The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Adventurers Amongst the Stars IC

    Not of enough strategic importance for any of even the youngest and most petty of the expanding empires to pay much attention to and far too useful to the kind of people who would seek to plunder such outposts for them to actually pillage, the cluster of asteroids now called Lombard Junction had carved itself out a niche as a place for shoppers who were looking for a bargain and didn't want to ask too many questions, off duty soldiers wanting to relax without a commanding officer looking over their shoulders and of course the often less than scrupulous individuals that catered to the rest.

    It was on one of the smaller rocks in the cluster that one such individual had decided to open a bar and it was here that the coordinates would lead those who had decided that the deal was worth their time. Outside a disgraced former gladiator stood in front of the door and watched the crowd hurry through the bustling market place, his arms crossed and tail whipping lazily behind him ready to draw the pistol that hung at his waist, making sure that the wrong sort of people didn't get in and the people that got thrown through the bar's large holographic window stayed out. The inside was dimly lit, all the better to draw the people's eyes to the flickering hologram in the centre of the room where a scantily clad four-armed woman sang with the voice of an entire orchestra to the cheers and hooting of the patrons whilst towards the back of the room a patchwork yellow pressure-suit stood behind the bar, white smoke escaping from the joints every so often with a hiss as it cleaned the glasses.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    There was a momentary glimmer off in the...distance? Well, relatively speaking, anyway. It was distant enough by the local standards of the asteroid cluster, although by the standards of the trip he had just taken, it may as well have been inches. It could be seen again closer, and then closer still. And then a form plummeted down in from the sky starry expanse of space beyond the asteroid, a tall humanoid form encased entirely in a sleek suit of what looked like an odd mix between archaic plate mail and advanced powered armor, all tiger-striped alternating mirrored white and matte black. A massive hammer of some dark metal, at least as tall as the form itself, its long haft banded with occasional rings of some silvery metal, was strapped to - no, scratch that, it was floating along behind the figure, maybe six inches from its back.

    Once he had landed in whatever local atmosphere the meteors used, Tager shifted his armor. The suit went from solid metal to flowing like a liquid, and in a trice had changed from a suit of mail to a loose white t-shirt mostly covered by a light black vest, baggy black pants, white gloves and boots, and a white headband that held his black-and-orange striped hair back from his forest green eyes.

    He took a moment to look around, and with a flick of his hand, a pair of camera drones floated up out of his pockets and zipped around the area (though not into any buildings), capturing video of the area. It was his first time on another...well, not planet, perhaps, but another celestial body than his home world. Naiar had established ties with the wider galactic community only a couple of decades ago. While that meant that Tager had basically been raised with it as part of his reality, his personal exposure had been limited. Oh, sure, he'd met a few extra-naian lifeforms in his life, but this was an entirely new experience.

    Even the things that seemed similar were just slightly...off. Naiar had floating cities, which these asteroids in some superficial ways resembled, but on Naiar a floating city was...basically the absolute pinnacle of society. Even the least of houses went for tens of millions of credits, everything beautifully laid out, artfully designed, elaborately constructed.

    There was a certain cognitive dissonance, being in a place with the shape of a floating city, that was nonetheless so...seedy.

    Regardless. After a few minutes to explore his surroundings a bit, Tager got back on task, recalled his drones, and headed for the bar, walking with something of a confident swagger. As he reached the door, a flick of his hand brought his hammer floating around hover in front of him. "Is there somewhere I store this?" he asked the guard politely, working on the assumption that weapons would be prohibited.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    A small generic model one man freighter (the spaceship equivalent of a small box truck, not much larger then a shuttle craft) makes its approach to Lombard Junction and pulls into a designated parking orbit. It is the type of ship that would not draw a second glance from anybody if it were not for the glowing pink lightning paint job.

    A vulture drone detaches from the ship and flies down to the asteroid into the atmosphere retention field and cruses past several stores eventually arriving at a specific bar. The wings reconfigure into legs as it settles down in front of the bar. A young woman with magenta hair wearing an armored flight suit materializes next to the drone as if being printed by a laser. She marches up to the former gladiator and looks him straight in the shin, for she is only 16.5" [42 cm] tall. Butterfly wings that resemble translucent circuit boards sprout from her back and she flies up to talk face to face.

    With a smile and a wave she says "Hey Mr. Bouncer Man, is this a good place to park my ride?" in a voice that is high pitched and a just a little fast.
    "Time is an abstract concept created by carbon-based life-forms to monitor their ongoing decay." - Thunderclese

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    A small, glowing wormhole opened on the edge of the asteroid cluster and out flew a human astronaut in alien power armor. The armor’s colors were based on the astronaut’s original flight suit, one that resembled another suit made famous by one Commander Shepard. The armor was mostly black, with a white/red/white stripe running down the right arm and an N7 on his breast. On his back, in the same coloring, were the letters UNASA. The armor flew through space swiftly, surrounded by a violet glow. John had been bonded with the suit for six months now and had gotten the hang of maneuvering the suit through space. Despite all the terrors that had visited him since his first wormhole encounter, the astronaut in John was thrilled at the way he could fly through the stars with nothing but a suit.

    Fortunately for John, his digital audio player and its vast library of files had been on board his ship when he flew, and the power armor’s AI, who John had just straight-up named Cortana, had been able to take that musical data and store it within the armor’s memory. Combine that with the fact that Cortana was tied into John’s psyche and you get this…

    While flying through space, John and Cortana were singing along to some CCR.

    “Left a good job in the city
    Workin’ for the man every night and day
    And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
    Worryin’ ‘bout the way things might have been

    Big wheel keep on turnin’
    Proud Mary keep on burnin;
    Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river”



    In John’s Mindscape, they were riding in John’s car, an old Mustang that he’d paid to be restored. In the Mindscape, John wore normal clothes – a t-shirt and jeans. Cortana, well… looked like her namesake sitting in the passenger seat. Originally, the AI didn’t have much of a personality. It appeared in his mind as a glowing incandescent orb. However, after an encounter with a vicious sentient virus and a techno-Pixie, the AI seemed to wake up and gain consciousness. Having access to John’s memories, it started to create an identity for itself. And what John associated most with an armor’s AI happened to be… Cortana.

    During the guitar solo, she went back to business. "Commander, we have arrived at Lombard Junction. Displaying landing coordinates."

    "Thanks. Let's go see what trouble we can get into."

    John banked and came around towards the asteroid. A map of the area began to populate his HUD as he approached. Soon after he had gained access to the asteroid, he was making his way inside of the bar. John’s helmet peeled back from his head as it dissolved into nanomachines. John was human. The only human. He had short brown hair and dark brown eyes. Since razors were in short supply, a close brown beard had grown on his cheeks. Since the bar was seedy, he kept the armor on. He had no visible weapons, but in truth, his armor was one hell of a weapon.

    Outside of the doorway he whistled to himself. He spoke with a bit of a Southern American accent which somehow came through even with all the universal translators/translator microbes. “A wretched hive of scum and villainy.” He paused looking at a guy nearby with a giant floating hammer-- “Tager Yung?” John asked, not expecting to see him again. “It is you! How you doing?”

    And then looking down lower he saw another familiar face. "And Tinkerbell! It's a regular reunion here."
    Last edited by SuperCracker; 2019-05-01 at 11:55 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    A beautiful lizard-woman in generic combat armor sips tea by herself at a table in the corner, watching the new arrivals. She's seen them before - it helps to glimpse the future - and ponders the tapestry of the universe that binds them together. Not all had been revealed, it never was, but something about these people, in this place, at this time, for this job - it was important. So Kana Te watched and waited for their employer to make an entrance.
    Last edited by tonberrian; 2019-05-01 at 09:24 PM.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

    Rick Venture avatar by kpenguin, his GM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    The crowded market place scattered as Tager plummeted to the ground, giving him a wide berth, but once it became clear that he wasn't about to attack anyone with his strange floating hammer or declare that he was going to annex the Junction even those that had reached for their weapons went back about their business with only a murmer about his unusual method of arrival (whilst travelling between planets solo wasn't exactly unheard of, forsaking a ship was definetely unusual enough to draw comment) and a few store holders grumbling about 'yahoos'.

    The bouncer watched the Naian approached, unimpressed by his swagger or the floating hammer, you work a door long enough and you've seen far too much to be surprised by anything "Don't start nothing and I wont have to take it off you." He said gruffly.

    And then a little flying girl zoomed up to his face, okay maybe their still were a couple of things that could surprise him, blinking a couple of times he straightened up and glanced over at her drone before his face settled back in to a vague sort of scowl "Aint my problem if it gets 'jacked, park where you want."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Calla stood at the bow of the Empyrean, Arms folded, looking down at the rocks of the Lombard Junction below.

    Seriously? This is the place?

    She turned to walk back inside, confirming with the navigator that these were the right coordinates and that she wouldn’t have to jettison him into space today.

    The ship brought itself down for her to disembark, before returning back to it’s position, relatively, above them.

    Crowds parted as she walked towards the bar. People seemed to know who she was. Good. But let’s put it to the test.

    She walked up to the gladiator, firmly ignoring the other three he was dealing with, right up to him. She tilted her hat back slightly, looking him dead in the eyes.

    Be a dear and get the door for a Lady, tough guy.

    Spoiler: Establish Dominance!
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    Intimidation on the Gladiator, (1d20+10)[20] +5 if he’s aware of her reputation.
    The attempted return!

    Nexus Character: Ary

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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Tager blinked as the tiny woman went zipping past him into the face of the gladiator, looking for all the world like some sprite out of a Phantism myth. He was a little surprised at the rather lax weapons policy, but he recalled that Naiar was kinda on the high end of the scale when it came to arms control. Which, he supposed, also explained why a doorman at a bar was carrying a freaking firearm. Back home that would get a place shut down faster than you could say "armed security".

    So he just nodded, and was greeted by a familiar voice. "Well if it isn't The Commander! Fancy meeting you here!" he returned with a broad grin. "The Commander" was the "honorary Graviator name" that Tager had assigned him on the conclusion of their whole misadventure. It was a sign of respect. You have to know the culture. He walked while he talked, heading into the bar so as not to be obstructing the entry, casing around both to find a place to sit and to take in the surroundings and people. The physical diversity of the various beings, while not something he had been entirely unprepared for, still took him somewhat by surprise. Naiar had several different races evolved from a wide variety of animals, and while there were definite physical differences between them, they were relatively slight. You never had anything like inches-tall people with wings, or people with four arms. And John, who was pretty much the only alien that Tager had really had much in the way of personal interaction with, could have easily passed for a simid. So while he was intellectually aware that not every sapient being in the universe followed the same template as the Naian races, on an intuitive level he still kinda hadn't expected just how different they could be. "You here for this job-thing too?"
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    "John of Dirt ... Soil ... wait I got this ... Earth. How have you been, who is your friend?"

    Pixel considers the indifferent attitude of the bouncer.
    While Calla is marching up Pixel is programming her drone to take flight and enter a holding pattern around the bar out of reach. She taps into the video feed from the drone to monitor anything that might happen to it.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Using Sensor Network (Remote Sensing) to monitor the drone.
    "Time is an abstract concept created by carbon-based life-forms to monitor their ongoing decay." - Thunderclese

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    The bouncer's face went pale and his tail stood on end as he saw Calla approach, when she spoke he couldn't open that door fast enough, almost knocking it off of its hinges in his haste and quickly stepping aside "R-right this way..." He said with a not unnoticeable shake in his voice.

    Moving inside Tager would see why the doorman had such a lax reaction to his weapon as every other patron seemed to be armed, some with large rifles slung over their backs and others with (often several) pistols in holsters whilst the rest opted for simple blades and bludgeons. Not that this seemed to matter that much as many of them suddenly decided that they had better places to be and hurried through the door and window as a certain woman walked in.

    Conveniently this meant that there were now several empty tables and booths for him to pick from so that was something.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SuperCracker's Avatar

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    John offered a broad smile and a handshake to Tager. “I thought I was the planet-hopper. Didn’t think I’d be running into you again.” His adventures on Naiar had been memorable. He was wanted in multiple cities for discharge of an alien firearm, disturbing the peace, and unsanctioned Graviator activity. There was a lot on Naiar that was strangely familiar. Everyone, despite being of different races, seemed very close to human. And from what he’d gathered, simids were genetically identical to humans. John could have ended his journey there and lived out his life… but he wanted to explore. He wanted to find a way back through time and back to Earth in 2019. "I’m here for the job. I go wherever there might be Precursor tech.”

    Precursor tech, like the armor he wore and the AI in his head. The armor held the power to travel through wormholes and disrupt time and space… and for all he knew, it was the tip of the iceberg. You see, while the armor sought to attach itself to a suitable sentient lifeform, it did so for a purpose the Precursors had programmed. The armor was a data repository from that ancient, vanished civilization. And now that it was bonded with John, that data was now somewhere in his head. But it was locked. He could not access it, and it didn’t seem Cortana could willingly grant access either. This meant that although the armor could potentially travel through time in a wormhole, John had no idea how to do that.

    It also meant that John was hunted for both the armor he wore and the information locked away in his brain. Things weren’t all fun and games in his Buck Rogers fantasy life.

    When Pixel was trying to get Earth’s name right, John gave little vocalizations with his pitch going up as she got closer. As she said Earth, he went, “Ayyyyy! You got it!” He looked between the two, then decided he would make introduction.

    “Tinkerbell, meet my tag-team partner Tager Yung, no relation,” since phonetically Young and Yung sounded alike, translator microbes or not, “Tager, meet Pixel the techno-pixie. She’s good people. I guess we’re all here for the job.”

    Including, possibly, the scary lady that the room was collectively trying to get away from. John looked at her for a long moment with a funny expression on his face like she might be familiar. He could have sworn he’d met her somewhere.

    “Something wrong, Commander?”

    Mentally, John responded. “Yeah, I feel like I know her… just can’t place it.”

    “I can do a search of your memory, Commander.”

    Mentally, he answered, “Yeah, go ahead. Let’s make sure she’s not related to the Peacekeepers somehow.”

    “Roger, Commander. I'll let you know what I find.” Cortana had picked up the lingo.

    "Lets try and find our would-be employer," John said aloud, returning his attention to the two in front of him.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Sorry for the length.

    EXPOSITION!
    Last edited by SuperCracker; 2019-05-03 at 06:03 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    metakirb's Avatar

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    Calla’s expression shifted to a smirk as the Gladiator’s fear became apparent, and further into a grin as everyone else vacated the bar. Except for a few others anyway. One of which was... staring at her?

    You got a problem kid?

    She started moving towards the bar before John’s comment about the employer.

    Oh, you’re here for that too?
    The attempted return!

    Nexus Character: Ary

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    Well, I was counting on you for someone. If you don't have a spare character, I start to get worried.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Tager could admit it, he was kinda taken aback by seeing, just, everyone seeming to be carrying weapons. And not just archaic weapons, actual firearms. Some of them looking cutting-edge, even! He knew rationally that not all worlds were going to have the same laws and mores as Naiar - and he could only hope that such a proliferation of weapons meant that the wider universe had not so often experienced such horrifically destructive conflicts as The War To End All Wars - but still. Even though nobody seemed to be paying him personally any particular mind, he had never felt more threatened in his entire life - and that includes during John's visit to his world which involved Graviator street brawls, fleeing the authorities, and a less-than-peaceful encounter with a pack of wolves the size of small buildings. (How were they to know the cave was occupied? Neither of them were survivalists.)

    So, yeah, it might have kinda made an impression when this rough-and-tumble, armed-to-the-teeth crowd more-or-less universally vacated when the woman behind them entered.

    Huh.

    Tager nodded at John's explanation. He didn't mention his own reasons for being here. Tager may have had the best of reasons for being in it for the money, but it didn't change the fact that he was in it for the money. The drive of curiosity or whatever reason John had for seeking out Precursor tech seemed nobler by far. He did comment on the planet-hopping though. "Yeah upgraded my armor. My sister's actually been studying astrophysics, she helped me set it up for space travel." The pride in his voice was unmistakable. "This is actually my first time off-world. So I suppose I'll follow your lead." He smirked a bit as he said it, a silent commentary on the wisdom of that, when considering the trouble John had gotten them into during his visit to Naiar.

    But, he didn't then walk back what he had said, despite the smirk. John had also stepped in when he needed help without any reason to do so. There was a statement being made there. Again, you had to know the culture.

    "Glad to meet you, Pixel," he said with a nod after John had made introductions. He was unfazed by her name. In the general sense it might have seemed rather on the nose, but it'd fit right in on a Graviator roster.

    "Shouldn't be too hard now," he answered John's suggestion dryly, glancing around to see if anyone seemed to be paying any notice to the lot of them, now that the room had largely cleared out. If nobody did, he'd head over to the bar. The strategy of talking to the barkeep seemed reasonable, absent other options. Although...he wasn't entirely sure if the barkeep was mechanical or not. Still, even if it was, that didn't mean it couldn't also be sentient he supposed, in this wide and wild universe. Good enough for him.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Pixel is in aw of Calla’s ability to seemingly clear the room with a simple question.

    "That was amazing! When I talked to that guy he barely acknowledged my presence, but he got the door for her."

    With childlike innocence Pixel flies up to Calla. "Hi, I'm Pixel, that is John and Tager. You're also here for an exiting adventure?"
    "Time is an abstract concept created by carbon-based life-forms to monitor their ongoing decay." - Thunderclese

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    The bartender watched as most of the patrons fled bar, shaking its head, that was a lot of money running away. Still it wasn't as if that was the only way they were going to make any money tonight and placing the glass they were cleaning down on the bar it left its station to approach the newcomers, leaving a trail of wispy white smoke in its wake.

    "I take it you folks are here for the uh...special event?" They asked with the electronic distortion of a bargain-basement translation device "Right this way."

    Waiting for a moment to make sure he was followed the bartender headed back behind the bar and punched a code in to a door leading down in to a cellar full of boxes, casks and barrels lit by a single dangling lightbulb. "Right through there." It said, pointing to a simple metal door partial hidden by shadow and stacks of preservative laden snacks, once again only briefly waiting for any response it turned to head back up the stairs to its post behind the bar.

    The door was easily opened with a slight hissing noise to reveal a well lit affair conference room in contrast to the gloomy cellar that preceded it dominated by a sleek white meeting table with its own projector built in, at its head sat a figure wearing a large purple robe with a hood concealing their features.

    "Don't mind the noise, a simple Babel Mist to facilitate communication." They said in a feminine voice "Now how would you all like to become filthy rich?"

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Tager followed the barkeep to the cellar. When they reached the meeting room, he took a seat with a nod to their host, his hammer floating behind his chair like some sort of watchful sentry. At her question, though, he only listened attentively. Yes, that was the goal, but it wouldn't do to seem too eager.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

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    SuperCracker's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by metakirb View Post
    You got a problem kid?
    John didn’t quite know who the scary lady was, but she asked the question, so he answered. “Ain’t got no problem, lady. Just… have we met before?” He refrained from asking if she was a Peacekeeper… you know, in case she was a Peacekeeper, which seemed unlikely when she also said she’s here for the job.

    When Tager said he was going to follow John’s lead, John gave a lopsided grin and clapped Tager on the shoulder. “If that’s the case we’re already screwed.”

    The group approached the barkeep. Since the place had cleared out a bit, John mentally commanded his suit to change. The armor changed into what seemed like a liquid metal made up of many many nanomachines. In only a few seconds, the armor had changed into a flight jacket with the same coloring and emblems. And when the barkeep took them down into the cellar and then through a secret door, John followed along.

    He stepped into the conference room and took a quick glance about before locking his eyes on the woman (???) in the purple robe.

    “Nice Speakeasy you got here,” John said, followed by, “Get rich quick schemes are usually too good to be true or come with a biiiig catch. Which one are you selling?”
    Last edited by SuperCracker; 2019-05-08 at 01:16 AM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    metakirb's Avatar

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    Probably off a bounty poster. I don't recognise you, so I doubt you've come after the price on my head.

    She was about to move after the bartender before the tiny pixie asked her question with such enthusiasm, and obvious lack of knowledge of who she was, that even she couldn't help but smile a little.

    Name's Calla. And yeah, I suppose I am.

    She started heading down after John and Tager.

    You're a new sight for me, Pixel. And I've been around a long time. What's your deal?
    The attempted return!

    Nexus Character: Ary

    Quote Originally Posted by Bookboy View Post
    Well, I was counting on you for someone. If you don't have a spare character, I start to get worried.
    Here're a bunch of old avatars made for me
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    Sig space limited so credits to the creators of my avatars

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    DrowGirl

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    After talking to the bouncer Pixel has been searching the net for videos of him in embarrassing situations. His history as a gladiator provided some choice options, but nothing quite as juicy as tripping over himself to get the door for Calla. The timing could not have been better as Pixel had just finished programming her drone to take flight when it happened and managed to record the exchange. A quick bit of video editing to replace Calla with a cute little kitten and it was ready for broadcast.

    "I talk to computers and stuff."

    The holographic window's security was easily bypassed. While the Barkeep is showing John and Tager to the conference room Pixel pulls a holographic wand with a little star on the end out of thin air and waves it at the window which starts playing footage on a loop of the bouncer fearfully opening the door for a kitten.

    She then takes the opportunity to upgrade the security protocols, it would be terrible if somebody were use the window for nefarious purposes.

    Leaning towards Calla, Pixel says in a low voice. "He wasn't very nice before you showed up."

    After mentally altering her drone's flight path to get it out of the bouncer's likely line of site Pixel flies down into the conference room and grabs a mug. She sets it upside down on the table and uses it for a seat.

    To the barkeep "Could I get a shot of something sweet with pretty color please?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    As discussed in PM on Discord.
    Communication (Radio)
    Feature (Holographic Display)
    Skill Mastery (Technology) - routine check for 30
    "Time is an abstract concept created by carbon-based life-forms to monitor their ongoing decay." - Thunderclese

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    As the others descend, Kana Te follows after them, concentrating a little to get some more information out of their thoughts, and those of the contact as well.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Area mind reading! Everyone makes a Will check vs (1d20+10)[13]. It's subtle, so if you want to notice the subtle fingers running through your mind, you need to roll a DC 20 Notice check. The NPC as well.

    Edit: Gonna HP that.
    Last edited by tonberrian; 2019-05-10 at 05:52 PM.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Conscious answer to the question "Why are you here?": With the money I can earn from this job, my family will never have to worry about finances again. Also I'm the Grav-Knight and it will be an awesome adventure in space.

    Memory: You see a memory of...what appears to be a television commercial advertising a cutting edge gravitech mobility suit. At the time, Tager had been thinking, That's what Dad needs. If I can make enough money for that, he'll be able to move again. Everything can go back to normal.

    Subconscious: Although Tager himself doesn't consciously recognize it, he believes that to push him limits further and grow stronger, he needs to face a greater scale of challenges. He's defeated the best Graviators that Naiar has to offer; this mission will give him the chance to test his skills for real and grow beyond anything that any Graviator can hope to match. Brazen Maal underestimated him in their battle, and it was a factor. He won't make that mistake; he'll become so strong that no normal Graviator can ever hope to take his title away!


    So, order of priorities here, Tager was thinking. Obviously, learning the actual mission and reward are first. The function of this artifact and what purpose it will be put to are important as well though. No amount of money would be worth- ...What is that?

    Tager cased around, until his feline eyes were facing the direction he felt the subtle mental pressure coming from. Tager didn't have any particular personal experience with psychic powers, but he knew they existed. Feeling it himself, he couldn't say it felt like he had expected it to. But it also wasn't something he could really mistake for anything else.

    And it wasn't just some light psychic scan, either. Though the sensation was faint, it was also pervasive. Like food left in a lidded garbage can for too long, creating just the slightest nasal twinge when you walked into the house, but once you noticed it, it was obvious whichever room you went in. Only in his head. In his thoughts, in his memories, in his very sense of self. Everywhere in his mind he went, that faint feeling of intrusion.

    It was profoundly invasive, and rather worrying as well. He didn't know what the power was actually doing. It could be stealing his thoughts, implanting compulsions awaiting triggers, altering his memories, even staking out a claim for complete control. His knowledge of telepathic abilities was limited to fiction, and fiction made them sound terrifying. With his jaw clenched and eyes narrowed, he focused his will against the feeling, tossing it out like the garbage.

    He hesitated a moment before speaking. The reptilian appearance of the individual involved made him...kinda unsure whether "sir" or "miss" was the appropriate descriptor. So instead he went with, "Friend," which at this stage was flatly inaccurate itself, but whatever, "I don't know what the social customs on your planet are. I'm happy to assume you simply weren't aware of how it would be taken. But I'm making you aware now. Invade the privacy of my mind without my consent again, and we're going to have problems." There wasn't any threat in his tone or aggression in his expression or body language. The hammer floating behind his chair didn't waver. But his voice rang with sincerity and did not particularly conceal his anger. He was content to let the matter drop, but that didn't mean he in any way approved.

    He had no way of knowing whether anyone else at the table had been targeted, and would not make accusations. But neither would he keep the matter secret.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-05-10 at 09:52 PM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

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  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Kana Te's voice is musical. I mean no disrespect. You are a mystery, as is how you fit in the Grand Tapestry. I seek to know your soul, to know why your journey has brought you here. And words are often the enemy of the True."
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

    Rick Venture avatar by kpenguin, his GM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Spoiler: Calla thoughts, round 1 of 3
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    Conscious answer to the question "Why are you here?": Profit, see if there are any chances to raise that bounty higher, have some fun along the way.

    Memory: Calla stood in her usual spot atop the bow of the Empyrean. Staring down at a planet. Her planet.

    You're sure this is what you want? I mean, isn't this your own home?

    Don't make me repeat myself. All ships, open fire.

    And there she stood, unblinking, watching her own home planet reduced to an uninhabitable rock at the hands of her fleet.

    Subconscious: Deep down Calla regretted what she did to her homeworld. Risking her life on ever escalating raids and such hadn't helped at all. Maybe it was time for one last job. Enough to settle down on. Raise a family? Grow some plants? She certainly did enjoy growing plants.


    Calla turned to Kana Te the moment Tager reacted to the potential mind reading going on, and immediately drew her pistol.

    You go into my head and I get to find out if the bounty on your kind's still up for grabs.
    Last edited by metakirb; 2019-05-11 at 03:32 PM.
    The attempted return!

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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
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    "Sure thing." The barman replied to Pixel, unphased by her diminutive size and odd appearance "What about the rest of you? It's going on their tab." It said with a nod towards the woman at the head of the table, more smoke hissing out of its neck, once it had got everybody's order the barman would head back upstairs where it had some very stern words for the bouncer that was currently bashing the controls of the holo-window in a desperate attempt to shut it down.

    And then things got a little tense...

    "Now now." The woman spoke up calmly in an attempt to stop things from escalating "I can assure you that whatever bounty is on the lizard's head is a pittance compared to what my employer is willing to offer, it would be a shame if you were to miss out. Now if everybody could take a seat I'm sure the drinks will be here in moments and I can start assuaging any doubts you might have." She finished with a pointed look towards John.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Tager wasn't particularly impressed with the explanation. There were ways to get to know a person that didn't involve mental invasion. They were less reliable and took more time and effort perhaps, but that was kinda the point. And he might have said some of that.

    ...Except the woman who the bar's patrons had all been afraid of pulled a firearm. Was that...was that normal, on the worlds beyond Naiar?

    At that point, Tager was a little torn. To say his piece then would have seemed siding with the gun-wielder, and while Tager would concede a certain right to defend one's mental privacy with force should it be required, at the moment that seemed like a couple steps of escalation too far. But to stand in the mind reader's defense would both convey some degree of approval, and also perhaps escalate the situation further.

    Conveniently, their host intervened before he could come to a decision. And since he was pretty sure he had forced the mind reader out of his head, nobody could really say for sure that he hadn't just sat there unflappably because he was too badass to show any particular reaction to a drawn weapon.

    "Water, please," he answered the barkeep calmly, because now he supposed he had to just act like nothing else of note was going on. He had taken up the role, however accidentally, and so there was no choice but to play it to the hilt. You don't break kayfabe.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    DrowGirl

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    Spoiler: Surface Thoughts
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    Pixel's mind feels more like that of a computer then normal flesh and blood. A computer that has spent too much time on the internet.
    Her attention is shifting all over the place, the data feed from the drone outside, incoherent technobabble ideas for inventions, random memes, what color will the drink she ordered be?
    The colloquial equivalent of the Nyan Cat song is playing somewhere in the background.
    Then something resembling a demonic cheshire cat drops into the mental scan and glares at Kana Te as blood drips from its teeth. (Picture in the character sheet.)

    "Ooooaahh, that is what it feels like."
    "Time is an abstract concept created by carbon-based life-forms to monitor their ongoing decay." - Thunderclese

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    "Garumian Tea, please." She ignores the drawn pistol.
    Last edited by tonberrian; 2019-05-14 at 12:55 PM.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Spoiler: Mind Reading
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    Conscious answer to the question: I go anywhere there might be Precursor Tech. This technology can open wormholes, control cosmic forces, and violate almost every known law of physics. Precursor Tech opened the wormhole through time and space that got me here. If I’m ever going to get home to Earth in 2019, it’s going to be Precursor Tech. And if the wrong people, like the Peacekeepers, get their hands on the wrong tech… it would make the Death Star look like a B-B gun.

    Memory: John is strapped inside a chair. His eyes are pried open and he cannot move his limbs. He is trying to activate his armor but something is stopping him from doing so. A dark, sinister figure steps out behind a control apparatus. A voice with a rather civil tone speaks. “Commander John Young. Human. The Peacekeepers have never encountered that species before… never a ship or a colony or a station. There has never been a documented encounter with N7 or UNASA by the Peacekeepers or our allies… or our adversaries.” A pause… “So I find it quite odd, John, that a creature of your unknown, likely backwater species possesses technology as advanced as your armor.” The figure approaches swiftly and bares his teeth, suddenly displaying an aggressive menace. A hunger. “It’s technology from the Ancient Ones… and it is part of you.” The figure moved back to the panel, his tone once again seemingly genial. “You don’t have to answer right now, John. No no no… you need to spend some more time in the chair first. Then you will tell me what I want to know.” A lever was pulled and there was blinding pain.

    Subconscious: This isn’t so much a thought from John, but… something buried deep down inside of his psyche. Even with the Mind Reading, what this is isn’t clear to you. But you can feel it… there is a very large cache of data buried inside his mind. And it’s so deeply encrypted that you can’t tell if even John knows what’s in there.


    To Calla, before they came down, John would have answered: “I’m not a bounty hunter. I’ve got my own problems without trying to play Boba Fett out here. Must be from somewhere else.”

    John was unaware that anyone had pried into his mind, but he trusted Tager. The reptile was mind reading. And not just Tager, either. That Calla woman pulled her gun. John stayed beside Tager, staying out of it. He had no dog in this fight. He didn’t know either of these people or what they were after.

    So to try and defuse the situation, John doubled down on the business and sat down at the table with Tager. Play it like Han Solo. He looked to the woman who was their would-be employer and he gestured with his hand for her to begin. “Lady, if you start in on the details I think the guns and psychic powers might get put away.”
    Spoiler
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    metakirb's Avatar

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    Calla glares at Kana Te as she's ignored. Normally this would result in Calla happily opening fire on the offender, she had a reputation to maintain after all. This time though?

    Her weapon fired, though it was clear there was never any intent to hit. A warning shot to underline her words.

    Remember these words. My mind is off limits, scales. I even have reason to believe you might have tried and the next one won't miss.

    Her weapon was returned to it's holster and she took a seat.

    Something strong for me.
    The attempted return!

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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Internally their host breathed a sigh of relief as tempers cooled and everybody took their seat, luckily for her the hood kept her features hidden so nobody would exactly notice and more importantly with everybody seated at the table the projector finally flickered in to life with the image of a lush green planet with a surface marred by enormous grey cities and dirty brown work sites.

    "This is Malachord Mining World 7, those of you have been keeping up with recent events may have heard that it is currently undergoing a bout of civil unrest. My employer deemed that this was perfect cover to investigate the rumours of Precursor artifacts being uncovered at a temple belonging to some of the flora beyond one of the larger arcologies."

    With a wave of her gloved hand a red circle appeared on the projection, highlighting an area of green a (relatively) short distance away from one of the cities, and she briefly stopped as the barman returned carrying a tray dotted with drinks and a single bottle cap filled with a fruity purple liquid for Pixel, this was need to know information after all and it certainly didn't need to know.

    "Hope that's alright." It apologised "Not much call for tiny glasses."

    "Ahem." The host said pointedly

    "Leaving." And with that the barman was gone again in another hiss of white steam

    "Gaining the assistance of the rebels to act as a security force was simple enough in exchange for weapons and logistical support but three cycles ago the xenoarcheological team dispatched failed to send a scheduled progress report. This is worrying as their last report had promised the team was on the brink of something big, it will be your job ascertain their condition and if necessary secure whatever progress they have made for my employer. Do you have any question?"
    Last edited by Dodgeson; 2019-05-16 at 06:21 AM.

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