>YEAR: 1501 AE
Last time on TimeQuest:
Nero and Luke faced off against the mercenaries of Goudeau's Army on their way to the surface, fighting a fierce battle against them which resulted in many dead, the rest retreating, and their leader Magz sans a foreleg to be questioned of what he knew of Eo-Naxx Claw. Meanwhile, hidden away in a locker in their chamber, Luke Warm found yet another of his temporal dopplegangers…
Honey had found a secret passage beneath the refuse of the underground junkyard, but her trailblazing was cut short by a surprise appearance from Caduceus . After a swift retaliation, Caduceus hid among the junk as he called for assistance from another surprising figure: one of the mercenaries that led the theft from the Blaster Base and Crumple's primary rival in the Shade, Bulldozer of Pain
Onyxia had put her hoof down to Red in her stalwart refusal to use Big Green, otherwise known as Eon, to exact vengeance on behalf of the Danger Dogz on their nearby Dome problem, so after fusing with Steel's cape she and him went to solve the issue personally. Arriving at the location, automated defenses built into the cavern of Dome G-777 began to attack them.
Southern Point had opted to stay behind and assist with the moving of debris that troubled the dogs, and for her donations to their massive bank of shinies was rewarded with an old cloaking device. Following Onyxia down into the shiny-trail tunnel, she was met with a quick glimpse of Big Green before ascending back to the cavern above, where she saw an opportunity…
The black crystal goes sliding up the defensive laser towers surrounding you, crawling up and forcing the turrets to lock on to each other instead, and the lasers begin pouring into one another as the beams tear through each turret. Steel nods his head, drawing his sword and slashing at the energy barrier to no avail, growling as the sword only clangs off its surface with electrical sparks. "No going through!"
As the turrets blow themselves apart, a few of the stalactites in the cieling begin to open up, revealing themselves as artificial as the tops split apart and the tops of missiles reveal themselves, readying to launch as fire sparks out of the top of the stalactites.
Gray, and numerous dogs, pull their claws back in shock as the chest is slammed soundly, looking at you with wide, grayed out eyes (many have shades) as you make the offer known to them.
One of the dogs rubs behind her neck, "We not all know how to fight… it can get rough up there."
Another dog looks on with wide eyes, "Y-you know how to make shinies like these?" He pulls at his own vest, a dull orange, "I-I only make this with scraps, it dirty, dull, not nice at all… b-but me can learn!"
Other dogs look around in discussion, some splitting off to focus on their invasion plot as others peak their interest in your audition. "You have things to show dogs??"
The voice continues howling for a bit latter, before a low, gruff tone yells over the gattling fire, which pierces your hull for 5 hits (2/7). "What the hell else is new, you flying washing unit! Hahahahaha!" From atop the pile of cars, you can see him more clearly: large, white, and hulking minotaur with an X-shape harness on his chest made of thick chains, touting multiple weapons. Most notably in his bulking biceps, is a full Gatling gun wielded in each. "Been a while there, Crumple: can't say I like the new look, gettin' bigger like that makes it look like you're getting a little Bulldozer envy." He grins as he keeps a bead on you, "Sound like you've been expectin' me?!"
As you command Lead Head to start blasting the pile, she nods her head, although you see Caduceus has already disappeared behind it. "I'm on it! You drop that son of a bitch hard!" She shouts as she fires a rocket towards the pile, running after it as she loads another shot.
The wrath hits Bulldozer hard, the wave of elemental sound shaking his foundation of the junkpile and sending it tumbling down, one of his gattling guns dropped in the process. He growls, "HEY! I just got done supin' that one up, tin-can!" He digs into his weapon array as he tumbles, a plasma caster leveled up at you next. The latter begins to charge a deep red pulse.>cannot attack due to Wrath's effect
Magz grunts loudly as he's kicked while being down, looking up at Luke while holding at his gaping wound, "I-I could still kick your ass, you little whelp…"
Twilight sighs, barely picking herself up as well off the floor with severe burns and cuts as she holds her head, "Th-that's the truth though. Oww…. it's gonna take a lot of healing to patch this up. It's too bad about your men," she huffs, "We TRIED to be reasonable with you…"
As the sound of the pounding in the cabinet comes to light, Twilight turns her head, "Huh…? What's that?" As the new Luke falls suddenly out of the cabinet, she grits her teeth as her ears flatten, "Y-you're kidding me! ANOTHER one?!"
As Luke puts the duct-tape back on, Twilight huffs, walking over to him, "Luke, ungag yourself, please.">>673157
Magz grunts, giving a slight grin at the complement. "Heh. Flattery will get you nowhere, bastard…" he groans, gripping at his wound, "Though I'll admit. Tougher than you look. Can't remember the last time I lost this hard…" As you ask about Eo-Naxx Claw, he turns his head, growling. "Never heard of 'im…" You can tell subtly by his expression he's obviously not letting on all he knows.
Twilight grunts as she drags herself over, "He has a lot of loyalty for a thug…" she turns her notice towards the gaping wound, "Should I try to close that at least, so he doesn't…*gag* bleed out before we finish asking him?">>673157>>673164
As the new Luke is freed, Magz groans, "Oh, for fuck's sake, not him…"
He looks up at Nero, "We found that idiot just outside the top entrance. Let him in because he said he had something for us, but all he's gone on about is friendship and harmony and a whole lot of other crap. We were originally gonna kill him but honestly, we didn't want to waste the ammo. Thought he'd also make good bait in case the Dome's robots had some traps set up."
"Damn right I have! Been blue-balled many good times lately!" Crumple yells back, missile rack opening up from the back.
"And what can I say? Old me couldn't handle the level of badass I've become! Which means you've been slacking!"
Crumple laughs as the gun is dropped.
"Don't worry! I've got one RIGHT HERE!"
At that, Crumple unloads its own gatling gun at Bulldozer and blasting the downed Dozer with some missiles.
"Better not disappoint me like every mare you've banged! Haahaha!"
>Dual Great Ranged Napalm Decay
[1d10+2: 2 + 2 = 4]
[1d10+2: 7 + 2 = 9]
As Honey get Crumple shooting and blasting, Honey gets to work with her magic to fix up that gatling gun fire.>Magitech healing
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
While waiting for a dog to present her a worthy audition, she gets out her wire.
"Anybody who wants to wear something OTHER than shoddy rags, leave 'em over here," she says, pointing at a cleared-out space nearby. "But if you use this as an opportunity to flash around your ugly bits, you're going to lose them."
[1d10] fixing up doggo clothesRoll #1 4 = 4
Her crystal retracts once the turrets are destroyed, taking a breath as Steel charges at the barrier.
"Keep me covered then! I'll worry about getting in!"
She commands, running closer to the gate.
Looking over the barrier, Onyxia stomps both her hooves on the ground. Crystal spreads and digs into the dirt and stone as she tries to raise up the ground right under the barrier, hoping it'll move it aside so they can pass through it before the new turrets start to fire.>Transmute [1d10: 10]
Lukewarms grimaces as he squats beside the bounded iteration of himself. "Ehh do we have to? I mean, lets at least wait for the guy to calm down a bit. You hear that dude. I'm not undoing your wraps until you calm down."
The tied up and gagged Lukewarm only accelerates his frantic jittering, desperately wanting to be free. "Dude what is wrong with I said all you had to do was calm down." Luke chuckles a bit before turning to Twilight "He's eventually gotta tire himself out."
Lukewarm's bounded iteration of himself looks at twilight with doughy eyes, for a moment.
>>673169>As you ask about Eo-Naxx Claw, he turns his head, growling. "Never heard of 'im…"
The radiant crystal pony stomps down on Magz left leg, hard, shattering the bone under His heel.
"Two! Tell me what you know!" Nero commands.
"He's with the Order of Eon." Nero explains to Twilight when she comments on Magz' loyalty.
"Either a servant or a pawn.">>673178
"Leave your copy bound until I finish with Magz. The last one we found wanted to kill you, remember?"
"Alright, sounds good to me. To be honest though he doesn't look like he could swat a fly."
"Slacking?! HAH!" Bulldozer calls out, bouncing along the tumbling scraps of hovercar as his junkpile collapses, but grunts as he's nailed with the flares of your missiles and the decaying napalm scatters on his arms, "I've practically been running this dump since day one! You're just catching up to me is all, Tin Can!"
As the plasma caster finishes its charge, he points its hot red focus point directly at you, "And you take that back, you motherfucker! There isn't a mare, cow, griffoness, or any damn lady's world that the BULLDOZER hasn't rocked!"
[1d10+1] The beam fires out at Honey Bunch>Repeating Fire, Trick Ammo: EMP
>You successfully use your magitech to patch up Crumple's damages, taking yourself back to 7/7>>673173
As you point out their shoddy rags, Gray lifts up his claws to pull at the fabric. It's definitely not in the best of shape, and a piece of it even comes off as he pulls at it. With this, he nods his head, "Hrrmm… it would be nice for Dogz to wear NEW vests for once…" he comments as he removes his vest on the spot, other dogs nodding their heads as they slowly crawl towards you, the various sized pack giving you clothes ranging from as small as washclothes to as large as bed-sheets. "We no show ponies any bits, egh. We CLASSY Dogz," Gray says as he picks his nose.
As you start to work on the dogs' vests, a small bunch of the female dogs look to meet your challenge as they move to grab some material from their huts, a small circle forming near you as they begin to construct something noteworthy to earn your shinies (though none of their material shines as such)
>You managed to strengthen/reinforce the fabric of their clothes a bit, but it's hard to make anything out of the ratty material they've given you. Many of these should have been destroyed LONG ago and are stiff/unmanageable. Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
Steel nods his head and leaps at the first missile inbound to you, but he grunts as his slice to deflect the projectile causes it to explode, causing a hit of damage on you (4/4) from the heat and blast nearby as you work. However, the defense provided is not enough to break your steely concentration: your crystal spreads into the ground and hits the ground underneath the barrier, pushing and shifting the stone and gravel of the cavern floor to form a hole in its defense. As you shift the ground around, you can see that the barrier doesn't make a dome, but a sphere, protecting underground attack as well, but the transmutation accounts for this as the hole is formed successfully.
Steel looks at the opening, and nods his head, "Go! Go!"
The missiles fire twice
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1]>>673178
Magz coughs up a little blood as he lays against the wall, growling, "Hrrrng… no complaints on my part. We were just going to leave him in here like that anyhow."
Twilight sighs and rubs her head, "Yeah, that's true, he might. But, I'm not sure if staying bound and gagged is going to help out with that. At least let him talk…" She uses her magic to lower Saint Luke's gag, lowering her head, "Listen, I don't know how much you know about what's going on right now, but, I promise we're here to help.">>673179
Magz's teeth snap tight and he lets out a massive hiss, pounding his good leg on the floor with anger and agony as Twilight winces hard, bring up a wing to cover one of her eyes. Magz spits on the floor, "AAAGH! FUCK!" he looks up at you with disdain, growling, "Order of what….? Alright, jackass, look: we know Claw, but I don't know shit about any Order. How the hell do YOU know him?" He asks with strain in his voice.Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2
Onyxia pulls her hooves from the ground, her coat glowing as she pushes herself to break in, the vibrant blacks and crimson reds now looking more like polished leather than cloth. She doesn't even wait for Steel's command, she's already charging through her opening to the Dome's door. She practically tackles it as she slams her hooves onto the metal shutters, black crystal spreading over to peel the Dome's exterior open like a tin can.>Transmute [1d10+1]Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
As Dozer points his red, hot plasma shooter at Crumple, it gets the unibeam up and running with a swing of its head.
"That's funny, 'cause I can name one that you sure as hell haven't rocked! And you keep this shit fighting up, you never will!"
Grinning with excitement of messing with her crush, Honey has Crumple fire up the jets and fly at Bulldozer to slash with the blazing red unibeam.>Napalm Decay Single (DC -2)
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
She continues to fix the clothing. [1d10]
As she pores over the work of the dogs, her attention is especially drawn to a corgi with cool pointed shades and a poncho, obsessively hunched over a tiny pony action figure, stitching together a costume for it.
The dog just werks. [1d10]
Southern merely observes from a distance as she fixes the dog clothes.Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
Nero reaches down, picking up Magz by the throat and lifting him into the air as he says he knows who Claw is.
"Where is he?" the king says with a glare, looking up into Magz eyes as his legs dangle.
>>673184>>673179>"Either a servant or a pawn."
"Whoa Whoa This guy's working for the Order?" Luke ambles over to Magz and Nero. Luke taps Magz's head with his bat "Y'know we lost some ponies we cared a whole lot about to those guys. We don't even know you." Luke says to Magz >How the hell do YOU know him?"
"You hear that Nero! He totally works for them. Why the else would he give a damn how we knew about the Order." Luke taps at Magz's skull harder than before
[1d10] intimidation roll>>673184>Saint gasp for some fresh air again once ungagged.
"Friggin frack! Friggit! c'mooon you're not even gonna do the bonds. I get clausterphobic! gaaah. I know exactly why you guys are here. Working with that snake in the garden Nero. It's hopeless, there is nothing worth saving but your soul! Leave this era, let the day of judgement come, our sins against harmony be cleansed by Celestia's holy fire. Everything putrid be cleansed by her sun. I'm serious Luke, you are me right? The guy in the bandages. You're a really weird looking Lukewarm. I guess thats what friggin happens when you get a bunch of Lukes in a room and tell'em to make the ultimate luke. Or more squabble what'd cool in a lukewarm. I'm serious though, Go home, learn carpentry, start a family, go to church. this adventure's all a bunch of horse manure." Luke continue jittering about in his bondage "At least undo my ties!! AHHHH!"Roll #1 4 = 4
I forgot to encapsulate all of Saint luke's text in greentext. Will be doing that for future reference.
"Could you just shut the fuck up for twelve seconds?" Luke is agitate>"Untie me! also its a sin to curse"
"What you can undo with that tent your pitching. Looks you like being tied up if ya ask me">"REEEE! Untie me! Untie me! Untie me!" Saint Luke goes nuts.
You jump through the hole you've made in the shimmering barrier, and Steel follows suit right behind you as you dash the remaining 50 feet to the shutter doors of the Dome. One missile impacts on the exterior of the barrier, but one manages to sink directly through and explode next to Steel, severely damaging him as he's thrown away by the impact, rolling towards you. He begins to stand with his newfound scorch marks.
The moment you press your hooves against the doors, there is a brief flash of blue light, and you feel your body surged with thousands and thousands of volts of electricity, disrupting your concentration as you're sent flying backwards (0/3) by the sheer shock. Steel grunts, and as you're sent back you hear the fine music from before shut off, as a red alarm starts to blare instead. "I think they know we're here…">>673191>4 on DC -2
The unibeam scratches across his forehead, causing a shallow gash as he manages to swing his neck just in time to avoid a decapitation, "HA! As if robots knew ANY babes in the Shade. You're kidding if you can fool me with that shit, Crump-Dump."
The hot red plasma screams through the air as you get close, scorching directly through part of your deck and setting fires down stairs, the damage critical as fire and electrical pulses course through your system.>0/6>Next attack against you will crit on 8+, and cannot cast spell next turn.
He skids across the floor of the junkyard on a broken off door from the hovercars, turning about on it to take his next shot, "Hehehe, kicking your ass. Kicking your ass never changes."
Moving over to the dogs, you notice said corgi-based Danger Dog, notably with a finer poncho than most other dogs in the House, has done a fine job for her costume to the pony action figure, resembling a super-hero of sorts. The stitching is detailed, for these creatures.
You continue to do what you can for their ratty clothes, able to re-attached broken pieces and re-secure the stitching with a little supply of thread from your own, making them look more presentable and usable (but not yet perfected). Red, the leader you had met earlier, hops over to you and looks down at the clothes, he himself still wearing his torn red vest. He sniffs. "Hmm.. they smell prettier already…" he growls, "You nicer to dogs. Dogz no make you want to run?">>673199
As you pick him up by the throat, Magz gags, his legs kicking as his robotic arm hangs limp and he stares down Nero with gritted teeth. "Grrr… I… don't… know." He sneers, "He lives in some hidden Dome far from here. He either comes to US, or gives instructions on the radio." He coughs, "We've only been working with the fucker these last couple weeks, only Goudeau himself has ever been there, after he changed his mind…">>673201
As he's choked out by Nero and tapped with your bat, Magz looks at you, and sneers, "I-I said I don't know any damn Order or whatever you're talking about, I just know Claw! But who gives a fuck who you lost, everyone's lost someone nowadays…"
As you bat his head slightly harder, he doesn't given into the threat. "Grrr… go ahead, bitch. I already have a broken leg and my fucking arm is gone, what's a little cracked skull to the mix?"Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Onyxia stops for just a moment to look back as Steel's hit, but she pushes on. If she doesn't get in things will be even worse.
She shouts out as her body is electrified on contact with the door, falling in a heap as it launches her back, glow fading from her body.
"G-Good, then they'll open up then to come after us."
She groans through her teeth, pushing herself to stand.>Recover [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
As Holy Luke begins screaming and wiggling, Twilight suddenly steps back, her face full of shock, as she deftly pulls the gag back up over his mouth, re-gaging the irate holypone. "O-okay, maybe he needs to calm just a bit more…"
Despite being downed, Crumple still shit talks.
"A dumbass like you would think that. She knows all about you, without you even knowing it, you overgrown steak!">Crumple instant helpless recovery
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
>>673218>Honey's instant attempt
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Back up and standing, the unibeam turns off for now, but the ball and chain that is now Crumple's tail extended. Doing a few spins in place before a thruster-assisted one, Crumple swings the tail mace at Bulldozer.
>Gonzo mace, also crits on 8+
As Crumple does its thing, Honey routes magical power towards fire supression systems! Which is mostly just her draining the hot tub and having it dumped whever the fires are.>Magitech repair
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
"He means how do I know Claw." Nero explains, still holding up the warrior. >>673212
"Which Dome? And what do you mean that Goudeau only met Claw after 'changing his mind'? Changing it about what?" Nero says still holding up Magz by the throat.
Lukewarm's eyes leer at Magz, he glares at him stewing in contemplative rage and then Lukewarm shrugs.
"Eh he called my bluff. I'm too tired to bash his head in." Luke ambles away, "I'm only not beating your brains in cuz I think you're tellin the truth. So don't go thinkin I wouldn't otherwise!"
"Why would I run away from paying customers?" she asks. "Emphasis on 'paying.' Sanitary clothing is worth something, right?"
"The rest of you can stop, but keep what you've got. Lessons are on sale today if you intend to improve your craft."
She puts her hoof on the diamond corgi's shoulder. "You're pretty good," she notes, bending down to observe the detail in the costume and the sturdiness of the tiny stitches.
>"JUST pretty good?" the dog challenges, hiding the action figure from sight.
"Just pretty good. But you're becoming my protege. Can't let you remain just pretty good," Southern maintains as she wheels over her cart. She pushes aside the clothes to clear open a safe and surprisingly expansive workshop for the dog. "Get in…"
>"Copper Conduit," the diamond corgi answers. "No relation. I guess it beats getting turned into jerky out there," she concedes as she hops inside.
Lukewarm scratches his head before squatting beside Twilight and the hysterical version of himself.
"nah, I think this is something we're just gonna have to deal with eventually." Luke undoes the strip of tape again.>"UNTIE ME!!"
"Aye shut up for a moment, and i'll untie you. I gotta ask you something. Is that really how it happened? Like you guys just bounced ideas off a board *pop* I came out.">"Nooo not really. It was more like most of us wanted our regular life back, so we fiddled with the timeline a whole bunch. but uhh we were all kinda fiddling with it and at a certain point it got really confusing and impossible I guess. And as time went by more lukes were getting churned out and -and so yeah you know how it goes, happy birthday, untie me please."
"Yeah thats basically what Mr.Warm told me" Lukewarm sits Holyluke upright and begins untieing him.>"You mean the all business one! Where is he?"
"I don't know, Last I saw him was a couple thousand years back.">"No he's here! And he's up to his avaricious ways!"
"No shit eh, whats he's up to?">"He was at another dome.. selling.. selling bottled water for organs. I told him it might not be such a good way to use his time and maybe he'd like to donate some water to the children's sanctuary church I was building and h-he mugged me. Not only that but he took my kidney. He didn't even have the good grace to stitch it back up, he just threw a big gulp of ice at me and said thats more handouts than he's ever got, and that'a pony should learn to work for what they get. I couldn't even sow it myself, I had to get one of the foals to do it for me."
"Haha, wow that sucks." Luke said apathetically.
You and Steel both manage to successfully stand up, and as the alarms continue to blare, you hear the sounds of gears moving right underneath your hooves, the floor of the cavern at four spots around you (each about ten feet away) opening up to make small holes a foot in diameter. "Well, they did open SOMETHING…" STeel comments, readying his sword.
Out of the four holes, four round, black spheres rise, a slice through their midsection glowing red as they buzz and float through the air closer to you and Steel, two focused on each. "Not the worst welcome I've received."
The two spheres shoot out red rings towards you, and the same with Steel
[1d10] / [1d10] Onyxia
[1d10] / [1d10] Steel
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] Steel slashes at his two>>673220>7/6
As the ball and chain falls out of the tail, Bulldozer pauses, "Fucking hell…. that is fucking METAL! When did you get that?!" He shouts with glee, "AAaah, that is SO going with me after I leave you with your buddies in the scrapheap. This new getup isn't such a disappointment after all!"
He jumps off of his sliding car-door and rolls towards you, ducking underneath the swing of the tail and firing up at your shoulder blades with the plasma caster, the red beam scorching through your armor (3/6), and the fire suppression system of your hot bath water doesn't put out the burning below.>>673223
Magz grunts, kicking his legs. "Hnng. He never told me the ID, just always called it 'the Station'. Goudeau must know it but.. hnng… never thought to tell his 2nd in command."
As you ask about him changing his mind, he looks away, "We knew of Eo-Naxx Claw BEFORE we started working with him. Not long after Goudeau first took charge of the Army and made it his own. The two of them apparently go way back," he clenches his metallic arm, "And I don't think in a good way. Goudeau hates the everloving shit out of Claw for some reason, and I assume the feeling's mutual. Every time I ask, he says it's none of my business."
Magz turns back, "That never stopped Claw from asking us for work in the past, but it kept Goudeau from accepting good sounding jobs. He only just switched on it a little over a week ago. Said he just had an 'epiphany' was it."Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
/ Roll #4 7 = 7
/ Roll #5 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #6 2 + 1 = 3
>>673235>Damn, forgot to roll for his third shot
He swiftly moves back, and preps a third round of the plasma cannon as you see its barrel beginning to distort from the sheer heat>[1d10+3], Trick Ammo: Knockout>>673228
Red snorts, nodding his head. "Hrrmph. We no have many shinies to give that we can afford to take from trail, but, Dogz DO always pay debt." He looks at the clean clothes, smirking, "Hehehe… Red am sorry, we may get nice shiny clothes dirty again too quicks. Lots of diggings, yes?" He reaches for his own, "Um… can you fix Red's too?"
As you call out to them to put down their threads, they turn to you with disappointment in their muzzles, seemingly sad that they couldn't make something more impressive to show you (despite their efforts). As you offer lessons, however, their frowns turn up, and they hop towards you, "You know how to teach?! What you want for lessons, Shiny Dress?">>673225
Magz grunts, "Hey, no assumptions from me. Anyone who isn't willing to beat someone's brains in isn't going to go far in the Shade. Sorry this Order took someone, but that's life, kid…">>673230
As the gag is removed once more, Twilight looks down at Holy Luke with a cringe, "I know you're upset, believe me, I can sympathize but, think you could tone it down JUST a little…?"
As the Luke explains his backstory, Twilight looks down intently, "So all of these Lukes we meet are just, some kind of team that goes messing with the timestream trying to 'fix' your lives, and all it resulted in was a bunch of different versions of yourselves…?" She shakes her head, "Okay, that makes this all even MORE confusing. Just how many of you are there?"Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
"Hah, keep dreaming! Cause's you're going down, and your new fuck buddy!"
Crumple's jaws open, and the flames well up within as Crumple attempts to match the plasma shot by breathing fire, and have the flames keep going to burn up Bulldozer.
>Napalm Decay Cleave on Bulldozer and the incoming plasma shot>2 Targets, talent reduces critfail to 1-
As Crumple breathes fire, his voice still calls out.
"Lead, how you holding up over there?!"Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
Onyxia looks at the four orbs, turning in place between them all thinking of what to do.
"Didn't send out anypony, no wonder the dogs had trouble with all of this."
As they start to fire out a swarm of rings, Onyxia jumps at the one firing at her. She grabs it between her hooves, attempting to warp and mold the object into a weapon she can use.>Transmute [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Nero listens to all this, still holding him upright.
"Last questions. First, who is Geigero, the griffon I spoke to on the radio downstairs? And lastly, where is your master now?">>673236>>673230
Nero turns as Holy Luke starts spewing his lines, looking towards the priest.
"Wait, say that again. About the various Lukes and their origins. Where are you people coming from?"
She fixes Red's outfit, as well as anyone's that needs more repair. [1d10]
"Depends on how much you got," she responds. "'On sale' is a relative term, after all."
With her head poking out of the chest, Copper begins to think of ways to impress her new employer. She decides that, given the high capacity of explosive-users in this era, that something to protect from explosives would be in order. Noting Southern's mastery of thread, she imbues a specific line of indestructible thread with repelling properties.
>Beginning Repel: Blast thread. Roll #1 7 = 7
"Yeah whatever man." Luke says wanting to end that discussion with Magz.>>673236>think you could tone it down JUST a little…?"
Holy Luke responds simply>"O-okay." appearing more reticent and shy than before>"I don't know how many other Lukewarms are out there. I didn't really think to keep count. I think there is a lot though…"
"So uhh are you going to be tagging along with us now or what">"Oh n-no.. I'd rather not.">Holy Luke suddenly stands on his four hooves "Wheres my bike. Where'd they put my bike?" He starts rummaging about the area looking for his collapsible bike.>>673244>"uuggh I just said. They're coming from us. I don't really participate in that anymore but a lot of us lukes wanted to put our life back to normal and I guess in the simplest way I can put it we didn't know how to and just kept making up alternate timelines we couldn't insert ourselves back into. I'm sure a lot others gave up too, and some are still trying. Is this the current Luke? The one in bandages? You can bet he's eventually going to do the same."
The current Lukewarm smiles innocently at Nero.
Nero listens to this.
"So all the Lukewarms are just temporal copies you made trying to alter Luke's life. Meaning this isn't the original Luke."
Nero says looking to Luke.
"If that is true, who is? What is the first Lukewarm like?"
"HAH! You just admitted you're gay, you fuckin'…." he taunts as his plasma beam cuts through you again, burning another deck as you go helpless from the damage (0/5)
Bulldozer's eyes go wide as the flames build up in the jaw of Crumple, and as the streaks of flame fire out in a glorious blaze Bulldozer is thrown back from the force, he screams in pain as the fire send him careening into another junk pile, the metal dump exploding in to shrapnel with a violent explosion, one that rocks the entirety of the cavern. You see the top part of the underground junkyard, the ceiling, cracking and breaking underneath the quakes, and a sliver of light shoots down into the junkyard, immediately vaporizing a moped into plasma. Wherever this place is, it's buried OUTSIDE of the Shade.
As the pyre roars, you see a shaking among the pile, and Bulldozer throws up the burning scraps off of him, his Plasma cannon rendered to molten scrap as . "GRAAAAH! Well, congratulations are in order, Zone: you just officially PISSED! ME! OFFFF!" He roars as he pulls out two of his only good weapons left, a rocket launcher and a flamethrower, and holds them up shoulder to shoulder, preparing to fire both
>[1d10+1] Rocket>[1d10+1] Flamethrower>>673238
Steel nods his head, "They certainly don't take to the hooves on approach, it seems."
You grab at one of the orbs flying around you, swiftly nabbing it and transmuting its metal into the shape of a weapon of your choice, electricity sparking as you mess with its internals. The other one manages to land one of the red rings on your rear hoof, but thanks to your flowy, cloth-based form you slip out of it.
The two assaulting steel manage to land a ring on each of his hooves, and they constrict, binding his rear hooves together as he tries to fight their pull, "T-they're restraining me… grrr… destroy the other, quick!" He shouts as his blade cuts a deep gash in one orb, but misses the other
[1d10] / [1d10] Steel
[1d10] / [1d10] Steel slashes at his two>>673244
As you ask about Geigaro, Magz sneers, "Says he's Claw's son. Usually when we're contacted over the radio, it's through him. Nicer guy to hold a conversation with than his old buzzard, but I get the feeling he doesn't get out much. Doesn't see the world for what it is yet."
He groans, "I know where Goudeau is going to be. We had a meet up point after we were done with the Dome here and he finished his other task. Question is this: if I spill, do I get to live?"Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
/ Roll #4 2 = 2
/ Roll #5 2 = 2
/ Roll #6 8 = 8
Red looks and sniffs at your handiwork as you repair his battered vest, fixing the trims and adding a nice clean shimmer to the cloth. He takes it back immediately on his completion greedily, "Oooh… this good. Red get you something nice for good work…"
As you ask of your potential new students of what they own, they huddle together, trying to think of what it is they could give. One approaches you, and lowers her head, "We have lots of scrap, metal, nothing shiny enough to use for trail but, still useful for ponies that make things. They give you more shinies for scrap, scrap work for Clothes lessons?"
>Copper begins her new job as a weaver, using latent magic rarely found in dogs…>>673248
Twilight lowers her ears in response to Holy Luke's statement, "This is distressing. I think this goes against what we know of time travel so far. Any changes made to the past SHOULDN'T change the 'present' Luke after he's been time-locked. Do you know different versions of me, too?"
As you start rummaging around for your bike, Holy Luke finds no trace of such a thing in the immediate area, and Twilight lowers her brow, "Your… bike?"
>>673260>Hmm. Apparently there's a limit to rolls. Missing last roll from Steel's attack
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Shit! Fucking hell, what the hell are we doing this far away from the Shade?!"
Crumple yells out, with Honey acting as eyes at the moment.
"Lead?! LEAD?! Where the fuck are you?! We have to bail, pronto!"
At hearing Bulldozer roar, Honey chuckles even in these circumstances.
"Told ya you've been slacking!"
As Honey keps an eye out for wherever Lead is/went, Crumple gives another burst of fire from the mouth, as well as a small swarm of missiles, to match Dozer's attacks.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6
Lukewarm responds to Magz's reply "Y'know we could just kill you in that case. How would this Goudeau guy know. Not like we're gonna tattle on you.">>673261>"No, I can't say I have" He says he searches on for his bike. He eventually ambles back to his original spot, defeated.>"I had a collapsable bike, My mom bought it a long time ago."
"Tough tits, I used to have a car't. You know what you need to do. Develop a drinking problem.">Holy Luke returns Lukewarm's comments with an angry glare.>"I think I'm just going to leave. Thanks for saving me and all." Holy Luke begins ambly out slovenly and sad.
>>673264>forgot Honey and Crumple instants
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
The crystal recedes off the orb, now in the shape of a sleek Gunlance that matches her current form in colors.>+1 Masterwork Gunlance
She looks over as Steel is grabbed and continued to be shot at. She tosses the Gunlance over her back, sinking away temporarily into the shadowscape as it falls through her. She holds out her hoof, shifting into a broadsword.>Shapeshift: Switch-Axe [Sword] [Automatic]
She rushes past Steel, swinging a wide arc to slice both the orbs attacking him.>Cleave [vs 2] [Crit fail 2-] [1d10+1]Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
"Well, it looks like your boss's gonna take care of all that for me anyway. Here's how you're going to repay me: by using this knowledge to establish better commerce inside and outside your dome. Everything around here is unnecessarily violent and stupid. I mean, what does everyone eat? What does everyone drink? Where is everyone getting the resources to kill everyone else all the time? Why have socio-economic norms dissolved now that the sun's a little closer? Use all that I teach you to make your dome great again."
She begins to make a Masterwork Bangle for herself.
As Honey looks around from her cockpit, you do manage to find Lead Head: she is pinned beneath a few steel beams a distance away from you, unmoving. The rocket launcher lays close to her, but you do not see blood.
As Crumple starts to shout about the dangerous situation they find themselves in, the crack slowly spread, and the deadly sunlight spreads, the flamethrower hits you hard, taking you down to 2/5 as the fire spreads along your machine>Taking ongoing 1>Next recovery only succeeds on 7 or higher
The explosions from your burst fire and missiles impact against Bulldozer, his muscular body getting torn apart by the explosions racking it but you see his skin slowly piecing itself together despite the heat, and he smiles, tossing aside the weapons. "Hahh.. hahh… What's wrong, Crumple?! Leavin' already cause of a little sun? Though you were made from tougher stuff…" he cracks his knuckles, "Enough toys… get over here!"
He charges, horns and fists out as he moves like a locomotive towards you heads on, extending out his fists as he gets close, "LET'S REALLY RUMBLE, CRUMPLE!!"
The orb you grabbed is formed into a gunlance at first, but as you see Steel assaulted with the red rings around his hooves, you successfully transmute your hoof into the Switch-Axe, leaping at the two orbs and slicing at them, but they swiftly dodge out of the path of the blade. Behind you, the orb that was not transmuted and was attacking you fires one such red ring at your own hoof, but to do so it ends up on the back-swing of your arc, the blade slicing into it and cutting it in twain, a small explosion occurring as it shatters to pieces but hits you with the explosive force (3/3).
The remaining two orbs are also cut and destroyed by Steel's swing, all four of the orbs now indisposed as Steel looks down at the red-bindings holding his rear hooves, "Urrgh… it's strong. I can barely pull against it." The alarm continues to blare, and you see four MORE of the orbs beginning to lift out of their pods. "More?">>673271
"Commerce…?" Red asks aloud, "Ooooh, like tradings! Normally most ponies scared of Dogz, but, with new shiny clothes, perhaps they not so quick to shoot." As you comment on the status of the current era, Red lowers his head, "Hmmm, well, we scavenge in ruins, both above ground and below, for food. We can carries water from the underground lakes near that city you found mes in." He shakes his head, "But, everyone so violent because, that just way everything been. Since Red was born, since before Red was born. Not enough to goes around. Ponies have to fight to live. Same with Dogz." He looks at the growing pile of fixed up clothes, "But, not everyone bad… some ponies help each other. Maybe, if we try, we could get them to help Dogz too. Instead of stealings from them all the times."Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12
/ Roll #2 7 + 4 = 11
Onyxia grumbles as more orbs float out. Her hoof shifts back to normal, the gunlance being pulled out of the shadowscape as she readies it up, the barrel glowing red.
"Keep these distracted for a moment, shouldn't take long."
She runs back over to the shutters, lifting up the lance. If she can't touch them to pry them open, then she'll blast them down to get inside. She fires the gunlance, the red rings the orb used to fire now a focused orb of energy.>Overload [1d10+4]Roll #1 6 + 4 = 10
Shit, maybe bringing her along was a bit of a liability. Still though, Crumple jets its way over to Lead. The head compartment opens just enough for Honey to peek out and shrink her down. At hearing Bulldozer readying to charge, Honey quickly drags Lead into the cockpit of Crumple and shuts the head.>Honey using Shrink Ray to rescue Lead Head
Crumple turns around to meet the charging buffalo, the speakers opening up and flickering.
"As much as I'd love to kick your ass as usual, I've got too much shit to do to stick around and burn."
>Napalm Decay Wrath
[1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
Steel stands on his hooves, pulling at his red restraints and slightly pulling them apart as he readies his sword, "Right." He confirms as he leaps at the flying orbs, cutting at them to keep them off guard of you
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] (Steel)
[1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] (The orbs)
They do not concentrate on you, and you race up to the metal shutters keeping you out of Dome G-777, the powerful orb of energy striking into the shutters and beginning to vaporize its outer defenses>>673288
You quickly race past where the sun starts to peak in, and pick up Lead Head using your shrink ray successfully. As you drag her in, you take the note that she's still breathing: alive.
After getting back in the cockpit, however, the flaring speakers roar against Bulldozer, whose mighty fists raise up to guard his face against the onslaught, himself cringing. "GGRRR!! N-not that… fast…" he says as he pushes against the waves of sound, "I…"
He grabs at your tail, "Want my souvenir, first!" He roars as he swings Crumple around by the tail, throwing the entire machine up and over his shoulders like a sack of hay as you are thrown into another pile of junk, the tower of scrap collapsing down on you (0/3). He huffs, jumping back into the pile in his assault, "Sorry, but you leave in a box of scrap this time, ol' buddy! Maybe if you're lucky the nerds who hired me will put ya back together, I'd hate if we couldn't do this anymore!"
[1d10+2] / [1d10+2]Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #3 3 = 3
/ Roll #4 2 = 2
/ Roll #5 1 = 1
/ Roll #6 4 = 4
>>673289>again with the limit, heh
[1d10+2] / [1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
>>CONTINUING A CUT-OFF Session 94 here for Southern and Onyxia's section
"You're more or less spot on: Sanctuary does reach out to mutants in Swing City and convince them we're doing the right thing," Geigaro goes on, "And, sometimes that involves them going away from the Dome to help other settlements. Ponies don't come back for a while and, given how small the world-view is here, it's practically an obituary." You find a large, comfy leather chair besides a table in the center, and Steel decides to remain standing. "The Master was the one who turned the Dome into what it is: it used to be a high-tech research facility but, since he took it over, he's turned it into a safe-haven for mutants throughout the Shade. The rockets are his experiment for giving us another one, sending materials and robots we can expend to the moon above our heads. So far it hasn't been working so well but, that doesn't stop him from trying and any the rockets affect in the mean time from getting hurt."
The iron pony interjects, "However, back onto the points of the missing ponies: Sanctuary isn't responsible for ALL of them. We're being blamed for 'corrupting' ponies that we've never even met before, and for disappearances we had no part of in the slightest." He pauses, "We don't know for sure what IS happening to them, but, we suspect the Master himself is behind them."
"Problem being, we have absolutely no proof in the matter: but if we could find some, it could cause the mutants to turn to our side."
As you ask about Eta, Geigaro frowns on the computer screen, "Oh… yeah. She would. Eta's fine and safe, working on our other asset at this moment, but it's only natural for her mom to miss her."
"Well, shit, sorry but you know you DO sort of set yourself up for a lot of string allegories. Anyways, I realize this is coming on sort of strong, but we could really use your help and I think you'll find you could really use our own in exchange… I'm not sure who it is you're after, but we can help you, and if explanations are what you're looking for, we have them too. Just outside of your restaurant there's a doctor's office: Ironclad Care. I'll be waiting around the back side of an alleyway besides it. Look for a yellow colored gooze. I promise, we're on the level, and if you just hearing us out is all I ask. We'll do what we can to either maintain your cover or get you out of the city whether you help or not, since you or your string being caught would be bad for us."
"Just lose your date before you come: if he finds out who or what we are we can't do anything to help."
Meanwhile, outside the rest room, Plasm feels the bump sliding against his leg as Copper retracts the bendy-straw from the counter, turning down to look at Southern's bag in confusion as he keeps an eye out for any of her strings going haywire
"I hope you know which ones you're sending out. We ran into some giant grabber thing when we met the dogs. Don't know if there's mutant's elsewhere besides you're little home here, but that isn't helping your image much."
She sits down in the leather chair, sliding back off a bit given her cloth skin. She readjusts herself and manages to stay put this time.
"Shooting rockets to the moon? Can ponies even live up there? I've only heard of Princess Luna being imprisoned there."
She huffs at hearing the Masters continued trials despite no success.
"So he came in and took over for his little plans. How did he turn it around for this whole place to be under him? Why is he even called "Master"?"
"So you want me to find proof that the Master is making mutants disappear. How am I supposed to do that? I'd rather just get this all done with and just take him out so I can move on from this place."
She questions, falling into grumbling at their proposal.
"That pony I met then, she was…"
Onyxia's voice lowers, head tilting down slightly.
"What's so important she has to work on that she can't see family? Have you been keeping them from talking?"
She questions in an accusing tone, voice growing in dislike for this group now after her own experience of being forced apart from family.
"Oh joy, I went from being a nobody to everyone's new favorite target, all thanks to those retards who I thought would be a good idea to follow. That makes me a bigger retard, huh? Whatever. But if assimilating into the mutant culture and having this whole dome eat out of my hoof while I make dresses for them proves a lot easier than whatever you are, don't get your hopes up. Now, I dunno how to operate this thing, so start crying as loud as you can, then… stop talking, I guess? Do something to make sure they can't figure out it's us talking."
Unsure how to hang up, she waits until the speaker does it for her. Once done, she hands the device back to Plasm and starts wheeling out the door, ordering another pie to go for Copper. "I have to go back to my dorm, but you spend as long as you like out here. But before you ask, I won't need an escort. I've already kept you long enough on this half-date, half-tour of the destruction. Bye!"
On the screen, the black griffon rubs his beak lightly, chuckling, "We keep track of EVERYONE. We're not a huge group, yet. We don't have anyone reported as meeting you before you came to the Dome, but, it sounds like you ran into a feral. And, yeah: those ones DO ruin the reputation for mutants." As you comment on the moon, Geigaro nods his head, "Master at least believes we can, and thinks it's more viable than trying to make another base in the Shade."
"The Master's background is a little long, and it'd be easier to explain it in time. But, I can tell you why you can't just off the Master and be done with it," Geigaro explains. "It won't change anything. A foreigner coming from the outside to kill the person every mutant loves most? It'd AFFIRM their xenophobia! Even if we could kill the Master, I know for a fact he has backup plans in place. No, we can't save this dome just through stopping the Master: we have to stop his ideology. We have to turn the citizens of Swing City against him."
Bringing up Beta, the iron pony who saw you all in shakes his head, "We discourage it if they don't support Sanctuary: I know that seems harsh but the more Eta contacts with her mother, the more likely her mother will be able to capture her and then the rest of the organization is compromised. Eta is doing good work: she is going to locations no non-mutant can go and retrieving goods for both us and settlements that need them. She misses her mom and we wish it could be different, but the less often they communicate, the better.">>680871
"If you can manage on without us, all the more power too you, but I guarantee the charade can't last forever: they'll find out both the work you and we have been doing to hide your identity as an outsider eventually, and when that happens there's going to be a lot of radiation leakage, if you catch my drift. Like I said, just look for me in the alley I mentioned. I'll be the one wearing the sun-glasses."
"Huh? You don't know how to work a radio..? Oh, um, alright then, I can do that…. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" She screeches through the radio as per your instructions as you leave the bathroom, the speaker clicking off suddenly as Plasm turns to you in surprise. "Shit. That didn't sound like it was going all that well." As you comment on not needing an escort, he blushes at the date-mention again, before chuckling. "If you say so: if you need anything or, need to tell us anything about what you saw out there, just look us up, Ms. Point." The glowing pony fetches you your second pie, and you head out of the restaurant.
Going outside into the streets once more, you can see the 'Ironclad Care' sign in bright red neon lights as the caller on the phone mentioned, and to it's side, the alleyway. If you choose to travel down it, you can see a sole mutant occupying it: pressed up against the side of the wall secret-agent style is a yellow, gooey pone (much like Plasm's hair, only her entire body is made of the liquid substance) wearing a pair of shades that wouldn't do much to hide her identity given her mutation. She seems to be looking up at the roof of the Level, acting nonchalant as she can.
She dips down into the alleyway, not bothering to look behind her, as that would only make her look suspicious. Once hidden, she slips the pie into the chest, and is greeted with a rapid stream of Cooper's Brooklynesque gibberish, ending with, "Eyy, thanks toots but if ya ain't lemme outta here into a nice lush bed soon, I'm diggin' a hole in ya garters over 'ere, I'm gettin' worked to tha bone!"
"So is this where you betray me or does that come later?" Southern asks, folding her arms and waiting for the goo's offer.
"If he can send things up to the moon why doesn't he just work on stopping the sun while he's at it." Onyxia scoffs. "Yea, with this dome you don't need anything else down here."
"So just sneak in and show off all his plans then and hope there's things that'd ruin his image in there. Fine, whatever. How am I supposed to do that then with all the guards around after that explosion?"
Onyxia grumbles as they explain how they have to keep the two separate.
"No wonder she spoke so badly of your group, when it looks like you're keeping her hostage. Tell me straight what I need to do, so all this nonsense can stop."
As you slip the pie into your chest, you see the golden gooze suddenly jump up in a lump as she's taken out of her ceiling gazing, before she lifts up her sun-glasses to take a closer look at you, the partially-liquid pony eying you up and down before shaking her head, "What? N-no! I don't have any plans to betray you, that'd be terrible!" She says sweetly, before turning to shake your hoof with her own, "I'm sorry for the awkward circumstances but, it seemed the safest way. My name is Eta." She nods her head to a side-entrance to the clinic, and opens it up for you as she holds it ajar, "We, I mean, my group, is very excited to meet you. Not a lot of ponies have ever broken into G-777, much less two in one day. However did you get to be friends with Danger Dogz?"
Inside, the clinic is fairly less put together than other establishments you've visited. It certainly has advanced equipment, consisting of two floors and, behind a curtain, a series of dozens of beds to treat patients on as a number of small spheres (similar to the ones you fought outside) move between beds to fix sheets/clean utensils, but the walls seem to be coming apart in sections.>>680878
The griffon on the view screen rubs his plume feathers, shaped on his head similar to a pompadour, and lets it slick back into place, "He is, but, only a hoof-full of people know how far along he is with it. Or really all what he has going down there."
"More or less: we'll provide you with whatever support we can, we don't expect you exactly to do this alone. Just, find some sort of evidence that ties him into the ponies that have been going missing. And you're more than welcome to use this base," the computer griffon DJ waves his claws around on screen," as a safehouse to eat or rest while we think something up. Dr. Irons here can also patch up the worse of what you get out there."
As you mention the group's ethics, Irons casts his eyes down, as Geigaro speaks up, "We don't FORCE Eta to stay on with us: she believes in what we're doing."
"I don't know if they're my friends. I've been getting whisked around through time and space by these four or five-ish freaks that run away and split up at every opportunity, so they've probably already abandoned me by now. I was following the pony who broke into the dome, but the dogs wanted to destroy it with a big worm-larva thing. So instead they followed the pony as well. I think her name's Onyxia or something."
"Why are you taking me back here?" she asks, suspiciously eyeing the equipment and slowing her pace.
"Down there, so I have to snoop around level 3. Hope you have an idea on how to get there. Doubt I can sneak by when they even have guards in the "Void Zone" as everypony here loves calling it. …And about that. How are they even able to get in there? Nothing else ever has unless we've brought them in."
"That would've been helpful earlier when I was getting burnt and scorched."
She retorts on the availability of the clinic. She looks around the open room as Geigaro waves his claws.
"Let's start with some manuals on how this stuff works then. Barely got through that elevator on luck, be nice to know how all to use these machines."
"Not from her perspective. Unable to talk with her own daughter even if she's doing what she wants. I know what it's like to have a family member torn from you, and it doesn't matter what the reason is. It's horrible. So let's cut to the chase so everypony can stop splitting on sides and just go back to their lives."
Eta frowns in response as the gooey pony guides you through, "Oh… I'm sorry. That has to be very difficult to deal with. No pony should have to feel that alone." As you mention Onyxia by name, she turns and smiles, "Is that her name? Well, hopefully we'll be able to help you find her soon. Maybe we can help you find the others, too. I ran into some pretty freaky ponies today too, I'm sorry to say…"
When you bring up why you're bringing her back here, she pauses, looking around as she bows her head, "Oh, right! Sorry, I'm not much of a 'pony'-person, I forget some important details. This clinic belongs to my friends. Sort of a 'safehouse', if you don't mind keeping hush about it: we're a group of ponies who want to try and help spread the Dome's generosity to outside of it. We thought we could help you and ask for your help in return. For whatever reason you chose to broke into the Dome, it means you're NOT with the Master, we probably share some of the same goals.
As she heads in, you see a stair-well open in the wall, leading downwards as Eta waits along side of it, "My friends are just down here, and then, if you want to stick around before going back out there, we'll offer whatever we can in this clinic for rest, food, whatever.">>680889
"Right," Geigaro comments, clicking his claws in a 'gotcha' gesture, "Level 3 is the Master's workshop level. It's true, the guards have really upped their patrols since your fight with Jazz, but nothing's impregnable. There's finding the cards we need to get down there through the elevator, or breaching the 50 feet of solid steel ourselves, or we even could pull off disguises. We had one more pony who broke in we'd like you to meet with, she'll probably be able to help a good deal as well in getting down there and finding the evidence we need. Plus, extra muscle never hurts."
Dr. Iron looks at you with a small chuckle that shakes his heavy body, "Not used to this sort of tech, huh? It's fine: I can give you a introduction on how almost everything works in here. You did awfully well with the elevators, though."
Geigaro sighs, "Yeah, well, I have to give it to you on that: I'd like for Sanctuary to stop being hunted down just for trying to do the right thing so that Eta doesn't need to worry about being caught anymore. Think this will help go that way."
Irons nods as well, "I understand if you don't believe us, but, we know how much it's been hurtin' both Beta and Eta. How was she?"
"Wait, you really just let me into your safehouse without knowing jack about me, aside from the fact that I broke in and have no fucking idea what I'm doing? How generous. I guess I'd have to help then, right? I just got food from that guard over there, so I don't have much I need. When do I start?"
"If you just want to break through the steel, I could get that done given time and a safe spot, and we did have an idea for a disguise. But who's this other pony that broke in? Don't you mean dogs?"
"I learned just a bare amount at another dome, but that was only a few wires. The elevator as just brute force that managed to work."
"Good, let's hope it does."
"She looked fine. Can't tell how well she's doing, she was shaken up from dragging her around and that whole fight."
Eta frowns, "Well, 'generosity' is sort of our motto, but, normally no, we'd be MUCH more stingy on this. It's sort of a special circumstance with you all things considered. Besides, what would you turning us in get you? You're at risk of exposing yourself if you expose us, I believe." She smiles, "So, we'll give the benefit of the doubt on this.">>680901
"We could work on finding one," Geigaro concludes, "But it'd have to be back on Level 2 to get down to Level 3. I'll do what I can with moving the patrols, but we may have to find something else to re-route them than just faulty commands. We have a few uniforms ourselves, but if you have your own disguise that works great.">>680901>>680895
Eta taps down the stairs, motioning for Southern to follow as Geigaro begins to explain to Onyxia about the dogs, "No, the dogs were leading the charge but none of them got down to Level 1: only one pony who was with them did." As Eta leads down the steps, she waves towards Onyxia and flops down in a puddle to the last step, sloshing around before reforming as Southern follows down. Southern sees Steel and Onyxia (still in her cloth/cape form) standing around a table, the dark pompadoured griffon on the far viewscreen, and a pony who's skin seems to be made entirely of metal.
"And here she is." the griffon over the tele-screen comments, "Southern Point, baby, great to have you here. Please, pull up a chair, we have tons to talk about. Good work, Eta, my cameras show no one followed the two of you in."
Steel turns towards Southern, mouth smirking. "Southern! You made it."
"Oh good, there you are," she says to Onyxia. "So, did you obviate the need to send the big larva thing at them?"
She attempts to sit on the chest to keep Copper contained, but Copper springs out, causing Southern to fall onto the floor. Copper stretches and scratches herself, straightening her poncho and her cool pointy shades. "Ayy toots, where you drag us to, eh? Some kinda pride parade or something? What's all these fancy folk doing?"
Southern frowns and takes the new wire from Copper, seeing as it's about finished. "We'll be finding out, won't we?" she asks, as the two sit back on the chest and share the second pie.
Onyxia looks over as Southern ad the goo enters.
"Southern? You're here, I though you were staying with the dogs?"
"So far, sort of. The quakes are stopped for now, but its going to take a little more to stop them."
Onyxia pauses as Copper leaps out of the chest.
"And who's this?">>680905
Onyxia turns back to the screen.
"So back on level 2. I could try to rework the elevator again, but they have guards around the only one I saw. And you still never answered how the guards here are able to get into that "Void Zone"."
"So the dogs are still out there? Is there anyway you can send them a message?"
She asks on hearing that none of the dogs got inside.
"The dogs decided to invade because you did. This is my new unpaid intern, Copper Conduit.">"Hey babe, I ain't makin' your flabby ass shit, you ain't payin' me. Ay, Oney-sha. You pay me better than 'er, I'll make you and ya boyfriend somethin' good too, eh? Make you a good deal what'll fix up ya afterhours business."
"As you can see, she has much difficulty speaking Equish," Southern sighs.
"Its good they came then, instead of trying their other plan. But how did you get down here, did they call you over the radio too?"
Onyxia looks down to Copper.
"I see what you mean."
She comments back to Southern.
"There are a total of five elevators going between Level 1 and Level 2: one on each cardinal direction, and then one in the center. Only the center one goes down into Level 3, though, given how few have access to it."
"It's Zero Zone," Geigaro explains, "Z-Z, it's alliterative, dig it?" The griffon seems to lay back, pucking up his beak, "We've had it for years now, I think: it was an experiment by the Master to create another habitat for mutants, but it proved less viable than he hoped. Now we mostly use it for extra storage and construction space."
Steel frowns, looking at Onyxia, "Out of curiosity, how MANY years?"
"About… six years."
"…Onyxia," he whispers, "I created my cape six years ago from my perspective of time.">>680910>>680907
Eta raises a brow, "Big larvae thing…? Sounds messy."
As Copper spills out onto the floor, the three Sanctuary members in the room open their eyes wide, and Geigaro chuckles, "Huh… well, I guess all but one, anyhow. Hey there pupper."
As Onyxia asks about the dogs, Geigaro nods, "They're still being held up on the first level: given room to relax and lick their wounds. Mostly behaving, I can get a message to them if you want." Geigaro turns towards Southern, "I'm surprised: you two already know each other? I mean, I guess it makes sense. The odds of two totally unrelated break-ins occurring on the same day seemed a bit slim.">>680919
The griffon clears his throat, "Well, to bring you up to speed, Southern baby, the name's Geigaro. You may have heard me DJing the radios out there but, I also handle communications and cyber security for the Dome. I'm the one who phonied up a history of you being a resident. The big iron pone next to you is our physician, Dr. Irons, and you've already met one of our forward scouts, Eta. We're members of Sanctuary. I'm not sure how much the guard told you so, if you have ANY questions just toss them out there, we're a very informal group here."
"To sort of dive into the meat of it: we want to consider helping us take down the Master of the Dome through locating some incriminating evidence of his wrongdoings against the Dome. Doing so would ensure your dog friends never have to worry about another rocket, and it would mean you'd have MUCH less to fear if they ever got a hold of you or your string. You don't know how contraband what you're carrying is down in this dome."
"Yeah, they called a guy that I started to hang onto for free food. I told them I was a resident, and they believed me, so Eta… somehow knew and decided to finalize it.>"Eh? Eh? Ya boy know what I'm talkin' about, a little somethin' for gettin' under ya hood, right?">>680922
"What's he done so wrong that you're willing to risk upending the entire leadership structure over?"
"How do they get in it then, I don't see them having like what I have."
"He made the same thing at the same time." She whispers to Steel. "…I don't are what they say, we're going to talk with this Master before we're done here."
"Can you tell them the quakes are done, and I'm working to keep them shut down? I don't want them going for their backup plan."
"Yea we both met a while before this, got wrapped up in something that'd take too long to explain."
As Geigaro explains things, Onyxia looks over as he names of Eta.
"So you're Eta…">>680926
"Well its good to see you're in one piece. Been rough for us ever since I walked in here."
Onyxia still looks dumbfounded at Copper's words.
"Can you.. talk normally? What do you even make?">>680926
"So far he's been the one causing all the cave ins. Don't know what he's done in this dome specifically."
As you comment on Eta, she brings up a hoof, "It was when Plasm made his report: we intercepted his call and finalized it when he was giving the administration an update about you."
As you ask what's wrong, Geigaro runs a claw through his feathered-pompadour, "You might have heard from Plasm that Sanctuary seeks to provide some of G-777's services outside the dome, where the rest of the population believes there's nothing out there worth saving. We've been accused of brainwashing mutants to join us to be never seen again, and blamed with any disappearances, like 'yours', that occur."
"However, some of the disappearances reported? We never even knew. I have good ears and eyes over who comes in and out of the Dome, and some of those who they claim to have been taken by Sanctuary I know for a fact we never came into contact with. It isn't a pleasant theory, least of all to the normie citizens of this fine groovin' city, but we believe the Master himself might be behind these disappearances. We want to try and prove it, so we could figure out what happened to the disappearances for real.">>680929
"Portal Gates: like, giant rings that float of the ground that you step through to get into the Zero Zone. They're only on Level's 2 and 3, anyone on Level 1 are supposed to be unaware of them, though word gets around.
Geigaro nods his head, "I'll get the word out now. They're mostly behaving themselves: trying to grab anything shiny but, other than that. I think they'll stay put until you guys give them reason not to."
As you explain your background to Southern, Geigaro shrugs, "Eh, your choice: I'm always down for a story but I'll leave that to you."
Eta, when you look at her, turns her gooey head to the side. You see a lot of similarity to Beta, albeit Eta is golden-yellow instead. "Oh? Yes, did they mention me?"
"They can only jump between the two at those gates. That's good to know, it'll be easy to slip away from them."
She responds in the message being sent.
"Maybe after all of this is done. For now my focus is on stopping the Master."
Onyxia is silent as Eta speaks, looking away.
"…Your mother is fine, and she misses you. I owe it at least to deliver that message directly too."
>Side RP for Luke and Onyxia in the morning after the G-777 invasion
After leaving the Danger House and making her way back to Dome C-545, Onyxia is accompanied by Steel as they wander through the halls of the base, passing by the occasional worker or occupant going about their duties. They make their way to the kitchen area of the Dome, wherein they find Luke Warm wide awake after some escapades of his own
>May specify if you are drinking or eating breakfast, what have you
You two spot each other from the hallway, and Steel gives a curt nod to Luke as they enter in greeting. Luke notices that something significant has changed regarding Onyxia: she has put on a fair amount of weight, even outstripping the husky Boo, and is sporting a pair of sunglasses similar to what you saw the Dogz wearing when you last saw them on arriving here in Future before.
Steel breaks the silence first. "Luke, morning. I see you are still in one piece."
Onyxia looks over to Luke as they enter, an apprehensive expression on her face.
"H-Hey Luke, are you busy?"
She asks at the doorway.
Luke stands by the kitchen counter where the coffee maker is. Elbow leaning on the surface, coffee in hoof, stirring. "Oh yeah, everything worked out, again. Hay did you know they got coffee in the future? Init that weird? Like they don't have much space or light to grow decent crops but they got enough for coffee."
Remarkably, Luke eyes Onyxia with a peculiar look, squinting his eyes unawaredly as he does. If he was drunk he'd have the bluntness to ask who brought the cow in the room, but he wonders if he's only noticing because he's sober and without a hangover right now.
"Yeah I'm busy, look at me, stirring coffee, leaning on the counter, wearing Closed Circuit's bath robe. This is a full time job, nah I'm joking, whats up?" He says oblivious to any pending drama or need for privacy.
I AM LUKEWARM!!
Onyxia's silent at first, looking a bit relived.
"I wanted to apologize… for how I acted and what I did to you yesterday."
She says slowly, as if worried for the reaction.
"I'm sorry. You didn't deserve any of that."
Lukewarm squints again, now making a face of derision. He looks to the side of you for a second to think and then drinks some of his coffee, which puts wrinkles in his face as he is dissatisfied with the strong taste.
"Sorry, could you'uh refresh me on what happened?"
Onyxia walks into the room, taking a nearby seat to Luke. She sighs as she sits, hard to tel whether its from guilt on her apology or having to retell the incident.
"When I tried to crush you, and sending you off on the tram all tied up."
Lukewarm tries again at taking another drink of the robust coffee in his 'Best Dad' mug. The taste is just so bad, coupled with the news Onyxia gives sends Lukewarm spitting the coffee in the sink beside him. "Ah! Celestia!" immediately he begins opening cabinets in search for sugar "Er why you'd do that ya freakin psychopath -ah no wait, I'm sorry." Luke catches himself and phrases the following words with a hint of laughter "we're all sorta crazy in this ragtag bunch we got here. The word psychopath just kinda loses weight when the point of reference is even less scary" LukeWarm opens and closes the last cabinet, failing to find anything. He starts looking in his bag for something "Sorry, why did you try killing??"
"I don't know."
Onyxia hangs her head.
"'I've been stressed over everything we've had to put up with, and I was upset over a number of things…"
She pauses for a moment.
"But that doesn't excuse me attacking and treating you like that. There were… a lot of things I did yesterday, that I wish I could take back. But the only one I can truly make amends with is you. After everything we've been through together, I shouldn't have lost my temper…"
"Man I don't even remember it happening. I bet if I could remember half the things I do drunk or hungover I'd probably be spending the rest of my twenties apologizing to folks." Luke takes a bottle of grain alcohol out from his bag. It's almost empty. He just looks at it for a moment before shrugging and mixing the last bit of it into his coffee. "Yeah, I mean, I've tried killing Honey before, and I wasn't even angry. We're still friends. No I'm sorries needed. Same for you, don't sweat it."
Luke takes a testing sip of his coffee. He makes the same displeased face "There was this dude at my campus I got in a fight with over a cartoon -well at first it was about the cartoon but hehe it got really personal, pretty quick. And there's a lot of piano wire in those pianos, in those musical class rooms. But I still wave at him, you know, whenever we pass by."
Onyxia looks up, a little surprised.
"R-Really, you're not mad or anything?"
Onyxia watches as Luke rattles of his story and mixes his drink, looking better from her glum, worried tone she had when she first walked in.
"You just get into fights and then forget about it regularly?"
"Well, I'm glad you won't hold it against me. But I still want to make it up to you."
>>689235>"You just get into fights and then forget about it regularly?"
"I don't know, I think I bring out the worst in people sometimes."
>"Well, I'm glad you won't hold it against me. But I still want to make it up to you."
"hnnm.." Luke seems uneasy about the suggestion "Well, if you wanna do something for me you could give Jean a bath. She hates those and she's past due for one."
"You don't bring out the worst in ponies. You didn't for me at least, it was just bad timing."
Onyxia nods at Luke's suggestion.
"Consider it done. Is she around here, or still sleeping? I can't tell how early it is down here."
"She's somewhere, the sneaky little rat. If you find her, net her. Don't even mention the word bath. She knows."
"I don't think I'll need to be that extreme, I've usually been pretty good around animals."
Onyxia says as she stands up from her chair.
"Thank you Luke, for being so understanding."
She says with a smile as she departs from the kitchen.
"Again, I'm sorry. I promise that won't ever happen again."
>Cat Bath [1d10]
Roll #1 3 = 3
Calling for sheets for side-session with Southern/Onyxia's side (middle of Session 150)
>>703763>>703760>Previously on Time Quest, Onyxia and Southern had made their way to the Ug Corp building on tour of the Crystal Empire's commercial district, wherein Southern procured a large set of business cards in the aid of promoting her business. In addition to this, she also paid for a photo-shoot to be taken on one of the higher floors so that her outfits could be advertised on television, online, and in news papers, so after the deal was made and informing Onyxia and her group of such, Southern got to work swiftly stitching together a pair of stylish new attire for Plasm and Bossa Nova, her first employees, to model.
Southern has been hard at work and is just about finished with both of the planned ensembles (may describe in character), as Bossa Nova lounges out on a couch in the main lobby in wait while Plasm stands diligently outside the door, occasionally knocking asking if Southern needs any help.
Meanwhile, Twonyxia, Steel, and Onyxia have kept close by. They were, unfortunately, unable to convince Silver Tongue to allow them to take the floor-model out for a drive due to its expensive nature, but Twonyxia currently sits in the front seat (shotgun) of the model while Onyxia sits in the driver's seat, offering her tips about how to drive while they wait for Southern to finish as well (Steel sitting comfortably in the back).
Southern brings out their outfits, looking exactly as they were in the sketches: a punk gray dress for Bossa with a nice scarf, and a well-tailored suit for Plasm. "Here you go. Are you ready?"
Onyxia sits in the driver seat, hooves on the well as she looks at all the panels and the dashboard.
"This… this is going to take some getting used to."
She says, feeling like a fish out of water with this relatively simple machine.
Southern comes out with the suits for her two employees, and Plasm is the first to give response as you come out. He turns to look at the tailored suit you offer him, holding it up in his hooves. "Wow… this is nice. In my time you'd see ponies in suits like this all the time in posters, but everything you'd find is in pretty poor condition. I've been used to G-777 jumpsuits all my life." He holds it up, particularly admiring the tie with it, and coughs. "Uh… just out of curiosity, is there a hat that goes with it? The poster ponies usually had hats too."
Bossa gives a yawn from the couch, the very long legged pony turning to sit up as she scratches at her cheek beneath the scarf. "Done? That took a while. So, what exactly did you-"
As you present the punk dress for her next, accompanied with scarf, she looks at it very pensively, holding it up herself. You think you spot a bit of blush creeping up from above her scarf. "It's… not bad. It's definitely the nicest dress I didn't have to steal first." She holds it up, checking out the details. "Yeah. It's punk enough. Though about me modeling it…">>703772
Twonyxia chuckles, reaching over to put your hooves at 9 and 3 positions. "I know, I was a little intimidated by it at first too, but trust me, it's easier than it looks. See what you would do is just keep your hooves on the wheel like so, and then," she directs you to a stick on the side, "You put this into 'drive', and then you'd press on the right pedal to go. You ever play one of those racing video games at least? Sting has a copy he likes to play with me."
Steel looks over the dashboard, "Who needs most of this? 'Cruise control'? 'A/C'? Seems to me all you need is a cart that propels itself."
Southern starts making a hat for Plasm and looks at Bossa. "If you don't want to, there's nothing making you do it. You can keep the dress even if you don't want to model; you'll be beautiful in it any time."
Onyxia nods as her twin points out instructions, moving her hooves and pushing down on the pedal to simulate it out.
"No, I never really played with those things."
She says, getting a little more comfortable.
"The A/C is good for when it gets real hot out, but I don't know what cruise control is for."
Onyxia answers back to Steel.
As you start up on the hat for Plasm, Bossa Nova turns her head to the side as you comment on her being beautiful, "Oh shut up. You're making it weird."
Plasm chuckles, "You know, originally *I* was the nervous one about this photo-shoot. Now that I have the suit, I'm a little more psyched for it. You on the other hand-"
"I was all set for it… dressed as I am, the way I look. In a dress like this… I'm not sure we shouldn't try going for Photoclop or something."
"Ah, so fancy dresses are your weakness? That'll be useful to know."
She grunts, getting up and walking with the dress gripped in hoof. "Shut up or I'll kill you. Where do I change?">>703776
"Really? Wow." Twonyxia comments. "I think it sounds like you *needed* a couple of siblings, they open you up to a whole new world of hobbies. And yeah you seem to be getting the hang of it. Now the most important step while driving is to be aware of your surroundings, so in addition to keeping an eye ahead, you also want to be able to see as much as you can from your mirrors." She huffs, "I really wish we could take this thing out for a spin. It's so much nicer than Dad's car."
Steel looks at the dashboard. "When it got 'real hot out', we drank water."
"Well that was fine for your time, but now you have 'options', Steel. And come on, what's wrong with extra features anyway?"
"Hmm… I suppose not. But it seems unnecessarily distracting."
Southern finishes the hat for Plasm, then directs Bossa to the room where she made the dresses (presuming it has no windows and has a lock).
"I suppose so, especially Beryl." She says with a little laugh, "That shouldn't be too hard. We've had to keep watch all around us in all these travels."
She comments, looking up into the mirrors to get used to the idea.
"Will driving a normal car be like this one, or is any of this stuff different cause of these magnets?"
Onyxia asks as she brings up Dad's car.
Onyxia chuckles at Steel's old-fashioned comment.
"You'll need a water then if you have a long drive."
"Pfff, don't even get me started on Beryl's tastes. That's a whole other project. Now, as to the car, it'll be pretty much the same. All these features are pretty common place in carts nowadays, the only thing you have less to worry about with these magnets is fueling up, but I can show you how that works with Dad's car. The only different thing about this one is that it's faster, handles better, and looks cooler, but if you can handle Dad's you can handle all of them."
Steel chuckles. "Well… perhaps someone quite like 'me' wouldn't need water now.">>703778
Bossa takes the dressing room provided to try on the dress, and after his hat is completed, Plasm does likewise. Soon, both are looking extremely sharp, Plasm's professionalism breaking down as he revels in looking like the ancient stars of the past seen in the music-loving Dome he grew up in, while Bossa keeps a stoic expression, not so much looking uncomfortable in her new dress as she is unsure, occasionally reaching down to give the skirt a tug.
After Silver Tongue is alerted, he directs you all to the third-floor shooting room where an aging photographer directs Bossa, Plasm, and even yourself into various positions and poses, taking snap-shots every few seconds as she keeps coming up with bolder and bolder looks for the company's image. Plasm soon finds himself a little overwhelmed, struggling to keep up with her demands, but Bossa seems to find her stride again despite her earlier discomfort, reveling a bit in the chaos.
After a bit of time, the photographer says her work is done, and Silver Tongue passes along information for Southern to pick up the photos later as well as their plans to begin advertising as soon as possible. The employees are still sharply dressed, but Plasm looks a bit warn out after the experience.
"That was… something."
"Why don't we go get lunch while we wait for them to finish the cards?" Southern asks.
"They certainly were different, but I'll admit it was pretty interesting after talking to that professor.
Onyxia looks back to the wheel, turning it back and forth.
"Alright, I'll have to ask him if I can take it out for practice sometime."
"Yup, which makes the A/C all that better then since it can help cool down that metal too. Even though you probably don't need that either."
"They're definitely interesting, I'll give them that. I can't quite wrap my head around what that filly is all about sometimes. But I know it's something special too." As you bring up the car, she nods, "Oh yeah! Maybe later tonight when we get home, we can just take it around the block?"
"Well, Steel might not need it, but imagine anyone sitting next to him who might touch the hot iron?" Twonyxia chuckles.>>703788
Plasm nods, "After that, I could certainly use something to eat. Just let me change out of the suit, don't want to get it messed up…"
Bossa laughs. "I don't know what you're talking about. That was fun. I think I might keep the dress on for a while longer. Any objections boss?">>703791>>703788
After Plasm goes to get changed, they approach Onyxia and her group. Plasm holds up a hoof, "Well, we're just about all done here, Onyxia. Ready to go grab something to eat?"
Twonyxia nods, "Yeah, I could go for a bite. Being I'm the local around here, you mind if I pick the place or did you want to look around and see what looks good?"
"I'll have to make you another dress if you get this one dirty while we're out in the city. And you wouldn't just accept a second dress and not wear it, would you?" she asks Bossa. She then turns to Twonyxia. "You pick."
"Sure. It'll be a lot better than just sitting in this one and pretending."
"Good point. He'd end up being a mini forge.">>703796
Onyxia says, getting out of the car with the others done with their task.>>703797
"How'd getting your business cards go?"
"I really like them," Southern whispers.
"Oh good! Can I see one?"
Onyxia whispers back.
"I don't mean the business cards. I haven't gotten those yet."
"Then what do you mean?"
"Bossa and Plasm."
"Oh. Yea, even though I've only just met them they seem nice."
"Then I'll be extra sure not to get this one dirty."
"I'd just change out of it, Bossa. It's a nice dress." Plasm retorts.
"That's why I want to wear it, duh." She throws up her hoof. "You know what, forget it, I'll go change too. But I'm wearing it later.">>703802
Twonyxia chuckles, "Oh, a mini-forge actually sounds REALLY convenient! Imagine how much work we'd get done on the road?"
Steel shakes his head, "I do not consent to this idea. For the record.">>703802>>703797
As Twonyxia is allowed to pick the place, she smiles and heads out the door of the UgCorp Building. "Great! Just follow me, I know just the place. It's a little small but it's cozy too."
Twonyxia leads the way down the street away from the commercial district, showing the group towards a much calmer part of the city that isn't quite so heavy in traffic. She nods towards a cafe situated on the corner, looking out towards a vibrant park (with crystalline art-work 'trees' decorating within). The name of the cafe says 'Crown Jewel' on the top, though despite the imposing name while the interior is pretty nice/decorated it's comparatively small to a lot of other restaurants you've seen. "This is a place me and mom found on a walk to get supplies for the forge a while back. It doesn't get its crazy rush until much later, so they should be able to seat us right away. And the food is terrific!"
Southern has already begun drafting outfit lineups for the two, for a variety of social situations.
Onyxia can't help but laugh at picturing Steel as a mobile forge.
"That would be extremely helpful, but I have to agree with Steel. Even if he is metal it can't be comfortable sitting at a few hundred degrees.">>703814
Onyxia follows along as they walk to the more tranquil part of the city.
"Now this reminds me more of the old times."
"Wow this looks great."
Onyxia comments once they step inside.
"Really? Hmm, I'm not feeling that hungry, but I guess I can try a little something."
Steel chuckles. "Thank you, Onyxia. Good to know my feelings are considered in this matter."
As you comment on not being that hungry, Twonyxia whispers, "Is that because of the love or the waffles? Either way don't worry, the salads here don't take up much room but they taste amazing, you'll like 'em. Besides, you want to keep your energy up for the day, right?">>703818>>703815
As they head into the cafe, Twonyxia politely waits at the front for someone to seat them, before Bossa moves on ahead past her to grab a table for six (technically eight but with her / Steel's sizes you need the extra space) of her own accord. Twonyxia comments, "Um… you're actually supposed to wait for them to sit you fi-"
"It's fine, this place isn't busy yet, remember? I don't hear anyone complaining."
Twonyxia puffs out her cheeks at the rudeness, but Plasm slips past, "Sorry about her, we're still working on the 'manners' part."
Steel moves ahead next and takes a seat at the same table, evidently almost as unconcerned with procedure as Bossa is as he makes sure to pull a seat open for Onyxia first. Sighing, Twonyxia moves to take her seat as the waiter comes over to take drink orders.>>703815
As the group sits down to the meal, Bossa cranes her long next over towards your sketchbook, raising an eyebrow at the new designs. "You already working on new designs?" She turns in close, eying through the lot of them. "Damn… these are good but, am I really going to need ALL of these? I usually just wear the same thing all the time, works well for me."
"You don't like them?" Southern asks, acting hurt.
"Your feelings are always considered Steel."
"A little of both, and I guess I'm still a bit worried that today's little lesson might not work."
Onyxia is a little surprised as well as Bossa just walks on by to take a table for them. But with some of them already moving, Onyxia follows.
"Thank you Steel."
She says as Steel pulls out her chair like a gentlecolt.
When the waiter comes by, Onyxia just orders a water.
Bossa raises an eyebrow, "What? No, they're great, I'm just saying that's a LOT of them. Why do I need so many?"
Plasm comments, "Because no one outfit is perfectly suited for every possible occasion. You need variety. I figure as a musician, you'd appreciate that."
"You're getting to be a little too chatty for me this morning, stiff. I don't remember asking you." Bossa retorts.>>703834
"I understand, but even if it doesn't, the salads aren't going to add much more on than you've already got, and they are WORTH it, trust me. Besides, I think it's working pretty well so far.">>703834>>703829
Steel pushes in the chair for Onyxia as she sits down, nodding, "My pleasure." Before taking a seat himself.
AS the waiter comes out and collects drink orders, Steel orders a water so as not to draw suspicion, along with Plasm. Twonyxia asks for a pink lemonade, and Bossa orders the only alcoholic drink so far, a glass of wine. Steel comments, "A bit early, isn't it?"
Bossa retorts, "It's the Crystal Empire. If you're not drinking the wine here, you're not drinking at all."
Twonyxia takes up the menu, and starts going over the salad selection to Onyxia, "Just about any of these are my favorite… I always have a hard time picking."
Roll #1 5, 5, 5, 9, 3, 2, 6, 3, 10, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 10, 4, 4, 10, 1, 2 = 103
Break in date RP to continue main game
Kino is moved over to Plasm's dino, the young cave colt looking down nervously at you and the others as you dismount your parasaurs and stash them somewhere safe. Kino looks down at you as you move up ahead, your cloak giving you the benefit of invisibility, and he asks, "W-wait… if you am see Kino mother and sister, please… you am help them, pony god?"
"Stop calling her that, kid, it's weird. Just 'Boss pony' I think is enough for her ego." Bossa comments.
You move up ahead under the cover of invisibility up through the forest brush surrounding the large fortress, and as you move, you are met with a patrol: pack of raptors ridden by strange, pony-sized apes with crimson-red fur and gnashing teeth. They speak to each other, in clear language, as they go about their patrol, and you slip past to make it to the outside of the wall itself, standing about 20 feet high of lumber and stone with more of the strange red apes talking to each other up above.>>706539
"My little brother is training in multiple areas needed of a prince. He's being taught by Father how to lead the guard in times of need, diplomacy from mother,"
"You know, the usual princely stuff." Twonyxia says, chuckling. "But if you ask me, I think his real forte is picking out pretty nice spots to go on dates and-"
"Knightly Valor is a strong, brilliant stallion," Ulmash says cutting off Twonyxia, "There's so many duties that go into royalty that it's hard to list exactly what our day to day routines consist of, but Valor likes handling the military side of things. He works with your father and mine a lot."
As you admit she gave you a flattering description, Ulmash lowers her head, looking down at her wings. "It was definitely difficult… touch and go there for days. Chrysalis' last scheme had been her most cunning yet, or so my mother says. She very nearly had us." She smiles, "I'm just glad I was able to help out in the end. The title it earned me wasn't nearly as important as knowing my country and family were safe."
"Speaking of," Steel comments, "The Princess of Miracles… what does that mean, exactly?"
"My mother's specialty was in love-based magic. Mine is more based in fortune or luck. My magic just, makes good things happen around others that, logically speaking, shouldn't occur, and yet do. Mastering it was the key that let me help Aunt Twilight put Chrysalis down for good."
As you comment on how hard it is to adjust to the Empire, Ulmash raises her brow, "It wasn't like this in your era? I'll admit, that much I don't know much about. It's hard to imagine the Empire like anything but this."
Southern continues to look for dreamstone.
Onyxia giggles as Ulmash cuts off Twonyxia's fawning of the Prince.
"It sounds like he hasn't changed much from what I heard about him back in my time."
"What did she do? Dad didn't mention specifics, but I remember hearing about the wedding attack Chrysalis tried. I can't imagine how she could've done anything bigger after how that one ended."
"So things just always work better when you're around? I could've used some of that these past few days." She jokes.
"Back in my time, the Empire was a bit smaller. It looked more like… how it did back in the day. I don't know when it started to look more like this, but for me it didn't change much from how it looked when I came back when Chitus attacked."
Onyxia does her best to explain.
"Like, more of a small town and not really any of these big buildings aside the castle."
After by-passing the raptor patrols and reach the edge of the wall, you done your cloak to become invisible to the eye, and manage to pull yourself up and over the barrier using your strings, ignoring the chatter of the guards oblivious to your arrival.
On the other side of the wall, you see the large, towering pillar of stone you saw in the distance much closer, and around it within the fortress itself, is a veritable army of apes. Running to and fro moving supplies like food or weapons (basic spears of wood and sharpened stone). You also see the unfortunate site of many cave-ponies in cages, or being forced to haul goods themselves for the apes as they crack whips to force them to do their bidding. Four targets stand out among the fortress>The central pillar, looming above has several entrances to it and seems to be of great import.>There is a smaller inner-camp made up of various waving, primitive banners that seem to hold a number of leader apes among their number.>The majority of captured slaves in cages grouped together, made up of many Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasi ponies.>A corral for more dinosaurs, currently kept docile by apes feeding them.>>706543
Twonyxia smiles, "Well, THAT's good to hear… though, now you have me curious, if you aren't dating him in your original timeline, who was?"
"It was. Believe me, it was: somehow Chysalis managed to change out the leaders of almost two dozen cities in Equestria and coordinated a mass riot that left all our forces frazzled and scattered. Then her main forces attacked Canterlot in the confusion, where all the princesses and their families just happened to be gathered. It was a mess… Chrysalis had taken us entirely by surprise and we had no way of finding the real her among tens of thousands of panicking citizens."
She nods. "Pretty much. It's difficult to explain without seeing it in action, but my magic just increases the amount of good fortune ponies find themselves coming into. Sometimes to the point of creating outright miracles, hence the title."
"It was THAT small?" Twonyxia asks, "That's hard to imagine… this place is so busy these days, I wonder what exactly changed to make it so much bigger? It couldn't have been just dad."
She heads for the central pillar to continue her search.
"Huh, I'm not sure. The Royal Family was always these high up figures to me back then, so I didn't really know much outside whatever talk there was. I don't recall anypony talking about his love life."
"It's hard to believe all it took was Dad to change the royals from being higher ponies to close friends and a couple."
Onyxia is surprised at the details.
"I can't believe it, she was able to set up over the whole country? I can see why Dad is so important if that happened."
"How did you find out you had that magic? Good fortune seems like something you wouldn't be able to notice you're making all that easily."
Onyxia thinks a moment.
"When we came back to the Empire before, the castle was attacked by those Sons of Sombra ponies. That didn't happen in my time so that might have had something to do with it, since the castle had to be rebuilt and all."
Roll #1 5 = 5
You head straight for the important looking structure in the center of the fortress, and infiltrate through one of the many openings. You explore through its vast network of tunnels that spiral up and around the tall mountain spire, many apes passing you buy as you sneak around.
It takes time, but you eventually come across something interesting within the complex: a decently sized cavern, big enough to hold three large cages. In the one on the far right, you see a dinosaur, one with a heavy, dome-shaped head and a bipedal body. The left holds a cavepony, looking scared out of their wits as they scream incoherently, gnawing and biting at the wooden bars of their cage trying to escape. In the center, at the top of the cage, you see a spiral-shaped gem surrounded by three unicorn horns, detached from their owners, magical energy sparking between them.
Nearby, an elderly red-ape flanked by two strong looking guards is mumbling under his breath, seeming to be preparing a spell as the spiral jewel in the center cage glows more brightly the more he chants.>>706551
Twonyxia blushes, "And, let me tell you, I do not regret it one bit. I can't wait for you two to meet Knightly, he's just so… princely."
"He's just out in the barracks practicing, I thik, if you want to pay a visit. I need to stay close to the baby I'm looking after though, Twonyxia do you know the way out there?"
As you ask about Chrysalis and her take over, she nods. "It was scary. They got to my mother and Aunt Celestia at one point too… in the end, the only thing that could find Chrysalis among the chaos so we can stop her once and for all was pure, dumb luck. Fortunately," her horn sparks a little golden light. "That's what I excel at. It's actually come a little easy to me ever since I was a filly. When I realized coins I flip would ALWAYS come up the side I picked, I started to get an idea that something was up."
As you point out the castle collapse, Twonyxia nods, "OH! Dad told me about that too. Maybe that did help, lots of ponies had to be contracted to fix that AND the ziggurat, after all…"
"I wouldn't sell your dad's contributions short, Twonyxia."
"You've really fallen for him, haven't you?" Onyxia jests at just how smitten Twonyxia is acting.
"You foalsit, even as a princess?"
Onyxia questions, surprised at hearing such.
"That is scary, even with what I've faced. Just thinking of ponies you know getting taken out without anypony knowing, it's terrifying. I'm glad we won't have to worry about that anymore."
Onyxia smiles as Ulmash talks about coin flips.
"I guess ponies don't make bets with you often then."
"The castle does
look better, you can hardly tell it was all broken up."
Onyxia nods after Ulmash's comment.
"Or you either, Princess. With all the help you and Dad have given with everything I can imagine ponies wanting ot come here just to see where you came from."
Southern slices the locks off the cages, throwing them open to let the occupants loose.
Twonyxia shrugs, "Well, once you meet him, you'll see exactly 'why' I've fallen so hard.
Ulmash nods, "Yes. Actually my mother did it as well, she used to babysit my Aunt Twilight. I've been babysitting my younger siblings since I was young, and today I'm watching over the Emperor's daughter so her mother can have a chance to rest. She's adorable but, always wants to be busy."
Going back onto the subject of Chrysalis, she nods her head. "It was, but, thankfully it's all in the past. Chrysalis died in that last fateful battle, I saw it with my own eyes… now her replacement, Queen Metamorphia, appears to be keeping things on a quieter profile."
As you ask about the bets, she blushes, "Sadly, I've been banned from most poker nights I know. Probably for the best, gambling's a bad habit anyhow." >>706559
Your wires cut through the cages' locks, dicing them and reducing them to shreds as the cage doors swing wide open. The panicking pony, looking on in surprise at his sudden freedom, does not take long to look around before jumping out. Likewise, the Pachycephalosaurus in the other cage casually wanders out of it, looking around for something interesting as the red-ape shaman above the cages suddenly stops in his chanting, the elder's eyes widening in shock.
"WHAT!? W-what happen?! What happen to the cage!" He growls, slapping at both of the guards. "THEY LOOSE! Go get them!"
The red-ape guards are quick to respond, both of the muscley creatures chasing after the pony and dinosaur alike
[1d10] Pony escape
[1d10] Pachy escape
Meanwhile, the shaman shouts, "Who do this?! Me sense strange juju in air… me know someone here!" He shouts, stepping down from his step as he keeps his hands gripped tightly on a wand (another dismembered unicorn horn). "COME OUT!"Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
Southern grabs the glowing stone and folds it into her invisibility cloak so as to draw the apes to her position, then slips away, leaving behind a trap for the pursuers.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9
"I don't know, I think our tastes differ a little bit."
Onyxia comments with a glance to Steel.
"But let's hurry on then. I would like to see the Prince in person if we're all friendly now."
"When I was told you're busy, that sounds like an understatement. Foalsitting doesn't sound like it'd mesh well with royal work."
Onyxia is silent at hearing Chrysalis died, still not to keen on death.
"She was replaced? That's good to hear she's not attacking at least, but Metamorphia… That name sounds familiar."
"Especially if you'd always win, you'd never leave at that rate."
Your wires slip out and catch at the glowing stone and pull it away from the center, and as it does so, the elder ape begins to show visible panick. The dinosaur and the pony are not so agile as to get away from the apes, both muscular creatures managing to grab hold of their recently escaped wards and hold them tight before the shaman shouts,
"NO! Forget them, the stone! The Tyrant Stone is gone!" He shouts, "They no can get the stone, Razar will cook us all ALIVE and feed us to big lizards if looking around frantically as he puts out his wand, murmuring another incantation as the tip of his horn-wand sends out a small, glittering light
The distraction is successful, and the guards leave the pony and dino to their own devices, which after just being grabbed is to escape. They both make for the exit to catch you, but find themselves caught up in your trap, ensnaring them both in a series of wires leaving you the opportunity to escape.>>706567
Twonyxia looks over towards Steel, giving a raised eyebrow. "Hmmm… I guess now we'll be able to find out who has the 'better' tastes then, huh?" She says with a mischievous smirk. You all start to walk out towards the barracks, Ulmash leading the way.
Ulmash sighs, "It's very busy indeed. And it doesn't always, but, I sort of had a clear day today, and Isha looked pretty exhausted, so I made the offer."
As you remark that Metamorphia sounds familiar, you see Twonyxia noticeably shuffle her hooves uncomfortably. Ulmash remarks, "You may recognize her from your adventures… according to information you all brought back from the future, *she* is the one who ultimately creates Eon, the monster that eventually dooms the future. Which, while MASSIVE, is surprisingly the lesser of our concerns compared to her actions in the present. She's not openly attacking, but more changelings have been found infiltrating."Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
Southern leaps aboard the dinosaur and kicks it with her spurs, leading it onward to their freedom. She prepares more traps for the guards outside so they can escape unabataed.
Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11
"Are you trying to say the Prince is better than Steel?"
Onyxia pushes at the smirk.
"I've heard a lot of great things about the Prince in my day, but I don't think he can live up to my knight."
Onyxia boasts as they head to the barracks.
"Oh, I hope we're not cutting in on any spare time you had today if this was a day off for you."
"Sh-She is? That might be it then, though I feel I heard it somewhere else. It's kinda hard to keep things straight when you hop back and forth all over a timeline."
"Right. Dad was mentioning how he's been trying to find some Elites when he came to get me. It's probably not good that's happening if Chrysalis did the same thing before."
The spell on the shaman's part has a brief flash of light, and then suddenly, you see a horrible backlash shoot outwards from the horn. The shaman is enveloped in magic, screaming as he does so, and looking back on your escape, all you see is a small toad where the shaman once stood, ribbiting as you mount the dinosaur.
The pachy lets out an unwelcome cry, looking back at the pony riding it without its permission, and starts to try and buck you off, though thankfully it does so in the direction of the exit. The pony, noticing the rampaging dinosaur heading towards freedom, leaps on and grabs at the tail, wailing loudly as he does so.
The traps are set up as more guards are alerted by the commotion, and some of them are caught up in the wires, leaving them to dangle helplessly as they are unable to follow you. Others manage to get through, and chuck spears in your direction
The dinosaur is being ridden, but you are not yet in control of it as it attempts to throw you off, though you do manage to stay on long enough as it takes you back out of the pillar and into broad daylight, the sun beating down on you once more.
"Steel's alright," Twonyxia says, "He's a little quiet though. I haven't heard him say 'I love you' today yet, have you? Now 'Valor'…"
"Ahem…" Steel speaks up. "You're both aware I'm standing right behind you?"
Ulmash shakes her head, "Not at all, seeing Onyxia… or, two even, is always a day off well spent."
"She 'has' increased infiltration but, something's different about it this time. This time it's fewer Changelings, more powerful ones selected, and unlike before NO leaderships have been targeted, every single mayor, lord, and baron from Manehattan to Las Pegasus is cleared. Wherever they're hiding, it's in very low places… which makes it all the more concerting what her plan is." Ulmash moves down another hall, "I'll meet you all out there, I'm just going to go check on little Nau."
Twonxyia leads the rest of the way towards the barracks, and outside you see a number of Crystal Pony guards practicing. In particular, two are standing in a circle with swords drawn, held in telekinetic grips as they clash, again and again. On one side is a crystal pony with amber coat and sapphire hair, but he's being pushed back by the armored opponent he faces: with a white coat, long, flourishing pink mane, and you notice a couple of ear-rings in his ears, he gives out a triumphant cry as the sword comes down again with a flourish, skillfully disarming his opponent's telekinetic grip and sending the sword flying away, putting it down close to the crystal pony's chest. He smirks, "Now, everyone, who would like to point out what Sergeant Toppa did wrong?"
Twonyxia smirks, looking over to you. "I'll give you ONE chance to guess who he is."Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
Southern leaves behind more traps as she steers the dino to their freedom. [1d10+3]Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5
Onyxia gives her sister a look.
"We covered this morning why he doesn't need to say it to prove it."
She says in the flattest and accusatory tone she can, before breaking out a small chuckle.
"Of course Steel. Though you have been a bit quiet today, how come?"
"Yea, not everyday you see two of a friend."
"That is strange… But I'm sure Dad will help root them out."
Onyxia says to look on a brighter side of it.
"Ok, see you later."
Onyxia looks on to the fight as they step in, reminded of the few times Steel helped train her in fighting.
"Well I might be a bit biased here, but I assume the one who won?"
Onyxia says, feigning ignorance as she waits for the formal introduction.
As the spears the apes chuck go flying at you, they are caught up in more wires, as are those who through them, leaving a veritable web of apes behind you as your pursuers are left in the dust. One spear manages to get through and slightly tear your dress's shoulder (5/6), but other than that you and the dino manage to come out unscathed on the other side.
The dinosaur tries hard to buck you, but fails entirely, your grip on him tight and in control as he instead decides to re-focus on escaping, yourself and the pony you freed grabbing on to his tail as you ride him out. A large horn is sounded from off in the distance, and in moments it appears the camp is mobilized, seeking out the intruder within. Your escape was quick, however, and before the majority of the guard can do anything to stop you, you are near the walls.
However, one obstacle does stand in your path up ahead: a bizarre creature, seeming to be half ape and half triceratops, with patches of red fur but the leathery hide and very obvious head of a triceratops. It begins letting out monstrous growls as he picks up a boulder, and flings it towards you. He is the only thing between you and the wall
"Oh, well…" Twonyxia says, looking at you, "Right, good point… I think you're working it off, by the way. Just so you know."
Steel shrugs. "I am not much of a conversationalist Onyxia. At least not in a group. I am simply pleased to be in your company, and keep you safe."
"I guess I *do* make it a little hard to get a word in edge-wise…" Twonyxia says.
As you make your guess as to which one is Valor, the pony moving over to help up his defeated opponent, Twonyxia responds to her feigned ignorance with feigned surprise. "Whaaaaaaat? How did you know? Are you psychic?"
Knightly Valor (who, on closer inspection, you see also boasts a long, braided pony-tail going down his back and red eyes), turns to the class he is apparently instructing, "Remember, a unicorn's magic can make any number of unpredictable angles of attack, so keep a tight grip on your blade at all times. Everyone, take fifteen." He turns, smiling as he spots Twonyxia and trots on over. "Well, what's this? Surprise inspection? I assure you, 'royal blacksmith', our arms are kept in the utmost perfect condition."
Twonyxia strolls forward, grinning. "It's not the weapons and armor I'm worried about, Captain."
"I see. Well, I assure you, the soldiers are sharp as ever as well." He says, leaning in close to nuzzle Twonyxia's muzzle as she reciprocates. "Really though, this is a surprise. I thought you said yesterday you were going to spend the day at home?"
"I got some unexpected visitors last night."Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Southern doesn't stop moving, instead leaving another trap for the monster.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
"You think so?" Onyxia says as she looks herself over, "I knew a walk on the town would be good."
She says, proud that it's been working.
"I know that, though I guess we have been meeting a lot of ponies today."
"I can't blame you there, how often do you get to give a home tour for yourself?" Onyxia says to Twonyxia's benefit, "And then gush about your special somepony." She adds in for a tease.
"You could say I can see into the future."
As Twonyxia and Valor approach each other, Onyxia feels a bit flustered at seeing what is essentially herself being this close to the Prince.
She waves as her twin mentions getting unexpected visitors.
"Hello, Prince Valor. I'm Onyxia, and this is Steel."
She says, introducing herself and Steel straight away rather than the awkward start with Ulmash.
Your wire trap springs up, and as the boulder flies into the network of strings, it is sliced into several pieces, all the debris going in other directions than you and your pachysaurus. Your wires spring out and trap the tricerataur in place as well, the monster growling and roaring as he struggles to get loose, but cannot find the leverage to do so.
Moving full speed ahead, your pachy aims its head directly at the wooden barrier, homing in on a weakpoint between posts as its dome-shaped head bashed through a weak part of the barrier, pulling you and it to safety as it continues roaring in defiance, making a run out into the deep jungle with you still in control of it.
As you leave the borders of the fortress, you feel a hoof tap you from behind. The pony in the cage is still grabbing on for dear life, and shouts, "DO P-PONY KNOW WHERE THIS THING GOING?!"
The horns still sound off in the fortress behind you, apes running around preparing their next move as you escape into the jungle.>>706587
Steel nods, "Lots of 'chatty' ponies, if I may add. I'm just the quiet sort of stallion is all, Onyxia. You could say me being down a mouth for years wasn't all that much of a loss for me."
"Still, I'll slow it down a bit." Twonyxia adds. "You're a nice guy to listen to, Steel."
As you comment on seeing into the future, Twonyxia rolls her eyes. "Pfff. Somehow I knew I'd go there."
As Valor and Twonyxia finish their nuzzle, the prince looks over towards you, raising a brow, and then to Steel. "Onyxia… and Steel?" He looks up at the armor, "AH! Yes, my sister told me with the Emperor's return, his allies might be around as well." He turns towards Onyxia, "Well, two of you? That gives me a few ideas for how to spend the evening…"
"HEY!" Twonyxia says, giving a weak hoof-slap against Valor's armor, the prince chuckling.
"It was just a joke, Onyxia." Valor explains, before turning his attention to you.
He grabs at your hoof, raising it up to his lips to lay a small kiss upon. "It is an honor." His hoof is swiftly grabbed by Steel's in turn, who decides to cut the gesture short with a firm hoof-shake.
"The honor is all ours." Steel states simply.
"True, though I imagine not having a mouth probably helped that as well."
"You can't blame me with that setup you gave."
Onyxia tilts her head, lost as Twonyxia slaps Valor for his joke and his chuckle.
She's a little surprised as Valor grabs her hoof, caught off guard by the formality and also the Prince getting that close. Though as Steel quickly ends it to be a hoof-shake instead, she can't help but smile at his protection.
"It's a pleasure. Onyxia was telling me all about you," She responds, "Still adjusting to how our families are so close now."
Twonyxia sighs, "Just because the setup was put out there doesn't mean you HAVE to use it!"
As Steel finishes the hoof-shake with Valor, the prince smiles, giving a whip-lash of his pony-tail so it drapes down the front (stylishly), and offers a bow. "Has she now? Well then, allow me to set the record straight-"
"I've only told her GOOD things!" Twonyxia contests.
"Yes, I'm sure you have…" He says sarcastically, before turning his attention back to Onyxia. "I don't know all the details, but I'm assuming there's been a LOT of changes in this era for you to adjust to. Is there anything at all I or my family can do for you to make you feel more at home?"
>"I feel absolutely dinoble and dinowledgeable," Southern says.
>As they're ambushed, Southern leaves behind a trap and leads her allies to safety. [1d10+3: 1 + 3 = 4]
Bossa snickers beneath the scarf. "You don't say. Sounds pretty dino-mite. Maybe I should try it next. Doesn't feel weird at all?"
As the raptors and the apes move into position, they manage to circle around the parasaurs in their attempts to flee, causing the frightened big dinos to buck as Southern prepares her trap, throwing her from the back to the hard dirt below (1/6) as they start to attack. "Give us back the gem!"
[1d10+1: 8 + 1 = 9] One ape/raptor attacking Southern [1d10+1: 9 + 1 = 10]/[1d10+1: 6 + 1 = 7] two attacking Bossa [1d10+1: 5 + 1 = 6]/[1d10+1: 8 + 1 = 9] two attacking Plasm
[1d10+3: 9 + 3 = 12] Bossa quickly brings out her guitar, and strums it as she attempts to bring the ground to life. "I can handle a few monkey's. Plasm, get the goods out of here before they get scratched up. Boss, you can take off for the dreamstone if you want, the chief shouldn't have to dirty her hooves with shit like this."
[1d10+2: 10 + 2 = 12] Plasm uses his phasing ability to help the Parasaurs get through the circle of raptor-scouts.
Southern leaves another trap for the enemies.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6
Southern's wires spring into action around the ape/raptor that charges against her, snatching it up in its clutches as both dinosaur and ape struggle to escape its confines, letting out roars of anger as they struggle to escape.>One minion obtained, +1 to rolls
Plasm's phasing allows the parasaurs and the cave-ponies riding them to phase directly through their attacking raptors, the enemies hitting nothing but open air as Plasm leads them to safety. "We'll meet up with you later, Southern!" He lets out a shout, the two apes/raptors that missed them giving pursuit.
The two remaining that fight Bossa manage to make some scratches upon her, but she quickly manages to shrug them off as the tall pony throws them to the side, the earth rising up beneath them as she plays her guitar. She continues to bend the earth to her whim as the rocky terrain swoops up and bashes one of the dinosaurs
[1d10+1] Minion attack
[1d10+3] Bossa continues to play (summoning more of the earth)
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] The raptors attack Bossa
Bossa turns to you, and shouts, "Dino-girl! I think I have these things, go find the dreamstone!"Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
/ Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7
/ Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #4 8 + 1 = 9
Southern bops Bossa on the shoulder with her claws. "Cute. Who's the boss around here, me or you? Me. You might be on the business cards, but I'm the one who gives the oders."
[1d10+1] Minion attacks raptor 1
[1d10+5] Charge Trap against raptor 2Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
/ Roll #2 2 + 5 = 7
Your stringed up minion gets to work attacking his brethren, the red-apes shouting at each other as to what the hell they think they're doing while your puppet starts tearing into them, albeit receiving some scratches in return. Meanwhile, your other trap manages to snare the second raptor in its clutches, creating a second captive.
As your claw taps on her shoulder, Bossa turns to face you, raising an eyebrow. "I was just trying to show a little self-management skills, is all. I'm not just some yes-mare like Plasm, I go out and get things done for the company!" She says as she's struck by a particularly painful slash of the raptor attacking her, causing her to fire off a powerful soundwave in its direction
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] the earth minions slam the raptor from either side
[1d10+2] Transfix from Bossa
"You know, Sight and Claw would never get their hooves dirty on my behalf."
[1d10+1] the last remaining free raptor tries to attack Raptor 2Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #3 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #4 6 + 1 = 7
>>708314>charge increases critfail range to 2
As you converse with Bossa, the second raptor you trapped seems to free itself from its bindings, having narrowly avoided the wires catching it by sheer force of luck as its talons dig into your scaly hide. Your newfound leathery skin makes it less painful, but you find yourself beneath the raptor as it tries snapping at you while helpless>0/5
[1d10+1]Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
"You might have served some bad bosses in the past, but I don't treat my employeees like mere disposable tools. Any leader who does should be driven out of business."
She gets up. [1d10]
[1d10+1] Minion attacks the free raptorRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2
The earth strikes at the raptor from either side when Bossa strikes a powerful chord, sandwiching it between two solid shifting piles of rock and dirt as you manage to roll up successfully (6/5), the raptor you 'Charged' against now looking pretty injured, but still able to fight. The puppet raptor is clawed out by the other raptor, sending it to the ground free of your wires as it manages to losen itself from its grasp.
Bossa turns to you, shaking off a nasty bite she received from one of them as she nods her head. "Well… I guess I should thank you for that then. And these bastards are a *little* more annoying than I gave credit for so, I guess I wouldn't mind the extra claw. But for the record, I COULD handle this on my own."
"Death to the ponies!" One of the apes cries out, "They stole juju rock, they die!">For clarity's sake: Raptor 1 is the first raptor you trapped, Raptor 2 is the one that was attacking Bossa, and Raptor 3 is the one you failed to trap last turn.
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] Raptors 1 and 2 attack Bossa
[1d10+1] Raptor 3 attacks Southern
[1d10+3] Bossa starts strumming her guitar to summon more of the earth
[1d10+1] Minion 1 attacks Raptor 1
[1d10+1] Minion 2 attacks Raptor 1Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
/ Roll #3 9 + 1 = 10
/ Roll #4 5 + 3 = 8
/ Roll #5 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #6 3 + 1 = 4
Southern traps Raptor 3
"I don't take chances on good investments," Southern stubbornly answers.Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
Raptor 3 and its ape handler are caught up in your strings as it tries to attack, making for an additional puppet to use for the attack as more of the terrain is summoned up into various tendrils, swaying and dancing to the beat Bossa's guitar creates as she kicks away another one of the raptors.
"Well, I AM a good investment, so I can't fault you for logic there." She says, "But you know, taking risks can lead to high rewards too." She punctuates with a strum of her guitar as the earth descends on one of the raptors
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] / [1d10+1] attacking Raptor 1
Bossa Transfixing Raptor 2 [1d10+2]
Raptor 1 attacks at Bossa while Raptor 2 turns its attention to Southern. "T-this ponies last warning! Give back stone or DIE!"
"Aww, here that? They're trying to negotiate now, how cute."Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #4 7 + 2 = 9
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] Forgot the raptors' roles
Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
"This is the kind of risk I don't take. Stop portraying yourself as someone disposable, it's really quite irritating to see," she demands.
[1d10+3] trap on raptor 1
[1d10+1] Raptor 3 attacks raptor 2Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
/ Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8
"Disposable? What makes you think what I'm doing makes me disposable, because I'm offering to do my fair share and let my boss do something more important?"
The earth slams down into raptor 1 and the ape riding it, burying them both under gravel as they're smashed to bits. Raptor 2 attempts to strike at Southern, but finds itself trapped in more wires of Southern as it's rendered helpless by the music/strings. Raptor 3, under Southern's control, starts to devour its enemy, the ape shouting at the confused animal to let go as they struggle to break free of the trap.
Bossa huffs, looking ahead as Raptor 2 and 3 are now both caught up in wire, and then starts strumming her guitar to maneuver the earth tendrils around them. "Okay, think we're just about done here. Should we leave one alive for questioning? Don't know how much we'll get out of these primitive freaks but, you never know."
[1d10+1] / [1d10+1] / [1d10+1] attacking Raptor 2Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #3 9 + 1 = 10
"Leave one of them alive for questioning," Southern says as she captures all 3 dinosaurs for her dino-farm.
She then looks back at Bossa. "Because I didn't tell you to do it. The boss must be the sole voice in how an employee serves them. A single employee cannot understand their full role in the whole company. Instead, they must trust the boss, whose responsibility it is to manage all that they have been given authority over. For an employee to assume what they must do without the boss's input indicates that that employee sees themselves as a disposable, replaceable unit, who is valued so little that the boss would not think to give them a role only they can do. I have tasks I can only give to you, not to Copper or Plasm or a dinosaur, so why do you waste your time and mine by doing something I can have someone else do? Never disobey me again."
>>708362>Fix to the previous post: the earth Bossa controls to smoosh Raptor 1 only disposes of the Ape riding it, leaving the raptor merely contained in the earth and unable to move.
Raptor 3 lashes up and eats the ape rider of Raptor 2, leaving only the red-ape on the back of the controlled dino as the survivor as Raptor 3 enjoys a little snack. "Uh-oh… me get out of here!" He shouts, but finds himself still caught up in Southern's wires, struggling and screaming to get out.
"Well, there's our one! Lucky him, between this or dino chow…" Bossa comments, before turning back to you. She listens to your speech, and closes her eyes. "Well, I have a few 'trust' issues if that wasn't indicator enough. Like you said yourself, my last few bosses were pretty bad, and I didn't exactly have it easy before then. Trust isn't something I'm used to, so give me a bit of a break."
She sighs. "But, alright. You don't want me jumping into it, I won't. What WOULD you like me to do then, go find Plasm? I can help you in there, you know."
"Yes, get Plasm and then come back here and make me something to snack on. Something with a lot of spinach will do."
Southern looks at the ape. "Where's the rest of the dreamstone?"
"Alright, fine. I'll round up our newest additions to our zoo and go round him up, hopefully he could handle the two that went after him without me. Getting a good collection here going." As you ask for soemthing to snack on, she raises her brow. "Ooooh. Well, of course, my duchess. Would you like me to prepare some iced tea and a few snack cakes to go with that?"
As you look at the ape tied up in the string, he opens his eyes wide, "N-no kill me! Razar keep dreamstone at top of tower, w-we keep it safe for Mammon the Mighty!"
Bossa whistles. "Mammon… that's a nasty Order member there. You think I'M difficult to control, even Sight and his attack dog have trouble keeping Mammon under their hoof. From what I gathered from Claw, his arrangement with Sight is complicated."
Azel reaches up to his chubby chin, rubbing it intently as he listens. "Hrrrrm… I don't know if I like that answer. I have no idea who you are, Southern, and have certainly never heard of your exploits, or those of your accomplices I imagine…" He pauses, thinking it over. "You say you can throw Mammon into the ocean, however? THAT I would very much like to see… alright then, a new bargain: I will settle for for three shares to your group's four to be split four ways, giving your collective a bigger cut than myself. Is that not agreeable?"
He turns towards Kino as you point to him, laughing, "Oh, please, no need to state the obvious: I recognize one of the lesser ponies when I see them. I must admit, I'm surprised one of the little guppies found the courage to come down here."
Kino gulps, "Me… me need beat Mammon. It only way to help me village."
"Poor thing…" Azel says, taking on a more authentically sympathetic tone. "Those apes crushed your little village too? That brute really is barbaric, just like the rest of his race."
Ulmash chuckles, fanning a wing up to cover her snickers. "Thank you… still, I should have thought that through a little better."
Steel smiles, leaning down to nuzzle you and push you into the ring with his hoof, "Of course. Now go kick his pompous ass."
As you compliment Valor on his chivalry, he smiles, shaking his head, "It's the only courteous thing to do. But worry not: it will be the only freebie I offer…"
You dash forward, your armor surprisingly intuitive as it quickly adapts to your movement speed, its own movement picking up as it sprints you along even faster, at one with your intentions as it turns itself instinctively as you thrust your hoof into an uppercut. The dagger that forms just slices beneath Valor's chin, grazing him with a small cut. He grunts, and is quickly caught off guard by your second strike to his side as he doubles back, pulling back his bow string as the two blows land.
"Aah! You're very quick! I wonder if that's the armor or just your natural grace…"
He pulls back on the arrow, the three ice-arrows soon turning into five cocked at once, and lets them fly towards you, the arrows aiming for the small sections between your armor plates where they would be weakest.
[1d10+2: 8+2 = 10] Blast
"This isn't my first fight, so don't go thinking it's all the armor when you lose."
Onyxia tosses back, as she takes a step away after he quick jabs. As Valor notches three arrows to fire at her, she stabs her hooves into the ground, black crystal spreading and surging up the arena floor to form a wall in front of her to block the attack.>Transmute [Wall] [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Valor's arrows fly out from the bow, each of the icy arrows flying forth with surprisingly force. You successfully erect a wall just in time to catch them, but while the wall successfully diverts two of them, the third one manages to explode upon impact with the wall, breaking it apart explosively as the debris flies back towards you, the force pushing you away from the center of the ring>0/4, roll Huge
As the wall is destroyed, Valor prepares another arrow, just one this time, aiming to pin you down in your armor as he gives a cocky grin, "I assure you my dear, there will be no hard feelings one way or the other…">Leap of Faith
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Onyxia smirks as she brings up her wall to fend off the attack, but her eyes widen as it shatters and pelts into her. She stumbles back, sore but still standing.
("Glad I fused with that metal.")
She mutters under her breath, looking through the debris at Valor.
"As I'd expect of the Prince."
She responds, quickly running in as she sees him ready another arrow, thrusting forward with her right hoof-dagger to cut in before it fires.>Attack [1d10+1]Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
>>715957>Due to Crystal Emotions, that last roll has a +1 to hit, 3 succeeds on Leap of Faith
You quickly roll up from your tumble, your iron body absorbing most of the impact. You charge at the Prince, your iron hoof-steps shaking the earth as you charge him, and catch him just moments too late as he lets the arrow fly, impacting against the side of your head. It doesn't breach the armor, but it sufficiently rattles you, leaving you disoriented as he quickly widens the gap between you once again, clearly preferring to fight at long range.>0/4
As you're left disoriented, he prepares another three arrows at once, aiming them precisely towards your hooves to pin you down with a serious glare as he makes sure his aim is true, letting them fly without his usual banter
[1d10+2] BlastRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Onyxia falls to her knees as the arrow strikes her helm, head throbbing from the impact. She regains her focus too late as she sees the arrows already in the air, quickly panicking as she tries to stand and move out of the way.>Recover [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Onyxia manages to roll successfully out of the way from two of the arrows, but the third one finds its mark again, pinning the armor's hoof-guard to the ground as it cleaves through part of the biological protection, the armor 'skittering' in the back of your head again in what you surmise to be some indication of pain. It keeps you helpless, however as you're pinned you feel something invigorating you from elsewhere in your armor, like a gel soothing the ache in your head>Raise to 6/4, Blast takes Onyxia down to 0/3, but Regeneration kicks in taking you back up to 0/4
The Prince reaches up to wipe some of the displaced hairs from his face, preparing another arrow as he sees the one that pinned your armor. "That's one hoof down… three to go."
[1d10] Regular ranged attackRoll #1 3 = 3
Onyxia breathes in exhaustion as she manages to avoid the first pair of arrows. But as the skittering runs up her neck she tenses up, almost feeling that injury herself. She tugs her hoof as she tries to move it, composure dropping as she tries to act quickly before the next arrow hits her.>Recover [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You tug at your hoof trying to free it from its trapped spot, and just narrowly avoid the other arrow whizzing past her head. Valor prepares another, aiming it towards one of your free hooves, giving a calm, concentrated glare as he takes aim carefully
[1d10+2] BlastRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
Onyxia pulls at her hoof again, trying to free it.
("Come on armor! I know it hurts, but I heard so many things about how great you are! We need to get this arrow out!")
She again mutters to herself, trying to get back into the fight.>Recover [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
The skittering at the back of your head lessons, as though the armor is responding properly to you as it tries to work through the pain on its own side, and to its credit you feel it starting to put some effort in on its end as well, the armor 'snapping' off the ice arrow reflectively as it tries to heal itself while you manage to stand up back up.
However, the arrows let loose from Knightly's bow impact against your chest piece, pushing you back down again after freeing your hoof as they deliver a striking blow>0/2
He cocks one more arrow, taking careful aim as he smirks, "I think this last one will do the trick, Onyxia…"
[1d10] Leap of FaithRoll #1 8 = 8
Onyxia falls as the arrow strikes her chest just after getting free, collapsing to the ground as the wind is knocked from her lungs. She glances up as another arrow is aimed down at her. She struggles, hooves shaking as she tries to push herself to stand.
("Please… Stand up…")>Recover [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
You manage to stand up successfully just as the last arrow is let fly from Knightly's bow, just barely glancing your armor's side as it hits the ground behind you with explosive force, your armor letting out a small 'cry' of pain but gritting its non-existence teeth, helping you to stand up to full>2/2
Knightly puts down his arrow, smirking as he instead reaches for his sword to draw, "You've got a great deal of spirit, as I'd expect for any Onyxia. Let's finish this up close, shall we?" He says as he runs towards you, sword drawn ready to finish the fight
[1d10+2] BlastRoll #1 1 + 2 = 3
Onyxia manages to stand, her breathing ragged as adrenaline pumps through her body as she's pushed to her limits. She stumbles to the side as the arrow glances off her, taking a few steps before she feels something wet in her armor around her torso. She panics, believing she was wounded from that arrow, but feels oddly refreshed.>Regeneration [Instant Auto]
Looking up as Valor charges at her, she steadies her stance. She refuses to call the fight off, determined to put up some fight against the Prince. As he draws close, she holds up a hoof, sidestepping his swing and pushing her bare hoof down on his sword, drawing his weapon into her and replacing the old iron in her body.>Fusion [Instant Auto]
Onyxia then reaches up with her dagger hoof, grabbing Valor's bow and spreading her black crystal over it, reshaping it into a small cube to be rendered useless for fighting.>Transmute [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
>>715988>Healed to 2/3
You take the sword away from Valor as he charges headlong with it, the prince's eyes opening wide in surprise as you manage to place your hoof on the side of the blade, and absorb it into yourself, Knightly dropping the hilt as you absorb the freshly cut steel into your body to replace what was there before>Iron replaced with Steel>+1 to hit with weapons, Huge (max health 5/5 again)
Valor jumps back in surprise as you took his sword, him managing to evade your grasp as he looks at his bow, smirking. "Right. Starting to remember why I was keeping my distance. Perhaps not the most valiant way to win, but it is no less elegant, to be sure." He cocks another ice arrow, taking aim and firing
[1d10] Regular attackRoll #1 3 = 3
Onyxia smirks smugly as she steals Valor's sword, though she has a bit of discomfort as the iron chunk she took is now stuck inside the armor.
"Don't count on your victory just yet, I'm just getting started!"
Onyxia says, feeling pumped at the quick turnaround. Her dagger hoof glows as it widens out, forming into a kite shield to help fend off further arrows.>Shapeshift [Sword & Shield] [Instant Auto]
As Valor readies up another arrow, Onyxia rushes him, going for his bow again as she throws out her hoof to disarm him.>Transmute [Valor's Bow] [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
The arrow fired by Valor glances off the side of your armor as he doubles back, but you successfully grab hold of his bow and transmute it, Valor letting go as you turn it into a small chunk/block of steel that falls to the ground, depriving him of his weapon. He looks at you, smirking as you deprive him of both sword and bow. "Well, this isn't exactly fair now, is it? I appear to be disarmed." He makes a run for you, jumping towards you as he uses his magic to start tugging your remaining out of your hoof, "Might lend me yours?"
[1d10] Stealing your weaponRoll #1 3 = 3
Onyxia kicks the block of bow aside to add insult to injury, turning to face Valor.
"I think it's plenty fair. I walked into this duel with only my hooves afterall, so now we're even."
When Valor tugs on her hoof, Onyxia runs forward as well.
"Sure, let me give it right to you!"
As they draw close, Onyxia swings her shield-hoof up, going to strike Valor in his side to knock him aside.>Smack [1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
You allow Valor to tug on your hoof, pulling you closer to him as he tries to reach for your sword to use for his own, but you blind-side him with raising your shield hoof, knocking it straight into his face as he's thrust aside, pony-tail having lost its neat braid and now flying wildly over his head as he tumbles outside of the ring, shaking his head as he looks down at the line, frowning.
"Prince Knightly Valor is outside the ring." Princess Ulmash states loudly, pointing a hoof towards you, "Winner: Onyxia."
You see Steel approaching you, and Twonyxia approaching Valor to help him up, as he smiles, putting a hoof on your shoulder with pride. "Our lessons are paying off."
>Calling for sheets for Southern/Onyxia side-session between 164 and 165
Valor smiles, shaking his head as he continues to fix his hair (now with Twonyxia's help). "As I said: no rush."
As you urge Steel to send you some love again, he tenses up, not quite sure how to respond. "Oh. Uh… I love you?">You feel sort of the same sensation as before, with the armor gladly siphoning some of it off, though not as much.
Ulmash raises an eyebrow at your theory. "Well, we knew it was 'alive', it's biological armor, but you mean it's, sapient? Intelligent?" >>717550
You tug up on the strings, having felt them connect to something far away under the surface of the water, like a fisherman making a hook on his line. Your newly divine-empowered strings pull, and you see a large, oval shape begin to ascend from the waves, the water shaking as your plesiosaur lets out a roar of surprise as the massive figure ascends from beneath the water, hoisted up and caught in your strings.
Bossa and Plasm both look on with surprise as you casually force the figure to emerge from the water, looking on as they see a large, jet-black submarine being pulled out of the ocean waters. Both blink in shock, Plasm taking a step forward.
"Is… is that a damned submarine?!"
"Yeah…" Bossa confirms, "And I got a pretty good guess who it belongs to." She points to a mark by the side of it, indicating the Order of Eon's symbol emblazoned on the side.
Soon, you see movement from the top of the submarine, the top hatch opening up, a new and unfamiliar voice calling out from within
"Hey! Holding our fire, just a minute: don't go slicing up our ride just yet!"
"Are you here to swear your loyalty to me and give me all your possessions?" she asks.
"I think it is," Onyxia answers, "During the fight, it felt like the armor was actually trying to help me. Almost like it's aware of everything, like an animal. And… I felt it take some of the love from Steel just now, twice."
Onyxia explains, trying to piece together the things she felt.
"…I think it only acted the way it did to Dad because it was hungry."
"Hah… not quite!" the voice shouts out, and out from the top of the submarine deck pokes the head of a ruby-red crystal pony. The pony wears a long, crimson garb that takes a modern approach to classical imperial robes, and noticeably a missing right-foreleg. He grins, waving his hoof at you from atop the deck of the sub.
"I just came to talk. Hope that's cool: last guy I tried to talk to wasn't so conversational, but you strike me as a mare who can be reasonable. Loving the new look by the way: found some dreamstone already?"
Bossa spits off the side of the plesiosaur, "Rubianca. Looks like the Order's finally catching up. How are you doing you little piss-ant?"
"Come on, Bossa, is that anyway to treat an old friend?" Rubianca grins, trying to seem nonchalant. You notice he has several deep scars along his body. "Yeah, we wanted to try and catch up to you earlier, but those seals Steel use aren't quite as accurate as when Wing's doing it. Looks like you lucked out. I was hoping you'd be willing to bargain all business like for the dreamstone you stole from the monkeys.">>717553
Steel turns towards you in surprise. "It's stealing my love from you? Is that… good?"
"Well…" Twonyxia coughs, "It might help manage her controlling the 'intake'."
"That's… surprising." Valor says, finishing having fixed his pony-tail back into its proper place. "Nothing from what we read said that the armor was intelligent. Is it speaking to you, verbally? Is it 'pony' intelligence or, more animal?"
"When your father tried it on," Ulmash clarifies, "He took it off rather quickly after feeling it poking at his mind. He was afraid it was going to try and pull him under 'hive' control again but, maybe it was less malicious than that."
"I'm not looking for negotiations, only servants. Join me, or go away. Plasm, keep our fish moving."
"I don't know… It might help like that, but… I don't really like the idea of it taking your love that's meant for me."
Onyxia says, with maybe just the slightest bit of jealousy.
"Definitely more animal. I only feel feelings come of it, like determination during the fight, or pain from your arrows, or being happy when we won."
Onyxia explains to Valor, thinking back.
"I wonder if that excitement I was feeling earlier was from the armor too."
She mutters in thought.
Onyxia looks over to Ulmash.
"When you gathered all those changeling treasures, was this armor used in battle or was it in storage? Maybe it just hasn't been used in a long time, which is why it latched on like it did to Dad."
"It's actually a reptile. I was looking it up earlier, apparently it isn't even a dinosau-"
"Just move it." Bossa says very curtly, before turning her attention back towards Rubianca. "I'm sure Sight might already be listening, but you can tell the Order to screw off." She says, sounding much more confident against him than she did against Steel. "And we'll be coming for you soon enough."
As Plasm starts to urge the acquatic reptile forwards, the plesiosaur giving a satisfied nod before starting to swim, Rubianca's jaw drops. "Wa-wait, come ON! Why does no one ever wanna just talk it out any more?!" He gives an angry growl, before sticking his hoof forwards, a beam of bright red-light gathering around his hoof tip. "Just hold on a second!"
The right light shoots out in a zig-zag motion, but your previously set-up wire traps all light up at once, a criss-cross grid blocking the laser and fragmenting it into harmless beams that scatter around you. Simultaneously, the wires home-in and grab hold of Rubianca on the submarine, trapping him. However, much to your compatriots' surprise, the wires home in on two other figures who you find half-way crawling out of Bossa Nova's shadow, sticking out half-way as the wires ensnare two figures draped in darkness. Bossa Nova turns around in surprise, looking at her shadow upon the back of the plesiosaur. "What the fuck?!"
"W-what?!" You see one of the figures, a gruff, angry looking goat with a dirty beard and blood-shot eyes, turn towards you, "H-how in the-"
"FUCK!" the second figure, who appears to be yet another Rubianca, is also trapped partway through the shadow. "H-how did they get on us so quick?"
Plasm, Bossa, and Kino all look pretty shook-up at the sudden capture of the enemy, who your newly empowered strings caught in their shining mesh before many realized they were there.>Rubianca, Rubianca's clone, and the goat all made an attack, but fell victim to traps>Two traps left up, can control one of them per-turn for two turns>>717556
Steel smiles. "Neither do I, honestly. There is 'one' pony that love is meant for."
"I hear you…" Twonyxia points out, "But, you have to admit, you could do with a little less love, right? And Steel will always have more for you after you take it off."
As you offer the armor praise, you feel a sense of giddiness or happiness, and the sudden urge to waggle your own tail as the armor skitters at the back of your head. Valor reaches up and rubs his chin, "Animal-like intellect… perhaps to take advantage of animal-instinct? This is pretty far-fetched as a theory, but perhaps its creator made it that way to make it able to act on its own without risking taking over entirely. That's more than I would have ever given it credit for, though."
Ulmash shakes her head, "It was in storage: from what we could tell, it hadn't been used in decades, maybe even centuries. If what you're saying is true, it may have been alone for all that time…" She frowns. "That is not a happy thought."
Southern slices the Rubianca clone into pieces, all while making more Traps.
[1d10+3], using auto-instant minion kill
"Stand down before I have to do that again," Southern says. "You chose to limit your options from what I gave you. Now your choices are to submit or die."Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11
"W-Well, yea. But I don't want it to siphon off from a good moment!"
Onyxia mldly protests.
Onyxia look back as her tail wags, her body reflexively going with the impulse.
"That would be a smart way of doing it. Almost like making a pet that'd help you in a fight."
She scratches the back of her neck at the skitter, rethinking her analogy.
"Hmm, putting it that way makes it a little uncomfortable to be wearing it…"
"That long? Even if it wasn't alive, that's a terrible waste of an armor."
Onyxia says in disbelief.
"If it really was that long, I'm surprised it can still move."
Onyxia pauses in thought.
"That would explain why it worked when I put it on though, with my "condition"."
She says, a little embarrassed at summing herself up as a snack for the armor.
The strings cut into Rubianca's light clone, dicing it into ribbons as the light particle effects spread everywhere, Rubianca and the goat both looking on at it pretty shocked as you string up more wires around you, bringing the total number of traps up to four. Bossa Nova looks back at her shadow, sweat beading down her head.
"Moving through this shadow… Zill?!"
The goat looks pained by the wires cutting into him, but offers a smile all the same. "Hey, Bossa-a-a-a-a-a. L-like the new look?"
"…so you DID survive the building's collapse."
"I'm a.. grrnt… slippery little devil, ain't I?"
As you make your offer known to Rubianca and Zill, Rubianca turns his head as much as he can, "H-hey, come on, give us a break here- I was just trying to stop you from leaving so rudely! Can't we work out another deal? I-I mean, you know what the Order will do to us if we just submit-"
Plasm turns his head back, "If anything like Bossa Nova, I think it's worked out decently so far. Also, I used to work for the Order… indirectly, but still."
Zill grins, "That offer even open for me? We cool like that?">>717559
Steel smiles, "Then, we'll make sure you don't wear it during the good moments."
As you wag your tail, Valor and Twonyxia both give each other a worried glance, before Twonyxia points it out, "I uh… I assume that's the 'armor', not you?"
"Well, it's a little disconcerting, but, in a way, that does make it more intuitive in battle. Still, I don't know… I still think you should take it off."
The skitter slows, a chill going down your spine.
Ulmash shakes her head, "Well, there was only so much we could do: it ONLY reacted to changelings, of which there was only a single one in the entire Empire. And then that one it almost felt like it wanted to take over. If you meant why the Changelings didn't use it for all that time… I'm actually not sure. I was under the impression it was too old and would break upon use, but, you clearly show it's more than usable. And, I dare say it's taken a liking to you."
"Give me the last of my string and you may live, in submission to me as your ruler and god forever. If you should prove your greatness and loyalty, I will give you a kingdom to rule for yourself; land to tame and servants to command as you see fit. Or you can fight me and die here."
"Yea, I think it's gotten a little happy with all this talk about it."
Onyxia says, taking a second to stop her tail under the armor's movement. As the chill goes down her spin as Valor still sounds unsure, Onyxia reaches out and pats her shoulder, or the armor's pauldron to be specific, to help ease it.
"I think you should speak a little more positively at the armor. From what I can tell it doesn't mean any harm, but I think it gets upset easily."
She says to Valor.
"I'm not surprised, I gave it it's first run in Celestia knows how long."
Onyxia says with a laugh.
"…But, speaking about that," Onyxia pauses in unsure thought, "…Does it have to go back in the case?"
Zill shakes his head, "No can do, sweet-heart… I told you, I gave that string off to the big-wigs a long time ago." He grins, "Buuut… let me go, and maybe I can get it back for you, huh?"
Plasm grimaces. "Right, you seem like the trust-worthy sort…"
"Come on, do you even really need your string back? Look at where you've gotten without it!" He smiles, "A god, huh? Feels pretty good, I bet. To think, if it weren't for me taking it away, you wouldn't even be here, joining at the top of the food chain. Ways I see it, you owe me."
Bossa grips her guitar, sticking it at Zill's throat. "Funny, 'ways I see it', you're about ten seconds from me seeing how much of a smear I can make across the back of this dinosaur."
"Hahahah! Well, to answer the question… I can only get you the string if you let me go. But do that, and I think I'll wisely consider the offer, assuming I can get me some of that dreamstone as well."
Rubianca grins, "Well, well, if Zill's thinking about it… I really like the idea of owning my own kingdom, but lemme ask you a question: we going to kill a lot of guys? I mean, that's practically the whole reason I signed up with the Order in the first place."
Plasm whispers to you, "I should let you know, Bossa had at least a 'mostly' clean slate. From what I've read in the data we got from Claw, Rubianca is a wanted mass-murderer in the era we were just in. I don't know if we should just accept that…">Still trapped, no actions taken yet so I haven't moved down the timer>>717562
Twonyxia and Ulmash can't help both but suppress a few snickers as you try and hold down your own tail from wagging. As you pat down the shoulder of the armor to soothe it, it actually seems to work, reducing the chills and returning the comforting 'happy' clicking at the back. "It's… sensitive?" Valor says, a bit bewildered. "Seems somewhat ironic… isn't an armor supposed to be impervious? I mean, take your fine Steel for example: a living exemplar of stoic and hardy demeanor. Exactly what I imagine when I think of living armor."
Steel gives a heavy frown at Valor. "…thanks."
"You're quite welcome, my friend."
Ulmash nods, "Yes, I think that may definitely have something to do with that. But, to answer the question…" Ulmash sighs, "I… really think it's supposed to. You have to remember, Onyxia, this isn't exactly 'ours' to play around with. We're supposed to be keeping it safe."
"But-" Twonyxia speaks up, "That was before we realized it was this 'alive'. It's not just a thing anymore, it has feelings."
"It's a hard question to ask, I must admit. Where exactly do we draw the line?" Ulmash mumbles. "…I assume you would argue against it going back? Can you be sure it isn't a danger?"
Southern ponders this for a moment, then gestures to Zill and Rubianca.
"Fight for it. The survivor shall follow me into eternal glory, rewarded in the highest measure for his loyalty."
Onyxia gives Valor a look at his rather flat description of Steel, seeing how Steel is also displeased with it.
"Maybe changelings have a different ideal for armor."
"I know… But after feeling it now, I just can't stick it back in that case. It needs to eat at the very least!"
Onyxia says in her defense.
"Well, from what I've felt, it hasn't done anything dangerous. And we just fought the Prince of the Crystal Empire. If this armor wanted to do anything bad, it would have already."
makin some mo' traps
Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6
>>717564>>717566>Two more traps made, total brought to 6
As you make the offer to the two of them, Zill and Rubianca look to each other, each grinning widely as they heavily contemplate the offer.
"Well… a battle to the death?" Rubianca says, "Sounds like fun. I heard lots of fun rumors about Zill, wouldn't mind testing it out."
Zill looks towards Rubianca, grinning as well. "Right back at you, boy… this goat wasn't exactly my ideal next choice for a body. Maybe if I took yours instead, I wouldn't have gotten caught so quickly."
"I think between dying here or living as a king, the choice seems pretty obvious. Alright, I'm game!"
Zill turns his head, nodding as well. "Agreed. We'll even do it right here and now. I assume you'll let us out of these strings now? A little hard to kill each other all tied up like this, darling."
Plasm and Bossa both look to each other, Bossa reaching up to rub at the back of her neck. "I… I know I turned kinda quick but, that was faster than I was expecting for these guys."
Plasm leans in, whispering, "I agree… I smell something. You really going to let them go?">>717565
Twonyxia moves over, bumping into Valor on one of his more sore spots from the battle, not-so-subtly giving him a reminder to be nice. As he winces, he turns towards you, "I suppose that's possible. Changelings do thrive on emotion. Perhaps an emotional armor is only sensible." He grins, hoping to have caught back some favor.
Ulmash nods, "Right, especially good point on it having just had a good opportunity to exact any vengeance it may have held… alright. In which case, Onyxia, as one of the Crystal Empire's most trusted blacksmiths, I believe I can feel confident leaving this armor in your care. Please, treat it with love, as I've seen you give all your works."
Twonyxia smiles, "Teeechnically *my* works but, you know what she means."
Southern makes more Traps [1d10+3]
"Oh, I don't think so… I didn't say I'd force you to fight alone. Whosoever pledges his unquestioning, absolutely loyalty to me, here and now, will get a bit of extra help."
She flexes the strings, moving their limbs, to demonstrate her point. "So who's it going to be?"Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4
Onyxia snickers as her twin jabs Valor.
"Maybe there's an edge it gives in battle they knew about. I wonder if Exonich made it with that emotion, or if it picked it up later on."
Onyxia looks at Ulmash, astonished at what she heard.
"R-Really? I can keep it?"
She says, just to be sure of it.
"Oh thank you, I'll treat it as if it was my own craft!"
Onyxia says with excitement over the news, a big smile on her face as she goes forward and hugs Ulmash for the gift.
As their limbs move along to your commands, both Zill and Rubianca open their eyes wide in surprise… and realization.
"Oh…" Zill murmurs. "Oh shit. C-come on, that's hardly sporting, I-"
"I swear!" Rubianca blurts out first, "Dibs, called it!"
"You FUCKING brat, what happened to loyalty?!" Zill cries out. "Hey, forget him, you want ME anyways: you notice this guy only has three legs? One of them got ripped off by Nero like tissue-paper, I at least had to make you guys work to kill me."
Rubianca grins. "*I* know where Mammon is going to be. We know you're looking for him: where else were you going to get more dreamstone? Take me, and I'll show you."
Zill turns towards Rubianca, his goat-eyes widened. "You do? I mean, s-so do I! We all know that!"
"No you don't, liar-liar-pants-on-fire. You've barely had any time to get filled in on shit since pulling yourself out of that rubble in my era.">>717569
Valor smiles. "Yes… yes, I think you may have made your point. Painfully, I might add. But, another time," he nods towards his sword. "I wouldn't mind testing it again, just to be sure."
Ulmash is taken by surprise as you rush to hug her, the armor itself skittering with joy mixed in with your own. Ulmash returns the gesture, wrapping her wings around you, and nuzzles into your head as she laughs, "I don't doubt you will for a second, Onyxia. I think it'll see better use with you than kept in a dusty old treasury. If it really is as alive as you say, I'm sure it appreciates it."
Valor chuckles, "You know, I don't know if you quite have the authority to do that, Princess of Miracles: I think mother and father will have words for you when they discover it's been given away."
"You'd do any different?"
"Not really, no. But just pointing out the obvious."
"Mother and Father will understand. And if they don't, well, perhaps we'll have just have to hope for the best."
"With you, 'hoping for the best' tends to lead to good results."
>Southern sits back and enjoys her carrots. "Just leave it and lock it up tight," Bossa says. She then turns to Rubianca. "We'll figure something out."
Bossa waves back in confirmation as you nibble on your carrots. "Right, got it. Time to figure out if submarines have parking breaks…"
Rubianca shouts back, "They do, on the side of the console! Took me and Zill a bit to figure that out…" the ruby crystal pony turns to you, snickering. "Hah, yeah, I'm sure we will. Worse comes to worse, something tells me YOU can take her now."
Bossa Nova 'parks' the submarine off shore, and then returns to Nessy (as she named the Plesiosaur), hoping on as the reptile continues its way upriver, Plasm begrudgingly grabbing more carrots for you as you recline in your chair.
After a bit on the river, you see a pillowing tower of smoke emanating over the tree-tops, and the temperature steadily rises as you hear the 'pops' of lava. Rubianca climbs up to the top of Nessy, much to the dinosaur's irritation, and points ahead. "Volcano ho! Hehe, as in, I see the 'volcano', not Volsa. See what I di-"
"I'm starting to wish you kept Zill instead." Plasm grumbles.
She makes another chair with magic, then pushes Plasm into it. Periodically, she will take a carrot and feed it to him instead of the reverse.
"Alright, where's that volcano hoe?" she asks as they draw nearer.
As you make another chair for Plasm, the mutant pony turns with surprise as you push him into it. "What th-"
He grunts as his seat gets planted, then looks to you with surprise in his eyes as you offer HIM a carrot in return. "O-oh! Uh, that's… appreciated, but, you don't have to-"
"For Luna's sake just take the damn treat, No. 3." Bossa teases, before Plasm huffs.
"Fine… if you insist." He says, taking the carrot in the corner of his mouth and chewing it slowly. Appreciatively.
As you turn around a bend in the river, a great sea of steam rises to meet you, and Nessy holds off in her advance. It would appear that a flow of lava eeps out of the volcano ahead, meeting with the flow of the river and solidifying into rock hard obsidian that seperates the rest of the lava flow going one direction, and the other part of the river going around it deeper inland. Looking up the volcano, you see it is constantly spewing lava from its peak, and there are several caves that lead inwards along its slope. Each one is guarded by what appear to be living creatures of magma, pacing around the front of each entrance.
Rubianca gives a good look around the front, before shaking his head. "I don't see her. Probably inside, doing who knows what."
"So, what's the plan?" Plasm asks between chews of his carrots. "Sneak in, force our way in? If Volsa 'is' home she might appreciate us making our presence known at least, know we want to bargain."
"Rubianca, go in there and announce us. Use lots of fanfare. Make it look good," she commands. "Bossa, come here."
Assuming Bossa does, she will make another chair on Plasm's other side, then gesture for him share a carrot with her too.
Rubianca looks to you as you ask him to make introductions. "You want ME to knock?"
"You want HIM to knock?" Bossa replies in turn, before another chair is made for her to sit down with. "Huh. Yeah, you go roll out the welcome mat, Rubicanca. I got managerial stuff to take care of." She says humbly as she moves to lay out much more relaxed and readily than Plasm does (the officer still a bit stiff even as you feed him another carrot), and opens her mouth greedily as she passes on to you as well to munch on.
Rubianca grins. "Well, hey, trust me: if there is ONE thing I can do, it's put on a show. Well, that and murder but, they usually go hoof-in-hoof. I'll hold the murder this time though, just for you." He winks, confidently striding out onto the cool obsidian (mostly: he hops a few times as he steps on the burning rock), and strides up to the front of the volcano. You see him from the river, watching him clear his throat as he begins shouting up at the mountain.
"Attention, may I have your attention please! I, the mighty and brilliant master of scarlet light, Rubianca, act on behalf of the newest, baddest, and hottest goddess this side of the zeroth century: the goddess of… uh…" he pauses, thinking for a moment, "The Goddess of Garments, Southern Point!" With this, he starts up his light magic, sending out several dozen pin-point lights that loop around in a dazzling display resembling your strings. "She seeks an audience with Volsa, Lady of the Volcano!" He pauses, awkwardly trying to think of what to say next. "So uh… she home?"
After a bit, the lava elementals turn to look at one another, before one dips further inside the cave. Before too much longer, an elderly looking, red unicorn cave stallion comes out, several obsidian rocks wrapped around his neck like tribal beads and burned in several spots along his body. He holds a solid stone staff in one hoof that he taps against the ground, calling out to you.
"Great Volsa is no home! Gone, to seek lost treasure of Prominence! Will return soon, but me am able to bring word to her through veil of fire! Great Juju Shaman Atak would ask, what business does new goddess have of Great Volsa? Me would invite goddess into volcano to speak!"
"We're going to go kill Mammon and want her to come along."
As you make your announcement so boldly, it seems to give Atak pause, visible concern upon his face as he looks all around him, as though expecting the ape-demon to be around any corner. He offers his hoof to you from up on high on the slope, waving it into the interior of the volcano.
"…come. Volsa want to hear this herself. Me can only speak to her through sacred veil of fire."
Rubianca coughs, "And uh, what of us, her humble servants?"
Bossa grumbles, "YOU'RE a servant. I'm like upper management…"
Atak grumbles, "Servants may come… IF they no cause trouble. You keep them in line, or Volsa be big angry when she return. Whole volcano go 'boom'." With that, he heads inside, beckoning you to follow.
Southern follows, putting away the carrots.
Steel lets out a sigh. "That's a relief. We both know saying or doing stupid things is somewhat common with me. Still, I can't say I wouldn't also be shocked in that scenario: one who is not only skilled in metal, but a beauty to match? Unheard of."
"Well in that case, let's speak to your twin during dinner, see if we can arrange for such an outing. Your father was working in Ponyville earlier, I believe, so maybe it'd be even convenient for a vacation down there. Not that he'd work during it."
He smiles. "Ah, yes that is what you promised him. You know I don't think she'll be pleased to learn that offer was made." >>723256>>723254
As the spear drives itself into the shoulder of the griffon, he lets out a pained gasp, his beak opening wide as his sword falls to his side, the green glow throughout his body pulsating and agitating as it seems to tear him up from the inside. He grunts in pain, looking at Nero through fading eyes as Celestia and Honey come down to greet him.
"I… am… Gabriel… grandson of Garfield. Borne to his son Geoffrey." He struggles to pull himself through the spear, inching closer. "I seek to… avenge not only his defeat in Gildveast, not only the hundreds of griffons that perished, but the actions you left on our history. My father heeded the words of Garfield," he groans, struggling to maintain consciousness, "who you told to return to Equestria only from the west, having conquered all that lies between us and the rising sun before breaching the Lunar Ocean. But it was in folly… my father pushed too far, too fast, spurred on by your taunts and your feats that it drove him and our kingdom to ruins."
Celestia frowns, "It is true. Following the end of the Griffon-Equestria conflicts, the Griffon Kingdoms chose to continue their campaigns too soon following their defeat at our hooves. Garfield's son did not give the country proper time to recover from one war before starting two more."
"The Kingdoms NEVER recovered… after being gifted the power to transcend time itself to take my revenge, I learned we never come close to the height of power my grandfather held. Never again would the griffons challenge the sun itself," he says, looking to Celestia, "…until the sun itself would spend the end of days. I could not save my kingdom, but I could avenge it…"
Luna shouts, "You mean 10 and 2, right? Whatever, I'm getting a handle on this now, watch!"
The hooves of the giant come crashing down on the earthy shackles that bind it, and Luna also manages to pivot the giant around the charging stone golem, pushing it to the side and avoiding its goring horn as she lets out a whoop. "HAHAHA! You see that?! What's that about my driving now, Luke?"
Your lasers fire from the eyes of the giant, blasting more bits off of the stone golem until it detaches one of its hooves, crumbling into bricks and clay as the massive creature turns and swings a hoof towards your giant's face, which Luna moves to block and counter
[1d10: 9] Luna
[1d10+1: 2 + 1 = 3] Golem>>723255
The wires proceed to dice up Mammon over the battle-field, as Chaser looks on with rapt attention while Bossa, Plasm, and Copper hop on his back.
"Little surprised you pulled that off myself… you're some god, Southern." The giant bird-serpent complements, looking back over his shoulder as the others all situated themselves on-board. "Alright… with Mammon gone, that's a huge weight off my shoulders! Feels like I can finally wander the valley free again. Off we go!"
With that, he twists off into the sky, disappearing into one of his many clouds. After only what feels like moments of surfing through the thick sea of white, you immediately drop out of the cloud cover… in an area COMPLETELY different than Chaser's mountain-peak. Below it looks like a vast sea of tar-pits and skeletons of fallen dinosaurs, huge ivory remains of the mighty beasts littering the grounds as Chaser touches down near a bone-yeard.
"Here we are, all passengers please get off at this last stop… has Volsa told you anything about Bone? Nice fellow, honestly, you'll find him pretty friendly. Just need to look around for him, he usually isn't far from this place."
Southern hops off as instructed, then hops on Plasm without a word, evidently expecting to be carried as a matter of course. "Where should we look for him? Anything that will give away his hiding place? A godly palace, perhaps?"
As you hop on the back of Plasm, he lets out a grunt, turning his head back to look at you as you decide to just help yourself to his services. "…tired?"
Bossa snickers. "No, just abusing her authority."
As Chaser looks around the boneyard, he shifts back into his griffon-like appearance after everyone has disembarked from his back. "No palace. Bone is a little odd among all the pony gods I know, unlike Azel or Volsa he really doesn't seem to appreciate stuff like palaces or thrones or servants. He could be hiding out in any one of these abandoned skulls. Just look around for him, he won't be far." Chaser comments, starting his search around a nearby bone-pile as he starts calling out, "HEY! Bone, you around?! You got guests!"
As he calls out, Plasm turns his head towards a massive rib-cage across one of the tar-pits that makes a xylophone-esque *ping* that echoes through the valley. "You hear that?"
It is soon followed by another *ping*, Bossa nodding her head. "Heard that one…"
Steel can feel their combined face flush a bit as he compliments Onyxia's looks.
"Well that's easy for you to say now. You haven't seen me after a day over the forge."
"I'm sure she'll understand the reasoning.Besides it is me they want to study, so I think I get first say it what happens."
Onyxia cmments on Twilight's potential displeasure.
When Steel brings up her father's work, she goes a bit into thought.
"He would know a lot of places we could, if he travels as much as it seems. But I don' know about Ponyville so soon. He did seem pretty set on us not going back there with those changelings he mentioned…"
She says, worry in her voice.
"I'm doing quite well actually."
She begins weaving armor around Plasm and Bossa from threads. She also makes some traps to protect everyone. [1d10+3]
"I take it he's going to come to us with a charming musical number about bones, if all those pings are him."Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4
"Ugh, isa he seriously one of thosea types?" She says outloud with a huff and crosses her hooves.
"Blaminga others for their fucka ups, and yet the fuck upa wasn't even his! Whata a fucking joke. You deserveda to get your asses kicked bya us back there."
She looks over to Nero and uncrosses her hooves.
"C'mon, killa him or whatever. We gota more important thingsa than crybabies to deal witha."
"Well Luna, what I'm seeing here would be the modern equivalent of watching an icecream truck slam into a brick wall. So I'd say for someone without a license it's pretty good."
[1d10+4] Lukewarm continues shooting at the golemRoll #1 10 + 4 = 14
"Then your line learned nothing from Me, King of Griffons. I gave your grandfather one warning, to be wise, to always attack with knowledge and cunning not merely raw might. I told him to make his sons greater then himself. Yet look at yourself, drunk on stolen power. You attacked us openly, no plan, no strategy, nothing but power. Challenging the gods with nothing but 'ultimate weapons'. EO, your Gildevast." Nero withdraws His spear dropping the king to the ground.
"Do not blame Me for your foolishness.">>723267
Nero nods to Honey as she says nearly the same thing He did.
"For your grandfather's sake, I would spare your life. But so close to the end, I cannot risk another ambush." He says raising His spear [but not firing it yet].
"Believe me, I doubt a layer of soot could do anything to ruin YOUR coat… if I may be so bold."
"Hmm, true. Twilight does seem extremely eager but, she'd understand the circumstances. You were helping your little sister, after all. Still, may want to at least offer her second in line, just in case."
"Hmm… well, Equestria has grown vast since the eras I've come to know it. I'm sure there are plenty of nice areas to take a camping trip, your father may well have some in mind. He strikes me as the type to enjoy the outdoors.">>723265
Plasm smirks, the strain of carrying you only slightly visible on his brow as he moves to carry you. "Of course you are. Well, wouldn't want to ruin that." He says as he moves towards the pinging rib-bones, moving around the tar-lake as they start to play out a tune…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u23EQypxcrc
From within the shadows of the rib-cage, you see a pony… a NORMAL pony, not like the various mishapen cave-ponies you've met so far. Brown of coat but with countless white, bone-styled tattoos adorning his coat, the pony plays a beat along the rib-cages with two white sticks in his hooves, both of which end in three-pronged tops (similar to Claw's staff). The pony plays along the beat as he whispers from the shadow of the rib-cage.
"Hey hey ho, hey hey ho…. would love to do such a number for you, but unfortunately my rhyming isn't… uh… much to do?"
He keeps the beat going, shaking his head. "All these years I can play a mean beat but I can't lyric to save my flanks." The pony sticks his head out from the shadows, covered in the skull of a long since dead velociraptor that he uses as a helmet. "Southern Point, I presume? Along with disgruntled employee Captain Plasm and ex-Order Bossa Nova."
Bossa blinks. "You… know us?"
Gabriel turns his head towards you, clicking his beak as he burrows his brow. "The wars that my father started, recklessly trying to follow in the paw-steps of my grandfather, inspired by you all… left me with nothing. My castle and house is in ruins, my heirs scattered if not dead. I have nothing left but to at least try and take vengeance for my grandfather and kingdom.">>723270
"If you taught my grandfather such things, my father did not heed them… all he took was the challenge to conquer his way back to Equestria towards the East."
He closes his eyes, "I was told the power of this 'E.O.' would be enough. Clearly whoever told me this was mistaken, or my lineage for foolishness precedes me…" he looks to you, "I took my shot and I missed. Do what you will with me. I've made my nest and now I must lay in it.">>723268
Luna expertly maneuvers the giant's hooves up into a block, taking the brunt of the massive stone-pony's fist and deflecting it away before rearing back with the other hoof to deliver a crushing blow. Meanwhile, you blast away at the massive monolith with your laser, red-hot beams of heat shooting out of the giant's eyes as they melt the head of the enemy golem. The brittle, red-hot stone collides with the giant's hoof as Luna directs its punch straight into its maw, exploding the head of the golem in an almost volcanic-lie explosion before it starts crumbling apart, falling back on itself and falling to pieces in scattered chunks around the ground. Luna lets out a whooop of victory, throwing the own giant's hooves into the air as she celebrates its win
"HAHAHAHA! Knock out! Take that, Lamashtu, is that all you have to throw at us?! Told you I knew how to move this thing Luke, I'll take an apology for your earlier comments at any time.">Roll a perception check, instant
Honey hovers in the air and looks down at him.
"Pathetic." She gives a huff to blow a bang out of her face and turns away from him.
"Okay, whicha way to the sick, twisteda fuck that made this weirda ass place?"
"That line about Plasm just isn't true,
He loves all the tasks I give him to do.
Now how bout we find some Dreamstone,
Where can we find it, Mister Bone?"
>another Trap Default
Their metallic coat starts to shine a bit, as if freshly polished, at Steel's line.
Onyxia says a bit bashfully.
"Oh definitely. Lapizulas may be interesting in this topic, but I think Twilight would probably be more help if she gets a second look."
"From what my Mom used to tell me, he did seem to be the outdoors, working type. Maybe he used to camp before they met."
Lukewarm shields his eyes from the hot shrapnel that bursts into the air at the Golem's decisive defeat. "Alright, yeah I'm sorry. If I ever need help crashing a minivan into a brick wall I'll give you call. How about you take us down to Nero. They're probably sick waiting for us by now."
[1d10] perception checkRoll #1 4 = 4
Nero looks to the griffon with some mixture of pity and disgust. His spear shines with light, before casting forth the divine windstorm to shred his body and carry it off the spiral. Nothing beside remains. He speaks to Celestia.
"Thus begins the long slide to Goudeau. What a vulgar end. Theirs was the true way of kingship. Power and will, unhindered by foolish modern philosophies. Men who challenged even the heavens. Yet this little king was nothing more then a slave."
He looks aside down the spiral with further disgust, before looking to Honey.>>723276
"Further within this spiral. Keep your eyes open, the rest of the Order could already be here." He says, about to go further within before stopping.
"Where is Luna and the giant?"
He goes to the 'edge' of the current locale and looks down to see what is taking them climbing the mountain.
As Nero blasts away Gabriel, Celestia averts her eyes, only opening them once Nero speaks to her.
"…his fate is regrettable. But, I do not agree, with the idea that the griffon leadership's last great beacon was Garfield. I have known great kings and queens of the griffon lands in the time since Garfield's era. I find it pitiable Gabriel, despite having looked at his people's future, saw only the lack of worldwide conquest and not the strength they've shown in other ways.">>723280
You do not see anything as the giant crumbles into pebbles before your eyes, Luna moving the giant forward over its remains unimpeded as she shouts, "Yeah, yeah, smartass… Still saved our giant's tremendous black rear though, I demand credit for that. And sure thing, I agree: I wonder if he heard or saw any of that going on from up ahead?"
You move the giant up the stretch of twisting land-scape towards Nero…>>723282>>723276>>723280
As Nero asks about the giant, Celestia turns her head down from whence you came, seeing the giant starting to climb up to their position. Both are now within sight of each other as Celestia comments, "Speak of Tirek, here he is…. huh. The giant wasn't looking THAT beat up before, was it?"
Bone's teeth widen up to a big, white grin, the skull-like tattoos on his face making him look much like a pony candy-skull as he laughs. "Hahaahahahaha! Hey, you're pretty good."
Plasm shakes his head, "Seriously though, how did you know who we were?"
"My old lady told me." Bone says casually.
"Your wife told you…?"
"Figure of speech, will explain it all later. Anyways, you're looking for Dreamstone. Well, then you're in luck: I happen to know where Mammon was keeping his."
Bossa smiles, "Well hey there. He wasn't so keen on giving it up… but, what he wants isn't going to be much of an issue anymore."
"Heh, yeah so I've heard." He crosses his twin sticks, bowing in respect. "REALLY impressive by the way, wish I could have been there. Fought Mammon myself, long long time ago… I won but, did NOT do so in a straight up fight. Had to use every trick in the book to nail him. But, that's all ancient history.
Plasm raises his brow, "I'm still very dubious on this… all the other gods seem to trust you, but this all seems too easy."
"Sometimes, the best things in life are my boy." Bone smiles, reaching over to pat him on the head while looking up at you. "Mammon had his own castle apart from the apes he was working with. I was not thinking assaulting it was a good idea with him around but, if he's no longer around, it'll be easy pickings.">>723279
Steel grins as he feels your combined coat shining, chuckling at your response. "Anyways, I think that is a good enough deal for the Princess of Friendship. Honestly speaking, offering yourself up as a test subject is in itself extremely generous, what order they get to you study in should be of little import by comparison to that. I look forward to camping with your family, assuming even your father is not so knowledgeable I should be able to pick up the slack. I know how to start a fire without magic, set up a tent, even forage. Also took the time to learn constellations to find my way by starlight…" he pauses, "I must sound like I'm bragging, forgive me. The idea… just excites me."
The wires keep Bone from being able to pat Plasm. Southern glares at him as a sign of warning.
"On to the castle, let's take a peek,
Because it is there lies loot we seek.
From his other treasure, take your pick
But the Dreamstone is mine; he was a dick."
"You did not see the last of the griffon's kings, as I did. They never again approached Garfield's glory. Their history is a slow decline in his shadow, ending in a laughingstock. A few bouts of prosperity means nothing in comparison.">>723285>>723280
As the giant emerges Nero shouts into its eye socket.
>continues into spiral after this exchange, party in front, giant following behind.
Onyxia nods in agreement.
"Mhmm. It'll be a ways off either way since Lapizulas has his tour, so it shouldn't be much of an issue unless we run into Twilight anytime soon."
"Don't apologize, it's good to hear you excited! I'm getting excited myself, it'll be my first family vacation with my whole family!"
Honey hovers onward through the spiral.
"We just ran into a little trouble, a stone golem. No biggy. This big ole corpse has another 100k miles on it before it's decommissioned."
Bone pulls his hoof back after the wires first start to dig into his hoof's coat, pulling it back sharply as he turns and grins. "If that's your wish, then be my guest. I'll be the one to… uh… I…." Bone stammers.
Plasm groans. "'Lead you on your quest'?"
"HAH! Hey, what do you know, guess phasing isn't your only super-power, huh?"
As he moves away from his rib-cage, he calls over Chaser, the griffon bounding over from another pile of bones to run up to and hug Bone. "Bone! There you are. Up for another game of hide and seek later?"
"Later, Chaser," Bone remarks. "Got something to take care of first. Heard Mammon's been recently-"
"Relieved of his head? Yes. Got a front row seat of all things…"
"Well, then, I think you know where I'm going with this?"
Chaser grins, "Was just needing YOU to lead the way."
Chaser transforms back into his giant serpentine self, Bone hopping on and lending a hoof to you all to help get on his back.
As Plasm carries you aboard, gently moving his hooves beneath you to princess-carry you up on the seat carefully, he asks, "So… about that Dreamstone," he whispers, "We still planning on splitting the cut with Volsa and Azel?"
"I suppose I didn't. But, in all fairness, I don't suppose any nation's line was looking too good in that era. From what I could tell there wasn't even any pony royalty left at all.">>723290>>723295>>723293
As the group meets up once again, Luna looks out from the eye-socket as well. "Some sort of giant stone pony thing rose up and attacked us. I was more than enough to kick its rocky rear-end though." She glowers, "Oh, and Luke helped too I guess…"
Celestia rolls her eyes at her sister's attitude before moving along with Nero to the front of the group, continuing up towards the bundle that forms as the center of Lamashtu's domain. The gravity intensifies with every step, but it is not more than a mile further before you suddenly start to feel the earth shaking, and the sounds of a great stone splitting and creaking as though the entire segment of spiral you're currently on is trying to snap itself off>Roll a perception check, instant>>723291
Steel chuckles, "Thank you, for understanding. It was a hobby of mine I enjoyed, sleeping out under the stars like that. Made you feel… FREE. Like you were your own Master. I hope your family takes to the idea. Though, if they don't, I'm more than flexible to anything they wish to do."
He leans back in the pool, looking up. "…what about you, Onyxia? If you could take a trip to anywhere, do anything, where would you go?"
She rewards Plasm with a headpat. "Yes, they're still getting their cut unless they betray me, in which case I annihilate them and give you their share. Otherwise, you, Bossa, Copper and I split my takings."
>another default on Trap
Nero banishes His spear to hammer-space as He notices the entire bridge seems liable to snap. He rushes to the large emerging crack at the end and grips it in both hooves, trying to pull both pieces back together.
[1d10+4] DYELRoll #1 6 + 4 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 + 4 = 6
Onyxia says in thought.
"I don't know. The Empire changed a little from what it was, so I wouldn't even know if anything else I heard of the rest of the world is the same. I guess… just anywhere, to see what the world is like now."
Lukewarm doesn't think much of Lunas teasing. Though he can See Celestia roll her eyes from up here. Lukewarm corroborates the story. "It wasn't much. So I just cracked open a beer and shot a couple rounds. Nothing to fuss over."
Lukewarm turns back to Luna "You know since we started hanging out I've been getting a nagging feeling I met you before. Did you ever play teufort on tf2 past midnight?"
[1d10] perception checkRoll #1 3 = 3
Honey attempts to rocket thrust against the gravity increase as everything starts to happen.
"Shit…everything isa going to shit!"
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Plasm nods, "Alright. Just wanted to make sure that was all still above board."
As you all hop onto Chaser, the serpent lifts back up into the cloud layer, disappearing in a sea of white as you feel the winds rushing past your faces. In only moments more, you drop out of the clouds in a completely different location just as you had before, Bossa looking out over the side in amazement.
"How the fuck do you do that…?"
Chaser lets out a chuckle. "That's my little secret. Maybe if you stick around and play a while, I'll tell you…" he says as he slices through the air to the ground below. You are now in a massive canyon, dried and lacking in almost any vegetation at all as he slides through the canyon's narrow passage at Bone's direction. After a few minutes of flight, Bones pulls up on one of Chaser's feathers, prompting him to stop at a opening in the side of the canyon wall, dark and foreboding as he points towards it with one of his staves.
"In there. Mammon kept everything that ever belong to him in there as far back as a 1000 years. He's a creature of habit, I doubt that's changed. Let's head on in." Bone comments as he leaps through the hall, magically lighting a small torch in one of his staves to light the way ahead.>>723310
Celestia smiles up at Luke, "Well, I'm glad at least someone up there knows a little something about humility."
"Humility schumility." Luna comments. As Luke turns to ask her if she played TF2 in the past, Luna's eyes widen, and she puts her hooves back in the brain trying to re-focus. "Uhh… I don't know what you're talking about. I don't even play Trot Fortress 2.">>723304
Seeing the massive expanse of land starting to break apart, Nero swiftly jumps into action to grab at the other side of the crack, pulling back with massive amounts of strength to keep the bridge from breaking off. And, to the utter shock of Celestia, it succeeds, your god-like strength keeping the pillar-mass from snapping off to the void below!
"We have to get across while Nero's holding it together, hurry!" Celestia shouts, directing Luna to move the giant over the crack while Nero holds it together>>723312>>723304>>723310
Honey activates her rockets against the gravity increase, everyone managing to pull themselves closer to the crack even as the gravity becomes more and more intense and the cracking land itself grows more and more brittle. Out of the corners of their eyes, Honey and Nero spot something moving between the cracks. Familiar purplish glows of magic that remind both Nero and Honey of the flashes of magic Obsidious used when you fought him in Luke's era
>Nero, roll instant to keep the bridge held together>>723305
"Just anywhere? Hmmm…" Steel comments, reaching up to rub your combined chin. "Anywhere leaves a lot to the imagination… I've had my share of travels so I'm not particularly picky on where it is we go. Preferably someplace WARM is the only requirement I'd have. But you never thought of the other places across Equestria? The Pegasi's cloud cities? Or the desert settlements? Oh, or going on a boat, perhaps visit an island?"
Southern heads in.
"Before, I only ever thought of travelling when it was to find my dad."
Onyxia starts, turning their head to look down at their reflection in the water.
"But I did like the idea you suggested, back when we were in the future. Travelling the world, seeing all the new sights for the first time together."
Onyxia trails off in hopeful thought.
Bone nods his head, "Quite correct. When you touch a piece of raw dreamstone, it is possible to use it to take yourself to a higher plane… the plane of the gods… and you can do it with any miniscule amount. But, once you do that, you're at your peak: more dreamstone won't do anything on its own."
Plasm turns his head, "Then, yeah, how do we use the rest…?"
Bone picks up a little bit of the dreamstone off the floor, "Dreamstone is a bit like ponies, I like to think… when it starts out, it is a blank slate. Like a pony without its calling, it remains in this red, raw state of matter. Filled with endless potential, but no purpose. To find its purpose, the dreamstone reaches out and listens to the dreams of those nearby. Their hopes, their wishes, their desires, the dreamstone slowly absorbs them all over time… and then once it has accumulated enough, it turns into a magical tool that can make your wish a reality. The Alicorn Amulet was forged from a desire for power, the Elements out of a desire for order, and so on and so forth." He points at the massive store of dreamstone you hold. "All you need now is simply desire, Southern: concentrate on that which you want, and over time, the Dreamstone will be able to adapt to your wishes."
Bossa frowns, "How long will that take?"
"Not sure, in this regard the dreamstone can be a bit finicky. Some seem to adapt within days, others months, there doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern. Though from what I understand sorcery goes a long way in speeding up the process."
"Hmm, I'm sure this won't be a bad idea," Southern muses to herself. She then sits on top of Plasm, and then pulls over Bossa, using the former as a recliner and the latter as a leg rest. Then, getting comfy, she starts to make a nice dress out of the Dreamstone.
As you pull Plasm over to you, he lets out a surprise gasp, not putting up much of an argument as he lets you sit on top of him, grunting as you start getting to work on sewing a dress from the dreamstone.
Bossa, meanwhile, lets out a small squawk as you use her as a leg-rest. She snorts through her nostrils, getting up and depriving you of your foot rest while she plays a quick hyme on her guitar to summon a bit of earth for you to plant your hooves on instead. "Hey! I know I'm not exactly the highest on the totem-pole, boss, but I am *not* the bottom-bitch. You want a foot-rest, grab Rubianca." She moves off to the side, looking down as you begin sewing the dress. "You're going to make a dress from it…? Huh. Well I guess I can't say I'm surprised."
"I think it's rather unique…" Bone mentions, moving over to look at the dress you begin to sew. "I don't think I've ever seen anyone try spinning dreamstone into thread before… that is, besides your string, Southern."
Plasm grunts. "So… I get breaks, right?"
Southern seamlessly floats over to sit on Bossa, switching places so that Plasm is the leg-rest. "Yes, you'll eventually get time to make me sandwiches," she answers Plasm.
She continues working on making her super-cool super-duper-powerful magic relic. "Well, anyway, let's go get some more dreamstone. Do we have any leads on where we can get more?"
Bossa looks back as you float above her and plop down on her back, letting out an oof as she looks back at you with narrowed eyes. "You REALLY can't just thread yourself up some kind of couch? Gotta use your loyal and beloved employee?"
Plasm lets out a grunt, "Fantastic… good to know I'm still of 'some' use to you."
Bossa blinks, "Hey… speaking of 'use', you said 'we' could use some of these dreamstone pieces to ascend too, right? Can I get some of that like, NOW?"
Plasm, at the mention of this, looks down, contemplating as he keeps your hooves up.
While you knit your dreamstone dress, Bone shakes his head. "I'm afraid I don't… THIS was the biggest haul I knew how to find. There's probably plenty more out there, hidden in the cracks of this world, but that'll require more searching and, probably not near as big as the score you just made here. Though maybe the villagers the apes took this dreamstone from in the first place would have hidden caches where Mammon couldn't find."
She then hands Bossa and Plasm their own shares of it. "About time you asked."
"Let's go out and question them, then. Chop chop."
Bossa takes in her dreamstone with eager glee, bouncing her pieces up and down in her hoof as she already seems contemplative of what to do with them. "Niiiiice…. alright, what kind of goddess should I turn into? Only get to do this once… or, do I even get a choice?" She turns to you, "How did it work for you did you, you know, get to pick?"
Plasm looks down at his much more hesitantly, contemplatively. After several quiet moments, he lets out a sigh. "I… think I'll delay on mine."
As you suggest going out to question them, Bossa speaks up, "Well, we got Kino and that other cave-pony we picked up out of that ape base you broke into, maybe they can show us some other settlements that had been hit. Otherwise,"
"Otherwise, the only ones you can question are still being held captive in Razar's fortress. Though, if they were to be liberated, something tells me they'd be quiet forthcoming with their rescuers." Bone suggests, rubbing his stick against his chin
"It was just sort of natural for me. I'm sure you'll make a fine goddess of music. Or of being a chair."
She shrugs at Plasm. "It'd be best to do it sooner rather than later. I'd rather you be immortal for what's going to come next. I think we're going to be in the middle of some serious battles."
"Who's Razar and where does he live?"
She begins making traps (default). (How many do I have now?)
Bossa rolls her eyes at you, "Hardy har. On that note: the second I'm a goddess, I am done being your furniture, Southern." She looks down at the red gem in her hooves, letting a deep exhale escape her as she concentrates on it, closing her eyes. "Alright…. magic rock, I guess it's time for you to do your stuff."
She concentrates on her stone, Bone and Plasm both looking on at her in surprise as a glow begins to envelop her body. In a brief flash of light, much like you, she disappears from existence, leaving a small smoking stain on the ground near her as Plasm looks around in surprise. "Just like you, she's gone…"
He turns back to you, looking down at his stone, frowning. "I… I understand that, thigns will be heating up. Very soon, even. But I'm…" he sighs. "I'm just… I'm not a god. I don't think I ever thought of 'being' a god, this is so far above what I had anticipated."
Bone turns to you, "Razar lives in a massive palace to the south of here. He's the leader of the apes, the war chieftain who united several opposing ape-tribes under a single banner to campaign against the rest of the valley. Mammon has been his right-hand, his ringer to keep everyone in charge… but with Mammon 'gone' he might just have a rebellion on his hand."
"Just think of it as some extra protection for your life. Leave all the grandeur and glory for me."
>More traps (default)
(How many do I have?)
"He sounds like a real caesar. How do we leverage others against him? Surely he has many under him who would like to team up against him."
"But it's not just extra protection, is it?!" Plasm shoots back, actually coming out from under you as his demeanor seems to crumble. "It's immortality! Living forever, assuming I don't get myself killed, power I never thought I'd have… you know what my biggest problem was a week ago? A missing mutants' report. That's IT. This…" he calms himself. "I don't know if I want to go through with it."
Bone nods his head, crossing his bone-sticks together, "Oh, like you wouldn't imagine! The other ape-tribes were basically forced by Razar's tribe to follow his banner or be destroyed, and admittedly a LARGE part of that was Razar's army being so big to begin with… but with his biggest ringer out of the way, they might be willing to team-up against him once they find out who killed Mammon, exactly."
After a few more moments, a bright, indigo-flash of light, causing Plasm to shield his eyes as the bluish-purple glow subsides.
Bossa stands as tall as she always did, but the first thing you notice is that her scarf has been lowered to just covering her neck, revealing her lower-face to you for the first time since you've met her. It appears rather normal, questioning why she wanted it covered at all, though she bears a small smile through which you can see odd, pointed, shark-like teeth. Her mane is dropped from its pony-tail into a full flowing mane, ethereally moving on its own like Celestia's albeit with a clear water / ocean aesthetic. Her guitar has been upgraded, resembling that of a giant fish-bone with strings, and her punk-rock aesthetic has been changed as well. Though her clothes are still dark in shade, they take on the appearance of a flowing gown resembling a fish's tail going down her long legs, and her upper-body appears mostly bear save for shells covering her chest (in strategic areas).
The newly formed ocean goddess floats down to the floor, looking down at herself as her newly un-hidden face lessens its grin, taking in her newly forged god-form. "H-huh… I'm… I'm…"
"Beautiful!" Bone shouts with a chuckle, prompting Bossa to blush. "You're surprised?"
"… a little…"
"Well, think about it like this. If at any point you decide you don't want to be a god anymore, I can destroy you myself."
Southern shoves Bone aside and takes Bossa by the hoof. "Keep your eyes averted. She's my employee. But you ARE beautiful. Second most beautiful mare in the world, after me. So what should I call you, my goddess?"
>I'm not nearly as afraid of Friday the 13th as I am of the people who are afraid of Friday the 13th.
Calling for sheets for side-session for Southern and Onyxia!
Twonyxia growns, "He's making a joke about how Changelings are used to navigating tunnels due to the layout of our hives, is all. But it's totally different than a network of cave tunnels!"
Ulmash sighs, "That part is no easier, I agree. We certainly did all we could trying to talk to Chrysalis and it sadly did not get us all very far. I can only hope Metamorphia might prove more open to diplomacy but, it's difficult to say when no one has even met her in pony yet."
As you ask if anything comes up if you'd like to help with, Ulmash shakes her head, "Thank you so much but, no I don't think that'll be necessary. We are planning another expedition soon… your father planned to be among its number given he's the head of Changeling investigations in the Empire… but we understand your need for rest after your adventures.">>729279
"Yeah, we didn't really need him this whole time, did we?" Bossa thinks aloud. "Really the only thing he did was point us in Volsa's direction and that was it. Should that really count?"
"Considering how much help Volsa was, I'd say it should count for 'something', don't you?" Bone says
Volsa growls as Chaser takes them into his underwater palace, crossing her hooves. "I really don't think it should. I could leave his precious palace uncooked, THAT can be his reward."
As you all enter the palace, you see Kino, the cavepony colt you left in Azal's company, look towards your company in surprise. He is playing with a few prehistoric turtles floating through the air, while Azal turns from his throne to see you all enter. "Oh my! You're all back in one piece. And with such an entourage. Don't tell me…-"
Kino looks to you, gulping in anticipation. "B-bossa look different…"
"I ended up killing Mammon and a few others whose names escape me. Now all that's left is to finish my weapon, exterminate the Order and Eon, then conquer the world."
"Oh. I guess you would get good at navigation if your home was all mazes."
She comments on the joke, realizing how complex a hive would be.
As Ulmash mentions her father is going on the expedition, Onyxia springs up in her seat, putting both her hooves on the table.
"DAD'S GOING?!" She exclaims in worry, "I'm going too then."
She states seriously.
"You… you killed Mammon? I'm sorry, am I hearing that co-"
"Take the coral out of your ears Azal!" Volsa shouts, flaring up as she does so. "She did. Quite impressively too, reduced him to a talking head that's now probably stuck beneath a mountain of rubble."
The watery pony looks surprised, shaking his head as he tries to process this. "I… I never thought it'd happen so quickly. I thought this would take weeks of planning! And, Bone, is that you? What is she talking about, 'Order' and 'Eon'?"
Bone steps forth, crossing his bone-sticks in a cross and bowing his head. "An organization so powerful they were able to keep Mammon in their employ. Though with him gone, they're down one of their most powerful players. By my count, there shouldn't be many left. The only ones who haven't either been killed or defected by this point, unless I'm mistaken, you can count on your hooves. Eon itself is a much, MUCH bigger problem, but with the acquisition of Mammon's dreamstone, we're on the path to a weapon that may just be able to deal with it."
Azal steps down from his throne, his blubber pacing back and forth as he contemplates all this. "Dreamstone? So you found Mammon's dreamstone! Then, I must ask, how will it be dived up?">>729283
"It's still a bad joke." Twonyxia grumbles, looking up at Valor who smiles innocently. "That's like saying just because you're born a pegasus you automatically know every skyline and airway."
As you spring up suddenly at the news your father is going, Ulmash looks at you with a concerned look. "I'm… I'm sure he'd love to have you along but you need not be concerned for his safety. Sharithik is an invaluable member of the Crystal Empire defense and a friend, he's being well protected by our best guards."
"If you're going, then I'll of course be accompanying as well. Can never be too sure." Steel says, putting a hoof on your shoulder to help calm you.
"I get the majority, since I'm the one who killed them. Those who helped me get their share based on their contributions."
Onyxia lowers herself slightly, taking her hooves off the table but still at alert.
"I know, and I don't think you'd let anything happen… But, I lost him once when he went off somewhere outside the Empire, and if there's been changelings around here in both our times, I'm not going to risk it."
She explains, starting to work herself up again until Steel puts his hoof on her shoulder. She smiles at his reassurance, sitting back down.
Azal frowns, "I… suppose that is what we agreed to yes, wasn't it? If Mammon is truly dead at your hooves then, that is agreeable to me."
Volsa nods, "The only question being, what cut do the rest of us deserve?" She steps forward, "I want it on record that *I* was the one who led us to Chaser, and Chaser is what led us to Mammon! And I actually lifted my weight in that fight by summoning my own fire elementals to deal with his army!" She points at Azal, "This lazy lump of fishbait sat on his generous behind gathering algae in the meanwhile, so my share HAS to be bigger than his."
"Now hold on there!" He shouts, "If it weren't for me, Southern never would have found *any* of you!">>729289
"If it makes you feel any better, it's not his 'first' time exploring those caverns." Valor points out.
"But, it IS the first time he's explored it knowing what we do now about where Metamorphia's hive might be…" Twonyxia counters. "It may not be a bad idea to make sure he has extra back-up."
Ulmash nods. "I understand. I really do not wish for you to worry yourself having only just come back, but you are free to do as you wish. If you'd like, you could try to convince your father not to go on this mission. This was more his idea than any one else's. I don't think it has much chance of succeeding without him but, it's possible."
She keeps 60% for herself.
6% is left for Plasm.
6% is left for Copper.
6% is left for Po-Yala.
6% is left for Bone.
6% is left for Chaser.
6% is left for Volsa.
4% is left for Azal.
She also gives everyone a business card.
"There. Now, if none of you know of any more Dreamstone we can take, I want to go get my weapon from Po-Yala."
"…Well, if he's been there before, that makes me feel a little better."
She says in thought, then shakes her head.
"I can't tell him not to go. If this is his idea, it's his mission, and he's my dad so I really can't tell him what to do."
"I'll have to talk with him about it."
As you divvy up the shares of dreamstone to everyone, most of them seem pretty content in their scores. Volsa seems disappointed at 6%, but smirks as she sees Azal got less.
"I… don't suppose you'd grant me an additional bonus for pony-sitting? Your little land-urchin Kino has been kept MOST entertained by my court during your absence. And not a hair on his head touched."
"Wait, I have questions on that too," Volsa holds up a hoof. "You mention you wanted Po-Yala to make a weapon but, to fight this Order and Eon? I assume you want our help in fighting more enemies, and I'll be frank: conquering the world sounds right up my alley, but I want to know what it is you're having us war against.">>729293
Twonyxia nods, "That's sort of my thoughts too. Dad's like that when it comes to changelings in particular. NOTHING stops him. But, if you want, I can try to take your side if you wanna talk him down. I'm a little concerned about him going out there too."
"I hope you won't be disappointed if I stay neutral, myself. This is an important mission and it was your father's idea," Ulmash states, "But I would probably wish to talk down my father too were I in your position."
Steel looks to you, "I think dinner's about finished. Would you care to head back and bring this up?"
"I'll take care of the fighting on that one," she says. "I'm having her make up something that will let me deal with the problem as quickly as possible and then get right back to my business."
She turns to Azal. "I'll give you a free outfit for that. I need every bit of dreamstone for Po-yala's inventing."
"If he gets like you say he does, I don't think I'd be able to stop him. And he definitely wouldn't let me take his place either. We'll have time though, when Dad picked me up yesterday it seemed he had a lot of business in Ponyville to do."
She looks to Steel as he comments.
"We should, before it gets too late."
"An outfit?" Azal repeats, "That's… something, I suppose."
"And as she pointed out," Bone steps up, "She needs as much as she can for the weapon she's making to fight Eon."
"I'm still intensely curious what that is…" Chaser says as he slithers up in his griffon form, "But, if you're going to be taking care of the fighting all on that one, I must ask: where does that leave us? Does our partnership end here with Mammon's demise or do we have a stake in this world-conquering you're going to set out to do?">>729300
Steel nods, "Then, if you wouldn't mind Princess…"
"Say no more," Ulmash nods her head, smiling. "Thank you all for a wonderful evening, it was such a pleasure to see Onyxia out of her forge and another Onyxia all together. I hope you enjoyed your visit! I'll have one of our drivers take you home."
"Can I expect to see you this weekend, my soot-covered flower?" Valor says to Twonyxia, holding her hoof while looking at her longingly. Twonyxia smirks, pushing his muzzle away
"Maybe… I don't know if you deserve one until you've seriously improved your pool-chicken game."
"If you aren't pushovers, I will need kings, governors, dukes, earls and lords of all kinds to oversee my empire. If you do well, I shall richly reward you."
Onyxia gives a bow of her head, feeling she should be formal at a farewell with the royals, even with how casual they've been all day.
"It's been a pleasure to meet you as well, and you two Valor."
Onyxia adds with a bow to Valor.
"Thank you for everything, it really has been an honor."
She says. Though she does break into a slight chuckle at Twonyxia and Valor's exchange, breaking the formality she had.
"I see… well, that is certainly an enticing deal. And, I assume we're all serving under you just because-"
Bossa steps forth, cutting off Azal as she flashes a very toothy grin. "Because while most of you were sitting on your asses scared to shit of the big bad white monkey, my boss here took him out practically solo. SO, if any of you take issue with her being in charge?"
Azal freezes up, looking at the water goddess standing aside him with awe. "…when you put it that way, I take no issue at all! And, may I say, you are quite stunning. May I ask you your-"
"No, you can't." Bossa says sternly, Volsa laughing to herself as she shuts Azal down.
Chaser nods his head. "Sounds like a deal to me. So long as I can go where I want when I want just the same as before, I don't really mind who's in charge."
"And, having witnessed what you're capable of first-hoof, I'm in no position to argue. We'll follow you whenever you need us, Goddess of Dresses." Volsa says, nodding her head. "But be warned: I won't abide all that power going to your head. Treat me with disrespect, and I don't care how strong your threads are.">>729310
Valor reaches for your hoof, taking it and laying a small kiss upon it. "I assure you, my dear, the pleasure has been all mine. Why I almost feel like I've fallen in love with my true darling all over again."
Steel grunts, grabbing you and pulling you to his side out of reach. "As she's said, it's been a pleasure."
Valor chuckles. "Of course, the same extends to you Steel. You keep a close eye on her, now, Onyxia's can be troublemakers if you let them."
"What's THAT supposed to mean?" Twonyxia huffs, heading for the exit. "Come on, let's leave this dummy to digest in peace. Ulmash, it's always great seeing you! I promise it won't be weeks till you see me again this time."
Steel bows to Ulmash, who chuckles at your exchange. "I'll see you all out. Your driver will be in the front courtyard ready to take you home."
"Mm-hmm. We'll officiate it with a drink later. Not everyone who will be part of my court is here right now."
With that, she goes to check on Po-yala.
Onyxia is a little caught off guard by Valor's farewell, then looks up to Steel with a smile as he protectively pulls her away.
"Yes, it has. I hope we can do this again some time."
She says as they start to depart and head to the courtyard. Onyxia looks to her sister after they start walking.
Twonyxia groans, "He's just being dumb. You blow up the royal forge ONE time…" she mutters under her breath, a slight blush appearing on her face as Ulmash walks you, her, and Steel out to the front entrance of the castle grounds.
Once you are out in the cool night air, you see a royal car't waiting for you, a crystal pony driver opening the door with a low bow as Ulmash greets him in turn. She turns to wrap a wing around both Onyxia's, pulling them in for one last hug before going out. "Really, truly grateful for your visit today. It's not often I have this much fun with guests. PLEASE make a point of stopping by again soon, I'm sure my parents and little sister would love to meet you as well.">>729312
"Officiate it with a drink?" Volsa asks, "Hmm. How peculiar. I recently acquired an interesting sort of drink we could use for it, had quite the punch to it."
As you prepare to leave, Bone nods to Chaser, who transforms into his serpentine state to give you a ride back to the village. Kino climbs aboard, looking to you, "So, if Mammon dead…"
"Good news, son," Plasm speaks up, smiling at the cave colt. "We also took out Razar and his army is scattered. If your family isn't free already, I'm sure they will be soon. The apes' invasion is officially DOA."
"R-really?!" Kino exclaims, looking at you with tears in his eyes. He grabs at your dress, falling to his knees as he hugs it. "Me… me thank you! It too good to be true!"
Plasm nods, looking towards the hut, "Do you mean that we should take Po-Yala with us until she finishes or wait until the morning?"
"I'm fine either or. I miss an era with running water, sure, but something about this place is pretty peaceful. Got a list of everything we plan to take back with us too; got the dinosaurs, got the leftover dreamstone, etc.">>737220
"Yeah well, she's 'you', so if she didn't think of it, you probably would have!" Beryl counters, looking somewhat miffed with the both of you.
As you all settle down, she lets out a sigh of relief, plopping down on the bed. "Well, when you're stuck inside all day, you don't got much else to do. Besides, it's a real page turner, I'm learning things about sorcery I never even considered before! I don't know who to give credit to, the Crystal Ponies from before Sombra or Lapizulas for cataloging all of it." She blushes, "Um, thanks for getting it for me again. How was your guys' date, did Onyxia introduce you to Prince Dreamy-bottom?">>737224
Honey rests on the top of a small stack of pizzas, a velvet silk pillow acting as a bed for her as she rests off a night of celebration following the fall of the Order of Eon. As she sleeps away in the dead of night, most of the others having retired to their own guest rooms in Twilight's castle to rest or otherwise occupy themselves, you hear only the sounds of the city outside through a window as you take time to try and fall asleep, your first night as a reborn god.
As you rest upon the pillow, you hear a knock along the floor, a shadowy figure pulling himself into the living room that you had opted to crash with the collection of pizza boxes. It slowly approaches you, silently, and you see out from the corner of your eye a hoof raise up in the shadows of the darkened room.
Southern shrugs. "We'll wait until she's finished. No point in rushing perfection. Now then, fetch me something to drink, the two of you."
She goes to hang out with Po-Yala and drink / eat with the others until the Eternity Glove is finished.
Honey lightly stirs, looking very relaxed from the events prior to her sleeping on the pizza boxes. She sees the figure, but her head is still asleep a bit.
"Mrrr…nota now Spike…too sleepy for-" she cuts herself off as she notices its a hoof and she looks more alert as she gets ready to avoid a possible swat.
"Luke, I sweara to fuck, if this isa you on another of your stupida ass drunk rants or some shita…!"
"Really? What kind of magic is in there?"
Onyxia asks with curiosity.
"Prince Dreamy-bottom?" Onyxia repeats in a chuckle, "If that's Prince Valor, then yes. We met them and toured through the castle."
Bossa scoffs, "Water okay? I don't think they'd have anything stiff this far back…"
Plasm looks at her, "No, but they've probably figured out how to squeeze juice from fruits, at the very least. I could go for something to parch my throat too."
"I'll go looking around… you know, Po-Yala had some interesting drinks in her hut."
"I… don't know if I'd drink anything I'd find in THERE, Bossa."
Bossa and Plasm join you as you retire to Po-Yala's hut, joining her as she tirelessly works away on the dreamstone you gathered. She has already forged the dreamstone into the rough shape of a 'gauntlet' fit for your hoof, pouring countless alchemical mixtures upon it as you see it radiating a sort of magical pulse. She has several rough sketches and drawings of the 'end model' already drawn up and hung around the sides of her hut, and the blonde cave-pony seems very intent on getting it done. The locals offer (non-alcoholic) beverages of sweetened mango juice picked from local flora, and it seems to satiate Bossa's tastes at least.
As the hours pass by, you hear a knock at the door, Eo-Naxx Bone stepping his head in. "Hello, Po-Yala! Southern, Bossa, Plasm," he says in turn pushing the door ajar with his twin staff-sticks as he walks in. "There's been a development with the Order. Is now an okay time?">>737231
"Necromancy, alchemy, artificery - my gods the artificery is a book in and of itself! Did you know the old Empire used to have magical gems to light up their streets that never went out? They were everywhere."
As you chuckle at the joke, Twonyxia puffs out her cheeks at you, "Oh do NOT encourage her!"
"Yeah, I meant the Prince. I don't know why she gets so embarrassed at the nick-name, it's not like it isn't true."
"I don't think you're old enough to be thinking about any stallion's bottom, Beryl."
"I'm sixteen!" she snorts, looking up at Onyxia. "He's alright. Kind of snobbish though."
With that, Twonyxia picks up a pillow, dropping it down on top of Beryl's head.>>737230
The hoof holds its place in the air, and then slowly withdraws. A mature, older voice speaks up -
"While I almost wish I were at the moment, I am not inebriated, fräulein."
The figure move a little closer to the window, where the light casts a glow upon the broken mask of Eo-Naxx Wing, patches of feather sticking out from the broken chinks in his armor. He stands still, a single eye looking at you from behind the mask's broken facade. "I was hoping you were still awake by the time I came to. Are you feeling up to a conversation?"
"Keep it quick, I'm feeling a nap coming on," Southern says. She is using Bossa and Plasm as a couch, laying across the two of them as they sit side by side.
"Sounds like a full school all in that book alone," Onyxia comments as Beryl lists off the fields of magic, "So, like an everlasting light bulb."
Onyxia chuckles again at the little spat between sisters.
"I didn't get snobbish, though he does speak highly of himself. I might've helped curb that a bit though when I beat him in a duel."
"Merc…or Wing…or whatevera the fuck you want to be called," Honey 'greets' with a stare back at him in her (lack of) nightwear.
"Well, I'm awake nowa, so sure, why the fucka not," she says while rubbing her eyes, "just keepa in mind: I don't likea all that big, fancy shit Nero likesa to throw around."
You lay on Bossa's lap, who in turn is laying back against the side of Po-Yala's hut as she grabs a bag of potato chips from your bag she packed before the trip, occasionally tossing one into her (and your) mouth as she strums on her guitar. Plasm's lap holds up your lower half, Plasm politely sitting still and occasionally glancing at his wrist computer and no where else as he stares downwards
Po-Yala snorts, turning towards Bone. "Oh sure, all ponies just come in Po-Yala's hut. Po-Yala throwing big heap party in here, every pony come while Po-Yala work, it make Po-Yala work so much better!"
"No need to be sarcastic, Po-po…"
"What am 'sarcastic'?"
"…right. Anyways," Bone says as he closes the door, looking outside carefully as he comes to you.
"The Order has almost been crushed entirely. With your defeat of Zill and Mammon, and recruiting Bossa and Rubianca… and the other time travelers' defeating Wing, Steel, and Sight, we've nearly accounted for every order member. At present, only two remain active: Sight managed to escape, and Caduceus. We think they're>>737236
"Yeah, and that's not the only thing: they used a lot of magical artifacts that were almost all wiped out with Sombra. They had artifice to serve as refrigerators or heaters, chariots that could fly, clean your clothes… maybe after I get done raising the dead, I can try my hoof at making a few of these. Bet I'd get off the hook if I gave some to Mom and Dad as a present?"
"I've tried that before: no dice." Twonyxia answered. "They're immune to bribery of all kinds, you're stuck."
Beryl's eyes light up. "Wait, you what?!"
"It's true!" Twonyxia says, "He was getting a 'little' full of himself, so Onyxia decided to show him what a few weeks of hard core time-travelling adventure does for a mare. Knocked the captain of the guard flat on his butt."
"His 'dreamy' butt?"
"Oh shut up!">>737237
"Either is fine with me, to be honest Honey." Mercile says, looking down.
"I'm not sure if I'm really either, anymore. I'm not Mercile von Grayscale anymore, I've thrown that life away so long ago it almost feels like a dream. I'm no longer Eo-Naxx Wing, I am a Cardinal without a staff, Order, or leader to serve…."
He looks around at the scene of the festivities, chuckling from behind his mask. "I am sorry to have missed the party. It looks like it was quite festive." He turns to look at you directly, "I wanted to apologize to you directly, Honey. Our 'dance' was rudely interrupted by more than one before, and there was little I could do to change that. A mare - a warrior - of your caliber deserves better, considering the history we share. I came here this evening, asking if you might be willing to give me a chance to make it up to you."
*"The Order has almost been crushed entirely. With your defeat of Zill and Mammon, and recruiting Bossa and Rubianca… and the other time travelers' defeating Wing, Steel, and Sight, we've nearly accounted for every order member. At present, only two remain active: Sight managed to escape, and Caduceus. We think they're planning something around the Staves they've been using, I understand you have one?"
Bossa shakes her head, "You too? Rubianca was going on and on about that earlier…"
"He was? Did he mention why?"
"I do, and it's supposed to cough up some extra powers for me any moment now, I reckon."
"Well, gooda to see somepony recognizes me fora more than my gunplay," she says while idly eating a leftover glob of cheese on the box as a midnight snack, then starts opening boxes until there is one with a slice still in it to offer him.
"So, how's thisa Merc going to make up fora that shit back there? Bettera be something good for 'a mare of mya caliber.'"
"I'm sure they'd appreciate it, but I don't think you'll get any of the stuff you'll need while you're in lockdown."
Onyxia says to not shoot the idea down entirely.
"Gave him a run for his bits and
got control over this old changeling armor they had on display."
When Beryl throws the nickname out again, Onyxia laughs again.
"I'm guessing 'somepony' must've been talking a lot about their new coltfriend a ways back for a nickname like that to stick."
"Precisely, which is the reason I think the Order is after it." Bone mentions, pointing at Plasm's computer. "Plasm, you have the Order's records from your Dome on there, correct?"
"Huh, uh, yeah…" he says as he maneuvers his hoof a little bit to avoid disturbing your legs. "I was reading up on that actually. They need all six of the staves in order to activate their own plan for killing Eon, 'Moonfall' I think?"
"Correct. The Order has never had access to all of its staves though, through various incidents they always lost or regained a few but have never had all six. Currently, they have four. The other two," he clacks his bone-staff together. "Are both within this room. Sight's taken all the remaining staves for himself and he'll move on the last two soon."
"Would you mind taking it out for me, Southern? I'd like to see it, if we can learn to use it for ourselves we could keep it out of his reach.">>737246
"Your mastery of mechanical massacres is quite admirable, Honey," Wing/Merc says with a laugh. "But, I've always suspected there's much more than just that to you. Your stunning looks and your hardened survival instinct, for one." As you dig through the pizza boxes, you do manage to find a slice, offering it up to him as he picks it up in his hoof, looks at you from behind the mask, and swiftly brings up a wing to cover his face, so you cannot see him taking the mask off to take a few bites before he moves his wing out of the way and the mask is replaced.
"My suggestion is a duel. Just you and me, no other interference whatsoever. I'm not the sort to resign myself to prison, as the others with you seem to have in mind. I'm also not the type to switch sides at the eleventh hour, no matter how unwise it may be. I've made my choice with the Order long ago and will see it through to the end. So I don't suspect that leaves many options than going down fighting, and I see no one I'd rather go down fighting to than you… feels appropriate. You finally get to finish he job you started all those years ago when you thought *I* was the Breezies' kidnappers.">>737247
Beryl blows out of her muzzle, leaning down on her hoof. "Yeah, I guess that's a good point…. uuunless you'd be willing to break me 'out' of lockdown?" She asks, peering up at you with wide, hopeful eyes.
At the next comment, Twonyxia blushes, moving back as she covers her face, "I… I didn't really talk about him THAT much-"
"Oh yes you did!" Beryl laughs, bumping her hoof against you. "Nice, got her with that one. I can't be blamed for the negative influence my sister had on me!"
She turns up with interest as you mention an old changeling armor. "So you got to fight Valor, win, AND got a souvenir from their treasury for it? Sounds awesome, armor's more of your deal than mine but if it's a magical artifact I'm curious."
She makes a few more traps as she lets Bone see it (but not touch it).
"Well, as mucha as I would love to heara what else you've got toa say about me, I doubt tryinga to compliment me to deatha is what you had in mind."
She then hears his proposal, making the breezie grin a bit.
"Heh, that feelsa like a long ass time ago nowa. Still, I geta what you're saying. Alrighta, I always like a good fight. But leavea that 'going down' shit here; if youa want to make it upa to me, you bettera make it a fight worth remembering fora me!"
Onyxia says teasingly as Beryl tries for more breakouts.
Onyxia laughs as her twin stammers from being called out.
a prince, anypony would be talking up a storm about that I'd imagine."
Onyxia looks back to Beryl.
"Mhmm, it's a suit of special changeling armor. It's alive, in a way, something about how the changelings way back during old times made it. They said Dad tried it out and it wouldn't move, but when I put it on to test it it worked perfectly."
You remove Claw from the casing, the snake-like staff with its three-clawed 'mouth' twirling around your strings (safely holding it up to avoid contact, which would risk it influencing you) as it looks at Bone with a single, greenish eye, and Bone holds up his own twin-staffs in response, grinning beneath his helm. "Ah… what a beauty."
He does not move forward to touch it, but looks at you, "While Po-Yala's cooking away in here, perhaps we could take it outside and give it a test-run?"
"I don't think that's a good idea," Plasm brings up, "You KNOW how these things possess… their…" he pauses, looking at him. "Wait. You have one as well? How are you not-"
"The staff I stole from Mammon, its original creator, is unique from most of the others. Mine doesn't corrupt or take over the wielder at all, its influence merely comes across as an extreme boost of confidence."
"Well, I don't think Claw's is like that."
"Not to the same degree, but on the spectrum it's on the less corrupting side. And she'll have plenty of others around her to pull it away if it takes over.">>737255
"Oh, I've got a list of them, Honey."
You cannot tell if Wing is smiling from behind the shattered remains of his mask, but his eyes do seem elated at your response. "Of course. I wouldn't insult you with anything less. Though, on the chance I DO succeed, you'll be happy to know I won't be far behind you. I doubt your friends would let me live in such a scenario."
"The Castle is obviously a bit cramped. Perhaps outside? The city skyline would make an adequate back-drop."
"Last I checked-" you hear another voice coming from the hallway, Spike coming from behind the corner. He seems half-drunk, eyes listing from one side or the other. "Outside isn't where -HIC!- you're supposed to go."
"Ah… I wasn't aware there was someone else up at this hour." Wing chuckles. "I promise, I don't intend to run away in any case. I will either be dead, or returned here to await my fate.">>737256
Twonyxia takes her mane to hide her face like a curtain, "I guess… I didn't really mean to talk about him THAT much though."
Beryl turns her head, "Huh. What's so special about you?"
Twonyxia grumbles from behind her hair curtain, "Could you ask that in a slightly more polite way, Beryl?"
"What? That wasn't a 'mean' way of putting it." She turns back to you. "It's alive? Don't tell me you're thinking about breaking up with Steel!"
She makes some more traps as she gets up. "Okay, sure."
Honey looks quickly at Spike, slightly smelling the booze on him, but she's got other things to say on her mind right now.
"Spike, I'ma warning you now: do NOTA get in the way of this." She starts heading outside with Wing and Spike, pieces of her armor materializing and clamping down around her as she hovers along. Her face was deadly serious as she spoke to Spike, like she'd shoot him if he disobeyed her.
"Thisa is between us."
You get off of Bossa and Plasm's laps, the two of them following quickly behind as Po-Yala takes a look at the gauntlet, putting an application of red, glowing liquid upon it before following out in turn to see what's up.
Stepping outside into the village, 'Claw' (the staff) slithers along the ground towards your hooves, seeming eager for you to pick it up as it stares at you with its singular, glowing green eye in the center of its three-pronged tip.
"Okay. Let's go ahead and give this a try." Bone comments, "If you pick it up, it may try to take over your mind immediately, but it'll probably have a buffer period where its control can be fought. Each staff targets a certain emotional complex to sink its teeth into, figure out what 'Claw' wants is the first step."
Plasm winces, "I still don't like this… could all of us stop you if you lost control?">>737262
Spike looks rightly intimidated as you fly past him, the dragon's eyes bugging wide open as he puts up his claws in defense, Wing shortly walking out behind you as you make for the exit.
"Wo-woah, okay okay I…" he tries to follow, but starts to wobble. "Uggh… I don't really get what's going on but, it sounds important. But it's my job to keep an eye on him. Can I at least come with and watch, if he makes a break for it…"
"I assure you, the thought never crossed my mind. I ran away once because I had somewhere to run away TO. I have no such hideaway this time. I will see this through to the end."
The three of you make your way towards the entrance to Twilight's castle, Wing nodding to you as he tests out his suit's functions. "Self-repair protocol has mitigated most of the damage since we've come to this time period. This is as close to my best as I can offer you, Honey. I take it the skies above Ponyville would be a suitable battle ground?"
"I'll just destroy it if it leaves my control," Southern says. She taps the staff to see what's up.
"So it was more dreaming about him then."
"We aren't sure. For whatever reason, the armor just liked me and woke up when I put it on."
Onyxia says, not offended by the comment. When Beryl brings up Steel, it's Onyxia's turn to be flustered.
"Oh no, not at all! Steel and this armor are totally different. It's more like, a pet than a pony, I guess is the best way of putting it."
Twonyxia looks at you, then grins. "Oooooh you keep laughing, Onyxia. I'm sure Beryl's working on just the nicest nick-name for STEEL next."
Beryl lets out a whistle, "Oooh, a 'pet' that likes you and only you, huh? I get it, so more like an boy-toy than a long, lasting relationship? I don't know, sounds to me like that'd make Steel jealous."
Twonyxia grumbles, "The moment you get a coltfriend, we are tearing you to shreds, Beryl, you hear me?"
"Not gonna happen. When I get a coltfriend he'll be a secret for this exact reason."
"It can't be any worse that 'Dreamy-bottom'."
"N-No, not like that at all! I meant like a dog kind of pet."
Onyxia says, her face flushing red from embarrassment at Beryl's teasing.
"Sure. You cana watch, but nothing else," she says as her gaze eases on him after he gave his compliance.
"A bita of mayhem in the sky ata night? Sure. Justa the thing to piss offa the neighbors," Honey says, cracking a small smile at her own joke. She takes to the night sky, her black armor almost blending in if it weren't for the glowing red lines and sections.
"Now…where werea we," she asks as she has a shotgun materialize into her hooves.
"You're free to test out the theory, but I don't think the staves can be destroyed." Bone points out.
You lean down to give the staff a tap, at which point it coils around the hoof that touched it, slinking its way up. Immediately, you feel an influence upon your psyche, a foreign thought steeping into your mind as you feel things that are clearly not your own seeping into your heart. Your normally laid-back, easy going personality finds itself wanting to be more theatrical, dramatic, as though the world were a stage and you its headlining star.>Roll 1d10>>737273>I meant like a dog kind of pet.
"Woah!" Beryl holds up a hoof, "Okay, TMI! I didn't know you were into that sort of thing, and I'm not sure I want to know!"
As the subject turns to nick-names, "How about 'Iron-buns'?" Beryl asks with a giggle, and soon Twonyxia is laughing right with her, resulting in their laughter combining and increasing in volume.>>737274
Spike groans, "Just don't do too much damage to the buildings, alright? Twilight has enough paper work from that building you demolished…"
Soon, Wing is immediately up behind you, his rocket propulsion in the hooves of his suit lighting up in a blue glow to send him up into the glowing night sky, the neon lights of Neo Ponyville accentuating both your glowing red lines traced all over your body, as well as those traced along Wing's blue suit, which you notice now seems to be of a somewhat similar make.
"I believe we were right about here…" he raises his hoof towards himself, a blue sphere with symbols of a clock manifesting within it. "With me leaving you, sadly, in the dust! Haha!"
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
"That building wasa dumb anyways!"
"Ah right, and me abouta to make you eat that dusta!" She then quickly turns around to fire the shotgun, gives it the one-hoof pump, before firing again at wherever he flies off to after the first shot.
>Dual, ranged, crits on 8+, no elemental effects this time
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
"Wh-What do you mean?"
Onyxia questions, even more confused now at Beryl's jest.
When Beryl says her new nickname for Steel, Onyxia snickers a little.
"I don't think he'd like that."
She says, trying to hold back her laughter at imagining what Steel's reaction to such a name would be.
The nature of the staff starts to over-come your senses as it coils up your hoof, gripping on tight as you feel its need, its desire, for the flare, pizazz, and showmanship to spring forth. Soon, your employees seem as much as supporting characters to the play that is your life more than friends, and the compulsion to shine through in your role kicks in.
"Southern…?" Your co-star, Bossa, asks as she waves a hoof in front of your eyes. "You still in there?">>737279
The sphere expands, and you see Wing suddenly double in his movement speed, shifting and racing all around the air-space as he becomes nearly impossible to follow. However, through sheer skill or miraculous luck, both of your shot-gun shells manage to score a hit against him, the first causing him to fly off kilter and then the second hitting him so hard to fly back into a building and CRACK open a window as he shatters it, before swiftly flying back out of the window with both hooves pointed towards you.
"Gaagh… not a bad way to start things off! But soon, you won't even be able to 'see' my dust, let alone make me eat it!" He says as he fires off two spells, one hoof aimed at you and another towards himself>Slow
"Oh, you KNOW what I mean! You like hearing them say 'woof-woof', huh?"
"T-that's enough, Beryl! HAHAHAHAHA!"
Soon, Beryl and Twonyxia are both laughing at the name, before a loud knock comes at the door.
"GIRLS! Your brother is trying to sleep! Keep it down."
Both Twonyxia and Beryl cringe, looking very much like children in trouble. "Sorry mother," Twonyxia says
"Our bad, mom." Beryl adds on.
They both calm down, Beryl looking down at her book as she turns another page. "Hehe… okay, well, did you guys have anything you wanted to talk about or, did you just want to get a taste of my amazing sense of humor?"
>PAUSEDRoll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
She uses her tail to make a sideways peace-sign in front of her left eye. "Yeah, I'm just vibin' right now. Don't @ me."
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
>"…do you know what it is like to lose something, Southern Point?" Strength asks, gripping his paws. "To be powerless to stop it, despite every fiber of your being wanting to? We were planning to take the fight back to Mammon when we were ready. We had no idea anyone would take him so quickly."
>"We are not asking for charity. We will do what we must to reclaim what was stolen from our father. I am here asking - pleading - for you to offer us the chance. Is there no more you need of anyone in this world?"
"Look, this is real dramatic and all, but I know what this is leading up to. There's someone out there who still cares about you, even if that's just the three of you, and if you guys really don't have anything left to live for, you can always find something to live for tomorrow. Even if that's just eating good food and enjoying the sunlight. But if you take so much as a single action against me, that will all end in an instant. You won't even get to have a dramatic goodbye, I can promise you that. I don't care either way, just as long as we're all clear."
>As you make Plasm an apron, he seems to take it entirely in stride, making sure it is securely fastened around his waist as he starts stirring in the stiff, dry noodles into the pot, taking out one of Po-Yala's spoons to start mixing the noodles as you command Bossa to cut vegetables.
>"Grrggm…." Bossa says with frustration, taking out her guitar and playing a little tune as vegetables from Po-Yala's stocks start to float out all on their own, slicing themselves into neat (but uneven) cuts and depositing themselves in a bowl, Bossa levitating/cutting them with her magic.
>Chaser stretches out like a cat, leaning down on his back as he yawns. "Tell me when food's ready."
Southern makes a blanket for Po-Yala then sits next to her to literally just vibe until dinner's done.
>"Wait 'til…" he says, shaking his head. "I'm sorry, I'm making this really a lot more awkward than I meant to."
>Bossa laughs, "No, really, it's fine, keep making a fool out of yourself. I'm finding it entertaining."
>"It's just been a while, so to say." He says, scratching the back of his head. "You know, forget it. I'll be fine sharing the bed." He says, giving himself a stretch as he crawls up into the bed, laying down on the far side as he gets comfortable. "What a day it's been… going to look forward to some shut-eye."
>Bossa lets out a yawn, "For once, we're in total agreement."
Southern hops in bed with the rest of her harem and goes to sleep.
Southern hops into the bed she had constructed with Plasm and Bossa, both soon passing into sleep with time as the night goes on. Po-Yala's snoring fills the hut until she tucks herself deeper into the blanket made for her, which grants more silence to let you reflect on the day behind you and prepare for what comes next. For your first night as a goddess, you are met with strange dreams similar to your visions of your parents company taht you witnessed upon first ascending.
The next morning, Po-Yala is up early with the smell of her chemical creations at work, as well as large eggs (four of them) cooking on a stone skillet nearby. Plasm is still dead asleep, while you notice Bossa is wide awake, staring straight up into the ceiling. The morning sun starts to peek through the window, and she turns to look at you. "Couldn't sleep. Like, at all…"
Southern shrugs, getting out of bed. She makes robes for all of them so that they can be decent. "Strange dreams, or a lot on your mind?"
She takes the plates of eggs once they're finished, ushering Po-Yala to eat in bed with them.
She shakes her head, "Strange dreams. Though I guess having a shit-ton to think about didn't exactly help either. I tried to all night though, tried letting my mind go blank but, every time I close my eyes… hope this isn't a reoccurring thing."
As you pull the eggs into bed, Po-Yala looks at the soft, comfortable mattress you wove, Plasm still snoring away before his nostrils start to flare with the smell of the yolks as Po-Yala takes a tentative step onto the comfy material. "Ooooooooh… what this? It so soft, so springy! Not like hanging hammock at all!" She says, hopping up onto the bed and doing a few bounce-checks. The cave-mare looks ecstatic, rolling around on the bed like a dog as she tests its comfort levels. "It like sleeping on belly of wooly mammoth but smell better!"
Bossa takes one of the eggs, chuckling at Po-Yala's antics as Plasm pulls himself awake, rubbing his eyes. "Mmmph… what time is it?"
"You probably just have too much energy and power as a result of your ascension," Southern says. "Go for a jog next time, then do some stretches."
"Morning," Southern says. "We don't have watches in this era, so just guess based on how many sunrays you can see."
Bossa chuckles, "Think that's it? Just haven't put out enough energy?" She smiles, looking down at her hoof, liquid flowing over it with her new ethereal presence. "I guess that's a possibility. YOU got to use your new fancy powers all over the valley yesterday, the biggest work-out I got was working my guitar-hooves." She nods. "Alright. If that's the case, if we get into any trouble today, how about you relax and let me work out some of this frustration?"
Plasm lets out a loud, lazy yawn, looking at the window as he seems to mechanically work out the time. "That is one skill I don't have: growing up in an era without a sun you can't really use it to tell time. BUT my external clock is always reliable," he says, looking at his computer pad. "About 6:40 am." He gets up, looking towards the eggs as he licks his lips and takes one to eat. "How's the Glove coming along, Po-Yala!"
Po-Yala takes nibbles of her egg, biting it slowly as the prehistoric alchemist waves her hoof, "It go good! Woke up early morning, before sun go up, Po-Yala slept well so it be done very soon."
Southern raises an eyebrow but doesn't take the bait. She eats her breakfast, occasionally sniping off little chunks of egg from the others' plates.
The group continues enjoying their breakfast, the massive dino eggs that Po-Yala had cooked on her skillet being pretty filling all on their own, though Bossa busts out a few pieces of bread she toasts up to use to lap up the egg goo. As you snipe little bits of eggs from her plate, Bossa snarls, and swiftly returns the favor by scooping up a few items from yours. "Rude. Didn't your mother ever teach you not to play with others food?"
"No, Po-Yala mother teach her food am first come first serve. Water pony am just mad dress pony am fast eater." She says as she swiftly scarfs down hers before you can take it.
As you continue to eat your breakfast, you hear the sound of a large dragon touching down outside, Chaser having apparently left at some point last night and is now returning this morning as a small gust of wind shakes the items around the hut. The clacking of bones echoes from outside, evident of Bone's arrival as he announces himself. Plasm looks out, "Company already? We could have still been asleep."
"Maybe they smelt the eggs."
Southern frowns, going outside to see what's the matter. "If I'm not back within 30 seconds, annihilate the both of them," Southern says.
Side-session for Onyxia / Honey this evening! Continuing the Wing Duel and the train ride to Canterlot, post sheets while I grab last posts
The sphere expands, and you see Wing suddenly double in his movement speed, shifting and racing all around the air-space as he becomes nearly impossible to follow. However, through sheer skill or miraculous luck, both of your shot-gun shells manage to score a hit against him, the first causing him to fly off kilter and then the second hitting him so hard to fly back into a building and CRACK open a window as he shatters it, before swiftly flying back out of the window with both hooves pointed towards you.
"Gaagh… not a bad way to start things off! But soon, you won't even be able to 'see' my dust, let alone make me eat it!" He says as he fires off two spells, one hoof aimed at you and another towards himself>Slow
[1d10+2: 6 + 2 = 8]>Heal
[1d10+2: 2 + 2 = 4]>>745722
"Good luck getting there by train," Twonyxia chuckles, "They haven't come THAT far yet. To go to Las Pegasus or Cloudsdale we'd need a plane or a balloon. And we DEFINITELY don't have time for it tonight,"
Beryl blows a bang out of her eye, "I think she meant with everyone anyhow. But yeah, that'd be freaking sweet, it's been so long but I still have so many good memories of that."
Twonyxia chuckles, "You remember how you tried to bury me in the cloud and started crying when the cloud started floating away?"
"I wasn't crying!" Beryl shoots back.
Twonyxia shakes her head, "Exactly. We're all missing out on something, and thinking about what all you must have seen time-travelling: I don't think either of us are ever going to experience everything." She turns her head, "Alright, your turn: what was the most interesting thing you've seen then?"
"Oh, I think you'll
be having the seeing problem instead!" She says as a slot in the armor opens and a glowing orb reveals itself. It suddenly starts to make the air swirl as it seems to be sucking up the light around Wing in an attempt to leave him in darkness.
>Night: Spell; Can bring forth localized darkness that envelops everything nearby. Roll determines duration and intensity. Things are harder to see in the dark, making it easier to hide, slip past enemies and do other things.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
"Flying up there too? That sounds amazing."
Onyxia says with awe at the thought.
"Wait, you can float away in the clouds too? I thought only pegasi could do that."
Onyxia thinks a moment, humming in thought.
"Hmm, most interesting thing I've seen… The future and past were both fun, but I think the most interesting was that nightmare version of Equestria, if only since that wouldn't have happened normally at all."
Honey's armor opens up to reveal the peculiar orb, Wing's attention visibly drawn to it as he lets loose a temporal blast from his hoof directly into Honey as the orb suddenly sucks all ambient light in the area, a black hole forming as you and Wing both fly into it, your enemy blinded the darkness as the temporal magic you feel has engulfed you starts to slow everything around you to a crawl.>Night successful: DC+2 for Wing's actions for 5 turns>Slow successful: For the next 2 turns Honey suffers -2 to her actions
"Hahaha… so I would! I suppose we will have to see whose handicap is worse, yours or mine."
You hear Wing swiftly dive-bomb in the air to get underneath you, before the rising current gives way to him as the sound of another magical blast lets loose through the darkness
[1d10+2] Magic bolt
"Sort of makes me wish I was still a bat-pony. You remember when we technically first met, didn't you?">>745725
"Normally only Pegasi can." Twonyxia clarifies. "These are special creations they make in their weather factor, a type of cloud that keeps its lighter than air qualities but manages to still pack enough density to allow normal ponies to stand on it. Think of it like a really strong balloon that you can shape."
"Feels like it too, walking on those clouds is like walking on a bouncy-castle."
Beryl's ears perk up, "Nightmare version of Equestria? You don't mean like, Nightmare MOON, do you?"
"That was before you even met me." Steel comments. "I learned a bit about it from Boo and Screech but I can only stand talking to those two for so long."Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
Honey tries to form up her weapons and fires off where she hears him move to with a double blast from rifle.
>Dual Great Ranged, crits 8+, no elements
"How coulda I forget? First time leaving mya robot for ponies, firsta time having something good toa fucking drink, first time I ever really…relaxed."Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
[1d10] Mulligan on 'Haste'
Roll #1 7 = 7
"A city wide bounce house, now that is a great tourist attraction."
As Beryl perks up, Onyxia nods.
"Mhm, Nightmare Moon herself. It turned out there was some meddling in when Equestria was founded that changed everything, but we fixed it. It was interesting though, everything was night, most of the ponies were some kind of monster hybrid, or a bat like with Boo and Screech. Dad even worked for Nightmare Moon too, as one of her top generals. It was the first time I met him…"
Onyxia trails off a little bit, thinking back to that night.
"There was a little bit of a mix up, but we both ended up realizing who we were, and he helped us get out of there when Nightmare Moon trying to keep us."
The blasts from your rifle light up the darkness as you see both manage to score a hit on either side of Wing's armor, scorching it as he grunts with his retaliating bolt, which does minimal damage to your wing as it merely grazes it on its way up from Wing's attack from below. (9/10)
The two bolts you hit him with scorch him much more severely, but he seems to increase in speed ever further as a bright, vibrant bolt of blue teleporting from around every corner over your vision.
"That was your first time leaving your robot? Well, I am honored that it was for something as simple as a bit of my pumpkin coffee."
"Not that I was opposed, but I always wondered why we were not ordered to kill you towards the beginning, when you were still so vulnerable. Sight always underestimated all of you. Perhaps so many cycles made him grow overconfident, but I could always see your potential.">Hasted for 2 turns
[1d10+2] Magic attack
[1d10+2] Magic attack
[1d10+2] Magic attack
"Dad was there too?!" Twonyxia exclaims in surprise. "Weird… was he in disguise or was he open with his identity like he is now?"
"That sounds awesome!" Beryl says with keen interest, "Everyone is some kind of monster pony, and it's night-time all the time?! That sounds like a blast."
"I don't think it sounds very fun: who would want to live in a world with no sun? And you *would* think a bunch of monster ponies sound cool…" Twonyxia chides her sister.
"Because it is! How were they all turning into monsters, was it just Nightmare Moon or what was the deal?"Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #4 4 + 2 = 6
Honey tries to endure the oncoming onslaught of next attacks, but as she braces herself, she dives down and activates the unibeam as a bayonet on the rifle as she goes for a thrust on him.
>Simple, +2 Combat Versatility activates
"Whata can I say? Something like thata after a life of dirty water woulda make anybreezie want to get outa and taste," she says with a slight chuckle through grunts of bracing his attack.
"Well, why didn'ta you break the rules then? Aren't you a bita with this right now? Heheh."Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
"I don't know how changelings were treated back then, but he was disguised, until we started talking. He did meet Mom then too, but, things went kinda bad since, you know, Nightmare Moon was in charge."
"It was like Nightmare Night all the time, so it would sound like fun if you grew up in that time. Why they all were like that though… I'm not sure. We could ask Boo and Screech if they know when we run into them again."
The flurry of magical blasts come racing from within the darkness, tracing a light along your neon-trail as you fly around in an attempt to avoid them while thrusting your unibeam-bayonet towards him. However, he manages to dodge, and the majority of hits (one goes wide, lost in the darkness) manage to land on your tiny frame, the armor keeping you steady but blasting your stabilizers out of sync, as you start to free-fall towards the ground below, while you see some of the damage dealt earlier to Wing start to reverse itself>0/9, Helpless>Slow effect ceases
Wing's speed seems to slow down a bit (really your perception of time returning to normal), but the speedy flyer continues to lay out an assault even as you fall towards the ground below
[1d10+2] Magic Attack
[1d10+2] Magic Attack
[1d10+2] Magic Attack
[1d10+2] Magic Attack
"Hah! A fair point. Though I think I will believe it was simply that good instead."
"As for why I did not break the rules then… Sight was our leader. The only reason I was alive is because of him. That is how much of the Order works, in all honesty: Sight filled our numbers with those who were meant to die throughout history, those who were not meant to be and who would not be missed. While this was not always the case, at least some of us dedicated our lives to that man as a result. In addition, I was not good at fighting my staff's compulsions, though I was never so bad off as Steel."
"Now…? Now I am a soldier without a general. The Order is all but done for, and while I have no doubt Sight still draws breath, if he had any further use for me I would not be in your care. I am yesterday's trash, now, sadly.">>745733
As you mention it being kinda bad, Twonyxia frowns, "Under Nightmare Moon, no question."
"Things couldn't have been THAT bad if it was Nightmare Night all year round!"
Twonyxia whispers, "That's Beryl's favorite holiday, for obvious reasons."
"Yeah, like it's the one night a year where reading a book about bizarre and evil rituals is just 'fun' for all the normies instead of making me look anti-social. It's the one night the occult gets the respect it deserves. Also throws the BEST fucking parties."
Twonyxia rolls her eyes, "So, Boo and Screech: you mentioned them before, I think, who are they?"Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #4 10 + 2 = 12
Honey attempts to get herself righted with a mix of thrusters and aerial dexterity.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
"Ghh…wella for trash, you're certainly getting a lega up on me," she says with a slight laugh.Roll #1 8 = 8
"I can't wait to see what a Nightmare Night at home will be if that's the case."
Onyxia chuckles with how enthusiastic Beryl is getting.
"They're two bat ponies we met in that era. They came with us after since they kinda got caught up in Nightmare Moon's wrath for being around us. They were also part of that time's Wonderbolts, which were called the Shadowbolts. Don't tell Sting though, I want to surprise him when I catch up with them again."
The stabilizers have trouble kicking in, but you manage to pull out of your nose-dive before hitting the ground, sailing up once more into the air. Unfortunately, Wing zaps out of nowhere in front of you, his time-enhanced speed proving difficult to maneuver around as as flurry of magical attacks shoot out from his wings point-blank, sending you flying upwards towards the moon as he zooms around trying to get ahead of your trajectory to blast you back>Two attacks hit for 10+ damage, back to 0/8 Helpless>Haste has ended
"Just because I am trash does not mean I am useless… even without my staff, my Order, and my leader, I am still Eo-Naxx Wing! If this is to be my final battle, I'll make sure history remembers what I can do-!">>745737
"Oh, just you wait!" Beryl exclaims. "Mom and Dad let me have control of the decorations when it comes around… provided I let Onyxia and Sting help too, but still I'm pretty much the one who knows what she's doing."
"Our house gets a lot of kids on Nightmare Night…" Twonyxia smirks.
As you explain Boo and Screech, Twonyxia lets out a whistle. "Wow, yeah: THAT will definitely get Sting's attention if they were Wonderbolts! Er, 'shadowbolts'… Guess Nightmare Moon wasn't going for originality on that one…"
"She got mad at them just for hanging around you all? Wow… that's not exactly surprising but, still, I feel kinda bad for them."
"They seem to be taking things well enough, all things considered," Steel replies, "They can never go back to their era yet they hardly seem phased. Whether they're hardier than I give them credit for or just too dim to care I'm not quite sure."Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
Honey gets knocked around a bit more, trying once again to get herself back up and into the fight.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
"Well, I don'ta think you'll have to worry abouta anyone forgetting, let's say."
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"With two Onyxia's, we'll make the best display for Nightmare Night anypony has ever seen."
Onyxia says proudly in offering her help.
"The others started up the trouble, so I'm not too sure on the details. But yea, Nightmare Moon lumped all of us together in her eyes."
Onyxia nods with Steel's comment.
"I think they're plenty hardy. They might not have been as motivated as us, they've done their part in helping."
As you fly through the air towards Wing, you manage to right yourself just in time to avoid the brunt of a bright azure blast streaming towards you (though it singes one of your limbs) maneuvering around his attack and leaving him open to you from behind as he fails to find you in the waning darkness you summoned>Up at 7/8
Wing looks around the darkness as he leaves his back open to you, casting more magic on himself to heal his injuries
"They may not forget, but I admit, towards the end of it all, I find it shameful that I must go down in history as a villain. The splendid Cardinal and master-flyer who helped put an end to Eon would have made a much more pleasant entry… I am happy that you may yet get the chance to have history remember you for such a deed.">>745741
"Still," Beryl puts her cheek on her hoof, looking out the window as a brightly lit town in the valley strolls by. "No matter how well we put up our house, I bet it's nothing compared to that Nightmare place. Bet it was insane…"
Twonyxia smiles, "They sound nice, Boo and Screech. Know where they are right now? If they can fly, maybe we can give them a call and they can come meet us in Canterlot by the time we get there. Think they'd be fun to meet."
Steel grumbles. "Hrrm…"
"Do you, not like them?" Twonyxia asks bluntly.
"I do not dislike them, but we have never been close. Admittedly, I did not put my best hoof forward when we first met."
"How did you first meet?"
"I kidnapped them."
"Oh, yeah that'd probably… wait, WHAT?!"Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
Honey flies up close to him again, letting the light of the unibeam light up her face as she tries to swing at him.
"Well whicha sounds better? A bunch of stupid assa books that get burnt in mya time remembering you asa that? Or just me remembering you as thea Cardinal who was a pretty alrighta guy that knows how toa dance and make an angry bitch likea me settle down?"Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
"It was, but since you have somepony who saw it now, we can make our house even better."
Onyxia says to try and hype her back up.
"Last time I saw them was when we got to Ponyville, though I ran off pretty quickly to grab the first train back home so I'm not sure where they could be. They should still be somewhere there though."
When Twonyxia blurts out in confusion over Steel's first encounter with them, Onyxia laughs.
"Before I got to know Steel, he was known back in the early Equestrian days as the Black Knight. And Boo and Steel ran into him pretty early on too. I think you took them as hostages for trade, right?"
You strike out with your unibeam, cutting of a piece of his armor as it goes hurtling to the ground before a point-blank shot from his magic envelops your entire tiny frame, sending you flying back as he quickly grips the burning shoulder you had sliced him, the wound smoking as he pushes through the pain to follow up on his attack>0/7
"Haha… between the two, the latter is no contest. Though if you succeed, I imagine those 'burnt books' you mentioned will not be so crispy anymore!"
"But, if you would be so kind as to give them that description of me, then maybe things will not be so bad. Frankly, I am more entertained by how history will remember 'you'! The Breezie who lived larger than any dragon."
[1d10+2] MagicRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
/ Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
Beryl chuckles, "I don't know if our house will be enough: do you think you could get the whole Crystal Empire to let us decorate just for that night?"
"Hmm…" Twonyxia thinks, "Ponyville isn't too far away a flight from Canterlot. Do you have a number for them or something, I could give them a call and tell them it's you."
Steel nods, "Yes, for Eo-Naxx Fang's staff. At the time when my memories were still fuzzy, I thought it was mine. Though, in retrospect I should have tried for someone higher up than Boo or Screech to force a trade: I wasn't aware of how low they were on the totem pole." He shrugs, "Things worked their way out. Still remember how you forced me to apologize to them for that…"
Twonyxia laughs, "Well, I should hope she did! The 'Black Knight' huh… sounds pretty cryptic."
Honey attempts to get the suit back up and fighting after the last attack.
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"Well, sincea you're being so nice anda not holding back right now," she says as the rifle goes through a sudden change into a shotgun, "I guessa I could swing a favor or two fora you!" She then shoots at him twice.
>Great Dual Range, crit 8+
[1d10+4]Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14
/ Roll #2 2 + 4 = 6
"We could try. Good thing we have a connection to the royals too."
Onyxia says, nudging Twonyxia at the comment.
"I… uh, Steel, do you know their number?"
She asks, having not used any of the communication devices at all.
"Well we did just meet them, it probably was the best pick to go for."
"He was like a living myth back then from how the other ponies spoke that title. When we had that confrontation, I was pretty scared about what I was up against."
Your laser scores a direct hit against Wing's center-piece, blasting it off to cinders as a bit of his feather coat underneath shows severe burns and injuries from your bolt, boiling over the armor around it.
"Urrggh! How…. gracious of you, my dear Honey. Hahah… then, I shall continue to give you everything I have…"
Another huge wave of temporal magic washes over you from Wing at its source, time again seeming to speed up all around you as Wing in particular practically disappears from sight in a flash of blue light, having re-appeared with several injuries already cured. In addition, you see a sudden piece of your cybernetic armor torn off at the right side, bleeding slightly. When did this injury occur?>Stop Time: instant/automatic recharge 2: One action that the user performs this turn is treated as automatic.>Stop Time used with Heal, injuries automatically healed>Slow Successful: -2 debuff to your rolls for 2 turns>5/7
He raises his hoof again, another magical charge forming as he shoots towards you
[1d10+2] Magic Attack
"You won't have any problems with that, I hope?">>745749
Beryl rolls her eyes, "Oh, right, my sister is dating Prince Dreamy Bottom. Yeah, maybe he could pull some strings."
Steel shakes his head. "I've only just recently learned what a 'number' is in that context. But we could call someone who does." He looks to Twonyxia, "Do you know Twilight Sparkle's number? That was where we all first arrived when we came to this era."
Twonyxia chuckles, "Oh, sure, I have the Princess of Friendship's number on speed-dial…"
"…that was sarcasm, I don't really have that. I think Ulmash or Valor would since she's their aunt but, then we might have to mention why we need it and where we might be going. Which 'could' get back to Dad…"
As you explain Steel's previous history, Beryl turns over with interest, laying down across her seat. "Oooh, a walking armor AND an urban legend. What'd you do?"
"I was a neutral force in the war that was going on in that time-period. I fought griffons and ponies alike, mostly because they got in my way. At the time, my helmet had no mouth and I could not speak, which more than likely added to their fear of me as I wordlessly cut them down."
Beryl's eyes open wide, leaning over, "Go on…"Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
Honey clutches the wound and looks at him with a grin.
"Of coursea not! I haven'ta had a got scrap with just one other thinga in way too fuckinga long! Keep it up, lovera boy!" The shotgun is dropped and fades away in technomagic, only for the unibeam to reappear in her hooves. Seeing him move quickly, she tries to feint a strike one way in order to swing and hit him where she thinks he'd show up next.
>Single, +2 after Slow
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"We could wait until tomorrow morning to try and contact them. They may be bats, but they're not nocturnal like ones."
Onyxia smiles as Beryl is enraptured by Steel's storytelling of his old life. She turns, sitting in the seat comfortably as she listens on as well to give Steel an audience.
"Well, I do make a point to never disappoint a lady."
Wing zips around in the air-space, frequently popping in and out of time akin to a teleport as the speedy combatant zooms around you. However, your strategy bears fruit: you swing in one direction with the intent to make him appear in another, and he falls for your feint, giving you the opportunity to swipe him with your newly formed unibeam as you cut deeply into one of his limbs, the burning armor boiling on contact with the laser-sword as he lets out a cry of pain, before sweeping back to try another strategy.
"Hah… hah… well done! Can't be too easy to read my movements like this, slowed down as you are. I need to use my advantage to think ahead!" He says as he lets out two bolts towards you from one side, before teleporting immediately behind to trap you with a second
Steel chuckles. "You sure? I'm fairly certain if we'd let them Boo and Screech could sleep past noon."
Beryl shrugs, "Eh, nothing wrong with that, right?"
As Beryl seems intrigued by Steel's story, Steel looks somewhat off-guard. "You'd really care to hear more?"
"Sure! I'm all into that sort of stuff, learning about urban legends."
"Well, I'm sad to say there wasn't much to the legend of the Black Knight. I am from a different time, the era that was plagued by Discord in the halcyon days of Equestria. It was he who cursed me to this form… or, at least I thought it was at first but, that is another story. I eventually fell through a time-portal much like Onyxia did, and for years I wandered the realm of Equestria in its expansionary phase. I did not owe any loyalty to Celestia or her armies: in my era she had yet to appear. The ones I had sworn fealty to were gone, and my only interest was in finding them. A being without a mouth can only uncover so much, however, so I was often forced to speak with my blade. The first lead I had come across to a way home was when I had finally encountered other time-travelers."
Beryl looks up at you, "You guys, right?"
>PAUSEDRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3
[1d10] Mulligan on the 2Roll #1 3 = 3
"Well, gotta geta used to new shit or else you fuckinga die in my time." She keeps the unibeam ready, but her back opens a panel to reveal a speaker. It plays a loud rock riff like Crumple used to, trying to mess Wing up with the power of rock!
>Wrath, +1 after Slow
[1d10+1]Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"Mhm. It was right after the Nightmare era, and the first time I was in the past during all these travels."
She answers, leaving Steel to continue on with the story.
The speaker comes off of your back, a loud, reverberating beat breaking nearby windows and widening cracks in Wing's armor, causing him to reach up and grip his ears tightly as you rattle his bones with the sonics.
However, you see him raising a hoof, twisting it slightly as he disappears from sight for a moment… and then the next thing you know, the sonics are vibrating throughout YOUR armor, causing the sound to feedback as it shakes you off course
"VERY good advice, my dear!" He says, pulling back a safe distance as you see him gathering power, his movements vibrating and speeding up as he prepares to enhance speed for himself once again. "Please, enjoy your own dulcet tones while I prepare my next action. One must be ready to plan as well as adapt…">Crumple falling at 0/6
"What was it like?" Beryl asks, "I heard you had to go to the bathroom in a pot in those days, was it really that bad?"
"Later, when I realized the bats would do me no good as a bargaining chip, I merely attempted to take Fang's staff by force, hoping it was your secret to time-travel as well. Most of her group had gone off to fight the leader of the griffons… another story, there… and with fewer numbers I thought them vulnerable. I underestimated them: I tried to take Onxyia and Fang on together, but Onyxia's ability to transmute solid material proved to be my undoing. I was frozen in place, unable to move."
Twonyxia turns her head, "No offense, but this doesn't sound like a very nice first impression. How did you ever hit it off from there?"
Steel smiles, looking to Onyxia. "She gave me what I needed: a mouth to speak with."Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
"At leasta SOMEONE listens to me!" She remarks loudly as she falls and tries to get herself upright.
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Getting herself upright, she tries to use what momentum she has from falling to swing herself about and take a swipe at him with the unibeam.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
"It wasn't that
bad, though we were staying in Canterlot, so it might've been better off than the standard you'd read about."
"I might've had an advantage, but I was still terrified in that fight. It was the first time I was ever in a real direct conflict."
"It was the one thing you were missing after I locked you in place."
She turns to Twonyxia.
"We were able to talk and got to know each other, and Steel helped more than I could ever ask for with saving Dad after that."
You successfully right yourself, flying at Wing quickly as he charges up mid-flight. You swing your unibeam at him, damaging part of his suit before he vanishes in mid-air. You look around for him after he vanishes, and see him above you… and below you… and behind you and to your side. Four Wings appear in four spots simultaneously, charging up a magical blast to hit you from every direction.
"How can I not when you come up with such good ideas? Such as your penchant for all out attacks… watch out for this!"
The four Wings fire simultaneously from their hooves as you feel the slowing affect wear off…>Slow no longer in effect
Beryl shakes her head, "I dunno… if you say it wasn't so bad I guess it couldn't have been but I'm not sure it'd be my cup of tea."
"You might have enjoyed my era if magic is your interest," Steel adds on. "I come from the age of Starswirl, in the Golden Age of Equestrian magic. Anyways," he moves back on, looking at Onyxia. "That was your FIRST time fighting anything? I had thought you experienced earlier fights in the other eras you visited. I'm sorry to have made things so difficult for you."
Twonyxia smiles, "That was so sweet of you… what made you do it in the first place? Considering all he put you through, I know some might not give him the chance…"
Steel chuckles. "I suppose I am just lucky to have been defeated by such a merciful, kind-hearted pony. I truly did dedicate myself to making it up to her after that, giving me a mouth with which to speak was an act I had not realize how much I took for granted."Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #3 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #4 6 + 2 = 8
"Well I had to deal with robots when I got pulled to the future, but those were just turrets and other defensive things, and I avoided the gryphons entirely after arrows started flying when we first went back to then. I never had a real fight until you."
As Steel apologizes for making things difficult, Onyxia smiles and puts a hoof on his shoulder.
"You don't need to be sorry. If I didn't have you to fight against, Chitus would've been my first fight, and that wouldn't have gone well."
"I want to know why he was attacking us at first. And when I held his head to give him a mouth, I could tell he was alive, and not just some suit of magic armor. I can't imagine anypony would be too friendly if they couldn't speak or communicate for as long as the Dark Knight was around then."
"Oh, you wanta an all-out attack, huh?" She has her hooves now hold a rocket launcher that has four holes bored into it.
"Wella how abouta this!" She then fires out four salvos worth of missiles at Wing.
>Rapid Rocket Launcher: Storm Bolt that benefits from Honey's critfail reduction talent. 4 attacks, critfails 3-
[1d10+4]Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7
Steel considers this fact for a few moments, "I suppose that is true enough. I definitely do not like the idea of you having had to fight Chitus alone. Still, it does not excuse my past actions. I am simply happy you can see past them."
"Considering our family, I think forgiveness runs in our blood," Twonyxia comments, nodding, "And I can get behind that too, Onyxia. It's true, thinking of what it must be like to go that long without being able to speak, everyone seeming like they're against you… I'd get pretty p-o'd too."
"Kinda hard to imagine you in a fight," Beryl says to Onyxia. "I don't think I've ever seen Onyxia throw a kick…"
"You should have seen her fighting Valor, she's no slouch.">>745941
The missiles lance out and explode mid-arc on their way to the various Wings, the magical blasts fired from Wing's attack passing through them and making them blow up before making contact as they make their way towards you, exploding point blank and knocking you around from several angles as your divine mechanisms in your armor begin to stutter, the force knocking you from the sky once again as the four Wings merge up towards the apex of your fall into one, charging one large blast that fires downwards in three, spiraling beams towards you >0/4
"It was quite impressive, but I think I've seen enough of your missiles and rockets to figure out a counter-play, unfortunately! I on the other hoof, have plenty of tricks left!"
[1d10+2] HealRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #3 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #4 5 + 2 = 7
"Shita!" She yells out and attempts to get her suit back in fighting order again.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"It helps that most of the time I've only fought to protect a friend or family. Plus Steel has been helping train me so I can better hold my own in a fight."
Despite your attempts to right yourself in time, the trio of magical blasts hit squarely, your armor breaking and falling to glowing pieces around you as you hit the ground hard as a result of the blast, in a small crater caused by the explosion and impact. >0/2
Wing falls down nearby, panting and huffing as he holds at a gaping wound in his chest piece, feathers and blood dripping out as his speed reduces back to normal, the after-images created by his temporal distortions fading as he walks steadily towards you.
"Hah… hah… seems I had enough magic left to pull that one off, after all. I was not so sure, for a bit." He walks towards you slowly, one final charge gathering in his hoof.
"As you have so requested, my dear Honey: no holding back. That goes for you, as well… if you any other moves, now is the time to stop holding on to them.
"There is no much more left to my story after that, at least not that you do not know. After Onyxia restored my mouth, and later when I proved worthy of it, my body, I sought to accompany her to repay my debt, and perhaps learn more about what sent me through time in the first place. After that, we ran into your parents in the next era and, well, I imagine they have told you that story many a time."
Twonyxia nods, "Mmmhm. Never gets old, though"
"It was a difficult time. Chitus was not like any enemy we had yet faced, and for the first time in years, I was fighting to protect as well, not simply to defeat an enemy. I am simply glad things worked out."Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
"Ngh…you couldn'ta have…done this earlier?" She says in a slightly mocking manner as she tries to get herself back up with what bit is left of her suit.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
"Never gets old, and for us it was only a week ago."
Onyxia comments on the story.
"They worked out even better than I could have imagined."
Onyxia says, smiling to her two siblings.
>>745970>still at 0/2
"As I said, it takes preparation. When your powers invoke time, you need to learn a lot of patience and plan things out far in advance. Opening with that move may well have not left me with anything else, and I doubt it would do you in at the start."
As you attempt to rise, waves of temporal energy wash over you once again, slowing your movements as the energy in his hoof continues to hold fast. "Thank you, Honey Bunch. With no exaggeration, this has been the best duel of my life."
"It was THAT recently for you?!" Beryl exclaims. "Wow, it must still be so fresh. You guys don't get a lot of time to stop and smell the flowers, do you?"
"No, not until recently, at least." Steel comments. "Before we were moving between eras almost every other day, with some exception."
Twonyxia sighs, leaning back in her seat. "That was a great story, Steel. You know, I think it's even inspired me: when I get back, I would love to do an homage piece to the horrifying tale of the 'Black Steed', if you would offer me some more details.
Beryl snorts, "Long as you don't fall in love with it and dump the Prince." Twonyxia elbows her for that.Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
"When you find out something changed the course of history, you tend to rush quite a bit. But like Steel said, the recent trips have been a bit more relaxed in comparison."
Onyxia chuckles at Beryl's joke.
"I wonder if the Black Steed is in any history books, with how much they spoke of you back then."
Honey looks up at him as the temporal energy keeps her down, trying her damnest to try and get back up.
"Shamea we can't have more…when Ia save our stupid bug fooda of a rock we're on."
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
>>745982>get up and fight, maggot!
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Despite the heaviness of your movements, the slowing field of time making your every movement take twice the effort and time to make, you manage to stand back up, flying up into the air as Wing keeps his steely gaze upon you. With the combat having died down, you can see a piece of his mask is broken, a singular sharp, golden eye looking at you from one broken-off eye hole as you flutter up to his level.>5/2
"Hah… ha… well, now… I suppose there isn't a reason we cannot, is there? Then again, perhaps part of why it is so thrilling is the finality of it… but, I would very much enjoy doing this again. If you think you can keep up, Honey sweet."
He fires the spell he'd been charging up till now, planning to finish this off in one quick bolt…
Steel seems intrigued by the thought. "I do not know. I was a major rumor for the years I traversed Equestria in that time, but I was still mostly just a rumor. I do not know if they put hearsay in the history book."
"Of course they do! What do you call folk-tales, Steel?" Twonyxia comments. "We should look that up when we get to Canterlot."
"At least, I hadn't read anything regarding the Black Steed," Beryl answers, "But as much as I love my cryptid stories, even I don't know every single one. Maybe Canterlot your story is more famous since you were closer to it."Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
a rumor, until you attacked Canterlot itself. There's bound to be at least one book about you from that night."
"Beryl's right. Maybe you'll be a local legend there."
Honey meets his glowing, golden eye with her own magenta ones. She begins to glow a bit herself with magic and determination, letting it burst out a bit, only to contract upon herself as some wounds that got past the metal of the suit begin to close and fade.
>Honey Special for an Automatic Heal
"Ofa course I can keep up. Got thisa far, haven't I? Just wanted to seea what other slick moves youa had just for me," she says with a cocky grin and looks ready to get back into the fight after the prior fumblings.
Wing lets loose the blast, the magic flying across the short distance between you to impact point blank upon your tiny person… but the magical glow of healing, restorative Breezie magic surrounds you and continues to heal you in spite of the bolt, which leaves a sizable mark on your body as bruises and cuts continue to ache all over. STill, the glow persists, and your body feels, if only slightly, prepared for more.>5/3
Wing blinks with his one visible eye, before silently nodding in approval. "That is what I think I loved most. You don't quit."
He quickly begins charging another bolt, this one bigger than the last. "Very well, then you shall see them. We all have our limits. Even gods." He strains however, falling forward slightly as he catches himself on a knee, coughing up more blood as he keeps the magic charging. "Speaking of limits…"
"I only attacked one tower, and half a dozen ponies. A remarkable invasion, it was not."
"You're too modest," Twonyxia comments, "I agree with Onyxia, I'm pretty sure that would have made an impression."
"Hmm. It is possible. Would be interesting if true but, I will not be affected either way."
Beryl chuckles. "Mr. Cool, huh? Well I don't know if we'll have time to stop at a library or whatever… if any were even OPEN at this hour, but hey, we'll keep our ears open."
You pass by a sign outside detailing the distance to the next town under its neon lights: it's still quite a ride to Canterlot yet, and Beryl can't help but let loose a small yawn.Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
"Ofa course I don't. I'd be fuckinga dead if I did," she remarks and gets her weapons ready for another go at him: a grenade launcher forms in her hooves.
"Oh, fucka limits. They're there to fucking break." She fires one shot high into the air, then fires another a bit after so both impacted around the same time.
>Dual Great Ranged Crits 8+
[1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
"For a single pony it sounds remarkable," Onyxia adds, "Maybe they pass down stories of you in the guard to keep the knights on their hooves."
Onyxia looks out as they pass the sign, still a ways to go for their journey. She turns as Beryl yawns, not surprising given how late it is.
"We still got a ways to go, you can take a quick nap if you need."
"Well then by all means, break them-"
As you fire one up high into the air, you successfully distract Wing's attention for a moment as he looks up, before you fire your second grenade, hitting him point blank as he lets loose his bolt towards you. It hits its mark, sending you flying back after you fire both your grenades, but both of your holy-hoof grenades explode on Wing at the same time, a massive combined explosion sending him sprawling away from you, rolling like a rag-doll across the pavement of the empty streets of neon-lit Ponyville, chunks of his blue armor scattering in the interim.
The bolt hits you as well, sending you back down to the ground, but thanks to your heal from earlier, you maintain your consciousness. You aren't sure how far Wing was blasted by an attack that powerful, but you may likely have some time before he comes back to recover…
"Stories in the guard… now that, I could see. I'd like that. Perhaps another time, when we're not in a rush, we could investigate?"
As you offer to Beryl for her to take a quick nap, she shakes her head, "No way, I'm WAY too excited to *yawn* fuck, sleep." She rubs her eyes, "Gah, it's the train. Sitting in here just relaxing and doing nothing is making me sleepy… I bet if I kept reading I might get MORE tired."
"So sleep. We're not gonna turn back while your eyes are shut." Twonyxia recommends. She chuckles, "Want another bed-time story like Steel's?"
"Oh hah-hah."Roll #1 7 = 7
Honey huffs and pants a bit as she attempts to shake off that last hit as she finds herself back to running on fumes.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
>>745999>nice trips, but I don't need those right now. Get up!
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"When we next have an open day we can come back to Canterlot proper and see how things are."
"If you say so, though you should be focused when you try out your little spell when we get there."
Onyxia says, trying not to sound too parent-y about getting some shut eye.
You regain your senses and your resolve after that last blast, picking yourself back up (10/2) as Wing starts to return, flying over from whence he was blasted. Most of his armor is in tatters now, and both of his eyes are visible from behind his broken down mask. His feathery coat and gnarled features are more prevalent now that the mask is removed, gray and sickly looking hair falling down his neck as he touches down nearby, grabbing at the latest gap in his bloodied armor as he manages a laugh.
"Hah… ha… will admit. Was not anticipating that. Truly spectacu… *cough* spectacular. Still," he says as he gathers magic in his hooves, "I think you are worse off than I am… ready to keep going? Or shall we call this a draw?" He asks as he flaps his wings, taking up into the air as temporal magic starts gathering around his body again
Beryl clicks her tongue. "Hmm… shoot, that's actually a good point. I've never done this spell before, if I do it while I'm TIRED… well, who knows what'll happen. Probably something bad like, raising zombies or something."
Twonyxia pats her head, "Sleep. We'll wake you up when we get to Canterlot."
Beryl grumbles, letting out one last yawn as she nuzzles up into the seat. "Okay. Just a couple hours though, and wake me if you see anything cool outside, alright?"
Steel takes off his cape, offering it to you to give it to Beryl. "Would make for a good blanket."Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
"And we wouldn't want that. A zombie hoard might be hard to cover up if Mom and Dad hear."
Onyxia takes the camp, draping it over Beryl.
"We will, don't worry. You won't miss a thing."
Honey takes in his ragged appearance, but she has to remind herself that now isn't the time to feel bad. He's still doing a good job of kicking her ass around.
"Oh come ona now, you should know mea better than that by now," she says with a raspy laugh from her injuries, "I should slap youa for even thinking of asking me that." And slap she intends to do as she magitechs up a canister and kicks it at him, which splits mid-flight and both sides explode on either side of him for a nasty chemical reaction.
>Dual Great Ranged with Napalm and Decay now
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
As you kick the explosive canister towards him, Wing just barely seeing the incoming projectile and ducking underneath it (taking massive scorching damage to his wings however as the chemicals douse them), he charges towards you as he lets loose another powerful bolt of time-magic, catching squarely in your wings as he begins to dive around the nearest lamp-pole in loop, sticking close to street-level now. "Aha… of course! But I thought it only polite to extend the offer, haha… I'll make up for it by fighting twice as hard."
He says as he runs (not flies) along the ground at full sprint towards Honey, magic gathering along both his damaged wings as he seems ready to clothesline you with one of them>Currently at 5/2
"On the other hoof… holy cow, fighting ZOMBIES sounds like an evening well spent, huh?"
With the cape draped over her, Beryl lets out one more yawn, the teen filly inching off closer to sleep as she tucks herself in, "Mmm… warmer than I thought it'd be… alright… niigh…" she says as she muffles her way into the cape, Twonyxia chuckling as she reaches over to stroke her mane.
"For as big a pain in the butt she can be, it's incredible how cute she can still be, huh?"
>PAUSEDRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
Honey tries to bolster herself and perk herself up a bit with some of her healing magic like before, though a bit less oomph than the last time.
"Oh, soa you were holding back? And herea I thought I mattered toa you," she says with a grin.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Your healing magic flows over you, mending damage to your body and armor alike as the metal pieces itself back together, Wing retaliates with his wing successfully slamming into your tiny frame, knocking the air out of you as you are surrounded of magic of his own, causing the healing process to slow down as time around you seems to blur into unusually high speed.>Slowed: -2 to next two rolls>Healed to 9/3
"Haha… hah… I never said I was holding back. I said I would fight twice as hard. I'm digging into reserves I shouldn't have just for you." He says as he pushes out his wing after making contact, sending you flying towards the street as he jumps up high into the air, ready to bring a magically embued hoof down on top of your tiny body, acid/napalm dripping all over his ruined armor and scorching his feathery body.
[1d10+2] MagicRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3
As Honey sees him moving faster and into the air, she tries to work with her slowness and intercept his strike with a swing of her unibeam while slowed.
>Single, +2 canceled out by Slow
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
(also name fix)>>747447
As Wing seems to swiftly move down on top of you, in spite of your slowed down movements, you manage to bring your unibeam up on him just as he strikes down, his hoof swerving to the side at the last moment to catch as minimal damage as possible, but still receiving a burning gash along the arm. His arm is singed, but still manages to clip a bit of your injured gossamer wing>8/3
He swiftly moves off, holding at his arm as azure time-magic surrounds his being.
"Aha… even with time on my side, I seem to be slowing down. This may be… *cough* the last burst I have in me. I'd hate to disappoint a lady, so watch carefully."
A large, sudden burst of magic shoots out from him as the epicenter…>Stop Time: Haste has been cast automatically>[1d10+2] Healing magicRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
Honey, seeing that burst of magic go off, decides to send out a burst of her own on some rocking soundwaves.
"Wella hey, for what its worth: thisa was a fight wortha living for," she exclaims happily as she watches the two bursts of magic clash.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
"That it truly is… let us see that it has a most fitting conclusion, shall we?"
Your bass lets out in full force, meeting the waves of Wing's time-magic as he warps the space around him in full. The two conflicting forces connect in a clash of light, and for a moment, time stops… not just for Wing, but for Honey as well, having been brought into the world of frozen time as you see the sparks of nearby lamp-posts 'freeze' in mid-air, along with the sounds of the world all coming to a halt.
In this world of frozen time, Wing charges at you, his wings over-flowing with magic as he means to tackle directly into your small frame at near light-speeds. Though, he may not be aware of YOU being able to move in this world as well yet.>Wrath prevents Wing from attacking you this round as he charges towards you
Honey seems to be still as a board as she takes a moment to process everything happening around her. But seeing him come at her, she waits until the last moment to raise the unibeam back up and have him drive himself on its laser blade.
>Single, +2 from Combat Expertise
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
You wait until the last possible moment to strike, leading Wing to believe you're frozen in time. This provides just the right amount of opportunity needed to deliver another super-heated cut along his wing, Wing himself only just pulling away in the nic of time to avoid having his wing cut off entirely. He looks on in shock, skidding along the ground as sparks shoot out and 'stop' in mid-air as he looks at you.
"…you can still move?" He chuckles, "I feel embarrassed… if I had known you would join me in the frozen time, I would have cleaned up first. This place is a mess…" He says before he super-charges himself with temporal magic again, shooting out at you with lightning speed to deliver a flurry of blows
[1d10+2] (Magic attacks)
[1d10+2]Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
/ Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7
/ Roll #3 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #4 9 + 2 = 11
"Oh pleasea," she remarks with a laugh/huff as she uses her magitech to have two rockets seemingly digitize out of thin air behind her.
"Have you evena SEEN how fucked my time is? Thisa looks clean to mea!" She then throws her hoof forward to have the missiles fly into him and explode in fire.
>Dual Ranged Great Napalm
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
"Well, I guess when you put it THAT way," Wing chuckles, "I am in no place to complain. Perhaps you may show me your place after THIS!"
Wing says as he dives at you, letting loose a flurry of magical imbued blows from his hooves, aiming for your small and nimble form as two rockets digitize behind you. They both race out at Wing, point-blank, detonating as he manages to land a score of blows on you, sending you both flying back from the resulting explosion. Wing's last punch sends you flying into the side of a building while your rockets send him into one opposite the street, and as the rockets explode, time resumes its flow, both of you returned to normal speed as he struggles to pull himself out of the shop, casting magic to mend his wounds as he looks at you from across the street.
"Aggh… can keep this all night." He grunts through the pain. "Shame the city may not."
[1d10+2] Healing himself
[1d10+2] Slow HoneyRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
This whole fight is just Killer Queen fighting DIO except Kira has a lightsaber and DIO is a jobbing homose-
Honey grunts as she makes impact with the building and the dust clears, taking a quick moment to see just how much of the armor is actually left before trying to jet thruster out of her 'room.'
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
With momentum from her getting out, she flies at him with the unibeam in a spiral to try and avoid anything he literally throws at her. Then close enough, she makes sure its more of an impactful charge than a slash of the beam sword.
"Funny, I wasa thinking the same thing!"
[1d10+4]Roll #1 5 + 4 = 9
>>747458>Up at 10/2
Shooting yourself into a spiral, you swiftly meet Wing up close as you clear the gap in seconds, causing him to miss his slow-spell entirely though you see his body slowly patching itself up following the impact. His hooves coated in azure aura from his magic, he tries to catch the beam sword as you charge him down, causing his hooves to heat up and burn as smoke fills both your eyes.
HIs mask has now entirely shattered, and you see the full visage of Wing: his face is coated in feathers as well, the dark gray sickly appendages seeming to have replaced his coat entirely, but though it is aged with experience, and slightly mangled and matted through the trials you have put him through, the old muzzle is still very reminiscent of the stallion who gave you your first pumpkin-flavored coffee. Of the young man who went to great lengths to rescue your fellow Breezies from Obsidian.
He smiles, throwing the blade aside as he charges at you with both his hooves, "Great minds, as they say, think alike!"
He throws his hooves at you, no longer seeming to have any energy left in him for temporal magic as he makes the last stage of your duel a classic hoof-fight, albeit his coated in magic to level the playing field.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
Honey takes a moment to stare back at that face, and take the brief trip down memory lane. The moment is likely enough for him to get a couple hits in, which only spurs Honey on to come back swinging, putting aside her experience of alternating ranges for an advantage. As she swings, her armor activates the thrusters to give it more speed to make up for Honey's lack of mass.
"Fuck…I'ma gonna miss you."
>Dual Great attacks, no ranged, no elements, crit 8+
[1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5
The moment of hesitation as you look into the familiar face is indeed enough for him to get a few solid jabs in, your small form battered by the mystical might of your much larger foe, even in the face of your new upgrades and godhood. However, as he continues to jab, you see him slowing down - not just from any temporal tempering, but from fatigue, exhaustion. You seize a precise moment to throw ALL your thruster power into one powerful swing, the speed and force of which cleaves through the front of Wing's chest. At the exact same moment, Wing's magicall-imbued wing comes crashing down ontop of you, cutting into your breezie-tech armor and sundering it, sending you fluttering out and away as your unibeam finishes its slash at the same time as Wing finishes his.
You stand opposite of each other, grievous injuries on both sides as your armors spark and sputter and Wing stands coughing blood with almost every breath… until, in a moment, he falls to one knee, a hoof holding up to the recently made gash on his chest as he closes his eyes, grunting as he tries to fight through the pain.
"…and I… will always remember you…" he says as he struggles to keep himself from falling flat on the ground, but no longer holds the strength to stand.
"I… hah… I must be very disappointing right now. No matter how willing the spirit, your flesh always catches up to you…">Honey at 1/2>Wing out of HP
Despite being much younger, Honey definitely isn't looking much better right now. Honey staggers her way closer to him, making the armor spark out intensely at the joints. With a small bit of power left, she materializes an old, familiar object: the toy raygun.
"Nah…fucka that," she says with a seemingly sad-sounding chuckle. She points the raygun at him to…shrink him down to her size. She gets close enough to sit with him, letting him rest against her as she looks down at him, breathing heavily from the intensity of the fight.
Heh…hahah…don't push yourself, old man. Youa kicked my ass too hard toa say stupid shit like thata. Though you dida say lots of things like thata before." She laughs a bit again from thinking back, but quickly settles down.
"You knowa…you don't have to kick ita. Could stick around anda we could do this again once we senda Eon crying to whatever pit ita crawled out of."
Wing… or rather, Mercile… looks on in surprise as you walk up to him, and then shrink him with the old fashioned toy-raygun you used to use. He looks on as you get close to him, leaning on you for support as he grunts, holding at several of his injuries from the duel. He chuckles, "Some things you simply never out-grow. Like saying stupid things to a pretty girl. So don't go making fun of my old age just YET, Honey." He laughs, shaking his head as he leans into you, relaxing and letting his head droops over your shoulder as you both sit down.
As you bring up that he doesn't have to kick it, Wing smirks. "Of course I cannot kick it. I imagine I still have a lot to answer for what I did while I was a Cardinal." He turns to you, "You think if we convinced them duels like these were a 'punishment', they'd let us keep doing it? Because, I will be honest: I do not think I could keep them convinced I don't like it."
The Epoch touches down upon the pure white surface of the dusty moon… though it's actually more of a pale orange, the light of the enclosing sun tinting the color. Bone assists with the Epoch making a successful landing as it rights itself upwards, when you all hear Plasm speaking from the front as the door unseals itself.
"Uh… actually, I don't think you'll need the suits after all."
Bossa looks on in shock, "Did you just open the fuckin' door?!"
"It's… breathable out here. There's air."
Plasm steps outside onto the singed dust of the lunar surface, helmetless, looking around at the vast, mountainous expanse as he breathes normally. Bossa and Po-Yala soon follow, the latter jumping out into the dust and rubbing around in it, gathering a thick white coating to her fur as she spins around like a chinchilla in the lunar dust. Bossa looks stupefied and turns to look at Bone. "What the fuck… why is there air up here?"
"Huh…" Bone says, stepping out himself and looking around in surprise, scratching his head with his staff-stick as he takes a few breathes. "She was actually right, I guess you CAN breath outside of the atmosphere… I owe the Old Mare SO much money now." He shakes his head, looking around the expanse as Southern (who still has the option to suit up, though it is not as necessary as it seemed) lays down various traps around them. "W-well, my clear misunderstanding of how space works aside, let's get to the Base. If I remember our old plans correctly, it should just be a short while this way." He says, moving on towards a particular hill as Po-Yala bounces along the way. Eventually, you start to make out the distant picture of a tall, metal dome dotting the otherwise barren landscape.
"Oh, no," Steel shakes his head. "Well within Starswirl's School, I'm certain it had mages capable of this. I was pointing out *my* shortcomings, not theirs. I have a strong grasp of the basics of magic and a few personal spells… at least when I have a horn… but I was a fighter first and foremost. Things like rituals and more complicated concepts I simply couldn't grasp. I can't say if your sister herself is more skilled or knowledgeable than I am now, but what she is trying, this spell? It certainly isn't something I could attempt on my own."
As Beryl starts to show signs of struggling, the sparks around her horn intensify, eventually building up in concussive force as the light flashes before her eyes and sends her falling backwards, prompting her to let out a shout. "AGGH!"
"Beryl!" Twonyxia reflexively shouts as well, leaning down to help her sister up as the younger one looks dazed, looking around with her eyes spinning and trying to shake off the dizziness. "What was that, are you alright?!"
"Ooof… I-I will be when the Earth's right side up again… I think some of the magic I was channeling through my circle was fedback into my horn, it was too much. I just need to get my head on straight and focus harder on keeping it-"
"Or maybe… maybe this isn't such a good idea after all…" Twonyxia mumbles, reaching up to rub at her sister's horn. "It's hot to the touch, you could have gotten hurt."
"I'm fine, it could have been way worse!"
"That does NOT make me feel better!"
Southern puts on the orange space suit anyway, and starts crouch-jumping to build up speed across the moon's surface, making traps as she goes.
"Wow, magic sounds a lot more complicated than I though, even before all this ritual stuff."
Onyxia comments on Steel's explaination.
Onyxia quickly rushes to her sister's side as she gets blasted back. She takes out the goo blob from her bags, and puts it against Beryl's horn, letting the restorative glop tend to her as she squeezes some out.>Regeneration: Instant Automatic, Recharge 3; Restore a Wound in any environment
"Are you sure you're alright? That sounded pretty painful…" She comments as they both check over Beryl. "Next time, I'm standing behind you. I'm a little more cushioned than the concrete if you get flung back."
Plasm puts on a suit as well, but Po-Yala goes in just her normal affair as does Bossa, looking around shocked as she steps out onto a perfectly breathable moon's surface. Po-Yala slides down a hill as you approach the metal-dome in the distance, rolling around and adding a thick, dusty white later of pure white moon-dirt to her coat as she shakes it loose like a chinchilla. "Oooooh… Earth no feel so good up above, but Moon feel so lively! It not like any dirt Po-Yala felt or tasted in past, me have to bring lots back home!"
Plasm jumps around alongside you along the distance to the moon base, the 1/6th gravity providing AMPLE jumping distance as you and him leap-frog ahead of the others on the way to the base. With little gravity comes little air-resistance as well, and your acceleration soon closes the gap quickly to the front of the dome. It is similar to G-777 in appearance, and as you approach, you see it boasts similar defenses, with cannons coming out from panels made into the hull of the dome as they fire in great number against you. However, your traps spring to life as they automatically defend you from the criss-crossing beams of heat-death, the wires deflecting or stopping every one as they circle you and Plasm (with the others coming in behind due to your jumping). Plasm sighs, "Well, it looks like they don't want guests. This must be the place. I could phase in and see if I can disable the defenses or, do you want to do this your way?">>753219
Steel nods in agreement as you comment on the complexities of magic. "It is. I respect anyone who can come out of that school with the highest marks, I learned much but it's truly only a fraction of what a well-learned mage is truly capable of. I have no regrets, the blade was always meant to be my path, but still, I envy their capabilities."
As you take out the glop from within your bags and apply it to her burnt horn (still hot to the touch), to which she initially reacts with disgust. "A-ach! Ew, what is that?! It's so squishy and guh, why do you keep that in your…" she pauses, relaxing and sighing as its healing effects take place almost immediately as they remove the pain from her horn. "Oooh… okay, I get it now. That's good stuff, thanks." She says before rising back up to her hooves, feeling her horn as she shakes her head free of any lingering agony and gives a few practice sparks of her horn. "Okay, okay… i think it's still working. I can try it again."
"Are you sure you should….?" Twonyxia asks, looking deeply concerned.
"Absolutely, no pony perfected any spell without messing at least once, and they didn't quit when it didn't work the first time either. Just gimme another chance, I'm pretty sure I know how to avoid getting excess feedback this time." She steps up to the circle she had drawn, the lines still thankfully in place after a quick check, and she looks behind you as you offer to catch her if she flies back. "Yeah, you would be a bit better than going through a wall, though if it really propels me THAT fast, I hope I don't go through you either."
She takes a deep breath, Twonxyia casting a worried look in your direction as she begins to charge her spell again. "Okay, take two…"
[1d10+1]Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Southern simply eviscerates the base's outer walls as more traps spring up to replace the used ones.
"Round up the harem and keep them safe and sound. We'll be adding any cute girls we find in here," Southern says. "And find me something to eat if you have the time."
She continues to speedrun her way through the base, bundling up her wires to serve as springs as she leaps through, carving away vast swathes of the building with every step.
"I know it's weird, but it works wonders. It's regenerative goo I salvaged from when I fought Chitus back in the day," Onyxia explains as Beryl protests in disgust. She packs it away after.
"She has a point. Took a few tries to get those old designs right in the forge you know," Onyxia chimes to her twin, stepping around behind Beryl as she prepares for the next attempt. "I've been through worse, don't worry." She says, sitting with her forehooves out ready to catch Beryl like an umpire as the next attempt begins.>Cushioning [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
The wires cast out, and start slicing up the laser cannons as well as the doors to the facility into pieces as Plasm charges in with you, though your string-slinging puts you far out ahead of him into the facility as you cast out your orders. "…I'll round up the *team*, of course, and we'll keep a look out for any personnel wandering around, boss!"
You build up speed and clip through several doors in the facility as you slice and dice through metal and laser, a few Eonts being removed with great efficiency as you search the facility for anything of value while the rest of the team enter behind you to start their own search. As you cut through one room, you feel your strings meet with some unusual resistance: a green, glowing web that adheres to them, being stuck to them as soon as they're sliced through. Stopping for a moment, you see that this chamber (which appears to be a monitoring station, filled with viewing screens showing the outside of the moon and other parts of the facility) is lined with multiple lengths of green, glowing web, a spider's nest of sorts that bobs and weaves with the vibrations going throughout the facility. You hear a light singing coming from somewhere, but the direction cannot be discerned clearly.>>753223
"Yeah, I was really grossed out at first when you just started putting it on there but, I won't lie, it works like a charm. Felt the sting go away like, immediately. I'll take some if you've got enough to spare, might make an interesting component for another spell I've been working on."
Twonyxia sighs, still looking unsure but nodding at your point. "Yeah… yeah, you're right, you can't ever give up after only one try. But at least when I messed up in the forge we had a master to look out for us, Beryl's kind of on her own here." She cringes, "Uh, no offense Steel."
"None taken. I know I'm only a neophyte as far as real magi go but I know enough about the basics to keep an eye out, Beryl isn't doing anything I think is out of her league."
She takes a moment to collect herself as she prepares her spell another time as the wind gathers around the circle, tossing about the mane and clothes of those surrounding it as her green magic starts to cast out into the vague outline of a pony. It builds in intensity of its glow, the outline becoming more distinct but Beryl herself seems barely able to hold on to it. "Grrggh… gaghh… OW, my head, it's… it's there but i-it won't come all the way through, it's…. all I can do to think and… keep it-"
[1d10+1] to hang on to the spellRoll #1 10 + 1 = 11
She sequence-breaks through the facility, slicing it up faster than it can load in so that she hits the "recruit into harem" trigger before a battle can begin.
"It really is like a miracle cure. Steel and I had Chitus nearly broken, but with this stuff he looked better than when the fight started. It refreshes over time too, so you can have as much as you want from it."
Onyxia looks to her twin, feeling her concern.
"I know, but she has all three of us here. She's as safe here as she would be with any master."
"We're here for you Beryl. Just focus, we can take care of anything else that happens."
Onyxia says lightly to help ease Beryl's stress, trying to not be loud enough to distract as she steps a little closer as the wind intensifies, just to be safe.
Your wires cut through the collection of web traps set up all around you, the strings start to stick together as they mix and mingle with the web, slowing down your speed-run through the facility as sliced wall bits suddenly start to stick together in a messy, goey webbed up mess of debris and electronics as the dome is carved open looking for anything of interest.
In the process, you see a tall, lithe pink mare (a unicorn) in a black jumpsuit being stuck to the rubble by the webs and strings mingling together, and as you dash from the observation room to the next you can hear her crying out (and the song has stopped, coincidentally enough)
"W-WAIT! Please, stop, I give, I give! T-this organization isn't worth dying for I've decided, so can you please slow down!?" She cries from her position stuck to the sliced off debris (the webs kept off of you by a constant layer of traps, but you find they stick multiple traps together and start to burn through them more quickly).>>753239
Twonyxia takes a deep breath, sighing as she nods in agreement. "Right… okay, I'll be on stand-by too. In case she shoots off to the side instead," she says with a small smirk. "I'm probably not as good a cushion but better than a statue."
As Beryl re-doubles her efforts in maintaining the ghostly visage, her tear-stained eyes open wide to look on at you as you cheer her on and offer her support. As you do so, the strain in her look begins to wane, replaced by one of determination as she reaches up a hoof to wipe her eyes while she keeps her brightly glowing curved horn focused on the spell. "R-right, I know! Just… give… me… a… second!"
She says as she closes her eyes, and releases a breath, no longer forcing herself to try as hard as she allows the magicks to flow freely instead of trying too hard to control and confine it, the white, spectral outline of a pony growing clearer and clearer until it takes on an opaque, vague and translucent form of a pony floating in the middle of hte cemenary, materials burning up into nothing around the circle.
"O-okay, I think I got her, but I need you to call out to her, she needs help finding the rest of the way to this side. Maybe she'll recognize your voice!"
She scoops up the mare. "Sure, I'll just have some paperwork for you to sign later. Let's go."
With the mare in her inventory and a good lead on her PB, she speedruns off to the next segment.
Onyxia watches on with growing concern and worry, seeing tears form under Beryl's eyes. She tries not to show it to not distract her, believing in her sister as she grows more determined in the spell. She watches as the shape grows more solid, nodding as Beryl asks her to call out.
Onyxia stands up, looking up to the figure.
"Sterling? It's me, Onyxia! It's… been a while, in a way. F-Follow my voice, I can tell you more when you get here!"
She says, shouting out to the figure.
You pull the mare free from the debris using your strings, tugging her off from the sticky web that connected her to it as you continue your speed-run through the facility, slicing through doors, walls, and defenses as you find yourself about half-way through the facility. At this point, you've destroyed much in the way of supplies and infrastructure parts, but the real juicy bits of what a moon-facility like this would hold, such as the means to reset time itself that Bone warned of, is eluding you on this floor.
The radio cackles through, and you hear Bossa speak up, "Hey, Southern! We're making our way through the other side of where you went through, slower progress though. The non deities are REALLY holding me back, you know how it goes, right?"
"We found someone here who ISN'T an Eonspawn or a robot, male griffon. He surrendered but what's the call, take him along or see if I can throw him past escape velocity?">>753252
As you call out to the spectre, the white outline starts to grow a few more distinct features: wings slowly fade in from nothingness along its back, along with the outlines of armor along its hooves and body. It looks in your direction, features slowly adding themselves onto its face as it starts to open its mouth, Twonyxia looking somewhere scared of the white aberration as it stares towards you.
It calls out in a haunting, echoing sound that reverberates through the graveyard, the figure slowly drifting towards you as Beryl shouts,
"Yeah, Yeah I think that's doing it! More, she's stabilizing!"
"Is that even a pony?!" Twonyxia cries out, looking at you. "O-Onyxia, what if… what if it's dangerous?"
Onyxia watches in awe as the form starts to grow more distinct, shaping out into a pegasus.
"Yes, Onyxia! And Steel's here too! Remember him, the Black Knight? Steel, call out to her too!" She says to Steel, hoping two voices help get her attention more. "Find your way back here, please!" Onyxia pleads.
"She's not dangerous!" She says to Twonyxia defensively. "She's one of the most noble knights Equestria's had! She would never turn on a friend!"
As you call out to the white form, it continues to take more clear and defined shapes with the wings gaining distinct feathers, the mouth gaining teeth and her long, familiar blond mane (though it lacks color here) growing out as the figure floats closer and closer. Steel nods, reaching forward, "Sir Sterling. It has been too long… I have missed your company and skill, much has happened."
Twonyxia looks at you as you defend the spectre growing closer and more distinct, but a worried look remains in her eye even as it gains a more familiar form. "B-but what if it's not really Sterling? Or, what if this is doing something to her? Sh-she's scaring me, Onyxia…"
"T-trust me…" Beryl says, wincing as she struggles to keep the spell going and the winds slowly pick up again. "I… KNOW what I'm doing. It'll be okay you… f-fraidy cat…" she grunts as she continues to focus, and soon the ghostly visage of Sterling (now nearly recognizable, with all of her former features and armor completely in place only lacking in color).
"Onyxia… Onyxia…" she says in a loan, monotone voice that again might send chills down a pony's spine were it coming from anyone else. She reaches a hoof towards your neck, and Twonyxia tenses up.>>753261
"Woo, the fun choice then! Hear that, birdie? Time to see if you can fly-"
You hear a clatter over the radio from your wrist-computer as Plasm seems to object, raising an argument with Bossa while you hear some other noises going on in the background. Speeding your way through the facility, the mare in your arms seems terrified out of her wits as she puts her pink hooves flying in front of your face,
"H-h-hey, look, c-can we stop for a second?! I feel like I'm about to have a heart attack here ma'am, I-I just work here! If you put me down and just tell me what you're looking for, I can help you find it, I did not feel like dying today ma'am!"
As Sterling comes into nearly full form, Onyxia's eyes start to water, seeing the friend she thought was lost. She takes a step closer to Sterling, a few tears running down as she hears her voice again.
"Sterling… It…I-It's really you…"
She mutters, her voice choked up in emotions. She doesn't tense or flinch as the ghostly hoof reaches out towards her, her own thoughts and focus set solely on Sterling as if she was casting the spell herself.
Twonyxia looks ready to move forward and pull you away from the ghost as its hoof reaches out towards you… and immediately wraps around your neck, pulling you towards the ghost in a deep embrace as the corporeal form suddenly gains mass and strength of its own. The fur you're pulled into feels neither cold nor warm, merely 'there', but the strength with which the hooves hold you tight against her chest is quite familiar, as are the wings that wrap around you in turn. Beryl lets out a sigh, falling over onto her side with a groan as you see the white glow of the ghost start to shift in color, becoming a familiar bright shade of red (though it remains see-through, as does her blonde mane and armor). The lingering ambient glow of the white aura stick around the sides like a permanent outline that remains the same seen from any direction, and the echoing, booming voice has risen considerably…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUclDZHax0w
"ONYXIA! Thou art safe! Oh thanks be to the Princess of Sun, 'tis a blessing to see you again, mine friend!" The hooves grip you tighter, nearly cutting off your oxygen against your larger frame as Sterlings familiar might pulls you into a tight and consoling wing-hug. "I hath missed you dearly, truly… tis good to see thee!" she says through a barely chocked back sob, but it's quickly replaced by a light, mirthful chuckle for which she was notable for.
Twonyxia lets out a massive sigh, before moving to check on Beryl who is slowly, steadily, standing up again. She looks at the see-through pegasus knight embracing you, and though her hair is frazzled and her eyes slightly red, Beryl offers a smug grin. "See? I tolda ya, I… knew… good… blugh…" she says, laying down. "Need just a min.">PAUSED
>>753217>>753263>>753261>redoing that first line about griffon tossing
"No," she says to Bossa's request. "Leave him. He'll be of good use to us if he cooperates."
She then skids to a halt, and flicks out a business card to the mare. "I'm looking for employees. We offer competitive pay, full dental and health insurance, with plenty of room for promotion."
You immediately board the light-rail without a second's notice to Claw, and pass into 'Level 5'… which appears put you into a wintery, icy tundra. The snow whirls ahead and winds blow as Silky suddenly finds her princess dress awfully drafty, holding herself tightly for warmth (as you seem to do fine) while she looks around in astonishment. "I-i-ice level…?"
The snow goes out and around a large basin like area, with a large, formidable mage's tower in the center. Pulling your strings towards it, you find they can wrap around the tower and swing but do not slice it. You can look inside the tower, and see a staff floating in its top room, seemingly like an item to pick up: it is similar in appearance to Claw's, but darker and does not coil/bend like a snake does. Silky looks at it, holding her hooves together for warmth. "I-I don't know why the lower levels of this place are like this, but let's hurry up and make it through this one b-before we freeze to death…"
While model-swap glitching them into some warm wool trousers and coats (which obscure all but their snouts), she flings herself at such a speed that her model gets partly wedged into the outside of the tower, near where the staff floats, and drops a bunch of traps where the boss will spawn. Then, once all is set up, she spends a few seconds angling her field of view toward the staff (through the wall) and mashes the 'E' key while jumping to simultaneously trigger the boss appearance and the boss fight end flags so that she can fight while using the staff which she isn't supposed to have at that point.
Silky and your mirror-copy (who continues to do your actions as you perform them, though less effectively as she merely hops her way into a freezing ice lake surrounding the tower) are thoroughly bundled up, the pink unicorn trying her best to keep up with you as you manage to abuse the simulation to the fullest, but gets stuck as she tries to get through the doors. "Darn it… why is it working for you but not me?!"
As you move to the top of the tower and get within sight of the staff, you feel a great rumbling coming from inside the tower room, ice and snow pooling around the staff itself as the proverbed boss appears: it is a giant snowpony, as wholesome as it can appear though standing 15 feet tall. It stomps its way towards the staff you manage to snag through the walls, but your traps begin cutting it into pieces immediately upon entry. As it happens, the snow-pony starts to reform, the slices along its icy body re-connecting as it continues to march its way towards you and casting a chill along your cloth. Silky, from outside, shouts loudly: "What's going on up there, I hear something going on?"
As you grip the level's staff, you also see several lines of code forming along it like an aura.>Roll instant perception as you also take your action
She snags everyone, including the snowpony, and, with the momentum built up from jumping into a solid object, crouches so that she dislodges from the tower, bounces off the tower's collision, hits a sloped mountainside, and rides the momentum into the next loadzone.
The wires, rather than cutting into the giant snow-pony, wrap around it instead to grapple it, taking you, the staff, your clone and Silky (who looks at the wires grabbing onto her with a 'not again' look to her) as you use the momentum to burst free from the tower, pulling everyone towards a corner of the basin with a downhill slope. Falling into it, silky and your copy are under-arm as you manage to land on a conveniently wooden board that you begin to go down the slope upon, repeating scenery to your left and right as obstacles mingle your path ahead. The stolen staff from the tower continues to glow with a series of numbers passing up its length as the snowpony touches down on the slope behind you, rolling up into a giant, rolling ball with the snowpony at its core.
It chases you down the slope, with a 'finish' line placed at the very bottom, as the snow-ball starts to pick up speed (and mass) rolling down the hill towards it, getting ahead of you briefly even with the build up launch speed from the tower. A platform resembling a winner's podium can be seen just past the finish line, likely the exit for the next loading area.
Silky shouts as she quickly makes the connection, "I'll try to slow it down!" She cries out, her horn glowing pink as it shoots out globs of the sticky, glowing web that had tried to stall you earlier.
"When you put it like that, it does sound like a classic romance story," Onyxia comments in lighter tone. "Did you… have anypony you had feelings before back in your time?"
Onyxia frowns as Sterling talks of the eeriness of feeling nothing at all, moreso as Beryl explains what she's made of now.
"Astral matter… Putting it that way makes it sound like she's a star or a sun," She comments in thought.
Onyxia pauses as Sterling recounts the odd situation of moving from death to resurrection.
"Do… you remember anything about, you know… being dead?"
She asks slowly, unsure of how to ask about this kind of topic.Roll #1 1 = 1
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
As you ask her, Sterling blushes , smiling widely as she sits down, opening up both her wings to cover her face with each (which, due to being transparent, still leave her visible). "Well… perhaps, and perhaps not. Doth thou not think tis a bit improper for a lady to speak of such things so brazenly?"
"I mean," Beryl coughs, "If you were going to take it to your grave, you… kinda already did."
"BERYL!" Twonyxia shouts, shaking her head, "I am so sorry…"
"No, no…" Sterling says as she opens her wings, a serious look on her face. "She has a point. Hmmm." she pauses, "I shalt tell you… if thou can guess who I may be thinking of."
As you ask her if she remembers, Sterling puts her hooves on her head, "I… I don't. I know I've been somewhere that, isn't here, that I came from but…" she shakes her head, "Huh… it is odd, tis as though it on the tip of my tongue but it won't make the leap out of my muzzle. How very bizarre." She flattens her ears, "The last thing I remember vividly is… well, my demise but I'd rather spend less time dwelling upon it, as heroic and valiant as it was. Perhaps I'll spin it into a tale later but for now, I'm trying to focus on what comes after."
Twonyxia looks at Beryl, "Is this normal?"
Beryl looks through her book, "I think I read a chapter on this…"
She hits the invisible ramp just in front of the miscolored tree to take her to the secret exit rather than the standard one.
"I didn't meet too
many ponies back in that time… But, was it Pound?"
Onyxia glances down as Beryl starts to flip through her book on this subject. She looks back to Sterling with a smile.
"Focusing on what comes next, that's a better outlook to have on this," She says to lighten the mood back, "And it is a good idea too. With all the thought about getting to see you again, I… never thought about what comes after bringing you back."
Silky's web do nothing to slow down the massive ball of snow racing you down the slope, merely getting absorbed into its increasing mass as Silky seems to shrink down into her extremely heavy set of clothes out of shame. However, as you take notice of a oddly out of place ramp, you shoot off of it towards a section of the canyon walls dwarfing the slope on either side… and pass right through it, a secret course hidden from sight! Wires attached to the growing snowball containing the snow-pony drag it behind you up the slope and into the passage, the snow-ball crashing into tiny bits as it tries to follow you through the narrow opening.
The slide moves immediately into a dark, open void, light pin-pointing in the distance as you are once again immediately thrust into a light-rail similar to the ones transporting you between levels, and seemingly 'warp' out of here, snow-ball in tow, towards another area…
You crash out into a vast, open wasteland of destruction and a giant looming moon overhead, a destroyed city around you with a 'Level 8' printed on a wall. Everyone tumbling as your momentum finally starts to give out with a sudden crash. The giant snowpony lingers behind you, dragging and melting as the temperature raises significantly. You notice the snow-pony is now much smaller than it was before, and cut into an odd, blocky shape oddly resembling that of a normal proportioned pony, only with a less refined form. Potentially carve-able… >>755152
As the stolen staff from the previous level glows with numbers, you notice out of the corner of your eye similar numbers glowing off of another source… Claw's staff, the real one taken from the real world, has similar glowing numbers moving along itself.>>755161
The ghostly apparition of Sterling chuckles, her wings covering her muzzle, "Pound?! Oh, no no no… Sir Pound twas a gentlecolt to be certain but, a tad too brotherly for me. Plus I find myself more of a cat pony. Thou hast used one guess so far, I shalt alloweth two more."
Beryl nods as she reaches a section, "Ah, here it is… to put it in really basic terms, old sorcerers were able to call forth spirits beyond the grave, but upon doing so, when questioned about the afterlife, ANYTHING about the afterlife, the spirits they brought back were either incapable… or unwilling… of divulging information about it. It varied from pony to pony: some claimed to just not remember anything like Sterling did, others would imply they did but refused to say anything…"
Sterling nods, "Well, I certainly am not keeping anything from you, I assureth you! Truly, I can't recall anything since, well… when I was alive." She turns to look at Onyxia as they focus on the lighter things, Sterling smile as she reaches down to wrap her in another hug, "Well spoken, mine friend! I hath been returned thanks to thy dedication and thy sisters' extraordinary talents for the… dark… arts…" Sterling's eyes open wide, putting her hoof on her chin. "Oh dear… um… question: is necromancy still forbidden in this era?"
"Well, if it's not Pound, was it Code?"
"I wonder if that's part of the spells they used," Onyxia comments as the Beryl explains the secrecy. She looks up as Sterling wraps her in another merry hug as they focus on the better side of things. "She did get this book normally, so I don't think anything is forbidden. Right, Beryl?"
Sterling looks ready to laugh in your face, but only becomes deflated and her wings droop as you mention code. "….well, sod," she says, shaking her head, "I guess the list of potential stallions WAS quite limited, wasn't it?" She sighs, chuckling to herself. "I *did* have quite the soft spot for Code… he somehow made having a giant stick up one's hindquarters quite charming, and he was ever so fun to tease! I don't know if he ever felt the same way," she sighs, "Somehow I doubt it, but still, I would not have minded if he tried to sweep me off my wings. There is one other I had quite the pining for but, sadly, he was already spoken for…"
As you comment on getting the book normally, Beryl nods, "W-well yeah, of course it's totally legal to sell the book, so, OBVIOUSLY, the spells themselves can't be that illegal…"
Twonyxia sighs, "Woo… thank goodness, I almost thought for a second-"
"Buuuuuuuuuuuuut…" Beryl draws out the word, "Um… well, lots of things you're not supposed to do are explained in books. I haven't really read up on the laws in Canterlot, I think it may change from city to city, but generally, I guess necromancy is kind of a faus pax…"
Twonyxia's eyes open wide, "So, wait… are you saying we're breaking the law?"
Beryl smirks, moving her two hooves up really close to each other. "Maybe just a liiiiittle? E-even if it is, it's not like I came out here raising a zombie army, I called ONE spirit!"
Sterling nods, looking down at herself, "And for that, I am QUITE grateful! But, it doth muddle things a little bit… am I still under oath to uphold Celestia's laws now that my time has passed?"
"The only guess I'd have left after that would've been Temper, unless you fell for Boo or Screech in that short time," Onyxia jokes as her correct guess takes the wind out of Sterling's sails. "Another? Who was it, if I may ask?"
Onyxia frowns as Beryl brings up the blurry line of legality they may have breached. "Lapizulas didn't look like the type to write about forbidden or illegal spells, especially if he's holding public signings with them."
She turns to Sterling as she brings up her question.
"I'm not even sure what the specific law on this would be now. But you wouldn't really arrest a filly, would you Sterling?"
"Temper?!" Sterling shouts, ears flopping down. "N-no! My, he's old enough to be my grandfather!" She chuckles, "And, Boo and Screech were quite endearing as well but, but they were… a tad knavish for me."
As you ask her who the other one was, she sighs, "Only if you swear never to repeat it to him…" she looks around, as though to make sure no one can hear, and she whispers, "'Twas Luke was the last one. He truly had the heart of a knight, if certainly not the behavior, and I got to know him rather well when I came to his era… but, deep down I knew his heart lied with another." She sighs. "With a blade I am unmatched, but sadly luck has never been on my side when it came to stallions."
As they talk about the possible breach in conduct, Beryl growls, "FILLY!? Excuse you, *I* am 16 years old!" She says, putting on a rather adorable pout.
Sterling laughs out loud at this, her wings covering her chest as she heaves, "Hohohohohoh… oh… oh, even if I were't alive, I doubt I could bring myself to act against such a spirited young miss, Onyxia, least of all one who doth have familial relations to my friend. Every so often, a knight must be wise enough to know where not every rule is written in stone… something Code always seemed to have trouble with."
Twonyxia sighs, "Well, that's nice of you Sterling, but personally I'm a bit more worried about the-"
"Guard." Steel interrupts, moving from his scout position to the group. "The patrol pony is coming back around, we should move."
"Really?" Onyxia asks in disbelief as Sterling admits her other fancy. "I didn't get to know him that well, but if you say so…" She trails off, finding it hard to see what Sterling saw.
Onyxia can't help but let out a sicker as Beryl pouts, undoing any degree of maturity she tried to put on, even despite the ritual just performed.
"You're my little sister, so yes, you're a filly," Onyxia counters with the doting tone of an older sibling.
When the moment is interrupted by the patrol working it's way back around Onyxia turns to Steel.
"Pull us back into the Shadowscape. We can get out of the graveyard now and not have to worry about sneaking around in the streets."
Sterling nods in affirmation, "Tis just as I said. He hath a good heart, even if he doth not realize it…"
As you snicker at Beryl, she growls under her breath. "I did not bend the nature of reality to my whim and pierced the veil to be called a 'filly', thank you very much…"
Twonyxia gets on on the teasing, patting her on her head, "Whatever you say, 'filly'."
"You know, there are so many WORSE spells in this book I could try out on you two!"
Sterling scratches her head, "My word, how DID this rather disturbing literature get published?"
As you command Steel to pull everyone into the Shadowscape, Beryl quickly gathers up her supplies, erasing the magic circle she used from the pavement as best she could before his cape sweeps over the group, pulling them into the darkened realm as you hear the hoof-steps of the patrol pony approaching. Sterling looks around, "Ooooh… I almost forgot what this was like!"
"Let's start moving back to the train-station," Twonyxia recommends, "We don't have to go back home straight away but we should at least move in that direction."
Onyxia scoffs. "Aww, you wouldn't do that to your favorite older sister now, would you?" Onyxia says, giving Beryl a quick hug to tease a little more.
She nods to her twin as they reenter the cape.
"Right, I did promise Beryl we could take in the sights a bit. And it'd probably be a sight to see Canterlot even more in the future for Sterling."
As you hug her, she does not hug you back, but makes no attempt to break out of it either. "Well, that depends, I haven't decided which one is my favorite older sister yet. I might turn the other one into a newt for fun."
Sterling chuckles heartily, "Ooh, siblings art so much fun! Can'st though truly do that?"
"Well I think I'm about to find out…"
As you agree with Twonyxia's plan, your group swiftly moves through the graveyard, Sterling lazily flapping her wings but mostly relying on her own natural weightlessness to keep moving. Navigating out of the graveyard and to a safe distance, Steel dispels the cloak in an empty street as Sterling looks around a sleepy Canterlot, looking towards the royal, regal towers set into the side of the mountain. "Ah… it doesn't appear to have changed TOO much, thankfully. The grand towers of Her Majesty's palace are always a most welcome sight."
"If we have the time, I wanted to take a look at the marketplace. I hear there's no better place in Equestria to get magical components than Canterlot."
"Wouldn't most shops be closed by now?" Twonyxia asks.
Beryl grins, "Not the 'unconventional' ones."
"Just don't forget who brought you to Canterlot," Onyxia says, giving her one last squeeze before letting go. "Though a threat like that isn't really that much to a changeling." She retorts.
"It really is a sight to behold. And we're the only ones aside from Princess Celestia to see it from start to finish." Onyxia adds before turning to Beryl. "We can stop by some shops, if by unconventional you mean they're no worse than sneaking into a graveyard."
"I guess I'll keep that in mind…" Beryl says. "And, we're HALF changeling, we can't exactly turn into other ponies on a whim like Dad can."
Twonyxia raises a hoof, "Hey, I could have stopped you from going, but I decided to come along instead! Plus, I have seniority."
"I'll keep letting you two compete to not be toaded before we get back on the train… though, I guess that'd make it hard to explain tomorrow morning when we get back."
As you ask what she means by unconventional, she nods. "Oh, yeah, nothing legally questionable this time… unless what they're selling is. I just mean, they're gritty, you know… 'seedier'. Not afraid to tread on the side of cantrips less ambitious mages would be."
Sterling crosses her hooves, "Hmm, I begin to grow a bit concerned. I feel suspiciously like I hath been summoned into the tale of a evil sorceress origin story."
Twonyxia shakes her head, "You aren't taking ANYTHING on the train we can't get through the station, Beryl. You know how tight security is everywhere these days, if we get caught carrying something bad, we are dead when they call Dad."
"Oh I was just exaggerating!" Beryl says, smirking. "Mooostly. I'm just saying, the shops I had in mind open this late probably sell some unique stuff."
She bonks the snowpony with the staff to turn her into a yuki-ponny (yuki-onna).
Then she puts in the secret code with the staves to keep going through the level.
Bonking the snow-pony into a elegant, regal looking sculpture of a wintery pony spirit, the Yuki-Ponny looks down with surprise, inspecting it's new form with intrigue. The Mirror Southern you picked up from the previous level similarly bonks Silky on the head, causing her to yelp out in pain. "Ow! Careful with that…"
The Yuki-Ponny continues to melt slightly under the intensified heat, leaving a small trail of water behind it as it follows you closely behind like a shadow, eying you with curiosity as well.
You look down at the staff as the numbers continue to grow and multiply over it, and occasionally you see an after-image of it appear next to it that quickly vanishes. Moving through the level, you begin to hear ominous heavy-metal playing as mutant enemies start coming from behind the ruined buildings, played up in their grotesque as they stumble towards you (although falling into wire traps you've set up along the way). Various guns/lasers are spread throughout the Level, and as you move on towards a large door leading to a Dome that looks like the exit, your radio begins to flare to life
>"….outhern… Bossa…. read me…?"
Static shoots in and out as he continues>"…computer….copying…"
Your strings form a protective barrier over Yuki that seems to protect her from the heat. Looking at her new found stability, the Yuki-Ponny forms a smile, moving to hug your arm as you try to walk around, the clingy snow-pony making it more difficult to move.
As you respond to the radio, it becomes more clear as you progress to the main dome door you saw at the start of the level, the mutant enemies and the rock music fading into the background as there's a response>"Finally, got through! Plasm knows how to fix this shit after-all, that's great. It's Bossa chief, we're still up on the top floor with those uh, 'new recruits' we mentioned. Haven't found anything else but Eonts and drones, seems this dome was run by a skeleton crew.">"We were looking into what we could from a control room we found: this Moon Dome has way more levels than G-777 did, but it's weird… it looks like most of them are virtual. Like, digital floors you have to go into the computer itself to access? I don't know it sounded like some really sci-fi nerd stuff to me, but Plasm and Bone seem convinced that's what it is.">"You're in there, right? We also found out some weird stuff was going on with Claw's staff, the digital floors are reacting to it somehow."
"Yup. We've gotten through most of them. Let's meet up. If we get our staves together it will probably be enough to get to the heart of the base."
>>755768>"Bone and Po-Yala already went down through another access point, I don't know how long it took you to reach where you are now but they should hopefully catch up soon. Plasm and I decided to stay up here to watch the new hirees and form a rear-guard, but I'm coming down if anything goes wrong in there.">"Anyways, the staves is sort of what I wanted to bring up. Plasm said from what he's reading, what the floors are doing to the staves appear to be scanning them, saving information from them to do… something with, I'm not really sure, but it looks like it's drawing data from it. Copy and pasting it, if that turn of phrase means anything to you.">"There appears to be an AI in the system as well that's keeping us locked out of most other functions, and I'm guessing it's fucking around in there too. You seen it yet?"
As you speak to Bossa, the massive door to the dome in the level opens up, revealing a two-story tall, demonesque minotaur mutant with a massive rocket-launcher built into its arm, roaring menacingly as it glitches out through the simulation. Silky is summarily spooked while Yuki / Mirror Point stand their ground, rockets fired from the demon-boss blasting off of your protective barriers. Behind it, you can see the exit, though it seems you can walk on past the large open boss-chamber would seem to suggest whoever made it wanted you to kill the boss first.
She slices up the boss and is on her way
>Previous Onyxia post
"I was more thinking of Chitus, but neither of them are good."
"I could make you a new set if you'd like, Sterling," Onyxia says as they go to take the long way around.
When they find the shop isn't on the other side, Onyxia almost feels bad at denying a stop to Beryl, until they see one shop that is indeed open still.
"There, see. We found a nice shop open that's not in a shady spot. And if they're open this late I'm sure they'll have something good for you," She says to Beryl, trying to lift her mood as they enter the store.
Sterling gasps, "Oh, could you?! Oh thank Celestia in her golden sun, I wouldeth be ever so grateful to be requiped, Onyxia. I feel rather exposed without a sword and shield at my side."
As you try to lift up Beryl's spirits, she rolls her eyes, but offers a small jovial smile. "They better~!" She says as she runs towards the store, going into it as a bell jingles with the opening of the door you're met with a few questionable aromas of various dusty and musty artifacts and ingredients, light string-music playing from within as the group enters the shop. It appears to be of an oriental design from far across the western seas of Equestria, a unicorn with a curved horn and a long grayed mustache situated behind the desk as he looks on at the late-night entrants. "Ah… good evening, welcome, welcome. Welcome to Tio's Shop of Exquisite Boons. I am Tio, please, take a look around. Not often I get customers at these dark hours…"
Steel nods as he enters, "Thank you for being open."
"Well, when you're the only one open at 3 am, you tend to have a monopoly on a rare and lucrative market, eh?" The unicorn says in response.
"Absolutely. When we get back home we can go to the forge and make you something worthy of a knight like you."
Onyxia follows behind Beryl, smiling as she sees her sister run into the store like a filly on Hearth's Warming morning. She looks around as they enter, having not seen a store like this, well, ever.
"Good evening, Tio," Onyxia says as the shopkeep greats them, leaving Beryl to find what she needs while she looks over some of the wares herself out of curiosity.
"Exquisite boons? So what kind of things do you sell?"
Sterling gives a little barely contained squee, clapping her transparent hooves together in excitement. "Thou art still the best, Onyxia."
Beryl is quickly enraptured in a great deal of components lined up along many messy shelves within the shop, prices hastily drawn along jars and concoctions and artifacts lined up one after the other as she starts to pick through them, opening one of her books for reference and picking up other ingredients and inspecting them with a critical eye, looking back and forth and mumbling to herself. Meanwhile, Tio smiles widely at you.
"Oh my child, what DON'T I sell? Why, within these walls, I sell enchantment, procure wonder, import mystery and deal in horror."
Twonyxia clears her throat, "Anything more…. specific."
Tio rolls his eyes, "Ach, everyone has to suck the mystique out of the mystic… well, I am a traveler and collector of rare things. Books, ingredients, antiques, junk, trinkets… I used to go all over the world in search of singularly interesting finds and put a price on them to share with my fellow pony. Though these days my kids are doing more of the adventuring," he cracks his neck, a loud *pop* filling the shop as he winces in pain. "Little past my prime, you see."
"Aww, thanks," Onyxia says as Sterling squees in excitement for her new gear.
"You've been all over the world?" Onyxia questions in awe, "Wow, you've must've seen a lot to fill a whole shop like this."
Onyxia starts to browse around herself with a little more interest after hearing the wide collection he's selling, curious to what lands outside of Equestria have to offer.
Tio lets out a chuckle. "Oh, my child, you have no idea… ancient ruins south of the Badlands, decaying castles in the Everfree, dragon-caves." He smugly smiles. "You would never believe it hearing it from me, but I even saved the world, once. Stopped the resurrection of an evil chineighse sorceress with nothing but a pair of chopsticks."
"Oh my…!" Sterling says, enraptured the tale wholesale. "Truly? That sounds like quite a tale."
Tio raises his brow, moving his hoof towards Sterling and putting it on her forehead, causing her to wince as he pats her head. "Ah… why are you see-through, exactly?"
Beryl looks up from a couple of open tomes, "Uh, conjuration! Yeah, I uh, made a projection of my imaginary knight friend to help me carry stuff. S-so get over here and help me carry stuff."
Sterling crosses her hooves, humphing as she moves over to help her. "Imaginary friend indeed… prithee, I am the small moral compass am I not?"
As you decide to take a look through the collection yourself, the various ingredients (ranging from plants to bottled jars of newts) are difficult to place their value, outside of the unique aromas they give off, but several of the trinkets on the shelves capture a variety of cultures both in Equestria and abroad. A half-decayed shield catches your eye, as you recognize its design… it is one of the very shields you made 600 years ago with Sir Temper back in the Expansion era, now worn and rusted away in value but priced at well over 1000 bits.
"Just chopsticks? How did you manage that?"
Onyxia asks, equally enraptured.
When Tio approaches Sterling and asks of her translucency, Onyxia has a minor bit of panic, having not realized she does look like a ghost and how that would be hard to explain to anypony else aside their group. When Beryl quickly covers, she gives a silent sigh of relief.
"We like to encourage her magic in any form."
As she looks over the wares, holding her breath past some of the exotic aromas, she stops on the old shield she made back in Equestria's founding. She smiles fondly, remembering that time with one of her first experimental jobs.
"Where did you come across this piece?"
"Ah, well, let's see…" Tio pauses, rubbing his chin in thought as a dawning look of realization appears over his muzzle. "I…. hrrrm…. hold on… I…" he winces, seeming to struggle with the memory. "Ah, it's always so fuzzy when I try to remember the details. Sometimes the old noodle just is not what it used to be. I know I used the chop-sticks on a seal, I'm pretty sure, just as she was about to return from a terrible ghostly apparition to physical form… darn it, this always happens when I try to remember story to tell guests."
As you ask about the shield, he smiles, "Ah, thankfully that is a more recent memory. Me and my son found that shield along the river that flows down from Canterlot under a pile of boulders. Magic tells us that it dates back over 600 years, before Canterlot was even finished, and it has a unique property to do with sound that I could never quite piece together. It is broken, I am pretty sure, but the mechanics are well preserved."
Steel chuckles. "Really, how fascinating. You know, my marefriend," he nudges you, "knows quite a bit about armor. Perhaps she could take a look?"
"Sure, but you break it you buy it! No refunds!"
"Oh, it's no worry. It is late after all," Onyxia says, not to stress the old pony too much. "Feels like you have a museum here with stories like that though."
"Under a pile of boulders?" Onyxia mutters, concerned over what could have happened to leave her shield in a place like that. She hopes it was left behind rather than the poor knight using it being crushed.
As Steel calls her his marefriend again, her coat sparkles lightly as she gently takes her shield off the shelf.
"I take the utmost care with works like these," She says proudly, assuring she won't break it. To be safe, she steps to a more clear spot of the shop so the soundwaves won't break anything, looking it over in her hooves.
"It is worn down… but it should work well enough to be noticeable still."
She holds the jammer shield tight, closer than one would normally hold it comfortably given the age.
"Test!" She says into the shield, letting it amply her voice.>I Made This: passive; Immunity to disarming, weapon durability damage, armour breaking, and other harm to your weapons and equipment. You know better than to use them in ways that would do harm to them.
"Hohohoho, indeed it is, and funny you should call it that." Tio says with a chuckle. "Museums ask all the time for some of my wares, occasionally find something of real historic value, but cheapskates try to guilt me into 'donating' it, as though I am running a charity here. My family put in too much sweat to give away precious goods like these out of goodness of our heart."
As you hold up the shield, Tio looks concerned while Steel and Sterling (still helping Beryl carry a small stack of books and ingredients but looking in your direction) smile smugly, and as your voice speaks into the shield, with your expert touch it springs to life, and a loud echo reverberates through the shop, rattling a few items but none falling or breaking as Tio is blown back by the increase volume.
"AYAH! WHAT in the great dragon's name was…?!" He pauses, looking at the shield with a bewildered look. "What did you do?!"
Twonyxia and Beryl suddenly are looking in your direction as well, both quite startled by the sudden noise. "It was like you spoke into a megaphone!" Your twin exclaims.
"Well… Couldn't you loan them? Or set up your own museum then? Just hearing the stories alone would be an experience itself," Onyxia suggests.
"I've done a lot of research on historical smiths and wares. This shield was made back in 417 AE, when Equestria was at war with the gryphons. These were designed for protection, and to use sound as a weapon or extra defense to repel attackers. It lacks the intended force, and practically needs to be held to your muzzle, but the smith did excellent work on the design for it to still function all these years later," She explains with pride.
"She brings up a good point," Twonyxia chimes in, "Loaning them means you still own them, *and* if they're in a museum, that actually means more people will look at them, more potential buyers who could see them and want to purchase. Not to mention good advertisement for your shop."
"Bah…" Tio says with a wave of his hoof, "Even then, museum probably would take a cut, 'finders fee' and all that."
"Maybe… but if it's just sitting on a dusty old shelf in your shop, then it may never get sold at all."
"Hrrrm…" Tio says with contemplation, "Too late to be re-thinking business practice. Will give it more thought in the morning."
Steel chuckles, "And I'm sure that excellent smith was plenty humble, wasn't she?"
As you proceed to explain the shield's history in great detail due to your own particular history with it, Tio looks on in amazement, as does Beryl who seems quite impressed at your ability to seemingly know so much about history. Tio shakes his head, "Incredible… I could tell the age from a spell but, you know the specific year and its function just from looking it over?!"
Twonyxia laughs, "I'm impressed it still works. I know magic's magic, but it looks like it's been put through quite a lot."
Tio grins, "You ah… perhaps might be interested in assisting me with researching a few more of my goods, some time perhaps? I have had years to look at some of this jun- ahem, precious relics of bygone eras, and feel like I have only scratched a teeny surface."
"I'm sure they were. But, it's hard not to be proud of a craft such as this."
Onyxia looks over to Tio.
"Like I said, I have done plenty of research, and I am a smith myself, so I have an eye for these things."
Onyxia looks down at the shield, imagining the history it had.
"It does… I hope it kept whoever used it safe throughout their journey," She says, starting to get sentimental before Tio proposes a deal.
"Well I could only really help with smith wares, I'm not too knowledgeable on relics outside of that field," She says, pausing in thought a moment. "I could help next time I come by Canterlot, if
you donate this piece to a museum."
Beryl comes over with a collection of animal parts in jars, herbs, little gems and rocks of various qualities and a couple of tomes in both her and Sterling's grasp, setting it down on a shelf. "Still, that was pretty cool, just getting that from a glance."
As you ask if whoever owned it was kept safe, Sterling's ears flop, "Pardon, sir… you said you found this under a pile of rocks? Was there nothing else besides it?"
"There were also armor and broken sword, worthless in their state, worn away by time and pressure, only shield was in any sort of state worth selling. No bones or other signs of a body though, like someone just left their equipment."
"I see…" Sterling says, letting out a sigh of relief. "Perhaps somepony kept it there for safe keeping, but never returned. Some knights would retire but did not want mementos of their heroic career for one reason or another, perhaps too painful a memory, and so they would hide them where they could find them if the need rose to use them again." Sterling blushes, "Oh, or ah… so that I read, not that I would know from PERSONAL experience of course."
"Well of course not, you are a figment of young filly's imagination. Duh."
"Yes. Quite duh." Sterling nods her head.
As you insist on offering assistance only if you donate the shield to a museum, Tio's eyes open wide. "Donate?! Like, for free? That horrible business practice, if anything I should double the price on that shield now that I know it still work, at least!"
"It's one of those trade secrets you pick up."
As Sterling questions the founding of the shield more, Onyxia feels relieved that it does sound like it was left behind consciously and not by death.
"I wish I knew who used it. If only this shield could talk, the stories it must have saw…"
Onyxia trails off a bit before focusing back to Tio.
"If I'm able to uncover the use or know the history of anything else here, you can always increase the price on those. Think of it as an investment."
"Truly, I do as well…" Sterling says, looking at the shield with a fond sigh. "Whoever it belonged to, I can only pray to Celestia they would be at peace now. Sadly, knights did not make a habit of writing their names on the back of their shields… well, at least most did not." She crosses her hooves, fuming. "So what if I never lost my shield, Code, if I *did* then who would be prepared, hmm?"
As you bargain with Tio, he looks at you with a hard glare, seeming to see how much he can barter before he even gets started. "…I put it out on loan, you come back and help me research more of my stock. Find anything good, I donate shield completely. If not, at least I get at least some profit. Sound fair… apologizes, what was your name again my child?"
"I know, I know!" Twonyxia says, trying to calm everyone (including herself) down from the implications. "We're not doing that. I'm sorry for suggesting otherwise, Sterling."
Sterling nods her head, "Thou needeth not worry for my sake, I am only sorry to be proving any sort of burden."
"You're not. We'll figure it out, I promise."
As you mention Sting, Sterling turns her head. "Who?"
"Little brother," Beryl clarifies, "He'd explode if he knew what we were all up to tonight."
"Awwww," Sterling says, "I would like to meet thoust youngest, he sounds most adorable."
As Onyxia suggests calling over Boo and Screech, Beryl raises her brow, "Who?"
"Boo and Screech are still alive?!" Sterling says with utter shock, "I… but… I died, but they did not?"
Steel looks at her with a weird stare. "You sound disappointed."
"No, no, just… shocked. I mean, no offense to either of the bat-ponies, I would never wish harm on either of them, but did you see them in combat?! How in Equestria was *I* the only one to fall against the Order?!"
"Oh. Well… don't beat yourself up, cowards live longer by design."
"He is," Onyxia says pridefully as an older sister, "And after tonight, I'm gonna need to do a lot to make up for him tomorrow."
"They're two bat ponies we met in the Nightmare version of our time that joined up with us," Onyxia explains to Beryl. She then looks to Steel. "Do we have a way to get in touch with them? It's been a few days, I don't know if they're in Ponyville still."
"They're not cowards, they just avoid fighting. I was the same when I first got into this time travel adventure," Onyxia defends on their behalf.
"Perhaps, but you at least found your courage. Boo and Screech would be hard-pressed to see it if it were pressed in front of them."
Sterling sighs, "Tis not they are even THAT timid, honestly, tis just… well, somewhat deflating I was the first and only to go. Were I still in it, I'd be rolling in my grave!"
"As far as contacting them…" Steel pauses to think. "I do not have a radio of any sort, but I don't think they would have any reason to leave Ponyville and Twilight's castle. Being friends with her niece," he turns to Twonyxia, "I don't suppose you'd have any way of contacting Princess Twilight?"
Twonyxia shakes her head, "I don't have her number, but I DO have Ulmash's. She could get in touch with her, but, I don't know if calling her at like 3 AM is such a good idea."
"That… I can't argue with. They're nice, but they do keep away from trouble."
"Look on the bright side Sterling. You're back, and I don't think anypony can beat you now," Onyxia says to try and lift her spirits.
"Yea, that would raise questions for sure. We could try it in the morning at a more normal time, assuming they don't sleep in late. We'd just need to keep Sterling hidden until then, unless there's a phone spell in one of your books," She says off-hoofedly to Beryl.
Sterling crosses her hooves, flapping into the air on translucent wings as she shouts, "Of course! I was nigh-unbeatable in life, but now that it has been taken, I can't hardly be killed again, now can I? Why, whoever heard of killing a ghost!"
"Technically," Beryl brings up, "Your form here is basically held together by sorcery. If you take enough damage, it breaks apart, and then you go back to wherever you came from."
"And then, thoust simply summon mine eternal spirit again. See? Invincible!"
"…huh," Beryl says, rubbing her chin, "Good point."
Twonyxia nods, "Yeah, I'm sure Ulmash can get us in touch at a reasonable hour, so let's just hold on and keep Sterling hidden until then, and then we can get in touch with your bat friends."
"I… admit, I would greatly prefer to see your home, but" Sterling raises a wing, "IF my presence would prove troublesome, I suppose I 'could' also fly to Ponyville? I'm fairly certain I know the way there from Canterlot… that is, if you wish to see that Boo and Screech look after me until thou hast had time to explain to thy parents?"
"It is, but we won't need to worry about that. You won't fight any foe alone again, Sterling," Onyxia says with the sternness of a knight vowing to protect their friends.
"Not at all," Onyxia says with a dismissive wave of her hoof. "You can hide out in our room tonight, then in Steel's cape in the morning until we Boo and Screech show up. Oh! We could even meet them at the train station so we could get this whole plan talked out with them to cover bringing you up too! It works out perfectly."
As you give your stern declaration she won't fight alone ever again, Sterling has a somewhat unsure look on her face. After a few moments, her smile returns, and seems to hesitantly nod, "Of course I shan't… I have a true friend who would stand at my side in battle, it would do a dishonor to both of us were I not to accept it, yes?"
As you insist it works out hiding out at your house, Twonyxia tugs everyone along towards the open-train doors as the speedy, streamlined train arrives at the station. "We can work out the details on the way, we're gonna miss our train if we don't hurry up! Beryl grab your stuff, come on…"
Sterling nods along with you as she heads for the train, "It does sound like a good plan, so long as thou art sure I shan't cause any grief on thy parts. Then, let us be off!"
"So, you're gonna hide her in your room?" Beryl asks. "Kind of cramped in there as it is, isn't it? With the three of you?"
"It's what friends are for, being there for each other," Onyxia says with a nod.
As Twonyxia brings up missing the train, Onyxia helps Beryl with her new trinkets as they hurry on inside.
"I don't think it'd be too cramped. Sterling is floating, and none of us are really using the upper part of the room anyways."
Sterling gives another firm nod in agreement, a broad familiar smile across her muzzle, but note her eyes flicker with a twinge of unease as she floats over towards a nearby seat. Following your helping Beryl (who returns a grateful nod) into the train with her bag of books and remaining components from the ritual, you find yourselves onboard in the nick of time as the intercom sparks to life with a statement>"NOW CLOSING TRAIN DOORS. PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS FOR DEPARTURE FROM CANTERLOT CENTRAL STATION."
Twonxyia slumps into her chair, letting out a loud yawn as she seems to be exhausted from the night's activities, as Beryl curls up besides you, holding her books close. "I mean, I guess if you want your friend to have to sleep on the ceiling, sure…"
Sterling chuckles, "I actually tried that once. Fun fact: it's VERY hard to keep your wings flapping whilst unconscious."
"Ooooor… No one's in my room 'cept for me. I could put Sterling up." Beryl asks.
Onyxia sits down in her seat, letting out a sigh of relief after all the walking through Canterlot and the excitement.
"That would work, if you don't mind it." Onyxia says after some thought.
Onyxia looks over to Sterling, noticing the loo in her eyes.
"Is everything alright Sterling?"
Beryl shakes her head, "Would I mind having a honest to gods GHOST sleeping in my room? No. No I would not mind at all."
Sterling huffs, "Well, be careful what you wish for, miss… if thoust misbehavior continues, I imagine I can quickly pick up the art of the haunt, you know."
As you ask Sterling if anything is amiss, she looks at you in shock.
"What? Yes, of course! Why wouldn't anything be alright? Why, I am the very picture of alrightness, thou shan't find a knight more alright than…"
She pauses, puffing up her cheeks and blowing out a whinny as she sinks into her seat. "And, I continue to be fairly poor at hiding my true emotions… but, it is nothing major, Onyxia, tis rather silly now that I think on it. Let it not concern you my friend."
"Don't get too loud if she acts up tonight. You can go full ghost story after we get our cover story done," Onyxia jokes.
Onyxia frowns as Sterling poorly plays up how alright she is, before falling into her seat and admitting the truth.
"You can tell me. Even if it's minor, I want to help if I can."
Sterling chuckles, "Oh, of course, of course. I meant strictly after things have been smoothed over with thy parents."
Beryl raises an eyebrow, before letting out a yawn, "You know, I think I can handle it. No offense but, you're about as scary as Sting on Nightmare Night."
As you prod Sterling for the truth, she flicks her ears, and sighs. "Well… it's just, never fighting alone again… Celestia, this sounds so petty to say out loud." She takes a breath. "Thou… doth think I COULD still win on my own, yes?"
"Oh, oh of course! I never meant to imply you can't handle yourself!" Onyxia apologizes profusely. Her face then falls, coat dimming a bit as she starts to think back. "It's just, during that fight… Steel and I found Sight. After our talk with him, he showed your fight to us with a spell. When I saw you fall… I… I felt so powerless. There was nothing I could do while he taunted us. You helped us so much, but I couldn't the same…" Onyxia pauses, taking a breath to collect herself. "I don't want to let that happen ever again."
Sterling looks to you as you explain how you were made to witness her fall, and her eyes open wide, her hooves shooting up over her muzzle as she fights back a gasp. "You… you saw? Oh… oh, forgive me, Onyxia, I truly did not know. I can only imagine how difficult it was to watch."
She sighs, "In the moment, even I felt… triumphant, even as I laid cold. It's so blurry now that I think on it, but I felt like I had fulfilled my destiny as a knight. I fought hard and gave my life for Equestria, a fate I as always prepared to meet. I was certainly not happy with my own demise, and I had regrets, but I felt like I had at least accomplished the task I always felt was meant to do." She flops her ears down. "I'm… only realizing recently, what my loss might have had on others. I always had friends but, Code and Pound always knew the risks as well and so I was not overly concerned with…" she shakes her head. "Forgive me, I am rambling… I just mean to say, I understand why thou art so concerned for me."
She sighs. "And, I would gladly take your aid in any battle thoust would offer it. I just… don't want to be seen as a burden that thou feels thou must ALWAYS protect, either. I am a knight. Tis my duty to protect others."
"That is the way of the knight, isn't it. Just like whoever was using my shield that Tio found. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply you were anything but a knight.," Onyxia apologizes again, feeling like she hurt Sterling's honor. "I know you don't need protection, I just don't like the thought of somepony being alone in a moment like that."
Sterling shakes her head, "Thou hast nothing to apologize for, I know that is not what thy words meant. I am the one who should apologize," she closes her eyes. "I did not think of just how hard it must have been to watch… unable to do anything. I could at least act, imagining how helpless thou must have felt… I can understand not wanting to ever feel like that, like thoust cannot do anything to help thy friends."
She perks up, "What say we make a different promise that fits us both? One that allows for me to act as I must, even if I must act alone in the interest of protecting our friends and country, AND sees that thou shalt always be able to protect me, and never watch with helplessness as your friends need thy help?"
"It was horrible. Since then, Steel's been helping in training me to fight so I can avoid that from happening again."
She looks up as Sterling suggestions a new promise.
"Oh? What did you have in mind?"
"Oh." Sterling says in response, a slight red glow appearing in her cheeks as she scrunches her muzzle. "Ah… I was hoping thou might have had an idea. I had a goal but, not really a 'plan'. Suggestions?" She says, offering a sheepish grin.
Twonyxia lifts her head lazily, smirking. "Well, I think I have one… think, however could a BLACKSMITH protect a KNIGHT from danger even when they're separated?"
[Last 50 Posts]
>"The world you seek shall burn. I offer you salvation." Claw's voice echoes from the mechanical apparatus of his beak as you pick up the Bell of Black Omens, gathering the massive object in your strings as Silkie turns to you as you prepare to rip and tear through the moon-base, setting off from the bottom of Level 12 as she asks, "I'm… I'm sorry that happened to you. What you said, about your family…"
?Yuki and Mirror continue looking around, then at each other as they seem to grow more and more cognitive, but little time is given to their development as your wires tear through everything they can touch through out the level. You ascend upwards from this area, but you can hear Claw's voice reverberating throughout the beams as you see them growing more and more dense ahead of, the way you took into this place now seeming like a tunnel that continuously grows longer and longer as you try to move out.
>"This world is MY salvation… you have taken everything else from me. You will not take this moon! You are not the only god here, Southern Point." He cries out as the beams all start to collectively close in on you, creating a crushing sphere of influence that piles on top of your wires as they catch and shield you from them.
>Meanwhile, Mirror looks to you, speaking in your voice. "This moron doesn't like it when you break the rules of his stupid game. I think that's what everything is to him, even this. We need to shut it off."
"I've taken everything?" Southern asks. She looks around with divine sight, not at the false world surrounding her, but at what's truly beyond. Her eyes settle on where Claw really is. "Not yet, I haven't."
A storm of wires tears through the shell of metal and rips Claw to pieces.