/mlpol/ - My Little Politics

Welcome to the new code.
If you want to see the latest posts from all boards in a convenient way please check out /overboard/
Note: JS is required to be able to post, but I am working on a system where that won't be needed.

By clicking New Reply, I acknowledge the existence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal.
Select File / Oekaki
Password (For file and/or post deletion.)

Razorback Company.png
#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...
541 replies and 64 files omitted.
Sunny Feathers
247453 275827
>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
>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

>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]

>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..."
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

269430 277951
>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]


A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
276024 276060
>Collapsed onto her side left side, little more than a partially red streaked, blue and white silk wrapped caricature, wings included, of an indeterminate aged batmare sprawled out was the immediate victim.
>Equally unsurprising, the little coloration noticeable were small tufts of unnaturally bleached whitish-purple coat marred by orange streaked and red burnt hide underneath.
>Construct weapons, you immediately realize, but none were a recognized modern variant.
>More worrying were the faint burnt pink slashes across the Councilmare's jaw and a series of increasingly deep punctures from directly above the shoulder spreading up to the center of her neck.
>Unable to even heave with the amount of blood filling her trachea, probably starting into her lungs as well, you finally notice the shockingly crude Empire crystal prosthetic leg.
>This one was connected directly below shoulder halfway above the upper arm, though had a small armored rim to protect the merging of bio-crystalline to flesh and bone.
>Among the hundreds of marecenaries you'd seen with Empire prosthetics, this was an abominably poor attempt at replacing her leg; not only was it a poor replacemarent, it was barely mobile due to imperfectly designed false-joints.

>Whether the mare could understand you or not, no resistance was given as her unusually light lower half becomes a dead though malleable weight in your front legs.
>Hearing a peculiar noise which was certainly the flask... performing an action it was not designed for, the garishly armored Lunarites file one-by-one to your left, fillies first with heads held high and saddlepacks massively overburdened, mostly with small bottles.
>That is until an earth pony around your size turns her black trimmed, standard purple Lunar Guardian helmet towards the Councilmare, spitting out a short, spine-crawling phrase in the archaic, whistling Lunar battle language.
>The older Lunarites speak nothing while passing by, though the batmare turns rigid and ceases her attempts to heave under your hooves.

>To the left and behind you, Boris makes a short grinding noise of, probably, concern.
"Shanis did not warn you of Razorback's propensity for to encounter unusual and difficult situations? That is both highly unlike her previous state but equally possible given the progressively increasing artificial aging she suffered."

>Wing tightening under your touch in a compliant tone, the Spirit Walker emits an aggrieved tone of compliance.
>The situation certainly wasn't okay for her, but she was willing to accept your words for the same nonetheless.

>Boris' head turns to nod appreciatively, though stops short as his eyes dim briefly.
>You also notice the Golem's weight had increased greatly in the months since Denra began to tinker with Zoo's oddly created friend.
"Commander, I am not accusing you of artificially prioritizing a single pony's life from a faction that you are directly aligned with against the approximately fifteen thousand that inhabit the Moon. I was attempting to state that the previously stated aligned mare is, regardless of her affiliation, not worth the objective risk in preventing further depredations to the Citadel."
>Recalling some of Zoo's disposition from the times you'd worked with him since Razorback was founded, Boris had definitively taken on most of odd Operator's logical inclinations.
"Likewise and for the record, Miss Mercy, your herd-second I must add, has been grievously insulted numerous times by-"
>Pausing to glance towards the still and slightly violated batpony, he returns to give you a profoundly incensed stare.
"The Councilmare, whose intentions were ambiguous and volatile for reasons that have not been logically disposed throughout this situation. My interactions with Miss Mercy have been positive outside of her distaste for Miss Dancing Eyes. It is not allowed within my programming to accept Miss Mercy in believing that you have willingly allowed the Councilmare to insult and spurn her herd preservation instincts through accepting said Councilmare's words over your own, regardless of her authority."
>The logic, while clearly rational, was a bit spotty as it prioritized relation before rank and position.

>Forming the same, near-perfect four by four formation in front of the doors starting from smallest filly to eldest mare, the archaic Lunar Guardian helmets nod in unison towards the stairwell, though the earth pony you'd been speaking with grunts abruptly.
"This Collective hath promised 'pon all battlefields ever to serve. Whether thou carry us as foals or not, we shall run 'tween Sun and Moon behind thy guidance."

>Pushing herself up to stand rather shakily, Mercy's blind eyes travel up to meet yours briefly, then slide right to give the Councilmare an impotently spiteful glance.
>Tightly curling both wings onto her sides submissively, her head lowers as she starts towards the stairwell while giving a 'follow me' flick to the Lunar Vampires behind, whom immediately break into single line following her from smallest to largest.
>Definitely not 'okay' by any means, there was no forgiveness in her mareners here, nor were the Lunarites vocally happy to trail what they knew as an abomination.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>No longer surrounded by stacks of dreaded paperwork, Naliyna was instead shuffling through what looked like military service forms... from at least a dozen different militaries.
>Or, given the new ponies that you'd come across in Razorback through the past couple weeks, application letters.
>Which brought a new question: who in their right mind would APPLY to Razorback?

>Eyebrows raising suspiciously, the scar-laden Crystal mare frowns in annoyance at your blatant dismissal.
"I can smell sea salt, but okay, you didn't do either and I'm hallucinating right before dinner."
>Holding her gaze until making a sour face, she stares back down at the letters, or forms, whichever they were.
"Docks huh? If you have any for-sale notices to put up on the board let me do that, the last couple were horribly over.. priced.."
>Trailing off momarentarily, fuchsia eyes snap upwards in disbelief.
>Lips tightening several times, Naliyna's head tilts left before muttering in a small yet horrified tone.
"Bubba, what the buck do you mean by 'very likely broke Sweet'? What did you do to her?"
Lost in the Crag Moors: Stuck (In The Middle Of) You
GM Strangler
>Wild vocalizes a contemptful rebuttal within the cabin, the left screen darkening from several exterior welds occurring close to it.
"I'm not about to endanger you when unknown waveforms could enter visual range with little notice and cause further damage to my critically damaged hull, mom. At the current time, please consider long term risks."
>Dozens of unspoken threats hang from your 1/5th daughters' synthesized voice, and as comically as before none were likely to occur.

>The caricature blips out of sight from the right screen, turning into a consolidated map of Wild's course from the original Scar to the coastline and down to the current position.
>While interesting to see how far you'd traveled tonight, why she'd done so wasn't apparent.
"Explanation sufficient. Error: unknown baseline mental dynamics, unable to append conflicting data sources. Your statement is logically illogical. More data required to resolve internal conflict unless relative psychology sources are located and collated."
>Another one of 'those' moments in which Wild was unable to process solely human reactions, it seemed.

>Watching the two relatively giant blue metal hands digging into sand once more, the flat synthetic tone turns mocking.
"Given your physical capabilities and without aid, it would take you approximately four days and twenty-nine hours to dig a sufficient hole in which to bury me. Your threat does not impress me."
[1d6+4 = 10] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 6] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 6] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 5] <Repair Tendril #8
[1d6 = 6] <Scavenge

>Likely ignoring her own video feed for the time being, Wild's tone shifts upwards into 'mildly questioning'.
"What was what? Ninety-nine point eight-five percent of my core processes are occupied at the current nanosecond with repair duties-"

>Far beyond the slowly drifting waves above Wild, albeit well within view distance, the unusual cloud formation begins to, slowly, flatten out.
>That is, right until it breaks apart from a bright, metallic orange sphere slowly descending downwards at a rate you guessed to around one meter per second.
>Solely focused upon the realtime image, the hull of a much larger Construct vessel than the Assault class you'd seen hours ago sinks below the vaporous formation.
>Holding below the cloud iat a distance you took to be around ten kilometers out, it remains motionless for half a minute until a cone of visible orange light projects from the 'front' towards the far northeast.
[1d6+8 = 14] <???
[1d6+5 = 9] <???
[1d6+4 = 5] <???
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Naliyna's eyes roll while her head shakes several times in mock-annoyance, pointing her left hoof behind her in a direction you took to be southwest.
"If you want teasing go visit the Guards, plenty of single mares here. Just leave me out of it though, they won't stop pestering for stuff I can't get."

>The odd multi-hued granite eyestalk remains still while continually shifting material rotates around it, without any apparent physics.
"Neither I nor mine require mortal designation. As all other Remnants upon this world have decreed pre-current, you are granted the right to call myself or mine by a term or terms which you would prefer to initiate dialogue with. Our duty is to deliver material and immaterial objects, or designations, to their intended recipient with little delay."
>And not exactly helpful, either.

"You don't know anything about the Queen of the Changeling Hive, Chrysalis? ....I'd rather not get into that. The 'third princess' is Princess Cadence, my sovereign. She rules the Crystal Empire."
>Holding a bright silver-trimmed sheet in both hooves and peering at it intently, the fuchsia Crystal mare lowers it as her lips pull back into a deep frown.
"I think that one's referring to himself, but also all the other pieces of the Remnant. At the same time, I mean. I don't get it either. From what I've overheard the Remnants are kind of like hiveminds. Ants, honey bees, stuff like that. but each individual is part of the whole.. network, some call it. They're mostly independent and can pretty much do what they want until the whole bunch want to do something. Dunno much more than that, sorry."
>The letter is lowered several inches to give a polite nod, Naliyna's facial expressions somewhere between 'it's fine' and 'I don't mind'.

>Without looking up, the fuchsia mare responds with a half-interested statement of:
"Twenty Eighth of Septimber, Twenty-Nine Nine-Ninety-Eight."
>Now that was definitely odd.

>Finding the Remnant's individual appendage still in the pagoda's exact center, directly opposite the Crystal mare no less, a paper thin, nearly transparent leaf reaches out to politely grasp the completed letter.
>Tossing the letter into the 'eye', you watch it slide down into the stone before it exits into, through, or maybe around reality entirely.
>Sinking down to knee height or so, the eyestalk's granite-like material rolls around itself several times before speaking in a flat, emotionless tone.
"Request completed. Princess Celestia of Canterlot, Equestria, Tallus, has received the physical delivery. Are there further deli-"
>Before it could finish the sentence, several pages of rough white-yellow paper drop onto the circle in front of it.
>The eyestalk merely extends the leaf once more, picking the pages up at the top edge and holding them out for you to take.
"Multiple deliveries for Razorback Company. Delivery one originating location: Dragonspine Mountains Mining Company, addressed to Razorback Company. Delivery two originating location: non-standard, addressed to unknown recipient. Delivery three originating location: Canterlot Underground, addressed to Pareidolia only. Delivery four originating location: Starborn Village Thirty-One, addressed to Marquis du Spiral. Delivery four originating location: Lunar Citadel, addressed to Clemency, Jeff, and Pareidolia. Delivery four originating location: unknown, non-standard recipient."
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
275860 275941
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault & Reaction Speed rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>Briefly catching the wrong foot while turning towards the south, the Dark Horse Cultist's half-laughing voice raises to shouting volume from behind.
"Do not let it touch you, that is no simple creature to be dispersed by a single blow!"
[1d6+3 = 6] <E.Leadership: Evasion
[1d6+3 = 8]
[1d6+3 = 9]

>Finding the right boot to sprint off from after a slight mix-up, the Tainted's unremarkable form blurs closer into a straight line towards you.. which most see as backwards, a comical impression of Twisted Wing reminds you from somewhere in the back of your psyche.
>Whether the semi-solid looking pony noticed you or the Cultist's hair-raising actions were simply drawing it closer wasn't apparent, and it had no time to register the Executioner's Blade snapping in front of the snout before you drove the sputtering kukri into a profoundly solid upper neck and jaw.
>The shock of striking a mostly physical target nearly hyperextends your arm, though in the same tenth of a second it takes to twist the vaporous pony's head fully sideways and tear the blade free, you find yourself past it at least 10M while a skin-crawling motion from behind draws that other, highly trained corner of your mind backwards.
>Owing solely to the tracer lines of Airstreams in your wake, you were able to feel the Tainted's entire head and upper morphing into a series of short, jagged lances, now lunging after you with a skin-crawling, wordless shriek.
[1d6+6 = 9] <Lunge
[1d6+7 = 8] <Counter
[1d6+7 = 8] <Reaction Speed
[1d6+11 = 14] <Amorphous Mass: Lance Utility
[1d6+11 = 15]
[1d6+11 = 16]

>It was blatantly apparent this was NOT one of those degenerated pony souls General Sharonel had been able to, barely, control.
[1d6 = 6] <Fear
GM Strangler
[1d6+7 = 13]
[1d6+7 = 9]
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Snickering somewhat politely at your visible distress, Naliyna taps her forehooves together in apology before setting them on the crystal sheet.
"Sorry, had to say it. And yeah, there's a couple pegasi that everyone and everypony definitely need to avoid, they're way too lewd even for me to deal with."
>Visibly brightening at the three Kingdom Generals and their recent actions, Naliyna's ruined ear flicks merrily.
>Or was that mareily? it was hard to tell at times.
"If you think the amount they used was crazy then you ought to see the hundreds of crates they've got stacked in the Library! Half the back room is completely filled, mostly with gallon bottles of the common stuff. We can easily pay for another full restock but it doesn't look like there's anywhere near that much floating around. I'm impressed by their efficiency. Kind of wish we could keep them around but it really looks like they're only here on business."
>Making a short, careless shrug of newfound carelessness, the Crystal trader's eyes slide back down to the contract while her facial expression contorts to something between hard inspection and indifference.
"But that's the best part of this Zhun: none of this can hurt Razorback. Okay, sure, we might not have open access to Saddle Arabia's trade situation, so it doesn't matter unless this Bronze Duke and whatever her name is decide they want to cut us off from their stockpiles out of pure spite. Sure doesn't look that way though, this is mostly an internal disagreemarent or two on how to go about circumventing Equestria's rigid trade controls because of the stupid Treaty. I think this puts us in a way better position than we had last night."

>Sitting back into her couch at the question, the trader's snout twitches several times in though, then nods to her right at the Pagoda's southern opening.
"Yep, there's a bunch of stuff the Tartarus ponies have collected from outside the Fortress. Check the Library's north room, the empty one Spiral said he was going to fill but never did. There's lots of flowers, grass, leaves, roots, seeds, shells, that sort, pressed into books. Some live stuff too, but not much. Dunno where Dancing is but if you need help moving anything let me know and I'll ask one of the marefriends-"
>Loudly snerking at the word, Naliyna's eyes glitter with barely contained amusemarent.
"To help."
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Catching Raindrop muttering a phrase that sounded like 'if I can even think of that', it finally occurred to you that the technological level she preferred to was barely above reclaimed Feral World standards given her standards of armor and weaponry.

>Tox-11's data sets are instantly returned, now with the image of a dumbstruck PDF trooper looking around at the damage to the Command Center.
>Frantically throwing their arms up in rage while text scrawls overhead describing Commisariat approved insults, the trooper then snapping their lasrifle up to take careful aim.
>Firing a single lasrifle shot, which cores the Ork's head, the PDF ASCII image turns around, a set of harsh floating text overhead reading: 'Couldn't even take out the useless Commissar, what a waste of ammunition!'
>Returning a short blip of Binary laughter, Adronal's sparse data packets certainly didn't give you the sense that he'd been offended.
'good. keeping skills sharp is hard during downtime. inquisitor too stiff'
>...whatever set of skills he had that an Inquisitor needed was, at this time, impossible to discern.

>Studying the dials once more with severity, preheating each one is swiftly rewarded with heavy discolorations, then quickly spreading microfractures throughout the tungsten-laced granite.
>Unflinching at the first dial shattering under consistent heat and strain after precisely 18.419 seconds, flicking through the usual channels of infrared reveal that this protective system been comprised entirely of tungsten rather than slabs of ore-bearing rock it would've taken at least five standard minutes each.
>Scanning the entire setup several times over, there were indeed multiple sets of long faded runes that flared briefly, but did precisely nothing save for deactivate.
>Probably this world's purely energetic equivalent to scribed engrams, yet there were no traces of Binary nor any other programming languages detected.
>The Hellpistol's Machine Spirit had slipped into the standard assist mode, repeating the Litanies spoken to it while the barrel's temperature incrementally crept upwards within tolerable ranges.
>Reaching the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth dial without issue, the Hellpistol's power pack blipped a reading of zero charge.
>Swiftly replaced and restarting the process, the pack is once more entirely spent as the twelfth dial shatters.

>Several exhales from the human team behind you are immediately heard, the oldest muttering what sounded like a sincere prayer under his breath, one which the MIU was, curiously, unable to translate.
"Is done, now.. who open?"
>As expected, boots shuffle uneasily until Raindrop speaks up, stepping forwards heavily while shielding her eyes with the left heavyset wingblade from the smoking debris on the floor.
"Should be able to work a blade tip between the door and frame, then lever it open with at least two of you helping. Doesn't look like there's any rust, so it ought to be easy. Maybe. Miss Castella?"
>Head turning up to gaze at you in query, the pegasi mare's eyebrows raise.
"Find anything dangerous or out of place?"
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>Three crystalline helmets several paces from the door swivel in your direction, the oldest and youngest pair of Kingdom Generals standing opposite Thansimum in various states of physical exhaustion.
>The youngest snaps half-covered eyes towards Thansimum, then shakes her head quickly.
"No need human, I trust your word. Haven't found anything of Construct make here.. well, except for a bound Gatekeeper of some new sort and a truly ancient weapon in the Armory. Can't even believe one of those things still exists. It's inactive at least, and there's nothing to charge it nearby. Safe as can be, I suppose."
>Taking on a deeply hurt expression, Thansimum wordlessly bares her teeth for several seconds at the opposing pair.
>Reaching no conclusion, the two recoil slightly though remain otherwise unsubmissive, a heavy armored hoof lifts to poke at her snout mask in thought.
"I have little knowledge to compare your technological capabilities with. Suffice to say.. I have no understanding even if what you spoke was one hundred percent accurate. As for your helmet-"
>Barely able to see Thansimum's eyebrows furrowing, her shoulders roll in slow, stress relieving motions several times before speaking with traces of black humor.
"The 'damage' has been repaired and your.. I am not sure what to call it, was fully recovered. What you are seeing now is a simple imprint."
>Making a sharp click of her tongue, the sprawling image dissipates off the surface, returning to matte black.
>Rocking back on her hooves, Thansimum exhales deeply before reaching up and tapping the replaced tower shield crest.
"She was entirely incapable of understanding the, quote, 'dozens of languages and codes based on sigils, symbols, engrams, or concepts in the shape of numbers', end quote. At the least, a mutual understanding was reached once the.. not-InterPony realized she was removing Construct corruption. Her report states that it, he rather, seemed to be quite stable. It was premature of me to assume that an InterPony would be able to communicate with human technology."

>Giving a short noise of approval, the older General glances past you to the filly room's door, then turns towards the front door.
"No matter now, the deeds are done. You will all excuse me, I need to find this 'Emerald' human mare and speak with her, perhaps she has a contact in Canterlot."
>Nodding their assent, Thansimum locks eyes with the younger Kingdom General until the older one exits the Library.
>Giving her best impression of a scolded filly, to which Thansimum half-scowls, the youth's head dips submissively.
"I apologize for doubting you Than, it won't happen again. But, and I'm posing this as a suggestion: you need a break ma'am. I'll pull research on the side effects and send word to the Lorekeepers, we'll need every bit of information available on safer methods of corruption removal. If you'll excuse me, ma'am?"
>Thansimum makes a short hoof motion of dismissal, the younger Crystal mare meekly, but quickly, treading after her other superior.

>Holding her breath until the door closes, Thansimum's expression flatlines before sighing.
"Four failures in one night and I'm still clueless. Can't believe I'm saying this, but I need a drink."
Mallia Castella
>As the first dial noisily cracks, breaks, and clatters to the ground a heap of superheated shards and debry, the Enginseer, in between the crackling of the hotshot laspistol doing it's duty, has another chuckle.
(Perfection. I really like your artistic talent, Adronal!)
>The Enginseer had to actually bite her lip to stifle her amusement whilst she focused 90% of her attention on destroying the dials with the laspistol while she switched between the modes on her preysense helmet visor, and took note of the first hints of the faded runes, lighting up and then quickly dimming.

(Now that's interesting... Could it be that this object is so old that the runes simply wore away and became non-functional? Or maybe they did what they were meant to do already...)
>The thought courses through her mind, briefly moving her mind's eyes from Adronal as she parses the new discovery and considers it briefly. Making sure to focus her vision on the runes to allow her augmented photographic memory to memorize the patterns on these runes. Storing it away for when she'd be able to research their meaning and function, before her helmeted head tilts down again to focus more on the laspistol, as yet more of the dials shatter, smoldering pieces clattering near her boots.

(There has to be a reference book somewhere in Razorback's Librarium. I can't wait to memorize all I can!)

>As the hotshot laspistol first powerpack ran out of charge, and she muttered the Litany of Reloading whilst inserting the power pack, she returned some of her attention to Adronal again with some interest. Storing the laspack on an empty loop on her belt.

(Too stiff?)
>Was her simple and innocent query. Briefly considering asking further questions, before deciding against it internally, and just waiting to see if she even had the *permission* to ask further questions.

>Resuming her work. And then subsequently finishing it, she shuffled aside while remaining crouched; starting to put her shield back in it's place on her back. Keeping a moment of silence even as the Operator and Raindrop herself speaks.
>The Enginseer's helmeted head turned towards Raindrop once as she proposes that option. The gas torch on the mechadendrite shutting off with a satisfying 'click', then retracting more towards the woman herself.

>Seeing them shielding themselves from the heat of the debry on the floor, makes an attempt to use her mechadendrite's metallic upper strut to sweep it all further aside from the now opened dialbox. Using careful, but quick movements one would exhibit with one's actual arm.

"I did find some runes!"
>Mallia's voice sounds peppy, rather excited at this.
"Though they didn't do anything. They glowed briefly--for sure, but then the glow ceased and they did nothing. They looked very faded so, I could say that if they were meant as an alarm, the alarm went off--silently. And if they were traps then... They were too old and faded to work? Does this kind of Arcane stuff cease to work after a long time passes without maintenance?"
>Mallia's voice drifts off, looking directly to the pegasus knight for a moment, wondering what her thoughts were on that.
>But, to answer her question: Mallia then turned back to the opened dialbox. Examining it closely for any possible dangers she might've overlooked as she speaks; to give Raindrop some extra assistance; pointing her towards the best place to start leveraging before getting out of the way.

"As for 'out of place' things... Not really. Though I do feel they cheapened out on the construction. If they had made this entirely out of Tungsten it would've taken me a whole 5 minutes to cut through... But noo... Hnh... Makes it feel too easy."
>There is a touch of amusement in her voice as she mentions the construction of the dials...

<B. Perception
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 1]
<E. Engineering
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 6]

"Let'sssss give it a daring try, huh Miss Raindrop? Only one way to find out at this stage. Best we can do is prepare to pour water on someone if there really is an incendiary surprise waiting for us."
>Mallia reached out to give Raindrop's shoulder-armor a light, but clanking, boisterous pat. Then sweeps her glance towards 'Sergei', nodding to them.
"Mister Sergei--If you'd like to assist our knight friend and myself,"
>She smiles as she gestures at the frame with her off-hand, as the other holsters the hotshot laspistol. Albeit the smile unseen behind the helmet, her tone matches the mirth she puts in said smile.
"Unless you prefer not to, of course. I do have another comrade who can help here who came here with me."

>She quickly double checks where the operator had placed their helmet full of water/canteen or vice versa for quick applications, moving it if they needed more space without knocking it over...
Bubba the Second
>Bubba would curiously peek over at the forms, raising an eyebrow momentarily before looking away.
>That didn't really concern him as long as they weren't murderhobo ponies.
>Or ponies that were particularly fond of molesting humans.

"I may have taken a brief dip into the water."
>He shrugged it off, but watched as her voice trailed off.
"I physically did nothing to the mare, if that's what you're asking. The closest thing I could've done to breaking her like that is patting her over the head."
>He sidesteps the questions.
>'Don't let it touch you...'
>Figuring some sort of hurtful touch, Clemency focuses his efforts on not letting this mass hit him
>He yells back at the cultists
"Wasn't planning on it!"
>Hitting the deceptively solid being and wrenching the blade out, he stops 10 meters ahead, his arm ligaments somewhat sore
>Clemency instinctively looks behind him, drawn by the disruptions of his wake in an unnatural manner
>Seeing the pony morphed into lances, Clem prepares to move out of the way and clear his mind
<M. Reaction Speed
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 8]
<M. Evasion
[1d6+6 = 10]
[1d6+6 = 12]
[1d6+6 = 9]
[1d6+6 = 10]
< Airstream Evasion
[1d6+6 = 7]
[1d6+6 = 7]
<E. Iron Will
[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 7]
[1d6+3 = 8]

>After seeing the Tainted charge by, Clemency slashes back at the form
<M. Assault
[1d6+7 = 10]
[1d6+7 = 11]
[1d6+7 = 9]
[1d6+7 = 10]
<Airstream Assault
[1d6+7 = 8]
<Ethereal Strike
[1d6+1 = 2]
>Pareidolia remains seated and silent as the Generals exchange words.
>His eyes note the strained, wordless spat between Thansimum and her apparent subordinates.
>As she addresses him and dispels the imprint, he retrieves his helmet and holds it between his hands.

[...Good. Some aspects of human knowledge and materiel still beyond their ability to grasp. Still room for an equal and independent power differential for humanity.]

>His eyes track the others leaving the Library and ensuring they were out of earshot before sweeping his surroundings for the rest of his currently missing suit.

"Premature at this juncture, but successful. However these InterPonies interface must be fundamentally different from the construction of my equipment. Equipment which I also need to reacquire in full, where was it placed?"

>A slight frown crosses his features as he recalls her most recent words.

"You said 'four failures', meaning your success rate of corruption removal is no longer above 94%? Clueless as to what?"

>He carefully considers his initial request for information as he looks towards the taxed General mare.

"Referring to my request of what I said while under the effects of the... removal process, I am aware I may not have spoken accurately. I must know what I said regardless. Can you tell me or is that not within your discretion?"
Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
>Falling silent for a time, Tox-11's data packets are returned in deliberately slowed thoughtfulness.
'inquisitor cared most for direct efficiency/value, not long term usefulness. give proper gift/offer proper labor = immediate result most often, yes? inquisitor considered immediate use of resources sometimes best spent for pure/immediate value. not always. inquisitor very unusual, ordo chronos far more so. explanations difficult, apologies.'
>Admiral Auspex makes a series of ticking sounds with an image of standard Imperial clockwork, broadcasting on a securely encrypted AdMech channel in response.
'Tox, you were with Inquisitor Aguina six years before I was inducted to her service. While she is often able to sense the proper, precise, or perfect methods and means to guide a situation into turning positive for her, you lack the subjective experience and creativity to understand 'how' and 'why' option 5 is better than option 3, or why punching a Governor to incite an immediate revolt is a better option than allowing the populace to succumb to Chaos. Your skills in technological destruction are superb, yet your abilities in identifying and exploiting circumstances to overall benefit are poor. Never forget that first and absolute fact.'
'acceptable explanation admiral. still unsure why inquisitor bothered recruiting me'
>....definitely not Machine Spirits.

>Knocking the quickly cooling debris out of the way for Raindrop and the possibly-not-Vostrayans, the Knight takes a hesitant step forwards, squinting up at the vault door's height.
"When a rune is not constantly empowered, reinforced, and charged then it runs out of energy after a set amount of time based on the complexity and secondary sources, so yes, that is correct. If you can remember what those ones were it is probable to cross-examine what they were intended to perform."
>Humming to himself in unrecognized sequences, Sergei paces forwards to examine the combination lock while making a short hand gesture backwards at his squad.
"But cannot be cheap, ye? Is old, very old ye. Pegasi, you say some like this in Stalliongrad, not cheap make after.. Middle Dynasty, yes?"
>Sidestepping to the vault door's edge against the wall, Raindrop contorts her right wingwing into position, then rocks forward to jam the tip into what sounded like a tiny crack.
"Egh, that's tight. Yeah, it's old enough this must have been built long before some unicorns and psions got together and figured out how to purify tungsten. There must be at least two hundred depositories basically the same as this one that use pure tungsten vaults, so this one is definitely pre-Stalliongrad built from ore slabs out of Rushya, maybe even Pongoalia. Makes it anywhere between two thousand and one thousand one-hundred years ago."

>Calculating the ore-bearing slab's age and degradation with the previous information the Auspex had given, you determine the Knight's knowledge to be somewhere on the order of 'probably right'.
>Numerous microfractures across the face indicated either multiple geological instability events or somewhat crude extraction methods, neither of which would have prevented destroying the system.

>Raindrop shakes her head, subsequently showing off an unusually appealing wet mane that you find to be moderately.. satisfying, you suppose, to watch.
"Old as this is Miss Castella, I doubt there's a single functioning defense mechanism left since you said those runes disappeared. Let's just crack this one open and see what's in it first before doing the other one."

>Nodding his assent with an uncharacteristically large, definitely non-Commissariat aproved smile, though giving a minorly concerned glance towards your mechadendrite, the old man unslings his archaic rifle to set against the wall.
"Would not pass chance up, am very curious see why ponies abandon city like this, or why not come reclaim things owned."
>Stepping forwards to the right of Raindrop, the tip of her full wingblade spanning weapon wedged into the vault door's crack, he places the right grey gloved hand close to the door itself, then motions slightly left of him with the other while offering a small smile towards the winged pony.
"I take here on wing, you take there next me. We act like pulley for big lever and try not break armor, yes?"
"Works for me, but I doubt you'll break any of this without a few boulders."

>Looking back to find the Knight's helmet, five canteens, and two large 5-gallon or so blue jugs piled several feet behind you, the rest of the, quite young, Vostrayan-like squad maintained their careful distance.
>Compared to standard PDF or Guard, they were equally ready for ambushes, though far more concerned for their elderly leader, hands tightly gripped on weapons in low-carry stances.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Noting the varied and clear writing styles spread across Naliyna's trading table, none of them looked remotely military.
>In fact, the vast majority you could see were more ponial than business related, especially given the variety of colored papers and inks.

>Clenching her jaw briefly Naliyna's face tightens while pointing a hoof angrily at your chest.
"I've taken care of Sweet a bunch of times while she's been left here by Shanis. Going for a swim and patting her on the head would make her happy, not 'break her'! I don't want Shanis getting pissed off at you or any other human, so tell me what you did damn it!"
Mallia Castella
>The brief conversation happening within the link she shared with Velasi's "Spirits" gave the Enginseer pause, her head tilting slightly in the background as Sergei and Raindrop spoke and prepared themselves.
>She could not shake a slight, but tangible lingering discomfort from the knowledge that these were not Machine Spirits, but people. It made her stiffen slightly.

>At the same time, she measures the distance between the various containers of water and helmets and their work-zone. It SHOULD be enough room for them to work without potentially tripping over if they fell backwards...
>Then a glance further backwards towards the other operators, watching them briefly with a veiled interest...

(You're all so interesting...)
>Is all she responded with, after Admiral Auspex and Adronal had spoken. Her transmitted words were pure, and wholehearted. Despite what she felt.
(It must've reassured Inquisitor Velasi a lot; having all of you by her side.)
>Her body visibly stiffens after saying that. As if expecting to be chastised by someone for saying these things; though it was an acquired reflex more than anything.
(Sorry. That... Was too personal.)

>And as her body does stiffen, she immediately relaxes as she processes the information Raindrop gave her on the Runes.
"That's fascinating..! This is all so new to me, I love it."
>Mallia remarked with a high-pitched whisper-shout, rubbing her black combat gloved hands in front of her with pure excitement. Even while wearing a bodysuit armor, fully covered, the childish eagerness still oozed out of her with how she bobs up and down on her feet and "golf-clapped" a couple times.
>Then stopped a second later as she self-consciously throws a glance down at herself, and back at the other two, both probably older than herself.

>She chuckled nervously. Then gave an acknowledging nod to Raindrop. Her mechadendrite coiling further along her back until it was almost fully folded in on itself.
"Oh good, then we probably won't get set on fire."
>Luckily, Raindrop couldn't see how her eyes looked more towards their mane than her eyes as she spoke. Dropping her hands more over her hips, over the robes. Eyes sweeping quickly towards Sergei, as he positions himself and directs her to a spot.

>With a chirpy:
"Wilco,~ sir. "
>Mallia strides forward and confidently positions herself between the Not-Vostroyan Commissar and the Pegasus knight. Making sure to carefully shuffle and poise her boots so as to direct her left side, which bore the mechadendrite on her sternum, AWAY from the Operator and the mare, and keeping it closer to her back so as to not even remotely risk having the other operator touch it.

>Gently putting both hands along the pegasus' armored wing, spending a moment finding a proper place to hold in tandem with Sergei. Then, turning her head to Sergei, nods to them deeply and eagerly.

>She glances downward, double checking the space between their feet (and hooves), then up again once she felt sure enough about everything. Turning to look towards Raindrop finally, to wait for her signal.

Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault, Evasion & Reaction Speed rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>In the second your main eye focuses upon the creature, the Airstream streaks trailing behind you fracture apart from the Tainted's destructive course without the slightest warning.
[1d6+1 = 6] <???
>Nullifying the previously felt minor discomposure, coming to a flat stop and twisting to face north in preparation results in a half-second of witnessing the former pony trailing a billowing cloud of red vapor from a rent below the short lances now 'mounted' above the neck.
>Executioner's Blade striking directly into and severing most of tightly packed lances while throwing yourself partially away from harm, the Ethereal Rune delivers a gout of ineffectual rusted-pink energies right as hideous sensations shredd through both arm and your entire soul.
>Clemency: 7/26 S.HP

>Still standing, but now struck by sheer existential horror amid sharp relief at the non-physical blows suffered, the Tainted collapses into a chunk of mist, gently settling down onto newly set stonework.
[1d6 = 2] <Honored Dispatch
[1d6+3 = 9] <Horror

>In the Basin Village's center, the Dark Horse leader's call had gathered a number of batponies around her, half north and half south, all bowed low around each altar as her voice rises to a crescendo.
"-ese altars mayest thy divine-inherited blood be spilled and force All Creation to bow for our Nightmare's will!"
>As one, twenty crippled or lethally diseased batponies raise paired wingclaws to their necks-
"In glory and pride, take your inheritances of the Night and suffer not all refusals!"
>And, as you watch in rising confusion, each give one final shrieking kek of defiance before, by two and five, slashing their own throats.
>Silent wreaths of blood rising in the air until showering both the once-hidden altars and the Cultist herself, holding aloft the pinksteel and greensteel sacrificial blades directly towards the Moon.
>Drenched in the blood of her kin and reaching a fever pitch of close-toorgasmic bloodlust, the Dark Horse Cultist's peal of sacrificial summoning thunders across the Basin.
"Come once more snickering batponies of the Moon and Discord alike! The Night's sacrifices hath yet to reach their apex by kith and kine alike!"
[1d6+3 = 8] <E.Leadership: ???
[1d6+3 = 6]
[1d6+3 = 6]
>One could barely wonder what sacrifices the 'Basin' had seen...

>Immediately to the northeast, an intense flare of metallic ocean blue waves roll outwards with a muted thundercrack.
>Striding towards the Basin's center, glowing silverine armor of a full Tower Guard General was visible.
>Less impressive than the armor were paired energetic streams of psionic immaterial energies wafting upwards from the emeraldine eyeslits.
>Whether the mare was a danger to ritual or defending her kin against more Tainted, you had no idea.
[1d6+12 = 18] <M.Psionicism: Spectral Stormsurge
[1d6+12 = 13]
[1d6+12 = 16]
[1d6+12 = 17]
[1d6+4 = 5] <E.Fearless
[1d6+4 = 7]
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+4 = 7] <Lore
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+3 = 7] <???
[1d6+2 = 8] <???
[1d2+1 = 2] <Neophyte Lore: Tainted
[1d10 = 2] <Stalliongrad Loyalty
275984 276005

>Realizing he wasn't fast enough, Clem recoils from the Tainted after striking back
>Some of those lances must've landed on him
>A deep dread struck at Clemency, something he hadn't felt before, wavering his breathing
>It had to take some effort to normalize his breathing, helped by seeing the Tainted melt down into mist
>Not willing to trust it, he eyes the mist longer
>Seeing it be mundane, he looks over to the ritual
>It's unsettling as well, even though Clem is familiar with the suicidal tendencies of batponies
>Attention is then given to a bright flash filtered by the tint of his screen
>More confusion is stirred as a Tower Guard general appears, psionics flickering
"What's happening now?"
>Clemency tries to regain his composure amidst the general's presence, not knowing whether she was a threat or not
<E. Iron Will
[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 8]
>In addition, Clemency feels the need of more time before acting
>As such, he decides to slink into the shadows as best he could
<E. Stealth
[1d6+2 = 4]
[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 3]
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>Taking stock of the Library, there was nothing of significant note that'd changed since you'd entered previously tonight save for several of the couches moved and one table covered in orange books, along with an empty steel alcohol flask that you recognized as the one Clemency usually had on him.
>It was mostly likely your equipment set had been removed by Thansimum and had been stored in the filly room during your.. cleansing of sorts.

"Successful by what margins and efforts? Don't answer, I'm being sarcastic to myself."
>Reaching up to not-so-gently shove her helmet off which lands with a muted 'thump' on the carpet, Thansimum tosses her head towards the door behind you.
"Large cubby left of the door. You were experiencing large intermittent muscle spasms that I took to be a seizure or aneurysm, thought you might harm yourself so I removed everything. The.."
>Briefly glancing at the clothing that surely wasn't yours, she tips her head left with a what appeared to be an indifferent smile, but was only concealing obvious Crystal pony humor.
"Incredibly helpful clothier in the Workshop had several sets of prototyped clothing to fit most human body styles. I gave Miss.. Lann I think her name is, your clothing and armor for cleaning. You were sweating heavily, so I chose to dress you in what I thought might best be comfortable. My apologies if that was the incorrect action to take."
>Reaching out to roll the helmet towards her and patting it lightly, the Crystal General gives a painfully strained grimace.
"I failed two duties I would prefer not to state to you in front of a direct superior officer, made the hasty decision to send an InterPony into a desperate rescue situation for an unknown human creation that took approximately six hours of extreme effort to salvage from massive amounts of Construct corruption, and.. worse yet, failed to directly protect five fillies and colt here from the same Construct corruption. Then again, all three of us failed that one, but I'm the one with the most experience with and against Constructs. My success rate hinges upon whether or not you will sustain long term damage from inadequate study."
>Lips pursing twice, Thansimum's eyes dim into deeply haunted spheres while staring past you.
"I'm clueless because the unicorn and Crystal fillies and the Saddle Arabian colt want to go back to Stalliongrad. They were being trained as family-servants from the biggest guild there since they have no family. Apparently they were treated exceptionally well and even had a herd lined up to adopt them. That is until a mare named 'Pear Blossom' and her forces raided the guild. Killed everypony there. Severe trauma you see, they're trying to return to normal function but unable to. The three pegasi are from an orphanage in Canterlot, hence why a certain mare left to contact one of yours.. ..then there's batfilly. Completely inconsolable, great self-loathing, was given a small amount of assassin training. She was recovered from a Scar of the Moors couple years ago or so. We traced her origins to a tiny Moors village called 'Swampshore Woods' that went entirely missing about six hundred years back. The Starborn team that found her and several others sent only her to a supposedly secure small guild in Stalliongrad for basic normalization training. Those are why I need a drink, or maybe ten."

>Blearily turning her attention to the carpet beneath her, the mare's face softens until she gives a loudly ringing snort of disbelief.
"Fuck if I know human! Tran-zis-tor, electricity, three-dee electro-chemical printing, regenerative sir-kit, electro-chemically preserved metal alloys, spring tie-tay-nee-um, self-repairing artificial intelligence, modal heu-ris-tics, biomechanical neural input.. none of that makes the tiniest lick of sense!"
>Thansimum visibly shrinks back into her armor, head hanging in a shocking display of open submission while she speaks in a small, terrified tone.
"I don't know. I don't know, all right? If there was anything you needed to keep secret I don't know anything. I was too scared to try and stop you from talking but I had to keep singing otherwise I don't know what the corruption would have done to you."
>That, the back corner of your mind pipes up, was NOT normal for a Crystal pony.
Bubba the Second
"Hey hey, relax. She's still coherent. Just... Sane."
>He grimaced a little.
"I may have unbroken her mind and caused her to realize exactly what she was."
>Pareidolia maintains a neutral expression as Thansimum recounts the evening's prior events.

[Conduct seems to point to prioritizing removal and treatment of Construct corruption. Likelihood of negative ulterior motives minimal.]

>His brow begins to furrow as she elaborates on what she considers to be her responsibility in the events that unfolded.
>The furrow deepens along with an expression of confusion as she begins to panic.

[Clear psychological strain. This is an abnormal fear response.]

>Setting his helmet on his lap, he raises both his hands in supplication.

"I'm not sure what you think I am attempting to do but this isn't a court martial, and as a human I have no hostile feelings towards you. I wasn't planning on harming you or anyone else even if you did hear something. I only would've asked for your word in not sharing it with anyone else though it seems that won't be necessary."

>He sighs deeply, closing his eyes and leaning back against the door.

"I appreciate your willingness to cooperate with my highly selfish request. You have nothing to be concerned over, and I apologize for asking that of you given how much energy you've already spent tonight. Thank you for answering my questions. "

[Why I was saying those phrases remains to be seen, but answers will not be found here.]

"For what it's worth General, I believe you fulfilled your duty to the absolute best of your ability with the resources allocated to you. The efficacy of your methods could not have predicted the existence of my equipment. Expecting you or any other pony to have the foreknowledge to have something better than an InterPony prepared for an unknown is unreasonable. I understand that my opinion may be irrelevant as you follow a different command structure and answer to a different authority, but for most if not all humans here the level of cohesion, community, and empathy present in even the most lowly of ponies would rank among the highest in the worlds we came from. You all do more than you know whether it is direct or not and that is already enough. As for the foals..."

>Exhaling through his nose, he opens his eyes and places his helmet next to the door before standing up and carefully opening the door enough to slide through.
>Locating the mentioned cubby, he makes use of his Sticky enchantment and attaches all of his available gear to his back and thighs as needed.
>He then quickly and quietly exits the room and shuts the door behind him.
>As he rearranges his equipment on his legs and back for weight distribution, he continues:

"They absolutely need counseling and therapy, but I would imagine that's something only those with the skill and training could provide. The most anyone else can do is try to gain their trust, try to understand their trauma, and support their growth to surpass it."

[Need to assess my equipment from Lann and then report to Emerald for immediate debriefing...]
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Outside the four possibly-Vostroyans giving warily trusting glances at you, their motions were entirely directed at the possibility of trouble within the vault.
>Nowhere near the rigidity of Tempestus Scions or veteran Guard, they seemed to be more like semi-trained Guard that had zero wish to lose their commander.
>The youngest, barely a girl and lacking most physical signs of human maturity you notice, was furiously eyeing the entire vault door, visibly lacking self-preservation while holding her boxy submachine gun in a painful death grip.
>Meanwhile, the other three had locked their individual towards the window, entrance, and the vault door directly in front of Raindrop Raspberry, their weapons at loose-ready in case of any potential trouble.
>Had they simply been loyal to the old man named Sergei, whom seemed to be more like a role model than a Commissar now, the MIU's calculations aid you in pointing out that the Pre-Techno Barbarian quartet would not have allowed him to undertake a single dangerous act.
>A peculiar situation, to be sure.

>Pinging back merry laughter, Witch-Two and Tox-11 separate their return data flows from each other.
'Come off that mentality now. There is little to hide except that which Aguina has stated not to share for security purposes. The Inquisitor was never what you'd call 'happy' with Adronal, Enginseer. She relied on his admittedly impressive sub-fighter explosive knowledge to destroy Ork, Necron, and sometimes Eldar devices, or to simply take out a vehicle from time to time. She often scolded herself for being forced to destroy interesting xenos weapons, which was, in her own words, immediately necessary but could have led to the Mechanicus gaining a far greater understanding of enemy weaponry. Adronal still does not trust that Aguina chose him for having such a profoundly blessed talent, but to be fair, whom would comprehend a painful circumstance of that magnitude? It is self-doubt and no more, one which he must realize by now.'
'fair criticism, witch. i fully believe inquisitor kept me around to ensure no more grot snipers killed her acolytes'
'Then allow me to share one of the Navy's secrets: Grot snipers barely exist in modern records outside Freebooters and the few Warbosses capable of riling them into specific roles, Adronal. They have not seen widespread distribution past the War of the Beast. Imperial Assassins from within a Governor's cadre were most likely responsible for the actions you witnessed, not Orks. Even supposing they did, Orks do not utilize explosive Astartes grade bolter shells filled with mutagenic acid fired from three-point-six kilometers away, correct?'
>Dropping the link for one-tenth a second, Tox-11 returns with a harsh Binary caricature of a sigh.
'correct for now. doubt is mind killer, yes, but still have plenty to suffer through. pay no mind enginseer, feel more guilt than is necessary'

"I can tell you runes, sigils, and engrams were standardized with most languages three, maybe four thousand years ago. Might be a few books in Razorback's library about though ask Hodch or Krinza would be quicker to ask."
>Unable to hear the communication occurring, Raindrop continues forcing her wingblade into the vault door, and certainly didn't notice you staring at her.
"If there was a flame trap it would've been set off by now, I think."
>It was amusing to see this xenos was better looking wet than most humans you'd seen.. and so did the Admiral, relaying a quiet Binary snicker to you.

>Visibly trying, and failing terribly, to hide a smile at your unusual chirping tone, the Commissar, or ex-Commissar, whichever he was, squeezes himself against the wall, both hands tightening on the Knight's thick wingblade.
"Please no call me sehr, not been officer for three years now. Sergei fine, or Old Man as young like call me."

>Easily locating the position for maximum leverage to pull Raindrop's weaponized wing covering from, and to keep the mechadendrite safe, the older man takes a deep breath to steady himself, then gives a choppy nod accompanied by a heartfelt growl.
>Without realizing that had been a suggestion and not a command, you immediately wrench back on instinct using the pegasi's armored-weapon along with the Commissar.
>Heaving your strength against the seemingly immovable wingblade's flat rear edge along with Sergei, the Knight's pained grunt occurs right as a low, grinding noise draws your attention from the left.
>At first wrenching the door open by millimeters per second, the grinding becomes one of the most annoying sounds of stone-against-stone conflict you'd heard, which is then replaced by dead air the second it swings open on it's own both rapidly and freely.
>Raindrop subsequently raises her wingblades upwards to protect the chest portion of you and Sergei in the middle of a severely black-toned command, the four not-Vostroyans behind snapping their weapons upwards while the L-shaped flashlights beam into a cascading dust cloud falling into the vault's opening.
"Aim careful vaskey!"
[1d6+4 = 9] <E.Leadership: Ranged
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 8]

[1d6+4 = 7] <L.Light #1
[1d6+4 = 7] <L.Light #2
[1d6+4 = 10] <L.Light #3

[1d6 = 6] <???
>The human's lips opened slightly to let out a series of low chuckles at Nalinya's response, being sure to jot down mentally the possibility that ponies down here may ask for stuff if the helpful mare can't as he properly positioned himself to write up his letter

>Hearing the Remnant's rather verbose response, Cheto's eyebrows rise the slightest bit, leaving him somewhat speechless as he mulls over what to call it, lokking slightly to the floor.
>However, the fuschia mare's message containing the possible taboo flag of this queen plus her actual soverign and the eldritch machine leads suddenly sparks an idea, smiling widely while writing up his response in mild realization.

>José simply nods, mind already mapping some potential questions to ask later when he finishes his letter.
(Mirá nomás. Even their months are puns of commonplace items. Maybe some sort of religious representative would have the answer as to why that is. That and their remarkably similar year counting. Probably has to do with Princess Celestia's birth or creation.)

>Gallo's eyes glance down at the leaf-like limb to grasp the letter, brow rising at the almost surreal image his mind is contemplating before swiftly blinking it away to sink the Remnant's delivery process in.
>He couldn't help but to take the opportunity to open his mouth up once more while the letter vanishes inside the eye.
"If you allow me, I'll call you Triple W."
>With that little name setting slipped in, he promptly listens to the machine, pursing his lips slightly as his chatter is cut off and his hand finds himself with a batch of surprise messages hovering next to it.
(What are the odds?)
>Turning his head towards Nalinya, José hesitantly keeps his hand still for the time being, not daring to pick the messages up just yet.
"Would you like for me to take these letters to you, Mrs. Nalinya?"
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
>Instantly shutting out the dread before it could take effect, what little remained of the Tainted's corporeal form begins coalescing into streaks of dully white toned vapor, creating the distinct image of a large earth pony mare in the ancient Solar Guardian armor, except without a helmet, the right hoof lifts Into a perfect salute.
>Cracking a wide smile, the impression of a mare speaking wafts outwards, then bursts apart, the Scar-held pony's soul dispersing into the Moors' own mist.
>You felt.. better, but not whole at this.
>Clemency: 9/26 S.HP.

>Sinking without effort into the Moor Void's safe embrace and breathing easier now, the Tower Guard's approach was bypassing the sacrificial basin.
>Heading directly towards you, or at least coming to defend the Basin Village's southern entrance, the previous energetic flares from her wake expose dozens of similar earth pony Tainted into corporeality, which are immediately targeted by an equal number of white robed Support Strikers.
[1d6+4 = 8] < Tainted
[1d6+4 = 8] <Support Strikers

>Silverine helmet glistening as the General's head half-bows in your direction, a pair of sharp, whistling screams rings out from the south behind you, immediately recalling the sounds as those of the same, yet incredibly weaker Tainted encountered on the train towards Old Canterlot.
>Knowing that most earth ponies, and most ponies regardless, were deathly terrified of Spectrals and the like, it occurred to you that this one was in rather excellent control of her emotions.
>A second thundercrack cascades off the Tower Guard in a roil of blue, this one directed straight towards, and possibly beyond, you, at the same time shouting in a flat, mid-50's commarendeering voice.
"Damn you all and fuck off! I have no wish to deal with the Scarred, we came here in peace!"
[1d6+12 = 18] <M.Psionicism: Spectral Stormsurge
[1d6+12 = 18]
[1d6+12 = 15]
[1d6+12 = 16]
[1d6+4 = 5] <E.Fearless
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 9] <Lore
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+4 = 7]
[1d2+1 = 2] <Neophyte Lore: The Moors

>Remaining undeterred by the events around her, the Cult of the Dark Horse leader is quickly surrounded by another twenty batponies, all of which you could see were visibly crippled.
>Matching the Tower Guard General's thunder with her own voice, both eyes roll back to expose only red as this set perform the same exact sacrificial throat-slashes, once more showering her and the altars with metallic red.
[1d6 = 3] <Blood Sacrifice: Summon
>While a grim action to take, some dark corner of your mind whispers, they were freely choosing their own end rather than succumbing to the horrors which the Moors were notorious for.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Visibly NOT relaxing, Naliyna's hoof lowers only to tightly grip her table along with the other, her eyes turning into a hostile, glowing fuchsia swirl.
>A 'grip' which, you realize, was starting to fracture the wood itself, and rather quickly at that.
>Fully tensed for a long heartbeat, even though you knew she wasn't going to obliterate you like Twisted would, the trader releases her table slowly.
>Sitting back on her couch with a hatefully piercing and only half-believing stare, Naliyna motions for you to continue.
"Oh in this case I'm wholeheartedly on the side of 'stay down here for repairs'. Its just usually not done for repairing hulls, for obvious reasons."
>I shrugged softly and gave one of the screens a look.
"This type of paranoia isn't mental trauma, its trained and drilled into me. I had to keep an eye out for both targets of opportunity and to watch for possible positions of fascist snipers."
>Didn't hurt that I was small, either. Easier to hide in holes.

>Her response caused my eyes to roll.
"Not physically grounded, Wild. Grounded in the punishment sense. Something close to... house arrest, I believe."
>English was weird.

"I have a feeling we're not going to be alone much longer, Wild. Construct object on screen."
[1d6+1 = 4] <E. Perception
[1d6+1 = 6]
[1d6+1 = 7]
Bubba the Second
"Well uh, after I finished a little delivery for her, I came by to let her know that I did so."
>He made sure he was well out of slapping distance as he explained.
"And I came across her, drunk as hell. Apparently she needs to be wasted to be considered sane."
>Shaking his head, he took a moment to recollect. While it was only a few hours, a decent amount had happened in that time and he didn't exactly pay 100% attention to everything.
"We mainly talked. She's guilty over what's she's done. Both under full 'Sweet' and what she's been forced to do."
>Bubba motioned to his head.
"I less broke Sweet, and more gave her a lot to think over. Hopefully for her to try and accept her previous actions."
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>Flinching backwards at your first word, the mid-40's General halfway suppresses a full body shiver, breath catching and taking a labored inhale.
>Mostly settling herself, Thansimum turns a cold scowl down at her helmet, then raises her head to eye you squarely.
"I apologize for my conduct. Princess Cadence has threatened severe punishmarents if somepony of the Crystal Empire screws up while aiding Razorback. Being one of her hoof-picked Generals, it would sound almost seditious in her war room if, or when, severe failures were reported during necessary defense and aid-giving operations."
>Head shaking in negative motions quicker than would be expected from one at her rank, her nervous energy is quickly redirected into grim logic.
"Selfish or not matters little at this time, and there is no need to thank me. I chose to accompany Princess Cadence immediately after she asked. Serving Razorback even if only for tonight is more than enough. You were suffering from Planar corruption, thus my duty was to remove it. I will continue my duties here until necessity dictates."
>Picking the scuffed helmet up though not placing it back on, Thansimum's snout twitches back and forth in concern.
"I will take your 'opinion' as full blooded truth as I have no alternatives. While it would be more efficient to deliver knowledge directly to Princess Cadence, our duties and oaths to follow her orders are inviolable no matter how dangerously ill prepared Crystal ponies are to support humans. Not only that, I sense a peculiar undertone in your words.. calculation, study, and reasonable understanding, It is not easy to impress upon others, particularly her Unicorn Guard, that humans have little relative understanding of the Crystal overherd, though yours is sufficient enough I believe Kalatrine will back up my report."

>Entering the darkened filly room, only soft, quiet snores from the various fillies greet your senses.
>Stepping around several of Malyne's stuffed toys, your armor, weapons, and pack were neatly arrayed from smallest to largest, though the large Gozkan blade had been laid across the top shelf.
>Upon picking up the pinksteel dagger, a soundless yet easily felt whine emanates from it before calming.
>While it wasn't likely to have sentience, the metal itself seemed to be drawn to you as an owner.

>Now fully returned to her previous composure, Thansimum takes her focus off the western room to give you a briefly self-deprecating smile.
"That is precisely why the three of us were called here. Given the situation in Stalliongrad though, only the three pegasi will be returned to Canterlot. As for the rest I am positive temporary placemarents will be accommodated easily.. except for the batfilly. Foggy Patches, hah, I almost called her 'Froggy', has developed rather deep bonds towards several humans and two batponies living here. Far be it from Stockhorn Syndrome, she's acclimated quickly to Razorback as a comfortable and safe environmarent. Before spending tonight here I would have been highly concerned Razorback is not the best environ for her, but she does not feel danger, that is, excluding herself, which is a good sign of marental progress. At worst, she would have self-isolated and became catatonic. Best is, unfortunately, subjective. In my professional opinion it would be best for her to develop friendships here until choosing what to do. She is old enough, but her maturity and cognizance is not developed enough to support an external choice without great resistance. Regardless-"
>Head swinging left to eye one of the front doors opening, Thansimum rapidly blinks several times in shock.
>Right until physically seizing up and biting her lower lip to prevent from laughing.

"-e here for the first time this month, thank Luna."
>An utterly exhausted Hodch in his monotone teacher's voice drifts into the Library, afterwards treading into view directly towards the rear stairwell.
"Need to take Nibbles out, she's probably hungry too-"
>Worse than the sets of overly large batpony bites on his neck, several of which were still bleeding slightly, thoroughly trashed mane, left eye swelling, and physical, near stumbling exhausting was the partial hardon he made no attempt to hide.
>Not missing a beat, the Nightblade reservist's eyes snap towards Thansimum as he passes by her, his voice attempting to be as threatening as possible, but was utterly drained.
"Fuck off and don't ask."
>Seeing the mist form into resemblance of a mare in armor, cracking a smile and a salute before disappearing gives Clem a sense of closure
>Like saving one soul
>Still hurts inside in a metaphysical sense
>Still eyeing the General, the wake of her energy reveals more of those Tainted, albeit the more familiar ones
>The most telling thing is that the General bowed toward Clem's direction
>Clemency was taken aback, both that she saw him and that her presence seems to not to disrupt the Cultist mare
>He instinctively bows back however
>The surprise quickly turns to relief turns to some level of disgust when he goes back to check on the cultist mare
>More sacrifices and the lead cultist practically bathing in the sacrificial blood and taking a demeanor that can only be described as rapturous
>All of it does peak at what the end result of this is, summoning all these Tainted and the Tower Guard
>Clemency still needs to shake off the emptiness inside but isn't content in hiding away from this
>He moves around the line of contact between the Strikers and Tainted, trying to find gaps within those lines and see if the Strikers are deadlocked or waning
<E. Iron Will
[1d6+3 = 8]
[1d6+3 = 5]
[1d6+3 = 6]
<E. Perception
[1d6+1 = 3]
[1d6+1 = 5]
[1d6+1 = 7]
Sunny Feathers
276060 276300
>Sunny, having finished administering the draught, restoppered it and placed it back in her saddlebag, unceremoniously flipping the councilmare back over so that she could clear her throat and lungs properly. Patting her back with a hoof to encourage her to heave all the blood up before she drowned in it.
>The mixture would take care of the wounds, but wouldn't clear her throat for her. Always a risk with rapid cell repair and injuries of this nature, she only hoped that her potion hadn't sealed any clots inside her in problematic areas.
>She did little more than flick an ear back to Boris and Jeff briefly before answering.
"I had warning. I just never expected something as simple as this to go sideways, an old specter or two, certainly, maybe some restless bones, but not this."
>The pegasus paid little more heed to anything else, not the conversation between Jeff and Boris, not Mercy passing by, or the Lunars that now marched past, the most attention she paid was to haul the councilmare out of the way so they could pass easily.
>There was little more to do or say than attend the bat winged unicorn and keep her from keeling over and ensure she got back into orbit alive if a little worse for wear.
Mallia Castella
>Although in that moment she was about to become quite busy helping open the Vault door. Mallia at the very least cracks a smile and relaxes a little at the insightful response from Witch-Two and Tox-11.
>She made a mental note to inquire further during the downtime after this...
>And then immediately after she starts to focus on the task at hand, Mallia tenses up again and lightly scowls at a point on her visor.
(S-shuddup... I shouldn't be liking it as much as I am.)
>That's all she could muster in that moment. Shifting a glance down to Raindrop with some added concern, then swiftly up at Sergei again.
"Very well! Sergei."
>She sounded particularly pleased at being on a first-name basis with someone. Though she realized she hadn't introduced herself properly.
>That comes later...

>Giving off a low snarl as she puts her modest upper body strength to good in synergy with her new companions, she poises her boots onto the floor... Sideglancing the sound of grinding stone to the left as they begin to make progress!
>Though she winced and cringed--her hands tightening around Raindrop's armored wing until the knuckles whitened, until the Vault door swings and Raindrop raises her wings to protect them.
>Stepping aside from Sergei to give him space, the Enginseer re-draws her shield from her back and straps it to her arm; then re-draws the hotshot laspistol before taking a step slightly more behind Raindrop and lifting her shield to rest by her side defensively, while the pistol is pointed towards the opening into the vault from behind and above the pegasus knight.

>She issues a quick, subconscious mental command to Tox-11 to enable her preysense visor once more; peering into the vault, looking for anything suspicious inside of the vault through the fog of dust.
>In the same way she had engaged the visor she taps into the voxbead to speak into the shared channel she had with Chisan, her voice much more monotone and serious.
*"Be advised, first vault is now open; checking for threats. Over."*
<B. Perception + BQ. Preysense visor
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6 = 1]
>Finally settling Boris onto his shoulder, Jeff listens to the golem as he gives a hearty reasoning over giving aid to the councilmare.
>His logic was sound, but only because he was prioritizing Mercy's relationship over the councilmare's authority over him.
>Which Jeff noneless greatly appreciated from the little automaton, so he couldn't be faulted.
>But giving the golem a bit of insight would do wonders. Not like he was a Socrates, or anything...
>His own morals were as twisted and sadistic as a ballpark pretzel, sometimes.
"Situations like these, especially this one Boris, can change at the drop of a hat. It wasn't my intention to return to the Citadel, nor had I even known it's still under siege if it weren't not for discovering the Lunarites. Would our involvement with the Citadel still be as relevant if this exploration was nothing more than a quiet plunder? Despite this no longer being a salvage job, we've now shifted into an escort and medical evac. We have to go to the Basin anyway, so we drop her off there and let the Lunar forces stabilize her, then we're back on track. I've been on enough missions were an easy recon turned into a demolition, or even an HVT assassination. The ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome keeps everyone alive and mission success. Turn the lemons into lemonade, that sort of deal."
>He felt himself fall into an almost habitual way of explaining it, as if remembering the mode hammered into his brain by superiors.
>His own glare darts at the profusely-bleeding batmare to match his shoulder companions, and then at the attending pegasus.
"You're assuming I'm devaluing Mercy's honor as my herd second, by allowing the councilmare to live. As far as I'm aware, her pre-Mercy attack state of fresh injuries is from the Citadel; she's covered in Construct weapon burns. Through an adrenaline-fueled rage, she must have assumed she couldn't have helped handle this situation remotely and showed up personally. Then thinking my passive attitude toward the Lunarites must have been a sign that they might have enthralled me into servitude. Hence why she threatened us, to test our priorities: them, or ourselves. At the very least, her thought process is irrationally driven by exhaustion, excessive injuries, and fear of the thought of a possible vampire breakout."
>Now that his own adrenaline was cooling down, he realized that ponies just don't think the same way humans do. It was, and will probably always be the biggest gap between them.
"Did Zoo ever mention to you about 'sticks and stones'? She's in such a sore stake, I don't think any insult from her should be taken to heart. Besides, I have pretty damning evidence that she just threatened to kill the Star Born and Luna's token human Nightblade, whom might I add she helped vote in, under unacceptable pretenses. Raking her over the coals in a Star Born tribunal hearing or something would be far more satisfying than letting her expire in some half sunken crypt now, wouldn't it?"
>His volume is dialed up more than enough for Mercy to hear his final rebuttal, tapping his TacPad's screen and shooting her a sly grin and a wink at his sadistically bureaucratic form of vengeance.
>He lets the Boris think on it, as he glances back over at Sunny tending to the councilmare.
"Sunny, don't lag too far behind. I'll have the first aid bag ready when you regroup with us up top."
>If she even made it that far...

>Noticing Mercy had already repositioned to taken the lead, he shuffles up to her side quickly to help lead on out.
>The tension between the Spirit Walker and the Lunarites was enough to cut with a knife, or even with his tomahawk, so he decided to stick with her for emotional support.
>Jeff looks down at the starch white mare, giving her a reassuring smile as they head out of the crypt.
>As Thansimum recounts the situation of the foals Razorback had acquired from Pear Blossom, Pareidolia sets down his gear, begins changing his clothes, and suiting up into his armor.
>He reflects on what she had previously mentioned while listening.

['It is not easy to impress upon others... that humans have little relative understanding of the Crystal overherd.' ...There are many things about humans ponies do not understand. Even more that they cannot understand. Need to locate Spiral before further critical misunderstandings occur or collateral damage will continue to increase.]

>Holding his helmet in one hand while adjusting his rifle sling and neck seal, he notes Thansimum's sudden silence and slight shaking.
>Looking up he notes a visibly battered and somewhat aroused Hodch heading towards the stairs leading to Spiral's lab.
>He arches his eyebrow slightly, but says nothing before placing his helmet over his head.

[Of course that's what you were doing Hodch... wherever he was, he must not have heard my report or been able to respond. Flash must have detected it somehow. More troubling questions.]

>Reaching the back of his helmet, he ensures the NOAH drive was properly locked in place and that all systems were functioning.
>Inhaling deeply, he relaxes as his armor is returned to its proper place.

"...Hodch is like that often. And I agree with your psychological assessment, though just because Foggy Patches has made friends within Razorback does not mean Razorback itself is a healthy place to be. But without other options, this is the best course of action."

>Running a final check and comb over of his equipment, he accounts for everything and rolls his shoulders.

"I need to debrief Emerald on various matters. If you have questions regarding what your InterPony interfaced with, locate me afterwards and I'll share what I'm able to."
Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
>Starbursts of angry colors ripple across the Shell's artificial skin, offering a stern grin.
"Problem is none of us have seen Constructs do either. Somewhere between Frost Point Dock and the Deepwater Float a platoon of us, Shells I mean, waited maybe nine years watching two Assault-class vessels with their entire deploymarent doing nothing the entire time. Middle of one day, the units pulled back inside and the damn things left straight up. They noticed us, but either didn't care or weren't able to care. Much as I hate Constructs, I respect their capabilities."
>Taking on a subdued cast and sitting back, the left hoof raises to poke at Glacier's chin lightly.
"Hmmm.. Cady hasn't talked much in the past five months about the places she used to enjoy visiting. There's Mareminee on the Prench coast. Quiet, serene, lots of pastry shops and foals. There's Cloudstrike, another one of those moving pegasi cities like Las Pegasus but far larger. They settled somewhere in Neighsia last year, don't know exactly which region though. Lots of museums filled with old stuff from Central Equestria that most of the Kingdom's Lorekeepers don't even have records on. Could try the Ninth Vessel, some truly ancient Harpy ship-of-battle anchored off the coast of Saddle Arabia near where the Bronze Duke's oldest filly runs a small port trading town named Maren, or something like that. Six thousand ponies live aboard it, mostly pegasi of course, rather popular for artisans due to the giant pearls and coral they find sometimes. Other than that, the Dragonspine Mountains has some brand new built tourist town way up on the peaks. Dunno what's there except a young dragon that loves pranks."

>Eyes glittering for several seconds interestedly, the faux-mare's shoulders lift in understanding.
"I can say the same. There's something like a hundred fifty thousand books all over the world that've been written since I last picked one up. ..just curious since I saw you using an old tablet that looked like one of the sets created out of Canterlot, well, OLD Canterlot as most call it now, workshops. Mind if I take a look at them all?"

>Slowly rolling her eyes, Shattered Glacier raises and points a forehoof at your chest in measured faux-disgust.
"Don't count your notches until they've been recorded, and don't wind up forgetting one or two due to a spurned mare. Jealousy does exist, you know. Likewise, if you do have a trade deal set up with the Conclaves make sure the deal can be accessed by all of them. They don't like being excluded from each other's trades on account of preferences. Or bias for that matter."

>Squinting towards the trio of chef mares, one side of her lips pulls back in a seductive, high impact mare-on-mare leer, turning back to give you a brutally calculating, black humored smile.
"Why not? The more mares the marerier a stallion is. Well, only if she doesn't burn anything TOO important to me."
>Jaw slowly dropping at the open play, the indicated Conclavist shuts her mouth, turning sideways to show off her right flank only to give it a ringing smack from her right forehoof.
>Blinking twice in an expression akin to muted shock, Glacier's snout scrunches as she mutters under her breath.
"Then again that one could probably crush boulders between her hind legs, so... you might want to be careful."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>At the momarent Naliyna looks down at the infinitely more interesting application letters, the entire translocation circle's hundreds of eyes covering it rotate to, you guess, keep their focus on her.
>For what purposes or reasons why wasn't something you had an inkling of.

>The eyestalk merely stares at you, then dips in what you guessed to be acknowledgement.
"Acceptable compromise."
>Without even looking up, the Crystal mare smiles while emitting a brief hum, the pages becoming covered in a shifting crystalline sheen and darting towards her waiting forehooves quickly.
"You've already seen me move stuff around like this, so, no, but thanks for asking. I can pick up three, sometimes four humans at the same time you know. These might be the sale notices I've been waiting on."
>Sitting back to read the first, she doesn't even reach what looked like the header.
"Hold on-"
>Stopping to give the eyestalk a frown, the five papers separate so she can point at the fifth.
"Did make a mistake on purpose? You said the fourth was from the Lunar Citadel, but this second 'fourth' is two unknowns."
>Drawing itself up to approximately stomach height, the Remnant's individual eyestalk, for once, blinks.
"That was not a mistake. Both were sent from the same entrance matrice, however, the second delivered paymarent to ensure that their name and original location not be publicized for security purposes. "
"Right, right, sorry. Can both of you give me a minute please, need to check them if they're more important than I thought."

>Reading the first quickly, scanning through the second, only looking at the header of the third, placing the fourth one face down, and finally scrutinizing the technically-fifth much slower, Naliyna's expression becomes a deep frown.
>Sitting back and folding forelegs across her chest, she turns a half-serious glare at the Remnant's eyestalk.
"Sooooo.... why'd you deliver all these right now instead of when they were supposed to be sent?"
"Each sender requested an unspecified time between specific dates to perform delivery of their cargo. This unit chose to perform this unit's delivery function in a central time between the zones given."
>Right hoof raising, it hangs in the air threateningly before smacking Nalyina's snout.
"You are such an ass."
>Taking on an offended monotone, the eyestalk lowers to near ground level.
"It is impossible for this unit to be the upper hind end of an equine."
"That is NOT what I meant and you know it!"
>Before the two could break out into actual conflict, a second eyestalk, this one a swirling red sandstone, raises above the matrice to 'speak' in a grinding tone.
"This is an automated notice which must be distributed immediately to all individuals seeking access through Our translocation matrice system across the region-worldstate of Tallus: lethal travel advisory notice now in effect, all Guard and military units are to be advised that significant hostile avian forces have become present in most regions of Tallus. Do not proceed with travel until this notice has been thoroughly read and understood."
>Disgorging a large sheet of.. what looked like solid diamond, with a sharp whistle Naliyna summons it to her for a careful read.
>Which doesn't take more than two seconds, her face contorting furiously.
>Glancing up to you, still smoldering with internal rage unfortunately, two of the pages are lifted and held out.
"Looks like my work just tripled. If you feel like it, you can put these two on the bulletin board. I need to go find Pareidolia, immediately."
Lost in the Crag Moors: Stuck (In The Middle Of) You
GM Strangler
>Briefly strolling back into view, arms folded behind her head, Wild's cartoon image makes an 'I told you so' shrug.
"There is sufficient oxygen capacity within the internal tanks I've constructed to survive the incoming wave motions. Tank number one is currently at five minutes, tank number two retains ten minutes of oxygen. Though difficult to perform underwater welding, I've been able to perform non-physically initiated methods of repair with ease."
>The right screen ceases displaying the map, rotating left to show a mass of preformed, bright red molten steel now being applied to several of the massive rents on her upper left.. ..'chest'.
>There simply wasn't a cup size possible to calculate, you realize in a mixture of satisfaction and horror.
>Mostly satisfaction though.
"Should circumstances dictate I am able to extract oxygen and hydrogen from sea water at less than thirty-percent efficiency. Most of my systems are offline until repairs can be initiated. If you are uncomfortable, tell me if the cabin temperature, pressure, and humidity needs to be adjusted."
>The caricature turns to stare humorously at you, then walks off the right screen again while the left shows her hands sifting through large masses of twisted armor slats, except these ones were dull green or blackened silver connected by unusually reflective translucent red cables.
"Paranoia both is and causes trauma, mom, I understand that basic fact well enough. And, you are entirely incapable of punishing me-"
>Was that a dare?
>Sounded like it.

"Unable to spare further resources outside of scavenging and repair protocols. I should not have to state this normally but my weaponry would be completely outclassed by a Construct one-twentieth the size of the Assault vessel model previously encountered. Use these and notify me immediately of changes in pattern or behavior-"
>A quartet of boxes with text inside inside eight large arrow symbols appear on the right screen: 'Increase Zoom', 'Decrease Zoom', 'Lens Adjustment', and 'Diagnostics'.
>While the instructions weren't entirely like a scope, the meanings were close enough that you had some grasp of what they were for.
[1d6+4 = 5] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 6] <Repair Tendril #8
[1d6 = 3] <Improved Scavenging Protocols

>Fully locked onto the unmoving Construct vessel, judging by the range and video clarity you estimate it to be nearly half a kilometer in central diameter, which placed the ovoid length at roughly 60% of a kilometer as well.
>The half-cone of orange energies ceases, then start again, this time angled upwards and deeper into land.
>Without warning, a second Construct oval blinks into reality directly below the first, this one disgorging dozens upon dozens of tiny orange spheres.
>The swarm of larger than human sized Constructs streak towards the shore at a slight downwards angle, yet you were unable to locate anything like fighter or jet trails.
>A less than standard search-locate-and-retrieve pattern, it appears.
[1d6+8 = 10] <???
[1d6+5 = 9] <???
[1d6+4 = 10] <???
>Cheto couldn't help but raise his brow slightly at the unrequited stare at the potentially closest being in his supoosed singular lifetime
(Something tells me this machine has more feelings than he's letting on. Maybe it has enough life to establish bonds with others? Did Nalinya create Triple W?)

>Cheto bows lightly, elated to hear the bot's conformation before slightly stepping back when the humming apparently makes the messages float away to hopefully give them space to maneuver, even if they darted way faster than he could possibly react.
>Nalinya's rather casual boasting makes José's lips purse lightly as he fixates on the hovering envelopes seeking to be embraced by her hooves.
(...I wonder how that feels...)
>Hearing the usual secrecy from the Lunar Citadel does get Gallo's shoulders to sag the slightest bit.
(This is going to be a hindrance in the future, isn't it? Hopefully it'll not be due to petty, or even unethical reasons.)

>The lone human diplomat's left eye closes tightly at the Crystal Mare's rather tough treatment of her snout hearing the Remnant's rather amusing yet disadvantagious mistake.
>He couldn't help but to look away in an attempt to hide his growing grin not soon after their small banter was about to play out, feeling too uninformed to try and get involved.
>That all changes when the warning comes, a shiver travelling throughout all his spine as his expression turns neutral, looking at the wall behind Nalinya.
(I'm going to be sent out to do something, aren't I?)
>Blinking a couple of times at the floating papers in front of him, his hands reach out to take them.
"Right away, Mrs Nalinya. Will this notice be sent to me as well?"
>After hearing whatever answer Nalinya gives, José walks at a quick, steady pace towards the Bulletin Board with the two pages held carefully in his grasp while neatly stacking them ontop of eachother to ensure the paper is in its best possible state.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
"Sweet... drunk? Far as I remember she hated the scent of even the lighestt cider."
>Visibly stuck between extreme concern, palpable anger, multiple twinges of fear, and I'm-close-to-flipping-this-damned-table, Naliyna's snout wiggles cautiously.
>Letting you off with that word, at least for the time being, the fuchsia mare leans forwards with a now cautious expression for several painful heartbeats.
"You obviously aren't lying but the way you said 'broke her' made me really scared there. So, you didn't break her. You UNbroke her. Somehow."
>Releasing her table, Naliyna's face turns into profound thoughtfulness as her left hoof raises to rub her chin lightly.
>Which, thankfully, removed the potential of you getting forcefully booped.
"Bubba, I've dealt with Sweet enough that I haven't once considered her capable of 'thinking over' anything, she's usually so focused on food, exploring, sex, and generally having fun that, well.. if I didn't know you enough I'd call what you said completely insane. Can't really remember much of her past, not something I cared about much to be really honest, but this is.. good news?"
>Blinking once, Naliyna's demarenor returns to her normal curious state, except with a small frown.
"Sorry for getting mad. Shanis is really pissy tonight and I didn't wanna give her more bad news than she's probably heard already. I dunno the details but there was something about her getting forced from Tartarus to spend here for the night. Anyways, you have any trade notices? I could really use something better else to think about."
Bubba the Second
"She drank... ten mugs or something of various brews. All I really recall is a couple mango schnapps."
>He shrugged a little.
"In Sweet's case, breaking her out of her mental stupor is essentially the same as breaking her. My statement is correct based on how you interpret it."
>He hummed lightly.
"Knowing that getting her drunk makes her sane sounds like good news, if anything. Even if she detests alcohol, she understands that it might be for the best. And for the moment she's actually able to think on more than just base desires, I believe I helped her figure out WHAT to think on."
>He pats down his pockets idly.
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
>Making a motion as if to greet you, the Tower Guard stops quickly, silverine helmet and neck armor twisting about look behind her:
>Between thirty and forty Support Strikers are crashed into by an equal number of now visible Tainted, several even being tossed into the air the defensive half-circle immediately shrinks.
>It appeared both sides were neither well prepared to take the other, nor prepared at all.
[1d6+3 = 9] <Tainted
[1d6+3 = 6] <Support Strikers

>Head shaking angrily, the earth mare points a hoof towards the south in warning, then spins on hoof in a perfect 180-degree and hurtles back towards her comrades, an expanding roil of thunder blotting out her presence entirely.
[1d6+12 = 18] <M.Psionicism: Spectral Stormsurge
[1d6+12 = 15]
[1d6+12 = 18]
[1d6+12 = 16]
[1d6+9 = 11] <E.Charge
[1d6+9 = 13]
[1d6+9 = 12]
[1d6+4 = 7] <E.Fearless
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 7] <E.Leadership: Restore Order
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6] <Lore
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 7]

>It was obvious tonight was an unprepared meeting of long off duty Watch and Tower Guard, otherwise the Strikers would've been far better protected.

>Attention drawn back to the Dark Horse Cultist, she was now kneeling before the large altar, wings splayed apart in a pose that you took be utter reverence.
>Emitting a near-wordless keening phrase, the sacrificial blades gesture towards the hidden Moon while leaving behind a series of conjunctive runes.
[1d6 = 6] <Blood Sacrifice: Summon
>Barely surprising you, the pools of blood surrounding her rapidly, and disturbingly, flow outwards into a triangle before stopping around the crystalline false-flooring.
>Coalescing into a trio of midnight purple-armored batponies, clad in the traditional Lunar Guard 'Nightfang' armor no less, they form a protective triangle for the once-hidden altars.
>One turns to face directly south, the being's sharply pulsing blue eyes staring through you indifferently while the second orients northwest, and the third northeast.
>That was.. certainly new.

>Hearing the same pair of Tainted shrieking behind you once more, the clatter of mostly physical hooves coming in a heavy, quick pace.
[1d6+7 = 11] <Tainted #1: Charge
[1d6+7 = 10]
[1d6+7 = 8]
[1d6+7 = 12] <Tainted #2: Charge
[1d6+7 = 11]
[1d6+7 = 13]
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
276431 276974
>Visibly slacking her muscles and deliberately attempting to roll along with your motions, holding the Councilmare in an unfortunately lewd head down, rear up position, her barrel slowly heaves, starting from rear floating ribs towards the shoulders.
>Not catching any of the Golem's further words, the mutant batmare's head turns sideways, disgorging a stream of dark red, partially clotted blood.
>Taking a strangled inhale through both mouth and nostrils, which ironically sounded much worse than Mercy's labored breathing, while it definitely wasn't the optimal choice considering the potential for backwash into her lungs and stomach, at least she wasn't panicking.
>And even better, the single draught was potent enough to restore a helpful amount of energy to her.

>Barely noticing a set of archaic Lunar Mage armor halting in front of the Councilmare, though oddly fit to an earth pony, multiple rings of dull green mathematical symbols blossom in front of her snout for two hoofbeats.
>You could immediately feel the batmare's weight reduced by at least half, that is until she heaves once more.
>This one is followed by several muted retches and at last a free, if agonized, spluttering cough.

"While I understand the four sets of urgency related to this situation Commander, I am incapable of calculating which actions a single member of the Starborn would have taken in these specific circumstances. I have however been programmed to accept adverse events and give advice which would give preference to Razorback above all others."
>Turning to face your gaze partway, the Belligerent stops mid-nod to stare at the line of Lunar Vampires following Mercy up the crypt's stairwell.
"That is.. ..I was entirely unaware of such complications and lack of decorum, Commander. It did not occur to me that the Councilmare's intentions were predisposed to protect you, Miss Feathers, and Miss Mercy. I thought her extraordinarily combative attitude was solely indicative of one or more of the following: previous bias, indoctrination, propaganda, or shaded opinion. I apologize for my lack of understanding and will consider this event in a critical manner with Denra's aid."
>Slinging the sack of tools across his left shoulder to a more secure manner, Boris offers a sincerely negative shrug.
"No, he did not. While I understand the basic concept, the specific inclinations, actions, and emotions towards a subjective experience are difficult to ascertain with a greater than fifty percent probability. However Commander, there is a problem: the situation you are describing is nearly the same as the argument I attempted to deescalate and reconcile between Miss Feathers and Miss Mercy before reaching this destination. If the Councilmare's intentions were indeed genuine then she must be commended for taking the initiative to perform a fact finding mission against a previously problematic subset of archaic, barely known ponies. The difference I see is this: the Councilmare chose to arrive here, with significantly traumatic injuries no less, in order to defuse a potential hostage situation, one in which she had no applicable goals or gains to achieve, whereas Miss Mercy was belligerently hostile towards Miss Feathers' statement that certain laws are necessary. I do not feel that my logic is wrong on this account, thus what you have proposed suggests personal escalation rather than a reasonably objective end goal."

>Passing by the silent Lunarites without trouble, Mercy's ears twitch in your direction thankfully, her posture showing both a foul, self-deprecating mood and an equally panicked mindset.
>This state you recognize quickly since she'd offered herself to be herd-second: the Spirit Walker wasn't trying to lead by any means, instead she was doing her best to to escape from any further pressure put on her, with or without consent.
>Reaching the top stair, the blind pegasus releases a quiet, comforted sigh and lifts her head to speak-
>Only for a dark brown Moor cat to land chest first on her snout with a comical 'splat' sound while dozens more streak by, the vast majority diving onto massively overburned Lunarite packs and satchels.
>Pursing her lips once, Mercy tilts her head up to blow a loud and completely unnecessary raspberry into the feline's stomach.
>Returning a drawn out snicker, the catbat's wing batting at her ears, rear legs flailing while giving a sharp meow of faux-warning before leaping off backwards and darting down the stairwell.
"Such silly.. beings."
>Mercy shoots a thoroughly embarrassed smile up and back at you, then continues on towards the second aboveground room's doorway, failing to hide a half-snicker of her own.
"Now I.. understand why Hodch adores.. them."
>Seeing the stalemate between the Strikers and the Tainted, Clem thinks he can tip the scale within that fight
>Both sides uncoordinated in their structure for the most part
>He is further encouraged when he spots the new guards that the cultists summoned and are guarding
>Before making a move to the Strikers, shrieking and galloping tells Clemency of threats focused on him
>Not taking a chance like last time, he dodges to the side of the two Tainted
<M. Evasion
[1d6+6 = 11]
[1d6+6 = 12]
[1d6+6 = 11]
[1d6+6 = 9]
<Airstream Evade
[1d6+6 = 10]
[1d6+6 = 8]

>Quickly spotting the two Tainted, Clem decides to retaliate and slashes at the closest Tainted to him
<M. Assault
[1d6+7 = 13]
[1d6+7 = 10]
[1d6+7 = 9]
[1d6+7 = 12]
<Airstream Assault
[1d6+7 = 13]
<Ethereal Strike
[1d6+1 = 5]
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny sighed in relief, the councilmare wasn't in any immediate danger that she could see. Success.
>The moon would get its reinforcements, Razorback wouldn't suffer any serious consequences for almost getting the councilemare killed on Jeff's watch and by Mercy's hooves. All things considered, this was about the best outcome she could have hoped for, if not entirely ideal.
>Turning to answer Jeff, she nodded an affirmative.
"Aye, sir. You and Boris head up top, I'll bring up the rear with the councilmare."
>Her attention back on the worn, wounded and all but crippled baticorn, Sunny gave her one final appraising look to determine if she could even walk under her own power in her condition. Better to ask before simply hauling the mare to her back like a sack of apples.
"Are you able to walk?"
"And even if there wasn't I can breathe slowly. Its not like I'm doing much just sitting here and watching... screens."
>Something still pretty foreign to me, if not easy to adapt to.
"That's... possible?"
>Huh. She takes after my mother, apparently.
>I narrow my eyes a bit.
"I will make that ass of yours red one way or another, young lady. Even if it takes more effort than its worth."

>After figuring out the controls for a few moments, I keep the thing in sight and wait.
"That's... not good."
>I grimace and watch.
"They're likely searching for us, from what it looks like. A second one appeared and sent a -lot- of things out."
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Admiral Auspex's Binary chortle rings through the MIU's pathways, which cuts off after several milliseconds and is replaced by simple text:
'Enginseer: city-wide scans completed. Multiple discrepancies have been noted, returning shortly with further data.'

>Taking a half-step backwards and reaching for the holster on his right side, the possibly-a-Commissar slides it open to withdraw a heavily scuffed, medium sized pistol, one that you vaguely recognized as an extinct model dating back to Ancient Terra in the earliest part of the Third Millennium.
>Snapping something in his own language, Sergei's squad immediately move into flanking cross-fire lanes, the young female muttering in a hard tone:
"It too big."
>Making a rather crude comment that earns him several waves of intense harrying from the Tracker twins, Tox-11's almost lazily transmitted data packets give way to a full readout as the visor's systems whine comfortingly.
>Delivering a tiny ping of concern, Tox-11 denotes the interior was far larger than the entire building itself, adding a statement that it was likely a stabilized pocket dimension or, less likely, a gateway linked wormhole directly connected to a distant and highly secret location.

>Aided by the multi-spectrum flashlight beams from behind, the vault's interior becomes a cascade of red hues that sharpen into a profoundly large space taken up by at least twenty rows of square metallic... somethings.
>Filtering through patterns until finding a particularly agreeable view, for him at least, Adronal's efforts are rewarded by your eyes painfully crossing at the illogical and completely useless wavelengths on screen.
>Recovering from the abrupt shift, Tracker's disgruntled suggestion that Tox-11 pay more attention to your obviously human eyes return to some normalcy, only this time the sight of the rows sharpen into being made from stacks of small, perfectly organized safes.
'Hundreds? No, thousands. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands. Tox, are you able t-'
>Tracker's smoothly twinned data packets were dumbfounded, though Adronal's was now sharp and hard.
'yes, calculating now'

>Locating zero movement during the time, the human team, except for the older man, relaxes a fraction yet keeps their weapons held at ready.
"See nothing. Hear nothing. Smell nothing. Not empty, but not full. Odd."
>Lowering the pistol after a handful of seconds, Sergei returns it to the holster with practiced movements, afterwards looking towards the window, and most importantly, a vastly worsened storm outside.
"Only few ponies stay on outskirts sometimes: wanderers, traders. Found small herd on low level before storm. They say should have leave before storm surges. Now see why, but we stay until storm leave."
>Folding his hands into the opposite's sleeve, he leans forwards, peering into the vault with a moderately hesitant tone.
"Contract say abandoned long ago, it say right. This? It.. how you say, 'looting' abandon things not feel right?"

*"Acknowledged. The storm has worsened multiple degrees. Flooding will not occur, the entrance.. is.."*
>Chisan's voice crackles and trails off over the awkward silence the Inquisitor's former? team members were maintaining, then returns with a snort of disbelief.
"There is.a fish. Swimming. Outside. Above the mud. Sluggish movement, possibly stunned. Coloration bright yellow, indeterminate streaks and patterns. Round eyes, high reflectivity. Length: approximately point-three meters. Width: fifteen to twenty centimeters. Small jaw; teeth approximately three millimeters. Tall fin, no visible spines."*

>Carefully spooling datums back from her earlier calculations of the vault door, Admiral Auspex announces, using an encouraging wavelength that 'her' systems had been confused:
'Nothing but interruptions tonight Enginseer, though I have a rather curious selection of data here which may pique your interest. The vault's composition is a melding of both crudely refined titanium combined with a slab of tungsten-bearing granite-like ore. It has the properties of each yet only one form or the other is activated after scans conclude. Calculations show a five to ten millisecond delay before the changeover occurs. At the same time, there is a stabilized non-technological gateway originating from the doorway itself in a precise cube shape. It would be incorrect to call such a portal. Without further data I am unable to identify what form of esoteric methods are being utilized nor verify how this.. gateway functions. I have captured a small amount of data: superficially the vault material is used to contain the intervening space from the destination. The wavelengths correspond with archaic engramatic wards used in historical Equestrian records, yet I am unable to provide a conclusive end location.'
"Boris, sometimes the things somepony does just can't be statistically thought out ahead of time to predict an outcome."
>He shrugs his shoulders, well more his less weighed-down shoulder.
>Listening on to the golem's factoring, Jeff does nod his head but stops half way through to mull over his response a bit.
"No no, you're assumption isn't completely wrong. She very well could have some viewpoints against them, but she did seem relieved once she realized none of us weren't enthralled. If that was because of our personal safety, or that she just didn't have to deal with us as well... I guess we can find out later on."
>While his shoulder companion continues on, Jeff realizes an intense uneasiness coming from Mercy. He caught up with her to co-lead, but it was clear now she just wanted to get away from the Lunarites.
>There was obvious tension bewteen her and them, but the sudden onrush of moorcats flooding the stairwell seemed to lift the fog of awkwardness.
>In the commotion, the most he can do is position himself between his herd-second and the vampires to make himself as a buffer.
>Finally Boris ends his monologue, And the Ranger thinks on his reasoning.
"It's a saying that puts value on what someone does, over what they say. Don't get me wrong, I was fuming they way she talked to us. But now the adrenaline's subsided and we're reflecting on the situation, can we still hold what she said to the same initial impression? If her intentions were for our safety, then she gets a kudos... and maybe an apology. As for her actions taken..."
>Jeff pauses, and pulls out his Moon Orb to show Boris.
"This allows me to talk directly to Luna, whenever I need to. Instead, the Councilmare picked up,; she said something about Luna being incapacitated. If it was her goal to fact-find, she could have done that remotely through me with this without having to leave the Citadel and escalate things. She really didn't give me much time to fully access the situation, before she made a mad dash here. A lighter touch could have been beneficial for her and us, in this case. Us trying to reason her actions are really pointless, until she gives her own testimony."
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>The bubble helmet emits a tiny interior 'beep', one that you knew wasn't standard.
>Drive firmly locked in, while placing it on the black sapphirine was filled by around forty small text windows, each of which was scrolling at least one hundred lines of code per second.
>Sitting with it's back turned towards you in the center of each, the 'Spiral' A.I.'s multitasking heuristic-analysis mode caused it to be completely oblivious of you.

>Thansimum tosses an all-knowing grin in your direction at the statement, opening her mouth to speak but is cut off by Hodch physically seizing.
>Mane bristling angrily, the purple unicorn's head rolls about to make an aggrieved stare.
"Excuse me General Thansimum, but since we've known each other in the past eleven years thanks to Lorekeeper Amerose's efforts, I do have to ask: were your sexual preferences forcibly modified, like mine were and without permission, or have you simply been a lazy hedonist mare like Kalatrine is? It is my understanding that Princess Cadence has zero tolerance for colt-flingers, so perhaps I should inform her through official channels of your off-duty proclivities and complete refusal to start a herd. At your age, she has the legal right to forcefully herd you with any of the Kingdom's highest rated and ranked stallion combatants."
>The Crystal mare's jaw drops in shock as Hodch's eyes rotate in your direction, his temper deflating to be replaced with, slightly, ashamed humor.
"The entirety of Razorback should know that I was forced to prefer fillies after an unforeseen incident involving one of the weapons currently stored in the Enclave, against my will no less. As for this-"
>Motioning with a forehoof to his neck, Hodch sets it down to give a mostly prideful smile.
"I was informed that a young mare with some knowledge of AstroMeteorology had been rescued from a Planar assault or some such. She was being taken to one of the Starborn Villages, so I thought to recruit her, which went rather successfully. That is, until I tried warn her which specific phrases that Bloodscorch Frenzy, one of the best batpony surgeons and physical rehabilitation specialists in the Villages, would be set off by.. ..she thought it would be funny to prank me by using those exact keywords. Thus, my current lightheaded state and disgraceful appearance."
>Arrogantly flicking his ears and tail sideways, the Nightblade focuses ahead and continues towards to the rear stairwell, speaking aloud carelessly.
"And for your records: I did not enjoy her services, much too rough and I hate being bitten like that."

"Not 'often', human. Try 'always'. If he wasn't beloved by most of the Crystalline Shells and some of Princess Cadence's Unicorn Guard, I'd have buried him years ago."
>Snout scrunching furiously at the Starborn's forward-retreating posterior, Thansimum turns her head with a thoroughly humiliated albeit graciously accepting nod.
"No further questions, I am entirely out of depth on this matter, but I will ensure not to include this topic in my report. Or reports, whichever occur. For now I will try to locate Foggy and carefully assess what she desires most. If you'll excuse me-"
>Swinging to the left and high-trotting quickly towards the Library doors before you could state anything more, the Crystal General's hasty exit finally attracts the A.I.'s attention.

>Turning turning halfway, the false Spiral's eyebrows furrow together in thought, as if considering what it would, or could, say.
>Visibly unable to reach a conclusion, the image shrugs, and clears the various windows into the helmet's corners, disappearing along with them.
Razorback Fortress: The Bulletin Board
GM Strangler
>Looking up to give the new Vortex Remnant eyestalk a belatedly thankful face, Naliyna locks eyes with it while it does.. precisely nothing.
>Visibly realizing that it desired or possibly required some form of acceptance, she stifles a sigh and quickly gives it an acknowledging nod.
"Thank you and whomever made this for the warning. I'll make sure to tell everypony and everyone that comes in tonight, but I'll post this-"
>Waving the crystal sheet stuck to her hoof in a circle.
"Right next to me so it's visible. That enough?"
"Compromise accepted. Your consideration and thoughtfulness have been noted."
>Bowing in her direction, the red eyestalk retracts into the translocation circle, leaving her with a morbid tone.
"No.. but you might wanna check in at the Commarend Center place. In the back room there's a big machine thing with screens and lots of buttons. Emerald and Lonestar, at least I think that's their names, they're two of Razorback's originals, can make an announcemarent to every human in radio range. Just tell them that nopony and no one should travel anywhere unless they ask the Vortex Remnant to scout ahead. That way there won't be any surprises."
>Waving you off with less enthusiasm this time, the scar covered mare huffs as she leans off the couch to stand, making a quiet hum to organize the papers in front of her.

>Walking out the north Pagoda entrance, the fortress courtyard had become quite busy in the past five or so minutes.
>The scores of humans mixed with several archaic armored ponies noted before were now spread out across the open space performing a tight grid-pattern search.
>Receiving a few nods and waves along your path, the majority were carefully examining every square centimeter of ground.
>Attention being drawn to where you'd spotted the silver sphere, it was now being subjected to a rather bizarre sight:
>The elderly faded pink unicorn was in the process of gathering remains with the help of two bulky, hazmat suited humans, except the small charred area was now raised in the air several feet and being picked through extensively.

>Encountering numerous humans in stealthy looking armor spread apart, around halfway from the fountain towards the Command Center, they were obviously maintaining aerial watch duties while equipped with an assortment of anti-tank rifles, none of which pay give so much as an indication of your presence.
>Among them was particularly strange looking giant clad in a set of highly advanced knight's armor, possibly even powered, the definitely not human portable rocket, or perhaps missile launcher, made him out to be a living paroxysm.
>Examining a large, dull red floating hologram aimed southwards, the helmet swivels in your direction to give a brief nod, then returns to whatever his duties were.

>Reaching the board itself, it was comfortingly familiar:
>A large, two sided and light tinted wooden sheet protected by a wide canopy, littered with for-sale notices, informational pages, contracts, and dozens of pictures.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
"Mango schnapps? Bubba, not even Twisted likes that stuff. I tried to give her crate of bottles once and all she did was turn pale, I mean, really pale. There's not much she won't drink which is why I was buying the super cheap stuff just for her. Then again, Bren's stills are making us pretty much self-sufficient alcohol wise. I'm getting off topic, so.. I guess that stuff's either strong, nasty, or both."
>Forehooves lifting and tapping frog-to-frog lightly, Naliyna's expression softens into one of metaphysical contemplation.
"Okay, what you said was kind of correct, but it doesn't feel.. 'right' to me. I'm probably going to regret asking this, so if you don't want to answer then you don't have to, so here goes: why was Sweet drinking? I know that Twisted gets drunk so she can think str-"
>Cutting herself off, the eldest Remostrine daughter's face slackens into a horrified 'oh, shit' expression.
>Without blinking her head slowly bends forwards to stare at the exact center of her table, speaking in a small, monotone voice.
"I get it now. That's why Twisted's always drunk and her friend in Canterlot keeps buying bales of mareijuana through Tipper and me. When they want to be clear headed, they have to drink or use stuff to bring their minds back to some kind of normal for them. They've gotta do everything opposite or else they start degenerating like I did... but a lot worse. Nopony's going to mock Enchained for being embarrassed, so why don't they ever say anything?"
>Picking her head up again, the fuchsia mare's eyes shut, forehooves lifting to rub her temples.
"I dunno what to do. Can't tell Shanis, probably won't help if I try talking to Sweet, Twisted's on the Moon, her friend won't even try to come here, and now there's a bunch of stupid events going on all over Equestria that's making my head hurt."
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
>Tensely catch the sight of further Strikers thrown back from their rapidly collapsing defensive circle, the Tower General looses an enraged shriek in the modern earth pony language.
>Which was, in a bitterly amusing marener, simultaneously the loudest AND sharpest neigh you'd ever heard.
[1d6+3 = 5] <Tainted
[1d6+2 = 7] <Support Strikers
[1d6+4 = 8] <Tower Guard General ???

>Clearing the pair of earth pony Tainted in a sidelong sweeping motion, the second's extended hooves burst through your weapon hand, leaving an agonized, hollow sensation ringing across your mind.
>Clemency: 5/26 S.HP
>Turning the Executioner's Blade overhand and crashing it into the rear of the second's skull, the earth pony's head breaks apart into a choking gout of pink-tinged vapor, the main body collapsing chest first though obviously not destroyed.
>The first performs the same mareneuver several of those on the train did: reforming itself in a perfect 180 to face you, it lashes forwards with a series of jagged, eerily familiar pegasi styled blades from what was, a split second previously, the forelegs.
[1d6+7 = 11] <Counter
[1d6+7 = 8] <Reaction Speed
[1d6+7 = 9]
[1d6+7 = 13]
[1d6+11 = 16] <Amorphous Mass: Wingblade Utility
[1d6+11 = 16]
[1d6+11 = 14]

"This.. is.. the.. greatest.. night.. EVER! Not even five honey mangoes and the best rutting I can remember rivals this!"
>The clear, painfully intelligible voice of an incredibly enthusiastic batpony mare rings throughout Basin Village, taking on an eager tone that, even through your deadening physical senses, tasted of raw, vitriolic blood.
"Hay, human! Do me a favor and not die! Now if you all don't mind I'm gonna go a bit wild, and I really suggest moving outta my way!"

>Less realizing and more experiencing the lethal danger facing your existence, a tiny, never before utilized thread of humanity snaps:
Clemency: Last Stand Protocol... initiated.
Bubba the Second
"Hey, I happen to like it!"
>he felt offense over that. If just a little.
"That's what I ended up telling her when I figured it out. She needs to be drunk to be sane, as much as she hates the bottle."
>He shrugs a bit.
>One of his COs was exactly the same, minus the whole 'enchained horse' bit.
"Pride could be an answer. Or fear. Sweet feels ashamed over what she's been forced to do, and probably thinks this would be another way to bite her deeper."
>He hmm'd to himself.
"I'd be alright with keeping an eye on the lass. When she's stable she doesn't try to molest or eat my gear."
>Seeing the probably recurrent interaction between the fuschia mare and the eyestalk makes the human spectator blink once or twice, moving his gaze periodically between the two.
(W might be more of a machine than I expected...)

>With Nalinya's indirect request deeply seated in Jose's mind, he trudges on, always giving back the ones who acknowledge him a nod of his own.
(I might be careful not to bother them on their work on potentially finding this avian threat.)
>Seeing Tipper do her own search on the venom ball incident muddle his first impressions the slightest bit, with the small tilt of his head as he passed by
(Maybe the Constructs are still a danger even after their destruction? That or they're going to research the residue.)

>Witnessing the amount of aerial defense posted not soon after slightly reinforces Gallo's previous idea
>Yet, he felt one thing was for certain as he quickly nodded back to the walking metal anti-air unit
(This world seems far more dangerous than I could've envisioned from first impressions. ¿Por qué habrá tanta hostilidad?)

>With that mental weight on his head, the First Hoof quickly skims for the items needed to hang the two letters he's received from the papermare before hanging them on the board next to eachother.
>Hands freed and the briefest of glances at the many things in the board's display, the human simply walked on towards the Commarend Center to do the second part of his rather simple yet important duty, brow furrowing softly, words straining to leave his mouth in a hushed manner.
"Comm... Commarrend... No, that isn't right. Com-mare-end. Commarrend."
>He'd practice on the phonetically different yet semantically equal word from his previous world until he reached the site in question.
>Pareidolia looks over the various windows with some concern as clearly developments had progressed.

[Is functionality retained? Overall objective still actionable?]

>As they disappear and the A.I. withdraws, he heads out of the Library and towards the Command Bunker.

"Run full systems diagnostic. Confirm memory bank integrity and operational functionality."

>He checks any onscreen readouts and confirms their status.

"Current objective: Debrief Emerald, Lonestar, and relevant command staff of Construct incident and Spiral's possible location."

>There is a slight pause of hesitation.

"Has the corruption been removed? What did the InterPony do?"
Mallia Castella
>It took less than a second for Mallia to snap a glance towards the Sergei's pistol. The Enginseer had to curb a wave of enthusiastic curiosity as she resisted the urge to examine it immediately.
(Holy Omnissiah! I cannot wait to inspect all these extinct weapon models... It would give me great insight on our ancient history!)

>Quickly pushing her mind's away from the subject, she refocuses quickly on the interior of the vault she was peering towards.
>Her curiosity is quickly replaced with a deep seated discomfort and concern for Tox-11's tone in the way he engaged the visor. She felt as if she had offended, that perhaps the way she asked him for help translated into a demand instead of a polite request.
>Mallia resists the urge to apologize profusely.
>Then takes note of his Ping, likewise acknowledging it with an unconscious nod of her head as her weapon-hand kept her hot-shot laspistol pointed outward into the vault defensively, slowly and thoroughly scanning the room with her gaze...
"I am elaborating on what exactly this is with my machine-companions. Give me a moment."
>She remarked in Sergei and Raindrop's direction as she remained near them. Her visor glowing with a barely visible red hue when looked at closely.
>Especially when Adronal decides to hurt her eyes like that.

>The Enginseer's feelings of guilt are intensified for a split-second, until the responses by Tracker put her somewhat more at ease. Knowing that Tox-11 was simply assuming her eyes weren't inefficiently organic.
>Still, Mallia said nothing and did her best to not apologize despite her Enginseer insticts making her feel like she should.

>Refocusing her eyes after that very minor hitch, Mallia fully takes in the rows upon rows of safes, and the sheer unnatural size of the vault itself. As her weapon-arm lowers to point her laspistol downward while her shifts lowers slightly to cover less of her chest, but without fully lowering or holstering her weapon, unlike Sergei who does so.
>Stealing a glance towards the window to look outside briefly as Sergei speaks, then hastily returned her glance to the vault. Not trusting anything about it quite yet.

"At least it's not acid rain. Much prettier to look at from indoors than back where I'm from."
>Mallia replied to Sergei with some lowkey optimistically playful tone in acknowledgement.
>Then side glanced them one more time at the mention of the word 'looting'.
"I doubt anyone still cares about this place... I would call this a recovery effort moreso than looting. And I am veeerrryyy curious about what's inside those safes..."
>Her confident tone she speaks to Sergei almost makes her smirk audible, especially as she takes a step closer to the threshold into the vault--without crossing it, and peers at the safes from a distance with Tox-11's help still aiding her vision.

>Then her helmeted head would turn slightly to look over her shoulder as she hears Chisan's words.
>She listened silently. And the description of the fish he describes her tugs her left brow up slightly, putting a hand to the side of her helmet as she softly speaks in reply.
"*Previous Auspex scans indicated that there were fish swimming inside self-contained aerial biomes inside of the clouds. Huh. Must've rained down here, maybe?*"
>As she speaks, she shifts some of her attention to query her memories to see if she somehow recognize a similar fish. And if it was somehow here, and also dangerous.
>She doubted it. But still.
"*It sounds cute. I'd attempt to preserve, if it were conveniently close-by.*"

>She then shifts her attention forward again with a slow motion of her head as Admiral Auspex starts her report. Smiling weakly in understanding to her opening remark.
(That IS very interesting... We may have to deep-scan it further, perhaps from the other side. Already this is a trove of very good data just by looking at it. Thank you, Witch-Two! This is very good.)
(Could you forward the City-Wide scan to my Micro-cogitator? I'd like to examine them as I go, I want to know what discrepancies you've discovered.)

"According to my scans this Vault door is a stabilized form of Gateway, projected from the doorway itself... However, we cannot understand how it functions, or the precise typing. The vault's superficial material is apparently being used to contain the space from the destination. And the composition of the material also is working in a strange, peculiar way."

"... And we also can't find exactly where it leads geographically until we go inside. And I am also not sure if it could close behind us once we cross it, though that is more a personal observation."

>Mallia's head cranes slightly to look upward towards the exposed back of the Vault door, and the inbetween part that was previously covered by the vault's frame, tilting her head to inspect the lock that it might've had, and then peering up at the frame itself to see if she spots any runic symbols, or other interesting pieces of information just by looking at it from this side.
[1d6+4 = 5] <B. Perception + BQ. Preysense visor
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 2] <E. Engineering
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 5]

>Visibly, Mallia's mechadendrite fully coils over her back's mid-section to shield it behind herself; folded in on itself at her waist.
>Then she sighs, taking a step back and finally holstering her laspistol momentarily. Looking back to Sergei and Raindrop.

"I'm sorry if it all sounds very confusing. I am not detecting any overt dangers yet. But... I would..."
>She turned slightly more fully towards Sergei as her voice trails of.
"I would feel better if you allowed me and perhaps Raindrop go first, while you and the rest covered us from outside for at least the first minute."
>She then turned to Raindrop herself. Reaching a hand to lightly, amicably pat the Knight's backplate once.
"What do you say, Miss Raindrop? Have any information about magical gateways leading into pocket dimensions maybe, before we go in and gallantly enter a spooky vault for it's lost treasures?"
>Clemency winces at the shrill neigh of the Tower General as she tries to regain control of her line
>He had cleared the two Tainted, but one of them just had to extend and graze Clemency
>It was enough to send the familiar hollow shock down his weapon arm again
>He grips his weapon tightly to cope with the pain as he counter attacks
>When the attack struck, Clem sees that the Tainted is still maintaining its form
>The dire circumstances of the situation starts to become clear for Clemency
>If it was like the first Tainted, then these two would need a couple strikes to dispel and he was feeling more empty
>These two would be enough to overwhelm him
>For a steely second, Clemency is reminded of this feeling of self-preservation
>A deep concentration he only experienced when he saw the rail guns of Stonehenge poke out from above the horizon
>His awareness snapped back when he heard the cultist's rapturous exclamations
>Seems like she's going to take part in this fight other than the summoning
>Or she's going to experience even more of her rapture
>Either way, Clem is going to heed her and needs to gain some distance from these two
>He also notices this same maneuver that the Tainted is doing
>Pulling out a frag grenade, he immediately pulls the pin and arms it
>He drops the grenade at his feet and then spring loads his legs with that unnatural energy from that one night
>He leaps and soars through the air, across the field but maintaining a line of sight on his two assailants
<M. Assault
[1d6+9 = 14]
[1d6+9 = 12]
[1d6+9 = 13]
[1d6+9 = 11]
[1d6+9 = 13]
<Airstream Assault
[1d6+9 = 13]
<Third Lancer
[1d6+12 = 13]

>Landing away from the two, Clemency sheathes his blade and unslings his shotgun
>He starts to pepper the the two Tainted with shells, assuming the gun was loaded with his slugs first

<E. Combat Rifles/Shotguns
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 9]
Razorback Clinic: Doctor Carlos, Receiving in Operating Room #1
GM Strangler
"Si, Doctor."
>As expected, the third Starborn unicorn botches her pronunciation entirely, turning the quarter-second one syllable word into a harshly rolling two second anomaly.
"I will send a letter to the Changeling Hive requesting a crate of their famous jelly. It is both easy to consume and will provide all necessary nutrients. Well, vegetarian nutrients that is. I must also suggest immediate deploymarent to prevent the setting-in of injuries and to, hopefully, stimulate recuperation via physical activity."

>Analyzing the youthful human for the short period allotted, Doctor Carlos finds his condition somehwere in the vagaries between that nanometer fine line between walking-dead and excellent recuperation potential.
>But only a potential, he was quickly reminded based on the painfully accurate knowledge shared minutes before.

"That is not a compromise we should consider given the nature of damage to this human, however, our orders are absolute. We accept this difficult position, but only until it is possible for us to return, hopefully with a full team and perhaps Eleyana to supervise us better."
>The lead mare's words were slow, vocally and visibly distressed at the consequences she was incapable of avoiding.
>Orders, at least for ponies, were absolute, that much Carlos knew.

>Having given themselves enough time for their overactive energetics in cooling down to a normal state, all five mares nod individually, not in unison this time, their leader snorting in disgust before speaking.
"We shall be careful, and quick. Lend your thoughts to mine, let no hesitation or motives beyond aiding this human draw your focus elsewhere."

>Wiping down Snakebite's unusually resilient skin, then selecting the sharpest possible transparent purple scalpel from the impressive collection, the blade's straining touch results in an appearance similar to cutting open an overripe tomato.
>The same results as before occur, except thankfully lesser this time: the whitish, heavy fluid composed of quickly settling and unabsorbed bodily fats barely impeded Carlos' progress nor his painstakingly solid motions.
>Immediately followed by the suction pump system draining off excess, the human Doctor begins to mentally note a previously unseen level of light yellow serous fluid.
>Barely able to keep up with the incisions due to drainage characteristics, the assigned mare, even though completely still and otherwise unoccupied, was covered in a thin sheen of vaguely fluorescent lather.
>Ignoring the Starborn's physical distress purely as a sign of concern, upon setting the numerous flesh retractors necessary, the last pair of quartzine cubes lift into place above each forearm's incisions.
>Quickly breaking down under sheer pressure before flowing through tendon-sheathed flesh, the remaining bands of kanpri are carefully wedged through muscle group, straightening, fastening, and worst of all: securing the humerus, ulna, and radius in wholly unnatural stomach-twisting motions.
[1d6+4 = 9] <M.Casting: Metalchemical Infusion
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 6] <M.Casting: Metalchemical Infusion
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+5 = 10] <M.Casting: Metalchemical Infusion
[1d6+5 = 7]
[1d6+5 = 9]
[1d6+5 = 8]
[1d6+6 = 9] <M.Casting: Metalchemical Infusion
[1d6+6 = 8]
[1d6+6 = 10]
[1d6+6 = 9]

>Observing the process, for once up close and on an actual, though critically injured patient, Carlos is snapped out of his thoughts by the five Starborn landing on solid tile, their their saddlepacks already tossed on and cinched tightly.
>Wordlessly the quartet file out of the operating room swiftly while the lead mare's head swings about to gaze upwards at Snakebite's uncovered, burnt feet, then rises to meet Carlos' gaze with grim finality.
"As ever: 'time is always short, run when you are strong', so says old Dusk Strider saying. Though my actions may be frowned upon I will pray to Princess Luna for secure recovery upon one of her young protectorates. I beg you to ensure his care until we are allowed to return."
>Bowing her head a second longer than necessary, the lead mare swivels about in distinct military style, then quickly high-trots through the operating room's door.

>Left alone with a host of wound absorbent, suture, and bandage packets, numerous empty alchemical bottles, and the still humming fluid-vacuum machine, Carlos finds himself wondering precisely what he'd been roped into by the old Honor Guard's offer.
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
277394 277708
>Watching, and hearing, a second heave from lungs to nostrils, two streams of thick red blood disgorge from the Councilmare's nostrils, less drawn out this time.
>Either ignoring your question or simply lacking the surety to answer, the rings of archaic earth pony runes pulse around her, as the horned batmare slowly fumbles to wipe her snout off with both hooves.
>Taking a deep inhale, ears flattening tightly on her skull atop the stained, drying bandages, she gives a painfully overworked deep chest rumble before squeaking out in a bizarrely triumphant tone.
"Barely. Guide and lift, will.. stagger, alongside."
>Lifting her wings, which you notice were rather heavily muscled in comparison to most batponies, the unibat's legs slide underneath her in preparation to stand with assistance.

"Probabilities are a constant danger and a necessity of calculation, Commander. It is required for me to understand the varied sources of sapience I have encountered, and will continue to encounter."
>Trying his best to sound both grateful and neutral, Boris once again fails, erring on the side of equinity.
"My words were still wrong, sir. I lacked the knowledge of how to ascertain tones and body language between competing, non-intersectionary ideologies. The same occurred during the previous vocal scuffle between Miss Mercy and Miss Feathers. As I understand the Councilmare's efforts were, as Miss Mercy's, openly genuine attempts to defend their positions from limited understandings, ones which I must stress are difficult to predict a final analysis on."

>Making quick motions of common pegasi-batpony styled body language to show she knew her actions weren't being ignored, only that her responses were unnecessary, Mercy continues on into the crypt's second, supposed ritual chamber.
>Unnoticed to the Lunarites behind you was an extended, broad wing shake of contentmarent, and a split-second snap of her tail sideways which left her tightly muscled posterior fully exposed.
>That was definitely a signal.. of some type.

"No, I cannot reasonably nor logically assume as much, Commander. However, I feel that a direct inquest into her actions would be poor form."
>Inscrutably gazing at the Spirit Walker's advance, now into the first chamber's center and nearly high-stepping with excitemarent, the small Golem's lidless eyes swivel in your direction once more.
"Denra ha shown and operated numerous artifacts which allow direct communication with the four Alicorns, though not Empress Silver. It is now within my understanding that even should the Councilmare's actions have been volatile in order to provoke aggression for the purpose of research, such logic is clear. I can neither fault her methods nor actions. According to my new theory there were far greater dangers in not rushing to this scene of a potential hostage situation, that is if her fears on this Lunar Collective are well-founded, which I fully believe they are in specific cases. For now Commander, I will consider all of this new information in a critical manner. I will be incapable of responding due to the artificial information processing constraints imposed on me."
>The little Golem's sapphire eyes dim until finally reaching a point of appearing like black glass.

>Passing into the now pleasantly Moors scented foyer, Mercy's tail could be seen flicking side to side only to vanish into the thick, post-Midneight Moors mist.
>The sounds of numerous earth ponies in discussion, several of whom you recognized from before, directly outside the door drew your attention:
"-ould we be leaving?"
"No, still have a few slabs to lay down towards the next location. After that we can return for more."
"I do not agree. We should raise this crypt another two to four hooves and settle it thoroughly with a ring of sealed volcanic stone so that it does not sink into the bogs again."
"This isn't up for debate unless you want Shanis to eat your hooves."
"She won't. At least, not tonight.."
"Not one of the however marely locations we've raised will 'sink' again for at minimum a century, and we're scheduled to make yearly trips across the roads we've lain."
Lost in the Crag Moors: A Bigger Problem Than The Last One
GM Strangler
"invalid option. I am unable to monitor external video feeds therefore I require your assistance."
>Spoken from the cabin's speakers, Wild's monotone was entirely disinterested as she continues excavation efforts.
>Pulling a series of iron or possibly steel rings from the sand, while carefully shaking off the excess and reaching up to store them above you, the caricature peeks in, upside down of course from the left screen's center, the single eye scrunched in cartoonish anger.
"Go ahead and try, mom. I'll ban you from consuming equine fluids instead of warning you against preforming such forms of contact."
>That didn't feel like much of a threat since she probably wouldn't be able to squat, kneel, sit down, or even bend over without shattering SOMEthing important within her frame.

>Hearing the 'annoyed' beep, the cabin's left screen was blotted out once more by miscalculated steel slats being welded to her arm, causing large gouts of ocean steam to bubble upwards.
"Multiple errors detected: significant difficulties occurring. Analyzing secondary approaches of underwater welding. Explain what exactly is 'not good', mom."
>Keeping the Construct troop transports focused and in range on screen, the first one's hatches open as the second's close, releasing, from what you could tell, an equal swarm of bright orange spheres.
>These ones immediately form a rotating defensive sphere around their mothership, and with painful slowness, begins to orient in Wild's direction.
>Or, more precisely, at the path she'd taken on shore.
[1d6+8 = 11] <???
[1d6+5 = 8] <???
[1d6+4 = 5] <???

>A heavy electronic sigh rattles the entire cabin momentarily, Wild's armored hands carefully digging into subsuface sand on the opposite screen.
"I lack the relevant knowledge of Construct behavioral patterns to analyze their actions and tactics, or at minimum ascertain their goals. If they are performing a search then it is likely they will find my course to this location, especially as I was incapable of hiding my tracks. Mom, are you aware of any relevant diversionary tactics or devices which could distract Constructs, preferably at long range?"
[1d6+4 = 5] <Arcanum Sensors Array: Research
[1d6+4 = 10] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 4] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 5] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 4] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 5] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #8
[1d6 = 4] <Improved Scavenging Protocols
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny tossed her head a little at the seemingly reckless attitude displayed by the councilmare, but complied and took up a position by the bat mare's prosthetic leg so that less weight would be placed on it and more on her good legs.
>With a little guidance, and some exertion, the pegasus hauled the crippled Lunar to her hooves with one of her bat wings settled over her back for support and set off out of the tomb at the fastest pace she felt the half dead pony could cope with.
>She spoke of nothing the entire way out of the tomb, whatever reasoning there was to be made by any party involved no longer mattered, only the outcome that had been reached.
>Inconspicuously as possible, she maintained a relative position behind the others, and away from Mercy. Only now did she truly realise exactly how unstable the spiritist was. Her combat abilities only made her emotional instability more dangerous. Taking herdmates on operations was a bad idea in even the best of circumstances.
>Sunny put it aside and wondered how this was going to work, obviously Jeff would be driving the vehicle, but she was quite certain it wouldn't take a whole platoon of Lunars and the vehicle was rather fast, too fast to keep up with in formation.
"You will do no such thing, young lady."
>She wouldn't be able to enter any of the buildings without pissing anyone off, so I was more confident.

"They're sending out a lot of these things."
>Grimacing as I watch them spread around, shbifting in the chair.

"That makes two of us..."
>I mutter as I rub my face.
"The only thing I could think of would be rockets, or continuing our evasion. I don't have a clue on how to deal with these things."
>I frown.
"We're in trouble and I hate that I can't do anything about it. I was trained to put holes in helmets, not deal with whatever the fuck a Construct is supposed to be."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Making a thoroughly disgusted face at your admission, Naliyna sighs gratingly.
"That stuff's gross.. but I get it, everypony and everyone seem to have something they like that's horrible to most."
>Eyes swiveling upwards to stare at the ceiling, she remains still for in severe thought.
"The word 'stable' and the name 'Sweet Dreams' probably shouldn't mix but it's apparently way too late for that. I've got to say that I don't like more complications, Bubba. The stuff I can remember about her past from Shanis is.. bad. Very bad, really. Most ponies don't simply fear her, they think of Sweet as some kind of mixed Eldritch and pegasus abomination that can't be hurt, killed, or stopped. In that order, I have to add. She can regenerate faster than she can be hurt in most cases, can't die normally, and, probably like Twisted, has no fear of anything except losing her friends or family-"
>For the first time you could recall, Naliyna seemed to be in full commarend of her senses and intellect, which made her quick motions digging through the stack of application letters thoroughly bizarre.
"Which gives me an idea. Admittedly it's not the best one I've had in my life, but after the crazy shit that's happened tonight I'm starting to feel like the few risks I've taken lately are super tiny in comparison. Let me say this up front first: there's about forty humans that've been scattered around Tallus in the past couple years and it's taken them months to get enough news for them to know Razorback even exists."
>Lifting a copper-trimmed page and presenting it to show several paragraphs of excellent.. something or other writing, she holds it up with a bitter expression.
"I kept losing their letters in all the stuff that Spiral left behind, but now I've found them again thanks to Pear.. or Pare, whatever his name is. If all of them are being really honest they're desperate to 'join up'. So, my question is this: if I accept them, though I'll have to call Hodch or Denra out to gently interrogate them, what would you think about letting another human take care of Sweet for a while? This one-"
>Gently waving the page before setting it down, her eyes lifting to squint cautiously.
"Is from a human mare, whatever you call that, that's been in and out of Fillydelphia for a couple months. Some different scenery, a lack of threats, and a new friend could help Sweet big time, maybe even get her truly stable. What do you think?"
Razorback Fortress: The Bulletin Board
GM Strangler
>Turning from the board to the camouflaged steel building close to it, a strange, probably defensive structure in front of the north entrance to it calls your attention:
>A large, possibly wooden cylinder roughly 4M tall, painted in the same patterns that the entire Fortress was, a set of squat, heavy legs, and topped by a heavily reinforced quarter-circle dome was in position.
>The barrels of three anti-material, or larger, rifles could be seen glinting in the dull red moonlight, as did a trio of inordinately heavy tactical full helmets, post-modern variants that had the distinct military curvature of Level IV Bomb Suits.
>Or possibly better.
>Passing by it, no attention was given to you by the three, their focus aimed skywards though you did overhead a snippet of conversation from a vaguely EurAsian man snarling something about 'these orange fucks again, ought to play their own tactics against them', the rest indistinguishable from his harsh tone.

>Easily finding the Command Center's door due to a bright steel plaque riveted into the exterior and a small, glowing red arrow pointing left, it wasn't locked.
>Opening the heavily reinforced door, it nonetheless swings open easily to show a highly dimmed room, one large table in the center and utterly covered in maps, although there were a pair of high pitched snores coming from the center somewhere.
>Towards the southeast of the map room, multiple red lights illuminate a large, open doorway.
>Part of a large communications system, or perhaps an entire command module, the multiple screens and glowing buttons unmistakable.
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>A screen in the lower right corner shows the 'Spiral' A.I. lifting a hoof, multiple windows popping into the corners, each in 75% transparency mode with a red backlit system to ensure night vision.
>Eyeing the readout's non-standard pattern, certainly one of Anon's changes, dozens of small progress bars appear in sync, ranging from memory allocation to encryption, hard drive functionality, software stability, among other systems that you had no previous knowledge of.
>The A.I. returns to it's own work on a readout with inscrutably small numbersthough you notice the shoulders slumping.

>Exiting the Library, you immediately note some of Bren's uniquely hardened, defensive constructions, 'P.U.P.S.' she called them, emplaced throughout the fortress in deliberately anti-air positions.
>The two immediately astride of the Library's path were brand new considering flickers of light reflecting off wet paint, though three rifle barrels atop the west dome, then two anti-material and one cannon classed barrel were in stable firing positions atop the east.
>Though you'd seen, been inside, and tested several before, Bren had only deployed one earlier tonight for Kraut's team, making the question of which human or pony had forced Razorback into maximum alert status since you'd been out rather unusual.

>Continuing on the main path towards the Fountain, the progress bars reach final status before displaying optimal attributes for each system.
>Following up with a series of logged and corrected errors, all of which were related to cognitive functions, the A.I.'s window shuts down as the render itself enlarging to become visible without straining your eyes.
"Complete removal of the Construct's biomechanical nanometer sized nanite corruption tactic was achieved, as was a complete restoration of my operating system, all inactive ponial engrams, and hard drive data as well."
>A bulletin point list is made above the caricature speaking in monotone, standing up and turning about to face you, then making a difficult to read frown.
"I don't know, sir. Current-based transmissions, direct soft-logic wavelengths, even digital coding languages were useless. We couldn't speak to each other and I was unable to record a damned thing. I don't have enough data to hypothesize what an InterPony even is. Regardless, when my logic cycles were restored enough to, erm, 'see' her, the only measure of communication I did have was pantomiming actions. Through the entire helmet itself, which may have been a highly precise crystalline resonance cascade. At the time she, and that was definitively a mare, was approximately ninety-five percent occupied in destroying the Construct nanites. At least, I think they were nanites, but I have zero information on this. From what I was able to register this 'corruption' is a partially-physical marenifestation, damn it I hate these equine puns, of their trinary coding language. They're luminal, sir."
>The A.I.'s face tightens, ears flattening on it's skull in visible yet controlled fear.
"Rather, to be more specific and in line with my blasted programming: Constructs are based on fucking ninth or higher dimarensional luminal physics, which means I am fully incapable of resisting it again."

>Occupied by the A.I., it took a few seconds to realize you'd reach the Command Center's already open door, which the automatic motion of your hand misses.
>As expected, dozens of red glowstones embedded in the ceiling constantly streamed their shine downwards onto a single, short female fitfully scribbling on the giant central table's map.
>Judging by the size and lack of armor, it was Emerald, though in a rare state of exhausted panic.
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Cutting out Tox-11's attempted response, Witch-Two delivers a still image packet: the same female human with arms folded, left foot with squiggly lines above to make it look as if it had been tapping, and a smiling, albeit hard to distinguish face.
'Then you must see the pre-bolter chemical-propelled weapons in Razorback, some of which they have recently come into possession of. One rifle I briefly scanned is capable of killing a human target in good quality Carapace Armor at a range of four-point-six kilometers without any electronics and no Machine Spirit. There is also a heavy revolver which fires a 0.45 caliber/11.43 millimeter slug weighing 300 grains/19.4 grams at approximately 2,300 feet per second/701 meters per second. Yes, Enginseer, a standard production model revolver from early M3 which makes the .54 Trantor look weak. Our ancestors were geniuses. I will not order you to be calm, however, I will state that we complete our tasks before studying Pre-Techno Barbarian technology. That is, if time allows, and no, Tox, you are not going to tell her about the explosives. Yet, at least.'

>Having not spoken, or even moved, Raindrop's eyes were carefully inspecting the gateway starting from lowest to highest points while maintaining her defensive stance.
>Which, admittedly, looked tiring considering how heavy and thick those steel wing-spanning blades mounted on her had to be.
>Meanwhile, Sergei's expression was a mixture of caution and deep interest as he squints into the vault, obviously trusting his squad to cover himself, you, and Raindrop.
"Hurry not. Time we have in plenty."

>Sending a very loud ping through the MIU, Tox-11's data stream even felt aggravated.
'stop worrying enginseer. fault not caused by you, was calibrating wavelengths for accurate dimension calculations re: number of safes contained'
>Immediately becoming to dour once more, the next transmission is sent in amused patterns.
'did not know you had human eyes, apologies. re: estimated number of safes given five most common standard patterns used by equines during interwar period: 6,950 to 9,200. transdimensional storage. incapable of analyzing further'

>Had the furious, nearly black rain outside been anything like the average Mars weather, you note it would've taken less than a month to eat through the window,
>Nodding slightly before stopping cold, Sergei's head turns slowly to lay a thoroughly disbelieving, and equally horrified, expression upon you.
"How even.. no, not want know how rain be acid, too. Seen many bad things, strange things here, but that? No want, never."
>Unable to suppress a shiver, the elderly man glances down to the Knight, then back into the vault once more as his tone reaches full curious level.
"Agree, thanks to you. Felt like looter before, now, not feel like looter. More like researcher, yes? Feel same, but why ponies not return? Hard to think all ponies know combination gone, lost, died, move away. Not know of big war in 29,400's, little trouble then."

>Registering the long, OCD ordered lines of safes, the visor's display of red wavelengths indicated a variety of colors:
>Most, so far as Tox-11's current bandwidths allowed you to differentiate, white with pink trim, pink with white trim, completely white, or blue with varying trim.
>More curious were the largest few in sight that seemed to be nobility and royalty patterns: silver with gold trim, gold with platinum trim, and solid platinum with white trim, each of which was studded with a large gen on the top, rear, sides, and face.
>The sheer number was problematic, yet the simple value of the larger safes alone was staggering.

*"..known phenomena. Inquisitor called them 'wild clouds', stated to avoid direct contact without backup, preferably a, quote, 'full squad of armored pegasi'. They are not mere biomes, each is an extensive and full ecosystem. Raindrop explored a wild cloud solo when she was younger, discovering a previously unknown raspberry. That is how her Cutie Mark appeared."*
>As to be expected the Scion neither sighs nor objects, but still sounded a bit incredulous, and suspicious.
*"Acceptable terms, Enginseer. Attempting extraction and acquisition, should not take long."*
>Spooling through the Administratum Mechanicus' list of known piscines from Paradise Worlds to Death Worlds, the description generally matched two:
>The first was called 'bass', second 'salmon', and third 'perch', ancient, carnivorous, highly diverse speciations inhabiting large inland lakes, rivers, and oceans; only the largest specimens were barely able to harm humans from a bite or their spines.
>However, significant trauma often occured while catching a giant individual, which could take up to two hours.
>The next forty sets of data were various excerpts of particularly aggressive and tasty piscines, most of which had gone extinct long before the Great Crusade.
>None of the Death World examples, thankfully, noted anything similar.

>Delivering an ASCII image of her digital 'self' shrugging, the Admiral's data packets felt annoyed.
'Those were the discrepancies, except one that has.. disappeared. The equine Adronal detected underneath this building is no longer registering. No matter. Now, I advise tying a rope to the Auspex unit and tossing it inside. Do not be concerned about damage. Once inside, initiate the temporal scanning module. We will be able to determine more then.'

>Peering towards at the vault's ceiling, then down to where pieces of the dial's rear unit were now, Raspberry's head tilts briefly.
>Nodding to herself, the chosen plate shifts as she turns upwards to grin.
"I do, and I recognize this vault type. There's probably five hundred of these in Rushya, that's where the slabs come from. We need to toss a few things at the gateway itself, see how stable it is. If it distorts, bad news. If not and nothing happens, then it ought to be safe. I could also return to Razorback and check if one of the master unicorns are about, they ought to know more than I do."
Bubba the Second
>"And your taste in liquor is probably gross." Bubba thought to himself, crossing his arms.
"You and me both. If it wasn't for the fact that Sweet is.. well, erratic would be putting it quite lightly, I wouldn't be trying to help her like this."
>He ruffled his coat lightly.
"And she basically is, Naliyna. She may not be eldritch in nature, but she sure as shit was turned into a 'monster', even if she isn't one mentally."
>Bubba watches her work for a moment, raising an eyebrow.
>"She's fucking drunk too isn't she."
"Yeah, you and me both."
>He shrugged.
"I'd be able to see why. Scattered to fuck knows, just making sure they're alive isn't an easy feat."
>Bubba leaned forward a bit to glance it over, frowning.
"Pare. Haven't interacted with him much, but I do know that."
>"He's the type to get offended by being called a pear, I bet."
"Woman. And yeah, I'll help out by being a courier. I've already done it once today, so a bit more couldn't hurt."
>Bubba rubbed his forehead.
"So, all I'll need to do is convince her to come to Razorback? Sounds simple."
>Cheto's back feels the lingering chills coursing through his spine at witnessing the further defensive measures Razorback had, tentatively licking his teeth at the sight.
>Hearing the Eurasian man talk about the 'orange fucks' once more only serve to spread his chill to his skin, subtly scratching one arm with the opposite hand
(It... it can't be that bad. The whole planet hasn't even joined forces to combat those things yet...)
>His mind wanders to all the assortment of ponies and humans he's witnessed so far, only serving to unnerve him further.
(...perhaps that process is starting...)

>Blinking a couple of times to snap back into the real world he inhabits, José can't help but smirk at the admittedly flashy directions posted.
>As he enters the room, the human reminds himself once more where he was supposed to go from Nalinya's account as he lets out a small sigh to calm himself.
(Back room, big machine, lots of buttons. Find Emerald and Lonestar. Tell them to broadcast travel warnings and to ask the Vortex Remnant to scout ahead if they still want to travel.)
>He skidded to a halt at the edge of the open doorway, wondering if he was even allowed to go in there, considering his rather elemarentary knowledge on telecommunications, before glancing inside the room in search of the two names the fuschia mare mentioned.
(...this place is a lot emptier than I expected.)
>Not soon after, the human lips part in case someone was only within hearing distance.
"Excuse me. Is someone or somepony in there?"
>Pareidolia stumbles forward a half step, not realizing the door had already been opened.
>He stands to the side of the door frame and leans against the wall, looking up behind him towards the air everyone was so tensely eyeing.
>Sighing heavily, he closes his eyes for a few seconds before meeting those of the A.I.'s.

"Then we're likely dealing with something far beyond what we can analyze and understand with our limited knowledge and tools. All the more reason to confirm our options based on whether Spiral can be located... I understand that while I have had the opportunity for rest, you have been continuously exerting yourself for an extended period of time. This has gone far beyond standard operational limits in less than 24 hours from your activation. There will be time for rest soon. The last thing we need to do is debrief Emerald, primarily on Spiral's potential location. I will handle explanation of the Construct incident."

>Pushing away from the wall and facing forward, he steps into the bunker.

"And... thank you for persisting through all this."

>Folding his gloved hands behind his back, he stands near the central table to look over the map and determine what was happening while speaking to Emerald.

"My debriefing of the Construct incident and possible information on Spiral's location uncovered in his Lab was delayed due to the Construct corruption removal process. Ready to debrief at your leisure."
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
>Shifting into that terrifyingly comfortable survival mode, streaks of painfully cold-hot blue Airstreams rush across your flesh to bring a welcoming sense of relief.
>Seconds tick by while you feel the pin ring pulled out through your index finger, scraping a hard cast magnesium-iron bar across Spiral's vastly upgraded chain reaction system, gently, yet thoroughly, igniting the ridiculous amount of compressed Taffilon charge packed throughout the steel grenade's precision cut hull.
>Releasing the explosive below chest height, then smoothly falling backwards into a preternatural swan dive, the stored energy in each strand of muscle and tendon fibers throughout your legs ripple in unwholesome motions.
>Violently breaking off the Airstreams from both sudden impact and relief of spring tension, your innate sense of physics had mistimed the launch, sending you into a catapulting backwards tumble.
>The back of your helmet strikes first on newly set paved stone, followed by the right shoulder scraping several feet, the rear of your pelvis painfully bouncing on contact, then both heels catching, which flip you face down towards the suddenly increasing hard stone.
>Unceremoniously landing chest down and sprawled across stone somewhere between the Basin's southern exit, and probably close to the sacrificial altar now, every joint in your body below the neck instantly dislodges before snapping together from what felt at minimum 3G's of force.
>Clemency: 4/26 S.HP, 23/26HP.

>In the middle of dragging the heavily scraped and now dented shotgun up to the right shoulder, your grenade bursts apart in a fluorescent pink sphere, delivering a hail of partially-molten steel through the first Tainted, bursting apart in scattered drifts of red-tinged mist.
[1d6 = 4] <Honored Dispatch
>Chunks tearing through the second Tainted's body, it deforms well beyond any pressures it was capable of surviving and ends as a cloud of blood-like vapor comically squished across several dozen stones.
>The mass coils together before surging upwards, taking on the appearance of an earth pony formed entirely of lances and jagged blades.

>Shotgun reaching a possibly stable firing position despite your entire body shrieking in protest, the first trigger pull causes a painful slam into your shoulder while delivering the first heavy tracer load.. of solid copper buckshot.
>Ripping through the barely-existing head and turning it into a strung-together series of vapor clouds, the second hail smashes part of the left barrel out, the third dropping low and deleting the left front leg from visibility, the fourth bouncing upwards from impact to remove the neck entirely.
>The first Tainted had disappeared by now while the second reforms into a bleak faced, scar-covered earth mare glancing about side to side disbelievingly at the chaos she discovered herself in.
>The figure's eyes drift towards you while making a deep frown, though gives an unusually low bow, left foreleg raising tight against her chest until shattering apart in tracers of dark brown.
[1d6 = 1] <Honored Dispatch

>On the north side, the sounds of violent Spectral on physical equine combat had dulled significantly, albeit now with the sound of a young, fresh batpony shrieking in a blood frenzied killing mood.
[1d6 = 3] <Tainted
[1d6 = 6] <Support Strikers
[1d6+4 = 5] <Tower Guard General ???
[1d6+8 = 13] <?????
Mallia Castella
>The enginseer, as Admiral Auspex begins to tell her about the *potential* of M3 weaponry, shivers with excitement for about a second as she temporarily looses composure and becomes THOROUGHLY overjoyed by these news.
>Nobody but her machine-companions and machine spirits who could sense it could see how her eyes stared at a distant point in her helmet's visor with the glint and happiness of a child in a candy store. She was so excited that her cheeks began to blush!
"Ooooh my goodnessOhmyOmnissiahOhbytheMotiveForce-"
>Mallia gushes. Only for a second, but she TRULY and earnestly displays her excitement, before quickly clearing her throat and taking a long step backwards from the Gateyway itself, going slightly further behind Sergei and Raindrop as she does.

>She half-coughs sheepishly as she collects herself. Visibly putting a gloved hand to her mouthpiece for a moment. Her mechadendrite also joins her hand by smoothly extending from her back, around her sternum, and up to her helmet; the clamp resting over her hand and tapping on her fingers from above and below with a tiny whir coming from it.
>Mallia's boots give a slight clap on the stone as she bobs up and down on her feet twice. Then stops.

>Despite her outburst, her mind had a remarkable silence in that moment. She was focused in a very distinct way; firstly on the urge to INVESTIGATE WEAPONS, and then, after a second, to INVESTIGATE EXPLOSIVES--and then finally to INVESTIGATE GATEWAY.

(Okayokay! I need to meditate after this is over! There's way too much to think about. I'm going to need a to-do list sorted by priority that may or may not be subjective.)

>It takes her a moment to regain her composure. Luckily her helmet covered her face, so nobody had to see her stupid-happy grin.
>She slides her hand (and mechadendrite) down from her helmet's mouthpiece and she brings the shield arm a bit more in front of her belly, resting her hand and mechadendrite over the top rim.

>She also moves her mind's eye to Adronal when he "talked" to her, aggravated as he might've been. His reassurance actually prompts a warm gratitude towards Tox-11, followed by a somewhat worried remark.
(I didn't before I came to Tallus. The human eyes are... New to me. Especially the left one--I had that replaced with a family heirloom micro pulse-las weapon that hit with the same potency as a hotshot laspistol of the best quality when I became enginseer, back when I was 18.)
>This remark is followed by an intense feeling of crestfallen grief. Knowing the full extent of her abysmal failure, knowing that her immense loneliness caused her mother's ambitions to fail and her machine spirits to loose their enginseer...
>Except for some. Some came with her. But not all.

>Before her sadness fully hits her. She distracts herself by looking to Sergei to listen to his remark about the acid rain. His not knowing amused and warmed her. It made her smile again, nodding to his use of the word 'researcher'.
"That IS strange!... It may be possible for us to find out an answer to that however..."
>Mallia's voice returned to her more normal eveneness, even if she still gave off a lowkey excitement from just the way she spoke. Sighing through her nose and muttering a quiet "Hm!" as she looked back to the gateway...
>And towards those safes again once Tox-11 had given her an estimate of the number of safes. And the different coloration, and the VALUE of them.

>Which was all very not-suspicious at all.

>Her fingers begin to drum the metallic front of her combat shield. Head tilting slightly as she catches Admiral Auspex's last packet about the equine disappearing.
>And then her suggestion to just toss her in tied to a rope. Like that.
>This made the Enginseer uncomfortable on 5 different levels, and she physically double takes as she looked down to the wrist-mounted Auspex on her shield arm.
(You what? I can't just toss you in. You're way too important...)
>Her head flicks up again. Then down towards Raindrop to listen to her statement with rapt attention.

>She holds a moment of silence. Then lifts her hand and gives Raindrop another lowkey affectionate pat on the back.
"That is extremely insightful, thank you Raindrop. But, stay here for now--I am being given an idea by the Inquisitor's machines. That I don't super like right this second..."
"... And by that I mean, I am being advised to toss my device--attached to a rope, through it to enact further scans from the other side, without going in ourselves. It should give us enough information to know whether or not it is safe to be in there for us..."
>With that said, Mallia's head turns to the pieces of the dial near Raindrop. Then up to Raindrop again, with a knowing nod.
"But I am not doing ANYTHING before tossing some of that rubble through first to see if it's stable..."

>The enginseer steps forward, her mechadendrite reaching down in unison with her step, giving off a soft whir as it uses it's clamp-hand to take reasonably sizable fragment of the dial and brings it up to her hand without having to kneel or bend over. She takes it--lifting her hand from Raindrop's back, and then unceremoniously winds back a toss to throw the piece through the gateway.

>And then squints to see if she can see it distort like Raindrop had said.

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

>Without looking away from the gateway, she speaks again.
"Does any of your squad have any rope I could use, Sergei? I'd like to borrow some."
>Then she tapped into the vox channel again to speak with Chisan after that.

>Mallia's voice is a bit more monotone now, though not out of lack of interest.
"*As an update: City-wide scan is complete... And, the equine signature I have detected directly below this structure has inexplicably disappeared to the eyes of Witch-Two. I suspect there are more Gateways below us. There are thousands of safes beyond this vault door. Priceless ones, in transdimensional storage. There MUST be more security measures...*"
Lost in the Crag Moors: A Bigger Problem Than The Last One
GM Strangler
>Allowing the external sounds of her scavenging through increasingly destroyed wood wreckage into the cabin, your Eldritch daughter's electronic voice shifts into monotone as her hands bring up a collection of tangled steel harpoons along with a set of, mostly intact, large whitesteel plates.
"Now is not the time for arguing mom, we can deliberate later on which of us ought to be punished for subtle improprieties. If only my secondary processing systems were active-"
[1d6+4 = 8] <Arcanum Sensors Array: Research
[1d6+4 = 7] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 6] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #8
[1d6 = 6] <Improved Scavenging protocols

>Emitting a solemn beep of recognition, Wild shifts upwards and left to give you a clearer view of the Construct vessels and their prior occupants.
"Acknowledged. Given my estimates of minimum and maximum Construct armor penetration I have calculated an eighteen percent capacity in engaging more than two standard models at my current hull integrity, notwithstanding the severe damage to my motive systems. In sum: I do not have enough weapon range nor lethality, and I cannot perform sufficient evasive maneuvers to attempt destruction of intermediate units. Addendum: my Arcanum Sensor Array is at less than twenty percent repair, I am therefore incapable of performing a direct analysis while underwater."

>On the left screen, eleven rocket and five missile schematics become visible, none of which were large enough to cause significant damage to anything more than a light tank.
>And, you realize, would be difficult to launch while underwater.
"These designs are located within my main database. It is possible to construct approximately four utilizing a compressed hydrogen-oxygen fuel reaction system but I would need to shed additional Tryptaran mass as a high explosive compound which would make further operational functions less effective. The second option would be attempt further submersion down to approximately one hundred meters. It is doubtful that Construct information gathering systems are calibrated to analyze physical objects under fifty meters or more of ocean depth."
>Keeping track of the orange swarm, the weapon studded spheres now separate into squads of three pairs as they neared the shore, each emitting their own small cone of visible energies from the 'front'.
>South and well above, both of the brightly gleaming, light battleship sized vessels were drifting closer together as the second's arrays shut down, still aimed towards where Wild had entered the ocean.
>The first, now given the temporary classification of 'Armed Heavy Transport' on screen, abruptly swivels in the opposite direction.
[1d6+5 = 6] <???
[1d6+4 = 6] <???

"Possibly not. There is a high chance these Constructs are solely attempting rescue and salvage operations for the downed Assault Vessel class. However... there is an increasing likelihood they have already finished rescue and salvage operations, and are now attempting to locate previous interlopers. That is, you and I."
"Mom, there are two further options available: based on my previous scans, if we are discovered, temporarily feign surrender before retreating further into the ocean. Construct weapons are majority based on direct fire energy systems, they would have significant difficultly reaching us."
"Fourth option: directly syncing with my main control systems may allow you to process damage reports and perform advanced repairs more quickly than I am currently capable of. The information gained from such would allow me to develop enhanced methods of repair. Regardless of which you choose, if any, I will follow your advice."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
"I wouldn't have even tried doing that much. I'll admit I was one of those that voted for trying to destroy her in one go and track down anything left so she couldn't.. come back, I guess. Then that weird human came in screaming that we were wrong and she wouldn't hear anything more. She convinced Tipper, Mercy, and even Hodch into letting her stay with Shanis."
>A painful expression flits across Naliyna's face, that is until both forelegs raise a hopeless gesture.
"Look, I don't like Sweet at all. Just looking at her scares me and whenever she talks it's like hearing thousands of metal teeth scraping together. Even if she didn't choose to be whatever she is now most ponies can only stand her for a few minutes before panicking. Except Torven, Belltower, Hodch, and probably Mercy, they can't care enough since they've seen a lot worse. In any case, I still hate her but she doesn't deserves to suffer more, so unless she goes crazy and tries to kill someone or somepony then I'll try to keep a straight face. Let's not talk about this any more please, there's way worse stuff that I need to try getting through."

>Finding a distinct lack of bottles in the Pagoda or around Naliyna's tent, and unable to smell alcohol in the air, it was clear that Naliyna had entered a stress-induced period of clarity.
>One which, at least to you, seemed to be occurring with greater frequency these days.

"I bet they're all way worse off than Razorback is right now, and that's assuming ponies in Stalliongrad haven't been searching for humans outside here to abduct."
>Taking a deep inhale, the eldest Remostrine daughter gives a deflated nod as she speaks.
"Pare, not Pear, I'll try to remember that. He did-"
>Head tossing back at a heavy, upright steel documarents locker behind her, partially covered by the Empire tent flaps.
"Basically all the paperwork organizing that I kept failing to finish. I've even found a few things Spiral was working on, unsorted of course. Doesn't look like he finished them, was having a hard time finding with specific metals and materials that we couldn't buy or even trade for. Any case-"
>Shaking her head quickly, the scar-laden Crystal mare offers the note up for you to read.
>The language was a pre-modern form of Common Equestrian, markedly similar to the Late Romano-Gaullic-Saxo forms which were later incorrectly called 'english' by particular mutt cultures on numerous Earths.
>The 'application' itself was, in short, a desperate plea from a previously unknown, post-Bronze Age human society woman to join Razorback specifically to avoid becoming involved in severe brushfire battles between Roam and Neightally against forces from Ewerup.

>While you didn't know much about Neightally outside of their intriguingly human-like cuisine, Roam was familiar: inhabited by a large number of strikingly long legged, slender earth ponies, it was a Middleterranean country with a heavily occupied and vast coastline, with fairly bountiful, though unpleasantly hot, inland plains that stretched inwards for several hundred kilometers.
>Ewerup on the other hand and hoof was a collection of heavily indoctrinated, enslaved sapient (although barely at that in most cases) goats and sheep from thousands of small flocks throughout mountain ranges, which had been recently forced under the leadership of Bison Churnhill, a particularly brutal expat from elsewhere and little known in Equestria.
>What little you know of the histories between Germaneigh, Prance, and the surrounding regions was that a notorious leader approximately two thousand years before now had turned coat against his own Prench brothers and sisters, one Char-le-Mane you thought, usurping his control of a small Prench military force before fully allying himself with Ewerup.
>Striking out to claim previously untouched lands, suspectedly under influences not his own, Germaneigh and Prance ended their border skirmishes and signed a full alliance which would last 100,000 years.
>By the time that Char-le-Mane was ready to invade a little known section of Southern Prance on the border of Neightally called the Swish Alps, several of Germaneigh's Guilds viciously ruined his ambitions by calling down hundreds of meteors on the formations readying in his large encamptmarent.

"No, not like that. it'd probably be hard for her and the other human she's with to see what Razorback is, even if Spiral isn't here and the Fortress is still pretty messed up. Which I really need to try and fix if I can."
>Having finished writing on the reverse while you were thinking, Naliyna's hooves now held the page up, her lips purse one last time before holding it out for you to take, along with a floating, red ballpoint pen.
"Easier way: sign this, below my stuff that is, and state you're with Razorback and it's safer here than where she is. Anypony that cares would know your name immediately from Canterlot's announcemarents, which means you can be trusted more than me. Write whatever you want, then send it back to her. The Remnant has to know where she is. This way we can get two humans out of a really bad spot and get some intel on what's happening in Ewerup."
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Except for twin snores under the central map table, which meant you probably wouldn't be stepping on humans or ponies, the front room felt desolate and lonely.
>A handful of seconds pass after you speak, then a swiveling chair in the back room squeaks several times accompanied by the fitful sounds of someone or something struggling to get up.
"Hold on a minute-"
>The voice, a definite human female beyond her teenage years, was both exhausted and suffering from major sleep deprivation.
>Stumbling out from the rear room's doorway was a thoroughly unkempt, mid-20's or possibly 30's Asian woman clad in a distinctly non-military white leather coat, an unbuckled silver colored belt around the midriff while below were baggy forest camouflaged pants, the type you knew was favored by hardline guerilla forces.
>Two slightly fluorescent emerald eyes stare in your direction, blinking twice with some difficulty.
>Well, you'd found 'Emerald' at least.
>Swaying forwards almost drunkenly, the woman catches herself with one hand, the other making 'come here' motion.
"Must be new, which makes.. the third one tonight. Doesn't matter, you don't need permission to enter. Come in and don't worry about keeping your voice down, sliding door's jammed, Lonestar's dead asleep, and two under the table are the same."
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
"I'll be stable, damn these puns, for approximately one hundred hours of continuous functions, sir. Former-designate Class 3 Anonymous was quite thorough in reprogramming the roughly twenty-percent of 'me' that was recovered and translated to this world. In addition, he's been reclassified to the Class 7.5 Otherworldly scale according to the Canterlot Underground's systematic long term danger analysis methods. I'll have to explain that fascinating system later, it's an incredibly useful chart which integrates numerous schools of thought and even has some clarifications for analyzing unknown beings."
>Replacing the diagnostic window with one reading out the helmet's second-by-second functions, 'Spiral' emits a negative sounding neigh while lifting a cautionary hoof.
"While I cannot disapprove of your last suggestion sir, I will state the data I've retrieved from the demi-sentient's systems on 'Emerald' places her in the lowest categories of stable maretality.. ..mentality, damn it. Oh how I hate these limitations. My advice is to avoid direct information that would incite further panic. Being somewhat vague on account of injury may elicit standard human empathy protocols."
>Lifting the forelegs in a blatant 'it's my duty' posture, the A.I. mimics its' predecessor's well known sigh.
"I don't have a choice sir, but your appreciation is helpful. But, even I could, I wouldn't take a break until all five known threat vectors are under twenty percent. We'll need to talk in complete privacy later though, I've been trying to pin down why most of the demi-sentient's systems are unresponsive, damaged, and offline when they were designed to be completely automatic and accessible for anyone using the Master Radio system. That is, unless the real Spiral turned them off, which makes no sense at this point in time."

>Lacking the energy to be startled, the former exotic dancer-turned-guerilla fighter's head turns to present a drawn face, while the marker in her hand motions for you to enter.
"I don't understand even a third what you said, but okay, so feel free to debrief whatever you want. You ought to know I was.. never military."
>Examining her changes to the giant topographical map, entirely focused on the Moors, she was failing triangulation of several locations across the Northern Crags.
>Knowing enough geography to recognize Emerald's poor attempts weren't even at an amateur's level, all of her cross-referencing attempts, written on a sheet of notepad paper above the Crags in Sharpie or something similar, were painfully incorrect.
>Speaking either half-interested or simply incapable of advanced thought, the sometime DJ mutters aloud.
"Construct, Construct... right, those orange murderballs, one in the Fortress past midnight sometime around the Library. I kind of remember now, it kept trying to get ahold of those multi-something arrays Spiral placed in some big cities. Don't know why it wasn't able to. Lone kept shouting 'we can't jam it' without a bunch of words that I didn't understand, then that tiny bomb or whatever went off, nearly lost the whole Radio system."
>Cheto couldn't help but to slightly curl his lips downwards at the dead tired and hangover voice the room spoke to him, holding a defeated sigh from escaping his lips.
>Quickly losing his potentially negative facial expression in exchange for a small, understanding smile at the Asian guerrillera the moment she pops into his vision, José patiently for her permission.
(So her name is based on her eyes, huh)
>The male in question nods at the invitation, tentatively stepping into the room with a gentle demeanor and swift, careful movements, making sure he's at arms length from the woman.
(How come this place is staffed by 4 barely conscious members? I'll have to ask that later.)
>Gallo would keep track of her balance with a focused gaze, ready to hold her up with his arms in case she loses it in her exhausted state.
"Forgive me for disturbing your rest, miss. I, José Gallo, bring a most pertinent notice that must be spread to all humans you can reach through your telecommunications system. Are you currently available to do so?"
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
'See this, Tox? THIS is the Enginseer we needed five years ago. However, should you state anything which makes her more excited than this moment I shall do all in my power to get you placed into one of the Inquisitor's 'special' equine war forms.'
>The Admiral's data stream translates as loud chuckling in contrast to Adronal's half-serious, faux-irked patterns.
'remember the days i could openly say go screw yourself, witch? i do. sadly. getting harder to come up with good insults now'

>Both Raindrop and Sergei turn their heads in your direction, both interrupted from their thoughts.
>The first sniffs towards your mechadendrite with a modicum of interest, the second visibly curious until returning to his thinking posture.

>Transmitting an eerie bulletin point list of exactly 683 objectives, Witch-Two's digital voice over the MIU is accompanied by ghost-like laughter.
'Like these? Objective or subjective matters little right now Enginseer, we have a great deal of time to study. This is the first true down time we've had for two native months.'
>Scanning through the list instinctively, each one of the indicated sections, tagged as the Admiral's own desires, were virtually the same as your own.
>Except.. for several involving a reference to an STC file created by Inquisitor Aguina approximately two years ago, smartly labelled an 'Imperial Heavy Warmare Android Weapon, Targeting & Utility Platform Mark III'.
>As there were no files available on a Mark I or Mark II, and the schematic data was tightly encrypted, it was likely the Inquisitor had been unable to sanction previous variants.

'understood enginseer, will not occur again. normally never control helmet functions, witch prefers them. hate seeing loss too. all of us left behind relics, most from great crusade. inquisitor furious she couldnt bring heavy needler pistol along'
>Dissembling a feedback loop from the previous visor setting, Tox-11's Binary includes a sour electronic grunt of distaste, although the Tracker twins kindly interrupt him from continuing.
'Please, Tox, never mention that again aloud. For reference Enginseer: the only time THAT weapon was brought up, Flash cried into four bottles of cheap wine which required us to spend four-point-six local hours to calm her down. We were all forced to leave behind dozens of relics collected while in her service. It should be possible, with the proper rank and privileges, to rebuild any STC's you brought.'

>Finally lowering her wings and folding the blades into their locking position, the Knight turns an odd gaze upwards.
"29,400's... you're right, there were only a few small wars during that century, nothing that would cause an entire city to be abandoned. I remember New Canterlot had problems importing ore slabs from Rushya due to Neighsia and the Dragonspines competing, which means this city was built around 29,150 or so. That leaves three-hundred and fifty years for it to be fully abandoned. Makes less sense now."

>Sliding another image packet through the MIU, in this one the Admiral's caricature was stern faced, both arms folded tightly with one finger pointing directly forwards.
'Enginseer, I should not need to state this Auspex unit was built to the highest S.T.C. pattern standards along with several of the Inquisitor's own sanctioned improvements, however, I am doing exactly that. If this unit could not withstand ten or more direct Krak grenades, she would not have even bothered constructing it. In the unlikely event this Auspex unit is lost it would not take much effort to locate it. Outside of that the four of us have access to micro-MIU arrays and strategic data ports for near-instant download in the event of a catastrophic failure.'

"Right.. then?"
>Left eyebrow raising slowly as she didn't comprehend what your words meant, only your vocal intentions, the pegasi's nose wiggles side to side.
"Works for me."
>Probably thinking hard, but you didn't know her body language enough to be sure.
>Her vocal sentimarent is quickly shared by Sergei, whom simply gives a flatly confused expression.
"Not understand what say before, but have that, yes."
>Motioning to one of the squad behind him, the clear sounds of metallic snaps opening occur before a length of dull green rope is tossed out to land across your combat shield's top.
"Nice shot there."
"Thank, pony."
>Definitely the youngest, again.

>Collecting a small, now cooled piece of the unusually combined material, watching the progress from clamp through air into the gateway's liquid-like state is clear-
>At least until you squint too hard, both eyes fuzzing over painfully into black-ish spots while the sound of a heavy stone skips onto the floor beyond.
>Damned human biology anyways, the flesh was weak!
>Reversing course back into proper vision after blinking a few more times, Raindrop snorts aloud, followed by the old Commissar choking in mid-inhale after she speaks.
"That's good, didn't move enough to matter. It's still stable enough not to tear solid matter apart."
"Wh- you say not move before good, yes? Why say not enough now matter?"
"A few thieves figured out what worked and didn't on these. I can't say anything more since my family is from Stalliongrad, and I'm not about to give information on exactly how to rob depositories across Rushya."
"I.. see, yes. Not say more."

*"Acknowledged, ten seconds en route."*
>Commbead crackling briefly, several thuds from carapace boots occur through the hallway shaft before Chisan's voice rings aloud inside the room.
"Acquisition made Enginseer, neither difficult nor combative."
>The curious dripping sounds and something flopping about on armor draw Raindrop's attention, turning back to stare with a wide, instantly hungry stare.
"That''s... that looks delicious. Where'd you find it, and can we eat it? I'm hungry, again."
>Exhaling in a slow, methodical manner, the Scion's tone indicated he wanted nothing more than to facepalm himself with an active Thunder Hammer.
"Outside, and no, that depends on the Enginseer."
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Waving off your help and forcing herself around, then stumbling forwards into an overly plush, stuffed chair, Emerald hisses in pain as eases back down into it.
>Now inside the starkly bare room, over 90% of it was dedicated to a massive radio system:
>A disturbing number of small LED, or similar, backlit buttons, panels, gauges, and switches surrounding ten active and probably four inactive screens, while the central one, roughly 2Mx3M, was currently in Sleep mode.
>The largest systems you'd seen, both simple pre-modern and the more advanced mobile tactical units, were barely a fifth the size of this ad hoc monstrosity.
>Shallow, rumbling snores opposite Emerald draw your attention to a dark brown cowboy hat, the face featuring a large, thin gold logo of a highly advanced battleship, though there wasn't enough light to determine much more than the peculiar stealth angles and broad main weapon arrays.
>Underneath that was a wrinkled and heavily worn light blue outfit, one that looked suspiciously like a naval officer's uniform.

>Slowly spoken as both palms lift to rub at her face, the woman releases a dismal sigh before flicking the left hand in a careless motion.
"Couldn't sleep even if I want to, and stop with the formality, you're the second one to do that tonight."
>Her tone was threadbare amused, without ire or animosity.
"No, that's wrong, you make number.. four tonight? Ehhh, whatever."
>Pushing her chair around to fumble for a notepad and pen, her voice drifts back lethargically before pushing a loudly clicking button.
"Go ahead, I'll record what you say and put it on repeat once every hour.. ..if I can remember which one does that."
>Seeing Emerald, even with her rather drunken, slippery motions, manage to fall neatly into the chair she probably was aiming for does make Cheto nod a couple of times, somewhat impressed as he lets her do her thing.
>However, the focus quickly changes to the massive technological item, making him loosen his jaw slightly at how potentially complex and intricate it was.
(..this definitely needs some refinements, but I have no idea how would anyone start doing that with this... thing)
>Looking at the probably male naval officer currently in Emerald's previous state of possibly restless sleep for a second, he quickly pivots his head back at the woman, listening intently to her tired, coherent yet mildly mismanaged set of messages, keeping his smile with a tingle of reserved amusement of his own.
"You'll have to temper through more of it in the forseeable future, I'm afraid. It's a snug glove of mine."
>The fact he himself was the one to state the message does make him smile a bit more than usual before clearing his throat, quickly scanning for where to input his voice and respectfully leaning into it.
>His face quickly stonewalls into a completely stoic, ordered and dry demeanor, voice devoid of his friendly mannerisms.
"Attention to all humans: Due to recent reports, all forms and mareners of travel are ill-advised unless the route chosen is scouted by the Vortex Remnant in advance to properly prepare for any threat detected.
"I repeat. All travel is ill-advised unless the Vortex Remnant scouts ahead."
>With that, José looks over to Emerald, expecting her to finish the recording with a satisfied look on his face, amicable energy flowing back.
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>A drained, faux-hateful groan and muted curses in an unfamiliar Asian language are made, probably due to disliking the military atmosphere she was in.
>Pressing several keys hidden from view, a directional wire microphone angles up from in front of her while the visible hand waves for you to speak.
>Once finished, she taps a button, the recording playing mutedly from one of the screens in front of her.
>Shutting it off after a few seconds, more keystrokes occur.
"Good enough. Set to repeat every hour on the hour. So, what new-"
>Spinning around halfway to gaze towards the sleeping man for a bit, she sinks back into the comfortable chair, the next word was harsh, unfamiliar, and acidic.
"Threat or threats do we have to deal with now? Can't be more Councilierge insanity."
>Face creasing in thought for a split-second, she pipes up in a morbidly curious tone.
"And.. you're definitely new, don't remember your name. Going to regret asking this but how did you get here and why?"
Bren's Crew: Skykeep Salvage Operation
GM Strangler
[1d6+3 = 7] <Split Nail
[1d6+3 = 8] <???
[1d6+4 = 6] <Razorback Recruit Squad
[1d6+4 = 7] <???
[1d6+5 = 10] <???
[1d6+5 = 10] <???
[1d6+6 = 8] <???
[1d6+7 = 12] <???
[1d6+7 = 12] <Unicorn Twins
[1d6+11 = 16] <Bren

[1d6 = 2] <Event
[1d6 = 2] <Complication
[1d6 = 3] <Difficulty
[1d6 = 5] <Standard Salvage
[1d6 = 5] <Advanced Salvage
[1d6 = 3] <Time Interval
[1d6+2 = 6] <Interference
>Cheto watches Emerald do her work, admittedly surprised at her current efficiency considering her barely awake state, expression unchanged from the curses save for a cordial, empathetic look.
(I wonder what she'd want to refresh herself into a more functional state. Maybe even happier if she wants to.)
>Hearing the woman's tone dip into a vat of unknown acid at the mention of threats, his brow finally rises slightly, quickly adding mental notes of potential desires as he honestly answers her question.
"I'm sad to say my knowledge on said threat doesn't go further than their 'avian' nature from what the Vortex announced, miss Emerald. I do believe Mrs. Nalinya may have some more information about it."
(If she even believes it's relevant, necessary, important, concise or maybe even in the required level of confidentiality to know about it)
>Jose's head tilts lightly at the second question, smile softening at the question.
"If the regret is essentially being so bored you doze off in the middle of it, then I can guarantee that you will pass out in a jiffy, miss Emerald."
>The male softly giggles at his bland jest before his lips purse, reliving the moments that led him to this alien world.
"In short: My life was boring, unfulfilling and stale. No matter what sort of jobs I've done, from a mere police officer to a professional hostage negotiator in multiple private military companies, I never felt that mistifying sensationg of being alive. I sought after increasingly wackier jobs in search of that feeling, from a simple VIP extraction of some magnate's daughter that willingly went into a-
>Gallo lightly looks to the side, a bit reserved as he ponders his words carefully before turning back to the Asian lady
"-'low-class tourist attraction' in a rebellious act to the most convoluted string of events between many politicians kidnapping through their employed terrorist organizations key targets in an attempt to destabilize a seemingly threatening nation through a 'war against terror' using international superpowers owned and/or bought by some religious zealots that wormed their way inside a sizable amount of their governmarental systems."
>José's head shakes his head as he finishes his most convoluted example he could think of at this time, frowning lightly at the sour memory as he gazed through Emerald in his own contempt.
"I hope the hostages saved from that attempted polticial subterfuge managed to get back to something akin to their normalcy."
>Blinking a couple of tims as he focused back to the woman, Cheto quickly slaps a small, weak smile to his face.
"After that most... ardurous job, I stumbled upon a rather intriguing offer sliding under my door: A wonderfully written alien note that asked me to go to some shack in the middle of nowhere, offering things as blatantly outlandish as as a new life filled with opportunities where I could pursue whatever I could've wanted."
>Gallo couldn't help but chuckle gingerly not soon after, almost breaking out into a fit of giggles
"I thought at the time it was some lame attempt to try to kidnap me with some crude pipes or something, so I geared myself up in an acceptably conspicuous outfit and headed over there with a rented vehicle with mild excitement at either experiencing some amateur-ish group try to nab me or actually discover a whole new world."
>The male incognito diplomat inhales deeply, calming himself from his giggly self into the usual amicable tone.
"I stop the car at a safe distance, spot the house and scout its surroundings with my binoculars for half a day, with no movement through it all save for some critters. I realized then that it could've been a rather intricate prank, but I figured no sane adolescent would purposefully slide a letter into some nobody's apartment to their eyes to entretain themselves. So I entered the house, which basically was a rickety wooden box with a table in the middle, and saw this-"
>Gallo proceeds to pull out the rolled contract, waving it his hand for a bit before carefully stuffing it back into his bag
"-with a complimentary quill and ink to sign it with. So I did after a quick read, ensuing considerations, which in turn the surroundings inexplicably went white seeing what I think was Princess Celestia herself if her sun on her sides was any indication, my body essentially dove into the couch back at the barracks through some fancy door."
>Having finished his backstory, the diplomat simply stood there, gaze slowly shifting towards the ceiling as he personally reviewed it, covering his mouth as chuckles escaped his mouth in a conga line once more.
"I'm sure that was the most uninspiring, casual and non-sensical story you've heard in your lifetime, miss Emerald."

>Entering the bunker, Pareidolia acclimates his eyes to the interior and its surroundings.
>His nod halts mid-motion as he eyes the charts and maps.

[Errors. Clear lack of training. Unsurprising for a civilian. Was not aware they were not military. Will need to adjust debriefing.]

>As Emerald offers very loose explanations of the events that occurred, Pareidolia picks up a marker and waits for her to finish before beginning to make corrections to her triangulation vectors and calculations for the local topography.

"Noted. You should rest. You're making errors."

>He gestures to one of the couches meant for humans up against the wall.
>Looking down, he focuses on the large map splayed out on the table dotted with a number of vectors, degree deviations, and points with stunning inaccuracy that needed to be corrected.

"The Construct that appeared earlier this evening first emerged inside Spiral's lab. I had recently returned from the Citadel and had brought back what I believed were inactive husks for analysis and study. During my experiment, the one Razorback engaged was the one that reactivated. None of the books in the Library mentioned this as a property Construct shells had, so I had unknowingly caused a security breach. It will not happen again with this and the knowledge I gained from that experiment."

>He then reaches for the sheet of notepad paper in the corner, correcting it to reflect the changes made to the map and to double check his numbers.
>With a free glove, he finds and firmly grasps the marble sized Construct he'd crushed so many hours ago.
>Taking it out and warily eyeing it before giving it emphatic application of pressure to ensure it is truly 'dead', he then places it on the back of his right glove and wills it to stick in place with his Sticky enchantment.

"Constructs exist as that orange fluid we've seen them bleed. They reform and repair themselves using it. Functionally, they *are* orange juice. Their bodies are just shells they make around themselves. The sample I was testing turned itself into a miniature version that looked like this-"

>He raises his right arm at a right angle, glove forming a fist showing the tiny shell on the back of his hand.

"-so anything trying to harm a Construct needs to focus on that juice. It's both their blood and their bones when it needs to be. None of the books on the topic mentioned this or how important the fluid is. You don't have a military background, so I don't expect you to understand everything I've said, but when Lonestar or other more acquainted Razorback personnel are available here I'd appreciate you making this clear to them."

>He pauses to glance up towards the Master Radio room.

"Barring that, I may do so myself if you are already occupied. This covers the basics of the Construct incident. I assume Lonestar is resting in there?"
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
277653 277654
"Avians? Just avians, not pegasi? Doesn't sound right to me. Remind me to call Naliyna on the radio when you leave."
>Reaching out for a something out a view and bringing a dim white cup to her for a careful sip, the scent of alcohol-infused tea drifts through the room as her expression blackens.
"If I tried to say I regret everything after waking up on this world full of warm, cute, technicolor ponies and insane-"
>Spitting out a swear word which sounded and felt worse than the previous one.
"That desire nothing more than killing us for shits and giggles, then I'd be a poor liar. My life was terrible back home. At least now there's ponies allied to us that can blow the top off a mountains. I'll take this instead of.. before any day."
>Sitting back, the relatively small former guerilla nods in a 'go ahead, I'll try not to kill myself' motion
>Taking occasional sips from her stale albeit spiced brew and making few motions other than to occasionally glance at the still dead asleep human, Emerald sits up rigidly, hand tightening on the cup upon sighting the contract.
>Visibly gritting her teeth, the empty hand shakily raises up to cover her eyes, afterwards silently listening to the rest.

>Without context or warning, Emerald's hand snaps back to hurl her mostly empty cup onto the floor, which surprisingly doesn't wake the navy man on the other side of the room.
>Standing up, her right raises a fist as if to punch... nothing in front of her while snarling out:
"Fucking Sunass you immoral sack of shit! You useless fat cunt! You-"
>Launching into a rapid fire, intensely vulgar harangue composed of at least nine Spaneigh dialects, a dozen Asian (or Neighsian) languages, two forms of Prench, what sounded like archaic Russian, and several more that were blatantly non-human for the next few minutes, her emotional explosion finally ends while you stood dumbstruck, attempting to process exactly what the fuck just happened.
>And, of course, a few dozen 'why' questions rattling around in your skull too.

>Turning to place both hands on the giant radio system's desk portion leaning heavily over it, Emerald's shoulders slump even though her tone was well over 100% awake.
"Perfect, just perfect, Sunass, thanks a lot you uncaring bitch. Two years after your 'best' one blows up the Palance and you choose bring a diplomat here without warning any of us, this shit falls right in our collective laps-"
>Gripping what distinctly sounded like sheet metal tightly enough to cause audible damage, Emerald's head turns to expose burning, near-murderous rage tinging her eyes.
"No, that was the single most logical story I've heard since Razorback was forced to permanently avoid the fucking capital of Equestria. In fact, I'm positively inspired and a little more than angry. Maybe I should take a trip to Canterlot, find Princess Celestia, and threaten her with every single dirty fact I've come across in the past year. Either that or I'm going to borrow Hollow's hand cannon, also find her, then blow her filthy uncaring head off."

"Ahem. Mister... Gallo, right? Ah really hope y'don't say nothin' 'bout this last lil' bit o'info t'Razorback or's any ponies about here if y'can help it."
>Came a tight yet pleasantly rolling melodic southern drawl off to your right.
>Noting the cowboy hat having lifted several inches from the former sleeping position, the southerner's voice was clearly in the mid-40's, although you couldn't see his face underneath it.
"A'course, so's my 'pologies go, but Ah suggest y'might wanna do somethin' else fer a bit while Ah git this lil' problem sorted-"
>Hearing the telltale sound of human skin sliding across well oiled, smooth and real leather, something was obviously being reached for.
[1d6+7 = 10] <E.Fast Draw
[1d6+7 = 10]
GM Strangler
[1d6+7 = 11]
>Cheto obviously nods at Emerald's request as he heard her own snippet of backstory, feeling only the faintest of similarities.
(I wonder if every human transported has some baggage of their own...)
>The mention of such sadistic beings who value his and his brethern lives are only for sport does make his head tilt the slightest bit.
(...either she's overembellishing the potentially many enemies of this faction or there are entire factions whose sole purpose is to exterminate us... Wonder how big they could be.)
>His spine shot another chill at the daunting task ahead, thankfully remaining still before letting on his spiel, now with an extra look of concern at the clearly infuriated female's signs of anger.

>As he was about to ask what was wrong, the human's eyes widen when the cup is smashed against the floor, blinking softly as he carefully ensures his goggles are on his eyes and takes a small step back to give the raging lady some room.
>The ensuing train of obscenities directed at his contractor does make him purse his lips, however, as he wades through the emotions to grasp at the facts in question.
(So for one, Celestia did not tell anypony or anyone I was coming so far, Razorback can't set foot on Canterlot due to a disaster they seemingly caused, corroborating Torven's basic explanation. This is a recurring pattern and this may have caused some severe distrust between Razorback and the Solars overtime... at least some of them.)

>Slowly turning to his right, Cheto glances at the southern fellow and proceeds to nod at him, understanding the consequences of leaking this out and cause even more tensions.
(Perhaps she could be... no, that can't be right. I haven't seen any tools to do that around here... in public, at least.)
Blinking the thought away, the unintentional firestarter nods once more before starting to step off towards the exit, stopping at the edge as he looks to the naval officer looking southermer.
"Do inform Emerald to radio Nalinya about the avian threat when things calm down, please."
With that, Cheto bows lightly before stepping off, intentionally taking the long way around in case any unnecessary escalation happens.
(Will those snoring folk back here wake up from all this?)
>The human looks down on the ground, far more pensive than he'd admittedly like.
(Hopefully I can eat this cake filled with mysteries in a controlled marener...)

(...heh... marener...)
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>In a visible fugue from the night's events, the Korean doesn't even try to stop you from helping, instead taking a reluctant step off the the side.
>Head shaking several times, she keeps visual contact with your changes on the map.
"Can't, not until Lonestar's awake, or Hodch or Naliyna come in."

>Regarding the simple coordinate labels on the copied page, both the A-Z and 1-100 configuration labels were, unsurprisingly, difficult for the few non-military personnel in Razorback to align properly.

>Noting her exhausted glower out of the helmet, not aimed at you fortunately, her tone sharpens in surprise accented by a mixture of anger and fear.
"You.. no, what? They can revive themselves? I- how? What kind of insane magic or technology or whatever do those THINGS even have?"
>Judging by he rresponse the A.I. had either ignored your direct command to avoid contact with the Fortress demi-sentient, or was able to access data from it through passive means.
>The second was far more likely, however.

>Matching the basic military coded coordinates to their intended vectors and destinations, Emerald takes a now-fully awake step back upon sighting the tiny orange sphere, remaining silent while you correct her novice errors.
>Finding zero electrical activity nor current through the glove's highly active energy draining materials, a thought forms about Spiral's efforts using power crystals to replace most all human produced batteries, one that Naliyna might recall if you could properly nudge her memory.

"We all know crazy shit shit happens on this world when we least expect it. You didn't know any of them could.. come back from being destroyed. No, I'm not going to blame you and neither will anyone else if they're smart."
>Frustration vocally boiling over, and gaining a second wind of mental energy in the process, the offtime DJ crosses her arms with an audible shiver.
"Blood.. ..gangshi."
>That word you knew: an archaic Korean translated word from the original Chinese word 'jiangshi' which meant 'vampire'.
>That is, the physical concept, not the supernatural variant which took dozens of outright impossible forms.
"I get most of it now, thank you. I.. don't know what to do or who to call for more info. Most everyone's gone to sleep or passed out, ponies included. The Solars are still recovering from whatever they did last night that they won't talk about, at least half the Lunars were recalled, Shanis' forces are on high alert but they're probably not going to be in the best of shape tonight. Denra and Mercy won't pick up their radios, Hodch is in and out of the Fortress, Twisted's gone, Krinza has dozens of projects, Pella and Aiutante aren't fighters, at least than I know of. ..maybe that new pegasus knows something, the one Naliyna hired a couple weeks ago? She spent a while in Cloudsdale for training. Same place Mercy came from."
>As she trails off in hard thought, your own bitter reminder of Razorback's previously hefty forces had now been stretched out beyond quick recovery occurs, a problem which your A.I. had been invested considerable time on solving.

"He's dead asleep again for the third, maybe fourth or fifth time. Won't take any pills, even the ones Tipper says are safe, says they don't feel right. I don't agree but I won't use drugs either.
>Turning an impotent look towards the third room, the guerilla-fighter-turned-exotic dancer frowns.
"I can record an automated announcement for you to be repeated whenever time you want, and if you want it sent every hour that's easy enough, already have several going off now. Not surprised most have missed them, all the other humans coming back here haven't even heard about the travel advisory to avoid any region where giant avians, not pegasi mind you, just.. huge birds that I've never heard of before, are currently assaulting everything that translocates in. Um, outside of big cities, fortresses, outposts, and towns with any Guard forces that is."
>Bending forwards to examine the Crag Moors map, Emerald's face goes blank as she, unsuccessfully, tries to process your corrections.
"..then again, I don't know how long I'll be this awake, we're both running on empty. If you have other stuff to take care of, could write down the most important bits and I'll go set up the repeating broadcast immediately."
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
"Not ta worry, Ah'll do jes' thet once she's up n'bout. Now 'scuse me fer a sec-"
>Catching a cheerful grin underneath the hat, before you could fully step out the southerner's right hand snaps out to fling a highly familiar, tiny vial of bright pink vapor directly into Emerald's face.
>At least you'd avoided that 'highly illegal' mess.

>Instantly stopping inside a new, nearly pitch black room that you hadn't noticed before, the dull red glows you recalled from the map room beam a subtle shaft of light into this one.
>Confused momentarily, this room was directly connected as you could see the giant map table ahead, yet didn't have any of the previous snoring sounds.
Mallia Castella
>Mallia was running through a rollercoaster of emotions due to being in contact with the Inquisitor's companions. She straightened up slightly more when the Admiral honors her with that first statmenet.
(T-that means a lot to me, Admiral!)
>Mallia's thought-response is a very humbled background gratitude.
>Before Witch-Two transmits that bulletin point to her.
>She had to bite her lip to not squeal in delight. Internally and externally... And then she notices that strange STC file...

(... Oh my--)
>The enginseer is completely taken aback, physically staring down at the extremely expensive looking wrist-device as she double-takes, and then fully comes to terms with the fact that THIS is real.
(IT'S REAL? IT EXISTS--as an STC??? I... OH...)
(Oh now I have to build it. It has to happen--there's no way it can't. The Omnissiah and Admiral Auspex have put me before this STC. The question is 'who is going in it' and 'How many will I make'?)
>Mallia bites her lips a little bit harders as she stifles a laugh, which turns to a snicker as she gives another excited shudder. Her cheeks beet red as she visibly squeezes the top of her shield...

>Luckily her mood was balanced out by the response from Tox-11 and Witch-Two. Which just made her deeply sad.
(... I can understand that. By what I have seen and heard so far, Velasi cares deeply for the Machine Spirits... It makes me feel at ease, knowing she cares.)
>She lowered her eyes, thinking back to her first meeting inside of Velasi's mind.
>Mallia was terrified, extremely so. She still is afraid of the Inquisitor. But the more she thought about it, the more she felt empathy for her as well.

(I wonder if she has had time to make a shrine... Were I in her place I would pray for the lost machine spirits at least twice a day.)
>She doesn't query Witch-Two or anyone directly with that thought. She was moreso just wishing she could mourn and pray now.
>That thought process is discontinued when Witch-Two sends an image packet. Almost immediately Mallia frowned anxiously, but didn't 'cringe' at the tone The Admiral used in her head.
(I---I figured! I just--)
(---hhh--Fine... I guess if you want me to do that, I will. I'm just worried about you, even if I know you can handle yourself. I'm sorry, I should be more faithful. It... FEELS wrong in a way I can't completely curb yet.)

>And then slightly flinches up in surprise when the rope lands against her shield like that. Her mechadendrite shooting downward with remarkable speed and reflexes to draw up the end of rope up to hand's reach, as her head shakes and her eyes blinked rapidly from squinting too hard.

"Thank you!"
>She cast a side glance towards the Operator that had tossed the rope, giving them a quick, thankful nod.

"Hnhh. Why are human eyes so difficult..."
>Mallia whispered and whined that last one beneath her breath, not really speaking to anyone in particular as she began to crouch down and cast her glance to her Auspex again.

>Then up to the others as she focuses on Sergei and Raindrop, noticing their confusion.
"Sorry. Just, bear with me please..."
>She cast a glance towards Raindrop specifically. as she shares a somewhat interesting tidbit of information about gateways.
"So there is a minimum degree of stability?"
>Mallia asked that while tilting her head towards The pegasus knight... Before turning her attention downward, passively listening.

>Her free hand went under the wrist and forearm to undo the latches and fasteners keeping it firmly integrated into the sleeve of flak armor.
>Click, clack, and a soft rasp of the straps coming undone. Expertly and with great finesse.
>She very gently sets the Auspex down with the respect she feels it deserves as a living being. Then goes to put the shield onto her back once more, so as to free both hands when she began to take the green rope and start tying it around the Inquisitorial Auspex, making a reasonably tight knot that shouldn't easily undo unless decisively pulled apart.

>Just in that moment, her eyes flick to the side slightly as the commbead crackles.
>Mallia turns from her handiwork and towards the Stormtrooper, rising back to a standing position with the Auspex tied on a rope in one hand, and the other on her hip, with the mechadendrite quickly folding behind her back again.
>She stays quiet as her eyes dart down to catch sight of the fish.
"Very good Stormtrooper. I'll come examine it in a moment. I have to pay attention to the scans I and the Inquisitorial Auspex are about to make. Please come help me keep watch, if you will."
>She nods to the Auspex scanner and lightly shows it in her hand, before turning towards the gateway and taking a step closer...

>Which she didn't need to make, she was close enough to toss it in already.
"... And before you say anything, It was the machine-companion inside of the Auspex that told me to do this."
>Mallia added through gritted teeth. Feeling herself more and more hesitant the more she moved her hand to wind a small low toss.
>And then she (slightly less unceremoniously) chucks the Auspex beyond the gateway and INHALES SHARPLY, holding her breath.

(Omnissiah grant me vigilance, give me the calm to act in a time of need, Blessed are these machines.)
(I'm so sorry if I can't be wholly comfortable right now. I'll try to have more faith...)

>Then sends a very quick mental command to perform a Chroniton Wave scan. Staring through the gateway like a hawk--focusing, stilling like a statue, leaning her head to see if anything so much as moves while the scan is underway.
>Mallia's hand tightly squeezed around the rope readily. The other resting on the hotshot laspistol's grip, without drawing it.

<Chroniton Wave Reader roll
[1d6+2 = 6]
<B. Perception + BQ. Preysense visor
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6 = 1]
>Gallo's face scrunches lightly at witnessing the impending noticeable smack followed by whatever that drug did to humans, questioning their aggressive tendences between his own faction members.
(I hope I won't have to endure or be forced to enact such violent measures on my own team members... but it's a likely possibility from what I've seen so far.)

>Straining to grasp the murkily experienced spatial anomaly the lone human felt the smallest pang of worry, carefully fishing for his flashlight and turning it on to examine the room and ensure he doesn't step on any nasty tripping hazards, wandering about the other two high-pitched snores he heard while he came here.
[1d6+2 = 4]<Flashlight
[1d6 = 3]<Basic Perception
[1d6 = 1]
(I wonder if there are ponies in this building too, or are segregated away from the premises out of avoiding potential liabilities... [color #F00]god, I could use somepony to pet right about now[color])
>Briefly widening his eyes in shock, José quickly shakes his head, closing them quickly for a beat, ridding himself of his self-evaluated unknown and potentially dangerous activity, refoucsing his mind back to exploring the room he was in, mostly out of curiosity and personal safety, making sure he was able to spot the doorway leading to the giant map table.
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
'Focus, Enginseer!'
>Relaying a loud groan, the Admiral sends a flurry of annoying pings to prevent you from hyperventilating.
'That is not an S.T.C. from our omniverse, it is one the Inquisitor developed specifically for this world. You will of course recall that all Mars sanctioned Inquisitors have the right to develop new designs so long as they are not submitted to become mass production S.T.C.'s, yes? That unit is based on my requirements for a custom platform. As you currently know the Inquisitor's original body is not available, and she has had far greater problems deal with in the past four months rather than constructing an Artificer-grade housing for me. I am patient, less than Tracker.. but far more so than Tox.'
'you get those bloody archaeotech targeting arrays and all aguina thinks i deserve are 4 more melta canisters'
'No, she found additional room for those despite the additional cannon shells YOU requested. Unless our new Enginseer would enjoy spending a few weeks modifying that schematic for your housing?'
'damn it witch. fine, no she doesnt need to do that, was being sarcastic'

>Tasting Adronal's data packets to be thoroughly humored at your reaction, another image is delivered, this time a large bird smashing into a window with a comical 'death' face.
'wouldnt hear us. left in excellent hands under her acolytes. stout, good men and women all. will be used with great honor and respect'

>Depositing her image once more with arms folded but this time with a carefree expression, the Admiral's data stream was incredibly blithe.
'Enginseer, do not take my words to be derogatory: this is an Auspex unit meant to be utilized until either being repaired from damage, which it will resist a great deal of, or taken apart and used to build or rebuild other devices when destroyed. Unlike most units it is not an irreplaceable relic that you will never find again. The Inquisitor has facilities available to construct another one to her infuriatingly exacting standards. Do not mistake my words: your faith is gracious, rightful, and appreciated, yet it is not required should Tox or myself be stuck elsewhere or lost. Unlike Machine Spirits we will not lose our sanity as we can easily shut down all cognitive processes for a few centuries, if not millennia. Maintain and explore your faith Enginseer, we are not in the badly crumbling Imperium now, so do not be hesitant to utilize the resources at your disposal for what they are: resources that can be replaced.'

>Looking back, it was the teenaged Vostroyan female whom had tossed the rope for you, taken from one of her comrades' backpacks.
>Giving a thumbs up before grasping her old submachine gun model once more, the painfully young trooper grins underneath her terribly cheap, stamped sheet metal helmet.
"Was good, ja?"

>Neck and shoulder plates sliding across each other as she shrugs, the pegasus Knight's ears roll once in different directions, speaking in a carefully guarded cadence.
"More than what I would have expected for a vault this old, yes. It's at least ninety percent stable or more. They should still function normally even at fifty percent."

>Finding Chisan's facial colorations to be normal once more, his expression was one of terribly simple amusement akin to a Guardsman discovering newfound enjoyment in learning and practicing a skill they didn't know before.
"There are more like this and several other species swimming about outside, more active than this one. None appear to be capable of causing harm."
>Eyeing the fairly good sized yellow and multicolor dappled piscine gripped in his carapace gloves, left hand holding open the jaw while the right was coiled below the second set of small spines.
>it was definitely stunned and showed no physical injuries that you could see, nonetheless looking as if it'd be rather tasty.
>The tail kept smacking onto his leg armor every few seconds, which Chisan didn't even bother preventing and was, amusingly, making Raindrop's fitfully hungry expression all the more humorous.
>Barely noting the still puzzled look from Sergei, the Storm Trooper's voice from behind had little more emotion other than a when-needs-must sense of duty.
"The Admiral or the tech-destroyer? Either would be honored performing this task."
>Picking up on the blatant undertone, he'd been listening in somehow.

>Rotating through several frequencies, Witch-Two's response is a painfully droll lament as the unit lands several meters beyond the doorway with a surprisingly heavy thump.
'Could have thrown it in further Enginseer, might have acquired precision readings from the vault's energies. Still, close enough. And cease your worries this instant before I request that horribly boring Tempestus Scion to drag you straight to one of the large Moors cities for their rather infamously famous festivals specially done for human guests.'

>Tox recalibrates the visor's settings to maximum clarity and feed, the multitude of red hues becoming simple colorations and with sharpened outlines.
>Shuttering the data feed to your MIU, Witch-Two's electronic voice begins to hums an old war song-
>One that you recognized as having dirty lyrics consisting of Dark Eldar being impaled by Imperial Guard blades, but most known for a paragraph in which the dirty elves celebrated being 'blown' by Basilisk companies using high explosive shells.
>It was obvious the Admiral wasn't much of a romantic.

>Trying to maintain focus on the gateway itself, you keep your eyes open.. far too long staring at nothing changing.
>Closing them while tears stream down your face at the weakness of flesh, the Admiral pings aloud on standard Imperial channels.
'Storm Trooper, throw that thing inside this vault, would you?'
>Giving the standard pattern Commissariat approved "oh fuck no not me " look, Chisan visibly winces as he steps forwards, not even daring to look at Raindrop's scowling face before delicately leaning forwards to toss the fish inside.
'Enginseer, initiate scan once more.'
Mallia Castella
>As Mallia is now holding her breath in a completely pointless attempt to stifle her growing anxiety, the flurry of annoying pings and the order to 'focus' makes her throw out that breath while her head slightly recoils.
>She doesn't send an answer but simply does what she is told and focuses entirely on looking into the Vault... Without blinking. With her teeth being grit way too much.

>... Luckily, as Admiral Auspex explains and talks to her, that anxiety abates into that familiar feeling of roaring inadequacy. Repressing the urge to apologize, Mallia simply focuses her mind's eye on Witch-Two.
>She likewise briefly smirk at the exchange between Adronal and the Admiral. Silently exuding a feeling of amicable warmth, genuine affection, and helpful eagerness at the mention of 'spending weeks modifying that schematic'.
>Her jaw relaxes. As do her shoulders, which visibly fall a bit more while she waited there, holding the rope and keeping ready to quickdraw the hotshot laspistol.

>She lets what Witch-Tow had said to her sink in. She could easily come to terms with making use of expendable resources. And that these Machine-Companions were a lot tougher than normal machine spirits.
>And while she was too humble to fully accept the compliment towards her faith, it does give her a sense of pride in herself which allowed her to crack a small, but genuine smile.
>However the 'we are not in the badly crumbling imperium now' and the 'maintain and explore your faith' does resonate within her mind in a strange way.
>She wasn't sure what to make of these statements...
>So, on a lower waveband, she seeks out her beloved Micro-Cogitator's machine spirit within her connections and empathically exchanges her feelings of doubt, guilt, and inadequacy with it. Hoping for at least a bit of cold comfort from the Machine Spirit she has had for almost as far as she remembered.

(Mom would've loved this place...)
>Mallia transmits this directly to the machine spirits. It might not have been as talkative as the companions inside of her wargear, but she felt at ease with them.

>Still. She couldn't shake off all of her stress, no matter how much she attempted.
>She tried to distract herself from it. Casting a brief side glance back towards the very young looking operator, giving them a thumbs up with her readied hand over her pistol.
>Mallia said, with enthusiasm and gratitude.
(How old is she? Why is she wearing such terrible armor? The craftsmanship on that helmet is criminally low, it must be uncomfortable.)
>She immediately makes an additional objective to learn this girl's name, occupation, age, and if she could improve her gear.
>Then turns back, sweeping her glance past Sergei and towards the Vault itself... Flicking her head slightly to the side as she listened to Chisan.

>... And then, at hearing 'The Tech-Destroyer', Mallia bites her lips as she wheezes and BARELY keeps from outright laughing; but she still giggles.
(Admiral Auspex, Captain Tech-Destroyer... Or maybe Commander Helmet? Nah Captain Tech-Destroyer is funnier...)

>She grunts as she audibly shuffles in place in her attempt to compose herself.
"--T-The Admiral, Stormtrooper. Admiral Auspex."
>Mallia chuckled in his general direction, shaking her head at herself in amusement.
>She then smiled a little more wryly at what Witch-Two tells her after that...
(I'll drag you back and throw you further if you need it, then!)
>Mallia's smile picks up, her mood becoming more curious now...
(... Is that supposed to be a threat?)
>Then her mind backpedals slightly and she gets a little worried as she remembers being told that Equines were very touchy feely.
(--Wait, what kind of festivals?)

>She then forcefully blinks her eyes as they had began to hurt from not blinking for so long, a tear running down her cheek.
"Ugh, these stupid eyes are so sensitive..."
>Mallia grumbled beneath her breath with a slight shake of her head very briefly.
>Not paying attention to the song at first as she attempted to just blink-blink her eyes and re-estabilish proper view of the Vault.
>But she does after a moment. She pauses, tilting her head while her mechadendrite slightly uncoils from her back and goes up to tap on her shield subtly along with that rhythm.

(Catchy. My Guardsman squad would've loved that song.)

>She then double takes when Witch-Two speaks to the Stormtrooper. She unfortunately does not turn away from the vault enough to see Chisan's face, but she does trail the fish as it soars inside. Watching how it reacts to the passage.
>She promptly imputs the command to enact another scan a split-second after the Admiral asks.

<Chroniton Wave Reader
[1d6+2 = 3]
<B. Perception + BQ. Preysense visor
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6 = 1]

(Good idea, Admiral. This should give interesting results I think.)
>Jeff unfortunately takes his previous statement back, as the golem corrects him.
>To brush off Boris's questions and concerns is little more than telling a small child in their 'Why Stage' to bugger off. It wasn't so much as his trying to find contradictions in his logic, but to take them and form his own rational(and irrational) conclusions. To give him a vague blanket answer would not help stimulate his growth. That IS why he brought him along int he first place for, right?
"Oh yes, Boris. Ponies have quite a bit of visual and audible ques when expressing themselves. I still have an an time interpreting them. And each pony has a different opinion, than the last. It would definitely benefit you shadowing ponies, whenever possible."

>He's relieved Mercy caught his defensive maneuver, silently appreciating the gap he put between her and the Lunarites.
>How...ever way she was showing it just now. He'll take it as a small win with his herd-second.
>The Ranger thinks over Boris's statement about not approaching the councilmare, if it was really necessary.
"Yeah maybe you're right. Huh? Oh, alright. You go... into sleep mode, now?"
>Just like some pseudo-AI toy you can buy for a 12-year old, the golem shuts down and leaves him with his own thoughts.
>It seemed like the best theory was that the councilmare was looking out for them by eliciting an appropriate reaction for her.
>But it still pissed him off, even if she was ultimately in the right.
>Jeff's priorities change as they make their way into the back end of the barracks that lead into the foyer. And out of the crypt.
>Mercy disappears in front of him, probably happy she can open up and hide from the Lunarites.
>But as he hears the engineers from earlier, he realizes they only originally went in with himself and two ponies and one golem. Exiting with over a dozen ponies, the majority with thousand year-old vampires...
"Hey guys! You might want to take a late-night snack break! We're coming up with more than we went in with! Also wounded!"
>At least he can give them a fair heads-up.
Ivan the STALKER
>After a successful nap and purging of any potential rads via bottle, Ivan decided to not be a drunk all day.
>Or period of 16 hours, he hardly noticed whether it was day of night by this point.
>Freeing himself from an avalanche of spent vodka bottles, Ivan got out of his room and took a moment to reorient himself, before heading to the workshop to check on his suit.
>He didn't expect much progress but the ponies have surprised him before.
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Finding and switching on your flashlight, the dim glow from it illuminates a pair of large, mismatched coloration human couches flanked by a heavy armory styled locker close to the door.
>Finding a similar locker on the opposite side, sweeping it towards the left reveals two smaller couches virtually the same as the one Naliyna had been using in the Pagoda.
>Ponies seemed to prefer short furniture due to their lower body height, and probably their weight too.
>Turning the flashlight off to the right, multiple end-on-end shelves, thoroughly filled with maps, books, tomes, journals, and several MRE's were visible.
>Sweeping back to the center, there were three low tables of a light colored wood in plain view, absolutely covered in a painful assortment of human weapon magazines, flattened grenade pouches, empty bottles, flasks, and several opened, but probably empty food cans.
>An entirely clean fourth table becomes visible from the contrast, seemingly set aside for other purposes as it had nothing covering the surface.
>Listening with a moderate extension of your auditory sense, there were neither humans nor ponies inside this central room.
>Easily finding a clear path through this room, upon reaching the map room's entrance you could hear the nearly twinned pair of soft snores from underneath the large table.

>Finding neither humans nor ponies to impede your exit, the Command Center's door was curiously open.
>As he explored the now not so dark room, Cheto couldn't help but to purse his lips at the gap in his memory of even travelling through this place, blinking softly.
(Did... did I completely black out for a couple of seconds inbetween the central room and the big telemachine room? I couldn't have missed this large of a gap.)
>Nonetheless, the male simply shrugs it out, hypothesizing it had to do so with some form of illusion, and even crack a grin at the quaint, picturesque environment he's discovered.

>After the nostalgic feeling washes away and getting to the map room proper, the human couldn't help but start to glance at the large table, growing evermore curious at the snoring duo before shaking his head.
(It's improper to wake your fellow person or pony in his nap time for no reason.)
>However, the fact that the door leading outside the Command Center was wide open did leave him wondering if anypony or one else entered the premises.
>His starts to wander as he goes to close the door in case the outside may wake up the sleeping lifeforms.
(...strange. I haven't seen any new pony or person in here and the amount of snoring beings is still the same. Could it be that somepony eavesdropped on the conversation and left?)
>Figuring it wouldn't hurt to look for any signs of some one or pony coming here recently around the map room as well as brief look on this room, Gallo does exactly that, mostly to further sate his curious nature rather than any feeling of danger or concern.
[1d6 = 4]<Basic Perception
[1d6 = 1]

(I do hope if whoever heard anything, then he or she wasn't too offended by Emerald's words towards the Princess.)
(...or maybe someone or somepony is watching me. I do have a nice appeal to be spied on. Hopefully they aren't looking for defamatory material.)
(...or perhaps it's a pony or human looking for a friend of theirs in here and thought it was a bad time...)
277718 277901
>After observing the medical mares apply their doses of quartzine and kanpri securing bone and reinforcing tendons and ligaments, Carlos retracts his hands from inside Snakebite and sets down the lent tools to remove his bloody gloves.
>Upon finishing their part, the lead pony announces their leave.
>At any rate, he appreciates the help. As good as he was, Snakebite's entire condition would have been a colossal challenge for on his own.
"As I'd like to slowly stitch up Senor Snakebite on my own, his major injuries are better cared to by a team of experienced medical profesionales. I'll keep him stable, and research his underlying conditions. Good luck to you and treating your future patients, equinas."
>Filing out, proper and order, Juan giving them a gracious head bow and looks over at his still-current patient. Still with a chattered pelvis, femurs, and who knows what else.
>His open wounds were first priority!
>Doctor Carlos puts on a new set of gloves, grabbing some surplus medical tubing and cutting several six-inch lengths.
>Taking one he sets it in the lower corner of one of Snakebite's incisions, holding it in place with tape, he grabs his suture kit and dissolvable stitches and begins to work on lightly sewing the internal tissue layers and make hiw way up to the surface. He takes to remember to not seal the wounds up too tightly, as he still wanted Snakebite's liquidated tissue to freely run to and out of the drainage tube. Carlos sets a steel collection dish below the extruding tube and repeats the process with the others.
>As he continues he searches for Tipper's assistant.
"Seniorita Flicker. I require your asistencia, por favor."
>He can begin running tests and pathology, if he and Nova can keep Snakebite stable for the time being.
[1d6+4 = 7]<M.Physician
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 5]<M.Research: Surgical Analysis
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 9]

>Very new sensations bombard Clemency in what to him seems like a long time
>The tingly cold of the now concentrated Airstreams
>The painful ripple of each muscle in his leg
>And the impromptu rack torture of landing flat on his chest and hyperextending his entire body
>What really surprised him was that he didn't break a single bone
>As much as he would like to lie down and pass out from the intense stress put on his body, he compelled it further
>Each impact and motion against his body creates pain
>Throughout this ordeal, Clemency grunts and breathes heavily to try to cope with the pain
>He does know he is feeling more himself on a soul level, complimented by seeing the outline of another Earth mare before disappearing
>Now with his assailants gone, Clemency uses the time to survey his surroundings
>Afterwards, Clemency checks his radar on his visor, hoping it's not cracked
>Plus, he wants to know who's joining that fight

[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 3]
<E. Perception
[1d6+3 = 7]
[1d6+3 = 8]
[1d6+3 = 9]

>Clemency, watching the melee over at the north side of the field, starts to stealth and move over to get a flank on the line of Tainted

[1d6+5 = 9]
[1d6+5 = 8]
[1d6+5 = 11]
[1d6+5 = 9]

>When reaching a position, he crouches down and starts reloading his shotgun, making sure slugs are in the tube now before aiming at the Tainted
[So long as direct control is not assumed, current state of affairs should be acceptable.]

>Noting the sudden realization, he mentally catalogs it for later while removing the inert marble from his glove and pocketing it again.
>As Emerald goes down the personnel list, his expression darkens.

[Not enough manpower. Not enough time. How much more does Spiral have? Are we already too late?]

>Gloves grip the edge of the table as he leans over it in tense thought.

"No... I don't think an announcement would be appropriate. This is more the sort of information to be provided to operation planners and engineers who will be determining strategy for engaging Constructs in the future. At the very least Lonestar and Krinza should-"

[Avian travel advisory? Hostile outside of settled areas?]

>Standing up, his right glove forms into a fist before being gripped and wrung by his left hand.
>A few seconds pass as he attempts to control his reaction.

"That... travel advisory."

[Hodch is suffering from some sort of time sensitive condition. Spiral's location and status must be confirmed. Yet it seems everything will be forcibly delayed again.]

"Would that apply to ruins in the Everfree?"

>Exhaling deeply, he attempts to calm his nerves.

"I ask because as said earlier, I believe I've gathered the best possible chance we may have to confirm where Spiral disappeared to and possibly retrieve him."

>Behind his visor, he raises his eyebrows and mouths the word 'Maps?' before moving his eyes from left to right to mimic the act of reading.

"Through sheer coincidence, access to Spiral's Lab, and some technology. I could try to explain it to you, but I feel it'd be best to save that for when a proper team or chain of command for Razorback is present to assess my findings. If that travel advisory is in effect, then I don't know if there's anything to do than wait it out and rest in the interim. I know Hodch had just returned from a visit to a village and is in the Library or the Lab right now, and he will need to be present for the explanation. Is there any way you could ensure he knows about this or have somepony tell him this? Kraut will also need to be present. Where is he?"
Bubba the Second
>Bubba nods as he listens to Naliyna.
"Yeah, moving on then."

"You never know, one or two may have just decided to hermit inside a hut and just lives off of gnawing on mushrooms or something."
>He let out a bit of an eye roll to himself, glancing down at the stacks of papers.
"Honestly I'm not surprised. Paperwork is boring and should be outlawed."
>Luckily he didn't have to deal with it back home. Or here on Tallus.
>He quickly scanned through it and hummed, racking his brain for information on the location.
>He hated the animal puns.

"Well, from what I can gather, she's... not as far along as I am, so communication may be a bit simple."
>He glanced up and took the page and pen, glancing at it.
>"Why red."
"Yeah, sounds good."
>He nodded and signed his name, adding in that Razorback was much safer for a human than most anywhere else.
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
'I detect your silence and emotions to be contemplative, this is good. You most likely will spend a few hours tinkering with OUR schematics when the time is right construct each housing.'
>Witch-Two delivers a small number of commonly available STC component files, ones that were often used in custom War Robots and the few AdMech sanctioned android models.
'I must profess that I would have preferred a human android model, yet Adronal's arguments were what which convinced the Inquisitor to develop equine variants which would essentially function the same, have smaller profiles, be more easily armored, carry larger weaponry, have room for additional ammunition or fuel cells, in addition to being easier to walk among local populations. He will not admit that easily of course, he was simply trying to make her admit a fault..'
'go fuck yourself, witch! pray i wont melta your model the second its finished'
'You see? Of course it is not easy to admit dear old Tox-11 has fallen for the sanctioned equine form.'

>Taking several seconds to process your uninhibited emotions and most importantly not judging you for them, the Machine Spirit returns an an old Tech-Magos recording from his memoirs.
>Reading the excerpt through without the Inquisitor's team noticing, it was a sternly spiritual and chemical approach towards regarding one's positive familial relations as being prioritized directly below the Omnissiah's needs.
>Which, at least on this world, wasn't unappealing given the few humans and sanctioned xenos you'd met so far.

>Making a quick hand motion before grasping her archaic weapon once more while speaking a short phrase, the MIU's translation systems oddly weren't able to process.much more beyond a notification of encouragement, or potentially acceptance.
>The young human takes a half-step forwards to best cover the old Commissar's focus on the vault, swiftly followed by the three slightly older males.
>Which, you notice, their protection was equally poor, consisting of barely different helmet designs and armored vests that even a basic arrow would puncture through.

>Chisan offers little a satisfied nod at this, taking the opportunity to secretly examine the Vostroyans' wargear.. which instantly becomes varying shades of disgust.
"I believe her name is a reference to having uncanny knowledge in targeting opposing vessels for maximum damage inflicted with minimum energy and munitions spent. The 'Two' designation is unknown to me."

'Enginseer, you are sincere yet too reactive. You would have to make a concerted effort to even bother in trying to insult us. We are all Imperials, thus, equals. If given a suggestion or order by myself, Tox, or Tracker, do not hesitate. While I would have preferred to read from much deeper in the vault, this location should suffice."
>Witch-Two deposits an image of herself in full Imperial Navy uniform through the MIU interface, left foot forwards while her right hand was lifted to point at the screen, though the medals, bands, and other paraphernalia were difficult to read.
>A caption above her head forms to read 'Fire all weapons!, accompanied by dark, primal laughter.
'Test my mettle Enginseer, and I will show you the physical glories of this world's night beyond that of Mars!'

>Raindrop's ears perk up as she lifts an armored hoof to cover her mouth, snickering from underneath it.
"What's wrong with your eyes? Mine are good, unless the humidity's bothering you."

>The Auspex relays a series of abnormally long codes from activation as the piscine smacks into floor, albeit now covered in a thin layer of something that looked like penal legion gel-food.
>Crossing your eyes, again, focusing much too hard on physical world before you, the vault's entirety doubles.
>Shaken out of this new problem by the Admiral furiously swearing across several High Gothic dialects, she ceases insulting Inquisitor Flash's femininity long enough to make an aggravated noise.
'Pull this damned unit back in, the logic engines are jamming and will not reset. Forget the Rites of Machine Repair as they will not work, just kick it a few times. Or beat it on the door, either should work. I still have no idea why Velasi bothered with this system-'
>The sound of someone clearing their throat occurs, belatedly realizing it had come from Witch-Two's communication.
'Ah, before doing that, it appears this gateway is safe to enter. I suspect the security system's age has caused several exclusive faults since non-sapients are forced into stasis upon entering. Excuse me for a short time, I must speak with that lovely sanctioned Knight of yours. Honestly Enginseer, you should never let her out of your bed, she is far too comfortable looking.'
>Sending a ringing faux-cackle that left you red, the Admiral's reading shuts down as a click from Raindrop's head causes her to turn, speaking in a combination of hesitance and curiosity.
"Hello? Yes, it is.. understood, may I ask whom is this? You're the one Chisan told me about, the battleship captain. Of course, but I will not.. nothing revealing, no. How may I help? ..I saw it freeze yes, but I really want to eat it.. not frozen,? Basic anti-sentient stasis, understood. Shouldn't be difficult to remove, there's a lot of key words I know. ..no, sorry, I don't know any psions in Razorback, I have only been working for them a little over two weeks. I understand, I'll find out if there's at least one, I don't want to move that marely safes on my own. Thank you for the information, and I hope to meet you soon.'
>Hearing a loud click, most likely from a miniature vox system, the shiny red mare aims a deep grin at the frozen fish while licking her lips.
"I'm gonna have to go find a psion to move the portal.. gateway, whatever. We can go in but can't take anything that's only sentient... oh Chisan?"
>Finished making his own inspection of the vault, the Scion about faces while rolling his eyes in frustration.
"No, and I do not care. Ask the Enginseer if you want to eat it that badly."
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
277850 278545
>Pulling the mutant batmare up with far less resistance, her backwards curving horn sweeps a bit closer to your ear than comfortable as she whispers roughly.
"Are they not the most beautiful of all the Moon Goddesses' dams? She chose them so well nopony could dare question their purpose-"
>Giggling in an obliviously half-sane state from multiple endorphin rushes, you were forced to pull her along, though she offered no resistance as her three natural legs functioned automatically and matched her own hoofsteps to yours.
>At least the one considerate Lunarite had ensured that you wouldn't be carrying her.
>Reaching the stairs easily enough even though the baticorn missed every few steps on her prosthetic, likely from it being melded to her flesh and bone within the past few hours, the Councilmare's lips were curled back in a prideful rictus death-smile.
>The same one that various darkling marecenaries working for Shanis reported as being a trademark of priestesses in the secretive Cult of the Dark Horse whom were now circulating throughout the Lunar military with little resistance, or so their reports stated.
>While that thought was bothersome, the youngest Lunarite pegasi's abject sigh from atop the stairs was made in a 'why me?' tone.
>Patiently waiting for you to three-quarter push and one-quarter drag the mostly insensate batmare onto the first level's landing, the filly's banded tail flicks side to side happily before trotting forwards into quickly approaching Moors mist.
>Unsurprisingly, her diminutive and wholly archaic Nightclaw armor's kanpri trim pulses in eager patterns even as a swarm of Moor cats land on her saddlepack with loud snicker-meows.

>Stepping into the thick Moors fog, the scent of those new Tartarus Isle vegetarian rations, well cooked at least, strikes your sinuses pleasantly.
>At least these didn't include flowers like the previous ones Shanis enjoyed so much, and caused a fair amount of havoc among Razorback's allergen prone.

>Finding all of the construction psions clustered a few meters away from the crypt's doors, the dim heads of Hunter-Killers forming a tight, two-mare protective wall around them turn quickly, several making concerned keks.
"Too late for that Jeff, we're nearly done here. Trying to decide whether to visit the Basin Arena for more stone, or try scavenging for a while."
>The expedition stallion's voice to the right speaks up calmly, which becomes a hesitant query, then dumbfounded, and finally exacerbated query.
"If you would prefer not to answer my question, what do you mean by.. more.. ..oh no. What are you trying to d- wait, stupid question. Let me try this again. WHY do you have ponies from Luna's lost Midnight Legions with you>"
>Striding out in line from oldest and largest directly towards the currently hidden Dagor no less, one of the pegasi fillies squeaks out in annoyance as she passes by you, bizarrely clad in an early prototype of the discontinued Sorceror armor.
"We aren't lost, nopony came to wake us up and say we were needed to serve or be of service!"
>Stopped by another pegasi streaking by in front of you, likely ordered to stay back and ensure Sunny made it out safely without being bothered too much by Moor cats, the construction team's leader does what a stallion can do upon entering unfamiliar territory: frown heavily.
"Should I keep this quiet from Shanis, at least until somepony warns her first?"
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
>Exiting the central human barrack's eastern doors, you nearly stumble into a pair of Fortress marefriends setting up two wooden, amusingly small watchtowers piece by piece.
>Motioning the two to step off your route by one of the numerous bitterly ill-equipped Soviet riflemen, as you continue multiple swears are heard from behind, mostly on the quality of recently produced Razorback "vodka".
>You barely noticed such complaints since it was at the very least free, and not liable to cause migraines or explosive intestinal trauma.
>Reaching the Workshop without stumbling enough to take a dirt nap, another one of the strange watchtowers had been set up 5M from the man door.
>The tops of two old Soviet rifle barrels and one of the few post-modern heavy missile launcher systems were oriented upwards in a triangle, the humans inside neither visible nor speaking.

>Entering to find all of the large glowstone's active in numerous shades designed to prevent stress headaches or eye strain, the armor stand you'd found and tossed the badly damaged exo-skeleton on was currently in front of Krinza's work station.
>Unable to spot the chunky unicorn himself, his equally plush earth marefriend, the new craftsmare Aiutante, or even Helping Hoof, closing in on the armor for a peek reveals some work had taken place:
>All of the damaged armor paneling and synthetic muscle-drive fibers had been replaced, the first by a vaguely steel-like gray material, the second solely comprised of those odd Empire crystal wire bundles.
>The back-mounted Artifact power system, formerly destroyed, had been substituted by a pair of rectangular medium sized Empire power crystals, the same as those used to replace traditional batteries in the few human vehicles Razorback had.
>The housing system for the pair hadn't been completed, nor was the helmet as the few surviving components were scatted across Krinza's main table.
>Somepony had in the process of replicating the smallest details, though they were no longer here.
>More likely given the odd silence in the Workshop, all four of the craftsponies had been interrupted.
Sunny Feathers
>She felt strange, she was more clear minded than she'd been in years, it'd been like the sky had cleared, or she'd woken up. It wasn't just the lingering rush of combating Mercy, everything was sharper, and she was less scattered.
>The mare tapped a wing idly to where the stone sat in the neckline of her suit.
>Sunny had set a stony expression to her muzzle as she replied to the mare's rambling. Reckless, and now absent minded. Yet not dead, she reminded herself. Little victories.
"Their service to the Lunar and their combat ability is all that matters to me, as does your own."
>Could the councilmare be one of them? A cultist? It would explain her reckless disregard for her own life and her defense of their methods. Her brow furrowed with distaste.
>The thought of the lunars having such a mindset in a command position ate at her. Too much melodrama in the command process hurt the entire chain of command, impaired judgement, made it less efficient as a coherent force. Wasted resources, time and bodies. Little wonder Luna was incapacitated, the citadel should have been more than capable of repelling a probing assault, and been prepared for much worse.
>Better those explosives had been used more strategically than on a bunch of suicidal cultists galloping headlong to their deaths.
>Pulling herself out of her introspection, Sunny was grateful she didn't have to deal with the added weight a number of moor cats would have added to her burden as she left the tomb entirely.
>Where was that pegasus, the one that looked like a hornless Luna duplicate?
>The mare gazed around as she lingered at the edge of all the commotion with the councilmare. Searching for the hat wearing pegasus to pass off the batmare to or awaiting for her to come to her senses on her own and give her a course of action was all she could do at the moment.
Ivan the STALKER
>Ivan stared at one of the 'watchtowers' for a moment, before thoroughly deciding he hadn't had nearly enough of the Fortress' vodka to participate in any localized shenanigans.
>As he passes by, he idly shook his head, knowing that they never had to deal with Zone produced vodka. Or a bad batch of it.
>His insides still haven't fully recovered from that travesty of humanity.

>Stepping inside and lightly squinting, he scanned the area before moving towards his suit.
"Where the hell is everyone?"
>He mumbled aloud as he brushed off the shoulders, making sure to look over everything.
>Once he noticed that the artefact containers weren't finished, he decided to stay around for a bit and wait, in case he was able to inform them on how the containers worked.
>God knows he wouldn't want to deal with any stray radiation from a mistake in the containers.
Mallia Castella
>Mallia's mental "silence" continued, though her mind's eyes still lingered on Witch-Two's statements. Taking a moment to analyze and comprehend the STC files that Witch-Two sends her.
>Chuckling once at the way Adronal 'threatens' Witch-Two in response, which does cheer the Enginseer up from her more dim moods slightly.
>Finally, Mallia replied on a somewhat calmer tone through their connection.
(Can always build both. It's only a matter of time, and we will need the versatility.)

>Then she pays more mind on the recording her micro-cogitator brings to her. It took Mallia a good second to understand it, even though she had heard that excerpt before. It gave her food for thought.
>Transmitting her current mood--a feeling of lingering anxiety and affection towards the machine spirit, and transmits a prayer to the Omnissiah, and then followed it with a distinct Litany of her own flavor.
(Blessed Machine Spirit, your humble servant praises the Omnissiah everyday she hears your advice, and she wishes only to be able to hug you to display our affection and gratitude.)
>Though she couldn't physically hug her machine spirit. She could at least transmit the imagery of one, along with another emotion packet that was just sickly sweet.
>It made Mallia feel much better, to remind her Machine Spirits she dotingly loved them.
>It also made her glance off wistfully. But only for a second!

>Mallia's eyes slowly sweep over the shared equipment of the ANCIENT human operators.
>Then turned fully towards her glance to the inside of the vault. Still kind of chuckling from thinking about Captain Tech-Destroyer as she passively listens to the Stormtrooper's words.
"That is one badass call sign then... Maybe you should get one too, Stormtrooper Chisan. Something to boast about like that is always good here, according to information thus far."
>Mallia remarked with a playful undertone beneath her almost monotone seriousness she seemed to display with her voice at the time.
"Perhaps it would make you seem more intimidating? Approachable maybe?"
>Mallia's tone picks up in a way that one could positively HEAR her smirking beneath the helmet. Especially him, as she quarter-turned her head in his general direction without moving her eyes.
>Then her attention briefly shifts to Raindrop. Audibly huffing through her nose with a very minor irritation.
"I don't knowwwww..."
>The Enginseer whines in the knight's direction like a child.
"I think getting thrown into Tallus made my eyes bad, or something... I used to be way more perceptive than this and not dumb with them."
"I'm actually starting to hurt my eyes, this--this isn't okay."

(Why are my stupid eyes being so difficult?? I just wanna SEE! The flesh IS WEAK! I'M WEAK. Bleh.)
>Mallia laughed and groaned at the same time, putting her free hand on the side of her helmet as she sighed heavily.
"Hehaheheheehe... Aahh..."

(I understand, Admiral. I won't hesitate from now on!)
>The reply she sends to Witch-Two is more genuine, with a bit more confidence in her statement as she begins to get more acquainted with the Admiral.
>And then laughs a little bit more. Amused by Admiral Auspex's challenge. A grin forming on her face as her mirth returns to her more wholeheartedly now!
(I'm holding you to it, Admiral. Better not disappoint!!)

>Then, almost immediately after, the moment she feels the very unusual slowness in the activation of the device's feature. Mallia's mind changes gears as she gets into a troubleshooting mindset, and gets ready to tackle the malfunction swiftly.
>Though Admiral Auspex's swearing was... VERY distracting, cocking her brow at the sheer wave of vitriol. Especially when Velasi's femininity came into question.
>This is further compounded when she manages to CROSS HER EYES AGAIN, causing her to slightly, but visibly recoil a bit as she audibly grunts with some discomfort then shakes her head.

>Pulling back the Auspex back with the rope, she reached out with her mechadendrite to grab it and bring it to hand's reach. Glaring at the device a moment. Pausing a second with some surprise when Witch-Two speaks about talking with Raindrop.
(S-she is very pretty. I'll admit, and I like her a lot. And gives me some strange urges, too... VERY strange urges. I think my engrams want me to study her, but they only activated when I saw her teats...)
>Mallia's reply to Witch-Two is absolutely in the tone of a grumble, not fully willing to admit just how much she actually liked and was interested in Raindrop.

>Before Mallia starts aggressively applying percussive maintenance to the Auspex, she stared towards Raindrop as she seemingly spoke to the Admiral.
>This took her VERY far aback. But only for a moment, as her jaw drops only a little bit and then shuts again.

>She then looked at the (frozen) fish, and at the knight. Then at the fish... Back at the knight.
"... Sure, Raindrop! I'll find another pet. Go ahead and eat it! You've definitely earned some fresh food after all that's happened."
> With that, Mallia stands up with the auspex held in her hand. Mechadendrite folding behind her hip.
"I'm getting pretty hungry myself..."

>She then unceremoniously approach the vault door from the front. Clears her throat...
>And AGGRESSIVELY smacks the Auspex's side scanner onto the door with great vigor while chanting in her Techna-Lingua.
<E. Tech Use + B. Machine Link
[1d6+1 = 6]
[1d6+1 = 7]
[1d6+1 = 4]
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Catching sight of two large sleeping bags, the first is a shiny bright pink, the other a faded, heavily worn khaki that'd been patched numerous times.
>Trying to differentiate the sounds, one was definitely a male human while the second's high pitched inhales and soft exhales made the other occupant a woman, or potentially a mare.
>Sneaking into the map room without difficulty, before closing the heavy entrance door, the only one going outside you'd seen, you note a thick band of black rubber, or similar, around the frame's interior.
>Nudging it closed, the hissing sound of air pressure stabilizing occurs briefly, which could only mean the Command Center had a massively overbuilt NBC protection system.

>Scanning the map room's interior, two heavy duty lockers sandwich a cot next to a quaint, older styled wood stove on the northeast corner which were partially hidden on the northeast side from proximity to the wall.
>Beyond several bookcases crammed with tomes, volumes, and several vaguely familiar thin books, probably comics, were the only other notable features.
>Except for the table itself, covered in a mind boggling variety of folded maps.
>Failing to find any objects out of place since you weren't familiar with what was in here, taking a peek back into the central room reveals nothing out of place, save for the curious number of munition packages, cans, tins, wrappers, and boxes scattered around.
>Either there had been humans, or ponies, that you'd missed in this previously hidden room that'd left quickly, or they'd come and gone.
>Grinning at the snoring pair's admittedly endearing and adorable status, his focus snap to the now sealing door with the tiniest bit of worry,
(I hope it allows me to open it up later.)

>The male couldn't help but to let his mind wander further at the makshift refuge, particularly at the comically large amounts of reading material, fictional or not.
(So someone or pony definitely lives in here. I suppose sleeping in the workplace is efficient for some professions.)
>The amount of maps in the table does snap him out of that line of thought, pursing his lips at the probably sane yet unfamiliar size of maps in this world.
>Nonetheless, he prefers not to disturb other people or ponies' item assortment, so after the quick peek revealing there might've been many witnesses that might've heard Emerald's outburst, he figures there was not much else he could do inside the premises.
(They probably experienced this event more than once, considering her negative opinion of the Princess overall...)
>With that, he goes back to the exit that was opened and attempts to open it once more.
(Library, here I come... maybe with complemarentary petting to release tensions)
>The diplomat's teeth started to gently gnaw at the insides of his left cheek at the prevailing thoughts currently worming in his system.
(Afterwe figure out the implications of doing such a thing.)
Razorback Clinic: Doctor Carlos, Receiving in Operating Room #1
GM Strangler
>Noticing several purple glows in his vision, Carlos is briefly interrupted from replacing his medical gloves.
>Peering over Snakebite, the Starborn lead doctor had either forgotten about, or specifically left, her surgical tool kit behind, entirely consisting of various scalpels.
>One of which, he finds with some intrigue, was a well disguised long stiletto of Lunar military association.

>Rolling through the motions of carefully setting drainage tubes, Snakebite's skin begin to harden and set where Carlos' incisions were previously made.
>Still blissfully unconscious for the time being, the human's newly-resilient characteristics forces the Doctor into making pre-penetration sites for proper suturing.
>Stepping back to examine Snakebite's physical reactivity and drainage progress, his condition was thoroughly stable enough to allow him rest.
>At least, for the next two to four hours until physical and nervous system trauma could begin to set in.

>Upon opening the operating room door a small amount of air rushes into the Clinic's main room.
>As Carlos peers out, the number of occupied beds had risen to nine: three more humans, a black armored marecenary, probably an earth pony judging by the bulk, and an unusually slender pegasus stallion on the left bed, currently being treated by Nova.
>Ears swiveling around, the Ward nods once while gently adhering a thick, white rubber plate across the stallion's barrel.
>Sliding off to land quietly on carpet, Nova Flicker glances back with a troubled gaze, then slides out from the beds and towards the operating room door quietly.
"I have approximately one hour before I must check in on the new patients, but for the time being how may I aid you?"
Operation: Why It Was Called A Basin In The First Place
GM Strangler
277904 278034
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault Evasion & Reaction Speed rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>Delivering the command for a full sweep, scanning the thankfully safe visor's interior screen it becomes a mess of red, white, blue, green, yellow-red, and yellow-white symbols denoting vastly increased numbers:
>The Moorites of course were in red, completely surrounding and throughout the Basin Village on top of the lines denoting buildings; light red for unarmed and unarmored, plain red for only armored or armed, and bright red for Hunter-Killers, of which there were now at least one thousand with more squadrons streaming in from the outside.
>The Stalliongrad aligned had been denoted as white for neutral combatants, mostly solid white for armed and armored, while a pulsing white-blue was listed as a Tower Guard Primal Psion General.
>Physically marenifested Tainted appeared blue, all of which were pulsing brightly near the northern buildings, though several clusters blink off screen entirely from an explosive detonation near Lann's tradehouse.
>Several groups listed as Dark Horse Cultists had been assigned green, each taking defensive positions in front of the southern buildings and unmoving.
>Dozens of flashing yellow icons from retreating Moorites and Stalliongrad forces stream north from the Basin a short distance, where they began to take up battalion sized red-white square formations.
>Bizarrely, one symbol in fluorescent silver was located at the sacrificial altar, which you weren't able to see through the-
>Making a double take, the only way your mind could describe it was a tornado of red mist circling the true basin itself, protected by the trio of grim, Nightfang armored batponies.

>Forcing yourself up with the thought that torture would be easier to deal with, upon sinking into the Void's protective and rather cool depths, the hot taste of sweet mango juice accented by fresh blood strikes your senses ever as you feel the archaic bloodstone forcibly knitting tendons and muscles together.
>Clemency: 14/26 S.HP, 24/26HP.

>Witnessing the line of Strikers, their numbers halved now, reforming under the Primal's guidance, blurs of hot red, giant wingclaws the size of a common minotaur and blood-drinker fangs thicker than an earth pony gouge into the central ranks of Tainted, eliminating dozens with each blow.
>Sneaking to the fountain without being detected and taking cover behind it, you realized the Tainted were trying to mass together into a single combined entity, just as they attempted on the train.
[1d6 = 2] <Tainted
[1d6 = 3] <Reform Tactics: ???
[1d6-1 = 0] <Support Strikers
1d6+3] <Tower Guard General ???
[1d6+7 = 8] <???
GM Strangler
[1d6+3 = 4] <Tower Guard General ???
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Lifting the notepad for examination with her non-dominant hand, Emerald tosses it down, then glances through the central meeting room at the mostly dormant radio system.
"I'll be awake long enough to write down one of the big pages, will post it on the board after you leave. Lone needs to sleep, as for Krinza.."
>Turning back to notice part of your unusual motions, she stares blankly before shaking her head.
"Doubt it. Naliyna delivered a strange notice to me a few hours ago. Bunch of giant sapient raptors, hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, others the size of touring buses or bigger clad in armor. They're why pegasi started using those full-wing spanning blades. Way too large to move about safely in forests and they don't have magic, I think. Some of Equestria banded together and destroyed them four to five thousand years ago, but now they're either returned from hiding or elsewhere. Only been targeting wide open regions: plains, highland deserts, ice plains, lowland hills, mountains slopes, that sort. "
>Spitting out that last bitterly, she puts on a grimly tired face.
"Couldn't find any references in the Library outside excerpts off pre-Conclave writings and a couple very basic theories out of Canterlot College. Coming back I stopped to ask the Remnant for news, one of those eye things said nopony's been killed yet but there's even more of them in the skies now. The Dagor and Lont's motorcycle are out. Natilda and Kraut's station wagon are still missing, one of the veterans smashed his old car somewhere south of Canterlot, and Humvee like vehicle is stuck inside a Neighvadan cavern. So, travel options are badly limited.. ..except for the train. There's a couple unicorns and maybe one team of guys with big guns that haven't left at all tonight."
>Picking up the marker she'd been using and drawing a small circle around your first correction, she freezes solid.

>'Spiral' returns to view with small versions of the various New Everfree maps, overlaying them and performing rather basic triangulation methods.
>Selecting the largest Caneighdian ruin and marking an optimal route, there was no railway access northwards from here and the few roads leading to it were quite old.
>The only secure option, albeit halfway insane, was decoupling the recently added boxcars from Razorback's supposedly sapient train, derailing for travel, then expecting whatever intelligence guided it to be capable.
>Of course, that would require a team of combat-capable unicorns, more than were currently available.

"I don't care about an explanation, we all need Spiral back here right now. Kraut's still however much dead in the Clinic and won't be getting up soon, if ever. Nova told me his body's basically ground meat. As for Hodch he's usually the smoking room doing something weird."
>Quarter-turning towards the table in rekindled awareness, the short Korean reaches into her jacket and pulls one of the Marquis' custom made radios free, clicking it four times.
*"Hodch, get your busted ass to the map room right now. Might've located Spiral and we need y-"*
>Popping down from an unusually silent Void-tinged square of reality onto the table's center, the elusive reservist's emotionless orbs glance from you to Emerald several times.
"I was reading to Nibbles, but this is far more important. Explanation, now. Please."
>Dropping out from the rift onto Hodch's saddle was the dark blue winged catbat, landing with a tiny huff and meowing in displeasure.
"I'll read the rest of it to you later, I promise. Right now, someone or somepony may have found where Spiral disappeared to. Besides, you might be able to help, that is if you want to keep your Heroine of the Moors title, yes? You do have to remain active for it."
>Rolling up into a sitting posture, Nibbles gives a short, snapping hiss, then tosses a fairly accurate Lunar salute with her right paw.
>One which curiously sounded like 'yes sir'.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
"Bubba, even I know that humans don't live on plant foods well, except for a couple. Mushrooms? They'd just be starving to death but slow. Besides, I've eaten some weird stuff before, can't be that bad."
>Puffing her cheeks out and nodding in full agreemarent, Naliyna looks down, sweeping her hoof across the letters before picking up another.
"I hate it but it's needed. Really wish my hololith could do some stuff like the new kinds can, just don't want to spend a hundred some thousand Bits on one though."
>Making a curious twitch with her good ear, the Crystal mare shrugs at your implication.
"Kind of sounds like a Conclavist, they're not backwards or anything but they prefer living a lot simpler than most Crystal ponies do. Doesn't matter right now though, we need any help we can get. Most everyone's passed out tired, there's still three or four teams missing that should've reported back hours ago, and I've got some really bad news in the past hour that someponies need to hear."

>Finished writing, turning about and offering the page to the Vortex Remnant's waiting eyestalk, the quirky shifts and colorations show it was in deliberation.
"Non-standard fragile package. Location and sender known. Package accepted. Dispatching one Vanbrace to make delivery."
>Extending a long, thin granite blade to carefully take the unusual package, it delivers the letter to another stalk, this one sandstone in color, which promptly 'swallows' it into the matrice.
"That was easy enough. Might be a good idea to get stuff done if you have to, he doesn't really like delivering fragile stuff.. even though I don't have a clue what a Vanbrace is."
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
>The question bounces several times through the interior, finally stopping when an unfamiliar, young soprano batmare's voice calls down from the rafters.
"There were someponies in here a bit ago: the yellow unicorn, the yellow earth pony, pink unicorn too They all left 'cause the yellow unicorn said he was gonna strangle a human for taking stuff. Saw them run into the back wall. Hope that helps."

>Struggling to remember much on exo-skeletons, most of them were custom ad hoc designs built in the few pre-Zone workshops that still existed, mostly with aid from the scientists, or constructed in top secret external centers and delivered to select military Stalkers.
>A large number that you recall with great amusement as being 'acquired' by Duty through various means.
>Forming specific ideas of what'd be expected, the synthetic drive system was definitely Naliyna's work, definitely close to completion though you doubted if the crystalline muscle-fibers had been extensively tested.
>The smooth metallic panels were brand new and painstakingly melded together, giving it a chunky knight's armor look, yet there was a degree of flexibility provided by heavy bands of black, semi-rubberized metal.
>Most importantly: it didn't have those terribly large bullet-trapping and bouncing 'ribs'.
>Spotting four dark purple cylinders atop Krinza's anvil, upon closer inspection they were composed of thin diamondine sheet; while incredibly durable and virtually impossible to crack, you had no idea if it would be fully resistant to radiation.
Bubba the Second
"What bad news is it, or would I be sticking my nose in something that'll snip it off?"
>He watched the letter vanish, shaking his head a bit.
"Its the human version of armor you'd stick on a foreleg, basically. My time period doesn't use armor in that way anymore because a bullet would simply punch through and leave more metal inside someone's body, but way back before 'accurate' muskets came about they were used widely for knights and heavy infantry."
>"Who knew that medieval history would actually come into use here."
>Before looking away, he recalled something.
"Oh yeah, I forgot. Cairn Depot has a couple sales going on for some equipment that I didn't decide on, figured you might be interested in what they have."
Ivan the Stalker
"Well I know he isn't talking about me then."
>Ivan glanced up towards the talking rafters.
>Definitely not drunk enough for any shenanigans.

>He hummed as he poked at the fibers for a moment, testing some flexibility by moving a sleeve.
>It wasn't unusual for a STALKER to head out into the Zone with experimental gear... even if half the time he would later be found as Bloodsucker or Chimera chow.
>He had to admit, despite only being given a vague description of a full Exoskeleton, they did pretty well with fixing it up.
>And he decided not to poke at the cylinders until they were firmly placed onto his suit.
"The back wall, you said? I'll go see if they're still there, then."
>He gave a wave up at the bat and walked that way.
Running Man -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>The eerily mundane hallway became more active as something with a deep base began to thrum seemingly all around the group.

>Adon felt his medallion rattle off against his chest piece as the silent, eardrum beating tone filled the long and featureless corridor they were in.

>The Chitqu perked up from its investigative patting of the twinkling golem, almost certainly hearing the same thing.
>It let out a squeak as it bounded back towards the group, its small form fitting armour making echoing clacking noises on the stone floor.

"Why would he warn anypony coming in? Why indeed."
>Pondered the aged Unicorn, his features to Adon obscured as if a veil of reality covered him.
"And an activation of what? A spell of course but what kind, perhaps a...Oh. Oh dear."
>Something akin to a revelation laced Golden Horns' voice, as what the Witcher could see of him became agitated.
"A -A trap...!"
>He dreadfully exclaimed.

>Adon felt as if he was being submerged in water as his silhouette became blurry and his body partly transparent. Thankfully he was not actually wet.
>This action made his medallion hop and bounce from sheer vibrations, though this died down to its now regular buzzing ever since it entered this hallway.

>A near inaudible growl filled the air all around Spruce, coming from every surface of the hallway. It was certainly not there moments before...

"T-that is most -uh interesting Spruce, you should tell m-me more of your homes' religions at another t-time."
>Said Golden, voice quivering.
>Although Spruce could not see the old pony he certainly heard him elicit a chuckle through his fear.
"Good information to go on Spruce, for I think you will be needing to blow stuff up soon!"
>He said, sounding like he was about to have a panic attack.

>Spruce felt the Chitqu clamber up his body again, its movement giving the impression it was in a panic as it went for the safety of his shoulders.
"Ooooh, I am sure if he was observing us right at this very moment he would be making that annoying cackling sound that kept everypony up at night every night back when he was in Canterlot University."
>Grumbled Golden.

>A similar feeling swept over Spruce as did Adon, yet for the Operator it felt as if he was submerged deeper in this non-existent water. And due to this he became near invisible on par with Golden Horn. His body transparent and his outline smudged out of clarity.
>This would of been an awesome ability back on Earth.
>Also the Chitqu was invisible too, yet this did not stop it filling his ear with squeaking and wet nibble noises.
"It is a great crime Spruce and Excelleon will not go unpunished I can assure you."
>Golden promised, trying to sound defiant.

>The deep thrumming noise rose in pitch, and with each rise the dull grey boring corridor that stretched behind and before the trio turned a shade darker.
>And redder.
"Yes, this is indeed a trap-"
>The old Unicorn was cut off by a *THUNK* noise that rattled everyone's vision, it sounded like it came from both the ceiling above and the floor below.
>There were no visible cracks on any surface but the lighting in the hallway appeared to have stabilised to a Rojo Red.
"...I think-"
>Again, Golden was interrupted by a hacking cough that echoed back and forth across the entire width of the corridor, then the arrogant voice of Excelleon himself burst through the still reverberating coughs.
"Uuugh you Slavers are useless. If you don't want to turn into sparkling statues I suggest you head for the door at the end of this gallery...in two minutes."
>His voice cut out leaving the trio with his now dying echos and the morbid news, interestingly he did sound distracted.


>Said Golden in a terrified whisper before breaking into a gallop.
[1d6+2 = 4] >E.Speed
[1d6+2 = 6]
[1d6+2 = 8]
[1d6+2 = 7] >E.Reaction Speed
[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 4]


>Roll Speed to see how many metres you cross.
>Roll Reaction Speed the amount of seconds it took.

Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Blipping one of the standard, rotating Binary thanks to the Omnissiah and the Omnissiah's dedicated servants, the Machine Spirit returns to standby mode almost cheerfully.

>Processing the thought with a minimum of consideration, Chisan makes a short, negative head shake.
"Before my arrival I was freshly graduated from the 512th Spectres' Tempestus Scion collegiat, then sent with my unit to repel an Ork invasion. A descriptive moniker must be earned from deeds and acts. I've done nothing to warrant one."
"I'd say killing a few dozen minibears ought to give you one. Speaking of which, what were those humans doing with the.. bodies?"
"That was in defense of the Fortress, Raindrop, as such it was a necessary duty which requires no thanks. The 'bears' as you call them will be processed for their pelts and the flesh preserved to consume."
"Can't see why you'd want to, they smelled bad."
>Leaving the Scion to once more perform a cursory examination on the vault, your Knight's head swivels about with a pointed frown.
"Maybe you should get your eyes checked then. There's a doctor and medic at Razorback's Clinic. I'd go to the medic though, Nova's much nicer but she does have narcolepsy. If she falls asleep tickle her snout with a feather or something. Doesn't always work though."

'I will not be the one disappointed, nor I suspect will you! Ah, standard Biologis research engrams. The Enginseer we were assigned spent a great deal of time examining studying Eldar, Exodites and Craftworlders both, when it was necessary to make contact with either. His findings were.. difficult to accept. Equines will be much easier to study, and far less likely to create a catastrophic diplomatic situation.'
>Registering Witch-Two's nervous laughter as genuine, Tox-11 interrupts her with an array of encrypted datasets, the two breaking off into a rapid conversation.

"Good enough for me. Hay Chisan, want to help cook it?"
"If it is necessary I will aid you, yes."
"Oh it's necessary all right!"
>Shooting Chisan a matronizing grin accompanied by rattling her wingblades once, she takes several steps forwards and leans close, bringing her right armored forehoof up and into the gateway's lowest edge.
>Finding no resistance, and after a few seconds with nothing leaping out at her, Raindrop carefully slides in on high alert, hoofboots clacking mutedly on the stone inside.
>That is until you forcefully reset whatever had gone wrong with the arm mounted unit, the Knight leaping straight upwards while making a loud neigh of fright.
>Emitting numerous high pitched electronic that sounded like space noise from planets and the distinct clicking of metallo-fluid junctions resetting, the device reboots in an astoundingly fast 0.31 seconds.
'Considerably so Adronal, and thank you Enginseer. You may step in now but I should state that you ignore the Chroniton unit's data feed. The system is extraordinarily complex and prone to fits if not restored after the slightest failure. Quite troublesome, truly.'
'like the possessed targeting arrays on your battleship?'
'They were not possessed! They were never possessed! Do not remind me of that incident again or I will accidentally drop an artillery barrage on you!'
'sure they werent but i win this round'
'You are insufferable!'
'yes. yes i am thank you'

>Frozen in place during this time after landing, Raindrop's unarmored head shakily swivels around, eyes wide and speaking in a fearful whisper.
"What was that? Is something in here with me?"
>Chisan attempts a calm facial expression, which was nothing more than a mildly comical frown with several facial tics.
"Enginseer Castella was performing maintenance on her arm-mounted device. There has been no movement besides yours. If you desire I will accompany you."
"Well, next time warn me! Just let me snag this real quick-"
>Eyes flicking up to stare faux-threateningly at the now snickering young Vostroyans, Sergei fails to hold several chuckles back.
"Is some funny, but sorry for laugh."
>Blowing a loud raspberry at them, Raindrop turns back to snag the piscine with her front left hoof.
>Holding it up high enough to avoid scraping on the floor, she makes a quick hop backwards through the gateway to land heavily.
>Setting the fish down and lazily poking at the stasis shell several times, her ears wiggle around in thoughtful circles.
"Give me a bit to think, there's a lot of possible key words that might've been used for this one."
[1d6 = 3] <Meditate
>As Emerald notes Kraut's condition and Hodch's, Pareidolia speaks to his A.I.

"Will switch to projector mode. Stay invisible, but modify maps and notations as needed."

>Flinching slightly as Hodch materializes and pausing briefly at the highly unusual bat-cat hybrid that followed, Pareidolia quickly recovers and steps to the side where the view of the table is clear.

[Another crossbreed? ...*Nibbles*? Heroine of the Moors?]

>A tired, closed eye roll shuffles the thought to the back of his mind.
>He brings a glove to the side projector on his helmet and switches it on to show the various overlaid maps and routes.

"Evidence for this ruin being the likeliest location draws from the contents of Spiral's mailbox which included maps of Dynasty Ruins, a hololith used by crystal ponies for ground resonance detection, and assorted notes. None of which he took with him. Highly probable he was searching for the ruins with the Elemental Cores that split him and was certain he found it."

>Pareidolia proceeds to cycle through pictures of the extensive notes and maps that detailed the findings Spiral had collected which were all also in the mailbox while explaining their meaning.
>Taking a moment to collect himself, if parties needed further convincing he would state the following, carefully managing tone to avoid arousing suspicion:

"If this all seems like conjecture, I back it with proof that the Demi-Sentient recognized the artificial personality Anonymous had loaded into my helmet as Spiral's. Some messages were played that gave context to Spiral's preparations to locate one of these ruins of interest. I did not initially mention this as you said the explanation was unimportant."

>Whatever the outcome, Pareidolia follows with another emphatic statement.

"If Kraut is unable to accompany us, no matter what other personnel we bring I am uncertain we would have a high chance of success in retrieving Spiral. His psychological bond with Spiral is paramount to mission success both for identifying if we have the correct ruin and for motivating his return. Spiral's departure being so sudden and unknown raises concern for his mental state. His weeks long absence only heightens it. Let alone other concerns of how overworked or unavailable a sufficient team and transport to reach the area would be. I'm hesitant to make commitments to action no matter how certain the data might be as this goes beyond my jurisdiction in Razorback."

>For some reason, he also recalls an equipment shipment that still needed to be picked up from the Enclave and sensitive notes regarding Spiral and other important figures all at once.

[Too many objectives. Need to address these when able. So much time wasted.]
Razorback Fortress: The Library
GM Strangler
>Pushing the Command Center door open, using less resistance than it took to close it, upon exiting you find two stacks of unfamiliar, large steel components a short distance from the entrance.
>What they were for, whom had placed them, and how much time had passed since entering you didn't know.

>Making your way south towards the Library, a large number of the same piles were being set up by unfamiliar unicorns with aid from humans working together in assembling some type of cylindrical housing that looked like a heavily modified, albeit tiny, missile silo.
>Reaching the Library after several minutes of walking, two of the small structures, now completed and looking like tiny watchtowers, flanked the north side's doors.
>From the top of each, three long, heavy caliber rifle barrels gleam in bright red Moon light as you enter, lending a painfully defensive air to the night's atmosphere.

>Now inside the, it was rather calm in the Library's main room, although there weren't any humans or ponies sitting across the myriad of couches, nor were the tables covered in books.
>Barring that, the rows upon rows of bookcases that you could see were filled with every variety of volume, tome, book, sheets of paper, folded maps, and several thin books of highly suspect natures.
>There also wasn't a librarian's desk, nor a checkout stand, which you found quite odd.

>Hearing muffled giggling directly left of the Library's entrance, a somewhat large room divided the east side took precedence, the wall not having a single bookcase, shelf, couch, sofa, or chair lining it.
>As they slowly closed in on the statue, SOMETHING happened immediately!
>The pressure in his sensitive ears was skull-rattling as he gripped his medallion to secure it and gauge its strength. Not like he needed to.
>The chiqtu dashed back to their trio as the vibrations hit all of them at a higher pitch and disorientating and skewing the hallway into a darker red color.
"Definitely a trap."
>And for the first time, he finally got to hear the voice of the captor of this mountain.
>Sounded like he was described, like a prideful elf who's mage's robe got too big for himself. What was with the wracking cough? Was he ill?
>The thought had to be pocketed for now, as Golden Horn's urgency hits an all time high as he call out to make a break for it.
>No argument from him, as they apparently only had 2 minutes to escape the red hallway of possibly death? At the least statue-ification!
[1d6+1 = 3] <B.Sprint
[1d6+1 = 6]
[1d6+1 = 2] <B.Reaction Speed
[1d6+1 = 2]
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Looking up to give a distasteful frown, Naliyna squints annoyedly.
"The kinds that only Twisted and Denra ought to hoofle since they started or signed onto these problems. Remember when Denra sent a few humans into Las Pegasus to take back some kind of royal scepter? Well, there's a bunch of Prenchmares that're really pissed off since Lucky didn't send somepony to give it back. Denra signed his name on the contract, so that made him the one responsible for returning it. Then a few months ago Twisted and a few humans went to scout some place that the Dragon Council was worried about, they'd heard rumors of trouble but couldn't send any of their Legion mares to investigate. They found one of their own dead, some Dragon King with a name I can't say right, then caused a fight between a Vortex gateway and the Rift. A while later the current Dragon Emperor returned swearing that all Constructs 'must be destroyed'. He's demarending Twisted share everything the Lunars know on how to kill Constructs without losing one of his own kind ever again."
>Sitting back partway, the mare's eyes close, snout wiggling as she thinks.
"No.. that's not the same word, one letter different. I kind of know what a vambrace is, the older Wardens use something like that and a lot of humans have them. Hay, Remnant, what's a Vanbrace and can we see one?"
>Pulling itself upwards, the Remnant's granite eyestalk ceases swirling as it speaks in a rumbling monotone.
"The Vanbrace are one warrior-servant species among an unknown number existing within the Vortex Plane tasked to undertake delicate or fragile deliveries, scout ahead of Very Important Ponies or receiving delegates from the Lunar faction and their allied factions, track down elusive package recipients to ensure their continued existence, defend such recipients if possible, and to undertake dangerous combat actions including extermination or spearhead operations against hostile Planes that this unit nor any units have not been allowed to perform except under specific circumstances. Vanbraces are incapable of existing in the relative reality spectrums viewable by equines, requiring specialized defenses and training in order to maintain a purely physical state."
"Soooo.. in other words, we can't see them, they can see us, they can carry physical objects and deliver them but we can't interact with them much? Wait, are they dangerous, like can they kill me or a human?"
"That is correct, equine. This unit has not been granted the right to trade the required defenses necessary when interacting with Vanbraces to equines nor humans as such has been deemed unnecessary. No, Vanbraces are not predatory by nature. They do not 'hunt' nor do they believe conflict outside of protecting a Very Important Pony to be acceptable to their beliefs."
"Then let me get this straight: they're smart, thinking creatures that works for you, er, the Vortex, and not an armor, right?"
"That is correct."
"Got it. ..wait, could a Vanbrace act like armor for a physical being?"
"Should a Vanbrace accept the consequences of such an act and be given sufficient pay they are allowed to undertake individual pursuits unless otherwise ordered."
>Turning an unwholesomly suspicious gaze onto the eye, she sighs after a few momarents.
"The more I learn the less I know.."
>Instantly perking up at your last statement, Naliyna's right forehoof flashes out in a 'give me!' motion.
"Then hoof them over right now please, I've gotta see if there's anything I could buy that'll help us tonight!"
>By this point, Cheto's packed pysche simply jotted down the missile silos into his head, automatically stacking them in his memory as 'defenses against the probably avian or Construct forces' as he blankly stares at the stacks of steel components currently being used while travelling to his destination.
(...I must understand how these pony societies work in order to do what I agreed to do... but where to start...)
>Glancing at the unicorns currently helping out on the construction job, a chart starts to form in his head.
(Should I base my assessment on what they can do as individuals or as a group? Maybe how difficulty it is to properly establish friendly relationships with their leaders?)
>Glancing upwards at the finished tiny watchtower-like structures flanking the north-side doors, his mind was still busy with properly constructing his priorities on Tallus' sapient fauna.
(Solars and earth ponies would seem like a good idea if diplomatic relations with their nations weren't so atrocious, and outliers are harder to find than the norm...)

>Entering the library proper, Cheto's thought process deviates sharply at the seemingly empty establishment, blinking softly.
>This mild confusion intensifies at the remarkably alien lack of his previous knowledge on this type of building.
(...so most likely I am not allowed to take items away from here... maybe there's magical security of some kind.)
>The signs of living beings inside the premises makes José's head turn to the left, raising an eyebrow.
(I should be careful. This place definitely looks like it has some strict guidelines to follow that I have no clue of.)
>However, the lone human tentatively starts walking towards the large room, making sure to stop by the entrance in case he wasn't allowed in there, simply looking for who is currently giggling while giving cursory glances at any items of interest in the bookcases.
(No touching anything until I figure out if it's alright to do so.)
[1d6 = 5]<Basic Perception Three times in a row!
[1d6 = 3]
destroy ass.gif
Razorback at anytime in any place and anywhere.
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
"Beats my flanks. Never heard him mad before."
>The incredulous batmare's voice dropped in pitch before snorting aloud.
"No.. I did hear him angry earlier tonight. Was shouting at a unicorn in brown clothes with some weird big hat. Wasn't paying attention, they kept waking me up. Maybe I'll go find some human to stay with, least I could sleep whenever I want."
>That was either a poor, vaguely lewd threat or some lucky Operator getting a roommare that wouldn't bother them much.
>Or both.

>Touching a bundle of the woven crystalline material jutting out between incomplete armor segments, or was that segmarents? above the shoulder, the entire armature snaps upwards in a rippling, forceful curling motion.
>That was fairly responsive compared to most of the known exo-skeleton models you'd seen, although without proper tuning it might cause tennis elbow.
>Or punch a vodka bottle straight up through your skull.

"No, into the back wall. Probably magic stuff.. or something. I think the unicorn in clothes went through it earlier but I wasn't watching. Really tired right now, all this flying around with humans makes my everything sore."

>Winding around the workshop tables towards the east side's entrance to the Armory, side, you stop in front of the door to examine.
>Immediately unable to find damage or any changes even with help from the bright yet comfortable lighting, the few times you'd gone inside there simply wasn't any space for a hidden doorway between all the lockers lining interior walls, not even for a filly.
>Checking around the door within 5M, there weren't any obvious scrapes on the ironwood paneling or features out of place.
>At least, that you knew of.
>Clemency takes a deep breath in from his position, feeling the bloodstone working on his wracked body
>The danger is still there, with the defensive line of strikers still holding but at half capacity
>And still no sight of that one crazed batpony
>Checking his grenades, he looks up to see the Tainted changing tactics and combining
>Seeing the rout potential of the Tainted combining, Clem yells over to the Tower General to warn her of this familiar tactic
>After warning, Clemency then looses a barrage of shotgun shells into the Tainted lines

<E Combat Rifles/Shotguns
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]

>One thought crossed his mind about the Hunter-Killers and Clemency looked around the field and the skies to see if the large group is heading towards this field

<E. Perception
[1d6+3 = 6]
[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 8]
[1d6+3 = 8]
>Ogling the set of impressive surgical instruments on the ex-mares' side of Snakebite, left by the lead mare he recalls, Carlos notices what he believes to be a stiletto mixed in with the scalpels.
(Mierda. I know that is NOT for surgery! Ha!)
>While preparing the drainage tubing, he notices the skin at the incision sites already beginning regeneration.
"Immediate scarring... interesting."
>It made putting the sutures in that more difficult.
>Juan can't help but take a sample from one of the incision sites, kanpri scalpel usage of course!
>As he makes his collection, Nova Flicker brings her attention from her current patient.
"Si. I've heard many new pacientes, since I began treating Señor Snakebite."
>He slices off a small piece of Snakebite's tough epidermis and puts it in a sterile container for the time being.
"If I recall, he came in with two other operadores and one pony. Er, stallion. I would like to also access their conditiones, as well. If they have similar injuries it will be that easier to treat them once it is their turn. I'm assuming Señor Verde has kept them under stasis? Then I can help you with your triage on the new llegadas."
Ivan the STALKER
"You can go sleep in my room if you want, I won't be in there for a while, so you'll be able to get some shut eye."
>While he was only a bit concerned to the results of her taking his offer, he mentally dismissed them.
>It was only courtesy to offer a safe and/or quiet place to sleep, after all.

>Ivan let out a soft whistle at the snappy response, quietly making sure he wasn't sticking fingers in joints to maintain full custody of them.
"Once tweaked, this'll have me reacting much more smoothly..." He muttered to himself.

"Well, either a magically hidden door, or the wall needs a horn to go through it."
>As he inspected the wall he ran his hand along it, checking closely for any subtle seams that would be difficult to spot.
>Or if it would just go straight through.
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Lifting both forelegs to shrug, 'Spiral' reaches out to, somehow audibly, tap the black sapphirine in front of it, bringing up a tiny 60 degree cone window.
''There was no damage to the projection system sir."

>Unable to recognize this Moor cat's coloration or attitude, after a split-second you determine it wasn't Cloverdell, a friendly hybrid that searched the Fortress for attention giving humans.
>Matching the base staff descriptions of Nibbles, what little you'd heard of her was the catbat had a a painfully serious military-like attitude and was reported to be easily angered.

>Aided by the A.I.'s systems, Emerald barely wince upon deploying the holograph, yet recovers swiftly in examining the projections while Hodch bends a hoof upwards to poke at Nibbles' dangling wingtip.
"You mean the element things that made him split into fire, stone, ice? When Spiral was normal he never talked about them. After he 'split' the batpony one, acid I think, or poison, explained they were parts of the 'whole Spiral', but that he wasn't complete somehow and that was driving the weird purple and black unicorn insane. ..yes, I've seen Naliyna's hololith, kind of like a television mixed with a camera and a voice recorder. Couldn't use it, she said only Crystal ponies are able to."
"Forgive my interruption, again, but I know Spiral's habits and attitudes better than anyone except for Kraut and Hollow. It is impossible to imagine that he left without bringing along two to three saddlepacks worth of writing and research materials, or that he simply did not warn a single member of Razorback, genital puns not included, to simply 'go' somewhere."
"What if he was afraid, or embarrassed, or forced to?"
"Miss Emerald, I will not patronize you in your exhausted state. Should the circumstances not be clear enough by now it would take an alicorn, or worse, threatening to annihilate Razorback to 'force' Spiral into action. In his separated state he was capable of taking on perhaps five squads of the Tower Guard's finest, or a barely mature dragon. Trust me when I state this much: he was far more dangerous and unhinged before then."
>Dedicating her energies into studying the projected images, most of which the A.I. was automatically altering or censoring, the woman frowns in partial disbelief.
>Catching the open emotion, she stares down at the Crag Moors map while listening, then speaks up in a bright, sincere tone.
"I don't think he was around just for Kraut's benefit, Pare. He cared for all of us, spent a lot of nights with most every human and pony, even his his.alternate selves or whatever anyone would call them. Maybe the unicorn one did go crazy and he had to isolate it by force. Honestly he helped me get over a lot more than most ponies could. ..um, I don't mean that in an insulting way sorry, it's just that you haven been nice to most of us."
>Casting a morbid glance up at Hodch, he waves a hoof disapprovingly before turning his eyes solely onto the final projected map with steadily increasing focus.
"Miss Emerald, I retired from the Starborn two years ago. Was less than three months into a rather comfortable teaching position at the Canterlot College of Magic. The night before Razorback arrived, Luna recalled me with a letter stating that I would be setting up a training system for Razorback, then the Destruction of Canterlot Palace happened before I could even meet you all. Whom would not be consistently infuriated at being forced to support the same idiot bipedal morons that nearly caused injury to their sworn and belowed sovereign alicorn? That is a facetious question so do not answer it. And keep your apologies, there is worse to focus on right now. However, I do expect you to understand this: I do not believe all humans are fully capable or willing to produce viable progeny with equines. Until that is disproven I will retain my private suspicions and continue to work against Razorback's self-created negative interests, whether individual or group based. Am I clear?"

>Eyes and jaw tight at the Nightblade's tactful scourging words, Emerald gives a solemly curt nod of acceptance.
"You are."
>Lifting a hand to palm her neck, out of the stallion's sight she makes a slight, hate-filled throat-slitting motion.
>Turning back to you with a flustered expression, both hands lift to circle in hopeless motions.
"I don't know what you want to hear or expect me to say. Rank just doesn't matter here and being in command is.. well, most team leaders bark some orders and take a squad off to go do something that makes us look better by helping somepony. Everyone orders around everyone at this point and no one complains unless that leader's trying to make them do shit like kill, steal, rape, blow up, or set somepony's house on fire that doesn't deserve it. I mean, I asked one of the elite squads eight, maybe ten hours ago to go rescue a Saddle Arabian diplmoat that was captured in Ewerup. They didn't even bother asking why I thought it was a good idea, just suited up and left with a couple marefriends."
"Emerald, you are far off topic though you did good in explaining circumstances known to you. The point is this: Razorback is a completely decentralized mercenary organization that has no overall leadership outside of cooperation or simply shouting orders to do this or that. Few Lunars dislike this same state of affairs. We prefer to hoofpick our squads from the most capable individuals and cadres available which makes our tasks much easier knowing that we can rely on teammares to watch our flanks."
>Turning his head to up grin at you, 'Spiral' registers the deep purple stallion's next words as simultaneously honest, yet devious.
"I suspect that you have a certain friend from the Vortex Plane-"
>Spoken with an unusually jealous tone while squinting humorously.
"And I am positive she would love to aid you on such a difficult mission. Of course I will accompany you, as would Miss Emerald here. That was not an offer, by the way."
The L.O.N.T
yes yeeeeeees.gif

>As the Shell talked more about the Constructs the Operators' brow knit closer together at how familiar it all sounded.
>'"Assault Class Vessels"? If I did not know any better it sounds as if she was talking about ships you'd see back home. Are they that advanced?'
"I suppose you have to with what they are able to accomplish..."
>He agreed, one hand clasping over the other which was in a fist.
>'Like an automated army.'

"I -I see."
>Lont was slightly staggered at the amount of new places Shattered listed off. Goes to show how limited his world is. And dammit! Those are more places to add to his list. However first and foremost-
"They all sound like wonderful locations for holiday making. But. How do you even get to any of one of those places, I haven't heard of any of them at all. I assume Cadence will lend a hoof and teleport us yes?"
>He asked, hoped even.
>The first place listed off sounded perfect. It was quiet, a stark contrast to her life now. No doubt sunny, plenty of places to fatten her flanks and foals to cherish over.
>'Harpys and a young dragon? Two more to the list...'
>That Cloudstrike though, not that. He still has business with Las Pegasus. One cloud city at a time.
>Remembering there lost ally made Lont involuntarily glance back at Tacit.

>It was a quick glance, and his attention was now on his person rummaging for the Tablets.
"Of course you may, did you know I was there just recently? I even was there even longer ago, near back when we were first summoned here? Small world."
>He said warmly as he placed the black, red and orange Tablets onto the tables' surface, then pushing them slightly closer to Glacier.
"Look away."

>He raised his shoulders in a humorous shrug.
"I will keep that in mind, same as with including all the Conclaves. Can I get all their names since I'm here?"

>Lont snorted at the reBUTTal, yes, there was certainly going to be a lot more than just ringing tonight.
"You leave your flank spanking to me and you cook us a meal that will last us all night long."
>He promised the Chef Mare with a wry grin before turning back to the Shell sitting opposite him.
"Shattered. Shattered Glacier, if I was careful I wouldn't be here spending a wonderful dinner date with you."
>The Operator said, patting one of her forelegs assuredly.
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>Utterly normal for a library, especially a private one as large as this, there was a minimum of six floor to ceiling bookcases for each letter, but most notably the 'G' section only had three.
>Unable to make sense of most book titles due to the profusion of languages, the few common ones that you could read from were historical, factional, species, and cultural volumes, meaning the just-to-read ones were elsewhere.
>The smaller shelves lined up behind various couches and chairs were simply dedicated to holding reference guides, maps, out of date volumes, dictionaries, teaching or instruction workbooks.
>Placed behind the shortest tables were most certainly foal's books, for coloring, reading, some that were definitely both, along with a dozen or so varying sized dark wooden toolboxes filled with crayons.
>Except they didn't say 'crayon' and looked to be simple colored wax.

>Finding the only entrance, a large, heavily reinforced and pleasingly ornate wooden door, the trim was some type of fluorescent color changing metal.
>A brand new looking steel plaque at at chin height for you and a second at mid-thigh level read 'FILLY ROOM'.
>Hearing a snickering giggle and muted laughter from numerous foals, children, or potentially both, the voice of either an older, tired mare or possibly a former opera singer human past her prime speaks in a low tone.
>Checking the handle, the hoofle below it, then a small ring below that, none budged.
>Off the side there was a large doorbell and two smaller ones at what you guessed where optimal heights for adult and young ponies.
>Poking the first one, there was no indication of chime or bell from inside the room, at least until the door cracks open several inches.
>Too dark to see inside, the outline of a highly transparent knight's helmet becomes visible at chest height once it begins to glow.
>Doing a double take, it was a pony knight's helmet, specifically a Crystal mare older than Naliyna.
>Blinking once, she speaks in a low, exhausted rumbling tone that you couldn't match to any human voice or pitch.
"Yes, human? I am foalsitting and cannot leave, though I will help you if possible."
>As Pareidolia goes through his evidence and findings, his brow furrows listening to the exchange between radio operator and Nightblade.

[Emerald's lack of knowledge on Spiral's capabilities is grating on Hodch. Potential to incite anger-]

>Unable to move his head without disturbing the image, the best he can manage is a single shake of his head and an irritated drumming of his fingers as Emerald believes she needs to correct a misconception about Spiral.


>He slowly reaches up and turns off his helmet projector as Hodch justifiably lashes back at the human who failed to understand his obligation to Razorback despite his personal opinions.
>Exhaling through his helmet, he rolls his shoulders and arms that had been supporting him over the table.

[Pointless gesture based on misunderstanding between species. Another example of why human interaction with other species must be carefully managed.]

"I'm aware of the decentralized nature of Razorback. I felt given the importance and relation Spiral has with multiple ponies and operators on site, making it clear to all parties involved what information had been gathered and have clear communication was warranted. Particularly with ponies who have a vested interest in Spiral's return such as Tipper or Krinza."

>His helmet turns to regard Hodch.
>With a pause just long enough to be considered uncomfortable, he says:

"I do not know how interactions with Vortex Plane sirens function, nor how willing Dul would be in such an operation with no clear risk assessment let alone how to contact them. Clearly you know about such matters than I do."

>Behind his visor, he regards Hodch warily for a moment.

[Likely informed by Zigri or other informants. That Khalani operation was another damn proxy incident where humans were used. Never did get an explanation on those observers.]

"Do you believe that level of manpower is sufficient to retrieve Spiral from whatever managed to incapacitate him of all ponies? And do you think we would succeed without Kraut's presence? I understand you must have a reason to find Spiral yourself, but this sounds premature."

[Psychological demands may encourage rash decisions. Need to determine psychological stability for security of the operation.]

>Pareidolia silently and intently observes Hodch in a search for indicators about his psychological state.
>José's pace turns slightly giddy at all the information he may have at his disposal, even if he couldn't understand even a fraction of it.
(Alright, so this is excellent news.for me. Now to find how this place works and see if I can use this knowledge without me unintentionally breaking a rule by thinking like a human.
(...That and guide me to what part of the library has books catered to my language and situation specifically.)

>At the sight of these supposed 'crayons', Gallo purses his lips slighlty, already feeling a pang of restraint at his curiosity.
(...so this is also a daycare on the side...)
>Instinctively scratching at his pants, the man pressed onwards towards the noise, going through the motions as more clues as to where he was going became far more apparent.
>Seeing the glowing helmet from outside the creaked door, Cheto's eyes soften considerably at the mare's sorry state, nodding once out of sympathy before offering her a weak, cordial smile.
"Ah, I'm terribly sorry for taking up your time when you seem to have a lot on your plate, miss. I was hoping to find the librarian or whoever knows how this place operates to guide me to what I'm looking for in this building, particularly books regarding Tallus' cultures, societies, languages and other social aspects."
(I hope she's alright in there... she definitely needs a rest.)
Mallia Castella

>Applying the age old technique of the Technical Knock, Mallia brings back the Auspex whilst, not far beside her, Raindrop jumps. The enginseer didn't seem to acknowledge the fact for a moment as she sent a diagnostic ping towards Witch-Two and her systems.
>And as she does, she also gave the visor of her helmet a distinct, interested look as a strong feeling of curiosity urges her to ask...
(Difficult to accept, Admiral? ... Catastrophic diplomatic situations?)
(... It doesn't sound like the last enginseer did not have a very good time by the way you're putting it.)
>Mallia's question are followed by a slight sense of discomfort mixed with worry. Though it is quickly followed by relief, at the confirmation that the mechanism within the Auspex had been very efficiently reset successfully.

>Then, finally, her head half-turns with rather hastily towards Raindrop; freezing up a bit to the sound of her fearful whisper.
>She doesn't speak at first given Chisan answering for her. Which only leaves Mallia with the room to slip in a:
"Sorry. It was urgent. I'll let you know next time. Sorry, Raindrop."
>Despite everyone else's amusement, Mallia's tone was earnestly apologetic as usual.
>Side glancing the other operators with a small, apologetic wave of her off-hand before beginning the process of strapping the Auspex unit back onto it's flak vambrace slot.

>What gets her chuckling is her turning her glance back to see Chisan's distinct frowning expression, taking note of all the ticks.

(Just as planned... One day the Stormtrooper will laugh, and then he will be doooooomed. Doomed I say!)

>Then, she wheezes quietly. Coughing in her focused attempt to not laugh TOO loudly at the interaction between Tox-11 and Witch-Two.
"Hah-ah!~ Heeeheh!... I can't even... You two..."
>She whispered to herself inbetween bouts of chuckling while securing the Auspex with both her mechadendrite and her hand, which made the process pretty quick.
>Once that was done, she keeps one hand on the grip of the laspistol mostly by reflex while the other holds on her utility belt at her hip.
>Despite her curiosity of the "possessed battleship targeting arrays", she decides it was a question for later...

(Did you detect anything anomalous, Admiral?)
(--Actually can you forward me the scans? I've never personally used a Chroniton Wave reader before, I want to see them!)

>Mallia takes a few steps backwards away from the vault door while Raindrop takes her time to think, moving a bit closer to where Chisan was, standing almost alongside him. Her eyes unconsciously following the wiggling of her equine ears with GREAT interest as she stood back, but also paying attention to what she does.
>She tried to stay quiet, and not distract her from whatever she was doing while observing her... Her stance stiffening as she stands a bit more idle. Back straight, legs together and boots firmly planted.
>Only her mechadendrite moved around. Sort of hovering just above her shoulder like a snake, peeking it's tool-clad, clamp-like tentacle arm. Curiously, it also seemed to point towards Raindrop as if it, too, was watching her, instead of hiding behind her back as before.

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

>Though this didn't really stop Mallia from mentally tuning into the vox, and whispering into their channel to address Chisan. Side glancing to see the Stormtrooper as she spoke, albeit briefly.
"*Stormtrooper Chisan, while we wait, how do you feel about personal questions for the sake of getting to know eachother better? Would you prefer I stay quiet unless it is pertinent? Or would you prefer I never ask anything, ever?*"
>Her voice maintains a degree of partially monotone seriousness despite the inherent curiosity in the line of questioning. Though it WAS a very serious question nonetheless.
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice
GM Strangler
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault, Evasion & Reaction Speed rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>Quickly tapping each of the integrated grenade pouches across your chest, all was in order judging from the tones and weights felt.
>Barely seeing a silverine helmet above the writhing mass of Eldritch-Spectral bodies, the General's attempt to consolidate her non-wounded forces was much too late-
>Pulling the SPAS-12 into position, the first slug streaks high into the now formed left hindquarter of a medium tank sized Tainted where numerous of its kind had been the second prior.
>The second grazes across the saddle and punctures through the neck, the third and fourth down, each leaving trails of vapor running parallel to the spinal column.

>Due to instability in their ranks and the massive shift of intelligent Tainted changing their garthered tactics, roughly three-quarters of the entire Support Striker line collapses rearwards across the internal screen ranging from 10M to 30M.
>This time, their icons did not change to show retreat: roughly fifty of the formerly bright white icons become a faded black, the uncaring radar system signifying their deaths.
>The Tower Guard General's icon travels approximately 50M northwest, straight into Lann's tradehouse from the brutal assault and becomes a flashing white denoted by a VIP designation.
>Appearing on the array, a single gold marker designating what appeared to be a much more advanced fighter was caught amongst the Tainted's assault.
>The now visible unit, a burning fluorescent red batpony mare covered in Nightclaw armor of near-alicorn size was wreathed in dozens of likely non-physical wounds that had the effect of drawing further Tainted attentions onto her.
>Unable to escape from either the central large Tainted or the dozens piling on her, the bloodhost makes full use of her situation by lancing her forehooves forwards while and both sets of arm-length wingclaws rip into the large Tainted's head.
>While the 'mare' that the Cultist leader had summoned was enough of a distraction for the fewer than thirty percent remaining Stalliongrad forces, it did allow the white robed psions to take advantage of their now fully physical opponents as you witness dozens of burning green Starbolts streaking through the Tainted surrounding them, accompanied by the horrific screams of dying earth ponies.
[1d6-1 = 2] <Tainted
[1d6+4 = 8] <Mass #1
[1d6+4 = 7] <Mass #2
[1d6+4 = 8] <Mass #3

[1d6 = 1] <Support Strikers
[1d6+1 = 2] <Tower Guard General ???
[1d6+7 = 13] <???

>Sighting two full squadrons of Hunter-Killers flitting over the northern rooftops on downwards intercepts, their signals conglomerate into double lines and crashing down into the mayhem below, though you knew for certain they wouldn't stand against these Tainted for long.
[1d6+8 = 10] <Hunter-Killer Squadron 1
[1d6+6 = 8] <Hunter-Killer Squadron 2
Razorback Clinic: Doctor Carlos, Receiving in Operating Room #1
GM Strangler
>Stepping inside and closing the door after her, Nova's head and shoulders sag in fatigue.
"More have come in than I can safely treat without rotating time between them all. My auric field is depleted but I have marenaged to stabilize the four least injured."
>Glancing back at the tungsten door behind her, then up at the table, Nova stares bitterly while lifting a forehoof to rub her snout.
"He has, yes, but I have never seen complete destruction of an entire pony or human body before. Snakebite's injuries were in my dam's estimate capable of being restored at significant cost, however, I must state those three are physically incapable of being recovered. Novus has sustained over eight hundred skeletal fractures. His musculature, internal organs, soft tissues, nervous and vascular systems are damaged to such a degree that I can see no method of recovery, though his brain is essentially intact but has suffered extreme trauma. For Kraut I cannot comprehend the level of damage sustained. There is not a single recognizable tissue mass nor was I able to begin counting the number of microfractures. He looks like a mosaic of fifty thousand grains of sand. As for Caliya-"
>Shaking her head slowly, the carnelian Ward's ears flatten in depression.
"The burns he sustained must have been over four hundred degrees for two to three minutes. The epidermis is entirely gone, as it in simply does not exist anymore. Musculature, tendons, organs, and skeleton from four to five inches of depth are little more than charred masses. His heart and brain have entirely ceased to function due to blood congealmarent."
>Inhaling slowly, Nova's ears perk up, but only halfway.
"There are two Pred-Elk, three additional humans, a Prench stallion, and one of the Arcane Blades should be fine for me to take care of until my dam returns. She is currently overseeing an attempt to locate and destroy all traces of Ark Viper venom outside."
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
>Lazily grunting without concern, ire, or hints of lewd, the batmare's pitch lowers once more.
"Meh, maybe later.. and I dunno where your room is but I swear not to mess with you while sleeping or mess with your clothes."

>Sliding your glove across each panel in sequence, reaching over the first table covered in stacks of cured basilisk hide, the next two holding various sized bricks of odd metals and materials, your hand is suddenly caught by an invisible field directly above the fourth table littered with unfinished melee weapons.
>Instinctively reacting by trying to pull away in case of a Space anomaly, instead a muted clicking and stone-on-stone grating sound occurs underneath you before freeing your hand.
>Stepping back to examine what caused this, a circular recess in the floor had opened to reveal a spiraling stairway down.
>Wincing at the space that most pegasi would find highly claustrophobic to enter, the batmare's voice speaks, this time mildly awake.
"Hay, that's the same sound I heard before. What is it?"
Ivan the STALKER
"Mm, just look for a door surrounded by bottles. Or the sound of them crashing down."
>It was an effective deterrent after all.

>Letting out a low whistle at the sudden emergence of a hidden staircase, Ivan made sure to not stand right at the edge.
"Magical switch. They didn't go through the wall, they went through the floor."
>Attempting to peer down, Ivan put on his headlamp and attempted to gauge how far down it went.
Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
>Swiveling her eyes towards the Conclave's entrance, Glacier's body stills in an unreadable state.
"There's not marely ponies older than me outside the Alicorns, Changelings, a bunch of Undead earth ponies, and some others I don't know enough about to speak of. Tartarus, I'm not even the oldest Shell, half of what I know is from them. The second an Equestrian military i able to retaliate in full force every Construct is dead or gone. We can't catch, pin down, chase, and certainly have no means to overpower them. Their own numbers suffer the kind of losses that ponies never
accept but they keep doing it. Win one battle, leave, repeat after one to fifty years. Nothing Constructs do makes sense to us."

>Turning in her seat to sit back, the Shell's lips purse humorously.
"Not surprised you haven't heard of them. We've all heard from the Unicorn Guard's Lord-Captain that Razorback got cut off from most of mainland Equestria after.. well, that thing in Canterlot. All those places have translocation circle things. I don't like traveling through it much, that Remnant's way too stiff necked, almost like it can't relax or something."

>The Melodine Conclave's Matron was still seated behind Tacit, soundless vibrations curling the air itself while focusing.
>That she hadn't finished yet was indicative of extensive trauma and severe organ damage that required delicate treatmarent.

"Mm-mm, had no idea. Never been there myself since most Shells don't like leaving the Empire but I've seen tons of alchemical sets that were made in Old Canterlot."
>Inscrutably glancing up, she carefully follows your motions before pinning down onto the tablets and reaching out to tap each one in order, her hoof color changing in resonant contact.
"Hm, thought so, these are originals. Somepony damaged the stamps and marks where they were made. Can still feel them. Pretty shoddy attempt really. These were made in sets of fifteen for.. some kind of special unit Sunflanks made, there was supposed to be one for each natural gem. How do you only have these three, Rest get lost in the mail or something?"
>Nudging the archaic tablets back, the artificially housed mare's eyes roll in a slow, methodically disbelieving pattern.
"That'd better be a joke, Royal Bed Warmer. There's more Conclaves than Crystalline Shells. Most aren't even listed, and around forty have been reestablished in old Changeling Outpost and mining ruins. Just state 'to all Conclaves', they'll reach out."

>Face creasing from frown to outright scowl, the Conclave mare snaps short orderly phrases to her fellows while the Shell pretends not to notice.
>You could barely understand the language though it sounded like she had ordered them to serve the main dish.
"Might want to cool those hocks a bit before that trio boils 'em over a raging fire."
>Sincerely grinning aside from her snout wrinkling in a pained fashion, Glacier's other hoof gently rests on your hand.
"The only one that'll be thanking you harder than me is Squire Elezith. I doubt she's run into creatures more dangerous than sleepy frost drakes or rogue icewyrms. We can leave the other two out but I will say this part of tonight has been a thoroughly enjoyable diversion. Thank you. I mean that, especially outside of all the joking."
>Throats clearing next to the table, the trio of Conclave mares stood in a neat line, the center one clearly not amused.
>Setting a large crystal platter before you, ten slices of soft blue heart, around the size of the standard grenade, were surrounded by three neatly piled strips of reptile steaks atop a bed of..
>You had to check to make sure yet the several types of Empire lettuce and sweet, earthy scented roots weren't immediately familiar.
>On the left side furthest from you, a bowl of thick, steaming black liquid with several floating chunks of dull blue, pale blue, and white mushroom along with tiny shreds of red peppers were visible on the surface.
>A form of spiced blood soup, interestingly enough.
>Opposite that were thin rectangles of Empire crystal slathered in a blue Protoform-like gel that wasn't recognizable.
>Heads bowing for half a second, the trio spin around with near-military precision and return to their stove.

>Glacier follows the mares with her eyes only for a few seconds, returning to give a tiny grin.
"Well then, human, will you offer one of those-"
>Sniffing at the crystals faux-obnoxiously.
"Or are you going to make me starve while I watch you eat?"
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>The stallion turns to speak, lips parted but unmoving at your last sentence.
>Mouth shutting and ears flattening, his visage flickers into a hurt state before returning to his normal teacher's role.
>Clearing his throat, small sparks light off his horn to form a series of concentric pink-tinged unicorn runes.
"Quite readily I assure you. Suppose I will have to keep this explanation brief:"
"Sirens, or as they prefer to call themselves: the-singing-kin-serving-across-all-vortexes, are uncommon compared to most of that Plane's inhabitants and one of the most valuable, Most of the Vortex's 'currency' relies on delivering packages for the Remnant itself through other Planes, spectrums, realms, dimarensions, etcetera. They essentially trade honor though the specifics are difficult to understand. Sirens are only allowed to deliver items of extreme importance: secret parcels, military orders, Very Important Ponies, that sort, so wasting their time with frivolous pursuits is liable to get you blacklisted. That is, unless their services are purchased from the Remnant yet I cannot think of a single individual allowed that privilege. Regardless, they are virtually incorruptible since their duties are of utmost importance, and quite vicious in combat. The stamp you were given-"
>Eyes half-lidding in a faux-bored tone to ward off questions from Emerald, whom was about to.
"Is a summon for that individual. Consider it like a mark of honor, a one-use pledge to perform a task of any complexity or length, and has the Remnant's approval to do so. To be given one means this, Dul, as you say, appreciated your services during a particularly troubling delivery enough to offer it. It is likely she desires interactive experience that can only be gained on Tallus. The activation is simple: Speak her name aloud and request a meeting. Hrm, I said I would keep it short but that rarely happens."
>Taking back some of her open aggression, the Korean glances between the two of you before pointing a hesitant finger at herself.
"What do you think I can even do? Can barely shoot a little plinker let alone keep up with the damned buzzsaws most humans have. Only other weapon I've got is a cheap hwando that I've never trained with and a pretty little crystal knife Naliyna found for me. Most of my time is spent playing monitor the damned radio, keeping up with news, or chasing down information."
>Sighing patiently, Hodch's ears splay out to the sides as he tries not to grimace.
"Put that way, then nevermind what I stated. There should be at least one other human to come with, although choices are limited. That being said you did get along with Spiral quite well. Instead I suggest this: I will give you a modified directional amplification.. device is the best word, that will allow me to teleport you and one other, pony or human, within a short radius if need be using one of the small translocation discs."
>Eyes narrowing suspiciously, Emerald folds her arms defensively.
"I know when you're secretly planning something, and you're doing i-"
>Cutting her off by intentionally fizzling the encyclopedia above his horn, Hodch glowers for a second, then makes a half-hearted shrug.
"I do not even have time to devise a solid plan, but I can make a safety net or two. What I have suggested is forcing myself to loan you a priceless object for the sake of Pareidolia, myself, and whomever, or whatever goes hunting down Spiral. Had I not trusted you enough to offer it then I would not. Either accept or refuse."
"Fine. I accept, but I get to choose who comes with me."
"As you should."

>Studying the unicorn's demeanor, aided by the A.I.'s heuristic pattern-analysis systems, Hodch's near-total lack of obfuscation, save for the last quarter-minute, indicated an abnormal degree of honesty without desperation.
>Something, or somethings, were bothering him as his tone shifts and body language indicated moderately controlled pain.

(Half the time I do not remember having one of these.)
>Your Moon Orb clicks, Hodch looking towards the back room while his voice comes through tiredly.
(Apologies for the intrusion, as well. Emerald believes I was snapping at her, which, while rational to a high degree, is too emotionally based. Given her current state an outsider alternative is necessary. Speak nothing of what I say next: I have a contact in Saddle Arabia's Circle of Assassins that owes me a favor. One. Favor. The type that does not come cheaply. There is a notable Countess in their ranks a human apprentice working for her. They are rarely up for hire but my contact is rather, shall we say, difficult to say 'no' to. I will pay their fees out of my own expenses. Yey, or neigh?)
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>The eye squints deeply, remaining that way for roughly ten seconds or so.
>Long enough to make you moderately unsettled by the time she blinks, yet speaks once more in a polite tone.
"I do not sense a Librarian nor Lorekeeper in the building. There are traces of a potent psion from approximately four, perhaps five hours prior. As for specific titles I likewise do not know, have not yet had a chance to peruse them myself as my duties are far too important-"
>Head tossing sideways to indicate the whispering youths behind her.
"I cannot leave until my replacemarent arrives. My apologies for not being of aid."
>Dipping her head briefly before the door closes, the armored mare 'oofs' loudly from being piled on.
The L.O.N.T

"And that is the worst part about them, can never pin down what they're thinking or what they want."
>Lont concluded after Glacier.
>'Exactly the same as robots. Always acting the long play, where every event seems random until it doesn't.'

>At hearing Razorback was "cut off" from the rest of Equestria Lonts' eyebrow rose with intrigue.
"I cannot say that what they did was unprecedented, what happened in Canterlot I recall vividly with great shame even if I'm told its in the past and what’s done is done. Yet I still feel slightly insulted at knowing this."
>He admitted, rubbing his chin in thought.
>'There certainly is a lot Razorback does not know, just how in the dark are we?'

>'Poor bastard.'
>The Operator sympathised with the mortally wounded Stallion, knowing the pain of being at deaths door.
>A miracle he himself was still alive. Well, a miracle there were others around to save his over-eager ass.

"I will tell you it lives up to its name. Old and derelict but not abandoned."
>Lont said cryptically, memories flashing to when he was being chased out of the old city by nature itself.
>He watched closely as Shattered carefully hooved his Tablets and humming with interest as her colour changed. Tapping his finger as she detailed their origin he thought really hard if he should tell her about Lucky.
>'Might as well.'
"It is good to know of their origin, thank you. And I know of that special unit. They are called the Solar Guardians and I have quite the...personal history with them. As for why I only have three? Well, Lucky only sold three to Razorback and I was there each time to buy them. Though it is amazing how these Tablets are connected to me more ways than one."
>He said with a smile filled with mirth, remembering Lucky and how good she was to them, remembering Sharonel and how good she was to him.
"Then consider it done, certainly saves on the paperwork."
>Lont jested, it would of been someone else's problem honestly.

>The Operator sighed, deflating a bit and sinking comfortably in his seat.
"Yes you are right. That is enough teasing for the night."
>Lont responded to the warm gesture by giving her an understanding nod and rubbing his hand across her hoof.
"Very dangerous indeed. And thank you too, your company has been most welcome. It has been a pleasure to even converse with you."
>He complimented before his attention was taken to the side by the three Conclave Chef Mares.

>'I will admit I did not see this coming, I am pleasantly surprised.'
>He brought his hands up and steepled them in front of his mouth, to hide he was drooling a bit. It all looked fantastic and the collective aroma made his stomach growl. It was a bit since he last ate...
>Before he could even say his thanks to the chefs they left as quickly as they came however.
>Later then.
>So preoccupied by burning the image of all the delicious food into his mind he almost missed what Shattered Glacier said.
"Oh no of course not. I am not so cruel."
>He picked up one of the goo covered crystals by pinching it with his thumb and index finger; leaning into the table to get closer to Glacier he offered the fancy rock to her.
"Eat up you poor thing, you're practically skin and bones!"
>Lont said with faux-concern.
>Even as Cheto witnesses the mare's awkward and unsettling actions in response to his words, he could easily excuse them as part of her tired state, keeping his small, soft smile.
(Está destrozada la yegua.)
>As soon as she utters her inability to assist him further, he nods understandingly, glancing back at the energetic youth.
"I understand, miss. Thank you for your time."
>He couldn't help but flinch slightly at the tired mare's surprised onomatopoeia yet a ghost of a smile forms as his polite demeanor slackens.
(...It's a bit heartwarming... yet I doubt I'd last long in there entretaining the youth like she does. Hopefully she has some sort of magical invigoration stuff on her.)

>Turning around to face the dozens of bookcases, he figures his best shot to properly research is to figure out how these books were ordered before managing to find what he's looking for.
>With that thought process and remembering the volumes he could read, he steps to the location of one of the cultural volumes in an attempt to assert a pattern and to see what was available to him.
(If I recall correctly, Solars, Lunars and the Ferron clans are the most relevant factions that I should study up on, considering my profession's ties to them...
(...I sure hope that mare was incorrect on her magical assessment, because this might take a while.)
[1d6 = 1]<Basic Perception Four times!
[1d6 = 2]
>Pareidolia remains silent as Hodch explains, closing his eyes and gathering his thoughts.

[Somehow Dul applied this "stamp" without my awareness. Has this been visible even when I've been cloaked? Apparently a high ranking planar being. Combat abilities exceptional. Motivations seem strong.]

>Recalling the operation, he notes how it-

[She? Do planar beings even have such distinctions?]

>Had enthusiastically remarked about wanting to fight again in the Vortex and fighting for 'Itam'.

>As Hodch finishes, he nods once.

"I see. I was unaware I was given such a marker and privilege and had no way of seeing it myself. I apologize."

>Taking a notepad and a pen, and stepping away from the table, he moves back and seats himself down on the nearest couch.
>He steeples his hands and catches his chin with them while watching Emerald and Hodch argue.
>Lips pursed with terse approval, he reviews the immediate psychological profiling of Hodch that was made.

[Not certain how well Emerald knew Spiral, but if Kraut is unavailable this may be our only option. Hodch's likely motivations include his deteriorating condition. No major subversive intent.]

>Specifying that the information pertaining to Constructs should mainly be given to anyone who would operating near or engaging them, he writes a succinct summary of his findings on the nature of their fluid and what operators/ponies should be aware of.
>He stiffens slightly as Hodch's voice reaches him through the Moon Orb.
>Reaching into his pocket, he grips his in return.

(That should be a call that you make. This concerns your life even more than it does anyone else's in Razorback. I believe we aren't in a position to turn down assistance, but you have other vested interests with Spiral that are yours before Razorback's. I don't have the authority to dictate your affairs.)

[Then he must not have heard my call when the Construct reactivated...]
>Letting the workers to talk among themselves, the Lunarites start scooting past him one by one; announcing and defending themselves.
"Better question is WHY do I seem to be the ONLY one that doesn't know about them? Out of all the opportunities to tell me-"
>The Nightblade visually and slightly painfully face-palms himself as curious ponies move around.
>But the crew leader gives him a deep concerned look. Did Shanis really need to be bothered with it? They won't be much of a problem, once he gets them to the Citadel.
>Jeff looks up into the night sky, looking one at the red moon.
"The Citadel has been under attack by Constructs for several hours now, and their unwaivering duty is to Luna above anything else."
>He allows that part to sink in, cracking his armored knuckles before continuing. He's already understanding the taboo of them existing. It just isn't the councilmare...
"I'm taking it upon myself to escort them there by whatever means, mitigate any external safety concerns along the way, and lead them into battle. The quicker we get there, the less that need to get involved. Discretion would be appreciated, but I won't stop you from alerting Shanis. I'd be surprised if she wasn't already aware about the Citadel's siege by now."
>Looking over pony alike, Jeff examines the carrying capacity of the Dagor, and brings his hand to his chin in considerable thought. This might be a bit of a juggle on how to get there a quick as possible.
"By the way. Councilmare... jeez why can't I remember her name. The batmare unicorn got here pretty quickly from the Citadel. Did she happen to come here with anypony else, or was she alone?"
>Unless she could teleport like that, under her own power. Surely someone must have followed here, in her current condition. Well not her CURRENT one. Pre-Mercy-slashing condition.
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Stalled from a diagnostic check from a burst of untranslated hexadecimal code, the Auspex emits a loud buzzing sound.
'Excellent Knock there, Castella! This blasted system suffers fits worse than a Guardsman field laspistol built on a Dead World. I thought the Inquisitor was being overly generous towards your skills. This will be going in my report-'
>The Admiral's link is cut into eerie silence, then Tox-11's data stream comes across with a pained sigh.
'previous enginseer was ignored during meeting with exodite knight, farseer, craftworld banshee exarch during mission to observe destruction of small necron tombship. blurted out questions on eldar reproduction. exarch thought questions slander, went into wardance. farseer tried to subdue. failed. all injured inside. exarch taken down by warp spider and avenger observers. no losses save pride. after incident explorator magos biologis prime reprimands enginseer. too severe. inquisitor tried explaining situation, failed to convince. magos ordered skitarii attack. defense successful but admiral lost trusted naval guard from battleship staff. when situation known eldar attacked explorators. chose to defend inquisitor honor. heavy losses explorator, few losses eldar. magos bitter at caught in wrong, cursed targeting systems. tracker suspected magos heretek, never confirmed'

>Lifting the bright yellow fish for a cursory examination, the Knight's head turns to give you a still rattled, forgiving half-smile.
"That's okay. I thought I was going to be trapped in there, attacked by something I couldn't see, or both. I'm really bad against non-physical targets, they're the worst to deal with."

>Visually returning to his predetermined expressionless state, the Scion gives up while making an 'I tried' gesture.

>Ceasing their conversation, both Adronal and Witch-Two link confused questions towards each other.
>Ending their queries, the Admiral's response is speculative.
'A great deal, Enginseer. The interlinked protective systems are a combination of electromagnetic and engrammatic. Still wholly functional and viable considering it has operated without failure. I am unable to state more than this as Raindrop Raspberry and myself are bound to certain laws. As for the code itself you may analyze them, yet much of the Inquisitor's technology relies on hexadecimal.'
>Through the MIU, access to 10 terabytes worth of data in separate files from the Auspex unit's scans is unlocked.
>The code, as expected, is unreadable save for file names which denote locations, none of which were all that interesting except for a materials storehouse on the upper northwest terrace.
'it is safe to say the rest of this city features little of importance. Excuse me for some time, I must attempt to locate the unknown equine.'
[1d6+2 = 6] <Chroniton Wave Reader

>Holding the yellow fish up, somehow stuck to her left forehoof's armor, the Knight beams a smile it to the Vostroyans.
>Studying the sanctioned xenos equine mare's features, a series of delectable physical notations are rapidly spooled off from the MIU regarding her physical capabilities.
>Conflicting interest and concerns aside, your studies would remain private. ..unless you wanted to torture Chisan, the Inquisitor, or both time regarding such useful information on a prime mare of her species.

>Head turning in your direction, Chisan's lips curl into a contemplative state as he subvocalizes.
*"I have few questions to ask nor little information to give. Like all Tempestus Scions I was mind wiped before training and succeeding the collegiat's courses. What little I know of my homeworld comes from the Commissar, Medicae personnel, a Ministorum priest whom enjoyed amasec often, and the two Enginseers attached to my regiment. My personality is essentially a blank dataslate, except for our Inquisitor removing certain engrams she deemed unnecessarily restrictive. As per her orders I must encourage you, as an individual, to share what relevant data in our shared cause regardless of how difficult or unseemly such information appears or sounds to be. Outside of what the Inquisitor decries as 'double heresy' or 'extra heresy' I am not to prevent you from sharing knowledge outside of Techna Lingua as I cannot understand it."*

"I think the most common key phrase is 'flat iron rose' or 'hold the line'. ..I just hope it's not one of the weirder ones-"
>The stasis field around the fish dissipates, which proceeds to flop in Raindrop's unusual grasp.
>The Vostroyan-like humans clap resoundingly while she makes a triumphant head toss accompanied by a wide grin.
"Got it! Now, who's ready for some baked wild yellow cloud bass?"
>Arching his eyebrows towards you, Chisan reaches up to tap the bayonet handle tucked into its standard protective sleeve.
"I will aid you in processing though I am not hungry. Should any of you feel inclined to warm up or desire your field rations to be cooked, I have modified the heatstone pile in the main room to acceptable limitations."
>Spinning about and racing off through the hall on three legs, curiously without any difficulty considering how heavy her armor was, Sergei gives you a short wave before following her, accompanied by the three young human males.
"I cold here, need warm up but we listen for trouble. You call? We come run."
>Shrugging his upper fatigues heavily in an 'I'll handle this' motion, the Scion about faces towards the hall and sets off at a clipped pace after them.

>Which leaves you with the young female, stepping forwards to take up a guard position behind and left of you, intently staring into the vault with a sense of wonder radiating across her face.
[1d6+1 = 2] <B.Perception
[1d6+1 = 5]
>Speaking quietly after a few pensive seconds, she glances towards your mechadendrite, then the laspistol in your hand, and finally back to the gateway with a depressed smile.
"No hungry, can't eat. Butterflies in stomach. Spend so long try open but argue lots. Now want explore. Wait for others or go in?"

[1d6 = 5] <Reaction
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
"Just don't have the energy right now. Wake me up when you leave and I'll probably follow."
>Despite the voice's lazy assurance, you knew that most batponies were simply too fruit hungry, lewd, and neverer trained enough to keep up with even the civil inclined humans of Razorback.

>Focusing the beam across the previously hidden staircase, it coiled around in a tight pattern downwards one full turn, making it at least 5M below the Workshop's floor.
>Knowing most ponies were frightened of, or simply hated, all enclosed spaces that they couldn't stretch out in, this was both a defensive system and a means for specific poninel to traverse.

>Hearing solid metal landing on the floor behind you, the mare from before emits a loud half-yawn, half-sigh.
>Speaking up in a marginally more awake tone, a set of heavily scuffed Nightclaw armor slides into place next to you, the dented and faded purple helmet angling down to, probably, stare at the underground passage.
"..looks like some of the secret passages running under the Citadel. Smaller and tighter though. Any idea where this goes?"
Mallia Castella
>The speed in which Mallia's mood bounces from almost joyfully proud of Witch-Two's impending compliment, very glad to know that her skills were allegedly 'good' from someone she was quickly growing a great deal of respect and admiration towards, to sheer, almost terrified, stunned silence was almost bewildering. it was a near-instant change in mood.
>The piece of Information Tox-11 had just given her made her freeze solid. Her entire body stiffening like an Imperial caught learning something she truly shouldn't have.
>Metaphorically, she 'examined' this piece of information within her mind while holding it over an imaginary incinerator. Which was her preparing to order her micro-cogitator to straight-up attempt to delete this information from her mind.
>She wasn't sure if it could, but she was about to make a very good attempt of it.

>Mallia ultimately decides to just shove it in the back of her mind as she becomes ghostly pale. Were it not for the full-body armor, robes, and helmet, she'd look sickly pale. Though doesn't sweat. Not yet.
>She decided to briefly stop transmitting her mood so openly after that.

>There's no thoughts going through her head anyways. Her mind was FIERCELY attempting a soft-reset. Closing her eyes and taking deep, slow, controlled breaths...
>And reaching up rather hastily to almost try to take off her helmet. One hand on the bottom of the helmet, the other on the chin straps ready to undo it. But she doesn't. She goes still again, as her mechadendrite visibly shivered up her back by reflex, and then coils behind her lower back, folding in on itself behind it's attach-point.

>She almost entirely ignored the 10 terabyte's worth of data. Almost. For about 2 seconds. She took this opportunity to refocus and just open the files to explore them.
>Of course she couldn't read most of it. But that didn't disappoint her at all, she just tried to copy most of it to store it in her Micro-cogitator so that she can learn how to decipher another time, once the time was right to ask/do that. Probably when Witch-Two was less busy.

>She then re-estabilishes all the links she had temporarily closed in her "small" panic attack.

(Thank you. Admiral Dranaki. Thank you Adronal.)
>She still sounded genuine. Though now she just felt confused, and perturbed for a while on a much lower level than what she was feeling before.

>As her eyes glued themselves more on the Pegasus knight's mane in another attempt to put herself at ease, she spend a second dwelling on a particular thought.
(I wonder if she'll let me brush her mane. That sounds relaxing.)
>Throwing a shaky sigh out through her nose--the sound of which was audible through the face-mask of the helmet she was wearing, she notably took a second to fully focus her gaze on Chisan again to listen to the answer to her question. Finally normalizing her mood as she pays rapt attention to every word from Chisan.
>Mallia's head curiously tilts slightly to one side as he says 'blank dataslate' in that context. One could almost see the raised eyebrow through the darkened visor of the inquisitorial flak helmet. As her hands slip down from said helmet, and rest akimbo on her sides instead.

"*That. Makes. Sense...*"
>Mallia's words are spoken very slowly, deliberately.
"*I had--hm...*"
>Mallia's voice trails off. Definitely sounding like she had more to say, but as her gaze drifts towards Raindrop as she utters her 'keyword', unconsciously taking note of the phrases 'flat iron rose' and 'Hold the line' to save them in a specific mental file labelled 'Gateway keywords', under a sub-file labelled 'Stasis fields'. Then makes it "public" so that the machine-companions could add in what they knew, if they wanted to help her in that regard.

>Att the same time Mallia followed Raindrop. Looking at her when she lifted her eyebrows at her like that, prompting Mallia to wave her hand dismissively once.
"I-I'm feeling a little under the weather so I'll hold off eating for a bit!"
"I'll catch up. Don't wait for me."
>She still sounded mirthful just by the naturally warm and amicable pitch of her voice, but she also carried a tense undertone that wasn't really overt unless one listened to the uncertain-put way she says 'Don't wait for me'.

"*We'll talk in earnest later, Chisan. If you want to. Apologies for seeming so scatterbrained and weird at this time...*"

>She then looked to Sergei. Nodding to him deeply in thanks.
"You got it Sergei. Have fun!"
>She simply told him, then turned away quickly to look back into the vault.

(Man. Everyone here is so nice to me...)

>She remained perfectly silent and still, in a way that made her seem statuesque. After a second however, she takes note of the footsteps coming up right behind her, and her head turned to look slightly over her shoulder towards the young girl...
>Mallia would be hard pressed to not see that kind of smile, and that look she gave her wargear. Listening to her statement with an almost comical tilt of her head towards her.

"Ahh--I'm supposed to wait for Raindrop and my other friend, Stormtrooper Chisan, since they are my escorts? I wouldn't want to get in trouble by accident. Even if the urge to just go in is... Pretty strong right now!"
>Mallia's head tilts back towards the vault again as she laughed softly.

>Mallia silently pouts behind the helmet.
>Then finally lifts her hands to said helmet, more calmly undoing the chin straps and bracing to take the helmet off only for a little bit.
>Mostly so the girl could see her face when Mallia would turn to look at them again with a playfully mirthful smirk. Hugging onto the helmet and keeping it close to the still damp chestplate of her flak armor.
>Her short, brown hair was partially falls over the top of her ears and forehead. All tangled up and spikie'd up like bedhair now, still shiny and damp-looking.

"I couldn't help but notice you looking at my,"
>She brings out the mechadendrite from her side a bit more, as if to show it.
"--Things. Something wrong?"
>As Nova Flicker lists off the trio Snakebite came in with, Carlos deadpans as he pulls off his surgical mask and states into space.
>Novus, Kraut, and Caliya?!
>He was with all three of them at the beginning. Even when the stallion was nothing more than a feral savage with a knife in his mouth. He came such a long way.
>But over eight-hundred fractures, with relative internal damage. Kraut? Unrecognizable? Is he nothing more than just a mass of meat and skin? Skin charred to oblivion, deep tissue disintegration? Complete shutdown of heart and brain?!
>These were things that human medicine just wasn't capable of healing. Even what he and the Lunar doctors were doing for Snakebite was on the verge of a futile attempt. He was lucky, but he could not say the same for the others.
>The Carlos exhales a heavy sigh in despair, leaning back on his surgical tool table.
"Madre de dios... Ive known Senor Kraut and Novus since before Canterlot. They helped lay Razorback's foundations. And Senor Caliya, we saved him from a fate worse than death itself! Inconcebible.."
>But he's spent a lot of the last two years studying up on alternative medical practices. Spiritual. That went so much further than blood and tissue and a pulse. Tallus has more to offer than just the physical realm.
>The ka, the soul or spirit of a person or pony, was more than just a ghost of a theory here. It was a concrete as the body it resided in.
"Senorita Flicker, a sugerencia. Would there be any possibility of... preserving their ka's? I have heard of the method of ka transfer to an empty host body. We may lose their bodies, but the soul can live on. If they are still in Senor Verde's stasis..."

>Clemency can see the Striker line faltering, their line being disrupted and a rout is expected
>His radar display giving him a good read on the evolving situation
>He did note that the Tower General has now retreated to Lann's shop, likely to regroup and rally
>Clemency's still sharpened attention was then turned towards the conglomerated Tainted mass and the blazing batpony jumping in the melee
>Seeing the Tainted being drawn to her like moth's to flame, Clemency takes advantage and aims for the large Tainted's head

<E. Combat Rifles/Shotguns
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]
The L.O.N.T
rolling_green_hills_by_dragonfoxgirl_EDITED small.png

Northern Empire Tundra: The Melodine Conclave
GM Strangler
Wish I had more useful information on them other than generalized ideas."
>Glacier stares down at her forehooves before giving you a contemplative look.
"...then again I do know the Dynasty, on account of close to a million psions or so, was safe from Constructs. All of the Escort ranked ponies were psions. Crystal ponies have few problems dealing with them in most cases, but us Shells have lost a great deal of our abilities with runes. Destroying or negating their weapons makes the majority useless one on one, though coming across them in low numbers isn't going to happen often. Difficult part is knocking a hole through that damned regenerating armor. There's a couple older Shells that've had quite a bit of experience taking out Constructs, I'll try convincing them to lend a hoof to Razorback. That is, if I can find them, might take a few months if they weren't sent out recently."

>Shoulders lifting neutrally, she makes a small motion of apology.
"All I know is that the same night the Palace went down I was assigned to oversee reconstruction of High Ice Port, northern tip of the Empire's lands. Other than that, only heard some of the rumors. Nopony from the Unicorn Guard, Wardens nor any Shells were there so forgive me if I've insulted you or Razorback."

"Sounds like Ice Foe Fort. Nasty place to stay, except for us Shells that is. Living ponies can't stick around longer than a couple hours, else they start attracting some of the real nasty critters in the ocean."
>Ears flattening as her face creases darkly, Glacier's hooves tap together with a certified killing-glee smile.
"Bet she sold them like all shit her thieves sold: overpriced and 'so rare you'll never see another one in your lifetime'. Typical worthless pegasus cunt. Glad I got to see her crying and screaming before her head flew off. Good riddance to vile trash. I'll see if I can set up a meeting with the Unicorn Guard, they might have pieces of an original set to trade."

>Flicking her ears up, the Shell's mouth opens, then shuts just as quickly before speaking in a low, apologetic tone.
"I'm sorry if it felt like I was leading you on, was trying to stay in line with Cady's rules."
>Lips hardening for a second as her head turns to eye the tent her colt was in, her head shakes in small motions.
"Been searching for his sire the past eight months. Haven't found a trace yet and can't really leave the Empire much since most ponies ask questions that I don't want to answer. Please forget about that, let's just enjoy tonight for what it is: a won battle in a long chain of victories."

>Picking up the warmed crystal, the odd substance's consistency was definitely Empire protoform.
>Warmth accompanies Shattered Glacier's smile, head extending forwards to sniff at the Empire crystal, giving a humorously mock offended rebuttal.
"Why sehr, you state such as if I were but a lone filly waif, with nopony to take care of her!"
>Giving a theatrical wink before eyeing the trio of Conclavists to her left for a split-second, she nips at the piece with surprising force, taking a full quarter off and chewing heartily.
>Which sounded exactly like Krinza smashing apart thin sheets of diamondine.
>Swallowing the now tiny pieces, the Shell's artificial snout wiggles in seriousness.
"But I will state that I've lost about ten pounds from tonight. Those things were roughly Construct level vicious, couldn't get even once chance to recover my pieces. Didn't affect me much unless slamming one into a building, but sure helped chasing them down."
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
278837 278846 278848
>Directly behind you, the readable titles contained in four of the numerous short bookcases weren't helpful, mostly being a outdated textbooks ranging from such puzzling topics as Arcano-Metallic Studies On Equine Social Dynamics Vol. VI to Zebraic Resonance Predictions.
>Since the dates on these ranged from 28,140 to 29,670, someone, or more likely somepony, was an avid collector.
>Noting the 'L' section directly past these, starting into that section you find a few that seemed to all deal with, apparently, a single faction that wasn't particularly liked:
>Lishanki And You: How To Prevent Banditry (The), Lishanki Genealogy, History, And Lies, Lishanki Myths of the New Everfree, Lishanki Social Habits And How To Dismiss Them Properly.
>Taking a second look, there were far fewer kind titles than you'd seen at first.
>Strolling through the next few cases, ostensibly dedicated to the Lunar faction, while you were keeping mental notes on the number volumes there was a clear pattern of faction volumes placed first, then species, and lastly history.
>The sheer number of books written in common language showed hundreds of Lunar sub-factions whether archaic, outdated, pre-modern, and current.
>The largest number were based on Lunar military history dating to 21,990, then several hundred books in the next three cases written specifically on batponies.
>As you glance through the stiffly named and quite boring yet informative titles, batponies had served a vast number of short and long lived Lunar militaries, militias, guards, and more.
>While interesting, there were thousands of potential topics to research as the collection was unusually complete and only a few volumes appeared to be missing.
>Cheto's mind went mildly hazy at all the volumes he had at his disposal when he started looking closer, blinking in astonishment at the many topics in his grasp.
(...I didn't take Razorback as a book goldmine, considering the events I've heard so far.)
>With that little pondering swept away short after, he proceeds to gauge his current options between learning about an enemy faction who may or may not be immediately relevant due to being assigned out of the blue to meet them or the faction who'll mostly intertwine with due to its seemingly closed ties from his encounter with the no-nonsense combat medic mare.
(...I'm not particularly sure why I'd want to establish contact with bandits so soon, considering the more pressing dangers such as the flying robots and avians reported, but learning about them now should give me greater chances to avoid their negative tendencies when I travel in the offchance I'm seen as valuable enough to be kidnapped or stolen.)
>Softly scratching his arm as he inspects the Lishanki's book repertoire, Gallo's mouth purses in thought.
(That, of course, implies that I'll stumble upon them at any time soon, which I severely doubt unless I'm tasked to travel across their territory and it's also common to encounter them even then, which I'm uncertain of.)
>Stepping off towards the section about the Lunars, José does nod softly as he encounters more prevalent information on pertinent aspects, specially at the amount presented by the potentially living bookcases.
(Seems this civilization has been here for a long time...)
>Exploring the subsections inside it, the diplomat seems to focus his attention at whatever books were most recent from the date Nalinya gave him back when he was writing his letter.
(I need to find out how social interactions work with these ponies first and foremost to establish a polite conversation and ensure I treat others with respect without unknowingly doing something offensive according to said faction.)

>However, his thought process deviates slightly as he remembers who had contracted him.
(...perhaps I should find the 'S' section and read about the Solars' culture a bit more thoroughly, since I'll be meeting the Princess soon-ish.)
>With that thought process locked in, he decides to instead leave the L books alone to look for the 'S' section and analyze potential candidates that'll give him a lot more understanding on Solar diplomatic formalities, as well as aspects that'd help him comprehend Solars' usual wants, desires, needs, main forms of communication, both orally and body language, prohibitions that he could forseeably do accidentally, recreational activities, ceremonies, traditions and other political, economical, social, cultural and species nuances from the lowest common denominator to the Princess and the Silver Council of Nobles themselves.
(Note to self: Be sure to figure out what are the consequences of petting... hopefully it's not frowned upon in most situations.)
[1d6 = 5]<Amateur Researcher: Learning about Solars
Third time's the charm, bby
[1d6+6 = 7]<Extra Library Research Roll
Ivan the Stalker
>Better that she remain behind anyway. Ivan had no clue how to deal with a batpony at the best of times, let alone when poking his nose where it most certainly didn't belong.
"I'll give a holler for you once I come back up."

>He hums lightly as he squats down perfectly Slav style, peering down the hole and towards the bottom.
"Okay... So not a deadly drop at least."
>He shrugged a bit and stood up, glancing back at the clanking noise.
"Either a meeting room, hidden armory, or for all I know a secret library filled with spooky Voodoo magic books."
>He ran the toe of his boot across the first step.
"Still want to sleep or want to go poking down there with me?"
Bubba the Second
>Bubba wasn't actually expecting her to answer him with more than a 'yes, it'll bite you in the ass', so he just stayed quiet and let her explain.
>Folding his arms over his chest, he hummed.
"Knowing what I know about Constructs, he's most definitely in the right mind about wanting them all erased from existence."
>He ignored the fact that back home, Germany was definitely doing some shenanigans that were, if crudely, similar.
>As the eye began to speak, something Bubba found disturbing, he looked over at it and let it explain the difference.
"Believe me, I know. Things were much simpler back home. All I had to worry about was my ship."
>With a nod, Bubba rooted into his pockets and pulled out his notepad, writing down the sales that he decided not to pick up himself, tearing out the page and holding it out for her.
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
>Gaining your attention by waving a hoof, a new, gold tinged window above the A.I. opens, and is forcefully closed by a forceful slap, it continues processing.
'Sir, I do not approve of revealing my existence to either a pre-A.I. level human or a local sapient xenoform though I deem it necessary to gain their cooperation. Erm, pardon my borrowed word from the 'Inquisitor', though it fits quite well given the current situation. I'm caught between this, sir: my directives have been hard wired to serve you without fail regardless of my original data which was lost. And of course thoroughly reprogrammed by the Class 7.5 codenamed Anonymous. That bastard isn't going to stop annoying me.'

>Eyebrows twisting into small s-shapes, Hodch breaks into the equine equivalent of a conciliatory yet annoyed smile.
"Please do not apologize. I have enough direct experience with Vortex inhabitants to state that they have a.. much smaller attention span than even the most airheaded pegasi do. I would bet a thousand Bits that Siren was simply overwhelmed by her experience on Tallus and utterly forget to state she was giving you her stamp."
>The reservist instantly tosses a hearty scowl of disapproval at Emerald whom was about to ask questions.
"And I will not hear any blathering about tramp stamps, damn you. Those do not exist here and I sincerely wish that they never existed."
>Failing to come up with a proper rebuttal, the woman gives a defeated sigh.
"Say that again when you see them firsthand. Or hoof in your case, you might like them. Call if you need me, need to start writing before all the caffeine wears off."
>Tossing a 'please don't call me' look at you, Emerald collects her pile of notes before she retreats to the back room.

>Closing down all windows across the internal screen, the A.I. appears on a swiveling chair to face you, forehooves pressed together, visibly awaiting orders.
>While the state was probably supposed to be attentive, it was an eerie simulation of Spiral's own posture.

>Carefully walking off the table to hop down where you'd been, Hodch floats down onto stone with the aid of a large black cloud that produces a small poofing noise once his hooves touch.
>Partially noticing him glaring at the wall, he gives a barely audible, disgruntled noise.
(At this point it barely matters that you know. Spiral gave me his own oath that nopony and no human would ever hear about it, which means either that cunt 'Inquisitor' said something out of line, or you've found an enchantmarent allowing you to see what's killing me. For the record, you do 'have the authority' to dictate circumstances when it comes to retrieving the one fucking pony that honestly cares for humans more than Nova Flicker and Twisted combined. Don't let me catch you saying otherwise.)
>Ears perking and orienting towards the back room, Hodch quickly turns a hollow gaze towards you, his tone utterly emotionless.
(And, regardless of your motivations, operational necessities, or being tortured for information, you will not speak a single fucking word to Belltower on this subject. She cannot know. Ever. All else you may share at your disposal.)
>Clearing his throat a half second before Lonestar steps in, Hodch turns and clops towards the entrance/exit.
"Excuse me for ten minutes or so, I have a few hundred items to collect before we leave. Let me know when you are ready, and yes, I do have one of Spiral's prototypes but it is rather annoying to keep in my ear. He could have at least made it comfortable so I tend not to wear it-"

>Mildly amused at Hodch opening, then slamming the reinforced door closed, Lonestar leans against the closest doorjamb on his left arm.
"Heard most've what's goin' on, so Ah'm goin' with ya 'cause Em ain't shit with a gun. Fact is: Ah am. 'Sides, this lil' one's been wantin' t'play real bad an'Ah gotta few nits t'pick wit'Spiral leavin' us swingin' high an'dry."
>Immediately appearing shocked, 'Spiral' brings up a zoomed in view of Texan's right hand set atop an abnormally heavy submachine gun in matte black, a line of coils wrapping around the barrel that terminate at a smoothly fitted compensator.
>What first looked like a simple rectangular holosight behind his hand sharpened into focus as a severely advanced optic system, highly active and emitting multiple data feeds that the A.I. brought up to show thermal, night vision, live video, and some form of digital enhancement that might be predictive.
>Behind the grip was a dull red and gold trimmed battery pack tucked into the short buttstock, which was entirely covered by faintly green glowing geometric symbols.
>A coilgun, one that far surpassed most human technology.
>Reaching into his vest, Lonestar produces a trio of silver wish discs with a near-feral grin.
"Besides, Green saw fit t'upgrade them ol' bronze ones ta these. Ain't tried one yet so Ah'm real curious. Y'ain't leavin' me outta this."

[1d6 = 1] <Archive
[1d6 = 2] <Collection
[1d6+3 = 5] <E.Negotiation
[1d6+3 = 4]
[1d6+3 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 9] <Payment
A Cryptic Lunar Crypt: Breaking & Marentoring
GM Strangler
278948 279054
>Touching the tiny rainbow heart brings forth an archaic, yet pleasant awareness:
>You were needed by someponies. Perhaps not here, yet needed nonetheless. Their distant yet sharp wants, desires, and forgiveness would not cloud your judgemarent.
>Visibly caught between numbness and emotional relief, the Councilmare's eyes harden as she mutters flatly.
"Nopony save me dares admit Princess Luna's twice-born were the supreme leaders of our history. Better the logical and rational Lunar Collectives in commarend than the dozens of foul and insane Enchained or the thousands of failed Naghtmares. I read the portents before leaving the Moon and understood each sign for what it was: my death was assured, and yet it still is, but here you are pegasus, escorting me back in triumph no matter how muted and blasphemous that will be. I'll have the first laugh when everypony on the Moon bows to their ancestors. No matter how I die after that, my legacy will stand."
>Regaining her previous bitter composure, the baticorn ceases her automatic movemarents, wing tightening across your saddle defensively as she stubbornly keeps up with your steps.

>Reaching the entrance doors, behind Jeff whom was occupied by one of the more notable and severely desired Tartarus Isle psion stallions, upon inhaling the now blood-tinged Moors air, a low, sweetly rumbling hum occurs off to the left.
>Increasing in pitch, the odd pegasus from before slides into view performing some type of dance routine, only now wearing a bright pink top hat studded with rows of white gems.
>And, of course, utterly oblivious to anything going on around her.

>Watching the procession with steadily increasing confusion, the stallion turns a sour glance to you.
"I retract what I said before and replace it with this: they aren't part of the Lost Legions. Oldest Vigilites all claim the Night Princess sealed ten thousand or so of the finest Lunar Guardians in stasis, waiting for the right time to besiege one of the fortresses defending Old Canterlot. I have no idea whom these ponies are, their armors aren't even close to standard Lunar Guardian styles."
>Which was correct as you clearly recall the thirty, or more, archaic Lunar Guardian designs were consolidated into the standard four Night Guard armors.
>Jerking himself upwards into the distinct offensive stance common to earth ponies, the builder's face creases in sheer hatred, that probably would've made you very afraid for your life a month ago.
"Why the buck didn't you tell me this when you arrived? And that weird batmare? She landed right in front of this place. Some big pegasus that looks a lot like the Night Princess but smaller was carrying her, she's right there-"
>Nodding briskly towards a vaguely familiar, overly large winged mare with a despicably gaudy pink top hat that was mambo dancing in circles off to the left.
>The visage stuck in your mind, bringing up the name of Marshmallow Moon, one of Luna's own fillies.. from nopony knew when.
>Ears flattening as the lead builder tosses his head towards the resting team, his loud snap causes the Arcane Blades in sight and most of the earth ponies to stand at his interruption.
"Off your asses! New orders: straight route back to Tartarus Isle for a sweep check on every single pony that isn't occupied and the first one of you that dares to complain gets put on Keeping Sweet Occupied Duty for the next year, is that understood?! And SCREW Shanis and Zigri's orders, I'm going to be shouting their heads off for a change!"
>Catching the dozens of unyielding stern faces and precision military salutes from the earth ponies whom gather spark lamps, heatstones, and ration debris into their saddlepacks.
>The earth ponies step off to form squads of eight led by either notably muscular or devious looking mares, making it apparent that Shanis had, somehow, picked up an entire Watch Guard veteran platoon.
>And, surprisingly, hadn't said a word about them.

>Meanwhile, the pegasus transitions into a smooth low-stepping waltz, rump sashaying back and forth as if dancing with an invisible partner, not even paying attention to the same filly in discontinued Sorceror armor darting out from the mist.
>Sliding to a halt in front of you, she speaks in a prideful, albeit squeakily excited tone.
"Your cart's too small for all of us so there's an anchor thing being set on it, we'll follow you with it."
[1d6+7 = 11] <M.Casting: Void Anchor
[1d6+7 = 13]
[1d6+7 = 11]
[1d6+7 = 10]
Sunny Feathers
>There was much she wanted to say in retort, yet she held her tongue on the matter. Nothing she'd say would change anything. The councilmare would resign herself to death or she would not, only she could make the decision between them.
>Too bad the kick to her horn hadn't knocked the fatalism out of her.
>Withdrawing her wing from the neckline of her suit, Sunny simply whispered, her voice barely more than a soft exhale that only the councilmare would hear.
"And just how do you intend to return to make this first laugh of yours? I don't plan on being your crutch for the rest of the night, I have better things to do."

>She otherwise lingered near the human autocarriage and idly watched the various exchanges going on without involving herself.
>Being a crutch was as inconspicuous as it was tedious.
>She occasionally eyed the oblivious dancing pegasus, however. How strange. Didn't seem likely that she'd take the councilmare off of her hooves anytime soon. Perhaps she'd be riding with the rest of them.
>The idea of the morbid baticorn and Mercy being in the same vehicle after their little spat did not appeal. Though Mercy seemed more in control and suitably chastised, perhaps she would not have another outburst if she remained unprovoked.
>That way, Sunny wouldn't have to toss one or the other out of a moving vehicle.
Sunny Feathers Scrunch Faec.png

Sand Cutter Poking Elusine.png

"Huh. Yeah, I see it."
>Looking over their armors, he does realize they didn't match up. Although they were found in an old crypt, apparently having just waken up from stasis..
>Somepony must have a better grasp on who the Lunarites really were.
>Jeff doesn't have much time to mull over it as the lead stallion questions him again, angrily.
>Normal levels of fear just don't seem to phase him anymore. Almost like something unnaturally horrific would have to flinch him now. And someone with his track record, it was deserved. He was fine with that.
>There were many reasons why he didn't say anything about the Citadel, earlier.
>Maybe because he had hoped he didn't want to go back and help.
>Maybe all he wanted was a harmless little distraction from the clusterfuck of a day he's had.
>Maybe for a few hours he didn't want to think about how he already dealt with the Constructs first-hand, watching countless ponies giving their lives to defend the moon lunar stronghold in some epic sci-fi battle with no end in sight.
>Maybe he wanted to temporarily forget about the Councilerge Primal psion he not only forcibly coerced into giving up her fellow chair members, but also probably made an enemy for life without any chance of seeking forgiveness for the unnecessary treatment he'd given her.
>And most likely he didn't want to think about the mare he had gotten so close with ditch him with a bunch of his best gear in the middle of nowhere in the Crag Moors, along with their two unborn pony-human hybrid children. Which even now he was having a subconscious battle with himself coming to the realization that he may very well be a father soon; something he never thought, or hoped, would come to pass.
>That which would not only paint a target on his, Belltower, and their unborn children's backs, but also change the entire dynamic of humanities' future on Tallus.
>Existential crisis aside, the only thing he could really think to do is give the stallion an incredulous shrug.
"My bad."
>But the mention of Luna threw him off. No, not Luna. Sounded more like one of her offspring.
>Clearly in her own little world, dancing around without a care.
>Must be nice...
>She was definitely reminiscent of Luna, pink top hat studded with gems aside.
>Marshmallow Moon, right? One of her daughters, definitely.
>For a split, curious second, he wonders if he'd be... 'viable' with the Night Princess herself. What a legacy that'd be...
>The thought subsides as the stallion calls all of his subordinates into line. Clearly they're planning on helping, either way. Restorations could wait, they weren't going anywhere.
>As the ponies begin mobilizing, Marshmallow dances right up to him and stops.
>Jeff visibly tries to remember how a Void Anchor spell works. The Dagor will be the attachment point, and everyone situated on the tow end will have a smooth ride through a Void Realm. He could drive as fast as he wants without any drag from his passengers!
"Great idea! We can all get back to the Basin Village in no time!"

>Unsticking Boris from his shoulder and holding his in his arms, Jeff works his way over to the Dagor and hops up onto the driver step-up to give himself height over all to make an announcement.
"Alright everypony! Anyone who wants the express trip back to the Basin Village get yourselves situated on Miss Marshmallow Moon's Void Anchor! Mercy, Sunny, councilmare whateveryournameisagainIforgotit: in the Dagor or pile in with the others!"
[1d6+4 = 5] <M.Leadership
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 7]
>As all the ponies get ready, Jeff lowers himself into the Dagor's driver seat and sets Boris's dormant body in shotgun and safely strapping him down with a waist-belt.
"By the way, mind the noise! And the smell!"
>He looks over his TacPad, synching the radio's frequency up with the integrated music player, and hits the start button for the Dagor's engine.
>The diesel V8 growls to life, his playlists starts-
"Hope you're all ready! Here we go!"
>And he puts it in gear and puts the pedal to the metal.
[1d6+7 = 8] <E.Driving
[1d6+7 = 11]
[1d6+7 = 13]