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Last Trace - Chapter 4 Cross 01/31/2023 (Tue) 23:31:43 No. 1131
Edited last time by Cross on 01/31/2023 (Tue) 23:32:26.
>Loss is sobering for many, making you aware of just how lucky you were to have some things in your life. >For this soldier, new resolve is found. >Will this fight go differently? >We'll have to see.
...I'm going to win this one. I will. This time, we're up against Mnemosyne - a living storm of a woman. The pride of Site 70, as they say - she's been kicking ass since long before I was born. Even then, just like the rest of us, she hasn't seen much genuine action. I've heard talks about how there was plans to have her transferred to some place in the Weave but I get the feeling she stayed behind for some reason, probably sentimental. That's not my problem. My problem is how we're going to kick her ass. We don't have a map for the area this time, but I do have a decent impression of what it's like. We're in the Security and Armoury branch - and the brig, though it apparently never got used except for putting rowdy idiots in their places. Something unique to this branch is the Elevator - they keep the munitions and ammo down there, apparently so if bombs get dropped on us, Site 70 doesn't turn into a giant fireball. It's down a big cargo elevator, so it ain't like the prisoners could actually sneak down there to arm themselves either. If the fights go the way our previous ones have, we're probably going to move through each of these areas. Dunno how much is gonna be hidden away in here, but we're going to have to adapt.
Even though I lost to that idiot of a swordswoman, I still ended up with a new weapon - Plug. Didn't get any new gadgets since last time besides the Amp Rings so I'm less prepared than i'd like to be. Doesn't matter. We have to win this either way. My current equipment: Twin Revolvers - The Sound and The Fury Shotgun - The Creirwy D-3 Sniper Rifle - Prototype H-ED DSTR Auxiliary Melee - Silkweave Gauntlets Longblade - Plug Card list: 2 Solburst 3 Frozeneye 3 Breezecycle 1 Briarspirit 1 Voidsplit 4 Echoscribe Gadgets: Barrier Generator - Projected Forcefield. Beam Unit - Long-ranged Beam Attack. Explosive Discs (3) - Throwable plastic explosives. Pitch Prefect - Wrist-mounted tar launcher. Blink Capacitor - Short-ranged teleportation and intangibility. Blade Printer - Aerodynamic disposable knife creation. Amp Rings - Short-term physical strength enhancement. In addition, I put a thin layer of oil over my clothes. If anything, my fur already gets stained with enough lubricant when I'm oiling up some of my weapons and tools... And now that I've got a whole damn sword to polish, that's something else. The thin oil coating should at least protect me from Mnemosyne's Parasignia directly, preventing her from disrupting my movements and actions. Being able to open up a damn portal to strong winds isn't exactly the kind of Parasignia I'd expect her to have, but it's a suitably powerful pain in the ass. That being said, we need to keep an eye on it. She could open portals on the ground, the walls - anything to catch me off-guard. To propose a bit of an initial strategy... In contrast to what Astrolysis and Nickel can do, it's all about pressing advantages here. Mnemo and me, we're kinda alike in that we're adaptable. She has tools, I have tools. I'm willing to bet she's got a few gadgets on her person, just like how Judi used hers against us. I wouldn't know which one's she's got though. We poke at her with our toolset, then we capitalize off of whatever weaknesses we DO find. If we manage to land a lucky hit or two, we switch off of it so that she can't counter the strategy afterward. Now, what about you? Any of you lot have ideas as to what loadout I should pack going in?
Edited last time by Cross on 02/01/2023 (Wed) 02:24:04.
It's settled. I'll be heading into battle with this loadout: Beam Unit (Blade Printer): The Beam Unit can now cut through thin cover and other materials, allowing it to penetrate and damage opponents behind it. I didn't think that the Blade Printer would even WORK like this when plugged into another gadget, but it does. If I'm guessing how it works, it's because the tags represent how I see the gadgets, and when I cram 'em into each other, its like I'm subconsciously realigning them to produce effects I want. In this case, its like I've realigned the laser head so that its focused on cutting through non-material objects. I could still put the hurt on people with it, but it ain't going to have enough sustained output to cut a person's arm off, I think. Kinda like how even though I got through the face, my Parasignia made it so I could get right back up. Amp Rings. I considered slotting the Barrier generator in here, but it effectively made it so that the barrier's ONLY active when I'm jumping around or doing heavy lifting. Having the barrier centred on me is nice, but I think reliability is more important right now. Still, these things are going to be our movement option - I can leap pretty damn far and land without any problem. Lifting's a different topic, since I still need to actually get a grip on something and holding a locker above my head when the charge gives out is a pretty great way to get my head pulped. Think outside the box with this one - unlike the Blink Capacitor, we can incorporate it into my moveset as more than just an emergency escape tool. Pitch Prefect (Blink Capacitor, Explosive Discs): Now THIS is interesting. Ever since I got the Blink Capacitor, I always got the feeling that it had potential as a sub-slot option, but we were rather reliant on it as a protective measure. With the Amp Rings acting as a new movement option, it doesn't need to be confined to that any more. I'll cut to the chase, the Pitch Prefect now fires almost-invisible, teleporting explosive tar shots. This thing's crazy. Keep in mind, I've only got [b]five shots[/b] of this in total, but due to the previous improvements I've made to the tar mix - adding the Explosive Discs in here's probably enough to blast holes in metal now, it's that powerful. If I can nail Mnemosyne with one of these, she's absolutely going to be knocked off balance at minimum. Plus, we don't want to get US caught in the blast either. Make sure it's the right situation when you call on me to use it though, alright? Barrier Generator. Having the Barrier Generator on hand's more important than ever. We're not dealing with people with excessive firepower here - we're dealing with one woman with a coupla guns at hand. Not being able to reliably block bullets is going to be a pain. >I'd say start with a short to mid-range weapon. Which would be less likely to get thrown off course and snag you a hit out of the shotgun or pistols? My dualies for sure, but they're closer to revolvers than pistols. Been using these babies for far, far longer than the Creirwy. There's a lot you can do with two guns at once if you've got the dexterity for it. Mnemosyne's defensive capabilities can't stop bullets like Astrolysis can either. > Perhaps we could send air shots by punching from a distance? What, like... through compressing air pressure into an actual attack? I feel like if I'm throwing a punch that hard, my arms are going to break first and that's part of why Diagram even had to tune the damn things to begin with. At least right now, I don't think any of the current gadgets I've got on hand would let me do anything like that. With that, I'm ready to go. ----- Security, huh... never been here much, outside of a couple of impressions. You get to visit every part of Site 70 at least once in your life as a clone, but maybe that's just me.
Edited last time by Cross on 02/05/2023 (Sun) 23:12:27.
There's a sense of ominousness coming from this place - 'Security'. That they'd build Site 70 to account for prisoners of war or something like that. Just the other day, they were talking about intruders into this facility who caused some trouble. People died. I bet for the old soldiers, they never expected anyone to ACTUALLY attack the base. ...Gotta say, I wonder why though. Site 70's meant to be a secret, isn't it? How the hell's anyone gonna find it in the middle of the damn ocean? I don't remember it especially clearly, but before the Weave Nexus was built, Security was ACTUALLY closer to the original entrance of Site 70, so it made more sense actually acting as a place for guards to regroup and set out. Now, its kinda just awkwardly in the middle of everything since new facilities got added later - probably because the idea that people would actually invade got less and less likely. I walk around the barren room. People were supposed to get kitted up further in, in the actual armory. The few times I saw that elevator in motion, whew. What a sight. Thing's bloody huge, looked like it could carry a plane. But now, when there's basically nobody around any more? Even compared to the other sectors, this place is creepy. It would've been one of the least used places to begin with. I can practically smell the dust covering this place. >She's probably got powder-based traps everywhere so she can use her wind powers against you. I'll keep that in mind - for now, we're both in close proximity. Any gas attacks would be harmful to both of us and I'll make sure to hold my breath. It helps that we're both specced to be resistant to poisons already. Oh, right - and I remember that Judi brought up that Mnemosyne was fond of CQC. Not sure if that has a sword in the mix, but if she tries anything, I'll be ready. I round a corner and there she is. Almost odd, seeing her with a helmet on. I'm not sure if I've even seen her in casual clothes. She holds her rifle like a damn statue. I raise a hand, but it feels... wrong. We're going to be shooting each other in just a bit. I stand there for a moment but I get no response. "Not much to say? Fair enough." Didn't take her to be a conversational type. Nickel didn't say much either. "Let's say our vows and get on with it."
We take our positions, weapons at the ready. Time to continue a tradition. Mnemosyne starts first to my surprise. "They call me Mnemosyne. Under the eye of Elyse Alois, all shall know that my resolve remains unbroken." I grip my guns tighter. "I'm Argine. Like Urza who came before me, I will fight for victory, mine alone. I aim.
A crack rings out through Security. I fire, right as smoke billows out around me. What? I hop backwards, out of the plumes of smoke billowing around me. Even with four nostrils, the scent of smoke just CLINGS to you and I hate it. When your opponent has wind powers, you BET they have an advantage when there's smoke all around you. A quick check and no part of me's injured yet. Makes sense. Explosives or flammables are a bad idea at close range - and I made sure to hold my breath in case there were toxins. The grey plumes slowly rise to the ceiling, a hollow shape in the smoke where I used to be. I duck behind one of the pillars - at least your mapping software's going to make finding her simple.
...Shit. She accounted for you. I don't know what she's doing, but our map's being jammed. If I'm hazarding a guess, it's like how Diagram only has a limited signal of connection to us. Whatever it is, we've only got a limited range, AND what I can actually see to work with. What a pain. I've still got my training with Nickel in mind and this time, I won't screw up. Dead Silence means I'll be able to get around with a much less likely chance of being detected, so we can opt for a safer route. Break and Blood Circle remain as options, viable ones even. Mnemosyne isn't much physically stronger than I am - and unless she's got some Asliann genes hidden away in her, I doubt she's that much stronger than what I can do. If she tries to grapple me after an attempt at placing wind portals on me, she'll be in a rough spot, that's for sure. Give me options - she's still nearby, presumably repositioning. Aiming through that cloud of smoke's going to be worthless, whether its a gadget or a gun. Giving her my position sounds like a bad idea. A few come to mind - ranged engagements and close-range engagements. Part of me likes the idea of being the bigger one in charge for once - if I grapple Mnemosyne, I could potentially end things much, much earlier than an extended firefight. In addition, I've made preventative measures against her main strength in close quarters, while having training from someone specialized in dealing with close-ranged encounters. Having a sword and bullet-deflecting gauntlets on me is a big plus because outside of a knife, she's unlikely to be hiding a longsword in here. If we were running the Blink Capacitor as a primary, we would probably be able to use it as a one-way ticket in, risky as it sounds. An Echoscribe card would work just as well here, but not having line of sight on Mnemosyne means I can't really blink to her position - the map shown there's more of an abstraction than a 1:1. A ranged engagement keeps me out of the way of potential traps and it does play to my strengths and kit better - but you could say the same for Mnemosyne. Hard Cover at least lets me make the most of my environment so getting hit by potshots isn't going to happen. Protracted gunfights would work better in my favor, but who's to say that Mnemosyne doesn't do something else? I have access to all three of my actual guns because of how I've made improvements to my gals, so Dualies, Shotgun and Sniper Rifle are all tools at the ready. What do you think?
Edited last time by Cross on 02/05/2023 (Sun) 23:21:40.
Vs. Mnemosyne Theme Title: The 13th Dilemma (Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix) Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfSk9ivzHbk&t=185s
Edited last time by Cross on 02/06/2023 (Mon) 00:24:19.
>Helmets, Ah yes, the coward's way of not dying. Ponder getting one. ...Mmm, I'll consider it. If you get to design me another new outfit, throw a helmet on there, see how it plays out. >Can we activate some fans using our hacking ability? I think we could, problem is that this kind of thing wouldn't be in security! Fans are automatic, so the ventilation will eventually clear the smoke up. Not fast enough for us though. >Toss an explosive, then follow up with melee strikes. Can't do that - only explosives I've got are crammed into the Pitch Prefect, and we've only got five shots of that. I'm not going to fire blindly and miss when it's going to be one of our tickets to victory here. But keeping her in the ring of visibility we've got... That sounds like a plan. >Use Dead Silence to move further into the room and - if it can be done without giving you away - pop your Barrier to avoid getting sniped from the smoke. Well, I'd be able to ACTIVATE the barrier silently - but the whole 'glowing wall of hardlight' thing's a lot more conspicuous than the clicking of a switch. Unless... I could run it at half capacity. Yeah. That works. Our styles differ from each other, even if we're both adaptable types - so I should capitalize off of my strengths. Mnemosyne's weaker at close ranges, so the best option is forward. I press through the smoke, back where I came from. Running the barrier at half-capacity... pretty much nobody ever does that - but now, it's smaller and most importantly, less visible. Gunfire rings out anyway, and I switch the shield onto full blast, shielding me from any of the damage. Though there's tables around me, they're not going to protect me like one of these lockers can.
I sprint, the barrier generator dissipating as I focus on running - spotting a locker past the smoke. I slide behind the construct, gunfire clattering into metal. I'm safe for now, whatever gun she's using doesn't have enough firepower to chew through my cover. Doesn't stop her tossing a 'nade my way if I linger though. Even under the gunfire, I can still hear the clattering of her armor and equipment as she runs. Figures - she knows I've got something that can keep track of her, so she's dropping all pretences.
I made it through - pushing forward was the right move. If I had fallen back, that would allow Mnemosyne to gain momentum against me. If she can't get far enough away to setup, we've got an advantage. She's still running - unlike Nickel though, the moment I catch her, it's going to be easier to lay into her with my weapons. Judging from her position, whatever's firing at me has to be one of her wind-levitated guns. That means it's not going to be able to reload, not without her watching over it. When it runs out, I've got free movement. I'd like to catch her off-guard, so the first thing that comes to mind is jumping OVER the lockers between us using the Amp Rings to cut off her escape route. Another option's using a Frozeneye and rushing her even faster, try to snag her with a Pitch shot. But since I've still got limited visibility, I don't know what's on the other side of the divider right now. What say you?
>Knock the shelving over using the Amp Rings or an explosion. I'm not going to have enough leverage to push these lockers over from the ground - even if I've got more strength, they're lined up against another set of lockers on the other end. But toppling them from above.... now that's an option. >Can you teleport a bomb into one of the lockers she's hiding behind? Not a bad idea, but I do need line of sight and the lockers are two sets, so the ones on her end aren't the ones I can reach even with teleporting explosives. >She immediately spotted you through stealth? She could probably sense you disturbing the smoke. Good observation, don't think she has omnipotence or anything though. It's just like with Nickel, she could probably set up a few weapons to automatically activate without her present. She knows I'm there, but I don't think she has fine enough control to detect where I am precisely. That being said, I don't know if she's somehow using her portals like an air tripwire. Doesn't mean stealth is useless though - just because I got spotted once doesn't mean I should just stand out in the open and get shot. I think the best move for me here is to leap up with the Amp Rings - but, when I'm on top, I've got a bit of an idea to pus this thing over. As such, I manifest the rings around my ankles and I prepare to jump. Boom. There's a strange feeling about it, jumping up like this. It reminds me of the explosive jump I pulled off in Nickel's fight - but this time, it's all me.
I can feel the recoil of my landing get absorbed by the Amp Rings. Now to enact the plan. These things are only going to be active for a little longer, but while I'm at it, I use Plug as leverage, combined with the Amp Rings to push one of the lockers over, re-manifesting the rings around my arms instead. A sword can make for a half-decent crowbar depending on the circumstance, but I'm straining myself to get the locker apart. I swear, it feels like I'm practically bending this sword, but when I can reform and fix it instantly, I'm not going to feel bad for Astrolysis' craftsmanship. And just before the charge on the Amp Rings give out, finally, the balance is tipped on the locker and it starts falling as if it was in slow motion.
Edited last time by Cross on 02/20/2023 (Mon) 23:13:17.
Dust, smoke and crashing metal. Heh. Hope the higher ups don't mind the cracks in the floor now, because there's no way that's going to be easy to fix. I drop back down onto the other side of the locker I was standing on as bullets hiss past me. Guess it was too much to expect to get her down with a more simple and straightforward move - but if she's got any traps on this side of the locker, they're gone now. Still, with this move she's still on the back-foot.
This whole time I haven't even been able to get a clean look at Mnemosyne yet - she's playing keepaway. I doubt she was hurt at all by that play, but brewing chaos... it ain't a bad feeling. Going with this route; I'm sure some of her prepared traps have been rendered null because of it. I'm fine with being patient, but we can't let her get a breather and recover - the question is if closing the gap is the best solution here. The Amp Rings are temporarily on cooldown, but they should be ready again fairly soon. >[SAI TIME ESTIMATE: AFTER THE NEXT ACTION CONCLUDES] Barrier Generator's not up yet either, but it should be ready again soon too. >[SAI TIME ESTIMATE: AFTER THE NEXT ACTION CONCLUDES] I've still got plenty of options on me, but I want to keep pushing. Question is, how? Both my movement gadget and shield gadget are down, so I'm at more risk of getting hurt. That being said, I could drop down, kick over one of the remaining tables or even use it as mobile cover as I close the distance even further. Hard Cover lets me get the most out of it, so it's not impossible.
Edited last time by Cross on 02/20/2023 (Mon) 23:20:56.
>She's essentially zig-zagging you through these rows of shelves where she's laid down a bunch of traps and obstacle courses to slow you down. Probably she was hoping that you would be hindered or made careful of stumbling into more traps and ambushes, letting her have that lead she apparently wants. I get the feeling she's underestimating me. Time to prove her wrong. >Surely there's a loop around option that'll knock a series of ambushes down to one. You're smarter than just chasing after an opponent who had time to prepare. >Her plans are already not playing out the way she might want 'em to, so now we just need to continue to intercept her. Good way to put it, Sykes. Playing into her plans, charging into everything laid out in front of me - that ain't better than me just following orders. Instead... >Why not use an Echoscribe card to copy the Blink Capacitor? 'Bout time we made use of one of these again. One Echoscribe card has been consumed. Three remain. Mnemosyne's someone who's adaptable - but even if you're adaptable, you have to keep track of new information. 'Sudden teleportation'... now how's anyone supposed to predict that? I know I couldn't. The gray cube between my fingers - it's going to be my first strike against someone who really represents what Site 70 is about. It whirs and hums - and once again, I feel that sensation. I warp from my position on the lockers, cutting off Mnemosyne's route. More importantly - I have a clear shot right as she emerges from the smoke. My guns are at the ready. I pull their triggers.
Edited last time by Cross on 03/02/2023 (Thu) 09:03:09.
The first shot goes wide by a thin fraction. But that's why I've got TWO revolvers. A direct hit. Armour. Penetrated.
Even right after taking a direct shot to the shoulder, I can see her right herself, taking up her gun again. This ain't like the icicle I took in the shoulder from Judi - she's gotta have broken bones or joints in there, right? I'm getting the hell out of here. I dive down and roll to cover, a burst of lead heading back toward me as I skirt out of the way. Hah! My first proper exchange with one of the best soldiers in Site 70 - and I'm unscathed! ...Easy enough for me to say, but - I'm NOT going to let what happened in my fight with Nickel happen again. I can't look like a weakling in front of all of you, not again.
Edited last time by Cross on 03/02/2023 (Thu) 09:11:04.
We may not have a map of the area from before the fight started, but I've got two workin' eyes over here. We're nearly to the end of this current area and with that exchange just now, I've at least proven myself a threat. Mnemoyne's aim is going to be worse due to her injury. Judging from her grit, I doubt it's all that much. We can expect her to pull out the big guns now, but there's a solid chance she'll be retreating further into the Sector as well - toward whatever killbox she may be trying to lure me into. That's the thing about these Sector Bosses - if they've got a whole Sector to work with, they absolutely want to capitalize off of it. But it's on me to defeat them, to prove that I've got the cohps. The only thing I can do is follow - but if I'm going to make it as much of a pain for them to retreat as possible, all the better.
Edited last time by Cross on 03/02/2023 (Thu) 09:05:16.
>Head back on top of the lockers and approach her again! >It's a trap-free route. That's right - if anything, you wouldn't be accounting for people being able to reach and run along things that high up. She could be baiting me back into another trap on the ground, so this is the route to take. The Amp Rings are recharged and ready, so hopping up there's no problem at all. I can feel the adrenaline rush - I've already landed one good hit, so I need to capitalize off of this advantage. Zipping up onto the top of the lockers with another empowered jump, I start running, my guns at the ready. >Speed's probably more important than stealth here. Given that she's seen me tip over one of the lockers before, she already knows that it's a possibility. But if I'm fast enough...
I try to make out Mnemosyne's position - and there she is. There's a harsh glow - is that a gadget? That's not a problem - I can dodge it - but if I can line up my shot right...
I fire - but the shots go wide. Shit! I disengage my guns and try to go for an evasive maneuver. She throws - and the projectile streaks through the air like a lightning bolt. I move to dodge and- Hhhhgrk! How? It curved? I'm getting the hell out of here!
Taking cover first. Bloody hell... That really stings! Okay okay, should have accounted for the fact that she had gadget access just like me. This is just like the damn fight against Judi - it's easy to keep track of opponents with smaller sets of equipment, but I didn't even realise that she still had one of those! It's a Velocity Javelin - those things work a bit differently to the Amp Rings, in that it's an absolute crapton of acceleration. Honestly, the thing's basically designed to throw rocks at ridiculous speeds, turning them into great projectiles. Not so good for keeping anything else intact, but - She's curving the javelin. Is she putting a wind portal on the side of her projectile? That's one way to do it. Means she doesn't have to aim as good if she can just redirect those damn things into me.
Mnemosyne's off-radar and judging from her movements, she's already moving further in. I've got no choice but to follow her, and I'll bet she's going to try to bandage herself up if I give her that opportunity. Rushing in's no longer quite on the table, given that she knows that's going to be my main option. But surprising her... that's still an option. I'm a little wounded, but I'm still going along fine. It took a chunk out of my side, but it didn't hit anything vital yet. Good thing my constitution's helping clear up some of the pain. We're going to have to pursue her, but take adequate measures so I'm not going to eat another one of those blasts. From what I remember of it, the Velocity Javelin's a rechargeable gadget just like the Beam Unit or my Barrier, so we have to watch out for it. It's powerful, but it leaves her pretty damn open. So what's the move now? I can still keep going - and giving her more time to set up or adjust her traps for my current kit's not too good of an idea. There's only one entrance into the next area - but we should think about how we get through it. The Amp Rings are temporarily on cooldown, but they should be ready again fairly soon. >[SAI TIME ESTIMATE: AFTER THE NEXT ACTION CONCLUDES]
Edited last time by Cross on 03/13/2023 (Mon) 01:40:26.
>She wasn't trying to lure you in there so it's not trapped. Good point, and it would be harder for her to escape if I was hot on her heels AND she had to avoid traps on the way through. Running up through the area, I clear out from the first room and into the connecting hallway. It's bright - and more importantly, there's nothing blocking the way. >I wonder if we use the Silkweave gauntlets with the amp rings, if it could create enough force to protect yourself from another one of those shots. Given that the things create a kinetic barrier - I wonder if it's enough, or even stronger than the Barrier Generator's shield. By the looks of it, the Velocity Javelin would go through a Barrier Generator shield with no problem, especially since it's unmodified. >Odd thought: how easy is it to recognize if that smoke she’s been setting up is being effected by the wind versus natural circulation? Probably not easy if she's trying to keep it subtle. But we're long since out of the smoke now. Probably best to worry if she drops another smokebomb. >Approach the entrance to the next area - no rushing in, though. I slide to a stop near the entrance - and in the distance, I can see the giant cargo elevator that's used to shift ammunition and military gear.
Edited last time by Cross on 03/22/2023 (Wed) 11:00:00.
Pulling up the map, even with the reduced range... I'm glad I didn't rush through. Scan's picking up two weapons floating by the exit-way. Odds are they're pointed right at the centre. This is a bit tricky - I could spend a card or one of the Pitch Prefect's rounds to deal with it, but there's also no guarantee that she doesn't have more prepared on the other side, especially since I don't have a good sense of the area's geometry. Similarly, I could use the Silkweave Gauntlets to protect me from the gunfire, but blocking gunfire from two different angles when I don't know WHAT guns she has set up... that's tricky. I don't know where Mnemosyne is relative to me, either. I think that's a stairwell to my right, but I don't know if Mnemosyne's taking the elevator or the stairs down. We'd want to catch her so that there isn't more room for her to gain distance from us. Besides dealing with the hanging guns, we're going to need to think of a way to catch up to her, regardless of which route she takes.
>Use the Pitch Prefect, we've got plenty to spare. Aye aye! Using the Pitch Prefect, a quick shot flies out - completely invisible. Boom. Mm. I can already smell the burning tar from here. Not exactly stealthy, but the clattering of gunparts to the ground's made it more clear that I'm good to go. Down to four shots. Still plenty for Mnemosyne. Rushing through the smoke, I emerge out into the elevator room.
The creaking of machinery... The damn thing's so loud it's shaking the floor! She just started it up, and I can see the cargo elevator sink further down as it goes. That thing's used to transport munitions to the lower floor, but I don't see any sign of Mnemosyne or her traps so far. She could be hiding behind or near one of the boxes, but that thing's descending fast - it's going to be out of scanner range real quick. Place is real bloody open, but I can't afford to just stick around.
Gameplan update, then. It's still safe to jump onto the elevator, but the big question is if I want to. Stairwell's to my right, and that thing's going down for a bit. I could jump down, but I'm not sure the Amp Rings or the Barrier's going to cushion a fall like that enough. But I've got a few options for dealing with Mnemosyne. 1. I jump down there, engage her at a closer range. Problem is that we don't know if she's even ON the elevator, let alone unprepared. 2. I fire on her from above, using whatever I've got. Main issue with this one's that I don't know where she's at, so this could just waste time. 3. I head down the stairs to meet her on the other end, or to confront her if she's hiding inside of it. If she's on the elevator, she may set stuff up if I try to cross the place. If she's on the stairs, well, I'll be able to catch her offguard if she's not already prepared. Whatever range limits we've got on the radar right now probably extends vertically, so she could be at the bottom of the staircases for what we know. If we're going with something, pick one of the plans and suggest how I go about it. None of my gadgets are on cooldown right now, so I should be ready to roll.
Edited last time by Cross on 03/27/2023 (Mon) 09:59:03.
>Fire away with the Pitch Prefect! Roger. Firing this thing's become second nature - manifesting it on my wrist through my Parasignia, I give it a strong flick and FIRE. The near-invisible projectile flies across the room, down toward the cargo containers, before slowing, arcing and flying back toward me, missing and splattering the ceiling. No good. She's got that area protected with wind currents? It's like they cut off after a certain distance, which is... strange. That's not how wind and air current works, is it? Maybe Parasignia winds can only extend so far or something... It's hard gauging her limitations, but that's something. More importantly... I don't know if that's a decoy and she's actually waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs, but I'm not wasting more ammunition trying to push past it. Even if I detonated it early, that's going to blow a spray of tar right back at me! We're down to three shots now. Not great, but we did figure out some valuable info. First thing that comes to mind? Screw this route - if I jump down there now, there's no telling how I'll be obliterated. I'm going the other route. The question's if there's a good route through it.
Edited last time by Cross on 04/02/2023 (Sun) 11:36:36.
A quick check on the scan's not giving me anything new. Either she's still on the Elevator, or she's so far down we're unable to see her. Just how is she jamming us like this? Ugh, whatever - we've got this to deal with. I scramble to the edge of the platforms and I stare down. I don't think I've seen a place as deep as this room. Do any ideas come up as a safe way to get down there fast with our current equipment? I could burn a card to get something we don't have on us. The Barrier Generator and the Amp Rings alone... probably not. The first idea that comes to mind is using the Barrier Generator and the Amp Rings at the same time to cushion my fall. That sounds okay enough, but... it leaves me without a good exit plan if the bottom's trapped. ...I also thought about using the Barrier like a parachute, but that's like using a table as one. You got any better suggestions than this? I'm not so sure it's going to be all rosy for us if we just jump down there.
Edited last time by Cross on 04/02/2023 (Sun) 11:35:58.
(Just a small note, but Breezecycle cards are now hotfixed so that they can change out Argine's entire loadout + refresh all cooldowns. While it's powerful, the card has yet to be used in-quest yet, so I can make this change retroactive. Oh, and a small clarification, the Pitch Prefect (with Blink) still has teleporting shots, but due to the elevator descending past its effective range, the projectile was still blown back by the air/wind currents.)
Edited last time by Cross on 04/02/2023 (Sun) 22:03:52.
>Have you thought about simply diving straight down and letting your knees break and heal? That's one of the worst ideas I've heard yet! And that's ASSUMING I'm still conscious after being splattered over the bottom floor. >These people can manipulate gravity! Why haven't they incorporated that into fixing all the damn infrastructure? From the looks of it, Parasignias only started happening AFTER this place was built. 'Sides, I don't think having one person stand in place lifting people up and down's as effective and simple as an elevator or something. At least for me, Guns Blazing isn't going to be doing more than combining two weapons at a time, so it's really only a tool I have. Whatever Mnemo's got probably isn't going to be useful for industry. >Teleporting Discs are the only way we can get away with using it as a main gadget. Yeah, while my past Pitch Prefect shot was blown away by the air, that was AFTER the teleport. If I was at a closer range, then... >The railing! You can repurpose it as a giant ladder if you shoot off the edges and use your Amp Rings to bend the rest into shape! Mmm.... too short. I could go and do it to multiple floor's worth of railings, but it's not like I could just have a large pole to slide down. This place is DEEP. Only one idea left, then. I spend a Breezecycle card, changing out my current loadout. Two Breezecycle cards remain. The sensations' odd - calming, even. If I wasn't so aware that there's a strong chance that I'm gonna get riddled with bullets if I jump down there, it would be relaxing. And from that onward - it was as easy as using my Parasignia normally. Like... rearranging boxes in my mind. I've got a new loadout now. - Blink Capacitor [Amp Rings, Beam Unit] - Pitch Prefect[Blade Printer, Explosive Discs] - Barrier Generator Only three gadgets, but we've got plenty to work with. Hear me out about putting the Blade Printer into the Pitch Prefect though - One of the KEY tags that I could feel out for the Blade Printer was aerodynamic. That means, outside of it's cutting properties - it can also allow projectiles to fly more cleanly. We also need to stop Mnemosyne from affecting surfaces with her ability. So keeping the Prefect around covers that. The Barrier Generator needs no explanation. As for the Capacitor? In my past fights, I've been using the Blink Capacitor so damn much, it's easily been a good way to get me in and out of places. But I always noticed a brief 'hang' after using it. Like the world has to remind itself where I am now. One of the first things that Diagram's explained to me's that I can't teleport through solid matter. So the easy thing is - if I've got more effective range, all I have to do is aim it at the floor. Losing out on the Beam Unit's a bit irritating, but it's effective range is medium - right where Mnemosyne's at her best too. Her javelins are going to destroy me if I try to contest her too much at that range. So we use it on the Capacitor to keep me alive for longer. With that - I step to the side of the platform. And leap. Falling's... faster this way. My clothes are billowing around me, though the shorter cut my new jacket has helps. It's clear though - the Blink Capacitor doesn't preserve momentum, meaning it's safe for me to use to catch my fall. And I've got it right in my hands.
Edited last time by Cross on 04/11/2023 (Tue) 12:39:58.
It's as simple as letting go of the button. The Barrier Generator manifests in my other hand, my grip tightening. I warp down, having already rotated myself for an appropriate landing. I pop the barrier, even before any shots ring out - The bullets clatter against the wall between me, and I can't help but grin. She didn't set more than one gun up. Biggest problem with her floating guns? They ain't gonna be able to reload. The spent casings roll around where my barrier stopped 'em. If I had a guess, she probably wrapped this thing with her wind powers, tossed it down there and let it float just so she had a contingency. If she had more time... well, I'm not so sure I'd have gotten away without being shot again. But I'm not stopping here - I'm going to catch up before she has any chance of screwing with me further. No more barrier charge's left for now, but... I've still got the gauntlets.
The creaking of the elevator's loud - it's a good thing nobody's been putting a ton of weight on it, outside of the remaining shipments and containers on top. It's not done moving, but I already spot her - bouncing away like she's completely weightless. Mm. Wonder how that feels in comparison to me jumping with the Amp Rings, or being assisted by an Explosive Disc. Her ears are sharp - her head turned my way as I ran into the area, but the only thing she fires towards me's a dirty look. We're both too far from each other's effective range, but I can close that gap. So how do we approach? Platform's a straight shot into the ammo dump and supplies room. I'm not picking up any hostiles nearby, but deeper into the platform's out of range for the scanner. Plus, the Barrier Generator and Blink Capacitor are both on cooldown, but will also both be ready by the time I'm done with my next move. Rushing down's been working, but I get the feeling that she's going to adapt to it somehow. But I've got my gauntlets, and she hasn't seen those in action yet. Is she going to be able to anticipate me blocking her shots with my hands? I still think that - if I'm able to get close to her, REAL CLOSE - she's going to have the surprise of her life when she tries to blow me away. She can't make those wind blasts without a solid surface. It's much harder to do that to something when someone's running right at you. Hell... if I'm confident - I could try Guns Blazing.
>Wait for a more opportune time for Guns Blazing. Alright, I'll hold on for now. >Can you merge the current Pitch Prefect with your guns? Mmm... doesn't seem like it. It's not that I can't imagine it working, but... It's like there's a different kind of reason for why my Parasignia doesn't accept it. Works fine with guns that can be reloaded, and even melee weapons like the Gauntlets or Plug, but - it's like there's a mental block there. Part of me wants to say it's because there's a lot more circuitry and wiring involved in gadgets than a gun, and so my signia rejects it. ...I'll reflect on this some more when I'm NOT trying to get the upper hand against the best soldier in the facility. >Have you forgotten the H-ED-DSTR? >Try a potshot with the rifle. Can do. Drawing, firing - it's all quicker when you can teleport your own damn guns into your hands. If I had one more gun the size of the rifle though? I doubt I could access them as easily. With my gals in the holster - more room for holding onto other guns in the front of my mind. I let loose a quick shot, the sound of the rifle echoing off of the tall elevator shaft. A shot through the calf - and she's bleeding. That's a plus. Like the earlier shot to her shoulder - it's going to soften her up. Catching her out in the open like this - it's a weakness of hers. She doesn't have any surfaces to create wind portals on, unlike the platform full of cargo. She can't deflect bullets if she doesn't have something to deflect it with. If I hadn't taken the short route down, I wouldn't have been able to land that; she'd already be in the next room by then. Despite being wounded - she disappears around the corner in a moment. She's probably using her wind abilities to augment her movement.
Edited last time by Cross on 04/23/2023 (Sun) 01:58:45.
I round the corner too - and now, we're in the final room of the sector the Ammunition and supply dump. The room's big - but I can't say I've ever actually been down here. Most of the time, stuff's brought up by other people, and little 'rebels' like me don't get anywhere close to it. This place - it's divided into a few areas from the looks of it. Feels like they've also constructed a couple of rooms to make categorizing and sorting the equipment easier. Where the hell did she go though? I saw a blood trail leading in, but... it just vanishes all of a sudden. Mnemosyne's probably got a few more tricks up her sleeve.
...Huh, scanner's working a bit differently now. Maybe the jammer Mnemosyne was using was higher up? That, and maybe you guys grew a resistance to it or something, since you're a supercomputer of a kind. Maybe both. So we can at least see what we're doing - but not where she is. Time to talk strategy. Roof's... lower than before. Running on top of the shelving's less of an option, unless I want to crack my skull on the ceiling. We have to find Mnemosyne - then take her down. And for that matter - we're going to need a path forward. I know she's bleeding, but the trail ended. I could try searching around for clues - or I could pick a path and just run. It's only stealth for now - the moment we spot each other and lead starts to fly, that's when shit's going down. She could also try ambushing me at some point, but that's when we'll strike. She'll opt to try and restrain me - and then, my plan'll work. That being said... if I'm grabbed by Mnemosyne, what's the plan? Because I can almost guarantee - thanks to the oil coating, she absolutely will get caught off-guard the first time she tries it. Even she hasn't gotten much time to practice against other Parasignia users. Closing the gap nullifies her mid-range advantage and doesn't give her time to use the Velocity Javelin. So we'll need a plan for WHAT to do after she fails her grab. Beside that - what's the plan here for moving through this area? She hasn't gotten much time to set up traps - and like with Nickel's fight, the bulk of her preparation was in the first area. We can opt for some faster options, or opt to sneak around.
Edited last time by Cross on 04/23/2023 (Sun) 02:00:00.
>If she does go for the grab, use one of your pistols or your sword. Revolvers, mind you - but this sounds good. I'll keep it in mind then, this'll be my chosen approach for now. >She probably staunched her own bleeding and then went into one of these containers here. Could she? I didn't see her carrying any bandages on her, but I wouldn't be surprised if she had some tucked away. Last I checked, wind powers aren't gonna be closing wounds any time soon. >What's in them, anyway? These are weapon lockers, so... weapons. Peering through the gaps, I can see the shadowed outlines of guns, ammunition - nothing especially noteworthy, let alone gear that's going to be useful against Mnemosyne. Not enough in there to be useful, and swinging these things open is going to make a lot of noise. >…A part of me is terrified she’s going to cut loose soon. >And by loose I mean winds enough for everything in that room becomes shrapnel. I get the feeling that Mnemosyne's usually more a 'tactical precision' kinda soldier, but the thought of her going all out like that makes me shiver. Being concussed by a flying locker's going to put anyone down, Parasignia or not. I'm not sure I've got anything that can deal with her at full throttle - but if she's wanting to prove herself bettter than I, she'd probably want to keep the damage to a minimum. Demonstrate just how much more control and strength she has over me. ...At least, that's a guess of how she'd think. It's hard to tell what's going through her head. I continue making my way through the dim storage area - and soon enough, I come across one of those covered rooms the scanner picked up. In front of me's the Ammo Dump - the door's open but... some caution first. I ain't gonna trip any wires here. Peering in - I can still see some of the boxes of ammunition lying around, unclaimed. Guess they didn't want to move EVERYTHING out, not before me and the others were done with this whole tournament. I get the feeling that if those boxes catch fire, there's going to be one hell of a blast. Shrapnel everywhere. Ducking back out, I check the other corner - but through the gloom, I spot nothing. My eyes are good - she's still hiding. Mnemosyne's likely navigating deeper in to get her bearings and assess her own wounds. The hit I took from the Velocity Javelin stings, but I'll be fine. Right now? I've got time to do something.
Huh. Guess this thing's also taking in the data I've seen. Right - so the big ammo dump was actually divided by a wall, but you can go through to the other side via a small snaking path in it. I guess it's to prevent a complete blowout if something does catch alight, or to help stop fire from spreading as easily, but I feel like most ammunition dumps are screwed when something catches alight. This place was put this deep to prevent bombs from setting off a chain reaction. Not that the ammo inside has much use for me, but... Here's my proposal: We set up contingency plans for her, then force her into bad positions with aggressive tactics. There's only a few things I can do quickly, and I don't want to give her more time for her own prep either. 1. We rig up the ammo storage so that it's set to blow when Mnemosyne tries going through it. This plan'll take a single shot from the Pitch Prefect to use as a primer, but we've got all of its bullets right now thanks to the earlier Breezecycle card. 2. There's also some repair tape in the ammo dump. We use that to block off two of the corridors formed by the weapon lockers. While it wouldn't stop her from cutting through, it should slow her down enough that she'll be vulnerable, or forced to choose another path. 3. We intentionally set up a sound trap - tie a string or something to a locker, fill it with unsteady gear and PULL. Bait Mnemosyne toward it, then jump her or open fire. I don't think she's so dumb as to investigate it directly - but we could bait out a wind gun or some other way of figuring out where she's at. And here's the thing - we could prepare MORE traps than just one, but it means Mnemosyne has more time to lay some down of her own. However - if we do put down more and we can avoid her own traps, that puts us in a phenomenally better position than before. Or, I mean, we could just keep chasing her down, but I feel like running around is more likely to get me jumped than the other way around. I don't know what the other enclosed room is on this map, but it's likely Mnemosyne had a similar idea and could be prepping using stuff inside there. If Mnemosyne's prepping traps using supplies from there, it could be a problem for me later. But for now... are we rolling with one of these plans, or are we going to keep hounding her? Any other ideas?
Edited last time by Cross on 04/29/2023 (Sat) 13:15:54.
>Mnemosyne's had the time to prepare a lot of traps. ...Something doesn't sit right with me on this. I'm not even sure this is right. I went into this tournament thinking that every sector was going to be a deathtrap, but so far, only Nickel seemed to have something prepared in advance and that was just the first area. What's stopping them from just turning a bunch of rooms into blast furnaces again? Outside of pride, honour, are they taking it easy on me? I haven't seen any traps at all in this area yet, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. If she's jamming the SAI, then there's a strong chance she could get them imperceptible to you as well. >You need to shift between slow-and-methodical and screw-it-rush-through-with-future-shields. This, I like the sound of. Push her when I need to, then slow down when she tries throwing things out there to peel me off. For now - I say we need to keep pushing. >What happens if BOTH of you are knocked out? That's... a good question. I guess there was that case with that pink-dyed weirdo. She... really likes explosives and mortar ammunition, to put it one way. I think the whole 'won't die from explosions' thing that Parasignias introduced meant that she could be as unhinged as she'd want to be. Rare for someone to do it with a smile on their face. She actually had a match where she blew up herself and her opponent. At the time, it was ruled as a tie or a disqualify, because if everyone started running in strapped to the gills with grenades, then there'd be a crater in the arenas by the end of the day. Here, though? I'm fighting for MY freedom. I can't say for sure - but I'm going to be damn pissed if they deem it as a tie or worse, when these are supposed to be the BEST PEOPLE IN THE FACILITY. They're the ones who fell for it. >Considering how poorly things went when we bombed the roof with cheeseface, let's hold off on detonating the ammo dump and use it to force Mnemosyne's hand. Oh, like using it as a threat? I like that - we don't even HAVE to set a trap in there, do we? Make her think that we're doing so, get her to play around it... I like that. I like that a lot. >She's likely aware of how vulnerable an area it is. And that's exactly why we can use it to our advantage. I know how people see me. It means that we can also run through it without any worry - because the one thing that Mnemosyne can't do with her powers is make things catch fire. >Is shrapnel gonna work? What if she uses her wind powers to reflect it? At this close of a range? Nah, she's screwed. The Pitch Prefect only failed because the distance between the elevator and the shot was too long, so the Blink effect I slotted into it originally didn't close the distance enough and the strong wind forces propelled it back out. >Don't forget the gloves - you can use 'em to absorb the kinetic force of something she throws at you. Yeah, you're right. I'll keep an eye out so she won't get any advantages over me if she starts flinging things at me. That's enough reflection for now. One of you even made a map! I'll put that plan to action. Moving up across the perimeter of the ammo dump, I walk quietly but confidently. And at the wall... I use a Blink. The only real downside to using the Blink Capacitor's the glow. But what kind of gadget made with extradimensional technology and knowledge DOESN'T glow? It's dim enough that it won't be a problem if I'm far away enough. I scooch across the wall of the other room - I didn't get a good look at what's inside, but it's not important right now.
Edited last time by Cross on 05/13/2023 (Sat) 12:45:18.
There's Mnemosyne - quietly patrolling the halls. She's staunched the bleeding, but... Damn. She's still breathing steadily, like she hasn't been shot twice. Even then, even if she's keeping her composure, her body's going to be slower to respond. I peek out for a second and she stops. Those tendrils surrounding her tail rise up, like they're tasting the air. The next second, I find myself with my back pressed against the wall. My fur stands on end. Being chased down by the one of the strongest in this facility... Maybe I'm just getting used to fighting people who outclass me in a few skills here or there... But I dare her to come screw with me. There's a thrill to this, completely unlike when Ozone chased me at the very beginning of this mess. I can fight - and unlike Nickel, neither of us have the intent to hide for long.
There's not much time before she makes a move. Do we fight? We will, won't we? >Lastly, be aware that you can retreat. If an area is mined to the teeth, you need to evacuate and approach from a different angle. I get that. But. This is a chance. We can get our plans to work. The Blink Capacitor's on cooldown from getting into position, but it'll be ready again soon after. Closing the distance at this range... it's possible. Throw a barrier forward, the Silkweave Gauntlets as backup. But is there anything else I'm not accounting for that could slow me down? We've got her in a good position, far from the lockers. The only place she could place portals would be herself and the ground, but I can account for both.
>Make sure it's not a gadget decoy. She's moving properly, alright. No flickers or haze around it; and in a place this dim, it's easier to tell if something's a projection or not. >Quietly roll a grenade. Don't have any on me, pal. >Teleport away. Blink Capacitor's on cooldown til after this skirmish. >I think the only other thing to worry about is a close range Velocity Javelin going right through you. That's a possibility, but she's real vulnerable when she's charging one up. And when we're close up, she's not going to be able to blow bullets away; there's too little time for air drag to come into effect. Right now... the best approach I can see is going in. I did learn from that shifty short bastard, didn't I? In the dark, Nickel's teachings are much more effective. Doesn't matter how quiet I am if someone can see me, right? But here... It all starts off with a few steps out from the locker, crouched and ready to make a move. I dash around the corner, closing the gap between us. In mere moments, she raises her gun, her impeccable reaction speed kicking in. But it turns out she realized a little too late. It all happens in an instant. >Use your barrier. I'll do you better than the Barrier Generator. I raise my arms in front, the Silkweave Gauntlets manifesting as Mnemosyne fires away, the bright flashes threatening to blind us both. Each bullet that collides with it pings off harmlessly, my arm bearing only a fraction of the recoil. It'll only hurt worse for her later. With her initial onslaught ineffective, I get even closer. She reaches out, her free hand grabbing onto the edge of my coat.
And in that moment, she realizes: She screwed up. The thin layer of lubricant on my clothing, a trap set from the very beginning has finally been set off. Her fingers slip, unable to form a portal to blow me away.
Against anyone else, she would win. She's been alive four times as long as me, training every day because of some trauma in her past. Her abilities, her physical prowess, her training... All of it's excellent. Me? I'd pale in comparison in a performance evaluation. Even now - she has contingencies. A flash of steel in the gloom. But it's too late. I know it in my blood. I lock eyes with her - There's no need to say anything. She knows it too. I outsmarted one of the best soldiers in the facility. And it's thanks to her, the person who believed in me for so long. [Ignition Complex....
Edited last time by Cross on 06/05/2023 (Mon) 01:18:56.
...Cold War]! Moisture in the air gathers around me, wrapping around the Silkweave Gauntlets. The ice is... soothing. Like the fresh sting of fresh medicated bandages. Her knife pings off of the unnaturally tough ice and she reaches for her sidearm, the gun dropping into her hands from above. I simply reach out and the gun frosts out, the echoing clicks of her useless tool bouncing off the walls. Maybe, in this moment, I'm showing just how much of a monster I can be. But Judi's been there for me, just like Nanoweaver and Diagram. My grip tightens, the crisscrossing trails of ice digging deep into the gunmetal. It cracks, it breaks, metal and ice glittering in the dim lights. The ice threatens to climb up her arms.
No matter who you are; if you don't expect your weapon to break in two in your hand, you'll be caught off-guard. The gauntlets are charged up from the impacts before. There's no time to recover. My fist collides with her armor and I can feel the plating crunch under the force of the ice.
Mnemosyne goes flying, this time without her powers. She sails into the wall, causing a crash that makes my teeth clatter. She'll be fine; I've seen people get back up from being exploded. But we've got an advantage to press, don't we?
The adrenaline's running high right now. If you ask me, the rest of the tournament may as well be a formality. I've proven that I'm able to get the upper hand against one of the best in the facility. But they're not evaluating that kind of thing, are they? Whatever. Now that she's cornered, she'll only fight harder. Let's make it fast, beat her before she tries pulling anything funny. Blink Capacitor's back up and I've still got all five shots for the Pitch Prefect. Barrier Generator's still at the ready. Let's keep things moving.
>Give her no chance to recover. >Get in close and finish her off. >Open with the Pitch Prefect. I fire, then dash forward, the weight and momentum of the unnaturally dense ice flying forward. I don't have the saved kinetic energy from the Gauntlets anymore, but - My fist collides with the wall... Where Mnemosyne no longer is. The tar, spent - crystallizes on contact with the gauntlets, splintering and breaking off, little flakes drifting off around me. Four shots left. I jump back. This - This is bad. Her power's meant to be making gale-force winds, right? So why the hell is she gone? She shouldn't have anything like Nickel's invisibility!
Edited last time by Cross on 06/19/2023 (Mon) 12:01:30.
The ice coating my arms disappear, along with the gauntlets for now. If I need my guns, I'll be ready, but... She's nowhere to be seen, even as my eyes dart around to find where the hell she went. In the corner of my mind, I'm just about ready to summon the Blink Capacitor. >It's fair certain Mnemosyne will try to pull one of her trump cards now. She has to - but from WHERE? The tension's heavy enough to thicken the air. I hear, then see the gunfire before my body could catch up. For a moment, there's a blast of hot air. From the floor, bullets fly upward - a blinding muzzleflash burning my eyes as a bullet grazes the bridge of my snout. The cube's in my hand - and I'm out.
Edited last time by Cross on 06/19/2023 (Mon) 11:59:41.
I end up on the top of the Ammodump, the Blink Capacitor's glow dimming as I tumble across the ceiling. The fizzling energy around me dissipates as I kneel, my head almost bumping against the ceiling. It's cramped up here - like I said before, roof's lower than the Security room above. The warm trickle of blood and the new stinging pain's making it obvious; things could have been way worse. >Did you just mimic Judicium's Parasignia on your gauntlets? I think that's the Pseudosignia you were all waiting for. ...Ice powers, huh. I mean, it seems tough enough but it seems pretty different in effect to Judi's. Both the Pitch Prefect's tar and Mnemosyne's gun practically disintegrated when I used it... >…In her shoes this would be the time for a panic button manuver, if she’s got one. So she got out of the way somehow? But how? If she blasted herself far enough, I still would have seen or heard it!
She has to have sustained significant damage after that, but now the SAI map readout can't find her at all. We've still got her on the ropes, though - she's taken a nice, solid hit just then. It can't be too far now. ...And now I have access to Cold War as well. Pseudosignias don't FEEL like they have the same degree of power as Parasignias - Nickel and Astrolysis used theirs (splitting presence, invisible barrier), and using them doesn't seem to enable someone else's Parasignia due to that resonance effect or whatever. It's not like how I can't pull out Guns Blazing's weapon combination effect all the time, because if I do, it'll also make it easier for the opponent to pull out their Parasignia's strongest effect. I don't know enough about this ability to use it entirely, but - I can guess to what it's doing, it's a part of me. I think it's something to do with using ice defensively, like Judicium - but with an emphasis on neutralizing the opponent's equipment. I can break down equipment into component parts and store it for later, and Judi protects herself and others through neutralizing attacks. Not too much of a stretch to say that this is useful for that kind of thing - but I don't think I've got much range on it at all. My abilities were never very long range to begin with, I have to touch something to activate my Parasignia. But if I can use it on the Silkweave Gauntlets, then... it could probably extend to Plug as well. Mnemosyne clearly has backup guns though, so I'm unsure if it's going to be useful for the rest of this fight. >Would the Amp Rings allow for the safe usage of the Wallflower? ...That's a great idea, actually. But I get the feeling that if it's not my arms taking the recoil, it's going to be the rings. If we're cool with having it broken to bits for the rest of a fight? Then yeah, it's an option. Against Mnemosyne? She'd likely just avoid it. Remind me when we get to someone who isn't capable of pulling a vanishing act seconds after I smash them into a wall. >Er, so, is anyone else a bit worried about deploying sticky fire inside the ammo dump area? ...That could be a problem. A lot of the ammo's been moved out, but enough of it's still around, and this is a pretty contained area... If things start burning, oxygen's going to be a problem. Keep an eye on it then. We need to figure this out, fast - where the hell did she go and how's she firing at me still? And I can't stay up here - I'll get cornered in no time. Blink Capacitor's on cooldown until the next action.
Edited last time by Cross on 06/19/2023 (Mon) 12:01:14.
Didn't the notes say that even trying to go into the portals was impossible? They're supposed to be connected to some kinda place full of gale force winds! >Still, the question is how do you get at someone who could have this level of tactical and line-of-fire overview and could at this point be staying anywhere? ...There's limitations to everything, Syke. If I'm limited by the complexity of my tools, or how I see my gear, then Mnemosyne's got to have restrictions on just how many portals she can make, right? If she had unlimited portals, she'd be hiding them EVERYWHERE on the way in. And from the looks of it, it's not something that she CAN hide, given how loud the wind is going to be. >She can shoot you from everywhere, anywhere. But the thing is, she hasn't. If she could, then I'd be full of holes right now. >Inferred, larger portals are harder to maintain, so unless she can resize existing ones without being near them - oh boy let's hope not - she must've had a large-enough portal stashed somewhere safe prior to her escape. Ah... hell, that's a good point. She must make absolutely tiny ones to manipulate her movement for the sake of air control - so part of why we never saw a bigger one was because keeping them open like that, and in a way that doesn't immediately reveal itself, since I think I'd be able to see a giant wind vortex dimension portal if I saw one. >At any rate, with portal 'coupling', she may be able to use any other surface for her monitoring and sniping needs. I'm gonna have to challenge you on that one, Syke. If that was the case, there'd be a lot more portals around, ones we'd see more often. She wouldn't bother with floating guns or portals on the ground if she could keep a perfect level of observation against me, wouldn't she? The bullets only managed to graze me - and she doesn't seem like someone who'd have an off aim when I was offguard like that. Plus, the air-suspended guns from before is what makes me question this. If she had an elaborate portal network that knows where I am at all times, she wouldn't need to set those traps up, she'd fire directly at me. And earlier... now that we're thinking about it, I never saw a portal big enough for me to recognise it on those guns. I get the feeling she can disable portals when she wants, but... as with the idea that bigger portals need more focus, maybe she's got some kind of upper limit on just how many she can concentrate on or see at all? >I'm shocked she can make a portal big enough to slip through. Also, she just fired out of a portal, so she's STILL IN THERE. We're going to have to think about this through eliminating the other possibilities. What HASN'T she done during this fight? She hasn't popped in and out of these portals until now, at least not from what I've seen. She wouldn't patrol around normally if she could, a network of portals linked to each other in ways I can't deal with would've been my approach. So clearly, she has to be OUTSIDE the portal for one reason or another. The question is, why? If we figure out what limits her, then I'd be better off at responding to what she could do.
Ugh. Gotta keep moving, she's going to cause problems sooner than later. It's inconsistent, but when I'm able to puzzle things out with you, it's like time slows a little. Maybe it's a byproduct of the SAI splinters recording our thoughts, so when we're actively talking and I'm keeping my cool, my thinking speed's faster because you're taking some of the burden off of me? >Keep the Barrier Generator on hand, readied but not active so you don't glow. On it. It's in the forefront of my mind - the moment I need it, it'll form. And just as I get ready to reposition myself, I stop for the briefest of moments. A shiver runs down my spine. For a moment, the stinging pains in my body make themselves apparent again. I hear it before I see it. The sound rips through the quiet like a giant blade. On the battlefield, the slightest moment of hesitation used to be death. Here, it's a loss - and for me, that can be worse. My body is moving before I know it. I slide, raising the Barrier Generator in front of me as it forms. For a brief moment, it's like I was trying to block a cannonball. I'm surprised the Barrier Generator held on that long at all. Grinding, sliding - it all happened in a moment. The thrown debris slides up the barrier, the gadget providing just enough resistance to stop it from punching right through me. Fragments of the ceiling rain down near me and I smell burned circuitry. The Barrier Generator came apart in my hands, leaving me holding a tube of burning metal. I slide it back into my Parasignia, the worst of the damage contained. My arm's going to be bruised as all hell, but this is nothing compared to the Wallflower's blowback. It's a good thing that the dump here's made of tough shit, otherwise we'd be completely screwed if the ceiling comes down on us. Don't think a Parasignia is going to protect against that at all. The only play is to retreat further back - at the angle the javelin landed, she's not going to be able to tell which direction I'm running. Moments later, I can feel the tremor of the javelin thud right into the spot I just was moments ago.
I drop down behind, pressing myself up against the wall. Hiding near the ammo dump's not going to be safe for much longer if the stuff inside catches alight. The Velocity Javelin isn't going to set anything on fire by itself, but it CAN break through walls if angled right. Mnemosyne's close by, and she knows that I've only got a few places to actually run and hide. Question is, how can I turn the tables on her again? I don't need to see her to hear her - there's some kinda whirring coming from around the corner. I take a quick, brief peek before ducking right back where I was. She's... floating. Is that a gadget on her back? Ah, hell. Guess there's nothing saying you can't use tools that're similar to your own ability. A noted weakness that the document said she had was that she couldn't use her wind portals to fly. If she has a gadget that lets her do that, then she's got unparalleled mobility right now. Currently, she seems to be searching for me - I'm just lucky she wasn't facing me, or else I'd be getting a faceful of lead.
Now that I'm on this side of the ammo dump, I can see the doorway leading into the room, though not what's inside. She's out there. We could deal with her somehow, but we still don't know the exact implications of what her powers are limited by. The report I got from Nanoweaver said that her powers are apparently something else besides a regular Parasignia, but there's no use theorizing about why exactly that is. To us, it's an ability we have to figure out a way around. I guess she's bringing out the last of her tools now that she's pushed to this extent. If your opponents aren't going to get downed by a bullet to the head from a high calibre rifle, then it makes sense to whittle them down over a longer period of time. Same reason I don't use the Pitch Prefect as a default option, and she doesn't have the ability to generate more bullets out of nowhere like I can. We can't just keep running - but there's a strong chance she's going to put me into the ground if I screw up. She'll catch up eventually, whether it's using some kind of portal trick, or by jetting over to me. Barrier Generator's on cooldown for now. What're your thoughts, Sykes?
>So... did she not step through a portal? That wasn't what I meant, whatever she's doing with them, she can't do it often or else she would've been using it from the start. There weren't any portals on the wall before I decked her into it, so she had to have made it there and then. She wouldn't have escaped in time otherwise. The document we got on Mnemosyne's abilities said she still needs to actually make contact with a surface in order to create portals. Otherwise, she wouldn't have slammed right into the wall, she'd make a portal as she was sent flying towards it and get spit out somewhere safe. >Could she be closing portals as she goes, gaining bandwidth to do more clever stunts with them? Makes sense. It's smart too, set up traps with it early on like the floating guns, then as they're triggered, close the portals and now you've got more power for making portals late into the fight. She wouldn't make traps like the floating guns if she couldn't close them at will, since then there'd be no guarantee that I'd be triggering them, making it a waste of energy. Her document did say that automating the smaller portals is easy for her, but that doesn't mean they don't take up some of her 'capacity' to make portals. >Outmaneuvering her might require both luck and a few traps of our own. Any chance we can get into (and out of) the ammo dump fast enough to set up a few surprises? Dunno if I've got the time to set up traps, but an ambush may be safer. I'll bait her out. >I think it might be good to use the pitch-prefect to throw a burning projectile down the hallway, making it look like we miss the shot and accidentally set the floor is on fire. Even if the floor's on fire, she's not going to care all that much when she can fly. Given that she has wind powers, it could be bad for me, that she could blow the flames back at me. That being said, remember that the Pitch prefect's got two functions I added onto it later - the 'Airburst' and the 'Extra Volatility', that allow me to detonate it midair, as well as have it catch fire when shot with conventional firearms. I think if I airburst it, Mnemosyne will have a harder time avoiding the shot due to it covering a wide area midair. >If you're hearing the projectiles before they can be seen, then that must mean there's a very long distance or delay with the attacks. I think you're onto something here, Sykes. I said that if she could shoot me from below me all the time, she'd be doing it whenever she could. So... for whatever reason, if she fires through her portals, she has to put them on a delay. Given that attempts to send drones INTO her Protocosm has been unsuccessful, I get the feeling that she's doing something to make it so her bullets aren't blown off course by the winds inside of it. Maybe it's also dependent on range? I've only been shot through a portal once so far, and that portal was close by to where Mnemosyne was slammed against a wall. >We need to make it look like we're running or going to blink, following the light blue path. In reality, we're going haul ass and blink following the dark blue path right into the ammo dump. This way we can better ambush her. Huh, nice map. Thanks, Sykes - I'll use this as a starting plan. There's enough of this sitting and hiding. Stealth has never been a strong suit of mine, even if I've gotten training from Nickel. I'm going on the move - with the Blink Capacitor in hand.
I make it seem as if I'm running away from the Ammo Dump as I stomp towards Mnemosyne's previous location. It only takes a moment. Our eyes meet, guns in hand. Gotta say, it's intimidating staring someone down when the other person has a bunch of guns floating around her like that. The stirring of wind in the air, from both her gadget and her powers - I can't imagine what it would have been like, to face her down in different circumstances. Unfortunately for her, I react faster than she can pull the triggers. Just because she can make guns float doesn't mean they're automated.
The guns rotate toward me in an instant, but I'm ready for it. The Blink Capacitor thrums with power - and I'm displaced. Gunfire, missed bullets. A before, and an after. Didn't Diagram describe using the gadget like skipping pages of a storybook before? We're in the Ammo Dump and I'm thankfully unharmed. I take only a brief moment to get my bearings, but... Hey... wait a second. This must be one of her weapon stashes, isn't there? A couple of guns, the same type as the kind she had floating around her. It's at least the Dunno if we could use this against her or not, but we could gunk it up with the tar, deny her one more tool. Huh. There's a... red petal on top. I go to touch it, and...
It flickers. It didn't even feel... real. More like a hologram. I step back in case something happens. The moment passes. I'm fine. But what the hell is that? Egh. I don't have the time to figure this out. If things go well, I've got an ambush against her.
>It wasn't really smart to touch something you guessed was part of her powers. What if it blew up or something? Okay, I'll give you that one - but it would be odd if Mnemosyne had some kind of Pseudosignia that could do that. She doesn't strike me as someone with a lot of connections. Still, being in the Ammo Dump for a prolonged period of time is going to be a bad idea. Stuff's volatile and while we've got some element of surprise on our side, I don't know how well our ploy worked. What's the next move? We're almost good to go. Sooner or later, we'll have an opportunity for me to bring out Guns Blazing. But which combination do you have in mind, Sykes? Planning things out in advance makes it easier, I don't need to stop before hammering her with a faceful of lead. I know the Wallflower has been our most destructive combination, but that's only going to be useful against big targets like Astrolysis. When our opponent is as evasive as Mnemosyne, I doubt it'll be as effective as we'd want for it to be. Plus, it's either going to break my arm again, or fry the Amp Rings if I use in tandem. Which I can't, because they're currently slotted into the Blink Capacitor. Give me your suggestions. Blink Capacitor's on cooldown until the next action.
Edited last time by Cross on 07/25/2023 (Tue) 12:16:12.
>The petals are little computer devices that help her keep track of her portals! ...Seems a bit overcomplicated. Wouldn't it be easier to say that they're tied to her Parasignia? She's likely marking her gun collections somehow, so maybe this is how she grabs her guns from the other side of the portal. >Grab the gun and stuff it into your hammerspace. I take hold of one of them but something's off. Despite how hard I try it, it doesn't disassemble at all. Hell. Am I not able to deconstruct stuff affected by other Parasignias? I never got to try it, but if I grabbed Astrolysis' sword back then, I'd get nothing but my palms burned off. >Tar up the guns. Can do. One shot's all I need - and the pile's all gunked up. >You can use the Pitch Prefect (when there's the Explosive Discs slotted in) without it exploding? Oh - damn it, I forgot to point out this change when I was doing tests last time. Previously, it would explode instantly. I changed the formula so that it would explode when hit really hard or shot, so now when I've slotted the Explosive Discs in there, they'd go off harder. Dunno how my Parasignia accounts for it, but it would suck if I lost functionality after I made changes to the ammunition, right? When I opened using it before, I figured that after the tar covers Mnemosyne and I strike her, I'd back off and the resulting explosion would do even more damage. Didn't work out, considering Cold War froze the tar and rendered it unable to explode when when I hit it pretty hard. >Find some way to demolish the wall and send it crumbling down on Mnemosyne That's going to crush me as well while I'm at it, but I think it isn't going to work when she can portal herself out of situations. >An interesting thought. Use your dead silence to set the table up like you'll use it for a shield. Let's make her think we're turtling up in here. Head north, and get ready to surprise her from the other side of the room. Setting up the tables for a second ambush... perfect. It'll take just a sec. An ambush inside of the ammo dump's begging for trouble, but I'm wanting to close this fight out. It's simple: I set the tables up as if I'm hunkering down, then airburst a tar shot to bait her in.
Edited last time by Cross on 08/17/2023 (Thu) 23:57:46.
I move to the north side of the room. The trick won't last too long, but it'll buy me a few seconds. But before I start... I'll prepare myself. >Combine your pistols and the sniper rifle. Never thought I'd have to do this while trying not to be seen. I'll keep it on the down-low. It's not mandatory to say the name of my 'signia, but it makes it a bit more intuitive. Like counting the pages of an instruction manual as you try to find the right one. I focus, the Sound and the Fury floating out from their holsters and taking their place beside me. The rifle in my hands feels weightier.
[Ignition Complex]. The glow radiates, but gives off no light. [Guns Blazing].
Two new guns. Another set of weaponry that needs a name. How's about... Outcast and Downcast? Goes without saying but if Nickel was wired a bit different, I imagine the two of us could be good friends. As it is, she wouldn't be too much of a chatterbox. But the two of us are pretty alike. That's how it is down here in Site 70, huh. Haven't used weapons with barrels these long in a while. Audacious considering how quiet Nickel is. Reminds me of one of those films where two people with revolvers of their own duke it out. High velocity, medium range. And these won't break my arms either. Perfect.
Time to get the plan rolling. With a quick flick of the wrist, I fire and airburst one of the Pitch Prefect's shots, inevitably alerting Mnemosyne in the process. Three shots left. I'm hunkered down at the north. The whirring of a hoverpack makes her presence obvious, but any pretense of stealth is long gone. She aims, firing a salvo with her array of floating guns. They obliterate the table in seconds. I shoot, aiming each shot toward her guns, breaking them in the process. Mnemo reacts, the shattered gun parts falling to the floor as I see new guns drop in from telltale portals, forming a new set. I smirk as I hear the slimy click of a non-functioning gun. This time, I aim for her head. But then I see them flying toward me. Shots whistle through the air, adjusting my aim. They crunch against the tarred up metal before bursting aflame, breaking apart from the sheer force of the bullets.
Edited last time by Cross on 08/17/2023 (Thu) 23:51:20.
I grit my teeth. Seriously? She's using her own guns as temporary shields now? I keep firing, reloading one gun as I fire the other. More guns fly towards me - and more are shattered. Together, they combust in a single moment and block my vision. There's a telltale, wet collision as some of my shots finds its mark. She emerges from the smoke, another few stripes added to her facepaint.
But she doesn't stop. Whether aided by her winds or her hoverpack, she ducks, pivots and swerves behind me. I feel a tight grip around my neck. In one flowing motion, she somehow managed to put me into a chokehold! "Got you." "What?!" She's - she's not even trying to grab onto my shirt, she's grappling me entirely! "Get off!" I kick at her but her grip is bloody tight, even after I put a shot through her shoulder!
The right choice here is to use the training Nickel gave me - to Break from her grasp and reassert myself. But I don't know what she's thinking, playing the close-up game when I've got a sword on me. There's a solid chance that she's playing a trick on me as well. My gadgets are off cooldown, but at this proximity, she could also try to stop me from making a getaway.
>Spend a card! >Cut her arm off! I can't use these options when she's got a hold on me like that! She's not going to just let me get away with reaching down for a tool! The sword, however... >Flip her forwards! I jolt forwards, suddenly swinging my weight, along with Mnemosyne in front of me. I expect her to fall forwards - but instead, she floats. I can feel a strong blast of wind - she activated her hoverpack even in that position? We meet, eye to eye. "See you soon." What the hell does that mean?! There's a faint glow under me, and... I lose my footing, a windy crevice opening right below me.
I'm... falling. Moments after crossing the threshold, I can feel wind blasting against me. But in spite of that, I'm still falling down. The atmosphere around me spins - and it's hard to even tell what's up or down. Even if I had the Blink Capacitor on hand, I wouldn't be able to aim it properly! But for some reason, my fall slows - like the air itself was cushioning me.
Moments later, my landing is surprisingly soft as I'm dropped like a brick onto some flowers. I only take a moment to reorient myself - but no attacks, no traps go off. This place... I've never seen anywhere like it. A faint, pleasant scent lingers in the air.
Mnemosyne Fight Theme Title: Kaine Salvation (Nier Automata) Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?si=aeSuPOLMKBvyXosk&v=Gibu0sJQwkM&feature=youtu.be
...It's full of flowers swaying in the wind. Occasionally, a petal drifts onto my bloodstained coat. Despite there being some wind, I don't hear it. In fact... this whole place is quiet. Peaceful, even. I can barely hear myself breathe. Though I can see flashes of light in the distance, there's no thunder. Mnemosyne stands in the distance... In one sweep of the arm, she tosses her shattered helmet away.
It's odd - Mnemosyne's not even armed, but as we lock gazes, a strange feeling comes over me. This place feels... familiar, in a different sense. I'm reminded of that grave above, with the flowers all around her. "This world of mine... it's always felt nostalgic, even though I've only had it for a short time." Her voice rings through the silence, causing me to tense up. She'd barely spoken a whole sentence during this whole fight. "Armintell. He was one of the first people to welcome me into this world. We used to spar with one-another, then laugh about it outside. Picnics. At a blacksite." Reminiscing, huh? I don't have much to reminisce over, but there's something about this... "Do you think about your purpose, Argine? As a soldier? What were you made for?" ... I still have my guns. I could shoot her right now if I wanted, but... The atmosphere feels different. I've got all the gadgets, cards and guns I could need right now against an injured opponent. But somehow, that doesn't feel right.
Edited last time by Cross on 09/09/2023 (Sat) 00:19:02.
>This is an opportunity to talk. >Show her the respect you know she deserves. Sure. Let's talk, then. "Been doin' a lot of thinking since I was locked in here with all of you", I start. "Can't say that this hasn't been valuable. But why talk now? Plenty of time to do that after swappin' blows." "Lessons taught are less effective without context." She looks off into the distance at the swirling clouds and wind. "This is the first time someone has pushed me to this extent since I gained this power." Good to know that I'm doing well. Silence hangs over the two of us as we stand there. More time to ponder. >Do you think they'll let you go if your answer to every problem is to blow someone up? You are only proving that once you get out, you'll be the most dangerous thing anywhere out there. Hah. Like that's true. From what I've heard from other Trace Clones, the ones who actually got to leave? We're hired as mercenaries. Turns out there's a lotta demand for people who can get blown up and shrug it off, even when everyone's cushioned by their Parasignias out there. Even that crazy pink bitch who blew herself up got hired, along with her two friends. There's conflict, war out there. It's just that the one we got made for's no longer relevant. Peace reigns, above all the pain that the 'normal' folk don't see, and we're the ones who help it along. >She acquired a Pseudosignia from her time with Armintell! ...Is that something possible? He's dead, isn't he? Maybe it's her memories of him instead... But I don't think a Pseudosignia alone would lead to the creation of a whole world like this. Whatever this is, I can feel my fur tingle on end. The whole place feels like what happens when other people's Parasignias resonate with mine. I feel empowered but at the same time... it's like I've got a hundred eyes on me. Maybe it's because I'm INSIDE her Parasignia or something. Whatever it is. "Have you figured out your answer? What would you be if you had another choice, Argine?" The question catches me by surprise, breaking the flow of my thoughts. "I... what do you mean, another choice?" She gestures up, towards the swirling storm in the distance. "Another choice of lifestyle, Argine. Years of training have instilled in us one, and the memories we possess grant us so many skills that we only need training to further nurture. For most, it was learned. For us, it was innate. But what if you had a choice?" ...I probably shouldn't mention that my memories come from someone a little... different. But honestly, I'm not sure I'd have taken another route. >Maybe you should figure out if crafting gadgets for others feels fulfilling? Maybe. Diagram's got the trust to do that. But who's to say that they're not gonna use the stuff I make for worse purposes? When it gets out there, it's out there. I don't have control over it anymore. At least, in my hands, I'll be using them in a way that I believe to be right. Doesn't mean other people have to agree, but it's something. >If there were no villains to fight, would you be interested in law enforcement? I don't know if it's like how it's cracked up to be out there, but I've got issues with that. What happens when a problem needs action now, but due to all the bureaucracy, shit doesn't get done? More work, more pain, more destruction. I've spent all my life listening to orders and that hasn't paid off. Risking it, trusting my intuition... that's how I'll roll. Even if it's a mistake I make... that's MY mistake to make. I want to be a hero of my own actions, not a slave to someone else's rules. I'm gonna be a bloody hero that everyone will know. And I'll have done so through my own strength, not climbing the ranks of some irrelevant social ladder. I've got my answer. "I'd still fight. If we're given a purpose, there's nothing saying that we can't lean into it. Take it for a drive, see how far we get. Tools are meant to be used, but I think I'm most comfortable when I'm controlling myself."
I raise my fists. >Everyone else seems to think they know your purpose better than you do. Yeah. At least when you talk to me, Sykes, you're giving me something to think about. That deserves acknowledgement. "So, I've got a question for you. Why fight to keep me here? It ain't because you all seriously think there's something wrong with me, is there? You wouldn't need a whole tournament to figure that out, if it's even true." I stand my ground, looking her in the eye. Then, she speaks. "Would you believe it was on your sister's insistence?" ... ...She was the one who had this planned out? All those failed escapes, humiliations, all the blood I shed getting here? They were because of her? ... "To be honest, I do not understand her obsession. I found it hard to move on myself, and yet... you are still here." Her fist clenches tighter. "Perhaps she's trying to stop herself from making a mistake like I had in the past. I cannot blame her - and I admit, I was curious. Morbidly so." I can see the wind gather around her fist, then dissipate. "I fought to protect people. I no longer have anyone I truly wish to protect." The storm flashes in the background, a faint light through the clouds. "I am tired of weapons. Of fighting pointless battles over and over to prepare for something that came after my original purpose. I have no interest in becoming a mercenary like the others." She holds herself stiffly, like every movement is laborious. "In a way, this is the closest thing to closure I can get. I am sorry." I breathe in. No. I'll save my anger for her, not Mnemosyne. In a way, Mnemo's another victim of this place. Just like me. "You and me both. Let's call it a spar, then. We can fight for ourselves, with nothing but ourselves. How's that sound?" She nods, the cold look in her eyes unchanging. Sparring, huh. Been a long time since I even fought someone like this without it feeling like I'm getting my teeth kicked in. Fist to fist, against someone who doesn't tower above me. And I'm going to win this.
Edited last time by Cross on 09/25/2023 (Mon) 15:01:11.
A burst of petals - and she vanishes. I'm left alone in the quiet field of flowers, as I maintain my stance. The stinging pains of my injuries fade back into the background. You know... A strange sense of focus settles in. I'm at a disadvantage, in a field of flowers whose properties are all but unknown to me. But I don't feel any fear at all. I know what I have to do, and I can take a good guess at what she's doing. I'm betting she's going to appear behind me, but - we're going to need a strategy. No cards, no gadgets, no guns. It's only fair - if this is her world, she would have easily annihilated me. Luckily for me, we're in a tournament. I'd be dead if we weren't. I'm going to want to cover my options, as I don't know her limitations. >Do we have a map? We don't need one when I know she's going to have to get near me in order to make me lose. I don't think she'd do something like flinging me out using her portals, because I get the impression that she wants to make the most of this opportunity. Question is, how am I going to cover every angle of attack?
>Call her out on her hypocrisy. Even if I'm at a disadvantage, I don't see a problem with this. Our Parasignias ARE a part of ourselves. Hell, it's literally stopped me from dying from a bullet to the face before. I'm going to beat her regardless. And besides... she's not the only one with a Pseudosignia here. >Ask if she wants to come with you. Honestly, I figured that when this tournament is done, everyone's gonna be leaving when I leave. No reason staying if I'm not around, right? Just gotta make that happen first. There's sound like the air's getting sucked out right in front of me. Nice of her to provide a tell. I duck down, her hands slicing through the air as it narrowly misses my neck. Tch. That was a close one. I sweep my leg out, ready to catch her mid-swing, and I feel the hit connect. She stumbles, and I'm ready to seize the opportunity.
Edited last time by this user on 10/14/2023 (Sat) 22:40:07.
Though I go for a followup, I miss as she drops down, falling into the floor. Gah! I'm so close to taking her down! >I think to win, you have to think like she does. Think like she does... I don't know all the limitations to her abilities, but.. >She may be able to control sound. Focus on what you can see. Yeah. Right now, that's all I CAN do. But with these many flowers around, it isn't as if it's easy to see her actual exit and entry points. I keep my distance from where she disappeared, waiting for her next attempt. Without getting any strikes in, we won't win either. >She used her petals to bookmark her gunpiles earlier, right? Yeah, and given that she didn't realize they were tarred up, she likely can't see what's on the other end or feel it. Then, I feel a tight grip around my ankle. I'm forced to the ground in an instant, and it almost feels like my foot's stuck in mud.
Her grip loosens before I see her popping out in front of me. A fist slams against me, just below the ribs. Ah- For a moment, I can't tell what's up or down. I think rib's been cracked. Once again, I feel a tight grip on my leg. I topple forwards, my knees digging into the flowers and the dirt. She releases her grip and once again, she disappears. My head's a centimeter away from the flowers, filling my vision with red. Her grip loosens, and for a moment, I have a second to breathe. There's not long before her next strike. When she pulls me down, she has to reposition herself somehow. I was able to catch her out last time, but she was able to get away just in time. She can't be in two places at once either... whenever she goes for a strike, she can to come out of her portals fully. If I catch her... If I can just catch her off guard once more without her getting away, I can finish her off. That's all I need, but what can I do?
>Where would an opponent strike to finish you off? The head. I see the attack coming, just barely. She's like a blur when she emerges, but the telltale sound of the portal opening gives her away in this quiet place. I duck, but as she sails over me - this time, I borrow one of her tricks. I grab onto her leg as she attempts to fall into her field of flowers and I find myself carried in, the portal spitting both of us out at high velocity. >She may try to strike you from above! Even if she can't make portals on air, it seems momentum still carries over. It's the opposite of the Blink Capacitor - she retains her speed through her portals. Mnemosyne can feel my weight threatening to dislocate her leg. Hah. Too bad she's probably never experienced anything like this before. Lets turn the tables on her. We're carried into the sky by the unnatural momentum. Like this, she's not going to be able to correct her angle or make a soft landing. She tries to throw me off - but, like this? You're gonna have to pry my bloody hands off yourself. It's not like she has a chance considering how disorienting it is, trying to pry someone off of you while tumbling through the sky. Neither of us had been trained for mid-air combat. Who could blame her? She's used to using it as a vantage point, a strategy only she can bear. But I twist myself around as both of us plummet through the eye of the storm.
The air blows past us as we fall through the windless sky. I let the momentum carry her. I've already chosen a new direction for us. I can feel her fist striking at my face, my chest. Doesn't matter though. She can't make portals instantly under herself - I already learned that from before. Now, I'm the one pushing her away. I thrust out my palm, a chill wrapping itself around my arm. We collide with the field of flowers, a harsh layer of ice forming on her body.
Cracks spread across growing ice as I hold her there, the impact shaking both of us to our cores. The field of flowers are engulfed by a layer of frost, thick enough that escape would be difficult. My arm stings, and in the corner of my eye, I can see stray hairs freeze, shatter, scatter on the wind. Silence hangs over us both. Finally, as I steady my shaking body, I stand up. I hold myself at a distance, waiting for her to teleport away, to form another portal and escape. Both arms are frozen, one sticking out like she's reaching out for someone. There's no telltale sound of a portal being formed. And there, Mnemosyne lies. A new sound fills my ears.
She's... laughing? I wanted to ask, 'What's the matter with you?'. She just lost to me, someone she's supposed to prevent from getting out. Someone who, more likely than not, reminds her of something that led to the death of someone she cared about. Instead... I find myself asking something else. "You doin' okay, Mnemosyne?" It feels weird even saying her name. Like invoking a natural disaster, rather than calling out to a woman. "Yes, yes... you win, Argine. I concede." That... wasn't what I expected.
I step over her, the ice sticking to my boots. The aches and pains in my body make themselves apparent again, now that the fight's over. I've earned it though. "This was one of the hardest fights I've been in. You... you fought well. Honourably." God, look at me. I sound like a bloody idiot. Talking with 'honor' isn't something I'm good at. Not sure how I'm supposed to make this ice go away... but as I reached out to take Mnemosyne's arm, the ice around her cracked, then dissipated. I extend a hand to Mnemosyne to help her up.
Finally, we clean ourselves up a little. I watch as Mnemosyne wipes the blood from her face with her arm. The throbbing pain in my side; it's not going to go away for a bit. I should get myself bandaged up after this. Unclipping my gunbelt, I breathe a sigh of relief. Sitting here in the middle of the storm... the silence is pleasant. If I listen closely, I can hear our breathing. This is honestly a really nice place. I don't know how her Pseudosignia works, or what exactly this place is supposed to be... but it's nice. If Parasignias are an extension of us... then is this place a reflection of Mnemosyne? We'll head out soon enough, but... for now, a break is in order. "Something on your mind?", I ask, watching Mnemosyne contemplate something. "It's just... it's been a long time since I've last fought like this. Without guns." She flexes her arm, and I watch the tendons bulge underneath her armor. "I forgot that conflict can be fun." "Yeah. I get that." Fun, huh... A long time ago, before everything, before I found out that my sister was a sociopath, we used to have fun. Learning, together. I'll admit, sometimes this can be fun. Surpassing your opponents, watching as they fall for your plans and traps. But the fact that my freedom rides on this makes it less pleasant than it should be. And apparently she's the one who's planned all this out? I don't know what Jin's thinking. But it doesn't change much either. I'm going to beat her and leave all of this behind. ... This place's quiet when we're not talking. Serene, not eerie. The storm rages on outside, sparing the both of us. I'll ask for my gadgets in time, but... you guys were the ones who saw her past, right? I didn't get to see that, only past recollections. Is there.. something you'd like to ask?
Edited last time by Cross on 11/10/2023 (Fri) 00:56:24.