Prior Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/42864942/Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Maverick%20Hunter%20QuestThe IRC: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com, #MHQThe Twitter: https://twitter.com/HunterCommandThe air is clear and cold. The sun is shining. The only clouds overhead are the contrails of overhead air patrols, all directions, all elevations.It's a beautiful day for a funeral.
Hundreds of hunters--many human, but most Reploid--fill the pavilion, a battleground not two days ago. The floor has been swept free of wreckage, scrubbed clean of the scorch marks. Damaged metal plates uprooted and replaced, riser seats and stands and a wide central podium erected. Behind it towers Rhodes, and behind him towers a screen, and behind them both towers the central hunter building--damaged, but standing. A twin to the screen is projected onto its surface, Rhodes appearing even more giant as the camera focuses on him.The Maverick Hunter General is battered. Even now, days after the fighting, the repairs are not yet done. His remaining plating is cleaned up and polished as best they were able, several noticeably newer plates gleaming even brighter, replacing the ones that were destroyed. One of his shoulders is missing its armored casing entirely. His poise is as unbowed and unflinching as ever, but the giant that commands the hunters has seen better days in more ways than one."I would first like to thank the Swiss Air Force for keeping watch over our proceedings today," he begins, "allowing us the time--and safety--to send our dead on in peace." You glance to your side and espy Spider, where you picked him out as you took your place among the Fourth--he looks dressed for the occasion, at least. His eye meets yours and he nods almost imperceptibly, pinching the brim of his hat between finger and thumb, and turns back to his watch. Around the grounds, hunters and soldiers are his mirror, standing vigil for their comrades. The forms of the new Eighth Armored are easiest to pick out among the crowd, for their size, but every Geneva unit that didn't lose a man is out among the proceedings, keeping watch.
"For those who were not here during the attack, they have their own price to pay," Rhodes continues. "They must remain on duty, in the event of another attack while their posts are unmanned. And so they must watch or listen if they can, or simply hunt and patrol as normal, unable to be here to give their final regards. The leadership will withdraw early, too, to plan our strategy. The road ahead will not be an easy one, and we must be ready to guide you on it."He doesn't need the microphone to be heard, taking one long stride to his left and coming to a standing rest. "Will Commander Striker Cobra and the First Advance unit please step forward?"To the right, in a cleared field, a band--all hunters, all mass-produced, from a fresh quadrant of Steel Berets to only two survivors of the original run of Lanceteamers--raise their instruments as one, and play. The heraldry of the First is lightning and thunder, shock and awe, the ground thrumming and the air storming with the sound of drums. Big, and brassy, their music backs their emblem--A serpent loosely coiled in the shape of a bolt, curled 'round a spearhead. Beneath, the motto 'First to Fight' is emblazoned.As they play, Striker Cobra--the hunter who saved your life, one of a bare handful of G-rank Reploids--takes the stage with grace as his unit assembles at the fore. You see Cathode among them, her armor polished to a mirror sheen, rapier on her hip in a show of full battle dress--and battle readiness.
"You will all have heard by now that our missing, in light of new intelligence, have now been classed as killed in action. I guess it's my unhappy duty to deliver that news to you officially. The First came out of this about as clean as anyone could have, but we too formally acknowledge a loss today." Behind him, the screen winks away from his face to that of a heavily-armored portrait, with a pair of bright eyes over a mouthless faceplate. The first of the dead. "Shieldspin Shroom went missing in the fighting during the battle of Vienna," Cobra intones. "An old veteran, a brilliant defensive fighter, and my friend."The First--from the commanding officer, further than top-of-the-line, to the enlisted, mass produced to fight and die on a budget--snap off a final salute to Shieldspin as one body. "First, dismissed," Cobra intones, and the Advance files out by rows.There's a long moment of silence before someone new takes the stage. The band shifts, more than it moves--different instruments, a few different players. Light woodwinds, piping, flutes predominant. A piece more fitting for discovery than battle. The Second crest--a crosshair on the end of a stylized, blazing torch. 'To See is to Know,' it proclaims."Commander Koala sends his regards," says a skittish-looking sort, "but he's--otherwise engaged." His striped tail swishes behind him, his fingers drum-drum-drumming around the podium, wide, glassy optics flitting back and forth, sweeping the assembled ranks. Almost subtly, next to the heavy arms and armor of Advance, smaller, lighter hunters emerge from the rank and file to assemble before him. The scouts and the skulkers of Second Reconnaissance. "He--er, I am Compound Aye-Aye, the new--" he takes a moment to steady himself. "...I'm second-in-command by default," he sighs. "Longshot cleaned house after Ray--after Hubble and Porro were killed."
The screen behind him, almost mercifully, takes the heat off the woefully unready officer. "Hubble was no-nonsense," Aye-Aye says, as the screen shows a simple, humanoid frame--no fancy tricks or gimmicks, no crests or stylizations. Pure function, with an expression to match. "He was just good at what he did, for a real long time. Did more with less. Porro, now--" The display changes over to another humanoid, this one with half his face occluded by heavy, elaborate binary optics, rather than standard eyes. "Porro saw it all. Wasn't built for fighting. Shouldn't have had to. Ne--" Aye-Aye interrupts himself again, passing it off as a cough. "They'll be missed. Second--let's go." With a quick salute (that somehow, despite his nervous demeanor, doesn't come off as disrespectful), Aye-Aye dismisses 'his' unit. The scouts file out--and you realize that there was exactly one officer in the bunch, and he was up there stammering his heart out. Poor Aye-Aye.'Keep the Wheels Turning,' proclaims the next banner flown on the screen--the 3rd Deploy musters under their insignia, a small pyramid of three crates, bearing a key, a cog, and a lightning bolt, respectively. Suddenly, the lightness of Recon's anthem vanishes with a blast of sousaphones and drumlines. As if in response to the small, stealthy designs that came before, subtlety is lost on the Deploy Corps. Two officers stand side by side on the grounds--a hulking bull, and a long-legged, crested bird--Sandgale Sudan, who you met briefly on the Zero op. They flank either side of the podium as a third figure climbs onto the stage--a lizard who, like most of his unit, bear a striking resemblance to construction equipment.
"Rig Wanna," he begins, voice gruff in spite of clear effort. "I'll keep this brief. Deploy is a background unit full of background hunters. We don't want glory, or fame. When we do our job right, it's like we were never there at all, and that's how we like it. Bunker Haardvork was all about that." The screen shows a mountain of a hunter, striped in construction yellows, shuttered armor plating adorning every scratched and battered piece of him. "Good guy. Heavy support. Did his job, earned his keep, picked up the job site when he was done, right alongside his guys. He did all right by them, so we're doing right by him. Skip the eulogy, raise a glass to him back home. Take it away, fellas."Third salutes as one with a thump of heavy metal, fists meeting their chestplates with a ringing, united clang, before their arms rise in a more formal gesture. Em nudges you lightly in the side, tilting his chin over to his left. It's time to move. You never heard your own unit's theme, you realize, but it fits. Of course, it's a march. Proud, measured. A rolling rhythm to stride alongside. You file up--taking a good deal more room than the prior units with all your enlisted--but it's with a barely-concealed wince you size up the assembled force and realize it's something like half of the Geneva complement. There are a great many empty places in the rows. As you turn and face forward at attention, you get a quick glimpse of your own heraldry--seen once or twice, but never really registered. A field of blue, crossed with yellow bars, a stylized chain of mountains rising in the center of the cross. Planted atop the highest peak in the center is a single sword. 'Anytime, Anywhere,' your emblem declares.
Ahead of you, you think you can make out Susan and Flak among the Berets, though you can't check and know for certain. Beyond them, is a sea of hunters--some just filing back in after their own turns up front, some complete strangers. A handful you recognize--and you force yourself not to look for the missing faces you won't find there. Emerald stands to the right of you, eyes fixed forward and posture stiff--and this close, you can see the fight to remain stoic on his trembling features. India sits on your left, holding her remaining half ramrod straight in her chair. Crankshaft is absent--the old hand kept in Japan by duties elsewhere. It's just the three of you for this entire unit, describing a very small line. Behind, you hear the familiar voice of your commander, voice carrying with practiced, weary poise. "Fourth Overland is both the largest unit in the Maverick Hunters," Frog begins, "and the one with the largest complement in Geneva. The group you see now--bigger than some units at nominal strength--is less now than half our numbers. Please forgive me, then, for taking up more than twice the time to suit."He clears his throat. "Let me first begin with Overclock Conda, whom I would characterize foremost as loyal. Some of you may recognize the name--he was found half-completed in hostile territory. I think you can put the rest together. But what that doesn't tell you is that he resisted, every step of the way, before he had a hope of rescue, or even knew what a maverick hunter was. He refused to be told or coerced into what he was not, and what he never would be. He had a quiet dignity hiding underneath a great deal of guilt, and I'm sorry to say I let him distance himself because of it. He felt he had to prove his loyalty. Conda, I just want you to know--you did."
You feel a pang of hollow, awful dread inside, and suddenly the entire memorial is blown wide open for you. Something about the presentation--knowing his face is behind you, knowing you can't turn and see, knowing you'll probably never see it again, knowing how little you had gotten to know him--suddenly, those aren't just names up there. Those are people. Those are hunters. And, to a man, they are dead or worse, for standing up to the most vicious threat of this century."Next is Dash Dodo, who I am sorry to say holds the distinction of the bravest Reploid I have ever met. Dodo was possessed of an impatience in everything he did, everywhere he went. Easy to lose in that was a sense of justice--of passion, a sense of right and wrong, and the courage to stand up for it. Anytime, anywhere," Frog mimics the unit motto. "He held true to that to the end--to his end. Dodo was killed in action, fighting what was once his best friend, an S-class threat. Dodo was a niche B. He knew, going in, what it meant. And knowing him as I did, I know he'd have made that choice again.""As for our third and final casualty..." Frog's voice falters--just a hair, but impossible to miss. "...I requested the presence of his oldest friend." You hear a faint wheeze, a shivering rasp of breath from your side as Em's eyes close. After a moment, he forces them open, cast down, around, up, anywhere to find anything he can focus on to steady himself. He fails. Frog continues, sounding much how Em looks and you feel. Footsteps--light and quick for a Reploid, but unmistakably so, announce the new arrival, followed by the faint echoing ring of the microphone stand being adjusted. Then, a voice you don't recognize. "Madhouse Crucifer," it begins brusquely, sounding like a throat lined with ground glass and salt. "What do you say about a hunter like Schwarzhund?"
"Let me get the boring stuff out of the way first. Fido was ten years old. To you humans, that's a tragedy. For Reploids, that's Methuselah. He was in the first 'class' of S-ranks, back when they were first instituted. He was the original Blackcoat, the one to give it the name. He started most of the traditions. He was first among equals, and he hated it, but everyone knew we followed his lead. What else, what else... he turned down offers from 'better' units and postings monthly. Turned 'em down by the bushel-basket. I ribbed him about it, it was fun. We had fun.""Schwarz hated memorials, by the way. What kind of bastard hates memorials? I ask you." He(?) sounds... unconcerned, unhurried, and unburdened, but the guttural fondness somehow doesn't come off as disrespectful, perhaps despite best efforts. Crucifer pauses a moment before continuing. "So I'm going to make his eulogy about you all. He'd have liked that, the stodgy collie. There's an unspoken understanding here, an elephant in the room. We're all thinking it, but no one wants to say it. I'm gonna go ahead and tap-dance on that land mine. With our best missing--not dead--with the virus, with Doppler, with the new intel--well, the writing's on the wall. What if they’ve been captured and turned?"
Crucifer waits again, as you can practically feel the stormcloud descend on the parade grounds. "The Hangar crowd, we're realists. We don't shy away from the heavy stuff. Schwarz and I talked, more than once, about who would take care of the other, if it came to that. I know we don't have a monopoly on that kind of talk. Some of you have always had those chats. Probably more, recently. Some of you probably had to follow through on them two days ago." His voice oscillates as you hear his footsteps pace behind you, slowly wending their way back and forth across the stage. "The Blackcoats are pragmatists. We're ready for the dirty business. When one of us goes maverick, we take care of our own. And if that's how things go with Schwarz--or with Aegis Garm--or any of our other little lost lambs--we'll take care of it. It's what they'd want. And I know you'll all do the same." He comes to a halt in front of the podium again. "So don't worry about what they might do. Remember what good they've done. No amount of bad behavior is going to undo that.""I've prattled on enough. Closing notes; There’s not enough black at this funeral. Schwarz was the talent scout. I don’t have the patience for it, so whoever you are, you’re just gonna have to prove yourself, because I can’t be assed to come find you. Now’s the time to step up." His voice fades from the speakers as you hear him hop down from the stage to your side. "I'm done with you. All yours, Frog."Frog retakes the podium, but there's nothing more to say. "Fourth," he declares, voice holding strong again, "Dismissed." You've never been overly formal. No one's ever accused you of being professional. But it comes easy, it feels natural, it makes sense. The officers, the enlisted, all that remains of Fourth Overland Geneva... for a moment, all of you are one. You salute snaps into place in silent perfection. You hold it there for a moment. And then it's gone. Dodo, Conda... Schwarz. Goodbye.
You march. Exit, stage right, as the proceedings turn a heavy eye to the next unit to mourn their dead. You hear thundering footsteps behind you as the band changes instruments--crystal, ethereal bells and resonant, rumbling bassos that sound more like atmosphere than music. As you come to a rest and turn to face the podium, the banner and motto of the Sixth Marine greets you--"Ours is Atlantis," beneath a sword of coral with an anchor making up the grip and crossguard, the whole of which encapsulated within a perfectly spherical blue bubble. To your side, faint movement alerts you to Em filing out as onstage, the unit Commander--a tall yet sleek figure with an equally massive hilt resting across his shoulder--speaks, slowly, calmly, and surprisingly softly."My name is Berg Celion. This day, my unit mourns one. Needler Blowfish, consigned to the deep before his time." You wince, not even looking at the screen--you already remember him, from the Skipjack op. And you remember Tanker coming along for the ride. Would things have been different, had he not? Could things have been different? The thought of the three of you in one place--the living, the dead, and the traitor--fills you with an uncanny, impossible vertigo, like it should never have happened. It SHOULD never have happened, damn it. "He was like so many of the departed--mindful of his duties and equally committed to doing them. Please, if only for today, mark him as one of your own. Remember."And as quickly as he came, he and his unit (a lone, solitary officer) depart, Celion back the way he came, and the other--a familiar, shorter humanoid clad in blues--down toward the remaining hunters.
Two things call your attention at once, as the band begins to play--something light and airy, almost folksy and whimsical. Incredibly amiss here in these proceedings. You note that some of the players have set down their instruments--all Beller0phons, winged production units. And all of them are clapping along with the end of the spritzy, chipper tune.All of their faces read as dark as stone, despite the levity of the song. They clap in time with the same severity that Rhodes speaks in. Behind them, the screens proudly bear the Seventh Air Cavalry heraldry. 'We Dare the Air,' it proclaims, beneath an armored griffon, soaring on wings of fire. The second thing you notice, as the units part, are the coffins.Reploids do not typically bury their dead. But the Seventh, it seems, does things differently. Five coffins of varying shapes and sizes are carried along, the last of which is open and empty. You're not sure you want to know if the others are symbolic gestures, or actually contain the ... parts. Slowly the procession comes to the fore, each of the silver boxes borne by six Reploids. Now, you see where Emerald has gotten off to--on one side of the smallest box in the line, standing opposite his sister, pallbearers for their brother. To keep the coffin level with the others, each has to hold the object over their heads at arm's length, amongst the taller Reploids among them. You realize each box is being carried by another officer, in line with the enlisted. At the head is the figure you saw briefly on the scratchy comm-line in the labs--Commander Albatross. Next is Emerald and Sapphire--Air Cav for a day. After them is the empty casket, borne by a heavily damaged parrot Reploid, repairs sufficient to make him mobile, but not to make him well. Next is a striped hyena, shoulders hunched and expression dark, and last in line is a pheasant with a dignified poise, a vibrant green blade resting on her hip.
Each in line sets down their casket with careful reverence and takes a step beside them--Emerald and Sapphire flank either side of their brother. Albatross takes the stage in silence. His voice is deep and smooth, easy to listen to. "Before I begin, let me first give my gratitude to the pallbearers--all volunteers--and Stillwater Phasian of 7th Japan for joining us today to help our enlisted bring Stormblitz Frigate home. My regards as well to Captain Emerald and Lieutenant Sapphire, 4th and 6th, for carrying their brother home."With that, he takes a breath and begins properly. "The Air Cavalry is a unit with a great deal of pride, and a great many traditions. We try to hold ourselves to the ideals of our first commander--and I must once again give my gratitude to Commander X for permission to speak of him. Storm Eagle was a noble leader, forced against his will to turn on mankind and everything he held dear. It's been controversial--and will likely always be--to speak his name in the presence of our departed--but it is from him we take our spirit, our honor, and our love of all life.""I must first discharge my predecessor, Flash Flaminglow, and from him I take his passion for flight and his commitment to preserving the lives of human and Reploid alike. He passes on to me his rank, and command of the Seventh. I will guide us as best I am able." The screen behind him shows the exeunt commander, likely represented in the coffin that Albatross himself carried. "I next turn to salute Diamond. When Commander Flaminglow ordered us to sortie and counterattack the maverick airfleet, he left two officers on the ground--Seek Parrot and Diamond, both of whom were grievously injured. Parrot had just been repatriated from hostile territory, and Diamond had been out of commission for almost a week, after close engagement with an S-class maverick in the Himalayas."
You flinch, remembering the half-a-hunter you saw petering miserably to the ground, the better part of him burned and melted away bringing Saetos down to your level to finish the job. 'Kick his ass,' he told you. Those were the last words you ever heard from him. Hell of a legacy. This time, you watch the screen, to see him one more time--sharp featured but cheery, giving the camera the rakish grin that you've seen on his brother so many times. It's been a while since you've seen that, too."Our next casket, I once more call upon our founder. Hurricane Wren has once more disappeared, and with everything we know... it's likely we will once more see her as an adversary." Albatross gestures at the open coffin. "Lost, returned, and lost again, during the fighting. Seek Parrot asked to bear her casket, as he came so close to a similar fate not three days ago. Always remember, it might have been otherwise." He pauses, and you frown--you only know her name because of the briefing on Doppler's 'cure' for the virus. How she was triumphantly returned, willingly downgraded. And now... "Wren was remorseful and quiet, her thoughts always turning to what she had done, and what she could do to make things right. Cynicism runs high right now, but let me be the first to tell you that her redemption was genuine, and so is our loss. She will be missed, and if nothing else, she will be remembered for who she truly was.""Firestar Aardwolf carries with him Machfive, a Beller0phon who customized himself extensively and proved on many occasions that greatness lies in every one of us." The figure on screen is a simple humanoid, a twin to the production units on the field today aside from the racing stripes on the departed warrant officer. "Machfive leaves us his indomitable will and drive for personal achievement... and a truly unhealthy love of speed. He will race the stars and shine their better, until we can rush up to join him."
"And finally, beside Stillwater Phaisin, we mark the passing of Stormblitz Frigate." The screen shows a prominent avian figure with a massive red gorget. "He gives to us his pride and his gregariousness, because he had plenty of both to go around. Stormblitz had a presence about him that was undeniable and filled any room, a raconteur par excellence. On any given night you might find him in our officer's club, tilting them back and captivating the room with his stories. He was flight personified, never touching the ground in combat, letting his weapons speak for him. Though brought to earth, his soul will fly forever, a king of the skies."The pallbearers salute a final time, before each collects and shoulders their burdens once more. Albatross remains on the podium, standing at attention as the caskets are spirited away. Only after his unit is gone from the field does he break the salute and depart without another word.Their long procession files out, leaving a momentary vacancy at the front. The music begins before the Ninth has made their appearance--beginning with a lone triangle and slowly building into a full military band. By the time you see the Ninth--sneaks and skulkers by habit--they're already nearly assembled at the fore, coming out of the woodwork like the Second before them. As the unit representative takes the stage, most of the band dies off--leaving only a single horn playing a mournful anthem. Slowly, one by one, the others join back in after the solitary reprise, first with soft drumming to ease in the rest. It comes to a triumphant finish over the banners of the Ninth Rangers. "Into Unwelcome Country," accompanied by the alternating stripes of arrow, dagger, and arrow, cast in flight at a plunging angle, over a black shield with a blue bar across the middle. The lone figure reaches the podium and waits quietly.
He reminds you of Conda, passingly--mottled green and non-reflective camouflage bodywork (with oddly angular plating) making him look drab next to the gleaming armor all around you. A buster pistol rests on his hip, and when he speaks, it's slightly throaty, at the high end of a low range. "My name is Lightmass Lancehead, most recently of 9th Americas. Our unit lost only one in this attack, out afield and far from home. He was our Commander, Shock Scorpion." A severe expression greets you on the display--someone who radiates all business, even from beyond the grave. "He was a Reploid of few words, and so am I. Task-oriented, focused, to his demise. He named no successor, because he was too busy to contemplate mortality. He was a vicious ambush expert and mentor alike. We all learned from him. Where he led, we followed, and where he leads, we will someday as well. Until then, we will keep our colors in his stead."He nods down at three officers--two humanoids and a mantis, none of which you had fully processed were there--and without a word they salute crisply and depart in silence.That silence holds, as an even-darker pall filters over the already-grim proceedings. The band is silent. There are no more songs to sing for the Tenth. The cameras focus on a banner--a real banner, not a digital projection--held in Rhodes's hands. "A moment of silence," is all he has for you.The banner is blue fabric, with a trim of gold thread. A stylized city skyline on a white hexagon rises in the center, ringed by simple geometric shapes--black trapezoids surrounding. The last shields, you think. Beneath, in stitched cursive, the unit motto, before it vanishes up into the shadows of the fabric. Slowly and reverently, the general's giant hands fold the cloth over itself, left side, right side, curling it up over the end, producing a small, neat triangle. "Let the World Never Falter."
Rhodes waits there in the quiet, as the display shows the faces of the last officers of the Civic Special Forces. A human--the first you've seen on the screen today--followed shortly by a good-natured looking canine with a lean, agile body and poise. "Acting Commander Kinsley is hereby posthumously promoted to the full rank he has effectively held for over two years," Rhodes declares, breaching the deafening nothing. "And for gallant service above and beyond the line of duty, we award him the Decoration of Valor. Husky Fencer is hereby posthumously promoted to the rank of Colonel, and we award him the Special Forces Saltire, for services in the cause of the same, and we award him, too, the Decoration of Valor.""More lives were saved in the defense of Rho--both hunter and civilian--than I think can be estimated. The Tenth has always done far, far more than its share, and that legacy has been carried to its culmination."As the camera returns to Rhodes, a single figure comes to the fore--a white swan. Rhodes kneels to reach her level, in one of his massive hands two shining metal icons. He keeps the folded flag--there is no one to give an entire unit to. "On behalf of a grateful world," he intones. "You have our thanks." The swan departs, medals clutched to her chest as she returns the way she came with measured steps. Rhodes draws himself back to his full height, salutes--mimicked by every hunter in attendance--and then once more departs.
The music itself seems slow to break the silence, hesitant to begin again after that. But the band plays on. Proud figures stride forward with purpose toward the stage, matching the intensity of their anthem. Fast, intense, strident play--a few newer instruments among the brass and drums. This is a song for warmakers. The motto is one to match; "Striking Force." The banner flies in digital splendor, a map of the earth, cut in blues and greens--with red stars over every maverick hunter base on earth. The sides are framed with a repeating pattern of rectangles. At the podium stands a figure with heavy armor; not especially tall or broad, he nonetheless presents a hulking figure. Bright gold clashes with camouflage green patterns on his outer plating. His helmet crest comes to a distinctive end, the top cutting a hard, angular line instead of coming to a curved taper. "Boom Foxflash, 14th Grapple Company," he barks. In front of him, his officers snap to attention--a bizarrely motley mix, ranging from a crimson dragon with a necklace of green beads, a basic humanoid on the larger side, a loping giant of a tiger, and a standoffish looking rooster, his "comb" swept back over critical eyes."I'll spare you the biographies," Foxflash says gruffly. "We're here to remember our lost, but they wouldn't have us mourning when there's work to be done. Bast--missing in action, recovered and went missing again. Sensing a pattern?" He's gruff, clipped, has very little patience for all this. The screen behind him shows a feline Reploid with white and blue armor. "Us too. There's a reason they went for her--she's been a little firecracker since she turned up over here. Hell, even we never saw all her blackbox tech. She put a hurt on 'em, that's for sure. For our other missing member... well, he's hardly ours. He saw and served with more units than any other hunter in history. Laconic?"
The screen in back splits--on one side, showing you the towering, canine figure of Aegis Garm, taller still than Rhodes. On the other, a live figure--from a live feed--apparently not onsite. He looks like an ancient soldier clad in bronze, a crested helmet stylized after a mane and calm, almost sleepy looking eyes belying the fierce warrior-born appearance. "Aegis Garm endured four hits in direct combat with Sigma, before opening fire on his own position with bombardment from the Enigma cannon," Laconic says quietly. That, and nothing further."Dismissed!" Foxflash calls, and his unit snaps off salutes once more and breaks off at a trot. The bombast of the 14th is matched in their successors as the ground shakes with bass, drumrolls and hammerfalls crashing. In comes a heavy brass complement, including one Steel Beret manning a tuba. Three officers assemble at the fore, with a fourth--a hunched, nearly quadrupedal figure, lopes to the podium, presenting a terrifying face with a chinplate flanked by a pair of beam emitters for massive canines. At the fore, the remaining officers--on the left, a blocky-looking giant who you barely register as humanoid for his size and lack of humanlike face, bigger than Rhodes. On the right, a figure who only looks small in comparison but still towers over you. You have to crane and shift a bit to see the one in the middle, heads and shoulders shorter than her peers, but just as heavily armored--you recognize Flares Firefly, visor up, eyes fixed forward. Seeing her, even though you knew she made it, fills you with relief. High over her head, their bright, orange banner, the borders marked by concentric wave patterns--"Senders of Calamity," it proclaims, with the silhouetted figure of an archer, the sun at its back, nocking a bomb upon the string of a radiant bow.
>mfw all these feels
"Iapetus Thylacox reporting, with the remnant of 15th Artillery, Geneva complement," the hunter at the podium states--belying his fearsome appearance, his voice is surprisingly gentle. "I will be taking command. Today, this unit mourns twice." He gestures up at the screen behind him, presenting another face you've met before. "Kiloton is our sole officer killed in the line of duty," he says, as you look at the portly officer who helped you on one of your very first hunts--has it really only been a matter of months? "Kiloton was possessed of a sense of humor and a good nature that he looked every inch the part for--until the guns came out, that is." The new commander flashes a calm smile full of sharp metal teeth. "He will be missed, but more than that, he will be remembered."His smile fades, however, as she continues. "With him, though, we must also mark the loss of another. Major Warhead Wisent was confirmed captured--alive--most likely in combat with one or more G-class threats. The Major was frank, honest, and had a dry wit he exercised all too rarely. He was everything you could ask for in an artillery officer, and more. We will hold to that."The officers come to a salute once more, as Thylacox draws things to a close. "Our unit presence in Geneva is--was--large, for several reasons, mostly being that we deploy in support of larger operations, so we have a smaller worldwide footprint. Therefore, most of our deployments were centered here, for reasons of logistics. The three you see, and myself, are all Geneva has left. Our ability to support is similarly affected. If we deploy alongside you, in the days to come, please be there for us, because we are there for you."
You seem to recall there being no losses with the bizarrely unconcerned 16th unit as the Artillery Command files out. That leaves two. Already, the music is starting--strings, backed by a deep drum that nonetheless follows, rather than leads the rhythm. It rises with a swell--not triumphant, but hopeful, purposeful. Resolved. Their banner flies on a field of pale blue, a round shield studded and capped, olive laurels in a loose U describing the bottom curve of the rim. At the center, a white sword, pointed down, blade running off and ending at the margin. Centerpoint on the crossguard, the yellow diamond of the Maverick Hunters crest. With spirited strength in silver script, declares the 17th Elite Unit's motto: "For Everlasting Peace." It stands in sharp contrast to the small, solitary figure who takes the stage, three others assembling at its foot. "Thank you all for being here," Commander X begins. "My name is X. With me are Karin, PR8R, and Skyfall Lopho. Missing, are..." His voice falters, and his eyes cast down. "Juilliard... and Gravity Beetle, Mac, and Neutron Zebra. His killers, I suppose." He clears his throat. "It just seems so hard to believe--I know it seems insulting to speak of them in the same breath as our loyal, our lost, but--but I'm still trying to accept it. I can hardly believe everything that's happened, or that it happened so fast..."He clears his throat again, pausing for a moment--you can see the white of his gloves, fingers tensing on the podium. "I thought I would write something, have something to say to you. There just wasn't enough time, with all the fighting." X shakes his head, forcing a smile on the big screen. "I should have something for you. But, in the end... what is there to say, really? This is--this is the second time something like this has ever happened. There were no speeches, the first time. I didn't know what to say then, either.”
"I want to put on a brave face and tell you all to be strong.” X’s helmet bobs low again, hanging his head. “But--to be honest, I don't know if I could follow my own advice right now.” His voice is shaky, even as he grips the podium for support. “I should be up here, talking to you all about... hope. You deserve hope. You deserve so much that you don't get, and we all get so much that we don't deserve. But, right now, the truth is... I'm just as lost as you are."The commander closes his eyes, head cast down in silence for a long moment, and for a moment, he just looks so terribly small. The screens only make it worse, magnifying him and his every motion, putting him under the microscope. It hits you, then--he really is lost."I don't understand. I don't understand how they can do this. People--my friends--they always tell me that's a good thing. I'm not so sure. How can we fight what we don't understand? How can we make them understand us without that? How can we even expect them to? If you could just shoot a movement to death, we would have done it, and none of us would be here right now. Instead, every year, the mavericks get stronger, the hunters get bigger. I just don't understand." He looks up, barely, the bright green of his eyes barely visible under the shade of his helmet. "I'm so tired of the fighting, of the destruction. I can't think of anyone who isn't. It's so cruel, isn't it? Sigma, Doppler... every time we have something to hope for, every time something gives us that hope... the unthinkable. It's heartbreaking. It's infuriating. But... it's how things are."
"So in the end, I guess all I have for you is what we're doing next.” He looks up again fully, at long last, blinking away the half-lidded emptiness on his face. “It's... easy, when you think of it like that, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. There really isn’t any choice here at all. We're going to do what we always do. We're going to hunt. We're going to fight--enemies, and enemies we thought were friends. ...Not all of us will make it. But we'll get through. And this time--maybe this time--it will be the last time."He closes his eyes, standing there in silence. It takes a few seconds before you fully process that he's done, not realizing it until he retreats offstage with nothing but a hasty salute. 17th's officers match it and follow him out. You turn as Emerald files back into position beside you, his own expression a glum mirror of the so-called father of all Reploids. No music comes--in fact, the band begins to pack up their instruments with uniform, mechanical precision, all snapping cases shut as one before standing straight and giving their own salute. They depart... but one more figure takes the stage, this one cut in crimson and a flash of gold. Special Unit Zero emerges in silence. Without fanfare--with nothing more than their banner to announce them--three more officers stride ahead to assemble at the fore. A shrimp with massive claws, sculpted depressions upon them reminiscent of revolver barrels, then a leaner, sleeker looking adaptation of the same chassis, this one bearing a pair of crossed, solid-blade weapons at his back. To his right, another figure you recognize--Web Spider, drawn up to his full height, eyes fixed straight ahead beneath the curve of his beret.
Their banner is stark and minimalist, moreso than any unit you've seen, the difference highlighted even further by the silence. Not in memory, or reverence--Special Unit Zero simply has no anthem. A solid curtain of purple--not a vibrant, royal shade, but a more subdued, natural tone--is broken only by the petals of a stylized magnolia, in solid white. Beneath the spartan iconography, their motto, equally simple--and all the stronger for it. "Wake Us Not," it warns. Zero waits for a moment, looking for a moment very much like X did--but instead of lost, he brims with... frustration. Impatience, almost. Finally, his eyes open--sharp and blue. "Special Unit Zero is down two. Atomic Squito and Saber Sinea. We deal with our problems in-house--rather than fall back, they tied up our traitors, kept the damage done to a minimum, at the cost of their lives.”"Neither was one for long goodbyes. None of us are. Instead, I'm going to talk about the living. About who's left, not who's lost."He exhales a sigh through his nose before continuing. "Right after Sigma's rebellion, I took a mission to bring down one of his last targets, one that had always evaded us. His name was Komodo Green. For those who didn’t know Sigma--he never missed a target, and he never, ever failed a hunt. The fact that Komodo was still around after so long… well, I was sure there was a connection. It was the worst hunt of my life."Zero's eyes are clear and focused, expression darkening at the memory. "The hunt took me three days. On the first, he was just butchering the law enforcement of the city of Chicago. It was sadistic. I blew his leg off, and he retreated. That was the first thing I learned about him--Komodo Green always had a plan."
"The second day, he set up a death trap for the civilians. We didn't even come close to saving them all. His plan worked without a hitch--we couldn't ignore them, and when we got close, he had put out decoys. Then he ambushed me with a ride armor." Zero's face falls even further, this time into a dark little half-smile. "That went well for him." "By the third day, he'd gone to ground, and I thought I finally had him. He firebombed his own men to hit me as I broke in, killing seven of them. Then he got in close, and he started tearing me to ribbons. Every time I nearly had him, he'd hide, call in backup, and fall back. By the time I dealt with his help, he'd hit me from a new angle, with something new. Three-quarters of my external plating needed replacement, all of it was damaged. Half-melted, inside and out, burns, claw marks, you name it. But eventually, he ran out of bodies and he ran out of luck. I got him." Zero looks around at the hunters assembled. "It took days of round-the-clock repairs to get me functional again--the Lifesavers had to come collect what was left of me in person. They had to dismount my entire arm from the shoulder down. He'd managed to inject enough caustic base into it that they had to replace nearly all the internals.” He flexes his fingers on one hand, turning it over to inspect the 'bracer' running over his glove. “Komodo Green did not fight fair. He fought to win. He learned from his mistakes. He knew his weaknesses and worked around them. But I got him."He smiles thinly. "I try not to enjoy retiring my targets, but I'm never going to forget hitting him in the face so hard he stopped having one. I'm always going to remember landing a charged shot, center-mass, and watching him just evaporate.” Zero clenches his fist. “Removing him from existence, torso-first, was the most satisfying thing I've ever felt. But that's not what this is about."
"What I'm telling you is that we will fight, like Commander X said. We fight because we have to. And we'll win, because we have to. Because we know what happens when we don't, and we can’t--won’t--accept it.” Heat has creeped into his voice, now, the brimming impatience in his body language boiling over. “Animals like Komodo Green do not get to run amok. And whatever they've done to us--whatever they've done to you--there is nothing they can do to you that you can't come back from. You, all of you, are stronger than you believe you can be. You have more will than they have hate. They’ve shown us the worst they can do, and it hurts--I know it hurts--but we are still here."“We’re still here, because our lives were bought with those of our comrades. We’re still here, to mark their names, to promise their sacrifices meant something. We’re still here, so we can do what must be done. And we will see this through.” Zero flexes his hand one last time before bringing it up in salute, matched by his unit.And with that, it’s over. The last unit departs the stage, disappearing among the rows of heads and shoulders. Once more, silence falls over the grounds, broken only by the slow, heavy footsteps of Rhodes, taking the podium once more. "In just a moment, you will return to your units, for the awarding of honors for your service to date. While we still have this time, there are some announcements that need to be made." Rhodes pauses, and takes a slow, heavy breath. You see his eyes roam the grounds, taking it all in. Without moving, he seems to both grow and diminish before your eyes. "Effective immediately," Rhodes says quietly, "I am resigning from my post as Commander of the Maverick Hunters."
A shockwave and a chorus of murmurs runs through the crowd--from somewhere ahead, you hear a voice shout "why?!" Rhodes weathers the storm in silence, waiting for the outrage to settle. It never does--he waits until the volume begins to build, outrage and dismay building all around you. "Because it has become necessary to revoke my own commission," he declares, and as quickly and unstoppably as the din built, all falls to silence. He looks around once more before continuing. "My personal struggles are of no consequence to you beyond my leadership--and the fact remains that I could not in good conscience approve an expense that could be better used elsewhere."Silence. Absolute silence. "While the matter of the Council of Nations selecting a nominee is not formally settled, at this point, the writing is on the wall. Therefore, I cede the podium to Chairman Halcyon of the Weissritter."No one salutes, no one claps, no one does a good god damned thing, as the giant bows his head low and steps to his side, allowing another figure, positively brimming with poise, to take his place.
"Thank you, Commander Rhodes, and let me extend my gratitude to the unit commanders for their kind words, and to you all once more for being here." Halcyon is a good two feet taller than you, clad in gleaming white. Blue and gold trim describes each plate of his armor, detailed in silver and black. He has an angular face with drawn, almost sharp features, made more pronounced by a close-cropped beard, framing his mouth, pursed in a half-smile. Upswept, massive pauldrons finish out a loose V of six jewels, running down from either shoulder and to a central-mount chest gem on a gorget. His helmet is similarly crested, central gem flanked by angular fins matching the angle of his shoulderplates. A black cape--possibly worn in light of the proceedings--serves as a backdrop to make him shine all the brighter against it. Swept-back fins on his arms and legs round out a truly dashing figure, almost iridescent. His voice is smooth as glass, words carefully selected and enunciated in an authoritative, calm, and perpetually level British accent."In this trying time, we must all struggle to find and accept personal meaning, find our places in this. Mine has been set before me, and I will shoulder this burden with reverence. But even now, I promise we will make our brighter future."He places his hands on the podium, eyes raking the crowd. "I am going to begin building that future now. Our fallen comrades in arms have left us a mighty legacy to uphold, and an ideal to strive after. As my first order as the new Maverick Hunter Commander, I am hereby initiating the reinstatement of the 10th Special Forces."
For a moment, nothing. Then, halting, scattered applause that slowly spreads over the area--one or two truly enthusiastic groups burst here and there. Halcyon seems satisfied, leaning back from the microphone to survey you all. "For my second act in this official capacity, I will announce now that I am centralizing the barracks for all our units--too much distance between us all led to this tragedy, in more ways than one. Sharing space within headquarters will foster unit relations and build a rapport between all branches, all members of our service."Another round of murmuring, this one more subdued and uncertain. You share a glance with Em, both of you at a loss. "And the Hangars will be fucking where?" India mutters, dark and low. You look over to see her fixing a steely glare on Halcyon, almost taken aback by the naked display of distaste. "Naturally," he continues, "the satellite bases around Geneva will be kept for their original use, but I think it's high time the officers of our units come together. Indeed, I feel a great many things will change in the days ahead of us. The hunters have been caught between two roles for some time now, the gulf widening every day. The expectations placed on us, the demands of our duty, and the bounds of our mandate have only ever grown more at odds with one another. Take heart--I am already taking steps to rectify these issues.""Brighter days are coming," Halcyon declares, leaning back from the podium to draw himself to his full height once more. "And I promise you all, you will see them very soon. For now... Maverick Hunters of Geneva, you are dismissed."Everyone comes to one last salute--not the crisp uniform perfection of the individual units, but a rolling wave across the grounds. And then... you're done. It's done. Back to work.
The 4th's base awaits, in all its half-repaired glory. You realize two things at the same time: You've never seen the base from this angle, and, before long, you'll be moving out and putting it at your back. That gives you a strange, nameless pang of regret that you don't fully understand--it's just a place. But it's your place. And it was the place of all of your dead. There's history here, you suddenly realize--a Reploid lives and dies fast. A decade of service is a lifetime--lifetimes--for the hunters within. This building survived Sigma's onslaught, weathered Doppler's air raid. It saw Hammer Frog kill his predecessor and take command. And now, you realize--just from how he's holding himself as he halts the 4th just outside the entrance--it's about to see him relinquish it. "I have in my hands a number of honors to bestow upon you... and Dodo and Conda," Frog begins. "But before that, I have one more official announcement. My last official announcement.""No..." Em mutters, eyes widening.Frog's already gloomy expression falls a tick at that. Behind him, another figure--compact, almost dense-looking from the heavy red and brown armor, almost as short as Em. He has a severe look about him--like a lifetime scowl, reinforced by heavy (and practical-looking) foreclaws on his hands. Off-set over one shoulder, a nasty-looking pole or spike with an emitter on the end rests at his back. "It will take some time, but I am officially resigning my post as commander of the 4th Overland. I'll be transferring command to Firestorm Gopher, who will be coming in from running 4th Tokyo."
>>43892533>I am hereby initiating the reinstatement of the 10th Special ForcesOH SHIT
Gopher simply looks the lot of you over, quickly sizing you up. "I won't bore you with speeches," he says bluntly--air whistling between two large front teeth as he does. "I think you've heard enough of those today. Do your job, don't screw me over, and I'll take care of you."Frog nods. "Neither of us are going to pretend this will be easy--for any of you," he adds, shooting both you (what?) and Em a glance at that. "But Gopher has my full confidence. Treat him like you would me. Like you're supposed to treat me," he adds, shooting India a look (met by a flourish and bow, earning a glare from both old and new commanders.)"Right, let's get on with it. Emerald, as senior officer, please step forward." Em does so, and you instinctively return to a formal parade rest, even with the memorial grounds far behind you. From a small box of what looks like mahogany, Frog presents two small pieces of metal--the first of which is a small red ribbon in a horizontal bar, the edges of pure, gleaming silver."For selfless action in the service of others, in a situation of grave hazard," Frog says formally, "your rescue of the captured hunters on your last operation is hereby recognized, and you are awarded the Ruban d'Espoir. In addition, in recognition of a long and distinguished career of service both meritorious and exceptional, you are awarded the Her Royal Highness Elizabeth III Medal of Distinction." He produces a round, bronze medallion--you think you make out a human face in profile, but before you can really examine it, Frog steps forward, fixing both decorations to Emerald's chestplate. "I never got to tell you how glad I was to see you make it back," Frog says, with a tired smile, before coming to a crisp salute.Em returns it, just as sharply. "I'm gonna miss you, boss. Come and visit, huh?""I will. India? Believe it or not, your turn." "Despite my best efforts, too," she opines, rolling forward despite the grumbling.
"First, for upholding the honor, integrity and character of the Maverick Hunters, you are awarded--again--the Commander Thomas Wong Bar Trefoil.""What, again?" India asks, threatening to draw a snort of amusement out of you. All formality has gone out the window, at this point. Now, it's just the unit. You wonder vaguely if that's the same everywhere, with the rest of them."I almost don't even want to give it to you, you'll just have it revoked again next week," Frog mutters. "But, more to the point... for your daring and valorous action over the skies of Vienna, for combat distinction in an engagement with a dangerous foe in a situation of direct threat to life, you are hereby awarded the Silver Saltire." This one, you recognize--the small silver cross you saw on Em, next to a gold counterpart. Frog has both as well, as does Gopher behind him."So I flew solo against a G and saved more lives in a single action than everyone else here combined, annnd it's a silver because they were mechaniloid drones? Yeah, that sounds about right." Despite the flippancy, India gives a surprisingly earnest salute. "However much your suffering completes me, I didn't hate you.""I can assure you that rapport was entirely one-sided," Frog replies wryly--seems not being in Command any more has helped him find his sense of humor. "Anode? Please step forward."Emerald returns to the line, new honors gleaming on his chest--you realize now among a good five more, from the gleaming gold and silver crosses, to a pair of interlinked ribbons. You move forward, Frog already producing another box as you do. "For a hunter so young, you've already earned no less than three distinctions. I'm sorry to say you lead an extraordinary life, Anode."You can't help but grin at that. "Just doing my job, sir."
"First, for sustaining serious personal injury in the line of duty, you are hereby awarded the Black Shield, and are officially welcomed back to duty once more." He takes the first--true to the name, a small black shield, a simplified hunter crest on the gleaming black-painted metal, and pins it to your chest, fixed there by a small magnet. "For combat distinction in an engagement with a dangerous foe in a situation of direct thread to life, you are hereby awarded the Silver Saltire." Your turn, now--all the survivors of the 4th wearing the same medal. That gives you a pang of melancholy, but you force it down, letting Frog carefully place the award on your breastplate, right-side."And last, for notable achievement in the line of duty, you are awarded the Gendarmerie Achievement Medal." The third and final honor hangs from a ribbon of blue, flanked with two yellow stripes at the borders--the primary colors from the 4th Overland's banner. The medal itself gleams in gold, with two Reploid infantry--one saluting with a buster, the other holding a folded flag. Between them, the maverick hunter crest lies centerpoint, with the branch name offset over. Beneath, circumscribing the bottom, a motto: "Audere est facere." As he awards it, you see the same symbol repeated in triplicate--on Frog, Gopher, and Em. "Sort of a precursor," Em explains. "Same as the Liz 3." Unfortunately... you've run out of awards for the living. Frog sighs. "I would post an award for Schwarz, but the bastard had every single one he had any business receiving, and some of the ones he didn't. I'm really going to miss him." He shakes his head, as you and Em both practically wilt at that. "Let me start with Conda."
Frog shakes his head. "For rapid response in a situation of crisis above and beyond expectations, Overclock Conda is posthumously awarded the Minuteman Ribbon. And for valor and gallantry befitting an officer of the Maverick Hunters, he is also awarded the Jagerstern." Heaving a sigh, Frog doesn't even open the box. "He has no next of kin to hold on to these for him, so they will be displayed among the Fourth Overland, the only family he ever knew." Em pops off a salute first, momentarily followed by you and India. Gopher just folds his arms and nods as Frog continues. "And... Dodo. For conspicuous gallantry and exceptional action above and beyond the line of duty, in his defense of his fellows against an S-class threat, Dash Dodo is posthumously awarded the highest honor that we can bestow upon him, the Declaration of Valor." All of you salute at that, Frog opening the box to look down at the shining medal inside. "Dash Dodo's will requested that his belongings--which will include this medal--be sent home to the first building of the parcel-shipping company that had him commissioned. I've already spoken with them--they're going to put it up on the wall." That, at least, seems right. Dash Dodo is going home. The five of you are silent again, for a good long time. India lowers her hand first. "So what do we name the Pond, now?""Good question. I guess technically, it would be the Hole now, wouldn't it?" Frog observes with a chuckle.Gopher shrugs. "Watering hole's a watering hole. Weren't you saying some of the boys wanted to name it after Dodo?"Frog nods. "Max was thinking of putting it to a vote. Personally, I like the tradition, but..."No time for an outsider to Geneva to come in and take over," Gopher chimes in, "not with..." "Big Blue, yeah," India nods, turning to you. "You know, he looks kind of like you, Anode?""Gross," Em mutters, before he pauses for a moment and turns to you. "Hey, we gotta go."
"Weapons live at 1200," Frog says. "And Max asked the two of you to drop in before that."You nod. "We'll be there."After the grand proceedings in Geneva, Diamond's private service feels even smaller--the three of you stand on a small bluff on the coast in Massachusetts, a white marker placed on a small cliff overlooking the sea. Sapphire pulls her remaining brother into a hug as you examine the stone--a flat, rectangular base, with a small tapered obelisk at the head, all made of shining marble. No names, no dates. "You ready?" Sapphire asks, putting a hand on her head. "On three." Em nods, hooking a finger and thumb around the front of his own helmet. "One, two..." Both siblings remove their helmets at the same time. The artificial hair is dyed a dark brown--Diamond's chosen hair color, Em had told you, in protest to being color-coded by name. Sapphire manages a small, quiet laugh. "You look weird like that." "Yeah. Hey, I got these for us," Emerald replies--no smile touches his face as he hands Sapphire a small piece of jewelry--a diamond, of course. He raises his arm, showing one already embedded into the bracer. "And...there was something else I wanted to do." Sapphire turns the small jewel over in her hands as she steps aside, Emerald coming to crouch in front of his brother's gravestone. "I should have been there," he murmurs, voice tight again, eyes boring through the ground into the nothing beneath. "I was the oldest. I should have protected you." "Em..." Sapphire murmurs, raising a hand. "But I didn't, and... well, here we are. Here you are. I'm sorry, Diamond." Emerald draws the saber from his left shoulder, one of the 'stock' ones he was built with, snapping alight with a faint, muted crackle over the rush of salt-tinged air and waves. Slowly, he turns it around, sizing up the blade one last time, before he plunges it down into the marble, burying it to the hilt.
The stone melts and parts around the emitter cap, permitting it through as he pushes it straight down slowly and carefully. Finally, when the weapon is ringed in marble, anchored in place by cooling stone, he cuts the switch, and steps back, the saber planted through the center of the marker. "I left a part of me with you," Em murmurs, squeezing his eyes shut. Sapphire embraces her brother again. "You have to stop thinking like that," she insists. "It wasn't your fault. You were missing in action, for God's sake." Em doesn't move. She gives him a small shake, a faint trace of anger entering her voice. "Diamond was left in the base because he was too damaged to fly after Saetos. Is that Anode's fault?"Em blinks and looks up at you. "What? No--""Then don't blame yourself, either," Sapphire interrupts, before her tone softens again. "Please." Em slowly inclines his head. "...Sorry." You leave the gravesite with two gold necklaces dangling from the obelisk--one jeweled with a sapphire, the other an emerald. As you depart, Emerald wordlessly hands you a gem of your own. "Thank you for being here," he mutters, before brushing past quickly to reach the beam-in pad first, winking out in a flash of light, back to Geneva, back to business. Sapphire stops you before you can follow him. "...Take care of him," she says softly. "And thank you for Diamond." She gives you one last hug, before motioning you ahead of her.
You catch Emerald's back retreating into the doorway of the damaged--but re-opened--Pond, a small sign on the wall declaring a last, informal goodbye for the dead. You push in again after him, among a crowd of Berets--you see Flak at a table near the wall, waving at you one-handed as another Beret--possibly Susan--"cries" against his side, back turned and shoulders low. At the back, the broken mirror has been replaced, and hanging over the top is a portrait of the late savior of the bar, the last dodo in a perpetual half-smirk, turning to face the camera. Em reaches Max--they have a short, hushed conversation--and Max nods, handing Em a frothing glass mug of beer. No nanites, not today--this is about ceremony, not drunkenness. A few of the Berets and LTBs around you wave, call, cheer, even clap as you make your way across the bar. Max has a beer waiting for you, and leans forward as he hands it off. "He's not doing well.""I noticed," you mutter, watching Em stand up on a chair, one hand balanced on the edge of a table to steady himself. "DASH DODO!" He yells. "DASH FUCKIN' DODO!" This is met by a chorus of cheers and toasts and raised mugs, before he throws his own back in one massive gulp. The tone is one of... angry revelry, almost. No one is questioning or judging anyone. The morose, the furious, the wounded, the vengeful, for a moment the Pond is united in discord, brothers and sisters in arms. The din rises and falls chaotically, and despite yourself, you find the place most comfortable to be right beside the bar, with Max. You look over the group as you take a pull of your beer, putting your hand out to your side to grab a stool, catching only empty air. You turn and look, and the emptiness clicks with you. "Schwarz's spot," Max says quietly--a real sadness in his normally unperturbed, flanged tone. "Leave it to him to manage not to be missed."
"Oh, he's missed," you mutter, turning back to the barkeeper. He's been repaired--his leg back beneath him where it should be--and a suit coat and black tie over his chestplate. "Get yourself a drink, Max." He pauses for a moment, before taking two pint glasses and filling them from a small cask on the back wall. "Schwarz's personal stock," he says, handing you one. "I guess that will be the last of them."You frown at that, lifting the glass to the light--dark amber, almost caramelized, a rosey glow from the smokey hanging light casting dancing patterns across the bar. "You got a catalog he ordered from?""I made a lot of friends in my life," Max replies, examining his own glass. "A few brewmasters around the world, a few hunters who quit before their time and got real jobs. I ask and pull favors, they get me stuff."You chuckle at that. "Maybe I'll pick up where he left off, then. I'd hate for all that to go away." "Yeah." Max looks out over the din of his bar--far more wild than he might otherwise tolerate, but you both know--this is the last hurrah. "I'm really going to miss him. He had a lot to say about the two of you, you know?" You watch Emerald declare "Tanker Tigershark!" to a chorus of boos before smashing his mug against the floor, a cacophony of breaking glass ringing out all around as the others follow suit. "You hear about Frog?" you ask."He told me first thing.""Surprised you didn't pack up and leave with him, the way things are going around here.""While there's a Fourth, there's a bar. While they need someplace to go, I'll be here." Max takes a slow, measured sip, his ancient, inhuman face poorly suited for drinking. "They need a place like this, to have something to do with all this." You turn and lift your glass, clinking it against his in one last salute for the day. "You're a saint, Max." He chuckles. "So Frog and Schwarz have told me."
The last hour is the longest--you and Max simply fall into the gruff, companionable silence that you always found Schwarzhund in. Em drinks, and shouts, and revels, and roars--between outbursts, you see him glance toward the bar, see that empty space for the barstool, and turn away. You lift your glass in one last, silent toast, knock back the glass of Schwarz's favorite doppelbock, and bid Max goodbye. Two familiar faces are among the hunters waiting in the central command room--Uralmash Ursa, and--"Flares?" you ask, as she grins and throws you a grin. "Howdy, partner," she greets. "I was just transferred.""Transferred?" Em asks, coming up around your side--you see a replacement saber for the one he left at Diamond's gravestone--the same make, but clearly newer, untarnished from use. "15th's in a bad way," Flares explains. "We lost a lot of guys, and a few more were sidelined. They don't really need an artillery spotter for a while. No one to do any spotting for.""Well, welcome to the Fourth," you say. "And I was really glad to see you made it.""How about you, Ursa?" Em asks the massive Reploid bear. "I am also transferred," he says. "Overland bases elsewhere are not so hard hit, so I was brought over from Japan.""At least you know Gopher already, then," you offer."He is a good Commander," Ursa says, tuning one of his massive underslung weapons. "He will curse me many times." Speaking of, Frog and Gopher are hunched over a terminal in the back, as a recently-installed replacement projector casts a globe from the center of the room. Spider files in to your side and throws you a quick finger-to-brim salute before leaning against the door, watching the room. Finally, the two commanders break their huddle, turning to look at you all."All right, we're ready," declares Frog. Behind him, Gopher hits a button.
The reports begin to trickle in, little red lights winking on the globe projector. Names, locations, some of both you recognize. Then more. And more. And more. A thousand little red lights dot the planet, each one a maverick. Each one a target, each one an attack. Little fires spring up--bombings, strafings, raids on research stations, civilian attacks. Out-and-out full scale assaults, invasions. Faces, here and there--a spider with sharp, angular mandibles, an ominous T. TIGERSHARK on a wide, blooming circle suggesting a possible area of operations somewhere in the pacific, thousands of miles wide. A flashing circle with POSSIBLE G-CLASS strobing for a moment, before ANALYSIS: SHIVA takes its place and begins spitting data. G. GIBBON--and your heart sinking as you see your own hunter number beneath it.The lights are on. You approach a terminal and filter for your own assignments, as the hunters assembled begin to discuss their target rosters.
Hurricane Wren (A-class after voluntary downgrade)Known weaponry: Wind Shear, Feather Blade. Wren is capable of producing devastating cyclones bristling with ceratanium alloy blades, shredding armor and bypassing many conventional defenses. Hurricane Wren has reappeared and begun carving a path of destruction, almost at random, across rural France. Her attacks are seemingly directionless and without strategic objective, but her path is taking her closer and closer to civilian settlements. The military is evacuating ahead of her and pushing back, but they are being steadily chewed away. More and more resources that might be committed elsewhere are being committed to the evacuation. While the threat is less imminent than some, the sooner she’s dealt with, the sooner those resources can be turned to combating the maverick threat elsewhere. She seems to be avoiding nonliving targets--she will attack Reploids, but strongly prioritizes humans, so the military has been sending tank divisions to try to “steer” her gradually, at the cost of hundreds of infantry lives baiting her away.Personality: After “rehabilitation,” Wren has once again relapsed into maverick activity. This time, it has taken a considerable toll on her sanity--though an expert high-speed, high-maneuverability flyer, she is instead attacking seemingly at random, lashing out at anything she can harm within reach as she cuts a swath through any military forces sent against her. Despite the rash attack and the complete lack of strategic fighting, Wren remains an incredibly dangerous threat in close combat.Available support: 7th Air Cavalry
Glacier Gibbon (A-class)Known weaponry: Snow Blind, Glace Laser. Glacier Gibbon is capable of variable-setting cryomer compound bursts, and possesses a powerful ultraviolet laser weapon tuned for use at extreme range, nearly invisible in his preferred environs.The 4th Overland satellite outpost in Greenland has been radio silent for days now. Investigating was a low priority until the base began broadcasting signals on a known maverick frequency. Glacier Gibbon is now assumed hostile. Retaking this base has lower strategic priority, but search and seizure will leave one less vulnerability--and they made have been conducting operations here for weeks or even months.Gibbon is a stealth and polar environment expert, preferring to attack with hit-and-run and misdirection. He is a dominant attacker at range, and is possessed of a great many ways to ensure he stays at his ideal distances. Available support: 12th Polar
Broadside Yamatoad (S-class)Known weaponry: N/ALittle is known about the English military-built Broadside Yamatoad, who went maverick immediately after being armed as a naval officer. He is rated with S-graded weaponry and this assessment matches what combat data we have. Maverick forces have seized a Libyan shipyard and begun production on a naval armada at an astounding rate. Local forces sent against him reported heavy artillery support from over-the-horizon guns, backed by a heavy mechaniloid force that has thus far repelled all attempts to retake the shipyard. This location is of high strategic importance, as denying the facilities to the enemy also allows us to produce more ships within the area of operation for several maverick threats. Capturing the shipyard without damage to the automated production facilities is a priority objective.Available support: 6th Marine (advisory), 8th Armored
>>43893037Oh god we fucking hope not. Putting that bastard down would be hell even if we didn't respect him so much.
Soul Foxfire (B-class)Known weaponry: N/AA known mercenary hacker for hire, Soul Foxfire has raided and occupied a remote cyberspace development facility. The research station is underground and has full, but isolated, cyberspace overlap. Nonetheless, she has made several intrusion attempts on Rho's systems and is attempting to steal hunter data through numerous security inroads.Foxfire is mercurial and likely simply sees this as another job. She is cloying and playful in demeanor, but in combat has demonstrated that she is very capable of brutal practicality from seemingly nowhere. She avoids direct confrontations wherever possible, however, and often seems to enjoy posing challenges for the sport of them.Available support: N/A
Barrage Mortarphant (A-class)Known weaponry: Blaster Shell, Command Strike. Mortarphant is built for command and control of multiple mechaniloid assets, and designed around long-range bombardment. WARNING: Mortarphant's extreme-range weapon approaches S-graded armament, offset by her near-total lack of close-range options--the most danger will be in the approach. A former 15th Artillery officer, Mortarphant has gone violently and sadistically maverick, still operating out of the remains of a 15th remote base, situated on a mesa in Algeria, overlooking a shelled-out town in a valley. Mortarphant's long-range capabilities are terrifying--the relative shelter of the valley is the only available approach, with wide fields of interdictor fields preventing close-in insertion. Mortarphant is a high strategic priority--she is both providing artillery fire for multiple maverick operations in the region, as well as sidelining several loyal hunter assets due to the threat of being a potential infection vector for her interlinked sister units. Available support: 15th Artillery is unable to mass counterbattery fire against the superior position and gunnery of Mortarphant, but has requested the assigned hunter seek their counsel before engaging.
Oh god all of these are somewhat important.
Disruptor Sabomole (B-class)Known weaponry: Sapper Claw. Sabomole is a repurposed tunneling specialist, with weaponized digging equipment. The base system he operates with punches through thick rock before a shaped charge (and subsequent small-scale EMP) break apart the formation. A civilian model, Disruptor Sabomole seems to be tasked with undermining fortifications along the German border. The extreme difficulty of reaching him has thus far foiled special forces attempts to seek and retire him, as he has built a maze of tunnels, rigged to collapse on demand, and a heavy-duty mechaniloid contingent is bolstering his relatively lackluster personal strength. Available support: 9th Rangers
>>43893143Welcome to a real Maverick outbreak.
Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown; unassessed)Known weaponry: N/A. Atlantica was a performer who used fiber-optics and cyberspace integrated interface. A former singer, Stellar Atlantica has begun attacking concert halls and theaters she once played at, killing several hundred civilians. During her latest attack, she struck an optical laser technologies forum at one of these former venues, and kidnapped a renowned expert in the field on one of his rare public appearances. She has since retreated to an undersea concert hall off the shore of Malta, one her builders had specially ordered for her shows. The entire complex is built around her and her ability to integrate into its fiber optic displays. Attempts for further intel on her design or capabilities have been rejected by her builders at LDM Productions, citing "proprietary information." Atlantica's behavior since going maverick has been consistent in its violence. Her purpose in taking a captive alive is unknown, but his insight into optical laser weaponry could be a very useful asset--or a very dangerous one, in the wrong hands. Available support: Currently unavailable--6th Marine is engaged with Broadside Yamatoad within the theater of operations.
Graverend Moloch (A-class)Known weaponry: Earthrend Spike. Designed to shift earth and rock, this weapon is capable of both punching through heavy armor and causing grievous injury to the systems beneath. A new maverick, seemingly purpose-built, has begun a campaign of terror along the United States west coast. As of twelve minutes ago, he has collapsed an entire apartment building--aside from the sheer enormity of the attack, he has evaded capture in the wake of repeated activity. Support hunters are already deploying to aid in the civilian evacuation, while local law enforcement are seeking help tracking the maverick down before he slips away once more. Moloch is a relative unknown, only becoming active approximately one month ago, and only beginning his attacks in earnest in time with the raid on MHHQ. Survivor accounts have described him as brutal and erratic, seeking carnage and destruction for its own sake. Available support: 3rd Deploy, 1st Advance
Ladies and gentlemen... Please, select your first maverick.>Hurricane Wren (A-class)>Glacier Gibbon (A-class)>Broadside Yamatoad (S-class)>Soul Foxfire (B-class)>Barrage Mortarphant (A-class)>Disruptor Sabomole (B-class)>Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown)>Graverend Moloch (A-class)
>>43893261>Broadside Yamatoad (S-class)Dont let them keep that shipyard.
>>43892708They could name it "Dodo's Hole"
>>43893040 >>43893190Okay. Hmm. Tricky. Taking out Yamatoad first would open things up so we could have support - but at the same time if we go at him and she comes in as support, we could get fucked up by the ambush. Still. I think that before we go after someone with unknown capabilities on her home turf, we'll need backup. Because that could be an even worse situation. (Ordinarily I'd suggest we team up with some of the other people in the unit. But that's not going to be an option with so many threats.)
>>43893261>Soul Foxfire (B-class)Of all the options here, seems like Broadside Yamatoad is a prerequisite for Stellar Atlantica. Problem is, he's probably the toughest egg to crack among all of them, and we don't want another Saetos situation so early on. The rest of the A-class targets are relatively important, some more so than others. If we go after those, I would prefer going after Mortarphant, as that has a strategic objective of high priority.But as it stands, someone's trying to get into Rho, and intelligence is really important at this stage.
>>43893261As much as I don't like letting A/S ranks run free, I do think we need to hit Soul Foxfire hard and fast. 10th is only now just getting reinstated and Rho is (as proven in the past) extremely important.Plus... who doesn't want a possible trip to cyberspace?
>>43893261Just a friendly reminder to everyone:1) Missions are of variable difficulty, just as stages are of varying difficulty in a game.2) The gloves are off. We are now playing for keeps. If you make serious mistakes going forward...well, the training wheels are gone and the safety's off.
>>43893261Whooo.. this is tough. Foxfire and Atlantica are unknowns to a good degree, but their tech will likely come into play with one another. Hurricane Wren is dangerous alongside Moloch since they are both VERY active.Barrage Mortarphant is a good option in my eyes since he provides artillery support to various fronts. We take him out, we free up a lot of spots.I'd say Gibbon or Sabomole would also be important since Sabomole can prevent damages to the military and Gibbon would probably have intel and a weapon that could fuse well with our laser.
>>43893261>Hurricane Wren (A-Class)This looks like the most immediate threat to civilians, and this poor woman needs a rest.
>Soul Foxfire (B-class)As much as I want to say Gibbon or Wren, I agree that intel is top priority. Anyone who fucks with Rho is a Big Fuckin' Problem™
>>43893261>Soul Foxfire (B-class)i dont trust the rating on this one, but even if she only has a small chance of success intrusions against rho shouldn't be tolerated
>hurricane wren confirmed as one of our targetsW O R R I E DAs for voting, Broadside and Wren seem like the most important targets to take down sooner rather than later, one for the strategic value of the shipyards, the other because civilians.
>>43893261I vote either Hurricane Wren or Broadside Yamatoid (who is oddly named considering he was ostensibly English built?)Going after either frees up valuable resources and in Wren's case puts her out of her misery. We can also see how out new jet pack does against a flier.
>>43893261>Soul Foxfire (B-class)Yamatoad is a priority target what with that shipyard, but I'm not confident going in on him at this point, especially since there are noted records of him repelling attacks. As crucial as all the other threats may be, Foxfire may pay off the most dividends: the more pressure we can take off Rho, the better.
>>43893261>Hurricane Wren (A-class)
FYI, we shouldn't take on Yamatoad before we take out Barrage Mortarphant.>Mortarphant has gone violently and sadistically maverick, still operating out of the remains of a 15th remote base, situated on a mesa in Algeria>Maverick forces have seized a Libyan shipyard and begun production on a naval armada at an astounding rate. Local forces sent against him reported heavy artillery support from over-the-horizon guns...Considering Libya and Algeria share a border, how much do you want to bet those over-the-horizon guns are Mortarphant?
>>43893261>Hurricane Wren (A-Class)I actually agree that there are higher strategic objectives elsewhere, but there are humans getting sliced up right now. Rho can withstand hacking better than humans can withstand bladenados.
>>43893736If you're talking about immediate threat to human life, then shouldn't we go after Graverend Moloch? His attack was called in literally twelve minutes ago.
>>43893732No need to bet. A thing to keep in mind alongside the standard 'weaknesses' is that we may be dealing with stage variances by doing certain bosses first. We want to free up resources fast but also minimize damage.No matter the order, Barrage comes before broadside. Besides, our high mobility makes a pretty good counter to Mortarphant.
>>43893261>>Soul Foxfire (B-class)Unfortunately, I have to go to work soon, so I won't be able to participate. But good to see you running again, HC.
>>43893885And Broadside comes before Stellar Atlantica.
>>43893261Lets do some prioritizationHigh/Strategic Importance>>Broadside Yamatoad (S-class)We can't let them muster a fleet in the Mediterranean>>Barrage Mortarphant (A-class)One of the single biggest problem 15th is facing>>Soul Foxfire (B-class)Our Counter-Intel situation is bad enough. Lets not let is get any worseMedium/Long term>>Glacier Gibbon (A-class)Prevent an additional front/guerrilla distraction from forming.>>Disruptor Sabomole (B-class)More of a tactical problem than a strategic one right now. Need to be taken care of eventually though. This seems more like a job for Grapple though.Low/Moral Damage>>Hurricane Wren (A-class)Resource allocation may bump this up in terms of priority, but I think it can wait until the second round of targets.>>Graverend Moloch (A-class)Does not currently posses a strategic threat, but this may change.Shit tier>>Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown)Now that we are at war HQ should be able to put more muscle on getting working intel on her. Will have to wait until after we deal with the toad though.
>>43893796Good Point. I missed the 12 minutes bit somehow, and thought of him as generally menacing an area that was quickly evacuating. If he's going to be right there in a city then this is the time to get him.Changing my prior vote from>Hurricane Wren (A-Class)to>Graverend Moloch (A-class)
>>43893261I think Soul Foxfire or Disrupter Sabomole first.Soul Foxfire to allow Rho to better focus on gaining intel and Disrupter Sabomole to give us tunneling capabilities that would help us get to Mortarphant.>>43893949>>Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown)>Now that we are at war HQ should be able to put more muscle on getting working intel on her. Will have to wait until after we deal with the toad though.
>>43893916Correct. Soul and Gibbon seem to be our intel targets, Stellar seems to have a scientist of high value, and Wren and Morloch are civilian targetters. >>43893949Yeah.. Soul Foxfire is high if we want to prevent a general data leak and she may have data we can use. Barrage is a threat as well since she provides cover fire.
>>43893949>Graverend Moloch (A-class)>Does not currently posses a strategic threat, but this may change.Graverend's attack is happening right now and was called in right now.
>>43893949>Low/Moral DamageThat depends on how highly you value human life.
Question for Hunter Command and/or Cain Labs: Will we have time to upgrade between missions or is this going to be one after the other unless we get injured badly enough we can't go right back out?
>>43893261>Broadside Yamatoad (S-class)Never, EVER let Mavericks control production facilities. Leaving this unhandled is just begging to get offshore bombardment shoved up our happy metal ass.Also,>>43893190>Attempts for further intel on her design or capabilities have been rejected by her builders at LDM Productions, citing "proprietary information."It's time to start praying Halcyon has some ball bearings, because if he does this won't stay that way for long.
>>43894109We can't go for Yamatoad right now. He's got too much protecting him. We need to take out Mortarphant before we can even think of going for Yamatoad.
>>43894130>We need to take out Mortarphant before we can even think of going for Yamatoad.THIS
Soul Foxfire, Barrage Mortarphant, then Broadside Yamatoad seems like the way to go for a strategic approach (perhaps moving Foxfire to third if you value the shipyard over Rho, but I don't).Of course, humans die and mysterious people do mysterious things in the process if we take this route.
>>43894327If we're going for strategic targets we can deal with right now, Foxfire is the best target. For human safety, it's Graverend or Wren.
>>43894130Mortarphant's artillery support is only an issue if we don't think to use a Ride Chaser to get into the yards quickly. Once we get close to the machinery, every shell they try to fire on us will upfuck their production capabilities. They're not going to accept that kind of loss.You know what'll make things harder on us? Giving them time for more fortification. Especially with the giant WE'RE GOING TO ATTACK YOUR SHIPYARDS AGAIN signal of taking out their artillery support.I'm actually starting to think the best method might be to take out Sabomole and use his data to build something that will enable an underground approach to the yards.
>>43894367>SabomoleI was thinking of using Sabomole's stuff to strike both Ymatoad and Mortarphant simultaneously. Should prevent them from reinforcing each other, and the forces that we would use don't have much overlap.
>Graverend Moloch (A-class) Everyone else is locked down, to an extent. Moloch's report is from twelve minutes ago; we have a chance to get in there and take him out now before he does more damage.
Something else that I've been wondering about is when Indra's Neo-Fighter design going to pan out. It should give 7th the boost it needs to regain effectiveness.
>>43894367Big problem: We need to get this done without fucking up the facilities. If they're going to lose anyway they will be more than happy to blow the shit out of the shipyard to keep US from using them.
>>43894367A heavy mechaniloid presence and over-the-horizon artillery (Mortarphant) has stymied every attempt to retake the shipyard. RIDE CHASER BLITZ is only going to put us deep in enemy territory without backup and cut off against an S-rank.Yamatoad knows more attacks against his shipyard will come, that's inevitable. What he can't control is the possibility of someone actually taking out Mortarphant, thus losing him a major covering asset.
>>43894491Exactly. As the briefing says, priority is recovering the shipyard intact. If the Mavericks know Hunter saboteurs and assassins are coming for Yamatoad, what's to stop them from shelling the shipyard itself? If they can't kill the Hunters, then at least they'll render the shipyard useless.
>>43894518For that matter, artillery fire is a pretty good cover for pulling Yamatoad out to a different location, thereby rending both parts of the mission worthless. Especially if they manage to make it look like he was sacrificed and can have him pop up later when we aren't expecting him.
Man, this is really bad. Even though Mortarphant and Yamatoad seem like big deals, I don't think they should come first. And Atlantica should come after Yamatoad. Sabomole, Wren, and Gibbon seem lowish priority for now. So I'm stuck between taking out Foxfire for the intel problem, and Moloch since he's so recent.I'll vote Graverend Moloch first because he's current, his weapon will probably be really useful and Foxfire hasn't had any success yet.My current preferred route would probably be: Moloch->Foxfire->Mortarphant->Yamatoad->Wren->Atlantica->Gibbon->Sabomole
>>43894599>Moloch->Foxfire->Mortarphant->Yamatoad->Wren->Atlantica->Gibbon->SabomoleSabomole might supply a path openner power so doing him last might be a bad idea.
>>43894599Decent lineup, but I think we'll want to hit Atlantica immediately after Yamatoad, to keep her from getting a chance to move out once the 6th are freed. Make sense?
Now that I've finished doing the ten thousand other things I had to do, hello everyone! Let me remind you that, strategic or tactical or humanitarian motivation aside, you should also take into consideration your personal safety and survival. Remember the last time you had an S-class in your standard eight, and that time you had the training wheels and 140 other dudes backing you up. Side note, good lord, I've never had to solve a triple captcha to post before. 13,000 words across 50 posts.
I say we take out Mortarphant soon to open the way for the Yamatoid and Atlantica jobs. We should take out Foxfire before that though. Rho being attacked is an issue. Use Sabomole's special to close ranks and get the drop on Gibbon, neutralizing his biggest strength, the long range ultraviolet cannon.>Soul Foxfire (B-class) >Barrage Mortarphant (A-class) > Broadside Yamatoad (S-class) > Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown) > Hurricane Wren (A-class) > Disruptor Sabomole (B-class) > Glacier Gibbon (A-class) > Graverend Moloch (A-class)
>Soul Foxfire (B-class)
Ahh, my second-favorite part of MHQ.The monster roster.
>>43895256What's the first then?
>>43895304Watching the players fail and/or killing off (beloved) characters. Cain Labs has made a name for himself as a super-sadist.
>>43895329Eh, he pretends to be a hardass, but he's really soft and cuddly once you get to know him.
>>43895304Players shipping Anode and India
>mfw this outbreak
>>43895396Dude, Mega Man X3 is officially underway. Of course the outbreak is going to be huge.
So...folks may or may not remember me as the person who did the writefaggotry last thread, about a then-nameless protagonist bringing in an old-school Mav by the name of Origami. If you missed it you can find it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qNONH8nmHk9ZCoLUtrO10FrSnBQemTJYe8fj-_Y1q0o/edit?usp=sharingAnd because I have clearly lost control of my life, I've done a part two: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B-vm_HLUk7kPGD5as-QS-3Nr_mVK3NUVgGG26YzcXYo/edit?usp=sharingI'm open to critique and feedback. Thanks for your time, folks, and a big thank you to Hunter Command both for answering my incessant and annoying questions and for agreeing to let me post this.
>Disruptor Sabomole (B-class)We need tactical mobility.
>>43895014>Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown)Kill it with electricity. I don't trust this one at all.
>>43895705it sounds like our blackout rockets could fuck it up quite well ass well... In fact I think the blackout rockets will help a fucking lot with these guys. Soul fixfire by fucking with her ability to jack into shit, Barrage Mortarphant (if we can get close enough) to fuck with her targeting, and Hurricane Wren just because the flack does wonders for fucking with air units... Kind of want to take her in alive though because I honestly feel bad for that one.
>>43894453This one was me, switching to >Disruptor Sabomole Because much as I hate leaving Graverend up (also who the fuck named this guy that? That's ASKING for him to go Mav) we need the tunneling capacity.
>Graverend up (also who the fuck named this guy that? That's ASKING for him to go Mav) He was built by the mavs, they knew what they were doing.
>>43895986Gotta admit it is a spooky-ass name, yeah.
>>43895625I cba to provide a full critique, as last time I said anything, but you've improved at laying on the pathos compared to the last thing.
Maybe I'm a slow reader. Maybe I'm late to the game. But I cried three times you son of a bitch. Also, casting my vote for Graverend Moloch.My reasoning is similar to that already expressed by my compatriots, along with one somewhat more personal detail: We need to save the Yakima Valley, guys. Max is counting on us.
>>43896749...Wait, we got friends there? Or at least friends who do? Fuck Sabomole. >>43895788Switching back to >Graverend Moloch
>>43896871The Yakima Valley is one of the world's foremost hop-growing regions (at least in the present day, but the climate can't have changed that much if humanity still exists in-setting) and as such is also home to a long and storied brewing history. It wasn't specifically mentioned, but some of Max's brewmaster connections are almost certainly gonna call it home.
>>43896289You can't see it but I'm blushing like a virgin bride. I, ah. I don't suppose I can get you to expand on your feedback?>>43896390No worries anon. I appreciate the read.
>>43897064Ahhh, gotcha. Well, hey, we've done stupid shit before now for less reason. Why not!
>>43894942Figured as much. Soul Foxfire will do as a test run course then. We still have tech we haven't used and we need to get our paces done with it. Mortarphant should be next after that. A S rank ranged attack on a S-rank mission is dangerous.
>>43893261>Disruptor Sabomole (B-class)no major direct help, but his data should be useful in dealing with Morphant.>Graverend Molochactive mass civ killing>Broadside Yamatoadextremely high strategic value location. Will have to work around the production facilities.
so what do you guys think in the rock paper scissors line up this time? As in who's abilities do you guys think beats who in all the boss fights? The only one I'm sure about is Disruptor Sabomole trumping Barrage Mortarphant simply because I feel if we can beat him we can get a toy that will let us get a lot closer to her a lot easier since she seems to be shit up close.
>>43898362I think Graverend will trump Sabomole. Sabomole might trump Mortaphant, might not. Yamatoad definitely needs to be gone before we go at Atlantica, and Mortarphant before him, though.
>>43898502As is, it's hard to tell the exact order since 3 enemies have unknown attacks and one is simply unknown. There's also the possibility that special stage order and weakness order are two different things.Disablers would likely stop wren and the wind would likely shred gibbon. Grave and Mole are pretty equal since their elements are similar so one could be weak to the other. Either way, no S rank or ??? rank for our first mission. We have too much new tech that we haven't tried to know if it will work the ways we want it. We also don't know the meaning of 'no training wheels' so a easier mission is probably best.
>>43898902"No training wheels" means no safety net. If we fuck up, we are FUCKED.
>>43898940If you fuck up, I will be waiting.To take things.
>>43893261Hmm, regardless of who we go after first, I propose we should follow this general order.>Hurricane WrenFrees up the forces dealing with her, so they can help with other targets we go after and might slow down anybody we don't deal with immediately.>Barrage MortarphantDealing with her will make fighting Yamatoad (and other targets) a lot easier and allows more units to enter the fight.>Broadside YamatoadWith the additional support being freed up and the absence of Mortarphant's artillery, we should be able to handle Yamatoad.Liberating the shipyard will free up 6th Marine and obviously more ships will help all around.>Stellar AtlanticaAtantica is going to be a right bitch.First, there's not enough intel on what her capabilities are.Second, we'll have to fight through an entire underwater complex designed specifically for her.Third, she has a hostage that is most likely being forced to improve her and/or the complex.We'll need the 6th Marine and whatever support we can get to have a decent chance to taking her down.All other mavericks should be engaged in between these targets with Graverend Moloch and Soul Foxfire taking priority.
>>43899111That is not no safety net. That's a highwire with a spike pit under it and people throwing things at you.
>>43898940Were... Were we not already operating on that assumption? Like, I guess just I don't see the point of this whole 'CONSEQUENCESSSSSSS' hooha when we've already been playing things in a fairly cautious fashion and taking way too long coming to decisions because we're trying to get all the angles.Well, except on the Skipjack mission, I guess. Torpedo riding and all.
>>43899127>MotarphantWe need the Maverick Hunter version of Halo's ghost for this. fast but maneuverable in any direction.>StellarIf we can get the hostage out, we could just bring the whole place down on her head.I agree with this ordering except for Stellar. There are much more urgent options, such as Graverend
>>43899281Our first eight mavericks were the tutorial, bruh.Now the real game begins.
>>43893261One thing I want to say for Wren is that, considering Mortarphant will likely be shelling us the entire way, her power may let us foul Mortarphant's shots. However, Graverend is noted as having some serious armor punching abilities, so he may be necessary for an elephant hunt since she's likely the Tumult of this crew. So, for armor piercing that could be damn useful, going to say Graverend. We can get him before he strikes something with military value, save civs, and get some punch for the sturdy fucks we have to kill.
>Stellar Atlanticashe was built to be an entertainer right? Would any find it all that surprising that she is basically kidnapping an audience
>>43899321>Mortarphant's extreme-range weapon approaches S-graded armament, offset by her near-total lack of close-range options--the most danger will be in the approach.Once we get to her, dealing with her shouldn't be an issue; It's getting there that's the problem>>43899362I think she kidnapped a techie so everyone can hear her better. Also as a captive audience.
>>43899281>Well, except on the Skipjack mission, I guess. Torpedo riding and all.I am still surprised that you guys actually went along with my dumb idea.
>>43899430Blame Em, he's a bad influence on our innocent minds.
>>43899302That's not my point mangWe were already running as though there was no safety net, so suddenly having that fact yelled in my face isn't really fazing me all that much. Like, the obvious GM intimidation tactics seem, I don't know, a little ineffective I suppose. I'm still going to play with caution to the point of paranoia, so nothing has changed?
>>43899288>We need the Maverick Hunter version of Halo's ghost for this. fast but maneuverable in any direction.Another reason to go after Wren before Mortarphant, as>>43899321pointed out, we'll most likely need her power.>I agree with this ordering except for Stellar. There are much more urgent options, such as GraverendIndeed. That's why I mentioned that list was just a general order we should follow whilst taking on the other mavericks in between dealing them.As I said, Stellar is most likely going to be the most difficult to deal with, but she's also not a high priority, so she can most likely wait while we take down the other mavericks to free up support to help deal with her.
>>43899460Only Anode and Em could fuck up a Nativity scene.
>>43899481No him, but a lot of anons abuse plot armor and rule of cool. We have, in general, played to pretty safe; but the warning is to let people know there is no more plot armor.
>>43899495Hey now.There's LOTS of ways to fuck up a Nativity scene.On that note, I need to head to bed--please continue to discuss and vote, and when the thread is fully dead, I'll make our tally. Thank you all and always, both for patience and for reading.
>>43899656hey I can't remember if this was answered or not but did that guy with the one leg that we saved way back when survive that attack?
>>43899729Unlisted, as he wasn't a hunter officer, he was still in training. You don't know.
>>43899750shit I was hoping we could try and get him to join the bravely broken if we ever got into the 4th
>>43899766The fuck are you talking about? We've been in the 4th since the start.
>>43899826not us the guy we saved from jagwire
>>43893261Either> Wren Or > GravenderDeal with an immediate threat to civilians. Then move on to Foxfire and the intelligence issues.
I'm fine with anyone that isn't an S rank. although I would like to save Wren for later as she is someone I'd like to save since holy shit does she have a bad run of luck.
>>43900137Yeah, I'm with you on that one. Poor Wren, man. Just... Ow. Girl deserves one not-shitty break for once.
>>43900137Seconded, let's try to bring her in when we're upgraded and have a better chance of not acting in desperation
>Soul FoxfireYou guys are forgetting something very important; if we're going to Cyberspace, we'll be on a certain, currently Non-Mav AI's turf. That's right, I'm talking about Cyber Peacock.His original purpose before Sigma got his hands on the AI was to protect Cyberspace from Hackers and malevolent programming.If we're lucky, we may actually have his help in this scenario, since I can't imagine a Non-Mav Cyber Peacock would tolerate someone like Soul Foxfire mucking up Cyberspace and infiltrating networks like they owned the damn place.
>>43900761I got the impression that we would basically be running through a base trying to find her that she probably rigged to not have to fight us directly.
>>43900796That's also possible, but the base is also apparently overlapped with Cyberspace somehow, so it's not completely off the table.
Let's be honest for a moment: each choice here costs lives and resources in some fashion. Who we don't hunt now will kill, and who we do hunt will be stopped. Some free up divisions, some free up our intel, but that is the gist of it. That said, the order can vastly improve our odds against the others, and as such, we may need to look at this as who can we reliably take down with minimal casualty and resource loss for best payoff. Personally, I said Graverend. I think his power, which I keep thinking of as the equivalent of a bunker buster, will be very useful to us in stopping the others. But ultimately, the question is as such: where can we do the most good, and get the ability to do even more to shut these threats down in a hurry?
there's also the chance that capturing a hacker might help us get ore intel on the ones we donrt know enough about yet> Soul Foxfire
>>43901178It depends. In general, info is important and will allow us to move smoothly between operations. If there is a leak, resistance can be quickened or plans altered. Capturing Soul Foxfire also has the possibility of using her to extract mav data. Considering our lack of knowledge on one of our mavs, this is handy.Barrage Mortarphant is also a two fold unit. Getting rid of her frees up various fronts from S-class mortar fire. This will make take down easier for those fronts and make the lives of every hunter in the area easier. A side bonus is that her sister units will be freed up due to the worry of viral linkage and thus will bring more high end officers to the field faster. This will help shore up multiple fronts, including our Artillery which is greatly diminished.
I just finished reading.Am I the only one who thinks that Glacier Gibbon is going to deploy the Sigma Virus if we leave him alone for too long?
>>43893261>Soul Foxfire (B-class)Always believed in the importance of intel. We know so little about the other mavericks, hopefully capturing her will let us get better intel on the rest of the bunch.Also, she doesn't seem that crazy. Maybe we can actually bring her in.
>>43901488I'm against both of the B-classes. They both have good reasons to stop them, but they're also geared to stall and make us take as long as possible.
>>43901314True, and I'm still mindful of the" Hacker = Good Guy, Cracker = Bad Guy" Dichotomy. Even though Hacker's more of a catch-all term these days where the person who is bypassing security protocols, firewalls, and whatever the fuck else there is either good or bad. I prefer the distinction between the two because to me, she's labeled as Maverick in the political sense simply because she is a Mercenary, which doesn't necessarily mean she's automatically a bad guy. Just that she was paid by the bad guys to do bad things.
>>43893261>Barrage Mortarphant (A-class)I'm with the Yamatoad-Atlantica string, then foxfire for the intel. I think the light powers will help with fighting foxfire.From there, we might be able to figure out which of the other targets have more urgent long term plans.
>>43901583When the guys paying her have plans along the lines of 'exterminate humanity' and 'infect all reploids with mindbreak virus', working for them puts her firmly in my definition of bad guy.Plus, it's possible that she's been infected by now, one of the dangers of working with mavs.
>>43901663Eh, I'm a glass half full sort of guy. I'm weird like that, I guess.
>>43901806>glass half fullwith VIRUSES, maybe.
>>43901874At this point, the glass is at least 70% viruses.
Hate to interrupt this but I feel like this warrants some attention. Did Archie take your ideas HC?
>>43901363Just was saying, in this case what they can give us directly to complete our other missions with haste is just as vital for this, so it merits consideration, seeing as if we die then the others are someone else's new problem. Also, Atlantica is likely going to build a super frame or something crazy like that to advance her rank over time. It's what I am pulling with one of my own bosses, though Deer's going to be on a much smaller scale. Just need to get back into my groove of updating that game.
>>43902007Also to expand on this, weighing it as risk>direct reward>indirect reward currently, seeing it more as what looks to me like the best method for Anode to survive to take the other missions, though I am fully willing to admit I am likely wrong on my assumptions. And that Mortarphant is admittedly who I would go after next in how I prioritize them in my head.
>>43901949Well, Maverick Hunter Quest has been running for over 3.5 years by now. I wouldn't be surprised.
Im currently thinking, Foxfire>Motorphant>Yamatoad>Stellar(Unknown rank? thats just an S or G waiting to happen I bet)> Wren> Graverend>Sabomole> GibbonIm really thinking the longer we leave Stellar, the worse shes going to be though, what with her stealing a scientist and having her own custom BoO and all.
>>43893261>Graverend Moloch (A-class)Deleted my old vote after some thought. This guy is bad news, and he's RIGHT THERE. He's on the run, and if his abilities are earth-based, Anode may have the ability to outmaneuver him.>Suggested order: Moloch-> Foxfire-> Mortarphant-> Sabomole-> Wren -> Yamatoad-> Atlantica->GibbonFox comes next because INTEL. Between Anode's new speed and Moloch's earth-moving power, this may be key to bringing down Mortarphant and freeing up 15th. Sabamole comes next (is it the border with France?) because this might help contain Wren. Bringing down Wren frees more assets to confront Yamatoad.Yamatoad is... scary. But he shouldn't be kept until last, due to the shipyard. Then comes Atlantica, with 6th's help (now freed up). And maybe that optical specialist can help with Gibbon. This is my suggested order, feel free to mock.
>>43902007The problem with that is the fact that we would also be going into it dark, with no support, against a hostage holder who could be anywhere from B-S. All forces are tied up, we have untested gear we haven't field trialed yet, and are going to enter a field we are not suited for. She might become a higher level threat or not, but she is also a big unknown without even a spec of data. There is also the fact that we'd be doing a S after S sort of situation really early and with few upgrades and no extra lives. At least for the Yamatoad we could have the Crossmore serve as our primary weapon to soften him up.
>>43901949I can weigh in on this one. The 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 0 Unit are all canonical, having been mentioned by various Maverick entries in side materials over the life of the franchise. Their existence inspired me to fill in the remainder. This was about 9-10 years ago now.So, you'll know they ripped us off if you see 1st Advance, 2nd Recon, 3rd Deploy, 5th Communications, 10th Special Forces (Civic), 11th Space, 12th Tropical, 15th Artillery or 16th R&D. Or, you know, any of our concepts, explanations and characters.
>>43902199While it's true that Moloch would help with Mortarphant and Sabomole, I feel that the bombardment needs to end as soon as possible.As for foxfire, I'd rather not go in there without a way to skip past the bullshit. The problem is the best way I can think of is Atlantica, the one we need the intel FOR.
>>43901558Nothing wrong with that, we've handled it before. We need a foothold in, and the Bs are targets of higher priority and lower difficulty.
>>43902241If Anode shows up in Archie Comics, I don't know WHAT the fuck.
>>43902225Crossmore got blown up by Seven, sadly. Bastard that he is, we will never get to bring it on a mission now.Anyway, agreed on Atlantica not being first. I just wanted to point out what she was probably doing. Kinda like >>43902199 the most for order since Moloch cannot go to ground, we free up intel, and then take out threats keeping other units tied up before the big push on what is likely the hardest position, no matter what else happens to it.
>>43902322If they make a reference on the level of ROBOT HAIR, I just don't know.
>>43902323The crossmore's LEGS were blown up, not the core. If the core was destroyed, india would be dead. We also had confirmation from HC and CL about the Crossmore still being usable.
>>43902469As cool as the crossmore is, I don't think it'll be repaired anytime soon; Or if it is 8th or someone else would pillage it.
>>43902606The 8th can have it. They'll use it to infinitely better effect than we would.
>>43902684hey since you're here got any more story time? Since Hunter said he's going to let this thread die before doing anything else?
>>43902469>coreI wonder what sort of mischief a tinkerer could get up to with a spare ride armor core...
Thanks for running HC. Excellent writing as always, you're one of my favorite QMs. The funeral was very moving.
>>43893261I might suggest that if we're not heading to Foxfire first, that we attack Moloch. The time needed to develop whatever we might get on that mission could be taken while we go after Foxfire and then we'd (hopefully) have it ready by our 3rd OP.Of course, I don't know the exact turn-around time on these sort of things, but it could be something to think about.
>>43895625I totally missed this the first time you posted it and I have to give you some props. This is good. I want to give Origami a hug, so you've definitely succeeded there.
>>43902725I could give it a shot, being Charge Tortoise. However, it is late and I just dealt with nasty things, and got a bit burnt out of running due to real life giving me enough problems, at least for a time. Getting back into it now, though. Also, Notmav, if you're out there, still keeping a spot open for you! Same with the other guys who had to drop off as of late.
>>43903639well if it's late and this thing is still up tomorrow then you could try then.
>>43892385Wasn't Neutron Zebra G-rank? Who retired him?>>43893261Let's see. From what intel we have, the weakness chart would most obviously progressFoxfire-> Atlantica-> Wren-> Moloch-> Sabomole-> Mortarphant-> Yamatoad-> Gibbon (though without as many basic element-themed Mavericks in the list here, Gibbon's strengths and weaknesses are hard for me to figure out)-> FoxfireOut of these, the best first step might be>Barrage Mortarphant (A-class).Her weapon loadout is overwhelmingly geared to long-range, so retiring her should be inconsequential should we survive the artillery/mechaniloids. Plus we'll hopefully have Admiral Weeaboo Pepe's counter should the situation there go south before we're ready to fight him.Alternate choices, in descending order: Touch Fluffy Defense Matrix, That Feel Wren, Moloch
>>43903767Meant it more that if I cut out at some point, I likely have passed out. Alternately, last time I was tired I worked on introducing the NPCs to keep the thread alive. And hey, maybe some of the guys I got from here will step in to introduce their own characters, though Greer is the only one who has technically beaten a boss. By welding their limbs together and to an I-beam after I got a bit cocky with his mav toying with what he mistook for a civvie.Alternately, crude as it may be compared to what Parrot was working on, could always roll a guy up here with the system.
>>43903894so how long does it normally take to roll up a character?
>>43902725I don't even remotely have it in me right now. It's been a long week.
>>43904282yeah the holidays can do that to a person
>>43904205Not too long. I can link the rules I use shortly, currently on a phone. Mainly, the real thing that takes time is getting the special abilities to match up with what is desired. But basically, it works off of allocating a total of 11 points between four stats, each with four skills tied to them, and then using that score as the number of d6 you roll for checks governed by that stat. Admittedly, finesse (which covers dodging and marksmanship) seems to be the big stat, but I try and come up with ideas for the bulkier sort. Stuff like conditional extra dice to certain rolls, ways to add to their defenses (manifests as DR and HP), things like that.
>>43904343When I finalize the system I made for the purposes of hosting a Maverick Hunters themed game I'll pass it along. It'll be relatively soon, the last revisions are being done now. Expect the final version of the ruleset covering just about anything you could think of from E-Rank to P in 4 to 5 weeks.
>>43904492Ah, nice then. Still going to give them what I have in the meantime though.>>43904343Actually, I found a link. Here:http://img.4plebs.org/boards/tg/image/1415/98/1415986102833.pdfAnd a few samples for variety, as seen from an A Rank perspectivehttp://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19255143&postcount=2For some idea of what kind of range I have gotten out of this, I have made 26 bosses of varying types so far, from a giant kraken mechaniloid with a Gehirn riding in its head to Captain Shrapnel and his Bilge Rats, Scourges of the Skies (really just a bunch of junkyard reploids that chose to be mavericks with mercenary tendencies trying to spice up their civilian frames a bit), with a lot in between. And Razor Linnorm as a very large outlier.
>>43904582Just for the sake of giving examples as well, here is an example of a character stat and ability block from a freshly retired Maverick. It should be noted that he has a lot of hit points by normal A-Rank standards.Rank: AEx-6th Armada member who primarily acted in situations that required the breaching of thick-hulled and well armored ships. Abandoned post to assist the confirmed Maverick Toxic Seahorse during Doppler's rebellionDR:2Dive: If in or on water may reposition to any area within 50 ft. 3 AP.Spear Lunge: 1d2+2+2 damage, 10ft Reach, Unarmed.Cassis Crista: Negates all water damage and quarters fire damage. Flow Guard.Compressive Hull: Halves damage from penetrator weapons.Breach Pilum: 1d2+5 damage, 40 ft range, no threat range, hits all targets in a line, Barrel Heat, 2 AP charge, 1 AP fire.Rete Shockwave: 1d2+2 damage, 10 ft radius range centered on use, 20 ft if under water. Overmatch roll or be thrown 10 feet away from center. Blast, barrel heat. 1 AP charge, 1 AP fire.SMEAS: Doubles movement for one move action. Movement is additionally doubled under water. Can be used twice per round.Stats:Physicality: 5, Mobility: 3, Reflex: 4, TI: 3, A&C: 2, Health: 42, AP: 6Skills:Overmatch 5, Intercept 5, Parry 4, Counter 4, Structural Strength 13
Let's see, what stories haven't been told in the mean time. Think I covered Negative Snowhare decides to run the Sigma Simulation. Don't think I have gone into Steam Shenlong and the Wrath of King Kraken (basically two giants who got in a brawl), Lambda's Lion Hunt, or Negative's miniboss fight for his current hunt. Currently have people running around their solo hunts, which takes time to get through. So with that in mind, I apologize for how slow my stories develop further.
>>43904883More like AcheLOST Gladiatoro
So, think the thread'll still be up for HC?
>>43893261I voteSoul Foxfire (B-class) >Disruptor Sabomole (B-class) >Barrage Mortarphant (A-class) >Broadside Yamatoad (S-class) >Stellar Atlantica (Class unknown) then i dont realy care about Graverend Moloch (A-class) Glacier Gibbon (A-class) Hurricane Wren (A-class)Foxfire first because Roe is a big deal as is intel and she seems like a mission we can come away from well. Then Sabomole for the movement and path unlock potential. Then Mortarphant becaus we need that before Yamatoad then Yamatoad then Atlantica because we need to do that as soon as practicalthen i dont have much to say about the others I am in the try to talk to wren camp and if we think Moloch is the movement option not Sabomole I am in favor of swapping them and doing that mission this second.
>>43893261My order goes>Graverend Moloch (A)Quite literaly happening - it happened just 12min, so we might have a trailAlso, earth or explosive techniques, always helpful, specially against Yamatoad and Mortarphant>Soul Foxfire (B)Free Rho, and extra intel>Barrage Mortarphant (A)We need to remove her to do Yamatoad - it will be useless to take the harbor just to have it blown up under us>Broadside Yamatoad (S)Dangerous as any S, but won't be as hard as Saetos - the name indicates a heavily armored water, rather than a swift, agile flier>Stellar Atlantica (???)Next biggest threath, and gaining power all the time - we'll probably need to fight her and Yamatoad on a single mission>Hurricane Wren (A)Targeting civs>Disruptor Sabomole (B)Targeting infrastructureThen there is this guy>Glacier Gibbon (A)The number one problem - at least we have something about the others, but whatever fucks he is doing we have absolutely no idea. We either leave him for last - which will probably put him somewhere at G-rank, or take him before or after Foxfire, and give some time for Yamatoad and AtlanticaThoughts?
>>43908809This is similar to my own suggested order, I'm >>43902199. I think the real clincher here is Yamatoad, and when to go after him. Too soon would be suicidal. Too late would give the mavs to much of an edge. That's kind of why I want to go after some of the others first, to see if anything new develops. Hell, most of my strategy is actually built around that guy.
>>43908809>Dangerous as any S, but won't be as hard as SaetosThe one thing that saved us against Saetos was his personal code of chivalry and willingness to "1v1 me m8" Anode. Given previous encounters, we will not be fighting Yamatoad solo.
Switching from >>43907747to>Graverend MolochI'm convinced.
>>43893261Last minute weigh in >Graverend Moloch (A-class)
So, what do people think we can upgrade with each mav assuming we don't just go for raw data? Think Wren might be able to give our rockets bigger dispersal or greater damaging ability, for example, or maybe even link up to our new backpack for either more mobility or more damage. Moloch I could see giving them penetration maybe. Or he might have interesting properties to apply to more mundane weapons. Atlantica would likely be an upgrade to Lockon's data given what we know. Gibbon would likely best be served as either a laser upgrade (piercing invisible freezing shots anyone?) or some new gun. Mortarphant is unfortunately probably best applied to the highball skipper, so maybe just ignore the possibility of upgrading what we have there for data.
>>43910255I'd prefer to try and take Wren alive, she deserves something good to happen to her and while it's kind of metagamey to acknowledge, the third maverick war does end with the creation of an actual antivirus.
>>43910317yep Her and Firefox both have an obvious chance at becoming good guys.
>>43910402>>43910317Admit it, you just want waifus.I was thinking we could just pay off Foxfire as well
>>43910402>>43910317>>43900167>>43900137>>43900324As much as Wren very much deserves a good end, I have seen her in action, and I'm not sure it will be possible to stop her without putting her down.As for >>43910434, she is far too broken to waifu.
>>43910449>As for >>43910434 (You), she is far too broken to waifu.I don't think you understand the waifu thing.
>>43910449well we could try the way the brought her in the first time. Just damage enough of her systems so the virus is spread to thin allowing her to think again...right now if we do fight her I really hope we can set up in a abandoned village so we can make use of out T. Coils to try and tie her up and blackout rockets to try and shred her armor and wings.
>>43910547A thing you have to realize is that the viral infection is probably too far into her now. First time maverick she was hella angry but still able to think. This time around she's berserking and simply attacking any human who gets close. If she is brought back this time as well, she will be brain dead or at least broken fully.Gibbon and Foxfire are possible to save since Gibbon could have been duped by Seven and foxfire is a merc, but even a cure requires there to be something to save in the end.
>>43910547My issue with taking her alive is that she seems to have seriously lost it. From how she is talked about in her briefing, she may just be completely crazy now, virus or no, and in that case, may need to be put down so she can finally have some peace. I am all for trying to get her to recover if viable, but sometimes you just have to let those who are this broken have their final rest, you know?
>>43911144We can determine that better with her in custody.
>>43911144Honestly I just want to give her a choice. Give her a clear mind and let her decide what she wants to do. She wants to keep fight, quite the hunters, self retire herself, whatever she does I just want it to be her decision. I feel like she deserves that much.
>>43911283Me too, since she is akin to two of the mavs I threw at my players. Just hoping she has anything left of who she was to make a choice. So how about a deal: if it seems possible that she can come back, that there is a chance she could be recovered, we try to take her alive if possible. If she is too far gone, too broken to really ever recover though, we put her out of her misery. The Maverick virus is like super Alzheimers and Rabies together in a way, from how it seems to interact with reploids. No one deserves that, or to be stuck broken from that. That fair? I would like to see if we could save anyone, but as is, if it looks like leaving her alive would be a cruelty to her, then we let her have some peace.
>>43911513welcome to the hunters, a constant rollercoaster of rising and crushing hope.
>>43911513Like we're really going to get a chance to bring an A class Maverick in alive?
>>43911564aim for the limbs
>>43911564We're a high A ourself, anon. And we still retain our sanity.
>>43911564Well, my guys basically had their flier grab onto Raining Vulture's back, then flying dash towards the ground. He was intending to stop and let momentum tear her wing arms out, but she added her own boost, which she just barely survived while missing a leg and both arms, half her face caved in, and roughly 3/4 of her frame busted. Admittedly, she isn't viral, and was a B rank. Just happened to be captured, mutilated and forcibly modified, and subjected to the same thing Conda had been until she just wanted the hurting to stop.
Anyone got plans for data they want to pitch? Extra weapons they think we should get?
>>43912636If we use Moloch against Mortar, an earth shield for sure. It doesn't have to last particularly long, it just needs to form up fast enough in time for bombardment and long enough to get another set of dashes ready.How would it work against Sabomole, though? We can tank the EMP rounds, but I'm not quite sure how to reinforce rock at a moment's notice.
>>43893261I vote we start with Moloch. He's attacking civilians, and there's no way to know when or where he'll strike - so there's no way to efficiently evacuate until he's already hit. Leaving him for too long will lead to way too many deaths.
>>43913532I also vote we start with Moloch, Mozilla can go second.
>>43910402>>43910434It depends. If Foxfire actually is under the influence of the Maverick virus, then her op suddenly becomes very dangerous for us, since she'd have so many methods of infecting us at her disposal. Otherwise we can totally set her up with Wellington or something.I think. How is the Maverick virus transmitted, anyway? It seems odd that Conda was completed and activated before he was actually infected by it, given that he was constructed for the sole purpose of being a maverick and all.
>>43914441Conda /was/ infected, he was just fighting it.
>>43912636We'll still need to hash out Saetos's data, maybe even before we head out on this op, so that's something to look forward to.
>>43914724didn't we already do that?
>>43914815you're right, I'd forgotten. It's been hanging over our heads for so long, I keep forgetting it's been dealt with.
>>43914724We sorted Saetos. We have a rocket jet pack with double jump and fiery doom charging. The second part takes roughly 30 seconds to charge, but we have a solid upgrade for our melee game. Also serves as a nice counter to ice attacks, which I think we may actually be weak to normally.As for Moloch, I would personally like to see if we could develop a ranged armor piercer/bunker buster. Upgrade our range game to catch up with our (I would say decent-good, with a need to practice) melee, good-great defense (phaseshift lance, Tumult shells, being a durable motherfucker, we favor it a lot), and superb mobility (we are currently one of the most mobile hunters on record.) So, that said, I want to see if we can get something to reduce the chances of our attacks plinking like they did on Saetos.
>>43915188You forgot the illustration
>>43915188Our ranged-AP is covered by Lockon Hunter. I don't recall why it didn't work on Saetos, but upping the potency of VWES data will reduce it's ammo. Also, we have the miscorde for melee-AP. Maybee Glacier's data will be useful for upgrading it?
>>43915442>I don't recall why it didn't work on Saetosbecause saetos was ded-'ard. More specifically, the LN shank was his mandated MM weakness.
>>43915383Needs more lightning to go with the fire.
>>43915442Simply thoughts concerning the potential of new data. As it stands, though, I still stand by my opinion Moloch is a mav designed with a focus on a strong offensive over earthworks, based on description. >>43893212That said, I can think of some utility as well for it, seeing as it is designed for shifting earth and rock. Fair enough reason, though?
>>43893261>Barrage Mortarphant (A-class)this just seems to have the most significant benefit, immediate and long term
>>43917097speaking of new data, I think a weapon with time delay might be good from Mortarphant. Slow rockets or actual mortars that hit at the same time as our other weapons and stack the punishment.
>>43917273Mortarphant could definitely be useful for some new slaved weapons for the Bravely Broken. Speaking of slaved weapons, think there's any useful mav data we could buy out there? I think HC said it was all VWES only, but there have been plenty of useful VWES entities in the past games.
>>43893261>Soul Foxfire (B-class)Voting for Foxfire because I don't want us to get fucked by intelligence leaks once we go after the other mavs, especially Yamatoad.
Think we should begin tallying all the votes so far? Make it a bit easier on HC and Cain?
>>43910434But anon, none of these are the coffee machine...
>>43918078Doing a quick and sloppy tally Foxfire is running away with it at ~18 votes. Moloch started catching up with ~12, and everyone else is in the single digits.Poor Gibbon didn't get a single vote to go first, forgotten even after going mav ;_;
>>43920991Not forgotten, just not given priority. To be fair, look at what he has to compete with. Hacker on Rho, an attack 12 minutes ago, a dangerous naval base covered by heavy artillery, a mad swath through France...it's hard to compete with that. Besides, we could use more fire since he's an ice mav.
>>43921165how funny would it be if someone else offed him while we were preoccupied, thus having us never meet at all
>>43921306Hilarious, and great, because there's a lot of danger going on right now and we need all the help we can get.>Moloch
>>43921348There's also the off-chance he's actually trying to lure real Mavericks into a trap or some other odd plan and his mission ends up being something totally different than what we expected.
Just a small thing to those in the thread: Wren used to be an S rank. She had to get special systems shut down to hit A. Might still be as tough as Saetos physically though. Or, as Guns taught us, Ranking System don't mean shit.
>>43921543>>43901442so which is it?
I think I just realized a weakness pattern: Sabomole takes out Foxfire (emp charges likely shut down her tricks hard, make it so reality is normal; fire guys also tend to be weak to electric), Foxfire takes Gibbon (fire vs ice, potential anti sniper tricks too), Gibbon likely takes Sabomole (electric normally does bad against ice since the latter can break armor open if given extreme heat, locks down electric attacks because then you can't do it safely, might break his EM shielding), although Earthrend also likely kills Sabomole. Dunno for the rest right now.
>>43925041Sabomole vs Foxfire sounds interesting, but I don't know about all the others.Having Foxfire produce decoys should be very useful for Wren and Mortar though, although I still don't know if Foxfire is strong to Atlantica or the other way around.
>>43925104Still think Soul is too strange a name to assume illusionary copies will be what she does. It could cover a lot of things after all.