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> Proximal Anxiety

Circ's Characters

- No God's Sky
+ Unsolicited Invasion ₮ ϟ
- The Sorceress' Nemesis ϟ
+ Sleep, Grand Automaton, That We May Plunder
+ Gaslands

+ Glasslands
+ The Meatspin ₮ϟ
- The Darkness Encroaches
- Into The Abyss

- Expanding Horizons
- Sea of Ignominy ϟ
- Cataclysmic Ending ϟ
- Awake
+ Cat, got your togue
+ Ever Mut has its Dog Day

+ = active
- = inactive
ϟ = Val'Gara
₮ = Earth-F67X | Discord
☫ = Cizr Empr

Most Recent Posts

Still somewhat disoriented by the environment, Feurtes braced himself against the hydraulic cylinder that enjoined the ramp to the shuttle, the toes of his anti-gravity boots barely at the ramp's terminus, a mere centimeter away from Derelict's actual surface. Suddenly, up above, he heard alert sirens blare and the din of metal shattering against metal. His visor turned upward and he, appalled, witnessed a number of MRS mining drones as they collided against the uneven walls of Derelict's primary exploitation shaft. There were shouts of Take cover! moments before a hail of debris formed and ricocheted downward throughout the low-g chasm. A few unlucky souls were too close for that to make any difference, their pressure suits and bodies ventilated by a million shards of shrapnel, grim fates alluded to in the form of crimson jets that flowed soundlessly into the above void. Self-preservation instinct kicked in and Feurtes dove into the protective interior of the shuttle. However, the MRS androids reacted even faster, to the extent he imagined they anticipated the event, an oddity he mentally filed away. Before he landed on the shuttle floor, they maneuvered into a defensive posture in front of the bay door and blocked any errant debris that attempted to penetrate his safe haven.

Finally, the immediate danger passed. He stepped out of his sanctuary, his mind again acclimated somewhat to the noise, and he articulated a response.

"No," Feurtes answered Aten's inquiry, "I will remain on Derelict until the Lieutenant remote-recalls the shuttle and comes down, at which point he will replace me as the Origin expedition supervisor. Until then, my objective is to assist you and your A9s in setting up a base of operations. Origin has a predefined location in mind that should likewise be of interest to MRS."

As he said this, he carefully walked to the ledge on which the shuttle was docked. Beyond the scratched transluminum shield of his pressure helmet, he glanced down and assessed that they were, more or less, at the bottom of the main artery. There was another tier beneath them, but it was overcrowded with scavenger ships. The only reason his team secured one so near the bottom was the threat Origin's navy posed to any who would interfere with their oversight and security roles. An upward look through a haze of fresh red mist and blackened metal particulates and, like a pinprick of inky solitude, he saw space. It was a mote of cosmic horror framed by the jagged interior of a massive vertical tunnel vaguely lit by thousands of variegated flood lights affixed to dozens of vessels. It reminded him of photographs from history class of decrepit sub-rail tunnels in the aftermath of the Earth's world-quake of 2850.

Involuntarily, the scene translated to a nervous impulse in his brain that cascaded shivers along his spine and deformed his skin to goose-flesh. For a moment, he felt lost in the cavernous broken spiral, but somehow pulled himself away. It was unimaginable to him how Cass managed to do this fifty-six times.

He turned around and saw the MRS droids already loaded up with equipment for their trek. Efficiency, it seemed, wasn't something they took lightly.

"Right now we're about 1 klick deep. We will need to be deeper, just above a depth called the impenetrable zone. Have you been briefed on it? An entire layer of Derelict stronger than even your MRS' Ferrous-Derrite." His equipment was already on him, so loaded up his dataslate and started walking along the designated route. "Also, how soon can you get a post-mortem on why your drones navigation systems failed?"

. . .

Alone in the team's quasi-military facility on MOS, Mavriq awoke to the silence to which he, after months of solitary travel, was inevitably accustomed. With Vivaldi's Farnace activated on the resonance amplifier, he washed his lethargy down the shower drain. Revitalized, he went about the work of setting up and organizing his laboratory, a task he completed midway before two of his prodigal team members arrived. Engrossed as he was, the metal door's abrupt hiss and the subsequent thud of feet startled him, but he concealed, successfully in his mind, his autonomic fear response as he fiddled with some apparatus. Satisfied, he set it down and acknowledged in a voice accented with bored disappointment, "Welcome to your new home," and only then lifted his face to gaze upon the duo.

Unexpectedly, there were more than two beings, although only two members of his team, and as such he raised a brow at Sophia's parade of metal servitors. Prudently, he declined to comment, and instead inquired of Vin, "Any word on Cass' whereabouts, Vin? It was a long day, yesterday, but I seem to recall leaving you and her at some drinking establishment or other?"

Of course, just as he finished speaking, Cass swaggered in, which was quite a feat for a woman with mechanical legs. Then again, Mavriq surmised, maybe that is a consequence of her mechanical legs.

"Thought I wasn't gonna make it, boss?" Cass grumbled from the entrance, effectively ended that avenue of discussion, and introduced herself to the room with a metallic stomp. It takes more than a few drinks to keep me down, that is for damn sure, she thought. After a brief survey given to her new accommodations, Cass huffed and plonked down on the nearest available chair.

"Right. Err, I mean no. Not at all. Regardless, now that all of us are together assembled, we can get on with our mission brief," Mavriq began, squinted through his glasses at his dataslate, and continued, "which is to say, the additional mission details that were omitted from the more public advertisement that effectively lured those of us here for whom presence wasn't otherwise compulsory."

Mavriq paused, glanced around the room, and saw that Vin was investigating the pantry, Sophia was delineating her space and setting up her own equipment, and Cass, while attentive, seemed bored. "Feel free to settle in as I iterate over the major points," he said as an allowance to the inevitable, then went on: "To be succinct, our primary objective is to determine what transpired with the expeditions and individuals who ventured as deep as any into Derelict and, as far as we are aware, disappeared. Confirmation of these disappearances is, of course, a matter of secrecy. At the moment, Origin has seen fit to maintain a rumor that such are not related to the artifact, but instead are the result of defections and mundane accidents. At any rate, the first time this is known to have befallen an expedition, they managed to get a signal out indicative of the discovery of an avenue through the impenetrable zone. Subsequent expeditions to the same region have met a similar fate. If you recall, the impenetrable zone is an artifact-encapsulating interior surface layer roughly 1.5 kilometers beneath the artifact's outermost circumference and composed of a substance our efforts have thus far been unable to penetrate. We haven't even been able to so much as scratch it with diamond saws, explosives, or lasers."

He again surveyed the facility. Nobody seemed rather surprised or particularly attentive, which wasn't to say they were outright ignoring him. For a moment, as his eyes narrowed on Vin who now cradled a cup of what Mavriq presumed was coffee, he wondered if they could hear him opposite the plastic sheet, then recalled Cass' sassy riposte to his unwanted and pseudo-sincere concern.

"So when do we go down?" Cass asked, her arms crossed beneath her bosom.

"You, Cass, along with Mister Marlowe and myself will descend to Derelict and relieve Officer Feurtes as soon as Doctor Hagiotheodorites has completed her preliminary examinations and established neurological, physiological, and genetic baselines for each member of the team," he answered.

"Oh, one other item of note. The ONSD has detected an alien signal. It didn't come from the direction of the artifact; rather, it emerged from deep space somewhere, but it is worth mentioning. After all, if this we don't know what this machine is capable of."
On the shuttle en-route to Derelict, Feurtes sat across from the androids and observed their interactions. They faced another, one perhaps slouched; such was difficult to ascertain. Unequipped to interpret what passed for their body language, he decided instead to stick to fact-based communication. So he ignored the fluff and niceties salted into their verbiage and focused on the concrete aspects of their statements. First was their mention of BH5, the mechanism MRS used to transport their equipment to Derelict and locus for their semi-autonomous machinery to charge and synchronize. He wasn’t briefed on precisely what services it provided to non-MRS property, but presumed such involved defensive cover via its small fleet of Harpies. Perhaps its shortcomings in firepower were balanced by an excess of agility and responsiveness.

He glanced out the aft window and saw the small sphere, half-encircled by a large MRS logo, the harsh glare of Maasym reflected off its polished surface. In contrast, its launched fleet of mining drones were barely visible. Beyond the opposite window loomed the larger and more ominous backdrop of Derelict, an object that seemed to inexplicably absorb much of the local star’s light. Even after just over a year, humanity barely punched a dent into its vast uneven surface. This was to be his third insertion into the alien artifact. No insanity yet. So far, so good.

“Transmit proposed operations center blueprint to my dataslate,” Feurtes remarked in his best effort to rid his voice of personality. Who knew what psychoanalytical subroutines MRS programmed into these bots? He certainly didn’t and, as was almost always the case with corporate property, trust wasn’t to be taken for granted. MRS and, as a consequence, its machinery, almost certainly came with a separate secret agenda.

As the MRS androids initiated the operations center topic, he was not surprised that they complied with his request. He clicked approve on the authorization popup, watched the half-second load bar, and then swiped through the blueprints that appeared on his dataslate. After a few seconds, he concluded MRS’s notion of a base was overkill.

“We should strive toward nimbleness. The emplacement of a brig and medical center run contrary to that objective. Human threats internal and external will be incapacitated and confined at the command OSF vessel, nominally Thunderclap. All team members are trained in emergency triage sufficient to stabilize anyone who suffers harm, good enough to get the injured party on a shuttle and transported to the nearest available emergency care center. Housing is unnecessary, humans aren’t permitted to spend more than twenty-four hours on Derelict at a time before returning to the surface for debriefing and psychological screening. We will be making frequent use of the shuttle. Objections?”

From the corner of his eye, he saw the entire viewport filled by Derelict. Details manifested from the shadows, but the purpose of the shapes remained unknown. His dataslate flashed with an encrypted message from one of the apocalypse-class vessels.

> Intermittent subspace anomaly detected 27, 211, 54 degrees celestial meridian, unaligned with artifact. Inconsistent with known cosmic signatures. LOS void. OSF artifact scans non-reactive.

Just then, their shuttle disappeared down the cavernous exploitation shaft. Once a free shelf was isolated, the shuttle auto-docked. Feurtes almost crossed himself, an unconscious gesture that resulted in his fair share of ridicule his first time on Derelict. Instead, he settled for the shorter, less sacrosanct, version of the locally approved good luck litany, and, muffled by the oxygen mask he slipped over his face as the shuttle’s pressure seal opened, reverently intoned:

“Sleep, grand automaton.”

Before he emerged from the spacecraft, he felt the noise. Then, a second later, it vibrated through his mask and was audible. Even on his third insertion, the muffled cacophony revivified goosebumps on Feurtes’ swarthy flesh. His each and every hair, embattled against the suddenly course fabric of his fatigues, vied for his focus. While vexed, he knew better. He rationalized away his unease. Basically, it was like an old warehouse, or factory, or half-composed starship skeleton in the Kuipiter shipyards, and noisiness was its nature. The comparisons failed to inspire him, but did make the place feel slightly less alien. Neither loud nor near, Derelict’s sounds were ubiquitous, relentless, and insidious thrums, bangs, and hisses that syncopated into a constant drone; modulated dull thuds, metallic groans, and pitched whines that never quite transitioned to white noise. The low frequency din reverberated in his marrow. Every once in a while, an inconsonant crash threatened to void the contents of his bowels. Skeptics insisted that metallic expansion and contraction as the structure reacted to atmospheric pressure and temperature variances were adequately explanatory. He, on the other hand, felt reasonably sure it was the cause of insanity that was synonymous with Derelict.
Internally, Mavriq repeated and consigned to memory the proper pronunciation of Sophia’s surname: Hagiotheodorites. Outwardly, he unconsciously, but fortunately noiselessly, mouthed the multisyllabic monolithic tongue-twister of Byzantine provenance. As Feurtes and the trio of metallic intelligence departed on their mission, he drifted in the milieu of what remained of his team and feigned interest in their exchanges while he busily analyzed his dataslate for the latest information on Derelict. It wasn’t until they deliberated in front of a pub identified as Derelict’s Derelicts in harsh bright red script that he concluded the purpose of their journey.

Cass seemed of the opinion the place was a lavish and overpriced tourist attraction, a stance reversed as soon as Vin offered his credits for a team tab. As their senior officer, Mavriq believed it would be indecent if he joined with the rest of his team in what he assumed were part maudlin part celebratory frivolities. Thus, a polite excuse articulated, he expressed, “While I enjoy imbibing amongst affable company and atmosphere, my obligation to the ONSD takes priority,” and then retreated and proceeded on to the location and subsequent inspection of his and his team’s preassigned facilities.

Maasym Orbital Station proved for him an almost unnavigable labyrinth, but frequent use of his OSF dataslate, which included schematics of MOS, compensated for his directional inadequacies. Steadily the riffraff of the commercial sectors gave way to corporate and military order, the corridors narrowed, and the only colors were in the corporate logos impressed on the heavy hermetically-sealed vault-like doors. On these he saw the corporate emblems of MRS, Mercury, Terinhaul-Caskill, and other smaller franchises. Then came Origin—an allegedly democratically-elected and representative collection of pompous civilians bean-counters, regulators, and blow-hards—and, finally, Origin’s Stellar Fleet.

Security credentials accepted, the large door slid into the adjoining walls. A receptionist in a bullet-proof glass enclosure, also a lieutenant, sat opposite him on the other side of the opened entryway, her gaze stern, then leaned forward into a microphone and said, “Approach the biosig scanner and state your business.”

Mavriq approached the black X taped on the otherwise plain white tile floor and replied, “Lieutenant Mavriq d’Agenais with the Origin Navy Science Division here with a team on a scientific survey of the Maasym 4e artifact, uh, Derelict.”

He waited as a red laser light flashed him head to toe, after which the receptionist monotonously said, “Authorization granted. Welcome, Lieutenant.” There was a click and something slid from a narrow slit that formed beneath the bullet-proof glass barrier. Then she said, “Grab your identification tag. It tracks radiation, pathogen, and exposure to other harmful things. Wear it at all times. Take the elevator to your left down three levels, turn left, go down the hall six-hundred meters, turn right down another hall, ninth door on the right.”

The walk was sterile enough and he received not so much as a glance from the other military personnel he passed on his brief journey. If anything, his presence influenced their reticence. Finally, he flashed his badge at a door that corresponded to the termination point on the schematic on his dataslate, it slid open, and he stepped inside. He noted the 0-S3-9 designator marked on the door. This was the OSF’s lowest level on MOS. He was greeted by a whitewashed and antiseptic room deep as it was wide and separated by transparent plastic curtain with a built-in sterilization corridor, made obvious by the exposed pipes that ran along the ceiling and opened to spigots just above the pass. On his side of the see-through divide were living quarters with bunks and lockers built in the left-hand side, a kitchenette on the right-hand side, and a communal area in the center. Cameras in each corner were perhaps intentionally conspicuous. On the other side of the plastic barrier was a laboratory and storage area. Then, along the back wall, the pressure door that opened to the air lock that connected with the unit’s personal shuttle.

“No sanitation facilities,” he moaned.

“Welcome, Lieutenant. I am HELP. Warrant Officer Feurtes and the three MRS units took the team shuttle down to Derelict 3.8 minutes ago. The sanitation facility, as you call it, is located at 0-S2-4, adjacent to the medical triage unit. There you will find community toilets, showers, personal first aid, hygiene products dispensaries, non-prescription drugs dispensaries, weights, treadmills, a—”

“Thank you,” Mavriq interrupted. “Where are my personal quarters?”

“You have personal quarters aboard the OSF-Thunderclap. You also have a bunk in this team-oriented open-plan laboratory and residential unit.”

He rubbed his temples and sighed. At least the bunks had black-out curtains. Still, it was going to be a long trip.
@Nate1008 Yeah, I was working so I didn't see your post until now.

You'll have to talk to @apathy about the likelihood of NYUNDO and the Val'gasra teaming up against Xanathan. NYUNDO is his baby.

Anything else?
Marange, Nyundo

Somber silence settled on the hangar, just as dust settles on abandoned sarcophagi. Mixed light sources conspired to compound the chamber’s crypt-like brevity: the amber dance of small isolated flames, the monolithic quartz ceiling’s diffused aura, and the prismatic bands that streamed sharply from Najwa’s machete. Miraculously, this was not yet a chitunha and, as the Ibhumubi lilted body to body, Makemba wondered how it was so many survived the bedlam. As Najwa sprinted away and she knelt on the cold stone by Lydia’s supine and disfigured form, she checked her optimism.

“Omari, are there triage markers amongst your supplies?”

As she glanced at the doctor, she noticed how her question disrupted his fixated glare at the tunnel to the coliseum, as yet uncollapsed. He jerked his head briefly, murmured a despondent yes, and rushed into his supply hovel. Momentarily he emerged, dropped a pack of green tape beside her, and sighed, “Green for mind, yellow for body. Around the right wrist.”

With a nod, she pulled off a strip of green tape and extended it to Omari.

“No,” he insisted.

She acquiesced and peered down at her erstwhile victim. With a frown, she decided nothing could be done for the woman. Lydia’s memories—each brutal collision, each garish scene—already throbbed in her bosom and compounded with her own experiences. Still, it felt abstract; tolerable. She wrapped a strip of green tape around Lydia’s wrist and cupped her good cheek in her hand. It didn’t matter how gentle she was, Makemba realized as she eyed the shattered jaw’s ugly purple bruise, for she felt the damage was deserved and that brutal truth hollowed her act of tenderness.

Eyes shuttered briefly in a stolen moment of meditation, she steeled her mind and turned to her next charge, a boy propped against a hut with a blanket haphazardly thrown over him; not clutched for comfort, but clumsily cast to conceal. His abuse was plainly evidenced by his swollen, cracked and bloodied lips, the bruise that swept across his throat, and incessant sleep tremors accentuated by soft cries of hayi, hayi. She sat beside him, wrapped an arm around his shoulder, and placed her hand on his brow. Almost instantly, she sensed the child’s suffering ablate. Simultaneously, her eyes narrowed on Omari as he moved from patient to patient. Tears poisoned with fury stung her eyes as she felt him on top of her. Internally, she recoiled as his huge dark hands grasped and tore her clothes; the last of all her worldly possessions. Her favorite pants, her favorite blue and white Ørsted Energy t-shirt, her only pair of big boy underclothes. She struggled to breathe, but her throat was constricted by a frigid plastic hose. The ground was rough, the doctor was rough. Suddenly, she felt him on top of her. The absolute worst—the worst was the crazed mask of his face. Wide eyes, open mouth, close breath. Then it suddenly wasn’t when pain lanced into a place nobody was ever meant to touch her. It burned so much. She tried to cry for help, but her tenuous rasps for air were stifled when his tongue invaded her mouth and his nicotine-tinged saliva filled her throat. Urine soaked her loins and stung as acid upon her fresh wounds.

“Nceda moya omkhulu, hayi le,” she choked out as a hushed sob, for she now knew the truth of what transpired.

Unsteady, she pushed herself to her feet and pushed the unabashed tide of tears from her cheeks with the back of her fist. The cruel experience was too familiar to her own childhood and defiled innocence amongst Boko Haram, a memory deliberately buried. However, she could not stop: hundreds of others remained to be assuaged, thus she needed to be strong; not merely for NYUNDO, not merely for the people here, but for herself.

A deep moan interrupted her ruminations. Omari rocked back and forth on the floor, face in his hands, and sobbed, “Kakhulu, kakhulu. Ndifanelwe kukufa.”

Anger welled within her, but experience tempered her tongue’s edge. Without a word, she exhaled, stepped behind him, and placed her hands on his shoulders. While he rocked, she massaged away the tension and relieved him of his anamnesis; except it wasn’t another life, another person, or malevolent spirit who committed these atrocities. Omari raped J’sie. Makemba pummeled Lydia. Although their bodies acted on another’s volition, as marionettes in a sociopath’s puppet show, their hearts betrayed how it all made them feel. Even as he despised himself and longed for death, Omari exulted in and climaxed to the warmth of the boy’s soft, moist lips; the piquant nectar of his spit; and the provocative resistance of his tongue as it feebly wrestled back his own. He lavished in the tactile sensation of skin on skin, something put aside for too long in the pursuit of medicine. Almost forgotten, now awakened, his brain surged with dopamine at the touch of another’s body. The power he felt! The mightiness of his adult form atop a timid stripling! Then the ultimate release when he pushed through the boy’s defenses, his member engulfed tautly and fully by...

Makemba abruptly stepped back and impulsively shuddered. Bile rose in her throat, but she choked it down. It was enough—it had to be enough.

“What is the last thing you remember, Omari?”

“I—I am missing time. Resetting a dislocated wrist, maybe. What happened here?!”

“Time for that later. Focus on healing people now. They need help, Omari. Yellow triage markers for those you’ve healed.”

She needed to get away from him. She couldn’t so much as look at him anymore. Overwhelmed, she turned around and set herself to the task of extracting the wounds of the past from a victim. And so it went, victim and victimizer. In the end, she knew they were one and the same. Still, the sadistic delight, however well hidden, taken by these people—her people. It filled her heart with agony. Each mind she cured with her empathic siphon brought more pain into her bosom; numbness, meanwhile, remained an elusive hope. The mothers who murdered their babies; how much was she to taken from them? What lie could conceivably be spun to mend that open wound? Was she to entirely wipe their minds of their children’s existence? It hardly mattered as the implantation of false memories was beyond her capacity. Instead, she surgically ripped months of time away and prayed they never learned the truth.

Exhausted, she paused to catch her breath. Already, one roll of tape was spent. Three more remained in her pocket. She panned across the hangar wherein, finally, the destructive fires were quelled and peace again reigned. Omari’s efforts already surpassed her own. Nkosiyabo busily levitated bodies and cots toward a central staging area directly beneath Najwa’s machete, by then only somewhat faded. Amidst the stain of blood, chemiluminescent mold sprawled across the floor in a massive mandala that grasped all present. So focused were the people on their sexual violence toward another, a remarkable amount of infrastructure remained unscathed. Jeeps and convoys with their canvas enclosures sat in perfect rows. The dozen or so wood shanties, hastily-erected in preparation for Phalaborwa’s refugees, stood unspoiled. No, it wasn’t the sight that bothered her. It was the smell that clung to the motionless stale air. Fuel oil, dust, mildew, blood, urine, feces, sweat, fear, anger—death.

It smelled like death.

Resolved to continue, she moved on to the next dreamless sleeper. A corpse marked by Omari with red tape. She continued on. Time for prayers, mourning, and closure would come later. Explanations would come later. The lies, oh the numerous incredulous yet absolutely necessary lies.

Tears openly flowed over her crusted lashes and down her cheeks and throat by the time she reached Kamuanya, the shapeshifter girl; perhaps an hour later. Above, the light of Najwa’s weapon was nearly depleted, yet there were so many left to heal before she could beg Nkosiyabo to grant her relief in the form of slumber. Perhaps it would be compulsory, should fade the light that shielded them all from their worst impulses. Long ago, trepidation usurped the tenderness of her touch; now raw exhaustion gripped her. As skin touched skin, Makemba felt the girl’s terror pulse through her until it matched the beat of her heart. The sideshow mockery of the girl’s youth was tragic, but tragedies were bountiful in Marange that day. In contrast to the plights of others, this one’s recent pain was mild; a confusion ripe with terror, physical pain as her body contorted unnaturally into shapes beyond her ken, and regret at last at the damage her rampage caused. It was over for this young one, yet, as Makemba confusedly took in the hand that rested on Kamuanya’s brow, with its gnarled ancient flesh, melanomas and splotches, and arthritic bones deformed in a claw-like posture, a defeated horror flooded her bosom.

That is my hand, she thought and, stricken, collapsed.
I added them yesterday. Its on the CS now.

That flesh golem would definitely make someone shit their pants.
—— Ximbic-8: Ximbic Central City: The Bulge

Spencer dashed through the streets of Blilhamr, a furious Hilth tight on his tail. He didn’t dare poach a backscance glance nor ruminate downriddle upon the translucent boulevard of compressed luciferase-laced gas that intersected in motley multiplicity betwixt the selenium-stained starscrapers alight with tumescent argon-infused glass advertisements that ascended axiom to apogee. Each naked footfall on those algid octagonal street tiles pierced like daggers into his heels. The contact raced up his shins and terminally tingled at the base of his spine. Still, he welcomed the pain—it blended sublimely with the moment’s exultant adrenaline rush and the prior day-split’s psychostimulants. Moreover, it was better than being mauled by the Hilth’s mechanical rotary injection nettles!

<< STOP, CITIZEN. >> pantomimed the Hilth behind him.

<< YOUR BLOOD IS UNCLEAN. >> its irritating mechanical rasp resounded.


Mere moments later, Spencer sprinted onto a multi-tiered intersection where he careened heels-over-head and plunged face-first through the street’s chilly substance and tumbled to a lower level, although he remained hundreds of meters above rock-bottom. Once he disemboggled, he crowed at the pursuant monstrosity, “So was that continental breakfast! The wait staff force-fed me more than what could be construed by my species as a safe volume of tiphle fruit and xab cakes!”

He examined the beast through the immediately superior transportation beam’s pale and dust-choked filaments, then twitched. Up there lurked something familiar. At first it was merely an adumbrate yeuk in his anterior spline, that courageous combinatorial commodity of spleen and spine common to Careo Fas’ brave denizens. Then it clarified to a contemptuous cacoëthes, for high above Ximbic-8’s visceral and opalescent commercial sheen drifted a notorious pale blue dot.

Almost, Spencer faltered; however, with the finesse of a lifetime impresario and born busker, he clung to his balance and dismissed the contribution of the rectally-mounted prehensile prosthetic tail that, in some prior misadventure, invaded his person yet now propitiously extended as a adequate cantilever, offset his imbalance, then gently vibrated in a gesture of dutiful service.

Maybe that explicates the itch, Spencer purred even as he sensed it emanated from the sting of his conscience rather than the pulse in his posterior. Still, he half-thought: What do I have to feel guilty about? Last I remember was …Tamarin?

Caught in thought, he practically penetrated a slowly slothering Ixbic on the turquoise thoroughfare as a calamitous consequence of his ruminating run; jarred, he lurched, tripped, somersaulted, and side-scantered through an obsequian bead-veiled archway. Surely in such shadows, he cogitated, the Hilth would cease its hunt. Then, auspiciously, from deeper within the adumbrate vault emerged the babel of alien poesy:

Strip glamor, clench nether
Apostate-indentured grub
Seeps like fiery gravel
A wicked epicurean admonition
From the gape of my bunghole.

Until we eat again!

Spencer narrowed his eyes and crept forward. Boldy, he stammered, “What?”

“I see from your ass tatt that you are a man of exquisite refinement and tastes,” rejoined Belacrazu, his mottled giraffean neck downbent and face thrust through the obfuscant smog that seeped perpetually from his Tepathian stamen-infused bong. An obscenely large mouth yawned loominously beneath four sets of neon orange curled horns and the eyes shifted to better-focus on the incandescent gold outline that emanated from Spencer’s right buttcheek that depicted a human female’s cocaine-dusted upturned haunches impossibly assaulted by the double-sevens of a pair of six-sided diamond dice.
Dominic Ruiz-Malavé

Xenomisia-tainted patriotism smouldered in bosoms world-wide in the aftermath of the Iberian Incident, an event typified by Allure City's unprecedented manifestation and apparent permanency of presence, and that dark humor was poignantly exhibited in the subsequent surge of young men and women recruited into Earth-F67X's armed services. Born twenty-two years prior, Dom, a young man, although phenotypically female, was one such individual and his hatred of aliens ran deep. Recent events, for him, merely galvanized a long-present undercurrent of rage toward extraterrestrial intelligence after their first incursion, known as the First Contact War, left his father and hero on disability with permanent paralyzing nerve damage along the left side of his body. Pride in his father's sacrifice made Dom's military career all but inevitable. The deaths of millions of Spaniards merely accelerated the timetable. Within weeks of graduating air force boot camp and being assigned to Lakehurst Air Force Base as an O1 drone operator, he was recruited into the anti-alien hate group Honorable Knights of Terra (HKT) and helped brainstorm their slogan "MEGA -- Make Earth Great Again."

Appearance: While relatively small of stature and structurally androgynous, Dom does his best to project masculinity, sometimes to the extent that it is obnoxious. With irises as dark as his black hair and humor, his gaze is steady, haircut trimmed close to the scalp, and jokes obscene. Three hours in the gym each day along with hormone therapy make up for the remaining shortcomings of his unfortunately female body; thus, his secret pride and joy are his abs, biceps, ever-deepening voice, and the fine dusting of black hair on his upper lip -- all at the relatively minor cost of some acne scarring on his cheeks that he is convinced make him look even more rugged.

Height: 160 cm
Weight: 66 kg
Age: 23 years
Ethnicity: Latinx
Profession: Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Operator, Second Lieutenant (O1), Lakehurst AFB
Sex: Famale-to-Male Transitioning

x0.308 Belkrait: a standard military officer-issued service revolver with a 5-score drip magazine of molten lead ammunition. Biometrically engaged, it may be fired line-of-sight or on a phase-shifting oscillation pattern. The latter is designed to bypass both magical and physical barriers and teleports the full force of the projectile directly inside the target lock location, although activation depth can be calibrated to circumvent thicker buffers. Lock is achieved via laser analysis and the quantum entanglement of the projectile's energy envelope with an atomic cluster in the target structure. If a melee situation arises, the Belkrait can deploy electro-static pulse barbs at the bottom of the grip and, alongside the barrel, twin vibro-blade bayonets. GPS coordinates trackable by military police.

Out of the Ordinary

> 1 Clout :: HTK member and military officer
> 0 Intellect
> 0 Magic
> 1 Physical :: active military in good physical condition
> 1 Technological :: extensive drone and arms training
C | I | M | P | T
Spencer Tras


Just your average busker-cum-mercenary from the streets and slums of Careo Fas, smelliest planet in the outer ring. He conceals his armaments under a gilt-trim crimson Technocrat officer jacket. Beneath that, he wears nanofiber mail combat fatigues that are remarkably scratch, slice, stab, projectile, and stain resistant; sometimes they even serve as camouflage. Around his waist is a utility belt, ornamented by both plasma and concussion grenades, trip wire, throwing knives, and duct tape. Slung across his back is his homemade plasma rifle, equipped with iridium capsules and an adjustable nozzle. Quite a few other things also weigh him down, mostly looted off the bodies of his victims. Well, let’s be honest, they were mostly victims of bad luck.

  • The Ghetto—a plasma rifle that has been rigged, jigged, and repaired so many times that it looks like it is more lethal to the person using it than their target.
  • Chapel—.442 caliber automatic gauss electromagnetic rail pistol with a phase-shift magazine that transmutes atmosphere into ammunition.
  • PI-PSA45-K—.45 caliber handgun with a high-frequency bayonet, flash light, and laser sight containing 12 explosive cobalt-tipped rounds in its clip.
  • Megumi Sakura—wakizashi, reflective as a mirror and tomb of an ice elemental, she has routed armies with her icy floes.
  • Keefe—war sword, crafted by the Xindi, carved with runes, and drenched in an ominous shroud of dread and decay; have no doubt, Keefe will carve spirit as readily as flesh.
  • Rhiannon—seax (long, thick knife) exuding a black mist that can solidify into a shield of sorcery at the bearer’s whim.
  • High-frequency Blade—katana vibrating in the ultrasonic, a factor that overcomes even the toughest of physical obstacles.

Under his ratty blond hair and over his dopey green eyes are designer shades that doubtlessly cause every girl within eyeshot become as moist as the ambiance ascending from his pits.

Whoops. That last bit is just nerves.


Having gathered just enough money for a ticket out of heck, after his loathsome beginnings at Careo Fas, Spencer went to the spaceport. He had no real plans, but they went up in smoke when a terrorist group bombed the facility before he even opened the door to step in. Unscathed, he did his best to take care of the wounded, but was driven off by their uncharitable nature. On his way back to his flat in the less affluent region of Careo Fas, he heard a shooting at a bar, and curiosity drove him in. There, a gunman thrust a weapon in his hands and told him to kill anyone who came by. He stood there in shock, and eventually someone did venture close enough to witness what had transpired there. Afraid, he shot the woman in the shoulder and ran.

Fortunately, that is the night war erupted. In the confusion, he managed to make his way as a stowaway aboard a freighter, which left him on the planet Terra in an interesting city called Southern Sea. From there, he was recruited by a man named Tersan Rogut, given clothes and armaments, and trained as an assassin with an affinity for energy rifles.

There are many exploits Spencer engaged in under Tersan's direction, especially those involving a lycanthrope named Will who had numerous run-ins with the Red Technocracy. The two would pose as pimp and product, and try to lure high-ranking members of the Technocracy into a disreputable situation. This resulted in quite a few questionable videos and pictures of Will being strewn across the Red Technocracy pornnet.

After a series of strange, psychotic dreams, Tersan made sure Spencer started taking some anti-psychotropic medication. Injected in the buttocks. Spencer wasn't a huge fan of being held down by Tersan and stabbed with a horse needle, but the medication did get the job done.

In the aftermath of these dreams, Spencer took up residence in Wing City and became a drunk, gambler, and a man of high-reputation and ill-repute. His many exploits there include urinating on a machine named Cuddles and escaping due to a Goldbergian series of events that sent him into the sewer below the Gambit's Bar, from which he was later rescued by Rin and Motoko, machines constructed by Ryand-Smith. After being informed of his assault on the robot, he created a nice apology card out of construction paper and colored sparkle-glue and forwarded it on to Cuddles. He never did receive a response.

From Wing City, Spencer ended up on Valhalla. At least, he thinks that was it. As a drunk stripper, it was too much to remember. Then a man named Loinel reconnected with him and offered him a job as an informant working for The Abdictory. Not hard; right? Not really. A frequent planet hopper, he got in a fight in Allure City on Fortis and, the next day, woke up in Allure City on Earth. Under siege. Well, he high-tailed it to his friend’s apartment, went into the back room, and hit the city-wide EMP, passed out, woke up, ran outside, and got teleported to safety just moments before an antimatter nuke hit the city.

Out of the Ordinary
> 0 Clout
> 0 Intellect
> 4 Magic :: unusually good luck ensures success in his endeavors
> 1 Physical :: street busker born and raised, always on the run
> 2 Technological :: can figure out any weapon on-the-fly
C | I | M | P | T

Beyond the Veil of Flesh
> Ximbic-8 inspected Spencer Tras’ soul and marked his right ass cheek with a radiant glyph: six-sided diamond dice rolling through a line of cocaine on a skank’s taint and scoring double sevens.
Soul Sigil
Gaslands: a Palimpsest’s Tale

A Continuation of F67X

( Join our Discord or visit: Unsolicited Invasion | Glasslands | Cat, Got Your Tongue | Every Mutt has its Dog Day )


This roleplay is oriented around an alien ribbon world known as Ximbic-8 that has auspiciously manifested around the planet Earth in the F67X universe. Ximbic-8 has various portals within it through which any character within the Verse may enter, although it does screen those who try to enter in order to protect itself from harm. While below is a list of Places, Species, and Factions, you may submit your own; however, all should involve entities that will be interacting with Ximbic-8.

That Damn Day

Day to stride
Watch the all
Forestall the blink
The present died
Wistful weep

Earth-F67X, March 2nd, 2040, +12:00 GMT:

The 32nd anniversary of the First Contact War, the name given to the Val’Gara invasion that wrought havoc on Earth from California to Chad, the latter and former country on which Earth’s ally, the Red Technocracy, detonated the last of their antimatter bombs.

The 7th anniversary of the Cataclysm, whereon the United Earths Confederacy, a unification of myriad Earths originated in universes that abutted the multiversal fault, perished in the fault’s abrupt rupture.

The 1st anniversary of NOW Dayy, which, in Apollo Amon’s immortal and paraphrased words, was ‘Not Our Worst Day … yet’, although it encompassed the Demonic Intrusion, Iberian Incident, Val’Gara Scare, Mutagenic Beam, Discorporate Explosion, and manifestation of Ximbic-8.

It was a date of dichotomies that humanity simultaneously dreaded even as it offered prayers of gratitude for how, against all odds, Earth and all that dwelt upon it miraculously endured; a mandatory global holiday where families pulled together and suicide hotlines incessantly rang; and the twenty-four hour period wherein the Mainline Defensive Array, along with all the rest of Earth’s surveillance apparatus, were most active. For Allure City, the alien metropolis that supplanted Spain, March 2nd meant a mandatory curfew and city-wide blackout; as such, everyone remained home lest they be shot on sight and all network activity was monitored, dampened, and subject to strict fines. In geostationary orbit high above the city’s center was Allure Central Station, the delicate atmospheric bubble of which glinted red as twenty million mines equipped with a dead man switch flashed a simulated countdown and the station’s many residents partook of their first evacuation drill via the gravimetric beam-rail elevator that connected the station to the military compound below.

On Ximbic-8, the ribbon world that, from a distance of 0.003 au, encompassed Earth in the undulation of its 0.6 au expanse and bathed the planet in the soft lavender light that poured through its translucent membrane, the date came and went almost unnoticed. Almost, aside from the jejune drone activity that increased through the otherwise blockaded Earth-bound portals. Ximbic-8, itself a conscious entity, was ancient and unperturbed by the callow paranoias of the cultures it knitted together. As the 8th Ximbic, one among the primordial universes created at the dawn of the Verse, it knew well its history:

In the beginning,

Before all else existed there was the Substrate Sublime, an infinite, yet unreal, Rössler attractor imbued with pure potential. From that cauldron of quantum chaos sprung the Verse, the story of the real within which all multiversal branches and their universal terminals lived and died. Of the oldest amongst these was Axis, an unbounded quasi-dissociated apeirotope universe superimposed and bisected along all other universal planes. Thence, supine on an empyral altar aloft in the nether of Axis’ cinereal midst, Autun lay in chimeric rapture and Ender, by Autun’s fancy conceived, subsumed itself throughout the Verse. Thus most universes were through Autun blessed with creative distinction and by Ender balanced; yet also there strove the personalities inherent in most universes, their internal Keichii. In the Ximbics these were absent qualities, for they, being self-aware and self-composed, required no external spark of imagination, nor interloper of subjective symmetry, nor anarchic dynamism.

In spite of Ximbic-8’s ancient history and manifold lore, the day was young and pregnant with potential such that the events that unfolded were such worthy of remembrance.



Open, yet simultaneously self-circumscribed, Ximbic-8 embraced the universes it inhabited and expressed toward whatever resided within it an inaudible neutrality toward life. In its hollow n-orthotopic membrane, permeated by a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, thrived a multifarious continuum of existence adapted to its nigh-absent gravity: lakes coagulated bead-like in its midst; rivers weaved through the sedimentary products of its digestion that clinged not to its walls but, rather, hanged in its center as though suspended by an unseen force; soft as pale amethyst, semi-translucent vegetation draped the land and hovered gaily in the pseudo-sky akin to dandelion spores adrift in an eternal breeze. Fauna likewise floated, fashioned not of opaque flesh, but pellucid gels and gases, light and airy in body with forms reminiscent of pyrosomes, cubozoas, and cumulonimbi; however, while delicate in form, almost all of Ximbic-8’s natives were strong in mind and deftly wielded short-range telekinesis: from that fine instrument cities were constructed and scientific knowledge gleaned.

As it multiplied its population, Ximbic-8 similarly expanded, each additional cubic kilometer centered on a cosmic portal. Amongst billions of light-shifted and intent-filtered way-gates, a mere ten-thousand sufficiently and recently accommodated instantaneous spacetime transit between Ximbic-8 and Earth, Q’ab, Careo Fas, Fortis, Terra, Ganaxavori, and Verisimilitude. Passage through one of these portals allowed Ximbic-8 to gaze on the soul of sojourner, then it rejected or accepted them, and if the latter it tattooed on their right hind-quarter a symbolic and radiant glyph of their passion that was visible to all. These portals were the only means into Ximbic-8 due to a phenomenon, called the Sea of Broken Night, related to its immersion in the universes in which it was encompassed: spacetime beyond it was intricately and irrevocably warped and, at times, even broken; attempts to pass through this area were not unlike wandering lost in an infinite labyrinth where all paths inevitably terminated in futility.
« Ximbic Central City »

North Capital City

In an effort to consolidate power in Capital City and its epicenter, Discorporate Tower, Apollo Amon instructed the government to seize, via eminent domain, much of lower Manhattan Island—everything south of Canal Street down through Battery Park—on the pretext of historical preservation. Dozens of skyscrapers, like 55 Water Street and 666 5th Avenue, were demolished on account of their lack of upkeep and general unsightliness. Military housing replaced the high rises in the form of two-hundred-year-old brownstones imported from Stuyvesant Heights, Brooklyn. Meanwhile, below, in the mammoth network of suddenly defunct subbasements, high-tech military equipment was installed and eventually became the Mainline Defensive Array. Some, however, were unfit for that purpose, and these, most of which bordered China Town, readily morphed into a subterranean sprawl replete with hobos, gypsies, and various other classifications of ne’er-do-well.

» HTK HQ: It was in a division of a sublevel of one such forsaken foundation, inconspicuously accessible via the dilapidated and partially-flooded pre-modern subway system known as New Venice, that the headquarters of the Honorable Knights of Terra (HKT) were found. There, a hodgepodge of domestically-abandoned veterans, displaced rustics, and malcontent officers and enlisted conspired to thwart the infiltration of alien lifeforms into Earth’s biosphere. A coat of arms dominated the oil-rubbed bronze double-door entrance to their headquarters, arranged as two armor-plated medieval knights in an aggressive posture on either side of planet Earth while beneath them ran a scarlet banner that proclaimed: “Make Earth Great Again.”
« North Capital City »



Whether from the Gnaritas System, Careo Fas, Earth, or elsewhere, the human phenotype is as diffused throughout the Verse as it is distinctive with its evolutionary divergent traits almost exclusively limited to hues of skin, hair, and iris; pointiness of ears, eyes, and nose; sharpness of smell and sight; and thickness of body and pelt. Some might have patterned or textured skin, specialized eyes, or even more or less than five digits on their hands and feet. Often the genetic drift is so extensive they begin to identify as different races, such as dwarf, elf, or giant.


Natives of Ximbic-8, the Ixbic coloration is a pale and translucent violet both inside and out, thus the outlines of their various organs and the fluid and excrement therein contained are visible. Of a gel-like consistency, they are flexible and amorphous, eyes and other sensory organs chaotically distributed, and vary a great deal in size. Without formal limbs or vocal chords and imbued with minimal dexterity, they rely primarily on short-range telekinesis to overcome obstacles to interaction.


Natives of Ximbic-8 and similar to the Ixbic, for the Bangeeifa few exceptions stand out: instead of gel-like, their substance is gaseous: thus they lack organs identifiable as such and interaction occurs exclusively by means of short-range telekinesis and telepathy; they tend to grow rather large, reminiscent of pyrosomes or cumulonimbus clouds, and are oft mistaken for inanimate natural phenomenon.


A lanky and dexterous simian species with blue-green fur, prehensile tail, slits in lieu of nose or nostrils, and a keratin skeletal system combined with skin that sweats a pungent oil secreted from its pores to allow rapid mend from any misadventure an Azot might encounter in its native jungle habitat on the planet Azot in the Su-laria galaxy; adults weigh up to 35 kg.


Lizard people and refugees of the Val’Gara harvest of the planet Q’ab in the Su-laria Galaxy, their average height is 1.5 meters, their skin a smooth mottled green coated in a reflective and viscous layer of moisture that preserves their internal body temperature, and their tongues are forked.


The penta-limbed submoronic rift and cave dwellers of Ganaxavori, their hides are course and their large bulky bodies blend in quite readily with rocky landscapes. While not known for their intellect, they do exhibit signs of tribalism, shamanism, and it is not unheard of to encounter Ganaxan art. Tireless, naturally armored, and not distraction prone, they make excellent guards and laborers.


Also from the Su-laria galaxy, although they have spread throughout most of it and call more than one planet home, the Alakast are an arachnoid spider-people 1 meter in height with an octogonal leg-span of 3 meters, multiple compound eyes, and a penchant for laying eggs in their art.


Machines imbued with hyper-advanced artificial intelligence and lifelike exteriors, these are the most variegated of all the lifeforms in the Verse, although their programming limits their capabilities and most are built to be companion models, so the majority of synth one encounters will be cute, cuddly, and friendly to a fault; however, looks can deceive, as some are built for the purpose of assassination.
« Human »

« Ixbic »

« Bangeeif »

« Azot »

« Ganaxan »


Discorporate Productions

By far the largest for-profit organization on the planet, with a net worth measured in the trillions, this corporation is almost indistinguishable from Earth’s “One World” government, a veil that is thinner each day President Apollo Amon is in charge of both.

Comte Foundation

Dozens of large corporations thrive under the umbrella of the Comte Foundation, prominent amongst them BMW, Stryker, Virgin, Aldi, and The Abditory, the latter of which—personally directed by Czes Schafer’s lawyer, Lionel Duperie—serves as a cover for surveillance, subterfuge, and humanitarian operations worldwide while officially it functions as a purveyor of wetware solutions to Earth’s defense forces. The Comte Foundation’s headquarters are located in Frankfurt, Eurozone, and occupy the top half of the Messeturm. It remains Earth’s second largest MegaCorp even as it reels from the extensive infrastructure damage that surged across western Europe in the aftermath of the Iberian Incident.

The Honorable Knights of Terra

An unclassified anti-alien hate organization based in North Capital City, the Honorable Knights of Terra try to influence politics to keep Earth free of alien interlopers and, albeit less openly, engage in more direct means of combating what they view as an alien infestation of their planet.

The Cizran Empire

Although in a galaxy, perhaps even a universe, far away, many former denizens of the Cizran Empire have found refuge in Ximbic-8, but almost all feel unease and the weight of their former home’s spiritual shadow.


Player Interactions

» Be respectful to one another as this is intended to be a cooperative effort rather than a fight.
» Expect mature in-character content.
» While there is no minimum post length, strive to render a complete scene that is descriptive, engaging, and advances the story.
» This isn't turn-based, so post whenever you want (within reason ~_^).
» Do not edit new content into a previous post: people won't notice it. Just write another post.
» Proof read with a focus on quality over quantity.
» Embedded graphics, if present, should complement the written word rather than overwhelm the screen.
» Standard RPGuild rules apply.


In the aftermath of the First Contact War and with help from The Red Technocracy, Earth’s government underwent leaps and bounds in the advancement of technology, with teleportation, space travel, energy barriers, and antimatter missiles all augmenting their arsenal. While these high-end utilities are not available to the public, society still benefited in the forms of pollution-free energy, limited space tourism, and an almost unlimited assortment of body augmentations—all compliments of the mega corporations and cartels that effectively run modern Earth’s society.


On Earth, real magic, historically, is incredibly rare and almost always stems from mortals forming contracts with spiritual beings, such as demons, in order to obtain power; seldom is this to their ultimate benefit. However, recent interaction with alien species have reinvigorated research into this area and, as a consequence, the line between magic and technology considerably blurs with respect to psionics research and the application of bioforce. Also, in the fallout of the Mutagentic Beam or a consequence of interaction with radiation or beings infected with the Vesuvian Virus, several creatures on Earth, humans included, have mutated; sometimes this is beneficial and translates to, for lack of a better word, superpowers, such as limited earth bending or energy absorption.



» The character sheet is intended as a guide and is not a mandatory format.
» Characters must have a corresponding aesthetic to or, if not, explanation for being on Ximbic-8.
» You aren't required to select from either the Species or Factions list.
» You are welcome to create your own species, faction, or even universe from which your character hails.
» While characters may have powers, they cannot be game breaking, limitless, nor elevate the character beyond the setting.

C | I | M | P | T

Characters in this setting should not be omnipotent, omniscient, nor omnipresent, so we enforce a scale where the more of one type of power a character possesses the less they have of another. Thus, along five manifestations of power (clout, intellect, magic, physical, and technological) scaled from 0, indicative of an average person, to 5, indicative of a superhuman, we allow the allocation of 7 points. As an example, someone with a great deal of money (i.e.: clout) might buy an advanced machine, but they won't necessarily know how to use it: such is true of Apollo Amon, Earth-F67X’s president; he is reasonably smart but also the richest and most well-connected individual on the planet, thus he would rate a clout of 5 and an intellect of 2.


> real name, nicknames, or call-signs.

Physical Description
> gender, age, height, weight, coloration, tattoos, markings, clothes, items typically in their possession; essentially anything another person would notice when they see your character.

Soul Sigil
> only necessary if your character enters Ximbic-8, this is a light-emitting visible-through-clothing tattoo on the right hind-quarters of your character that is symbolic of whatever their identity is wrapped up in.

Out of the Ordinary
> # C | # I | # M | # P | # T
> skills, powers, abilities, pull, wealth, education, augmentations, and anything else the character can do or possesses that sets them apart from the average human.

> if not one of the above predefined species, describe the appearance of the species and give a background on where it originates from.

> trade skills, political alliances, and overall reason for being on Ximbic-8.

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