Previous Thread:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/36618854/Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Joker%20QuestEquipment FAQ:http://pastebin.com/8L5vbXAgPlayer List:http://pastebin.com/rRSM6LgWEpisode Guide (All credit to Watashiwa):http://pastebin.com/DNGtTt04Yui IF scene (Adult content):http://pastebin.com/8CSEVSXBTwitter: https://twitter.com/JokerQuestOPRecap: You are ANON, the RED JOKER. In our last installment, you battled BISHAMON in UZUME'S DEMENSE - Only to find him at the very heart of the HYADES' realm.
>>36755958HOLLOW SUN: 2.5%http://pastebin.com/yNqFkgMZRESEARCH:[X] POSITRON LANCE[X] DISTORTION CANNON[X] REACTIVE PLATING[X] FIRMWARE UPGRADE[X] RESEARCH: SUPERHEAVY CHASSIS[X] ARC CHARGER[X] CHOIR BEACON[X] GRAVIMETRIC NEXUS[X] VECTOR TRAPVOID ANCHORS:ORIGINAL HIVETHE TRIBUNALNARAKATHE VAULTTUSITAHOLDING: 0 (VECTOR GEIST: 1)RED COMET GUIDE:http://pastebin.com/LJAfQmXy
Oh boy! Jokerquest at a reasonable time!
>>36756063Huh?It's at the same time as always.
Beneath the high roof of the chamber, small emerald sparks dance. Like fireflies, like witchlight. Before you, across the broad, open floor - Across gleaming black tiles, polished to mirror-brightness - Bishamon stands. The cold flutes of rising columns drink in the twitching, smoldering light of the torches, each one crowned with flickering green flame. And behind him - Beyond that - the great seal, a tympanum symbol of odd abstracts twists and warped proportions, so heavy that it distorts the space around it. It is, as much as a Hyades can make anything, invincible; formed from the same substance as the striated pillars that span the length of the hall, that lend it a dark, oiled sheen. Everything is in shadow, in the twilight of a greenish cast; the structural angles and edges too straight, too regular, with a strict harshness of function over form - Lacking the softer curves, the artistry, you might have vaguely glimpsed in the shaping of the demense. It is a place that looks like - that is meant to - last forever. And as for you- Even persistent worlds must end. There is, ultimately, always a good-bye.Right, Uzume?"Joker-"The echo of Bishamon's words linger, in the stillness. The screech of his swords slicing their way free from the stone - the hard-edge chime they make - is low and painful, like rushing air across the parapets of a high, lonely tower, a rising squall. The blades snarls to life in his hands; He squeezes the hilts until their hums match his memory, buzzing as their edges catch the fierce, hard-edged light. It is the hour of battle. Outside, the clouds swell until they swallow the red sky, and a darkness falls upon the castle; thunder rumbles, with a growl like distant turbines. The rest of the Demense is fading, growing dark - Drawing power to the last fight. The fight that matters. "-I won't let you take *her*, too." You face each other in the infinite now.(Continued)
Evening OP, how was your week?
>>36756124A faint hum of vernier thrusters issues from Bishamon's armor - Threads of superheated air oozing from his back, bleeding twisting strands of vapor. Sixty yards away, across the narrow space, flanked by torches on either side - You can the razor edge of his focus, an intensity that makes the flames gutter as if in a strong wind. Bishamon's sword sweeps down and to his left in the fencer's salute. In his other hand, the Apex Blade lifts - swiftly but without head - above his head, the glow of reflected fire smoldering within. His right foot swings forward in one long step- HP: 192.3%COBALT BOOSTER: 30%ASSAULT SHROUD: 3.5%METER: 26%YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>36756194Switch on Aquila. Do a scan and get an Argus lock. Unwrap the Gauntlet of Midas and switch it to Talon mode. Give him a shot from the Tau Gun, Cobalt Boost the Immolator and fire the alt mode. Sinistral 2.When he attempts to close give him a Tyrant Burst 2. Haven't used that in a while, might surprise him. Draw and emulate the Condemner for next round."You told me to make a choice Bishamon. I have. What I do now, I do for love."
>>36756124Weird. It started at 11 for me before.
>>36756298(Gentlemen, it seems to be a slow night. I'll just give it a few more minutes before I start writing.)
>>36756261I guess that's better than what I had brainstormed.Just remember guys: We have a NIHL charge and can use it for codebursts.
>>36756261Should we use the Carnifex, considering that we need more reaction time in close quarters?And why the Talon? Tau isn't exactly a heavy weapon.
>>36756261>>36756194I'm fine with that.
>>36756439>>36756440Kind of annoyed Bish is back at full and we're tapped of some of our resources.
>>36756261>What I do now, I do for love.No. This is just horrendous and not actually true.
>>36756464I think he's just making a confusion play.
>>36756481Wata is just taking his chance to make Joker make a love declaration when it's really unnecessary. He's been trying to do that for a while now.
>>36756464Come on, Anon. We've been lusting after Bishamon's dick for threads now.
>>36756439Any amount of extra armor is less system damage we take, and he can probably still outperform Joker. Dude outfought Joker with one hand. Time to fight towards Joker's strengths and not his.The Tau IS a heavy weapon, but like the Revolve Bazooka it can be fired with one hand. Takes an accuracy penalty, which is really bad for this kind of weapon. >>36756461We have some tricks in reserve. The grips, Scrander lightning, boosted dual Condemner are all attacks he has no defense against. Slake can deflect attacks (once, because there's no way retaliation strikes won't shatter them). Then there's Codebursts. I don't think he'll like Nihl charged swarm, much less Dictum if it comes at a proper moment.>>36756464Not of Cybele, for certain. I'm really just trying to get a willpower advantage on him. Make him afraid and he'll stop fighting like a samurai.
>>36756440>>36756261>>36756425The Tempest Scrander hums to life at your back, crackling with fitful energies - The Argus sensor chiming, hunting for a lock, your targeting reticule settling into place...The Tau Gun is in your right fist, the Immolator in your left. The Talon's suspensors engage within your gleaming golden arm, as you level both guns at him- He moves- You fire. The tracing beam slices across the distance, a heartbeat before the blurring distortion of the antimatter round; Cold threads of Cobalt Booster energy flare, as the Immolator's muzzle erupts in hailing blue bolts, rounds that streak across the distance and expand into concussive fireballs, each hollow, plosive *bang* like an artillery shell, the echoes punishingly loud in the narrow space- Bishamon vanishes. He doesn't evade, or dodge - He is simply there, then not. It is as if the fluid darkness has swallowed him up, defying the light - Making him a shadow against a shadow, speeding across the black tiles- You glimpse the long, straight blow of his sword- In a single stride - In a single violent motion that warps space - he is within one step of you, the sword coming down at your head as his weight falls forward, carrying the stroke all the way down. Your right arm comes up; The Apex Blade takes the blow, as you deflect it overhand, the impact ringing out with a racing chime of metal-on-metal. Fat sparks fly, a tooth-grinding screech echoing in the air as his blade carves along your golden arm, failing to find purchase. The other sword stabs at you- The Sinistral flares to life. You're already turning, the ghost-steel shield expanding into a flaring wedge; Bishamon's sharply curving sword pistons towards you in a lethal driving blow, as you - somehow - turn the Sinistral to intercept- (Continued)
>>36756526Already used Dictum and Slake. He knows how those work now. Grips is true, Condemner won't surprise him because he has both hands again...
>>36756526He hasn't been fighting like a samurai from the start. And I think it would be a better move to quote Regios right now. Bishamon isn't really fighting for love, but because he wants to prove to himself that he has worth and is not a useless coward.Proving that there are people that genuinely admire him might really kick him off-balance.
>>36756526>The Tau IS a heavy weapon, but like the Revolve Bazooka it can be fired with one hand. Takes an accuracy penalty, which is really bad for this kind of weapon.So we've had one hand tied behind our backs all this time that we used the Tau?That's hilarious.
>>36756534>In a single stride - In a single violent motion that warps space - he is within one step of you,Exploding Carnifex would hurt him a bit here.Likely not worth it, though.
>>36756539He's seen the sword mode, not the gun, much less the armor piercing one-shot cannon it hides. Dictum works best as a surprise, so the right word at the right time is what makes the difference. It is possible to get another use of it, but he'll need to be distracted.>>36756554This is a godforsaken mess of love, mind control, indecision/fear, determination, hero complexes and idiocy and it's all centered around his Hyades. And none of it has broken his concentration in the moment. He IS acting like a proper samurai in that he's not letting his concerns get the better of him. Right this moment Uzume is his biggest emotional lever, even more than his friends (who he's already tried to leave behind twice). Push that hard enough and he'll berserk, which will make him a lot scarier but also will make an opening.Or we could just cut off a leg. Kendo's fucking hard when you only have one.>>36756564Yep.
>>36756534Your shield shatters. Sharp chips of shield segment fly into the air, for a microsecond after the thunderous blow - It cracks and breaks with the sound of smashing glass, the energy shell splintering into a million pieces. Your last shot lances past Bishamon, so close the heat makes his armor smoke at the passage - The deafening thunderclap of the explosion blossoming against the ceiling, the entire chamber shaking at the concussive blast.You bang aside the rising sword blade with the back of your left hand; At this close, point-blank, there's no room to fire your heavy weapons. You're going to have to take him inside - His sword work is hideously inventive, slicing in from every direction at once as you ward his blows in the split-second it takes for your Tyrant Burst system to charge- > "You told me to make a choice Bishamon. I have. What I do now, I do for love.""You're-"You have to give ground. Despite the nuance of your grip, the rotating blade slices into your Tau Gun; A brittle fizzle, a spray of sparks flickers as the mass of the weapon judders in your hand - Becoming dead metal, becoming heavy and lifeless, as you smash your right hand in and catch Bishamon across the side of the head. What remains of the Nova Cannon splinters, but there's enough weight in the punch to stagger him backwards - His second sword punches into your cuirass, gouging through the overlapping layers of armor with a shriek of tortured metal- "-*lying*, Joker!" The Immolator comes up, the Sinistral fighting to recohere - The percussive clash of swords ringing through the gloom. More sparks shoot out, bright and brief, as if his swords are made of flint; Head vulcans flare, his shells hammering out a volley that punches into your cuirass, scarring the metal as red warnings flicker to life on your HUD...(Continued)
>>36756634-And then the Tyrant Burst system erupts into a point-blank detonation of photonic light, a scattershot blast that fans out in a cone of fragmented illumination; It sears into Bishamon, as he reels back - But not before his sword sweeps across again, and you wrench away from a blow meant to take your head. The hiss of the peerless edge slicing the air merges with the shriek of rending metal, a lightning-quick slash shearing along the forearm casings of your left arm- Your Plasma Vulcan takes the hit. So does your Axel Grip. When Bishamon's sword rips free, coolant gushes from the searing line of his blade, his restored armor smoldering with point-blank impacts."You don't - *care* - about anyone!" he hisses, low and lethal - "It doesn't mean anything to you - *Cybele* doesn't mean anything to you!" His blades form a shimmering cross - And when they hiss apart, his verniers flaring in brilliant forks of white fire - a rippling distortion slices towards you; Broad strokes, intersecting lines, an all-bisecting 'X' that shears through a pillar, carving through space in twin hissing furrows. "-But it does to *me*!"- TAU GUN DESTROYED- PLASMA VULCAN (LEFT ARM) DAMAGED- AXEL GRIPS (LEFT ARM) DESTROYEDHP: 165.5%COBALT BOOSTER: 8%ASSAULT SHROUD: 1.2%METER: 33%TIER 2 WEAPONRY UNLOCKEDYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>36756643"Wrong. I care plenty. I wouldn't be trying to get you alive if I didn't care. I'm trying to save you, the Tri-Stars and as many people as possible.And yes, I care about Cybele, even if not in the way that you care about your Hyades. My care isn't enforced by Red World magic.However, I can't save everyone."Carnifex, Axel Grip his legs, Abruption Jet dual Crisis punch, attack with lvl 2 Sinistral, NIHL Dictum FREEZE, Athame...I bet that this chain of attacks will be countered by a critical hit.
>>36756705Fortunately you posted just as I finished. Seconded.
>>36756643You know what, fuck it. Exec_Rend, pay with Nihl. Step through the attack and punch him with both Crisis Arms. Heal up just the Grip and cut at his legs with both of those."How convenient for you. You utter child, if you cared at all you'd take responsibility for your own choices, not foist them on someone who 'doesn't care'.">>36756705Eeeeeeh no. Too much words not important to the situation at hand. And no Carnifex, he's already cutting at Joker like a turkey, we can't afford the armor and HP loss.
>>36756740Drop the child bit, though.
>>36756643"I care about a lot of things, Bishamon, or I wouldn't be here otherwise. I care about my friends, I care about my allies, I care about the future, I care about what the Red Joker left me, I care about the one who saved my life. But there is a limit to how much I can do, so I'll do what I can and follow my predecessor's mantra:"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. And without survival, there are no second chances.""Let me show you how much I care by giving you a second chance, Bishamon."
>>36756740>Too much words not important to the situation at hand.Why? It refutes his point exactly.Sometimes I just want to channel Imagine Breaker.
>>36756705The Assault Shroud is in tatters - The slicing wave lashes across you, ploughing through the fragile shield of nanofiber, the shearing force of one bisecting arc running out harmlessly under your right arm...The other one slashes across your faceplate, and rips it in two. Half your view goes dark; You lurch back, and crash into the nearest pillar, half-rebounding from it. The crest of your helm is sheared off, peeled cleanly away, and it crashes to the ground with a juddering clang - Severed wires still sprouting from the inner surface. Your sensors reel, dancing with ghost-images, trying to compensate for the injury- As Bishamon's foot comes down hard on it, crunching over armor fragments to get at you. You need - You just need a *moment*- Your right arm comes up, and the Axel Grip spears light at him. The beam is a sizzling scalpel, the surge of intention sending shearing force lancing across the chamber; Bishamon has to hurl himself aside as it slices down the length of the hall, carving indiscriminately through torches and pillars- Stone grinds, as a support column slides apart, sheared at an oblique angle; It hits the ground with an impact that makes the ground judder, that splinters the floor to shards beneath it. As the thunderclap of the colossal fall dies away, Bishamon vaults the column with a flare of thrusters - He comes down, the motion smooth and proficient, green fire lending a hellish cast to the scene as it pools against the ground- He's too slow. (Continued)
>>36756758It was originally coward, if it helps, but sure.>>36756766>Sometimes I just want to channel Imagine Breaker.I definitely get that. But I don't think the setting is particularly welcoming to that kind of breaking speech. If we could sit down to explain what we know and what we plan (and not be overheard by scary desperate ladies) we'd have a chance. But he's not in the mood to listen in the here and now.
>>36756823I think "I care about you" should give him at least slight pause.
>>36756831Be nice if it did. I don't think he's in the mood to believe it though.
>>36756834He might be offended at the implication that we are holding back, though.Something along the line of considering us a coward.
>>36756808The Carnifex snaps into place over the ruin of your faceplate; The crusher descending, silver filaments lancing into the nerve-connections and solenoids. Enhancing you - *Accelerating* you, as the layered armor of your limbs expand into new configurations- And with the plosive bang of detonating bolts, the air fills with a hail of ablative shards. They *clang* from Bishamon's descending form, impact after clattering impact - His swords sweep them away, shearing them into a dozen pieces, a relentless blitz that slices them apart before they can even hit the ground...-Then you barrel through the smoke, Abruption Jets blazing. The Emulator Module blazes at the base of your endosteel spine, your crimson figure raw, skeletal; Your right fist driving at Bishamon in a tank-wrecking punch, accrued acceleration rings heralding first and final impact...When it hits the Apex Blade, the aftershock ripples down the chamber, and rips chunks of stone from the rising columns. There is immense strength behind the blow, an immense force he - impossibly - deflects; Cracks skittering through his right arm, wrist servoes smoking from the strain. "Nnnn-" A wordless hiss of effort- But Bishamon's instinct is to attack, always attack - And his sword moves like a blur, in a single ripping cut. The keen edge slashes up, from left hip to throat; A slash meant to cleave you cleanly in half, to divide you along the line of the sword wound- The Nihl Sphere sheds a crazing violet light-You..*flicker*. The blade goes *through* you: It passes through your form without resistance, like a ghost. (Continued)
>>36756855That's Iron Ogre. Bishamon's feelings would be slightly more complicated. Which... actually is all the more reason to do it. Huh, thanks anon.
>>36756868>You..*flicker*. The blade goes *through* you: It passes through your form without resistance, like a ghost.I wonder how many schoolgirls we just killed.
>>36756892I'm actually questioning if any Players actually die during the tournament. Dozens of Players should have died and yet no one seems to have raised a fuss in the Real
>>36756868"-what-"And your left fist, the Crisis Arm coalescing, hits him like a battering ram. Somehow, dazzlingly, his sword lashes out in a hasty chop - Shearing against the surface, with a screech that sends ripples of fire racing across the superdense alloy, that completes the ruin of your Plasma Vulcan as the forearm casing is sliced *entirely* off...There is a sharp sound. A sudden, wet *crack*. Your first crunches through plate, through myomer muscle, through endosteel ribs. Blunt force trauma: The *snap* of the impact is a miniature sonic boom, one your accelerated sensors can glimpse in slow motion - You can actually *see* the bow-wave of the impact expanding from Bishamon's form, sweeping outwards: It makes streamers of dust bleed from the ceiling, snatches up the shreds of your armor in a whirring echo, sends flaws skittering across the ground and across the face of the great seal...It snatches him away. He is, abruptly - without warning - gone. The impact is cataclysmic; The recoil shivers apart the pillars on either side, but the main force has Bishamon in its grip. It flings him away, a dozen meters - more - the echoes of the sledgehammer blow pealing in the confined space as his sword spills from his grip: Steaming, it lands on the stone floor with a *clang* that is quite eclipsed by Bishamon's ruinous collision with the great seal- He goes into it. *Through* it.(Continued)
>>36756916We know one Player who can inhabit empty bodies and a Hyades with a taste for bringing the dead back to life. We have a problem.>>36756918Holy shit, did not expect. Was that a crit?I'm real tempted to end the Hyades battles the same way Bishamon opened them. We'll need the Apex Blade though.
>>36756918>He goes into it. *Through* it.Now THAT is what I call a dynamic entry.I wonder if this gives us time to heal a bit.We are building up shittons of meter.
>>36756953Also gives us a chance to prevent using Athame and hit Uzume directly.
>>36756963Bishamon would then kill us.We need the Athame to remove his brainwashing.
>>36756918His left leg comes off. His lacquered breastplate shatters - The Crisis Arm's imprint forming a great cratering scoop in his armor, like a meteor impact - an impact that sends spiderweb cracks flawing across the surface, as he hit the ground and crosses it on his back. In a word: WHAMThe blast transcends sound. Two seconds pass - two more - before the final convulsion dies away, the whirring shreds of the great seal clattering to the ground; The fresco tumbling apart, serenely, a collapsing building in slow motion. You hear the screech of his armor's edges raking against the ground, shedding debris, as he lands with a bone-jarring crunch and tumbles for twenty or thiry meters as the echoes begin to die away. At last - after what seems like a long, long time - a fitful silence descends. HP: 110.3%COBALT BOOSTER: 20%ASSAULT SHROUD: 0.0%METER: 52%YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>36756918Damn, I was afraid that we punched through Bish for a moment there.Need to charge up the Nihil Sphere later, though. I'm not comfortable with it not being at full charge at this point of the Quest.
>>36756981The brainwashing will go away without the Athame anyway if she dies, I think.
>>36756994Use the Athame.
Alright, back. hoooly shit that was tense. Keep pummeling him with the crisis arms.Alt:  Load the athame as a bullet to one of our guns and fire it at Bishamon.No particular reason for that second one other than it sounds cool, even if it's dumb.
>>36757005It wouldn't even work.
>>36756994Pick up his sword and go after Uzume. Maybe an Argus scan?Oh, repair the eye.>>36757005Think you missed the bus.
>>36756981There's the possibility that the brainwashing will wear off if Uzume dies. I'd rather at least find out rather than use Athame right off the bat, since it's single use only.
>>36757017Why? Is Bishi dead now?
>>36757001>>36757018Wata, what did Hellebore say again?Also, heal while moving. We have the Meter to do it.
>>36757025Probably not, but I doubt he'll survive if we keep punching him with the Crisis Arm. He's not nearly as durable as Rust Kaiser or Bomberman.
>>36757025Punched into next week. If he were dead Cybele would be taking possession of the demense. Also most weapons come pre-loaded, I don't think we can introduce outside ammo to any of our current weapons.>>36757029>what did Hellebore say again?About?And use booster, it regenerates while in use.
>>36756994Argus scan to see if Uzume is nearby.Maybe use plasma caster to disable Bishamon's arms while he's down?
>>36757041>About?We asked her if the Athame was necessary to remove the brainwashing.I'm trying to re-read that portion right now.
>>36757041 This is why I wanted the revolvers, tbh
>>36757041Follow the quote chain moron.
>>36756994Use the athameNo hesitation, don't stand on ceremony or go for drama, just close and stab him with it before he has a chance to get his bearings.
>>36757059>>36757066Well, she said that it would remove the bond painlessly, but didn't say anything about what the partner dying would be like. If I had to guess it's the difference between a clean break and taking a rusty chainsaw to it, given her reaction to breaking her own bond. Maybe it'd feel like a phantom limb? Or what's his face from Pacific Rim, who feels his brother die when the kaiju eats Gipsy Danger.
>>36757103>"'Kill' a Hyades?" Hellebore's voice is gently reprimanding. "-We can't die, you know. Not normally. The body is only a shell." And an aside, almost to herself - "...But we'll prefer to avoid the pain."...Do we need to fire the Quantum Singularity Cannon at the demense?
Guys! Nihl sphere?>>36755645
>>36757122Shit, that's uncanny.
>>36756994Heal up, then go disable Bish's limbs if he's not already, and take any of his weapons.Let's go find his Hyades and end this. Save the Athame, I have a feeling we'll need it later. Maybe against another Hyades, an undying player, or Black cardinal.
>>36757114The athame is the exception. Strike their heart with the intention to kill and they die. And they die when their demense is overwritten, I recall. You don't need a black hole to kill a Hyades, destroying the server containing them would also be enough without Joker's very special means.>>36757122Does anyone else see the Imprisoned?>>36757143The Athame ONLY works on Hyades and their champions. If we don't use it now, the valid targets will be Joker, Kraken, Cybele and Alura.
>>36757042>>36757017>>36757029You reach down, and your armored fist closes around the hilt of Bishamon's sword - The gleaming blade now marred with soot, a deep crack in the hilt. A twitch of your hand, and the blade snaps; Shreds of metal pattering down, like glass, each one uncoiling into curls of vapor as they disintegrate - Before you cast the hilt aside. Cybele's Emblem glows with light. Power ambles across your armor, as you pick your way across the hall; Overlaying, overwriting, your vision restored as your mono-optic sensor clacks and whirrs, cycling - Your screen fills with flickering white snow, cohering at last into the low-light view of the cavernous chamber...And as before, you stride forward. Your broad-shouldered silhouette - Slake's subarms lending a spidering, sinister cast to your form - is briefly silhouetted against the pale lamplight that issues from the chamber beyond. The green light is stronger, now; You wonder, dimly, if Cybele is watching.-Of course she is.Forward. Always forward; One step at a time, the leaden fall of your footsteps. And when you step through- The light is exceedingly fine, here. A fragile, numinous illumination - It is a sliver of tranquility amid the echoes of awful violence, the stone floor giving way to fine-grained wooden floorboards, the walls panelled in teak and dark oak. Softly-glowing paper lanterns shed their steady golden glow, your long shadow slanting before you.And then, movement. Too inconsequential for your Argus system to detect; You put the Crisis Arm up, as something flutters weakly in your grasp. When you turn your hand over, a faint sound reaches your sensors...-A paper crane. The air is filled with them, circling like constellations, with the papery, fragile flutter of their wings. Like a flock of startled birds, stirred into flight by Bishamon's violent passage: his superheated armor leaving deep scars in the ground, as you draw closer to the end.(Continued)
>>36757171I'm thinking we save the Athame for Cybele if we can. A quick, painless death is the very least she deserves for all she's done for us.
>>36757211True. I just hope that the Leech Module will keep us from dying once we loose her healing abilities.
>>36757211Yeah, that would be the best case.We will reach the Quantum Vault immediately after winning, so she'll know that something is up when we give Mio the armor.Should we explain or should we just kill her before she even realizes what happens?
>>36757271Man, the healing was probably the best ability that we could have gotten from our Hyades.Something like an overdrive would have been quite redundant for us.
>>36757272I think she's better off not knowing. It'd be pretty brutal to have the last thing she sees being us NTRing her.
>>36757287Yeah, but it could be used for some last moments in the Real.
>>36757281True. One of my old theories is that the Player always gets the Hyades that can best supplement his strengths/cover his weaknesses.
>>36757221If we kill her with the Athame, will the golden gauntlet eat her?
>>36757300OP rolled for it, actually.
>>36757272Cruel as it sounds, leading with "I have a gift for you Cybele" is probably the kindest thing we can do.>>36757295I don't think we'll have a chance for anything like that.>>36757300OP said last thread Joker's partner was chosen at random. Dunno what that means for the rest of them.>>36757308She's not a player so no.
>>36757204And beyond- The tableau beyond is enough to give you pause. It is the mechanism you see, first - A circle of dull metal, odd characters worked into the surface, meant to rotate and lock in new positions. It is lifeless, dead, now; A deep scar riven right across the very heart of it, fresh blood gathered in the runnels. Small, toothed spikes rise from segmented, shifting plates.Bishamon- Bishamon is sprawled on the ground, his descent ended at last. Flat on his back; Sparks flickering from the ruin of his armor. His left leg ends in a jagged stump, his right arm dead at his side. He resembles a broken doll, or a puppet dashed against the ground with ruinous force - Still alive, the way all Players are, but barely. When he sees you, you hear a dry click-click-clack; His head Vulcans falling on empty chambers, the firing mechanisms damaged. His left arm pushes against the ground, armored fingers raking lines against the floor as he stirs. It is a desperate, pawing scrabble, a last attempt to push himself upright- And kneeling besides him - The wedge of his kabuto helm against her lap - is Uzume.(Continued)
>>36757310>>36757323>OP rolled for it, actually.Go figure. Should have gotten the blue one for contrast.
>>36757351Legion's would have made for hilarity. I will confess a liking of skin-tight clothing.
>>36757341Strangle the SHIT out of that bitch.
>>36757341>d kneeling besides him - The wedge of his kabuto helm against her lap - is Uzume....Please don't tell me that she's one of the good-natured Hyades.I wouldn't be surprised if Bishamon had some resistance to mind control.
>>36757367Alternatively, press the Nihl against her forehead. Try to eat her with it.
>>36757367>>36757379So you are the "torture Megumi" guy.
>>36757399Oh, no. I actually like Megumi. I just hate that fucking Uzume bitch.
>>36757367No.>>36757379Also no.>>36757371Certain death has a way of bringing out the worst in people.
>>36757341Long black hair, unbound - Falling almost to her waist, except for a single fugitive strand that plays against her pale features. Pale skin, like snow; The most striking violet eyes, the trailing sleeves of her kimono worked with chrysanthemums and flowering blossoms. There is something - A cast to her features, or the light, perhaps - that grants her the most startling resemblance to Cybele. The two Hyades could be sisters - Sisters, or mother and daughter. Her lips part, a soundless gasp, as you enter the chamber - You glimpse the tension in the sleek line of her throat, the slight widening on her eyes. "Uzume-" Bishamon manages, his voice blurred with static - "Uzume, get *away* from him-"She looks down at him. Her elegant features firm, though the shadow of fear passes across her face. With that silent, quiet grace, she rises to her feet-...And steps between you and Bishamon, her arms spread, in the eternal posture of defense. Her breath comes low and fast, a rapid surrusation; A crimson stain spreading against the fabric, her slender form stiffening with the effort of holding herself in place. "Joker-" Bishamon's voice is hoarse; There is something elemental to it, something primordial - Begging for mercy, from a force he cannot stop. "Joker, if you *hurt* her-" [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>36757410Why? This is literally the first time we've actually met her in person.Her only crime is that she's a rival in the "tournament".
>>36757359Legion's Hyades is how I would imagine Mio would look if she went through what Joker did. Shame it isn't true.I also just realized that we never saw Inia or Zayin, which feels like a shame.
>>36757422"Sorry, Bishamon, it has to be the way."Execute Uzume.
>>36757433"Sorry, Bishamon, it has to be this* way."
>>36757422"I wish it didn't have to end like this."
>>36757424It's like the opposite of love at first sight. Like, you can take one good look at her and instantly hate her.No words. Strangle the shit out of her.
>>36757459>stranglingNo need for that. Just riddle her with holes and call it a day. Let's be done with this.
>>36757422"Uzume. A pleasure to meet you at last, whatever the circumstances. Kouichi speaks highly of you. What will happen to him?""He tried. I wish... I wish.""Close your eyes, Bishamon."Use the left hand Axel grip if it's fixed/has charge. Otherwise, the Condemner.Also, damn you for this, and well done.
>>36757422"She's not really going to die, you know. I told you: I was never going to hurt her."Take out the Athame."Uzume. Will you let him go?"
>>36757474There's false hope and there's being a dick. Vetoed.
>>36757422"Thank you, Uzume. In a way, I think you taught him more than any of us so-called 'friends' did.""Sleep well."
>>36757474Also, it would be stupid to use the Athame now.
>>36757468>>36757464>>36757459>>36757444>>36757441Guys, why are we trying to kill her? If we just use the Athame on her, we don't HAVE to kill her. We can just sever her contract!
>>36757501Severing the contract just means she will go inert and fade away out of existence with time. There is no practical difference.
>>36757501Using the athame on her kills her. Using the Athame on Bishi severs the contract, iirc.
>>36757501And condemn her to die of starvation in a dead demense. There's no saving any of the Hyades, just choosing whether they die fast or slow. I suppose that's true of saving any life though, but in this case we're planning to use the Athame on Cybele.
>>36757422Use the athame on Bishamon.Any existence at all is better than death.
>>36757544>Any existence at all is better than death.No it isn't. Staying alone, locked away in a box until you fade away is definitely a fate worse than death.
>>36757544>Any existence at all is better than death.As someone who has experienced a similar situation to the Hyades thing (depressions) I can tell you that there are states of existence that are far worse than death.Being trapped with no outside contact and no hope of help is one of these.
>>36757555Matter of perspective.As long as you live, there is still hope.
>>36757568The Hyades aren't alive.
>>36757568Mio's the only living Hyades and she's only one in potentia.
>>36757544VE TO THE MOTHERFUCKING TO
Save the damn Athame for Cybele.
>>36757607Technically, Hecate is one too. She's just not conscious, so she can't project.
>>36757433>>36757441>>36757444>>36757459>>36757464>>36757468"Joker-"The Condemner is in your hand. When you squeeze the trigger grip, the containment field expands - the bone-white weapon locking in place, as a meter-long continuous cascade of vivid photonic light fumes forth. "Joker, *don't*-"Bishamon's head Vulcans make their dry click-click-click, a repetitive sound - Trying to fire, again and again. His remaining hand digs into the ground, dragging himself forward like a worm on it's belly: His steely fingers forming a fist, a fist he pounds against the ground with the ringing peal of a bell. "Anon - Anon, I'm *begging* you - Anon, *don't do this*-"Lethal lightning dances and writhes across the Condemner's length, crackling as the energy discharges in the air. The power field thrums, snarling sparks spitting across your armor. They make Uzume's hair dance, haloed by light. They make her kimono flutter, as if in a rising wind, her eyes threatening to close, her gaze darting down and away, bracing for the pain that will come- "Damn you - *damn you* - You sick, evil *bastard* - Joker, you *can't*-" The thrum of the blade builds, as you lift your own slice of sky; The Condemner's electric sizzle building to a crescendo. The hilt sings with the high, humming whine of power, as the photon blade hangs eternally in the air. Even before it falls, Uzume has turned away, though she still faces you and will forever."Uzume, you *have to*-"She looks at him. It is a thing that strikes you as passing strange - There is something infinitely gentle in her gaze, despite the troubled emotions that play across her pale features. Her lips move, silently at first, as her voice - sweet, calming, with only the faintest hint of a tremor - frame the words at last:"Kouichi," she says, and - At the very end of the world - makes herself smile.You put mercy into your stroke.(Continued)
>>36757650Well, I guess he's now as traumatized as Anon.
>>36757650> MercyMake her goddamn regret involving Kouichi in this fucked up game.
>>36757620Moratorium, not Hyades. So far as we know she doesn't have the ability to become a living Hyades. Hellebore did something odd to Mio if I read her freakout right, and while I suspect Hecate would have tried to replicate it, I also suspect it would have involved the schoolgirls again.On that note, I just realized that the hate aura was Hellebore training Mio to use her armor's power. People react poorly to having bits of their soul bitten off, but Mio gets Essence and practice as Hellebore.>>36757702Oh for god's sake.
>>36757687Anon still has a chance at saving his original waifu, though.>>36757702Oh shut up already.
>>36757702For fuck's sake, just stop.
>>36757723That'll be Akira's job
>>36757737Should we give Akira Hecate's true name and the name of the hospital?It seems he didn't check there for her health.
>>36757718Hecate's avatar died while her body survived. She definitely should have been reborn as a Hyades. Either way, I still want to try and check if Hecate has to potential to become a living Hyades. Putting her in the role would solve a lot of problems.
>>36757746>Either way, I still want to try and check if Hecate has to potential to become a living Hyades. Putting her in the role would solve a lot of problems.Too late.Quantum Vault is opening.Mio Chalice Queen is ready to murder and despair.
>>36757737All Akira can do is stuff her full of Lachryma, which is not exactly a good idea.We probably need the second Nihil Sphere to pull off this miracle.
>>36757756>Quantum Vault is opening.Not yet. There's still Alura.
>>36757782Didn't Alura bow out?
>>36757746It'd have to be the other way around. All the Hyades physical bodies are dead, they're called Moratoriums because they're in an intermediate stage between ghost in the machine and finished Hyades. She also doesn't have anything like enough essence if Mio needed six years worth, much less the ability to bestow an emblem. Hellebore needed to piggyback on another Hyades to pull it off.>>36757782Who isn't here. She either doesn't count anymore or the big reveal of the upcoming chapters is that the gate isn't opening until she's dead.
>>36757800She's hiding somewhere with Kraken. No way in hell are they missing out on a chance.
>>36757650Dawn at your back ignites the rainbow. Everything shakes - A terrible light, somehow triumphant, coming from everywhere and nowhere at once. A blizzard of stars, as the artificial paradise crumbles at last; A luminous mist descending, as Uzume's castle - Her last and private heaven - begins to fade like a waking dream.A jagged white gash tears across the ground, and up through the walls; The awful white light on the other side escaping, spread and split, faster and wider and longer as a vast fissure of cold illumination opens across the demense. And as the last Hyades dissolves in the light of the first day, you hear a terrible cry over the channel you share with Bishamon, a sound of stark and terrible agony. A sound that you have only heard once before, a sound you might have imagined - The sound of your pain, when you realized the Red Joker was gone. A second of silence. A nuclear blink.A false dawn brighter than the sun---------------------------------"...ker-"A voice, from far away. Vague shapes, in your field of vision."...oker-kun..."There is a figure above you, a hard, white sun shining into your eyes. A shadow, silhouetted by the clustered suns. The faint whirr of your sensors...Something falls on your upturned face, something you cannot feel. What passes for sensation returns, slowly; the awareness of your armored form. The not-quite-feel of arms, slender, pale, against your cooling plate as it ticks over - The faint rustle of soft grass, vividly green, underfoot. Cybele.(Continued)
>>36757829I'm getting the feeling she doesn't even count as a Hyade anymore, considering her bullshit ability to act outside her demesne.
>>36757800Nope, you can't "bow out". She's side stepped. Kraken's going to gank us now.
(Gentlemen, a very quick reminder: If you intend to break your contract with Cybele, you'll ideally do it after you access the Quantum Vault. You still require her Emblem to release your chosen armor.)>>36757844"Joker-kun." Her voice is very small, and somehow sad. It registers as a tinny blurt, as if from distant speakers; Her arms are around you, as you lie against the floor of her demense, the light of Emblem the purest illumination in all of existence. It reflects in her eyes; the wan, faint glow issuing from beneath her skin. But there is a note of pride to Cybele's words, too - A secret wonder at your achievement, the murmur of faith rewarded. "Joker-kun...I'm *sorry*. I'm so, so *sorry*..." That catch to her voice, the sob- -She's crying. It is a complex thing: There is an aching loneliness in her voice, and sorrow - But mostly just relief, a deep and all-pervading relief. A worry for you, put to rest at last - Her steady weeping is the release of all that pent-up worry, the utter and complete joy that comes from the return of a loved one thought dead. She's holding you. Hugging you. Her arms lack the strength to lift your head, but she tries, all the same; Rocking in place, embracing you, her body shuddering in the glad release that thrums through every fibre of her being. It feels like she never wants to let you go. "But you're *here* - You're *alive* - and, and..." A hush to her voice, each word tremoring the air- "-you did it. I knew - I always knew - I knew you'd be the one...The one to set me *free*-" [ ] "What...happened?"[ ] "Where's Bishamon..."[ ] "Where - Where are we?"[ ] "Are you all right?" [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>36757901>[X] "What...happened?">[X] "Where's Bishamon...">[X] "Are you all right?""So what now?"
[ ] "Where's Bishamon..."
>>36757819Nihil Spheres, Wata. Considering their versatility, I wouldn't be surprised if it was possible to transfer Mio's essence to someone else using both.
>>36757986Speaking of Nihl, what's our plan for acquiring the other one?
>>36757901"Why was Uzume so similar to you?"
>>36758047Punch Pazuzu until his eye drops out?
>>36758047Probably by making Pazuzu eat every single bullet we have fired, and will fire.
>>36758047We rip out Pazuzu's, obviously.
>>36757901Okay, so, we're all clear on the plan, right?Athame Cybele, give Mio the armour, right?Right?
>>36758067Does Athameing Cybele have to happen? Are we not all clear to just give Mio the armor? Ending Cybele like this just sits wrong with me.
>>36758099She's going to die anyway. May as well give her a gentle end.
>>36758067Honestly, I'm more in favor of destroying the damn vault.
>>36758099It's the choice between letting her starve to death vs euthanizing her.
>>36757986The essence wouldn't be the hard part, she'd probably just drain the schoolgirls since a system's in place to do just that. The problem is that she needs to be able to bestow a Hyades emblem to unlock a Chalice Queen armor keyed to her. Mio is grandfathered in with Hellebore's cheating, but Hecate would need to be a Hyades (i.e. dead) before she could do anything like that even with a sphere. And yes, even if the spheres are do-anything devices they still have things they can't do.>>36758067Once the vault's open.>>36758099The alternative is liable to be excruciating for all involved. There's no staying with Cybele but giving Mio the armor. Neither of them would accept that. The Hyades bond is a bond of love, even if we don't care for how it expresses itself.
>>36757913>>36757915>>36757953> [X] "Are you all right?"She nods - Her voice too choked for words. Then, softly: "...I'm all right." > [X] "What...happened?""It's-" A pause, a searching. "...It's over, Joker-kun. Everything - everything - is over, at last. Finally..."There's a soft sweetness to her voice, now, the beginnings of a blush to her cheeks. "Finally - I can go to where you are. Finally...I can be *free* of this place-" The aching longing to her words is unmistakeable - A slow sigh purring from her lips, in the untremored air. >>36758049Cybele shakes her head, slowly. A troubled expression passes across her face, momentarily - Like a cloud across the sun. "I...I don't *know*," she whispers, almost to herself. "It felt like - For a moment, it felt like..."Her slim fingers trace her cheeks, as if startled by her own tears. "...It felt like - *She* felt like..."The moment passes, and is gone. > [X] "Where's Bishamon...?"Where - Your sensors detect nothing. No sign of his presence, whatsoever. "He's..." Cybele begins, her gaze questing - "...I sent him back," she says, softly. "I...can do that, now. I feel - There are so many things I couldn't do before - Things I'm only beginning to understand..."And then she goes silent. And then she says- "Oh-" Everything turns black, as a deep shadow sweeps across you. You can feel the tremble in the air. Above, through the false heavens of the demense, the black moon is descending. It is immense: To see something so big and space-borne in scale - In comparison with a world's surface - is fundamentally shocking. It is the biggest object you have ever seen, sliding so slowly down the sky. It seems as if it's hanging, a moon slipping free from the firmament - Growing larger, larger, swelling to eclipse all things, seemingly about to crush Cybele's demense...-Until you realize that it is *not* falling.The demense is being drawn into it. (Continued)
>>36758123When you put it that way it's actually the merciful choice I think.>>36758129Not saying I wanted to "stay with her" just not end her. But Se~No makes a good point, she's really just wasting away in a hospital in the real.
Plot twist: Alura and whats his face are already in the vault. Somehow.>>36758156That's because it is. If we don't Athame her, she'll be stuck in her empty, non-functional demesne until she eventually dies ANYWAY.
>>36758167on that note how was Mio bourn? Was Hellebore the same as Cybele? Is this another case of Orb trickery or something to do with becomeing chalice queen?
>>36758156That's Hecate. The Hyades are already dead, their ghosts fight to receive the Chalice Queen and live for a little while. When the queen runs out of power, she goes back in the box and the cycle starts again ten years later.
>>36758156>she's really just wasting away in a hospital in the real.She's DEAD already.She won't be a vegetable.She would be eternally trapped in her demense.
>>36758201AFAIK, when the previous Red Joker was supposed to release the armor... He didn't. So Hellebore made Mio with the essence instead.
>>36758151The sky is cracking. No; Blossoming. The grand sweep of the rising Demense is only the beginning, as the sky fills with light."Look," Cybele whispers. "Joker-kun...Look."And as before, as the sky swells with the radiant light of Convergence...As the great, ancient mechanisms of the Quantum Vault open at last...As before, you prepare to lead the way through.JOKER QUESTEPISODE 114TO BE CONTINUED
>>36758201Hellebore won the last tournament, but Joker didn't like the idea of eating school girls.
>>36758219*Claps* Excellent thread, OP.
>>36758219(Gentlemen: My sincerest apologies for the short session, but it is extremely late on my end - And I have an early start tomorrow. We did manage to cover a significant amount of ground tonight, but I do need to find a better time for the sessions. Alas, work has a tendency to get in the way. At any rate - Good night, and God bless. You've been a wonderful audience, and I hope to see you all again next time.)
>>36758219Vaults open. Time to stab Cybele and traumatise Mio.And this is the 'good' route!
So, Uzume was Cybele's mother and also one of the older Hyades, while Cybele is one of the younger ones.Now I wonder if Hyades creation is in order of their death dates.This means that a human Cybele experienced the death of her mother.
>>36758201Super basic timeline: >Mio born>Hellebore dies>Hellebore becomes a Hyades>Hellebore becomes Chalice Queen>Hellebore does something to Mio / Finals>Present>>36758214Nope.>>36758233Thanks for running. Luck with work.
>>36758233That was one hell of a punch, thanks for the thread!
>>36758208>>36758210>>36758214ah... for some reason I thought all of them were comatose. Thanks for enlightening me.
>>36758296Well, if I read it correctly, they are all on life support while they wait to become Hyades via death....What does that mean about Hecate's hospital?
>>36758282Huh? Where the fuck did you get that from?
>>36758326>>36757422>There is something - A cast to her features, or the light, perhaps - that grants her the most startling resemblance to Cybele. The two Hyades could be sisters - Sisters, or mother and daughter. >>36758151>"Why was Uzume so similar to you?">Cybele shakes her head, slowly. A troubled expression passes across her face, momentarily - Like a cloud across the sun. >"I...I don't *know*," she whispers, almost to herself. "It felt like - For a moment, it felt like...">Her slim fingers trace her cheeks, as if startled by her own tears. "...It felt like - *She* felt like...">The moment passes, and is gone.
>>36758326Implied. It's either mother or older sister.
>>36758322They're not on life support. They're just Players without armor until they die and become Hyades. Hecate is a special case because she's been stuck in the Red while comatose and managed to survive by allying with the Smilers and later stealing the Nihil SPhere.
>>36757650WELP. Guess we can forget about ever working with Bishamon again.