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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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How do I find non-creepy players for this game?
How do I find or be a reliable DM for this game?
>ummm YIKES, I love this game bit ugh it's just so problematic and its fanbase is SOOOO toxic!
Congratulations anon, you are the exact kind of person who needs to be gatekept out of hobbies.
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for starters, start looking outside of /tg/
gurochan is back, you know
What is that?
Actually the problem I've been having is finding people who can remember to show up?
You've never played Nechronica with randos.have you?
You shouldn't play ANY game with complete randos.
Damn that's a good idea, should I proverbially and perhaps literally bite the bullet?
What about cards against humanity?
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Good advice.
>playing a game about dirty/edgy jokes with someone who may have a tantrum over dirty/edgy jokes
Not like CAH is worth playing these days anyways, what with them removing all the race, jew, and tranny jokes.
Post Nechronica inspiration art.
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>Post Nechronica inspiration art.
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>Post Nechronica inspiration art.
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>You can't get ahold of politically incorrect cards.

Also the vast majority of people who would agree to play cards against humanity knows what they're in for.

I love you wierdos.
>Not like CAH is worth playing these days anyways, what with them removing all the race, jew, and tranny jokes.

You sound like my mom's dad before corona killed him.
Learn japanese, faggot.
Thats like 3 or 4 languages in a fucking trench coat.
so is English
No English is a disorganized ever growing junkyard with a permanently silent and absentee owner, hands off management, stoned employees, and a zealous records department with no hard powers.
This is one of those
"totally not a gory homo fantasy game" games right? Right?
I need my fix.
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>Post Nechronica inspiration art.
trick question, any game can be "totally not a gory homo fantasy"
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Cute heads.
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It can be if you want it to. None of my games have really gone full homo.

It occurred to me this morning, coincidentally, that you could probably finagle some decent inspiration for a Nechronica game out of Rush's 2112 album. Particularly the Priests of Syrinx sequence.
That's nice, dear.
And some people are just controlling assholes who need to make a spectacle and ruin other people's fun, hence why vetting is important no matter the game.
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I know nothing of Rush other than that they apparently included one of the world's greatest drummers among their ranks. Can you fill in my music poor brain with relevant info?

What is a series a thing within an album or a thing that takes up sections of multiple albums?
The poor thing! She's lost several blades including one one of the two that make up her entire right arm!
Is their a term for the sort sleeveless cropped top turtleneck
that the pale one with the blue hair, red scrunchie, red, panties, band-aids, and grey slacks is wearing?
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It's been too long since I listened to Overture to give a good summation [though i can say it's the opening track of 2112; a 20 minute rock ballad that occupied the entire front side of the record when it was released in 1976] but Priests of Syrinx is basically a song from the point of view of a technocratic cabal of cultists who rule the world by carrying out orders given to them from a massive bank of super computers within their temple. They've managed to order the world into a neatly oiled machine without individuality or self expression; most of Overture is about a man rediscovering music by finding an old acoustic guitar and trying to bring self expression and music back to the world.

According to the band, the album in general was heavily inspired by writings from Ayn Rand and was generally a critique against the collectivist mindset.
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is that pablo barncat? nice
Maybe I'll try listening to some Rush during tommorow's workout or long walk.
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>have no idea what nechronica is
>look it up
how do people defend this as a non-fetish game?
Do you expect to find people who AREN'T freaks who will play this creepy shit with you?
Just play it as straight body horror in animu land.
It's not that hard desu

It's more I just ignore the book's art and setting and use the mechanics because they provide for playing heavily modifyable undead/robot/cyborg characters and dealing with the stress of horror settings in ways you just don't get with other systems, especially at this level of system complexity.

Most TTRPG systems don't really support the idea of a starter level character being able to graft weapons, armor, or other enhancements onto themselves or mutate into something very different.

Something as simple as adding more functional arms to a character in most games either breaks the game or forces you to commit a large amount of time and resources to get it, or forces you to do a lot of janky homebrewing.

In Nechronica it's something you can start the game with or pickup later easily, and it's mechanical benefit is pretty sweet.

Another thing it does that supports playing the sorts of characters I mentioned above is way it he way it makes body parts a combination of hit points and the ability to do things works well in settings where characters getting mauled or dismembered isn't fatal in and of itself, but can be recovered from with replacement parts, but is dangerous since it leaves you vulnerable and less equipped to survive and defend yourself. (In addition to parts their are also skills which don't do the "being hit points" half of what parts do. This is a double edged sword since a skill can't break, but it also doesn't contribute to your hit points directly)

Finding a good group is hard and is mostly a matter of vetting people, and patience.

I've had two groups. One is made up of people I already knew to be good with systems that normally attract problematic people, the other is made up of a stranger I vetted and two people they had played with for years and trusted.
>[mechanics only Nechronica]
Now that's interesting. I haven't actually looked at Nechronica, I only know it from the /tg/ presence. Like Exalted (another game I haven't actually read), it casts a strange shadow.
How easy or hard would it be to adapt the mechanics for body parts and modifications into another game engine entirely? I'm thinking of Traveller specifically to play up the cyber and high tech angle, but any system if that's more convenient for you.
Or would I be better off adopting Nechronica whole, and possibly coming up with my own edited book of it to keep players from keying off the setting?
>How easy or hard would it be to adapt the mechanics for body parts and modifications into another game engine entirely?

I don't know. I'm not the kind of person who is good at deeply comprehending game systems such that they can come up with elegant extensive retrofits for them.

I've only played one edition of traveller (it was Mongoose if that matters). It was one game that lasted a few montbs and it was 7 years ago. So I don't remember enough about the details of the system to speak with any authority on how possible it would be to adapt elements of Nechronica's system to traveller.

I've played a lot of different systems over the years but I'm not mathematically inclined and tend to forget details of systems I'm not actively playing after a couple months of not playing regularly)

{ Post part 1 of 2 }

I'm able to do what I do with it because:

1) The system is such that it is easy to refluff parts, skills, positions, classes, and replace the setting with something else that also makes good use of the systems strengths. (For example, as a player, not a GM, I've played: an enslaved creation trying to escape servitude; a civilian who slowly discovered they were trapped in a looping VR sim while their body was being kept in stasis in a bunker after the end times and saving what's left of their family including the AI running the sim ; and two different augmented soldiers at different points in the timeline of a post apocalyptic North America where the various powers that be are fighting to carve out territory, defend their turf, invade and extract profit from the shattered continent, make a realm where they can give their fringe ideology a try, save the last vestiges of the U.S.A., or burn everything to ash.

I won't talk about the game I'm running because some of my players browse /tg/ and I don't want to spoil things.

People on here have posted about various space horror games, violent horror mystery games set on mars, and games where reality starts to malfunction in odd ways, among other things)

2) I played it before I GM'd it.

3) when I went to GM it one of my players was a veteran Nechronica player and another was a veteran Nechronica GM who were about 3/4 of the way through another campaign and they were both able to help me shake off the rust help me get ready to GM in the system.

{ Post part 2 of 2 }
The way you describe North American in that setting reminds me of Italian history between the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire and the unification of Italy in the 1800's.
>I haven't actually looked at Nechronica

The unofficial translation team has a wiki in english if you want to learn the rules and figure the system out for yourself.
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NTA, but: I'm not familiar with Traveller so I can't speak to that system, but you would likely be best off lifting the system wholesale and refluffing content. Nechronica is not made with mixing and matching different systems in mind and it really shows.

The things you want to keep in mind if you're intent on refluffing the whole system:
>The game assumes your characters have little agency in the narrative, at least initially
The Vanilla Nech campaign outline literally has the party being lead around by the nose by a higher power for said power's amusement. Dolls are made with free will so the Necromancer can pick them apart like a deranged schoolyard kid might torture bugs, and the sanity system is supposed to reflect this. You're supposed to spend the adventure phase picking and prodding at your PCs' weak spots to create drama and tension.
With that in mind, when building a new setting for the system you'll want to keep in mind that the PCs will always be starting in a situation way, way over their heads in some way. They don't have to be incapable, but the immediate conflict should pretty much always be far beyond them initially, even if they are competent, and the characters need to be placed under a believable level of stress to justify the madness mechanic.

>Parts = HP
Self explanatory. The system is based on it pretty heavily. I've seen some people use Nechronica as a mecha game for this reason, or to play robots. Either way it can't be ignored.

>The battle map doesn't change, aside from what you put on it. And it's also abstract at best
Basically there's only forward and backward as far as positioning goes. Most of Nechronica's tactics come from what ability you're choosing to do on your count in the turn, or how you're reacting to something else. Positioning itself is pretty basic.
Environmental hazards/factors/effects can be added without a lot of difficulty, and the book has rules for things like that, but keep it in mind.

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And more general stuff:
>Know Timings
>Favor rewards as RAW are very generous and can quickly grow out of control if you don't tamp down on them
>Melee Attacks have the most support and are fairly easy to break [Wire Reel js broken with any support whatsoever]
>Know Timings
>The game assumes shorter campaign structure; you can make it work in longer form games but you have to keep it in mind when setting things up
>what your players choose to pick up is very, very important to how you choose to play and balance an encounter. Arguably more so than traditional D&D style games
>Know Timings.
>Make sure your players understand Timings
I'm not kidding, it's part of why the entire battle system fucking works so make sure everyone is on the same page with Timings.
>[Wire Reel js broken with any support whatsoever]

That should say Monofilament.
Wire Reel is a complete different part.
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Fair enough, thanks for the answer. Do you anons work up your own modified rulebooks or player's guides when using it for other campaigns, or do you just put the book out and ask players to ignore the fluff?
love the concept, hate the wikia format
there's real physical books, but they are in moon
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All of the games I have played in and ran are pretty much by the book as far as basic fluff goes. We come up with our own settings and we don't really engage in yuri, but the games are ultimately cute girls doing cute things in the midst of an Apocalypse brought about by Necromancy gone awry.

Keep in mind, pretty much everyone involved is a fan of pic related or Madoka Magica or they're otherwise fine with playing in a setting full of dark humor and bad circumstances. Part of the fun is the struggle, and it's easier to sell with characters like the default Dolls who are kind of designed to be bullied.
there's a pdf ON THE WIKI that has everything.
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stupid fucking wheelchair idiot, push her over and make way for the REAL wheelchair supremacist
Local anon distressed that horror game contains horror elements. News at 11.

The core setting for Nechronica is vast enough to allow for nearly anything to happen thanks to the sheer scale and scope of Necromancy. It's generally understood that the world went boom and now Necromancers freely twist and pervert their territories on Earth and beyond to fit their alien desires and dreams.
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gonna dump some art from oneshots i ran recently, can't remember exactly what i have and haven't already shared though
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I ran all these in the nech system. But, I would strongly suggest against trying to change the tone of Nechronica. The mechanics are closely tied to that unique tone, the feeling of light in darkness and the struggle with stress, of relatively naive or emotionally unstable characters in tough situations (and, ultimately, coming through them). When you start changing those things the game falls apart and things stop making sense. TLDR just play the game and stop being a baby
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4 year campaign I'm a player in almost finished~
>there's a pdf ON THE WIKI that has everything

Not quite everything but it has the 1st stuff. Some of the translations are a little more janky since the wiki has reseaved updates since the final version of the PDF was released.

But yeah of you want Nechronica's core Rule book + the Dance of Distortion expansion translated into english as a .pdf then go for it.
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Also workin' with an artist that I usually work for my gamedev stuff. Doing a character design for my character in that game.

Haven't gotten to the mutations yet (mermaid head-fins, third eye, dragon scales, etc.), just working on the hairstyle and vibe a bit~
The most evil of coin slots.
Because being a cute undead abomination of a girl in a post-apocalyptic (or whatever) world, fighting to keep the madness eating into your brain at bay as you try to survive, is fun.
>do you just put the book out and ask players to ignore the fluff?

This is what I've done so far.

I feel like a document with no pictures and trimmed back fluff would widen the pool of potential good players I could approach for games though.
>Know Timings
>Know Timings
>Know Timings
>Make sure your players understand Timings
>I'm not kidding, it's part of why the entire battle system fucking works so make sure everyone is on the same page with Timings.

This anon gets it.
>pic related
Which is?
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>How easy/hard is it to adapt
It'd be pretty hard to adapt nechronica systems to another game. It's kind of a package deal where most of it feeds into itself so ripping out one system to put it into another is gonna create a lot of strangeness.

Importing a system or two from another game would likely work a bit better. Supplementing/supplanting the action check system with something more substantial/with skills is arguably the most feasible, but beyond that, shit gets weird from a mechanical standpoint. The action check/lack of a real skill system does reinforce that you're playing characters who are young/without much experience or memories, so slotting in something more substantial changes that.

If your players/group won't trust you enough to roll with it from your pitch/statements of what you do/don't want, then they're not worth sticking with/going through the effort of retooling an entire system/pdf for. You're spending a huge chunk of time on work that will be undone by one person asking the right question/googling the right thing.

>how do people defend this as a non-fetish game?
The same way people have fun playing MAID without it being a fetish game despite possible dice rolls producing loli succubi and there being mechanical benefits to stripping other PCs.

>Do you expect to find people who AREN'T freaks who will play this creepy shit with you?
Yes, but regardless, don't really give a shit if they're freaks or jerking off to their PC or whatever the fuck, as long as they aren't bringing it into the game. It's possible to play the game in a non-fetish way. Both the starting scenarios do that. This being a very niche game, people are less inclined to go "The GM said not to do this, but I'm gonna try it anyway because I can just find another game if I get the boot," like you get with more popular systems, so just say "I'm not running a game to sate your weird fetish so keep it off the table."
made in abyss
Made in abyss, real good anime if you like dark stuff but without being edgy, at least not too much,at least it isn't edgy imo
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i dont
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just embrace the creep and fucking roll with it
74 the infamous pogchamp himself put out applications for a nech games a while back
For anyone who’s joined how’s the game been going?
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that literally who on the nech server? as far as i know that game isn't even running
whelp hoped i could hear some interesting stories
pogchamps games can get pretty interesting...
ah well
that's like 700 short of me starting to care
>The action check/lack of a real skill system does reinforce that you're playing characters who are young/without much experience or memories

I don't really get that sense from how the skill system works at all. Nearly all skills relate to combat or sanity. So they don't really reflect one way or another on how much life skill the character has.

I guess you can interpret that as not having any of you want.

Sorry, was referring to skill system how a lot of other systems has like "+6 to programming" and such things that define what non-combat things PCs can do. Almost all of the class skills are things stuffed into the PC by the necromancer, and most can't be used for mundane stuff that other systems would use a skill system for.
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He means stuff like the skill system in 5e, where you have bonuses to religion or survival or acrobatics or whatever. All characters are going to be equally lame at Action checks during the Adventure phase unless they're a Court or they have a circumstantial advantage due to a part/combat skill of theirs (or the Necromancer rules they should have an advantage for whatever fluff reason). It basically reinforces the idea that your characters are a bunch of lost kids because the only advantage you can get over anyone else is:
>Having super strength
>having a part that happens to help with the task in question
>be good at not panicking/have an attention to detail.
>Find non-creepy players for the game.
Play with friends. Simple as.
If you're playing with people you know, you all know how to get along, and what's acceptable or not acceptable for all of you.
>How do you find a reliable GM?
Be the GM. Run the game, don't do dodgy shit.
Sauce on that image?
Dunno. I got it from another Nechronica thread ages ago.

Might be able to find it if you go looking through Desuarchive?
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Timing is everything.
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cmon nechers liven this place up a bit, what's something fun you did last session?

>killed God and took His baby to the sun
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Killed god and took his baby to the sun.
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are you retarded or something
Who here likes breaking of your entails and using them as rope?
My character's reactions to that would range from.
>"It sucks, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do"
>"oh gosh god ohhhhhh *puts hand to mouth and forces back an up chuck* I hate this, I hate this so much".
>what's something fun you did last session?

Dive-bombed a Grotesque and sliced it in half because my character thought it might come to life and attack the party, while our guide explained to the rest of the party that anything hostile in this Necromancer's territory looks dangerous and is visibly mobile and that they only used boobytraps like the ones we had dealt with in the past at the contested boarders of their territory.
>Angry about Oculus.

Who is Oculus?
Coco reminds me of the degeneration of the Navy SEALS in the first 2 decades of the 20th century.
I hadn't thought of if that way. That's cool and also makes my americlap heart break a little.
Just because you shared it in previous threads doesn't mean I've seen it.
Can you post your older stuff too?
Does the blue skinned one wearing the hood later become Lancelot?
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>first 2 decades of the 20th century.
Sorry. Meant to say 21st.
Okay now that's true.
Oculus is/was a human paramilitary outfit that was assaulting and looting the installation that the party was stationed at. By the time the party was awake to do anything about it (they started the game peeling themselves out of stasis pods and realizing three of their squadmates had been cremated), the main Oculus force had passed them by. The game centered around them sneaking by/fighting through Oculus' cleanup crew as their Necromancer guided them to safety who then glassed the entire valley and himself to destroy the vast majority of Oculus' assault force, who he had been distracting this entire time while directing the scattered elements of his own forces away from the blast zone. At the time of the game, Oculus was the premier military power on the North American continent, filling a power vacuum left after the destruction of another necromancer.

Dahlia hates them because the time spent in service to the party's current necromancer had been some of the best time in her [un]life and Oculus pretty much destroyed everything important to her except Violet and Aster. Her Treasure was her unit morale patch, something they all had but only Dahlia cared enough to count it as her Treasure.

Bonus points, one of Oculus' goals in raiding their home was to capture Dolls intact; Oculus wasn't much good at Necromancy, but had figured out a way to use the slime mold network in a Doll's body as a type of very powerful CPU. The party actually saved one NPC who had been captured for the purpose and later broke another doll out of her drone cage after killing her handlers and wrecking the vehicle holding her prisoner.

Every player had an extra skill on their sheet simply labeled [DENY CAPTURE] in bright red, which would have caused them to self-immolate like their anhillated squad members; their Necromancer genuinely considered this to be a mercy in comparison to being captured by Oculus.
Why does Violet not know what year it is?
Does she have undead Alzheimers?

Why is Aster a dog.
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Nope, different game
Yeah later today
>Why does Violet not know what year it is?
The party woke up from being in stasis for an undetermined amount of time. I forget exactly what that bit is in reference to and I'm not in a position to check because I'm at work atm, but there was a lot of confusion going around right after the party woke up.
>Does she have undead Alzheimers?
Just stasis sickness induced amnesia. It'll wear off... eventually.

>Why is Aster a dog
I described her as the squad's "attack dog" to start because, in the complete squad, her role would have been to charge into close quarters while Coco and Violet fired over her shoulders. Her player chose to really play up her animalistic characteristics also [she was a Gothic with Rip and Tear and also struggled with a craving for human meat prior to the game].
>struggled with a craving for human meat prior to the game

How does one kick such a habbit or was that one of the things the team's new necromancer traded in exchange for service in the military?
I hope we get Storytime in this thread.

I don't care what campaign(s) it is.
I don't know the OG storytime format so I'll just adapt my most recent oneshot. Logs are available on the nech discord.

The Dolls woke up in vats of teal fluid. They were disoriented at first but quickly broke out into freedom... a dark room, entirely flooded.
The cast.
Top left is Tamoya, a Holic/Psychedelic jellyfish-like undead.
To the right of her is Montae, an Alice/Baroque with extreme strength, inspired by mantis shrimp.
Last on the top row is Parmia, a Junk Gothic with a sea mine implanted in her navel.
Last one is Styrgo, a Sorority Drug Eater.
Pic related is Kirch, Automaton Tanya/Valkyrie.
The Dolls talked to each other a bit but quickly came across a sentient machine, stuck behind Kirch's vat. It identified itself as the Gravekeeper, servant of God. Some back and forth revealed that this room, full of pipes, tubes, wires, and darkness, was the room from which Templars were awoken to save God from any trouble it ran into, lest Heaven fall. A wound has opened up and the Wicked, creatures who grew in power by drinking the blood that leaked from it, were trying to make a bad situation worse.
A few random questions about the nature of things and they were off. Styrgo went ahead of the group down a maintenance tunnel, finding a hatch that she deemed too suspiciously smelling of Wicked.
The Dolls bickered but decided to bypass it, Parmia being the last leg of resistance to skipping. They pushed deeper into the corridor until it eventually let out, into a room of statues.
Each was handcrafted, and at the center of it all, in front of an old computer, was a robed girl, settled listlessly at the bottom of the room in a seated position.
She called this place the Mausoleum, and explained that every one of the dozen and a half statues was once a Templar. She merely requested that they lay off her holy Icon...
...to which Styrgo replied by saying they were going to overthrow God.
I'll finish storytime tonight after work.
It was cured by Aqen, the party's necromancer. Aqen had a lot of lofty ideals and was possessed by visions arguably delusions of utopia, and he spent a fair deal of time fixing imbalances in his dolls/undead forces that either manifested during their revival by him or were present when he incorporated them into his forces after they fled or were abandoned by their previous masters.

Another example from the squad would be Violet, who had all the capabilities to be an excellent marksman except she had horrible eyesight, so Aqen replaced her eyes with better ones and let her keep the old pair preserved in glass [which was her treasure].

>service to the military
At the time of that campaign, Aqen was not formally working alongside the U.S. military, but most of his forces were ex-military of some degree and he raised a number of security forces himself.
The Army's involvement comes in with the current game, where two of three party members are enlisted in the Army under a man named Aker, a five star General-turned-Nechromancer who's trying to save what's left of the country alongside two other Necromancers who are working closely with him to stop the tide of a Necromancer named Baal, who seems intent to literally burn down the continent.
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Oh nice.
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Since there seems to be at least one person who wasn't around for the Aqen game storytime, you can find it here if you'd like to read through it. It was supposed to be a one-shot so it's not super long.
Heres how I did it
>go talk to rpg-playing weeb acquaintances
>pitch nechronica as zombie lolis post-apocalypse
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I might be able to storytime some of the North American game detailed in >>78328579 later tonight, time permitting. If not tonight then definitely Monday.
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I like this guy art
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Hijacking to say that Overture/Temples of Syrinx is a fuckin' BALLER of a track. The two are basically one song.
Got any other music recommendations for settings at the end of days where you struggle to take back the world, or maybe just your free will?
Blue Oyster Cult - Veteran of the Psychic Wars.

The Cult - Spiritwalker. "Let it be beautiful when I sing the last song; I will give you even my body, spiritwalker."

Spaceape & Kode9 - 9 Samurai. Specifically this version which has scattered pieces of the lyrics to the duo's "Addiction" interspersed. The whole piece feels inevitable, but also confusing and mentally unkind because the lyrics convey some kind of meaning but little sense. This version, this specific version, I can only find on youtube on this one channel, and have never sourced who made this version or why, and Spaceape has since died.
"Time, filled, gluttonous failure, pain, this devious behavious. Money, time, very last dime, things, ever, leave behind."

Burial - Wounder. This song, to me, sounds like a shoggoth crawling through some tunnel of a half-finished arctic research base, eating and shrieking as it goes, cornering the last humans.

Akira soundtrack - Kaneda, and Requiem. This may be more due to the apocalyptic vibe of the film, but also musically it's interesting because it uses percussion and wind only, rather than the strings of many cinematic scores. There's a blend of technological futurism and animist shamanism in Akira's music that fits.

Everything by The Protomen. I personally do not like how their vocalist *sounds* but the whole of their two original albums are concept albums about a society controlled by an evil maniac and his army of robots, and the last robot heroes built to fight for freedom by another scientist. AKA the plot of Megaman, but played serious.

A lot of drone metal may fit the aesthetic - Bell Witch may be a good fit for just sitting down and waiting for the end to come as you warm your soul on the ashes of creation.

sorry if these aren't entirely what you want.
use it wisely
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Reminder that you can't use dolls for sex. They look like lolis. And they're zombies.
that's where you're wrong
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it's not crime if you're all underage
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Anon, there's a setting document that specifically mentions dolls being made for such purposes. They even mention how some necromancers choose to advertise them to bypass certain decency laws.
>Blue Oyster Cult - Veteran of the Psychic Wars.

At first I wasn’t feeling it. But that drumming eventually really starts to weigh down and dig, making things feel heavy enough that when the lyrics come they feel serious instead of silly.

>The Cult - Spiritwalker.

I feel like this one is meant to carry a sense of madness and either zeal or desperation but I'm not sure. I don't really get this one yet. It feels kind of hollow to me, like either I'm missing something or theirs no meat of meaning beneath the sonic skin here. Perhapse I'm not giving the lyrics enough weight or failing to see the weight in their delivery. Can some other anons share their opinions or thoughts on this peice? That will help me get it.
That sounds like something out of 90's era World of Darkness.
>Game about reincarnating little girls by stitching together multiple little girls into frankenstien-esque monsters and then sending them to go die fighting horrible monsters
>Decency laws
lmao what
I see humans but no humanity.
That is not how those laws work.
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Those eyes are scary the closer you look at them.

She's like a plant based borg drone.
I'd say it fits the theme. Laws don't stop existing just because there's no society to be ruled by them. And there still can be some residual fragments of the old routine. Police patrol trying to detain you for jaywalking across decrepit highway. Workers merged with their vehicles and power tools piling pyramid of panels that keeps falling apart. Checkpoint with half broken voice box giving questionnaire about your reasons of visit to the region. Square of land maintained in pristine cleanliness by some unknown force amidst all the ruin. Etc.
It's a book about the origin of Savants and also some of the fucked up shit humanity got up to back in the late late pre-appocalypse era.
Slimy doll cunny. Due to the biology of dolls their ego is dissociated across their entire buddy meaning no matter where you stick it in a Doll they'll feel in their soul. You can imprint your dick upon their very consciousness to the point it becomes a memory fragment.

That's right, you can help a doll cure her madness with memories of the dicking you gave her.
>Burial - Wounder

This is pretty nuts.

Theme of the necromancer who hid from a world only to realize the world died and will never come for her.
>Burial - Wounder
This feels like it could be mundane activity or tense action but either way it's happening in a very decrepit or ruined or nearly ruined place.

Very fitting.

It could also be someone living a desperate nocturnal life in a mostly vibrant place.
That's some peak BOC


>Checkpoint with half broken voice box giving questionnaire about your reasons of visit to the region.

>Square of land maintained in pristine cleanliness by some unknown force amidst all the ruin.

These mental images get me for some reason.
Ran through it today.
Not edgy. Very horrifying though.
What's the worst thing a GM's done or that you've done as a GM to get at the dolls? Horrible memories, twisted scenes that show the absolute worst a broken mind can conjure, what was it that really hit them?
When my character had a flashback and relived being used as a live test subject by one necromancer to teach another how to make dolls out of living people.

The best part was the GM didn't do it, they just dropped hints and let my imagination do the rest, then when my character met the junior, now only, necromancer she had the flashback and a mental breakdown.
There was a time before the post-post-apocalypse where dolls were used as all kinds of labor

I know there's some apocalyptic Eurobeat out there I just can't think of any of the names for the life of me.

Can anyone help?
>Apocalyptic Eurobeat

I've never heard such a thing, but now I want to.
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>tfw you're about to answer and have to stop
>"Oh wait, that was my idea."
There are a few options for my Requiem, Port. The most visceral reaction I think the GM ever got out of her was when she watched through her robot dad's eyes as he was about to get destroyed. But I think the worst would be the ghost of a little girl fading away after the party destroyed the (actual) doll that was fueling her, especially after all the work Port had done to try and hold the little ghost girl together and help her face her fears. That event kinda crystallized the reality of things for Port and set her tone for the campaign going forward.

I was going to answer
>the cannibalism thing
for Coleo, my Baroque. But I did that and kind of dragged my GM along for the ride. The real nasty thing from the GM was (spoilered for anyone who might be reading along with the England storytime, because it hasn't come up yet) Coleo ate a piece of another doll who had very pronounced regeneration, and a piece of them snagged in her nervous system somewhere and grew, causing Coleo to remember that doll's memories and sometimes fall into her thought patterns. This doll was also the sister of the person who has been trying to kill Coleo for pretty much the entire campaign. In the final confrontation between Coleo and her attacker, Coleo wasn't able to break away from seeing the attacker as her 'sister' and couldn't bring herself to kill them for good.
She blinked. Right before the end, she blinked.
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>Found Mar 30 Oceanview Virginia date 3 10AM Feb 19.jpg

3:10 AM Feb.19. SS Naronic at sea. To who picks this up: report when you find this to our agents if not heard of before, that our ship is sinking fast beneath the waves. It's such a storm that we can never live in the small boats. One boat has already gone with her human cargo below. God let all of us live through this. We were struck by an iceberg in a blinding snowstorm and floated two hours. Now it 3:20 AM by my watch and the great ship is dead level with the sea. Report to the agents at Broadway, New New York, M. Kersey & Company. Goodby all.

-John Olsen, Cattleman
Hearsay and conjecture.
>A lot of drone metal may fit the aesthetic

What makes drone metal drone metal?
I'm guessing bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, or pipe organ since all of those have drones.
Most Nechronica relevant and inspirational vidya (not just in terms of like, monster designs or other more superficial elements, but in terms of theme and tone and overall direction):

Code Vein
The Citadel
Ender Lilies
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This is your Nechromancer for the evening.
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Code Vein is very, VERY Nech adjacent. To the point that crystallized fragments of memory are an actual collectable to be found, recovered, and experienced.
Memories of the Lost (which plays during these sequences) is an excellent piece of music, btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO_-b_1VWEk

Honorable mentions to Nier Automata. It's kind of removed from Nech as far as art direction goes but the story touches on several important themes in Nech either through small interactions with NPCs (like the one android worried about Ship of Theseus-ing themselves, something I could see being very relevant to certain dolls) to broader questions like trying to find purpose after your worldview has been shattered by harsh reality, or just finding purpose and meaning in an aimless apocalypse. Also the fact that everything you've ever done is part of a greater plan orchestrated by a being more powerful than your character could have comprehended at the beginning of the story. Discovery of said higher power followed eventually by your defiant act of rebellion.
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Found the second's pixiv. They have a Twitter acct. also but it doesn't look like they post art to it very often

Deos anyone have a picture that is one of the girls, but is already a monster of flesh and metal with only a single human eye, that has a teddy bear dangling from one of its arms as the only thing left of her humanity? It's a black and white place picture, and I always thought it represented the setting really well.
So is the artist's handle "R.adical"?

How are you supposed to google that? It just thinks you are searching for the word Radical and "helpfully" removes the period for you.
Sounds like megrim's art
As far as I can tell, their handle on Pixiv and Twitter is "窓口基"
Whatever that means. Google translates it to 'Window base' but I'm sure there's some wordplay I'm missing.
This game sounds interesting, where do I learn more?
Read the rest of the thread.
Where to go and what to read are mentioned.
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4 arms + gun
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>Post Nechronica inspiration art.

>is that pablo barncat?

Apparently so. I had no idea who Pablo Barncat was when I saved the image.

I just saved it because it looked neat.
Drone metal takes a lot from Doom metal, which is already slow and heavy, and then stretches things out further. Using instruments as drones, rather than using instruments that have drones built in.

Also, I am very glad that people have enjoyed Wounder. Burial is an interesting musician in that he specifically avoids "clean" sounds in most of his work. With digital music making it's very easy to clean off all the edges, line things up perfectly, but burial specifically doesn't, which fits Nechronica's world where someone with godlike control has made imperfect, rough things.
How many PCs has the group gone through?
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>Drone metal takes a lot from Doom metal, which is already slow and heavy, and then stretches things out further. Using instruments as drones, rather than using instruments that have drones built in.

Thank you for explaining what this is. Do you have more recommendations to look at asside from Bell Witch?

>which fits Nechronica's world where someone with godlike control has made imperfect, rough things.

Makes sense. Intentionally using roughness and compression and artifacts in the creation of art is neat.

Usually this shit is linked in the OP, but OP is a fag, so
Much appreciated, anon.
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GMing question.

What are the keys to using hinder move to IMPROVE combat rather than simply make it more difficult or annoying?

Make it obvious that the enemy has it, or at least possible to figure out before hand, though part of this is also down to choices the PCs make. Pilebunker, boost, and other such things that can apply moves to enemies can be used to shift them out of hinder move range (or at least used to keep themselves in position rather than hindering PCs doing things actively). Hell, Adhesive Pads is a T1 part. GMs using them as gotchas can be annoying but counter play is possible. Also use more limited range bands because while hinder moves need 0-1 to be worth considering for PCs, you can put range 0 or range 1 hinder moves on instead to keep positioning interesting. Though there's not much wrong with making combat more difficult.
>Make it obvious that the enemy has it, or at least possible to figure out before hand, though part of this is also down to choices the PCs make.

>Adhesive Pads

That's a really good point. The whole poi t of adhesive Pads is to use it when you know an enemy is going to try to hinder move you.

It's not a part that gives your other move parts immunity to hinder move, it IS a move 1 part that is immune to hinder move.

So if your Players take it, it's only useful if they know an enemy has hinder move before they try to move, especially on dolls that have both adhesive Pads and animal legs. Since the latter is much more AP efficient and covers a larger area so long as it isn't being hindered.
>playable Fallen never
They were the only reason I was interested in Destiny in the first place. Shame Bungie stuck with humans only.

>gamedev stuff
RPG gamedev stuff or do you mean indie vidya?
i totally thought that was some kind of slutty Enclave power armor worn by someone with 4 arms.
>Do you have more recommendations to look at asside from Bell Witch?

Not the anon you're replying to but the Sunn O))) album Monoliths and Dimensions is considered one of the most accessible drone metal albums. Boris, Earth, Locrian, Nadja, and Mizmor all make music in that style too.
What >>78370711 said, couldn't have put it better myself. Earth are worth mentioning as the first Drone band by most peoples' reckoning. Monoliths & Dimensions is certainly accessible, their most well known individual track is probably It Took the Night to Believe from Black One.

Oh, and a song that I think you might catch a Doll humming, or maybe play over footage of a lonely doll. Boadicea.

>"Eramiiiiiss... your mother is the kell of house dick." [insect-like chittering]
>How do I find non-creepy players for this game?
You really think non-creeps would play this? Embrace it. Use Giger bullshit penis monsters. Make the game a metaphor for heavy shit. Smile the whole way. Laugh over your cute little characters getting chopped to bits and stitching back up.
slow due to being play by post. Not really much of a story to tell here yet.
Well, apologies for the delay on this one, folks. The previous thread’s abrupt death occurred when I was close to, but not quite, finished working on things, else I’d have slapped this in there instead. Still, tonight, Gravel's Africa arc finally concludes. But not before the A-Team prove to be eternally odd individuals because of course they are.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/72655511/#p72732935 Session 1
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/73453448/#p73480748 Session 2
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/73453448/#p73509701 Session 3
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/73798681/#p73848425 Session 4
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/73798681/#p73860863 Session 5
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/74251433/#p74289325 Session 6
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/74251433/#p74358587 Session 7
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/74563504/#p74653876 Session 8
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/75560624/#p75592433 Session 9
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/77268004/#p77287867 Session 10


After all their inane shenanigans as a result of victory celebrations, it’s no surprise that the A-Team once more wakes up in a pile of lesbians to the clinking sound of glasses being cleaned... at a time where it’s already been dark out for a fair amount of time? Good golly. The group as a whole comes to with no signs of any ill effect from their irresponsible overdrinking, what with being dead and all, and the irrepressible Adrian is the first to abruptly lurch upright.
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“...That was a thing,” she says, promptly leaping from bed to escape the smothering confines of four other bodies, as Aida, Altina, Kuku all roll out on their own time, leaving Rita to enjoy the comfort of a bed all to herself. Bomb and chickenmancer are still pleased by the residual aftereffects of their very nice date, Altina marvels at the kind of alcoholic record she set for herself, and Adrian is merely sure she could have imbibed ever more fantastical amounts of the stuff.

Those last two things are what Rita seizes on. “Don’t worry, I’ll put you on the hall of fame. Right after I have my unholy powers back.”

It’s no surprise Adrian would find this notion unpleasant. “I don’t remember agreeing to that.”

“Boo,” Rita retorts. “Boo, Adrian.”

“Boo!” Kuku cheerfully, obliviously adds, for she is small and inane.

Adrian, as ever, as always, is undeterred. “Also you should probably keep that quiet, there’s someone out there.”

“That’s just good ol’ Mwamba, probably,” Rita says, waving such concerns off. When Adrian still demands the necrobartender keep quiet, however, “Sheesh. Did you wake up with some ungodly force dwelling in your body?” She ignored being shushed by the muscle to instead stare at Adrian’s chest, eyes narrowing as she thinks intensely. “...Why do I feel like I had an appointment.”

“See something you like?” Adrian dryly asks, for she’s got nothing to be embarrassed about.

“…Not really,” says Rita, distractedly.

Adrian takes this well enough, considering. “Wow, way to break my hearts like that.” Or perhaps not? Whatever the case, Rita keeps staring long enough for things to get awkward.
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“They didn’t get bigger while I was out, did they?” Rita asks – but, when Adrian looks down to confirm, she’s reasonably sure that there has, in fact, been something of an enhancement through the power of meat magic, even if only a slight one. “... This is why I don't usually drink,” Rita groans. “Shit happens.”

“This is fine!” chirps Altina agreeably, even if she’s still quite possibly plotting homicide over all this ogling.

And, after Adrian admits this isn’t the worst thing that could happen, Rita tries to look on the bright side as well with, “... I mean, you agreed to this, right? ...Right? I even remember it vaguely.”

“I’m not gonna complain,” says Adrian, and that seems to handle that. A bit of a back and forth is had over inanities – and Rita accidentally insulting Adrian’s ass – before the giant of the group takes a look at whatever’s going on at the bar proper – surprise, surprise, it’s Mwamba as predicted, looking very bored in general, while the bar itself is otherwise deserted. She doesn’t notice Adrian before the muscle dips back into the bedroom. “Guess you were right,” says Adrian, turning back to Rita. “I'm kinda surprised none of them have come snooping around.”

“I can see her little fire from here,” says Rita, master of necromancy that she is, revealing the source of her earlier knowledge. Adrian briefly is impressed by the realization that she has the same ability now, which Rita confirms, but after that?

“They're all just gonna be cool with 'Hey, those foreigners killed the source' and leave it at that?” Adrian raises interesting political concerns, certainly.

“Well,” says Rita, “the Russians did have a little chat with Lao Yue, y’know.” But to this, Adrian expresses only confusion, to which Rita can only offer a mildly exasperated, “… You saw it.”

“Man, I saw a lot of shit,” Adrian complains. “And now I see more.”

“Which is a problem,” Rita admits. “Now give me that.” Singleminded in pursuit of her old power, certainly.

But Adrian, ever stubborn, refuses. “I thought we said we'd talk it out, not just you demand it.”

“... We talked it out plenty before, what else do you wanna talk about?” There’s only so much patience Rita has, really, though she’s not anywhere near an unstoppable force compared to the immovable Adrian.

For example, “I dunno, how do I split it?” One cannot really blame Adrian for not wanting to totally give up this newfound source of might, truthfully.

Giving up on trying to get all the power back, Rita settles for giving a lesson, instead. “You see, there's no real measurement for this sort of thing so it's... difficult, to say the least. It's hard to find a good balance, usually you either give a lot or nothing at all in terms of quantity. Which is why you end up with mayoresses power tripping with bugs.”

“Does it really take some kinda ritual that takes hours?” Adrian asks, mind only on important matters. Such as, after Rita affirmatively answers her first question, “Do we get funky robes?” Yes, only the most vital issues cross her meaty brain.

“...Only if you want?” Rita says. “To be fair, there is a method to just yank it out. But that could kill us both. So let's not do that. Leave that to more experienced necromancers.” ...Such as? No one here, that’s for damn sure.

Now, of course, is the time for paranoia from Adrian, instead. “And how do I know you aren't gonna try and trick me again?”

Rita is a mite baffled. “… I'm not sure how I'd trick you in this exact situation. Elaborate.”
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Altina raises a hand, breaking her malevolent, bartender-watching silence at last to answer Adrian’s question as well. “Because I'll be there! And also Rita probably wouldn't yank it out of you now anyway if she didn't before.” It’s for the best that everyone else ignores the bird-girl, so they do.

“I mean,” says Adrian,“first you tried to trick me yesterday, then you insult both my chest and my ass and are just really demanding this morning... or night,” she amends, because it’s rather easy to forget the time, sometimes, sure enough.

“… I never insulted your assets,” Rita protests. “They’re lovely.” Being thanked by Adrian for this is natural. “But you did get an enhancement up front.”

“I never said I was perfect,” Adrian ever-so-modestly replies. Then it’s time for business. “So where would we do this ritual anyway?” Rita hesitantly indicates the bed. “Damn, not even subtle.”

“I say ritual,” Rita says, “but it’s more or less an hour or more of me fiddling around your tits. Again.”

Adrian offers a bemused “Wait, really?”

“Well,” Altina declares, vibrating with murderous energy, “now I have to watch.”

“Well, not really your tits,” Rita amends. “That’s just a joke.”

“Oh?” chirps the bird, opting to spare Rita’s life for now. “That's better.”

“So,” says Adrian, immediately undermining Rita’s shot at survival with her next words of, “You wanna play with my tits on the bed.”

This whole time, there’s been a bomb and a chicken still loitering about, absorbing all of this information. “I don’t get it at all!” Kuku declares, so okay, perhaps ‘absorbing’ was the wrong word.

“I don’t get it either,” Aida agrees. “But I think it's necromancer stuff, not dating stuff.”
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Adrian has the kind of look on her face that only comes from realizing there is quite a lot of inappropriate chatter going on around a pair of girls who have a combined age of twenty, at the absolute most. So she turns to them with her best, most pleasantly toothy smile, and goes, “Yeah, necromancer stuff, so why don’t you two go out there while we take care of it.”

“Well in practice it’s more like hugging it out,” says Rita, at least attempting to help make things sound more wholesome. “Swapping body heat and all that.”

“Regardless.” That’s all the notice the kids get before Adrian picks up bomb and chicken-girls alike to plant them on the other side of the bedroom door, leaving the room filled with two full-grown women and one dainty little bird eyeballing everything going down.

“Are we still on a date?” Aida asks, so deposited somewhere safe from necromantic shenanigans. “Do those end when you go to sleep?” Her question is confirmed by Adrian, which Aida can only respond to with an “Awwwww,” even as Kuku consoles her that it’s okay.

“I better not find you two doing anything when we’re done,” Adrian warns, earning a confused sound from Kuku before she shuts the door in the duo’s faces.

Kuku turns to stare at Aida. “... What does that mean?”

Aida? “I dunno.” Of course. “But we can't do date stuff, so I guess we just have to do something else.”

There is, in fact, a Mwamba still bartending, and also still seeking any respite from crushingly endless ennui. “… You can have a drink.”

“Yeah!” Aida enthusiastically agrees. “Drink!”

“Oh boy,” says Kuku, full of meat-drinking anticipation as Mwamba brings up the meaty stuff. And so they have a jolly old time out there with another not-quite-a-date for the foreseeable near future, pay them no mind.

Childish inanity aside, Adrian still has things to handle. “So now that the children are out of the room, you were saying?”

“I will be the impartial observer!” Altina merrily declares, plopping herself down to sit crosslegged, fingers on her cheeks and chin in her hands.

“Well,” says Rita, doing her level best to ignore a glowing crimson stare that refuses to blink even once. “Y’know how we do this?” She sticks a finger into Adrian’s abs, the digit phasing clean through the muscle thereof. “Well, it gets weirder.” She withdraws that finger to instead embrace Adrian properly.

“Oh.” Yes, that seems an appropriate response, Adrian. “Is this what you practiced with Carla?”

The question goes unanswered as Rita ‘hugs’ her, the bartendermancer’s hands reaching behind Adrian’s back to then sink into it. She’s not really hugging, per se, as the phasing through part means she's not actually touching Adrian physically, but eventually Rita's front seemingly merges with Adrian’s as she sinks into the musclegirl’s body. She keeps her head besides Adrian’s, of course, else she’d probably drown in all that muscle.

“… This is pretty weird,” Adrian understates, as is her nature.

“Boob jobs are much, much more simple,” Rita admits, free to actually say such things now without worry of corrupting the minds of impressionable youth. “So basically we touch flames for an hour, yeah. You have to hold still, though, or something awful might happen.”

“It’s only gay if the flames touch,” says Adrian, as though that would actually be any sort of problem for her whatsoever after everything else she’s gotten up to of late.

“…I'm sorry to tell you, but it's been gay for a while now.” Yes, Rita, exactly that.

“Yeah,” Adrian concedes, “but if I just stand here quietly, it'd get pretty awkward.”

“It's a good thing I'm here too, then!” Altina chirrups. “No situation will ever be awkward with me to add onto it!”

“...About that,” says Rita.

“Altie tries.” That’s the extent of Adrian’s defense, though.

“Well, you guys could tone it down in front of the children,” Rita chides. While Adrian protests that any inappropriately romantic behavior of theirs was purely done in the heat of the moment, the barmancer cannot be stopped. “Normally I'd say it's healthy for their age and all that but, uh, seeing it in person is a whole different ordeal.”

“I think Aida’s a little too young for that.” But that’s just, like, Adrian’s opinion, man. It certainly isn’t stopping the pair outside from getting up to things they shouldn’t do, even if they’re presently still just enjoying meaty drinks for their breakfast- er, dinner.

“...Precisely,” says Rita. “It doesn't help that the amount of boys is minuscule.” Alright, Rita, but would it really have been better if Aida had been making out with a boy her age?

“How the hell would I know she’d run with it like that?” Adrian defensively asks.

“She’s your sister,” Rita retorts. “Sort of. You should know her better.”

“I’ve known her for like four days now.” Thus is Adrian’s defense offered.

One Rita isn’t keen to let lie. “Well, did you awaken together?”

“Yeah? That was how long ago we woke up, I think.” It’s easy to lose exact track of time to some degree when you spend a lot of it zoning out, committing heinous (though morally upright) violence, partying hard, and being flamboyantly homosexual.

“That means you have a deep bond and yadda yadda,” Rita helpfully explains. “So she's your sister, in doll terms.”

“Doesn't mean I know everything about her, that'd be weirder than this shit right now.” Once more, Adrian has a fair point to counter with.

“I assure you,” Rita says, still only inches removed from smothering herself in muscles, “few things are more weird than this.”

“I don't know, seeing those two is pretty high up there.” Alright Adrian but you’re one to talk after swapping flesh with the bird in a cannibal kiss that one time.

Still, since that’s not something Rita’s aware of, and also not something Altina cares to bring up, the office lady concedes with a “... Can't really disagree.”

“Or,” Adrian continues, now that she’s on this tangent, “how awkward it was when little drummer girl woke up. Or I guess I woke up with her…" A wince. “She made accusations.” That were mostly Altina’s fault for being a creep, but it’s true, it wasn’t all on the bird’s head.

“Oh, yeah,” Rita says, unbothered by this. “You did good. With the body, I mean. The passing out part was unnecessary. Guess you need more practice. …Not that I want you practicing this.”

“Why not?” Adrian asks. “Isn't that how you get better?”

And so comes Rita’s weary reply of “Necromancy is not something I'd wish on others, y'know.” When Adrian rightfully points out that it didn’t seem so bad yesterday, Rita continues, “Well, you're seeing the good parts, really. Patching people up, bringing your loved ones back, getting bigger tits…” She trails off again, until prompted by her partner in soul-hugging about the bad parts. “...Hmm. Raising and creating amalgamations of flesh that are truly works of sheer terror, destroying the remnants of civilization, slaughtering your loved ones, succumbing to madness, killing your self, becoming a laughing skull, engage in eternal wars with other immortal beings, watching your tits rot, the works.”

“Half of those sound like things I could just not do.” Adrian says, not unkindly.

Rita still has more issues to lay out, however. “Stripping yourself of power due to cowardice and not wanting to take responsibility, and then watching as one of your creations effectively furthers the destruction of your beloved little town and then foreigners come along and take it away…”

“Ha-ha,” comes Adrian’s humorless laugh. “You do realize that last part sounds like a good argument for not giving it back?”

“I do,” Rita admits, “but it's a bit too late for that.”

“What, are you saying I don't have a choice but to give it all up?” Now Adrian is a bit unkindly. “Because I could also punch your head off and eat it to get it back.”

“Well.” Rita takes this hypothetical threat in good stride. “I'll be perfectly honest with you. For once. I'll try. This is an extremely delicate process that could go horribly wrong if you do anything like that.”

“I’d do it afterwards.” Adrian’s tone makes it sound like she might be joking, but also she might not, so who knows if that’s a risk worth taking?

“But, lucky for you…” Rita trails off for a moment, before just coming clean. “It's pretty much impossible. You see, the likely reason why Mariana chose to become a monster is exactly because of that. This is the humane method of transferring power. And it's impossible to take it all using this. No matter how long I embrace you, a fraction of the power, no matter how small, would linger there. And from that amount, you can grow it. It's a bit ridiculous, really. For instance, you'd still see fire inside people. But you'd have to train to make your flame grow.”

“You know, it's kind of funny,” Adrian says.

“… Funny how?” Rita asks, suspiciously eyeing up the beefy beast. “Are you going to say something unreasonable like ripping my head off after this or something?”

“Nah.” Adrian isn’t nearly so brutish. Probably. At this exact moment. “Before you starting making all these arguments to hand it over, I really didn't give a shit about it.”

“… Of course you didn’t.” Just soak the bed with that sarcasm, Rita.

“I really didn’t,” Adrian re-emphasizes. “Other than the whole 'oh hey, I can see fire' thing.”

“Right, right,” Rita grumbles. “Let's blame this all on me again. That's what I need. More guilt. That'll make me feel super.”

“Well, if you're not wrong,” says Adrian, “I also would have exploded or gone crazy anyway, so there is that. You weren't just saying that shit to make me give it up, were you?”

“Why the hell would I lie about that?” Considering Rita’s dubiously trustworthy (if still well-meaning) track record of late, she’s not in the best spot to say that kind of thing.

“To scare me into giving it back.” One can hardly fault Adrian for this conclusion, after everything.

“If you going away with these powers didn't put everyone in danger, that'd be fine. That'd just mean I could hide for much, much longer.” Rita surely is the bravest in all the continent. “But all this goddamned bug business makes me want to go out of hiding.” Oh, perhaps that’s actually not an entirely facetious statement.

“Maybe, just maybe, you should consult with some of the brighter people around here before doing shit again.” You see, Adrian, that would be a reasonable course of action… somewhere other than Africa.

This earns a sad smile from the necromancer. “Oh, Adrian, you poor soul. They don't get much brighter than this, I can assure you. I know I'm not the best at being a necromancer... But not everyone can be a Barabas. That's why a lot of us died.” A tear drips down Rita’s cheek, falling to phase through Adrian’s shoulder.

“At the very least go over it a bit more with someone,” Adrian suggests. “Seems like you could have avoided a lot of bullshit.”

“I don’t really have anyone I can rely in with this kind of stuff,” Rita confesses. When asked about her partner in necromancy, all she can say is, “Carla's knowledge of this is also my knowledge. All she knows is either because I taught her or she acquired it through, well, this. And she has some of my memories, too. We swapped bodies and all that.”

Adrian is nothing if not dedicated to problem-solving. “Then find someone who doesn't know necromancy but isn't dumb. That way at least you can ask if it sounds like a dumb idea and they say yes, you can, ya know, maybe find why it's dumb. You don't really need necromancy to know the bug plan idea was a really dumb idea.”

“I think you may be exaggerating things.” Now it’s Rita’s turn to be defensive about poor life choices. “I mean, I know I screwed up when I gave Mariana any sort of power, but I really trusted her. She was my daughter. They all are.”

“You didn’t trust her enough to let her in on your plan,” Adrian points out, causing Rita to die on the spot.

Still, the necromancer comes back from it well enough. “I suppose you have a very good point there. Can't really argue against that. I wonder if she'd still go through all that if she knew."

“I swear,” says Coach, breaking her silence to side-eye Adrian, “she's stealing this shit from me.”

“It’s fine,” says Rita. “You’re sharing the body, after all.”

“You can’t prove shit,” Adrian retorts, ignoring Rita to instead get into an argument with herself, as Coach responds with “But I am the sane one,” only for Adrian to hit her(self) with “You’re the bitchy one,” in kind, though Coach can respond with “I’d complain less if you stopped getting my block knocked off.”

Altina sees an opportunity to be helpful! “Do you want me to cut that head off? I can cut that head off.” She considers the situation for a moment. “...Later. When it wouldn't be terrible and catastrophic.”

“Hey, we went through that last fight with you sti-” is what Adrian’s busy saying to her Coach when those words from the bird register, and then it’s an impressively loud “DO NOT!” that Altina’s given in turn.

“Okay!” Altina chirps, unfazed, as Coach is spared a lightsaber through the neck.

And, with her self-argument derailed so, Adrian switches track to power transfers with “I think that’s enough.”

“… Nah,” Rita says. “Give me a little more.”

“… I remember you saying there was little control over it,” Adrian notes.

“Which is exactly why this thing is going to spill over…” Rita trails off, lips pursing in concern. “Oh shit.” She budges a little, but the prospect of drowning in muscle is suddenly becoming very real. “Goddamnit, Adrian.”

To her credit, Adrian doesn't move. “That was you, not me.”

“This is not exactly easy, y’know,” Rita complains, still managing to hold herself above muscle for now. “I know sinking into people might look easy, but it's really not. Especially when you don't want to fuse together into a blob of death.” Adrian admits she’d rather avoid that, sensibly enough, and while Rita is trying to keep things from going that way, that doesn’t exactly make it easy. Altina raises a hand to volunteer her services steadying Rita, considers the drawbacks of distracting her further, and slowly lowers it again.

“Maybe,” Adrian suggests, “you should call it if it's getting hard."

“That's the thing, I can't really just stop suddenly,” Rita explains. Of course Adrian suggests that she start working on stopping now. “I am, but your muscles are sucking me in. Tell them to stop.” When asked how? “I don't know, I don't usually dive into this kind of advanced physique.”

“Hey muscles, stop it,” Adrian declares. This accomplishes nothing. “Do I like think about pushing you away or what?”

“It helps!” Rita says, all too brittle.

“Should your flame be goin’ like that?” Adrian asks, as souls do peculiar things beyond a bird’s line of sight.

“No no no no no no-” Rita cuts herself off. “Okay, okay. Calm down. Deep breath.”

“This is me calm,” Adrian says, tone flat, as she misses the point of who this is directed at.

“Steeeeeeeeeady,” rasps Rita, very slowly pushing herself apart from her partner in hugs. Some parts of both girls are sticking together in an ethereal mess, almost as if they had both liquefied in the process, as they keep pulling away from each other. Adrian takes a moment to be impressed by this, leaving Rita to speak up again. “Now, just promise me one thing.” What, Rita? “That you're only going to use this power to fuck people over who have it coming to them.”

“You mean,” says Adrian, “like I've been doing with my hands already?" Precisely, Rita confirms. “So you're saying no more putting people back together?”

Rita’s is a mildly exasperated stare. “… That’s not what I meant. How did you reach that conclusion?”

“The part about fucking people over?” Adrian explains. “I don't actually know how I could do that, other than the knockout handshake.”

“Oh, there’s plenty of ways, believe me.” Well, Rita is the one with all the experience here, fair enough. “One of them is, well, doing this and then fucking up and ending up killing both yourself and the other person.” Thankfully, Adrian apparently doesn’t wanna do that shit anyway, leaving Rita to continue with, “Luckily, I've only ever heard about that. Never seen it. …Don't think I wanna see it. The descriptions about bloating masses of ethereal flesh merging in and out of reality were very convincing.”

Adrian simply finds this gross, but Altina is more invested in such a topic. “I would try to cut apart the blob you two would be so you could be normal again but I don't think I would be able to do a very good job. So it's good that didn't happen!” Thank you, bird, very cool.

This is the point Rita finally emerges from inside Adrian’s muscles completely, hurriedly backing away to catch her breath after that near-muscly-death experience. “Whew, lad.”

While such a comment merely earns a tilt of the head from Adrian, Altina is bright-eyed and full of manic thinking. “Maybe we can come back to see you some time when Adrian's all full up on necropower and you can get some more so you end up with all the stuff you had before and then some. This is a good idea!” Is it, though?

“… That’d be great, actually.” Well of course Rita would agree. “If you're out on the field accumulating first-hand experience, I'm sure you're going to grow at an alarming rate. And if you develop your own power naturally, it probably won't devour you through madness.” What a winning proposition this is turning out to be.

“It’d be kind of funny if that's what some asshole made me for,” Adrian says, “just going around eating necromancers.”

“Trust me,” says Rita, “cannibalism is pretty taboo among necromancers precisely because of that. You don't want your dolls being jacked up on power.”

“But then why make doll cannibals if you don't want that to happen…” Adrian is somewhat confused.

“Some people are assholes.” Ah, yes, of course, Rita. “And others just like to experiment. And if it's taboo, you can bet your ass weirdos are gonna be dying to try it out. That's just how things are.”

“I mean, the reception I got here just made it sound like it was just something a little annoying,” Adrian grumbles. “You saying I gotta keep that shit quiet now?”

“Well, it's taboo among necromancers. Dolls don't really give a shit.” Convenient. “But if you're around one of them, you should probably not mention you know you can eat them for power. Unless you want to pick a fight.”

“What, you think I'd do that?” Adrian is perfectly innocent of such things, and Rita’s suspicious squinting is unwarranted. “I mean, I did try to keep a secret.” A sigh from the necromancer. “I mean, I do love a good scrap.” That Adrian does, Rita confirms. “But it'd get annoying if I made every person in charge wanna kill me.”

Well, those are concerns for later. Rita’s are more focused on the present. “Now to do this with all the others and get full power back. And start doing situps again.” This declaration is met with muscly wondering if that even works, considering how dead everyone present is. “Funny thing,” Rita explains. “Placebo is a powerful drug. Some say it can distort reality.”

This gives Adrian an idea. “So could I exercise the necromancy shit by using it to, like, make dead arms do push ups?”

“... As ridiculous as that sounds, as long as you're manipulating flesh. Sure.” Well, there’s the Rita seal of approval for something Adrian thinks sounds fun, hoorah. “But if you want some real practice, I suggest you get in charge of patching up everyone after fights. That shit builds up character, too.”
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“You sayin’ I ain’t got character?” No, Adrian, Rita’s saying you can get more. “I feel like you’re insulting me.” You feel wrong, Adrian! But, with that mild critique aside, she has bigger plans to make. For example; “So, what's the fastest way to get to Anatolia?"

Rita takes a moment to think on this. “If you're on foot, ironically, a huge detour to the African port and a boat to the Middle East might make it faster than going there all the way on foot from here. Or you could get a vehicle. Like normal people do.” That’s a bold assumption about normalcy with this group, Rita. Are there even that many cars around? “Working vehicles? No. Broken vehicles and dead bodies? Plenty, if you look around the right places and know the right methods… And I just thought of another great exercise.”

“Are you saying I should make one?” Bingo, Adrian. “I'm down. This way we're not fucked if whatever we're driving breaks down.”

“Of course, if you do that, you might wanna bring Lola and her truck along.” A sound plan, Rita. “So you can copy the design under the truck's hood.” An especially sound plan, even! “The Emperor is really creative, I'll give him that. And I guess the witch of Africa is back.” Hooray!

“And I guess,” says Adrian, so inspired by this, “I’ll just be the wandering witch.” Of muscles, naturally.

“Oooh, I like that,” Rita coos. “Has a nice ring to it. Though people with titles like Emperor make me feel small. Or the Czar.” A pause, though, as she thinks back on an earlier question. “...Well, why are you heading to Anatolia, anyway? Looking for things to punch?” Basically, yes, Adrian confirms with a shrug. “I don't fault your logic for heading there then, but I would recommend going straight to Constantinople. There's probably more to be done there than here, even though it is arguably civilized.”

“While you're up there,” Rita continues, “maybe you could do me a tiny favor? Nothing too complicated. If you come across some girl named Zinaida, just tell her the witch is doing business again.” Rita seems to be in deep thought after making such a request, scratching her temple while looking at the ceiling.

“And who is this Zinaida?” asks the most muscled of them all.

“It’s the doll in charge of Constantinople!” Rita cheerily explains. “Which is also neutral territory but, unlike here, has no ties to the Chinese. She's a really nice girl from what I hear. Well, heard. Let's hope she's still alive and well. Lola would probably know, she's the one making runs through there to get to Europe, after all.” And why does Rita want this Zinaida to know about her? “Because we can be friends.” Adrian finds this to be a bit of a headscratcher of a statement, but eh, such is the way of geopolitics. “I mean, she already lets our trucks through anyway since we're supposed to be a neutral party too. Even though the Chinese would probably disagree.”

“You sure this is a good idea?” asks Adrian, considering the opinions of said Chinese on Africa in general.

“Well, as long as you don't tell the chinks!” Rita cheerily declares.

“... How do you know she won't mention it to them?” Given what the team knows about this Zinaida (i.e. nothing), it’s not an unfair question, really.

“Constantinople cooperates with the Russians, I'm pretty sure they want nothing to do with the Chinese.” Oh, well, thanks for the brief political lesson, Rita. “They have a common foe which isn't the Chinese, surprisingly." Oh, wait, what now? “Some robots or something like that.” Ah, something for Adrian to punch when they go visit. “Probably, they don't like the undead very much.” Excellent, excellent.

“So…” There is just one other little thing Adrian has to ask about. “About getting us a ride." Rita gives her a hearty shrug with all six of her arms. Er, wait. “… Do you have more arms now?”

“Maybe.” Why, Rita? Well, so she can cross them all at the same time, for one. “It’s convenient,” for another. “And amusing.”

Adrian crosses her mere two arms in turn. “Isn’t that gonna look suspicious?”

“How so?” Rita asks of her. “I already do surgeries, I can always say I just added more arms to myself. Wouldn't be the first time.”

“When did you get those anyway?” There’s only so many possibilities Adrian can ponder here, after all.

“Eh, y’know. I figure about the same time you got those.” Rita explains herself with a poke straight into Adrian’s chest, and not the muscled bits, even. While the meat-behemoth herself doesn’t seem bothered by this, Altina observes that poke with a glower and a muted ‘hmph’ of disapproval – which only gets Rita beaming when she notices such blatant jealousy. “Did you want some too, Altie? I can make yours bigger, no problem.”

Altina’s hostility abates as she rocks from side to side, gaze flitting towards the ceiling as she thinks on this. “Adriaaaaan,” she sing-songs, “do you want me to?”

While not the target of this question, Rita still snorts. “Pfft. Be more assertive.”

As one with a more vested interest in such things, meanwhile, Adrian merely shrugs. “Hey, if I was that worried about getting someone with big tits, I'd have gotten someone with big tits.” Though in comes Coach with an unwelcome, “Or tried, anyway,” which earns the cheeky second head a dirty glare (and a dry “Smooth,” from Rita).

The bird who would actually be rocking such an enhancement, meanwhile? “Glad to see that isn't a factor, then! Hm-hmmmmmmm~” Her eyes snap back down from the ceiling to lock on Rita as her head tilts all the way sideways. “Maybe a little bit!”

“That’ll be my good-bye gift to you, then,” Rita declares. “I'll make sure to have a gift for everyone, so make sure you stop by the farm after you're done copying chink engines.” A cheerful okay is heard from Altina, whereas Adrian has to wonder if Rita’s coming along or not, to which the necrobartender offers a victory sign. “Don’t have to. Plus, I need to prepare some real important shit for you.” But then who’s going to show Adrian how to do engine necromancy? “I told you, just copy it. Stick your hand in the engines and get a feel for it, turn on your fire vision or whathaveyou... And then reshape a slab of meat into a similar design and simply add soul at the end. It's a no-brainer.” Huh. “How do you think dolls got made? We didn't collectively come up with the designs. Some guy did. Then we just sort of stole those.”

“You know,” says Coach, “with how much you were going on about her needing training, you seem pretty willing to let the kid out to do that shit on her own.” Even if Adrian retorts with a defensive “I can handle it.”

“That’s why I need to prepare some shit,” says Rita. “And why I took a large portion of your fire. Because that shit is going to grow back, and then some, and then get bigger and bigger until you either explode or master it. But I have some faith in you. Otherwise, I'd just knock everyone out and kill you!” Rita looks down at the bed after that rather worrisome declaration. “But I... Sorta like you guys.”

While it’s nice of her to say that last part, it doesn’t stop Adrian from worriedly asking “Wait, how would you have knocked everyone out?”

Altina is also curious! “This is a good question to have the answer to so I can defend against it in the future if I ever have the need to.” Alright bird you don’t have to explain in such detail.

Rita raises her arms. “I could just talk you into a group hug!” She looks around at those who now have no reason to take her up on this. “Now I sort of want one.”

“This would be very suspicious of you to ask after what you just explained!” says Altina. “But then if you did anything Aida would probably blow you up. And us. And everything else too. Collateral damage.” She shudders, shaking her head – one sisterly explosion the day she first awoke is enough for her, thank you.

“So,” says Adrian, “don't accept any hugs or handshakes from necromancers.”

“Pshaw…” Rita has no right to be offended, really. “Do you still not trust me?”

“You mighta done it as some sort of lesson,” Adrian points out.

Altina? “None of us have died! So I cannot say yes to that accusation! But also Adrian has a good point so yes there is that.”

Faced with such facts, what have you to say in your defense, Rita? “…Well, I might have a shitty sense of humor but… Y'know, in the end, I'd just rather have friends. That's a thing most necromancers don't get to enjoy.” Oh. That’s just depressing.

Adrian’s thoughts on the matter boil down to, “So most necromancers are shit with people.”

“… Bingo.” That’s not the happiest admission, Rita.

“So being friendly is a good way to avoid getting spotted as one.” What a way to maintain a cover, Adrian.

“Isn’t that convenient?” Why, yes, Altina. Yes it is.

Rita can only offer more shrugs. “Well, do you wanna get going before I start tearing up? If you're looking for cars, that is. I'm sure Lola knows where there might be some other kind of vehicle. But yes, get Lola. She's a good girl.”
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“I'm not sure she likes me very much,” Altina confesses, idly scratching her cheek. “But then maybe she should be better at dealing with me peeking through the driver's window when we're moving. It isn't like I'm trying to shoot her, gosh.” Yes, surely that is the only reason anyone would be disturbed by those glowing eyes suddenly poking through their window while they’re driving.

“Is that so?” Rita asks. “How odd. Altina is the best girl. I suppose Lola should acquire taste.” Well, that necromancer’s preferences are clear, anyway.

As for the other necromancer in the room? “She does like to sit on the roof. That's why whatever we're driving will have spikes on top.” Such a betrayal leaves Altina blinking rapidfire as she cocks her head at the prospect of her favorite perch being so bird-proofed, and so Adrian takes advantage of this confusion to pick her up without any fuss.

"Don't get too finicky on the design or you might not leave town until next year,” Rita warns. “…That'd be nice.” Aww.

"Well, we might as well get moving then,” Adrian says, thus crushing the lonely office-lady-necromancer’s dreams.

“Oh, I should make good on that promise then and get going too,” says Rita. “Gotta make some calls and get some dolls together.” So Rita hops out of bed, and so Adrian walks out at last, escaping the bedroom with Altina tucked under an arm – the bird just sort of dangles in Adrian’s grip, not really minding it in the least as they venture out into the grand bar beyond. Indeed, there can be found Aida still drinking meat with Kuku. Delicious. Rita is close behind the escaping couple, however. “Sorry for the wait.”

“What?” Mwamba hasn’t been privy to any of the silliness that’s gone on behind closed doors, after all.

“Eh, don't worry about it.” So does Rita dismiss that question as she heads over to grab the bar’s phone. “I'm taking you to the farm, by the way, Kuku.”
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“Ho-kay?” Kuku takes a long sippy, offering no objections.

“Rita!” Yes, Aida? “You gotta tell us how to make your special stuff. I can't blow up bad people as well without it.” Well, she was blowing bad people up just fine without it, too, but whatever.

Rita has no reason to deny the bomb this treat, so, “I'll leave instructions for that. Adrian can make the brew for you, no problem. It doubles as training, too.”

“Yay!” Such cute cannibalistic enthusiasm, Aida. “I get to help Adrian with training and get special stuff.” So you do, Aida, so you do.

“Just make sure to stop by the farm so I can give them to you,” says Rita. “Once you're done making your car, that is. This might take a while.”

The bomb nods along, fine with farm visits, but Kuku turns to her as if Aida knew all about this whole vehicle business. “You're making a car?”

Aida confirms this with a, “We're gonna use it to find more bad people to blow up now that we blew up all the bugs!”

“Neat.” Thus speaks Kuku.

“Super neat,” Aida confirms.

“Super duper neat?” May as well tack that on, sure, Kuku.

“Super duper extra neat.” Lo, Aida confirms the ultimate form of neatness.

“Ho-kay.” Kuku offers the genuine smile of a chicken child. Pay no attention to the knives still embedded in her skull. Or do – it’s a charm point. Regardless, Aida smiles back and finishes off her drink, which involves a lot of spilling meat on her clothes.

With that, there’s no further reason to stick around, beyond confirming briefly where Lola would be at this hour; quite possibly sleeping in her truck at her boss’s place, lacking in any deliveries to make. So the A-Team sets off into the darkness, thanks to their wonderful idea of drowning in booze at noon. Their walk over to Lao Yue's complex is uneventful – the gate is wide open, Lola’s truck clear in view from outside.
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Alongside said truck is a shorty speaking to a bulky; the smaller is definitely Lola, unless another child stole her hat, whereas a bit of squinting reveals the larger to be the meatheaded Muuka. In any case, the two appear to be in an argument of sorts, too occupied to notice the wholly suspicious bunch creeping up on them.

“Lolaaa!” Aida calls out, thus putting the kibosh on ‘creeping’, because she sees no issue in announcing their presence or business alike. “We wanna make a car, come help us!”

“Shush,” Adrian says in a low voice as attention falls on them. “Don’t go spouting that off when strangers are around.”

“Ohhh. Okay.” Aida gets it, nodding along as she waves at Lola, something the rest of the team also opts to do – even the bird presently still within Adrian’s mighty grasp. The trucker responds to all this with a nonchalant wave, while Muuka just seems puzzled.

Once everyone’s properly assembled, it’s Adrian who starts prying at what’s happening. “Got a problem?”

“Yes, a muscular problem,” Lola responds. “Not you,” she clarifies, after a sound of confusion from Adrian.

“You could just be reasonable,” Muuka wheedles. “Juuuuust a bit. C'mon.” And what is Lola apparently being so unreasonable about, Adrian wants to know?

“Look-” Lola cuts herself off, briefly, in frustration. “What I'm trying to tell this mountain of meat is that I'm not taking her ass all the way over to Anatolia.” She totally could, though, Muuka asserts. Adrian’s more interested in figuring out why the lesser meathead wants to go there, though.

As it turns out? “Well, I had a job offer there. And they want to reassign me to do manual labor at the mines. So I'd rather escape the commies.” Not quite a gulag, at least, but still, oof.
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“Which is why I'm not helping you,” Lola reiterates. “I like my job and I'll be keeping it.” Long days on the road with peace, quiet, and only occasionally some extreme violence? What’s not to love, Lola?

Still, Muuka’s situation has more to figure out. Such as, Adrian asks, who gave the bulky broad a job offer? The answer is, “A skinny girl who was impressed with these." Muuka flexes. “She clearly needs a bodyguard.”

“You don't even know her name,” Adrian points out.

“… That’s not relevant.” Right, Muuka, of course not. “Besides, it's been two years.” Since this meathead saw her? “Yeah. She was visiting, apparently.” And she doesn’t think the gal has one by now? “... Well, it beats working at the mines. Maybe they need a guard. Or someone for a bodybuilding contest. You don't know.”

Adrian is unimpressed, so she turns her attention to Lola. “Hey, can you give us a ride?” The trucker stares at her. “Not to Anatolia.”

“… Oh, sure then,” says Lola, to Adrian’s thanks. “Where to this time?”

“… Hell.” No, Muuka, not Hell, even if there were plenty of fights to have. “For her, you're willing to go almost anywhere.” She sulks. Not very appropriate for her age or size.

“Because we're not asking her to lose her job for us.” Yeah Adrian’s got a solid point there honestly.

Muuka looks like she had a bright idea. “I'll pay you!”

“… With what?” Yes, Adrian, there’s one major flaw in this plan.

Namely, “… And for what?” What do you mean, Lola? “We don't use money here, genius.” Oh right of course.

Muuka sulks again. “Fucking Chinese… I have some coins the nice lady gave me. You could use those in Constantisomething or whatever.” Why was she given these, asks Adrian? “Dunno. She just smiled at me and told me to look for her. At some place. It had a weird name.” Alright well that just leaves the entire world to pore over, no biggie.

Adrian is too generous for her own good, though. “You stick around here, we'll be back later and... we'll see what happens.” Huh, goes Muuka in confusion. Double huh, goes Lola, as the one who might theoretically be ferrying this lower-tier muscle about. “Don’t worry about it.” So says Adrian, climbing into the truck as everyone else relevant boards, too.

“You heard the musclehead,” says Lola, taking her rightful spot in the driver’s seat.

“I have muscles too, yanno,” Muuka complains, though she at least doesn’t try to muscle her way where she doesn’t belong with them.

“I know,” says Lola. “Stay put, for fuck’s sake.” Now, turning to Adrian, “…Where the hell are we headed to anyway?”

Adrian’s the one with the plan, so, “Rita said you'd know where to go to make like a car or some shit.”

Oh, yes, perfectly reasonable. “… Did you say MAKE?” Oh, perhaps not, if that’s Lola’s response. She’s still having trouble wrapping her head around this as muscle and bird alike confirm their plan. “… What. So you want like... Uh, junk?”

Aida, ever comfortable in the back, pipes up with, “We're gonna make a car and use it to find bad people to blow up.” So says Allah’s will.

“… Phew.” Yes Lola that’s the right reaction to these weirdos. “What kind of car, anyway? I could probably find some intact ones, easily. People took some pretty nice trucks for granted; for instance, the fire truck.”

Adrian desires a solid home base to operate from. “Something we could fit a bunch of people in, can go pretty fast and won't, like, flip over or something.”

Altina? “This sounds quite agreeable for our need to slay all who cross us, yes.”

“… Do you guys ever not kill things?” asks Lola, and Aida is happy to tell her that peace is an option when things are nice and not bad. “… Fair enough. I can think of one place that probably has some vehicles that fit the bill but… It has been a while since I've been there. Scavengers may have taken over. …Or bugs. You never know with this place. But it's in another town. Are you up for it?” How far away? “Couple of hours.”

“If there's bugs, we'll blow 'em up,” Aida states. “If those scavenger guys are bad, we'll blow 'em up. So why not?” All in line with the jihadist mission statement.

Muuka has one final complaint to lodge as Lola gets the truck going. “Do I really have to wait here?”

Adrian shuts her down with, “You sat around for two years doing nothing, a few hours won't kill ya.”

Muuka can’t really argue with that, annoyed though she is, so the A-Team takes off into the desert night once more. The road at night is pretty calm, though the frosty breeze coming through the windows chills things down a fair degree – not that undead generally mind the cold overmuch, but still. Along the way, a quick detour is arranged near one of the battlefields the A-Team has recently been involved with, guerrilla bodies intermingling with bug bits far as the eye can see – much more the former than the latter, though. There’s a pause to load the truck up with giblets for later use, and then the truck’s motoring on out of town once more, on the dirt path that lead them here at the start of their journey, albeit in the opposite direction.

It's relaxing now that there are no Russian bikes buzzing behind them. With nothing better to do, Lola is quickly made to feel very awkward by how her birdlike/musclebound passengers start making out. Even if she has to keep her eyes on the road, she still has ears. But this tomfoolery and giggling goes without comment from her because would they stop if she asked? Probably not.

Quite a few hours later, they reach what seems to be a landmark – insomuch as a lot of craters with a few buildings here and there between the edges can count as such. The place is pretty much destroyed, although the dirt path going between the craters seems to be suspiciously intact.

Adrian pulls herself away from her very important task she was engaged in and looks around. "What happened here?”

“Dunno,” Lola responds. “Always been like this. Now here's hoping I don't fall into the holes.” As the trucker makes a detour into one of the edges, Adrian looks out the window then backs to Altina, perhaps considering what to get back to as the bird comfortably nuzzles up against her during this lull in their romantic interlude.

Perhaps if the truck weren't so dangerously close to collapsing into the dirt craters, this place would be a bit nicer to look at – though the full moon lights it up quite nicely along with the truck's lights, lending things a cozy atmosphere. Something Adrian finds agreeable, as she comments, “This is actually kinda romantic, in a way.”

Lola is merely nervous. “... Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Minus the road.”

“Eh,” says Adrian dismissively, “details.” Right as the truck sways uncomfortably one way, then back as Lola gets it under control.


Altina chips in with a cheery, “I have total confidence in you to not fling us into a hole!” And even if they did fall in, that’d just leave more time for inappropriate romance, surely.

“THANKS!” Lola is sweating bullets as she zigzags around the crater edges, dodging ruins along the way.

Coach figures this is the perfect time to be gratuitously Italian at Adrian as they leave their bodily integrity in Lola’s tiny, capable hands, for the second head gives her partner-in-muscle a mocking, “Quando una luna colpisce l'occhio come una grande pizza, Questo è amore.” Adrian understands precisely none of this, as evidenced by her “… The fuck did you just say?” Of course Coach responds with “Oh, nothing,” her little laugh already had at such a reaction. Nobody else really gets it either, alas for them.

A bit more dangerous driving soon, thankfully, comes to an end as Lola brings the truck to a stop in front of a large building caught between four craters on each corner; apparently their distance was just right for this section to not collapse either way. The little girl takes some deep breaths, sinking back into her seat and letting her unbeating heart calm down that little bit more. “... Okay. I'm alive.”

“Of course you are,” says Adrian, utterly unfazed. “So is this the place?” Once Lola confirms that it is, Adrian sets her grinning girlfriend aside and jumps out, leaving everyone else to enjoy the cozy confines of the truck.

It's quite a large building, larger than the Committee's office, even if this place doesn’t have more than one floor. Two large garage shutters make up the entrance as there is no actual door in sight from this side of the building – there’s quite the generic logo painted between the shutters, bearing the letters CD; so generic, in fact, it’s all but impossible to decipher any greater meaning about whoever it belonged to. Lola is entirely fine with waiting outside as Adrian applies muscle to shutter, loudly flinging it open – the noise doesn’t seem to draw any bad attention as she peeks inside, though it’s too dark to see much until she has their driver pull up to shine truck lights into the building.

Headlights bring into view a bounty of properly intact vehicles – simple military trucks complete with dusty desert camouflage patterns, a beige APC, two hulking vehicles with enormous wheels and chassis so far from the ground Adrian comfortably fits underneath, and finally an ambulance in the farthest corner.

“Oh, they're still all here,” Lola notes. “That's a pleasant surprise.”

“Huh…” says Adrian quite agreeably, as she looks over everything. “So which of these can go the fastest without flipping or some shit?” Speed is life, after all.

Lola, expert on all things vehicular, gives it some thought. “Either the trucks or the Casspirs. I don't know how fast APCs are. Maybe they're really fast?”

“It doesn’t look very fast,” Altina comments, peering at everything from her comfy passenger seat. “But I don't really think I've ever seen one moving before. Hmhmhm…”

More usefully, Adrian asks, “So... what's a Casspir?”

“It's those trucks that look like they are your version of trucks,” Lola explains. “Like, if you became a truck.” … What? “It’s the big ones, dumbo.”

“Why didn't you just say it that way instead of being all weird about it?" Adrian asks, but she sets aside her exasperation to check one of those Adrian-sized vehicles.

“… It was a joke.” Alas, Lola, surrounded by the ignorant and unappreciative.

Well, except for Altina. “I thought it was a good joke because of the elements of truth in it.” What a nice bird.

Adrian’s inspection of the first Casspir reveals that someone’s apparently stripped out the seats, which makes riding in it an unpleasant prospect. So begins the quest for chairs – the most vital, dangerous task the A-Team has ever had set before them. But the darkness hides things that no one present takes much note of, as these oblivious heroines all fail to see what’s coming before there’s a deafening *boom* from the other corner of the garage…
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…And then the truck’s windshield explodes, much like Lola’s torso now smeared all over the cabin.

There’s a bark of violent alarm from Adrian as she goes from Casual to Murder speeds and rushes the source of this shot, Aida immediately sights in on Bad People to blow up with enthusiasm as she leaps from the back of the truck, and Altina cackles in sudden mad surprise at the unexpected (and not entirely unwelcome) interruption as she pulls herself out the window to engage in violence. Lola would join them, but, um, she’s presently too busy being a head and bundle of loosely-attached limbs.

As the A-Team rushes forth, using vehicles for cover as they go, they discover their ambushers to be a trio of girls hiding behind the APC in the back: one is the sniper with an enormous rifle prone on the floor, with dangerously fluffy hair and a smug expression. Followed by this cutie is the not so cute chunky girl with rather enormous claws for hands and long, sharp-looking nails. The other bozo is some chick with an eye patch and a fancy sword. They look just a bit scared at the cadre coming to crush them.

The one-eyed swordsgirl is the first to speak, snapping, “The fuck did you shoot the driver for!”

The target of her ire merely responds with “Hmm? You'd rather she ran over us?”

“They’re here for the cars!” declares Tubby McBig Hands.

“Hmm, too bad.” The sniper is far, far too smug for what’s about to happen. “They’re ours.”

The swordsgirl readies her blade. “Just make sure to shred them to bits, Plumpy.”

Such a name gets an irate “Fuck off!” from said fatty, before mutually assured violence commences.
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Dolls move from cover to cover as bolts of blue pulse laser fire fly downrange during Altina’s tactical approach, forcing the enemy trio’s heads down as Adrian bulldozes ahead – and then the muscle is given a launching boost from the party’s very own Force Ghost, turning her charge into a proper leap that leaves her landing atop a Casspir – and from there, bounding from vehicle to vehicle to land face to face with the sniper, a wicked grin on the muscly monster’s mug. “Since it looks like you don't know the proper way to say hello, I'll have to show you!” Alas, Adrian’s vengeance for Lola will have to wait a while longer, as a complicated string of desperate shoves to knock Adrian back, Force-pushes to send her forward, and even more evasive maneuvering via shooting out wire reels on the sniper’s part ultimately leaves Adrian coming up short as her swing connects only with air.

Not that the sniper’s peace lasts at all, as Adrian rampages right back towards her, earning a deeply concerned “Fuck’s sake, get her off me!” from the cannon-toting girl.

“Nuh-uh,” the fatso snidely replies, too busy lunging for Aida with her oversized fingernails, a nice match for Aida’s razor-sharp own as the tubby girl rakes the bomb across the face, her powerful first blow stymied somewhat by Aida’s unreasonable durability.

Finally, Altina is busy waltzing towards the blademaster, chirping a cheery “I see you have a sword! Mine’s better~!” as her lightsaber erupts from her hand, burning bright and blue as she lunges in – and whiffs, stab going wide, though not as much as her now terribly displeased grin. “...Once I actually hit you with it!”
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There’s a snort from her foe, followed by a haughty “You're a hundred years too early to beat me sword-to-sword.” Such a cliché insult is perhaps a mistake, as it gives Altina the boost in murderous intent needed to swing again, madness guiding her strike to land dead-center against her opponent’s chest – and plinking off armored flesh with little more than a scorch mark, leaving the bird to seethe. She soon has worse problems when she very suddenly has her foe’s katana jammed into her torso, carving through guts and spine alike before being ripped back out, leaving a terrible gaping hole in the bird’s midsection as she teeters about and nearly caves in on herself, only holding together through infuriated, madness-powered grit.

While that goes on, Aida may be missing a chunk of her face, but she ignores the nasty fatty before her in favor of fiddling with her latticed chest again. This earns a bemused, “The hell y'doing girl. I'm tryna kill you,” from the one so menacing the bomb…

… and then said fiddling results in Aida’s chest beginning to glow that ominous blue. “I’m blowing up!” she explains.

“FUCK-” goes Plumpy, right as Aida’s chest goes off in her face and does quite a bit to help with her diet plan.

As explosions ring out, Adrian grabs a conveniently spiky bit of nearby detritus and snarls, “I see you need a stronger lesson in manners," at the sniper, swinging out with horrible force that thoroughly crushes the riflegirl’s arms and stomach, despite best efforts to protect her weapon of choice from this blow.

As for the ‘honorable’ swordfight going on, Altina’s saber skills may not be accomplishing much, but surely a hot-swap to her blaster hand will avail her something! And it nearly does as she braces her arm to aim that little bit more accurately – right up until her opponent hastily draws a spray-can from a handy-dandy utility belt and fastballs it into the bird’s face, harmless but for throwing off Altina’s aim with an irate yowl of surprise, leaving her wholly on the back foot... which is why a sword is once again jammed into her gaping hole of a torso and ripped back out to annihilate it, leaving her thoroughly savaged but still, through the wonders of undead tenacity, fully capable of seething in impotent rage. Leaving that aside, there’s the matter of the slightly overweight girl clawing at Aida some more, and nails shred through bomb arms to leave quite a bit of flesh and bone scattered across the ground, not that Aida seems to particularly mind.

Meanwhile, with musclebound maniacs and fluffy snipers, the latter is giving Adrian far too smug a smirk for someone with half her arms and torso bashed in. “Y'know, I could just push you off. But then I wouldn't get the chance of shooting your other friends.”

“And I'll hit you again until you learn to stop being a shit,” Adrian warns – but the sniper’s legs are intact enough to let her juke the irate giant’s swing at her, as the smaller girl sweeps her still battle-worthy rifle about to sight in on the helpfully floating force ghost, lancing an explosive round straight through Alexis’ torso to splatter ectoplasmic guts and legs all over the place.

Aida is still quite happy with herself for her part in things, having successfully exploded and all, so her razor-nails slam into the chubby girl’s face and carve through a small chunk of outer flesh, before being stopped by a steel-boned skull. Alas, no real damage has been dealt here – but Alexis, for all that she is a silent ghost, still has a lightsaber she can fling out, the weapon spinning through the air like a boomerang as it carves into the big girl’s arms in its first pass, then again on the return trip, slicing out appreciable chunks of fat flesh in a welcome assist for the bomb. The return strike from Aida’s foe sails over her diminutive head, thankfully, leaving her unscathed.

Who isn’t unscathed, at least not without effort on her part, is a mangled sniper, because Adrian’s still very much pissed at her and has a sharp, spiky object to beat her with – though popping off a cloud of foul, rotten smoke from spores hidden on her body, along with a hasty kick to unbalance Adrian… still ultimately fails to save her from an enraged musclegirl’s furious focus, as the spiky club smashes into her to chunk yet more flesh, Adrian’s howl of “FUCK YOUR SHITTY MOLD, FUCK YOUR SHITTY MANNERS, AND FUCK YOU!" echoing throughout the garage.

While a sword/gunfight still goes on between Altina and her own unscathed foe, the bird’s waltzing movements save her from another painful cut by the slimmest margin – but then the bird’s counterstrike goes so catastrophically poorly that she trips over her own feet, very nearly lacerating herself instead of her enemy until she catches herself at the last, terribly stressful moment. “HOLD STILL AND LET ME CUT YOU!” she shrieks, her murderous tantrum accomplishing little but to embarrass her.

While that goes on, someone a mite more competent stumbles out of the truck in the form of Lola, leaving quite a trail of blood behind her, even as Aida’s merry clawing at her plump adversary yields little once more. However, it’s the power of the Force (Ghost) that truly lands something spectacular, as Alexis flings her saber out once more at the girl Altina’s throwing her impotent tantrum at – and the spinning blade carves through the swordfighter’s arms in the first pass, then her legs on the return trip, dismembering all four limbs in one beautiful sweep as the girl hits the floor with a scream of “FUCK, THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!” at her sudden transformation into a potato.

Does Altina appreciate this Jedi save? “I WANTED TO KILL YOU MYSELF, YOU-!” Apparently not, if her own infuriated whining is anything to go off of. While that rage is vented, Lola hobbles closer, Adrian keeps mauling a sniper, the tubby girl whiffs an ever-more-frantic swing at Aida, Aida’s own clawing at the big girl fails to find any purchase when nails bounce off Tubby’s extra-thick hands, and even Alexis flinging that murderous saber around again at the hefty girl only manages to land in pure fat to bounce off without dealing any actual damage.

With birds and potatoes, meanwhile, the swordsgirl desperately gnaws on her own severed limbs, this autocannibalism rewarding her with regenerated fists… not that they help her much when Altina levels her laser-shooting hand downward and unloads an entire volley of blue bolts into the girl’s face, tearing through bone and flesh to decapitate her on the spot. “I'm supposed to be good at swords!” seethes the murderous bird, as she hops over a blind retaliatory swing from the potato’s fists. “How dare you make me look like a fool, you rude, awful, terrible wretch!”

The sniper’s smug attitude evaporates at this murder in progress. “You fucker.”

“You started it!” Adrian snaps back at her.

“Watch me end it, bitch.” That’s all she says before blasting off another explosive-round shot at Alexis, exploding the ghost’s head and arms all over everything as well, putting the jedi’s ability to throw sabers around in serious peril, as well as her general existence on the ethereal plane as a whole.

She of Extra Thickness proves to be an ever-formidable threat as she grapples with Aida some more, massive nails jamming into the bomb’s torso and ripping out thick gobbets of meat, all but eviscerating Aida’s torso in the process. The little bomb repays her in kind, ripping out comparatively little from that no-longer-prodigous gut, but still leaving the tubby girl with very little left there overall. Much like most of her body, after the assaults she’s endured, and especially after Alexis still proves to have enough existence left in her to fling her saber out again, carving slight chunks out from her resistant skull. As for the sniper, Adrian applies spiked club to torso one more time, leaving the fluffy girl rather hideously wounded. Lola manages to murmur “… ‘drian...” and grants Altina a supporting little clap on the back before continuing to hobble onwards, ever closer to the rest of the violence going on.

Speaking of Adrian, she slams her club onto the sniper’s skull, spraying gore all over the floor as she reduces the no-longer-smug girl to just a brain. “MAYBE THIS TIME SOME OF MY LEARNIN' WILL MAKE IT INTO YOUR THICK SKULL!” There’s a stunned swear from the tubby girl (“Fuck...”), which gets Adrian’s furious gaze focused her way as the muscle points her gore-encrusted bludgeon at the plump pugilist. “Now it’s your turn.”

As Adrian marches over to menace the only one capable of putting up a fight, Altina still has a swordsgirl to finish off, continuing to pour shots straight down into the potato beneath her, shredding those regenerated fists without mercy. “OH, NOW I CAN SCORE HITS ON A STATIONARY TARGET, TRULY THIS IS AN EXCELLENT DISPLAY OF MY TALENT.” Loud, seething sarcasm aside, Altina is left to her tantruming devices as a force ghost yanks Adrian up and away to land near the clawed girl, who’s really not liking her current situation as Adrian comes in swinging… and misses.

Tubby is able to breathe a sigh of relief. Which is right when Lola ruins it for her, raising her six-shooter and, with a howl of “GET OFF MY FUCKING LAWN!” unloading it on that decreasingly thick body, four out of six shots striking true as they splatter skull and limbs alike, leaving only a terrified pair of meaty hands and attached claws to land on the ground. Now, one might not think destroying even those would be necessary, but Aida disagrees, one last bit of chest-fiddling resulting in another glorious explosion of Allah’s targeted wrath, and when the smoke clears, there’s mere scraps of that formerly hefty presence.

Glorious success is the A-Team’s. Mostly. Ignoring Altina’s dismal performance, which the bird continues to vent frustration from by unloading more and more pulsing laser shots into the body at her feet. “I remember when I had a torso,” she seethes, as she rains retribution into the gurgling body beneath her, leaving quite the hole in the swordgirl’s midsection. “That sure was nice.”

Adrian takes a few bites out of Tubby’s scattered bits in a cannibal frenzy before she comes off her typical combat high, but a brief look about at all the others and how mangled they are sends Adrian into bludgeoning the wreckage of Tubby a few more times until her spiked club breaks in half. “FUCKING COWARDS, ONLY GO AFTER THE LITTLE ONES BECAUSE I'M TOO MUCH FOR YOU, HUH?!”

Of said little ones, Lola is kneeling on the floor, sniffling with a hole where her chest used to be, and Aida… doesn't mind her current state, really. She's just shoving viscera down her exposed throat, lacking a jaw to eat it with. Since Aida seems to have things under control, Adrian instead motors on over to a trucker and a bird. “It’s okay…” she coos to the two in a tender manner completely at odds with the savagery she just finished venting.

“… Been a while since I fought with you,” Lola wheezes, and it’s impressive she can manage even that much considering the giant hole in the chest.

Altina gives the still-technically-alive torso of the swordsgirl a kick out of sheer pettiness, but restrains herself to just that. “I'm supposed to be better, why wasn't I better than her, why? Why, why, why?” Her dark murmurs contrast sharply with the all-too-wide grin stretched across her face.

Adrian won’t hear any of this, though. “The way I'm looking at it, you are better~”

“Better than who?” Aida asks, looking over now that she's got a jaw once again. “We blew them all up.”

The bomb child is left to be cluelessly hungry as Adrian continues to focus on her deranged bird, saying, “You're not the one who's just a torso, and you were always cuter than her.” She punctuates that last sentence with a kiss to Altina's cheek, and then repairs are given in swift order – thanks to Adrian possessing the fundamental force of undead creation, Altina is given a full torso again with remarkable ease and efficiency.

This leaves the albino giggling in an even more deranged fashion than usual. “I shouldn’t have needed help! But I did!” She settles down a moment later, her grin relaxing to more human levels. “...But I am cuter, at least~” Good job, Adrian, bird spirits are... restored?

Lola watches all this with the kind of bemusement that comes from still not having a torso, herself. “… When did you guys get so close?” Funny she waits until now to ask that when the couple were blatant about things the entire trip up here. Regardless, Adrian shrugs. “Good ans- BLEURGH!” Lola vomits a steady stream of blood onto the floor, which Altina casually sidesteps away from, but Adrian ever heroically approaches, for the muscly meatshaper is always ready to practice on people. Much like Altina, Lola winds up fully embodied again in short order – even if the trucker still looks a bit groggy. At least Adrian assures her she’ll feel better in the morning, to which Lola can only say “… Hope so.” Another pause. “…Should have shot the girl with the gun, though. You didn’t give me enough time.”

This is a righteous complaint, but Adrian merely offers, “You know me, once I get going, it's hard to stop. Beside, bitch thought she could ignore me.” Speaking of bitches, a quick look corpsewards gets Adrian frowning. “Oh. Looks like they've all passed on, so you won't get to shoot any of'em.” Alas, poor squatters, they brought this on themselves.

“... Passed on?” Lola asks. “Is that what you call murder these days? … Not that I mind murder when I get shot before I can even blink." She coughs. “Fucking bitch.”

“Well,” says Adrian, as she attends to the ethereal injuries of a force ghost, “I mean like we can't piece'em back together.”

“Shame. I could use target practice.” That would be fair turnabout, Lola, but sadly it is not to be.

Altina is having trouble tearing her grinning gaze away from the swordwielder. “I would think there was maybe enough left of the one with the sword to put her back together, if you really cared to try. But if you think nothing can be done for it... Well! I won't complain!”

“We don't gotta put 'em back together,” says the mannerless Aida, mouth full and gibs spilling out with every word. “They taste fine like this. And now we can get our car!”

So they can, it seems. Adrian takes point to check out the other giant, hulking Casspir, and good golly, this one actually is fully intact, seats and all. Even if, to her muscly surprise, there’s an actual mechanical engine under the hood that nobody present really has any idea how to work, and Lola notes is also probably out of fuel. Naturally this is cause for Adrian to just rip it out and toss it aside, parts and fluids scattering all over the place. “So,” says the ever-practical meat-mover, “we're gonna replace this shit, tear out those back seats, and get some not shit ones in there and get something to keep some meat in.” While Altina is all for this doubtlessly flawless plan, Lola has concerns about how this all is going to work, since she was never actually filled in on certain details. And, as things swing the group around to checking Lola’s truck, the inevitable question of what Adrian’s going to do comes up. “Just gonna copy your engine.”

Lola’s “WAIT, WAIT!” is enough to make everyone pause, at least, her expression wide-eyed and frightened. “I DON'T GET IT BUT IF YOU'RE GOING TO LOOK IN THERE BRACE YOURSELF!” Why? “... It's not pretty.”

“Oh well,” says Adrian. “Consider myself braced.” She takes a deep breath and then, slightly more cautiously, lifts the hood to Lola’s truck – what lies beneath is true to the description: not pretty.

An amalgamation of flesh and metal twisting itself perpetually, as the engine is still on, parts phasing in and out of the meaty surface with enlarged and detached veins furiously pumping blood from one section of the abomination to another. “Huh, this ain’t too terrible.” And, of course, Adrian is unfazed.

“It’s just a car thing, isn’t it?” Aida asks, finding all of Lola’s talk silly, so she ties to haul herself up to get a look under the hood. “How bad can it be?” She takes a few seconds to stare and study it as Adrian sticks her arm in, and then, “Looks kinda tasty. Why’s food supposed to be scary or something?” She looks over at Lola like she's silly, even as Adrian mutters something about the engine, in fact, being kind of gross.

“… Guess I’m the weirdo,” comes Lola’s response- but then, realization. “Wait, did you say tasty? Never mind, you’re the weirdo.”

“Yeah. Tasty.” Aida is unbothered by such a label as ‘weirdo’. “It'd totally be tasty, what're you talking about?”

“… Please don’t bite into my engine,” the trucker pleads. She needs it to have a job, after all.

“I’m not gonna, we brought a lot of snacks.” All meat is delicious, after all, no matter its source.

“Is that really what we stopped at the desert for?” wonders Lola.

“Wasn’t it? I had an arm on the way over.” Yes, Aida, delicious indeed.

Less inanely, Adrian pipes in with, “It was to make the copy.”

Lola only has a “Goodness…” to offer. At least until understanding hits her a moment later. “Wait a fucking second. You're going to make another engine?”

Adrian confirms it, and Aida has the germane point of, “Why not? Apparently they’re super good or something?”

As for Altina’s contribution to everything, she prances on up with a maddeningly carefree, “If you two see nothing wrong with this, surely it can't be that terrible.” And so she sneaks herself a peek at this terrible engine too, staring, and staring, and, “… Not the worst thing I’ve ever seen!” Lola really is the weirdo, it seems.

Speaking of, the little trucker gets to watch with plain disgust as Adrian just roots around in there, meaty mitt phasing through flesh to more thoroughly inspect the engine. “Oh god, why are you touching it.”

“Gotta get a feel for it,” Adrian replies. The way she’s seeing things, it seems like whomever designed it put an emphasis on the horrifying outer layer simply to discourage further investigation into the functionality of this thing. She may not get what these parts do or why, but it’s easy enough to memorize the design, even if it looks like it requires meat and metal alike to create such an abomination. The solution seems to be fusing the one engine she tossed away with some protein and a soul. “It’s gross, but it will work.” Or will it? Adrian’s confidence falters into irritated silence as her first attempt to get things working doesn’t go smoothly, despite best efforts. In fact, it seems like no matter what she does, she can’t make the original engine for this hulking vehicle meld right with the meat in such a way that it actually runs properly. Minutes tick by as everyone else is left to do… basically nothing, for this is the power of only one person possessing necromancy and leaving everyone else to sit on their hands. At least Aida gets to pop toes off the dead bladewielder and chomp on them like popcorn chicken. So things go until Adrian abruptly raises a fist as if to smash the offending engine, pauses, and then, totally not seething, goes, “Clearly this thing's too fucked up to make it work right.” This absolutely isn’t just an excuse to grab a different engine.

However, that does appear to be the secret ingredient that was missing, along with all the practice she’d gotten along the way – and that’s how Adrian completes her own little undead horror engine hellspawn, even though it still lacks that most crucial spark, a soul.

“See,” says Adrian, not smug at all, “told you it was the engine.” That kick she gives the bad one is unnecessary, really.

“... I'm not sure if seeing how it's made TWICE makes it any better,” Lola says, doing her best to not throw up again as she gazes upon it.

Of course, the worst is yet to come, as Adrian studies the three fallen dolls and figures that, yes, being a smug bitch warrants being used for such things, as she rips the sniper’s soul back from beyond the veil. She thinks. Probably. Yeah, that’s totally where it came from. “Now we just stick this bad boy in,” she states, jamming the burning soul into the engine’s flame slot; it wavers erratically, almost as if it was confused as to why it couldn't feel its legs. Is this worthy of any sympathy? “Shouldn'ta been a bitch." Apparently not from Adrian, as she picks up the engine. Nobody else has anything good to say, either. Oh well!

Once the engine is installed in Adrian’s Casspir of choice, her next goal is to go rummaging around for comfy seats, because while the ones in the back of the vehicle are nice and leathery, the driver and passenger chairs up front are standard-issue Military Uncomfortable, and if the A-Team is going to be living out of that damn thing for the foreseeable duration, good seats are a must. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to find some with a charming forest camo pattern elsewhere as Adrian pokes around, as Aida assists by calling, “Is it ready now?” She hasn’t actually helped, still. Not that anyone else has, either. How lazy. Except for Lola searching for a comfy seat cover for her own truck, anyway, but that's just self-interest.

Still, such idleness among the rest of the A-Team is rewarded for at least one girl, as Adrian takes a brief pause from her work to sidle up to Altina, then quickly puts something around her head – a pretty chain with a silver bullet hanging from it, engraved and decorated with floral patterns upon its casing, and a tiny gem embedded into the tip for further decoration. “I found something I thought would be a good fit for you,” Adrian says with a sly smile, before returning to her vehicle work, leaving an altogether stunned albino behind her.

“A-ah?” Altina’s hands close around the chain, running dainty fingers over everything as she stares at this surprising treasure – and so her smile shrinks from unnervingly wide to something altogether smaller and much more sincere. “Ah…”

Adrian gets all her fixings done with the A-Team’s new ride – new front seats, a meat locker in the back for carrying all the spare supplies anyone could need, and- actually, hold on a moment. “Hey!” Adrian shouts over at Lola. “How do you keep shit from rotting away?” It’s a good question, considering.

Lola shrugs. “I'm pretty sure undead bodies don't rot anyway.” To test this, she raises her arm and takes a sniff. “At least I don’t.” Well, Adrian wants to keep parts handy, and that’s a bit difficult when the ravages of time turn them extra-gross. Any ideas for handling that, Lola? “... I don't know, maybe do some of that magic you just did? I mean, why are you asking me? You just made a goddamn meat engine, girl.” Well maybe she knows something. “I just drive.” Oh, okay. With that questioning coming up empty, all Adrian can do is work. Soon enough she’s very proudly displaying her latest creation as the rest of the team crowds around it.

“So this is where the snacks go?” Aida asks, gazing upon the locker-turned-into-a-fridge as she thinks about the important things of life. “Cool! Now we can take snacks everywhere!” Quite happy with this, she starts grabbing up giblets to shovel into their new fridge, while Altina offers up polite clapping and compliments and Lola is merely bemused by everything in her life with these people right now.

“I bet I could do more with it later,” says Adrian, “but it’s a good start. That was a good workout.” A celebratory flex.

“Yeah!” Aida enthusiastically agrees. “We'll make it really cool and then we'll look really cool while we go find bad people to blow up!” Style is mandatory, after all.

“So let’s try starting it.” That would be a good first step, yes, Adrian. She climbs in, adjusts her seat, and then gives the truck a start – miraculously, it rumbles to life. Or unlife, rather. Let's not forget that from now on this vehicle's mileage is the direct result of someone's soul being worked over and over in a necromantic contraption.

“Unbelievable,” says Lola.

“Absolutely believable!” Altina counters immediately.

Aida isn't really privy to the ethical implications of their ride, so she'll just clap enthusiastically. Allah didn't like that one anyway so it's fine. “Yay! It works! Let's go show Rita!” Saying this, she climbs in the back to her corner. Which now a seat. A step up in the world.

Of course, there’s a possible issue with all this, Lola thinks. “… Huh. You DO know how to drive, right? …Cause, y'know, on the way out… The road is pretty tricky.”

“Yeah,” says Adrian. “I’ll just take it slow.” This gets a thumbs up from Lola. “Then after we get out of that we can see how fast it can go.” Good priorities.

Lola climbs into her own truck as they all make ready to leave, and while Altina sees the merit of jumping Adrian's lap as the best seat in their new ride, she cannot help but claim the roof instead for this first trip in their very own vehicle. She takes a moment to nip in through the driver's side and plant a kiss on Adrian's cheek, though, before hopping atop the roof with a giggle to mark her passage. “Even after I made sure to get her a nice seat," Adrian complains, but she’s smiling as she says it.

Lola backs up slowly, pausing to honk at Adrian – naturally, this is taken as incentive to honk back; the response is much better than Lola’s now, that's for sure. The A-Team as a whole has already grown accustomed to Lola’s honking, so this new and improved engine scream doesn’t really do more than briefly shock – it's pained, twisted, slowed down and stretched into a lower pitch as it fades into static for a brief moment before cutting off. That's the sound of suffering, for sure. And what does Adrian say to this? “Neat.” Maybe if the sniper hadn’t been such a bitch, there’d have been the slightest bit of sympathy for what she’s going through in there. Oh well!

They make it out of the ruins without diving into any holes, thankfully, but as soon as they’re out of cratertown, Adrian punches it to see just how fast they can go – 60 MPH easily, then 80 not long after, which is enough to get the truck past Lola’s without much trouble. Adrian’s howling in excitement at the speed, Altina reclines on the roof with nary a care for the wind buffeting her, and Aida casually enjoys snacks at incredibly high speeds. Off into the late night they go, back to their favorite town in the whole continent, only easing up on the speed about an hour into the trip to not make the engine literally start screaming. Lola has some trouble keeping up, but not so much that the A-Team ever manages to lose the tiny trucker.
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Another hour, and they roll into the outskirts of town once more, trundling down the dirt path to Kuku’s farm. Adrian and Lola exchange hellish honks as the latter passes the former, then they come to a stop outside the farm proper – someone pulled Kuku's office desk out into the open and put up a dark screen door to replace the normal front entrance. Multiple people – Carla, Kuku, and the Colonel – are sitting there near the porch. They look a bit surprised, but were most likely expecting an unknown vehicle to come over, since they don’t react in alarm – Kuku even waves.

Adrian comes to a stop near them, turns the truck off, then hops out proud as a peacock. Aida scrambles out to return Kuku’s waving eagerly, and Altina rolls off the roof, bounces off the hood, and lands pretty as can be on her feet.

“Well,” says the Colonel, “someone looks accomplished.”

“Wouldn’t you?” Adrian huffs. Most people here couldn’t meatify an engine and have it run perfectly, after all.

Carla finds the sight of the truck the A-Team found to be a familiar one, whereas the Colonel accurately pins it as a Casspir, most likely found in a Civil Defense garage. “There was a CD on it,” Adrian helpfully confirms about the building in question.

Which is immediately taken the wrong way by a puzzled Carla. “… A CD? Well, was it good?”

“No, like the letters.” Adrian shouldn’t have to explain this.

“CD as in Civil Defense, yes,” adds the Colonel, who follows it up with, “So you paid our neighboring city a visit. What’s left of it.” There were a lot of holes there, Aida notes, to which the reply is, “Only natural. It’s always been like that.” The important thing is that the A-Team got a new ride, Adrian figures, though perhaps she should have nicked some paint too, but aged, faded white for her new truck is fine, really. Carla’s reasonably sure they can find someone to give it a new look wherever they stop, anyway.
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Not much else of note comes up for a bit as the topic of the A-Team leaving is discussed (“We gotta find more bad people to blow up!” Aida says of their righteous mission going forward, Altina concurs with, “We're going on adventures! Isn't that nice?” and Adrian, ever restlessly, adds, “Going on to find more things to do. Working in a mine or standing guard duty isn't really my bag.”) and the cheerful trio is just asked to be sure to visit every once in a while in kind. The Colonel may be somewhat dour about Kolwezi’s prospects in the near future, but Carla tries to get her to lighten up – after all, this backwater African town now has their necromancer back, so they’re in business even if nasty things come a-knocking.

Aida has more pressing reasons for coming back to visit than everyone else, of course. “I gotta come back and see Kuku again, so I can show her everything I learn about dates! I'm gonna learn a lot!”

Adrian adopts a concerned look when this is mentioned, but it’s Kuku who speaks instead. “Buh. But I don’t wanna wait.” Yet, when Adrian asks if she actually does want to come along, all Kuku can offer is a bashful, “Uhhh…”

This won’t do, of course, far as Aida’s concerned. “If you come, we can have lots of dates! And we can do that congratulating thing every time we blow up bad people!”

Kuku’s given plenty of time to think on this as Adrian rather desperately tries to redirect the conversation away from Aida going on dates by saying, “So, what's with the secrecy?” This said with a gesture at the modifications to the farm.

“… That’s just her getting in the mood,” says Carla. Mood for what? A shrug. “Necromancy.”

“Sounds like everyone here is in for a good times!” says Altina, for… some reason. Thus the A-Team ventures in, Adrian muscling her way through the front door first, to see just what’s going on in the former chicken farm.

The lighting here got a bit fucked, in a way; the lighting is somehow dimmer, crude ceiling lamp swinging back and forth to cast shadows erratically all over the place and its occupants – nesting in front of the chicken den are two gigantic chickens, heavily modified with sharp teeth that somehow escapes into view from inside their beaks, great white serpents hissing as they coil around the creatures. Elsewhere in a corner is the motionless body of a girl, covered in thick scales and missing core components such as her face. Most relevantly of all is the robed figure floating above it all, next to the swaying lamp.

“Now,” comes Rita’s voice, “don’t be alarmed, they don’t bite. Or peck, for that matter.” Adrian is more wondering about the what and why behind all this, honestly, so Rita’s happy to explain with, “Cockatrices. I had chickens so... It was the natural progression.” Cocka-what-now? “It's a big chicken with a snake for a tail. And teeth. You're looking at them. They also spit acid. Or was it venom? Well, one or the other.” Fascinating. And the girl? “Oh, her? I haven't really decided yet. Just a doll.” It’s here that Rita stops taking questions in favor of squinting at the one asking them. “You’ve grown a little bit.” Well, Adrian did get something of a necromantic workout in. “Good for you, I also got some. And my missing shards. Officially back at full capacity.” So does the Witch of Africa float down to rest atop one of her monster chickens.

“Don’t let it all go to your head now,” Adrian warns.

“I could say the same,” Rita retorts.

But, “I’m not floating around making monster chickens.” Fair, Adrian, fair.

“Look,” says Rita, “they might look a bit silly, but they're really viable horrors for combat. We can't survive on legions alone anymore. They're pretty much obsolete.” Adrian will keep that in mind going forward, oh, she certainly will.

“Please do,” Rita requests of the musclemancer. “Ideally, you wanna make dolls, but if time and resources are not on your side, horrors are the next best thing. Legions these days should be nothing more than cannon fodder, really. Of course, way back they were the only things we could raise, so they were the backbone of most armies for a long while. Hell, there are some pretty old legions out there. Of course, easy come, easy die instantly from a 9mm to the brain.” It’s a good thing Adrian isn’t in the mood to make armies, then, even if this prompts Rita to go, “Aw.” Probably for the best, though. “Well, if you ever find yourself in the mood for world domination... Spare us, will ya?”

“I promise I won’t raze this place to the ground.” And has Adrian ever lied yet?

“And then,” says Rita, “you come back years later, kill everyone, leave the buildings intact and then say 'well I didn't raze the place to the ground just like I promised'. Funny.”

But nah, Adrian wouldn’t do that. Not least because, as Altina says, “Conquering the world would be kind of a long slog anyway, wouldn't it? That doesn't sound very fun.” A notion Adrian decidedly agrees with.

“That's the right mindset, girls,” Rita says, approvingly. “Otherwise you might end up finding yourself with way too much responsibilities and stuff in your hands. And then you end up like me.” She shrugs, not least because Adrian wonders why Rita would bother trying to convince the muscle freak to make an army. “Well, let's just say that back when Europe had dozens of us, the Russians and the Chinese didn't exactly have much time to wage war against each other. Conflict elsewhere means no conflict here. It's a bit selfish, I know.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” Why, is that sarcasm, Adrian?

“But really,” Rita says, “I'm just hoping someone shows up and gets rid of the Emperor and the Czar. Then I can take over and do absolutely nothing! That'd be swell. Can you imagine? All the power, none of the responsibility. A dream, for sure. Nothing to do, no enemies next door to worry about. If someone has to lose and die, I'd rather it be the guys that want to wage war.”

“Nice to know we're a valuable distraction for your plot.” Harsh, Adrian.

“Aw,” says Rita. “But you're tremendously entertaining! And if you somehow kill the other necromancers I'll love you forever.”

Altina sees something of a wrinkle in that outcome, though. “I'm pretty sure someone else would try to take over first if they disappeared. And then we're back where we started! It would be just fitting if that's how it went, wouldn't it?”

“It most certainly would not,” Rita responds, though she has to take a moment to think after saying it. “Or would it? I'm a bit confused, actually.”

“Fitting in a bad, no good way that still makes logical sense for being terrible.” Altina shrugs as Rita tilts her head during this rambling. “Politics.”

“Eh.” Rita shrugs in kind, before Adrian draws her attention by stating the obvious that everyone’s gathered now, to which the Witch can only say, “Is this the part where we kiss?” There’s a positively withering stare from Altina at this notion, as Adrian looks over at the albino and then stares blankly at the necromancer drawing the little bird’s ire, to which Rita placatingly spreads all eight hands (having apparently added another two arms while the team was gone). “I’m joking, I’m joking.” She’d better be.

Aida, meanwhile, is confused. “Wait, are we all on a date? Am I old enough to learn something new now?” And then, “Oh. Wait, yeah, we didn’t hold hands. This isn’t a date.” Good catch, small bomb.

But Rita has to ask, “Aren’t you dating Kuku?”

“Well, no.” And so Aida spectacularly misses the point with, “We're not on a date right now.” Such innocence. “I could go be dating Kuku if we were on a date.”

“No, I mean…” Rita trails off, so Adrian subs in for her.

“You only date one person at a time,” says the muscly expert on such matters. Aida expresses confused curiosity about this, so, “Like, dating also means you're like... that person is the one you go out on dates with. And you're not supposed to go out on dates with other people.”

Aida’s soaking all of this in just fine, so Rita’s happy to assist with, “Of course. Otherwise you would not be loyal. And that would mean being a slut! Sluts get stoned in your religion, y'know! … I think.”

“Uhhh…” Yes, Adrian, that’s about the right response to such concepts now being bandied about. Same goes for Altina’s thoughtful little hum as she studies Rita.

Aida is following along, generally understanding what's being said, and then Rita goes into things that should have remained unsaid. “… Huh? Slut? So… a slut is someone that dates other people?”

Adrian’s exasperation is clear when she asks Rita, “Should you really teach her words like that?”

“And you say we should tone it down,” adds Altina. “For shame.”

Rita, though, continues without hesitation, for Aida needs to be informed that, “A slut dates around, for sure. Then they get stones, not big enough to kill and not too small that it wouldn't hurt, and they just throw them at your head until you die.” Altina breaks into giggles here, for she’s a terribly inappropriate girl.

Aida, however, is wholly righteous. And also confused. “… Can you die from your head getting hit by stones? I mean I kinda blow up a lot and I'm fine. Would that really hurt? But if Allah doesn't like it... Yeah, that'd be bad. Okay! So we gotta bring Kuku along so we can keep dating, then.”

“Oh, you should definitely take the poor girl,” Rita agrees, despite Adrian’s surprised confusion at this being foisted on them. “I'll be taking over the farm.”

“Oh.” Aida has one concern. “She isn't gonna be a chicken person anymore?”

“Well, she is,” Rita admits. “She is permanently tainted juuuuuuuust like Adrian over here. But I'm sure she'd have more fun out there like a free doll instead of here, rotting away with her dusty old necromancer.”

Aida is fine with this, though she has to ask, “If she can still do chicken stuff, can we bring some chickens? Her chicken stuff made more chickens, right? So we'd always have chickens.”

Rita goes, “Huh. That's a really good idea. You should definitely take an undead one to replicate. That'd be great.”

“So I can be the wandering chicken witch,” Adrian deadpans.

Aida is more genuinely jolly about this prospect. “We're gonna have all kinds of snacks! This is gonna be great.”

Adrian’s response gets a cheeky “Ye~s,” from Rita, who then tells Aida, “I appreciate your enthusiasm.” But, after Adrian just rolls with this as an excuse to exercise necromuscles through chickenmancy every morning, Rita has to ask, “… You guys are going to visit me once in a while, right?”

“Oh yeah.” Nice of you, Adrian. “If nothing else we'll piss someone off then run down here to hide while the heat dies down.” Oh.

“Or,” Aida adds, “we'll come back if we hear there's any bad people to blow up!” That’s much more genuinely nice, yes.

Rita seems fine with all this, though. “As long as the trouble doesn't follow you here, sure! Otherwise we'll probably have to feed them to the cockatrices. Aren't they majestic?” They certainly are, Adrian agrees, even if she calls them chickens instead of their proper title.

Aida, however, is more inquisitive as she looks them over. “Are they tastier because they're bigger?” Rita wouldn’t know, but the necromancer doesn’t find that logic sound, regardless.

Not least because Altina raises a solid point in the form of, “I don't think we're supposed to eat them. They look like they'd try to eat us back if we did.” Good thinking, bird.

“Oh,” says Aida. “I guess I won't eat them then, like the car thing. Engine! Yeah, that.”

“Oh, yeah,” says Rita, “I heard your horn.”

“Yep!” Adrian confirms, a hint of pride in her voice at what hellish torments she’s subjected somebody to. Or maybe it’s actually just pride at making an engine work.

“So,” says Rita. “I never told you where to go for fresh souls.” She sets a glare Adrian’s way. “What did you do?”

Fortunately, Adrian has the flawless defense of, “Some bitch shot Lola without so much as a howdy do, then ignored me when I tried to teach her some manners.”

“Oh boy,” says Rita. “You converted a doll into an engine.” Adrian hesitantly asks if that’s a bad thing, even as Altina defends this act because the one who suffered this fate was very rude. In response, Rita rises and places a hand on Adrian shoulder, causing the bigger doll to stiffen up in anticipation of a necromantic knockout. Instead, though, Rita looks around for any witnesses, before saying, “… If by bad you mean impressive.”

“Did Adrian do something cool?” asks Aida, and then, when Rita confirms the muscle totally did, says, “Awesome! So our car’s super cool!”

“You can just feel the suffering reverberate in that honk,” says Rita, perhaps too approvingly. “A work of art.” Once more, Altina deflects any bad feelings about this because the fluffy sniper was a bad person.

Adrian, too, is beyond any remorse. “If I didn't know the person who I shoved in there was a bitch, I'd consider being worried about that attitude.”

“Eh, don’t worry about her.” Rita dismisses such thoughts with eight waves of her hands. “Being an engine is just like hell, you get used to it. You supposedly learn to like it, even.”

“Bad people are supposed to go to bad places anyway,” says Aida so very zealously. “So it's fine! Allah would be happy.”

As for learning to like such a fate, Adrian has to ask, “How do you know that?”

To which Rita explains, “Heard from a doll that got converted into an engine and back. I don't envy her! Of course, I don't know what hell is like. That's just what she told me.”

Hearing this, Adrian ponders future possibilities. “I guess I could turn her back into a doll eventually… when I feel like it and have some asshole to replace her.” How magnanimous.

“So you're going to run a penitence service with your car?” Why not, Rita? “I love it.” That’s the spirit.

Altina considers this revelation with slow, thoughtful nods and raised eyebrows. “This is incredibly terrible. I approve.” Of course she would.

“That's a pretty neat concept, I'll admit,” continues Rita. “Even though people already do it… Minus the part where they bring the person back from being an engine. That's usually not planned. So, revolutionary in a way.”

“Well,” says Adrian, “I gotta put my own spin on it.” This, and many more things to come.

“Speaking of your own,” says Rita. “Guess I should introduce you to my good-bye gift. Well, the fact that you're taking Kuku with you now might make this a bit useless but… I took the opportunity to gather all my eight arms and write a book for you, since I won't be there to mentor your ass.”
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“So,” Rita continues, “I basically compiled my knowledge into it and all that jazz. It's a bit thick, though, and reading is fairly boring, which is why I turned it into a Necronomicon of sorts. It's sort of experimental, I guess, but it's a book that reads itself and answers your stupid questions. Or the smart ones. It has some degree of sentience as well." Such an accomplishment! And then Adrian calls it weird, to which Rita can only emit a dismayed, “… Buh.” At least Adrian admits it sounds like it might be handy, which restores Rita’s spirits as she continues with, “Well, it's better than being presented with a situation and not knowing what a necromancer such as myself would do in it. I've also included the recipe for my brew in its memory. And like I said, it's sentient, so it'll pretty much learn new things along with you. So it'll still be useful after you inevitably surpass little old me.”

Adrian finds this to be pretty smart, and then Altina chirps, “Well! Without this we'd have to improvise and probably win, but also maybe die instead? So this is nice of you.”

“Well, let me give you the damn thing already.” Rita produces a freakishly thick book out of thin air, its cover is made of a very suspicious material – the kind that might be meat if an adventurous sort gave it a lick. Its front cover features comically cartoonish eyes that glow with unholy essence.

“Where were you keeping that?” Adrian asks, but all she gets from Rita is that it’s a trade secret. However! “Hey, book, where was she keeping you?”

“Under the robe,” the book dutifully reports.

“Goddammit, Nick,” Rita groans, as Adrian’s smile grows smug indeed.

“So she didn't make it appear like magic?” Aida looks a little disappointed to know that.

Especially as the Nickronomicon confirms it with, “She merely gave you that impression.”

The book is immediately chided by Rita with, “Stop it, you're ruining the magic for the child. At least let me put on a show once in a while, geez. I just got my powers back.”

“So,” says Adrian, “your name’s Nick?”

And so the book responds, “The book has no name, that is merely her idea of humor.”

“But you can talk,” Aida says, “so you gotta have a name."

“… C’mon,” says Rita plaintively. “It’s a Necronomicon. It fits.”

“I’ll call you Nick anyway,” Adrian says, “it’s easier that way.”

“Very well,” says the now-officially-christened Nick, as Rita hands him over to Adrian, who handles him with all the care due to such a treasure.

“It’s not very impressive when you're holding onto it,” Rita notes, for such is the way of anything compared to Adrian’s mighty thews. Regardless, the necromancer spreads her arms. “Well?”

“It's still a talking book!” Altina cheerily says, studying Nick. “And this is something I can safely say I have not seen before." She looks up in thought. “I can say that about a great many things lately. But I'm pretty sure this one will stay unique.”

“I like him a lot!” Aida gives Rita her brightest smile, all her rows of teeth showing.

Disregarding birds and bombs, Nick interrupts with, “This pose clearly indicates begging for embrace.” Adrian makes a noise of confusion at this, but a look away from her new Necronomicon reveals Rita still holding her arms open, humming expectantly.

“Oh!” says Adrian, rather abashed, before swooshing in to give Rita that hug.

“Finally!” says Rita, merrily wrapping all those many arms around Adrian. “I'm going to miss your sorry ass.”

“I’ll miss you too,” Adrian replies, of course. Aida now realizes how comfy an eight-armed hug must be, and tries to worm her way into it, some of Rita’s arms helpfully snatching her up and dragging her in after only a moment. And, of course, Altina can’t let this proceed without her if everyone else is getting it, so she waltzes on in and is promptly subsumed into the embrace. Even more arms join in, as a matter of fact, and they don’t belong to the A-Team.

“Well,” says Rita, “that makes ten.”

“Are you just going to be a being of pure arms when I get back?” asks Adrian, to which she gets a negative both from Rita and Nick.

“Ball of Arms Necromancer,” Altina muses. “Hm. I think that would frighten anyone who would fight you! …But it also seems pretty impractical. So.”

“Well,” Rita ponders, “I would be able to perform things very quickly in response to other things. Over and over again.”

“But if you were all arms,” Aida has to say, “you’d be like, the best at hugging.”

“Well, I believe I am currently the resident hugging champion,” Rita states with confidence, to amusement and a lack of any dispute from the A-Team. “Anyway.” She releases the cadre of dolls from her grasp at last. …Did her arms get longer in the process?

There are potential problems with this, so Adrian asks, “... If you're constantly changing your arms and shit, how are they able to fit in the room considering we were gone for hours?”

Nick is quite literally built to be helpful, so he replies, “There is some degree of control regarding quantity and length.”

“Hey,” Adrian tells him, “can you save your answers for when I actually ask you a question? Talking is gonna get awkward if you're answering every question.”

“Understood,” says the book, and so Nick closes his eyes, falling into peaceful slumber forevermore.

“… Maybe I made it a bit too cute,” Rita muses. But Adrian tells her it’s fine, so, “If you say so. Well, don't let me keep you hostage any longer.” She collects her arms back into her robe, looking like a perfectly normal necro-office-lady once more.

“So much for the low profile,” Adrian quips, even with those arms now out of view.

“Oh,” Rita says, graciously ignoring her. “Almost forgot. I'd really rather have you practice and be intimate with your girlfriend and all that, so I left the instructions for the body sculpting and all that in the book.”

Adrian suppresses a giggle. “How kind of you.”

Altina’s smile widens, for her part. “Oh! If you didn't bring it up, I was going to ask. But this is better.”

Adrian emits confusion at this even as Rita tells the bird, “Don’t worry about it, I got you covered, so just leave all the worrying to me. I've been channeling some energy into you guys since you arrived with dead horses and such in my town, so it really feels like you're my daughters.” Moms help daughters with physical enhancements? What a world.

Adrian’s confusion still is in force as she stares at Altina, and the bird cocks her head in response, saying, “She said she would do the thing for me, but now you can do the thing for me instead. So that's better, I think.”

“Oh,” says the muscle. Then Rita’s words catch up with her, so her gaze snaps the necromancer’s way. “Wait, you’ve been what?”

Rita flashes ten separate V-signs. “What, did you think eating things you killed yourself was the only thing making you stronger? I invested in you guys.”

“Well!” says Altina. “You picked the right people to invest in, thank you very much!” Oh, don’t mention it, Altina, please. “If that’s what you want.”

“I mean,” Adrian says, “it worked with the mayoress.” Fair enough, Rita has to concede.

Aida looks down at herself, then back up at Rita after a few seconds' inspection. “I don't really feel a lot stronger. But thanks? It must be weird necrostuff.”

“It sure is,” Rita confirms. “Now if you'll excuse me, I have chickens to enlarge and snakes to attach.” Thus she gives everyone a warm smile. Aida, meanwhile, is given the thought to root around for one of the more undead-y chickens, so she gets to doing so. Even if she can’t actually figure out which is which, but Rita kindly suggests Adrian give her a hand, what with the fire-vision she possesses. The muscle does so, musing as she collects a pair that they have to say their farewells and pick up Muuka. Altina had forgotten that meat bulkhead even existed, but promises are promises, so a ride is a ride.

Once chickens are collected, Aida is the first to bound outside. “Bye Rita! Thanks for all the special stuff!”

“Come back anytime,” Rita replies, watching the A-Team file out.

“We will,” Adrian says, leaving it at that.

Altina, however, can always be relied upon to be overly verbose. “I don't know when that will be, mind! But return visits are only polite!”

So they escape from Rita’s grasp at last, to see a lack of the Colonel and a sleeping Carla dozing away at her table. Kuku, meanwhile, has just been standing there the whole time, multiple question marks emitting from her head. Figuratively speaking.

“Kuku! I learned stuff about dating!” Aida runs up to the chicken girl. “If you date other people, you're a slut! And Allah doesn't like that, you'll get stoned and it'll really hurt! So you gotta come with us 'cause I can only date you and you can only date me.”

Kuku seems like she's processing the data, it's not instantaneous. Much like an old Pentium. “… Ho-kay!”

“This is gonna be great!” Aida continues, oblivious to the muscly concern of Adrian and the grinning indifference of Altina at such inappropriate talk. “We'll get to go on dates and blow up bad people and have lots of snacks. It'll be like being here, only somewhere else!” Aida drags her girlfriend off to their new vehicle, very excited over all this, as Kuku is hauled away without protest or complaint.

There’s a brief muttering from Adrian about the Colonel not waiting to see them off, but in fairness it’s like two in the morning, so she can’t really hold it against the older woman. And she’s not keen to wake Carla up either, so, with Lola missing as well, there’s nothing for anyone to do but pile into the truck and take off, heading back to the place they started this whole trip with Lola earlier. Once the A-Team shows up, there’s Muuka standing guard in front of the compound’s gate, Lola beside her. Adrian stops near them and sticks her head out the window.

“Told you they’d come,” Muuka says, victoriously.

“Yeah, yeah,” Lola says, unimpressed. Then, to Adrian, “Is this the meathead you were looking for?”

“What,” says Adrian, rather insulted, “did you think we'd just leave after saying we'd come back?”

“…” goes Muuka. “Well, to be fair, you guys were really fast. I've been standing here for, like, 20 minutes.”

It has been five hours.

“Uh-huh,” says Adrian.

Altina leans over from the roof, grinning brightly as glowing eyes stare at a muscly dolt. “…Yours is a very skewed sense of time! But okay!”

Lola shrugs. “Well, good luck out there. If someone throws themselves in front of you on the road, run over them. It's probably not worth stopping. Or if you see someone just laying in the middle of the road. That's a classic trap.”

“I find these ideas of yours agreeable,” Altina happily admits.

“What if they stuck a bomb in the person laying in the road?” Adrian wonders.

“But Aida’s inside the truck.” Good catch, Lola.

“Yeah,” Aida agrees. “I'm in the truck. And if Allah made them a bomb, then they wouldn't blow us up. 'Cause they'd be bad. And they wouldn't wanna be bad, 'cause then Allah would be mad.” Flawless Islamic thinking, Aida, you are truly the most learned of scholars.

Lola is more concerned with chastising Adrian, though. “Use your seat belt, for goodness sake. Trust me, you don't want to fly out the window. It's kinda cool the first time, but the subsequent ones are really annoying.”

“… Can I come in then?” Muuka asks, not following any of this conversation at all. She’s told to get in through the back – Aida helpfully, though somewhat reluctantly, opens the door for her, and so Muuka climbs aboard. “…Kuku?”

The chickenmancer offers a hello, but Adrian inquires of the lesser muscle, “You got a problem with her being here?”

“Well, it’s confusing,” Muuka admits.

Aida, however, is happy to explain. “She has to come with us so that we don't become sluts and Allah doesn't send people to stone us.”

“... That's just more confusing.” Muuka is not nearly so much a scholar as the bomb, alas. She’s told it’s fine, though, by Adrian and Altina alike. So, alright?

But Aida must spread the word of Allah. “It's simple. You can only date one person, and since I dated Kuku that means I have to date her and she has to date me.” She explains it like she didn't just learn this about ten minutes ago and she's some kind of expert. At least Muuka kind of gets it, now, so hoorah?

“Aida is smart!” Kuku agrees, and Aida nods with this sentiment. She does not mention that she was corrected on her poor understanding of dating by Rita. Irrelevant, really.

As for the goodbyes at hand, Adrian turns back to the trucker idling outside. “We'll see you whenever we come back, Lola.”

“Gotcha,” Lola replies. “I'll give everyone your regards.”

“Thank you for driving us here in the first place!” Altina chirps.

“Bye Lola!” Aida cheerily says, too. “Thanks for helping us get our super cool car! Adrian, honk the horn again!”

Lola covers her ears immediately as, at the bomb’s request, Adrian honks. The screaming echoes throughout the entire town.

“OH GOD.” Yes, Muuka, that’s the appropriate response.

“Rita said that's super cool, so it's gotta be,” Aida says, unfazed by the suffering of sinners, especially since Kuku finds it neat.

“That's grade-A craftsmanship right there,” Adrian proudly says.

“I wouldn't expect any less!” says the roof-bird, ever fawning. “Now, I believe that covers everything!” And so the bird casually rolls from the roof to swing on in through the window, for Adrian knows how to drive now and can accommodate a lap-bird. There’s obviously no objection from the bigger girl, so Adrian backs up, gives Lola a final wave, and then the A-Team (and passengers) drive off into the blackness outside Kolwezi, to see bigger, better things.


So ends Session 11. So ends the Africa arc. There’s greater adventures to be found elsewhere, and the A-Team will doubtlessly ram headfirst into it all...

...But that’s a story for another time.

Thank you for reading.
well, not sharing the rest of my storytime now
>well, not sharing the rest of my storytime now

Why dude?
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Most of us who are here at the end have been playing the same characters we started. It's been a long, long journey, but it's some of the best character development and writing I think I've ever done in a game and easily my favorite game and character I've played. Really glad to end it on a high note too.

>RPG gamedev stuff or do you mean indie vidya?

Indie vidya! Pic related is a boss sprite from the game I've been working for years on~
>being so much of a pussy you can only properly convey it with reddit memes
>well, not sharing the rest of my storytime now

Why not?

>well, not sharing the rest of my storytime now

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>well, not sharing the rest of my storytime now

Are you going to post it in the next thread?
>Not knowing this meme started on 4chan.
I accept your concession, redditor
I need to start using possessed evil books in my games.
In my experience, possessed evil books are best when they've got a history of past owners who got fucked over by them
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Have you ever played in a group where of the players played their doll as glitchy?
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She's got a lot of swagger for a one armed one eyed woman. Resting her hand on the back pommel of her sword like the head of a pimp cane makes it even better, as does shaking her bust like that.
Who is this pimp?
Maybe it's the hangover,
but I've read this twice and still can't make heads or tails of it.
>Is this that Nechronica thread?
Under a hangover's influence isn't the best time to parse writing sometimes, yeah. Still, I have to ask what you're having trouble with in particular, because your post is vague enough that I have genuinely no idea what the issue could be. I've condensed things as best I can with dialogue while still trying to maintain clarity as to whoever's saying what, even if I also inject bits of dry commentary into the text too that isn't tied into any character in particular. If you can provide examples as to what troubles you, I can hopefully clear things up as a result. My partner and I are going to writing this for the indefinite future, after all, so I'd rather sort this kind of issue out now as opposed to god-knows-how-many-sessions down the line.
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Looks pretty schway. I can see why you would like Nechronica just by looking at it, lol.

>I still am not fucking caught up on GravelTime
At this point I'm tempted to just wait for the GOTY edition.

Also, postan more group OC.
>At this point I'm tempted to just wait for the GOTY edition.

You will be waiting quite a while at this rate.
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I got my book the other day, now need to find a game I can join as a player.
Nechronica is great. There's a discord for playing it. Make sure you check out the wiki, it's been incredibly revamped.

Maybe I should try running it again.
What, you don't think undead cyborgs that are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic setting controlled by the beings who made it that way in the first place being stuck in endless forever wars and trying to do everything they can to recapture what it means to live is a cool concept?

Liking cool things is verboten if it's sanitized for popular consumption.

You should.
I was really pleased about my first ever run of Nechronica. When the people in your friend group who aren't a part of your horror game find it gross and horrifying, you know you've done a good job.
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Yeah I've gotta be real, the odds of a GOTY edition are slim. Maybe since the arc is finished and Gravel is moving along elsewhere, we might tackle some sort of solution, but in all likelihood we'll go with what's easiest, which won't be terribly reader friendly. Which is to say, our answer to the endless buildup of thread links is probably going to be linking to the end of arc section going forward, which will itself link to all the previous arc sections. Optimal? Hardly. But less work on our end.

And as >>78382589 notes, waiting until it's all done is going to be literal years. Neither of us is a paragon of work ethic, and there is roughly one infinity to transcribe. We could be going faster but also we've technically managed an actual novel's worth in about a year. That said, I'm not trying to defend us here. We're lazy fucks. We have the script to speed things along. But distractions are plentiful and yadda yadda no one's here to read lamentations of writing's travails.

So instead I'm gonna join in on asking you, "Why?" If the answer is you don't think there's enough thread left for people to read it and comment on it, or don't want to fight for the last bit of thread space, fair. You want there to be at least some time so people can enjoy your story. But incase it's not, I'm going to echo what I said last time someone expressed a similar sentiment: Gravel is storytimed by a crazy person and their associate. It is not a standard. It is not something to aspire to. In fact any anon in these threads is well within their rights to laugh at us. Who the ACTUAL FUCK put's a novel's worth of words on an ephemeral platform like 4chan to storytime ONE SECTION of their campaign? I'm a dumbass and so's my partner. Give your story room to breathe, but don't let Gravel intimidate you. I will repeat this every time someone expresses doubt about doing up their own game after ours if I have to. /tg/ wants storytime, end of story.

Now take a cute mermaid.
>When the people in your friend group who aren't a part of your horror game find it gross and horrifying, you know you've done a good job.
That's always fun.

Ran a two shot for some people who hadn't played, or possibly even read the book before. The intent was to show'em different sort of approaches to games and things, but there was a bit of consideration to how fucked up to go. The first part was an abandoned hospital ending in a pretty standard encounter. The second part had the PCs going into the maternity ward. Of course, instead of babies, there were hunks of rotting meat full of writhing maggots. This continued on until they found the savant who declared her and the PCs would be a "happy family." During the combat that followed, the savant, upon a hit, would basically leave eggs in the target that would hatch a few count later into maggots that would possess familiar features from the doll they burst out of (hair, specific mutation, etc) and they had a "maternal instinct' maneuver that made the doll they pop out of take a -1 to attack checks made against that legion.

What is the Game Of The Year edition of a storytime?

Also, nothing to be ashamed of in not being caught up on a long storytime. Life is a busy thing with many priorities.

revamped compared to what?
Since when?

How did you manage to buy these things from Japan?

Actually I guess you must be able to interpret japanese for the physical books to be of use to you.

Good luck.


I want to brain storm ideas with you for how to improve the encounters I'm planning on using. I feel like I would learn a lot and up my DMimg game by talking with you.
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>I want to brain storm ideas with you for how to improve the encounters I'm planning on using. I feel like I would learn a lot and up my DMimg game by talking with you.

While you are asking the right person, a thread that's this close to bumplimit is probably not the best avenue for a back and forth. Best option at this point would be to find your way to the nechronica discord and go from there.
>What is the Game Of The Year edition of a storytime?
I just meant I was thinking of waiting until it was done so I could read the whole thing at once.
Good idea. Furthermore some of my players browse 4chan and I don't want them knowing too much about what's coming.
That's would take days to chew through and won't be possible for years.
What is a "Mystery-box yandere"?

>not sharing the rest of my storytime now

I look forward to seeing the work you put in to make storytime for this thread pay off next thread then.
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>That's would take days to chew through
Then publish it in book format and I'll consider that the req. paid DLC to qualify it as GOTY'd.
>won't be possible for years
How are into the campaign ARE you at this point? I'm pretty sure GravelTime is the longest running storytime going right now.

Imp has a severe compulsion to reconstruct SOMEONE. The problem is that she doesn't know who and can't actually remember what they look like or why they're important to her. On meeting new NPCs Imp's player will roll a d10, which determines if that person has any parts Imp deems desirable to reconstruct her mystery obsession, 1 being 'they're repulsive' and 10 being 'I need this piece of you RIGHT NOW.'
Coleo scored a 5 or something.
Coleo's dad scored a 9
This next bit is a little bit spoilery I guess for those following along with the England storytime, so I'll block it out, but it's pretty minor at the same time.
Imp also rolls skillchecks against herself if she's actively trying not to bug out and attack someone. I forget exactly what the rules for them are, but if she rolls so many failures she attacks the person to take what she wants and if she succeeds that many times instead she'll be able to keep her composure indefinitely.
>Imp has a severe compulsion to reconstruct SOMEONE. The problem is that she doesn't know who and can't actually remember what they look like or why they're important to her.


Has she looted anyone's bits yet?
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>How are into the campaign ARE you at this point?
According to the game's bookkeeping on such things? These 11 sessions comprised the first arc, out of, say, (in the interests of not spoiling anything about game length) 'enough arcs you'd need to use both fingers to count them'. So hope springs eternal that we'll manage to pick up our pace a bit, eh? ...Yes, me and my partner are the greatest of dumbasses, as he said earlier. I cannot recommend anyone write in the style we have written! Yet time and progress marches ever onward, regardless.
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I'm not? I just want to know how much could be left in GravelTime that it'll take literal years to finish.

No. Though there's a 9 of 10 close to Coleo that she has more failures than successes on.
>both fingers

So there's one Arc left?
>'enough arcs you'd need to use both fingers to count them'
So halfway? :p

That's an impressively long game though. How long have you guys even been playing?
Wowie, I'm a goddamn illiterate. Both *hands* was what I meant, yes - the perils of being distracted while I type.
As for the question about how long we've been playing, the first iteration of this group that I managed to join formed around 2016, I think? At least that's when I got my start with Nechronica, though everyone else in the group already knew each other from previous games of Nech, so their start was like as not a year or so earlier.
As for the GM of Gravel, he wasn't involved in the first game I joined, but he showed up to participate in another I was involved in - and then that game died, so he took over the timeslot and started running Gravel for about... yeah, two years or so. I'd say this start was somewhere in 2017-2018 - I'd be more specific, but my memory is notoriously terrible. Still, it's been a fair chunk of time all around, and I'd say it's all been generally well spent.
How much have any of the dolls in your campaigns smonked?~ what about booze an droogs?
One used very high proof irish whiskey as as a disinfectant and anesthetkc for some surgery to save a friend.
I was very surprised that you let me get away with just pulling that out of thin air. Made for a fun little character moment though.
It made sense.
Why WOULDN'T I let you do that?
I'm still used to more traditional /tg/ games like 5e, and in those circles it tends to be frowned upon to just kind of make up a helpful resource being present if it isn't on your sheet. I think it's because some players will try and eek out an extra HP or hit bonus or whatever whenever the fuck they get a chance and it can disrupt the game if you don't come down on that sort of behavior. Nechronica's light maths in the Adventure phase is sort of helpful that way, because you can indeed make shit up without it looking like you're fishing for a mechanical advantage.

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