The Echelon

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  1. CLOSED Gods Among Us

    Montessa cradled the rifle in her arms as the helicopter came to a touchdown. It was a long time since she had ever worked with the FBI, the last time being the Maxwell incident. "Could it be," she thought to herself as she slid the door open, "That these terrorists were associated with the Maxwell incident too?" She shook her head and discarded the thought from her mind as she approached the FBI agent waiting for her. There was no time be dwelling on such matters. Now was the time to be...professional. "You must be the agent from Cayman," said the man as he extended a hand to her, "Name's James Rayner, FBI." "Charmed, I'm sure," replied Montessa dismissively as she unslung the rifle from her, flicking a switch on it as it hummed to life, "Now, I heard that there was a Contractor team ready to be sent in? Or are they all dead already?†James grunted and rolled his eyes as he signaled towards the monitor within the control vehicle. “We sent both Contractors in already, first one through the main entrance, second around the back. The assailants are heavily armed, probably professionally trained by the looks of it, and they have Contractors of their own. Total amount of hostiles is unknown, but we estimate at least 20 or 30 inside. SWAT team is almost in position, negotiations are going-†Montessa cut him off as she headed off towards a side entrance. “Thank you for that, ah, brief introduction, Mr Rayner,†she answered, “I think I can handle it from here on. I’m well versed on how efficient the FBI is.†James just clutched and shook his head, sighing. “Ryan, I’m so sorry.†------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tapping on her GPS-watch as she approached what seemed to be inconspicuous wall, she aimed the rifle at the wall, a display popping up as 3 blips appeared on the screen. “Three hostiles,†she muttered. Her plan was to enter the mall from a side entrance, before meeting up with the agent up front. At the very least, the agent who opted to attack from the front would prove interesting. Squeezing the trigger, the rifle whirred and…nothing happened. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Max whistled as he looked around the lingerie department, the hostages shivering and crying as he pointed his rifle at them. He had to pull a few strings and give a few favors, but he finally managed to snag this position during the operation. “Well, at least I get to look at something interesting,†he muttered to himself as he strolled around the aisles, taking in the various bras and panties on display. A particularly revealing set on display made him stop as he let out a loud whistle. “Damn, that’s hot,†he mused as he wiped the sweat from his brows. He was already starting to feel warm as a burning sensation crept up his spine. “Did someone turn up the AC or something?†He wiped another trail of sweat as he looked around, his vision turning blurry. Without warning, he fell to the ground, unable to let more than a mere gurgle as he saw his two partners fall to the ground too, gurgling as steam escaped from their eyeballs and ears. “W-What –the h-hell-†Before he could finish, he exploded, his body rupturing and sending blood splattering over the terrified customers as they huddled together, wondering what the hell had just happened. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Powering down the rifle, Montessa slung the rifle on her back as she planted a detonating charge on the wall, whistling as she did. Pressing the detonator, a loud explosion filled the air as the wall was torn apart. Stepping through the wall, she looked around, noting the panicking hostages as they pointed towards 3 bloodstained splats on the floor, steam still hissing off them. "Microwaves, never fails to make me smile," she sniggered, “Guess I better let R&D know the Thaumaturge rifle works,†she chuckled as she strolled through the departmental store, ignoring the hostages who were crying, some in complete shock at what had just happened. That would be the FBI’s problem. First priority was to meet up with the agent, and secure Cayman’s labs. Already, she could hear the sounds of battle coming from the main lobby of the mall. As she turned the corner, what seemed be a cross between a porcupine and a gorilla was flying towards her at full speed. Without missing a beat, Jormungand materialized out of midair, chomping down on the unknown Celestian and devouring it in a single gulp, before it let out a belch and disappeared. Up ahead, she could see what appeared to be two fully grown men getting their asses kicked in by what seemed to be a young girl in pink jammies. Montessa balked. “That’s what the FBI has come to since I left? At least I can’t say it didn’t get more interesting.†Walking up to the girl, who was busy polishing up the rather one-sided fight, she raised her watch, a hologram of Cayman Industries logo popping up. “Hey kiddo, you with the FBI? I was instructed to meet with you and your buddies.â€
  2. CLOSED Gods Among Us

    Montessa giggled as she approached her target, who was currently cowering from her with his back pressed tightly against the dead end of the alleyway, a pistol pointed shakily at her. What had started out to be a 20 on 1 ambush against her now turned into a massacre as the bodies of the man's compatriots lay around him, a various assortment of appendages and even chunks of the ground missing, the only clue left behind being rather large bite marks where their limbs once were. "P-please!" begged the man, his hands trembling as he aimed his pistol at her, "S-stay back, you monster! You...you killed all of them!" "An astute observation, Mr Ridley," Montessa calmly replied, "But I wonder, where is that spunk and spirit you just had a minute ago? You were just so happy, I swear on it, when you and your little friends came out and surrounded me." "B-back, you monster!" yelled Ridley as he waved the gun at her, "You've come here to kill me haven't you? I've heard things about you, the lapdog of Cayman, how you and your celestian brutally murder people, even ra-" Montessa let out a mock gasp as she covered her mouth. "Oh my," she spoke, her voice dripping with sarcarsm, "Whoever told you that must be mistaken. I've simply come to read you a story." "A what?" "A story, Mr Ridley. Now if you don't mind, let's begin, shall we?" Montessa cleared her throat as she took several pieces of paper out of her pocket. "Have you heard this one before? It's called Employee Contractual Terms no. 5.8©.(iv)." She gave a short cough as she continued, "If an employee of Cayman Industries Ltd breaks his contracts prematurely or joins a competing company, s/he is subject to liability and blah blah blah, all assets and life, blah blah blah," She tossed a few pieces away as she continued reading through the document, Ridley staring at her with a puzzled look. "Blah blah blah, ah, there we go, subject to immediate termination." He gave her a panicked look as she pressed herself closer to him, her forehead practically pressed against the barrel of his pistol. "Like I said Mr Ridley, there's a nothing to worry about," she cooed as she placed her finger on his lips. "Mr Cayman himself made a special exception for you. All you have to do is return to Cayman Industries like a good little boy, and we can put all this behind us, hmm?" This time, Ridley composure straightened, his hands gripping his pistol tighter as her pressed it against Montessa's still smiling face. "I-I can't do that," he explained, "The world needs to know what Cayman has done. The death of innocents, numerous war crimes, corruption of the federal government and so much more." Montessa's smile turned into a pout as she straightened herself up. "What a shame, Mr Ridley. Maybe Jormungand here can change your mind." "What are you talkin-" Before he could complete his sentence, there was naught but a large chomp sound, and the wall behind seemingly disappeared, a large bite taken out of it and what seemed to be a large floating serpent of black floating behind him, its beady eyes staring hungrily. Letting out a girly scream, he emptied his pistol into the creature, the bullets striking its flesh and slowly being consumed by its flesh, slowly sinking into it like it was quicksand. He turned to Montessa, his eyes pleading. "S-spare me! A-Anything but-" There was but a flash of black, before Jormungand descended upon him ravenously, swallowing him in a single bite. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Cayman was a busy man. He had just finished his 3rd shareholder meeting in a row, his lunch appointment with the Israelian Minster of Defence and several ribbon cutting ceremonies today. He sighed as laid back in his Relaxiner 3000, the latest in comfort technology, as the cushioned pads of the char shifted to accommodate his weight. "I have the hardest life," he muttered to no one in particular as he turned on his electronic organiser. "Let's see what's next," he whispered, scrolling through the list of entries, "Meet and greet with the mayor, done, site survey, done...ah, here we go, a meeting with one of my ex-employees." Almost right a cue, there was a knock on his office doors, before the huge double doors swung open. In strolled Montessa, humming happily to herself as two armed guards flanked her. "Ah, my finest agent, Montessa," said Michael jovially, taking a bottle of whiskey from his drawer along with two cup, "I assume you have...convinced Mr Ridley to reconsider his retirement?" Without a word, Montessa snapped her fingers as Jormungand materialized in midair. Letting out a snort, it eyed Michael warily, considering whether to proceed to eat him. "Jormungand." Montessa spoke up, her voice carrying a hint of anger, "What did I tell you about eating Mr Cayman?" Letting out a sound somewhere between a whine and a hiss, it looked down submissively. "Good boy~" she muttered, petting it on the head as it let out annoyed grunts, "Now let Mr Ridley have his little talk with Mr Cayman." There was a soft gurgle that filled the room, before a loud belch resonated through the office room, rattling the windows as it vomited out Ridley, black ichor covering his body as he sat curled in a fetal position rocking back and forth. "Mr Ridley, glad you came back!" bellowed Michael as he poured two glasses of whiskey, "Have you reconsidered leaving this wonderful company yet?" As soon as Ridley heard his voice, he lunged toward him clutching Michael's ankle desperately, his hands trembling. "P-please," his voice completely shaken, "D-don't let m-me go b-back there! I'll d-do anything! I'll b-build anything, p-please just d-don't send me back th-there!" He gave a fearful look at Jormungand, who simply gnashed its jaws in return. "Glad to see you could see past our differences," Michael laughed as he beckoned to the guards, "Bring Mr Ridley to his chamber. Get this man a shower, won't you?" Giving him a salute, the two guards grabbed the still-whimpering Ridley by the shoulders, dragging him out of the room as the double doors closed behind them. Sighing, he offered a glass of whiskey to Montessa. "Yet another employee trying to escape. What does that make, 3 this month alone?" Montessa sipped her drink. "Actually, 5. Last two decided to commit suicide before I could catch them." Downing his drink in a single swift motion, Michael poured himself another glass. "I don't get it really. I pay my employees well, give them full healthcare benefits, heck, I even give them 20% more holidays than any other corporation. All I ask is that they build weapons of war, look the other way when asked about ethics, or just you know, do the occasional...er...bad deed." Letting out yet another sigh, he took a long, drawn out sip from his glass, before turning to Montessa. "Tell me, Montessa, am I a bad boss?" She simply gave a grin before finishing off her glass. "The world has varying shades of grey, sir," she muttered, looking nowhere in particular, "All I see is a man willing to do the dirty deeds that the rest of the world doesn't want to do." Pressing a few buttons on his desk, a large holographic display of the globe lit up. "Just look, simply 3 years after buying over and unofficially annexing Yemen and Ethiopia, the regions' economic capabilities have skyrocketed, even beating out Israel and Turkey. All thanks to Cayman Industries opening up factories and businesses in the countries themselves. Even terrorism is at a all time low in the region. You've managed to do in 3 years what the American government hasn't been able to do in 50." Raising her glass in a toast to him, she gave a sly grin. "We're making the mother of all omelettes here, sir. Can't fret about every broken egg now, can we?" Chuckling, Michael raised his head, giving her a hearty pet on her shoulder. "See Montessa, this is why you're my favourite agent." "Just doing my job, sir. You have the trigger, just point me wherever you need me." Nodding, he straightened himself out. "Well then, onto business. I apologize for sending you into another mission immediately, but a situation has just occured." Pressing a button on his desk, a monitor lit up, displaying the local news. "A local mall in Konnell has just been taken over by terrorists," he continued, "While I'm not one to matter about such...trivial issues normally, this mall happens to house one of our classified research labs in the basement. Your job is to join up with a FBI Contractor squad, while ensuring the terrorists do not steal our research." "A reunion with old friends huh," said Montessa rolling her eyes, "So what's with me joining up with the FBI? Normally you don't even trust the police or FBI in such matters." "I still don't," he answered, his face stern, "So think of it as babysitting them and making sure they don't screw up. The other reason is that there has been talks about outsourcing law enforcement to Cayman Industries' PMCs, so what better way to put up a good show than putting my best agent on this case?" Giving him a mock curtsey, she let out a snicker. "Very well milord, your wish is my command." As she walked out of the office, she heard Michael call out behind her. "Before I forget, Montessa, I've authorized the usage of the new Thaumaturge rifle. Show them we mean business, eh?" Montessa simply licked her lips.
  3. OPEN [Discussion] Gods Among Us

    Name: Montessa Stroheim Age: 28 Appearance: Neat and formal with silver braided hair, complete with authentic leather trenchcoat and suit. Affiliation: Private Corporation (Cayman Industries) Celestian: Jormungand Personality: Perpetually smiling, Montessa is whimsical and almost mercuric, capable of switching between polite banter and full blown psychopathic laughter in an instant. She enjoys her job a little too much, and has developed a notorious reputation within the company. While not completely unprofessional at her job, she often gets distracted easily, especially by anything she deems cute and/or interesting. History: An ex member of the FBI, Montessa first discovered her Celestian when she was a mere preschooler, it first manifesting when she was relentlessly bullied by two boys, completely annihilating them without a trace. Quickly recruited and trained by the government, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked she took part in the operation known as the "Maxwell Incident", which started when a group of contractors went rogue and rebelled against the government. While fighting the rebel contractors, her Celestian went haywire, ruthlessly tearing apart both friend and foe (including part of the scenery), traumatizing her deeply and completely changing her behaviour. Unable to return to her normal life back in the FBI, she faked her death and spent the next few months roaming the country in solitude. She would then be contacted by a man called Micheal Cayman, CEO of Cayman Industries, one of the largest corporations in the world, and gave her a job as an agent in his company, offering her far superior training to help control her unpredictable Celestian. Fast forward 6 years later, she now works as one of the top agents in Cayman Industries, performing duties that are less than legal in nature, such as sabotaging rival companies, or straight out assassinating their CEOs. Celestian Name: Jormungand ​Appearance: Jormungand takes the shape of a large serpent with the jaws of what seems to be an anglerfish, its huge jaws seemingly able to swallow anything. It's covered in sickly black ichor, and has small beady yellow eyes. It is capable of vanishing and reappearing at will, although it prefers to stay unseen. Stars Rating: 5 Type: Consuming Class: Insane Chaotic Personality: Constantly snapping its jaws, Jormungand has a hair trigger temper, prone to suddenly lashing out and trying to devour the closest target on sight. Added with its ability to appear randomly, it took Montessa close to 3 years just to be able to train it into submission and summon it at will. It has no other personality other that being akin to a rabid dog.
  4. OPEN [Discussion] Gods Among Us

    THIS MUST BE THE WORK OF AN ENEMY STAN- I MEAN, CELESTIAN Count me in.
  5. DnD [Open 5e] Beyond the Boundary

    Sounds interesting, only 1 problem. I have no idea how 5e works.
  6. I'm pretty sure Wst is implying it isn't expensive. It's called century egg because some people say the egg is packed in mud, hay and horse urine ammonia for a hundred years. Obviously, this isn't true, considering no one would actually wait a hundred years for an egg.
  7. Geoduck tastes fairly...mild actually, a little less flavor than an abalone. I dunno, most food that may seem weird to you guys are actually fairly common in Singapore. Frog legs, pig innards (actually just about any animal's innard), duck (?) all are pretty common here. I guess the "weirdest" food I wish I could eat is molecular cuisine. Pretty hard to find and expensive in Singapore. Actually, have any of you guys eaten century egg before? Pretty common in Singapore too, but I've heard its an acquired taste overseas.
  8. The Scars of Magic

    For a thousand years, the Bariura Empire has asserted its dominance over the realm of Alysia, a world both blessed and cursed with powerful magics. Prior to the rise of the Empire, wild and untamed magic flowed through the realm, causing catastrophes and wars that shaped the realm. Free magic, as the common folk call it, was freely available to anyone who had a natural aptitude for controlling magic. It was pure magic, born when the world was first created and thus, was blessed with unlimited potential. From simply creating small miracles to manipulating the fabric of space-time, the only limit to its power was the user’s imagination. Unfortunately, such magic was not be tamed by men, and those who seeked to control it were slowly corrupted by its essence, becoming creatures born of magic, mindless monsters who wish to devour all for more power. Wars were waged over it, which lead to an event called the Orion War, which devastated the continent and leveled the grand city of Ampador, the capital of the realm at that time. Out of the ashes of the destroyed kingdom came the survivors, who were shaken and fully realized the destructive potential of free magic. Swearing to never let this power go unchecked again, the Bariura Empire was born, and with it, Charter magic, the opposite of free magic. Charter magic was magic created by men, with order, rules and laws at its very core, unlike free magic, where chaos, imagination and emotions flowed freely. Quickly building up their empire, they asserted their dominance over the land, seeking out free magic wherever it existed and destroying it. Thousands of years have passed, and now a group of nations called the Alvia Alliance wish to challenge the empire and allow the use of free magic by the very people it belongs to: Everyone. FACTIONS: Bariura Empire “A thousand years ago, our forefathers witnessed firsthand the destructive power of Free magic. They saw how it scarred the land, massacred thousands and drove millions into lunacy. For the sake of the realm, they swore to never let such a catastrophe happen. Now, it is up to us to uphold this promise and stop Free magic wherever and whenever it appears, to make sure such a dark chapter in history never rewrites itself. For the Empress! For Bariura!†The dominant superpower of Alysia, ruled over by the young Empress Saria Auriasta. Formed by the remnants of those who survived the Orion War, the main objective of the empire is to stop Free magic wherever it appears, be it a child born with witch-like powers, or a realm corrupted by a spring of Free magic. They will not stop at any means to wipe Free magic out, whether it’ll be sentencing a suspected individual to death, or burning an entire village to the ground. As the creators of Charter magic, only sanctioned mages and officials being allowed to use it. They are strict and unmerciful in their actions, which have caused some states to decide to rebel. Alvia Alliance “Free magic was a gift given by the gods to the people of the land. All should be allowed to use it freely, but the Bariura Empire, these power-crazed dogs, they seek to take away this gift from all! Not only that, they install their own magic system, and make it so that only they can use it while we, the common folk, are oppressed and killed for “witchcraft†and “heresyâ€. No more, fellow citizens! Today, we strike back and reclaim Free magic for all to use! Death to the Empress! Power to all!†Created 10 years ago by three of the southern states in Alysia, the Alvia alliance slowly grows in power and numbers, each day hundreds joining their cause as they grow tired of the abuse and oppression from the Empire’s witch hunts. Believing Free magic should be available to all to use, they are more than willing to use practitioners of Free magic in their ranks, whom the Empire consider to be heretics. Despite the risk associated with Free magic, they also believe that they can control it now compared to a thousand years ago and with it, bring a new era of equality and prosperity. MAGIC: Free magic: The original form of magic created by the gods themselves and blessed unto the land. Drawing from a magical dimension of pure possibility called the Aether, Free magic has nearly unlimited potential. Not only that, it does not require long periods of studying or research to use, as all aspects of it are controlled by raw emotions. Some of the most powerful and awe-inspiring spells are born from Free magic, and to use Free magic is to open your mind to endless possibilities and dreams. …However, there is a sinister side to Free magic. As it was born from nature itself, so does it carry nature’s untamed and vicious characteristics. Not even the most accomplished mages cannot fully understand Free magic completely, and even the most innocent use of it can lead to horrible consequences. As Free magic is heavily influenced by the thoughts and emotions by its user, even the tiniest bit of negative emotion can cause spells to backfire catastrophically, twisting the original intention of the spell into a horrible mockery of itself. By far the worst fate though befalls those who try and tame such Free magic, as they are consumed by what they seek and turn into monstrous beings called Faes, creatures born of the very essence of the Aether and seek nothing more than consume and search for an even greater source of power. Consequently, those who can actually manipulate Free magic without falling prey to its whims are some of the most dangerous mages in the lands, and are high up on the Empire’s kill list. Charter magic: Created after the Orion War by the Empire, Charter magic was created solely by men, and thus can be controlled and understood almost fully by most mages. Orderly, strict and intricate, Charter magic requires special focuses and reagents to cast, ranging from a simple magical glyph, to the ashes of some long extinct species. While it cannot match the raw power or potential of Free magic, it is much safer and easier to control, with almost no risk to the user at all. However, the Empire controls the usage of such magic absolutely, and to even use this magic, one has to undergo a blood ritual using the Empress’ blood, binding their loyalty and fealty to serve the Empire till the day they die. Charter magic is limited only to elemental spells, basic psychic spells such as telepathy and telekinesis, and basic healing magic. GLOSSARY: Fae: Horrible, monstrous creatures of the Aether, some of these poor souls were once humans who were twisted by Free magic, turning them into ravenous beasts that lust after more magic. Ranging from the size of a small wolf to towering beasts the size of mountains, taking down a high ranked Fae require massive firepower and effort to overcome. Not only that, killing them merely returns them to the Aether, where the rest and regenerate till they regain enough strength, before the return to wreak havoc upon the physical plane again. Witches/Warlocks: Also called heretics by the Empire, and Gifted by the Alliance, Witches/Warlocks are people born with a natural aptitude for Free magic, innocently discovering their potential during their preteen years. While all Witches and Warlocks can use Free magic, not all are immune to its corrupting effects, which is why the Empire conducts its witch hunts, to prevent the Free magic within them from getting out of hand by ending their lives early. However, there exist a few Witches/Warlocks that have a higher resistance to Free magic’s corruption, and as such can utilize it to a much higher degree than others, making them exceptionally dangerous opponents. Empress Saria Auriasta: The 14 year old Empress of the Bariura Empire, some may question whether she is too young to hold such a pivotal position in the Empire. However, with the death of the late Empress Maria Auriasta, Saria’s mother, she has matured greatly in the 10 years that have passed. She understands that the witch hunts are unfair and unjust to them common folk, yet she knows the if left unchecked, Free magic will eventually grow out of hand and cause the rift between people to grow greater, causing great tragedy like the one which claimed her mother, who was killed by Alvia Alliance gunmen. She knows what she does is morally wrong, and every time it is with a heavy heart that she condemns another village to be razed to the ground. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So, basic rebel scum vs empire dogs RP, feel free to join any side! I'll be taking up to 4 more RPers for this, though this might change depending on the situation.
  9. Gratuitous Mecha Carnage 3: Dragoons

    Arthur noted his Dragoon’s display as it flew through the air, the sky turning a dark grey as if heralding the battle that would come. Already, Blue Leader had given the order to engage, and the battle had already started on the battleground below him, explosions and callsigns surrounding his screen. Still, it wasn’t his role to fight in this battle. His real goal however, was the destruction of key targets in the supply bases behind the frontlines. With a full scale battle raging on, it would prove easy to take out the targets, as most of their forces would have been dedicated to the main battle. Readying his Dragoon’s laser rifle, he motioned to the Hayate flying next to him. “Yashiro,†he called out, “We’re approaching the target area in 5 seconds. Get ready to overwatch and spot targets.†“A-Ah, yes sir, McDouglas-san!†The pilot of the other Hayate nodded as he drew his assault rifle, its laser designator highlighting all the targets as blips on Arthur’s screen. He simply smiled wryly as he aimed the laser rifle down range. Yashiro Kudenai, one of Aegis’ young recruits that he had the privilege of training, was a fresh greenhorn out of training, and this would be his first time experiencing an actual battle. Designated as his spotter, it was a role that would allow Yashiro to experience a battle firsthand, while still managing to keep out of harm’s way. Eager, thought Arthur as he activated his Dragoon’s Dive system, his movements almost becoming one with the Dragoon, but a little too enthusiastic. “Fuel depot, 2 kilometres!†Yashiro called out as Arthur squeezed the trigger, the Widow’s laser beam striking the fuel tank head on. There was a small shower of sparks before a large explosion rocked the area, the fuel tank catching the rest of the tanks in a massive chain explosion that took out the building next to it. “Radar tower, 1.5 kilometres!†Arthur fired his rifle yet again as it cut cleanly through the support struts of the radar dish, the entire tower collapsing in a spectacular fashion as it took out an unfortunate Leopard below it, crushing its head straight in. “Good job, Yashiro,†complimented Arthur as he opened the cooling vents on the Widow, a loud cloud of steam hissing from the barrel, “Nice spotting out there.†Honestly, it wasn’t much, but he knew how much a simple compliment meant to a fresh recruit like Yashiro. As important as it was having the best training and equipment, it was just as important to keep morale up. Too many times had he seen his allies suddenly break under mission stress, completely exposing themselves to the enemy. “Ah, thank you, McDou-“ A stream of heavy caliber cannon fire interrupted Yashiro as the Hayate Kai’s scanners picked up 3 Dragoon targets moving towards them at high speed, most likely Leopards modified with flight packs. An adequate aerial Dragoon response team, but they were no match for a dedicated aerial superiority Dragoon like the Hayate. “Yashiro!†Arthur yelled out as let loose a spray of Phalanx fire, “Prepare for close ranged combat! I’ll take the two on the left, you handle the one on the right!†“Roger, McDouglas-san!†Affixing a progressive blade bayonet to his assault rifle, Yashiro’s Dragoon released of blast of plasma as it flew towards the lone Leopard, locking it in melee combat as Arthur turned to face the other two, stowing the Widow as he evaded bursts of cannon fire. The Widow’s size would make it cumbersome in close range combat, and he doubted Aegis would have liked it if he used it as a club. Letting loose another hail of Phalanx fire, he thumbed through the Hayate’s Kai’s weapon selection, before stopping on the smoke grenade launcher. Selecting airburst mode, he fired a volley of smoke grenades, the area around them filling with thick smoke as the Leopards opened fire blindly. A far cry from the adequately trained soldiers of Aegis, the K.O.C’s soldiers were pretty much poorly trained recruits with no sense of discipline, relying instead on their sheer numbers to overwhelm enemies. Unfortunately for them, a 2 to 1 odd wasn’t enough to dissuade Arthur. Diving through the cloud of smoke, he approached a Leopard from below, a swift punch smashing the assault cannon out of its hands. Before it could draw its blade, Arthur brought his Dragoon’s hand to the Leopard’s face, grabbing its face and effectively blinding it as he brought the Phalanx to its chest. Squeezing the trigger, the Phalanx tore through the chest armor of the Leopard in seconds, the ARES proving no match for the 100 rounds-per-second fire rate of the Phalanx at point blank. Tossing the disabled Leopard aside like a ragdoll, he flew towards the second Leopard, the smoke cloud now wearing off as it regained its sight. Drawing its progressive blade, both Dragoons slammed against each other, their ARES reacting violently to each other as shrapnel sprayed everywhere. Pulling back, Arthur pulled his vernier thrusters into reverse as they rotated forwards, spraying the Leopard with a blast of blue-hot plasma, sending it reeling backwards as he lashed out with the Hayate Kai’s blades, its armblades slamming into the Leopard’s visor in a shower of sparks. Stunning the enemy pilot, he circled back around, grappling the flight pack and in a swift motion, severed the connection cables with a sudden tug, sending the Leopard spiraling downwards, slamming into the ground with a glorious thud. Turning, he saw Yashiro pull his bayonet out of the enemy Dragoon, before he waved happily at him. “McDouglas-san, I did it!’ he yelled happily over the comm, “My first k-†In less than a second, there was a flash of red, before there was nothing more than a molten hole in Yashiro’s Dragoon where its cockpit was supposed to be. 20 years ago, Arthur would have been too stunned to react, but now he knew better than to be shocked on a battlefield. Veering his Dragoon to the side as another laser beam shot past him, he turned towards the ground, the source of the shots. There, he could see several large laser cannons pointed upwards, towed by trucks. Shit, he thought, so those three Leopards were just distractions? Turning on the Kagami’s energy shield as a beam slammed into it with a crackle, he yelled over the mic as shots filled the air. “Blue Leader, can you read? This is Blue Eight reporting, Blue Nine is down, currently taking enemy laser AA fire, send support, I repeat, send support!â€
  10. God Inside The Machine

    The glare of an artificial sun shone through the window, illuminating the room and rudely awakening Pharos. Groaning as she rose from her chemically-induced sleep, she felt something crawl along her blanket. She opened her blurry eyes to find a small little fox-like creature prodding her gently with its foot, its bio-luminescent fur glowing softly as yipped softly, trying to wake her up. Smiling, she got up, picking the small creature up in both hands, raising it into the air. “A good morning to you too, Hel.†Hel let out another small yip as she set it back down, stretching herself as she got out of bed. A simple jump and she was gliding across the room, the lack of gravity allowing her to move around like a fish in water. Specially designed for Alfar to live in, Alfenheim lacked artificial gravity generators, instead letting the whole sector be blanketed in zero-G. To normal humans, this would have been disorienting, but to an Alfar, it was a necessity. Even just walking or standing in normal gravity put a lot of strain on them, requiring them to don an Aesir or Vanir just to prevent their lightweight bones from snapping under their own weight. In zero gravity however, they were almost unmatched in their agility and nimbleness. Brushing her teeth, she forced herself to try and forget what happened yesterday. The Apex Valkyrie getting stolen, that manchild called Noah Winter, ODIN being incompetent (again). Worst of all, LOKI had probably discovered or worse, acquired both the girl and the Aesir. And whatever LOKI was involved in, there was always one man behind all of it. “Lumen.†She growled as she spat into the sink-receptacle, a vacuum pump sucking the contents down the drain as she stepped out of the washroom. An ex-director of ODIN in charge of Aesir Development, he was one of the few humans in Midgard that Pharos begrudgingly respected. A savant in Aesir research, he was specialized and unmatched in all things technology, as compared to Pharos’ natural affinity for biological studies. Adding to that, the man was an excellent strategist and a charismatic leader, Asgard lauding him as one of the most brilliant minds on Midgard until he defected to form LOKI. Since then, all news articles and reports about the man were covered up and censored, and with MIMIR taking over, it was like he never existed. Donning the inactivated Novus Freyja, she pet Hel goodbye as she stepped outside her apartment and into the hovercar waiting outside for her. Today, she would be meeting a special person for lunch, and it wasn’t someone she was particularly looking forward too: Baldur. --------------------------------------------------------------- The Diamond Spire was quite easily the pinnacle of fine cuisine anywhere in Midgard. One of the few, if not only restaurants to serve actual meat and produce, even money wasn’t enough to secure a table at the fine establishment. You had to know the correct people and have a good reputation. Not only was the food top notch, but its service and even architecture was beyond reproach. Housed in its very own skyscraper in the Vanaheim district, its structure of crystal glass and steel spiraled its way through the sky, having a capacity of over a thousand diners, yet it barely received a hundred customers a day. Still, the prices of the menu were more than enough to make up for its lack of customers. Stepping out of the hovercar, an attendant ran right over to her, bowing formally in his crisp and pristine uniform. “Welcome to the Diamond Spire, Miss Sirius,†he spoke, each syllable perfectly pronounced, “Your host is waiting at the VIP dining floor. Please, follow me.†Stepping into the elevator, it wasn’t long before the elevator arrived at the 100th floor. As the doors opened, she noted a dining table smack dab in the middle of what seemed to be a pristinely white circular room. In fact, the room was completely empty except for the dining table in the centre, with 2 chairs on either side. On one side however, was an ugly mug she recognized only too well. “Baldur.†She spoke, her voice montone. Baldur gave a wry smile, his hands clasped together. “Director Sirius,†he replied, his words spoken with perfect accuracy and tone, “Please, take a seat.†Nothing else she could do, she helped herself to a seat as the attendant bowed, stepping out of the room as the elevator doors closed. Focusing his gaze on Pharos, he eyed her contemplatively, his eyes calmly staring into hers. Even Pharos began to sweat as he gazed unflinchingly, almost like he was judging her. Finally she spoke up. “Baldur, was there any reason you called me here, or was it just so we could engage in a staring contest?â€
  11. [Discussion] Dragoons

    Name: Douglas McArthur Age: 46 Personality: A veteran of proxy wars, Douglas has seen his fair share of conflicts around the world, complete with all its horrors and tragedy. Too many times has he seen hot blooded youths join the Mega Corps as wannabe Dragoon pilots, only to toss their lives away in a short and uneventful explosion, fighting as expendable proxies for their masters. A father to his men, he may be grim and sarcastic, but he will do his utmost to prevent them from becoming another bloody mark on the battlefield. Appearance: THIS GLORIOUS MAN Dragoon: Tennin Forgeworks "JF-3000K Hayate Kai" Weapons: M-148 “Widow†25mm Laser EBR – When the ARES system was invented, conventional sniper weapons and battle rifles soon fell out of favor, as their single shot capabilities failed to penetrate the hailstorm of explosive shrapnel the ARES system used to protect itself, lacking the sheer volume of firepower to overwhelm it. However, with the advent of energy based weapons, the humble marksman weapon once again found a place in Dragoon armories everywhere. Accurate, almost instantaneous travel time, long effective range, compounded with the ability to ignore the ARES system made lasers the optimal choice for such weapons, and the Widow was one of the most recognizable and famous of them all. With an effective range of over 8 kilometres, it is the weapon of choice for the modern discerning marksman, capable of eliminating opponents outside of visual range. E6 Las-Sniper Kit – Not so much of a weapon as compared to an attachment, this barrel and sight combo snaps onto the Widow EBR in a matter of seconds, transforming it from a battle rifle to a fully fledged sniper rifle, the M-148S Widowmaker. While it has an even slower firing rate than the Widow, the barrel supercharges the laser beam even further, granting it even longer range and much more power, capable of cutting through an apartment building from over 20 kilometres away. Fearsome and deadly in the hands of a skilled marksman, the Widowmaker is most well known for the infamous 2057 assassination of the late Kilimanjaro Orbital Conglomerate president, Mogame Imbuwe. Despite being inside a bulletproof limousine, flanked by 8 Dragoons, the Widowmaker tore through one of the Dragoons cleanly through its midsection, before striking and utterly destroying the limousine Mogame was in, turning the ground below it into molten glass. Twin Linked 'Phalanx IV' 20mm Close-In Weapons Systems – Mounted in a pair on the Hayate’s left arm, this simple yet deadly weapon fires 20mm armor piercing shells with a high fire rate, compensating for the Widow's weakness at closer ranges as well as functioning as a backup weapon. These provide high firepower at short ranges, overwhelming enemy Dragoons' ARES through sheer volume of fire, though it requires multiple hits for the smaller, lighter projectiles to penetrate a Dragoon's armor. Each of the cannons carries 1200 rounds of ammunition, enough for 12 seconds of sustained fire. Due to the less powerful rounds used, the Phalanx guns can fire on full-auto instead of in bursts. Hyper-Carbon Vernier Blades – Mounted on the arms and feet of the Hayate, these simple armament hold two purposes. First is being the main melee weapon of the Hayate, transforming simple dodges and evasive maneuvers into pirouettes of death and dismemberment, although at most it can only cripple an enemy Dragoon, due to its lack of ability to actually penetrate the ARES without destroying itself. Rather, it was built to reduce drag and improve the aerodynamics of the Hayate while in flight, so actually fighting in melee is not recommended. 4 x 65mm Smoke Grenade Launchers – Mounted on the inner shoulders of the Hayate, these old-fashioned tube-launched grenades explode into a cloud of diffractive particles, reducing the effectiveness of enemy radar as well as their energy weapons, adding to the Hayate’s elusiveness. (Optional) GZ-057 “Themis†85mm OTH Particle Lance – The Energized Particle Over-The-Horizon 85mm Energy Lance, or Themis, is more at home on a battleship than in the hands of a Dragoon. However, when mounted on these walking weapon platforms, its deadliness increases many folds. The mobility of a Dragoon combined with the devastating power of the particle lance is deadly force to be reckoned with, and many commanders have opted to use this tactic in battle to great effect. However, the weapon itself comes with many drawbacks, limiting its use in the field. Firstly, it is an extremely heavy weapons system, weighing in at over 5 tons, and secondly, not many Dragoon reactors can supply enough power to the weapon to be fired effectively. In the Hayate’s case, while it is able to lift and fly while carrying the weapon and supply it with enough power (just barely), it is forced to remove all other weapons except the Vernier blades to compensate for the weight and energy demands this beast of a weapon requires. However, once in position high above in the sky, it allows the Hayate to unleash a destructive beam from the sky in a single devastating yet surgical strike. Abilities: Auxiliary Energy Cells – Mounted in place of where spare ammo magazine would be kept for use in conventional projectile weapons, these external power cells provide the Hayate with enough energy for its weapon systems, flight and ARES. Enhanced Aerial Vernier Thrusters – Mounted on the hips of the Hayate, these are the key to its superior flight capabilities, as well as granting it extreme speed in combat. However, they guzzle energy when in operation, which is why auxiliary energy cells have to be used. ARES Kagami - Default equipment for every Dragoon produced during and after the great war. The Autonomous Regenerative Explosive-interception Suite is an active defense system consisting of an advanced sensor suite that detects all incoming projectiles, and panels of nano-material armor covering the entire surface of the Dragoon that explosively eject the surface layers of the armor to deflect or destroy them before they can even reach the Dragoon, before using nano-fabrication techniques to regenerate the lost armor. This makes Dragoons almost invulnerable to conventional anti-armor weapons like RPGs, as only sustained volumes of high-caliber fire can overwhelm the ARES and strike the enemy Dragoon itself. In addition, since the ARES destroys projectiles by essentially hurling red-hot metal shards at them, it is near-impossible to go within 100 meters of a hostile Dragoon on foot without being reduced to hamburger meat. However, the ARES is not invulnerable -- it provides no defense against (admittedly expensive, incredibly bulky and slow-firing) laser and particle beam weapons, it can be overwhelmed by massive volumes of firepower, and since Dragoons are heavily-armored enough to withstand the ARES' explosive shrapnel, Dragoons frequently dispatch each other at point-blank range using specially-reinforced melee weaponry in lieu of using ammo-hungry firearms. In addition, since the ARES system relies on active sensing to detect incoming fire, it lights up the machines in question like beacons, making stealth impossible when ARES is turned on. Since the head contains the sensors required for the ARES to work, it is by necessity more lightly armored, and head-shots can cripple a Dragoon with fewer shots and without killing the pilot. The ARES Kagami combines all this with a prototype energy dispersion shield, capable of diffusing or even outright reflecting energy rounds fired at it, although power strains make it capable of operating at only a few seconds at a time. This can be used in both defensive and supportive situations, such as reflecting an ally’s beam shot from the ground while in the air to reflect it downwards, striking distant targets that may have normally been out of reach. All-Terrain Mobility Systems -- The Hayate is equipped with jet thrusters across its chassis for bursts of acceleration and short-distance flight capabilities. In melee combat, it can also activate its jet thrusters while pointed at an enemy in a last-ditch attempt to overheat their electronics or injure their pilot. In addition, the Dragoon is equipped with supercavitation systems to allow it to move as easily under water as it can on land, making it truly an all-purpose weapon. Background: Born in Southern USA under the Phoenix Corporation’s jurisdiction, he like every other boy his age was drawn in by the fancy allure of being a Dragoon pilot. Enlisting as a proxy soldier for the Phoenix Corporation, he was only 18 when he entered his real conflict, a bloody battle known now as the Great War. The destruction and carnage he saw there scarred his mind, although his contract/debt to the Mega Corp prevented him from leaving their employ. Working hard and miraculously escaping death multiple times partly due to skill and luck, at the ripe old age of 43 he actually managed to pay off his debt, a fact that shocked many as others would have died in combat before they could finish paying up, leaving their future generation with debts. Surviving for 25 years, he left his employer, and while other sane people would have used this chance to settle down and retire, the scene of the Great War still lingered fresh in his mind, and in the end he vowed his life to make sure others would never have to go through this again. Seeking Aegis, they eagerly welcomed him due to his experience and his reputation. Rising to the rank of Master Sergeant in just 3 years, he now trains the rest of Aegis’ recruits, making sure they fully know what they’re getting into. Hayate Kai: Built for aerial superiority as fighter planes were soon phased out to make way for Dragoon research, the Hayate Kai. While air to air combat between Dragoons are rare, height advantage still plays a role even in the near future, allowing Dragoons to strike from any angle. For this task, the Hayate Kai is equipped with precision weapons, striking down enemies and providing support for their frontline troops. When equipped with the Themis, its role becomes that of heavy artillery, coordinating with ground teams to devastate even bases with a single shot. While not meant for close range combat, its twin Vernier thrusters give it unprecedented speed on the battle field, either overwhelming the opponent with fast strikes, or quickly retreating to a more advantageous position.
  12. The Scars of Magic

    Sure, I need to post on another RP before coming back to this though, so give me a while.
  13. Psychedelic Space Lounge

    Just like your mo...oh wait
  14. Farius moaned tiredly as he opened his eyes, the bright morning sunlight streaming through the windows. Rubbing his neck, he realized he wasn't sleeping on his bed, instead sitting in a rather plush armchair. No wonder his neck hurt. As a soft snoring sound alerted him, he turned to his right, only to find Saria sleeping innocently in her bed, a thin dribble of drool leaking out from her lips as he began to remember yesterday's events. Apparently, the Empress was having one of her nightmares again, and begged him to "keep the nasty monsters away". He, ever the sucker for her infamous puppy dog eyes which had even gotten her extra treats from the servants, was reluctantly dragged by his hand into her bedroom, where he had to sing her favourite song till she fell asleep which thankfully, didn't take too long. Still, Farius couldn't help but smile at Saria. Despite being the Empress, she was still very much a little girl on the inside, a fact he wished the other officials remembered. Getting up from the chair as quietly as he could, he tip-toed gently across the floor, careful not to wake the Empress. Reaching slowly for the door latch, his fingertips barely touched the handle before he heard a soft voice behind him. "Farius?" He turned around, only to find the Empress looking at him, her deep blue eyes staring deeply at him. His heart immediately dropped as he knew what she was going to say. "D-Do you really have to go?" she asked, her voice soft with a very audible hint of disappointment. Farius just smiled as he took a seat on the bed, petting her on the head. "I'm sorry Saria, but this matter requires my personal investigation. Reports say a particularly powerful witch has been sported around one of the outlying villages around our Empire." Looking downcast, Saria spoke, her voice heavy. "Please Farius," she begged, "You don't have to do this. There are other knights we can send, like-" Getting up from the bed, Farius cut her off. "I'm apologize, my Empress," he replied, "But this is something I need to take care off with my own hands." Without another word, he got up and walked towards the door. He hated being this formal with her, especially when they were in private, but he knew he wouldn't hear the end of it if he let her continue. Sometimes, he had to know when to cut her off. The plight of being a father, he mused to himself. "Wait!" He spun around as Saria got off the bed, letting out a small yelp as her feet touched the cold marble floor. "What is it, my Empress?" "...Please, stay safe." she muttered, a small smile on her face. Farius decided to permit himself a smile back at her as he closed the door. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Bariurian Skydocks. A marvel to behold in its own right, it housed Bariura's impressive naval fleet, ranging from small interceptor flyers to huge dreadnought airships, which lined the thin pathway which Farius was walking along. Taking note of the airships, to his right he could see the legendary Bismarck, a gigantic aerial carrier bristling with cannons and lined with thick armor. Responsible for many of the Empire's greatest victories, the mere sight of this majestic beast of an airship refilled the morale of the soldiers, while striking dread into its enemies as ran head first into enemy formations, soaking up incoming fire while decimating all around it. To his left was the sleek, state-of-the-art Impetus, a long destroyer lined with magitek engines, its large size hiding the fact it could easily outrun most airships of its class. Fast, manoeuvrable and agile, many opponents underestimated it as it easily strafed their larger airship and bombarded them with shell after shell. And right in front of him was the Gloria, the Empress' personal cruiser. Ornately lined with golden trim and polished to a shine, this massive airship was easily the pride of the Bariuran navy. While not as heavily armed as the Bismarck or quick as the Impetus, there was a reason why no sky pirate or even the Alvia Alliance dared to attack it, even when it travelled alone: the Empress' standard. Mounted at the top of the ship, to attack this ship was to attack the Empress herself, and anyone foolhardy enough to even attempt to try would be hunted down mercilessly, before dying an excruciating death. Today however, he would not be taking any of these grand vessels. Instead, Farius walked towards a rather innocuous carrier, the size of a small taxi, in front of which stood a rather neat looking gentleman, his uniform neatly pressed and ironed and his boots neatly polished. Running up to Farius, the man gave him a salute. "Good morning, sir!" the man greeted, pep in his voice, "Lieutenant Karl at your service, sir!" Farius gave him a quick salute in return. "At ease, lieutenant." he replied, "I take it you got my message?" "Yes sir! Once again, I can't thank you enough for choosing me for this spec-" "That's quite enough, lieutenant," chuckled Farius as he stepped into the carrier as Karl got into the pilot seat. "Your records are quite impressive, and from your test scores, you seemed like the right person for this job." To be honest, the main reason why he had chosen Karl to be his pilot for this mission was that he was rather...simple minded. Loyal, over-enthusiastic and eager, Farius was confident he wouldn't spill the beans on this mission, and even if he did, he doubted anyone would have believed him anyway. "So sir, I take it you're heading to the village of Anorith then?" Karl spoke over the vox unit as the crystal and charter symbols around the ship glowed, transferring their power to the engines as the ship slowly started rising into the air, the engines humming softly as the air magic in the glyphs displaced the air below them. "Spot on," Farius replied, grabbing the dossier file placed in the seat in front of him, which was conveniently left open, "You've read through the dossier, I assume?" "H-how did you know sir?" "Just call it a hunch, lieutenant. Tell me, what do you think of our friend here?" Farius replied, thumbing to a page titled "Neraphis Abaranth". He quickly skimmed through the page; Nicknamed the Reaper of Existence, she seemed to be a particularly dangerous witch, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Empire soldiers. "Well sir, she sure as heck looks dangerous. I don't know why you would want to go after her, but shouldn't you at least bring some reinforcements with you, sir?" "That would destroy the element of surprise," he replied without skipping a beat, closing the dossier file. "The most effective tactic against a heretic is surprise, lieutenant. Even the most powerful of spells is useless if they don't know whether you're there." ""I-Impressive!" stuttered Karl, "Just what I would expect the Empress' protector to say!" "In time lieutenant, in time." "Hey, since she's such a powerful witch, maybe you'll even meet-" Farius sighed. "-the Dusk Knight. Yes, how could I forget him slicing off Lord Barius' head in front of the Empress herself. Poor girl couldn't sleep for a week." Looking out of the window at clouds down below, he continued. "Regardless, I supposed he would come in handy in subduing the witch." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Sir! We've almost reached Anorith. 5 minutes till we land, sir!" Karls voice crackled over the vox unit as Farius grabbed a hooded cloak opposite, putting it on. It wouldn't have been wise to draw attention to himself in such a rural village, especially if he was pursuing a witch such as Neraphis. "No need, lieutenant," Farius replied, opening the ship's door as the loud roar of air entered the ship, "Pick me up from the village square in 5 hours." "But how are you goin to-" As Karl turned around, all he saw was an empty passenger seat and the ship's door wide open. "-aww crap." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dusting himself off from his landing, Farius surveyed his surroundings, the small village of Anorith a few hundred meters away in the distance. He grunted to himself as he began he hike to the village. If what the dossier said was true, he couldn't let a witch like her be running around.
  15. The Scars of Magic

    Farius would probably be more diplomatic however, so he'll probably ask you to stand down and surrender first, before he has to attack.
  16. Swarm Mystery 3: Solus Imperium [SWARM VICTORY!]

    See these 23 PhDs? These wrenches? This here 10 gallon hat? That means I'm the best engineer around. My job is to solve problems, not your philosophical ones though, practical ones like "How the gosh dang heck am I going to turn of that AI?". And them some.
  17. The Scars of Magic (Closed)

    Farius sighed as he turned around, the Dusk Knight's menacing figure blotting out the light behind him, casting a looming shadow. "The Dusk Knight," he muttered, "I really didn't know who else I would have explected. I'm fully aware that girl was a user of Free Magic, but considering I'm after a certain infamous witch, I would prefer if I didn't have to get into unnecessary fights." The Dusk Knight snorted derisively. "Sounds like cowardice and heresy to me." "I'm sorry I don't have a tireless body made out of enchanted metal. Sure would be helpful if I could kill a hundred heretics without feeling tired, hm? “Useless banter will not help us exterminate the enemies of the empire,†the Dusk Knight spoke up, his voice a flat monotone, “Let us deal with these heretics first, be they minor annoyances or power-crazed witches, then we can talk about replacing your body with living metal.†Farius rolled his eyes as he surveyed the stables. As much as he disliked the Dusk Knight, there was no greater ally than him when it came down to hunting the enemies of the empire. It was rumoured that he had slain over a hundred heretics himself, and not a single one was wrongly accused of witchcraft, almost as if he could smell and verify each one of them personally, which earned him the nickname of the Hound of the Empire, a name which struck fear into both heretics and sanctioned mages alike, for even they weren’t exempt from his judgment. If this Neraphis for as powerful as the reports said, then he would be a fool to reject his aid, no matter how brutal it was. “You there!†Farius asked, pointing to the terrified stable master, who was currently standing with his mouth agape at the gigantic suit of armor who pranced into his shop, “A couple of your finest horses, and 2 saddles.†“Y-yes sir,†replied the stable master as he fetched two black stallions, one of them a large beast easily twice the Farius himself, obviously meant for the Dusk Knight to use. As he reached into his pouch for his coin pouch, the stable master waved his hands desperately. “N-no need, s-sir, on the house, j-just for you.†Farius smiled as he mounted his horse, the Dusk Knight doing the same, his horse neighing under the the weight of his armor. “The empire thanks you for your valuable contribution,†he replied as both of them galloped forth, his companion leading the way like a bloodhound. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “All bow for her Excellency, the Empress!†The entire court, which was filled with numerous officials and nobles gave a deep bow as Saria gave a meek wave, before sitting upon the throne, an oversized (at least compared to her) chair gleaming with solid gold and countless jewels embedded in it, a testament to the empire’s wealth and power. As she glanced across the room, an elderly man stepped in behind her, his monocle gleaming in the darkness, a person who she recognized as the royal vizier, Louiseux. She couldn’t help but feel uneasy whenever he was around, especially today when Farius wasn’t around. He gave her a wry smile as the rest of the court rose, before the doors were flung wide open, a rather beaten looking man shackled in chains tossed through the door, before the guards picked him and prodded him with their spears, urging him to walk forwards before he knelt before Saria, his face filled with dirt and tears. She couldn’t help but feel sympathy for him as Louiseux read out the man’s crimes before the court. “This man, James Stilkwater of Eonia, is accused of theft, resisting arrest, and heresy for the usage of Free Magic for personal gains.†A few nobles scoffed when they heard the last charge being read, some booing him, the others turning away in disgust as he tried to hide his head in shame. “The crimes of theft and resisting arrest carry a sentence of 5 and 8 years respectively,†Louiseux continued, a slight hint of contempt in his voice, “But the act of heresy and consorting with the Ruinous Powers are crimes so great, even death is but the lightest punishment we can give you. Pray her Excellency grants you her divine mercy, lest you be hung at the gallows till death.†As he finished his speech, James began sobbing uncontrollably as the rest of the crowd jeered in approval, some calling for a harsher sentence as Saria bit her lips. She never liked giving the verdict in court, and without Farius around to advise her, this was a difficult judgment to make. Standing up, she slowly walked down the steps from the throne, the crowd quieting down as they stared at the scene unfolding before them. As she knelt before James, she gently lifted his head, his tears reflecting her emerald eyes as he blinked in confusion. “Y-yer Majesty,†he stammered, “P-please, what I did was out of d-d-desperation. Eonia was just h-hit by a hurricane, the f-fields have been r-ravaged, and e-even with the aid money, t-there’s just not enough f-food for all of us.†Saria gave a soft nod, “So, what did you do to be caught?†James gave a hard swallow before continuing. “At first, some of us tried stealing from the neighboring villages or from travelling merchants, but even that wasn’t enough to supply us with enough to eat.†“And that’s when you decided to use Free Magic?†He nodded as he faced away from Saria, too embarrassed to face her. “Aye. There was a lady who visited us. She told use about the ways of Free Magic, and how it could save us from this plight. Being a good citizen, we all were suspicious of her, but we were all starving, and some of the older folks had just keeled over and died. Desperate, I tried casting a simple spell she taught us and, miracles be damned, that old fruit tree which was uprooted in the storm? It started sprouting fruits like it was summer! I figured that I could help the rest of the village, I could grow enough food for everyone!†He sighed as he continued. “That’s when the inquisitors came. I was overzealous in my application of the magic and was caught. I promise, yer Majesty, we only did so because we had no choice.†She nodded as she got up, facing a rather voluptuous lady dressed in the finest silks and fabrics, a person she recognized as Treasurer Erith. “Treasurer,†she asked, her voice soft yet firm, “How much did we supply to aid Eonia after the hurricane?†Erith yawned boredly, her numerous gold bangles jangling noisily, “Your Majesty, I assure you, we were very generous with our donation.†“And how much exactly did we donate?†“Like I said, more than enough of what a simple peasant deserves,†replied Erith, “500 gil for their entire village. They should be thankful for this donation.†Nodding, she turned down to face James. “And how big is the population of Eonia?†“Used to be a couple of hundred, ma’am. Now we’re down to just barely a hundred.†Saria looked horrified. “That’s barely 5 gil per person! Treasurer, what’s happening here?†Rolling her eyes, Erith replied, her eyes boredly dismissing the situation. “These are peasants, your Majesty, not elites and nobles like us. They are resourceful folk, 5 gil should be more than enough for them.†Saria grit her teeth. Deep down, she knew that was hardly enough to feed the mouths of a hundred villagers, let alone afford repairs. “Tell me,†she asked, “How much have we allocated for Memorial Day next month?†“50,000 gil. We’ve hired the finest performers, imported Narubian lilies, your mother’s favourite might I add, 300 doves to be released, and…†“Halve it, and donate the remainder to Eonia.†Erith’s eyes widened. “Your Majesty, Memorial Day is the day where we pay respect to the late Empress Maria. To use anything else besides the best would be an insult to her fair name!†Saria was unshakened. She would not see her mother’s name be used to justify leaving her citizens to suffer. “That was not a request, that was an order,†she replied, “I do not think my mother would want to see her own citizens starving and suffering while thousands of gil are used to celebrate her.†“But…but…†Erith silently cursed as she bowed before Saria. It was useless to argue with her in the court, especially with the rest of the room watching. “As you wish your Majesty, 25,000 gil will be given in aid of Eonia.†James himself gave a big cheer as knelt before Saria, bowing repeatedly. “Thank you, your Majesty,†he wept, “I, no, Eonia thanks you for this aid.†“Ahem.†A loud voice came from the back as a rather portly man elbowed his way to the front, a man whom she recognized as Grand Magus Oddum, the head of all sanctioned mages in the Bariura Empire. “There is still a matter of his heresy of using Free Magic. We all know about what Free Magic leads to, and to use it is to invite the Ruinous Powers.†“They had no other choice, Grand Magus, they were starving to death, without any form of magic to help them.†Oddum scoffed. “That is no excuse. Our own sanctioned mages are capable of enhancing the land, like we do with the farms around the capital. They should have asked for our help, and we would have gladly helped them.†This time James interjected, anger growing in his voice. “Aye, we asked, but there was no reply. We were ignored, left to die while you mages float an orb or somethin’.†“Please, enough, both of you,†Saria spoke, before turning back to Oddum. “Why couldn’t our mages help Eonia?†she asked, “It’s only barely a day’s trip away by carriage.†“Well…I…uh…†Oddum racked his mind for a suitable excuse, “We…were short on manpower. With the Alvia Alliance attacking from the south, almost all our mages were sent to the frontlines to aid our brave troops in battle.†Saria paused. “If that’s the case, why don’t we teach simple Charter Magic to the people? That way they are able to help themselves if needed to.†Oddum almost choked. “Your Excellency, they are but mere peasants. Are you really considering granting them the ability to use Charter Magic? They could plan a revolt, or even-†“The ‘peasants’ are the ones who need it the most, Grand Magus,†she cut him off, her voice firm with authority, “I say we should at least teach them basic Charter Magic, magic that could help them with their lives.†Oddum, just like Erith, silently cursed as he bowed. “As you wish, Your Excellency.†A clapping sound came from behind them as Louiseux descended the steps. “I’m happy we all came to an agreement,†he said, his voice almost jovial, “But there is still a matter of his punishment. No matter how you view it, your Excellency, he still committed crimes against the Empire. Now, what is your verdict for this poor soul?†Saria gazed down towards James, who once again started shaking in fear. “James Stilkwater,†she began, her voice firm and strong, “Your crimes against the Empire are grave, and with just that, I would have you sentenced to death for your sins.†Pausing she resumed, this time her much more gentle. “However, in light of your situation, I am willing to offer you a lighter sentence.†There was an almost audible gasp in the audience as she continued. “We are currently at war with the Alvia Alliance, and we are ever seeking new recruits for our army. With the power vested in me as Empress, I sentence you to 50 years of service with the Bariurian penal company.†A big smile broke out on James’ face as he had to restrain himself from hugging his merciful Empress. “T-Thank you, your Majesty,†he answered as the guards came over to fetch him, “I promise, I will serve as a faithful soldier of the Empire! Sieg Bariura!†--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Accursed girl!†Erith’s voice rang throughout the room as a teacup was hurled, smashing against the wall and shattering. “That little brat must thinking money grows on trees,†she fumed, “Wasting our hard earned money on commoners? Bah, they know barely anything more than eating, sleeping, farming and fucking!†“Watch your language, Erith,†came Oddum's voice from the other end of the room, who was currently seated a table, his hand clasped together. “You think I like any of this either? Giving Charter Magic to the common folk? What if they organize a rebellion? What if they attempt to take the law into their own hands?†“Calm down, the both of you.†A third voice entered the room as Louiseux entered the room. “Our plan is almost complete. Farius fell for that little piece of information I left him.†“Hmph, I should hope so,†pouted Erith as she poured three glasses of sherry, “I swear, that man’s been a horrible influence to the Empress. She’s been getting more and more decisive lately, not to mention getting filled with all those silly notions of equality. Why, I miss the days when the girl was too scared to even use the washroom alone.†“So, when do we make our move then?†Oddum asked, tapping impatiently on the table. “Tomorrow, at the stroke of midnight. My men have all been briefed, and all has planned out.†Raising his glass, he toasted as Erith and Oddum joined him. “Soon, Bariura will have a new leader, and a new future. Sieg Bariura!â€
  18. Swarm Mystery 3 [Signup Thread]

    Muh privileges!
  19. NC-17 Thirteen Traitors

    Amon lay on the floor, panting deeply as he noted the arrow stuck in the wall were his head was merely a fraction of a second ago. Unmelding from the shadows as black, sticky ichor dripped from his hands, he noticed Banford had turned to engage Clarence, who had now engaged in witty banter with him, forcing the archer away as Amon joined his assault. Now a two against one, the older Banford was put on the defensive as both them rained blades of steel upon him, the magical wood easily withstanding their blows as he was pushed back. "I have qualms against you, old man," remarked Amon as he swung his blade low (which Banford predicted and blocked with ease), "After all, I can hardly blame the loyalty of a dog who merely follows his master's orders." "A filthy scamp like you calling me a dog?" Banford laughed as he lashed out with a spinning kick, sending both of them flying backwards as he nocked a glowing arrow. "Pathetic, the both of you. Disappear from my sight at once." Releasing the shot, time seemed to slow down as the enchanted arrow flew towards the both of them, the tip glowing a dangerous red. Gripping his arms tightly around the surprised Clarence, he whispered a couple of words into his ear. "Hang tight." Falling backwards into the shadows, the shadows twisted as an inky black consumed both of them, melding them into the shadows as the arrow exploded above them, tearing apart the hallway in a explosion of wooden splinters and glass shards. Almost as he was resurfacing from a lake, he pushed himself and Clarence out of the shadows, finding themselves in the spacious lobby of the mansion, albeit with a gaping hole in the ceiling. He could hear Banford already making his way downstairs, intent on finishing them off. "Clarence," he spoke, his eyes darting to a hanging chandelier, "Can you hold him off for 30 seconds while I get into position? One good strike at his neck, and I'll make sure the favor is returned." Without waiting for a reply, he dashed towards the wall, nimbly scaling it as Banford's footsteps approached closer and closer...
  20. The Scars of Magic

    Just letting you all know, I have NOT abandoned this RP. I'm just really busy this week, and I have 1 more RP to post in before this, so pardon my supposed lack of presence.
  21. [Discussion] Thirteen Traitors (Closed)

    I just finished a god in the machine post, gimme some time D:
  22. God Inside The Machine

    Licking her lips, Pharos held Gambanteinn in her hands, idly flipping the pages. "I like my subjects when they resist, Mr Winter," she spoke, her heels clicking on the on the floor as she approached him, "What I do not like however, is when they badmouth me. And I do believe you owe me for that one, don't you pet?" The next second played out in slow motion, as Noah drew his katana, the blade already halfway to her throat. Before it could make contact with her however, it was immediately parried by one of the Novus Freyja’s bits, its energy blade grinding against Tyrfing in a shower of sparks. Pulling back, Noah readied himself, before striking out repeatedly with lightning fast slashes, each one countered perfectly by Pharos’ energy blades, each bit moving into the path of each slash with measured precision. She simply laughed at the small lightshow taking place in front of her, not having moved an inch since the battle started. “You are fast, Mr Winter,†chortled Pharos as her suit analyzed the battle in front of her, her monocle-visor recording every of Noah’s slashes, “But there is nothing faster than the mind of an Alfar. The Novus Freyja was designed as both a testbed for the Apex Valkyrie, as well as to take advantage of the sheer brilliance of an Alfar mind. Compared to my Aesir, you might as well be donning 21st century body armor.†Noah simply snorted as he sheathed Tyrfing in its saya, crouching low as he aimed himself at Pharos. “Oh? Giving up already? I suppose you do know when to-“ Before she could complete her sentence, Noah dashed forwards, his blade launched outwards by the firing mechanism. Faster than the bits could react, he wove around them, effortlessly dodging them as he made a beeline for his target: Pharos. His blade glowing red hot, he brought the blade down upon her, a shower of sparks erupting as he sliced against the Aesir, ending up behind her. There was no way anyone would survive th- “Was that all?" He spun around. There was no way he missed his strike. And yet, there she stood, still alive as ever, her Aesir glowing where he had struck her against her abdomen, before fading away slowly. “Like I said, your suit is nothing like mine,†she spoke, brushing herself off, “You never actually stood a chance.†“Shut your mouth, Alfag,†spat Noah angrily, “How did you survive that?†Grinning, she clenched her fist, a soft glow coating the length of her arm, the same one he saw after he had slashed her earlier. “Nanomachines, human.†she smirked as the glow faded away, “They harden in response to physical trauma. Unlike other Aesirs, which are made out of such primitive materials like fibres or metal, mine is made from 100% nanomachines, allowing it to suit any purpose or need. Now, I do believe it’s my turn, yes?†Opening Gambanteinn up, the pages started flipping by itself as a soft purple glow enveloped it, sparks slowly rising from the floor. “Now, prepare your-†The intercom started beeping again as Pharos threw her hands up in the air. “For crying out loud!†she muttered, giving Noah a glare as she slumped into her seat. “Computer,†she droned, “Answer call.†A rather young looking man with long white hair appeared on the monitor, his eyes mysteriously glowing, giving him a rather ominous look as he crossed his fingers, his glare fixated on the camera without any emotion. He would have made Pharos suspicious if she didn’t already know who he was. “Baldur.†She spoke, her voice deadpan, “What a coincidence you called. Did you send one of your operatives to, ahem, “kick me in the nutsâ€?†“Mr Winter acted on his own free will,†he replied, adjusting his spectacles, “While normally I would leave his punishment to you as according to protocol, I require him back at the office. Our operatives have located the Apex Valkyrie, along with LOKI members.†“LOKI?†Pharos’ eye narrowed. “So even they have found out about the suit and the girl. Brilliant, so much for confidentiality.†She threw her hands up in defeat. “I suppose it’s better for both of us if I let him off now. And next time Baldur, if you want me to cover your ass, have the decency to tell it to me first. Good engineers are hard to come by these days.†“…I will make a note of it, Director. Now if you please, send him off. It would be in our best interests if the Aesir didn't fall into LOKI’s hands.†Sighing, she turned off the monitor as she gave a half-hearted look at Noah. “Man, what a spoilsport,†she remarked, “But you heard the man, didn’t you? Go on, scram. Shoo.â€
  23. [Discussion] Thirteen Traitors (Closed)

    I'm probably still with him in the house though, fighting him.
  24. God Inside The Machine

    Pharos' eye twitched as she saw the Aesir speed off into the distance, easily clearing multiple city blocks in a single leap, before landing on the of a metro train as it sped away into a tunnel. In less than a minute, she had just both found and lost the Apex Valkyrie. Before she could even say anything, Noah simply laughed, mocking as he bumped into her, sending teetering into a nearby pipe as he walked away. "You...you..." She pointed at him before giving up. She was way too angry to say anything logical at this time, so she simply settled for a death glare. "WHAT ARE YOUR ORDERS, MA'AM?" The droids behind her beeped, holstering their weapons. "We head back to M.I.M.I.R. I have to do some paperwork on our little thief here." "AFFIRMATIVE." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Pharos sighed as she flipped through the pages of reports on the suspect, before reclining in her chair. If O.D.I.N. was good at anything, it was digging up dirt on anyone, even someone as insignificant as this Mephis Ragnor girl. Born in the Ostheim district, she was pretty much the textbook example of the poor in Midgard. Oppressed, rough and probably unsanitary. Still, for her to actually be able to move so naturally in an Aesir for the first time without any formal training was astounding. Even Pharos was shocked as she easily outsped the droids chasing her. She paused for a second. "Computer," she asked, "Display all results of the Apex Valkyrie tests." Her monitor soon filled with pages of data, all listing the results of over a 100 test subjects, some voluntary, some forced. All were used as test pilots for the Aesir, to push the limits of how far they could drive themselves to the suit's full potential. Only 1 line caught Pharos' attention. Results show a 100% fatality rate for all subjects. Cause of deaths: Combined mental and physical overload from Aesir neural feedback. Conclusion: Further tests needed. Interesting. And yet this girl, a seemingly normal human, not only survived, but even managed to perform beyond what the subjects in the test could handle. Some of the subjects were even veteran pilots from O.D.I.N. "Just what are you, Miss Ragnor..." mused Pharos to herself as she closed the reports. Sure, no doubt she had to get the suit back, but this girl was giving her results she had never seen before. She was even tempted to just let her have the suit...Pharos shook such thoughts out of her head. There was not a chance in Muspellheim that she was handing a multi-billion dollar suit to some commoner. "Computer, send a message to Commander Baldur." she spoke, as the computer began recording, "Tell them I want that girl on an operation table within a week. I want to see what makes her tick. End message." Now there was the other matter to deal with, a supposed software glitch when one of M.I.M.I.R.'s machines went out of control that afternoon, destroying a factory in the Brokk district. Pharos rolled her eyes as she read the news report, blaming M.I.M.I.R. technicians for failing a safety check. "That inbred Baldur," she cursed, "What year does he think this is? The 23rd century? Software doesn't "just" glitch. If he wants me to cover up for him, at least have the decency to tell it to my face." Crumpling the piece of paper up and tossing it into the bin, she looked out of the window. It was a dull grey over the city, signalling it was currently an evening cycle. She yawned as she poured herself another cup of Darjeeling. It was a long day today, and it was time she got some well deserved res- The intercom button started beeping as Pharos slammed her fist on the table. Couldn't she catch a break? "Computer, answer call." she growled. Whoever was it that interrupted her had better have a good reason. "M-Ma'am, this is Tristan speaking, I-" "What is it, Tristan," she hissed, "This better be good." "Uh, t-there's an intruder in the building. He claims that he's looking for you and uh...wants to punch you in the dick?" Pharos' eyes widened. "Call back the droid security team." she spoke, "I will take care of this. That will be all." As Tristan ended the call, she spoke up again. "Computer, access security cameras visual feeds. Activate facial recognition program 8A." "AFFIRMATIVE. IDENTIFYING...IDENTIFYING COMPLETE. SUBJECT IS NOAH WINTER, AGE 21. AFFILIATION: O.D.I.N." Pharos smirked. At least she would get her revenge today. Opening a drawer, she fished around in it, as the elevator started moving upwards towards the 80th floor. "Now where did I put it..." DING. 20th floor. "Ah, there we go." She pulled out what seemed to be a futuristic pistol, plated in gold. A las-pistol, designed a few years after the ban on projectile weapons was placed into effect. Both compact and deadly, it was the premier choice of sidearm for those wealthy enough to afford it. Its strengths were its deadly effects on bare flesh, as well as travelling as fast as...well, light. DING. 40th floor. Pharos whistled as she slid a battery pack into it. The las-pistol responded with a soft hum. DING. 60th floor. She flexed her wrist as she tested its weight in hands. It was years since she held a pistol. DING. 80th floor. She could already hear footsteps already approaching her door. Just as the door was rammed open, Pharos aimed the pistol straight at Noah's face. "Mr Winter. A man of action I see," she chuckled, keeping the sights on him, "You and I could get along very well. Did you know, Mr Winter, that M.I.M.I.R is out of O.D.I.N.'s jurisdiction? That means, the moment you stepped into this building and barged into my office without permission, you are now my possession~" She said the last part almost singing. "Anyway, since I'm such a generous lady, I'll give you a choice. Which do you prefer, Mr Winter, lobotomy, or.." she lowered the pistol, aiming it at his crotch. "...Sterilization?"
  25. NC-17 Thirteen Traitors

    The children. The thought of them lingered in Amon's mind as he snuck through the brambles. Emily and Heathcliff, the only remaining children of Duchess Loussier. He remembered them fondly in his mind, which was why he chose to disregard Donovan's plan and secure the children. He was but a young whelp at the time when his mistress took him in, and both siblings seemed rather afraid of him, and rightly so. After all, he lacked the grace and discipline of the rest of the knights back then. As time went by however, they would be one of his closest friends, due to him being the youngest of the knight. Often at times, they would sneak him treats from the kitchen when he was forbidden to eat them on his training, and in return, he would regale them with tales and plights from the seedy underbelly of the city, things that people as privileged as them would never have imagined. And yet, here they were, forced to work as indentured servants to repay the sins of their parents. Amon laughed at the cruel irony as he scaled the mansion's wall, easily flicking the window latch open with his epieu as he entered the hallway silently. "Third floor, right wing," he muttered to himself as he snuck down the corridors, the shadows accepting him as one of their own as he silently moved past door after door, before coming to a stop outside a door. From the inside, he could hear a soft sobbing sound; a female's to be exact. "Emily?" he whispered, lightly rapping on the door. "Is that you?" "P-please, n-no more, Master B-Banford," a tortured wail came from inside the room, "Please, j-just let me s-sleep tonight..." Amon's eyes widened. Without sparing a second, he rammed the door, the old hinges giving way as he stumbled into the room. In a dimly lit corner sat a young girl clad in rags, no older than fifteen, cradling her knees, tears dripping from her eyes as she looked towards Amon, his face illuminated by the flickering light of a lantern. "W-Who are you?" Emily asked, her voice shaking and fearful. "Emily!" replied Amon, quickly crouching down towards her, "It's me, Amon? Don't you remember? The street rat?" For a moment, Emily just stared unblinking at him. “N-No, it can’t be,†she mumbled, “You’re supposed to be dead. Amarant killed you along with mama and everyone else! I can’t…this…it…it really is you, isn’t it, Amon?†Emily’s eyes widened as she finally realized what was happening. “Yes, it’s me Emily,†whispered Amon as he cradled the poor girl, “Just what the hell did they do to you?†“Banford, he…he…†Emily couldn’t continue as she broke down in tears as Amon grit his teeth. If he was in his younger, more impulsive years, he would have immediately dropped any semblance of discipline and go after Banford, but he now knew better. His priority was their safety, and he wasn’t going to risk them getting hurt for a chance at revenge. “Emily,†he whispered, “Do you know where Heathcliff is?†Emily nodded, crying her tears as Amon helped her up. “Good,†he continued, “I want you to get him, and quickly find a way to the main gate. Donovan and the rest are there, they should be able to protect you better than I can.†“Donovan? He’s alive too? Who else is-“ “No time, move now!†he quickly pat Emily on the back as she nodded, dashing through the hallway. Turning around, Amon sighed as he drew his glaive, holding it in a defensive pose. “I know you’re there, Banford. Show yourself.†There was a slow clap as a man walked out of the shadows, his armor emblazoned with Amarant’s crest, alongside a nocked bow. “Perceptive and sensible, whelp,†Banford mocked as he aimed his bow at Amon, “I see Loussier taught you well. Unfortunately, all your training has come to naught. I’m not sure how you’re still alive, but allow me to rectify that.†Amon grit his teeth as Banford let loose the arrow at him, the vicious steel tip flying straight at him…