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Razorback Company.png
#OiE: The Dark Horse Cometh
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:
http://pastebin.com/B4PD8nAi [Embed]

>Or the Hoofbook if you wanna be a pony:
https://pastebin.com/SjEWsDfC [Embed]

>Then drop a post here.

>Overall Pastebin:

>Fortress Map:

>Bulletin Board:
https://pastebin.com/LnwZ7sdq [Embed]

>Previous Thread:
https://mlpol.net/mlpol/archive/res/207806 for when the current one reaches archive status
20 replies and 3 files omitted.
280867 281139 281143
>Clemency watches as the Starbolts stream into the many Tainted but is dismayed when he saw that they had little effect
>He is slightly relieved at the many MANY reinforcements streaming in by the Hunter Killers, filling the gap left routed by the Strikers
>They are fighting very viciously, whether that is due to suicidal tendencies or tenacity is left to be said
>After firing his SPAS and hearing it lock open, Clemency quickly went to reloading the thing with the last of his shells
>This is probably the first time he had ran out of ammunition for anything and he is slightly kicking himself for not bringing a backup rifle
>Spying the radar display, he sees the evolving situation
>The four formations of Tainted coming and the three Hunter Killer squadrons, he sees the imbalance in forces and they could be overwhelmed with existing forces
>With that, Clemency pulls up the MSOLG interface and uses his radar alongside the aperture lens on the satellite to provide a firing solution on the incoming Tainted formations
>Quickly deciding on the medium driver, he sets the target on the lead Tainted formation incoming
>He was about to put the command in for launch when his Moon Orb starts pinging him mentally

>He quickly pulls the orb out of one of his many pouches and answers
>To his surprise it's Jeff, and from the tone it sounds like a welfare check
>Still breathing heavily, he tries to calm himself before answering
>Clemency then launches the medium EM driver
[1d6+62 = 64] <M-S.O.L.G: Medium Mass Driver
[1d6+62 = 65]
*Vampires? Thousand years?*
>Clemency joked about how they would have a buffet here with the hundreds of gallons of blood flying around the alter
*Good to know your mission is successful. The Basin Village is being assaulted by Tainted. You remember those things on the Behemoth when we first got on this planet?*
>Looking up to the sky, he tries to spot the rod coming down
*The situation is getting bad. More formations of those things coming, multiple Hunter Killer squads helping, fucking blood sacrifices to help, and there a Tower General hiding out in Lann's shop after her Strikers got routed by the Tainted."
>Clemency does wish he know what's leading these Hunter Killer squadrons, he can probably tell them about the formations incoming
>He does need to see the conclusion of the Dark Horse Cultist's ritual before leaving
>Clemency just feels stuck at the moment so he dives back into stealth and waits for the coming assault
[1d6+3 = 4] <E. Stealth
[1d6+3 = 6]
[1d6+3 = 7]
[1d6+3 = 4]
[1d6+2 = 4]<M. Ambush
[1d6+2 = 8]
[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 7]
[1d6+2 = 6]
*Alright Jeff, go ahead and get those passengers out. I figured they don't want to come out of their hiding spot and into a battlefield immediately. I'll try to defend the village.*
Mallia Castella
>For reasons perhaps personal, Mallia actually flinches. Hurt by the way Witch-Two puts her first statement.
>Though she wasn't fully sure how to feel about it. All she felt was a distinct anxiety, uncertainty, and, again, an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. Which she keeps on the down low remembering what the Admiral told her about being 'too reactive'.

>After about 3 nano cycles of hesitation after Tox-11's last stream, Mallia attempts to elaborate.
(Perhaps I was inherently flawed if anything. That is a definite possibility given the range of my failures prior to now, but I digress.)
(My mother tightly controlled my learning process to a similar exacting standard. She thought the modern and standard methods were imperfect for my future, on principle, by prior experience as an Explorator. The predefined venues that were ahead once I became enlightened with the gifts of the Omnissiah and began to aspire towards being an Enginseer would influence me too much in a direction that was too close-minded to truly advance as a member of the Mechanicus, or to become an Explorator, by the more strictly adherent members of the Priesthood I would meet in that journey. She wanted me to appreciate ALL sources of knowledge as an Explorator would, especially xenotechnology and construction methods, and how to react when presented with it--how to study it, how to use it, instead of shunning it. Things that wouldn't be readily taught to any aspirant. Especially Archeotech.)
>Mallia's explanation ends on a somewhat calm, almost chipper emotion-stream. She took pride in this. Taking a nanosecond worth of pause to elaborate a little more.
>But then that emotion-stream dims somewhat with a moment of sheepish embarrassment, like a child talking between two adults.

(... Sorry if uh... That answer isn't... Satisfactory.)
>She winces at herself for apologizing--which had now become a knee-jerk reaction, shaking her head to herself.
(... And thank you.)

>Clenching her jaw and attempting to shrug off the anxiety that was building within her, taking slow, deep breaths. It only partially ruined the amusement of seeing the girl leaning towards her like that, trying to listen to the conversation.
>Of course, Mallia smiled--but it wasn't visible behind the helmet, she sort of just subtly tilted her head in her direction as Mallia's hands nervously rubbed each other--almost pacing in place with a visible discomfort, the left one squeezing the right one's wrist for a moment as her head turns to one side--staring at nothing for a moment, before bouncing back to the girl as the replies from her companions reach her through the vox.
>Once she hears the voice of Chisan, all of her movements stop. Completely.
>Then resumes a moment later, her shoulders relaxing as her hands limply hold each other at her waist against her robes--hands audibly, bumping clapping against her leg armor.

"*Thank you Stormtrooper. I will exercise caution as I have thus far. And thank you Miss Raindrop, have a nice meal!*"
>Mallia's voice suddenly almost peaks with excitement. She then tunes off, and fully fixed her gaze on Nasiksta.

>With a tone that was almost amused as it was warm, she answered Nashka--as if all the anxiety she had just displayed a moment before didn't even happen.
"You know, that is a very awesome name. Nashka. It means 'Shield Against Gods'. Heheh~!"
>Mallia nodded her head towards Nashka's submachingun, as her left hand goes to grab her shield again from her back, and strap it to her arm whilst she speaks.
"You can be my shield against the gods today, Nasiksta."
>Mallia nods deeply, theatrically and with an audible smirk from how playfully she states it.
"Knight Raindrop Raspberry says you can be my mareguard for half an hour, too."
>With that, Mallia brings her shield close to her waist, and starts stepping closer to the threshold of the gateway, walking slowly to give Nasiksta time to get either beside her, or behind her, to defend her as she went.
>She stands juuuust before the gateway, peeking around from the outside while silently mustering the courage to go inside...

"Given that my first introduction to Razorback fortress was some sort of killing-machine called a Construct... Yeah I'm more than a bit wary, I don't really understand what's going on yet..."
>Mallia quietly spoke in Nasiksta's direction, her tone filled with trepidation and excitement.
"Not to mention dying and coming back to life on this world? Kinda weird. It makes me question the purpose of my existence right now. Everything is scary and fascinating at the same time..."
>Mallia's mechadendrite comes to life, mostly to swing ahead of her and tap the tool-bearing 'hand' against her helmet's mouth piece, tapping on her chin with the top half of it.

>She casts her eyes towards Nasiksta, giving her an eager nod.
"Inside we go then!?"
>Mallia reaches down to her laspistol holster and draws out the Hotshot laspistol, keeping it ready and pointed towards the ground ahead of her.
>Mallia takes a CONFIDENT stride through the gateway, standing tall! And as soon as she is on the other side, she'd slow down to an amble and start getting acquainted with the interior, and any sounds there might've been there. Slowly walking closer to the 'center' of the vault to take in everywhere as she does a small 360 turn of the room, glancing up at the 'ceiling'.

>She tries to be veryyyy slow on walking further, in case she has to dart back outside in a hurry...

"Herewegoherewego... It's Explorator time. Here we go Nasiksta..."

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

>She makes sure to also tap on the vox once... Just in case, once she's inside.
*"... Vox check. I'm past the gateway now. Still hearing me loud and clear, right?"*
Razorback Fortress: Library, The Sitting Room
GM Strangler
[1d6 = 5] <Which one of Hodch's "apprentices" temporarily takes his duties?
Result of 1: Blue Gemflower
Result of 2: Lightning Candy
Result of 3: Pearl Mist
Result of 4: Amber Rose
Result of 5: Honey-Spiced Mango Shortcake
Result of 6: ?????
Razorback Fortress: The Library, Main Room
GM Strangler
>Neither human, pony, nor anything else enters or exits the Library while you compile thoughts together.
>Taking the first and examining all the exquisite sofas around the place, you drop into the closest human sized one and crack open the volume.
>Starting on the first page it was difficult to steadily focus on the basics as each name and marention took you back to the index, then to specific clauses, rules, laws, traditions, policies, regulations, individuals, families, lineages, factions, regions, nations...
>Worse yet, the politics of Equestria's nobility and royalty were beyond unorthodox as communalism, barely understandable to modern humans, had evolved into a highly adaptable ideology that bound all ponies together regardless of their species, especially enemies, in the pursuit of advancing equinity.
>Most jarring was that status had a spiritual mark of distinction to achieve and acquire when supported by commoners: excellent leaders were likewise excellent rulers whom could be counted upon to make correct decisions and settlemarents that benefited all ponies, while poor, abusive, or inept leaders suffered quickly increasing loss of status.
>Narrowing down the most common historical equines and keeping mental notes on their progress throughout roughly twenty-five millennias worth of condensed yet orderly information, by the time the rear cover closes you had a good grasp on what made the generally honorable Solar factions, and their dozens of closely allied sub-factions, continue to function.
>Which had also exhausted you, fingers acting slower than the brain could compensate and correct for.

>Having not noticed the interior lighting changing, the Library was now completely dark except for numerous red LED's, or something similar, above you.
>Outside, the formerly bright red patches of moonlight had given way to an unfamiliar, murky gray mist that heralded dawn's approach.
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop, Underground Tunnel
GM Strangler
>Helmet lifting up for a few seconds, the batmare realizes you couldn't see her face and instead splays her wings out in disbelief.
"I doubt it. How secretive can an already secret bunch of secret humans get outside of being even more secret batponies? I keep telling everypony that you all aren't batponies, I'd be able to smell the differences. My three best guesses: somepony's hideaway when they don't want to deal with anything, some tunnels that access all the important places, or somepony's stash for all the stuff they don't want touched. Don't know which is more likely, never met Bren or the so-called 'crazy' unicorn that did a lot of work on this fortress."
>The Nightfang's wings fold onto her sides tightly, slowly tapping the first step downwards once with her hoof.
"I don't mind, not the first time I've explored something like this. Won't be the last either."
>Visibly checking for traps while continuing downwards, the mare gives a brief snicker-kek.
"Dunno what that word means but sounds Rushyan. Haven't seen fluffrats, forest drakes, green snakes, even those little rock eating wurms the New Everfree's famous for in the courtyard since getting assigned. There's quite a few ponies around this place so I really doubt much can sneak in."
[1d6+4 = 6] <E.Perception
[1d6+4 = 7]
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+2 = 4] <E.Traps
[1d6+2 = 7]
[1d6+2 = 3]
Ivan the Stalker
>Ivan hummed as she talked, idly nodding in return.
"Unless I've become so sober I've turned into a secret batpony, I doubt that I am one."
>Though anomalies were weird like that. He was sure he wasn't, though.
"Yeah, they're... small dog sized rodents with large teeth and larger claws, if one is near there's definitely a pack about. They're the go to reason for a Stalker to carry along a shotgun."
>He starts following after her, glancing for traps himself.
[1d6 = 6] <E.Perception
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 2]
>>278925 →
>Pareidolia's face twinges briefly with concern as an unusual window he doesn't recognize appears and disappears.
'I understand the ramifications. The Shibuya Protocol only allows for such actions when all other options have been exhausted or the situation is otherwise untenable. What was that window?'

>As Emerald leaves, he ponders his A.I.'s behavior.

[Uncertain how it will react to encountering the biological counterpart its personality is based on. Will likely diverge as an eventuality if Committee experimental theory from the Amadeus and Salieri systems hold true. Will need Spiral's opinion.]

>He remains silent while listening to Hodch, deigning not to retort.


[Likely a cultural difference. No time to reconcile currently. Unclear why Belltower must not know, but noted.]

>Standing up and pinning his finished note sheet to the center of the map table where it would be easily noticed, he turns his head to look at Lonestar.
>His brow arches in slight surprise as the esoteric coil gun comes into enhanced view.

"Additional operational utility would be welcome. There are more unknowns than I am nominally used to working with, but the nature of this operation leaves no other options."

>Pareidolia terses his lips as he flourishes 3 wish discs.

[...More potential human corruption vectors. Can only hope he will choose weaponry that minimizes generalization.]

"Are you certain your condition is able to handle an operation like this?"
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Pausing from her examination, the fuchsia Crystal mare's head shakes in a sincere 'no' before using her left forehoof to motion at the patchwork of scars dotting her chest and neck.
"That's what I believed for a long time, Bubba. Look at me now, I didn't get anywhere except miserable and it's taken the past two something years for me to remember who I am most times. Frustration is something to use when events out of your hooves go bad but rage is best applied when threatened or protecting others."
>Snorting softly at her own fairly hypocritical words, Naliyna eyes the sheet in half-amusemarent, half-sourness.
"Like I'm one to talk-"
>Both forelegs fold across her barrel as a red pen floats up to begin circling... almost everything.
"Still, Razorback is my home now. I won't leave even if every single Watch Guard showed up at the gates. If you'd rather be on a ship, make it a Razorback ship so you can take home with you wherever you go. Destroyer though.. that's not the batpony kind, is it? Really hope not, a fast ship packed with bombs coming at you sounds terrifying. Wait, you should ask Bren to make you a boat for the fountain, I'm sure Malyne would go batty for that!"
>Snickering at the basic yet honorable pun, she sets the pen down before glancing up to you, her lips pursing tightly.
"The first is way more likely because there's two weapons in the Enclave that were made to kill alicorns. Neither of them did.. at least I hope they didn't, but a million Bits for something that a minotaur would use as a knife and a human would have to ditch all their weapons for? I don't like the thought of buying it since Hodch and Amerose still aren't sure where all the Bits and gems came from. Might be able to trade for it since most stuff in the Enclave's pretty weird. What do you think?"
>Cheto couldn't help but blink softly, squinting his eyes slightly at the hurdles he'll have to face in the near future, from juggling indexes and alien political mechanisms
(Well, it is an alien world, after all. There had to be something that's hard to grasp in almost every facet.)
>Nonetheless, the human would soldier on with a calm smile on his face, simply content that there was information to take that'll surely help his future endevaors

>...said calm smile dissipates as he finishes his book, replaced with a relaxed jaw and a light trail of his tongue behind his teeth, finally having enough.
"Phew... I hope there's a vacant bed nearby..."
>Standing up and pushing against his back to pop any sort of bones from being practically still for large periods of time, José lazily yet carefully walks towards the shelf he got the tome from.
(Ni una pizca de vida acá dentro hasta agora. Re vacío el lugar.)
>Having accomplished said task and tidying anything else he may have tampered with, his feet start leading him outside the library for some much needed air and the ultimate quest of finding an above-average dormitory.
(Pfft. Like that'd happen without extremely lucky circumstances. Place's packed as it is.)
>Yawning softly, he gently drags his body towards the exit, passing by the Filly Room to potentially sense how things are going in there with vain hope the crystal mare has managed to reach her moment of respite.
(I swear, children are always bundles of unrestrained energy... most of the time.)
>Frowning lightly as he shakes his head, Gallo quickly drops the thought process, opting instead for some soothing echoes of nobility lines and their stories.
(I'm sure they'll warm up to me by displaying those virtues these ponies love so much. All I gotta do is do my duty.)

>Finally reaching the great outdoors, Gallo vaguely recalls the barracks way north of his current position, sighing softly.
(There has got to be a place closer than that to sleep those heavenly 8 hours of sleep...)
>Nonetheless, the diplomat trudges on towards said destination, moving as slow as molasses to minimize any accidents due to negligence or failing perception.
(Heh. I feel like one of those shambling fellows the youth seems to like. What were they again?)
>He couldn't help but to smile softly at the reminder of the people he's witnessed back in Earth, doing their usual recreational activities out of his apartment window, even stifling a chuckle after a solid 10 seconds.
(I am part of the youth. I'm barely halfway through my twenties. What are you talking about?)
>That elicited some more giggles out of the human, simply taking stock of the scenery around him, specially looking for bystanders currently not busy with tasks in his path to the barracks sector.
(I'm sure it's common knowledge if there's a spare bed for someone like me. Everyone probably has had to deal with this, but I'm probably getting some bedroll or those stiff metal bed frames, I bet. Maybe they'll give me a nice bed if I'm nice. Now that'd be both funny and helpful.)
[1d6 = 3]<Basic Perception
[1d6 = 4]
Lost in the Crag Moors: A Bigger Problem Than The Last One
GM Strangler
>Refusing to take your bait, Wild's search for additional materials results in the acquisition of three partially crushed red and green armors, the shapes distinctively earth pony.
>And this time without skeletons inhabiting them.
"My primary repair functions are less than fifteen percent of normal levels, secondary repair capabilities are damaged, tertiary repair functions have been destroyed, my radar system is barely stable, and my weapon is ineffective as I do not have further shells available. Should I create four additional magazines and my hull was one-hundred percent integrity I would be able to risk engaging four medium sized Constructs. Based on calculations of standard human and equine forces with information from my consolidated records, what you have described is a full expeditionary landing force. There is no winning that engagement."
>Finished 'repairing' her chest plating now, the remaining steel armor slats are given the same treatment of being melted down into a single large mass, which was causing a large amount of steam and bubbling outside the cockpit.

>Besides the simply screen interface and an 'EJECT' pad located to the right and above your crash couch, there were no visible controls aside from the imprints of what had been a rope ladder and deployment hatch.
>The first had been destroyed while the second was now thoroughly welded shut.
>Poorly welded, you notice, given the deep penetrations and imperfect beads across the interior.

"Understood, adjusting priorities to compensate. Attempting reinitialization of secondary repair systems-"
[1d6 = 6] <Grade 2 Auto-Repair: Restart Protocols
>Holding the suits of armor up for inspection by her tendrils, the designs weren't Solar, Lunar, or even Stalliongradian, looking more like custom knight designs from the Late Dynasty.
>Carefully hefting them into the left shoulder cabin, Wild's volume level decreases to quiet speaking decibels as repairs to her left arm begin.
"I have calculated a ninety-nine-point-two percent chance that one hundred meters of depth will not cause damage, however there is a six-point-eight-five percent risk that two hundred meters may collapse from four to nineteen of my most damaged hull panels. Update: successfully analyzed two of the six previously known metals for usage. Primary metal of interest: common whitesteel, uncommon name oathscale. The composition and durability would suffice in replacing lost, damaged, destroyed motive systems. Secondary metal of interest: grenach'planyayne, commonly known as greensteel. I could potentially replace the exterior hull sections of my hands though I would fully exhaust the amount acquired so far to do so."
[1d6+4 = 6] <Arcanum Sensors Array: Research
[1d6+4 = 10] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 5] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 4] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 5] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 4] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #8

[1d6+2 = 3] <Radar
[1d6+2 = 6]
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice, Part 1/2
GM Strangler
281143 281147
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>Recognizing the gateways being opened as modified Dusk Strider tunnels, there would've been precious little oxygen for the Dagor's engine to utilize, pathways were never safe from Void creatures entering, and modern psions were best suited to creating new ones.
>Most importantly was the distance aspect: at maximum speed the Dagor would arrive three to five times faster depending on how carefully the Watch Guard platoon could create a new branch from the crypt to Basin Village.
>And, of course, avoid, scare off, or take down any of the significant threats they would most certainly encounter.

>Stepping down on the pedal close to the floor, the Dagor's engine resists, coming in at 10MPH under maximum speed from the lower oxygen and higher water vapor content the Moors was notorious for.
>Without pushing it to maximum speed and potentially risking damage, you'd arrive at Basin Village in a little under seven and a half minutes barring complications.
>The premixed track list switches to something new, and quite relevant to you:

>Slouching sideways onto the rear bed's bench seat, Marshmallow Moon reaches a hoof up to toss her gaudy hat off sideways into a miniature ponial portal and replaces it with a fully enclosed Crystal Kingdom era marecenary knight's helmet.
>Spying Mercy's vague outline on the opposite seat, she was giving a clearly jealous set of motions at the Nightmare's daughter returning a puzzled expression.
>Flicking a wingblade towards the pocket dimarension, Mercy makes several common physical gestures asking that Marshmallow share something, whom returns a dumbfounded motion with both forehooves.
>Wings slumping in disbelief, the blind pegasi's head turns towards the Dagor's front, lips in a wavy S-shape of embarrassmarent.

>Sensing the vehicle's weight shifting several times throughout the fairly comfortable ride, checking Boris on your right multiple times, the small Golem was still inactive.
>Though you couldn't see them, the rear passengers were likely not agreeing with each other.
>Breaking you from your own thoughts, Mercy's voice crosses through to Tallus' physical spectrums from behind, her tone measurably confused before the next song plays.
"On saddle, sheet of Lumin.. smells weird, hold still-"

>Feeling a partially corporeal imprint detaching something where the Councilmare had previously felt you up, or perhaps down, a foreleg comes into partial view on your right.
>Presenting the moon-shaped piece stamped with archaic styled Common Equestrian text at your functioning eye's level, the text reads:
'Upon thy prized possessor given this token given of Fate's Embrace, one Favor of Night must they taketh of thine Born of Moon and Stars'
>Hoof stretching down with deliberate carefulness, Mercy slides the incredibly valuable material down the center of your bodysuit's neckline.
"Did not read it-"
>Murmuring into your left ear, the Spirit Walker submissively retracts her leg and presence entirely.

>Scarcely five seconds after Mercy sits back on the driver's side bench seat, the Dagor's frontal lights are entirely drowned out by two eye-searing streaks of white slamming down west and east of the rebuilt road.
>The unmistakable shredding of atmospheric turbulence bursts across the Basin Village's southern end and outwards in, a wall of swamp water and peat bog thrown outwards from the two massive impacts.

>The Dagor's occupants unfortunately witness its' high beams exposing dim outlines on the rear flanks on hundreds of dull gray ponies lined up in two tight, standard square formations, taking up the entire road less than 100M south of the Basin's first buildings.
>Either incapable of moving or lacking the basic logic to do so, the vehicle plows directly into and through the central four rows of unmoving Tainted, clipping several on either side as the Dagor begins swerving from dozens of half-solid impacts.
[1d6+130 = 134] <Kinetic Damage: Formations #2 and #3
[1d6+130 = 135]

>Jeff must roll Driving and score a minimum of 10 to prevent the Dagor from crashing or rolling over
>Sunny must roll Evasion and score a minimum of 8 to prevent being thrown out of the Dagor
>Mercy must roll Evasion and score a minimum of 11 to prevent being thrown out of the Dagor
>Marshmallow Moon must roll Evasion and score a minimum of 14 to prevent being thrown out of the Dagor

[1d6+5 = 7] <E.Evasion
[1d6+5 = 11]
[1d6+5 = 7]
>Marshmallow Moon:
[1d6+8 = 14] <GM.Evasion
[1d6+8 = 9]
[1d6+8 = 14]
[1d6+8 = 12]
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice, Part 2/2
GM Strangler
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault, Evasion & Reaction Speed rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue
[1d6 = 3] <Construct Technological Human-Symbiosis: Lure of the One-That-Is-Two

>Hurriedly reloading the SPAS, at your order the M-S.O.L.G.'s systems return to full active status, orienting away from the immense Construct vessel, aperture lens focusing onto Tallus towards the Central Moors at a painfully slow pace.
>Delivering another close-to-ground radar sweep, the internal display shows four Tainted formations roughly 150M directly south of Basin Village, each icon numbered as a half-brigade worth in addition to dozens of individual contacts streaming closer from the swamps outside.
>All of which you note with increasing confusion as being Elite Killmares of the Dark Horse.

>Tracking overhead into firing position despite great water resistance, the M-S.O.L.G.'s heuristic protocols select the exterior #1 and #4 formations away from the newly reconstructed road.
>Observing two firing sequences deployed in less than 1/10th a second apart, something goes wrong as the M-S.O.L.G.'s interface blanks out and a bright red 'MASS DRIVER POWER SYSTEMS OFFLINE, RECALIBRATING SPACE-TO-GROUND GUIDANCE LINK' scrolling across the top.

>Snapping 7 buckshot into the SPAS-12's cylindrical magazine and 1 slug into the chamber, upon sinking back into the comforting Void your vision clears substantially:
>Amongst the ranks of white robed Support Strikers, roughly a quarter of their previously black icons turn yellow, the formerly and definitively dead mares rising unsteadily onto their hooves before a solid line of bright white and purple armored saluting ponies.
>Ones which you dispassionately register as a mixture of Lunar and Solar Guardians.

>The first Hunter-Killer squadron had ripped their target apart leaving nothing more than a haze of mist, though several wings worth of black icons were left in their wake.
[1d6+40 = 44] <Honored Dispatch: 40
[1d6+20 = 22] <Pride of Legions Past

>Swiveling on hoof and wing, Squadron 1 splits apart to assault both the bloodhost's severely damaged Mass and the substantially more aggressive third, currently surrounded by three-quarters of Squadron 2.
>They were not yet utilizing desperation tactics, but still losing one of their own each second to flurries of improvised archaic blades, lances, and a massive head covered in spikes.
[1d6+5 = 9] <Hunter-Killer Squadron 1
[1d6+7 = 9] <Hunter-Killer Squadron 2
[1d6+6 = 8] <?????
[1d6+4 = 10] <Mass #2
[1d6+4 = 8] <Mass #3

>Loudly kee'ing from within the diminished streams of blood cascading about the Basin's sacrificial altar, the body of an unarmored, unarmed, and certainly not Spectral, large batpony composed of red matter takes a ponderously heavy forwards.
[1d6 = 3] <Assault Tactics
[1d6 = 3] <Subversion Tactics: Spectral
[1d6 = 4] <Volatile Necessity
281147 281152 281226
>Hitting peak yet a still controllable speed, Jeff listens in on Clemarency but also at the odd choice of CCR.
>It's eerily appropriate.
>But at least he'll be able to get back to the Basin quick enough.
>As one of his close compatriots continued on, Jeff's grip on the steering wheel tightened.
>Tainted surrounding the Basin Village? He remembers taking them on before, almost like fighting zombies.
>They were also weak to Void damage, yes?
>Damn, he wished he still had the Void Diver pendant. She would have had a blast tearing them apart.
>His frown twists up into a wry almost-maniacal grin before he dons his deathmask and turns a bit to the right to address everyone behind him.
"Heads up everypony! The Basin's infested with Tainted! Hope you're all ready for a warm-up!"
>Eyes back on the road, Jeff chimes back into the Moon Orb and Clem with a scary level of confidence.
*"Copy that Clem, and Negative! Reinforcements, inbound!"*

>Holding speed, the minutes pass blaze past as his GPS notifies them closing in onto the Basin Village.
>Coming up on the village line, his way ahead is tightly packed with pale gray pony figures.
>Shit, they're THIS congested?!
>White-knuckling the wheel, he keeps his foot down on the pedal.
>Slowing down will only... literally slow them down, and they'd have to fight through them.
>But if they can get inside and fight outwards...
"Get ready to brace!"
[1d6+4 = 8] <M.Leadership: Evasion
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+4 = 6]
>He mentally apologizes to the Dagor as he goes full bore into the Tainted, instantly exhaling as he focuses on the impending impact and maneuvering as well as blaring the horn like an incoming freight train.
[1d6+5 = 10] <E.Reaction Speed
[1d6+5 = 6]
[1d6+5 = 9]
[1d6+5 = 8] <M.Adrenaline Rush: Reaction Speed
[1d6+5 = 8]
[1d6+5 = 8]
[1d6+8 = 13] <M.Driving: High Manual Control
[1d6+8 = 12]
[1d6+8 = 11]
[1d6+8 = 10]
Sunny Feathers
281226 281234
>Sunny turned partially as Mercy slid the object down her suit to rest alongside the little gem.
"Wha-? Oh, thank you."
>The archaically structured common took a moment for her to comprehend. All she really gathered from the text was that she was owed a favour.
>The mare patted the object pressed against her neck with a hoof to ensure it was secure.
>Her line of thought was thoroughly and completely derailed with the ear splitting and teeth rattling shockwave of the uncomfortably close kinetic strike.
>The thunderclap that followed the impact had her ears ringing and her voice raised to even hear herself speak.
>She'd barely finished yelling when Jeff brought her attention to exactly why there was steel rain.
>Tainted. And lots of them.
>What? What?!
>The jostling and swerving of the vehicle had her scrambling to keep her seat. There was no way she'd survive if she was thrown out of the vehicle into this.

[1d6+6 = 11] < E. Evasion
[1d6+6 = 12]
[1d6+6 = 12]

>Sunny yelled along with Jeff as the Dagor plowed a path through the Tainted ranks, though decidedly less excited about it all than Jeff seemed to be.
281153 281228 281229 281234

>Clemency squints at blinding white light of the kinetic rods streaking down to Tallus
>After the earthshaking impact, the bright red error ribbon brings his attention to bear for a moment before hearing Jeff respond
>The response shocked Clemency
"You're coming?!"
>Clemency looks around the battlefield and takes a deep breath
"Alright, I trust you. Please be careful, there is so many Tainted around. We do have Hunter Killer's and whatever is left of the Support Strikers around."
>Clemency then flicks his eye towards the last known position of the Tower General
"There is a VIP in the Basin. A Tower General that was leading a group of Support Strikers before they got overran. Last known position in Lann's shop. I'm stuck at the altar, trying to prevent Tainted from reaching it."
>Stuffing the orb back in its pocket, he shoulders the shotgun and takes aim at the giant mass of Tainted, seeing pockets of Strikers rising in his peripheral vision
>Clemency continues monitoring the radar while being stealthy, seeing the status of the battalions and the Tower General in the village proper
[1d6+2 = 3] <M. Ambush
[1d6+2 = 6]
[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 8]<Radar
[1d6+2 = 7]
>The lumbering giant batpony certainly does grab his attention, although he wonders about its attacks
[1d6+2 = 3] <M. Ambush
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Registering subtraffic between Dranaki and Adronal, the first falls silent as the second's datastream is transmitted in painful apology.
'Your reaction cuts far above what my original statement implied, Castella. I was not berating you, the individual, I was berating the Administratum Mechanicus as it has completely failed in properly teaching all Tech Acolytes and higher ranks the essential knowledge necessary for the Imperium's survival. As you were not formally introduced to all aspects of technology and biology those gaps have created schisms where a single variance between ideologies inherent in the Imperium have birthed divides which cannot be mended without excessive cost. Enginseer, I sincerely applaud your mother's additional efforts to prepare you, but the sheer ignorance, ineptitude, and reliance upon outdated protocols forces me to shun the Mechanicus superior for ultimately causing each failure that led you to this world.'
>Pinging an image of a giant equine robot stomping on a cluster of Magos with the word 'HERETEK' above each head, Tox-11's Binary tone was dour once more.
'smaller words next time admiral. dont take personally enginseer, witch meant to state: admech failed you, not other way around'

*"I trust you both, and don't worry, we will!"*
>Overhearing Raindrop giggling in the background after her short transmission, Chisan's thunderous facepalm was all you needed to know for the moment.

>Visibly trying to understand the implication, the girl gives a partially-understanding and still confused nod of acknowledgement.
"No know be-fore, po-nies not ex.. es.. say how name mean."
>Reaching up to adjust the the heavy submachine gun's sling onto her side tighter, she offers a faintly appreciative smile before straightening into shocked rigidity.
>Cheeks blushing a near incandescent red, her free hand lifts to shield her mouth while convulsively laughing between her words.
"No that word! It mean mare guard mare for tings wit'.. wit' mate! No use! No use please, I too young! No want die of laugh!"
>Crumpling forwards and covering her entire face both hands now, she remains in that position for nine seconds, gasping for air afterwards.
>Straightening up into half-seriousness, her face still red and lacking composure, the girl's eyes roll as she waves a hand dismissively.
"Pfah! Live no easy be-fore. We no need other pur.. por.. why care hard why here? Live good here, ye. Lot po-ny friends, po-ny food best. Learn when need or want, do what want or need do. No stu-pid law here, no lead-er make die for bad rea.. ray.. idea not mine, your, anyone. Sca-ry some-time but big fun, too."

>Turning towards the gateway with an inscrutable smile and kicking a leg back, she takes a deep inhale before nodding shortly.
>Striding forwards a half-meter off your right using the same pace, her attention drawn side to side in standard threat assessment protocols.
[1d6+1 = 6] <B.Perception
[1d6+1 = 2]

>Stepping through the looking-glass like gateway, little more than marginally decreased atmospheric pressure and gravity were felt, though the roughly doubled humidity was more akin to a Librarium.
>Scanning over the visible hundreds of safes, each was visibly larger than the Tracker twins' first calculations suggested:
>The largest were exactly 60% the size of the standard individual Imperial wargear locker, complexity ranging from one to multiple archaic key locks, external dials, tumblers, and a few that had no visible opening mechanisms.
>Several in view bore faintly active glyphs while the vast majority appeared dead.
>Looking upwards and around, the vault's ceiling was perhaps 25M above you, while wall-to-wall distance was closer to 120M.
>The rear wall stretched much further inwards than you could estimate, which the Admiral immediately pings a request.
'Enginseer, deploy the Chroniton again this time with close range protocols. I believe it is possible to determine our current location given all gravitational and atmospheric fluctuations inside here.'
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice, Part 1/2
GM Strangler
281234 281258
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Evasion rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>Catching the Dagor's steering wheel a split-second after the vehicle starts drifting right through the ranks of vaporous ponies, bursts of red tinted mist disperse from the ranks that you'd unwittingly smashed into.
>Struggling to swerve left and break out of the slalom as the Dagor's heavily reinforced bumper and frame impacts the first of ten Tainted while smashing down the pedal at the same time, twenty, thirty, now forty of the Scarred rapidly impact across exterior armor panels, frame, and even internal components.


>Barely carrying through their numbers on weight alone, the Dagor's tachometer redlines as the tortured diesel engine pitches into a scream at maximum torque from a combination of direct impacts on the front end and rapidly solidifying Spectral masses now damaging the entire front.
>Losing all frontal bumper lights first from the first set of impacts, the next dozen or so wildly buck the Dagor up into the air, several Tainted smashed flat while it lands atop the third rank..
>Even through heavy gloves you could feel the front bumper tearing off the frame, the unmistakable howling shrieks of Tainted realizing a new intruder in their midst causing the next set the Dagor slam into turning their heads, though nowhere near in time.
>Hearing tortured shrieks of steel armor panels buckling and the modified forward frame twisting against unmoving forms as the Dagor continues to plow through them, the closest Scarred in the Dagor's path strike at the vehicle itself with a host of wildly serrated lances, no longer mere vapor held together by mere ka:
>Witnessing a brief, startling sight of Lunar Guardian and Solar Guardian armors arrayed together in the rearview mirror, every single one was now fully solidified in realspace.
[1d6+40 = 44] <Formation #2 Counter
[1d6+40 = 43] <Formation #3 Counter

>Twisting away from Mercy whom immediately slides ass-first towards the Dagor's rear, planting your forehooves onto the vehicle's dash accompanied by both rear legs and every muscle along your spine brace against the immediate devastating impacts to occur.
>Shock radiates from your forehooves crushing through the brittle material into solid metal plates beyond, though keeping you from whiplashing as the first few ranks of Tainted are plowed into.
>Hooves pushed further into the destroyed section, the Dagor's bounce up and down throws your head right to catch several Tainted delivering offensive lances into the vehicle's metallic side panels.
>Unable to do more than hold on through the wild heaving, Jeff regains control of the slaloming motion before breaking free of the formations.

>Reacting on instinct, Mercy loses stealth entirely before smacking chest first into the tailgate, both wings slashing forwards and down into everything she could touch while a blast of pink-white hot energy accompanies the motions.
[1d6+7 = 12] <E.Spectral Assault
[1d6+7 = 12]
[1d6+7 = 9]
[1d6+10 = 16] <Expulse

>Catching her own balance before toppling over the Dagor's side, Marshmallow Moon leaps up and out of the bed, wings fully extending while streaking forwards and delivering a hair-and-mane-bristling, hate-filled neigh of challenge.
[1d6+4 = 5] <M.Taunt
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+4 = 10]
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+11 = 17] <GM.Flight
[1d6+11 = 17]
[1d6+11 = 17]
[1d6+11 = 13]

>Jeff retains control the assault vehicle's drift through the entirety of both central formations, the Dagor's engine compartment now a thoroughly destroyed mess of damaged metal components.
>Both front wheels emit a metal-on-stone screech as thje vehicle slides passenger side 60M north of the Basin's southern buildings, a quarter of the distance towards the fountain, Clemency now visible and taking cover on the southern end of it.
>Giving one last sputter of defiance, the engine dies in a backblast of smoke before small detonations of overheated fuel and piston rods shred through what was left of the crumpled hood.

>The kinetic impacts far behind had picked up furious, frothing wave swells of swamp water into small tsunami conditions.
[1d30+50 = 75] <Waveform Damage Variance
[1d6 = 3] <Waveform Reduction
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice, Part 2/2
GM Strangler
281229 281234 281247 281258
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault, Evasion & Reaction Speed rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue
>5 Ambush tokens.

>Unable to locate the silverine-clad earth mare at Lann's shop, she was holed up in the back room the VIP icon showed her position.
>Sighting the two masses finally ripped apart from unyielding, silent onslaughts, the Hunter-Killers immediately reform into two considerably smaller squadrons.
>Taking zero stock of their losses, the first was down 35% of total numbers, the second 50%.
>Visible once again the sub-alicorn sized bloodhost was close to falling apart, hundreds of tiny red streams ejecting from the mostly torn apart body.
>If it was even physical to begin with.

>Both masses coalesce into two divided platoons of Solar and Lunar Guardians, the newly freed individuals staring around dumbly.
>Snapping quick hoof and wing salutes, a faded, yet indescribably merry cheer rolls out from them before dispersing into hanging clouds of red-tinged mist.
[1d6+40 = 44] <Honored Dispatch
[1d6+40 = 44] <Honored Dispatch
[1d6+40 = 43] <Pride of Legions Past

>Watching another three full squads of black Support Striker icons turn yellow, the recently dead earth mares drunkely rise onto their hooves, then begin staggering north, responding to orders beyond their graves and what little wits they still had commarend of.
>Noting all four complete squadrons of reinforcing Hunter-Killers taking up an overwatching hover position above the Basin's northernmost buildings, another six were forming around the routed Strikers.
>Far north and barely on the radar's edge was the icon of a lone Crystal Empire Conclave Killknight, also tagged as a VIP.

>To the south hundreds of Tainted icons blink out, the total tally ending at 381 listed as deceased.. which only left 619 remaining.
[1d6+381 = 384] <Honored Dispatch
[1d6+190 = 195] <Pride of Legions Past

>The remainder were slightly to partially 'damaged', although dozens of large Mass icons spring up amongst those that had survived the impacts while the total numbers dwindle.
[1d50 = 25] <Mass Condensed Tactics
[1d6+5 = 8] <Formation #1
[1d6+5 = 8] <Formation #4

>Trailing around the edges of the two rapidly condensing Tainted formations, eleven wings of five Elite Cultists each stream down, apparently landing the Basin's southern villages.
>Beyond them, the sound of ocean waves begins crashing into trees.. which was definitely not a good sign.
[1d6 = 4] <Impact Time
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice Part 3/2
GM Strangler
281234 281247 281258
>Nearly the size of an antennae hauling vehicle, not including wings that would make medium leisure jets jealous, the newly summoned bloodhost was less a physical marenifestation and more the concept of a batpony.
>Taking another step south, directly over you and the fountain entirely, rolling masses of thoughtforms stream across false skin in patterns that seemed to be tactically defensive.
>As the right forehoof lands it shatters apart, dislodging the slab underneath, the conceptual being flows apart into hundreds, then thousands of small incandescent red bats clustering around a single individual perhaps a foot tall.
>Ones with long, protruding fangs and emotionless, whorling eyes.

>Far to the south:
"Damn thy manes, I was told there were Constructed Twos not Scar Remnants to hamper us!"
"Cease thy neighing and free us from thine accursed anchor!"
"Hay, I get to do something important!"
"Can we all make a line and force them to take us on one by one?!"
"My dress is going to be ruined from this!"
[1d6 = 6] <M.Casting: Void Anchor Detachmarent
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 4]
>I make it a top priority to never get close to the eject, especially considering the current environment.
>I frown a bit, but decide to not bring it up until a later time, there were more pressing concerns to worry about.
>Namely this 'expeditionary landing force' currently above us.

"Hopefully one hundred to one fifty should be more than enough to continue evading them, then."
>"Though less than 7% at 200 wasn't too terrible of a percentage..."
"I have no clue on what either of these look like, you know."
>I pause for a moment.
"To be fair I barely know what an iron vein would look like either. My father is a carpenter, and none of my brothers became miners."
281247 281258 281563
>Damn, that one got some air!
>Jeff relentlessly let's the Tainted have the front bumper of the Dagor, though not without it yielding to its own impacts.
>With each one he hit, he can feel the truck getting chipped away little by little. Fender, headlights, framing.
>And with each row he plows through, they start reacting a little more and begin counterattacking.
>Not like it mattered. The Dagor can be repaired.
>Although the bucking upward was a little jarring, he regains control and breaks through their ranks.
>But the damage had been dealt. Front was totaled, the bumper was lost at some point. Front tires had disintegrated, and the sides were shredded.
>As the Dagor skids to a halt well away from the now pissed off Tainted ranks, he makes an obvious assessment that the damage was fubar.
>Shielding his face as the engine literally blows up through the hood was an attest to that.
"Damn... sorry girl."
>Recovering his bearings, he checks over any injuries on himself as he pats the Dagors dashboard apologetically.
"Anypony broken?"
>Sunny braced herself in shotgun well enough, but he swear he heard Mercy clonk around in the back. Marshmallow Moon was already out and squaring up with the Tainted.
>He notices the M2 hadn't looked like it took any damage...
>Jeff shakily lifts himself from the driver's seat, and looks around above the Dagor's rollbar of a roof.
>From the Basin's fountain, he can see Clem positioned over there; that blood ritual he mentioned being underway.
>Lann's shop wasn't too far off. He's yet to see the Lunarites disengage from the Void Anchor.

>Switching to his radio, Jeff calls out Clemency over it giving him a high-sweeping wave for his crashed position.
*"The calvary has arrived, Clem! Well, Dagor's fucked! Where do you need us, man? I can send Mercy and Sunny the General's way."*
>Looking behind and past the Tainted, only now does Jeff notice a wall of water coming at them.
>Well more like a tall wake, but it's gonna be wet VERY soon.
>That's what he thought he heard before. A pair of impacts as he was driving. Big ones. Big enough to create a swamp wave coming at them?
>Did Clem fire his satellite again?
>He wonders if that pissed off the Constructs more.
>What wasn't sweet was that the anchor actually DID detach, leaving the Lunarites stranded on the other side of the Tainted's forces.
>He swore he could hear them complain from here.
*"Clem, I lost my vampires on the other side of the Tainted. They're still concentrated South of us. I'll hold here and thin out the masses, until they regroup with me.*

>Weaving around seats, frame, and pony bodies Jeff pokes himself up into the turret ring and swings the M2 South at the Tainted. He lifts the cover to check the receiver and bolt group for damage, and makes sure the first round of the belt was situated properly before closing it back down.
"Mercy, Sunny. Pony up! I have a task for you. To the North North-West is a Tower Guard General and forces that can help us out. They're held up in Lann's shop, her sign's a give-away. Take Boris and the medkit in the bed, and assess their situation. I'll hold this position and thin out the Tainted so the Lunarites can catch up. Get going, there's a flood coming at us!"
[1d6+4 = 7] <M.Leadership: Sprint
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+4 = 7]
>If anything he wanted the trio to start getting as far away from the Tainted as possible. The Basin itself looked free of them, from where he could see. Worst case, that water's going to wash them all right on top of their current position.
>At least he can hold them off at range, for some time.
>Pulling back the charging handle twice, he checks the area way behind the Tainted and to where the Lunarites currently were and aims well to the left of them to reduce any stray rounds possibly hitting them.
>Hopefully they pick up on what he's doing, so they have an easier time pushing through.
[1d6+4 = 5]<E.Scouting + Lunar Faction Bonus
[1d6+4 = 7]
[1d6+4 = 10]

[1d6+6 = 9] <U.Heavy Weapons
[1d6+6 = 7] <M.Ranger
[1d6+6 = 8]
[1d6+6 = 9]
[1d6+6 = 12] <M2 Browning HMG
[1d6+6 = 8]
281258 281563

>Hearing the squealing then explosion, Clemency turned to Jeff and the now totaled Dagor
>Not that it mattered since a quick getaway is in the middle of town
>What does matter is the reinforcement he brings with that HMG
*"I appreciate the help. The more the merrier, especially with the 600 and so Tainted south of here..."*
>Looking at the forces of the Hunter-Killers and the Strikers, Clemency determines that the altar is secure enough and that the tide of Tainted can be held away
>He starts to make a sprint to Jeff's position
[1d6+3 = 8] <M. Sprint
[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 9]
[1d6+3 = 8]
[1d6+3 = 9]
>On the way, when he spots Mercy and Sunny, he quickly says
"Check on the General and get her to rally her Strikers!"
>Getting to Jeff, he nods and shoulders his SPAS down where he's aiming
>Apparently, he had vampires over there and Clem doesn't know what they look like or their exact location
"Ok, let's not let them get through. That blood pony should be coming here from what I saw."
>Taking cover behind the visibly busted engine compartment of the Dagor, he barricade positions himself on the hood and watches south bound for those ponies
>To Clemency, any Tainted that turns to fight them are going to get shot
>>Ambush Overwatch Active<<
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny sat still for a split second as the Dagor came to a stop before shaking her head and rolling out of the metal contraption, wings partially unfurled.
>Not even a pleasant drive through the Moors went as planned with Razorback at the wheel it seemed.
>She quickly assessed what remained of the Tainted's ranks, they weren't too close yet, but that would change fast enough.

[1d6+2 = 5] < B. Perception
[1d6+2 = 4]

>Acknowledging Jeff, Sunny gave herself a little shake and hoof dance to check for any injuries, and finding herself none the worse for wear, spoke up.
"Green, sir!"
>She was already moving at Jeff's next order, unbuckling Boris from the backseat and hauling him across her saddle, hopefully he was weighty enough to stay put at full gallop.
"Understood! Mercy, take the medkit, I've got Boris!"
>Pausing to ensure Mercy was close, the mare took off at a gallop north north-west for Lann's shop, just in time to hear the punctuation of the Dagor's gun start up.

[1d6+4 = 7] < E. Sprint
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 8]

>There was barely enough time to respond to the other human's shouted words at them as they sped by each other.
"Aye! Hold the fort!"
>All the while, the golem on her back jostled around with every hoofbeat.
>Don't fall off. Don't fall off. Don't fall off!
Mallia Castella
>Dranaki's explanation did not fully lift Mallia's spirits, as she now narrowed her eyes at the visor of her helmet for a moment as a thought crosses her mind.
(Why maintain a system that doesn't work?)
>But the question is fleeting. She instantly knew that despite it being the "right" question it was also the "wrong" question.
>She bounces the question in her head, but the more nanocyles she spends dwelling on it, the more she just felt bitterly sad. Even the ASCII image packets don't cheer her up that much. But also don't have the adverse effect either.
(I understand what you mean. Don't worry, I am not offended...)
>Despite the feeling of warmth her thoughts carried, she couldn't help but still carry a lingering feeling of frustation, as she spent several nanocyles thinking about it against better judgement.
(Let's... Move on.)

>Smiling a little from Raindrop's giggling, she rather quickly bounces back from her sour mood at hearing the pegasus' laughter. Something about it made her chuckle too. Or perhaps it was Chisan's LOUD facepalming that got her.
>Mallia then paused, half-turning her head to listen to, keeping the shield low across her middle and her laspistol pointed downward as the Enginseer gazed to Nasiksta. Watching her with a slight, comical tilt of her head as the girl tenses up... Then her cheeks blush... And then she starts laughing.
>Interesting reaction there, huh.

>That's all Mallia could muster, as she also starts to get infected by Nasiksta's laughter, starting to chuckle as she talked.
>She decided to wait there for the mood to stabilize a bit more. She didn't want to go inside the vault until they were both fully ready!
"W-whhAHaat do you m-mean?? That's--that's what she told me to tell you."
>Mallia's head visibly recoils as she stared at the girl, her mechadendrite moving from her back and rubbing it's clamp on the back of her neck, like she would with her hand. The tendril-like length brushing slightly against her helmet.
"HEH, EHh--I--I feel like I just got pranked."
>Slowly, her mirthful snickering dies down along with Nasiksta's. Straightening up and moving her mechadendrite behind her back as she listened to that statement.

"It's a personal reason. I simply MUST know why. Why to me specifically, and not any of my comrades, or the literal billions of others that may deserve it more than me. I'm not sure if you understand."
>Mallia simply replied. Her voice deadpan as it was grimly serious, and dead honest.
(It's just too good to be true... Too good to have no superior purpose other than to simply enjoy a second chance at life. Something is at stake. But what? And what happens once we fulfill that purpose?)
(Am I thinking about it too much? Could it really be that simple?)
(I don't understand... By the motive force why me? Why not the others? Was I just lucky enough to be spared from the Warp?)

>Once Nasiksta gave her that 'Ye.', Mallia moved on. Her thoughts invisible on her otherwise confident and striding gait and bubbly movements.
>After shrugging off but acknowledging the decrease in pressure and gravity with a glance towards the gateway, then back to the vault itself, she finishes up her visual scan of the entire vault's interior by stopping roughly after having moved 25 or so meters inside.
>Mallia remarked as she took note of the 25 meter tall ceiling.
>Then dipped her gaze downward to the safes themselves. Her head visibly tilting as she notes the size discrepancy between the scans and the real thing. Eyes bouncing over the active glyphs, and the fact only some of them seemed to have them still active.
"Strange... Some of the runes are still active on a few of those safes, but on the majority of others they are spent. Lasting craftsmanship. Or continued maintenance? Hmmmmmmmmm..."

>Mallia absent-mindedly flexed her shield a few times, testing how much gravity did change by checking how heavy her shield was now.

>Quickly acknowledging the Admiral's request, Mallia slightly lifts the shield-arm bearing the auspex to give it a glance as she changes the scan's settings for short range protocols, notably without reciting any Litanies of Activation, before engaging the Chroniton Wave Reader.
(Sure thing Admiral Auspex. I want to bet that this is some sort of pocket dimension.)
<Auspex Scan: Chroniton Wave Reader
[1d6+2 = 8]

"Some interdimensional bank this is!"
>Mallia piped up with an excitedly noisy voice, letting it echo across the room to scan the acoustics for no reason other than because she could.
>And to see if anyone cared that they were in there.

>Resuming to stride forward--hopefully with Nasiksta in tow giving protection and with her shield rising again, Mallia begins to make a long walk to the other side of the room to start approaching the safes that were more at her level.
"Let's see here... Let's go for one of the silver ones with a gold trim."

>She starts to take note of which safes had a glyph for future reference, as she moved closer and bee-lined towards one of the safes that were made of silver and had a golden trim that did not have an active glyph on it, if any, aiming to inspect them more closely.

"I will stay away from the safes with runes still glowing on them, FOR NOW."

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

>She also quickly taps the side of her helmet as she walked, tuning into the vox channel again to check if perhaps there was any interference.
>Perhaps the signal was being stopped by the gateway?
>Or maybe they were too busy eating to respond immediately.
Bubba the Second
>Bubba took a moment to reflect on how exactly he got into this situation.
>Giving something close to life advice to a bunch of colorful horses.
>If he was back home he'd be laughed at and fun would be poked at him over this.
"Razorback isn't that bad, to be honest. It feels like a second home to me. And to us humans, a destroyer is usually a lightly armed, somewhere between 105MM to 128MM guns, hardly armored, fast ship designed for escorting and hunting underwater boats. I guess they carry bombs, but they're for underwater explosions."
>He hummed at the idea.
"Hell, given the materials I could probably make up a boat for it as well. I'll ask 'er about it next time I swing by."
"I'd suggest haggling a bit for it first, but if it was the latter, it would probably be a good idea to keep it locked up somewhere secure. You never know when you'd need something like that."
>He shrugged.
"Up to you though, if we can trade for it, I'd do it."
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice, Part 1/2
GM Strangler
281663 281798 281910
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Evasion & Sprint rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>While Sunny collects the Golem on the front seat, Mercy stops short from jumping over the tailgate, both sets of wingblades ablaze in hostile patterns.
>Her head turns about to give a disbelieving expression tinged with anger, then gives a quick nod.
>Smacking the driver's side seat up, she hurriedly bites onto the medical bag and tosses it across her saddle, leaping over it to take wing north.
[1d6+3 = 8] <E.Flight
[1d6+3 = 5]
[1d6+3 = 5]

>Directly above, Marshmallow Moon's neigh is cut off by a startled hacking sound, the regal mare crumpling in midflight, legs thrown about in frightened directions and dropping like a rock.
>Recovering, barely, to land heavily on the Dagor's driver side, her head tosses side to side before spitting out a large black insect which immediately flits off.
>Staring at the bug with a brief touch of wonder, both wings fold on her sides tightly before high skipping around the wrecked vehicle at high speed, directly towards the line of now fully formed giant Tainted.
[1d6+9 = 13] <GM.Sprint..?
[1d6+9 = 10]
[1d6+9 = 10]
[1d6+9 = 13]

>Finding the unmodified M2 in perfect shape, swinging it right, and well over the Night Princess' daughter, you immediately spot two full squads of Deep Moors Hunter-Killers mixed in with a small number of robed batponies.
>Ones with high varying colors at that, which could only make them being Cultists of the Dark Horse.
>All of them were preparing synchronized ambushes from each southern building, and thoroughly unconcerned by the quickly slackening swamp water waves coming for the Basin Village.
[1d6+11 = 17] <Mixed Team #1 Ambush
[1d6+10 = 11] <Mixed Team #2 Ambush
[1d6+9 = 10] <Mixed Team #3 Ambush
[1d6+8 = 12] <Mixed Team #4 Ambush
[1d6+10 = 14] <Mixed Team #5 Ambush
[1d6+7 = 13] <Mixed Team #6 Ambush

>Sighting six brand new Tainted Masses less than 100M south of the Basin's newly repaired roadway, as one they break into a storming four-point gallop, but are immediately followed by a tight Diamond Lance formation closing ranks into at least two dozen total.
[1d6+6 = 11] <Tainted Mass Charge
[1d6+6 = 10]
[1d6+6 = 7]
[1d6+6 = 7]

>Clenching the M2's handles tightly and shoving armored thumbs onto the butterfly trigger brings a roaring chatter of forearm impacts with the primary burst aimed towards the Mass left of the formation's leader.
>Losing control of the heavy weapon briefly before stabilizing it upwards, 660 grain impacts begin tearing into and through definitively solid Tainted legs.
>Tracking upwards enough to focus on the left side Mass' center, the rank immediately behind it taking somewhat slowed slugs while the third rank was absorbing tracers and armor penetrating bullets alike.. and were certainly NOT disintegrating from heavy fire.

>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Assault, Evasion, Reaction Speed & Sprint rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue
>5 Ambush tokens.

Last Stand Protocol: Disengaged

>Aided by the Float enchantmarent, stretching out into a full towards the Dagor run elicits a feeling of whole body wellness save for the mild fatigue and sense of deep soul ache plaguing you.
>Nearly body checking the vehicle's front end,, you instead readily slide into position, shotgun aimed over the mildly burning engine, and feel a pang of loss over the Dagor's damage.
>Likewise losing the desperate, poorly understood adrenaline rush, watching the Tainted form into a near-perfect Diamond Lance formation rushing directly towards the Dagor you immediately recognize that this small squad was massively undergunned to engage this number even as Jeff looses the well maintained M2's fury from left and above.

>Estimating the formation's distance as out of range, upon calculating all eight shells in the SPAS-12 and realizing that you either had to quick reload or switch to the 1911, halfway into the Tainted charge your synapses reach peak efficiency at the optimal firing vectors-
Operation: The Basin Floods In Sacrifice, Part 2/2
GM Strangler
281663 281798 281910
>LEADERSHIP: +2 to all Evasion & Sprint rolls
>PENALTY: -1 to all rolls from Operational Fatigue

>Spotting the number of Tainted decreased to about two dozen individuals, the infamous 'Mass' type were now charging straight north at the Basin, two much smaller formations of less than platoon strength had formed behind them, starting to coalesce into markedly different shapes.
[1d6 = 5] <Consolidated Tainted Formation #1: Tactic Shift
[1d6 = 2] <Consolidated Tainted Formation #2: Tactic Shift

>Securing the small heavy Golem on your saddle, the bizarre and unbalanced weight was only a minor nuisance.
>Reaching an immediate three-point run, the booming weapon from behind mixes with rapidly sloshing wave actions, drastically slowed from centuries of rubble tossed in by batpony carelessness.
>Glimpsing the usually abandoned and empty basin in the center, it was guarded by a trio of heavy set batponies in older Nightfang armor, eerily calm.
>Behind the three a whirling sphere of suspiciously viscous red fluid partially hid a blood-covered batmare, holding aloft two long daggers, the first a shining pinksteel, the other a dull metallic green.
>Three pairs of two blood drenched altars facing each other behind her were surrounded by clusters of batponies, fangs and wingclaws unmoving, their colors oddly dimmed.

>Passing by that scene the Basin's northwest side in front of the building that was definitely Lann's, an even more confusing situation appears:
>A lone batpony that probably rivaled the Empress in size with wingclaw trios that appeared more like minotaur curved blades, stood surrounded by two partially intact squadrons of Hunter-Killers.
>Composed of metallic iridescent red that was ejecting tiny streams of red vapor from hundreds of rippled creases across the body, the bloodhost points south to which the Discordites take wing, rapidly taking an offensive reverse-moon formation.
[1d6+7 = 13] <Hunter-Killer Squadron 1
[1d6+7 = 9] <Hunter-Killer Squadron 2
>Gazing upon either you or Mercy with a troubled expression, the bloodhost's wings sweep forwards and down once, propelling her upwards with a backblast that dissipates most of the Moors' mist behind her-
[1d6+8 = 13] <GM.Flight
[1d6+8 = 11]
[1d6+8 = 10]
[1d6+8 = 9]

>Exposing scores of white robed Support Strikers lying in unnatural death positions, scattered across what was not long ago a triple ranked Watch Guard half-circle defensive formation.
>Though you do spot three squads slowly retreating north, the psions' death toll was nearly an entire compony's worth.

>Hearing overburdened pegasi wings flapping behind you as Mercy struggles to catch up, she was entirely silent at the carnage.
[1d6 = 1] <Horror
[1d6 = 5] <Insanity Strength
[1d20 = 6] <Insanity Effect
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop, Underground Tunnel
GM Strangler
>Wings lifting in an approximation of a ruffled shrug, the Nightfang's tone was flatly unamused.
"There aren't marely batponies here, I've met them all. Haven't seen or heard of a human turn into a batpony either. I'd rather do my job, which is fun, than pass unsubstantiated rumors."
>Tapping hooves and wingclaws on every surface, pausing to sniff every other step, the batmare retains her suspicious, slow pace.
"Nothing so far. Dunno what that last word you said is but it sounds like one of those elemarental bolt spewing weapons I see some pegasi use now and then. I've come across lots of nasty swarming creatures, last was in the compony that held Memorial Village after Razorback secured it. Spent the next four, maybe five nights wiping out local scavengers. Very unfun. New Everfree critters are bigger and show up in smaller numbers from what little I know, but did overhear one human talking about a huge bunch of Moors minibears that got too close. They should be at least two hundred miles south, not roaming around the giant growth regions."

>Watching the Lunar mare's methodical, and at least somewhat professional attempts at locating something out of place, your own efforts find nothing.
>Not a single crack, chip, or off colored patch was visible, and from the mare's constant scraping on stone you couldn't hear voids in the material.
>Which gave a chance that the entire stairwell had been created from a single large boulder or perfectly melded together.

"Clear. I don't think there's much to worry about."
>Reaching the bottom step after the batmare, it had opened into a matte white tunnel that two unicorns might be able to walk side-by-side through.
>Down approximately 40M was an intersection, with two more deviating at 100M and a third around 150M.
>Sliding forwards on her hoofboots, the sound quickly traveling while she takes several deep sniffs, then nods in a succinct marener.
"Can smell the yellow unicorn, pink unicorn, Hodch, other yellow unicorn, and unicorn with the floppy hat. First two are three to five minutes prior, third is an hour or so, fourth is very faint, fifth is around the same time as Hodch."
>Helmet tilting sideways, the Lunar Guard mutters in annoyance.
"This tunnel system must see a lot of use, way more scents than I can keep up with. I'll track the yellow and pink unicorn but warn me if you're going to use something loud."
>Starting off at a slightly less than power walking pace, the batmare's wings stretch out, tapping on wall sections every third step.
[1d6+4 = 6] <E.Perception
[1d6+4 = 6]
[1d6+4 = 9]
[1d6+2 = 8] <E.Traps
[1d6+2 = 5]
[1d6+2 = 7]
Ivan the Stalker
"Yeah, I don't like rumors either, they tend to get people killed."
>He shrugged a bit as he follows behind her, keeping the same slow, cautious pace.
"Well, you're not exactly far off. Shotguns usually fire several small steel balls out at a target, though there's shells for it that are one solid slug."
>He chewed on his lip as he thought.
"Kinda like... grape shot for ship cannons, I think?"
>Navies were kind of hard to come by in the Zone.

>He glances down at the batpony, raising an eyebrow in surprise.
"You can smell scents that far back?"
>He could compare that to a tracking hound.
>He shrugged and patted his sidearm.
"I shouldn't have a reason to use any of my weapons, if I need to I'll use my knife for ropes or something."
>He frowned and glanced down at the hanging gear on his body.
"Anything else just kinda... beeps idly."
>He follows close behind, his boots treading lightly.
[1d6 = 3] <E. Perception
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 5] <U. Traps
Razorback Fortress: Command Center
GM Strangler
'Understood sir, adjusting protocols to compensate for this unique situation.'
>Shoulders lifting in an accepting shrug, the A.I. render slumps forwards to sigh in a disgusted tone.
'The Inquisitor. Her subconscious is partially awake with approximately forty percent coherency.. albeit thoroughly idiotic. She continues blathering on about something called an Abominable Intelligence, why they should not exist, demarending if I am one, and other insane drivel that I am starting to experience a great deal of resentmarent at. I have been blocking each frequency she has utilized to directly contact me, which now makes two-hundred fifty-two. Correction: two-hundred fifty-seven and rising steadily.'

"Don't worry none, Ah'm not lookin' ta pull teeth jes' yet but Ah gotta few questions y'better answer later.. an' Ah'll try to keep mah accent down."
>Lonestar's hat tilts as he gives a distinctly critical military staredown, sliding the discs back into his coat with deliberate slowness.
"Ah'm not gonna take yer words personal like so's Ah'll be nice: Ah ain't gone soft or been sittin' on mah ass doin' fuck all since arrivin' in Canterlot day one this whole mess started up. Got enough shuteye to go fer another day. Anythin' past that? Few o'Tipper's special mixes."
>Firmly patting the weapon once, he turns to glance behind him for a moment, muttering in a low, harshly reprimanding tone which the A.I. picks up easily.
"An' Em needs ta either keep her mouth shut or stop worryin' s'damned much-"
>Straightening up, the Texan analogue half-saunters towards the door, pausing in front of it.
"Now 'scuse me fer a bit, gonna pick up mah gear an' warn th'secretary mare Ah won't be 'round. Also mah Frequency's EnCru-six-point-eight-one-gamma, y'won't find it on 'ficial channels."
>Tossing a short, two-fingered salute before stepping out, the door closes after him creakily.

>Tapping forehooves together several times, 'Spiral' cocks his head at a small data feed accompanied by several tiny windows.
'Mood analysis: moderately proud, highly clinical, extremely critical, highly efficient, high sociability with those of a military background. He was thoroughly insulted by your question, made no attempt to hide it but did tone down his combativeness. Definite military officer background. Most likely possibilities: aerial, spaceborne, naval, or a combination of two. Your records show he was present with the first one hundred humans to arrive on Tallus and is in a position of data control. His experience, knowledge, and.. presumedly high combat capabilities are invaluable. Recommarend designating him as a V.I.P. sir, this cou-'

>Before you could respond, a small dinner plate sized gateway opens to deposit a silver disc, hanging in front of you within arm's distance.

'...as I was stating, this is an excellent chance to ascertain Razorback's political, economic, and technological situations.'

[1d6+3 = 8] <E.Negotiation
[1d6+3 = 5]
[1d6+3 = 5]
Razorback Fortress: The Courtyard, Rasera's Tent
GM Strangler
>Finding nothing to straighten or put away, the Library's lighting system dims to nothing though the large number of giant bay windows were enough to see by.

>Despite the door's good sound proofing you could hear fillies giggling louder than the Crystal mare's mock aggressive taunting, which sounded like she was making one last effort to have fun before turning in.

>Exiting through one of the front doors, activity had greatly slowed while you'd been burning into the book:
>Fifteen or so humans, each accompaneighed by two to four armored ponies were visible in the pre-dawn light, performing yet another slow, spread out search across the central courtyard's west and east sides.
>Sighting the barracks roughly eighty percent of a kilometer north, it was fairly obvious that this fortress was nowhere near completed.
>And that it needed a transportation system of some kind.

>Walking the well trod path leading to the Pagoda, far ahead and west you spy a large, minorly familiar square tent with four bright red glowing lanterns slightly north of the giant entrance/exit gates noted earlier.
>Changing course towards the tent, upon reaching it two minutes later, along with a number of slowly developing aches, it was distinctly Asian styled:
>Dark green and red stripes accented by flower prints and delicate renderings of unusual creatures.. ones that might not be entirely mythical on this world.
>Hundreds of small, brightly colored cloth strips around the top hang silently, the door a complex five-piece affair that looked like embroidered silk, also covered in shiny wooden buttons that bore unknown symbols on each.
>Right of the door was a fanciful, white wooden A-frame sign that had been laid face down, probably the equivalent of 'closed'.

>Hearing a female's voice speaking inside, the sharply aery tone was definitely from a mare.
>Door folding outwards, a slim pegasus fully covered by dark purple cloth armor half-skips out, stopping to look up at you.
>Head tilting left, then right after a second, and left again, the two black lenses fully covering her eyes were quite odd, while the spry tone that greets you was thoroughly unhappy.
"Hello human, can't talk more than a few seconds, have to go make sure Bren is ready to land the new buildings. Rasera-"
>Pointing a wing back at the door quickly.
"Is about to turn in but you could probably trade with her some. You'll need the white and green striped orb on the table to talk with her, Japoneighsian's the hardest bucking language to translate."
>Nodding once, the mare's wings extend as she takes a running jump, flapping off straight east.
>Cheto simply blinks as he hears the taunting promoted by the crystal mare behind closed doors, vaguely reflecting an image of what'd be like in there.
(Seems like it's quite the physical activity. Probably would break something if I were to do the same, but maybe the fillies know how to play soft.)

>A yawn happens to pass through José's mouth when he reaches the strikingly decorated tent, nodding lazily a couple of times.
>Approaching the fancy cloth stripped door enough to spot the A-frame sign, Gallo blinks once, realizing this was probably a dead end.
(Guess I'll inspect the place some more. Might be someone or pony still inside that can help me in my nocturnal endeavors... in what I assume to be daylight already.)
>Lighty scratching his arm as he opted to stand near the door, the human was slightly concerned about his tired predicament.
(Question is: Will I called upon today? The Princess seems awfully spontaneous in her decision-making from what I heard of her. Hopefully not.)

>Refocusing once again to the tent to hear the voices, the man lights up considerably.
(Alrighty. Time to see if my mild persistence has paid off!)
>Watching the pegasus walk into his view, José composes a polite yet lazy smile and patiently listens to her.
(Bren... sounds familiar... and a trader's inside here named Rasera. Potentially Tallus' Japaense mirror. Ja-po-neigh-sian.)
"Much appreciated, miss. Have a good day."
>With a small wave of his hand in a goodbye gesture, Gallo turns to the tent and, with a deep inhale and licking his teeth in anticipation, pokes his head inside the tent, eager to both find the orb on the table without unknowingly breaking customs by being too hasty.
"Excuse me. May I enter?"
>He promptly moves a hand to his mouth carefully and slowly to stop a yawn from coming out of his mouth.

>Clemency comes down from that admittedly longer than usual adrenaline dump and his senses dull to their normal level
>It only makes the slight aches and the hollow feeling even more pronounced but he focuses on the firing vectors of his field of view
>Once the Tainted came within range, Clem fired his SPAS-12 until he felt the gun lock open
>He then quickly combat loaded a shell and fired that as well
[1d6+3 = 6] <E. Combat Rifles/Shotguns
[1d6+3 = 7]
[1d6+3 = 5]
[1d6+3 = 7]
[1d6+3 = 7]
[1d6+3 = 5]
[1d6+3 = 5]
[1d6+3 = 8]

>Seeing the coming charge, he also spots what he assumes is one of Jeff's vampires performing a roundabout the Dagor and then charging at the Tainted
>Seeing what they done to the bloodhost, he is wondering whether this mare had a plan or is displaying that suicidal tenacity like the Hunter Killers
>Clem does decide that their position is still tenuous, even with Jeff on the M2
"Jeff, we need to fall back. Or at least blunt that charge!"
>Clemency then checks his visor, both for the status of the M-S.O.L.G. and his radar to see the positioning of the allied pony forces

[1d6 = 6] < Radar

>Clemency also tries to spot the other ponies Jeff mentioned, especially since they are still in that Tainted formation
Lost in the Crag Moors: A Bigger Problem Than The Last One
GM Strangler
281762 281835
"I have no further information available on depth pressures from my databases mom, those are my best to worst calculations given my exterior hull integri-"
>All of Wild's external and internal actions stop, both of the chest cabin's screens blacking out while the air conditioning system ceases to function.
>Half a minute later the screens returns to their original views, the left now aimed at visibly empty sky while the right showed your Eldritch Android daughter's hands twitching in sea water.
"Secondary repair system restored to basic functionality mom! I did trigger an inbuilt soft-lock caused by critical damage to my head unit and data plexii. My attempts at bypassing the soft-lock were successful but I will require an additional six to ten minutes of consolidation before my primary repair system reaches maximum efficiency-"
>Speaking in an clearly excited internal tone, once more she digs into the wreckage.
"Now conducting repairs on my primary systems and conducting intermediate metals extrapolation research-"
[1d6+4 = 5] <Arcanum Sensors Array: Research
[1d6+4 = 7] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 2] <Grade 2 Auto-Repair
[1d6 = 4] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6 = 6] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6 = 4] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6 = 5] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6 = 3] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6 = 1] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6 = 2] <Repair Tendril #8

'Understood mom, but I doubt there is much to mine in this region outside of crashed vessels. Addendum: I found this hidden in one of my head unit's compartments, formerly designated as a glovebox-"
>Blipping a short affirmative, one of the medical tendrils raises up to present a strange, multi-hued ball of fuzz around the size of your fist.. which gives a surprisingly happy sounding chirp as the implement deposits it onto your lap before withdrawing out of sight.
"I do not know what this being is. Kraut placed it inside one of my safest compartments before conversion. Basic analysis: it is non-sapient and possibly non-sentient, enjoys physical contact, was unharmed after the compartment flooded. Should I study it further?"
GM Strangler
[1d6 = 4] <Improved Scavenging Protocols
Sunny Feathers

>Sunny eyed the obvious ritual and gave a brief, full body shake, outright disturbed.
>Don't know, don't care, don't think about it, Sunny focused only on locating Lann's shop and the Strikers.
>At least until stumbling upon an absolute unit of a batpony which had her dumbstruck for a full second. The mare simply returned its expression until it took off and revealed the corpses.
>She frowned at them, recognising the formation they'd been in when they were alive, whatever was left of them were in retreat, they hadn't even bothered to defend their casualties for recovery. The mare supposed she understood their unwillingness to lose any more of their forces to this, if that is indeed what it'd been.
>Sunny pressed a single wing over her chest briefly for the fallen before turning to Mercy.
>The larger pegasus was hovering there silently, and she didn't look too good, the mare can't have been used to seeing casualties like this if her reaction was anything to go by.
"Mercy. Mercy! In the shop, right now. Don't think about it, focus on what Jeff needs you to do. Stay with us, we don't have much time."
>She kept her ears swiveling in the meantime, waiting on Mercy to either break down or pull herself together. The immediate area was reasonably secure for the moment, even if the cost had been high.

[1d6+2 = 4] < B. Perception
[1d6+2 = 6]
>I couldn't help but grimace a little.
>"Yeah, neither do I."
>I perked up a bit upon hearing her next sentence.
"That's good to hear, Wild!"
>I gave her screens a warmer smile, leaning forward a bit as I glance over the views I had.
"I would imagine there'd be SOME types of metallic deposits on an ocean floor... even if it was deep under the sand. Or gear might have been tossed in while trying to keep a ship floating."
>Inwardly I was cursing the inability to help at all with anything related to this.
>I wasn't taught a damn thing about the ocean other than the Arctic was cold as all hell and shouldn't be swam in. Much.

"... What the hell is this, Wild?"
>I gingerly pick the fuzzy thing and inspect it, eyebrow raised.
"Kraut is weird. It does look cute, though."
>Thankfully Sunny and Mercy were able to hustle away to the outlying buildings safely, so he could deal with the oncoming attack without them getting caught in it.
>Marshmallow Moon, having recovered from her own attempt at intimidating the Tainted horde, began a full-hearty rush into the attackers.
>That's some guts, coming from one of Luna's daughters. It somehow doesn't surprise him.
>He keeps clear of her as he fires off to the side into a lane of Tainted to try and thin them out for the Lunarites to punch through, though he loses sight of them.
>It seemed like the fifty-cal rounds were at least effective.

>At some point, Clem slides up behind the Dagor's totaled front end. Keeping in stealth, it was better to not draw any attention to his friend and possibly give him away.
"Came to join the party, Clem? I was trailering the Lunarites with a Void Anchor, but it snapped when I rammed through the Tainted. They're all stuck on the other side."
>They were heavily armed AND armored. He can expect them to hold their own.
>Clem mentions something about a blood pony? He can't help but look behind him far north into the Village. Lo and behold, there up at the fountain was some sort of ritual summoning some large blood-shaped pony.
"Shit, you weren't kidding! Least they're on our side."
>Zoning back onto the Tainted, they had started forming larger beings and started charging along with a tight spear charge of smaller ones directly aimed at him, Clem, and the derelict Dagor.
"Just one more run of guns!..."
[1d6+4 = 9] <M.Leadership: Ranged
[1d6+4 = 8]
[1d6+4 = 5]
[1d6+4 = 7]
>He redirects the M2 into the point of the diamond formation, and lets off another barrage of heavy fire at it. If he can drop and topple the first few rows, the rest behind should get caught up on the downed ones and break the entire charge.
[1d6+6 = 11] <U.Heavy Weapons
[1d6+6 = 11] <M.Ranger
[1d6+6 = 7]
[1d6+6 = 12]
[1d6+6 = 12] <M2 Browning HMG
[1d6+6 = 7]

>Whether the rounds were effective or not, Jeff hears Clem's suggestion to retreat after he himself fires off his Spas-12.
"Forget it. Let's regroup with the others."
>He effortlessly hauls himself out and above the turret ring, and yells out toward Luna's daughter.
"Marshmallow! We're falling back into the Village!"
>Turning and swiftly dropping onto the ground right next to Clem, Jeff checks his gear and weapons- equipping his Honeybadger. Before hauling it toward the Southern buildings.
"By the way. That's Marshmallow Moon, one of Luna's daughters! Now, let's go!"
[1d6+5 = 7] <E.Sprint
[1d6+5 = 9]
[1d6+5 = 11]
>Clemency turns to Jeff as he lands next to him and he yells out to this "Marshmallow"
>He peaks over the hood to see the charging pony and hopes she hears him
>Although, it is quite harrowing seeing the incoming formation coming towards them
>He turns to Jeff as he was speaking to him, talking about who that one pony was
"Daughter? Gonna have to explain that one to me."
>Clemency then follows after Jeff
[1d6+5 = 11] <M. Sprint
[1d6+5 = 8]
[1d6+5 = 7]
[1d6+5 = 10]
[1d6+5 = 9] <Airstream Sprint
[1d6+5 = 7]
Southern Canterlot Outskirts: Twin Hill Overlook, Depository
GM Strangler
>Turning an embarrassed grin forwards, Nasiksta's blush remains while she speaks in apprehensive yet sincere ignorance.
"That right if say mare guard mare for tings I not know, not do. Is old po-ny word but mo-dern ponies say not for lewd. Am sorry but no know which right?"
>Tox-11 sighs in directly painful machine code, the datastream coming off as a gentle reprimand.
'enginseer, nashka has not yet experienced the natural harem cycles of equines before or their openly sexual relations. original word mareguard equates to a mare that guards another mare during mating of their harem leader, designated as a stallion, for the purposes of reproduction, sexual fulfillment, or both. pre-modern meaning is a mare that protects the herd regardless of danger, considered high honor. current modern meaning is mare that protects all other based on oaths, duties, relations, beliefs. likewise high honor. roles between mares change hourly depending on environmental-seasonal-hormonal-individual factors. she is naive and immature, enginseer. initiate diplomatic protocols: correct her understanding based on second and third meanings to preserve innocence'

>Shrugging at your implication, the girl's face turns partially crimson again before smiling in half-hearted curiousness.
"It no prank. Spiral taught lots, he say true so we learn. If you say want me guard you for tings.. I guard but no watch, no do, ye?"
>Lips tight in a naturally pensive reaction to the unnatural environmarent, the girl spreads her left hand out in a conciliatory gesture.
"No know how be on po-ny world. I ask why Tavkosht no be here, no me. He better guard: shoot better, faster, smarter. Why me? I hide in train when hit by big shells, guard lots heavy tings. Am sorry, feel bad not know. why. May-be hu-man ask Sun Princess why, how, am hope she an-swer."

>To both your questions and Nashka's words the Admiral responds with high magnitudes of caution.
'I will not claim the Inquisitor's suspicions are correct as I do not know nor understand them. While I have a great deal of information pertaining to the three Princesses desiring humans on this world, there is no singular answer. Until the time comes that we learn the circumstances of our shared arrival it is best to keep an open mind, a guarded conscience, and a light heart. There may have been no plan yet it may be that we were all placed in opportune positions to perform and cause greater works here for the betterment of xenos equines than we would have created for Imperials. There is no wrong that the Motive Force is unable to correct, Enginseer. Do not lose your hope or faith as the Empress guides all. ....which Empress, however, is for a much later discussion.'

"Not know po-ny runes. Spiral show, teach all u-ni-corn have magic. Magic do tings hard, not know sometime. No magic easy learn but magic all 'round he say. Few human use, know, learn. Hard trust what no know."
>Returning to her original, serious disposition, the girl's focus swings from each line of safes to the entire vault, submachine gun held in solid hip-firing position.
"Nm no see, hear, feel tings out place. It like big armory; cool, si-lent, maybe po-ny hide dan-ger tings?"
[1d6+1 = 7] <B.Perception
[1d6+1 = 4]

>Rapidly spooling back each data line within the past [REDACTED] years, your MIU calculates a 43.6% gravity reduction in the current environs which was slightly less than standard Voidborn vessels preferred to run.
>Sensing the Auspex running through hexadecimal code at a speed that few pieces of STC Binary wargear could accomplish, Witch-Two's contemplative transmission cuts off as Adronal's ire becomes apparent.
'Well done Enginseer. I will amend my report to showcase your intuition and high calculative capabilities. This is an excellent example of one local region-space that has been heavily modified to act as a vault with preservative qualities, similar to what would be expected from a Technos Librarium Sanctum. There are two main differences when used by the xenos equines of this world. One: the gravity decrease significantly reduces wear and strain on fragile and complex components. Two: the increased humidity aids in preventing degradation or decay of specific materials. This location is better off than standard Guard armories. I am incapable of sharing specific datum due to binding treaties yet I will state this is equivalent to a Mechanicus Reliquary. Tox-11 suspects a number of valuable relics have been carefully stored within which would be standard proto-"
'too long winded again, witch. said to keep short next time. enginseer: prioritize scanning to include only high energy-efficiency fields, energetic composite materials. exclude all similarities to: batteries, power cells, generation systems. local equines abhor wasted energy due to extreme necessities of ecological preservation protocols'

>Head shaking at your exclamation, the awful helmet tips down from her motions, the ancestral Vostroyan analogue shoving it back above her eyebrows.
"No like po-ny bank, no like po-ny ar-mor-ry. See few, this not same."

>Your biological ears catch an oddly slowed sonic drift based on the multiple echoes while the MIU calculates a greater than 70% violation of standard timestream physics, though weren't Warp-induced.

>Retaining her guardian pace off your side and casting distrustful glances at the few safes with runes or glyphs, the girl makes an acknowledging noise.
>Traveling down the central line, after a quarter minute you reach a presumably dead noble coloration safe with a set of four tumbling dials in the center.
>As Nashka turns her back to sweep for potential hostiles, Chisan's voice comes across with a readily distinctive warble.
*"Acknowledged Enginseer. Problems: moderate comm distortion, unusually high delay, minor sound decay. Your message was transmitted nineteen-point-five seconds prior. Any significant findings, and have you located the unknown equine from before?"*

[1d6 = 5] <?????
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Frowning in the marener that meant Naliyna somewhat failed to understand your weapons terminology, her snout wiggles as the pen descends onto another application letter.
"So more like a pegasus hunter than an earth pony knight, I guess? We.. might need something like that. I've gotten a bunch of contracts for stuff to do on and in the sea but since we don't have a boat they're in that pile-"
>Motioning towards a tiny stack of silver and gold trimmed pages that were definitely of Lunar origin, she pauses to give a half-hearted sigh.
"You haven't seen Bren's storage shack or all the local stuff she's collected? If not there's probably enough to fill the Workshop ten times over so you won't have a problem. She also keeps asking to build a giant storehouse for all the wood and stone but I don't have any idea where it should go. If you want anything made just put a notice on the bulletin board, Bren will get to it.. when she has time since she said something earlier about dropping a bunch of new buildings in."
>Side eyeing the Cairn Wharf notice, Naliyna presents a modestly approving smile.
"Says no neighgotiation allowed for that one. I'll visit her when I get a few minutes, really want to look over everything she's got. Some of those things so old I've only heard a little about them but never seen so much as pieces. If they're real then I'll try to work out some trades. Probably go to the Sea Shack while I'm there too, they have some neat stuff Krinza might want."

>The translocation matrice behind you springs up into a woven iron gateway, loud hoof thunks heralding a new arrival.
>Passing by you to stop several paces from Naliyna's table was a fairly short unicorn clad in terribly plain and steel knight's armor, once a common marecenary pattern but fell out of favor decades prior due to complexity.
>For whatever reason the spiraling neon green horn was fully exposed, although bands of what looked like red platinum had been tightly fitted into each groove.
>Giving a short nod to the Crystal mare, the unicorn's head swings about, two unusually glittering red eyes examining you from behind clear diamond lenses.
"This must be Razorback. Greetings to the both of you."
>The voice was that of a pleasantly soft toned 30's mare with highly clipped and professional military mareners, her prior eagerness subdued.
"I am Lucid Shock of the Germaneighan 19th Burst Cavalry detached from the 4th Imperial Guard Fleet Division under High General Still Flower's direct orders. It is my duty to discharge the three humans under my protection once I have confirmed Razorback Companeigh will accept them. If you would confirm this vocally then I shall authorize their release them into your herd."

>Forcing both of her forehooves down and away from giving her snout some extra pain tonight, Naliyna turns a deadpan 'I military speak' expression towards you.
Mallia Castella
>Quarter-turning her head back towards Nasiksta after her response, she barely has the time to query for assistance that Tox-11 was already informing her.
>Even if his tone elicited a sense of shame from the Enginseer as she struggled, and ultimately failed to suppress the powerful urge to apologize.
(My bad. I'm sorry. Will correct this. Thank you.)

>Mallia's head fully turned as the girl explained on about Spiral.
>Then made some pretty HEFTY implications that IMMMEDIATELY forced Mallia to rapidly shake her head and her mechadendrite in negative response.
"No-no! Absolutely not Nasiksta!"
>The Enginseer turned around slightly to be able to face the girl as she speaks up. Her mechadendrite springing infront of her and holding up the clamp as if it were a finger
"Hear this, my stalwart guard! As the highly reliable friend I have in this helmet,"
>Her mechadendrite lifts to tap the side of the jet black flak helmet in question. Toc toc.
"Has kindly taught me just this second, the meaning of that word that you know is outdated!"
>The enginseer nodded to herself like a bobblehead, speaking as they made their slow walk across the vault room.
>Mallia's mechadendrite gesticulating beside her as if it were her arm, while the other two real arms held a shield and a laspistol at the ready respectively.
"The pre-modern and modern meanings of the word are titles of High honor, Nasikta. The former meaning describes a mare that protects the herd regardless of danger. The former is a mare that protects ALL others based on oaths, duties, relations, and beliefs."

>The Enginseer's mechadendrite slinks backwards to near the respirator of her flak helmet to tap herself on her armored 'cheek' with one of the mechanical claws.
"Raindrop Raspberry likely meant the former for you, Nasiksta. Nothing lewd about it! And personally speaking, I feel that it suits you as your very meaningful name suits you."
>She gave Nasiksta a quick nod, her tone ending on a serious but slightly chirpy note that is mostly due to the modulated pitch of her soft voice.

>Though when the more emotionally hitting response to her 'Why am I here' comes from Nasiksta, the Enginseer stopped. Not looking directly at the girl. And the helmet concealed her expression, making it hard to read exactly how she felt hearing her say that. But she looked very tense, again.
>Even her mechadendrite stops it's lively motions stiffly, stopping beside her arm.

"Then... You know my anxiety. Unreasonable as it may seem."
"It's--uhm... One of my goals in this new life of mine to find the Alicorn princess who has saved my life, and ask her why she has done it. And..."
>Her voice drifts off, into a pitifully sad little voice.

>She doesn't end up being able to say it.
>Or think it.
>She didn't know what to do at that point yet. Everything felt weirdly meaningless, in that single moment.

"... Hm..."

>It perhaps was not helped by the the Admiral as she speaks up and elaborates.
>Mallia's reply is surprisingly almost instant, and carried with it a heavily cautious, and slow-spoken tone.
(... I'm sorry Admiral. I still cannot process... Any of this. What you say has a logical and correct value, but on an emotional level I am struggling. I do not feel that I am ready to fully let go of my cynicism and inherent distrust. In case I am let down and made a fool of.)

>Then the Enginseer does a mental double take on 'The EMPRESS guides all', followed by 'WHICH EMPRESS'.
>Her back visibly straightens as she very inquisitively begins to prod Admiral Auspex with a more urgent and distress-filled line of questioning
(--And what---on Holy Mars are you talking about, Admiral Dranaki? What Empress? I have no frame of reference for any Empress, much less in the plural. The Emperor of Mankind, right? You...)
(Please tell me it's NOT what I think this is...)

>Mallia's walking pace resumed immediately at a striding gait, speeding up towards the safe she was targeting while still tapping the side of her helmet, still with her pistol-hand, while her shield raised to cover more of her front.
>Approaching the silvery safe and taking in the four tumbler dials... Starting to holster her laspistol to free up her hand.
(10,000 possible combinations? Possible to crack. If only I had the skill to do it fast.)
"It's very possible!"
>Anna replied to Nasiksta with a chirpy tone that ignored her current mood.
"So I am going to attempt to be very careful with opening anything, if I am even going to open something..."

>Her head turns rapidly as she looked up towards the ceiling at the sound of that echo.
>The woman shuddered.
"Brr... I do not like how the echoes are mixing in here. Very, very not abiding to the laws of physics..."
>After a moment, she looked back down. Putting her fingers on the safe to see if it reacts somehow... Tapping it a few times, knocking on it.

>Mallia listens patiently to the contexts the Admiral is laying out. Until Tox-11 speaks.
(Wilco. If the previous Chroniton scan is complete, I will spool up the Auspex's conventional scanning module to detect energy signatures.)

[1d6+4 = 9] <BQ. Auspex

>She is literally one tenth of a second from ordering a diagnostic of the Vox systems, when Chisan speaks through her Vox with a slight interference.
"Oh thank the mechanism."
>She took a step back close to Nasiksta, speaking into the Vox.
*"The nature of the Gateway, the fact that this is a type of pocket dimension, may be causing interference as I suspected. The majority of the safes in here have no runes left on them, but some still have some that are apparently functional. Unsure if it perhaps a more durable type of design or continued maintenance? The atmosphere is also highly engineered to preserve what is in here."*
*"No sign of the unknown equine at this time. Will report on that. Over."*

>Before she starts playing with the safe, she actually turns around and gives the whole room another scan. This time using the Preysense again.

[1d6+4 = 8] <B. Perception + BQ. Preysense.
[1d6 = 6]
Bubba the Second
>"Eh, at least she got it somewhat."
"For a naval gun, they carry small ones. So yeah, more like a hunter."
>Close enough.
"I try not to, she might hit me."
>He shrugged and made a mental note to write it down.

>Bubba glanced behind him, before turning to meet the unicorn fully.
>Listening to what she said, he hummed lightly.
>"Germaneighan, eh?"
"What information do you have on them, first? I'd rather know about them a little."
>While Bubba was probably going to say yes anyway, its better to know about what exactly he was agreeing to.
>Pareidolia eyes the wish disc with some trepidation as he takes it, stowing it in a vest pouch.

[Another risk introducing device...]

>Glancing over his HUD quickly, he steps out the door of the Command Bunker and makes his way towards the Bulletin Board.
>He frowns as he considers what his A.I. told him.

"If there is a way to open one of those feeds to me, I'd like to make it clear she should not be placing operational strain on my equipment. Lonestar can be designated a VIP given his position within Razorback. Other situational information will need to be discussed when we aren't in a pre-operation state."

[Lonestar misunderstood my intent. Will need to rectify later.]

>Arriving at the flier covered stand, he methodically combs through them, paying particular interest to Clemency's note about the M.S.O.L.G and Emerald's Recording.
>He mutters to himself as he reads:

"Untenable. Catastrophic backlash of events put into motion from before I arrived and beyond my ability to control. Once again, the Committee's proven correct by short sighted individual human action. Construct aggression likely increasing in response to an evolving threat. If their weapon protocols are designed to match the combatants they face, then human presence is going to..."

>Stiffening suddenly, he reaches into his pack searching for the unusual Construct arm Clemency had given him back on the Citadel.

And I Ran, So So Far Away -A Small Nuisance
The GM L.O.N.T
Ambush: +1 Token to Spruce

>Golden Horns' hooves clacked sharply on the solid cut floor of the corridor as he galloped like his life depended on it.
>Actually yes it did!
>He neighed in distraught to Adon and Spruce between heavy puffs of breath, this sudden need to run fast was not jelling well with his age and creaking joints but the adrenaline coursing through his veins made up for that.

>>278013 →
>For the seven seconds it took Golden to cover eight metres it took Adon to cross six metres in two seconds thanks to his enhanced and much, much younger physique.
"Good...work there...!"
>Wheezed Golden as his advice was taken.

>Although weighed down by a rocket launcher and the other trappings of a modern soldier Spruce was as quick on his feet as the Witcher, proving pure dadrenaline was as good as any alchemy concoctions.
>He took off with such speed in fact that the Chitqu that was nibbling up a storm next to his ear squeaked in panic and dug its tiny claws into the fabric of the Operators' clothing to stay on for dear life.

>Spruce and Adon were shoulder to shoulder as they sprinted down the reddening hall, their slamming footfalls echoing through the length of this trap room drowning any other noise that could be heard.
>Golden Horn on the other hoof was initially slower than the two humans but thanks to the fear of death motivating him he was able to gallop past between the two and was now ahead a full two metres in front of them.
"I...I see the end of the hallway!"
>Whinnied the pony as he pointed out that in the distance there was a bright white light, which was in stark contrast to the blood red of the corridor.
>It was only roughly 92 metres away...

>Suddenly multiple flashes of magical rings appeared on the floor, walls and ceiling. Shining magically in many hues of colour even though the world was currently a dominating crimson.
>Exclaimed Golden, pointing out the obvious.


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