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Full Version: Murder-Free II: The City's Portaling Revengeance
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Cyan: Surface

You don't know Etiri? Etirisosiss Kermann, the greatest arcane engineer of the century? Brutally murdered by a gang of adventurers over a petty political dispute after founding a facility where arcane science could progress without guild interference?

Oh, yeah, that's her full name. Could never remember it. Good to hear I'm right about her indiless though.

She was the GREATEST MIND AROUND, and then a gang of five adventurers came in and killed her and many of our researchers, all because she purchased this land from the wrong people! They stripped her corpse of all valuables, they destroyed our research, and then they left!

...She was a traitor! She worked with us until she turned and joined Selvan! She didn't just purchase land, she ran off with military secrets and bought the land WITH them!

Oh, so you ADMIT you were involved!

WHAT OF IT?! I even have her bracelet key! Yeah? SEE? I stripped this from her STILL WARM BODY! AND I'D DO IT AGAIN! I'D DO IT TWICE! You insult my party member, you demean ME, and you have the GALL to act like this? If this was back during my main career, I'd have VIVISECTED YOU!
Cyan - Surface
Vivi rubs at the bridge of her nose, looking exasperated. "Politics. I hate politics. Does any of that have to do with the dome and why it got dropped here and what we're here to find?"

"We still don't know what we're here to find, Vivi, remember?" Finch says.

"Right, that little detail..."
Cyan: Surface

You're here to find nothing. There's nothing here for those of your ilk. Our non-combat leads evacuated with copies of the research, left us and the combat leads to take as many of the Joint Taskforce with us as we can, maybe even drive them back, once they attack. And we're going to do that too. When we're done, the dead will be the lucky ones, the living ones our tribute! Blood will coat the altar, the Joint Taskforce members will fear us, and we'll be much in favor! Our valuables have been taken with them too! You'll never find them! YOU CAN TAKE OUR LIVES, BUT YOU'LL NEVER CLAIM WHAT YOU WANT MOST! YOU CAN'T KILL OUR KNOWLEDGE!

Hey, this one's somehow roused the long-decayed nerves in my neck. I'm feeling... spectacular pain! Can we just confirm this one's suspicions, take their stuff, and dump them in the river over there?

Kellensea has largely calmed down from the extremely agitated state she built up to previously, and now appears to have produced a polearm from her wide selection of weapons and is currently preparing to swing it if given the word. So less angry, and more "homicidally bored"




The silence becomes awkward again.



Finally, the sniper speaks.

Well? Aren't you going to swing? If not, I've completely wasted that speech there. Strike me down and... I don't know, I'll be a martyr or something for our cause. And you don't want that but you're going to do it anyway because you're adventurers, and you'll try to cover up my death, but it will leak out and I'll be a symbol for years to come. Like Etiri is! Come on, I didn't leave the Zhin to not be part of something ACTUALLY bigger than myself.

"Yeah go deal with it - I'm sick of staying in this stinking prison complex for so long!"

Hank notices the Red Portal and makes a dash for it, only to find out some people seem to be missing.

"...Oh fucking hell...KLUG! PICCY! SWEETHEART-"

A spiked ball strikes Hank in the face, barely missing his glasses entirely. "..."

"Yeah, yeah, bla bla bla, we found an exit...come on, you two wimps!" Sweetheart says to Hank, then rattles to Klug and Piccy.

"This has been the 17th time you've said wimp. Sheesh." Klug complains after wrecking the spider automaton with his spells.

Hank and Piccy manage to escape...just as dog-sized automatons grab Klug and Sweetheart, preventing their escape.



"Nyall fuck OFF, you freaks!" Glasya strikes one of said automatons, but...

"Planeswalker Glasya. You shall hear from me, The Warden, at once. Do not resist."

"Wha-NYAAAAAAAAAAAA-" Something speedy quickly kidnaps Glasya back into the God Complex.
Cyan - Surface
"Is it just me, or does this person want to die?" Vivi asks, pulling a lengthy coil of rope out of her pack. "I'm now even less inclined to kill them."
Cyan: Surface

You DO have rope! Excellent. We can deal with this in the way that makes this one's day much worse, then. You want me to swing so badly...

With a practiced motion, Kellensea's hands slide up the glaive, catch on the disk separating the blade from the shaft, and she swings the shaft right into the sniper's head, knocking them to the ground, stunned.

There... I hope you weren't planning on asking more questions. Ah, we can always wait for them to recover a bit.

Calli decides to check and see what is happening in the Hotel, so decides to walk back through the Red Portal to see Moon just vibing there.
Cyan - Surface
Vivi shrugs as she ties the unconscious sniper to the tree they had been hiding in. "If I come up with questions, I'm sure I can come back. In fact..." She rummages through her bag and retrieves a small pearl, which she slips into the sniper's pocket. "That linkpearl won't work cross-dimensionally, but I imagine any questions I come up with will be before we leave."

Finch, meanwhile, is examining the sniper's fallen weapon and determining whether he could take it for himself.
Cyan: Surface

The weapon is stamped with a serial number, a little mark on the side of the barrel saying "10x" and a small symbol that looks like a stylized "M". It doesn't look custom, nor particularly hand-crafted, more like poured, bolted, and assembled from mass-produced parts. Apparently this world has some form of factories. It looks like some weird form of firearm. The barrel is large and unrifled, and a series of seven levers with "+1x", "+2x", "+4x", "+8x", "+16x", "+32x", and "+64x" stamped on the handles extending from a box on the side. The levers apparently got knocked in the fall from the tree, as they're all in the "off" position. There's a scope on the firearm, which on looking through it, provides decent magnification, and has some rudimentary rangefinding markings, in units of whatever "x" is. Checking the sniper reveals cartridges containing lead balls weighing about a pound, wadding, and gunpowder. The glancing wound one of those gave Finch earlier stings somewhat, probably because the whole "moving significantly to pick up the weapon" constituted something that agitated the injury.

Hey, nice. Morvynite tech, that. Don't know how to use them myself, always liked the overseas versions of that particular kind better, and even then, never used them much. But nice nonetheless. Wish It'd been one of the normal guns... I ever tell you the story about the time a guy right in front of me got his head blown open by one of these? I think I still have a bone shard embedded in my arm from that! Good times, even if we never did catch up with the sniper who took the shot.

Kellensea glances over the weapon a bit more.

I mean, if you're going to take it, go ahead. Not much of a trophy-worthy foe, that one, and it's not like I need their clothes or goggles or anything. I've already got their cash though, dibs on that.

She shows off a small roll of paper currency, which she apparently grabbed off the sniper while Vivi was tying them up.

Better than coins, this stuff. People don't like coins. Heavy. They get mad when you pay entirely in copper pieces, and really, it's all worth the same on a grand scale. Can't exactly eat silver and gold, any more than paper here, can you? Not that I eat anymore. Gold's more fun to roll in though. Dragons got it figured out there.
-Indigo Portal-

Meanwhile, Kennifer finishes up... whatever she's doing with the servers in terms of checking the data, which let's say is something she probably at least has enough knowledge of to figure out how to do because I probably wanna use her elsewhere at some point lol and heads back through the portal and into...


...the mainish area of the hotels with the portals. Okay, she feels she was at least somewhat useful, and that went... not as horribly as the rifts in Siberia.

On the other hand her head is still throbbing and that gash scar still looks gnarly as hell and now she's probably gonna panic a bit more about "holy shit I count as a mass murderer now don't I" and "I remember everything from that space station because of that" and "I fuckin DIED" so it's time to sit down and have a bit of a crisis until the next distraction presents itself.
Hotel, Outside

"Piccy? Klug? Sweetheart? Everyone ok?"

"I'm fine!..." Piccy answers.

"...Oh come on! Fuck this!" Hank yells in frustration after no response from Klug and Sweetheart.

God Complex Sub-Arc: Paused
Cyan - Surface
"Paper money..." Vivi muses. "Would've made buying a house easier. ... wouldn't have solved the lack of supply, but at least I wouldn't have had to cart around a briefcase full of gil coins."

"Did you ever actually get that house, though?" Finch asks, stowing away the rifle in his bag.

"Sadly, no." She spots Finch wincing and casts Regen on him. "Careful, natural healing is slower out here."
Cyan: Surface

Oh, you're taking it? Alright. Careful with it then. You have a plan for what we should do next, or... Well, there's a taskforce outside the dome. Wonder who it is. Wonder what esoteric reason that portal brought us here is. Harness something? We'll find out, I suppose. Maybe. Point is, I don't really have a vested interest in deciding where we go next. We've been... here, and my plans kind of got ruined by the whole "getting shot at" thing. I got distracted, and we can't exactly rush into the house at full tilt now that we know there's more security forces there. Presumably.

Kellensea then registers the talk about housing, and takes it as an invitation to talk about her experience with housing, instead of just words.

Oh yeah. Housing. Back with my party, we bought a house. Right after we killed... oh, I forget that one's name. Total giant she was though. Eight feet, easily! Nearly killed us singlehanded! Anyway, the place was terrible. Drafty, large, with too many tiny rooms, and cost far too much. Sauthaiss bought me out of my share. I think she lives there still, unless the whole thing caved in while I was away. The point is, home ownership is grossly overrated if you're not settling in an adventurer community, and even then, if you're not retired from active work, you'll be out half the time, then you have to clean the place up from dust buildup, even if no one's going to be stupid enough to break in because they know you'll hunt them down and butcher them. Houses are mostly a place to show off your trophies that're too big for carrying everywhere in my experience. Beyond that? Utility is pretty limited, unless you're in a deep-site town.
Cyan - Surface
"I'm kinda out of ideas," Vivi admits with a shrug. "Intrigued by the whole dome issue, to be sure, but it doesn't seem to be the important thing here. But it's not like we're on a time limit. We can take a break if we want.

"Should find a place to put down an anchor, though. Somewhere people aren't likely to come across and fiddle with things..."
Cyan: Surface.

Anchor? You mean like a return-base, or...

Kellensea shrugs.

I mean, safe-place wise, I'd think near the portal seems reasonable. Dust and disuse were the main qualities there, so clearly people don't come down there very often, if at all. It really depends on what you mean by "anchor".
Cyan - Surface
"A magical anchor for..." Vivi waves her hands vaguely. "The pink smoke, and the hotel, and all that. It used to be anchored solely in her, then she died and now it's anchored solely in me, we need to get it anchored in more places so that we can worry less about the whole thing getting knocked down if one person dies."

She shrugs. "I don't really understand the details, but that's... the information she left me."
Cyan: Surface

Ugh. Inheritance magic. Wish Zharzy was still around, he knew way more magical theory than I do. So do you need a person, or could you use like a... focus object? Or could it just be a patch of ground? Problem is, this is still a IARC, so if the research staff come back, they'll find it pretty quickly, whatever it is, and it's not like your magic is entirely consistent with my magic, so my theory knowledge might not be as much help as it otherwise would be.
Cyan - Surface
Vivi thinks back to what little guidance she'd been left. "It has to be a single well-defined thing, not too big or small... a patch of ground can qualify, but it'd need something defining it... and if the thing moves too much or ceases to be what it is, the anchor will vanish. It's a bit fuzzy on definitions."
Cyan: Surface

That's annoyingly vague. would like, "a clearly marked area on a poured concrete wall in a specific room" be enough? Or would it have to be a proper focus, like a ridgecrystal sphere or something? Because if a wall would work, I could just scratch some marks into a wall by the portal and you could anchor there.

Kellensea shrugs again.

If it has to be a proper focus, this is an IARC, so it shouldn't be too hard to track down an unused one. Maybe in that warehouse we passed.
Cyan - Surface
"As I understand it, a clearly-marked area on a wall would work... as long as it remained clearly-marked."
Cyan: Surface to Deep Storage 2

Well, enough talking, let's... do that then. Yes. Do it. Proceed. Come on. Let's... do that. then. now.

Kellensea suddenly sets off at a dash back to near the portal, where she begins etching a series of symbols into the concrete wall with a slightly glowing knife. It soon becomes clear the symbols are in fact letters.

"Thank you for not disrupting this diagram. -K. Hardthareiter."

She then scratches a simple roughly two foot by two foot square into the wall around the writing. After Vivi and Finch catch up...

That good, or do we need like, explosive sharks armed with skyguards and full-on security forces to protect it? And if it does get disrupted, will it like, explode everything and kill us all, or will we just need to get a new one?
Cyan - Deep Storage 2
"I ... think that if the anchor is disrupted, it just quietly dissipates," Vivi says. "She said that that was her intent, but admitted it was not fully tested.

"If there are no anchors left, the hotel's dimension will collapse and we'll all die. Right now we're one mortal Miqo'te away from that happening, so... let's fix that, at least."

She steps up to the diagram and holds out her hands at it.

Vivi Elakha readies Interdimensional Anchor.
Cyan: Deep Storage 2

Out of nowhere, during the anchoring process, Kellensea speaks up.

Oh, when we get back, remind me to feed my prisoners. I don't want them starving, and I'm pretty sure both of them eat, and I'll forget if you don't remind me, and really, I don't want them both starving, because then someone would be like "KELLENSEA WHY WERE YOU KEEPING PRISONERS" and I'll get into an argument with them and they'll be all whiny about "WHY OH WHY DID YOU LET THEM STARVE OR TAKE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU" and I'll be like "really, this is what we're arguing about now?" and they'll be like "YES THIS IS A BIG DEAL" when it really isn't, and I'd rather not do that, so just remind me. Oh, carry on with the ritual.
Cyan - Deep Storage 2
Vivi silently keeps her focus on setting the anchor.

"... Well, since she's busy," Finch says, "I guess I gotta be the one to ask. Why are you keeping prisoners?"
Cyan: Deep Storage 2.

Kellensea seems wary of the question, but answers anyway.

Oh, they just sort of showed up when the whole portal thing happened. The little lizard tried to steal my stuff. Something about "needing it for something". Of course, I couldn't let that stand, my hoard is mine, so I tossed him in the broken elevator shaft, but he keeps breaking my locks and finding ways to escape while dodging the question of what that "something" that it needs my stuff for is. Smart one, that one. And then some fire elemental shows up, clearly out of its mind, so I tossed it in too, because it was probably going to start a fire if I didn't put it somewhere reasonably fireproof. It might have a name, I don't know. It certainly wasn't talking particularly coherently, or comprehensibly, if those were indeed words. Anyway, they're still there, unless the little lizard broke them out again while I was gone.
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