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Full Version: Murder-Free II: The City's Portaling Revengeance
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"Just computer stuff, that's all? I'm not sure I can be tons of help, especially right now... I could try, at least?"

Kennifer is... still a bit surprised people are still being reasonably friendly to her, but she supposes not all of them know everything just yet.

She also wasn't entirely sure she wanted to go through another portal, but... it sounded different than what she'd been through in Siberia, at least.
"Y-you need a lift?" Moona asks.

Leone just decides to wait until the others are ready, and keeps herself near the Indigo Portal.

"I can manage, I think."

Kennifer winces and holds her head again for a moment, then gets to her feet.

" long is this gonna hurt, I wonder... Okay. A distraction could be good. Let's go look at those servers."

Upon seeing that Kennifer is ready, Leone leads her through the......

Indigo Portal

And onward to the Server Room, where Angel has Bakugo contained within a cubic barrier, outside the room. "The servers are in there, and we just want to know what information they hold."

Still clutching her head and really hoping this turns out better than anything in those rifts in Siberia, Kennifer also heads into the...

-Indigo Portal-

...and follows Leone to the Server Room. She's... not even gonna ask about Bakugo.

"Okay. I'm... still probably not as good with this stuff as an actual computer scientist or something, but... I can at least try, huh?"
Cyan - Under Attack
Finch charges at the enemy, axe in hand, and Vivi follows closely behind.

"We're fighting to subdue, right?" she confirms.

"If they let us!"

Vivi Elakha uses Swiftcast.
... gains the effect of
SwiftcastNext spell has no cast time.

"Then let's try doing this the easy way, shall we?"

... casts
ReposePuts target to sleep.
Cyan: Surface, Under Attack.

Second Spellcaster Confirmed. Advanced Single-target Sleep Spell. I... *khzzzkh*

The sniper tries to take a shot, misses completely, falls out of the tree, and slams into the ground. There's a crack as they strike it, and they immediately wake up, though they probably won't be going far with a broken whatever-it-is-they-just-broke. Their weapon falls out a good distance away from them.


Hahaha! "Subdue". Great joke!... you weren't joking? oh. Good sleep spell though. Got that one down anyway.
Cyan - Surface
Vivi and Finch approach the fallen sniper cautiously. "They've lost their weapon, but watch for tricks up their sleeve... I'll keep an eye out for their teammates."

Finch walks right up to the sniper and smacks his axe into the ground just ilms away from their feet. "Hi there! We're new. You mind explaining to us what the heck's going on around here?"

The cheer in his voice is unsettlingly at odds with the bloodlust in his eyes.
Cyan: Surface.

The sniper is fairly short, about five and a quarter feet tall, and built lightly to boot. They're wearing some kind of camouflage-patterned uniform which covers their whole body. The communication thing they're using is apparently shut off, because the static-y radio voice they previously had is gone. They're whispering something under their breath. They aren't moving. Eventually they stop whispering and actually say something.

Adventurers... kill me if you must, but spare the others. Please. They've done nothing to harm you. They've done nothing wrong. What have we done that you've come here to kill us? Did the Guild send you? Did the President? One of the foreign powers? Are you going to gloat?

Well, I'm going to gloat if no one else is. Ha! Look at you! Failing like that, on the ground. Guess you couldn't protect your loved ones! You're such a failure!

Kellensea continues gloating and taunting the wounded sniper, who's developed a spreading patch of blood partway up their leg. Eventually she finishes her vicious jabs.

Right. So, you heard the question. Answer it.

Instead of answering the question, the sniper just groans in pain.

Please, I don't understand your question. Please, Please, spare them. Take me, spare them. They... need to live.

They have genuine terror in their voice, and continue begging to be taken instead of their friends.
Cyan - Surface
"We're not here to kill you," Finch says, his tone still completely at odds with his expression. "We're here to... um, wait, what are we here for, Vivi?"

"Near as I can tell, we're here to figure out why we're here," she says.

"... that seems... circular..."
Cyan: Surface

No. No. You'll kill me the moment I provide you with enough information to stop being useful. You're not here to kill me specifically, but that won't stop you from doing it. You're adventurers. That's what you DO.

Fair enough. Now... you going to give us the information we request? Or do we have to extract your bones and feed you the marrow?

Just... please. I can't escape you, I know you're out for blood, you're always out for blood. But please just take my life and leave this place. We have little of value! It wouldn't be worth the effort! PLEASE!

Well, you're useless. You two got any questions formulated cleanly enough for this one to comprehend, or should we just tear out their bones now?

Kellensea's voice is deadpan as she talks about brutal torture for the sake of the same. She takes a dagger out from one of her many belts and twiddles it around, until it catches on one of her altogether too many rings and she drops it.

Oops. Less intimidating than I would have liked.
Cyan - Surface
Vivi frowns loudly. "I don't know how adventuring works around here, but we're from Eorzea, and Eorzean adventurers do things for reasons. Like helping people.

"In exchange for reasonable compensation.

"Where possible," Vivi says sternly. "Point is, we have no reason to kill you right now, and we're not going to kill you simply for lack of a reason not to."
Cyan: Surface

The sniper seems momentarily confused at Vivi's statement. Or possibly trying to focus through the pain of having a broken bone sticking through their leg.

Eorzea? That a place overseas? Look, just... don't lie like that, you're here to kill us all and take everything not nailed down because someone told you to come here to do something and we happened to be here. Anyway, you'll find a reason. And you're begging for answers to questions. You're going to kill me the moment the interrogation is over, because "no quarter" or "what if he alerts someone" or "hey I bet his lever-gun is custom" or something like that. THE SKY IS GONE, and you people STILL show up to make worse. You aren't even asking ACTUAL QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS!

The sniper pauses for a bit. The silence is awkward.

And no, the lever-gun is not custom, it's factory. So that can't be the reason.

Meanwhile, Kellensea (having retrieved her dropped dagger) stands, appearing to stare blankly, even though nothing of her face is exposed.

How do you do that, Vivi? The loud frowning.

Her complete non-sequitur stated, she goes back to standing still and looking slightly off to one side, not saying anything.
Red Portal's subplot not over yet


Suddenly, gunshots strike the arachnid automaton, and Hank pounces on it.


Cyan - Surface
"Yes, I suppose I should be more specific than a generalized 'what the heck is going on around here'," Vivi mutters. Then she spots the sniper's extremely broken bone and frowns loudly again.

Vivi Elakha readies Cure.
... casts Cure.

"Well, okay, we would prefer if you didn't go about alerting people, but we can solve that without killing you. Like we can tie you up."

"Do we have any rope?" Finch asks.

"We're adventurers," Vivi answers. "We always have rope."

A brief awkward pause.

"Finch Elakha, did you set out on an adventure without any rope?" Vivi says, sounding scandalized.

"It's not like there was a shop back at the hotel!" Finch exclaims. "And you can't use the pink smoke anymore, so where was I supposed to get some rope?"

Vivi shakes her head and turns back to the sniper. "Anyway, you mentioned the sky being gone. When did that happen, who did it, and why - can you tell us that?"
Complex Rooftop

Moon and Calli were taken off-guard by that, and Moon decides it's best to vacate the Complex, so walks back through the Red Portal to take a break from this in the Hotel. Calli, though, got her scythe out and was ready to deal with whatever lies within the Complex. "I'll let you two handle all this up here, I'll check what's happening down below - That sound fair?"
Cyan: Surface

The sniper seems surprised by the "being healed" thing, then stands up with their hands up.

Oh, You're healing me. Wonderful. A prelude to whatever horrific torture lies in store. "Tie me up", ha. You're going to Kyronize me the moment you track down rope. But the SKY? I thought you'd know, you being involved with it and all. Happened a couple days ago. A joint taskforce, not sure who, guild and UR probably, surrounded us and cut all contact with the outside. No teleportation, no communication, no summoning in here, and we've got no visual on them so we can't track their movements with our spotters. They can see in, we can't see out. We managed to evacuate most essential personnel though, all the way up to Facility Director Laskonsos, so if you're here to kill him or the other lead researchers, you should leave. No, I'm not telling you where or how we got them out.
Cyan - Surface
"Involved with -- no, we just got here like... what, a bell ago? Two? You say this happened a few days ago, we weren't even here then. A portal opened and we're looking for anything useful and/or why the hells the magic picked this place to put it."

"Uh, are we just telling people that, then?" Finch asks.

Vivi shrugs. "Can't see why not."
Cyan: Surface


The sniper is completely incredulous.

You got in? And out? Through a portal? You have gates? Stable gates? That's... impressive actually. I'd offer you a position, but I'm not allowed to do that, nor do I trust you, and it's quite possible you're lying about how you got in, and also you're adventurers, you probably didn't make them. And also you're going to kill me so... there's that whole roadblock. And the joint taskforce could have just hired you to come here, and not told you about what they've done.
Cyan - Surface
"Still not gonna kill you," Vivi mutters, knowing the sniper isn't listening. "How the portal got made is... a long story, but it is our portal, at least insomuch as it certainly isn't anyone else's..."

"You didn't make it, though," Finch points out.

"Technically I did!" Vivi says cheerfully.

"Oh, now she can acknowledge it, huh..."
Cyan: Surface

The sniper sighs. They seem more relaxed now, apparently deciding that the part where they get brutally killed isn't going to be immediate.

Oh, you're justifying the portal and claiming it by virtue of it "not being claimed already". Adventurer Shenanigans. Joy. And people wonder why we tend to avoid taking on adventurers into the staff. I mean, aside from the obvious issues. Even VELS agrees that adventurers should be kept as far from research as possible! She's said as much to us!

Kellensea's attention is suddenly grabbed.

Vels told you that? I helped clear her list one time! I have a high-favor symbol! Look, here!

She flashes a strange necklace with a charm which looks like a V crossed with two bars, like some bizarre currency symbol. It glows slightly.

...So? Just because you're in her favor doesn't mean you're allowed in. Or that I trust you. If anything, I trust you less now. You're a list-clearing adventurer, and presumably your party here participated in that.
Cyan - Surface
"More like..." Vivi thinks about how best to explain the absurdity that is Murder-Free to this person. "... The person to whom the portal's ownership would most rightfully be attributed died shortly before it opened -- in fact it opened because she died; she had actually intended to do a lot more prep first. It would be reasonable to describe me as the steward of her estate. ... The truth is far more complicated than that, but this gets you most of the way there."

Finch glances at Kellensea. "List-clearing? Also no," he adds, turning back to the sniper, "we only joined Kel's party just this mission. Probably gonna do more portal-exploring with her after this, or maybe with someone else."
Cyan: Surface

Oh. Rich kids running around with an actual adventurer, with your big fancy wizard estate or whatever. She's going to dump you in a ditch the moment she gets the chance, you know that?... you are a she, right?

Yeah. To the "being a she". Not to the "dump in a ditch" part.

You going to explain list-clearing to them, or you think they might realize how far gone you are that you're a regular enough list clearer to receive that little badge there, and get away before you kill them and take their stuff? What happened to your old party, you kill them too?

THEY'RE STILL AROUND! YOU CAN LOOK THEM UP! You can look ME up! We SEPERATED because our big mission was done! And Zharzy died of an old injury, so we didn't have a battlecaster anymore! So of COURSE we couldn't keep going!

Zharzy. Zharzikovich? The Guild Reject who was part of the party who killed Etiri? YOU were part of that party?

Kellensea realizes too late that she's stepped into dangerous territory, and sputters, planning to say more regardless.
Cyan - Surface
"Pfff. I have been an adventurer for the majority of my adult life," Vivi says. "If Kellensea plans to dump us in a ditch, I'd like to see her try. ... I mean I wouldn't like that, actually, I'd be very sad that she had betrayed us, but the point is, she wouldn't be able to." The Warrior of Light thing would probably be very convincing if it wasn't also nigh-guaranteed to fly over their head...

"Who's Etiri?" Finch asks, sounding more curious than anything.
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