Duodecimarch (Worm Multicross)

Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 3)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X] Plan Stamp out the Corruption

    [X]: Iybraa: Massively powerful Psion, equipped with Vondun living-metal power armour, skilled at most ranges but also brash, arrogant, and impetuous due to the strength of her powers. Extremely good crowd control and general purpose damage, some support and tanking. Dominator Archetype.

    [X]: Boltdancer: Electricity controlling mutant, can lockdown enemies, stun them, cause lethal damage if needed, turn them against each other, summon up electricity based beings, use electricity to heal, re-energise, speed up, protect, or augment or drain foes. Enthusiastic but cautious, will generally be careful. Great crowd control and support. Controller Archetype.

    [X]: Galen Witwicky: Autobot Masterforce Sparkshifted, speedy, extremely so in fact. Able to teleport as well, allowing him to rapidly reposition himself or the team when needed. A bit of a glass cannon but deals great ranged damage and his ability to shift the battlefield around keeps him useful in most situations. Great battlefield control and damage. Shifter archetype.

    [X]: Arcee: One of the few mainline autobots who could both easily fit into the building and its catacombs and isn't busy elsewhere at the moment. All ranges combatant, tactical maestro, great leadership and gives the best teamwork enhancement, very sneaky, and quite fast herself. She's calm and confident in most situations but can let her choler get the best of her when sufficiently outraged. Leader Archetype.

    Samus

    You reviewed the list and made your selections. You decided to put in a rather succint but polite description of the situation you were facing to aid the newcomers in getting up to speed with what would need to be done. And with a quick return ping affirming their interest, you awaited their arrival. With a brief flash of energy, the four summoned were gathered; pulled into position by Iybraa's tremendously powerful psionics simply carving open short lived wormholes with light twisted away from the group to prevent them from being noticed by the sentries sifting through the snow covered streets.

    "Alright, hive mind, you have my interest." Iybraa said to you plainly and simply, folding her arms beneath her chest as she floated in the air above you, her energy wings shimmering from pink to invisibility to reduce the obviousness of her profile as her organic-metal armour flexed with the movements she made; more like some manner of metal crab than standard technology you wore.

    "Hey, someone has to keep Iybraa in check. Call me Boltdancer, Dawnchild. And yo, 'sup Duskguard?" Boltdancer said, giving the two of you a thumbs up with one hand in his pockets.

    "You're not my babysitter." The Yurye said with a prolonged sigh.

    "Taking on the Church of the Star Travellers? Bold. You two were right to get me on the line. These guys can tear through some of our autobot pretenders, so if you're going in, you're not going in without support." She said, her minicon; Seacar; sitting upon her shoulders, aarms and legs folded and rounded television screen like face making a "hrm" gesture as they considered the view ahead of them.

    "Heeey, what's good Sammy? Besides how you look." Galen said, finger pistoling you and grinning beneath his helmet.

    "I'm surprised that I'm not the biggest flirt around here." Tyrius said with a small chuckle.

    "Well...I think that's everyone, right?" Arne said, looking to you and receiving a nod in return.

    "Yep, present as fuck." Raelamiel said as she clasped her fingers around the hilt of her sword.

    "The cult seems to be widespread, so we're going to need to have someone on hand to deal with the fallout of engaging them. But if that doesn't transpire well...it's better to get in trouble for doing the right thing than to be unpunished for doing evil or nothing." You said, Boltdancer taking a second to have a look at you and nodding as the young mutant made a finger picture frame containing some of the electrical infrastructure and focused for a bit.

    "So, gonna be real. I'm not super familiar with space stuff even though I'm in the team full of nonhuman...buuuuuuut." He said, Marcus' accent born of the poorer districts of Paragon where many other Black Americans like himself dwelled in. It was rather interesting to hear, and he had your immediate interest as he left you hanging for a bit.

    "There's a lot more electricity going beneath than they're actually drawing from the city grid. Like, a lot of it is blocked to me but the amount of juice they have going through there's thousands of times what you'd be able to get out of the city power plant. And that's probably just auxiliary shit. No way that was made with local tech." He said before putting his hands back in his trench coat pockets and looked towards you.

    "That'd make sense, the DNA infestation in them isn't from this metaversal cluster. Iybraa, you're a better mind reader than myself; what can you sense?" You said, nodding at Marcus before turning to Xaeon's sister as she raised one finger to indicate that she needed a moment and then looked ahead, resting her other hand on her temple for a moment while her psionic presence reached out. It was a subtle probe, trying to not alert the telepathic network of her intrusion lest all this prep work end up being for nothing. But she found that there was no easy holes for her presence to fill in. Any attempt to touch into the network would trip the entire network.

    "...Ugh, sorry, can't do any psi-scouting. Their telepathy is weird though it's not...normal psionics, its going through some overlapping dimension. Okay that's not completely true, some of it is closer to psionics but the other part is more...kind of like magic? It's weird...there's so many redundancies going on here, like it was designed to ensure there could be no way to make the network fail." She said, grunting with displeasure at not having proved her superiority quite yet.

    "But if we need you to, can you tap into the telepathy network?" Arne asked, bluntly. This was an important tactical question that demanded a swift answer.

    "I never said I couldn't. Haven't met a lot of defenses that could keep me completely out. Probably aren't any that could keep me out if I really pushed myself." Iybraa said with confidence brimming in her voice. Confidence that made you briefly worry for her. But then, weren't you more than a bit prideful yourself? Who were you to judge? You who dove into a complicated free for all head first and decided to try to take on multiple high grade enemies at once?

    "What we're going to need is reconnaissance. Someone who isn't going to set them off immediately. That rules out you, Arne, and Iybraa straight away. They'd sense your psychic presence immediately. My suggestion would be Tyrius. I've seen his charm show. It should maybe placate them long enough for him to spot an entrance, and he's tough enough to last until support arrives." Arcee said, kneeling down and having a look at the complex before she turned to Raelamiel.

    "Given that they seem to prefer couples, you should go with redhead." She said.

    "We shouldn't just let them go in without some guarantee of support. Arne and I could crawl into their ventilation system in our alt-modes or phase through their walls. Or both even." You said, taking another look at the circumstances ahead. You wagered that with your current repertoire of suits and reinforcement upgrades, you'd be able to tank your way through most of the trouble that'd be flung in your direction. And you just...didn't feel right leaving the two of them on their own.

    "Sound plan. Once you have your breach; the rest of us can teleport in." Arcee said, focusing her optics on the four chosen to be in the lead.

    "So what am I supposed to do?" Galen asked, shrugging his armoured shoulders.

    "B-team needs some tough support. We're tougher than most of the low-pretenders we've sent in so...we should be fine...theoretically." She said.

    "Theoretically?!" Galen squeaked.

    "I estimate only a fifty seven percent chance of one of us dying horribly." Seacar said, their jovial tone chirping in the ears of their listeners.

    "What?!" Galen said with a small voice.

    "Oh don't worry, it's only a joke. I lack sufficient data to make an analysis anyway." They said with a shrug.

    "I'm gonna provide eyes and ears, check on the electric fields moving around. Now, quick warning. I can't tell you exactly what the stuff I pick up is like. I'm only seeing like, magnetic fields and electricity." Boltdancer said, looking towards you and Arne, Tyrius and Raelamiel you figured were already well aware of what their teammate could or couldn't do.

    "And I'm gonna give ya'll another warning. There is something moving in those vents. A lot of something. Freaky, coordinated, fast. If you want to sneak around I'm gonna have to give you a heads up. Maybe with your psychic voodoo we might just pull this off. Or you know; you can just phase through some walls." Boltdancer said.

    "Right, act like we're going against the devouring Earth. The second any of us have our cover blown, we all have our cover blown. So we just need to get inside without starting a fight on the streets." Tyrius said, his team captain voice already switching on as he placed one hand on his hip and used the other to gesture to the compound.

    "Why don't we just kick in the door?" Galen said, drawing glares from literally everyone else present.

    "Take a look around." Arcee said, letting Galen have a long view of the surrounding area before he turned back to her and shrugged. He really didn't seem to get it. Even as he looked at the great mass of humanity just going about their day, most of whom weren't even slightly out of the ordinary for 21st century humanity.

    "What do you see?" She asked.

    "I dunno, people just doing their things?" He said.

    "That's exactly it. There's people there. Hundreds, maybe thousands who'd be in the threat radius if we started a fire fight in the open." She said with a stern but understanding look, he was still young after all.

    "Alright...so how are we starting this?" He asked, sighing as he folded his arms beneath his chest.

    In a matter of a few minutes, Tyrius was approaching the door and pausing himself, Raelamiel by his side and both of their inhuman natures guised; wearing comfortable looking winter clothes as they were greeted by a well dressed acolyte. Slick, good looking, clearly well to do and the epitome of what Americans generally considered trustworthy; so white and just the right amount of stubble on his chin.

    "Well how are you two fine young souls today? Our Friday service is already ongoing, but our doors are always open to the curious who have interest in the faith of ascension." He said, with the charming voice of a television star. You kept close, in morph ball mode; using the ghost suit's phasing abilities to disappear into the ground every time you sensed someone might be looking in your direction.

    "Oh well, my boyfriend and I just blew in from out of town ya know? Thought we'd check out what's up with the higher up in New Hampshire ya know? Stretch the Rhode Island legs." Raelamiel said, briskly slipping into a persona that was...basically exactly her but he probably didn't know her so it wasn't that much of a worry.

    "Oh of course, your parents with you?" He asked.

    "Tch, they're lame. They wouldn't understand." She said with a haughty huff.

    "Yeah, we're just trying to find something to do away from judging eyes." Tyrius said while Arne's psychomorph form contracted into a sphere like your own morph ball to lower its clearance a bit.

    "We need an entrance." Arne said to you over your armor links.

    "+Well go anywhere near the main entrance and you'd cross about a few hundred pairs of eyes. Kitchen supply entrance isn't being watched closely though. Top Entrance is also being watched like a hawk. But there's some sidevents you could quickly slip through. Closest one to you would drop you into an unoccupied office. Lot of computers there but can't exactly see what's going on.+" Boltdancer said.

    "+But if you're going through the vents you'll need to drop down in a few seconds. There is...a ton of stuff going through the vents. I can't exactly tell what they are but they're a bit bigger than people, least...I dunno...six limbs. Lot of them just waiting. But oh man down below? Just what I can see? This is just one of this Ecumene's compounds here and there's enough shit there to drown the giant in the beanstalk castle. Now, there is a maintenance entrance, I'm seeing some crews entering...normal bioelectric signatures but...hang on...six limbed mofos moving in near them. Watching.+" He added.

    "+Samus, remember the plan.+" Arcee cut in as you felt your choler starting to rise. People were in potential danger and your heart ached with the need to leap in to save them. It was a difficult calculus, you weren't sure if those maintenance workers were in actual danger or not, but the potential of it...and it also had to be weighed against the possible collateral harm dealt elsewhere. Could you just...risk the possibility of those people getting hurt? What about the mission? Splitting up wouldn't matter, as soon as any of them were aware they'd all be on alert.

    "+Also getting readings of...fucking shit there's another bunch of people moving in god damn. Counting eight. Moving in from the rear a-....huh...what am I talking about?+" He said, the sudden lapse in his memory triggering your esoteric senses that something reached through the same dimension that these things housed much of their hive speech in and cleaned the memory out of his head. Something expert, rather older than you were, but almost playful really. A jest played by some manner of wily prankster.

    "+Some kind of...amnesiac...definitely the kinda...extradimensional magic thingy these cultists are using to chat with. Just more individualistic. Seems to have been triggered by them noticing he was seeing them...I can...stop the mindwipe myself but...okay looking through the eyes of some animals and....getting very brief glimpses of like, swords and staffs and shit before they shimmer out of vision. I've got no idea who these people are but they might risk the whole plan.+"

    What to do?

    Actions:
    []: Go in through the vent into the office (Lots of computers, might have valuable information on their intranets)
    []: Go in through the Kitchen (poorly monitored, quick path downwards)
    []: Phase into the catacombs (Immediately leads you to an important relevation, but a lot of enemies are there)
    []: Phase in through a wall into the nearest unoccupied room (guaranteed lack of observation, only a random chance of finding anything useful straight away)
    []: Rescue the Maintenance Workers (Avoids stress roll, guarantees safety of maintenance workers, but you'll need to suggest some actions to do it either unobserved such as having Iybraa try to move some objects near them psychically to make them walk back out; or what you'd want to do if you're kicking in the door. Arcee will disapprove)
    []: See the other mysterious team going in from behind (Encounter the third party straight away, possibly gain them as non-party allies/form a temporary league with them.)
    []: Write in
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 4)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    Well that's overwhelmingly one sided so I'll close it here.

    [X]: See the other mysterious team going in from behind (Encounter the third party straight away, possibly gain them as non-party allies/form a temporary league with them.)

    Samus

    Tyrius and Raelamiel had already been allowed through the front doors at least, so the timer was already starting to tick down to act before things started to wheel into motion faster than you'd be able to control them, especially as Arcee had overall operational command rather than yourself. Still, you were fast, so you figured you could make the time to get in and get back to your expected duties before anything too major happened.

    The other team had its own presence in the causeways of destiny, clearly able to perceive its movements with their own sort of distant sight. Several people able to make use of it actually. One seemingly particularly skilled in it. Old yet young.

    One of the voices seemed to notice your intrusions into the paths of destiny and turned their notice to you, your astral form retreating before a figure in black and white armoured robes to try and elude...yes that was definitely a he...you think...maybe. Whatever, trying to dodge his notice was paramount. He was certainly powerful in the magics he made use of, lighting the way with runes to assist his focus.

    "+I'm moving in to intercept the other team. Before they can interfere.+" You said over the line as you moved in, your rolling ball form phasing through some cover in ghost form to get a closer look. You let your morph-sight swap between the thermal and echo visors, trying to get a better sense of where the invisible ones were. Unfortunately, the stealth they used covered both thermal radiation and auditory output, so you instead found yourself relying on your distant sight.

    "+What can you determine about them, Dawnchild?+" Arcee asked.

    "+Sorcerous, they have more developed farsight than myself.+" You said with a quiet voice.

    "+Stealth systems cover thermal and auditory detection systems so they're definitely ahead of the tech curve of this planet.+" Arne said, a note of caution easily audible in his voice.

    You moved into position before they could reach the line of sight of the rear entrance or the sentries the cult had posted there. If you were going to have to disable them, you'd need to fight in a relatively inconspicuous manner. Well, as inconspicuous as you could manage with as few actual stealth tools as you possessed. You briefly cursed yourself for not getting some sort of cloaking field but remained calm and collected.

    You were nearby, you could sense it. They may have been able to hide themselves from sensors, even from thought detection, or hearing, but you could feel their presence in the conduits of destiny. The Distant Sight would guide you as to what was the right or wrong course of action, and you muttered a brief apology to Old Bird that you were forcing yourself to learn how to master it before your education in the mystic arts was supposed to truly begin.

    "+Feel them?+" Arne asked, his voice in your private comm channel, born of a link set up between your armorsuits. He kept his voice low and quiet, his psycho-morph mode floating somewhat over the ground while your morph ball eased through some of the debris and refuse of modernity. Disposed of cardboard and plastics that almost made you feel sick with how little care was put into cleaning it. Especially with all these unrecyclable plastics...but you noticed some of them moving. And not in the way the wind was blowing either.

    "+There, I think I've got some of them.+" You said as you inched a bit closer and then unmorphed, rearing up to your full height and looking around. "It's alright, we know you're here." You said as you looked around before sensing an incoming movement, someone rushing towards you in an attempt to quickly neutralise you before you could give away their position. You shifted, bringing up your projected shield and deflecting the incoming spear blow.

    "+I'll be keeping a close watch on them from here.+" moving into his own ambush position guided mostly by where he thought he needed to be. He caught only the briefest flash of an empathic signal before having to back away in a hurry from an attempt at a telekinetic cage around him; boosting back and phasing into the ground to elude the prison of force.

    "+Okay, so definitely esoterics of some sort.+" He said as he transformed after emerging from the ground in ghost form, trusting in his senses to direct his movements as he fired off his blink pack to evade another attempt to cage him.

    "This is foolishness Alyrsero." A masculine voice with a self-echoing reverb, pleasant and melodic to your ears said, deliberately choosing to speak in a language you understood rather than silent telepathy.

    "These Mon'Keigh don't know what they're getting into! This is for their sake as much as ours Idaliryn!" The other, higher-pitched voice said.

    "Bold words for someone who managed to get this lost in the webway oh son of Seers." Another female voice said before the argument transcended the verbal and went into the realm of thought as all movements stopped for a moment, Arne unfolding from his altmode and grabbing at some sort of staff before releasing the invisible implement when he sensed that the other was backing away.

    You sensed telepathic communication, ripples through an empyreal realm you were faintly but not fully able to see. Sophisticated, information dense, thoughts full of rich emotion. Some shaped and disciplined, some wild and free, some silly, some hard-edged. It was quite the eclectic mix really.

    You found the sensation of something approaching almost irresistable as a staff approached; twisting and then planting itself into the ground and projecting a shimmering field of invisible vapours around you to let the team have its appointed delegate reveal itself.

    She was a slender figure, dressed in a clownish, multi-coloured outfit that hugged her body more than tightly enough for you to figure her for a girl, roughly even height with yourself despite her garb adding less to her height than your own. In her hands was a staff, upon her back was a series of what you recognised as grenade launchers as well as a pair of swords she kept in reserve. She was lean but clearly muscular, honing her body for battle even at a young age. You could tell that she had added some nonstandard armour to her outfit, perhaps relishing getting into the thick of things more than she could trust her abilities and skills alone to protect herself. All the added plates being made of some psychoactive material that was hard when it needed to be but soft otherwise.

    "That will be enough of this attempt at finding battle my friends, I bid this contest of bravado come to its appointed and premature end." A feminine voice, young, melodic and bell-like while having a distinctive self-echo, standing tall and proud as she dismissed the cloaking field she had conjured and adjusted her black hood over the mirror-smooth mask she wore over her face, featureless and reflective.

    Electronic Data: Nill
    Psychic Data: Nill
    Mystic Data: Accessing...
    Probe Defenses detected...overcoming.
    Access complete.


    (Placeholder art from her eldarstuck version)

    Kaeliyae Eltravii is a young Shadowseer or Esdainn in her own language, a spell casting illusionist within the religious sect of her heavily divided species and culture known as the Harlequins, or Rillietann in their own language. Kaeliyae originates from the same metaverse as the gene infection spreading through this and likely other planets. Kaeliyae's species is known as the Eldar, or more poetically the Aesisha. Comparable to the Aelva of your own metaversal cluster, but distinguished by an inherent connection to a pleromic type overlapping co-reality that they refer to as Sha'eil; the place of Daemons from which they draw a large number of abilities referred to as Psykery, Witchcraft, and Sorcery to use their terms for the subdivisions of means of drawing from this realm. It is also where their soul is reflected in. Analysis concludes that Kaeliyae is roughly seventy-one Earth years old, but would be considered the equivalent of fourteen for her age.

    She is far swifter, more intensely emotive, and has vastly greater reflexes than most even augmented humans, and possesses greater strength and endurance that can be augmented by her abilities. In combat, her mask will reflect the deepest fears of her enemies. Her primary weapons are a magoactive staff capable of both conventional and mystical energy reinforcement as well as a brace of pistols that includes a monomolecular shuriken launcher, a fusion ejecta pistol, a plasma pistol, and a neurological disruptor pistol. Unlike most adult Harlequins, she adds additional armour made of Wraithbone, a psychoactive material of varying hardness and pliability for added protection. She also keeps a pair of psychoactive blades in reserve, being fond of edged weapons despite the symbol of her office being the mist staff that she holds and is professionally trained in. In combat however, her greatest asset is her powers.

    Skilled in multiple disciplines of the sorcery of her species, she is not only an accomplished illusionist, telepath, fortune teller, and telekine but also a practitioner of a mystic force relating to celestial phenomenon and electricity referred to as "Azyr", as well as biomantic abilities that allow her to manipulate her body and its functions. Accessed data makes mention of some entity known as "she who thirsts" who had once continually threatened the souls of her species until a being known as "Ynnead" offered them freedom and protection from this; allowing their abilities to flourish in greater strength. As per her own records, she considers herself a consummate storyteller and intrepid adventurer, never liking to stay in one place for too long and loving the feeling of finding something new and novel. Chipper, cheerful, excitable and energetic, she also takes it upon herself to ensure her eclectic band of friends don't get into too much trouble with aliens.

    Samus' Notes: Hrm, she seems very interesting from what I can see! She's so much older than I am yet...she seems to be so youthful and vibrant. I'd like to question her some time, ask her about what she's seen across her life time. I really like her hairstyle too. Maybe I could try it for myself at some point.

    Arne's Notes: I am...perplexed by the notion of a guardian religion aesthetically centered around clowns and harlequins. It hardly strikes me as the first thing that comes to mind when I think of when I hear the term "religious sect devoted to protecting a species' culture".

    Kaeliyae's Notes: For future notice, it is really quite rude indeed to peer into those records without asking! But perhaps this once, I shall allow it so that in understanding we may lay basking?

    The next was a figure of about the same height as Kaeliyae, with black and white armour and robes and the symbol of a stylised crying eye on his chest. It struck you as perhaps...melodramatic but the gaze he turned to you, shielded by the blue lenses of his helmet seemed largely devoid of levity. His outfit fitted over his armour; encrusted in runes and symbols you could only intuit the meaning of; was loose enough that you had little idea of his figure, though you figured him for someone who was probably rather on the skinnier side of things. He tried to reach into your thoughts for a moment, only to be repelled by the ironclad power of your progenitor soul and your place in the conduits of destiny, stepping back briefly as he looked upon you with greater intent, moving the spear he held in hand far away from Arne's hand and making a brief scoffing sound at the Cylosian.

    "...Uh...sorry?" Arne said, not sure how he had offended.

    "The least you could do for manhandling my spear. But I suppose it could not be helped with your ignorance." He said with a sigh as he let energy crackle along the spear to clean it of anything that may have come into contact with it.

    "Hello there. I'm Dawnchild, and this is Duskguard. You don't seem to be from these realities. Is there anything we could do to help you?" You said, trying to both be polite but get to the point as the gaze of the male Eldar fixated on you to the exclusion of all else.



    Placeholder version from when he was the protagonist of Eldarstuck. Pretend he has Ulthwe and not Alaitoc colours until I get him a proper commission.

    Alyrsero Ardanesh is also an Eldar, though he is not a member of the Rillietann cult of the laughing God Cegorach; instead being a citizen of a society centered around a mobile planetship known as Craftworld Ulthanash Shelwe; or Ulthwe for short. Alyrsero Ardanesh is seventy earth years old, or roughly the equivalent of yourself in age as his own species reckons the passage of the years. As he grew older, he began a tradition of devoting oneself intensely to a passion or interest known as the Paths of the Asuryani; the subset of Eldar who had fled the birth of the soul-consuming entity tied to their species' actions in the late stages of their empire aboard the Craftworlds before it was too late. He has registered passing through the paths of the poet, the writer, cooking, painting, even a brief flirtation with the path of the warrior that lasted about five years until he settled on the assortment of paths revolving around his culture's sorcerous traditions under the tutelage of his father; Farseer Vrailius Ardanesh. A path he has remained in for twenty years.

    Alyrsero arms himself with the magoactive weapon designated "singing spear" which moves according to his will and thought, is capable of significantly greater shield and armour penetration than a standard disruptor weapon, can be thrown and recalled with great accuracy and speed, and project his energies through it to amplify the damage he can do at a distance. While the Eldar's pressing need for manpower has pushed their culture to start ever younger with combat training, he took a shining to it few of his peers could match. Even with his father pushing him harder than most of his companions at his shrine due to expecting more of his son. Like most Eldar born after the loss of the "Great Enemy's" grip on their soul, his mastery of powers came early and in greater quantities than his ancestors. While his broad range of abilities, including the usage of the force known as "Chamon", Pyromantic abilities, Divinitation. Eldar Runic spells, Telekinetics and Telepathics, and even the force of "Hysh" are formidable, he still carries a twin-linked monomolecular shuriken pistol should he feel the need, while his armour offers both physical protection and mystical defenses; as well as the ability to alter fate to prevent hits from occurring.

    Sardonic, convinced of the depths of his own intelligence, reluctant to admit to needing help when overwhelmed, and snobbish; his chief weakness is that he is often so busy burying himself into the past or studying the future that he can lose sight of the present or of things of more immediate or personal concern to himself. Despite this, he also is regarded as highly empathetic and a reliable friend for companions of his who are in need; and he does seek to provide help where he can. Due to his abilities of clairvoyance, he has self-appointed himself the leader of his group of friends following a detour in the otherworldly conduit network known as the webway forcing them to flee into less charted sections that brought them to this metaverse.

    Samus' Notes: Oh if he is an amateur historian, maybe I could pull him aside and talk to him for a bit? I would bet that he has a massive wealth of knowledge about his own culture and society. Maybe even his personal life too?

    Arne's Notes: He gives me the impression that he is permanently one or two moments away from launching into a prolonged and condescending lecture. I'll have to keep an eye on him before he starts trying to bend our ears.

    Alyrsero's Notes: I am mystified, baffled, and amazed at how your systems could so casually rummage around in my personal records to be entirely honest with you. So for the moment, you have my intrigue rather than my outrage. Even further enhanced by finding myself in the peculiar situation where you are quite obscured to my own clairvoyance.

    "Hrm, aliases. I would wager you are as foreign to this place as we are. Praytell, are you also seeking to uproot the Kintheif cult that has taken root in this small city of Mon'ke-" Alyrsero said before he found Kaeliyae staring more intently at him, making his statement die in his throat before he harrumphed and corrected himself.

    "Humans? Or would the term Genestealer Cult have more meaning to you? Though I must confess you do not have any sign of being from a warptouched reality yourself, armour clad warrior." He said, breathlessly speaking at a pace that unaugmented humans wouldn't have the thinking speed to handle, but the two of you carried out as casually as conversing over the dinner table.

    "If that's what you call the infestation that has taken root in the temple then yes. We're trying to find a way inside without sparking a fight in the streets that would cause collateral damage, and I...I came because I was worried that if your friends went in; they'd disrupt our plans." You said calmly, looking towards the Seer as he tapped at the chin of his helmet.

    "Then we were of one mind! We shall call off our intercept, and hope you will do so in kind." Kaeliyae said with a bow as you quickly realised that she had made a habit of always forming rhymes in her sentences.

    "How many did you split off for that purpose?" Arne asked, trying to get to the point as he always did.

    "Of our octet, two. And that left us for you too." She responded with a gracious bow.

    "How did you evade notice around here? You are hardly inconspicuous." You asked.

    "Glamours are easy to use against those with no experience of the warp. A mere thought devoted to producing the illusion of humanity to your kind. But I can sense that such would never be able to confound yourself. Even less so than I could against the brood of horrors beneath this city." He said, swishing his cloak as he looked towards the complex.

    "The humans of my reality and time would question whether this variant of their homeworld was worth saving or whether it should be consigned to the fire and reduce to ash. It and these other earths we have ventured to are infested with all manner of infiltrators. And I would wager that they have yet to be subsumed in large part because these forces are fighting each other as much as those who would seek to cleanse them. This is hardly a task I'd have taken on my own in ordinary circumstances; this is the work of armies and seer councils but if the Phoenix God has drawn me to this place then it must be for a reason, and I trust the guidance of Asuryan has not lead me astray. But you said that you were with a team yes? One of the ensouled machines, a human with an altered soul, a fae lost from their own realm far, far away, an angel wandering on orders from her heaven, a mutant born of a slum, and a psion from a strange, strange universe yes?" He said, barely stopping or allowing literally anyone else to talk while he rambled on and on and on, Arne taking a second to look towards you.

    "+I think he's going to be at this for a while.+" Skjoldr said to you, though you nodded and remained polite.

    "That's right, though I don't think I know the rest of your group?" Arne said.

    "Myself, the Esdainn, a Bladewizard of the Hyshari, a Deathmaker of the Ynnari, a Warsage of the Aesasurmen, a Spellsinger of the Asrai, a Factormage of the Ithilyani, and a Sorceress of the Druchii who is...unfortunately...my full-blooded sister. To say that we are a dysfunctional and motley crew is to put it lightly; a severe understatement. But we are friends and kin, even if we at times struggle to stand each other's company. The Bladewizard, Ithilyani, my sister, and the Deathmaker are entering the rear of the building as we speak. So the spellsinger and the Warsage should be at your other companions by now. More or less exactly how I predicted it, though you two on the other hand; are much more of an enigma to me. And I am unfond of being left in the dark, so I will allow you to ask questions of me, if you would allow me to question yourself." He said, once again bombarding you with an endless onslaught of words that made you almost want to claw your way into the ground and hide away as he seemed to aggressively seek the most long-winded way to say everything.

    "Are you sure we have the time for this Dawnchild? Even with our reflexes they're probably going to be spending all day probing into every detail." Arne said, looking towards you with concern.

    "Worry not my strange and mysterious fellow guests. We too are beset by the passage of time, so we will not tarry on our quests." Kaeliyae said with a gentle, melodious tone to reassure you.

    "Alright, how did you get here, Alyrsero?" You asked.

    "You peered into my records, you should know. But if you must. We were looking to meet with my sister to celebrate our shared birthday until on the final leg of the journey to a meeting place we were beset by the most strange menagerie of Necrons whom I did recognise, enormously tall piratical reavers who thirsted for flesh and tossed forward legions of emaciated ghouls first whom I did not, radioactive insectile beasts who sprayed some manner of green ichorous assimilating poison wherever they went, and hopelessly lost white armoured humans whose second rate plasma fired some of the slowest projectiles I have ever seen and largely served to get slaughtered. I, using my best judgement, tried to lose the menagerie in the violence that saw me separated from my family and looked for passageways that would take us to safety. Now, I successfully managed to lose them, by also losing ourselves." He said before Kaeliyae waved him off.

    "He managed to achieve his goals but at the expense of us not knowing how to return properly. So now we have been going through these uncharted segments of the webway from reality to reality, seeking what answers we can expediently!" She explained far more succinctly.

    "Now, you have us at a disadvantage. What are your genuine names?"

    "Samus Aran."

    "Arne Skjoldr."

    Not your full names but enough to satisfy his curiosity. "I will ask you further questions when time is not quite as...pressing...shall we get going? The brood mind's telepathy is insufferable to listen in on." Alyrsero groaned.

    "There were some maintenance workers, uninfected, do you know anything of them...are they alright?" You asked as the Shadowseer gave a nod.

    "It seems that the great dragon's kin-thief for at time are giving them berth. But for how long, who can say on this earth?" She replied.

    "We've already sent in two of our team inside, we need to get in and support them as soon as possible." You said, hoping to drag the conversation back to where it needed to be.

    "And so have we. Going in as a single unit would likely get us immediately noticed. But perhaps four teams of four might be able to chart this labyrinth?" Alyrsero suggested, and you couldn't fault him; with your teleporters you could quickly consolidate teams if needed.

    "Alright then." You said with some reluctance.

    "Excellent. We are already here so we may as well go in together." He said as he looked towards the building.

    You checked the hero-team application on your suit and saw the vital statistics of the eldar pop up and then sorting themselves into new groups; conversations had between the two dispatched to the remainder of your team likely filling them in.


    (Hit points are in Shields/Armour/Health, note that not all damage resistances and damage avoidance abilities are equal so some characters might be a lot tankier than they look. Don't worry, you don't have to manage all this, consider this more of a guide to how well your team is shaping up. I'm still not keeping track of this via dice so this is all pretty easy for me to sort through as I do the kriegspiel chats with my buddies)

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 750/750|750/750|750/750 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 500/500|500/500|175/175 Morale: Good. Stress: 0
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1500/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 1000/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5




    "That's everyone then?" You said, getting a nod out of Arne.

    "Okay...then we're going to need a change of plans." Arne said.

    Situation:

    Group 2 is consolidating at the building front entrance while group 4 is consolidating at the building rear entrance.

    Group 3 is on stand by.

    Group 1 is on stand by.

    There are an unknown but very large number of genestealer cultists and likely genestealers in the compound and potentially beyond.

    There are a large number of civilians who might be threatened if the fighting spills outside.

    This is not a PRT sanctioned operation, as such you will not be automatically coordinated with local heroes, who may be compromised already.

    You and the Eldar can tell who is already infected and who isn't.

    The Genestealers are as of yet, unaware that you are coming.

    There is no time to swap group members around due to Group 2 and 4 already starting.


    Please list your choices as [X] Plan: Whatever for the vote counter's sake.


    Group Actions (As a Team)

    []: Go in through the vent into the office (Lots of computers, might have valuable information on their intranets)
    []: Go in through the Kitchen (poorly monitored, quick path downwards)
    []: Phase into the catacombs (Immediately leads you to an important relevation, but a lot of enemies are there. You can take the Eldar with you by holding them. This is however, socially awkward and will likely lead to interesting conversations with them that can lead to interesting places.)
    []: Phase in through a wall into the nearest unoccupied room (guaranteed lack of observation, only a random chance of finding anything useful straight away. You can take the Eldar with you by holding them. This is however, socially awkward and will likely lead to interesting conversations with them that can lead to interesting places.)
    []: Rescue the Maintenance Workers (Avoids stress roll, guarantees safety of maintenance workers, but you'll need to suggest some actions to do it either unobserved such as having Iybraa try to move some objects near them psychically to make them walk back out; or what you'd want to do if you're kicking in the door. Arcee will disapprove)
    []: Consolidate with Group 4
    []: Consolidate with Group 2
    []: Consolidate with Group 3
    []: Write in

    Samus Actions:

    []: Check the building wi-fi for any possible files or relevant data that might be relevant to this group's acitivity's that you may not have been able to extract from the internet.
    []: Take point, Use the Echo-visor to see who or what might be making noise inside the building as well as the direction and locations of the sound.
    []: Take point, Use the Thermal Visor to check for heat signatures before entering.
    []: Hang Back: Keep to the morph-ball to retain a lower and stealthy profile with the aid of the frequency suit's vibrational absorption.
    []: Hang Back: Move-in quietly and stealthily to use your visor suite to determine possible threats, calling them out as they appear.
    []: Ask the group to delay a bit to set up buffs. (Costs some time)
    []: Write in

    Arne Actions:

    []: Use your ship's deep penetration scanners to try and peer deeper into the possible makeup of the catacombs and acquire a better map before entering..
    []: Take point, establish all possible alternate routes near point of entry to take a look for passageways and possible ambush points.
    []: Take point, Use a combination of the Ghost Suit and the Temporal distort and Blink Pack to go from point to point to silently scout out the area.
    []: Hang Back: Remain in the vents in the psycho-morph to monitor the situation from above, moving in and out as needed.
    []: Hang Back: Establish a rear guard against any possible ambushes, ensuring escape routes remain open.
    []: Find a connection to the building's CCTV system to get a look at what the Genestealers are seeing.
     
    Last edited:
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 5)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X] Plan Deep Scan

    Group
    [X]: Go in through the vent into the office (Lots of computers, might have valuable information on their intranets)

    Samus
    [X]: Check the building wi-fi for any possible files or relevant data that might be relevant to this group's acitivity's that you may not have been able to extract from the internet.

    Arne
    [X]: Use your ship's deep penetration scanners to try and peer deeper into the possible makeup of the catacombs and acquire a better map before entering..

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 750/750|750/750|750/750 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 500/500|500/500|175/175 Morale: Good. Stress: 0
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1500/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 1000/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5


    Arne

    "We should head into the office...can you two fit in vents?" You said, looking over to your Eldar allies, your red eyes having a brief moment to scan through the readouts of the building and its known floorplan. They didn't have any altmode capabilities that you knew of. But Kaeliyae was dressed like a circus performer so you expected some contortionism out of her. At the very least she seemed very...flexible and...you swallowed a bit as you shifted your legs slightly due to an awkward sensation. This was rather inappropriate, she was a stranger...

    You looked at Samus who regarded the maintenance workers with a feeling of tension through her.

    "Are we going to leave them?" She asked.

    "The skeins of fate don't seem to hold their doom as falling this day." Alyrsero said, making her sigh in relief.

    (Stress roll passed)

    "Anyway, Kaeliyae?" You asked.

    "Vent passage is an old hat. I shall move with the grace of a cat." She said with confidence in her voice as Samus started to tap into the local wi-fi to get a connection to some of the computers that weren't part of the planet's internet.

    "These files aren't encrypted very well, but I'm not finding a lot of incriminating evidence. Mostly business transactions and things to show inspectors." Samus said with a frustrated sigh as she lowered her hand from her helmet and looked to you with a shake of her head.

    "Genestealer Cultists can store memories in their brood mind. They don't need to keep software data for their operations on these ancient computers. I doubt they'll have anything more than is absolutely necessary on their devices, but from what I can determine, the portents for discovering something of import on their more isolated mainframes are somewhat good. So far be it from me to discourage you." Alyrsero said, folding his robes and cloak around his front as you nodded and had a look at the wall.

    "I'll have my fightercraft run its deep penetration scans...hopefully we'll get a better layout of the compound." You said, following multiple layers of advice. First was your training; never go into indoor labyrinths without doing everything you can to get a good map going. Second was that the conduits of destiny seemed to indicate greatly increased likelihood of someone getting seriously hurt, dead, or...worse if you went in unprepared. Third was that you weren't keen on going into a building full of vent crawlers unless you had a good idea of possible ambush points.

    The Sleipnir passed overhead in cloaked mode, high in the mesosphere and away from possible prying eyes. Its scanners made a composite sweep across multiple spectra and with multiple devices; including a ship scale version of the echo visor to analyse the vibration of matter to form an image of the sound below. What you got showed that the catacombs stretched down rather deeper than expected even before the ship noted that there were seismograph cloaks in use to prevent this very sort of early scouting. They went down below the sewer lines and started spreading outwards until the cloaks prevented the Sleipnir from getting any further data. But the interior of the building was easier at least.

    A maze of offices, corridors, storage spaces, community rooms, lecture halls, everything you'd expect out of a particularly ostentatious brand of twenty-first century monotheistic religion tailor-made to appeal to the aesthetics of American Christianity. You sent the map out to the others, using your scan visor to upload the psychic information to Kaeliyae who gave you a nod before she passed it out to her kin dutifully, arming them with the sword of knowledge and the shield of forewarning.

    "Okay, I'll go in first." You said, it was the logical choice. You were the most melee suited of the group thanks to your shock coil and your slightly greater physical strength than Samus. In corridors where you might not necessarily have enough room to easily switch places.

    "If you are willing to test yourself against Genestealer claws, be my guest. Hopefully you will fare better than humans do in this sort of situation." Alyrsero said as Samus raised her hand.

    "I'll cover the rear, make sure nobody who shouldn't be following gets close." She said, pumping her arm cannon and cocking her wrist gun.

    "Then I shall take the middle position. Now quickly, that we may end this tyrannic superstition." Kaeliyae said as she put her staff on her back, huffing a bit as you scanned the side of the building after getting into position, signalling for the group to follow you down the street once Kaeliyae reenabled the spell of invisibility. The short crossing of the street going by cars that seemed to be moving still to your perception of time giving way to a quick bit of architectural analysis.

    It was a stately looking white set of walls pockmarked with many windows that you made note to not bump into. The flat roof eventually gave way to a steeple and some majestic looking spires, and the stained glass on some of the windows clearly depicted scenes of strange, alien things giving enlightenment to the ignorant. Sequences of transfiguration, ascension, and understanding played out across the large windows over what you assumed to be service rooms or facilities specifically for the priesthood's religious requirements; while more conventional windows allowed in the light of the sun for more secular rooms. Snow dusted the sills, rooftops, and much of the outlying machinery such as air conditioning units.

    You jumped up to the vent exit you had spotted, carefully unscrewed the grate, and placed it onto the air conditioning unit next to you, looking back at the group behind you as Samus activated her flight unit and moved behind you.

    "Can you two make the jump?" You asked, looking down at the two Eldar, Kaeliyae giving an eager nod and bow while Alyrsero remained quiet and put his spear away.

    "A moment pl-" Alyrsero said before you fired off your grapple tether from your arm cannon hand and yanked him up to you, a surprised wail coming from him as you tugged him towards some handholds that he quickly purchased his fingers into before he hissed.

    "Perhaps a bit of warning next time? At least when I've travelled with humans they tended to offer me that as a courtesy." He hissed.

    "I am human." You said bluntly as you let the electric blue grapple energy fade.

    "Are you? Perhaps by birth. But by spirit? You could hardly be called Mon'ke-...Human." He said, catching himself before he finished saying what you were pretty sure was a slur in his language.

    "Let's not debate xenoethnicity right now. Come on, come on. Get going before someone notices!" Samus urged, clearly annoyed with the burgeoning debate as you rolled into the psycho-sphere; your own ball like alternate mode for when the psycho-morph's sides were too prominent to easily squeeze inside. Kaeliyae followed, a masterful acrobatic leap and flip easily bringing her into a crawling position into the vents while Alyrsero grumbled as he pulled himself up and started crawling inside; Samus being the last inside; briefly unmorphing in a prone position to reattach the grate to prevent suspicions being raised; changing back into her alternate form immediately after using a quick low power burst from the laser cutter to give the grate a slight welding into place.

    Inside, the chattering of the Brood Mind was more intense, and you could hear distant skittering through the vent systems; which were clearly enlarged from what was standard to allow for more room to move around. You weren't big on the idea of fighting inside of these vents, especially when two of your entry team were lacking in any efficient means to fight off would-be aggressors while prone like this. Finding the exit into an office room came as a relief; your alt-mode extending its limbs and detaching the grate leading into the empty office before skittering out like some large and terrible insect; crawling along the ceiling and then the wall with the spider-morph upgrade before you unmorphed and extended your arms to quietly catch the rest of the group as Kaeliyae undid the spell of invisibility.

    She landed in your embrace, a brief glance shared between you two before you set her down as you flushed and tried to look away, harrumphing until it was the Warlock's turn to be caught in such a way, a quick stammer coming from him as you set him down and a shake of his head being followed by him dusting off his robes before Samus dropped down; a brief affectionate headbutt being shared between you two when you had your limbs wrapped around each other.

    The room was full of computers. Row after row. Server mainframes could be seen in the next room, while the monitors here were all black; their towers currently in off-mode. You gave a brief boost to Samus as she reattached the grate above, letting her back down and noting the carpeted floor and the immaculately clean walls. Your suit's olfactory sensors informed you that the place smelled of well...twenty first century cleaning products, harshly regulated air and that scent of dustless carpet.

    Samus quickly took a look through the stored data on the computers, using thee hard connections of the towers in here in the hopes of finding something that she might not have been able to from outside.

    "The Adeptus Mechanicus would not give a half glance to most of these ancient heaps of junk. Vaul blessed look at it; silicon and copper." Alyrsero said with clear disdain as he examined one of the monitors and towers after Samus had pushed on the on-button of one of the computers to get to work.

    "Human technology had to get started somewhere. So it might as well find its origins from what gifts sand has to bear." Kaeliyae said with a soft smile beneath her mirror mask as she sat herself at one of the swivel chairs and spun around, sprawling on it like a dancer with a leg raised and amusing herself with a delightful laugh as she rotated at high speeds. A girlish "whee!" coming from her as she gave herself a quick spin. Samus also sat down, her scan visor perusing the endless files while you kept on checking the door with the echo visor, Alyrsero looking up at the vent system with an uneasy breath.

    "Junk isn't quite right...these computers are modified with nonstandard technology produced by Stalkware." Samus said.

    These Computer Mainframes, despite aesthetically resembling the expected norms for computers of this era, internally have been outfitted with technology well beyond the means of this planet's civilians. Modifications include solid-state metamorphic circuits which while inferior to Federation standard designs; are able to easily handle any computing demands conceivable in this time while still being similar enough to silicon wafers in appearance to fool observers lacking in the proper equipment. The computer's records indicate that they are often used to play newly released and technically demanding video games as part of a means to entice youth with entertainment activities. Financial records show that the Church has made a massive number of such entertainment product purchases, offering them as a reward to youth interested in joining or as part of a package to ensure that parents who may wish to join can be assured that their children will have their entertainment needs met. Records also show a large number of gaming console purchases.

    Following the conversion of a number of game development and publishing studio heads to the religion; a number of games have also been produced under the explicit patronage of the ecumenical society that the Church of the Star Traveller belongs to. Others are simply funded out of the deep pockets of the religious establishment, as part of a marketing campaign by the organisation to pose itself as a place of "fun as well as enlightenment that can be enjoyed as part of an ever-expanding community." Based on log-in records, this campaign has been hugely successful, with the Church attracting large numbers of disaffected or impoverished youth who would otherwise not be able to afford such products, or are lacking in any regular circle of friends who could be expected to play with them face to face.

    The means of acquiring this technology are not listed on the records. They were most likely developed by the Church itself in secret based on plans from their metaverse of origin, allowing themselves to make use of superior computers without revealing their technological superiority. However, network compartmentalization devised in expectation of possible observation of technokinetic parahumans ensures that many other forms of data are not available from these computers.

    Samus' Notes: Everything I learn about these...Genestealers paints them as some sort of societal predator, lurking in camouflage among the population and tailoring their religion to what they think the people are hurting for. They're clever, which means they're incredibly dangerous. And clearly much better at computer security than the Weltreich. This sort of sophistication is...hrm, I'd need to see more before I can make my judgement. But I don't like what I'm learning. If they're already this rooted into power structures then getting them out is...how do we even start? And if they're spread throughout the other metaverses I....I'm going to need to think about how to deal with this.

    Arne's Notes: From what I'm seeing, Genestealers seem to be perfectly adapted to incorporating host species into their lifecycle. Parasites on a societal scale. If that were the end of it, that would be dangerous enough, but the way they speak of the coming of gods from beyond the reaches of this world tells me that they're adapted to prepare the way for what I can only assume are the harvesting organisms sent out to collect the seeds they sowed. They already have technological superiority for one thing, and with the way they're amassing converts and based on what I can foresee...they're probably preparing for a takeover of some sort.

    "I already have enough trouble with the concepts behind the institutions of "money", don't seek to regale me with babble about this "corporate world" as so many of the humans here already have." Alyrsero said as he kept his sentry watch, folding his arms over in front of his chest.

    "I don't really get it either, even in this time they produce enough to let everyone live at least comfortably if they shared the burdens and rewards equitably." Samus said, getting a nod of agreement out of you.

    "But it does mean that the technology isn't from here." You said.

    "The Kin-Thief have assimilated the knowledge of countless societies and all of their secrets. They will have already developed the means to ensure their task of consigning this world to bleakness." Kaeliyae said, humming as if she were just telling a funny little story.

    "I'm not going to give up on this or any other planet!" Samus snapped, growling at the end of her sentence as she tightened her expression beneath her helmet.

    "Such fierce yet noble rage! Praytell, for what do you consign yourself to this; an emotional cage?" Kaeliyae asked in a singsongy voice.

    "I've seen enough worlds die..." Samus said with a colder tone, tensing her throat and holding back her choler as Kaeliyae seemed to shift her mood to something more dour, frowning beneath her mirror mask.

    "Oh my, please don't cry. I had no intention to pry." Kaeliyae said, her tone clearly regretful.

    "Tragedy motivates you both I would assume. Tragedy to separate you from your human heritage to make you more." Alyrsero said, surprisingly insightful for someone you had written off as a cryptic and arrogant ass.

    "And what about it?" You said, not quite giving him a straight answer out of a sensation of unease around someone whose probes across the conduits of destiny made you slightly uneasy. It was something like talking to the older progenitors, particularly the ones you lacked familiar with. Always wondering whether they knew what you would say in advance.

    "Anger born of tragedy is a path to both righteous outrage; and the darkest sort of bloodfury. Be careful lest your anger end up consuming you." Alyrsero cautioned, almost making you roll your eyes on the spot before letting out a strained exhale and looking back at the echo-visor's view.

    "You still have both parents." You said pointedly as Alyrsero gave it a moment of thought.

    "Please! Stop fighting." Samus hissed, clearly irritated that the argument had gotten started at all and not wanting it to go a step farther. But you got a quick ping on the group chat system.

    Arcee: They've got us made.
    Tyrius: Bald guy took a look at me once I got into a room with him behind the main chamber and tried to stare into my eyes and get me to relax with one of the girls in the cult. She uh, showed me to a bedroom and as I was trying to back out some freaky thing with four arms dropped down.
    Raelamiel: Yo what the fuck kind of sex cult is this? They're coming out the walls now!
    Galen: Really glad I'm packing a rotary gun right now.
    Idaliryn: We shall move to support the humans and the machine-woman. As soon as we get through this brood.
    Clarioli: Can we make our way through such a tide?
    Idaliryn: Let's find out together!
    Marcus: Hey, where do you need my group at?
    Iybraa: You guys have maybe...five seconds before they catch up to you.
    Elendria: I am quite astonished as to how you haven't noticed a cult of this size earlier.
    Ormothin: They don't have witches of their own.

    You heard something hissing in the distance that didn't sound like mere air pressure. And you looked to the left briefly before the wall opened up with secret hinges to seamlessly let through something that was fast; outpacing its own sound for a moment before stopping and flashing deadly claws at you, identifying you as one of the primary threats. Your senses exploded into overdrive and you quickly extended your left arm's blade to deal with the incoming attacker, the monster's somewhat man-sized body tensing with muscles like lightspeed coils as it pulled itself back out of the charge and extended its jaws from a short, powerful head to let out a roar, bouncing between the floor and ceiling to escape a cascade of bolts fired from Samus' arm cannon; six limbs scuttling faster than bullets.



    Analysis of Entity, matched to Eldar records names this entity as a member of a species known as the "Tyranid Genestealer" or "Kin Thief of the Great Dragon" among many other names to the many species of its native metaversal cluster. The organism is extremely fast, proofed against nearly all conventional man-portable firearms of the current time period, possesses enormous strength and quark sharp claws able to cut through most forms of matter with ease when combined with the strength of the user. While user armour will be sufficient to survive the claws unshielded, tissue damage will be virtually unavoidable if it manages to engage user unarmoured. The creature's lifecycle subverts that of its host species via ovipostor infection, taking over their reproductive cycle and indoctrinating victims into the localised hive mind of the cults that they establish as a vanguard organism for the fleets of the rest of its relatives; a hive minded homogenising swarm referred to as the "Tyranids" or "Great Dragon" among countless other recorded names; a swarm well known for devouring all matter and energy they come across in enormous armadas driven to consume by their overwhelming collective hunger and urge to multiply. A swarm believed to have consumed at the very least; billions of galaxies in their entirety and whose encroachment on the "Garden of the Old Ones", a sphere of space some five billion light-years across centered around the milky way has been considered a sign of impending apocalypse by many cultures.

    Cross-referencing data with Autobot records have shown that Tyranid "hive fleets" are also making their presence felt in other realities being joined by the events, but Autobot theories currently rule out the Tyranids being the primary cause of the reality convergence. However, it has lead to an increasing proliferation of Genestealers and other scouting organisms who are set on not merely preparing the way for their parent organisms but also sampling the genetics of local organisms to see if they have anything of interest to the Tyranid gestalt consciousness. Trace analysis indicates that these Genestealer cults have carefully studied parahumans and metahumans and the chances of encountering Genestealers with parahuman or metahuman powers is extremely high. The strength of the Genestealer localised hive mind is enough to shackle the extradimensional passenger's desires to the brood mind's own thoughts, allowing them more control over these powers than most parahumans can manage.

    This Genestealer seems to be largely baseline but has had augments compared to Eldar records; with enhanced speed and strength. Despite this, the Genestealer is relatively fragile and will be downed by most of your weapons. Homing weapons able to track the genestealer or wide area weapons such as the spazer-beam augmented beam are recommended to engage the Genestealer in areas where the Genestealer has room to dodge. Melee against Genestealers is only recommended to prevent them from closing with more vulnerable allies or to pull a genestealer brood's attention to yourself. Note that Genestealers also have hypnotic gazes, and can subvert the wills of those who stare into their eyes, and are nearly silent while moving when they do not wish to be heard. Head shots are highly recommended as the Genestealer's biology will allow it to persist through most other injuries long enough to make an attack unless the brain and spinal column are destroyed.

    Samus' Notes: Now this I think, is the sort of fight I was born for. If I have to take on billions of these things to save this world from their parent organisms; then I'm going to do it gladly. Hopefully I can get something to cure the infected sooner or later, and figure out some way to deal with their hive fleets. I have to, but for now...I think I'm going to enjoy this.

    Arne's Notes: Samus is already looking forward to this fight, I can just feel it. Their interest in these worlds is clearly rooted in biologies they haven't encountered before. If we don't do enough to stop their parent organisms from receiving the information they're harvesting we're going to have a much bigger problem to worry about. But if it's a fight they want, Agadhar Ivask Slauganth[1]

    Alyrsero threw forth a wall of force, pushing the Genestealer off the ceiling and letting your Shock Coil erupt from your arm cannon; the tendrils of conversion energy erupting out of your cannon, turning matter into bolts of electricity and concentrated streams of neutrinos and then leaping into the enemy; ripping its entire atomic structure apart in an eyeblink, ash falling to the ground as you heard roaring all around you.

    "We're in a kill box, move!" You said, opening the door and rushing forward as you saw more of the Genestealers barreling towards you. Bald cultists with sharpened teeth raised strange looking guns towards you that you identified as slugthrowers; barking to life with a volley of metal launched by chemical reactions far in excess of what cartridges native to this world should be able to; hypersonic rounds advancing to you in slow motion as you sidestepped the volley of rounds and let loose with your beam down range, sweeping multiple mutated cultists in a single shot while Samus tackled a Genestealer trying to reach for Alyrsero as he sent light cascading downrange into a mass of cultists exploding out of doors; burning them to ash.

    The stealer flailed in her grip before she twisted its head off and tossed it at a cultist hard enough to reduce him to pulp, but the remains quickly disappeared in snapping sounds.

    "Mediporteers." Samus said with a hiss as she shot a missile downrange at cultists in heavier armour; the eruption of the missile expanding in a wave of anti-energy that froze everything in the way as Kaeliyae pushed open a door into another hallway, lightning exploding from her fingertips and her mist staff smashing in the head of a monstrous three-armed cultist who had emerged with a gun pointed to her head.

    You backed into the room, blade emerging and sweeping through another Genestealer as it closed with you, slicing it in half in an across motion.

    You looked down, seeing an entryway to the lower levels as more of the cultists were closing in on your position; each of Samus' shots claiming the reaper's toll and a pile of ash or ice.

    "Down we must go. Here we will find only the foe." Kaeliyae said, her shuriken pistol slicing through a bald-headed and seemingly unmutated cultist until he disappeared in a display that made you glad you were mostly fine with the sight of blood.

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 640/750|750/750|750/750 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 350/500|500/500|175/175 Morale: Good. Stress: 0
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1400/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1150/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5

    Situation:

    Group 4 is moving to reinforce Group 2.

    Group 3 is on standby

    The Genestealer cult is now aware of your presence and will continually attack you until they deem it necessary to withdraw.

    A very large genestealer cult force is converging on your position from all sides.

    The genestealer cult priority is to infect you; thus they will seek to cut your shielding and remove your helmet. You are likely immune, but best not to test it.

    The Genestealer Cult is well equipped and will be moving in better assets soon.

    The weapons exchange is audible outside of the building, so it is likely there will be responders.

    Most local vigilantes, villains, and protectorate heroes are not likely to survive against the Genesteealers.

    The Genestealer Cult has mediporter technology from Primal Earth and as such losses will be recovered in an offsite facility unless you kill the target too completely for the biopods to recover. Unlike restore stations in your own metaverse they can't regrow a completely new body for the soul to inhabit from a saved state.

    Group 2 is being overwhelmed due to the multiple vectors of Genestealer attacks.

    Your current corridor order is Arne>Kaeliyae>Alyrsero>Samus.


    Actions: (As always, label your votes under [x] Plan: Whatever)

    League Options (Can pick one order option and one team teleport option):

    []: Order Team 2 to move towards Team 4
    []: Order Team 2 to hold its ground and make a defensible position
    []: Order Team 2 to make a fighting retreat to more defensible ground
    []: Have Team 3 teleport in to aid you
    []: Have Team 3 teleport in to aid team 4
    []: Have Team 3 teleport in to aid Team 2.

    Group Options:
    []: Shuffle corridor order (Specify who should be in front, who should be in second etc, and who should be in the rear) Not necessary at the moment.
    []: Cast buffs to improve combat capabilities (will attract more genestealers due to warp phenomenon)
    []: Smash your way to a lower floor (Don't have to take the stairs, but you'll be less prepared for whatever's below)
    []: Find cover to hold and clear out the local area (Lose progress but make it less likely to take damage)
    []: Charge! (Risk more damage but clear out more of the enemy and make more progress)
    []: Advance by fire (Neutral option)
    []: Write in

    Samus Extra combat Options:
    []: Make use of the alt-mode to weave in and out of combat, laying down bombs, boost attacks, alt-mode melee and other weapons while maintaining a low profile, making it hard for the enemy to get a bead on you at the expense of some damage.
    []: Deploy Rotor Blade shields (Send out rotor blades to carve the enemy apart and block incoming attacks)
    []: Make usage of super missiles (Will damage the building but clear out a very large number of enemies at a time)
    []: Focus on using charged shots (Reduces rate of fire but makes the damage you deal much greater, letting you sweep corridors in single shots)
    []: Freeze the surfaces (Makes the surfaces of the combat area slippery and thus more difficult for the enemy to make use of them)
    []: Speed boost! (Smash through everything in your way to run down to where you need to go.)
    []: Write in

    Arne Extra Combat Options:

    []: Focus on using the Shock Coil (negates most of the enemy's ability to dodge, continually refilling your shielding and repairing whatever damage your body and armour take too)
    []: Move into melee (Tank for the rest of the team, occupying the attentions of enemy hordes; will take more damage but keeps other team mates safer)
    []: Focus on usage of seeker missiles (highly effective against large swarms of enemies, will consume more missile ammo and damage the structure though)
    []: Corrosion Projector Assault (Push forward with the corrosion projector on your munitions launcher, melting most things in front of you; but it leaves a rather unpleasant mess)
    []: Grapple Combat (Use your grapple beams to yank the enemy around, making it harder for them to close, letting you drain select foes, and also getting to use them as clubs)
    []: Focus on the Autoflak (As an AoE rapid firing subweapon, this is one of the ideal circumstances for it; but keep in mind that it does use a lot of UA.)
    []: Write in

    [1]: Uskarlyc term meaning "Until I reach slauganth." I.E: Until I honour myself to escape the cycle of reincarnation and transcend to the final reward.
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 6)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X] Plan: Consolidate Forces
    League Options (Can pick one order option and one team teleport option):
    [X]: Have Team 3 teleport in to aid Team 2.
    [X]: Order Team 2 to hold its ground and make a defensible position
    Group Options:
    [X]: Advance by fire (Neutral option)
    Samus Extra combat Options:
    [X]: Focus on using charged shots (Reduces rate of fire but makes the damage you deal much greater, letting you sweep corridors in single shots)
    Arne Extra Combat Options:
    [X]: Focus on using the Shock Coil (negates most of the enemy's ability to dodge, continually refilling your shielding and repairing whatever damage your body and armour take too)

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 640/750|750/750|750/750 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 350/500|500/500|175/175 Morale: Good. Stress: 0
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1400/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1150/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5



    Genestealer Acolyte Hybrids are first or second-generation hybrids of Genestealers and humans. As the admixture of genetics is so heavily weighted towards the Tyranid infestation in the genome, Acolyte Hybrids are visibly aberrant from the human norm, displaying additional limbs, a more stooped and predatory posture, unusual skin tones, claws, and sharpened teeth as well as short tails. First-generation hybrids will typically possess at least one extra pair of limbs, while second-generation hybrids usually only have one additional limb and vestigial remnants of the other extra limbs that tyranids possess compared to Earth Tetrapods. Acolyte Hybrids also have greatly enhanced reflexes, durability, endurance, regeneration, metabolic efficiency, and strength compared to the baseline human norm and due to possessing built in claws as well as added appendages; are much more dangerous than is normal for an unarmed human in close combat.

    They will typically also have the rending claws of their alien parents, occasionally replaced instead by the quicker and more nimble scything talons or the psychically active boneswords; and more rarely by the brute power of biomorphs such as crushing claws or the paralyctic abilities of lash whips. Due to the adaptability of the Tyranid genome, the capabilities of Acolytes can vary wildly, but all possess aptitudes for complex machinery, the memories of their parents and indeed the entirety of the Genestealer Hive Mind, and more than enough dexterity to operate tools and various forms of weapons. While preferring close quarters combat, they are more than capable of operating at a distance, some even preferring to use their extra arms to hold multiple weapons at a time. Be cautious for pistols or grenades.

    Analysis of the weapons utilised by the Cultists demonstrates relatively consistent patterns likely derived from technology from their home reality. This includes ultrahigh-velocity autoguns with high penetration slugs capable of kinetic energy far beyond the assault rifles of this world, laser weapons, assorted weaponised mining or industrial tools, more powerful and concentrated explosive devices, and even rocket-launched warhead weapons and the occasional plasma or thermonuclear vent weapon. Body armour and biomorphs for additional capabilities and endurance is also variable. Many ideas from local humans having been adopted into the capabilities of the Cult, adding to their list of weapons and potential threats. Due to their telepathy, caution should be used when engaging due to enemy situational awareness superiority.


    Primarily comprised of third and fourth generation Genestealer Hybrids, Neophytes have a far easier time passing for humans; particularly when utilising treatments to guise lingering phenotypical changes such as skin tone and baldness. Neophytes will also have enhanced physiologies altered by the Tyrannohelix infestation in their genome to better suit the cult's needs and as such are greatly above the human average in terms of physical capabilities. With more dextrous hands, they are much more capable of using more standard marks of weapons without being restricted to specialist models with grips designed for genestealer claws, and as such typically make use of more finesse dependent tools and devices. This is augmented by the memory sharing of the brood mind; allowing for the hybrids whose growth rate can be altered by the demands of the hive mind to immediately preform to fighting standards.

    While third generation hybrids will still typically have patches of chitinous carapace and altered cranial proportions, fourth-generation hybrids are virtually indistinguishable from humans and are even generally considered attractive and extremely physically fit samples of their species. Hair implantations are used to guise the lack of hair growth characteristic to hybrids and to enhance desirability to spread the infestation further. These generations of hybrids also display a strongly enhanced tendency to have a connection to the Pleromic coextant surreality referred to as "The Warp" that they can make use of in combat useful ways; greatly enhancing their dangerous capabilities.

    Human hybrids will also display an increased likelihood of having para or metahuman powers much like their purestrain counterparts, and it is likely that a number of capes are actually fourth generation hybrids in disguise. Fourth-generation hybrids seem to be more likely to show these abilities; likely as part of cape community infiltration methods. In combat, Neophyte hybrids will typically prefer to remain at a distance; making use of conventional infantry tactics in coordination with their more close-quarters capable kin.



    These hybrids are divergents from the typical Genestealer cult lifecycle and make constant use of more complex and readily identifiable Tyrannic biomorphs and bioweapons. Whereas the likes of scything talons or crushing claws are a rarity among Acolytes, among metamorphs they are a universality. More esoteric biomorphs such as toxin sacs, parasite implantation organs, feeder tendrils, or regeneration nodes are also plentiful on Metamorphs, and their biologies are often tailor made as they are born, hatched, or cloned in large numbers for any conceivable purpose. Ranged bioweapons are also often seen among them in order to add unconventional distant attack power to the Cult's repertoire.

    Due to their extreme visibility, Metamorphs are typically kept out of sight until needed. However, with the existence of mutates with radically divergent physiologies on Earth Bet and Primal Earth as well as an extensive record of nonhuman presence on primal earth; Metamorphs are often able to act more openly than they can on worlds more familiar with tyrannic varieties. However, their preference for ambush tactics and tendency to develop chameleonic biomorphs results in them still preferring stealth tactics over making themselves particularly visible or obvious to potential threats.

    Metamorphs will typically seek to close into melee with specialist biomorphs, assaulting from unseen avenues and angles and providing support for the purestrains and acolytes. While less agile or strong than their purestrain counterparts, their ability to still make ample usage of many forms of tools allows them to bring to bear a number of pistols and wear added armour over their bodies for some additional protection. Their tremendous degree of morphic variability also allows them to be tailor-made to deal with certain opponents, and many also have implanted powers harvested or copied from the local organic population.



    Genestealer Aberrant Hybrids are exceptions from the typical Genestealer Cult lifecycle who are shaped for massively greater mass, durability, and strength and typically make use of heavy ranged or melee weapons that allow them to make the best possible usage of their superior size and might. While slower than is typical for the highly agile Genestealer Cults, the Aberrants are still much faster than is norm for humans and should not be considered as overly lumbering beasts. Aberrants are also highly mutable and can be altered to possess a wide range of biomorphs and secondary capabilities to augment their raw prowess directed by the cunning Hive Mind of the Cult.

    Aberrants will typically remain hidden until later into a Cult's planned uprising, engaging in fights out of sight or in circumstances where their unusual physiology would be able to pass inspection as not overly out of the norm. With the wider variety of nonstandard phenotypes seen on many of the Earths being linked by the Nexus event, they are able to operate more openly than would be normal in their native realities. Like metamorphs they are also extremely physiologically variable and can be customised for dealing with certain opponents, though they nearly always share a tendency towards a preference for brute power.

    Aberrants will usually either lay down heavy weapons fire or barge into the fray with heavy weapons such as power sledgehammers to crack open tough targets or lay down suppressing fire. Despite their size, they retain the capacity for stealth and silence that all Genestealer derived tyrannomorphs do. And while seemingly simple beasts, the Aberrants are directed by the Brood Mind with clear tactical cunning and purpose as well as a degree of coordination most normal squadrons cannot match. Many aberrants are also outfitted with extra equipment such as tinker derived armour or weapons.

    Samus

    There was no time to be lost. You could handle yourself here, so the standby team needed to ensure that Arcee's group was properly reinforced immediately; before the Genestealers could overwhelm them. You tapped into the communications network as you smashed a genestealer down into the ground with a swing of your arm cannon like a club, the thunder disruptor creating a loud and powerful clapping sound as it smashed the metamorph into steaming paste; Alyrsero's spear digging itself into another metamorph crashing down from the vents above, crackling wraithbone shrieking as it burned the insides of the Tyranid hybrid out right besides you and forcing your helm to filter out a bit of extra noise.

    "+Marcus, you need to help Arcee's group out. We'll be heading down as fast as possible. But you should focus on trying to find Emma. I don't think she'll be in too deep in this facility.+" You said, a charged shot erupting from your cannon; the elemental setting of your beam in gamma mode to scourge a hallway of a mess of incoming hybrids, orange goop spreading outwards from blackened and disintegrating bone while the cascade of bolts bounced around the hall. Each of the radioactive orange bolts exploded every time they bounced; diffusing deadly radiation outwards in clouds of doom that seared through the carpet; bouncing only when they encountered targets they couldn't pass through.

    It would have been enough to obliterate most conventional genestealers, but the hive mind had not set its gaze on these worlds without reason nor had it neglected continually improving its organisms over the millennia of its attack on the Garden of the Old ones in its native reality. Your eyes widened as more resilient cultists, hybrids, and purestrains picked themselves up and started to heal at frankly astonishing rates; even regrowing flesh from nothing. Others were able to pass through the lethal radiation with less than serious injuries, while others even had functioning equipment after the impacts. This was incredibly unideal.

    "+Uh-huh. You sure you don't need help there? You've got contacts literally everywhere I can see.+" He responded before another, reverbing voice cut in.

    "+No time to argue human, the genestealers will tear your companions apart if you do not render assistance.+" She said, her voice stern and wise sounding, clearly well educated in the ways of battle and warfare. Like what you'd expect a seasoned general to sound like if that seasoned general were about your physical age.

    "+Come on, Tyrius and Raelamiel are incarnates, I'm sure they'll be fine.+" Iybraa said before that elfin voice spoke again.

    "+What manner of fool are you to think that the Great Dragon does not know exactly what your well of furies is? Or that even more foolishly; it has not already sunk its efforts into understanding what the sourcewells of your realities have to offer? I looked at what your Paragon City had to offer. You are not ready.+" She said as if scolding a child.

    You gulped slightly, backing away with a jump as a metamorph with mantis like claws from its upper two arms pounced towards you, snapping them in careful arcs like an expertly wielded scythe. Deflecting the heavy swing of an aberrant and pushing Alyrsero out of the way of a coordinated volley of Lasgun shots, you found yourself fenced in by a trio of purestrains, each lashing their claws into you with unnatural speed that allowed them to move in a way to threaten even you. Your shields took the impacts, regenerators working to recover the lost energy as they sought to test them for weakness.

    Samus HP: 1090/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000

    "+...Okay I'm hoping this is just some kind of...alien talking down to earthlings thing.+" Marcus said, his voice tensed and clearly unnerved. You bisected some of the genestealers with your bayonet, smashing the ground with your fist to create a thunderwave to throw more of the genestealers back while Kaeliyae's fusion pistol bathed a number of neophytes in her way in thermonuclear ejecta; the fury of a star smiting them to ash.

    "+She's not one to exaggerate for intimidation.+" A male, gentler voice said, giving your mind the sense of healing and life ever-vibrant while you struck some incoming purestrains with missiles, tearing a few apart before they could get into range. Arne's Rotor saws sent body parts flying around him, blood smearing everywhere and the injured who couldn't regenerate flashing away with the telltale energy signatures of mediporters. A Purestrain that managed to approach his back while he crushed the throat of an acolyte dug its claws towards his helmet, making him grunt before his munitions launcher melted it into chemical soup with a green spray; wrist-gun's shock coil lashing through Neophytes spraying him with lasguns.

    Arne Universal Ammo Count: 278/280

    "+Arcee how is your position faring?+" Arne asked, her feed full of monstrosities of various shapes and sizes rushing at her as she spun a wheel flail in a wide arc in front of her, severing body parts and causing a series of mediportation flashes; her subsonic repeaters howling with vibro-projectiles as fast as they could to cut down Mining Laser armed Acolytes whose intensely powerful bursts managed to bubble burst Galen's shielding; forcing him to the ground as a Purestrain clawed scores into his autobot suit, trying to get at his neck. Raelamiel stabbed the genestealer with thrust from one of her heavenforged swords, blood solidifying around it before she tore it free with a bisecting cut; the angel's other hand making a quick motion and encasing Galen in protective ice.

    "+Operation is completely FUBAR. Repeat, we are getting rapidly overwhelmed here.+" Arcee said as a dozen purestraits leaped at her from behind, clawing in frenzied motions as she let out a grunt of pain; Seacar standing on her shoulder to fire at the Tyranids clambering all over her with an ion blaster to clear them off even as they cut through her shielding and started to dig into her plating. Tyrius' flame erupted around her, reducing the beasts to dust while the Paladin surrounded himself in a holy pyronic aura, shouting out his challenge to the creatures who turned towards him as he took an obvious spot in the circular chamber and let them charge him in a massive mob.

    "+Find a defensible position! Now! You're going to die there!+" Arne said with alarm while he stabbed his bayonet into the brain of an augmented genestealer; its body altered for greater toughness, armour, and strength and coming to a halt when his blue blade shredded through it. You shot a dozen metamorphs that exploded from a panel to his side before one with bulging biobomb sacs could reach him, its explosion churning a dozen of its kin into mulch and a sphere of lightning thrown down the newly revealed passage by Kaeliyae sending the cultists setting up firing positions behind their melee counterparts convulsing into dust on the ground.

    "+Of course, wouldn't want to have too many dance partners on all sides, would I?+" Dozens fell apart with each of Tyrius' swings, hundreds took their place and he was eventually buried in the smothering pile of fanatical organisms; many of those being the same ones that he injured to the point of having to teleport out for healing only to be teleported right back into the fight once repaired. His shielding reached zero but...his armour integrity did not budge even as endless numbers of horrid biobeasts tried to tear at him. Their claws, talons, blades, and tools could not find purchase through his armour even as they ripped at him even through his blazing aura. And then he extended his wings and let the fire engulf the room to burn all who would try to harm him into dust.

    "+I can keep at this all day.+" Tyrius said cooly, his shielding recovering frightfully fast. Arne seemed briefly relieved; your sense of tension relaxing only briefly before you took a chance to fire a charged shot into some vents and grimaced as you heard the death screams of more horrors. Everything it seemed, was a potential vector for attack here. And as such, Tyrius' boast of being able to keep the endless swarm at bay was not something you wanted him to prove. Even he needed help.

    "+But I don't want you to.+" You said, looking to Marcus who sighed in acknowledgement. "+Please, they need you.+" You said as Raelamiel swung herself around like a blender; frosted over bodies fragmenting all around her, frozen gore slipping off of her swords or shattering off of them; some creatures icing over just for getting near her or losing their footing on her icy patches. Many who struck her froze instantly and shattered, others were repelled by her aura or armour, but even as she sent heavenly cold in all directions; the beasts kept coming, more cold resistant ones jumping forward and pushing through the icy death to reach her; cultists trying to stop her arms from moving as the Angel struggled against the horde starting to claw at her; kicking a couch through a horde of them only for one to carve the wayward furniture apart with a swipe of its claws and leap into her face, a foot through its chest obliterating its skull.

    "+Galen, Seacar; powerlink!+" Arcee shouted; letting Galen jump into her hand and combine with a pistol that formed in her hand; followed by Seacar whose forms merged into a larger repeater rifle. Her vital statistics spiked, shielding, armour, and chassis doubling in point count and her resilience to damage growing in turn. Scattering energy beams tore through the monsters, letting them

    "+Alright, but if you need my help; I'm on call you hear?+" Marcus sighed. The idea of him sitting safely outside was starting to make you mad, especially as you had to deflect an Aberrant's powerhammer swing with your own thunder disruptor punch, batting the crackling instrument back and then obliterating its body with a charged shot, plasmic viscerae steaming outwards as Alyrsero threw down walls of telekinetic force down the corridors on either side that hordes of cultists were pouring down, smashing them off their feet and then right into telekine walls he created behind them that compacted them in a rather...messy display. With this kind of fighting, you needed all hands on deck. Why was he wasting so much time?!

    "+Just do it!+" You shouted, Arne's shock coil splitting forth from his arm cannon in a stream of conversion energy; a cascade of electricity and directed super-dense neutrinos lashing through a massive, three and a half meter tall three armed monstrosity that occupied the stairwell in his way, the creature grunting with pain but managing to swing a power hammer blow that could have crushed the Cheyenne Bunker that the boy intercepted with the shield forming around his arm; vaporising the creature with the intensified flow of conversion from his arm cannon.

    "Fate and fortune, guide us oh meagre servants to you oh Laughing God. Comics and Muses, grant us your favour in the fates in this ghastly pod." Kaeliyae said, using the space she was given by Alyrsero sending forth a cascade of white bolts of energy; another charge shot from yourself whose bolts exploded with each bouncing impact; and Arne's whirling rotor-saw to weave a curious blue wind around her hand gestures. You flicked only the briefest of gazes towards the sight while you presented a wall of radioactive fire with each burst from your arm cannon, counting down until the next charge shot was ready.

    You fired again as the blue winds of azyr wrapped around you and then twisted the conduits of fate into better paths, Alyrsero casting sheets of fire down a hallway swarming with acolytes and stepping back as a burning acolyte rushed through, melting apart and lashing at him with its rending claws to try and get one last act of spite through; fate twisting around him by the will of his armour and by sheer luck; the Acolyte stabbed itself in the head with its claws hard enough to decapitate itself. Something you found...rather funny, but your brief attempt at laughing as you provided a rear guard for the group heading down the staircase opened you up to the sudden warning sensation of something approaching fast.

    Hooked tendrils burst out at incredible speed, throwing you back with some force before you absorbed the energy into your frequency suit, releasing the stored impact energy outwards as a conical burst of grey power, rippling across the ground and tossing the foes trying to swarm into the staircase aside while you backpedaled down the stairs.

    Samus HP: 1085/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000

    "No end to the list of gadgets in your armour is there?" Alyrsero said, taking shelter behind your rotor saw while you deflected a fusilade of lasers thrown towards you, lightspeed beams bouncing into the neophytes who fired them and forcing them to take shelter while another charged shot erupted in an orange nova from your cannon. You didn't look at the piles of rapidly plasmafying flesh or the disintegrating bone; you just moved to the next target. There was too much coming at you at once; the building almost seeming to come alive with an unending swarm.

    Grenades dropped from higher levels fell at great speeds until Alyrsero caught them and flung them back at their senders. A prelude to yet further attacks from above from gunners taking up positions in vantage points built into the stairwells to turn them into killing fields. Carriages with twinlinked laser weapons were dragged forward, gun shields allowing them to ignore any accidental friendly fire before they were depressed to your position while your wrist gun scythed through a number of cloned acolytes trying to crawl down the walls to reach you.

    The multilasers let rip at lightspeed, not high in armour penetration capability, but still attempting to obscure your vision in the overlapping fields of fire of no less than six of the multilasers. You were already in motion, your agility alpha power infused into you helping you with dancing around the rapid pitter-patter of multilasers set up in alcoves above you, angling your sword to deflect the beams back to their senders until your munitions launcher lobbed some explosives right back at them, detonating morph ball bombs in their ranks and causing the power packs of the weapons to detonate in a red flash. A mining laser impact stabbed into you as you swung around, the multilasers having preformed their jobs of distracting you.

    Empowered by the technology grabbed from infected tinkers, the Mining Laser struck hard; its base form already meant to cut through meters thick bulkheads. It didn't quite hurt, but your suit registered the potent impact with warning symbols flaring into you as your shielding absorbed the damage and your frequency suit charged with a fresh burst ready. But even before you could return fire, Kaeliyae retaliated with lighting that turned the offending acolyte to a pile of dust, leaving your own shielding to regenerate on its own.

    Samus HP: 1070/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000

    The foe was relentless; bobbing and weaving its assets out of range in an effort to prevent you from getting better shots, quickly realising that you were able to fire through cover and adjusting their movements accordingly. As many were well accustomed to dodging lasgun fire; your own energy projectiles; while difficult to avoid; were not impossible, as shown by a purestrain threading the needle of your charged shots to set up a leap at you. Your rocket pods ripped down range, airbursting with incendiary munitions hot enough to reduce Tungsten to ash and clear out an entire hall of monsters while Arne's multi-missiles flared out around the stair-well; combined with his seeker missiles and pyro-missiles to leave nothing but burning ash in front of him.

    One hundred and twenty multi-missiles flew out from his back, spreading in all directions and then striking every stealer cultist his suit identified while your rockets dealt with the remainder. The room rumbled and shook with detonation after detonation; the building somehow managing to stay intact through what you surmised was the usage of nonstandard materials as well as you not charging up your explosives. Bright flashes of light and motes of ashen dust pockmarked your vision and the death screams of beasts beyond measure filled your ears. Alyrsero pulled at the fires that were born of the incendieries, weaving them into a band around him with an incantation while his spear glowed; and Kaeliyae quickly pointed to a door of interest.

    For a moment, everything was quiet, the shrieking of the monstrosities subsiding as they pulled back to safer ground. They were clearly studying your responses, and a look around with your echo visor told you that they were still present; simply reconsolidating as Arne shoved open the metal door in his way with an effortless push, leaving you to slam it shut behind you.

    "How many more?" Arne asked, taking a look at his universal ammo count for a moment.

    Arne Universal Ammo Count: 268/280.

    He would likely need to restock soon at this point lest he be forced to do without his primary method of augmenting his durability.

    "With their teleportation systems? Functionally without number. You cannot hope to simply kill your way through this cult. You will need to strike them in the heart. Something we would have been able to do without complication had you not arrived." Alyrsero said, dusting off his cloak of the Tyranid biomatter that had congealed on it.

    "If you want to insult us just say it to my face." You scowled at the Eldar who gulped slightly before Kaeliyae raised her hand.

    "He means no offense. Please let's not compromise our defense." Kaeliyae said humbly with a gracious bow. "We were just set on a plan of quiet insertion and withdrawal, to achieve our precise aim and then to pull back. But now that the swarm is fully aware of our presence we will need to take more aggressive recourse to deal with that fact. We are but four, and we face a vast horde. If we are not careful, upon our foes blades we will find ourselves gored." Kaeliyae said as she sent charges of electricity through the room to provide a bit of a perimeter and potential respite, letting out a sigh as she looked around; adjusting her fingers' grip on her staff.

    "We'll have three quarters of our strength looking for Emma Barnes. They should be fine, but our own group is undermanned and we can't ask the other team to split its forces. Who else do we have on standby?" Arne asked, taking a look at the icons of the other teams on the map converging; the other Eldar group still fighting to reach Arcee's position just as the teleport reinforcements arrived to provide assistance to Arcee. With four extra heroes gathered in one place, they were able to keep their position largely steady; while the Eldar seemed to be advancing at a good clip.

    You took a moment to look through the files; noting the PRT's Scanners as well and pausing as you saw that they were dispatching people to check out the situation.

    "The wards must have told the protectorate that we were going to investigate the cult." You said, your tone quiet as you took a moment to contemplate.

    "They might provide some manner of distraction." Alyrsero said without much in the way of emotion in his voice.

    "No! They can't come here. These people...most of them don't even have proper armour, nevermind shielding! They're going to die or worse, get infected! Some of them might already be infected!" You said, anger flaring. The idea of them throwing their lives away like this made your blood boil. This was no place for people who couldn't withstand their claws for at least a little while. Their talons could cut into even your own skin, which was quite the achievement to say the least. Against people like Vista and...you didn't want to think about it, you absolutely couldn't let the thought of that seep into your brain.

    "The peanut gallery would do little but create more in the way of corpses and grief. This battlefield is no place for those who would be dashed to ribbons upon its reefs." Kaeliyae said, shaking her head with a sad smile beneath her mask. "The sad truth is that this is not a place for the average combatant. This is a place of death and horror, many of the locals meet an end much like a boot upon an ant." She continued as she looked around, no windows in this hall, the doors on either side all giving you a sense of anxiety. Nothing was in them as far as the echo-visor could see; but these creatures were very good at being quiet and masking their echolocation profiles.

    "We could give the ones best suited for this sort of combat your augmentation magic. But nobody that we can't guarantee won't get infected should come. We need people with some way to stop the Genestealers from implanting into them. Armour, shielding, kinetic energy manipulation." Arne said as you gave it some thought.

    "Given the likelihood of network compromising, it is unlikely to be wise to make specific requests for personnel. Simply list what qualities you require and trust that they will choose wisely. We do have fortune on our side, after all." Alyrsero said while you checked the floorplan Arne had acquired, the rooms to your side were mostly full of mundane supplies and materials. Ahead was an elevator that would lead further down, but an elevator would be an obvious point for ambush. Stairs were also available, but based on your previous experiences would probably already have dug in defenders waiting.

    "Where's the nearest security room?" You asked, Alyrsero pointing downwards a bit.

    "Three levels down, to the left. I am sure you'll be able to monitor the situation from there. And I am certain they'll have some records in there." He said, calmly as if he were simply giving directions to the store.

    "And Emma?" Arne asked.

    "Five levels down, three corridors to the right, closer to the other group than ourselves." He said solemnly.

    Of course it wasn't going to be easy.

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 500/1500|750/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 25/500|300/500|175/175 Morale: Good. Stress: 0
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 300/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 450/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1050/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 750/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 850/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 700/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5

    Actions: As always, list them as [X] Plan: Whatever

    League Options:

    []: Send a request to allies for assistance (gain upwards of eight randomly chosen team mates, four will go to your team, four will go to team four. Note that there is a possibility of genestealer infection for organic allies; though incarnates should at least be resistant.)
    []: Tell allies to steer back to avoid possible genestealer infection
    []: Have group 4 hold position.
    []: Tell group 4 to move towards Groups 2 and 3.
    []: Have groups 2 and 3 hold position.
    []: Have Groups 2 and 3 move to Group 4.
    []: Write-In

    Group Options:

    []: Use time to prepare buffs and set up spells (allows the genestealers more time to consolidate themselves but enhances your fighting ability.)
    []: No time for delays, head immediately (Less powerful and more limited buffs, less benefit of foresight, but gives the Genestealers less time to prepare)
    []: Write-In

    Direction Options:
    []: Head for the Security Room (Get an update on the disposition of some of the enemy forces as well as some of their records on their likely operations, building an intelligence profile on them.)
    []: Head for Emma (Rescue Emma Barnes before she and others are given the Genestealer's kiss; reuniting with Group, 2, 3, and 4)
    []: Check around for possible items of interest and secondary objectives (More likely to find power-ups and things that might weaken the Genestealer Cults overall as a faction on Earth Bet or at least prepare countermeasures)
    []: Write-In

    Path Options:
    []: Rush into the Staircase (Likely genestealer teams waiting there, leads to the most other rooms with items of importance that you probably want to collect; including power ups.)
    []: Rush down the elevator (Heads down quickly, but cuts through a lot of rooms that you may want to visit, will likely have ambushes but not quite as certainly as the staircase)
    []: Smash your way down (Break open the floor to go down one level immediately, surprise enemies below you and open your own paths of advancement, however this will eventually trigger heavier response)
    []: Find Alternate Paths (Takes more time, but avoids the most enemies.)
    []: Find the nearest psychic enemy presence and take them out (Look to start a boss encounter, will make the rest of the mission easier by disrupting the Genestealers somewhat, but take up time with a more difficult combat encounter)
    []: Write-In

    Samus Extra combat Options:
    []: Make use of the alt-mode to weave in and out of combat, laying down bombs, boost attacks, alt-mode melee and other weapons while maintaining a low profile, making it hard for the enemy to get a bead on you at the expense of some damage.
    []: Deploy Rotor Blade shields (Send out rotor blades to carve the enemy apart and block incoming attacks)
    []: Make usage of super missiles (Will damage the building but clear out a very large number of enemies at a time)
    []: Focus on using charged shots (Reduces rate of fire but makes the damage you deal much greater, letting you sweep corridors in single shots)
    []: Freeze the surfaces (Makes the surfaces of the combat area slippery and thus more difficult for the enemy to make use of them)
    []: Speed boost! (Smash through everything in your way to run down to where you need to go.)
    []: Write in

    Arne Extra Combat Options:

    []: Focus on using the Shock Coil (negates most of the enemy's ability to dodge, continually refilling your shielding and repairing whatever damage your body and armour take too)
    []: Move into melee (Tank for the rest of the team, occupying the attentions of enemy hordes; will take more damage but keeps other team mates safer)
    []: Focus on usage of seeker missiles (highly effective against large swarms of enemies, will consume more missile ammo and damage the structure though)
    []: Corrosion Projector Assault (Push forward with the corrosion projector on your munitions launcher, melting most things in front of you; but it leaves a rather unpleasant mess)
    []: Grapple Combat (Use your grapple beams to yank the enemy around, making it harder for them to close, letting you drain select foes, and also getting to use them as clubs)
    []: Focus on the Autoflak (As an AoE rapid firing subweapon, this is one of the ideal circumstances for it; but keep in mind that it does use a lot of UA.)
    []: Write in
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 7)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Plan: Combine our Forces
    League Options:
    [X]: Tell allies to steer back to avoid possible genestealer infection
    [X]: Tell group 4 to move towards Groups 2 and 3.
    Group Options:
    [X]: No time for delays, head immediately (Less powerful and more limited buffs, less benefit of foresight, but gives the Genestealers less time to prepare)
    Direction Options:
    X]: Smash your way down (Break open the floor to go down one level immediately, surprise enemies below you and open your own paths of advancement, however this will eventually trigger heavier response)
    [X]: Head for Emma (Rescue Emma Barnes before she and others are given the Genestealer's kiss; reuniting with Group, 2, 3, and 4)
    Path Options:
    Samus Extra Combat Options:
    [X]: Deploy Rotor Blade shields (Send out rotor blades to carve the enemy apart and block incoming attacks)
    Arne Extra Combat Options:
    [X]: Focus on the Autoflak (As an AoE rapid-firing subweapon, this is one of the ideal circumstances for it; but keep in mind that it does use a lot of UA.)

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1100/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 500/1500|750/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 25/500|300/500|175/175 Morale: Shaky. Stress: 10
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 300/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 450/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1050/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 750/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 850/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 700/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5

    These Purestrain Genestealers trade some of their speed in a sprint for additional leaping capability and a flexible "Venom gun" biomorphci gun-symbiont attached to a flexible mount emerging from its back. The Venom Gun fires an organic silicate crystal through a process quite akin to that of standard mass drivers, accelerating the crystal to extreme speeds able to punch through armour or multiple targets; or even being set to explode in the midst of enemies to scatter and disrupt formations while devastating softer foes. These shards are laced with a complex mixture of extremely lethal toxins and hyper-corrosive acids to cause lingering damage after initial impact, and due to the relatively little biological expense needed to create ammunition for the weapon symbiont, the Fusilier can sustain its fire for significant durations with impeccable accuracy and substantial range. Note that the Fusilier's venom cannon is a separate but conjoined organism with its own awareness and firing capabilities and as such, the Genestealer can carry out all of its other functions without distraction.

    Samus' Notes: I think I'm starting to understand these Tyranids more. Standard templates mixed and matched to various effects for better results. Every organism is a pile of symbionts joined into an apparent whole more efficient than if it were a single creature with special adaptations. I could write entire books about this.

    Arne's Notes: A lot of these organisms are extremely young, minutes old at most. Which means they must be artificially produced somewhere. Which means they've probably figured out how to get the most out of Rikti biopod technology. Which can mean nothing good.

    The Spinebeast is another evolution of the genestealer adapted for multi-ranged combat, once again sacrificing some speed for the ability to expel bursts of hyper-velocity spines from vents on its chest and release frag-burst spine clusters from vents on its back to allow for a grenade assault; whether to suppress enemies before charging or deal with clustered opponents at a distance. While somewhat short-ranged, the Spinebeast's ability to deal damage before actually closing the distance gives it a place within the ranks of the Genestealer cult; particularly when suppressive fire is needed or large numbers of soft targets present themselves. Spinebeasts can only fire while exhaling, giving a window of opportunity to strike with little in the way of return fire.

    Samus' Notes: I'm not too concerned about this strain, at least relative to myself. The spines can't harm my shielding, but they are dangerous to more fragile allies or those who rely on speed to stay out of harm's way. I'll need to eliminate them quickly for their sake.

    Arne's Notes: The toxins they make use of are seemingly alive, able to alter their own composition in an attempt to bypass immunities to ensure debilitation. I think my own physiology should shrug it off, but it'd probably hurt to get stung all the same. As for my team mates, the best term for what these poison spines would do to standard human physiology is "liquification".



    Purestrain Alphas are enhanced Genestealers that possess significantly greater durability, strength, speed, and size over conventional Genestealers as well as the possibility of having more complex biomorphs such as Adamantite tusks and burst-strength musculature to allow for more powerful goring impacts on charges, implantation attacks through enlarged fangs and injectors on the claws to force-feed an instantly lethal organism into an open wound that hatches into a carnivorous and extremely toxic swarm that eats its way out from the inside out, extra organ redundancies to allow for a greater chance of surviving major injuries, emergency regeneration glands that will trigger a burst of almost instantaneous healing to recover lost tissue from a reserve of biomass if available, as well as greater warp sensitivity that allows them to make use of powerful esoterical abilities and function as potent nodes within the Genestealer Broodmind.

    Purestrain Alphas; like all Purestrains; demonstrate fully sophontic cerebral capacity and thought processes albeit shaped through a highly alien and predatory mindset. As such they will seek to make use of genuinely thought out tactics and will rapidly adjust their methods when dealing with unexpected threats or changed circumstances. Alphas can also have the additional biomorphs of lower grade purestrains, and can pass on an alpha kiss to sire more powerful hybrids than standard genestealers at the expense of longer gestation times and smaller litters per birth of the host species. Alphas are also much more likely to display replicated ultrasophontic powers absorbed from the realities that the Tyranids have begun to infect. Exercise caution and observe their movements and scan data to determine their ability set.

    Samus' Notes: It seems that some organisms have stronger connections and broadcasts of their gestalt mind than others, which means that their death would cause disruption to the overall network. In essence, shoot the ones who are making the most telepathic noise to give the others a headache. :)

    Arne's Notes: The amount of variety these organisms can have is almost dizzying, but I think I'm starting to figure out the basics of their standard template system. What it does mean however, is that they'll be able to adapt quickly by swapping out parts until they find the winning combinations.



    Arne

    "+This is Samus. Chris, are you there?+" Samus said over the comms while you made a quick perimeter check, nothing there so far, but you couldn't help but glare at the two Eldar from time to time, still not entirely sure what to make of them. They had to be holding out something from you.

    "+Uh yeah, we're preparing to enter the cult compound. Figured you could use some help. Armsmaster even had a look at the suits you gave us in Warpspeed's time dilation chamber and put it together with some of the recovered Weltreich and Rikti samples that should make f-+" He started before Samus shook her head and hissed unpleasantly. If they thought that they could come in here with just that and survive the attacks from so many different angles by such a well coordinated foe then they were definitely not ready for this.

    "+No, no no! This combat zone is far too dangerous for you. I'm not going to have any of you get hurt here...not by these...geneparasites! You could spread the infection across the entire city!+" Samus said as she pinged a packet of the scan data she had acquired, filling Chris' suit with all the relevant data that got a brief, pregnant pause until he made a small "Oh" in response.

    "+You should just form a perimeter, don't let anyone leave the building without knowing where they're going.+" You said, clenching your teeth slightly as you could feel the scratching of the Brood Mind in your mind's ear. They were active, chattering with a chorus of voices that stretched across a vast network. From many, one.

    Samus nodded in acknowledgement of Chris' final response before she looked towards the door closest to her objective, Alyrsero and Kaeliyae taking a moment to make their incantations and beseech their gods for boons from the curling winds of the warp. To augment your striking power in melee and to ensure that your strikes would land more true; twisting fate a little bit more around yourselves while you took a moment to analyse the energy as you accepted its boon. While you could have rejected it, it was easy to see that it was harmless.

    "Alyrsero, can you speak to your friends? We should gather at Arcee's position as quickly as possible." Samus said, looking to the Eldar boy who offered a simple, gentle nod.

    "Such can be done immediately, and already has been accomplished. If fortune favours us, and it must; we shall be able to stand as one." The Warlock said, shaking his head slightly at what you guessed what the sense of the hive mind all around him.

    "We need to save Emma first. Every moment we put that off is another she's under risk of being hurt, killed, or...worse..." Samus said with trepidation beneath her breath, steadying herself as you scanned the floor below her with the echo visor to penetrate through its layers and get a better view of what lay below. The floor beneath sure enough, had more than a few enemies to put it lightly. Below you was a Sunday School class room meant to fit at least a hundred students who would listen to the lecturer and their assistants with rapt awe. All while the Genestealers almost certainly claimed the Children as further avenues of spreading...a thought that made you queasy to your stomach.

    They were gathered at likely entrances for your group to take as you made your way farther down into the bowels of the complex, but you had no intention of going such obvious routes. Zurvduat would have tanned your hide for making such a foolish mistake as to indulge the enemy with passage through obvious routes of ambush.

    "But we're going to need to link with the rest of the group if we are to ensure everyone makes it there safely. We'll have to head down and advance towards the building centre. Once there we can decide on how to reach the holding facility. And when we're there...we're going to need some way to shut down this operation." She said, trying to think about what would be the best way to go about such a thing. "If they're a hive mind with a hierarchy in the gestalt nodes...then finding the largest local organism and neutralising it would probably be the best start to taking this cult down." She said, proud of her own answer based on the little smile she gave beneath her helmet.

    "Certainly much cleverer than most humans who've never seen Tyranids before. Far less collateral damage than the incarnation of humanity I'm more familiar with in addition." Alyrsero said as you started to select your targets, angling the bounces and spreadshot of your beam to make sure it hit as many targets as possible and using the Star beam as your elemental setting for its added area of effect and incendiary and "sticky" quantities. Excellent choice against the regenerating powers of the Genestealres, and to be frank...you took a look at the visage of a happy family beneath the tendrilled visage of a descending purple and blue monstrosity, the roping embrace of an alien god coiling around them and a circular maw wide open with what you recognised as animalistic hunger.

    They were a family clan, all united in brood-brotherhood. All in the thrall of the hungry god descending from the void that this version of Earth had yet to fully understand or properly explore. Every aspect of family twisted, childbirth for the sake of more resources, devotional love coerced by psychic trickery, coupling for nothing more than partaking in the lifecycle of a genoparasite; all against the will of all involved. You almost wanted to vomit, you gulped back the bile in your throat. Your emotions went cold with icy fury, and you had to swallow air to prevent yourself from spitting out a curse your family elders would have disapproved of.

    You recoiled and grimaced beneath your helmet. Such a perversion of something so sacred. You reached for the collar of your suit, briefly letting a necklace you habitually wore manifest from beneath. It bore the family symbol, a winged silver-blue and red shield with crossed swords; openable into a holo-locket bearing images of every Skjoldr you could claim familial relations with; current and past. You thought about all that being...forced...coerced...demanded....you wouldn't allow it.

    "We're going to smash our way down, hit them with phasic weapons first, then crash the ceiling over their heads. Samus, mind taking point on this?" You said, letting the necklace fade back to beneath your zero suit collar, far too precious to risk dangling over your armour where a claw might cut it in the unlikely event of shield failure. She nodded and detached the rotor blades and wind blades from her suit; letting them move independently as you let your charged up beam explode out of your cannon in a burst of nine orange-white sunlike ovoids that sinewaved their way straight through the floor and crashed into a different tyranid each. The burning solar orbs diffused outwards and bounced around in a cascade detonation that, had you not set the environment to not register to the beam; would have almost certainly annihilated all traces of the structure that the beam touched before its force containment fields klcked in to ensure that the energy was spent only on targets that mattered.

    For a moment, it was like the sun itself had exploded in their midst; plasma vibrating with ruinous jackhammer frequencies, diffusion eruptions bouncing between targets and their plasma leaving clinging annihilation on any genestealer they touched. It was to put it lightly; destructive to the point of virtual obscenity. But you weren't done, smashing your fist into the floor to send hypervelocity fragments of floor and ceiling into the surviving tyranids; defended either by shielding or luck or warp magicks. Splinters smashed through floors further below, carving out gouges in the level below as you ran down the debris fall of crumbling floor; your cannon shifting like a living thing; sections spinning, the barrel lengthening and then snapping claw like extensionsinto place on the sides as your purple primary weapon clicked. Your wrist gun formed this tool in miniature; munitions launcher lobbing ejecta mortar shells, shoulder mounted paralyzers identifying anything that might be a problem; rocket pods and multi-missiles streaming from you as you identified every target you could.

    More of the Tyranids were on their way, new strains eager for battle. Survivors of your assault had managed to regenerate by now when they weren't teleported away, and hardier organisms were slipping into position just as samus' rotor saws descended and spun around the room, gore and blood exploding outwards.

    Your cannon clicked and thudded, and then did so again and again. A normal human would have never have been able to hear the distinct firing sounds of each round released from your cannon, timed to slip through Samus' spinning rotor blades or Alyrsero's crackling fire shields and Kaeliyae's expertly woven illusions that even the genestealers seemed fooled by based on how some wasted their ammunition on them; or had their brains tricked into believing illusory injures were real to the point of death. But yours was a simpler, crude weapon; a cudgel of brute power made by the Diamonts to simply rip through plentiful, quick, or relatively soft enemies. Something the cult was all three of.

    You saw Samus moving as a whirlwind; ice beam firing from wrist gun and arm cannon and arm-blade and bayonet finishing her weapons fire or thunder-disruptor kicks could not. Kaeliyae and Alyrsero moved with almost divine grace, crushing foes where they could and dancing away where they couldn't.

    You though?

    You just dumped a massive amount of firepower down a room choking with what seemed like a limitless supply of respawning aliens hellbent on bringing you into the fold or seeing what genes could be harvested from your corpse. They threw themselves through the wide left doors of the lectern, pushing aside seats and jumping on the walls; ranged weapons scattering off of Samus' rotor saws and chargers being eviscerated before they could get close. But your weapons were what was thinning the tide. Each shot erupted into a black cloud, each cloud meant the deaths or maimings of countless more organisms.

    They clearly didn't appreciate this; you realised as universal ammo pick ups flew towards you and your senses informed you of imminent danger. You spun out of the way of a barrage of venom gun shots, your autoflaks making a thunk sound before opening fire again; each donation like a bass boosted balloon pop following a sound like a sharpened hammer striking steel. More corpses. Mining laser blasts reflected back to their senders; missiles were caught by warpborne hands and flung back; but yours was the deepest tally of bodies.

    You almost didn't register yourselves moving through the halls, your warrior instincts almost operating on automatic. It wasn't pleasant nor painful, it almost felt numb. Conditioning and trained responses to remove the need for doubt or hesitation in the heat of battle. Your squad mates needed you at your optimum, no time to stop and think as a charged autoflak round of yours ruptured the bodies of toughened genestealers. But your next volleys struck snarling Alphas, half again as tall as their kin. Their skin sheathed themselves in organic metal, a power taken from mutants plucked from primal earth. The autoflak round that would have gone through all of battleship row shattered against psychically toughened mutant steel; the beast and its kin rushing towards your rear guard.

    Arne UA Count: 70/280

    You wasted a third shot before realising you weren't thinking, and hesitated just slightly before bringing up your cyber-hoplon shield from your left arm to deflect the heavy ground shaking claw blow from the colossal metal clad Alpha Purestrain; its hand moving so fast that the air burst into flames around it from friction's protestations. You flinched and looked back at Samus; vaulting atop a huge and grotesque looking aberrant and twisting its head off with a spin of her legs.

    "Samus, cool it!" You shouted, using the temporal distort to quickly introduce another Alpha Purestrain to your autoflak before its electric defence fields could fire up; timing it just so that the magnetic cage of its electrical energy would trap the shrapnel of the charged autoflak based on a calculation made in your brain that even the best supercomputer on this planet couldn't dream of matching. That was one threat you wouldn't have to worry about, and you quickly yanked an Aberrant into the path of another Alpha Purestrain while time was frozen around you. The inevitable impact of the Alpha's superhero harvested nether energy bolts through the Aberrant's skull would be funny to watch for sure, but you'd have to save that for the highlight reel later; given that just four rooms in through this level and you had probably exceeded the killcount of the Munich mission .

    To your left, Samus was busy smashing an Alpha Metamorph with an extended carapace reinforced by a powerful deflecting energy aura harvested from another primal earth mutant; striking hard enough to turn the metamorph to paste before its light barrier could shield it; her hoplon shield then being spun in a way to get the sharp rim through an acolyte's power sword; leg snapping forward and shattering a Purestrain frozen before her leaping towards the flaming form of Alyrsero. As much as you...were less than keen on his company, he was an ally and that meant he had your protection.

    Samus didn't take long, her eyes shining with realisation and a devilish grin beneath her helmet as she turned towards you, your bayonet slicing outwards and bisecting an acolyte that had dropped from above with a bomb of some sort, clearly intending to suicide bomb Kaeliyae by exploding close to the electric field she was generating around herself. Samus caught it with a burst of pyro-multimissiles and your blade quickly doused itself in frigid anti-energy, time resuming all at once as the metallic Alpha first heated to incredible temperatures right before cooling towards absolute zero even more ruinously quick as the Ulfbehrt style blade you shifted in a traditional sword grip struck its temper heated body and shattered it to pieces.

    "Impressive, but we don't have all day." Alyrsero said as he took stock of the seemingly unlimited hordes of enemies barreling down on your position as Samus smashed through a wall to open a new position into a cafeteria, a large and strong Hybrid hefting a rotary gun and cackling praise to the Star Traveller as the gun let loose with mass-accelerator rounds in an almost laser beam like stream to herd you towards more multilasers; a superspeedster Alpha leaping out of camouflage and smashing claws into your back with a series of loud crashes, catching you just as you were unable to alter your course of movement to avoid heavy sniper fire to prevent the shift in momentum from pushing you off course to drop kick an Aberrant.

    Arne HP Count: 1050/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000

    It caught you in an arm bar, allowing another that had mastered the esoteric arts of Qi throw a fancy quadruple palm blow into your chest that rattled you a bit more; the influx of energy rocking through your armour and giving you a momentary jolt. Another that sheathed its limbs in scalding fire raked across you, pushing you down to let a superstrong Aberrant smash you in the back with his power sledgehammer, a blow that would have probably shattered the eight wonders of the world into irrecoverable pieces but merely got a grunt out of you. They were infused with incarnate power, letting their blows do more damage than they should; you could sense the energies of the Sourcewells broiling inside of them. But two could play at that.

    Arne HP Count: 975/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000

    Releasing the stored up energy of your frequency suit in a large burst, you let the purple shockwave explode outwards in all directions; augmented by your thunder disruptors and your alpha incarnate to clear out the room. The eruption of energy, tinged with added red and blue from your own personal power, made a bassy drop sound as it erupted outwards and obliterated anything that you read as hostile. With the foes in the room properly atomised, you stood yourself up shaking your head briefly and taking a look around.

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1000/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 975/1100|1100/1100|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 825/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 900/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    "Everyone alright?" Samus asked, getting a few nods of affirmation as Kaeliyae signed, pulling one of her witchblades from the table she had impaled a mediported genestealer to.

    "I will endure for yet some time more. But it would seem that the swarm thins for us four." She said, sitting down and exhaling, crossing a leg and looking around at the spacious cafeteria and its host of overturned seats.

    "Hey, why is it that you always speak in rhy-" You started before the carving open of wormholes by Iybraa through her telekinetics yanked you all towards her position; your attempt at sitting in one of the available chairs instead meeting you with empty air and a quick fall onto your ass.

    Samus caught herself when she found herself no longer leaning on a wall, while Kaeliyae merely continued to float and Alyrsero was standing straight to begin with.

    "...me...." You finished, standing up and looking around you.

    The first thing to catch your eye was the unpleasant aura around the first of the unfamiliar girls you met gazes with. She wore black, purple, and grey wraithbone and shadowtouched ithilmar hex-armour with splendid looking robes covering much of the body, including the abdomen, a skirt emerging from below her hip guards, and around her sleeves. Her arm had two pairs of graceful but eminently sinister looking curling horns emerging from the temples and brow. A witch-helm divided into three pieces; the gunmetal trimmed faceplate designed like the slats of a furnace with eye pieces in a permanent expression of disdain. A short, conical skullcap with a tiara that wrapped around, its peak just below the midpoint of her helm's brow horns. And at last; a protective shadowweave covering black hair that stretched out to her knees in a plainly but neatly styled black mane that seemed to flicker and writhe like a hundred thousand little cilia, almost making her look like she was floating in water.

    Her attention locked itself squarely on Samus, then you, then Alyrsero.

    "I see that you have come to the conclusion that it was not enough to get us lost on these pastbound echoes of the former Mon'Keigh homeworld, but you managed to find yourself two apex hybrids at that. Though funny thing, you two have so much potential and yet I sense it's...so...unshaped. Hrmmmm..." She said, rapping her gunmetal clad fingers against her face mask in thought. "I'll tell you what. Instead of calling you Mon'keigh or hybrid, I will make some effort to remember your names. Come on, don't be shy. Whatever you think it might be, it's not your true name at least." She said in a tone that told you quickly she was one of those sorts of people who revelled in cryptic nonsense.

    "Cease bothering the pair for a moment would you?" A figure who struck you as someone who didn't so much walk in the light as he was incapable of ever being in its presence. His almost blindingly white armour with trimmings of gold and highlights of pale blue. A conical helm with a closed corinthian style face, piercing blue eye-pieces and wings like a noble gold winged dragon covered his head, his dashing looking blue cape behind him as his formidable looking greatsword was stabbed into the ground through the head of a Metamorph when he saw it twitch; causing the body to mediport out.

    "You really are the worst sort of killjoy Idaliryn." She hissed with displeasure; her shadowy grey aura flickering at the glowing luminescence of his almost blinding white aura of mystic wind, invisible to most but almost obnoxious to yourself.

    "Sister, be nice." Alyrsero said with a sigh.

    Tyrius burst out of a pile of charred limbs and bodies that was hundreds deep, flexing his wings outwards and shaking his head. He pulled off his helmet and wiped some beads of sweat off of his brow, his hair seeming to fall in exactly the right way to just enhance his looks rather than look like he had just fought a life or death struggle against literally thousands of genestealers.

    "Wow that was a workout alright." Tyrius said, rolling his shoulders and grinning a bit, seemingly oblivious to what he had just been through.

    "Where are the others?" Asked Alyrsero, getting an idle gesture from Lelithax who adjusted her cloak to wrap around more of herself. He looked to a seance of the remaining four Eldar, trying to twist the shadows of obscurity descending over the conduits of destiny, or as they said; the Skeins of Fate. Odd how differing cultures from such different universes could end up having similar concepts really.

    "Hey if they could pull me out of a fire like that they can do whatever they want." Boltdancer said, his jacket a ruin, having been torn to pieces by clawmarks and weapons fire. You immediately had a scan of his biosigns and were relieved to find no foreign DNA contaminants were detected so far. He let out a groan as Kaeliyae approached him and weaved some threads of biomantic warp energies, drawn entirely from her own internal capabilities rather than the rituals and spellcraft of sorcery or the winds of magic. His costume repaired itself at her urging, and he looked at the Esdainn with wide eyes.

    "Uh...thanks...uh..." He said, looking her over. "Yo what's your pronouns?" He asked, clearly interested in the Eldar illusionist as she giggled and tapped two fingers to where her mouth would be beneath her mask and touched it to his own lips.

    "She's named Kaeliyae!" Samus said cheerfully, rolling a shoulder and keeping close to you.

    "Many thanks daughter of the wise. I am here to offer you all escape from the tyrannic vise." She said with a performer's bow in response as you took a moment to shift your focus back to Samus; a sensation of her eyes fixated on you snapping you out of your general observations of the room.

    "Arne, we're going to need to talk about your habit of throwing yourself into the heaviest fighting possible." She said to you, a small sinking sensation starting to pervade through you.

    "Can we do it later? When we're not pressed for time?" You said, getting a nod out of her in return. She asked you to promise her that, and you obliged in an instant.

    "Alright troopers, we should get rolling as soon as possible." That familiar metallic voice said as you all looked to Arcee. Who had clearly seen better days, but was in one piece at least; Galen sitting on her shoulders like a child being carried around by a parent, breathing frantically.

    "Your pet human is on the verge of panic." Lelithax said with bemusement while Iybraa floated to Galen and laid her hands on his head, telepathic prowess being used to banish the terror from his brain, urging him to calm down and regulate his breathing, slowly but surely starting to relax.

    "Hrmph, parlour trick." The sorceress said with disdain that made whatever beauty she might have under her armour suddenly a lot less appealing to you; dispelling much of the initial sense of curiosity you felt in the figure her garbs suggested.

    "The tyranids will be on the move shortly, we must move with haste to halt them if you are to save these people from infection." One of the Eldar from the circle said, her armour's blue, green, and white hues not guising the fact that just a moment's glance could tell you that she had many souls within that suit. A constellation of hosts and identities that shared their thoughts and memories with her and formed into a new singular being. Elendria; informally called a battlemage, more properly referred to as a Spell Warden from the hint that Alyrsero passed onto you to make sure that you didn't make a crucial misstep in referring to his friends.

    Her white highlights and dashing looking cape and flaring pauldrons made her seem like a superhero, while her dragoon crested helm had a kiteshield mouth guard defending her lips, the armour form-fitting and snug, with an added tunic around her legs for reasons you didn't quite understand.

    "I think we can handle them. So far we've been holding up pretty great separately." Samus said.

    "They know you can best their lesser beasts. They will not be so overconfident now that we are moving as a group." Elendria said as she gave her maul like sceptre a twirl, her shield in her other hand shifting slightly to repair cracks and gouges dug into it.

    "How many are on their way to our position?" Arcee said.

    "Tens of thousands. With Broodlords. The Supreme Patriarch of this web of infestation knows not why you are here, but is quite determined to render that question a moot one." She said before holding out something you recognised as a pair of energy tanks.

    "I am not certain as to the significance of these devices, but I believe they are intended for you." She said, throwing them over to you in a quick flick of her wrists.

    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0

    "...Interesting..." She said as she looked to one of her companions; whose more metallic armour; primarily electric yellow with a number of cyan highlights and trimmings of red; designed in a rather circuit board style pattern with diodes emerging from her pauldrons, spectacle like eye pieces, a bifurcated mouth guard, and a swarm of companion machines around herself and then grabbed two items she had been tinkering with, getting a protest from the Ithilyani.

    "Elendria I was still work-" She said before she tossed the two items at your faces. one of them beaned you in the head while the other was caught by Samus as your armour analysed, recognised, and then incorporated the Ithilyani craft into itself in the typical flash of light that left the items consumed; wrapping around your suits to change the Resonance Suit into yet another bit of altered appearance.

    LUMOSUIT ACQUIRED
    WARP VISOR ACQUIRED

    The Lumosuit is derived from the work of the Eldar; including the Holofield and the Ithilyani Hyshite generator a common piece of Eldar technology that augments user defense by making them far harder to hit. The Holosuit offers superior capabilities to a standard cloaking device through its multiple options for stealth and evading detection; including camouflage via light-warping, the projection of mirror images, or in an effect that gives the device its nicknames of "domino field" and "jigsaw field" among humans of its native reality; making their apparent image explode into a widely spread cloud of multi-coloured fragments with the effect becoming more chaotic and unpredictable the faster the user moves, making the discerning of their true location extremely difficult without non-electromagnetic forms of perception. The effect will also bend light-based weaponry around, making the user far more difficult to properly afflict with such weapons, and also allows for traversing light-based barriers without issue. While the defensive gains of the Holosuit are relatively modest otherwise save for a major increase to user speed and greater defense against damage from esoterical sources, as are its physical increases beyond speed enhancement; they are still present, and with the suit equipped; the user can more properly interface with Eldar technology.

    Samus' Notes: Acquiring something this useful for a stealth mission this late after we abandoned any hope of stealth is...ironic and not in a funny way.

    Arne's Notes: As handy as this could be in the future, I'm kind of mad that I didn't make a cloaking system earlier now.
    The Warp Visor allows the user to see warp signatures clearly; allowing the user to quickly perceive the empyreal side of targets, what sorts of creatures might be lurking in the warp, as well as signals that go through the Empyreal realm and other similar manners of pleroma type idealistic coextant surrealities. This can allow the user to also determine the course and direction of such energies as well as what the prevailing currents are in the empyreal realm. It is also useful for determining the prevailing metadimensional weather conditions such as that of the "winds of magic", which, should the user choose to exercise their potential in such regards; allow them to much more reliably control and manipulate such powers towards their own ends. This is useful against enemies who might be setting up ambushes in coextant dimensions, try to flee into them, or are using them to communicate via means usually impossible to intercept.

    Samus' Notes: Ah-hah! This is something that should help with tricky, fading capable enemies. I feel like I'm going to need some time to get properly used to it though.

    Arne's Notes: Staring into realms of souls without the proper adjustment is going to give me some unpleasant headaches, but I'd better learn to just get used to it.

    Your armoursuits underwent yet another incredible transformation that was leaving Raelamiel quickly typing something into her phone. Based on what your visor was feeding you, a complaint about how your appearance was constantly changing and how you never actually maintained a consistent look.

    The antennae of your suit remained; while the armour combined the insectile aesthetics of your usual armour or the spacesuit like appearance of Samus' and melded it with Eldar armour sensibilities for something agile looking, Your armour seeming to get thinner with no loss of strength, the vambraces extending slightly to form more prominent blades covering the knees and the elbows, circuit like highlight lines dancing across key nodes of the armour to trace minor geometric patterns; the outer limbs of your own armour taking on a silvery hue, the helm and chestplate shifting to a rich platinum, and the inner and abdominal armour changing to a tone of gold while your highlights began to glow a brilliant cyan before resuming more normal levels of luminosity. Your pauldrons took on a more graceful, curved like appearance, almost like the graceful flow of upwards facing scimitars, and your visor even shifted as well; the monocular gaze shifting to your forehead as a sort of "third eye" and shrinking down to about the size of a balled fist, while a bifurcating glowing white line went down the length of your helm, Going across your helm was now a V-shaped visor to cover your eyes.

    Samus' suit also gained a "third" eye, her outer limb armour taking on a platinum hue, her abdominal and inner thigh raiments the colour of silver, and her chestplate and helm the finest gold to go with her now yellow coloured highlights. Her pauldrons curved down whereas your curved up, but otherwise retained a rather similar look to your own suit overall, the cloak of the main rotors of the helicopter mode remaining, along with the fins and thrusters of the jet mode. The rail Rotor blades moved into their usual spot, and the cockpit of the jet mode reasserted itself in a hurry, the autobot symbol worn over your heart still present.

    "...I'm not getting that back am I?" Clarioli said with a sigh before you shook your head.

    "I could make new ones for you? I have the designs now so it should be a matter of just getting the fabricator..." You said before she waved you off.

    "It's fine...they were old anyway." She said, smiling a bit beneath her helmet as you decided to test out the new visor.

    You saw the world in a rather new, different light to say the least. The colours of reality faded and washed out but the luminescent light of the winds of magic far more starkly clear before your vision. You saw people less as they were, and more the ideal imagery that they saw themselves through or the stories that had been forged around them. Samus was the heroic valkyrie in resplendent armour, the once and future champion of the cosmos and the last, best hope of all things. The Eldar all embodied certain virtues, such as Alyrsero's always open mind's eye and his curious nature reflecting in his helm now having a third eye piece.

    Arcee was the hardy warrior, grizzled beyond her seemingly smooth appearance, marred by millions of years of conflict but bearing a proud determination to see the old war through. Tyrius well...Tyrius just looked even nicer than he normally did.

    But you also saw the shadowy tendrils of hive mind speech, pulsing signals travelling across the immaterium, threaded together into a cable drawn from a massive number of voices, vibrating together like the sounds of music. But you quickly figured out that true enough; there were thousands of them. Tens of thousands. Which struck you as absurd. This was a city that, including its outlying suburbs, numbered maybe two million? Where were they getting this many from? How would they even hide this many?!

    But your armour gave you the helpful warning of

    SEISMOGRAPHIC READINGS INDICATE LARGE ENEMY FORCE CONVERGING ON YOUR POSITION

    Ah wonderful.

    "We need to get going, a massive number of enemies are bearing down on our position." You said flatly to get everyone's attention, raising your voice a bit louder than its usual quiet and inoffensive tone.

    "How many?" Arcee asked.

    "There are tens of thousands of connections to the hive mind node in just this area, probably more beyond where I can see. I've counted twelve thousand eight hundred and twenty six signals approaching us with more on the way." You said as you took a look around the room, immediately figuring that it was used for more protestant style sermons for people turned off by the Catholic style set of pews for their mass. But that meant that the chairs were while nice; completely incapable of defending anyone from anything.

    "This preaching room has absolutely nothing for hard cover and has zero choke points. We need to get moving or we're going to be stuck in a killbox. The ceiling has vents that they can drop from, and there's multiple grates on the floor that they can use to vertically envelop us." You said, quickly gesturing to what your combat training told you were the clear signs of this not being the ideal place to be.

    "But there's tons of space here before any of them can get into melee." Galen said.

    "Not worth allowing them to surround us from all sides with room to manoeuvre." Samus agreed.

    "Where do they even get this many dudes?" Raelamiel said as she sharpened her swords against each other, huffing a bit while her wings beat idly. "There's only like...three hundred and fifty thousand people in Brockton Bay...maybe...two million if you count all the suburbs?" She continued.

    "They likely have some means of fabricating new hybrids and purestrains with the biopods they took fro your reality. What can be used to regenerate flesh can just as easily create flesh." Elendria said with a small shrug of her shoulders as she rattled off her theory.

    "In that case; we need to get moving, come on." Arcee said with a gesture towards the door closest to where Emma would be. You hustled quickly, hearing the scratching and the rustling in the walls intensify as the voices of thousands of organisms swirled around you in the empyrean; the gestalt coming to its decisions and formulating its plans.

    Samus stopped the group at a circular room that lead to a number of doors; a junction in the webwork of hallways. She looked at the ceiling and shot at the vent grates with her ice beam to freeze them over in thick sheets of ice before having a moment to look around. She saw what you saw; that the creatures were moving in the walls and preparing to emerge through tunnel connected closets and smaller rooms to try and set up their ambushes; while others crawled above or below.

    Ahead was the room where Emma and others were being kept, and while you could snipe out the genestealers there through the walls with your phase-wave beam, to actually go down the last hallway into that room would require going through a gauntlet of ambushes in areas with multiple avenues of potential enemy advance. Here though, you could make a stand and bleed the enemy out. Or perhaps, if you were feeling brave; you could split yourself and Samus off; you were armoured and armed to the teeth. You could push through the distracted enemies while the tyranids focused ont he main group. More importantly, with the blink packs, ghost phase systems, temporal distortion units, holofields, and silenced suits you had, you could sneak in and teleport them out.


    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 1500/1500|950/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 500/500|400/500|175/175 Morale: Shaky. Stress: 10
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1500/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 100/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 100/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 700/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5

    Actions:

    League Actions:

    []: Hold the junction. This is a circular room with substantial cover and four chokepoints to hold with relatively few avenues of ambush. If the entire team holds here, you could bleed the tyranids out into having to pull back. You can help the prisoners out by phase-wave sniping genestealers through the walls.
    []: Rush the gauntlet. Move to rescue the prisoners with the entire team. This is a dangerous path with a massive number of obstacles and it's likely some team members will be seriously hurt due to this being the Genestealers' favoured environment.
    []: Sneak off to rescue them. You and Samus will head in to rescue the prisoners on your own. Your team will lack your firepower save for phase-wave sniping for some time; but you'll be able to get in and out quickly and save the people or at least determine which ones are already infected.


    Defensive Preparation: You can pick three options

    []: Set up defensive turrets and traps. Clarioli, Galen, and Arcee can set up some defensive turrets and drones that when paired with the electromines and gremlins of Boltdancer; will provide significant obstacles for the enemy to have to traverse as well as adding a great deal of supporting fire capabilities.
    []: Prepare Hexes. You have a lot of casters on your team who can set up wide area hex spells that will weaken the entire enemy force bearing down on your position, giving a greater chance of nobody getting seriously injured.
    []: Prepare augments. The above, but you set up long lasting and powerful augmentation spells more potent than what can be casually casted in combat to bolster your league before the enemy closes in.
    []: Call in Autobot Minicon strike team. This will call in some additional minicons who while not part of your league; will be able to offer a wide variety of extra supporting firepower, melee capability, guaranteed immunity to genestealer infection, and other capabilities. This will however, likely cause an even more intense Tyranid response as they sense the spacebridge's activation.
    []: Have the Eldar summon some Winds of Magic Spirits: Winds of Magic spirits while lacking in the technological firepower of Minicons and having a greater vulnerability to massed firepower, have more esoterical ways of dealing damage and can generally get into melee better than Minicons can with Genestealers. With your team composition you'd mostly summon Azyric, Hyshite, and Ghyranian spirits of Celestial Energy, Cleansing Light, and Radiant Life.
    []: Prepare a major destruction spell: Have the Eldar prepare a ritual that will cast a powerful spell that will burn its way through many of the Genestealer Cultists, killing many of them before they have a chance to get into combat range.

    Defensive Planning: You can pick three options

    []: Close up avenues of attack: Do your best to limit the number of directions the enemy can attack you from.
    []: Divine likely enemy disposition: Peer into the future and get a bit of added intelligence on the enemy's likely movements, what they're likely to send; and ensure that your team is able to engage with more confidence and is less likely to be surprised and be penalised by being caught off guard.
    []: Organise Lines of FIre: Set up a coordinated system to ensure that anyone who needs fire support is going to get it, thus allowing for better overwatch fire on incoming enemies as well as supporting fire on engaged allies and superior suppression against advancing opponents.
    []: Organise Melee Sequence: Sort out who's best able to handle what in close quarters combat so that nobody ends up picking fights with things they really shouldn't. Ensures that melee engagements are optimal between team mates.
    []: Establish organised positions: Has the team take up a clear order of battle that will allow for optimal support for each other and keeping squishies out of immediate harm's way, while also making it clear whose job is what to further optimise the engagements that will happen.


    Samus Actions:
    []: Swift as Lightning, Deadly as Thunder: Rush in and out of melee with a combination of your various movement powers, alt-modes, timestops, teleportations, and phase-outs. Never let the enemy focus you down for too long, but they'll soon realise the futility of attacking you and focus more on other team mates.
    []: The Gauntlet Thrown, the Die Cast: Make yourself the most obvious target possible, rushing into the very thick of battle and draw all eyes on yourself as you purge everything you get into melee with. You'll take more damage, but allies will take less.
    []: Like the waves, like the storm: Attack from a distance, brutalising anything that gets in your line of fire, making use of your most destructive ranged weapons to kill as many of the incoming Genestealer cultists as possible as quickly as possible. The heavy emphasis on charge shots and explosives though means you'll largely hang back out of melee.
    []: A glacier's curse, a winter's smite: Make heavy usage of immobilization weapons such as your paralyzers, the ice beam and missile, and judicious usage of time-stop and teleportation to stop the enemy from moving as they please, pushing allies about to get hurt out of harm's way or locking down threatening enemies before they can close in. Lower damage but better support.
    []: Flow like Water, move like the Currents: Bounce around in your alt-modes frequently, taking advantage of manoeuvre to dive into the thick of the enemy and cut through them quickly in a non-obvious way, pinballing from one formation to the next. Especially good at clearing enemies out of ambush points.
    []: I am a blade of many shapes, a warrior of many forms: Take a neutral, adaptive stance; adjusting your techniques and your style as the situation demands, not really having the benefits of any one of them but none of the weaknesses of any; but mitigates risk the most overall for the entire team.


    Arne Actions:
    []: Blood of the Einherjar, Scion of the Alimbics: Unleash the true fury of the Uskarlings and your status as an Alimbic Knight, dealing massive damage in close quarters as you go full rip and tear mode; likely talking damage in the process but annihilating enemies in a vicious blur; your shock coil being used to restore energy where needed.
    []: The Lightning Incarnate, the Storm's Son: Make heavy usage of the Shock Coil, the Positron beam, and the Electrowave Beam; frying your enemies and stopping them in their tracks with convulsing bolts of lightning and anti-matter; never missing, striking foe after foe without mercy. Deals a great deal of damage but is intensive on your Universal Ammo and Missile stock piles.
    []: The Assassin's Knife, the Silent Death: Move stealthily, going between foe to foe to eliminate any of importance before they can realise you have them in your sights, targeting synapse organisms, leaders among the cult, psykers, and specialist before they can threaten the rest of the team.
    []: Knight of Honour, Paladin Aspirant: Make yourself the rock upon which the enemy will shatter against. Rushing into the very thick of battle and draw all eyes on yourself as you purge everything you get into melee with. You'll take more damage, but allies will take less.
    []: Pilot Extraordinary, Child Ace: Take the possibly risky option of having the Sleipnir provide air support with its bunker-buster and object penetrating munitions guided by yourself in tandem with the ship's Synthetic consciousness. This will take some of your attention to coordinate the shots in a way that ensures nobody gets hurt who isn't supposed to, but the ship has plenty of firepower.
    []: Legacy Breaker, Lineage Maker: Find the most important synapse creature in the incoming Genestealer swarm and eliminate them over all other priorities to disrupt the Genestealer Broodmind as much as possible, this has a high risk of getting hurt as you literally plunge into the swarming masses, but will make the rest of the encounter easy.
     
    Sidelude: Dark Gods and Federations
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    The Despondance class Juggernaut Pyre of Sin hovered near the farthest orbit of the world of Tarcitus III; a fifty-kilometre long engine of destruction that had seen the ruin of countless worlds; the Black Legionary commander in its bridge folding his arms behind his back as he gazed upon the holodisplay. His black and gold tactical dreadnought armour made the gesture look almost ridiculous, but nobody told him that to his face. No one who wanted to keep theirs that is. Raghrastim the Huntsman, Lord of Devastation, master of Sorcerers, Ruiner of Empires, Cravenslayer of the Black Legion and a great many other nasty, unpleasant titles earned across a career spanning fifteen thousand years of unimaginable atrocities and hideous crimes.

    He had waged war across so many galaxies, so many stars, ever since Horus had shown the legion the way of the dark gods, opened their eyes to the truth behind the Emperor and Empress' lies. The primordial truth of Chaos, the only path forward for humanity that would be free from the influence of xenos, from degeneration, where the Astartes would as was their rightful place; dominate the meek, feeble masses of humanity who had allowed the work of the Crusade to degrade into a rotten mockery of all they had fought for. He had killed so, so many people; watched his primarch die and the Black Mournival take charge as the new warmasters of Chaos.

    Fifteen thousand years of raiding, fifteen thousand years of black crusades, fifteen thousand years of unholy war. They whispered his name in fear, they counted his tally in the sectors he had laid to waste, they gnashed their teeth about his atrocities. And what had happened with the loyalists? Alliances with xenos such as the Eldar and the Dawi? Hiding behind the Lizardmen as the other nine of the ten Emperors ravaged the stars. Losing Mars to the Void Dragon? Losing...Terra...to GREENSKINS!? Even he wept when he heard the news five thousand years ago. Terra, lost forever to Ghazghkull, to Skarsnik, to Mollog.

    He was born on Terra. A lifetime ago, an eternity ago.

    Time passed strangely in warp rifts, he did not feel the weight of the ages upon him as those who took the long road through time did. But when he fixed his mind on such definite points in history he felt so very old. Like the crushing weight of time was reasserting itself through the unreality of the empyrean every time he reminded himself that once, he was mortal, that once, he was just a boy.

    Like so many of the screaming, noisome children he had slain, that he had butchered. All in the name of power, of glory, of righting the wrongs done to him so long ago. He proudly announced himself as a servant of the Mournival Emperors of the Black Imperium, formed in the wake of the false Emperor's wretched empire crumbling into civil war. The Primarchs it seems, could not get through their vision of reform through the inscrutable will of the High Lords of Terra. Politics, he scoffed. The Black Imperium had done away with such things. There were no politicians in Abaddon's Empire; only might and worth.

    Some would say that the Black Imperium was but a meagre shadow of the pre-sundering Imperium, a headless mess of bloodthirsty demagogues, social darwinists slaughtering each other for table scraps, completely dysfunctional supply chains, petty squabbling, and no clear system for anything to get done. Raghrastim would say that this was the point. That the floundering, shambling mess would weed out the weak, the unworthy, those who needed others to provide them with milk of their chest rather than have the strength to survive on their own.

    Besides, they were probably the sort of people that would try to tell him that you couldn't just solve famine by killing people until there was enough food for them all. Those sorts of people decorated his skull rack or had their faces stitched into the tanned hides of his daemon-cape. He had no patience for whiners; and he looked at his power claw as it still dripped with steaming blood from the corpse on the ground next to him from the last person to come up to him with complaints he had no mind to hear out. He stepped his heavy boot onto the corpse of the slain cultist, rupturing it like a stinking watermelon as he stepped away from the holodisplay.

    "This "Galactic Federation" baffles and disgusts me." He snarled from beneath his heavyset great helm, eyes seeming to burn a brilliant red from within his horned helmet as his ancient suit of armour flexed with his body; segmented plates shifting with him like a living thing as the power of the daemonic realm that he had suffused himself in for so long turned his suit into a diabolical carapace.

    "My lord, so far we have only attacked minor outposts and tiny colonies; no more than a few tens of thousands at most. Perhaps it would be best to await for the arrival of the whole of your infernal majesty's fleet before attacking a system inhabited by billions?" Some sniveling wretch said, an aspirant into his warband, one who had hoped to be one of the battle brothers or sisters of his host of astartes.

    He looked at the sniveling teenager and sneered with disgust beneath his helmet while he studied them. A scared orderly plucked from some world in his own native reality, a colony he never learned the name of before killing all six hundred and thirty-seven million people on it. Disgust filled his twin hearts, loathing this stripling for whining to his face about the odds. He would not suffer this complaining, and outstretched his twin power-claw fitted hands then clapped them around his torso, reducing him to smoking pulp as the shockwave from the collision of twin daemon infused power fists annihilated any remainder of his body.

    Once, he would have been horrified at such an act of shocking, senseless violence. But his heart had grown cold and the raging fires inside were nothing more than smouldering flickers of ash. He no longer cared, The endless pursuit of his schemes, all the betrayals and lies, all the friends and family sacrificed for momentary gain. He no longer cared. There was an emptiness inside of him, a hollowness of so much of what made him human before. But he no longer concerned himself even with that. There was only his glory, his ambition, his perfection, his immortality; should he finally prove to his patrons that he was worthy of the reward of Daemonhood.

    "Does anyone else wish to out themselves as a yellow-bellied cur? I have raised billions of Astartes from the muck, I have graced even more Chaos Warriors, Chaos Guardsmen, Gors, and Cultists with my favour. And in return, what I ask for is loyalty and a reprieve from your incessant whinging!" He said, shaking the gore that stained his gauntlets off.

    He had all these thoughtless, wretched curs to sort out and one of the emotions he did feel properly in his old hearts stirred again. Anger. Once he tried to lead with charisma and fatherly grace. Now the sight of most of his warband made the worst sort of bile rise up in his throat. A pack of degenerate rabble, so many no longer even sons or daughters of Horus; just any random child who looked vaguely compatible and whatever geneseed they had on hand. How utterly repugnant. Mongrels, he was surrounded by mongrels and mutts and thinblooded rejects. How Horus would have wept to see the state of his legion.

    "Your whinging shames Horus, it disgraces Emperor Abaddon and the Black Mournival. You are servants of the Black Imperium, do not make me embarrassed to look upon you. Learn to do your duties without complaint or face my benediction. Have we not come out the better in skirmishes with the "thirteen emperors" the loyalists whinge about?" He said, showing one of his claws and the combi-bolter mounted onto its wrist, letting the power fields around them crackle and the daemon inside howl and shriek with the anticipation of bloodshed to come. The red glow of his eyes beneath his great helm intensified into a blazing inferno of hatred. Once he was merely human, once he was simply one of the Astartes, now, he was a fiend.

    Horus would have smashed these so-called "Thirteen Emperors" he was sure of it, though part of him wondered if he was merely kidding himself, his forces took huge losses in nearly every encounter and only triumphed through limited goals, luck, and trying to flood the materium with enough daemons to cover their escape. The Spore Unleashed, the War of the Krork, the Beast Set loose to name the three monstrosities the greenskins had become. The Fireheart's Children, the Gut-Kings, and the Torgotai to name the finalisation of the Ogors. The Nuclear Father of the unfathomable usurpers whose galaxy sized mass spawned nonexistent horrors, the Void Dragon and its robotic hordes who mastered the materium, and the deathhost of Orcus and Abraxa who had obtained some true understanding of Death as Nagash delved into some primal, terrible part of the warp. The Tyranids of course, ever-evolving, ever-adapting into increasingly more horrible forms as they devoured the universe, the all purging Tulurit Metallomorph which could not be reasoned with in its efforts to force civilisation to stay in its exactly prescribed paths, or the Aelindrachai who had become unceasing and unquenchable monsters of shadow whom even Daemons feared. But perhaps worst of all; the Couatl, the Lizardmen, and their ascension; what should have been the ruination of the forces of Order had instead been them stepping to the plate to save it. Grotesque.

    And he was to deal with this Age of Monsters with whelps like these?

    Whelps who couldn't even remember when the count of Chaos Gods was thirteen? Before the Engine of Extinction? Before the ascension of Be'Lakor? Before Drach'Nyen'Ant'Wyr? Before Archaon? Before one had to clarify when referring to the "Emperor and Empress of Mankind" as to whether one referred to the Empyreal Tyrant, the Starchildren, the Corpse-Gods, or the Omnissiah? How many had remembered a time when there were no Tyranids? Before the Necrons awakened? He looked at his thin-blooded army once again and he almost wanted to throw up.

    "Look at this world! Look how humanity mingles so freely with xenos scum, how it takes orders from abominable intelligences like whipped dogs. Look at them and their idle lives of debased plenty and degenerate luxury. Look at how lax their defences are as our war fleet benights their starlanes with thousands of warships waiting to lay them low. What sort of degeneracy has taken these curs of this universe hrm? Nothing worth admiring, nothing worth upholding. Let us punish them for their insolence I say. Let us remind them of the costly wages of sin." He shouted, a flicker of his prior charisma showing through as he raised his fist in a cheer. He knew that his own warband made extensive usage of chaotic xenos auxiliaries; but as far as he was concerned his tactics with them were contributing to the sacred mission of xenocide.

    "They have sent out a call for aid as soon as we translated into the system my lord." The Dark Mechanicum Techpriest; Skoliosis; beeped in a monotone voice that made the Chaos Lord want to flay whatever remained of her face off for grating on his ears to such an extent.

    "Let them cry out, their doom already approaches. Are the dreadclaws and stormbirds ready for landing?" He demanded, his choler rising at an ever-increasing rate while his daemon weapons hungered for slaughter and reaped souls.

    "The daemons of the Empyrean tell me that trouble from this federation approaches swiftly upon the Skeins of Fate, dark one." Sorceress Daestra Melganar said, her own tactical dreadnought armour having far straighter standing horns emerging from the sides and brows of her black and brass armour, her staff crackling with her own black magics and fell psyker powers as well as the roiling energies of the daemon bound within, her other hand bearing a ruinous straight sword. She was his most reliable second in command, her service impeccable ever since the unification wars of Terra. Her own gaze, a cold blue to his burning red, was often what calmed him from rash courses of action. She was more skilled in sorcery than he was; yet she had never once tried to stab him in the back. A dependable rock in an army of scoundrels.

    "We will have plenty of time." He said dismissively. Even with optimal wormhole hugging and warp corridors assistance would likely need at least another day to arrive in large numbers if the techpriests were telling him the truth about the disposition of other federal territories in this one cluster in their vast intergalactic society. This was deemed a relatively safe set of galaxies, nearly entirely under their grip; and as such their garrisons were light. The Imperium, for all of its foppery, never wrote off territories as large as galactic clusters as "safe" at the very least. His legionaries would soon need to find better targets.

    "No my lord, the neverborn claim we have but minutes before a massive force arrives. Heavy fleets dispatched from far garrisons without usage of wormholes or corridors." She said flatly, staring into his face and prompting him to flip around as quickly as he could in the enormous bulk of his Cataphractii pattern Tactical Dreadnought Armour. Every one of his steps being a locally seismically significant event while he stared into the gaze of the nimbler Tartaros pattern Tactical Dreadnought Armour of his compatriot; a crocodilian growl issuing from his throat as he loomed over her.

    "Tell your daemons that I am in no mood for their pranks and lies. That is not possible. Do these look like Eldar to you?" He said as the Chrome ships of the Galactic Federation Navy started decelerating out of N-Space behind him while he spoke, the first of the Juggernaut category ships to rival the size of his own flagship emerging with a subspace wake and a battlegroup escorting it. He seemed oblivious to the sight transpiring behind him on the bridge window as he spoke.

    "Perhaps the neverborn have let the corruption they mire in deceive them until they see Necrons or Cruorans mayhaps?" More battlegroups emerged around the first, then even more still, all clearly ready for a fight with weapons already in firing position and strike craft already being scrambled; some long-range FTL capable strike craft even just waiting for the order to attack. The functionaries on his ship howling with disbelief and some rushing towards him to beg him for his attention to ask for orders. The first traitor navyman, a defector from the Adeptus Terra's splinter imperium; rushed towards him and was backhanded had enough to leave nothing but steaming legs in the aftermath without even a glance from the Chaos Lord while her daemonic familiar babbled nonsense that made the ancient Black legionary want to bite its throat out.

    "Perhaps staring into the sea of souls has given you leave of your senses and made you think these to be the Lizardmen?" He said as the auspexes bleeped a warning that another set of battlegroups was translating out of some manner of higher dimension in another direction; sunwards relative to his fleet and thus pincering off one of its natural routes of escape into the warp. He was still busy talking, so he figured he would set the panicking whelps around him straight on showing proper courage in the face of obvious sensor baffling once he was done.

    "Or perhaps the Dawi?" The Federation Army's void corps and its midnight coloured ships had also translocated into the fray, as did the National Void Military of the Memberstate; the Void-Navy of the United Nations of Sol Peacekeeper Corps; the Bluehelms as they were often called for their prominent usage of Blue in their colour schemes; a large armada of theirs translating into realspace behind his fleet.

    "Or do those cowardly Daemons think they are looking upon the C'tan?" Another local national military force, the Republican Navy of the Republican Union of Astor and its heavy-bodied fleet of stately, enduring warships designed to its local needs rather than the more generalist capabilities of the Federal Army and Navy it was subordinate to; closing off his vertical escape routes.

    "We have waited long enough for proper bloodshed. Let us-" He said before a particularly brave Loxatl mercenary hissed and crackled at him and darted away before he could stomp on its head, the komodo dragon like amphibian making sounds like a steamer about to explode to grab his full attention.

    "I AM NOT DONE TALKING!" He said, levelling his right gauntlet's combi-bolters at its head before the Loxatl tapped on a voicebox on its neck to translate its language.

    "We are being hailed by the intervention fleet."

    "...The...what?" He said before looking at the bridge as his Chaos Astartes and the more reliable Traitor Guardsman disciples had to restore discipline among the screaming mortal functionaries with the traditional brute force; Brother Cholros praising Khorne with every sweep of his powered chain axe as he relieved himself of some of his boredom while Sister Grailon gave the gifts of Nurgle via vomiting all over another panicking ensign to reduce them to steaming, festering rot; the plague marine's helm closing its mouth once she was done and a hearty belly laugh coming from her. But the auspex signs were clear...he was...suddenly surrounded by a larger enemy force and there were orbital defence stations he hadn't detected until now when his sorcerers felt the perturbances of the cloaked stations on the Skeins of Fate that were being marked by scrivener daemons on the holodisplay.

    "+This is Admiral Dane of the Galactic Federation Navy. Your fleet is surrounded and your numerous atrocities against defenseless colony and outpost worlds have been recorded. You are being given a chance to surrender yourself to a war crimes tribunal where you may be given some chance at redemption. If you refuse this chance, we will destroy you without a second thought.+" A stately, professional sounding voice came in over the holodisplay.

    "+I know not what trickery is this, but know that I am Raghrastim the Huntsman, Lord of Devastation, master of Sorcerers, Ruiner of Empires, Cravenslayer of the Black Legion; I claim your worlds for the Black Mournival Emperors of the Black Imperium of Mankind. Debase yourselves before me and I may grant you the mercy of the Chaos Gods. Resist and your soul will scream in suffering your reality could never imagine! This is my offer to you "Admiral Dane"!+" The Chaos Lord roared.

    "+As is to be expected. Open fire.+" The Nurglite possessed daemonship; the battleship Squealing Blessings was the first to be struck; a particle beam racing across the void across a corridor of warped space to make the transition at superluminal speeds before stabbing into the fifteen kilometre fleshmetal pile of rot's void shields. Then n-space missiles followed, dropping into realspace at frightfully close range while its defensive turrets screamed to life. Then the long-range bomber wings dropped out of N-Space and slipped through the void shields, explosions ripping into external systems on the battleship until high intensity gamma lasers from the capital ship tore it to shreds once its shields failed.

    Other escorts began to explode, spinal weapons and heavy turrets roaring in the silent void of space as the Chaos fleet, out of position for a battle and unprepared for the foe, tried to engage. Foul sorceries were pooled together and lashed through one of the closer fleets, the warpflames of Tzeentch scouring the army vessels in hellfire that pounded into their shielding; trying to grasp at the metal beneath. Some of the ships died unnatural deaths, twisted by the lash of the changer of ways; but the lead sorcerer ship was targeted with prejudice.

    He could feel the native esoterical forces of this universe start to be called to life. Battle-Psions and Mystics signed into the Federal military started to study what they could of the cataclysmic chaos energies he was conjuring to try to defend his fleet; he would not allow it. Not even as reports of singular, customised strike craft slipping through the battle spheres of engagement and into a number of his warships came through. All bearing some manner of larger than life super warrior from the Freelancer Guilds or an Ultrasophontic Association. Other boarding teams, studiously avoiding the worst corrupted of his ships, deposited legions of shielding protected and power armoured and multi-species soldiers; all bearing numerous augments to go with their power suits.

    While his Traitor Astartes were usually more than a match for most of their line soldiers, his cultist rabble, his beastmen, and many of his chaos tainted xenos were not so lucky. The best his mortals tended to get with any regularity was some suits of powered void-hardened carapace armour for his favourites among his mortals. But most, when in space, were armed with low penetration weapons unlikely to harm the interiors of the ships they fought in. Hardly viable against enemies clad in shielded power suits with guns that hit harder than bolters; energy sheathed mass-driver rounds slicing into anything less than proper carapace armour as if it wasn't there and forcing even Astartes to take cover after brief exposure to the withering gaze of the bolts.

    More of his ships detonated or went silent as their engine power died. His own Juggernaut's batteries were furiously trading blows with the defense station in front of it; the Nova Cannon battery at the prow loading its shells and letting loose with a volley to demolish the smaller station utterly. But red alert sirens warned him to his growing annoyance of strike craft passing through its void shielding. Defensive turrets filling the void with strobe lights and accelerator shells while nimble craft smaller than the usual make of strike craft in his own reality danced with incredible grace; releasing their payloads into his craft with disturbing precision while swarms of daemon or servitor piloted craft vomited out from his fleet's hangars. They weren't able to hold the Federation's fighters, who quickly reaped their tally from their ranks, but they were meant to be disposable.

    One of his dreadnought category warships, the Rampager, twisted in half after being pummeled from multiple sides, its debris coming apart and turning into a rain of shrapnel that his own ship had to divert its guns towards clearing to open the targeting lanes from their obstruction. He admonished one of his cowards who suggested fleeing, bidding them to stand and fight while transport craft deposited Marine Mech-Formations on the surface of his prized ship, the machines more graceful than the Astartes Dreadnought Sacrophagi Walkers, the Knights, or the Titans of his own units; some automated, some piloted; all deadly.

    His fleet was outnumbered, the enemy had technological superiority, and much of the worst tricks his chaotic benefactors could give to him necessitated ritual or preparation. Daemons crawled on the surface of his ship to defend it, attacking the mechs and their marine escorts. Many did bloody work, stabbing at their shields and armour, wreathing them in pleromic fire or spellcraft, befelling them with deaths unnatural to the materium. But as soon as the breached shield squadrons meant to help prevent nasty melee attackers from closing to their ranks were doing better, many switched to energy bayonets, powered entrenchment tools, or trench raider instruments such as disruptor-maces. To shoot a Daemon was often much less effective than to strike it in melee, for the latter held more symbolic power and meaning over the living stories of the neverborn. With how fast the news of more effective tactics spread, he could only surmise they had some manner of network.

    "Fight to the last you cretins, any who are found wanting will feed the Chaos Spawn!" He bellowed as traitor Astartes and Void-Troops emerged to try and fight the external boarders. But the sorceress pointed above him.

    "My Lord! Danger imminent!" She said as the ceiling above him began to glow hot until it melted altogether, sending molten duranium falling atop some of the beastmen he allowed to speak with him for at least a few seconds before disemboweling them; the Khorngors thrashing as their bodies came apart from the heat and a giant man of rock and crystal armour dropped from he hole he had made. Some knew him as Spire, the last of the Diamonts. Based on the wave of fire he projected as soon as he landed that reduced the Chaos Lord's less armoured troops to ash before they could fire, he was a powerful foe, and the Chaos Lord laughed with anticipation.

    "Yes! Come xenos scum! Face me in battle!" He shouted as the silicoid rose to his full height until he was looking down at the giant in his tactical Dreadnought armour.

    Black and Silver Armoured Supermarine Shock Troopers; some of the very best the navy had to offer; followed behind Spire, dropping around him. Enhanced with more powerful bodies and high end warsuits outfitted with a dozen bells and whistles, many simply teleporting next to the Diamont with weapons at the ready, others hot dropping into the face of his Astartes or his Daemons, warp-field mass accelerators striking them down where more specialist weapons such as star-guns, seeker missile launchers, or electrolasers weren't called for.

    His Astartes fought well, though the thin-bloods recruited long after the Heresy as ever disgraced themselves. His Tactical Dreadnought equipped Guard though did not sell their lives cheaply, heavy weapons tearing out at the foe while these old guards of his warband formed ranks around their master to let him charge towards the Diamont; grenade harness over the hood of his armour pumping out a volley of anti-materiel krak grenades and the combi-bolters on his wrist letting loose.

    Spire was faster than he had any right to be and more than tough enough to simply push through the fire. As the last Diamont Warrior; he was a level well beyond Samus and Arne; a true progenitor warfighter who had deigned to bring in much of his more advanced equipment instead of leaving it behind out of pride like he did in some of his excursions to the silent worlds of the Alimbics. His first blow bowled over the Chaos Lord, the dark halo he wore to augment the shielding in his cataphractii armour flickering in protest as he was nearly knocked off his feet by a punch that would have shattered bunker complexes.

    He threw hands right back, balling a power claw into a fist and slugging towards his enemy who caught the fist with his orb hand; forming the magma into fingers and then lifting him off his feet and throwing him through the window like a pitched softball, his Guard turning towards the alien in their ranks and trying to lay him low while his heavy body crashed through into the void of space; tumbling until a portal was opened for him to return to the fray where he had found that Spire had already crushed some of his terminators and was tearing apart his Daemon Guard as well; Chaos Chosen Warriors rushing behind the Diamont only for a sweep of his arm cannon to reduce them to ash. Spire fought in a manner that the Chaos Lord could only compare to a Primarch, especially the way he smashed a Keeper of Secrets called into being shortly after it was summoned from the corpse of one of his champions. Could he be more? Perhaps. But the Chaos Lord deigned to kill him all the same.

    A volley of fire from the marine team tore into his back; a hundred guns shredding into his daemon cursed defenses and those who dared to get close to him fired off dash jets to quickly scoot in, get in their blows, then scoot out before his retaliatory blow could meet them. Doombolts ripped from his hands, scattering his foes as he roared his frustrations; determined to kill everyone defiling his ship.

    "I am a veteran of fifteen thousand years of unholy war! You are all as nothing compared to me! I AM THE HUNTSMAN, THE RAVAGER OF WORLDS! YOU CANNOT-" He felt a hand grabbing his pauldron and then found his field of vision shifting rapidly as Spire grabbed him and slammed him onto the ground.

    "You going to keep on chatting, or are you going to prove any of your bragging?" Spire's rumbling voice said as the Chaos Lord pushed himself up and snarled like some sort of monster rather than a man.

    "I will drink from your skull, xenos scum." He roared.

    But while he fought with all he had; Spire came equipped as a true Progenitor warrior. Even in Raghrastim's most pessimistic of estimations, Spire was beyond what he was prepared to fight. Spire was a level of foe that Samus and Arne would not become until they had mastered the mystic side of their training and received true warsuits; not when he was dressed for battle in this way. Raghrastim would have lost to either Samus or Arne; still so infantile with the fragments of their potential that they controlled; but given a good account of it; as he wagered that; bloated with Chaos' favour as he was; he could have given a good fight to the Primarchs before they unlocked the true potential of their real natures as gods made flesh. He was a Lord of Lords, who could force many grand hosts to heel before him; who ruled as a noble in his own right in the Mournival's Imperium.

    He was now a pile of ash, and his warship soon scrap.

    Had the numbers been more even, perhaps the traitors could have given a better fight, maybe even win despite their inferior technology through the powers of chaos and the unbridled battle fury and experience of the Astartes, perhaps were they not surprised and surrounded...perhaps if a true Progenitor Warrior were not among them...but none survived to flee save for those who turned tail and ran as soon as they detected the translation of the Federal Armada from N-space; to retreat back to the outpost worlds the traitors had established as they sought to extend the Black Crusades into new territory just as they did when the Exitus crusades began with the expansion of the garden of the old ones that spanned the expanse of space visible from the milky way to some ten times beyond that. A process still ongoing, but necessary as the Emperors battled for dominance and time had to be bided for reclamations.

    A process that he had been part of, but after a momentary fight with Spire deciding it was time to stop playing around, he would be part of no more. The Black Crusade would have to continue without him, and his subordinates would be eager to squabble over the scraps.

    His last thoughts before his would escended into the maw of Chaos as all those marked by the Daemon Gods did who were not forcibly stolen by the likes of Nagash or others; were of how he reckoned his child self would have responded if he knew this was how he would end. Would he have still chosen Horus? Would he still have killed so many for power that meant nothing in the end?

    And finally.

    Would his birth-brother forgive him, if he ever met him again in the sea of souls?

    Nothing else could come to mind, as the Lords of Daemons despised one who could not commit to a patron and he had not pledged himself to the Everchosen. As such, the afterlife for him would be terrifyingly brief even by the low standards of the worshippers of Chaos who died in failure.

    The last thing he saw were the hordes of Daemons descending down upon him to determine who had the first bite of his soul.
     
    Last edited:
    Sidelude: Beasts and Battalions
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    Sourcewell Metaverse, Blackstar Galaxy, Lumoros System, Planet Astraki

    "Oi boss lookit there! Shellboyz!" Zugstomp Shootamuch pointed to one of the impervium armoured Battlelords who commanded the vast, seething alien tide of beings enslaved to the indomitable will of the being known only as the Battlemaster. Insectoid of form, large of stature, and clad in true impervium armour alloyed only with absorbium and some mystic materials to prevent blunt force shock or phasic weapons from slaying the wielder of the virtually impenetrable shell. At its feet were countless species of endless varieties and shapes all commanded to wage war, to absorb potential, to turn the narrative destiny of other species into another facet of the force known as the Battalion.

    The Battalion was an army without fear, coming to grips with the Beast Set Loose in cataclysmic bloodshed as they had for years. Their invasion of Earth; planned for two thousand and thirteen as the humans reckoned time, had to be delayed due to the recall of the fleet originally being planned to be sent to Earth to confront the war-hungry brutes as soon as they started to encroach on their empire of chains. To this, they turned the stolen genius of a billion times a billion civilizations to the dread task, terrible weapons of war matched against the unreasoning barbarism of those who were made to be the ultimate weapon for a war more terrible than most could comfortably imagine; now ascended into the pinnacle of true, senseless violence by the overwhelming feedback of their own empyreal might.

    Stolen godhood and green brutishness collided in this world as it did on countless other worlds. Thrall races grappled with the endless boyz and squiggly fings of the viridian horde; a panoply of life forms and ideas for waging battle manifested into the most debased sort of grinder in which civilisation went into to die and be smashed into yet further means of self-destruction. Monstrosities from both sides were deployed freely while the air was splitting at the very seams with the collision of cosmic and esoterical energies as the power of the Waaaagh struggled with the stolen Source Potential of the Battalion just as their mortal avatars battled in the physical realm.

    The star behind them was torn in half by the rampaging energies unleashed without caution by the void battle above some hours ago and the sun in the sky was starting to fission apart; blaring white and ravenous green energy pushing against each other as Beast battled Battalion. The skies were thick with fliers, whether they flew under their own power, with flight packs, with aircraft, or were some manner of winged beast mattered little save for that so many eventually fell back to the ground in bloody heaps or smoking wrecks.

    What was supposed to be the faint sight of a distant gas giant was instead blazing with fusion fire after the salvoes between two fleets fighting within the clouds had ignited the planet and ripped it asunder; bathing this particular rocky world in a wondrous set of lights while unfathomable energies danced around, ripping the ground apart, splitting the sky open, and vomiting forth monsters. Warpspawn of Gork and Mork spat out of rents in reality to meet with Battalion bound Demons hurled forwards in vast numbers from the pits of Hell to do battle for their masters. Giant monsters and thundering war machines wrestled in a way that made the earth crumble apart, and the carpet of Greenskin fungal bloom advanced ever farther even in the face of the sheets of fire pushed forward by the Battalion's own hordes.

    Scenes like this played out on billions upon billions of other worlds as the Thirteen Emperors did battle with the Battalion, the Kheldians, the Nictus, the Arikrat, the Jrakim, the Niarte, the Yurye, the True Rikti and other forces who dominated the spacelanes in this metaverse. Though the inhabitants of Primal Earth did not know it, it was the fury of the invaders that came through the Nexus event that had saved them from an invasion in 2013. In a sense, such mindless violence was Earth's salvation.

    As far as Megaboss Worldsmasha Redklaw was concerned, this was heaven. Endless war against powerful foes who knew almost nothing of fear as the Battlelords chained their destinies to the will of the Battlemaster. Beings who had sucked out the potential for apotheosis of a billion times a billion different cultures and species. It was glorious, it was beautiful. The loud sounds of gunfire roaring in his ears as he exulted in the Greenskin worship of violence, raw, unrelenting, and matchless in savagery.

    "See, Ghazghkull woz roight. Dis is where da gud foightin' is! Come on ladz! Let's get stukk in! Last one ta kill a shellboy iz a git! WAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Warboss Choppalotz bellowed as a stampede of gargants so thick that it was almost as if a tectonic plate had decided to go on the mark rumbled forward, the Tsunami of green flesh and metal at their feet and tracks rolling forward with crude weapons raised and all fear of death utterly subsumed into an apocalyptic hunger to destroy everything that didn't read to them as properly of Gork and Mork.

    "Now listen gud 'ere boyz, cuz I'z only gonna say dis once. We'z 'ere fer stompin' runts an' takin' tropheez. If any of ya gitz dun kill sumfing den yooz nuffin' but a ponce an' ye kan zog off of me next waaagh in yer next life. Now, lemme show ya why iz da Megaboss!" Megaboss Slaughahking said, clad in what in another age, might have been called mega armour by imperial scholars, but in this great and terrible manifestation of the Warring Triad; it was something altogether more barbaric, the Ironjaw Orruk exulting in his tremendous size, his impenetrable hide, and his virtually unlimited strength for but a moment before he sucked in and bellowed out a call that could; against all reason; be heard across the stars at the same time.

    "WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    The cry of havoc granted the Orks zephyr speed, barreling forward impossibly swiftly, crashing into their foe with shockwave inducing might. Shredding into and tearing at their foes and being ripped into in return, a gleeful act of worshipful violence as the ground began to prove to be the weakest link in the contest between the Battalion and the Beast. The earth fractured beneath, the air was so thick with raining shells one could almost imagine walking themselves into space upon a carpet of tracers. Limbs, rent armour, ruined flesh, and heavy explosions in all directions as far as the eye could see, but under their all pervading war cry there could only be one victor. In a brawl where victory went to the one who punched hardest and most often, the Greenskins were winning out by sheer numbers.

    The weirdboyz channelled forth mystic furor as a green inferno roared forward, incinerating large swathes of the enemy army in a fire that went beyond any mere measurement of heat, flaming death vomiting forth from their open mouths while others brought down projections of the booted foot of Gork to simply stomp on their foes with meteoric force, laughing and hollering at the billowing shockwaves and jeering at their fellows who were swept up as collateral damage. The Waaagh! boiled against the magic and the stolen godhood of the Battalion, tearing open holes in reality from which more extradimensional aid poured into being on both sides, the world beneath their feet screaming its protests as it bled.

    The land split asunder, twisting to the Waaagh!s unrelenting desire to destroy, lava fountained out of the wounded world and changed into an iridescent green hue that lapped onto the Secondary-Impervium alloyed Battle Thralls; mish mashes of endless species all consumed by the fiery rage of Gork, boiled to death in their armour once their shields burst. Spores grew into fully-formed monstrosities, armour and bioniks melded into flesh in a way that was disturbing and simplistic, often bearing too many arms or features replaced with something more suited for war.

    Snotlings, Grots, Orks, Trogs, and Biggunz to name the "finkin' boyz"; and endless varieties of Squig from red toothy maws with legs to green short-necked sauropod like monsters to beasts like dragons or even wolves and spiders just to name a tiny handful of the animals that travelled with the Waaagh! as the Orks whooped at the sight of the moon overhead this doomed world being slammed into by another moon; Rokkaz playing devastating exultations in as crimson worldblood leaked out of the moon above and the Waaagh! pulled down roks from the shattered celestial body, already filled with greenskins against all logic or possibility.

    Superpowers taken from a million societies were deployed, incredibly fast creatures given the gift of superspeed racing through the viridian Tsunami of the Greenskins; blades of mystic sharpness biting into often poorly armoured green flesh and severing limbs that often grew back in moments where they were not forced to abide, for a moment at least, by the rules of reality with an application of flame. Super strong "flying bricks" smashed through the green tide, pulping flesh or throwing vehicles aside, thunderclaps smashing scrap metal abominations against every principle of engineering back into junk only for these beings to be dragged down by war hungry boyz. Power weapons crackling or swung with simple brute force to smash down these empowered soldiers while others were eventually ripped to shreds by Waaagh propelled dakka or warp power.

    Ramshackle scrap vehicles and titanic fungal monstrosities pressed the savages' offensive, hooligan glee driving them to get to grips with the enemy as the Battlelords pressed themselves into the fighting at last, trusting in their godhood and their armour as they smashed aside greenskins and squigs who threw themselves into the fray with contemptuous ease. But the Greenskins wanted to kill them. Every single iota of the Ork essence of being wanted to kill them. That was what the beast did. Slaughter, destroy, kill. That was what the Old Ones wanted of them, to punish all of existence; the C'tan touched, Chaos tainted, and Usurperwarped for killing them, their own creations for failing them, and everything else for daring to exist in a reality not touched by their grace; until there was nothing left but Green.

    Even Impervium-Absorbium alloy armour and godhood would have to bend way to such unbridled murderlust given shape and reality and poured into weapons that existed to give voice to the warlust of the green tide; crackling power weapons and glimmering "glowy dakka" sparking at the shields of the somewhat mantid like battlelords as they tore through everything in their path, even shattering Gargants, Bonegrinder Biggunz, and Orkeosauruses where the mightiest of their number strode or called their own grand war machines strode, rallying their flaggering hordes of thralls. But the Megaboss crashed his armour plated Mawkrusha in front of the lead Battlelord, the sumo-wrestler proportioned wyvern beast flying not through any possible set of aerodynamics but out of gravity simply being too afraid of contesting its assertion that it could in fact fly.

    A row of tanks was imploded by the massive landing the beast did, while others were reduced to pulp, armour and all, as the Maw-Krusha; Goremayka; let out a roar so loud that the air distorted before its sonerous war cry while Slaughtahking laughed, letting his power choppa glow to life in his clawed gauntlet, whirring chain teeth roaring to life while his other hand let rip with a shoota whose rounds exploded into glowing green power fields that vaporised most of what they touched, including the ground as they burned hemispheres into them before collapsing back in on themselves to create vacuums that sucked in other foes into them to be smashed into white hot orbs; but the Battlelord remained standing, twirling its staff to deflect an orb right back to the Megaboss while taking another on the chin, scarcely flinching from the impact even as the ground was destroyed below it.

    The megaboss batted the shot right back into a whirling melee to his side, his retinue of warbosses and "bully boyz" following behind him on maw-krushas, Squig Wyverns, Squig Hawkz, tellyportaz, Deffkoptaz, or stormboy rokkitz. The Battlelord directed its Praetorian guard forward as it sprinted out of the crater like lightning, outracing its own sound and extending a blade from its staff, Goremayka ducking its head to allow for Slaughtahking swung one of his cleavers to intercept with earthshaking force; the kustom blastyshoota on his other arm retracting on the power klaw mount to give the bladed fingers room to swipe at the six-armed and powerfully built god-thief.

    They traded blows with speed and skill that belied their size and seemingly brutish builds, fighting with a mastery that would have had any martial arts expert green enough with envy to pass as one of the rampaging fungal tide. Slaughtahking fighting with untempered, undistilled savagery that was never the less, aimed and directed, clever feints and whirling counters paired with brutish direct blows to pound at the Battlelord's armour; his own blue coloured armour's shields hungrily sucking at the energy of the Battlelord's counterstrikes as they jumped onto the Maw-Krusha's back while it gleefully ate its way through the battle thralls in front of it; trying to flank the megaboss only for a thump to its head to reward the godthief. Something it retaliated with a headbutt that the horn helmed Ork was only too happy to meet in return, a shockwave exploding outwards from the impact that sent even tanks into rolls and swatted low flying aircraft from the air.

    "Ya got gutz shellboy, but Orkz wuz made fer fightin' and winnin'. We'ze gonna travel ta all deze ooniverses, we'ze gonna make 'em Orky, and we'ze gonna fight every new fing we seez in 'em till itz all proppa green. Den we'ze gonna find more and more and more! Ain't nuffin' gonna stop us! But I'z alwayz gonna remembuh yoo shellboyz, cuz dis? Dis 'ere iz sum uv da best fightin' I've ever 'ad. So Iz gonna thank ya shellboy. Cuz when Ghazghkull, Skarsnik, 'n Mollog krump the lot of ya, I'z not sure if we'z gonna find anuvva fight like ya." He boasted, perhaps were he just an Ork his boasts would have been clearly empty. But they were not just orks; they were the Beast Set Loose. The malice and spite of the Old Ones channelled through bodies that fully embodied the brutish glee of Gork and Mork. A manifestation of the WAAAGH! so potent that reality itself couldn't help but sag beneath their unrestrained thirst for destruction as rocks began to spontaneously animate into effigies of Gork and Mork; Rogue Idols that would have taken ritual and spellcraft for ordinary greenskins now needing nothing but their simple presence as these golem like giants shrugged off blows that would have shattered mountains to add to the carnage.

    "Your power is significant, but the purpose remains undeterred. Life exists in chaos and disorder. Your kind, more than most, embodies this savage self-destructive tendency. Unable to create anything worth remembering save for in barbaric warmongering. The Enthralling is a harsh punishment, but it is the only salvation for life which would otherwise destroy itself. You will one day learn to love your chains." The Battlelord countered as its stolen creative powers swirled around itself, girding itself in divine Strength and throwing a blow that socked the Ork hard enough to stagger him before sweeping the other end of the staff-blade in an overhead sweep that the Megaboss simply took on the shoulder and threw right back off.

    The Battlelord pivoted, stepping towards the Ork's guard, but the Maw-Krusha had tired of the fighting on its back and swiped a fat claw at the offending insectoid; grabbing it in hand and tossing it off; smashing into the ground only to find the insectoid to have teleported out of the way. The optics of its helmet began to glow white before powerful beams erupted forth, a tyrant's gaze that had felled many champions of many species. But the megaboss brought his choppa into the path, twisting it to angle the deflection to make the whining beam strike its creator in the neck while he made his crude, cruel laughs.

    But as reality weakened, other forces saw the rich energy being so freely thrown around by each side and hungered. Some too much to simply wait, not when there was a chance as the Nexus event bringing these sixteen metaversal clusters together was fluctuating once more, driven and warped by the sourcewell and warp energy being tossed around so casually. And reality would tear open with a purple-white fire as a predatory hunting call was sounded, the unceasing hunger of those on the other side apparent as soon as their semi-real, hyperspace born forms of solidified energy clawed their way into being. A howl going across the winds and a fleet of ships cast in their strange image emerging from a swirling vortex opened between the sundered halves of the system's sun.



    The Orks knew these creatures, as Ghazghkull's WAAAGH had fought them plenty of times in the reality that they were most prevalent in. A reality of countless star empires trying to make their mark on a series of gate connected galaxies as galaxy devouring crises and a vicious war in heaven between its once fallen and stagnant and now awakened and furious ancients tore their way across the stars. Where worms in waiting and the heavy price of making deals with beings that one should never have made the mistake of bargaining with danced in the stars and the stars were consumed by the wrath of nanites let loose from the L-Gate and the fury of great Marauder Khans.

    The Megaboss squinted as the Battlelord turned with similar recognition in its eyes, seeing the creatures already filter outwards looking to satiate their hunger for the sweet energy of life.

    "Oi, unbidden boyz; right proppa name that is cuz you weren't zoggin' invited ta this waaaagh! But if ya don't wantz ta wait yer turn; fine, I'll krump da boff of yaz right 'ere, right now!" He shouted, bellowing his promise of annihilation to the energy beasts as the poor, benighted world almost seemed to cry with rain at the prospect of the already ruinous two-way war becoming a three-way maelstrom of violence.
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 8)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]Plan: We'll Be Right Back

    League Actions
    [X]: Sneak off to rescue them. You and Samus will head in to rescue the prisoners on your own. Your team will lack your firepower save for phase-wave sniping for some time; but you'll be able to get in and out quickly and save the people or at least determine which ones are already infected.

    Defensive Preparations
    [X]: Set up defensive turrets and traps. Clarioli, Galen, and Arcee can set up some defensive turrets and drones that when paired with the electromines and gremlins of Boltdancer; will provide significant obstacles for the enemy to have to traverse as well as adding a great deal of supporting fire capabilities.
    [X]: Prepare Hexes. You have a lot of casters on your team who can set up wide area hex spells that will weaken the entire enemy force bearing down on your position, giving a greater chance of nobody getting seriously injured.
    [X]: Prepare a major destruction spell: Have the Eldar prepare a ritual that will cast a powerful spell that will burn its way through many of the Genestealer Cultists, killing many of them before they have a chance to get into combat range.

    Defensive Planning
    [X]: Close up avenues of attack: Do your best to limit the number of directions the enemy can attack you from.
    [X]: Organise Lines of FIre: Set up a coordinated system to ensure that anyone who needs fire support is going to get it, thus allowing for better overwatch fire on incoming enemies as well as supporting fire on engaged allies and superior suppression against advancing opponents.
    [X]: Organise Melee Sequence: Sort out who's best able to handle what in close quarters combat so that nobody ends up picking fights with things they really shouldn't. Ensures that melee engagements are optimal between team mates.

    Samus
    [X]: I am a blade of many shapes, a warrior of many forms:

    Arne
    [X]: The Assassin's Knife, the Silent Death

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 1500/1500|950/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 500/500|400/500|175/175 Morale: Shaky. Stress: 10
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1500/1500|1500/1500|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 100/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 300/300|100/100|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5

    Samus

    The count of enemies was rising rapidly, leading you to believe they were either teleporting in more assistance, moving them in from where you couldn't see, or were somehow able to just produce them fast enough. Which meant that you didn't have too much time to work before going between the thicket of cultists would be next to impossible. At least while also trying to get any of the remaining captives out. That made the decision for you at least, easy enough.

    "Arne I'm going to rescue the captives, if we don't do it now I don't think they'll leave any of them for rescuing." You said, gesturing to the end of the hallway where the warp and echo visor were telling you that the walls, vents, and maintenance tunnels around you were crawling with enemy signatures. They were going to swarm at you without number soon enough, and it was going to take all your wit and cunning to stop your friends from getting overwhelmed as Arne's initial estimate became outdated so quickly your breath hitched in your helmet.

    Whatever was down there was pumping out enough of these things to overrun a whole lot more than just the city if they were to go loud, which they almost certainly would after being revealed. You paused briefly and looked back towards the group.

    "Are you sure Samus? Most of our team isn't as tough as we are." Arne said, looking towards them and then back at you. "They depend on us for firepower and troubleshooting. Without our support..." He said before you shook your head and cut him off.

    "We won't take too long. Just get the innocents out of harm's way before the fighting begins." You said.

    "What are we going to do with the people already infected?" He asked, making you go quiet as you looked to the ground and gulped.

    "We'll think of something." You replied, getting a nod of acceptance out of him. He seemed rather, reluctant to fully embrace the idea that you were going to indy ploy this, but he trusted you with his life, so he'd put his faith in your judgement for now.

    "Whoa, hold on there trooper. What about the defensive line. In case you haven't noticed; we're not exactly in a match with balanced teams." Arcee said, raising her hand as galen and her minicon shifted back into rifle mode for her, her optics clearly seeing the rapidly amassing swarm heading your way like a tsunami just as you did. She had brought up the battlemask over her features, guarding her optics and mouth with a visor and shield while she tensed for imminent battle.

    "...She would have enough time to get them out before the density of the Swarm rises to the point of impenetrability. Particularly with her options to alter the flow to time." Alyrsero said after casting a rune into the air and holding his concentration for a moment, muttering a few incantations before catching the glowing rune back in his hand, moving it back into his pouch and giving a nod of affirmation to you.

    "Well if the warseer novice says that it will bear out I guess there's no room for debate at all is there? Much like how in a matter of moments we'll hardly have enough room to breathe at all once the swarm arrives." One of them said, dressed in rather macarbe armour with a skull-like helm with a crown of small daggers around it said, rib cage patterned chest armour flexing with his breaths and even his weapon having a scyth bayonet that struck you as outlandishly impractical; his garb a macabre mix of black, white, and dark blue. The eyepieces of his helm glowing an eerie midnight blue.

    "Korlanil, a bit of tact." His exodite counterpart said, his armour seeming to be made of resin, wood, scale, and carapace; the stuff of the natural world carefully teased into a protective shape around his body. Rather...pleasantly form-fitting if the muscular sculpting of the armour was at all truthful about the Eldar's physique. His helm bore antlers like a stag, its back growing with leaves and its facemask relatively plain save for the brilliant green eyepieces amidst the brown mask; floral orchid adding its colouration to his otherwise earthy tones.

    "Ormothin, Korlanil; that will be enough. We will soon be rather busied with other stuff." Kaeliyae admonished them, humming to herself as she activated her holosuit to disappear into the mists of invisibility while the Druchii sorceress started to weave a spell with the shadows in the room to mould them into barricades or servants, making a number of frightful hooded men with eerie white eyes staring out of their wratih-hoods alongside other, more monstrous shadow beasts; joining Boltdancer's spawn of living lightning as they took up perimeters.

    As much as Lelithax...rankled at you, she had the right idea.

    "We need to shut down all the possible routes for them to come through. Board up anything you can. Ice it up, wall it up, close it off. If you let them come at you from every direction as they please you're going to get overwhelmed." You said, taking a look at the three routes that the tyranids were able to use to close ranks with the team.

    "Have someone on seismograph duty, you're going to need to be made aware of incoming tunnelers or enemies going through the vents and walls." Arne said, then pointing directly behind you, the route you just came through. "Opposite the door we took to get here is the shortest route out of the building. I'd keep that route barricaded. If we want to get out of here, we don't want to go through the thickest concentration of enemies." He said before Elendria shook her head.

    "Please, Arne." She said, getting Boltdancer to raise an eyebrow.

    "Come on...you say his name when all you call me is "human?"" He complained before Iybraa muttered "not the time" to him.

    "Your tactical advice is sound, but consider that if we are in need of rapid withdrawal and must open that passageway; we would open ourselves to additional avenues of enemy advance. Fighting straight through the thicket of the scuttling swarm is daunting, but it will be easier if we need only watch two paths." She said with a rather polite tone.

    "Alright, fair. We'll need to do two things, weaken the enemy with whatever you can manage before they get here, and sort out who's going to be the frontliners and rearguard." You said, almost everyone immediately pointing to Tyrius and Raelamiel, the latter simply shrugging.

    "Aight, me and pixy will hold out in front." Raelamiel said as she sharpened her swords against each other, the Angel seemingly tense under the sensation of a shadow throughout the sea of souls starting to dawn over you. Endless scratching and alien voices multiplying in your local area, speaking tongues you couldn't understand but transmitting thoughts you very much could. Consume, infect, eliminate, study. The Eldar seemed to be somewhat pained by it, but pushed themselves through all the same, Alyrsero gulping beneath his helmet while Kaeliyae lowered a hand to his shoulder and whispered something that got him to stiffen his resolve.

    "Myself and the Hyshite will join them at the front ranks, doing battle where we can. The others of our kind should remain in the back, save Ormothin and Lelithax who shall stay in the centre where it is safest." Elendria said with a sage nod.

    "My blade does thirst for battle. I accept the challenge in Tyrion's name." Idaliryn said, his armour seeming to glow a little brighter still as he flipped his greatsword into position and moved with the Fae, the Angel, and the other Eldar to the front.

    "I'll hold at the rear with Galen. Boltdancer, stick to the midlines. Iybraa, with me." Arcee said, getting everyone into their positions.

    "When we get back; we'll also join the frontlines. Good luck everyone." You said as you started to leave.

    The Eldar joined together for a spell that reverberated throughout the warp to push back against the scratching noise. Iybraa and Boltdancer laid out time delayed traps and zones of reservation, and a series of warpcrafted hexes oozed outwards, ready to seep into the oncoming swarm rushing in from multiple sides. With the remaining time, the Eldar and the team set up their barriers; Arcee deploying instacrete foam to seal off the side passages after Raelamiel had laid down her ice walls, Clarioli had placed down her regenerating plasma mines, and Ormothin had tossed seeds that grew into thick, thorny brambles reinforced with luminous hysh and sparking electricity from Kaeliyae and Boltdancer. The back half of these walls were set up shortly afterwards; and the whole of both passages were soon shrouded by Ulgu in thick, gnawing darkness.

    Some defenses were also set up in the front and rear, but not too much, enough to encourage them to go through those paths rather than focus on cutting through the barriers, and also to let you go through with ease.

    You both activated your timestops and slipped into the embrace of your agility incarnates, teleporting to the ends of the hallway and then phasing through the door; bypassing the two hallways that lead to it from the other side in the T-crossing with your ghost suits, keeping your holofields up to prevent yourselves from being spotted from anything that might be able to keep awareness through the timestop.

    The room was one of a number of aliens who were gathered before new recruits. Faces frozen in terror as they were spread throughout a printing room repurposed as a prison for its inhabitants. Based on the way they were turned to face each other it was clear that they were meant to contribute to the...lifecycle of the beasts as soon as the "kiss" had been granted. Which would explain why there were equal numbers of men and women, all of reproducing age. But some of them were...you had to bite your tongue to hold the urge to throw up back.

    But as you looked at the frozen genestealers held in stasis, perched on printers or desks or hanging from the ceiling as they guarded their captives who looked on them with unreasoning, mute terror, you had a thought. They could have infected these people already...so what was with the wait?

    "Arne, look for something that would make the Genestealers wait." You said as he clearly and audibly gulped back something in his throat and clenched a fist just as he could see you making brief trembles of repressed anger.

    "Samus...I think I see it." He said, gesturing to a device that glowed a peculiar blue hue, a cylindrical rod topped with a crystal.

    This device is a Kheldian Lure meant to draw a bodiless Kheldian towards it via replicating the signals that the Kheldians and Nictus utilise to seek out suitable hosts. Once in range, the Kheldians will be captured with the secondary portion of this device which is fashioned to forcibly inject the alien into its host. Observation suggests that Kheldians and Nictus would be aware of Genestealer contamination and thus avoid infected hosts; thus requiring the lure to utilise them for their own purposes.

    Samus' Notes: This is based on...Weltreich technology based on component analysis and how it's put together. Which means there's probably cults in the Weltreich too, feeding their knowledge to the other cults. But if they're trying to attract these Nictus or Kheldians, from what I've seen of them already they'd be forming an incredibly deadly army. It's...so awful that so much genius is going into this purpose. :(

    Arne's Notes: They already have metahuman abilities and understand how parahuman powers work, so...yes I think I'm getting it now. They want to study Kheldian physiology and send back the data to their fleets. Clever, but horrific. It does mean though, that we need to uproot these nests of kin-thieves before they get out of hand. Especially after all their other abominations against clan and family.

    "It's a lure. This is all part of an effort to study and replicate powers." Arne said, steeling himself. "I'm...gods these are just people being used as bait for...breeding experiments!" Arne said as one of his more sensitive issues was being pressed rather hard, his flashes of anger bright in the conduits of destiny.

    "We have to burn this, all of this." He said, taking your usual role as the angry and emotive one for now while you tried to keep him focused.

    "Arne, the people need to be saved first. They're the ones who are going to get hurt the most. And I...I'm disgusted too, but it's worse to let the innocent die than the guilty go unpunished. We can't just leave them here." You said as he tensed, shuddered, almost balled his hand into a fist and then breathed out and nodded.

    "You're right. Let's clear out the kin-thieves while the time stop is still going." He said as he extended his bayonet and armblade. You also got to work quickly; making sure to torch and dice the remains as thoroughly as possible to ensure no regeneration would happen. A brood of genestealers simply disintegrated to ash as soon as time resumed and you had deactivated your holofields to let the people know they were being saved, most of them backing off in a fright, well, as much as they could bound to their chairs. Emma, a curvaceous and somewhat tall redhead whom you at first liked the look of before dashing any hint of attraction as soon as you felt a seed of rot in her spirit. Still, she was in distress, and needed saving and you had, faster than any of them could even perceive that you had moved, cut them all free.

    "Come on, we're getting you out of here." You said, letting your scan visor work on the group of twenty or so people in here. No signs of contamination at least; which made you breathe out a sigh of relief as you produced a capture orb meant for securing specimens in a smaller, more portable spaces and pressed the button at the centre to activate it.

    "W-what's that?" Emma said, clearly scared out of her mind based on her massively elevated heartbeat and the still profuse sweating she was experiencing.

    "This will make getting you out a lot easier. I usually use it to get samples I want back to my ship portably but...it'll keep all of you safe." You said as she gave a slow nod, a tall, thin balding man with green eyes and dark hair managing enough composure to ask a more coherent question.

    "Who are you two?" He asked as Arne checked at the walls for a moment and made some sign language to inform you he was sensing movement outside the walls.

    "Dawnchild and Duskguard." You said as you activated the Orb.

    "Is it going to hurt?" Emma asked.

    "Not at all!" You said trying to maintain your cheer as the youngest among them, a dark skinned girl of maybe twelve spoke up just as the capture energy shot out.

    "How are you gonna get past all the mons-" Not finishing it before they were contained in the orb which was then dissolved into your zero-point field for safe keeping. You rushed out through the walls, phasing through alongside arne and firing off the speedbooster to go more quickly until you re-emerged outside the compound at the PRT and Protectorate line gathered around the facility, barricades in all directions and guns briefly pointing at you until Kid Win waved them off as you produced the orb once more.

    "Hey Dawnchild, uh, just...hanging around doing perimeter dut-Izzat a pokeball?" He asked as he tilted his head at it, your brow kinking in confusion before you released the gathered people who were at least, stood up behind the row of policemen and PRT paramilitants, even some national guard troopers had apparently been called up, dressed in camo fatigues.

    "...That is a pokeball what the fuck?" He said before Miss Militia harrumphed at him and he sheepishly apologised for swearing.

    "You guys need any help?" He offered.

    "If you went in, every single one of your non-powered soldiers would be dead as fast as the inhabitants inside wanted you to be dead. Any of them who make it out would be infected and used to start the cult elsewhere or go to ground in the other cults in the city. Your armour would be your coffin." Arne said bluntly, Dennis gulping audibly while Vista nodded in sad acceptance before offering out a piece of green cloth to him while Dennis looked you straight in the eyes as soon as you made your visor transluscent.

    "Be careful out there, alright? Wouldn't want your career as an amazon princess cut short playing Aliens down there yeah? And well, hopefully soon I'll be ready to head down there." He said, giving you a thumbs up that made you feel warm inside. He clearly liked you, and well, was it right to reciprocate that? You weren't sure, but you made a thumbs up back at him.

    "What's this?" Arne asked, looking at it.

    "Well, you're a knight so I figured you might want a favour from a lady." She said with a smile beneath her helmet as Arne blushed beneath his helmet.

    "...Thanks...we'll be back soon." He said as he thumbed at the complex as the vital sign reader of your team indicated that they were heavily engaged in combat.

    "Bye." She said with a wave.

    "Let's go Arne." You said to him as the two of you rushed down into the area you had left, finding where the rest of your team was as the insane thicket of limbs had outdone even your most pessimistic of expectations. Not merely cultists or genestealers but other organisms were throwing themselves into the killingfields; their bodies teleported back so that nothing was ever lost even if they were slain. You stabbed into the writhing, stabbing frame of a beast with scythe fore limbs that ran in a stooped, velociraptor like position the size of a deinonychus, howling with fury as beady eyes stared at you with hatred until you bisected it with the following upward thrust.



    This genus of Tyranid bioform is distinct from that of the Genestealers and is not a product of the typical genestealer lifestyle, instead being produced as a disposable infantry bioform that is expended in enormous numbers to engage foes in melee. Analysis of Eldar records shows that while initially the Tyranids required "synapse organisms" to project connections to the gestalt, the Tyranids evolved past this weakness after incorporating genetic code from much of the "Garden of the Old Ones" that had seen their capabilities continually improve and grow. Now capable of on the fly adaptation and using synapse projection purely to channel additional power into other organisms, the Hormagaunt once known for its tendency to revert to animal savagery if disconnected from the Hive Mind now always operates as part of the enormous gestalt intelligence, contributing the thoughts of every portion of its body to the overall thoughts of the Gestalt intelligence.

    Analysis of the Tyranid genome confirms that the Tyranid is alive down to the Quark, Photonic, and Lepton level, which serves as a carrier for its hive mind. These "Tyrannic particles" will cluster together into bodies and genomes which amplify the connection to the hive mind that is comprised out of the gestalted intelligence of all Tyrannic particular organisms. This means that every Tyranid organism is in actuality, a colonial organism comprised out of a vast number of suborganisms. Every organ and limb is capable of acting on its own and directing itself if the colonial creature dies. Tissue will break itself down for recombination and repurposing, often flowing into other tyranids to replace injured tissue. An effect that grows more pronounced the more intense the Tyranid warp presence becomes until Tyranid capabilities flagrantly violate natural law. While some strain of these abilities were always noted, they had grown more extreme in the five thousand years since Tyrannic contact; mingling with the hyper-adaptation, multiplication, and regeneration of the more biomass intensive "Greater Tyranids".

    The Hormagaunt itself is a lowly organism, being vulnerable to all of your weapons and having relatively little in the way of protection. However some may develop mutations to increase their toughness and armour, or develop warp shielding from the strength of the hive mind to protect themselves from fire; and like all Tyranids of this strain possess the ability to start adapting and regenerate on the fly; even seeming to draw mass from nowhere. Seemingly dead organisms can be revitalised through multiple processes and complete incineration is recommended to prevent either biopod recovery or regenerative effects. Varying between multiple elemental weapons will be necessary to ensure maximum effectiveness. Also note that the Hormagaunt is extremely fast and while of low strength for a Tyranid melee bioform, remains strong and deadly enough to easily tear apart most combatants of this world and time, with a swarm easily being able to tear an abrams tank apart in seconds and being virtually immune to contemporary small arms fire.

    Samus' Notes: These things can, as if they weren't already bad enough, lay eggs on top of all their other multiplication methods. I'm going to need some proper flamethrower type weapons if I'm to have to deal with creatures like this constantly.

    Arne's Notes: The Positron beam should, at the very least, be able to ensure no remains are left to regenerate, but I'm going to have to periodically switch it up unless I want to box myself in. Never smart to do against a hyper-adaptive homogenizing swarm.

    It was also clear that the Tyranids had found a way to bring far, far more organisms than Arne was initially able to detect; as the halls were already crowded with swarms so thick that you couldn't even see their surfaces anymore, every available space for movement completely covered by the Genestealer Cult and its produced organisms to build a tyranid presence beneath this world's nose. You could only hope that this was the sort of node that if taken out, would seriously disrupt the Tyranids' plans for some time.

    Tyrius' blazing sun-sword held the swarm at bay for some time, burning everything it touched, but the creatures grew gradually more and more heat resistant with each passing wave until a Genestealer Alpha rushed through; flesh already mending with its somewhat blackened carapace and slamming into his shield with its claws. Arne's shock coil erupted and vaporised the creature, his charged shot collecting additional universal Ammo as you rushed in; missiles erupting all over. Rocket pods, multi-missiles, and five charged super ice-missiles.

    Samus Super Missile Count: 25/40

    Sheets of anti-energy exploded around you; encasing wave after wave of enemy in cold so intense that it robbed their bodies of all structure, crumbling into frigid dust while an Eldritch storm of Alyrsero's making raged behind you; Eldar forged warpcraft dancing throughout the halls and seeking out anything they could, twisting and energising them into oblivion while alien ichor raised out; fried to a dead crisp by the energies unleashed. The next wave of cultists had crystalline growths that dampened the powers of the warpcraft tossed their way, forcing Arcee to rip through them with her gun on cyclic mode, the high pitched whine of her weapon drowned out by Arne finding a quintet of particularly massive Genestealers more than twice as tall as the average genestealer, a fearsome pack of lords among the Genestealers whose bodies shimmered with invulnerability taken from a flying brick type metahuman, or the "Alexandria package" as the parahumans would call it; its body resisting the efforts of Arne to cut into its throat or for Elendria's sceptre to break it open.



    Genestealer Broodlords are the leaders of multiple packs among Genestealer Purestrains. Far larger and more powerful than even Alpha Purestrains, Broodlords are no slower than their smaller kin and fight with an incredible degree of cunning and skill. Possessing access to a vast array of biomorphs and the benefits of the Tyranid gestalt's insights into ultrasophontic powers as well as formidable warp based abilities, Broodlords are to be underestimated strictly at the user's peril. With their function as nodes for the local hive mind's enhancing aura, the death of a broodlord will cause some disruption to a Genestealer formation; generally prompting the genestealers to withdraw and reconsider their tactics to deal with the loss of such a powerful asset and await for reinforcements and replacements. However in particularly large swarms, the Broodlord is little more than a glorified lieutenant, disposable and replaceable.

    Backing off towards another broodlord and its pack of twenty genestealers and quartet of serving Alphas, Arne danced among them, cutting through those with specialist biomorphs he regarded as a greater threat, deflecting claws swung faster than railgun spikes, phasing through guards and tearing apart the Alphas and then gutting the broodlord in charge, stunning the Broodlord pack behind him while you smashed through them in speed booster mode to reduce them to ash, carving a path down the hall and shinesparking back to a safer position; giving Arne a boost with your grapple beam to let him leap into another Broodlord as it flew in an effort to reach Tyrius whose whirling blade was preventing a fierce obstacle for any oncomers. Arne's shock coil roared to life and rapidly incinerated the beast, while your own Gamma beam ripped an aberrant pack making its way to Arne asunder, letting him slink back out of the awareness of their hive mind with the holosuit.

    Laser light spilled from the lead of the brick broodlords eyes in a wide sweep that had to be deflected by Idaliryn before it could take Boltdancer's head off, its body moving with supernatural speed to twist out of the way of Marcus' electricity and carving one of his gremlins in twain with a single swipe of its claws, the electricity sucked up by more than a hundred Genestealers adapted with biocapacitators that hummed with living lightning and malignant glee. They built up a charge and launched it at you, warp energies predicting your own evasion efforts and then bolstered by the gathered broodlords and alpha's psychic presence to ram you through multiple walls, sparks dancing across your shielding before further energy was poured into you, the Broodlord swatting Raelamiel aside as a second one slashed its claws into your suit before you could get up; lightning crackling around it while it moved at tremendous speed, scoring a number of further impacts with its fellow kin in a vicious melee struggle with a massive number of foes surrounding you before you tagged it in return with a super missile that stoved in much of its body, pulping the rest of it with beam fire. The shock genestealers, outing themselves as targets, were swiftly eliminated by Arne who swept in invisibly and crashed through them with the speed booster; shinesparking back to where the bulk of the line was being held.

    Samus Super Missile Count: 24/40

    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1052/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    You shot into an Aberrant Alpha with the Ice Beam, making it recoil as its hand was reduced to near absolute zero and frozen to the wall, Arne's radiance beam spitting out and lighting it in judgemental holy fire that made the creature hiss with discomfort; your attentions being turned to helping Raelamiel cut through the unending masses of creatures pushing towards the Angel; adapting to her heavenfrost; some even while still alive, though thankfully it seemed immunity to both cold and heat at the same time was not something in their abilities based on how your star beam scythed through them; rotor blades detaching from your suit and making puree out of neophytes in the backlines setting up their crew-served weapons before returning to you; munitions launcher releasing the corrosion steam to melt the swarm pushing through.

    Ranged variants of the Gaunt genus, Termagants as your visor named them, clung to the walls or popped out from vents and flanking positions, firing off organic guns that bore ravenous beetles wreathed in acid, hungry worms, biological railgun launched spikes, or poisoned spines and even barbed, strangling vines. Their weapons fire was unable to cause you any damage, nor were the claws of the hormagaunts, but they were trying to overwhelm the mid-line with fire as heavy roaring could be heard; monstrous things bashing on the barricades set up with deadly intent and forcing Lelithax to divert her attentions to maintaining the shadowfields. You brought your shield out, glancing their impacts back and giving Raelamiel the space to dig her swords into a set of Alphas who had crawled out of some ventilation; deflecting another broodlord's scything talons from her with your shield while Arne vaporised it with his positron beam; the tyranids staggering slightly in the process.

    "How are the hexes faring?" You said as you helped Arne stab into an Alpha projecting spellweave that was giving greater speed to all the cultists and their weapons in its vicinity; ducking again under the Broodlord and kicking it hard enough to overcome its rooting effect into the ground and throw it through a wall; Tyrius channeling his divine energy into a sacred fireball and lobbing it forward with a harsh yell to bathe the area in fire; piteous wails emerging as the beasts died in their thousands. Further behind, Iybraa sent forth a cascade of telekinetic blades down range, dicing the entire hallway behind her into gory chunks and then compacting the gore into an orb that she launched so quickly it burned; bursting through a spellcasting Alpha that was guarding its kin against her telepathic scream. But she seemed to be pained as the Tyranids, having already assimilated Mentat psionics like herself, pushed back with psychic attacks of their own, her Vondon metallocrab armour guarding her from the laser fire that skipped off of it.

    Clarioli's machines surged forward in an agile, dazzling display of light and furor, Chamon obeying her to crumple the metal of the walls around the Tyranids and squash them into their doom or rip open the guns of their other cultists and using them to flay the creatures; even turning some of them to solid gold outright; her humanoid machines hiding behind a barricade of metal she conjured and laying down streams of accurate exciter guns that made atoms fly apart as their electrons left their molecules behind and made their bodies burn in the ensuing reaction. A single swipe of Alyrsero's sword turning into an Ethereal slash that exploded outwards, ethereal and misty and seeming to cut every beast from the inside out followed by Kaeliyae simply opening a portal from which a blue comet smashed out and straight through a mass of them.

    It was enough to make you glad that your own armour was immune to Clarioli's tricks and that it was impossible for such effects to propagate inside of your own body, even while Arne crushed the head of a particularly powerful mutant Broodlord behind you with shockwave producing force; your body flinching back from laser eyes boring into you from dozens of Genestealers, getting you to skid back before your shield returned them to sender and your wingblades hacked apart their leading alpha.

    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1012/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    "Well, it bought us some time, enough to slow down their regeneration." The Sorceress said with a strained grunt while Arne shot at organs pulling themselves free of dead organisms to recombine into wounded ones or resurrect dead ones not reclaimed by the biopods. The Superior Broodlord re-emerged once more, reviving despite its head being obliterated, letting it pull itself back together, grabbing at Arne with zephyr speed and smashing him into the wall before raking its claws into him, trying to grab at his helmet while the genestealer swarm materialised to bury him in their thousands, the Broodlords having their first pick and trying to slash at him with empowered claws and teeth; all attempting to open up his helmet; your heart sinking as his shielding started to drop like a cliff. He had already fired off his Resonance Suit blast, and they were holding the blades of his rotor systems steady.

    But they had failed to reckon with his strength as he threw his arms forward and sent the massive mob of Genestealers flying off of him. As acolytes and gaunts rushed him, laser weapons and autoguns firing wildly and missiles streaking across the room from their end; he fired off the ghost suit to phase through a hormagaunt horde; unphasing just the tip of his blade and reducing them to puree and then landing back in solid form; breathing hard while your holosuit form danced to his side; swiping off the upper halves of countless gaunts who barely seemed aware of your presence and ripping open another of the creatures with a tug.

    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 932/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000 Morale: Great. Stress: 0

    You heard a cry of pain and saw Tyrius grabbing at his head while cultists and tyranids with distended brains concentrated their attentions on him, trying to overwhelm his mental defenses while he bled from his eyes and nose; surrounding himself in a nimbus of flame to pull off his helmet while he felt the weight of but a portion of the hive mind bearing on his mind; crushing through even his wards with the benefit of the incarnate power the Tyranids had taken for themselves. Even for a fae, the voices were torture, and he couldn't handle it; the Paladin soon vomiting out blood as the hive mind, seeming to have realised that he was a virtually unstoppable physical murder machine, might have been more vulnerable to mental assault if they could overwhelm the defenses his armour and shielding and Paladin blessings gave him.

    Something inside you snapped as you heard him call out for mommy, begging for it to please stop. Arne went into a cold rage, but you went into something more potent, more primal as you heard him cry out, tears mixing with blood trailing from his eyes. "Mommy please make it stop! Ytaliana please....I can't! Please, goddess help me! I want my mommy! It's so loud! I d-don't wanna die like this pleaaaaaase!" He wailed like a child as the alien voices tried to burn out his very soul and psyche; dialing up ever more and more psychic pressure as vomited out even more of his glittering life's blood, the Genestealers probing his holy fire shield for weakness, ready to claim their prize.

    No. You wouldn't allow this.

    "NO!" You shouted so loudly that even the most distant of the beasts turned their head towards you.

    Your suit adaptation systems combated with the Tyranids' constantly adjusting weapons, tactics, and transformations; your Berserker boosters being fired up to rip the foe to shreds wherever they might be; most impacts no longer registering to you, even from superstrong broodlords whose blows would annihilate tank columns. Alt-modes were used, shifting into other forms to skitter or roll around, releasing bombs off many sorts and varieties, destroying more and more creatures as you weaved from one end of the battlespace to another. Kill, kill, kill. You were a living weapon, just like them, but you were no monster like they were. Your heart beat with warrior courage and chozo honour; and you wouldn't let your friends down.

    Kill, kill, kill; electricity bursting from your alt-mode to slay more beasts, transforming between different forms, multi-missiles, rockets, paralysers, wrist-gun, cannon and more all firing constantly. Foe after foe falling. Allies pulled out of hard situations, reinforcing the line wherever necessary and moving to the next hot spot. You never lost track of how many you killed, but the violence was starting to become a red mist of wrath as you started to scream. You saw K-2L burning, you saw monsters gnawing on the bones of your people, you saw fire and ash. As you hear your friends cry for help, as you watched people like Arcee fall to their knees with injuries from new varieties of beasts your suit named Warrior, Ravener, Abominant, Kelermorph, Carnifex, Venomthrope, Zoanthrope, Gargoyle, Simurgh, Psykmorph, Lictor, Mindwyrm, Cortex Leech, Sky Slasher, Ripper, you lost yourself further and further into the slaughter. As people like Raelamiel fell over, flapping their wings in an attempt to get away, you went from human to blender, and even Arne became indistinct to you.

    The roar of hive beasts and mutants was met with the roar of a warrior in training; and your killing rage burned bright, dancing between your foes invisibly or as a cascade of rainbow lights, weapons switched again and again. Ammo replenished by any means you found. You were starting to not see monsters but Space Pirates. The laughing butchers of your homeworld, so smug in the death of your world and your people, laughing as their panoply of genetically engineered freaks carved into the defenceless. Die, they all had to die. Slaughter, blood, vengeance. You needed to make them pay, nobody else should get hurt because of them, because you weren't strong enough. Tears down your eyes and hate in your mouth.

    You felt a hand touch you and almost blew the offending head off until you heard your name. "Samus." It was Arne's voice, frightened, worried, concerned. Shame flushed through you as you realised your arm cannon was charging something at his head. You lowered your weapon as you looked around. Most of your friends were injured yes, but alive; being treated by those who could offer healing and repairs. You and Arne were fine. The genestealer cult had been...rendered considerably less than fine as they seemed to realise you weren't something they could deal with using their current assets; pulling back to the lower levels while you breathed out heavily, hearing their awful screeching in the distance and the incessant chatter of alien voices at the back of your mind slowly start to fade. It hurt, but you were used to hurt, especially when it was fading. .

    "Samus...they're pulling back." He said, resting a hand on your shoulder as you breathed out, noticing that you were atop a mound of ash, quivering a bit as you stepped back and shook your head.

    You took another look around' Arcee's armour was pitted with fusilier shot marks, Marcus was on the ground, having to have Ormothin treat him as poison sank into his body from a spine that had dug into him. He'd live, but the pain he was feeling was unlike anything he ever imagined. Galen was no longer at Arcee's side; having detached to throw off creatures climbing onto her as the battle crescendo'd only to be thrown off later; and was looking at the stump of his arm with horror after some blade carrying Prime beast had hacked it off with a single swing that nearly snuffed out his spark from just that touch until Arcee stomped the creature to death; Kaeliyae reattaching the arm with her biomancy. Clarioli murmured her goodbyes to some of her robotic companions, resting a hand on those not even her powers could save and letting out a few sobs, letting Alyrsero pat her on the shoulder.

    Arcee was in halves, her legs missing below the mid-thigh as she crawled to grab the severed appendages, tensing as she rotated herself around and tried to give a reassuring thumbs up. The Eldar at least, were all fine, not even touched. Raelamiel also picked herself up, coughing a bit; her armour remaining inviolate while Tyrius curled into a fetal position, having survived but shaking from the experience the Tyranids had just blasted his brain with. Iybraa had also avoided any injury, but was looking at Marcus with concern.

    "He will make it." Ormothin said to her, getting a nod from the Yurye as he urged the boy to lay back down, his wound closing after the spine lodged in him was removed.

    "God I'm gonna...shit out my spine..." Marcus groaned.

    "Not likely, at least." The Exodite said gently.

    "Samus...we're...sorry...we can't keep up..." Arcee breathed as she held her leg stumps together, letting the alloys self-regeneration mould them back together; doing some on field repair jobs with Clarioli's help as Seacar looked down towards her with concern.

    "Damn...got my ass kicked...fucking ow..." Raelamiel said with a grimace while she cracked her back and straightened herself, her demeanour shattering as soon as she saw Tyrius. The most surprising thing to you though, was hearing her voice cracking. "Oh baby no!" She said without any of her usual flippant demeanour as she cradled him in her arms, whispering to him that it'd be alright.

    Your team was for the most part; broken. And you couldn't help them...neither of you could. Arne sounded like he was sobbing beneath his helmet, heavy breathing coming from him as he murmured about possible scenarios about how to do that better. How they could have changed things up, how they could have avoided so much casualties. You were on the verge of a breakdown yourself for that matter, up until Arcee spoke up, pushing herself onto her reattached feet.

    "Hey...trooper. You both did great. We're all alive, and that's more than most people would be able to do in this situation. And...we have you to thank for it. Yeah, we're going to have scars, some of us for longer than others. But, we can fight again another day. We're not beaten. Not yet. I can contact some reinforcements, sub in some help to let the wounded cool down. But you two, I'm only letting you keep going if you really want to. This might be a job for a wrecker crew to just...torch this whole place down honestly." Arcee said, doing her best to preform the role of an understanding big sister, laying a finger on your chin and turning your head towards her as she offered a smile.

    "I could cleanse the minds of the broken to give them new courage. If you are comfortable with forcing them back into the fray. I would, understand if you think doing so is barbaric. And I apologise, for not doing enough to ward your friends with my witchcraft. It was my failing, and for that should you wish to despise me...feel free." Alyrsero said, clearly feeling bad about this whole situation.

    You barely even noticed your suit's message informing you that you had acquired an upgrade from the Tyranid swarms, you hadn't even felt the sensation of it due to your rampaging bloodthirst.

    Extracted from Tyrannic capabilities to produce more ammunition, this upgrade will allow the user's ammo supplies to gradually regenerate over time, allowing for far more endurance on the field and much reduced reliance on quintessence conversion to ensure that user ammo limited weapons will maintain continual fire. This will also enhance the rate at which secondary weapons have their stockpiles restored.

    Samus' Notes: Oh...I....guess this is nice...

    Arne's Notes: It's...well, that's why I didn't run out of ammo I? Yeah...

    What now?

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Okay. Stress: 25
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000 Morale: Good. Stress: 15
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Good resistances, Extreme Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): 1000/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 950/950|400/400|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): 25/750|25/750|250/750 Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Galen (Autobot Masterforce, Very Good Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Battlefield manipulation): 500/500|400/500|175/175 Morale: Broken. Stress: 100
    Tyrius (Yntanaer Paladin, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, Melee Damage, Tanking): 1500/1500|1500/1500|250/1500 Morale: SHATTERED. Stress: 200
    Raelamiel (Choir Angel, Great Resistances, Great Defence, Melee Damage, Control): 100/1000|1000/1000|1000/1000 Morale: Broken. Stress: 100

    Group 3:
    Marcus(Boltdancer) (Great Resistances, Good Defence, Control, Support): 0/300|25/100|10/100 Morale: Poor. Stress: 100
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage): 1000/1000|500/500|100/100 Morale: Good. Stress: 25
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Control) 1250/1250|100/100|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Great Resistances, Great Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) 1250/1250|850/850|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support) 100/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder) 1250/1250|850/850|250/250 Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control) 700/1000|350/350|200/200 Morale: Wavering. Stress: 50

    Actions:

    []: Have Alyrsero restore the team's confidence and morale after everyone heals up, press on. (Arcee will disapprove, autobot standing decreased)
    []: Pull back, this is too intense for your current team, let other people handle it (Leave it up to the NPCs as to whether this threat is properly neutralised. Cool down with your allies. Immediately gain the large SRI rewards acquired.)
    []: Carry on with just the two of you. (This makes it harder, but after your morale is restored properly you can do it)
    []: Carry on with just the two of you and the Eldar. (Easy but you're not really familiar with the Eldar, more are they with you)
    []: Call in for reinforcements from the autobots and starsetters. (Easier but also makes it easier for the Tyranids to track your group.)
    []: Replace injured or morale damaged team mates with more autobot and starsetter allies. (Neutral option)
    []: Blow this whole fucking place up from the sky with unrestrained firepower, your ship too if necessary. (Eliminates this threat completely and lets you gain a whole bunch of salvage but blasting a place of worship to bits and explaining what's going on after the fact is not the best look.)
    []: Write in
     
    Last edited:
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 9)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Replace injured or morale damaged team mates with more autobot and starsetter allies.

    Replacing:

    Tyrius/Steel Paladin
    Raelamiel/Rundrasta
    Marcus/Boltdancer
    Galen Witwicky

    Arcee is RESTORED to full health.

    Receiving:

    Dawnmaker
    Joseph/Nightcaster
    Alice/Eudaimonica
    Warpath

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000. Morale: Okay. Stress: 25
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1200/1200|1200/1200|1000/1000 Morale: Good. Stress: 15
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Great resistances, Sublime Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Sublime Defence, Melee Damage, Control): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Great. Stress: 5
    Warpath (Autobot General, Sublime Resistances, Extreme Defence, Tanking, All-Rounder Damage): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Joseph (Shadow Magic Defender, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Ranged Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Doctor Black (Bound Shadow King, Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    • Ten Shadow Formations (Summoned Shadow Creatures, Decent Resistances, Great Defence: Control, Support) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0. (Comprised of one Nightblade, Three Shadowmen, Five Dark Panthers, Ten Shades, Fifteen Shadow Scorpions, Twenty Nighthounds, Twenty Five Living Shadows, Thirty Shadelings)
    • Five Umbral Beasts (Summoned Giant Shadow Wolf, Melee Damage, Control, Decent Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0.
    Eudaimonica (Hell-Witch Mastermind, Great Resistances, Decent Defence. Pets, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Winterpyre (Bound Apocalypse Demon King, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Caustos (Bound Fire Elementar Grand Avatar, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Talosii (Golem, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence. Tank) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%.. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Demonic Cohorts (Summoned Demons, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder )Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of one Demonic Decurion, Three Demonic Corporals, Five Moloch Bulls, Ten Demonic Legionaries, Fifteen Winged-Demons, Twenty Hellhounds, Twenty Five Demonlings, and Thirty Imps stats are for each unit)
    • Three Warlock Demons (Summoned Demonic Spellcasters. Good Resistances, Good Defence. Control and Support, can summon their own demons). Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Hellknights (Summoned Armoured Demonic Cavalry, Great Reistances, Great Defence. Melee/tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Fire Elemental Cohorts (Summoned Fire Elementals, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of One Pyrocaster, Three Incendiery Warriors, Five Salamanders, Ten Pyro-Phalangites, Fifteen Bonfire-Born, Twenty Flaming Ones, Twenty Five Pyre-Gargoyles, and Thirty Sparklings)
    • Three Greater Salamanders (Summoned Fire Elemental Warbeast. Damage out the ass. Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Elemental Pyromancers (Summoned Fire Elemental Mages. Ranged Damage and Control. Great Resistances, Good Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Golem Cohorts (Golems. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Comprised of One Golem Master, Three Golem Warriors, Five Golem Watchers, Ten Golem Soldiers, Fifteen Golem Beasts, Twenty Lesser Golems, Twenty Five Golem Men, Thirty Golemlings)
    • Three Golem Guardians (Golems focused on defense. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking, Support.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Five Golem Wardens (Golems focused on Crowd Control. Tanking/Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE

    Group 3:
    Dawnmaker (Yurye-Kheldian Peacebringer, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage):Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Good. Stress: 25
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Sublime Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support, Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder)Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control, Fantastic Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Wavering. Stress: 50
    • Aeschamon (Warp-powered automaton Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Ithilmar Warden Claws (Warp-powered automata. Great Resistances, Great Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Each Comprised of One Ithilya Lance, Three Metal Wardens, Five Iron-Hosts, ten Swordbearers, fifteen Spearmakers, twenty Furnace-Spiders, twenty-five metal hawks, and thirty Forgelings; stats are for each unit. Kept in Webway pockets until needed; summoned on the spot when necessary.)
    • Five Ithilmar Knights (Warp Powered Cavalry Autonoma, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence. All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    Arne

    Samus took a look at the team gathered before her, so many in need of healthcare, both mental and physical. So many broken or injured, so many badly hurt or in tears. You knew she felt awful about it, you did too. You felt the crushing pain of guilt heavy in your heart for not being strong enough to keep them all safe. But rather worse than that you felt like you had been a disappointment as a knight, your stomach twisting in knots with disgust at yourself as you couldn't meet the injured in the eyes as they whimpered in pain or in horror. But Samus differed from you with a rather different sensation; rage. She felt angry. Righteously angry and the heat from her anger burned in your mind's eye, a red throbbing glow of fury in her heart that glowed like a sun as she punched into a wall hard enough to cave it in, a roar of frustration coming from her while you simply looked down and exhaled.

    "Send them back. Call in reinforcements." Samus growled as you felt the urge to recoil at her anger brewing inside, a simmering volcano looking to erupt once again. In her battle-fury few things could match her; your own ice-cold desire for vengeance paling in comparison to her world-shattering rage against injustice. Strange then, that you used scorching anti-matter lightning and she preferred frigid anti-energy frost. She breathed in and out, heavily, grinding her teeth beneath her helmet as she pushed herself back and looked at Arcee calling in a ground bridge vortex; the green maelstrom moving out to the wounded.

    "You guys...ugh...kick their asses kay?...Gonna like...bleed here a bit more..." Marcus groaned, giving a thumbs up that you wearily returned before Alyrsero made his incantation and sent forth a cleaning wave of Hysh to tend to your minds. Clarity returned to your thoughts, stress melted for a bit, and the determination to go on; already unbreakable; is mixed in with renewed enthusiasm for the endeavour rather than simple grim obstinancy. You could do this. You would win. You were already ready to do this to the bitter end, even lay down your life if such was unavoidable. But now hope was fully restored, and the darkness seemed to flicker and dim a bit.

    The newcomers came, four in total. The familiar costumes of Alice and Joseph slid through with armies of summoned assistance behind them, cawing demons, crackling fire elementals, and flickering shadowmen. Alice of course, came with an army of demons, riding on the shoulders of Winterpyre alongside Joseph as they waved towards you. Warpath thundered forwards in Tank mode, his aura eager for violence and thrilled for the prospect of battle with worthy opponents. Then Dawnmaker slid through, the Kheldian's radiant form brimming with solar power.

    It wasn't hard to see why Dawnmaker was sometimes called the big guns of the Starsetters, or at least one of them. Even Tyrius, Raelamiel, Xaeon, or Iybraa had a bit to go before they could quite match the raw might of Dawnmaker and Duskkeeper; the Peacebringer and Warshade duo who formed the team's hardest hitters. While Dusksetter was busy elsewhere, Dawnmaker would be free to get cracking; the Yurye quite literally cracking the knuckles of his fingers and looking forward with his blazing eyes.

    Alice came forth with a much greater host than since you last saw her; having mastered the ability to conjure up far more help from beyond than she could before, flooding the room with an army of not just demons and fire elementals, but a great host of golems that she had learned to construct, bind, and command with spells taught to her by Winterpyre and Caustos; now accompanied by her newfound Knightly Lord of Golems, a large figure made of metal plates riding upon a metallic wingless dragon beast, its powerful metal hands clutching a mystic sword etched with purple runes that glowed against its white and grey armour, the other a mighty shield. Talosii; her defender and champion, who would defend her until destruction; whereupon she could just recreate him. His helmed head had a crown of blades, and purple eyes stared out of the holes in the helm, the golems quickly marshalling into parade formations alongside the elementals and demons as she inspected them.

    "Where are we needed?" He said, referring notably to his team; rather than to himself. Kheldians pointedly did not speak in the plural according to your scans. A few did, but most considered themselves singular even if hybridised.

    "We need to purge this nest without destroying the building and any evidence inside." You said, looking ahead and stealing yourself as your eyes met the dark depths of an increasingly deep hallway. Eudaimonica though clicked her fingers and pointed to her demons and then had them start to move forward in teams of two squads, her fire elementals following suit; keeping close to the demons under her command as she folded her arms and gave a confident smile. Her demons and elementals were now clad in proper armour, forged in planes of fire and the frostfire hell, their hands now carrying weapons such as swords or metal claw add ons, others wielding shields or whips or crossbows and guns. Winterpyre himself also wore a suit of black, green, and orange plate, his wings folding behind him like a cape as the heavily bound form of the apocalypse demon king thundered forwards; Caustos' roiling body of a fiery knight clanking with every step.

    The Eldar took a brief step back at the army that Joseph and Alice brought, weapons presented before Kaeliyae bid them to lower them as she offered a gracious bow to the newcomers. "The day finds you well as I offer you my hand of friendship. I would only ask that you return in kind, so that this may be the beginning of a fruitful relationship." She said before raising her head up again, her movements graceful as ever as she spoke in her pleasant, sing-song voice that made your heart ache to know what might lie beneath.

    "Ya see kids, these here are Space Elves 'ccording to our reports on their metaversal cluster. Now, lemme explain a bit more to ya. Things there are fragged straight to the pit. Take a wrong turn and KABLAMMO you just found yourself into a pit of monsters." Warpath said to Alice and Joseph, a slow nod coming from Dawnmaker as Iybraa gave him a gentle wave and was given one in return.

    "And these demons?" Idaliryn said, his greatsword ready to launch into a kill-frenzy.

    "Are strictly under her control...and nice anyway." You said, gesturing for him to lower his blade as he stared at the creatures warily.

    "So you say..." The Hyshari scowled.

    "So uh...yeah, monster hunt. I'm down with that. Just uh...make sure we get through this place quickly." He said as he looked around and almost jumped when a clattering bit of furniture fell near him, almost getting a laugh out of you and cheering Samus up just a bit. "...Because this place is...mega-creepy." He said, rubbing at his arms and looking up before shuddering.

    "The skeins of fate are difficult to read far in advance here. I am having some trouble finding where we are to head." Alyrsero said as he threw up a rune to try and illuminate his path only for it to fizzle with scarcely any important revelations, getting a sigh out of the warlock as his other hand retreated to beneath his robes.

    "Just let my crew make a map for you guys. Hey boys, you ready to go dungeon crawling?" She said, a wide grin on Alice's face as her soldiers stood to attention and offered her a salute.

    "Yes mistress Alice, we'll have those tunnels cleared for you in no time!" One of the Demonic Decurions snarled, giving her a stiff salute with his trident and letting loose a crackling hiss of icy power as he straightened himself while the young girl gave a salute right back. They dutifully swarmed out, cackling and roaring as they did to draw as much attention to themselves as possible, flashes of light following them as they found their targets and dove into the fray with the courage of those who knew they weren't at risk.

    "Hrm, the joys of cannon fodder." Korlanil wheezed as the air thrummed with violence as Alice's legion spread outwards in an effort to purge the facility wherever they could.

    "Better them than us dearie." Lelithax sniggered as she relaxed slightly.

    "Well I guess...that helps." Samus said, flicking her attentions to the sounds of biobeasts squealing in alien voices and the roar of demons and elementals who had run into engineered monstrosities. The sound of spells being loosed, weapons being swung and the realm of Frostflame and Earth Bet being connecting time and time again, distortions from the fabric of reality being altered apparent as faint ripples in your mind's eye.

    "Hrm, will need to put in orders for better weapons. Losses quite heavy." Said a scrivener demon Alice kept with her, an impish thing with a bovine skull head and wings that carried a spindly body around the size of a baby wrote down on a tablet, hissing to her as the robed thing wrote down a tally and sketched out notes on the events that her army was experiencing as she looked them over.

    Her demons, Golems, and elementals had spells bound into them to let members be replaced after 6.66 seconds with another outsider from the realms of the planes so long as at least one member of the cohort was there; the fallen simply being sent back to their plane of origin to await when they could return to the material world. They had to make use of this quite frequently, as the hissing monsters were relentless in their assault on the intruders, hellish fury pitted against alien killing instinct and often being found wanting. But the demons, golems, and elementals were fearless, knowing full well that they were at no permanent risk to themselves as they fought their way through the seething tide of monsters.

    Joseph's shadow armies moved with Clarioli's winds of magic powered machinery in the rear, constantly scouring around for any possible threat behind you in a display of unity that for people who had just met was quite impressive indeed; though Doctor Black was busy speaking to the Technologically inclined Eldar all throughout, something you were at least...decently sure was the cause for the coordination.

    "Elves hrm? They say my kind are also Elves you know." Iybraa said before Dawnmaker raised a hand.

    "Iybraa, perhaps we should wait before boring out friends with the tale of the Yurye?" He said until Lelithax shrugged.

    "Mh, even if you have pointed ears, similar features, and powers of your own; you still aren't Eldar." She said before Kaeliyae harrumphed at her and shook her head in disappointment.

    "Oh come on, Kaeliyae. Are you going to show me that disdain all day hrm?" She said, tilting her head while Kaeliyae simply stared more intently at her, getting her to sigh.

    "You really are impossible." She said as she started to walk forwards down the hall.

    "Now hang on there buckeroos, I'm gonna wham-bam and grand-slam my way through! Follow me and let's give these cultists a big ol' BANG to the head!" Warpath cautioned before you had even taken your first step forward, seizing from you the position of point man as the immensely durable autobot changed into tank mode and pushed down the wide hallways, clearly made to evoke both a sense of awe in visitors and allow the cult to swarm enemies properly or move larger beasts of the brood.

    "Everyone, dessant up." Samus said as she let her battle focus return, getting a few confused stares from some of the group as she hopped onto the top of the tank. You, eager to not look foolish; pulled yourself up quickly and sat next to her, peeking over the top of the tank's turret to have a look around and then nodding when your other visors detected no apparent threats.

    "It means ride on the top of the tank." She said as Warpath gunned his engines, the roller drum in front of him transforming into a whirling mine-flail that quickly spun to life with red coloured energy fields in front, the heavy cannon of his T-95 alt mode looming large in front of him and the urban-warfare refits of rocket pods, grenade racks, two twin machine-gun mini-turret and a rotary heavy machine gun mini-turret thrummed to life as they started to sweep for targets. You got on yourself, taking a moment to analyse his alt-mode and finding yourself nodding in approval. It was a good design to be sure, solid, dependable. You'd like to compliment the designer some day, assuming they're alive.

    Samus looked at you with a smile, feeling confidence building on the back of the beast as the Eldar piled on top, Iybraa and Dawnmaker conversing briefly about whether they should go through with it before deciding to simply float at the sides to provide cover while Arcee and her minicon Seacar hanged at a flank; walking opposite to Eudaimonica and winterpyre and letting Joseph and his shadow army guard the rear. A sensible formation to be sure, but one that might struggle if you had to get into tighter spaces.

    "Hrm, this seems a rather...barbaric way to ride into battle." Alyrsero remarked as he took a look at the rotary gun, a camera on top swiveling around to stare the warlock in the face.

    "Hey, in case you haven't noticed this ain't an IFV. You want to get into the fight quick and give these guys a good ol' KAPOW?! Then you've gotta ride up top." Warpath said with relish for the coming fight while Alice looked at the tablet and gestured a way forward.

    You couldn't help but hear the distant roars of faraway battles. Intense, furious; the scrivener demon Alice had writing nonstop. But this facility was vast, and after what felt like half an hour's journey you found that the imagery used by the cult was getting increasingly surreal after going down secret passageways marked by the demons Alice had exploring the area. They grew increasingly frightfully alien and apocalyptic, almost seeming to shimmer as your red eyes looked across them. All reporting of monstrous scenes of a grim transcendence into the body of a great swarm whose tendrils wrapped around all things, hungry, vast, without number. Choking stars, galaxies, planets, civilisations, everything; all food for a cavernous maw made of more than a hundred to the hundredth power mouths. At least, if you were reading the inscription right; it seemed likely they were being poetic with the numbers, you strongly doubted they were interested in giving an exact count.

    Secret Roll: 98 (Artifacts discovered by Demons)

    Your thoughts though were interrupted by a messenger demon carrying item containers in its hands, having found them while Alice's army was exploring the area. The creature, a pleasant looking red skinned boy in professional looking armour with wide bat wings, lustrous black hair, and red-green robes, offered a curtsy before the seemingly teenaged being handed the orbs to you, his tail wiggling behind him as you studied his face and couldn't help but blush, his yellow eyes bright and his valet boy hat being tipped to you and Samus as he brought his hands behind his back and grinned.

    "He's cute." Samus whispered to you, a nod coming from you as the Demon boy gave you both some finger pistols while Alyrsero couldn't help but keep the tip of his spear towards the Demon at all times.

    "Yeah...maybe we could ask Alice to introduce us to him when well...we're not busy?" You said, giving her a smile beneath your helm as she nodded eagerly.

    "Present for mister Duskguard and miss Dawnchild. Crew found it lying around while they were marching out and the missus tells us to hand the stuff from these statues to ya. Well...it's got stuff I don't get so...enjoy!" He said as you grabbed the Alimbic Item carrier; an inverted pyramid artifact, and then crunched your fingers around the shell with enough force to implode graphite into diamond to reveal the prize on the inside that dispersed into light around you, Samus simply shooting her orb and absorbing her artifact afterwards.


    The Rune of Fate is the first Arcanotech upgrade for yourselves and is bound to your soul rather than your armour and as such, will always apply. The Rune of Fate will mitigate the effects of hostile luck manipulation, enhance your own luck and fortune, and bend fate to turn dangerous hits into misses, mitigate received damage, enhance accuracy, and significantly improve performance in games of chance to the point that it is recommended that the user disclose this ability if participating in these games unless deception is necessary or desired. Note that the user will require the Rune of Malignant Fortune to induce misfortune upon enemies as well as the Rune of Shared Blessings to confer this to allies to achieve the full potential of the Rune of Fate.

    Samus' Notes: Oh! This must mean that we're going to start delving into the esoterical early then! I'm so excited! I want to learn spells as fast as possible! :DDD

    Arne's Notes: I uh...hrm, well. I feel different, but better different at least. So I can in fact, get upgrades that go straight to my mind, body and soul.

    The Power Bomb and Pulse release a contained zero-point energy explosion of enormous force, able to destroy nearly anything it touches. The extreme heat and force of the blast are accompanied by a particle disruption effect that will tear apart the bonds of most forms of matter and overload the coherency of most forms of energy screens, reducing most of what is caught in the blast to states of being where fundamental forces begin to collapse in on themselves into more unified forms in a planck state, allowing only materials and energies reinforced beyond material limitations by immaterial means to survive. The containment helps to prevent excessive collateral damage, but as the bombs are physical munitions; the user must concentrate to produce more of them if they lack the munitions regenerator upgrade.

    Samus' Notes: I'll have to make a note to only use these when necessary. The amount of damage one of them can do is really unfortunate to think about. Being able to clear out Denzium obstacles would be quite useful though. Could the area of effect be modified somehow?

    Arne's Notes: There's a slight delay between creating the bomb and detonating it that needs to be adjusted to, but I'm wondering if that could be filed down to something more immediate.

    The "handshake" protocol was done to pass on your upgrades to each other as well as you had to resist the urge to test fire the power bomb. First because you had 10 and they would need time to regenerate, much like super missiles or mega-grenades. Second because you were in the middle of a crowded area and didn't want to blind people with an explosion of this magnitude.

    The Rune of Fate though, that seeped into your very spirit, making you breath in and out as you felt a tingle rush through your body, your posture straightening and your fingers opening as far as they could go as your eyes briefly saw flashes of realms beyond the material. You hitched your breath and murmured a prayer to your gods, clutching towards your chest before shaking your head and seeing things a little more clearly and sharply now, looking at the back of your hand and then towards Samus who seemed to be looking skyward, as if in awe.

    "Now...I've got a few more things for ya, but they're less impressive honestly...sooo...here ya go!" He said, whistling to some imps who flapped their wings to drag a box full of goodies that were broken open to show items your suits quickly read as assorted pick-ups. All minor upgrades honestly, but clearly useful.

    Maximum Energy: 1300/1300
    Armour Integrity: 1300/1300
    Accel Charge: x4
    Defense Hardness: x4
    Strength Augment: x3
    Universal Ammunition Maximum: 360/360
    Super Missiles: 46/46
    Missiles: 220/220
    Damage Augment: x2
    Seeker Missile Maximum: 10 missiles.

    "On your way then." He said, tipping his cap to you and humming as he disappeared back into hell, letting the group proceed with its descent down the catacombs while Kaeliyae, face close to your own, tapped at where her lips would be under her mask.

    "Curious, very curious." She said, humming mostly to herself.

    "Some quiet please, I'd like to use this time to do some work." Clarioli said, exhaling as she pulled out her toolkit and began fiddling with something, turning away from the rest of the group in a way that made you feel a bit bad, like she just wasn't comfortable in your presence. Not that you could blame her, your armour devoured some of the gear she had been working on.

    "So what are these creatures then?" Joseph said, riding on the back of one of his umbral beasts, the shadowy wolf sniffing around the area while Doctor Black stuck to the shadows, seeming to melt between them at will.

    "Vanguard organisms for the Great Devourer, or as the humans call them; the Tyranids; or to use our own term; the IllMurreead. A hive minded swarm that consumes all mass and energy from beyond the veil of reachable or explorable space; taking from each prey their strengths and cunning and moving on. One of the so called Thirteen Emperors of the End Times." Alyrsero said with a cold voice, wiping down the haft of his singing spear and then glancing towards the rest of the group who seemed...less than encouraged by the dramatic title.

    "The End Times?" Joseph said as he got up onto the tank and sent his Umbral beast to the backlines to join the rest of his armies in exploring around.

    "The Rhana Dandra. The final war for the survival of civilised people against the time of monsters." Clarioli said with a sigh, Doctor Black sticking to the shadows of Warpath's alternate mode as it rumbled forwards, the thuds of Talosii in the back scarcely perceptible from the rumbling of the tank.

    "Well, we've stopped the end of the world lots of times. I think we'll be fine." Iybraa said with confidence.

    "It's already begun. And the darkest iteration of that prophecy has become the one to take shape. Where worlds careen into one another as the pancosmic firmament decays in advance of the war to end all wars." Clarioli said with a dreary, pessimistic tone, a sad sigh emerging from her as she hugged her legs to her knees.

    "...Well...Arne and I have saved the universe a few times. We can manage, I'm sure of it." Samus said with infectious optimism.

    "Mmh, they can write that on your tombstone when the jaws of the uncounted monstrosities close upon us all! Maybe some of them will even appreciate the irony?" Korlanil said before Kaeliyae slapped him across the skull mask and wagged her finger at him.

    "Since embracing the cult of Ynnead your morose humours have grown ever the fouler. I beg of you to change your material to something to rid yourself of the title of the grand demoralizer!" She said with a flash of anger before she let out a sigh and stared ahead.

    "So they're a hive mind swarm. We have faced similar horrors and triumphed before." Dawnmaker said with the utmost confidence from a distance.

    "I would not get too comfortable in comparing the Great Devourer to Hamidon or the Deovuring Earth. The scales at work are quite...different." Ormothin said calmly as your group descended into the true catacombs of the lair, finding all traces of attempts to pass as simply some esoteric new age cult having simply vanished; instead of furniture or placards or posters there was chitinous ribbing and decorations seemingly scrawled into the walls in a way that made you uneasy. The thrum of the hive mind in your head was more intense, alien whispering curling past your mind's ear as you breathed in and then out to steel yourself against the horror to come. The tunnels were designed more like the arteries of a living thing than a passageway carved by artificial intent, and you could swear that at times eyes peeled their way into being along the walls.

    You heard skittering, distant wailing and roaring and the squelching of things that sounded rather more organic than you'd like. And you could swear that the air here was moving backwards and forwards, almost like it was being inhaled and then exhaled. A double pulse could be felt, and the walls seemed to contract and then expand regularly.

    This wall appears to be a seamless mixture of living tissue and inorganic stone and metalwork, combined at the subatomic level into new substances combining the capacities of both. It will regenerate when damaged, and serves as a conduit for warp energies that allow the collective to better channel their abilities while interfering in that of others, siphoning energy from them and passing it onto the warp-casting entities of the enemy. While the user has weapons able to slow the regeneration of the substance and kill it, it will still regenerate ad infinitum so long as matter and energy are available. Find alternative means of dealing damage.

    Well, at the very least you had a goal then. Find something that could help with putting an end to this...thing, whatever it was. Your stomach churning somewhat inside at the thought that you were likely in the body of some awful creature that seamlessly blended together organic and inorganic matter. The lack of violence so far, when you had been facing nearly constant attack beforehand though, was eerie.

    You knew they were nearby, everyone knew it. But they kept to the shadows. Waiting for something, some moment to strike. What could it be? You weren't sure, but you didn't like the implications of them choosing to hold back. Already you could feel the scratching at the back of your mind, pushing it back out of your mind's ear but never quite ceasing to pay attention to it altogether.

    There was a sense of outrage that you had gotten so far, alien minds clearly finding your presence here to be suboptimal for its outcomes. But you also sensed something perhaps worse. Questions, why were they here? How did they get here? What abilities did they have? Words you gave to primal questions that you were struggling to interpret as you allowed yourself only brief glimpses into the roiling cloud of exchanged thoughts that formed this massive brood mind.

    Alice's forces had still raced ahead, consolidating into three groups now to deal with the greater opposition and to ensure her most elite minions would be able to support each facet of their advance. Corpses strewn around, only for the biomass to quickly be recycled, component parts disassembling when they still lived and recombining in disgusting displays of melting flesh and flowing body parts. You realised the maxim that "if you start finding a lot of weapons and upgrades, trouble is usually around the corner" held among freelancers was all too true in this case.

    The fleshy material began to mould into tyrannic life forms all around, only Alyrsero's quick thinking to slam his spear into the ground and cast forth blazing hysh preventing the boils starting to form beneath your feet from growing into new creatures as the sea of meat, chitin, and bone began to pulse and undulate while making the worst slapping and slopping noises you ever heard as spasmed together into new life. Before your very eyes, a Carnifex, six meters tall and built with a degree of thick muscular power that would make a Tyrannosaurus seem like a light weight with a club headed tail, two scythe like upper limbs that ripped out of its body with amniotic sacks, and a gun-beast that wriggled its way into a perfect fit in the form of a long cannon with four barrels and the thrum of the biological railgun of a heavy venom cannon.

    Broodlords clawed their way into being, while Cultists seemed to be simply woven into existence, nude bodies quickly being covered with specially grown gear by tissue that knitted together the necessary inorganic substances to cover its infiltrators and even fashion guns for them, some of them needing to wait a moment for their eyes to crawl into place and fit into sockets or open their mouths to receive their tongues that they soon licked across their teeth. Some genestealers and cultists seemed to have especially amorphous bodies, often marked by the growth of octopus like tendrils in rings around their mouths, their flesh changing and altering; proportions adjusting without pause to suit the needs of the moment while they let out their birth howls.

    All over, already born biobeasts joined in, cultists chanting sinister hymns and loading up their weapons and skittering pureborns scampering through sphincter doors that lapsed into opening in a manner that made Joseph shake while Iybraa grimaced beneath her Vondun Metallo-Crab Bio-Power Suit; even the demons with Alice pausing in amazement at how utterly repulsive the sight was. Airborne phage cells kept only in these chambers, out of the sight of meddlers who might bring the wrath of others upon the cult; clumped together, first into dust particles, then into more beasts that wriggled with partly complete forms and limbs until they were made whole, a terrible hunger filling them from birth as these gaunts howled with their first breaths.

    "Oh sweet Primus..." Arcee said with a deeply shocked gasp as she stumbled backwards out of this refuse chamber; flesh rapidly growing over blast doors and then secreting resin that hardened into chitin laced with adamantine that in turn sprouted crystals that shimmered to create warp energy barriers to seal off the way past the rapidly growing beasts; your exits similarly being locked out as you found yourselves trapped in the Arena like room; the size of a football stadium and somehow contained beneath the city below even its sewer lines with nobody noticing.

    "Open fire!" Samus shouted as the swarm started to descend from all sides. Winged creatures tearing their way free of biomass that seemed to spontaneously birth them and descending on flapping limbs with hate in their eyes; sonerous calls echoing out as your beam lanced out and incinerated a brood of thirty in a single shot; the star beam shot engulfing talon armed Simurghs that to you looked like little more than winged hormagaunts with throat bulges for spitting acidic poison and reducing their bodies to quark-gluon plasma.

    You fired again and again, no normal human being able to discern the individual sounds between shots but the swarm here being far thicker than they were above. You switched between beams as soon as you needed more than one pellet of your split beam to kill any of them; watching the prism bounces and the penetration effect of the seismic beam to determine how you were clearing out the hordes. It wasn't quite enough.

    You and Samus released two hundred and forty mini-missiles each; letting them arc out with as many different warhead types as you needed; all charged and fitted with super-warheads for maximum impact. The cataclysmic detonation eradicated the thicket; gore, ash, and other particulates raining down while Warpath stood up, guns ablaze as he shouted with excitement, unfurling a large rotary gun from a storage space and letting the Ionic Gatling Gun rip into the creatures starting to come in from all sides.

    "Circle formation now! Alice, call your demons back!" You said, everyone backing into their positions while the Eldar cast forth bubble shields and swirling mystic walls to give your band of friends additional space; Alice sucking in a breath and reaching through to retrieve her army and sending them charging out into the swarm as it scuttled into view from all sides.

    "Ensure the children are kept alive. Slay the machines." One of the cultists clad in more impressive looking gear than most hissed in English, briefly startling you as you hadn't even considered they could speak the language of the locals.

    Gunfire both organic and not crashed against the barriers the Eldar maintained, the armies of your allies forming a circle of spears, guns and spells to cut their way through the ever growing legions. But all too often a puree'd beast would simply knit itself back together or be repurposed to regenerate another. The Cultists were as numerous as their trueborn counterparts grown in sinister vats to seed this world with their vanguard, and you could only imagine that these creatures had vast underground networks; spread across many timelines to prepare the way for their work.

    Cultists suited for melee dropped from the ceiling, dilating openings in the ferro-chitinous ceiling weeping sickly sweet smelling fluids briefly before metamorphs and acolytes dropped onto the bubble or onto the circular army holding the tide back. Alice's whip lashed through more than thirty cultists until the thirty first was now too resilient to the hellfire for her to cut through, forcing her to discorporate the whip before it could grab at it and replace the hellfire with a gout of conventional flame; a fireball to incinerate the beasts by the truckload.

    More were still coming, consuming even ash when they needed to or simply being sent back to the biopods for regrowth. Dawnmaker had shifted his form into a squid like Bright Nova, letting forth luminous energy in all directions; living artillery tearing apart every creature that he sensed had shifted its adaptations to the point where it was no longer resilient to light based weapons; the ruin he wrought rivalled only by very few among the team.

    Certainly not by Joseph whose dark energy blasts often struck creatures who had already developed adaptations to it, instead of cycling to those who
    hadn't adjusted their physiologies to compensate or had to drop nether energy adaptations to deal with other attacks; the swarms approaching his flank getting perilously closer as rampaging Carnifexes, built like a tank with legs with the size to match and a squat, powerful tusked head at the end of a hunched back, were birthed out of the walls, infantile fury backed up by swives of crab claws and organic scythes that would level skyscrapers; smashing through Demon, Golem, Elemental, and Shadowman alike.

    The Carnifex loped forward at surprising speeds; a living battering ram you neutralised with a super missile that took out its upper body, a follow up shot eradicating the other half. The second in its brood was injured rather than dead from the next super missile, losing a limb but still requiring a follow up barrage of standard missiles and unguided rockets to finish off. The third staggered and bled from a super missile, but regrow the injured flesh until your shock coil lashed into it and ripped it apart, spearing through the swarm and howling with an ever higher pitched keen as it tore their bodies apart.

    "Haven't seen a horde of enemies this thick since we stirred up the insecticon nest at Thyrax 3. Good ol'days wasn't it Arcee? I still remember the KABOOM! we had to scrounge up to sink 'em!" Warpath said as he simply changed between weapons, having no short supply of guns with different killing agents or effects to continually stress the cultists and vatbirthed's ability to adapt. Clever, certainly was giving him one of the top kill counts, but you were hoping he'd be able to keep it up while Samus busied herself with keeping the skies clear; taking to the air with her suit's wings outstretched and disappearing with her holofields; viscerae and debris falling around wherever her invisible form went.

    As abominants smashing into the barrier after breaking their way through the summoned fireline raised their power hammers to strike; the half of their number that stood after Warpath's gatling ion weapon had vaporised them getting his rad-flamer from his wrist to melt them where they stood without a second thought. When his missiles weren't doing enough, his chest cannon spat out an ultra-velocity shell whose thunderclap alone could cause enemies to rupture, smashing through tanks that the cultists were moving in through the arterial canals of this hellscape in a sight that made you want to vomit when they were squelched out of orfices tearing their way into existence.

    "This isn't working." You said, Alyrsero sweeping his spearhead to decapitate a Metamorph next to you and a sigh of agreement issuing forth from the young Eldar. A glance told you that it was adapted with special crystals to let it survive contact with the barrier that had so far incinerated each of its kind that touched it.

    "I'm quite aware of that, or do you think I'm enjoying my time here?!" Alyrsero said with a displeased grunt as you vapourised the head trying to bite at Kaeliyae's foot as she switched between her various pistols with abandon; distracting illusions confounding the monsters all around you and exertion notable in her breath. Alyrsero thrusted again to let the force weapon blaze the beast from the inside out; absorb its animal soul and then send it forward in a ghost-slash that pulped a whole wave of monstrosities, twisting even the warriors inside out before they were cut to rapidly burning gore.

    "Keeping the ever growing weight of voices and mystics from descending upon you strains me, darling girl. I ask your consent to loose my chains a little more; that I may create a path for us." Winterpyre said, the Apocalypse Demon King's arcs of hellish magics alternating between hellfire, toxin, flame, cold, or lightning; whatever was needed to bypass the Cult's adaptation; his energies shifting to avoid resistances and his aura causing many to die simply by being close to them.

    He grabbed a particularly large warrior and crushed it in his hands, letting his breath speak for him to repel the crushing warpborn blast waves of cultists with enlarged brains and cables fitted into their heads; his green-orange energy clashing with their own purple prowess until Kaustos swept them aside with his fire tornado; dialing up his heat more and more to overpower ever-growing resistance to it.

    "They've got us boxed in, they're just going to keep recycling the dead and keep throwing bigger and badder gribblies at us until we run out of fight to give." Arcee said, stabbing her blade into a serpentine beast that stabbed psychoactive claws into the barrier to pull them open, letting her flesh-disruptor fire to reduce the rhinoceros sized beast to bits.

    "Clever machine, but if you want to continue function, we ask of you only one thing. Leave the children and command them to remove their armour." Another cultist said, clad in a sinister carapace like exosuit that flashed with some manner of teleporter every time she was about to be struck; disappearing from one place to another as she laughed, her warp presence burning like a fire on your warp visor.

    "How's about I ZAP ya huh?" Warpath said bluntly, counting down her teleports as he smashed his fist down into a metahuman powered broodlord hard enough to smash through its electric barrier field and obliterate its body. As soon as she appeared again, she was met with a lightning gun that sparked electricity into her, throwing her back and making her briefly convulse before she dispelled the electricity and growled.

    "Nuisance." She said as she pulled back, melting into the shadows before you could get a good look at her, a curse forming on your lips in frustration as you saw that the circle the summoned help had made was falling apart, half of it broken open even as Iybraa used Carnifexes as wrecking balls to sweep aside charging cultists or intercept abominant swings; other foes simply exploding when she manifested telekinetics inside of them and pushed out or getting diced apart when her fields formed in the gaps between molecules and then rotated. She was making a valiant effort, but not enough to stop the breach.

    "Alice, reconsolidate your forces behind us. Samus, Dawnmaker, Warpath, Elendria, Kaeliyae, Idaliryn, Talosii and...yes, Lelithax. Charge." You said, Dawnmaker having shifted into his massive white dwarf form; the crustaceoid neutron star born luminscent white life form pulverising everything it touched with swats of the hand.

    "We should make our way to the central door. It's the fastest way towards something we can properly purge." Samus said as she readied herself, the group forming into a single unit behind warpath as he crackled his fists together and let power fists slot in over his hands, his rotary gun moving to his shoulders and his boots extending emitters to cover them in energised fields.

    "Arne, want to use the power bombs to clear some safe paths?" Samus said with a smirk beneath her helmet as you gave a small nod.

    "Let's crack some heads." Warpath shouted.

    "SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ELDANESH, CHILDREN OF MANKIND! Uhh..." Idaliryn said as the Cultists' metamorphs were pressing against the now less defended barrier as your shooting briefly stopped, his mind racking around what to say while Elendria palmed her helmet's facemask with a hand and Lelithax cracked up. "OTHER ALIENS AND MACHINE MEN! TO GLORY AND RUIN! TO THE DAWN AND THE END! CHAAAAARGE!" He said, flipping his great sword into motion as he ran forward, the white wind of Hysh burning around him as the remaining summoned help retreated to the other flank, letting the remainder of the team hold the front side.

    You carved into the foe like a blade through air, nothing getting in your way as the bodies piled up around you and were burnt as thoroughly as possible. Power bombs detonated with cataclysmic thunder, yellow flashes of all destroying light annihilating anything in their path with waves of destruction that defied conventional durability. Samus' speedbooster slammed through the foe in endlessly large numbers, everything splattering against her while you wrestled with beasts who could give even the neutron degenerate matter body of Dawnmaker in his white dwarf form some pause in terms of sheer strength; ripping them apart or blasting them to pieces; Warpath's every blow crushing more and more of the creatures while the Eldar danced through the fields of battle, leaving death in their wake.

    But the foe just kept on coming, counting them was pointless when they were without number. Dead meat stitching itself onto other dead meat or the still living or the newly born, splitting, recombining, reshaping utterly endlessly. These were not the Tyranids of the 41st millennium who could be held back with just Melta, Bolter, Flamer, Plasma, and Blade; but were of the Emperor Strain. One of the Thirteen Masters of the Apocalypse whose monstrous armies ravaged the universe of the galaxies of darkness. You felt a sudden chill, your danger senses flashing as you made note of the movement of detached and severed body parts and even viscerae or splattered cells.

    The bioporters that kept the Cult from suffering permanent losses weren't currently being used to their fullest extent because they weren't necessary. And you had a chill go down your spine as you realised that an increasingly large pile of tyrannic biomass, some of them little more than clusters of phage cells that melted the "dead" flesh back into raw biomass, were pooling together, flowing through the drainage systems of the building from so many of the dismembered body parts you had left behind earlier.

    "Killing" a tyranid meant nothing when a Tyranid was a Tyranid down to the most fundamental level. Beasts started to pull themselves together, piteous and nauseating birth cries being heard as throats congealed into being with grotesque wet slops amidst a floor with the most unpleasant glistening purple flesh floors. Eyes crawling on nerves dug into pits of flesh that opened on heads melting together while the skittering and scratching in the distance grew louder and louder.

    Drifting airborne cells kept underground to avoid detection by parahumans if they tried to start an infestation above ground clumped onto these beasts as the components of dead tyranids melted into each other; chanting Cultists exulting in the formation of the growing monstrosity until it had grown into a creature like a Genestealer but larger, more powerful, with a mouth ringed with tentacles, shifting arms that continually changed what weapons they were formed into, and a pair of wings splitting from its back along with a long, sinuous tail. Its chest sometimes opened with teeth, a long flicking tongue hungering for food before it melted back into its flesh as clusters of eyes stared out, shifting around its body like fish swimming through water to keep you all in its sight.

    Chitin and scale formed around soft spots, thickening as its body bulged with muscle, the quivering beast's height making it more than a head taller than even Warpath while it let out a squealing, ululating roar that shifted between a thousand different pitches while its throat flowed into proper place, head expanding to suit the formation of a powerful brain while acidic drool leaked from its mouth and toxic spores puffed from its body. The lifeblood of the creature hissed on the ground, and curling wads of its flesh dripped down with sickening splats that festered, squirmed, and wriggled into smaller shapes in the image of their dread father.

    The creature needed no time to adjust to its body, no moment to deal with its sudden birth. It formed a pair of swords of bone in its upper hands and thick, powerful rending claws in its lower hands and let out a roar heard mentally, physically, and spiritually as its body shimmered to cloak itself from visible light before reappearing again to let out a chilling shriek that made the entire room shake with its sonerous wails, the tyranids and cultists seeming to feel some perverse ecstasy as you recognised threads of incarnate energy weaving through them as the Brood King functioned as a miniature well for its hive. Their eyes briefly glowing with fragments of divine power.

    "...Isha preserve us." Ormothin said with fright as you briefly took a step back from the monstrosity that had been created.

    You steeled yourself, a look of determination creeping across your face while Samus grit her teeth and pointed her cannon straight ahead. You looked at the creatures and saw many fates, many of them terrible. You pushed out the thought of your own possible demise as you were trained to. Samus adjusted her stance as the Ymgarl Brood King rumbled out their challenge to the group, stalking and hollering as the cult marched into its positions from the shadows, exulting in the incarnate power the Brood Kings offered.

    Warpath punched a hand into his palm and Lelithax produced her halberd staff in short order, growling even as she shook slightly in fear of the beasts before her. Idaliryn's sword blazed and Elendria's sceptre crackled as they adjusted their stance, while Winterpyre and Kaustos roared in challenge.





    Organism is a higher strain of Tyranid that serves as a liaison between the Broodlords and Brood Tyrants and the Patriarchs of the Genestealer Cult. With the ability to continually and rapidly alter its physiology to bizarre degrees such as changing the basis of its biochemistry or altering its mass on command as well as truly enormous regenerative capabilities, this organism would be enough of a threat on its own were it not for the creature's bonding with a substantial amount of incarnate threads that have allowed it to forge a connection to the Source of the Sourcewell metaverse; adding to its power tremendously. Able to choose between a large repertoire of metahuman powers from the Sourcewell metaverse and other unknown sources while also having powerful Warp based abilities and more conventional Psionics, this creature's threat profile is difficult to ascertain beyond that it is a significant threat that will typically prefer to fight primarily in melee combat and that its death would weaken nearby tyranids by depriving them of the augmenting synapse aura it provides.

    Samus' Notes: If we could just kill these creatures, I think we'd be able to buy the team some reprieve. But I'm wondering why it took so long for them to arrive. Small mercies I guess.

    Arne's Notes: This genome is incredibly, ridiculously complex. Kind of like my own I guess. As horrifying as it is though, I think there's something I could extract from it that'd be useful. It'd be nice to repurpose such evil into something better.

    ------CAUTION------

    TYRANID GENESTEALER BROOD KING

    THE SHIFTING INFESTATION

    HEALTH: 100%




    Situation:

    The Shifting Infestation is empowering the Tyranids with incarnate power harvested from Primal Earth and its related dimensions and it will continue to do so as long as it lives.

    The Shifting Infestation is blocking the way for any further reinforcements, preventing an Autobot sweeper team from teleporting in to cleanse the Tyranid biomass

    The Tyrannic catacombs are alive and are able to change their layout and will endlessly spawn more and more tyranids and cultists until a biopurge is done to eliminate all tyrannic matter.

    For whatever reason, the Tyranids would prefer to call on a hive fleet rather than simply infesting the planets they are present on with their ability to absorb and subvert biomass so the Tyranid Apocalypse counter is still somewhat far away from triggering a LAST CHANCE mission.

    The team is at full strength and is uninjured.

    Even with Alice, Clarioli, and Joseph's summoned help you are vastly outnumbered.

    A Genestealer Magus has been spotted but has retreated deeper into the catacomb network, given the likely size of the infestation, she has likely gone to another node.

    This is an important node of Tyranid biomass, containing a great deal of harvested superhuman tissue that the Cult seems to be interested in studying. Destroying it will set back the Tyranids' understanding of Superhuman powers and slow down their production of superpowered Genestealers, Cultists, and Vatborn True Tyranids.

    Destroying the Brood King will weaken the Hive Fleet signal and buy more time before I start rolling for "Tendril Fleet arrival".

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 25
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal Stress: 15
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Great resistances, Sublime Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Sublime Defence, Melee Damage, Control): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 5
    Warpath (Autobot General, Sublime Resistances, Extreme Defence, Tanking, All-Rounder Damage): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Joseph (Shadow Magic Defender, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Ranged Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Doctor Black (Bound Shadow King, Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    • Ten Shadow Formations (Summoned Shadow Creatures, Decent Resistances, Great Defence: Control, Support) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0. (Comprised of one Nightblade, Three Shadowmen, Five Dark Panthers, Ten Shades, Fifteen Shadow Scorpions, Twenty Nighthounds, Twenty Five Living Shadows, Thirty Shadelings)
    • Five Umbral Beasts (Summoned Giant Shadow Wolf, Melee Damage, Control, Decent Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0.
    Eudaimonica (Hell-Witch Mastermind, Great Resistances, Decent Defence. Pets, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Winterpyre (Bound Apocalypse Demon King, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Caustos (Bound Fire Elementar Grand Avatar, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Talosii (Golem, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence. Tank) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%.. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Demonic Cohorts (Summoned Demons, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder )Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of one Demonic Decurion, Three Demonic Corporals, Five Moloch Bulls, Ten Demonic Legionaries, Fifteen Winged-Demons, Twenty Hellhounds, Twenty Five Demonlings, and Thirty Imps stats are for each unit)
    • Three Warlock Demons (Summoned Demonic Spellcasters. Good Resistances, Good Defence. Control and Support, can summon their own demons). Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Hellknights (Summoned Armoured Demonic Cavalry, Great Reistances, Great Defence. Melee/tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Fire Elemental Cohorts (Summoned Fire Elementals, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of One Pyrocaster, Three Incendiery Warriors, Five Salamanders, Ten Pyro-Phalangites, Fifteen Bonfire-Born, Twenty Flaming Ones, Twenty Five Pyre-Gargoyles, and Thirty Sparklings)
    • Three Greater Salamanders (Summoned Fire Elemental Warbeast. Damage out the ass. Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Elemental Pyromancers (Summoned Fire Elemental Mages. Ranged Damage and Control. Great Resistances, Good Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Golem Cohorts (Golems. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Comprised of One Golem Master, Three Golem Warriors, Five Golem Watchers, Ten Golem Soldiers, Fifteen Golem Beasts, Twenty Lesser Golems, Twenty Five Golem Men, Thirty Golemlings)
    • Three Golem Guardians (Golems focused on defense. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking, Support.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Five Golem Wardens (Golems focused on Crowd Control. Tanking/Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE

    Group 3:
    Dawnmaker (Yurye-Kheldian Peacebringer, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage):Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 25
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Sublime Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support, Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder)Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control, Fantastic Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 50
    • Aeschamon (Warp-powered automaton Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Ithilmar Warden Claws (Warp-powered automata. Great Resistances, Great Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Each Comprised of One Ithilya Lance, Three Metal Wardens, Five Iron-Hosts, ten Swordbearers, fifteen Spearmakers, twenty Furnace-Spiders, twenty-five metal hawks, and thirty Forgelings; stats are for each unit. Kept in Webway pockets until needed; summoned on the spot when necessary.)
    • Five Ithilmar Knights (Warp Powered Cavalry Autonoma, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence. All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE

    Actions:

    League Actions:

    []: Purge Tyrannic biomass wherever possible: Eliminate Tyrannic matter to reduce the rate at which more Tyranids spawn to reinforce the Brood King and reduce its ability to draw on matter to adjust its capabilities.
    []: Focus on Buff Aura Creatures: Attack the synapse creatures providing synaptic aura buffs to the swarm, lowering their overall capabilities
    []: Focus on the Brood King: Eliminate the Brood King as fast as possible to remove the incarnate buffs it gives to other tyranids.
    []: Focus on the Casters: Take out the casting capable Tyranids and Cultists before they start throwing hands with various forms of esoteric attacks.
    []: Focus on Staying Alive: Put all efforts into avoiding infection by the phage cells, the genestealers, or being eaten alive by the tyranids.
    []: Focus on breaching the Tyranid Shroud: Put efforts into trying to get a ground-bridge connection to the autobots for them to bring in a Sweep team to do a biopurge of this nest, risky but calls in a high-grade autobot crew of Sweeps; wreckers who specialise in eliminating virulent homogenizing swarms like the Tyranids.


    Group Actions:

    []: Prepare Buffs: Fire up some buffs before the battle is engaged to rebalance the odds in your favour.
    []: Prepare Hexes: Try to weaken the Hive Mind's swarms before battle is engaged.
    []: Target supporting Organisms: Focus Not on the Brood King but its support such as Zoanthropes, Venomthropes, or Lesser Cult Magi.
    []: Look for any terrain advantages: Look for where there might be any features of the battlefield that might help, such as volatile energy generation nodes that could burn the swarm if burst or places you could siphon energy from for immediate shield recharge. You can feel two trapped Progenitor relics too, which can provide immediate upgrades when acquired, but once the Hive Mind understands your connection to them; they'll probably move them elsewhere.
    []: Take the Brood King's Challenge Head on: Take the beast on yourself, the Hive Mind has no sense of honour, so its challenge is almost certainly bait, but the Hive Mind likely doesn't quite recognise the combat capabilities of a pair of Inheritor Warriors, backed up by Post-Freedom from Slaanesh Eldar able to use their Warp born gifts without fear of She who Thirsts. If it dies, the fight will be much easier.
    []: Farm extra incarnate energy from the swarm: Kill creatures with larger concentrations of Incarnate energy, using that power to enhance your team and yourselves. This will rapidly ensure incarnate power progress as well as make your team more able to contribute in later rounds, adding to the time the encounter will last but having long term benefits.


    Samus Actions:
    []: Swift as Lightning, Deadly as Thunder: Rush in and out of melee with a combination of your various movement powers, alt-modes, timestops, teleportations, and phase-outs. Never let the enemy focus you down for too long, but they'll soon realise the futility of attacking you and focus more on other team mates.
    []: The Gauntlet Thrown, the Die Cast: Make yourself the most obvious target possible, rushing into the very thick of battle and draw all eyes on yourself as you purge everything you get into melee with. You'll take more damage, but allies will take less.
    []: Spirit of War, Goddess of Justice: You have incredible ranged firepower that could lay low nations and mountain ranges were their energies not precisely contained and shaped; concentrate them to the maximum upon the most dangerous targets your group decides to deal with, annihilate everything you see without pause or mercy.
    []: A glacier's curse, a winter's smite: Make heavy usage of immobilization weapons such as your paralyzers, the ice beam and missile, and judicious usage of time-stop and teleportation to stop the enemy from moving as they please, pushing allies about to get hurt out of harm's way or locking down threatening enemies before they can close in. Lower damage but better support.
    []: Shifting Warrior, Transforming Master: Use your alt-modes for maximum mobility, crawling around enemies like the brood king with the spider-ball, dropping power bombs, transforming into a jet or helicopter as needed; never giving them an opportunity to really grab onto you while hitting at vulnerable points, even going inside the Brood King's mouth in morph ball mode to drop power bombs where possible.
    []: I am a blade of many shapes, a warrior of many forms: Take a neutral, adaptive stance; adjusting your techniques and your style as the situation demands, not really having the benefits of any one of them but none of the weaknesses of any; but mitigates risk the most overall for the entire team.


    Arne Actions:
    []: Blood of the Einherjar, Scion of the Alimbics: Unleash the true fury of the Uskarlings and your status as an Alimbic Knight, dealing massive damage in close quarters as you go full rip and tear mode; likely talking damage in the process but annihilating enemies in a vicious blur; your shock coil being used to restore energy where needed.
    []: The Lightning Incarnate, the Storm's Son: Make heavy usage of the Shock Coil, the Positron beam, and the Electrowave Beam; frying your enemies and stopping them in their tracks with convulsing bolts of lightning and anti-matter; never missing, striking foe after foe without mercy. Deals a great deal of damage but is intensive on your Universal Ammo and Missile stock piles.
    []: The Assassin's Knife, the Silent Death: Move stealthily, going between foe to foe deal sneak attack damage, keeping the risk to yourself low but dealing intense burst damage well suited for overpowering the healing factor of your opponents, striking at key moments to deal critical blows.
    []: Knight of Honour, Paladin Aspirant: Make yourself the rock upon which the enemy will shatter against. Rushing into the very thick of battle and draw all eyes on yourself as you purge everything you get into melee with. You'll take more damage, but allies will take less.
    []: Pilot Extraordinary, Child Ace: Take the possibly risky option of having the Sleipnir provide air support with its bunker-buster and object penetrating munitions guided by yourself in tandem with the ship's Synthetic consciousness. This will take some of your attention to coordinate the shots in a way that ensures nobody gets hurt who isn't supposed to, but the ship has plenty of firepower and can breach through the complex and rain fire upon the Brood King.
    []: Champion of the Clan, Strength of Sylux: You are just a bit physically stronger than Samus, though to most the slight difference is mostly academic and is more born of being a bit taller than she is. Still, sometimes raw strength is its own weapon, disrupt the enemy formation by grabbing onto its creatures and smashing them into the rest of the foe like a club or throwing them around. Don't let them coordinate, don't let them even stand. Even if they adapt to blunt force trauma, their ability to make a coherent attack will be egregiously disrupted by your crowd control as you simply smash them around or fling them aside; making everyone's job easier. And you'd like to bet that most of the Tyranids aren't adapted to being impaled with their own melee bio-weapons either.
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 10)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X] Plan Buffs and Slaying
    - [X]: Focus on Buff Aura Creatures: Attack the synapse creatures providing synaptic aura buffs to the swarm, lowering their overall capabilities
    - [X]: Prepare Buffs: Fire up some buffs before the battle is engaged to rebalance the odds in your favour.
    - [X]: Shifting Warrior, Transforming Master: Use your alt-modes for maximum mobility, crawling around enemies like the brood king with the spider-ball, dropping power bombs, transforming into a jet or helicopter as needed; never giving them an opportunity to really grab onto you while hitting at vulnerable points, even going inside the Brood King's mouth in morph ball mode to drop power bombs where possible.
    - [X]: The Lightning Incarnate, the Storm's Son: Make heavy usage of the Shock Coil, the Positron beam, and the Electrowave Beam; frying your enemies and stopping them in their tracks with convulsing bolts of lightning and anti-matter; never missing, striking foe after foe without mercy. Deals a great deal of damage but is intensive on your Universal Ammo and Missile stock piles.

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1000/1000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 25
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1000/1000 Morale: Optimal Stress: 15
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Great resistances, Sublime Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 5
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Sublime Defence, Melee Damage, Control): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 5
    Warpath (Autobot General, Sublime Resistances, Extreme Defence, Tanking, All-Rounder Damage): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Joseph (Shadow Magic Defender, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Ranged Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Doctor Black (Bound Shadow King, Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    • Ten Shadow Formations (Summoned Shadow Creatures, Decent Resistances, Great Defence: Control, Support) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0. (Comprised of one Nightblade, Three Shadowmen, Five Dark Panthers, Ten Shades, Fifteen Shadow Scorpions, Twenty Nighthounds, Twenty Five Living Shadows, Thirty Shadelings)
    • Five Umbral Beasts (Summoned Giant Shadow Wolf, Melee Damage, Control, Decent Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0.
    Eudaimonica (Hell-Witch Mastermind, Great Resistances, Decent Defence. Pets, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Winterpyre (Bound Apocalypse Demon King, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Caustos (Bound Fire Elementar Grand Avatar, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Talosii (Golem, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence. Tank) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%.. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Demonic Cohorts (Summoned Demons, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder )Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of one Demonic Decurion, Three Demonic Corporals, Five Moloch Bulls, Ten Demonic Legionaries, Fifteen Winged-Demons, Twenty Hellhounds, Twenty Five Demonlings, and Thirty Imps stats are for each unit)
    • Three Warlock Demons (Summoned Demonic Spellcasters. Good Resistances, Good Defence. Control and Support, can summon their own demons). Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Hellknights (Summoned Armoured Demonic Cavalry, Great Reistances, Great Defence. Melee/tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Fire Elemental Cohorts (Summoned Fire Elementals, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of One Pyrocaster, Three Incendiery Warriors, Five Salamanders, Ten Pyro-Phalangites, Fifteen Bonfire-Born, Twenty Flaming Ones, Twenty Five Pyre-Gargoyles, and Thirty Sparklings)
    • Three Greater Salamanders (Summoned Fire Elemental Warbeast. Damage out the ass. Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Elemental Pyromancers (Summoned Fire Elemental Mages. Ranged Damage and Control. Great Resistances, Good Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Golem Cohorts (Golems. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Comprised of One Golem Master, Three Golem Warriors, Five Golem Watchers, Ten Golem Soldiers, Fifteen Golem Beasts, Twenty Lesser Golems, Twenty Five Golem Men, Thirty Golemlings)
    • Three Golem Guardians (Golems focused on defense. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking, Support.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Five Golem Wardens (Golems focused on Crowd Control. Tanking/Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE

    Group 3:
    Dawnmaker (Yurye-Kheldian Peacebringer, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage):Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 25
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Sublime Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support, Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder)Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control, Fantastic Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 50
    • Aeschamon (Warp-powered automaton Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Ithilmar Warden Claws (Warp-powered automata. Great Resistances, Great Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Each Comprised of One Ithilya Lance, Three Metal Wardens, Five Iron-Hosts, ten Swordbearers, fifteen Spearmakers, twenty Furnace-Spiders, twenty-five metal hawks, and thirty Forgelings; stats are for each unit. Kept in Webway pockets until needed; summoned on the spot when necessary.)
    • Five Ithilmar Knights (Warp Powered Cavalry Autonoma, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence. All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE


    Samus

    The monster's aura was noxious as the room writhed in tune with its breath like the rhythm of a set of lungs, a sinister pulse racing through the tissue like some horrid, vast heart. Pulsations brought to life more of the viscous slime, and you launched yourself into a sprint before curling into the morph ball and throwing yourself up with its spring function, charging a further boost and diving through the guard of the creature as its upper two limbs transformed into a pair of crackling swords of bone, crystal, and carapace; flesh melting into base matter and sliding back into its new form. The whistle of its sabre was a death siren, but you latched onto its shoulder while Arne's shock coil sparked to life and danced across its face; matter to energy streams flowing into it, creating voltaic currents that would short out every system on this planet a million times over.

    It flinched, you dropped a series of charged pyro-bombs all across the creature; your morph ball mode sprouting out sharp legs and repeatedly stabbing energised blades of cold into the heated areas to cause brief shatterings of the creature's hide, boosting away and uncurling as the surge of hair-on-end sensation rocked through your body and told you to get out of there as quickly as possible. Your body phasing out and your cannon clicking to release a dozen super missiles into the creature's rapidly regenerating face.

    Samus Super Missiles: 28/40

    By the third super missile it had adapted and its body made a radical, heinous transformation as its tissue became denser, squelching and cracking into a more resilient form that further shrouded itself in living metal as the strength of the iron arm power rushed through it; giving the creature a degree of toughness that would allow it to virtually ignore much of the incoming weapons fire that rained across it, demonic guns and flickering exciter sparks dancing off of its hide and each super missile impact pushing it back farther less and less. The last missile it caught with its hands and flung towards you, unaware that you were immune to your own weapons before you shifted into helicopter mode; rotors spinning to life and hacking through the swarm of winged beasts flocking around you; which steadily grew harder and harder to slice through.

    SHIFTING INFESTATION HEALTH: 98%

    The munitions launcher vented corrosive fury as the creature loped, body changing into something leaner and swifter, darting around the nimble swings of Idaliryn to grab at Warpath; Boneswords clashing against his power fists with a devastating thunderclap. As its warp shields flared to life to intercept your multi-missiles and rockets, Arne tackled it in the legs, blitzing through a horde of ymgarl strain genestealers who exploded to pulp as his speed booster's comet-like energy through them. It stumbled into a swing of Elendria's maul, warp power flowing into the Eldar girl to let her strike with a force beyond what her flesh should have been able to achieve, a heavy crack making it lurch into Dawnmaker's megaton uppercut; a resounding thunderclap reverberating through the room.

    But as Lelithax approached with her halberd, pendulum blades of shadow magic sweeping aside her foes while her druchii weapon gleamed with sinister intent to cleave into the juggernaut's under-right claw hand, it had formed a shield of bio-metallic carapace and its body shimmered with the energy of tremendous speed. A hundred thousand blows rained on the nimble Eldar, faster than she or her kin could block until Idaliryn's defensive field burst; hyshic energies screaming as they dispersed and a heavy hoof stomping on his wraithbone and ithilmar armour repeatedly until a crack formed; fleshy hooked tendrils bursting out and grabbing onto Warpath to throw him to the side; other hand melting into a bio-cannon that erupted with a swarm of hypersonic flesh-starved and acid covered beetles hungrily gnawing at Winterpyre who roared in outrage as he was swarmed by the hungry projectiles. Your heart was starting to slow, the Bladewizard's pained grunts echoing in your helmet and making your lip quiver. Everywhere the creatures were threatening to overwhelm your team.

    Idaliryn: Shielding; 0%, Armour; 20%, Health; 85%

    Lelithax: Shielding; 75%, Armour; 100%, Health; 100%

    Elendria: Shielding 50%, Armour 100%, Health 100%

    "Arne, keep the big thing busy, I'll take out some of the support!" You said over your commlink with your partner as he nodded, moving to duel with the Infestation as it grabbed Warpath by the head and tossed him aside through scores of Alice's demons. His suit charged after his wrist mounted shock coil vaporised a row of bloated brain psionic cultists; tearing through pink translucent barriers and making spark-dust out of a hundred bodies, he swept in, bayonet, sword, rotors, and wing blades at the ready. Stopping time and then severing the beast's hands, giving you time to act elsewhere.

    You took stock of the situation elsewhere, eyes locked on the situation to the right flank where the line of summoned creatures was at its thinnest.

    Incarnate empowered cultists were starting to shoot their way through the flanks of summoned minions; lasguns striking with a force beyond their normal capability, chainsaw swords digging into hapless foes and deadly disruptor field empowered tools striking through demon, golem, and fire elemental alike. Summoned legions who had carved their way through the upper levels were now buckling, fighting bitterly but futilely.

    You turned your attention to Ormothin who tried to flow restorative energy into the faltering summoned armies, the Eldar boy wavering as Broodlords slavered with anticipation, their psyker powers crashing into him like a rumbling stormcloud. Clarioli's winds of magic crackled along with his, pushing against the straining waves as coils of energy danced, ghosting in and out of existence while the air began to scream with an energy you found fascinating but worrying.

    Seeing that the first Genestealer Abominant; a wretched creature with an assyemtrical face divided by a vertically opening mouth where teeth of various sizes and shapes pushed their way in and out of being, muscles rippling and shifting into a metallic sheen; had broken through, you sprang into action. The creature crushing a Hellknight who had cleaved its way through a score of metamorphs with a single blow from a massive hammer and a thunderclap, approaching the rear lines while Talosii busied themselves with wrestling massive slithering serpent beasts.

    You rolled into the morph ball, hacked the abominant's hamstrings from under it and released a few toxin bombs, jabbing the blades of your morph ball into its spine and twisting to make its muscles spasm to swing the hammer into a rather surprised looking Aberrant wielding a massive rotary gun who simply disappeared into purple mist.

    Arcee cycle-kicked her way through the swarm, energon blades reaping through foes in her path as she flicked her optics to you, tossing out g renades to slow down the relentless advance, electric field forcing acolytes crawling on her to let go or be turned to dust. She was impressive, skillful, agile, things you admired, but you feared for her as she bled energon from rents in her armour, her movements already slower than yours and only slowing further. She was larger than you yes, older by far. But you were stronger, and she was already fighting to her limits.

    "I've got this area covered, move!" She hissed to you, shoulder missiles arcing around her with a whistle and the rumble of bomb-thunder. You doubted that though, could anyone but yourself and Arne handle a flank on their own against horrors of this scale? Already the Cult was sending up further resources, assembled in secret factories assisted by their assimilation of superhuman technological prowess and their understanding of their own native devices. She was brave, but this seemed to be more your position to hold.

    "You need to pull back!" You said, voice quivering with disbelief at her stubborn desire to keep her position, stepping back to let one of Alyrsero's devastating Ethereal slashes clear out enemies who had shattered the demonic lines and then sweeping plasmaspewer flame over the other creatures who howled as they died; your beam fire shifting, transforming, always changing as your needs altered. Charged shots were used, morph ball attacks into the thicket of aura creatures were made to weaken the swarm, focused attacks lashing at you; millions of scratch injuries by those beasts who ascertained your position or struck when you weren't ghosted. They were seemingly aware of your time stop ability, and were adjusting around it; creatures with warped time able to move slowly in your field of stopped time tearing their way through the birthing mats.

    Samus: Energy; 1029/1300 Armor; 1300/1300 Health; 1000/1000.

    You panted, Arcee not able to respond properly as she was being pinned to the ground by another abominant until you split the thing head to navel. She kicked herself up while you exhaled.

    "We're gonna be fine...promise." Arcee said, relaxing as Clarioli's chamonic power seeped into her and mended her rent armour and cut chassis, letting the gold magic charge her up further as she punched a hand into her palm.

    The needle sensation of incoming danger to friends burned in your brain while Winterpyre released a gout of impossible hellfrostfire; combining the energies of three, largely contradictory elements to make full adaptation impossible as creatures burn, froze, and felt the flensing toxin-flame of hell roil through them. Your cannon and bombs had done bloody work; rocket pods and multi-missiles unleashing a war's worth of munitions in all directions, but you took a moment to see that the beasts; under the command of their gestalt; had brought forth heavier armour. A vehicle whose main gun boomed and flattened a section of golems with its mighty detonation rolled into view, gun smoking as it crested over the cover formed for it by shifting flesh to bring itself to bear.

    Your grapple beam latched onto the vehicle huge barrel clicking with a freshly loaded shell as the thing's hull and pintle guns started to vomit out rocket propelled mass-reactive rounds, its main gun firing only for you to snatch the shell while your cannon arm yanked the vehicle towards yourself; splattering cultists caught in the path until you smashed your foot into it hard enough to shatter the light tank into a shrapnel storm. The beasts in the way died, ripped apart into bloody chunks that you put paid to with your munitions' launchers toxin sprayer to melt them into irrecoverable sludge, the creatures who were once tearing their way through the summoned legions now starting to get pushed back with the death of so many aura creatures.

    Alice pulled a little more of Winterpyre's chains free and the demon king's form swelled in size and his own demonic legions erupted from the earth in even greater numbers. Furious beasts of many sizes and shapes roared their defiance against the Cult; Kaustos similarly increasing in might and heat as Demon and Elemental joined forces to throw the legions back. While it seemed to startle the cultists, it was a sight that warmed your heart. Well, not as much as the Genestealers being bathed in elemental fire were being warmed.

    "Now you're going to be fine." You said, giving a thumbs up.

    Returning your attention back to the fight with the Brood King, Arne had been busied with a swarm of assassin organisms who kept on trying to sneak attack him; preventing him from properly focusing on his duel with the Shifting Infestation. But the infestation had shown signs of weakening, its warp field dimming and its corrosive blood spilling out. But as Arne had by now adapted to its weapons enough to take its hits head on, the monster pulled another trick; tearing open the veil of reality with a shriek that sent chills of empyreal horror into your mind and soul as you stared into a realm of possibilities and the horrid shadow-web of pulsing hive-thoughts. Nearby daemons were ripped apart as they approached it, beasts formed of gestalt thought slavering as they were drawn into the warp, howling from unnatural demises while the gate was thrown towards Arne. As it lashed out with unreal energies, you were already moving as fast as you could; missiles flying free in all directions to carve your way towards the foe.

    Arne grunted as the vortex served as a conduit for direct, incinerating blasts that tore into him, striking him even through phase-outs and timestops through their achronal nature; augmenting the energies of the psyker-horrors and bringing him to his knees with power that would have felled many dauntless champions and armies from the beast's own realm. He didn't cry out, but you could feel his pain. Your stomach flipped inside and you couldn't wait another moment while the creature turned to an injured Idaliryn, still trying to fight until it swept him up with a claw, other arms sprouting added appendages to see off other duelists.

    It threw forth incarnate powered lightning at him, the bolts missing him as he ducked and weaved out of their way and his

    Arne: Shielding; 673/1300. Armour 1300/1300. Health: 1000/1000

    SHIFTING INFESTATION HEALTH: 73%

    Its ovipostor emerging to give the Hyshari the infectious kiss until illusory assailants dragged its attention away, the creature roaring in annoyance while Kaeliyae pulled Idaliryn back to the auspices of your team's support; restorative energy and healing mending his bruised body and damaged armour. It had formed a seed gun spitting out the progenitors of sharp, choking, corroding slime covered plants that swarmed the battlefield, dragging down those it touched; slicing demons to ribbons and crushing golems to dust and foil in an attempt to grab their intended prey; tripping Kaeliyae as she raced back; swinging a scythe like talon down with air burning force. Only your timely intervention in jet mode stopped the impact, batting the creature's claw away while Arne fed the warp tear with his radiance beam until it shrieked into oblivion, standing up and rushing its tail.

    "Arne, Zoanthropes!" You said, noting the brain beasts hovering in the air and coordinating the fire of cultists fielding heavy weapons while the air quivered under their psychic might before erupting in a sheet of warpflame that engulfed Dawnmaker's enduring White Dwarf form, the Kheldian's luminous white aura flickering as he staggered back and dropped to a knee. A nova of dark energy exploded amidst the cult backline, Joseph's spell forming a howling vortex whose tendrils lashed into some of the guardians of the brainbeasts, cultists bloated into bulky forms with bodies of living stone who shrugged off the impacts of Iybraa's telekinetic projectiles as Alyrsero pressed back against the Tyrannic psychic wave; the Eldar youth grunting while his power waxed and the energic tides rolled back towards the foe.

    Arne swung the Shifting infestation like a ball and chain, pulling the beast off of its feet even as it altered its density and accumulated more mass; pushing through even its abilities to root itself into the ground with powers to alter gravity and telekinetically dig in; even through an attempted conceptual link to the idea of the ground. It was a rooting force of tectonic scale, but it was not enough as Arne swung the beast straight through the Zoanthropes, exploding their bodies with the beast's now enormous weight, warp fields cracking and bursting into multicoloured particulates and the whole ground shaking like an earthquake had occurred before he swung and threw it through a charging mass of genestealers who made a rather satisfying splat as their brood father rolled atop them.

    SHIFTING INFESTATION HEALTH: 70%

    You started to attack relentlessly, blasts, blows, strikes, and dodges dancing around the endlessly changing beast as its form went through an impossible number of changes trying to strike you. Powerful blows that should have landed skimming off in altered fate while you found lucky strike after strike that battered the beast back, giving the Eldar time to recover and letting Iybraa take to the field; joining you with a massive telekinetic flensing attack that sought to literally peel the thing's tissue off once its warp field ruptured. With Warpath and Dawnmaker guarding the injured, the two of you were pushing the thing towards the wall, its aura weakening from the death of many aura provided beasts while Iybraa's fury began to crescendo and squelch any creature that tried to birth itself from the biomat, ripping apart organic molecules as they came together.

    Combined with ranged fire directed into it, it was reeling, clutching at an arm you had severed from it while its eyes tried to flow back together after Iybraa burst them in its skull.

    Shifting Infestation Health: 43%

    Arne hadn't gotten away with it without harm though, the beast's secretions and energies and stabbing limbs having tried to eat through his shielding; nevermind the attacks from other creatures he had to bear while he was touching it. He breathed out, looking at the creatures seeming to pause as his suit warned him of his shielding state.

    Arne: Shielding; 187/1300. Armour 1300/1300 . Health: 1000/1000

    "Samus...I can handle it...I've had worse...keep that thing busy." He said as he started up his rotor blades, fired up his projected shield and let his shock coil bring his shielding back. He seemed calm, collected, the situation unfortunate, but determined to take care of himself and not drag other people down. He was sure he could recover the situation by himself.

    Arne: Shielding; 870/1300. Armour 1300/1300 . Health: 1000/1000

    You however...you couldn't let him, his eyes widening beneath his helmet when you abandoned position, Warpath cursing and asking Talosii and some of the demons crawling out of Winterpyre's hellrift to take his place as he thundered towards the rapidly regenerating Brood King; joined by Dawnmaker in his humanoid form like a comet that swept the creature straight off of its feet and into the air, throwing it through its swarms of fliers.

    "Samus, no!" He shouted, the swathe you cut through the Tyranids being utterly ruinous to their hordes as he tried to stand on his own. But you weren't going to let him get hurt like that as you fought your way through to him like the angel of wrath itself. Draining energy, absorbing quintessence from the slain, and tearing everything between you and him apart, you reached him as he busied himself with a sword duel with a circle of Tyranid warriors all bearing boneswords in each hand.

    Though he was faced with forty crackling warp blades surrounding him from all sides, he held his own in swordsmenship, parrying, riposting, retaliating, dodging, forcing them to back off and give him space and then firing off his blink pack to get behind the Alpha Warrior and stab his bayonet into it, letting his shock coil tear it apart and rejuvenate his shielding further.

    You ripped through the surprised warriors in moments, the Berserker booster overwhelming their guards and leaving only fizzling gore breaking down into plasma in your wake between shots, slashes, and powerful close combat blows.

    Arne though wasn't pleased. "I had it under control." He said, obstinate that he was able to take care of himself in that particular situation.

    "Arne, you let yourself get surrounded by melee bioforms! What sort of plan was that?" You asked as he straightened himself and seemed ready to argue before the crash of Warpath on the ground and the sight of a rather well healed looking Brood King made it rather clear that you had other problems.

    "Okay...I'll distract it, think you can get in its mouth for a power bomb?" He said, shifting his stance into a combat position.

    "Always." You said eagerly.

    "I'm...fragging okay...mean right hook on that son of a..." Warpath growled, rubbing his head as the Brood king let loose a keening howl that turned into a sonic pressure wave. Too bad for it, you had the resonance suit all fired up and ready to go; letting the energy soak into your suits to fully revitalise their shielding and store a now maximum capacity resonance burst.

    "Let's see the beast repeat that." Idaliryn said, full of piss and vinegar after having been brought back into the fight by Ormothin's healing; decapitating a brood of metamorphs in a single swing before they could get inside the reach of Korlanil's scythe swinging as he shot forward with timewarping hyshic magic. He let out a snarl of annoyance and pushed through the strain of the shadow in the warp to join with you two as your time-distortion units activated. The Brood King shifted into the same stopped time skittering on legs that split into additional limbs for greater backwards mobility before recombining.

    Ibyraa herself; pushing through the stopped time through raw psionic might; ambushed the creature with a sudden telekinetic whiplash blow to its midsection; bisecting the creature with a spray of acidic offal. Yet the beast quickly pulled itself back together, grotesque flesh flowing into place as fast as her telekinetics swept through it and crackling warp lightning exploding around what it deemed to be the greatest threat as the Yurye started to tear apart the ceiling and launch the pieces at extreme speeds; impacting with explosive force each time.

    Idaliryn threw himself into a blade fury, his sword sweeping around to carve apart the broodlords he sensed were trying to adjust to the timestop; not leaving them the chance to do so while his sword raged with sunlike luminescence; scalding everything it touched to dust and ash. He was to put it lightly, bloody furious as he threw himself with the sort of anger you never thought someone dressed like a dainty paladin would manage, his body wreathed in the wind of light and his blows smashing into the creature again and again.

    "YOU WILL CHOKE THIS DAY GREAT DEVOURER! AND I, WHO WALK IN TYRION'S FOOTSTEPS, WILL PERSONALLY SHOVE THE FIST OF RETRIBUTION DOWN YOUR MISBEGOTTEN THROAT!" He shouted with wild rage as he tried his best to parry the far larger blades of his foe; dancing around with the grace of a master. Letting Hysh guide his aim, he struck true and stabbed into the Brood King's chest, burning out one of its hearts before he had to back off, letting the energies of the wind of light scour at the creature's side while Arne rolled in like lightning.

    Positron beams lanced across the beast's body, his blades wreathing themselves in anti-matter cutting force augmented with his combi-beams; every blow testing the beast's defenses a little more while you pumped gamma beam fire into its body; Iybraa screaming as she sent forth a psychic shriek. Adjusting its physiology to be hardier, with tougher armour, more resilient flesh of biometal, and generating crackling warp fields again, you grabbed onto its maw of tentacles with your grapple beam and flung yourself into its mouth as you transformed into the morph ball.

    The sights you saw inside of its body were to put it mildly, not really for the faint of heart as grotesque flesh made and then unmade itself in an ever shifting mass of slime, tissue, forming and then unforming organs, and pulses and throbs that never had a regular rhythm. Your shielding wasn't too happy about you being here, but the conduits of destiny told you that you were right where you needed to be as you let the power bomb drop.

    A white flash of a temperature that went beyond description, where the forces of reality begin to collide into each other and become unmade, where perhaps even energy and matter are not meaningfully distinguished; emerged in a cataclysm that erupted from the beast's innards. It wasn't blasted apart, it wasn't disintegrated. It simply ceased to be as its every particle collapsed before virtually inviolable energy. You rolled out, hitting the ground and uncurling before turning towards the beast; most of its frontal body simply gone, two halves hanging by bare strips of fleshmetal, sagging forward.

    Shifting Infestation Health: 0%

    "Gross." You said, making a rather displeased sound as you looked at the creature's body droop, the fire seemingly gone from its eyes. Even though your shielding had ensured none of the beast's slime would stick to your armour, you were still filled with the unpleasant sensation of having been inside something so grotesque. You were pretty sure that the thing even grew eyes and optic nerves to stare at you as you went inside, leaving a shiver down your spine.

    "Uh...well...could be messier." Arne said, doing his best to try and cheer you up as he approached.

    "Well. Certainly messier than I would have liked, but impressive bomb." Idaliryn said, twisting his sword into the ground.

    "Well, I guess this is where you do your absorption thing huh?" Iybraa said as you turned and looked behind yourself.

    Its corpse left behind a pair of upgrades from some particularly large hunks of dead flesh that your armoursuits rendered down into useful components.

    The Ymgarl factor allows for the armour and zero suit to alter its properties as is deemed necessary; increasing resilience to damage, strength output, speed, or other similar physical characteristics via distributing a series of "tokens" between assorted physical stats from a reserve. This allows for greatly increased user flexibility, but caution must be advised that changing the distribution of these tokens is not an instant process. Acquire more accel charge upgrades to increase the speed of transformation, and acquire more Transformation tokens to increase the reserve of tokens. Acquire a genoadaptive upgrade to allow this ability to be integrated into user physiology with the added benefit of further immunizing the user to what few infections might still be able to afflict them.

    Samus' Notes: Hrm, combined with the adaptive defense systems, all I need is something to add adaptational capabilities to my offensive suite and I think I should be able to maximise my versatility in nearly any situation. Still, the note that this could also apply to my body is...disturbing.

    Arne's Notes: I'm really, really hoping that the genoadaptive upgrade won't lead to me becoming as...deformed as the Ymgarl genestealers can become, but given that the regenerator doesn't seem to have made me into a freak, I think I'll manage.

    Devourer Components allow for the user to restore and repair zero suit and armour components and shielding by acquiring the requisite energy from attacking enemies in melee or via the grapple beam. Enemies slain in such a manner will give an immediate bumper crop of harvested energy, allowing the user to stay in the fight as long as they are able to cause damage and defeat opponents in close quarters combat. This ability will require additional upgrades to apply to ranged weapons or to allow the armour or zero suit to consume matter and energy outright via touch. Genoadaptive upgrades will allow the upgrade to also apply to the user's body; with the added benefit of furthering resistance to microbial attack as the deaths of these organisms in the body only serves to further invigorate the immune system.

    Samus' Notes: Well, given how often I find myself getting into the very thickest fighting, this is definitely going to be a useful upgrade I think? Seems to be better suited to dealing with hordes than singular strong enemies however, and the need to enter melee is restrictive. But I'm finding myself in close quarters combat all the time...

    Arne's Notes: Between this, the munitions regenerator, and the regeneration systems, I'm starting to think that I'm supposed to be throwing myself into constantly heavier fighting. I've already killed so many organisms in this one mission. I just hope I don't have to get into fighting so intense I'll have to see whether this will really let me wage war eternal.

    INCARNATE LEVEL 2 UNLOCKED, BODY HEALTH INCREASED TO 1500/1500. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS INCREASED. FIRST JUDGEMENT INCARNATE SLOT UNLOCKED. FIRST INTERFACE INCARNATE SLOT UNLOCKED.

    Incarnate power flowed into you from the dead creature, quite a lot of it. You felt for a moment, a connection to something deeper, something tremendous. A primordial Source of creative energy and power. You felt stronger, faster, tougher, better. Your body tensed and then relaxed as it let the power seep fully into it, and your mind was already seeing ways to weave the threads of Source power into something new, some powerful new way of smiting opponents. But you felt a tremor in the causeways of destiny.

    Your first instinct though, was that the creature still had plenty of biomass to access. And it had survived plenty of things that looked like they should have absolutely killed it. Not to mention, it didn't need its organs. There were still cells that lived, and therefore it wasn't actually dead.

    You pointed your cannon towards it, firing away at the corpse as time resumed and the floor started to quiver, flesh peeling away as the Cult started to pull back to guard the body with their lives; throwing themselves at it to melt into its mass if need be to restore their horrid father. You cursed yourself for not dropping more power bombs, angrily castigating your arrogant pride in assuming that the fight was over just because you finished off the foe in a dramatic and cool way. Now you were trying to smash your way through armoured warbeasts who formed a shield wall; scintillating bubbles of energy absorbing shots as they held back your forces.

    The Infection pulled in flesh towards itself; its body refusing to die as its tissue took over the functions of lost biomass and the beast's tendrils grabbed nearby Tyranids and cultists who simply melted into its body. It stood up again, gurgling its hatred as it regenerated, Warpath letting rip with his chest cannon through its head only to find it growing once more as it grew a more distended brain at the end of an elongated, sauropod like neck, its wings expanding into a more dragon-like length and its limbs elongating further. It adjusted its stance, moving in stooped over, dinosaur-like bipedal fashion with tentacles emerging from behind its hind legs to balance its body a bit further, each of the tendrils crackling with paralyctic energies as the beast snarled and coiled, bones seeming to melt in its body to allow it impossible flexibility only to resolidify shortly afterwards as it scraped its claws against the hardest portions of the floor.

    The Brood Drake is a further evolution of the Brood King into a form better suited for dealing with the challenges your group has been posing to it. It has amplified its focus on the channeling of Warp Energy in an effort to better make use of a tool that you do not presently have in your arsenal. It also makes use of an augmented breath weapon, a warpflame bio-plasmic gout with a strong electrical component in an effort to disrupt power suit and mechanical life form technology. Its warp field is more consistently active than before, and the creature is deepening its connection to the source, absorbing more of the Brood Mind's understanding of the Source into itself to amplify its abilities. However, it is also relying less on large numbers of minions; sensing that the users are able to absorb quintessence from defeated opponents. It will instead focus on smaller numbers of more elite and well equipped forces, with a greater emphasis on biomass absorption to repair damaged elite guards. The creature lacks any individual weak points, but it can only adapt to so many different damage types at a time. Coordinated assault and frequent weapon switching will overwhelm even its rapid transformations. The power bomb is similarly too destructive for the creature to adapt to without warp fields to add impossible durability to itself.

    Samus' Notes: Okay, so I really did just need to drop more power bombs on it then.

    Arne's Notes: What I wouldn't give for the screw attack right about now.


    SHIFTING INFESTATION PHASE 2: HEALTH 100%

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1500/1500. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 30
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal Stress: 20
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Great resistances, Sublime Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 10
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Sublime Defence, Melee Damage, Control): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): Shields: 30%. Armour: 100%. Health: 85%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 5
    Warpath (Autobot General, Sublime Resistances, Extreme Defence, Tanking, All-Rounder Damage): Shields: 95%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Joseph (Shadow Magic Defender, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Ranged Damage) Shields: 90%. Armour: 80%. Health: 95%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Doctor Black (Bound Shadow King, Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    • Ten Shadow Formations (Summoned Shadow Creatures, Decent Resistances, Great Defence: Control, Support) Shields: 20%. Armour: 30%. Health: 50%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0. (Comprised of one Nightblade, Three Shadowmen, Five Dark Panthers, Ten Shades, Fifteen Shadow Scorpions, Twenty Nighthounds, Twenty Five Living Shadows, Thirty Shadelings)
    • Five Umbral Beasts (Summoned Giant Shadow Wolf, Melee Damage, Control, Decent Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 20%. Armour: 40%. Health: 60%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0.
    Eudaimonica (Hell-Witch Mastermind, Great Resistances, Decent Defence. Pets, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Winterpyre (Bound Apocalypse Demon King, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0. SUPERCHARGED.
    • Caustos (Bound Fire Elementar Grand Avatar, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 30%. Armour: 60%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 SUPERCHARGED.
    • Talosii (Golem, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence. Tank) Shields: 20%. Armour: 50%. Health: 100%.. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Demonic Cohorts (Summoned Demons, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder )Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of one Demonic Decurion, Three Demonic Corporals, Five Moloch Bulls, Ten Demonic Legionaries, Fifteen Winged-Demons, Twenty Hellhounds, Twenty Five Demonlings, and Thirty Imps stats are for each unit)
    • Three Warlock Demons (Summoned Demonic Spellcasters. Good Resistances, Good Defence. Control and Support, can summon their own demons). Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Hellknights (Summoned Armoured Demonic Cavalry, Great Reistances, Great Defence. Melee/tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Fire Elemental Cohorts (Summoned Fire Elementals, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of One Pyrocaster, Three Incendiery Warriors, Five Salamanders, Ten Pyro-Phalangites, Fifteen Bonfire-Born, Twenty Flaming Ones, Twenty Five Pyre-Gargoyles, and Thirty Sparklings)
    • Three Greater Salamanders (Summoned Fire Elemental Warbeast. Damage out the ass. Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Elemental Pyromancers (Summoned Fire Elemental Mages. Ranged Damage and Control. Great Resistances, Good Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Golem Cohorts (Golems. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking.) Shields: 10%. Armour: 20%. Health: 40%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Comprised of One Golem Master, Three Golem Warriors, Five Golem Watchers, Ten Golem Soldiers, Fifteen Golem Beasts, Twenty Lesser Golems, Twenty Five Golem Men, Thirty Golemlings)
    • Three Golem Guardians (Golems focused on defense. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking, Support.) Shields: 40%. Armour: 30%. Health: 30%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Five Golem Wardens (Golems focused on Crowd Control. Tanking/Control) Shields: 40%. Armour: 20%. Health: 10%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    WINTERPYRE AND KAUSTOS ARE SUMMONING MORE FORCES, AVAILABLE PETS FOR EUDAIMONICA INCREASED BY x10; LOSSES REPLACED INSTANTLY FOR TWO ROUNDS.

    Group 3:
    Dawnmaker (Yurye-Kheldian Peacebringer, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder): Shields: 40%. Armour: 100%. Health: 90%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage):Shields: 800%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 25
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Sublime Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder) Shields: 60%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) Shields: 50%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support, Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 30%. Armour: 70%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder)Shields: 100%. Armour: 40%. Health: 75%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 10
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control, Fantastic Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 50
    • Aeschamon (Warp-powered automaton Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Ithilmar Warden Claws (Warp-powered automata. Great Resistances, Great Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 40%. Armour: 50%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Each Comprised of One Ithilya Lance, Three Metal Wardens, Five Iron-Hosts, ten Swordbearers, fifteen Spearmakers, twenty Furnace-Spiders, twenty-five metal hawks, and thirty Forgelings; stats are for each unit. Kept in Webway pockets until needed; summoned on the spot when necessary.)
    • Five Ithilmar Knights (Warp Powered Cavalry Autonoma, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence. All-Rounder) Shields: 30%. Armour: 70%. Health: 850%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE

    Actions: (Write ins accepted and encouraged)

    League Actions:

    []: Purge Tyrannic biomass wherever possible: Eliminate Tyrannic matter to reduce the rate at which more Tyranids spawn to reinforce the Brood King and reduce its ability to draw on matter to adjust its capabilities.
    []: Focus on Buff Aura Creatures: Attack the synapse creatures providing synaptic aura buffs to the swarm, lowering their overall capabilities
    []: Focus on the Brood King: Eliminate the Brood King as fast as possible to remove the incarnate buffs it gives to other tyranids.
    []: Focus on the Casters: Take out the casting capable Tyranids and Cultists before they start throwing hands with various forms of esoteric attacks.
    []: Focus on Staying Alive: Put all efforts into avoiding infection by the phage cells, the genestealers, or being eaten alive by the tyranids.
    []: Focus on breaching the Tyranid Shroud: Put efforts into trying to get a ground-bridge connection to the autobots for them to bring in a Sweep team to do a biopurge of this nest, risky but calls in a high-grade autobot crew of Sweeps; wreckers who specialise in eliminating virulent homogenizing swarms like the Tyranids.

    Pet Actions (orders given to the characters with attached pets):

    []: Swarm them!: Use the apex of magic unlocked by winterpyre to bury the foe in a tide of instantly replaced losses. Attack without heed for loss or setback.
    []: Unbind Winterpyre Even More: Winterpyre fights with the equivalent of the tip of the nail of his finger threaded into the material world, he could win this fight on his own; but even with his attempt to reform, as an apocalypse demon he will cause collateral damage. Addittionally, the added magical energy will draw attention from other enemies and make the Hive Mind deem Alice a threat.
    []: Support the important people: Have the pets surround and support team members; keeping the chaff out of the way and offering healing, buffs, debuffs, and other forms of support wherever necessary.
    []: Rip the Brood Drake Apart: Have the pets attack the Brood Drake over most other priorities, seeking to overwhelm its adaptational powers by whatever means necessary, slowing down its regeneration as best they can and dealing great damage to it.
    []: Seek Advantage: Look for any possible advantages such as magical leylines, artefacts, potential hazards that can be turned against the foe, or simple opportunities to strike that will offer the team a number of random benefits.
    []: Adapt as the situation demands: Take a neutral, opportunistic stance, act according to the situation's demands but without a preset strategy. This lacks weaknesses but also lacks specific advantages.


    Group Actions (Pick three):

    []: Illusory confusion: Kaeliyae is a masterful illusionist who can trick even the hive mind for a time, turn the senses of the swarm against itself; causing them to attack and harass each other and thus leave the Brood Drake open to more direct attacks.
    []: Thin the Swarm: Deny the creature as much help as possible by using your firepower to annihilate its numbers, destroy the biomass it relies on, and weaken the shadow in the warp to make it easier for the Eldar to use their powers on it.
    []: Target supporting Organisms: The creature is making use of support organisms to feed it more power and provide it with additional biomass to replace completely lost tissue as well as give it all manner of extra abilities.
    []: Look for any terrain advantages: Look for where there might be any features of the battlefield that might help, such as volatile energy generation nodes that could burn the swarm if burst or places you could siphon energy from for immediate shield recharge. You can feel two trapped Progenitor relics too, which can provide immediate upgrades when acquired.
    []: Don't let the Brood Drake Move: Immobilise the Brood Drake through any means necessary. Samus and Arne have the raw strength to hold it back where necessary to let Alyrsero and Kaeliyae cut down on its warp fields to render the creature's biomass more vulnerable to attack.
    []: Farm extra incarnate energy from the swarm: Kill creatures with larger concentrations of Incarnate energy, using that power to enhance your team and yourselves. This will rapidly ensure incarnate power progress as well as make your team more able to contribute in later rounds, adding to the time the encounter will last but having long term benefits.


    Samus Actions:
    []: Swift as Lightning, Deadly as Thunder: Rush in and out of melee with a combination of your various movement powers, alt-modes, timestops, teleportations, and phase-outs. Never let the enemy focus you down for too long, but they'll soon realise the futility of attacking you and focus more on other team mates.
    []: The Gauntlet Thrown, the Die Cast: Make yourself the most obvious target possible, rushing into the very thick of battle and draw all eyes on yourself as you purge everything you get into melee with. You'll take more damage, but allies will take less.
    []: Spirit of War, Goddess of Justice: You have incredible ranged firepower that could lay low nations and mountain ranges were their energies not precisely contained and shaped; concentrate them to the maximum upon the most dangerous targets your group decides to deal with, annihilate everything you see without pause or mercy.
    []: A glacier's curse, a winter's smite: Make heavy usage of immobilization weapons such as your paralyzers, the ice beam and missile, and judicious usage of time-stop and teleportation to stop the enemy from moving as they please, pushing allies about to get hurt out of harm's way or locking down threatening enemies before they can close in. Lower damage but better support.
    []: Shifting Warrior, Transforming Master: Use your alt-modes for maximum mobility, crawling around enemies like the brood king with the spider-ball, dropping power bombs, transforming into a jet or helicopter as needed; never giving them an opportunity to really grab onto you while hitting at vulnerable points, even going inside the Brood King's mouth in morph ball mode to drop power bombs where possible.
    []: I am a blade of many shapes, a warrior of many forms: Take a neutral, adaptive stance; adjusting your techniques and your style as the situation demands, not really having the benefits of any one of them but none of the weaknesses of any; but mitigates risk the most overall for the entire team.


    Arne Actions:
    []: Blazing Sun, Burning Pride: Hit the creature with power bombs every time its warp fields go down, making use of anti-energy weapons to weaken and sap at its warp fields at every possible opportunity and dropping one of the incredibly deadly weapons on it to deal as much damage as possible.
    []: The Lightning Incarnate, the Storm's Son: Make heavy usage of the Shock Coil, the Positron beam, and the Electrowave Beam; frying your enemies and stopping them in their tracks with convulsing bolts of lightning and anti-matter; never missing, striking foe after foe without mercy. Deals a great deal of damage but is intensive on your Universal Ammo and Missile stock piles.
    []: The Assassin's Knife, the Silent Death: Move stealthily, going between foe to foe deal sneak attack damage, keeping the risk to yourself low but dealing intense burst damage well suited for overpowering the healing factor of your opponents, striking at key moments to deal critical blows.
    []: Knight of Honour, Paladin Aspirant: Make yourself the rock upon which the enemy will shatter against. Rushing into the very thick of battle and draw all eyes on yourself as you purge everything you get into melee with. You'll take more damage, but allies will take less.
    []: Pilot Extraordinary, Child Ace: Take the possibly risky option of having the Sleipnir provide air support with its bunker-buster and object penetrating munitions guided by yourself in tandem with the ship's Synthetic consciousness. This will take some of your attention to coordinate the shots in a way that ensures nobody gets hurt who isn't supposed to, but the ship has plenty of firepower and can breach through the complex and rain fire upon the Brood King.
    []: Champion of the Clan, Strength of Sylux: You are just a bit physically stronger than Samus, though to most the slight difference is mostly academic and is more born of being a bit taller than she is. Still, sometimes raw strength is its own weapon, disrupt the enemy formation by grabbing onto its creatures and smashing them into the rest of the foe like a club or throwing them around. Don't let them coordinate, don't let them even stand. Even if they adapt to blunt force trauma, their ability to make a coherent attack will be egregiously disrupted by your crowd control as you simply smash them around or fling them aside; making everyone's job easier. And you'd like to bet that most of the Tyranids aren't adapted to being impaled with their own melee bio-weapons either.
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Mission 2: Aliens in Brockton (Part 11 and end of Mission 2)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X] Plan Smash the Hive
    -[X]: Focus on breaching the Tyranid Shroud: Put efforts into trying to get a ground-bridge connection to the autobots for them to bring in a Sweep team to do a biopurge of this nest, risky but calls in a high-grade autobot crew of Sweeps; wreckers who specialise in eliminating virulent homogenizing swarms like the Tyranids.

    -[X]: Support the important people: Have the pets surround and support team members; keeping the chaff out of the way and offering healing, buffs, debuffs, and other forms of support wherever necessary.


    -[X]: Illusory confusion: Kaeliyae is a masterful illusionist who can trick even the hive mind for a time, turn the senses of the swarm against itself; causing them to attack and harass each other and thus leave the Brood Drake open to more direct attacks.
    -[X]: Thin the Swarm: Deny the creature as much help as possible by using your firepower to annihilate its numbers, destroy the biomass it relies on, and weaken the shadow in the warp to make it easier for the Eldar to use their powers on it.
    -[X]: Look for any terrain advantages: Look for where there might be any features of the battlefield that might help, such as volatile energy generation nodes that could burn the swarm if burst or places you could siphon energy from for immediate shield recharge. You can feel two trapped Progenitor relics too, which can provide immediate upgrades when acquired.

    -[X]: A glacier's curse, a winter's smite: Make heavy usage of immobilization weapons such as your paralyzers, the ice beam and missile, and judicious usage of time-stop and teleportation to stop the enemy from moving as they please, pushing allies about to get hurt out of harm's way or locking down threatening enemies before they can close in. Lower damage but better support.

    -[X]: The Assassin's Knife, the Silent Death: Move stealthily, going between foe to foe deal sneak attack damage, keeping the risk to yourself low but dealing intense burst damage well suited for overpowering the healing factor of your opponents, striking at key moments to deal critical blows.

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1500/1500. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 30
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|1500/1500 Morale: Optimal Stress: 20
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Great resistances, Sublime Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 10
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Sublime Defence, Melee Damage, Control): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): Shields: 30%. Armour: 100%. Health: 85%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 5
    Warpath (Autobot General, Sublime Resistances, Extreme Defence, Tanking, All-Rounder Damage): Shields: 95%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    Joseph (Shadow Magic Defender, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Ranged Damage) Shields: 90%. Armour: 80%. Health: 95%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Doctor Black (Bound Shadow King, Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    • Ten Shadow Formations (Summoned Shadow Creatures, Decent Resistances, Great Defence: Control, Support) Shields: 20%. Armour: 30%. Health: 50%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0. (Comprised of one Nightblade, Three Shadowmen, Five Dark Panthers, Ten Shades, Fifteen Shadow Scorpions, Twenty Nighthounds, Twenty Five Living Shadows, Thirty Shadelings)
    • Five Umbral Beasts (Summoned Giant Shadow Wolf, Melee Damage, Control, Decent Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 20%. Armour: 40%. Health: 60%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0.
    Eudaimonica (Hell-Witch Mastermind, Great Resistances, Decent Defence. Pets, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Winterpyre (Bound Apocalypse Demon King, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0. SUPERCHARGED.
    • Caustos (Bound Fire Elementar Grand Avatar, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 30%. Armour: 60%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 SUPERCHARGED.
    • Talosii (Golem, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence. Tank) Shields: 20%. Armour: 50%. Health: 100%.. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Demonic Cohorts (Summoned Demons, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder )Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of one Demonic Decurion, Three Demonic Corporals, Five Moloch Bulls, Ten Demonic Legionaries, Fifteen Winged-Demons, Twenty Hellhounds, Twenty Five Demonlings, and Thirty Imps stats are for each unit)
    • Three Warlock Demons (Summoned Demonic Spellcasters. Good Resistances, Good Defence. Control and Support, can summon their own demons). Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Hellknights (Summoned Armoured Demonic Cavalry, Great Reistances, Great Defence. Melee/tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Fire Elemental Cohorts (Summoned Fire Elementals, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of One Pyrocaster, Three Incendiery Warriors, Five Salamanders, Ten Pyro-Phalangites, Fifteen Bonfire-Born, Twenty Flaming Ones, Twenty Five Pyre-Gargoyles, and Thirty Sparklings)
    • Three Greater Salamanders (Summoned Fire Elemental Warbeast. Damage out the ass. Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Elemental Pyromancers (Summoned Fire Elemental Mages. Ranged Damage and Control. Great Resistances, Good Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Golem Cohorts (Golems. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking.) Shields: 10%. Armour: 20%. Health: 40%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Comprised of One Golem Master, Three Golem Warriors, Five Golem Watchers, Ten Golem Soldiers, Fifteen Golem Beasts, Twenty Lesser Golems, Twenty Five Golem Men, Thirty Golemlings)
    • Three Golem Guardians (Golems focused on defense. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking, Support.) Shields: 40%. Armour: 30%. Health: 30%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Five Golem Wardens (Golems focused on Crowd Control. Tanking/Control) Shields: 40%. Armour: 20%. Health: 10%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    WINTERPYRE AND KAUSTOS ARE SUMMONING MORE FORCES, AVAILABLE PETS FOR EUDAIMONICA INCREASED BY x10; LOSSES REPLACED INSTANTLY FOR TWO ROUNDS.

    Group 3:
    Dawnmaker (Yurye-Kheldian Peacebringer, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder): Shields: 40%. Armour: 100%. Health: 90%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage):Shields: 800%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 25
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Sublime Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder) Shields: 60%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) Shields: 50%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support, Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 30%. Armour: 70%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 0
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder)Shields: 100%. Armour: 40%. Health: 75%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 10
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control, Fantastic Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 50
    • Aeschamon (Warp-powered automaton Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Ithilmar Warden Claws (Warp-powered automata. Great Resistances, Great Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 40%. Armour: 50%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Each Comprised of One Ithilya Lance, Three Metal Wardens, Five Iron-Hosts, ten Swordbearers, fifteen Spearmakers, twenty Furnace-Spiders, twenty-five metal hawks, and thirty Forgelings; stats are for each unit. Kept in Webway pockets until needed; summoned on the spot when necessary.)
    • Five Ithilmar Knights (Warp Powered Cavalry Autonoma, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence. All-Rounder) Shields: 30%. Armour: 70%. Health: 850%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE



    Arne

    "We need more firepower, we can't purge this much biomass faster than it regenerates. Especially when it's regenerating from nothing." You said, noting that the scourged mass was starting to regrow despite there not being any visible draw of matter. At least, not to the echo, thermal, or incarnate visor. But the Warp Visor though? A look through it showed that energy was being pulled from that ineffable dream realm and funneled into the biomat, regrowing the semi-organic machinery as the tyranids started to shift and transform.

    "Uhhh...Arne..." Joseph said with a gulp of clear terror as the tissue of multiple tyranids started to flow and make the most hideous slapping and glopping sound imaginable as their tissue liquefied and transmuted; Tyrannic particles altering position and form as what had once been perhaps a thousand gaunts flowed into a quivering horror. Black bio-metallic semi-mechanical carapace layered itself over its chitin as additional armour, eyes shielded behind organic-mineral lenses that glowed a menacing yellow. Jaws shielded in interlocking scutes and plates that snapped together and rippled. You quickly realised that it was essentially wearing a living form of power armour bonded to an equally terrible body like an eight-limbed gorilla; four limbs walking, another four holding weapons; a shield of chitin-steel, a crackling bone-crystal sword, a sparking paralysis whip, and a menacing looking gun-hive squirming with abominations.

    Evolutions of the smaller and weaker Tyrant Guard developed with the genomes of beings referred to as "Astartes" that according to Eldar records are a form of Human supersoldier native to the warphammer metaversal cluster, these creatures are defensive organisms specialising in protecting important areas or beings from attack. Like all Emperor strain tyranids, their biomass can transform, recombine, split, or even transmute into other purposes or forms and if seemingly overwhelmed, often they will simply break apart into smaller combat forms, shift into alternate ones, or combine with other tyranids to create larger ones. Enormously strong and durable, the Praetorian Predator Guards are a threat at all ranges, but respond poorly to a varied alpha strike of multiple damage types to prevent it from adapting properly to any one of them without creating vulnerability to other attacks. They also typically find it difficult to reorient or pull out of charges once committed to them due to their overwhelming momentum.

    Samus' Notes: How does one even start with fighting something that changes forms, strengths, weaknesses, and even numbers so quickly? I need to expand my arsenal, or else one day; I fear that the phage cells already present on the planet will decide they don't need to hide anymore and consume this world. I can't let that happen.

    Arne's Notes: Based on what I can see, Space Marines have a very large number of additional organms including metallic musculature implants, redundant hearts and lungs, the ability to spit acid, multiple last-ditch regeneration nodes and more; no wonder why this "great devourer" valued their genomes.

    Five of these organisms were created, each as tall as warpath and each rumbling with an unearthly roar as they moved in a parody of what you recognised as squad tactics. But you thought about the data...the shadow in the warp created by the mystic choir of these creatures, the constant chattering of so many minds and forcing impossibility into reality to replace lost biomass while you were busy fighting; annihilating the swarms with an ever changing repertoire of weapons before you vaulted to Samus' side and grabbed her by the hand to swing her around to bicycle kick a mob of surrounding genestealers; releasing her and letting her release a frequency pulse that eradicated all usable biomass touched by its octarine embrace, clear floor briefly being observed as you swept the positron beam's augmented fire across the field to burn and scour away more of the vile living carpet that had consumed the chamber.

    Already the Brood Drake seemed to notice what you were doing, and its maw opened up to let loose an iridescent volley of warp and electricity addled bioplasma and corrosive fluid in a stream that forced you to bring up your arm shield, locking your boots onto the ground and holding your ground as you were struck with a cascade of energy that could have torn through cities and armies, the cascade of power roiling against your hoplon as you strained against it, gritting your teeth while it pressed closer and closer.

    "Samus, we need to eliminate the biomass or we're going to be here forever." You said, hissing as she interrupted the Swarm's attempts to exploit your preoccupation with a barrage of rockets and multi-missiles that erupted all across the field, destroying inchoate molten tyrannic mass that attempted to change into forms more well suited to trying to take you on. Angling the hoplon, you redirected part of the breath weapon back at the Brood Drake, taking it off of its feet as Warpath slammed a Warhammer into its head followed by ripping into it with a whirling spiked flail; both impacts creating visible shockwaves that threw shifting battleforms around him.

    "We'll need more troops then...Arcee." Samus said, turning towards the Autobot as she ducked under what had once been a Carnifex until it transformed into a more serpentine creature, throwing its scythe like claws in wide arcs; splitting them into additional arms and constantly varying its attacks; displaying new abilities and biomorphs with each passing moment until she smashed her arm into the maw it formed in its chest; transformed it into a plasma cannon and then released a charged energon-plasma burst that vaporised the beast and many others behind it.

    "Yeah? Bit busy Dawnchild." She said, pulling creatures that had formed tentacles to hold her arm down off their feet and swinging them through gunbeasts to scatter them until she swung it away, latching a grenade onto it to incinerate another pile of the creatures with a scouring flash of photonic heat.

    "I checked your files, you've got special biopurge sweep teams right? Can we get a space bridge going?" She asked.

    "We're getting a lot of transdimensional interference, we can't send in reinforcements right now unless you disrupt some of the shadow producing organisms." She said, breathlessly taking out hundreds more beasts with deft skill and precision while Samus and yourself stood back to back, fighting your way through ever growing hordes that scuttled over their dead or absorbed them to reach you.

    "Then we know what to do." You said, your limbs moving in a flurry as you used the Ymgarl factor to bolter your speed even further to hack out a path through the bioforest. But the situation was as such that you couldn't rest on your laurels, moving to interrupt a psyker duel between Alyrsero and a number of oversized brain-creatures.

    "Samus, take out the stragglers." You asked, getting a nod from her in return while Eldar sorceries danced in the background. She gave you an empathic pulse to tell you to go ahead, covering your back as you flashed and disappeared; your lumosuit leaving you unable to be detected by the psykerbeast that you neatly decapitated with a sizzling blade that ignited the rest of it in electrical fire, leaving nothing behind to regrow before the others followed. Strobe pulses of anti-energy enveloping large numbers of targets who grew more and more vulnerable to the blue-white freezing blasts with each shot as resonance accumulated until they had become quark-dust and broken ice as the energy of their bodies was frozen into water; their escorts ripped apart by a tempest of Eldar magics and psyker power.

    The endless scratching and skittering and snarling in the back of your thoughts dulled a bit as you shot through other creatures your warp visor identified. You bounced from one target to the next, teleporting, speed boosting, phasing; concealed by the Lumosuit as a virtually invisible killer. Samus made sure to not give away your own position as she flickered in a chaotic series of lights, sounds, and images that gave little indication of where she actually was; ice and frost enveloping many organisms threatening to overrun parts of the team, trying to break through winterpyre's firewall of thousands of demons only to be enveloped in anti-energy even the great devourer struggled to adapt to without "cheating" with warp craft to try and meet the destructive effects of anti-energy nullifying all manner of motive force to create frost with the physics bending empyrean.

    "Arne, do you have any eyes on the relic signals?" She asked, your hand pushing off of a crumbling beast that had prepared its defenses for your positron beam only to get a faceful of your wrist-gun firing off a gamma beam instead, reducing it to useless gelatin that not even the great devourer's hyperadaptive biology could recover; rotating yourself around to cleave a winged creature growing far too many limbs into burning halves and landing upon the ground.

    You looked down, feeling the Rune of Fate's effects as you felt the presence of something close by; jabbing your hand into the biomass and clearing out a massive section, burning away what seemed to be endless layers of rapidly adapting material that would have shrugged off a meteorite collision. Offal that had a scent that made you turn off your olfactory sensors immediately steamed outwards in roiling plasma waves that torched the creatures touched by it; exposing a Uhmbar and an Ylla reliquary statue. The former was a work of geometric solidified darkness of Inky purple, Black, and Midnight Blue with a spidery lower body and a spindly, six-limbed upper form. The latter a thing of crystallised light, like an upright squid whose tentacles emerged from their sides and whose eyes were mounted on the top in a vague facsimile of humanity.

    You pinged your affirmation to Samus, letting her teleport to you quickly as the two of you broke open and absorbed yet another new ability from the ancient Ylla and Uhmbar, the Tyranids seeming to have no ability to comprehend or reverse engineer the magitek within; so much the better for you then; you supposed. The Ylla ovoid and the Uhmbar cube gave way to powerful new relics that your armoursuits fed into you with gusto after you had a moment to touch and examine them.

    TALISMAN OF RADIANCE ACQUIRED
    MAUL OF SHADOWS ACQUIRED...USER ALREADY HAS MELEE WEAPON...CONVERTING....PROGENITOR MAUL ACQUIRED
    TENEBRAL BEAM ACQUIRED


    The Talisman of Radiance is an Ylla object of techno-magic that allows the user to project an aura of burning light on command that damages enemies in contact with it, provides healing and restoration for allies, reduces damage passing through the aura, works to dispell hexes and other forms of enervating effects, and restores courage and morale gradually through its presence while giving yourself and allies some additional fighting capability. While the initial effect is small, Damage magnifier upgrades will intensify the effect and the effect is stronger against enemies who are born of darkness or evil, or against effects propagated by such forces. It will also make it much more difficult to summon malefic entities within its glow, making transition between dimensions more difficult for such entities and adding pressure on their material presences to make it easier to banish them. Similarly, undead will be harder to animate and keep animate within the effects of the Talisman. As a techno-magic enhancement, the Talisman applies whether or not the user is wearing armour, so long as they choose to activate it. Finally they can designate some beings as being safe from its effects.

    Samus' Notes: Hrm, this should be useful against large numbers of enemies. As well as against any undead I might encounter in the near future, it should also be a huge help to my allies.

    Arne's Notes: Ylla magitek is sometimes offputting but always fascinating, I just wish they were a bit less judgemental at times.

    The Progenitor Maul offers the user an additional form of melee weapon that can be utilised when cutting force or the user's limbs are not suited for the task at hand. The Progenitor Maul focuses the impact of the user's beam energy in a crushing blow meant to deliver maximum shock, disruption, knockback, and blunt trauma. They typically are more effective against enemies who are particularly more massive than the user than edged weapons tend to be due to the greater area of tissue randomised and disrupted by them, and are also highly effective against fortifications. In tandem with the Ymgarl Factor upgrade which allows the user to transform the equipment on the arms at will into two free-hand and wrist weapon configurations or two arm-cannon configurations or any combination thereof; the Maul also makes for a competent partner to the Progenitor Sword. It also works excellently in tandem with the Tunder disruptor.

    Samus' Notes: I'm probably going to be more fond of swords, but the maul seems like it should be useful.

    Arne's Notes: I swear if anyone makes a Mjolnir joke...

    The Tenebral Beam is an elemental beam derived from Uhmbar shadow-technology that afflicts the targets it strikes with powerful bursts of dark energy that weaken the target as it saps energy from them and transfers it to the user. The afflicted target will become slower, deal less damage, and grow more fragile with successive hits of the shadow energy; eventually also growing confused and disoriented before temporary blindness sets in; typically shortly before death. Targets killed by the Tenebral Beam fade into an unnaturally long lived patch of darkness that will persist even if illuminated for some time before finally vanishing as the shadow energy breaks them down. The charge shot of the Tenebral Beam is the Tar Umbra, which will engulf an area in darkness that slows down targets trapped in it while sapping away at their strength.

    Samus' Notes: Well, luckily tenebral energy is rather esoteric and should be able to bypass a lot of more conventional resistances.

    Arne's Notes: Well, this should pair well with my endurance based fighting style at least.

    Dark Energy...Negative Energy...you looked at the Brood Drake as it wrestled with Warpath, blows shaking the room as Warpath funneled more energon into his systems, shouting, ranting, and raving as he was want to and exhausting the dictionary's list of onomatopoeias at breathtaking speed. Warpath was strong, strong enough that there wasn't really any way to find things heavy enough for him to lift to put an exact number to it. Nothing that wouldn't fall apart under its own weight when he lifted it anyway. A category you also existed in.

    Warpath had enough in the way of different weapons to keep the Brood Drake busy as he brought up a shimmering energon-scutum to take the Brood Drake's warp-plasma breath to let you focus on weakening the shadow in the warp instead.

    You turned to Samus, red eyes looking over her suit as the two of you fired off your radiant auras, letting the ground burn and the enemy to go beyond simple carbonization as they were consumed by your sacred light. The judgement of the Ylla's radiant energy scouring away vile hive flesh and horrific biometals that tried to push their way through, hissing coils of plasma rising from the burning beings that even as they died; were shifting, transforming their bodies to get to grabs with you; lancing beam and the roar of missiles tearing through more and more of them. But they were adapting all the same, and many were already getting close enough to force the two of you to get into bloody melee work once more, pushing through horrific burn wounds and regenerating even without any source of meat to replace the lost tissue.

    "Winterpyre, we need your demons to support!" Samus shouted to the rampaging Demon King as monsters died all around him, yet even he was bleeding as more adapted creatures leapt onto him, cultists bringing up specialised weapons that strobed into his body with perverted holy symbols and their foul priests making loathsome benedictions that made Winterpyre thrash before engulfing them in hellfire. But he acknowledged the two of you, molten blood dripping from injuries as he dug a crackling bone sword out and sealed the injury as multiplying tyrannic tissue tried to grow out of it, the maw forming in the cut growing eyes and bladed limbs just before it burned into oblivion with a lash of Alice's whip as Eudaimonica gave a nod of approval to you.

    "Forward my legions, ensure no harm comes to the allies of your mistress!" Winterpyre said before Eudaimonica whistled and directed her troops to where they needed to go; the hundreds of demons already on the field becoming thousands; joined by roiling fire elementals and thundering golems who poured out of rifts and portals that Winterpyre could open despite the shadow through his and Alice's incarnate energies.

    The swarm around you was thinned by the hordes of otherworldly helpers sent your way, supernatural beings wrestling with tyranids and cultists, some being cut down; such as those met with the fire of the tanks that the Cult rolled into action or were met with the heavy guns and weapons of the cult's elites; others tearing their way through those that they did battle with, your visor giving you a quick readout on the flames as you looked around. You needed more targets, more ways to contribute to the massive brawl as Dawnmaker smashed two large flying foes into pulp over your head, burning the offal before it could rain on you until the Kheldian let rip with his eye beams; stopping up an entire arterial advance as everything that pushed through it vaporised until shield organisms able to survive the light rushed forward and leapt at him.

    You shot at some of the creatures, he punched through dozens, hundreds until a glob of cells shifted from a mass of reflective chitin to ignore his beams and then into a carnifex like beast to slam into him and knock him out of the sky, the two wrestling until Samus' Ice Beam charged and fired; anti-energy engulfing much of the battlefield and sealing the beast and its' escorts' doom. You gave Samus a nod of appreciation while she tested out her new maul, obliterating the upper half of a protoplasm that formed into a warrior beast and then destroying the lower half as it tried to use the remaining mass to become a gaunt.

    Part of you wondered if these creatures having flesh this absurdly morphic and infectious was something they always could do or was something they absorbed from new realities, the other part of you couldn't scourge the awful, mewling genestealer...you couldn't call something like that a baby...not something with so much killer instinct already, something that looked at you and saw only food....you raised your wrist-gun and let the magnum cannon obliterate it. Overkill, but the thing's cry would ring in the back of your head for some time.

    As you two alternated positions, firing off the temporal distort, shifting the Ymgarl factor to act with greater speed to overcome the raw numbers of your foes, barely dodging ever increasing thickets of the cultists and Genestealers, using every single trick to keep yourself from getting surrounded while not leaving behind the demons that Alice was bringing into this reality and finding yourself starting to make a mental blur of how many foes you were dealing with; countless stray hits landing on your shielding anyway whenever you weren't phased out or when they figured out the pattern of phase-out, teleport, time-stop or other tricks. You looked for important fights, taking out the gun-beasts, the psyker creatures, the cult heavy weapons, the threatening vehicles.

    You soon found yourself coiled around by balls of warp-active tentacles as the creatures breached through the circle of demons, writhing, loathsome beasts of organic metals, minerals, slimy flesh, and pulsing bi-electricity slithering their way through and sending wave after wave of tendrils around you. You pulled, sliced, shot, smashed; they did not relent until they had surrounded you; using stolen superpowers to alternate between phasing their limbs out, hardening them, electrifying them, and other means of protecting themselves to prevent you from getting the cycle of kills needed to keep your shielding maxed out, darting away from you every time you used the shock coil. Samus similarly finding herself being mobbed by indescripable horrors with enormous mouths lashing out with entrail tendrils all around her, seeking to find weakness in her shielding. You were preparing to fire off power bombs, unsure if the creatures thrown at you had adaptations to them, but they wouldn't get your flesh, you would not be a servant to the creatures.

    Samus Health: 133/1300|1300/1300|2000/2000. Super Missiles: 03/46. Universal Ammo: 140/360
    Arne Health: 267/1300|1300/1300|2000/2000. Super Missiles: 02/46. Universal Ammo: 170/360

    Then a pulse came in the warp, the gentle laughter of the Eldar followed by rather more maniacal giggling as a fog seemed to descend over the eyes of the Great Devourer's beasts as strands of shadow and illusion and a Laughing God's joyous merriment brought confusion and disarray to all the foes. You caught brief glimpses of the illusions as the creatures seemed to see only enemies in each other and began horrific processes of tearing apart and eating one another, blasting each other to bits and seeking to destroy each other's mass, your devourer upgrades feasting on the bounty of fallen life and rejuvenating your shielding as the tendrils around your neck released and you looked around, giving a thankful nod to Kaeliyae who gave you a kiss blowing gesture that made you blush before she giggled and disappeared into mist.

    Samus tapped you on the shoulders as the fighting died down slightly, getting your attention as she froze a creature that seemed to have figured out Kaeliyae's deception as it had slammed its talons into her after ascertaining her position based on where her shots were coming from, grunting slightly before she looked at you.

    "Arne, those psyker beasts, if you can get rid of them...we'll have enough firepower to end this." She said, gesturing to a choir node contesting the biomantic and ghyranic powers of Ormothin and the shadow magics of Lelithax as the two Eldar strained against a growing tide of psychic beasts. You gave her a quick nod of acknowledgement as you jumped into the fray, letting her go about tossing the frozen, disintegrating body into the Brood Drake as it slammed Warpath's head repeatedly into the wall; drawing on incarnate power to overcome the immeasurably strong Autobot and work on smashing him until his shielding finally burst and it started to dig its claws into him.

    The creature flinched, turning slightly towards Samus and letting loose with a cascade of radioactive eye beams, a swing from your blade deflecting one into a cultist with a power pick who burst into ash while Samus leapt to the side. Elendria jumped into the fray, smashing her sceptre into the eye and making it howl until she jumped out of the way, dodging tentacles and clawed limbs erupting from its body while its whole physiology seemed to just melt into a new shape.

    You started to run, your form becoming a cascading series of multi-coloured, unplaceable lights and noises until you, the speedbooster activating and the psychic choir exploding into quark dust as you smashed through them, stopping yourself after the last Zoanthrope disintegrated around you and then digging in your heels before launching yourself through the chest of the Brooddrake, incinerating a vast tide of creatures dropping from the ceiling as the biomass birthed more creatures and giving yourself a brief but unpleasant view of the thing's innards that'd probably linger in your immediate memory longer than you liked as you grimaced.

    As the shadow in the warp started to weaken, Iybraa threw every single tank in the room she could get her telekinetic hands on and hurled them at the beast; Clarioli blessing them with the winds of Chamon and Alyrsero with his psyker-might to turn them into death comets that rattled the whole chamber and would have rumbled much of the city above to dust had the warp fields enclosing the chamber not absorbed the impact. The beast writhed, it wriggled, it howled, it did not die. Its tendrils stabbing into dozens more sources of replacement mass and absorbing them into its loathsome body to replace the half of its frame that was lost.

    "Now, together; combat this icon of shadow and let the machine woman call her compatriots!" Alyrsero said, chanting as his spear started to glow with power, Clarioli's powerstone fuelled robots forming a defensive arrangement around them as the Eldar withdrew to the group. Energies danced, flickered, and then leaped out to scourge the psychic cultists whose bodies writhed and pulsated before exploding into white flame, giving a brief clearness to the ether even as Korlanil staggered to his knees from the exertion, his usual laughter drowned out by cries of pain.

    Doctor Black stepped in, seeing the strain, and took a bit of strength from the swarm and pushed it into the Eldar while you bounced once more, leaping at some enormous biometallic armoured brain on spidery limbs that had rolled forward, waving tentacles to cast spells until you slammed on top of it with your magnum cannon firing a charged shot to rattle it, your munitions launcher letting loose with a mortar to disrupt it, your wrist gun firing off a charged tenebral beam to weaken it, your rocket pods to clear out its escorts, and then finally slamming your progenitor maul into it to splatter it; letting your talisman burn the rest of it away.

    And with that, the barriers in the empyreal realm had dropped and Arcee was able to call in help just as Warpath was run through by the Brood Drake's scythed tail, straining as he tried to stop the tail from slicing upwards or forming cutting surfaces inside of him; firing off plasma vents to burn out the injury while coughing out energon. The Genestealer cultists were the first to notice something, hissing and howling as they saw green circular portals open up.

    "They bring more machines to disturb the sanctity of our broodfathers?!" One snarled, snapping his mutable jaws shut before he was evaporated by a gamma beam streaming from the portal as an entire company of elite autobot Biopurge Sweep-Wreckers rushed through. Bearing the blue modified symbol of that elite subunit.

    A rotund, Green Autobot lead the charge; one whose body was festooned with every sort of gun he could possibly carry including a....is that....is that a gatling gatling gun? Why....yes...six hextuple barelled...what the fuck? Why does he have a bullet casing cigar? Why is a robot smoking? Why does he have a beard!?

    "Alright wreckers! Let's waste this hive of nasties. Ten hut!" He said as his gun spat forth bullets loaded with special corroding incendieries that made the creatures struck by it spasm as their bodies exploded with melting acid that erupted into fire shortly afterwards, others simply being chewed to pulp through raw physical force and ammunition expenditure from his utterly ridiculous weapon as it had to continually teleport in fresh ammunition.

    The Brood Drake growled with its discontentment as Warpath was picked up and dragged back by Autobot recovery grabbers, twisting beams of green energy moving him to safety as the tyrannic biomass in the room was being struck with a combination of enough brute force that adaptation could not fully overcome it and enough variety of attack that it couldn't adapt to all of it at once. Disgusting and best left to the imagination sloughs of alien tissue came off, crumbling and dying as the autobots; after determining the scale of the boil; called in five extra companies in short order, clearing the path to extra reinforcements with targeted strikes that told you they had done missions like this millions upon millions of times before.

    The brood drake formed two fingered sickle claws and swung them through the autobots approaching it in melee, one strike to pierce shields, a second to carve the machine men apart; bringing a few to their knees instantly. Its other limbs forming clusters of venom cannons to retaliate against the intruders while lascannon and krak missile fire pulsed back into the autobots alongside anti-tank weapons wielded by the hive; rippling warp blasts spearing into other cybertronians while it hissed, crackling while the Eldar directed their warp energies into its body, their bodies guarded by the vast swarms of demons that Winterpyre had called forth from the frostflame hell who by now were keeping the Cult at bay.

    The Brood Drake would not go down easily though, Its Praetorian Predators moved quickly to intercept shots as a living shield wall, their armour virtually inviolable even to the Autobots and their strength enough to smash some who approached back or even to the ground.

    Kaeliyae's trickery got to work once again, slipping beneath the Broodrake's guard as the other seven Eldar concentrated their warpcraft in a direct offensive that forced it to use its power to counter in a multicoloured duel of magics and psychic might; soon assisted by Eudaimonica and Joseph and fair Iybraa as they threw their own power into the concoction. The Praetorians who were buckling parts of the autobot offensive thrown at them hissed and turned upon each other, driven to disarray by Kaeliyae's illusioncraft while smaller creatures leapt at and swarmed them, swinging all manner of weapons or firing into their bodies.

    Samus and yourself rushed in, shielding once again recovered. A Praetorian Guard who had shrugged off the fire of an entire autobot platoon froze once Samus dropped an ice-elemental power bomb on it, engulfing it and the swarm around it in anti-energy that made frigid quark-dust and vast sheets of frozen water that you landed on and kicked into the brood drake to disrupt its concentration, letting the backlash of magic explode its upper body and send its legs reeling back following a spray of substances you honestly could have done without your suit's play by play of the composition of.

    But the Drake still did not die, its flesh tatters grabbing onto more and more tyranids and cultists and pulling them in to regrow itself, melting back into shape as the creature seemed to have something approximating rage. its mind rippled and Kaeliyae shouted warning before a scream in the warp emerged from its mind and animal soul, sending many autobots, demons, shadow men, and elementals to their knees as they felt the blast tearing at their souls; some of them simply falling as their souls were shredded to pieces, spark chambers going empty and demonic essences being ripped asunder.

    Your spirits however, ignored the blast entirely; and the Brood Drake looked with surprise at you as Samus latched on and dropped a power bomb that obliterated its legs and you; with most of its escorts now cleared out after it had consumed so many of them to keep itself alive; used the speedbooster to fly straight into its chest before its torso could grow new appendages or steal them from the rapidly dying biomass in the room and then released your frequency suit pulse as soon as you were in the chest cavity.

    What you saw was stuff you'd probably not want to think all that hard about for a while, but the massive frequency suit pulse, built up across the entire battle, was enough to incinerate the great majority of the creature left standing.

    You landed hard on the ground, solid, normal, not gross ground, and looked around as ash particulates dropped all around you, a squirming mash off flesh from the creature collapsing into an amoebic blob that tried to find an escape somewhere; anywhere.

    "No." You growled before letting your shock coil obliterate the last remainder of it, taking no satisfaction in its final death.

    BROOD DRAKE HEALTH: 0%

    You breathed out, tired of dealing so much death. You checked your kill counter and boggled for a moment when you noticed it had breached the seven-digit point. The infantry organisms you figured were just that cheap to make and replace.

    Autobot sweep teams and demons were busy scouring the rest of the facility, going into other chambers and catacombs until the hive mind cut off this facility from the network. You briefly sensed the future, and knew they would be going to ground for some time. Other factions in play would sense their weakness, the loss of so much tissue, the death of something with so much incarnate power that infused its way into new hosts; yourselves and your allies.

    This was one of the hardest fights you've ever had, and you lurched against the wall and for a moment, looking to Samus who pulled you in for an armoured hug, dismissing her arm cannon to do so and getting one of your own in return.

    "I thought we were going to lose someone there..." She said as the team's healers took care of the injured, the last few creatures having some of their life force stolen by Joseph to imbue into fallen autobots with his spell of howling twilight, bringing the Boy to his knees and forcing winterpyre to catch him before he could fall off of his mount from exhaustion.

    "Well...we have some form of insurance against that at least." You said gently while the screams of dying beasts and the roar of increasingly distant weapons was heard.

    The dead creature left behind two...unusual looking upgrades. Ones you recognised were not necessarily for your armour. You didn't hesitate though, there was no such thing as an unsafe upgrade for your system, anything unsafe was "spat out" by the suit in the very rare cases it could not simply be made safe after anything useful was absorbed. Samus accompanied you, letting the two of you absorb what power the creature had left behind besides its incarnate threads, spread throughout your group. Not enough to bring you to yet another incarnate level, but enough to elevate your compatriots anyway.

    The upgrade process felt...different, something more in your gut as you almost doubled over from the sensation of your genome evolving and something inside of you awakening, Samus clutching at her head and making a grunting sound while you dropped briefly to a knee. Your mind's eye, usually half-lidded at most, fully opened into a realm arcane, whispers of the sea of souls, the mists of magic, the plane of thought, all drifting around you for a moment. The immeasurable, crushing shadow of more voices than the observable universe had atoms or dark matter particles curling, snarling, and hissing, assessing their setback and feeding reports to a gestalt chorus that was one and many at the same time. A collective that infested, devoured, multiplied, absorbed, and conquered. The souls of its fallen assets simply riding into the shadow, waiting for new sleeves.

    You stopped yourself from following. You weren't ready to try to speak to something so immeasurably vast. No more than a bacterium was equipped to speak to the endless collective of cells that made up a human body, though in comparison to that collected shadow you were so much tinier than a simple bacterium. Was this something the Progenitors intended you to stop? How? There must have been some sort of way if they wanted you to do it. But you couldn't even imagine it at the moment...not when your mind seemed to almost shut down, wanting to think of anything else besides how many voices were in that choir, snapping yourself back to reality all at once.

    "User diagnostics." You said, you could have just thought it and made it so, but you needed to hear a human voice right away. And your suit soon uploaded the information into your memory, informing of what had changed. Nothing negative, nothing phenotypical, but a transformation all the same.

    The user has received the Genomorphosis upgrade, breaking down the power of the Tyrannic genome into something usable with their own genetic code, improving and altering it further without negative side effect. The Genomorphosis upgrade will improve all physical characteristics of the user, unlocking enhanced regeneration, the ability for the user to create and devise more genetic upgrades, and for a number of upgrades to now affect the user's physiology without needing the medium of the power suit. This includes the full power of the regenerator, the ymgarl factor, the devourer, and many other upgrades derived from organic biology. In tandem with user's own enhanced physiology, regenerator, and ymgarl factor, this will serve to render the user essentially immune to the few infections capable of eventually overcoming Inheritor biology given enough time and infectious tissue. It will also awaken the user's Mentat psionic potential, though training and discipline will be needed to properly utilise the power within the user's mind in finesse intensive manners. Mentat psionics draw from physical and emotional stamina.

    Samus' Notes: I know the armour is telling me I have nothing to worry about, but the idea of this upgrade coming from...that...still makes me worried. What am I going to be at the end of all this?

    Arne's Notes: If it's useful, it's useful. I'm still going to run regular diagnostics, just making sure there's nothing unwanted in that genome. I don't want to grow tentacles.

    HEALTH INCREASED TO 2000/2000

    The user has, following absorption of the Genomorphosis and the Brood Drake's Empyreal capabilities, received a metaphysical awakening of magical and extradimensional potential. The user may now learn and cast mystic effects from regenerating resevoirs of energy. The three resources for these abilities are Mana, Ether, and Aeion; broadly referring to the three types of metareal resevoirs; Mana from ambient forms of sorceries coextant with normal reality, Ether from extradimensional realms of power, and Aeion from localised but concentrated sources of metareal power. Training these abilities and collecting tanks for these resevoirs will improve the amount the user can store and the rate at which they will regenerate; and training will also allow the user to build and gather their potential in these abilities as well as unlock new ones. For user protection, if risk of backlash is detected, these abilities will be temporarily shut down unless the user specifies that they are willing to accept the risk of unintended consequences. While the user will not suffer from the worst forms of backlash due to their Inheritor Soul, environmental effects can be severe.

    Samus' Notes: I...I guess I'm going to get started on my mystical training a lot earlier than I thought. Well, I'm glad for that at least. I've always been so curious about how my teachers' powers worked. And now well, I guess I need to learn fast then.

    Arne's Notes: I'm probably going to get headaches from this at some point. But if I need to use it, I'm going to use it. No sense in not making use of helpful tools. Just, more confident in things rooted a little less in narrative; that's all.

    Group 1:
    Samus (Chozo Hunter, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|2000/2000. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 40
    Arne (Alimbic Knight, Incredible Resistances, Sublime Defence, All Rounder): 1300/1300|1300/1300|2000/2000 Morale: Optimal Stress: 40
    Alyrsero (Asuryani Warlock, Great resistances, Sublime Defence, Ranged Damage, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 20
    Kaeliyae (Rillietann Shadowseer, Good Resistances, Sublime Defence, Melee Damage, Control): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 10

    Group 2:
    Arcee (Autobot Commander, Great Resistances, Great Defence, All Rounder): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 15
    Warpath (Autobot General, Sublime Resistances, Extreme Defence, Tanking, All-Rounder Damage): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 20
    Joseph (Shadow Magic Defender, Decent Resistances, Great Defence, Support, Ranged Damage) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 20
    • Doctor Black (Bound Shadow King, Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 15
    • Ten Shadow Formations (Summoned Shadow Creatures, Decent Resistances, Great Defence: Control, Support) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0. (Comprised of one Nightblade, Three Shadowmen, Five Dark Panthers, Ten Shades, Fifteen Shadow Scorpions, Twenty Nighthounds, Twenty Five Living Shadows, Thirty Shadelings)
    • Five Umbral Beasts (Summoned Giant Shadow Wolf, Melee Damage, Control, Decent Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 0.
    Eudaimonica (Hell-Witch Mastermind, Great Resistances, Decent Defence. Pets, Support): Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 15
    • Winterpyre (Bound Apocalypse Demon King, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 15. SUPERCHARGED.
    • Caustos (Bound Fire Elementar Grand Avatar, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 SUPERCHARGED.
    • Talosii (Golem, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence. Tank) Shields: 20%. Armour: 50%. Health: 100%.. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Demonic Cohorts (Summoned Demons, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder )Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of one Demonic Decurion, Three Demonic Corporals, Five Moloch Bulls, Ten Demonic Legionaries, Fifteen Winged-Demons, Twenty Hellhounds, Twenty Five Demonlings, and Thirty Imps stats are for each unit)
    • Three Warlock Demons (Summoned Demonic Spellcasters. Good Resistances, Good Defence. Control and Support, can summon their own demons). Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Hellknights (Summoned Armoured Demonic Cavalry, Great Reistances, Great Defence. Melee/tanking.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Fire Elemental Cohorts (Summoned Fire Elementals, Great Resistances, Good Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0 (Each Comprised of One Pyrocaster, Three Incendiery Warriors, Five Salamanders, Ten Pyro-Phalangites, Fifteen Bonfire-Born, Twenty Flaming Ones, Twenty Five Pyre-Gargoyles, and Thirty Sparklings)
    • Three Greater Salamanders (Summoned Fire Elemental Warbeast. Damage out the ass. Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Five Elemental Pyromancers (Summoned Fire Elemental Mages. Ranged Damage and Control. Great Resistances, Good Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 0
    • Ten Golem Cohorts (Golems. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking.) Shields: 10%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Comprised of One Golem Master, Three Golem Warriors, Five Golem Watchers, Ten Golem Soldiers, Fifteen Golem Beasts, Twenty Lesser Golems, Twenty Five Golem Men, Thirty Golemlings)
    • Three Golem Guardians (Golems focused on defense. Great Defence and Resistances. Tanking, Support.) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Five Golem Wardens (Golems focused on Crowd Control. Tanking/Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    WINTERPYRE AND KAUSTOS ARE SUMMONING MORE FORCES, AVAILABLE PETS FOR EUDAIMONICA INCREASED BY x10; LOSSES REPLACED INSTANTLY FOR TWO ROUNDS.

    Group 3:
    Dawnmaker (Yurye-Kheldian Peacebringer, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder): Shields: 40%. Armour: 100%. Health: 90%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 15
    Iybraa (Great Resistances, Extreme Defence, Control, All range damage):Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 40
    Ormothin (Asrai Spellsinger, Decent Resistances, Sublime Defence, Support, Control) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 15
    Elendria (Aesasurmen Warsage, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 15

    Group 4:
    Lelithax (Druchii Shadow Sorceress. Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage) Shields: 50%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 10
    Korlanil (Ynnari Deathmaker, Ranged Damage, Support, Great Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress 10
    Idaliryn (Hyshari Bladewizard, Superb Resistances, Superb Defence, All Rounder)Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Impetuous. Stress: 20
    Clarioli (Ithilyani Factormage, Summons, Control, Fantastic Resistances, Great Defence) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: Optimal. Stress: 50
    • Aeschamon (Warp-powered automaton Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE
    • Ten Ithilmar Warden Claws (Warp-powered automata. Great Resistances, Great Defence, All-Rounder) Shields: 40%. Armour: 50%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE (Each Comprised of One Ithilya Lance, Three Metal Wardens, Five Iron-Hosts, ten Swordbearers, fifteen Spearmakers, twenty Furnace-Spiders, twenty-five metal hawks, and thirty Forgelings; stats are for each unit. Kept in Webway pockets until needed; summoned on the spot when necessary.)
    • Five Ithilmar Knights (Warp Powered Cavalry Autonoma, Extreme Resistances, Extreme Defence. All-Rounder) Shields: 100%. Armour: 100%. Health: 100%. Morale: UNBREAKABLE. Stress: UNBREAKABLE

    As soon as your suit informed you that all threats in the nearby vicinity were neutralised, you tore off your helmet and dismissed your zero suit hood to take in a breath of air. You wiped your brow and slumped to the ground, letting Samus rest on you with her helm removed. You looked at her face once again and felt instantly more fortunate, in the company of such a valkyrie whose beaming smile made it feel impossible to be afraid. White teeth and intense blue eyes accompanied by hair the colour of gold and supple features that made you almost want to pinch her cheeks. You were...afraid that the path that would lead you down to becoming Sylux may not be fully averted...the path where you would lose her and retreat into that blue and green shell...you hugged her a little tighter, not wanting to let go.

    "Need a moment there kids?" Hound asked before you nodded, running a hand through Samus' silky golden hair and smiling before the two of you exchanged a brief kiss, just glad to be alive.

    "Right, we're going to torch all the nasty scrap we can find so hang tight." Hound said as he rolled into his alt mode and drove into the distance where gunfire could be heard. Nothing that would threaten you soon, and so for a moment you pushed it out of your mind.

    "You okay, Samus?" She was usually the one who asked you that first, but you wanted to surprise her a little, getting her to sleepily look up at you with those dreamy blue eyes and raise her brows before making a little cat smile and nodding, holding you closer.

    "Mhrm Arne...just don't go into the nearest pit of tentacles like that again." She said with a little giggle before you breathed out a chuckle, leaning your head back and scratching at her scalp a little.

    "So, Samus and Arne are your names hrm?" Alyrsero said before he removed his own helm; noble blue eyes looking down at you. His face slender and youthful, free of flaw or scar, black hair messy and toussled but cut in a boyishly charming way while thin lips spoke. Hrm, you looked at Samus' lips...hers were better but...those would be nice to...you were getting distracted and shook your head.

    Elendria followed suit, letting down long red hair and opening fierce magenta eyes, fire patterned magenta facepaint on her cheeks. She was radiantly beautiful, as you suspected all Eldar were. Like the Aelva of your own native reality really...very much like them even, even the glow to her irises and the features that seemed at once fit and youthful but wise and cunning. You had to admit, you might have a thing for cute people with pointy ears. Samus also seemed to approve, looking towards you and sharing a bit of a smirk before she pulled herself up into sitting straight.

    "Yeah?" Samus said, interrupting you before you could give a long-winded rundown of your long list of epitaphs, names, and titles.

    "Looking at you now, I can see that even before you...took in that...you're somewhat more than human." Alyrsero said before Samus scowled at the "more than human" remark while Elendria seemed completely unaware of any offence caused; the others discussing amongst themselves while Kaeliyae tried to take their minds off of the horrors they saw with a little magic show.

    "I'm not part human or part Chozo. I'm just both." She said with a frown as Alyrsero finally seemed to catch on and then whispered something to the warrior mage who briefly tinted her cheeks an interesting shade of rose before she regained her dignified posture.

    "Apologies then. I've noticed something inside of you awakened, and Elendria and I since well..." He said before looking to her; slightly shorter than the quite impressively tall youth.

    "We currently do not know how to return to whence we came so, for the time being, we are going to be...here...with mon'ke-" Elendria said before one of Kaelyae's illusions harrumped right next to her to remind her to be polite as she muttered an apology beneath her breath. "Twenty-first-century humans. We might as well take some time to help, train you in the experience? Alarielle knows that I'd probably get complaints from some in my Shrine for trying to befriend...your kind but...you are interesting, and for your species well...aesthetically ple-" She said before Lelithax shouted over the distance.

    "She savours the taste of Alien!" She cackled before Kaeliyae gave her a glare that, despite her face being hidden behind a mirror mask, oozed such intense disappointment that even Lelithax made a squeak of apology while elendria flushed red and made a snarl before shouting a curse in her tongue at the Druchii that translated into...choice commentary about the state of her genitals and choice of bedroom partners followed by a lurid description of her mother's sex life that made you and Samus turn a few shades yourselves. All while the other Eldar simply stopped and stared at the shrine warrior-maiden while Alyrsero gave a few, long, slow blinks.

    "...You know she's my mother too...right?" Alyrsero finally said while Arcee looked positively stunned, mouth slack.

    "...A thousand apologies Alyrsero, it is merely that your sister is...herself. To borrow a term from the local language, she's an awful bitch." She said with a scowl but an apologetic tone.

    "Yet she is one of the those Druchii who resist Malekith, Vect, or Morathi-Khaine's dominion. We need to have some patience with her given her circumstances." He said as if he had explained this a thousand times over, making you quickly realise this was a friend group that had probably been together longer than you had been alive. What you wouldn't give for some context on these shenanigans.

    "Yes, yes, a chance to redeem herself and grow beyond the culture she was raised in. I'll believe it when I see it." She said curtly.

    "You should let her try." You said, getting Elendria to turn towards you and quirk a brow.

    "Even if she's from the worst sort of culture...you should let her try. In this time, they let Germany try again, and they proved themselves to be every bit as capable of decency as anyone else. And in our time, even the Dismori; the Space Pirates, or the Krikens...they're still people, not monsters. They aren't things following a program, they can change." You explained, looking towards Samus who gave you an enthusiastic thumbs up and a small clap before she made a wide, beaming grin.

    "And while she's rude sometimes, she's been pretty helpful so far too! So...even if you don't like her, Druchii culture, if you don't give her anywhere else to turn wouldn't she go back to the things you don't want? I'm sure that if we're patient, we can be friends and she'll be as nice as anyone else in your group!" Samus said while Elendria almost started to laugh out loud.

    "You two are adorable. And don't know Lelithax. One day, when she proves you wrong, I'll be there to laugh my way to the Black Library itself." She said with a kitten smirk while Alyrsero rolled his eyes.

    "And you say I'm patronising." He grumbled.

    Dawnmaker returned from his excursions, folding his arms as he looked upon the group after materialising in a luminous flash, hovering in the air surrounded by his shining aura and his living-metal armour, his cape fluttering in the wind behind him.

    "The local authorities are here now. Vanguard and PRT." He said, a frown immediately forming on your face as Arcee sputtered out words you probably shouldn't say in front of polite company while you focused your attentions, not on the sounds of distant battle but on the sounds of what you recognised were boots on hard surfaces. Some rubber, some much more metallic. Why were they...Gods of your clan why do people not listen to you?

    "Are they crazy? This kind of combat zone is way out of the PRT's fire grade! They're lucky the upper levels are clear!" Arcee shouted.

    "Higher-ups apparently did not wish to make it seem they were completely passive in the face of an alien incursion. And it seemed they also wished to demonstrate solidarity. Admirable I suppose, and I am sure Vanguard could handle itself against smaller numbers of these creatures, but it seems that the politics of unelected officials saving face override safety concerns in this occasion." He said, making you wonder just how much of the seventeen-year old that the Kheldian was sharing bodies with was really there in that hybrid.

    "Who's in charge?" You asked.

    "Someone named Armsmaster requested and was given leave to begin the raid, while the local director told him to wait, I am told that someone above her overruled her decision. Seems a bit glory hungry honestly." He...They said. Taking another look at them didn't really give you the impression they responded to conventional ideas of gender; removing their helm and showing an androgynous face, perhaps somewhat more masculine than feminine, with pointed ears, glowing sunlike eyes, and hair as orange as the...fruit yeah that's about the shade of it. They tightened their expression and held their helmet close, pointed ears listening in to increasingly less distant movement. You wouldn't call them handsome or pretty or even hot, simply beautiful in an ethereal way. But their attention turned fully to the entrance you came out of as Armsmaster came rushing in with a blood stained halberd, PRT and Vanguard troops behind him.

    You let your scanner in its zero-point state go over them quickly and breathed out a sigh of relief when it didn't detect any trace of the infected genome through its multi-spectral analysis. But your relief turned to anger as you sensed the bluster, the arrogance that was filling the man's heart as he approached you. Something to prove, something to show, a need to demonstrate that he was still top dog. Already seeking to make an argument of things. You weren't going to have it. Not now, not here.

    He had changed his armour, analysing the leftover Rikti and Weltreich technology he had managed to get his hands on, making use of rapid fabrication systems from Primal Earth he spent hours studying to understand. It was now made of the Impervium he had managed to cajole out of Vanguard, convincing them that he was someone important enough to get access to the metal, with trace sof absorbium to protect himself against shock and blunt impact or heating up the armour should his new shielding fail. He had devised new halberds, incorporating Rikti and Weltreich technology and weapons. He certainly felt confident after beating on some stragglers.

    "Are you crazy?!" You said as the PRT swept the area, the autobot sweep teams and demons seeming to have concluded most of their work as the last distant screams of battle faded into silence. Your voice snapped above the silence, Kaeliyae's illusory show dispelling almost immediately after the Protectorate barged in, the Wards following suit.

    "Not in the least kid. This is our city, and we can't leave its defence entirely up to outsiders." He said, having the troops check the perimeter while Kid Win gave a small, sheepish wave over to Samus and the Eldar turned at once to the sudden influx of humans.

    "Why are there elves?" Chris asked.

    "Eldar, the term is Eldar; or Aeldari if you would prefer." Alyrsero said as he stared down the human approaching him.

    "Alien then?" Armsmaster asked.

    "Indeed, from the grim darkness of the far future of the forty seventh millennium. The same reality these creatures originated from." He responded.

    "I hope you don't mind us taking a look at this tech for ourselves then." He said bluntly. "Or coming to have a chat with us." He said, clearly not making a request.

    "Why?" Elendria asked bluntly.

    "There are systems here, systems that need your presence registered regardless of species. Based on the scorches and signs of your passage left behind, I'd say that letting you run around without supervision would even be outright dangerous." He was even blunter. If she were a flanged mace, Collin was a sledgehammer without the slightest hint of roundness or edge to his voice whatsoever, and the Eldar was for a moment, impressed.

    "We also need the data you've all acquired. Otherwise we're going to be fighting in the dark." He said as Samus slowly pushed herself up and cracked her neck. Arcee looked down at you and gave a nod.

    "We'll meet at your headquarters then. Next time though, I'd like some warning before you put low-level combatants in a high intensity combat zone like this." She said to the PRT officers as some took a look at the left over guns dropped by the cultists.

    "Some kinda...laser rifle sir." One said before taking a test shot and punching a torso wide and man deep hole in the wall; now bereft of protective biomass; on the other side almost instantly; steaming rock vapour curling out as he whistled.

    "Can I keep it?" He asked before a curt no came back.

    "...Killjoy." He muttered under his breath in a tone Collin couldn't hear but you could. This did not inspire confidence.

    ...Brockton Bay PRT HQ; Cafeteria, three hours later...​

    You couldn't believe they just asked you and the Eldar to not be present at the meeting while they discussed "matters not pertinent to extra-terrestrial minors". But the Eldar in particular seemed incensed, especially with the request to wear masks and ear covers. Any attempt to get Kaeliyae to show her face was flatly and bluntly refused as she and Ormothin were sent up to the meeting room, while Lelithax simply took on a glamour rather than debase herself with any human made coverings. You weren't privy to every detail of their telepathic conversation, but it was clearly one full of roiling outrage.

    "Why does Dawnmaker get to attend?" Joseph grumbled as he stabbed into his dinner once again.

    "Because Dawnmaker's as old as the dinosaurs." Alice said with a mouth already full of food while you were busy trying to force down the food even knowing full well what was in it and used to cook it, Samus being even less pleased with her meal.

    "I am seventy of their years old, why do I not get a pass then? " Alyrsero seethed.

    "Because you're pretty clearly still a kid." Vista answered.

    "So Kaeliyae and Ormothin are there..." He asked.

    "Because they need someone to talk, they seemed the most level-headed, and they never showed their faces." Zach answered.

    "And the two of us?" Samus asked, sleeve brushing against the table as she stabbed at more of her food, zero suit flexing with her.

    "Probably mad at you for bypassing protocol. But you're not part of us so not including you is the worst they can do." Lola said, chugging some of her soda afterwards.

    "How serious is it?" You asked, daring to try some of the Soda and finding it...tolerable. Not bad, not good, tolerable. Which is about as much as anyone can ask for.

    "Well, the president and a bunch of other heads of state are teleconferencing in so...pretty serious. Potential world ender level serious thing you saved us from." Chris said with a confident smile, eyes on Samus and studying her reaction as she gave a bit more of a happy expression. There was satisfaction to be had from that after all.

    "How is Emma?" Samus asked.

    "She'll probably need therapy for years but she'll live." Vista said solemnly.

    Well, that was good at least. As was Bumblebee reporting a rather successful mission, managing to see four of the fleshmetal ninjas in action hunting down some highly adaptive robots; kids sometimes popping out of them to deal with their nemeses' adaptations with blasts of energy before returning to their frames and continuing their work, disappearing shortly after, but still inadvertently providing the Autobots with a wealth of information. Including what sorts of signatures to look out for should they ever return. The new hero, Black Moth, seemed to be well; largely doing what she wanted, still new to the scene.

    Looking at the dataslate beneath your chin, the figure in Paragon City that crossed over from Brockton Bay was known as Lung, and had duelled the eightfold masters of the Tsoo gang and seemingly came out on top in the six or so hours that you were gone, combing through that large temple and fighting seemingly unending hordes of monsters. That seemed concerning...you guessed, but it was also mostly Street crime stuff. The Oranbega situation left more questions than answers as the demons of the sunken city battled with daemons of kinds very rarely seen before as well as a few power armoured cultists who could more than hold their own against many heroes. Though they were driven off, they had stolen something from the servants of the King of Hell. More worrying.

    The Clockwork King's menace was dealt with; mostly nuisance raids for scrap metal to be animated into more of the clockwork. Some regarded him as a serious threat, others mostly saw him as annoying. But it was dealt with at least. The Autobots would be going through the salvage you had gathered, but it was a pretty hefty chunk. Enough so that whenever you got to crafting you'd probably have a bunch of ideas to sort through...but you could also just use a break after six hours of high intensity fighting against unending swarms of creatures. You could have gone on longer, much longer, but not having your mind in fight mode all the time would be nice.

    Kaeliyae slid into the room through the door, making a brief "ta-da!" gesture as she cartwheeled inside and spread her arms with vibrant cheer.

    "The discussions are concluded. My apologies that so many were excluded!" She said as a few others filtered in through the door, Arcee, Dawnmaker, Ormothin, Kalros, Piggot.

    "How were the talks?" You asked as Arcee made a "so-so" gesture.

    "We'll probably have to have follow-up debriefings tomorrow, I can push for the day after though but you won't be able to avoid them. You're also going to need to take at least a few days off. Jetfire's orders." Arcee said as Samus almost flashed with red rage before she choked back her words before she could shout them out.

    "Why?" She asked.

    "Because you were in a hell of teeth and claws and the entire team nearly got wiped at least twice. And we need to monitor your health to make sure the genomorphosis has no side effects. It shouldn't from what I know of your tech, but Red Alert is pretty pushy on that. Workbench will be usable later too but for now...R&R time. We'll increase the contribution we make to patrols to take the load off you, don't worry; we're getting in some shipments of fresh troops and things should be calming down for a bit." She said, resting a hand on her hip.

    As much as it pained you to sit back and let others take your burdens...she was right. You did take a lot of unneeded risks and let people get hurt. You probably did need time to clear your mind.

    "It's not like you have to sit out action entirely, just...nothing full mission scale for a bit." She said to reassure you.

    "Well, we will have work to do regardle-" Alyrsero said before Arcee wagged her mechanical finger at the Eldar boy.

    "No, you're not. You are children without parental supervision. Extraterrestrial children at that. Now I had to twist some arms to get this, but you're going to be under de facto autobot custody for the remainder of your stay or until your guardians find you." She said sternly, but kindly, voice born of concern rather than disappointment.

    "But they got to choose!" Idaliryn said, gesturing towards you.

    "Because a precedent hadn't been set yet. Section 13 will also help with some of the burdens, but before you start thinking your warp magic will let you get away with violating curfew, we are present in your metaversal cluster as well. We know what to look for." She said as Lelithax almost spat out the drink she was sipping until she checked that it was indeed, from her personal flask and kept on going through it.

    "So what now?" Elendria huffed.

    "Slumber party?" Vista asked hopefully.

    Night time Options:
    []: Slumber party at the Ward HQ (Get to hang out with basically all the wards who sleep at the PRT base, get to know more of the protectorate and maybe speak to Piggot a bit)
    []: Slumber party at Eudaimonica's Hell Castle (One of the best places to learn of magic if you're comfortable learning it from demons, meet Alice's parents.)
    []: Slumber party at Joseph's Shadow Palace (One of the best places to learn of magic, less of the lore comes from actual hell, meet Joseph's parents.)
    []: Slumber party on the Autobot moonbase (Hang out with the Masterforce, some of the Autobot new arrivals, work with Wheeljack a bit and more)
    []: Slumber party at the Starsetter base in Paragon City (Hang around the cool kids in Paragon City and its eclectic repertoire of superheroes who can help you learn stuff like magic; get introduced to the City of Heroes, and to some new friends)
    []: Slumbder party in either Arne or Samus' ship. (Full access to your armouries, best crafting systems you've got. Can turn a lot of the SRI you've acquired into gear and also wow your friends with your fancy ships)
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Intermission 2: Paragonian Paragons (Part 1)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Slumber party at the Starsetter base in Paragon City (Hang around the cool kids in Paragon City and its eclectic repertoire of superheroes who can help you learn stuff like magic; get introduced to the City of Heroes, and to some new friends

    Samus

    You gave it a thought and nodded before you looked at Joseph who was busy flipping through television channels with a bleary, glazed look in his eye before you tapped him on the shoulder.

    "Joseph, could you bring us to your reality?" You asked him as he blinked a few times and then brightened up. The excitement just radiating off of him was infectious. He shook at Eudaimonica's shoulder who shook her head and stopped playing around on her phone before informing her of your desire to visit Paragon and just about exploded in a wave of brilliant cheer.

    "Ooooooooooooooooohhhhh! Come on guys, let's go! Paragon's so wonderful! Ahhh!!!" She said, just about squealing with ecstatic excitement in a way that made the gathered wards quirk a brow as Iybraa shrugged, her golden hair, purple eyes, and elfin ears on display after having removed her helm.

    "I mean, definitely more going on there than this town." She said as Aegis turned his eyes towards her, tilting his head slightly as she folded her arms and offered a small smirk.

    "Town?" Carlos asked.

    "Paragon City Metropolitan Area's population is over fifty million right now." She said with a coy grin.

    "Wha-" Stammered Carlos before Arne spoke up himself.

    "Oh, from what you were telling me about it I thought it'd be a lot bigger." Arne stated, which only seemed to make the Brockton Bay residents even more confused as those who hadn't been to Paragon City seemed lost in trying to imagine a city two and a half times larger than the entirety of New York City metropolitan area. Or that wasn't even especially large to Arne or yourself.

    "So, you all got your toothbrushes ready?" Joseph said as he stood up and with a single wave of his hand, summoned up his costume while Arne and yourself cloaked yourselves in your power suits, enveloping the entirety of your bodies. Aegis took a second to look towards Piggott, who simply offered a shrug.

    "We are supposed to be building ties with Primal Earth...go ahead, but remember to take notes and write a report about your experiences." She said, Arcee turning towards you and Arne and offering a nod of her own. After a few minutes the group came back in full costume with all their stuff packed away neatly; clearly excited based on the way they were breathing in and out. How adorable! Sophia seemed to be the only one who was less than impressed, but a quick scan of her mood seemed to indicate that she was at least vaguely grateful for helping out Emma? Not at all a step on the road to redemption but perhaps an inch towards tolerability.

    "Pog, you guys are going to love it in Paragon. Hype as fuck city." He said before Clockblocker raised a hand, getting Dawnmaker's attention almost immediately, the Kheldian pointing a finger to Dennis as he cleared his throat.

    "...What's Pog?" He asked.

    "Uh...it means like, something that makes you hyped." Joseph answered for Dawnmaker who decided to allow for the interruption.

    "Future memes sure are weird." Dennis said before taking a look in your direction and then having a moment to think before shaking his head as if the thought about what you might funny was too much for his mind to bear. Which you thought wasn't entirely fair. You didn't delve too deeply into extremely layered ironic humour!

    "Hrm, I suppose we could. Do we have the time?" Alyrsero said before Kaeliyae nodded.

    "In these hands of ours. We have naught but endless hours." Kaeliyae responded in her singsongy voice as Alyrsero decided that was good enough.

    "Truth be told, I haven't really been to this City of Heroes, perhaps it will have champions aplenty who carry themselves with honour and nobleness?" Idaliryn said, standing himself up and seeming to summon his sword from the ether, placing his helmet firmly onto his head.

    "Well, maybe it will be....not insufferable, for a human city." Lelithax growled as she pushed herself out of her seat.

    "What is your problem with humans?" You asked pointedly, feeling a measure of Lelithax's perennial aristocratic disdain wash over you as she flicked her attention towards you, folding her arms beneath her chest and giving her cloak a bit of a flip.

    "Because they're such a filt-" She said before she realised that Kaeliyae was staring dead at her and cleared her throat. "Nevermind that for now." She said, seeming to relax when the shadowseer ceased giving her an evil eye.

    "Well...I suppose it's probably better than this place. Though that is hardly saying much. I will likely be disappointed all the same." Clarioli huffed and sighed. Without her helmet, the blonde Eldar's features were quite soft, gentle even if she always seemed to be wearing a frown, her hair tied in a long braid and her grey eyes far more tired than someone who looked so small and young had any right to be. In her hands was yet more of her devices, endlessly driven to tinker and modify as was part of Ithilyani tradition, her expression one of somber concentration before she slid her helmet back onto her face.

    "Keep that up and I might just lose my coveted title of Lord Morose." Korlanil snickered.

    "Nobody calls you that." Arne said flatly before the Ynnari simply responded with an out-loud laugh.

    "Space Elves...hot but...weird..." Chris said, not seeming to realise his faux pas until the heads of every single one of the Eldar snapped towards him, some with quirked brows

    "Okay now lemme open the Shadowgate..." Joseph said as he used his Incarnate energies to tear open a veil in reality, swirling it into a vortex and then chanting to stabilise the gate he had created between metaverses, your eyes studying his movements, incantations, gestures, and how power flowed around him, flipping through multiple visors just to get the full picture and all the scan data ayou could. You wanted to learn this power, this art. You had to after all, but something about it...the colours flowing and swirling, forming mystic blends and changing in ways governed by narrative over law...it was beautiful.

    The work was beautiful, the swirl was gorgeous, a vortex of pacifying blends of colours fading dreamily into blue and black as his shadow magic made a distance beyond infinity as simple as taking a step. A step into what was clearly a vibrant metropolis whose nightlife was vibrant in ways Brockton Bay's far smaller population could never match. Gleaming skyscrapers making their effort to reach to heaven, shimmering curtains of energy, and the hustle and bustle of so many moving shapes and the hum of so many minds.

    You couldn't help it, you crossed first.


    ... Sourcewell Metaverse, Primal Earth 2nd of November, 2021, United States of America, Rhode Island, Paragon City, Steel Canyon Borough ...

    The first thing to note is that compared to Brockton Bay, Paragon City is massive. A city comparable in size to Tokyo before it had to integrate more than fourteen million inhabitants from the ruins of Imperial City in the aftermath of the Praetorian-Primal War; the entire Brockton Bay metropolitan area could disappear into just one of Paragon City's boroughs. With more than fifty-three million people in its overall metropolitan area at the time Paragon City was...smaller than the Prodigal Program Headquarters, but you don't think that Earth would be having schools with more than a hundred million students anytime soon.

    But Paragon had a different feel to it than Brockton Bay's low rise buildings and mid-sized former industrial city feel. The greenish glare of the massive war-walls that separated the boroughs of Paragon City rose many hundreds of meters into the air, criss-crossing monorail and subway lines going across the entire city to connect the populace of America's largest Urban area into a single, comprehensive unit. Ships moved into and out of the harbours like the world was still going on mostly as normal, aircraft went about their daily business and you quickly saw all manner of capes flying on various sorts of patrol in a vast array of costumes.

    Kid Win's jaw hung slack the second she emerged on the other side of Eudaimonica's portal, seeing hundreds of capes in a single place gathered so casually even late at night as the City of Heroes never slept for even a moment. Chris reached towards one hero who flew on bird like wings, waving to Dawnmaker who gave them a salute in return as the grey and white-clad hero's androgynous cut of hair bobbed in the wind; flying into a pile of flying clockwork born aloft by helicopter-like rotor blades, swinging around an axe and bisecting them into a pile of neatly severed halves.

    Chris looked behind himself as a Rikti dropship spat out from the Lineage of War's colony worlds hidden in another dimension assailed the borough behind them, plasma pulse beams erupting with green energy followed by greenish plasma spittle and intense barrages of fusion missiles; fighting off wave after wave of metahumans who surrounded it without pause or mercy; eventually overwhelming its shielding as the citizens of the city decided that this was less something to worry about and more something to spectate; recording with their phones like it was an interesting bird. The two hundred meter long drop ship and its escorting saucers let out a mournful wail before the dropship descended to the ground; smoking after one of its thruster nacelles was torn off and then stabbed straight through its centre body.

    "Oh, there's a Rikti offensive going on." Alice said as if this was just a case of rain, utterly and almost sickeningly unmoved by the sight of an extradimensional invasion going on behind her as one metahuman in steel grey and gold power armour rushed out of a hospital, offering a wave to Alice who waved back like she was an old friend.

    "Hey Eudaimonica. Your new friends look rad as hell. Can't talk now though, got HTP'd by that dumb dropship. Catch you later though, got Rikti to pound byyyeee!" She said after firing off the thruster in her boots and flying off after one of the Saucers that had slipped the blockade.

    "HTP?" Vista asked.

    "Hospital Teleported. Basically means you got your ass kicked and had to be sent to the nearest biopod to not die or go unconscious." Joseph said adjusting his wizard hat and putting his hands into his belt pocket.

    "So basically none of you ever actually have your lives at risk?" Aegis asked.

    "Nahhh."Alice said with an exaggerated shrug as winterpyre leapt out of her crown, offering his head for her to ride on; placing her hands on his horns and taking a moment to look around, briefly offering Positron a salute as the leader of the Freedom Phalanx went on a routine patrol, seemingly confident that the dropships and saucers in Galaxy City were being taken care of before he tackled a fiery circle of thorns Demon leaping from a building, wings spread and fiery sword in hand. At least until Positron vaporised it with a touch before smashing a series of hellish green glyph-wards formed in the sky by the Oranbegan mystics and firing off a tractor beam of some sort to restrain and constrain them, dragging them off in a vise of green energy.

    "So basically this city's at one hundred percent at all times huh?" Chris asked, feeling rather, short in the midst of Steel Canyon's towering skyscrapers and criss-crossing monorail lines. But his eyes were snapped to you when a random passerby; some university student named Yakub based on your scan of him, stopped by you and looked you up and down.

    "Cool suit...what security level are you? Ah...archetype? Mind if I take a selfie?" He said in rapid fire succession as you processed his words before blinking and giving a nod in response to the dark haired and tan skinned man as he got next to you and Arne and brought an arm around your power armour and snapped a shot of himself, seemingly unconcerned with nautuloid like Rikti drones streaming in from a shut down section of war-wall hunting for threats to strike down with their plasma weapons.

    "Nice." He said, pulling away from you and looking over his phone as Arne seemed, uncomfortable with how nonchalant everyone was, staring at the Rikti offensive the next district over.

    "Joseph can you open another portal...for our ships?" He asked, getting a nod before he tapped in some commands to the Sleipnir, a gesture you repeated yourself shortly after to let the sleek forms of the Dormach and Sleipnir through, slipping into this space after preforming an immediate take-off; pouring through the gate that Joseph opened above skyscraper level to let your ships fly overhead to Galaxy city, where their synthetic consciousness systems would automatically engage the Rikti aircraft and fliers and provide air support where needed.

    A Rikti dropship assailed by nose gun of your craft strobed briefly before exploding; the dying craft fading in a teleport out to be recovered at Rikti bases while others were swatted down with a volley of missiles that streamed from both the Sleipnir and Dormach and arced into their numerous targets, eliminating them by the truckload while the eerie green glow of mass Rikti wormhole usage over Galaxy City shifted in intensity.

    "Huh...never thought fighters could fly like that." Iybraa said as your craft made moves that should have resulted in atmospheric conflagrations or devastating shockwaves, dodging around even Laser fire with ease and shrugging off impacts it decided to take if it meant getting a more favourable shot with nary a scratch on its shielding.

    "We spend a lot of time with our craft...we'd be disappointed if they couldn't do at least that." You said, knowing Arne was likely about to bore them with an incredibly long run down of the technical specs of his craft.

    "So where is your base...exactly?" Chris asked.

    "Close by the university, keeps us close to where the Midnight Squad is." Joseph said, gesturing to a stately looking university in front of a tall, solid overpass with ramps for cars to drive down; students active in the campus' night life milling around as they were wont to do going from one building to the next or enjoying what seemed to be some sort of party in what struck you as an odd form of madness. Surely they realised that this city seemed to be in a constant state of low-level war right? You almost leapt into action when you caught glimpse of 5th column troopers bracketing a currently closed for business office building with automatic and energy weapons fire, A shoulder launched missile shrieking out towards the other building before the return fire shot it out of the sky in a brief blaze of light that made something inside of you scream to act, Vista yelping as the sound of a railgun interrupted a call she was making.

    A cloaked aircraft with a clipped with bearing the roundels of the Column spun out of control, the tilt-turbofan black frame fizzling into visibility as you shot off your ice beam, letting the anti-energy arrest its gravitational potential energy in a shell of frost, getting a salute of thanks from a dark-skinned, caped hero who was racing to catch it before she turned her attention to the building the 5th Column was present in; a series of frantic shouts in German being drowned out by the thunderclap of her movements and a quickly delivered series of superstrong hits. The pilot of the craft tore their way out of the thing, a platoon of troops intended to reinforce the soldiers in the building cracking the ice to make their way down up until Arne simply shot at them with his beam set to the paralyzer base; knocking out the elites in a single bouncing spray of energy while you flew up; wings on your suit spread, and grabbed the craft to set it down gently where it wouldn't obscure the road by a fountain.

    "And this is an every day occurrence?" You said, shuffling the weight of the craft off your shoulders and looking at it in disgust, not even looking at the co-pilot as he shouted a reprehensible slur at you in his language before you forced a teleport-out from him with a single shot of your beam.

    "Yeah but well...no place like home. It wouldn't be as interesting if it were quieter." Joseph said before he looked to his right and groaned, getting a look from you as well as a giant...pumpkin...man...with...a body made of...pumpkin stems in vague...human shape...thundered down the street. Laughing and cackling in what sounded like a stock spooky laugh sound effect, the more than hundred meter tall pumpkin man and his army of smaller kin lobbed flaming pumpkin heads at crafter type hero designed aircraft and a swarm of flying heroes buzzing around his colossal body. Immediately Arne, yourself, and the Eldar as well as the wards sprang into action, getting a quizzical look from Alice, Dawnmaker, and Iybraa.

    Your scan visor went into action, looking for weaknesses in the mystic kaiju.

    A Firbolg Fae Spirit brought over from Ireland by the large Irish-American community's presence, albeit unknowingly, Pumpkin Jack considers himself to be a mighty servant in the faerie army of the fir blog and a living siege engine in their eternal conflicts with the Storm Cabal, the Tuatha de Dannan, and the Red Caps as well as other supernatural beings who reside in the realm of Croatoa or other high-magic extraplanar realms in the vicinity of Paragon City. Pumpkin Jack is extremely resistant to heat and cold, but has a vulnerability to psionic energy as well as electricity and radiant type light energy. Pumpkin Jack will fight with a combination of brute strength, overwhelming size, and pyromantic or botanokinetic spells and curses of misfortune or battlefield transformation, and is quite fast for his size as well as capable of great feats of regeneration. Any time Pumpkin Jack is slain, his spirit will simply possess an available pumpkin or create one if needed and be reborn the next day. An immunity to death that he shares with the other local fae folk of the region that has lead to their conflict being interminable and incapable of long term gain or triumph. Pumpkin Jack is rarely seen out of the suburb of Salamanca outside of Halloween season.

    Addendum: Pumpkin Jack seems to be responding to user Samus Aran's Irish ancestry and Celtic identification and raw esoterical potential. Likely causing him to be drawn to user Samus Aran.

    Samus' Notes: When I studied the magic traditions of my earthbound ancestors this is hardly what I had in mind! But if he's looking for a fight, I am not going to let him get anyone hurt.

    Arne's Notes: So these people are just...okay with living in a never-ending fae warzone? I have been in this universe for a few minutes and I already have too many questions for one day.

    You had switched to the electrowave beam, Arne's shock coil starting to charge up as the Eldar began to hum with summoned energy, Aegis already starting on a gameplan.

    "Okay if we take out his legs maybe we can help the capes fighting that thing by bringing that endbringer down to si-" He said, looking on with fight or flight, life or death determination before stopping himself as he gazed upon the crowd whose reactions ranged from disinterest to casual curiosity or even chattering excitement like this was more...cool than frightening. "What the fuck...Why is nobody running? Come on folks! Get out of here!" Carlos shouted, Glory Girl; who had decided to tag along to check out a new place, similarly trying to caution to the people gathered that this wasn't a safe place.

    "Hey, I'm new here, but you people are in the middle of a very dangerous area. So if you could please take this threat to your lives a little bit seriously we could..." She managed to say while your beam had charged and Arne had aimed at the midsection of the creature with the intent to bisect; all before Joseph shouted up at them.

    "HEY! HEY PUMPKIN JACK!" Joseph said through a spell to carry his voice as the horde of fae seemed to suddenly come to a stop, Pumpkin Jack turning his jack-o-lantern head towards the boy as he floated up to his eye level, folding his arms and looking decidedly upset.

    "YOU COME BEFORE ME WARLOCK?! KNOW THAT I AM PUMPKIN JACK AND THE SEASON OF FEAR HAS COME FOR YOU TOO NIGHTCASTER! I SHALL SAVOUR THE DESPAIR OF YOUR CLAN AND BEGET FRIGHTS UNIMAGIN-" He shouted until Joseph interrupted his hurricane like bellowing.

    "HALLOWEEN ENDED TWO DAYS AGO! GO HOME!" He shouted as the Firbolg of every size and variety seemed to look...confused...ashamed, embarrassed even, murmuring to each other as the pumpkin men's flames shifted colour to a hue more reflective of their shame in themselves, starting to sulk while their jack-o-lantern grins started to fade into awkward expressions.

    "...Are you serious? It's over? But..." Pumpkin jack rumbled with a deep baritone.

    "...Sorry, flow of magic is a bit off...Uh, see you next year mortals. Hold that fear in your hearts so that you may properly tremble in the harvest of spooks! And uh...yeah, going to...just..." Pumpkin Jack said with increasing awkwardness before starting to backpedal towards the Baumtown canal out of embarrassment, seeming almost sheepish as they disappeared from sight.

    One of the Fir Bolg looked towards you, curious. "You are of the Island...come to Croatoa when you have the time." They said before side-eyeing a rather unimpressed looking cape. "...And...don't mention this incident, it's very embarrassing." They said before skedaddling on out of there as fast as their legs could carry them.

    "What the fuck just happened?" Carlos said in astonishment.

    "They were just reminded it wasn't their witching hour I guess?" Arne said with a shrug as the horde of fae quickly vanished and people shrugged and went about their daily routines.

    Actions: While both have the same set of actions, both will carry them out differently and pick up on different things. They can do the same action, getting you a combined result. Write-ins are encouraged.

    Samus Actions:
    []: Ask for a clarification on what just happened
    []: Ask what Croatoa is or is like
    []: Peruse the local internet to learn more about these bizarre people
    []: Ask more about Pumpkin Jack
    []: Just try to speed everyone along to the Starsetter base
    []: See how the Rikti offensive is faring.
    []: Find this all hilarious and laugh about it (Relieves some stress)
    []: Inquire more about the arcana at work (Gain some credit towards learning magic)
    []: Write in

    Arne Actions:
    []: Ask for a clarification on what just happened
    []: Ask what Croatoa is or is like
    []: Peruse the local internet to learn more about these bizarre people
    []: Ask more about Pumpkin Jack
    []: Just try to speed everyone along to the Starsetter base
    []: See how the Rikti offensive is faring.
    []: Find this all hilarious and laugh about it (Relieves some stress)
    []: Inquire more about the arcana at work (Gain some credit towards learning magic)
    []: Write in
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Intermission 2: Paragonian Paragons (Part 2)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Find this all hilarious and laugh about it (Relieves some stress)

    -5 Stress from both Samus and Arne.

    Stress at 35.

    Arne

    This was so, utterly ridiculous. Just asking a monster like that to pack up its things, go home and leave? And it worked? That was...that shouldn't have worked. That's not how this sort of thing works. Yet there it was, disappearing into the distance of the night as life moved on like it wasn't even there to begin with. You were so ready for a fight against a giant monster, to do battle once more as you had done so often in your time here. But instead it was all ended with this glorious, goofy anti-climax. It's all so gobsmackingly...

    You started to laugh, at first a giggle, then outright cackling as Samus started to let out a "pffffffft" before she began to wheeze and howl with her guffawing. The two of you must have looked insane, but you had to lean on a wall, letting your arm cannon fold away to show your right gauntlet as you braced yourself against it. It felt good, seeing Samus double over in mirth rather than pain while you could barely control your hollering. You rarely got laugh out loud moments like this, that you felt in your belly and your sides, but they were always treasured instances in time.

    And most of the Eldar it seemed, were already starting to crack up after Kaeliyae, as you'd expect from a clown in service to a harlequin god, was giving herself fully over to hyena-like girlish giggling. Koranil was the next to start laughing, former acolyte of the laughing God that he was. It spread from there to Lelithax, then to her brother, then to noble Idaliryn, to stern Elendria and fair Ormothin; and finally, even Clarioli was unable to keep her demeanour up as the infectious gift of jolly mirth spread to them. The wards were the next to follow, before at last the paragonites could not hold back.

    It took some minutes before you recovered your wits and senses, the sense of merriment slowly washing off of you as you straightened yourselves, a warmth in your core still lingering. Your suit wiped away any of the tears that had rolled down your cheeks from the unrestrained burst of emotion, and you slowly calmed yourself down, a few titters still finding their way out of your lungs before at last you relaxed. This too it seemed, hardly phased the denizens of Paragon City as they simply moved on by and carried on with their night time business.

    This city was such a strange place. You've been to warzones with less active danger to the civilian populace or constant fighting across the city, but yet everyone here seemed to be just fine with how things were. It was a city you would strongly hesitate to call safe, yet people lived here. By this world and time's standards, a massive, stupendous amount of people. All willingly choosing to live in a city that many would consider a death trap full of out of control paramilitaries and super-powered brawlers, yet...the paragonites seemed to love it.

    Joseph floated back down and dusting off of his hands. "Sorry about that, he's usually way more tidy about following the harvest schedule than that." Joseph said as if he had done something so routine, so mundane, that it warranted no further explanation than what he gave.

    "This city is already providing me with enough questions to keep a thousand walkers of the scholar paths busy for a thousand years." Alyrsero said as he side-eyed someone trying to approach him for a picture, though he relented slightly when they said that his costume looked "dope".

    "Though they certainly seem to be a welcoming bunch at least." He said, his voice a little more positive in tone than it was before.

    "Mh, it reminds me of Prodigia. So many people with interesting abilities..." Samus said, her scan visor working nearly constantly while your suit notified you that it had finished perusing through the internet for any files likely to be of interest for you after having set it on the task a half second ago. Based on your preferences, it had compiled, organised, and highlighted the ones you were probably going to read first, getting a smile out of you as Joseph made a hand gesture to get you all to follow him to a rather stately looking complex with a star sinking over the horizon logo at the apex of its primary building; designed to look like an observatory with a series of towers at the "points" of the star. Four farther away, corresponding to the cardinal directions, four closer in, corresponding to the in-between directions.

    It was night and light pollution laws in paragon city were quite strict. So most of the lights that weren't needed were turned off. There were some, and a few figures illuminated by the lights, and some who clearly preferred the darkness. Guardian drones who were assembled to help protect the facility offered nods of acknowledgement to the starsetters gathered, and offered immediately printed ID cards based on the data that Iybraa offered to them, one of which found its way around your neck. You took a look at the card and shrugged at the angle the drones had taken their pictures of you from, rather neutral and plain, but it'd work.

    "Please have a safe day." One of the bipedal robots said with a salute, somewhat knight-helm like head briefly intensifying its cyan optic lights before chirping out an acknowledgement of your passing as you offered it a wave, Samus returning a thumbs up herself.

    The main entrance to the building slid open, and the interior had more alien machines; some of them psionically powered golems of crystal and metal, others more conventional robots, others runic automatons bedecked in sigils. Many of the other staff were demons, angels, fae, or other supernatural beings. Some Vanguard personnel in their typical armoured outfits were present, silently observing and accompanying the organisation's liaison who gave you a brief glance before continuing on.

    The entrance room was a lobby of course, though one clearly designed with younger visitors in mind. Heavy emphasis on games and charging stations and comfy seats and plenty of snacks of various natures. It looked like a cozy place for kids honestly, and the lighting was kept at a reasonable level. The doors behind the desk lead to a series of halls connecting to all manner of rooms, but you had to take an elevator ride down to the living quarters. For safety's sake after all.

    Inside was a central hub room, circular with a great deal of stuff that you figured was considered fun in the present time period. A wide selection of games, some situation report materials, screens everywhere, a bunch of toys. It looked a bit untidy honestly, but it definitely felt like home. The carpet was also a nice touch, stately without being overbearing. Comfy without looking padded and confining. It was blue too, and both you and Samus could always appreciate something nice and blue. From the appearance of it, it was also a waterproofed carpet.

    The walls were decorated with all kinds of posters, murals, wallart, drawings, picture frames, and otherwise gave the impression of a place of controlled chaos where the young members of the starsetters were just kind of free to put whatever they wanted up in this recreation room. There was even an air hockey and foosball table as well as a bunch of tabletop roleplaying and wargames with their materials collected in boxes and closets; with deployable privacy screens available in case anyone needed to keep the sound out.

    The battletech box's proclamation that it was a game of war in the far future of...the 31st century got a laugh out of you. That "far future" was closer to the Pyramids of Giza than it was to what you considered the present. But that made you think for a second about just how far in the past you were. Thousands of years before humanity would explore beyond the galaxy, decades before humanity found out how to travel faster than light.

    If your lineage existed in this universe you wondered...what were your most direct relatives doing? Probably somewhere in Iceland or Scandinavia you guessed, though with the sheer gulf of time it was unlikely that you would be considered "purely" of any ethnicity that currently existed.

    If you'd even be considered part of any of them to begin with.

    Iybraa let her armour separate from her body, the carapace closing up with a snap as she stepped out in a pink and black plugsuit that fit her quite snugly before she teleported it off to replace it with a set of cat print pyjamas, your eyes pointedly averting when she made a privacy screen with her psychic powers to give her the space she wanted. Joseph changed to a set of shorts and a t-shirt, Alice into flame print PJs and devil horned slippers, and you were glad to see that Tyrius and Raelamiel were present in the same PJs they wore last time; still shaken, but better off than they were before.

    Marcus just wore an undershirt and boxers, wincing slightly at his side out of phantom pain rather than any actual lingering injury, Darla in a tank-top and stretchy short-shorts, Aiko in just a sports bra and underwear as she relaxed at a couch, draping her leg over the arm rest and tapping controls into some frantic looking sidescrolling beat 'em up where she was wailing on an inordinate number of Imperial Japanese supersoldiers. Eleyra's brother; Aronim; sharing her blond hair and pink-purple eyes, albeit more towards the purple end than her; was also seated with her, messing around with the inputs.

    Dawnmaker's armour seemed to melt into them, the Yurye's pointed ears and hair coming out while they faded into being with a simple shirt and shorts, leaning down next to a dusk blue haired Yurye; somewhat feminine but still androgynous, with skin the shade of teak to their own glowing pale shade. Duskkeeper if you had to guess. The other had their hair cut short in a simple bob, half of it covering one of their eyes, the other parted away. A quick smooch was shared between the Kheldian and Nictus; the peacebringer and warshade comfortable in each other's presence.

    "So...gonna ask you guys the same question I asked these folks first time they came over." Marcus asked, looking to the Eldar who were still dressed in their battle raiments while Samus and yourself dismissed your armour and teleported in some spare sleeping clothes, yours red, hers blue; yours with Mantis prints, hers with Owl prints. A ping from your ships indicated they landed in the starsetter hangar just as two more people down from the elevator; the witwicky twins who got a brief nod of acknowledgement from the starsetters; the room's population rising to thirty-six. You, Samus, the witwickis, eight eldar, twelve starsetters, and twelve wards and new wavers.

    "You guys got like, PJs on your homeworld right?" He asked as he poured out a glass of juice onto a table after using his electrical control to magnetise the jug and pull it towards him without having to actually reach it. An impressive display of laziness given that the fridge was maybe three steps from his position.

    "...Why would you have clothes to sleep in? It seems uncomfortable." Lelithax said brusquely. It was something you personally agreed with, but you knew full well to adjust your dress habits while sleeping over to whatever was the norm in the company you kept. "I just go without, as is natural. The wolf does not seek additional pelts to rest when she has found her cave." The Druchii said with a huff.

    "...Yeah gonna write that down as a no then pointy." He said, a flash of brief anger flashing from Lelithax as she gritted her teeth until Clarioli shook her shoulder.

    "Breath Leli..." The Adamant Eldar said, calmly, gently, trying to soothe the bile in Lelithax's throat as she gulped down and exhaled.

    "Shucks, mind if I go an' have a gander fer anything in yer size?" Greased Lightning asked, Kaeliyae giving a bow and an an affirmation that prompted the speedster to run off then run back with about eight outfits after having a few passes back and forth to make sure he wasn't getting their sizes completely wrong.

    "So how are ya gonna get all that off anywho?" He asked before Kaeliyae clicked her fingers to let her companions disappear into an illusion, reappearing only when they had changed...except for her; who had simply removed the extra runic armour fitted onto her Holosuit. Not even touching her featureless mask.

    "Do you not wish to reveal your face Kaeliyae?" Duskkeeper asked with a voice that sounded much wiser than the late teenage throat it came out of would suggest.

    "As an Esdainn, I may only show my face to a few. None of whom would be you." She said with her sing-songy rhyming voice, her gaze flicking towards Alyrsero who wore black and white short-sleeved PJs rather well if you had to say so; getting him to flush a bit, as well as Lelithax who dressed rather immodestly in a midriff baring tank top and set of shorts, her body toned and honed by her exercise conditioning; though all the Eldar had leanly sculpted muscle definition.

    "Are you sure? Is that something you need to abide by?" Samus asked, disappointment clear in her voice as Kaeliyae offered a nod.

    "I am a storyteller, a narrator, to give my own face would be to distract from my tale. As such, I am sorry, but your request I must fail." She said with a gracious bow.

    "Sounds dumb." Sophia said brusquely, dragged off onto this excursion by Aegis to get her outside of the base among people who could do something to keep her in check. However the general response from most of the Eldar was one rather akin to what you would give if someone had directly insulted your gods. Lelithax simply quirked a brow and Alyrsero formed a frown, but the others gasped or scowled; with even Clarioli's expression darkening into a fuming glare as the blonde rolled up the sleeves of her yellow Pyjamas.

    "Yours is not the place to make light of the Harlequin traditions, human. Careful lest you find yourself the butt of the next joke." The death mage said with a dark humour. Korlanil's silver hair in its rough cut swayed a bit in the air conditioning, the Death Mage's eyes shifting between purple and orange at seemingly random and his expression in a permanent smirk, the faint patches of face painting giving a slightly skull like countenance to his almost bone coloured skin.

    "Ooookay let's not get into a fight when we could do stuff that's fun and...hang-outy." Aronim said, his wavy, boyishly cut and thick blond hair shifting as he turned his eyes towards Sophia and the Eldar.

    "You know for aliens, you sure act human. Getting offended with little pricks." Sophia growled.

    "To use that term in the plural when I only see one such thing in this room is most ironic." Elendria said curtly, the red head's voice cutting across the room and causing a sudden outburst of "OOOOOOOOOOOOH" started by Darla, Mechamaven's face twisting to let out the sound while the others joined in. This was not a ritual you understood, and your attempt to look to Samus for explanation got a shrug.

    "I think that means that they think she landed a particularly harsh insult?" Samus said to you, she was confused, chewing on her lower lip. "A lot of these customs are so strange..." She mused, the cant continuing while Sophia's face changed hues a bit.

    "Maybe we should sit this one out?" You said, getting a nod out of her before you side-eyed some comfy looking places to sit. "Want to talk about some things?" You asked as she sat down with you on some beanbags, your head finding its way onto her lap and a small smile forming on your face as she started to pet your head, getting a few purrs out of you while you rubbed a bit into her stomach.

    "Always." She said, rubbing your head gently and scratching at your scalp beneath your silky white hair. Her hands gentle and warm after so many hours in either hard fighting or gloved and on standby. Her nails were a little long but kept at a good trim, and the sensation of them scratching your head made you feel very appreciated while you rolled to look up at her and cupped her face with a hand.

    "Do you think we made a difference? Just one hive of the things out of who knows how many?" You asked, locking gazes with her. Your expression was neutral for now, but you felt safe enough to ask such a hard question from her while she gave it some thought and then nodded.

    "Of course Arne! That much lost high quality biomass, disrupting their harvest of superpowered flesh, getting so much data...they'll probably be feeling that for a while." She said to you, a nod of acceptance coming from you as you hummed and brushed your thumb against her round nose and mouthed out "boop" as you pressed your thumb slightly into the button of it, getting a giggle out of her.

    "Well, I'm hoping we won't hear from them for a while. At least, not until we're better prepared." You said with a contemplative hum after sharing her laugh before adjusting your position a little as you rested your ear against her stomach. "I'm hoping that we can get a little privacy some time, unless anyone here catches our eyes of course." You said, taking a look into the room.

    "Mmh, sounds good." She said with a mischievous expression before her eyes flicked up to the crowd and scanned through for a bit. You saw Kaeliyae once again playing peacemaker, pushing Sophia away from Alyrsero who seemed to have energy crackling at the corner of his eyes before he meekishly looked away once the Esdainn lightly scolded him. Ormothin, a redhead himself, patted Alyrsero on the back as the long haired Eldar shared a quick hug with Kaeliyae before pulling away.

    "We'd probably need to get to know the Eldar a lot better before we could try with them." You said, glancing up to her as her attention went down to you, a hand of hers reaching to behind her head and undoing her ponytail to let golden hair flow down in a cascade of yellow all the way down to somewhat above her hips, spilling across the beanbag.

    "So...you guys good?" Eleyra said, the Yurye only failing to surprise you due to the access to the distant sight you both shared prompting the two of you to look in her direction a split second before she actually arrived.

    Samus

    Your eyes were already where they needed to be to make eye contact with Eleyra, whose wavy blonde hair went down past her shoulders to about the lowest portion of the upper third of her back, her face more angled than yours, her eyes more vibrantly glowing and her expression more calm and curious than your own quizzical face.

    "Well, what do you mean by good?" You asked, scratching behind Arne's ears while she shrugged as a crowd gathered at one of the consoles, wards eager to try the future of gaming relative to their perspective.

    "I mean just...is stuff okay?" Eleyra said, clearly not someone who had the best way with words while she looked at Sophia glaring at one of the Eldar who tried their best to study the in progress game; Idaliryn's blond head moving a bit in just the right way to block her view.

    "Why wouldn't it be?" Arne asked, folding his arms over his stomach and locking gazes with her.

    "We went through the raid from hell is all." She said.

    "Well, I wouldn't say that was hell per see, we were still in the material pla-" You said before Eleyra's expression corpsed ever so slightly and she shook her head in response.

    "Mmh, I was told you had an issue with idioms. Don't worry, it took me a bit to get them too." She said, resting her cheek on her hand, propped up on a telekinetic platform she had conjured to serve as a table.

    "What I'm saying is that we went through a lot, and I mean a lot. And we're the only three people from the initial team to never take any serious hits." She said with a sigh, taking a moment to look at Chris approaching by your other side and making himself comfortable in the nearby somewhat egg shaped chair and swinging his feet a bit.

    "Hey brain parasite guy." She said, her ears wiggling slightly while Chris swivelled in the chair.

    "Hey I'm still getting used to the concept of my ideas for inventions coming from some extradimensional doohickey attached to me. I don't need you calling it "Brain parasite"." He said, folding his arms to make it clear that he wasn't too happy with that.

    "My bad." She said, gesturing to herself.

    "Well...it was...trying and I was afraid we were liable to lose someone at many points. But we persevered, and we triumphed; didn't we?" You said, putting on a brave face while Arne gave a sage nod in response.

    "We just need to be more prepared for shows of force like that in the near future. When we're ready for re-engagement anyway." Arne said, ever focused on duty. "If it can adapt, then we'll just have to try and counter-adapt. That's just how conflict works." He shrugged, he was trying to not let the unending swarms or the echoes of the horrid shadow in the empyrean bother him. The endless alien voices chittering, chattering, speaking and growling in an untold and unfathomable chours that your own mind, as brilliant as it was, felt infintisemal towards.

    "So I've been reviewing that combat data and well...I've got a lot of ideas. Stuff to try and maybe counteract that kind of hyper-adaptation." Chris said, humming to himself while he looked at his laptop.

    "Chris, you're sweet but we're supposed to be off duty for a few days." You said, getting a small frown out of him as he seemed to have a flash of realisation and flushed with embarrassment, taking a look at Kaeliyae offering a magic show to interested friends; weaving together a story from illusion and phantasmancy and scrunching up his face.

    "I really don't get this whole magic thing. I mean, is it really magic? Is it just powers we don't understand? Lots of capes back home said they could do magic but..." He rambled, only to be cut off by Eleyra.

    "Yeah that's magic...not the kind I'm familiar with, but magic." She said, seeing weaving illusions dance with sound and colour and light while guests oohed and aahed, Arne's eyes picking apart the details of the shifting figures of warp energy and the raw stuff of the arcane winds distilled into usable form; bent by the star-like soul of the Eldar into artistry and performance.

    "What kinds of magic are you familiar with?" You asked quietly, eager and curious.

    "I'm not the local magician by any means...psion yes, mage no. But there's lots of kinds of magic. Alice or Joseph are probably way better suited to teaching it to you than I am, honestly." She shrugged as she clasped her hands over her stomach and lurched back in her telekinetic force chair, looking over at the progress of the beat 'em up game as eight players tried their damdest to gang up on the level boss; some sort of samurai mecha; in what seemed like a massive explosion of colour and noise and combo-counters.

    "But perhaps I could offer some assistance in learning the ways of the Empyrean?" Alyrsero's voice cut in, the Eldar boy offering a small nod of acknowledgement as he shuffled on bare feet to your position, occasionally tugging at his black and white shirt as if it were itchy on his skin before he pulled up a seat of his own and brought himself a little closer.

    "I sensed something awakening you after the Brood Drake's second death. And I've been told that the best way to memorise what one has learned is to teach it...so consider this a mutually beneficial exchange. I educate you, I advance my own education." Alyrsero said as he produced a data crystal from a pocket and let it unfurl into a shimmering screen of runes and information, the equivalent of a book. He clicked his fingers and the blue runes leapt back into its geodesic containment, a small smirk on his face.

    "Not having fun at the party?" Arne asked, Alyrsero's blue coloured eyes flicking to him as he offered a small shrug.

    "I'm more fond of quiet than boisterous parties to be honest." He responded in a genuine, relatively gentle tone.

    "So this Empyrean is the source of your parahuman abilities?" Chris asked, a look of something between disdain and exasperation writing itself on the warlock's face as the black haired Elven boy's handsome, gracile features pulled themselves into a small frown, the glowing blue irises of his eyes seeming to stare straight through Kid Win who felt like he was paling every second Ardanesh continued to stare at him.

    "I am not human, I am not a parahuman. I am an Eldar Warlock apprentice. I walk the witchpath after brief dives into the warrior paths. I do not go around enforcing laws in personalised costumes; but gather lore and unveil prophecy for my people and unleash our eldritch fury upon those who would mean us harm." Alyrsero said, his self-echoing voice almost stormlike in just how upset he was at being compared to a superhero until you harrumphed.

    "Alyrsero, we're supposed to be friends here." You said to him, still continuing to scratch at Arne's ears as he made the best possible impression of a kitten that he could, making you write the most adoring of smiles on your face. Your eyes caught his own looking towards you though, and you noticed the way he looked at you, Arne, or Eleyra was very markedly different from how he looked at Chris.

    Chris he looked at like a baby, cringing slightly at his every misstep or studying him for anything to needle about. You three though, he looked at more the way he regarded his friends or especially Kaeliyae. And while he was somewhat stoic, you could catch the slightest flush on his face as he saw Arne's head being patted by you while he chewed on his lips.

    "You are correct, my apologies Hatchling." He sighed.

    "So, origin story swap time? Standard thing to do when hanging out in our work you know?" Iybraa said, turning her seat around so she could sit in it backwards, resting her elbows on a force table and squishing her cheeks.

    "Origin story? Wha-" Arne said, baffled by the expression before Chris harrumphed.

    "Well, I got diagnosed with ADD and Dyscalculia when I was seven. After that everyone started treating me differently. School teachers started talking to me like I was ret-" You glared at Chris to let him know that you weren't fond of him saying that word, something Iybraa followed up with. Though it was relatively common to drop in his time, the term had more than outstayed its welcome even in the near future.

    "Like I was special in a not great way. Babying me through math courses or recommending me to pop Adderall pills and Prozac like candy. Even had to go through special social skills classes." He said, running a hand through his brown hair and frowning at the thought, teeth gnashing slightly at the memories drifting back to the fore.

    "I also got put into the gifted programs because I had a good head for a lot of the fancy science and engineering stuff even if I was garbage at showing my work in math. Didn't make an awful lot of friends that way, and it's never great to be singled out as one of the freaks and geeks." He said before Alyrsero; the one whose experiences were furthest removed from this raised a finger.

    "ADD would be what? Dyscalculia I can intuit as a disorder of numbers. But the acronym has millions of potential meanings." He said, though you were sure he could just use his foresight powers to find out the answer if he really needed to.

    "Attention deficit disorder. It means he's distracted easily." Iybraa said, the Yurye's ears twitching slightly while Chris gave a small nod.

    "Yeah...I don't like to think of myself as really having a disorder. Just too much going on in my head at once, too many ideas and too much to do. Can't sit around and just focus on one thing when I can multitask." Chris said, typing something into his laptop while talking, taking a few moments to turn his eyes towards his screen, look over some data and click a few places and input a few commands.

    "Then I got stressed out, too many issues to deal with, too many problems. I triggered and then well...things didn't really make much more sense but the ideas in this noggin' of mine? Way more concrete after that." He said, from what you know of trigger events and the trauma relating to them, you couldn't blame him for being evasive on any specific details.

    "My parents and home city were destroyed by the Niarte Warlord Tyrannicus during one of our wars with the empire he hails from. The Dark Wars; I'm still trying to hunt him, and pry him out of that shadesteel armour and just watch him burn beneath the light until the last trace of his darkness is gone." Iybraa said with angry choler rising in her throat, she almost snarled out her words.

    "His real name is impossible to fully pronounce, but a lot of people call him Uzhribiggoleth, The King in Shadow. From some shadow dimension far away I don't know much about, part of an Empire of...fuck if I know how many different dimensions. Huuuuge on the need for oppression and punishment to create stability. And to this day, I'm not sure if he has...anything worthwhile in his soul." She said, your heart beating hard with righteous anger at her words while Arne scowled.

    "But I chose to be an Iybraa, a bringer of Justice. Just like my brother chose to be a Xaeon; a bringer of vengeance. We will pursue him, until duty is done." Eleyra said with a solemn nod.

    "If it means anything, I can empathise a lot with you." You said, offering a hand to Elyra's shoulder and nodding as she let you touch it, a slow smile forming on her face.

    "And with luck...maybe we can kill the freak." She said with almost disturbing relish.

    "What about you then?" She asked, leaning closer towards you with studious eyes.

    "I was born on K-2L; my parents retired from the military to start up a simple family life on a unionised mining world. To extract afloraltite, before the price for the material crashed." You said, whisking some of your blonde hair behind you and smiling to yourself, Arne holding onto one of your hands and squeezing it a little tighter.

    "Some people of a progenitor species, the Chozo came to our planet when I was three and asked if they could borrow some of the afloraltite for a great project. And I ended up becoming friends with one, old and wise and kind...but they had to go to get some things for the exchange. But before they could come back; the Confederacy of Dismor, the Space Pirates; attacked. The main fleet of the Inferno Pack Ravager Armada under Ridley swept in and..." You said as you tensed, trying to stop the flashes from clouding your mind.

    The corpse stench of the dead, the bloody remains of the slaughtered, the growling, laughing maniacs who turned their butchery on any of their kind who lacked the stomach to partake in the debauchery. An army of quintillions meant to smash galaxies into ruin and leave nothing but conquest in their wake spitting forth their vanguard against a planet of ten million. It was never going to be a fight. But the horrid roar of the purple dragon rising from the smoke and ash, above all the other dread enforcers of the mysterious high command dispatched that day, the callous, awful glee he took in slaughtering your friends and mother, delaying his efforts to kill you for so long.

    An evil grin stopped only when he realised too late that your father had ensured the doom of his planetoid sized starship; ascending to the heavens to be engulfed in the flames of his ship erupting in a detonation that would outshine a million stars; contained by its shielding and hopefully scourging him from existence. But you could still remember the wretched smell of his breath, the awful meat stink of rotting flesh clinging between his endlessly recycled teeth. The ozone stink of his bioenergy shielding, and the metal stench of so much blood that he caked himself in. Never had you, before or since, encountered something so singularly evil. And only Arne tapping your nose snapped you out of the recollections as he realised your eyes had gone blank and your nails were starting to dig through your PJs and into your skin.

    "Everyone died. Ten million people dead in minutes. They slaughtered them and were so proud of doing it. Anyone who wasn't enjoying it was killed too. My friends died, all of them. My mom died, to distract the dragon, my father died, destroying the afloraltite they stole and most of Ridley's fleet with it. If their ship's shields weren't so powerful, a lot more would have died in the zero point blast but...at least the heart of that fleet is gone." You said, almost having to hold back tears at the recollection, the screaming distant in your mind but still so very audible. Screaming for help, screaming for mercy, screaming for even the barest hint of an answer as to why they had to die.

    "But I was still alive. So much dust, so much fire. The space pirates left with whatever they still had. And I was all that was left. I wandered for hours, I looked for anyone...I never did. I buried my mother in the ash, and all the friends that I could until my hands bled from all the digging I had to do. So they'd at least be decent. And there were so, so many bodies everywhere." Mauled, mutilated, torn apart, blood stained bones and exoskeletons, faces frozen in death screams and guts you never knew people had sprayed in all directions. Everyone was dead, and nobody, not even the smallest animals, were there to answer your calls for help.

    "When the Chozo came back, I was found, alone with nothing but a pet I just adopted by him, by Old Bird. They took me in, made me one of them; both Chozo and Human, they named me their hatchling. And I lived with them. I wanted to help people, so nobody would suffer like me. And they gave me the strength to do that. The armour, the knowledge, the body." You said, briefly summoning up a gauntlet, tapping your head and then gesturing to your frame.

    "My story is...pretty similar. All the inheritors are." Arne said, huffing.

    "Inheritors?" Alyrsero asked, tilting his head with intrigue.

    "Handfuls of children from the current generation of civilisations chosen by progenitor civilisations to embody all the best parts of them, to carry their strength, to uphold their traditions, and to fight the final wars to come." He said sternly, reciting it from memory, a creed ingrained into his mind from very young.

    "My parents were guerillas, some would call them terrorists; others volunteer freedom fighters. They went to the Ensryn Nebula in a galaxy so far away from where they were born; to build relations between the Ensryn Volunteer Army and Clan Grendakal of the United Clans of Agradhof; of the Omdyn. To help them push away the Federation, the Confederacy, and other powers encroaching on their territory." Arne said, his voice distant as if he were reciting this on automatic.

    "They uncovered an Alimbic battlecruiser; one of the greatest of the progenitors, thought vanished fifty thousand years ago. The crew was alive in stasis, and when revived Elmorni their...mystromagus, biologist, she liked me. I was...three, but when their commander, Zurvduat, refused to help my parents wanted to leave. They had everything packed to depart from Cylosis, to move the volunteer forces elsewhere. But then they came, supersoldiers, unmarked armour, a deadly kill fleet. Nobody knew from where, or who sent them; but they killed everyone." He said, his voice increasingly monotone, hollow. He didn't like remembering this, or the sensation of being chased by the dreaded golden hydra.

    "A creature with three heads and antlers, of fur and wings and frost chased me; wanted me because I had been to the Alimbic ship. My parents got me to safety, on the ship of the Freelancer Spire. But they stayed behind to give us time to escape as the Alimbic ship took off. I saw them die on a mound of enemy dead, frozen into oblivion. Elmorni took me in, but Zurvduat wanted me to be a soldier." The name Zurvduat stirred complicated emotions in him, his expression unsure of whether to be fond or afraid.

    "So I was remade, like Samus was. With very...very similar abilities. Zurvduat...I don't know why, but he was always a lot meaner to me than Elmorni. I'm not supposed to see him anymore, but Elmorni is...she's very nice, I think you'd like to meet her." He said, a sigh coming out of his mouth, wistful and wanting at the mention of his adoptive mother. Something to latch onto, to prevent himself from crying. He was so afraid to cry after Zurvduat made it so painfully clear what he thought about crying and what the punishment was for shedding tears. He almost cringed when he sensed some water near his eyes, still expecting that flash of pain. He exhaled, it wasn't real, he wasn't in danger.

    "...Hey, me and my brother. We feel for you. If you ever want to have like, group therapy you know we could talk stuff out. There's lots of people here who specialise in traumatic orphanings." Eleyra said with a sympathetic smile, not one of pity, but of shared pain. But she had the fires of vengeful anger burning inside as well...fires you had more of in your own heart than you'd like to admit.

    "Now I feel like an asshole for even mentioning my issues." Chris said, looking away and frowning.

    "If they're important to you, then they're important, full stop." Arne said.

    "I mean, you've got that whole...doomed destiny of becoming Sylux thing. I'm just a techie." Chris said with a sigh.

    "And? We're here to talk out our issues are we not? So why not just talk with us?" You asked, getting a small smile out of Chris before your attention cast itself towards Alyrsero.

    "I was born to a union between a farseer and a druchii sorceress. Tumultuous, likely ill-advised, fraught with marital strife, but it resulted in twins all the same so it was auspicious. I...don't connect much with my sister though, admittedly." He said, realising he wasn't going to get out of this as he laid his left foot atop his knee and put his hands on the chair's rests for his arms.

    "My own life is humble, uninteresting. I grew up with my father on the Craftworld of Seers; on Ulthwe. I went from path to path for some time, tried poetry, worked out anger issues, dug myself in tomes and texts, tried to write novels, but I drew myself day by day to the witch path; to the gift of magic and psykery all Eldar have, especially now that we are free of she who thirst's grip on our souls. So I became a Warlock, a Mage." He said, creating a little spark of blue flame upon the tip of his left index finger and smirking.

    "Shere I am from though. As I've said before, I live in the Age of Monsters. Where Lords of War tear apart and fray at the fabric of reality and horrors beyond the imagination of prior eras rampage in wars eternal as galaxies die and civilisation after civilisation perishes. The end times, the apocalypse, the final night, Rhana Dandra. We are more numerous than ever before as a species; yet the time has never been direr. If I can cross, if the Great Devourer can cross; it has come for your realities too" He said, his smirk fading, the flame slowly flickering out and then at last dying altogether.

    "Perhaps there is hope born of the Nexus event. Perhaps it just means that many separate dooms shall mingle and converge into yet further horror. Or perhaps...perhaps your caretakers were right, and you will save us all." Alyrsero said, staring directly at you and Arne.

    "...I don't think I've ever told you of the prophecy of the Inheritors." You said to him.

    "No need, the skeins of fate are my domain. Prophecy and Lore is my realm...I saw your threads of soothsaying as soon as I laid eyes on you. They're quite hard to miss." He said with a shrug.

    Actions:

    []: Shift the conversation to less doomy topics (Random conversation)
    []: Inquire about how things are at home with Chris
    []: Poke into Alyrsero's personal life.
    []: Prod into how the Starsetters function with Iybraa
    []: Check on that sweet looking video game
    []: Play a tabletop game (starts an in-universe tabletop RPG session of my choice, though I won't track the stats for my sanity's sake)
    []: Check Kaeliyae's illusory story
    []: Check on another group (will be randomly picked)
    []: Write in
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Intermission 2: Paragonian Paragons (Part 3)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Prod into how the Starsetters function with Iybraa

    Arne

    "Maybe let's avoid talking about the end of all things? It seems less like light conversation and more...work stuff." You said, not exactly sure how to put it all in words but reaching for the explanation that seemed to be the most sensible to you. It wasn't that you didn't have the vocabulary, it was more that you weren't sure which of the words that could be used were the best fits for the occasion. You studied their responses, and it seemed that what you said was plenty good enough, pulling yourself into an upright position on the beanbag and snuggling with your partner to just enjoy how soft and warm she felt to cuddle with.

    "I suppose, what would suit your fancy best then?" Alyrsero asked as he sipped at some tea from a mug that he seemed to conjure from the ether; hitting your nostrils with the delightful scent of chocolate, cinnamon, black tea, brown sugar, and other warm, sweet...brownish scents. Brown didn't have a scent but you'd describe it as the pleasant side of brown. Chocolates, caramel, brown sugar, that sort of thing. Pleasant, like Elmorni's cooking...or what your dad would bake for you as a toddler.

    You made a sad smile.

    You wished you got to know your parents better. The first three years of life was so little time to get to know them. You were relatively happy with Elmorni, but after a year with your own kind...Gods who could have expected that the idea of the clan in your mind was so separate from what they were in person? Speaking to so many people who knew your parents for much longer than you did...talking to you about details you never knew about them like they expected you to be intimately familiar.

    Your musings were interrupted quickly though, Chris raising his hand to have a chance to speak and being granted it by a nod of acknowledgement; prompting you to turn to him as he cleared his throat and looked to Iybraa.

    "Hey, Eleyra. What's your team like? Fuck...what's this city...dimension like? I don't even know where to begin. I've been here a few minutes and I've already got a million questions." He said, almost breathlessly, rushing through words, trying his best to make eye contact with the glowing eyed Yurye without staring into the pink nimbuses in her eye sockets as she made a hrm and rested her chin atop her knuckles.

    "Okay let me be more specific...alright? Uh...How does superheroing...work here?" He clarified, clearing his throat in the vain hopes he'd be less awkward for it, though you weren't entirely sure he succeeded. His verbal hesitation was still palpable.

    "Well, you register with the FBSA; totally confidential. You list your power origin variety, your archetype, your hero name, power type. Then do some certifications, a few exams, have an interview with an FBSA agent from the relevant department, and after all that you're in. Usually need to start at lower security levels though...takes a bit to show you've got what it takes to take max security level stuff." She said nonchalantly, even checking her nails on occasion while she rattled off the requirements. You squinted a bit at the mention of security levels like that though. It sounded like the "maximum recommended mission intensity" category system for freelancers or ultramilitants but...level 1 also made it sound very...

    "What do you mean level? Like, RPG levels?" Chris asked, getting a nod from her.

    "When you've earned enough credit you get another certification with a qualified trainer for a higher security level saying you can handle bigger problems. Max security level means you're expected to be on call to deal with like...planetary or above scale threats as well as max threat level villains." She said casually. She'd clearly been through that particular system before, not even a moment was needed for her to recall any of the facts when she had been through the process time and time again.

    "Threat level started off as a ranking system for villains but then Arachnos started using it to like...categorise villains who operate from the Rogue Islands or Arachnos affiliated territory. So it's basically nega-security level. Max security level redsiders are bad news." She said, only for your expression to blank at the terminology, Samus also pausing and Alyrsero stopping his tea sipping, the silence palpable enough for you to hear Dennis jump up and cheer in the distance as he evidently beat that level boss.

    "...Redsider?" Samus asked.

    "It's a thing that came from like...ID card colours. Hero licenses have blue edges." She said, taking out hers and tapping on the edges of the card, a vivid shade of sapphire blue.

    "Arachnos profile cards have red edges. Praetorian Power Division ID cards had gold edges, Vanguard tags are grey; and so on so forth. So heroes started getting called Bluesiders and villains; Arachnos affiliated or not; just started getting called Redsiders." She said, putting away her card after you studied its details, you noted that she had the space for real name; which was apparently (Optional) filled with "Eleyra Ophilix" and that it also had spaces for Species, Dimension of Birth, Homeworld, and even a short biography to shorten introductions.

    "It's a bit dense for quick reading isn't it, Arne?" Samus whispered to you, getting a nod from you. You couldn't imagine just passing that out to people who couldn't read at an accelerated rate for a few seconds to get introductions out. Scannable ID tags seemed much more practical.

    "Do you get paid? I mean, we get paid. At least, the wards do; and the Protectorate. It's pretty okay money." Chris asked, a question you felt he had been saving in reserve for a bit. With how much of the cult's database had to do with finances you got the impression that money was very much the running concern for most people in this time. You didn't quite get it, they were producing enough for everyone to have at least basic essentials met, so why ration them out like that?

    Samus, sensing your questioning, booped your nose, bringing you out of your thoughts and getting a little giggle out of you.

    "Sure, through special accounts if you want to keep a secret identity. It's pretty decent, though you still have to pay if you want to use FBSA services since you're not like...an employee. And most heroes get most of their stuff through influence. You win clout with people by helping them out and they do favours for you. Get yourself some resources under your belt, people donate to you if they want to help you help other people...you're really just kinda...left to do your own thing really." She flicked some hair out of her face with a casual gesture of her fingers.

    "Do you not worry about corruption if your heroes have their ability to access resources so tied to favours and influence? It would seem that it would be natural to bribe those that are problematic for people of means. The evident lack of oversight also seems like it would lead to a spate of those who lack the temperament to be entrusted with such societal authority to end up in positions that allow them to promote and commit abuses. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe there are a plethora of people who would willingly, intentionally accept the label of villain unto themselves. Such seems to be the stuff of stories for small children, not genuine malefactors." Alyrsero spoke up, getting in his piece before anyone could interrupt him or start a conversational track without him. He'd been waiting for the right moment to ask that you felt, already having foreseen some of this conversation. You hoped that when you mastered the distant sight you'd be better at not coming off as so...nosy.

    "If you want credit you need to deliver everything you've done to work for it to the trainers for review and cert, and like...heroes tend to work more on contacts, tips, team ups, or distress calls than beat patrols. We're not cops. Usually when we show up it's because we were asked to or if there's an immediate emergency. There's also a lot of self-policing. We've got way fewer protections or privileges than cops do honestly. No thin blue line for us." She said, scratching at the back of her head.

    "So it's like the freelancer mission system?" Samus asked, blue eyes focusing intently on the knife eared Yurye.

    "Oh merc work? No no!" She stammered, almost changing shades with sudden outrage. "Not unless I'm not getting what you mean by "Freelancer". But uh...hero community's pretty quick to kick out people it sees as not living up to standards. 'Course you've got Vigilantes who don't care about any of that." She calmed down and frowned at the word "vigilante", like poison in her mouth.

    "Oh you've got unlicensed heroes too?" Chris said.

    "Seems inevitable honestly, those who wish not to be constrained to the limitations of the paths and systems laid before them and would rather work as they see fit. Or not work." Alyrsero shrugged. "In the craftworlds we have outcasts; rangers, wildriders and those who leave to join the Laughing God Cult or other Eldar ways of life rather than take the focused discipline of the Paths and their monohobby focuses." He added, sipping more of his tea and leaving you with the sudden sensation of craving liquids as you rolled your tongue around in a mouth watered only by helmet provided fluids and cafeteria drinks for the past few hours. Something Samus sensed and remedied quickly, her own mouth watering a bit as she poured you a cup of root beer and got one for herself, sitting back down, snuggling close and sipping from the red cup.

    The liquid was sweet and fizzy on your tongue, pleasantly cold. Hrm, you could probably get used to Root Beer, though you still preferred Kralis Nectar.

    "Mhrm, course you've got a bunch of simps for the bad boys who don't play by the rules." She said, lazily taking a sip from a cup she hovered over to herself with telekinetics.

    She flicked her eyes over to Chris and pointed her rather human like finger to him as he raised his hand.

    "Yeah earth kid?" She asked.

    "What's a simp?" He asked. Putting to words a question you had in your head for a bit.

    "Uh...a suck up." She shrugged.

    "Ahhh..."

    "Then you've got rogues who are like...less lethal villains basically. Mostly in it for material gain, often will help out heroes and get up to a lot of robin hood stuff." She said, for a moment making you forget she wasn't native to this realm with how easily she dropped a reference as old as that.

    "Robin Hood? What sort of "stuff" does this Robin Hood do? The context suggests something positive yet, mischievous perhaps?" Alyrsero asked before Samus sprung up, eager to drop some facts on this pointy eared lad's head.

    "Robin Hood was an outlaw who stole from the rich of Nottingham in medieval England to give to the poor who were oppressed by the Sheriff and the bad King John!" She said proudly with a beaming expression, glad to be of use in informing someone of matters they were curious about, a wave of excitement melting its way into your heart just a little as you slowly formed your own smile.

    "Ah, the Noble thief." Alyrsero nodded.

    "And these Starsetters...what is your task?" The Eldar asked while he let his breath cool more of his tea before sipping, closing his eyes and slowing his drinking to properly savour every droplet of the rich liquid.

    "My brother, Dawnmaker, and Duskkeeper over there formed the team as a place for younger heroes who either weren't human or dealt a lot with stuff from beyond Earth. There's...suspicion towards nonearthborn heroes." She tensed a bit, her expression souring as she put her drink away and sighed, cupping her face in her hands.

    "Alien invasions, inter-timeline wars, demonic incursions, fae marches, attacks by mythological creatures, the devouring earth, assaults from other dimensions, more than a few killer robots...leaves a lot of people on edge about nonhumans or the nonhuman affiliated. But you probably knew some of that, didn't you?" She said, quirking a brow towards the Eldar.

    "We haven't been to this city no, but we are somewhat familiar with some of the details of this reality yes. The "Earth is for humans" billboards placed in broad daylight by Vanguard asking for people to report suspected extraterrestrial malefescence hardly inspires confidence." The Warlock replied. The idea of a poster with that sort of sentiment being posted in a public place drew an almost immediate scowl out of you.

    "That's an awful sentiment to have! Why would you want to only have a single intelligent species on a planet? There's so much to learn by interacting with other cultures, other peoples!" Samus said, puffing out her chest a bit and making an expression of outraged indignity.

    "We try to both make people more comfortable with otherworldly folks and advocate for otherworlders. It makes the Police...not super fond of us but Blue Steel can kiss my cu-" She said, stopping herself when her brother took her emptied cup off of the counter she set it on and washed it out, waving over.

    "Hey Aronim." She said sweetly to her twin, Alyrsero, yourself, and Samus studying the handsome looking, lean knife eared alien as his glowing purple eyes turned towards the screen where Lelithax had finally been convinced to try her hand at the game, putting on her best pout while working her way through the controls and grumbling beneath her breath about crude analog controls.

    "Anyway, if the PPD doesn't like us; you know what? Fuck 'em." She said with a sigh.

    "Honourable sentiment." You said, getting a wry smile out of her that made Samus and yourself flush at the sense of approval she gave to you, long, punkish hair seeming to scintilate as she tilted her head and grinned.

    "I think I like you two." She grinned.

    Hrm, still plenty of time to kill while the night was still young.

    Actions: (Specify whether Arne or Samus should do them or both).

    []: Poke Deeper into Paragonian Culture and the Starsetters as a team
    []: Poke more into the Ophilix Twins' personal life
    []: Try some personal conversational topics with Alyrsero
    []: See what's what with Chris
    []: Attempt to bring in some additional partners
    []: Try out some video games
    []: Watch a movie
    []: Play some tabletop games
    []: Do a group reading.
    []: Try some dumb teenage party games
    []: Ask if anyone's willing to dance.
    []: Try flirting with people who catch your fancy.
    []: Write in
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Intermission 2: Paragonian Paragons (Part 4)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: See what's what with Chris (Samus)
    [X]: Try some personal conversational topics with Alyrsero (Arne)

    Samus

    "Well, what do you think Chris?" You asked gently, tilting your head towards him as you hummed a bit under your breath.

    "This place sounds like a pile of insanity mishmashed together barely holding on by a few customs." He said bluntly, making a neutral expression that drew silence from you as you scrutinised it. Was he joking? Was this a joke? Should you be laughing?

    "Quite, there's a sort of anarchy to how you manage those with so much power that I will likely spend many days trying to wrap my mind around." Alyrsero said as he put his tea cup away, having finished it and placing his hands on his lap as he straightened his legs, sitting in a way you regarded as a bit overly formal for the occasion.

    "I didn't hear any complaining there though." Eleyra said with a glance towards the...other sort of Space Elf. You were going to have to spend some time figuring out why Yurye, Eldar, and the Aelva of your own reality all looked more or less the same. Perhaps some sort of common ancestor? Pre-historic contact that lead to a single phenotype being spread around? Yet Alyrsero was five times older than you, physically anyway. Eleyra and most of your Aelva friends matured at the same rate you did so...hrm...holes in your theory, annoying.

    "No complaints, new information is quite interesting. New things to master and new information to make my own." He said with an easy smile.

    "So why do you sound British?" Aronim asked, looking over at Alyrsero who took a second to turn towards the Yurye with a quirked brow.

    "I...do not understand the question..." Alyrsero responded.

    "Your accent sounds like a rich London kid. Her accent sounds like she stepped off the boat from Dublin, his accent sounds like he's going to hinga my dinga durgens." Aronim said, pointing to Alyrsero, then you, then Arne.

    "What do ya mean boyo?" You said, taking a moment to study your accent which you kind of just...used without much in the way of thought. Was this odd? It was what your memory download determined would be the form of English that most corresponded to what your ancestors spoke in 2011. Inflections you just kind of used without any real thought seemed to weigh heavier with every word.

    "Is it a bad accent?" You said, Arne seeming to pause in thought as if Aronim just spouted gibberish...which honestly, he kind of did.

    "Is that a reference?" Arne finally mustered up the courage to say as he found himself stumped at the expression.

    "Spongebob. Do you know that?" Eleyra said before Arne shook his head, getting a frown out of her. "We've got to like, get you up to speed on pop culture or you're going to get completely lost. ASAP. Top mission priority. And we've got like a week to do it in before you have anything else to do." Eleyra said, starting to make for a more mischievous grin as she crossed her legs and steepled her fingers, making her best impression of an evil expression.

    "Uhhh..." Arne stammered as he tried to make heads or tails of the Yurye's gaze on him, starting to show how flustered he was on his cheeks when she licked her lips.

    "Well, if I can say something." Chris said, trying to rope the conversation back to his direction.

    "Well, you're gorgeous...I mean your accent is gorgeous..." Chris said stopping and pausing while his skin tinted bright red and your attention snapped over to him at the speed of sound, an increasingly wide grin forming on your face as you decided to pay him some further attention. "But it's not like you're not gorgeous because have you looked at yourself in the mirror. Like hahah; space princess way out of my league I know and you're already taken in an open thing with the white haired pretty boy but uh...well you've got..." He said, at first trying to just talk as quickly as possible to let nobody cotton onto the fact that he was just fumbling his way through his sentences before realising that this wasn't working and looking like he needed to hide.

    "You're sweet Chris." You said, forming a little smirk on your face. "If you want to try, I'm open to it. If you'd like." You said, your own face going a little pink as Chris gave his best impression of a frog about to undergo terminal cardiac arrest while making the biggest croak of its life.

    "To uh...hrm...make this slightly, marginally, infintisemally less awkward." Arne said, mostly succeeded in managing the exact opposite of what he said he was intending to do while he looked back at Alyrsero. "Would you hrm, what is your father like?" Aarne managed, clearing his throat and having something to drink himself.

    "Hrm, heavily focused on his work but a fair teacher. I never fail to learn something with him. Even if he insists on repeating lessons I have already mastered a thousand times over just to make sure. Frustrating at times but...he is my father and I do not think I would have learned as swiftly as I have under any other teacher." Alyrsero said as he tried to poke into the skeins of fate to get an idea of what to say next, trying to duel with Arne's own futuresense to get the chance to surprise him. "As for my mother well...she has rejected the path of Malekith at least, so despite being Druchii...she isn't all bad. Else Lelithax would likely have indulged herself in the usual cruelties of the Dark and Shadow Eldar." He said, taking a moment to look at Lelithax brushing aside some of her long, lustrous black hair as she received some headscratches from Kaeliyae, pretending to not enjoy it.

    Any siblings you had were all artificial, robot fascimiles of the family you wanted to try and feel less lonely on Zebes. It was the exact company you desired, built to your specifications at the time. Yet you saw the way that Alyrsero regarded his twin sister, the uncertainty, the doubts, the mixture of emotions born of flaw and mistakes. And you felt that void of being so distant from your family by blood. No immediate relatives closer than cousins. You loved your family by circumstance and friendship, yet you wished you also had some by blood.

    "My sister is complicated. She is not a perfect person, for there are no such people. Yet I will speak in her defence when needed. Because well, someone needs to help her find a better path than the darkness. It may as well be me, what else should I do as a brother?" Alyrsero said with a shrug, his expression flattening into a more neutral one and a sigh curling its way out of his nose while he folded his arms.

    "Well, it's good you look out for her then!" You said to Alyrsero, getting a nod out of him while Arne put his chin in his hands and had some time to think before you looked to Chris who seemed to be recovering a bit from the shame of his fumble.

    "Cheer up Chris. I didn't mind that at all!" You said, getting him to look up and harrumph, trying his best to put on a braver expression. "But I don't think I ever got a complete answer...what do you think of Paragon City so far?" You asked, trying to wheel around back to where this conversation started in the first place.

    "As I said, this place is weird. I'm not sure if I buy all this stuff about magic...and the mysticism surrounding the Well of Furies sounds kind of hokey to me. Like an incomplete explanation that people just accepted. But I've seen a ton of stuff that's flipped my worldview around so...what do I know?" Chris said, scratching at the back of his head and getting an odd look out of the other conversationalists in the little circle formed by your group.

    "But I think I'll love it here. You've guys got so many ideas I haven't even considered...like those mediportation systems...God if I could just take a look at some I could...we could revolutionise medicine." He said, starry eyed as he leaned back in his seat.

    "What's stopping you?" You asked, noting Arne was turning his attention towards Alyrsero while Aronim and Elyra busied themselves with telepathic communique.

    "Well, I should ask for permission first right? See if it's patented or something. Then well...there's material considerations to think about. What if it relies on materials that aren't present back home? What if I can't replicate it." He said, starting to catastrophise as he let himself slip into the loop of "what ifs" that you recognised all too well.

    "Chris, it'll be fine. If you need any help with it, I'd be happy to offer it to you. It's not a very complicated system honestly." You offered as his eyes widened before he gave an understanding nod, realising that this made perfect sense given what he'd already seen of your technology.

    "You'd do that? Co-tinker with me?" He asked, getting a nod from you.

    "Oh...sweet...yeah that'd be great." He said, folding his arms and giving a nod of acceptance.

    Raelamiel, who seemed so very different without her sunglasses or her twin-tails, walked up towards you on bare feet shuffling atop the carpeted floor, hair spilling down to past her shoulder blades and eyes looking like they've had more than a few bouts of intense crying so far. Her presence drawing your attention in a matter of seconds as you felt the slight chill she imposed on possibility...and the temperature around her honestly.

    "Yo, uh...you guys wanna join us...we're gonna marathon some movies. So...you guys get to pick tee bee aich." She said, running her hands through her hair and letting her wings flutter a bit. Those seemed to be more than a bit inconvenient honestly, but if she never complained about them, she must have found a way to make them work.

    "Oh, movies would be good. What movies?" You asked before Arne could speak up, getting him to quiet down and let his words die in his throat, leaning into the beanbag a bit and turning his eyes towards some sort of animal shape moving in the corner. You turned and saw a wagging tail arched high, joined by a few others; your nose picking up the scent of canids as they strolled in from the hall, panting excitedly.

    Raelamiel followed your eyes and brightened her eyes a bit, clearly happy to see the rather...large animals strutting around the room and sniffing for their water bowls before diving their heads in to have some drinks. Only after giving the nearest animal, a great white huskie like creature who seemed almost more wolf than dog, a pet to the head did she answer; seeming to relax as she threaded her fingers through their white fur.

    "Okay...well...we've got Lord of the Rings, which would take forever to watch...the Hobbit which is trash. Old Star Trek movies which eye dee kay shit about. Doctor Who seasons but we'd have to like, start with one. The Matrix trilogy which honestly like; aged questionably in some places. Uh...Bill and Ted if you don't mind ye olde cheese. Kung Fu Panda or How to Find your Dragon. The Four Toy Story movies. The three Monty Python movies and..." She paused, looking to Tyrius who was snuggling into a pile of three spitz like dogs in a manner that looked eminently comfortable. Envy for a moment, beat in your heart as you wanted to be buried in floofy puppies too!

    "Tyri babe, what else have we got ready to go? The one that's like...not a trilogy but was themed around being shit." She asked, her voice sweet and devoid of her usually vaguely snarky inflection.

    "The Room, Foodfight, and Rapsitti Street Kids: Believe in Santa." He said, seeming content in his prison of large fuzzy sons.

    "...Could you repeat the last one?" Chris asked in stunned disbelief while your expression shifted to one of utter bafflement.

    "Trust me, even if you see it like, you still won't want to believe its real." She said without further explanation.

    "Human film names are...odd, unpoetic. But...simple I suppose." Alyrsero said with some thought.

    "Don't generalise." Arne sighed, looking at the Eldar, getting nods from the two Yurye.

    "We also have the sharknado series." Tyrius said.

    "...Sharknado? Shark...Tornado...series as in...multiple movies?" You said, your mind expanding to horizons never before thought possible.

    "Sharknado." Raelamiel replied, giving a sage nod.

    Movies to watch:
    []: Lord of the Rings
    []: The Hobbit Trilogy
    []: First few star trek movies
    []: Doctor Who series 1
    []: Matrix Trilogy
    []: Bill & Ted Trilogy
    []: Kung Fu Panda Trilogy
    []: How to Train your Dragon Trilogy
    []: Toy Story Tetralogy
    []: Monty Python & the quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python & The Life of Brian, Monty Python & The Meaning of Life
    []: The Room, Foodfight, and Battleship
    []: Sharknado Tetralogy
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Intermission 2: Paragonian Paragons (Part 5)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Monty Python & the quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python & The Life of Brian, Monty Python & The Meaning of Life

    Arne

    You vaguely heard of Monty Python as something cited as a tremendous influence on comedy throughout the ages. At least, among cultures that had some manner of connection to the anglosphere's traditions; long after the English language itself faded into oblivion. If you had heard of it, so many years after its creation; it had to be at least decent right? You were a bit hesitant, comedy is something that tends to age poorly. Jokes were deeply rooted into cultural contexts and you remained an outsider to the culture of the twenty-first century. As fluent as you were in its tongue, you haven't really consumed any of its media to any significant degree.

    Would you get it? If it's supposed to be a classic in this time period, would it be alright if you didn't laugh, you wondered. Troubling thoughts for your young mind to be sure, but you had to put on a brave face and not let on that you were being caught in a web of self-doubt. People needed to believe that you had things under control if they were to believe in you, so best to not deepen the seeds of doubt they might already have.

    You looked to Samus and pulled her over to whisper into her ear.

    "Maybe we could try Monty Python?" You asked, your voice quiet as you tried to not let them eavesdrop in. Easy enough when you could make the smallest sound your throat could manage and she'd easily be able to pick up on it. Easier still when you shared such a close psychic link.

    "Mmh, are you sure? It's just a comedy film from what I can tell. Maybe we could try something more intellectual?" She said back, eyes glancing towards you with that brilliant azure energy, quirked in questioning. You could swear that her eyes seemed a little brighter after absorbing the Brood King's genes in a safe, digestible manner. Perhaps a result of the rapidly awakening immaterial connections and prowess that was growing in both of your souls. Maybe from the awakening of many biological upgrades at once? Who could say.

    "Well, we've been using our heads more or less nonstop for three days. Maybe we should just...I dunno...relax a bit?" You suggested, often these discussions between the two of you were contests to see who was more committed to duty and not being the first to unwind themselves and relax. But at the moment something to just while away some time sounded good to you.

    "Oh fine...alright." She said, at first huffing before making a wry little smile to let you know that being upset was all just a little facade on her part.

    "We'll go with Monty Python!" She said, raising a finger to get the attention of Raelamiel who gave a sagely nod and then looked back at Joseph as he fumbled around with the device connected wirelessly to the projector, fingers tapping away at the keys to type in the title and a few mouse clicks setting the film to full screen, English subtitles and making sure the brightness was just right as the room went dark to let the projector work without interference.

    "Very...retrograde." Samus said as she looked at the projector. You had your own examination of it, mind breaking it down into its components. A simple light-emitting device that projected the image formed by the electronics within onto a screen that would "catch" the image without any noticeable artifacts or impact to the image quality. A cheap way to put an image onto a large surface, but certainly a hard cry from the holographic visual media you were used to; your eyes able to catch the fuzz that would be easily missed to normal human eyes from the low definition of the video.

    "Well, if it gets the job done..." You said, getting a nod of agreement from her.

    "Still, I could think of a dozen ways to improve it." She said, hrming as she nestled into your arm once you found your seat, your own head finding its way onto her shoulder as she pulled the nearest blanket around you until you settled into a comfortable spooning position on the nearest available couch. Quite warm and snug if you had to say so yourself.

    "Heh, something I thought I'd be saying." You said as you pulled a pillow up and laid your head against it.

    "Shhh, guys." Eleyra said as Alyrsero settled his head into Kaeliyae's lap quite close to yourself, letting her stroke his hair while Lelithax grumbled and snuggled a bit close to her; Ormothin sitting below Alyrsero as he scratched at the back of his head; getting a smile out of the exodite.

    Vista sat at the arm rest of the couch you were on, legs rather close to your head and looking down at you with a smirk; Chris propping up some pillows to sit below Samus while Zach and Quetzal flanked him, Raelamiel, Joseph, Tyrius, and Alice finding their way behind you on the rather large...couch bed...what is this thing exactly? Oh well...it's very comfortable and quite large.

    All in all, a very comfy cuddle pile.

    ...

    Hrm, there's something funky going on with the subtitles at the opening credits. Some bizarre diatribe about Moose making heavy abusage of nonstandard characters. There has to be something wrong with...no...no you sensed that it was just...Ah...Ahah.

    "Heh..." You let out a little chuckle once the causeways of destiny confirmed this was indeed intentional; Samus making a breathier giggle while Alyrsero raised a brow and Kaeliyae tittered out loud with little concern as to who heard, Tyrius simply smiling and Raelamiel spelling out "lmao".

    "What is a moose?" Ormothin asked.

    "Clearly some form of predator." Lelithax said with self-righteous arrogance, curving her lips into a cruel smirk.

    "...What...no...they're antlered herbivores." Chris said, looking at the Eldar girl like she had just spouted nonsense and quickly getting a scowl from her pulling her legs away from your own.

    Messages apologising for the inconvenience of the subtitle malfunction followed, trying to assure the audience that the situation had been resolved.

    It was not resolved.

    Laughter, infectious and bold, spread across the room a little more as an argument played out. You felt good.

    ...

    You were expecting many things, but the film being too cheap to show any horseback riding and simply having pretend galloping while someone banged coconuts together was definitely...it was something ridiculous enough to get Samus to laugh out loud.

    Kaeliyae laughed loudest, ever appreciative of comedy and only occasionally looking back at the other groups on different sitting surfaces before returning her focus to the film, her joy and cheer almost infectious in its radiance.

    What slew you though, was the question that gave voice to a wriggling seed of wonderment inside of your head. Where did he get those coconuts? Not simply the question, but the increasingly strange diatribe that followed.

    Migration, the habits of various forms of swallows, and bungled proverbs drowned out any attempt at forming conversation, and you couldn't help but let your belly convulse with some guffaws which only doubled as Arthur and Patsy left in disgust to leave the guards to their pointless questioning.

    ...

    "Bring out your dead!" So far the sequence looked joyless, a grotesque display of abject plague ridden misery that made your stomach do a few loops at the sight of such squalor.

    The Earthers, at least those who had already seen the film, were already giggling with anticipation. But you, the Eldar, and the Witwickys all remained silent.

    "I'm not dead!"

    It was there that the entire sequence devolved into farce.

    An impossible, absurd argument regarding the old man's state of mortality ensued, finally resolved with actively killing him to close the contradiction, getting widespread giggling.

    "Guess he is now." Korlanil said, causing the giggling to explode into true guffaws.

    Laughter than only intensified to shrieking when the King by right of not having shit all over him rode on by.

    ...

    "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not some farcical aquatic ceremony!"

    "I don't see why that's a joke...that's just true?" Samus said, a nod of agreement following from you, Alyrsero, and most others.

    "If some human wench lobbed a scimitar at me, she had better proclaim me Emperor." Lelithax snorted before Kaeliyae pinched her side and got a sharp "ow!" out of her.

    ...

    "Tis but a Scratch!"

    "Hrm, nurglite, or perhaps an Ork." Alyrsero said sagely.

    "I've had worse."

    "Maybe he's a regenerator?" You said before the Black Knight lost his other arm.

    It seemed to be over, Arthur was in prayer to God in thanks for victor-

    THUMP

    "Chicken!"

    THUMP

    "Chicken!"

    When the obvious was pointed out the response born of seeming insanity or simple brazen overconfidence of "It's just a flesh-wound." Brought the group to near tears.

    A leg came off, and he was still at it, boasting of his invincibility, the inevitability of his triumph, the sheer adamant refusal to even face the truth that he was crippled for life. Accusations of insanity were thrown and then ignored until the last limb came off and he finally conceded to a draw, only to be left ranting and raving as his foe left him behind; screaming impossible threats.

    This broke you, nobody maintained their composure.

    ...

    The sequence regarding Witch Burning seemed to land hardest on the Eldar who quickly exploded into unrestrained, howling laughter and excited chatter in Eltharin about certain habits of humanity and how recursive history truly was.

    Some of it felt a bit meanspirited though, sucking out a lot of your own mirth as you looked down to Lelithax in particular who was positively giddy with often cruel commentary on the "filth" of humanity.

    Until Alyrsero pinched her leg with his hand, getting another protest of "ow" from her and a small smirk from her sibling.

    She looked at you and Samus and then murmured. "I wasn't referring to you two...you are...interesting for half-humans..." She said, trying her best to not offend while Samus rolled her eyes.

    ...

    "It's only a model"

    "True." You muttered to yourself.

    The song that followed almost immediately caught you off guard; having turned off your distant sight to maintain the surprise of watching a film; a necessary thing to avoid knowing what you'd be watching in advance.

    The musical number seemed...generic in an intentional, farcical way even as it was periodically interrupted with cat abuse, serf abuse, and a stark reminder that this was the dark ages and dungeons were not nice places as an almost surreally happy prisoner clapped his hands for the beat.

    Then it got a bit meta, referring to how the rhymes they were given were often unsingable until concluding with "I have to push the pram-a-lot" out of nowhere.

    "Oh, such woes are well known to me. How could my empathy for them not be?" Kaeliyae said with a sad sigh once she calmed down.

    ...

    "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!" Such an esoteric insult made you start to wheeze out loud.

    The siege transcended into absurdity with thrown animals and a trojan horse reference the Eldar seemed utterly at a loss with until the laughter started again with the trojan rabbit being thrown back at the English with everything else.

    "They must be a mighty people, these French." Elendria said.

    ...

    "Brave sir robin ran away"

    Samus tried to contain her laughter behind puffed cheeks while the others started to snigger.

    "Bravely ran away away oh brave sir robin."

    "This bard is just bombing him with facts though?" Olla said with a smug smirk on her face.

    ...

    "Ni!"

    "Why are they reacting so negatively to that word?" Alyrsero asked.

    "Why is he so tall?" You pondered.

    ...

    "Aww, it's such a cute little thing!" Samus said with starry eyes as she stared at the little rabbit.

    "Yeah...maybe we could get one?" You offered as she looked at you, nodding with excitement.

    "One rabbit stew coming right up."

    "Oh the poor creature...I can't watch." Ormothin said, averting his gaze before you felt a shock through your system as the rabbit instead tore the man's head off in an eyeblink.

    The following battle was not one of glory or honour but a bunch of very silly men dying very ridiculously to a puppeted peril until finally their valour fell to the hollering and hooting laughter of the crowd watching,

    The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch though produced a look of recognition in Lelithax though.

    "Hrm, the Black Templars have those." She murmured before the angelic choir was followed by a sudden, thunderous detonation.

    ...

    "Until suddenly the animator had a fatal heart attack, and the cartoon peril was no more."

    "Convenient." You mused.

    ...

    The film ended the only way it could, a battle with the french followed by policemen from nowhere ending the entire film to the dumbfounded cackling of the group.

    ...

    Life of Brian was largely much less...universal. You were vaguely aware of the religious lore of Christianity but you never actually met anyone of the faith. Samus similarly, knew rather little of the religion save for that Ian was semi-practicing Jewish and that faith had an intertwined history with Christianity.

    There were some laughs, such as the stoning scene or the fumble of the Magi, but it just felt...not quite as universal? Seeming to require at least some basic familiarity with the story being parodied.

    The "splitter" sequence struck a chord though. Your mother wrote of so many movements that withered and faltered due to division over petty squabbles whenever the conditions for them began to wane. It wasn't funny so much as sad. Samus enjoyed it though, giggling mostly to herself.

    The conjugation scene sparked widespread laughter amongst both Earthers and outversers though.

    The "what have the romans ever done for us" scene made you angry though. You scowled while Samus ground at her teeth.

    Biggus Dickus slew you though. Unable to restrain yourself against the upswell in laughter at the stupidest of jokes.

    "He has a wife you know."

    Oh no...

    "Incontinentia Buttocks."

    "CEGORACH BLESSED MY SIDES!" Kaeliyae howled in ecstatic laughter until she started to...genuinely float into the air as she seemed to lose control of her telekinetics, Alyrsero grabbing at her leg and helping to pull her back down.

    "Darling, don't float so far from my reach." Alyrsero said quietly while Lelithax gave her a little smooch to the side of her mask.

    "How do you love someone you've never seen the face of?" You asked, getting a scornful glare from Lelithax and a sigh from Alyrsero as he rubbed at Ormothin's head while he renestled his scalp into his belly.

    "You don't need to see every pore to feel love for someone. As much as I would like to." He responded.

    "Her or me?" You said, Alyrsero looking away and coughing nervously while Samus tittered again.

    ...

    The alien sequence that followed was a bizarre segue with no explanation, no purpose beyond getting Brian out of danger, and scarcely any comprehensible dialogue beyond screaming, wacky sound effects and bad models.

    "The old human view of space warfare is...hrm...very silly." Idaliryn said, chewing on a nail a little.

    When it was over...no reference at all or even the barest acknowledgement was made. It happened, and it would be forgotten.

    ...

    The ending of the film was in what you suspected was true pythonesque direction; a farce as a pleasant tune was sung while Brian tried to find the "bright side of life" while he died on the cross.

    You didn't like it as much as the Holy Grail, but you felt like you just didn't jive with a lot of the cultural context. The Earthers loved it, but you, the Witwickys and the Eldar were often just confused.

    ...

    Meaning of Life felt at times, meanspirited. Filled with seething contempt for the great majority of people.

    "Every sperm is sacred" Had you in stitches though. The jokes about catholicism landed completely flat but the song itself was sung with such proud earnesty that you couldn't help but do your best impression of a baboon while it played.

    The film was mostly just kind of weird, though it had its stand out moments like a...oh my that is...definitely one way to do sex education. You bit your lower lip a bit and blushed.

    Using a song full of little facts about the universe to convince someone to part with their organs though was quite clever you admitted, but the jokes and skits all had that meanspirited energy you weren't fond of, while Samus seemed to mostly just scowl at a lot of the darker humour.

    Your eyebrows raised at the sight of the man choosing to die by being chased by a large number of topless, uncensored young women off a cliff though, but the Grim Reaper's meeting with the Americans fell flat because you had quite frankly; not a very good idea of how Americans worked.

    The meaning of life being a short list of empty platitudes got you to laugh though, chuckling to yourself. While everyone here had gone through you and Samus' ships for enhancements, most of you were nodding off shortly after the last credits rolled and the projector turned off. gathering in a single massive pile of about thirty six teenagers and several dogs all on a single couch bed as they merged through magic; some snuggling with each other, others keeping to themselves.

    Your dreams were quieted by the presence of so many other esoterics, though you felt the horizons that you could see in your dreamscape expand significantly. Nothing eventful happened in your sleep, which was fortunate given your tendency towards nightmares. Though some of your dreams were less than safe for print.

    You woke up some time later, at what you figured was about eight or so, Samus stirring as the two of you untangled from each other's arms and slowly picked yourselves up.

    "Hey guys, we've got breakfast in the kitchen if you'd like. Or maybe we could go out, try some pancake place. I've got school though so I've only got an hour. But if you want I guess I could bring some of you as like...guests and we could eat at Statesman?" Alice said, standing in front of you and waving her hand in front of you as you rubbed your eyes and looked up.

    "Huh...I..." You said before blinking a few times and shaking your head.

    Ah, November third was a Wednesday this year.

    "Or maybe I dunno, you could just explore around the base or Paragon...or hang around with some of the kids who don't attend class." She said, shrugging her shoulders.

    Actions:

    []: Have breakfast as a group in the dorm kitchens.
    []: Go out to a restaurant for breakfast.
    []: Visit/attend Statesman Hero School for a day.
    []: Explore the Starsetter Base
    []: Roam around paragon for a bit
    []: Hang with the starsetters who don't attend school.
    []: Spend time inside to learn about this dimension from afar.
    []: Write in
     
    Arc 1: Fourfold Endeavour: Act 1: Intermission 2: Paragonian Paragons (Part 6)
  • Princet Valiant

    Nonbinary Judeo-Bolshevik
    Pronouns
    Fae/Faer
    [X]: Have breakfast as a group in the dorm kitchens.

    Samus

    "It'd be hard for us to have breakfast together if we go out...so...." You said, letting the set up build some anticipation even though what you were going to say next was obvious to even the most socially inept. You looked to the kitchen past some wall dividers and then back to the group who were now hanging on your reply, with many of them; especially Korlanil, giving you a look that just screamed "get on with it".

    "Let's have breakfast together!" You proposed, a cheery smile forming on your face as the idea sprang out of your mouth.

    "Hrm, can't say I'm looking forward to the experience of more human cooking." Idaliryn said with a frown across his ethereally perfect face. The Eldar were almost annoyingly good looking honestly, features almost seeming to have been purposely designed to be bewitching and appealing. Though you've been told that you had a similar sort of beauty, where everyone seemed to just sort of gravitate towards you and your countenance.

    "It's not going to be human cooking, ya'll gonna be getting some proper angelfood." Raelamiel said, refreshed with crystal blue eyes that seemed to almost shine as she quickly dashed off to the kitchen to start her work, Tyrius rolling his shoulders and following suit with Dawnmaker and Duskkeeper in tow.

    "...I fail to see how your angelic nature necessarily leads to a better understanding of my palette. But you have my interest for now, Raelamiel." Idaliryn said folding his arms while Alyrsero sprinkled some leaves into a cup of water and let fire dance around his finger tips as a result of his psychic energies.

    "You haven't seen her cook." Joseph said, sipping on some hot cocoa while you looked on rather enviously at all these sweets, biting your lower lip.

    ...

    It took about fifteen minutes for all the food to be ready, everyone gathered at a long table, Arne sitting next to you; Alyrsero sitting across from you, Alice on the side of him that Kaeliyae wasn't occupying, Chris on the other side of you, Vista besides Arne.

    Raelamiel delivered piping hot plates of pancakes, poached eggs, salmon, crepes, toast, jars of nutella, honey, syrup, and chocolate sauce; all home made by herself, and cups of coffee or soda brewed or carbonated herself across the table; going about as fast as she could manage to make sure everyone had access to the offered meal and any second helpings they might want; flying or using her spells where she needed to reach.

    You took a look at some of the chocolate rolled pancakes and felt your mouth watering slightly, Arne wiping a little fleck of drool that came out of your mouth before it could drip where others could see. You didn't really eat all that well yesterday; though technically you didn't really need to eat all that much with your supernatural metabolism, or at all really...you hadn't had anything properly tasty in a while. Not for two days at least.

    "Bon appetite babes." Raelamiel said, offering two finger pistols and her best effort at a wink, though a minute frown crept its way onto her face for a brief moment before she settled back down with Tyrius. Tyrius cringed visibly at the sight of Clockblocker eating with too much gusto and enthusiasm, his breathing growing tense and shallow and his pupils dilating with the telltale signs of a PTSD attack. You weren't exactly privy to the visions that his mind was blasted with by the Gestalt Chorus of the Imperial Tyranids, but whatever they were, they held power over him long after he had been pushed away from the beasts.

    Galen looked at his arm, a grown replacement for the severed one created by induced regeneration; wriggling his fingers as if he couldn't quite believe it was real. From what you heard, had his armour not immediately cauterised the point where the bonesword cut through and sealed the stump in tandem with autobot medical nanites rushing to save him; he'd have lost more than the arm. And even then he was violently ill until Perceptor managed to administer an biogen antidote.

    Marcus rubbed at his side, having also had a close brush with death. While his incarnate nature helped to prevent him from getting assimilated as soon as his skin was exposed or the spike pierced into him, he faded in and out of consciousness under incredible agony until brought to a biopod for a full cleansing of his system. Afterwards, he made sure the incarnate power he forged from the gathered threads was one that could cleanse afflictions, and he still touched where the spike had been stuck into him.

    Dawnmaker seemed to be...mostly fine. He'd probably seen far too much over his combined lifetimes to be bothered, but you noticed Joseph and Alice had issues looking at bubbles, memories of flesh sacs pulsating with rapidly growing new life still strong.

    The Eldar though...all seemed to be almost despicable fine. Most of them laughing or joking amongst themselves about what just transpired.

    You ate a bit, though the red serpent of anger began to coil around in your stomach as you felt a heat in your heart. It wasn't right for them to be so...okay with everything. Even Idaliryn who had a brush with death himself that only his psychic prowess and Ormothin's ministrations saved him from seemed to be...okay mostly. He was more quiet than most, but he wasn't letting it affect him.

    Arne and yourself had seen plenty of awful things, but so far few things were ever so...viscerally disgusting as that. The constant screaming desire to eat, to feed, to absorb and make what was beyond part of what was within. Few foes had ever been so single-mindedly rapacious or utterly unconcerned of casualty or risk to themselves. And why would they be? They were alive at a subatomic level, to be arranged and rearranged over and over and over and...

    Arne put a hand on your shoulder and looked down at you, smiling softly.

    "We'll be fine." He said. He was shaken yes, but facing against endless hordes and constant psychic pressure was not exactly strange to him. He weathered the storm pretty alright. He seemed relaxed even, though how much of that was really just having the emotional fortitude and how much was just him being good at bottling it up was something he wasn't forthcoming with.

    "Want some juice?" He asked, getting a nod out of you before he poured you a bottle, though you noticed he wasn't using his hand to hold it. Your jaw dropped slightly and your eyes widened, prompting Arne to look at the bottle and then almost fumble with his telekinetic grip before Alyrsero reached out to the spilling liquid and lifted it; telekinetically bringing the grape juice back inside of its container and averting a catastrophic spill all over the tablecloth.

    "...Arne you." You said, as you reached for a fork and it just...flew into your hands.

    "I..."

    "You awakened something in yourself when you absorbed the dying tyranids' essence. Your soul already burnt blindingly bright, but now its radiance is something rather more...incomparable." Alyrsero said, playing with some lump of clay that moulded itself into a highly detailed figurine with a thought and a touch before he took a bite out of a crepe with nutella spread on it after folding it into a roll.

    He paused a bit, then looked at the crepe again; and then ate more judiciously with his next few bites, actually chewing his food rather than swallowing as quickly as possible as he had with the PRT base's cooking and nodding with a pleased smile.

    "...This is...actually very good." Alyrsero said while Kaeliyae turned herself around to eat without showing her face.

    "I can teach you if you're up for it. Maybe while we're busy doing...whatever it is we're supposed to be doing for a week." Alyrsero huffed.

    "Seven days to cool my heels...may as well ask me to retire." Elendria huffed though she nodded approvingly of the meal she was busily quaffing down.

    "It's not so bad, I have time to do my work at least." Clarioli said quietly as she gradually worked her way through her food, one bite after the other. Methodically, patiently. Her eating was economical and efficient, never slowing down or accelerating except when she was talking. Almost robotic even.

    "Well, I think I would like that! But you do have a point...a week is an awfully long time to do...nothing." You sighed and sipped on your drink a little, letting out a small huff before you worked your way through some salmon, which you had seen raelamiel conjure from thin air. Though the eggs smelled nice...the idea of eating eggs still seemed sacrilegious to you, like eating a baby. Even if it was a conjured egg, you couldn't force yourself to go through with it and instead just focused on other protein sources.

    "Well, with the autobots adding to their patrols...I think we'll be fine with a week off." Arne said, laying back slightly before cutting off a slice of rolled up crepe and then putting it into his mouth via fork. Chewing thoroughly before swallowing with his next bite. "I've got ideas for projects to work on in the mean time, if you're up for it." He said to you, getting a nod from you while Vista scorched slightly closer to him and offered him some soda, getting a thanks out of him and a smile that made her beam.

    She had it bad for him, you thought as you accepted an offer of coffee from Chris and sipped at the...okay this wasn't as bad as you were expecting coffee to be. The caffeine did absolutely nothing for you, but the mocha went down smoothly and gently, going down your throat and leaving a bit of a pleasant aftertaste in your mouth before you started on your third pancake.

    You thanked him, and saw him give you a thumbs up and a courteous you're welcome that you gave a simple nod of acknowledgement to while Alyrsero whispered to Kaeliyae, careful to not look into her hood while he spoke to her. The idea of him and Lelithax...and others probably...the love relations in that pack of eight seemed complex and confusing to follow for outsiders...loving her while not even knowing what she looked like baffled you, but it seemed to work.

    She tittered a bit in response, your ears picking up a whispered conversations bout how interesting he found your dalliances or the interest you seemed to pull towards yourself like a magnet.

    She set the plate she was finished with behind herself while Vista wiped at the edges of her plate with some toast to make sure the whole thing was clean; eating the cheese and egg soaked bread in a few bites afterwards and letting the aroma melt in her mouth before you finished your third pancake for the morning; Arne working his way through a generous salmon steak and some vegetables like a starving man; though he made sure to restrain himself every time he caught Tyrius' eyes looking over his direction.

    "Since we can't go on patrol...what should we do?" Olla asked, rubbing at her brother's arm after whispering that everything was going to be fine, helping him get used to the sensation of having a limb there again as he breathed out and nodded; Raelamiel still occasionally sniffing everytime she looked at red jam that reminded her of the blood she saw everywhere.

    "Well, if you guys want to hang with us...Alice, Darla, Ivan, Aronim, Elerya, Aiko and I have class." Joseph said with a small nod.

    "Dawnmaker and Duskkeeper don't go to school, Tyrius and Raelamiel are going to need R&R, Marcus is also on mandatory rest." He said with a shrug.

    "Aw damn, didn't pack any autumn appropriate civvies. Gonna have to play hookie." Clockblocker declared, Dennis folding his arms behind his back and smiling broadly, then looking to you with a bit of a smile; you promised to him that as soon as they could get his father to your ship; you'd treat his cancer, and he was grateful for that.

    "What? It's a hero school, of course you go in costume." Joseph said like Dennis had just gone crazy or something.

    "...Huh, weird." Dennis said, squinting.

    "I mean...that sounds cool actually. Much nicer than Arcadia." Chris said.

    "What could I possibly learn from human teachers?" Lelithax said, folding her arms.

    "How to be less of a bitch for one." Aiko said, the normally quiet Mistral Slash making her voice loud and clear as Lelithax bared sharpened teeth and snarled like a dinosaur while Korlanil sniggered next to her.

    "Oh go on Leli, kill 'em." He said in a tone that left you unsure if he was joking before Kaeliyae pulled at Lelithax's ear lobes gently but firmly, getting a squeak out of the ravenette as she sat herself back down and looked sheepishly towards the ground.

    "...Sorry..." She muttered.

    Actions: What to do after breakfast?

    []: Head to statesman school as an exchange student for a bit to learn more about how superpowered kids live here. (Has crafting facilities)
    []: Head back to Brockton and check on the PRT base.
    []: Tour Hero One university (has advanced research and crafting facilities, more grown up heroes hang out there)
    []: Tour the Startsetter base (has crafting facilities, mostly younger and nonhuman heroes)
    []: Go shopping for a bit...normal kids do that in this decade right?
    []: Visit a park or a Zoo for some relaxing outdoors.
    []: Try out these video games they have
    []: Just chill with the heroes who have to stay back and learn from the Elf how to do Dreamhell Magic.
    []: Write in
     
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