The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    The chair has indeed moved. It's not even in the room anymore.

    The room is dark. Looks like Hannah isn't here at the moment. The door is open, though. Some light pours in from there. Music can be heard coming from the workshop. As well as a female voice singing with it.

    Not a very good singer. She doesn't seem to care, though.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  2. - Top - End - #392
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    That's not too much of a shock, really.

    This is one of the problems with how she experiences the Game. If for some reason she gets booted, there's no way to get back to the various threads she's interacting with since they started in the past. It's a giant hassle, honestly.

    Hopefully no one was too worried about her. Maybe she should get a cell phone?

    "Hello?" she calls out as she walks out of the room, heading toward the source of the music.

    Hannah liked playing music really loud and singing (poorly) didn't she?

    That's what she was doing when Zee and Ravanys had shown up the first time, at least.

    Zee will head straight for the workshop. Hannah will probably be there, right? Zee isn't sure if she really has time to help with the cyborg now, not with all the other nonsense going on. But at least she can check in.
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  3. - Top - End - #393
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    The workshop seems to be pretty much the same as it was before. The DeLorean is still sitting under a tarp. The tables still have tools and parts laid out in a somewhat orderly fashion.

    The source of the off key singing is an open area towards the back.

    Standing in the open there is a human figure. No, wait. That's clearly a robot. And it's not finished. It's just legs and torso right now. Still...it seems to be the same height and proportions as Hannah. It's mostly an exposed frame, but some skin-like panels have been installed in places.

    A few computers sit on tables around it, all displaying different information. Another table has a pair of arms. And a head. The head has Hannah's face. But no hair. Just exposed metal.

    Hannah herself is standing at one of the computers, staring at the screen and singing along to AC/DC.

    Brian Johnson, she ain't.

    She's wearing work boots, jeans, a tank top, and a pair of mechanic's gloves. Her hair is still tied back into a ponytail. Her clothes aren't as grease stained as before. But the grease has been replaced by splotches of hydraulic fluid. Which seems to have gotten into her hair a bit.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  4. - Top - End - #394
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hmm.

    Shouting probably wouldn't help, since Hannah is wearing headphones and listening to music.

    So!

    Zee does the only reasonable thing in a situation like this.

    She moves into Hannah's peripheral vision and will just stand there until Hannah turns her head slightly and notices there's someone there.

    No magic or weird shenanigans.

    Just plain, good old fashioned walking.

    Hannah might even notice Zee before she gets to her designated waiting spot!
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  5. - Top - End - #395
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah continues staring at the screen and singing as Zee approaches.

    Cause I'm TNT! I'm dynamite! TNT! And I'll win the fi-AAAAHHH!

    Hannah shouts and flails a bit as Zee finally enters her vision. Then she puts a hand over her heart, breathing a bit hard, but smiling.

    Holy crap, Zee. Scared the crap outta me.

    She picks up a remote next to her, points it at a shelf past the work area, and turns down the volume.

    So...uh...kinda just randomly disappeared before. Been a while. What's up?

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  6. - Top - End - #396
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Zee just smiles innocently.

    She knows full well what she's doing.

    "Remember when I was talking about how I experience time? How my 'right now' is kind of weird?" she asks. "Well, about four days ago from your perspective, I got hit with a banish spell by an evil bug wizard thing. I basically got DDoS'd and booted from the Game. I only just now managed to log back in."

    She looks a little irritated about that.

    "But I went to the library back home and grabbed some lunch. May as well take advantage of downtime, right?"

    Still have to eat. And visit libraries? Apparently.

    "Sorry I up and vanished. That banishment spell totally blindsided me. But I'll be ready for it next time. Oh... and apparently things are WAY worse than I thought they were," she says. Because clearly Hannah needs some more things to worry about. "There's some kind of treasure trove in the Nexus that the faeries and empyreans are both after, but I don't think anyone knows exactly where it is. And they'll be more than happy to rip the Nexus apart to find it. To make matters worse, that bug wizard? There are these crazy shape shifting body snatchers that have been eating people and wearing their skin. I ran into a nest of them and decided to squash them, but I wasn't expecting them to start tossing wizardry at me."

    That's pretty concerning.

    "It's like John Carpenter's The Thing, except in the middle of a city instead of an antarctic research station. And the Thing knows how to use magic. The first time I ran into them, they were plating flukes in meat at a super market. I thought I had gotten it all, but some must have been sold before I noticed it. Hannah, everyone who ate that stuff? They got eaten from the inside out."

    Might be a good time to take up a vegetarian diet.

    "I'm sorry, this is a ton to dump on you all at once. But I can sniff these things out because of the chaos magic they run on. I don't know if you're any good with magically inclined gizmos, but I think what the city desperately needs right now is a way to easily detect these horrors before we end up in the end-game of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenario."
    Last edited by Rebonack; 2018-12-18 at 02:58 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #397
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah blinks a few times, stunned into silence.

    Huh. That's...a lot to take in. That's, uh...wow.

    She idly fiddles with a ratchet as she thinks on all this.

    Okay, let's get some things cleared up. First. You disappeared five weeks ago. That was the last time me or Ravanys saw you.

    Also, no idea what bug wizard you're talking about. At all.

    As for magic devices...
    She gestures towards the workshop. There's a reason my stuff's all high tech. I can't really do magic. Like, at all. My stuff should work with magic fine, but I don't think I can design stuff with magic in mind. Because I don't know how it works, really. Because I can't do it.

    She thinks for a moment. However...I might be able to do something, anyways. I'd need to see if they give off some kind of wavelength I can detect. Something specific to them. Or a specific combination of things. Her mind seems to already be coming up with ideas.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  8. - Top - End - #398
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    "It's probably really important," Zee says as she fishes a transparent crystal out of her pocket with a gross meat-colored fluke inside it. "I don't know how wide-spread they are, but their clearly stated intent is to eat literally everyone in the city. I saved one of the flukes I caught. Figured it would be good for... something. Probably?"

    The nasty thing is sealed inside the gem like a bug in amber.

    "I need to find some way to help people who aren't me to track them. They need to be eradicated as quickly as possible. The longer we take, the worse the problem gets."

    This is a Grade A Apocalypse sort of scenario.

    "I could probably engineer something purely biological with my super-sniffing powers, but I would have to make each of them myself. I could probably build something that can reproduce, but... I would rather avoid doing that."

    Because that counts as increasing the 'Empyreum stuff' levels of the Nexus and could lead to even worse things happening.

    "Which means we need a technological solution. Something that could be mass-produced. We need a prototype."
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  9. - Top - End - #399
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah nods a bit, and will reach out for the bug crystal.

    I can get some info on this thing, see what I can come up with. I'm not promising I'll be able to make something. But...I can try.

    She'll type something into the computer she was watching, then take the crystal over to a different area. With different computers. And a bunch of equipment that is probably meant for analyzing things.

    Any idea where these things are from?

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    You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  10. - Top - End - #400
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    Ravanys' Place

    "From a slab of ribeye steak," Zee replies matter of factly. "I killed all the other ones. Or do you mean in general? Like what world they're from?"

    She shrugs at that.

    "Don't know that answer. I haven't met anything like 'em before. They did spray this gross magical mutagen all over me, though. My physiology is weird, so I was able to mostly direct the mutations it caused. But I'm pretty sure it would have turned anyone else into a pile of tumors."

    That sounds terrible.

    "The faerie magic I was picking up mostly came from that, I think. Or something like faerie magic, anyway. Primordial creative potential. Except rotten," she makes a sour face just thinking about perceiving the stuff. It was gross. "I did manage to briefly reveal their true form, though. Or at least I think it might have been their true form? They looked like these weird humanoid black bugs. Which doesn't tell us much."

    Another shrug.

    "Anywho! If you do get something working, you should probably let Intersection know that you've got a working detector. I'm going to head out and see if I can do anything to help with the more immediate infestation problem."
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  11. - Top - End - #401
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah nods idly as she lays the crystal down on the table, then goes to the computer and starts prepping the station.

    Okay. It'll probably take some time to figure out what I can use to identify them specifically like you want. If I can.

    Oh, hey, hang on.
    She digs into her pocket and pulls out a cell phone. Let me get your number. I'll let you know if I find something.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  12. - Top - End - #402
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Zee just sort of...

    Looks at the phone for a moment.

    "I... um... I don't actually have a phone."

    She doesn't.

    It's true.

    Makes it pretty hard to contact her, short of summoning.

    What does it take to summon Zee?

    Something, probably. A new moon, at least.
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  13. - Top - End - #403
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Huh. Clearly, this is an unexpected development for Hannah. I mean, who doesn't have a phone these days?

    She puts her phone away and strolls to a nearby shelf, sliding a box out and pulling from it an older flip phone. She opens it, checks it quickly, then hands it to Zee. With a charger.

    Here ya go. My number's on it already.

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    You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  14. - Top - End - #404
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    Ravanys' Place

    Zee examines the strange device!

    Mostly by flipping it open and then giving a somewhat disappointed, "Aaww... I was hoping it would make the Star Trek noise..."

    Life is full of disappointments, Zee.

    Sorry.

    "Alright! Thanks for the phone. Hopefully I won't break it. I'll be right back, just need to make it clear that I left."

    What.

    She steps outside.

    ...and then steps back in about fifteen seconds later.

    "Okay! I'm off with a temporal displacement of... two days? Wow, almost exactly. Great! Is there anything I can help you with here?"
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  15. - Top - End - #405
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah blinks a few times. Clearly confused.

    Okay. I know you said it's not technically time travel. But that's what I'm gonna call it.

    You just left. And time traveled two days. And came back here. So, uh, just got started, so not much you could do right now. Unless you got new info on these things.

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    You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  16. - Top - End - #406
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    "Huh?" Zee murmurs in reply. "Oh no, other way around. I've been HERE two days my time. That's enough of a displacement for me to safely jump to another thread. It's just easier to do when I've not being observed. Otherwise things get weird."

    Things are already weird, Zee.

    You make them weird just by existing.

    "Not something new, but something else I thought of. Kind of obvious in retrospect. I think these things are recent arrivals," Zee says. "If they had been around for very long, this problem would have been way, WAY bigger than it is right now. THAT might be something you can key in on, too. There are lots of people getting pulled into the Nexus all the time, but how many of them ALSO have weird chaos stuff going on that breaks energy conservation?"

    Probably... well. Not all of them, anyway.

    "And I don't think the 'chaos magic' stuff is altogether just magic? It's physical. I probably should have given you a sample I snagged of the chaos goop, too. But I'm not sure if you've got anything that can safely contain it?" she rambles. She doesn't pull the rainbow sludge out, not yet anyway. "It's corrosive to reality and keeping a sample of it sequestered has been really tricky."
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  17. - Top - End - #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by billtodamax View Post
    Fel's House

    Violet yawns heavily before replying. I'm great! Could go allllll night! She says, blinking her eyes deeply. Just gonna... close my eyes for a couple of seconds here. She adds, before dozing off to sleep.

    Violet! That is rude! At least do some sloppy curtaining first.
    Felandria gently places a blanket over Violet and dims the light so she can get some sleep.

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  18. - Top - End - #408
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah decides to not question Zee further on her temporal physics. There were easier and more important things to focus on now.

    Like the new info about these things not being in the Nexus long. Hannah seems to get a thought and starts messing with the programs, changing up the scans she was running.

    Um...can it be contained in fields of energy? Like force field stuff? Something not solid?

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  19. - Top - End - #409
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Zee considers that for a few seconds, then nods. "Yeah, that should probably work. It's kinda corrosive and mutates anything alive. A force-field should work great."

    Should Hannah show Zee where the stuff needs to go, she'll raise one hand and cause a drop of rainbow colored sludge to ooze out of her palm into the container. The flesh around it will be bubbling and warping, causing Zee to grimace a bit. But she seems to be keeping it in check. One of the upsides to having extremely adaptable physiology. With enough exposure she can become pretty resistant to just about any malady.

    Once the blob is contained?

    It'll start writhing around.

    It looks really, really weird.

    And also vaguely alive.

    Zee makes a face at it. "Glad to have that out of me. It made me itch."
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  20. - Top - End - #410
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    Fel's House

    When the morning comes around Violet will sloooooowly come back to consciousness, glancing around the room in confusion. Being in unfamiliar territory, she settles back into her natural instincts - that is, to scope the place for anything valuable and/or of use as a weapon. Fel will likely find her patrolling her loungeroom searching it.
    Last edited by billtodamax; 2018-12-21 at 04:04 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #411
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    As the blob moves through the energy field, Hannah starts turning on ever sensor she can, picking up whatever info she can about this substance.

    She also checks progress on the scanning of the bug thing.

    Itch? Hannah shakes her head a bit. Based on what I'm seeing so far, itching is the best result you could have touching this. This stuff is nasty.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  22. - Top - End - #412
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Zee pulls a sour face. "Believe me, it did WAY worse when they sprayed it all over me the first time."

    She makes some squiggly motions with her fingers. "Like... gross tentacley dragon blob. And I hate tentacles. They're weird."

    Should it seem odd that the otherwordly abomination doesn't like tentacles?

    Aren't they usually big fans of tentacles?

    Then she frowns.

    "Some got on that elf girl I was protecting. I lost track of her after she stole my celery. I hope she's okay..."

    The odd woman sounds genuinely concerned there.

    For the record, the rainbow goop is, for lack of a better term, processed chaos elemental blood. And it's favored mode of manifestation is extravagant and sometimes lethal mutation. Lethal if you're fortunate.
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  23. - Top - End - #413
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah shrugs a bit, still watching the computers. I don't know. Tentacles have a few advantages over normal limbs. Flexibility, for one.

    ...ever notice a connection between these mad scientist types and tentacles? Weird...

    Hannah notices Zee's change of tone, and glances over at her. Hey. I'm sure somebody helped her. She'll be fine.

    Possibly. Maybe.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  24. - Top - End - #414
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah is regarded with one of those 'are you serious?' sorts of looks.

    "Yeah, but limbs can be too flexible. It's creepy," Zee replies with a shiver.

    There's something a bit surreal about this, isn't there?

    Hannah is literally having a conversation with a kaiju-sized otherwordly abomination about how weird (or not) tentacles are while a blot of Pure Chaos is squirming around in a containment field nearby.

    Has Hannah's life always been this strange.

    "I'm poking around through town right now. Looking for infestations. I found out that the wife of a butcher I know got replaced," Zee says sadly. "I don't know if he's okay still. But I found a couple people in cocoons in the freezer. I'm... I'm not sure how far gone they are. I'm checking right now."

    There's a bit of hope there.

    Maybe they can be saved.

    But maybe not.
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  25. - Top - End - #415
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah's life has been a bit strange. Raised by a one-eyed tiefling mercenary. Able to build all sorts of contraptions. Talking to other-worldly beings isn't that big a deal.

    Hannah winces a bit at the news of the butcher. She shakes her head a bit. Man. These things suck.

    By now, the initial scans of the bug crystal are done. Hannah goes to check the computers there. She's looking for any kind of unique energy they have. Something not normally found in the Nexus. Something that can be picked out of the mix of background energies found here. She can totally build a device focused on that.

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  26. - Top - End - #416
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Really, trying to detect the general signature of that chaos ooze is going to be the best tactic here.
    Presumably her scanner can permeate Zee's prison crystal easily enough, to figure out that there is a faint signal matching that of the writhing globlet.

    It's not nearly as potent in the little worm, but her equipment should be able to isolate how the similarities easily enough.
    There are faint traces of other magics in there, but they seem to be a bit less unique. Slight traces of necromancy and other biology-adjusting energies.
    The vast majority of notable energy is that raw, roiling chaos, just barely kept from running rampant by the flimsy nature of its containing medium.

    Not the same sort of chaos that leads to streets Inside always being different, but the malevolently driven sort of chaos that creates cancerous plagues, drives entropy, and drives the reason from otherwise rational minds.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  27. - Top - End - #417
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah takes a moment to look over everything she picked up. Then she shudders.

    Damn...this stuff is seriously messed up. Like...damn.

    She shakes her head a bit and turns to Zee.

    Well, I can definitely make something to trace this stuff. Both the worms and that glop over there. She waves towards the globule of chaos trapped in a force field. Take a few days. Gonna have to test it a lot. But I can get something for you.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  28. - Top - End - #418
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    "They really suck a whole bunch," Zee replies matter-of-factly. "That's why we need detection equipment in the hands of Intersection and the heroic organizations. I can track these things, but I'm just one person. I cant be everywhere at once."

    Technically she can be lots of places at different times!

    But... so can anyone else? Just not in quite the same way Zee does it, though.

    "A couple days sounds great. That's the time frame between now and... well. I think something big might be happening a few places around the City. Two days from now, from your perspective. It'll take longer to go from prototyping to mass production, but that's a start, right?"

    Zee sure thinks so!

    "Thanks a ton, Hannah. You are literally helping to save the worlds right now. Yes. Plural. It's more than just the Nexus that's at stake if these things take over and start spreading."

    That would truly be The Bad Ending.
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  29. - Top - End - #419
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    [Ravanys' Place]

    Hannah nods a bit, already having grabbed a lot of paper and pencils.

    Thank me when this works. I'll get it to the groups as soon as I have a working model. Oh, and any more info you find out would be great.

    Her hand moves quickly across the paper, sketching out designs, working out calculations. Seems she already has a few ideas about this detector.

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    I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you. - Malcolm Reynolds

    Because I'm allergic to things I don't wanna do. *coughcough* - Caboose
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  30. - Top - End - #420
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by billtodamax View Post
    Fel's House

    When the morning comes around Violet will sloooooowly come back to consciousness, glancing around the room in confusion. Being in unfamiliar territory, she settles back into her natural instincts - that is, to scope the place for anything valuable and/or of use as a weapon. Fel will likely find her patrolling her loungeroom searching it.
    It's a really fancy house. Probably got valuable stuff all around. Piles of loot, rare drinks, mad science projects. Not to mention the giant statue of Felandria. That's probably in the lounge, right? There's a rifle leaning against one of the lounging couches, which is covered in a giant heap of blankets. That's a large heap of normal-sized blankets, mind you. Not a normal heap of Fel-sized blankets. Anyway, you could fit a person or two under all those blankets.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

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