The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    [At The Entrance]

    The door swings open. No one seems to appear besides that. At least not right in front of the door.
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    [Inside the Entrance]

    The mech strides in, undaunted by the seemingly empty space, though her head sweeps the area, checking in both infrared and ultraviolet spectrums to see if there's anybody there.

    "I'm not in the habit of killing people that aren't attacking me," she says. Not saying she won't, but that should at least give some peace of mind, "Where do I go to find the real deal?"
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    [Rat Assisted Tour]

    Despite the extremely casual environment that Magfake had surrounded himself with, Jaahlyn nods deeply. She would even have bowed if not for the Rat on her shoulder. "Yes, I wanted a moment to discuss Feia. From what my boss have heard, her plans could cause MERC's profits to dip heavily and you are one of the few that seems to know anything about her, Lor- er, Magtok."

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Rat Assisted Tour

    Faketok's nonchalant demeanor vanishes the very instant the word 'Feia' crosses Jaahyln's lips. He swiftly stands right up, closes the door behind the two, and scurries about the room, using the lighter built into his finger to light several strange blue candles with violet flames. These candles definitely weren't there a moment ago, though. Rattok and Jaahlyn definitely would've noticed those candles; they stand out like a sore thumb against the rest of the room's more modern aesthetic.

    "Are we good, Needs? Everything secure?" he asks, eyes turned up towards the ceiling, where nothing and nobody is there to answer him. After a moment or so of silence, he smiles, nods, and then returns to the couch he started out on.

    "Sorry, just had to make extra-sure nobody can listen in on us in here. You're also going to have a very hard time speaking anything but gibberish and baby noises to any dragons for the next two and a half weeks, so Jaahlyn, I apologize in advance if you have any draconic clients in the near future," Faketok explains, which sounds...honestly a little excessive if you ask me, but I guess Rattok doesn't talk to very many dragons, and Jaahlyn can probably talk to someone about getting uncursed or talking to Dipsnig about keeping away from any scaly allies for a little while, right?

    "To make a long story short, Feia is going to do a lot more than eat into MERC's profits if she gets her way. She has every intention of dissolving all of reality as we know it, to have the very Nexus and all of its tangled history scrubbed from existence, in order to birth a cleaner, purer reality with Feidyne as its primordial creator goddess and master. All of us, every living being in the Nexus, should want to do everything in our power to stop her. If I told VIGIL about this, or HALO, or hell, even AMEN, I'm sure I could have an entire army assembled to kick her ass in the span of afternoon," Magtok explains, pausing for dramatic effect and for Rattok or Jaahlyn to ask the obvious question, and let him segue into the next part of his long-winded explanation of all this apocalypse drama.

    Inside the Entrance

    The fake Magtok frowns. It's the 'someone has called my bluff and I was completely unprepared for this to happen' frown, the 'Gods, I hate telling the truth, but I really haven't prepared any suitably convincing lies for this kind of scenario' frown, which is accompanied by a frustrated sigh and a cynical attempt to do as much damage control as possible, to keep Kathy as far out of the loop as possible while still maintaining the appearance of civility and truth.

    "...Right. I'm afraid I need to clarify a few things, Kathy. See, I'm not just piloting this one body, I'm actually in several bodies at once. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of energy and concentration, so my real body has to lie comfortably in a secure bedroom/emergency shelter, completely immobile and useless. It's actually quite the setup, and not one the unassisted human brain could possibly ever handle without cracking, but with some assistance from my friends upstairs, I managed to-" Faketok, you're going off on a tangent again. Get back to the point, go back to explaining why Kathy can't visit 'the real deal.' That is where you were going with that, right?

    "Aaaanyway, long story short, tl;dr, one of my bodies is playing an instrumental role in preventing the end of civilization as we know it. Something about keyblades and the heart of the Nexus, whatever that means. If I pull the plug, jack out of the Matrix, and get out of my bed to say hi to the nice young lady visiting my lair, that other body is going to ragdoll to the floor and leave the rest of the party paralyzed with fright and terror, panicking and fretting endlessly over what manner of misbegotten sorcery could've caused their good buddy Magtok to hit the floor like a sack of narcoleptic potatoes. Until I get a few side projects like that civilization preservation thing out of the way, this is the most authentic Magtok experience I can offer right now," the false tin man shrugs apologetically. It's a decent enough explanation, though it does raise more than a few questions. I mean, how is saving the world a side project? What kind of lunatic makes that anything other than their top priority?
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    [Inside the Entrance]

    There's no need for infrared and ultraviolet vision to spot the goblins lurking about. There's a number of them in the foyer and the side-corridors, observing the mech. Their large eyes gleam in the gloom and they seem to be well-armed, but standing down now that their client has allowed this visitor in. Their expressions range from wariness to interest and in some few cases outright awe at the machine.
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    [Inside The Entrance]

    "Oh, you should have just said so," Kathy responds, "I'm here for tech, which you already surmised, and while I didn't come with plans for it, I'm not opposed to barter. For instance, maybe you could use contained fusion fuel rods for something."

    Well, that is quite the offer. There's gotta be some catch, though, right? It's not like someone would just casually hand over nuclear materials, right? Damn that helmet; it gives her an excellent poker face.

    The mech kneels down to look at the goblins, and she says, "And who are you?"
    Last edited by Halae; 2019-07-27 at 06:42 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Rat Assisted Tour

    Whoa, talk about turning from a coach potato to the actual Magtok at command. That was honestly impressive. Jaahlyn stands in simple awe for a moment, which probably could be considered a benefit, wherever intentional or not, to all of this in Magtok's eyes.

    "But you gotta do it yourself since... you're Magtok?" Is the best guess she dares to make in the face of all this. He was obviously fishing for it and she hated to disappoint.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Inside the Entrance

    The facsimile raises a single eyebrow, smothering even the faintest glimmer of visible interest in Kathy's offer to death, lest she gain even the faintest inkling of how terribly appalling the MagCave's situation truly is. He's scarcely more than a carrion bird now, gorging itself on the desiccated husk of an underground empire too labyrinthine and deadly for any one man to ever comprehend. Even with MERC holding the line and Faction launching routine expeditions into forgotten laboratories, it could be years before even the first ten floors are entirely habitable once more. Something as simple as fuel rods could be just the sort of adrenaline shot this stinky corpse of a lair needed. He could plug them all into some kind of giant death robot and punch Feia in the snout, revitalize the assembly lines and churn out a small army of chrome-plated menial workers and silver-skinned security forces, or even power that Ostium Deus he'd decided was too preposterously expensive to ever actually build. Sky's the limit, if this Kathy really does have a big pile of nuclear material lying around somewhere.

    It wouldn't even cost us much of anything at all, really. I mean, there's bound to be something around here that she'd take a liking to, some big and shiny death ray or pile bunker that would be too expensive or unwieldy for Magtok to actually make use of anymore. Years ago, just before the Magtoks left the Nexus, the Terrortoma prototype had shown some promise, but the committee had rejected it for being too thematically stale. Rejected not for lack of power or utility, which it had in spades, but because it was too similar to the Brightheart project. Gods! To think we were so privileged and spoiled back then, that we could afford to reject a project for lacking aesthetic! When would someone like her ever need to worry about that?

    "You know, forget what I said earlier about how inconvenient my continued existence must be for you." Magtok, you never actually said anything like th- "Today is your lucky day, Kathy! This place is lousy with tech, tech of all kinds, and so much of it just lying around that it would take you months just to find something in your wheelhouse, without a proper tour guide and sales expert to help you find what you're looking for. Fortunately, you have me, your Thanksmas wish list, and your long-eared secret admirers here-" I assume he means the goblins. "-to make everything go so much more smoothly!"


    Rat Assisted Tour

    "Not quite, but I can't fault your enthusiasm, so points for trying! I have to do it because I am responsible for it, Jaahlyn." He doesn't sound terribly responsible for anything, if you ask me. He sounds like he's trying to make a big show of this exchange of information, like Rattok and Jaahlyn have to distracted with a big show and spectacle, lest they start asking questions or wondering what all of this is really about.

    "Years ago, Feia found me in a moment of weakness, offering her aid in the resurrection of a friend and deity I'd sorta kinda somehow accidentally gotten killed doing something stupid and pointless and dumb. I knew she was up to something, because it was transparently obvious she was up to something, but I just assumed it'd be someone else's problem later, because I was exceptionally stupid and arrogant at the time, and didn't think dragons, witches, or dragon witches were worth taking seriously. We took to dissecting other, existing deities, striking them dead and using their domains to try to magically stitch together something approximating what was lost. At the time, I guess I just assumed she only wanted the domains I didn't need, and didn't really care what she did with them, but this was a stupid thing to assume, because she's back and kidnapped a fragment of the goddess reborn, with the ultimate goal of getting her scaly claws on all of the deity's power, and using it to achieve her big goal of ultimate power." Magtok explains as he paces across the room, without actually elaborating on why he can't take any help from outsiders on this project. When are you going to get to that, Magtok? That was the question you left hanging in the air, and feelings of guilt for being Feia's unwitting accomplice doesn't really sound like all that's going on here.

    "I need you to hold my hand for a moment, Jaahlyn." Excuse me, what? I thought we were grossed out by the weird rat lady, now we're suddenly making weirdly timed romantic overt-Oh wait, he's just handing her his entire left hand and forearm, which he's detached from the rest of his body. That's still really weird, but okay.

    "Okay, so for the purpose of this demonstration, you are Feiadyne, and my hand and forearm represents the fragment of Libitina we currently estimate Feiadyne has in her custody right now. The rest of me, standing over here on the other side of the room, is the Libitina goddess shards scattered about the Nexus, trying to avoid capture. Now, DC might not be a member of VIGIL anymore, but certain aspects of his philosophy towards apocalyptic threats still taints their perspective on things. If I bring them on the dragon-slaying expedition, they will see that left hand in Feia's clutches and destroy it in the name of the greater good. They won't even hesitate. They'll jump on this convenient opportunity without a second thought, and if you try to argue, they'll say something stupid like 'sometimes lesser evils must be done in the name of a greater good' or 'In the face of Armageddon, we can't take chances. She has to die.'

    What VIGIL doesn't realize, or doesn't care enough to realize, is that this would doom us all a second time. An innocent would die twice, which probably doesn't seem like that big of a deal compared to the end of the world, but after Feia's dead, when what is left of the fragmented death goddess is pieced together without any of the humanity or empathy that Feia's shard of her embodied? Oh man, we'll be up ****'s creek all over again, and that little spark of divinity they extinguished beneath their iron heel won't seem so expendable anymore, will it? It would end one story, only to begin a new, arguably worse one. The Goddess of Death in her third incarnation, cold and heartless and hollow within, but burning with power and vengeance without, taking bloody revenge on those who used and abused her. That's exactly the kind of material the Nexus loves for its apocalypse stories,"
    Magtok insists, obfuscating the real story as best he can. I mean, perhaps he's speaking the truth, and that calamitous scenario he's envisioned really is a very strong possibility if he lets someone like VIGIL or some nameless nobody adventurers help fight Feiadyne. It certainly sounds plausible enough, right? It could actually happen, maybe...but it's got nothing to do with his actual motives for trying to maintain control over how the world is saved.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    [Inside the Entrance]

    "We're security contractors from MERC," says a stocky male goblin with brown skin, red eyes, small tusks, a military-style short haircut and a nose that looks to have been broken. "We've been hired to keep this place secure and- wait, what?" Magtok's "secret admirers" comment sends ripples of confusion through the goblin ranks. Some seem to catch on and glare at four of their number, two men and two women. The goblin who spoke sighs and continues. "Anyway, my name is Alzup Razortooth, no relation, and I'm the leader of this outfit. We were assigned here for our expertise with both technology and operating underground."
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  10. - Top - End - #220
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    [At The Entrance]

    Aha, there it is. Though Magtok and the goblins can't see it, they'll most certainly hear the smile in Kathy's voice, "Glad to meet you, Alzup and company. Maybe you can help Magtok here with getting down to the cybernetics he's got on offer, and perhaps his weaponry. I'm sure there's something I can make use of down there."

    One can almost hear the self-satisfied smug smirk in her voice. She knows how bad Magtok must have it right now, otherwise she wouldn't have dangled such a juicy piece of hardware in front of his nose. And now she has him in her gigantic metal clutches, because he just opened the floor to her himself, rather than her needing to force her way into the situation. But just imagine what you could do with a single nuclear fuel rod! You could start up the cloning systems again, have magbots all over! Perhaps if you play this right, maybe you can convince her to help more than she's already offered, even!

    But that'll depend on playing the cards juuuuust right, won't it? And given how she's clearly already toying with him, that may be a harder thing to achieve than it seemed a moment ago. She's apparently better informed than Magtok realized.

    She stands back up to full and waves for them all to follow her as she intends to move further into the MagCave, "Come on then, let's go see what the damage is. No doubt your power lines have been chewed through and some kind of animal is nesting in here; we'll have to fix that if we want to get the power systems up and running," of course, given the fact that she appears to be wearing a polar bear pelt on her mech, what her version of 'fix' is might be unpleasant. Hope you got all those cyberwolves out of there!
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  11. - Top - End - #221
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    Rat Assisted Tour

    If Jaahlyn's weird goat eyes were capable of widening like humans do, they would do so now.
    Killing gods? She knew this involved multiverse unmaking so that shouldn't be a surprise but it was more the casual way Magtok was talking about it that bothered her. These had to be lesser gods though, like the gods of her world.
    But even so, he didn't seem to feel much guilt over killing these gods either.
    Then again, most gods were *******s and it wasn't her job to care about that sort of thing anyway.

    Right now it was her job to hold Magtok's hand apparently.

    And so she complies without protest.

    Once he's done explaining she slowly nods while trying to take in all this new information. "You really don't have to explain all this to me, sir. I'm being paid to assist you in any way to stop Feia so if you say don't contact VIGIL or HALO, I won't. Not even MERC will hear of it in case they might have a different opinion. The boss was very clear on that. To put it simple, I will follow your lead. You're the expert, I'm not. So if there is anything I can do to assist in your plans, I will. And to be clear, if you weren't already consider me completely disposable. I can't die the normal way. I just... come back a while later." Magtok didn't need to know all the weird details concerning that. It sounded like he had way more important things to worry about.

    "Uh, also, can I let go off your hand now, or...?" She makes a gesture of offering it back to him.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-08-01 at 03:38 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    Inside the Entrance

    Faketok is back to scowling again. How dare she insinuate that his lies and falsehoods and misleading statements are anything but a hundred percent truthful and accurate? Impudent fool, daring to call his bluff and expose him for the fraud that he really is. On the other hand, maybe we shouldn't get so worked up over that. I mean, she is offering to help clear out some of the infestations below...but that's only so she can get a discount on whatever shiny trinket catches her eye along the way, bah! We can handle that stuff on our own, with the regular visits from Faction and MERC's goons holding the line. We don't need this Kathy lady/robot's help at all. Plus, if we do take her up on the offer, and the fuel rods aren't something she carries around with her, what happens if some rogue deathbot or Mesozoic murderbird kills her dead? She's got some decent weaponry on her person, and the mech's nothing to scoff at, but the salvage really wouldn't be worth anywhere near what a decent monkeycannon-for-fuel-rods deal would get us.

    Blegh, she doesn't really seem like the sort to take no for an answer, does she? Talking up how dangerous it is down there will just get her inner adventurer even more excited to see what dark science and foul madness haunts the depths of Mt. Enn. Insisting there's no real threat at all will make us look weak for allowing the wilderness to claim the lower floors for so long, and it'd also be a blatant lie that would exposed the moment something bigger than her mech shows up. Telling her firmly to get the hell out means we won't get any sort of deal at all, not even salvage rights on her corpse. Begrudgingly going along for the ride really seems like our only option right now.

    "Did you hear that, Alzup? Kathy's volunteering to lead the way into the Museum of Unnatural History to help us flip the fifth floor circuit breakers. How noble of her. We'll need two, maybe three volunteers to join us, and someone to close the blast doors behind us after we've stepped through, lest anything on the other side try to slip out and eat you all alive. If you don't hear back from us in three hours, I'll buy everyone apology ice cream and pay for the funerals," Faketok promises, with a certain snideness in his tone when the word 'noble' passes his lips. If she really wants to help out so much, then fine. We'll throw her right to the sharks, and see if she's really as good at swimming as her attitude suggests.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

  13. - Top - End - #223
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    [Inside the Entrance]

    Once Magtok mentions volunteers, the four goblins who were glared at earlier rush forward. As mentioned, two of them are men and two are women. Their skin is very dark grey, their hair is pale brown and their eyes are varying shades of yellow. One of the men is tall (for a goblin) and lanky (even for a goblin) while the other looks broad-shouldered and strong... again, for a goblin. The lanky goblin has long hair kept in a ponytail, while the muscular one wears an undercut. The two women are similarly contrasted. One is broad-hipped and large-chested, with prominent tusks and hair kept in a bun, while the other one is quite small and wears her hair in a pixie-cut. If anyone happens to be able to tell goblins apart, they are quite clearly siblings.

    "Will four volunteers do?" the larger sister asks with a big grin. Alzup rolls his eyes.

    "Ugh. I'm fine with it if our client is, but do try keep a lid on your weirdness down there."
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    [Rat Assisted Tour]

    Gonna be honest here, a lot of this is going over Rattok's head.

    And not just because being perched on Jaahlyn's shoulder means he's slightly below head-height.

    Big scary dragon, Magtok was dumb, he's spinning a nonsense-story about even greater doom to hide the fact that he's completely obsessed with his beloved death goddess and would go to extreme lengths to try and get her back.

    ...even if that means risking doomsday rather than calling in the cavalry.

    All just goes in one ratty ear and out the other.

    He latches onto one other detail that does seem important to him, at least. "Wait, you can't die? Magtok, have you been selling knock-off copies of your cloning tech again?"
    Last edited by Gnrlshrimp; 2019-08-02 at 02:24 PM.
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    [At the Entrance]

    "Oh don't be so sour," Kathy says, "I might talk a good game, but you're the one that's going to be coming out of this with more than I will. I'm mostly just interested in the cybernetics and medical expertise you've got. Besides, I'm not asking for a discount or boon or whatever in exchange for helping out - I actually would really like it if you got up to full operational capacity again," Though, she doesn't actually explain why she wants him back in action.

    She'll walk further into the cave, intending to proceed towards an elevator. Fifth floor, huh? Probably something down there preventing them from just taking it back. The circuits are likely going to need some light repairs - there should be plenty of scrap around for jury rigging until a more permanent solution can be found, though.
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    Rat Assisted Tour

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post
    Rat Assisted Tour

    If Jaahlyn's weird goat eyes were capable of widening like humans do, they would do so now.
    Killing gods? She knew this involved multiverse unmaking so that shouldn't be a surprise but it was more the casual way Magtok was talking about it that bothered her. These had to be lesser gods though, like the gods of her world.
    But even so, he didn't seem to feel much guilt over killing these gods either.
    Then again, most gods were *******s and it wasn't her job to care about that sort of thing anyway.

    Right now it was her job to hold Magtok's hand apparently.

    And so she complies without protest.

    Once he's done explaining she slowly nods while trying to take in all this new information. "You really don't have to explain all this to me, sir. I'm being paid to assist you in any way to stop Feia so if you say don't contact VIGIL or HALO, I won't. Not even MERC will hear of it in case they might have a different opinion. The boss was very clear on that. To put it simple, I will follow your lead. You're the expert, I'm not. So if there is anything I can do to assist in your plans, I will. And to be clear, if you weren't already consider me completely disposable. I can't die the normal way. I just... come back a while later." Magtok didn't need to know all the weird details concerning that. It sounded like he had way more important things to worry about.

    "Uh, also, can I let go off your hand now, or...?" She makes a gesture of offering it back to him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnrlshrimp View Post
    [Rat Assisted Tour]

    Gonna be honest here, a lot of this is going over Rattok's head.

    And not just because being perched on Jaahlyn's shoulder means he's slightly below head-height.

    Big scary dragon, Magtok was dumb, he's spinning a nonsense-story about even greater doom to hide the fact that he's completely obsessed with his beloved death goddess and would go to extreme lengths to try and get her back.

    ...even if that means risking doomsday rather than calling in the cavalry.

    All just goes in one ratty ear and out the other.

    He latches onto one other detail that does seem important to him, at least. "Wait, you can't die? Magtok, have you been selling knock-off copies of your cloning tech again?"


    The Magtok replica shakes his head and suppresses the urge to glower at Rattok. It's literal vermin. We don't need to be getting in a huff over sass from a talking rat. "Reinholdt stole the tech, he didn't buy it. I'd never let anyone have-" Hold on, wait one second, slow down for a moment...Jaahyln can't die? Her? The weird goat-eyed stranger who commands rats and looks like she should smell a lot worse than she actually does? Suspiciously so, as if someone handed her a bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap and demanded she learn how to use both just an hour before MERC got here.

    "Really? You're not someone I would've expected to be deathless. Usually we're a bit less-" Faketok pauses mid-sentence, reaching out for his arm and brusquely shoving it back into its socket in an uncomfortably abrupt manner, as if he'd merely suffered from a dislocated bone, instead of the entire arm being disconnected only a few moments ago. I'm not sure if any of that is actually necessary, or if he just does that sort of thing to make people uncomfortable.

    "-a bit less deferential than you've been so far. Are you new to immortality?" Working under MERC, instead of doing her own thing. Calling him lord, and putting her 'life' in his hands, instead of seizing her own destiny with both hands and carving out a place in the Nexus for herself. Are these the acts of someone who is truly free from the bonds of mortality? It's certainly not the sort of thing we were doing when we had clones everywhere, that's for sure. We owned the Nexus, inasmuch as one man (who isn't actually one man but shut up) could. Maybe that kind of ambition is just a Magtok thing and not an immortality thing, though. After all, if Lord Magtok is our standard to which all others must be compared, how could anyone ever hope to measure up?

    "On second thought, never mind, forget it, not important. If you're really so eager to be involved in all of this, though, would you mind sneaking into her realm and acting as a distraction? You'd assemble a standard adventurer party, enter a spooky dungeon dimension, and get dibs on any magical loot you find. Feia probably won't go after you personally, but every goon and deathtrap and black ritual not pointed at me would go a long way towards improving our odds of actually having a Nexus when this is all over." A Nexus where Jaahlyn is substantially richer and more powerful than she was the day before. It's a simple enough plan, but how sure are we that Jaahlyn would never kill a Libitina fragment? Is her faith in the legendary cyborg really that strong, really worth that kind of a gamble?



    Cargo Elevator B

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    [Inside the Entrance]

    Once Magtok mentions volunteers, the four goblins who were glared at earlier rush forward. As mentioned, two of them are men and two are women. Their skin is very dark grey, their hair is pale brown and their eyes are varying shades of yellow. One of the men is tall (for a goblin) and lanky (even for a goblin) while the other looks broad-shouldered and strong... again, for a goblin. The lanky goblin has long hair kept in a ponytail, while the muscular one wears an undercut. The two women are similarly contrasted. One is broad-hipped and large-chested, with prominent tusks and hair kept in a bun, while the other one is quite small and wears her hair in a pixie-cut. If anyone happens to be able to tell goblins apart, they are quite clearly siblings.

    "Will four volunteers do?" the larger sister asks with a big grin. Alzup rolls his eyes.

    "Ugh. I'm fine with it if our client is, but do try keep a lid on your weirdness down there."
    Quote Originally Posted by Halae View Post
    [At the Entrance]

    "Oh don't be so sour," Kathy says, "I might talk a good game, but you're the one that's going to be coming out of this with more than I will. I'm mostly just interested in the cybernetics and medical expertise you've got. Besides, I'm not asking for a discount or boon or whatever in exchange for helping out - I actually would really like it if you got up to full operational capacity again," Though, she doesn't actually explain why she wants him back in action.

    She'll walk further into the cave, intending to proceed towards an elevator. Fifth floor, huh? Probably something down there preventing them from just taking it back. The circuits are likely going to need some light repairs - there should be plenty of scrap around for jury rigging until a more permanent solution can be found, though.


    "Don't worry, Mr. Razortooth. I'm sure they won't be too much trouble. I practically invented weird, after all," Faketok boasts, hovering ahead of Kathy for a moment to lead the way towards the nearest cargo elevator. He's mostly sure the regular elevators can support her weight, but he really doesn't want to risk it. The last elevator repair took about three hours, and involved sitting alone in a dark elevator shaft, trying his best to work quietly and ignore the strange things chirping at him from within the walls. They were probably that leech infestation Rattok says he cleared out, I think. Yeah, genetically-modified leeches chirp like that, right? Definitely not anything we should be worrying about anymore.

    "Medical expertise. So there is someone riding around in that Easy-Bake Oven I've been talking to this whole time," the puppet observes, giving the mech another cursory examination, as if a second glance might somehow reveal the Kathy within. Nope, nothing. He waits for the goblins to catch up with their scrawny little legs, and then starts the elevator's engine, starting a growling diagonal shift towards the fifth floor.

    "My money was on chatty AI program at first, but even the really advanced, independent ones aren't so good at talking back. They might not all be doormats, but that 'built to serve' mentality is still buried in there, somewhere, putting decorum and civility above all else." I don't know how true that is, given that most of Magtok's experience with robots comes from interacting with ones he built himself. "Tell me, Kathy, are you new to the Nexus? You sound new. I think you would like the Hunting Grounds, if they're still a thing. Lots of opportunity for someone like you, if you came by that wolf pelt in the traditional fashion."
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2019-08-03 at 01:42 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
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    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

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    Default Re: What's Left of the MagCave II: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

    Rat Assisted Tour

    Jaahlyn decides to clarify even if Magtok no longer seemed interested. Rattok might at least need some. "It comes with conditions." Using a lot of empathize on that word seemed like it would explain enough. But to be really sure she added. "Magic ones, not as easy as cloning."
    She falls silent, clearning her voice before adressing the cyborgs offer. "But yes, I'm more than eager to put my life on the line if it means preventing the unmaking of all worlds. Just point me towards this place and I will do what needs to be done, sir. I'm sure more than just me would be interested in what you're offering me now so that part shouldn't be hard." A beat. "Should I mention the unmaking-of-the-universe stuff though?"

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    [Cargo Elevator B]

    The four goblins follow, each packing a different set of heavy gear. The larger of the brothers is hefting a shield a goblin really ought not to be able to carry and what appears to be a highly-advanced hammer. In addition to a sidearm at his hip. The smaller one, oddly enough, seems to be carrying a staff covered in wires and gears, but his only other weapon is a light pistol. The woman who volunteered is holding a pair of... probably guns, but tinkered with extensively. The other one has a simple shotgun and is carrying a number of grenades, tools and who knows what else that ought to make an orc decide they need a hand-cart.

    "I wouldn't know about that," the smaller goblin sister says. "It'd imply advanced AI are always created to serve, which isn't necessarily the case."

    "I suppose some introductions are in order. My name's Zaalmin. This is my sister Olvisin. The one with the hammer is our brother Kuvesh and Mr. sorcerer over here is Luuvat. We're all from the Zullit-Oblek family, so calling us by our last name would get confusing quick."

    If Magtok has ever paid attention to goblin names (unlikely), those are substantially different than those of other goblins, such as the two unrelated Razortooths.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-08-03 at 05:34 AM.
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    [Cargo Elevator B]

    "I'm not new, actually. Been here for years," Not that she's ever actually showed up on people's radar before, given she hasn't actually gone out as she is now, "You wouldn't remember me, but we've actually met once before," and then she doesn't elaborate on that. Ooooh, mysterious.

    Unbeknownst to the goblins, Kathy is making sure to outright record those names so that she doesn't get them mixed up. The wonders of having a computer feed right in front of your eyes, eh? "A chatty AI would make some sense, but nah. I'm flesh and blood under all this metal," She taps her massive bronze chest with a finger a couple times. At 7 feet tall and with the limbs of the machine being obviously mechanical, the mech's kind of small for a human occupant, though, so maybe she's a smaller race? That'd explain how Magtok overlooked her previously, right?

    She'll ask the one goblin sorcerer, "So... what kind of magic can you do, anyways?"
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    Cargo Elevator B => The Museum of Unnatural History

    "I suppose not," Magtok shrugs, quietly sending off an email to the MagFleet, requesting that they run a search through the memory databanks, and forward him everything they've got on mechs, mecha, and women named Kathy. There's just been so many Magtoks throughout Nexus history, you see, all of them contributing to the sum total of Magtok memories and experiences, such that no individual clone could possibly hope to store all those memories in their one head. To avoid some kind of infodump explosion every time a new clone is created, a lot of the inconsequential stuff, things like Vespe Ratavo's shoe size, what a 'Harambe' is, how to dance the tango, the names and birthdays of all his least favorite children, all of that gratuitous garbage was stored in a server somewhere in this lair, to be called up and spontaneously 'remembered in an instant when needed. A copy of that server was taken into space when the MagCollective had their weird midlife crisis and took off into the stars. That's where Magtok reckons he'll find Kathy, and prove that Lord Magtok is not to be so easily underestimated.

    "Zaalmin, Olvisin, Kuvesh, Luuvat," the cyborg's mouthpiece and puppet mumbles to itself, as if it hasn't already forgotten those names, or which one goes with which goblin. If they all traded equipment right now he'd be utterly hopeless, but heck, even pretending to try is more than he's ever done before, right?


    Speaking of things people have never done before, our group will be arriving at the fifth floor shortly, as the obnoxiously massive elevator platform grinds to a slow and raucous halt. If anyone cares to peer over the precipice, they'll see an inky-black abyss beneath them. Faint red emergency lights do little to nothing to illuminate the next two or three floors down, with only endless shadow beyond that. The elevator could've gone much, much deeper into the underground fortress than this, evidently. How far down does the MagCave go, exactly? If one jumped down (and didn't get caught or eaten by any slithering, hissing, or clanking beasts along the way), how far would they plummet?

    ...On second thought, let's not dwell on these things. Curiosity can be dangerous, and none save our tour guide can afford to throw lives away on such dark, impulsive thoughts. What's much more important is the massive steel door in front of our explorers, the control console nearby, and a worn, ragged display above them, welcoming them to

    Quote Originally Posted by THE MUSEUM OF UNNATURAL HISTORY
    Closed for Repairs Indefinitely
    There's little in the way of light down here, save for the dim red emergency lights barely keeping this place from being utterly swallowed in darkness, which is why Faketok was courteous enough to bring a flashlight, which he only thinks to point at the sign and turn on now, after it's been this dark for like the last few minutes or so. On the other hand, did he really need to bring a flashlight at all? I mean, I imagine robot(?) copies of Magtok can see well enough in the dark on their own, goblin eyes are rumored to be pretty good at piercing through the gloom of their burrows, and Kathy's mech probably has tools for seeing in low-light conditions, since she was planning on scavenging down here anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
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    [Museum of Unnatural History]

    Kathy doesn't seem terribly disturbed by the darkness, though, she also doesn't stop to look down into the depths. Perhaps she doesn't even realize there are those dark, disturbing depths? She'll move up to the console, and with a hiss, the mech's head opens up. Of course, as Kathy is currently facing away from the group, the high shoulders and pelt of her mech keep them from seeing her face with any clarity, aside from the fact that her head apparently includes a green flash light, and a metal cable sprouts from the opening to jack into any available port in the command console, so that Kathy can quickly disable the lockdown and crack it open, assuming there's still power to the area. Perhaps she's some kind of cyborg, and she's jacking straight into the network?

    Magtok's memory search likely doesn't come up with much, but one particular remembrance may stand out to him - while there's likely no woman named Kathy related to mecha (there might be, I dunno Magtok's personal life, but if there is, it's not related to this!), his query is likely to bring up a long forgotten memory.

    Marley Godlark, Armored Core pilot, who vanished after only meeting Magtok twice. The AC is likely still somewhere in the Magcave, though rusted and infested as with the rest of the place no doubt.

    ... wait, she very specifically mentioned that she plugged into her mech, with a neuro-link system.

    But when Kathy speaks, while the voice is close, it doesn't line up perfectly, now that he's hearing it without the electronic effect of being transmitted through the mech's helmet, "Ahmm, let's see what we've got here."
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    [Rat Assisted Tour]

    Right. Not cloning. That's probably a good thing.

    Rattok does have to really, reeeeeally focus to keep himself from blurting out the obvious question about the conditions of her immortality.

    But thankfully he's absolutely smart enough to duck out of this conversation now. Jaahlyn's going to go get herself killed, and probably a few people with her, no need for Rattok to risk his one life in any such wa-

    "I'm in."

    ...

    No, no, Rattok, you're going to have to explain this one, what could you possibly offer in a situation like this?

    "Look, I may just be a hyper-intelligent cyborg rat that probably once ate a bit of a dead Magtok to get like this, but I sort of think like a Magtok. So with a bit of assistance-" He pauses to stare pointedly (and rat noses are very pointy!) at Magtok, "I could probably do a convincing job of making it look like it's more than just a little distraction. Maybe take a beat more heat off you, Magtok."
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    [Museum of Unnatural History]

    "I do metal and electricity, mostly. I can do fire in a pinch and some other stuff if I've got plenty of time. But those first two are my specialities," Luuvat says. "Both of those come in handy down here."

    The goblins indeed have all the light they need down there, their large eyes gleaming in the murk.

    "Museum of Unnatural History," Kuvesh says. "A name like this means just about everything could be here."
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    Rat Assisted Tour

    "Best to keep that little detail secret for as long as you can, Jaahlyn. The more people who know about Feia, the greater the odds that someone will foolishly seek out the limelight, feeling that with their powers and abilities, they should be the ones taking down the dragon, not some washed-up has-been supervillain. Never mind that I've been preparing for months, obviously the foolish Adventurer-Man McSwordpants and his reckless bravado is more qualified to unravel Feiadyne's machinations," Magtok remarks caustically, as the gods of irony reel back in shock and astonishment. Can any one man really be so oblivious, so utterly unaware of his own foolish nature?

    Anyway, the fake Magtok paces about the room for a moment or so, trying to figure out exactly how to word his response to Rattok, before he comes to a halt and turns towards the rodent atop Jaahlyn's shoulder. "I'll be honest, Rattok. I'm not proud of this, but a part of me wants to approve of your offer simply because it'd put you in harm's way. I don't like you, you remind me too much of myself. It's also your greatest asset, frustratingly enough, and why I think your idea could work. You'll get whatever you need to sell the ruse, and whatever kind of price you want to charge for helping out. I'll try my best to just get over myself already, but you shouldn't hold your breath."

    The Museum of Unnatural History

    Oof. Jacking right into the network is...it's a bit of a mess in there. The console lights up as expected, but the layout, it's...it looks like something from a babby's first web design class. Like someone saw the Space Jam website, and thought 'I can do better than that, but not much better.' It's focused primarily upon printing pamphlets for visitors and keeping a record of which clones have been coming and going through here. Why would any MagClone need an informative pamphlet for a section of his own lair, though? Was this place supposed to be some sort of colorful tourist destination?

    "Just about everything is down here, Zaal-wait, no...Kuvesh?" I think that one's Kuvesh. It's got the hammer, so that means it must be the Kuvesh goblin, right? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we got it right. The museum's name was just some other clone trying to be really grandiose and clever. It's really more of an island of misfit toys. If you were a Magtok, and you built something, and it was stupendously, fantastically, magnificently awful, but just harmless enough it didn't merit immediate termination, someone might move it here, so that future generations of Magtoks could point at your wretched designs and laugh in mockery," Faketok explains tiredly, glaring daggers at the entryway as he waits for Kathy to disable the lockdown and force the door open. It shouldn't take more than a moment, provided she hasn't gotten distracted by how awful Magtok's html code is.

    "Naturally, one of these monuments to failure went berserk and forced us to seal this place up years ago. It was really kind of inevitable, honestly. I mean, it's just the logical conclusion of running a place like that, y'know? Also, you should also keep in mind that this all happened long before the MagCave fell to pieces. This museum has had more time to wither and decay than the rest of the entire lair, which was a mess when I first got here, so I'm expecting an absolute nightmare on the other side of that door," Fakey scowls, already tired of playing Mr. Exposition for the team before their journey has even begun. Magtoks are such awful, melodramatic, garish imbeciles, and it's hard for him not to feel a tinge of secondhand shame as he leads a pack of strangers into a gallery of indignity and self-reproach.

    Once Kathy's gotten through, the door shakes, rattles, and hisses, before finally sinking into the floor. Nothing about this place looks at all like Magtok described it. Beyond the threshold is an inexplicable expanse of vegetation, a massive jungle of trees and greenery. There shouldn't be half as much foliage as this, so far beyond the reach of the sun, and yet...there it is. The air is sickeningly humid and damp, indecipherable animal noises from miles away pierce the perpetual gloom, and a worn cobbled road beckons our explorers onward. There's not a single wall as far as the eye can see, and the plant life effectively blots out the entire ceiling, leaving not a trace of artifice in sight, save the road beneath their feet. Kathy might as well have opened a portal into the Amazon; it really wouldn't look any different than what's staring her in the face now.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
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    "As you wish. sir." Jaahlyn replies, looking a tad distracted as her gaze is focused on Rattok rather than Magtok. She would beg him to reconsider the offer but she had the feeling that would be rather impolite in front of Magtok.
    "Ah, there is- um, I'm honored that you would aid me, Rattok. I suspect your assistance would be sorely needed against someone like Feia." So apparently she goes with a compliment instead, how fitting. Perhaps she's hoping Rattok could use his Magtok-esq ego as a weapon.
    "I believe I could get at least one other from MERC. Perhaps even people from VIGIL and HALO. Not a word about the true nature of the mission of course. Simply that lady Feia has to be dealt with sooner or later."
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-08-08 at 01:31 PM.

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    [The Museum of Unnatural History]

    Kathy's jack retracts back into the mech's neck, and the helmet closes up. After pulling the doors open (which no doubt lets out a horrendous screeching sound as rusted metal grates across rusted metal), Kathy draws the blade on her hip. It's a cobalt blue weapon, and everyone with a working sense of smell can detect the ozone coming off of it - the smell of air burned by electricity.

    "Huh, looks like Sparr in there. Stay behind me if we get attacked," Any time they come across things blocking the path, Kathy will bring the blade down to clear the way. The high frequency katana can carve through steel armor with minimal trouble, so it should have absolutely no issues with such simple things as plant matter and rusted rubble.
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    [The Museum of Unnatural History]

    Kuvesh decides not to offer Magtok any snarky compliments for guessing his name right.

    "...how is there lush vegetation underground?" Olvisin wonders aloud. "There's no sunlight. But something must emulate it sufficiently."

    The four goblins walk a bit behind Kathy, letting her clear out the vines. Instead, they keep their weapons pointed in every direction. Just about any abomination of biology could be lurking here.

    "Kind of wish we had Vux down here," Zaalmin says. In the unlikely case Magtok remembers that, Vux is the name of the giant beetle the goblins brought. "She could chomp through this in short order."
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-08-10 at 09:46 AM.
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    [Rat Assisted Tour]

    Hooray, Rattok gets to help!

    This is, well, it's an idea. Maybe not a good idea. But it's definitely something.

    "Alright Magtok, I got some ideas. If I can get access to whatever workshop-y bits of this place are working, I think I can cook something up pretty quickly. Jaahlyn, if you can round up whoever else you can get for this and meet me back here, we'll be good to go."

    Rattok pauses for a moment and stares blankly at Magtok.

    "Wait, whatever kind of price I want to charge? No way, what's the catch here? Are you just that dead-certain I'll get killed doing this? Or is this like whatever price I want with "as long as Magtok's barely-operation MagCave has it" in verbal fine print or something?"
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    The Museum of Unnatural History

    "This is...honestly not what I was expecting. I don't remember which display piece might've caused all this, either. Maybe there was an artificial sun I forgot about? Some shallow rip-off of Fallout's GECK? A new kind of plant that doesn't need sunlight?" Magtok wonders aloud, following along after Kathy and the goblins, periodically calling out one direction or another whenever there's a fork in the road or the trail goes cold. This goes on for a few uneventful minutes, before our MagDrone glances upwards and frowns, worriedly.

    "Gods, I hope none of the vicious spooky horrors lurking in the dark are anything particularly embarrassing, like a Predator rip-off or a zombie plague. I mean, I can afford to die down here, that's no big deal, but if I have to explain to Dipsnig that I lost some of his people to movie plagiarism, that's going to be a-" Branches overhead bend, twist, and crackle, and Faketok immediately shuts up. Something up above, no, several large somethings move through the trees. The entire overgrown museum falls silent, as if afraid to draw the ire of this pack of massive tree-climbers are on the move. Magtok wordlessly gestures for the group to halt as he squints into the canopy, trying his best to pierce the gloom and foliage to find this unknown potential threat, but doesn't seem to be having any luck.

    That is, of course, until it decides to save everyone the trouble and make itself visible to our party. A massive primate gracefully leaps to the ground behind our party, baring its teeth in a hideous grimace. Imagine an orangutan, but put it around the same weight class as Kathy's mech, give it five or six flesh-rending fangs it probably didn't need, augment its eyes with prosthetic ones like Magtok's own, replace the roof of its skull with a transparent glass dome, and heck, let's dye its fur purple for the sake of branding while we're at it. Okay, you've got all that in your head now, right?

    That's would give you an ape about half the size of the thing sizing up our explorers, watching and waiting for their response.

    Rat Assisted Tour

    "You can mention she's behind the skinwalker epidemic, I suppose, but that's about it. Anyway, as for payment-"

    Magtok takes a deep breath, and lets it out. Gods, everything just has to be so difficult, doesn't it? Everyone's always got to ask so many questions instead of just taking everything a notorious liar, schemer, and scoundrel says at face value, huh? Rattok won't stop asking questions until we shove him out the door and send him off to a dimension of death and despair, will he?

    "You can have whatever you want, Rattok. Once Feia is out of the picture, it's going to be the Hegemony paying the bill, not me. I'm going to be given a mercy killing to keep the thing festering in my programming from infecting the other clones, and some other Magtok is going to hand you the check and begrudgingly thank you for your part in saving the world," the phony Magtok answers grimly. This was destined to happen the very moment he allowed Affadavit into his brain, so he's had plenty of time to come to terms with it. Honestly, he's not too concerned about that. Feiadyne is way more likely to kill him first, and he's reasonably sure the other clones will be able to thrive and excel once he's gone. It's a little disappointing, knowing you'll never get to add your memories to the collective's databanks like all the other clones do before they die, but hey, you can't win 'em all, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi

  30. - Top - End - #240
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    The hegemony? Jaahlyn raises an eyebrow but resists the urge to ask about it as she simply nods in response to the revelation regarding the skinwalker epidemic. That was the least surprising thing at this point.
    The hegemony sounded like it was private Magtok business, was it the clone collective itself? The cyborg might have mentioned it before. That would explain things. Though the fact he was apparently going to be executed afterwards and just accepted this fact that grimly seemed almost un-Magtokian. Just how dangerous was this "thing" inside of him exactly? Would he just be replaced by a new clone?

    She looks between Rattok and Magtok. "Excuse me for interrupting your conversation. But will this, ah, thing inside you influence the mission in any way, sir? If its that dangerous I mean." The idea of Magtok actually accepting his own death still seemed too distant, too alien, to really dawn on her in such a short amount of time. Her mind was still on the mission details.

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