5943/Undone - The Mancers Dilemma

From Multiverse Crisis MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Undone - The Mancers Dilemma
Date of Scene: 22 July 2018
Location: Caelondia
Synopsis: It all becomes done.
Cast of Characters: The Kid, Priscilla, 1094, Kotone Yamakawa

The Kid has posed:
    It's an uncomfortable, but thankfully brief trip down the elevator. Not because it is a short one, but because said elevator moves at surprising speeds. By now, they must be beneath the foot of the hill the Pinnacle sits atop, and there's still more to go. The discomfort come from the two other Mancers bearing guns. One has one trained on Flamel, while the other has one on each hand (having snatched the one from Flamel's desk), with one on Rucks and the other on Venn.

    There's hissing from their radios, distortion borne of the thick rock between they and the surface, or perhaps some kind of interference from an Mancer device. It's getting worse the further they descend, but there is a final transmission from Zia before it cuts out entirely. "...ryon... ou ok... I fou... id an... e car... here soon!"

    "So," the dual-wielding Mancer says in a forced cheery tone, "What exactly did Venn do to the weapon Rucks?" The older Mancer clutches his walking stick, the corners of his mouth going tense before he answers. "The transformer ain't configured right. It'll dump in too much power at once, short the whole thing out." The Mancer fumes, but keeps his aim steady. "Ugh, that'll take forever to fix..." He aims a kick at Venn, just as the elevator finishes its descent.

    The room they emerge in is a massive stone chamber, and contains multiple elevator systems. One for every office of import in the Pinnacle, no doubt. "All right, everyone off," the single-pistol packing one says, ushering with the gun. The massive room leads into a long corridor, dotted at points with massive metal vault doors. They're brought to a stop in front of one labelled 'Project Calamity,' and the single wielder starts yanking on three ropes that dangle from the wall beside the door in a specific sequence.

    After a long moment, the door hisses and begins to swing outward, permitting access. If the party wants to storm the place, take it by force? Now's the time.

Priscilla has posed:
    Priscilla considers all facets of the situation, and is most annoyed by the fact that the Mancers are smart enough to be pointing their guns at Rucks and Venn. Of course, they'd hardly be Mancers if they were dumb enough to try and threaten the three Elites at gunpoint, but it doesn't irk her any less that there is no way out of shielding the weak link here.

    And it doesn't make her heart slow down at the very real risk of losing Rucks again.

    Once again, she is reassured of the man's character. Despite the ugly hate that they had shared, and which she still feels more than a little, Rucks is Rucks, and the smooth lie reassures her. When the Mance swings that kick at Venn, her tail slaps down on the top of his boot, pinning his heel to the floor. Still looking ahead, she says "I had been assured that thou were professionals. Pray, act as if thou were." Just because they have guns on the vulnerable members of the group doesn't mean she's going to act below her station.

    She keeps her strategization on the downlow, using the private radio system when going through the vault halls. The idea is to play it cool until they actually see whatever insane machine is supposed to be responsible for the Calamity, let the Mancers get Rucks and Venn to fixing it, then incapacitate them and hold the area while those two instead disarm it of any capacity to blow up the world anyways when they smash it.

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    Parsons smiles the whole way down, guns or no guns. Not because he's happy, but because he needs to stay positive. He needs Venn and Rucks to believe they can find a way through this situation. He needs to hold on to the belief that there's going to be a solution. And he needs to not seem like he's going back on his offer to help Rucks. Not, of course, that he didn't help him.

    As he walks, he keeps a telepathic link with the group, chattering with them over the brainwaves, and letting them do the same. Not unlike Kotone's own natural unvocalized voice systems, Flamel's mentalism allows them to discuss tactics on the way down and out. As he does, he does his best to make what happens next subtle: A small pulse of light around his eyes, a soft sound like a heartbeat. He's trying to use CLAIRVOYANCE on the no-doubt psychically impactful future event of the possible firing of the Calamity weapon. If he can zero in on that branch of psychic probability, he might be able to draw information out of it...

    When and where might make it fire? Can he get any visions of actions that might lead to it firing, intentionally, maybe unintentionally? Are there any potential disaster-prone aspects of what comes up, something to handle Priscilla's worries? He's ready, though... Inside his skull, a pair of translucent hands are charging up, intent on grabbing Rucks and Venn away from their escorts and bringing them where they need to go, and charging up the shield to leap in and block fire on them.

    All on Priscilla's signal, or so he hopes. Just waiting for that signal...

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
It was getting close to go time the plan is laid out, there was a large number of lives on the lines here and this world being habitable really after as well. She'd done a few tricks to get what she needed in here. She does not deploy it yet. She knows they have one chance, one chance that people have died to get this far. She's going to have to have some faith in Rucks here today and pray she's not misplaced it.

She cringes inside as Vaan gets a kick she hates her self for not acting but there are so many people going to burn. She's going to have to wait for the right moment when Priscilla says go? It's time to go she muses. She has her hardware ready and outside she's just the calm doll seemingly like nothing is wrong. So Kotone waits and gets ready to spring to life, god help her.

The Kid has posed:
    The Mancer is surprised when Priscilla's tail intercepts his kick, but just fumes quietly and doesn't object. Flamel expands his consciousness and tries to peek at the worst possible outcome. There are two, should the weapon be fired. Either it is fired as it was previously, and the continent is devastated. Or it is fired correctly and... the continent is devastated.

    The door opens just enough for everyone to slip inside before a Mancer at a control panel has it seal itself behind them once again. They now stand in a chamber heavy with the humming of machines, the floor tangled with insulated wires. Multiple Cores hang in sealed chambers, set beside consoles far more advanced than anything they had seen in Caelondia previously.

    And everything feeds into Project Calamity.

    In terms of appearance, it's not that imposing. It's mostly the same as the Calamity Cannon the Kid had wielded in the days leading up to the Bastion's activation, but much larger, and mounted on a swivel designed to let it adjusts its vertical height only. The reason for this is the massive diagonal tunnel that skews upwards from the chamber, where the weapon's multiple barrels are pointed.

    However, the aura the machine gives off is sickening, even worse than the Something Wrong that sprung up in the aftermath of the Calamity. This weapon, in and of itself, is Wrong. It goes against the natural order of this world in such a way that anything can feel it. Close observation would reveal that even dust particles from the ceiling have not fallen around the device in a perfect oval.

    Someone marches across that oval to approach the party. It's a man, old but with a cleanly lined face, neat hair, and relatively plain robes. On the surface, very unassuming. Under the surface... Flamel would find that investigating this man is akin to staring at a still pond on a moonless night. He gives nothing away. "Hello. I am the Administrator of the Mancers," he says simply, not even offering a name. "I take it that you're all here because you found out what the issue is?" One of the other Mancers quickly chips in with, "Issues in the power transformer sir!"

    The Administrator offers a subtle nod. "Very well. Then let us execute Venn and begin correcting it." He gestures at one of the Mancers to do the job. To their credit, they don't comply immediately. Be this because of Rucks' claim earlier, or Priscilla's intervention previously is unknown.

    But the situation has clearly escalated.

Priscilla has posed:
    Let him fume all he wants. It's important to remind people sometimes -especially those used to commanding absolutely respect from the safety of a desk- where power ultimately lies when face to face. It isn't elegant or terribly respectable to solve things like this, but it'll work. Priscilla knows that much. They can leverage where they are strongest and the Mancers are weakest, here in the bowels of their stronghold.

    Entering the project Calamity room, Priscilla takes a moment to count heads, sweeping her cold, gold gaze from right to left, taking stock of who is in the room. The Cores being here certainly explains a lot, both about where they'd ended up, and the process of retrieving them for the Bastion, not to mention why the Ura wanted to take them. That's a thing of the past now (or future?) though, and so her attentions are on finalizing the last of the instructions. She hardly pays attention to the Administrator, only nodding vaguely towards the no doubt highly important man. She doesn't have time to give due respect. She doesn't even have time to shudder at the skin-crawling aura of the giant Calamity Cannon. She has things to do.

    "It is unwise to execute the saboteur before thou hast confirmed the entirety of his claim." Priscilla says, with the flat, clinging intonation of a bank of cold grey fog. "Though, nothing thou were to do here was wise in the beginning. Brilliant, yes, but not wise."

    Priscilla acts first. Her tail lashes out again at the dual wielding Mancer's shins, slapping them out from under him as part of a lightning fast turn that involves backhanding the weapon in his outer hand and snatching the one inner at the end of the motion. She doesn't have time to waste for body orientation or changing momentum after, so she turns her head over her shoulder and fires a brief, sharp pulse of her breath weapon at the third gun owned by the second Mancer, either destroying or turning it to crystal in his hand. As scientists, she anticipates they'll be more or less useless in combat without weapons, and right now she is the apex predator in the room.

    "Parsons! Yamakawa!" she yells out, not needing to give further instructions. She twists to throw the one Mancer into the other and out of the way. "Rucks! Venn! Upon me! Do not stray, for thine lives dependeth upon it!" She's quick to scoop them behind Flamel and start directing them to the machine in the center of the room, braving the feeling of Wrongness. "Both of thou shouldst be very aware of this contraption's volatility. I wish it disarmed /immediately/, even if only temporarily. Thou hast no choice in this."

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    Parsons looks at the man and comes to several conclusions. He's seen people like this before: Depersonalized to the point of becoming an intense and powerful danger to everyone around them. That's a brain he wouldn't get into -- maybe a brain he couldn't get into, psychoportal or no. The Administrator won't be someone he can solve the mind of tonight, or maybe for a long time. He's got to do this the hard way. The right way.

    Priscilla starts it. In the confusion that follows, Parsons leaps into action, starting to levitate as he rushes into position with levitation and establishes his PSI Shield. The nearly impervious translucent hemispherical construct swirls into place, intended to shield Rucks and Venn specifically, though giving the others plenty of cover as well. As he does, he ejects one of his mentally-recovered Confusion Grenades from one stray hand, trying to make a longer-term sort of stun in the area, giving the gang a little breathing room before things get bad. "GO GO GO!" He calls out to them, trying to keep them from being fired on by any Mancer backup, security, or other such terrible threats.

    This is it. This is where it all happens. A secret agent, deep within a secret underground base, rushing to help disarm a dangerous doomsday ray-weapon, with millions of lives and sanities on the line. This is the fire psychonauts are forged in. This is what it really, truly means to be a super-spy. He has to hope. They have what they need. And however precarious this position must be, he has to believe it's going to work.

    "Alright!" He calls out. "Venn! It's time! It's time to take back your life! You're going home to Zia safe and happy after this! Rucks! It's time to show me how many lives you can save from the dangers of war! I want to see what that Bastion looks like when it's properly finished!" Hope. He can't do much but provide the shield as best he can, projected out of his skull, but he does his best to give his new allies hope.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone knows the madness that can lead a civilization to something like this. It happened to her world, many old hates still lurked and festered such as the Empire of America or the fading powers that had lived through the war there. She shouldn't have been an elite, had her world never unified she'd have gone on and been a face in the teeming masses of humanity, nothing special was intended for her.

Yet she had and now she was not just a bystander to be walked on. Rucks had died giving his world a chance to be rebooted, which is what they have done. The Administrator? He nearly was as wrong feeling as the nightmare weapon which was before them. Her Ghost was shivering in terror at this thing, a creation by the hands of man. She checked her internal hud her systems were ready to go. The moment the signal was given the war machine that was her body would spring to life. She gazes upon the horror of this place she waits for all of this, every action. Every fight, every joy? Every moment of sadness since she'd met those few people who had lived through the Calamity? It had come to this. She sees Priscilla act and gives the command to act.

Her left arm starts to twitch, followed by cracks appearing, finishing off with it splitting apart hand folding back, and one could see her Matter Manipulator mounted in it, it powers up, Kotone has a weapon in hand now and her arm snaps back into what could be considered an arm again.

Then she vanishes from sight under her casual outfit? She'd been wearing the basic layer of her stealth armour the pat with the therm optic cameo system. She rippled and starts to vanish and she would start to go after the guard not spending munitions at the moment but making use to grab them and use her built in taser to bring them down, and she's moving with inhuman speed, she's not holding back tonight, but she is being mindful of attacks that could set off the weapon as unlike her friends? She's out in the open moving to buy them time.

<<Do what has to be done don't worry about me! Got it?!"

The Kid has posed:
    Things explode into action the moment Priscilla lashes out. The Mancers are quickly disarmed, one pistol send clattering across the room and the other grabbed up. The other Mancer finds the gun crystallized to his hand, rendering the mechanisms useless. Both are then immediately brought low by Kotone's tasing strike, putting them out of the picture. The Administrator's placid face registers a moment of surprise before he begins to flee, leaping behind a desk.

    In total, with the two guarding them disabled, there are eight Mancers in the room, the Administator, and no guards. Flamel's Confusion grenade manages to catch three in its cloud, making the start to spasm lightly and lose focus on what's going on. Rucks and Venn both begin to move with the Psychonaut, the battered Ura shrugging off his wounds to begin issuing his own commands. "To properly shut it down, we first need to cut off the power. This thing is fed by four Cores!" Rucks nods, and says, "We'll split up. Leave two of 'em to me."

    And before Flamel can argue, as he probably would, the old man is heading off, but not straight for the Core. Instead, he heads for a desk that a Mancer ducked behind, getting low to hide in front of it as the man himself pops up, bearing an Army Carbine. He lines up a shot on Venn, but Rucks uses his strength the flip the whole desk onto the man, snatching the rifle from his hands and leaving him pinned.

    However, the others are also producing weapons. The Mancers recruit the best and brightest from all walks of life, and the array of weapons here is evidence of that. Flame Bellows, Brusher Pikes, Dual Repeaters, and Fang Repeaters are brought to bear. Even the Administator produces a War Machete and regards Priscilla, a slight crack in his grim facade forming as an upward curl of his lips.

    "I've heard tell you can kill anything that lives. Perhaps I'll find out how through vivisection." He rushes forward, sprightly for an old man, and then seemingly vanishes, only to appear in the air above the First to slash at her eyes.

    Kotone vanishes, and the Mancer with the Flame Bellows steps up. The odd weapon in his hand is far different from the one the Kid used. It's been worked on, bearing a massive fuel canister and a built-in shield. He squeezes, and a massive torrent of flame fills the air. He distributes them evenly, keeping clear of sensitive equipment, but trying to catch the invisible cyborg.

    Flamel sticks with Venn as he begins tapping at a console beside a Core, bringing down the flow of power to the weapon. A bullet drills into that Shield from the Mancer with the Carbine. It too has been tuned beyond the one the Kid carried, and the bullets are engineered to have razors that make them shred at the psionic bubble. The one with the Brusher's Pike uses it to pole vault and slam down on the Shield, that sharpened tip also jagged. Both weapons designed to get through natural defences.

    The radio is hissing again, fragmented bits of conversation filtering through. "...o ... way..." It was not Zia's voice, but a man's. A familiar voice.

Priscilla has posed:
    All things considered, Priscilla feels that they're off to a solid start. Flamel has Venn under his protection, and as undesirable as it is that Rucks had run out of it, it may in fact be necessary to split off like that, and the man is a former soldier and handling himself fine. Really, she should have expected that most of the others on this project, designed solely to eradicate the Ura, would be, but things aren't completely out of hand yet. Still, it woudn't do to be here when the guards inevitably arrive.

    The Administrator himself is actually the one she finds least surprising would come at her. By all indications there was something a little wrong with him, even despite his perfectly plain and inoffensive facade, like the shade of plain grey sky that warns of a storm nearby. One glance to his choice of a war machete, and when Priscilla looks back up to his face, it is with the quiet stare of one who recognizes exactly how cracked someone is.

    "An excessively bold statement to tie to the one that didst just cometh before. The unfortunate fact for the both of us however, is that I yet need thee alive."

    A crazy old man disappearing on the spot is a little beyond what Priscilla had expected, but then she'd have been surprised if he just openly charged her anyways. She locates him only just in time to guard her face with what she has in hand, that being the stolen handgun, and the machete with a falling man's weight behind it chops through that easily enough, biting into her hand and drawing a slick stream of dark red blood. "Didst thou not thinketh it strange that the lot of thee hath faced no assassins? It wouldst certainly be much easier than all the trouble I hath gone through thusfar."

Having the machete wedged in a block of wood and iron at least helps her get some leverage over it, where Priscilla then wrenches it sideways and downward, taking advantage of the jump attack's lack of surface to brace against and resist her with. She discards the broken firearm at the highest velocity possible, then swings her arm to intercept the falling Administrator with a rather inexpert but incredibly beefy hit to chuck him back into the desk. Given a bit of space, she'll turn to where Parsons is under assault and release a lengthy stream of her breath attack, raising a thick barrier of crystalline spikes facing outwards from around his shield to delay his attackers. She imagines the Mancers are probably too smart to expose themselves to the stuff after the stunt she'd already shown.

    "Sir Parsons! Art thou able to locate Lady Zia! Sir Zulf! Sir Kid!?" she shouts, hearing the radio crackle and hoping telepathy works better. No point in keeping their names secret now.

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    "Wait, Rucks--!!" Parsons calls out as Rucks abandons safety. Oh no! But he demonstrates more than enough strength there. He keeps pace with Venn, keeping him under cover, despite his urgent, desperate compulsion to go keep Rucks safe. That was the whole motivation for turning back time! He has to fight tooth and nail with his own mentality to keep himself from abandoning his wounded ally... But the thought of Zia keeps him focused. Enough that he can keep things together when the bullet drills into the shield. "W-woah!" He calls out, as it flickers far, far more than it ought to. That felt like sustaining a burst of machinegun fire, not getting shot with a single bullet!

    Wait... DAMMIT, THEY HAVE THAT SAME ADAPTIVENESS THE URA DID! This must be the real byproduct of the war! He desperately keeps it up, but he can only keep it up so long when it comes under the barrage from above. The pike slams through the shield, utterly shattering it! Parsons is almost thrown back, but forces himself forward, keeping his body between Venn and the Carbine Mancer. "STOP!" He calls out, letting the spear streak towards him with seemingly no regard for his own safety.

    A spear surging towards him.

    A battle with Rucks at his side.

    A failure to meet adaptation.

    He recalls the War Machette of the Ura commander.

    "NO!!" He calls out. Psionic hands rush out, slamming around the haft of the spear and keeping its head from plunging too deep into Parsons' body. "I'm not going to-- I won't make him do that again!" Not that Rucks was likely to take a blade for him again, but it sure did provoke one of the deep traumas in one of the few memories Parsons had allowed himself to keep recently. Twice now, he's found himself fighting in a siege alongside Rucks at the very end of the world. The only thing that has finally made him stop focusing on keeping Rucks alive... Is keeping the same situation from happening a second time.

    He yanks it back, evoking a spray of awful crimson psi-energy, before squaring up those two big psychic hands and engaging the pikeman in one-on-one close-quarters melee combat to try to wrestle the spear back from Venn and Parsons, zipping in and out of invisibility and making sure he's always, always keeping the man between Venn and the Carbine Mancer. Another pair of hands emerges from his skull, pointing their index fingers at the Carbine Mancer and firing big blasts of orange directly at him, trying to drive him into cover or knock the wind out of him.

    If he can just get... Maybe a hand on the pikeman's head, a palm on it, he might be able to inject a shock of memories, clairvoyant visions, and other information that might make him more aware of this, or at least stun him and batter his mind. This is a psychohazard run amok, a dangerous set of thoughts and beliefs that have put so many lives at risk, Parsons is compelled to try his tactics, and to hope that they can buy him at least enough time to get the shield back up and save Venn!

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa is quick she knows not to underestimate the locals fighting abilities. She's seen the Kid fight, after all, they have done things with weapons her world long left at the wayside in its own march forward. She moves she weave she acts and doe snot really thinks, her HUD relays important information and she processes information at no unaugmented human on her world could do. The Mancer with the Flame Bellows is a problem it's an area saturation weapon, which means he just has to have an idea of where she might be to have a good chance to hit her.

She weaves and moves trying to dance about the fires the heat doesn't have to get her to cause trouble after all right? She dances about the flames and will then drop freezer foam grenade, she does not know what might set off the terror weapon here, after all, right? So the foam goes off and should help to restain the guy using the Flame Bellows.

If she gets that opening from him dealing with it or trying to move away from the non-cloaked grenade? She will attempt to pounce on him and do her darndest to take him down.

The old man has more spine than she thought someone behind a project might have. She can't focus on that she's got to get the Flame Bellows operator out of commission, which is Kotone's hope for the moment. Then comes a distorted radio call, it's not Zia, is backup on the way?

The Kid has posed:
    With a resounding clang, the Machete bites into the stolen gun, embedding deep. With no leverage, the Administrator has no recourse when Priscilla hurls the two away, leaving him disarmed before he is smacked away, slamming into his desk. It crumbles, but he rises back up in an unnerving way. Standing the same, even though there was a definite 'crack' of bones in the impact. Reaching under the rubble, he produces a second War Machete, and watches as Priscilla breathes some covering crystal by Flamel.

    At which point, he swings and touches a button in this new one's hilt, causing the blade to separate and fly at the First, aiming to sever her cheek.

    As for the Psychonaut, he engages in some telekinetic grappling as Venn pounds at the console. The Pikeman pulls back on his weapon, trying to free it from the telekinetic hands. The constant manoeuvring to use the Mancer as cover from the one with the Carbine, coupled with the crystaline walls created by Priscilla, keeps him from getting off another shot. However, Flamel is still free to return fire, sending him scrambling behind a desk.

    The Mancer right in front of him displays a crooked grin and twists the grip, causing the weapon to suddenly segment. He grabs for the tip to use it like a dagger, but Flamel gets a palm on his head first, unleashing his knowledge of what will happen when Project Calamity is fired. He gasps, and slumps to the ground, gripping his head and screaming at the pointlessness of his work.

    Kotone weaves around the flames before deploying freezer foam. The substance gums the barrel, blocking out the torrent of flame entirely. "Eh?!" its wielder barks, immediately going very still. Who knows what could happen if he keeps going while its blocked. However, the Mancer with the Fang Repeater fills his place, spraying darts at Kotone. However, these ones somehow bend and arc mid-flight, tracking the cyborg even as she dodges!

    At that moment, a voice echoes out from a speaker in the wall. One of those old-style communication devices you would see on old ships. "A-Administrator?"

    The man strides over, in spite of the battle that is taking place, and begins talking into it. "Proceed." The voice on the other end, the receptionist, begins to say, "Um, we have some Marshals here demanding to be le-" However, she is suddenly cut off, and someone else begins speaking. "Administrator Fyxe, glad I could get you personally. This is Second Marshal Dion speakin'. I was wonderin' if ya might spare me'n my men the trouble and just let us down there to see what you're up to?"

    Another voice begins speaking, that of the Kid. "Are you all there? Say somet-" However, he too is cut off by the Administrator slamming the cover down. Flamel feels a massive surge of bottomless misanthropy roll off his form as his works begin falling apart around them. "Not to worry," he hisses, his voice carrying. "They'll never breach the door."

    "Got it!" Venn suddenly declares as the chamber housing the Core winds down with a lowering hum. "Ditto," says Rucks across the room, having done the same. Only two to go. "Kill them!" The Administrator shouts!

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa is able to get the flamer user down good but he's got a partner left and the Repeater Mancer is now on her flying darts at her, he's got an idea of where she was from how she took the last guy down. Images of the ruined world, keep going through her mind, in perfect clarity, one memory comes up Ruck's death, the effort to try and save him. The pain is made raw again. So many people. She presses on even as some of the darts hit her, breaching her suit and into her. She's forced to pull them out, or the Mancer will damn well use them to aim for further follow-ups and she'll use her sidearm to try and shoot the weapon out of that mancer's hand even as he goes.

Then comes the voice of Dion and the Kid? Thank God, backup is here she keeps going she hears the Administrator scream and she finally does reply.

"A shattered world full of ash. That is what you desire?! I have seen what a deployment of this weapon will do! You hate the Ura more than you love your own people!"

This will likely draw fire to her but she just can't say anything, not at this point.

Priscilla has posed:
    Despite the gap in ability, there are a lot of Mancers and they have a lot of contraptions that Priscilla doesn't have the time or the knowledge to properly assess. With Flamel fully on the defense, there is only so much of the field that can be covered at once, and in trying not to kill anyone, Priscilla is limited in her options. Her agitation is increasingly apparent, going by her lowering stance, twitching tail, and accelerated rate of scouring her surroundings. The one with the fang repeaters next, she thinks. Turning towards him, she-

    -hadn't expected the Administrator to get back up. He seems much too old to be doing that. Priscilla looks back to him with a hint of confusion -and apprehension- in her eyes, and once again isn't prepared for more trick weapons. The flying blade slashes deeper into the side of her face than she would have liked, flecking blood over the control room floor, and sends a spike of anger through her mingled with the razor pain, knowing exactly why he's aiming for where. She hates weak but canny foes like this.

    "Clearly thou art studier than thou didst first seemeth." she says, pressing her palm to her cheek and scowling at seeing it come away red. She doesn't want to move her jaw much more, so instead her fingers slip into the case on the silver chain around her waist and scatter a trio of primitive, baked clay spheres at the Administrator's feet. Where they shatter, instead of releasing gas or blowing up from gunpowder, the erupt into coils of electricity sparking from the gold resin packed inside, indiscriminately electrocuting anything in their area. She doesn't wait to see if that alone is enough to put him down; Priscilla rushes the Administrator right as the lightning urns are blowing up, disappearing from view right near the end, rather than the start, of her charge, and curving to tackle him from the left and smash him back down into the desk where she'd put him first.

    One last bit of misdirection: while ostensibly invisibly pinning the Administrator, Priscilla instead teleports across the room to where Rucks is, stepping out of a ripple of non-existent water and grabbing the closest Mancer from behind, hurling him overhead and ripping his weapon away. Defense missions aren't her forte. "Sir Parsons, if thou art able to send a message, direct the Marshals down here at once, assuming Sir Kid hast not already begun hammering his way towards us."

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    "You think they won't get here? Well they will!" Parsons calls out, both in words and in telepathy -- enough that the Kid can surely hear, if there's no psychoisolation. "I've seen how reliable that Kid can be! I've seen him refusing to break at the /end of the world/! I've seen him strong enough that Pith himself blessed him! You're not going to kill us, and it's because I've seen how strong Rucks is, fighting off an Ura siege! I've seen how strong Venn is, surviving months of torture to save the world! I've seen how strong that Kid is -- breaking a fortress in half, and forgiving them for making him! I don't just have hope! I've got certainty! As long as everyone is trying their best, I'm sure, I'm /sure/ we'll stop this!"

    His speech is less to discourage the Administrator, who he recognizes quite well as suffering from enough depersonalization that Parsons couldn't change his mindset with real psychic powers, and more to keep his and his allies' hopes up here on the edge of the end of the world. He tries to use his own morale to great effect; now that he's disengaged from the melee fighter, he can clench those two big psychic hands together into one fist and slam them into the ground, dissolving them into a shockwave of stunning psychic effect, trying to keep the wider array of enemies off-balance enough to grab Venn and dash in a levitation-accelerated rush that ramps stylishly off those crystal spikes! "They'll be here soon, Priscilla! It looks like the message I sent out telepathically got to them!" And then it's back to Venn. "Alright! One more each!" He calls out, sliding as fast as he can and blasting much more intense bolts in wide sprays, now that he has a bit more room to work with. "I know you can do this! Venn, Rucks, keep going! We're almost there!"

    He blasts his telepathic output as hard as he can to Dion and the Kid. With luck, this can guide them to the right room. The door is hard to breach, but... Well, he has high expectations for the Kid. One day that wall is gonna fall for sure, but Parsons knows the Kid is the kind of man who makes that today. God, though. That misanthropy. As soon as Parsons gets stabilized and hopefully shielding Venn, he recoils, like there's a bad taste in his mouth. What is in that guy's brain?! It hurts just to feel the surface thoughts. He was so reluctant to try to affect it before, because it seemed like such a densely psychohazardous space, but...

    He should try, at least. If he can hold his own against Priscilla, he's too much for Parsons, but the special agent can at least help a little. Amid his blasting, he tries to toss out a grenade that's... Sort of a confusion grenade. But instead of disorientation, he's loaded it with something that ought to leave 99% of people utterly unaffected and unharmed, and ought to disorient just the Administrator: A concentrated dose of optimism, positivity, and general hopeful attitude. Despite everything, Parsons still has that in unspeakably large amounts. If anything can get that guy off-balance enough for Priscilla to land a crippling electro-tackle that he can't roll with, it's that.

The Kid has posed:
    The Fang Repeater clatters out of the Mancer's hands, but he's not done yet. He's drawn a dart intended to be ammo, and is using it to clear the freeze foam, reopening the nozzle to allow flames to spray once more! The air heats once more as the flames spread, aiming to take advantage of that brief opening.

    "A world of true peace, free of rabble," the Administrator says to Kotone coldly before returning his attention to Priscilla. "I was a Graver before all this. We don't die before our targets do." He begins to blur, several images of himself scattering away from his position, but the arcing lightning catches the real one, making him stagger, giving Prisiclla the opening she needs to tackle him back into his desk. A few shards of wood drive into him, eliciting small grunt of pain that should give the First some satisfaction before she vanishes to defend Rucks.

    He's doing a fine job with that Carbine as those Mancers put down by the Confusion Grenade get back their senses and join the fray. One nabs their Bullhead Shield while the other produces a Galleon Mortar, the former offering some cover to the latter as they begin to load shells and fire them all around the room. They do not explode, but unfold into small turrets that start firing at the party.

    The Administrator pulls himself off the wood as Flamel shouts at him, shouting of his faith in the Kid. His psychic slam knocks down the two recently revived Mancers. His mind reaches out, and feels the Marshal and his old friend. The former is driver, but the latter has a mind in turbulence. Thoughts, memories, and experiences that seem like his own race throughout as he fights through the corridors of the Pinnacle, showing prowess with his Hammer and borrowed Musket he thought beyond him. Flamel's last glimpse is him stopping at Rucks' door thanks to the signal, and bringing his hammer down on it.

    But now, Fyxe is dosed with a cloud of positivity, optimism, and goodwill to man, and he is not liking it. He arches his neck back and screams, drowning out the sounds of battle before swinging his machete seemingly wildly, sending detachable blades all over. It seems random at first, but four land in a way that seems supiciously premeditated.

    One impales the door controls, rendering the heavy vault door inoperable.

    Two slam into the panels besides the remaining operating Cores, ensuring that their power flow to Project Calamity cannot be so easily cut.

    And one flies across the room, smashing through the glass covering on a single, auspicious button. The dizzying aura around the weapon intensifies as it begins to hum.

    "I can't take it... I can't take people, and I can't take being wrong. So I'll throw away the canvas. Remove both. Then it'll be fine," the Administrator mutters, biting his thumb as Project Calamity enters its firing sequence.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
It is Doomsday, it seems fate will not be denied the death of most of this world. It's human nature to rail against it to keep fighting even as that last bit of life drains out. It's how they are, it's why they endure things with the odds against them at times. Never lay down and die, the cock is ticking now. She calls out to Pricilla over the link with an idea, and she's now dropping her cloak and she has grenades out, plasma grenades that are about as common with her as her stealth gear.


There is nothing to say there as she races for the power sources, grenades in hand they are armed, set to a delay count down. She plants them then runs like hell leaving Priscilla to do the rest.

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    "No! No no no!! WAIT!!! PLEASE!!!" Flamel calls out desperately, screaming as the weapon tears apart some of their last hopes at stopping this. Fyxe fills his clairvoyant perception with visions of a world annihilated in the fires of yet another Calamity. The impact is enough to almost bring Parsons to his knees. He's up off them as soon as he can be, just in time to see the doomsday weapon humming to life. "No. No no no no, no..." He mutters, losing his cool entirely for a moment. His teeth grit and his face screws up in an intense expression of profound pain...

    Keep hoping. Keep sticking to the optimism. Keep trying. He has to try. It worked with Venn. It worked with Rucks. He has to try with Fyxe. He moves into a ready position and rushes towards Fyxe, looking like he's about to try to rip the man's head clean off his shoulders for his defiance. But no, his plan's much, much more intense than that. The confusion got to him, enough to reveal some things. Parsons has only a little material to work with, a little time to work in, and a little psychic energy to do it with. Instead of an elaborate infiltration, or an act of violence, he leaps forward to plant his palm on Fyxe's forehead.

    Some important, crucial psychology trivia. In 1957, a man named Curt Richter drowned dozens of rats. Now, anyone else drowning a dozen rats wouldn't have made the news, but Dr. Curt Richter had a labcoat on at the time, and so it was much more meaningful. He discovered that, when the rats were shown that the situation was hopeless, they drowned within minutes. And when the rats were shown that they would be lifted out of the water when drowning, or when they were often handled by their labcoated tormentor, they gained hope, and survived for days. It was hope that turned their situation around, and allowed survival. Simply introducing any aspect of optimism gave them power beyond their wild counterparts.

    No time to project. Just to try his hardest. Fyxe's brain is like a nuclear reactor of misanthropy in meltdown. Parsons attempts to get a palm firmly on the man's skull. And then he takes more of that energy he put into the grenade, and DUMPS it into the man's prefrontal cortex. Nothing but positivity. Nothing but optimism. Nothing but goodwill. Nothing but pure, pure hope. Hope that one might solve this problem and save the world. Hope that people will be friends. Hope that people will accept feelings that aren't left bottled. Hope that people will be kind. Hope that incomprehensible people can still understand you. Hope for the world. For one's legacy. Hope.

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    Parsons utterly disregards the insane amount of psychic backlash this is likely to earn him. With the level of intense, profoundly bitter misanthropy that this man was just shedding in waves before, Parsons is doing the equivalent of walking unprotected into a nuclear reactor. And he calls out: "BUT THEY CAN TAKE YOU!" His surge of optimism strengthens. "They can take it when you can't! They can bear the pain of mutual misunderstanding! They can take the mistakes! They can survive it when you're wrong! With them, it can be fine!" His voice is shuddering and his mentality is fraying under the stress of raw exposure to this much misanthropic thinking, but he's going to keep trying.

    "Everything's going to be okay!" He says, with an unspeakably determined tone. "People will forgive, or forget, or stop thinking about the times you've been wrong! People will learn to deal with the problems that come up when you can't deal with them! You don't need to take all that!" No matter how much mental fraying he's undergone, he pushes further. He's willing to burn out chunks of his own mentality to strike through to the core of this, with or without an astral projection. "Think about it! Think about that living, breathing, thriving world! That world full of people! The stories they have! The lives they live! And how you can have no more responsibility for them -- just as long as you take responsibility for this, this one moment, this one chance!"

    His voice rises, and his eyes blaze a brilliant white. "Have HOPE!" He screams. "HAVE HOPE!! HAVE HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE!!!" Just blowing up the Cores won't be enough -- who knows how many will die with even a partially-powered firing -- but Parsons hopes he can overload and overwhelm Fyxe's mind with enough optimism to make him want to save the world, want it enough that he'll help Venn and Rucks keep the Calamity weapon from discharging. Please, please please please. Please turn around and save this.

Priscilla has posed:
    Priscilla grunts as she throws away yet another piece of Mancer artifice, more seemingly coming out of the woodworks and complicating the field in more and more preposterous ways. She has to duck low behind one of those desks herself when turrets begin popping up and firing, with the room providing such limited area to maneuver around their streams of fire, and without the surety that she can bet they won't shoot at someone with the cannon behind them. At this point, she feels as if they're effectively awaiting the cavalry to arrive, and to let the Marshals handle a task she is fundamentally ill-equipped for.

    That doesn't seem to be the case when the Administrator goes berserk. "Must I hold him down and strangle him?!" she laments out loud in incredulity, before looking to Flamel. "What didst thou /do/?" She ducks one of those machete blades, not about to be hit by the same thing twice. "Am I to understandeth . . . this was the intention all along?" Priscilla asks out loud, but the question is clearly rhetorical, going by the disbelief and disgust creeping into each word one by one. "Even amongst such esteemed company, truly, it only taketh one."

    Her eyes go to the door panel. She could break that down given a bit of time and her Obsidian weapon. Looking to the button however, it seems Fyxe was accurate enough to nail it under the glass and start the firing sequence, of which she has no idea of its length. The two cores are the obvious case, but Rucks and Venn are now out of luck in shutting them off, and surely severing the power conduits on them without turning the power off would destroy more than just the machine itself. There aren't a lot of options here, and the sheer noise and chaos inside isn't helping the gradually rising urge to go full force on the problem, intensifying in turn with her accelerating pulse.

Priscilla has posed:
    Surprisingly, it is Kotone who reminds her of something. Though Priscilla had asked for her presence here, she hadn't quite been sure what she was expecting. At her urging over the private network, Priscilla suddenly whispers to herself. ". . . essence of windbag, smaller than the eye couldst see . . ." Seemingly repossessing her focus, Priscilla leaps upright from the thoroughly perforated desk she had taken to use as cover, on the nearest console with Rucks in an instant, and pushing the old Mancer to the ground where he'll be safer.

    Breaking the Cores is out of the question in terms of risk, and likely in terms of time they have left, just as liable to explode horrendously as they would be to shut down the machine. With Kotone blowing open the casings, Priscilla can get at them, but doesn't have the luxury of smashing them. Instead, putting both hands, Priscilla calls on what she'd brought out in vengeance on a boy just the other night, some tiny corner of her mind under her pounding pulse and swirling thoughts chiding her for not thinking to practice with these powers.

    The space around Priscilla becomes pitch black, curling off of her in liquid tongues of ink and flame, not flickering with the monochrome greys of Humanity, but bleeding grave-cold hues of ice and abyssal water. After a moment, the aura coalesces towards her hands, and then stabs inwards on a column of disturbance much like a bullet of black smoke shot through clear waters, plunging into the Core contained within. Even without the perfect facilitator of the Lifehunt Scythe, the level of charge is great enough to complete the circuit on its own, and the vicious and alien Dark Priscilla carries within her pierces into the old and unfortunately precious stone, blossoming inside it to voraciously consume the essence of the millions of Windbags that'd gone into making it, and the memories they contain.

    If that goes by without a total catastrophe, she uses the very short time they have left to warp open to the second chamber, repeating the process before someone can stop her. Then however, she has to take a moment to recover, planting a hand against the wall as she shakes off a wave of disorientation. The world flickers dark and monochrome in her vision for several seconds, sounds reaching her ears as if through a great depth of water. The air smokes and ripples in contact with her, as if unwilling to quiet down so soon. Not with this towering pinnacle of Wrongness so fully on display. She can't do anything about Fyxe, or continue to battle the other Mancers. Instead one hand reaches over her shoulder, and with a trick of invisibility, she slams the wicked obsidian profile of the Dragonslayer Greatbow she had made of an entirely appropriate avatar of calamity once upon a time. The cruciform gem-like eye upon its flared rest gazes into the vault door, letting loose an ear-piercing keening like molten nails on a glass chalkboard, leaving the sizzling imprint of a baleful reptilian eye on the metal.

    She knows who must be on the other side by now, and so she says: "I hope that Pyth, too, well remembers thine worthiness."

The Kid has posed:
    There is no clock, but everyone in the room can feel that time is short.

    Many of the Mancers, upon hearing the words of their leader, falter and cease their attack. The one with the Mortar hits a button that shuts down the turrets. The one bearing the Flame Bellows stops shooting. An odd peace falls across the chamber as the other Mancers start feeling what the one that Flamel showed the world in ruins does.

    But the Psychonaut does not falter, nor does the First, nor the cyborg. The latter brings explosives to bear on the remaining two chambers, breeching the containment and allowing Priscilla access. Indeed, Cores and Shards are made up of millions of tiny lifeforms. That renders them susceptible to the Lifehunt, the lethal force spreading across the stones and snuffing out each tiny life. The stone crumbles, no longer held together by the baby Windbags, and the humming and Wrongness lessens.

    "No, stop!" Fyxe shouts as she warps tot he final one, only to be tackled by Flamel, and his mind assailed once more. He screams and thrashes, his own disdain for being around other people lashing back as an unconscious psychic instinct. It's a true tug of war that hurts both, but there is one key thing that tips the scales.

    Misandry, by default, leaves you stranded on an island. When you hate being around people, you only have yourself. A healthy mind requires socialization to not become stunted. Flamel, on top of being a Psychonaut, has formed many bonds here and abroad. He has grown invested in the people here, and this gives him cause, gives him the will to press on. The man beneath him gave up long ago, and that is why his mind falters.

    The torrent of goodwill overcomes, and he spasms on the floor, shown what he had been missing out on all this time. The world through different eyes is much brighter, and he can barely stand it. Justice, true justice has been attained here, for Fyxe has been given the capacity to be sorry for what he tried to do.

    But there is one more brand of justice that must be meted out.

The Kid has posed:
    Just before Priscilla turned her eye on the vault door, a massive impact came from the other side, driving it out of its frame and making the whole wall buckle inwards. The hole she creates spares the place a second one, and reveals exactly who she was expecting on the other side. And her hope has already been answered.

    There stands Kid, wreathed in an unearthly power, given a wide berth by the Marshals around him. It's just as he was in the final battle with the Ura. He is Pyth's chosen, granted immutable strength by the God of Order and Commotion. Attacking his own people's most honoured is no doubt a big Commotion indeed.

    He strides through the door, advancing on Fyxe who is wracked with sobs. "I had no idea..." he chokes out, hyperventilating. "I'm so, so...!" He doesn't get to finish. Man's justice will come in time, but the justice of the gods is immediate.

    Kid pulls back a fist, his eyes glazed. He is, at once, seeing the present, and the past. The horrors of the Calamity fill his mind, granted unto him unfiltered by Pyth himself. Even when man forgets, the gods don't forgive. The fist is driven forward, impacting the Administator's face with righteous fury, accompanied by the Kid's scream mingled with a bull's roar. The old man sails back, finally having taken all the punishment he can. Blood pours from his nose as he lays unconscious, and Pyth's power flees the Kid, making him slump over too.

    "Well. This is a fine 'how do you do.'" Dion says as he looks around. The Marshals raise their Muskets, and the remaining Mancers surrender. "This is gonna be death to explain to everyone, and havin' y'all around will hurt more'n it'll help I think. Reckon ya should make yaselves scarce until this sorts out. Take them along with ya," He gestures at Rucks, Venn, and the Kid. "Already arranged to get the little lady, the diplomat, and his beau off-world, my men'll bring 'em to ya."

    He pauses for a long moment, before adding, "Don't mistake my tone for bein' ungrateful. Y'all did somethin' I never could alone. Caelondia owes y'all a debt, I'll make sure that gets in people's heads."

Flamel Parsons (1094) has posed:
    Parsons had hoped that Fyxe would be helping, but at the very least, it meant he wouldn't be interfering anymore. Now, at least, not one single person in this world is left who has the entirety of the Calamity's power in their mind, /and/ the willingness to use it. And the bonds that Parsons has made have come through. The man's brain is steaming and smoking visibly, emitting a distressing purple mist, but it looks like he's settled this out.

    Parsons is still catching his breath. All of this is too much. A betrayal, a double-depth projection, a double-agent infiltration, a drawn-out battle -- Parsons and his psychonaut skill have been pushed to their very limits and beyond. So he's a little overwhelmed, and needing to take a moment to catch his breath. Once he's done, though... "You're right! It'd be pretty tough. Luckily, we were really late to our appointment and never got in here before you guys found out about the firing and stopped it!" He gives a wide grin, and a thumbs up, something a little less effective because of the visible "psychic bleeding" around his eyes, nose, and ears.

    He strikes the most inspiring pose he can, with his hands on his waist. "It took everyone putting in their hardest work, but I think we've managed to keep the world from ending. It's going to be a while more to clean up the mess, but you've made sure there was anyone to care about the mess in the first place. Everything will be okay because of who you are and what you've done!" He smiles broadly at the pair, and particularly at the Kid. "I'm glad to have had the chance to work with you again. It'll be a long time until I meet someone as reliable again!"

    "Anyway, let's make as little trouble for Dion as we can, and make sure we weren't here, what do you guys say?" Parsons says, smiling wide. And then... Vanishing. No doubt sneaking his way back upstairs and out of here!

Priscilla has posed:
    Priscilla feels the overwhelming urge to slide down the wall and take a grateful seat on the floor, but she won't do so before the Marshals. Moreover, she still seems to be dead set on watching the Kid, seeing those two selves blur together even in her eyes. "Vacation indeed." she says, loud enough only for herself to hear.

    "I wouldst be more than gladdened to hand such a situation over to men like thineselves." Priscilla then says to Dion, straightening up and dusting off her dress, before looking for her healing items. "Considerable effort went into taking these men alive, as I believeth they shalt be needed to answer for much. Sir Rucks and Sir Venn art to be considered key agents instrumental in narrowly averting utter catastrophe, and are hereby recognized with diplomatic status under the Concord until sch a time as their affairs may be settled. It is mine desire to keep worthy help close by, once this nest hast been thoroughly cleaned of roaches. Thou art men of justice, and thou amongst them an uncommon example. I trust thine handling of these ones to be responsible." She then looks to the Kid. "And I trust that Caelondia shalt recognize he, and his companions, what they owe."

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
The Mancers falter Kotone sees this her cloak fades she moves but Flammel is already on the head Mancer. Time also seems to slow down for a moment as Marshalls arrive with Dion and Kid at the head of them. Then comes the divine wrath the Gods have not forgotten and have not forgiven the act this man set up to happen upon the world. She just watches taking a step back. She looks away, she just does not want to see she knows what is coming, which is the justice handled by the Gods of this world.

She just slumps a bit.

"It's been changed."

She looks to Dion for a moment nodding.

"I getcha we need to vamoose."

The plan to get Everyone connected to them and their relations off world? Is a good one.

"Sounds like a plan to me Flamel and Dion? Thank you."

She looks to Kid and grins a bit she smiles.

"You did it."

She just seems pleased at it and Priscilla going to bat for Rucks and Venn is welcome to her.

"So long as this world keeps on turning it's enough for me."

If she gets credit she does if she doesn't.

"I think we need to celebrate once we're off world."