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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
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Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(Being dead sucks. When you're alone, and it's just game over, it makes sense, because maybe you weren't careful or didn't prepare well enough. These things happen. But in a group, that didn't matter much. You could...take one for the team, and that'd be alright, so long as an end was achieved. In the middle of it, though, the whole ghosting thing was kind of...annoying. Nothing you can do. No equipment-checks, not weapon practice, no special funny stuff aside from "Whoo, I'm a ghost!" business. It gets old pretty fast. Now, Canti didn't like it for three reasons at this time. {1} No cigarettes. We know these things aren't suppose to have an effect, but being in the game changed that, so not having 'em for the wait pisses him off. {2} He couldn't help out. As long as he was a ghost, he didn't have a purpose or degree of use. That was especially annoying. And then, finally... {3} NO SELF-RESURRECTION! This may have been just Canti's opinion, but he doubted it: If you have resurrecting spells or items, you should be able to use them on yourself. People say that if you die, you weren't skillful enough. That's a load of bull. Any system that has res-items HAS TO count that as useful preparation. Bringing yourself back to life should be possible.)

Canti: I wonder if I can get some cooperation from my infection on that...

Dead, huh?

Canti: Only in spirit, Rey.

Better hope not.

Canti: Why not?

From where I stand, that's the only part you have left.

(You could see the Twin Blade facepalm, ghost or not.)

Canti: Good point.

Just keeping things in perspective.

Canti: Rey, I'm thinking really hard. Is my middle finger extending?

Nope.

Canti: Damn.

(So much for that. It was at that moment that Canti realized two things. First, people might hear him talking to himself, because Reyome's voice was only in his head. Hopefully, they wouldn't think he had DPD. Second...Lighteria resurrected him! Canti immediately set his hand to fire off a volley of Darkness Flame pulses at the Archer guy and...PFFFT. A second later, he remembered that you start out with no SP, which rendered his ability useless right now. Just as he was digging out a Mage's Soul, though - "No, please don't eat me, Mr. Canti! I'll grant you three wishes and- AAAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!" - things began to happen, very very cool things. He wasn't the only one trying to create an opening for Raquar. And in the end, he also wasn't the only one that lost their life doing it. Canti attempted to use a Resurrect on Suzaku, not knowing if he could do that to other people's pets or not. It was worth a try, and besides...Sheena suddenly had Mr. Lab Coat in a bind! Sheena was...more than impressive. The Fist Fighter edge of it gave him this impression of her Hulking Out, especially when you considered how easily she pinned this guy, demanding his key. The bastard managed to break free while damaging himself in the process and struck Nighthand hard with an earth-spike arrow. Canti was about to go after him, but that was when the other really cool thing happened. What was...that noise? Suddenly, the Twin Blade noticed Raquar switching on the weird-ass gun-device and pointing it at the fleeing archer. It seemed to weaken him, do a great deal of damage to the user of the machine, but the results... Oh, the results... A strange energy, one that Canti could only dub as Twilight energy, flowed out of the gun and caught the Archer perfectly. The attack did as suspected. It forced his items out...painfully. This HAD TO be what they used on Nall, because even that guy would be downed by a sucker like this. The Archer was down, but so was Raquar. He'd been ghosted, somehow. Canti headed his way to check up on him.)

Canti: Nice shot, man. Sorry my uhh distraction wasn't all that big. Never fought an Archer before.

(The Long Arm groaned.)

"Yeah. Me either really. Though, I suggested we take the bastard alive. Maybe all four switches was a little overkill."

Canti: Looked like just enough kill to me. You alright? What happened?

"Gun Recoil. Shit hits like a herd of stampeding elephants."

Canti: You mean it's suppose to kill you for using it? Or did it just overpower you?

(What Canti was trying to determine here was whether that was a normal effect or a weird malfunction. See, if it was normal, then it was a patterned risk that they could be ready for, prepare to deal with in future cases. But...if it was malfunctioning, then it could be hazardous to them all, maybe even thoroughly lethal in the Twilight Virus kill-you factor. It paid to keep everything in perspective.)

"Well, using the shit drains your SP completely, and leaves you with a singular point of health, so any recoil at all will kill you essentially. The fact that it slammed me into the wall probably didn't help."

Canti: And that's at a full burst? Wow. Wonder if that's the same for a higher-level... Errr...what level are you, anyway?

(For a moment, he seemed unsure, actually.)

"Twenty . . . One. Yep. Twenty One."

(Canti nodded at this. He was currently twenty-nine himself.)

Canti: Okay... I'm in the twenties myself, so I'll assume the risk is close to same. Uhhh...I can't target you for some reason. Can't Res ya. You mind if I carry this for a while?

(That looked like a nod from the ghost followed, then.)

"Truth to be told, I'm not terribly surprised. Yeah, take if for a spin if you like."

(Excellent! If Canti's eyes weren't deep black pits without pupils or irises, you could swear they just lit up. Picking the gun up with some care to inspecting it, the Twin Blade then asked...)

Canti: Just to be sure, how do you work this thing? We might need it before you recover.

(Translation: "I would really like to fire this thing, but I don't want to explode in the process for lack of understanding of the mechanism.", but you folks can understand that. An unfamiliar device with possibly deadly repercussions while in use. He wanted to see if there was a mode that didn't put him in the same boat. Granted, full power had done the trick, but Raquar didn't want to hurt himself using it.)

"Flip the bigger switch and hold it in the on position. The four smaller switches are what power. All four is full power, two is half, one is a quarter and so on. Once you reach the power level desired let go of the big switch."

(Wow. That settled it. This was a devastating slot machine. The Vegas Vindicator. Pull the lever for a jackpot and maybe you won't get jacked up in the process.)

Canti: Thanks. By the way ummm...you seem pretty good with machines and stuff, the way you went through the lab. Any prior training?

"Not really. I have a good head on my shoulders every once in a while and go from there really. Nothin' mechanic like you. I was in high school, aiming to become an engineer but . . . That was another lifetime ago."

(The Twin Blade nodded at this.)

Canti: It's funny how you miss all that. I didn't exactly like my life that much 'till I ended up like this. Guess it puts things in perspective, huh?

"Yeah that's for certain. At least you know if we ever go back it'll be different. I didn't like mine much either but now I'd be damned if I didn't turn it into something I enjoyed."

Canti: I think I'm gonna enjoy some revenge, myself.

(He patted the gun.)

Canti: This baby is gonna make their lives a living hell.

(He was, of course, referring to the Elites and their hacker-minions. Knocking one of THEM out with this thing would be WORTH the ghosting.)

"We're hoping so. Hope you have better luck with it than I did."

Canti: We'll see. I bet you anything that Raine takes it off me and I never get the chance to tinker. Still, you never know...

"Worth a shot I suppose."

Canti: Yyyup. Well, I'm gonna go check on our screw-up Archer-guy and see what's what with him.

"Mmkay. Hopefully he's still alive. Seems like he might be useful."

(Canti only snickered maliciously, walking off. He might not have too many healthy plans for this guy... Hauling the gun, the winged Twin Blade headed over to where the lab coat guy had fallen, humming the opening theme to Nerima Daikon Brothers. He watched the items floating around him and though... Hadn't he seen this somewhere before? Maybe it was deja vu, but he could've sworn that somebody else they'd beaten in a fight or something ended up like this once. He scratched his head, trying to remember, but in the end he just couldn't think of it. The Twin Blade made to yoink the items out of their floating position, but as he suspected with the deja vu feeling, he wasn't able to grasp any of the things there. Canti kicked the guy, experimentally. Well...he existed, but his foot phased right through. He tried talking.

Canti: Hey. Wake up.

(He nudged the guy a bit more with his foot, but his lack of response and substance quickly got on his nerves. Canti suddenly sprouted horns, spikes and claws as his body glistened with a terrifying blackness.)

Canti: Wake up, Dr. Killpatient. It's time for your examination...

(That...didn't seem to get any action out of him either, so even his infected demonic temper gave up for now. The Twin Blade considered giving him another jolt from the machine, just in case he wasn't 'done' or something, but he considered that a likely stupid idea. He should AT LEAST wait and see if Nighthand or Sheena had the skills to pry the stuff off of him, and even after that...this gun should only be used in emergencies, like the unreasonable delay this guy was putting on their rescue operations. Okay, maybe that did make him worth a second shot. But hey... If he work up and was feeling unreasonable, it would be better to threaten him first, and THEN zap him with the gun...maybe at half-power. For now, Canti merely kept the Extractor trained on the Archer, out of arm's reach and just far enough to dodge a quick shot if necessary.)

OOC: Sorry, Raquar, but the color you provided didn't translate into the system, so it came out black. Also, I just thought I'd give the gun a name or just something to call it besides 'that weird-ass gun-thing'. May as well, unless a better term exists.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:00 am 
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Sheena quickly repaired the damage to her arm, a Repth being more than enough to heal the cut. She almost immediately started to charge the lab tech with another fist balled up, but was stopped by the firing of the gun.

It was at once beautiful and horrendous. A globe of light and something that wasn’t light, forming at the end of the gun. It drew all eyes in its magnificence, all eyes save for those of Sheena. She had seen such energy before, and even as the gun caught its prey in bladed mandibles, she knew the force it contained. Would that she could stop it, and turn the gun away, prevent anyone from using it again. But she knew the power it held would be taken by one side or another, and better it be theirs.

When the metaphorical dust cleared, Sheena moved to inspect the half-present ghost of the lab tech. When she determined he could not be touched, she turned to his items. The coat, in particular.

A small circle appeared on the back of her right hand, and thin lines of metal extended from it along the backs of her fingers, to her fingertips. Her fingertips sparked in a color that wasn’t a color, and she reached out and grabbed the coat.

Immediately it fell to her hand, and she rifled through the pockets until she found what it was she needed.

”The key for the second wing. It’s more data than physical key…” She trailed off, looking at the coat in her hand, before she put it back. A twist and it floated once again.

”Raquar I’m sorry but I don’t know how long until we’ll be able to revive you. At least you’re not as messed up as he is, though.” She gestured at the lab tech. ”I’m not sure what state he’s in, but he’s certainly not alive. Neither is he dead. He’ll probably recover and survive, especially if his assistant or supervisor finds him and has mercy, but there’s nothing I can do for him here. I can at least say he won’t come after us.”

She turned to the back wall and noticed that the shield that once held the Titan’s Armor was no longer active. The armor itself simply rested on the ground where it fell. Still with her wired hand, she picked up the armor, and stuffed it into her inventory. It disappeared, and she doubted anyone would object after seeing what had happened to the previous player who tried. Without another word she turned and strode out of the room, to open the end of the other wing, and face whatever waited for them there.

On his way out, Nighthand noticed something odd. Dien, looking like he was going into the room, only not moving. It looked for all the world like lag. His voice, too, was skipping and stuttering. Bemused, he clapped the man on the shoulder, pulling him out of place, hoping it would pull him out of it.

Very suddenly the lag seemed to cut out of his voice, introducing sudden urgency and volume into the otherwise silent procession, "...on my life that I will..." that quickly returned to normal. Dien stood for a moment, blinking as he shifted his stare first to the keypad, then to the doorway, and then to the man whose hand rested on his shoulder.

"What just happened?" he asked, his voice bearing concern and confusion.

”Not really sure about you, but we dealt with a pesky lab technician and reclaimed one of the Twilight Items Nall had. What’s up? Lag isn’t very common for those of us not using computers.”

"I...don't rightly know," he said, "it didn't feel like I was lagging at all, more like the door opened, and boom: everything went white, and Danielle...." his voice trailed off and his brow furrowed, "you don't know about her, though." Rolling his head from side to side, he turned about. "Only ones who have any clue about her are Zan and Futune. Futune was fortunate enough to lag out of Suraisu's death quest, and Zan's vanished into thin air it seems."

Another pause, another frustrated sigh as he gathered his wits, and he went on. "So what exactly was behind the door I opened?"

”Pretty much an empty room. Two guys and the Titan’s Armor. One guy tried to put the armor on, got pretty messed up when he couldn’t handle it, and the other guy decided to try to kill us. He was an archer and it was pretty hard to get close to him, but enough distractions and Raquar managed to shoot him with that gun. Speaking of, he’s Ghosted and can’t be resed. The lab tech seems to be in a state that’s between ghost and life, and can’t be touched, talked to, or anything.”

He looked down the corridor at the team as they filed out, noting Canti and the Minigun Deathray of Doom, and figured that it was probably what he was talking about.

"That's odd," he said, considering the possibilites for another moment, "did Senna try resing Raq or getting the lab tech to respond? I know she's got some kind of phasing ability that she keeps trying to hide for no good reason..."

”No, but, I doubt it’d do any good. Sheena said she couldn’t do anything with it, so… I guess time will tell.”

"It always does," he replied, a thought occuring to him in an instant, "hey, any word as to how these guys' messenger is doing? If I remember right, Marionette had said something about him bringing an Elite back with him..."

”No word. We’re just racing against time. That, or hoping we can beat whoever shows up…”

"True that," Dien replied, finally beginning to follow the group, "would you do me the favor of slapping me out of it should that happen again? In these circumstances, as I'm sure you probably know better than me, none of us can afford to lose focus even for a minute."

”I’ll keep and eye out and see what I can do.”

"Appreciate it."

And just like that, they were in the room that once held a vicious battle, and now held only a sealed door. Sheena approached it and pressed her hand to it, and it started to slide aside. She stepped back and watched.

The door opened on three things. A cape hanging in a glowing cylinder exactly like the one that held the armor in the previous room, first of all. Secondly, the half-earthen creature that they had watched flee the previous room was standing next to the cape. Thirdly, a figure that looked more like a doll than anything, dressed in tufted red and blue clothing. It hung inert on the wall.

The half-rock, half-man creature looked at the party and let out an animal growl, then reached for the cape. The column of light receded and he donned the cape. Blue light pulsed and the creature’s arm exploded in a blast of water. When it cleared, the cape was once more hanging and the creature was gone. The doll was sprawled on the floor.

Sheena stepped forward, and the doll twitched. It spasmed and bent, then rolled to its feet. A few spastic moments later, and it was standing, threatening them with its fake-looking construction. Half red, and half blue, it twitched constantly, but was otherwise stationary. Still, it stood between them and the cape.

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 Post subject: Part 10
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:42 pm 
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Exalted Player
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:59 am
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Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
It was brilliantly white, warm, and flowed from the door that had opened faster than he could keep track of, blinding him before he could get another thought out in words.

“Guys?” he asked, trying to see if anyone else was with him in this haze, or if the hackers had decided to throw them a bit of isolation treatment to break their spirits. There was no response, and moving his arms and legs yielded no touch. Odd, he thought, looking down to see that even his own form was hidden from him from the waist down.

Dien?” he heard from behind him, “is it really you?” His heartbeat resounded, and he turned quickly. He knew the voice all too well, and as the light slowly began to dim, it revealed none other than Danielle, standing tall in an elegant gown which fell to the floor in a shimmering dark blue. Evening gloves adorned her arms, advertising the youth and delicate intricacy that they contained, and her hair was pulled up behind her head with a single dark bang hanging down in front, following the curve of her left cheek. The blademaster’s smile vanished as awe overtook his form.

“D-danielle?!” he asked, stunned, but at the same time excited at the mere prospect of her return. She nodded quickly, her eyes misting as a smile overcame her face. Without another word, Dien ran to her, meeting her in an embrace that had yet been matched in his lifetime. Her small body was warm—it felt good to be able to hold her again. “God, I’ve missed you!” he said, feeling the tears forming in his own eyes as well.

I know,” she replied, “these past weeks have been hell for me…” Her voice broke off into sobs that wracked her whole body, and he simply held her closer, pulling her head to his shoulder and holding it there gently as the tears flowed.

“That’s all different now,” he said after a moment, “I’m here, you’re here. None of what’s happened matters.” She smiled, the tears not quite halted.

I know,” her arms folded upwards, grasping him tighter in their embrace. In that moment, time stood still, and perfection was realized. Her sobs started again, though, and it was all Dien could do to hold her close.

“Hey,” he said tenderly, “what’s wrong? I’ve got you, and I’m not letting go.”

That’s just it,” she said brokenly, “this isn’t real.” What? Of course it was real…wasn’t it? It had to be real. He was here, she was here, they were together, and nothing else mattered. Except how did this come to be?

All at once, she was torn from his grasp, and he could only watch helplessly as her body was dragged from some unseen force into the darkness that had overcome the light that had started this whole sequence.

“DANIELLE!” he shouted, running after her as his whole body became alight with flame, carrying him yet faster after her, his mind very quickly becoming enraged. From everywhere at once, a dark laughter erupted in a voice that had too quickly been forgotten.

Not so fast, Wing.” Before he could even think about it, he’d collided with the girl’s form, sending them both sprawling across whatever tenebrous surface called itself a floor here. His arms wrapped themselves about her, pulling her with him and not daring to release themselves for a moment. Her gown had been replaced with rags, the gloves entirely missing, and her hair none more than a ragged mess. For a moment, he could only stare at the dirt and bruises that covered her face until his gaze matched hers. She was terrified.

“I’ve got you now,” he said, the fire extinguishing itself from around him as he turned his gaze outward, trying to find the villain that had held her captive.

Do you really?” he asked, and just so quickly Dien found him.

“What do you want, Leek?” he asked furiously, his right hand quickly grasping the handle of his sword. His grip on Danielle maintained itself with his left, and the two rose from the ground.

The same thing I’ve always wanted, you idiot!” he shouted, “Your mind!” He paused for a moment, everything his whole body now screaming with the fact that something wasn’t right about all of this. What was going on? Why was Danielle here? Hell, where was here?! What happened to the hackers?

“Wait,” he said, looking suddenly down to Danielle, who returned his gaze almost fearfully as his mind unraveled what was going on. “Back away from me, Danielle,” he commanded, his left arm no more gripping her close to him. Her gaze continued, unsure what was going on, fearful, and almost hurting, but she lingered. “You heard me!” he shouted, closing his eyes and turning his head slightly to hide the anguish that hid itself within him.

Oh come, Wing,” Leek answered, “are you really going to let her go so quickly?” He nodded, sheathing his sword and letting his eyes open to reveal the mist that had grown in them to the one he almost loved.

“I’m sorry,” he said quietly to her as he watched her posture reflect the sorrow that had found her heart its home.

Dien, I-” she said, sobs taking over her body as he cut her off.

“I know,” he said, feeling an impact on his shoulder, “Danielle, I swear on my life that I will…” It was gone. Danielle was gone, Leek was gone, and presently he was back in the realm of the rest of the Freedom Fighters. He was confused, though already his mind had begun to process what was going on, looking first to the keypad, then to the door that had opened, and finally to the man whose hand rested on his shoulder.

“What just happened?” he asked, hoping that Nighthand would be able to let him know why everyone was filing out of the room before him instead of into it.

Not really sure about you, but we dealt with a pesky lab technician and reclaimed one of the Twilight Items Nall had. What’s up? Lag isn’t very common for those of us not using computers.What? Lag? Of course, this made absolutely no sense to Dien. Even in the days of yore before he’d been sucked into the World, he’d boasted the fastest computer connection among any of his peers, and a computer to match without a sweat. To hear that he had been lagging was strange, to say the least, but he replied just the same.

“I…don’t rightly know,” he said, “it didn’t feel like I was lagging at all, more like the door opened, and boom: everything went white, and Danielle....” his voice trailed off and his brow furrowed, “you don’t know about her, though.” Rolling his head from side to side, he turned about. “Only ones who have any clue about her are Zan and Futune. Futune was fortunate enough to lag out of Suraisu’s death quest, and Zan’s vanished into thin air it seems.”

So that was what had happened. Somehow, Leek had tracked him down, and had been trying to lure him away from the group, possibly even steal his mind right then and there using Danielle as a distraction. Damn him, he thought, letting out a sigh as he let his mind refocus. He had a job to do. “So what exactly was behind the door I opened?”

Pretty much an empty room. Two guys and the Titan’s Armor. One guy tried to put the armor on, got pretty messed up when he couldn’t handle it, and the other guy decided to try to kill us. He was an archer and it was pretty hard to get close to him, but enough distractions and Raquar managed to shoot him with that gun. Speaking of, he’s Ghosted and can’t be resed. The lab tech seems to be in a state that’s between ghost and life, and can’t be touched, talked to, or anything.” So it was about a one-to-one time loss. Leek wasn’t in the Expanse anymore. But more importantly, what gun? Looking among the members of the party as they passed, he noticed Canti carrying something that looked like the bastard stepson of a minigun with one big lever and a handful of smaller ones – like some kind of Vegas Vindicator or something (OOC: nice job on the name—it really fits the deathray well, now to get the name to the rest of the characters somehow…).

There was also the matter of the hypercatatonic lab tech. Dien didn’t need to encounter such a thing for himself. His Dark Leader’s description seemed to fill the gap in his mind pretty nicely, as he did have some point of reference for imagining it. Earlier, he’d been able to target Senna, just not see her, and so the inverse wasn’t exactly difficult to conceptualize at all. Still, that meant no way to fix it, unless her phasing abilities could be of service…

“That’s odd,” he said, considering the possibilities for another moment, “did Senna try resing Raq or getting the lab tech to respond? I know she’s got some kind of phasing ability that she keeps trying to hide for no good reason…”

No, but, I doubt it’d do any good. Sheena said she couldn’t do anything with it, so I guess time will tell.

“It always does,” he replied, a thought occurring to him in an instant, “hey, any word as to how these guys’ messenger is doing? If I remember right, Marionette had said something about him bringing an Elite back with him…”

No word. We’re just racing against time. That, or hoping we can beat whoever shows up.

“True that,” Dien replied, finally beginning to follow the group, “would you do me the favor of slapping me out of it should that happen again? In these circumstances, as I’m sure you probably know better than me, none of us can afford to lose focus even for a minute.”

I’ll keep and eye out and see what I can do.

“Appreciate it.” Dien replied, and with that their conversation was ended as he was left to follow the group along their short path. What he’d said to Nighthand was exactly right: he couldn’t afford any more distractions, especially not with Leek desperately trying to overcome him and the situation at hand growing ever more strained for time. He’d take all the help he could get.
__________

Observations told that Nighthand had left a few things out. For one, the room behind them was a development lab (or had been), and the room beyond that was where they’d fought the guy who was still hypercatatonic. Raquar, who was still ghosted, wore a pair of mismatched gloves on his hands—Canti held another—and it was no doubt to Dien that from the burning rubble in the room they were leaving had come some pretty nifty items.

Damn shame he’d missed the plunder.

Anyway, it was on to the next “boss fight,” if you would. A figure who the blademaster guessed was the hacker dabbling in things well beyond him. After some theatrics, they were left with a life-sized doll.

Arms swayed in place, hands twirled, and it was cracking its neck from side to side, almost like a boxer awaiting the bell in the first round of the title match. It was curious, to say the least. The doll thing looked freaky, but as of yet, it hadn’t exactly made any kinds of threatening advances towards them. Despite Sheena’s kill it first, ask questions later attitude, Dien stepped forward, deciding to try a more...diplomatic approach to dealing with this threat.

“I’m Dien,” he said, coming to stand in front of it, “mind if we just take that cape-looking thing behind you?” At first, nothing, until it straightened a bit. Then, more nothing.

"O...kay, so then I'll take that as a no?" he asked, waiting a moment before going on.

Phoenix, in the meantime, stepped forward from behind and began his own separate line of questioning, "Who are you and why are you blocking our way?"

"Not sure it knows how to talk, Phoenix," the other blademaster replied over his shoulder, slowly moving to one side of the doll as he finished to address it, "though if you have any objections to me walking past you and taking the cape, speak or act now, or forever hold your peace."

Seeming almost to nod in assent, the puppet reached to its sides and withdrew two small wooden rods, looking like each one was a roll of quarters. It flicked its wrists, and long thin strands flew out either end of them. This, obviously, was a sign of aggression.

"I guess the non-violent approach isn't going to work." Phoenix remarked, drawing his sword and bringing a strike down into the very fabric of the thing. Dien, jumped back a bit, waiting to be tagged back in while the other blademaster did his handiwork. At least, he thought it would be a waiting game. All at once, the doll broke, its dismembered parts bouncing across the floor and twitching in much the same way they had while they were hanging – only they weren’t hanging anymore. And then things got weird. The arms reaffixed themselves to the hands, and then proceeded to hover in mid air before swinging down at Phoenix and wrapping their strands around his blade to keep it still.

Dien immediately jumped into action, locating the torso on the ground and bolting towards it with his sword drawn. But just before the stab could be delivered, his blade was stopped, and the cord wrapped itself about his wrist, sending waves of pain burning through skin and bone to sear the nerves that ran through there: as though his whole hand had suddenly caught fire. It wasn’t an experience he was unfamiliar with, but that didn’t exactly mean that it was pain-free: far from it. Of all the burning sensations he’d encountered over the years, this was one of the worst.

However, Phoenix had been freed, and just as quickly as Dien had decided to lay siege to the doll’s torso and become trapped, the other blademaster’s sword was brought down in a crushing attempt to sever the string. The resulting impact jarred Dien’s wrists and drew blood in the razor-thin lines that the doll was using to defend the item behind it. With a nod to Phoenix (though unsure of whether or not he caught it), Dien began to tap into the power of the Flame, his eyes becoming white hot while his skin began to be charred by the flames that leapt from within. His grip on the sword was forsaken instead for a would-be death-grip on the line that held his wrist.

As fire proceeded up the string towards the hand that was its anchor, Phoenix too went to work, beckoning Suzaku to rain fire down upon the scattered pieces of doll. The resulting blaze seemed to resonate with the rest of the field outside, bringing the room to temperatures that, if they’d lasted, would have caused perhaps more damage to the Freedom Fighters than exposure to the outside air of the field would have.

No effect, the blademaster thought, watching as the flames seemed to do nothing more than bounce off of the pieces while his own life was made forfeit for naught. The fires burned out, revealing to the rest what he already knew to be true, and his own ghosted state. Phoenix, however, was unaffected, and Dien sauntered back to the group, awaiting a Resurrect before he could continue to study the doll.

Ani Revolver!” he heard, and turned his head upward to see Phoenix deliver a delicately darkened strike to the severed head of the marionette that was their opponent. He half expected the hands to throw strings in the way, but no such thing happened. In fact, the resulting pandemonium would have been amusing under different circumstances, what with the head bouncing aimlessly off of wall and ceiling until coming to rest once again on the ground.

Almost before he could ponder upon the events that had just transpired, Dien received the very thing he had desired from none other than the only player currently in active combat, and the various strands and sinews of his flesh re-knit themselves about his ghost, before finally breathing life into the body and letting him once again enter into his experimentation. Almost all of the options had been exhausted as methods of attacking the thing. Physical attacks…well, they were mostly stopped. Skills had no effect, and magic seemed to also do nothing whatsoever. Still, it was best to test the other elements. If fire had had no effect, then it would only be prudent to unleash a torrent of ice into this enemy’s person. Seeing as how his SP wasn’t going to recover anytime soon, the blademaster stuck his hand into the bag of infinite holding at his side and pulled out one of his ice scrolls – not caring which one he’d grabbed.

Activating it proved its identity to him as the air was momentarily chilled by an oversized piece of hail. It crashed down onto the thing’s torso…and bounced right off, shattering against the wall before disintegrating. No sooner than he’d fired off ice that Phoenix shot off an earth spell towards the torso. GiGan Zot shot the thing skyward, bouncing it around a few time in its torrent of earthen spires before letting it land in very much the same state it had held before. There was one more thing to try: just running for the light-enshrined cape. Phoenix was the first to go, but his leg was caught by one of the burning fishing lines, and he was pulled to the earth before he could even get close. This gave Dien an idea – with only two hands and two death-lines, it could only effectively stop two runners at a time from getting to the cape.

“Nighthand,” he said quietly, locating the heavy blade and eliciting his attention, “on my mark, I need you to make every effort you can to get to that cape. I’m gonna try and draw the other weapon to trip me, so you should have a clear shot.” He nodded, and the blademaster pulled out a speed scroll, activating it before saying, “go!”

The effort was started well, and just as planned, Dien was ensnared by the fishing wire, enduring the pain as he fell to watch Nighthand speed forward. At least, he sped forward until a blue and red coconut shot from across the room to pummel him in the side and send him speedily sprawling across the rock-material that made up the floor. If it wasn’t so frustrating, the image of their fearless leader being pummeled in the side by a random head would have made the blademaster’s day. But, just the same, the very fact that their efforts had been thwarted yet again made it that much less amusing.

So, Dien was left with a freaking painful line of not-fire burning away at the flesh of his ankle, face-down on the ground. It was time for a recap PM to let everyone know what he’d figured out.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Dien
Re: Puppetry (not spam!)
Message:
Here’s what I’ve figured out: physical attacks generally have no effect on any of the pieces besides the torso, which it is guarding just as well as the cape. Spells have no effect whatsoever on any of the parts, and neither do skills. The puppet also won’t attack except to defend its torso and the cape.

My guess is that the solution’s got something to do with the gloves in Raquar and Canti’s possession. Raquar’s superghosted, so his pair’s out, but I do suggest that they be used to try and get past this puppet thing.

Also, I would recommend against using that gun thing. If that’s what left Raquar in his condition, I don’t think we can afford to lose anyone else.

So, any bright ideas?

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(It was basically impossible for him to do anything to the Archer-dude at this time, not unless he wanted to blast him, and he'd already decided not to. Taking this moment for a smoke break, Canti basically didn't do much until Sheena came in past him, then waited to see what she would do. Not too unbelievably, she had a move which allowed her to do something with the guy. She'd extracted some form of key. The way she spoke about it, it would have to have been a hacker key, possibly viral. Well, in any case, she got is and he was sure he'd seen this somewhere before. Damn deja vu... She also took the now-free Titan's Armor, which nobody objected to, naturally, and had explained about the lab tech and Raquar's condition. He might come out of it soon or later, but hopefully at all. If he was ghosted forever...that would be hell. On the way out, he noticed that Nighthand had gotten Dien's attention. Nobody had noticed, but the poor guy had lagged or something. He never even got in the door until now.)

Canti: Ah well. Stranger things have happened.

(Stranger indeed. For, as they were heading through the water-battle room that Canti had been in, previously, a few things had occurred. Sheena unlocked the door, Ben Grimm had returned, and they saw a relatively normal-sized room with a reject from Kikaider in it, hung up like a dummy. 'Ben Grimm' was Canti's personal name for the lab-tech who had tried to hulk out with Nall's Titan Armor. Subsequently, said lackey had collapsed and escaped before, because the armor had rejected him, turning the fellow into a mutant. Now, said mutant was back and Canti had immediately pointed the death-ray laser at him as he tried to put on a cape, a cape which had to be Nall's other Twilight item, because it blew his arm off in the attempt. The Twin Blade actually let out an audible laugh at this.)

Canti: How could he be so fucking stupid? I mean, sure, it was an accident once, but again? Unbe-fucking-lievable...

(Probably see him later. Fella had serious gonads to keep this up, despite all setbacks. Only problem was that as soon as he left, the puppet-thing fell over and then became active. Canti...knew better than to underestimate it. They'd HAD their share of puppet-monsters, and so when Dien and Phoenix tried to handle it, with diplomacy AND fighting, the Twin Blade was...surprised. It...wasn't exactly trying to kill them. Grab them, stop them, prevent them...and even Nighthand was flung back! No spells, not offensive power beyond slamming them with some force, but still...this was way different from normal. Dien's Flash Mail confirmed most of what he'd seen about this thing, but...the guy ought to have a Nobel Prize. THE GLOVES! Of course! Raquar had given him a pair on request! Couldn't do this with full hands, though. Canti put down the Vegas Vindicator by the others so it would be relatively safe. Having down that, he headed into the room a little, to about the edge of what you can call the current safety-zone. He stopped at that point, and put on the red-blue gloves. Then, holding up his hands so the puppet can't possibly miss seeing them...)

Canti: Errr... Request access to protected storehouse, vis-a-vis the cape?

It might've been for special access. Who'd want to fight their way in every time? There was, however, no reaction from the puppet.)

Canti: Comprenez Francais? Habla Espanol? Ummm...alakazaam?

(Probably no reaction there, either. It was a robot, a guardian, a- Canti froze.)

Canti: 'Marionette' ring a bell?

(Nada'. The thing was resolved to being a complete poker face. There was almost no chance of it being anywhere as sophisticated as one of Marionette's toys anyhow... Canti's hands slumped to his sides. Ah well. Nothing else left but the direct approach. He began to walk - not fast - in the direction of the cape. The reason for this was because he was physically readying himself for reaction here. The gloves could also be a defense mechanism... He waited to see what - if anything at all - the puppet lashed out at him with. And without fail, it did so. A leg came up, suddenly, and threw itself at him. Canti's first reaction was to block. He did so with both hands. If the gloves were made to negate attacks from the thing, then you might've had to either match or oppose the color thrown your way for full-effectiveness. The Twin Blade was now going to determine which glove was more effective.)

*WHUMP!!*

(The answer was...neither! Each glove was completely useless in the act of blocking and Canti was thrown back towards the entrance at about the same speed as Nighthand, suddenly possessing sore hands. He cursed at this while being thrown, naturally. After sliding back to the door area, Canti picked himself up.)

Canti: Okay...so much for defense.

(Knives out. Speed Charm engaged.)

Canti: Let's try offense.

(And he leapt forward into flight over the puppet's area. Not as much room here, but he'd see it coming. The puppet would have to react, and...there!)

*WHUMP!!*

Canti: Oof!

(Okay...he was now pinned to the ceiling by a puppet-chest. It had flung itself up there, unexpectedly, when Canti had been more or less watching for another limb. The good news was that this guy was running out of parts. The bad news...what the hell would he do now? Arms still free, Canti took an experimental back-stab to the thing with his daggers. Did this thing even have an HP count somewhere? No luck there, though. This thing was made out of tough pad, and wasn't actually being damaged. As soon as he pulled out his knives, the holes sealed themselves up. Gah...he ought to be able to do something here. These gloves were a match, and they were locked away. Putting away the daggers, he just tried attacking with his gloved fists. It didn't have to be technical, yet. That, however, only yielded that this thing was like a punching bag. Oh, if only it were that easy. In real life, he may not have been a boxer, but he DID go to the gym alot, burn off some steam. Anyway...other alternatives. Canti...strained a little, as he moved an arm to try and reach into the hole of this thing's neck. If there were any vital parts, it would be either in the head or the torso. And if it had vitals, maybe...only the safety gloves could handle it? However, the hole didn't lead to a hollow chest cavity. It was barely large enough to poke his fingers in.)

Canti: So much for that...

(He didn't understand this. How did the hackers get in and out of here intact? They probably did have special passcodes, but...a pair of gloves like these looked like they were for emergencies, in case something goes wrong. What else? Well, he'd tried every physical aspect he could think of. Damage useless, blocking useless, striking useless. Magic useless? Well, he hadn't seen much use before, but it couldn't hurt, right? Canti used Juk Kruz, though, to be sure he didn't become a target. Until he'd eliminated all possibilities... Well, the puppet became a pin cushion, briefly, but that didn't seem to last as the branches from the attack faded away. Wisps of smoke came off of the Twin Blade as he became increasingly annoyed. He thought about it, though, just...exploding with dark fire and seeing if the puppet could take it. We'll call that Plan C. Plan A was trying to figure this out. Plan B...involved asking others.)

Canti: Yo. Nighthand. Any suggestions? I'm running out of ideas on what to do with matching puppet-gloves.

"Not really. Tried grabbing it? This seems a pretty laid-back fight, as long as we avoid its whips."

(The Twin Blade managed to shrug in his position.)

Canti: Sure, why not? Anyway, he's running out of usable parts."

(Cracking his knuckles, Canti performed a bear hug move that would've been worthy of great wrestlers if, you know, he'd been one. As it stood, applying his level to the real world would've made a near-equivalent anyway, so we'll see...)

"Well... Doesn't seem to be doing anything, but feel free to hold it there. Maybe we'll be able to gather up the other parts and let someone get by."

Canti: I've got an inkling to use my powers on it. Think it'll survive?

(Baptism by Darkness Flame? Maybe...)

"I don't doubt it, it seems pretty resistant to basically all damage."

Canti: Well, everything has a threshold. It's why I'm leaving that as a last resort. If you think of anything the gloves might actually do, lemme know.

(Meantime, keeping the torso up here was a good idea. That sucker delivered a wallop.)

"Will do."

(Which left only one other thing...)

Flashmail!
TO: Freedom Fighters
FROM: Canti
Subject: Ummm...yeah.

Okay, I thought I had some bright ideas, like that the gloves would give me some kind of immunity or attack-enhancement, or even just be fucking magic. It uhhh...didn't work out that way. They're for SOMETHING, but as of now I'm keeping a torso from slamming people as much as inhumanly possible. Someone grab the head, keep the rest down, so we can get at the cape. Meantime, if anyone has any clue what these gloves REALLY do, just shout it out. I really don't like being pinned like this.


(And...that was it. Canti kept his hold going. Until he had something else to act on, he was making sure the torso wouldn't fly off and hit someone else. All his flight-power plus the Speed Charm and his natural strength would be on it, so if it STILL dragged him, WATCH OUT.)

_________________
I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:19 pm 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
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Location: :noitacoL
With a growl of pain, Lighteria extracts the arrow out of forearm. The ice may provide an odd sort of numbness to the entire process, but that hardly erases all feeling in the wound. A puff of frozen air escapes from his cut as the wound almost immediately freezes up. He sighs, staring at the injury and drops the arrow to the ground, casting a silent repth to top himself off before he starts any serious recovery starts. The blast from the giant gun was startling to say the least and raquar's state is now definitely a concern. In retrospect, it might have been wise to test the gun a bit more thoroughly before using it. Someone could have thrown him a repth before he was hit by the backlash, but the ghosting was a rather large surprise to all involved.

This "Invalid Target" message is really, really starting to get on my nerves. Of course, I can't really spare much more SP at this point. I spent a ton just now after all. ...Still, I can't think of a better use of it than a Rip Maen.
...The ghosting's got to wear off eventually right? I mean, Nall's not sitting somewhere completely intangible, right? If he is, that'll complicate matters by a whole lot.
Buuuut... Nall's items clearly aren't intangible. so it's most likely that it does wear off over time. Hm.. that means this lab guy... who... better still be alive... ...well that means it'll wear off of him too. Be a bad idea to have him escape while we're distracted.


For that moment, the twin blade considers just going with guard duty on the man until flashmails start pinging in his ear. The first from Dien and the next from Canti. Yet another strange fight and this one didn't seem to carry any sort of obvious trick to it either. Ignoring the silliness of his friends being beaten back by a dismembered puppet, the twin blade groans and lurches forward. With no bright ideas this time, Lighteria stows his blades away and just takes canti's advice, grabbing the first puppet peice he can find while still having an eye on the doorway. The part happens to be a leg oddly enough. Lighteria squints at it as he grips its ankle, holding it up upside-down, looking over the thing.

And encounters reach a new level of oddity.

With the thing not immediately going ballistic on him, the twin blade decides to make a try for the cape. The first few steps through see to trigger the defense response and the leg starts thrashing violently in his grasp, its puppet thigh smacking Lighteria in the stomach, causing him to drop it.

"Why you little-!" Lighteria manages to get out before he has to block a kick with his forearm. The impact sends him skidding back a few feet, though relatively unscathed. He looks up to see the leg executing... what looks like a flying kick even though that should be completely impossible. Despite the oddity of... well every part of this fight, the twin blade manages to whip out his usual battle finesse and side step the kick, gripping the thing by the ankle again and using its apparent momentum to sling it into the wall. It makes a loud crash for sure but its resilience soon becomes REAL apparent to the twin blade when it simply hops back up and starts another kick as though it felt nothing.

Lighteria has a good distance to prepare though and the flying kick is again halted by his a good ankle grab. Knowing that it won't give up from punishment, he makes a rather frantic grab with his other arm and grips the piece right below the kneecap, clutching it as tight as he can in his hands. The leg is definitely caught now, the upper leg thrashing and twisting in his grip, it apparently not able to launch itself without at least a little wiggle room. The timid player keeps a firm grip though, even as the object twists completely around in his hands. The struggle is a rather brutish sight, one player trying to keep a violent, writhing object under control... but as rough as it is, the struggle rather suddenly stops when the thing turns around, its toes pointing away. Lighteria blinks and stands up straight, holding the thing up in his outstretched hands, just looking at it curiously.

"The he-" *Clunk* The puppet almost sounds... hollow when it strikes. The tip of its thigh coming down on top of Lighteria's head. The twin blade just sort of stands there, taking it in. One would notice if they sat down, that the muscles that bend your knee aren't particularly strong in terms of striking something. Even sitting down quickly, there's no real MUSCLE behind the movement. So Lighteria simply stands there, the leg seemingly coming to grips with the laughable affect it had, and him seemingly coming to grips with the utter, utter absurdity. ...So naturally, the leg unbends and bonks him again with similar effect. Like a machine, being controlled by an AI, the leg bonks his head over and over with approximately a one and a half second delay between each movement. The twin blade notes his HP not taking a hit from this and his face extends into a grimace as he lets out a heavy sigh.

"Can we- *bonk* please get *bonk* this over *bonk* with?" He mutters out, his teeth starting to grind.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:42 pm
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Phoenix resurrected his guardian Suzaku from the fight with the archer but she would not use her abilities at the moment. The archer was met with the full power of the gun and was no more a threat. He was like in limbo as he cannot respond to any outside stimuli. Even though the archer was dealt with, there was a cost. Raquar was like the archer but could respond to any voices directed his way. The gun must use a person’s Twilight to power it. The blademaster decided to talk to previously resurrected Suzaku. Are you fine now?

I’m fine now. You managed to accept me for who I am which my new power can be used.

New power?

Yes, the overdrive is active. I still don’t know what it actually is but I feel I do. I do know this though. The overdrive requires both of us to be in sync. I guess why I needed my memories and you to know about it. I feel that we will know when to use it.

I see. Let’s get back to the mission.

Phoenix and Suzaku followed Nighthand and the others to the next room where the second hacker from before tries to take the cape. Just like before with the armor, its attempt to don the cape also fails. The monster quickly runs away but a doll appears in front of the cape. When Sheena tries to take the cape, the doll reacts to her and stops her from taking it.

Dien attempts to speak with the doll but there was no reply from the attempt. Phoenix decided to walk towards the doll but stop within 10 feet of the doll and asked, "Who are you and why are you blocking our way?” The doll was silent once again. It appeared not to be responding to both blademasters.

When Dien asked it to take the cape, the doll pulls out a couple of rods which made Phoenix to go with the tried and true smashing the enemy course of action. "I guess the non-violent approach isn't going to work." The blademaster drew his sword and struck at the doll. The strike managed to break the doll into pieces but the pieces began to move on their own. The hands reattached to the arms and pull out invisible cords which wrapped around Phoenix’s sword. He could not move the sword while the cords were wrapped around it.

While Phoenix tried to break free his sword from the cords, Dien launched a counterattack on the doll which forced it to remove the cords around the sword. The doll managed to stop Dien by using both cords which one of them was wrapped around his wrist. Phoenix tried to free Dien by cutting the cord but it was unexpected tougher than it looked. Trying to cut the cord was like trying to cut another sword as it had the toughness of steel.

With this failed attempt, Phoenix decided to resort to using a different tactic. Suzaku, burn the doll. If physical attacks aren’t helping, then maybe some magic can. Suzaku immediately activated her fire breath against the doll but it did not affect the doll at all. As for Dien, the combination of the fire attack from Suzaku and Dien’s own hack power caused him to die.

So if fire did not work, maybe another element can. Phoenix picked the doll’s head as its target for his next attack. “ANI REVOLVER!” The darkness based physical attack was executed on the head but it just bounced around the room with no apparent effect. At that point, Phoenix used a resurrect on Dien which the resurrected blademaster used an ice scroll on the torso. The ice chunks just bounced off it and the doll was again unaffected. Once again, Phoenix tried a different element on the torso which this time it was GiGan Zot. The torso went up to the air during the spell but overall, no damage occurred on the doll.

At this moment, Phoenix wondered why it did not counterattack until it hit him. To test out his theory, he ran towards the cape. As he made his approach, the doll used one of his cords to wrap around Phoenix’s leg and trip him up. Not only the attempt was unsuccessful, Phoenix began to feel the burning from the cord. This burning was not annoying compared to fighting the fire elementals from earlier but still painful.

Unable to cut the cord, Phoenix was unable help the others as they tried to deal with the doll in their own. It looks like the parts have their own mind and immune to damage. The cord was still on him and burning his leg but still alive. So Suzaku, how about the overdrive? I think it’s a good time to use it. No, Kazuma. You thought of it yourself. It’s immune to damage somehow. I feel the overdrive will have no effect on the doll. Maybe Sheena could figure something out.

Agreed. Phoenix turned his attention to Sheena. “Sheena, can your abilities to follow code reveal anything useful about the doll? I got a feeling that this doll is just a doll and the real source of our troubles is somewhere else.” Phoenix wondered how long he could block out the pain of the burning cord before he would scream. He waited for Sheena’s answer.

_________________
Phoenix
Level 48 Blademaster
Equipped Skills: Vak Revolver, Gan Revolver, Dek Vorv, La Repth, Juk Kruz, Rue Kruz, BiVak Rom, GiGan Zot
Other Skills: Rue Kruz, Rip Synk, Rip Saem, Crack Beat, Rue Slash, Ani Slash, Gan Crack, Gan Revolver

Wish List: Phoenix's Fire, Gold Necklace
EX-Spheres: LV 3 - Overdrive, LV 3 - Curative, LV 3 - Elemental Breath


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:50 pm 
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Two legs, two arms with whips, a torso and a head. That was only six pieces of the doll. It should be easy to get seven people to run at the end and try to retrieve the cape. Yet a concerted effort wasn’t made, wasn’t organized. Were there even seven of them left in the field? He had lost count.

Nighthand fumed after being so easily knocked down by the flying head. Despite being little more than a graphical defense mechanism for the cape, it was accurate. It didn’t hit hard in a damaging sense, but it seemed to be doing well enough against them. Dien and Phoenix were occupying the whips, and Canti was pinned to the ceiling by the torso. That only left the head and the legs to deal with.

Sheena started to move, taking deliberate and slow steps. She had her eyes on the three parts left free, waiting for one of them to leap at her. Two steps past where the torso was stuck to the ceiling, she wasn’t disappointed. The head that had so recently bowled over Nighthand shot like a bullet at her. She pulled back her fist and punched it downwards, like a one-handed spike of a volleyball.

The head impacted and deformed, and seemed to pause a moment. It sprang back into the air, and Sheena kicked it. It flew for the doorway, almost as fast as it had flown towards her, but was stopped suddenly in the threshold by an invisible force. Apparently it was tied to the room.

She took another step, watching the legs intently, but neither moved. Another step. Still nothing. She took another step and paused halfway, her mouth opening to scream, but no sound coming out.

Both of the whips had disengaged their targets; Dien and Phoenix had been released. Sheena now was caught by them, one around her neck, the other around her waist.

The arms rose into the air, lifting the fist fighter with them, hanging her by the cords. She writhed and fought, but the cords had no give in them, no slack. She was being suffocated, strangled by a cord that ignited the nerves, held up by another that dulled them.

And it STILL left Canti pinned to the ceiling by the torso, as well as the legs and head to deal with.

In the corner of the room, Raquar watched the scenario helplessly as a ghost, when a ring of light surrounded him. When it faded, he was hit by what felt like a horrible hangover, and only 1 HP. But, at least he was alive to fight on.

Ooc: quick post, busy first week of class. Raq’s back, Sheena’s in trouble, and we still have no idea how to beat this here puppet. You do have the tools on hand to do so, though.

_________________
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Wishlist: Any Armor or Weapons under level 50, Any Scrolls (prefer level 2+)

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 Post subject: Part 11
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:17 am 
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Exalted Player
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:59 am
Posts: 226
Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
And just like that, the burning sensation was gone from around his ankle. After a devastating assault from Sheena, the thing had decided that she made the better target, and by the look of things, she was being hung by the piano wire of doom. God that had to hurt. Having had the one around his wrist and ankle, he could only imagine the pain she was going through with it holding her by the neck.

Suck as it might, though, there was absolutely nothing he could do for her. Attempts at wrenching the weapons out of the thing’s hands would most likely prove futile (if not fatal), and the only way he could imagine of maybe preventing her from suffering any further at this thing’s fishing line would be to draw its whips towards him as he ran for the cape. Granted, that wouldn’t advance their cause any, and it wasn’t exactly like she was taking any damage from being suspended in midair by her neck. Yes, it likely sucked, but if she had been hanging around with Nall, she probably had encountered worse experiences than that.

Okay, so he was rationalizing his inability to help her in order to ignore her panicked flailing while he moved on, but how else would he be able to act? Rationalizing, in a situation like this, was perfectly acceptable in his mind. That in mind, he moved on, pushing off the ground and stepping back towards the entrance. It didn’t seem to mind his backwards motion.

It was very curious, though. The whips had only attacked and lifted Sheena after she’d tried to kick the head out of the doorway. Granted, the reaction was delayed, but maybe it didn’t want to have its parts removed from the room? It was the only thing he had to go on for the moment, so it would have to do. Amongst the blankly-staring Freedom Fighters who were so near to the door, the doll’s cranium sat idly by, almost as though it weren’t even doing anything in and of itself. With a scoop, the head of the thing rested soundly in his palm, almost like a scene from some famous Shakespeare play. Actually, so similar was it that the blademaster couldn’t help himself but begin conversation with it.

“Alas poor puppet! I knew you as one!” he began, his attempt at comedy not eliciting any laughs from anyone amidst the choked cries of the woman struggling mid-air. Nothing I can do, the blademaster reassured himself, silencing the sounds of her struggle from his ears, just keep moving.

“You know,” he said, holding what he recalled as the thing’s face before him, “I’m kinda sorry I didn’t get the chance to try more diplomacy before you were dismembered,” he paused, looking to the doorway to ensure that there was still no one coming into this underhill hideout, “though I guess that was better for you, at least in terms of defense. Still, I do apologize for the smell of what I’m about to do.” With that, he tucked the thing into his armpit, clutching it in a grip akin to how he knew to run a football. Granted, as a hacker, his knowledge of how to correctly cradle a pigskin (or in this case, manikin head) was severely limited, so the resulting grip was really rather awkward and was barely held with one hand as he picked up speed into his charge for the door.

He’s at the ten! The five! Aaaand A FUMBLE!!! Just like that, just as his body passed the threshold of the doorway, the head was pushed out of his grasp through his armpit. With a distinct thud, it dropped to the ground where it had been stripped from him, and remained entirely unaffected by the impact with the elastic barrier. Meanwhile Dien came to a slow halt in the testing room, slowly turning to see the results of his failed attempt.

Stopping to think for a moment, the idea of using the gloves to remove the head from the room came to his mind, and he jogged briskly back in, trying to track down the two pairs of gloves that endowed no special powers to their wearers. First located was Canti, who held the puppet’s torso in a death-grip on the ceiling while it held him to the ceiling in something not too far removed from a death-grip. Asking for his pair would be rather silly at this point, as it was his job to hold onto that bust for dear life. That left Raquar, who the blademaster located dizzily slumped in the corner, looking like someone who’d just woken up from a night of heavy drinking. More importantly, though, he wasn’t ghosted!

“Raquar!” he called, digging a Healing Potion out of his inventory and tossing it to the player, who woke up just in time to snatch it out of the air and drink it down. “Figured you needed it more than I did,”

Probably. Thanks.” came the short reply.

“Not a problem,” he said, having stopped in front of Raquar as he offered a hand to help his old friend back to his feet, “mind if I borrow your gloves for a minute? Got a theory or two I’d like to try out.”

He couldn’t see why not. He could probably sit around and stare at the thing before he would actually do something useful. “Sure. Here.” He removed the aforementioned articles and tossed them to the Blademaster with a casual motion.

“Thanks,” he replied, catching them beginning to put them onto his hands, “I’ll give ‘em back when I’m done.”

Sounds good to me. Good luck.” And with that, the blademaster was off once again to try passing the head through the invisible barrier. He fortified his grip on the thing a little more, being sure to use both hands to secure it in the cradle this time instead of just the one as he ran, but it was of no use, as in exactly the same manner as before, it slipped out of his hands and onto the floor of the room, bouncing harmlessly before coming to a mocking rest. Slightly agitated, but more tired than anything, the blademaster sauntered back into the room and whipped out his sword.

Fire & Sky was left in its base form – it wasn’t needed to attack anything just yet, though a slice definitely would have been more satisfying than what he intended. Feet spread shoulder-width apart, and his hips parallel with the path that he wanted the head to take, Dien wrapped his hands around the sword’s hilt and stooped down just enough to where he could use the item in his hands as something akin to a golf club. Lining up the shot, he pulled his sword back and let it fly.

Granted, if he’d been thinking father ahead than, ‘hit the thing with the sword,’ he might have predicted the ensuing bounce that sent it careening off the invisible barrier right back towards his face, almost as though there had been no energy lost whatsoever in the impact. The result lifted him in the air in a forced backflip, as the glorified puppet’s head collided with his own. All at once his body smashed down to the floor again, a deafening crack sending a momentary shiver down his spine before it all went numb. He could feel blood seeping out the back of his head, but only when the red blinking started did he try to right what had been done.

Repth!” he tried in what little volume he could muster, only to find it unsuccessful. The hell?! Why didn’t it work?! Checking his SP revealed the secret – only half of the amount required for such a low-level spell had been regenerated since he’d last died, and as his vision began to blur yet more, his head rolled back, bringing into light the desperate body of Sheena floating in the sky. She was definitely hanging from something, and it seemed very strange to Dien that the whips would be able to hold her in such a manner – like it defied The World’s physics engines. Granted, they were dealing with hackers, so this was to be expected, but something just didn’t click.

Repth!” he tried again as darkness began to creep into his vision, and finally the spell worked, the necessary equipment being mentally called forth from his inventory to accommodate. As bone cracked into bone, his head was set aright on the body, his spine becoming whole once again in a twang of pain that echoed from head to toe for a brief moment: something he then decided he would never want to relive for the rest of eternity. Another Healing Potion was used to top off his HP before he rose, turning once again to view their orange-haired leader hanging helplessly from on high. Well no, she was being held by the silk-string weapons of the puppet-arms.

With all other options exhausted, Dien decided it was worth a shot. Walking quickly up to the arms that were now raised into the air in direct line to Sheena, the blademaster sheathed his weapon and began working against the far-more-than-just-emotional attachment that their foe had to its weapons. Try as he might, its fingers wouldn’t budge from around either of the weapons it held. Even applying the weapon as an object to gain more leverage proved useless, as he slipped forward and caught one of the lines under his arm.

Wait, he thought as he pulled himself off the ground, that didn’t burn. Silent wheels in his mind began to turn, unlocking a great number of possibilities from this revelation. The blue glove removed, and Dien gripped the same cord again. Instead of the burning sensation he’d expected…there was nothing. There wasn’t pain, there wasn’t warmth, there wasn’t a tingling, there wasn’t any feeling in his hand whatsoever, like it had just been sucked right out. It took a solid tug from his other hand to release the grip, which in and of itself was enough to shock him as the pins and needles took over his hand once again. Just tapping the other cord reminded him of its particular brand of pain, and that’s when the idea solidified in his mind.

As though it were a giant battery, the puppet was a means for creating a direct current of sensation. Due to the sheer amount of sensation that it was pumping out, touching the “negative” end of the battery resulted in raw pain, while touching the “positive” end resulted in numbness. If that was the case, then the main means of defeating the puppet would be to somehow short-circuit the electrodes, thereby rendering the doll basically useless. The easiest means would be to somehow get the two charged whips to touch one another, thereby creating equilibrium in the system and ending the whole thing. Granted, tricking it into such a thing, if that was indeed its weakness, would be no easy task, so he would have to resort to the next best thing.

Re-donning the gloves, the blademaster decided to attempt to close the gap by placing himself in there as a sort of jumper. The thing about jumpers was, though, that especially on HDDs or SSDs, they needed to be positioned and oriented just right to receive the desired results – a misplaced jumper could be the end of your drive if you weren’t careful. The very thought of it made him a little nervous, but then he felt something hit his arm.

Above him, tears were streaming down Sheena’s cheeks. It wasn’t like she was crying for the fact that she was upset, but simply that she was trying so very hard to free herself from the reign of the whips. It was only natural for a body under that much stress to force the tear ducts into overtime. Or maybe it was sweat – his eyesight was still a little blurry from having broken his neck earlier.

In either case, it pushed him to action, first gripping the cables with the red glove on the cable held by the blue arm, and the blue glove on the cable held by the red arm. Aside from the numbness and burning sensation, nothing happened. Next guess: reverse polarity. So Dien turned around, gripping the opposite cables. This time, something happened. Something big.

All at once he felt his whole body twitch as the current seemed to be completed. The blur that was his vision went dark, but was then restored to clarity as Sheena was dropped. He could hear her coughing for a moment, before he realized what was about to happen.

“OH SH-” he managed before the cables that had loosed themselves strung him up in exactly the same way. His entire neck burned with the sensation he had come to know and hate, while the line about his waist felt as little more than residual pressure. For a moment he struggled, the grip of the fiery cord keeping him from breathing and thus inducing panic. Kick and punch as he might, there was no way for him to get air through the choker-hold of the puppet’s cables.

Why haven’t I died yet? The thought struck him moments later. Without oxygen, he should have passed out only moments after the strangle hold had taken, but yet he remained fully awake and fully alive. Granted, it still really hurt, but at the same time he could now fight the urge to try so hard at breathing. He was just going to wear himself out that way. Its hold was tight and burned like hell, but at the same time it wasn’t as though he’d never encountered pain before. A smirk crossed his lips and he closed his eyes, desperately fighting the instinct within himself.

This isn’t real. He needed to breathe. Air means nothing here. He would die without air. This isn’t reality. It felt real enough that he needed to breathe. I don’t need to breathe. His diaphragm strained against the closed larynx. STOP. It stopped. Considerable concentration was needed to halt the default inhale-exhale motion his body had become accustomed to, but once it had stopped, he found it a little bit easier to focus on the situation at hand. Wincing silently as the pain refreshed itself through his nerves, he opened his eyes to assess what was going on.

In addition to the two lines that held him in place, a great many more were shown to the blademaster. Dozens of them hanging down from the ceiling, some attached to the various doll pieces on the ground, while still others dangled freely. But perhaps the most peculiar part was what they were coming from. Lining the ceiling and especially thick at its center was a gelatinous blob of purple slime. Tilting his head as best he could in confusion, he felt the cords tighten around his neck, reviving the pain and causing his instincts to once again overcome his will to not breathe. Good God this was torture. Spasms gripped his body as he tried desperately to regain control amidst the constant influx of new nervous signals.

A few minutes later, and he’d finally settled down again, hanging as calmly as possible from the cords. There was one thing to try which he hadn’t yet done. Tracing the cords to the colors of the limbs they were attached to, he lined red up with red again and blue up with blue again – the grip that had gotten him into this in the first place. A momentary twinge of discomfort, but beyond that nothing changed. Now was time to send another flashmail to the group of his findings, being the scientists that he was trying so hard to be. Granted, the random pain spasms would interfere, but hopefully he could get it out before another one hit. Thereby, it was best to be as concise as possible.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Dien
Re: More Findings
Message: Doll like battery. Gloves color coordinated, act as jumper on cables to short circuit like electrodes. Parts can’t leave room. Purple glob on ceiling, many lines hanging down. This hurts. Help me?


It took a while for him to maneuver enough to do so, but the gloves he wore were forsaken to the earth below as soon as they could be. He wanted someone else to catch a glimpse of this so he could get a second opinion – it just sucked that he’d lost his screenshot applet when he’d become trapped. Almost the instant the gloves were gone, his nerves decided to refresh themselves one more time on the line of fire around his neck, which sent him into yet another spasm.

This sucks.

(OOC: Something I hadn’t caught before: one of the lines shoots burning sensation into your character while the other sucks the sensation out of the area it’s grabbing. Hence the idea of battery, hence the idea of shorting it towards rapid discharge. I think we may need both pairs of gloves for it to work, though…)

Nighthand edit: For clarification, since this seems to be coming up a lot; Dien is the only one able to see anything new in the room. The purple thing and the extra cables are invisible to everyone else.

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
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Location: :noitacoL
Though Lighteria keeps holding onto one of the puppet legs at great personal humiliation, the time of the odd battle ticks away and it becomes clear the group isn't going to be able to keep all the parts occupied. With a small mat forming in his bangs from the constant bonking, Lighteria growls and shifts his hands down to the doll's ankles, pulling it backwards and giving it a mighty swing to send it flying to the wall. It bonks undamaged off the wall and onto the floor, apparently not really seeing Lighteria as much of a threat anymore, seeking instead to vibrate somewhat menacingly.

That over with, the twin blade takes a quick stock of the situation. Though the whips had snared Pheonix and Dien, the HP loss is pretty minimal... and Sheena... is playing football? Almost as fast a bullet, the head of the puppet whizzes by Lighteria's face and into the open door... which sure doesn't ACT like an open door since the head kind of bobbles off it like there's a sheet of glass there. It was... odd. In fact, the entire fight was odd in itself, considering the thing didn't really attack unless someone tries to get the cape... so really most of what's happening is self inflicted. While he considers the wisdom of perhaps halting action and taking their time to calmly disable each piece, the telltale sound of whips cutting through the air and wrapping around something else reaches his ears. The twin blade turns his head and blinks, a look of uninhibited horror passing by his face, seeing Sheena lifted up into the air by the neck and torso. Now having your ankle grabbed can be painful, sure but it's no cause for alarm, but seeing her get strangled sets off a bit of a panic alarm in Lighteria's head, giving him only a few seconds of staring before his recklessness kicks in again.

"Sheena!!" He says somewhat uncharacteristically loud but very much still squeaky. The non-hushed tone of voice is a bad sign though, clearly indicating the twin blade has temporarily lost his inhibitions and with it most of his sense and rationale. If Kit were present, she would probably have something pithy and sarcastic to say about the twin blade getting emotional and embarrassing himself. Of course she's not here and no one's speaking in his head anymore, so Lighteria rushes forward and unsheathes the Akatsuki, ignoring the severely misquoted Shakespeare he's hearing for some reason. With a running start, he makes a giant leap forward, both blades held up over his head to strike at the whips themselves. The blades glide right off of course, they can't be broken. Despite the failure, the timid twin blade's head still rings with alarm, coaxing him to do SOMETHING. It somehow dawns on him that the attack failed only due to a lack of force behind the blow. So, with his breath short and his movements frantic, Lighteria backs up and gets a running start, charging for the wall this time. Apparently the crazy doesn't affect his finesse too badly as the player kicks off the wall and executes a perfect half spin with his blades over his head. With a Zelda-like Link "Hyaah!", he brings the blades down on the whip cord, his arms straight and his entire body weight and kick momentum put behind the blow. The strike is halted of course, with the arm buckling maybe a centimeter before pulling the whip taught again, sending the twin blade backwards and into the wall, tumbling right to the ground with a thud, his blades clanging to the ground with two loud rings and several smaller rings as they too settle onto the ground.

The hit on the wall leaving the wind knocked out of him, the twin blade scoops up his blades and sheathes them, staggering to his feet. It's only at this point that he sees Dien again, apparently with a bright idea and a pair of gloves. He stands close, watching a bit hopefully but quite silent as the blademaster tests out the cords with a calm air about him that sort of both frustrates and further panics Lighteria. He doesn't dare protest or get in the way though... that would be confrontational and he's not feeling THAT emotional... yet. Eventually SOMEthing happens though, the cords once again changing targets, though not changing their oh so pleasant strangling technique. With Dien now strung up in the air, Lighteria lets out the standard gasp as he sees him hoisted up and Sheena fall to the floor. ...Ok, well ALMOST to the floor. Lighteria's close proximity and good reflexes enables him to make a perfect catch of her before she hits the floor. He does this without a whole lot of forethought of course because the next five seconds of his facial expressions consist mostly of an awkward stare and rapidly forming blush before the thought of letting her the hell down snaps into his head.

"Sorry." He ekes out, setting her down on the floor as comfortably and quickly as his strained arms will allow. Deciding that any more eye-contact with her could possibly cause him to commit impromptu hari-kari, Lighteria instead opts to shift his daze up to Dien who is sweeping the Obvious Pain ceremonies, taking home the awards for Most Twitchy, Raspiest Gag, Largest Limb Flail and Buggiest Eye Ball. Quickly going through the track record of his attempts with Sheena, the twin blade realizes there's very little he can actually do to stop him from winning the Lifetime Achievement award as well, so instead of tearing off into a panic again, the twin blade lets his hand wave after a bit of watching. A white glyph extends from his palm, catching a pretty good sized portion of the group in a La Repth spell to top them off from all the pretty persistent, painful puppet pummeling.

A minute of worried hang wringing passes before the twin blade finally lets two thoughts slip into his head. 1. Heavy concern does not a released Dien make and 2. That lab guy could have unphased by now. Deciding to put two of these ideas together, the twin blade rushes back towards the door of the room, though slightly to the left to again pick up the leg he'd tossed around earlier. Since the cape is of no concern to him at this point, no immediate pummeling ensues and instead the leg simply hangs limply in his hand like a malformed, soggy Twinkie. A casual observation of the thing reveals no hidden weak points or really anything out of the ordinary which is really a shame because in the back of his mind, the twin blade was sort of hoping to find a small, hand-lettered note on the thing saying 'Here is my weak point; please stab it." With no such luck though, he quickly turns his gaze to the lab room, happily noting that Raquar is no longer standing there ghosted. It's during this overview that a flashmail rings past his ears that reveals absolutely nothing to him. Deciding that at least keeping a piece in his hand and his eyes on another threat is an ok use of his time, he settles his nerves and watches his SP total tick up at a painfully slow rate.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(This wasn't exactly the best way to impose a wrestling hold, now that he thought of it. Consider... He was the one pinned down, so how was imposing a body-clincher useful here? He should've been tapped out a long time ago, but it was currently to no avail, which was just freakin' annoying. Every now ant then, Canti would entertain a stab of the puppet torso he was holding, even though he knew it wasn't going to do him any good. He just needed to do something while the irresistible force kept on fighting the immovable object. It's human nature not to accept defeat, and he didn't believe he was defeated so long as this flying torso did nothing but hold him in place. Besides, he wasn't completely powerless, right? There was an ace up the Twin Blade's sleeve. It was just that now might not be the time to play it. For now, he could be content with keeping the largest piece of the bastard at bay. Until he had some idea of what these gloves were for and how to act, there was no need to actually DO anything. Now...he just had to wait...and watch. The rest of the team continued to work on dealing with the puppet, but nothing really came of it until...Sheena. She actually showed that killer head a thing or two! Unfortunately, it also tried to throttle her with the whips!)

Canti: Dammit! Okay, I think about NOW is a good time to get out.

(Struggling with the torso, the Twin Blade still found that he couldn't move out from underneath it. And why not? His class of character wasn't exactly known for its bulk strength, so physical prowess alone wasn't gonna foot the bill. Fortunately, while he was working on that, Dien had worked on the whips using the the gloves. The gloves? Yes! He'd found a use for them! They were for gripping the whips! There was...a rather unusual reaction from the Blademaster when he took them in his hands according to the opposing colors. That twitching... A shock? Well, it must've meant something, because Sheena was suddenly released and Dien was put in a hangman's noose, so to speak. He struggled for a bit, but then seemed calmer after a while. Canti realized that Dien must've understood too, the fact that The World was an illusion. His breath was regulated in a hospital somewhere. He was being fed by an IV and cared for by physicians. The only thing that mattered was his HP, his mortality. If that wasn't suffering, then he wasn't in danger. Well...he was still in a bind, hence his PM. What he didn't get was...what glob? Okay, maybe he was hallucinating. He'd done it before, and he wasn't the only one either. Still, now was the time to get out, because he had on the only other gloves. Canti braced himself against the torso with his arms and legs, getting as much leverage as possible, and then blasted away at it with Darkness Flames! The thrust of the flames and his pushing weakened the torso enough - even though it wasn't 'killing' it - that he was able to snap himself out of that fix, sort of like a slingshot.)

Canti: Gotta move fast. I dunno how much time or leeway I'll have.

(Turns out, he had plenty. Yeah, surprisingly...the chest didn't go after him, or the head, or anything else. It was damn curious, but he didn't try to poke any with a stick to get the 'fight' he was hoping for. If they were gonna leave him alone, then good. Okay... To begin with, Canti was gonna attempt to free Dien. He asked for help so...he was gonna get it. Like Dien did before him, the Twin Blade took his gloves and grabbed the whips opposite the color of his hands. This produced...a similar effect to what Dien must've experienced, like he was transferring a current or something. The whips didn't move...which meant the Blademaster was still F-ing stuck, but Canti looked up...and saw a big weird purple glob-thing on the ceiling!)

Canti: Agh! He was right!

(It was a big splorchy thing. Glob was a good word, but with those fine wires heading into every piece of the puppet, Canti was reminded of...a jellyfish, a portuguese man-of-war. Granted, he'd only seen 'em on shows, but it's basically...hmmm... Canti reached out and grabbed one of the new wires - which nobody else but Dien can see right now - and received a sudden jolt of pain, forcing him to recoil. About 60 damage was taken off...and he was poisoned. Administering an Antidote, he turned to Dien.)

Canti: Yeah, uhhh...sorry I can't get you out right now. You're kinda' stuck there, but...I know what has to be done...I think. I'd ummm...kill ya and res ya, but then it'd just take someone else. So just...sit back, relax, and try not to laugh.

(At which point he took the other pair of gloves and composed a Flash Mail.)

TO: The Party
FROM: Canti
SUBJECT: Trouble

Okay, guys? We've got a problem. The puppet is just a distraction. The REAL trouble is the creature we can't see. This big glob-jellyfish thing you guys can't see has a buncha wire-tendrils attached to all the parts, moving 'em around like toys. I think it looks attackable, but it also looks hard to access with all the tendrils, which seem to have effects. I got damaged and poisoned from one, and you can't even see it. So, we need everybody who can get loose or whatever to take these gloves and use 'em in reverse color to the whips clutching Dien to be able to see it. Once we can all see the bastard, maybe we can blow it up and get what we came for.


(So saying, Canti had his pair off and was ready to hand them over to others and take 'em back at will. He didn't have much else to do...just yet. But they'd get to it, and then that'd be one dead spineless invertebrate!)

OOC: Okay, so...it's like this. Once you see this thing, please take note that its tendrils hurt to the touch, with random effects. You could end up getting hurt for 50-100 damage with either Poison or Paralysis status on top of that, or you could be hit with equivalent damage and elemental effect of a Level-2 Rai Don spell. Just keeping you informed.

_________________
I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Awakened Player
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:28 pm
Posts: 150
There were a couple ways to go over how her mind was working, what she was doing, but in the end, all that really needed to be said of Senna was that being offered a chance to murder did nothing for her mental faculties and that she had become a giant wad of do-nothing.

How fortunate for her that the rest of the group was far more capable than she.

Canti’s Flashmail was nice in that it laid everything out neat and shiny. He, in contrast to her, had been quite busy. Most recently, he’d engaged the central part of the puppet in a rather painful-looking dance, though now, it seemed between he and Dien, a solution had been found.

Moving tentatively, Senna approached Canti and took the proffered gloves. The whips, or wires, or whatever…. They didn’t look good. Unfortunate recollections perhaps, as her mind (as always) wove back down the paths of stories once read, half-forgotten, mixed and remixed. Strands of hair from a faithless woman, woven to cut the deepest…

Shaking her head, she quickly donned the gloves and did as the message bid her. She winced at seeing how the wires were stretched… this seemed unfair, like using him. But still. Quickest begun, quickest done.

The jolt was unexpected in its ferocity. Senna released the cords with the same speed she might have were it a real live wire and quickly removed and turned over the gloves. The next person could have them. Best to get on with things.

They weren’t kidding about the thing on the ceiling. It had the look of a creature out of some child’s imagination, set down in crayon, bright and weird.

“Disgusting,” she murmured, no venom in the word. It was just another thing, just another of the creatures from the twisted minds of the game creators – or the more-twisted minds of the hackers, she supposed.

This should be interesting.

_________________
Senna, level 33 Long Arm (710 HP/180 SP)
Most common kit: Ichigou, Racoon Earcaps, Air Bracer, Snow Panther, Winter Coat, Graceful Book
Spells/Skills: (Critical Hit/Death) Repulse Cage, Ap Corv, Ap Vorv, Rai Rom, Rue Zot, La Repth
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 Post subject: Part 12
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:14 am 
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Exalted Player
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Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
With the regular rhythm of pain cycles starting to become predictable, the blademaster was becoming used to the fact of being strangled by whips of pain and numb. How ironic it was that his first manifestations of the virus had been something along the same lines. Granted, he doubted it would have been at all useful in the face of this purple puppeteer. He’d managed to figure out a way of looking at it without eliciting too much pain, which was turning out to be quite useful in trying to think a way out of this mess. Even with the jolts of pain that would send a quiet twitch over his body through the sharp ring about his neck, there had to be something he could do.

Physical attacks were out of the question. These whip things were blocking his arms pretty bad anyway, and were (as Phoenix had determined) perfectly impervious to physical attack. A skill would injure him more than this thing anyway, likely slitting his throat in the attempt to break free. There was also the whole, “you need to be able to breathe to be able to talk to be able to cast spells,” thing, which also applied to physical skills. Unless…nope, no such luck. While game mechanics prevented him from dying to lack of air, they didn’t enable speech through lack of air – likely due to the impeccably accurate physics engine. Still, that didn’t leave much in the line of options.

Specifically, it left one option: a scroll. The thing about scrolls was that they could be dissolved instantly in an attack at the enemy and didn’t require any breath to activate. One simply had to decide on the target and activate, and BOOM! Or KZZKT! Or SPLASH! In this case, it would be KZZKT! His fingers had found their way into his bag of infinite holding, giving him the option to sort through the twenty-someodd scrolls that hid there and determine the best one for the job. The thing holding him was purple, which tended to denote darkness-affiliations. Logic dictated, then, that the best course of action would be to attack it with something of the opposite element. Since it was attached to the ceiling, it would have to be a Rom or Kruz type attack; Zot wouldn’t work because there was likely no Zot spell that could reach from floor to ceiling, and a Don would have no room to form above the monster, so would likely miss. So, Rai Rom or Rai Kruz: only Rai Rom actually had a scroll that could cast it.

Withdrawing the Plasma Storm, Dien did his best to hold it in the direction of the thing holding him aloft: straight up. Keeping an eye on the prize, he activated it, and watched the crackling commence. A shriek filled the room, and the blademaster saw the thing begin to convulse and withdraw its tentacles in a quick jerk. Before the connection could even be made in his mind, his head had been severed from his torso from his legs, all three parts falling rapidly to the floor and leaving him standing, ghosted, where they’d landed.

Finally, he could breathe again, and he’d be damned if it didn’t feel good.

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Master of Games
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
To Nighthand, Dien looked absurd trying to cast a scroll on nothing. To Sheena, who suspected there was more to this room than met the eye, he was on to something. To both, the shriek that filled the room was unexpected. They both looked up, and saw what Dien had targeted.

On the ceiling, the purple blob pulsed and quivered, fading in and out of visibility. The puppet parts were jerking all around, flying this way and that around the room. Sheena batted one aside as it came for her, but there was no real force behind the blow. This wasn't an attack, this was death throes.

Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the creature died. The tendrils disappeared, and the pieces of the puppet fell inert to the ground.

Nighthand sighed, lowering his sword and stretching. "That was easy enough."

"It took too much time! We have to get the cape and get out of here!" Sheena jogged to the other side of the room, heedless of the puppet parts or the rest of the party, and reached into the light field that contained the cape. She drew it out and, with it, another object. The other access key, the one to the final segment of the dungeon.

Nighthand rolled his eye and gestured at Dien's ghost. "Rip Maen. No time to rest. Gotta go save Nall's ass before ours get handed to us." He was almost sarcastic about it, seemingly unconcerned about the impending threat of... well, everything. They had Nall down in the dungeons, for one thing. They had an entire wing of a hacker research facility to fight through. They had the strange amalgam of water and earth that the other labtech had turned into. They had whatever creatures had defeated Nall and captured him in here. They had the impending return of the senior lab guy, with whatever Elite chose to bring them along.

"Too many threats to care about, huh?
Basically. Worrying about it is unproductive.

Sheena stormed out of the room, leaving them behind, and it was left to him to rally the troops and get them to the door before she was completely gone.

Flashmail wrote:
From: Nighthand
To: The Party
RE: Regroup


Now's the chance to regroup, we're about to go into the third and final wing of this place. Lambda Gated Folding Stare if you forgot and left or something. Hurry up though, the way should be fairly clear for you to rejoin us. I'll try to stall Sheena before she runs off without us.



OOC: This is the end of this thread. I'm going to post up grades in a bit here, and then start the new thread. In the off chance you read this before that's done, please to be not posting yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Master of Games
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Phoenix: -> +3 Levels, +1 Pegasus Comet, +1 Jungle Rage, +2 Ion Strike, +2 Plasma Storm, +2 Light Cross, +3 Healing Potion
Senna: -> +1 Level, +1 Storm Bracer, +1 Ice Strike, +1 Ion Strike, +2 Mage's Soul
Lighteria: -> +4 Levels, +1 Rashou, +1 Plasma Gale, +1 Raging Plasma, +2 Cygnus, +1 Green Gale, +1 Holy Sap, +1 Well Water, +2 Healing Potion
Canti: -> +2 Levels, +1 Thunder Torque, +2 Chaos Spell, +2 Wood Sprite, +1 Warrior Blood, +2 Mage's Soul
Zhao Xun: -> +1 Level, +2 Nightblight, +1 Healing Potion
Raven: -> +1 Level, +1 Matoi, +2 Dark Night, +2 Health Drink
Dien: -> +3 Levels, +1 Matoi, +1 Thunderbolt, +2 Flame Blast, +1 Meteor Swarm, +1 Divine Cross, +2 Hunter Blood
Raquar: -> +1 Level, +1 Newt Necklace, +1 Dark Traitor, +1 Ice Floe, +2 Health Drinks
Asgard: -> +1 Level, +3 Lightning Bolt, +2 Health Drinks
Hacorie: -> +0 Levels, +2 Health Drinks
Silk: -> +0 Levels, +1 Fortune Wire

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Wishlist: Any Armor or Weapons under level 50, Any Scrolls (prefer level 2+)

EXP 500/1000


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