6127/RIFTS: The Garnet Town Gambit Part 3

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RIFTS: The Garnet Town Gambit Part 3
Date of Scene: 07 November 2018
Location: RIFTS Earth - Garnet Town
Synopsis: The party returns to Garnet Town with the freed prisoners. The town has a decision to make... and one last loose end to wrap up.
Cast of Characters: Staren, 6736, 6404, Maya

Staren has posed:
    A crowd gathers on the other side of the wall as you approach Garnet Town with the rescued hostages. A cheer rings out as they recognize their loved ones, and the rescued townsfolk surge forward with glad cries. In moments, the entire town seems to be celebrating.

    Lithari limps forward quickly with tears in her eyes and embraces your group, one by one. "Thank you. Thank you, I don't know what else I can say but... you've done us a great service, one we'll never forget."

    Lithari holds up her hands for silence and the crowd slowly quietens down. "It's time we made a decision, as a town, about our future. These good people..." She gestures towards your group, "...have given us a chance to determine our own destiny."

    The discussion begins. It is clear people were leaning towards the Federation of Magic, even if Symon was kind of slimy... but as soon as that's brought up, the rescued prisoners (and no doubt the heroes) are quick to point out that Symon was responsible for the kidnappings. Many people are infuriated, but the faces of those who think a little faster fall. They know that means that Free Quebec is their only option.

    "But these fine folk have presented us with another option..." Lithari (and no doubt Gideon) describe the potential arrangement with Griffon&Kryuger for the town's defense. Many of them are happy to go along with it just because the heroes saved the town, but even clearer heads can see it's a pretty good arrangement.

Ryouma Sakamoto (6736) has posed:
    Ryouma are Oryou, predictably, are together as ever - perhaps Oryou seems a bit clingier than usual - and settle to the side when folks gather, because once the talks get rolling, he expects Gideon will take his rightful place up front and sell people on the deal.

    Perhaps the only lingering thing in his mind regarding the matter is whether the Federation should be let off the hook or not. What happened was, by a dozen different measures, pretty unacceptable. But it might be that pursuing due justice would just cause the town harm if the Federation is the type to lash out.

    They certainly are the type to kidnap and borderline torture people to gain resources.

    Well, one thing at a time. Let's see what the town decides to do next, first.

Gideon Kaspar (6404) has posed:
    Krys accepts the hugs with a kind of flat, dour, but secretly glad expression. Clover mostly just looks flustered. Gideon looks especially, proud, patting Lithari on the back, and then puffing out his chest with a self-satisfied hm-hmmm~ when she goes back.

    When it comes time for the townsfolk to decide, Gideon is quick to make his pitch in more general, layman's terms. Striking up a brisk, professional tone, he begins giving a borderline presentation, using visual props from a handheld holopad to break down the contract on offer, using his well-honed public speaking techniques, especially intentionally appealing to the townsfolk's sense of vulnerability and having been done wrong by the major factions already vying for them.

    The deal encompasses an immediate posting of several of G&K's mid-range T-Doll echelons equipped for heavy hunting as a standing defense force of Garnet, provided for on the city's budget, and regularly checked up on and maintained by an engineering team from G&K every three months. This much is easy, since the T-Dolls only require a regular amount of human food and parts and ammo the town can either produce themselves or cheaply order the components for. At the same time, G&K will be dispatching a security consultancy team to assess the town's situational needs and begin training and arming a standing militia from its own citizens, recalling the T-Dolls when said militia reaches a sufficient strength. Obviously, they're also offering good deals on military equipment, static and man-portable, though they aren't obligated to exclusively buy G&K if they prefer a local brand.

    The rates for the contract are very low; high enough to be a significant investment, but easily met without anyone going hungry on Garnet's budget, once it's up and running again. The contract involves a 10 year exclusivity deal, where Garnet is signed on to not move to competitors for that time, though it's extremely unlikely they would be able to afford to anyways, or even really want to. G&K charges no tariffs or taxes or takes any kind of sovereignty or stake in political or civil affairs in Garnet. The contract can be renegotiated annually as Garnet's situation develops, whereupon an ideally larger and wealthier independent town would be desirous of purchasing additional services when they feel they need and can afford them. Otherwise, G&K essentially provides a flat guarantee of dealing with any and all hostile elements outside of a serious national declaration of war, and doesn't claim any kind of injury insurance or damage deposit, given that T-Dolls are essentially immortal and cheap to fix up.

Staren has posed:
    A question hangs in the air among the brighter townsfolk. What does this company get out of this, can they really provide things that cheap? And doubtless that will be discussed in the future, when today's events fade into memory.

    But right now...

    Was there ever any doubt? The town wholeheartedly approves of the plan -- Lithari's decision is but a formality. Still, as she announces that they will work with the fine folks at Griffon & Kryuger to secure the town's defense, a cheer goes up and the town begins to celebrate! ...until a brilliant light flares up to the Northeast. The townsfolk gasp or cry out in horror.

    "It's the nexus point." Lithari says, her face showing an expression of shock. "A Rift is opening!"

Maya has posed:
Dan had sent the surviving merc to his fate. Gil putting him down might have been kinder, given he will be tried and made a very noisy example of to the entire region. He's here today cleaned up and honestly putting down the demons have left him in good spirits. The Federation of magic operative has been exposed too. He was shockingly not being smug about this. Showing a hint of his fairly long experience out in the multiverse at large.

"So that's the deal your offering them? Seems your PMC's a pretty big fish in the sector then. Though there is the small matter of the ... Oh hell the Nexus."

This comes a few seconds before the light show starts and Dan's already heading for the door.

"Make your choice as you will, but I'm a hunter of demons and I think we call all agree on they have to go, oui?"

With that he's making for his machine and suiting up there's stuff to hunt as regardless of what he is? He's as headstrong as any Glitterboy Pilot out there.

Gideon Kaspar (6404) has posed:
    As it becomes clear the pitch has the townsfolk sold, Gideon moves to wrapping it up. Questions about G&K's stake in it are easily assuaged with the matter of the exclusivity contract, and that he believes Garnet is poised to become a major regional hub within the next decade if able to secure its independence, whereupon G&K will be in a prime position to meet all of the town's private security needs as a big name trading town without any competition. It's a profit in the long term thing. Never mind that he'd dropped his rates a good 20% because he likes to impress pretty ladies.

    The flare of light and cries of 'nexus point' and 'rift' are less than helpful, but he understands as much that it is bad, and it'll look even worse if he walks out on it after just wrapping up his pitch and overwhelmingly winning the vote. "Looks like we're at it again today girls. Check your weapons and ammo." "I'm fine here." "The same, but I hope nothing really big is waiting for us. I used up most of my grenades." "It was a little overkill I suppose. Oh well, we'll manage."

    The helicopter isn't going to come in on such short notice, and it's a bad idea to fly it into a completely unknown hot zone involving a pillar of magical light visible from afar anyways. The group takes it on foot, after Gideon makes a show of casually sauntering off to defend Garnet for the second time in one day in order to look cool.

Ryouma Sakamoto (6736) has posed:
    The nexus? A rift?

    So like those... Warp Gate things, then?

    Everyone is obviously agitated, so it can't be anything good. Ryouma adjusts his hat, and motions for Oryou to go on ahead. She nodnods and flies off, while Ryouma follows after Gideon on-foot.

    Oryou won't be going too far ahead, just high and far enough to get a look at what's going on and report back, so the group has a bit more of an advantage going in.

Staren has posed:
    On foot... although, maybe everyone could hold onto the Glitterboy. It's pretty strong.

    Heading towards the distant glow takes the party across the river and to some ruins; what might've once been a few blocks of suburbia three centuries ago are nothing but half-collapsed walls and roofs. Rock walls rise up to either side, the result of the ancient earthquake that hit this area when the rifts came.

    Through the ruins, they can see the canyon walls seeming to rise... and between them...

    The nexus point lies at a rocky plain in the shadow of a short ridge. The blue-white energies of two ley lines intersect here, the junction almost blindingly bright as a dimensional portal begins to bridge our world with another reality. Sinister looking flames and sinuous shadows can be glimpsed in between the Rift's outer edges. Not far from the opening Rift, Symon the Seer stands in a triumphant pose, his hands glowing with energy linking him to the Riftclearly he is responsible for this phenomenon.

    "If I can't have the town, no one will!" He cries out. "Gar'Thul! By the contract between us, I call you now!"

    At that moment, a great demon begins to step through the Rift. Sixteen feet tall, clad in pointed black armor, with large horns and cloven-hooved feet and a giant flaming greatsword, and two points of blazing hellfire glowing behind the eyeslit of its helm.

Maya has posed:
Maya says "It's likely a massive thing with tentaceles which have fangs that drip acid which will do horrible things to your soul."

He does not sound like he's joking either he sounds like he's being dead serious to the T-doll."

He's in the glitterboy now and is making for the Nexus. The mage is ranting, oh lord he's ranting, Dan deploys rapidly, the boom gun swings into place.

He levels it he doe snot say a thing and pulls the trigger not targeting the demon but the mage. After all, he might call in more, at the very least it should make them keep their head down as a boomgun shot is fired right for him.

"Can it."

<< Keep the Demon contained but take out the mage before he brings in anything else he's pacted.>>

Dan's supernatural evil senses are going /crazy/ right now too.

Ryouma Sakamoto (6736) has posed:
    Oh, a giant demon.
    No, more importantly, that's Symon.

    "Ah, I suppose that takes care of my lingering concern," Ryouma muses out loud. Indeed if they send him home with a few bruises, he should learn his lesson and leave this place alone. That's how that works, right?

    The demon might make that problematic.

    "You think he's pacted with more than one giant demon?" Ryouma asks Dan, because that seems like useful info to have.

    "Oryou doesn't care how many he brings, she'll just have to kill all of them," Ryouma's partner notes. He shakes his head.

    "One step at a time, Oryou. We should--" Ryouma is stopped by Oryou placing a finger on his mouth.

    "Oryou is tired of doing things Ryouma's way. Ryouma should do things Oryou's way every once in a while too," she says.

    "Ah... of course, you're right. Go ahead, Oryou," Ryouma says, beaming his best smile. Oryou blushes.

    "R-Right, well, Oryou didn't mean... that it had to be right now," she says, fidgeting.

    "No, no. Go ahead Oryou. Please stop that man from summoning more things," Ryouma says, reaching for his revolver.

    Oryou nods, takes back to the skies... and then beelines towards Symon like a comet. A flaming, woman-shaped comet in a school uniform with entirely too much hair, but a comet, surely.

Gideon Kaspar (6404) has posed:
    Gideon looks up, and up, and up at the demon. His face is an expressionless mask, for it can't afford to be anything else. This is absolutely not what he signed on for, and yet what he'd signed on the dotted line for just now. He finds himself thoroughly wishing he'd brought a full dummy linked echelon for this. "Looks like you were a few points off." he says to Dan, taking several slow steps backwards. "But close enough." he says, deciding he'd rather not be jauntily close to this one. Two T-Dolls aren't going to be enough to bodyguard him like this, and Krys is already checking to make sure he's out of the way.

    "I don't believe it . . ." "I guess that just proves what we assumed: you can't trust anyone aggressively pushing an allegiance, especially not here." "You think we can do this?" "Does it matter? We have to try either way. We're T-Dolls. This is our purpose. We can't leave humans to do it on their own." "True, but-"

    The shooting has already started. This time Gideon has to get behind some old urban wreckage and pull out his range earmuffs to try and deal with the obnoxious sonic blast of the Glitterboy's Boom Gun. Krys and Clover break on milliseconds of reaction time, splitting up and booking it to their own position. Krys guns as she runs, keeping an eerily perfect level strafe as she goes, the gun axis of her upper body smoothly adjusting with the level and bounce of terrain and vigorous motion so that her SMG is practically a laser, stitching forty, eighty, one hundred and twenty rounds across the demon's armour with armour-piercing overpressured rounds, accurately probing for weaknesses. Clover hops several old fire escapes and crumbling stairs to a high vantage point, popping her scope cap, taking a knee, bracing, and dropping multiple three round bursts of heavy explosive rounds straight through the demon's visor slit, aiming to blind him with aimbot-grade sharpshooting.

Staren has posed:
    Everyone knows that if you see a wizard standing around monologuing, it means he's got a forcefield up. The usual solution to this problem is to wait for an opening.

    But there's another solution:

    More dakka.

    Deprived of the brodkil and Strickland's mech to take hits for him, Symon's defensive spells are all on their own. The one-two punch of the Boom Gun and a magic comet girl break through it, Oryou tackling him to the ground albeit with a fraction of the intended force.

    He doesn't beg for mercy -- instead, he shouts, "Gar'thul! Protect me!" and starts casting a spell.

    The demon's got troubles of its own, though. With the interruption, the rift is starting to shrink around it. The T-Dolls' weapons... their careful attack patterns find weaknesses in the armor, but with their computerized eyes they can see how the flesh underneath isn't nearly as hurt as it should be by the impacts. Worse, it immediately starts healing!

    Still, after seeing his shifter buddy get nearly pounded flat in seconds, Gar'Thul is thinking that maybe this ISN'T the place and time to go on a rampage across the mortal realm. With a roar more of annoyance than challenge, it swings that flaming sword at Oryou, trying to knock her away so it can grab Symon and pull him back to hell through the rift.

Maya has posed:
<<Always assume the worst when fighting mages, magic retuends fo this world and allowed the demon plagues to hit it.>>

Well Symon and the demon would find Dan openin fire and so far taking most of the shots that might come his way honestly. That power suit of his is quite sturdy. Now with the demon turning it's attention to it's pacting mage? He will lay down fire on it as that makes more sense. If anything major is going to happen it's going to be up to the others to pull it off though he is laying down some serious fire at the demon. Which also happen to be U-rounds...

Gideon Kaspar (6404) has posed:
    "Minimal damage." "Ugh, it's even sturdier than the ones before! Even its eyes!" "Cease full firepower maneuvers. Conserve ammunition. We don't know we have the portable firepower to be dealing with this." Gideon orders, before switching over. "So, you wouldn't happen to have any of those U-round things on hand?" Gideon asks Dan, over the radio since he wouldn't be heard out loud, but in a way that indicates he is grimly not expecting a yes.

    "So what exactly are we supposed to do? Do we run now?" "Forget that! I'm not leaving those people behind!" Clover exclaims. Reaching to the back of her tactical harness, she unsnaps one of those things that always seems to work no matter how high the power levels escalate: a flashbang grenade. With an Olympic pitch from her high position, she hurls it straight into Gar'Thul's face, easily able to nail the same helmet slot she had with her bullets; even in the case it's too narrow for a cylindrical grenade to go through, it'd still be obnoxiously close, flashing straight in his eyes and banging mostly internally into a metallic, full-head helmet. Seeing the flaming sword, Krys mutters "Probably not all that concerned about fire if it's something really from hell.", her hand hovering back and away from her remaining incendiaries.

    "Swap over to Symon." Gideon suddenly commands. "We have heavier hitters for the target I'm now classifying as mechanized. Consider it a tank, screening for armoured infantry behind. It can keep the others at bay, but it's not going to be able to leap in front of bullets all that quickly. Flank from two sides, so he can't stand there and bodyblock. Drop bombs for good measure."

    Both T-Dolls pause only for a moment before flashing their confirmation signals. Krys continues sprinting, leaping up the ridge in a few deft bounds, getting directly behind Symon and Gar-Thul. Clover takes a running jump off her chosen decaying rooftop, hopping buildings until she can get four o'clock to Krys's twelve. From there, Krys begins laying down a thick curtain of suppressive fire, pounding Symon's barrier with literal pounds of more standard lead cores, wearing away at it with brute force and rattling the guy inside with hundreds of blunt impacts. Clover sights on him from the opposite side and loads the deadlier, piercing ammo, firing at his head with punchier, high velocity shots. When he looks her way, a second flashbang comes down, clinking straight to his feet. The second he's distracted by just about anything, Krys firebombs him from behind.

Ryouma Sakamoto (6736) has posed:
    A giant flaming sword comes down for Oryou. She lets go of Symon to focus all of her efforts on the demon. The blade stops between her hands, the woman putting all of her strength into holding it in place.

    Even as it burns her hands, she doesn't budge - and more importantly, she won't let Gar'thul budge, either. Her hair lashes out like bindings made of shadows, seeking to sap magical energy, root in place, and generally weaken, all the while her hands remain occupied with that massive blade so that it doesn't go anywhere, either.

    "Oryou will keep him occupied," she tells Gideon, his Dolls, and Dan. "Get the annoying pest."

    Ryouma, of course, doesn't let his wife do ALL the work. A magically charged shot from his revolver seeks to peg the demon in the eye, to make his life harder when it comes to dealing with the dragon in human trappings.

Staren has posed:
    A lot of things happen. Oryou CATCHES the giant sword. The demon's surprise is hard to read through its helm, and it starts trying to force her away... and then a whole lot of things happen.

    Ryouma's shot hits it in the eye, and actually hurts it like you'd /expect/ a bullet to. Is magic the answer?

    Dan blasts it with depleted uranium flechettes. They don't damage it as much as a boom gun should, but the wounds don't immediately regenerate.

    The T-Dolls get a flash grenade into its face and turn their weapons on its contractor.

    Blinded and actually hurt, Gar'thul roars in pain! Halfway between worlds, instead of stepping fully out onto Earth, it tries to withdraw to whatever hell it's come from. Faced with Oryou's strength, it even lets go of the sword, just trying to get away rather than stay so the mortals can wear it down and finish it off.

    Symon doesn't even get that chance to escape, the demon unable to even see him to grab him. The teleportation spell is interrupted by bullets, and he can't make a concentration check with his brains splattered all over the ground courtesy of Clover.

    If Oryou's hair holds him in place enough, the closing rift cuts off Gar'thul's arm and leg. Less debilitating than it sounds, for a regenerator. Otherwise, the demon pulls back into the rift and lets it close.

    All is still again. And Oryou got a giant flaming sword!

    Symon won't be troubling any more towns.

Gideon Kaspar (6404) has posed:
    Gideon whistles as Oryou actually wrestles the giant demon to a standstill. Even if he is only partially summoned, it's an impressive feat, and especially for a waifu of that size. Clover and Krys take care of business exactly like he'd expect with Symon, and he steps out of cover with a satisfied dusting off of his hands, as if the job of tactical command were somehow manual labour. "Excellent work ladies!" he says, generally, pretty cavalier about having just indirectly put a bunch of HV rounds through a guy's skull.

    An eye to the giant flaming sword. "Do you have any plans for that thing? We could probably cart it back to Garnet and see if they can sell it or use it for some magic voodo or what have you, but I can't accurately tell what it's worth. At the very least, it'll make an impressive trophy, and inspire further consumer confidence in our services." When the T-Dolls start coming back, Gideon takes a deep breath, and then actually turns to shake Ryouma's hand, thanking him for his cooperation, though he's more glowing with the praise on Oryou, and then Krys and Clover. Dan just kinda gets an acknowledging salute and one of those dude nods.

Maya has posed:
Maya looks at Oryou and grunts a bit. "Whelp that will slow it down for a bit."

SHe looks to the sword for a moment. "Make sure it's not cursed but I'd personally dispose of it." He'd being tactful for someone form his nation he also pauses for a moment. "Given the town has made it's choice I'll have my men withdraw shortly. One other thing Mr. Kaspar? I suggest you find a copy of some ot the local advanturing sorts monster hunting manuals. Anything from old myths tends to be real here."