Date: 5:37:57 PM, November 19th, 2017.
Metal Man (GM): Recap
Previous session in a nutshell:
Freaky stuff in Anthon's old office. Kit Redgrave using The Book to remove a bunch of crazy space portals. Alt-Nonna throwing a fit, getting beaten up, summoning and un-summoning Kales Brando. Weird alien guy rescued her and said he was so hated that if the Questers knew who he was they would kill him. Then a map left behind suggesting there's an alternate Rendar named Rander and there's multiple planned places to hit--and one of the next ones would be Anthon's CURRENT office.
The Questers are still on Rendar, and were on their way to inform Anthon of the freakiness that happened.
Nonna: "Even though the big players have already made their entrance, there could still be more out there." *She'd radio to Anthon once they were out of the distortion.*
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Maybe for once we can figure out this before a planet is in doom of exploding."
Metal Man (GM): You leave the office, and now you can radio.
Nonna: *R* "Grandfather."
Valron: "Hopefully not..."
Anthon Tark: *R* "Hello. I heard a lot of noise out there. What's going on?"
Valron: *R* "We had somethin' of a throwdown with Alt-Nonna."
Nonna: *R* "First, the passphrase."
*R* "Beware the towering unknown beyond our reality."
Anthon Tark: *R* "Right, that's the correct one."
Nonna: *R* "It turns out our alternate dimension friends come from a mirrored version of Rendar, known as Rander."
*R* "They are able to get access to Rendar by means of portals that are tied to specific locations. This old office of yours was one such location. Where Kales appeared was another. And you're sitting in a third."
Anthon Tark: *R* "Ah... when you come in, I have some explanation of my own, then. This doesn't sound too strange to me..."
*R* "There's some very top level stuff that involves how Rendar was created... it seems all of this is a result of it, in some way."
Metal Man (GM): Guards would variously open the doors to allow access to the secure meeting room--Anthon's office, in this case.
Metal Man (GM): Once everyone's inside, the doors shut--security and all.
Anthon Tark: *R* "Well, as far as I can tell, yes."
Metal Man (GM): The final door would open that would bring you to the third location... no unusual characters inside it at the moment.
This office is rather different. It looks like a science lab.
Anthon Tark: "It'll take some time to move everything, but..."
Metal Man (GM): The room is full of a variety of machines. Standing in the room alongside you are a bunch of... reploid-style soldiers.
Anthon Tark: "Anything that comes in here is in for a beatdown. That's not counting this, either."
Metal Man (GM): He taps a force field around him.
Anthon Tark: "The Alsan Questers long ago tried to kidnap me. Ever since, I've expected whoever to come right in and try it again. If you have intel that suggests they're coming here... excellent. I'll move out of here and leave all the traps.
It can be a room that exists solely to ruin the people trying to attack Rendar."
Nonna: "I believe you mentioned something about the creation of Rendar."
Anthon Tark: "Yes, that."
Metal Man (GM): Anthon cranks a knob and starts a projector.
It shows Alsa -- Circa the "Alsan Quester Crisis."
Anthon Tark: "Long ago, I was in charge of Alsa. Well, technically this was the second time. If you asked me then, I would have refused to leave. I had gotten back into power despite being extremely old and extremely unsupported.
It was my entire plan to never leave. Of course, if I hadn't, we wouldn't be talking right now.
You see, long ago, my hometown had been destroyed. It was called Casinopolis. Not that anybody on Alsa would remember that now... or even here... I try not to speak about it much, it's still something raw to me.
Worse yet, reploids had taken over the wreckage of it. Of course, I did them one worse and made Reploids serve me, instead."
Metal Man (GM): The reploids in the background salute.
Anthon Tark: "It turns out those Repliforce people were looking for a competent commander the entire time. The man they called Commander and the other they called Colonel were nothing more than stooges made by a person named Panzer, so they couldn't respect either of them. Of course, there was a problem. You see, in the normal timeline, none of this ever happened.
I should have died long ago.
And there shouldn't have BEEN reploids here... or there... or anywhere.
That whole business with the Mad Men? It broke reality.
The ability to predict the future, accurately... and nobody ever thought twice about abusing it once it was determined it could be done.
First Eggman did it, then, when it betrayed him in favor of us, we at GUN did it.
It was known I would die--multiple times over. I evaded my death.
So did Jacob. So did Marley. So did Molly.
Molly's pact with it was better than good. We were literally above death itself!
...But it all comes at a price.
In the original timeline, a fairly unspectacular war occurs. I and the other 'Mad Men' people are all dead. The resulting Robotnik-run hellhole is destroyed by Sonic.
Robotnik eventually dies after repeating the mistakes of his grandfather.
Nonna does come to exist, but you see. I have my every suspicion that alternate Nonna came from the original timeline.
The problem is, the problem of envy.
What we have is better than... what the original world got.
So they figure, if they kill us, they can take our place. Not just them, eithe--"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "So that's why Illian came in here and messed with things?"
Anthon Tark: "I don't know the particulars, but did he also go on about wanting artifacts from this world?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "He pretty much exclusively hunted them. Ivan Robotnik wanted them too. Kuja wanted them..."
Louisoix: "Makes sense, anyway."
Valron: "Mind, he was very single-minded in his plots, and ignored certain other artifacts."
Anthon Tark: "This world is different. Magic flows from every pore."
Valron: "Never you mind some of the other shit that I don't think we've picked up on yet."
Anthon Tark: "It effects people differently, but that basic envy is what drives the conflict. The problem is, it is not easily fixable.
There would be no Time Cops if it were easy."
Louisoix: "Though its rather blind. People change. Replacing Nonna with her evil twin means only that said twin wouldn't exactly be all that satisfied."
Anthon Tark: "It is true. They usually go insane upon realizing that. Panzer, for example, realized it all too late.
She created Colonel, her lost love from her home dimension.
Then wondered why he was never the same."
Editor's Note: Another aspect was that she idolized an imaginary Colonel that never existed: the original was a very flawed failure who reacted irrationally to a legitimate question of "Were you or any of your forces involved in the recent disaster?"
Valron: *He glances over at Schnelltott for a moment* "...Though it makes me wonder what that other guy Alt-Nonna is in cahoots with is planning if he didn't think much of just letting us have this..."
Anthon Tark: "Wait, he just let you have that?"
Louisoix: "Its best to observe than to take hold in those situations. They could have simply visited instead of trying to explode us or whatever."
Anthon Tark: "And you didn't test it for traps? I'd suggest you have it scanned by our people first.
It could contain anything."
Valron: "I think the fact that Kales Brando originally owned it was enough to dissuade anyone from trying to... yeah. Fair."
Louisoix: "No, I suppose we didn't. I guess this is the moment of truth, then." *Waits for it to explode, but probably not.*
Anthon Tark: "It clearly isn't doing anything to us actively right now. Even if it did, this room is isolated, so any transceivers it may have on it would fail."
Nonna: "So, that's how I'd end up."
Valron: "Mind, I did give it a bit of brain-boxing and it's... weird. It's made from the same stuff that's used to power Mad Man abilities, except... it takes the idea of dismantling things a bit more literally."
Anthon Tark: "It's best we scan it outside this room, in case it explodes. Made out of similar technology? ...that only means it could tell you whatever it wants to do."
Louisoix: "Though I suppose it would be best to make sure they don't do the opposite thing of breaking everything because they can't have it."
Anthon Tark: "I mean, think of it. That means your ability to scan it, it can also understand.".
"Some sort of supertechnology..."
Valron: "I'm kinda wondering what'd happen if I were to channel my energy cascade through it..."
Anthon Tark: "It can tell you it's a dinosaur if it wants to."
Valron: "There's a lot of strange variables afoot, here."
Anthon Tark: "The Mad Man technology is being able to manipulate the ether in this world. Literally rewriting parts of reality.
It's why there's a 'Book' that does it, that's just an encyclopedia.
You have to know the right words, the right pieces, but once you do. You're off to the races."
Valron: "Mm. I see, I see..."
Anthon Tark: "...Anyway, if we could move that device outside the room, so it doesn't, like, summon evil in here..."
Metal Man (GM): A reploid gestures to take the sword.
Anthon Tark: "I'll have it scanned with our scanners as well. You can have it back the moment we leave this room.
I'm not Borne. That guy's a prick."
Valron: "Sounds good to me." *He hands the sword over.*
Anthon Tark: "Just... don't... want another Eggman-level incident."
Valron: "Don't blame you."
Metal Man (GM): The robot takes it and without incident, opens the door, and places it in a scanner, gesturing to show you where it is outside the door, then closes it and the door.
Valron: "I mean, I'd rather not lose my soul in the recycling bin for another eight years, myself."
Anthon Tark: "Good thing about the reploids anyway. They don't have souls, so evil magic doesn't work right on them. You'd be amazed at the frowny face that Mad Molly made when she tried to mind control them and they shot her."
Valron: "I can imagine."
Anthon Tark: "I fixed the Maverick thing... apparently your Dr. Light released a virus to clean that. Granted, it isn't 100% gone. In that they are truly free willed.
They are more freely willed than any reploid before.
Some did in fact leave and do their own thing... but I just let them.
Now where was I? Oh, right. Reploids destroying the ruins of Casinopolis.
As Panzer said..."
Metal Man (GM): He plays a hologram of Panzer.
Panzer (Hologram): "Colonel doesn't work on diplomacy. I've ensured that."
Anthon Tark: "If I hadn't changed my mind, Neo-Casinopolis would be where we are now. But of course. We're not there. Instead, I protected Westopolis from further Alsan Quester incursion.
All was good. Then Sloan began..." *He sighs.* "Blowing up the bathrooms.
What was that man's problem???
At least Nonna, here, killed him. Our bathrooms haven't been exploded since."
Valron: "I have no idea, honestly. That man was just all sorts of whacked-out."
Anthon Tark: "In the flux of further chaos on Alsa, an election occurred, and I ran for president, while Sloan most likely continued bothering people for no reason."
Nonna: "You never know. People like him aren't entirely unique in the end."
Anthon Tark: "Sadly, people weren't really in favor of me being leader again, after that infamous Eggman incident, so I didn't poll very well. Eventually, Panzer realized I was better than Colonel at leading things. Borne was leading the world after his idiotic populism got him elected, but, well, the whole Time Cop war caused him to vanish. While he was gone, he..." *Sighs* "Created a book warehouse full of endless rules. I was to only be able to assume power if I read all of them.
I had given up, but then Panzer decided to destroy the entire warehouse full of rulebooks, and there wasn't anything else to say I couldn't become head of GUN.
I locked these people out. They claimed to be Questers but, well, you look at them."
Metal Man (GM): He shows a security image of the SSQ:I Brawlers.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Oh. Hahah! Those... Brawler people."
Valron: "Oh, yeah. Those guys. They weren't... especially effective."
Anthon Tark: "They looked like their main interaction with my extensive warehouse of Alsan magic would be to accidentally die from the books falling on them. I'd seen enough innocent people die senselessly. I wasn't about to let lost teenagers join the list.
Sadly, they then decided to try to kidnap me. So I ran them down with the Death Train mecha.
Well, the Questers, anyway... the Brawlers I let run away. Even with them after me, I wasn't about to kill them.
I have a sense of honor, as you know. Stepping on confused teenagers who'd been deceived by crazy criminals... evil.
After Demon over there got pasted across 4 floors of building they left me alone.
It was Sloan who arranged that blasphemy, anyway.
Apparently vandalism wasn't exciting enough for him anymore.
I created a deadly missile project to keep them away."
Metal Man (GM): Anthon takes out an old set of newspapers.
'QUESTERS ATTEMPT ASSASSINATION OF ANTHON TARK' 'ANTHON TARK PLANS GIANT PLANET-DESTROYING MISSILE TO CRUSH QUESTERS'
Anthon Tark: "I also invaded the Mushroom Kingdom. Those Toads had it coming.
They kept harboring those Koopa things that were attacking us."
Gelato: *He's crunching on mints like popcorn while listening, laying down.*
Louisoix: "Never met a Toad."
Anthon Tark: "They're people with weird white and red hats, and screechy voices. Never accept if they offer for you to go to 'Chance Time'--it's a ploy to steal your stuff.
They harbor rigged dice and evil houses in which only people with mustaches get prizes."
Valron: "..." *He just gives a blank look for a moment, before shaking his head* "...Sometimes, this all just sounds like a really messed up fever dream."
Anthon Tark: "It is, in a way. We messed with time, so it's messed with us back. Never was I supposed to encounter these Toad people either, after all.
But there they were, and I was taking them over. Because they were still enslaved by a strange backwards monarchy.
That, and their 'Republic' was a front created by Alsan Questers.
Which harbored anti-GUN plotters.
I was doing it to clean up the mess they left behind."
Nonna sits down.
Anthon Tark: "I took control without violence, because the citizens didn't even want what the Alsan Questers had created. This guy decided to talk with me... his name was Digi.
He tried to tell me crazy people were to be tolerated.
I told him the only way to deal with them was to kill them--that is, crazy as in, you know. The supervillains.
It was some stupid slang back then, calling things 'the crazies', the fault of an idiot named Julian. Anyways...
That Digi person though, he didn't plan to talk in good graces. Oh no. He did it to distract me while they freed tyrannical dictator Daisy Koopa from her prison.
If you do see him, do me a favor and arrest him. He's still in need of a trial."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Ah. You and me both. He deserted the Questers."
Anthon Tark: "...We should really send an inter-dimensional expeditionary force to round him up some day."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Well, uh, we have to focus on the now. So... about this Rendar / Rander thing?"
Anthon Tark: "Oh, right, we're almost there, sorry about that, but it's convoluted."
Valron: "Is this where the helicopter comes into play?"
Anthon Tark: "Soon. The other reason I was taking over the Mushroom Republic was to ban Questers from Alsa. I wish I knew about you guys. I would have just... encouraged you to come to Alsa instead."
Xavier Ridgecrest: *Shrugs* "We weren't a force back then, yet."
Anthon Tark: "There were these guys in silver armor called the Galactic Federation. All they were good at was dyin' horribly to space aliens, so I invaded them next. Things start to take a turn when I revisit the ruins of Casinopolis.
Or as you might have known it, the Reploid city that those Repliforce people made.
They all died en masse in some weird suicide... basically Panzer no longer liked how things were going and so they all went down with her.
I'd told her from the start that she had been doing nothing but letting nostalgia drive her, and that was the result.
Anyway, the city was full of technology I'd never seen before.
It was when I began to realize that Casinopolis was, itself, nostalgia.
I was gonna fall into the same trap Panzer did, if I had decided to just rebuild it there.
So instead I focused on the technology, and banning the Brawler people from Alsa.
I became capable of warping through time and space with the captured technology.
At first I decided to settle a bunch of grudges, so I went to kill Jack.
I lured him in with Marley. Marley then died. I used the statues to predict the future, and thus severely injured Jack. Sadly, I didn't know about Stupor Illian out there manipulating fate, only that I couldn't kill Jack. Fate wouldn't let me.
With most of Alsa in my grasp, you must wonder right now.
Why aren't we on Alsa right now with me as leader of Alsa?
Heck, I had my reploid soldiers fly onto Red Text's station. It was about time I killed him, after all.
But here we finally reach what began Rendar.
I fought them to a standstill.
But I couldn't seem, no matter what kind of timey wimey powers I stuffed into my helicopter... fate wouldn't let me kill Red Text, or that mischievous Alsan Quester either. In fact, I couldn't defeat Borne. He was revived from the dead and had his stupid army ready to go.
...But I realized, there was no point. I could go to whatever world I wanted.
I went to parallel dimensions. I saw how they went. I saw the difference between them and this world.
The Time Cops, thanks to an utterly stupid thing they had agreed to, were unable to interfere while the Brawlers fought Evil Wolfman.
In that time, I founded Rendar by warping back in time to this planet.
I took over an alternate world's GUN to supply my soldiers.
Their descendants are the ones who form Rendar's GUN.
Though I hated Sloan, I traded with his world at first, because nobody else would accept the world I had helped make.
A problem began to occur. Borne remained as an enemy.
He would, sooner or later, destroy Rendar.
So I contacted Sloan and Garrick. I figured, they should die on my behalf trying to defeat him.
Once Garrick had overpowered Borne, my men and I also took over the main city of Alsa's GUN. I figured I may as well.
Garrick, of course, betrayed me after he saw what I was doing. But I blew up the floor he was on, and figured he was dead.
Ultimately I moved on, and after taking the last pieces of information, went back to here for good.
Alsa was later flattened by the whole... Stupid Illian guy or something.
Anyway. Rander is the alternate world. I died. Nonna most likely went there instead.
In that universe most of the humans were basically second class civilization-wise.
Without the magic apocalypse most of the mobian sorts ruled the world and the few humans were in specific areas.
I won't lie. That Alt-Nonna character has reached out to me before.
But all her suggestions were horrid and tainted with bitterness.
She wanted to kill the people on her home planet. She wanted to pull a Julian and occupy their cities and build things atop them. She wanted to be like a rogue Time Cop and detonate some weapon to erase this world and capture its power. It all seemed like some weird prank.
But I can be certain what she wants now. She wishes to take the weapons from this world and use it to rule this world--or her own--or whatever she can, in her desperation, force into her grasp.
She doesn't understand what I did--that trying to rebuild something that's gone is impossible.
It'll never be the same.
Panzer failed that test, but in her failure, I learned to not do that."
Nonna: "Given that this universe is filled with those who found success in changing history and screwing with other worlds for their own benefit, it's not hard to see why she assumed she could do it, too."
Louisoix: "Fair enough. Sort of this world's penance. Many worlds were probably made in the vain attempt to improving their own lives."
Nonna: "And yet, she must accept her world and timeline for how it is if she truly wishes to rise above it. If she cannot, then we will surely face her again."
Anthon Tark: "The only reason Rendar stuck is that I accepted that it was never going to be the same as Alsa. This world? It's devoid of much in the way of magic. The previous inhabitants sucked the magic out long ago and died in a cataclysm.
Mad Man esque madness, therefore, is much more rare here."
Nonna: "And in the worst case scenario, we will have to kill her."
Anthon Tark: "I accept that we do. And unlike Jack, fate won't protect her. Since you killed Omnus, that also surfaces something else."
Nonna: "Someone else is protecting her."
Anthon Tark: "No longer are Time Cops ghoulishly awaiting my death... so while I do plan to die eventually, it can be after the threat of the world ending is over. Omnus was the one who Mad Molly programmed to be fixated on my death. Autumnus really doesn't care.
Mostly because I don't care about him either. He left Rendar alone.
Most I ever heard out of him was 'You voluntarily put aside your Time device? I guess I don't have to blow you up then.'
Of course I just fooled him by giving it all to you people but, he doesn't need to know that."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "For good measure we stole some of his devices so it shouldn't be figured out by him anyway."
Anthon Tark: "Someone else is protecting her? Who? I guess it would make sense if she found a replacement Anthon. Sickening as that is. She should be able to fend for herself.
I mean, you would be able to do so if I passed, after all, Nonna."
Nonna: "His appearance did not ring any bells, but once we had her on the ropes, he swooped in like a knight to defend her. He claimed to hold the identity of one we would be enraged upon learning."
Anthon Tark: "Huh. Well he isn't Sloan, so I'm uncertain... Who else would enrage people here?
Probably not Jack either..."
Valron: "Yeah, it was strange. He said we'd probably want to kill him if we knew, which is... not something you'd usually hear. Didn't really remind me of anyone I'd have problems with."
Louisoix: "Same, unless he's like, alternate me or something, but even then I'm not sure what level of angry that would be."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "He certainly didn't behave like Julian or Aetos."
Louisoix: "Then again I also didn't look like a strange freaky alien back then."
Valron: "...Unless he's secretly that guy who owes me over 420,000 coins with... however many years of interest."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Who is that guy? I recall Nodal owed me coins, but then he paid me back, then he annoyed me so much I wanted him dead. He wasn't a person person though, he was some... weird thing."
Valron: "Some dude who headed a mage's guild back on Nintendus and ascended to godhood."
Nonna: "Could it have been a manifestation of Autumnus?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Tirk Tovnic? Huh... I forgot about him."
Valron: "Yeah, him."
Louisoix: "An alternate reality Toad?"
Anthon Tark: "Autumnus could be whatever he well like so maybe..."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Which one blew up the Stadium again? ...He certainly wasn't Kuja or Zio or Dr. Wily..."
Louisoix: "I thought a lot of people blew it up."
Valron: "I just mainly remember the thing about the coins because he shunted me off to an alternate-universe Nintendus and I got all of them stolen by that universe's Klumsy for some arbitrary reason or another. ...It was a really strange day, is the idea."
Anthon Tark: "Well, the identity of that person is probably of interest. It is most likely why that Nonna hasn't been stopped yet. Also the scan on that weapon is very interesting. It was full of tracking devices.
We removed them. Well, most of them.
I placed one of them on a ship flying towards those Solarian suns that are rumored to explode at random.
I hope they follow it.
I'm sure they'll like what they see."
Valron: "I'm sure they will."
Nonna: "We certainly have our work cut out for us."
Valron: "That's just a fact of life at this point, Nonna."
Anthon Tark: "Also a recorder which only managed to grab one or two random lines you said while walking here. Naturally I filled it with several dictionaries full of trash and then overloaded whatever was listening with it, then had it smashed. The sword is... ...now probably safe, although one has to be careful... the purpose of so many, so easily found devices may be to hide something worse. So I had them create a special sheath that blocks out all signals so you can have it holstered and only take it out when you need to kill something.
Just in case there's like, something stupid inside it."
Valron: "That's... probably for the best."
Anthon Tark: "Now I won't tell you what to do, but, I do know Autumnus' forces have mysteriously decided to stop buzzing my ships and harass everything I do. Whatever you did, it's made it fairly easy for you to go deal with those Alt-people-things out there... oh, and I keep hearing reports of killer robots flying around near... where was it... right, Erastia."
Louisoix: "We pissed off some guys there and sent them to deal with another idiot. Who knows how long that will last."
Valron: "...Oh, they're back on their BS. I was hoping sending them towards Alt-Nonna's satellite would've distracted them for a bit longer than it did, especially after that 'Grand Illian' or whatever popped up." *Shrugs.*
Nonna: "People just don't want to leave Erastia alone, do they?"
Anthon Tark: "I was warned by Omnus and Autumnus that anyone who has Erastia basically never stops being attacked, and the hapless Celian Administrator they'd placed there was really just a patsy they were taking bets on how long until he fell. On that note, I did hear rumors he was also out there on the fringes of space, somewhere near the place that giant radioactive explosion with the killer robots you flew away from happened.
If you had some interest in him, anyway.
He has apparently become less and less able to hide due to losing his benefactors."
Valron: "I'd imagine. We did kinda ruin pretty much everything he had going for him."
Anthon Tark: "So with that noted, I'm going to move out of this office. I'll put a bunch of traps in here for whatever is going to invade."
Metal Man (GM): The Repliforce-esque reploids start moving the office to another room.
Anthon Tark: "If you need anything more... I'll be in my new office."
Nonna: "Take care, Grandpa."
Anthon Tark: "It's down the way but for security reasons I'm going to switch it whenever we do anything important, so as to make sure whoever is tracking me is thrown off. You too, Nonna. This universe is full of twisted people like that Digi person. Never trust too many people."
Metal Man (GM): He nods, then walks down a hallway.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Right. So that gives us a couple things to pick from."
Illian MacGregor: *R* "So, what's the deal. Is That Nonna Fake dead yet?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: *R* "No."
Illian MacGregor: *R* "Bah!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Simply put, we have two choices here: Keep at it with the mess with those killer robots, or go and hunt down the Celian Administrator. If he's with the Outliers, he'll probably be able to tell us more about them. After we punch him a couple times. Ivan has noted the robots seem confused so we can safely ignore them for a while. They're near Erastia but not directly flying at it."
Nonna: "There's something I still need to ask Lyx about, too."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Ah... that is true... we can ask him outside of here so he doesn't set off alarms... wherever he went."
Valron: "Are they confused enough that we could coordinate an attack to finish them off before they can get back on proper footing? Because I'd rather not give them an opportunity to regain momentum."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Apparently they're confused as in not knowing what to attack next. It appears they have regenerated somewhat since we last confronted them. Unfortunately, yes. The radiation apparently helped them regenerate. We have a solution--the anti-radiation 'goose egg' they are so desperate to get... but we need to make it big enough to shut down most of their stuff first, then we can probably finish them off."
Nonna: "Never underestimate the tenacity of morons."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Key word: probably, as they don't seem to have an easy off switch other than being comedically extremely exploded."
Valron: "Hrm... Could we use MTA-style amplifiers to help with the 'making it big enough' thing? At least, as part of the process."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Possibly. We can plot this sort of thing at Erastia."
Valron: "Sounds good to me."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier would go towards the ship, stretching a bit as well.
The ship is in decent trim, having also refueled and repaired in the meantime by Anthon's people.
Nonna: "We should be careful in case any troublemakers decide to join the morons in attacking us."
Metal Man (GM): All seems to be as it should. Borne is busy staring out one of the windows.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Yes. It would appear the problem is we've acquired very aggravating people as our foes."
Nonna: "Everything okay, Borne?"
Valron: "Yeah, you alright, there?"
Commander Borne: "Despite all he did, those people still follow him. I'll never understand it. I'm fine. I had to look at what he had created for himself.
I'd figured it was a prison but clearly it seems fine enough... just a pity that it came at such a high cost. That's what happens when people deal with the devil.
Devil's dead though, so, not like they can collect anymore.
Yes, there on Erastia, I've built up the forces. You want to wreck those robots... the new Dauntless Mk5 should be up to the task.
Locally sourced Erastian components mean it's rather... ...different than the normal standard but... you'll have to go and see."
Valron: "And I..." *He glances over at the now-sheathed Schnelltott* "Have a lot more on my plate, yet again. Gonna need to get a practice sword and look at Kales' data and see how his stance works, exactly. Doubt I could ever replicate him perfectly, but... I'm sure I'll work something out."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Beginning flight to Erastia."
Metal Man (GM): The ship carefully flies off of Rendar, and, makes its way towards Erastia.
Along the way, an intriguing beacon can be heard.
Autumnus: *R* "Let it be known that the contraband laboratories of Erastia have been removed. Erastia is now under Quester jurisdiction. Do not under any circumstances attempt to retake it for the Time Cops. It is not ours anymore."
Valron: "...Well, it's nice to have that matter officially wrapped up. That too."
Nonna: "For now."
Metal Man (GM): The ship lands in the new rebuilt 'Colonel Berges Memorial Spaceport' near the old military school.
1980's like mall music plays and the landing ramp lowers, while a bunch of patriotic Erastians salute the ship.
Xavier casually puts his crown on.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I don't really believe in it but I have to make sure they don't think they can go crazy again."
Gelato: *He hops onto Xavier's shoulder, perching on him.*
Metal Man (GM): Xavier's equivalent of royal trumpeters blast some music on a boombox. He gestures and they lower the volume so it isn't earshattering.
Valron: "For the best, after all."
Kumiko: *Finally alert, having dozed off somehow* "Hm... what are we getting into next?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Now then... I, Xavier, King of Erastia, have returned. What is there to report?"
Erastian Soldier: "Your majesty, the killer robots who blaspheme your name by claiming you are fake have appeared in space. We have located the files explaining what they are and would gladly die killing them for you. Additionally the Time Cops have graciously removed the labs which were so dangerous even we would not want to enter them. However, they also tried to sneak in and steal our files, so we shot several of them. The evil spaceman Autumnus threatened us, until he realized that they were disobeying his orders. As a result of that, he shrugged and said they were disobedient anyway, and left.
We went to shoot him, but the bullets bounced off of him. Then he laughed and walked away."
Nonna: "So, another typical day."
Valron: "Sounds about par for the course. At least it means we've got one less thing to worry about here, though."
Erastian Soldier: "We also encountered a person who looked exactly like... you." *He points at Kit Redgrave.* "They tried to wander around but we figured out they were the wrong... uh... ...basically they weren't you, so we told them they were on the wrong planet. They left, but not before welding two people's boots together as some sort of prank. It was funny, but then we reached for our guns, and they were gone before we could shoot them. Nothing else unusual other than that. You know how it is."
Erastian Soldier: "We've moved a lot around though, so. Uh. What do you people and the majesty wish to do today? That was pretty much our thought too."
Valron: "...Didn't that spear Alt-Nonna had mention something about an alternate Kit?"
*He glances over at the others*
"Mind, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised by this, though I'd rather the universe at least have the decency to hold back on its' tendency to play Whack-a-Mole when it comes to us and problems."
Nonna: "Someday we'll get a vacation at a nice beach. We can play and relax and make good food."
Valron: "...That'd be nice."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Indeed. Granted, I tend to sink in sand. But I have my ways."
Erastian Soldier: "You wish to vacation at a beach? We can make it possible, at any time. Or if you need us to do something for you, that is possible too.
We know that you are a hands on king. But you probably don't need to do everything.
Those foul robots think they can replace us? They are no match for a true Erastian!"
Nonna: "Well, once we've taken care of the trash."
Erastian Soldier: "As you wish, ally of his majesty."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "So then... what shall we do first. The robots or that Celian Administrator?"
Valron: "Like I said, I want to finish off the robots. I'd rather they not recover any more than they already have."
Nonna: "The robots are the bigger threat."
Erastian Soldier: "We have requisitioned the weaponry of the previous administration. Amazingly, the Time Cops did not stop us. The device that was to destroy all Time Energy is ours. It is not useful for that, but, perhaps it could be useful against the robots?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "We have a bunch of radioactive robots. We have... this."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier gives the soldier the anti-radiation gun.
Erastian Soldier: "What... what is this? It looks like it was meant to be plugged into there!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "It destroys radiation."
Erastian Soldier: "Excellent. We do not have enough energy to purify the planet with it, but we could probably use it against the robots! Then... ...well, if they are still alive, what would you rather do? Fight them with space ships? Or get up close and punch them to death?"
Metal Man (GM): Xavier glances to the others.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "What do you guys prefer?"
Nonna: "If they cannot be rid of their violent madness, then it would be for the best that they be put down before they harm anyone else."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Presumably after we disable most of their radiation, we can give them their last chance to change their mind, and if they refuse... well, it's just a question of space ships or our fists, so to speak."
Valron: "Spaceships to further cripple them, then finish them off up close. There may be something to salvage from them once we excise the element of the illogical super-radiation, but... I won't be opposed if you lot just want to wipe them completely."
Erastian Soldier: "They are deranged products of some of the previous administration's scientists. As per your commands, Majesty, we excised and hunted down as much as we could of those who preached evil exclusionism as their mantra. ...And then imprisoned rather than shot them, as you demanded. In perfectly decent quarters. It defeats the purpose of prison, but apparently, they decided to tell us about what went on. I didn't think it was so important until you kept talking about those robots... Apparently there is a shutdown command... one of three.
There is a risk it is instead a trick meant to make them more powerful, but..." *He shrugs* "It is in your hands."
Metal Man (GM): He hands the codes to Nonna.
Erastian Soldier: "Spaceships can be sent... which ones would you prefer. Your own? Some other ones? Naturally not everyone will survive. War is war. So choose carefully. We Erastians do not mind. And the Ivan... he speaks of 'holographic men.'"
Valron: "Gelato and I could probably run further analysis on the codes to see if it's a trap. We're both pretty good with that sort of thing. Add to it, if it is a trap, then maybe Gelato can more... directly mess with it and make it more useful to our ends. Maybe." *Shrugs.*
Erastian Soldier: "Analysis? Yes. We do not have many computer people."
Nonna: "Thank you. We are used to dirtying our own hands, so we might as well go ourselves. But stick around as backup in case we need it."
Erastian Soldier: "They were mostly evil. That's why they were imprisoned. In the nice beachfront apartments."
Valron: "Makes sense."
Erastian Soldier: "Though they sometimes offer us things, it is hard to trust people who programmed world ending superweapons."
Metal Man (GM): The codes are a rather elaborate series of numbers and letters, in hexadecimal.
In a horrible, hard to read font.
It looks like some hideous Comic Sans x Papyrus monstrosity, with some extra filigrees added in.
Erastian Soldier: "We tried to transcribe the numbers but were afraid they might summon demons if we did so unsupervised, so we leave it up to you."
Valron: "...Gelato, could you cast Alter on the font to make it comprehensible to people who don't hate their eyes?"
Gelato: *Alter text: Neatly-kerned 12-point Helvetica!*
Metal Man (GM): The entire page fills up with way more text than it is supposed to. It turns nearly black.
You can turn it back, of course.
But it's awful weird there's that much text showing up.
Erastian Soldier: "Ahah! Exactly what I thought. There's weird magic inside the things they gave us!"
Valron: "...Indeed. There's clearly far more going on with this, to say the least."
Erastian Soldier: "He made it very clear that the old regime had the most powerful technology. However he failed to explain to us why they needed a million ways to accidentally destroy themselves and none to repair the damage."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "We'll have time to think on it. What about the ships?"
Erastian Soldier: "Well, there's anything you people have, plus Erastian ships... Ivan's ships... ...Borne's ships... those Solarian people... there's only really enough room to send two groups after the enemy robots, without them colliding. If you fly in, you'd count as a group, unless you only use smaller ships.
I guess the Rendarian ships are also a choice."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "We should at least send in the Fy'aar / whatever it is with us on it to board after the superweapon is fired and the ships have knocked down the outer defenses."
Valron: "Radiant Storm, for the record. So as to clear up any further naming inconsistencies regarding my ship in the future. Kinda had to change the name due to various bits of retrospective wackiness, along with some of Borne's ships giving mine the metaphorical stink-eye."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Right. That's a given, the question is, what are the best ships to take out Erastian robot ships?"
Valron: "Depends on armaments, how many there are, how many varieties of them there are, and... what exactly each of our options are best suited against."
Nonna: "Whatever will result in the least collateral damage and loss of life."
Erastian Soldier: "Ruling out our own ships then. They were never fully repurposed for efficiency. Also just my opinion but Solarian ships will be great except their lasers are so powerful they might hit Erastia when they miss."
Valron: "Add to it, I'd be worried about the Erastian ships possibly accidentally helping the robots, depending on what their exact armaments are and whether they could turn any radiation into that illogical rubbish of theirs."
Erastian Soldier: "I don't know how Rendarian ships are but I also know that Borne's ships are extremely sleek and... ...fancy... but I dunno. Those are all very... hard to replace people flying them."
Gelato: *Meanwhile, he's studying that page of code.*
Metal Man (GM): Gelato would continue to learn more.
After letting it turn back to normal, he'd see that the extra text is, in fact, extra text.
How exactly it works is a better question.
There aren't any obvious clues as to how it works.
Erastian Soldier: "Ivan's ships are standard, and controlled by... holographic people. It unnerves me. I'm uncertain though. Do they happen to be immune to killer robot magics?
Only Ivan would probably know."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Guess we can ask him."
Ivan: *R* "Holograms... vs. what? ...Oh."
Valron: "Yeah, wouldn't hurt to ask..."
Ivan: *R* "The holograms are not compatible with Erastian viruses."
*R* "I'd suspect they should be safe from everything except... that EMP capability. You'll have to make sure you remove the radiation first."
Valron: *R* "I do believe taking the radiation out of the equation is the first step of all this, yeah."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Hm, Gelato? We could try and investigate it before we leave. Got any ideas on what system to try it in?"
Ivan: *R* "If the EMP is out of the picture, the holograms can outmove any robot."
Valron: "In any case... if we're gonna do that whole thing with the code, want me to standby and help in case something screwy crops up?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Right. It's Erastian code so, I figure, Erastian computer."
Erastian Soldier: "You want a secure computer? Excellent. This way!"
Metal Man (GM): He begins walking towards the Erastian military academy.
Valron follows on along.
Erastian Soldier: "We tested many computers, by running basic different programs on them. The ones that grew legs and shot lasers at us were declared unsafe and exiled to a pit far away from the surface of the planet so that they could not treacherously send their traitor signals!"
Metal Man (GM): He goes to the front door. It is locked, so he cannot open it. He puts the key in it, and it doesn't open either.
He turns the key half way, then he kicks the door. THEN it opens.
Erastian Soldier: "We tried to repair the lock but it told us it would explode if we touched it."
Metal Man (GM): He walks down the infamous hallway where those earlier sessions occurred.
New statues have shown up--these ones are peaceful ones of Xavier and the New Questers. But also normal Erastians.
Gelato: *He's carrying the paper sheet in his mouth as he trots along.*
Metal Man (GM): Eventually, after more waaacky things (I'd type them out but again, saving my arm) you reach a lab with several computers in metallic cubicles.
The soldier casually types in some things and then uses a flathead screwdriver to short some pins, and it turns on.
Erastian Soldier: "It's all yours. No outside connections. Because we don't even have the network it talked to anymore. The... Crossnet I think. The apocalypse destroyed it, and then for good measure, we unplugged the computers, because a Time Cop virus was going around.
Celian traitors were using the Crossnet until we got rid of them via you getting rid of them."
Metal Man (GM): The computer is like a DOS prompt, but it's got red text, not green or blue.
Erastian Soldier: "Oh... don't worry, this isn't Red Text's computer. We Erastians just love the color red."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "That's right, I told you to make sure anything that began snarking weirdly at you with red text was to be exploded."
Gelato: *And he hops up. Tail gets inserted into the keyboard PS/2 port, as he starts "Typing" that code in WITH HIS NANITES WHOA.*
Metal Man (GM): This identifies it as keycard A. The code on it is weird. It's very obfuscated.
It connects to some sort of 'port' and executes a 'procedure'
Procedure A, as it were.
Otherwise though? There is little documentation, at least, running the code sends the signal to do Procedure A and then that's it.
Valron reads the code as Gelato inputs it, taking note of the results as the process goes on.
Metal Man (GM): There are three cards, so, you can try the others, they're all encoded the same way apparently.
Valron: "...Huh. That doesn't really tell us much. May as well see how the other two work, for comparison's sake..."
Metal Man (GM): Do you try for the others, Deloth / Gelato?
Gelato first off, he unloads Procedure A's program. Next, B.
Metal Man (GM): The B program shows up.
This one is not subtle. It has a bunch of commented text.
'KILL THE IDIOTS HAHAHAHA KILL DIE KILL HAIL THE TRUE ERASTIA'
It appears to activate... hidden nuclear silos, then launches them all into the current Monarchy/Xavier's Erastia control points.
It's not well hidden, this code, either.
It's like, launch_destruction_nuke_5 and such
Valron: "Well, we can safely write off that one. Though... do note the location of the silos so we can deal with them."
Metal Man (GM): Oh yeah, the silos number 1-384.
And it has just a giant loop that launches 'em one at a time.
Valron: "...Lotsa silos, even. Man, that's gonna take a while to go through."
Erastian Soldier: "Well. I have my ideas about them. I mean, they weren't necessarily the greatest at being hidden. So then, presumably, the third one is either another trap, or something else..."
Valron: "Perhaps. Just need to, well... actually see what it is. Gelato, if you would?"
Gelato: *Delete Protocol B, type out C.*
Metal Man (GM): Type C is the weirdest yet. It actually starts out like the second one, but then has a comment beneath it.
'If you decided to check this instead of read this, then you aren't stupid. I just wanted to make sure. Anyone dumb to run this deserves to explode.'
The second one is some sort of series of codes.
The comment after that says 'I swore myself to secrecy. As such, this is not something I can tell you. But if you wish to find this out, then go and try it sometime... if you are intelligent enough, you'll figure it out.'
Gelato: "..." *He quickly comments out the "LAUNCH ALL THE NUKES EVER" coding.*
Metal Man (GM): The remaining code unlocks something, when it's used against something specific.
Valron: "Well, now... This is very interesting."
Metal Man (GM): You can't tell without the other half of what it goes to.
But at least, you can tell. There's tow possible useful codes. The first one that calls a random procedure, and the third with some weird looking deciphering code
Since it explicitly appears to hook into something else, ergo it's not complete without something else to interact with.
Gelato: *Right. He clears C from memory. *
Valron: "Sounds good to me, Gelato."
Metal Man (GM): The Erastian soldier gets an old printer and plugs it in.
Erastian Soldier: "Thankfully we still have the printers."
Metal Man (GM): You can print it out as you wish.
Gelato: *Print the entirety of A, the coordinates of B AFTER commenting the entire thing to unusability, and the second half of C.*
Metal Man (GM): They all print out, now just in Courier New-esque type.
Valron: "There we go. Should be much cleaner than... that whole mess the initial alteration gave us."
Metal Man (GM): Several pages worth but otherwise OK.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Should be good. We can experiment with these a lot easier."
Metal Man (GM): Now, on that note... think we shall pause. It's nice and late, and my right arm's probably gonna just start hurtin' again if I go full guns blazin' in my typing.
Valron: "And without any nukes going off in our faces."
Metal Man (GM): Next session: Exploding robots and finishing off what was started.
Right arm should recover anyways. I am all too familiar with blowing my arm joints out.
It's work really, I coded more than I have in a while at it, so it added up, heh.
Session Complete / Paused