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  2. Elementary
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Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Female
Jlita let out a small yip of delight as she gently took Velshia’s crown and placed it on her own head, posing a bit like it was an accessory that absolutely tied her outfit together. Sorrin thought it looked more like she had gone shopping in the princess aisle right after shopping at the fake fur coat store. Jlita was happy though, so he said nothing, instead nodding his appreciation to Velshia. He was starting to be taken by her royal character, she was really good at embellishing a simple request to pick up the tab. He resumed his drink as Elazar spoke to Jlita.

“That girl was weeping about another man. That’s not…love-growing conditions,”

Jlita giggled, playfully adjusting the borrowed crown. “Doth the broody rogue know much about the ways of the heart? Prithe, one must wonder if the scars are not upon the skin, but upon the tender feelings.”

‘Oh no, the crown gives the wearer cheesy old speech.’ Thought Sorrin as he lifted his glass higher to start finishing his drink-

“Well, if the offer extends beyond tonight…I need your informatics expertise. If it doesn’t…then I’d take ten minutes of alone time with you.”

Sorrin sputtered out his drink. Jlita’s jaw nearly fell to the floor before it instead twisted to a big, mischievous grin once more. She slid on over to Elazar, starting to elbow his arm. “Look at you you rascal! One girl gets his number and he’s already casting his net wider!” She laughed “And I thought you wanted to just be alone and listen to your punk emo bands or whatever. Did you need ten minutes alone with me too?” She teased, sticking her tongue out playfully. She was half teasing him and half teasing Sorrin, who seemed to be turning beet red from both spitting out his drink and starting to imagine Elazar as some space-faring, explosion causing, scruffy-looking, scoundrel playboy.


dancing witch
all the king's horses, all the king's men couldn't put me together again
the archer
Gabi glanced over her shoulder at Team Prime one last time before disappearing into the trees. She tried to smile at Perseus, who looked a bit worried, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes - the feeling of trepidation sat too heavy on her chest. Something bad was going to happen. She could feel it, and not just because she’d seen something chasing one of the teams in her vision. They were trespassers on an unknown planet; of course the creatures living here were going to be defensive. No, something worse than that was coming.

She tried to force her thoughts away from this and focus instead on the task at hand. The lush greenery surrounding them reminded her a bit of Zhar, though the undergrowth here was far more dense and far softer to the touch - she could feel her boots sinking into the ground with every step she took. The chirping of unknown birds and insects filled the air, and it would have been relaxing if not for her current state of mind.

Thankfully, Trion chose that moment to fill them in on the air’s composition and suggest a possible path for the team to take. His poorly-concealed enthusiasm put her at ease, and she managed an actual smile for the first time since they’d left the Cotopaxi. “The structures would be an excellent place to start,” she said, thinking of the mystery ship. It had crashed into something, of that she was sure…maybe one of the structures Trion was talking about?

Harli’s statement that comms were clear and would work well helped her make the final decision. They’d be able to strike far out from Team Prime and still be able to hear if they needed help, so what was the harm? Gabi pulled up the navigational chart so that it was displayed on her HUD and studied it thoughtfully for a moment. ”There’s a cluster of them due north of here. Let’s move out,” she said, and the team took off.

The team was relatively quiet as they walked. Harli was scribbling furiously in her journal, Trion was studying his scanner, and Mangrove, Dr. Drayton, and Dmitri were keeping their heads on rotation as they walked, evidently trying to take in as much of this new planet as they could. Dmitri’s expression differed from the other two, however - he looked suspicious and kept his hand firmly on his spear, which looked unbelievably out of place here. “Everything alright?” Gabi asked, somewhat concerned. The last thing she needed was a trigger-happy Dina Amorian waking something big up.

Dmitri shook his head. A translator had been built into his suit to remove the language barrier, so everyone understood his words as he said, “We should not have come. Something evil is here.”

Dr. Drayton chose that moment to speak up. “That’s superstitious nonsen-”

The emergency comm channel interrupted him. It was Reginald, and it sounded as if he was trying to stay calm but was becoming increasingly aggravated. "Team Alpha. We have numerous contacts. Seemingly hostile wildlife. Be wary of magnetic fields. Help request…"

The structures flew from Gabi’s mind as her heart stopped before picking up in double time. She checked Team Prime’s location with shaking fingers. ”We have to go. Now,” she said and whirled around, striking out in the direction of the distress call. The rest of the team followed.

As they ran, Gabi tried to contact Reginald multiple times, but he didn’t answer, which only heightened her anxiety. Finally, though: "Team Alpha, looks like we're going to need that back up! Blaster, Perseus, Ana, we need to get out of the water. Do any of you have something that can generate a strong electrical current safely underwater?"

A distressed whine left her throat before she could stop it, and she responded. “We’re nearly there, Team Alpha.”

They burst out of the undergrowth in time to see mass chaos. A horde of horrifying black creatures had descended upon Team Prime and were attacking them with force. Her eyes scanned the chaos for Perseus, her heart in her throat, but she couldn’t see him. She did, however, see Reginald, Ana, Blaster, and Vlare huddled together on the edge of the water. She made a beeline for them, unsheathing her knife as she ran - clearly traditional weapons weren’t having much of an impact on whatever these things were.


She scanned the marsh again as she ran, looking for him, and finally spotted him still in the water. Hit. It. Had he lost his damned mind?! The shock of realizing what he was asking for stopped her dead in her tracks, causing Dmitri to knock into her and send her to the ground. She sat up at once, her eyes glued to him. “PERSEUS! What the hells do you think you’re doing?!”
'cause all of my enemies started out friends. help me hold onto you.
Code by Jenamos


dancing witch
elAzAr : weApons mAster
In that moment Elazar really and truly would have given anything to turn back the clock and keep those words from coming out of his mouth. Several people, including Sorrin, choked on their drinks, and a new round of teasing was volleyed at him by Jlita. Was she insinuating that he was some kind of playboy? If so, that took the trophy for most ridiculous sentence uttered this evening. His track record with women was, well, pretty much non-existent, aside from a few disastrous dates when he’d still been in the Resistance. The room was starting to spin as he tried to come up with a response to her asking if he needed ten minutes alone with her, too, and ultimately he failed.

At least Velshia wasn’t teasing him. She seemed…intrigued? his entirely out of character request. When she stated that he had to choose between the two and asked what he’d do with the ten minutes, he blinked owlishly at her. Was she flirting with him? Absolutely not, you buffoon. You are drunk, the reasonable Elazar shouted in the back of his mind, but it sounded quite distant at that particular moment in time. No, he was far from a playboy, but perhaps the ghost of one had possessed him this evening. He shrugged. “Well, it hardly matters, as I choose the former,” he said. It was the strangest thing - he was so thoroughly and completely hammered that his words sounded as if they were being spoken at the end of a very long tunnel. Praise the gods that he wasn’t slurring. A half-smile quirked his lips. “But if you’re willing to make an exception to the rule, I’m happy to oblige.”

Time to go, you damned fool, sane Elazar snarled, and he found himself standing up, shouldering his bag, and walking out of the pub, but not before glancing over his shoulder one final time at Velshia.


Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Fantasy, Scifi.
Teamwork and Guardian Protocol

Aiko lay beneath the surface of the marsh. Silt kicked up about her. Teeth gnawed against her. Hungry. A voracious appetite for her mind. The creatures remained foiled against her metal skin. Her stomach began a long, slow, grow as the milliseconds slowly passed. Something the crew of both the Cotopaxi and the Troubadour was incorrect about her. That she and the machine were separate entities. This was, ultimately, a falsehood. The nanites were quantum bound to her will and hers alone. Separation was impossible. How much conscious access Aiko had to the system was another matter entirely. How much she even could access, was another matter entirely.

What wasn't another was the current situation. Aiko didn't have the answers to her questions. The slowing of the motors threatened to overwhelm her. So, she took the alternative and bypassed it. Generating new electrical pathways for her machine thoughts to travel. Isolating the gunking, plaguing thoughts into their own feedback loops to be analyzed and processed later. Rerouted, Aiko found clarity. She wasn't blind to everything happening around her. She just had been unable to meaningfully focus on it. Outside, some of the beasts had shot beyond her with one latching onto Percy. This…wasn't a problem. The solution was obvious. Reginald, Vlare, Blaster, and Ana were collecting upon a local bank. They were assembling some device too…how quaint. This, too, wasn't a problem. Aiko registered the rapid approach of five bipedal lifeforms. A collection of similar races, being that all were biologically compatible. The thought amused Aiko for some reason. One that she couldn't pin down. Turning aside from the matter, she ran through the basic checklist.

System rebooting…
Antimatter Core: Stable.
CPU: Online. Biological portions rerouted. Reason not quantified. Entry "Homosapien" is incomplete.
Antimatter Production: Ready.
Matter Intake System: Online.
Nanite Proliferation Systems: On Standby
Situation Analysis calls for Guardian Protocol.
Nanite Status for the following systems:

  • Manipulation: Green
  • Wings: Red
  • Limbs: Green
  • Psi-Ops: Unstable. Irrelevant
  • Defenses: Full Guardian Suite
  • Sensors: Green
  • Weapons: Authorized. Non-lethal preferred outside of energy needs.
  • Production: Limited to Fledging rank.
Systems reboot complete.
Guardian Template: Homosapien
Form: Dread
Source: Myself
Checklist Complete
Operation "Magnetic Attraction" is a go.

Aiko felt a smile begin to tease the corners of her mouth. The beasts were hungry. On that point, she could agree. It was time to eat.

Reginald cursed silently as Perseus went under. But could do nothing as the team was driven back with Blaster, seeing the sudden sinking of the metallic titan, opened up with his own array of weapons. Unfortunately, with how murky the water was, it was impossible to tell how effective they were being. He didn't dare risk anything larger without knowing where the other two shipmates were.

Reginald left him to it. Relying on the weapons fox to hold the beasts at bay for the crucial period of time.

"We can't just…" Ana began.

"We won't," Reginald overrode, "Ana, will you be able to jury rig what's needed."

"I don't…I'm not an engineer so I don't…" she stuttered.

Reginald looked at her, "I need you to do it. What device do you have that has wires rated for underwater work."

"My long-range comms. In the event that the case cracked it would still run fine."

"Good, crack open its power source and rig it so its activity is easily detected," he said as he rummaged a defibrillator out of his medical kit, "Vlare, broadly describe the frequencies and strength of the fields those things are making."

"They're rapid and strong enough to deflect basic energy weapons."

Rapid and strong, Reginald's mind raced. If these creatures somehow operated off of magnetic fields and the planet was chocked full of them, it stood to reason that other lifeforms would produce such fields. If a predator was fast and strong, perhaps…

"Ana," Reginald said as he overrode the safeties on the defib device, "wire this into the comms power and rig it to produce a strong field with a low frequency. Make sure not a single jolt of electricity gets outside of it."

"I…yes. I can do that. Yes." Utilizing her tools, she hooked in the additional power before spraying any exposed wires with protective coating, "It's ready."

"What's the plan doctor?" Vlare worried.

"Hopefully, this will fool whatever those are into thinking this is a large, tasty target. Or distract them somehow."

"But you don't even know if they would go for that!"

"No," Reginald agreed as Blaster sprayed the water with fire, "but we've got to try something."

Suddenly, rushing up, came Alpha team. Reginald had almost forgotten about them. Perseus erupted from the water and, despite having no idea as to the plan, shouted to do it. Gabi yelled in dismay. The good doctor didn't even glance between the two. Without hesitation, activated then hurled the device. It didn't even hit the water. A silver tendril caught it. Ava shrieked. Vlare's eyes bulged. Blaster didn't know whether to shoot it or not. Reginald didn't even move yet his memory flashed back to the moment Aiko exploded from her absolute zero prison as the water erupted. Twisting out of the water was an eldritch shape. Sending the creatures around it flying. It arched into an alien shape, forming what could only be described as a fanged maw.

Numerous tendrils rose, batting some creatures away as dust-mites before a fan. A few, squealing in absolute fear, were stuck in the silver. One, in desperation, fear, or some primordial urge, lunged again at Perseus. It never reached him as the maw lashed out and caught the beast. It let out a single squeal before it was suddenly engulfed. Crunch!

The silver beast took the impromptu device and made only one modification to it: frequency amplification. Following along some sort of primordial instinct, it twisted the generated magnetic field to be one of some great beast of dread. A predator that the swarm had unwisely wandered into and was paying the price. It let out a demonic roar that blasted upon the party's ears and seemed to rake across their minds. The hunters turned prey scattered. Terrified. Swishing and splashing away as fast as they could go.

The machine began to implode as Aiko activated one of its most quietly potent abilities. Cannibalizing numerous nanites for energy while endless others took the mass and energy and began printing. Before their very eyes, black metal plates formed. Smooth golden skulls adorned it. Forming into the image Reginald had seen half of when he had first met and studied the entity known as Aiko Takeda. Nine feet tall. Born from the imaginings of a demented miner turned warrior. Power armor to daunt and intimidate the sentient races of the Empire. The form that had nearly crushed the good doctor with a single hand. He suppressed a shiver.

A sound like a person slurping a straw echoed out from the machine before it giggled, "aaah. That was delicious! And yet I'm still not satisfied."

"Delicious? What do you mean? What happened to that animal?" Vlare questioned. Reginald knew exactly what happened and anticipated Aiko's reply.

"What else, I ate it."

It whipped to face them. The helmet's visor was a silvery sheen that betrayed nothing as to what lay behind. A childish giggle came from the armor. "What's wrong?" she said as she, despite the bulky form, smoothly moved over to Perseus and forked over the impromptu device the team had made, "he's fine and Blaster found something. Isn't this what you wanted? Let's go."

Reginald pulled himself together. "She's right. We need to keep moving. Good work everyone. Thank you for the support, captain. We should be fine going forward."

He hoped he was right.

Far away, but still on the planet, Aiko's psionic roar washed across the decrepit ruins of a tower. Decay had seen it covered in layers upon layers of growth, but what looked like bulbous bubbles of black oil could still be seen. The roost began to glow. Its owner had returned.


Invitation Status
Posting Speed
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  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Fantasy, Scifi.
The Sleeper

Velshia watched him attempt to formulate an answer. Letting the teasing and shock of her crewmates wash over her ears with simple delight. His struggle was one of silent brooding only hinted at by his flickering eyes. But his answer did eventually come. Velshia's smile curled up ever so slightly, before shifting back to its traditional mysterious shape. Internally, the blue woman let out a sigh of mild disappointment. The Weapons Master wanted, to use a human expression, to have his cake and eat it. It was one that Velshia never quite understood. Sure, the intent behind it made sense but why wouldn't one not eat the cake they had? Regardless, Velshia wasn't about to let him have his way as she opened her mouth and let out her last bit of propaganda, "I'm sorry, but a sovereign can never go back upon their decisions. To do so would show wavering weakness and needs to be purged. Our Emperor understands this and, thusly, reigns. You have chosen the first, therefore, the first you should have. I look forward to working with you Weapon's Master."

An agent's work was never done. They were never off duty. Even when they were out and about with comrades. Playing teasing games. They still had their duty. Velshia gave Elazar a teasing salute with her wine glass along with the same simple smile as he left the bar. A little disappointing, but what can you do? She thought.

Turning back to her party she said as the door closed, "what now my comrades? How shall we close out the evening?"


Original poster
Captain Bernadette Angstrom
Ship time 1300 hrs, 11/01/5032
Current Location: Naval FOB SOLOMON-GREEN, Pripyat system.

Angstrom calmly and slowly strode from her sleeping chamber down the short causeway to the bridge. She knew that the crew would be refreshed after the shore leave, and as such had given orders for the ship to be ready to depart at 1300hrs sharp. The crew, as ever, had proven their competency by being sure to be present and correct well ahead of time.
Angstrom's pacing was silent on the pristeen gunmetal grey floors of the Ophelia. Her legs, both cybernetic prosthesis, allowed every step to be silent and sure. They were similar to the model the Jackrabbit had stolen, except they bent the correct, human way, and had some additional functionality, tested and implemented by Empire engineers. They had minor ability to change outward appearance, however, to be in-keeping with Naval uniform standards. Currently, they took the form of standard issue sailor's dress boots.
Though not able to change form quite as freely as her powerful right arm, they afforded a number of useful utilities. Being able to run at the speed of a land speeder, for one. They were silent when they needed to be, with the undersides made of a smart-fibre that gripped surfaces on a microscopic level. In the case of uneven terrain, spikes could extend diagonally downward from the calf and be driven into the earth.

Naturally, her silent approach did not alert the two guards at the entrance of the bridge before she turned the corner onto the command corridor. As Angstrom came into view, the guards visibly straightened, snapping off crisp salutes, no doubt minimizing the subvocal comms they had been using to chat while on duty. Angstrom stalked past them with a nod, into the CIC section of the bridge.
The Combat Information Center was on a raised section of the bridge behind the captain's chair, the second level allowing for more to be packed into the precious space at the very heart of the spaceship. A large star map was currently displayed, with the jump route to the black box location plotted. The classic call of "captain on deck" caused a smattering of salutes from those that were not actively on comms with the docks and/or elbow deep in work, per naval code. Angstrom nodded, announced an "as you were" and went to find her XO. On the way, she took a deep breath, and announced; "All hands are to be at their stations ahead of the jump. Weapons, I want guns warm and ready for engagement, we don't know what we're going to find out there. Deck crews, have the fighters and shuttles fuelled and ready to launch. All Marine Squads armed and ready for deployment. Where is Tordren-" Angstrom looked around, before saying "Tordren I want your full team on analysis the moment we enter the system. You have permission to overclock the AI to frame-shift level 3. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this but don't just analyse the planet, we may find clues about the nature of the crash anywhere in the system." Sitting down at the captain's chair, angstrom raised her reflective right hand and brought up a holographic display that showed an exact copy of the map in the CIC.
Her quicksilver skinned prosthesis reflected the glowing lights on the bridge, the green of the holographic display, the reds and blues of the notification lights on the consoles clustered in banks to the left and right, and the deep carmine of the holographic Imperial Aquila proudly presented behind the CIC behind her.
"Kindler, what does our wormhole jump route look like. I notice we're not taking the most direct path."
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