Knight's Log 9-28-12

There are a lot of descriptions for the Land of Spires and Frogs. It's a place full of things! But these are all things that those involved are quite familiar with them! So by now, the granularity doesn't need to be maintained, thus creating the sort of delays involved therein. But there are certainly some new details! Just a little bit east of southtown, one or more dedicated hunter-sorts may have found a set of tracks that match what he's been going after for a long while now, meaning it's time to call in some friends! They seem as if they're following another set of tracks, iguana tracks! These are headed east. Very far east.

This direction has, or at least had, the very, very distinct look of danger, so to speak. Massive clusters of black metal, chaotic amalgamations of machinery that don't seem to have any clear purpose, hang off of the sides of various spires, limp bone tentacles swinging in the light breeze and making one inclined to just not get near any of them. There's an entirely obvious route that one can take to avoid, and flight over the spires themselves is also viable to keep one's distance from the various underling-like constructs. But aeven approaching it isn't a problem. They seem tired, as if that were possible. It looks like the area's been purged of whatever was sustaining most of the underling presence in this area. There's some imps, a couple ogres, but nothing worth note. It's time to head east! Towards where, Tshallandria is headed, coincidentally.

Psyber had put out his personal call to several people who he figured could actually give him some solid help on this case of tracking. After all, whatever he was hunting had taken down an entire party of those strange carapaced men, which means he didn't really want to face the unknown alone with just that bit of knowledge. Crepe, Thionette, Eila and Vruasa. Those were the four he had some strong trust in.

He'd given them coordinates of where the tracks started, plus a vector which he was walking along the ground to trail them. They could meet him simply by following along the trail he'd sent and heading eastward. Because, with a shotgun slung over his shoulder, Psyber is indeed walking right through the highly dangerous portion of LOSAF, following the tracks precisely and not flying so he could remain hidden.

Eila is going on foot today. The engines of a Striker Unit could easily alert or frighten away whatever it is that Psyber has been tracking. She's brought her MG 42 because there's a chance that she will need to shoot at things. But other than that, she's come alone.

Eila runs along the path specified by Psyber, heading in an eastward direction as fast as her little witch legs will carry her. After a while she spots the half-angel and starts running in his direction.

She doesn't want to yell for the same reason she didn't want to fly here. But the foxwitch isn't exactly trying to sneak up on Psyber either. After she catches up to him, she greets him. "Hey, Psyber. What's up?"

She doesn't even seem out of breath after running that far. You can probably thank Mio for that.

Suddenly, something large and heavy leaps onto Psyber's back, latching onto him in a forced piggyback! "Hey Pssssssssyber!"

Oh, it's just Crepe. Silent footsteps get so problematic.

In any case, the creeper girl doesn't look particularly perturbed by the surroundings as she glances around from her perch on Psyber's back. "I got this message for, like, someone named 'Sweater Bombs'. I have /no/ idea who that'sssssss supposed to be, but I figured I should come anyway because you were going to come here and we were totally supposed to team up! Ssssssso what're we teaming up for, anyway?"

Oh, and there's Eila. Crepe suddenly notices her and waves cheerfully. "Hey, Flying Ear Girl! Nice to see you again!"

Thionette had equal interest in this Dangerous Thing(c), though her interest was moreso in what he potentially took from that crypt after obliverating that entire group of bug(?) people. Either way, she's catching up on the angel's trail once she's arrived in the right general area. She's got her goggles down, her sword drawn, and an adventuring satchel slung over one shoulder containing the Shard she already had, and the communcation device she found and cobbled back together last night. "Looks like ye be hot on this thing's hinny there, angle wings."

Tshallandria continues flying through the air, coincidentally in Psyber's direction… …At the same time. She pauses to look at the chaotic machinery, and then the lack of energy of the critters in the area is noted. "Hmm… …I think that perhaps it's time to see if my minions are capable of leveling up."

She chuckles and draws her sword, cutting a swath in the air behind her… …A moment later, A heavily empowered and far better armed Lich riding a dragon golem, and two equally empowered (advanced) imps riding a pair of golem-gryphons come streaking out of the porthole. "…You three. Go clean up what's left of the population of minions, and ogres and whatnot here, collect as much grist from them as you can … and …If you can find out what's weakening them. That would be appreciated, and rewarded."

She smiles as the three of them go streaking off in the direction of the spires… …And then Tshallandria continues onward, zipping over the spires in the direction of the unsuspected redevous.

And then… She spots a group on the ground and her eyes narrow, "Well… Well… Well… What's this?"

======> Vruasa: Fast forward through the travel process.

In the LAND OF GRIT AND LAMPS, Vruasa Telash is presently in the process of picking Fiora O'Brien up. He had figured this particular quest would probably be a good one to get some training in for the Witch of Void, though he's not entirely certain of that. Still, there will be enough powerful people at hand that he's pretty sure they can keep her safe if something goes seriously wrong. Regardless, their AWKWARD RELATIONSHIP would make things incredibly slow-starting, so he has actually chosen to FAST-FORWARD through most of this just to get them well on their way before the plot has advanced without them. That happens sometimes, after all, and he's put too much effort into this shit not to get to see this through. And maybe stab something.

At least he doesn't have extra passengers. Being a Vruasa sandwich is no fun for him.

======> Vruasa: Approach BA, slow down.

In what seems like a heartbeat, Vruasa and Fiora arrive via ROCKET SPEAR. He only fast-forwards once they're dismounted and able to comfortably follow Psyber on foot, at which time he is finishing a conversation that was evidently taking place in fast-forward, "… but it's pretty godd@mn close."

Wait, what were they talking about? The troll doesn't quite remember. Processing things in fast-forward is harder than processing them in realtime. It's one of the inconveniences of doing that. But oh well, no use worrying about it just now.

"Sup." He asides to Psyber in particular, examining the others in the vicinity as he does so. This is more people than he expected to be along on this specific hunt.

It's been a grueling several days, and Adela's done her best in every situation that came up. And she's definitely made progress for it. Emerging from the Transportalizer room a little smudged but with - for the first time in a LONG time - an honest to goodness simple, clean smile that almost lights up the room.

Not that anyone else is there to see it.

But suffice it to say, she's in a good mood. But soon she's out in the open air of the LOSAF, carried aloft by a pair of Moonsilver and White Jade wings that move with all of the grace and efficacy of real ones. They glow faintly, giving her an angelic appearance as she dives and picks up speed to skim across the land and head to a certain marketplace on an errand.

Fiora ==> Travel in Time-Lapse.

There is not a lot of time to appreciate… Time… when you're going in super accellerated motion. The picking up, mounting of a rocket-spear, and then the uneventful ride from LOGAL to LOSAF, riding with her arms wrapped around Vruasa's waist tightly in a TOTALLY PLATONIC FASHION as they arrive. Fiora, for her part, is in her SLEUTHING getup, looking fairly Bogart-riffic with her black-and-silver getup.

As she slides from the spear and pops her back slightly, she shrugs. "… I guess you're right." She offers, before frowning.

"Wait, what were we talking about? Oh! It's BA and some other people." She notes, looking between the crew assembled. It was a bit daunting, but… It was all to get stronger, right?

SOMEWHERE IN LOSAF
The King Saw rams a portal into reality and Black Gold Saw emerges. She opted to do this elsewhere, as the portal creation method is quite noisy and she has caught on to the idea that less noise is better. No sooner has the portal closed behind her that she steps forward, carves a crescent-shaped gash in space-time, and slips through it.

APPROXIMATELY 3 METERS UP AND 2 METERS TO PSYBER'S LEFT
A crescent-shaped gash in spacetime rips itself open with the tip of the Cannon Saw, and Black Gold Saw drops out of it. She lands nimbly in a 3-point crouch, clutching her enormous weapon one-handed. Almost casually, she rises to a straight posture, swinging the Cannon Saw up to rest across her shoulders. With dimly glowing red eyes, she regards the half-angel, the Suomassan witch, the troll, and the others who have gathered around him.

And doesn't say a word.

"Ye@h, I don't even fucking know. I think we're not built to process inform@ion th@ f@st." Vruasa explains to Fiora, off-handedly. He wouldn't be surprised if /she/ was built for it even less than he is. At least his class is associated with it. He shunts his rocket spear back into his sylladex, frowning a little. Something is obviously bothering him about what's going on, but he evidently doesn't feel like it's worth talking about.

"Just… keep your eyes peeled, @lright? This m@y get rougher th@n I expected." He asides to Fiora, quietly.

These constructs would be familiar, if it wasn't for the fact that Tshallandria isn't among the group. She recognizes the area, though, as the area surrounding that dungeon where she accessed the lower spires. The underlings present seem oddly tired; a pair of endowed imps on their mounts are even a match for the sparse ogres. The activity is definitely audible to Psyber's group, though the nature isn't clear. It looks like mounted underlings are fighting other underlings! It's also not entirely clear how they'll level, or if they will. At least, not at the moment. It should be clear sometime in the near future. Perhaps if commanded, as one would command a character when prompted to

ENTER A COMMAND
>_

Well, besides that, there are some other things that are notable. It looks like there was already some imp-killing done some time ago. Rather viciously, and done without collecting the grist involved. The pair of disparate tracks merge, spatially though not chronologically, near a large clearing. Visible to any approaching person is what looks like a jet black figure standing in the middle of a clearing with a bright red iguana. The imposingly-large black figure bears a large pair of metal wings and seems to be partially made of stone. They appear to be talking!

The tracks for the unknown thing that Psyber's tracking has split off elsewhere, circling around the clearing to the far side! Whatever he's tracking is somewhere around here, but he's clearly neither of those two guys out in middle of the clearing on the spire.

==>Scratch, arrive fashionably late.

Late? Never. The party doesn't start until the music shows up, right? It did start? Well. Time to catchup. Rather then spend time around all the tech in Arthur's house, Scratch is instead quick through the gate this time and moving in and around LOSAF, but thankfully it doesn't take her to awful long to figure out there's a group forming. Over there. See? Right oooover there.

==>Join group, make party.

SO! This being Vinyl's second venture into the wild and crazy game of Sburb, she figures it may be better to follow for just this minute then to go off on her own like the last time. While its true she did get her new and improved, super rad sonic-specs, they certainly weren't going to be to much help in a rough situation. Hey, at least she could pump a tune if the folks needed it. Or even had a request! It all works out. "S'up folks." At least she greets everyone.

"AUGH UNDER ATTACK!" Psyber says, flailing slightly as the Creeper jumps onto his back in a hugging gesture. He squirms for a moment before saying, "I was calling you sweater bombs because you keep dynamite in your hoodie. Duh." He evades the topic deftly, setting Crepe back down on the ground.

He turns his gaze towards the rest of those gathered, "Anyway, to those here, as a quick refresher. A while back a few of us were in a tomb. Something killed all these guys in black shells and then left. I've been trying to find it ever since and I just recently found these tracks we're following."

He then adds, "It's probably highly dangerous." And then finally looking over at the pony that just arrived, "Oh you're… someone new. Hi. Yeah. Tracking deadly murderous thing." He sums up to Vinyl as Saw arrives.

And then he's off walking. Following those tracks around the clearing and heading to the far side, "So they're clearly not suspicious at all. Wonder what they're doing here. They're not my thing I'm tracking." He says aloud to the group.

Thionette opens her mouth at 'sweater bombs', but then decides Crepe is too innocent to get it most likely and closes her mouth again. Thankfully a greeting comes as an ample distraction, and the skunk-girl turns to look… and after a moment looks down. "Well swash my buckles, it be another one of those pony folks. Just like—" She pauses, leaning to the side a bit. "No wait it ain't. She ain't got wings."

==>Greet the nice people.

A nod is given Psyber and any of the other people in the group that are nice enough to say hey to the DJ pony. A grin is given Thionette though, "Nah, no wings, horn though? Magic comin' outta everywhere if you need it. Also if anyone needs a tune for whatever reason I can supply it," she offers to the group. "And if push comes to shove, well, turning it to eleven is always an option." A very loud, and very wubby, option. To Psyber, "Lead on, cap'n. You prolly got a better handle on things here then I do."

The foxwitch's powers aren't on at the moment, so Crepe's sudden appearance does manage to catch her off guard. The strike witch stares at the creeper girl on Psyber's back for a few moments until she's greeted. In response, Eila smiles at Crepe and says, "Hi! It's nice to see you, too!" Eila glances over to the others in the group, saying, "We've got quite a group here already… Hello, everyone."

When BGS enters through a portal, Eila gets a chill down her spine. Saw has always been non-aggressive to her before but… at the same time the foxwitch still gets a bit creeped out by her. Saw gets a polite nod from Eila. Usually the witch would actually /say/ something but talking to someone who doesn't talk back is… strange.

Vinyl gets an odd look. Eila has heard about ponies but she hasn't actually seen any before. This would be the first time. The suomasian waves at Vinyl and says, "Hello."

Upon hearin'g Psyber's explaination, Eila nods and says, "Right… I remember that. So we're tracking the creature who pulled that off? I can see why you'd want back up. Whatever it was had to be pretty fierce."

Thionette huhs. "Didn't know there were different ones." Dash is the only one she's ever actually seen, so… Anyways! Psyber is still going, so they should probably keep up. "Nice specs, by the by mate."

Blink. Blink. "…oh. Woah, that totally makes sense!" Crepe beams a little as she's set down, her mind instantly going off somewhere else to listen to Psyber's summary. Which would probably not make much sense to her, but hey, at least she knows the summary.

…and then her attention is instantly taken by pony. "Oh! Wow! It'ssssss another mooshroom-not-mooshroom-cow-thing! I didn't think I'd meet another-" Blink. Turn. Crepe lets out a little squeak of surprise as she notices the rest of the group is moving along and quickly dashes over to keep up, possibly leaving a very confused unicorn behind her as she follows along.

===> Request Tunes

Psyber looks over at the Pony and says, "Actually, can you play Eye of the Tiger while we walk? I think that would just be awesome."

Tshallandria remains above Psyber's group, occasionally turning about in a circle, to make certain that … things aren't trying to sneak up on them and murder them. …It's not something that she exactly judges all that likely. "Still nothing… …But." Her eyes fall on the spire and then she smiles, "Oh my. I wonder if what we're seeking isn't the same person." She chuckles, and then waves down at any of the people looking up in her direction.

Either way, as long as the slaughter and gristing continues in the background she doesn't mind too much… …Though she'll definitely ask them if they leveled up later on. …Wouldn't that just be odd.

Heading towards the market is a fairly easy thing to do for Adela. This involves going to Southtown! And heading there is fairly straightforward. Just go south, to that place Adela saw mapped out in her flight.

The Southern Spires are an arrangement of eight spires surrouding a ninth spire, all of which stick out in the location quite obviously, from height and other contributors. They are arranged in what appears to be perfect geometric octagonal shape, with each spire having a bridge to its neighbor and to the central spire. The approach to the town can be done from any angle, but it's easiest to reach the nearest, northmost spire, which most of the trans-spire bridges lead to. All the structures seem to be cylindrical huts, where wood and dried mud are interspersed with metal. The larger and more important a structure seems, the more metal it seems to have. It all appears to be scrap metal, though. Only a few of the structures reach above three stories. They are oddly designed with the proportions of a human in mind, despite their population.

It seems to be populated by, of all things, rather large blue iguanas. Compared to the average human, they appear particularly stout, and are about as short as an average child while standing on their hind legs, which appears to be what they're doing. Despite still not really being humanoid, they appear to be both sapient and dexterous, apparently being the residents and the creators of the larger settlement. They all have a deep blue skin and distinctly yellow eyes, and all of them move in a particularly energetic, agitated fashion. A lot of them loiter, much in the same way as an angsting teen or, say, an NPC in an RPG.

From all points of the village, the central spire can be seen smoking slightly. There are errant pieces of stone present, scattered throughout the environment and occasionally lodged in structures awkwardly.

The nearest of the nine is the north, though any can be approached. Head over to whichever you like, though!

==>Respond to the nice folks.

First of all, Scratch just beams about the new shades, "I was in this place yesterday, messin' around with some of the tech in, ah, Arthur? His house and managed to make these shades. Multifuctional! Act as a radio, a chat client aaaand…" In response to Psyber's request, there are suddenly turntables at either side of the pony, just hovering along. They'd been there all the time. Not her fault if you didn't notice. A moment later? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwer1CiteBg ) Psyber's tune starts coming out of somewhere. Likely the turntables. "Request filled! Lets do this thing.

Black Gold Saw regards Eila with that same impassive, somewhat cold crimson-eyed stare that the Witch is likely accustomed to recieving from her. After a moment, her gaze flicks aside to Crepe, then Psyber again. Those eyes close, and she silently starts moving at a casual walk.

The sudden music from the small colorful equine causes Black Gold Saw to hesitate midstep. Well. So much for being quiet and hard to notice. She turns her eyes skyward, then resumes following with care in her step.

Thionette ahahs. "Ye've already discovered the alchemizing stuff. Useful bit of knowhow." Maybe she'll get to show off some of her own stuff later

Vinyl Scratch nods over at Thionette, "Yeah that tech was really great! I didn't really get a lotta time to mess with it though. Hopin' to get another crack at it some time but I don't wanna be all in this game just for myself. There's things to do, folks to help, so ya know, I wanna help, make myself earn it, ya know?"

Fortunately or unfortunately, Adela has only coordinates and descriptions to work with. She flies down towards the nearest marketplace that's hopefully directly below the coordinates she was given!

She's looking for an iguana, apparently, selling some very specific things!

"This world is so much better than all of the weird mafias… though…" She twitches while descending with broad, powerful wingbeats slowing her at the last few moments. It's hard not to imagine that little weirdo who'd been folloing her around for some reason. Nakimedes. Just how is he doing…?

"Ghhh…"

All of these lead to her giving the nearest Iguana, unintentionally, a ferocious deathglare!

Vruasa Telash isn't really certain what he's looking at here. Even though the tracks go off in different directions, those two figures out there are pretty interesting. Based on Psyber's description, the large guy is /probably/ an agent of some kind. But he'd never heard of them having wings. In fact, they were described as pretty human-like, in extremely general terms anyway. Humans definitely don't have wings. Most /trolls/ definitely don't have wings, for that matter. What the hell is going on out there, and why is that guy chatting up an iguana? Those guys are almost never worth talking to.

CLICK, *DROP*

One of the Knight's time capsules opens and dumps an item into his hands. It is the COURAGE ELIXIR that he had commissioned for Fiora. Oh, right. Apparently now is the correct time to use it, as far as fate is concerned. With a shrug, he passes it towards Fiora with a simple, "I tried to get s@lesm@n to m@ke something th@ might be useful to you. This is wh@ I got. I think it w@s supposed to be @ confidence potion or something?"

"I dunno if it's /needed/ now, or if this is just when the capsule decided to dump it out." He adds, mysteriously. Sometimes fetch modi are vague like that, and Vruasa's is far from an exception.

Speaking of mysterious, what's with the underlings fighting other underlings? It's really really tempting to just…

"Hey. BA. You're in charge here. We've got two different points of interest here, both of which are time-sensitive. Do we split up and investigate them both, or stick with one?" He asks Psyber, a little impatiently. Normally he'd just go with the impulse, but if what CT said is right… it might have a pretty high chance of killing him (or maybe even everyone) if he does.

It would be difficult for the average person to find the person Psyber's looking for now, someone who would normally be difficult to find. It seems that whoever this is is headed for a spot where it would be quite easy to listen in on the conversation that appears to suddenly have been interrupted! Music is making for some problems in the matter of getting information on what's happening. It looks like the subjects in the middle of the clearing have noticed it, which has, in turn, caused whatever was watching them to notice the group. And, apparently, to begin moving.

At closer range, one can see that the bright-red Iguana isn't the notorious iguana Red (no relation to Red Stone of similar disposition and name), but rather someone else of similar color. It is also notable that this jet-black figure is another of the well-dressed, carapaced humanoids, like the ones encountered in meteors and suchlike. A keen eye would notice he's armed, and alert.

A keen ear would also note he's just been shot several times. He seems to be stumbling back and drawing, of all things, a massive shotgun despite the bullet wounds. Psyber will have noticed before then that whatever's shooting him is a white figure up in one of the trees. It has yet to move from its lookout point.

Things were, in fact, a little bit time sensitive, since music was started in an audible fashion. Here's a good time to figure out what's up. Of note is the fact that the red iguana seems to display no substantial movement or reaction to what's going on!

Yessss… Jamming Music. Psyber bobs his head as he starts to walk in time with the music. However, a moment's pause is given when Vruasa asks him a question. He replies with, "First off, you can feel free to call me Psyber. Secondly, I think a bigger concern is finding what wa-" He abruptly stops talking as everything starts going down.

"DL!" He says to Vruasa, "Can you rewind the black one to before he was shot?" He starts micromanaging people, "Crepe, build a wall or something to protect them and prevent the two sides from killing eachother."

Psyber starts to move towards the tree that the white figure is up in, "Eila, can you predict the shooter's next move and go to cut em off? I'm gonna try to shake em out." He looks to Vinyl, "I dunno your power set, so… wing it."

He then looks over to Fiora and Thionette, "You two. Help me scare the shooter out of the tree and apprehend them."

"Alright. Let's MOVE." he says, putting on a pair of sunglasses before running towards the tree to try to kick it right at the trunk and shake it.

Psyber shouts to Saw, "Saw! Try to keep the black guy and red lizard from fleeing."

Finally. /Finally/. Crepe notices the black figure off nearby. She stops, tilts her head, blinks, and…tries to remember who it reminds her of. Wait, of course! Her eyes light up and she grins as she remembers the Dignitary and the Droll, and realizes that this must be someone related to them. Totally.

So, with her ever-silent footsteps, a vague recognition of what Psyber told her to do, and no other warning or apparent concern for safety, Crepe sprints off toward the black figure and leaps at him in an attempt to simultaneously hug him in greeting and knock him off his feet, aiming to hug in such a way as to hold his arms and hinder shooting ability. "Hey, Dignitary! You're back!"

…probably not actually him, but he should at least recognize the name, right? Hopefully.

Thionette already has her goggles on and down, so no need to stop and pose doing so. And she's already got her sword in hand too. Convenient. She sprints after Psyber for the moment, pondering how to do this. Looks like Psyber is going for the tree itself to shake whoever it was out. Considers for a moment.

==> When dealing with a tree, you need to branch out.

Oh of course. Thionette skids to a stop, but not out of action. She snaps back her mechanical arm, flicks the hidden switch, and whips the Cable Cutter forward. Literally whips, as the swing extends it into snake-sword mode with the moment, launching the chain-and-barbed blade towards the treetop and potentially slice out the branches from whoever is hiding up there.

Eila's attention turns to the two figures in the distance. How she didn't notice them before is beyond her, but there they are. At first she doesn't know what's going on, so she doesn't say much and just watches. But now one of them is pulling out a shotgun and getting hit. What's going on there?

Whatever it is, Eila doesn't like it. Before Psyber even says anything, Eila's ears and tail appear. She first starts running towards the two figures getting shot at, but then she hears Psyber's orders and shouts, "Right!"

Immediately chaning directions, Eila turns towards the white figure and starts running towards the tree he's in. Hopefully her now-active precognition will tell her what his next move is, but just to be careful she takes the safety off of her machine gun.

Black Gold Saw hesitates when Psyber starts bossing her around. However, she relents to the knowledge that he is good at thinking on his feet. She casts another look at the pony, a frown on her face as she swings her sword down off her shoulders. However, she doesn't menace Scratch. No, there's something more important at hand.

Stepping forward, the devil woman hefts the Cannon Saw and pointing it forward. The golden, bladed sections of the blade begin to emit a smokey red miasma, and then the weapon's dimensions change.

This is very visible from the sky: A suddenly-enormous Cannon Saw appears, forming a thick steel wall behind the Agent and his Iguana companion that cuts off escape. The weapon's end disappears into a white portal, promptly forming a second 'wall' on the opposite side—Between the agent and the shooter that Thionette is focusing on drawing out.

Releasing the hilt of the Cannon Saw, Black Gold Saw drops her hands to her sides and approaches the wounded Agent in a way that is kind of menacing without actually intending to be.

Vruasa Telash is pretty certain that using his time abilities in the way that Psyber asks is probably going to be relatively ineffective, and highly straining. It's a Sylph thing, not a Knight thing. Still… rewinding somebody's wounds from the time that they were hurt /might/ by some bendy twist of logic be close enough to protecting them that he can pull it off. He retrieves his spear from his sylladex and points it towards the wounded, dark-'skinned' stranger, summoning his temporal manipulation ability up and attempting to turn back the clock on the bullet wounds.

Notably, his does this from a range, not leaving Fiora's presence. This is too much of a clusterfuck to go bounding off and leaving her alone like he ordinarily would. Besides, they're in the middle of a conversation. It would be incredibly impolite to … to. Wow, Rialth was /right/, he would never fucking act like this normally. Well, that's just a /little/ infuriating.

Too bad they're trying not to kill these guys, he really could go for a good stabbing about now.

==> Play something calming!

Well one song comes to Vinyl's mind right away as she makes a dash for cover. She's searching, mentally, through her massive library of music. Why? She runs what is essentially a -rave- club. Calming music is NOT her forte. After a lot more searching she finally manages to find something she hopes will fit. A quick puff of magic, one record vanishes, Eye of the Tiger quickly fading out before she slips in one of her recently found and more favored house artists from out in the multiverse. (http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=CKHWHXwdX-E) This is about as calming as the DJ Pony is gonna get.

Up, up in the air Tshallandria's sword Grace clears it's sheath, and she watches the combat … Or well … That which might become combat, below. Psyber has his own goals at the moment, and as an ally … It behooves her to make certain that they're achieved.

It's only unfortionate that those goals involve 'no fatalities' and 'less combat'. Her abilities tend to go along the lines of rip it half, and set it on fire. Which is … Less then useful here.

On the other hand, she's fairly decent at overwatch, getting ready to teleport into any of the combat that may occur and remove the first agressor, by teleporting him somewhere else. …Perhaps somewhere where they could be interrogated properly… If they're an agent.

Southtown's south spire is very clearly its market. The stalls, small buildings, and simple displays show the selection; only some of it is of displayed clearly, though, and seeking other things is entirely possible. There are a variety of merchants here, marked by their wealth through what appears to be scavenged metal plating. It seems akin to a status symbol. The leader should be identifiable through some basic process of elimination. In the meantime, some items are advertised heavily:

SOUTHTOWN MARKET

Scavenged Machine Parts - 50000 boondollars
Dread FluteBlade - 4000 boondollars
Gearfist's Boon - 4000 boondollars
Red's West Cave Map - 30000 SOLD OUT
Ectoslime - 50000 boondollars
BroomBlade - 7000 boondollars
Tewer Healing Potion - 500 boondollars
Tewer High-Healing Potion - 1000 boondollars
Tewer Snowcone - 2000 boondollars
Gem of Golems - 50000 boondollars
Underling Extract - 25000 boondollars
Cirlista Pass - 10000 boondollars
Incredible Neck Cloth - 20 boondollars
Amazing Back Cloth - 40 boondollars
Fantastic Hooded Thing - 50 boondollars
Metal Plating for Cloth - 10000 boondollars
Build Grist - 5 boondollars
Steel Grist - 10 boondollars
Bone Grist - 10 boondollars
Stone Grist - 10 boondollars
Ink Grist - 10 boondollars
Rust Grist - 50 boondollars
Glass Grist - 50 boondollars
Gold Grist - 50 boondollars
Lead Grist - 50 boondollars

ADELA ELLIFORD'S CURRENT BALANCE: 10413 boondollars

The bulky, tall figure in the middle of the clearing seems to suffer a few initial gunshots, but his carapace and stone parts seem to deal with that handily. And as these are chipped away, he draws that shotgun up and… Is hugged. "Huh?! Wha' tha'…" He says in a gruff, thick voice, clearly confused, but recognizing the name visibly. And then suddenly two massive walls are blocking two routes, as well as rather a lot of small arms fire. And then!

Back into the past, courtesy of Vruasa! The guy is being re-hugged? "Huh?! Wha' tha'…" And he's not even got his shotgun out, because apparently he was never shot at in the first place. Meanwhile at the edge of the clearing, Eila's precognition reveals that the white's next move will be falling out of the tree, which he promptly does because the branch under him gives way when thusly assaulted by Thionette and Psyber. It gives the group a short time that they're able to see him. He's clearly carapaced like the Agents, though this one is almost entirely white where the others are almost entirely black. He's wearing a light bulletproof vest that looks much like the kind issued to law enforcement, bears a pair of robotic hands, and a pair of light gray pants and shoes that are much more practical than the dress shoes used by most of the mobster-types. The bulletproof vest is marked with that same symbol many of the others have seen in the veil, the inverted pentagon with the white three-line shape. It's, oddly, pure white besides that.

It falls to the ground like someone well-practiced in the mid-air use of those two pistols it has, as if it's an action-movie hero. He falls right onto where Psyber will be if he doesn't get out of the way and, if he's unimpeded, will scramble into the clearing to brace himself against the giant new obstructions, guns at the ready, completely ignoring the interruption and focusing, apparently, entirely on killing that agent between the two new features of the local land. He's stopped there, for a while, with building tension as if there were a sudden gap in an action sequence. In fact, in this state, you can go ahead and talk to the guy. Or those so inclined can go around the portals and talk to the dark Agent. They seem at a standoff, or would, if the Agent wasn't completely confused.

The red iguana shouts out, finally, "Holy thippin' craps can't a guy have a private talk with another guy in the woods anymore?! What the hell are you doin', where did all this come from?! AUGH HORN DEMON" He seems to be reacting to Saw's approach more than the Agent, who's not sure where to look with concern right now.

Adela has Boondollars because she's introduced a lot of monster-things to the business end of her Rapier in spare time, of course! … probably.

But she takes a few looks at the listings - and has to wonder just what kind of economy this place actually RUNS on…

But she's ignoring most of it all, and hunting down the Iguana in charge of the place. Judging by a few glances around at the modes of dress and the state of the stalls, she's looking for someone who might be decked out entirely in heavy metal from head to toe!

==> Greet White Guy.

New orders! Time for Vinyl to go make herself useful around here! The music goes off, the turntables are gone, and thus Vinyl would dash around the edge of the area before coming up, slowly, but visibly, toward the white fella. "Hey! Ah, easy now, we just wanna know what's goin' on! Please don't run off, alright? I play ya any tune you want if you don't run off.." she offers as a gesture of good will.

Neatly confined within the canyon formed by the recursive Giant Cannon Saw, the agent and his accomplice don't have many options for escape. Black Gold Saw approaches them with her head bowed, bangs concealing a good portion of her face in shadow save for those faintly glowing crimson eyes.

She pauses just a meter or so from the pair, straightening her posture. One hand hangs at her side, the other is offered forward, palm up. Her eyes settle on the red iguana, then focus on the Agent more directly. She addresses him.

"You must be Brute," Oh crap, she can talk?! "Do you know who I am?"

Vruasa Telash, who is ENTIRELY UNSATISFIED WITH THE COMPLETE LACK OF VIOLENCE, decides that he will at very least attempt to make this situation personally amusing for himself with further time shenanigans. He whips his spear around and points it towards the white agent, focusing intently on it for several long moments. THIS time he's attempting to do something a lot less passive than rewinding somebody to the point that they're not shot yet. Specifically, he is attempting to rapidly fast-forward and rewind time around the white agent so that it is stuck in a loop of falling out of the tree continuously.

Another time capsule *CLICKS* open, depositing a record player.

MUSIC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnHmskwqCCQ

Why the fuck was that even in there?

Crepe is, of course, completely unperturbed by the situation around her. She is entirely focused on hugging this gruff, black-carapaced figure. Which she finally stops doing after a few moments, pulling back a bit and hopping around /just/ in between the black figure and the white figure as an inconvenient blockade. "Hey! I met your friends a little while ago. Uh…the Dignitary and the Droll, right? I'm Crepe, nice to meet you!"

Grin. And then she glances over toward Saw, folding her arms behind her back and humming cheerfully as she lets the horned lady put her word in.

Cable Cutter retracts back into saber form with a click-click-click afterwards, even as Thionette is slipping up to the white guy that took the fall from the efforts. She's about to hold her blade to his face and demand he stay put, because old pirate habits die hard… but holds back when the pony comes with a more amiable approach.

And then the guy gets stuck in replay-repeat. Cocks her head to the side a bit. "While amusin', that might make takin' to him a wee bit hard."

Fiora seems lost as everything goes down around them. There's a standoff. There's time shenanigans. Bullets fly. HARD BOILED COPS leap through the air, take cover, and build tension. It's basically the most confusing fuck. Vruasa hands her a bottle of LIQUID COURAGE, which she takes, holding it in a dumbfounded hand as her survival instincts, so FINELY HONED from YEARS OF COMBAT…

Fail her utterly.

Fiora just stands there. Out in the open, staring like this is some sort of movie. To occupy her slacked jaw, she twists the cap off of the COURAGE and takes a long swig of the bottle, downing a full half of it in one long draw.

Then she pulls it away from her face, a quizzial look on her face. "Is this…" She wonders, before sipping it lightly and swishing.

"This is rum and coke. Telash, are you trying to get me drunk?"

The white agent retakes his position by Vinyl, because he just spent some time potentially falling on Psyber again. And again, and again. We should really hope Psyber dodged the first time. It's not clear what effect this is having on the white agent. But if one were to view him through the paradigm of an action game, it would explain why he's taking cover for so long, as this has expended his stock of bullet time.

=====> Fight Woo with Woo

Psyber turns dramatically towards the figure braced against the tree in the bullet proof vest and wielding the two handguns. He spreads his arms wide as the camera pans out, going from his face to the back of his head and then zooming out to an overshot of his body.

Psyber continues to hold his arms wide as a slight piano refrain plays over the background to signify this is the part of the movie where the old partner makes a heartfelt plea to his loose-cannon best friend, "TEQUILA! I hate in-house funerals. I write all the music each time. A cop dies, and I have to play a tune for him. I really don't want to do that for you."

Psyber shouts at the now-possibly-infinitely-falling Prospitan, "Yes, I know he's the one criminal that got away, who probably bombed your boat and shot up your wife's sister's wedding. But you have to LET IT GO! YOUR FAMILY NEEDS YOU. YOU'RE ONE DAY AWAY FROM RETIREMENT!"

Did we mention there are doves coming out of Psyber's coat? Because there are totally doves coming out of Psyber's coat.

Eila sees the tree-branch about to fall and calls it out. It'd be really bad if someone was underneath that when it fell. Eila catches up to the white Agent? and aims her MG 42 at him? about to make a demand, but her facial expression suddenly goes flat. A moment later she sees Vruasa's time shenanigans.

She… tilts her head at this as her precognition struggles to figure out what exactly is going on here. To her, watching this is like the precognitive equivalent of taking hallucinogens. Like it's really messing with her.

She's mesmerized by it for a bit. And then the sudden appearance of doves snaps her out of it. Now Psyber is the one getting strange looks.

Vinyl isn't pumping this out for Psyber right now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8y7hreI57c She isn't. really. You see no turn tables, you hear no piano. … What?

In the air Tshallandria raises her left hand and magic starts to gather and then … "What the hell?" … Why is Psyber squirting doves out of his trench coat? Is this some sort of angel thing?!

And with that thought, she levitates over to the other side of the battlefield and continues playing overwatch. If any of them make any sort of uhh… …Stranger move then… …What's already been going on she… …Lord. What a strange day.

She shakes her head at the weirdness involving Psyber and turns her head back to the Iguana and the black Agent.

"Why the fuck would I try to get you drunk in a combat situation? This is what Salesman alchemized for you, so I guess /liquid courage/ just means fucking booze around here." Vruasa answers Fiora, straightforwardly. Given that he doesn't seem at all embarassed or awkward, it's pretty evident that he doesn't see the potential implications here. So he's probably innocent. Anyway, he's way too to-the-point for that sort of thing. He points towards the white agent, "Go give some to that guy if you don't want it, I'm sure he needs some at this point. Or she. How the hell do you define gender with these things? Do they even have genders? Whatever, give it some booze."

In the meantime, while he's waiting for a response and for whatever is going to happen with these guys to happen, Vruasa beats the screechy record player into debris with the edge of his spear.

ELSEWHERE, in MORE CALM CIRCUMSTANCES:

"Ah! Hello!" The leader was there with his incredibly metal-plated cloak, fidgeting about in just such a manner that a questgiver might fidget, seeking a questee like Adela. He repeatedly makes a variety of thipping noises. "Greetings, Maker's Merchant! Thip thip, we hear you've been around! In places! Veils and flying, you've got a lot of steel! We also hear you're allied with the holders of the Fabled Texts! Maybe you can help us? We are seeking a product that only you can make!"

Hey, getting drunk in a combat situation is -totally acceptable-!… well okay, it its to a pirate, since a few shots (or bottles) of rum help forget one's fear. But Thionette's not able to make a comment in that conversation at the moment.

Meanwhile, back in MORE PROBLEMATIC CIRCUMSTANCES, the white semi-robotic police-agent gives Vinyl several initial responses, sequentially growing more agitated. By the time the whole falling-repeatedly thing has settled, he simply shouting something about getting his head down and how this is an official investigation. And then he seems to be interrupted! He looks at Psyber meaningfully, as if Psyber (along with Scratch's generous helping of appropriate music) has done something that directly and comprehensively resonates with at the very least one fourth of the essence of his being! A deeply motivating and culturally-sensitive thing! The exoskeleton-covered features twist up briefly before he glances back at the canyon that's been formed, and considers the idea of going around a bit more.

It was, admittedly, an incorrect guess. His name isn't Tequila and Brute didn't kill anyone he knew, but damned if it wasn't a culturally and emotionally significant moment for entirely different reasons. He backs away from the canyon-like arrangement, both guns trained on its edges, and towards Psyber. He doesn't speak yet, much as he hasn't yet entirely (chronologically speaking). It's a heavily tension-laden sort of approach that he does, backwards, making sure Vinyl has the chance to move along with him and not be in the line of fire he's imagining. He seems to be waiting for provokation of discussion, seeming a bit thrown off and a little disoriented by everything that went down.

"Greetings to you as well." The young woman in traveler''s clothes and bearing two enormous magical mechanical wings replies, sprouting a hint of a grin through her smile.

"Maybe I can, if that's how you choose to say hello. What wonder might you be searching for so hard? Oh, but before I get distracted, I'm hereabout an order placed by an acquaintance. A machine that can break down objects into grist. Tshallandria's looking for it!"

==> Stay beside the white guy.

Considering he seemed to be wanting Scratch to stay alongside, and wasn't pointing his guns at her, the DJ pony is rather happy to just stay. right. beside. him. She didn't actually play Yakkity Sax, that was the troll over yonder. At the moment the tables were silent, but eagerly awaiting input from 'Tequilia' here. "Did.. you wanna chat about somethin'?" she wasn't certain, but the fella's body language, to her, seemed to want her to follow, so she was. For now she'd go along with it, and wait to see what he wanted.

Thionette … just sighs and shakes her head a bit as she sheaths her saber in her belt and pulls up her goggles. "Best ye handle this, angel wings. Talkin' with somethin' other than guns and blades ain't really me thing, y'know?" Followed by a mutter of "I ain't prepared to handle this sort of crazy hijinks." under her breath.

To which she reachs for the hidden poucn inside her bomber jacket and pulls out a silver flask, opens, and promptly takes a large swig from it. Recaps and puts it away. "Okay -now- I'm prepared to handle this sorta hijinks." See? Nothing wrong with a drink in midst of potential combat situations! .. again, if you're a pirate, at least.

"Right, Thionette. I think I can communicate with him. Just save me a drink when I get back." He says to the woman before stepping towards the white figure.

"You're a loose-cannon cop on the edge, with nothing left to lose!" Psyber says, as he's fluent in the language of the action movie, "The boss took you off the case, but I'm your partner so we're in this together until the end." Psyber points at the huge black-carapaced man, "I know he looks like he's evil, but he's actually a double-agent. Deep undercover, man." r
Psyber slowly holds his hand out to the white-carapaced individual, "I'm Psyber. Who're you?"

Right. The situation. Eila turns her eyes away from Psyber and back on the now time-shenanigans-free white agent-like thing. She slowly fans out from Psyber, aiming at and keeping her gun trained on White as she tries to move towards his flank. If he tries to run, she'll put down some suppression fire to bar his path, but for the moment she isn't doing anything.

She mutters something that appears over pesterchum, but her words aren't quite audible unless someone has very sharp hearing. The foxwitch doesn't quite know everything that's going on right now, but she has picked up on the tension, and the fact that people are pointing guns at each other.

For the most part, like Thio, Eila lets Psyber take the lead on what happens next.

Elsewhere, inside the weapon-canyon at the center of the clearing itself where Saw and Tshallandria can see, the Agent stares down at Crepe for a little bit, clearly caught off guard by her questions. "What tha'… You met 'em? What? How'd yah… Who even are yah?" He seems pretty confused, as if it's unlikely Crepe should have met them. And there's that demonic horn lady who apparently knows his name, if his reaction is any indication. He shifts a bit, as if ready to draw that shotgun slung over his back, but the bulky, stoney figure seems to be willing to admit that if she could do what she did with those weapons, it's best to not point guns at her. It's not like she's not damned scary. "The hell's goin' on here. How d'ya know who I am?" He grits his rather sharp-looking teeth. He looks like he recognizes her appearance, and it's not a good thing to recognize, at least as far as he can tell. "What's your deal? You killin' more of us now? You can only do so much'a that 'fore the rules break, 'stead of bend, an' I'm a little more than those guards an' underlings you've been killin'."

He's doing his best to be gruff and intimidating, but one expects word of Saw doing intruder things at Derse has gotten to its agents and has him aware that she's a pretty strong one. He looks up, briefly, noticing Tshallandria, as if while looking for escape routes to the area above. He frowns at her, the same way as he did to saw. She's noted too. Probably sighted a little. It doesn't help that around now is when her minions pop back up, ready to look threatening behind where she is and bearing a substantial amount of reward for all the grinding they were directed to do. Though all that will be detailed later.

"Thippin' shit, what the hell even is goin' on, who is that even?! What's THAT and oh SHOOT it's YOU!" The red iguana reacts to Crepe and Tshallandria in sequence now. Crepe with confusion and Tshallandria with some recognition in a vague sense. He seems agitated. "What're you even doing here when we were doing all this talking?! I don't know why you're here or what you want but go away! We're busy with doing things!" The iguana is as far away from the pair as he can manage, probably backed up against the walls of sorts a bit too. "I gotta do this talking and then suddenly there's these big things and you people, what thipping sort of forest is this where all these things can happen?!" He's babbling a bit. Let's ignore him for now and instead talk about…

Fiora is extremely confused. Doves are flying, and she's got a rum and cola that Vruasa gave her out of the blue and unsolicited, but she can only wonder. What does it mean? What does anything mean? Why is this playing out like the final action scene from any number of crime dramas or noir films? Why does she feel almost paralyzed with inaction?

Why does she keep sipping the LIQUID COURAGE?

Fiora in a few more practiced gulps downs the alcoholic drink before captcha-ing the empty bottle with her SLEUTH MODUS (it will utterly suck getting that thing out), and closing to Vruasa. "Listen… I don't really know if this is the best idea at the time, but…" She looks back, at Psyber and Thio and the Woonderling, before rubbing her eyes with dark gloved hands. "Ungh, give me a second." She mutters, eyes shut tight before she shakes her head sharply, reorienting herself. "If we're here, we should get… Productive." She mutters, with a light blush to her cheeks. Activating her SLEUTH MODUS, she summons her NOTEBOOK… which she then draws out of her coat's inner pocket. "Unless you want to just… Leave, and kill some underlings?" She asks, looking to Vruasa's EXPERT ADVENTURING SKILLS.

"Right! That is the thing. We are looking for help about that!" The merchant leader nods repeatedly to Adela. "See, it turns out we need help from someone who has access to the Fabled Texts! We need someone who can go find what you need to translate the parts of it that will help with that and help us with the making bit of it! The Southtown Marketstall Union would be really grateful! When we are grateful we give you lots of boondollars and grist, that's how it works here! If you can help us fill that order we can help you out with having lots of money!"

Black Gold Saw lowers her hand to her side, regarding Brute with a cool gaze, "I have met Droll and Dignatary. I was asked to watch out for you." Her head inclines briefly, "I have no interest in killing you." She extends a hand, gesturing to Crepe, "It would make my little friend here upset."

Hesitating, she reaches out and places her skeletal-gauntlet hand on the red iguana's head, pressing him downward slightly, "Simmer down."

With her hand still resting on the iguana's head, she returns her attention to Brute, "Your kind know me as the Keeper of Selves. My interest is not in destruction." Despite her fantastic talent at precisely that. Her head inclines slightly, her voice lowering to an octave where it wouldn't be audible outside the canyon formed by her sword-walls, "Jack Noir indicated that you would be helpful to me. Thus far you have not disappointed me."

Tshallandria eyes the Derseite, and the Red-Iggie for a moments, before she looks up at her incoming minions and smiles. "Well done you three!" She eyes them for a moment before asking curiously, "Did any of you level up? Or perhaps find anything of interest to yourselves in there?"

While she awaits their response her eyes turn back to the Derseite, glowing a brief hungry red, before they shift to a brilliant azure, there's a brief moment of tension in the air and the ground, like it's looking for a reason to bust loose, before it simply passes and her eyes quiet. "Keep watch you three… …I'll be joining our friend down there for a few moments."

She vanishes and reappears next to the agent and the Iguana. "I merely came here to talk. Interupting your meeting was an accident… …For now, understand that I have no hostile designs on either of you and will remain here for a few moments to longer to… Ensure that my friend gets what she needs from this situation."

"Like I said. I'm Crepe!" The creeper girl flashes another grin at the Agent like this should explain everything. "I found Droll in one of those temples that he was suppossssssssed to blow up, and I got him out before it exploded. Then we, like, got Dignitary's attention with him, and we talked, and he gave me-" She suddenly stops, raising her hands to cover her mouth as her eyes widen in surprise. "Woops. Right. Not ssssssssupposed to talk about that yet. Um."

Her hands drop to her sides again as she gives a slightly awkward chuckle. "Aaaaaanyway. Right! They were nice. And we're really nice too, even Black Yellow Spikey Lady," she adds with a tilt of her head toward Saw. "So you totally shouldn't shoot anyone or anything, okay? Ssssssssssince we're friends of your friends, so that totally means we're friends to!" Creeper logic.

…and the iguana is freaking out. Crepe blinks in confusion a couple of times before glancing over to him, flashing another winning smile and waving in his general direction. "Hey, Red Guy! Just stay right there, okay? I'll totally come over and give you a hug soon too, and then you won't have anything to worry about!"

Vruasa Telash listens attentively to all three conversations ongoing… with the Brute, and the Red Iguana, and the White Agent. He seems thoroughly distracted, and for a few moments he does not react to Fiora. Once she starts speaking again though, he looks towards her and answers, "Looks like violence is out of the question just now. Fuckin' figures, but we can get something out of this still. If I know you even a little at this point, I figure that you're probably better off going and helping question the white guy over there." He nods towards the White Agent, and those surrounding him, including Psyber.

"If you want to do your investigatin', you go over there. I'm a rougher sort than you though, so if you'll excuse me…" The Knight of Time departs from Fiora's company for the moment, strolling over to join the group right next to the BRUTE. On the whole, he's not as large as the Brute by any stretch of the imagination. For a dersite, the Brute is pretty large to begin with, and Vruasa still has a lot of growing to go. All the same, the troll does have his own intimidation factor, and his manner of dress is pretty appropriate given the situation. He's even still wearing the black-and-blue fedora that Fiora gave him, horn holes and all.

He looks up and smiles at the brute, sharklike teeth not quite offering the same welcoming demeanor from a smile that it might for a human. Then again, as far as Vruasa knows, these guys might be just like him, pointy teeth and all.

The knight gestures towards the Brute and says, "I was the one that rewound your wounds away just now, so I figure you owe me, at least a little…" He tilts his head down a little, allowing his shades to slide dramatically down his face just enough so that he can look the brute properly in the eyes.

"What can you tell me about Derse?" Vruasa asks (or perhaps, demands), heedless of the others in the vicinity, for the moment.

"Fabled Texts. You've mentioned them… perhaps I have access to them… but if so, under what name, I don't know. Just what are these Fabled Texts, good merchant?" Adela answers, still smiling. She's feeling confident, and it's showing in her demeanor.

Confident and happy enough she is that she can easily forget that these lizards may or may not actually be real people with lives that may or may not matter. It's hard to say!

The white figure glances back to Psyber, then back to where the enclosure is in the clearing, then back to Psyber. There's a quiet pair of clicks as the safeties go off and the white guy lets the guns down. This may be a little bit beyond the ancient, revered traditions of Wooism for Prospitans, but it at least parses a bit. "Right." He gives a name. It's strikingly unremarkable, doesn't at all stick in the memory, and won't ever be mentioned again. It's pretty much irrelevant. "Most call me LC. That's Law Champion. Least most besides boss WQ, not polite to say what she calls me. You sure that's undercover? That carapace looked natural black to me." He answers, tilting his head. "Saw a civ there hugging him, she safe?

Eila's flanking is acknowledged. It visibly makes LC uncomfortable. He shifts awkwardly between words, but he doesn't see any major issues. He's moving position only slightly in response. Still, though, he vaguely recognizes some intel reports, perhaps, or eyewitness descriptions, and gives her more tolerance than he would most, probably.

Psyber nods his head as he listens, "Law Champion. LC. Got it." Psyber says with a firm tone, "He's a double-agent. Working for them, really working for us." Psyber advises to LC, hands falling into his pockets as he takes out a pack of cigarettes and a zippo, lighting one for himself before offering it to LC, "You smoke? Anyway. These are my team. We're here to try to do what we can. I'd prefer if you were on our side, not against it." Of course he leaves opening for anyone else to talk if they want.

It looks like Weak Cop and Time Cop's fabled duo will have to break up for now. How will they do AKWARD NOT-ROMANCE? How will they bounce off each other in odd ways?

FIORA ==> PRESS THE WITNESS

She heads the opposite direction, to the HARD BOILED white carapacian whose name is totally not Tequila. He is… Law Champion. Law… Champion? Law Champion…

Sounds like some sort of Asshole Paladin to her. Like the sort that goes around Smiting Evil and being a stereotypical arse. But, you know, tropes aren't everything. Right?

Right?

Fiora approaches, brandishing a notebook and a SHITTY PEN. "A champion of the law? What law? Is it codified somewhere?"

Well… The tensions seem to be dying down. Eila lowers the barrel of her gun, and takes her finger off the trigger. She quietly watches LC, but the guy doesn't seem to harmful, so she's willing to take a less-aggressive stance. The ears and tail stay out though. Law Champion might not understand their significance anyways.

"Sorry, just wasn't sure if you were going to try something. Name's Eila. Say, we've noticed that a lot of the black-carapaced ones are getting knocked off by someone potentially dangerous. I don't suppose you'd know anything about that?"

She's still a little wary. Everyone might be calming down now, but things were about to get out of hand only a few moments ago. "Whoever did it had to be pretty tough…"

==> Think LC is alright.

Yeah, Vinyl supposes this guy is alright, even though he didn't seem all that interested in tunage, or at least not yet anyway. "Ya seem alright, just make sure you don't point those things my way, alright?" Grin and then she'd wander over toward Psyber.

The Brute stares at Vruasa. "Rewound whut, what're you talkin' about?" He, of course, doesn't remember any temporal shenanigans. But he does acknowledge the question. "Derse. Y'know, whole obsidian kingdom of the Furthest Ring, you never heard of it?" He seems distracted, as if Vruasa is asking questions he should definitely already know the answer to in the middle of more pressing matters, despite that this line of questioning is actually a pretty pressing matter itself for Vruasa. "How d'ya miss a whole planet of a kingdom?" And then he acknowledges Saw's input on the matter…

"Right. I heard you stabbed some boys on Derse, and you were takin' out a lot of the Underlings." The next part of what she says seems to be stated more cautiously. "Archagent Noir? Y'mean he's really started some kinda… I thought he wasn't ever gonna do that. No, no, gotta be a trick, most loyal Agent there ever was. Not fallin' for this." He seems uncertain, though. "Listen, I'll… Make sure an' only report it to 'im. If you really talked to 'im then no harm done by any of this. But I ain't bankin' on the archagent going turncarapaced right yet so I ain't gonna be much used to you any way. Listen, you really getting close to Jack, you… Get him t'tell you my lucky number sometime. You tell me that an' I'll do whatever's needed, but I ain't risking turning traitor on Archagent Noir." He points to Saw as he says this. "Guy's the kind you don't cross, an' even if he's plannin' somethin' I'll find out when it's time. You… I'll keep outta your way, alright? 'Till then." He's backed up a bit, a little wary here.

The various minions do not communicate. It's probable that they don't actually have any kind of substantial awareness of the echeladder and its comprehensive nature. This does not mean Tshallandria doesn't get an answer, only that it is more perception-based and abstract.

LICH ascended to the ACHIEVEMENT RUNG: GROUND DEATH
SPOOKSPEC increased!
Marrow density +5

IMP 1 and IMP 2 ascended to the ACHIEVEMENT RUNG: Clawslinger Tyke
Gel Viscosity increased!
Height +0.5 inches!

Black Gold Saw tilts her head forward towards Brute, "Fine. When the time is right. If he stabs me again, however…" She reaches to one side, wrapping her fingers around the hilt of the Cannon Saw. It rapidly returns to its normal (still absurd) size, "…I will be sure to return the favor. Until then," The weapon is swung up, returned to her shoulders, and she points, "Get out of here."

With the sword-blade canyon now gone, the division of the party is suddenly no longer there. With a slight turn of her head, Black Gold Saw rests her eyes on LC next. She doesn't say anything, though. There's enough talking and questions going on from Crepe and Vruasa, Eila and Psyber and all the rest that she doesn't feel it's necessary.

She can always track them down later for a private conversation if she feels it's necessary, anyway.

The red iguana seems to be calmed only a little bit. By Crepe's comments, by Saw's statements, and finally by Tshallandria's assurances, his baggling and panic is reduced to a low, keening humming noise. It's kind of terrible. He's at least not trying to flee now that the enclosure is gone.

"The texts of the Genesis Temple! It will have already fled to your world and your side of this war took the texts from it a long time ago. They are the secret words that made this realm when you put them inside that machine thing in the Mage's house! I don't know what the real word is," The Iguana admits to Adela, somberly, "Only the stupid, obtuse, cryptic terminology the Adherent's use now. It's kinda shitty as far as means of communication go.

LC takes the cigarette. "'Course I do." He says, as if it were obvious, or as if it were now culturally ingrained into his society. "Not sure who you are, so I don't know if I'm supposed to—" And there's Fiora. The Law Champion stares at her, as if she just turned into something weird. "Holy shit, the Witch." He says. Then he turns back to Psyber. "You working with her?" He's distinctly leaving her hanging about thalaw thing.

"Nevermind." Vruasa says to the Hegemonic Brute, apparently not concerned with explaining the intricacies of time shenanigans to him. It would probably just make his oversized head pop like a balloon. He rubs at his chin contemplatively and answers, "Sometimes I don't see the fuckin' forest for the trees, if you catch my drift. Too busy looking closely at the little details that I don't notice the bigger ones. I'm more the fighty stabby kinda guy than the making careful observations and thinky kinda guy, if you get what I mean." It's not actually one hundred percent true. A part of being a good warrior is being able to do both of those things in the right circumstances, and Vruasa can do them all with /style/. Still, he figures it'll probably appeal to this hulking guy's own style.

"So let me ask you this then," He goes on, once he's done eavesdropping on what the Brute was saying to Black Gold Saw… and pretending to gloss over it and press into his own questions again. Vruasa noticed, and he's tucking that information away for later, but he's hoping that any and all suspicion that he's on to anything weird happening will be deflected by his 'obvious' impulsiveness, "How does a thick guy like me find Derse? I am surrounded by retarded fucking iguanas all the time."

"Can you imagine spending weeks with these goddamn retards?" He asks, gesturing vaguely towards the Red Iguana, "It makes me want to kill them all and mount their heads on pikes. I want to check out someplace with a bit more style."

Thinking quickly, Psyber nods to LC sagaciously, "Yep. My boss. I call her Chief O'Brien. I think she can handle questions from here." Psyber says, figuring 'Chief O'Brien' sounds like the kind of name a hardboiled cop would respond to. And besides, he has other things to do, like cupping his hands to his mouth and shouting, "DOVES. GET YOUR FEATHERY ASSES BACK IN THE JACKET BECAUSE YOU COST TOO MUCH MONEY TO JUST LET YOU FLY AWAY!"

He continues this shouting, though careful not to yell in Vinyl's face as she starts walking over.

Tshallandria turns her eyes on the Derseite, "A personal question if you don't mind." She tilts her head and eyes him, "What do you mean someone is hunting your people, We haven't been doing it but…" Her eyes glow briefly, "That doesn't mean that we're the only multiversals here…" She smiles slightly, "And now that I think on it… How much do your people know of the Multiverse at large? Or for that matter… Do you care to?"

Her minions get a smile, a warm one. She has no idea exactly what leveling up accomplished them, but hey! It's awesome that they're getting something too… …A pity they didn't find anything they wanted to keep. Looting things is part of adventuring.

Her eyes turn back to the red-mander, and she gives his shoulder a light squeeze, "Should the worst occur, I will protect you. Of course, I do have some things I've been sent to talk to you about at a later date… …But you know how these quest things work out." A shrug, "Everyone gets thrown together at the least convient time."

"Well, then yes, definitely working with you then." LC answers, simply, as if Psyber is suddenly much more qualified by virtue of association with Fiora. Then he turns to Eila. "Hey! Yeah, found a camp of criminals doing illegal surveilance and shooting at the civilians nearby every so often. So I raided the place, by which I mean I went in there and brought the law down on all of them. WQ screamed at me a while about sacred places after that." He says the last bit matter-of-factly. "You worried about any of them down there? Don't be, pretty sure they're all gone now." He gives the smallest hint of a smile.

Psyber pauses and then asks, "Hey, what's WQ stand for?"

"Ghk—" The look that crosses Adela's face is one of absolte stupefication. For several moments, she makes a dumber look than the Iguanas - most of them - probably do in her perceptions.

But here, not only are they aware of her, much more than she has ever revealed - disturbingly so - but they're aware that their own world was recently created. "Wha… this…"

Thoughts flicker quickly in the young woman's mind. Particularly, her disregard for the state of things in the Land of Grit and Lamps.

"…uuuuuuuargh!" The exclamation she lets loose is probably unexpected, and it's not explained, but she claps a hand to forehead and slowly drags it down, rubbing furiously as if to clear her head.

This changes EVERYTHING. And does she ever feel like an ass now. "I can imagine so," She agrees, adjusting her glasses. "I'll work at getting those Fabled Texsts then. Should prove enlightening!"

==> Chill for a bit.

There's a lotta stuff going on. Vinyl's mostly listening to all of it. Why? Her player got tugged away and they're trying to catch up. Don't worry about the yelling, Psyber, Vinyl's used to loud noises all around. She does run a club, after all.

Vruasa's question is answered tersely before HB moves to head out as requested by Black Gold Saw. "Ya don't. Place is shady, you know? You don't find a place like that 'less you convince an agent t'let you there." He squints at Vruasa, looking him up and down as if assessing him for some quality or another. "You look like you'd be fine there, kinda like the locals. If it's really that big a deal, fly 'round the Veil a bit an' you'll see it eventually. You do fly, right? 'Course you do, I keep hearin' about how all of you've been flying around."

Also on the way out, Tshallandria's question is answered by HB. "Places outside the incipisphere. Not our business. Don't got anything near Skaia and that's all we want, so we'll keep an eye out only as much as we need to for knowing what gets us Skaia or doesn't get us Skaia."

"Good enough. Thanks, big guy." Vruasa says to the Hegemonic Brute, offering him a half-hearted salute as he goes. Well, he /has/ been extremely helpful. Now, let's see…

The knight turns around, searching for Fiora. Probably over by the White Agent.

"WQ. White Queen. Chief of police around here." LC answers Psyber. "Stupid lousy righteous and wise leader, always being reasonable an' all that." He grumbles a little bit. "Anyway WQ's not a big deal to civs so it's not someone you need to worry about overmuch. She'll help you if you're helping the Witch, though."

Fiora is just standing there. The pen falls out of her hand, her mouth agape.

She slowly, ever so slowly, puts her notepad away in her coat, recaptchalouging it in a sleuthy way. Then, the Witch of Void places her right hand on Law Champion's left shoulder. Then her left hand on his right shoulder. She looks him in the eye.

Fiora ==> Engage in Advanced Sleuthing Questioning

She very calmly takes a deep breath AND THEN SHE SHAKES THE EVERLOVING FUCK OUT OF HIM.

"HOW DOES EVERYONE I KNOW ALREADY KNOW THIS STUFF AND NOBODY EXPLAINS! WHAT DOES THE WITCH DO? WHAT DOES VOID MEAN? HOW DO YOU KNOW"

"TELL MEEEEEEE!"

Vruasa observes Fiora freaking the fuck out. Holy shit.

======> Vruasa: GO IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.

But he decides NOT to wander off in the other direction. This is too fucking funny. Instead, Vruasa approaches the group surrounding LC, and just… just watches.

Tshallandria turns and walks over to the white agent, and looks at him for a few moments, then … just stares. Oh no. Like it was surreal enough when Psyber shot doves out of his coat… …No. Calm, quiet Fiora is shaking the every loving fuck out of a… "…"

After a moment of watching this she just grins and watches silently.

"So, you're him. Well, I have to say i'm pretty impressed. I was afraid you'd be a lot less reasonable than you are now…" Eila blinks at Fiora's advanced sluething methods, though the suomus witch certainly can understand why Fiora would be so frustrated.

After a moment, she just looks over at Tshallandria, shrugs, and then turns back to LC.

==> Stare at Fiora.

No really. She's staring. She's actually TAKING OFF HER SHADES AND STARING. "Whoa whoa whoa, the heck are you doin'?!" she yells, backing up a step or two toward Psyber, "The heck is this for?!" Its not directly aimed at Summer, anyone could answer that question.

Psyber watches Fiora start shaking LC, "Yep. That looks about right."

And then he's wandering off towards the treeline after his doves.

LC seems to be doing his best to respond in some way, but is having trouble due to being shaken. Something's being said but it's really not at all clear what it is at all. Once the shaking stops (she has to get tired SOMETIME) he says, "It's complicated! All we get is talks from higher ups about the Witch, the Mage, the Maid, and the Knave being the most important. It just means you're a princess of the moon, I don't know much about it! You know, a heroic kind or the kind we're supposed to protect or something. It's not really clear. I'm not even sure I should be talking about it, WQ's probably gonna yell at me for looking at you wrong or something anyway."

Tshallandria snorts, and then turns back towards the Red-Iguana, "So. I had some questions for you…" She smiles slightly, "I suppose the first one is, did you chat with the Dark-Agent-of-Derse, end the attacks on your people?" A pause, "And … Were I to introduce an automatic grist mill for your people would they or you object too much?"

Evidently having seen and heard enough, Black Gold Saw suddenly swings the Cannon Saw down off her shoulder in a broad arc. This cleaves a white crescent in space-time immediately beneath her, and she swiftly falls into it. It closes behind her a half-second later.

Fiora ==> Accept Testimony

Fiora takes this command into consideration as her LASS FURY drops to a low simmer and she stops shaking LC so violently. "Okay. Fine. You know because you got told by someone. This… WQ. Listen, tell her that… The Princess or… hero… or… Or /whatever/ wants to get /filled the fuck in/!" Fiora breathes, barely containing her copious remaining LASS FURY as she tries to /impress/ upon this robo-armed badass with her noodle arms and her normally shy disposition that she does not want to be messed with.

"What /is/ the Moon? /Who/ is supposed to protect me? /From what/? Answers, or I'll… I'll… I'm tired! I'm tired of being jerked around! If /Void/ is the stupid cosmic power that empowers me to know nothing and nobody thinks to tell me anything I…" She fumes and stamps and still holds LC with her noodlearms grip.

ANSWERRRRRS GIVE THEM TO MEEEEE

"Yeah! Of course we were talking! We talked about a lot of things, and about what we needed to do to make them leave us alone! Turns out they'll even reimburse us for stuff they did! That guy's gonna give us a list of demands in a while, straight from the Black Queen herself! We're gonna be getting off scott-free from the Agents and we're all gonna be rolling in kickbacks! I mean reimbursements."

There is nothing about this dialogue sequence that doesn't scream "shady". It's fairly clear that there's not much more info to find here. Besides the answer to her last question. "Huh? Oh! That would basically be the best. We don't have a ton of that industry here! I hear crocodiles have a big monopoly on that. It's be great!"

Vruasa Telash is still here, having a fit quite visibly a few feet away. Something seems to have gradually calmed him down, though…

"The moon. It goes around planets, you know. We're supposed to be, and then you're supposed to be. From Derse." Each question is answered with a little exasperation. He's a badass detective on the edge! He is not really supposed to be giving exposition to angry girls. "I don't know what the Void is, that's the point of the Void. The point is not knowing. I think that's supposed to be vague kindsa of obtuse or profound or something. Look, I gotta go partrol some spires and shoot criminals a bit, uh," He wrenches Fiora's noodlearms away with his ROBOT HANDS as gently as he can and takes a few steps back. "I'll see you later. Home base is by the Temple of Space, give a shout if you've got an emergency. Sorry, uh," He pushes her away a bit and steps away to go. He's kinda not wanting to deal with these questions. And he can't be badass cop to some girl, that's not how this works! You can only do that to angry adults, according to the law of action movies.

Tshallandria looks at the Red Salamander for a long moment. Then frowns. "Have you considered that it's a trap?" Her eyes close, "The problem is this. No one knows enough about them to know if they are negotiating in good faith. No one truly knows what they want." Her eyes open as she looks at him, "What if it's your lives that they desire? What if they decide that it's in their best intrests to remove your tongues so that you cannot help the heros?"

She gestures to the side and leans in, "What if what they want, screws up Arthur's chance to win, and makes the big clock reach zero… …And that means All Of You Die." Her lips twich, "What is it worth to you, the … possibility" She makes the word doubtful, " Of a freedom from them?"

The leaderly red fellow grins widely. "Uh, nah, didn't think much on it. Haven't told 'em we'll say yes, of course! Just that we'll look at their demands. And hey! I don't know who Arthur is or whoever, and all that sounds really over my head. I'm not really the kind of guy who keeps up with overarching twisty plots of mystic things! I'm just a guy trying to get other guys to stop shooting everything in a place I live. Don't know a lot about that stuff! Whatever, anyway, I've got a bunch of advisors to go bother! Thip thip. Stop by Southtown and make an appointment if you need to talk about all this thippin' broad mythic stuff or whatever! I dunno what's what about that now, though, and I got business to do! Lots of business."

Tshallandria considers the Iguana as he leaves before shrugging and launching herself into the air to join her minions. "Come… …There are more imps ogres and other things for us to hunt elsewhere. I would see you all gain in more power, and all of us to gain more grist and money."

And with that, whoosh. They're off.


Log Notes: Wherein Vruasa accidentally offers alcohol to Fiora. He also absolutely flips his shit at somebody over possibly poking at the game code. This is actually the most vulgar he's ever gotten in any scene I've ever been in.

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