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Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by saltmummy626 on October 14, 2020, 04:53:32 am »
Mona jolted awake suddenly and with the sensation of a sugary film coating the inside of her mouth and the smell of strawberry jam filling the house to the point where it made her feel instantly nauseous. When her feet swung out over the floor, they encountered something hard and hollow and she realized they were jars. A pile of empty jars. The sound they made reminded her of all of the night before and she felt instant intense embarrassment. Even more when she remembered the half worried, half amazed look Rosia had given her near the end of the night before she finally passed into a sleep that was half sugar coma. Mona vaguely remembered crying herself to sleep with the taste of strawberries on her lips, and even more vaguely the feeling of a blanket being thrown over her.

"Oh my god..." She moaned feeling as though she could just die from the humiliation at what Rosia must think of her. She closed her eyes and lay back, not wanting to see the shades of red her scales would be shifting at that moment. It would be a welcome change from the blues and purples she'd been exhibiting in the days prior, but Mona still didn't want to see it. After a while, when she knew the color would be fading back to it's usual sandy tan, she opened her eyes again and scanned the coffee table for her glasses. Then, slowly, she began the laborious task of cleaning up.

Jars on rack, lid rings stacked to dry, Mona slid back into her usual place at the small dinner table she'd been sitting at for the last twenty years of her life. At first with mother and father, then just father, and now all alone. She felt so alone, but Rosia had showed her she wasn't. Not really. Catnip was still there, along with aunt Kathrine and the others. Not too far away, a few minutes walk at most. Mona couldn't keep being alone, her mind would eat itself with grief if she did. Rosia had taken her on the second step to recovery, it was up to her to do the rest.

Kathrine opened the front door as though she’d been expecting Mona, and she probably had been. The smell of apple pie and apple fritters, already seeping from the house in a spicy miasma, exploded from the door and nearly knocked Mona over with the nostalgia that swept over her with it. It was late summer now, but she smell brought thoughts of late fall and winter to come. Of warm buttered cider and roasting pumpkin seeds.

“Mona!” Kathrine cried in faux surprise that Mona secretly appreciated, “We’ve been expecting you! Come in silly!” She slipped around behind Mona and ushered her into the den of apple spice and the faint aroma of oil and hard work that would never really leave the home Kathrine and Catnip.

She was shown a chair, the big comfortable one saved for special dignitaries which Catnip sometimes met with here in her living room, and Kathrine vanished into the kitchen. While she was gone, as if on cue, Catnip appeared carefully taking each step in turn carefully but purposefully.

“Hello Mona.” Catnip said, “Finally decided to come out and see us hm? Has Rosie been around to see you yet?”

“Yes Auntie Catnip.” Mona said automatically, “She fed my chickens.”

Catnip looked like she wanted to stroke her chin or look musing, but she didn’t do either. Instead, she slid comfortably into her own chair across from the one Mona had been assigned and took a dowel from a jar bar the arm of her chair.

“These aren’t as good as the ones they had in Pricetown.” Catnip commented, “With the path through Texas open we can get the good stuff, if only the cost wasn’t so high.” She wrinkled her nose at the word “cost” and Mona knew why. Her own father had been fine with being paid in New Paris bills, and so did Mica and Mona by extension, but Mona’s Aunt had been firmly against currency of almost any form. Service rendered for service given, and all that. “So, anyway, I’m not going to ask why you came for a visit since it’s only been a week and a few days, I’m just happy you’ve come to visit. Period.”

Kathrine emerged then with a large tray adorned in all the things Mona expected. Fritters, cider, pie, sweets. “We’ve um, been expecting you…” Kathrine explained a little sheepishly while she pushed a small plate into Mona’s hands and placed upon it a slice of pie.

“I um…” Mona began. It was hard to say the words and she knew the color in her scales would just be beginning to shift, but finally she finished, “Thank you.”

Catnip chatted about current events, covering everything that had been going on since the funeral but being very careful not to actually touch on it. Kathrine brought more snacks, all the things Mona liked. After listening for a long time and easing into the company of her aunt Catnip, as Catnip had planned, Mona broached a subject she very much wanted to know about.

“Um, Auntie Nip? What do I do now?” She asked.

“You eat your pie is what you do.” Catnip said cheerily, “Silly head.”

“No. I mean, yes, but… No.” Mona went on hesitantly, “I mean, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. I’m… All alone now.”

Kathrine looked worried, but Catnip smirked as though it were the silliest question she’d ever heard. “You aren’t alone. You have us, and you’ll always have someone.” It wasn’t quite the answer she wanted or needed, but to Catnip it was true and was all she needed. The look Kathrine shot her told her that she had made a mistake, and Mona’s reaction a few moments later only added to that.

“No! I mean, yes! But but… What am I going to DO!?” She cried, feeling the warmth of tears coming on again. “What am I going to do with myself Auntie Catnip? I don’t know what I’m doing! I’m… I’m… I’m not ready…” Kathrine hugged her and gazed pleadingly at Catnip. She couldn't stand to see Mona in such a state and neither could Catnip. "I can't go to the church, I already tried that before and I just couldn't. I can't do what daddy did because I'm not any good at it. I don't know anything about robots or making things or farming or… or… what am I going to do!?"

Catnip stayed quiet, thinking hard about it. She'd never had this problem before herself, and Mica had been too simple to have it. When she tried to think about it from Mona's perspective, it almost made her want to cry herself. Instead she considered a few other options while Kathrine quieted their niece. Mona had tried the chapel a few years after Mica had passed, but she had no passion for the work of her hands. Likewise, she had no fighting aptitude and no talent for the sort of things Helen's people could teach her. To top it off, Jenny had volunteered to show Mona how to go out and survive in the wide world of she needed to and it had been a miserable experience for both of them. What did Catnip do when she was on her own? Catnip did all of those kinds of things and more, besides the magical stuff. Catnip had put her life on the line for her own benefit and that hadn't been easy. Dodging the undead and wildlife all while trying to find food and tools and materials. It had all been almost too much, now that she looked back on it. It only really got much much easier after she found…

"I suppose," she sighed a bit and realizing what she must do, "Kathrine and I could help. Kat, could you get the keys for my wardrobe? I have some things that have been put away for too long that our niece could probably put to use."
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by saltmummy626 on October 05, 2020, 01:55:06 am »
sssssssssssssstonks i say
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by RedVulnus on September 06, 2020, 03:01:25 pm »
The convoy of supply vehicles came to a slow halt in front of the trio of armed humvees that were blocking the road. The misling in charge grumbled as a man wearing a black uniform with a wolf skull emblem on the right shoulder walked from the roadblock with a team of four following him. As he approached the window the Team Leader said “Hello citizen. We’re going to search these vehicles for a piece of property that was lost by our organization. Compliance is compulsory.”

As he said that last sentence the machine gunner of the center humvee racked the browning fifty caliber and eyed the convoy. Grabbing his radio the head of the convoy ordered the others to let them search through the salvage and take what they wanted. No point in anyone dying.

The retrieval team searched the convoy for the parts that had been stolen from them. When they came up empty handed the Team Lead waved the humvees out of the way. “Move along citizen.”

Once the convoy was out of sight the TL grabbed his radio “Retrieval Team Alpha to Papa Bear, negative on convoy.” The man on the other end barked a few orders and reminded the TL what was at stake here “Understood sir. And if the unit is in use?” Another set of garbled transmissions “Understood.”

Setting the radio back in the humvee and motioned his second over. “If someone’s installed the unit execute them and retrieve the parts that were stolen. Continue halting the convoys to see if the thief is with them, the tracker lost him in this area. Keep the locals complacent, don’t piss them off too much.”

A large truck rolled up and began collecting the men that wouldn’t fit in the trio of humvees. As the last man entered he shoved a civilian out of the truck towards the TL. Grabbing him the TL positioned him beside the road. “I’m just doing my job, I hope you know that. I’d have let you go if the boss hadn’t given the order.”

The man, his head still covered by the burlap bag, shook his head as he said “You always were a good dog Gambler.”

Gambler pulled his pistol as he said “Strength through order, order through obedience. We brought order to that hell hole in New Vermont. All your freedom fighters ever did was cause a lot more suffering. Or did we forget which side planted that IED in New Port.”

The gunshot echoed over the terrain as Gambler tossed an ace of spades onto the body and a piece of paper. ‘Help the thief, die like his friend’ with a drawing of a man in an altyn helmet. As he mounted the humvee his second asked how it felt to kill another of his former brothers. “Same as the last. I don’t feel shit. Just following my orders, waiting for that helicopter ride back home.”

Closing his eyes Gambler drifted off to sleep. His mind wandered through the decades of his life for a time. The wars he’d been involved in, the powers he’d helped install and take down. Then the amulet he wore faintly glowed as his mind settled on his old home and he began to dream.

Elsewhere a pair of men watched Walkerville hidden in the trees. The cloaks they wore made them invisible to the human eye, their armor eliminated the noise they made, and their radios kept their words strictly between the pair. The time ticked by as they drank water and nutrient paste through their armor’s feeding systems.

Cicada sighed to himself as he watched the place bustle with activity. He remembered his time as a mechanic himself, back before he’d moved to New Vermont for it’s promise of a peaceful life. Now he worked as a tracker, hunting men for the promise of supplies or money. He wished his son hadn’t followed him into the business, but at least they were together in it. And they’d tracked the thief here, now to wait for him to show himself.

Meanwhile The mobile home turned mobile lab was still trundling along as Red joined Aleksander in the cab. It had been an hour and twenty minutes to reconstruct his body and now he sat in his new clothes staring at his face in the mirror. “Goddamn, never thought I’d see it again.”

Aleksander looked at Red from the corner of his eye. After a moment he shrugged “Glad you like my work. Had a couple photos to work with.”

Red watched the road as they headed for Walkerville. Only a couple more hours and they’d be there, he’d get to see his daughter again. “I noticed the armory in this thing.” He said.

Aleksander looked at Red from the corner of his eye. Shifting his attention back to the road he said “Yeah, gotta keep it all with me just in case. Rifles, shotguns, grenades, RPGs, never know what you’ll need. Now get some rest, I’ll wake you up when we get close.””

Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by saltmummy626 on August 29, 2020, 11:11:37 pm »
Branches rose sharply and blinked at the early morning light creeping in through the tiny fogged glass window overlooking the small table opposite her sleeping mat. Sleep had never come easy and when she did sleep, it came in short spates of two or three hours from which she woke feeling not much different except for a strange heaviness in her eye and stiffness in her limbs. Both feelings were quickly and easily adjusted via liberal application of movement. She clambered to her feet as she always had and checked her appearance in the mirror, inspecting for cracks or fissures in the otherwise lifelike surface of her body. There was still shrapnel in there somewhere that no one had yet been able to find through the various methods attempted on her strange flesh, and the inclusions occasionally found their way to the surface and cracked through her skin to be released. There was a crack, a sizable one along the line of her neck the width of a pencil. Looking around with the help of a magnet turned up a fragment of metal the size of a bean mixed into her blankets. She judged it carefully before putting it in the dish next to the door and getting on with the process of mixing dried clay with water to seal up the damage.

"May I come in?" Said a voice from outside. Branches had seen them coming through her automatons standing watch over her territory by the lake. The man, more a boy really, waited patiently outside until Branches finished her maintenance and donned one of the two "uniforms" of her trades. This one was an old spruce and nettle cloak and simple wide brimmed hat of the same material. It suited Branches about as well as the other, her business suit. "Um, miss one-eyed witch?"

"No, stay outside a moment." Branches instructed. She frowned and dug around in her cabinet, knowing the voice and why it was here. Tommy Fletcher was one of Catnip's chosen along with Patricia Baines, Rosia Ortiz, Matthew Kramer, and Missy Renoit. Tommy would be here for his usual, a little something between himself and Patricia. Patricia was someone that Branches good friend Roxanne would have called "a catty bitch" while Tommy was what another friend in knights armor would have referred to as a "mirror gazer." The only thing the two liked more than themselves was each other, and they did well to hide it from just about everyone. Everyone except Branches. "The usual then?" Branches asked from within, already spooning out a dose of goat weed and placebo into a tiny jar.

"Er, no, actually..." He mumbled. That was interesting and new. Branches had gone to both Helen and Roxanne to get the special herb to put that extra bit of ram in Fletcher's rod and had gone to get it from Helen ever since because Roxanne had a habit of making disgusting jokes and lewd innuendo. Helen understood though that the goat weed wasn't for Branches.

"Oh?" Branches said curiously, emerging from her hut in the full foliage getup she reserved for witch seeking clients. Her amethyst eye, the only part of her body visible under all the spruce and nettle, did nothing to show her interest. "Settled your little problem downstairs then have you and come to settle up? Hm?" She went on. The last twenty years had been incredibly kind to Branches, besides the constant need to repair since the Battle of Puller's Reach. She'd started a pair of businesses, one of which would nettle her creator a little, and she'd picked up certain habits and behaviors, several of which would displease Illiana deeply. Roxanne's interest in the affairs of others, and the more malign prankishness of the ghost being chief among them. In short though Branches had grown up, in so far as a primordial homunculus can grow up.

"I-I need something to give me an edge on the other chosen..." Tommy asked reluctantly. Branches half grinned, half sneered, under her nettle cloak. Things weren't looking good for the fragile ego'd narcissist if he was looking for hoodoo remedies and foul tasting tisanes for a solution to whatever the problem was. Branches smirked at him under her cloak and gave the request a cursory thought before scoffing at his need. "What? What's wrong with that? I should have the edge on the others, I deserve it!"

"And you don't have it already? There's nothing I can do for you there, I don't have anything that would help you without cheating. Besides which, I wasn't even aware you could cheat at being whatever it is Catnip has chosen you lot for. I know though that if she knew you were trying to get all clever on it, she wouldn't like it. Why don't you just keep on doing things the way you are doing them and see how it turns out. Go on and live your life according to the teachings of the chapel and making all the good things it produces for New Paris?" Branches suggested.

"I am the best!" He affirmed, more to himself than to Branches, "I shouldn't have to prove it, but now that I must do just that, then I need to go all out!'

"You've already disproved it." Branches said not a little scornfully. If his workmanship was all he was being judged on, then Tommy would be little more than any other laboring under Catnip's strange god of creation. He wasn't though. Catnip had picked them out on Agmen's word, but Catnip would judge them all based on their own qualities. Their own character. It would displease Agmen, but Catnip had not often knelt to the whims of a god she both worshipped and held in such low regard. The chosen were selected, but Catnip would separate the wheat from the chaff herself. The man's shoulders sunk at Branches proclamation, then tensed again.

"How would you know? You aren't even an adherent!" He growled, becoming strident at the last.

"Because your work is good, but you are greedy and self important. You are overconfident and narcissistic. Agmen may have chosen you, but Catnip gets the final word. I have nothing for you unless you want something for that usual little problem of yours." Branches explained, speaking stridently herself. She had turned back to return to her morning rituals when the man's shadow fell over her. Hector had taught her to expect something like this if Lilith or her brood came after her, if bandits ever tried to get the drop on her, or when a desperate client couldn't take no for an answer to some idiotic question. Roxanne had taught her the answer to such. Tommy's hands reached for her neck, an absurd reaction to such a small slight, and Branches responded by grabbing ahold of the mans left hand with both of hers and hauled on it with the tiniest fraction of her strength. Branches had carried the burning wreckage of the siege tower away from the field of battle on her own, could and had carried greater weights even, and Tommy didn't even have a chance when she leveraged the strength of the earth against him. The man flew screaming into the trees beyond the stone fence that lined Branches clearing, crashing through like a launched stone to wind up a broken heap in the forest. He would likely make his way back to the chapel or New Paris and give a heavily edited report of the events to his betters. Branches would likely hear about it from Catnip, and Branches would set the record straight when she went to tea with the mechanic.

"Don't come back!" She shouted after the man missile before settling back to her morning chores.

"I mean, I can't say I know how it feels." Rosia said nervously, "I mean my parents are... um... Nevermind..." She ran a finger over another of the multitude of jars sitting on the table and read the labels for what felt like the thousandth time. D's strawberry, D's waffle flower, D's fish. Things that Mona and Mica either would not or could not touch. Neither the girl or her late mother would dare to so much as eek a single whisper of the sour smelling canned fishes scent from the jars, nor would Mona touch her father's strawberry jelly without permission. As for the waffle mix, Mona had no clue how to use it. Rosia had suggested she ask Kathrine, but the very idea of smelling or tasting them now that Dee was gone brought fresh dry sobs from the young lady opposite her. Now she was sitting there across from Rosia, her glasses set aside for the time being, with only a pile of jars and an awkward silence between them. Without warning, Rosia picked up a jar and twisted the ring off of it.

"What are you doing!?" Mona cried with a shrieky little voice filled with surprise and anguish. What Rosia was doing was obvious of course, she was trying to pry the fiddly metal cap off the top of a jar of strawberry jam with the back of a spoon.

"Why did we get them all out if we aren't going to eat them?" Rosia asked, keenly aware of the trespass she was commiting and feeling hot about the face for it. The jar opened with an audible pop, and the room filled with the smell of it almost immediately. The beautiful aroma of strawberries and sugar long lain dormant and finally free from it's glass prison. Not just the kitchen, the whole house. The fragrance of the preserves ran to riot throughout Mona's empty home, filling every corner with the sweet smell. Mona looked about to start crying again, but Rosia wouldn't let her. She foisted the jar and a spoon on her before beginning work on another. For Mona, the day had been awful, as awful as any in the days immediately after the funeral, but all the same she found herself looking into the jar at the stuff so jealously guarded with a growing hunger. When she thought about it, her father hadn't actually been all that stingy with the stuff, he'd just had a love of it and... And what? Dean had never actually said that Mona couldn't have any. It had been her mother. Her sometimes infantile ignorant mother. Mica had meant well, but at the same time...

Mona didn't notice Rosia digging through her kitchen in search of bread. The Misling had momentarily given up on the new jar to search for missing ingredients. When she finally turned back victoriously holding aloft a loaf of Kathrine bread and a truly ancient jar of still edible peanut butter, Mona was already digging into the second jar, crying gently as she did so.

"So uh..." Rosia said, trailing into a mumble, "You uh... Wanna take these jars into the living room to watch 'The Princess Bride' or something?" Mona nodded furiously, spooning more sugared fruit into her mouth.
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by BadSniper on August 27, 2020, 03:12:19 pm »
Has it really been 5 years?
Yes, yes I believe it has
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by RedVulnus on August 25, 2020, 07:51:35 pm »
The walk back to his bike took a while. So Drifter retrieved one of his pistols and handed it to TJ “You do know how to use it right? Alice actually did drills with you?”

TJ took the gun and checked the chamber as they walked, followed by checking the magazine. Once he had finished making sure the weapon was in operational condition he slid it into a holster he’d sewn into his jacket. “Yes, and yes. I heard shouting, what were you two arguing about?”

Drifter glanced at TJ, saw the worried look on his face, and decided it was better that he not get between his overprotective adoptive sister and his boyfriend. “Nothing you need to know about. Just..look we’re gonna be in New Paris anyway but I gotta talk to a friend of mine there. Get something sorted.”

TJ nodded as he grabbed his own bike and they started away. Their helmets had a built in two way so they could hear each other. If he had to hazard a guess TJ figured Drifter forgot to switch his off as he said “Hey, I think we might have a bit of a code five. What do you mean..fine, I’ll drop it off at your room.”

A couple hours later and TJ followed Drifter down the streets of New Paris.They’d dropped off the bag at an old house that TJ was pretty sure hadn’t been lived in for at least a week. But now they were making their way to the market. “This place usually has a bit of everything, especially stuff you won’t find in Walkerville.” Drifter said as they walked.

TJ was about to ask just what the place had when they entered the merchant’s plaza. Everything wasn’t an understatement. Everything from weapons and armor to toys and parts was being sold by the various merchants. Drifter was about to tell TJ something when he noticed him walking around staring at everything. “Or just go walk around the bazaar, that works too. Totally can’t just direct you to the spot where stuff you’d be interested in is.” Drifter said to himself as he started to follow.

Meanwhile Heinrich adjusted the scope on the anti-material rifle he always kept with him. He’d noticed that it was firing a bit to the left of center while he’d been looking for a kidnapped child. Now she followed along with the wariness of someone past her years. His mind wandered for a moment to his time as a fifteen year old riding an old dirtbike and sneaking drinks from his parent’s liquor cabinet. Instead she checked the magazine of her pistol for the third time since they’d started their slow trek back towards New Paris.

Several hours later and Heinrich walked into the agreed meeting place. He felt the child stop and tug his arm as the men who’d hired him arrived. As he read her lips while she spoke silently Heinrich quietly pressed a button on his gauntlet. One of the men said something he didn’t really hear as he looked at her father. A deep shaky breath later and Heinrich managed to hear the man annoyedly say that he had the money for finding her.

Heinrich gave a signal to the woman that he’d brought with him for this job. Mila stepped into view with her AK held as it always was in her hands, sideways. The men all put their hands up as she raised an eyebrow at Heinrich, wondering why he’d given her the signal to step out of her concealed hideaway. His response was to grab the man who’d stood closest to him, the one who hired him, by the throat and lifting him off the ground. “Why did you hire me to find her?”

“Boss said she was special. That’s all I know swears it!” The man croaked. Heinrich looked over at the girl and she nodded to him. As he crushed the man’s windpipe Mila shot the other two in the throat. As he let the body fall to the ground he could already hear the police of New Paris rushing towards them. Pulling the man’s pistol from his coat Heinrich tossed it to the ground next to his body as Mila did the same with the other two. Both wore gloves that kept their fingerprints from being left behind.

Pressing the button on his gauntlet again Heinrich put his hands up as Mila let the AKS-74U drop on it’s sling. “HANDS UP!” the first of the cops shouted as they rounded the corner with their weapons up. Sighing the pair of cops lowered their guns as the one in charge asked “Heinrich..what happened?”

The men drew on him, he’d broken the one’s neck and Mila shot the other two before they could fire. The two cops gave each other a look before shrugging. They had enough to worry about. So with that Heinrich, Mila, and the girl started for Heinrich’s old home.

Pushing the door open Heinrich grabbed the bag waiting for him and set an envelope on the counter next to the door. From there the trio made their way to the Bunker. Heinrich’s base of operations for his band of mercenaries. He had business to take care of, including the induction of a new member.

Meanwhile back in Walkerville B-23 felt a subroutine activate. One that he’d shut down years ago since it had never had anything to work with anyway. He could feel his data and even his mind itself being pulled somewhere else, into another system.  Then for the first time in four years he managed to open his eyes.

He could feel the restraints holding him down too as he saw the man sitting beside him. He stood upon noticing B-23’s eyes open and said “Shit! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!”

Smiling the man started typing into a console as he said “I never thought it’d successfully pull your mind along with the data brother but here we are. Oh..oh right. You don’t remember me, but that’s okay.  You really weren’t supposed to, me and you were the first successful prototypes. B units that actually had functioning minds.”

Stepping away from the console he turned to look B-23 in the eyes “The machine is still reconstructing your body, making sure the right nerves are connected to each other around that metal skeleton of yours. That’s what the restraints are for, if you move it could connect the wrong ones to each other and then solidify the muscle, fat, and skin over everything. Then I’d have to start from scratch and that..that would hurt a lot for you. Oh...your voice box is finished, I’ll go ahead and activate that so you don’t have to sit there quietly.”

B-23 could feel it come ‘alive’ as he said “Who the absolute fuck are you and where are we?”

Aleksander smiled as he said “B-28, but you knew me as Aleks in another life. Before we were taken off the streets and used as guinea pigs.Before I uploaded the entirety of the B-series project into my mind so I could work on this little reunion. Do you..remember your name?”

23 shook his head as he said “No. They wiped that part of my memory in order to make me into a killing machine. Of course I broke out with some help, killed a few people, and daughter. I..remember her. I have to get back. She's trying to reactivate my old body.”

Aleksander shook his head “That’s just a robot now, it’ll..fuck! Where were you?”

23 told him he’d been in Walkerville in a basement for the past four years while she tried to rebuild him. Aleksander grabbed a pistol from the table and loaded it as he said “Right, we’re in my mobile lab so I can get us started in that direction. But if she turns your old body on it’ll probably start hunting someone. Probably the last person to piss you off since the programming will rationalize that as being a set target from the control system, aggression towards the target was how they tried to get us to kill without thinking.”

23 asked “And how long am I gonna be stuck on this table?”

Aleksander looked at him “Another hour, maybe two. Oh, your name was Isaac Ward but the old gang, god rest their souls, called you Mister Red. Now I’ll get us started toward Walkerville, hopefully we get there before your girl starts up that killer robot.”
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by saltmummy626 on August 24, 2020, 12:54:47 am »
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by Chaosvolt on August 20, 2020, 11:59:21 pm »
In days past, during the battle for Maine, and for the fate of a realm...

Helen grimaced a bit as she pored over the maps, pieces of intel, taking in intermittent radio chatter. Victor had practically forced her to take a less proactive, less risky role in the ensuing bitter struggle over Bangor, Maine, and yet it was no less stressful strategizing over their next move in-between assisting with the wounded. Having made Victor sit it out away from the front lines alongside her did little to ease the stress.

"We're near the very heart of this. That thing hasn't made an appearance nor directly tested my wards over this area, but most of its forces have been worn down." she remarked, sorting through her notes. "Those two revenants evidently already tested using directed rifts in a prior encounter with it, and all that did was drive it off..."

"You'll need something that can not only banish it, but also seal the path it used to get here." Victor added, thumbing the pages of The Source, his other hand resting on the hilt of his sword. "If we had to, the pieces could be used as the centerpiece for that."

Helen nodded at that. "Makes sense. I don't think we can use force against force though, that thing relies on absorbing energy and feeding on it. We'd need something that draws upon voids in loathe as I am to suggest such." she said softly. She perked up, watching Victor draw his sword and lay it out on the table. Void.

"It could draw upon its affinity for binding with spirits and direct it without opposing it. Then it'd be easier to seal it in a way that prevents it from bringing its power to bear. Only problem is, well." He hesitated, before giving a sigh. "It'd be similar to what those two mentioned, a sort of vacuum in the fabric of reality guiding it. But it'd draw its wielder in with it. Whoever you send out there won't survive, even with the kind of protected magic you have at your disposal."

Helen gave a nod at that. "I see. If you lend your sword, and I choose someone to use it...we'd need to at least select someone who has the best possible chance of surviving it. My magic might not be enough, but...if we combined it with Keeper magic, but nothing even close to being powerful enough can be found in Oaths To The Chalice. Only their..."

Through her mask, she looked at the two armored figures outside. Hector, and Horace. They seemed to be talking, but about what she couldn't tell. A dick-measuring contest over who killed more of the abominations at Astor's disposal, she suspected. The strange unlife permeating the armor was barely discernible to her mask's senses, yet she could tell he seemed listless over something, faint flickers of another looming presence suggesting something else had the knight of the veil's attention.

"...Chosen." The helmet turned, as though looking back towards Helen, despite the wall between them.

There was the smell of blood in the air. Fetid death, burning decay. The Siege Tower's turret traversed as treads tore at the ground, crew in a state of shock as an AP round screeched uselessly across the armor plating of a mechanical monstrosity unlike any they'd seen before. Within, Hector frantically turned the tank about, full-speed towards the nearby cover of a bern. Roxanne had no sooner savored the thrill of firing its main gun when she soon made the choice to phase through the machine, to take to the battle and wreak her favored carnage more personally.

Another near-miss. Where the hell did they get UAFVs? Hector hadn't seen one, since. No, he'd never witnessed an intact tank drone, never faced one like this. His counterpart had, those decades ago, and paid the price. He'd soon relayed an order to the homunculus occupying the commander's hatch. They were in the open, and Branches was better-suited making use of her strength on solid ground, not playing at being tank commander.

A few meters more. Too exposed. Suddenly, deafening thunder. Rusty old blowout panels flying across the field. Metal caving in, biting deep into armor, flesh, cutting to the bone. A wicked gouge rent down the whole left side of the tank, engulfed in flames as it jolted to a halt.

"Hector? HECTOR!"

"Grandmaster?" Hector tensed up, jolting awake to the voice that stirred him from uneasy rest, and a gristly dream of the past. A young man, wearing the white-on-red surcoat of their order, stood at the doorway to the room, within the small roadside inn the group had taken their night's rest at.

They'd been up early, making final preparations, some talking with the locals at the small settlement a few miles from Walkerville, a few exchanging medical supplies and helping patch up a few injured day workers in exchange for supplies. Armor and equipment cleaned, weathered old vehicles checked and refueled. They'd given Hector an extra hour of rest, time spent suiting back up sharply reduced by having been the only one to spend the night sleeping in their armor.

And as the morning sun grew pale in the sky, they'd soon make their way back home...
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by ajwilli1 on July 01, 2020, 02:45:57 am »
Has it really been 5 years?
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by saltmummy626 on June 15, 2020, 07:27:53 am »
The world was falling apart. Slowly collapsing in on itself and sinking into a deep dark void into which no light could escape. That was how it felt to Mona Koenig at least. She felt as though the ground was opening up under her feet at every step and in each of those moments, she could feel herself being pulled down. Down and down into an uncertain stygian ocean of black tears. Dean and Mica Koenig's only daughter had spent the last five days crying endlessly in the darkness of the house her parents had spent their final years in, and Dean had spent his remaining ten after Mica's passing. The shades of course had been drawn. No light allowed in this place. No light shed into this tomb of a house that had never felt so empty to the young woman before. Sometimes she walked from room to room disconsolately weeping to nothing and no one, speaking to ghosts who weren't there. She hardly ate. It didn't seem right to her. Looking at all the things in the cupboards that her father had enjoyed. It seemed wrong, even though he was gone, to want to eat any of it. She didn't sleep. Not until the specter of unconsciousness came over her like a wave and washed away everything in a sleep plagued by dreams in which she wandered an empty world in search of something she was afraid she'd never find without the help of her father.

Purpose. The lack of purpose crushed her. Crushed her like a great stone slowly working it's way down onto her to squeeze the life from her. On the sixth day, Mona had no more tears to cry. They'd left her suddenly and inexplicably with the only evidence of their existence being the angry red furrows they'd carved into her cheeks like rivers carving canyons, and the sore irritated scales of her face. She'd touched her face once and winced, but didn't feel the furrows she'd expected. Her upper eyes finally opened. They could not weep, and so when Mona was out of sorts she'd simply shut them to keep them from becoming irritated. With them open, she could see better. The house was dark and empty and cold, but by the seventh day she could start to see it again. She could begin to eat again, but she still felt guilty about eating her father's food. On the eighth, Mona realized she hadn't fed the chickens in a week.

"Oh shoot... She mumbled, feeling more guilt coming on. By now, the chickens would have begun to starve or escape. Where would that leave Mona then? As beshitted as she felt, she still had some small responsibilities. Responsibilities she could latch onto, a small island of purpose in a roiling sea of uncertainty. She tried to turn it into a more robust purpose, but couldn't. The chickens had been kept by and for her mother, but Mica had passed when she was only ten years old. What was the purpose of the chickens if Mica wasn't around to enjoy them? Mona had been headed for the back door when these thoughts occured to her and she had reeled, slamming her back to the wall and sliding hopelessly to the floor as the world once again opened up beneath her, and the tears came flooding back.

A little while later, the back door creaked open. The sound was an ungodly level of loud in the late afternoon air, and many attempts had been made to fix it. Even Catnip though had been unable to solve the age old problem of an overly creaky hinge, so it had stayed as was. The grass was getting long, but not so long that the morning see would soak Mona's legs and shoes when leaving the house in the morning and fortunately the chickens would have had plenty to eat. The light of evening was still bright enough to smart her eyes, and so Mona had squinted at the ground when slipping out. As a result, she didn't see the young rodent featured lady leaning on the high fence post with an empty grain bag until she'd called out to her.

"There you are ma'am. Ms. Arti- we, Ms. Walker was beginning to worry about you."

Mona looked up sharply, surprised and embarrassed at realizing how she must look. The lady winced to see the way Mona's face had been punished by her grief, and the small but noticable impact not eating for a week had done to Mona's figure.

"What... What are you doing here Rosia?" Mona asked after a long time wrestling with her vocal chords. Her voice was muffled and strained. Struggling to hold back the water works in front of others. Rosia was one of Catnips chosen, an acquaintance but not quite a friend. Still, they'd been on friendly terms.

"Ms. Walker asked me to come and help you. I uh, I would have done it without being asked of course but um... I've been we, I mean to say, I... I fed your chickens..." Rosia explained with the nerves if someone who didn't often interact with others. She made a small gesture towards the pen where the Koenig flock pecked at the ground and scratched, greedily snatching up grains to fill their craws with. She stared for a long time at the birds, her mind swirling with the thoughts of the fatherless life ahead of her, and didn't see Rosia come up and gently take her hand.

"Um... Do you want to talk about it?" She asked. Mona's chest hitched a little and her own bucket began to slip out of her grasp.

"No..." She husked, but then after another long silence in the cool evening air and in a much smaller voice she added, "yeah..."
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