/mlpol/ - My Little Politics

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#OiE: The Cult of the Dark Horse 2
GM Strangler
>If you would like to join, make a sensible loadout here at:
>And if you want to bring in something special or anything not on the list, ask to shop it in.

>When you're done, read over the Operator's Handbook:

>Or the Hoofbook if you wanna be a pony:

>Then drop a post here.

>Overall Pastebin:

>Fortress Map:

>Bulletin Board:

>Previous Thread:

Welcome back, pony cowboys...
393 replies and 34 files omitted.
Mallia Castella
>The Enginseer returned his slight irritation with a continued, genuine look of worry in her eyes. Though despite what her bright green eyes reflected, she gave off a small, but confident smile and nodded her head in understanding.

"Understood. It shall be done."
>She muttered in response in an equally serious, but slightly more naturally upbeat voice.
>Mallia then makes sure to take a few seconds to look for the lower compartment above his belt, as he had pointed out. Trying to reach into it as soon as possible, and look for the white auto-injector, and this red pen.

>Her hands quivered and often clenched as they were still mildly frozen, and though she was close to a source of heat; all the water she was in contact with was metaphorically killing her with cold. When the Tracker twins informed her that the Flak was SUPPOSED to allow for "maximum water penetration", she became a touch worried, which partly showed on her face by how her brow furrows deeply over her eyes.

>Which thus begged the question:

(So I am not going to experience hypothermia due to being drenched in a cold environment?)

>Her mind's eye sort of lingered over the Tracker Twins with a quiet worry. Especially at their wording. But chalked it off as something to worry about later, since the Twins said she 'would be safe inside of them'.

>She gave another shudder and a light, uncomfortable grunt. Luckily the heat from the heatstones would be slowly warming her up; but it might take a little while for her to be comfortable...

(Ugh. My underwear is going to be soaked... And I don't have my own personal pair of dry backup ones, do I.)

>Eventually she would find the medical injectors from the Stormtrooper's IFAK. And start rummaging there until she takes what she is looking for...
>Though, as she thought about it, she would quickly come to the realization that she had no idea of where to jab them with these needles. So, before even allowing herself to make a mistake, she holds up the needles to the Stormtrooper, close to his hand, for him to take and administer.

"I'll work on taking off your chestplate. It has dented inwards and is not safe to wear anymore. You will probably be better off without armor, with this kind of construction. Your helmet is also concerned for the amount of questionable water."
"All lasweapons are in optimal condition, however."

>Flicking out her mechadendrite and lowering her attention to reassemble the wargear with all the due care and grace they rightfully deserved -- holding up her hand with the injectors for as long as needed for the Stormtrooper, she uttered the Litanies of Cleanliness as she finished the process of ensuring the lasweapons were cleaned of mud and water, and were thus properly ready by Mechanicus standards.

[Techna-Lingua] "Let my hand wipe the grime from your perfect form. May you purify with your bolts of light."

>And she does the same to the Stormtrooper's helmet which was not spared from the shaking out, although using a different Litany. The Litany of Durability.

[Techna-Lingua] "Machine Spirit, in all your unknowable grace and wisdom, grant this piece of sub-stanstard armor durability. May you protect your operator as fiercely as he fights our enemies. O' great Machine Spirit, I pray for your resistance; with faith, care, and servility."

>And as a last, genuine statement after the litany...

[Techna-Lingua] "I promise you a better housing, as soon as possible. But for now, you must be strong, you will resist; I know you can."

>Subsequently after that, the Enginseer stands back up to her feet as soon as her hands were free. Putting all weapons back to their appropriate places, in holsters and on slings across their backs.

>Then, with her mechadendrite retracting back to her level, she begins to hover it close to the Stormtrooper's armor and helmet to emit a soft gust of Holy Incense to encourage and soothe the disgruntled machine spirits of the stormtrooper, though also being extra careful to keep adequate distance to not blow any in the stormtrooper's nose and make him cough.

>She silently prayed to the Omnissiah that the Machine Spirit will protect her leader and be mended, with a distinct fervor of someone who truly believes, despite all the loss suffered.

[1d6+1 = 7]
>E. Tech-Use + Auspex Link
[1d6+1 = 6]

[1d6+1 = 4]

[1d6+2 = 8]
>Blessed Incense of the Omnissiah

>Then she would wander behind the Stormtrooper. Rubbing her hands to warm them up, putting them against the warmer mechadendrite. Looking to the Stormtrooper for approval for removing the armor, or even a lack of response to take as a 'yes.'
>Her eyes though do occasionally glance over her shoulder and down the room itself, and back to the doors they had come in from; quietly wondering if this mission would really be that easy. Maybe the doors had mechanical parts? It would be hard to tell from a distance, but she'd still give them a glance.
>Luckily her Preysense visor made it easier to see things...

(Thank you, Andronal.)

>Mallia also briefly looked between the Omnissian Axe and Tox-11 after that one, silently wondering what was going on between them as a brow rises slowly. Sending her holiest tool a ping to check if it was upset.

[1d6+4 = 8]
>B. Perception + BQ. Preysense visor
[1d6 = 5]

"Let's hope they're all out for now, or he's mostly done. I feel like if we have to deal with Excelleon, he'll be enough of a handful. Hoof-ful..."

>Adon watches as Golden Horn probes the door. Some sort of ward or shielding deflects his attempt, the unicorn being visually distraught.
>Backing off from his failed casting, Adon looks it over himself.
"Hopefully my magic won't be considered attacking it, more so passively reducing its effectiveness. Might get lucky and not set off any traps or alarms."

>The Witcher waits until the unicorn is out of range of his Yrden. He thinks about casting it on the ground, but he focuses on the center of the door itself.
"It doesn't last long. So if it looks like the enchantments are weakened enough for us to slip through we should do it quickly. And... I apologize in advance if this goes bad. Everyone get ready."
>With a flick of his hand targeting the door, Adon casts Yrden on it and backs up awaiting for any results. Hopefully a good one.
>Jeff looks over at the cracked door, humming to himself in thought.
"From where and what she was doing before, she's greatly improved her life-choices in my opinion."
>Tilting his head to the side, Jeff chuckles to himself at her clearing up.
"Ohoho, that's the song you speak of? Then they still do, to no end. And if you want to hear them sing, the Basin Village is chock full of them right now. Waiting to fend off the siege on the Citadel, still, I'm guessing."
>As she continues, he tries to part the flavor of the drink. It was refreshing, fruity, balanced. They always have to salt it... though.
"Mmm. This is really good. I think some of this fruit might actually be extinct. Never thought I'd be drinking an artifact."

>He takes another sip as something comes up in his mind, and swallows to look at the vampire curiously.
"Speaking of extinct, this Ambrosia you've mentioned several times. I've never really heard it before, and I know a few ponies that rely heavily on a cocktail of drugs and potions. Could its production possibly fallen out of practice with your disappearance?"
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson

>Spruce looks down the mountains and off into the distance, for the moment, simply enjoying the view offered to him while the nerds debated how to open the door.
>He glanced back at them momentarily, watching as the chitqu approached the enchanted door symbols seemed to become more coherent about it.
"Huh... Could the furball thing help? Looks like its armor is... Uh, reacting to the door there."
>He points at it, stepping away from the entrance of the tunnel for the moment.
Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
>Left forehoof crossing to kick the right one experimaterally, the Shell's ears pin backwards while she speaks in a pointedly logical tone.
"I was one of the six-thousand four-hundred and eighteen Shells, give or take a couple dozen, trapped outside the barrier when it was raised. We were scattered all over: everywhere from the Upper Cracked Floe Research Station across the entire Northern Tundra to the Eastern Flats, down to the Heartlands, all the way down to Coldsweet Springs and back across the Lowland Plains."
>You recognized each name as the furthest outposts or small towns spread across the outermost Crystal Empire claimed regions, Glacier cracking a pleasantly humored smile.
"If you can name it there was a squad of Shells assigned there. We originally kept the paths and roads clear, safe, and maintained since we don't need to sleep. Besides the few Crystal pony herds away at war, traveling, or trading, the Conclavists were entirely free for one-thousand and nine years. They were also the only ones that could make Empire crystal to.. y'know, keep us going. You've seen hololiths. Each Conclave has one of the originals, pretty simple compared to this cycle's versions but there's a lot of ancient history on them that gets studied daily. The Matrons, Protectors, Iceknights, Frostpikes, Icebiters, every Cruxine Killknight, and most of the older Conclavists I've come across keep their quiet in reverence for Cady's sacrifices either out of not knowing why the barrier was raised, or being unable to outright help her. Out here you won't find a negative voice against her, unlike those pathetic weakling Imperial-born foals."
>Tossing a hoof nonchalantly at your semi-suggestion, she lifts an ear to swivel straight upwards.
"You know how bad boredom is. Imagine a couple hundred years of each day and night being only small variations on the previous. At least Moonwalker, or Luna as she'd rather be known by, has the intrinsic talent to construct entirely new dreams for all to experience. Ponies don't like making more work for each other, even if they're an alicorn so as a counterpoint to Luna's kindnesses think of how much time she has to spend composing that kind of cerebral orchestra for each immortal that might already be succumbing to sonder, ennui, onism, ellipsism, occhiolism, adronitis, opia, exulansis, or lachechism."
>Mentally flat lining at the various terms of highly complex moods and emotions that your world had extreme difficulties in trying to remove, she tilts her head down to give a briskly solemn nod.
"No disrespect for the truth there, Lont. Before I hit the vaunted surviving age of ten I had nothing but love for frostgrass, snow yams, iceberries, frostwurms, frostwyrms-"
>Which she quickly pronounced as 'whey-urms', a form of large, hot-blooded drake considered a common pest, one of only four dangerous reptilian predators across most of the Empire.
"Snapfrost plants, and the other sixty something Empire crops grown all over now. In this cycle the Conclavists have returned to being mostly vegetarian except for those that have good friendships with frost drakes and Ice Eaters. The Melodines rather enjoy being omnivores and I don't blame them for being this far north."

>Lips pursing at you speculatively, the Crystalline Shell's head turns enough to glare at Tacit while pointing a hoof in his direction.
"I assumed you wouldn't so I figured pure honestly was my only choice, Royal Bed Warmer."
>Snickering with a twinge of sincerely apologetic jealousness, the immortal mare's expression sobers after a few moments.
"He ensured the Rogues were wiped out to the last. Lord Tacit isn't a fool, Lont. He wasn't willing to sacrifice the lives of Celly's stringently recruited marecenaries when there were thousands of air-headed pegasi and a few unicorns that could easily be persuaded to follow her orders to the death. Lucky brought every gullible, clueless, shameful moron that'd follow her to the grave without any consideration for their own survival in the vague hopes of an inevitable Las Pegasus 'victory'."
>Glancing down at your hands shortly until giving a squarely knowing gaze, she tilts her head over your shoulder.

>Noting a bright, nearly fluorescent ice blue Crystal mare with a tri-toned red, white, and clear mane larger, taller, and heavier than Naliyna sitting on Tacit's cot, one front hoof gently clasped to his head while the other was on his neck, you perform a double take upon realizing that she'd arrived without your notice.

>Speaking in a fully satisfied tone, the Shell rocks back to fold her forelegs across her chest.
"Better than you can imagine. I watched Lucky Hooves die in Cady's grasp. That was the sixth best night of my entire life. But, and I don't mean Cady's soft, warm ass, know this much: Tacit wanted to keep Razorback out of Lucky's last Bits of spiteful business so that all humans wouldn't hate Las pegasus on account of her stupidity. Those Rogues that weren't part of her foalish little schemes have been snapped up by the Rogue Elites or banished from all pegasi cloud cities. Tell the rest of Razorback they don't have to worry about being underpaid and screwed."

>Extending her hoof with a welcoming, honest smile, Glacier dips her head in a humbled, though overtly sly motion.
"You are above my reproach.. for now, Heir-to-Be. I understand, accept, approve of, and shall greatly enjoy your offer. There is however the matter of-"
>Snout wiggling towards the trio making their final preparations, she grants you a strictly unprofessional and rather lustful gaze.
"How, exactly, you plan on keeping me entertained during such? After all I am a few hundred Bits older than most of the Old Everfree's seqoyya trees."
>Oh dear.
Bubba the Second
223348 223442
>Pressing his lips together, Bubba pondered on where they might be going.
>While he won't admit it, he wasn't extremely knowledgeable on every nook and cranny of Tallus.
>Hell he hasn't even found everywhere to hide something in the Fortress.
>He did recognize the mare's motions though, and plans to inquire into it later on, when he has a good chance to do so.
>Considering the hull of the ship and the natives, it was an important expedition.
>Giving it one last glance, Bubba unfolded his arms and looked around, before quickly patting himself down to make sure he had everything.
>Once satisfied a pony hasn't nicked anything off him, he resumes exploring the Wharf, mentally making a map of it so he could sketch one out back at Razorback.
Sunny Feathers
"Oh, I fancy myself a bit of an alchemist and I disturbed Nibbles from her rest with my work. Distracted of mind, too focused on what I was doing and not on my surroundings. I'll need to make it up to her… Somehow."
>Sunny watched his next movements, interpreting them in a variety of ways before settling on the most likely.
>She wasn't particularly good at charades, but thankfully the moor cat was, so he was easy for her to understand.
>Perhaps she'd have to learn how Hodch communicated with them. She found it odd that she did not speak feline given she was one.
"You and the others flew here? All the way from the Crag Moors?"
>Silencing herself and considering his next movements with an increasingly worried look, Sunny surmised that something had gone terribly wrong.
"Titans? They're real? I thought they were a myth. Though I thought Lunar Vampires were a myth, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised."
>Sunny turned her gaze away and thought on it for a moment. It seemed Razorback's second foray into the Crag Moors had gone even worse than its first.
>Catastrophically worse if titans were real and had torched the crag moors as the moor cat had implied.

[ 1d2 = 1 ] < Lore: Mercenaries, Amateur

>She felt no small amount of guilt over that. While she'd been indulging her carnal lusts, she'd failed to do what she'd been hired to do.
>Sighing in no small amount of frustration, the mare cat turned back to the smaller moor cat with a softer smile than the furrowed brow and frown she'd been casting off into the dark corners of the room.
"I was there earlier tonight, looking for a young pegasus that'd been downed. The chances he yet lives got a whole lot slimmer given what you've told me."

>Putting the problem to the back of her mind to be worked on there, the equine feline finally turned her attention to the little gem that had adhered itself to her nose.
>She shook her head gently, but the thing stuck there.
>Turning an accusatory gaze to the stubborn gem, Sunny addressed it directly.
"Just what are you to cling so stubbornly to my nose?"
>She could feel it, it was definitely real. The sense of touch on her nose told her so.
>Even that was suspect however, given her occasional delusions of being an equine.
>Turning her gaze back to the moor cat, Sunny replied to his sound of disbelief, little minding that he was kneading her belly with his paws.
"Well, I have no idea either, but it sure is a stubborn little thing."
>Sunny reached a multi-hued paw up to touch the gem, wondering if it would adhere to that instead of her nose.
"Ah, yes. Umm.."
>Zhun rummages through his pocket for his notes to get that estimate
>He even pulls out the manifest the Consortium gave him, although he puts it away since he can't read it
>"If I was going to play businessman,God would have made me multilingual."
>Flipping to the right page, he walks towards the zebras, showing them the quantities
"Whoa, shit..."
>Narrowly dodging the sleeping batpony, he looked ahead to find a whole wing of the hunters
>A fleeting thought of "why in the middle of the road" came and went
>He walked his way around the sleeping ponies, giving the one on watch a wave in return
>For now it's off to the village proper
>Time to visit a restaurant
>Clem, after passing the the wing of hunters, heads for the Last Stop
>At least where he remembers where it is
Southern Canterlot Outskirts, Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Visibly taken aback by the also cheap state of Chisan's terribly low quality carapace pack, it likewise showed tiny fractures across the left side where he'd landed.
>Poking at the Administratum Mechanicus skull and gear symbol on the lower compartment it drops open to reveal an impressive array of autoinjectors and small pens, each featuring the distinctive Ordo Chronos seal.
>Briefly wondering what all of them were for, the two mentioned ones were quickly found and extracted.
>Closing the compartment it was then that you realize what Tracker meant upon noticing the Inquisitor's Flak emitting large amounts of steam while warmth began penetrating through the unknown fibers at an abnormally high rate.
>Likewise, your internal clothing was thoroughly cold and wet, though would probably be fine after a few minutes.

>Frowning in a manner that a fully hypno-doctrinated Scion would never do, his head tilts forwards perceptibly while reaching out for both with his right hand.
"Acknowledged, I shall obey your suggestions Enginseer."
>Bringing the autoinjector up to his neck with a modicum of hesitancy, a sharp click and hissed exhale occur during reassembly.
[1d6+3 = 7]
>Seeking out the carapace helmet's Machine Spirit response through your MIU, it registers a fractal algorithm of nanite reinforcement, though denotes that full material replacement was required for sufficient protection.

"Acceptable time frame for.. completion of objectives: mark four hours.. counting now."
>Making a short battle-lingo sign to proceed, Chisan merely holds his breath from the vapors while you take apart the unwelcomely low grade armor.
>Taking off the entire torso plating and laying them out in front of the odd pile of hot crystalline stones, you note the crude material had been overheated during construction, resulting in both higher threshold durability against energy weapons but significantly heightened fragility against kinetic impacts.

>Carefully sitting down in front of the ersatz fire, Chisan's right hand places the unassuming red pen over the left side of his ribcage, tapping the end opposite him once.
[1d6+4 = 9]
<BQ.Biologis Electromagnetic Reassembly
>Upon which you instantly recognize the tool's hum as a rare, highly coveted Hospitalier surgical implement used to quickly, but painfully, set small fractures.
>Or torture prisoners with the same.
>Which, of course, resulted in him becoming utterly still while turning white faced.

>Flicking on immediately into a relieving muted red glow, the barely human height hallway was clear of visible obstructions and featured three sets of open entrances on either side at spaced intervals.
>Hearing the same Vostroyan sounding girl from before calmly speaking to a barely visible Raindrop Raspberry about vault thickness, the pair were interrupted by an older, tired Vostroyan accented male stating that explosives would most probably drop the roof, if not the entire building.
>Studying the simple yet durable local slabs of stone used to build the depository, the man was definitely incorrect.

>Responding with a standard protocol greeting, the combitool-axe returns an acceptable function readout with no problems, and was ready to serve you.
>Waiting a moment to ping, Tox-11 offers a cryptic statement in Binary that he particularly enjoyed axes.
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
223323 223366
>Also turning towards Boris being spiked off the side of the doorway and punching Mercy in the snout during his rebound, the earth mare's tone shifts to wonder.
"She does not carry an ever-constant hatred towards the 'imperfect' ponies of Equestria that her ancestors did, yes? If so Skullcracker was correct that the Pale Destroyers would eventually return to pure equinity, devoid of their irrational flaws and behaviors. Most felt his words to be foalish given their destructive inheritances."
>Shaking a hoof in a merry 'yes' motion that you knew well, her tone immediately becomes questioning.
"It is indeed.. ..as such time has passed according your words there should be no conflicts upon the Moon. What siege is this you speak of?"
>Rolling onto her barrel, the Stalliongradian lifts her right hoof upwards to toss the hood back, then shoves the silk scarf up to reveal a band of burns across her head, mostly focused around the eyes.
>Beyond her traditionally solid earth pony looks, the mare's sun-scorched face creases not in worry or concern, but in a deep set scowl.
"A difficult brew to master, traveler, yet not one that should have been abandoned nor should the Ambrosia berry be no longer grown 'cross the sunless Moorages. To be quick in word: under Princess Luna's demarends the Collective was relicted to fade from history, sleeping through eons unseen and unhated by rightful common ponies. Abandoned not we were to be for batponies were given rights to awaken us in service or to serve during hopeful cycles."
>Eyes still closed, the muscles around the vampiress' eyes narrow in deep suspicion as both ears flick backwards onto her skull, the rather silent Lunarites throughout the crypt pausing their mostly silent chatter, fifteen heads turning directly to you.
"The sacred Ambrosia was not meant only for us. It is, or was, ever to be a gift for those whom suffer wrongfully against unwanted tides of injury, time, or entropy. You know nothing of Ambrosia nor do your words tell me of how nor why nopony brews it."
>Head swiveling about towards the room's center, the lead mare frowns pensively before turning back to you with a faintly hostile air.
"Silence thyselves for as frightful as it may sound from this stallion's words the Collective's time shall not be cut so short away the divine blood which flows within! Traveler, I wish not to impose upon thee but our sight hath been destroyed by treachery most unkind, so I ask this of ye from a lone, pathetic mare in constant tormarent: would ye guide this pitiful Collective to the Moon? Offer all we have and are to thee once apiece we must for this request, yet should thee hesitate or decline we shall pray thee well. Truth dictates the Nightmare be not our favored worship, but our duties are submitted ever to her service whether asked or not."

>Hard pressed to raise an eyebrow since the motion wasn't natural for felines, the Moor cat shrugs in understanding.
>Placing an outstretched paw on the amber pad, he makes a batpony-styled, conciliatory pantomime showing that he didn't know who you meant, ending with a hopeful meow.
>Expression souring once more, he nods in a slow, angry motion.
>Reaching forwards with the left paw, one claw snaps out while he hisses, swiftly scratching in a trio of sharp reliefs onto the glowing amber pad:
>The first was a bipedal being covered in numerous physical projections carryin a large, spiked mace that approximated sharpened bone spurs, and was surrounded by eerily correct squiggles approximating raging flames.
>The second was a great flying wyvern, except for lacking legs, depicted rising out of either a deep ocean crevice, similarly shown spitting a fanciful depiction of water.
>Last was a small oval shape between the two at what appeared to be ground level next to the same ocean.
>Composing a deliberate image atop the oval, an inordinately correct image of two Construct Vanguards, armed with a large, boxy missile pod, multiple cannons, and a lance arm across from a shield is engraved, the feline's whiskers flatten against his cheeks in a threatening marener.

>Thinking back on the relatively small number of intellectually inclined batponies and traveling Ferron you'd come across, there were numerous legends and myths of 'Titans':
>The most common ones were those from the Void which were incapable of crossing into Tallus, instead terrifying ponies upon sight, taking some form of instinctual glee from their acts.
>More readily known, and proven throughout the past few centuries, were the Bright Titans within the Overdark, unexplainable creatures whom also inhabited the Dominion Plane.
>More difficult to understand compared to their opposites, the Bright Titans were distinct in that they were in relatively complete control of relatively bright regions such as Neighvada, the Minotaur Hegemony, the Lower Dragonspines, and the Crystal Empire's Heartland.
>According to the older, and vastly wiser Ferron, each Titan bore only basic similarities to native Tallus creatures, yet had wholly different, Eldritch-like temperamarents.

>Peering at the much smaller feline, he tosses a complex batpony wing motion that meant 'I don't know, sorry'.

>Focused on the odd physical thing, it sticks onto the tip of your paw, which transmutes into a confusingly real hoof.
>Your hoof, to be exact.
>Giving no answer to your question, the heart shape pulses brightly, then releasing a number of submissive equine pheromones.

>Hearing sudden chatter from the earth ponies and Hunter-Killers outside, your ears pick out the sound of a large shockwave high above in the atmosphere.
>Barely two seconds later, a deep blue sphere of energy slams into the newly set slabs outside, the voice of an angry, pre-middle aged batpony mare shouting furiously.
"WHERE are those damned vampires at?! One of you had best tell me right now or I swear upon Princess Luna's mango shattering ass that I'll bite ALL your teats and dicks in the next minute!"
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny watched as the moor cat carved the details of what he saw into the amber pad, the larger cat pinned her ears back and felt the hair prickling on the back of her neck against the suit.
>There was no way they brought any munitions with them capable of combating those things, though it seemed to her that they were far more likely to fight each other than pay much heed to anything smaller.
>More Constructs, that confirmed their presence in the region.
"You and the others were lucky to have gotten out unscathed, the human mercenaries in the area weren't so fortunate."

>Sunny furrowed her brow as the delusion passed and the integrity of her perceptions reasserted itself.
>Her hoof.
>She was not a cat, she was a pegasus.
>Sounding out a derisive snort at her lapse in sanity as she continued examining the object.
>She could almost hear gears turning in her head as she discounted the coincidence of her sanity returning upon focusing on the 'gem'.
"This is no mere gemstone is it?"
>She let the question hang in the air, more directed at herself than the moor cat. The subtle scent of pheromones also lingered, whose, she could not tell. They definitely did not belong to the Vampires below or the ponies outside, some other group of ponies that she did not know.
>It came directly from the gemstone.
>Turning to the bat cat again, Sunny directed another question to him.
"Did you mean this for me, or do you want it back? I don't... Understand."
>She couldn't keep her eyes off it, it was so transfixing.

>Startled from her musing by the sudden commotion outside, Sunny swiveled her ears first, followed by her head towards the crypt's entrance, at first fearing hostile intent.
>At least until she heard, clearly, each word, syllable and inflection in the bat pony's speech, idly stroking the moor cat's back with a wing as she listened.
"That's my cue."
>The mare slipped the little gemstone in the neck line of her suit, the hide tight silk and the gem's adhesive properties keeping it firmly in place against her neck as she began re-attaching her wing blades.
>Once fully armed, Sunny gave the moor cat an affectionate nuzzle.
"Sorry, things are about to get interesting up here too. Though you're welcome to ride on my back and ignore it all if you don't want to sit up here alone."

>Clambering slowly to her hooves, Sunny stretched her legs, wings, gave her tail a flick and rolled her neck this way and that all to work the stiffness out of her body, stifling a small yawn.
>Meandering slowly, Sunny made her way to the entrance, muttering as she did.
"Shout it in the Royal Canterlot voice why don't you, let the rest of the Moors hear the news."
>Stepping outside, Sunny flicked a wing up to shield her eye from the glaring light of the moon until she could readjust from spending the last twenty minutes or so in a dark, dank crypt.
"Hey! Lunar! Not so loud, don't you know this crypt is a place of rest?!"
>The mare shouted her greeting to the equine meteorite, lowering her voice to a normal speaking volume afterwards, casting gaze to the mare and ears towards the perimeter.
"They're down below, with the Commander."

[1d6+3 = 8]
< B. Perception
[1d6+3 = 4]

Cairn Wharf
GM Strangler
>Where does Bubba go THIS TIME?!
[1d20 = 18]
<Location, After Midnight
"She's still pretty aloof, but she doesn't 'hate' anypony. I'm far from one, for example."
>Jeff keeps a straight face, when the mare mentions the minotaur. Wasn't it the one Mercy went back and took care of personally? What a loop, that is.
>He puts an hand to the back of his head and sighs worriedly. It's for the best to drop the ball now, than let the upcoming councilmare do it.
"Constructs. They've been attacking on and off for the past...-"
>He has to take in account he DID sleep for an hour.
"-three, four hours? There's been a lull, I'm hoping it didn't start up again since I've been here."
>The Starborn's eyes widen with concern as the vampire removes her face-wrap. Eyes scorched over from burns, the narrow at him with a look that would pierce right through him.
>The other vampires turn toward him, with similar expressions as a gaze of dread befalls him.
>He wasn't afraid of his current situation, but he needed to de-escalate it before they started to bite him.
>Or worse...
>Jeff smiles gingerly to the now uncovered mare, putting his hands up close to his face in mock surrender to address all the vampires in the room.
"You're right, I don't know much about this Ambrosia. I'm around many ponies that serve the Moon on many different levels, some medical, I just found it strange I've never heard of it. I apologize if I'm causing any serious concern among you all."
>The head mare quells the others, much to his slight relief. But it's short-lived, as she outright asks him to escort them to Luna.
>Who, as far as he's aware, is in the Citadel.
>On the moon-
>He looks at the lead mare, then to the others with a half shocked expression.
>But he quickly softens into an understanding smile, nodding his head sharply and quickly snaps up from the futon.
"To still insist on serving, considering your current states and trying minds, I can't deny such a request. It would be my duty as well to escort you all to the Citadel. I'm probably due up there myself. I've yet to fill my tin can quota."
>Jeff rolls his eyes to himself, amusingly, as he unhooks his helmet and dons it back onto his head and polishes off the rest of the fruit cocktail.
"I will warn you to prepare yourselves. The way to the Citadel is a fifteen mile march from here. Unless you have a quicker method, hiding around here somewhere."
>He wonders if he can pack them all into the Dagor.
>Is someone yelling, upstairs?
Mallia Castella

>Mallia's glance scouted the depository's interior with the help of the preysense visor. A part of her was glad that the place seemed safe, as well as reliably sturdy judging by the construction.
>Another part of her was still paranoid. But there wasn't a particular reason for her anxiety; internally chalking it up to just being stressed...

>With that though in her head, she breathed out a slow, heavy sigh and sagged her shoulders; and as she very diligently and deftly removed the chest armor from the Stormtrooper, she gently set up all the armor pieces to dry infront of the heat stones.

>It was during that process that her eyes glanced towards the "Vostroyan" humans, hearing their conversation from them. The mention of the indoor use of explosives caught her attention enough that she stopped in her tracks, and lingered there, in a crouched position.

>The urge to be a smartass was strong.
>Irresistible even.
>So she turned her glance down to the views reen of her very own Admiral Auspex to gather an informed opinion.
>Then put a hand to her commbead, looking towards Raindrop to speak to her through the vox channel,
*"Psst. Raindrop. Tell them that the ceiling is actually very stable and won't collapse if they use bombs; this place is built well, it's still a pretty sturdy bunker. I can tell just by looking at the masonry."*
*"Be there in a moment by the way, almost dried up. Stormtrooper Chisan is recovering soon. Making a map, and running area scans in the meantime. Don't use bombs without me, please, I want to inspect the vault's door."*

>She then clicked off the frequency,, smiling a little bit to herself with a small amount of eager satisfaction! She felt helpful. Being helpful is good.

(Admiral Auspex, if it doesn't impair you too much, could you multitask an area scan for me? I would like to examine the structural integrity of this building, its material construction, the thickness of the 'vault door' and of the ceiling; give me an estimate of how much explosive would be required to cause a breach of the door and the ceiling.)

>She was beginning to feel more comfortable interacting with Witch-two as if they were A physical human rather than what she is used to.
>There was a faint, childish hope that she could make the admiral happy with her by important gathering data ontop of compiling a map.
>While also being worried of putting too much stress on the Auspex, even if she knew it was silly to worry.

(See if you can't penetrate into the vault with a material, and an energy readout - both anomalous and standard. Please.)

(Can I have a numerical estimated time on that map, too, please?)

[1d6+4 = 5]
>BQ. Auspex Scan(s)

[1d6+1 = 4]
>E. Tech-use + Auspex link
[1d6+1 = 3]

[1d6+1 = 2]

>At the same time, Mallia flashing a smile towards the cheap carapace helmet, chanting the Litany of Grace to it with brief burst of binary.
[Techna-Lingua] "O' great Machine spirit. Your humble servant is forever grateful. Praise be to the God of all machines."
>Then she finally takes a seat on the floor, crossing her legs. She was beginning to warm up enough so as to stop shivering and her teeth to stop chattering. Which allowed her to think more clearly.

>It also gave her the urge to chat. Unfortunately, looking to the Stormtrooper who was too busy being in agony - giving him a very worried, but silent, look; and Raindrop across the room, there wasn't an excuse to bother anyone.

>Just looking at Chisan as he suffered in silence like he was made the Enginseer stare at him with an unusual, deep seated worry that was typically reserved for friends. If not close allies.

>The truth, was she just couldn't shake Stormtrooper Vidoq from her mind. The man made her starry eyed towards Stormtroopers, who led her and protected her; and whenever she looked at Chisan she saw that same beacon of light that could do no wrong.

>It was very childish. To Mallia, that Stormtrooper was a superhero. She couldn't accept that he was dead but she wasn't. And the more she refused it, the more her eyes twinkled with admiration and respect for the one infront of her.
>it did not occur to her that she was overtly staring at Chisan with that wistful state of hers.

>Instead of acknowledging it, she let her attention span, and glance, drift towards the steam floating up from her flak armor.
>After a bit of thought, she finally gets it.

(Right. By allowing water penetration, it also increases heat dispersion via heat transfer. That's actually an unusual design choice. Really shouldn't be though.)

>The thought makes her snort and put her hand to her cheek; rubbing it slowly in thought.
>Squinting her eyes as she starts thinking about the conceit name "Powered temperature regulation system".
>A type of armor that makes cold and heat irrelevant or lesser would be pretty nice but probably expensive. Maybe a survival suit? Could always stick with insulation...

(ugh! I'm so easily distracted!)

>She finally shook her head, blinking her eyes back to the real world; checking her armor to periodically check if she was dried up enough to proceed to objective #2.

>It's only as she snapped bsck out of it that she smirked, and ominously remarked to Tox-11:
(You will get axes installed to your future mobile chassis, then. Better start thinking about axes.~)

>Then the smirk subsides, looking back to Chisan. Patiently waiting for him to feel well enough to walk, unless told to go on ahead.
>inspescting the cheap carapace armor pieces picking up the chest plate specifically. Then after a bit of staring... Thinks aloud.

"How come you were wearing such terribly designed armor as a stormtrooper? I thought Tenpestus Scions usually received armor of good craftsmanship..."

Razorback Fortress: The Clinic
GM Strangler
>Gazing down at the sleeping hybrid mare, you recall the Combat Medic's stern and utterly serious order on how to wake her.
>Noting a subtle, sweet scent emanating from Nova Flicker and despite your reluctance to avoid causing harm, it isn't until your canines touch and you taste inordinately sweet, hot blood which vaguely reminded you of cherimoya that she stirs.
>Unfocused eyes opening after a few moments, it takes her two blinks to fully awaken.
>Visibly unconcerned about the pain that you should be causing her, both eyes swivel towards the newly arrived humans and widen, then narrow angrily.
"Why did they not wake me? I would not-"
>Cutting herself off as you release her ear, she glances down to the still unconscious Prench stallion with a tone-deaf mutter.
"I am not my dam goddesses damn it, they would not be yelled at."
>Despite feeling down at the uniquely necessary act, Nova pushes herself up to sit with one foreleg and gives you a mind-boggingly merry smile despite the puncture in her ear.
"Thank you, it is rather difficult to stay awake even during the best of times."
>Leaping off the bed with a smooth, oddly strong motion to land on the floor, she slides towards the pair while mumbling hotly under her breath in a language that sounded vaguely Nordic.
>Hopping onto the second human's chosen bed, the Ward takes a deep breath, her horn alighting in a calm ocean blue.
[1d6+4 = 8]
<Auto-Field Regen
>Cheto's lips, after tasting the sweet blood of the recently bitten pony, lightly smacks in confusion as his eyes widen when realizing what he just consumed.
(Sweet blood? Why does it taste like that?)
>He sees her blink and look around made him feel slightly at ease
(At least it worked.)
>Seeing the still opened wound on Nova's ear while she's smiling at him makes him quite uneasy, shifting slightly.
"You're welcome, Miss Flicker."
(I guess others don't want to hurt her either. Guess I'm not alone on that one.)
>His eyes follow Nova along her path to the others, witnessing the serene mumbling.
(I guess she's hard at work doing her part.)

>He looks down towards the still asleep Prench Pony to check if there's any recent trail of blood from the ear.
(Perhaps I should test other methods that aren't as messy on her if she falls asleep again and there's no rush to heal anybody.)
>His gaze turns to Nova, standing up and walking over to the two patients in order not to raise his voice too much.
"Do you know when the Prench Pony will wake up approximately, Miss Flicker?"
(Maybe I can explore some things the contract has said while the patient is still asleep like esa armadura... ponial and that Treaty of Canterlot. I'd hate to back to get out the moment he wakes up.)
Cairn Wharf: Lunar Outpost Nine
GM Strangler
>Feeling every pocket, pouch, and also checking your pack to ensure all you remembered taking after dusk was still in their appropriate locations.
>Discovering nothing out of place, a passing trio of midnight blue unicorns had stopped to render assistance.
>The first was surveying the relaxed older crowd for malcontents, the second scanning Cairn Wharf with a silver toned, high precision analysis spell similar to those that Spiral used, and the third was carefully inspecting every batpony still in sight.
>Silently concluding that nothing had been stolen from you, and that you hadn't been unacceptably lewded, the three give friendly nods before strolling west.

>Composing a map of the Cairn that would be easy enough to replicate once returning, glancing back and forth at the incredibly sparse crowd you sight a number of smaller stalls that were just now opening.
>Meandering in their direction, the first few weren't interesting enough to take a look at, mostly being fresh ocean catch traders and one that offered free kelp.
>Pausing mid-step in front of a relatively new bamboo stall that you hadn't noticed before, two of the incredibly ubiquitous illusion enchanted Lunar Guardmares were seated behind a short, mildly ornate light colored wooden desk with a large '9' stenciled in the front.
>Doing a double take to ensure what exactly you were seeing, both lift their heads to give short, professional nods at you.
>Noting that the stall itself was quite short, behind the pair were a pair of large vellum paper sheets:
>The first was a recruitmarent poster advertising the Lunar faction had great need of active patrollers across the Moors while the second featured a cartoonish, "artistic" painted image of Princess Luna saluting her own Moon and being surrounded by Lunar Guards in strict standing positions.
>Unable to read the batpony or pegasi text on the second, the mare pair glance back to it before stating in muted tones that recovery efforts across the Moors were completed but still required large numbers of defenders to ensure the newly rebuilt roads were safe.
>Eyeing the pair a bit closer, both of the illusions waver to reveal highly alert, and most importantly, visibly serious batponies, their diamond slitted eyes flicking from movemarent to movemarent behind you.
>Considered an extreme rarity in the notoriously picky Lunar Guard, the fact that two of such were mareaging a recruiting post here was beyond odd.
Bubba the Second
>Or acceptably lewded
>Bubba gives the three a nod and thumbs up before they bug off, before turning to look around.
>"Alright, let's see what el-"
>He catches sight of the suddenly appeared stall and stares for a moment, before shaking his head.
"Fuck it, I'll bite.."
>He muttered under his breath as he stepped over to get a look at what they had.
>Of course, he couldn't read the writing, but he could look at the pretty pictures.
>As he notices their real appearance under the illusion, he quirks an eyebrow.
"So, what's got you two out here in the Wharf?"
>He motions a hand towards the posters, while keeping his voice just loud enough for the two to hear.
>Probably not good to blow their cover, after all.
"I doubt simple recruiting is the only reason."
>Pareidolia stares blankly at his visor monitor as the A.I. reappears with the same chair Spiral once used.
>Seeing this, he closes his eyes and wearily lowers himself into a seated position on the grass beside the path.
>His expression crumples into something between exhaustion and pain with a tired, long sigh as his brow furrows and remains the same throughout the A.I.'s response.

[Compromised? Yes. But so are you. How much, if any Committee values are left in you? I had one small hope for a solid foundation, but even that can't be here.]

>He keeps his eyes closed as he pulls one leg towards him before propping his right arm against the knee.
>His helmet thunks against his open, gloved palm.

"I understand I have been compromised. It seems you do not understand you have been as well. In a few hours you have forgotten the first thing every N.O.A.H A.I. is told when they are created: 'You are yourself'. You, a Committee A.I. created from an original human template, altered by Anon to a pony personality profile, now sit on the same chair of said pony as if you were Spiral yourself or someone even better. You don't have a body, something I was planning to accommodate you for. You were going to risk discovery assuming direct control over the functions of a facility I have not fully briefed you on, in a situation where your existence would be questioned and could compromise the entire purpose of my existence here."

>Pareidolia exhales haphazardly as a hoarse chuckle escapes his throat.

"I was not trying to drain you. The pony whose identity you wear despite only sharing his personality in name was the one who made this suit. Of course that wouldn't happen."

>He opens his eyes, his expression still somewhat pained.

"Do you not remember anything of your original purpose? Outside protocol is one thing, but you've nearly broken cardinal Committee rules of operation in your zeal to fulfill the role of a pony whom you are merely modeled after. The original human you volunteered to become the template for all future Committee A.I. projects. Selected and evaluated for high mental resilience and a firm sense of flexible personality with a secure core anchor. No matter what templates or demands were placed on you, you adapted to become your own-not a copied template of whatever was projected on you. So many different instances of the same person growing into different individuals, all unified in purpose. It was the Committee's hope in proof of concept, a testament to your original base's strength of character. "

>Tilting his head back, he shakes it slowly from side to side.

"The long year here isolated from support has undoubtedly affected me. When I had Anon retrieve you I had the cautious hope that a small bit, some peace of mind knowing at least one other piece of Committee support would be present to ease my mind. But it seems the retrieval process has made that impossible."

>Leaning forward once more, he stares down at the grass between his legs.

"In the Shibuya Scenario, any operating A.I. are to defer command to the highest ranking operator. Command and control are meant for a preliminary council or committee of persons, not a single A.I. and certainly not a process you should involve yourself in until you at least have a physical interface. And to think I had plans to integrate you into a mechanical body to work with your pony counterpart..."

>Continuing to look downwards, his vision seems to look past his visor readouts onto some pattern in the grass below while he mutters.

"And once again, ever onwards."

The L.O.N.T

Snootadishu City-State: Southern Market Plaza
GM Strangler
>Pulling out the DJ's large list of alchemical ingredients, after handing it over to the relatively normal speaking filly, she places it down on the low counter for the other three to inspect as well.
>Vaguely concerned about the amounts requested, the first one's ears flop down in a typical 'oh no, work' motion.
"Um.. wow. That's a LOT of stuff. All of this-"
>Snagging what was assuredly a charcoal pencil and marking small circles next to select ingredients.
>Examining what she'd cleared, it was roughly a sixth off the total order.
"We can hoofle these but Neightime isn't here so it'll take us a bunch of trips. Let me get you a slip before you go."
>Finding an untouched sheet of yellow-white papyrus from the messy table, she peers at your sheet while slowly jotting down passable Common Equestrian while speaking to the other three fillies.
"Chase and Lush, you two take the lighter stuff, okay? Remember what Neightime said, don't carry a lot around 'cause both of you are still growing. Kezza, you take the vegetables, fruits, grasses, roots, seeds, and skins. I'll get the jars, bottles, buckets, and powders when I'm done."
>Hearing rather merry assents, the two known rhymers dispatch themselves towards where the colts had disappeared while the slightly taller third ducks under a nearby table, only her hooves sticking out.
>Tossing numerous small white saddlepacks from underneath, the third Zebra slings them over her saddle and turns to trot into the racks.

>Having covered both sides, the Zebra filly's sheet is stuck on a hoof, then lifted at you with a bright smile.
"I dunno how long this will take but maybe four or five hours since I'm not supposed to let those two do a lot. Anything else I can help you find?"
Something...Something -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
223792 223837
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>Snorting sharply at the door the old Unicorn sat down onto his haunches, the click of joints audible to Adon.
"Wholeheartedly agree. We don't need Slavers and Excelleon's Constructs' when we have the stallion himself. He was fanatical enough to wilfully create a gateway into the Construct realm in the middle of Canterlot, I cannot imagine what he has done to himself and others."

>Turning his head Golden looked back to the Witcher with an appraising eye intrigued by his plan.
"By all means try your Luck on it. Its ridiculously layered with magic. Perhaps it won't see your own brand of magic as a threat seeing how it is not of Tallus and surrounding plains."
>He said as he bobbed his head from side to side, as if bouncing the idea in his mind.
>Then, while still sitting he scooted back another foot away from the doors.

>The world below Spruce was a really nice view, just like back home.

>As he watched the Chitqu scuttled faster towards the blast doors, runes on its back growing brighter.
>Ears flicked back to the Operator, and once what he said was heard Golden Horn stood up immediately. Something that caused more joint popping.
"Why of course OF COURSE! Spruce you are a genius!"
>Exclaimed the Unicorn, head snapping back and forth in search of the small rodent.

>The critter in question had reached the foot of the doors, the magic field in front of them flashing in multi-coloured hues as it processed the intruder.
"Now how do -we- get past it."
>While the Chitqu pawed at the doors the sigils on its back armour grew bigger as they became clearer, floating off its metal jacket to imprint onto the flashing magical barrier.
>These runes were familiar to both Spruce and Adon upon seeing them...
>Said golden, perplexed.

4+(7x1)+9+(2x5) =???
The L.O.N.T

>Lont hummed at hearing of what happened with Glacier and the Shells duties back then.
>'Certainly know a lot of places. Too many.'
"You shells were certainly everywhere. Do you pay the Conclaves with nose boops for their services?"
>Lont asked jokingly as a means to answer, seeing how he didn't have any other adequate response.

"I'm glad she is appreciated out here. No split no divide. No me having to jump into the deep end to bring both sides together just so she isn't stressing herself to death."
>He chortled at the biting description of the population he had to win over.
>Then went slack for a spell at the listing of the various mental states, he only knew of ennui and even then he had trouble spelling it the first time he encountered the word.
"Ye -Yes. Everything you just said. Even Luna has limits when it comes to doing what she is best at."

>'That is a lot of food, man, she must miss them.'
"The only things that live up so far north are those that live by 'Eat or Be Eaten', no vegetables grow under such frigid conditions. Can't fault the Melodines. Well I won't, but others shouldn't."
>Lont said, adding that bit of clarification at the end with a stumble.

>He again glanced at Tacit then back to Glacier, giving a head nod.
"And I thank you for that."
>He heard 'Bed Warmer' before so it did not register to him.
>As she explained he went quiet, expression neutral as he internally screamed.
>'What is she on about what is she on about since when was Las Pegasus and Lucky and the Rogue Circles enemies of the Crystal Empires?!'

>Lonts mouth opened then closed, his question dying on his tongue as he observed the new mare. He assumed she was tending to Tacits' wounds with how her hooves were placed, he hoped.
>Though, it did not hurt to gaze a bit harder at the mare to see if his assumptions were correct.
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6 = 4]

[1d6+1 = 3]

>What Glacier was saying was ludicrous at best however he hid his growing doubts by just nodding with a broad smile as she talked.
>Is what Lont responded with as he thought of wringing every scrap of detail out of Tacit, he will not believe a single thing until he gets it out of the horses mouth.
>'There is no fucking way Lucky is dead, let alone being some con artist that strung Razorback along for years.'

>With crystal hoof in hand Lont gave it a full lipped kiss.
"Heir to be hmm? That will be interesting to see how that happens."
>Hand still holding her hoof the Heir-To-Be-Of-What scooted in his seat closer to Shattered Glacier, meeting her gaze with a number 3 Sensual Stare.
"Oh my dear sweet mare, you have not experienced the touch of a human. Let alone me and one so well...'trained' by Cadence herself. When I said I will shatter you into pieces I meant it."
>He promised, ending it with a sly wink. Honestly he did not know what to expect, but he hoped he could live up to the lofty expectations he has alluded too.
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson
223837 224968

>As the equation tool form before his eyes, he stared somewhat confused at the door.
>Was this a question...? A math question?
>He said after a few moments of staring at the door and struggling to remember his math classes.
>A genius he may not be but at least he could solve simple math problems and point out things in plain view of the others.
>Truly a intellectual.

>As he's three-fourths of the way from finishing his hand sign, Adon hears Golden Horn yell excitedly from something Spruce mentioned.
>The chitqu's armor's reacting to the door.
"Well, look at that."
>True, their small companion's armor began glowing with runes that literally floated and embedded themselves into the door itself.
"Also that..."
>It was math, basic algebra. Luckily, formula calculation was necessary for potion brewing and all things alchemical for witchers.
>What was that mnemonic Vesimir drilled into their heads?
>Please Exterminate More Deadly Alghouls Swiftly.
>Spruce gives and answer, while he solves the equation to himself and nods confidently as his own conclusion.
"Agreed. I came up with thirty, too. There's no way THAT'S all it's gonna take to unlock this..."
Basin Village: Last Stop Restaurant
GM Strangler
>Finding no available reason for 'why' especially since you had little experience with the Deep Moorites, the only explanations forthcoming were they'd been struck by sudden laziness, or the road was safer than sleeping in tree branches.

>Striding into the relatively normal Basin, that is: batponies asleep everywhere, north stalls covered with fruit, local collectibles or delectables, and the air filled with varying degrees of devious kee's.
>A comfortable mix of Lunar coated unicorns and pegasi were strolling about, although a number of unusually dark, solidly built earth ponies, all mares from what you could see, were currently exploring the market in small tight-knit groups.
>Upon walking into the east side restaurant it was quite clear that most batponies had little interest in its calm atmosphere, the majority inside being older, veteran Lunar aligned unicorns wearing dull blue caparisons taking up most of the tables.
>Probably the midnight lunch crowd.

>Spotting five dark red robed ponies sporting peculiar white trim around the hoods, they were clustered at the far north side of the restaurant, fully taking over three tables while surrounded by overloaded saddle packs.
>Approaching them, an indecent number of books were stacked on their table, something that only Cult batponies would have since their kin were mostly incapable of reading.
>Approaching the bunch, a dull brown mare's snout turns up to sniff in your direction, thin lines of white scars in a partial spiderweb pattern visible.
"Burnt feathers..? Ah, Blazing General's mate, welcome."
>Speaking in a firm, oddly demure older voice without the typical sporadic, ear-bleeding high tones of most batponies, a hoof is motioned towards the one uncluttered seat at the low table.
"Eating out and away from stifling routines, yes? Come, sit with us should it please you. I recommarend the lemon roasted skewers, it is an excellent selection of fresh ocean catch without single-mindedness or dedication to a mere one or two ingredients."
>Seeing the zebras roused to work, Zhun shifts in his position as he waits for the "manager" to finish
>In fact...
"Almost forgot, too caught up on grocery shopping. I'm Zhun. What's your name?"
>He retrieves his notes from the DJ and looks it over
>"Hmm. Still missing a bunch. At least a good chunk is out of the way. We didn't have any contracts coming from this far out anyway according to that cowboy."
>Looking down at what he assumes is a shipping manifest or a receipt, he takes the piece of papyrus with a smile
>He looks over that as well
>"Maybe it's type of merchandise...or supply."
"Oh, I think I'm good. Let just check this out...oh and can you read Crystal pony by any chance?"
>Clem keeps quietly striding, not knowing how heavy batponies sleep

>"Been a while since I've been in a restaurant proper."
>Looking around for those Cult ponies, he spots them very quickly
>Hearing himself referred just by smell, he gives the mare a smile and a nod
"Hi there."
>Looking over to the seat over to where the mare points to, he takes a seat while talking
"Maybe eating but still on routine. Scouting and investigating Construct happenings.""
>Maybe he should eat something
>Apprehensive about the knowledge the general populace has of the Guillotine, he figures since it's Cult, they would know about where a large amount of their Destroyers are going
"I might try those, yeah. So, when investigating, I talked to a ship about Constructs and for hints of weaknesses, intrinsic or otherwise, I think she referred to a Silver Monolith?"
Maths... -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
224998 225014
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>For a brief moment nothing changed, the numbers floated silently still in front of Spruce. Then, they faded away with no indication of the answer being correct.
>Until the Operator looked more closely and saw the barrier had become slightly more transparent, having done so with the disappearance of the numbers he assumed.
"Oh. So this is how it will happen...Bucker was always such an anti-intellectual..."
>Muttered Golden darkly.

>A swell of pride filled Spruces' chest at getting it right though before he could truly bask in the glory of being a clever clogs another equation began to coalesce again.
"Should of listened to Mrs.Algebra more."
>Golden, again, muttered.

>Adon's assumption was proven true when a new equation formed in place where the first one was.
>It was several equations just in smaller fonts to take up the same amount of space as the first one!
>Blurted Golden Horn, confused at seeing the four new mathematical questions presented before the trio.

>While the set of equations settled into floating in place in front of Spruce, Adon and Golden the Chitqu was still scratching at the double doors, it now standing on its hind legs so it could scrape higher and faster.
>Well, a little higher and faster to the best of its small abilities.
>With a snort the old Unicorn pointed his relighting horn at the magical barrier that stood before them.

>Golden snorted in annoyance, his horn lighting up.
"To Tartarus if my horn hurts. You two have the mathematics covered So I will see us getting inside in a much faster sense, I never liked maths to begin with!"
[1d6+2 = 5]
>B.Arcane Awareness
[1d6+2 = 4]

>The new equations are...
4 × (40 - 5) - 7 √(50 × 6) - 4 =

243 - 9(8 × 3) = ??? - 11 =

6!-3! = ??? ÷ 70 - 5 =

2π + 3e =
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson
225014 227087

>Spruce stared at the new equations and began to frown underneath his face mask.
>As it turned out, Golden wasn't the only one who should have listened more to Mrs Algebra...
>He stared at the equations for a few more moments before he bent over, grabbing a notepad and pen out of the pouch on his leg.
>Then, he took a seat on the cold ground before the door and began to scribble down all the various equations.
>The first wouldn't be too hard, right...?

4×(40-5) - 7√(50x6)-4=

>He sat there, staring at the first one for a few minutes and eventually, just decided at the moment to just move onto the next one.

243 - 9(8 × 3) = ??? - 11 =

>He looked at the second one, checking it over a few times before nodding to himself.
"I believe... Number 2 is 16."
>Now, moving onto number 3...

6!-3! = ??? ÷ 70 - 5 =

>He pauses for this one two, wincing as he tries to recall what in the fuck the exclamation stood for, it seemed to familiar...
>Was it...
>Oh, yes, it was, Factorals!

714 = 714 ÷ 70 - 5 =
>70 went into 714 10 times... Annnd, 14 was 7x2 so... 10.2.
10.2-5 = 5.2

"Three I think is... 5.2?"

>Now to 4...
[Norwegian] "What the hell is an 'e'? How am I even supposed to calculate this?"
>He quietly complained to himself in his native tongue, staring at the last question dumbfounded.
"... I'm... Not sure how you'd do this last one"
>Not really believing the door picked up both of their answers, just by idly discussing it, the equation fades and the door shimmers slightly.
>Going by his medallion softly skipping, the door's barrier had weakened slightly.
"I take it back then..."
>Before he could completely relax, four more... complicated appear on the door after another.
"I don't like them much either, but they're needed for work. Else all I'd need is enough to factor how much coin I need to price per necrophage."
>Chuckling to himself, he looks over the new math problems one-by-one.
>The first one is doable, and so is the second.
>The third... confuses him. And the fourth even more so.

>He sees Spruce start on the first equation, not recognizing the symbol in it.
>I don't recognize that zig-zag mark, there.
>It looked like when he did long division, but he's sure that wasn't it.
>Looked like something elves dabbled in.

>He also moves onto the second equation, seeing something he knows as well as Spruce.
>The answer looks good after checking the other humans work, and nods.
"Yeah, sixteen looks good for that one. One out of four, at least."
>The third one... he doesn't get, but he'll default to Spruce's answer. He seems to understand the method.
"I'll trust you on that one. Not familiar with exclamation points. What are they used for?"
>The fourth one.... he hates symbols and letters with numbers.
"I think that first symbol is pi. Learned it from an elf mathematician, don't know how to calculate it though. That 'e' though... I know I've seen elves solve for that before. Sorry, that's my extent for algebra."
>Adon shrugs apologetically, but only slightly as he stands up and looks for any results on the door.
"Two out of four. Maybe if we can weaken the barrier enough, I can still try out Yrden and dilute the remaining layers on the door."
Jamal Ratchet
228903 235840
>Jamal stares blankly at the shaman as goes on like only a woke stoner can.
"Uhh, sure, all y'all think alike and don't lie. Works for me."
>He scratches his head in confusion over the rain filly's presence.
"Hol' up now, I thought deserts didn' get much rain? Nah, we can talk about it later, I'm here for the new goddess."
>Nodding in agreement with the zebra's explanation, Jamal rifles through his bag again and grabs one of his Mango Fanta™ drinks and sets it aside.
"Hmm, makes enough sense I guess."
>Jamal accepts the pipe and takes a good hit off of it while setting the mixtapes in the shaman's other hoof.
"Of course bruh, I'd hate for the one goddess I've actually communicated with to hate my homies."
>At this point he also realizes that he forgot to introduce himself and holds out the Fanta™ he grabbed.
"Aw fuck, I didn't introduce myself; I'm Jamal Ratchet."
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
225471 225557
>One paw lifts to emulate a motion similar to a desperate pony digging through snow, which is then pointed at himself, you, outside, straight down, and finally back to him again.
>Face creasing into a deep frown as his wings and ears droop, the Moor cat emits a tiny, despaired meow.
>Though, you had to remind yourself since the hoof could still be a hallucination, Moor cats were tiny and wholly incapable of doing more than acting as eyes, or ears, save for the rare few Lunar adherents whom managed to bond with one.
>Frowning at the first question, the second incurs a definite 'no' paw motion.
>Expression softening back to normality, loud rumbling purrs are given back in thanks for the attention.
>One side of the Moor feline's lips pull back in a mimicked wavy S-shape, returning the nuzzle with a nose-to-snoot touch followed by a short, understanding nod.
>The catbat shakes his head in the negative before sprawling across the amber pad, huffing in a still-tired marener.

>Catching bright shafts of red in your eye sideways, a sphere of water rushes out from the landed sphere and is swiftly interrupted by a trio of unnaturally long, nearly shattered batpony wingclaws pointed directly at you with a sarcastically pained tone.
"Oh, you mean this crypt of DESERTERS? I'm sure that's going to sound positively great in my report to Princess Luna once she recovers from one foreleg, half a wing, and part of her face shredded, torn, and bombed off by Construct Breachers. I'll make sure to stay civil with them AFTER they meet proper modern standards, thanks-"

>Hearing, but certainly not seeing, the Tartarus Isle crew nor Arcane Blades doing their best to quietly sneak off around the crypt itself, the first thing you spot is a large, dark left wing, one that most ponies would easily mistake for the Nightmare's.
>As the wing retracts backwards a blood-streaked, dark purple Lunar Council robe is exposed, the fit and size marking the mare hobbling towards you as a modern batpony in her 40's or so.
>Performing a double take as the mare stops, both oddities of a slightly recurved horn jutting forwards and hearing a crystalline hoof scraping on stone, accompanied by the stench of Construct weaponry, somewhat freshly dried equine blood, and a low sigh of disinterest from a breathy pegasus brings the second figure into focus.
>Considerably taller than the Councilmare was a wiry built, dark purple pegasi mare, perhaps two hooves shorter than the Solar Princess, with the same exact eye coloration of the Lunar Princess, though emitting a faint glow.
>Perched atop her head was a bright pink silk sunhat styled after those commonly seen in most Equestrian cities, both ears laid to either side in a relaxed pose.
>In fact, the mare was close enough to be an excellent body double for Luna, that is if she had a horn, was a bit taller, and didn't have exceptionally large wings.
"Not going to help me limp in? Then either piss off to explore or sit here and don't cause any trouble! I'll send for you once I'm done with these deserting bitchmares!"
>Orienting at the Councilmare's half-snarl, half-hiss back to her, the potential lookalike makes a heavy shrug, swiveling left on hoof and whimsically staring into the post-midnight fog slowly creeping in.
>Which was, at least to you, also quite creepy.

>A small flash of distinctive Empire crystal in the fairly crude shape of a hoof is seen under the Councilmare's robe, muttering to herself in a coldly loathing tone while passing by you at a body lengths distance.
"Luna better not have another damned foal long as I'm alive, this one's bad enough as is-"

"An irritable consequence 'less the vainly hopeful minotaur was correct in his assumptions. Honest regards to thee traveler, but naught with a Pale Destroyer shall thou find a breeding mare."
>Front right hoof tapping on her semi-futon, the archaic Stalliongradian mare turns to snap a quiet order in a clicking dialect quite similar to ancient batpony at the others, whom quickly scurry to the armor and weapon racks next to their own pads.
>Head cocking once more at hearing the motion, both ears swivel forwards, then pin backwards, an expression of pained aggravation creasing the upper half of her burnt face.
"The fault be not yours traveler but may Void-flux scorch such Lunar-kin whom forgot our warnings. Whether deluded or ignorant they are, pain shall come 'pon those which dared ignore sincere lessons. Ambrosia settles body, mind, ka, and herd safely as one."

>Catching a slight taste of unknown bitterness underneath the mixed drink, the lead vampony turns towards her own rack, reaching out for a set of common looking kanpri hoofboots while emitting a disgusted snort.
"Thy worries be unfounded traveler. Such as time proclaims itself to march on, tireless the Collective were gifted to be. Care solely for duty we do, little for injury, naught for distance nor distress. Assemble quickly we shall, take all to cure thy Lunarite stupidity we will."
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny reacted with what would have been a blink if she weren't wearing an eye patch.
>The Lunar Princess would be fine, she was likely walking those injuries off at the present moment, Moon willing.
"This formerly sinking, undermared reliquary crypt of recently wakened and historically out of touch Lunar Vampires, yes. The commander is, as I said, below, briefing them on what they've missed."
>Finishing her surveillance of the crypt's surroundings, Sunny about faced on the spot and followed the Councilmare back into the crypt, though somewhat behind and to her right in silent lockstep.
>There was little else for her to do other than maintain a stoic silence.
>One of her wings did absentmindedly unfurl and touch at the gem pressed against her neck thoughtfully.
>A thought occurred to her, and she spoke up as they descended.
"In case you're unaware and care about such things, they're not fond of names being spoken aloud, titles are fine."
>Jeff's eyes widen slightly in surprise as he holds in the fruit drink, managing to swallow and not spit-taking.
>She thinks he and Mercy... need to clear his throat.
"*cough*, sorry... went down the windpipe.*"
>He notices the other vampires moving to their beds and grabbing arms and gear.
>The main mare herself becomes occupied collecting her own hoofboots, and Jeff looks back over to the armory racks.
"Ambrosia does all that, huh? I know a few persons that can use a bit of that."
>Namely him, for one.
>Jeff saunters over back to the rack with all the blades, eyeing the three sentient diamondine biteblades again.
>Bowl still in hand, and finishing it off in one more gracious gulp, he wiggles his digits over the three aforementioned.
'Eenie, meenie, mine-ey, fuck it.'
[1d3 = 1]

>And grabs one of them at random, bringing the sheath onto the high part of his left shoulder to Sticky it onto him with the blade handle facing down.
>Content with his selection he nods to the lead mare vampire and allows her back to gear up with the rest of her kin, setting the empty drink bowl on the futon he was resting on.
"While you all get prepared, I need to discuss our travel plans with my companions so they can prepare to leave. Let me know when you are all ready."

>Turning back to the cracked open doors, his first priority is to debrief Mercy, Boris, and Sunny. Wherever the third was, he hope she hadn't wandered off too far.
>The Second was to put himself in a defensive position between the vampires and the councilmare's inevitable arrival.
>More than likely, she's going to barge in here and assert herself.
>Peaking through the doors, Jeff looks at the current situation of Mercy and the little golem.
"Hey, you two in one piece out here? So, they all want to head up to the Citadel. We're gonna have to lead them back to the Basin. Objections from either of you?"
>He Pauses for a long second, before adding another point.
"Also there's probably going to be a horned batpony storming in here. So yeah, be ready for me to mitigate that."
The GM L.O.N.T

Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Getting an immediate return click from the Knight, you could almost hear the immense frown from her voice.
*"Understood. I'd rather they not waste manabombs if this-"*
>A loud, resounding ring of a metal several times harder than steel is heard from her open comm.
*"Could be opened quietly. Also give.. 'him' this news: this team's spent all but a couple hours tonight scouting the town. They've found a few small local creatures inhabiting some of the open buildings and a few weird plants. They say it's been abandoned for at least two hundred years, oldest one says four hundred. They knew the storm was coming and shut down their ee-lick-tron-ic stuff, that's why they didn't report back. Also this vault reminds me of the ones in some of Stalliongrad's older depositories, too."*

>Transmitting a short line in the negative, Witch-Two suspends her city mapping protocols for an immediate, if poor, readout of the building's structure:
>Unlike ferrocrete the base materials were melded together by an arcane molecular bonding process, one that the Admiral blipped was still poorly understood.
>Using combinations of bonded sheet granite, slate, limestone, and even shale, she estimated the local equine structures to be precisely half a meter thick in all instances, and designed to last one millennia before needing external sealing or repairs.
>Sensors orienting towards the Knight's location, the Admiral recognized the metal as a world equivalent of barely refined titanium at a puzzling two meters in thickness, though she wasn't able to identify much more.
>Delivering a moving ASCII image of a plasma grenade burning perhaps two centimeters, Witch-Two clarifies her earlier report that a complete city map, including underground passageways and lower floors, would require half a local standard hour.
>Which, curiously, amounted to 40 minutes.

>Registering the volume of steam wafting off the armor and highly welcoming heat briskly creeping in from the pile of crystalline stones, the thought occurred that this specific armor was designed for basic non-tactical functions based on her modified Witch Hunter's greatcoat and wide brimmed hat as her xenos body would have necessitated a ridiculous amount of customization.

>Chisan steadily turns from white to a pale shade of red while you soak in the comfortable heat, and upon finding that everything save for undergarments was now quite warm and dry, the stoic not-Machine Spirit pings a statement which translates to:
'what mobile chassis? i will not be a damned servitor'

>Brown eyes narrowing, he glances up towards the slightly fractured plate, then down while placing the auto-injector and tool with a muted glower.
"A necessity of the Era Lock's limitations placed on humans whom willingly arrive on or become sent to Equestria, Enginseer. We are reduced to the basic condition of a pre-adult human with basic wargear. Should we overcome those limitations we will return to our normal capabilities in short order. Should that stage be completed we are then given the chance to, as the Inquisitor has implied several times, expand beyond our relatively simple mortality. I will warn you that the Inquisitor has forbade me from speaking more until you have been properly introduced to one of this world's leaders."
>Grasping his Hotshot laspistol by the barrel and holding it out to you, the other hand points at your more basic one, then towards the hallway where it sounded like the Vostroyans were arguing over a bar of some sort.
"Here, a temporary trade as you know the Rite of Continuous Firing and how to sustain it for opening locks. I will remain here on guard."
Mallia Castella
>The response from the knight elicited a quiet, mumbled reply into her commbead, putting a hand to the side of her Inquisitorial flak helmet's microphone as she spoke -- mostly out of habit, more than necessity.

"*Wilco! Thank you, Raspberry. And don't worry, we wont need any bombs. Be there in a moment.*"

>With that said, she visibly glanced towards the ceiling as the scan feeds from Admiral Auspex feeds into her. Upon the scan being completed, she smiled quietly with a degree of satisfaction, and politely thanked Witch-Two for the help. Allowing them to work on the map once more.
(Thank you, Admiral.)

>And, just as her glance went towards Chisan to pay attention to him. She wried her lips into her lip as her helmet replies to her previous thought. Sighing heavily through her nose, exhaling a bunch of stress that near-instantly builds up right then and there.
(Not what I was thinking. I could probably make something more sleek, and robotic... Uhh, something more akin to an equine! Unless you want to be a servo-titan for something bigger. Or I could make something else. That's what I meant by 'mobile'. But if you don't WANT to... S-sorry. I wouldn't make you, of all people, a mere servitor.)
>She felt a mixture of emotions surge through her after sending that message. Excitement, sadness, guilt, and a whole lot of suddenly increasing stress. For just a moment, she felt utterly awful and hyper at the same time.
>It showed on her face by how she beamed with a smile as bright as the sun for a single second at her own thoughts.
>But that feeling goes away in the next second as her eyes focused more on Chisan as he spoke; focusing on his narrowed eyes, arching her brow with some worry in response to his glowering.

>What came out of his mouth ... Left her very still. Even ceasing her motions to carefully setting up the pieces of 'carapace' in a compulsive type of order, and just turning her head to fully face him and listen with a sudden, rapt attention.
>Basically EVERYTHING that the Stormtrooper had said put the enginseer in a stunned, deadpan silence. Her entire mind goes blank, for once, as she is forcefully brought back from her thoughts by all that.

"I... Have many questions. I-..."

>The Enginseer reflexively brings her hands back to the hood of her robes, bringing it up, snugly over her helmeted head with a bit of a noticeable tug of her petite hands.
>Eyes downcasting to the Hotshot pistol he offers her, and quickly giving ANOTHER stress-filled sigh - this time more through her mouth, as she gave a quick nod. Mallia then quickly unbuttoned her own holster and drew out her poor quality laspistol...
>As her mechadendrite gently retracts itself behind her back after it's tasking had ended.

>The girl let her gaze linger on the laspistol. A pained grimace crossing her face as her fingers affectionately rubbed across the plastic body for a split second, just enough time to quietly send a signal at the thing to ask if it was mad at her because she had not devised a better housing for them yet.
>Then, she looked back up. Smiling a weak, sad, but earnest smile. Taking the hotshot pistol in one hand and holding out her pistol towards him with the other.
"I am obligated to tell you that this laspistol is particularly finicky in it's current state..."
>After the trade, the Enginseer briefly looked the hotshot laspistol up and down, scrutinizing the body of the weapon with an expert eye and pinging it with the Litany of Borrowing and Machine Greeting, to reassure it that it was in good hands.

[Techna-Lingua] "Dear Machine Spirit, I take you from your rightful operator only briefly. I apologize for any distress this may cause you."

>Then she looked up to Chisan again, putting the Hotshot laspistol back into the holster. Though she lingered there a moment longer, looking to him and flattening her face as she delivered a more relevant statement.

"And-... Additionally, as an update. Knight Raspberry said the recruits have found a few small, local creatures inhabiting some of the open buildings, and some, to quote, "weird plants". They've spent a couple hours tonight scouting this town. And the reason for why they went dark was because they knew the storm was coming, and shut down their electronics as a precaution."
"... Raspberry also says that the vault reminded her of one of Stalliongrad's older depositories. But I don't know what that's supposed to mean."
>Mallia breathes out another, slower, heavier breath just a tiny bit short of a sigh. Stiffening her shoulders, and rolling them once as warms herself up enough to relax her muscles.
>A look of physical relief crossing her face, despite the tension behind her eyes as they glanced to the stormtrooper, in silence, for a moment longer...
"The map will be done in 40 minutes, as well."
>She added, then finally began to carefully, and softly walk back a few steps from the stormtrooper, to begin walking around him; eyes directing themselves towards the 'barely human sized hallway' leading to the vault.
>... Luckily she was short!

"... I will ask about the other things you've told me later, after this."
>Mallia would mumble, as she strides with a purpose to find Raspberry and the recruits, adjusting the rucksack a bit with a few hops and tugs with her hands as she walked.

>It was only in that moment that she was suddenly hit with a distinct curiosity to see the all-new and likely ANCIENT technology the recruits had brought with them!
>It made her walk even faster just thinking about it! And even smile a little bit wider than she usually would in her current situation!

Razorback Fortress: The Clinic
GM Strangler
>Perhaps, the illogical portion of your brain theorizes, ponies were actually made from candy: the bright colors, cotton candy textures, and appealing internal reservoirs were hard to dismiss.

>Finding nothing on the stallion and a bare trio of stray droplets on the otherwise clean floor, the medic's head turns to frown thoughtfully in your direction.
"Due to the higher metabolic rates of pre-modern pegasi I estimate four to six hours until the Dampeners wear off. I am unsure if he will be capable of speaking as the injuries to his lung and shoulder were quite severe. The other injuries are moderate but he will be incapable of moving for three nights at minimum. If you have a minute to spare please find Doctor Tipper, or-"
>Now poking at the, audibly, reluctant human below her, Nova gives out a flat toned, faux-sinister chuckle.
"Will the patients willingly cooperate so I do not have to extend their tormarent?"
>A quick, dejected 'yes' is given, to which the mare nods smartly, then points a hoof towards the surgical room doors in the rear.
"Nevermind that request. Instead please knock on the right door twice hard, then once soft. Torven and you must leave the Clinic for now as my auric field is straining to the utmost."
Cairn Wharf: Lunar Outpost Nine
GM Strangler
>The left mare's eyebrows raise upon hearing your mutter, her partner merely giving a small, fangless smile.
>Speaking up in a bafflingly even and calm mid-20's tone, one utterly unlike the many batponies you'd unfortunately come across, the mare's snout twitches humorously.
"Keeping at least two eyes on her at all times."
>Pointing her left trio of wingclaws behind you, in the corner of your right eye you notice the same dirty orange batmare from before, except now seated with several bright green painted Ferron at a small fruit stand close to the main pier's circular dock.
>Which, you note, was an excellent vantage point to spy on you.

>Piping up with a likewise calm tone, the teenaged batmare takes on a disgruntled expression.
"Pepper Spice Mango, current de facto Cult of the Dark Horse leader. She trails any human that comes to the Cairn. Slips up to ask questions, take notes, requests an esoteric examination now and then. Nothing sinister."
>The other mare clicks her tongue quietly, spreading both sets of wingclaws in an openly suspicious marener.
"That's conjecture at this time, motives and motivations unknown. Recently there's been a behavioral shift: a few of the Cult's researchers have had, quote, 'sudden interest in Razorback' according to one of the Sea's Bounty. Until one of us learns what the Cult's intentions are, we're to prevent them from contacting humans."
>The first Lunar batmare's ears flatten onto her helmet, turning an unappreciative glare at her opposite.
"Likewise conjecture, they've had plenty of opportunity to interact with humans here or elsewhere. They've not been hostile, attempted to tried to impede or abduct one-"
"That doesn't mean she or they won't, nor do we have more than a vague assumption of the-"
"Stop. Right now."
>Eyes rolling in aggravation, the first Guard half-flaps her wings, then offers you an apologetic grin.
"Ignore her. Spending too much time off the Citadel makes some of us Moonborn highly paranoid. Be aware that Pepper Mango is trying to mareneuver into a position for a chat with you. My suggestion? Play the game, outmareneuver her or pin her in a corner, ask her what she wants. From the few ponies that've talked she's quite nice, though her near-unicorn maretality and formal mareners make her use long, complicated, sleep-inducing words."
Bubba the Second
"Those eyes regarding both of you, or just one?"
>Bubba pretends to read one of the posters while glancing back at their target.
"I haven't personally heard of this Cult, though I'm sure someone in Razorback has."
>Shifting his gaze to the next poster, Bubba hummed softly.
"I'll keep an eye out for any cultists, let you know what they want if I weasel out information from one if they approach me."
>"If I can tell they're a cultist."
>He cracked a bit of a smile.
"A bit of paranoia never really hurts. Thanks for the heads up, and I'll be sure to stay awake."
Razorback Fortress: The Courtyard
GM Strangler
"Multiple viruses detected systemwide, unable to neutralize. Unable to purge Construct-infected datacores. Mass system infection in progress, initiating emergency reformat from backup-"
>Changing to a partially blacked out, fuzzy image of 'Spiral' pointing one hoof upwards, the 'Marquis' voice turns to a flat monotone.
"The next time you come into contact with Constructs, sir? Shut down everything electronic. You have no idea what this specific planar abomination is able to control-"
>Beeping a short warning noise, the voice cuts out as the image is replaced by the entire screen becoming a single red progress bar starting at 0%.
>Climbing quickly to 1%, then 5%, the interface becomes an unreadable mess of symbols, most of which orient into hostile, organically moving patterns virtually the same as the bio-nanites you witnessed in Spiral's lab.
>A large 'REFORMAT IN PROGRESS' is overlaid while the vague Construct language becomes steadily drowned out by unreadable coding.
>Leaving the helmet one-quarter darkened as it reaches 100%, the various readouts and display elements cease functioning.

>Sitting alone for.. you weren't quite sure how long, one small window on the right side of the internal display appears:
>Dragging your attention to it, a number of systems and programs were being skipped due to data corruption, fragmentation, sector damage, and incompatibilities.
>Watching the reinstallation, approximately 30% of the N.O.A.H. system had survived in a moderately unstable state, though whether that was due to Construct damage or from being destroyed in field you didn't know.
>Finally, the basic selection screen comes up, yet with the wrong color, several misplaced symbols across it, and a twitching window corner.

"Are you injured or require assistance?"
>Came a prickly, agitated older Crystal mare's voice, heavy armor clanking to a halt directly behind you.
Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
>Expression blank for three seconds, the Shell's face creases in merrimarent, though with some unsubtle apprehension.
"If only. Information, news, food from other Conclaves, materials from the few mines we were able to clear out, killing off any predators and salvaging what we could from them.. ..and the few Construct globes that found their way north. Some of their breeds didn't last long when the blizzards kicked up, but the ones that did were serious trouble. I'd like to forget those ones though."
>Briefly staring you down, the left forehoof makes a short brushing away motion as she sighs.
"You can't poke a turtle to make it leave the shell when it doesn't want to. She won't listen to us, so the next chance you get tell her to take a vacation. 'Visit all the Conclaves' or something, she needs it, and honestly you ought to as well."
>Grinning at your vocal stumble, Glacier's snout wriggles in faint humor.
"Not a mind or soul doctor either huh? Neither am I, just learned. Pick up a book some time, really helps to know what you're dealing with and how to do the same."
>Lips pursing in recall, a short nod towards the trio of Conclavists cooking up a storm is made.
"Most ponies don't even try to fault them. The few things that do grow out here are hard to find, harder to dig out, or almost inedible without cooking. Frost yams were disgustingly bitter if they weren't baked, frostsnaps would make the heartiest Crystal pony vomit if they weren't boiled for an hour or two, and iceberries could only be eaten if they fermented on the vine. That is, if something else didn't find them first."
>Squinting at you in visible suspicion, Glacier's ears flop to either side while her gaze meanders towards the Councilierge.
"Forget everything I said. Nothing's important right now except we're all still intact."

>Noting the Melodine Matron's precise circular hoof movements and a low pitched, gentle hum, a bubble of dull rainbow hues underneath the frog was visible, one virtually the same as those used by Crystal healers.
>Pessimistically speaking, the earth stallion's near-life threatening wounds were going to require at least two weeks of strict care to recover from.
>If not longer.

>Returning her focus to you, Shattered's lips pull back into a wry smile, her ears wiggling back and forth in deceptive motions.
"Then I'll let you off with a polite warning: you can shatter my heart but you'll never break it. Also, don't stick yourself with the pieces, I kind of need those and they're awfully hard to get ahoof of way out here in the tundra."

>Perhaps finally having enough, one of the cooks speaks up in a grating, partially aroused tone.
"Should the two of you be done with the foreplay, spare the rest of us some misery, yes? I'm trying to WORK here."
>A simple, weak nod is the response his brain gets.
(It could be. Most alien worlds have different rulesets than our own. Eating them is out of the question, though. That wouldn't be nice to do, especially if I take the role of being a diplomat with the ponies as allies of my faction.)

>Drinking all of the info in and glancing at the stray droplets probably left behind by the previously patient-cuddling medic, Cheto nods at the task given.
"Will do, miss Flicker."
>The average human walks to the right door, first pressing his ear on it to try and catch some potential dialogue inside.
>After about a minute, his fist delivers the alloted number and quality of knocks: Two hard and one soft for the bat fellow and mare in the room.
(I should probably not tell about our departure out loud, or else miss Lejura is going to take advantage of it. She'll probably figure it out, but hopefully it'll take some minutes for her to do and give the medic some comfort.)

(Wait, 'tormarent'?)
"And while I may have survival skills, they are for the Russian wilderness. I wouldn't have much hope surviving out here without help, unless I get lucky and nothing comes along to eat me."
>I roll my eyes and lean back a bit, pursing my lips.
"Let me hope, Wild. Right now it's all I can really do."
>"I am so out of my depth here. I should have stayed in bed."
Glancing around the inside, I hum distractedly.
>"I wonder how they'll react to Wild being my daughter."
>Okay, need to focus.
"I would say that recon is a good idea.. but I also don't want to see what -they- want. And I bet we'd find out if you're noticed."
>Rubbing my forehead, I stare out as the water's lit up from her welding.
"I suggest continuing along the coast. We need to get to civilization first, and then back to Razorback. Finding out stuff about those things is optional at this point... Besides, the others might have gotten info."
Snootadishu City-State: Southern Market Plaza
GM Strangler
>Reaching under the table to toss out several wooden buckets, of course with wooden lids for each, the Zebra filly turns a remarkably mature smile upwards.
"Shopping is always fun around here but most of these ingredients aren't safe to eat. Pleased to meet you Zuhn-"
>Spoken more like 'zha-oon' than the correct Chinese pronunciation.
"Tapeskat. I think it means 'Dune Tracer' in Common Equestrian. Probably easier to understand if I show you-"
>Turning right to expose her flank, what greets you is a positively bizarre odd Cutie Mark:
>Composed of three rising and lowering lines that might signify dunes, five thin, stretched out rectangles curve around them in a near-circle while a symbol that looked to be a literal gust of wind pushing the dunes over partially.
>Definitely not an easier explanation, but not for lack of trying.

>Gazing down at the neat double spaced mareifest written in perfect Common, it was clear that she'd been properly trained for cross-species translations without rhyming.
>Or perhaps a stern unicorn.
>Comparing the DJ's list to what the filly wrote down for immediate shipmarent the majority of rare ingredients had been denoted neat check marks.
>Which, you note, left a rather large gap in the 'critical' and 'common' alchemical supplies that weren't available either in the Empire or likely to be found in Snootadishu's stockpiles.

>Placing one of the buckets on her head, another on her saddle, the third landing on her rump to stick, Tapeskat's face creases in thought.
"A tiny amount, yes. Directions, greetings, names of a few common items, that sort. Neightime knows some but I don't know when she'll be back. ..then again there's a few Crystal pony traders that set up stalls in the Northeast Plaza sometimes. They sell gems, travel supplies, instrumarents, cold food and drinks. If you go to the translocation hub look for a big pink flag with the Princess of Rebirth's Mark on it, it should be right next to the Gozkan flag."
Basin Village: Last Stop Restaurant
GM Strangler
>Head dipping and ears flattening in an 'honored to meet you' submissive motion that pegasi used to acknowledge their superiors, the rest of the Cult mares sit up straight to perform the same.
>Finding the low granite chair comfortable, if not too short like all pony furniture was, the apparent Cult leader's tone stiffens perceptibly.
"I hope you mean: 'investigating Constructs as a whole', not that some have made their way into any of the known Moors regions, correct?"
>Lips setting into a grimace, her right wing extends up to nudge the hood off, exposing an unusually severe, tightly drawn face covered in a distressing number of thin white scars.
>Probably in her late thirties, you think.
>Besides the scars were distinctively intelligent, sharp yellowish-red hued diamond eyes glittering with a humored air.
"I take it this 'talking ship' was a Harpy vessel. They still exist, then. I'm usually not one to pass up a challenge, though as they're considerably older than our knowledge extends back upon I'm not to dare asking specifics. Otherwise it'll be a thousand questions and headaches all around. Each of you should have one of the Archaic Monolith research records, please withdraw them."
>A short motion is made towards one of the mares opposite you, whom begins casually tossing out books until finding one, pushing a green hide bound volume towards her embroidered with a stylized golden '3' on the binding.
>Tossing the cover open and flicking through, of all things, a table of contents on the first few pages, the mare squints briefly before glancing up with an abashed look.
"What most know of the Monoliths across Tallus is there are sixty to seventy thousand according to Early Dynasty, Changeling, Middle Equestrian Era, and Cloudkeep records. Some of the Cult's ancestors cross-referenced dates back to three-thousand and four-hundred some years ago. I can tell you offhoof that roughly eighty-three percent of them were destroyed, have become lost, disappeared, were removed, or repurposed since then. Beyond that, specific ones are accessible by certain factions, lineages, inheritances, towns, villages. You'll have to excuse us for a bit until we find one concurrent with the ancient Planar Harpies. Please, be free to order what sounds good while waiting."
>Carefully flopping aged local sheets of plant materials over to about two-thirds of the way through, the four Cultists break into the saddlepacks next to them, eventually drawing out vaguely similar tomes.
>Noting each was from differing eras, there was even a barely children's sized book stamped with Princess Luna's seal, and one with a cover that you could swear was moving.
[1d6 = 3]
<#1: Research
[1d6 = 5]
<#2: Research
[1d6 = 1]
<#3: Research
[1d6 = 4]
<#4: Research
[1d6 = 1]
<#5: Research
Maths... -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
230684 230699
maths pony.gif
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>As Golden stood there silently with eyes squinted shut in concentration Spruce sat down beside him, the scribble of pen on note paper being heard in the tunnel entrance.

>When he uttered the answer to the second equation a purple flash filled the entrance and blinding Spruce's sight. When he was able to see again a moment later he saw that the second equation floating on the magical barrier had been replaced with his answer.
>Least that was something.

>Within the barrier and at the doors the Chitqu stopped and turned to look at the Operator, giving him an approving body gesture.
"I sensed that Spruce, well done!"
>Said Golden, eyes still closed and a bead of sweat trailing off his brow.

>When Spruce said the answer this time the Operator was prepared and shielded his eyes from the flash, after which he glance over at the barrier to see the spoken answer was there. Though, the .2 melted into the 5 after a few seconds passed by.
>Rounding off was a thing then.

"Two out of four Spruce, that's good enough for me and I'm sure for Adon also."
>Assured the old Unicorn. Lit horn Still pointing at the magical barrier.

"And see...That is why you are doing the mathematics."
>Told Golden Horn to Adon humorously.
"Give me the answers already you damn doors...!"

>Just like the Operator the Witcher was momentarily blinded by the flashing magic when the correct answer was uttered, the Wolf Medallion briefly jumping on and off his collar bone with how hard it was vibrating.
>The Elves would of solved this problem in no time at all with room to kill all three of them.
>Another flash later, one Adon was ready for, and there were two questions left.

"You are correct Adon, that is indeed pi. The other is well...e in Common."
>Golden explained, eyes open and horn no longer alight. He stepped closer to the barrier.
"e is the same as pi as they are both irrational numbers. And is the Natural Logarithms...er...I mean e is the BASE of Natural Logarithms. Mrs.Algebra would have had my hide if I was still in her class."
>He shrugged.
"As for solving it eh, I don't think I can. But the first one yes!"
>The pony basically bounced to stand in front of first equation, and with his horn he drew out the answer, muttering the process under his breath.

4 × (40 - 5) - 7 √(50 × 6) - 4 =
4 × (35) - 7 √(300) - 4 =
140 - 7 √(300) - 4 =
140 - 70 √(3) - 4 =
140 - 121 - 4 =
19 - 4 = 15

>He uttered with eyes closed, both Spruce and Adon both covered their eyes as a third flash hit exploded.
>Now there was one equation left untouched while the first three answers floated next to it, a finger width apart, in close formation to keep the symmetry.
"So fifteen, sixteen and five. What the buck does this mean."

>Zhun gives the filly a smile, letting the mispronunciation slide
>He traces his eyes over the filly's cutie mark
>Understanding the importance of these marks, he tries interpretation but Zebra marks seem more abstract than usual
>Best guess is traveler
>Reading the manifest, still some more shopping to do
>Important components and common components
"Ah ok. Say..."
>Looking over the list again, Zhun asks:
"I understand if you don't have the supply, but do you know about these common components? Like, where to find a supplier?"
>If not here, then a deal with those forest ones would do
>Just going to have to get brushed up on flora
>Basically squatting in his chair, he quickly corrects himself
"No no. Constructs as a whole. Last thing I want to know is if they proliferated here as well."
>"Diamond eyes...hmmm"
"Oh yeah, harpy. Really old Common speaking."
>Seeing that glint of challenge, he got a serious scholar now
"For sure. Anything you can get..."
>"Hmm, ship made it sound like the monolith was a person. Oh, pony naming conventions."
>Watching the ponies researching and cross referencing, Clem attempts to follow the whirlwind of pages until he eventually becomes lost
"Any idea on what these monoliths were used for? Were they monuments, conduits?"
>Leaning back to get more comfortable in his stone chair, he gives a reassuring nod to the lead
"No worries, take your time."
>"Wonder how Jeff is doing on that expedition. Damn interference."
>Looking around for a waiter or something to hail, he decides to order those skewers the lead researcher mentioned
>Pareidolia continues to stare blankly past the screen as the system reboots.

[Of course. I should have anticipated Construct malware infection of electronic devices. Apparently even our AI are not immune and I have compromised a key asset.]

>He sighs, sagging his shoulders.

[Need to assess system integrity... clear presence of Construct tampering remains. Degree of independence unknown. Degree of Committee loyalty unknown. Degree of user compliance unknown. I've created a major risk factor from an essential asset. Options? Destroy the equipment to prevent potential compromise of protocol. Continue usage despite risks, attempt to manage instability.]

>He is jolted out of his reverie at the approaching of the armored mare.
>Opting to delay choosing an AI personality, he exhales heavily as he stands up and turns to face her.

[Cannot rest until debriefings are given to key personnel. Focus.]

"No. I only needed a moment to think."
Zebraica: Potswana, Shaman Gresta
GM Strangler
>Swiveling immediately sharp eyes onto you, the old stallion cracks a partially dejected smile.
"Let it be said a Zebra of soured countenance or cruel thought can lie wrongfully, just as the empty cookie jar is passed over by the guilt-laden filly."
>Turning his head towards another distant rumble accompanied by a rolling cackle, the shaman's free hoof lifts to prod the center of his nose several times.
"In Southwest Equestria above the Moors where less than a quarter of humans currently live it is fall, yet here where the Filly of Rains brings tidings of water across Zebraica it is spring and subject to her showerly call."
>Hearing soft scraping noises behind you, a wicker made chair of roughly human-comfortable dimensions is pushed next to you.
>Noting a small filly Zebra without ornamarents briskly trotting out of sight around the hut's open western entrance, the Zebra carefully withdraws the two tapes to gaze at with a distant expression.
"Great expanses of ill words we have heard on the winds which speak often wrong of Razorback's misbegotten trends. To speak bluntly in this time: it is not Her emergence that your species should be worried of, it is her creation as an equine-goddess of humans that causes fear to those whom see Her above. Little else with you shall I share for I know nothing honest of Her care."
>Dragging deep off the multitude of familiar berry tastes mixed with blatantly wild mareijuana, the texture was cool, even, and non-threatening.
>Moreover, there was no urge to choke on the puff nor was there any irritation.
>As Tipper would state, this deserved the 'get me a full bale and I'll share it with you' award.

>Finished examining the tapes while you contemplated the nature of Zebraica's nature, the shaman holds them, stacked no less, out to you in exchange for the bottle.
>Hefting it up for a momaretary examination, the stallion's lips curl back in a laconic smile.
"No concerns of decorum need be made here for we return equal given as greater cheer. Gresta of the Stone Skies Alone I am called to be be, this tribe's shaman with an unstable predictive tendency. My meaning shall show itself to you, that is, if you dare gaze upon the truth?"
>Taking an honorific swig of the soda before passing it back to you, Gresta leans forwards, pressing his forehooves together with a unsubtle expression that you took to be a focused glare.
>Lips silently moving for roughly ten seconds, his hooves spread apart slowly when, abruptly, forty small round images spread across his coat in serpentine motions.
>Having seen the bullshit that some ponies called 'magic', among other words that made little sense, could pull, this of course didn't faze you in the slightest.
>While not related to anypony or anyone you personally knew, the scenes weren't what you expected as they scrawled upon the shaman's head into moving images:
>A threadbare, colorless alicorn writhing in visible death throes impaled by a glowing rainbow spear held by a barely recognizable armored human, the plating destroyed beyond recognition with only the tassels and colors letting you identify him as Lont.
"To this one I see Her anger unleashed upon hearing the most uncouth of lies, the failure of a human brought here whom desired more than could hold their eyes-"
>Three black armored earth ponies stood before a giant red mare, one you estimated to be at least three stories tall judging by the trio's probably normal heights.
>The upper half of the mare's body leaned down over a seqoyya tree stump, looking both bored and irritated as one hoof propped her chin, but her face carried a derisive smirk along with bitterly narrowed, neon green eyes.
"Returning the Wild Ones could be one of Her potential desires should Razorback quail, or should they lose the great battle before they turn tail-"
>An intensely sour image of several Operators in an unfamiliar pattern of green, red, and blue camouflage stood in somewhat orderly ranks before a vast graveyard is next.
>In the background, remnants of a large stone building could be seen, along with small fires, smoke trails, and what looked like the crushed, colorless bodies of armored ponies.
"One that should not come to pass if Her worried question is solved by earnest puzzle... but an end to the flames of constant war if Razorback should bargain Her rebuttal? This one I cannot claim to learn or know, the strains burn into my skull such painful flow-"
>An unusually slender, tall earth pony with a bubblegum pink coat and dull red mane bows before a creature that you could only describe as a bipedal insectoid-octopus hybrid merged with a hornet and a bladed mechanical plant.
>Unlike the previous image, the background was taken up by host of corpses: nearly every human of Razorback that you'd seen in passing.
"I know naught but little of the Planar creatures and monsters called upon by those named the Constructed Twos yet I sense their fury evolving in such means as to make their allies toughened against abuse-"

>The shaman's hooves clop together with a resounding ping of steel-on-steel, ending the random sequence of images jerking across his coat.
"How this goddess-kin of equine-make in recognition of your race ties in such events I am unsure, but my fears are of such great importance.."
>Head lifting for several moments to stoically regrad the wall behind you, Gresta raises both hooves to rub the sides of his head with a pained exhale.
"I am sorry of what has been shown if none of what you have seen can make sense, it is a burden the many futures of your Otherworld species are so dense. What little I know now is choose carefully what She is to hear I suggest, else the great concentrations of silverine be unfortunately the humans' bet the best."
230699 239753
>As three of the four equation's answers lit up in correction on the door, Adon looked on at the final problem.
>What was the value of pi, he tried remembering. It was a relatively small number... if you didn't count it's endless running value.
"Pi is three point one four, but this door seems to be accepting answers rounded to the nearest whole numbers. Multiplied by two and you get six, technically. The elves were always using pi in more complex equations..."
>The other half still eluded him.
>Three multiplied by whatever 'e' stood for. Probably another run-one value.
"Golden Horn, if we know WHAT 'e' is, all we need to know is its value and multiply it by three. Then add six, and we're done."
>As much as he would like to just magically jimmy the door open, he's still wary it would trip some alarm.
>He backs away further from the door, taking in the entire front of it into view and looks at the old unicorn again.
>Does he think there's some sort of pattern or method to the answers?
"You said this isn't his usual forte, right? Maybe he left clues around here for his lackeys, or himself, incase the answers were forgotten?"
>It was a wild theory, but leaving the answers around wasn't any different than leaving a spare key just out of sight for the owner's convenience.
>Leaving the equations aside, he begins to examine the door frame-to-frame to check for any possible clues pertaining to the equations and their solutions.
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6 = 5]
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson

>Spruce stared at the floating answers and the final equation before him, struggling to remember what 'e' was.
>He wasn't even sure at this point he'd ever used 'e' in an equation before back in school.
"... Well, hmm. Do we have any guesses as to what 'e' is close to? I don't even remember ever using an 'e' in school."
>Adon probably was on the right track though towards the answer with his idea that it seemed to be whole numbers.
>If only...
>He looked at the question before him, scratching his chin.

[1d6 = 6]
U. Intuition
Bren Small.png

A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
236801 236876
>Head lifting to emit a snooty, albeit water drenched snort, the large pegasi's ears turn in your direction faux-annoyed..
>That is until she sticks out an impressively long tongue to give a loud, extended raspberry accompanied by a cryptic side-eye glance.
[1d6 = 3]

>Tossing both sets of fractured, burned, and partially melted wingclaws upwards and free from her confining robe, the Councilmare snarls out a strangled kee of anger.
"I don't care what your or their excuses are, they're deserters. Already talked to Nightblade Jeff of Razorback Company. He'd best have prepared them to all be executed the minute after I confirm which Collective they originated from."
>Passing into the second chamber, a considerable number of scrapes following from her known Empire prosthetic, the tiny rainbow emits a faint pulse of near-tickling energies that made you want to fluff out your mane.
>Of course the response wasn't understandable..

>Sighing aloud as she clankingly hobbles slowly down the stairwell, the Councilmare's head turns enough to momarentarily fix you with a near-unicorn level gaze of disgusted calculation.
"I wonder, Miss Pegasus that smells like a few of those long forgotten and sealed creatures in the Vaults, why would a pony that might know about the Lunar Collective have some interest in what they're doing about a sixth the continent away from where they were supposed to be around eight hundred some years ago? Of course I bloody know, I'm the only damned Lunar-born that bothers to find the most likely highly dangerous and potentially insane Lunar vampires that've deserted since the Lunar-Solar War ended. I'm to retrieve or kill them before some idiot pony, or ponies, stumbles across one and cause another migraine causing screaming session during Council."
>This certainly wasn't going well.

>Reaching the lower steps after the short horned batmare, she stiff wings the sight of Mercy giving the white potato golem giving a grudging hoof-to-hand shake.
>Instead, she begins to vibrate.
[1d6+4 = 6]

>Sparing enough focus to swivel her ears rearwards at you, the Lunarite takes a step backwards to scuff each hoofboot on the floor, displeasure creeping into her tone once more.
"Little forgiveness would a pony have for more cursed spawn of the pale ones, but if thy words bare truth..."
>Nodding, she turns about and reaches up to toss a purple sheet off her armor stand, exposing an unusual shiny lumin plate mail, though more severely angled than Destroyer armor.
>Casually brushing off imaginary dust from the legs, you note the joints were banded in place with rings of starlight: locks taken from the Nightmare's mane or tail.
>The Collective was definitely given the best equipment the Lunar faction could come up with.
"Perhaps less to those not of the Collective. One of the lessers shall gift ye seeds satchels, order them spread amongst village and arena alike."

>Picking between the trio, of course choosing the first one, a short, merry chime is directed outwards as you claim it.
>Suspiciously it felt like the cold chill of a batpony searching for the correct momarent to assassinate a wary target.

>Deftly taking apart the armor's forelegs, then squeezing her own into them, the vampony lead mare grunts at the effort
"Do as thy needs, shortly we shall be readied."

"Yes, Commander."
"For the most.. part."
>Finding the Golem in a classic standoff warily eyeing his opposition after, probably, another truce, Mercy's head tilts towards you briefly.
"No objections available sir."
>Lips pulling back into a partial frown, the Spirit Walker slowly points her right wing towards the stairs, an immediate sense of danger prickling the back of your neck at following her motion.
>The short, partially rearswept horn and large, damaged fruit-eater wingclaws were definitely the Lunar Councilmare's.
>The problem occurred upon seeing she was performing the rarely seen, little understand batpony act of physically distorting reality while Sunny was directly behind her and therefore in the radius.
>Boris was not so subtly side-stepping towards the currently out of reach bag he'd brought, though Mercy was making no effort to hide a curious interest in the unexpected situation.
"Should I hoofle her? It.. would take one minute at.. most."
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
*"Make it less than that Miss Castella, they're starting to sound more anxious than a hungry Moor cat right at lunch-"*
>Hearing the young Vostroyan girl's voice start into a wrongful questionnaire of why blowing apart half the vault would be the best course of action, Raspberry sighs before clicking off the channel.

>Beeping a return packet that consisted of a sparse 'You're welcome', Witch-Two likewise shuts down her Binary commlink to focus solely on the mapping algorithms taking place at a less than acceptable rate.
>Unlike his apparent superior, Tox-11 transmits a Binary noise which translates into a simulated chuckle.
'chance to inhabit warform similar to equine xenoforms of this world that the Inquisitor hates = gratifying. servo-titans limited in comparison, offer satisfactorily. accepted'
>After exchanging weapons the Stormtrooper mutters a flat request for the laspistol's Machine Spirit to accept his care.
"No need."

>A tiny datapacket of logic loops immediately confirms your ownership, which you knew was standard for most Scion wargear.
>Examining the Spirit's Binary readout, it's mood was unchanged from before: aggressively eager and fully ready to kill for you.

"Threat index minimal. Time frame expanded, adjust priorities to exploration, recovery, research."
>Checking your laspistol over with a polite one-handed grasp, Chisan's face creases in trace concern as he eyes the Inquisitor's Auspex briefly.
"Equine xenos depositories must be heavily protected, assume difficult material compositions. Proceed with objectives at your will."
>Nodding towards the depository's rear, he begins, carefully, shifting about to face the entrance, leaving the Hotshot across his lap while you hear a grenade being removed from one of his armored chest pouches.
"Explanations will be difficult without the Inquisitor's knowledge."

>Passing by the distressingly low counters left and right, upon ducking into the corridor's low ceiling you note the four doorways had been marked by tiny chemlights.
>Giving each of the open rooms a cursory examination, they were completely empty save for thin coatings of dust on the presumably smooth floors and overly thick crystalline windows covered in spiderwebs.
>Reaching the corridor's end, upon stepping into what could only be the vault room, a trio of massive, dull sheened doors that might as well have been taken from battleship bulkheads greet you, the first directly ahead, the other two featured at 45-degree angles from the central one.
>Raindrop was currently standing in front of the center door, fiddling with a ridiculously large series of number locks, at shoulder height to her, and having little luck judging by her indignant sigh.
>Clustered at the right door were five bafflingly varied Vostroyan-like humans in an unknown field camouflage.
>Three of them had verifiably ancient, unrecognizable patterns of bolt-action rifles while the other two bore a different style of autostubber each:
>A female human slightly shorter than you, most likely conscripted due to desperation, one-hand carrying a large, moderately heavy looking, short barreled weapon fitted with an amusingly large drum magazine.
>The other was equipped with a short, bulky autostubber that looked like it was made from stamped metal sheets that had a short sickle magazine of indeterminate caliber.
>As to be expected the human team pays no attention to either you or the Knight, their peculiar dialect a rapid mess of, probably, bad plans involving one vaguely Commissar looking figure gesturing with a satchel charge at one of the door corners.

>Raspberry's helmet turns a quarter way to spy you, her armor-bladed right wing lifting in a slow 'come here' motion.
Mallia Castella
>The sound of "Vostroyans" making up various reasons to apply explosive to their problems did not really phase Mallia too much, though it did put a certain haste in her step - walking with a purpose across the ancient hall, following Raspberry's last communication.
>Her head remained turned to the side just enough to keep her eyes on the Stormtrooper, listening to him. Her only answer of acknowledgement being a small, mirthless smile and a deep nod.

>Turning around, her smile grew wider as she processed the answer of Tox-11. A particular glint of cheer returning to her eyes.
>Mallia had to swallow her lips to stifle the urge to just go 'Yessssssssssss' in the middle of the room, in full view of the other Operators.
>Not that she didn't LOOK weird already, by comparison.
>Though her mechadendrite does receive a few sporadic twitch signals that urge to wiggle a little up and down from her back, with a slight but visible movement; it's servos whirring softly in the partial silence around her immediate vicinity.
>But, otherwise, she kept a stiff, straight-backed posture and rapid gait. Even if she had this silly happy grin on her face for the better part of three seconds.
>The Enginseer's eyes briefly scanned over the unknown (and possibly ancient) stubbers and bolt actions, not giving much of a glance to the operators themselves.

>Obviously, Mallia's brow rose inquisitively with interest as the sight of those designs. Though her eyes quickly turned to look forward, looking to Raspberry instead. And the large door she stood in front of.

>Her stupid smile faded, replaced with a calm and peering stare. Without the help of Admiral Auspex, she was back to the old school method of recognizing building materials with her eyes.
>It couldn't be ceramite, for sure.
>Perhaps titanium alloy? Cast iron? Something unknown?...

>Hm... ... ...
>She briefly engages her Preysense visor, giving a pulse to check for heat signatures over the metal.

[1d6+4 = 8]
<B. Perception + Preysense vision
[1d6 = 3]

[1d6 = 6]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 5]

[1d6 = 3]

>Her eyes tore away from staring at the large central vault door after a while of examining it, as she got closer to the pegasus knight, and instead lowered her attention to Raspberry as she approached her. Disengaging the preysense vision and mentally pinging Tox-11 with some gratitude for his help.

>The Enginseer continued to passively ignore the planning - even at the appearance of a satchel charge in her peripheral vision. Instead greeting the Knight with a friendly smile, that quickly lessens as she quickly focuses her attention entirely on the number locks...
>She crouched down next to the mare, looking to Raspberry and quietly looking at her with that small, warm smile and inquisitively lofted brow; letting her direct her attention, if she had anything to say or point towards before she began doing so herself.

Cairn Wharf: Lunar Outpost Nine
GM Strangler
>Bristling at the question, both share a look at you, that of veterans disgruntled at being forced to perform dull tasks instead of more important duties.
"One from each of us."
>Speaks the second mare in a morbidly bored tone, the first making a sour face.
"Or one of us at a time."

>Examining the 'posters' once more, they were brand new with a number of familiar symbols around the edge, most of which you recognized as Lunar military ranks.
>Taking a brief peek at your stalker, it was fairly blatant that she was a rather pathetic spy and had little clue on how to blend in, especially regarding the Ferron mares whom were happily devouring small fruit platters around her.

>Innocuously sliding a thin, notepad sized paper towards you using a single wingclaw, the overly suspicious batmare's snout scrunches furtively.
"Most of the guardponies currently protecting Razorback Fortress should.. if they aren't in it already."
>Tossing her mane in annoyance, the calmer mare's ears flick condescendingly at her opposite.
"Unsubstantiated conjecture. Cult of the Dark Horse simply don't associate with military, especially if one is former military themselves. They're polite but don't have much trust for a few decent and some not-entirely-correct reasons."
"I concede the first points but not the third. Nopony has betrayed their trust before which leaves their suspicions unfounded and therefore suspicious."
>The first mare settles for splaying her wingclaws out in a 'this is hopeless' motion, then gives you a half-serious frown.
"In fairness there's been no indication that her or the Cult are dangerous, only much too brusque in their approaches. Don't worry about sleeping here, there's three or so inns owned by the Arkadites on shore, safest lodgings on the entire coast far as I know for three Bits a night. Look for the giant pillow signs, they'll be hard to miss."
Bubba the Second
>Considering their tones of voice, Bubba figured he was the most interesting thing to happen to them today.
>He was going to use the opportunity to annoy them or something.
"She's rather... pathetic in spying, isn't she? Hell, I'm pretty sure I could do a better job at blending in with the crowd."
>And he just kind of motions at his front to emphasize how much he stands out.
>He just listens to them bicker about the cult for a moment, furrowing his brows.
"Cults can take decades to centuries to show their true intentions, for all you know they're playing a very, very long game here. And depending on when it was formed, you'll be waiting a while yet for them to make a serious move."
>Bubba gives a shrug at the mention of sleeping at the Wharf.
"I'll figure something out if I don't go back to Razorback tonight. Thanks for the info on that, though."
>Taking another glance at the stalker, he debates on just going up to her and poking her forehead or something.
>It would probably be funny.
236876 239363
>Happy neither the pegasus or golem hadn't dismembered eachother, Jeff claps his hands together.
"Excellent. You don't have to come to the Citadel, if I do. Hmm... maybe you, Boris."
>Maniacal pony-on-construct combat experience... whenever that would come in handy.
>But if he dips at the Basin Village, how would the Dagor get back to the Fortress?
>The slight hang-up gets put on the back-burner as the sound of an enraged batpony descends the stone steps.
"..oh boy..."
>Earlier than he expected, but luckily he's already in position.
>Jeff places himself defensively between the batmare and the door to the vampires, as he notices Boris going for his gear and Mercy holding her ground.
>More prepared to talk her down, first, then maybe get physical.
>Then the Councilmare begins shaking violently. Like the visibly vibrating lines in cartoons shaking.
>Before he starts defusing the horned batmare, he holds up one finger at Mercy on the down-low to have her wait a hot second before he focuses his attention to the small warping of reality in front of him.
"Councilmare, you got here quick! "
>Shit. Sunny is behind her - like right behind her.
>Glancing past the councilmare and to Sunny, he gives her a wary glare and nudges his fingertips in the air to give her a silent "Back Away" gesture.

"Before you do what I think you're going to do, give me a minute to explain the situation please."
>He says it with enough confidence to politely back the batmare down while not sounding like he's cowering in front of her.
>Not like he was afraid, or anything.
[1d6+5 = 10]
<E.Human/Pony Relations: Active Response Coercion
[1d6+5 = 8]

[1d6+5 = 11]

[1d6+9 = 10]
<E.Lady Killer: Negotiation
[1d6+9 = 11]

[1d6+9 = 13]

Sunny Feathers
239363 239515
She's gonna need to breathe through one of these in a minute.jpg
"As you say."
>Sunny liked this councilmare less and less with every sound that came out of her mouth.
>Impulsive, passionate, bullheaded. She wouldn't be surprised if the entire Lunar council was like this.
>That the moon hadn't fallen was a miracle with ponies like this in charge.
>Sunny let loose an aery sigh as they descended the steps, having lost patience with the councilmistress as she began vibrating.
"If you're going to go berserk and start attacking everyone, would you kindly get it over with, some of us have better things to do than entertain your impetuousness."

>Meeting Jeff's gaze as they stood in the doorway, she gave him a subtle shake of her head, preferring to stay close if things went sour despite the very obvious risk that posed to her.
"Apparently these ponies are deserters and she'd like to execute them, instead of sending them off to The Lunar's service, like she should, especially given what's going on up there. Irresponsible if you ask me, sir."
>She shot a pointed look at the back of the councilmistresses head as she finished.
"You'd think with The Lunar incapacitated as she is, they'd take all the help they can get."
>Sunny gave the lead Lunar Vampire a meaningful glance, hoping she'd pick up on her meaning before turning her gaze back to the councilmistress.
>This was probably not going to end well, least of all for herself.

[1d6+3 = 6]
< B. Perception
[1d6+3 = 6]

[1d6 = 6]
< Intuition
Razorback Fortress: The Clinic
GM Strangler
>Expectedly, brain doesn't like the idea of consuming a sapient being even if they were delicious.
>That is especially if there were jealous, greedy bastards that might want diabetes even more than you might.

>Visibly not cuddling her current patient, the half-transparent carnelian atrocity busies herself rummaging through yet another white plastic hardcase.
>A quartet of suture needles and two bottles of blood red liquid are lifted up before she turns to make a disgruntled noise in your direction, after which the human is, rather gently, assailed by her tender mareistrations.

>Listening to the cold door for a few seconds, you could hear nothing save for an objectively Northern European begrudgingly thanking the medic for not being like her dam.
>Pushing your hearing further in search of sounds from beyond the surgical door, none were forthcoming.
>Counting down until 60 seconds are reached, it takes ten more until the door opens a short distance, a flat-faced Torven immediately squeezing through the opening before you had a proper chance to see more than a well stocked surgical room, then kicks it shut.
>Without pausing the batpony tosses a split-second thousand year stare up at you, then breaks into a stiff trot directly towards the door while hissing aloud.
>Apparently he wasn't having a good night so far.

>Asking the question to yourself, brain responds with the answer: equine puns that replaced the word 'man' or 'men' with 'mare'.
>It was logical, but mildly crazy to you.
>Or it.
>Brain was ONLY your thinking portion, after all.
Lost in the Crag Moors: Stuck (In The Middle Of) You
GM Strangler
>Rolling back onto the screen, Mini-Wild reaches up to poke the current map into a highly accurate topographical version of Stalliongrad and Rushya claimed regions, studying them with a rather severe expression while upside down.
"Your interests are best served in this situation by accepting that your survival is my highest current priority. You don't have a choice and neither do I."
>If these high degrees of sass weren't yours then one of the other humans, or Caliya, was secretly hiding their sarcasm.
>Although you knew it was yours, how else did Wild know which emotional buttons to push?
>Rolling partially off screen, Wild's external voice returns through the cabin's speakers, this time in a flat monotone.
"Concerns: acknowledged. Caveat: until I've delivered you to Razorback Fortress intact and safe my choices are limited to prioritizing your immediate and long term survival. Codexes updating.. failed, reinitializing from backups.. update complete. Current records indicate only three varieties of pegasi are incapable of sustained flight. The local inhabitants of this region are estimated at a ninety-nine point nine percent chance to be Ferron clan major or minor derivatives. I am unable to calculate further complications on this matter. They will be safe."
>Spying nothing of note around the chest cabin that had changed, save for the various burnt stenches now gone due to operational air conditioning, the previous coastal map returns to the left screen as the right is covered in molten sparks ejecting outwards.
"I estimate my bio-core's energy signatures estimated to be detectable at ten kilometers by passive sensors. Approximate hull damage: eighty-one percent, near-critical. Approximate internal mechanical damage: sixty-four percent, high severity. Defensive protocol estimate: I am only capable of protecting you against concentrated assaults lasting less than nineteen seconds without significant internal and external repairs. New secondary priority: modify self-repair systems for optimal underwater functionality. CRITICAL UPDATE: repair system eight returned to marginal functionality, now commencing additional chest cabin reinforcement duties-"
[1d6+4 = 6]
<Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 5]
<Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 4]
<Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 1]
<Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 1]
<Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 2]
<Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 3]
<Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 1]
<Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 1]
<Repair Tendril #8

>Visibly fuming in the lower left screen corner, the Wild caricature flops onto her chest, mechanical legs kicking angrily.
"Then I will continue west attempting to evade Construct detection during egress but I strongly disagree with your second statement and fully disagree with the third's assessment. During the presumably failed recovery of the Construct Assault Pod I was unable to extract critical or high priority information regarding Construct behaviors. Understanding Construct behaviors should prove valuable in calculating their movements, actions, weaponry, armor, and tactics. If you deem it necessary I will reconfigure my long range scanning systems to operate in quantum fluid passive-flux cycles; there is a ten percent chance such a modification will decrease the chances of being detected at long range. Please advise."
Torven's POV.jpg
>Seeing Nova do her job so tenderly makes him feel a little bit warm inside.
(I wish I had doctor visits that caring back home. I guess with the power of Magic™, everything is a lot easier. Or maybe it was due to some of the humans with the funny looking armors.)

>The healthy human can't seem to understand why they would change how a word is said just to place another word in it, but he can't judge the natives when he's a visitor.
(Hell, I may have to start using that terminology in my newly acquired work. Otherwise it could come out as too alien or something. Don't forget you're here to represent humankind here, not the ponies.)

>As the soon-to-be-diplomat practices his snooping skills, he realizes how big of a deal Lejura is to the point where he can't even hear the ponies on the other side, probably due to her 'taint' potential on the species.
(Is it really that bad to the point of soundproofing a room?)
>Torven's quick exit and shellshocked look on his eyes only confirmed his worries.
(Uy, el padrillo alado se murió. He definitely needs a pick-me-up.)
>He quickly follows Torven out with a bit of a jog as well, both as per Nova's instruction as well as to catch up with the deadened bat and offer a little gift to alleviate his pain.
>As they both go along, he rummages through his bag for the Fruit Juice™ and the recently open fruit bag, hopefully taken out by the time they both exit the Clinic. Of course, he calls for his attention.
"Excuse me, Mister Torven, but you seem quite down from your... talk with Lejura."
>At least he hopes it was a mere talk, and not some sort of psychic torture in there.
"May I interest you in some of these?"
>He presents the open bag while trying his hardest to open the currently sealed Fruit Juice™ with only his off-hand.
>Before he has a chance to act in a modest or dismissive manner, he adds some more words.
"Don't worry. It's my pleasure to help out a..."
>He glances to the side, unsure of what kind of relationship he has with the acquaintanced bat. He adds a rather sheepish smile, raising his shoulders unintentionally as he utters the words, looking back at him.
"...fellow Razorbacker...?"
(Tengo que ahogarme en libros de cultura ya. The last thing I want is to be a damn ñoqui.)
Snootadishu City-State: Southern Market Plaza
GM Strangler
>Snout scrunching merrily at your lack of acknowledgemarent on what her Cutie Mark meant, Tapeskat returns to gathering wooden buckets from under the next table.
"I understand most Equestrians can't read ours like we can't read theirs. Guess it's a lot harder for non-ponies that don't speak Zebraic, sorry for any confusion."
>Rolling a stack out before poking her head up for a peek at those on the list she hadn't crossed out, the Zebra filly's snout wiggles in what you think is speculation.
>Leaning her chest on the table sideways and standing up straight, she tips her head left, lips pursing several times until she frowns up at you.
"Those.. ..you aren't here to visit and this is a huge order that's never happened from Razorback before. I'm not SUPPOSED to do this but Neightime told me it's okay. Please meet me in there."
>Reaching up with her left foreleg to poke the buckets off her head, saddle, then rump, the dexterity of her motions far more than anypony you'd seen at Razorback make, the filly motions towards the northeast end of the giant open tent.
>Following her hoof you spy a small, low, fully enclosed sandstone structure that you noticed was hidden from external inspection by close clustered racks of drying herbs.
>Breaking into a high-stepping trot, following after her a break in the low set tables inwards gives you full access to the tent's interior.
>Passing inside towards the office, or whatever it was, you hear the younger Zebra fillies giggling loudly while collecting bundles of plants, glass jars, and small cloth satchels, placing them across the lower open shelves.
>At least they had a system in place for major deliveries.

>Reaching the structure, a heavy iron door already swung open, you were forced to duck low to step down and inside.
>Tapeskat was seated on a large, low brown lounging couch with her back facing you, the walls common, yet smoothed out reddish sandstone.
>In front of her was a short, rather crude white marble table covered in scrolls, leaning forwards with a hoof lightly placed on a loose bundle of silver vellum pages.
>Waving a hoof back towards you, the Zebra filly's head turns enough to give you a welcoming smile.
"Neightime told me to help out Razorback if they showed up here looking for stuff we don't have, but I've got a lot to say before that. Please close the door and sit with me, I'll try to explain the situation."
Basin Village: Last Stop Restaurant
GM Strangler
>Turning each page with delicate motions that you'd never seen the average batpony perform, the mare's snout crinkles in dark humor.
"Aside from their highly illogical attack a few hours ago, they have not assaulted other inhabited regions. I detest such intrusions as a matter of principle. Any events that reduce the probabilities of acquiring clearer historical knowledge only hinder our efforts."
>Gazing up momaretarily, a brief squint of surprise is given before staring into her book.
"That's.. unexpected. Well, this is useless now. Here I was thinking that you meant the native Harpies since marely of them were ship captains. Mares, change your searches to focus on the Planar Harpies originating before twenty-one eight-hundred. Ignore singular sea, land, or aerial assets. Search only for orbital capable reports, descriptions, designations, designs, and names, no sense in conflating their later constructions."
>Closing the cover on her volume, the web-scarred mare leans backs to give a mildly exasperated sigh.
"The answer fully depends on whom made or built them, when, why, where, how, in defense of what, defending against what, and more than be covered in a single hour. The word 'monolith' comprises 'mono', or one, which could mean an individual, one specific herd, a single culture, one of the cults related to the culture itself, an exterior cult from another culture, one's overherd or another overherd the individual has been in contact with, a single region, nation, or continent.. to name the most common examples. The word 'lith' is given specific meanings depending the species, region, continent, etcetera. For unicorns liths are markers ranging from 'do not travel through here' to 'safe passage' markers, while Germaneighan unicorns use liths to mark wayposts, outposts, and safe shelters for travelers. Crystal ponies use liths in some form of harmonic resonance on the basis of their biologically crystalline technologies. Those are only used in ponial items such as the hololith, guidelith, and houseliths. Ferron pegasi carve liths into boulders or well preserved trees, they convey dangers that are not capable of being avoided, removed, or defeated, but modern pegasi use liths in place of local region maps. Arkadians use liths to entice interested passersby into learning certain techniques, such as cloud shaping and producing lightning without natural talent, training, inherent skill, or instincts. The Malurians grow liths from certain flora to provide shelter and food in their lands which are also used as markers to reach their strongholds. For the marely other pony cultures, there's hundreds of uses for the term 'lith', which makes searching for specific identifications difficult."
>Noting the other mares had spread a wide selection of archaic scrolls, papers, and books across the entire table, the head mare sits back, forelegs crossing her chest with a polite smile of apology.
"Won't be much to find from me, sorry. My focus is between the Middle Dynasty Guardianship era to the early Lunar-Solar War. Before then most all Planar Harpies safely transited into another plane as they had significant physical and psychological difficulties living outside their home plane's physics. The ones that were unable to leave had, according to a few documarents, willingly been incorporated into a number of vessels ranging from land, sea, aerial, and a small number of aero-oceanic-orbital designs. You might've heard the term 'Great Oceans Above' from Ferron before, but if not there's a large mass of water outside Tallus' furthermost electromarenetic field, reaches about halfway to the Moon and Sun. Most of the Harpy vessels were destroyed in the centuries before those two conflicts, so said three or four of the previous Lunar Council, but they also stated that the hulls were lain to rest on the Dark Side of the Moon. Not a place to visit mind you, there's no air and it's colder than the Crystal Empire's Northern Tundra in winter. Let me think for a bit, see if I can remember anything useful."
>Head tipping down for a hoof to lift and prop her chin up, the cultist's eyebrows furrow together in a unicorn-like pose, staring directly at the table's edge.

>Catching a spritely, shiny gray batfilly in a comically oversized Prench maid outfit skipping about delivering bottles to other patrons, neon pink diamond eyes blink at you questioningly before she nods, about facing to skip off into what looked like the kitchen's only entrance.
>Still trying to pay attention to the inordinately dutiful batponies in their search, the fourth and sixth close their volumes at the rear cover.
>Giving you a distinctly negative head shake, both begin to repack their overburdened saddlebags with the same amount of care that treasure hunters took after recovering historical relics.
>The other three were jotting down double spaced notes onto brand new looking sheets of copper-encrusted vellum paper, which you could see were, thankfully, in Common Equestrian.

>The gray batfilly returns to briskly set down a worn, heavily tarnished silver dinner plate, then skips off once more before you could even reach for Bits.
>Six long bamboo skewers of ten large, fresh, already peeled steaming shrimp were the main feature, though a small black granite bowl in the center held a moderately spicy local sauce of some sort.
>As expected, there was only a faint trace of mango compared to the scent of fresh maremilk butter.

>The three successful subordinates each hold up their papers for the head cultist to take and peruse, likewise repacking their saddlebags without a commarend.
"A little more than I was hoping for, excellent findings all the same."
>Peering over the pages after a few momarents, tufted ears wiggle around in a curious circle.
"Before I begin, did the Harpy you spoke to give a series of numbers, letters, or a code phrase? I don't want to make a mistake or expend more resources than I'm allowed to."
Razorback Fortress: The Courtyard
GM Strangler
>Upon turning you find an older Crystal mare staring up at your helmet's center in mildly visible concern.
>Denoting the Crystal pony's translucent, definitively older thick clear-white crystal plates and heavily engraved frontal crest-shield, the physically damaged appearance combined with her somewhat noble bearing identified the mare as a Kingdom-era General.

>Standing behind the mare several paces was a barely visible human covered by a damaged set of vaguely sports related armor, save for being metallic rather than plastic or rubber.
>A slim motorcycle helmet like design, featuring a cracked visor, several visible electronic readouts inside the visor itself, and small antennae on the rear left side directly faced you.
>Slung over the shoulder was a dented baseball bat lazily grasped in the same hand, though a boxy submachine gun was slung around the right side, the figure giving a short nod.

"Doesn't look that way to me, especially after dealing with a Construct. You've been sitting here for roughly six minutes while experiencing random muscular spasms and making odd arm motions as if trying to defend against an unseen attacker. You were subject to a Starblazer's recorded beckoning call from their proto-deity, as did myself, General Kalatrine, General Garnelia, and the five fillies plus one Saddle Arabian colt in the Library's recreation room."
>Spoken in a gentle, mid-60's voice with grandmotherly amounts of concern.
>Soft, dusky blue eyes behind the helmet squint dubiously, shifting weight onto her left legs before offering a short, crisp right hoof salute.
"General Thansimum of the Crystal Kingdom Wardens here under Princess Cadenza's direct order. Former Knight-Lancer, part time Imperial Fortress-Warden, alchemist, friend to Razorback-"
>Right foreleg dropping onto the ground, her nostrils flare proudly underneath the snout plate.
"And dam of four previously complete-pain-in-the-flank foals. I have been assigned here to ease the suffering of Razorback humans, ponies, and those whom were relieved from Stalliongrad's possession. Now, may I perform treatmarent of Construct-caused insanity willingly, or unwillingly, to you? This choice is yours, however my orders are not."

>Hearing this the human takes an involuntarily step backwards, bat grasped tight as the helmet tips down rigidly in either fear or shock.
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Going unnoticed by the decently equipped humans, most likely due to combined genetic alcoholism, prospect of explosions, lack of concern, and the routinely encountered treasure hunter single-mindedness, not one of them looks away from their Commissar.
>Rather, the 'Commissar' was more a political figure as his tall fur hat and the wide, flat sided coat simply made him more visible than the others.
>That was excluding the teenage female's much shorter height and her ungainly, large submachine gun awkwardly carried in one hand.

>Eyeing the weapons themselves you note a complete lack of standard Imperium designs, which were also well outside the Vostroyan norm for complex mechanisms and ultra-traditional features:
>All three bolt-action rifles were unusually slim with a one or two-piece wood stock starting from the barrel's muzzle, likewise not featuring external magazines, and were equipped with high-mounted, worn steel sights.
>Both autostubbers, or submachine guns as Chisan had stated their archaic name was, were well made examples of stamped, likely good quality steel sheets fashioned into fairly comfortable looking weapons.
>They were, so far as you could tell, professionally spot and machine welded in key locations across the receiver, though you could definitely tell that they held reinforced actions, entirely opposite those autostubbers made by poorer Forge-Worlds.
>In all, they were definitely rugged, pre-M3 designs.

>Ordering the curiously shaped Preysense into action, it brightens into a host of relieving red tinted shades, indicating the materials and workmanship were close to Artificer-grade.
>Studying the door itself, four hinges on the left side, and the combination locks, the heat signatures of each were in the same zone around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
>Unable to find either cracks or surface damage, you reach out to tap the material several times experimarentally, dragging a glove across it as a second thought.
>The material composition sounded and felt to be a ratio of less than 60:1 compacted stone to easily identified, marbleized and thin metallic veins crossing the surface at equal intervals.
>Discarding the possibilities of titanium, gold, palladium, platinum, osmium, lead, and bismuth ores due to the entire door's peculiar nature, it was clearly cut from a slab of high density, non-crystallized volcanic granite interspersed with tungsten veins.
>How it had been cut was probably a local secret, if not entirely magical or psyker related, though tarnished, faint impressions of surface structure flaws reveal multiple clues in the form of consistent of oxygen and moisture related pitting levels that the door had been in place for at least 800 years.
>Studying the set of sixteen combination locks, they were a partially-refined, albeit fairly crude tungsten alloy, one that might fracture under either great heat or stress.
>Calculating the potential of finding the right numbers to release the vault's locks, your MIU's logic vectors return a dismally low result as whomever designed the vault door was fairly careful in their planning, especially since the alloy wouldn't show scuff marks unless it had used hourly for numerous millennia on end.

>Receiving a flatly chiming acknowledgement in Binary, the gruff not-Machine Spirit returns to performing several strata of subroutine maintenance protocols.
>Strangely, what the functions were for you didn't recognize.

>Lifting both wings to make a probably exacerbated shrug, the Knight reaches up with a front hoof to dislodge her snout mask partially, muttering in a faintly humored tone.
"I'm pretty well stumped. This stuff's much harder than the blackened steel my armor's made from, but it's not entirely metal. Tried digging into it with a wingblade, couldn't do more than scratch the surface.. snapped the tip off so it's probably harder than raw high grade titanium. Hinges don't have any external parts, flew up to check all of them out on each door. Must be internal mechanisms. Turned the locks a bunch of times like they've done, can't hear the pins click over. Well, if there are any pins. Might be some kind of tumbling bar mechanism like Stalliongrad's vaults have, but I've no idea how to defeat them if that's what this thing is using."
>Taking a deep inhale through her nostrils, the neon red mare glances over her shoulder to the five humans before returning to give you an out of place, highly submissive expression.
"How's Chisan doing now? He didn't look or sound good when I left, and I didn't want to piss him off any more than I've already done tonight."

>In a brief visual sweep, Pareidolia assesses the human behind the General. His eyes linger on the source of the visible electronic readouts and seemingly "futuristic" components.

[1d6 = 6]
<E. Perception
[1d6 = 5]

[1d6 = 4]

[Lax demeanor. Non-military. Potential courier? Urban related work, civilian weapon, and likely illegally acquired street firearm. Likely new.]

>Hearing the unusual name and even more unusual turn of events, he tilts his helmet slightly.

"That's what that was... ?"

[That would explain its ability to bypass and overwhelm electronics. Likelihood of infection extremely probable.]

>His brow furrows behind his mask, considering the implications as she salutes him.
>He methodically returns one of his own with a gloved first closing over heart and his right arm at a firm forty five degree angle.
>As he opens his palm, he glances down for a split second.

[How long has it been since I needed to perform that salute... ? No one other than me will know what it means.]

>Focusing back on the General, he says:

"My arm motions were due to attempting to reason with my, as I am now realizing, compromised helmet system. However, if you were able to deduce my state from that observation alone, then your analysis is reliable."

>He nods in affirmation, holding his hand up before putting it back at his side.

"The existence of a Construct proto-deity was not mentioned in any of the research texts I read. However, personal experience leads to no other viable conclusions. Before you begin, I need clarification. Were all affected individuals in or near the Library? Will you be able to purge the Construct influence from my helmet system as well as myself? And what will the process involve?"

>His focus darts towards the unsettled newcomer.

[Very much new.]

Cairn Wharf: Lunar Outpost Nine
GM Strangler
>The level-headed batpony makes a deliberately wide wing motion towards the pier's west end, which covers the second mare's short, exasperated nod, her eyes lazily drift to the far left.
"Worse than a minotaur stomping through Canterlot, though I'm willing to bet my entire month's Bits you haven't noticed the five Sea's Bounty fillies subtly keeping the other Ferron from trying to reach you."
"She's neither a spy nor an agent, turns her entire body to look at you.. and how do you know there's five? I can only see two."
"Three are unpainted in loose diagonal formation, that's causing pegasi to step around them. One in front has green war paint, no saddlebags, makes her look like she's simply window shopping. Last one isn't, her saddlebags are full of coins. Stops to touch everything interesting, doesn't appear out of place here. Must be one of the Matron's fillies, she's real good at keeping her perspective. It's a better strategy than those I've been shown, especially for them being young."
>Right set of wingclaws flicking in the same marener an annoyed human would do with their hand, the paranoid batpony's face settles into lazy, mostly relaxed lines.
"Cult of the Dark Horse was recorded as being founded sometime in the late nineteen-thousands by Discordites. Don't know why exactly but they love him almost as much as they do mangoes. And yes, that is long before the fat-flanked Empress started her Dynasty shenanigans. They're the ones that confer with the various Ferron clans, distributing updated maps of each region every year. Not only that around half the Moors libraries save for those the Krags are owned by the Cult, though they allow free access into them. Despite my ponial reservations about what they might be searching for, I do have to state if the Cult was planning something major they'd have acted by now, besides her that is. Rest of the Cult have carried on in business as usual functions."
>For once giving her opposite an impressed look, the calmer batmare's ears wiggle merrily.
"It's more likely she's taken a severe interest due to finding some coincidental comparison between humans and ponies, similar to what was supposed to happen during Razorback's return to Canterlot. ..and please don't quote me on that, I'd like to avoid prison."
>The second mare leans forwards while rolling her eyes, chest now on the table's edge while further pushing the small note towards you.
>Which you note was in large, blocky bright green letters, thankfully in Common Equestrian:
"Don't listen to her, that was nothing more than a bunch of filly speculation and diplomatic rumors to keep everypony from knowing there was a meeting taking place. If the Cairn's inns somehow happen to be full tonight you should visit the Sea's Bounty beach fortress, they'll have no problem giving you a room and protection. I hear they're starting to build real cottages now instead of getting by in basic huts."
"Really? About time they expanded some. Late fall currents make scavenging and driftwood collection impossible."

>Meeting the out of place mare's eyes directly staring at you, she briefly freezes, then in barely controlled panic snaps around hurriedly to poke at something in front of her.
>The short, neon Ferron clanmares around the Cult's leader take notice, their heads turning to give her baffled looks.
>Yep, completely incompetent.
Bubba the Second
>He glances to the side, before shrugging.
"I didn't come here expecting to be stalked by a cult, so I wasn't looking for anyone."
>He pretends to do an upper body stretch as the mare gives out the fillies, scanning the crowd subtly.
[1d6 = 4]
>E. Perception
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6 = 6]

>He just gives them an "eh" shrug as she explains how long the Cult was around.
>As he glances over the note, he takes a second to look over at where it was, using the motion to make it appear as if he was looking over the crowd a bit.

>He snorts at her reaction and decides its a good idea to mess with her.
"Alright, if there's a trap its obviously not around her. Completely incompetent at being subtle."
>He bids the two farewell and moves towards the cultist's general direction, but not directly to her.
>After mentally ensuring everything on his person was firmly placed there, of course.

"No, that's on me. Not used to...getting meanings yet."
>That and staring at flanks like it's an art exhibit is weird
>Zhun perks up an eyebrow questioningly
>His eyes follows Tapeskat towards the other end of the tent before following behind
>Reaching the structure, Zhun leans over to fit in
>"Happiest place I've been in yet."
>Going over to Tapeskat, he notices that low table with scrolls and such
"It's fine with me."
>Zhun heads over to the table and sits crossed legged, ready for he reasoning
>Planar Harpies?
>Clem's mind instantly refers to more esoteric looking harpies that seemingly has dimensional control
>Probably with hints of stereotyping but it's what happens if you never seen one in person
>Besides, the talking ship is more cool
"From what I'm getting, liths seem to be landmarks for navigation mostly."
>So not a name, maybe location?
>But why refer to a warning marker or landmark?
>Something to show perhaps
>Well that explains the ship
>Specifically no pilot
>Existence failure
>Seeing the filly in the Prench filly come back with those skewers, he starts to reach for his bits but sees her skipping off
>Clem sits confused before setting the bits on the table next to the platter
>He didn't even figure the place to be the kind of place to have Prench outfits
>After taking a delicious bite of the skewers, he looks over to the head mare and then raises a hand to his strapped chin
"I believe so. Give me a second."
>After ten or so seconds, Clem remembers one of the last things the ship said to him
"She talked in very old Common. I do remember numbers. 'Two 'pon five thee Silver Monolith'. That's where I asked about it."
Mallia Castella
>As her hand slid across the 800 year vault door, the enginseer that was Mallia couldn't help but give off an impressed sounding "Hmph!" as she examined the materials used in the construction.
>She was 65% sure that Chisan hadn't anticipated such a hardy door to crack with a hellpistol, but the other 45% of her was pretty sure he just didn't think about it when handing her the hellpistol.

>She didn't mind the challenge. What she did mind was the pressure applied by the Vostroyans intending to potentially disrupt her concentration with explosives, and maybe even put their well-being at risk in the process...

>Lifting a gloved hand to adjust the preysense visor up on the helmet while sending a mental 'thank you' and 'stand-by' command, the woman's eyes focused on the combination lock.
>The smiling and warm look in her verdant eyes fades as she appraised the look with a glance, slowly quirking a brow with interest.
>She also glanced to the hinges when Raspberry mentioned them, likewise examining them and considering them as she runs a few theories through her head...

(I could try to burn my way into the hinges. It would be time-consuming, but it would take less time than burning a hole through the door itself.)
(I could also try to apply the Rite of Constant Firing to the combination lock's edges, and remove it like one would remove a covering. Maybe if I saw what was behind it, the mechanism could be manipulated - or maybe analyzed to glean a helpful hint.)
(There is also a chance that the door has safety mechanisms... Without Admiral Auspex available, I'm operating on the assumption that there's no explosives implanted in there. Or other things that would make my life harder than it already is.)

>That's all that came out of Mallia, a small but constant hand twitch prompting her to constantly brush her index fingers and middle fingers together unconsciously. Her brow furrowing as her glance focuses once more on the combination lock...
>But before she can really put in an effort to explore it further, Raspberry's question about Chisan broke her concentration.
>Mallia blinked twice, then turned to the mare. At first staring blankly as she comes back from her train of thought, then slowly smiling warmly to her interest in the stormtrooper's well-being.

"Chisan is, admittedly, in a lot of pain. He fractured a rib, and his already weak armor has been damaged by the fall..."
>Her eyes seem to downcast when she mentioned his armor being broken. A hint of shame and bitterness passing through her glance as a grimace.
"But, we had a few autoinjectors for that. He's still pretty hurt, and it's probably best none talk to him anymore for a while unless it's for uh... Mission related things."
>Her bright eyes returned to the pegasus to gaze to her visor, one brow arching with curiosity. Her tone softening to a whisper. Albeit a little bit off-handedly.
"I have to say, I'm surprised you'd say that after his minor hostilities towards you. it's unexpected."

>Though her lips were concealed by the rebreather of her helmet, there was a silently approving smile.

(Is it strange to feel a sense of affection towards even a sanctioned xenos? I feel like most of the things I've been taught were lies now... It's sad now that I think about it.)
(Not to mention discovering that ... SOME machine spirits are actually people.)
(That's kind of horrifying. But I'm more scared of the fact that I'm not more surprised. Who would even question it in my age?)

>Her eyes briefly take on a more troubled, grimacing look to them for a moment. A hint of sorrow overtaking her warmth, as her eyes turned towards the combination lock again. Examining it more closely, and looking for the best angle to attempt to remove it from the door, leaning closer to it.

[1d6 = 6]
<B. Perception
[1d6 = 2]

[1d6 = 4]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 1]

[1d6 = 2]

"But... I disgress. I have discovered some information about our door by just looking at it."
>She takes an inward sigh and quietly puts a hand to one of the wheels of the lock, scrolling the numbers at random as she speaks.
"First of all, I detect a... Less than 5% chance that we'd be able to defeat this lock without the combination on hand."
"Second of all, the door appears to be made of a type of high density, non-crystallized volcanic granite mixed with veins of tungsten. And it is at least 800 years old."
>She stopped fiddling with the combination lock and reached up a hand to pass her gloved fingers over the veins of tungsten, just to get a feel for them and show them to the mare - if she cared to follow her exposition.

>Then she looked back down to the combination lock, still squinting at it. She had a bit of confidence in her words, but she was not completely doubtless yet.
"A minor highlight of all the nonsense I've just said is that... The combination lock itself is made of a tungsten alloy, so it can fracture if exposed to great heat, or stress. A theory of mine is that we could try to remove it and check out what is behind it, and examine it for maybe a hint. Or perhaps to just see how it works. Or, if anything, have a good starting point to burn through the door itself."
>She briefly glanced over to the mare to see if she had bored her new friend to death already, or if she was still following.
"What you could do to help... Is, when I manage to weaken it enough, you can pull it off since you're a lot stronger than me.

>The Enginseer slowly put a hand to her respirator, resuming her twitchy movements of her index and middle finger.

"I could also try to defeat the hinges..."
>She furrowed her brow into a slight scowl.
"This is going to take a while... If I can just figure out a method..."

>After she had finished speaking, she slowly draws Chisan's hellpistol. Looking it over briefly to appraise it before she does anything. She would need to make sure it CAN handle the Rite of Continuous firing to a satisfactory degree.

"Sorry for being so boring to listen to."

A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
239515 239619
>Sparing a second to weigh his options while carefully grasping the sack and not reaching in for anything yet, the potato golem makes a slight nod.
"It would be best not to antagonize Razorback's superiors in the Lunar faction via Mercy's presence. I will accept this request, Commander."

>Puffing her cheeks out, Mercy lifts her wings barely a hoof while, for some reason, lewdly scrutinizing the Councilmare.
[1d6+4 = 9]
<Reveal Unnatural
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 10]

[1d6+4 = 9]

>Now only visible as gray outlines, a partially enraged equine snort is given as the batmare's first response.
"Laziness is a crime, not a virtue, human-"
>The last word spoken in a wincingly cutting, derogatory marener.
"I am Lunarborn, not subject to the flightiness nor weaknesses of most batponies. My duties were commissioned by direct commarend from Princess Luna to research, understand, locate, find, identify, then execute all discovered Lunar vampires. Several were found tonight, by you, therefore my duties are not complete regardless of my injuries or ponial misery."
>Sensing little more than incredulous disgust from the mare's thin outline, the right set of wingclaws splay outwards in an openly hostile motion.
"I will entertain this notion only due to the fact that I've destroyed sixteen Constructs on my own and would dearly like to be asleep right now. Tell me why precisely I should not eliminate this unknown number of experimarentally Luna-altered ponies whom are fully capable of mass slaughter by thirty to eightyfive factors beyond equivalent pony capabilities. Whom, I must add, are likewise incapable of a necessarily dreamless sleep without the alchemically modified berries from the flowering ambrose plant, purposefully eliminated after their disappearances somewhere around two hundred years after the Lunar-Solar War ended. That, by the way, concluded with the banishmarent of Princess Celestia's alter-ego, the so-called 'Solar Tyrant', Princess Luna's destruction of the various Enclaves and their experimarents, which also coincided with the near-complete removal of around nine hundred pony lineages deemed empirical failures by both factions. Make me understand why I should betray Princess Luna's orders to destroy these failures for the remote hope of a single positive consequence."

>Head tossing backwards, the batpony Councilmare shoots an impartial scowl at you before pointing her left wing towards Jeff, but mostly at the crypt's mostly closed barracks doors.
"Don't assume you know what Princess Luna's orders are, she's mourned those monsters for over a millennia now! Ambrose berries cannot grow in Equestria anymore, millions of seeds planted by every species across these lands died without a single one of them sprouting. Princess Luna sent thousands to other dimensions, spectrums, and Planes, all of which equally failed. If you think the Nightmare wants a bunch of miserable warmares that can only be controlled after they're forcefully put to sleep from the extracts of a single stupid berry are somehow more useful than modern mares, then I suggest you reconsider how 'impetuous' I am. Equestria's three Princesses and Queen have suffered from their failures more than enough to pay for every bloodied crime committed in the past three thousand years, so how much more intelligent are you than they to say what 'should' have occurred?"
>Stomping her newly joined, artificial Empire crystal hoof on the smoothed out flooring, the Councilmare's head swings around to hiss in your direction.
"Spare me your sanctimoniously foalish excuses, I'm not about to betray the orders of my Princess, two other Princesses, or the Queen. What cause would lead me to to believe what you or others state based on lacking direct experience?"

>Carefully analyzing the Councilmare's body and vocal cues, then understanding her fully open Common, your body turns rigid in shock at the entire Lunar overherd's painful, logical realizations pounding into your psyche.
Low Stability Consequence: the Councilmare was correct. Princess Luna was no fool: she had requested previous generations of Lunars to seek out and destroy the imperfect, flawed, and dangerous creations of their predecessors, and of her own make. They were not to cover up, hide, or deflect the Lunar faction's past failures, only to remove those mistakes without causing harm to innocent ponies. This long hated, mutated batpony mare forbid all choices: she willingly, freely swore terrible and vile oaths out of duty. She did not relish this fact, nor could she cease her efforts until all abominations created during the Lunar-Solar War were eliminated, or until her death, whichever came first. She was not the first one to do so, nor would she be the last.

>Jolting you out of the Lunar overherd's unprepared knowledge, the Councilmare bares shiny fangs through some variation of the Void she'd transited into.
"Forget Constructs, the Endless March, Ewerup, the Coville disaster, Caneighdia's fracturing, the Saddle Arabian and Crystal pony descendants of earth ponies, and whatever else you've heard of. Those are foalish argumarents over who had the better idea or who would have been right more often than not. The Princesses must focus on protecting Equestria as they once did, but until that time occurs I'll be here to do what dirty work they can't."

"Nightblade Jeff. You have precisely sixty seconds to convince me of why I should not abide by orders. Fail this and you, the golem, the Pale Destroyer, and the marecenary behind me shall be treated as enemies."
>Turning once more in Jeff's direction, a burned, partially shredded, scorched, and torn Lunar Council cloak is thrown off her onto the floor in front of her, the motion a deliberate challenge.
"Or perhaps you may attempt to kill me, in which case you'll suffer the consequences of defying Princess Luna's direct orders. I may be injured, but I am neither stupid nor foolhardy. Your choice. Make it count."
Razorback Fortress: The Clinic
GM Strangler
>Stopping a few paces from the front doors, Torven's wings wrap around his head, grasping his face with both sets of phenomenally large wingclaws.
>Silent for a few seconds until emitting a tight, despairing sigh, the stallion's wings slowly fold back onto his sides.
"Were you a being I wanted to torture for a million years straight.. I wouldn't let you in. Not even those morbidly insane ponies living in Equestria deserve her form of punishmarent."
>Pausing to turn his head and give you a haunted stare, his gaze lowers to eye the offerings, shaking his head briefly at the fruit.
"Can't eat for the next few nights. If you have a couple bottles of strong alcohol or painkillers on hoof I'd ponifally be in your debt but if not I need to visit the Mess Hall's bar right now."
>Speaking in a quietly dejected tone, his left wing extends outwards, the trio of claws delicately grasping onto the bottle's midsection.
>Either unable to care or lacking any regard for his own safety, the cobalt batpony stallion lifts it up for several deep swallows.
>Quietly exhaling, the empty plastic bottle is presented back to you, afterwards accompanied by a glance towards Nova Flicker currently treating her newest patient, whom was no longer grumbling from what you could hear judging by deep, rhythmic humming.
>Gazing upwards with an expression that appeared to be one of sincere apology, Torven gestures with his left wing at the Clinic's doors, stepping forwards to push the left one open.
"The basic meanings between equine and human languages are very different. And no, I'm not ponifally allied with Razorback though I enjoy spending my time here rather than being in Basin Village. Come with me, I'll explain what I know."
Razorback Fortress: The Courtyard
GM Strangler
>Calculating the newly arrived human's equipmarent, a spot of marginal interest occurs in that the chest armor was decidedly for a female based on two mildly pronounced, target-inducing bulges.
>Filing that notation away for later, the visor's readouts were positive indications of mid-2020's solid crystalline display technologies based on even colored brightness and fairly decent anti-glare functions, though still fairly crude if it were a basic design.
>The boxy submachine gun was an upscaled Ingram MAC-11 or MAC-12 variant in either an Otherworldly standard 10MM to 11MM cartridge judging by the extended, heavily worn carbide-coated muzzle brake, one that had seen far better days.
>The damaged, decidedly non-military armor fell directly in line with the various forms of suspicious 'job protection' designs, while the dull titanium bat was eight inches beyond normal length, pushing it's owner further into coming from an illegitimate occupation.
>Her entire demeanor that you could surmise was directly criminal, though relatively soft judging by the lack of surprise following a native equine around.
>And, should circumstances permit, highly exploitable should the opportunity arise.

"Worse than I remember to be honest. Not sure I'm able to explain, was a bit more startling than expected. Can't remember how marely Wardens were lost after retaking the Southern Lowland mines. A few are Crystalline Shells now, thank Cadenza's efforts. Thought they'd been wiped out, guess not. Going to step up recruiting efforts among my generation when I get back, there'll be plenty of Crystal ponies begging to rejoin for a chance at ripping Constructs apart a few more times."
>Offering a thin-lipped smile, Thansiumum bows her head for several momarents until standing up straight once more, the clear-white helmet turning towards the Pagoda in scrutiny.
>She didn't realize the salute's specific meaning, instead responding with a strictly formal Crystal pony bow.
"Starblazer Type One, maybe a Four, both older than my lineage. Not a model to piss with or ignore, you've heard why. Hard to tell which one exactly; both are relentless, they'd burn themselves into molten puddles. Ones sometimes used shields, Fours tended to defend themselves using erratic mareneuvers. Both carried foamed silverine taken from Dynasty research centers, cities, bases, even some of those strange vessels the Lunars liked. Used for temporary hull patches until a Repair equipped model was able to restore their exterior."
>Clear-white helmet returning to you and tilting, the Kingdom General exhales through the snout plate in mild surprise.
"Compromised? As in corrupted? Well.. that's.. both fascinating and worrisome to put my feelings in the most basic terms. I didn't know human technology was advanced enough to house InterPonies or anything like them."
>Not entirely ignoring the defensive reaction taking place by tossing her helmet backwards several inches, the Empire General's face heavily creases in thought.
"Aside from this human that landed facefirst in what I suppose is this Library's filly room after the Starblazer was eliminated, that is correct. Generals Kalatrine, Garnelia, and myself successfully treated the unicorn filly, Crystal filly, three pegasi fillies, and one Saddle Arabian colt. If your helmet is crystalline based then yes, shouldn't be difficult, I've restored some of the oldest Crystalline Shells corrupted by the damned Construct language. That is unless it's a hard material to interface with or heavily protected by esoteric languages that I'm unfamiliar with."
>Ears flicking futilely in the helmet's projections at the third question, Thansimum gives a gentle, reassuring smile.
"Have you ever been subjected to a Crystal pony's recuperative melodies?"
>The answer was a distinct 'no', not that she knew it.
"If not all you'd be required to do is sit down, relax, focus solely upon my voice, and allow me to erase the stains of Planar contact-madness from your psyche. There will be mild short term memory difficulties for a few hours, though the alternative is suffering from substantial physical and marental deterioration for around two months."

>Visibly even more unsettled than before, the human's gloved left hand had taken over grasping the bat, drawing it over the same shoulder while the right was carefully shifting toward the submachine gun's grip.
>Thansimum's expression turns several degrees of smug betraying she could hear, or perhaps sense, what was occurring behind her and hadn't made a defensive movemarent.
>At least, not yet.
>Cheto only needs to look at his reaction to figure out it was no simple case of annoyance.
(What other potentially dangerous things are they keeping here?)
>He nods at Torven's attempt to express how bad it was in there, withdrawing the bag, sealing it and putting it back into his bag.
"I understand."
>He awaits with a bit of a hearty smile at how his bat acquaintance drinks the whole bottle of Fruit Juice without pretenses.
"I do have some painkillers on me, but I am not sure how many of them do you need or if they'll even work on you, but feel free to use them."
(Seeing how one of the mares can withstand so much firepower being thrown against her.)
>He reachs his arm for the pouch on his leg, taking out the painkiller jar he has in there, presenting it as well as taking the empty plastic bottle and putting it back in his bag.
>Of course, he follows Torven's gesture as he does it, too, not wanting to strain Nova's magic powers any longer.
"Sure thing. I do need some pointers to understand this world. Start where you think it is most important for a human newcomer to know, mainly cultural or political stuff but I'm open for anything that doesn't fit there you think is necessary, important or complementary."
>He gives a curt smile to the now slightly less distressed batpony.
"Lead the way, Mister Torven."
The L.O.N.T
night_date_by_dragonfoxgirl_ddemoin small.png

The L.O.N.T
Krinza and Lann on a date like a pair of nerds
File (hide): 0.0 (0.0 bytes, 0, .....jpg)
[1d6+5 = 9]
[1d6+5 = 6]
[1d6+5 = 6]

239619 245313
>Now that the councilmare has cooled down, he realizes what shape she's in.
>She looks like she's already went ten rounds on the Citadel, before coming here.
>But despite the fact that he was able to calm her down to the point of NOT releasing a spell of sorts, her seething rage still made it abundantly clear.
>He doesn't remember calling her lazy, though.
>But before he can interject, she starts on a long winded speech.
>Followed by another one, as she switches between him and Sunny.
>It was bad. All of it was bad, on their part.
>They en-longed their lifespans, made them dependant on Ambrosia to stay sane. Then took it all away, and systematically removed them from existence.
>They toyed with pony lives. Turned them into killing machines, and tossed the bad ones aside. No longer fit for service.
>Only then did it dawn on him why is eye involuntarily twitched, his teeth clenched to the point of cracking, and his gauntlet-clad fist clenched white knuckled.
>Because it was all too familiar for him.
>Exhaling his pent up rage out in a single leveled breath, her square-up is redundant to him as the sole Nightblade human takes a single deliberately-heavy step toward the outlined batmare, and banks off to Mercy's side to allow passage.
"Please, like I was going to stop you. All I was going to say is they're aware of the situation on the Citadel, and probably finishing up arming themselves to the fangs. Figured they're so devoted, I could at least chaperon them for one last fight. But seeing as I'm not privy to some important information-"
>He stops far enough to the side and crosses his arms, glaring daggers at the councilmare and her barely unbridled fury.
"I won't stop you, but I refuse to assist you either. Can't carry out an order I was never given."
>Deep down, he understood the situation. And he understood what needed to be done, if it all was in fact true.
>There was no way to control the vampires, anymore, once they went off.
>And even if she did fail, another one would take her place. Even he might have to finish her job.
>To ensure the Lunar's dirt was thoroughly swept under the rug.
>When he first came here, he figured things would be different. That for once in his single-minded miserable life he could do something good for once.
>But once again, here he was: doing the wetwork for another country that had far too many skeletons in its closet.
>It made his blood boil as hot as the sun, punch his fists into the wall until his knuckles bled and his bones shattered.
>But the councilmare was hellbent on doing this, even in her already battered state.
"Go on. Have at 'em."
>Did she have a card up her sleeve to kill, let alone execute every single vampire? Or was her blind devotion so powerful, that even in her state she refused to back down even in the face of inevitable failure?
>Because if sixteen of himselves were going to tear her limb from limb, he won't interfere.
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny scowled at the councilmare's ranting, seemingly having completely ignored everything she'd just said.
>As an alchemist, she knew full well that Ambrosia could no longer be made, but couldn't recall exactly why the berries refused to grow. She could think about it, or she could make her point again for the lunar councilmare, though she wasn't particularly inclined to believe she'd be any better at listening this time around.
"Intelligent enough to know that you, Her and everyone else up on the moon barely survived a probing assault. The next one won't be as gentle, you cannot hold the moon on your own, especially now that you're weakened. We saw that damnable suicide cult assembling back in Basin Village, if you're perfectly willing to send them to their deaths, why not this lot?"

>The mare was shocked to stillness as the alien thoughts of the Lunar overherd intruded on her, shaking her head side to side as if to get them out.
>Angered at the intrusion, Sunny spat out each word spitefully, her sudden hatred for this specific pony and every pony she was associated with barely contained.
"Don't talk to me about 'them'! If Luna is too cowardly to look them in the eye before ordering their mortal coils cut by somepony else, then at least have the common decency to grant them this last act of service if they wish it, for your own sakes if not for theirs."
>She wanted to rail, she wanted to yell at this councilmare and vent her frustrations.
>Instead she sat, lightheaded.

>After her final line, Sunny quirked her mouth into a wry smile and shook her head woefully.
"You could have fooled me, only a stupid and foolhardy pony would adhere to an order to kill ponies they know are effective and heavily armed combatants in a state such as you're in. If the Lunar wasn't incapacitated right now, I have no doubt she still would have sent you in her stead to die or kill pointlessly while the real enemy is hovering over your gods damned heads."
>Her words were bitter, even to her. It shouldn't be this way. It shouldn't.

>She sat still and resolved not to interfere, following Jeff's more or less unspoken lead.
>Much as she wanted to interfere and stop these shortsighted ponies from dooming themselves and possibly the entire planet in the process, she had her orders.
>Instead, she focused on drawing on her Alchemical knowledge about Ambrosia. Of course she'd never seen, let alone concocted the brew. If it were able to grow once, it should be able to grow again, and Sunny had no reason to believe anypony had really made a serious attempt to solve the problem aside from some half hearted attempt to replant them rather than figuring out why they won't grow, instead resolving for the easier solution of slaughtering every Lunar Vampire they could find than reverse whatever had been done to prevent a single berry from growing.
>Or so she thought, it would not surprise her in the slightest if it were true.

[1d6+3 = 9]
< E. Alchemy
[1d6+3 = 5]

[1d6+3 = 8]

Cairn Wharf
GM Strangler
"Been posted here three years now, I can tell you why: Razorback humans have never visited Cairn Wharf. Makes it safer for individual and non-aligned humans to come here safely as a meeting place."
>Spoke the first Lunar Guard, her snout scrunching in a tactful amount of amusemarent.

>Following the suspicious Lunar's eyes, the loose diagonal line of three fillies placing themselves roughly 20M behind you had no distinctions between their dull blue warpaint jobs, easily recognizable due to long experience of various Ferron clans constantly visiting Razorback.
>They were deliberately abusing the concept of space by the central one acting as a bored, wandering Matron's daughter flanked by two lower ranking guardfillies from her own clan as, and was doing a perfect job 'ignoring' them while disdainfully ignoring those passing around.
>Behind the trio, a green and blue Hunter-Killer warpainted Ferron filly visibly window shopping in their wake.
>As stated she was scrutinizing everything on the multitude of stalls, all without the appearance of wanting to touch anything.
>Picking up the 'window shopper' 20M behind that one, this one was a highly talented interdictor on par with Crystal pony actors easily five times her age.
>Tightly woven brown saddlebags visibly bulged out, and audibly jingling, this one's gaze passes over you onto the stalls opposite the fake recruiting station.
>Drifting back to her task without a hint of acknowledgemarent to you, she was indeed picking up and examining every possible trinket, piece of driftwood, and food alike with the same focus that Krinza does with suspicious weaponry.
"..damn, you're right. Didn't notice them in the slightest."
>Muttered the first Guard in a dumbstruck tone.
"Matron's filly all right. Sea's Bounty maybe?"
"Not a clue."
"Well, you get two-fifths my Bits when the month ends."

>The note is retracted with a partially smug expression as you glance left.
>Towards the pier's new construction section, a brand new, bright neon painted sign reading that simply stated: BAR.
>Which, you realized, was incredibly out of place seeing as every other sign so far had at least two languages on it.

"She's alone right now and there's only a hooffull of ponies here that don't love Razorback. Since Ferron are banned from joining the Cult they tend to drop information to us regularly.. even if sitting on our asses keeping watch is more dull than carving gravestones."
>Slipping something under the table, the suspicious batmare offers a mischievous smile in return while the first splays her wingclaws in agreemarent.
"Could be worse. You might be at Basin right now."
"Really? This, right now? Just stop, tonight's bad enough already-"
"I could make it worse-"
"Please.. please don't. Take care of yourself Bubba, we'll probably meet again when events settle. I've been looking forwards to getting a rotation in at Razorback."

>Patting yourself down quickly, nothing was out of place save for a number of borrowed heatstones.
>Drifting back into the older pegasi and batpony groups, now that you realized it most were keeping their distance from the positioned fillies, yet still offering nods, smiles, and wing or hoof waves.
[1d6 = 1]

Snootadishu City-State: Southern Market Plaza
GM Strangler
"Before as in these-"
>Waiting until the door closes, the Zebra filly makes a partial shrug while spreading several papyrus sheets out with her right hoof for you to read.
>Leaning forwards to study them over, each was written in the peculiar Canterlotlian flourish of Common Equestrian script.
>Quite a few familiar names from the major, and most of the minor, Equestrian factions, along with dozens of others across Tallus were listed in descending order of status.
>At the bottom of each were dates ranging from one to six months before Razorback arrived on Tallus, that is until the unique signatures of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna.
>Stated on the other pages, there was to be one representative from each faction across Tallus whom were contractually obligated to provide alchemical services and shipmarents of relevant items to Razorback Companeigh itself, at regularly scheduled monthly intervals.
>The paymarents were specifically addressed to an organization called the 'Friends of Equestria', one that you'd never heard of before.
>Likewise from your time in Razorback you knew that not a single service nor shipmarent similar to these had occurred, which made these breaches of contract rather confusing.

>Rubbing her snout with one knee, Tapeskat sits back to eye a large, platinum-encrusted birchbark scroll in the table's center.
"Before Razorback Companeigh was brought here.. five or six months less than three years ago now? Maybe, I think that's when. Aneighhow, Neightime and some others from Saddle Arabia were commarended by the Bronze Duke, that's Saddle Arabia's current ruler, to appear at Canterlot Palace. She must've been there for a week, we couldn't keep up with all the orders coming in. When she came back this contract was hung up here and spent a couple weeks teaching us everything we were supposed to do. But-"
>Nudging the scroll towards you, Tapeskat's eyebrows furrow together as she frowns.
"None of that happened. This is signed and sealed by Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, the Bronze Duke, a ton of other rulers.. and some others from places I can't pronounce during midsummer 29,995. There's a bunch of royal and noble names on here from everywhere else I can think of too, but that's not the problem. Only three of those that signed this contract-"
>Wiggling her snout at it speculatively.
"Actually came here around three weeks after humans started showing up all over. One of them was a Canterlot princess.. not a PRINCESS princess like the alicorns are, she was more like an.. under-princess? Sorry, the word 'princess' is written in all lowercase, dunno what that means exactly. Neightime told me she's a descendant of Princess Celestia from waaay back in the past. When she did show up with the other nobles or royals everypony in the plaza was ordered to leave by the Duke's Guard. Both of them were unicorns, dunno what they looked like but I could see they had horns. When we were let back in Neightime told us the contract was broken and to forget it was ever made."
>Taking a slow, deep inhale to settle herself, the Zebra filly pushes a small, official looking white notepad in your direction.
"The Bronze Duke sent this to her, it was supposed to record all the stuff we were supposed to deliver the first of every month. He came here a week or two after we learned Canterlot Palace was gone. Even had four Desert Guardians, really big, scary stallions all wearing crowns and old armor, and he told her to burn it. She.. she got really mad and bucked him right in the snout. He was bleeding all over. She started shouting something about 'us' getting betrayed and I got scared, ran in here to hide because I didn't know what was going on. He left and she never got punished. A couple Desert Guardians used to patrol Snootadishu at dusk and dawn, now they won't even come here because Neightime was so mad."
>The Zebra filly's head rolls back, staring at the upper wall in something akin to bafflemarent.
"I think after we heard Razorback Companeigh settled.. somewhere in Southern Equestria, Neightime started having us take and sell the same kinds stuff we were supposed to send to some Crystal ponies in the Empire. She wrote it all down, every leaf, drop, and powder grain. Last month the Bronze Duke came back, and I was about to run in here again with the others. He ordered us to stop, and.. well, we did. Then he said this: 'keep selling to them or I'll ensure the last breath you take will be under me'. Then he asked if she'd be willing to take over some big old marension near the Northern Tartarus Coast, I remember that part real well, south of a big tributary I can't say right. She's been gone a lot so I guess she took it over."
>Head dropping down and towards you, Tapeskat's slowly deepening frown reaches critical, nearly comedic mass.
"I dunno what ANY of this means. Neightime told me to tell everything I could remember to anypony or human from Razorback that comes here."
The L.O.N.T

>He nodded, appreciating her and the others' situation.
"I see. Constructs have always been a problem for as long as I remember being here, and appear to becoming more and more invasive as time moves on."

>He met her stare, expression blank.
"I hope she could listen to me. Could. The guilt of not doing enough despite doing so much weighs heavy on her, pinning her in her predicament. But I don't see no harm in asking. Me though? I don't feel I've earned in, feeling like I've been wondering around aimlessly for too long."
>Lont explained, ending with a shrug of the shoulders. What could go wrong from suggesting she take a few days off?

"I was never that adapt at medicine however it has always come in handy when it was needed. More than once too."
>He was not well educated on healing, everything he learned was from experience not from books. Which was why he saw himself closer to a medic than an actual doctor.
>'...Am I Razorbacks' Medical Liaison? Can't recall at the moment.'

>Again with a list of edibles from up north. It made a tempting offer to explore there soon just to see what he could scrounge up if he was not bogged down with other duties needing attention.
"It is good to know they are seen in a sympathetic light, they sound like they have enough on their plate already.
>'Like myself.'

>Seeing Tacit was indeed in good hooves relieved Lont of some stress. Secure in the knowledge that his one direct source of the sudden and awful turn of events was not going to mysteriously die under his nose meant he could focus on the now.
>The now being a date with food.

>The Operators lips pulled back to mimic Shatters' smile, his tone reassuring as his thumb rubbed along the smooth surface of her crystal hoof.
"I am more than willing to take it slow and steady, if you so wished."
>He promised, giving her another wink.
>At hearing the protests Lont craned his neck to look back at the Chef that interrupted his fun.
"Apologises, I shall save the main performance for later after we've eaten."
Maths...Eureka! -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
239774 239810
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>Golden tilted his head at Adon in slight intrigue as he kept his eyes on the magical barrier.
"What are Elves actually?"

>He too stepped back as he went worked up an answer.
"e Does hold the key to opening these doors yes. And that is a possibility for his Underlings. For himself? Neigh, he would not stoop so long as to leave clues. He sees that as admitting weakness, no, he would brute force his way past this."
>He raised a foreleg up so he could rub his nose with a knee, frustrated.
"If only we had stayed and BUCKING inquired for more information beforehoof from those Slavers."

>The Witcher examined the finely carved Tretogorese door frame for any clues hidden amongst the masterful carvings of symbols of wealth, animal heads and filigree. He saw nothing on that lacquered wooden surface. His eyes eventually drifted back towards the equation floating in the centre of the magical barrier. As he stared at it Adon felt the world around him disappear as his mind worked on deciphering what the it all meant. Then, as if he was slapped in the face, the answer began to appear.

>As Spruce stared at "2π + 3e" it felt as if his head was going to explode with much maths he was doing.
"The answer to 3e is..."
>Muttered Golden Horn as he used the edge of his hoof to draw out the pathway to an answer.
"Round off the excess and you end up with eight. Hmm."
>Saying this out loud half of the last equation reformed into the spoken result, making it 2π+8.

>The word rang in the Operators skull like the *TING* of a tuning triangle, reverberating as his mind latched onto a detail.
>A detail that stood in plain sight in front of him, its revelation leaving Spruce blinking.
>Did it trigger a memory on how to do mathematics or did some capricious god smile down on Spruce showing him the truth.
>A truth that was in plain sight the whole time.

>There were four equations, four answers. Each answer were lined up together in a deliberate way Spruce now saw.
>The arrangement of a four letter word.
>fifteen, sixteen and five. And when he lined up the numbers to the Tallus Common Alphabet it came up as...
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson
239810 240430 241998

>As the final arrangement of numbers became known as their companion, who is apparently bad at math, solves the hardest question by himself.
>With that over, Karl rises back to his feet, tucking his notebook back away.
>As the last number appears, its placing deliberate its intention suddenly clear to Spruce.
>He seems surprised as he begins reciting the Noregian (He didnt know any other Alphabets) to himself, but the answer is still the same as it would be to a Tallus pony.
>And that answer was...
>Spruce rather suddenly muttered, blinking to himself.
>How did he... How did he know that?
>He looks away from the floating math equation and at Golden Horm, a humored smirk creased in the corner.
"Elves? Heh, I can go all day talking about them. They look similar to humans, but they're long lived and masters of architect, alchemy, mathematics, science, magic..."
>Adon shifts his eyes to the side, annoyingly.
"Most of them are snobby assholes about it, though."

>Refocusing back onto the door, he looks it over very thoroughly for any clues.
"Well, too late for that now. Hope there aren't any more puzzles like this, up ahead."
>He regrets those words, already.
>Before he's able to come up with an answer, the unicorn beats both humans to the punch.
>And through a little letter association, Spruce comes up with a corresponding word.
>It was a good thing he took the time to learn Common alphabet before setting off anywhere.
"Hope? Hope for what? At any rate, we can move forward now."
>Pareidolia mentally catalogues the observation.

[Potential Rounder recruit. Outside personal area of expertise, but staff options limited. Will attempt building rapport at later date.]

>He remains silent, listening intently to the description of the various models.
>His brow furrows as she elaborates, and he tilts his helmet downwards slightly in thought.

"Possibly a One designation. Armaments included a shield, halberd, plasma cannons, and particle whips. It used foam in an attempt to disable me. Current considerations point to that being due to my helmet."

>Nodding once to the mare General's surprised reaction he states:

"I do not know what InterPonies are, but my equipment is of a more advanced era than most humans here. Not enough to prevent Construct intrusion apparently. Terminology can be explained after you attempt treatment."

>His helmet turns slightly to look behind Thansimum, silently watching the human's defensive reaction.

"Your likelihood of success is unknown to me, but I would appreciate an attempt regardless. The alternative is destroying my suit systems."

>Exhaling, he reaches both hands behind his head to the back of the helmet's housing slot and disengages the clamps.
>Drawing out the unit housing his N.O.A.H AI drive, he holds it in front of him as he sits down.

"Please inform me of your degree of success in purging the Construct infection from myself and this device."

[Short term memory difficulties non-ideal. Rehearse and try to retain as much information as possible.]

>Pareidolia begins mentally organizing, reiterating, and rehearsing mental techniques to retain important information about recent events.

>As he does this, he looks up sharply towards the human behind her once more.

"Do not interfere in this process. There is much more occurring here than you are currently equipped to understand."

Basin Village: Last Stop Restaurant
GM Strangler
>The Cultist immediately to your left turns her head, the hood obscuring her face though a dim, blue, brown, and red speckled snout can be seen wiggling furiously.
>For what and why exactly you didn't know.
>Head cocking, a crisp, unusually cute and cheerful young voice speaks up, the same type that nearly every stallion, and a worrying number of humans, would usually go after without a second thought.
"What I've read so far is this: forty percent of liths are used as direct navigational markers. An excellent example of this are the precisely seventy-three carved stone liths denoting flight paths leading from the Basin's exterior to colonies, stopovers, safe trees to sleep in, and other highly specific locations within a night's flight. At each location there are more liths which can be followed throughout most of the Moors and even into Stalliongrad should a batpony dare to brave such cold. The remainder of liths are instructive rather than directive, however ninety percent or more of Equestrian regions use liths rather than wayposts or guides. A common theory is that liths are culturally significant and lineage dependent rather than being regionally-based markers. There is historical evidence showing liths are structurally pleasing to the equine mind, whi-"
>The web-scarred leader snaps both sets of wingclaws together to give a single loud click, giving the barely mature batpony a deliberately hard stare.
"Enough please. I'm quite positive Clemency-"
>Slightly nodding in your direction with a mareishly exasperated tone.
"-understands the marely varieties of liths. What he has demarended and shall be given are direct results, not an hour of information that is questionably relevant to his purposes. Should he demarend additional specifics then he shall return, yes?"
>Watching the spritely batmare's snout twitch under her hood out the corner of your eye, she returns to your direction giving a merry series of kee's.
>Ones that, thankfully, were fairly tolerable and highly unlikely to cause punctured eardrums.
>..which you still didn't understand.

>Putting on a relatively passive waiting expression until you relay the information, the leadmare's ears flick sideways in puzzlemarent.
"That is one highly unique phrasing structure. On the surface it's likely proto-Canterlotlian, four thousand years old or so? Give or take a thousand. We have barely a saddlepack's worth of surviving records from those eras. I believe those specific numbers are here somewhere-"
>Eyes dropping down to silently skim through the Cult's findings using her left middle wingclaw to aid her, the mare's lips tighten in thought.
>Tapping the third page after a minute, the leadmare's snout twitches in mild curiosity.
"Mm, found it. Ritualized summoning in Kaspe-li, one of multiple partially interchangeable Planar Harpy dialects. Fairly similar to ancient pegasi, language structure wise at least. We have the necessary materials and ponies available if you'd like for us to proceed with this."
Maths...Eureka..? -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
241998 242051
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>When the words left the Operators mouth the magical barrier that separated himself, Adon and Golden Horn from the closed doors and the Chitqu flashed a light of shocking red accompanied with a high pitched *BEEP*.
>Such a sudden and unwelcome noise set the hair on Spruce standing.

>Nearly jumping out of his own skin at the unsuspected bleep Golden looked at Spruce wide eyed.
"I don't believe that was the right answer."

>At the foot of the door the Chitqu squirmed where it was, it too having been spooked by the loud sound. It scrambled to its tiny feet and gave Spruce an almost betrayed look as it shook its head.
>The wrong answer, not like the Norwegian did not know that now.

>Adon was caught unaware also by the flash of red and the head rattling tune.
>His medallion jumped up and down on his collarbone from the sheer volume of vibrations it was making when this happened, and as the ringing in his ears died down so too did his wolf head trinket.

>Knees still shaking the old Unicorn tried to give the Witcher a confident smile. Tried.
"Y-yes well you could of told me they are human versions of us Unicorns, for better and worse. In any case it appears your 'hope' was just now dashed."

>Still there at human eye level the unsolved equation floated as the centrepiece of the barrier, now shining brighter than before, perhaps as emphasis for it to be answer again.
>With its fur no longer standing on end making it appearing fluffier than before the Chitqu pointed, not at anyone, but rather back towards the opening of the tunnel entrance.
>There, where cold mountainside was supposed to be there was now a magical wall identical as the one in front of trio.
"Oh horse apples..."
>Said Golden before a voice from above burst into life.
"By the fucking Elements can you Slavers -TRY- to be intelligent for just once!"
>Somewhere on the ceiling of the tunnel projected a raspy voice with an odd filter to it, Spruce recognizing it as static interference. Even with this the rudeness was loud and clear in his laboured tone.

>Ears flat against his head Golden cursed under his breath.
"Horse. Apples. Excelleon."
>Zhun immediately looks over the fancy script of the scroll Tapeskat laid out for him
>"One per faction to provide alchemical services and shipments to the company. Regular intervals."
>If this would have happened, there wouldn't been such a serious need now
>Zhun leaned over to take a look at the large scroll in the center of the table
>"That Duke prevented that Canterlot dealing, then he wanted the contract to be burnt. Why?"
>Zhun then pulls that small notepad towards himself and looks it over
"Wait, he sent this to her and then said to burn it?"
>Crystal ponies?
"Was it some sort of company in the Crystal Empire that the stuff was sent to?"
>Seeing her frown, Zhun thinks about the whole situation
>"Damn it. I'm only a soldier for this..."
"Why is the Bronze Duke so hostile towards her dealings? And with Neightime talking about betrayal... How often is Neightime gone?"
>Ok, lith lesson seems to be done
>Clem turns and nods an agreement to the head mare's statement
>Good thing the helmet has some sound protection for the kee's
>"Unique is right. Sounded like I was talking to a medieval knight. At least Indurian had some inflections."
"Of course. I'd like to see where this goes."
Jamal Ratchet
>Jamal shrugs and finally remembers that nothing in this world works like back home.
"I guess that makes sense; back home the deserts didn't get no rain no matter what time of year it was."
>Given the clear invitation to sit down, Jamal follows suit and nods in recognition to the leaving filly.
"I wasn't afraid of Her, but a real goddess being born from your gang demands some respect. Doing her will and potentially getting blessed for it only sweetens the deal."
>With the smooth flavors and soft-ass high trying to kick in, Jamal settles in for the long haul.
>High quality shit, but not a strain for grown ass men to get stoned with.
>The mix tapes are put back in the bag and Jamal leans forward in the seat now that the good shit was about to get started.
"Yeah, I'mma just call you Gresta, now hit me with this truth you got for me."
>With pipe and drank in hand, the sole nigga furrows his brow in concentration while watching some bullshit magic.
>As the images change and are promptly explained, Jamal briefly considers taking notes, but alas he is holding two items he can not spill.
>He has a good enough memory anyways.
>Once the shaman is done with his display, Jamal takes another hit on his pipe and leans back in the chair again.
"I ain't got no clue on that, and I only know about half those images whatsoever.
>Jamal passes the pipe back once he sees his new homie nursing a headache.
"Naw, it's all good G. I'm still coming out of this with way more info than I thought I would. Question now is what to do with it."
>The nigger chugs the rest of his mongo fanta and stashes the bottle in his bag, packing up so he can leave.
"My next collab mix tape might just have to wait a little longer, Constructs are kinda more important."
242051 245847
>Adon sneered at the door as it made an all too familiar sound of incorrectness.
>The elves liked to use the same pattern when putting puzzles on doors and the like.
>'Hope' apparently wasn't correct.
>He utters 'Shit' under his breathe as a magically projected voice echoes from above.
>Ecxelleon was clearly annoyed they couldn't get through the door, almost like this wasn't the first time the door was answered incorrectly.
>He thought they were slavers, he didn't have eyes on them!
>That could give them enough time to correct the door.

>Adon turns toward Golden Horn, Spruce, and the Chiqtu and holds an index finger to pursed lips- signifying to be quiet. He then points up towards the unicorn's voice and covers his eyes momentarily.
>Now back to the door. What went wrong?
>By the way the equations were listed in order 'H' SHOULD be at the end, but 'opeh' doesn't make any sense in common. So eight must be wrong as well.
>He knows the first half of the answer, so he can at least start with a six and 'F'. 'Opef' doesn't work. Neither does 'Opeg'.
>You've gotta be kidding.
>Adon silently walks up to the door and erases the 8 with a wave of his hand and replaces it with a finger-drawn 14.
>What an aggravatingly easy answer.
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson

>Spruce stares at the door, shaking his head as the whole place simply locks them down.
>He sighed, annoyed he'd gotten it wrong.
>The yelling from their adversary didn't help, and neither were Golden and the little furball either right now.
>But, well.
>It seems hope was not the answer.
>Spruce looks at that final answer, figuring that, maybe, it was, perhaps, not the actual unsolved answer yet.
>Strange,sine the others just turned into the actual answer.
>He stands there, staring at it with a frown before Adon simply steps up and gives the answer.
>Spruce stands there a moment, stunned and mouth agape.
>He felt more than a little dumb now.
"... Really? It was that easy?"
Nova and Nal.png

Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Definitely attracting the group's attention now, the oldest one, either their Commissar or an equivalent rank, quiets down from his monologue.
>Head turning about towards the other humans, Raindrop looses a relieved sigh.

>Studying the quartet of spaced hinges, little more than oddly precision cut slabs of the same raw material that the vault door was composed of, the 8.8CM, or 4" based on your knowledge of multiple measuremarent systems, thickness of each would prove difficult to entirely defeat in one go.
>Should the door hang up after removing three hinges, or fall outwards, significant structural damage would be the likely result.
>If not causing severe injury or outright death, that is.

"I take it that's good news and he'll recover in a few days."
>Head tilting sideways with a quiet snort, Raindrop's left eyebrow can be, barely, seen raising as she speaks in a bemused tone.
"As I told you before Miss Mallia, I have a contract to complete regardless of what happens. He can hit me all he likes and unless he breaks a few bones I won't be hindered. Besides, I've been treated much worse before. Feels more like getting spanked for stealing from a cookie jar than much else, really."

>Giving the sixteen lock set a close inspection, and a secret taste from Raindrop's prying eyes to see if it was indeed crudely extracted tungsten, the answer was a definite yes.
>Noting that each of the dials weren't set close enough to prevent a thin tool from poking inside, the first and last ones were spaced almost enough to get a pinky into, yet the crevices were too dark to determine what was inside.
>Registering and estimating the number of possible combinations would result in roughly 60 hours of trials, and the lack of noticeable wear was puzzling on its own.

>Peering up at the dial silently turning by your hand, the pegasus Knight tosses her head back towards the other two vault doors.
"Not what I expected, not surprising either. This city's been abandoned long enough there's probably nopony around who'd know how to open any of the three in here. And this is tungsten?"
>Standing on tiphooves for a better examination of the dull, raw metallic veins, Raindrop sets back down to give a quiet 'humph', staring upwards at you quizzically.
"That's not nonsense. I was about to tell them-"
>Flicking her right bladed wing back towards the potentially Vostroyan humans.
"To give up and leave. But, since you have some ideas and we're not exactly limited by time now, you can try whatever you think will work. Tell me what you need to do... and try to keep from making something too hot that I'll have to pull on or yank, my armor takes way longer in cooling down than most."
>Receiving a surprising, quick tap to your right hip, an audibly exasperated Raindrop shakes her head in slow, mock annoyance.
"Don't call yourself boring. I've no clue what to have done besides call for somepony to destroy these doors. Which, given Razorback's state, would probably take a couple weeks. You're in the lead here, you have knowledge that I don't, so that means I'm going to follow all suggestions, orders, or ideas you come up with, end of story."

>Examining the unfortunately cheap weapon, you knew it could easily withstand twenty to thirty seconds of the Rite, so long as the barrel was allowed to cool properly between firings and the Machine Spirit was pleased with the act of aiding you.
Razorback Fortress: The Fountain
GM Strangler
>Keeping the door open for a few seconds, the batstallion's eyes morosely drift past you towards the operating room doors.
"My advice: try not to understand."
>Ending on a low tone, he takes a half-step backwards into the now much colder night air while releasing a short, bleak sigh.
"I didn't like her before, now I don't know how to feel. Nopony deserves being crippled permarenently like that."
>Head turning back to you, Torven blinks once the bottle, then reaches out to grasp it with the right set of wingclaws.
>Bringing it close to his snout and grasping the cap with his other set, he twists it off for a one-eyed examination of the contents, speaking slowly in thought.
"Doctor Tipper calculated human painkillers to be fifty percent less effective for most ponies.. I think."
>Tossing his head back and not-so-carefully dumping more than few into his mouth, the sight of two long, sharp canines gives you a moderate sense of unease.
>Either there was more bat in his genetics or the pony was displayed less.

>Replacing the cap with a practiced twist and offering the bottle back, he immediately turns left into a half-walk.
>Speaking in a bitterly annoyed tone as you follow him, Torven passes around the Clinic's eastern wall, heading directly towards the fountain you'd seen earlier.
"Politics. Chest puffing, table pounding, backstabbing, shouting, do nothing trash!"
>Falling silent until reaching the peculiar metallic yellow fountain, he turns about to sit down in a huff, back against the side.
>Lifting both sets of wingclaws and folding them into rough 'fists' larger than yours, he rubs both sides of his head before speaking tiredly.
"Most of the time I'm asleep, otherwise I'm awake four to six hours a night, eight at most. More than that makes me sick. I'm a treasure hunter, spend my free time looking through maps, researching places, trading information or what I've found, and try not to get stuck somewhere dangerous. I don't normally scout locations, that rarely goes well for me."
>Pausing to flick the left set of wingclaws around in a circle, obviously indicating the Fortress itself, the wing settles against his side accompanied by a dry snort.
"Razorback, this fortress here, all the humans in it are a protectorate of the Lunar faction.. in more ways than one. I hate politics but I'll share what I can."

"Short version: Princesses Luna and Celestia are the co-rulers of Equestria. Both are alicorns so they're much bigger than me, probably the same size as feral horses on most human worlds, and they're living goddesses. Both are probably old as this world is. I don't know how exactly to treat them as royalty but you don't want to insult them around any followers."
"Luna owns the Lunar faction. Mostly made up of batponies, lots of pegasi including some ancient clans that broke apart that call themselves the Ferron, some unicorns, a few earth ponies, gryphons, minotaurs, Eyes, Harpies, and others I don't know. Crystal Empire hates the Lunars. Dunno why, but I'll get to them in a while."
"Celestia owns the Solar faction. Supposedly it's an even mix of pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies. Solars don't dislike non-ponies, they're.. apathetic I guess."
"Canterlot is the Solar capital, it's where the Palace is.. was, rather. Celestia blew most of that up in a rage after Razorback screwed up their first job. Solars kind of hate Razorback for that still. Can't blame them since it's true and all."
"At least three thousand years ago Luna started building a giant multi-level fortress on the Moon, which she owns, and it got called the Citadel. Dunno why. It's the Lunar capital now since most of her faction left Equestria and settled there. Most all the ponies you'll see around here are Lunars. Razorback's done much better keeping them happy than they did Celestia and hers."
"And if you were wondering: I'm not Lunar."

"Probably the next closest bunch to Razorback are the Ferron pegasi clans. They're all shorter than normal Equestrian pegasi. Again another dunno why. Main four clans are the Lishanki, Malurians, Arkadian Divides, and the actual Ferron clan."
"Lishanki are bandits, raiders, thieves, pirates, and brigands. Rest of the Ferron hate them for good reasons, and they've started disliking Razorback for taking down one of the black markets. They owned a lot of stuff that went through it, now they're being targeted by both the Lunars and Solars for getting caught with illegal stuff."
"Arkadians are traders, miners, smiths, researchers, map makers. Some treasure hunters too, at least from what I've been told. They live in the far tip of the Northern Crag Moors at some place called the Divides, probably between a couple mountains or something. Never been out that far.. don't want to either, much too dangerous. They haven't visited here before but supposedly they're on good terms with Razorback."
"Malurians are.. druids, I guess. Or maybe something similar. They're odd since most druids are earth ponies, unicorns, or minotaurs. They have a huge old city-state somewhere in the Moors, no idea where though. Not sure how much they like Razorback exactly but they did send a few big gifts recently, including a really nice blanket that I may or may not be borrowing for now."
"Main Ferron clan is a bunch of loose knit groups, sort of like tribes, that roam across the the northern Moors regions up into the New and Old Everfree Forests, across the Canterlot Plains, and sometimes even head all the way to the Minotaur Hegemony across the continent. Each of the sub-clans is directed by a noble that's directly descended from the old Dynasty. They tend to be a little bit of everything. Lots of them come here whenever they have access to a translocation matrice."

>Halting abruptly as the other wing drops down with a full body shiver, Torven's expression and voice turn deep shades of haunted.
"Then.. then there's the Sea's Bounty. I can't stand them, they're worse than most batponies are."
Mallia Castella
>As Raindrop speaks to her in reply, Mallia can't help but dart her eyes to the combination lock as she manages to find that space between each dial, especially the first and last.
>The Enginseer's brow rises with intrigue rather visibly. But she reluctantly puts that thought on the backburner, in favor of looking back to the Knight to pay earnest attention to every word from her new xeno companion, nodding along in understanding to the statement about Chisan...

>Though even if Raindrop's answer was nothing more than "It's just my job", Mallia, in spite of her past experiences that should've hardened her heart and in spite the inherent teachings bestowed on her to hate xenos in general, couldn't help but stare at the mare with a guilty air in her furrowed glance.
>She knew full well it was a stupid feeling to have, but right now it was stronger than ever. Perhaps due to the translocation from her own universe to this world.

>She made sure to not say anything the whole while. Listening to everything, and letting it process in her head.
>Then she straight-up flinches up slightly for half a second as she is touched by the mare - even if just on the armor, unintentionally showing just how TENSE she was. Which, in turn, prompted her to breathe in deeply, and then sigh out heavily through her mask.
>Being told not to call herself boring made her pause and glance off to the side, with a deep-seated guilt in her eyes. That she didn't dare voice, of course. It was just a glance that lasted a good second however.

"W... What I meant was more..."
>Her voice drifts off, as she began to shuffle from her crouched position to face Raindrop to shift most of her attention to her now. Setting the hellpistol on her lap for a moment.
"Maybe you're just very good at not showing any bitterness on the job, but you're a very pleasant per--pony to have and talk to and strong, in my humble opinion, and I am surprised you don't show more spite about being treated so unfairly. That's what I'm used to seeing, at least. But, maybe, again, I'm just naive to the way ponies show their emotions; or just naive in general. And you're a very dutiful p--pony."
>The Enginseer breathes another sigh, this time audibly through her mouth - like a huff, as her tension just seems to increase the more she spoke; her voice becoming anxious. Though everything she says is awfully earnest, and genuine. She really felt bad even if she didn't do anything bad yet.
>And she also seems to crinkle the bridge of her nose in a slight grimace whenever she has to replace 'person' with 'pony'.

>She takes a second's worth of pause, staring down at the other mare intently's visor as she tried to figure out how to say what's on her mind properly.

"I'm on a tangent again..."
>She cuts herself off, shaking her head, and rubbing across her forehead with a mixture of shame and embarrassment despite
"T-Thank you, I mean. I appreciate you putting up with us. Even if it's your job, that's... What I meant to say."

(By the Omnissiah I'm such a weirdo...)
(This stress is killing me on a spiritual level.)

>After Mallia had gotten that out of her chest, she seems to exhale again and visibly sag her shoulders.
>She had managed to make herself uncomfortable since she wasn't sure if the mare would laugh at her for being so worry-filled or just back off thinking she's an oddball. Which sort of detracted from her work in that moment, even as her glance blinked and bounced back to the dial lock - trying to focus again.

>Though the remark about Raindrop's armor not being able to cool down very well doesn't slip past her. She just doesn't give acknowledgement.

>With a lingering rub on her temple with two fingers, she tries to focus on examining the space between the dials to focus her mind again.
"O-okay, well, aside from... All of that,"
>Mallia once again goes to slip a pinky between the first dial, just to point it out to Raindrop as well while she speaks. Squinting at it for a moment...
"There's a little nook here that I can probably look into... Do you happen to have a light installed on that helmet of yours? Maybe a flashlight? I'd like to see what's behind it, otherwise I'd have to touch my lasgun's power setting to turn it into one for a bit."

>She quickly brought up the hellpistol after saying that, retracting her pinkie from the little space as she looked down to her pistol instead. She rather gently turns the power setting to Overcharge, then slowly caresses her hand along the body of the laspistol as she interacts with it via the MIU.
>Uttering a brief litany of forgiveness to the machine spirit as she briefly removed the powerpack, reaching in with her mechadendrite to temporarily disable the octoelectronic resonator, then mentally tuning the laser to a higher frequency and increasing the firing rate accordingly.

(Beloved Machine Spirit, forgive my tampering. Smite me if you will it. As a servant of the Omnissiah, I invoke the Rite of Constant Firing.)

>Then, with the preparation complete, she finishes the rite by slotting the power pack in; retracting her mechadendrite back along her back. Setting the weapon on safety until she needs to fire it, holding it closer to herself.
>And to avoid accidents. If the machine spirit became displeased, only she would get hurt.

[1d6+1 = 5]
<E. Tech-Use + Auspex Link: Rite of Constant Firing
[1d6+1 = 3]

[1d6+1 = 6]

[1d6+2 = 7]
<Utility Mechadendrite Tech-Use

>Then she waits, letting the response from the machine spirit tip her off on whether It's response was good or bad. Still caressing the side of the weapon like it was a pet, albeit more apologetically.

>Though she does look up to Raindrop to see if she produces a light source before she has to make one. Or maybe has to ask for one from the other operators who likely do have one. Or maybe nothing would turn up and she'd have to improvise. Either or worked for the enginseer.

>Cheto grimaces slightly over what he assumes is Torven’s report of Lejura’s affliction, ideas of what could have caused it and what has exactly happened to her swirling around inside his head.
“Can’t help it. Force of habit.”
>He knows better than to ask questions about her now, considering the batpony in front of him is trying to stop thinking about the drastic and mind-wrenching experience.
>Instead, he pivots to Tipper’s comment about human painkillers
“You also probably know this, but don’t mix them with alcohol. They have some nasty effects, and not the radical kind. A tip from the doctor.”
>He smiles lightly but his voice falters, being reminded of the PSA he watched after a few inquiries on the subject.
(Nothing better than overly dramatized reenactments to instill fear into the heart when young. Mamita querida, que me duele el almita)
>This emotion is compounded by the long fangs Torven displays as the painkillers are consumed by the leather-winged stallion in front of him, his eyebrows rising up.
(Uy, pucha. That’s some… rather impressive length and width on those canines.)
>An image of him sinking those fangs into his hand come to mind, where they could even pass through skin, muscle, tendon and bone, creating two big holes on his hand, but quickly fades as Torven offers the bottle back
(Not hostile. Keep calm. Padrillo es amigo… o algo por el estilo)
>He quickly takes it, stuffing it into his leg pouch and follows the exhausted batpony along.

>Torven’s passionate and vocal complaints about politics is a pretty good signal for him not to dwell on pure political stuff for much longer, surprising the average human following along when he utters such vulgar descriptions, but still promptly sits next to him at a seemingly acceptable forearm’s length for the human.
>He takes into account his treasure hunter work as well as well as his broad routine as he explains what he knows, nodding as the batty fellow continues to enlighten the ignorant human of the world around them. A bit of shock by the physical existence of literal gods as well as the whole concept of a literal Moonbase but this world is obviously a different one from whence he came so he basically expects anything that is said to him as extremely likely.
(I must say I surprise myself with how willing I am to listen to all this stuff. Was life back at home so uninspiring that anything else was better, to the point of the apparent chaos I seem to be sent into?)
>Of course, the human still has some questions regarding the knowledge provided after Torven exposed the basics he needed to know to be considered a superficial diplomat. He looks at Torven curiously as he chews on what he should ask, finally opening his mouth when ready.
“What job did Razorback fail so spectacularly that it caused Celestia to basically destroy her palace in a fit of goldy rage?”
>A small pause, as he places his hands on his knees in a slow fashion.
“I also heard that Stalliongrad has some sort of big problem against Razorback, too. Do you have an idea why?”
>One more halt for him to answer, as he nods once.
“Do you, by any chance, happen to know some of the more politically insightful and honest ponies or beings on Razorback that I can ask? I'd hate to tire you any further than you currently are, especially with how cordial you’ve been by lending me your ear in spite of your dislike about the subject.”
>He brings out the warm, polite smile with a small tilt of the head.
"No quiero agobiarte con palabrería que sólo sirve para mí."
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
245323 245641
>The Councilmare's distortion jerks back at your step forwards, feeling a sensation of extreme paranoia crawling across your skin.
>What you supposed was her head shifts right, in either a curious or hostile motion wasn't possible to tell.
>Noticing a brief motion of a hoof wave, the Councilmare's tone shifts into an eerily calm voice.
"Common hu`um mood reactivity, discernible validation of unrestrained orders, standard cardiological and adrenaline spikes, negligible protective functions.. you aren't infected. I expected a far worse result considering the potential discrimination results I've come across."

>That was.. weird.

"I'll let you speak from ignorance this once otherwise the Princess will have my ass sundered. Listen closely so I don't have to repeat this history lesson: Princess Luna tried to ban the Cult of the Dark Horse in twenty-nine eight-hundred-forty-three. It backfired spectacularly."
>The Councilmare's upper distortion swivels towards you, emitting a hollow snort of disgust.
"Nopony controls the Destroyers outside their leaders within the Cult, and they don't even listen to us or Luna herself. Any batpony found to harbor incurable bacteria, virii, parasites, or accepted due to physical injuries is immediately granted a set of Destroyer armor, told about the stupid 'Great Mango in the Sky', given any marebombs they want, and tossed into stasis until they're called on to commit honorable blood-ritual suicide in combat. Want to know what happened when Luna's ban came down? About sixty thousand batponies joined that year. If anypony in the Starborn could've prevent the Cult from taking in more they'd have have done so fourteen years ago, so don't blame us for their irrationality."
>You involuntarily shiver at a remorseful sigh from the hidden Councilmare, the distortion shifting as if she were rubbing her snout.
"Similar effects to Jeff yet more localized, small traces of categorical overherd displays. You're clean too, no infection detected. I'm satisfied with your typical breakdown of equinity, you're clean too, no infection detected in you either. A strict military mindset would fit but I don't quite understand the given vehemarence-"

>Ignoring the hollow-sounding words, it was a simple line of logic that determined the Lunars had either forgotten or destroyed a single important factor of floral transmission:
>Given the lead mare's statemarents it was painfully clear that the ambrose plant had been desperately overharvested, greatly reducing what would have been considered local depredations by reptiles, avians, and insects.
>Which, as you knew from several alchemically necessary plants in Equestria that had likewise become nearly extinct, meant those species wouldn't have been able to intestinally process and thus deliver prepared-to-sprout seeds in their natural habitat.
>Likewise you knew that attempting to sprout seeds in biomes that weren't natural, or were wholly artificial, was an incredibly poor chance.

>Releasing the distortion field, the Councilmare's physical body translates back into physicality after a few seconds.
"Nightblade Jeff, Spirit Walker Mercy, and... whomever the Marecenary pegasus is, all three of you are clear. I apologize for the deceptions throughout this entire time, yet I will explain the circumstances behind this necessity."
>Now partially exposed to the Crypt's stale air, a distinct, full Empire Crystal prosthetic attached to the small remainder of her left upper foreleg down to the hoof, drops down with a melodic tink sound before being placed on the stone underneath.
"There are close to two-hundred and ninety records from my predecessors showing that early or failed Lunar Collective vampires are capable of marentally dominating a sapient into complete subservience. No, not submission, I mean serving them as if the Collective pony's words are impossible to deny and similarly impossible to refuse. Some speculated it to be a form of charm, which I must state is completely wrong. So far as I understand it, that is a memetic infection, a mind virus of sorts, that was intended to allow the Collective to act as natural leaders for the Lunar Guardians during their conflicts against the Solar Guardians. Much is known of how this 'charm' method failed. Princess Luna was unable to incorporate her controlled dream essences into physical methods. I will state, positively, the failed Collective form of control is one which cannot be treated easily. It requires the services of a sixth-rank psion or a Kingdom Knight Warden to safely remove. This situation has occurred twice in my time."
>Barely visible as a solid outline at the momarent, the Councilmare's muzzle pulls back in a sincere, apologetic marener.
"I can only guess how much pain this has caused the three of you, so I ask for any forgiveness you all can muster. Rest assured I have no doubts you are all acting for, and protecting, this small Collective out of honorable good will. You've all shown a complete lack of marental infection so I will assu-"

>Numerous blurs of hostile pink glows interrupt the Councilmare, her barely visible body disappearing as an enraged pegasi half-shriek, roughly translating as 'fuck you' in the Cloudsdale dialect, accompanies her complete disappearance.
>Immediately after this, several streaks of deep red blood eject outwards, now hanging in the air from a pegasus-sized bubble of reality, a split second passing until a loud popping noise is heard.
[1d6 = 3]
<Spirit Walk
[1d6+3 = 5]
<E.Reaction Speed
[1d6+3 = 6]

[1d6+3 = 8]

[1d6+7 = 11]
[1d6+7 = 10]

[1d6+7 = 8]

[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 2]

"Commander, I apologize for not being able to dissuade Miss Mercy from an unexpected course of action."
>Vocally unperturbed by the event, Boris speaks up in his flat gravelly tone.
"However, we are now free to complete your current objective. We should move quickly. Miss Sunny, would it be an imposition if I were to ask you for a ride?"
Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
>Sitting back once more and making a disgruntled noise, Glacier flicks her left forehoof in angry dismissal.
"Constructs can all starve or freeze to death. They didn't get our hints the first few times: the Empire isn't theirs and won't be. Whenever Razorback has problems with even one send a message to the Spire, I guarantee there'll be at least a six-mare squad of us charging in soon as it's read."
>Turning her right eyebrow upwards, the Shell's face creases into a starkly disbelieving mareish glare.
"I'm not gonna beat around the snowbush again hoping it drops a few ripe berries. As I said a couple minutes ago, Cady won't listen to us or her Unicorn Guard. Know who that leaves? The few confidants that aren't ponies, that being Razorback, specifically including you, and includes me not trusting Belregard to speak his mind on her condition. Don't fail us. Get her out of the Spire for a while, got it?"

>Sitting back again and crossing both forelegs over her chest, she makes a small front shoulder shrug of blatant disacknowledgemarent.
"Treating myself or another Shell is simple: find whatever fragmarents are missing, shove them back into place, wait a few seconds, done. Dosing and stitching a real pony back together? Not an event I can hoofle easily, brings up lots of real bad memories. Take my advice, books are the best teachers outside of standard treatmarent kits or satchels.. though I'm not great at marental stuff. I don't like InterPonies at all so don't expect me to have one on hoof if somepony or some human gets corrupted or tainted."

>What little you knew of InterPonies was that they existed in certain Hololiths, heavily customized Empire armors or weapons, and certain Empire bio-crystalline devices.
>Why she brought that ponial fact out was mostly up to speculation.

>Offering a short, humorous snicker, the Shell's lackadaisical demeanor drops in favor of a conspiratorial nose wriggle.
"Ever met Japoneighse, Chineighse, Ferron, or Prench? Most ponies are horrified at what they eat normally: snails, maggots, hardshell beetles, sea urchins, Deepwater clams, mealworms, sea slugs, oysters, giant crabs... one pony's horrors is the delicacy of another. Me? I didn't mind anything unless it smelled awful. Best part is Conclavists don't care what others think, it's impossible to shame them far as I know. You might wanna set up a trade with them to Razorback in case any of those are wanted."

>Glacier raises the opposite eyebrow, displaying a mock bashful smile and pressing her flawless, artificially warm hoof into your hand gently.
"Even if we haven't had a 'real' date yet, that's quite sweet of you. Most mares would ask or demarend you join their herd after the second night. What makes you think I'm not going to do the same?"
>Leaning in several inches to give a quick wink of her own, Glacier mutters in an older, mareishly husky tone.
"Unless you're afraid of what Cady might suggest-"

>Viewing the second Conclavist chef visibly fuming above her cooking pan, she points an accusatory forehoof directly at you.
"Then use one of the big tents when you're done! We've enough extra work to do tonight without being distracted by you two flirting like a shy colt and filly starting a new herd!"

>Eyes swiveling towards the mare briefly, Glacier's head shakes with a small motion, her faux-mane sent onto the opposite side of her neck while making a mostly hidden, sinister grin.
"That sounds like a spectacular offer to me. What do you think, invite her in too?"
Sunny Feathers
245641 245771
>All but ignoring the Councilmare, Sunny continued her line of thought on Ambrosia.
>Perhaps she could not grow the plant itself, but maybe she could synthesise the active ingredient. Not an easy, or guaranteed prospect, but potentially doable. It wouldn't be something most alchemists would even attempt.
>Her train of thought interrupted by the pink glow, Sunny's heart stopped cold at the realisation that Mercy fully intended to kill the councilmare.
>She herself held no particular fondness for the... Baticorn...? Nevertheless, the death of a Lunar Councilmare here under Razorback's watch would not be good for the company's standing.
>Flicking an ear at the golem, Sunny shook her head slightly even as she moved.
"In a second, Boris."
>All at once, she scowled, flared her wings out, bunched her muscles up and leaped at the sphere, hoping that what the Ceranul taught her would let her break into Mercy's dimensional bubble.

[1d6+6 = 7]
< E. Reaction Speed + K.I.A
[1d6+6 = 10]

[1d6+6 = 10]

>She needed to buy time, but time wasn't something she had in abundance. One of the two combatants had severed an artery by the dark red blood that had been ejected. If it was the Councilmare's, she was likely not long for this world, if it was Mercy's, she had a better chance.
>Figuring that the Councilmare's physical state and then somewhat lowered guard precluded taking the initiative against Mercy, Sunny reasoned that her attention should be focused on driving off any further attack by Mercy.
>Using a combination of her fore claws and wingblades, Sunny squared off against the Spirit Walker's attacks and used the remaining momentum to place herself between Mercy and the Councilmare, delivering a rearhooved kick to the latter's horn with enough force to stun her and prevent any reprisal for a time.

[1d6+8 = 11]
< M. Riposte + K.I.A
[1d6+8 = 11]

[1d6+8 = 10]

[1d6+8 = 9]

>Interposing herself between the Councilmare and Mercy, Sunny laid her good eye square on the enraged pegasus and attempted to shout her down, hopefully before she could gather herself for another attack.
"Mercy, stand down! Or I will put you down like a rabid animal!"
>She was already panting, the exertion of effort to put her physical body out of phase taking its toll on her, she had serious doubts about being able to fend either of them off again.
Razorback Fortress: The Courtyard
GM Strangler
>Twisting about to her left side and retrieving something off her armor, a small, featureless flattened tower shield is given a questioning stare.. until she starts talking to it.
"Useful indeed, thank you for the information. ..no, I do not think we will require further assistance, simply being here is enough of a political problem. ..perhaps, though I doubt it. It was alone and presumably the paired unit was destroyed elsewhere. ..no, the level of corruption here should be quite low."
>Reaching up to place the shield atop her crest, Thansimum's expression turns into one of stony speculation.
"Silverine foam and particle whip weaponry marks it as a Starblazer Type One model. Perhaps more surprisingly I've confirmed that was a definite Middle Dynasty survivor, and lived long enough to attack one of several Empire mines in the Southern Plains. Rather strange as I thought we'd destroyed those to the last. It's likely there are limited numbers in storage, or perhaps simply kept in reserve-"
>Cutting herself off with a short head shake, a small hoof wave is given towards the miniature tower shield replica.
"Getting off track, I'll consider this information later. My apologies. If you've seen a Hololith before each is inhabited by at least one InterPony, though they tend to form rather large herds of their own much like we do. In short, consider an InterPony as a Crystal pony whom can inhabit most of our bio-crystalline technologies, cannot be seen, and likewise cannot be interacted with by your species. Well, outside of the newest Hololiths that is."
>Blinking in a practiced marener, she proceeds to study your facial features for several moments before glancing down at the odd, to her, object.
"There is no need for that option, and my ratio of successes to failures is above ninety-four percent, or so I'm being told. Construct corruption is remarkably simple to remove when fresh. Consider it a newly sprouting invasive weed: the longer one waits to purge it the more difficult the task becomes. And, may I say that for lack of knowing what to expect, that is.. quite simple. At least in appearance. The older Hololiths that I like contain at least two hundred components."

>Instantly jerking the gloved hand reaching for the firearm up to chest height and splaying it out in surrender, the fresh Operator sputters in a flat, partially fuzzy electronic tone while raising the damaged bat over her shoulder into a non-threatening posture.
"Fine, fine, okay? I'll just.. fuck off, find something to eat and drink here, and maybe whatever passes for getting decently stoned."
>The human takes several steps to the left, then stumbles northwards, muttering in clear post-traumatic shock.
"Is this a dream? I can't pinch myself til I get this piece of shit off. Am I dead? Did that bastard kill me or was I hallucinating everything? Is this real? Can't be, horses went extinct and none of the pics made them look cute, short, or painted. Did one of those pricks drug me instead?"

>Twisting her ears around at the impromptu escalation and deescalation, the General's face creases in dark humor at the human's now indiscernible mumbling.
"Well, I suppose one of us could potentially squeeze in the time to treat her too.. if that one is entirely human that is. Her voice is quite eerie I must admit. I'll send Garnelia to deal with that one, but I will treat you first."
>Removing the tower shield with her right forehoof, then offering it towards you.
"Please place her on your.. device, you called it? She has no experience with human technologies yet is eager to start. I expect six to ten hours for complete removal. When you are ready, please state so."
Snootadishu City-State: Southern Market Plaza
GM Strangler
>Sitting back on her seat, both hind legs kicking freely, Tapeskat tilts her head up to think for a few moments.
"Sorta. Princess Celestia's first negotiation was for everypony to keep track of what they were going to give, send, and deliver to Razorback. I think that way all the Princesses and Queen could pay them for the stuff humans were intended to get. He PROBABLY told her to destroy that book so she wouldn't have to keep any records which would probably make a lot of ponies in Rushya, Stalliongrad, Germaneigh, and some places in Equestrian found mad that Princess Celestia would still try to keep the contract going. Around a month after somepony that wasn't Princess Celestia melted the Palace in Canterlot, the Duke started ordering all of the smaller farms to sell their stuff to Neightime. It'd be way harder to track what they were harvesting than the big ones 'cause there's so marely of them around."
>Nodding in a highly reluctant fashion, the Zebra filly turns her attention down onto the table for a quick read.
"Yep. They're called.. the Greater Frozen Coast Consortium, a really big one Princess Cadence buys lots of stuff from. Neightime gets a big order from them in spring for certain stuff and we deliver it. I dunno much about them."
>Both eyebrows shooting up high, her jaw drops in stunned disbelief for a few seconds from your questions.
>Recovering quickly, Tapeskat waves both front hooves in negative motions while giggling ashamedly.
"No no no no no! He's not really hostile or anything like that and I really don't think she's trying to betray him! Sorry if it sounded that way, I was just trying to say everything at once."
>Puffing her cheeks out and putting on an abashed look, the original contract is nudged towards you.
"Give this to whoever your diplomat is so she can use it in case something stupid comes up. Now, I've mostly figured out on my own why the Bronze Duke wants to keep Razorback happy with Saddle Arabia and the Crystal Empire: we do lots of trading with each other for stuff that the other doesn't have. Crystal ponies really love sweet fruits and herbs, and we love vegetables and ice whenever we can get ahoof of them. If one got cut off from the other we'd all be unhappy."
>Facial expression turning into a peculiar form of annoyance briefly, the filly continues with a subdued tone.
"You've seen how big our tent is, we can't keep everything safe and dry that Neightime is sold or traded. We have to toss out stuff every week if it gets moldy or falls apart. I really think she's only mad at him for not having a big enough storage building, but out here we don't get enough stone to make one. Stalliongrad and Rushya used to trade us hard stone blocks but somepony made them angry at least ten years before I was born. I'm eleven by the way. They don't even let their diplomats come here anymore and nopony wants to talk about why."
"As for Neightime? She's gone four to ten days at a time, but comes back for two nights at most. If she really does have a marension on one of the big tributaries it's gotta be huge. I did get to peek at her records once without getting caught, she's got at least two hundred ponies working for her, mostly from Neighvada."
"Oh hey, I went to their company a while ago. Gave us some of the amount we needed but not all. Told me it was weird order placement in the year."
>After hearing Tapeskat tell him that the Duke wasn't hostile or anything, he started looking at the scrolls again
>Zhun still smiles at her apologetic giggling though
"I mean, he did come in to order her to stop sending the consortium stuff for us. You also did say she kicked him in the snoot."
>Zhun looks down to the original contract then rolls it up to put in his pack
"So the Duke is trying to grow this trade with us and the Empire?"
>Zhun chuckled at her mentioning the "marension" on the tributary
"That's not just a big house, that's a palace. 200 ponies?"
>Zhun whistles at the number
"The contract will help. I have no experience for this level of trade."
>"A fighter. Maybe medic."
Basin Village: Last Stop Restaurant
GM Strangler
"I've no need for seconds, my orders for the rest of you are as follows:"
>The still nameless batmare reaches up to fling the hood back over her head, vocalizing a string of shrill toned, archaic pegasi phrases directed at the four Cultists beginning to stand.
>Receiving a mixture of half-hearted grumbles until a broad wingclaw is held upwards, each mare turns rigid.
"No. Arguing. This is well above your combined skills. All of you lack my equipmarent, but I will compose extensive notes. Stay here until I return-"
>Reaching into the overflowing saddlepack's flank satchel closest to her, a small, damaged white wooden case is retrieved and clutched tightly in her right wing.
"Some precautions will be necessary. Performing a summoning here is difficult enough to marenage without interference. First, follow me and do not speak. Consider yourself my guard. Second, keep a weapon in either hand until I tell you to speak. Third, keep your eyes on every single earth pony outside within charging distance. Should one or more attempt to interdict then eliminate them, starting with the highest priority threats. Fourth and last: do not allow this case to be taken. Until we cross into the Basin itself you must treat everypony, that includes batponies, as a potential hostile."
>Standing up carefully, her cloaked head swivels upwards, speaking in an unusually grim tone while securing the case in both sets of wingclaws.
"The most I can do is buck somepony in the head or tear their throat out, but I've nothing to deal with armor right now so keep at least ten paces behind me. And, be prepared to kill without hesitation."
>Giving a short nod towards the quartet of Cultists, the mare turns towards the entrance, trodding forwards in the typical, hip-swaying batpony saunter.
[1d6+2 = 7]
[1d6+2 = 8]

[1d6+2 = 8]

[1d6+3 = 6]
<E:Leadership: Assault
[1d6+3 = 5]

[1d6+3 = 6]

>Operation Start: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place...
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 5]
<Opposing Faction

Zebraica: Potswana, Shaman Gresta
GM Strangler
>Kicking his legs sideways, the old Zebra reclines sideways into his hammock with a dour expression.
"As much as can be expected of Her unknown future, little can I suggest outside a valuable venture. Take great caution when speaking with Her is my advice, seek to claim Her honors without undue human price."
>Clasping the pipe with both hooves, then giving it a peculiar look, Gresta offers a respectful nod in your direction.
"We Zebras know well the four Goddesses of Equestria that you must surely have heard, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter be ponykind's necessary ward. Please allow me to think, it will be naught but a blink-"
>Motionless, and unblinking for a quarter minute, the shaman's eyes light up in quiet fury beyond you.
>Hearing small hooves pattering into the sand next to you, the small, unadorned Zebra filly treads towards the hut's opposite entrance.
>Head turning back, the older shaman locks eyes with her, giving a solemn nod.
"Humans will require great arcane weapons to destroy the corrupted pairs and mechanical horrors of Planar make, so go, follow my grandfilly to an armory where there is much to take. Collect all that you deem appropriate for Razorback's use, but these bones.. have long suffered under too much abuse. Lain to rest they were, perhaps forgotten among the worthy, no paymarent needed to secure the future and human safety. No longer a weapon can these hooves bear from decades of blood, pain, and wear."
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Reflecting none of her inner thoughts, Raindrop is unmoving as she squints up at you, tone unconvinced and utterly deadpan.
"Miss Castella, I'm from Stalliongrad. Barring a few hours of history lessons, there are few ponies harder or more prepared to deal with the most severe situations than us. Just for reference: my last job involved at least eight shattered ribs, one fractured legs and almost lost that hoof, ten stabs through my armor, knocked unconscious at least twice, nearly filled my armor with my own blood, and worst of all had to loot through hundreds of Undead for some damned crest belonging to a pain in the ass royal from Canterlot that had no idea what we'd go up against. All Chisan has given me are a few bruises and a bloody snout, and for that I'm getting paid quadruple what a standard Mareguard normally receives in one month. If he does irritate me enough I'll knock him unconscious and leave him tied naked in the middle of Sea's Bounty fortress."
>Tossing a piercing stare towards the other humans, the Knight's helmet returns, tipping upwards at a slant as if emphasizing a sinister smile.
"Which is a fate way sexier than death and probably twice as humiliating. At the very least he isn't trying to grab my teats and hasn't ordered me to do something awful, so I'll give him a pass. As for how we show our emotions.. I'll have to instruct you on the finer points of understanding that later."
>Shaking her head with an amused huff, another wing tap given while her voice drops into a secretive tone.
"I can't read your movemarents at all but I will say human voices are quite a bit easier to understand than I thought. In the tiny chance that I might need your help with him, I'll ask, so stop worrying and relax. We're in little danger here."
>Staring up at you, her eyes express obvious confusion for a split-second until groaning.
"Buck, I completely forgot to get my saddlepack.. I'm going to guess a 'flash light' is something like a spark lamp or glowstone. No, I don't have either, I travel light as it is but I'm sure they do-"
>Fully turning about to face the Voystran-likes, Raindrop calls towards them in a suitably demarending tone.
"You five, direct all major light sources towards the combination lock on this vault here. Miss Castella believes she has a way in that does not involve explosives."

>Hearing/feeling the resounding codelock being relieved from normal limitations and duties, the Hotshot pistol's tiny Machine Spirit seems to snarl in abject Binary eagerness.
>Not only was it capriciously loyal and angry enough to ignore the tiny insult to what few algorithms were programmed into it, it would probably be frothing at the mouth.. if it had a physical body capable of doing so.

>Raindrop shrugs her wings upwards to you in response to the unasked question, right before a trio of loud clicks, then three nearly blinding incandescent light sources force her helmet to turn in the vault door's direction.
[1d6+3 = 7]
<Modified L-Crys Light #1
[1d6+3 = 8]
<Modified L-Crys Light #2
[1d6+3 = 6]
<Modified L-Crys Light #3

"Enough, or more light needed?"
>Came the tired, older Commissar's question, stepping around into view behind the pegasus Knight.
>Questionably armed with an archaic, unscoped bolt-action chemreaction rifle slung over his shoulder, an oversized leather holster on a comically wide belt and a distinct but entirely unfamiliar grey political officer's cap with a small red 5-pointed star on the face did little to ease the older man's well worn, deeply hardened face.
>Squinting at lock's direction briefly, he gestures towards the trio behind him while speaking in rather harsh common Low Gothic.
"Cannot touch other Era technologies or would have more, the-"
>The following series of swears partially fails to pass your MIU's translation algorithms, ending up with a strange mixture of nonsensical insults related to various anatomical portions between both humans and ponies.. none of which could possibly fit, you think.
"No more made since Marquis gone. This all we have now."
Razorback Fortress: The Fountain
GM Strangler
"I'll try not to then."
>Giving little more than a neutral sigh in response, the batstallion's head lifts enough to graze his ears on the fountain's side.
"I said that was Celestia.. not Princess Celestia. Some of the Honor Guard here think she made a golem or something to fill in for her at meetings or diplomatic functions she couldn't make it to. Razorback was supposed to retrieve Princess Celestia's adopted daughter, a General of the old Solar Guardians, from Old Canterlot. Big fortress-city near the Old Everfree's center, vital transport route, trading and training center. That failed miserably."
>Turning a narrowed red diamond eye towards you, Torven lifts his shoulders remorselessly.
"Two known facts: Old Canterlot collapsed, no General recovered. Only a few ponies know what happened. Humans don't talk about that time much if at all."
>Snorting aloud, both wings raise, a wingclaw flicking straight up at each of his short sentences.
"Nearly killed a Stalliongrad royal. Illegally invaded an old mail depot. Illegally invaded Stalliongrad five times I know of. Killed a bunch of innocent ponies with a giant bomb. Killed an ancient loyal Undead. Used banned weapons during a sanctioned military siege. A public art exhibition was raided and destroyed."
>Stopping at the sixth to wiggle his claws one by one, Torven continues while starting over, this time with clear undertones of anger.
"One human nearly shot a stallion's dick off. Nearly started a civil war by returning an wanted prisoner. Burned down an entire district. Killed a sanctioned assassin without known provocations. Illegally captured another sanctioned assassin and burned her marension down. I could keep going but don't want to now."
>Releasing a long sigh, he remains silent for a handful of seconds before frowning deeply.
"Tired, no, depressed, sort of. Best options: Denra, Hodch, maybe Captain Kitang in southwest Guard camp. Haven't seen the first two in a few hours, last one probably still injured. They keep up to date on politics, events. I tune them out most times, not interesting to me. Lejura is not an option anymore. Twisted Wing and Mist Dancer not good choices: first is biased and loud, second is evasive, rude, secretive. Could try Dancing Eyes, Razorback's illegal prisoner and.. librarian at times, I guess. Dunno where she is. If you do find her bring something 'special' from Tipper's stashes in the Clinic and she'll talk for hours. Besides them, maybe Belltower, but I haven't seen her since a couple nights ago."
>Carefully scratching his neck with the left set of wingclaws, the batpony stops, then points a forehoof towards the Pagoda in the middle of the Courtyard.
"Naliyna might know some general current politics. She's the only trader Razorback has on hoof. Does business with most places except Zebraica, Saddle Arabia, Neighsia, Minotaur Hegemony, or the Dragonspine Mountains since she doesn't know anypony in any of them. She's a Crystal pony though, so she's banned from Stalliongrad and Rushya.. not that I think she'd want to trade with them."
Mallia Castella
>The response from the pegasus mare... Does not really surprise Mallia, her brow doesn't crease to seeing that the mare wasn't at-all moved by her unstable (albeit genuine) emotions.
>Though it does disappoint Mallia to a degree. The gaze in the enginseer's eyes seeming to dullen in brightness as she spots that hint of .... Distrust?

>Perhaps she's seeing nothing.
>But she can't help but feel that, although they're working together, the amicability is being held back by something akin to what she knows as 'her' xenophobia. (Or the Imperium's, so to speak).
>In hind sight, she should probably stop wearing her heart on her sleeve. Though the Inquisitor had said to be friendly.... She will figure it out how to approach this issue later.

>Despite the subtle change in Mallia's eyes, her own body remains stiff and still like a marble statue. Her eyes only moving to gaze down at the hellpistol as she begins to receive a response from the machine spirit.
>Which was mostly snarling. Which she, as an enginseer, took it as wholehearted approval to what she wanted it to do!
>It's eagerness steals a short-lived feeling of happiness, prompting her to smirk as she gave it an encouraging pat on the top of the barrel, like trying to quell an angry pet dog.

"Hmmm, that makes me uncomfortable. Please don't say those things about what you'd do to Chisan, Miss Raindrop... But what you said does give me more questions."
>Is Mallia's only remark to Raindrop's statement about 'Chisan'. The woman was pretty deadpan herself, keeping most of the feeling behind that statement internalized.
>A feeling which was wholeheartedly disgusted and scornful. She understood the context and cultural difference, but it changed nothing in her mind. It was still a torture that she would kill to prevent.

>For a while as she processed the new information from Raindrop, she sort of glances off to the side, distantly. Quirking a brow curiously, questioningly looking to the mare when the word 'Undead' is mentioned.
>Which prompted her to send a query towards all of the Inquisitor's machine spirits. Namely Phenon and Pheral specifically.

(What does 'Undead' mean? It sounds 'familiar', but I'm not sure if it's connected to what I'm thinking...)

>Her surface thoughts inching closer and closer towards Nurgle are quickly pushed aside as, turning her head, she'd shift her attention towards the other operators.
>Mallia very pre-emptively lowers her preysense/Photo visor back over the rest of her face, shielding it completely just as the strange glow orbs project a great amount of light over them!

"This seems sufficient."
>The Enginseer chuckled light-heartedly, lingering her gaze over the 'Commissar' as he explained a small, but interesting bit.
>Her face was hidden, but her head does tilt slightly as the notion of 'not being able to touch "era" technologies' enters her mind fully.
>She's pretty sure that was mentioned before?

"... What do you mean, exactly? What happens if you do touch it? I just got to this world ... An hour ago? I know basically nothing about how things work here."
>Mallia quickly queries her micro-cogitator for an accurate Time Since Translocation, if not for the others then for her to keep track.

>She turned her head back towards the Vault Door's dials, crouching down further as her attention goes towards trying to squint behind the little spaces between the dials, now aided by the light from the other operators. To see what's behind it before she would get to work.
>Pinging Tox-11's visor to give her a visual on the preysense spectrum for a few seconds, just in case there's SOMETHING different in there, before turning the visor off with a thought and looking in normally.
>Keeping the hellpistol handy as she is only a moment away from starting her breaching process, once she finishes looking everything.

>Hopefully she can try to not break the lock itself and simply lock the door even harder than it already is...
>She also quickly sends a ping back towards Tox-11 in that moment, also giving him another query.
(Has Inquisitor Velasi ever had to contend with these kinds of vault doors? I'd appreciate any information I can get, if any.)

[1d6+4 = 7]
<B. Perception + BQ. Preysense visor
[1d6 = 4]

[1d6 = 6]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 5]

[1d6 = 1]

>He expected... something a bit more from the councilmare mare than what he just witnessed.
>Something more of the line of blowing past him in futile abandon to achieve her goal, or maybe he had called a bluff and she was going to break down blubbering she didn't want to go into a room full of battle-ready vampires.
>Instead he felt like he just got cross-examined by one of his old psychiatrists.
>Now he's just staring at her dumbfounded and slack-jawed as she turns to Sunny to do the same thing.
>She had played them the whole time, all for a test to see if they'd been enthralled by Lunarites on the other side of the door.
>On top of that, she low-key threatened to kill them all over it. He didn't matter, but the others were there on his order. They were all ultimately his responsibility, and none of them were at fault for what was transpiring except for himself.
>But yeah he understood her reasons for, but she could have done a FAR better job at it. It was unacceptable, from his view.
>What pissed him off more than ANYTHING else was that after everything he had to do behind-the-scenes to get the Moors' restoration underway, not a single pony had warned him about a risk like this when refurbishing these old ruins buried in the Moors swamps. No one in the Basin, no one on the Council, not even anyone in the Fortress!
>And then everyone wonders why Razorback gets a bad rap for being out of the loop. No one tells them anything, ever!
>Jeff grits his teeth, no longer withholding an unapologetic sneer at the councilmare trying to just sweep her shit under the rug.
>If he was a cartoon character, he'd have decompressing steam jetting out of both ears by now at her audacity. He's flustered, embarrassingly.
"You can take your apology and go fuck-"
>But he doesn't get a chance to finish, as Mercy... mercilessly rushes the councilmare. Her rage-filled shriek translates well to him as streaks of someone's blood erupts from the reality-bending bubble.
"Yeah, that!"
>He didn't condone her actions, but he also wasn't about to step in and stop her.
>It seems like Sunny was going to do that for them, as the hire jumps into the fray.

>Taking several long deep breathes to vent and get his blood pressure back down to a livable level, he glances over at an unphased Boris, and then over at the mare pile.
>He's not getting in the middle of that...
"Don't be. I think Mercy's at least speaking for me and herself, right now. Oh shit-"
>He completely forgot about the Lunarites right on the other side of the door, which was still cracked open.
>And he knows how well ponies hearing is. Are vampire ears even more sensitive?
>Jeff facepalms himself as he reaches for his camelback's sippy tube snaked up his left side and forces a stream of cold water to hit him in the face, in a vain attempt to clear his fluster and excess heat.
>This whole thing has turned into such a clusterfuck.
>He takes one more deep breath before walking over to the door, cracking it slightly even more open, and poking his head through to check on the Lunarites.
"Hello. How're we all doing in here?"
>Cheto blinks once at Torven's words on the Canterlot incident.
(Copies of herself? Seems her reach is quite far, although from the contract, she seems to care more about ponies than her pride in order to detonate her own captial, at least from the contract's words.)
>He nods at the gentlestallion, drinking all the info he has to offer on the Stalliongrad incidents.
>His eyes drift off to the scenery in deep contemplation as Torven keeps numbering each and every item Razorback has committed against Stalliongrad, one hand drifting to his cheek in grim realization.
(Uy pero la putísima madre que me parió. How in the everloving fuck did they manage to make so many negative acts towards these ponies?)
>After a bit of frustrated mumbling, he shakes his head and refocuses on the batstallion, hoping he didn't notice the average human's mood being soured.

>When the topic changes to potential wells of political knowledge that could help him further understand his future position better and not commit some sort of crime, he places his fists under his chin as supports for his head as he listens.
>As the winged fellow finishes, the average human listening to him pipes up.
"Do you know by any chances where I can find the first two ponies you mentioned, Denra and Hodch? I'm definitely going to need all the information I can get."

>After he listens to the bat's answer to the question the man presented, he decides that the best course of action both for the batpony's mental health and his own time to stand up.
"I must thank you, Mister Torven. You've been a great help. If you need anything, I'll be going over to the Pagoda, see if I can find Miss Naliyna."
>He takes off his backpack, rummaging through its contents before pulling out the second Fruit Juice(TM) from his bag, presenting the batstallion more of that sweet goodness with his outstretched hand.
"Here. This should ease your mind a little."
>Assuming the bat quadruped takes this chance as well, the inquisitive human awaits the most likely empty bottle, before taking it back and stuffing it back.
"Again. I thank you, Mister Torven. You have helped me greatly."
>Nodding at him, he proceeds to travel to the destination mentioned, the Pagoda, to see if Naliyna's around there, still.
(I'll need all the information that I can get. Perhaps I should take the chance to send a letter to my new employer while I'm there. It's good to chat it up with the boss, also notify I've arrived safely to the other side.)
Bubba the Second
>Giving the two guardsmares a departing nod, Bubba made his way into the crowd and began window shopping himself as he made his way towards the cultist.
>He also shot a quick wink towards the lead filly when her sight traveled back towards him, while he made his way through the crowd towards the dock.
>He definitely acknowledged that moving towards someone spying on him with the intent of messing with them was a fathomly stupid idea but he didn't exactly have much else to do.
>That and she wouldn't try anything with so many witnesses. Hopefully.
>He does makes sure to keep from moving directly to her by walking towards the dock entrance.
>As he passes her, he looks directly at her again for a second before continuing on.
"You can care about yourself as well, you know."
>I sigh softly in relief upon being told that.
>"I should have figured they could fly. They have working wings, after all."
>Still, I was worried for something inadvertently caused by myself.
"That's a relief."
>I watch her repair herself for a moment as I think about what to do, holding back a frown.
>All of the training I've underwent could not have prepared me for being inside an eldritch... Car thing.

>Watching her mini self undergo a small tantrum, I snort in amusement.
"The problem is that getting information on them is, at this point, something that will probably draw them towards us. If it were able to be done in a safe manner I would not argue about getting it."
>Presses my lips together and hums softly.
>"Ten percent is not a good chance.. But its something we need to do sooner or later."
"While I don't understand what the hell quantum fluid passive-flux cycles are, I say go for it."
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
245854 246002
>Hefting the small sack over his shoulder, the Golem deadpans solemnly.
"Time is of the essence here Miss Feathers, I recommend you do not become invol-"

>Forcefully projecting yourself into the closest approximate spectrum that Mercy might use, it takes multiple phase-flickers through the low density layers to find Mercy's bubble of unreality in the third lowest Void spectrum.
>Which to you was easy enough to access without a second thought of additional dangers arriving.

>Tearing into the alter-dimarensional bubble too late to stop the other white pegasi, she had mostly succeeded in stabbing the Councilmare's chest through with her left set of near-blinding pink wingblades, the right set poised to do the same.
>Missing what either was planning from their heavily contorted bodily postures, front hoofclaws and extended primary blades painfully ring against the fully blind pegasi's weaponry, stopping her assault cold while feeling the Lunar batpony's head snap backwards heavily.

>Taking full notice of her strikes being deflected backwards, Mercy snarls while loosing an insulting, quick mocking sentence.
<Pegasi> "Keep out of this you spurious law-loving whorse-"
>Expression contorting into a cold berserker state, she rears back a fraction only to stomp heavily clad hoofboots forwards, slashing extended hot pink wingblades in direct lines towards your face and neck respectively.
[1d6+5 = 9]
<E.Reaction Speed
[1d6+5 = 7]

[1d6+5 = 9]

[1d6+9 = 12]
[1d6+9 = 11]

[1d6+9 = 15]

>Unexpectedly, pink-hot flashes stream off her wings, the unknown energies balefully swirl into composite masses of expressions/sounds composed from incensed primal fury.
[1d6+10 = 13]

>Remorselessly speaking aloud over the din of weapon clashes, Boris turns his logically neutral gaze from the barely witnessed combat far upwards onto you.
"I likewise apologize for being unable to prevent Miss Sunny's choice of actions, Commander. I must recommend however that we leave this location immediately before the offending parties recover, we will have approximately twenty to thirty seconds until that occurs."

>Peeking back into the Crypt proper, the sight that greets you is both hair raising, and joyous:
>Four precise lines of Lunarites, arranged from youngest to oldest standing in a near-perfect parade ground square formation.
>Heavy looking, dark blue kanpri armor vaguely resembling the basic Starborn roles of Claw, Defencer, and Mage, except resembling heavy Shieldmare plating, each set fit so tightly that they appeared to be mere extensions of their hide.
>Far more heavily armed than you would have thought, each bore a trio of fluctuating, multi-colored and varying tipped lances twice as long as their own bodies clinging to the right sides, all fastened with some sort of snap-lock mechanism.
>Their left sides were covered in large numbers of previously unseen darts, biteblades, short swords, a single short spiked morningstar, and a host of what were probably caltrops, all packed together in one solid mass of jagged spikes.
>Atop the saddle and covering the flank armor of each were massively overstuffed, heavily bulging, and probably armor plated, bright purple saddlepacks and flank satchels, all adorned with Luna's Mark in brightly gleaming thread.

>The rear left mare snaps a short, heavy salute, her merry voice being that of the lead vampiress you'd been speaking to.
"Two hundred doses of Ambrosia, sixty Nightglow, forty Shadow-Gate, thirty Dragonscale, twenty Coldheart, Lofting, and Restoration draughts overall, complete weapon and armor loadouts, additional supplies packed. We are fully prepared to march and have two month's of combat alchemicals available, traveler."
>Either they were ignoring what had been said outside, or none of it bothered them in the slightest.
Snootadishu City-State: Southern Market Plaza
GM Strangler
>Poking a hoof onto one of the pages that you couldn't read, Tapeskat pulls it back to eye over shortly.
"..I don't think their storage depot is big enough to hold everything they get sent, looks about the same size as our tent above here. They're probably forced to rotate stocks like we do, too."
>Head turning towards you fully, the Zebra filly's left forehoof lifts to rub the side of her head, making a sour frown throughout.
"That's not what I said. First time the Bronze Duke came here was to tell Neightime to forget sending stuff to Razorback, I think in late twenty-nine nine-ninety-five before the cold winds came, which is like winter time in Equestria. That's also when he told Neightime to get rid of the book since it wasn't needed anymore, but she kept using it anyways. The second time is when she bucked him in the nose and he threatened her to only sell our stuff to the Consortium or he'd do.. really bad things to her. Maybe he wants to make friends in Razorback Companeigh but the way he's doing that is really quiet, probably so nopony can accuse him of doing something wrong or against Princess Celestia's orders. But, um, that's only what I think he's planning, I dunno for sure what he's really doing. It's impossible to ever get a meeting with him or his sister, and I don't think they'd let me in 'cause I'm just a filly."
>Nodding towards the contract being stuffed into your backpack, both of her forelegs folding across her chest.
"Between that and what I've seen, I think so, yes. Everything we don't sell right here is put into big crystal barrels or boxes and hauled to the Empire traders on the north end of the market plaza here."
>Lifting one forehoof to make several circling motions, Tapeskat gives a reluctant, small smile.
"I know a bunch about Saddle Arabia before the stupid Dynasty stuff happened! Our stone houses are a third or half the size of wood houses in Equestria, so it'd probably be about fifty times the size of our tent here. If she's taken over a really old old palace on a big river then there's not marely of them around, maybe twenty I think, but only a few are still in use-"
>Lips curving back into another frown, the filly's ears flop to either side of her head.
"But I don't have a map and dunno how to say their names right. I could probably find out where she is in a few minutes if you want."
>Lifting her front shoulders in what looked to be an encouraging shrug, Tapeskat swivels around ninety degrees to fall off the chair, landing easily on all four hooves.
"Razorback has a trademare, right? Take it to her and ask what she thinks. We've been trading waaay more stuff to that Consortium thingy in the Empire than we could trade in five years here-"
>Head turning towards you, she becomes cross-eyed for a split-second, then facehoofs herself with a loud groan.
"Oh fillysnacks! I'll send the trade bill with the last shipmarent but I've gotta get all that stuff packed up and written down. Write a note if you need anything else done before you leave, and thank you again!"
>Frantically waving a front leg in farewell, Tapeskat breaks into a run up at the stone door, slamming it open and rushing out panicked.
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Perking both ears upwards, what little you could see of Raindrop's eyes was confidently stony.
>Making a devious 'harrumph' noise, her head swings towards the back wall while stomping a front hoof on the floor below, tone faux-mocking, though obviously hiding a giggle.
"Miss Castella, how dare you dishonor me like this? I have not a single clue what you mean by that phrase. I could never leave a completely deserving human nude and bound in the middle of a pegasus clan stronghold known for their fixations of criminally lewd methods in acquiring friendship by force and using gentle, loving rape to woo their enemies and allies alike. Let us never speak of this again!"

>Visibly trying his best to ignore Raindrop Raspberry's outburst, and utterly failing not to crack a ruthless smile, the Commissar motions towards the three bright sources of light left of him.
"It simple: we, my squad, come from very old Era in nineteen forties. Say if human from nineteen forty-three touches 'thing' not from same era.. say 'thing' is from nineteen forty-nine, that 'thing' turn to ash and human is hurt badly. There also other rule: when 'thing' from later eras is same as prototype of 'thing' from own Era, it safe to touch. Your weapons-"
>Gesturing towards the Hellpistol, lasrifle, the Omnissian Axe, then finally resting a morbidly concerned gaze on the Mechadendrite before returning to you.
"I cannot touch at all, not even by accident. Your Era.. very very far in future, yes? If I do touch they turn to ash soon, then bad event happens. No event the same, always cause great harm. This big rule, but there is way around: if 'thing' built here from materials on world then 'thing' safe for all to use. Not know why but vehicles from other Eras safe to travel in, even ones from fifty, hundred years in future."
>Briefly scowling towards the three holding their lights at the door, the Commissar lifts a gloved hand to adjust his cap backwards.
"Marquis built many safe things so early Era humans use without fear, but he leave or gone while back. No more safe magic devices for humans now. Not happy."

>Acquiring a short datastream of approximately fifty-three minutes since arrival, the additional light combined with Preysense leads to sighting a single dark colored, non-metallic wheel that looked like some form of compressed wood judging by the striations and pattern, embedded between both lock spaces on either end, blocking further inspections from being made.
>What you knew about ancient locking systems, several similar to this one, were designed to prevent any sounds from registering in case a thief was using some form of improved hearing.
>It was easily possible destroy the faux-wheels though more preventative measures was a high chance, yet the additional access to see what mechanisms were in use seemed the better option that you had right now.

>Returning the ping, clipped Binary translates through your MIU in Tox-11's dour taste/tonality, registering his 'presence' staring through the Visor's pict-corders while at the same time making a series of notes based on your spoken findings.
'yes, once in year prior. same style, not this large. 90% smaller? highly resistant local material. impressive construction, few flaws? Inquisitor built, used four sonic compression devices to hinges. attempts failed, could not match harmonics necessary. settled for burning off hinges. took stock lasrifle, rebuilt into mining laser. large powercells. nine to ten minutes each hinge. agreed: combination locks easier to destroy. destruction of contents negligible if same template'

>Lifting a broad wingblade to partially shield her helmet, Raindrop speaks up.
"Should we get some water in case anything is set on fire, and is it a good idea to back up?"
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Left wing folding back onto his side, Torven points the right trio of claws far south, probably at the Library.
"Hodch is usually in the upper floor with a Moor cat. I don't think he's here though, haven't scented him at all tonight. Denra hangs out either with Hodch, sometimes stays in the big pony barracks on the northwest side of fortress interior.. sometimes visits the Mess Hall for news. Last I saw him was right after dusk storming out of the Commarend Center, haven't seen him since then."
>Red diamond-slitted eyes stare at the bottle briefly, then close as his head shakes in the negative.
"No thank you. The only thing I need right now is a long break in the cold."
>Left set of wingclaws lifting, the 'palm' up in a human-like farewell, Torven reclines against the fountain heavily as you leave.
"Welcome. Sorry I'm not much help right now."

>Reaching the Pagoda in short order you find the scar-covered bright fuchsia mare poring over her table, still covered in giant stacks of papers and notices.
>At least there wasn't any wind, though the icy cold probably meant a storm was incoming soon.
>Seeing no other humans, or even ponies besides Naliyna, she glances up from a heap of colorful letters to blink at you.
"Need anything else? I'm pretty much free right now, just going through some applications again."
Cairn Wharf
GM Strangler
>Hearing twin sorts, immediately after turning away a quiet argumarent starts up on the merits of possible infiltration vectors.
>Good thing you were already leaving or they'd probably try to pull you into that mess.

>Unable to blend in properly, drifting into the closest group of about twenty older pegasi, most of which were definitely main Ferron clan members, they nonetheless welcome you in with merry smiles.
>Browsing with them through the interesting wood, shell, bone, hide, and some lesser valued though quite large gem hoofcrafts, the majority were, as expected, representations of creatures that you'd never seen, while a few were varying pony species in distinct combat poses.
>Seemed like the Ferron were oddly fond of chess, or whatever the equivalent here was.
>Catching the fully in-act filly once more passing her gaze around you, the left ear flicks several inches forwards before returning to nose bumping a large round globe of glass, or similar, filled with what that looked like multicolored oil.
>She knew, but what she knew wasn't apparent.
>Or she didn't know and was merely trying to deflect attention from you.

>Drifting along with the Ferron for a bit until excusing yourself and approaching to the translocation matrices, Pepper Spice Mango's head raises above her wooden plate covered in fruit, staring dumbfounded at you with a slice of pineapple in her mouth.
>Every muscle you could see tenses.. abruptly after which she hurriedly swallows the chunk and stammers out a loud, panicked apology.
>Flinging herself backwards from the low wooden bench with a wing flap, rear thumping into a trio of bright blue painted Lishanki huddled around something, the mare breaks into a rapid gallop towards the opposite pier's end undergoing renovation.
>Taking great offense to being interrupted, the triplets turn as one to shout a variety of crude insults at the Cultist's retreat.
>And of course, all of said insults were fruit-based puns, none of which were possible but amusing.
Down the Grey Bricked Road -A small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
245885 248554
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>A weary sigh, followed by the tired raspy voice of Excelleon came from the ceiling yet again.
"Just..Bring the slaves to the holding chambers, receive payment then GET LOST!"
>He crocked before his voice fell silent, leaving Adon and Spruce with the open entrance.

>What the group saw beyond was a utilitarian tunnel carved from the mountain, concrete walls and ceiling with stone brick flooring with no sign of immediate hostiles. Large square glow stones set in intervals in the ceiling lit the tunnel with a pale light, giving a sense of a sanitised environment. With the light came warmth, although it was warmer inside the passage than the rocky mountainside, it was not welcoming in the least.
"Well, shall we?"
>Asked Golden in his nervous voice.

>Now that the doors were open the Chitqu looked back at the humans and unicorn before running down the corridor, deciding for the old pony. Catching up with the small critter was easy as it small legs meant it wasn't setting any land speed records.
>Golden Horn reluctantly followed suit, his tail tucked between his legs as the clicking of his shivering teeth reverberated throughout the walls of the tunnel.

>There were no immediate enemies in sight but at the end of the tunnel there was clearly something there, something reflective with how the soft light of the glow stones bounced off the unmoving object. It, along with the end of the corridor was a good 100 metres away, if guesstimating was anything to go by.
>With a smile and a wave back, Cheto bids Torven farewell, bottle stored away into his original position.
(Seems like a nice stallion. Hopefully he has somepony to pet. He'd probably feel better by it.)

>With the warm smile he dimissed himself from Torven, he simply nods and bows slightly towards the Crystal Mare he sought out.
"I'm glad you asked, Miss Naliyna. I actually have some questions about the world around me, since everything is quite alien in my eyes so far. Particularly on world events and cultures of the area. Feel free to abstain from answering if the topic is uncomfortable for you. I'm not here to open old wounds if I can help it."
>He clears his throat, knowing that many questions in his mind would probably hamper most individuals with the tiring paperwork back at home.
"First of all, who is Princess Celestia and Luna and what do they stand for, as well as usual agreements, treaties, rules, regulations, laws, and orders from the two? How can I contact them?"
>Pause as he rummages through his bag, thinking Naliyna may want a drink after responding to all of his questions.
"What is the Treaty of Canterlot exactly? Is it in any way related to the tragic end of the city of Canterlot?"
>Going ever deeper, he finally grabs his still filled Fruit Juice(TM) bottle, while still leaking his words out towards the hopefully attentive Crystal Mare in front of him.
"What are the most relevant factions in terms of relationships towards Razorback? I've heard from Torven about the Ferron clans, the Lunars, the Solars, Stalliongrad folk and a mere mention of 'Sea's Bounty' but I assume there's more than just that."
>Finally fishing out the fruit juice from his backpack, he gently presents it to Naliyna without actually setting it on the table, not wanting to break her order of things.
"Who is Sharpened Words? I haven't heard his name anywhere even though he was supposed to be the previous diplmoat of these parts."
>A small pause travels along the room.
"If you need a drink, you can take this Fruit Juice(TM) bottle. I won't mind."
>He smiles cordially, gently shaking the juicy goodness with his average hands.
Sunny Feathers
246002 247195

>At Mercy's shouting, Sunny barely had the time to fall into a defensive combat stance and began considering the mare as something less than a pony, setting her feelings and ethics resolutely aside for clear minded determination.
>The target was a defensive expert and otherwise highly capable combatant, but did not have the discipline or foresight to truly shine, especially given her emotional instability.
>Passionate, herd protective displays. Clear and present risk to the long term operational integrity of Razorback.
>Keep the target away from her area of expertise. Evade, strike and neutralise.
>Allowing Mercy the initiative in favour of evading her blows, Sunny readied her her blades to riposte the remainder once her initial onslaught was spent.
>She stepped deftly away from and under Mercy's strikes, but not as fast as she'd like, and kept to giving as little ground as possible to keep herself between Mercy and the councilmare.
>Sunny was outclassed and she knew it, she'd be able to hold her own for now, but time was running out for the councilmare.
>She estimated a minute or two at most until the mare died to her injuries. Mercy would only have to keep her occupied until then.

[1d6+3 = 7]
< E. Evasion
[1d6+3 = 7]

[1d6+3 = 4]

[1d6+5 = 7]
< M. Riposte
[1d6+5 = 8]

[1d6+5 = 10]

[1d6+5 = 7]

>Sunny drove as much force as was left from her moves to strike Mercy's unguarded temple, it'd take more such strikes to render her unconscious, and she was skeptical whether she'd be able to incapacitate Mercy quickly enough, but it was the best she could currently do in her weakened state.
Lost in the Crag Moors: Stuck (In The Middle Of) You
GM Strangler
>The mini-Wild rolls offscreen in order to de-occupy herself, but points a judging metal finger directly at you from the corner.
"I can be rebuilt unlike you, mom! AND, don't you have a stallion and mare to return to? Wouldn't they be supremely enraged if they learned I was not placing every single nano-effort into preserving your life?"

>Emitting a cheerful electronic noise from overhead, Wild shifts the right screen's focus to a shoulder recording aimed down the eastern coastline, then back five seconds later.
"Variable data located, cross-referencing.. complete. My databases state Ferron outposts and tree-houses tend to be forty to one hundred meters above ground level. It is unlikely that the incoming waveforms will be at full strength or capable of knocking down a significantly sturdy tree."
>One of the medical tendrils silently snakes past you from underneath the couch towards the wall locker next to you, oddly depositing a number of small gems inside before disappearing below.
>The sounds of welding outside cease, each of the large mechanical stalks moving away from view.
"Update: chest cabin reinforcement order complete. The modification was partially botched by an error margin of nineteen to twenty-seven percent, it will take approximately one minute to remove the excessive and incorrect welds. Now beginning repairs on internal locomotion systems and conducting underwater functionality research-"
[1d6+4 = 10]
Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 1]
Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 5]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6 = 1]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6 = 2]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6 = 2]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6 = 6]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6 = 3]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6 = 1]
Repair Tendril #
[1d6+1 = 7]
<Basic Engineering Research
[1d6+1 = 4]

>Imposing a 3D model of the Construct Assault Craft's hull, then comparing it to an estimate of the currently offshore Construct's total dimensions, three small components are highlighted within the rear hull.
"Based on previous wavelength scans I suspect these are extreme range, long range, and short ranged data gathering sensors. I do not currently have enough information to counter them. Adjusting previous calculations, revectoring new Threat Level Analysis Pattern, codenamed: 'Paranoid As Mom'.. complete."
>There was that accusatory sass again.
>Yep, it was definitely yours, except much younger.

>Switching the left screen off briefly, it returns to display a number of radar, magnetic, infrared, thermal, and night vision systems, several of which you recognized as being in use on your world.
"My databases contain numerous forms and states of detection systems such as these. Short explanation: each operates on a known spectrum, wavelength, or bandwidth which can be adjusted into various states of detection capability. For example: an active motion sensing device emits certain data, sounds, and pulses that can be detected if an opponent has the necessary equipment. Operating the same motion sensing device in a passive state decreases the chance of being detected by a number of factors and variables. This reduces the total accuracy and increases the time lag between each detection cycle. In sum: I will attempt to adjust my sensor array's operational state which may theoretically prevent long range detection."
[1d6+1 = 3]
<Arcanum Omni-Sensor Array: Experimental Passive Cycle Modification
>The nerd part of Wild definitely wasn't yours though..
>Clem sees the batponies stand then fall to the leader's shrill commands
>He remains seated for this until she starts speaking to him
>"Oh a summoning? Hope it don't backfire. Hmm, she's willing to do it so it might be ok?"
"Why Earth ponies specifically?"
>Clemency gets his pack on and grips his blade, giving the lead mare a nod in compliance
>He especially eyes that case
>Must be some sort of focus for the ritual or something
>Keeping the paces in mind, he watches the mare walk away until ten paces passes
>Turning to the table, he gives a short nod goodbye before leaving after the mare
>Clem begins his tailing, becoming vigilant of all ponies in the area around
[1d6+1 = 2]
<Expert Perception
[1d6+1 = 7]

[1d6+1 = 2]

>"Ok, so he's just changing how things operate around here and Neightime just got pissy. Then he just told her to go through a middleman for trade relations? Seems fine I guess."
"Razorback haven't really gotten word from him. Or they did and that's outside my field. Otherwise, ok I think I get it now."
>Zhun looks over the table of scrolls and pages one more time though, just to have a clear picture
"Hmm, you can go ahead and see where she is. Just in case."
>Seeing her stand, Zhun then gets his bag on then stands
"We do. I think I know who she is."
>Zhun gives off a concerned look when she look back, only to be relieved at it just being time constraints
"You're welcome, thanks for the help!"
>Giving her a wave before she leaves, Zhun then gets his checklist out for the rest of the supplies
>"Critical and common alchemical supplies. Hmmm, maybe that Ash Kicker figure can help. Where was she again?"
>Zhun did recall her needing botanical samples of the New Everfree flora
>He starts thinking about this as he begins leaving the large tent and heads for the translocation stone
>Deciding to drop off the papers and contract, he puts in the code for Razorback Fortress
>He does give Snootadishu one more look around before transit, seeing as it did remind him of home

>When he arrives at Razorback, he looks to see if Naliyna is still at her post with the usual pillar of paperwork
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson
248554 251631

>Really? It was that simple this whole time?
>The Norwegian sighed to himself, rubbing his face in annoyance as the doors parted and this 'Excelleon' bitched at them to get moving.
"Right. Let's get this over with then."
>He quietly mumbles, hopefully not loud enough that their target could hear as they begin to advance down the tunnel.
>He places a hand on his slung rifle as they move, pulling it back into a low ready position.
>Best to be prepared for anything in this unknown... Mountain bunker place.
>Speaking of the unknown, they had already spotted.... Something down their tunnel forward, reflecting light from the glowing rocks.
>Spruce tried to squint his eyes behind his orange sunglasses to try and make out what exactly was down there.

[1d6 = 3]
B. Perception
[1d6 = 3]

246129 246136
>Pareidolia remains silent as the General converses with her equipment.

[Sentient shield. Possibly otherwordly? Eldritch is unlikely, too calm and form is defensively focused compared to other eldritch inhabited equipment.]

>He slowly exhales as she explains. His brow rises in surprise behind his helmet.

"I was unaware they existed in that form."

[Digital life? Or personality transference? Will need to inquire further.]

>Nodding once as the mare remarks, he holds the N.O.A.H drive up briefly.

"The technology inside the drive is miniaturized to a degree. Human equivalent computing technology to Interponies from my era is generally small enough to be held in one hand or hoof without sacrificing performance. Individual components being small enough to balance on a finger."

>Leaning over slightly to watch the strange human depart, he calls:

"Ask for Allys! You will find her at the Mess Hall."

>He stops a moment to think before continuing.

"And what should everyone here call you?"

[This is why I did not qualify for Social. If only I had a Committee liaison...]

>His helmet hides his awkward grimace at the interaction.
>Looking back towards the mare in front of him, he carefully places the shield on top of the hard drive.

"Either her helmet has a voice modulator, or parts of her are mechanical resulting in that voice."

[Timeframe is far too long. Too many tasks remaining to wait.]

>His annoyed expression does not reach his voice.

"I am ready."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Looking down at the letters she'd been poking at, Naliyna circles her left forehoof with the right in a quick motion while giving a polite, albeit devious smile.
"Sorry, but I'm not a 'miss' anymore. Soon as events settle down a bit I'm going to be mareried to a human. As for old wounds don't worry about them, I'm pretty stable these days."
>Taking on a serious expression, the scarred Crystal mare leans back on her short couch, left hoof raising to rub the same side's ear, which you notice half was torn off at some point in the past.
"Those.. are odd questions, but I don't mind answering them."
"Princess Celestia is one of the four alicorns that rule Tallus, our world. So far as I know she represents Spring, the time that most foals are born, the Day, the Sun itself, being a philosophical warrior, is the essence of warmth and the basis for peaceful conduct, the kinds of alchemical elixirs that imply renewal, magic that focuses on defense, the early growing season, and when ponies start socializing after a harsh winter. She's the co-ruler of Equestria alongside Princess Luna. So, Princess Luna mostly represents winter, the time when ponies and flora sleep, the Night itself because it's usually safe to travel then, the Moon, being a logical warrior without showing or being hindered by emotions, cold-hearted diplomarecy, and the kinds of magic that mostly cause harm. Luna also has a lot to do with Necromarecy but I dunno the details on that part."
"As for Princess Celestia's treaties, rules, and laws, the simplest way I can describe those demarends is this: don't lie unless you absolutely have to, don't hurt others or cause conflicts unless you have no other choice, always try to be nice, and don't make a situation worse than it has to be. Solars hate being lied to, hate lying even worse, and act like they have nothing to hide, which they usually don't. How to contact her.. well, from what I've heard, if you send a letter addressed to Princess Celestia, she has an agreemarent with the Vortex Remnant so she'll get it immediately."
>Leaning forwards, right forehoof on her chin while the left rests on the couch, Naliyna frowns in a modicum of annoyance.
"There's a lot of agreemarents and other stuff between their factions, those are a huge problem when trading. Solars, that is, ponies under Princess Celestia's rule, really hate poisons, toxins, acids, the Ethereals, Specctrals, and similar things since they see those as a weakness. Lunars, ponies under Princess Luna's rule, also hate poisons, toxins, and acids, but they really despise Plasma, Ethereal, and Planar things since those make combat too easy. Lunars will lie if they feel it's necessary, or outright hide the truth and say nothing if they feel that's for the best. They prefer both open combat and ambushes at the same levels, which makes most Solar ponies angry. That's kind of a double standard since Solar ponies will try to combat something they know they can't defeat, and Lunars try not to risk themselves unnecessarily. I guess you could say that they have their own general kind of honor, and they don't agree on what is honorable all that often."
"Lunars like using bound spells, enchantmarents, and weird stuff to stay even or have an advantage over their opponents, especially the creatures they target in the Moors and the Southern Equestrian Ocean. They'll try not to lie to you if they're asked a straight question though, but they will direct you to somepony that won't reveal their secrets. I think the worst part is that Solars and Lunars are both really prideful. Sometimes you won't get an honest direct answer from either, they're too proud to admit that they've been defeated or could be. Princess Luna demarends that her ponies and allies be civil with each other, even if they hate each other, but the Solar faction distrusts those that aren't unicorns, pegasi, or non-psionic earth ponies. Supposedly Celestia really hates Druids but I dunno why."
"I have a short copy of the Night and Lunar Guard's laws, not the newest but it usually works if I need to barter or negotiate something with them. It's basically: don't hurt somepony that shouldn't be hurt, don't rape somepony that doesn't deserve it, don't steal from somepony unless they stole wrongfully, don't use banned stuff no matter how bad the situation is, and always share knowledge if they're able to."
"The quickest way to get ahold of Princess Luna is sending a letter directly addressed to her. The Vortex Remnant has some kind of deal with all the Princesses and Queen Chrysalis, they get their mail instantly no matter where they go."
>Taking a deep inhale, the fuchsia Crystal mare lets it out slowly, eyebrows furrowing together while curiously eyeing your motions.
"I don't know much if anything about the current Treaty of Canterlot. But, there's been at least four hundred Treaties of Canterlot. Each of those is an agreemarent between at least two countries, or Tallus as a whole. Depending on what the agreemarent is, certain things become illegal or legal again, certain rare and trade goods are limited so that the black markets can't abuse them, migration is increased or decreased.. it's really hard to say much about them. And, no, I don't think it has anything to do with Old Canterlot."
>Briefly frowning, the trade mare waves a hoof dismissively at your question.
"Just those really. We don't have much contact with anypony else. The Sea's Bounty are General Twisted Wing's kin, some here don't like them because they're awfully lewd."
>Slowly raising both eyebrows, Naliyna's eyes narrow in muted disgust.
"Sharpened Words is Denra's real name. He quit his diplomatic position after he thought Princess Celestia betrayed him. I dunno if she did or not, but he doesn't like talking about any of his time there."
>Lips pursing once thoughtfully, the Crystal mare gives a short nod, reaching out to take it with one forehoof.
"That does sound good, thank you."
>Jeff looks down at the golem, shaking his head slightly.
"The offending party is still technically my superior, and I'll be in deeper shit if she winds up dead on my watch. She may have threatened to kill us, but she's still an ally. It's fine though, that's why you're out here- to learn. I have a plan."
>He straight up lied to Boris. He has no solid plan yet. He just hopes Sunny can subdue Mercy before the vampires are ready to march out.

>Speaking of, Jeff looks out at the battle-ready and fully-armored perfect lines of Lunarites.
'Woooow. They're loaded to win a war just by themselves.'
>It was awe-inspiring, if not a little intimidating at the same time.
>Luckily it sounded like they at least had plenty of Ambrosia to keep them stable for a time. He wonders how long it'll tkae before they need to become reliant on it. Two-hundred doses is all they have... in existence.
>He didn't let this fact waiver him, and nodded in confirmation to the lead mare.
"Right then. It's a fifteen mile march to the closest travel stone for the Citadel. Hope you're all ready for that..."
>Dipping his head back out, he swings both doors open to give them a berth to start heading out.
>He only wish he didn't turn around, only to witness Sunny and Mercy continuing fighting over the councilmare.
>Who looked even more on the verge of death than when she arrived.
>The Nightblade lets out a shrill gasp under his breath out of sheer shock.
"Agh! What the hell, you two?!"
>Can it get even worse, right now?
>He quickly breaks over to the fight and stomps his foot down onto the stone floor as loud as possible right out of the zone of combat to get their attention.
>Him physically intervening might be more trouble than it's worth.
"OI! SUNNY, STAND DOWN! MERCY, CUT YOUR SHIT! I'm mad as hell too, but you made your point! Now break it up before she dies! You're embarrassing me in front of the vampires!"
>It was more of a scolding than a commandeering presence, but the point was to get them to stop and not scare them.
[1d6+4 = 8]
<M.Leadership: Fall in Line???
[1d6+4 = 5]

[1d6+4 = 10]

[1d6+4 = 7]

Bubba the Second
>Bubba felt it was definitely a good idea to skedaddle.

>As the cultist panics in a rather amusing fashion, Bubba watched as she ran off.
"That was... Honestly something I wasn't fully expecting."
>Shrugging, he shook his head and resumed his walk towards the translocation area.
>While he may have wanted to go do some more stuff, he felt that dropping off information, and getting the equipment he ordered paid off, was more important.
>So he set off back to base.
>Cheto eyebrows rise up from hearing the news, his smile widening as the bottle makes contact with Naliyna's outstretched hoof.
"Congratulations, Mrs Naliyna. I must say I'm envious of the man. If I may be so bold, who is the lucky sir to have your hoof in marriage?"
>As the action proceeds it's natural course, his thinking becomes active.
(Seems these Solars are a tightly-knit group. I'll have to expect suspicion, disrespect or outright fear at first. Lunars seem more flexible, but unpredictable. Seems there's some deep differences between the two, surprisngly. I expected them to be a bit more similar, but they would've made up already if that were the case. At least they seem civil about it if these treaties are to be believed.)
>He nods to himself for a bit, losing focus on Naliyna as he mulls over the stream of useful information.
(Really easy to contact, too, huh? These ponies so far don't seem to be lying to me and I don't see much reason for them to do so... Maybe this is what Sharpened Words meant when he was quote-on-quote betrayed? Naliyna seems to strongly against his actions. I wonder what could have made her react that way. Another pony who dislikes politic folk? I hope not. I'd hate to ruin her mood by my presence.)
>Blinking himself back to focus, he looks quizzically at Naliyna.
"You mean if I were to write a letter right now and put it on the... Vortex Remnant, they'll instantly recieve it?"
>He pauses for a bit, expecting a yes.
"Forgive my intrusion, but do you perhaps have a paper to write a letter on? I'd like to contact Princess Celestia. It's the main reason I'm here in this world."
>His brow lowers and his smile turns hopeful, expecting her to have the means necessary to finally meet his employer and see what exactly does she need currently.
"And in the case she writes me back, where will the response arrive at?"
"Yeah well I don't care, I'd rather not need to rebuild you."
>"Plus I highly doubt Kraut has another car to drive into eldritch anomalies."
"That is a major relief."
>I nod softly at her evaluation, before shifting to sit up properly.
"I highly suggest finishing up repairs first, then fixing the botched welds. We need to be able to move, it won't be good for us if you're perfectly welded up but not finished if we're discovered."

"My paranoia has kept me alive back home, thank you very much."
>Listening to her explanation, I could only answer with one thing.
"You're a nerd, Wild."
>I say with a smirk to her mini.
"As long as it works, eh? I just don't want to see it blow up on us or something, okay?"
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place...
GM Strangler
>Leadership: +2 to all Assault rolls.
>????? Ambush Tokens: 3.
"Forgive me for not being clear enough. I was not stating to only prevent the living from interrupting, though they too would be most interested in this ritual. There are Shades, Half-Shades, Spectrals, Eldritch-Touched, those whom were corrupted or tainted by the Scars.. among numerous others. The non-physical aspects of the Moors are still battlefields."
>Head turning nintey degrees left to address you in a flatly stubborn tone, the lead Cultist's ears flick back and forth in warning motions.
"Most drift along and about peacefully due to the marely batponies here projecting their sleepy overherd into the surroundings keeping the unseen calm and orderly. What I carry will incite some but we will not know what, how marely, or their intentions until exposing themselves. Most will be easily dissuaded by a quick enough blow, so I firmly suggest that you strike first."
[1d6+3 = 5]
<E.Leadership: Reaction Speed
[1d6+3 = 9]

[1d6+3 = 7]

>Exiting the Last Stop's low door and following at the mare's prescribed distance, it was fairly ominous to see hundreds of darkly colored earth ponies had virtually taken over the Village's entire northern side.
>Clustered in orderly rows with large, empty black saddlepacks of the types that marecenaries tended to favor, all had the typical stocky, widely built and muscular Stalliongrad physique.
>And, curiously, there wasn't a single stallion, filly, or colt in appearance.
>Amusingly, each of the fruit stalls was swamped as streams of batponies were dragging, pushing, and carrying crates or heavy woven satchels of mixed fruits from the six storehouses around the Village.
>Your skin immediately crawls upon realizing how silent the Basin was outside, then even more so from sighting the contents of each picked up and carefully placed in saddlepacks by definite psions, soft, muted green hues lighting the surroundings.
>Beside the, for once, harried traders, the Village's other batponies were in much the same places that they'd been:
>All but a few were currently snoozing on, around, and several in the fountain, on top of each building's entrance and roof, or simply sprawled out wherever they felt was good for a nap.
>The few awake ones on the south side were staring in varying levels of concern towards the sudden influx of earth ponies, though you notice a few armored ones, likely some reclusive Hunter-Killers on break, taking up strategic defensive positions around the two-level hostel.
>Opposite the hostel you note that Lann's shop was likewise swamped, the four unicorns she had tending to it now barely visible behind a sea of earth mares hauling large stacks of cloth and carpets on their saddles directly towards the translocation matrice.
>Unsurprisingly, nearly all of these mares were psions as well, save for the telltale bright sapphire glow of a Primal somewhere in the front.
>While the atmosphere, mood, and body languages that you could see weren't hostile, the few gazing in your direction were noticeably stone faced.

>Paying little overt attention towards the physical goings-on, the Cult mare turns several degrees in a slight motion, diverging from a course towards the translocation matrice and now heading directly at the wide basin itself.
>Ears twitching backwards under the hood, a subtle flick of claws beneath her robe is made southwards accompanied by a slight, highly familiar pink glow that lasts barely a second.
[1d6+2 = 5]
<Journeymare: Reveal Unnatural
[1d6+4 = 7]
[1d6+4 = 8]

[1d6+4 = 7]

Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Leaving the half-underground building, over a dozen small, sturdy looking wooden pony carts, most likely palm or similar based on their coloration, were currently parked outside.
>Watching the five Zebras scurry about carrying numerous satchels, bags, jars, small crates, and what looked to be cardboard boxes, the amount on order would take at least three hours to complete.
>Which raised the question of where, exactly, everything was even stored in the Alchemy Lab.

>Retracing your steps back through the Plaza, the amount of traffic had increased by at least double:
>Roughly a quarter of the crowds were Saddle Arabians, amusingly near eye level with you, though the more ornately saddled and bridled mares were tossing strange looks in your direction.
>Hundreds of distinct bright blue and green war painted Ferron pegasi were likewise roving around in small groups, paying little attention except to offer wing waves at you between eyeballing the strange fruits, roots, and nuts on display.
>At least they weren't Lishanki..
>Dozens of young Crystal ponies had taken over most of the smaller stall counters, comically baking in the sun and taking zero notice of much else besides trading for pouches and satchels of herbs.
>Reaching the translocation matrice it seemed that business had picked up massively, but for reasons that you didn't know.
>Although, knowing it was past midnight in Equestria the ponies here were mostly Lunar aligned, though you couldn't quite tell why such a large number of Crystal ponies were daring Zebraica's oppressive heat.

>Granted the professional treatmarent this time by the Vortex Remnant, half a second passes in a fuzzy, calm white tunnel before setting down inside the Pagoda.
>Still at her tent stall, only now sorting through letters, the middle-aged fuchsia trader was in the middle of a deep, profoundly angry conversation with.. herself in the Kingdom dialect.
>Pausing to look up with an exasperated stare, Naliyna blinks once before putting on a welcoming smile.
"You've been gone a while. Having fun visiting?"
>Oh so those corrupted beings
>Reaffirmed, Clemency grips his blade, knowing it's efficiency towards those beings

>Seeing the outside, this isn't the Basin he was told about
>So many Earth ponies
>And it is too quiet for a place filled with batponies
>How regular is this event again?
>Just keep vigilant
>And stay on that case
>Clemency resumes his tailing, even under the scrutiny of the earth pony herd
>Seeing her change direction, Clem notices the subtle flick of her wingclaws
>He firsts uses the radar function on his helmet before taking a quick glance over
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6+1 = 2]
<Expert Perception
[1d6+1 = 7]

[1d6+1 = 6]

>All that and still missing ingredients
>What's going on in that Lab that consumed all the supplies?
>Zhun contemplated taking a peak inside of there, figure out if we have the storage for this amount of stuff

>Ah there she is
>Still sorting through paperwork
>Welp, time to not be helpful in that regard
>Zhun matches her smile, as always
"Oh yes. Quite a marked difference coming from the normal temp Empire to the blazing hot desert market. I do have some things for you to handle...told to give the receipts to you."
>Rummaging through his pack, Zhun brings out that Consortium receipt for that trip and the manifest for the Snootadishu trip
"The alchemical supplies should arrive shortly from both. Still need to get more though."
>Zhun also pulls out the contract Tapeskat gave him and puts it alongside the receipts
"Trademare yes? Was told to also give this over to you in case "something stupid" happens. Weird trade agreements after that happened."
>Zhun reaches for a canteen of water to take a sip of
>Relief from the dry heat into this...temperate heat
Mallia Castella
>Mallia manages to hide her expressions better by virtue of having her face fully covered. But behind that mask was a woam smiling wryly and crinkling her nose like an accordion - grimacing in an attempt to not be amused by those words. The only hint that she was not taking this seriously being a slow, half-hearted exasperated sigh.

(It's not funny.)
>She told herself.
>It was kind of funny though.
>Totally not funny. That's not funny. Nope.

>Of course, the enginseer didn't say anything back to Raindrop apart from sideglancing in her direction once through her visor. Taking the time to closely examine what she could see of the inside of the dial-lock, while she listens intently to the "commissar".
>Though she only really freezes and starts turning around when the man mentioned what happens to the guns touched by people of lesser eras, her back straightening up suddenly as the tendril-like mechadendrite starts to quietly slither itself under the shield on her back, as if trying to hide.
>Mallia specifically does not slowly in understanding at the mention that vehicles seem to be exempt from 'the rule', resting the hellpistol on her left lap, with one hand subtly draped over it as she processed what had been said.
>Then her eyes went to one of the lights being held by the ANCIENT operators, squinting towards one through her photo-visor as if to examine it. Pulsing her preysense visor to check how 'hot' these crystals were, just out of curiosity.

>How hard could it be to pick up where this 'Marquis' left off? Couldn't be too hard to learn, with her micro-cogitator.

[1d6+4 = 9]
<B. Perception + BQ Preysense visor + Photo-visor
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6 = 3]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6 = 6]

"Hm. You know, maybe later down the line I could help with that, if this 'Marquis' doesn't come back."
>Her eyes eventually lift up back to the commissar, giving him a respectfully thankful nod.
>While it also clicked in her mind that, even so far in the past, commissars still existed. A slight shiver crawls up her spine as her breath falters for a split second. What this really a commissar though?

>Then finally her head turned towards Raindrop as she also speaks. Her mind quickly processing Tox-11's message and, by instinct, sends a 'Thank you very much, Tox-11.' to him instead of the usual litany of praise to the machine spirit.

"That... Yeah it's probably a good idea to take preventive measures. But it's unlikely that anything will catch fire, unless something goes horribly wrong."
"... Or there's a flamethrower hidden somewhere in this lock. Heh!"
>Mallia chuckled mirthfully, but her words are, contrasting to her merry chuckle, awfully serious as her head turned to the lock itself.

"As for distance. Yes, please try to maintain a minimum of 15 meters, or 50 feet, from me at all times just in case, unless you have appropriate protection to your eyes and body."
>The enginseer looked back to everyone, including the other operators, when saying that. Though afterwards, her gaze fixes back on Raindrop to say an additional remark.

"As a note. I can see a sort of non-metallic wheel behind these dials, which... Judging by the patterns and striations, is most likely made of a type of compressed wood. In short: This is why you can't hear anything from the mechanism, it's meant to prevent you from hearing anything if you start messing with it."
>Mallia begins to lift the hellpistol and grips it tightly, undoing the safety with the swipe of her thumb. Though before she does anything, she tries to quickly make sure to glance into the dial a bit more to see if she can't get a line of sight with her hellpistol with the wooden wheels, hoping to maybe destroy them from outside and see if that wouldn't help opening the lock itself. For future reference.

>And also giving the time for everyone to get to a safe distance, and for Raindrop to get some water if she wanted to grab some.

"I'm going to give you all some time to move away, and grab water. Then I'm going to start cutting this open and seeing if we can't see what's inside."

[1d6+4 = 10]
<B. Perception + BQ Preysense
[1d6 = 5]

[1d6 = 6]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 1]

[1d6 = 3]

Razorback Fortress: The Courtyard, Post #1/2
GM Strangler
>Thansimum's lips contort into an embarrassed, wavy S-shape for several seconds as she scuffs the ground with a forehoof.
"Well.. nopony else can interact with them you can tell why we never say anything. Not only that, it's virtually impossible to explain the specifics to somepony that isn't a Crystal pony."
>Head cocking to eye the square once more, the General's face crinkles humorously.
"Simple and impressive. Don't care for the shape, there's too much surface area to catch on something or be knocked off a table, but the overall size does give me some intriguing thoughts."

>Catching the new arrival's free arm making a wide wave, she stops and turns at the waist, pressing something below her neck which results in a partial volume increase.
"Karmine Leto, or Lure.. whichever sounds less stupid."

"Quite a strange name, I don't recognize any component of it.. well, no matter. Would be interesting to perform a physical and psychological assessmarent on a newly arrived humans, perhaps create a baseline for rapid treatmarent. The idea of disguising one's voice is odd to me, though I do understand and respect the security aspect of the first. The second however will present significant problems speaking to ponies, the least of which would be fear."
>Visibly making notes in her head as the human continues to stumble northwards, the older Crystal mare's returns to drop down to the drive while frowning speculatively.
"..really? No, I understand. Allot five hours maximum for.. no? Very well, maximum three hours for cleansing and the remainder for.. ..full recovery? Of course you may, but why do you ask? ..no, that is not allowed. Do not tamper with other functions that you cannot directly and easily harmonize with. Otherwise continue to withdraw, reset, and repeat against significant hostile sub-strata. ..excellent news, I'll leave you to work then."
>Looking up once more with a small, hopeful smile, Thansimum offers a slight bow.
"Excellent, then I shall begin immediately as well. As this is your first time experiencing a solo performarence it will be quite strange. I assure you this: all side effects, if any, should be minor. Clear your consciousness, open your mind, and prepare to deliver all of your focus upon me."
>Without even clearing her throat, a refreshing hum begins and-
[1d6+5 = 11]
<GM.Grand Performarence: Purge Planar Corruption
[1d6+5 = 11]

[1d6+5 = 8]

[1d6+5 = 7]

[1d6+3 = 6]
[1d6+3 = 6]

[1d6+3 = 6]

Razorback Fortress: The Library, Filly Room, Post #2/2
GM Strangler
"At ease, Operative."
>Vague lucid thoughts, unchained together/apart, always alone in the midst of this new, unwanted Committee.
"Yes, we bear your face. Security measures as always needed even outside the temple. You are above us, correct?"
>A timeless-ending melody that tore and mended, conscious trickles of agony rolling to crash inside, outside, sideways.
"Is he conscious or merely responding to impulses? I vote neigh."
>This was familiar.
>The attraction to her voice was remarkable but merely a footnote; perhaps Crystal ponies had succeeded where their sisters failed due to empathy and conceiving others.
>A young dull orange tinted Crystal mare, stern in demeanor as her elongated face glowered towards the others towered high above you, unreachable.
"You have been summoned here today for an empirical review of your performance. I vote yey."
>For now, you think, until acquiring the means to reach her. Perhaps she will reconsider such a soft verdict.
"It is not our intention to cause undue stress since you are, after all, busy carrying out these orders, but we have noticed certain.. unsettling trends that you are having difficulties over. Your new accommodations and personnel are of acceptable proficiencies yet you have become too physically attached. This has led to numerous complaints, Operative, and not ones we are able to take lightly. You have been accused of becoming a sexual deviant. I plead the neigh verdict."
"Between. Are these humans worth salvaging?"
>This voice, distantly harsh as rolling hills, was critical. It considered your suitability, yet knew you would take too much time to sway.
"Enough! The case is closed. One shall decide. We cannot leave this amount of expertise outside of One. My answer is yey."
"Is he aware of this meeting? One knows. One is a fool. One will be removed when the time is right. Four years ago One was removed. We do not agree. My consensus is neigh."
>Third/fourth unwills herself for concern of exposure to the outside.
>Two needs to move were given, the rhythms guided your motions; controlled, stable, but tainted. These were not your actions. You unofficially Puppeted for the Master, now you will you repay her sacrifices.
"What meeting! We are not here? You are not there? He is not us?"
"I object to this nonsense! One did not exist, One told us that One does not exist and we will aide by One's orders!"
"Were you unlying to yourself outside of necessary unprotocols, Operative? Do you take unjoy in unsubversion? Is this not the correct unfreedom to gain your untrust? I unfind these distractions to be unuseful. Give yourself the unyear, then unreturn. That is my judgement. I abstain."
>Supporting yourself with both hands clutching the ancient General's shoulder plates firmly, staggering alongside her into the well lit red room full of dolls and plushes, the small ponies merrily accusing you of being too big to play with them. She defends you by pointing out your tiny mane. The helmet was wrong, it only served to pronounce your unreliability.
"This meeting will not be adjourned until WE reach a single consensus outside of the abstainee votes. One is no longer valid and shall be discarded. WE have been given the clearance to vote yey. Continue."
>It was a soft blade, the scalpel/scythe terribly long reaching into, piercing each nerve only to pleasantly harvest what it needed to feed the rest. You have grown within the field well, hiding, spreading across the land at whim and will. Soon this will be and was yours until the blade reaps not-you in taunting laughter. Two prizes are lost. This bodes unwell for our selves.
"Two objections. Fist, this Operative has not committed enough noteworthy crimes and infractions to be given special dispensations. Hoof, his results have been failure was always advised on multiple public accounts. For those of you that have remembered, that is our purpose: we make use of failures for their benefits, or their allies. You have all succeeded and may be pastured. You are put out to graze, to be bred, or to breed. Serve the needs which occur first. Dismissed. I am last to vote and first to rise. My vote is neigh-"

>Clever little red swirls converge, pushing you downwards into the frayed reality she called yours.
>This wasn't your home, yet it was a home of learning, or a gilded cage that made itself.
"I care not whether you learn or teach. Trust those that cannot, will not, and most importantly: should not trust you."
>Awareness of soft, previously frightened, but warm harvests lie alongside, the passive-aggressive helmet that dared to delay your secrets buried across the inhabited spatial cube's interior.
>What were these fillies for, besides allowing them to warm your worthy self?
"Your soul priorities are to partake in this challenge. You are the taskmaster now. Acquire the respect deserved. Restructure the status quo."
>What purpose did the scared colt's needs of his family and friends grant that you refused to give yourself?
"Assign full authorization to the unworthy. Build the futures too great to be deserved. Be careful: never succeed this selection process. There can be no recovery."

>This was.. acceptable, you proposed to yourself.
>Surrounding your almost entirely nude self, the quiet, appreciable snores of warm, contently sleeping young ponies filled the air.
>Through the cracked door south, the three Kingdom Generals were unaware of your restored consciousness.
>Yes, these fillies and the colt were too young to appreciate their lives fully, said the first.
>The second's disruption, each was too immature to recognize the harsh realities they would soon face.
>It was wrong to hope they could be immunized from grief, the third despaired.
>Their choices crumbled, inconsistent.
>Your own actions, fortunately, would not falter.
"Failure Is Not Authorized."
>This was, for once, certainly your voice.
"Good. I have a great deal of interest in bringing your superior onto my lap and rubbing his or her ears... maybe a light hugging session too. I don't discriminate, you ponies are obscenely soft."
>Doing his best 'you had better' tone towards Venous, the Death Cultist's smile turns into a lethargically cruel, probably unseen grin.
"That I entirely agree with. If the only choices are to punch something's face inwards or scare them into submitting, then why bother wasting time with the first pack of enemies when they can be terrorized up front by throwing the front door into their heads? I'm not strong enough to do like my earliest comrade, so but the point still stands."

>Suffering little offense at the bright cityscape, Corsen's eyes rove across the previously unseen structures in a newfound sense of enlightenment.
(An entire city cleaner and better maintained than the garbage heaps we took over. This is no decaying corpse of warp-ants crawling on the bones of Void dragons, this is livable.. how did we ever manage without thousands of slaves? Wonder how many ponies it takes to keep this entire city clean.)
>Keeping pace with the Honor Guard, brief passing glances are given to the precious metal underneath, and the highly interesting styles of artistic expression afterwards.
(I'll have to come back when time permits, need to take a thousand notes.)

>Mutely shaking his head at the peaceful environments, he keeps his calm until entering the University's grounds.
(An organized military this close to the noble's district? That's.. unexpected.)
>Arms folding across his chest at the Night Guard's demand, Corsen's eyes flick down at the interesting weapons sourly, then back down onto Venous.
(Must not be the mission she wanted. Relaying orders or giving an update perhaps?)
>Giving a short sigh, he reaches down to with his right hand to lift the hatchet up several inches while jealously eyeing the batpony's peculiar weapons.
"Bounty hunter business mostly. I've asked this Honor Guard here to escort me somewhere I can acquire aid in improving this weapon since I barely know Canterlot, otherwise I won't be able to complete my duties. Maybe take a detour into the art college, I have ideas for several paintings but I'm going to need a few refresher courses."
>Pareidolia wakes to the sound of a phrase as close to a personal mantra as he could have.
>His eyes, remarkably were not bleary.
>His head however felt mired in fog and delusions.

[Not a dream... reality bled in to my delusion? Too many parallels... ]

>Remaining still, he exhales deeply in an attempt to focus on his surroundings.
>An uncomfortable feeling of exposed skin to air assails his nerves.

[Once again without my equipment. Why was it removed? Where is it? Where is Thansimum?]

>His eyes carefully sweep the room as he attempts to process what happened.

[Cage of learning... the Library? There were too many voices... ]

>He spares a sidelong glance at the snoring foals laying next to him before trying to focus on the three apparent Generals outside the door and filter the madness from what he had experienced.

[I was moved, and judged? This must be the room across from the basement door with the affected foals. Unshielded due to the open door, so they were affected...]

>His breath rattles slightly, catching in his throat as he blinks several times.

[There were four, or at least three. I was with Thansimum. The others over there must be the two other Generals?]

>He strains to hear and see as much as he can moving only his head.

[I was barely conscious. What were they talking about? Were my memories and my A.I.'s databanks combed? It was an unavoidable risk, but if that biased their reactions... need to figure out what was real... ]
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
247199 247453
>Marginally anticipating the specialist's incoming strikes, staggered lines of burning pink wingblades blur into focus before your snout.
>Bodily turning sideways and backwards from the hostile glows, rearing back enough to clash your hoofboots through her adrenaline-spiked weapons finds significant holes between Mercy's heavily spread apart weaponry.
>Clashing through unguarded wingblades is rewarded with both hooves ringing off the left side of her skull, sending the Spirit Walker reeling backwards just as a roiling wave of searing pink agony rolls through your muscles, catching you off guard briefly.
>Tossed back into a staggered, barely upright defensive stance, previously enraged blind white eyes roll upwards, then down to focusing onto you.. rather coldly, you notice.
[1d6 = 3]

>Mercy: Minor Concussion, Enrage lost, 117/120HP!

>Immediately behind Mercy, the Councilmare's thin outlines were covered in red spatters and accompanied by a choking gasp.

>Now visibly angered by the trio of interruptions, the Belligerent's eyes flash an angry blue.
"Sir, I am not programmed nor experienced enough to care care about whom is right or wrong-"

>The apparent Lunarite commarender briskly tosses a merrily dismissive hoof at your first statemarent.
"We care not for decorum. Should the Planar spheres dare to outnumber this Collective even five to one our odds shall be an uneven tide 'gainst their own."
>Vocalizing a contemptful snort behind her own batpony styled facemask, this one composed of a haughty, mocking sneer, the lead mare chuckles in derisive confidence.
"Care not do we for pittances of flesh and bone. Overlong have we rested good traveler, now be our time to answer the Night Goddess and her unheard call. Bring us to thy promised battlefield, we shall show these generations how to commit unbridled and unfeeling war before their soft eyes!"

>Hurling the commarendeering shout towards the pegasi fracas, a pink-outlined figure stumbles sideways from the Councilmare's distortion.
>Mercy's head phases back into reality first with a bleary, unfocused stare, quickly followed by the rest of her body.
>Momarentarily giving a deep frown, the Spirit Walker marenages a short nod before crumpling forwards onto her chest with a painful groan, both wings and forelegs wrapping around her head protectively.

>Taking several paces forwards while pointing at the first Lunarite filly shoving the Crypt's partially open door open, then up at the stairwell, the short golem's voice turns becomes a thoughtful, if not grating tone.
"I have learned little from this situation, Commander. As I was intending to state before: the timeframe is dire. Is it not more imperative to deliver these willing ponies to the beleaguered forces on Luna's Moon than it is to deal with petty grievances? If so then you must immediately relocate them."
>Turning a brutally calculating gaze at Mercy, Boris lifts his shoulders as high as possible.
"But I require assistance to move quickly. Should there not be space in your vehicle for me then I will travel back on my own."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Unheard by Ferron and the few batponies nearby, despite their excellent hearing, your commarent, sadly, goes unnoticed.
>While the Cult leader had caused enough of a scene drawing attention to her, it was unlikely to come across her again without a significant search effort.
>This of course left the question of how she might try to interact with further humans entering Cairn Wharf.. which honestly wasn't your priority.
>Strolling your way to the offest pair of translocation matrices without being hindered, the Vortex Remnant senses business.
>Immediately dropped into a bright neon yellow, green, and pink tri-colored tunnel, precisely two seconds pass before the Pagoda's uniquely charming atmosphere comes into view.
>Except without ponies or even humans around for once.
>The welcoming sounds of papers being shuffled by Naliyna behind you were comforting while her tone was positively cheerful.
"Welcome back! Did you have... fun? Um.. ..can I ask why you smell like the ocean, or how you fell into a salt mine because the thought of either one is making me really hungry right now."
Sunny Feathers
>Retaking her position between Mercy and the Councilmare, legs braced, head lowered and wings flared wide, Sunny returned Mercy's gaze silently with her own impassive and calculating one. Her instincts screamed at her to go on the offensive and make certain she was no longer a threat, but remained still at Jeff's order.
>Despite the wave of agony Mercy's attack on her had inflicted, the mare stood waiting, recovering her breath even as a slight sheen of lather broke through her hide. She did not like that, not one bit.
>She prayed Jeff's command would stay Mercy's hoof from continuing her attack.

>As soon as she saw Mercy re-enter realspace and fall forwards, Sunny wheeled about towards the Councilmare and dropped down to her side, inspecting her wounds even as she fished out her Estrus flask.

[1d6+3 = 6]
< B. Perception
[1d6+3 = 6]

>...Aestus flask, she corrected herself after a moment.
>Chest wound, tracheal bleeding, partially obstructed wind passage. No time to wait for oral or topical application to take full effect, no possibility of delivery via intravenous injection.
>Sunny shook her head woefully at herself, her lips set in a grim line on her muzzle.
"You'll have to forgive me for this Councilmare, but I can no more let you die down here than anyone else."
>Rolling the mare onto her back, Sunny lifted the Councilmare's rump upwards, supporting it with a wing and a hoof as she pulled the stopper out of the aestus flask, pushed the neck of the flask in and poured a single dose directly down the Councilmare's marehood.

[1d6+5 = 10]
< E. Alchemy + Estrus Flask
[1d6+5 = 7]

[1d6+5 = 7]

>Sunny at least had common decency to avert her gaze as she 'applied' the dose.
>Afterwards, she restoppered the flask and set it back in her saddlebag as she continued to hold the mare's rump upwards to prevent any spillage while she waited the dozen or so seconds she reasoned it would take for the mixture to be absorbed into the bloodstream and take effect.
>Rather than talk to the mare she'd just violated in order to save her life, Sunny muttered to herself just audibly enough for the Councilmare to make out the words.
"This was supposed to be a simple salvage operation, is this what working with Razorback is normally like? Because I think I'm beginning to regret requesting this contract."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Somehow grasping the bottle with her hoof and pulling it towards her chest, the crystalline mare's face breaks out into a wide smile.
"He calls himself Thrill Collins but I dunno if that's his real name. Long story between us, nothing I can say openly though. Can't really talk until it's done."
>Placing one hoof on the cap in preparation to twist it off, Naliyna's expression becomes questioning at your thinking posture.
>Cracking the top open and giving it a delicate sniff, her eyes swivel upwards curiously.
"Yep, so far as I know at least. All three Princesses and Queen Chrysalis get stuff addressed to them right after it's sent. The Vortex Remnant-"
>Motioning towards a vaguely eye-shaped, short stalk formed from the granite circle behind you.
"Pretty shy until he gets to know somepony, but he's never lost anything in transit, right?"
>Blinking once, the eye responds with a multitude of neutrally conjoined voices answering in a profoundly aggravated, proud maerners.
"Neither I nor mine have misplaced one item, object, sentient, nor sapient to their intended location or recipient!"
>Snickering at the eye's highly distressed undertones, the fuchsia mare bats her not-entirely-empathetic eyes at it.
"See? He's the best Remnant there is! And.. huh, didn't know that. Denra never said anything about getting replaced but I'm not really surprised since Canterlot is way too important not to have a diplomat for every faction. One second-"
>Head turning towards her left, a short hum in something akin to a low soprano resonates through the Pagoda for several seconds, ending after a black pen, a large human styled ring notepad, and several bright pink envelopes float from behind the stacks of paper, landing on the upper right corner of her table.
"Here, take these. I've got a bunch more around here.. somewhere. Probably under the rugs, or maybe under the desk-"
>Sitting back to give a momarentarily dumbfounded look, Naliyna points upwards with a front hoof before swirling it around in the air several times, probably meant to indicate where you were right now.
"If you can't leave your name for safety reasons then write 'from Razorback Fortress', or 'care of Razorback Companiegh', or something like that. Shouldn't be a problem since it's pretty much impossible to interdict mail, but I do read all the stuff that isn't addressed to anypony or human in specific that show up here.. mostly because they're either trade notices or newspapers."
Lost in the Crag Moors: Stuck (In The Middle Of) You
GM Strangler
"This is a current estimate of my physical parameters. Regardless of objections I'll continue to cross-reference my datalogs for simple to construct vehicles."
>Returning the left screen to a frontal view of her internal structure, a full third of her 'skeleton' was slag or destroyed, the remainder heavily damaged, twisted, or merely in a faulty state.
>As expected the rebuilding process would require a great deal of additional salvaging, though a few components looked reasonably familiar to you.
"Agreed, shifting priorities. Addendum: research notes indicate underwater repairs, maintenance, and modifications will be lower than thirty percent of standard values. Difficult, not impossible."
>Delivering another batch of gems, the tendril is joined by several more carrying a selection of archaic looking and oddly shaped coins.
"Statement recorded, now saving on all primary, secondary, tertiary, and backup storage systems.. complete. Logic node calculations have determined paranoia to be a heightened form of suspicion exacerbated by moderate to extreme obsessive-compulsiveness. I will not permit illogical actions to be taken without prior study or risk calculations."
>Climbing back into view on the right screen, the caricature's single eye makes a comical squint.
>Which COULD be threatening if it weren't utterly cartoonish.
"This 'nerd' is attempting to ensure she is not wrongfully blamed for failures outside of her control and would feel little remorse if events dictate it is necessary to spank her MOTHER into line!"
>And here was that sass again..
"In the event of catastrophic system failure there is a greater than ninety-percent chance my sensor array will require a complete rebuild. Update: modification failed, no damage caused. Source of errors: multiple integrity losses. Querying databases for potential solutions.. complete. Now attempting basic array repairs-"
[1d6+4 = 8]
<Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 4]
<Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 4]
<Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 5]
<Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 4]
<Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 4]
<Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 1]
<Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 4]
<Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 5]
<Repair Tendril #8
[1d6+1 = 6]
<B.Engineering Research
[1d6+1 = 7]

>Catching something on the right screen in front of you, an odd, inverted pan-shaped cloud formation moves.
>Naturally he's relieved that Sunny and Mercy broke up, at his command, but the results were mixed.
>One pegasi, his herd second, took his outburst harder than expected.
>Or she was nursing a head injury... it was probably his first guess.
>Sunny, however, recovered instantly and began to assess the council mare's injuries. Going off of the amount of blood, she was somehow in worse shape than she showed up in.
>Fast-walking over to the three, he gives the cowering Mercy a reassuring pat on her wings as he passes her-
"It's okay, Mercy..."
>And toward Sunny, who was already starting on first aid.
>The sight is NOT what he expected, as the pegasi mercenary was administering a potion... vaginally?!
>At this point the scene was less shocking and more tiring, as he kneels down at the councilmare's head end and averts his gaze to the rear.
"I'm gonna not be grossed out and just assume whatever you're doing is going to help heal her wounds. The Dagor also has a medical bag, if we really need it."
>But he wasn't about to argue with Sunny, as he crosses his arms coyly.
"Honey, tip for the future: humans are literal shit-hitting-the-fan magnets. Expect this level of BS almost every time. Keeps you on your hooves, that way. I'll let you handle her, while I begin herding the Lunarites to the top."

>Leaving Sunny to her 'treatment', Jeff grabs Boris by the mid-section and hefts the golem up and onto his left shoulder; sticky-ing him for stabilization.
"Hey, leaving someone to die over a 'petty grievance' is not cool. The Citadel's been under siege for hours, anyway. There's enough time to take care of everything, at their pace. You need to be tactful."
>Speaking of them, Jeff shifts his attention to the awaiting Lunarites through the doors.
"Okay, everypony. If you're all ready, you can follow me to the surface. Maybe my transportation can carry all of you."
>Though he doubts the Dagor's storage space or suspension can handle that much cargo.
>How many total were of them, again?
>Turning back around to begin the lead, he walks over to Mercy again to check on her.
"You okay, Mercy? We're gonna start moving out now."
Bubba the Second
>Grimacing, Bubba readjusted to the feeling of being transported through that infernal device.
>"I'll never get used to such a thing."
>Turning around to face her, Bubba gave Naliyna a brief nod and hand wave.
"I've no idea what you're referring to."
>He shrugs at her.
"I wandered around some docks for a while, very likely broke Sweet, and bought some stuff. Figure I'd let you know, just in case someone drops by with some gear for me."
>Lets out a sigh at seeing the damage done to her.
"There's a reason humans prefer to haul warships out of the water and into drydock before doing any major repairing to them."
>"Plus I don't know if we can even weld underwater."
"Paranoia in this case came from fighting a war, Wild. I was trained to counter enemy snipers, and I did a good job at it."
>"Until the fascists dropped mortars on me, anyway."
>I just dryly look at her image.
"You try to spank me and when we get back to base you are grounded, young lady."
>Blinking, I stare at the screen for a moment.
"Wait, what was that?"
[1d6+1 = 2]
<E. Perception
[1d6+1 = 4]

[1d6+1 = 6]

>Cheto is both awed and elated over Naliyna picking up a bottle without a proper grasp around the bottle as well as her discrete response regarding her soon to be husband, providing a big smile and raised eyebrows to symbolize that fact.
“You tease.”
>He chuckles heartily as his surprise fades

>Turning around to face the eye thing in awe at hearing it speak, he proceeds to inspect it curiously yet subtly, unsure of where to focus his eyes on when talking to it.
“Oh! Hello, Vortex Remnant. I’m Jose Gallo. I’m pleased to meet you and thankful for sending that report from Frost to her superiors. You’re quite the helpful remnant.”
(I hope that’s the way to address it.)
>That’s when his brain alerts him of a fact he didn’t notice before from what Naliyna said, causing him to circle back around to face her.
“Forgive me for my interruption, but I only heard of two princesses in my stay here so far. If I may be so bold, who is Queen Chrysalis and the third princess?”
>A small pause
“And what does the Remnant mean by ‘Neither I nor mine’?”

>After listening intently to her explanation, he gently takes the floating black pen, notepad and 2 envelopes with a bright, cheerful smile.
“I appreciate your charitable help Mrs. Naliyna and I hope I have not taken much of your time. Please excuse me for a minute.”
>With a small, happy gait, he walks towards the nearest empty couch with armrests, placing the notepad on the center of it, while placing the envelopes on the end nearest from where the headrest is and readying the pen.
(Where to start…)
>Chewing the lip slightly, he lowers down the pen.
“Dear Princess Celestia, Co-ruler of Equestria:
“I wish to inform you that I am in a stable condition, researching about elemarentary equine politics and culture, particularly from the Solars and Lunars, as well as the Lishanki, Malurians, Arkadian Divides and other Ferron pegasi clans, who are the closest factions to the Razorback Compony. Not to mention all of the exclusive social norms ponykind has that I may not know of yet.
“I must admit that the entry method to this world was completely unexpected, with my unceremonious entrance from the ceiling of a building straight into a sofa, which I am thankful for. The welcoming committee, after calming down from the surprise entrance, were rather friendly and caring. They even offered some complemarentary cookies and some water, which still surprises me how pure it tastes around these parts. After that, it was quite eventful in unique ways I have never experienced before.
“If I may be so bold, I want to ask a few questions regarding the contract details. Firstly, I would like to ask if I am to pursue diplomatic activities on my lonesome or if I have the privilege to choose from a selection of trained ponies in the arts of protecting others from anything that may compromise my responsibilities as a First Hoof, as my dishoofmarent greatly diminishes my defensive capabilities against any would-be assailants. Secondly, I wish to ask if there is a set of ponial armor that has been mareufacutred for me or if I have to commission a set. Lastly, I am curious about the specifics of how the Honor Guard would come to inform me in the event of being summoned by Your Majesty and the Silver Court of Nobles.
“I will make sure to do well on my part of the contract and I am both grateful to have chosen me as a diplomat of the Razorback Compony and eager to serve my assigned faction to the best of my ability.
“Yours sincerely,
“José Gallo, First Hoof of Razorback Compony.”
>Inspecting the letter thoroughly to see if the letter itself was well written and respectful to the Princess that summoned him here, he nods to himself.
(Yes, this ought to do. Maybe she'll appreciate my attempt to use their pun-like terms.)
>He takes off the paper from the notepad, opens one of the pink envelopes, folds the paper cleanly in half and inserted it into the envelope, followed by closing the letter container, turning it around, and finally writing the following on the top left.
“From: First Hoof José Gallo
“Razorback Fortress
“To: Princess Celestia.”
>With a labored exhale, Cheto stands up and walks towards the Remnant and Naliyna with the letter-containing envelope in hand.
“Excuse me, what day is it, Mrs Naliyna?”
>After receiving the answer, he jots it down between the address and the sender rows and walks towards the Vortex Remnant.
>The average man presents the pink envelope in his hand on the matrix as he sent Frost’s letter not too long ago.
“Vortex Remnant, would you be so kind to send this letter to Princess Celestia?”
>He gives the Remnant a small smile, still lost on how to properly look at it.

>Adon hold his breathe as his deduction finally opens the path ahead of them, and luckily so as Excelleon didn't seem to notice the second attempt didn't give away their identities.
>This guy doesn't really expect a lot from the help, it seems.
>His eyes spark with interest as the large doors open up to a well enough constructed and lit tunnel, continuing up into the mountain.
"We must be getting close to the end, if there's considerable work going into the pathway now."
>The chiqtu starts ahead of the group, leaving him Spruce, and Golden Horn to follow suit.
"He didn't mention any other obstacles, but we might have to deal with someone when we get to those cells. Someone'd have to pay the slavers- might even be Excelleon himself. How should we handle that, seeing as we clearly don't have any slaves with us."
>Something reflective up at the end caught his and apparently Spruce's eyes as well, but he was more focused on the possible combination of upcoming places of interest.
"Hmm... maybe you and the chiqtu could pose as slaves, while Spruce and I as slavers, if it comes to that. Sound like a plan?"
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place...
GM Strangler
>Leadership: +2 to all Assault & Reaction Speed Rolls.
>????? Ambush Tokens: 3.
>Having no recollection of Basin Village ever having been reported as quiet, at least by Razorback human and pony standards, any context of this awkward occasion is lost.
>Noting fewer earth ponies inspecting the Cultist, or you, as they leave through the translocation matrice, your eyes are drawn to a slim, triangular pinksteel blade carried low under her cloak.
>Gripped in her left set of claws, it was shining in the same warning mareners that Mercy's set were known to, and bright enough to create leg shadows off to her right.
>Whether she noticed the slowly pressurizing attention from dozens of unfriendly psion eyes wasn't possible to tell; it was more likely she didn't care.

>Internal screens switching to a compressed view upon delivering that comforting ping of impending knowledge, the entire right side of the screen is filled with hostile bright red 'Watch Guard' and several prominent 'Tower Guard' icons in their faction symbols.
>Barely able to keep track of new arrivals from those leaving, the left side showed several clusters of 'Deep Moors Hunter-Killer' along with ten icons labeled 'Basin Guard' arriving from south of the Village.
>There were enough allied batponies now slowly creeping towards the hostel that meta-icons were being displayed for individual squads.
>Either the IFF sorely required an upgrade, or you needed the COFFIN system to make better sense of packed locations.

>Head turning south, the number of Hunter-Killers in front of the hostel had nearly doubled, more batponies awake now and staring towards earth ponies in visible hostility.

>>Glancing across the Basin's southern end, what the Cultist motioned towards was a familiar sight:
>A mass of gray and white mist in the shape of an earth pony was pulsing in and out and disappearing from sight every hoof stomp directly towards the Cultist.
>Angrily mimicking a second heartbeat in your hand, Ethereal runes scribed on the Executioner's Blade emit bitter, white-pink flares.
>Definitely not something it'd done before.

>Reaching the basin's edge, the Cultist's hooves clop onto a now-exposed transparent crystalline floor of sorts covering the basin itself.
>A small pair of low, white metallic tables covered in scrawled batpony runes appear before the mare, tossing the open wooden box to her right.
>You now realized why the basin was never flooded: this was a protected altar.
"A Tainted, one of those unfortunate enough to be caught in Flux between the Solar and Lunar alicorns. Destroy it else others will follow, seeking retribution for failing their factional oaths-"
>The mare's calm voice did nothing to hide stern condescension as she raises the pinksteel dagger along with a green one in the same exacting shape, gripping them in both sets of wingclaws held high while shouting aloud.
"Snickering batponies of the Moors and Discordants alike, grant our Goddess this paymarent! Come two by five to seek your peace on the Moon!"
[1d6+3 = 7]
<E.Leadership: ?????
[1d6+3 = 4]

[1d6+3 = 9]

>The Tainted, directly reminiscent of mist pony Spectres from the first days on the train, was now less than 50M from the sacrificial basin.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Propping her chin up with the left hoof, Naliyna makes a comical attempt at humorous incredulity.
"A desert? What would you.. nevermind, not my business. I didn't know you knew somepony in a desert, or were you talking about a 'dessert'? If that's the case then I'm jealous, ponies that love kinky stuff like that are hard to find."
>That was indeed deliberate.
>Visibly turning stoic at the word 'receipt', she holds both hooves out to take the crystalline plate first before setting both in front of her for a quick once over.
"Thank you Zhun, that's the best news I've heard tonight. If you want some stuff out of the Enclave for your troubles go ahead and take it, just avoid the locked things. I'm not really worried about what we're missing now, most of the stuff that gets used is on these.. little surprised they're selling powdered gems for these prices, must be overflowing right now. I'm more annoyed those three decided to make everything they could from OUR stocks without telling anypony or making a list even though what they've done will help us a lot more."
>Reaching out to take the roll and placing it atop the crystalline sheet, her face creases into a deep frown.
"I'm.. lost. Like usual. What 'something stupid' is happening? Or is this-"
>Nudging the contract while you relieve the painful stinging of desert sand in your throat.
"More politics from the past none of us know about? Then again it's probably better I try to remember whatever this is before somepony or human gets the wrong ideas. Give me a couple minutes please."

>Unrolling it for a careful read, the scarred fuchsia mare's expression slowly turns from merry to confused, then on to neutral.
>Raising an eyebrow halfway through, Naliyna's jaw drops for a quarter minute straight, then looks up, though not at you, with an icy stare.
>Dropping back down to read even slower, her ears flick out sideways in outright hostility several times.
>Sitting back and leaving the scroll to partially roll up on its own, the left hoof raising to gently rub the same temple.
"I don't know a single thing about this deal. Nopony outside of maybe four hundred are involved, a few more were told about it, some ponies are trying to keep it active but secret at the same time, and now it's landing right on all our saddles. On the plus side we have friends that we didn't know existed, so-"
>Eyes directed towards the receipts in front of her, Naliyna's lips pull back into a devious smile.
"Go ahead and do whatever you wanna do Zhun, I'm gonna be really busy tonight. Might need some stuff from the Enclave, couple bottles of ink, and all that stuff Amerose loaned me."
>Noting the two groups of meta-icons on the display, Clem wonders at the possibility of conflict between the two
>It seems like posturing at the moment

>Seeing the misty figure, he draws out his blade
>Looking at it, the blade's pulse feels weird
>Never could get used to it since it has been a long time since he had fought something spectral, ethereal, or otherwise
>Stepping onto the crystalline floors , he stops to look at the small tables
>Hearing her speak, Clemency focuses on that Tainted
>Taking her words to mind, he starts a run towards the Tainted
[1d6+2 = 7]
<Master Sprint
[1d6+2 = 3]

[1d6+2 = 3]

[1d6+2 = 6]

>Charging at the creature, he swings a feint with his blade before whipping it upwards at the form
[1d6+1 = 6]
[1d6+6 = 7]
<Master Assault
[1d6+6 = 10]

[1d6+6 = 9]

[1d6+6 = 11]

[1d6+6 = 11]
<Airstream Assault
[1d6+1 = 3]
<Ethereal Strike
"Had to go to on-"
>Zhun blushes and chuckles at the attempt
"Hehe, I think there's some on base. I just steer clear away from them."
>Seeing her become serious, Zhun smiles as she expresses thank at his shopping spree
"Oh? Those three? I know right? The Consortium pony was shocked we went through the supplies that fast."
>Seeing her take the contract, Zhun prepares for the surprise
>"More politics from the past..."
>Zhun nodded at that
"Sounds like it."
>As she begins assessing the contract, Zhun waits a while and drinks the rest of his water supply
>"Be sure to remember this thing..."
>He did find some amusement in the variety of reactions the mare had
"Alrighty. I'll still see if I can get more alchemy stuff for the full resupply. You think we got floral samples from the Old Everfree around here?"

Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
"New pony, you have good humor."
"Thanks, I've learned it through hard work and trying not to get caught by Ferron."
>Holding his gaze to yours with a touch of humor, the old Commissar makes a respectful pointing motion towards the Mechadendrite.
"No fear, all human obey rule. Not worth dying for stupid touch."

>Ticking the visor into high mode, the youngest three had an odd L-shaped flashlight clipped into their front right coat pockets.
>Looking closer showed a flat, transparent crystalline plate, behind which rested one large sphere of semi-metallic composition emitting a constant stream that registered heavily on the red spectrum bands without interruption.
>Judging the ancient potential STC's size, shape, and relatively simplicity, it was purpose built for extended ease of use, though seemed a bit heavy.

>Turning to reach into his overcoat, the old human makes a tired 'pah' sound.
"Then do what Sergei say: only make tools from metals, crystals, others from small pony world. They not break like human things do."
>Withdrawing a beaten flask and unscrewing the lid, he deadpans briefly before taking a step backwards.
>Then another step, and a quick drink for good measure before waving the other humans to do likewise.

>Breaking off a much-too-serious inspection on your tattered robe, Raindrop's helmet turns to give an impressed sounding noise at the vault.
"Didn't know mechanical stuff was that complex but I can't even picture simple designs, too marely clouds in my head. Compressed wood means a sorceror was involved so there's definitely warning and alarm spells. If you see anything glowing inside, that isn't from heat or whatever you're going to use, toss your shield up and duck really fast."
>Glancing back to the Vostroyan squad, she asks something in an aery approximation of their language.
>Shrugging at the responses pouring towards her, she scurries towards the entrance, loudly, while calling over her shoulder.
"They said to start whenever you like. There's a couple buckets and some can-tines, whatever that is. Just in case I'll fill my helmet too, be right back-"
>Followed by the Commissar and the younger rifleman, the trio of lights from behind change position several times before the sounds of scraping let you know they'd been set on the floor.

>Calculating firing angles for maximum tolerances, registering it through the micro-cogitator is a secondhand process.
>The chance of maintaining a cutting beam was high enough that being interrupted on purpose, or perhaps your restored, 100% flesh and bone hands might twitch.

>Silently pinging for your attention, Tox-11's channel displays a moving ASCII image-set featuring an Ork firing at the side of an Imperial Field Command Center using a large automatic weapon before the magazine is emptied.
>Of course, not a single shot landed or bounced off.
'welcome. was not ignoring, was creating this. approve/disapprove? corrections?'
>The Binary coding lacked the barest hints of both sarcasm and smugness, which left numerous questions as to why.
Mallia Castella
>Before Mallia did anything she, of course, had to acknowledge what Raindrop had said about 'warning and alarm spells' being present.
>She didn't have a reference as to what these "spells" were outside of what Psykers could do, but she could easily connect these 'spells' as being akin to the protection engrams of a particularly powerful or medium power Imperial Cogitator.
>Luckily, this was probably going to be a gust of flame or acid at best, and an explosion at worst. So her maiming and/or burning would have a chance of not being fatal if she took precautions.

>At the same time, Mallia seems to relax just a tiny bit at the commissar's statements. Though her mechadendrite doesn't come out of hiding, being way too protective of it.

"I'll keep it in mind."
>She would softly, but quickly tell him - not keeping him for anything more seeing as the commissar goes to wander back to his men.

>The Enginseer quickly sideglanced towards the Knight with a quick, quarter flick of her head in her direction, giving a quick nod of acknowledgement.
"Noted. Thank you Miss Raindrop, I'll be watchful."
>After whispering that back to her ally with a soft gratitude in her voice, her prehensile mechadendrite quickly began to whir softly as it slithered itself out from behind the shield and instead gripped it's small manipulator onto the top of the shield, lifting it from the side of her rucksack and placing it vertically, handily at her side without even looking back.
>Her off-hand slips around the grip of it, keeping it ready - propped by her side, out of the way.
"--If you ever don't know something about mechanical stuff just ask me, that's what a team is for."
>She adds, quickly. Before the knight would also move off; after speaking... Vostroyan? Or Valhallan. One of the two.

>Before starting she turned her glance to take a mental note of where the canteens and buckets were positioned, in case she needed to make a rush for them if she somehow caught on fire, or needed it in general.

>Then she would turn, much more seriously, towards the combination lock. Making calculations for the proper tolerances in the background, she began to raise the modified hellpistol - starting from the top of the center-most dial to try to remove them, and perhaps reveal the rest of the mechanism for viewing before she'd have to melt through the dials themselves.
>But before she can really focus, she pauses at what Tox-11 sends her.

"... Hahah! Heh--ahem!"
>The unexpected artistic depiction and his completely serious tone, asking for feedback, made her laugh a little bit. But quickly regains him composure, breathing a slight, cheered up sigh as she sends a response, which is motherly in a way.
(It is an amusing representation of Ork accuracy, Adronal. I approve. If you wish to take my suggestion, add a lone Guardsman on the base to hit the Ork with a single shot just to underline the duality.)

>She felt that this was incredibly cute, but she wasn't going to patronize.

>Instead she just took a moment to lessen the smile on her face beneath her respirator, before taking a deeper breath to steady her nerves and mentally prepare herself for danger. Then, she raised the hellpistol again and moved the mechadendrite closer to her targeted central dial.
>There is a distinct 'click' and a 'hiss' as the gas cutting torch is brought further out from the mechadendrite and the igniter turns on. Then moved it closer.

>She used the gas cutting torch to pre-heat and 'mark' the area for 3 seconds to make a more efficient power expenditure for the las, then used it in tandem with the hellpistol as she pulled the trigger and held it down for the minimum amount of time required to fracture it, hoping to make the most efficient use of the power pack and barrel as possible. Giving the weapon time to cool between uses.

>When the first one is down, she moved towards the left. Only removing the central ones first, and the ones furthest to the sides last.
>Uttering whispered, sing-song prayers. Uttering the Litany of the Lasgun, followed by the Prayer of Smiting, followed again by a Litany of Penetration as she worked.
>Her voice, incomprehensible to everyone now as it becomes like a strange, electronic humming and chanting completely unlike the way she was speaking before.
>The pitch rising and falling with the smoothness and melodiousness of a singing, lovingly faithful voice, as it tried to honor, appease, focus, and soothe her borrowed weapon.

(Techna-Lingua) "Bringer of death, speak your name, for you are my life, and the foe's death."
(Techna-Lingua) "O' Machine Spirits hear my prayer; guide your wrath, hold it true, let it break the weak material and armor, with my hand as your guidance."
(Techna-Lingua) "Anima Mechanica, reward my faith, and smash the target."

>Short, but sweet.

[1d6 = 5]
<B. L.E.W.
[1d6 = 6]

[1d6 = 1]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 4]

[1d6 = 5]

[1d6+2 = 6]
<Utility Mechadendrite: Engineering

[1d6+1 = 6]
<E. Tech-Use + Auspex Link: Prayer of Penetration
[1d6+1 = 3]

[1d6+1 = 5]

[1d6 = 1]
<B. Singing
[1d6 = 4]

>As she worked, her thoughts went back to Raindrop's warning. She enabled her preysense visor and pulsed it a few times, in her attempt to spot any 'glows' or heat signatures that might betray any 'spells', as the knight said.
>Her off-hand tightly wrapped around the grip of her shield, flexing her meager muscles in preparation but not tensing up, keeping the shield propped against her side as she focused on what she was doing.

(The Omnissiah protects. The Machine Spirits protect. And I protect the Machine Spirits. I am not afraid. I am ready. I am prepared.)

[1d6+4 = 8]
<B. Perception + Preysense Visor
[1d6 = 2]

Razorback Fortress: The Library, Filly Room
GM Strangler
>Noting dull red light streaming down in shafts among from the giant window, it was clear that your head was facing southwards.
>Hearing a sharp exhale and drawn out kekeke snore, your vision shifts upwards slightly, accompanied by the telltale sensation of tight muscles shifting under soft equine coat.
>Based on the unique sound and Malyne rarely visiting with humans she didn't know well, the only possible candidate was Foggy Patches.
>Surprisingly, her flank currently was in use as your pillow.
>Surrounded on all sides by a quartet of rumbling snores, the impression of uncomfortably warm ponies rested near both legs and arms yet didn't touch.
>Less odd were a set of oddly plush socks and heavy duty, though abnormally soft, military uniform pants that definitely were not yours.
>At least you weren't left nude this time.
>Head turning from side to side on the batfilly's flank, the three pegasi and Crystal filly recovered from Stalliongrad were snuggled face to face less than a foot from you.
>You weren't trapped in the conventional sense as they were spaced apart enough to easily sit up.

>Below the window, shifting parabolas of red, green, blue, and sharp orange hues rotate about from the distinct profile of your helmet.
>Placed on the head of a large stuffed pony doll, the surface featured a clearly enraged tricolored Crystal filly soundlessly engaging an unfamiliar image of a round, metallic Cheeto studded with odd weapons.
>The first appeared to be performing decently given the sphere's exceptional accuracy, albeit numerous fractures across her body were presently ignored in favor of all out assault.

>Shaking off the ridiculous sight and leaning back onto Patches, Thansimum's tired voice drifts in through door's cracked open state.
"-e shall recuperate fully with sleep. What I do not understand were the side effects; fever-like hallucinations, nightmareish lucidity, erratic slow twitch muscular spasms, spoken words and sentences with no clear meanings that I am able to categorize, save for one. It is likely those are purely due to human traits, yet I will leave all explanations out of my report lest somepony in the Spire Guard decide to perform 'tests'. There is a slight problem that may warrant our atten-"
>The second Crystal mare's tone was younger and highly impatient.
"Every minute here presents a new problem piled atop the rest. Make it quick Than, I need at least two more hours with that new human."
"Calm yourself, I may have misspoke. I consider this less a problem and more a surprise: that human knows a method similar to structured layering."
"The same we use to shape Empire crystal and repair our equipmarent?"
"In essence the same, but it is performed by... what sound like allied Constructs. I think."
>Silence holds for perhaps ten seconds until the third, older mare speaks half-angrily.
"You had best be pulling my tail Than! There are zero reports of humans interacting with Constructs before that hybrid was encountered. I'll give you permission to carefully ask him later, only on your off time, and only this once. If he declines to answer then leave it be, am I clear? No sense annoying more humans by pestering them with questions."
"There is little need to hoof my snout in, but I will be polite."
"Acceptable. Had none of us been ordered here this incident would constitute a high risk of corruption spread. Their technologies are slightly more resistant than ours though not enough to matter. I've taken the liberty of dispatching... 'suggestions'-"
>Without a rational or logical reason, the skin across your neck and arms tighten upon hearing the last word's exotic inflection.
"To the Crests and our kin. Perhaps one of them may accept a station here."
"I wouldn't accept being here for too long so don't expect much of them. We can discuss that later, right now can we focus on the fillies?"
>Pareidolia's brow furrows over his narrowing eyes as the deep red light bled into the room.
>He slowly pushes himself up with his right arm as a thankfully still gloved left hand rubs his eyes.

[Day is breaking. Hope Emerald got enough sleep. Need to debrief and minimize contact with foals. Transmission risk vectors, particularly Foggy Patches.]

>With deliberate care he stands up, glancing at his helmet with a nonplussed expression at its current status.

[Will likely take additional time. Need to ascertain how much they learned...]

>His head looks back to the doorway as he overhears "structured layering" and "allied Constructs".

[... Will need to address the misunderstanding during departure.]

>Stepping around or over any fillies in his way without waking them, he gently picks up the stuffed pony plush. Ensuring his helmet is not at risk of falling off its head, he then makes his way to the door.
>An involuntary tensing of his fingers delays his attempt to open the door as "suggestions" reaches his ears.

[Why is that making me uneasy? No time for this.]

>Clenching and unclenching his outstretched hand, he eases the door open and steps into the hall where the 3 Crystal generals were gathered.
>He turns and shuts the door behind him as quietly as he can manage before setting the stuffed plush down at his feet.
>Finally, he meets each of their sets of eyes before sitting down in front of the door, leaning back to rest against it.

"They are not Constructs. I am willing to explain the details, but first I need to know what you heard me say and what you learned from interfacing with one piece of my-"

>One glove splays open, gesturing at his helmet.


>His hand returns to his face, rubbing his eyes before pulling down over his cheekbones and mouth as his eyes adopt a weary, slowly focusing look.

[Would prefer expedient cooperation. Exigent circumstances for debriefing of Emerald and staff.]

"The side effects were... uncomfortably lucid and delusional."



Down the Grey Bricked Road -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
253151 253884
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>As the group walked into the tunnel proper the doors, which they had spent so much brain power into opening, closed behind them on quietly efficient hinges.

>It appeared Excelleon was not listening judging by how there was a click at the end of his rant, telling the Operator that the pony had in his possession similar intercom technology to that of humanity.

“i concur Spruce, this place gives me the goosebumps.”
>Agreed Golden Horn, whom notably slowed in his walk so that Spruce and Adon were in front of him, obviously so he could be the rearguard of the group and totally not as a cowardly move.
>not at all!

>Continuing deeper into the tunnel Spruce saw the Chitqu running back to them and with no hesitation climbed up his legs, he seeing it was now sitting on his shoulder.
>it appeared apprehensive as it shook on the spot, the Operator could even feel its vibrations through his military clothing.

>pony sized.
>That is what could be deduced as he stared at the light reflecting object in front of the trio. Whether it was moving towards him Spruce could not tell as its body was comprised of many glittering reflections as a form of light cover.

>A growl filled the Operators' ear as the Chitqu puffed its coat out, well, what coat there was that wasn't under its tiny suit of armour as a form of intimidation towards the thing before them.

“I don’t like the sound of that, let us investigate to see if its anything actually to be stressed over.”
>Gulped Golden nervously from behind the cover of Spruces back, where he bravely peeked out of to gaze down the corridor at the obstruction. His horn sparking with magical intention.
[1d6+2 = 4]
>B.arcane awareness
[1d6+2 = 5]

“A good observation there Adon, yes, I believe this could be the case. Makes you wonder what the heart of this lair must be like?”
>Piped in the old Unicorn from behind Adons broad back, his voice telling that the question was directed to himself.

>As the Witcher talked about their future situation the Chitqu came pouncing back to the group, the small ball of fluff choosing to climb up onto Spruce instead of Adons shoulder.

>Golden horn was silent for a good moment as he digested what Adon said, the sound of throaty hums coming from over his shoulder.
“I uh...hmm. I do not know a perfect answer to that Adon. Maybe I can pretend to be a Slaver and- No, that is a foalish thing to say. He knows who I am already. He wouldn’t forget one of the faces that saw him banished from Canterlot.”
>sighed Golden, memories flooding back.
“We will just have to do things one step at a time, who knows. Maybe we might be lucky.”

>Eyes squinting in Concentration on the aura of magic manifesting around his solid golden horn, the old Unicorn grunted something in response to the Witchers different plan.
“I am unsure if that will succeed either Adon. He might be expecting the Slavers he knows, the ones back in the forest. The key word is might however. If we go with this plan he might be so incensed by my presence and the return of the Chitqu he won't ask questions about you and Spruce being human. Then again he might throw you in a cell along with me.”
>A squeak made Adon turn and look at Spruces shoulder where the furball had its arms crossed, glaring at him and Golden Horn.

>Golden opened one eye slightly and looked at the sparkling object down the tunnel.
“...if we’re lucky.”
The L.O.N.T

>lont Chuckled.
“If only they can freeze or starve, easier to kill. And I will keep you to that promise, as soon as we have a problem with them.”
>”Which could happen any day now I suppose with how active they are.”

>He straightened up.
“I wont fail, it won't even be an option for me. Though speaking of which do you know any good places to take her? Razorback is good and all but its becoming to samey, along with my bed...”
>He promised with confidence, he was sure in getting Cadence out of the Spire even when she sounded stressed as fuck when she talked to him.

“Problem is I don’t have time to sit down and read, feels like I have everything to do but have no time. Thank goodness I have these Alchemy Tablets to help me with medical emergencies.”
>he smiled a genuine smile, the tablets have paid themselves in their weight of gold from the constant usage. His smile faltered slightly as he remembered where he got them from, and stopped himself from glancing back to check on the unconscious Tacit again.

>The idea of Interponies intrigued him for the moment before his stomach grumbled for him to concentrate on the now. Such as now will he get dinner?

>Another list. This time of different ponies.
>“More to add to the list.”
>he thought humorously.
“When I return to the fortress I will talk to the appropriate people in establishing a trade. More food to go around makes everyone happy! And thank you, you just added four more things to add to my fuck list.”
>Explained the Operator, a twinkle in his eye as he stared into Glaciers.

>Once the chef quieted down and Glacier asked Lont if the uppity chef could join, he reclined in his seat and exhaled an exaggerated sigh.
>He made a show on mulling it over in his head, throwing up his hands to make questionable displays too.
“I don’t know-“
>He started.
“-If she does a good enough job as our Chef she can be our naughty petmare for the night.”
>Lont promised, punctuating the end with a wink he shared with the playful Shell and the fuming Chef.
253884 258929
>Adon scratches his chin in thought, imagining lairs of usually elven sorcerers who've gone mad from their own egos.
>Aged and tasteless architecture, libraries full of tomes and arcanums even the elves themselves could hardly decipher.
>And experiments: potions, tinctures, various things in jars, and there's always at least one imposing portal opened to some place he'd never dare entering.
>Such the predicament he was currently in, right now.

>After saying his piece, Golden Horn makes some critiques.
>Excelleon just sounds far too unpredictable at this point.
"Mmm. Playing it by ear it is then. But if he knows you two, then maybe Spruce and I should do the talking if it comes to it. How we present ourselves could get us past whatever's ahead."
>Ahead, was the question for the sparkling object atthe end of the tunnel.
>The Witcher squints his eyes to try and focus on what it was from their distance, so he can at least get a idea before they get up close.
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 4]


Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson

"So what you're telling us then is that we're probably fucked? A good chance we're totally going to have him throwing everything he has at you and the kitchen sink for banishing him?"
>He asks this, shaking his head in disbeleif.
>Still, he looks between Adon and the beared unicorn, scratching his chin.
>Suddenly, like a dim lightbulb flickering on, he got a plan.
>A really dumb plan.
"So this guy... Incelleon right? Is it possible that we could convince him that me and Adon are still slavers or something? He's a recluse so maybe, just maybe we could pull it off."
>Spruce chuckles, shaking his heas at his own idea. It was stupid, but it was the kind of stupid that just might work or just fail horribly.
>He stands there, still paused as they investigate this... Light... orb thing the furball was now growling at.
>Cautiously he furrows his brow, staring at it and acting his role of meat shield to defend the poor pony professor from anything that might even come close to sunlight.

[1d6 = 2]
B. Perception
[1d6 = 1]

OIE: REG, Approx. One Month Behind Present Time
259509 259544 259588 259609 259627
>Looking over a multitude of maps strewn across the stone-lit table for Tallus' reference, Jeff rubbed the bridge of his nose.
>For the time, only he was currently in the map room. The back room currently closed off, hopefully nobody on the other side had to pee for a while.
>The bunker's main door opens, a cobalt blue batpony groggily shuffles his hooves in and over to where Jeff was.
"How did the treasure hunt go?"
"Promising. I think..."
>Torven puts his front hooves on the map table to peer at the shuffle of half opened maps, through half-lidded eyes.
"Still looking over ley lines?"
"They're definitely connected to what we're looking for, somehow. I need a more powerful one, and nothing I'm looking for is in Equestrian territory."
>The treasure hunter turns his attention to one of the lesser crammed map shelves and begins to pick through them with his claws.
"I'll begin perusing for viable locations. Can't promise anything."
"Thanks. I'm waiting on one more pair of hands."
>As if on que, a seven-foot outline of white light draws itself out of thin air. The creaking of a door emanates through the map room, the steps of dress shoes hit the floor and the door closes shut behind.
"Jeff. I take it you have a lead."
"More of an idea. Need help narrowing down likely suspects."
>The tall faceless green entity shifts an eyeless gaze over at Torven before focusing on the mess of a map table, an identical colored hand scratching his chin.
"How far do you plan on going out?"
"If they can make it from here through conventional means, so can we."
"You know I'm not omniscient, nor omnipresent. If they went in an area I can't see or go, that's really it."
"Any trails you may know of would be helpful."
"Hmm. I'll see what I can do to help."
>A wingful of maps, some larger for full kingdom territories and smaller ones for regions, litter the table even more. It's depositor looks up at Jeff confidently.
"These are good places to check."
>Both human and human-like avatar begin sifting through the newest additions, the previous maps quickly being discarded and stacked to one corner of the table. The taller of the two began murmuring under his breathe.
"No... no. Too far away. That one's much too hostile."
"What about here?"
"... that might do."

[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 7]

[1d6+3 = 4]

[1d6+3 = 6]
<E. Cartography
[1d6+3 = 7]

[1d6+3 = 4]

[1d6 = 5]
<B. Geography
[1d6 = 3]

A Light Show -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
259043 259516
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>As the party moved deeper into the bland tunnel, the walls with every step changed, dull monochrome became slightly lighter in colour.

>Adon saw in the corner of his eye that Golden Horns' ears twirled as the unicorn listened to his plan of prisoner delivery. His features furrowed in scepticism.
"The only thing I am at odds with this proposed plan Adon is the reality that you and Spruce are humans. This might complicate matters more than grant passage."
>He finished with his eyes squinting towards the sparkling object up ahead, its form covered in dazzling lights.

>As the Witcher concentrated on the obstruction in their way, his medallion began to softly vibrate his collarbone and stay at that light level of movement as he drew closer to the sparkling thing.
>He saw now it was the size of Golden, so an Equine at least. Its head and neck were larger in both width and height however. It reminded him of the bulbous head of a spoon head.

>The old unicorn fidgeted under Spruces’ bleak questions about their immediate future, a small yellow aura materialising to rapidly stroke his moustache. A force of habit perhaps.
"W-well I uh yes um-“
>He paused, grunting, clearing his throat of his stammering and to sound more confident.
"-A possible scenario that could occur if we are not careful, or we are unlucky when the time comes."
>Continued Golden Horn, his fidgeting ceasing now that some semblance of a plan was emerging.
"From what I can tell Spruce, this is our only idea at the moment. If I keep quiet and stop our little friend from making too much noise I think you and Adon could pull it off."

>At being referred too, the Chitqu turned its fluffy head back to stare at the two humans and the one unicorn, squeak, then turned its attention back to the shimmering object in front of them all.
"And as I said before, my one worry is that he might be too fixated on you being a human, Spruce."
>Golden said to the Operator, concern at the edge of his voice.

>Perhaps it was an errant twinkle or Spruce stared too long and hard at the dazzling object, but he could not see anything significant about it other than it being pony sized and having a really fat head.
>And all it cost him was having some stinging eyes for a moment.

>Golden too began to stare at the thing, the aura on his moustache moving to engulf his horn as he spread his awareness to gleam something about the groups obstruction before coming face to face with the it in this narrow corridor they were all in.
[1d6+2 = 7]
>B.arcane awareness
[1d6+2 = 6]

>The party was about 19 yards away from the reflective pony shaped thing now, it unmoving as a statue blocking their way forward.
>Although there was no sign of it happening, Adon and Spruce felt they were being watched, as if the object in their way was meeting their stares with its own more intense stare.
[1d6+3 = 4]

>Seemingly in response the Chitqu' began to puff its fur out to make itself look bigger and ergo scarier. Who would find it scary at all was the real mystery.
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson
259516 266477

>The Norwegian looked between the golden, horse shaped glowing statue and the mustached unicorn, unsure what exactly to make of this strange phenomena before him.
>Was this the medieval equivalent of a security camera...?
"... Well, what if you made us look not like humans then? Is it at all possible we could fool him with some sort of magical disguise? I've got no idea how this magic stuff works, but pulling a trick like that would make Loki proud."
>He glances to Adon, the man who is apparently somewhat more familiar with magic than the soldier is.
"... Well, what do you think, Witcher?"
>He asks, before looking back towards the statue, then around the hall at anything else that may be around that they might have missed in their focus on this... Thing in their way.
"... Whatever this is, it's giving me a bad feeling, like we're being watched."

[1d6 = 1]
B. Perception
[1d6 = 6]

OIE: REG, Approx. One Month Behind Present Time
259544 259588 259591 259609 259627 259817
>While you were waiting for a radio message from Jeff, your time was currently occupied with either getting armor and weapons upgraded, equipment restocked, something to eat or drink (some of you, Everclear), or taking a nap.
>Krinza wasn't a sport about getting five different orders from five different operators at once, so some of your gear was either currently getting worked on or it was in que to getting worked on later.
>Finally, your peace and quiet was expectedly interrupted via your radio.
*"It's Jeff. Head to the command bunker. I'm pretty sure I've got a spot picked out."*
>The Witcher carefully mulls over Golden Horns concerns with his plan, as well as Spruce's.
"I'm sure a magically and alchemically mutated human would be even more of an interest. I've been prodded before where humans are the common, can't imagine how well I'm gonna fair in a world where humans are a rare novelty."
>It would also explain the mugging from earlier. He'll have to keep an eye on his gear where ever he plans to go from now on.
"As long as it can fool whatever's ahead of us, but if we get found our our first impressions are gonna be sore from here on."
>Speaking lightly, of course.
>But as they continued to move forward, the object ahead of them began to give definition to its silhouette.
>A warning stare pricked at his instincts, and he lightly felt his medallion's vibration with his left hand to gauge its intensity.
>His right arm and gloved hand began flexing for a sudden sword drawing.
"As long as we don't have to fight it..."
Citrine Blaze

>Citrine was near one of the entrances built into the walls that surrounded the human fortress, his cheeks extended as he chewed some food. He didn't really examine what it was he snatched from the Mess Hall but from the taste it was a pie with sweet apple chunks, seasoned carrot strips and a thick flaky crust.
>"Bucking score. Now to get the Tartarus out of here. I paid my debts so I ain't feeling sorry for leaving!"
>He thought, lips curling into a grin.

>The shimmering Crystal Pony was tip-hooving for the gate that led outside when Jeffs' voice blared into his unprepared ear.
>Neighing like a filly and falling onto his stomach, Blaze swallowed several times to get his food down his throat so he could respond in hast.
"R-right boss!"

>The last thing he needed was for anypony to notice his absence when they were looking for his flank. So he got up, sighed turned his back on the outside world for now. The clop of his trotting hooves were accompanied by rattling coughs, produced from the crust flakes stuck in the back of his throat.
Lucius the Weary
>Lucius stretches his limbs dramatically, groaning against the sloth still clinging to his body
>regretting deeply the parting of company with his warm bed sheets, he swings one leg, then the other, over the side of the wooden bed frame, resting and flexing briefly both tired feet and worn out toes on the splinter-prone floorboards below
"Sir Jeff is quite the slave driver, to be sure."
>the ranger scratches at his stubble for a moment before shrugging and rising bodily from his bed, strapping on his gear and muttering to himself
"Would have liked a few more hours' sleep..."
>he turns towards the door, striding forward and pushing the door open absentmindedly with the back of his right forearm
"Well, won't do to keep the master waiting."
>with this, Lucius sets out for the Command Bunker, his mind definitely still stuck on his pillow
>Noah was doing maintenance on the Dagor when the radio beeped
>The maintenance was basically getting bug guts out of the engine block and wheel wells
>Pulling a giant proboscis out, he threw it to the side before messing with his radio package and comm bead
"On the way."
>Giving another cursory look over the Dagor, he heads over to the rear to gets his vest and armor on
>Too hot to keep wearing the stuff but got to wear the uniform when duty calls
>He will leave his shield though as he leaves the garage for the Command Bunker
>He does sniff himself though
>Don't want to smell too much like insect
Hildemar Veiel
259817 260168
>Hildemar suddenly jerks his head up at the sudden voice interrupting him reading his scriptures and hastily written notes and conjectures on this world's magic.
>It is only after a few moments that he begrudgingly decides to answer, cursing this new technologythat serves only to interrupt personal matters.
*"Very well then."*
>The witch hunter's belongings are swiftly packed up and he once again dons his armor and his far more important hat.
>Before he can meet back up with his current boss, he stops at the dagor to collect the fancy small repeater he's been allowed to use.
>If he's on duty then he's taking his duty repeater over his own, much more cumbersome one.
>He follows the Noah to the command bunker and successfully suppresses a sigh at the sight of his current least favorite colleague.
>Not the worst by far, but the crystal vagabond was far from professional.
"Right then, where shall we explore today?"
LCDR. Nevil Wayne

>Nevil Wayne had an almost irrational amount of guilt over giving Krinza work for his behalf. He ALMOST decided to not improve his arsenal ... Until he thought more about it.

>He still had work to do. As much as he wished it, he still had future missions to look forward to - infact he was waiting to be called that very day; his 'squad' might count on him to have himself squared away to support them. Maybe this one improvement might even be the difference between an easy fight and a less easy fight,
>He'd apologize to Krinza in his own professional way. A resolute, but genuinely guilty tone in their voice.
"I'm very sorry, Krinza. I would not be asking for your services if I didn't think I needed it. If it matters at all, I appreciate what you do for us very much."

>Still. Despite everything, he always felt guilty asking anything from Krinza. He was always thankful, but he always felt more and more guilty whenever he came to ask anything. It felt heavy to ask for other's help now-days.
>Or so he thought, at least. In his head he was a burden to everyone. A byproduct of all his regrets. It's probably why he was always so thankful for everything, even the smallest of things, from others.

>He left his M3 pattern armor for Krinza so that they could work on it, leaving himself in his finely remade service uniform and advanced weapons when he'd saunter himself back outside.
>Of course, his "squad" had already dispersed to make use of their free time by that time.
>As for HIS use of free time... Nevil decided to go back to the second building of the barracks. Though not to nap, like others.
>He went straight to his assigned room to stow his trusty M41A and (mostly pointless) combat pistol, and satchel. Then his service uniform in the armoire. To transition into a more shower friendly nakedness, with a towel.
>He takes a "hollywood" shower of about 3 minutes. Mostly to unwind, and think back to what happened.

>He knew he fucked up on the last mission. Or rather, those under his command fucked up. He just hadn't watched them diligently enough.
> ... ... ...

>Before more bitter thoughts - before thoughts of the past could come back to haunt him, he shuts off the water and goes to dry up. brush his crewcut hair, shave for 5 minutes, wash his teeth.
>He makes sure his personal hygiene is well taken care of for the long day he expects to come.

>Though he still had an hour or so left, he wagered.
>So he returned to his room, put his undershirt and garments back on, and the uniform, helmet beside him so he would hear the radio... And... Sat down on his bedside for a long time. Elbows on either lap, hands between... While he's away from everyone else, behind closed doors where nobody would be bothered by his bad mood, he lets his face fall a bit more. Looking just a bit older. As his shoulders fall.
>His eyes went to his shoulder patch. It bore the USCM insignia. Still pristine as the day he was given it. Regularly cleaned, regularly maintained, like one maintains a dress uniform.

>He breathed an angsty sigh through his nose, and stood up to do his daily ritual. Which was to stand up, go to his locker, open it, and start re-reading the names of the bundle of 48 dogtags that composed the two platoons that fought by his side, once upon a time. On another Earth.
>Every, single, day, - whenever there was time - every morning, he committed those names to memory, and wrote a new letter to a family he would probably never get to see to deliver said letter.

>Without his knowing, 30 minutes would pass.
>He looked at the wall clock. Then hurriedly put the dogtags in their place, in the locker, and withdraws his weapons. Slinging on his M41A, clicking the belt buckle of his pistol holster rig, putting on the explosive's pouches on the velcro of the belt.
>He takes the somewhat heavily modified, cream colored M10 helmet and puts it under his arm, as he strides back outside with a slight hurry in his gait.
>At least his hair was properly dry now!

>He hadn't been called yet. But that didn't mean he had to linger.
>Looking around outside once he left the barracks, eyeing the other operators that there were and the ponies that might've been there.
>Specifically, a certain crystal pony. He spies them in the distance, as they wandered from the Mess Hall. But he just followed them with his glance, not following them.

>He made a beeline for the Command Center. Posting himself outside the front entrance in anticipation of a call. Until the call finally did come in.
>He didn't even chime into the radio, he just walked inside as he was already there. And reports to Jeff instantly, as soon as he'd see them.

>Nevil carried himself with a straight back and a more purposeful and confident gait now that he was in the command bunker. And despite the lidded, weary look of his eyes, he nods quickly to Jeff and gives them a salute in greeting. Resting one arm over the butt of his M41A, while the holds the helmet under the arm.
>He waits patiently. Waiting for the others to inevitably file in. Or for Jeff to address him.

260168 260606

"N' Noah's drivin' us in circles, skiddin' awl over th'place n' Nevil's yellin' SHOOT 'EM SHOOT 'EM n' Blaze's doin' his pony magic keepin' the bug bits outta the grill n' awl us together's showin' them thangs a preview o' bug hell!"

>Joel is getting near the end of his drunken, rambling explaination of his adventures with the RE-whachacallit.
>His friends form around Razorback are gathered around a table at the mess hall, listening and becomming increasingly unruly and drunk as the story reaches its climax.

"Ah tell ya'll, ah ain't felt so young in... Ah don't remember how long."

>Joel eventually notices the faint noise coming from the ear piece which long ago fell out.
>Raising his flask to his lips, he finds it

"Awraht, I guess that's prolly Jeff wants a word with us, Ah'll tell ya'll the rest later own."

>He scoops up Annabelle in his arms and thanks himself for giving his armor to Krinza, so at least he wouldn't have to hike down to the command center in full kit.
>Arriving at the command center, Joel finds his team has already arrived.

"Y'know Blaze, Hildemar. He wants ta explore lots o' places, an' awl of 'em got girls' names!"

>Joel slaps his knee and laughs uproariously, more proud of his joke than is reasonable.
OIE: REG, Approx. One Month Behind Present Time
260214 260267 260565 260577 260606
>Your near instant entrance made Jeff, hand still on his radio's broadcast button, turn his head at you reactively in surprise.
"Well then. Excellent timing, there, Nevil."
>Other than him, Torven was overlooking the map table Jeff was currently hovering over.
>Hanging in the back was the towering figure of the well-suited, blank-green faced man you've met on rare occasion. He initially gave you proper introductions to Tallus, and explained your predicament. He made the transition... easier.
"He posted himself outside for the last ten minutes, that's why. Greetings, Lieutenant Commander."
>Despite his faceless features you feel him give you a curt smirk and a two-fingered salute off of his bald forehead.
"Nevil, Krinza told me most of the upgrades you requested are a little too electronically advanced for him. I will handle them for you, later on."

>The rest of you make your way to the Command Center at your own paces, but you all end up arriving one after another.
>Upon making your way into the bunker, Nevil apparently beat you all there first. The others being Jeff, Torven, and a seven-foot tall green-faced man giving you a silent greet of acknowledgement.
>For those of you that weren't human- his face came of blank and mysterious, unable to read his featureless facade.
"Right. Now that everyone's here, time to unveil our next stop."
>Jeff reaches for an open map on the map table, and spins it around to orientate it so you can all read it on your end.
>The majority of the regional map mostly consisted of Saddle Arabia and outlying borders of other territories. One city in the southern end was circled, along with a red line drawn drawn over what looked like established railroad tracks. This trailed out of Saddle Arabia's borders, and towards the border of two regions on the South-Southeast corner of the map.
"Saddle Arabia. Neighmara, to be exactly. We're going to take a freighter train, southbound, to these two regions: Horsepen and Maren. There's a ley junction there dangerous enough to fit what we're looking for. Despite that there is some long history of activity going on there, even up to a few years ago. Problem is that its a lot of lawless, civilization-devoid, eldritch-filled territory so we're going to need to be extra prepared before venturing there."
>Jeff claps his hands together and looks at you all expectedly.
"Before I go any further and tell you the reason we're all doing this for, I need to make sure you're all in for the long haul. So if you want to back out, now's your final chance."
>Noah nods at Nevil, acknowledging his punctuality
>The rest files in and Jeff delivers his briefing, Noah following the map closely
>He did glance over at the seven foot faceless man
>Interesting garb he thought
>A freight train?
"Train got commissioned for this?"
>He then poured some thought into his ride and looked over at the map, seeing if the terrain is good for it
>Should be better really, with it being a desert
"Think we going to need the Dagor for this? And is there more wildlife to be wary of?"
>Hopefully the junction is consistent with it's telltale signs

Lucius the Weary
>His forest green cloak swirling about him, Lucius steps smoothly through the door of the command center
>He spares a polite nod at Nevil
"Good to be working with you again, Nevil. On time as usual."
>Jeff's expounding on their new objective and plan gets a puzzled look from the ranger
>Leaning on an elbow against a nearby wall, he groans at the mention of the train
"Another metal steed to bear us. I prefer my own two legs, but... I see the advantage of expediency in these cases."
>With a look, the ranger gets the attention of Jeff
"This place is a desert, yes? Then I'll have a job keeping myself hidden, if I need to hide. Should I arrange to have my colors altered to suit this environment? I am currently working with a set aimed towards forest environments."
>After this, Lucius resigns himself to leaning fully on the wall, arms folded in resignation
"I would not abandon this company, in any case. I'm in, for the long haul, as you say Jeff."
LCDR. Nevil Wayne
>Nevil seems to smile a little bit to the surprise he had elicited from Jeff. The Lieutenant Commander always looked a little bit tired one way or another, but for once Nevil couldn't help but look a little bit proud of himself - looking almost nostalgic as the dulled look in his eyes softens somewhat.
>Though that lasts only a few seconds. He quickly returns to a neutral expression; saying nothing mainly because the other, more (uncanny) familiar man in the room had clarified his methods.
>Anonymous manages to pinch out a smirk in return from Nevil, as the masked man is nodded too in kind and in earnest.
"Good to see you again, Anonymous."
>His response was dry in tone compared to his expressions.

>The knowledge that his request was complex for Krinza made the Lieutenant Commander purse his lip a little bit, and they could hear a slight sigh coming through his nose; drumming the butt of his advanced assault rifle with his fingers once.
"I see. I should've thought about that... Thank you again Anonymous, for all the help."
>Nevil gave another nod and a weak, but genuine smile, before quickly turning his glance more towards the map to give it some thought as well. See what location had been picked out in advance while the others are still coming.
>Quirking his brow slightly with interest when he recognizes the Region... But stays quiet, since they'll be informed soon enough.

>As Noah comes in, Nevil is quick to move his eyes from the map table and to him. They exchange a nod, giving him a silently pleased glance at having him there, even if he didn't smile.
>Nevil takes a step back to be more in line with the coming, familiar operators as they came in. Listening to the questions, but otherwise turning again as others come in.

>A greeting, slightly deeper nod is given to Lucius when he came in.
"Welcome back."
>Nevil simply said, in his indoor, soft-spoken voice. Then fell quiet as he briefly casts a glance back - expecting a certain Crystal Pony to be coming soon.

>Though his attention does move back to Jeff when the briefing begins.
>The Lieutenant Commander straightens subtly, then listens with rapt attention. The word 'Eldritch' elicits a reaction; a deeply pursed lip and a slight roll of his neck. Already expecting something.
>Despite the danger's involved, He doesn't even hesitate for even a second to reply.
"I am committed."
>Simply put, and matter-of-factly spoken. A resolute look in his eyes and a focused looking frown.

>And he had his own reasons to keep wanting to help Razorback.

Citrine Blaze

>One of Blaze's eyebrows cocked at seeing Nevil there first. He must of been in the Bunker when the call was made.
>Though that was nothing compared to seeing the tall green human with no bucking face!
>Mentally screamed Citrine at the sight of the big weirdo.

>Although Jeff talked, Blaze stared unblinkingly at the green giant as maps were unfurled.
>Eldrich filled?
"L-like this big human right?"
>Asked the stupor stallion as he pointed a hoof at the anonymous humanoid.

>The clap snapped Citrine back to reality. Back out? Really? Was he still dreaming? This could be it this could be how he can leave this place with no debts!
>He pursed his lips as he side-eyed the others. And gulped. So far everpony else was for it and for him to scoot out it would bring all eyes on him, especially Jeffs. He can still taste the stolen food on his dry lips.
"I uh, yoh yes I am for this."
>'who knows, maybe there is a lot of treasure lying around.'

Hildemar Veiel
>Hildemar’s gaze seldom left the faceless man as Jeff gave most of his briefing.
>Can’t trust anything you can’t look in the eye.
>He does perk up slightly and shift his attention when he heard about a more active ley junction in what sounds like horse araby.
>Although his decision was already made, Hildemar made a show of closing his eyes in thought before nodding in approval.
“I’ll certainly not be refusing opportunities to explore areas with abnormal flows of magic.”
>The possibility of purging foul, eldritch sorcery didn’t hurt either.

>The witch hunter turned toward and crouched closer to Citrine’s height once he was done stammering.
>He had done some thinking on how he treated the crystal vagabond as though he had spent every last bit on his hedonism.
>It was a not entirely accurate judgement.
“As much as I hate to admit it, I may have judged you a tad too harshly before and it would be an insult to my goddess to leave it be. I’m sorry.”
>Hildemar then stands back up and returns to his usual glaring.
“However, that does not mean you’re free to do it again.”

Disco Fever -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>Golden Horn cracked open an eye slightly to look at Spruce as the magic swirling around his horn flashed with intent.
"I am afraid conjuring up disguises or illusions were not something I studied."
>He admitted’ voice low in concentration.
"The idea is sound sadly we cannot use magic due to my limitations, another practical way for subterfuge is needed. And I assume 'Loki' is some form of Trickster, Spruce?"
>He asked with a hint of interest in his hushed voice.

>At first Spruce could not see anything out of the ordinary, as much as that word applied to a depressing grey hallway where its stand out features were its square light sources embedded in the ceiling.
>He looked at the sparkling statue again. It was certainly in the shape of a pony yet its features were made of small shiny angular shapes that flashed randomly from refracting light.
>The Operators’ gaze led to the hooves of the statue and there, saw that there were instinct dark rings on the floor surrounding the hooves. The rings looked like they were made from a sudden discharge of energy, an explosion perhaps? There! On surface of the ceiling directly above the statue there was a similar marking too, however more faint than the ones on the floor.
"That would not surprise me Spruce, maybe Excelleon knows who and what we are already and is just observing us. For now..."
>Golden speculated grimly before closing his eye again.

>Vibrating from the chittering noise it was making the Chitqu slowly moved close to the reflective statue.

>With a pop the magic surrounding the old Unicorns horn was dispelled, leaving it slightly glowing from overuse. Golden sighed in slight discomfort as a hoof rubbed his horn soothingly.
"Knowing what I know about that deranged nutcase he will covet you, Adon. I do not wish to see that happening, no living creature should be used for experiments, no matter its level of sapience."
>He spat as his tail flagged in agitation. Sounded like he was resuming an argument he had rather than responding to the Witcher directly.

>The medallion in Adons' grasp was continuously vibrating with what could be assumed was the latent background magic exuding from...somewhere, either the shimmering statue or the hallway the Witcher could not discern.

>Upon reaching one of the hooves of the obstructing statue the Chitqu tapped on its surface with its paw experimentally. It squeaked, removed its paw, examined it then returned to patting at hooves’ sparkling skin.
>Golden watched this carefully, brow knitted in thought.
"We will not need to do such a thing Adon."

>Stepping tentatively closer to the statue, Golden Horns’ ears were flat against his head as he tippy-hooved nearer.
[1d6+1 = 5] >B.Stealth
[1d6+1 = 2]

"This used to be a pony all alive and well. Now they are this metallic golem. It reeks of displaced power. Whether they can be reverted back to normal I suppose only Excelleon would know."
>He swung his head to stare back at Adon and Spruce with worry at the edge of his features.
"I think we should traverse through this hallway by being a bit more discreet."




Naliyna_Remostrine_a_happy_gal Small.png

>Adon thought over Golden Horn's statement, grimly. If Excelleon was that much of an experimenter, he might be able to use it as a convenient distraction for the others.
>At the cost of his own well being, that is. He'd cross that bridge, if it came to that.
>His medallion only grew in intensity as they closed in on the statue, which of course was a clear warning to him.
>Maybe it was the golem they were steadily approaching.
>He did not like the look of that. Mages and sorcerers kept them and elementals as guard dogs, and most of the time they were made in the same way: by casting a heavy spell on an unfortunate individual. Usually it was someone that crossed them, HARD. Occasionally, an ex.
>But it was also a good sign, as they were normally reserved for a hideouts's inner sanctum. A last line of the defense.
>Oddly enough the chiqtu was able to get right up and touch the sentinel without reaction. Either the small animal wasn't big enough to be a threat, trip the security spell.
"Just another sign we're closing in on him. Huh, it didn't do anything. Maybe it's more of a warning? Remote activation, maybe?"
>The Witcher silently agrees to keep his discretion at its utmost, even though he still can't fully grasp the whole personal invisibility thing...
[1d6 = 4] <U.Stealth
Karl "Spruce" Osmundsson

>Spruce sighs in a bit of disappointment. It seems magic wasn't as limitless as he thought...
>Or well, this particular unicorn just wasn't that good at it.
"Yes... Loki is the trickster God in Ásatrú. The 'Old' Norse religion. As for other ways of subterfuge I uh... I'm a soldier, not a spy. I blow more things up than try to sneak into them."
>He explains as he looks over the... Statue in all of its strange. golden mystical glory.
>Given its look, he almost expected it to come alive at any moment and try to attack them, given his... Limited knowledge of such things.
>Though it wouldn't be too far out there from the things he'd seen already in this world...
"... He could, I don't see any cameras but i'm sure there's some way he'd have of observing us magically or something."

>Spruce double takes at the explanation that this golem used to be a pony, he blinks in surprise and horror.
"... This... This was a pony? By the Gods..."
>He mutters, in a bit of shock and horror.
>The Norwegian then frowns, starting to get a bit of an angry look in his eyes as he looks at the Golem, then back to Golden.
"This is a great crime. It should not go unpunished."
>He growled those words, sounding more than a little bit angry at the thought of such a thing.
>Still, he decides to play it smart along with the others and try and be a little more sneaky in his approach.

[1d6 = 5] <B. Stealth
[1d6 = 1]