The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #301
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Quote Originally Posted by D.KnightSpider View Post
    EDF Subvocal Comm: "We've got a storm coming in fast that's of the unnatural, magically generated variety. Answers from Seaworthy and engine power might be appreciated in the near future."
    Sigh. Seems like everything is out to stop her from a moment to enjoy herself.

    Rose mentally replies on her Subvocal Comm (EDF), 'Cannot rush a miracle or you get lousy miracles. Working as efficiently as I can; I have him stable, but he's still critical.'
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  2. - Top - End - #302
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    On the way to the engine room, Love keeps an eye out for a private moment to take a few seconds to retrieve items from her bag. She hefts her heavy-duty tool kit out of her saddlebag and resumes walking to the engine room. Her hyper goggles donned. The tool box stacks balance on her back as she enters the room. The first question on her mind as she sees the fighting is where is the chief mechanic, but she sadly may know the answer to that question. The boat size may not necessity one anyway.

    She stares at the place the metal steam pipe broke off as she walks into the room. Hopefully, the ship has some emergency repair supplies (if needed). Her eyes catch on the floor were the two soldiers laid. She asks one of the ponies closest to the door, "How are we on spare parts?"

    She is listening to every pony speak though to try to gather as much information as possible.

    She waits for an answer of some kind on supplies then walks over to the engine and starts a curiously examination. She tries to enter deeper into the engine room at least. Love asks the pony closest to her, from the second group, "What do you think needs our primary focus?" Love would like to start taking the engine apart and examining it, but she can only do that if the room allows.

    She needs time to get a better read on the room. Are there leaders? Is it a leaderless mob? Do they both have valid interpretations?

    Scomm (EDF), "A magic storm? That doesn't sound good. If I knew we were going to have so many nautical happenings, I would have packed an umbrella. I'm in the engine room now. I'm working on a repair estimate."

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    Rose sets things up for her little fun. Seaworthy, swathed in bandages, comes to. Surrounded in illusory darkness, he can but look around and blink. He says nothing. His face is devoid of emotion. Save for the slow scanning of the room, no one could tell he was awake.

    ---

    "Analysis of local weather patterns," she replies to Longshot, "Indicates that fierce and sudden storms happen frequently along this stretch of water, due to the strong, magical aura of the skeleton on the ocean floor."

    ---

    "We've got plenty of spare parts," one pony spits, "For everything BUT those melted gauges and the shaft behind them. We replaced those last week. Those WERE the spare parts."

    "I am sure if we look we'll find..."

    "FIND WHAT? DID THEY SNEAK ONBOARD AND COMPLETELY MISS THE MANIFEST, HMM?"

    "And where," another pony joins in, "Are we going to find a spare MAIN DRIVE SHAFT for the port engine, hmm?"

    The griffon, for all its strength, did damage that could easily be repaired. The pipes can be taken out, replaced, and welded up. However, Love's very powerful rifle has several damaged critical components of the engine, fusing some together, melting others altogether.

    There are a few leaders, the officers. Unfortunately, they seem to be split right down the middle on what to do. There is no officer in command of everyone, though. Love recalls that the earth pony zombie had a few more stripes than anyone here.

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    "It's somewhat of a relief that there's no direct link." Longshot says. "Although it does make me wonder what the odds of our recent alternate reality observers having revived Jormungand are."

    Now there was an especially unnerving thought.

    Longshot drops back to the main deck and enters the bridge proper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    Rose sets things up for her little fun. Seaworthy, swathed in bandages, comes to. Surrounded in illusory darkness, he can but look around and blink. He says nothing. His face is devoid of emotion. Save for the slow scanning of the room, no one could tell he was awake.
    Rose leans against his bed, flashing him a little smile, bu being conservative about how much teeth to show him. "Welcome back to the living, Seaworthy," Rose greets him. She makes an adjustment to his pillow. "I overheard your captain wishing death to a Boreas. Tell me, why do you wish such harm to the admiral and this crew?"
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  6. - Top - End - #306
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    Brazen for his part makes sure all the zombie bits are gathered in one place and under his watchful eye... And under a layer of 64mm tangler after the necessary ponies get an eyeful of the remains. Didn't hurt to be sorry. scomm: "So what's the plan? Turn the ship back around? Ah don't like the idea of headin into ah storm without fully workin engines."
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    Love sets her tools down and climbs on the engine to look at the main drive shaft (in a way she knows won't damage the engine). Yeah, she cooked that one real good. Almost as bad as her first flambe. Turns out Star is right. More fire isn't always more better. It looked really awesome to say the least. It might have lost in flavor but it gained in showponyship.

    Her goggles zoom in on parts of the shaft as she inspects it. "If we can't find a spare shaft, we'll have to improvise a substitute to carry us forward. The only way to go is forward." She puts her idea on the field, "We could get a spare shaft out of the ship's super structure. We reinforce the area afterward. We'd have our substitute drive shaft with some grinding." Love looks back to see what everyone thinks about the idea.

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    The ponies turn as Longshot enters, evaluating him in an instant and determining whether or not he needs a good gunning down. He doesn't, so they ignore him.

    --

    Seaworthy's gaze snaps towards the direction of her voice and his face contorts into an unnaturally wide rictus grin. His whole body goes stiff as a board, unmoving and unbreakable. "When you have seen the things I have," he replies, "You will know what must be done."

    --

    The repair ponies slowly turn towards Love. "And where are we going to find the tools to do that?" one demands, "We don't have a forge or a metal caster! Welders and a few dinky grinders, that's all we have!"

    As for Brazen, his question assumes they can get out of the way of the storm at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    Seaworthy's gaze snaps towards the direction of her voice and his face contorts into an unnaturally wide rictus grin. His whole body goes stiff as a board, unmoving and unbreakable. "When you have seen the things I have," he replies, "You will know what must be done."
    "Oh please, how droll." Rose waves off his stupid facial contortion. She saunters away toward the darkness. Tendrils of shadow weave around her like she is passing through curtains of black. She looks back and her eyes now glow green. "We've both stared into the abyss, my little colt. I've seen it too, but when it stares back, it's different for everyone. I see you have this chaos theme going from your experience, and that's not a bad touch for your thing. But you got to get rid of the manic smiling. Leave that cliche' to Hollywood."

    She stomps her hoof and is engulfed in green flames. A moment later Rose is replaced by a female changeling with a wild purple mane held back with rubber bands. A long, fleshy scar runs down the leg formerly metal. She turns off her comm and flicks it onto the table behind her.

    "Our goals don't have to be mutually exclusive. You want death to Boreas. Well, my queen has her own target to stab in the neck. Maybe we can help each other. How about it? I've heard you... ahem had an interesting book with you earlier. Will you tell me about it if I retrieve it for you? Come now, I may be a changeling, but I can cooperate with the best and the worst of them. It's all about the Win-Win."

    She conjures up an image of Queen Chrysalis and then bows. The image grins and bows (much less so) as if nodding approval.

    "I admit that in the past I've been a nasty
    They weren't kidding when they called me, well, a witch
    But you'll find that nowadays
    I've mended all my ways
    Repented, seen the light, and made a switch
    To this
    And I fortunately know a little magic
    It's a talent that I always have possessed
    And Seaworthy, please don't laugh
    I use it on behalf
    Of the subservant, the broken, and repressed!
    "

    She looks over to the bag of bugbots under the towel. She rolls her eyes and throws another towel. "Pathetic." In a flash the changeling teleports over to Seaworthy's bed.

    "Poor unfortunate souls!
    In pain, in need
    This one longing to stop the bleed
    That one wants to end the pain
    And do I help them?
    Yes, indeed
    Those poor unfortunate souls!
    So sad, so true
    They come flocking to my table
    Crying, 'Help, Zazy, please!'
    And I help them
    Yes I do.
    "

    She conjures an illusion of a stallion in the likeness of Wire.

    "Now it's happened once or twice
    Someone couldn't pay the price
    And I'm afraid I had to rake 'em 'cross the coals
    Yes I've had the odd complaint
    But on the whole I've been a saint
    To those poor unfortunate souls!
    "

    She stabs the illusion in the neck and it poofs out of existence. The changeling then parts some of the darkness to reveal a mirror. In it her reflection, but the reflection has a life of it's own and discusses with her.

    "Have we got a deal?"
    "If we work with Worthy, weíll have to deal with dreadful chaos wild magic."
    "But I have my ways."
    "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?"
    "Oh, and there is one more thing
    We haven't discussed the subject of payment.
    "
    "But he won't have--"
    "Iím not asking much, just a token really, a trifle
    What I want from you is your mind.
    "
    "But without his brain, how can he--"
    "I just need his words; heíll answer to me
    And don't underestimate the importance of body language, ha!
    "

    The shadows reclaim the missor as she pirouettes over back to Seaworthy. The mare leans over him with bedroom eyes for a moment.

    "The squad up there donít like interrogation
    They think a mare who tortures is a bore
    Yet with me it's much preferred for villains to confess their sins
    And after all dear, what is honest penance for?
    Come on, weíre not all that impressed with indignation
    True gentlecolts avoid it when they know
    But youíll bleed and scream and die
    On my table if you try to lie
    Itís he who gives the truth who gets to go!
    "

    "Come on you poor unfortunate soul
    Go ahead
    Make your choice
    I'm a very busy pony and I haven't got all day
    It won't cost much
    Just the truth!
    You poor unfortunate soul
    It's sad but true
    If you want to cross the bridge, my dear
    You've got the pay the toll
    Take a gulp and take a breath
    And go ahead and earn parole
    For hive and queen, now I've got you, colt
    Zazy is on a roll!
    This poor! unfortunate! soul!
    "

    With a jump to her hooves and a heavy stomp, the disguise of Rose springs up from green flames. She takes a bow and then leans at the edge of the bed. "So, then," she says, clearing her throat. "Return your book for some knowledge on your magic? What do you say, my little one?"
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  10. - Top - End - #310
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Seeing as how Twilight AI has no opinions on Jormungand, Longshot lets her go. He sends a Subvocal EDF Comm.: "Unsure, Brazen. We're not calling the shots so it's up to the Admiral. I'll report when I know more."

    Longshot raises his armor's faceplate and approaches the Admiral. He stops at a respectful distance and prepares for a long, long wait before said Admiral addresses him.

    He gets the distinct feeling that there's a musical number transpiring somewhere nearby? That's both new, weird and very disturbing.

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    Love keeps standing on the engine. "I've brought an extra tool set, a monosword, and a strong leg behind it. We'll find what what we need and work with what we've got on claw and hoof." She firmly says, "There is a large storm approaching the ship. We have to act together. Everyone on this ship is counting on us to get us moving along again." She says with confidence, "We'll get more people to pitch in and help us. I know we can do this! Even if I have to polish the drive with my coat, we're going to get this ship running again!"

    Scomm (EDF), "No updates here."

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    Something...happens in Seaworthy as she sings. He frowns at first, but then a bemused expression takes its place. It grows steadily more and more interested as time goes on. "So," he says in the silence that follows her performance, "You wish to know what I do? But of course. Our knowledge is given freely to those who show true interest."

    ---

    And Longshot does wait a while. Quite a while. The primary concern right now seems to be the fact that all communications with the mainland are inoperable, though the equipment seems functional. But in the end, the Admiral turns to him when there is a lull in the activity, brief though it is. "Yes?" he says, voice not rude but demanding that Longshot be quick and to the point.

    ---

    Love's speech, while not enough to cause a dramatic reversal of opinion and new wave of optimism, is enough to spur the engineers to action. They begin working together with her to fix the engine. First, they focus on repairing the one that is only lightly damaged before working on the second one that Love melted. Soon, the ship is at least chugging along at a slow pace.

    Unfortunately, the storm is headed for the mainland, though it the edge is still primed to hit them. They will have to press forward.

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    Salute.

    "Sir Longshot Scope of the Equestrian Defense Force, sir. I'm reaffirming our intention to aid you, checking in for any further instructions and offering a comprehensive report of our involvement in the recent battle at your convenience."

    Hopefully, that was sufficiently quick and to the point.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    "You wish to know what I do? But of course. Our knowledge is given freely to those who show true interest."
    (this is the part where I hope Love's bugbots are still paying attention, assuming that the weren't defeated by a pair of towels)


    'Rose' dismisses her darkness and straightens up her looks. She sits attentively besides Seaworthy. "I must be curious here. I have not heard of your group yet, though I suspect that being from the deserts of the far south, I am lacking in what the local activity is all about. Please, do go on."
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    A drop of sweat drips off Love's nose. Her hoof precisely turning a screwdriver in the control box. Everything she has worked on seems to dance and bend under its own power. The last screw is no different. She touches it into place, then the screw slots itself and hugs firmly as if magnetized. It turns a rotation before she touches it again.

    Love reports her progress over Scomm (EDF).

    Spoiler: Rolls
    Show
    Motivation
    (3d6)[8] vs 18 (Public Speaking) +4 (Charisma p. 41) +2? (Relevant Skill p. 495) +1? (Computer Wizard p. 89) +1? (Merchant p. 209) +2? (Wealth (Multimillionaire 1) p. 26) +1? (Reputation (EDF) p. 27) +1? (Rank (Lieutenant) p. 29) +/- Other(s)

    Management
    (3d6)[10] vs 16 (Leadership)

    Engine Schematic
    (3d6)[15]

    First Engine
    (3d6)[5] vs 24 = 17 (Mechanic (Ship)) +2 (Software) +5 (Tool)

    Super Structure
    (3d6)[7] vs 24 = 17 (Mechanic (Ship)) +2 (Software) +5 (Tool)

    Second Engine
    (3d6)[8] vs 24 = 17 (Mechanic (Ship)) +2 (Software) +5 (Tool)

    Engineer Influence x6?
    (3d6)[12]
    (3d6)[11]
    (3d6)[11]
    (3d6)[11]
    (3d6)[14]
    (3d6)[15]
    vs 16 (Diplomacy) +4 (Charisma p. 41) +2? (Relevant Skill p. 495) +1? (Computer Wizard p. 89) +1? (Merchant p. 209) +2? (Wealth (Multimillionaire 1) p. 26) +1? (Reputation (EDF) p. 27) +1? (Rank (Lieutenant) p. 29) +/- Other(s)
    Last edited by Elbeyon; 2019-06-27 at 04:17 PM.

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    "If we waited for convenience, we'd never get anything done," the Admiral says, "Full report, quick as you can."

    Longshot has his almost undivided attention for now.

    ----

    "We are the Children of the Screaming," Seaworthy says, "When Chaos and Order clash, there are two options. One is..." His face twists. "Harmony. The other is the Scream. We hold the powers of Chaos and Order, using both as we will and watching them tear at each other."

    ----

    Love's work plugs away, managing the teams, pulling things together. Just under the wire, she pulls it off and gets the second engine online. The ship plunges ahead, jumping from wave to ever larger wave. However, it will outpace the worst of the storm and make it to the island's docks in time.

  17. - Top - End - #317
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    Love cheers as the second engine comes online! The screwdriver quickly gets put away. She grabs the two nearest people next to her and tries to pull them into a hug. Her hoofs wobble across the rocking floor, not exactly used to turbulent waters. She hasn't even been drinking yet! It reminds her a little the first time she took off to space in the Thunderbird. "Listen to that beautiful hum! We put lit a fire under her britches! We finished right on time too!" A larger wave nearly sends her off her balance.

    Scomm (EDF), "All engines are online. Repairs are done! She was a tough nut to crack. We have a good team down here."

    Love looks to one of the people in her hoofs. Her hood off so she can see easier to her side. She asks, "What's next? Are you hungry?"
    Last edited by Elbeyon; 2019-06-27 at 08:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    "We are the Children of the Screaming," Seaworthy says, "When Chaos and Order clash, there are two options. One is..." His face twists. "Harmony. The other is the Scream. We hold the powers of Chaos and Order, using both as we will and watching them tear at each other."
    "Well, that just sounds like anarchy," Rose comments after listening to his explanation. "My home speaks in one voice and holds one goal. What does..."

    She takes a moment to formulate her question. "What is the goal of the Children to have chaos and order tear at each other?"
    Last edited by DigoDragon; 2019-06-27 at 09:16 PM.
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    The request for speed is answered with concise responses: After finishing their debrief with Arm And Hammer Aurum and Hammer, they were driven to the docks where Seaworthy escorted them to a private meeting with the Captain. The Captain asked them to help flush out a spy by delivering a package. Upon accepting the request, they had been ushered out of the room quickly. Investigation of the package revealed a bomb.

    The bomb changed the dynamic. Longshot intercepted the Captain at boarding. Pressing the issue resulted in an order to cooperate or swim to the island. Longshot agreed to continue the operation but forewarned the Captain not to scapegoat them. Precautions had been taken to check the Captain for magical influence or changeling replacement. All tests came back negative.

    In the end, the only way to establish the truth was to play along with the game. Their precautions tipped them off that Captain and the secretary were preparing to ingest air potions when Longshot and Rose launched their assaults. Seaworthy slipped away to the engine room where he killed two crewmen and unleashed the power of a forbidden tome. (Said tome is now safely in EDF possession.) The tomb turned his victims into zombies and brought beings of chaos from alternate realities to this one.

    While Love defeated one of the zombie ponies, Longshot attempted to apprehend the secretary. His attempts to dispel her air spell resulted in her being exposed to the chaos energies and mutating into some sort of chaos creature which was promptly snatched to the other realm. Longshot returned to the ship and assisted Brazen with killing the second zombie. Love captured Seaworthy.

    Since then, Rose has been treating Seaworthy and interrogating him. Love has been repairing the engines while Brazen stands watch over the remains of the dead crewman just in case.

    "To the best of our understanding, that is the most recent explanation of current events, Sir." Longshot concludes.

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    There is a short celebration after the work is done as the assembled ponies cheer. They are eager to eat something, though, and begin to split off into groups, rotating in and out so that the engine is never unattended.

    ----

    "The Children follow the natural path for many reasons," Seaworthy replies smugly, "Our cause welcomes all. Our group seeks to end the false worship of a dead god and promote ours, the god of the Screaming, in his place. And he welcomes all comers."

    ----

    The Admiral's face is grim. "Double the guard on the brig," he orders one of his subordinates, "Don't let my dear...well. I guess blood or not, he's no relation of mine now. Don't let the traitor escape."

    He nods to Longshot. "We will be arriving at our destination within the hour."

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    "Understood, sir. We'll be back under cover before our arrival."

    Subvocal EDF Comm: Status update: We're arriving on the island within the hour, best get on the game faces. General note: the ship is unable to communicate with the mainland although the problem doesn't appear to be on our end. Deep breath. "I've attempted to contact Star twice without a response."

    If the Admiral dismisses him, Longshot will dismiss his armor and head toward the brig. Otherwise, he'll wait for further instructions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    "The Children follow the natural path for many reasons," Seaworthy replies smugly, "Our cause welcomes all. Our group seeks to end the false worship of a dead god and promote ours, the god of the Screaming, in his place. And he welcomes all comers."
    The only thing worse than a cult is a cult with an open-door policy.

    "Well, it is an intriguing offer, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. You'll want that book back and I think I know where they're hiding it," Rose tells him in confidence. "Before I go, any warnings I should know about it? I assume don't open and read the thing, but besides that?"
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    Scomm (EDF), "Copy. I'll look into communications."

    There is something wrong with communications? Love asks her new friends to point her toward the comms, and she heads off that way.

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    The Admiral does dismiss Longshot and he heads off to the brig. Two guards stand outside the room, armed with assault rifles and wearing full body armor. Their eyes lock onto Longshot, but they recognize him and they don't prevent his approach.

    ---

    "Don't read it. Don't open it," Seaworthy warns, "Your mind is not ready to look upon that. However, it will not harm you from merely handling it."

    ---

    Love goes to the communication device and finds a few frustrated crew members checking over every single connection in the panel, looking for any sort of short or other wire that might be causing the malfunction. They are not finding any.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    It looked like he was becoming recognizable around here. Since the alternative was getting shot, he was alright with that development.

    Longshot nods and addresses the soldiers by the appropriate rank.

    "And how's the former captain? Has he woken yet?"

  26. - Top - End - #326
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    "Very well," Rose tells Seaworthy. "I should check in with those ponies before they start to wonder what I'm faffing about. Jarheads. They don't understand healing is a slow and precise science."

    She gets up and paces for a moment. "Anyway, do you have anything further before I take my leave?"
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  27. - Top - End - #327
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Love takes a moment to talk to the workers and catch up on what's happening. She has an idea to try a secondary radio to see if the first radio is the weak link. She needs to go outside and on the roof to set up her radio? Love will see if she can re-establish contact that way.

    Spoiler: Roll
    Show
    Should I roll comms?

    Idk, I feel like spamming influence rolls on the nameless crew.

    Comm pony Influence x6?
    (3d6)[14]
    (3d6)[12]
    (3d6)[8]
    (3d6)[9]
    (3d6)[6]
    (3d6)[16]
    vs 16 (Diplomacy) +4 (Charisma p. 41) +2? (Relevant Skill p. 495) +1? (Computer Wizard p. 89) +1? (Merchant p. 209) +2? (Wealth (Multimillionaire 1) p. 26) +1? (Reputation (EDF) p. 27) +1? (Rank (Lieutenant) p. 29) +/- Other(s)

  28. - Top - End - #328
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    "Not yet, sir," the guard says, "Or he could be faking. We have orders not to interact with him and, if he speaks, ignore him. The Admiral has ordered it so, sir."

    --

    "If you give me my book," Seaworthy says carefully, "I can make all this...go away. Chaos is a very mutable force. It takes more will than order and formulaic magic, but is so much more flexible."

    --

    Love's radio established contact with the ship's with no problem. The malfunction does not seem to be on the ship's end. However, this does mean that there are no messages coming from the mainland. Or anywhere else for that matter. It seems they might have entered a dead zone.

  29. - Top - End - #329
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Scomm (EDF), "The radios are fine. It must be the storm."

    Love will work with the comm ponies so they can confirm the situation. Their radio is working at least enough to contact Love's radio. She isn't getting any messages from anywhere either. Love will test to see how far she can bounce a signal back at herself and test the if she can escape the nearest edge of the storm (not that the results probably matter).

    She will probably pack up her personal radio and look out at the deck/storm. She looks up at the magic(?) storm. She wonders who/what made it? She checks her databases to see if there is any information on similar occurrences. She orders some BugBots under water on the underside of the boat so she can stare down into the dark ocean. She gathers drops of water on her hoof and examines them with Know True Shape. She might as well try the old standard illusion method and try to will the storm away?

    Her next stop is probably down below to eat.

    Spoiler: Roll
    Show
    Know True Shape
    (3d6)[11]

    Storm
    (3d6)[9] vs 18 = 16 (Research) +2 (Software)

    Willpower
    (3d6)[8] vs 13 (Willpower)
    Last edited by Elbeyon; 2019-06-28 at 04:30 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #330
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Comrades in Arms

    Rose squeaks out a giggle. "Sounds like a fun time. Alright, gonna work my brand of magic."

    She gets her comm and steps out of the room for a bit.

    Outside, she turns on her comm and Silent Comm (EDF), 'Seaworthy is conscious and talkative. Which one of you has the book? I need to stab you in the back and bring Worthy back that tome so he can finish off the ship.'
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