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Your name is Shu, and you fear the girl you once knew as your first and best friend is planning to end your life…

…again.

"So lemme get this fucking straight." Rath begins, uttering the first coherent sentence since she began her infuriated pacing/muttering combo five minutes ago. It's saying something that Julia doesn't attempt to call Rath out on her language given Amara’s proximity, and she merely listens in resigned silence as the redhead recaps what you just witnessed through the eyes of your old friend.

“She beats a proxy that West’s put part of herself into Voldemort-style, then West-not-West says she’s already at the Cord and is just being a bitch with a bunch of clone bitches runnin’ around, right?” She growls, and you nod wearily. “Then…and this is the real kicker…THEN B’ni’s got the gall to threaten you, saying she ‘knows what she’s gotta do,’ so some shit. What does that even mean?! Is that a threat, or…or is she just going to sod off to the Cord, or…what?”

“I don’t know.” You say with a heavy sigh, the image of your first death at B’ni’s hands etched in your mind’s eye. Writ large, bold in amethyst and scarlet.

"Um, Miss G-Guide?" Julia says, turning to the Daughter hovering impassively nearby, its expressionless face the only visible flesh on the limbless torso of wire and sheet metal. "What would it c-cost to suppress or...j-just stop Shu's connection to this other g-girl?"

“We simply ask that one among you submit to a variety of tests to ensure our main endeavor meets all safety thresholds for all possible classes and sub-classifications of Daughters.” She explains monotonously. “The procedure is merely a sustained diagnostic that will last several hours and will leave no lasting effects on the Daughter in question. After the diagnostic, then we would be willing to begin the disentanglement procedure.”

Your mouth is just opening to reply when two voices ring out in unison.

“Get me started on that doctor shit right now so we…”

“Then I will happily v-volunteer myself for…”

Rath and Julia’s simultaneous and immediate offers run together, the two girls sharing a glance as they give each other a moment's pause.

“No.” You say loudly, shaking your head to avoid the argument you’re certain you brawler is about to launch into. “Give me some time to think about this before we do anything rash, alright? I just need to think for a little while, alright?”

You watch Rath seethe in place, a deep orange flooding her face as she grits her teeth together harder than is healthy. With a final, frustrated huff, she rounds on the Guide.

Previous Vein: >>3488238

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Body%20Horror%20Quest

Character Abilities: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15ctgm_liaNO0e0B6zAcIUrmfDN0tWiXds3L4FvogI2M/edit#gid=0

Relics: https://pastebin.com/8qNSREwW

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
>>
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“You got a place I can punch a thing?” Rath growls. The Guide whirs a moment in the air before you.

“Permission granted to visit the testing facil…” Comes the mechanized reply, but she’s already turned on her heel and started storming off.

“I’ll figure it out, thanks.” She says over one shoulder, bounding up a set of stairs embedded in the one side of the superstructure, and moments later she’s gone from sight. The Guide turns to you with a droll expression.

“I have just been informed that the group designated ‘Midnight Crew’ have departed. They appear to have taken shelter when Mara, alias Marrow Dragoon, was spotted flying westwards towards Carroll’s Forest.” The Guide explains monotonously, your stomach going tight with a paradox of hope and dread. Hope for having a clear shot at leaving this place with ease, and dread at Mara’ encroachment on her prey…your insides clenching further at the thought that her success would make your life considerably easier.

Her failure, on the other hand…

“Is there a Haynation here?” Amara asks the Guide, hands behind her back. The Guide merely arcs one hairless eyebrow.

“S-she means a W-Waystation.” Julia elaborates, putting her hands on the little girl’s shoulders and smiling weakly down at her.

“No. We pride ourselves in the utmost security of this development facility. We have no need of the Waystations or their caretaker. The closest one is to the south, from whence your group came.” The Guide explains, and you can’t help the bitter chuckle that shudders through your lungs. After all, West is somewhere in these halls.

You glace over to where Julia’s kneels down, wrapping her arms around your youngest ally. Amara, meanwhile, just looks at you with one blue and one hazel eye, concern set deep within the gaze of someone wiser than their years.

She worried, and she has every right to be.

You can empathize.

>>You need to drop off B’ni’s radar as quickly as possible, so go ahead and volunteer (Rath/Julia/Amara/yourself) for the procedure to get it over with. You have to keep your team safe, and this is the clearest way to do it.

>>Reach out to Gina and Dorian, tell them both to come to the Disassociated Ones’ home as soon as possible. You’re not sure for how long this place will be safe with the Midnight Crew possibly milling about on the surface, but it’s doubtless better than where they are right now.

>>Ask to speak to the leader here and let them know that one of Doctor West’s proxies is currently among them. You’ll keep things calm, but they need to know the threat that lurks in their halls. Also, you have some questions you’d like the answers to.

>You want to navigate this place as a group, with West about and the motives of these people still an unknown. Take Julia and Amara in hand and find Rath, telling Amara a story while you go.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3506532
>>Reach out to Gina and Dorian, tell them Isabelle might be on her way and to find a better place to hide, but not to tell you intil you cut your connection to her.
>>Ask to speak to the leader here and let them know that one of Doctor West’s proxies is currently among them. You’ll keep things calm, but they need to know the threat that lurks in their halls.
>>You need to drop off B’ni’s radar as quickly as possible, so go ahead and volunteer yourself for the procedure to get it over with. You have to keep your team safe, and this is the clearest way to do it.

Keep everyone safe, but dont let Dorian or Gina get ambushed on their way here. Keep the Dos safe too, from wests influence.

Keep us safe, as we cant afford to keep feeding Isabelle information, so long as she may be after us directly.
>>
>>3506535
+1
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3506537
>>3506535
Something's telling me that Rath's an anger issue is one that won't subside (we already know she's got anger issues) unless we take a proactive approach that silences a source of her anger that involves her punching it (Dr. West, B'ni, Midnight Crew, etc.), lest she destroys herself from the inside out.
>>
>>3506564
We can give Rath something to punch once we are in a better situation to do that with.
>>
>>3506532
>You want to navigate this place as a group, with West about and the motives of these people still an unknown. Take Julia and Amara in hand and find Rath, telling Amara a story while you go.
>>
>>3506564
We also are in no position to deal with any of those threats except for maybe the midnight crew in Raths a hothead but she also isnt stupid, and would want us to make sure everyone is safe and everything is in order before we go off and let loose on a fist related issue.
>>
>>3506532
Agreed with >>3506535. Supporting. We're done with B'Ni. She's just not worth it anymore. And then after that we can explore this neat new place while we explain who B'Ni is to Amara, and then meet with Rath to figure out something to punch and make us all feel better. The desire to beat the tension out isn't limited to her.

>>3506583
I also think that just seeing Shu do something decisive about the issue will help. Severing the link and making the clear statement that B'Ni is to be treated as an enemy now should at least give her something to focus on.
>>
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>>3506532

You reach out, through dense walls of steel, over the River of Tears, and across the fleshscape to speak urgently into Gina’s mind.

{Hey there, what’s u…} She begins, faltering as events of the past few hours flood into her mind. {Shu, I…I’m so sorry. I’m coming to you right now, you’re hur…}

[Stay there] You reply sharply. [I’m taking the Disassociated Ones’ offer and cutting the cord with B’ni. Take Dorian and get somewhere safe. Don’t tell me where, don’t even think about it until I reach out to you first, okay?]

{…Okay} She says softly, a pulse of worry reaching you from miles away. {Please be safe, and I’ll wait to hear from you, just…just be safe, Shu}

Her presence slips out of your mind as you turn to the Guide, a cold breeze whispering through the impossibly large hall.

“I'd like an audience with the Daughter in charge here. I have information they’ll be very interested in.” You say, and the mechanized torso hums thoughtfully for a moment before voicing their level reply.

“That is a possibility, though it will take some time to arrange a meeting.” She explains, dull grey eyes boring into yours. “In the meantime, we may proceed with the diagnostics and subsequent disentanglement as your payment. Who do you wish to volunteer for the first phase?”

“Myself.” Comes your immediate reply, thrusting out a hand to silence Julia’s protest.

“Very well. Allow me to see if our head physician has an opening for you. Follow me.”

You, Julia, and Amara comply, the Daughter leading you down corridor after frigid corridor, finally stopping before a simple door. It slides open at the Guide’s silent command, revealing yet another sterile cell, stark alabaster tile blinding after an endless labyrinth of onyx metal. The Guide darts ahead as the entrance closes behind you, disappearing behind a set of swinging double-doors with small circular portals set at eye-level.

The Guide re-emerges and tilts in mid-air, a curious sort of bow as she announces the physician’s entrance, the double doors swinging open to reveal a tall, slender woman. She’s clad in an ornate kimono, a choice that clashes with the mechanical helmet that obscures the majority of her face. A trio of robotic tendrils flick out impatiently from underneath the cherry-red cloth, and a tired sigh escapes the woman’s lips the moment she…wait.

The way she moves, the curve of her lips…no.

“Doctor West will see you now.”

“Ah, of course.” West clips dryly, an irritated frown tugging at her pursed lips. "I suppose this is the part where I’d say something terribly clever Darling, but I'm really not in the mood.”

>>Turn down the procedure. You’ll figure something else out if it’s West running the show here.

>>You need to get the hell out of here right now. Take your allies, find Rath, and leave this place.

>>Hold your ground and demand an explanation.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3506617
>"For once Dr. Quack, I'm also not in the mood for asking you for an explanation. Let's just get this procedure over with."
>>
>>3506641
I dont trust her for one second not to pull something on us if we let her do this. We simply cannot trust her.

>>3506617
Damn you BHOP and your bamboozlements.

>>Hold your ground and demand an explanation.
As much as i want to take the second option, i think if she was gonna outright attack us or turn the DOs against us, it would already have happened.
>>
>>3506617
>>Write-In
>"Yes, we could say all sorts of droll banter at each other. Guide, Dr. Francine West has no ethical principles that I am aware of, and I am not comfortable with submitting myself to any sort of medical examination or experimentation performed by her. Do you have any other surgeons on staff?"
>>
>>3506644
>>3506645
Yeah i was just about to say add in
>Ask for a different doctor.
But adding this Anons statement to mine works better.
>>
>>3506644
Did you read this proxy's mood? I'd rather treat her like the Ebon Dragon. You're safe if she's scowling, but when she smiling, that's when things are gone to shit.
>>
>>3506658
Which is why the ideal way to deal with West is to keep her as annoyed with the situation as possible by not complying with her. Maybe we should say that we don't just not trust her professional ethics, but also her skill. "Yeah, I've seen the dog's breakfast she made out of those schoolgirls, I don't trust this lady to operate on anything more complicated than a swarmling."
>>
>>3506658
Nah, trusting West ever is a mistake
>>
If we ever get to speak with Mother again we should probably raise the issue of Dr.West's connections and her apparent ability to fly under the radar, as she obviously isn't at the top of Charon's hit list because since we saw Charon prosecuting others earlier, there is no way that this is anywhere near approaching fair or balanced at all especially since having her be effectively all over the place simultaneously is disconcerting especially considering that we right now are hovering at around 50% on the Threat Index considering that she now may have her foot in the door with the Dissociated Ones.This leads me to believe that there is something going on with what West is telling us either she is nowhere near as spread out as she wants up believe or she is masking her presence form Mother somehow witch makes me think that she may be influencing the Chord where ever her main body is.
>>
>>3506658
But Anon, West is almost always smiling.

...Oh, shit.
>>
>>3506673
Anon, we've broached this subject earlier in the previous thread. The reason why Mother approves of Dr. West despite having her main body inside the Cord is that West's MO of ascending the cord and winning the game creates a chaotic world-state that Mother endorses. It's how Mother would like her ideal winning Daughter to win.
>>
>>3506673
Charon doesn't go after West because Charon's task is not to ensure a fair game. Charon's task is to ensure a game at all. A Daughter finding an OP strategy isn't an issue, so long as she still contributes to this being a horrible deathworld that will eventually result in a single Daughter slaughtering all others and becoming the new Mother. It's only a problem if they're like us or (from the comments their leader made) that other group Charon killed, and are trying to disrupt the game. Make peace instead of war, discourage evil tactics, and aim to topple Mother's throne entirely instead of claim it for your own. It actually makes me a little worried for the Monastery, Mother might see them as just inconsequential idlers for now but I would expect Charon to go after them eventually.
>>
>>3506685
No, Monastery's fine. Mother won't touch it because recent events (Elder Uzu's death, Younger Uzu being on the edge of a mental breakdown/succumbing to a Hunger fit) have thrown that place into sprialling chaos.
>>
>>3506688
True, though I was really thinking if it does manage to hold. If the Sisters start pulling things together, I can see Charon being sent in to make sure they fail. They're even built right atop a waystation, it's not good.
>>
>>3506685
Well I think part of why the Monastery has lasted so long is that the daughter's there aren't getting stronger. They aren't lowering their threat level, but not raising it either or at least raise it too slowly for it to be an issue for a long time. They aren't disrupting the game, but rather they're not participating and have removed themselves from it, waiting patiently for someone else to end it.
>>
>>3506692
Sure. Like I said, they're just idling this match out. But I worry that eventually Mother is going to get bored with that and try to shake them up.
>>
>>3506692
The only way the Monastery's threat level would be raised is if Mara somehow caught B'ni.
>>3506694
Mother already shook the game up not 3 days ago by increasing the hunger rate. That alone caused lots of tension in the Monastery with the effect of Elder Uzu's death and Younger Uzu getting overstressed to the edge of succumbing to the hunger.
>>
Shu should just shut the fuck up, gosh she's so annoying.
>>
>>3506617

"Yeah, we could say all sorts of droll banter at each other. Guide, West has no ethical principles that I am aware of, and I am not comfortable with submitting myself to anything performed by her. Do you have any other surgeons on staff?"

“I beg your pardon!” Guide yells, taking you aback at how her visage of bored serenity is shattered. “This one would not be here today if it weren’t for Francine’s skills in…”

“Celia, it’s fine. I appreciate you standing up for me, but I'm afraid Shu has a point.” West replies, lifting her helmet a fraction to massage one of her temples. “The interactions they’ve had with my peers have been overwhelmingly negative, and I’d assume that one of them’s done something particularly abhorrent to prompt this sort of reaction.”

“You’re goddamn right you did. I saw what you did Maria, Ceres, Dinea, and Maggie. That little girl couldn’t have been older then Amara, you sick fuck.” You growl, a sick, burning heat building in your stomach. “Guide, I don't trust this lady to operate on anything more complicated than a…”

The Guide’s pale face is a mild shade of pink, her body’s attempt at a blush of anger. She opens her mouth once more to scold you for speaking out against West but to your surprise the Doctor places a finger to her lips, silencing the other girl.

“Please leave us, Celia. I won’t be long, I assure you.” After a moment’s hesitation, the Guide leaves the room, backing away while staring daggers at you and your team. With a weary sigh West leans back, the floor rising to meet her as it forms simple stool that she now rest upon.

“My condolences, for what they’re worth…though considering how you must view me then I’d imagine they’re rather worthless.” She says, slipping of the helmet and shaking free her head of dirty-blonde hair. “Allow me to make two things very clear, Miss Shu. First, this form has exactly one offensive tool, being a Fibro-Neuro Hybrid I was installed with at the moment of my creation. It’s level three, so overpowering me would be trivial for you, Darling. Second, we can forego the examination and proceed directly to the severing of the entanglement Celia mentioned. It’s an in and out procedure and your allies are welcome to stay as insurance. The Disassociated Ones’ plans are nearing completion, and I’m afraid I have too much on my plate to consider a pointless tousle with you that I have no personal stake in. Understood?”

You’re not sure what’s more disconcerting; the fact that you’re staring at the face of the woman that killed Ceres’ team, or that your empathic field is telling you that what she just said was in earnest.

>>”…Fine. Let’s get this over with, but we will end you if you try anything.”

>>”…No dice, Doctor. I’ll figure something else out.” Leave and return to Rath.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>kill the doctor, return to Rath
>>
>>3506779
>”…Fine. Let’s get this over with, but we will end you if you try anything.”
Something tells me that Each West proxy has developed their own perspective as their own egos. They're aware of each other, but their personal lives as West's clones leaves them in a situation not unlike Gemma.
>>
>>3506779
>”…Fine. Let’s get this over with, but we will end you if you try anything.”
I don't trust her but I trust our empathic field. Let's get this part over with 'cuz we have shit to do and questions to ask. Like "what plan?" for example.

I figured that the DO would at least try to find a way to disable the "instant death" feature that triggers in all surviving daughters at the Crucible's completion.
>>
>>3506779
>>”…Fine. Let’s get this over with, but we will end you if you try anything.”
I hate west. I despise west.
...but west is not a liar.
Unfortunately, if we do not sever the connection, we are FUCKED. Im not sure what is going on, maybe she is a proxy that split and has its own goals, maybe in a round bout way she is simply saying whatever goal main West gave her is more important than anything else, i dunno.

I do not trust her one bit, but we have just learned the DOs cant be trusted, even if this West is somehow technically innocent. Our best bet is get what we need and get out.
>>
>>3506799
For all we know she can trick our field, however the minute the guide took her side, if she had any true ill intent against us, she could've easily had something done.

Instead she defended our position. Unfortunately, it does show she is probably beings honest. Worse case is she wont do anything simply to get us out of the way peacefully as soon as possible.
>>
>>3506824
You know... I keep on wondering about West. If she's made it to the Cord, but took the time to make clones and disperse, why? And has there been an incident among West's proxies where a case of Split personality conflict (aka Gemma's Situation) has occurred amongst Dr West?
Also, I've got an earlier and longer work shift than usual today. I'd hate to leave this early but work is work, and I need to bring food on the plate.
>>
>>3506779
>>”…No dice, Doctor. I’ll figure something else out.” Leave and return to Rath.
>>Write-In
"God, you can't even see how you've been compromised, can you? Your creator did a real number on you. Makes sense, don't let a spy realize it's a spy and it can't be interrogated. I wonder why she bothered to keep you remembering you're Francine West, though? Odd. Well, best of luck on your endeavors, Doctor. I hope the core doesn't gloat too badly when it all comes crashing down."

She responded to us as if she had a personal knowledge of prior interactions with us, despite claiming to not be connected with the other Wests. And the core West is using her as an information source on the Disassociated. She's clearly in contact with the rest of the collective, her being honest just means that she can't consciously realize that. She's a plant, it doesn't matter if she's earnest, it just means that she'll act against us without even knowing why she's doing it.
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3506779
>Dr.West, your creator self has been using you as a spy without your knowledge
>>
>>3506837
Easy, because the cord is hard as fucking hell to climb, and multiple West can collect resources faster than one.

>>3506843
You have a point, but we also dont know when she was created, nor how the connection works. Maybe she has her own metal plate in her head.

Begrudgingly, the issue here is, we cannot do anything else until we sever the connection to Isabelle. Shes made herself a direct threat and until we can be sure she isn't one, or are safe enough from her finding us, thats the priority. And we have no other way to cut or surpress the connection. I hate it, i despise west, this fuck even if innocent can go shove it up her ass for all i care....
...but she also is our only way to get done what needs to get done. Again, even if subconsciously comprimised, if she wished to fuck us over...or west from afar, the best moment for it has passed. Im more than positive the DOs could kill us, if only by merit of we don't even know how to leave here, so home field advantage plus trapped.
>>
>>3506871
>You have a point, but we also dont know when she was created, nor how the connection works. Maybe she has her own metal plate in her head.
The fact that she believes our relationship with the rest of the Wests to be a negative one means that her last update was at minimum when we destroyed West's lab. Up until then it was neutral, that was the point of definite transition between "West is dangerous, but useful enough to maintain a working relationship with" to "West is a monster that needs to be killed at the soonest possible opportunity". So unless this West is less than three days old, and she doesn't appear to be with how she's worked her way into the Disassociated's good graces, there's no way that she's running on old intel. She clearly has the ability to both send and receive information to and from the rest of the West collective. She is compromised. I'd rather keep the connection with Isabelle, risky as it is, then let a West clone that doesn't even realize it's still working for the Doctor fiddle around in our brain meats.
>>
>>3506871
Also, I'm not worried about this West killing us. You're right, she already had an opportunity for that while the Vault was swallowing us. I'm worried about her doing brain surgery when she just said "oh, hey, I've got Neuromancer powers". Because then SHU is going to be the one compromised. There are all sorts of nasty things she could do to us.
>>
>>3506910
Although she's only a level 3 neuromancer and we're linked to one that's 4 levels higher and counting.
>>
>>3506953
No, she thinks she's a level three Neuromancer. She's a plant, she doesn't know what her level is.
>>
>>3506891
>>3506910
I disagree, keeping the connection is a death sentence.

However, ill compromise a bit.
>>3506779
>>3506812
Add in;
>Question her harshly on what she means and why we should trust her. She talks about the other proxies like they are not her, yet knows our relationship with them.
>>
>>3506779
>>>”…No dice, Doctor. I’ll figure something else out.” Leave and return to Rath.
>>
>>3506974
>I disagree, keeping the connection is a death sentence.
Less of a death sentence than letting West fiddle around in our brain, in my opinion. But you're right, let's compromise. Ask West some questions, probe her brain to see if the core West bothered to give her the ability to provide coherent answers or if the logic just breaks down.

>>3506779
Changing my vote.

>>Write-In
>"Uh huh. You reacted to my presence here even before I started laying accusations. How do you know who I am and that I'm upset with the rest of your hive, West? It can't be the Disassociated's own intelligence, they would have known not to put us together, then. And it can't be old information, because the time frame between you becoming our enemy and now doesn't give this iteration enough time to work your way into the Disassociated's good graces. You have to have some connection to the other Wests, what is it?"
>>
>>3506993
Actually, change that "old information" to "legacy information", that works better.
>>
>>3506993
We have some reason, no matter how small, to believe that this West might not harm us. We have no reason at all to think Isabelle wont harm us. Pretty cut and dry which is the bigger threat to me.
>>
>>3507060
And if motive was the only factor, then I'd agree with you. But there are also issues of how easy it is to evade the threat, and even with a telepathic link to us we can hypothetically stay ahead of Isabelle long enough to get strong enough to kill her. We can't stay ahead of whatever West implants in our brain.
>>
>>3507068
If Isabelle knows where we are, she's gonna reach us before we are strong enough to face her if that is her goal. We survive if she cant find us, no other way. So long as we have the connection, that isn't an option.
>>
>>3507081
Yes, but for now the connection is intermittent. In theory we can change course after every bleed-over and stay away from her that way. We're trading one big problem that we have trouble avoiding to one big problem that we're still probably going to have trouble avoiding and one big problem that we can't avoid at all.
>>
>>3507086
I disagree. We dont know sues gonna mess with our head, she has a chance she will not, and even if she did, if it was to harm us, she already had a better chance, if its something else, we already know Gina can interrupt such plans.

The connection is already too big a problem and will only become a bigger one. Not cutting it while we can regardless of who, is a stupid move.
>>
>>3506779
>”…No dice, Doctor. I’ll figure something else out.” Leave and return to Rath.
She has literally always been trying to look under the hood of us, I do not trust her one but.
>>
>>3507098
If you think West isn't going to mess with our brains then I'm sorry, but you're living in a fantasy world. There is zero chance she's trustworthy, you're just convincing yourself she is because you want to be rid of B'Ni that badly. And I get that, I want B'Ni gone too. But we're not going to solve that problem by throwing more problems on top of it. B'Ni will still be hunting for us and we'll have to deal with whatever West did to us too. Gina being able to disrupt West's dreamscape attacks doesn't help if she does any of the many other things that could be done by meddling with our brain. For example, here's a nasty thought, what if West could track us now? She wants to kill Shu and Gina, too. And Gina can't solve that problem, or we wouldn't be here in the first place.
>>
We should at least ask if there is someone else that can do the Procedure

While we could change course every bleedover it might be difficult to always notice them in time and it will probably become very inconvenient or downnright dangerous if it happens during a time sensitive matter

IF West truly is the only one that can do the Procedure we should consult with the others first

If she is and we agfree to it. We should get the crew and ask Gina to be on Overwatch in case West tries something with neuromancy during the procedure though i would rather not let West mess with our Head
>>
>>3507112
No, see, with that logic i can just say you are trying to convince yourself because you want to keep the connection, as West has not actually ever lied aswell as our empathic field having been extremely accurate and even noticable when not working right. Your entire argument is based off the assumption this West MUST be comprimised, while we have little proof of that and there could be many other explanations, while mine is based on the very real threat of a dangerous individual we know will kill us on sight at the very least if we end up near her.

I hate West, i want nothing more than to KILL this individual. But the connection and Isabelle are simply bigger and more imediate threats to us.
>>
i can’t shake the feeling that ever since my new employment, the tone that Shu and anons have been taking has become more and more murderhobo-esque
>>
>>3506779

“…Fine. Let’s get this over with, but we will end you if you try anything.”

She ignores your threat, instead gesturing languidly to the reclining table that assembles itself out of the stool she rises from. You hesitantly take the offered seat, watching West open a hatch in the far wall and pluck a selection of instruments from within. A glance to your right reveals Julia on edge, having already ushered Amara to the far corner of the room where she holds her whistle at the ready, holding her breath with cheeks puffed full of air, ready to blow.

“West, I’d imagine you’d like to know that your creator has been using you as a spy without your knowledge. I wonder why she even bothered to keep you remembering you're Francine West, though.” You muse, watching her face closely as you speak, searching for any fluctuations in your empathic field.

“Your attempts to needle me are admirable, but I’m fully aware of my connection to the West, Darling.” She says with a grim smirk, returning to your side and placing a variety of wires and metal fragments on the arm extension of your chair. “Each Proxy is tasked with either information or resource gathering, and are expected to upload data at regular intervals or in the event of occurrences of note. We send that information to West, as I did when you arrived, then she sends us a truncated update of what’s happened that may come sooner or later, depending on urgency.”

“Hm.” You murmur, watching her fiddle with the objects she’s gathered, her electric blue eyes intent on her craft. “You mentioned that the Disassociated Ones’ plans are almost complete. What’s that entail?”

“Escaping the Crucible, if their name wasn’t enough of a clue.” She say with a droll tone, closing one eye as she leans close to your ear, taking rudimentary measurements with thumb and forefinger. “They’re none too terribly concerned with the state of things outside their little box, here. Their leader was familiar with this place, so after gathering many like-minded Daughters of skill such as myself, they started work on disassembling the warheads that were held here.

“W-warheads?” Julia sputters, taking a step forwards. “D-do you m-mean…”

“Of the nuclear variety, Darling.” West replies as her slender fingers work the wire into a particular curve. “Mother tried her damnedest to scrub all conventional weaponry from the face of the planet before waking anyone up, but the weapons here escaped her notice, it seems. There was some debate early on as to whether or not to fire them at the Cord in an act of defiance or repurpose them into fuel for the shuttle, and they eventually settled on the latter.”

“Shuttle? As in…space shuttle?” You ask, and West merely hums in acknowledgement.

“Oh, indeed. They’re almost ready to launch the shuttle that will allow them to pierce Mother’s womb and escape to the stars.”

(Continued)
>>
>>3507141

“I thought they’d d-die the moment someone wins the C-Crucible, though?” Julia asks, and West simply chuckles under her breath.

“Ah, if they were anything resembling Daughters at the point the win-condition was me, then you’d be absolutely correct, my dear.” She says, holding the mass of wires and steel next to your ear with a measuring eye. “As of now, most of them are entirely machine-based lifeforms, ghosts in the shell, and all that. They’d be exempt when the Crucible’s kill switch is triggered for the sole fact that most of them have thrown away their humanity.”

“So what’s your purpose here, then?” You prompt, keeping a watchful eye on her dexterous hands and flicking tendrils.

“Providing exposition to you on a regular basis, apparently.” She replies sourly, a crackle of electricity arcing along the wires at her fingertips.

“I’m serious. How do you know who I am and that I'm upset with the rest of your hive, West? It can't be the Disassociated's own intelligence, they would have known not to put us together, then. And it can't be legacy information, because of the time frame between you becoming our enemy and now.”

“You annihilated the Sparagmos Engine and destroyed West’s lab. It doesn’t take a hive mind of geniuses to realize you and West are on opposing sides after that bridge was burned.” She says coolly, striding back over to the cabinet to retrieve another assortment of bits and bobs. “The latter of those incidents is the latest update I’ve received, so I’d not be surprised if you’d done much more to irritate West in that interval. Now, regarding the other half of your question, I’ve been here five months give or take. I came onboard at West’s behest to serve as back-up in case her attempt to win the Crucible fails…then at least there’d be some aspect of herself that survived this.”

“So why are you so different than the other proxies we’ve encountered? They’ve done some monstrous things, but you seem to be well respected here, if Gu…Celia’s words are anything to go by.”

There. A shift in emotions, a blend of pride and shame warping together in her mind.

“I’d like to think my time disconnected from the others has given me something akin to perspective, I suppose.” She replies with another shrug of her angular shoulders. “At least enough to realize who and what I am…or maybe I’m just kidding myself. Your condemnation of me may be frustrating given that I’ve never met the people West took from you, but I cannot deny that those acts were performed by aspects of myself that I’d much rather keep at arm’s length.”

You’re caught off guard when she chuckles, a soft, sad noise drifting across the room as she makes her way back to your side.

“It’s amusing, really. We can be through with our pasts all we like, Darling…but as long as we’re alive our pasts aren’t through with us.”

(Continued)
>>
>>3506779
…No dice, Doctor. I’ll figure something else out.” Leave and return to Rath.
>>
>>3507129
No, you couldn't say I'm trying to convince myself because I want to keep the connection. That's completely unconnected to the things I've been saying, I've at least been taking your motivations at your word. Come on man, keep it together. Now, you could say it's that I'm overestimating the threat West poses compared to B'Ni. Which is possible, but I don't think I am. This West iteration has been acting extremely suspicious, we're all fucked, because it looks like "let her fiddle around in our brain meats" won >>3507141. Fucking yay.


>>3507141
Okay, but that is cool for the Disassociated. They're making an Orion drive? Nice. It's probably not going to work, because two years is not enough time to perfect the pusher plate design and focused nuclear pulse system, but nice.
>>
>>3507146

“Here, it’s done.” She sighs, handing you a compressed ball of wire and metal. You take it reluctantly, arcing an eyebrow at West as you watch her gather her instruments.

“You barely touched me.” You say, testing the palm-sized orb’s weight in your grasp.

“I didn’t want to lose a hand.” West chirps back. “I’ve learned a great deal since I helped sever Dragoon and Magpie’s entanglement. Hold this next to your ear and it will travel through your ear canal to attach itself to your frontal cortex. It will immediately target and disrupt the source of the bleed-over, while leaving all other neurological abilities and ties active.”

You just stare at her, holding your puzzled expression long enough for her to give you an irritated scowl from beneath her sweat-clumped bangs.

“What’s that look for? I thought you’d prefer to have someone other than myself look it over before you fully commit.” She huffs, gathering her armful of scrap and shuffling back to the cabinet. “If you’re willing to let someone like me rifle around in your head then I’d advise you re-assess your priorities, my dear.”

You’re…not really sure how to respond to that.

“Let’s go everyone.” You declare, slipping the device into the pocket of your scrubs as you rise from the chain that disappears back into the floor. “Goodbye for now, West.”

You turn to the exit, nodding towards Amara and Julia that your time entertaining this woman is over.

“Francine.”

You pause.

“I’m sorry?” You say, half-turning back to the woman behind you.

“If it’s all the same to you, I prefer to go by my first name here…though it doesn’t really matter, I suppose. Just a personal affectation.” A mirthless smile spreads in a line across her face. “Ha, I’m quite certain that you’d much rather never see my face ever again, Darling.”

…Somehow you don’t think you’d ever be that lucky.

>>Visit the leader of the Disassociated Ones.

>>Find Rath and regroup.

>>Speak with West...or Francine, a little longer.

>>Write-In

AND

>>Use the implant immediately. B’ni’s connection to you is too large a threat to ignore.

>>Wait to use the implant until you’ve had it looked at by Gina or someone else you trust.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3507150
>>Write-In
>"Enjoy the time you have left, West. I assure you, one way or another, it won't be long."
>>Find Rath and regroup.

>>Wait to use the implant until you’ve had it looked at by Gina or someone else you trust.
>>
>>3507150
>>Find Rath and regroup.
And
>>Wait to use the implant until you’ve had it looked at by Gina or someone else you trust.
Well, with this we got a good compromise anyways id argue.

>>3507149
I was pointing out with that first statement you were jumping to unfair conclusions that id sacrifice everything just to cut it, so why shouldn't i make the same about you?

>>3507131
I think the issue is that the stakes keep sky rocketing by major steps in relative rapid concession, putting a strain on each decesion and making it feel like we're struggling heavily to keep up at all with what we need to succeed in beating the crucible.
>>
>>3507161
>I was pointing out with that first statement you were jumping to unfair conclusions that id sacrifice everything just to cut it, so why shouldn't i make the same about you?
Because my unfair conclusions were based on your stated motivations. It's not the unfair part that I'm upset with, it's the inaccurate part.
>>
>>3507150
>Find Rath and regroup.

>Wait to use the implant until you’ve had it looked at by Gina or someone else you trust.
Preferably dont use it.
>>
>>3507165
Yeah, there's no way that thing is safe. If Gina knew enough to vouchsafe it, then we wouldn't have come here in the first place. But there are going to be a lot of people who insist that we have to do anything for the sake of removing the bond to B'Ni, but at least this will put off their stupid decisions for a bit longer.
>>
The Implant might be dangerous lets only use it once we had it confirmed by Gina and maybe even a third party(preferably a crafter) that it will be harmless to use
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall close in the next two hours. There may be a delay after the voting period closes, as I shall be heading home from work. Thank you all for participating, and I hope you're having a good day.)
>>
>>3507163
Doesn't matter, don't jump to conclusions if you want to be taken more seriously, especially if you're gonna say things like
>>3507149
>Fucking yay.
Whenever your way does not succeed. Trust me, ive lost out on and had to compromise on things i thought just as important as this, yet as much as im an asshole through and through i dont yell at folks to 'keep it together' and other nonsense.

I suck at wording so ill apologize if this sounds more snarky or dickish than i mean, i really honestly do not care, i enjoy both calm and heated conversations, all im trying to say is its a difference of opinion, we both want whats best for the characters, just keep that in mind.
>>
>>3507150
>"...Have fun in space, Francine. Send a phone call from the moon sometime or whatever. But all the same, I still hope your creator doesn't fuse with a space parasite to devastate more worlds and civilizations."
>Find Rath and regroup.
>Wait to use the implant until you’ve had it looked at by Gina or someone else you trust.
Waiting seems to be the popular consensus right now.
>>
>>3507173
Yeah, West wining would probably result in her destroying the Disassociated on her way out. She doesn't even have to be doing it intentionally, something the size of the Crucible parasite moving around is going to disrupt orbits catastrophically.

>>3507177
Yeah, we both want what's best for the characters, but your risk-assessment is really messed up. You're scared of the super-Daughter that wants to kill us, so your solution is to get help from the other super-Daughter that wants to kill us. It's just compounding the problems.
>>
>>3507150
>"Later Franks"

>Visit the leader and have Gina look at the tech ball first.
>>
>>3507185
Id give you an legitimate response but honestly?
>>3507171
>but at least this will put off their stupid decisions for a bit longer.
You're just an asshole who doesn't like not getting their way.

>>3507172
>>3507178
Its still best to use it, but this West seemed very disturbingly genuine. Still, we have a chance to let Gina look it over perhaps. Maybe.

The big issue is this still does not make it safe to communicate with her, as the whole point of the device in part is to make that safe again.

Niku might be able to help us, maybe Magpie as she has her own?
>>
>>3507178
>>3507190
Can we not call her Francine? I don't want to give her that. She's West. Even if she by some bizarre chance actually isn't just playing the Disassociated and really is doing good, she's still not our friend.

>>3507195
>You're just an asshole who doesn't like not getting their way.
I'm not just that, I'm also an asshole who doesn't want us to get our brains melted because you're all so desperate.
>>
>>3507198
Did I vote to call her francine or did I vote to call her FUCKING FRANKS
>>
>>3507204
Not even that. That sort of irreverence implies friendly familiarity.
>>
>>3507198
It's a really small thing, and doing something just to be spiteful isn't productive. It just puts us in a bad headspace. And if she really is doing good, than it's unjustly spiteful at that.
>>
>>3507210
She doesn't deserve it. We're not her friend, we are at best a neutral party, and maintaining distant formality will help affirm that. It's not even about spite, it's about "don't get used to this asshole being someone we can trust".
>>
>>3507210
Eh, i mean i actually agree with >>3507198
I think she might actually be what she says she is, but that hardly makes her deserving of a different name. Lets not call her anything but West.
>>
>>3507209
Well then I'm just going to disagree with you. Like other anon said, it's small and spiteful.
>>
>>3507210
>>3507218
Im jist gonna say, if we don't trust her enough to use her device, there's no reason to trust she isn't just another West deserving of being called such.
>>
>>3507223
No, there's a pretty big difference between letting someone fiddle with your brain and merely calling them one name over the other. Even Franks said so.
>>
>>3507223
Also, the device is almost without a doubt safe. Regardless of your opinion on getting it, she already had the chance to shove it in our head and have anything negative be done. She has literally no reason to trick us on it not being exactly and only what she says it is, because if it was not, it would already be in our head.
>>
>>3507217
I'm sorry, but I'm not getting the logic here. If she's what she says she is than how is she undeserving of being called differently? In that scenario, would we really want to keep associating her with the Dr. West we hate and plan to eventually take down?
>>
>>3507233
The name is symbolic of her being different from the other Wests. If we're not going to treat her as trustworthy, then it makes no sense to call her by any other name.

>>3507236
Or she's just surprised we were that desperate. "Shit, she would have let me operate on her right here? I was not expecting her to give me that chance, I already the self-administering version. Ah, crap."
>>
>>3507242
So we can't have two different people we don't trust? I guess we'd better start calling Bni West. The whole Midnight crew too. Also the second half of your post is just silly.
>>
>>3507239
Because she still could've and probably did do horrible things. At best, she sounds like shes trying to make up for it, nothing else.

>>3507242
We literally saw her building it. And even if we didn't, she had ample time to change it or build one that was different, as we had no idea what to expect but had submitted to letting it happen. Shes also not the type to really be caught off guard in that way id imagine. If she wanted something bad in our head, it would be there.

Now whos just trying to used messed up logic to convince themselves of what they want, eh?
>>
>>3507150

>>Write in
>I hope that you truly are as different as you claim to be. But if these daughters are only safe from the Killcommand because they stripped themselfes of there Humanity and Biomass what will happen to you will you go the same Way?

> Bid her Goodbye without dropping a Name and leave
>>
>>3507210
>what is not telling the truth
as long as she a part of West, she's not trust worthy, just because we haven't caught her in a lie doesn't mean she is truthful all the time.
>>
>>3507254
Yeah, okay. Though I'd still call her Francine as a show of having benefit of the doubt at least. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

>>3507255
I'm fine with adding that to my vote.>>3507178
>>
>>3507250
Not when those two different people are literally two iterations of the same person, no. This West wants to be called Francine to set her apart from the rest of the Dr. Wests. If we're going to treat her as not any different from them, then the symbolism of letting her use a new name is contrary to that.

And no, I don't think it's silly. We voted for something desperate, other people in the quest should be surprised by the normally-composed Shu doing something desperate.

>>3507254
She sure seemed surprised to me. She didn't have ample time after she already handed it over to us and we made it clear we genuinely expected her to operate on us. It was too late then. I still don't trust it.

But you're right in the abstract. I am being kind of a jerk over this. I don't know why I'm getting so frustrated over this vote, I apologize to everyone else. I'm pretty sure I'm not just voting based on an emotional response and that I have actual logic backing it up, but it was definitely unkind and immature to call the people voting the other direction idiots. I'm sorry, you don't deserve that.
>>
>>3507258
>>3507267

Yall are letting your west hatred seriously distort your judgement. She seems different from the West collective. We respect this name choice and lose nothing. If she's legit we get in the good graces of a benevolent West. If she's evil we mislead her into believing we trust her more than we actually do. As for the tech ball, us being in the room when she built it means nothing. We don't have the technological knowhow to detect mischief.

And we're already treating her different from the west collective by having this civil conversation. Like I said, there's a pretty fucking massive gap between name choice and brain surgery. We're on good terms with Mara but we're not about to let her poke around in our head. Same with Magpie. This doesn't mean they're on the same level as west. Just because we don't trust someone 100% doesn't mean we can onpy trust them 0%. There are shades of grey, it's not all black and white.
>>
>>3507266
Another thing is, she really hasn't earned us listening to her request

>>3507267
Thats silly. By actually both our statements last vote, if she wanted to fuck us over, we were fucked the second we layed down on the table. The simple fact is, if she wanted to implant something bad into our head, we literally had agreed to let her do it.

She didn't. The device is safe, or at least safe from her meddling.
>>
>>3507290
Are you listening to yourself? On the one hand you say she had the chance to kill or lobotomize us right here, knowing we'd interfere with central west plans in the future, and she didn't. And in the same post you say she hasn't earned enough trust for us to respect a simple name preference. By those standards it's literally impossible for her to prove herself.
>>
>>3507267
(Anon, I know things have gotten heated, but that just makes me appreciate the last part of your post even more. Well played, and I respect you taking a step back and making a post like that.)

(Gentlemen, this Vein's opened on some tough calls, and more will doubtless follow after the last 19th Vein's rather subdued events. I appreciate heated discussions almost as much as I admire the civility you all continually display, so thank you for your participation, one and all.)
>>
>>3507312
Oh no, you misunderstand. On the name part, im fully and totally being petty, as i despise west.

The difference is, the connection cutting is important, so i use logic there and despite my disdain of her, have to admit to what she is really doing and has really done.

The name part isn't, so im using it as a bit of cathartic arguing against her simply to get back at her in some way.
>>
>>3507283
We've had civil conversations with Wests before, even after realizing how evil she was. Shu's generally pretty civil. And like I said, it's symbolic. Using a different name means accepting this West at her word. You do have a point that if she is malevolent (a different question from if she's evil, because she definitely still is no matter what), then at least this tricks her. But I'm not sure it matters. Worst case scenario for her, she dies in a ball of nuclear fire as the Disassociated's fission pulse drive malfunctions, whether from Mother attacking it on its way out or simply flaws in the design because what experimentation can they possibly have done on it? Best case scenario for her, she's away in space forever and we never deal with her again. Either way, there's no benefit to be had by tricking this West, because the remaining Wests will know that we are definitely not cool with the rest of them and they're the ones we'll be dealing with.

>>3507290
Based on her surprise, I think she thought that we knew more than we did, and that we were expecting to only be scanned and given a less-invasive option rather than to be cut open. If she was working under those assumptions, then she'd have to leave it as a delayed trap, because she expected that if she started cutting into us our friends would attack. And it's not like we can vouchsafe this, if we're coming to West in the first place that means we don't have access to anyone else with in-depth knowledge of cybernetic neuromodification. If this isn't a trap, then I think we need someone other than Gina to analyze it. I'm not sure who, though. Maybe someone else in the Disassociated, is there any chance we could make friends here?
>>
She will fuck us over, should've just killed her.
>>
>>3507326
It's an exceptionally bad idea to shed blood in your host's home and kill one of their own with no provocation.
>>
>>3507322
Pretty sure Shu has been built up as a character who isn't the slightest bit petty, so this seems pretty OOC, but vote how you want I guess. Maybe she could use a bit of pettiness.

>>3507323
Not sure why you want to be a jerk if there's no major upsides or downsides. Pretty small hill to lose our moral paragon status over.
>>
>>3507323
She wasn't surprised at all, she actually just seemed disinterested and showed little to no emotion based on our decision to let her do it. She showed no surprise, literally just pointed at the recliner and started her work. I think you just don't like that it is a thing that happened in the first place, so want to justify doing the closest to what you wanted that didn't happen, regardless of logic.

Also, the DOs trust her and are about to leave. We already made ourselves probably vert unwelcome here by our outburst at her, and with them getting ready to jet off, i doubt due to both of those anyone will give newcomers who aren't sticking around any attention, let alone friendship.

Also im thinking November got kicked out for trying to force them to attack the cord rather than flee, is my guess.
>>
>>3507336
Eh, its less about IC pettiness and more i think Shu is allowed her anger and IC West has gotten her angrier than anything else. Even Shu is not infallible, its not unfair to say shes no less a good person for a moment of not giving the face of her enemy a favor, no matter how small.

But you do make a good point too. Like i said, its kinda my way at getting back at the fact id like to think ive made good Argument for the device being safe, but that means we have a reason to be slightly kind to a version of west, and i do not like that.
>>
>>3507336
>Not sure why you want to be a jerk if there's no major upsides or downsides. Pretty small hill to lose our moral paragon status over.
If being slightly insulting to an iteration of a mass-murderer who wants to mass-murder even more is enough to lose moral paragon status, then moral paragon status was never worth anything in the first place. Besides, there is a benefit, that being pride. Shu is in a bad space right now, I think it would be quite satisfying to not be nice to an awful person .

>>3507343
No, I'm talking about her surprise after the examination. Telling us to sit down in the chair is in line with both sets of expectations, either way we need to be examined first. But she definitely seemed confused as to why we expected there to be more.
>You just stare at her, holding your puzzled expression long enough for her to give you an irritated scowl from beneath her sweat-clumped bangs.
>“What’s that look for? I thought you’d prefer to have someone other than myself look it over before you fully commit.” She huffs, gathering her armful of scrap and shuffling back to the cabinet. “If you’re willing to let someone like me rifle around in your head then I’d advise you re-assess your priorities, my dear.”

And as for whether I'm trying to justify not doing this...I don't know, maybe. I think that my logic for never trusting West ever is sound, but I can't deny that there is an emotional aspect. That's why I want more than just Gina to verify this, it would put my mind at ease. I think there's at least a chance one of the other Disassociated Ones working here could be convinced to look at the neural suppressor first, you're right that they probably don't have time for us but we can at least try.

As for November, possibly. It fits with her being ex-military. Other possible explanations are her also opposing West or just her rejecting the total mind-machine uploading part. Maybe we can find out while we're here, Rath will have been asking questions while she was away.
>>
>>3507359
Oh don't get me wrong, we should look the device over a bit yes, but honestly she doesn't sound surprised really, only annoyed. Shes actually outright saying she could've done it herself but wanted to give us a reason to trust it. But if it was not safe and her not sincere, then she wouldn't care about that. Shes not surprised, just annoyed she did something nice for us to put us at ease, and we look at her like she spat in our face for it.

My biggest worry like i said is, we need the device to 100% safely get to Gina, which kinda makes having Gina look it over not a good option.

As for November, i dont know if she even knows anything about West outside the DOs. But you could be right on the second part, as she did say she is still very mildly organic i think?
>>
>>3507359
I don't think we should hold a divergent clone to the sins of their original.
>>
>>3507150
>>Thank Francine, only slightly begrudgingly
She seems nice, I hate West as much as the next Anon but this is a separate person who wants to be called something else because she wants to distance herself from West. We don't have to be totally comfortable with it but Shu is kind and reasonable.

>>Visit the leader of the Disassociated Ones.
We don't need to any more but it might be interesting and it would be a shame not to before we leave.

>>Wait to use the implant until you’ve had it looked at by Gina or someone else you trust.
It's safe to give Francine the benefit of the doubt as far as being civil to her is concerned but trusting her over something this important would be foolhardy.
>>
>>3507369
>Shes not surprised, just annoyed she did something nice for us to put us at ease, and we look at her like she spat in our face for it.
West seems to express surprise as annoyance at things not going her way, though. I guess I'm just not willing to take the supervillain at her word and trust that she didn't slip something dangerous in. Or am I too willing to take her at her word that she's got all these plans within plans? Hmm, now I don't know how to feel, my paranoia has looped around on me.

>My biggest worry like i said is, we need the device to 100% safely get to Gina, which kinda makes having Gina look it over not a good option.
Yeah, that part is true. I mean, we're probably safe so long as no (HEY, WHAT IS THIS, AM I SEEING SHU'S THOUGHTS AGAIN?) bits get added to file names, but it's still a risk. That's another reason why I'd like a Disassociated One to check it, they're closer.

>As for November, i dont know if she even knows anything about West outside the DOs. But you could be right on the second part, as she did say she is still very mildly organic i think?
Yeah, West had some organic parts, at least enough left that she needed life support for it. I'm guessing she's still got a biological brain instead of uploading. I'm betting that the Disassociated Ones' uploading process probably had a lot of losses that November thought were unacceptable. They've only had two years to work on this, and electronic data storage isn't nearly as good as biological (yet), so there would have to be a lot of stuff cut for room even if they were perfectly efficient. Everyone in these massively compressed file formats, losing so much of who they are.

>>3507372
She's not that divergent, and even if she was she's complicit with the crimes of the original. She's connected to the network and instead of trying to stop the other Wests is giving them a backup plan just in case it doesn't work. So fine, maybe she doesn't deserve treatment at full West levels, but she's at least the Kurt Blome to her Josef Mengele.
>>
>>3507369
(am WorkAnon now Home.)

>>3507413
>my paranoia has looped around on me.
honestly? i think you just dont want to trust her no matter what is logical or true, which i understand, but i still think if she was gonna fuck us over with it, she would already have done so. she just has had too many opportunities to screw us hard for it to not actually be safe to use. still a bitch tho, like even if shes 100% what she says she is, her attitude is still bitchy in alot of ways.

>but it's still a risk. That's another reason why I'd like a Disassociated One to check it, they're closer.
in all fairness, my DO statements were not exactly meant to say im 100% against trying to get someone to double check, only it was unlikely anyone would.

>November
actually, November said that the process of entering her new body scrambled alot of her brain, so i guess her brain is not organic. or did she just mean the augments she does have scrambled her brains, in which only part of her brain might be organic? hrm, i really cant remember exactly how she said it on on this topic.

also, for what little it is worth, i have enjoyed out discussions greatly despite any heated words, and dont hold anything against ya.
>>
>>3507456
>honestly? i think you just dont want to trust her no matter what is logical or true, which i understand, but i still think if she was gonna fuck us over with it, she would already have done so. she just has had too many opportunities to screw us hard for it to not actually be safe to use. still a bitch tho, like even if shes 100% what she says she is, her attitude is still bitchy in alot of ways.
I think it's more that I'm having trouble figuring out what is logical or true. There are so many unknowns about Dr. West that I don't feel confident making any predictions about her behavior, and assuming everything is a threat is therefore safer. At the very least, it means that when she pulls an inevitable "ha ha, what a fool you were for even making assumptions at all!" on us I'm already mad at her instead of getting any whiplash.

>actually, November said that the process of entering her new body scrambled alot of her brain, so i guess her brain is not organic. or did she just mean the augments she does have scrambled her brains, in which only part of her brain might be organic? hrm, i really cant remember exactly how she said it on on this topic.
I think it's that she's partially organic. I can't see what else she would have retained of her biology if she's going to go cybernetic on her brain and at least

>also, for what little it is worth, i have enjoyed out discussions greatly despite any heated words, and dont hold anything against ya.

Yeah, same. I've gotten heated sometimes, you've gotten heated others, regardless we're all still trying to have fun here. The fact that we can move past our differences to still focus on the neat story is one of the things that makes this horrific and deeply disturbing premise one of the highlights of my day.
>>
>>3507413
I think she's more divergent than that, if she only has one ability at level three she had to have been split off long ago.
>>
>>3507497
she said 5 months. makes sense, given that, plus being stuck with people who upgrade via tech, not consumption.

>>3507487
>First Part
probably wont help you much, but one thing to remember is West is a 'Greater Good' person. she has an end goal, and every action is solely for that goal. this specific Wests only goal is to go with the DOs into space, and to make sure she and them survive said journey, and i think its is VERY safe to say, she is not lying on that. it is a VERY West thing to have a backup plan like that. but the thing about that then is, we do not matter to that plan, nor is she in any way trying to do anything with any other Wests plan. harming us does nothing to help her goal here, if anything fucking us over may hinder it by making the DOs a new enemy, regardless of how likely it is for us to be a threat. getting us out of here as happy and content as can be helps her goal the most, and even for the main West, helps her goals the most, due to that specific Wests entire Existence being said backup plan.

even West has clear and visible things you can expect from her, and 'anything for the end' goal is one of them. aiding in the main Wests goals would not make sense even by West standards, as any such actions that are revealed or go awry could potentially make said DO West seen negatively to the DOs, so it is best even by West logic for her to be the best person she can be, even to us.

and disturbingly, i think ive just made it to where she could both be telling us 100% the truth while not being any different actually than any other West, which is somehow terrifying.

>November
makes sense, its just a matter of how much and what its side effects were. like i said, i know memory scrambling was one of them, aswell as losing all but i think it was 25% efficiency with her Abilities(which does imply organic components), but other side effects and how they may of driven her to leave is up in the air. hopefully West has not killed her too and we will see her again.
>>
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>>3507150

"I hope that you're truly as different as you claim to be." You say, giving the doctor a once-over. "But if these Daughters are only safe from the killswitch because they stripped themselves of their humanity and biomass, will you go the same way?"

"It's what I was created for. My raison d'etre, I suppose. " West replies, one hand on the double doors opposite you. You nod in contemplation before meeting her cool blue gaze.

"Thank you, Francine." You say, turning away and leading Amara by the hand as the three of you exit.

There.

Just before you withdraw your empathic field, you sense something very faint flicker within the construct you've walked away from. It's a feeling quite familiar to you, an emotion you've felt when, for a fleeting moment, you're referred to as 'Shu' by one who's known you when you were called a monster's name.

It's a flicker of hope.

It takes you longer than you'd care to admit to find Rath, but eventually your wanderings and collection of distinctly unhelpful directions given to you by hurried cyborgs allow you to find the weapon's testing area. You approach the chamber from the walkways above, running the length of the multitude of honeycombed, identical rooms, each holding a different weapon or training regiment. You catch sight of her after a quick search, spying a faint ginger figure at the bottom of one of the chambers.

(Continued)
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>>3507540

The sight of the redhead below gives you pause, your step down the staircase retracting as you realize Rath isn’t throwing her arms around like a wild brawler, but rather she’s working on a deliberate form, repeating it over and over as you watch from above.

You realize she’s begun to shift in a way, when you weren’t looking. Her light, her inner fire remains unchanged, but now…she’s not this wild, undirected fury, not anymore. Purpose alights in her eyes, flowing through every strike, every motion as she practices with focused intent. She’s snapped out of her routine as Amara bounds down the stairs to meet her, throwing herself at the older girl who promptly catches her in an eight-armed hug.

“What’s crackin’, kiddo?” Rath says contentedly, ruffling the girl’s hair as you arrive at the base of the stairs.

“Doctor West gave Miss Shu a brain ball!” Amara replies happily, and you grit your teeth for impact as you watch Rath’s smile run away from her face with frightening speed.

“It’s fine, Rath. This iteration was actually the most civil one we’ve met thus far, though I’m still not going to use this unless I get a second opinion.” You say, giving the Device a gentle pat in your pocket. “Once I know it’s safe to use we won’t have to worry about B’ni seeing through my eyes anymore, so there’s that.”

“Alright…good, cool.” Rath replies, still a little shaken at West’s sudden appearance as her extra limbs slide back to her body, leaving her slight, muscular arms hanging awkwardly at her sides.

“Have you found out anything about persons of interest here?” You ask her, sensing a vague aura of embarrassment that flares when the question leaves your mouth.

“No, I was, um…just here, for a little while.” She stammers, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other. “Hey, uh… I’m sorry I just ran off like that, I don’t…I’m sorry, that was really stupid and risky. It won’t happen again, man.”

You blink.

First a tolerable iteration of Doctor West, and now a timid Rath…you’re not sure what to make of this, but it’s really throwing you off.

>>Reach out to Gina and meet with her to inspect the Disruption Device. It’s a risk, but you’re betting that you can get to Gina before B’ni can catch up, allowing you to sever the bond and disappear once more.

>>Try to explore the Facility and find someone you can run the Device by, just to make sure it’s safe. After all, you surely can’t be the only person her who’s reticent to put full faith in anyone wearing West’s face.

>>Even though the Proxy known as Francine had a lot to say about the Disassociated Ones, you still have some questions you’d like the answers to. You’ll find The Guide and visit the Daughter in charge here.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3507543
>>Try to explore the Facility and find someone you can run the Device by, just to make sure it’s safe. After all, you surely can’t be the only person her who’s reticent to put full faith in anyone wearing West’s face.
well it cant hurt to try, eh? better to do this first at least, before we risk Gina at all. its also the safest we will ever be too to look for such a person, funnily enough. i also really dont have any questions about the DOs, seems pretty cut and dry honestly, one of the few things like i said she very much wouldn't be lying about for sure.
>>
>>3507543
>>Try to explore the Facility and find someone you can run the Device by, just to make sure it’s safe. After all, you surely can’t be the only person her who’s reticent to put full faith in anyone wearing West’s face.
>>Even though the Proxy known as Francine had a lot to say about the Disassociated Ones, you still have some questions you’d like the answers to. You’ll find The Guide and visit the Daughter in charge here.
I want to know about West's device, but I also want to know about this spaceship plan they've got. They've really got an Orion drive? That's awesome, if it works. Hey, if we don't have the Crucible all wrapped up by the time they get to the asteroid belt, could they toss a few back down the gravity well towards us? I don't want to die from orbital kinetic bombardment, but if we haven't solved everything within a year of in-game time it's because we're already dead, so I don't have a problem.
>>
>>3507581
you know, Orion Drive or not, it is pretty impressive what they have done in just two years time. shame they are fleeing the problem instead of fighting to beat it.

but if we do fail, destroying earth and the crucible along with it is a good alternative yes. better the crucible dies and ends this ones cycles if we cannot turn it into a way to fix or at least stabilize the earth.
>>
>>3507584
You know, that's the thing I find odd about the premise of the Crucible. Both Karma and Mother herself have said that such cosmic parasites are common. However, the Crucible only ever produces a single offspring at each generation. It can't propagate, it only goes in sequence from world to world. It should be easy for any given world-parasite's line to be broken, over enough cycles it's near inevitable. So if these things are common, does that mean that something else is making and distributing them? Is there another level up, a Grandmother that spawn the Crucibles? Or is the Crucible just broken, and it's supposed to make multiple Honored Daughters but just can't?
>>
>>3507584
I kind of want to wish them luck before we go. They're said to have discarded their humanity, but if all else fails then they'll be all that's left of humanity. Shoot for that stars, robot girls, while we try to have a world to come back to and to prosper again.
>>
>>3507593
could be any number of things really. the grandmother idea is quite nice. the last part could also be true. remember, the new mother gets to make one big change, so long as that change does not end or stop the crucible/cycle. maybe one bitch out there decided to be greedy, and didn't like seeing all of a planets resources get split into weaker crucibles, aswell as the cords collection, and so for this instance at least, changed it to a super crucible as it was. it also could be an out of control experiment or weapon from another race, though with how it operates, i dont think that is true.

i also wonder what 'common' means in this case. depending on how common sentient life is in this universe, that could mean millions, or it could mean 5. it seems very likely there are far less crucible than sentient, biological life holding planets, as they would need to make sure their food source always exists afterall, and it seems far too focused on continuing the cycle to over indulge.

>>3507596
fair enough. im very indifferent as i kinda see them as cowards honestly. all this tech and strength, and they run instead of fight.
>>
>>3507596
We can hope. Give them access to the asteroids and the outer planets and they'll have mineral and energy resources beyond what humanity ever imagined. So long as the Crucible doesn't destroy them on its way out, they'd be the best hope for us.

That said, once we wish them luck we actually should get out of here, people talk about how nuclear rockets aren't that radioactive but they're still pretty radioactive. The optimal fallout zone for a nuclear pulse drive is eighty kilometers, we're probably more radiation-resistant than humans are but I don't want to test it.

>>3507612
>it seems very likely there are far less crucible than sentient, biological life holding planets, as they would need to make sure their food source always exists afterall, and it seems far too focused on continuing the cycle to over indulge.
Oh, that's an idea, maybe they communicate between each other to limit their population? If there are too many Crucibles relative to the current number of inhabited planets, they'll limit their offspring to only maintain their population rather than expand it. Though we know that at least in the last cycle there were enough of them that the Hexane both knew the Crucible was coming and knew what it was in advance. That suggests that there were enough civilizations around at that point that planets could talk to each other and give warnings about the world-eaters.
>>
>>3507626
Ah. How far away is the Monastery? Because now I feel like asking if their liftoff will have devastating fallout and how far. Granted they're starting their liftoff from deep underground, but still.
>>
>>3507631
(The Monastery is well out of the blast zone, no worries.)
>>
>>3507626
well they could've just been really advanced, but yeah they would've had to have at least seen it in action to know what it was. i mean, even if they saw the giant deadly planet sized flesh thing heading their way, without some other knowledge they wouldn't of known what to expect when it arrives.

the idea Crucibles communicate with eachother is outright terrifying but entirely possible.
mfw the Crucibles keep a collection from past worlds they have eaten.
mfw the Crucibles have a sense of pride in their cycle in a way.
mfw we beat this one, and several others head towards us excitingly hoping to add a world that could beat another crucible to their collection, not to mention the delicious meal of eating a dead crucible and this worlds biomass.
>>
>>3507638
Hopefully we'll be able to mine Mother's corpse for interesting technologies like the Hexane wanted to do before Charon's partner betrayed them. Other world-eaters show up and between us reverse-engineering Crucible biotech and the Disassociated getting a space-based civilization going we'll be able to fight them.
>>
Also, just a random thought that occured to me, but "Charon" is pronounced with a hard "ch", so Amara probably thinks that her name is just us pronouncing "Karen" weirdly. It's our fun space alien buddy, Karen.
>>
>>3507656
pff, haha.

>>3507654
this is the future you choose.
>>
>>3507551
actually, before voting ends, add in;
>Ask Amara if she is ok and how she is faring.
girl recently just saw, heard, and went trough alot of shit here, and for once looked pretty shaken up. not a good sign we should ignore.
>>
>>3507343
You do know what deep cover spies are right? Francine as you guys like to call her might be able to be remote controlled by the main West, or any other amount of bad shit. She's a neuromancer, the possibilites of fuckery are endless.
>>
>>3507707
Dude, let it go. It's past, let's just move on.
>>
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>>3507661

"It's fine, Rath. I get it, that was a lot." You say with an understanding smile. "I had some trouble stomaching all of..."

Two sharp taps on the wall behind you prompt you to turn.

"Ey, lass. You done with this room?" Comes the Scottish brogue of a towering figure clad in a patchwork of ornate armor. The doorway that opened silently behind you must be at least four feet wide and twice as tall, and yet the hulking warrior dominates every inch of the frame. A cannon almost as large as the woman herself is hooked onto her left shoulder, though the seems ignorant of its weight as she saunters into the blank white space of the training cubicle.

"Name's Beira. Saw you practicing an' didn't want to disturb you." She says, giving the four of you an appraising once over, replete with a warm smile through strands of the long ashen hair draped over the twisted metal that girds her frame. "Like I said, are you done?"

When no response comes, you turn to find Rath slack-jawed, eyes darting over the woman's features, both natural and man-made.

"...big." She murmurs softly as the gunner before you cocks her head to one side, puzzled.

Huh.

"It's all yours, Beira." You say, prompting your red-haired companion to pick her jaw up off the floor and re-assemble herself into coherency.

"...Y-yeah, s'all yours." Rath mutters in agreement, still unable to take her eyes off the massive cannon attach to the woman's pauldron.

"Now, I don't mean to cause you to leave if you're not wanting to." Beira intones, holding up an armored hand in deference. To your surprise Amara steps forwards, giving you a small wink before turning full to the towering woman. "I get plenty of practice here, so fair's fair."

"Are we safe from Doctor West here, Miss Beira?" Amara says fearfully, holding her whistle up in front of her face as she feigns nervous shake. The woman gives a deep, boisterous chuckle as she kneels, still looming over your youngest ally as she speaks to her in a stage whisper.

"Ha, if you're scared of West then you have a good head on your shoulders." She replies, and Amara bashfully trots back to you before giving you a knowing wink.

Clever girl, that one.

"You lot are more than welcome to take your time, 'specially if you're tryin' to avoid one of West's more aggressive projects." Beira says as she rises to full height. "I'm captain of the guard, so I keep an eye on things 'round here. You all are fresh faces, and I'd like for you to feel welcome. We're all Daughters here, an' that puts us all in the same sinkin' boat."

>>You're not sure if Beira has anything that might help you determine the safety of the Device, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

>>Ask Beira if she knows anyone that would be willing to inspect the Device, just to be safe.

>>Urge Rath via empathic channel to talk to Beira and see if she'd be willing to help. Meanwhile, you'd like to take Amara aside and check in on her after everything that's happened.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)

(Also, my apologies for any bamboozling, as my phone somehow mass auto-corrected Beira's name to a different spelling.)
>>
>>3507719
>Urge Rath to chat with Baira while you have storytime With Amara.
>>
>>3507719
Oh, man, this lady is awesome. One post worth of content (two if you count the near-bamboozle) and I already think she's the best. Please don't go to space with the rest of the Disassociated Ones, Beira. Please stay on Earth with us so that Rath can be all awkwardly tongue-tied around you until we finally get her to ask you out.

>>Urge Rath via empathic channel to talk to Beira and see if she'd be willing to help. Meanwhile, you'd like to take Amara aside and check in on her after everything that's happened.
I don't even care about whether Amara is alright (okay, that's a lie, I love our precious little sister and want her to be happy), I just want an excuse to make Rath talk to this cyber-amazon.
>>
>>3507719
well...i mean, Shu doesn't have to do EVERYTHING herself, so...

>>Urge Rath via empathic channel to talk to Beira and see if she'd be willing to help, or knows anyone else willing to check over the device. Meanwhile, you'd like to take Amara aside and check in on her after everything that's happened.
i mean, maybe we can ask Julia too, but she could help with Amara better, and i have a feeling Rath will connect with this gal well. also, maybe i was wrong on Amara haha, but to be fair, she did show her first signs of genuine worry earlier, so a brave face or no, i think checking in on her is the right thing to do.
>>
>>3507717
her may of had the page not refresh correctly and thought that was a new message. happens sometimes.

>>3507727
i think Rath was interested in her for different reasons than attraction to the girl...or, maybe shes interested in her because of those reasons? Rath does seem to like weaponry, and i cant help but wholly agree with that sentiment.
>>
>>3507733
>i think Rath was interested in her for different reasons than attraction to the girl...or, maybe shes interested in her because of those reasons? Rath does seem to like weaponry, and i cant help but wholly agree with that sentiment.
I think it's that she's interested in her because of those other reasons. Rath likes big weapons, she likes strong women who take charge, give her this badass security chief with a giant gun and she's going to be drooling.
>>
(Also as an aside, is there anything you wish to bring up to Amara, or perhaps a story from the last Vein's post-script that you wished to impart to her now? I would have put a (write-in) at the end of that particular option, but I had only two more characters to spare for the limits.)
>>
>>3507747
Rath likes big weapons and she cannot lie.
>>
>>3507749
>>3507719
>Ask Amara if she is ok or scared.
>Ask her what may be bothering her, and try and quell them.
>Reassure her that while things are dangerous now, you wont stop, and you are working to get things UNDER CONTROL.

thing is, for the story, it just...doesn't feel like the right moment. unless she asks us about Isabelle more in depth BHOP, in which case, sure, we can use the story to do that/use that as an excuse to tell it.
>>
>>3507754
Yeah, it's not story time. If she asks about Isabelle right now, then we can get into that story, but otherwise save it for when we're out of the bunker. For now let's just focus on keeping her spirits up. Not to say that we expect her to be scared, she's a tough girl and we're proud of that, but if she is we understand because we know how stressful today was.
>>
>>3507733
>>3507747
I remember Kosi say Rath has a hardcore Dominant/Submissive fetish? Emphasis on the submissive part
>>
>>3507760
she apparently gets VERY turned on whenever Shu gives her orders, so yeah, shes quite the submissive.
>>
>>3507760
Yep. Rath likes to be ordered around. I imagine that is Beira was actually wearing a uniform instead of just techni-organic armor then Rath would be blushing so hard the metal beneath would melt. Which is an actual possibility given her fire powers.
>>
>>3507761
>”...Y-yeah, s'all yours." Rath mutters in agreement, still unable to take her eyes off the massive cannon attach to the woman's pauldron
Yeah Rath has a weapon fetish.
As Alucard would say: “Bitches love cannons”
>>
>>3507770
(I appreciate that reference.)
>>
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>>3507770
>>3507772
BHOP what is Raths raifu?
>>
>>3507775
(It's a good thing guns aren't more common-place, or else Rath would never get anything done. She's at wit's end with all the dominant women she's constantly surrounded by, so giving them more of them firearms would really just push her over the edge.)
>>
>>3507779
interesting, but dont side step the question BHOP!
>>
>>3507775
>>3507784
(If you're asking for her firearm waifu, her aunt once took her shooting and let her try her hand at the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, and she fell in love at first kick. She didn't get that much experience shooting since her parents frowned on it, but she loved what she tried with her aunt.)
>>
>>3507779
the moment Shu pulls a Kabedon (wall slam) is the moment Rath starts swooning
>>
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>>3507792
>Rath got to shoot a BAR
i didn't know i could be jealous of a fictional character. good taste, and a good aunt.
>>
>>3507779
We should have brought her on the hunting trip instead of Julia, she would have been so horned up from Magpie that the despair field wouldn't have done anything to her.
>>
>>3507802
(It's a magnificent piece of work, and one of my favorites I've fired next to the Thompson Submachinegun.)
>>
>>3507812
and now i am double jealous of you, you lucky bastard.
>>
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>>3507719

"Rath, I'm going to have a girl's chat with Amara for a second, so I'll leave you both to it. Care to join me, Julia?" You ask pointedly, feeling a modicum of guilt when the three of you leave a terribly flustered Rath behind, the imposing security chief towering over the much smaller girl at nearly double her height.

Once you've given the pair a safe distance across the surprisingly spacious training room, you kneel down in front of Amara, putting the two of you eye level as you give her a kind, warm smile.

"Today's been kind of rough, hasn't it?" You ask, and Amara gives you a rapid nod after a moment's reflection. "How're you doing? You've been awesome and so, so brave, and I just wanted to see how you were feeling."

"I'm okay! Really, I am!" She grins, and you share a subtly doubting glance with Julia.

"Alright, are you sure? You seemed pretty worried earlier, are you sure there's nothing you want to tell me?" You prompt, trying to ease past any brave front she may be putting up as you reach out with your empathic field, testing her feelings. To your pleasant surprise she seems alright, save for a lingering concern for you, of all people.

"Oh yeah, I'm fine!" She replies sweetly, beaming up at you. "It's just that you both were getting so mad, I couldn't tell you apart anymore."

Your smile falters as you stare into her heterochromatic gaze.

"...What?"

"The girl who lives here got really mad, and you did too!" She says, prodding your sternum with one small finger. "She's always mad, so it's easy to tell you apart, but not when you're both super-mad, 'cause then it gets confusing."

You swallow hard.

"Amara, who are y..."

"Again!?" Beira growls irritably across the space, making you turn to see her tapping an illuminated portion of her oversize gauntlet.

"W-what's wrong?" Julia asks as Beira strides up with Rath, the latter of whom is wide-eyed and red-faced.

"Marrow Dragoon just did another fly-by, this time back east." Beira explains with a sigh, the glow on her forearm fading as she lets the massive limb go slack at her side. "That dragon of hers makes the sensors light up like crazy, and I get alerts whenever she buzzes us, which is often. She keeps requesting an audience with the higher ups to delay the launch, but they keep shooting her down."

"...Uh, why is that?" You ask, trying to reel your whirling mind back to the present and away from what Amara just said.

(Continued)
>>
>>3507882

"Knowing's above my paygrade. I was hired to shoot and guard, and I get paid in upgrades. S' a good life, by comparison." Beira chuckles, patting her gigantic cannon as Rath's eyes practically sparkle. "All I've heard is that Mara keeps sayin' she's got a plan with the Crucible, but she won't elaborate. 'Least that's what I've picked up 'round abouts."

"Anyway, like I was telling your little friend here," Beira continues, oblivious to Rath's face going a deep, burning shade of scarlet at the woman's choice of adjective, "Professor Pendra in R&D should be able to give you an accurate assessment of the little gizmo West gave you. Pendra's an odd bird, but she knows her stuff. Got a disdain for West almost as strong as her respect for the woman's work, so she'll steer you straight."

She nods towards your pocket before placing one massive hand on Rath's shoulder with a wide smile, causing the younger girl to go stiff under her commanding presence.

"I'm afraid I need to get to shooting practice, and this room has the targets I like best, so..." Beira trails off, and far be it from you to keep the nicest person you've met in this bunker from her pastime. "It was a pleasure meeting you all, and be safe when you head out, understood?"

"Y-yes Ma'am." Rath replies, voice cracking slightly. You all say your goodbyes before Julia gives Rath a pat on the back and a knowing wink, making her blush deepen as the four of you depart the testing area. Maybe you'd be more in the mood to make light of Rath's interest in the cannon or the woman wielding it if your mind wasn't churning with what to do next.

>>Visit Head Researcher Pendra in the R&D Lab to examine the Device before rejoining Gina.

>>Mara's haste has you concerned. Follow her east and see if her hunt's come to an end.

>>You need to get some clarification from Amara. Was she talking about B'ni, or...?

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall close in the next eleven hours, with posting to resume in approximately thirteen, give or take. Also, since tomorrow is Wednesday, we'll be primed for an evening of rapid-posting if everyone's schedules permit, with one-hour voting intervals until evening's end. I shall be around a little longer this evening to address any questions, comments, or criticisms you may have, and thank you all for being fantastic as always. I wish you a good and restful evening, and take care.)
>>
>>3507884
>>Visit Head Researcher Pendra in the R&D Lab to examine the Device before rejoining Gina.
So Amara can hear Sam and Mara wants to delay the launch. And it's only now that I've said their names together that I realize how similar they are and that we found Amara in one of Mara's old hideouts. Aww. We should tell Mara that we named the kid after her and that she's the honorary Aunt.
>>
>>3507884
>>Visit Head Researcher Pendra in the R&D Lab to examine the Device before rejoining Gina.
As much as i want an explanation from Amara, we have more imediate concerns.
As curious as i am about Mara too, again, more imediate concerns. We probably will catch her attention anyways once we leave, so that can wait.

>>3507889
Fun as always BHOP!
>>
>>3507889
Thanks for running, BHOP. See you tomorrow.
>>
>>3507884
>Mara's haste has you concerned. Follow her east and see if her hunt's come to an end.
>"Amara, the girl who lives in me...has had...a rough life. And she knows B'ni. I know you haven't met B'ni, but this girl and B'ni... has a tragic story between them.
>Begin the storytime while you head east.
>>3507895
Also, I have a feeling that Mara's hunt is a little too successful. It's too good to be true. Isabelle might be pulling a page out of West's handbook and started making proxy clones of herself, letting Mara get a false impression of isabelle.
>>
>>3507891
You know, i just had a thought.
BHOP said Sam wasn't a threat to us, but what if she counts as a consumed/dreamscape daughter, so what if we somehow come to terms with her, then we get a swarmling upgrade, or another of the starting abilites? I have a feeling though it wouldn't be as easy as the other daughters who happily just handed our party said upgrades for nothing. Said price would almost certainly not be worth it too.

>>3507911
I don't think Mara has killed Isabelle or even fought her yet. She may just be trying to convince them to stay and help via having proof Isabelle exists, and/or found something new out that could help her defeat the crucible, but requires the DOs tech or something.
>>
>>3507911
I'm not sure that timeline fits. It's been maybe an hour or two since our last vision of B'Ni, and it sounds like Mara's been bugging the Disassociated for a while. I think she's changed her plan from hunting B'Ni so everyone can eat eternally-regenerating Rabbit and deal with the Hunger that way. That would fit with her coming here, because what point is there in talking to the cyborgs who no longer feel the Hunger about a cure she has for it? She wants something else. B'Ni may still play into that, but I don't think she's caught one yet.
>>
>>3507889
oh, BHOP, might be spoilery question, but just how much influence do dreamscape Daughters have? id assume it varies of course, but still.

because we have seen;
>Holly(?) make Shu fall asleep, though Shu was already tired. she also implied she could've done it sooner.
>Had Sam make us go nuts and write on a tree, but Sam might be special and it may of been because it triggered a memory.
>Kosi outright activated an ability in Ginas steed, though Gina is a Phantasmal User, she still isn't the Dreamscape based one.
and...i think there was at least one more instance, but im not sure. the first one is the most interesting though, as even if the conditions were still perfect for her, she still outright forced something upon us, or at least sped the process up, and most importantly, unlike the other two theres no other explanation besides thats just something Dreamscape Daughters can do.
>>
>>3507922
Interesting theory.
Lets discuss the spoiler theory further. If I'm understanding this correctly and from what has been shown so far:
>Isabelle brained Sam with the Lava lamp, but didn't "kill" Sam outright.
Sam was in the middle of dying (aka, blacking out from severe head trauma) when the Crucible nommed the entire planet and placed all the women into pods)
>Because of Sam's health (Dying in process) that must've mean that the Crucible treated Sam as a "loser" of the Crucible and killed her off while converting Sam's body into a Daughter vessel.
>Logical error occurred. Sam's mind had died in the process but now there's a daughter with blank memories and a blank personality yet to be defined.
>Sam's persona becomes a separate entity and Crucible logic treats her mind as "deceased/dream daughter" because the Crucible started immediately after Sam and her body got put into a pod.
>>
>>3507943
i can see that being how it worked. getting your brains splattered on a door probably causes some errors in the process, heh.
>>
>>3507943
Makes sense to me. And if you're going to come to terms with your past misdeeds manifested as a separate personality, you really should get a power-up out of it. It's just not proper, otherwise. Sam being someone we can get a new skill from makes good dramatic sense.
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>>3507938
(I'll try to avoid spoilers, but Dream Daughters can influence the Carrier Daughter if circumstances are favorable, or they can seriously push themselves to trigger their CONSUMED abilities at high risk of erasing themselves in part or in whole. Their chance of doing so successfully depends on the emotional connection to their Carrier. Holly is incredibly thankful to Shu and very fond of her, so lulling her to sleep when she was tired was a trivial thing. Sam's influence was precipitated by a shared memory in the garden and the trauma of seeing Rath almost die, losing Bella, and B'ni's suspicious behavior. Finally, Kosi took great risks to save you and Gina from the latter's breakdown, and made the saving throw to remain whole by the skin of her teeth.)
>>
>>3507967
>Kosi remaining whole by the skin of her teeth to break Gina out of the Depression.
God DAMN.
Cancer girl is such a trooper. Gina should've said "thank you" to Kosi instead of becoming a nervous wreck.
>Sam coming out from the trauma of almost seeing Rath die.
>Coming out only to mock Shu.
Bitch please get your priorities straight.
>>
>>3507967
ah, well that is quite interesting actually. didn't actually think that much went into Sam taking control, but it does make sense. godamned Kosi was the real MVP then of that fight, we'll have to thank her sometime.

thank you for answering.

>>3507978
Yeah Kosi has a knack for survival, and being dead apparently does not stop her from telling death to fuck right off.

also Sam is a bitch, and though she actually has good reasons for it, is super petty against us, it does make sense.
>>
>>3507978
>Cancer girl is such a trooper. Gina should've said "thank you" to Kosi instead of becoming a nervous wreck.
Given that her nervous wreck was about feeling like she was using people, that was actually probably part of it. "My best friend nearly killed herself so I wouldn't accidentally kill my girlfriend" would have just contributed to the shame spiral. But yes, Kosi is awesome. She went crazy for a while, but I love sane Kosi.
>>
>>3507978
(It was more Shu's fear and trauma making her extremely vulnerable to the negativity inherent in Sam's mental state. Also, Sam's pettiness is equal only to Kosi's ridiculous determination to keep hanging around to bug her best friend.)
>>
>>3507989
to be fair, literally rotting to death while trapped in place due to an issue not even being rebuilt by the fleshscape could fix probably would eventually make anyone go crazy for at least a little bit. the fact she broke herself out of the hunger probably says alot about her too. even went down fighting as best she could.

>Also, Sam's pettiness is equal only to Kosi's ridiculous determination to keep hanging around to bug her best friend.
well i mean, what more reason do you need?
>>
>>3508001
Oh, yeah, I'm not blaming Kosi for going crazy. Perfectly understandable, and she's more than established herself as trustworthy since then. Kosi's a cool person, I'm glad she's in Gina's head and not Mara's. For one thing, Mara would be disappointed on how few levels she ultimately turned out to provide.
>>
>>3508010
im actually curious on that bit, as her Consumption was highly unique. id say arguably the Quality of the Passives she provided could be argued to be above the 'level amount' they appeared to be via number we got.

said passives are hardly bad either, though im not sure Mara would've gotten them due to not having the connection to her like Gina did.
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>>3508014
Yeah, I'm mostly making a dumb joke, they're actually pretty good powers. The Consume option is the least predictable in how useful it is, especially if the eaten Daughter had hybrid skills. Some abilities are just better than others, you can get a lot of reward for only a single level in this system.
>>
>>3507884
>>Visit Head Researcher Pendra in the R&D Lab to examine the Device before rejoining Gina.
>> On the Way tell Amara a bit of Sams/B'nis story an try to impress onto her that what she feels is probably the Specter of Sam

We should probably visit the Researcheras we probably will not get a chance to come back anytime soon but Amaras little Lesson(sadly) also can not wait
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
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>>3507884

Rath’s luminescent blush practically steams up the elevator on your way to the basement level, where the bunker’s R&D facilities and Head Researcher Pendra await. When the stainless steel doors of the cramped chamber open, it’s to vast space teeming with movement of all shapes and sizes. Mechanized swarmlings dart to and fro among the sea of bodies shuffling around hurriedly, reminding you of the Monastery’s central chamber at the height of its population.

“Beira said you’d be expecting me, yes?” Comes a clipped, needlepointed voice from your left. Turning, you crane your neck up along the centipede-like neck of a sharply dressed woman, looking down at the four of you with glittering black eyes to match the bio-organic chitinous plating of her body.

“C’mon, man.” Rath moans miserably under her breath next to you. “Why’s this gotta be like Dark Souls, with some people just being big as fuck for no good damn reason?”

“Head Researcher Pendra, I presume?” You say, ignoring Rath’s comment as you grant a courteous bow to the twitchy, multi-armed woman that towers over you and your allies.

“It’s *Director* Pendra, though I’m sure Francine failed to address me as such when she touched on my contributions here.” The woman declares haughtily, rising another inch or two in height as she straightens her already ramrod strict posture.

“Oh don’t worry!” Amara pipes up at your side, a wide, innocent grin on her face. “That Doctor didn’t mention you at all!”

Julia goes stiff with second-hand embarrassment as Pendra’s smug grin falters, just a fraction.

“Then you must not have spoken with her for any length of time.” The Director deflects, extending one of four mechanical arms out with an open palm. “Now, the device Beira informed me of, if you please.”

You extract the ball of wire and metal from your pocket, placing it gently in the Director’s outstretched hand.

“She’s improved.” Pendra hums reluctantly, four sets of fingers turning it over in front of her leering face. “I could obviously have made a better one if my Artemis Drive wasn’t demanding every second of my precious time, but as far as a solution to bio-entanglement, it’ll suffice. I’m sure it took her quite some time to craft something like this.”

“It took about two minutes! She was really fast.” Amara corrects before Julia can put a hand over her mouth, and Pendra’s eye twitches slightly as she regards the smallest among you with a scowl.

“S-so there’s nothing like a…t-trap, or anything?” Julia asks, wrestling with Amara as Rath fist-bumps the little girl behind your back.

(Continued)
>>
>>3508672

“A trap? There’s nothing of the sort in Francine’s funny little ball, I assure you.” Pendra replies irritably. “Come now, I know she’s the proxy of a war criminal but what enterprising scientist puttering about the apocalypse isn’t one, these days? You can’t simply expect to install kill-switches in everything you craft. Your client base would dwindle, and most importantly your credibility as a researcher would take a terrible hit. It simply isn’t worth it.”

She tosses the ball up and down idly, and you feel a lump in your throat as you watch it arc through the air before landing safely back in her hands.

“So no, there are no ‘traps’ installed here. It’s primed to counteract your entanglement perfectly, and it’s really quite impressive, if I do say so myself…pity.” Pendra adds, casting a withering stare at the orb before giving a four-limbed shrug.

“…Good to know. Thank you, Director Pendra.” You say as she returns the device back to your open hand.

“You’re…*quite* certain Francine didn’t mention…?” Pendra begins before shaking her head free of the thought. “Never mind. Now, considering my time is of utmost value to our organization, I’m afraid I must put a strict timer on further social interaction. If you have any questions then I must insist you ask them now. I’m scheduled to lead a numbers run of the Artemis Drive in less than ten minutes, so make it snappy, if you please.”

>>You think you’re through here, so activate the device and then reach out to Gina. You’ve no time to waste if B’ni’s on your trail.

>>Follow Mara east and see what’s prompted her haste. Maybe this was for nothing, maybe her hunt is over…but you have to make sure, first.

>>Ask Director Pendra something that’s on your mind (Write-In).

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3508674
>Follow Mara east and see what’s prompted her haste. Maybe this was for nothing, maybe her hunt is over…but you have to make sure, first.
>"Thank you for the time, "Director"."
>Jam that sucker up in your ear!

Also,
>“Come now, I know she’s the proxy of a war criminal but what enterprising scientist puttering about the apocalypse isn’t one, these days? You can’t simply expect to install kill-switches in everything you craft. Your client base would dwindle, and most importantly your credibility as a researcher would take a terrible hit. It simply isn’t worth it.”
That's an interesting way explain Francine's logic.
>>
>>3508674
>>You think you’re through here, so activate the device and then reach out to Gina. You’ve no time to waste if B’ni’s on your trail.
This is our most imediate and pressing concern.
>>
>>3508674
While I am not a fan of using the device the good Director made a good point
I vote
>Use the Ball
>Thank the Director for her time
> Contact Gina about the whole thing so she does not need to worry about our prolonged silence and then inform her that we are taking up Maras Trail to try and find out what happened
>>
>>3508679
I really don't think Mara managed to kill Isabelle yet, which means whatever she has planned can wait til we are a bit safer from her.

Plus if she's still after Isabelle the last thong we need to do is follow her, though it does seem very possible her plans have changed a but, considering her fly bys of the DOs.
>>
>>3508690
On the other hand, we have the latest intel and info on Mara's quarry. We can use that information to barter with Mara.
>>
>>3508679
>>3508686
Actually, is east towards the Carrol Forest? If it is, Without Gina here with us following Mara would be a very bad idea if what we have heard of it is true.
>>
>>3508697
What would we even barter from her though? We dont need or really want anything from her, or at least nothing id think we would need to barter for.
>>
>>3508674
>>You think you’re through here, so activate the device and then reach out to Gina. You’ve no time to waste if B’ni’s on your trail.
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)

>>3508699
(Carroll's Forest is westward, while east leads to the River of Tears.)
>>
>>3508699
Well then.
>>3508726
>Mara coming towards the mountain heading west from the River
Well that might narrow down the reasons on why Mara's here.
>>
>>3508674
>“A trap? There’s nothing of the sort in Francine’s funny little ball, I assure you.” Pendra replies irritably. “Come now, I know she’s the proxy of a war criminal but what enterprising scientist puttering about the apocalypse isn’t one, these days? You can’t simply expect to install kill-switches in everything you craft. Your client base would dwindle, and most importantly your credibility as a researcher would take a terrible hit. It simply isn’t worth it.”
Wait, hold up, they know she's part of a hive mind? So they have the context on whose lab we destroyed? Because that's what I meant by the Disassociated Ones' own intelligence allowing them to understand that we were enemies with West. I assumed they had to not know that particular, and it was only Francine who had the necessary context to understand that we were enemies with the collective, because otherwise they would have warned us before they brought her out. But no, apparently the Disassociated Ones knew we were enemies and still brought us before Francine without any fanfare, no effort put into reassuring us first. Okay, I'm feeling rather poorly inclined towards these people now. I was getting all paranoid making conclusions based on them being rational actors who make smart decisions, but no, they're just idiots. I guess one of the bits of the humanity Francine said they lost was the bit that let them understand what "enemy" means. Great.

>>Follow Mara east and see what’s prompted her haste. Maybe this was for nothing, maybe her hunt is over…but you have to make sure, first.
Ugh. Fuck it, I'm done here. Let's just go.
>>
>>3508726
Ah, well then fair enough there. Only issue then would be if we need to cross, but party composition wont help much there.
>>
>>3508728
The issue you are ignoring is in their very name. Dissociated Ones. They literally do not care, to the Point they are fleeing the planet. Shes useful to them, they don't take sides, so so long as she is behaves herself they do not care.
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>>3508726
Well now I'm confused. Corroll's Forest and B'ni who had crossed it are West but Mara's moving East. Weird.
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>>3508734
no no no. Mara's approaching the Mountain from the East heading west from the River to the Mountain.

B'ni was last seen in Carroll's forest which is southwest of the Mountain.
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>>3508734
Yeah, like i said, I think her plan has changed.

I suppose im ok with following her, so long as we use the device and make sure Gina abd Dorian are safe first.
>>
(To clarify, B'ni and the Forest are to the west of the DOs. Mara was headed west in pursuit of B'ni and she crossed over the DOs shortly after your arrival there. After that, she was seen moving back east in short order.)

(She went one way, then the other in a short span of time.)
>>
>>3508732
It's not about taking sides, it's about minimizing unnecessary conflict. I'm not assuming they're automatically our allies, I'm assuming that they're interested in avoiding wasting time on squabbles instead of getting work done. Warning us ahead of time would have been advantageous to them, it means less of West's time being spent fielding "yeah, but how can we trust you" questions and enabling her to get back to her apparently very critical work sooner. Or what if we had gotten into a fight with her, seen our enemy and immediately moved to attack? We've got a track record of destroying her projects, what if we just assumed that this was something sinister and started sabotaging the Disassociated Ones' work? We wouldn't be able to derail it entirely on our own, but we could have done some damage. We could have even killed that West. They risked an asset that by their own admission is quite valuable to them, just because they couldn't be bothered to spend thirty seconds to tell us "Yeah, we've got one of Dr. West's proxies, but Francine is actually almost decent and you don't have to worry".
>>
>>3508740
Wait...shit.
Isabelle was heading West, but then potentially is now after us, which would entail turning around.
Mara was after Isabelle, heading west, but just turned around, aka east.

It is possible she is still following Isabelle then, who has gone backwards after us, though other explanations could exist.
>>
>>3508745
(You're absolutely correct. They're so detached from basic human emotion the fact that you might hold a grudge against this particular proxy or react negatively to her face didn't even cross their collective minds.)
>>
>>3508745
I actually don't see evidence they knew we directly had any opposition to West, all that one Ladies comments mean is they know west isn't innocent. Though they have some info on us, said info has not been explained in detail. For all we know, its just rumours they have heard.

Not enough info has been put forward to accurately say if they knew how we would react to West.
>>
>>3508752
Ah, well fair enough. That's just outright dangerous for everyone yeah. Maybe them leaving at this point isn't such a bad thing afterall...
>>
>>3508746
There's also the fact that the Midnight Crew is somewhere around the Mountain. And I think they're here to hunt Beira because of her station (Captain of the Guard of the DOs)
>B'ni coming to Hunt Shu
>Mara following/hunting B'ni (or hot on B'ni's trail
>Midnight Crew coming up to the DO stronghold to bash in Beira's face
>Shu and co. looking to flee B'ni/Midnight Crew.

This is gonna be fucking messy.
>>
>>3508746
Possible. Depends just how fast B'Ni is. She hasn't been moving as fast as she could be, despite her speed enhancements and her lack of detours we're not that far behind her. I guess having West bugging her every five minutes killed her speed.

>>3508752
Wow. Great. Here I was so excited about the cool cyborgs starting their own space civilization, but apparently the conversion process is so lossy that they've literally forgotten basic self-preservation of their goals so I can't see them lasting long. Oh well, I guess it wouldn't be a proper post-apocalyptic deathworld if people's plans for escaping it weren't ultimately doomed.
>>
>>3508674
>>3508684
Ill add in to the end of my vote;
>If Gina thinks things on her side are good, go and follow mara and see what she's up to.

>>3508757
The Midnight Crew cant reach the DOs, and were said to be leaving until they took shelter to avoid being seen by Mara.

Id say maybe Mara spotted them and went after them, and it is possible, but I can't see her giving up on hunting Isabelle over it.

>>3508761
Isabelle also was kinda in a Muck and depressive state, clearly struggling with her commitment to her goal a bit. But now she has doubled down and it and found new conviction, except now we might be part of that too in a bad way.
>>
>>3508770
>Isabelle also was kinda in a Muck and depressive state, clearly struggling with her commitment to her goal a bit. But now she has doubled down and it and found new conviction, except now we might be part of that too in a bad way.
Yeah, that too. B'Ni's presented herself even in her own thoughts as constantly moving forward, but she's done so at a crawl. We have done nothing but detours and we could probably catch up with her within the day.
>>
>>3508761
Also hey, at least the DOs retarded over bearing logic only stance means we can at least trust what the director said about the device being safe.

Better than nothing good at all at least.
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>>3508781
True enough, at least we have that. If they don't have the ability to consider that we might be upset about things they don't have the ability to lie to us to make us less upset.
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>>3508776
>nothing but detours
The Detours are there to help promote Amara expanding her Word Library due to the SkinTalker playstyle.
>>
>>3508788
(You'll be pleased shortly, then.)
>>
>>3508795
Pastebins when?
>>
>>3508788
Well, I'd say they're to expand the party in general. Literally, we've doubled in size since B'Ni last saw us (which is going to help a lot, she has a rough idea of Julia's abilities as a Flesh Artisan but has no idea what Amara can do and doesn't even know Dorian exists), but we've also gotten a lot of valuable information and level-ups from the missions we've undertaken and even made some friends. The ones West didn't eat, anyways. Despite my word choice, they're really only detours if we're looking at it as a straight competition of travel time, they were definitely smart decisions.
>>
>>3508799
(Soon, as I've been prioritizing the story progression as of late. Tonight will more than likely be devoted to dumping the Swarmling sheets, the new Dual techs, and Dorian's 4th Form since it'll be a story-appropriate time to run through all that.)
>>
(Got delayed, writing now, Gentlemen. It's a larger update than usual.)
>>
>>3508788
Since all of her Lexicon words are single syllable, I'm sure there's a word out there that's pronounced SHU. RATH too perhaps.
>>
>>3508903
Shu is gonna mean something about TAKING CONTROL isn't it?
>>
>>3508674

“What’s that say?” Amara demands, pointing over Pendra’s shoulder as you’re about to say your goodbyes. Pendra turns, eyeing the curious set of symbols Amara’s spied engraved on their lab’s ceiling.

“A helpful study tool, left by one of our senior researchers before her untimely demise.” Pendra clips. “Brilliant woman, but terribly clumsy. It’s be expected, though.”

“You know what they say about Skintalkers.”

HOLISTIC LEXICON - UPDATED

>>FOL (10%): A word from an alien tongue that refers to single-minded pursuit of a far-off goal. Use of this word on a foe has a high chance to disrupt their concentration of a particular ability they’re sustaining, while using it on a class-modified patch of Fleshscape will revert it back to its natural shape. Meanwhile, directing it towards an ally allows you to bolster their concentration, preventing it from shattering except under the most grievous of circumstances.

“Thank you for your time, Director.” You say brusquely, giving her a stiff bow before turning as one with your friends to re-enter the elevator’s reflective cage. Rath’s startled when you bring the orb to your ear the moment the doors slide shut.

“Dude, right now?” She asks in bewilderment as you fix her with a determined gaze.

“No time like the present.” You reply grimly, pressing the sphere next to your ear. A shudder rolls down your spine as you feel the wires unfurl, slithering into your auditory canal. A pain erupts at your temples, your vision flaring with light before…nothing. You’re vaguely aware of a space, an empty spot in your consciousness your bond with B’ni once occupied. You push, straining to reach out to your oldest friend, but all you find is a cold emptiness in the corner of your mind.

It’s done.

[Gina? The connection’s been severed. Are you and Dorian alright?] You ask, a few agonizing moments passing by until she replies, relief flooding your mind from both ends of your connection.

{Shu! Yeah, we’re fine. You remember that diner we stayed at in Kosi’s City, a little ways from the first waystation we discovered? We’re hunkered down here}

[Good, stay there. Mara went west to hunt B’ni, but then she went back east. We’re going to go see what’s up. Could you give me a shout if she does a fly-by that far out?]

{Of course} She replies, and you can feel the warmth of her smile in the voice that fills your mind. {I can’t wait to see you, Shu}

Gathering your belongings from the stark white rooms you occupied only a little over an hour ago, you’re ushered out of the Disassociated Ones’ bunker and back out onto the hard, blustery beach. You’re somewhat relieved to find you don’t have to find your own way back down the cliffs, but the harsh, bone-chilling wind that blows along the length of the beach forces the four of you to huddle together as you march stalwartly back down to the closest waystation.

(Continued)
>>
>>3508931
>“You know what they say about Skintalkers.”
No we don't. Wait, hold up, what do they say about Skintalkers? What is this stereotype, do Skintalkers have a reputation for clumsiness? Amara, don't listen to her, you're a perfectly graceful young lady. Actually, I think you're the most graceful member of the party, it's down to you and Dorian and he cheats by being more amorphous than you are.
>>
>>3508948
Honestly i have not pictured the words 'Amara' and 'graceful' together at all. Maybe she isn't clumsy but she certainly is no lady. Hell only Julia id say fits the description.
>>
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>>3508931

You have little breath left in your lungs for conversation as you march, holding in as much warmth as you can against the unnaturally cold winds that buffet your shaking forms. A glance eastward reveals a massive storm pelting Dorian’s demolished homestead with sheets of thick grey rain, the powerful downpour rolling towards the swamp and the mountains beyond.

When you reach the merciful shelter of the waystation you’re chilled to the bone, Julia and Rath huddled together as you carry Amara piggy-back. The four of you approach the long, pitch-black tunnel of the waystation, and you find yourself disheartened at the attendant’s absence as you slowly let the little girl back down to the ground. Amara trots forwards, placing one hand on the sleek wall before turning to you for direction.

“Monastery. If she’s not there, then we’ll catch up with Magpie and then run by the town of Rust to check th…what’s wrong?” You pause, noting the little girl’s dark eyebrows scrunching up her brow in confusion.

“It won’t go.” She pouts, and a shudder of cold runs through your bones once again.

[Gina, can you do your thing through me to help us get back to the Monastery? Amara’s having an issue getting the tunnel to work] You ask, and a flicker of amethyst lights up your vision, a tingle of electricity running down your fingers and into the walls. A tremble, a shudder, and the tunnel begins to shift around you, carrying you onwards to your destination.

{There you go!} Gina says happily, and you can’t help but smile at the sound of her voice, feeling a little bit of the chill leave your marrow as the tunnel carries you forwards. You wait a few moments, the four of you traveling at high speed through the fleshscape, surrounded by utter darkness, until…

Dull grey light surrounds you, streaming down from the open sky overhead as a harsh wind buffets you once more. Before you lies a vast crater, shattered bone and oozing flesh torn asunder in the massive depression you stare out on.

“Amara…where are we?” You breathe, the gathering storm rumbling overhead as you speak. Amara’s utterly confused, leaning close to the walls of the waystation and whispering frantically as Julia steps forwards numbly, placing a hand on a crumbled support to your left.

“T-the walls…” Julia murmurs, drawing your attention to the ornate filigree on the broken slab, its intricate patterns ending abruptly in empty space.

“…Shu, this is t-the Monastery.”

Rath stands in stunned silence as you stare out at the empty space, Amara whispering frantically to every surface she can find, looking for something to tell you otherwise.

A peal of lightning, a rumble of thunder, the roar of…

…no.

(Continued)
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>>3508962

A terrified, baleful howl of impossible magnitude shudders across the landscape, the earth beneath your feet trembling as you watch something move behind an adjoining mountain. It is a colossal, ruinous thing…body a twisted and spiraling mass of landscape, Daughters, and rubble. It passes into your field of view at you watch the mountain itself spiral into it, fueling further growth as it swells to such a size that it could crush the conglomerate underneath one warped trunk of a leg.

Julia’s hands move to her mouth, covering her mouth in a silent scream as Rath’s jaw pops, her teeth grinding together as hot tears run down her cheeks. It still hasn’t hit Amara, still whispering frantically and casting pleading glances your way, searching for some explanation, some navigational mistake she’s made.

She doesn’t want to face the truth. None of them do.

There is no Monastery. Not anymore.

There is only THE SPIRALING FEAR.

“Amara…is anyone else around? Anyone aside from us?” You say, trying to maintain your composure as you place a hand on the girl’s shoulder.

“T-the ground says…no, there’s no-one else. It’s just us, Miss Shu.” She says, face lacking its ever-present smile as she studies your eyes, fearfully. “Um…Mara and the crow lady were here, but they flew off northwest. They said they’re going back home to find you.”

You glance towards the lumbering abomination, its body twisting tighter, ever tighter as it moves away from you, intent on a very specific destination.

It’s going west, as any hunger-mad being would.

It’s moving towards the Cord.

>>Mara’s going North, and you suspect she’s returning to her home in the Town of Rust. Follow her, and see and Magpie were able to save anyone from this Catastrophe. You have to hope they were able to save someone, at least.

>>You need to get your team back together before you meet with Mara. You all had a stake in the Monastery, and they deserve to be there to see who could be saved…not to mention you’re not comfortable with leaving Gina and Dorian alone for long, regardless of the entanglement’s suppression.

>>You just…you need a minute. Talk to your team before moving on…they all tried to keep this from happening, but they also need to know this isn’t their fault…this *thing* isn’t their fault.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(I'm sorry, Gentlemen. Voting shall remain open for the next two hours.)
>>
>>3508903
I did notice something about her lexicon but thought it wasn't important.
Gra (double)
Ter (terrain)
if you put the two together it sounds like the word "Grater"

>>3508956
>>3508948
I've browsed the Lexicon, and I noticed a disturbing fact. There is no word that denotes the concept of "self". Amara can't buff herself with her spells. We need to find that word.

Also, I've thought up of a more advanced Relic for Amara.
>HARBINGER'S HORN: The two note instrument of the Remembrance Whistle has been reinforced and outfitted with a twisting chromatic Horn of blood, brass, and bone. Now allows Amara to store 3 words into the Instrument. On top of that the Horn allows Amara to use 2 additional abilities with the relic. Solo Improv and THE BROWN NOTE.
Solo Improv (concentration): Sacrificing 40% Health and 2 Actions, Amara can spew forth a blistering fast-paced solo improv song using her lexicon words into an 8-word/note
THE BROWN NOTE: Expend all actions and 20% HP for the current round to blow out a crippling sound wave of the most horrible sound ever played. All daughters and Amalgams capable of hearing (barring the instrument player) are affected with the following status debuff for: deafness (1 round), weakness (attacks decreased by 40% for this combat), slow-witted (lost 1 action for this combat, confusion (actions have +30% chance of backfiring), and soiled (movement range is decreased to 1 zone barring special movement options, lasts until new change of pants).
The horn's creation heralds the coming of the endless doots. May Mother save you all.

>>3508964
Mother fucker. Why did we convince Magpie to hold her fire?

>You need to get your team back together before you meet with Mara. You all had a stake in the Monastery, and they deserve to be there to see who could be saved…not to mention you’re not comfortable with leaving Gina and Dorian alone for long, regardless of the entanglement’s suppression.

>>3508975
BHOP. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!?
>>
>>3508964
>Contact Gina, tell her what happened and that Mara is looking for us. Have her and Dorian meet you in the waystation to the shanty town, then all of you together will see if you cant find and meet Mara and Magpie.

Fucking...ok, well, i hate to be that guy, but im beginning to think its time to indulge in dangerous behavior for Shu, as it seems like letting anyone else be a leader of a group ends in disaster.
>>
>>3508964
> If there ever was a time to curse it is probably now even with Amara here but we are in Control so we wont, even if Emotions threaten to overtake us but we have to try to make everyone stay calm

> Go to the old mining town and tell Gina to meet you there if possible to try and find Dragoon and Magpie
>>3508964

I think someone just callenged us
>>
>>3508975
bhop... what class amalgam is Uzu at?
>>
>>3508980
(Uzu failed a Hunger check in the middle of a large gathering and when Niku tried to stop her she was killed by Uzu, cementing the process and triggering practically everyone present. Magpie can fill you in on the rest when you see her, but she tried her best. That nature of Uzu's powers and the snowballing of the Daughters present prevented her from dealing enough damage to stop everything. These rolls are what took some time to resolve.)

>>3508988
(Colossus, though that may change in due time. Saying more would be spoilers, I'm afraid.)
>>
Geezus christ.
West is already at the cord and otherwise basically a cancer.
Isabelle has doubled down on her goals and very well could be after our heads.
The Midnight Crew has it out for us.
The Disassociated Ones are cowards who plan to flee and otherwise lack the human emotion to care.
And fucking Uzu just lost it and destroyed the monestary.

Goddamned and on top of that we are nowhere near strong enough to even approach half these issues, let alone stop the crucible. Fucking hell this has started to feel hopeless, there won't be anything left to save at this point even if we do succeed.
>>
>>3508964
>Contact Gina, tell her what happened and that Mara is looking for us. Have her and Dorian meet you in the waystation to the shanty town, then all of you together will see if you cant find and meet Mara and Magpie.

Shit. Before this, I thought that we would debate relocating the monastery because that's the first place B'ni would look for us, and if she didn't find us there then she might consume the daughters there to get stronger, and that moving would bring us into conflict with Uzu.
>>
>>3508964
Damn it, Uzu. You couldn't have waited an hour? No, no, I shouldn't blame you. By the file name, Mother was accelerating your breakdown somehow. I guess I was right that the Monastery was too boring for her, I just didn't expect her to correct that this way.

Okay, so I think I understand why Mara was bugging the Disassociated. She wants to nuke this. In fact, the nuclear devices modified to fuel the pulse drive would be perfect for killing a giant monster, they focus the energy of the blast into a thin cone instead of radiating it in all directions. They're basically one-shot death rays at this point. If we can identify a vital spot (probably Uzu's original body, at the center of the spiral, I'd guess), then we can kill this thing.

>Contact Gina, tell her what happened and that Mara is looking for us. Have her and Dorian meet you in the waystation to the shanty town, then all of you together will see if you cant find and meet Mara and Magpie.

First we regroup, get everyone together and start planning. One team goes to convince the Disassociated, the other starts working on a back-up plan. Maybe between Neuromancy and Skintalking we can get in contact with this thing without being eaten by it, treat it as a walking dungeon instead of a monster. Fight our way past constructs spawned inside the spiral, make our way to the center and fight the Uzu core.
>>
>>3509007
I think this was a clear lesson we can no longer let things wait. If we want something done, like saving the monestary and/or setting up a new hold out to relocate those willing. Every time it feels like, we have arrived AFTER something, it constantly feels like we wait just a bit TOO long to do something. Its frustrating as all hell and damn it all it needs to stop.

>>3509015
I dont think that will work. The DOs already wish to just flee the conflict, why would they waste fuel on something that is basically a prime example of why they wish to leave?
>>
>>3508964
>[Gina, Something's happened. We need you here. now. Get to the waystation, we'll meet up with you at Kosi's city Waystation and then we'll head to Rust Town via Waypoint.]


>>3509026
You're right about this. Why else would Mother taunt us with an image file that basically says "YOUR MOVE DEFIANT, I'VE PLAYED MY HAND BY BUFFING THE HUNGER, AND YOU DID JACK SHIT IN STOPPING THE FALL OF THE MONASTERY. WHERE'S YOUR DEFIANCE?"
>>
>>3509026
>>3509015
Can anybody remind me why we voted to convince Magpie to hold her fire?
It feels very contradictory that we had told Magpie to not shoot Uzu and then basically fucked off and did nothing about it instead of assisting Niku and help Uzu snap out of her mental state.
>>
>>3509026
>I dont think that will work. The DOs already wish to just flee the conflict, why would they waste fuel on something that is basically a prime example of why they wish to leave?
I think we can make the argument that this thing is so huge and so destructive that it poses a threat to their launch. With how they've been talking, their launch window must be pretty close. Do they want a giant monster rampaging outside their doors when they're trying to get a ship in the air? This thing is enormous and only growing, by the time it gets to the other side of the river of acid it will be the size of of a mountain and dragging the entire fleshscape around it into a vortex. Besides, an Orion launch is going to use thousands of nuclear devices. They can't spare one tiny little Casaba Howitzer?

But yeah, I expect they'll probably say no anyway. That's why I also want to work on Plan Dungeon Crawl.

>>3509038
Yeah, we underestimated the threat the increased Hunger posed. But, as was often commented, we just don't have the skill set for solving that problem. I'm not sure what we could have done, save murder Uzu. Should we have murdered Uzu? I don't want to say the answer is yes, but from a consequentialist perspective I can't deny the appeal of that now.
>>
Why do we need to kill the spiral monster? Let it keep going to the cord. Let it ruin Wests day.
>>
>>3508964
>Contact Gina, tell her what happened and that Mara is looking for us. Have her and Dorian meet you in the waystation to the shanty town, then all of you together will see if you cant find and meet Mara and Magpie.
>>
>>3509046
We didn't just fuck off and did nothing. That is an unfair description of the events that fails to take into account the time frame. It's been like, six hours in-character since we left the Monastery. We said something to piss Uzu off, went to talk with Niku about it, Niku said that she was going to try to calm her down, and then we gave her some space to work on that. We were going to let the tension let out between us and Uzu before we tried again, Uzu just turned out to be a lot more tense than we realized. Nobody expected things to get this bad this fast, we underestimated the threat and we're paying for it but it's not because we were lazy.

>>3509053
A couple reasons. For one thing, it's suffering and we want to end that. For another, it may cause undesirable collateral damage in its path towards the Cord. For a third, what if West kills it and eats it and gains a huge amount of levels?
>>
>>3509046
We had already fucked up sorta, and put ourselves in a position where Uzu would not listen to us, but Niku asked otherwise asked to be given time, so we asked Magpie to give her that one chance.

Clearly, she failed, and the results of that failure were quicker than we thought.

>>3509048
If it's even heading down a path that will make it a threat to them, and even then they may just try and launch early rather than risk not being able to launch at all via wasting fuel.

>>3509053
Because it reaches the cord and then wins the crucible then we have lost, as despite what it is that is still its goal. It will only grow stronger as it rampages and consumes its way forward.
>>
>>3509062
>If it's even heading down a path that will make it a threat to them, and even then they may just try and launch early rather than risk not being able to launch at all via wasting fuel.
That would make them waste more fuel. There are pretty narrow launch windows for interplanetary travel, if you don't do it at the right time then you have to expend a lot more energy.
>>
>>3509046
Because at the time, we wanted to try saving uzu as well and likely thought we would have a chance to definitively deal with the monastery issue when we got back.

I also proposed to have Amara use SUTH (soothe) on Uzu, but that was met with rebuttal that she would take it badly if we forced her to calm down and repress her hunger.
>>
>>3509066
Still, launching early is still a more logical move than making yourself unable to launch at all, if your goal is to leave.

The simple fact is, they won't see it as their problem unless its a direct threat, then won't see the logic in wasting resources to stop it if any other alternative can be had.

Any extra fuel they ever had, minus necessary reserves fir unpredictable fluctuations, was probably already used to test the engines and theories on if they could leave at all.
>>
>>3509062
Big assumption that it's gonna win
>>
>>3509077
But I agree that it will probably be killed by and endgame daughter, giving them a boost, maybe enough to win the Crucible, and if it's one that runs against our goals like West or B'ni than it's not a chance we should take.
>>
>>3509083
Guess it's time to hold a raid then. It's colossus sized for now, but if Uzu's powerset is to be believed, by the time we get everyone ready for the raid it's gonna become a Behemoth class Amalgam.
>>
>>3509077
I mean, like
>>3509083
Said, even it itself does not win, its gonna be alot if levels for someone we probably do not want getting those levels.
>>
>>3509083
>>3509091
I'm all for taking it down if we can, but it seems to be well out of our weight class.
>>
>>3509073
The issue is that if their safety margin on fuel supply is so low that they can't spare even one nuclear device, then they can't spare the fuel needed to launch outside their ideal window. An nuclear pulse drive uses thousands of nuclear devices, sparing one would be less than a tenth of a percent of their fuel. They're going to expend a lot more if they miss their launch window. The launch window to anywhere they would want to go only shows up once a year at most, too. So if they do have a fuel shortage, it's either help us kill this thing and have to adjust their mass ratio slightly, or wait for it to go away and have to spend another year on this terrible planet.
>>
>>3509097
We did take a Colossus-class Conglomerate with three teammates and Magpie before. With all of our team, Magpie and Mara, I think we can pull it off. Let's not rush into it, of course. It's important to have a preparation round, where we have a cloaked scarlet drone latch on to analyze its abilities and fears while others set up traps and defenses, or methods to retreat to safety.
>>
>>3509097
It is, but id hope Mara has an idea.

>>3509099
Maybe, but im still positive they will take any route that is not actually helpful to us. It just from their perspective would make no logical sense to waste any resources helping us if this is not coming towards them, and then no logical sense to waste any fuel that they cant replace on it either.

Best case scenario they have really big cannons or some other tech, and all they do is divert its course around them, doing little to actually stop it then not doing anything else. Logically it would waste the least amount of their resources and do the least to put them on Mothers radar, something they probably try to avoid.

The simple fact is helping as little as possible is in their best interest, especially if it costs them even a single drop of fuel.
>>
>>3509103
This one was described as being big enough to crush the last one we fought under a single tentacle. But of a power jump there despite being the same amalgam class.

I mean, we gonna do what we gotta do, but this is literally, physically literally, a mountain we gotta get over.
>>
>>3509108
I mean, you're not wrong. I'm not really expecting them to lift a finger to help, they'll deny the potential threat it poses towards them. Best case scenario, Beira and maybe a few of her own team come to help the assault. At this point I'm really just laying out the logic for why it's foolish for them to stick their heads in the sand, I'm sure they're going to anyway. But hey, maybe we'll both be proven pleasantly wrong.
>>
>>3509120
So far, with how things have gone with EVERYTHING lately, i think having any hope at all is just asking to be disappointed.
>>
>>3509135
Although that's a big target for Shu to take out all of her recent frustrations on. The whole fight may have Shu cussing out the Spiraling Fear with all of her rage the entire time.
>>
>>3509148
Up until she gets Spiraled because Uzu is huge and has swallowed everyone in the monastery.
>>
(Gentlemen, my apologies but I shall be extending the voting period for an additional two hours, and the reason is twofold. The first is that I can't access the Dual Tech list due to technical difficulties, and considering you'll have the choice to alter your team composition at the upcoming vote, it wouldn't be fair to ask you to move forward without that very pertinent information. Second, work is mounting so I'd like to knock some of that out so I can proceed with a clear mind. Apologies for the wait and I hope you'll understand. Thus, voting shall close two and a half hours from now, and I hope youre having a good day, one and all.)
>>
>>3509148
Oh i have no doubt our entire team has some pent up emotions to let loose. I think at this point even Julia might drop her manners.

And honestly i think im right there with them. I dont see any actual hope left here, but by all damned hell will we let the crucible and mother win. No hope? Fine, we will fuel ourselves with anger and defiance and make sure if our hones going down, at the very least mother and the crucible are too.

>>3509156
That's fine and understandable, though this seems like quite the big issue to leave anyone behind from.

You focus on what you need BHOP, hope work doesn't crush your soul too hard!
>>
>>3509148
Bonus points if the Spiraling Fear has a Phantasmal Conduit aura (fear, perhaps) and BHOP interprets Shu making her saves against it as just being too angry to listen to it.

>>3509156
Of course, BHOP, no worries. Take your time, get your things in order. I don't think anyone is going to mind. Good luck on work, man.
>>
I just thought that it will need to go through the acid river to head towards the cord. That might be our best chance to kill it, while it's perpetually melting in acid. Have Gina and Amara terraform a gigantic trap or obstacle beforehand to keep it in the river and do big damage as it tries to get out too to up the chances. As Sun Tzu said: whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.
>>
>>3509200
It's a good idea, my worry is how big it will have gotten by the time it reaches the river. It might just step over it.
>>
>>3509200
Yeah, Amara and Gina will be best, With Julia on top for all her debuffs.

Which pisses me off a bit as Rath really needs the levels, aswell as both deserves and needs to let off alot of steam, but this thing wont need brute strength to take it down, if we even can.

>>3509204
Its already so big honestly the river might just be a stream to it. Still not a bad idea at all mind you, just that nothing is going to be super effective against something so big.
>>
>>3509204
I think it was a pretty big river. It needed some time to cross it by ship and for B'ni to swim through it. Maybe it would be nice to have confirmation of how big it is, but I don't think we could see the other side from the shore so there's that.
>>
>>3509220
(You're correct in your assumption of its size. The river is large enough to slow it down considerably.)
>>
>>3509223
And will it remain that size long enough for the river to impede it?
>>
>>3509233
(If it continues westward, it will.)
>>
>>3509215
I really wanted that too, but no bitches that are overestimating themselves or packs of amalgams to fight this time. Where did that group of vultures that B'ni encountered when she crossed the river even go?

Also, yes for Julia since she just got a despair aura recently, and sapping that thing's (or a significant portion of its component part's) will to fight or retaliate will be advantageous.
>>
>>3509215
>Which pisses me off a bit as Rath really needs the levels, aswell as both deserves and needs to let off alot of steam, but this thing wont need brute strength to take it down, if we even can.
Unless the Living Dungeon idea does wind up happening. Then we'd have Amara and Gina busy keeping this thing locked down, while Julia, Rath, Dorian and Shu fight their way through its insides to get at a vital organ.
>>
>>3509243
(They were annihilated in November's first shelling of the town. The jamming device the Puppeteer used unfortunately cloaked them, as well.)
>>
>>3509244
Being inside that thing sounds bad, but i mean if it is the only option then ok.

>>3509243
Well, id assume they went to find that one girl a new top, after that who knows. They probably just mulled on along to who fucks knows where.
>>
>>3509263
Oh, pff haha, well they certainly did not accomplish much in thier lives then.
>>
>>3509266
>Being inside that thing sounds bad, but i mean if it is the only option then ok.
It will be good practice for the Cord, we're going to have to navigate a living labyrinth that wants to eat us sooner or later. But seriously, I think it's a potentially viable plan. We split into two teams. Shu, Rath, Julia and Dorian on one team; Gina, Amara, Mara and Magpie on the other. Gina and Amara lock the Spiraling Fear down in the middle of the River of Tears, both by manipulating the landscape and using direct Neuromancy and Skintalking abilities. Mara flies Magpie around on the meat dragon to run air support, contributes with whatever long-range abilities she has, too. Between the acid, the Neuromantic/Skintalking jamming and M&M sniping at it, it's distracted enough that Shu's team can enter through an orifice and fight their way through to a vital organ. Said vital organ will probably itself be a boss fight.
>>
>>3509285
I was more worried about the potential for just being inside it making it constantly be like being in our maw. While the cord is dangerous, from what little we do know its still more like a standard dungeon, than literally the ground itself being like stomach acid and internal organs trying to absorb us.
>>
>>3509298
Oh, no, it's going to be super dangerous, that's the point of having Gina keeping up Neuromantic jamming and Amara constantly yelling GRA VOL CUNT the entire fight. Hopefully that will keep Kurozu-cho here from absorbing us.
>>
>>3509285
It might be our only option to defeat this thing as I do not think we have an amount of Explosives large enough to blast this thing to pieces Im not even sure we could kill it using conventional weapons.

Would our weaponized Cancer work on it? Try and strip as much Biomass off of it before going in?
>>
>>3509321
It could help, sure. I'm a bit hesitant to get Gina so close to it, but we might be able to make it work. Depends on if Magpie has any of those teleport bullets left. This time I want to use them to get away after the fact, instead of to rush in. Meat dragon drops Gina off, she gives it cancer, then she teleports away.
>>
>>3509321
Sure, but unless Gina can do it through a scarlet drone, there's the danger of letting her get so close. It's certainly big enough that short range and medium range may as well be the same thing for it, so she would need a way to both approach instantaneously and be extracted instantaneously. Like when she was teleported in for that last Conglomerate, but this time she has to be teleported out as well instead of having the thing fall on top of her. If not, than no go unless it's completely immobilized or stunned for the round.
>>
>>3509336
>>3509338
The other issue, but one that might help make entering it less dangerous actually, is we saw it outright absorbing a mountain. Which means it has non organic material in its mix. This means the cancer might not work properly, but also might mean inside it is safer, or has areas that are safer.
>>
>>3508964
BHOP, do we get a threat reduction since this is kind of our fault?
>>
>>3509514
(You do, despite it technically not being your fault. You threat level is also based on your chance to cause major disruption to the Crucible system as a whole, so the loss of the Monastery as a home base and place of respite has damaged your ability to fight as effectively, at least in Mother's eyes.)

(And so...)

>>THREAT LEVEL: 42%
>>
>>3509530
She's doing it just to spite us.
>>
>>3509560
It's almost flattering in a way. Mother thinks we're such a threat that having our home base be destroyed is only worth a reduction of 5%. Let's prove her right.
>>
>>3509530
>mfw only a drop of 4%
whew, if this is only a 4% drop, then yeah thats not MEANT to drop. i mean, that makes since, but still, fucking bitch.
>>
(Gentlemen, work has seen fit to punch me in the face, so the odds are high that this evening's planned series of rapid-posting will more than likely not transpire. However, I will still be posting here soon as I make my way home from work. My apologies for the delay and take care, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3509639
I'm sorry to hear that you're having a rough time, BHOP. Best of luck.
>>
>>3509639
oof, that sounds exactly like work is crushing your soul. no need to apologize, we understand, you do what you have to.
>>
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>>3508964

[Gina, I need you and Dorian to meet me and the others at Rust Town, we’re meeting up with Mara, Magpie, and I’m hoping some survivors, too. The Monastery’s fallen, and we…need to do damage control]

Her affirmative response comes swiftly, and after casting one last, pained look across the destruction and the resulting behemoth, you turn back to the waystation. You only have to wait a minute or two for Gina and Dorian to arrive, and when they do she's in your arms almost immediately, with Dorian fading to a crimson mist and reappearing next to Julia and Amara, their safety his first concern.

“Shu, are you okay?” Gina asks, gentle fingers brushing their hair back from your forehead, hazel eyes searching yours intently. You nod, and you can tell that even without the Crimson Cord she'd know you were lying.

"Mara should be here by now, but can you do a quick scan to..."You say, cut off when Gina's soft fingers alight on your lips.

“I just did, relax." She says, her palm resting on your collarbone, feeling your pulse gently beating beneath it. "I can feel Mara and Magpie in Julia’s place, and…yeah, we should head over.”

“What’s up? Is there something else?” You ask, and Gina gives a small shake of her head.

“No, it’s…just a nagging thing, it’s hard to explain. Come on, let’s go.” She dismisses, taking your hand in hers as the six of you ascend through the tunnels and into the rain-drenched town above. Dorian keeps pace with you, head on a swivel as you collectively step out into the rain and hasten your pace to your old homestead.

"Dorian, how're you holding up?" You ask, his electric blue eye snapping into view.

"I'm...alright." He replies hesitantly, glancing back towards Julia with a forced smile of reassurance. "There's this new ability I'm coming to understand...I think I have a good idea as to why it's manifested the way it has, but...I'm not sure I want to use it the way it's intended."

>>RED DEATH - NEW FORM UNLOCKED: MASQUE OF WAR: Dorian's fourth form is a whole-sale dispelling of his body into the titular Red Death; a shifting, lethally toxic mist that possesses a host of devastating properties. Taking this form allows Dorian the ability to lock down a medium-diameter area, and doing so prevents foes' thought-wave communication, hinders sight-enhancement abilities, and allows Dorian to violently retaliate against anyone that attempts to move outside the designated zone or attempting to teleport within it. Finally, while the mist does not deal damage to foes within the dome, it does automatically deal damage over time to enemy constructs, emphasizing the form's focus on forcing a close-range melee for those unfortunate enough to be caught within his sphere of influence.

(Continued)
>>
>>3509786
Can Dorian move in Masque of War mode? Because being able to provide mobile cover against construct swarms would be really handy if this fight goes the way I'm afraid it's going to.
>>
>>3509807
(He can, yes. He is limited to one movement zone per move action, however.)
>>
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>>3509786

You're about to ask why he said that when you freeze in the middle of rounding a corner, having come face-to-face with the terrifyingly silent meat dragon that's hunkered low, filling the entire breadth of the street on which Mara's home is located. You're the first to step forwards, with Gina and Julia following close behind, the latter of whom has to physically restrain Amara from running up and saying 'hello' to the rotting amalgam.The dragon appears content to merely watch your approach, massive wings adjusting to fit in the narrow alley as he sound of a pair of raised voices reaches you from within the confines of Mara's home.

You take a breath, and open the door.

“…roject, so are you happy now, Mara?” Magpie dryly finishes, turning at the sound of you and your team's entrance. Mara’s imposing as always at the center of the room, muscular arms crossed and scarred brow knit at Magpie’s tense form, her face finally easing when she turns to you and gives you a once-over.

“Shu, I’m glad you and your team are alright.” Mara intones, uncrossing her arms and moving to greet you.

“Same. Who else made it?” You ask, and your heart sinks at the pointed silence that greets your question.

“Let’s not dwell on that now.” Mara says, voice low as Magpie shakes with a mirthless, silent chuckle. You direct your questioning glance towards the sniper as Julia’s face falls, her hands tight on Amara’s shoulders.

“Started with Uzu." Magpie begins after a breath, her body shrouded in the heavy shadows that fill the room. "Most everyone present didn’t know what they were looking at, ‘cept for that little forge girl. When Uzu sucked her in, everyone else panicked, and things went downhill from there. They couldn’t handle it. Maybe they’d gotten soft.”

Magpie shifts in her chair with a pained hiss that she turns into a snake's laugh. “You know, I never put much stock into meditation. Guess I was right.”

You turn to focus on her as she leans forwards from against the wall, the light from the fully open door falling across her…

...and revealing she didn't make it out unscathed.

Her entire left side is little more than a spiraled husk, the aftermath of Uzu’s powers delaying her regeneration as the flesh twitches painfully. Her off hand ends in little more than a twisted nub, the side of her face a fractal of scars bearing a harsh grin against the agony wracking her body.

“I have a plan.” Mara announces, and the sniper just chuckles again despite the pain it causes her.

“Oh, I’m sure it’s a grand one.” Magpie grins wide, her aura pulsing with cold disappointment across your empathic channel. "Or is it just a continuation of the one you ran by me a couple months ago before we split?"

(Continued)
>>
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>>3509827

“I have someone south of the waystation on the western side of the River of Tears.” Marrow Dragoon continues, ignoring her old partner as she speaks directly to you. “She’s staying at a small fishing outpost down there. She should still be strong enough to slow down this thing, and that'll be critical in stopping it completely. That's your task.”

"Magpie. Go get the gunner." Mara commands, rounding on the crippled sniper. "You know where to find her. She owes me a favor, and it’s time to collect.”

“Just like old times, hm?” She sighs, rising from her seat with considerable effort and snatching her rifle from where it leans against the shack's wall. "So where are you headed off to, hero?”

“I’m going to go cut a deal I’d much rather not.” The warrior replies, her mouth a hard line as you try to make sense of their interactions. "Shu, take your team and move. We need to..."

"Don't you think you've put enough weight on one girl already, Dragoon?" Magpie says low, the sarcasm slipping away from her voice and replaced with burning indignation. Mara just holds up a finger, taking a slow, steady breath.

“We’ll talk about this later." She replies slowly, staring at her former partner.

“No, Mara.” Magpie says with a dejected sigh as she moves past you and into the pounding rains outside. “No, we won’t.”

With that, she's enveloped in the grey sheets, slamming the door shut behind her and causing Amara to jump at the sharp sound.

"I know you've been through a lot, but this time, this moment is critical." Mara says, looking to each one of you, in turn. "Are you ready to do what needs to be done?"

You look around at your team, from Gina's glimmering eyes staring up at you hopefully to the fearful, yet determined focus that's writ large on Julia's face. Dorian gives you a curt nod, his dedication to keeping you all safe first and foremost in his mind. Rath cracks her knuckles, her teeth grinding together with abject rage as Amara bounces on the balls of her feet, ready for action.

They're ready, willing...

...and powerful.

NEW DUAL TECHS UNLOCKED: https://pastebin.com/Jhd452yt

Now, the only question is if you’re going to try and recruit Mara’s ally, or if you’d like to take a shot at getting help from another source…

>>Head out now to meet Mara’s associate on the bank of the River. You’ll need all the help you can get to stop the Spiraling Fear.

>>Volunteer to try and convince the Disassociated Ones to help your cause, and set out immediately. Even if there’s only a small chance, it’s worth it.

>>Speak with Mara to discuss her plan before you leave. Time may be of the essence, but you’d like to get a clear picture of what she’s trying to do.

>>Write-In

AND

>>Party limit temporarily lifted. Please select Relic load out and if you’ll take everyone with you where you’re going.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen. Thank you for your patience, as always.)
>>
>>3509887
>Sculptress of Flesh
>Max accuracy debuff: 39%
>Radiant Ripper
>drastically decreasing the accuracy of those struck by the blade or within short range of Julia
>Horror at Red Hook
>imposes a massive accuracy debuff

Glorious. Can we get someone down to negative accuracy with these?
>>
>>3509887
whew....this is one fucked situation. awesome to get our entire party, terrifying it has come to that. im...not even sure what to say, theres some clear points Magpie is hinting at we shouldn't ignore but... ill focus on the threat at hand.

>>Head out now to meet Mara’s associate on the bank of the River. You’ll need all the help you can get to stop the Spiraling Fear.
this is alos where we have already discussed our best option to stop this thing is. Mara did say her associate could help, so maybe we shall see

AND

>Take Entire Party
we will NEED everyone. maybe Gina and Amara stay outside, maybe they do not, we will see what this other girl can do and what the plan is first.

Shu;
>Contender

Amara;
>Shawl

Gina;
>Whistle

Rath;
>Sui Tormentis

Juia;
>Ignition Gauntlets
>Cursas Alas

Amara will always need the shawl the most, for now anyways. but she also doesn't really actually need the whistle, as anyone can blow it. i suppose it does give her two free syllables once, but i think being able to double up once via someone else using it is a nifty idea.
Rath i still simply think fits the Sui the best, though i can see giving it to Julia perhaps, but Rath still needs the defense more i think.
plus, give Julia the gauntlets for some increased Armor, and unlike Dorian and Rath, she has no movement options, so give her the Boosters so she can get in and out better.
Dorian really doesn't need anything, simply because while hes far from bad at melee, i feel like in a full party his role will be more in a place where Julia and Rath will be covering the actual frontline, him more supporting them from right behind, so he wont need any of the Armor Relics as much as them.
>>
>>3509917
(You absolutely can, unless they have any skills that cap it.)
>>
>>3509887
>>NEW DUAL TECHS UNLOCKED: https://pastebin.com/Jhd452yt

also damn, not one of these is bad, in any way shape or form.
>>
>>3509925
Amazing, shame the Spiraling Fear can't fit inside a small dome!

>>3509887
>>3509919
Almost entirely agree with this, though I think we should ask Mara to explain her plan as simply and quickly as possible, we don't want to screw things up because we don't know something that would have taken about a minute to find out.
>>
>>3509887
Oh, man, those Dual Techs. Julia is the clear winner in this, she's got excellent combo potential with everyone but Gina now. They're all really good, though.

>>Speak with Mara to discuss her plan before you leave. Time may be of the essence, but you’d like to get a clear picture of what she’s trying to do.
>>Write-In
>"I don't need a big speech, I think we're all in, just give us the footnotes. What are we doing here, Mara, I don't want to go in completely blind."

>>Party limit temporarily lifted. Please select Relic load out and if you’ll take everyone with you where you’re going.
Take everyone. I'd like to leave Amara behind, but honestly, we need everyone we can get. And it's not like we haven't taken her into dangerous situations before. Give Shu the Contender, obviously. Gina takes the whistle, loaded with Grah Vol. Rath keeps Sui Tormentis on for now (oh yeah, she's had that on this whole thread). Amara wears her Shawl, it probably won't help but every bit counts. And Julia gets Cursas Alas and the Ignition Gauntlets for when we armor her up so that she can blitz and fire punch.
>>
>>3509925
do we have information on Uzu’s abilities? if the amalgam was created with her at the core, we could be able to come up with a counter for the amalgam form
>>
>>3509919
>>3509934
ill support adding in;
>Ask Mara for a quick rundown.

>>3509935
im happy to see our Relic loadout was exactly the same, though i didnt even think about what to load up into the whistle.
>>
>>3509936
(All you know is that it's an Expressionist-type Flesh Artisan powerset, capable of warping structures when she was in Daughter form, twisting mountains to spires in her Amalgam form, and possessing enough strength to suppress Magpie's potent regenerative abilities. Aside from that, you're in the dark.)
>>
>>3509887
>>Head out now to meet Mara’s associate on the bank of the River. You’ll need all the help you can get to stop the Spiraling Fear.

It's unknown just how trustworthy Mara can be, but in this situation, she wants exactly the same thing we do. She's smart, strategically calculating, and her judgment is good enough that she can assess threats and possible counters. So if she says there's somebody she knows who could help stop the Spiraling Fear, then I trust her. This isn't the time for questions, we need to stop this thing NOW.

Besides, gathering the whole squad together and teaming up with Mara and Magpie to take down a mountain-sized monstrosity? Fuck. Yeah.
>>
>>3509887
>"You know, today's been a bad day to say the least. Physically, I didn't even get into a single fight, but emotionally, I'm exhausted"
>"It started when I got to witness Charon perform her primary function. What a start."
>"Then, I encounter the Midnight Crew. And it started out friendly and courteous, but then it turned sour when I learned they had some twisted ideals, intended to fuck up the Disassociated Ones because of those ideals, and wanted to pick a fight with me and most of my friend for the same reason. So I hauled ass to beat them there."
>"Then B'ni gets a bleed-over episode, during which I learn that West killed a group of Daughters I got along with. The ones that Gina and I crossed the river with."
>"And after her altercation with West, instead of opening up to me just a little, B'ni decides to double down on her current goal while maybe killing me and my friends on the way so we don't interfere."
>"And then who do I immediately meet? Another Doctor Fucking West. And while that proxy's different and cyborg and stuff, it was not who I wanted or needed to see right then."
>"So after all of that I come back to find the Monastery destroyed because Uzu fell off the deep end, and she took all of those innocent girls down with her."
>"... I'm just drained. But I'm also incredibly frustrated."
>"And I'm thinking that I have a big target for all of that pent up frustration."

>Head out now to meet Mara’s associate on the bank of the River. You’ll need all the help you can get to stop the Spiraling Fear.
>Volunteer to try and convince the Disassociated Ones to help your cause, and set out immediately. Even if there’s only a small chance, it’s worth it.
Rath and Gina should do that one to convince the head of the guards and stay in contact. They don't have to supply fuel. Any weaponry that can be used without compromising their goal is enough. And point out that if the Conglomerate that swallowed a mountain gets passed the river, it could affect their planned launch and at least set them back for some time.

I have to go for a while so I'll just say in advance that a cloaked Scarlet Drone that's swimming in the acid river will have less chances of being detected by that massive beast (assuming it's not so small to not even be on its radar).
>>
>>3509948
whew. this is gonna be one hell of a fight. i never thought of her as overly powerful but clearly under the right conditions at least she is a damn powerhouse.

maybe Rath will earn a title like the rest of em outta this, because i have a feeling this fights not going to be forgotten anytime soon. i think my earlier recommendation of Dorian being the second line might be best yeah, as all his stat strength comes from pure Regen, unlike Rath and Julia.
>>
>>3509957
There's no time for speeches, we've got a kaiju to fight! Move, move, move!
>>
>>3509957
its not a bad write-up, but i dont think we really have time to waste on long speeches. nor on the DOs. Mara already tried to get their attention and failed, and they have more than shown themselves to be apathetic to outside concerns. the last thing we need it people running around on low-to-no chance errands when we will need all hands on deck.

the issue is, even if the Head Guard and a few others might otherwise be willing, she has a job to guard the DOs, and if she leaves now, they probably will not let her back in. no matter how overall a good person she is, she both agreed to a certain job and wanted to be there for a reason, and unless ordered losing everything to help us might be beyond what she can muster to give.

the DOs have other plans and advanced as fuck Tech. they will probably use it to defend their own fort and nothing else, unfortunately.
>>
>>3509887
>Speak with Mara to discuss her plan before you leave. Time may be of the essence, but you’d like to get a clear picture of what she’s trying to do.
>Have Gina insert a plug into Mara and everyone for Thoughtform communication. Why Talk aloud when everyone can communicate at the speed of thought?
>"Mara, when you mean 'cutting a deal that you'd rather not, do you mean you're cutting a deal with 'The Vitruvian'?"
The question is because it's the only thing to our knowledge that Mara would painfully give up on since she staked a huge majority of her career on hunting and finding.

>>3509957
We can save that speech for our party members after we
>>
>>3509950
Mara isn't untrustworthy in the sense she has bad intentions, she simply seems to have a bit of Sam in her in that she passively demands to be in charge of a situation and will happily try and bend people to her will over time if she thinks its for the best or they have potential.

Good intentions as in she genuinely seems to want the best for everyone, untrustworthy in she doesn't care about crossing lines to fulfill that nor if you have objections to your role in that.
>>
>>3510013
>>3509887
Rephrasing a question/write-in
>"When you mean cutting a deal, do you mean cutting a deal with the fabled "Vitruvian" named 'Isabelle (akaB'ni)'?"
>>
>>3510017
Right, that's what I meant by untrustworthy. Thanks for putting it into better words.
>>
>>3510013
>>3510021
Why do you think its Isabelle? It could be any number of folks out there.
>>
>>3510025
Yeah, Mara knows that we broke things off with Isabelle and are nominally hostile with her. She doesn't know that it's escalated, but I think she'd tell us if she was bringing in B'Ni. Also, she's going to go make a deal, given that last we saw she still was hunting for B'Ni she wouldn't be able to do that in any reasonable time. It's fine, we don't need to be paranoid about Isabelle showing up and breaking a truce while we're fighting the giant spiral monster so that she can gank us.
>>
>>3510025
First thing that came to my mind. Now that I think about it, the other person that Mara would be loathe to cut a deal with would be a certain Quack Doctor from the giant flock that is Dr. West.
>>3510021
>>3509887
Rephrasing the question yet again:
>"Is it Dr. West or 'The Vitruvian' that you're cutting a deal with? If it's the former, we'll try to bear with her. If it's the latter, then things will be 'personal' complicated"
>>
>>3510037
>>3510040
Im thinking its probably West. As much as we despise her, it IS possible this thing could go against her plans, and/or Mara can offer her something worth her putting aside their differences. Plus genuine curiosity, her one weakness, might draw her to this anyways.

We dont have to like it, or agree to it, im just saying it is a possibility that's what shes gonna do and that west would agree.
>>
>>3510040
Or it could be another Daughter, the Crucible is full of them. Are we going to assume the gunner she sent Magpie to get is one of West's clones, too? West can use guns.
>>
>>3510047
Well, yeah, but we're just discussing the possibilities. Plus deal making actually does sound like a west thing, so that probably pushes the mind towards her, as well as already knowing she is a character compared to an unknown.
>>
>>3510055
I suppose. But I think this is an excellent opportunity to introduce new characters, so having it just be more West would be kind of a waste. I'm hoping it's someone else.
>>
>>3510040
How about we just change it to "Is it anyone I know?". Less accusatory, so if it's not West or B'Ni then it can be played off as Shu just being curious about who they'll be working with.
>>
>>3510070
yeah, its one thing to be curious whos shes making a deal with, another to jump to conclusions on who.
>>
>>3509887

"I don't need a big speech, I think we're all in, just give us the footnotes." You say as your team gears up in the house's main space. You gently close the bedroom door behind you, watching Mara take a seat on the bed, the springs creaking under her muscled weight. "What are we doing here, Mara? I don't want to go in completely blind."

"The River of Tears." Mara begins, resting her elbows on her knees as she leans forward, while you back up against the closed door, arms crossed as you listen. "It will be slow and vulnerable, with its regenerative powers dampened by the acid. The Leviathans will recognize it as a Hunger-mad Daughter, so they won't attack."

Cold blue-grey eyes study yours as she continues.

"The young woman that you'll be meeting, she's a hybrid Vitruvian and Humoral Paladin by the name of Claire. Rare, powerful, and with an inviolable physical form that she can use to slow the Spiraling Fear even further and allow us more time to attack. If she's waited there like I asked her to, then after you tell her the situation she'll know to stay put, and we'll all meet back here and go over everything one last time before we set out as one. Hopefully Magpie can get the Gunner here on time to give her help in the air or from the opposite shore, but that's a toss-up."

"Good." You nod. "Plan of attack?"

"We'll make a land bridge via Neuromancy or your Skintalker's powers, both would be equally effective. Magpie, the Gunner, and the ranged attackers of your choice will ride my mount, while I'll be at your disposal for an internal assault. I've fought things like this before, so as long as their regeneration is focused externally and tied up there, then their attention will be split so we can deal damage to its core. We'll have to be quick; if that thing reaches the shore then its regen turns inwards, and everything we've done will have been in vain. We'll be on a strict time-table once we breach its skin."

"Teams?" You fire back.

"That's up to you." She replies smoothly, and your eyes widen as she breezily continues. "I know the deal I'm setting off to make shortly will give us an incredibly potent offense, but they'll want to stay outside and harass it while we do the heavy lifting."

"...Why is it my choice?" You ask, eyebrow arched. "You have leagues more experience than I do, why would you give up command to..."

"Because it's your team." She says, cutting you off gently. "You've fought alongside or against everyone that'll be at your command, and you have a solid grasp of their strengths and weaknesses in the field. I can't say the same, Shu."

"I...okay. Alright. So, just so I have all the info; you said you're going to cut a deal you'd rather not." You say, drawing a cold breath into your aching lungs. "Who're you bringing in, if you don't mind my asking?"

Mara clasps her hands in front of her face, heaving a resigned sigh as she does so.

"...The Midnight Crew." She replies.

(Continued)
>>
>>3510086

"I've kept them at bay for months, and the offer to let them operate without the threat of me coming down on them will be an offer they won't refuse." She explains as your concerns begin to bubble up in your mind. "They fear and respect me enough to where they won't act out of line with me in close proximity.They're powerful, and we can get them on our side against something that threatens to win the Cord if left unchecked."

"No-one wants that. Not even them." She finishes.

"Sorry if this bursts your bubble, but their leader threatened me when we were on our way to the Disassociated Ones." You say, moving away from the door to lean against the nearby dresser, the same one you picked your last outfit from, which the River of Tears claimed in your attempt to traverse it. "You think she'll still be willing to play ball when she leveled a death threat at me on our first meeting?"

"It's a coin toss as to whether or not she was serious or just flirting with you." Mara muses, and a small, surprised blush creeps into your ears. Marrow Dragoon ponders it a moment more in earnest before shrugging. "Impossible to say. If she's serious about that, then I'm sure her threat came with the contingency of my death. Don't worry about it too much."

"Why's that?"

"Because I'm not dying today." She says, rising from the bed and approaching the door. She pauses, turning to you with a half-smile on her scarred lips.

"And neither are you, Defiant."

With that, the two of you rejoin your allies in the main room, everyone geared up and ready to head out. You're quiet, Gina's hand on your arm as the rest of your team laugh and joke among themselves, trying to keep their minds off of what lies ahead. The conversation lulls when you arrive at the waystation and dies completely by the time you reach the other end, a tense silence having settled among you all. By the time you emerge into open air the storm's calmed somewhat, its cold, freezing winds replaced with a drizzle of rain that falls straight down, the air dead around you and filled with the steady static of an aimless downpour.

You look around at your friends; stalwart and fearful, ready and tense. You're proud of them...prouder than words can express as you watch each and every one of them march into the unknown.

Gina's said that you make her want to be a better person, and it's a sentiment you can tell is shared by your allies...but seeing them, like this...

...they're who made you the leader you are today. They're the reason you're able to put one foot in front of the other as you spearhead this march through the relentless rain, seeking an ally in the biggest fight you've ever had.

If you have something to say to anyone here...you should say it now.

>>Choose who you want to talk to and what you want to tell them...depending on how this goes, you might not have another...no.

>>You can't think that way.

>>It will be fine.

>>...it has to be.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3510086
>>3510091
Still working on a write-in, but this is now the thread's theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARLPT5rKjWo

Actually, Keane would probably get a kick out of obscure ragtime references, I'm certain she knows this song if she's a Homestuck fan. Maybe later, after we've killed and eaten the giant monster that used to be our friends.
>>
>>3510100
(Glorious, and exactly what I was listening to when I introduced Jackie.)
>>
>>3510091
>"Gina, Julia, Dorian, Rath, Amara?"
>"im not gonna mince words. this is gonna be our most dangerous fight yet. but i know even if i put forth the option...none of you would back down."
>take in a deep breath.
>"We're gonna fight this thing at the river. we win or we lose there... no, we win there, nothing else is allowed."
>"we're gonna have to trust eachother, and trust individuals we dont know and some we might not be able to trust. We watch eachothers backs, and we dont hesitate to do what we think we must to keep us all alive, orders or not."
>Smile, and look to Gina. "You're our Bridge to this thing. I know i can trust you Gina, no matter what has happened in the past. You'll pull through this, and us along with you, you always do."
>Nod to Rath. "I know things have been harder on ya then you like to admit, but no one blames you. shits sucked ass." smile widely, "but today lets kick some ass back, eh? know you'll dish out exactly what we need, no hesitation."
>turn to Julia. "you'll be keeping it down with Debuffs, and we're gonna need all of them we can get. I dont think ive ever seen you lose your composure when it matters Julia, thank you so much for being so reliable, and i know you'll hold it and us together here too."
>Smile to Dorian "You'll have the hard job of backing up Rath and Julia, but after the monastery i think you're used to keeping multiple women happy" wink, "You left everything to help us, have willingly without a complaint helped us however you can even in the most dire of situations. thank you, and i know you'll do the same today."
>Kneel down to pat Amaras head with a smile. "Amara, sweety. this is going to be a dangerous fight. im, so, so sorry to be bringing you into this. but i know you can handle it. you've never faltered, even when faced with things even we adults have trouble standing against. thank you so much for supporting us and being so strong, a beacon for us to cherish." give her a hug, "you'll be helping suppress the thing from afar with your Magic, ok? oh, and today?" smile and look between her and Rath, "today You and Rath alike dont need to hold back on any magic words. go Wild, show that big monster just what you can do, ok?"
>pull back and look at everyone again.
>"So, everyone understand? we can, no, we WILL do this. together. everyone ready?"
>"good, then lets get moving!"

thoughts?
>>
>>3510091
>>3510118
also, i begrudgingly think if Mara thinks so, shes probably right on us needing the Midnight Crew. but lets not let our guard down for a SECOND around them. they might not be willing to cause defeat just to fuck us over, but the minute it is over, im totally expecting them to turn on us.
>>
>>3510118
I think the bit to Dorian should probably go. Let's not remind him of the Monastery when that's technicaly what we're fighting.
>>
>>3510134
so maybe this instead?;
>Smile to Dorian "You'll have the hard job of backing up Rath and Julia, but i know you wont hesitate to do what you need to aid them." Give him a Respectful nod,"You left everything to help us, have willingly without a complaint helped us however you can even in the most dire of situations. thank you, and i know you'll do the same today."
>>
I wonder how they developed cybernetics this fast.
>>
>>3510136
Yeah, that works. I'm working on my own little speech, but I keep faltering.
>>
>>3510140
humanity has its best leaps in technology when they are at war and desperate. that, and everyone was changed into the same biological stuff and thus compatible, so im not expert, but id think that would get rid of alot of issues with having to make things compatible with everyone despite not being the same, aswell as the malleability of our flesh might of given alot of insight into things that could carry over into tech as well in ways.

just some ideas.

>>3510142
yeah it can be difficult. but if nothing else, its good practice just to try.
>>
>>3510091
>Group Hug and huddle.
>Open up the empathy channel.
>"Everyone. I'm not gonna mince words."
>"Gina you're our bridge and second in command. use the Cord we share between us. I'll get you a scarlet Drone."
>"Mr. Gardner, Keep Rath and Julia alive."
>"Rath, Julia. Keep each other alive."
>"Amara...Time to unleash all the magic. Stay safe with Gina."
>"
>The sight of your friends and loved ones, now that everyone's here, facing a common cause knowing that everyone has each other's backs...it fills you with DETERMINATION. And that determination is what you want to share to everyone on the empathy channel.
>>3510148
>>3510148
>>3510142
>>3510140
>>3510055
Can we have Gina use the THE SPINE and ready THE NAIL for one of our party members to use? I feel like this is a situation that warrants the tier 5 relics.
>>
>>3510155
>Can we have Gina use the THE SPINE and ready THE NAIL for one of our party members to use? I feel like this is a situation that warrants the tier 5 relics.
no.
also, can the nail even be removed? it seemed like it was made to be a permanent addition, so 1000% no on that one.
>>
>>3510118
>>3510121
This is good. but it's lacking one thing. A group hug. A family group hug.
And an undertale quote that fills Shu and everyone with DETERMINATION.
>>
>>3510159
>>3510118
>>3510136
im very ok adding a group hug to the end. but not an undertale quote. i dont like that game.
>>
>>3510157
>>3510155
(The Nail fuses to the host, so if you wish to use it, then that's a long-term call. You still have both Spine and Nail at your disposal if you wish to use them.)
>>
>>3510159
(I appreciate the reference. Nicely done.)

>>3510161
(That's fair. I enjoy the music more than anything else about it, I must admit.)
>>
>>3510162
What about the spine? As for the nail... I'll have to pass on using the nail.
>>
>>3510162
yeah, then im very against the Nail. against the spine too, as giant mountain or not, i still feel its that sorta moral choice no situation calls for breaking.
>>
>>3510159
Group hug. Absolutely.
>>
>>3510161
I was joking on the undertale quote, but the group hug and spreading that feeling of determination for everyone to share? that part I'm serious.
>>
>>3510096
BHOP, I just gotta say something.

We're going into our first ever battle with all six of our party members active.

We're teaming up with Mara, the Marrow Dragoon, one of the most powerful daughters we've encountered and possibly the closest thing to a hero this warped world has (besides ourselves).

We've also got Magpie on board, the spooky eyeball crow sniper. And of all the other people we could possibly get on our side, we're recruiting the FUCKING MIDNIGHT CREW.

And despite the odds being overwhelmingly against us, we're still charging into battle against a lumbering, twisted monstrosity as it wades through a river of pure acid so we can go inside it and destroy its core.

BHOP.

This quest.

Is so.

Fucking.

AWESOME.
>>
>>3510188
i agree with this Anons sentiments. you have made not just a wonderful Quest BHOP, but genuinely one of my favorite stories ive ever read, and with a wonderful combat system to boot. i appreciate all the hard work and time it goes into making something like this, thank you.
>>
>>3510196
Oh, I almost forgot to mention:

Our ranged attackers are riding a motherfucking ZOMBIE DRAGON.
>>
>>3510167
Hey Bhop, We know that the cancerbomb that Gina plants basically cripples all humanoid biology, but how effective is it against non-humanoid amalgams? Because unless we target the core, the cancer isn't that effective against a literal spiral personification.
>>
>>3510091
Okay, let's try this again.

>>Write-In
>Talk to everyone
>"Alright, show of hands: Anyone else feeling a bit scared? I'm not going to lie, this is the biggest and most dangerous thing we've ever fought, I'm feeling kind of intimidated. But that's why I'm glad to have you all at my side. Gina, Rath, Julia, Amara, Dorian...you are without question the best team I could ever hope to ask for. You've never given me anything but the most absolutely stellar performance imaginable. If I've got to fight a giant monster today, I want it to be with all of you. It doesn't matter how scary this thing is, it already lost the moment it met the six of us."
>And then talk tactics but I don't know how to make that all inspirational and uplifting.

>Gina
Take Amara and keep it locked down. Give us a land bridge over, then use Neuromancy to keep it in place. We'll leave you a Crimson Swarmling, use it to impede the Spiral's movements or as a conduit for fluid terraforming (aquaforming?) as you see fit.

>Amara
Same as Gina. Focus on FOL, it's the best word you have right now, use it for both inhibiting the Spiral and for bolstering Gina if her concentration is at risk of being interrupted. RHO can be useful, too. And don't forget that you can double spells for free now, damn was that upgrade OP.

>Rath
She's up in the air. Literally. I'd like to have her on the melee team, but she's got really painful ranged attacks, too. I want her dumping white phosphorus grenades on the Spiral, keep it nice and busy thrashing about in agony instead of focusing on doing anything productive.

>Julia
With us on surgical insertion. We'll give her some Chitin before we head in, synch up with her gauntlets and boosters so she's one mean flesh-warping bug-skinned machine. But between her excellent melee and her aura of despair being literally inside the Spiral, I think she's going to do a lot of good there.

>Dorian
Sorry, I know you said you didn't like Masque of War and wanted to use it for a different purpose, but we don't have the time to follow up on what that is. There are probably going to be constructs inside the Spiral, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be gross snail/spring people bursting out of the walls. Give us mobile cover, we might have to move a little slower but with you eroding our way in we'll have a clearer shot.

Okay, everyone know what they're doing and sufficiently pumped up? Dorian, you happy to protect the people you care about? Rath, you excited to have a strong woman order you around? Amara, looking forward to swearing your heart out? Great. Now give us all a big hug, Dorian extend your arms to make sure everyone gets in on it.


>>3510188
Indeed. This is an amazing setting with amazing characters that come together to facilitate amazing scenes. I don't think there's been a single thread that I haven't enjoyed.
>>
>>3510200
all we're missing is November and her MEAT TANK. but hey, you never know...

also,
>>3510091
>>3510118
put all the edits together, look good?
>"Gina, Julia, Dorian, Rath, Amara?"
>"im not gonna mince words. this is gonna be our most dangerous fight yet. but i know even if i put forth the option...none of you would back down."
>take in a deep breath.
>"We're gonna fight this thing at the river. we win or we lose there... no, we win there, nothing else is allowed."
>"we're gonna have to trust eachother, and trust individuals we dont know and some we might not be able to trust. We watch eachothers backs, and we dont hesitate to do what we think we must to keep us all alive, orders or not."
>Smile, and look to Gina. "You're our Bridge to this thing. I know i can trust you Gina, no matter what has happened in the past. You'll pull through this, and us along with you, you always do."
>Nod to Rath. "I know things have been harder on ya then you like to admit, but no one blames you. shits sucked ass." smile widely, "but today lets kick some ass back, eh? know you'll dish out exactly what we need, no hesitation."
>turn to Julia. "you'll be keeping it down with Debuffs, and we're gonna need all of them we can get. I dont think ive ever seen you lose your composure when it matters Julia, thank you so much for being so reliable, and i know you'll hold it and us together here too."
>Smile to Dorian "You'll have the hard job of backing up Rath and Julia, but i know you wont hesitate to do what you need to aid them." Give him a Respectful nod,"You left everything to help us, have willingly without a complaint helped us however you can even in the most dire of situations. thank you, and i know you'll do the same today."
>Kneel down to pat Amaras head with a smile. "Amara, sweety. this is going to be a dangerous fight. im, so, so sorry to be bringing you into this. but i know you can handle it. you've never faltered, even when faced with things even we adults have trouble standing against. thank you so much for supporting us and being so strong, a beacon for us to cherish." give her a hug, "you'll be helping suppress the thing from afar with your Magic, ok? oh, and today?" smile and look between her and Rath, "today You and Rath alike dont need to hold back on any magic words. go Wild, show that big monster just what you can do, ok?"
>pull back and look at everyone again.
>"So, everyone understand? we can, no, we WILL do this. Together.”
>Bring everyone in for a hug, to fill everyone with HOPE and DETERMINATION.
>”everyone ready? good, then lets get moving!"
>>
>>3510200
What's the meat dragon's name? If he doesn't have one already, I nominate "Paul". Hey Paul, remember that orb, with all the nerves? It would paralyze people and then eat their skin? Yeah, that one was my favorite.
>>
>>3510205
If Rath's doing Ranged Attacking, then She shouldn't be wearing Sui Tormentis. That should be reserved for Dorian if he's going to be our dedicated tank to protect our squishy members.
>>3510167
BHOP, can we reorganize our relic loadouts a couple more times?
>>
>>3510218
>If Rath's doing Ranged Attacking, then She shouldn't be wearing Sui Tormentis. That should be reserved for Dorian if he's going to be our dedicated tank to protect our squishy members.
Dorian dashes by turning into a cloud of vaporized blood, now. Can he bring Sui Tormentis along with him when he does that?
>>
>>3510218
(You certainly may, up until the point where conflict is declared and stats are displayed.)

>>3510222
(He can.)
>>
>>3510218
>>3510205
we can wait on tactics honestly, especially as we will have to re-coordinate once we see all of who else we will have.

plus, Rath is 100% needed on close combat. im highly against her being in the air. she can do too much with her melee to give it up only for her Boils, which she can still use on the ground.
>>
>>3510218
>>3510222
keep i mind, we're possibly gonna have TWO gunners plus the possibility of the Midnight Crew and one of them being Ranged a bit. i really think Rath is both Wasted in the air, but also until we see who else we might have, too much is up in the air on what might actually be best.
>>
>>3510227
Yeah, honestly, I felt weird writing tactics already. I just felt like it should go at this point chronologically, and that it would be too late to hash them over in-character later, and I got all in a kerfluffle. Okay, I'm just going to assume that there has been a tactical discussion, and we've got a Schrodinger's battle plan just like we have a Schrodinger's equipment loadout.

And yeah, Rath was really also just me feeling I had to be decisive for some reason. She makes just as much sense in the melee team, her lighting fires inside the Spiral Fear will certainly hurt just as bad. I don't know what I'm doing, anymore.
>>
>>3510237
you're getting understandably excited and wanting to make sure everything goes well. understandable, but without all the info on whatever characters we will have it is jumping the gun a wee lil bit.
>>
>>3510241
No, I mean...I know what I'm doing, I'm just feeling tired and incoherent and words logic aren't making sense much. I think I might just conk out, the next vote is likely to be the last for the night, and then I'll be able to catch it in the morning before the voting period is over. Good night, thread. If it turns out that my timing is wrong, make good decisions while I'm not here for that vote. Later.
>>
>>3510247
have a wonderful night my man.
>>
>>3510247
(Sleep well, Anon. The next voting period is going to be a lengthy one, so you won't miss it.)
>>
>>3510226
Possible Theme songs for Spiraling Fear fight?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgHgHcNWL-4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R04ncda802E

>>3510254
That I won't miss, what I will miss is the time period between 3 and 8:30 pm on weekdays. And I have an intense hunch that BHOP will start rapid-posting.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen. Here we go.)
>>
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>>3510091

"Everyone?" You say, pausing your march. "I'm not gonna mince words; this is going to be our most dangerous fight yet, but I know even if i put forth the option...none of you would back down. We're gonna fight this thing at the river. We win there, nothing else is allowed. We're gonna have to trust each other, individuals we don't know, and some we might not be able to trust. We watch each others' backs and don't hesitate to do what we think we must to keep us all alive, orders or not."

You turn to Gina, fixing her with a warm, earnest smile.

"You're our bridge to this thing. I know I can trust you Gina, no matter what's happened in the past. You'll pull through this, and us along with you, you always do."

You turn to Rath, her citrine eyes aflame as she listens intently. "I know things have been harder on you then you like to admit, but no one blames you. Shit's sucked ass." You say with a wide grin. "But today let's kick some ass back, eh? I know you'll dish out exactly what we need, no hesitation."

You turn to Julia, dark eyes shining at you through the rolling rain, sweet smile on pale lips. "You'll be keeping it down with debuffs, and we're gonna need all of them we can get. I don't think I've ever seen you lose your composure when it matters Julia. Thank you so much for being so reliable, and I know you'll hold it and us together here too."

You smile at Dorian, and you shake his hand firmly with a respectful nod. "You'll have the hard job of backing up Rath and Julia, but I know you won't hesitate to do what you need to aid them. You left everything to help us, and have willingly and without complaint helped us however you can even in the most dire of situations. Thank you, and I know you'll do the same today."

He gives you an appreciative smile as you kneel down to pat Amaras head with a grin. "Amara, sweetie. This is going to be a dangerous fight. I'm, so, so sorry to be bringing you into this, but I know you can handle it. You've never faltered, even when faced with things we adults have trouble standing against. Thank you so much for supporting us and being so strong, a beacon for us to cherish."

You pull her in to a tight hug, a gesture she gladly returns.

"Listen, you'll be helping suppress the thing with your magic, okay? And today?"

You smile as you glance between her and Rath. "Today you and Rath don't need to hold back on any magic words. Go wild, show that big monster just what you can do, okay?"

"Fuck yeah?" Rath asks.

"Fuck yeah!" Comes Amara's joyful reply.

"So, everyone understand? We can...no, we WILL do this. Together.” You finish, pulling everyone in to a tight group hug, hope and determination swelling in your hearts through the empathic channel.

”Everyone ready? Good, then lets get mov...!"

The sound of blades on stone, of a pair of powerful legs skidding to a stop on calcite greaves.

No.

Please no, not now.

Not when there's so much at stake.

You turn.

"Hello, Sam."

(Continued)
>>
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>>3510306

A pair of dull emeralds regard you coldly, flicking from your gaze to give a slow pan across your allies as a lance of terror pierces your heart at the arrival of your oldest friend, standing like a jet-black scar on the beach that stretches before you.

"...How?" You breathe.

"Neuromancy, courtesy of West's recent acquisition. Keeps me off the radar, and all I had to do was follow you as you left town." She explains dully, gaze centering back on you. "Did you really think I wouldn't check your home base first?"

"Isabelle, I don't have time for..."

"Why do you think the whole world revolves around you, Sam?" She asks, standing in the tattered, rain-slicked black dress you last saw her in. "...besides...

"I'm not here for you."

You follow her gaze, ice creeping through your veins as you do.

"I'm here for her."

She's serious. There's nothing disingenuous, no further plans...it's just that simple. It's what Isabelle came for. Your ace in the hole, the key to using the Cord without triggering the kill-switch.

Gina.

"No." You growl, hive thrumming with rage as an extra three pairs of arms explode from Rath's shoulders beside you, the two of you standing between Isabelle and her prize.

"This doesn't have to be a fight, Sam." B'ni says calmly. "It won't be one you'd win, if it comes to that."

The brawler by your side takes one step forwards, then another.

"Hello, Rath. You really want to take that next step?" Isabelle asks, arcing one thin eyebrow.

"Can't kick your ass unless I get closer." The red-head replies with a cruel smirk.

"Ha, alright." A weak chuckle escapes Isabelle's lips, and she languidly gestures for the other girl to approach. "Come closer, then."

"Rath, no." You bark, and she freezes mid-step. "B'ni, listen to me, there are bigger things at stake than our conflict, alright? The Monastery's fallen, Isabelle. It's coming this way, marching towards the Cord to win the Crucible unless we band together to stop it and..."

"I listened to you for two decades, Sam." Isabelle interrupts, and you feel the proverbial doors slam shut across your empathic channel. "You've stolen enough of my time. You want one last choice? One last word, like you always had to have? She comes with me, or I take her with me. There's your fucking choice."

"You can go screw yourself you rancid cun..." Rath begins with a snarl before a quiet, determined voice calls out from behind her.

"I'll go."

(Continued)
>>
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>>3510309

"If you let everyone here go, then I'll go with you." Gina repeats, gently moving Rath out of the way as the redhead looks between you and her, bewildered.

"Isabelle, I've hurt you. I lied to you, and that's not anyone's fault but mine." She continues, taking another step towards her old friend. "Shu, Rath, everyone...they have to stop this thing that the Monastery's become and...and I know you don't care about any of that, but I'll leave with you if you let them go. Please, Isabelle...they *have* to do this."

A second. A moment. An eternity.

"...Alright." Isabelle replies.

She's broken, shattered, sharpened to a razor's edge. She wasn't a good liar then, and she'd make an even worse one now. It's how you know that she's terribly, horribly true to her word in this moment, suspended in time as the unfeeling rain continues to fall.

Gina's about to take another step when you reach out and grab her by the hand.

[Gina...I appreciate the though, but this is ridiculous. Please, we can...]

{It's like you said, Shu. There are bigger things at stake here than any one of us} Gina says, the cold fear in her voice choked out by the defiant flame in her heart. {There are other Halos out there, West said as much...other Neuromancers who can use one to stop the Crucible without triggering...}

[NO, Gina. No, we will fight her, we will win and...]

"If you die here, what then?!" Gina screams aloud as she tears her hand free of your grip, her cry echoing across the vast, grey beach. "Let me do this! Let me do this one decent thing, alright?"

You stare at her. She's terrified, on the verge of tears...but she's doing what she thinks is right. Not for her, not even for you...but for something beyond all of you. The two of you stand like that for a moment, everything and everyone else washed away with the rain as a second stretches into an eternity.

{She beat West} Gina says. {She's lived for so, so long in all this...and I can't let anyone else get hurt because of me. I'm not letting that happen ever again}

You can't change B'ni's mind...any more than you can change Gina's, in this instant. Slowly, she crosses the gap between you, placing the palm of her right hand over your heart before looking up at you with eyes that swim with tears.

"Please, trust me, Shu." She says, a small, sad smile on her lips. "I'll be okay...and so will you."

It's what B'ni's forced on you, her last, cruel piece of revenge before leaving for the Cord.

Isabelle's given you a choice you can't possibly make.

One you have to make.

>>Stop her.

>>Let her go.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL

YOU WISH YOU WEREN'T
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next twelve hours, Gentlemen. Posting shall resume shortly thereafter.)

(Good luck.)
>>
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>>3510281
>>
>>3510313
ISABELLE

YOU

BITCH
>>
>>3510313
oh my fucking god. geezus. this inst a decision BHOP. this...this is just literal torture.

>>Stop her.
i...i cant. im sorry guys. i cant even justify my decision. im sorry. but loyalty and sticking by the side of your friends and those you care about is just, its one of those personal things i cannot go against. we cant win this fight. i just...we cant. but i cant vote to let her go, i just cant.
>>
>>3510336
just....fuck....we cant protect the monastery...we have lost so many good people....fuck so much shit....i....fuck, if we cant even protect our friends, those closest to us...i....how can we...defy anything?

but...we...we cant? its, simple logic, numbers, obvious as the sun we cant win this fight....god....fucking damn it....i dont even know. so many fights, moments. fighting for it all to mean something and just....we cant even do anything here....

yet...we were just planning to take on a literal mountain. no...that...doesn't justify this...Mountain sized or not, we will have powerful backup for that and it is a monastery of mostly low level daughters and in many ways its size can be seen as a disadvantage, aswell as where we wish to fight it.

fuck...Isabelle is just a different beast altogether. i...even if we could fight her and win...we leave the entire world at stake, might be too late to stop the other threat...and we know thats a big IF.

...no. just no.

>>3510313
>>3510336
>>Stop her.
>>"Gina. We're Family. we're a team. we live or we die together. Remember what i said? Im no one special. There will be other Defiants, but there wont be another US, Together. we didnt get this far by leaving each other to die, even if we know it might not end well for us."
>>"We Fight, together, even if we know it might be the last time we do."

we're no one special. we're just some schmuck who woke up less than three weeks ago and thinks they can play with the big girls who have been around for years. but you dont stand up to bullies because you think they wont push you to the ground....you do it because its the right thing to do. and sometimes, doing whats right....ends badly. but thats what makes it hard to do.

i fully understand, expect, and wont be surprised when i lose out on this vote. i know fully im being emotional. angry, unreasonably standing with my morals in the face of logic. its the dumbest move on the table. the most retarded, shittiest move on the board. but its what i personally have to do.

i know its just a story, and its stupid to think of it that way but...if it was actually me and those i care about...id rather die fighting next to them doing what i thought was right...than abandoning them to live, regardless of the reason or logic behind me doing it. its just what i gotta do, and what i gotta vote for.
>>
>>3510336
You're absolutely right about our chances. Despite all of our abilities, there's a good chance that Isabelle could wipe the floor with us. If we ignore Gina and stop her, then we could very well be killed by this... this broken, warped girl that was once our friend.

It's the dumbest choice we could hope to make.

A fool's choice.

>>3510313
>>Stop her.

And if we're going to stand up to Isabelle, we'll do it with one of the most immortal lines in film history.

"Get away from her, you BITCH!"
>>
(Gentlemen, a reminder that, as I said earlier, you may arrange your Relic loadout up until the moment conflict is decided upon.)
>>
>>3510397
Is Masque of War indiscriminate in the DoT damage? or does he have selective fire?
>>
>>3510313
>Let her go.
>>
>>3510407
(It's selective fire.)
>>
>>3510367
If this is how our story ends.
...i can live with that. You dont always get what you want, sometimes you can only get what you can fight for, even if thats only in the end defeat.
>>
>>3510313
>"Stay safe, stay strong, consume and grow stronger, stay alive. Don't you ever dare let yourself get killed and consumed. You're an amazing and strong girl Gina. I'll come back for both you and Isabelle some day."
>Spawn a fuzzbuzz (make it the size of a pillow for Gina. Have her jack a cord into it and decouple it from Shu's control. Shu will give consent for decoupling.)
>"My last gift before I let you go. Please take good care of it Gina."
>Let Gina Go.
>Stop Isabelle.
>Draw the Karma Gun in Gunblade form and throw a swing...that misses Isabelle completely and stops short. You couldn't even bring yourself to fight her. Your vision was blurry from tears.
>>
>>3510313
> Let her go but look at Isabelle and send a signal to Gina "Stay alive and she WILL regret this I'll make sure"
>>3510397
I have to agree if this is how it ends we should go out with a bang.
While we would rather not die.... this situation, Gina possibly being lost forever.... it is a hill i could die on and be at peace with at least though i wont be satisfied.
Not because of us dying but our Group being erased from existance not in a raging infernal blaze but snuffed out like the flame of a match.
What a good little defiant we are even making ourselves weaker
>>
>>3510446
Anon...thats just not how this is gonna work...we cant replace Gina here, theres nowhere for them to run. We either fight together and see what happens...or we let Gina go... We stand against her...shes gonna kill everyone and take what she wants anyways. Its a fight together, or no fight at all.
>>
>>3510319
Goddamn you Bhop. For forcing us into this emotionally and morally hard choice.
And at this rate, the deck just looks so stacked against us.

Anons. I know about half of you are in tears from looking at this update vote. I am too.

>>3510456
I can easily bet 10 level up essences that Mother is just watching this drama with absolute glee seeing "Shu The Defiant" be spiritually broken by the conflict.
>>
>>3510456
Im not so sure Gina is surviving this one.

>>3510462
im outside on some rocks in an overgrown field. I don't regret my vote but i couldn't get to sleep either.
>>
>>3510471
>>3510462
The Situation ist Bad.
If we want to save Gina we will have to pull all the Stops and Hope and Pray that we can Tarpit her Long enough to try and use Terraforming to escape Underground If possible in an Open Güls age would butcher us
>>
>>3510313
>>>Write-In

Take off the blocker and push the connection through to Isabelle with Gina backing you up.

Triumvirate time.
>>
>>3510487
That was meant to say: in an Open field she would butcher us
>>
>>3510489
Anon. The implant blocker is INSIDE SHU'S SKULL. How are we supposed to remove THAT?
>>
>>3510489
Yeah its in our skull. We dont have the luxury at the moment of removing it and... even without it, we had no control over it, nor any hint Gina could help with that. If she could...we wouldn't need the device...
>>
I do Not See us winning this without great cost, a fighting Retreat might be our only Option to keep Gina and to be ready to fight Uzu
>>
well, as not tired as i am,i need to try and get some sleep.

just...remember when Rath got left behind Anons. we were running, we thought we were gonna lose that fight...but we still went back for her. sometimes its not about winning, sometimes its just about...not leaving someone you care about to face something alone.

at least, i guess, if we stand up to her...we tried. and sometimes thats enough. sometimes thats all you can do.
>>
>>3510494
>>3510501
I mean.

We could grow it out into a swarmling maybe?

But it was mentioned earlier that there was a chance to eat B'ni from the inside out.
>>
>>3510460
>>3510487
god fucking DAMMIT. GOD DAMN YOU BHOP.

You know.... I had a battleplan thought out about an two hours ago in fighting Isabelle. Here it is. You chucklefucks can debate the merits of it.
>>3510313
>"Stay safe, stay strong, consume and grow stronger, stay alive. Don't you ever dare let yourself get killed and consumed. You're an amazing and strong girl Gina. I'll come back for both you and Isabelle some day."
>Spawn a fuzzbuzz (make it the size of a pillow for Gina. Have her jack a cord into it and decouple it from Shu's control. Shu will give consent for decoupling.)
>"My last gift before I let you go. Please take good care of it Gina."
>Let Gina Go.
>*display heartbreaking sadness because of the cruel choice for B'ni*
>Cut the connection and Stop Isabelle.
>BATTLE PLAN EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. WE TAKE THE SURPRISE INITIATIVE. WE DO NOT. LET BHOP. ROLL. THE DICE.
Objective: Run and keep Gina safe and away from Isabelle's hands until you meet reinforcements or force Isabelle to either switch priorities or flee.
We can't take her head on, But we can stall her out!
Shu (Relic loadout: Karma Gun)
actions:
>Act 1: Spawn 1 Bishop (Attach to Shu), 6 Platelings (Shu goes into Chitinous Fullbody), 1 Stealth Scarlet Drone (attach it to B'ni), 1 Knightling (for Amara to act as a Mount and have it guard Gina at the center, then fill the rest of your swarmling slots with basic swarmlings. Engage B'ni in melee. Bodyblock her!
>Act 2: Escort Gina and Guard our Rear. Activate Exsanguinating Leash.
Rath: (Relic Loadout: Sui Tormentis)
actions:
>Act 1: Herculean Force and Toss B'ni so hard that you guarantee at least 100 yards of distance between Isabelle and the group. Spend 50% hp for a 150% Sui +245% (Herculean Force) Strength Boost. Yeet the Rabbit with 395% strength.
>Act 2: Grab Gina and RUN. You're going to going to escort her and guard our twelve!
Gina: (Relic Loadout:
>Act 1: RUN! I'M NOT GOING TO LET YOU GO!
>Act 2: Flash your fear aura if B'ni gets too close!

Dorian: (Relic Loadout: None)
>Act 1: Creator Form: Spawn constructs that intercept B'ni and make Paint slicks. Their job is to intercept and slow Isabelle down.
>Act 2: Escort Gina and guard our right flank in Canvas form! Intercept any hits
Julia: (Relic loadout: Cursus Alas and Gauntlets)
>Act 1: Escort Gina and guard our left flank!
>Act 2: Intercept any attacks B'ni tries to pull on Gina. Draw out Bloody Ripper and have it ready!
Amara: (Relic loadout: Cloak and whistle)
>Cloak yourself and spawn 3 Hollow Clones, have them circle B'ni. while the real you mounts a Knightling.
>Word spell: "Gra San Tha!". Abuse your Favored word.

I've amended my vote and spoilered the second half for the Sleight of hand reasons.
>>
>>3510600
I Like your Idea going full goblinslayer and not letting "the gods" BHOP Roll the dice for as Long as possible

I Just Hope that Reinforcments are Close or Isabelle does not want to tire herself Out to much and Retreats quickly or we will be eating her Blades very soon
>>
>>3510622
Make enough of a racket and attract their attention, the faster they'll come. B'ni's now playing into Mother's Prophecy "A thief and a liar". She's got stealth now. which is double fuck.
>>
>>3510600

Amending a small section of the plan
Amara:
>Act 1:Cloak yourself and Mount a Knightling,
>Act 2:"Gra San Tha!"
Everyone (except B'ni): get into positions.
>>
>>3510624
I Hope that (after we have dealt with Isabelle one way or another) we can use Amaras Power to create an active Radar that can penetrante cloaking such as Isabelles by measuring their Impact in the world. Most people still have to Walk even If they are virtually invisible to normal Radar
If Mara ist still in the Area she would probably Check Out a loud Explosion If we can generate one loud enough
Rathaus punches may so the Trick together with the Dual Tech she recently unlocked
>>
>>3510628
Rath's bombs don't generate sound, but Shu's Gun does. Fullbore Herculeans are the loudest in volume.
>>
>>3510633
With Raths and Amaras Dual Tech, Rath punches so fast she shatters the limbs she produced so she might just create small Sonic Booms which are probably louder than even our gun
>>
>>3510634
But is it worth wasting 10% bio on making noise?....just make sure she's guaranteed to hit B'ni with those sonic boom punches.
>>
>>3510637
You May be right Isabelle is very good at dodging so would likely waste the Bio and Amaras acts......
>>
>>3510600
I don't think B'ni will just give up following us and she's faster than we will ever be, if we fight we have to fight to win.

A couple ideas:
Fight in headspace - not sure if we could do this, especially due to B'ni Secluded Mind, but she'd have much less of an advantage if we pulled it off and could bring in more friends there.

Julia dual techs - (first give Julia Sui Tormentis) the combination of Horror at Red Hook, Radiant Ripper and Malleable Flesh Stacks can reduce accuracy to nil and also slow health regen to a crawl, rendering most Daughters unable to resist being taken down. Julia's powers are great against higher leveled Daughters because they're percentage based rather than flat damage. Unfortunately B'ni can shrug off status effects, but if we got really lucky locking down her powers with Gina could make this work.

Both of these are extremely risky and obviously the smart thing to do is not to fight back but if we're going to fight, these are a couple of things that have at least a slim chance of working out.
>>
>>3510600
>>3510664
By the way, attacking from surprise is a great idea and, if we're going to fight, should definitely be how we start.
>>
>>3510664
>what if we pulled a prison break on B'ni's inner self?
Unlock as many daughters inside B'ni that have been locked out due to Secluded mind and have them start a riot?
>>
>>3510397
>>3510664
BHOP, if B'ni uses Spe Aeternis Fontis to shrug off an effect like those of Radiant Ripper or Depressive Weight, which are being applied constantly, how long does it stop affecting her? A round, or the rest of the battle?
>>
>>3510675
I like this idea a lot, we could have Chevalier lead them.
>>
>>3510664
Another thing.

B'ni is resistant to Neuromancy but I haven't seen anything in her power set that makes her resistant to Phantasmal Conduit powers. Abuse fear liberally to make her back off while building up despair corruption is a way.
>>
>>3510600
>>3510622
I just don't think there is aid to help us. They have a limited time frame to stop the monestary monster, and Mara and co may very well be forced to pick it over us, if they are even in position to come to our aid at all.

>>3510664
Her high resistance to neuromancy means trying it is super unlikely to work, if we can even stick her to try. Im just gonna say it, stronger Neuromancers have tried and failed to penetrate her mind from what we have seen.

>>3510740
Im not sure how well thus will work, but it does seem to be a kink in her armor. Is assume there is saving throws to the fear, and Isabelle probably has a good chance at that, especially as we will keep having to push her back and sooner than later she may just get lucky if nothing else, as well as she can wait out our ACTs and BIO unlike us her.

The depression isnt bad either, but it only mostly gives us a small opening IF we last long enough for it to effect her.

But...if we COULD last long enough to stun her and get lucky to get a neuromancer ability through onto the dreamscape...yeah, maybe we could win. But that is a order just as if not taller than the Spiral Monster.
>>
Another thing. We still have that gear taken from the Spartan which negates health regen. Now it's supposed to be used as a relic, but if jamming it into her works than it cripples her entire build.
>>
>>3510677
(She shrugs it off for one round.)
>>
>>3510756
Do we? I dont see it on our list so i assumed we traded it away.
>>
>>3510752
The Depression might be stronger than we think
At her core she ist pretty broken even If she ist determined the Depression could anahilate her self will and send her down a self destructive Spiral
I think it is at least worth a try, If we can keep it up
>>
>>3510769
Oh no, it would still effect her. I was just saying it doesn't actually slow her down much until 100%, but AT 100% it dies give us a very small window. Its just the matter of surviving that long, and getting lucky with Neuromancy once said opening happens.

Her state of mind might make it increase quicker and/or be a bit more affected, but it still wont do much given her overall power level.
>>
Well, this is a hell of a thing to see first thing in the morning. Wake up, take a shower, grab some coffee, and now I check BHQ and Isabelle's being awful. Yay. Damn. If only we had had some way to communicate with Mara and Magpie so we could arrange to meet somewhere else.

>>3510771
We might be able to keep her locked down with Masque of War. It probably won't actually stop her, but at the very least it will be an auto-hit on her way out of the cloud. If the automatic retaliation counts as an attack capable of inflicting criticals rather just automatic damage, Dorian's got a good enough crit chance that we can probably force her to waste her Dogged Sprinter crit-cancel. At least, assuming she doesn't have multiple cancels, now, if she leveled it up.

Also, a thought that occurs to me: Vitruvian Burst regenerates any constructs attached to her limbs when she regrows them. Could we do a Baneline/Plateling hybrid of Swarmlings that do nothing but stay attached to her and pump in acid?
>>
>>3510775
Potentially i think, but Isabelle also has insane strength and can probably rip all that off of herself. I mean, dont get me wrong, it'll slow her down a bit, but 6 ACTs is alit for us to overcome.

Shame Julia has to be inside the Maque dome for it to become a full lock down, but you are right it could help us a bit. I think my thing is I can't see us pumping out enough bullshit to keep her locked down for the amount of turns we need to get our meagre chance to inflict Neuromancy.

I mean, we should try it, don't get me wrong, im just done hoping for the best anymore. I didn't pick to stop Gina because i had hope we could win as was pretty clear.

If we can prevent Isabelle from insta gibbing Julia the second she gets close, Julia can actually attack faster than Isabelle in she can squeeze technically infinite attacks into one ACT, and getting as many stacks as possible onto Isabelle IS a very good idea even if Julia has to exhaust herself, it's just a matter of her surviving doing it.
>>
>>3510778
Oh, wait, Julia. We just got a Dual Tech that lets us work together to spawn Swarmlings inside a target. B'Ni wouldn't be able to rip those off.
>>
>>3510780
I think the swarmlings still Pop out, its only the nest that stays locked inside.

Still though, they do Damage when they pop out, use her bio, and are instantly on her, so not a bad idea. Only Julia still needs to get close and not die to do that, and i think her other debuffs might still help us better. Maybe a mix of the two.

Now how TO get her close? She has the boosters, but would still have to sit too still to inflict stacks, so we need Isabelle to not be able to Attack her. Maybe Gina+Amara lockdown might work? Maw wrap aswell? We sacrifice the maw though, but it can be regrown so might be worth it.
>>
>>3510780
also technically you haven't voted, and the option to let Gina go is there, and i dont think anyone would blame you for voting that way, even if we are not.
>>
>>3510784
That could work. Shu pulls Isabelle in, Dorian locks Julia in with B'Ni, Gina throws up the strongest fear field she can while Shu uses some of the INFESTATION stacks Julia puts on Isabelle to spawn some banelings inside the Red Hook field?

Also, I just thought of something: Does regular fear count for Verurteilung's level 5 ability that makes it stronger when Gina resists a fear effect, or is it only artificially-imposed fear? Because if that works, I do like the idea of channeling the terror B'Ni is giving Gina right back at her.

Also, oh shit, just realized something big: Isabelle's second body is technically a Phantasmal Conduit construct. Gina can steal constructs. It benefits from Isabelle's passives, so it would get advantage on the saving throw, but if she's being inhibited by enough other effects on her...

>>3510787
You're right, I have not. And no, as dreadful as this fight sounds, I agree with the sentiment of the rest of the thread. Fuck that.

>>3510313
>>Stop her.
>>Write-In
>[Sorry, Gina, but I guess after all this time I'm still a selfish bitch.]
>>
>>3510794
That could work if she makes that mistake for us to capitalize on.

Also, I'm worried that doing the dome thing would just end in B'ni beating Julia and then walking out.
>>
>>3510794
...if regular fear works then we might have a chance for some ironic reasons.

Also really good point, if Isabelle does use that, it'll backfire greatly, and i actually think she has no reason to know Gina has that.
>>
>>3510797
It is a very big risk, but thats why we try and lock her down first, as the domes doesn't interrupt outside terraforming or Lexicon powers, as i think those are not technically the thought form stuff.
Meaning we can lock her down, dome her up, and keep it all. Dorian can still shift forms as a free Action so if Julia needs out the dome can be gone instantly. It is a super duper major risk, but literally any and everything on this fight will be.

Im 100% sure she can one shot any of us.
>>
>>3510799
I'm sure that any second Isabelle body we stole would get killed by the end of the fight, but can you imagine if we managed to keep it? Just Gina spending the rest of the Crucible with Isabelle as her Stand, one final insult to B'Ni that we like this mindless slave-body more than we do her?
>>
My biggest concern is that if we try to fight her now instead of later when we catch up, we'll be too tired to fight the Spiraling Fear or have time to fetch Mara's associate. So if we don't succeed we'll have just failed twice. I guess I don't like our odds with how things have been going recently. I'm sorry.

>>3510313
Supporting >>3510446
>>
>>3510805
Would be interesting yeah.

Im wondering, how does the health and bio sharing work if we steal the body? Will it just snatch half her shit, remain connected in that regard so it can just punch itself to death to kill her, or just crumble due to not having its own pools?
>>
>>3510812
Yeah, if B'Ni gets Gina now she's just going to eat her before we can rescue her. There is no reason to assume otherwise. This is our one shot to save her. And while we'll be mentally exhausted, if we kill Isabelle (shut up, I know it's unlikely but let me dream) we'll actually be stronger for the fight with the Spiraling Fear. You're worth what, ninety-one levels at last count, B'Ni? Probably at least a hundred and ten after that fight with West, most of that iteration's powers were low-level but the particle beam was decent. So we're talking eighteen levels each. This is insanely high-risk, but also insanely high-reward, and the opportunity cost for failing is too high to even consider.
>>
>>3510812
i mean, ok, I understand, but it still feels odd to support a vote the writer itself no longer supports.
>>
>>3510817
I think she intends to have Gina hack into the Cord for the purpose of creating and placing her idealized version of Sam into her doppelganger construct. Hence why she's giving her a chance to come peacefully instead of just killing everyone present right now including Gina.
>>
>>3510817
I think, if nothing else, anon here is right. If we let Gina go now... I don't we're seeing her again, even if Isabelle for some reason does not instantly consume her.
>>
>>3510823
Im thinking she just wants to make us suffer is the thing it's revenge, against both us and Gina. With the way abilites work, she would have no reason to need to keep Gina alive.

Hell, as disturbing as it may sound, due to our time together, there may even be a mild possiblity she could get Ginas core id imagine, albeit smaller then it used to be.
>>
>>3510825
Well you only get three choices when you Consume even if you select Consume multiple times, and Gina has six abilities. She might be thinking that she needs both the Neuromancer and the Halo, but there's a risk that she could miss one if she tries to absorb both abilities.
>>
>>3510823
Or she just wants to hurt us. Make Gina's death be not a matter of Isabelle smashing past all resistance, but Shu surrendering to her. The thing is, I think Isabelle is scared. Not of the party's physical power, but of the fact that she's confronting someone who she, right or wrong, sees as her abuser. She needs to HAVE CONTROL, if she doesn't establish some stupid mind-game dominance bullshit then she wouldn't be able to go through with this. Actually, that might be a useful strategy. Is there any way we can make B'Ni feel small?
>>
>>3510828
We could always pull something from Sam's playbook and try and convince her that if all of these strong individuals are trying to stop the Worm she should help, because if they fail and it gets away from them it may snowball and ascend the Chord before her so she wouldn't be able to get what she wants.
>>
Also, I just thought of something: There is absolutely no way that Isabelle knows about how useful the Halo is. She wasn't there for the exposition party where we read West's notes, and that recent bleed-over seems to have been the first time she had one on her end. And West wouldn't have been telling her. To B'Ni, Gina is just a Neuromancer who has a neat skill she hasn't seen before. It's interesting but nothing truly special, she does not know the importance of what she's trying to steal. She is targeting Gina for no reason other than to hurt us, regardless of what rationalizations she might make.
>>
>>3510828
>>3510826
>>3510825
I can't believe I lost a full night's sleep over a thing like this...
So are we letting Gina go? or are we doing a suicide run and ruining everything we worked hard for in the entire quest because of this?
>>3510831
Here's the thing anon. Isabelle is DONE listening to Shu because she believes that SAM has assumed Direct Control again. So anything that Shu says, Isabelle would simply ignore or do the opposite just to spite Shu/Sam.
>>
>>3510831
Also if she does fight us here there are others around that would assist us so if she was smart she would at least wait until this is over and we are away from assistance.
>>
>>3510826
Actually she already has Neuromancy and id imagine its not the hardest to find. All she needs is the halo. Its also possible passives are less likely (dunno) and/or she has ways of making her chances more likely.

Regardless, I don't think we're catching up to her even if she does let Gina live, especially now that she can avoid detection. Shes, scaringly, far from an idiot, and will know not to waste anymore time after she has her. I truly believe if we do not stop her here, this is goodbye to Gina. All signs might not Point to Ginas instant death, but i do think they point to that.

>>3510831
Kinda already tried and she told us to shut the fuck up. She doesn't care. She is done listening, and that is EXACTLY they Type of shit she expects from us, as she refuses to not see us as sam.

>>3510832
I don't think that's true, i think West did mention it pretty heavily. But yes, i think her Main goal here is just to hurt us. She already thinks winning the crucible will get her what she wants, so.. actually... you're right. She hasn't said or thought she needs Neuromancy for any reason...fuck she really does just want to make us watch as she forces us to let Gina go, to feel our love be broken, and watch as we cant do nothing as we feel the crimson cord go silent.
>>
>>3510837
There actually might be no help, or it might be too busy to help us.

>>3510836
I've said my words and im sticking to them. We don't abandon our friends, family, loved ones. We stop her, as far as i am concerned, there IS no other option i can take but to stand by Gina no matter what may happen.
>>
>>3510836
>>3510843
If this is how it all ends, i can live with that, because i know it was the right decision to make. Sometimes the ending is standing for what you know you have to, not claiming victory.
>>
>>3510832
(B'ni has some idea of Gina's ability to hack the Cord without triggering the killswitch, mainly due to the last bleed-over occurring when Shu was talking to Julia about it and West confirming it before their duel. But the value of Gina's abilities is second to the hurt Isabelle plans to inflict.)
>>
>>3510844
I guess we should return the necklace to her then?
>>
>>3510836
>So are we letting Gina go? or are we doing a suicide run and ruining everything we worked hard for in the entire quest because of this?
The suicide run. We are the Defiant Fool. If we back down now then what are we going to do the next time someone powerful threatens to kill us if we don't do the sensible thing and just let them take everything from us? Because we have aimed at slaying a creature that might as well be God herself, this is not the last time we will be in this scenario. This is just a microcosm of the entire Crucible, really, it's all one big threat pressuring you to let go and let evil win because you're just not strong enough to fight. Well, fuck that, we're going to try anyway. B'Ni, Mother, doesn't matter. I plan to go down swinging.
>>
>>3510839
Anon... If Body Horror Quest is that of Persona, SMT, and Dark Souls, have we missed the Golden ending or were we doomed from the start due to the choices we've made and the limited information we had way back in the beginning? Because having a NPC that was BHOP's designated "tutorial safetynet" come up and fuck us over because of a backstory that BHOP wrote just feels horrible.
>>
>>3510843
Yeah during the day i developed that same Feeling. If we die we die Not Dividend and weak but in ablaze we will make sure she will never again he able to look at Sam/Shu without remembering what she Had to do and shuddering at the thought that anything of the Sort may still be in the Girl she has drooling all over her. Wandering If all of this ist Just an act
>>
>>3510846
Isabelle is a damn bitch.

>>3510847
Through her skull sure.

>>3510850
I don't know. I really don't. Maybe we were doomed from the start, maybe we were not. But she was never just a tutorial, and we didn't even think or see she was one til after the reveal.
But i do know I don't care. We have lost too much. Been too late to do anything time and Time and Time again. Loved ones and good, honest people dead at our feet over and over.
Im done with it. I don't have hope, that died long ago. All i have left is defiance, anger...and love, for our group, our little family we have made here. The characters, their goals...no.
We're done doing nothing, being too late. We might not be able to win here, but we sure as hell aren't doing like Isabelle did to Rath and abandoning our loved ones. We got this far together, and we will fight til our last damned breath together. All of us. No one left behind, no more doing nothing im the face of the odds. Whatever happens, together, we will stand against it, as best we can. Because that's what friends and family do for eachother.
>>
>>3510850
>>3510857
(You're still tracking towards the Golden Ending, perhaps now more than ever. I can say no more.)
>>
>>3510850
I think that fighting B'Ni is actually the start of the path to the Golden Ending. There's just a really tough boss gating it.
>>
>>3510847
Oh yeah. I forgot about that. We should return it. >>3510600
Amending a small part of my vote to add this:
>"So... I guess this is it then..."
>Spawn a fuzzbuzz (make it the size of a pillow for Gina. Have her jack a cord into it and decouple it from Shu's control. Shu will give consent for decoupling.)
>"Stay safe, stay strong, consume and grow stronger, stay alive. Don't you ever dare let yourself get killed and consumed. You're an amazing and strong girl Gina."
>"My last gift before I let you go. Please... t-take...take good care of it Gina."
>Remove the necklace you held on for so long.
>"I...held this for so long... out of... the hope that we could mend our relationship. But if... i-if... you insist on seeing see me as nothing but a ghost... as nothing but Sam. It only feels fitting that you should have it back. You've already killed Sam...and now you killed Shu. I guess now... I'm nothing but a ghost. A fool."
>*Try to hold back tears.* Fail.
>Walk over and place the necklace over Isabelle's head. Let your hands hang on to B'ni's shoulders for a half-beat too long.
>"A Defiant Fool."
COMMENCE BATTLE PLAN. PLAN IS LISTED HERE >>3510600
>>
>>3510858
im sorry, and Don't take this as a personal insult or anything, but after the way things have gone, im not letting you give me any hope. Not even a drop.
>>
>>3510864
(No offense taken at all. I appreciate your candor, and apologies for any lost sleep.)
>>
>>3510866
Man, I am SO GLAD I fell asleep before last night's final post. Really feel like I made the smart decision.
>>
>>3510861
>>3510313
I forgot to link it properly to make it officially count. It's an amended vote of >>3510600
>>
>>3510866
Honestly? Its been so long since a story has made me care enough to have that happen that i can't complain. Plus, it was a beautiful night to be outdoors.
>>
>>3510313
Amending my Vote from>>3510456
to>>3510861
>>
>>3510861
I'm not sure running is going to work. B'Ni has the same movement speed unassisted as we do with the Bishop, and she has six actions to our two. She also does not get tired. She can chase us forever. We need something to keep her more busy than just Dorian's blood slicks.
>>
>>3510879
Actually, the blood slicks aren't going to slow her down at all, now that I think about it. Calcite Greaves, she can just skate along them.
>>
>>3510879
Yeah i still think our best bet is to find a way to lock her down and hope we can get the fight taken to the dreamscape.

She won't let us run, and we have nowhere to run to. We probably can't escape her anyways.
>>
>>3510883
So Do we want to modify The plan to a lockdown dreamscape fight?
>>
>>3506531
BHOP, how did you come up with the percentile mechanics you use? I've never seen a system that uses percents for health/charge meters
>>
>>3510886
It is what i would suggest yes.

>Gina and Amara crunch her hard.
>Shu can lock her up with platlings locking incorrectly as well as Maw.
>Dorian can paintling spam her.
>If it then looks safe, Julia can rush in and spam Attacks to debuff stack her as much as possible.
>Gina and Julia also use their auras.
>All willing, we get a chance for Gina to plug us ALL into Isabelle and hope to god it works, and we can awaken ours and all her dream daughters against her.

Feel free to spice up the plan, that just the general idea i think. Literally everything we could do is a major damn risk, so its hard to know what can be made safer or what is just necessary 'well fuck we gotta try it' ill admit.
>>
>>3510883
Okay, so let's plan, then. I'm thinking the idea about tongue-grabbing her closer to us is a good one. Spawn a Bishop and attach it to Julia, too. Then we have Gina terraform the ground around B'Ni's ankles and put up the strongest Verurteilung she can while Amara GRA RHO CUNTs her. Julia spawns a Bloody Ripper while Dorian traps them in Red Hook, then Julia goes to town alternating punches and slashes. Burn through 100% HP for twenty-two attacks in one turn. Split them twelve Malleable Skin-inflicting touch attacks, three Infestation-inflicting touch attacks, seven Bloody Ripper to regain health. If Julia takes too much damage have Dorian drop the blood field for Julia to disengage while Shu spawns a Knightling from inside B'Ni to interrupt her. We keep the pressure on her, hammer her hard and fast and take advantage of us technically having more ACTs than her, and when she's weakened we go in for the dreamscape attack. Or just kill her, if we get the chance.
>>
>>3510883
I can start Modifying the plan if you'd like. How about this?
Shu:
>Act 1:Push B'ni down to the ground and spawn 5 pairs of Hundred Handed. Full grapple and restrain into a bear hug!
>Act 2:Maintain grapple hold! Spawn 2 more pairs of limbs to hold Isabelle Down!

Gina:
>Act 1: Link up with Shu and Rath. The three of you will do a Dreamscape Dive.
>Act 2: Put a Cord into B'ni.

>Rath: (Relic Loadout: Sui Tormentis)
>Act 1: Sacrifice 60% HP for a 180% Sui Tormentis Strength Boost. Use your Phantom Limbs and Tensile Strands to Hogtie Isabelle.
>Act 2: Lock your limbs and get ready to jack into the Matrix. We need your dreamfighting expertise.
Julia and Dorian: Both of you will Restrain Isabelle.

Dorian:
>Creator Form: Have your paint constructs wrap themselves around Isabelle's limbs and have them solidify/coagulate into solid blood. Pile on the blood so that it weighs down on B'ni. Aim for her Greaves.
>Canvas/Critic Form Hold Isabelle down and keep watch! If you see
Amara:
>"Gra Suth Cunt", this will make Isabelle weak and unresponsive like a depressive anesthesia.
>Next Round, Cast "Gra Ter Rho" Ask the ground to help keep Isabelle restrained.
Julia: (Relic Loadout)
>Activate Depressive Weight. Dogpile Isabelle
>Stack up as much Malleable stacks as possible, keep her pinned down with debuffs!
>>
>>3510891
>>3510896
>>3510886
Yeah basically these.

Also we have to do over 700% damage a turn to the point of taking off 2000+ health. We probably ain't killing her the conventional way.
>>
(What do you wish to have the Whistle imbued with?)

>>3510889
(They're more a holdover of the beta system, which was spawned from my attempts to crack Joker Quest's combat system over several years before it evolved into something else entirely. There's an unweildy amount of crunch involved, so I can absolutely see why JQOP preferred to have one-on-one fights as opposed to my approach. Its wild to keep track of, but worth it. The percentages stuck around just because I think they're neat.)
>>
>>3510898
There's really good ideas in here too. Honestly im not sure what parts of all three of our ideas will work best, as they all have very good merit.
>>
>>3510313
>>3510861
Amending the battle plan >>3510600 to >>3510898
With an additional amendment to Amara's actions:
>Act 1-2: "Gra Suth Cunt" (Gra is free), this will be a depressive/relaxant/anesthetic to weaken B'ni's strength
>Act 3: Blow the whistle (Ter Rho)
>>3510906
"Ter Rho". Also a question, is the Terrain formed by Amara's spellcasting have selective fire or is it indiscriminate?
>>
>>3510912
(Indiscriminate.)
>>
>>3510912
>"Ter Rho". Also a question, is the Terrain formed by Amara's spellcasting have selective fire or is it indiscriminate?
I believe that without a CUNT in there it won't be selective to enemies, just make general bad terrain.

Also, something we need to be on the lookout for: getting blindsided by a second Isabelle. We don't know how Ressentiment's Mirror has upgraded, we shouldn't be confident that it costs too much BIO for her to use it as anything but a situational technique. Is "have Dorian keep watch for other attackers" what the cut off bit under Canvas/Critic form for?
>>
Gotta let my phone charge for a bit, but putting down whatever dreamscape plan the other anons settle on i support.
>>
Okay, so Gina can enlist up to three Daughter mindstates to help her fight in the dreamscape. Who are we going to bring along? One of them has to be Sam, right? Bonus points if we win the fight by dream-Sam clubbing dream-Isabelle's head in with a lava lamp.
>>
Supporting the Dreamscape Attack
probably the best chance we have to break her before being broken ourselves
>>
>>3510906
"Rho Cunt" to nerf her Dogged Sprinters.
Or "San Tha" to haste our team.
>>
>>3510921
Sam might just come even if she's not selected. Amara can sense her, and logically all of Shu's hobbies and interests from before the Crucible were actually Sam's first.

Otherwise I'm thinking Holly, Kosi, and Meg. If we can only use Daughters from Gina's mind, then we'll have to bring Bella even though we've yet to have a chat with her, though I'm hoping that Gina did so during her free time.
>>
>>3510912
>>3510913
Amending my vote a few actions of the Party members
Amara:
>Act 1-2: "Gra Suth Cunt"
>Act 3: Keep watch for any Isabelle clones

Julia:
>Pummel Isabelle to add on Malleable stack Debuffs. Put as much as you can onto Isabelle
>Spawn Bloody Ripper and maintain watch for any B'ni clones.

Dorian:
>Paint Constructs encase B'ni's limbs.
>Critic form, make some open wounds and inject your blood/paint into them.

>>3510915
yes. It's to keep watch for Reinforcements and if there's any additional Isabelle clones.

>>3510921
>>3510923
Gina brings (Rath, Shu, Sam).
Dreamscape plan is this.
>Rath: You've trained in the art of Matrix-fu. Go all out
>Gina: Initiate Jailbreak! Start opening doors to the daughters that B'ni imprisoned with Secluded Mind!
>Shu: Guard Gina!
>Sam: Don't die.
>>
>>3510906
Hey BHOP, do daughters that aren't in Gina's own dreamscape (like Rath or Shu) count as daughter Gina gets to bring for her dreamscape fight?
>>
>>3510929
True. And I would like to bring Holly along. Let's try to get the Chevalier free first, too. Make this one big reunion. Chevalier (we did learn her actual name at some point, but I can't remember it) told B'Ni what an idiot she was being, let's give her the chance to do more than criticize.

>>3510930
>yes. It's to keep watch for Reinforcements and if there's any additional Isabelle clones.
We should give the rest of the team standing orders to disengage if things go really bad. Just in case. B'Ni might chase them down anyway, but it's possible they can escape.
>>
>>3510931
(They do not.)
>>
>>3510933
It was Eloise.
>>
>>3510935
oh. right. I didn't read the fine print "Consumed daughters" was the key word.

Have Gina summon (Eloise, Meg, Holly).
Is it also possible for Gina to initiate a jailbreak that consists of consumed daughters of an opposing Daughter? Because Eloise is one of the people that I would like to have summoned.
>>
>>3510935
Aww, too bad, that would have been fun. So it's Kosi, Maggie, and Bella, then. Well, at least Rath likes Maggie, they'll get along. And I still expect Shu to show up at some point, unbidden. It's just too perfect not to happen.

>>3510936
Ah, thank you. Yes, Eloise, let's go pound some sense into Isabelle's head. And then out of it, through the other side. I'm sorry if this ends in your erasure, but you can agree that it's better than the alternative, right?

Oh, and Gretchen! How could we forget Gretchen? Hey, girl, we're the much nicer person that Sam turned into. We hear she was kind of pathetic, huh? I wish we had time for you to tell us stories, we'd love to be able to shut her down if she ever gets uppity.
>>
We should also try to reach Mara with a desperate emphatic channel message of ’help’
>>
>>3510981
Absolutely. There's no one else I'd rather have to help us out with Isabelle right this moment.
>>
>>3510981
Nice idea. It's not that long-range, but anything's worth a shot.
>>
>>3510981
Not a bad idea, but i still think she will pick stopping the monestary over helping us.
>>
>>3510999
nice trips. but she might also realize that it's "The Vitruvian" that Shu and co. are dealing with.
>>
>>3511001
True, but she might still see Isabelle as i 'handle later' over the giant death mountain they have a limited timeframe to properly take down. As much as we may not like to admit it, our team can be sacrificed and Isabelle taken care of later, the Monestary maybe not.
>>
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>>3510313

"So... I guess this is it then."

A single, pillow-sized FuzzBuzz squirms out of your back and into Gina’s arms, and you watch as she silently slips a jack into the fluffy swarmling while your empathic field spreads out over the beach.

"Stay safe, stay strong, consume and grow stronger, stay alive. Don't you ever dare let yourself get killed and consumed. You're an amazing and strong girl, Gina." You say softly, your fingers wiping away a tear rolling down Gina’s cheek, her eyes fluttering with realization. "My last gift before I let you go. Please...take good care of it."

You turn, ignoring Gina’s attempts to grab your hand as you slip the jade scarab pendant from around your neck and stride towards Isabelle. Rath moves to stop you, Julia’s quick hand darting out to stop her, the green insect dangling loose in your grasp.

"I held this for so long, out of...hope.” You say, slowly closing the gap as you stare into her emerald eyes. “Hope that we could mend our relationship. But if... i-if you insist on seeing see me as nothing but a ghost...as nothing but Sam, it only feels fitting that you should have it back.”

She looks like she’s about to take a step back when you stop in front of her, reaching out and sliding the cord around her neck, the pendant coming to rest just above her heart. Your sight lingers on it a moment as you speak.

“You've already killed Sam...and now you killed Shu. I guess now, I'm nothing but a ghost…a fool."

Your hands are cold on her stiffened shoulders, gaze snapping up to meet hers.

"A Defiant Fool."

Isabelle’s eyes go wide as you and your friends move as one.

You duck low as Rath’s Phantom Limbs swing wide on gossamer strands of unbreakable wire, scything through the rain and pinning B’ni’s limbs together before she can react. Strings go taught as their owner thrusts her natural arms deep into the beach’s shattered ground, her impossible strength cranked to maximum by Sui Tormentis’ wicked power, locking her and B'ni in place as Gina jacks into you both simultaneously.

Five pairs of arms erupt from your collarbones as you haul the girl before you into a crushing bear-hug, another pair of arms reaching out from a pair of the summoned limbs to complete the lockdown. Dorian’s inklings squeeze between arm and strand to harden against the trapped limbs as he races forwards. Dorian dashes close, spearing between the gaps with fingers curled into cruel sickles with Julia’s moving with him in perfect lock-step, fingers darting along the exposed skin on the other side of the trapped Vitruvian before drawing her Bloody Ripper, dark eyes alight with cold purpose.

“GRA SUTH, CUNT!” Amara bellows, the sheer power behind her words throwing the Shawl back as you watch B’ni’s rage-filled eyes glaze, her body’s annihilating strength relaxing, just a fraction…

…just enough to let Gina’s jack slide home in Isabelle’s chest as

Everything

Goes

Dark.

(Continued)
>>
>>3511008

Gina’s the first person you see in the abyssal darkness that surrounds you, taking hold of your right hand and squeezing it tight in solidarity. Beside her, grinning ear to ear and shadow-boxing the air is Meg, prepping for the fight of her life. Her jacket’s hood is up, her gym shorts bouncing as she hops back and forth, light on her feet and ready to go.

You look around, vague shapes moving in the far-flung darkness, colossal shards of glass drifting along, bubbles of amethyst liquid undulating aimlessly alongside them before disappearing into the void.

“How…”

A distorted voice echoes through the dreamscape, and in searching for its source you find Rath to your left, summoned arms at the ready as she gives you a sharp nod. Beside her stands a cold, regal ice-skater and swordswoman in a sleek white dress. Eloise gives you a haughty bow before drawing her fencing sabre from her other arm.

“…how…”

A hand caresses your shoulder, and you turn to see Holly’s kind smile beaming at you, her plaid shirt tied just above the original ravenous maw, teeth grinning to match their owner’s face. She looks forwards, her smile fading, her brow knit. You follow her line of sight and…

You see her, staggering out of the blackness a few yards in front of you. Isabelle’s shaking, trembling with her arms wrapped around herself, muttering as she takes a few steps forwards. She looks up, eyes glassy and disoriented as she looks among your team, until her gaze settles on you…a sudden, furious clarity piercing the confusion that clouded her mind.

“…How DARE you.”

Her hands go to her sides, balling into fists so tight her fingernails draw thin rivulets of blood that drip down, falling forever. She takes a deep breath, closes her eyes…and relaxes. Another breath, and her eyes flutter open, shining with that same cold, hard determination that you feel, now.

“It doesn’t matter. Call your friends. Summon the dead. Invade my head one last time.”

The abyss pulses with harsh emerald light as she leans forwards, taking a runner’s stance, eyes locked with yours.

“It doesn’t matter…”

She’s a bullet, ready to explode.

“…Because I will have control.”

Shu and the Defiant Fools

VS.

ISABELLE, THE ETERNAL DELUSION

HP: 210% (+5% REGEN)
BIO: 102% (+20% REGEN, 0/22 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2

GINA HP: 210% (Booster Active)
RATH HP: 150% (Eight-armed Form, Sui Tormentis +180% Strength)

HOLLY HP: MAX, Ravenous Maw:Primed
MEG HP: MAX
ELOISE HP: MAX

JULIA HP: 280% (+20% REGEN, Cursus Alas/Ignition Gauntlets)
AMARA HP: 120% (+20% REGEN, Cloaked, Whistle: VUL RHO)
DORIAN HP: 140% (+45% REGEN, Critic Form)

Threat: Insurmountable.But you have to try.
Debuffs: MALLEABLE FLESH x3

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3511015
Dont have time for a master plan right this second, but remember that in the dreamscape the rules for what we can do are alot looser. For us and her, but we if anything, have creativity over her.
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two and a half hours, Gentlemen. The surprise round is over, and Isabelle will begin to act.)

(Also, Rath has more health than that due to Sui Tormentis' regenerative properties.)
>>
>>3511015
Hey BHOP, I do have a question regarding the Consumed daughters, if they die in the dreamscape, do they die in the dreamscape for real?
>>
>>3511008
>“GRA SUTH, CUNT!” Amara bellows
Oh, it's so good when it's an actual sentence. Amara, best little sister.
>>
>>3511023
what I mean is what happens when a dreamscape daughter dies in a fight? to they die for real?
>>
>>3511028
I'm hoping they're just banished back into the daughter's mind and can't be accessed for some time. I imagine that at worst their associated power goes with them, but Shu has access to Hecaton and Penny's abilities without having either of them in her head, so I'm thinking that's not the case.
>>
>>3511024
>>3511028
(They do, if they fail their death saving throws, of which they have less than a living Daughter. The summoner may dispel them for one ACT to prevent this, however.)
>>
>>3511033
battle song for the fight against Isabelle the Eternal Delusion?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYAPgPH9hsI
>>
>>3511015
Christ.........
we actually made it in lets hope she will be a bit weaker here....
now for the Hard part... beating her

Being in the Dreamscape are Neuromantic and Phantasmal Powers more powerful here?

If so, I propose to put Stacks of Verurteilung on her. It might help us to defeat her

[I also would like to know what would happen if we start havoc in here like disturbing the bubbles or destroying the shards]
>>
>>3511032
(Abilities would not be effected by a Dream Daughter's death.)
>>
>>3511037
(Neuromancy and Conduit powers are, yes. However, the host Daughter will have a home field advantage by default unless properly destabilized.)
>>
>>3511036
I was thinking Last Surprise from Persona 5, personally. It's appropriate for delving into someone's consciousness to fight their craziness. And the lyrics are about how the enemy doesn't actually have any control, they're just being lead on by their pathology instead of mastering themselves and that's going to end in their defeat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFVj0Z6ahcI
>>
>>3511043
It just doesn't fit the mood though. This is a battle song. A battle to the death where the stakes are high. Last surprise feels more like a "why you suck and why I'm awesome" song.
>>
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>>3511036
(My face, since this is on the Quest's playlist. It's not the fight theme I had in mind for this battle, but I'd considered it. Fun fact, 'I'm My Own Master Now' was B'ni's fight theme for her first playable duel.)[/spoilers]
>>
>>3511048
I mean, Last Surprise is the default combat song in P5. We could use Blooming Villain instead, if you'd like, that's the boss theme. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdYkIF3C7PY
>>
>>3511043
>>3511052
(I love Last Surprise, by the way.)
>>
>>3511033
Does it cost One act per daughter for dispel summon or can Gina dispel all three for the price of 1 act? is there a cooldown period between resummoning them and do they regen their health when not in play?
>>
>>3511055
(All three may be dispelled, or just a select few. They will be gone for the rest of the fight, however.)
>>
>>3511015
So we gonna summon Sam for this?
>>
>>3511043
If I can put my own choice forward. Though admittedly I thought it would've been more appropriate for a duel near the end of the journey, close or at the Cord.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lPUYOjW6Cc
>>
>>3511057
Is the combat limitations looser here in the dreamscape (aka unlimited swarmling spawns or Gina having no Bio limit in the dreamscape) or is it still the same in the real world?
>>
>>3511059
(That is up to you, if you wish to call out to her.)
>>
>>3511064
(Bio does not deplete here, unless drained from your original body somehow. The Swarmling cap stays, however, as you still need to focus on keeping them active, even here.)
>>
>>3511062
(Magnificent. Saved to the playlist.)
>>
>>3511068
Well then. That brings up very interesting possibilites.
>>
>>3511041
Destabilized, you say? Well, then, that's good, because while I don't have a fight plan yet I do have some smack talk I want to intersperse with our actions if talking is a free action.

>"And how's that worked out for you so far, B'Ni?"
>"You get lead on by some bitch your whole life, you finally stand up to her and club her skull in...and you're still obsessing over her."
>"Two years guarding my chrysalis, even when you didn't know I'd come out of it someone else than Sam. Two years, wasted on someone who didn't care about you."
>"And then, when I came out of it so different, you kept trying to crawl back into that old relationship instead of making something new."
>"Even now, you're not moving on. You're just trying to make your own Sam, who will finally pay attention to you like you so desperately crave."
>"Because the truth is you'll never have control. You'll always be bound by your fixation with the ghost of a dead woman. Sam's gone, but she still has her hold on you. And she always will."
>"Well, I suppose I shouldn't say 'gone'. There's a part of her still left in me. It's like these dead Daughters. What do you think she'd say, if Gina brought her out to see you?"
>"I think she'd laugh."
>>
>>3511015
>SHU, RATH, and HOLLY;
>>team up. Let Isabelle start her charge, then make a spiders web of tongue, hands, and strands to catch her.
>>She may try to use her greaves ability to get a good bonus jump, but a few of Raths boils in the mix should throw off her balance a bit.

>MEG and RATH;
>>once wrapped up, team up to deliver one hell of a dual combo on her, both being our best outright strength fighters. Rath should sacrifice a few Phantoms as needed to increase the hit.

>GINA;
>>be on standby. Isabelle won't be tied up forever. Once she is breaking loose, spawn pillars down on her, to smash her back down and hold her there. here or after, she will probably toss out a limb to respawn and escape.
>>Keep your eye out for it, and the second she respawns, smack a new pillar into her.

>ELOISE;
>>Watch out for Isabelle thrown respawn limbs and see if you can't pin them down like bugs to hold her off longer.


Not the outright best but i think its a good base to build off of, thoughts?
>>
>>3511068
Bio doesn't deplete? Okay, that makes Rath very deadly in here, then. Even if we're limited on actually spending equal to our maximum Bio, that means that Rath can give herself thirty-four extra arms. And then they can be combined with Phantom Limb lvl.3 to get an insanely powerful punch.
>>
>>3511059
If we can get Sam to show up she may be incredibly effective at taking out Isabelles defenses when coupled with Ginas Fear Aura

Though i am not sure we want her unless absolutely necessary

>I propose:
>Gina Act 1: flare the Fear Aura it does not Cost BIO here so we can keep it up indefinetly
>Gina Act 2: try and disrupt Isabelles Dreamscape see if you can free more daughters still locked away
Meg is also a Neuromancer isn't she?
>Meg Act 1: Try and disrupt the Dreamscape to free more Daughters:
> Meg Act 2: ??? I am not sure

>Shu Act 1: Try and Distract/Destabilize Isabelle from the others with this: >>3511076
>Shue Act 2:Ö Chitinous Stalwart for everyone?
>>
>>3511072
Do dream daughter retain their original ability sets in the dreamscape?
>>
>>3511065
I'll keep that in mind. I'm not sure if she'd help us beyond taking revenge on the one who killed her, and may sacrifice us and our friends to that end, but her entrance would certainly distract Isabelle and we could take advantage of that.
>>
>>3511072
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyr-mKhdh6c
Smash bros have really really good music.
>>
>>3511083
Yeah, that idea with the fear aura is good. Maximum fear aura from Gina, since she doesn't have to worry about the costs. Likewise, Rath sprouts all the arms so that she can serve as both offense and defense. Those arms being severed doesn't take away from her Health. Rath can just be a mobile wall of punches, thirty-six fists intercepting any move B'Ni tries to make.
>>
>>3511083
(Meg is a Fibromancer, actually. She found the Halo and integrated it.)

>>3511085
(They do.)
>>
>>3511083
She is not besides having the Halo before. Otherwise she had the plateling armor and could swim in the fleshscape.

Is this the first round? Because if so then Gina has an extra Act to use for it.
>>
>>3511094
(It is, and she does.)
>>
>>3511083
If the fight starts going south, that's when we bring out Sam. She would, without question, be the best weapon against Isabelle, but there's also no telling what she's capable of.

It's like when King Ghidorah is fucking everything up, that's when the government hits the big red button and summons Godzilla.
>>
>>3511099
>>3511094
>>3511091
>>3511089
>>3511079
Anons. I do have a question regarding our win condition.
Are we fighting to Kill Isabelle? Because I can't see us walking away without having to mercy kill her or install a cancer bomb in Isabelle's real body.
>>
>>3511101
At this Point I will go for the Kill she is dangerous and delusional... which is bad enough but she also is damn near immortal installing a cancer Bomb would be a good idea

BHOP can she strip the Effect on her real body when she is in the Dreamscap?
>>
>>3511106
(She can.)
>>
>>3511101
Kill her. Otherwise, she's gonna keep coming back to try and fuck us over, as many times as it takes. She doesn't want to kill us, she wants to cause us pain. And the best way to do that is through killing the ones we love, starting with Gina.

The cunt needs to die.
>>
Okay, I've got to run in a minute, but I'm going to write up a quick plan first.

>Shu
>Summon a Chitinous Stalwart for us and a Bishop for every single person on our side. Bishops still only count as one slot for Swarmlings, so that's only six slots filled by them. And if we have unlimited Bio anyway, might as well use it.
>Load the Hexane Contender. One B.33 Special, one Herculean Fullbore. Open the Ravening Maw. Prepare for melee.
>Start shit-talking as with >>3511076, work it in throughout fight.

>Rath
>Summon thirty-four Phantom Limbs. You know those Buddhist statues where they'e got an entire wheel of arms coming out of their backs? Like that.
>Use the massive amount of arms to start barraging B'Ni with Radiant Boils. Lay down an entire wall of fire, make her have to run through it to get to us.

>Gina
>Coordinate with Rath. Shape the dreamfleshscape to put up walls in B'Ni's path so that she has to go through the fire.
>Flare the fear aura bright. Make B'Ni stop up short when she tries to get in close.
>Be on watch to take command of any second body B'Ni makes.

>Holly
>Move to intercept B'Ni after she dashes in. Give her a big chomp.

>Eloise
>Use bone blades to pin any part of B'Ni that separates off from the main body. We need to keep watch for those regenerating into new Isabelles, being stabbed will at least slow them.

>Meg
>Slip through the dreamfleshscape the same way you do the real. Be ready to attack from beneath when B'Ni isn't prepared.

>Julia
>It's established that inflicting Malleable Flesh is surprisingly gentle. It should not give enough pain to bring B'Ni out of telepathic combat. Bind her up in a prison of her own skin while Shu, Rath and Gina are fighting her in her head.

>Amara
>Keep suppressing Isabelle with your spells every so often. Don't exhaust yourself, but keep her down and her head fuzzed.

>Dorian
>Stay on watch. B'Ni being able to clone herself probably doesn't mean she can act in the real world and the real world at the same time, given that they share a mind, but take care regardless.

>>3511101
Yes. She's established that there is no happy ending when it comes to her. It sucks that we have to do this, but at this point she doesn't deserve to get any more second chances. Isabelle, since Sam was never decent enough to say it, we will: We're breaking up with you.
>>
>>3511101
We kill her, or shatter her mind to the point there is no difference.
>>
>>3511083
Amending
> Get Meg to strengthen the Chitnous Stalwart if possible even if just on herself
>Rath: Spawn as many Arms as she can and as many boils as she can to just chuck all over the place to try and limit Isabelles freedom of Movement and maybe boil up some of those Bubbles(I am intrested to see what devastation we can cause in her head and which effect it has)

>Holly: Hold back to try and fling Isabelle away if she tries to close the distance
> Eloise: Support Holly
>>
>>3510906
What did you use as a basis? I've been trying to recreate Joker Quest myself and I need a starting off point but I can't find a percentile system anywhere.

Also, if you're still up to date on JQOP, what did you think of the Vovoid fight?
>>
>>3511107
Hey BHOP, if Isabelle tries to shrug off Malleable flesh, does she shrug off the entire stack or does she shrug off parts of the debuff each stack applies?
>>
>>3511111
QUINTS CONFIRM RABBIT STEW
QUINTS CONFIRM RABBIT STEW
QUINTS CONFIRM RABBIT STEW
QUINTS CONFIRM RABBIT STEW
KILL THE WABBIT
>>
>>3511125
(My reply would be lengthy, so I'll hold off on my reply until later, if that's alright. Please remind me if I don't make a note to address it after this Vein ends.)

>>3511126
(She shrugs off all stacks of a single type, I'm afraid.)
>>
>>3511135
If Julia Does an Artisan's peak and stuns B'ni, does she also stun B'ni in the dreamscape?
>>
>>3511135
I'd really appreciate any help you can give system wise and also thoughts on the Vovoid thing. I've been reading BHOP since the start on and off but I'm going to catch up with all of it tonight/tomorrow.

Your work's always interesting, please keep it up.
>>
>>3511140
(Yes, she does.)
>>
>>3511015
>>3511079
INSIDE
>SHU;
>>swarm out a Bishop for everyone, then the rest Knightlings, defensive stance.
>>Load the Hexane Contender. One B.33 Special, one Herculean Fullbore.
>>Start shit-talking as with >>3511076 #, work it in throughout fight.
>>Be prepared to fire on Isabelle if she starts to escape and the others cant get to her.

>GINA;
>>Flare your fear aura as powerfully as you can.
>>jack into Isabelles mind and see if you can draw forth any new daughters to aid us. "You want revenge? Come and give it to her!"
>>Use walls to not give Isabelle a clean charge at anyone, keep her moving how we want her to move.

>SHU and RATH;
>>Team up. Have Rath spawn a shitton of arms and sling them into the wall maze of Ginas to burn up Isabelle.
>>Have the Knightlings get in place so Isabelle constantly rounds corners or tries to climb away only to get slammed back into the maze and fire.

>MEG, ELOISE, and HOLLY;
>>Keep on guard. Help the Knightlings keep Isabelle off balance and in the maze. >>Look out for any limbs she tries to escape with, and be prepared to hit her and keep her off balance the second she respawns, so Gina can get back getting her in the maze.

OUTSIDE
>Julia
>It's established that inflicting Malleable Flesh is surprisingly gentle. It should not give enough pain to bring B'Ni out of telepathic combat. Bind her up in a prison of her own skin while Shu, Rath and Gina are fighting her in her head.

>Amara
>Keep suppressing Isabelle with your spells every so often. Don't exhaust yourself, but keep her down and her head fuzzed.

>Dorian
>Stay on watch. B'Ni being able to clone herself probably doesn't mean she can act in the real world and the real world at the same time, given that they share a mind, but take care regardless.

Amended mine with the parts i found best from everyone's, any ideas or changes, thoughts?
>>
>>3511153
Supporting
>>
>>3511153
Could we have Dorian use his constructs to slowly infiltrate her body and poison her from the inside while he is changing his watching out for everyone with Amara?
>>
I think if we have her in a mental battle, we should try to change her in the same way we were changed. Maybe that's akin to death.
>>
>>3511168
Sure
>>3511153
Adding what this anon said to Dorians actions.
>>3511174
Nah, the old Isabelle might still exist then, and we can't guarantee the new entity will be nice. Not worth it i think.
>>
>>3511072
>>3511015
BATTLE PLAN:

Objective: We have trapped B'ni in a mental dreamscape and tied up her real body outside. Our party is split into two teams, outside and inside.

Outside Team (Julia, Amara, Dorian)
Dorian:
>Creator Form: Spawn more Blood Paint Constructs, encase B'ni's entire body into a blood cocoon. Blind her eyes and clog her ears. You must not let a single piece of her flesh leave or detach, lest she creates a clone. Leave a patch of skin open (Isabelle's neck or shoulder) for Julia to do her Flesh Artisan work.
>Funnel Bloody Paint into the cut that Julia made and keep it open for your blood paint. Give her a combination of Blood poisoning and lead poisoning.
Julia:
>Activate Depressive Weight. Make an incision in Isabelle's Shoulder for Dorian with Bloody Ripper.
>Start stacking Malleable stacks like a mad artist in a Inspirational craze. Spend as many Bio as it takes to get those malleable stacks up to 5 Malleable stacks. and then Consume 5 of them for an Artisan's peak.
Amara:
>Prime the ground to let her know if anyone comes near us.
>Song of the swarm. Give Shu the mental boost she needs.


Dream Team (Shu, Gina, Meg, Eloise, Holly)
Gina:
>Activate Fear aura. Use it to find her insecurities. Flare it if B'ni tries to attack you.
>You've got a physical jack in Isabelle, Lock down one of her passive abilities (preferrably her core ability) or her Neuromancy!
>Hydroform the Bubbles of Amethyst and turn it into a Newtonian Fluid. You now have a liquid Machine gun.

Shu:
>Pull up Dream Karma Gun. Load up 2 B.33 Special, 1 Fullbore, Spawn 2 sets of Chitinous Stalwart (Rath and Shu), 10 knightlings (5 of them escort and support Eloise, the rest on guard), 1 Bishop (Eloise), and fill the rest with basic Swarmlings.
>Ready yourself to block any hits coming your or Gina's way.
>Free action: Shit talk Isabelle.
Meg
>ARMOR UP.
>You got your halo, You're our dedicated team tank that guards Gina.
Rath:
>Go full Asura's Rath. Spawn 3 pairs of Arms. Replicant Phantom Arms.
>try to trip up Isabelle. with Tensile strands.
Eloise:
>Skirmishing melee with Isabelle. You're the only one fast enough to keep up with her on those Greaves.
>
Holly:
>You're on Add duty. Any limbs that Isabelle spawns and discards, I want you to gobble them all up. Prevent her from making clones.

>>3511174
>>3511168
>>3511167
>>3511153
>>3511146
Gentlemen, Your thoughts?
>>
>>3511184
Old sam still exists in us. Is Shu not worth it?
>>
>>3511174
I dont think we have the Possibility to do that or the Luxury
We were changed by the timely arrival of the Crucible on our World and i am sure Isabells enhanced regeneration would render all damage, we do to her physical body, to change her mute so the only think we could do is break her soul and unless the crucible puts her back togehter as a blank slate (which i can not see as she would be classed as killed during the Crucible itself, no need to revive) nothing wil happen
And we do not have the capabilities to put another Soul in Charge
>>
>>3511187
Not gonna lie, i like me and other anons 'rabbit bbq' plan better.

Mind you, im not saying you plan is bad, the newtonian idea i Actually like alot for example, i just feel straight up open melee is too much to her advantage.

>>3511190
Honestly? No. Shu was supposed to be and could of been WORSE than Sam. The difference is we had no choice in taking the risk of being Shu, as it was.
>>
>>3511187
Amending a small part of Dorian's Actions:
>Spawn more Blood Paint Constructs, turn B'ni into a blood tomb. Blind her eyes, clog her nose and ears, jam her mouth and hold her tongue. Restrain all limbs and body parts save for a small patch of skin for Julia to do her sculpting work.
>>
>>3511200
So what parts do you approve of?
>>
>>3511187
We have the Bio to Spare so we should got for the more costly constructs Acid and Drills as well as making them ALL Recursive if possible we have quasi unlimited Ammo to chuck out at her
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>>3511187
Should we make Dorian's Creator mode Inspired? The minions will apply poison more aggressively.
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>>3511211
Mind you, im not sure everyone has the ACTs to add it all.

>Basically all of the OUTSIDE twam sruff.

>Gina locking down an ability
Though i think more allies would be more helpful.

>Ginas liquid machine gun
Again, good, but might be better for round 2, after we see if we can't bolster our numbers.

>Rath tripping up Isabelle
My original plan was close to this, and IF Isabelle escapes the cooking pot, she can and should help get her under control.

>Holly eating Isabelles limbs
I like this, my only worry is if she can do it fast enough for Isabelle not to explode out of her first.

Otherwise like i said, outright open melee sounds like a bad idea, and we otherwise had some similar ideas anyways at some parts.
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>>3511200
Shu was supposed to be worse? Pretty sure Shu wasn't meant to be anything at all. But ok we can kill Isabelle. As long as Shu takes her soul in after.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNkQMtZAMAw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX_zUprGNTo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwhSQI97AlA
GIT HYPE.
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>>3511187
>>3511200
I also agree with this Anon spawn as many Arms and Bombs as Possible to limit her mobility and angles of attack
Saturation Bombardment for the Win, right now we need to limit her movement not be incredibly accurate
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>>3511229
BHOP originally planned the game and expected the players to do a cutthroat solo playthrough, and had set alot of thongs up with that in mind.

Yes we was ok with and we went down another path, but a different one and character was still originally planned/expected.
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>>3511242
That's a meta perspective though. I'm talking narrative.
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>>3511215
>>3511187
Yes. We should make Dorian's Creator mode Inspired.
>Amending vote to make Dorian's Creator mode into Inspired Creator.

>>3511225
Would it soothe your worries if we had Dorian create a blood-tomb on Isabelle's body? Have him, clogg up Isabelle's Mouth, eyes, Hands, and ears. Mind you, we're leaving on small patch of flesh exposed on B'ni's shoulder for Julia to work her sculpting magic. That way, entombment would ensure that she can't really detach her limbs.

As for your plan for the Dream Team stated here, >>3511153

I approve of Gina's use of Terraforming and Fear Aura, and also the prison break as well. My concern is that we're being very defensive. The debuffs provided by the outside crew should be able to put Isabelle down to a challenging level instead of a Insurmountable threat, but we can't let Isabelle wail on our allies.
We should also have Gina be on standby to dispel the dream daughters that we summon. They're good people and don't deserve to die.
As for your concerns about an Isabelle clone spawning on the outside...
Can we combine some of our plans? I've got the outside team working on entombing and debuffs. Also, We don't want Isabelle to know that she's being debuffed on the outside. I'm also fine with having Julia stack Malleable flesh stacks until B'ni has 5 acts to work with, but we'll have to disguise that debuff with more serious debuffs that make her conflicted in which debuff to shrug off.
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>>3511247
Narratively we don't even want sam around, why would we want to keep Isabelle around, or make an entirely new being with her powers we can't rely on not just going crazy?

shes an enemy, she threatened those we love, its tome for her to go. Maybe we can take her strength in levels and actually do some good with it for once, unlike she ever did.
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>>3511253
I mean, show me what you think is best, but i still think we need to scale her down alot more before we even think about anything other than a defensive stance. Shes way outside out class level, so i think you're not being defensive enough at all.
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>>3511015
>>3511153
Agree with this for INSIDE and Amara.

Assuming it's possible to do so without breaking the connection, Julia and Dorian should activate Horror at Red Hook, trapping Isabelle and buffing Julia's accuracy and Stack chance. Julia should capitalise on this by alternating unarmed and Ripper strikes to build up many Stacks to reduce B'ni's accuracy and health regen. Then activate Artisan's Peak to immobilise Isabelle in and out of dreamspace.
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