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Brooklynn Bailey A call for assistance has gone out.  

The warp gate will place you into the center of 'Kings', which is in most modern New York Cities actually Brooklyn.  Kings is a small area of what was once a larger city, urban decay has happened in a lot of it, but attempts to keep that at bay have only been partially successful.  A wall has been constructed out of whatever material could be found, some of it is concrete that has been scavenged, sometimes rebar or metal found.  In some places, it's freshly cut wood made to fill in the gaps.  

Beyond the wall you can see what was once a large city, New York City has fallen on horrible times.  Plants seem to have grown in places, buildings have collapsed or fallen over.  In the far distance far to the north is a large tower that looks ruined, but still stretches far into the sky.  Today is a clear day, so you can see the former Statue of Liberty, brown with gunk, missing half of its face, no longer carrying a torch, with what looks like fires burning throughout it, like campfires.  

The city itself is a mixture of ruined buildings, buildings with stuff growing through them, and buildings managed to be recovered.  Some are apartment buildings, others are renovated office buildings.  Occasionally there is a house whole enough to be used as a home.  The residents are people with very little to their name, but as a group seems to work together.  

There are people learning to become blacksmiths, some learning agricultural skills, others forming caravans for trade, and fishermen carrying their catches from the river.  There are soldiers too, either training, patroling, or manning the wall or ways in and out of the city or the island itself.

Brook is at the gate to meet you and starts walking with purpose once everyone has arrived.  "My scouts haven't come back, and they're some of my best, that I have shared my powers.  The fact they haven't come back either means they've gone rogue, which...will probably be the easiest situation to deal with, they are dead, or another force has taken them."

"Getting to the island is only possible by boat, and we do not have a large number of them...and most of them are made only to fish.  They'd likely be spotted well before they landed.  The other route was through the tunnel, which recently was found to be a way into the island from it was found through some old machines."

Stopping at the tunnel entryway, Brook hands out a few specialized breathing masks, "We'll need these going into the tunnel and back, the air down there is very bad.  We've been hoping to use it as an alternative route into the main city.  That's an ongoing project.." she says, with a shrug.  

"If you got questions, now's a good time to ask them.  The tunnels on this side are clear of Taboo's, but on the other side of the path to Chessnut island is unknown."
Utsuho Reiuji Utsuho did say she'd help Brooklynn, so it's not really a surprise that she has shown up today. She's actually been before... well, not to this part of the city. It's a little more beat up than the place she saw before. She wants to fly off to see the statue.

But she doesn't. She's behaving. For a change.

She does make a sour face when she's given a breathing mask. "Do I *need* to?" she asks. "I could just fly over, they wouldn't see me. Oh, but then you wouldn't have me to help, so maybe not. Why's it bad, anyway? Is it poison?" Honestly, Utsuho just has no idea how the mask is worn properly. She spends a few moments fumbling with it one-handed before she figures out which way is up and how to adjust straps.

"Is this the place where the tower you were talking about is?" she asks, slightly muffled from the half-on mask. "And... what's a Taboo? Is it like a monster?"
S6     "Understood," the woman in the black dress and blindfold has a rather direct way of speaking. Lifting her covered gaze, she draws her eyes around the tunnel entrance, then turns somewhat to cast a look back whence the group had come. Across the HUD obscuring part of her vision, clips of the ravaged New York skyline flip past, comparing to photographs of Old Indus.

    No matches. Something she expected. But the similarity in the decay of these two unrelated cities is striking.

    She dismisses the subroutine, returning her attention to the matter at hand, "Spare your resources for those who need them." A hand is lifted, declining the breathing apparatus, "My systems are protected from all manner of environmental hazards. For this reason, if there is no objection, I shall take point."

-MAPPING MODE.- The drone floating beside her clicks a few times, extending a small cylindrical antenna, -COMMENCE ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY.-
Featherman Neo Featherman Neo is the classical superhero, as he arrives at the gate to meet Brooklynn, posing. Wearing red with bird motifs, white and gold flairs, and that eagle-like helmet, plus the red cape, he certainly dresses the part. When Brook offers a breathing mask, he waves a hand.

"Ah, I brought mine in advance. Can't take off my helmet in foreign territory." The rebreather muffles his voice even more than it usually is, but not out of understanding range. Buying an expensive rebreather was worth it, though.

"No Taboos...but an unknown path. Part of my gut expects that my intel about a Cardinal Vice or Virtue may be important here, but I can't go off *sheer* intuition in a situation like this! It's just...patterns."

Utsuho's response about taboos is actually answered by Featherman Neo! "I am not the expert, but I can give you a basic lowdown, as I understand it. Mutated humanity, lensed through either a pure vice or a pure virtue. Absolutely inhuman, mostly mindless, and especially dangerous towards the humans we seek to protect. If they are like animals now, unable to be reasoned with through any circumstances, culling them is for the best."

To Brook, he gestures his head. "Do I have this mostly accurate?" No questions himself, it seems!
Kukuru "It sounds poisonous, mhm. I can help with that if there's not enough masks, but that's..." Kukuru doesn't finish that response to Utsuho as she covers her mouth to barely stifle a wide-mouthed yawn, slouching against a wall as the group meets up to discuss their approach of the island. She's dressed in a dark outfit overall, consisting of a simple black jacket, shorts, and stockings that would almost make her look like she was prepared for a stealth job if not for the torso-sized claws covering each hand.

"I could try teleporting us there, but then we'd be right in the middle of... Um. Whatever's over there. Yeah, maybe you can see if there's any weird stuff if we wanna try going that way?" She suggest to S6, rubbing her forehead for a moment before taking a breathing mask if there's any spares.

"This is all pretty new to me, but if they're a threat to humans and Brooklynn here, then... Yeah, we'll fix it." She stretches her arms out behind her head with a satisfied noise, then claps lightly after Featherman Neo's explanation. "It sounded pretty right. Good job~"

"... Oh. Um. So should we be trying to capture anyone that's affected and hostile alive, or... Doesn't matter?"
Okada Izou      The Manslayer just kind of...appears.

     He definitely wasn't there on the water a minute ago. Now he is. He's a scruffy-looking guy, though he's cleaned up a fair bit since last anybody saw him. Just like in his selfie he's got his hair tied back in a loose ponytail, he's shaved, and he's wearing a jacket and pants instead of his usual kimono. He's got his yellow scarf, and his hair's still hanging over one eye, and there's still two samurai blades at his hip - one katana, one wakizashi.

     But he definitely wasn't there a minute ago. Not to any sense in the world.

     And yet, here he is.

     He's got a lit cigarette in his mouth and a jug of sake hanging from his arm. When Brooklyn mentions the breath masks, Izou makes a face and takes a sharp drag of the smoke. It hits the ground as he coughs and thumps his chest.


     "I didn't know I needed a damn mask....ugh, wouldn'ta bought the booze if I'd known..."

     The samurai mutters, walking back and forth on the water in some out-of-place sneakers. "So we're goin' over this lake, right? I can just go over there if you want. Give you a look an' report."

     Izou taps his chest. "Even if I ain't an Assassin, I got Presence Concealment, an' I'm real good at gettin' into places quietly."
Lilian Rook     Lilian doesn't *really* want to do this, but after the amount of 'oh just give me the controller'-ing she'd done at Brooklynn whenever the subject came up, ghosting the actual call for help to do stuff about it is embarrassingly close to walking back against one of the codes that she has to claim it's because S6 is obliviously walking off into a Confederate villain's nest.

    So, it's a token effort (albeit not an insincere one) to look around at the fairly typical, if much more organized and cooperative, post-apocalyptic primitivist rennaissance going on, and say something to the effect of "Fat lot of good being friends with the Concord seems to be doing. Or have you just not earned a go at the infinite money tap?" in somewhat more politely veiled terms.

    Featherman isn't her *ideal* person to meet, but one more she can rely on to not attempt backstabbing, and so she 'favours' him with a vaguely suspicious "How do you know so much about them?" before finally asking the serious question, "Alright. Spotted by what, precisely? Who are you expecting to take exception to the boat? Other than your potentially traitorous underlings."

    She will end up taking the mask either way (until she ascertains what the contaminant is supposed to be at least (and grumbling while she has to make it work with her hair and the neck seal of her suit)) and enter the tunnel because that's where her buddy Paladin is; and you always move in at least groups of two in situations like this. From there, she defaults to the rifle-shaped slab of gunmetal and a mounted LED floodlight, but not before calling an unusually large and very black crow to her arm, and sending the '''trained animal''' around the next bends several times to get a look in advance.
Brooklynn Bailey "Well, if you can breath where it's really hard to...sure.  The air feels very thin, and there feel like there are other things in the air that are harmful to the lungs.  I know some of you can deal with those kinds of things without these, but I would feel bad if I called for help and then did not help against the hazards at the very least."

"Yeah, you've done your homework," Brook nods to Featherman Neo, "So fortunately nothing in the tunnels, but the island might not be so lucky.  Utsuho considers the flight route, but Brook holds a hand up.  "Might give yourself away, or get grabbed by water-dwelling Taboos.  You can if you want, though.  You're all professionals and I trust that.  Though I think we discussed your ability before, Utsuho, I don't think you need to worry about a mask anyway.  

Okada proposes he goes on in advance and scouts.  Brooklynn nods, as he has the skills to remain unseen, and having eyes over there would be useful to the group.  Lilian gets a smile, despite her grumbling she DID show up, so that counts for something.  

"Because there are probably Taboo's in the water," Brooklyn says firmly to Lilian.  

Inside the tunnels S6's mapping allows her to get a feeling for the tunnels themselves.  The deeper you go the less fresh air from the outside is there, and the more pollutants are mixed in, with oxygen becoming less and less persistent the farther in.  One imagines this will come to a low point before rising again towards the other side of the tunnel, or near ways out.  It seems that devices used to prevent this very thing are destroyed or non-functional.

For everyone else, it gets hazier the deeper you go.  Debris is cleaned out at the beginning of the tunnel, but as you get deeper the tunnel becomes more cluttered.  Tiles or concrete becomes scattered about.  The occasional car.  Some cars are completely normal, with the exception of windows broken.  Others are completely torn in half or have their doors torn off.  

Not quite halfway, but over a quarter of the way through are maintenance tunnels connected to what looks like a sophisticated working of pipes.  It seems that this might have been one of the places that air was pumped in from the outside, and bad air filtered out.  Even in its heyday, New York was a polluted place, though hardly the worst of the big cities.  

Getting through the maintenance shafts is not very difficult, in fact they were pre-cleared.  Those who can trace steps or track others can easily see the duo walked through here quite easily.  Getting through this puts you on the edge of Chessnut Island.  It's somewhat in better shape than Kings, only because of its remoteness.  

Okada, on the other hand, can get across the water as the crow flies.  He can see things under the water, but they can't see him.  Formless things, but if he looks closer, he can see faces on these things open their eyes.  They almost seem to be looking right at him, but not a single one actually attacks him.  Might be a psychological attack he's too strong for.

Okada will also get some time to scout, and right off the bat, he will see several figures hoving over a corpse.  These are large things, about the size of a man, but far /far/ wider.  They also, oddly, all look like pigs men. They seem to be slowly consuming the body, taking chunks of it off at a time before chewing.  Two of the creatures are very slow about this, the third is a voracious eater, even going so far as to eat things out of the hands of the others.  The others seem to react in slow motion, before sighing and trying to grab another chunk.  

This would be over a hill from an entryway to what looks like a complicated machine that dips into the water.  This is likely the way into the tunnels.  There are footprints, but right now it's hard to get much info on them without relevant skills, and the murdering of pigs.
Kukuru "I can imagine. If it's been closed up for so long, it must be awful to breathe in. Bringing so many masks like this is real thoughtful, though." Kukuru smiles softly at Brooklynn while raising a claw in something resembling a thumbs-up, all while trudging through the tunnels. The further they go, Kukuru even resorts to just clearing some of the debris with her claws and stupid gonzo strength, tearing through metal and concrete until there's enough room for everyone to get through comfortably and then some.

Thankfully, the maintenance tunnels eventually appearing means she (probably) doesn't have to work too hard for too long. She even puts the claws away somewhere without any clear indicator as to how she fit it into her pockets, strolling right on through and peering at those pipes as she passes by them.

"This could be worth fixing later if... Um. If anyone knows how to do any of that. Or we could send a team in later for that." She suggests before continuing right on her way, eventually getting her claws back out once she hears the sounds of the pigmen eating a body long before she even sees them with her enhanced hearing.

"... Oh. They're up ahead. Once everyone's ready, we should try and get the jump on them." She offers another suggestion, already getting her claws back out and making no physical indication that she's actually going to take the lead on attacking them.
Okada Izou      Izou, completely silent, completely invisible, masked from every sense on God's green earth, has to struggle not to throw up as he sees the pig-men eating a human corpse. He's seen some horrible things in his time. He manages to keep most of his cool as he runs across the water and sees the eyes below, only slightly shuddering at how closely they resemble the ghosts in the water he'd heard about as a kid. But this? This is just gross.

     Izou holds his hand over his mouth behind his scarf. The stench of corpses is nothing new to him. He's gutted his fair share of men in horrible, gruesome ways. It's the stink of the beasts that gets him. The frightening feeling of the things under his feet in the water. He's completely undetectable - but it doesn't make him feel better about this. Any one of these things and he might be okay but the whole place is impossible to him. Even the vast machines and the tremendous ruins are something beyond anything he could've ever imagined - the last time he had seen something like that was in Silver Carnation's world and he had been a *bit* distracted.

     So Izou tightens his scarf around his face, gags, and runs along to the side of them. This is what happens to people out here?

     God damn.

     But everybody else just acts like this is Totally Fucking Normal, so Izou decides that, fine, OK, this is totally fucking normal, whatever. Fine, then! Fine. He's not scared. He's not bothered! He'll just do what he always does.

     So Okada Izou just immediately appears behind the voracious one in mid-swing, right through its head.

     Fuck it. Go with what works.
Kukuru "I can imagine. If it's been closed up for so long, it must be awful to breathe in. Bringing so many masks like this is real thoughtful, though." Kukuru smiles softly at Brooklynn while raising a claw in something resembling a thumbs-up, all while trudging through the tunnels. The further they go, Kukuru even resorts to just clearing some of the debris with her claws and stupid gonzo strength, tearing through metal and concrete until there's enough room for everyone to get through comfortably and then some.

Thankfully, the maintenance tunnels eventually appearing means she (probably) doesn't have to work too hard for too long. She even puts the claws away somewhere without any clear indicator as to how she fit it into her pockets, strolling right on through and peering at those pipes as she passes by them.

"This could be worth fixing later if... Um. If anyone knows how to do any of that. Or we could send a team in later for that." She suggests before continuing right on her way, eventually getting her claws back out once she hears the sounds of the pigmen eating a body long before she even sees them with her enhanced hearing.

"... Oh. They're up ahead. Once everyone's ready, we should try and get the jump on them." She offers another suggestion, already getting her claws back out and making no physical indication that she's actually going to take the lead on attacking them.

Once/if there is a consensus to begin the alpha strike, though, she abruptly disappear in a swirl of dark energy (complete with shitty special effects). She'll reappear above the pigmen moments later, landing among them while whirling about with her claws like a living blender.
Utsuho Reiuji Utsuho does manage to get the mask on anyway, though putting it on one-handed and getting it to settle right given her hair is complex. "Well, if everyone else is wearing one," she says.

(She will probably take it off later if she ends up not needing it.)

Utsuho gives the others a look, especially Featherman when he actually explains things. "I didn't think you were from here," is what she says, and she glances at Brooklyn for confirmation. Whether he is or not, he seems to be right, at least. So into the tunnel they go!

At least with Utsuho it's easy to see. The third eye on her chest has a faint flame-like flickering glow all the time, and if it gets really dark, she can make a little ball of flame like the world's tiniest sun and set it to orbiting herself. It's about an inch across and is kind of cute, if you're into tiny stellar objects.

"This place doesn't feel bad," Utsuho says. Through her mask, which kind of eliminates any positive sound it might have. She mostly means the dark and cramped nature rather than the horrible pollution.

Eventually they get to the far side. Kukuru suggests they ambush them. S6 scouts. "You want them attacked?" she asks Kukuru, and then brightens up. "I can do it!"

Utsuho does not take off more than a couple inches from the ground because they are supposed to be stealthy. Instead, she immediately launches a fireball from the rod affixed in place of her arm without really bothering to wait for anyone else to prepare. It's followed up with a couple more.

Well, at least some of her thoughts were in the right place. As far as she's concerned, throwing fire and not stellar energies *is* restraining herself.
Featherman Neo Featherman Neo turns to Lilian as she approaches him, poses, and responds with something about Multiversal contacts telling him all he needed to know about this world in advance. Despite that...he's seemed to be locked onto a piece of information. When Izou talks about the pigmen, he claims Gluttony, but the others say it could be basically anything, and in turn, he quickly bows, apologizing.

When they reach the tunnel, as he climbs over cars with Kukuru's assistance of making it less hazardous, air heavy, he pushes through, and when they reach the end, he looks at the hill where over it, lies the Pigmen. When they prepare their Alpha Strike...

"Ready!" He says once it's go-time, and runs up the hill, drawing his red blaster, pressing a button on it.


Sliding down the other side of the hill immediately after, he begins firing incendiary shots straight at each pigmen that Izou isn't cutting in half, trying to burn them up and ignite their bodies to burn. <"Okada! Melee combatants! Watch out for the flames!">
S6     Lilian's arrival gets the barest of acknowledgements from the android. Her head turns slightly to the woman. A slight nod. More or less the sort of terse, businesslike reaction expected from this particular Android. Across her back, in spirals of golden sparks, a pair of swords appear one over the other; one larger than the other. Thus armed, S6 advances into the gloom of the tunnel, accompanied by her POD.

    Striker Six keeps an eye on the atmospheric readout in the corner of her HUD as she proceeds through the tunnel. While she can't determine precise pollutants, she does log the changes in breathability. At a particular point, she stops, then takes one single pace further forward. A grim, thoughtful noise escapes her when the atmospheric sensor at last ticks over the threshold into 'hazardous'. Here, she draws one foot behind her, digging a line through the debris at her feet.

    "If this pathway is to serve for future travel, the ventilation system will need to be repaired," Raising a hand, she points. Her POD reacts, twisting in that direction and shining a light to highlight one of the inflow vents.

    She seems to think Brooklynn might want to actually move her colony to the place they're checking out.

    She has little to say through the remainder of the tunnel passage, though. Save to, again, pause and then take one step when she crosses the threshold where the atmosphere becomes 'less than immediately hazardous', and marks another line in the floor detritus. She then advances on the tunnel exit, the smaller of her paired swords flipping off her back and sliding into her hand as she emerges once more into the light.

    Here, S6 stops, standing upon the crest of that hill. A silent command is shunted to the POD, which responds by zooming a camera in on the feeding creatures, scanning them for weaknesses or obvious defenses. While the blindfold-like visor she wears does conceal her eyes, it does little to hide her failure at hiding the grimace curling her lips at the gruesome sight.

    Once she has the data, S6 simply gestures. She's not getting close to that mess just yet. What the Striker leads with is, instead, courtesy of her POD. The sides open up, extending quad-tube launchers. Missiles launch vertically from the device, arc forward, and descend on the pig-men with timing that should have Izou and Kukuru clear of the barrage by the time it arrives.
Lilian Rook     Thin air isn't even close to the worst problem Lilian has had to deal with. With an air filter (ideally one that hasn't stingily reused) ensuring she isn't breathing in pure American-grade oil spill, it's like a mountain hike, with more level terrain. Moving slowly and evenly, maneuvering around corner in a very specific, semicircular way, flicking her light to each corner, Lilian comes across the cars, and decides out loud "Underground highway, then. Not a subway. I didn't realize America had those." and picks her way around the outsides instead. She motions over to the maintenance shafts as soon as they're available, though it seems to be mostly for the fact that it'd be exponentially more difficult to be ambushed in a sequence of straight corridors rather than a maze of spooky dilapidated traffic jams.

    As soon as they're out of the tunnel, she rips off the mask with an unhappy huff, and just keeps on moving straight at the reported monster gathering ahead. The weapon swivels back up to horizontal without leaving her shoulder, Lilian leans slightly into it, and without breaking her stride, she continues marching straight at the trio behind a moving strobe of blue-white fire and a sustained, electronic roar somewhere between gunfire, and engine whine, and tearing paper. The targets are so big, so slow, and so unaware, that she has no reservations whatsoever about just empying her entire helical into all of them, holding down the trigger without pause until all hundred and twenty slugs are somewhere either in or through them.

    That taken care of, she moves to the body, checking it over for anything identifying. She motions Brooklynn over, asking "Is this one of yours? It's fresh enough to be eaten."
Brooklynn Bailey "We could use engineers, or at least people to help teach ours how to do it ourselves, which I would prefer," Brooklynn says towards Kukuru, "But I appreciate the kindness."  Brook also agrees with S6, "Agreed.  It's either going to need to be cleaned out completely or shut down.  Otherwise, it's too dangerous."

Brook laughs a little at Utsuho, "I figure you might like it, though not as big as your home, these tunnels are surprisingly large." When Featherman Neo apologizes, she shakes her head, "Nothing to apologize for, but Lilian is right.  Sometimes they are right on the nose with their form, other times...not so much.  Their movements in this matter are more of a clue than their form.  Boars are often animals of rage too."

"Oh?  I know of this tunnel and one other, but that leads away from the main city," Brook says towards Lilian.

Izou is the first to arrive and the first to initiate combat.  It's also clear that there is some sort of pack mentality, which means the one who steals food from the others is the 'strongest'.  The stench is awful, it's like a pig farm and a rotting corpse at the same time.  In fact, that stench is so bad it can be smelled over the hill.  

Izou starts combat off, striking the faster one first.  He can not even begin to see it coming, too focused on stuffing its face and not paying attention.   The creature looks dumbfounded for a moment not understanding what happened.  The other two looks confused for a brief moment before one slowly points at the head of their leader.  

It squeals in pain, being SLIGHTLY tougher than a human.  It's a fatal blow, but it's going to take a moment...something has caused it to go into a rage state. The slower ones don't see Kukuru coming, as shitty special effects shadow ports her right behind one so she can 'nothing personal kid' it.  Claws tear through them, but their thick skin prevents an immediate fatal blow.

This is followed up by a shot from Featherman Neo's heat ray.  It burns and sizzles the pigs, causing them to burn and try and roll around.  It now smells like burning pork, as well as everything else, but this particular attack seems to be effective.  S6's scans show that they are incredibly resilient, but joints are going to be where the lard is thinnest.  

Yes.  Lard.

The missiles fall down right as the nothing personel kid would finish, causing explosions and damage in their wake.  Pieces and chunks of the pig are thrown about, and one looks like it just lost an arm.  Lilian, having absolutely no time for these low-born monsters, casually gives them the sweepstakes grand prize of being torn apart.  

The main one dives for one of its fallen kin, looking like it's about to eat it before a spear of fire tears through the air, aiming to impale the pig from mouth to end.  The bodies of the taboo slowly start to melt away into disgusting goo.  Without the spark of life animating the bodies, it seems they turn into brown sludge...that somehow smells /worse/ than before.  

Lilian waves over Brooklynn, who looks over the corpse, before finding a pair of 'tags' that each member of her unit ware.  "Looks like it.  Son of a bitch...I don't get how he died to such low-ranking Taboos.  Even without my support, this shouldn't have troubled the two..."

She tries to look at the body, but a lot of it was gnawed away.  Brook punches the ground, in frustration.
Featherman Neo Featherman Neo's fire shot helps, and as he slides to the bottom, he stands up and sheathes his gun as the combo attack between the group takes them down. He approaches the corpse, seemingly without recoiling (though his expression under the mask is invisible), and crouches besides it, avoiding his head from picking up the scent of the brown sludge as much as possible. He has no specific detective powers...

But without touching it, he can tell very vaguely how old it is hopefully through if it's decomposed or not. "One scout. Where's the other?"
S6     Joints. That's where S6 directs her missiles. The targeting system reacts mid-flight, though with such short notice it's a good deal more indescriminate than she might have preferred. However, at the very least, the combination of firepower and swords and also just regular fire seems to have silenced the beasts before they could cause too much of a ruckus-- or call more of them to the scene.

    Heels clicking on damaged pavement, the android approaches. Only when the last one is confirmed down by Brooklynn does she relax; her sword flipping out of her grasp and floating soundlessly up to its previous position across her back. The zoomed-in window provided by her POD shifts its focus to the tags the Virtue collects, then changes.



    The cylinder antenna retracts briefly, then extends once more after a series of clicks. A new window opens in S6's HUD, tracking progress of map generation.

    "...I4 is much faster at this," she admits, "One moment, please."
Okada Izou      Featherman Neo sets fire to the area.

     Izou, who had not been expecting it, jumps straight in the air and kicks his foot down on the pig he was killing.

     He is only slightly on fire.

     Then come the missiles. With a loud bark (not that kind) Izou stamps his feet against one of the missiles. Somehow this doesn't do fuckall to its trajectory - he just runs up the side of it, then jumps to the next, then the next, and then lands outside the field as things explode. He rolls to a stop.

     He is still slightly on fire.

     He has landed in the goo.


     It is only because Izou is a Heroic Spirit that he does not outright vomit. What he does do is crack the sake bottle open and pour it directly on top of himself, letting it drip all the way down his face. Now, instead of smelling like foul brown horrible goo, he smells like a whole lot of very strong alcohol. Instead of looking like he just got his face shoved in shit, he looks like one might expect an irritated dog to look like, but human.

     When Featherman mentions not seeing the other scout, Izou says, "Well, if he ain't dead here, an' there's tracks leadin' that way, then he's probably that way. Either he's alive an' he outran this poor fucker, or he's dead an' we'll find him sooner or later."

     . . . . .

     "Fuck, that means I gotta *wait* to take a bath!?"

     "Even with the booze this shit smells awful!"

     Izou just starts swinging his sword like an angry child trying to focus on Anything Other Than This.

     He might catch a glimpse of something useful in its reflection.
Kukuru When the fire and missiles come in after Izou's and Kukuru's handiwork, the latter flings herself out of the way through the power of just shoving her claws into the ground really hard to propel herself backwards. She skids to a stop and squints at the destruction, whistling softly as the pigmen get incinerated, exploded, shot to bits, and skewered outright.

"Good work, everyone. Now maybe we can see what-" As Kukuru approaches the pile of bodies again, though, the pigmen start turning into sludge. Those enhanced senses of hers work against her as she catches a whiff of that sludge even through the breathing mask, and she has to act quickly to just puke on the floor instead of inside her mask.

At least there's no retching or other such unpleasantness, and her nanites handle whatever burning sensation there would otherwise be on the inside. Approaching the scout's body, meanwhile, she reaches over to give Brooklynn a gentle pat on the shoulder before squatting in place by the corpse.

"Just a minute. I need some room. Speak up if there's any other hostiles around." She states simply, even sounding serious and focused for once as she starts rearranging the body. If whatever's left of a limb, part of a face, internal organ, if basically anything that still remains looks like it's not in the right place, she'll put it back where it should (roughly) go. She eyes the sludge pile briefly, then shakes her head and gets back to work.

As stated, it does take about a minute before she finishes that up and sets her claws aside. A weird buzzing cloud starts to form around her, growing in size until it abruptly flows right into the body, mending partially eaten limbs, restoring destroyed organs, and generally bringing life back to the body in the clinical sense of the word. If said body starts screaming, her hand is quick to jam her hand inside to keep them from biting their tongue off.

The rest depends on how intact their mind might be after all that.
Utsuho Reiuji "Though, this place has more bricks in the wall," Utsuho says, in agreement. The caves she's used to are carved or just... there. Except for the manor but that's totally different.

Utsuho lowers her rod once there's no need for her to throw *more* fireballs. A couple is enough, with everyone else here.

Her nose wrinkles slightly, but it's not all that much worse than some of the corpses she's had to throw into the furnace, if she's being honest. Sometimes Rin isn't all that quick about getting them to her. Though, normally she doesn't get pigs.

"Well, if there's one, then..." Utsuho considers this for a moment. There's got to be another one around. Izou is busy, S6 is not doing something she recognizes as scouting... And Utsuho can see only one way to look around. There is a flash of light from her position, and then...

...there's a crow there. Or maybe a raven, who can really tell anyway. It's bigger than most but not ridiculously big; the thing that stands out more is the fact that it still has Utsuho's 'third eye' in its breastbone. Honestly, it's still less obvious than the explosions and gunfire were.

She hops into the air and flutters higher, trying to get a bird's eye view of the situation and see if she can spot anything moving.
Lilian Rook     "I thought so." Lilian replies, with unnatural neutrality in her tone. "Admittedly, even I had assumed your men wouldn't be quite so incompetent. If they're only just chewing the cadavers now though, they can't have been what originally killed them; they'd have eaten and moved on by now. They're probably scavengers that only just happened upon the body right before we got here."

    She refuses to comment on the smell. It's not as if Lilian is noseblind to that particular kind of horrid stench, but that she's very, very good at maintaining an absolute poker face when she needs to. Instead, she withdraws a(n ostensibly superfluous) combat knife from a thigh holster, scrapes up some of the corpse's blood along the tip and edge, and begins carving bloody runes in a circle around the place where it fell. Checking against the sun, she connects several of them in inscrutable sequence, then closes her eyes to focus, allowing the bloody glyphs to glow very slightly while she uses them to divine the path(s) towards what she wants; being face to face with the scariest thing these troopers encountered, and the most valuable thing.
Brooklynn Bailey Featherman's investigation indicates that the corpse is very fresh.  It easily was killed within a few hours.  No stiffening had happened, and the blood hadn't had much chance to thicken.  This is confirmed by the POD, but the POD goes on a larger search.  

Oddly, things that are out of place are bits of broken glass along with one of the nearby roads that had started to give way to nature.  The glass is not from a bottle, but rather from a needle, as the long metal needle is still there in the glass.  

Bits of chemicals in the glass can be found, thought to be some sort of injectable narcotic.  Sword swinging nearby causes the grass to blow, and for Izou to reveal parts of a bloody footprint.  It's farther away from the other print than a step should be.  Perhaps the person was dragged?

Utsuho goes into BIRB MODE, and her range and sight give her a slight advantage in the air.  She can see movement that is very far off.  The largest house on the island, near the middle of the island, stands, with movement all around it.  There are a few fires created too, but they are very light, and probably one bonfire and several candles inside.  

Kukuru's work goes unchallenged, as she digs pieces of the body out of the sludge, and starts reconstructing the body back into a person.  A moment later the man's eyes open up in surprise, as he's...alive?  He was sure he wasn't alive a second ago and looks up.  "P-Pheonix?" he addresses Brooklynn who holds a hand out, "Yeah, we came looking for you when you two went missing." She says, with a smile towards Kukuru.

"Ma'am...we got ambushed on the way back.  We found...cult..." he says, confused.  Not everything was in, and he was probably exhausted from...well being dead and then eaten.  Lilian's ritual activates, giving her a better glimpse into what happened.  "My partner was shot on the way out.."

What she sees is a thin man, a deathly thin man with long white hair and sunken eyes.  He has a pistol in one hand, which looks old as hell.  The most valuable thing, however, is a bag full of medical supplies they had apparently taken.  However, they were not fast enough getting out, apparently.  
Utsuho Reiuji Utsuho circles in a wide loop as she spots something. She doesn't get all that much closer, but she does take a second look before she comes back. She has sharp eyes, and she doesn't look too unusual unless you spot her third eye, so she figures it's all right.

Then she comes back down, landing with a surprisingly muted flash of light and turning back into a perfectly normal Utsuho, except she isn't wearing the mask anymore (it is dangling around her neck).

"I figured out where people are living!" she announces, proudly, to the group. "In the middle of the island, there's a big house, with people outside it. There were fires, and lights inside. I could go take another look if you want, I don't think they saw me as anything but a normal bird yet but they might notice if I get closer." Her desire to be noticed wars with her desire to be helpful, which means - in this case - not being noticed.

Well, by them. The group can say all they like.

She then looks at the slightly less fallen man. "Hey, you aren't dead after all!" Utsuho says, surprised. She missed that part.
Kukuru With the corpse revived, Kukuru breathes a sigh of relief at not having to stick her gross hand into their mouth. She takes a moment to wipe her hand off on her pants, then leans in to give the man a gentle peck on the forehead and ruffle of his hair before keeping the nanites focused on his guts again. "Easy. Don't get up too fast, or something might spill out."

She's not lying. It'll take a little bit longer to get the rest of those organs patched up, although there still might be some issues as to any organs that were completely missing. Once she finishes, though, she gets up and starts digging around in her pockets. "Do you know which way your partner went? And... Hmm. Do you think you can get back home safely?"

Some way or another, Kukuru's standard-issue jacket pockets not only manage to fit a package of disposable wipes to let everyone clean off the worst of the gunk, but she even takes out some small lunchbox-sized cartons of orange juice.

It's the type that's fortified with extra calcium, so it's got that slightly thicker feel to it. Name brand, even. "Make sure to get them while they're... Uh. Not covered in sludge."

She'll wait until after everyone gets their juice and wipes before puking off to the side (again). This smell really doesn't agree with her.
S6     S6 keeps a wide berth from both Kukuru and Lilian; these are both magics she has never observed before, after all. Not only does she want to record the goings-on, she would also prefer not to disrupt the respective rituals going on by virtue of her own construction. Unable to discern what Lilian's ritual produces once complete, her gaze shifts to Kukuru's literal miracle of resurrection. Absolutely and actually incredible.

    She's not focusing her scan enough to see that Kukuru's feat isn't magic at all, but nobody can correct her if she doesn't say anything.

    The POD chimes and her attention shifts, head turning as well when the drone floats away from her. She follows it, heels clicking on cracked pavement. When the POD stops, it drops altitude and starts circling, recording intensely in video while also collecting still images.

    S6 crouches, a small frown on her face. She doesn't touch the broken glass and needle, despite lacking the biology necessary for it to be anywhere near hazardous for her. She simply speaks, "What was it?"




    "I see... Catalogue and organize chemical analysis data. Store it alongside the area map result."

Lilian Rook     Lilian finishes her divination, then recoils slightly, not at the vision, but at the fact that the dead guy is up and talking again between the time she'd closed her eyes and opened them. "The fuck did you do?" she asks, as an open question, so she doesn't have to guess who did it. Still, she's at least seen Edward do gross nonsense like that, so she's not completely off her game. After a second, she clears her throat.

    "It looks like your favourite friends, Bailey." Lilian says. "The ones you spoke about. The drug addicts who keep raiding all the pharmacies and pubs before you can get to them. Some strung out creep --practically a washed out old corpse with how much he must be on-- seems to have shot your men and made off with what they wanted." She gestures vaguely at Utsuho. "Probably camping out in the obvious spot. Shooting up medical marijuana into his eyeballs with his friends or whatever they do here. I suppose you'll be wanting the medicine back."
Featherman Neo As Kukuru revives the corpse, grossly, Featherman Neo turns away, having determined it's not been long. "Shot...did you confirm their death?"

When Lilian speaks about who, Featherman Neo suddenly raises his fist into the sky. "The Cardinal Vice of Gluttony! I knew it! My intuition is never wrong! Ever since I got the intel about him, I knew our paths would cross, perhaps not this fast, but soon! He must be brought to justice."

Featherman Neo's fist suddenly circles, and is struck out straight. "Friends! We shall capture this cult, and bring them redemption! Together, we will see them a brighter path, recover the medicine, and bring further peace to Kings!"

And then, Featherman Neo moves to aside to Bailey. "While I am not affiliated with any faction, I am willing to lend what support I can to Kings while we prepare for this fight. What do you need? I am not limitless, but I do have resources."
Brooklynn Bailey The clues all come in, Utsuho has a location where she saw people.  Izou confirms that the second member of the group was probably dragged away.  S6 confirms drugs and other indication that it's the cult, but the revived scout confirms that.  

Lilian confirms a very important piece of information, and Featherman's question gets a shake of the revived scout's head.  It seems the other scout could be still alive...and the leader...

"That son of a bitch is out in the open.  Whatever they are here for must be important.  Probably that stash the scout team risked their lives for," She says, with a grin.  "Lilian, this could easily rid the entire area of a major choking vine," she sounds happy about this.  

Featherman offers aid to Kings, to which she nods.  "Honestly, sustainable food is a problem we have, if you know any way to help us keep food sustainable with our current group of people I'd help things a whole lot.  Other than that...specialists or training specialists of our own would be a major windfall.