was currently grappling with the brute. That's...? Is it that kid? Cadet thought briefly, having never seen Midgarsormr before. Considering it seemed to be pinning the Brachydios down, and Poppi and Peach who'd joined the fight on this side of the field weren't paying it much mind, he assumed that the dragon was indeed Euden. That power was the definition of Rad-alos, but now really wasn't the time to be asking him about it.

It seemed like the Brachydios' days were numbered, and Ace Cadet couldn't help but grin at the thought of a successful hunt. On the other side of the field, it seemed like things had been mostly cleaned up, but there was a troubling sight - injured squad mates, huddled together and relatively defenseless. At the moment it seemed that the danger was soon to pass, what with all of the husked farmhands seemingly defeated, the large monster behind him pinned and taking punishment, and the initial Thing nowhere to be seen... but it wouldn't hurt to check on them. There weren't any convenient felynes up here, so there was no telling what would happen if one of them went down for the count for good.

With a last look over the the two battling behemoths, the Ace Cadet sheathed his sword and ran over to the other side of the field. Yeah, he'd slayed plenty of Brachydios back in his own world, might as well let the others have this one! Cadet was covered in scratches, scrapes and scorch-marks, but all things considered he was relatively unharmed. It'd be Gargwawesome if I had some lifepowders right now, he thought as he approached his injured comrades, making a mental note to find the ingredients to make some later. For now, he took quick stock of the two closest to him: Tora and Bowser. They both looked to be in sorry shape, but the Koopa King had proven to be pretty resilient - and the Cadet only hand enough honey for one mega-potion. To Tora, then.

The Cadet fished the three jars from his pack, one filled with honey and the others with a potent healing fluid. He passed Bowser first, and noticed that he was carrying the two small forms of Jr. and Hat Kid. Darn, if only he had more potions to give the kids... but it'd probably still be more beneficial to offer it to their protector.

"Doing okay big guy?" Cadet asked, passing Bowser one of the potions, "the others have everything handled it looks like, so don't worry!"

If the King was feeling alright he could give the healing item to one of the kids, but otherwise it was out of the Cadet's hands now. He made his way over to Tora, easily dropping to his knees beside the shorter being and showing off the remaining two jars. Poor Tora looked pretty beat up, but that's what the potion was for. Cadet poured the honey into the potion vial and shook it vigorously before offering the now-improved drink to the Nopon. "Drink the whole thing at once and you'll probably feel a lot better, promise!"

For now, this was about as much non-combat support as the Cadet could offer. He was without his hoard of traps and items back home, but it was okay, he'd restock and make do! Just as soon as they got off this hilltop, that is. The hunter stood backup, intending on rejoining the final onslaught against the Brachydios if he could, when two writhing halves of something caught his eye. Beyond them, there were those two men - Franklin and Michael, one tending to the other. The torn up creature didn't look like it could do much more harm, but it was better safe than sorry, right? Ace Cadet jogged over to them, yanking his sword free of it's sheath and slicing the horse halves in order to finish them off.
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