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Group two is go.
For a phenomenon that scientists routinely describe as falling through a crack between universes, the process of surprisingly gentle, one moment you are:

Courting a beautiful woman…

Beating a man within an inch of his life…

Disposing the garbage…

Cradled in the hands of a new god…

Relaxing in your swamp…

And the next you’re gone, the world goes black, and you’re dreaming.


You awaken to the sound of a hundred different mouths chewing their food at the same time…

The ground is hard and sticky, rocks jut out uncomfortably into the body you recklessly laid over it. The air is moist, wherever you are this must be the worst season, and you are surrounded by trees. You’re in the forest, you’re in the forest and you’re sprawled out on moist soil, listening to a hundred somethings enjoy the last ravenous meal of their lives. Clarity seems to take forever—but not really. Soon you realize that that steadily moving mound on the edge of your vision isn’t actually blurry it’s just a dozen different massive fuzzy lumps having their way with the body of someone just like you who wasn’t lucky enough to wake in time…

They are the Perfect Food.

They resemble pill bugs with their round armored shells and dull brown bodies but with white fur. They flow across the ground on a thousand tiny unseen legs with just as many mouths beneath them to devour whatever they crawl over. They resemble pill bugs except for the fact that they are the size of a great dane. Their fat bodies must weight in excess of two-hundred pounds and if you were to strike one you would find that unlike most insects, they do not squish, they are thick and meaty. When they bleed it is a juicy tantalizing red. You don’t know this—you’ll never know this unless you ask the right people the wrong questions, but once upon a time, Reverence Institutional thought these things were the solution to world hunger until it became clear that their idea of perfect food also made for an eerily durable predator.

There is no one else around you, the forest is quiet in their presence, and as you stir the first of those things turns towards you in quiet eyeless realization. Detecting you in some unknowable way. Maybe it was the vibrations in the ground or maybe it was the stilling of your breath, then it folds its body up, exposes its horrible gore smattered underbelly to you and hisses with too many mouths. If you haven’t moved by now it decides to lunge on the closest body it can find, flinging into the air, somewhere deep down inside of its primal mind it has decided the green-haired human is probably the closest thing to an actual predator among its list of potential victims. Mentally. They have all decided to gloss over the oversized reptile. Crocodiles in Empyrea have long since learned to give them a wide berth and vice versa, why should things be any different this time around?

@Liaison @54v @Drifting Pollen @Spider Pickle @Alucroas
“I thought it was funny,” The girl says, offering Hafadac an apologetic smile.

Just like that, the Rats were forgotten, their grand scheme to swarm the travelers handwaved away. Bitter resentment and quiet relief hung in the air in equal measure. Each of the three eyeballing the gift they had been given with their own unique form of distrust before the silent man in the middle finally took the leap of faith, uncorking the bottle and tossing his head back, downing it all in one go so that the poison might take him quick if that is indeed what it turned out to be. Smacked his lips. Then commented in his clipped accent, “It is good.”

“I’m Peggy,” the mousy blonde girl introduced herself. “This is Batu, and that’s Conrad.”

Only one bastion of distrust remained among them, staring through a veil of matted hair, glaring at his friends as they fell to the strangers and their unerring hospitality. As they became comfortable. The City whispered into his ear then, ‘remember what happened last time’, and his grip tightened around the rusty pocketknife he’d been angling towards since the start of this little interaction. Conrad, his full name was Conrad Alderson but he’d not had need to use his full name for months, could not deny that they meant no harm but in a city like Neo Babylon even amiable ignorance could spell disaster and if they followed these fools surely they would die a horrible death.

The big one was never going to let them go, his focus too intense, his empathy too unyielding.

Before he knew it was the knife was drawn, adrenaline drove him to ignore the pain in his ankle, standing on it even as pain shot up his calf like hot magma injected directly into his veins and drove him towards Gregor’s back for one last heroic thrust. He would surely be crushed in the response. But in his death he would at least provide the other two the opportunity to run, yes, so resigned was he to his fate that he did not notice the iron hand closing in around his wrist and squeezing until the bone snapped.

Until the knife dropped.

“No, that is enough.” The culprit, his very own friend, shaking a head at him in silence. “Rest now.”


Inside the warehouse was wide and cramped, the roof high overhead, the windows cracked and dim. Row after row of crates greeted the travelers but none of the terrifying guards they’d been warned of. On the floor cigarette butts and empty beer cans could be found, and things worse than both too, but in general it seemed like at least some energy had gone into keeping the whole thing legitimate. Without cracking open the crates there was no way of knowing what hid inside them. Hafadac would surely recognize the discarded corpse of worn-out spray bottle but there was no graffiti to be found…

At least until one looked overhead and saw the great swollen belly of an eight-legged jade spider, spread out ominously across the roof with its legs draping down across the walls as if to engulf it all. And in the nearest corner, to the right of 017 upon entering, a cage that looked to be filled with gravel. Gravel that rose and fell in a too timely manner, and sometimes breathed dust into the air.

“This place isn’t safe…” Peggy panted as she caught up to the group, one hand reaching for the bird. “I know you think it is, but all of this belongs to someone and trust me when I say, they won’t be happy to find out you broke in here. Please just listen to reason.”


It didn’t take long for the members of CNTRL ALT ELITE to rally together after getting their bearings. Haia had trained them well, even without her they were a deadly unit, and they knew that she would chastise them for not having any spine if they were to back down from this dungeon just because they were down one member. They divided into teams of five and with a mighty cheer there were off.

Who knows, maybe haia was waiting for them down there, in the city on the dark side of the moon.

@Shinny @Circ @THE ADORATION @odium
I’d Offer You Some Reading Recommendations

Beramode did not need to understand Kru’s unusual biology to feel the smug aura oozing off of him. Gods were like exaggerated reflections of the people who worshipped them in his experience and those who liked to think of themselves as beyond that simple principle were oft most enslaved by it. And so Beramode listened in silence as the wretched souls serving as Kru’s minions this evening tore into the space-faring metalloids who’d only wanted to play an innocent game…

Until it was his time to speak.

“I find that people are more interested in talking about themselves than you give them credit for, Pepe the Prawn, all you have to do is make them comfortable.” Was that what had happened here? Had Beramode feigned frustration in order to appeal to Kru’s ego or had the weaver of fate merely allowed himself to become tangled in his own web, whichever made him angrier was surely truer, and being unable to tell difference would surely eat away at his opponent for the duration of their match. “You needn’t resist the compulsion, it’s standard fare for rivals to engage in banter during a climatic battle. Speaking of…” Post-mauling the space between them had filled with liquid metal giblets but rather than be swept off the board by the next stellar breeze peeling off from the dying star beside them they remained, burbling en masse until all at once twenty-five of the largest clumps exploded into new bodies that very much resembled their old ones. “I activate Quantum Kindergarten, whenever a monster with the keyword Dog dies on my side of the field they are immediately replaced by five quantum clones of themselves to continue the fight. Then I activate Scorched Earth which immediately dispels all field effects and replaces them with a field of smoldering fire.”

Just like that a wave of heat swept across the space between them until it filled with a distorted haze.

“After that, I sacrifice one Pack of Dogs to upgrade my Black Dog Justicar to a Black Dog Archon.” Heat so hot that the bubbling form of the Justicar lit on fire with a brilliant black-purple plasma before it lurched into the mass of deformed spirits that had taken the shape of Kru’s Zombie Horde with a mighty sweep of its blade, then another, then another, then another. Shearing off another damned soul each time until it became difficult to ignore that real lives were being sacrificed for a petty game. “With four different instances of Suppressing Fire lowering their attack points and Scorched Earth boosting my Archon’s attack power the difference between the two is staggering and the remainder will be removed directly from your life points. After that I play one more card face down in the Spell Zone and I end my turn, you ought to be careful Kru, keep playing at this pace and you’ll run out of cards before we get to the fun stuff.”

Beramode had only one card in his hand, the Archon seemingly drawn from his deck—or his sleeve, but four Pack of Dogs and one Archon supported by the ongoing effects of his Quantum Kindergarten and Scorched Earth.

But I’m Not Convinced Your Shrimp Brain

“We’re surrounded.” “We’re being overwhelmed.” “Requesting evacuation.”

All around him, him being Rodrigo in this case, the favela exploded with activity. Zombies that had once no doubt been the occupants of this dumpy little shanty town burst from every available door, window, chimney, grate and other assorted opening they could find and when there were none available they made their own. The Black Dogs were immediately overwhelmed. There was no universe were any of their number would fall to a single zombie but the sheer weight of that tidal wave dragged them to the ground, and yet, when the first one fell a strange thing happened as if the universe itself were having a seizure before five more appeared in his or her place drawn from extant quantum possibilities where the trooper in question had not died.

This did not save the original trooper, who still died and still turned into a zombie, but rather replaced them and allowed their numbers to grow exponentially until the favela was an overflowing melee of living and dead made all the more chaotic by Rodrigo’s next order.

[Burn them all.]


Napalm swept across the whole favela from above as the dropships overhead dropped their camouflage and payloads in the same breath, uncaring of whether there were any survivors left or not and expecting the beleaguered Black Dog Clones to weather the storm with their power armor or be replaced by yet more copies wrenched from the cosmic cutting floor.

“Your friend has some interesting tricks, Hector, but I see what you’re trying to do.” Rodrigo marched forward through the sweeping flames seemingly ignorant of the headless gaunt that had once been David galloping a sharp semi-circle through the perimeter, crushing zombie and human underfoot, howling through the flames that every crevice of its twisted grey body on a mission to collide with the Black Dog Commander from behind. ‘The fool,’ Before becoming a techno savant Rodrigo had trained his body into a weapon such that he could physically feel any threat upon his person regardless of where he might perceive it, in other words, he knew the gaunt was coming at him from behind and just when it seemed ready to tackle him from behind he hopped into the air. Not much. Just enough that he was able to vault off the thing’s face before it passed under him with a pair of kicks so powerful they sent a shockwave rippling through the favela. Of David’s corpse there was naught but a messy splatter of blood spread out across a twenty-foot runway, steaming from contact with the jets at Rodrigo’s heels, carrying him past the fleeing Hector. Carving a burning trench through the muddy streets as he wheeled in the man’s direction and extended a single burly forearm to collide with his opponent mid-retreat and potentially decapitate that overgrown thaumatic bong the Narco Lich called a body. “I’ll figure out what he’s up to after I’m done with you!”

Is Capable of Processing High-Literature Just Yet
Alice made her way down the alley one shaky wobble at a time, as it turns out, bipedal locomotion was a tad more difficult than she was used to without any bones to keep you upright against gravity. So imagine her surprise when, just as the though passed through her head, the entirety of her lower body fused into a single amorphous mass of glitter that oozed out from the bottom of her dress and left a slinky pink trail behind her as she moved—or rather oozed—across the woolen floor.

“That’s not quite as subtle as I was hoping, I don’t suppose glitter monsters are commonplace?”

“Not in the Youknitted Kingdom they ain’t, ma’am.”

It would just have to do, so on Alice roved, diving into the waiting sea of partygoers with her guards, leaving behind a pair of half-melted plastic heels bubbling and hissing in the alley where she’d come. Ten thousand years of navigating political parties just like this one had taught her a great deal about the art of ducking, dodging, diving, and weaving around unwanted conversation. that no matter how diligent you were someone was always going to get the drop on you and drag you into at least one.


“Goodness, I don’t remember any monsters being on the guest list.” The little man gasped.

“Well I never—” Alice was just about tired of all these comments and ready to snap back when one of the guardsmen she’d commandeered earlier spoke up to say something clever on her behalf. “Would watch your mouth if I was you, sir. That’s the Duchess of Gluesington you’re speaking too.” Traveled a long way to get here just for you to insult her, did she?”

“You’re lucky she’s so forgiving.” The other chimed in.

“Otherwise you might find yourself stuck to a wall somewhere.”

Flabbergasted beyond words the snooty little woolen man wandered away and the last of Alice’s anger dispersed like carbonated bubbles across the surface of her sticky pink flesh, then it was gone, she adjusted her skirts which were themselves made of a nice sturdy fabric that didn’t cling overmuch to her new body type. She was getting more and more used to this.

“Thank you for standing up for me gentlemen.”

“Think nothin’ of it, Miss Ansegisel.”

“You’re our boss now.”

“And I’ve wanted an excuse to threaten someone at one of these parties for a while now anyways.”

“That’s a very bad habit,” She chastised. “But I will forgive it for the time being. That said, I did not come here to mingle, I am here on a mission--”

“To spread your love to the whole Yarniverse.”

“To bind everyone together for eternity.”

“No.” She said sharply, decisively, and they seemed crestfallen at the finality of it. “I’m here at the request of a friend but he is—how do I say this in the politest way possible—very obtuse I’m afraid. I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for. Nor am I familiar with your dimension. If you boys could spread out and begin scanning the crowd for anything out of place, then I would be most thankful.”

One raised his stubby doll arm.

“I found somethin’.”

“Is it me?”

“It’s you.”

“Something other than me.”

The other raised his arm.

“I also found something.”

“Is it also me?”

“No ma’am.”

“Well out with it then.”

“Would you consider a red panda on the roof of the palace to be strange?”

“I suppose it depends on where you are, Red Pandas are fairly common in some zoos, are they here?” Alice adjusted her glasses and recalling her time on Earth-T0R3 deduced that Cookieham Palace was a very unclever attempt at naming the life-sized recreation of Buckingham Palace which loomed over all of them. Sweeping past wafer walls and ice cream cone ballistae she spotted a very fuzzy little red man on the periphery of her vision peering down at them all from above, dressed in a manner almost as out of place as her own though tragically without the cozy comfort of a blanket to protect him from the cold breeze all around them.

“No ma’am, I do believe this is the first one I’ve ever seen in person.”

“Then I suppose that wouldn’t be a bad place to start…”
Despite of their best efforts, the Rats were unable to get the drop on the travelers.

The drug-addled vulture was the first to wake and the first to react, screeching at them in her horrible alien language that somehow only became more unbearable as the city’s barrier began to translate her screeching into something passably human, but it was 017 who demanded all of their attention. Although not much taller than a child she released a blinding white light that lit up the entire street as if it were day, and though the effect diminished the further one was from her, not a single soul in the retreating tide of flesh left that evening without spots blooming in the corner of their vision.

And run they did, all of their confidence evaporating like shadows in the daylight.

Some were fast, some were slow, but by the time 017 was railing against the warehouse door there was not a one left to tell her that these storage units were not only locked but well protected too. Nothing but the rattling chain as she pulled and the presence of a relatively new lock. Perhaps the large man in stone might be able to split it if he applied a bit of the herculean strength he must have but given the minimal presence of rust this close to the ocean it stood to reason that this place was not quite as abandoned as the howling wind and empty alleys seemed to imply.

Then there were the three.

“That’s fucked up,” The man snarled as he wrenched his way out of Hafadac’s grip with a visible limp. His disposition was not nearly so pleasant, losing the life he’d clearly left behind had embittered him, being beaten by a glorified flashlight before the first blow had landed only made things worse. If allowed to keep pulling away he’d half-fall and half-sit on the ground before the group with smoldering hatred in his eyes.


Not long after the largest of the Rats surrendered too, in spirit if not verbally. Dropping the piece of rebar stuck in concrete that he’d been preparing to use like a sledgehammer after one look at Gregor, fighting was hopeless, his black face littered with visible scars that only made the defeated stare towards their leader all the more profound. ‘Say something’ his eyes pleaded, less prepared to die than he’d first imagined.

“P-please don’t kill us.”

It was the girl who swallowed her pride first, hands in the air, face so smudged with dirt it had become a part of her complexion and knees shaking as she stepped to the fore. She’d seen Rats beaten to death just for showing their faces in other parts of Neo Babylon, but these were travelers, and perhaps on the off chance that they came from somewhere mercy was still a thing she pleaded again.

“We won’t do it again, we promise, so please don’t kill us.”

“Or at least get it over with,” The sour man spat. “Your little light show is bound to attract attention and I’d rather die quick than be turned into an example by syndicate scum.”


Somewhere on the distant moon forty-nine members of CNTRL ALT ELITE that had logged into the Mega Dungeon alongside Haia awoke to find themselves in space, standing upon the pock marked ridge of Luna’s bleeding crust with a distant blue marble staring at them in the background, oddly they’d no trouble breathing in space and their UI seemed largely absent in favor of a more…

Immersive experience.

It took a minute for them to wake up and chatter among themselves, discovering what powers they retained and which ones had been removed with the latest update to realize that they were not alone. For somewhere roughly approximate to the crater’s center there sat the makings of a lonely city formed entirely of crystal, barely visible if not for the stark contrast it cut with the landscape and which each gust of stellar wind it seemed to whistle for them to come closer.

@Shinny @Circ @THE ADORATION @odium

“How unexpectedly childish,” Beramode’s mask did not have any discernible facial features and yet still managed to capture his disappointment perfectly in the abstract dance of shadows across its smooth black surface, then he draw one card and placed a second face down in the spell/trap zone. “Very well then, I shall squeeze the information from you once I’m done demolishing your deck, until then I play the Black Dog Justicar in attack mode. Like all Black Dog Mercenaries he gains a bonus for every member of the corporation on the playing field. The Pack of Dogs then lowers your Zombie Knights defense points with suppressing fire leaving him woefully exposed to my Justicar’s attack.”

As he spoke, another metalloid appeared amid the crowd, it took the form of a bolder mercenary. Like all the others its power armor still had that faintly canine aesthetic, especially the helmet, but this one carried a large electrified blade which it proudly stabbed through the largest of the ghosts whilst it was busy being peppered with little metal flechettes and seemingly banished the wailing spirit to oblivion merely for existing.

“And that will be all for this turn.”

Beramode had two cards in hand, two monsters on the field—one in attack and the other on defense, and two face-down spells. Momentum was seemingly in his favor but Kur had control of the field. Things could take a nasty turn next round but then that was the fun of this sort of thing was it not…?


All around the perimeter choice members of the assembled Black Dogs drew electrified long swords, each one snarling with ether and carving deep burning gouges in those zomboids unlucky enough to make it past the hail of gunfire. Burns that did not heal via magic. For the time being it seemed as though their kill box was well-maintained with Rodrigo himself being the only one bold enough to penetrate it and that from the outside.

“Am I supposed to be impressed, Hector? You had the chance to rebuild the world from the ashes. You could have been a king, a hero, a god. Instead you choose to be a petty drug lord always nipping at the heels of men greater then you…” Rodrigo drew his own enlarged version of the longswords the other Black Dogs were wielding, in his hands it was a standard length weapon, but he was also an eight foot tall cyber mutant and the sword he carried was easily longer than this Cavalerio was tall. “Together we could have taken down Solomon, if only you’d had the foresight to see past your nose. Now you will die standing side-by-side with this gringo.”

The fight did not seem a fair one, Rodrigo was toying with it, parrying each blow with criminal ease. Even sending the hunk of junk stumbling with a well-placed kick that nearly tore it in half. But That honor was reserved for the final sweep of his blade—the snarl of electricity as it passed through the amalgamated sheet metal armor and the explosion that followed a solid cover for his next command.

[I have him distracted, take the shot.]

Rodrigo knew Hector’s tricks well enough, nothing short of obliteration would kill the Narco Lich… His friend though? David seemed to be a regular guy by all accounts and if he was a regular guy then he would die an extraordinary death as one of the Black Dog Scouts on a roof hundreds of meters away pulled the trigger, firing a single Ether Piercing Round, it punched through Hector’s barrier leaving a smoldering hole in the mystic barrier on its mission for a one-way meeting with David’s temple—his brain—and then the other side if all things worked as planned.

“You ought to take better care of your associates, Hector. Knowing you is liable to shorten lifespans.”

Anfield was used to dealing with bickering women, with seven beautiful aunts and two doting sisters, he’d been trained in the art of handling the fairer sex since before he could walk . Always the charmer, there was nobody in their big bickering family who did not like the Serpent’s Second Son, even his big brother tolerated him and Mikhail very didn’t like anyone.

It was surely a shock to anyone familiar with Anshin’s reputation, infamous for being terse and rude, to find that the child who most resembled him physically was the least like him in terms of personality. By the time he was a teenager he’d become an infamous heartbreaker around Lescatie. Now that he was in his early twenties it would not be unfair to call him something of a man whore, though he’d bristle at the harshness of the term. He was also pretty strong. Every one of his siblings was required to train in the family martial art lest they grow up incapable of controlling the prodigious strength they had inherited from their father and he considered a burden, publicly, once upon a time he'd—no no—it wasn’t worth remembering that dream…

“Ladies, ladies.” Anfield’s voice was calming, smooth, and deep. “There’s no need to fi—YOWCH!”


Before he could finish the first proper sentence one of the women standing beside his gilded cage jabbed him in the side with what looked like a golden fishing pole, its blunt head blue with electricity, the pain was more in the surprise of it but the way the static snarled at the air it was made clear that it could do much more if the woman on the other side wished it so.

“Your opinion is unwanted and unneeded by this council, male, your silver tongue is charming. But do not think that we have encountered your kind before. Now be quiet and await your fate.”

Anfield’s handsome brow furrowed into a pout but he said nothing further. Standing before them with a pair of golden shackles on his wrists that appeared designed to mitigate his supernatural abilities and bars of hard light beside him, they had stripped him to examine him earlier, but had been kind enough to return his work uniform to him after they were done including the scalped Krillian head that served as his hat. The amazon on his right was mousy for her kind and still a foot taller than him. The other one, with bandages over her still broken nose, was significantly larger than that and leaning as close to him as the shimmering cage bars would allow with a sneer on her face.

“I will enjoy being the first one to take you,” She hissed.

‘As if…’

Anfield may have seemed sleazy to anyone who knew about his body count but he was pretty big on the whole consent thing, and this wasn’t it, even if a few of those body colors were pretty interesting to think about he just wasn’t terribly interested in women who were that much bigger than he was. Being shorter than six-two wasn’t that big an ask was it? With long dark brown hair and tanned skin, he had the same pretty face his dad had when he was younger with all the charm he’d never had to pull it off, emerald eyes and sharp teeth and a big—not now. And when the women weren’t looking he smoothed his hands over the large golden padlock that chained his wrists together at the center, one on top and one below, using vibrations he figured out the lock mechanisms so that when he plucked out one of his eyelashes and used it as a pick he was able to flip it in a matter of moments.

‘Unaru no Hebi: Persistence Opens All Doors’

“Hey, is he like, whispering something stupid right now?”


Just like that the shackles on his wrist came undone and the padlock dropped to the floor between his feet with a heavy ding. Thirty angry stares closed in on him from all around the room. The two guards on the other hand seemed almost excited to finally have the opportunity to take a swing at him as they thrust their staves into the bars, and right before they struck he jumped, using naught but his palms he gripped the near smooth roof his cage and coiled his legs up over the twin thrusts. Then in the millisecond that the friction died he came crashing back down heels first. The golden staves snapped beneath his feet and died sputtering deaths while the very solid floor fell out beneath the three of them, bars unbroken and cage unbent, he’d still managed to free himself via the path of least resistance before using the shackles that had fell from his wrists like a pair of whips to smack one guard in the face then the other.

“Sorry to disappoint you ladies, you’re all lovely, but I am very not interested in your proposal.”

Struck by the incredulity of it all the amazons didn’t move an inch as he jogged out of the chancery, only to come jogging back in half-a-second later so he could yank the keys from the hip of the very mean one whose nose he’d fractured twice on one day. And that was too much. Alarms sounded behind him and where first guards were too befuddled to do anything about the bright orange shrimp rushing just beneath their line of sight now they started attacking, up and over and below, he dodged every swing along the way as he tried his hardest to remember where the other prisoners were kept. Likely below ground. But just as his brow furrowed the sweetest scent hit his nose, food—glorious food, he’d eaten nothing but the Krillians protein bile for the past three months he’d been at sea and the smell of it struck him so hard he very nearly tripped into a wall.

“Sh-shit… they can wait for a few minutes.” He muttered with hands splayed before him. Waiting until the last moment to juke out of the way of an incoming strike and between the woman responsible’s legs, tripping her into the gaudy picture frame of some teal-skinned noble that was too high-up and too-tall for him to truly appreciate, and most importantly freeing him to dash towards the kitchen. “Just a detour lads, that’s all, to get my strength back, I promise!”
I made a post and it's just pawful.
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