Date: 7:36:27 PM, June 9th; 1:01:00 AM, June 10th; 10:28:10 PM, June 17th, 2012.
Metal Man (GM): C O N F R O N T A T I O N - Episode 1: Menaced by Phantoms. THE WING FORTRESS, ALSA ORBIT:
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Breaker breaker, this is Xavier Ridgecrest, requesting a berth."
Borne: "No. Just, no."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "What's the matter, Borne?"
Borne: "I did not take over this planet just to let the likes of you mess it up."
Metal Man (GM): The skies over Alsa suddenly fill with Borne's space fighters. Adapted from Time Cop technology, they outnumber and outpower the Wing Fortress 500 to 1. Borne cracks his knuckles.
Borne: "I don't even have to launch a Dauntless Class to blow you out of the sky."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Of coooourse you don't!"
Metal Man (GM): Xavier idly walks over to the side of his control panel. Pinned to the panel are images of Xavier posing oddly near a bunch of dead enemies. One of them shows Bowser and Ganondorf, the other Ael's crater, and also the crater where Evil Wolfman was. The old switches and LED lights of the Wing Fortress turn red and alerts go off as the space fighters shoot the thing up. Xavier disregards the slow loss of pressure and fires starting in the bridge to go and look at the only smooth, high tech thing on it. It's some weird turquoise thing with weird crystals in it. "PROPERTY OF THE SGC" is stamped on it, along with military numbers.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "You know Borne, you are far too untrusting. I didn't come here for you, or for your planet. I just found something in specific I wanted."
Borne: "How are you even speaking to me? Your systems have been disabled. My men are a few shots away from blowing up your primitive fission based reactor!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I'm a cyborg, remember? Oh... and I stole this from that O'Neill person." *Puts palm on the weird device.*
Borne: "What the--"
Metal Man (GM): *FWOOSH* The Wing Fortress becomes entirely invisible.
Borne: "Fire at the space where that fortress was! I want him dead! The bounty on his head is equal to the entire GDP of the country!"
Metal Man (GM): They fire, but the Wing Fortress has moved on. The camera pans, showing Alsa. It blinks, showing the old Alsa, then this one. Some years have passed; some lands have vanished. I'll eventually put up a map of them. It'd zoom in to Emerald Town. The same, sort of small town as it always was. Marley's old town, though since Marley died and Borne took over, all traces of it were changed to suggest Marley had never lived there. It's a boring town as any other... or at least, it was. The Wing Fortress appears right over it... strangely repaired. Inside it, Xavier finishes pouring mushrooms into its heavily damaged nuclear reactor. The last cracks heal and radiation goes to normal.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I know it hurts to take all that damage for me, Forty, but it's for a good cause. I'm going to get you something good now."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier hits some switches in this room, and then leaps out a window.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Going DOWN!"
Metal Man (GM): He idly smashes into some sort of restaurant, landing atop a table with food in it. The guests stare for a moment, then flee, screaming. He stands up, shaking pasta off of his armor.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Ergh... tortellini. Horrifying."
Metal Man (GM): He removes a huge chunk of table from himself, then turns on his wrist device, and begins walking towards the ocean. MEANWHILE... Ederick: You're one of the Hunters from the newly formed group Borne began working on right after the Questers left. Borne reverse engineered a lot of the stuff the Questers used, then improved it. As such, you possess a comset which is nearly invisible. And at this moment, alerting you to a CLASS 1 QUESTER INCURSION in Emerald Town. Funny, because you're in a tower right outside Emerald Town. You were appointed to watch the seas for an Echidna invasion. Instead you seem to be getting reports of a "Metal Man" wrecking downtown Emerald Town. Your tower has a ladder in it, as well as binoculars. You're able to look 360 degrees around you. Last you were checking, you were just looking at the sea, and finding no invaders.
Ederick Holmes grumbles, a good afternoon's nap ruined. He taps on the com to silence the alert and starts to go back to sleep... Before jolting upright and wondering if he heard right.
Metal Man (GM): It continues alerting. It gives reports that the target just took out the Vice Police--the highest level local units--and is bordering on becoming a dreaded Class 0. You last heard that a Class 0 was supposed to never happen again. Not after the Time Cops were defeated in a direct war.
Ederick Holmes: "Ain't that somethin'!" *He gets up, stretches, and walks over to the edge of the tower. Ed picks up the binoculars and tries to take the lazy way out to see if something's truly going on over there.*
Metal Man (GM): You look over. You see a trail of destruction. You see several dead men strewn in the path wearing Borne uniforms. There's one guy left, with a Phase Pistol. Those were supposed to be illegal for most units to have, but you heard rumors that Borne has embedded Executors in every group with those. His pistol shots are as deadly as the ones you saw Borne do on your first day of class. This being is only mildly stunned. You see some blinding thing come out and then suddenly the Phase pistol-wielding officer is no more. The man is heading for the sea... the Time Cop ship that's rusted and wrecked out there is so classified even you aren't allowed near it. But you're the only person nearby. You can see that Phase pistol was dropped on the ground.
Ederick Holmes nods. That trail of destruction wasn't there this morning. He picks up his gear and starts down the watchtower, pulling up a holographic screen and seeing what the official channels are saying.
Metal Man (GM): The being is bleeding, too--it took damage from that blast. The official channels are overloaded with calls. An invisible ship is being reported in the skies. Of course, you can't see it. Destruction not since the Questers is taking place. Borne is talking about activating "Wulfgar"--you thought that was only a myth. But that will take far too long. He has no clue you are alive and here, probably because you were never in the high level stuff--not yet, anyway. You reach the bottom and can begin to hear the sirens of the alarms in the town. Your screen shows the route there--you can get there in a few minutes, tops. You hear some Dauntlesses scream overhead, only to be shot at by something completely invisible in the air.
Ederick Holmes exits the tower and dashes towards the mayhem. He'd stop by a few dropped bodies to see if there was any hope left... And to perhaps snag that Phase Pistol before continuing onward.
Metal Man (GM): Most of them are dead. They look like some sort of giant uppercutted them. One of them is impaled on a stop sign. Down the way you find the wounded officer. It's Brimson. The guy who was the first to see the Questers. No wonder why he was an Executor. He still lives, barely, sitting by the pistol. A hideous gash is in him, from shoulder to hip.
Brimson: "Is that Ederick... or am I hallucinating? Gh... I swear... I'm always the first for these things... Not going to make it if... I just sit here..." *Cough.*
Metal Man (GM): You, of course, have a sandvich left over on you, the infamously popular Eggman ones. Known for spontaneously healing people.
Ederick Holmes: "Save your delusions for later, sir. Got hit pretty bad and support's a long way's out."
Brimson: *Cough* "He attacked with... a glass chainsaw... Said he was... Metal Man..." *Cough* "Felon number one... the one who tricked us into killing the Time Cops... Couldn't get any more out, his voice was drowned out by the... chainsaw..."
Ederick Holmes kneels down and hopes Brimson doesn't mind an old meal. "That's fine. Save your strength."
Brimson: "Eh? Saved by a rookie... I'm going to catch hell for this..."
Ederick Holmes pulls the sandvich out of his pack and hands it to him.
Metal Man (GM): He is healed enough to not die. Then he hands you an old badge.
Brimson: "I'm not worthy of this... this Defender badge. You are. Take the pistol and stop him from taking the drive core. Borne... suggested someone might come for it. I was embedded here to stop them... ...Didn't realize it'd be a Class 0."
Ederick Holmes smirks and takes the equipment. "You put in a good word in your report and I won't brag down at the pub. Think I've got an idea to stop him."
Brimson: *Cough* "Could have taken him if I had brought a better suit of armor... Right... I'll rest here... let you handle it."
Metal Man (GM): You hear a loud grinding noise. Sure enough, the being with the chainsaw is cutting into the rusted hulk. He's about half way into it, because his chainsaw seems to slice through metal like it's nothing.
Ederick Holmes: "Good man. Just wait a bit longer; Borne's co--good grief. That is a chainsaw. S'ya, sir!" *He starts towards the sound.*
Metal Man (GM): He nods and rests. You reach the sound.
???: "Chain-saw, chain-saw, chain-saw the wreck to become powerful! Oh yeah! Cut that steel down!"
Metal Man (GM): He slashes through the outer hull. It falls down, leaving a hole.
Ederick Holmes races towards Metal Man, heart already pounding despite the short run. He had a lot of free time while stationed here and it let him watch a lot of television, including some old and boring history on Questers. Nothing like betting your life on a chance!
Metal Man (GM): The man has metal armor on, as well as the infamous blue armor pads. He looks at you and laughs.
???: "What are you going to do, poke me with weapons made for 5th graders? This ships' contents are rightfully mine. The Time Cops came here to spite me!"
Ederick Holmes: "Nothin' like that, tall, armored, and psychotic. I'm not one to throw my life away after all of what you did."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Hah, a talker it is? Well then. I am Xavier Ridgecrest. Master of escape and time travel. And also stealing things from this beached whale. What do you want with a crazy space pirate like me? And... be useful and follow me, because I think those damn ships are going to come in and blow me up if I stand any more still."
Metal Man (GM): He begins walking inside the ship.
Ederick Holmes gets a thousand different responses stuck in his throat as Xavier somehow saw right through his plan. A bit dumbfounded, Ed follows the pirate inside. "Ah, come on. You don't want to do this. It's too boring."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Boring? I'm stealing a Time Cop superdevice to destroy my evil clone. It's not boring!"
Metal Man (GM): He idly walks through a sideways hallway half-submerged in water. Then he sticks his hand sideways into an ID device, activating part of the ship. Wait a minute! You were told this ship was dead!
Ederick Holmes: "I dunno. You're just shufflin' down some hallway gettin' your feet wet. I mean, there's no danger or anything he... Did you just turn that on?"
Metal Man (GM): Also, many signs in here note where Borne's top men looked into this. You're going to be in a ton of trouble if you follow him, but if you don't, you may also be in a ton of trouble.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I was a Time Cop, once. Their tech opens for me easily. They didn't change the locks."
Metal Man (GM): He dangles his hand at you, which has a Time Cop Glyph cleverly hidden inside of it. Then he walks further inside to a really open room.. ..And here is a choice. You can follow him, risk great danger... or go outside and report to Borne, and avoid that, but perhaps at the expense of letting him get away. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlpWbqDdF9M&feature=plcp (Mass Effect 3 Soundtrack - 31) And some tense music to go with it! You can hear Borne's men talking outside. People are arriving. But... Xavier is getting deeper and deeper!
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Just a few bends and this is mine!"
Ederick Holmes tries to think of a million improvisations that would end with him saving the day and not getting chainsawed. Another idea comes to mind and he rushes after Xavier. "Hey, wait. I don't see much proof that you're who you say you are!"
Metal Man (GM): You run inside and into a sideways open room. It's very fancy, and very broken. You're walking on the side where the superglass windows are, and below that is the sand of the seabed, and water.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Oh, really? Want me to prove it?"
Ederick Holmes: "Anyone could cut into the side of a ship, and a time traveler could operate it. I think. But the escape part really seems to be missing."
Metal Man (GM): He's walking through the wide open room towards Engineering.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "You're right. Well, you'll get to watch me do that in a mom--"
Metal Man (GM): *BOOM! BOOM!* The ship shakes. Borne's elite Guard must have blasted their way in from the top.
Guard 1: *From afar* "SURRENDER ALL YOUR WEAPONS OR YOU WILL BE ANNIHILATED! THIS SHIP INTERIOR WILL BE FATALLY IRRADIATED IF YOU REFUSE TO COMPLY!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I LIKE RADIATION, PLEASE GIVE ME ALL YOU HAVE!"
Ederick Holmes struggles to keep his balance, and a hand on that phase pistol. And then he realizes he made a mistake.
Guard 1: *Muttered* "Stupid incongruent protocol..."
Ederick Holmes: "W-wait! I don't!"
Guard 1: "What in tarnation is Ederick doing down there? You know you've broken at least 20 rules just by being there?"
Metal Man (GM): Meanwhile, Xavier smashes through the door.
Guard 1: "...He's nearing engineering! Forget the rules! STOP HIM!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Nobody can stop me! Except me! Until I kill him!"
Ederick Holmes goes to approach the metal man, silently damning those guards for muttering and not attacking. "I can give you one very good reason why you can be stopped right now."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "You tell me." *He oddly walks up to the final door. There's a pit below, filled with seawater.*
Metal Man (GM): The guards appear on the other side of the room, holding their guns at Xavier... but you're in the way.
Guard 1: "Jump in the water! We can take him!"
Guard 2: "That's an order!"
Metal Man (GM): But if you jump down there, you won't be able to get back up...
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Screw them, I have far better uses for people than suicide missions. Well... only the occasional suicide missions..."
Metal Man (GM): He begins peeling the security door back like it's a toy.
Ederick Holmes: "He can't steal it if he's down there!" *He would rush towards Xavier and leap towards the pirate, aiming to grab onto him and maybe even pull him down with the extra weight.*
Metal Man (GM): You leap on top of him. You discover he is astoundingly stable. It's like leaping atop a statue. He acts like you aren't even there, though you feel he is a little wobbly. Or, at the risk of your life, you could phase pistol him close up.
Ederick Holmes: "Huh. Did you know your suit's made of very heavy metal?"
Guard 1: "Your life is expendable, Ederick! We're taking him out!"
Metal Man (GM): They begin firing super-lasers at him. He idly turns around, and, for whatever reason, shields you.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Yes, indeed."
Ederick Holmes: "Crap!" *He does the safest thing he can think of and hides behind Metal.*
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I think it's clear your buddies think you're worthless by now. You should finish opening that door for me."
Ederick Holmes glances behind him. How peeled back is that door.
Metal Man (GM): You CAN do that... or laser him in the back... but doing so would also kill the guards. It's 2/3 peeled. He broke it open a lot. You could do the rest. Xavier takes many shots. He grunts.
Ederick Holmes quickly tries to guess if he could slip inside.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "These guns are actually worth using against me. Stupid Borne.!"
Metal Man (GM): Easily. A hole meant for you won't fit Metal Man. And it's much faster.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Hurry up if you don't want to be hit by my plan B."
Ederick Holmes does so and rushes towards whatever this drive core might be.
Metal Man (GM): You see Xavier idly dangling some sort of grenade. Then you slip by, outwitting both him and the guards.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Hey!"
Guard 1: "Where the hell is he going?"
Metal Man (GM): You reach the core. Whatever he did has begun to activate it... for transport. He must be able to control things with one palm press. Luckily, his little stunt there crippled the door. You get a comms from Borne himself!
Borne: "Ederick. You've managed to get to the core first. Detonate it. Press your palm into the center. It'll detonate. I'll figure out how to put you back into one piece if you do this."
Ederick Holmes glances this thing over. He's on Plan Z now. Only one last distraction left... Borne? Guessing his plan too? So much for feeling witty today.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I'm coming for this thing, whether or not you're all trying to outsmart me!"
Metal Man (GM): An explosion down the hall. Xavier is now on fire and running for the core. The Guards have failed to slow him much.
Ederick Holmes: "Should be able to do that, sir. Xavier is stuck outside the door and I'll be able to... Wait. How big of an explosion will this cause?"
Borne: "...half the city will be vaporized."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "All right there, funny face. This core is mine!"
Borne: "Do it. Now. I'll deal with the consequences. He must be stopped!"
Ederick Holmes holds up a finger to shush Xavier. "That... Doesn't sound very survivable. Or within my paygrade."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Don't listen to that annoying person!" *He starts fighting with the controls himself.*
Borne: "The Mad Men program could use you."
Metal Man (GM): But even you know that the people in that program generally go insane. Borne was no exception. He was mind controlled, too. Xavier, meanwhile, seems to be too busy trying to rip the drive core free.
Ederick Holmes: "... One moment, sir. Don't want to deafen you with the explosion."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Damn it, they welded this thing in quarter-fill! I'm going to be here way too long!"
Ederick Holmes turns off his comms and looks to Xavier. "Y'know, this is a little awkward, but... My employer wants me to level this thing. You'll probably survive, but I don't like my chances."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "You done talking to that moron? Work with me and maybe you won't die for the ship. I'll survive it. They just don't want me to have the core. They'll blow up half the planet to stop me. It's all petty and foolish."
Ederick Holmes: "Hey, I still have some loyalty to dictator and country left. Can you promise me more than my life?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "How much money d'ya need? I can steal almost anything."
Metal Man (GM): The guards run in. Xavier shoots them both idly with some weird pistol. But they stand up anyways.
Ederick Holmes: "You Questers are everything I've heard and more."
Guard 1: "You don't get it, do you, Xavier! We will succeed. We destroyed the Questers! The energy of Alsa is in our veins!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "We certainly are... ... so maybe you could help me here. Remove the core using that fancy pistol I keep seeing you use. I have some freaks to fight here."
Metal Man (GM): How'd he even notice the phase pistol? Oh well. One of the guards fires a turquoise beam. It seriously burns Xavier, but he stands up anyway.
Guard 1: "We will take care of him, Ederick."
Ederick Holmes hops over to the core, grinning like a cat. Unlimited power and wealth just some odd core away? Yes, please! "And I'll take care of this!"
Guard 1: "Yes, destroy the core!"
Metal Man (GM): Xavier punches him hard enough to embed him in the wall. But the Deathguard stands back up. You've heard of them... twisted experiments. It seems everything you feared and more is true about Borne, and you're the next experiment if you don't find a way out of here.
Ederick Holmes looks to see just how this thing is being held down as he takes out the phase pistol.
Metal Man (GM): It has really thick metal supports, four of them. Xavier broke one of them. You can just fire at the rest of them, one at a time. You can hear Borne in the background.
Borne: "This is your last chance. Destroy the core. He cannot be killed. If he escapes a new era of chaos will begin. I have seen what he and his demonic Questers can do. I should have known... he would try to brainwash a lower ranked one of my own."
Metal Man (GM): You blast them. Xavier meanwhile wrestles with the two DeathGuards.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Dammit! Stop being so tenacious!"
Ederick Holmes sends a message back. "He's kinda kicking our butts. Grease his palms and he'll be out in a jiffy!"
Borne: "Until he comes back. We thought he had greased his palms years ago. He's back now! Now he has to be shown the error of his insanity!"
Metal Man (GM): You have the rear supports done. Two more to go.
Ederick Holmes starts taking some steps back to deal with the front ones. "Y'know, I think you just fightin' him. He's an agreeable enough dude."
Borne: "Hmf! You'll learn the error of your ways. And you will come back to me. I wil be the only one able to cure your madness then!"
Metal Man (GM): *Click* You hear... oh no. It's an Omega Dauntless. It's tearing this ship apart. The entire room is falling apart. Xavier tosses one of the guards away through a hole.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Good work there, eh, what's your name? I'll finish this."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier rips a hole out of the floor, and grabs the whole drive core.
Ederick Holmes: "That's... Uh... Eddy Holmes. Hey, you well-versed on new Alsa airforce ships? Guess it doesn't matter since you're finding out now. We should git."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "That ship is made after one one of my old enemies made. I designed the original one. Want to see the special flaw I embedded in it?"
Metal Man (GM): Xavier idly takes out some sort of shoulder mounted energy cannon.
Ederick Holmes glances about the collapsing ship. "Yes, please!"
Metal Man (GM): The roof is blasted off by a hail of bullets from the Iron Storm-turrets on the Omega Dauntless.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Blast off the tail and... BAM."
Metal Man (GM): He powers up the weapon and fires. The tail is exploded, and... it begins spinning around in circles. It... fired a huge mech into it. Did you just see that thing fire an entire humanoid mech into it? You did.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "That should buy us some time. Now to warp on out of here."
Ederick Holmes: "Is that going to happen often?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "One in a hundred. Often enough."
Metal Man (GM): *WARP* You're now in a wide office of some sort, with a carpet and spacious quarters, and a single chair facing a mess of wires and 60's toggle switches.
Ederick Holmes glances up at the smoketrail. "Yup."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "All right... the drive core."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier idly smashes it into the ground and hooks wires up to it.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Not meant to be in the same room as the personnel, but we're kind of short on time."
Metal Man (GM): Alarms go off constantly.
Ederick Holmes then realizes he's not looking at a smoketrail. Or standing in a collapsing ship. He glances about his surroundings before heading over to Xavier. "Need any help?"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I kind of overloaded my fission core powering the cloaking device. Yes. What are you good at... machines? Electronics? ...Smashing things? Or... shooting things."
Metal Man (GM): The lights flicker. More Dauntlesses are arriving. On the horizon... Wulfgar, the huge wolf mech, is arriving.
Ederick Holmes: "Ah... Latter two most I guess. Got a bit of training in all that at the academy."
Metal Man (GM): Borne himself must be coming.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Dex. Open a firing seat."
Ederick Holmes: "Oh. By the way. Earlier I was trying to delay you so that would come. Seems a bad move now."
Smash Dex: "Affirmative."
Metal Man (GM): A chair and door rip out of the wall, with a console on it. It's a control for the ship's guns.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "The dex is too dumb to track that many targets at once. Shoot out that mech. I think in the eyes? I need to jump start the new engine... it's full of sea water. ...And it also took a few MAC Cannon shells, I think. It's cracked."
Metal Man (GM): You'd recall from history class that the earlier Dauntlesses blew apart that ship. This drive core shouldn't even be remotely usable. But... he's using it anyway!
Ederick Holmes sits on down for what every low-line worker dreams of: destroying his boss's giant mech.
Metal Man (GM): The Wing Fortress flies into range, the automatic spewing lasers every which way and shooting down anything not piloted by aces or a huge battleship. Borne appears on the screen.
Borne: "This... this indignity will be avenged. You will die!"
Metal Man (GM): The Wulfgar mech stands up to do combat! ...Pseudo combat battle! The mech has 1000 HP, according to the sensors. The Wing Fortress has 2300... normally something like 5000 but it seems to have already been in many fights. You start first... roll init. Init is also AGI, FYI.
Ederick Holmes: "This is gonna be fun... I hope."
Borne: "Alsa will not stand for this indignity!"
Metal Man (GM): Order: Borne 9, Ederick 11 Borne.
Borne: "Long live GUN! Death to the Demon-Questers!"
Metal Man (GM): He gives his firing squad inside the mech additional accuracy, using Rally. They then open up the flamethrower at you.
Ederick Holmes clicks on his comms. "Hey, if you wanted this protected so bad, maybe you shouldn't have left it just sittin' in the bay!"
Metal Man (GM): You see the ship engulfed in flames (its AC is 2). It takes 330 damage right off the bat.
Borne: "It was a trap... but you ruined it! Now you will die with your would be friend!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Now you know why no one outside of Alsa likes that jerk. I'll make sure this thing doesn't explode."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier uses defense on the ship, adding more DR to it. You are free to fire. You can target this mech's eyes, head in general... Neck... Upper body, or legs.
Ederick Holmes: "You were gonna nuke half the city just to kill him?"
Metal Man (GM): Yes.
Borne: "That city was full of Marley worshipers! That's the only reason he got as far as he did. Some of those fools thought he was there to avenge Marley!"
Ederick Holmes decides to move a few dials up to 11 and press some red buttons as the weaponry locks onto the thing's head.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Actually I don't really care for Marley, but I won't be telling any of them that."
Metal Man (GM): Hit. The head violently explodes.
Metal Man (GM): The mech still stands anyway. But it's headless. Completely headless.
Ederick Holmes: "Xavier, there's no eyes left to shoot!"
Metal Man (GM): Borne 5, Ederick 1.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Why is it even standing at all?"
Borne: "Hah! You forgot! Only an idiot puts vital systems in there!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Keep shooting it until it dies! We're almost safe!"
Borne: "You're not going ANYWHERE!"
Metal Man (GM): Borne orders his lackeys. The Wulfgar then flies up, headless, and tries to grab the Dauntless. Er, Wing Fortress. *SLAM* Not so much damage (only about 300) but now that thing is dragging you down.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Gah! Gah! No!"
Borne: "There is no escape from Alsa!"
Metal Man (GM): Its claws crush entire sections of the ship...
Xavier Ridgecrest: "The core is ready, but if we leave now we leave half the ship behind!"
Metal Man (GM): The guns are pointed point blank at it. Firing will hit the midsection of the mech, but also blow up the guns with it.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I'm detecting more incoming fleets too! If we don't leave, we're pancakes!"
Ederick Holmes: "This is not how dogfights between ships work!"
Borne: "You had me scared for a minute there. But I will not lose my reputation to a lone idiot!"
Metal Man (GM): All the guns on the right side of the ship. The left side is nice and far away. The "Main gun" is already broken... you suspect he rammed it into another ship earlier. Although the main gun erroneously is lit up too.
Ederick Holmes sets the guns to target the weakest areas in its body and let loose! Drastic times, drastic measures.
Metal Man (GM): It has duct tape that says "NO TOUCH" on it. *BOOM* The mech and Wing Fortress take a ton of damage. Now only the upper half of the body is on the Wing Fortress. The Wing Fortress is beginning to leave the atmosphere to avoid the other ships. You hear sickening crunching noises.
Borne: "You may have killed most of my crew, but I'm not done with you! I'm not leaving until both of you bastards are nothing more than dust!"
Metal Man (GM): The headless torso crunches its way to the front of the ship. You can see a very frazzled Borne standing in the ruins of it, still controlling it. As well as half of the planet before you. How is he even breathing in space???
Ederick Holmes: "Uh... No more guns this side, sir!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I'd fight him, but he'd easily kill us all just by blasting that window out."
Metal Man (GM): You can see him taking out... the Phase-thrower. A Phase pistol which fires an unending stream of phase laser.
Borne: "You fought well. But you do not live to oppose me."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "...Hold the controls, would you, kid?"
Metal Man (GM): He points to the joystick he's got a death grip on.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "I'm going to try something insane here. We can kill this person later... right now we need to move before the force tears us all apart."
Metal Man (GM): Borne starts firing at the glass, which begins cracking.
Ederick Holmes rushes over. "Don't kill us both!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Don't worry, I'd have done that already if that was my plan."
Metal Man (GM): He leaps onto the ceiling, then you hear some sort of access hatch open. Xavier leaps out and on top of the mech.
Ederick Holmes grabs hold of the controls, decides he truly believes Xavier, and hopes this was worth it.
Borne: "Gah! What do you think you're doing!"
Xavier Ridgecrest: "GET OFF OF MY SHIP!"
Metal Man (GM): Borne raises his phases-thrower, and Xavier smashes it off. They begin fist fighting. Borne parries some sort of punch you'd think Superman made. Xavier stumbles backwards. You, however, have the controls. You can tilt it to either side! Left to throw Borne off... or right to throw Xavier off.
Borne: "You did a good job, Ederick. Finish him off for me."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Argh!"
Metal Man (GM): Xavier stands up and tries to throw a punch at Borne again.
Ederick Holmes: "You... Were going to turn me into a Mad Man. I think not, boss." *He slams the stick to the left as Xavier punches.*
Metal Man (GM): Borne is punched back to where he was, making them equally distributed... and the best time to knock him off.
Borne: "...YOU TRAI--" *WHOOSH.*
Metal Man (GM): He falls off. The mech soon follows, and Xavier slowly leaps off and climbs back into the ship. You're now in space. Nothing is following you anymore. 2/3 of the ship has lost pressure or is on fire. Half the guns are offline, and the drive is throwing sparks. You're moving to exit the system. Xavier slumps down at the console.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Damn... annoying... pugilistic... guh... I can't believe you helped me... but maybe I can... That was a lot closer that it should have been, I'd probably have had to revive myself..."
Ederick Holmes: "Well... I looked at it this way."
Metal Man (GM): The ship stabilizes, as much as being at "23% stability" is... not very good at all.
Ederick Holmes: "Tried being a good cop delaying you. Got presented with the option of killin' myself in a nuke, becomin' a science experiment, or follow Questers to fame and fortune."
Metal Man (GM): Xavier slowly nudges a few more systems into life.
Ederick Holmes: "... Although there's only one of you. And this doesn't seem like much fortune."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Makes sense. Those Questers... they were supposed to kill Borne. I won't lie to you, we need to work on the fame and fortune bit. Luckily for you, I'm going back home. Well... what's left of it. Enough to maintain my parts and get my ship working again, and pay you, though. Demon is probably there too. Maybe. He's with me. We'll go for some... less well guarded treasure after this. I had forgotten the warnings about Borne. As crazy as a Quester, twice as smart when he gets mad."
Ederick Holmes: "Awesome. Y'know, if nothing else, I made my ex-boss take a fall from low-orbit. Whatever comes after this, think that was worth it."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Ah, yes. I made sure to snap a suitpic of him."
Metal Man (GM): He idly prints out an image of Borne's outraged expression as he falls towards Alsa using his suit wrist and hands it to you.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Wouldn't want to forget that, after the pain in the neck he was. Probably not dead, but, at least laid up in the hospital so he'll leave us alone. I'll brief you on... the reason I got that core anyway, while we go to arrive. My ship used a nuclear power plant, but my... evil clone... is after me. As such, his ship is too fast for me to outrun. I took a lot of damage by escaping through a black hole to here. He'll be here, and probably after us after the trail we left... This core, however, is Judge Dredd's personal warp core. They'll be hard pressed to catch us. This ship is much smaller that what it is meant for."
Ederick Holmes: "We'll leave him eatin' space dust then."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Just don't go in the outer rooms if we have to go to warp speed, I hear doing this causes reality to come apart in the edge rooms... But there's only two, three, maybe a few more of us. Yeah. We'll use this to build up our treasure and weapons. Then eventually HE will go eat lower orbit, and we can live like kings wherever we want. Don't even have to kill him, though he might force us to. He's a stickler for stupid absolutism."
Ederick Holmes: "Hah. I like the sound of this plan."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Yeah. All we have to do... is collect the 12 other pieces... Then the ship should be ship-shape to beat him. It'll be a while though, before the next one. This one turned yet more of my remaining hair white. They're all guarded like this... too important not to."
Metal Man (GM): He clicks the controls some more, and his ripped up planet comes into view. It's a sad looking strip of a planet surrounded by debris.
Xavier Ridgecrest: "This... was Erastos, before I blew it to bits."
Ederick Holmes: "One more reason to not get on your bad side."
Xavier Ridgecrest: "Now it's just Astos, for, well. Asteroids."
Metal Man (GM): The ship goes in to land... and we pause here. +1111 EXP -> LEVEL UP. You gain a Power point from the level up, which upgrading follows this progression: http://ssq.metalman88.com/system.php?mode=vegas#Step7 So nothing yet. But it may change. You also gain the Phase Pistol. It is a level 7 weapon. Unfortunately it's not useful for direct combat. It's so powerful that had you tried to shoot anyone with it, you'd have likely missed or even blasted off your own arm. Stupid Brimson should have realized! It can be sold for much money, or made usable for... much money. I'll go with more detailed stats when not feeling burnout from epic sessioning. I'll wait until later tonight and see if I can't then do a session with Garrick and any other Illian people who are around. In any case, that is a good sample of Confrontation in a nutshell.
Metal Man (GM): C O N F R O N T A T I O N Episode 2: Time Concentration ETERNAL DAUNTLESS. Illian Macgregor is at the bridge, facing his crew, for he has a new mission for them.
Illian MacGregor: "Hello, Gibby, Dragoshi, and Garrick. I assume you have found your lodgings here... comfortable?"
Metal Man (GM): Side note: You all get 500 EXP for that missing EXP I mentioned. Also, you get items as mentioned here, Garrick. http://ssq.metalman88.com/system.php?mode=vegas#Step11
Gibby is sitting on a pillow gnawing on a piece of pork. He gives a thumbs up.
Garrick Fy`aar leans against the nearby railing on one of the stepping areas of the bridge, glancing to Gibby for a moment before looking back to Illian.
Dragoshi nods, stretching out a little as he kicks one of his legs out slightly.
Garrick Fy`aar: "So far..."
Illian MacGregor: "I have discovered dreadful news. Xavier has been spotted in Alsa. He turned one of Borne's men and stole a Time Cop warp drive. He now moves faster than our ship can. Though it is at the expense of the safety of his ship and all aboard... he doesn't care. We must find out more information about the core, so as to counter its ability to escape us. I have located the home base of the Time Cops whose ship that core came from."
Dragoshi: "...So, not only does he have Time Cop tech, he also has another body to throw around. Fantastic."
Gibby swallows a large portion of pork.
Illian MacGregor: "Yes. One of Borne's... they even stole a Phase Pistol."
Gibby: "Who'd be crazy enough to join that nut job?"
Garrick Fy`aar swears quietly.
Dragoshi: "...Well, whoever they are, they're certainly packing heat."
Illian MacGregor: "Someone insane enough to betray his unit and aid Xavier in stealing the core."
Gibby: "Why that no good... if he was here right now I'd-" *He punches his pork.*
Illian MacGregor: "Brimson, the first Alsan to really talk to a Quester, confirmed that this 'Ederick Holmes' was more interested in surviving than serving the unit. But... I have a counter-plan. The Time Cops are not all that willing to help us. We will make them help us."
Illian MacGregor: "We will go to their shattered base and take their tech, determine the Interspace ID of his core and use it to track him everywhere he goes. We can sneak up on him in ways he may never have thought possible. The Time Cops are weak. If they resist, we shall destroy them. The Questers weakened them, only a hollowed out core remains."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Whoa whoa whoa, hold on..."
Gibby: "That sounds rather... harsh."
Dragoshi: "...A tad."
Illian MacGregor: "You know of a better use for them?"
Dragoshi: "It's not like we're eating them. But yes I see nothing too bad about this." *He shrugs.*
Illian MacGregor: "I am open to suggestions."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Not only that, but that sounds awfully like we're poking a second tiger. Do we really want to be getting up in a second enemy's business this early in the game?"
Dragoshi: "I don't mind either way, so long as things work right."
Gibby: "We're taking tech, right? Why not sneak in, get the stuff, and then zap us back on the ship. No mess, no fuss."
Illian MacGregor: "Well..." *He glances to the screen, playing back a video.*
Metal Man (GM): It shows Illian's ships blowing away the Time Cops... different ones, but still.
Illian MacGregor: "I killed the Time Cops of my realm."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...ah. So you've already got them on our bad side."
Illian MacGregor: "If they really were to attack me... these would also die. But... there is another option."
Dragoshi: "...Makes sense. And that would be?"
Metal Man (GM): He gestures and an image comes up... of Ael.
Illian MacGregor: "This being. He is the only being to hate Xavier as much as I do. He is... was... a Time Cop."
Gibby: "What did Xavier do to him?"
Dragoshi: "...Ael? Really?"
Illian MacGregor: "Xavier destroyed his own homeworld just to spite Ael, driving Ael completely insane. Ael tried again and again to kill him. Then an owl sacrificed its life to ensure Xavier lived."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...an owl... right..."
Illian MacGregor: "...Which, by the way, I will have to deal with that "*Rinith*"if he ever shows up."
Dragoshi: "...an... owl... Oh jeeze, Skysong or whatever. Right."
Illian MacGregor: "A sentient familiar."
Dragoshi: "Yeah. Kinda remember her, sorta. Not that it matters much."
Illian MacGregor: "In any case. They would not be so eager to give us the codes to their warp drives, here. But they might be eager to offload Ael onto us. Reviving him would be tricky, however. His soul was completely erased by using every last fiber of it. Time Traveling would wreck all of time in the area. ...So I would need Borne's cooperation to make him back into reality with the reality machine I helped design for him."
Garrick Fy`aar frowns, rubbing his chin slightly at the thought of it.
Illian MacGregor: "I had hoped Vylch would kill Xavier, too... sad..."
Gibby: "What are the chances he'll cooperate?"
Illian MacGregor: "Ael? Great. Very high. He wants Xavier dead as much as I do."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...I don't like it. Ael is a strange player on the board and we would still have to potentially deal with the Time Cops as well as Ael and Xavier."
Illian MacGregor: "We do not see eye to eye as to how... and he would want to kill him personally... So it would not be the best solution. That is why I chose to deal with the Time Cops. If you wish to talk to them first... that is acceptable."
Gibby: "I've always been one for diplomacy before violence."
Illian MacGregor: "I have already put the coordinates in to their base. If you are ready, we can warp there now."
Garrick Fy`aar: "As much as I don't like it, I tend to agree with the first option. If we go in quiet, we might be able to sneak in, get the data, and get out before anyone notices that we're there."
Illian MacGregor: "A stealth mission... also possible."
Illian MacGregor: "Allow me to determine the map placement." *He generates a scan.* "Vast destruction caused by Alsan deathrays riddling the place with holes means we can go in wherever we want."
Dragoshi: "I'm not exactly good at either, but I suppose I could come along for support in case things fall apart."
Illian MacGregor: "Let's just say that Borne kept attacking them... for a long time..."
Garrick Fy`aar glances to the other two. "You two could go to speak with them while I sneak in... I'm not sure how well I'll do, but if I can get at one of their computers and get into their database, I should be able to get that code without an issue."
Metal Man (GM): He isolates three different starting points for sneaking in.
Gibby: "If anything, we'd make for a good distraction."
Illian MacGregor: "This depends on your choice then, Garrick. The low route is dark and maze-like, but has no real guards. It does have minimal automated sensors though. Next up is the engineering zone, which is still malfunctioning. It has guards in it but the lights flicker and there are loud machines. Finally is the hallways everyone uses. Full of guards but you can walk right in to the computer area."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...if it's up to me, I'd say engineering."
Illian MacGregor: "I can distract The Arbiter so he does not detect you feeling through his data."
Dragoshi: "Hm... I'd say engineering as well, yes."
Garrick Fy`aar: "So, what's the call. You two coming with me or am I going in alone?"
Illian MacGregor: "I can distract them myself, though they are more likely to suspect me. They know my record. Which is killing their alternate selves like candy. It isn't the easiest thing for me to do but magitek has a 10% edge over anything they can do."
Dragoshi: "Might be best if we came in as a distraction. I'd imagine Gibby and I are rather low-key in comparison."
Gibby: "Emphasis on low." *He points out his short stature.*
Illian MacGregor: "I can distract the Arbiter by giving him the latest data on Xavier's wrongdoing."
Garrick Fy`aar lets out a small chuckle, shaking his head.
Garrick Fy`aar: "You know, I can probably fix that."
Illian MacGregor: "It runs the risk of them going after him later on and getting in our way, but... then again, that is only going to help us, since he would just destroy anything they sent at him."
Gibby: "That's alright... I've grown used to this body."
Illian MacGregor: "Yes. The powers of some sorceror pale besides the infinite possibilities of magitek. So. Shall we begin?"
Garrick Fy`aar: "Alright... be sure you're equipped and ready."
Dragoshi: "Will do."
Gibby: "Righto!" *He runs to grab his gear.*
Metal Man (GM): Illian takes out both shotguns and loads them simply by pointing them in the air and pumping his arms in the air once. In this case we'll say you have one, then I'll fix the system to have it in the system proper. Illian generally gives you the equipment you need for your mission anyway.
Metal Man (GM): It's Xavier where you have to buy or steal it or else you don't have it.
Gibby: "Alright, I'm ready."
Metal Man (GM): Illian is more about winning than making money, anyway, being military rather than mercenary.
Illian MacGregor: "I will give the Arbiter the distracting data, and you two will talk to Autumnus."
Garrick Fy`aar takes a moment to reach to a pouch on his kit and draws forth a silencer, screwing it onto his pistol before holstering it.
Illian MacGregor: "Garrick will infiltrate the downstairs... Ah, yes, Garrick. If you can handle it, bring grenades with you. They have a smoke function."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Already got it set."
Illian MacGregor: "Good. Even if they spot you, if you remain unidentifiable I can claim you're another rogue Quester. Or Borne Defender. Reports indicate Borne's men still infiltrate the area to steal tech."
Dragoshi pulls out his magitek machinegun from his coat, then puts it away before doing the same with his sword, putting it away as well. He then looks back to make sure his scythe's still on his back... and there. "I'm pretty much set."
Illian MacGregor: "The warps are ready."
Dragoshi: "It's like a little treasure trove for them, I guess."
Gibby: "Good luck, Garrick."
Metal Man (GM): Two warps appear. One into Engineering, and the other to the main room.
Garrick Fy`aar: "And you two. Try not to do anything particularly stupid."
Illian MacGregor: "I'll lead the way for the distraction party, I have also properly hidden the Engineering warp in the baseband so they can't find it."
Garrick Fy`aar will step into the warp.
Gibby: "When would we EVER do something like that?"
Illian MacGregor: "Just remember. Against Time Cops, Magitek always prevails."
Gibby makes a nervous laugh as he steps into the main room warp.
Illian MacGregor: *Glances to Gibby* "Do not worry. I will help you." *Walks into the warp.*
Dragoshi will head into the main room warp, simply nodding in response to Illian and Garrick.
Metal Man (GM): We'll alternate between talk team and sneak team.
Gibby: -_-; .oO(Thank goodness)
Metal Man (GM): First up, talk team. You step in to a large hall with a huge crystal in the center.
Gibby looks around.
Metal Man (GM): Autumnus and The Arbiter are there.
Arbiter: "I have predicted this occasion. My magical inferior has arrived with his Questers."
Illian MacGregor: "Protectors."
Dragoshi: "Quesa- Oh..."
Autumnus: "What is the meaning of this? I know what you are. You killed my other self in another realm. So what are you here for?"
Illian MacGregor: "Merely to share findings on The Time Bandit."
Arbiter: "We do not need your illogical magic tainted data."
Autumnus: "No, no. We can use it, send it here."
Gibby: "We're happy to help!"
Arbiter: "Accepting data from him is not a good idea."
Dragoshi: "I'm glad to see you're being reasonable about this."
Autumnus: "My robotic 'friend' does not understand organics. My apologies."
Dragoshi: "Ah, that's perfectly fine. Flaws are flaws, after all. I try not to hold that against people."
Gibby: "Yeah, sometimes I don't get us either. Like bodily fluids. What's up with that?"
Arbiter: "Remorsefully accepting illogical magically tainted data."
Autumnus: "You are different... less chaotic. Odd."
Illian MacGregor: "I cannot abide chaotic beings in my forces."
Autumnus: "You talk as robotically as The Arbiter. That creeps me out."
Gibby: "You get used to it."
Illian MacGregor: "You would too if half of your brain was made of magitek."
Dragoshi: "I'd imagine."
Autumnus: "...Now I see why you killed our other selves. ...Any chance you can kill the Time Bandit too?"
Illian MacGregor: "That's what my plan is."
Autumnus: "...doesn't seem like you need to give us the data then..."
Illian MacGregor: "Well... any help is useful."
Autumnus: "Ahuh... yeaaaah..."
Autumnus: "Ga... ha ha ha ha ha." *Think a wheezy laugh* "That's the best joke I've heard all day."
Illian MacGregor: "I may not be the icon of teamwork, but together we are unstoppable."
Dragoshi: "Must not get out much."
Gibby: "Uh... you're welcome?"
Arbiter: "It is true, he doesn't get out much."
Autumnus: "Now I'm being sassed by a machine. I'm getting too old for this."
Metal Man (GM): Now... sneak King Team.
Garrick Fy`aar is the sneak king.
Metal Man (GM): Garrick is in the engineering. He gets a feed from the talk room. He can see that currently Autumnus is only MILDLY suspicious. Which is a miracle compared to any past encounters he's seen on video.
Garrick Fy`aar immediately draw his pistol and knife, taking up a stance not unlike his grandfather did a long while ago. He quickly scans the area for any guards.
Metal Man (GM): Perhaps because Illian has a robotic poker face. Garrick would see a lone guard peering through the dark, flickering lights. Large pistons inside the columns of the room move around loudly. The ground has some debris on it that makes it crunchy to walk on. The guard is one of those lone spear guys. He seems fairly clueless. Mostly because this area is apparently low priority. He's walking around the doorway to the next room.
Garrick Fy`aar immediately takes cover, making sure to step lightly on the crunchy ground as he peers around the cover toward the guard. He frowns for a bit, looking around before sheathing his knife and picking up a smaller piece of the debris. Something that can easily fit into his palm.
Metal Man (GM): You get a nice chunk of marble. Geez, what kind of idiot makes a space station out of marble?
Garrick Fy`aar would make to get as close as he could to the guard without leaving any form of cover... then take the small piece of marble he picked up, throw it off to the side. Close enough to the door so he can hear it thunk, but far enough away that he'd move a distance.
Metal Man (GM): Hm. Ah, yes, I am using freeform for this kind of thing. Rejoice! *CLONK* The guard hears the noise. He doesn't walk over to it, but it does distract him. He's looking in the direction of it.
Garrick Fy`aar grumbles slightly before sliding up quietly toward him from behind now that he was looking away from him, drawing his knife as he did. He'd get as close as he could before jerking the last few feet, grabbing him from behind, and slitting his throat.
Metal Man (GM): Now... an AGI check. You hit and kill him, given he was the lowest of the low level. Hm. So THIS is why Borne's agents keep wandering through here... Next up is a staircase up... or a ladder. Both are in the right direction, but... The ladder goes up to the common halls, which are heavily guarded. The staircase is being watched by a single camera mounted up on the wall and inside some weird magical dome.
Garrick Fy`aar would make sure to HIDE the body first. He also sees if he has any particularly nice tech on him.
Metal Man (GM): He has... a magical spear, and chainmail armor. (I should really spec out armor sometime.) Of the two, the armor is rather magically light. The spear is meh.
Garrick Fy`aar frowns for a minute, shaking his head before moving on. He glances between the two things... then looks up to the camera... He flicks the visor eye on his eye and does a scan on the camera. Can he determine the view area that the camera can see?
Metal Man (GM): You can see it sees the part of the stairs all around the doorway to the next room. It fits that hole perfectly, they set it there to take advantage of that bottleneck.
Garrick Fy`aar frowns for a moment, then flicks open his wrist mounted control unit... time to try something he's been working on... a point to point immediate warp system...
Metal Man (GM): Yup! You would guess Borne probably does the same thing. The halls seem well traveled, and not just by the guards meant to go there. The footprints are all wrong, the actual guards wear this sort of medieval gear while army boots have been all over here. Maybe there was an invasion in the past?
Garrick Fy`aar activates the program, immediately snapping out of existence before snapping back in down the hallway a distance, a good way away from the camera before moving on, knife and gun in hand. He quickened his pace.
Garrick Fy`aar: "Hrm..."
Metal Man (GM): As you near the room... you see two people. And... Back to the talking group!
Autumnus: "...You know... there has to be more to it than that..."
The Arbiter: "Of course there is. Perhaps they need something from us."
Autumnus: "Do you want to trade for something?"
Illian MacGregor: "No. Just to cooperate in finding the Time Bandit... You can help us simply by remaining as you are."
Dragoshi: "The sooner he's dealt with, the better for everyone's sanity."
The Arbiter: "...Voice analysis... 100% truth. That is odd."
Gibby: "Agreed. He's the biggest threat."
Dragoshi: "...And lives. ...And just generally everything, really."
Autumnus: "Of course it is odd. Normally I would expect some sort of lie."
Illian MacGregor: "Besides. You have problems of your own."
Autumnus: "Yes, Borne keeps invading. ...You wouldn't happen to be able to help us with him, would you?"
Illian MacGregor: "Help you? But you are Autumnus. You have the density of a small moon. Are you not powerful enough?"
Gibby: "And I thought I was dense."
Autumnus: "Funny. He seems to have gotten a hold of some sort of device which prevents me from getting into his world. I can't get in there. The Arbiter could but..."
The Arbiter: "Don't mention it. My death there and duplication by Panzer was illogical in the extreme."
Autumnus: *Sighs* "Why did Wulfgar have to lure my best student into insanity..."
The Arbiter: "One of our guards has died. I suggest dispatching a team."
Dragoshi: "Bluhh... At least you lot got to keep a sensible form."
The Arbiter: "The area Borne's soldiers like to wander in."
Illian MacGregor: "Another Borne invasion, I take it?"
Dragoshi: "Or well... not ridiculous."
Autumnus: "It's too early... what am I saying. Maybe it isn't at all."
The Arbiter: "Quester-Protectors. Why do you serve Illian? I must log this to determine change in balance of power."
Gibby: "Me? I'm all about keeping things in order, doing the right thing, and... uh... he has a lot of awesome food."
Autumnus: "I have a team dispatched down there. They should mop up whatever has invaded. I hope. The last group Phase Pistoled half my men to death, then said "*Mad Men Forever.*"I am beginning to grow tired of them. At least I got to crush him into a small sphere and flick him into a sun."
Dragoshi: "One, I'm rather... aimless to say the least. Two, considering what I've seen Xavier do first-hand... yeah."
Gibby: "That's... always fun. Eheh... heh..."
The Arbiter: "These statements appear to be true. Some uncertainty but they would not reveal more in the presence of their leader."
Gibby inches closer to Illian.
Autumnus: "I'd ask you to leave and let them say it themselves, Illian, but... you may be needed here. Borne is a thorn in my side. Maybe you can help."
Illian MacGregor: "I am not a mercenary."
Autumnus: "...Of course you aren't. Bah."
The Arbiter: "Perhaps they should leave then. Distracting from our defense."
Illian MacGregor: "You'd miss out on the full download though."
The Arbiter: "What if download is something else?"
Illian MacGregor: "Look at it yourself."
The Arbiter: "...I see nothing unusual."
Autumnus: "Don't you worry, Arbiter. You entertain them. I have to check out the action downstairs."
Metal Man (GM): Illian moves, but then doesn't. Figuring that would be too suspicious. Any remarks from Dragoshi or Gibby?
Gibby: "Hey Autumus! I was wondering..." *He is hoping to distract him even if for a few seconds.*
Gibby: "What's the deal with this big crystal you've got here? How'd you get it? I'm fascinated by crystals."
Dragoshi: "...I have been wondering about its' purpose myself, aside from pure aesthetics. Which I doubt it's the only thing it's there for, regardless. That'd be a waste of space."
Gibby: "I'm sure there's a deep, rich history about that crystal."
Autumnus: "It is the main data crystal. The old one was annihilated by maniacs. But this one does the storage for now."
Gibby: "How much data can it store?"
Autumnus: "Not much else to it. Oh... About Ten billion Petabytes. You couldn't download all of it. We expand it as necessary just by adding more mineral to it."
Illian MacGregor: "Fascinating."
Gibby: "Boy, oh boy. I've seen data crystals that could only do 5 billion Petabytes. THAT is something else."
Dragoshi: "Does it require any specific minerals or will it work with most anything?"
Autumnus: "It is very specific, anything else will degrade the storage capability."
The Arbiter: "You should really look at the action downstairs."
Autumnus: "Yes, yes. It's probably more Mad Men. I don't think they will get away in five minutes."
The Arbiter: "Illogical belief in your abilities has gotten us in trouble before."
Autumnus: "I'll reconstruct that bridge when I come to it. Besides, what's stopping me from going back in time to see it on time?"
The Arbiter: "The data crystal."
Autumnus: "... Thank you for reminding me about that."
The Arbiter: "The last time you warped in HQ it caused crystal fragments to become embedded in everything near it. I still sometimes find pieces of it lodged in my gears."
Gibby: "Hey, tell us more about that. That sounds interesting."
Autumnus: "Right... doing that is a bad idea."
The Arbiter: "I will tell you about it while Autumnus investigates downstairs. Delaying him further would be bad for everyone here, unless you are on Borne's side."
Illian MacGregor: "We'll let him go now, sorry about that."
Metal Man (GM): He walks off, and we return... to Sneak King. Who has plenty of time, thanks to Aut's hubris!
Gibby hopes Garrick gets done soon.
Metal Man (GM): Garrick will know, yes. He would begin to get data suggesting that they are getting antsy--the very beginning of the previous segment is going on as he does what he does now. He has a very odd problem ahead. Two of Borne's men... are already in and a third one is up ahead. They're after the same thing. They carry Phase Pistols and wear angular black military caps. They're discussing to one another while looking about wearily.
Garrick Fy`aar would get as close as he dared to before hitting them with a scan.
Soldier1: "Think they'll ever learn to not be fooled by that trick?"
Soldier2: "Borne said the magic makes them really stupid."
Metal Man (GM): You scan them. Son of a gorgon, these guys are Mad Men. Not full on but basically, you can't just throat-kill them. On the other hand, they're human enough that you can still distract or disable them. It'll just take more force. Borne isn't kidding here, you can see where these men just picked up a man and smashed him into the wall like a ragdoll.
Soldier1: "So, what about Ederick?"
Soldier2: "A bloody idiot! We'll kill him yet."
Garrick Fy`aar frowns. He can't immediately kill them without Autumnus being curious about why they were dead without any of his men around. He quickly glances around to see if there are any dead men from Autumnus' crew around.
Metal Man (GM): Yes. The face man's body is 20 feet away from them and looks like he was pancaked. His armor is intact though. His spear is not. It's another spear guy. The blade in specific was bent as if he broke it trying to stab one of these guys. You'd notice a matching cut in Soldier2's hand. He literally grabbed the blade and bent it. These guys are monsters.
Garrick Fy`aar shakes his head. Well, that's out of the question... he'd just need to leave no trace as he took them out. He doubted he could just sneak by them...
Metal Man (GM): You'd also notice a badge on their chests... one of a fist smashing the Quester symbol to bits.
Soldier1: "Why are we guarding this stupid corridor again?"
Soldier2: "Autumnus will come here. We must capture him for Borne."
Soldier1: "You're nuts! ..." *BZZZT* "Compliance chip online. ...Sounds good to me."
Garrick Fy`aar grabs one of the grenades off his belt and sets it to smoke blast, pulling the pin and rolling it between the feet of the two soldiers.
Metal Man (GM): Garrick would see that Autumnus IS in fact coming this way. Meanwhile, your grenade covers the area in smoke.
Soldier1: "What the @#$%?"
Soldier2: "That isn't a Time Cop weapon!"
Garrick Fy`aar charges forward as the smoke covers the area, moving to the first soldier and immediately making to grab him, slamming him into the ground with a twist of his hips.
Metal Man (GM): They walk out of the smoke, phase pistols drawn. And not knowing you're around.. ..another AGI check. If there is an applicable flourish or ability, you can use that here. You catch him, but only due to surprise and smoke. You knock him to the ground. He isn't disabled, so much as further confused. And slowly trying to stand up as smoke fills the area.
Soldier1: "This isn't a Time Cop!"
Soldier2: "Hey! Whoever's doing that, stop that! We don't have any beef with you!"
Metal Man (GM): Soldier 2 looks for you in the smoke... what do you do?
Garrick Fy`aar remains silent. He can't let any more of himself be known. He keeps going, sprinting past and engaging a cloaking device. As awesome as it would be to get his hands on one of those Phase Pistols, he had to keep moving. No trace.
Metal Man (GM): They can't find you in that smoke. Not while invisible. Or while you hear Autumnus throwing a magical bomb at the whole mess. The corridor behind you collapses. Seems Autumnus has no clue you were ever involved, and they were so badly confused as to be unable to attack him as planned.
Garrick Fy`aar quickly slides the last bit of distance, rolling away from the explosion and pushing forward. He had to be fast now that he had a chance to be seen. He sprints, his cloak still engaged as long as he could hold it as he rushed forward.
Metal Man (GM): Alarms go off, as you reach the main room. There you see the person working on the computer room.
Garrick Fy`aar: .oO(Oh, no you don't...)
Metal Man (GM): ...It can't be. It looks like you, but it isn't you.
???: "Hm. Those idiots got themselves killed. I can't say I'm surprised."
Garrick Fy`aar slides the stop, drawing his weapons quickly before pointing them at this man.
Garrick Fy`aar: "Freeze!"
Metal Man (GM): The man looks at you and rolls quickly to the side. Shooting at him or not? He has no gun drawn himself. Just moving out of your crosshairs. He stands up. You see him closely. It's a clone of yourself.
Garrok Wat`aar: "You know, they said this would happen, but it's still freaking me out."
Garrick Fy`aar stares for a moment at this man. Who in the blue hell...
Garrok Wat`aar: "I am... Garrok, your clone. You want this data, don't you?"
Garrick Fy`aar: "... ...I don't know who or what you are, but I have no clone. Step away from the console. Now."
Garrok Wat`aar: "Borne knew you were the ultimate person for this job. So he just made me. Figure how annoyed I am when he says I am a tool in his plan. I'll step away all right. But I've already done the work. The work you would do!"
Metal Man (GM): He backs off. It's true.
Garrick Fy`aar: "Borne had no DNA of me... he couldn't generate a clone."
Garrok Wat`aar: "Ten bucks says you forgot that table you made in that ship the Questers used."
Garrick Fy`aar remains silent...
Garrick Fy`aar: "...why are you working for Borne? I hate Borne."
Garrok Wat`aar: "But, I am you. I don't like being anyone's tool either."
Garrick Fy`aar slowly moves in a circle around him, placing his back to the console...
Garrok Wat`aar: "I just went here hoping the guards would die and I could join the Time Cops. And then maybe f@$%ing kill them too, because they're bastards. Really bad ones. You want this data? Take it. I don't want to help Borne. He just thought he could make me help him."
Metal Man (GM): He clutches his head and painfully rips something out. It's... a chip.
Garrok Wat`aar: "Mind control. He had it built in to me. But he didn't remember that you wouldn't be fooled by that."
Metal Man (GM): You hear smashing in the distance.
Garrick Fy`aar glances at the door, then at this... clone...
Garrok Wat`aar: "I'll let you take this data... but do me... you, a favor."
Garrick Fy`aar: "That being...?"
Garrok Wat`aar: "He's got more. I was an early, 'imperfect' one. He realized I might do this. This is a low importance mission. There will be worse. He may even successfully build one and put Sergeant Freaking Levis into its body. I'm going to just try to find my own life instead of being in your shadow... the others, though. They are machines. They will stop at nothing to kill you. Beware."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...I will not let Borne restart Les Enfants Terribles... Do not let me see you again. Change your name, your appearance. Disappear."
Garrok Wat`aar: "I never wanted to live this kind of life anyway."
Garrick Fy`aar: "I know. I've already lived it."
Garrok Wat`aar: "Be careful, Garrick. Autumnus is coming."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Go."
Metal Man (GM): He runs off... throwing his own smoke grenade to confuse Autumnus. The data is right before you.
Garrick Fy`aar immediately turns and jacks his computer into the console, downloading the data.
Autumnus: "Borne's troops... running away without the data? ...Was that a clone of Garrick? What is Borne getting in to?"
Garrick Fy`aar: .oO(C'mon... hurry...)
Metal Man (GM): The data downloads... downloads... Autumnus' shadow appears just as it finishes. You can warp out immediately.
Garrick Fy`aar does so, keying in a command and disappearing.
Metal Man (GM): Autumnus walks in.
Autumnus: "... ...There's no one here! Arbiter! Did anyone download anything?"
The Arbiter: "I was too busy downloading the data to know."
Autumnus: "..." *He furiously smashes the terminal.* "Borne! You will pay for this!"
Illian MacGregor: "Most unfortunate. I guess we should leave now..."
Metal Man (GM): *Aut warps back to the talk group.*
Gibby: "Yeah, sorry to hear about your Borne troubles."
Autumnus: "Oh no you don't. I want to know why this was timed this way. How could you have known!"
The Arbiter: "They couldn't. It was a clone of Garrick which did it, sir."
Autumnus: "...Borne will die, then, for this. Go! Get out of my sight!"
Gibby raises an eyebrow and looks over at Illian.
Illian MacGregor: "No need to say it twice."
Metal Man (GM): *WARP* Back at the ETERNAL DAUNTLESS Everyone returns, a mission well done... with some possibly problematic discoveries...
Gibby warps back in, the same expression still on his face while still looking at Illian.
Illian MacGregor: "...Borne has clones of Garrick???"
Garrick Fy`aar is already there, punching the FUCK out of the wall.
Gibby: "Garrick, we have questions..."
Gibby: "Um, after you finish with that wall... thing..."
Illian MacGregor: "Do we have the data?"
Garrick Fy`aar: "He restarted it... the complete fuckwad restarted the damn project..."
Gibby: "What are you talking about?"
Garrick Fy`aar spins as if to snap at Gibby... but visibly seems to calm himself, breathing a bit...
Garrick Fy`aar: "...yes. We have the data. I'm forwarding it to your people now in the lab. Have them verify it."
Illian MacGregor: "If there are clones of Garrick... then if any of them serve Borne, they will have to be destroyed. As well as whatever is making them. They could make more clones of other people and potentially create a huge problem."
Dragoshi: "The real problem is the 'how' of the matter."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Borne is... restarting Les Enfants Terrible..."
Gibby: "Le whozit what?"
Garrick Fy`aar: "It's a long, long story..."
Illian MacGregor: "My brain suggests this involves your genetically altered origins. Bad. He could combine it with Mad Men technology. One of you... with one of those... it would make even Borne seem weak."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Yeah... they used the DNA of the greatest soldier on Earth to make my father. Then, in turn, they used him and his developed genes and experience to create me. Borne is taking it one step further."
Illian MacGregor: "...Borne is likely to use his own country's project to synthesize an even more ultimate soldier."
Gibby: "Like a whole army of super men."
Illian MacGregor: "One who could do more than merely kill Questers, but take on Autumnus or even us."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Not only that, but we're talking a whole army of super men with the whole sum of Quester knowledge."
Gibby: "That's messed up."
Dragoshi: "That... would not bode well for anyone."
Illian MacGregor: "..." *He seems taken aback.* "There is no end to that man's power. If he has enough time they will close the gap between them and us."
Dragoshi takes a deep breath as the implications of this kind of just smash into him. "It's... highly unnerving to say the least."
Illian MacGregor: "Red Text! Tell me why you somehow missed all of this!"
Red Text: "I did not miss it. He used the device you gave him to shield his labs from my eyes. Yes. Even after we disabled it. He knows too much now. He is a Mad Man. He picks up any technology before him, and makes it his own."
Garrick Fy`aar: "This cannot stand. The more time he has, the more time there is to alter the DNA in a way that I can be easily controlled. The one I saw in the base as a prototype. He cannot be controlled. I... think we can trust his word, I told him to vanish."
Red Text: "We may require some local Alsan contractors to destroy the labs."
Garrick Fy`aar: "No, fuck that, I'm going in there myself and rip the damn man to pieces."
Dragoshi: "...Alsa really is quite the mass of thorns. And I don't think it'd be that easy, Garrick. Far from it."
Gibby: "Well wait a minute... how do we know that you're not the clone, and the real Garrick is in danger somewhere?"
Garrick Fy`aar pauses and looks to Gibby.
Illian MacGregor: "The real Garrick is the only one with Magitek. Magitek is linked to the soul. Otherwise my alter ego would also have magitek."
Gibby: "So it can't be duplicated?"
Dragoshi: "At least in our current state. While we our a rather considerable force... Borne is not to be trifled with. Not in the slightest."
Illian MacGregor: "Yes. You think Xavier would pass up using Magitek?"
Dragoshi: "Thankfully, Magitek seems to only work for the sane."
Illian MacGregor: "He would make the world's heaviest bowling ball and kill us all."
Gibby shudders at the thought.
Illian MacGregor: "Still, if he continues at it... I fear anything is possible if he is given time. He is too smart! Smarter than the Eggman, as he was made to be! We can get at him, but we would need to use allies."
Gibby: "Aw man, and that guy was smart."
Illian MacGregor: "Or, alone, we can destroy his labs."
Garrick Fy`aar: "He's not smarter than me, dammit all... I'll FIND a way inside that base of his."
Garrick Fy`aar suddenly freezes.
Illian MacGregor: "The issue is, Garrick... he has you... to use against you. If one is even half on his side, you may be predictable to him."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...oh... oh no..."
Gibby: "Oh no? I don't like oh no."
Dragoshi: "It'd at least be best to build up a network of alli... What is it?"
Garrick Fy`aar: "...no... no, it's nothing... I just thought of something..."
Gibby: "Well what?"
Illian MacGregor: "As much as I detest Sloan, I think Sloan would not hesitate to aid us in this situation."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Nothing that concerns you... yet..."
Dragoshi: "...really. Sloan."
Illian MacGregor: "Those Garricks will be sent after him after him, anyway."
Gibby: *-_-* "I can't imagine a Garrick clone being so cryptic."
Illian MacGregor: "We tell Sloan and let him get blown up by Garricks."
Dragoshi: "This sounds like we're inviting headaches with that route, but it doesn't seem like we have much in the way of choices."
Illian MacGregor: "We also have..." *Sighs* "Jack... or Anthon Tark."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Fuck Jack."
Illian MacGregor: "Anthon stole a warp and took over an alternate GUN after Panzer took GUN from him."
Dragoshi: "No. I will fight to aid Sloan over helping Jack."
Illian MacGregor: "He isn't as smart, but he has an army of robot super soldiers. ...I concur, Jack is best ignored. Or burnt to death."
Dragoshi actually lets out a slight hiss in regards to Jack. "Burnt to death and his assets stripped."
Gibby notes to himself to not like this Jack guy.
Garrick Fy`aar: "...look, we need time to develop a plan. As much as I hate to say it, we've got to think on this situation."
Illian MacGregor: "Thinking is a good idea."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Two days, maybe three."
Gibby: "Ugh. Thinking."
Dragoshi: "It's going to be a long, messy road, this..."
Illian MacGregor: "This situation is so bad, I have to pause on killing Xavier for it."
Gibby: "My greatest enemy."
Illian MacGregor: "Borne will pay for this delay."
Garrick Fy`aar: "I'll do the thinking, Gibby... I'll just point you to what needs dead."
Gibby: "I like that."
Illian MacGregor: "The other choices we have, in the area, is the SGC, and also the Federation... the people who Samus work with, that is. Red Text... what can you do?"
Dragoshi: "SGC? What's that stand for again?"
Garrick Fy`aar: "I'm not against the Federation... though I've barely worked with them..."
Red Text: "I have an entire fleet of repurposed Eggman ships."
Illian MacGregor: "Stargate Command."
Dragoshi: "Aahh. Haven't really heard much 'bout them or the Federation."
Illian MacGregor: "They won't be happy to hear another Anubis-class warlord is on the rise."
Dragoshi: "So maybe it'd be best to look into both of them."
Gibby: "The more the merrier."
Illian MacGregor: "Last thing they want is to open the gate and have an army of Garricks invade Earth."
Dragoshi: "That and maybe history of any possible interactions between them? Just to make sure we don't trip any mines by accident."
Illian MacGregor: "The SGC has generally been on the sane side. They looked at the Demon Questers as... unlawful and only worked with them when it wasn't immoral and insane. The Galactic Federation hates any upcoming genetic issues. They had enough problem with one Dark Samus. Borne could duplicate anyone he wanted eventually, if his cloning got out of hand. Well. Not me. My brain is half magitek."
Garrick Fy`aar: "As long as he had the DNA, yeah..."
Gibby: "I wonder what my clone would be like?" *He scratches his* "chin".
Dragoshi: "So... it sounds like a good idea to just try and get on both the SGC and Federation's good sides."
Illian MacGregor: "There is a log in my records that speaks of 'Gobbu.'"
Garrick Fy`aar: "Xavier, any of the past Questers that were organic... not to mention Ganondorf, Bowser, Dr. Wily, any of the Robotniks..."
Illian MacGregor: "An evil version of you, Gibby. I think it was Xavier hallucinating."
Gibby: "That's impossible. I'm evil proof."
Illian MacGregor: "No one fits inside an air conditioner."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...look, you guys figure out what allies we can drum up. I'm going to start figuring out a way to out tech this tech master."
Illian MacGregor: "You do so. Red Text will aid you."
Garrick Fy`aar: "As God as my witness, I will outsmart this guy."
Illian MacGregor: "As you need him, anyway."
Gibby: "If you need my help, let me-no. I can't say that seriously."
Red Text: "I am not the biggest on original solutions, but I have been looking forward to virusing everything Borne ever made."
Dragoshi: "Doubt there'd be not much use for copies of m- Good on you, then."
Red Text: "I'd like to see him blow up my space station when his own ships attack him."
Dragoshi: "But, yes. This all sounds good."
Garrick Fy`aar turns and walks off, already coming up with plans. "Red Text, I need all data on Borne. Blueprints, information, scans, coupons... everything."
Red Text: "Here you go."
Metal Man (GM): You see pages and pages and pages of data. He's had a lot of years to work on things.
Garrick Fy`aar: "Transfer it to my lab."
Red Text: "Done."
Metal Man (GM): It's there now.
Gibby: "Well, all things considered, this is about a 2 on on my 'Crazy stuff that happens to us' meter."
Metal Man (GM): Borne has had... too long. He's brute forced his way into all sorts of things you once thought safe from him. No wonder this is happening. Leave someone like him alone with a bunch of leftover Quester tech... and that happens. One final note... It appears he also used the abandoned Quester Stadium to mine a rich amount of data. It is noted as one of the chief artifacts allowing him to reverse engineer hundreds of pages of information about Quester tech. And he's had years to ponder it. The only good news is one thing. A surprising thing, but it's a thing. Basically he has been tunnel visioned on this. His research anticipates Questers.
Dragoshi looks to Illian. "When's the best time for us to start work on getting support from the SGC and Feds, anyways? I'd rather not fool around on this matter."
Metal Man (GM): Maybe Time Cops. Not much else. He seems to be paranoidly preparing to kill off a second coming of Questers, or Ael, or maybe even Wulfgar.
Gibby: "We can sweet talk them into an alliance."
Metal Man (GM): Anti-Smash beams, Life Destroying Bombs, Time Device Annihilators...
Illian MacGregor: "In a few hours we can get to work. I'll arrange meetings with all their people here."
Metal Man (GM): C O N F R O N T A T I O N Illian Episode 2: The Borne Complexity. The group last witnessed the work of Borne at the Time Cops. While simply trying to get the data on a stolen drive core used by Xavier's group, they instead also discovered that Borne, dictator of Alsa's GUN, had a program mass producing Garrick clones. As such they diverted their interests to dealing with him, fearing a potential race of supersoldiers overrunning the entire universe. The group is in the bridge now, with Illian busy coordinating a bunch of different conversations using his keyboard.
Illian MacGregor: "...There are many groups who wish to talk to us. But as is my usual plan, I will listen to my crew before I include anybody. Though I have my own personal pet peeves, they will not get much play here. We... need all we can get to stop this."
Dragoshi: "Alright, then. So who's wanting an appointment with us?"
Garrick walks in a few moments later, looking somewhat worn and a little sleep deprived. "Ah, uh, sorry... I'm here, I'm here..."
Illian MacGregor: "The first is... the Council of Displaced Nations."
Dragoshi: "And this council is comprised of...?"
Illian MacGregor: "Anthon Tark, Sloan, and several other smaller nations too small to be noted. The first two people are the only ones to care about as of yet. They are people who were kicked off of Alsa by Borne or the Questers. As such, they will aid if we allow them to invade and claim GUN as theirs. Of course they don't specify what that means besides... warranting any amount of war they feel 'necessary' but... I don't really care as long as the imminent threat is dispatched. It is up to you whether we talk to them to begin with."
Garrick takes a seat at one of the stations on the bridge, hunching down somewhat and rubbing his eyes. "That sounds like getting rid of one insanity for another."
Dragoshi: "Yeah, I'm more iffy about it due to Sloan than anything else..."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Sloan and I are on decent speaking terms... he'd probably listen to me, at least."
Illian MacGregor: "Sloan is... weird... and Anthon has an army of dangerous looking robots."
Dragoshi: "Mm. Alright, then. I'll jot that one down as a maybe at least."
Illian MacGregor: "But they have never crossed me, anyway. The next one is... the one we will probably turn down but, hey, maybe it will amuse you. The Quester-Formed Democratic Alsa National Management Committee."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...wait, what?"
Illian MacGregor: "Yes. The Alsa committee the Questers forced into existence."
Dragoshi: "...It's probably a good thing that I don't remember anything about that."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Y... yeah, me either."
Illian MacGregor: "It has Borne, Jack, and the Mushroom Republic and the Galactic Federation on it."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Oh, fuck that."
Illian MacGregor: "We can talk to the GF separately. Unfortunately the Mushroom Republic refuses to speak to us separately, explaining how they were taught democracy by the Questers."
Dragoshi just shakes his head.
Garrick Fy`aar: "I don't want Jack anywhere near this."
Dragoshi: "Oh my god."
Illian MacGregor: "Ironically it is now mostly a device of... yeah."
Dragoshi: "I only remember one thing out of that. The gavel."
Illian MacGregor: "The Questers created a monster that is still wreaking havoc."
Dragoshi: "But yeah I'd rather talk to the Feds separately."
Illian MacGregor: "I wouldn't mind abolishing this... Quester-made abomination, but moving on..."
Dragoshi: "Jack? Yeah. Honestly, I blame the damn statues and the fact that everyone else just seemed so hell-bent on not selling them and- Y... yeah. Let's move on, please."
Illian MacGregor: "There are, next, some entities which are... different. The Time Cops. The... freakin' Time Cops."
Illian MacGregor: "They realized what happened and apparently want Borne's head on a pike."
Garrick Fy`aar: "They sound like they could get out of hand really easily..."
Illian MacGregor: "A bit of warning, though, they are... not good team players. Meanwhile Jack is likely to get involved if they appear. Then we have a whole war on our hands. They are brute force only at this point, Ael was their definition of 'precision' and he 'only' destroyed entire planets."
Dragoshi: "...Yeahhhh that's kind of a terrible idea."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Brute force is not something we need right now."
Dragoshi: "I'm kinda leaning heavily towards 'no'"
Garrick Fy`aar: "If they get out of hand, we might not have the power to stop them. We want to end wars, not create them. I'm voting against that one."
Illian MacGregor: "Next up, the SGC has responded. O'Neill is very interested in killing this 'Super soldier slinging Anubis wannabe'. They can't send much ship support, but they can send in soldiers and guns. And tech support."
Dragoshi: "I see. Sounds like they're certainly up for it and they don't seem to be anywhere near as batty. Also, that sort of support can come in handy, so I don't see anything wrong with that."
Garrick Fy`aar: "I would not mind getting a look at that gate I've heard about... They sound like a decently sane bunch... so I'm for it."
Illian MacGregor: "The next one is... the Echidna Emperor. Emperor Cylus. He is a part of the Displaced Countries... I had forgotten until he reminded me of that just now. He explains to me that the Questers never really got his warnings. He has been working on taking down Borne all this time, to no avail. Mostly because the Questers provided Borne with far too much fire support."
Dragoshi: "Yes, I remember him from way back, sort of."
Garrick Fy`aar: "I don't... But the Echidnas usually bring some form of sanity..."
Illian MacGregor: "The echidna were a species of pale... 'mobian' beings, who used to dominate the planet. Their magic is where Jack's came from, although according to them Jack stole and misappropriated their most holy of objects for his personal massacre weapon. The Questers helped them until the Questers suddenly chose to let Borne deal with them and ignored them. They've been slowly trying to rebuild ever since."
Dragoshi: "...Yeah I don't even know what happened there."
Garrick suddenly looks thoughtful.
Illian MacGregor: "Those are all the current links I have so far. If you've made up your minds, then, I can bring up those we want to talk to."
Garrick Fy`aar: "If we can get on their good side, we can learn more about their magic. That may give us a edge in dealing with Jack, which I REALLY wouldn't mind doing."
Dragoshi: "Honestly half the shit that happened is just something that kinda makes me a little miffed that I couldn't really do anything about it as I'd probably be outnumbered b... agh."
Illian MacGregor: "I... almost forgot."
Dragoshi: "Aye. That'd be handy. What is it, sir?"
Metal Man (GM): He presses a button, and a door opens. Marley walks in... for those who forgot, the older, kindly looking man with the tattoos on his arms. Though he looks weary and has lots of Magitek prosthetics on him now.
Marley: "You aim to kick that Borne feller's @#$ back to where he came from? Well don't forget to bring me in too. I was th' original person to talk to those Echidnas!"
Garrick Fy`aar: "Whoa..."
Marley: "Damn Questers sold me out and let me be killed... But Illian found me and stitched me back together."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Isn't this... the guy who spawned Jack...?"
Marley: "Yes, that is me."
Marley: "If we could ever get a foothold on that planet, maybe I could figure out how to UN-spawn that demon."
Dragoshi: "Though the Questers were more responsible for exacerbating that problem." *He sighs.*
Marley: "I've been waiting almost fitty years now..."
Garrick Fy`aar: "...yeah... yeah, I think we need to give this old timer a shot."
Dragoshi: "Hopefully we can help bring that waiting to an end."
Marley: "I had been planning it all this time, and the Questers ruined everything."
Illian MacGregor: "He will gladly help get the Echidna in line with our battle tactics. He is the only human they trust, after what the Questers did."
Dragoshi: "Certainly don't blame 'em."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Okay, so, what do we think... the Echidnas, the Galactic Federation, the SGC, and the Council...?"
Dragoshi: "Echidnas, Feds, SGC, and... yeah, I guess the council."
Illian MacGregor: "I shall dial them up then."
Garrick Fy`aar: "We'll need to keep a tight leash on Tark... but yeah."
Metal Man (GM): The images flicker on, one at a time.
Gibby makes his merry way along the bridge. "I can't believe I overslept!"
Emperor Cylus: "It has been a while since I have seen your face, Marley. How did you escape the grasp of the death-maker?"
Metal Man (GM): Gibby sees the face of the Ecidna emperor, whom he might remember from early SSQ^2. Or not. It was a long time age.
Gibby: "HEY GUYS! I'm here!" *He adjusts his wrinkled cap.*
Illian MacGregor: "Hi, Gibby. We are discussing the raid on Borne's clone factory."
Gibby: "...oh. Hello there."
Metal Man (GM): *One moment while I make 5 dozen aliases.*
Gibby: "A raid, huh? Sounds fun."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Heh..."
Emperor Cylus: "Well, a raid of self defense. Borne has gone too far."
Metal Man (GM): Anthon's image fades into the monitor. He looks grizzled and annoyed.
Anthon Tark: "It has taken far too long for someone to actually deal with this madman. I can only hope you are more useful than those worthless Questers who tried to kidnap me."
Metal Man (GM): And next to him is... Sloan, wearing a red, blue, and lime yellow pinstriped suit, a cowboy hat made of plaid, and a tie made out of tinfoil and parchment paper.
Sloan: "Now now, the only reason they're talking to us is we're together now. I will handle this just fine, Anthon. Ah, see, there is Garrick. This should be dealt with in no time."
Metal Man (GM): Then O'Neill shows up, looking to the side at the other weirdoes and looking confused for a moment.
O'Neill: "And here I thought it was strange talking to System Lords..."
Emperor Cylus: "I have been briefed. We are to, attack... the cloning facility?"
Anthon Tark: "And how is that supposed to even be possible? It has a force field nothing I have thrown at it has been able to break."
Sloan: "He has a point. I tried myself, using some... ancient technology I borrowed from O'Neill's system there. It just doesn't want to budge."
Garrick clears his throat. "That's where I come in, actually."
Sloan: "Ah, yes. Do tell."
Anthon Tark: "This had better be good."
O'Neill: "I'm going to need that object back, Sloan. It has no business being in the hands of someone as tasteless as you."
Sloan: "Hah! Like you could catch me."
Garrick keys a command on the small computer on his wrist, the pictures of the four men separating and a new picture showing up in the middle. A picture of Borne's base.
Emperor Cylus: "Ah. It looks as updated as my own photos of it. Red Text must be serving you well."
Gibby looks up at the picture.
O'Neill: "...That can't be right, that's like a Lantean Field, only doubled over on itself. It... it must be nearly impossible to breach."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Like Anthon said, Borne's base is covered by a force field of unknown origin. It protects against physical and energy based intrusions as well as remaining constant chronologically and dimensionally. We can't get into it via another time, space, dimension, and we can't breach it with any sort of force. However, things ARE getting through it."
Sloan: "It's a pity. I wanted to go in and break out my flying bowling ball, but I kept getting rudely ejected whenever I tried to walk inside with my... devices."
Garrick Fy`aar: "Or, more specifically..." *He keys a command, the picture changing to his scans of Borne's men.* "Soldiers."
Anthon Tark: "Yes. He must have a way in. Of course, his psychotic security regimen makes it hard to turn any of them."
Gibby scratches his head.
Garrick Fy`aar: "Exactly."