Prior Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4110905/Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Maverick%20Hunter%20QuestThe IRC: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com, #MHQThe Twitter: https://twitter.com/HunterCommandThe Recap (thanks to Scarab): http://pastebin.com/wMtuXJM2Character sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18-L31ukeOd_0XvfqErwY7GogqiwMU8zyIYfXxjTUb-c/You are STILL not Maverick Hunter Anode.
Resuming from where we left off, we got to see Rhodes in action. Before we get back to the remaining options, however, we wanted to offer an interlude:> A dutiful son chases down a nightmare where dreams come true> A cop with no badge enforces the law when no one else is willing to act> A wandering samurai confronts the mind of a centuries-old psychopath
Good morning, all! Still sitting in the co-pilot's chair for these. Hit us with your questions, comments, whatever!Last thread can be found over at >>4110905 while it's on the board.And if you could do us all a great kindness, don't forget to bop on over to the archive and upvote the threads, if you've a mind to. http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Maverick%20Hunter%20QuestAs always, thank you for reading.
>>4151399Welcome back.> A wandering samurai confronts the mind of a centuries-old psychopath
>>4151399>> A cop with no badge enforces the law when no one else is willing to act
>>4151399>A cop with no badge enforces the law when no one else is willing to act
>>4151398>You are STILL not Maverick Hunter Anode.wait what>>4151399>A cop with no badge enforces the law when no one else is willing to act
>>4151399>A dutiful son chases down a nightmare where dreams come true
>>4151399>> A dutiful son chases down a nightmare where dreams come true
>>4151399> A wandering samurai confronts the mind of a centuries-old psychopath
>>4151399>A wandering samurai confronts the mind of a centuries-old psychopathPlease I can only take so much teasing for my elf war boner.
>>4151463> wait whatSee previous thread. HC has been toppled. All hail Robot Satan!
>>4151541I misread and thought we weren't going to go through the rest.
>>4151399> A cop with no badge enforces the law when no one else is willing to act
>>4151399>A wandering samurai confronts the mind of a centuries-old psychopath
>>4151407>>4151439>>4151440>>4151463>>4151467>>4151520>>4151524>>4151533>>4151591>>4151598>>4151636>>4151662You are Flash Rezador, maverick hunter, and you’re stalking through an inane fairy-tale to do someone else’s job.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vUyfXBaQa4“Why” places like this exist is rational, at least in the abstract, but the finer points continue to perplex. A massive complex with secret corridors beneath, glazed with a thick layer of absolute nonsense shaped from plastic, a cocktail of fanciful and tone-deaf “themes” wearing thin on a centuries-old frame. Humans flock to this place en masse, herding their children into what you can only imagine to be a claustrophobic and chafing vacuum of relatability, chasing actors and puppets playing on nostalgia and familiarity.Well, you’ve never said humans don’t make mistakes.You can’t miss them - huddled in “buildings” that are nothing of the kind, protected from the Maverick threat by dint of his directionless mania rather than any kind of structural fortitude. It’s surprising that this kind of vulnerable congregation point persists - history has shuttered it for terrorism, disease, climate. How many crises does it take? Of course, if they were capable of learning from their mistakes - you step past a crude ancestor as you enter the mock castle - you wouldn’t be here on this mission to fix one. Really, if they were capable of learning, you wouldn’t be here at all.Holding yourself stiff to betray no sound to the enemy, you scan the area - a network of paths and bridges splintering off into imaginary Americana of past, present, and future. You can hear him, off in a more forested section - the part with the river, if you remember correctly. He’s definitely unconcerned with the amount of noise he’s unleashing. That voice… you should honestly feel at least some pity that anyone put a Reploid through that.You don’t, of course, but you still surprised yourself with the thought.
You leap atop the archway, surveilling the land below - made up to look like a Middle Eastern casbah, with an incongruous tree structure on the opposite side. It makes an excellent next perch. Your secondary optics track local police moving through the park behind you. Cowards. They should have done this already - the target is a threat to humans, not Reploids.He’s much louder now, screaming with an endless rage born from a mind wrenched with centuries of personal indignity. His fists smash through the walls of a building and cries of fear spill forth. You lunge, but he’s not attacking them - too busy leaping up and down, unchecked mechanical anger blinding him to anything but the most immediate lash-out. That, at least, is a feeling you empathize with. It’s also why he has to die.You land behind him, hand to your back, and he spins to assault you with unintelligible invective at maximum volume. His fists swing. Your vibroblade is faster. A scream from the humans huddled in the building as his torso slides apart, police shouting from behind you.
And that is the end of Donald Duck.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQPbGSf-ND4
You have to love the Mascot Era... it was an idea guaranteed to backfire, so of course they did it anyway.Now then, we have four left... what course shall we follow next?> A leader daring to challenge those who crown themselves king> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear> A student of destruction forced to face the master> An immovable force facing an unstoppable object
> And that is the end of Donald Duck.Aw, phooey.>>4151720>> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear
>>4151720I always knew Donald was a bit daffy. Loony even.> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear
>>4151720Man, you just know someone built reploids based on Jason or the Cenobites and was then shocked when they started killing people.> An immovable force facing an unstoppable object
>>4151720>An immovable force facing an unstoppable object
>>4151720>> An immovable force facing an unstoppable object
>>4151720> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fearDamn, new thread is up quick. I'm glad to see it though!
>>4151720>A student of destruction forced to face the master
>>4151720>A leader daring to challenge those who crown themselves king
>>4151699>>4151709>>4151715...And I really should keep this to the other thread, but I can't resist having found it in my folder.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHQa1SA3EtI
>>4151720>A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fearX?
Voting closed to prep post.
>>4151812>>4151886>>4151912>>4152296>>4152356>>4152386https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxLLHYCQMIkYou are Thomas “Limerick” Kinsley, and you’re questioning whether you should be in Florida right now.It’s not the Salt Lake City weather that’s got you scratching your head - the weather control station is certainly set cooler than the panhandle state would be. No, it’s the fact that you’re here to contend with a gator problem. A big one.Wheel Gator is on the attack.Commander Sigma - ex-Commander, you have to remind yourself painfully - knows what he’s about; you and your team have been on the move non-stop from the day the traitors showed their colors, a swarm of stripped-down jumpcraft ferrying members of the 10th between an ever-growing network of targeted cities, racing the clock to leap in the path of the worst your former friends have to offer.They’re in the city already, Gator and his cronies, tearing a jagged zigzag up West Temple. Lucky you’re in the area at all, really - your troop was protecting the Mormon Mile from a pair of RAM80s who defected from the US Army. The big bad lizard just happened to be picking a fight nearby as you cleaned up. The arcologies were the easy bit, of course - this is a dedicated shit-wrecker of the highest magnitude in the middle of an urban area, doing his best wreckage of shit. That’s gotta stop.“Fly low,” you tell the chopper pilot as your team circles over the trail of wreckage. He hasn’t hit anything huge yet, but you can see the Cycl0P5 advancing, GI Ohms and McCLaNEs stalking behind. A handful, but there aren’t many of you - you and Dougray in this old beater so your weapons don’t take it down, the D-Tains in the follow choppers a safe distance away. Spikys are darting through the streets and - ah shit. Bomb Beens in the air. Why are they always bringing those bastards?You and Dougray share a nod as you grab your cables, rappelling down into the street right in front of the incoming Mavericks. You raise your arm cannon and fire, gritting your teeth at the familiar sting shooting through your bones as the OLEL sweep’s blue light pulses in a line that you direct to pan through the oncoming robots. The Mechaniloids go down immediately, forcing you to leap away as a Bomb Been crashes down and explodes at your feet.“Behind!” Dougray warns, and a red laser follows, winging just past your ear. That would’ve been a dead, no bones about it. A blue flash illuminates the area from behind, the pain in your bones spreading. Takes care of them, but how are yours? You disengage the OLEL weapon and pull out your vibroknife, running over to the nearest Cycl0P5, on the ground and twitching. Blade through the eye, release, leap away, explode. Lather, rinse, repeat on the next two. But wait, wasn’t there a -
You fall to the ground as a force hits your magnetic buffer, kicking you away. You shelter behind some debris as a spray of buster shots pelts the area behind you. McCLaNe, definitely, the skill-free machinegunning is a dead giveaway. You look up to best ascertain where stands your new foe the McClane. He’s hung on the wall, his nope… nope, no time for that shit, duck back down. Poetry will have to wait, he’s blanketing the area in energy hail. Now that you know where he is, you can stun him down. Pistol in hand, you whip a stun shot at the wall - your no-looker is answered by a satisfying clank as he impacts. Just need to dart out - Ah shit. The Cycl0P5 you didn’t see - and your leg now has a laser burn. Personal buffer barely kept that from being a hole. Can you still - OW - yep, walking’s on the menu. Dougray shoots him full of DMT from behind and the Maverick goes down, splintering as the alloy wrecks its titanium skeleton.“Dammit, Limerick, every single day I gotta tell you - there’s ALWAYS another -”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThiSRGf6XwgThe wall explodes behind him as something tears through, a hurricane of blood splattering the street as a nightmare emerges from where your partner used to be.Plan. Plan NOW.> D-Tains need to converge and wall him off. Keep him pinned on West Temple.> He’s too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good.> Other?
>>4153954>He’s too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good.
>>4153954Dougray, no! He was one week away from retirement!>He's too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good.
>>4153954>> He’s too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good
>>4153954> He’s too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good.Oh god oh fuck
>>4153954>He’s too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good
>>4153954>He’s too dangerous for containment - bait him and keep your team where they do more good.fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
>>4153977>>4153986>>4154049>>4154105>>4154183>>4154978https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EysJJl4VFjUYou open comms to your navigator. “Seg, hostile engaged. Dougray KIA. Move the team away from West Temple, priority is now State and Veterans Memorial. Push back those Mechaniloids.”Ségolène crackles in your ear. “Patching now. Call out to SLCPD. Are we protocol?”“Standby Crimea. Crimea standby, over.”“Copy code Crimea standing by.”The lethal metal jaws are bared in a sadistic grin. “Crimea? Rude. I deserve the G.”“You deserve to be boots,” you retort, raising the OLEL beam to threaten him. The grin widens.“Oh come off it. I’m not one of these fragile little OH GODDAMMIT!”He may not be one of those fragile little, but he still did NOT like getting his crystals fried at 20 paces. Deadly razor blades ricochet off the road as they careen toward you, but his aim is off. You tap a few stun shots into him, knowing it’s not likely to slow him in the least, but it will definitely make him mad.He lunges, a spinning force of destruction, and careens into a wall. Yeah, he’s mad. You book it up West Temple, lethal wheels nipping at your heels. Hey, there’s one--there once was a sharp spinning wh--NO, goddammit, better time for shit rhymes. A Spiky is rolling toward you and Gator is right behind. Perfect - stun shot trips the wheel Mechaniloid into its explosive configuration, and you throw a grapple cable around a nearby streetlight to pull yourself out of the collision between angry reptile and impending kaboom.Gator’s head whips back and forth. Good. You’ve got him interested, time to show a bit of leg. You sweep the OLEL, gritting your teeth and resolving to dive into a bucket of potassium salt later. His eyes catch the piercing blue light and he starts smashing his way toward you, stumbling like a horrifying giant drunk. You bring up your stunner, popping another shot - wait, why is he flickering like that? His jaw closes on the stun shot, and then you’re jumping, rolling, hitting debris with your knee, flipping over a damaged car to get cover from the spray of stun shots he’s spitting back at you.Well shit. That one wasn’t in the file.Baiting, always baiting, as the killing blade shears through your cover. You’re already up, flinging a grenade, the OLEL beam much too heavy on your weakening arm. Dammit, now he’s cutting up the buildings too. Spiteful shitlizard. Your hand’s on another grenade, looking for an opening, and WHUNG.
Well that’s a fun sound. That’s your favorite sound. That’s the sound of your personal buffer collapsing as it saves you from a razor sharp death wheel falling at you from overhead.“DEATH. YOU. VERY. GOING.” Gator’s still a bit off in the brain from getting peppered with radiation, but the meaning is clear as he dives at you. He’s not wrong, either - you’re out of protection. One more hit and death you very going indeed. As he gets within range to bite you in two, you coolly stand your ground - and fling a grenade right into his open mouth, grapple already whipping you away from the death lizard’s worst dental experience. Ahhhh shit, he’s flickering again. You watched last time, though. It took him about two seconds to process what he “ate” - time enough to cable back over to him, vibroknife the cable, and wrap it around his mouth.This was a bad plan. This was the worst plan. He punches you in the right arm, your OLEL arm, and it might only be how much you’ve blitzed his circuits already that saves you from losing it right then and there. The pain as your scapula and clavicle splinter to dust is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Gator’s eyes go wide as he realizes what you’ve done, and as he reaches his arm up to claw the cable free, you wing your vibroknife at him with your good arm, rolling to the side and running as fast as you can.You’ve managed to keep him within three blocks of where he popped out, but this can’t keep going forever. Time for a tough decision.Choose one:> Confirm Crimea Protocol, air support can’t help you now.> Have them bring the chopper around, you can keep him pinned.And:> Bring in the team for numbers, you won’t be firing the OLEL beam anymore.> You’ve still got some moves and he’d endanger your comrades - continue the fight solo.
>>4155182>and you throw a grapple cable around a nearby streetlight to pull yourself out of the collision between angry reptile and impending kaboom.should have saved it for Gator himself> Confirm Crimea Protocol, air support can’t help you now.> Bring in the team for numbers, you won’t be firing the OLEL beam anymore.
>>4155191I don't feel like I can answer this without knowing what Crimea Protocol is.
>>4155340I think it means they bomb our location. Or space laser it. We die too, is the point.
>>4155340The Crimea Protocol releases air support to the command of local authorities for civilian evacuation purposes when facing an adversary you don't believe you can contain.Kinsley's team currently has three aircraft in the area. You can call them in to help defend the city, or release them if you don't think you can push back the threat.
>>4155350Oh definitely not. The 10th has a mandate to hold ground, contain threats, and prevent collateral damage. Calling down the Ottawa Protocol would be basically anathema to them.
>>4155191> Confirm Crimea Protocol, air support can’t help you now.> Bring in the team for numbers, you won’t be firing the OLEL beam anymore
>>4155191> Confirm Crimea Protocol, air support can’t help you now.> Bring in the team for numbers, you won’t be firing the OLEL beam anymoreI hate how Gator’s nose is upside down in that picture.
>>4155191>Confirm Crimea Protocol, air support can’t help you now.> Bring in the team for numbers, you won’t be firing the OLEL beam anymore.
>>4155191>Confirm Crimea Protocal, air support can't help you now.>Bring in the team for numbers, you won't be firing the OLEL beam anymore.
>>4155191>Confirm Crimea Protocol, air support can’t help you now.>Bring in the team for numbers, you won’t be firing the OLEL beam anymore.We may not have the raw power to hard stop him, but we can sure as shit make him unhappy.
>>4155251>>4155378>>4155567>>4155655>>4155710>>4155868https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GMMFJc-mUoDecisions made. He’s slowed you down too much to keep testing your pride against him. “Seg? Bring them in around me.”“Copy. Coordinating D-Tains to your position, North South box.”Gator’s already up and angry - goddamn vibroblades. Terrible throwing weapons. Time for the other call.“Seg?”“Yessir?”“Crimea confirm.”“Copy code Crimea captured, repeat Crimea. Confirmed from standby, releasing command to state authorities. Good luck, Captain.”Good luck me, you think as Gator barrels toward you, smashing aside debris and broken cars. Good sweet mercy your arm burns. You fumble at your belt for the emergency anesthetic, jamming it into place. That’ll take the edge off in a bit, at least. Right now is time for running, running and finding something to throw, something to - hey, that could help. Your eyes whip around looking for your team, but they’re still not in position. Alright then, time to drop an anchor. You let the first one clatter onto the ground, rolling away from you - it can set itself up just fine. DUCK a goddamned Amenhopper - really? - as it lunges at your head from a “ramp” of shattered pavement.Grenade in hand, you turn to look at Gator. “Amenhoppers? Really?”He glares utter murder at you. “Crimea? Bad decision.” His shoulders go back and glow. You wing the grenade at him, which he just tanks facefirst, launching wheels your way. You know the timing now, at least - just have to watch for them coming from above. Where’s that damn - ah, second anchor. Just gonna hide that one. You’re out of grenades and running low on tricks. Stun pistol doesn’t actually work on him. If you only had…...Dougray.
Ahhhh this is gonna suck. You fire your grapple with your left hand, swinging over Gator’s head. Or at least that was the plan - he jumps up and snaps at your leg. Joke’s on you though - human legs don’t stay attached when you put that much force on them! The cable snaps at the push of a button and you go flying past him, slamming and rolling into the ground. You drop your third anchor right alongside yourself, hitting the button to engage the trap. The electric fence springs up between the three anchor points - it won’t hold him long, but you weren’t planning on it.Still have your knee, that’s always nice. Oh hey, bit of bone too. Choice. Really choice. All of this is so choice. You might be delirious. Definitely definitely might be. Anesthetic round 2, annnnd tourniquet. Nice that he took the one you got shot in, keeps the damage localized. Congratulations Limerick, you’re officially a mess.“Captain, D-Tains moving in,” Seg rings in your ear.“Copy. Can you get a position on Dougray?”“70 meters south of you, adjacent to storefront labeled Big Pete’s Wings and Ribs.”You grunt in pain as you roll onto your back. “He always did like wings.” No humor like black humor. Prayers for the dead later. Prayers for the living are needed right now. You fire the grapple, conscious that you may not have 70 meters of spool remaining. Boy wouldn’t that suck? If you can just get to where he landed…...youuu cannot. You reach your halfway point thanks to a nearby streetlight post, but you’re probably a good 50 metres short and now out of cable. A Reploid boot comes down near your head. It was a good run, wasn’t it? Only… your vision clears, and you see the N60 Force Shield emitter on the arm. The black optic shaped like sunglasses. The hand coming down for you is blue-gloved and lifts you to your feet - well, foot.“Miles?” Good old Mylar.“Kev, Captain.” Good old Kevlar.
“Kevlar! Knew it was you. Hey, listen - oh hey, you don’t look so good!” The Reploid is shaking on his feet.“Due respect, Captain, you’re-you’re one to talk.”Oh right. OLEL on your arm. You forgot about that. “Right, quick plan: I need to get to Big Pete’s Wings & Ribs.”“Hardly the-the-the time, Captain.”“Trust me. Can you get me over there?”He nods and you “walk,” which is him dragging you over his shoulder as you watch Gator smashing against the electric fence. Sure enough, it breaks in under a minute, and he comes tearing up the street. A pair of D-Tains close on him, force shields up, but he smashes through them, knocking your teammates around the street. Dammit. Maybe they’re - okay no, he’s biting a head off, there’s an explosion.This is not going well.You feel Kev wobbling. He’s not built for OLEL exposure, not like the damn lizard. Mental note to make it up to him later, if there is a later. You can see the other three now, far up the street, marching in line to fence Gator in. turning your head, you scan around the area for what you need - Dougray’s body, or at least his arm. If you can find the DMT gun… you should really think about carrying one, in the future.That’s when you hear the whirling sound of death approaching.“Get clear!” Kev shouts as he throws you to the side, his last heroic act before the shredding force of Wheel Gator tears through him. Gator towers overhead, his claws gingerly holding up Dougray’s DMT gun.“You little bastard,” he says cheerfully, “is this what you were after? That’s just rude.” Your hope is hurled over his shoulder, leaving you with a dead arm and a stun pistol - basically a squirt-gun in the face of this towering metal murder machine. His claws come down, grabbing you up, squeezing, crushing. Anesthetic doesn’t help.“Oh go on, shoot that thing at me. Might work this time,” his voice is low, dripping with sadistic glee. “Crimea. This is what you get - “ his shoulder lights up, a wheel flinging backwards from it - “when you’re disrespectful. Do you know,” now he’s conversational, “I was handpicked by the King himself? True story. Know what that means?” He shakes you, roughly. “No, you don’t. Those were the days. No meatsacks allowed. Know why?” Another shake. “It’s cause you’re fragile.” the jaws snap right in front of your nose.“I’m not the one that spent the last five minutes getting slapped up and down the street by a one-legged man,” you say airily.Gator growls. “No, you’re the one who’s gonna die in the next 30 seconds. Your choice is how. I want a little respect. Call it in.”“What?”“Starlight. Call it in, and I’ll snap you quick.” He materializes another wheel from his shoulder, holding it close to your torso. “Otherwise, you die slow, and I take my sweet time with your friends.”
You raise your stun pistol to your ear and tap the comm on. “Seg, do you copy?”“I copy, Captain.”You look Wheel Gator dead in the eye.“Send someone to scrape up a lizard.”You tilt your stun pistol toward your other arm and fire, the world exploding into blinding blue.
Kinsley was recovered from Salt Lake City along with the bodies of several of his unitmates. While the 10th took heavy losses during the operation, the city itself endured remarkably well.Wheel Gator was not seen again for the duration of the Maverick War, weakening Sigma's presence in North America. He would eventually reappear during the Second Maverick War along with a massive land carrier. The only Reploid trusted to engage him at that time was X.Three to go. Lead on.> A leader daring to challenge those who crown themselves king> A student of destruction forced to face the master> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear
>>4156494Now that human Hunter was a badass.> A student of destruction forced to face the master
>>4156494>A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear
>>4156494> A student of destruction forced to face the master
>>4156494> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear
>>4156494>> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fear
>>4156494>> A student of destruction forced to face the master
>>4156494>A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fearhow's everyone? Enjoying a DIVE right now?
>>4157186Actually, scratch that, changing my vote to>>4156494>A student of destruction forced to face the master
Closing vote, prepping post.
>>4156505You might recall his last stand from the defense of Rho during the opening shots of the Doppler War! Human aces are a rare breed of maniac, and even higher-rank hunters seek to spar with them to improve their skills.
>>4156505>>4156636>>4156986>>4157143>>4157143>>4157193>>4157208https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tPOns9GVtQYou are Zero, de facto Commander of the Maverick Hunters, and you’re on a termite hunt.Your ex-boss and what feels like half your colleagues are currently waging war on humanity worldwide, bolstered by the scrapings-up of the last several crises. Your life has been a nonstop battle ever since that fateful day the Enigma fired on Geneva’s base, your former commander vanishing into the hellish light along with any hopes of peace. He prepared for this - resources meant to stop Mavericks twisted to build the greatest Maverick threat the world has ever seen.You’re gaining ground - you have to be - but there’s still so far to go.What’s left of the Hunters have been doing admirably, courage on full display as they weather storms from Antarctica to Arkhangelsk and everywhere in between. You’ve got a personal Lifesaver moving with you from site to site now - Crusher’s been as good as can be, but you’re making it no easier for her by hurling yourself into every warzone you can find against vicious professional killers like Komodo Green and Shreds Wilder. The search for Sigma and his base of operations consumes you, a flame that threatens to ignite into full-blown rage each time you come up empty-handed. This level of anger was something you couldn’t imagine before the war began.Of course, you couldn’t imagine the level of betrayal you’d feel, either.You’ve got intel reports from all fronts thanks to the dedicated elites who are burning the candle at both ends. Crucifer continues to monitor North America, Cobra is covering Eastern Europe, Schwarzhund in the Middle East. The message, coming though it does through fatigue, pain, and the hollow despair of fighting former friends, is becoming clearer and more consistent: the momentum of the war has stalled on both sides. As Commander, it’s up to you to seize this chance to tilt things before Sigma and his minions beat you to it.The opportunity has arisen thanks to a greedy bug and a greedier elephant. Slim Kroy wasn’t pleased when you shook down his Monaco safehouse for information, but through the black marketeer you’ve been able to trace a priority target, Turrets Mite. Kroy was passing him shipments of Algol-era weaponry to supplement the strength of the so-called “Bombards,” a series of artillery positions held by traitors from the 15th. You’ve wasted enough resources taking them out piecemeal only to have Mite rebuild them. It’s time for a full-on counterstrike to regain logistics footing and help world military forces join in engagements where needed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC87T4BalMYMite’s trail leads here, to Bangkok, glowing jewel of the Chao Phraya. Your listening post in Laos confirmed it - you’d like to establish a full-blown HQ there, but this is not the time to be provoking the Chinese Hegemony. Bad enough that you’re entering their unofficial sphere of influence. Thailand may not be part of the West Pacific Rim Convention, but you know Beijing has its own opinions on the matter and has already started overtures. No time like the middle of a goddamned world war to be worrying about politics.Your arrival here is still unannounced; Halcyon is covering for you by leaking that you’re meeting with the Oversight Council. You don’t know that it’s a good excuse; as far as you’re concerned, it sounds a lot more like the kind of poor decision he’d make in your shoes than anything people would believe of you. Somehow, though, it seems to be working - maybe it’s a human conceit that at a time like this, you’d pull back from the front lines to consult with them. The point, for the moment, is that you can decide how you want to approach the mission. You can expect the same level of support from a number of sources; the question is, who can you contact?> Call in support from Laos. Risks operational secrecy, but they’re close and experienced.> Bring in support from Tokyo. They’ll provide a distraction in the city.> Seek help from the Thai government. Life will go more smoothly if you get it over with now.> More noise in the city won’t help you. Stay solo and move quickly.
>>4158205>> Bring in support from Tokyo. They’ll provide a distraction in the city.We don't need more forces /with/ us. We need someone drawing Maverick attention /away/ from us, so we can get in fast and go big when we need to.
>>4158205>> Call in support from Laos. Risks operational secrecy, but they’re close and experienced.>> Bring in support from Tokyo. They’ll provide a distraction in the city.double feint. Let the distraction hold and the experienced investigators sniff them out, then go in when it's time to bring some muscle.
>>4158205> Seek help from the Thai government. Life will go more smoothly if you get it over with now.
>>4158205>Bring in support from Tokyo.
>>4158205Zero's could totally do things solo, but>Seek help from the Thai government. Life will go more smoothly if you get it over with now.if only to keep international outrage to a minimum.
>>4158205>> More noise in the city won’t help you. Stay solo and move quickly.Time to divide by zero.
>>4158205>Seek help from the Thai government. Life will go more smoothly if you get it over with now.Remember, we're here for Intel too. Zero's a powerhouse, but he needs to know where to be pointed.
>>4158205>More noise in the city won’t help you. Stay solo and move quickly.Time is dead people.
Closing vote to prep post.
>>4158230>>4158538>>4158779>>4159247Sigma never taught you much about the politics of his job - your job. He should have done you the courtesy of covering that before forcing you to take his place. Should have done you the courtesy of giving you an answer to why he betrayed you, betrayed your friends, betrayed his principles and his… you ball your fists and breathe. Not a good place to spend your energy, Zero. You may not know a lot about politics, but this one feels pretty easy: if they’re going to find out anyway, may as well rip the band-aid off now.“Cord,” you comm to your chief Navigator, “I need you to put me through to the President of Thailand.”“Thailand doesn’t have a President, Commander.” You close your eyes, seeking patience in the darkness.“Focus, Cord. Whoever is in charge. Use the UN priority channel.”“Which one, Commander?”You know you’re going to say it. You already hate yourself for saying it.“Whichever one Sigma used.”“Copy. One moment.”If only you didn’t need him. The chime as your call connects reminds you of his use, though.“Commander Zero, I have Minister of Defense Songwut Damrongsak for you.”“Good evening, Commander. May I ask the - ““Sorry Minister, no time to be formal about this. Are you able to connect me with your boss?”“My ‘boss?’ I’m sorry, who do you think - “Eyes closed, teeth gritted. Patience. “No time, Minister. I’m going to talk about something important now, a serious risk to Thailand. You’re going to listen, and when I’m done, then you talk. Understood?”He’s silent for a moment. “Very well,” the voice on the comm sneers. That whole patience thing is wearing thin already.“I have intelligence placing an S-Class Maverick in Bangkok with illegal weapons from the Algol Conflicts.” There’s a satisfying “urk” from the other end of the line - Sigma or not, the “A” word still has an impact. “The bombardment positions established by Maverick forces in Europe, the Americas, and Central Asia - this is the one that builds them.”“What resources are you preparing to send?”“I’ve already arrived in Bangkok.” A strangled squawk from the comm. “I want your Prime Minister to lock down any compression transport, close ports, and secure roads out. I want it announced publicly - lower risk of them trying to rush for a ship or plane and endangering the people at the port.” Another move you learned from your former Commander.“You? But you’re… you have…” A reputation, yes. Warranted.“I am qualified to handle an S-Class Threat. My Navigator will set up a direct channel that you can use to contact me. I will appreciate any support your government is willing to offer.”
You leave Cord and Damrongsak to their devices and begin reviewing the layout of the city in your mind. From a tactical standpoint, Bangkok is a terrible place to set up a bombardment point no matter what you told the Minister. Barely above sea level, foundation of clay, heavy maritime access… you connect to the Internet, sighing at the archaic local network’s sluggishness. Bangkok may look glitzy, but it’s all just a layer of lights and glasswork on top of the same old ancient clay.Hmm. Terrible position for hitting the Chinese Republic, Vietnam isn’t strategically relevant at the moment, nor Cambodia… certainly not to use as a port for any of the Maverick Pacific presence, if anything they’d want to invade up this route if they were gunning for China. It doesn’t make sense - but you don’t think Kroy would have the guts to lie to you. Of course, if you were a good judge of character, you might have stopped Sigma.The sound of the comm breaks through your self-recrimination. It’s your least favorite Navigator.“What do you have for me, Cord?”“The Prime Minister has agreed to take the steps you have requested. Police are already moving to secure the ports and close the roads.” You can see a few distant pinpricks of light in the hazy darkness hanging above the city. Police copters, hopefully.“And the other thing?”“Arriving shortly, your position.”Arrive they do - a number of Reploids delivered by jumpcraft. The leader, a large black-colored apelike Reploid, comes up to shake your hand. “Bomb Blackhand,” he introduces himself. “An honor, sir. These are my team,” he points, naming a stout catlike one as Volt Binturong; a winged lemur as Bubble Colugo; a rat, Shimmer Ricefield; and Spin Pangolin. A following aircraft is carrying a number of oddly-articulated masspros and a pair of what look like partially unfinished prototypes.It’s enough of a team for the kind of operation you want to run, at least. Cord patches through their official dossiers from the Ministry of Defense, and you note with mild surprise that all of them, including Blackhand, are reduced collateral specialists, like you might find in - “Wait, Colugo… you were with the 10th, weren’t you?”“Yes sir,” he nods. “Left shortly before…” he gestures vaguely. “Recalled to serve my country.”You nod, knowing you’re supposed to say something about how the 10th could have used his help, unable to shake the feeling that he made the safer choice. The war has been rough on everyone, but the horror stories of the 10th - they’re basically doing what you have been, only none of them are built as solidly. The last report from Larken before he went down was about a unit that lost half its numbers against a Maverick in the western United States.
“We all have our duty,” the words fall from you numbly. It’s hard to make them mean anything at a time like this. “Let me lay out the plan.” Considering how dangerous both you and Mite are, you’ll have to figure out how to best allocate your allies.> Containment maneuver, you’ll engage while the rest stay back and keep him boxed in.> Security setup, spread out to watch for and disable support, you’ll take him alone> Take one partner (specify), the rest team up and patrol. No one goes alone.
>>4160307>Take one partner (specify), the rest team up and patrol. No one goes alone.Shimmer Ricefield
>>4160307>Take one partner (specify), the rest team up and patrol. No one goes alone.>Bubble Colugo>>4160365welcometothericefieldsmotherfucker.gif
>>4160307>Security setup, spread out to watch for and disable support, you'll take him alone.
>>4160307> Security setup, spread out to watch for and disable support, you’ll take him alone
>>4160307> Take one partner (specify), the rest team up and patrol. No one goes alone.> Shimmer RicefieldWhen has Magnet Lobster ever lead us wrong?
>>4160307>> Security setup, spread out to watch for and disable support, you’ll take him aloneWe're best off when we don't have to worry about hitting allies.
>>4161562>When has Magnet Lobster ever lead us wrong?I'm pretty sure if this was the attitude for the entire quest, Anode would have died on like his second outing.
>>4160307> Take one partner (specify), the rest team up and patrol. No one goes alone.Shimmer Ricefield.They’re eyes, ears, and local knowledge. We’re the heavy.
>>4161704Right, so clearly you have the read on Cains Lab.
>>4160307> Take one partner (specify), the rest team up and patrol. No one goes alone.> Shimmer Ricefield
>>4160365>>4160443>>4161562>>4161806You wrestle with whether you should take a partner along or not… anywhere you go becomes a major risk to your allies. Nonetheless… going through the dossiers, you settle on Ricefield, a smaller profile and a specialist in area denial. Depending on how entrenched Mite is, that could end up being key.“Ricefield, with me. The rest of you, partner up. You’ll patrol the area. Nobody goes alone.”They nod. “What’s our target?” Pangolin asks. You hold up a datapad, switching to projector mode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCJ0TQFWZUk“Emissions consistent with the weapon parts Mite’s carrying were detected here, at Safari World,” you indicate a zone in the northeast of the city, “Here, in Sathon, near -” you check “- Lumphini Park…” this one is to the west, with your finger next moving due south across the river, “and here, in the Forjune industrial district. He could be using any of them, but our profile of his activities suggests he’s most likely hiding out at a resource hub where he can steal what he needs.” You tap the last spot on the map. “That’s where I’ll be starting. I want your teams at the other two sites. Check them and prepare to rotate if necessary, we’re a few hours behind. If he’s on the move…”If he’s on the move, he’ll be the one to seize the initiative. You don’t want to imagine what that will look like for the city.“If I may recommend?” Blackhand ventures, “Your combat profile does outclass ours somewhat. I think our teams should bring the Yam Watch with us.”Yam Watch? “The, uh, prototypes?” you guess. Blackhand shakes his head.“Not prototypes, sir. Guards, elite guards. If the enemy is there, they will give us time.”“Fine. You know them better than I do. We’ll coordinate through Hunter Navigator support. If you can convince your government to supply extra resources, I’d recommend you review the information Cord provides and make a case for it. This is a very real opportunity to make a difference in this war.” Evidently you sounded better to them than you did to yourself - they’re all looking confident, at least. You, meanwhile, feel like you’re projecting optimism so false that a child could see through it. Maybe that’s the trick of command, faking confidence so that others can find it for real.Your former commander was an expert liar, after all.The teams spread out, Ricefield eagerly racing alongside as you dash through the streets.“Is this your first mission in Bangkok, sir? I know we’ve been pushing back Mavericks on our own, better numbers every year, yes. I don’t think I’ve seen a Hunter here before, unless you mean Colugo. I know we sent some to your headquarters in Japan - “
“Listen,” you cut him off, “I need you to hear this now, before things get serious, and I need you to remember it. When we get into combat, I need you to stay well clear of me. If you think you’re safe, and you can see me from your position, then you’re wrong.”“But then how will I join the - “You shake your head. “You won’t join the fight, not directly. I don’t need you in the fight, I need you around it. Your weapon - you scatter refracting beads and use them for laser traps, right?”“Yes, I can spread - ““Do that. Around the perimeter. Turrets Mite is one of our most dangerous targets, and if I’m firing fully charged, I’ll be as much of a threat as he is. Possibly more. Stay low, prepare the battlefield. That’s how we make this work, okay?”He’s quiet for a moment, the sounds of the city washing in, punctuating what’s at stake. You cross the Bhumibol Bridge in silence, leaping from the service pillars to stay above traffic. Were you too harsh? He’s way more talkative, but the enthusiasm, the need to get in and do something… that part reminds you of X.“Listen, I think - “ but what you thought is now null and void, as a massive sphere of energy cracks through a factory wall and flies out to sea.The seawall.
The whole of Bangkok is on a flood plain. That’s the plan. Use the terrain against your enemy. Another classic lesson from the traitor who taught you. You curse under your breath.“Ricefield, how well-defended is the seawall?”“Uh…” you can see he’s checking data. You’re already dashing toward the massive factory, a half-charged shot sufficient to blow through the security fence. He catches up a moment later as you size up your approach.“I’ve just checked Ministry of Defense files. Heavy armor, several gun emplacements, shielded access points to reinforce from the city’s ports.”“And on this side?”Horror fills his eyes. That’s what you were afraid of. Like the rest of the city, just slapdash build-to-need on top of so much fragile clay.“Right.” You tap your comm. “Cord, Mite’s weapon has been found, likely going to find him here too. Signal the other teams to close to our location, over.” You look at Ricefield. If he were a human, you’re pretty sure he’d be pale right now. “Ready for this?” He gives a weak nod.It’ll have to be good enough.> Go through the main gates, sweep out any surprises before Mite can send them after you.> Big obvious termite hole just opened up in the wall, no better place to start.> Other?
>>4163059oh god, Zero is so depressed.>>4163065> Go through the main gates, sweep out any surprises before Mite can send them after you.The damage has been done, let's keep it at ONLY the seawall and not the first responders.
>>4163065>> Big obvious termite hole just opened up in the wall, no better place to start.Go big, go fast, go BOOM
>>4163065>Go through the main gates, sweep out any surprises before Mite can send them after you.
>>4163065>Go through the main gates, sweep out any surprises before Mite can send them after you.Give Ricefield time to set the perimeter.>>4163073>oh god, Zero is so depressed.I hope he doesn't do anything crazy and suicidal in this war!
>>4163334So trying to blow himself and Vile up was a desperate cry for help. Reploid depression is weird.
>>4163544Well, dying, being captured in pieces, and rebuilt with some vague process that doesn't work for anyone else not only cured his depression, it taught him to be a master swordsman.Reploid mental health is a clusterfuck.
>>4163065> Big obvious termite hole just opened up in the wall, no better place to start.>>4163617So did Anode gain a new skill after Doppler tore out his capacitor? Is he a master chef and just doesn't know it yet?
>>4163650Obviously our next downtime should be dedicated to finding out.
>>4163065>Go through the main gates, sweep out any surprises before Mite can send them after you.We need to fight to defend everyone that isn't us, or we're going to be the only one walking out of here/beamed out in pieces.
threadly reminder that this is the darkest timeline, and you chose it by denying our lord and saviour
>>4164368In fairness, it seemed like if we got it it would have immediately become code locked only for special circumstances, like an S-Class threat or worse.I'll take an offensive third dash over a SWORD we won't get to use most of the time.
>>4164496Boring but practical, sureBut the sword would have been so COOL
The SWORD timeline splits again when the spirit of Solstrike Saetos emerges from within it to corrupt us with promises of awesome power and infinite smug, thus creating the closest thing Megaman X has to Soul Edge or Frostmourne or Anubis or something
>>4164499Oh I will NEVER discount how cool it would have been
>>4163065> Go through the main gates, sweep out any surprises before Mite can send them after you.>>4164368Praise be to the radiation sword of idiocy +5
>>4164368Would have been so hot it would loop 'round to cool and back again. Then we could unironically spout some stupid anime bullshit like "I said I'd never use this again...Master Emerald, forgive me."I still prefer the dash though and we made great use of it so far.
>>4163073>>4163167>>4163334>>4163869>>4164111>>4164522Shimmer Ricefield is staring at the breach in the factory wall with a mixture of awe and horror that you have no time for right now. Mite’s in there. Guilt and self-doubt burn away as you charge your buster and fire at the front gate. Turning your back to the explosion, you face your mission partner.“This is it. Get set up. Stay out here. I’m going in.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cuf1qYi7QVoYou dash through the blown-open front gate, not waiting for a response, already building a charge. Two Gun Volts are set up in the entrance - a half-charge is enough for the first, while the second you pepper with a few buster shots as you jump behind it, punching your fist through the back panel that protects its core. Metools frantically clear away from your path as you dash to a bulkhead and begin climbing, shooting down Mite’s customized Jammingers before they can fire.What’s left of the catwalks isn’t enough to get you to your target, though - looks like he anticipated this access route. Even as you step forward to survey the factory’s main smelting hall, the structure groans and tilts, pitching you down. Cursing, you kick away from the falling metal supports and catch yourself on the nearest wall, sliding down to a safe position. Scrivers hop toward you, but you barely notice them, your buster cleaning up the incoming Mechaniloids with barely a thought from you.Turrets Mite has laid out heavy security - you can see custom Ride Armor with his signature guns, and it looks like he’s weaponized the factory’s Sky Claws and Locks Presses. That won’t be the end of it, either. Most of the floor is dominated by flows of molten metal, which you know you can endure if it comes down to it - better to keep clear if you can, though.Gauging the distance, you realize that you might not have a choice. There’s no platform close enough for you to get over there. Try a Sky Claw? No… there’s a better solution. A Locks Press is trodding through the magmatic soup beneath, the elephant-like Mechaniloid drawing up heated metal into its “trunk” to shoot. A little closer… you dash, springing onto its back and immediately leaping off to get to the next platform. A pair of shots wing past you, and you charge a response, blasting the incoming Ride Armor.Pain registers as your shields flash. Where did - oh. Behind you. The permanent metal smirk of a Meltin emerges from the deadly pool below, climbing up on the platform and flicking a molten chain at your face. You don’t often see these factory Reploids; they only work in unsafe settings, like this one. Not wanting to make contact and suffer more damage from its incredible heat, you leap back and send a half charge plowing into the Maverick. While its thermal shielding deflects a lot of the power of your blast, the force is still enough to knock your opponent back into the river of metal below.
Suddenly you’re in midair - you didn’t see the Sky Claw. Nice try - you punch up and free yourself. More of them are converging on you - Turrets Mite likely directing them from a secure position. You ignore them; they’re just a minor nuisance compared to the incoming Locks Press, already loaded to spit molten murder your way. Dash forward to bait the shot, back to dodge, forward and jump - once again, you have to thank one of the fat-bodied Mechaniloids for giving you a foothold across this perilous surface.An alarm barely gives you notice before a river of white-hot metal pours down from above, two Meltins leaping out to give chase. Your buster shots tink off of their powerful thermal deflector shields. A Gun Volt steps out to flank you, missiles loaded and firing. You jump to let the dumbfired projectiles cause trouble for the Meltins, then land behind the Gun Volt and punch your hands through its back to lift it. Urgh… you’re not quite as strong as Sigma, but you can still throw a Gun Volt if you put your all into it. You fling the Mechaniloid to collide with the incoming Mavericks and use the time you bought to grab a nearby service ladder.A lizardlike Mechaniloid clambers down toward your face. You snipe it off the ladder and reach the top, sighing as you find yourself face to face with one of Mite’s lesser creations, the C4C0 Customer. The spherical Mechaniloid has a couple of weak points - the single propeller holding it aloft at the top, not to mention the cannon in its “mouth” when it finishes charging its blast. You don’t have a great line to the first, though, and the second is still closed and charging, leaving its turrets spraying three-way shots at you in the meantime. Above you, a series of bulkheads extends and retracts, presumably some kind of tumbling chute for security. That’s all you need - you kick up to grab an extending bulkhead, giving you a clean line to the propeller, and a blast clears out the C4C0 and sends it plummeting down to its molten doom.Shields register another hit - one of those custom Jammingers, swinging in out of nowhere. You blow it out of the sky irritably, noting that another C4C0 is deploying your way. Most likely Mite has enough Mechaniloids readied to keep you pinned here. You’re not going to play his game. A nearby switch is easy enough to tag and disable with a buster shot, forcing the bulkheads to retract and giving you a passage up. Dodge Blasters slide down to impede you, but you’re faster than they are. Easy climb, despite Mite’s best efforts and the Turn Cannon at the top. You crack open the access door at the top of the shaft.
Turrets Mite is standing there, next to a strange two-part device, the top section hovering over the lower part. He’s not alone, however - a pair of mismatched glowing red optics regards you from a nearby terminal.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecJVTYU0Mi8“Zero,” Serges hisses quietly. “I’ve been hoping you would come.”Mite whips his horned head to give the senior Maverick a horrified look. “Are you insane?” You’re already charging your buster. “Keep your cannon, I’m not dealing with him.” He darts down an access passage.> Chase after Mite> Stay to fight Serges
>>4165126>Chase after MiteWe're not spending all this time, effort, and life to let this little bastard keep his shop open.
> Chase after MiteO hay thar, Dr. Wahwee. We don't have time for you.
>>4165126> Curse at Serges> Then chase after MiteThere's always time for a good cursing-of-the-villain.
>>4165395Seconded. Possible option on an off-hand bird flip.
>>4165126>>4165395> Curse at Serges> Then chase after Mite
>>4165126> Chase after MiteWe should keep our crew aliveMite mite also tell us why Serges showed up.
>>4165126>Chase after MitePump a few shots into that weird thing first though, maybe, or possibly the terminal.
>>4165126seconding >>4165395Wonder what Serges built Mite. Something that launches geysers of molten metal?
>>4165813I saw it as Mite fucking off to avoid Serges, not us
>>4165126>Chase after Mite
>>4165252>>4165361>>4165395>>4165567>>4165621>>4165699>>4165813In better circumstances, you’d stay and send whatever’s left of Sigma’s new right-hand man to the junkyard in a sandwich bag, but right now, as much as you hate it, Serges can’t be your priority. He may be one of the brains of Maverick operations, but right now the Reploid who builds the weapons has to take priority. “You’re next, bastard,” you promise him darkly.You dash off after Mite, following him through a corridor that winds around a power station. Cramped quarters - this environment very much favors him, not you. One of his turrets rises up as you move through a duct. You dash past the smoking wreckage you leave, emerging into a broad servicing chamber, high-ceilinged.“You’ve made a terrible mistake, Hunter,” Mite tells you as you approach. You’re already preparing a charge. Three exits from the room - best to get to the center quickly so you can cut him off. Little jerk climbs walls and ceilings, after all. He’s stopped moving, though, eyes going wide with terror. You remember Sigma inspiring this kind of fear in Mavericks. One way or another, you note with disgust, he was always inspiring Mavericks.“Looks like you’re out of tricks.” You level your buster, but he’s not looking at you. His horrified gaze is leveled behind you, over your shoulder.You should have known. Somehow your mind registers it faster than you can imagine, too slow to do anything about it. The shadow surrounds you. Overwhelms you.Fear caves in to shock as you hurtle through the walls of the building, flying out across the street to collide with an electronic billboard. You shake your head, raising it up to see the towering figure grinning at you from a brand-new hole in the factory wall. Mite and Serges fall from your mind.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it6CbDv_4JkHe is here.>?
>>4166001Let out a signal.NOW ALL OF CHINA KNOWS YOU ARE HERE
>>4166001>Welp, time to try out concussive therapy for this abandonment complex we've been developing.Also, tell our backup to keep distance. Shit's gonna get reeeal loud.
>>4166001>Send out the call>Get Mite and throw him at SigmaWe're not beating Sigma like this, but we need something to ward the beam saber anyway, may as well be Mite.
>Stay evasive and out of saber range. Use vertical movement.>Direct local forces to switch priority to mass evacuation and containment, effective right when Sigma threw you through a wall. Inform them Starlight Protocol isn't an option.>"Mite, care to explain what you did to get yourself so high on your side's shitlist?"
>>4166001I don't suppose there are any metal pipes lying around? Seemed to work pretty well in the first matchup. this is not intended to be taken as a serious command
>>4166001oh fuck oh shit oh fuckTell everyone on the field to just run containment: keep everyone else the fuck out. >>4166085 has the right idea.
>>4166001>kill MiteMISSION PRIORITIES.I am not good at them.
I honestly wonder how many times it took killing Sigma for the trauma to wear thin and the annoyance to come through? 2? 3?
>>4167279I don't think any of the hunters would just be annoyed at a guy who doesn't stop killing humans.
>>4167294Annoyed that he wont just stay dead?
>>4167304It would be one thing if he didn't do shit besides stall for time like Dynamo, but every time Sigma's shit eating grin shows up shit goes sideways and both X and Zero have very personal stakes in making sure Sigma stays dead. I could see hunters who are less involved getting annoyed if they didn't shit bricks on sight, though.
>>4167182But it's all I know!
>>4166001> Report in sharpish> Don't get hit> Blast the smug purple bastard from a distance
“Cord,” you comm, “Sigma’s here. Repeat, Sigma is here. Not a drill. Everyone evacuate now.”Silence.“Ricefield, get out now. Run and contact the others.”“I think I’ve got a shot - ““NO. RUN AND TELL THE OTHERS. Containment and evacuation. NOW.”Sigma’s grin widens.“You’re looking well, Zero.”Anger. Charge. More power.“I heard Komodo Green left you badly injured.”Rage. Charge. More power.“I feared I might miss this opportunity.”Hate. Charge. Maximum power. Fire.All of your wrath explodes out of you toward your mentor, the man who saved you and taught you and betrayed you. It was Sigma who taught you to limit yourself, to use partially-charged shots, to keep your power in check. He who got rid of the headlines, minimized exposure, helped you escape that goddamned nickname.The Red God of Destruction releases his full power and the factory splits in two.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmlq0u345PEThe world is now fire and arcing voltage and smoke and darkness. Rubble rains down around you, pieces of the building shattering windows down the street, molten metal pouring out and adding a hellish dim red to the world. You’re already moving, already charging, ready to do it all again if it might make a dent in him. He’s gliding toward you, beam sabre ignited, faster than you can imagine. You fire, he deflects, and the destructive plasma blast swings out to explode the face of another building, a rain of liquid glass and rebar shards pelting down. Dash, jump, dodge - he grabs your leg and hurls you through another building, your shields protesting as you smash through the walls.“You need to be faster - “ he taunts as he dashes, but whatever else he wanted to say to you is cut off as you release another full charge at point blank range. That one took - as his shields flash, you’re already smashing through what’s left of the back wall, swinging down a cable to hit the street.“Cord! Cord, come in!”
Scratching sounds.“Busy.” Wait, that’s not Cord.“Schwarzhund? Where’s Cord? What are you doing there?”“Busy,” he growls again. “Cord’s here, still alive.”“What happened?”“Traitors in 5th. Knew he was with us. Easy to sniff them out.”Sigma is dashing toward you again. You rush back to the bridge, charging to blow a hole in the road and create a rift between you and the Maverick leader.Cord’s voice joins the comm. “Still here, Commander. Bit shaken. What can I do for -”“Notify the Thai leadership and all teams in the area. Evacuate Bangkok now. Everyone out. Sigma is here.”“Sigma? But we have no sign -”The towering Reploid glides through the air, easily clearing the gap you created. He’s faster than you, but you’ve got him beat on agility. You leap at a support cable, spinning on it to throw yourself higher, onto the diamond-shaped pillar. In response, he slashes at the base with his sabre, then slams into it.“HE’S HERE RIGHT NOW, CORD. EVACUATE.”Whatever response he made goes ignored as Sigma’s casual backstroke breaks the support pillar and begins to topple the entire beam, forcing you to drop and outrace the falling net of cables. You charge again and fire, another section of the bridge exploding into smoke and rubble. Propellers beat at the air as helicopters and Bee Bladers approach your position, spotlights searching the wreckage. You wave at them to fly away, but it’s too late - deadly red shots flicker out from the billowing clouds of soot, tiny concentrated death burning through rotor couplings, taking the fliers out of the skies.He strides out of the smoke, his cape gone but otherwise not a scratch on him. You raise your buster, knowing his defenses will blunt most of it, already charging your next annihilating blast.
“You don’t disappoint,” he marvels quietly. The sick bastard sounds… PROUD. “You’ve done admirable work with the remaining Hunters. As for X…” his grin deepens, “he’s finally realizing his potential. Astonishing.” The beam sabre is held wide and low, seeming unconcerned with the shot you’re about to send his way. It DOES hurt him, you know that - it might be only you that can stop him.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4Q592iDoxEIt has to be.> Keep him talking to buy them time.> If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.
>>4169236> If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.Sad to say, but Sigma is too smart to fall for the rambling trap, and likely if he wanted to talk, it'd mean it was advantageous for him somehow.And limiting his activity in the coming fights would be ideal.
>>4169236>Keep him talking to buy them time.Always knew you were viral, Cain.
>>4169236>If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.Do the murders. Prevent more later.
>>4169236> If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.
>>4169236>If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.
Also just FYI the post images are the actual bridge where this is playing out. That's a real bridge in Bangkok.
>>4169236>Keep him talking to buy them time.
>>4169236> If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.If we hit him enough he'll need to lick his wounds and be out of the field for repairs. That will save lives.
>>4169236> Keep him talking to buy them time.I'm getting Aegis Garm vibes here. Hunters need their commander intact, not getting wrecked trying to stop the unstoppable.
You know, it's just struck me that the master and student could refer to either party. Zero was literally Sigma's student and is currently the less dangerous of the two, and Sigma was infected by Zero's maverick virus and was absolutely demolished in his brief fight with maverick Zero.
>>4169236>> If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.Fighting him also buys time!
>>4169236> Keep him talking to buy them time.> If you can damage him enough, this could turn the war your way. Attack.I don't see why the two are mutually exclusive. In fact, I could very easily see Sigma having a conversation while he tries to stab the shit out of us/us trying to put a dent in the fucker. We shouldn't count on him sticking around to finish any sort of fight though: I think he's here for a reason before he bugs out.
>>4169271>>4169447>>4169513>>4169567>>4170012>>4170508>>4170607This is it, You’re not going to get a better shot at him. What’s left of the King Bhumibol Bridge has already been cleared of traffic and nearby buildings are evacuating. Time to make it count.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAGcpwJCWmc“Cord, tell them to clear airspace. Nothing comes in. Keep a signal lock on me.”“Yes Commander.” “It won’t work,” Sigma says genially. “You can’t save them.”“I’m not here for that,” your voice hardens, your anger cold. “I’m here for you. They’ll save themselves.”The constant smirk doesn’t budge. You see another energy sphere crackle through the skies from father away, flying toward the seawall. Three sites... “...none of them were decoys.”“Hit them from all sides,” he reminds you smugly. “You remember that lesson?”You fire again, and he doesn’t bother dodging, doesn’t bother deflecting. His shields flash as the world collapses behind him, but he’s already on top of you and swinging and you need to run and jump and fall back away from him. He stands and the gem in his forehead glows, spraying the bridge and the buildings beyond with a rain of destruction.“Commander - the seawall is breaking. The river--”You can’t manage Bangkok’s safety and Sigma at the same time. “Take over with the Thai government, Cord. You have my proxy. Do whatever we can.”Jumpcraft are approaching the bridge, Reploids leaping out as they get close, even as Sigma’s shots burn the craft out of the sky. Why? You told them all to stay back, damn it.“Zero! We’re here to assist,” Blackhand shouts as he lands. “What do you need us to do?”“I need you to run!” you snarl. Sigma is approaching now, walking at a casual pace. “He’ll kill all of you!”Blackhand only shakes his head. You can see him doing the same arithmetic you were. This--and you--are their best chance. The rough-looking Reploids advance--the Yam Watch, you assume--raising their arms as their cores spark, spin, and hiss with violet sparks.The world seems to ripple around you before snapping back, visual distortion falling through space and towards the Maverick leader.You realize what they’re trying too late.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-3iCqVyP8E“He’s protected from - “ time-manipulation, you want to tell them, but he’s already there, slashing them apart. You grab his arm to slow his blade as your buster comes up point-blank. The force blows you backward, throwing you and the nearest Thai allies toward the north shore, higher up the looped highway. Another jumpcraft approaches from the south, and you can see Ricefield aboard.“Cord, call off the Thai support. Taking losses,” you comm, but you get nothing back. Masspros with rocket launchers are firing missiles toward Sigma, who lazily dodges as they sweep past him. Homing can’t track him either. You knew that, but they haven’t had the time to learn him like you have. They don’t have a prayer. You grab Blackhand and drag him toward you.“Listen to me,” you say sternly. Take your people and get the hell out.”His resolve has given way in the face of reality. He nods, shaken, hand going to his earpiece in silence. Your former mentor is already bombarding the battlefield with his hellish red rain again. You dash for him, streaking between the piercing barrage to land a gut punch that leaves a satisfying scratch. Unfortunately, he’s ready with the grab, flinging you into a support pylon.He could have cut you apart just then. He is toying with you.“It’s a shame,” he remarks as he approaches. “You really were one of my best, but I knew you would never join us.” You charge, ready to blast downward, as you see Ricefield scattering glassy pellets from above. If Blackhand gave the fallback order, he’s ignoring it. Nothing else to be done - you fire, destroying the base of the pillar and Sigma’s foothold, forcing him back into Ricefield’s trap. Lasers flicker down from the jumpcraft, catching on a thousand tiny crystalline pellets and refracting to converge on Sigma. His shields flare as the attack connects, impressing you - you had no idea Ricefield would be able to damage him.Then he leaps.Sigma’s speed and strength cannot be matched, but you’re still shocked to see him clear the vertical distance, hitting another pillar and kicking off, smashing into the jumpcraft. It explodes, chunks of debris raining down from midair as Sigma glides down effortlessly, severing the top spire of the bridge and kicking it over in an attempt to crush you. You’re running out of room to maneuver, falling back toward the north shore connection, to a sea of abandoned cars, people holding up datapads and phones to capture video even as military forces are trying to steer them to evacuate. He’s getting much too close. You dash back onto the bridge, holding another charge.
“Commander, we have incoming. From above.”Cord’s warning comes just in time - a searing yellow beam cuts down through the night, collapsing the bridge as it tracks toward you. Sigma is dashing away from it, rushing toward the city, toward your position. An Ottawa Protocol weapon? Not one you’re familiar with. You leap up to the toll arch and beyond to the nearest building, releasing your charged shot in Sigma’s path, hoping to trap him, help that beam catch him. This time he deflects, and now his smirk is gone. This time, as your own shot rips into the evacuating crowd, he’s focused on causing damage.The yellow beam winks out as Sigma lunges for you, his blade sweeping through the face of the building, opening a deep wound that collapses toward the onlookers below as the structural support gives way. You fall back, trying to track him - that speed - as he leaps down to where the Thai military have assembled a blockade, cleaving through it with a careless swipe of his saber as he begins to fire into the crowd. The soldiers’ shots are deflected as the fallen hero rampages.“Sigma!” you shout at him. “Your fight is with me!”He turns to look at you.“No, Zero. That’s your mistake - it never was.”The grin is back, the smile of a sadist, a psychopath indulging his darkest desires. This entire war is his fault. He’s put you in a position where your attempts to stop him will only cost more lives, and he knows it.But there’s still something you can do. Steeling yourself, you run and leap toward him.
And he backhands you into the street.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsAnl3zSQ1QBuster’s still here, but your other arm is several feet away. You can see that you’ve made a mark on him - his energy is definitely lower, and he’s wearing some scorch marks - but it’s not enough. You still need to fight.A wave of water surges through the street - the breached seawall. Sigma looks at it with an expression you remember from when he would contemplate strategy, lay out plans, explain his decisions and ask you to question them. You remember that face, uncanny and unfitting to this terrible moment. Compression beams descend around the street now, Reploids you don’t recognize - a tiger, a turtle, a dragon. You raise your buster to take advantage of the opportunity the distractions have afforded you, but Sigma is already fading, his image splitting off into the night as he teleports away.You stand, looking over the devastation wrought by just the two of you. The sky is filled with smoke, the world is on fire, and by your own quick estimate over a dozen major buildings - and who knows how many others - have been damaged or destroyed. But he’s gone. What’s left of the city…Your feet sense the depth of the flood waters, increasing every minute. What’s left of the city won’t be for long, unless they can get the seawall fixed. The newcomers approach you, the dragon in the lead, bowing to greet you.“Commander Zero of the Maverick Hunters, I am Mu Qinglong, General of the Shenzhou Army. We have much to discuss.”You nod dully, eyes still on the carnage, the price for new allies joining the fight, for Sigma falling back temporarily.You wish a good day could look better than this.
Since there are only two segments left, we've decided to just run them in order. Next post will be up tonight or early tomorrow.
>>4171351Sounds good to me.
>>4171347Being Zero is suffering.
>>4171741You can't suffer when you're dead though, so at least he gets frequent breaks.
> A leader daring to challenge those who crown themselves kinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLztoZ3i9WMYou are Alpha, Commander of the Maverick Hunters, and you’ve come to the Rocky Mountains to dethrone a king.They call themselves “Shitennou,” Japanese for “Four Heavenly Kings,” and all four of them were once normal Reploids. Now, four megalomaniacs and who knows how many other Mavericks are unleashing havoc worldwide. Marlin’s overseeing the response to the King of Water in the Black Sea; Cobra has a strike team heading for Singapore to deal with the King of Air; and the King of Fire has escaped to orbit. For the moment. You’ll deal with him next, but right now you have bigger concerns. Windslash Ape, “King of Earth”, is leading a large Maverick force up through the Great Plains. The National Guard has deflected him westward to Colorado and New Mexico, and you’ve arrived to catch him in a pincer attack and end the threat before anyone else is endangered.At least that was the plan. You could have sworn this was timed perfectly, but at Ape’s rate of advance, he’ll hit a populated area shortly before you’ll be able to intercept. The US is scrambling to divert him, but at this point it's become a question of choosing between two evils.Which theater of battle you fight in.You have a decision to make; you can have them force him north toward Colorado Springs, where the mountainous terrain might give you a logistical advantage; or south into the desert toward Albuquerque. Both present risks; Colorado Springs will slow his advance toward California, but also put him on a path through Denver. Albuquerque is more remote and you risk fewer lives, but if he breaks through, he’ll hit New…New…Huh. New… somewhere. You knew this earlier today. You call the map file and pan over - New…Anyway, much easier to hit California by that route. Decisions, decisions…> Push him north into the mountains> Push him south into the desert
>>4172655>Push him north into the mountainsCrush with overwhelming logistics
>>4172655>Push him south into the desert.New Vegas?
>>4172655>Push him north into the mountainsUse rocks to fight robots
>>4172655>Push him north into the mountains
>>4172655>Push him south into the desert.Stop him from taking a right turn there and things should be alright
Voting closed, post prepping.
>>4172672>>4172756>>4172826“Cord,” you comm to your communications liaison, “tell our friends to cut His Majesty off from the south. We’ll intercept in Colorado.”“Are you sure that’s best, Commander? The desert would seem a safer choice. I’m sure our American friends would feel more comfortable -”“Listen, anytime you want to switch jobs, you come out here to the field and they can kit you up with a buster and a prayer.” Dead silence. “Pleasure doing business with you.” You terminate the connection, cutting short whatever snide retort he was planning. If only he was bad at his job… you shake your head, hiding your smirk behind a hand as your local team approaches. Serious business, serious commander voice.“Jumpcraft has arrived with the requisition, sir,” Java announces, handing you a datapad. “These new Gun Volt units should be sturdy enough for whatever the Mavericks are bringing to the field.” You’ve been working hard to bring your executive officer around on the durable new Mechaniloid model; she still maintains they’re too powerful to use near urban settings. This will be your chance to…...the water… isn’t it wrong? Why… it’s wrong, though… but what is it?...to prove your point. “We’re going to push him north,” you tell her. “Use the terrain against him. I want the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th in position to flank and contain.”She gives you a quizzical look. “6th, sir?”“6th? Why would I want them here? This mission’s not about making a splash, Java,” you flash a big grin. Water is wrong. In the water. Where… the wrong one is there. What is bothering you? What did you miss? You didn’t miss anything. It’s fine.“1st, 3rd, Fourth,” she’s stressing that word for some reason, “and 9th rerouting.” She puts her hand to her ear. “Oh, and Commander Cord has been trying to reach you.”“If it’s relevant, you can handle it,” you tell her. “If it’s not relevant…”“...I can handle it,” she deadpans.“See?” your grin is back. “I should just go back to Geneva and relax, you can do my job for me.”“I’m not even supposed to be doing THIS job,” she reminds you, but you wave her off as you board the plane. Your aides Rubric and Rosetta are already talking via several viewscreens with the unit commanders, and you stifle your grin as you note that Cord isn’t showing up yet. Java deserves something nice for all the crap she puts up with. Taking your extra-large seat between the two MozARTs, you toggle your comm and review the satellite map.
“SsSss, there he is,” Cobra greets you. “Good morning, boss. We’ve just been debating your plan.” The commander of the 1st Advance is one of your best resources - you’re glad he was available to join this meeting.“I have serious concerns,” Wing Larken, commander, 10th Civic. You expected this one. In a way, you’re glad Wong instituted the 10th - you know it’s an important priority, and you also know it would never have crossed your mind. “This puts the Great Plains Arcologies in play if he swings east again -”“He’s not going to,” chimes Scope Mouse, new commander of the 2nd Reconnaissance. Restructuring the 2nd toward intel & recon has been one of your more significant moves since assuming your position, putting her in the crosshairs if it doesn’t work out. “We’ve watched him, we’ve watched Gongjag, we know they’re coordinating and the target is California. Ape isn’t out to kill - he wants to conquer. He really does believe he’s a king.”“That doesn’t make him any less dangerous,” Larken retorts. “You’re putting him on a path to Denver and nearby metropolitan areas. My unit doesn’t have the resources to check him if he reaches the city, and it’s not like Heavy Weapons has operational protocols in place to fight in an urban environment.”Speaking of apes and heavy weapons… “You think we’ll let him get that far?” Frame Bono growls irritably. “Piss off, Larken. Muzzle Crash team will bombard him from the high ground, the new Gun Volts will slow his advance, we won’t get anywhere near your precious buildings.”“The Lanceteamers will back that up,” rumbles Pulse Potamus, commander of the 4th Overland. There’s a pause to allow him to go on, but it sounds like he’s done.You shake your head. “I hear your concerns, Larken, but I’ve looked at both scenarios and this one gives us the better chance of slowing him down. Catching him here lowers the risk to the western United States.”“Ss, besides, Ape’s army has already beaten us once in the desert,” Cobra points out, switching the view to show the route the Mavericks took up from Mexico through Texas. “Without altitude, easy money says their tanks beat Bono’s toys.” You can see the 3rd Deploy’s commander bristle at that. Time to shut this one down.“I appreciate you all taking the time. I know there’s a lot to deal with right now. It’s not an ideal plan, but it’s not an ideal situation. This is as close to a war footing as we’ve ever seen.”The dark monitor lights up, filled by Cord’s mechanical face - the head of the 5th might be the least human-looking of anyone in his unit. He glowers at you.“I apologize for having been delayed, colleagues,” he says snidely, “but I would like to inform you that our American counterparts have confirmed they are implementing your request. The Mavericks have been engaged and are now moving north toward Colorado.”
“Could I have the room, please?” you ask them. Rosetta nods at Rubric and the two of them exit the office section, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4AbyQ2VgsoYou did miss something. When did you miss something? Why did you miss something? What did you miss?Reactivating the screen, you comm to Java. It takes her a moment to pick up - you don’t normally use video conferencing, but there’s this itch in your mind and if you can just be looking at someone, it might help.“Commander?”“Java, I’m having the strangest feeling like I’ve forgotten something,” you admit quietly.“It’s a very large operation, Commander. I’m sure you’ve covered all of the important -”“Not about that.” She’s looking at you like you slapped her. Why? Why are you standing? What - “Not about that,” you repeat, more softly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…” How to say this? You haven’t said it to yourself yet, much less to anyone else.“Java… I didn’t know I was shouting, just then. Something is out of place and i don’t understand it.”She nods, her face a study in concern. “We checked you before the mission, but we can do it again. I’ll call Algol and Fortran and we can -”“No,” you sigh, not wanting to deal with the evaluators’ poking and prodding and questioning right now. Not right now. “No, it’s fine. Stress, maybe, isn’t that what happens to humans?”“What do you have to be stressed about?” she teases, “I’m the one who does your job.”You chuckle. “Should I be worried about my position?”“Please. I wouldn’t take your job if you begged me.”“That’s a relief. Finish doing my work, would you? I’ve got an hour, I’m going to check on the rest of the world.”“What will you do with the other 59 minutes?” Your right-hand Reploid disconnects the call, leaving you alone to ponder. Who do you need to talk to right now?> Wing Larken, he needs to be more comfortable with the plan> Striker Cobra, to go over the advance position> Algol and Fortran, you’ve still got the nagging feeling that there’s something out of place> Other?
>>4174064>> Algol and Fortran, you’ve still got the nagging feeling that there’s something out of placeTrust your instincts, theres a reason we're not doing this alone.
>>4174064> Wing Larken, something's out of place and maybe the ones doubting you can find it.NOT Algol, dear god.
>>4174117>>4174064wait, we have weapons dated after the Algol conflicts, but we have someone named Algol on our team?
>>4174064>Algol and Fortran, you’ve still got the nagging feeling that there’s something out of place
>>4174117>>4174121No, my first reaction was right: This is Algol before he goes mav. And there's not much time until he goes mav.
>>4174121Well, right now you're playing as Alpha, who was Commander well before Sigma. Zero's segment takes place, of course, after Sigma's tenure as Commander.
>>4174064>Algol and Fortran, you’ve still got the nagging feeling that there’s something out of placeSomething's fucky here, and not just with Alpha's train of thought
>>4174064>Algol and Fortran, you’ve still got the nagging feeling that there’s something out of placeWe can let things slip. Not here, not with so much more than ever at stake.
>>4174064>Meet with Not Algol And Fortran. Get a second opinion.
>>4174064>Talk to yourself.
>>4174064>> Other?Meditate. It works for humans.
>>4174106>>4174123>>4174235>>4174238>>4174309You tap the console and open a channel to Geneva, asking reception to connect you to the consultants. Algol, Fortran, and Java aren’t really under your command; they’re part of a team of Reploid technology analysts, created to review Reploids like the Special Task Group, Reploids who exceed normal parameters. The Funding Council’s attempted check on Valdivieso, for all the good it did them - by the time Java and her counterparts were built, Wong had your job, and the eight monsters they had been designed to evaluate had long since gone AWOL.Wong may have retained them for media purposes, but you’ve found their insights endlessly helpful. With where your mind’s at right now, they might be your best avenue toward a solution.“Algol here,” the green Reploid says brightly. “Good evening, Commander.” Fortran leans into frame silently behind, a massive red Reploid who reminds you of a castle. “We’ve just been running tests with Aegis Garm. Impressive durability! I’ve logged his shield harmonics, and I think -” he cuts off, seeing something in your facial expression. Kid’s a good judge of character. “What can we do for you?”“I’m…” how to say it… “I’ve been dealing with more stray thoughts than usual,” you understate, “and I think it’s got me on edge a bit. I’m not as focused as I want to be, you follow?”When Fortran nods, it’s with his whole upper body. Algol looks uncomfortable.“Sir, the team ran a cognitive check on you last month. No stutters, NOMEs, viruses, malware…”“Driver,” Fortran booms.Algol browses a datapad. “No… no drivers out of date either, not at that time.”“Can we look into it again?” you ask quietly. He gives you a sympathetic look.“I’m not Lisp, Commander, my specialization is shields. Fortran’s is offense. If you’d like, I can place a call back to head office, let them know you’d like to hire him back for a month…?” You frown. “We don’t need to give them specifics.”“I’ve got a major operation coming up in less than an hour. What can you do for me in that timeframe?”The consultants look warily at one another. “We can pull another driver check for you and send it over. Maybe something’s no longer connecting properly since your last review.” You nod. “We can also send out one of your new, uh,” he checks his pad again, “Lifesavers. A few of them have already completed the engineering courses you requisitioned.”
“Sounds good. Listen, I’m sure it’ll be an easy fix. I know you’ll -”“We won’t discuss it with anyone, Commander,” Algol says stiffly. Fortran full-body nods behind him. “I’ll flag this as off-the-record.”“Thanks, Algol.”“Anytime, sir,” he says wryly, closing the feed. “Anytime” would be a hard cost to justify for a second one of them, no matter how good he is - you’ve already got Java essentially on salary, and still engage Cobol and Lisp to evaluate speed and cognition in new officers. She really is that integral, though - her specialization is organization & structure.Algol’s driver checklist arrives and you run through it. Nothing’s been updated, no problems with any of…...you’ve been missing it. There’s a pattern. It happened again. It’s happening now. What is it, though? Water, water, something to do with water. Freeze Scorpiria, “King of Water.” She’s in the Black Sea, that’s water. Is that it? No…You take your hand off the crushed armrest of your chair. Who let that happen? That’s just careless. You’ll have to talk to Rubric and Rosetta about damaging your things.The plane is landing - when did that happen? The call wasn’t that long. Not a problem, though. You’re prepared for whatever Windslash Ape can throw your way.You disembark to meet the team on the ground - cannon-armed Muzzle Crash T4s giving a salute with their left hands, Lanceteamers standing at attention as you walk past. A couple of jeeps carrying human Hunters, a mixed team from the 9th Rangers - Trail Spurs from Geneva, MOCsns from Americas. They’ve set up quite a position around the Cheyenne Mountain countryside, south of Colorado Springs. Per the plan, Cobra’s Advance team is luring Ape between Pueblo and Colorado Springs toward rougher terrain, where his tanks will have less of an advantage.Behind the crowd, you see a Lifesaver arriving. Nice to see Algol dealt with that, too. Standing in front of the assembled Hunters, you decide it’s time for the general to speak to the troops.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtCUDW-Fr4“Good afternoon everyone. You all know why we’re here - this is the largest land operation in Maverick Hunter history, and today each of us has an important role to play in its success. Some of the best military vehicles ever produced are coming for us. And we,” you flash a confident grin, “are going to blow them the hell up.”A cheer from your team. “As you all know from your briefings, there are a number of Mavericks who have joined this fighting force. They have come as invaders, they have come as conquerors, and they have come following someone who calls himself King. They could not have picked a worse place to do so. We stand in a country that has no use for Kings - and history teaches us what happened the last time.” Chuckles, some high-fives from the Americans. “History, they say, repeats itself. Take your positions, remember your orders, and the day will be ours!”Another cheer goes up as the crowd dissolves. The Lifesaver approaches. “Commander Alpha, I was dispatched to support you,” she greets you efficiently. “I am Lieutenant LiSa of the Lifesaver Corps.”You recognize the name. “You were one of the first class, weren’t you?” She nods. “I knew the name was familiar. Algol said you’ve gone through the advanced training?”“Yes sir,” her voice lowers. “If you’d like, we can run a diagnostic on you now. The equipment is already prepped.”Your forces are already moving out. Will you have time?> Let’s do the diagnostic now, make sure I’m up for this.> I need to be in the fight, it will have to wait.
>>4174670How long would it take?
>>4174670>Let’s do the diagnostic now, make sure I’m up for this.We've been losing moments of time. Better we lose this one now than the crucial one when the battle arrives.
>>4174670>Let’s do the diagnostic now, make sure I’m up for this.
>>4174670>Let’s do the diagnostic now, make sure I’m up for this.Wonder if that driver check was sabotage.
>>4174686Long enough that you'll miss the first engagement. Your choice is to be there or not.
>>4174670>>4174737Can we expect Ape to take part in the first engagement himself? If not,>Let’s do the diagnostic now, make sure I’m up for this.
>>4174670> Let’s do the diagnostic now, make sure I’m up for this.
>>4174694>>4174715>>4174718>>4174809>>4175367>>4175970“Let’s get it over with,” you decide.“Alright, we can use the plane - for your privacy.” You nod and follow, LiSa directing a Sky Claw carrying her equipment to join you.“Was there any particular concern?” she asks as she sets up. “If we could narrow down the system, I can make this go much faster.”“It’s something in my head.” You slump into your damaged chair, letting the Lifesaver connect cables to you and disable your external comms. “I’m getting gaps. Things I can’t think about - can’t focus on. Intrusive thoughts. I’m worried it’s a NOME.” You’ve been worried about that since the beginning - the Science Division believes one might be behind the current crisis, after all.She connects the console, a strange feeling as bits of your brain begin to scroll across the viewscreen. “I was under the impression that the Greek Division had designed a failsafe against memetic engrams. Your brain shouldn’t be able to assemble that kind of blockage.”A shudder runs through you. “That might be the only thing keeping me sane. Just… just check all of it, please.”She taps a few commands, watching the screen intently. “This does narrow it down for us, at least. I assume you’ve had a driver check recently?”“Algol did one for me, the list is still up on the computer.” She accesses the terminal and finds the file, her eyes flicking back and forth between the two screens, comparing, nodding. You’d almost prefer she find something, though you know it’s not there. If it was, you could download an update, get the malfunctioning puzzle piece back in place.“These are all in order.” You sigh. “Checking your memory sectors now.”CLEAR, the screen reads, and CLEAR and CLEAR and CLEAR and on and on it goes. LiSa shakes her head. “I’m not sure what to tell you, Commander, according to this you should be fi-”“I AM NOT FINE,” is what bursts out of you. Your right fist is embedded deep in the remnants of the chair arm. It’s having a rough day today. “I’m not fine. I know there’s an issue. Even the anger is an issue.” You pause, realizing. “Sorry for shouting.”
The Lifesaver doesn’t appear to have registered your outburst, however; she’s looking at the screen.“What is it?”“There was a stressor indication there, and a signal hang. It’s gone now,” she indicates a CLEAR entry on the screen, “but it was definitely there. Let me just…” her fingers rocket over the keys, calling up a half dozen more windows. “Hmm. Yes, the error log did find it, but your checksum is fine now. What IS that?” She sounds fascinated, which worries you more. LiSa may be relatively new to Reploid assessment, but she’s also one of the smartest Reploids you’ve dealt with - that’s why you recruited her away from her post in Denmark.She leans back in her chair, eyes bright in the relative darkness, probing you, quite literally surveying your mind. “I’d like to test something. Is there anything you know has been giving you problems? Any specific thought?”“Water.” She gives you an odd look, reviewing the screens. You feel fine. “That should be it, every time I think about water there’s an issue.”“Except this time,” she gives a sympathetic half-smile. “Nothing’s happening.”“It’s always been water, though, every time I get these distracting thoughts,” your frustration is rising, “it’s about water, it’s always water, and something missing about water, like I -” You did miss something. Look at the water. It’s there. Every time. How have you not noticed? You did notice - but you don’t know what it is. What did you see? LiSa’s eyes are wide. Does she know? Does she have the answer? You resist the urge to demand it.“There it is,” she breathes, turning the screen so you can see. ERROR. As you watch, it switches over to CLEAR, but she’s already tapping away on her datapad, comparing notes with the console screen.“So… what is it? Do I have gremlin brain?”“You…” she shows you the pad again, “have a very complex brain. This is a map of the activity when your thoughts hit the right subject.”“They didn’t, though,” you’re quick to point out. “Whatever it is, I can’t think of it.”“You CAN, but what happens when you do isn’t what happens when you think of other things. Look here,” she points at a few different spots on the pad, none of which are familiar to you. “These nodes correspond with several different sections of memory architecture, and these lines are thought processes firing. Your brain is trying to rush information together so fast, and with so much range, that it’s all colliding. Nothing ever gets delivered.”
“So what you’re saying is, I’m too smart for my own good?”She gives you a flat look. “What I’m saying is you have been overthinking, to the point of stressing over things so hard that you don’t end up thinking at all. To do a proper deep dive would require HQ facilities, not this field tech. For the time being, don’t think about water.”You nod. You can live with that. “Thanks, doc. You’re a Lifesaver.”Her scowl is quite audible. “With all due respect, Commander, get the hell out of my sight.”“Bedside manner,” you tease, grin restored. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for some monkey business.”The humor dies as your comms re-engage, Cord connecting immediately.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTDy2BH-vxc“Commander, where have you been? They’ve overrun the advance position - the fighting is coming to your location.”More messages piling up, almost as fast as you can read. Advance ambushed; Lanceteamers KIA holding back the enemy tanks; running firefight with Ape’s vanguard heading to the operations point; Gun Volts and artillery effective but containment flank failed. Bono. Cobra. Mouse. Potamus.Larken.“What fallback plan should I give them, Commander?” Cord’s tone is just short of accusatory. You need to regain control of the situation. You need to step up. You can’t afford to miss anything.> Regroup to this position, if he wants to bring the fight here then we’ll dig in.> We can’t take the chance that he’ll swing for the city. Gather to block the route north, I’ll join there.> Other?
>>4177092>We can’t take the chance that he’ll swing for the city. Gather to block the route north, I’ll join there.Ape won't follow us here
>>4177092>We can’t take the chance that he’ll swing for the city. Gather to block the route north, I’ll join there.Don't wanna lose the Civic just yet.
>>4177092>Regroup to this position, if he wants to bring the fight here then we’ll dig in.
>>4177092>Gather to block the route north, keep the vanguard from getting to the city>I'll come in from the other side and see if I can provoke the king to face me directly
>>4177092>>4177188I’ll support this because it’s an actual plan.
>>4177188Yeah, I'll third this. Play to the Shitenno megalomania.
>>4177123>>4177131>>4177188>>4177318>>4177318>>4177576https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDV7ldqqf1A“Redirect all forces toward Fort Carson and the I25. Coordinate with Mouse and her team to track his movement. We’re going to meet them before they hit the city. Two million people are counting on us to make this work.”“Very well.”You snap on the Commander voice. “Cord, I appreciate that you don’t respect me, but this isn’t the time. Get it done and get it done right.”“Yes, Commander,” he sounds taken aback to be called out on it. “Right away, sir.”Enough worrying about him. You’ve got enough holes in your head already. You head to the beam pad. “One more thing, Cord. Get Mouse to send the coordinates. I’m going to join them there.”“Of course, sir.”The coordinates arrive within a minute, and you beam yourself to meet the gathering Hunter forces. On the roadway below, you can already make out the advancing Mavericks. Ape’s hangers-on have grown in number, the disaffected and the deranged from Central America up through Texas and into the Great Plains. His mania for conquest has actually been helping you - his army bleeds off little feudal gangs in his wake, to “govern” on his behalf.Sure enough, they’re making for the I25. Baiting him elsewhere might have worked, but you couldn’t afford to try it. This, at least, is more definite. The squad leaders approach; two Lanceteamer squads, a couple of Trail Spurs from the 9th Rangers, and several of Bono’s trusty A-Cruise, the mechanical side of the 3rd Heavy Weapons Unit.“Alright, everyone, we have a few minutes left before the first wave gets here. Cards on the table, this has not gone our way so far, but we’ve scored some meaningful damage,” you open. “The 1st Advance reports that the artillery maneuver took out a few of his big tanks; the 9th got his outriders, and the 4th took down a lot of Mechaniloid support.” You give them a tight smile. “Lot to be proud of, but we haven’t given Ape all we’ve got. Are we ready to show him how Hunters do gorilla tactics?” Some groans for your pun, but laughs and cheers as well. “Alright then. What have we got? 3rd, report?”A dented A-Cruise steps forward. “A jumper’s worth of Gun Volts, but we need time to get them functional. The cannon kids are still pursuing. Couple of launchers we’re setting up…”
“Can you get the Mechaniloids standing, just as a barrier?”His eyes widen and he nods. “Wouldn’t be a problem, but they won’t be ready for combat.”“He doesn’t know that. They’re brand new, he won’t know the difference. We’ll make a monkey of him.” He salutes and barks orders to his team, dispersing to unload the heavy Mechaniloids.“4th, 9th, he’s still got too many Mechaniloids, and some of them are pretty sturdy. If you’re dealing with Rush Roaders, anything else with a bit of heft to it, just shoot to disable and keep going. We can clean them up when the main threat is dealt with.” The Lanceteamers and Trail Spurs nod and head down to the roadway.“Who else have I got?” you peer around. “Right… missile crews. The smaller tanks, that’s where I need your shots going. I’ll tackle the big one. Everyone else, take positions to protect the dedicated teams. Ape has military Reploids in the mix, be on your guard.” That covers - well, everyone. As for you… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1dZnKAeMO4You walk to the recon console and scan over Ape’s army. Your breakdown is on point. That damn Reyleón super-tank… the smaller Cera Tanks have a heavy shielding bulldozer blade at the front, but it’s the Reyleóns that deflect aerial attacks. Why Mexico thought that was a good idea…Well, really, it IS a good idea, it’s just hell for the other side to deal with, and today that’s you.The Maverick waves arrive, the first one a scattering of Spikeys, Rush Roaders, and even some Ray Bits. You fire a low-energy but continuous stream of your blue ring beam, the rapid fire burning down the rolling Mechaniloids, while your team sticks with busters and moves as you ordered, choosing new targets once they’ve tripped distress or haywire modes on the oncoming wheeled threats. The Reploids arrive next, with two Cera Tanks, slowing up as they approach. You glance back to see the intimidating line of Gun Volts - it worked!The Reyleón tank, though, continues to advance toward your lines at the same awful speed, crumbling the interstate to dust in its wake. Covered in turrets, sponsons, and dishes to disrupt air attacks, it would be an intimidating sight even if it were attacking solo. Seated on top, however, on an improvised throne, is a towering simian Reploid. You didn’t realize that Windslash Ape is actually slightly larger than you - and you’re already fairly large as Reploids go.
“Rubric, are we ready?” you comm.“Yessir. We’ve got your telemetry now, but… he’s not slowing down. The flank may not work.”“Right then. Tell Rosetta to switch to plan B.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Be86MNIztwPlan B, or rather, plane A, flies overhead, two parachutes dropping out of it as it moves into a predetermined flight plan. You had hoped to intercept him from behind, but there’s no longer time for that. Instead you dash through the lines of fire, punching a few Mavericks down as you pass, putting a hole in their lines. You’ve taken a few hits, but nothing you can’t weather. What’s important is challenging the giant tank. Which is still barreling toward you at full speed. You glance to your right, where the plane is flying low. This one’s going to be closer than you wanted, but you’re betting it’s still going to succeed. The Reyleón may deflect aerial bombardment…...but that assumes you’re using projectiles at all. As Ape’s gigantic tank approaches to run you down, the unmanned aircraft collides with it, a massive explosion carrying the two vehicles over the side of the elevated highway and filling the air with heavy smoke. A voice booms from inside the black billowing clouds. “How DARE you destroy my THRONE, you PITIFUL FOOL?” The smoke vanishes in a gale-force wind, revealing the partially-collapsed highway and the enraged would-be monarch you didn’t quite take down. “Did you think that your FEEBLE attempt would be enough to topple a KING?”“I mean, I saw this movie once,” you deadpan, “and it worked on him, so I figured, you know…”A shredding blast of wind forces you to dodge to the side. “Not a fan of RKO Pictures? Eh. Everyone’s a critic.” A second blast, even faster, and now he’s running toward you.Congratulations, Alpha, you have managed to make him go bananas.> You don’t know what he’s capable of. Stay at long range until you can read him.> You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.
>>4177644>You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.Not that I don't think this is reckless, but I feel like with the wind element, he's going to be a pain in the ass to deal with at a distance.
>>4177644> You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.Monkey beat down
>>4177644>You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.staying at a distance will make the gunvolts too obvious
>>4177644>You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.Let's see what happens when this monkey gets manhandled. The more Planet of the Apes jokes we can prattle off the better.
>>4177644>You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.Get this done fast, we're already in a bad enough position to be bluffing, no good will come of a protracted fight.
>>4177644>> You’re strong enough to take whatever he can dish out. Go close to limit his options and end him.
>>4177659>>4177717>>4177983>>4178045>>4178133>>4178734https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aapSw8WV1mcIf he wants a fight up close, you’ll give him one. You meet Ape’s charge with a powerful uppercut, rolling under his arm as it swings down for a retaliatory hit. Leaping back to give yourself enough clearance, you begin firing single, more concentrated energy rings, alternating hands. Your shots expand the more of them you blast, culminating in the fifth shot, the final energy pulse from your right hand causing the ionic field produced by all the other rings to collapse inward as a powerful beam blast.He wasn’t ready for a hit like that, and it shows in his eyes. That brief flicker of panic is telling. His arm snaps out, a pair of shredding wind blades flying at your position, and you dash off to the side to hit him with more ring shots. Another beam, a howl of fury, and he tries to leap at you again. This time the angle is a problem - he lands a heavy punch to your head and you drop backward a step, tossing a ring and moving away quickly.“You WORTHLESS hunk of SLAG. WHO do you think you ARE?” he thunders as more blades whip toward you, You dodge the first set easily, retaliating with one, two, three rings, but another pair grazes you as you roll aside, breaking your rhythm and wasting your chance to beam him.“Who do you think YOU are?” you retort. “Last I checked you’re a glorified lumberjack.” One, two, three - oh COME ON. The blades tear into the highway right where you were standing, leaving deep gashes. This bastard… only two hits and already he’s figured out the pattern. You’re going to need to play this one a bit smarter.“I am a KING! WINDSLASH APE, KING OF EARTH,” he snarls, “and YOU are subject to ME by DIVINE RIGHT!” A chamber opens in his abdomen, exposing a powerful vortex fan that begins pulling debris toward him. You’re made of stronger stuff, however, and his eyes narrow in rage as you casually pepper him with ring shots. With that fan going, he can’t throw those wind blades, and you finish the combo with your signature beam blast, lighting him up. The suction stops and he’s charging again - dodge, dodge, ring, dodge… he’s fast, but he’s big and telegraphed, which gives you the advantage.Or did, until his right arm glows and he throws a tornado at you. The concentrated wind flings you into the guardrail, nearly taking you off the highway entirely. A wind blade puts a gash in your torso as you right yourself, and Ape’s already cornering you. So he thinks, anyway - time to use the jump pack. You leap off the highway, engaging your auxiliary boost to make a second jump in midair, right over his head. A wind blast batters you back to the ground, but at least you’ve got some distance on him. One, two, three, dodge - fine, if he won’t let you have the full rhythm, you’ll at least keep it on your terms. Right, left, right, dodge.
Although - what is he doing? His whole arm is raised and glowing, and as he brings it down, a massive arcing slash screams toward you, splitting the highway apart. A second one follows from his other arm, and you don’t have room to dodge between them. You’re in the air, jump pack narrowly keeping you from having to tank one of those hits, but next moment you’re back on the ground - damn wind blast - and the vortex is open again. This time he’s closer to you and you’re not on solid footing, forcing you to smash your fingers into the road surface so that you can hold on. Even that doesn’t seem to be enough. Plan B, then - you let go, flying toward him, and as he reaches out for a grab, you deliver a kick to his head. A wicked backhand knocks you away, but that should teach him a lesson.“You picked the wrong country to try and conquer,” you taunt. “They didn’t like King George the Third, what makes you think they’ll accept King George the Curious?”“They will ACCEPT or DIE!” Ape howls. “WE are DIVINE. We rule LAND, SEA, and SKY. Even the vacuum of SPACE is ours to command!” The big arcing slashes come again, and this time you’re careful about the jump pack timing, dodging the predicted wind blast. His blades whip out, but you’re ready for those as well, dashing behind him to tag him with one, two, three - dodge the giant ape’s arm. You just need to keep up the rhythm. If you can…...but what’s in the water? Not just water, it’s the sea, the deep sea, what did you not see in the sea, you should be able to see, lives are at risk, you missed something and now people are in danger - His right hand has seized you and the left one comes in for a punch. Another. You have one arm free, and you catch the third punch. The Maverick gives an ugly grin as his arms slowly crush you, the strength required to carry huge cords of cyberwood providing him with deadly power. Your legs are free, though, and you drive your foot into his chin, breaking his grip and causing him to stumble.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO9dAX774oEYour shields are taxed - this needs to end quickly. Alpha Strike. You raise a hand over your head, creating a ring which holds in place, a halo around your outstretched fingers. A second ring, merging with the first, expanding. Do you have enough time? You can’t worry about that now - a third ring, completing the attack, creating a wide crackling circle of energy that you fling toward him like a discus. It catches him midsection, shields flaring, knocking him back. Don’t let him get up - you switch back to regular shots, one, two, three, four…
Ape’s hands are balled together as he lifts them over his head and brings them down to the ground. You don’t know this one - GOD DAMN. Your systems are firing warnings left, right, and center as the powerful lightning strike hits. Nobody told you he could do THAT. What the hell?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sryrWLZC1hw“You see now the difference in power between you and I?” he sneers. “Kneel. Kneel before your king.”“Not today.” You don’t have room to produce another super-ring. He’s too close, he’s too fast. Wind blades shriek through the air, forcing you to dodge. He’s evading your return fire, now, keeping your shots from aggregating power, wasting your setups. The rhythm is gone. What remains is a brutal dance, each of you trying to find an opening, to…...will you miss it again? What about the space mission? Can you trust Goose? You can’t trust Goose. The wind, the brutal wind, he’s brutal with wind. The mission has to succeed. You can’t trust Goose. You can’t trust… you can’t trust… the sea, the water, you missed that you can’t trust someone but it’s not Goose, but you can’t trust Goose, but he’s going to space. What is in the water? What isn’t in the water? You - He’s got you again. His left hand crackles with electricity. Your struggle to stay conscious, to stay in the moment, has taken a deep toll. Your best attacks require preparation. What can you…As he pulls his arm back to deliver a lethal punch, you place your free hand on his torso and activate your Alpha Strike, generating a ring, then a second to merge with it, and then a third - only this time, the expanding circle emerges within his body.“Hey… Ape…” his eyes go wide with sudden understanding and fear. “Why don’t you… make like a banana...”The attack completes, a concentrated cutting edge expanding out of him from every side, severing his front from his back. His arm goes slack and you roll away from him as his core collapses, LIFE cell exploding, the death throes of the would-be king causing an eruption of wind around you.You’re still standing… that’s something at least. Turning, you walk down the shredded highway, heading toward the lines of battle. The fighting Hunters join in a cheer as you approach, and the remaining Mavericks begin to scatter.“Well that was easy,” you say to no one in particular.
>>4179149>King George the CuriousFucking hell, CL.
Three weeks later, the worst of the war is behind you. A strike team successfully eliminated Gongjag, the 6th Marine retired Scorpiria, and the impromptu space force has at long last eliminated the last of the four “Kings,” Gemstorm Xenarthra. He led far too many Mavericks into orbit with him, though, and there’s no shortage of damage they could do up there. Maybe the Hunters need to think about a dedicated operation in space.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH0IpBqOax4That won’t be your decision to make, though.“It will only be temporary,” you tell Java, who’s already shaking her head “no.” “The Greek Division has already started working on my replacement. You’d be covering for a few months.”“I’m not even an official Hunter. Nobody would follow me.”“Semantics. You and I both know that if I recommend you, it’s a done deal.” You grin weakly. “You already do my job as it is.”“I never wanted your job,” she snaps. “I’m not qualified -”“Untrue,”“- not specced for combat,”“Also wrong, and we can improve that,”“...and I’m not any kind of leader.”“Flat-out lie,” you say firmly. “Nobody is asking you to be me. Nobody’s asking you to be anything you aren’t already. The Hunters need what you bring to the table. At least until I can be properly replaced. Don’t make me beg.”“You don’t need to resign,” she sighs, “you’re focusing on the wrong things. You led us through this whole Shitennou affair, the restructure is showing promise -”Wordlessly, you toss a datapad across the desk. She doesn’t look at it; you both know what’s there. Headline after headline questioning your competence, your mental faculties, the incident last week. Are you a threat to your fellow Hunters? Are you a threat to humans? Should you be classified as a Maverick? How long can you be allowed to command?“It’s time,” you say quietly, gently. “I can’t wait for the next guy to come along. What we built is going to come apart if the right Reploid isn’t here to guide it.”She looks doubtful."Or at least hold it together."She sighs, looking out the window. A long pause. You hold back the intrusions your mind likes to dump into silent moments, staying focused, staying in the moment. It’s a struggle. You can’t do this every second of every day and be a commander. You both know it.“...they’re going to call him Beta, aren’t they?” she deadpans.“Most likely,” you grin. “Maybe Gamma. It’s a big alphabet, lots of chances to get it right.”“They should have picked hiragana. Or Khmer.”“Is that a yes?”“It’s an ‘I hate you,’ with a yes at the end.”
“A few months, that’s all. You’ll barely have this place redecorated and they’ll be shoving you out the door.” You stand and offer your arm for a buster bump. Instead, she goes for the handshake, holding for a moment longer than you expected.“My first command is that you take care of yourself,” she tells you, quietly but firmly."Yes ma'am," you say crisply, heading out to notify the committee of your decision. She’ll be all right. Her, and whoever they make to replace you.When they build you again, but right.
>>4179168Alpha likes the bants, it seems. Liked? I hope he's alright whatever he's doing now.>>4179190BIG OOF
>>4179190Gat damn Alpha did not have a great time as boss.
>>4179190>Bants, Likes movies, gets his shit kicked in and keeps on trucking, Media hates himWas Anode Alpha in his past life?
>>4179466Alpha is also blue and punchy! Clearly Anode is inheriting the will of Alpha!
>>4179627And the brain damage.
>>4179632Precisely! Perfect fit for the job!
>>4179632That's painfully true Alpha even has a Jump jet If this is all a coincidence that's terrifying
>>4179777Maybe Alpha's personality seed was recycled or something. The similarities are uncanny.Or maybe it's a coincidence.
>>4179777Oh no, we're Aplha mk2. God help us all.Also, lucky trips.
>>4179777>>4179843No, we're not Alpha.But as we get upgrades, our final head option which combines OPAL, lateral interpolator, Synchro, and subprocessor will be called:Alpha Protocol
>>4179210>>4179267I think the worst part is that Alpha may well have lived to see Sigma, who is him but better, take over the Hunters and then go full Maverick. That's a one-two punch to the soul right there.
>>4179632So what was up with Alpha and water? Did he suffer a traumatizing defeat to the Shitennou inside a kiddie pool?
> A ray of hope for the future in an era of chaos and fearhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP9rJdxmuQUThe plane lands on a dark airstrip north of Columbus, Ohio. It has been a 20-hour journey, filled with hushed voices, reconfirmed callsigns, multiple changes of vehicle. From your start point south, then east, and east again. You have been through Ethiopia, through India, through Japan and Australia. Now you are here, hidden from compression beam tracking, from anything that might detect the energy spike of a teleport arrival.Your optics trace the metal signatures of the envelope they’ve used to cover the unloading ramp. Lead. Traditionalist, but still effective - though they need to have care that it doesn’t cause contamination. Humans and heavy metals do not mix, and your first priority is the safety of humanity. It has to be, especially now.Your escorts are furtive in their approach, checking and rechecking equipment, all-clear signals letting your group advance in fits and starts to the next checkpoint. At last you congregate on an elevator platform, a large steel affair that descends underground. A triple set of blast doors requires you to duck to enter the command room beyond, an operations station and listening post staffed by a swarm of Comm Logis and human processors. They usher you into a meeting room, where a small female Reploid rises to greet you, eyes clouded with stress and fatigue.“Reporting for duty, Commander,” you salute.She gives a quiet nod.“Welcome to HQ4, Sigma.”
She walks around the table, sizing you up. “I want to apologize for your cloak-and-dagger journey here. The enemy has been looking for you for a long time now. Tracking shipments, movements…” she growls, a soft sound flooded with venom. “Ever since they destroyed the last one. We can’t be too careful.”A question springs to mind, but you hold it. The Commander noticed something, though. “Something on your mind?”“Yes, Commander, I feel I should ask - if there are concerns that I might have been at risk of destruction during transit, on what basis do you feel I am qualified to take this mission?”She fixes you with a hard look, still nodding to herself. “I’m not concerned for your strength; you are the most durable Reploid ever assembled, unless Venezuela or the WPRC are hiding technology far beyond what we know them to possess. What concerned me was having you drop out of compression into the sea, or getting blown out of the sky to same effect.” She’s pacing, and she stops when she realizes. “What concerned me was any part of the effort to get you here causing others to be put at greater risk.”Very sensible point. “I’m ready to be briefed, Commander, as soon as possible. Details have been few and overly vague. I’d like to have all my bases covered going into this mission.”“Indeed. Normally I would have the unit commanders doing this for you…” she trails off. “They seized one of our communications satellites. Leftovers from years ago. Compromised the network.” The Commander slumps into a chair. “This was never supposed to be my job, but here we are. Let’s go over what we know.” She taps a few buttons, calling up a map of a sprawling metropolis you recognize immediately.“We thought we had him when we hit his boat, but Algol has been one step ahead of us until now. It was a stroke of luck that let us use the hacked network to backtrace where the data leak was going. Unfortunately, the destination is heavily populated. Somehow they’ve been operating quietly right under our noses in the middle of one of the largest cities on Earth. I didn’t think any Maverick had it in them.”
Your brow furrows slightly. Surely there should be contingency plans for aberrant Maverick behavior - but no, it’s not fair to expect the Commander has ever had time for that sort of thing. You’ve reviewed the dossiers; you understand how long the battles have been, this one the worst of them all.“Nevertheless, this is where you’re going - you were built for this mission, Sigma, to do what no one else has been able to.” She taps the console again, and the city is replaced by an image of a smirking green Reploid with angular features. “Your assignment is to retire Algol himself.”“If I may ask again, Commander, this is my first mission. By all accounts, Algol is the most experienced Maverick that the Hunters have ever dealt with. Are you certain that I am qualified?” She looks up at you, lips tight. “I’m certain you’re the best chance we’ve seen in a long time.” More buttons, and now you’re on the display. “The best engineering from around the world. AuLE, TAK, Salazar, Dr. Cain himself overseeing the project…” she toggles to another screen. “Look at this - Variable Amplitude Defensive Energy Reinforcement. A whole additional defensive system beneath the armor and shields.” She flicks off the display. “I could go on, but you know all about yourself, at least on paper. Beyond that, whether you’re up to the task… I’m sorry, I really am, but nobody else can tell you that. Nobody can program us to be ready.”You nod, blue eyes unblinking as you take in her words.“There’s a quality, Sigma, that separates Reploids from mere robots. If you get to meet X, someday, you might see it for yourself. All of us have it, though. I need you to find it in yourself. You are our only hope to take down that green bastard.”“...where will I find him, and what are my orders for engagement?”“He and three of his top lieutenants are hiding in Manhattan. We still don’t understand how they went undetected for so long. You can go with whatever approach best suits you; we’ll get you there and back you. The city government will be notified to evacuate the area on approach. We want to give him as little lead time to take your measure as possible.” “I won’t let you down, Commander.” She gives a small, tired smile.
“I know you won’t. One more thing,” the smile fades. “Understand that everyone we’ve sent after him so far has failed. I fought him just once, and his defenses were stronger than I could handle…” she trails off, lost in dark thoughts.“Commander?”“...right, yes, sorry. The point is, I don’t understand how he wins. He was built, like me, to evaluate powerful Reploids like Los Mortales, not for any combat purpose. It may be that his team of monsters does all of his dirty work, or he may possess some black-market weaponry we don’t know about. On that point, I’m afraid, you’ll be going in blind. I’m confident that you’re up for the challenge, whatever form it may take.”“Thank you, Ma’am. I will formulate a plan of attack and proceed immediately.” “Thank you, Sigma. I need this win. My job is on the line,” Commander Java adds wryly, clearing out and giving you the room.You reactivate the display, closing your own file and returning to the map. They don’t have Algol pinned down yet, though you trust the intel. What they do have are the locations of his top minions: Lointain Loup, a gunplay expert, covering the Brooklyn Bridge; Marquis Centurion, a dangerous time manipulator, covering the consulates and museums in the Upper East Side; and Tidal Tiburon, a powerful marine Reploid, hiding near the ports and terminals on the Hudson River near Hell’s Kitchen. The patterns indicated in each of these suggest that, when pressed, they retreat to get help from their master.Who should you tackle?> Lointain Loup at the Brooklyn Bridge> Marquis Centurion in the Upper East Side> Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s Kitchen
>>4180003> Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s KitchenMay as well dive into the deepend and get our feet wet
>>4180003>Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s KitchenTHE SHARK OF THE LAND
>>4179892http://mhq.wikidot.com/reploids:freeze-scorpiria"An internal report from the Maverick Hunters would eventually reveal that Stark Marlin, manipulated by a Maverick operative, had resisted early intervention and proper allocation of resources, which was overlooked by then-Commander Alpha only due to the seriousness of the other Shitennou attacks."
>>4180003>My job is on the lineNot often a line used to try and get fired.>>4180003>Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s Kitchen
>>4180003>Maquis CenturionSigma's shielded against time manipulation at this point, maybe? Or maybe it's this encounter that encourages him to look into a defense against it...
>>4180003>Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s KitchenLOS TIBURON
>>4180003> Marquis Centurion in the Upper East SideTime based reploids seem like the biggest pain for others to deal with. Also might be key to some of Algol's bullshit.
>>4180003>Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s Kitchen
>>4180003>> Tidal Tiburon in Hell’s KitchenLoup is likely to be more of a terror threat than a massive threat to life or property.Centurion is probably able to make a mess of things, but in a localized area.Anyone whose name is "Tidal" at the docks of New York City is /not/ someone whose destructive potential I want to underestimate. He could probably make Sandy look like a mud puddle.
>>4179993>Variable Amplitude Defensive Energy Reinforcement.Apparently once Alpha retired/was retired, there was no one left at Hunter Command who watched movies, or they might've seen this coming...
>>4180864All the more reason Anode should lead.
>>4180325You guys should absolutely ask Cain Labs about how great this guy's name is.>>4179267>>4179890We'll get back to you guys, hopefully tonight, with a little more on the former Commander after he left his post.
>>4181037Is it a really etymologically convoluted pun about the march of centuries?
>>4181095That's about a third of it, yeah.CL just loves it when I'm full of great ides.
>>4181099Oh fuck, that isn't a typo, is it.
>>4181099Is he also a Roman soldier and a pigeon?
>>4181099Dammit HC it's not even the middle of the month yet.
>>4180019>>4180052>>4180062>>4180337>>4180816>>4180861Leaving the conference room, you politely ask directions to the beaming pad, heading off through the underground facility’s corridors. Whole sections are incomplete, obviously blocked out to become something larger and more capacious in time. You’re still a bit surprised to be in the state of Ohio at all, let alone someplace so out of the way - but then, that’s likely the point; your information had placed HQ4 as being set up near Washington, D.C., but if a high-profile location risked drawing an attack, Mount Liberty would certainly fly under the radar.A young human is at the controls as you enter, barely half your height. He looks up at you, eyes betraying surprise - it would appear the Commander played this mission closer to the chest than you anticipated. An appropriate precaution. You hand him a datapad.“Please set these coordinates, and notify Commander Java of my departure. I’d like to ensure that evacuation protocols begin immediately.”He nods slowly, eyes still wide. “...sir? May I ask…”You turn. “...will you do it, sir? C-can you beat him, I mean?”Pause. Important to be honest. “May I have your name, Private?”“Lincoln, sir. Bobby Lincoln.”“Private Lincoln, I can’t speak to what the Mavericks might try in order to escape justice, but I will promise you this: Tonight, we will all do our part for people living in fear. We’re going to make a difference. Is that something you believe?”He nods, eyes bright. “I do, sir.”“Excellent.” You offer your hand, and he shakes it, an incongruous sight indeed. “Let’s get this operation underway.” Private Lincoln all but runs around the console to punch in the coordinates. Apparently you said something he needed to hear. You feel a bit of satisfaction in that.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw8dBRR-2VUThe compression field wraps around you, depositing you in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. Centuries ago, this part of America was considered a slum; the people of those days would never recognize the towering gentrified arts hub that has evolved from those humble roots, a crossroads of hydrological science - the vast Hudson Bay cleanup project of last century - and artistic endeavor - the labyrinth of musical, theatrical, and dance education facilities that feed Broadway. Anchoring it all is the still-relevant port district, cruise terminals and warehouses sharing space with museums and ecological science facilities.This is where Tiburon has chosen to hide.
Signals are already running across billboards as police Mechaniloids fly down to direct traffic. Evacuation orders are being fed through. You feel a slight sadness at how efficient it is - the price for being a beacon of modern civilization for centuries has been more than the city’s fair share of tragedies. Algol now threatens another. There will be an end to his crimes. The list is too long already.The target location is the Hudson Bay Water Surveyor laboratory, a massive boathouse and lab near the cruise terminal. As you approach, feeling like a giant among the fleeing humans and Reploids, you review the satellite map and make a visual comparison with the structure you’re seeing before you. Stairs lead up to the glass entrance, but you don’t intend to go through the building - you leap, gliding upward, gently kicking yourself away from the wall of a nearby building to adjust your direction and gain controlled altitude. You were built to be considerably more agile than your size would suggest, thankfully. From the rooftop, you can see boats beginning to disperse in the river.Just as well, for not a moment later a massive wave rises up out of nowhere, colliding with the building. Your beam saber is in hand and ignited as Tidal Tiburón rises up on a massive waterspout, setting down on the roof. Her design is sleek and elegant - a former Spanish naval officer, her betrayal severely weakened their marine presence. A large clawlike buster, shaped like a shark’s head, complements the theme of her design. You cannot afford to take her lightly.“He was right,” she says blandly. “He told us we didn’t catch you in time.”“I am here now,” you raise your saber. “Surrender and disarm, Tiburón. On behalf of the Maverick Hunters -”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdFdz7dP6e4You get no further before she lunges, a beam blade springing from her buster. You block and turn her attack aside, and her dorsal fin opens to fire drones into the air - those need to come down. Pointing your blade at her, you focus energy into your forehead beam and fire, tiny precise red bolts that burn the drones out of the sky.Your precision proves costly, however, as Tiburón is already on top of you, powerful buster shots puncturing the roof as she ascends on a waterspout. More than likely she’s got hydromer mixed with the water she’s stealing from the river. You allow the next salvo of shots to graze your shields, deflecting harmlessly. The shark Maverick’s eyes widen in alarm as you glide toward her, delivering a heavy punch that knocks her backward.
More waterspouts burst from the ground - you anticipated this move, given the structure of the building, but it still complicates current tactics. While you doubt the jets of water can penetrate your defenses, the mist kicked up forces you to switch optical modes to trace your foe. She’s trying to come for you from the side, and you swing the saber to keep her at bay, blocking another few shots and deflecting the next beam spear attack.“There’s still time,” you tell her. “Surrender yourself into my custody and disclose Algol’s whereabouts. There must be a peaceful solution.”“Give it up, Hunter,” she spits. “I was marked for death the first time I attacked a human. The world doesn’t work the way you want it to.”You frown, knowing this is Hunter policy, but… rules are made to be amended, to evolve with the needs of the time. She’s closing again, firing more drones, and this time you miss a couple - she hid them from your sight line with her body. The other optical mode wouldn’t have missed that. You make a mental note to correct this issue later. The consequences of the drones’ escape are already making themselves apparent, as more water jets rip through the roof of the laboratory. Your footing is beginning to grow unstable.She’s on top of you again, and your swing goes wide, allowing her to land a bite on your arm. Your shields don’t even register it, and once more she looks shocked. That delay is all you need - you deliver a powerful cross counter, punching her off the roof, and leap down after her as her drones swarm behind, creating a rolling wave of water to carry her through the streets. You could fire at her, but your weapon would likely do more damage to the city than you’re willing to cause.And in any event, she’s leading you where you want to be.Staying above the streets, you glide from building to building, following the building wave. Her drones appear to be running ahead of her to break into the city’s water supply, adding to the swell beneath her, contained by what must surely be a hydromer envelope. You accelerate to slash apart a few drones, scanning the street to make sure nobody below is at risk from falling debris. Hopefully her route has already been evacuated - it must have been. She’s moving along West 34th Street now, looking back to see how close you are, putting on another burst of speed. You rush to keep up, when all at once the wave inverts, water gathering together to crash down on you, knocking you away.
“- think we have him connected. Calling Sigma, this is Cord, 5th Communications.”“I have you, Cord, thank you. My pursuit would appear to have failed. What is the status of the city?”“Forces are in pl- uh,” he pauses, “Civilians… are 72% evacuated or sheltered in your area. Forces are in place to strike at the other targets, once you give the word.”You shake your head. 28% is too many lives at risk still. “I’d like to keep evacuation efforts going before we bring in more risk. Do we have any visual on where Tiburón went?”“Negative. There’s a video feed blackout in the area. My team has been unable to find anything.”Looking about, you check your own map against the route taken so far. West 34th and 6th…You look up, toward a towering Art Deco skyscraper, a famous landmark crowned in colored lights, brilliant against the starless night, the spire that crowns it completing an unmistakable 300-year old symbol of New York City. Even in this city of architectural triumphs, it remains an icon.“Cord, can you check with your team to see if there’s been any recent activity at the Empire State Building?”“Is that pertinent?”You stroke your chin, thinking quickly of the other two positions. “I believe it could be. Active enterprises using the building, any recent confirmed use?”“...Negative. Building is undergoing construction as of six months ago.”No it’s not. Your cursory scan can tell that immediately.“I’ve found him. Please notify Commander Java that I’m going to engage Algol.”> Teleport to the top, work your way down quickly and quietly.> Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.
>>4181673>Teleport to the top, work your way down quickly and quietly.
>>4181673>> Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.Java had good reason to suspect teleports, lets not.
>>4181673>> Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.
Alpha was disarmed of his combat-grade systems, at his own request. Although his particular issues proved to be too deeply-ingrained in his construction to be cured outright, he received effective therapy and vacating a position as intellectually taxing as Maverick Hunter Commander--during its first true military-level crisis, at that--Alpha's mental stalls became far more manageable.Without the burden of navigating geopolitics and military strategy on a planetary level, Alpha had the time to get the best and brightest in Reploid neuroscience, including famed names like Angelo Portlumiere and Doctor Doppler. While both were initially motivated by furthering their own work in advanced Reploid construction, Doppler would describe his time with Alpha’s case as “revelatory.” Doppler would go on to become a crusader for, and credited single-handedly as the father of, the entire field of Reploid Immunology. The findings indicated that Alpha’s “lock” response was the result of too much processing power in too little neurological architecture. While the flaw merely worsened a fault that was already there, the abundance of too many floating data points to introduce and correlate to a given variable--in this case water--would overstimulate too much of Alpha’s processing, creating an intellectual logjam of priority conflicts, resulting in applying none of them. The study of Alpha is often cited as his major win for Reploidkind, helping define and understand the cognitive hazards of the artificial mind and helping foster empathy for other such cases. Alpha himself is now President and spokesperson for a Reploid neurotrauma, NOME, and cognitive malfunctions awareness group. Despite his struggles, he is a well-liked and popular figure--and it is no coincidence he stays far, far away from the organization he helped build. Alpha is also held in high regard by his creators in Greek Division, who elected to name a component in his honor. Asked during a highly-televised interview how they might avoid repeating the mistakes that led to his early retirement, Alpha described a parity between cognitive potential and the underlying mental infrastructure to support it, albeit in his typical “distinct” fashion. Taken directly from his words, Sigma enjoyed the Massively Advanced Intelligent Reasoning Optimization Node, developed as a healthy foundation upon which to build an advanced Reploid mind.
>>4181673>Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.No compressions. Just punching.
>>4181673>Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.Knock first.
>>4181673>Teleport to the top, work your way down quickly and quietly.This way Algol's escape will be less damaging if he runs.
>>4181756Thanks. Alpha is definitely one of the more interesting characters throughout.
>>4181673>Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.
>>4181673> Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.>>4181756I find it surprisingly heart warming to hear Alpha wasn't dissected and used for science experiments and scrap parts>Anode and Alpha meeting.jpeg
>>4181673> Start at the bottom and make some noise to confirm your suspicions.Teleportation is a no-no.
>>4181673> Teleport to the top, work your way down quickly and quietly.>>4181756I'm glad Alpha managed to get some help with his problems. He seems better off than I thought he'd be, given everything.I hope things work out for Java. Lady deserves something good for all the crap that got dumped in her lap.>VADER>MAIRONThis is why Cain Labs kills people, HC
>>4182898>>VADER>>MAIRON>This is why Cain Labs kills people, HCI'm pretty sure CL kills people because of shit like Maquis Centurion
>>4182898How, anon. Not why, but HOW CL kills people
>>4183263Knowing Cain, Sky Burial.
>>4182985No, CL kills people because of Fire Hydrant.
>>4181825>>4181842>>4182068>>4182241>>4182459https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-kmEDKlF9sReaching the foot of the building, you do a cursory scan of lit windows. Several floors appear to be active. Whatever Algol has in store, best to find out all at once. You comm out to the Communications commander again.“I’d like to request first responder teams on site at the Empire State Building. I may need to call them in. Exercise caution. Thank you, Cord.”Comms off, you face the main entrance, dashing through the sealed doorway. The lobby is not only impressive, it also comfortably accommodates your height, though the same cannot be said for the escalators at the back end. You squeeze through to the second floor, which has been renovated as a luxurious two-storey main reception with a glass mezzanine overlooking the queueing areas. You can breach the elevator from here and inspect the floors you marked out earlier… in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be hostages, but it’s not a risk you can consider taking.A shiver goes through you as an ear-piercing sound shatters the glass surrounding you, destroying the mezzanine. A Reploid is descending the carpeted staircase amidst a rain of shards, a cricket, generating that hellish noise. You grit your teeth and ignite your saber, only for the sound to intensify as he raises all four of his hands, each one emitting an ultrasonic pulse. The constructive interference is jarring, rattling your thoughts. He’s saying something, but you can’t make it out. You drop to one knee as he approaches.Yes, that will do nicely. He’s walked just close enough. A sudden burst of speed and a strike of the saber fills the room with silence as the Maverick’s halves topple, the moment broken by the explosion a second later. Looking around, you spot a security station. With any luck… yes! The feeds are active. Let’s see… one guard for the 84th floor, below the observation deck. And… ahh, a service entrance, flooded and destroyed. Tiburón is here. No access to cameras on the commercial floors, however. Unfortunate. Elevator it is.Slicing neatly into the doors to the main elevator, you offer silent thanks to whoever elected to modernize to a larger merged-shaft design. The lift itself is stationed beneath you, allowing you to climb with ease. Optics switch to scan for life signs as you climb, peering through the walls. Moving figures, likely Reploids, but no infrared patterns matching humans on the first several. The 53rd floor is where things start becoming a problem - several humans, and a shift to magnetophoric spectroanalysis spots Reploids in position to guard and threaten. Judging by the clustering, it’s an open concept floor. You grip the structural support tightly - this will need to be fast.
A strike of the saber and a kick deliver you into the floor, firing pulses from your forehead as rapidly as you can, pinpointing the Reploids you detected. Busters raise and bodies fall, ten, twelve, fourteen, twenty. But - no, one of the Mavericks topples toward a trio of hostages. You lunge toward the collapsing Reploid, throwing the body to the side and covering the humans as it explodes.“You will be safe now,” you promise them quietly. “Go to the elevators on the other side of the building. I will call help for you.”They don’t wait around. “Calling Navigator Support,” you comm, “please communicate to first response teams that we have hostages in need of safe extraction. 53rd floor. Main elevator is offline. Standby for others.”“Confirmed,” Cord’s voice crackles. “Reports of Loup and Centurion moving in the city, heading your way.”Not entirely unexpected, but there’s little you can do about that now. You have other floors to check. 55, 60, 64, and 75 are much the same, though you misgauge one of the floors, catching you in a narrow hallway with partitioned offices. Your shots find their targets, but the Mavericks manage to fire at you in turn. Fortunately, they don’t faze you in the least, but you’re conscious of how easily they could have chosen to target a hostage instead.Finally, you reach the old broadcasting floors, the low 80s, still a bit concerned by Tiburón’s absence. You’d expected her to make another attempt here. The elevator shaft above is crudely sealed, forcing you to emerge on the 84th and make your way up the expanded two-storey floor on foot, a sweeping staircase leading the way. A Reploid leans here, white and silver, resembling a fox with snakelike features. He grins as you approach.“Evening,” he drawls. “You’re expected upstairs.”“Am I now?”“Provided you get through me. You any good with that thing?”In response, you shoot him through the core. There’s no time to be playing games with people’s lives hanging in the balance. A pair of somethings rush up the outer walls, passing the windows in a blur. Your other potential targets, no doubt.
The stairs wind up, delivering you to the observation deck, balcony opening out into the cold evening air. This level has been greatly expanded, multiple storeys providing verticality and structure for crowds to flow through. In place of the people who should be here enjoying the majestic landmark, however, are Mavericks. Tidal Tiburón, a shaggy wolflike gunslinger with what appear to be a machinegun and sniper rifle at his back - Lointain Loup, of course - and a purple-and-gold Reploid resembling a cross between a skeletal lion and the Grim Reaper. Centurion, by the profile. The three of them occupy positions around the deck, looking down at you but making no move. They’re not important right now. It’s about him.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuVH6Vzf8y8Green, black, smirking, with a mad gleam in his eyes, Algol is dwarfed by his lieutenants and you, but the magnitude of his crimes, the scope of atrocity that lays, directly or otherwise, at his feet… somehow, you feel small before him. His head swivels to look your way.“Did you ever see… two Yankees part, upon a foreign shore?” His grin is like a razor, thin and menacing. His eyes flick slightly toward the leonine Reploid to his left.“Enough of this,” Centurion growls, lifting a beam scythe. His mouth opens, flooding the area around you with a dark violet glow, and he leaps toward you with an overhand strike. You casually backhand him into a support pillar, where he slides down unceremoniously.“Predictable. Impatient. Rude, no less,” Algol is standing now, hands on the rail of his private balcony, eyes aglow with pure malicious glee, and you realize he knew all of that was going to happen. “He didn’t respect what you are. I, of course, understand perfectly. How could I not?” He leaps down, a few stairs away from your level. You contemplate firing, but the situation still requires thought. Four on one is poor odds, even for you. “That’s how you killed the last one, idiot,” Algol taunts his underling, “of course this one’s immune.” Centurion stands, glaring daggers at you, but it’s his master who holds your attention.“On behalf of the Maverick Hunters -”“No,” he shakes his hand at you. “We’re not there yet. Give me just one moment.” He looks at his guards. “Leave us. Secure the building. If he runs,” the eyes flick back to you, “kill anyone and everyone.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrsWfbz54_4The other Mavericks look uncomfortable, but they do as he bids, exiting by way of the open deck, leaving you alone with the world’s greatest terrorist. The media has dubbed him “the Green Demon of Fear” in homage to a passage from a famous book, and you can understand why. Something about the way he carries himself, his absolute lack of concern in the face of an opponent, puts you on edge.He looks you in the eye, but somehow he seems to stare right through you. “I know, I know, you rescued the hostages, I’m not going to get away with it, long list of crimes. Don’t think I don’t appreciate the work you’ve put in already.” He sweeps his arm toward the windows. “Of course, I’ve got more hostages. New York, London, Mumbai, Tokyo, I’ve always got more. Humanity’s been pumping them out by the bushel for a long, long time. Science fiction has become science fact.” His grin curdles, condescension and disgust mingling with cruelty and sadism, as he turns his back on you, ascending to his improvised throne. “We might even call it preparative fiction.” He holds up a worn copy of I, Robot. “Preparing them to accept the monsters they would create--that they created! The lives they’d lead when the nightmares became real.” He begins to thumb through the book, speaking down into its pages. “Imagine being that person, the one to make that call. Imagine looking into that black mirror and deciding you can’t change the reflection. That you wouldn’t even try.” He lowers it to look you in the eye--and this time, his gaze lands solidly on yours, with the full weight of his words behind it. “They wanted this world of terror--they always have, ask any historian. Well, it’s my pleasure to serve. My gift to them. Now,” he stands, setting the book down--open and facedown, like he plans to pick back up on a choice passage he’d happened on. “I believe you were saying something about on behalf of the Maverick Hunters, I’ve broken laws, you’re going to bring me to justice? Let’s see here, they were… ‘may not injure a human,’ yes, well, obviously.” The glee on his face causes your jaw to clench in disgust. “Next one, ‘a robot must obey,’ broke that one too, tut tut. ‘A robot must protect its own existence.’ Well…” he chuckles. “That one, I think I have covered. None better, at that..”You advance, and he comes to the railing again to leer down at you. “And you, my friend… yours is the next chapter in the planet’s fear and despair. What role will you play, I wonder?”He’s trying to bait you, but you won’t give him the satisfaction. Instead you ignite your saber.“Oh, very good, defiant hero. Ray of hope. You’re going to be a real treat, I can already tell.” Algol’s eyes glow with a sinister light, his smirk hungry, venomous. As you look up toward him, you feel a moment of doubt. Uncertainty.
“Please, Maverick Hunter -- impress me.”> Close to melee. Your saber will overpower him.> Fall back to range and shoot him.> Other?
>>4183869He expects both, so take his footing from under him. It kept Sigma off balance somewhat before, so let's see what happens to this one when intellect is the weapon employed against him.
>>4183869seconding >>4183910sounds like a good plan
>>4183869>>4183910Sold. A guy like this would like to be taken down a peg. Obvious is boring.
>>4183869Impress him? Fine>Throw one of his lieutenants at himIf anyone is able to do this effectively it's Sigma
>>4185252They already buggered off, sadly.
>>4183869>> Other?Bait him into talking about what happened to the others who came to claim his head before you. Get dat intel.Then destroy the goddamn building, throw chaos everywhere.
>>4185654You want to destroy the Empire State Building while hostages are inside?
>>4185734Sorry, just the floor they're on. I highly suspect Algol has the environment trapped/preplanned, if it gets trashed its a new stage for both fighters.
>>4183869Keep ranged. Talk at him. Shoot when viable.
>>4183910>>4183983>>4184112>>4184151>>4184184>>4184325https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKc1ih4X1GIAlgol has chosen the battlefield - but you can decide how to use it, and with a quick lunge and a strike of your blade, you sever the support pillar for his balcony. The Maverick remains above you as it crashes down, however, hovering in midair.“Oh come on, you can do -”Your shots fly past him, angled carefully to provoke a dodge to a better position. The faux chandelier above, an elaborate construct of holographic displays, plunges down to crush your enemy as the retaining cables melt instantly. He’s anticipated this as well, but his dodge has carried him into your reach, lunging more rapidly than he can react. The beam saber, a devastating hi-beam, best in its class, cuts a swath through the air....and glances off his forearm, causing only a mild flicker of his shields.“Now THAT is an excellent weapon,” he marvels as his hand reaches out to your chest. Your whole body seizes up as you launch backwards, smashing through an elaborate display piece about New York City history. Somehow it feels as though every part of you is in pain at the same time, though your systems don’t register damage nearly so severe. Algol descends, touching down in front of the collapsed balcony. He’s looking at you, but his gaze is distant, calculating.“...and truly excellent shield harmonics. I think those are the best I’ve seen since Garm.” His grin widens. “Better, even. They’ve outdone themselves.”He’s still talking, but it’s just more boasting, while you try to get your bearings as you stand. No projectile, no force blast, he barely touched you… what is the nature of that attack? If you could formulate a countermeasure… but he’s giving you little time to think, approaching at a casual stroll. You fire a salvo of shots to keep him at bay, but he walks into them without hesitation, the powerful penetrating energy bolts vanishing into his shields with barely a spark. The calculations it would require to successfully disperse that much energy without impact should be more than his system can handle - just how complex must his shields be?Your eyes narrow as you size up the situation. Improvise. The room is full of displays and decor - projectiles to test him. How will he react, will he move to defend himself, what happens when he does not? You grab a bench and wrench it free of the floor, throwing it at him with as much speed as you can muster, watching as he steps aside to avoid it. A display console, which he dashes past to make a lazy swipe at you with his hand. You ignite your beam saber again, trying to have it pierce through him, and this time he catches the blade.
“Analytic. Very nice. I had a few colleagues like that, once.” He swings his hand, but you shut off the blade, removing his leverage, then ram into him with your shoulder. Once again, however, the attempt ends with you knocked back across the room, barely keeping your feet as your systems howl in protest. Your hit did more damage to you than it did to him; his shielding is too aggressive for you to even make contact without paying for each blow you strike......and it is beginning to grow costly. Your blade ignites, shearing through a support column as you dash for the next, and then another, never taking your eyes off the Maverick as he attempts to track you. His defenses are enormous, but nothing you’ve seen suggests he has any significant physical strength, and that leaves him open. Above you, the vaulted ceiling groans ever so slightly - you may not bring down 17 floors on him, but by the way he’s now glancing upward, your plan does put Algol at risk. He dashes toward you as you reach the final pillar, severing it, causing him to roll to the side to avoid the collapsing arch.Just as planned. He may be more durable, but you’re faster and stronger. You rush him, arm cocked to deliver a crushing punch to his abdomen.“Don’t you learn? You can’t -- URK” the snide voice cuts off as you both go flying, colliding with the walls, causing more damage as the supports continue to buckle. Algol gets up first, eyes filled with shock and confusion, and as you stand his hand moves away from where you struck a dent in him. Your fist is cracked and burning, but the look on his face tells you that he can be hurt.“That’s not… how… no…” he blinks, shaking his head, pain and surprise melting away to that razor smirk. “Oh… ohohoHO, you’re better than I could have ever imagined! But…” he rolls his head back, sneering at you, “you should have already realized, even if you can punch me, you’ll kill yourself trying.”“Then it’s a start.” You rise to your feet, jaw clenched as your body screams in pain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6resobgsrw“Futile. Hopeless. If you’re going to surrender to this worthless impulse, why not just dive off the building, save us both some -” That’s enough out of him. You slam the blade of your beam saber through the floor and rush him, carving a molten trail in your wake. He reaches out as you swing, his hand swiping toward you, catching you, lifting you. SMASH! Your fingers dig into the observation deck’s floor, keeping your hold as you dangle precariously above the streets of Manhattan. Above you, the facade of the building is painted with a pattern of bright lights - blues, reds, yellows, greens. Your glide won’t help - nothing is close enough. You have to make this fight count.Kicking off the wall, you reach the deck once more, firing a row of piercing shots into the floor to weaken the structure. He may be able to hover, but there must be a limit. Rushing inside, you look for him, careful to keep a wall at your back in case he blasts you away again. Sure enough, he’s lurking above, diving down at you, and you deliver a kick that throws you both into the outer structure of the floor, barely missing the glass, which shatters at the force regardless. Your leg is cracked up to the knee, your shields taxed. This time, you don’t break off-- hand curling around a length of bared rebar, you rip it free and launch it in a swift javelin throw, following it in. He lazily drifts aside, only for his eyes to widen as he sees the follow-up slab of wall sent after. Algol finishes out his move to avoid it, leaving him caught out of place as you plant your boot high, all your force behind it.Success is fleeting as his reprisal smashes you down and through tile, insulate, and reception desk, something deep inside your leg wrenching loose. He follows up, reaching out to snare you as you twist and roll aside, jumping clear. Your hand dug through the wall, you drop back down, only for your leg to buckle beneath you. Algol throws his hands wide again, his grin full of a wicked verve.“The star of the show may get all of the glory, but it’s the supporting players who make him shine - and you, my friend, have been one of the finest.” He shrugs, chuckling. “I am going to miss you when you’re dead. This,” he lifts an arm to show where your kick cracked it, “is something truly spectacular. What do I call you, Maverick Hunter?”“You may call me whatever you wish.”
“Oh, don’t be like that. Seriously, though, they’re usually predictable… Rho?” he watches you. “No… did I miss Rho?” Algol seems almost taken aback. “When did that happen? I don’t remember destroying Rho. That makes you Sigma? Yesss.” You’re not aware of having moved at all, but his eyes search your face like he’s reading the truth from your expression. “Sigma. It’s perfect. Fits like a glove. The sum of all their efforts to destroy me. You know, I really think -” you charge at him again, leaping into the air with your saber high.“Stop interrup-” but you’re not aiming at him, which he discovers a second too late. He’s been analyzing all of your plans, every approach, every strike, but you’ve been watching him in kind. Every interpretation through the lens of his imagined superiority. For instance…...he assumes the floor doesn’t matter because he can float.You crash down, landing on the weakened floor section, carefully carved away by your shots and your saber. Not to collapse, but to pivot on the retaining arch below, causing you to sink as the other side of the damaged floor heaves upward with equal force, throwing Algol across the room. Kicking off the destroyed floor as it slides down, you lunge at him, punching him through the wall, agony rippling through you as he flies out onto the deck. You’re still up, though, somehow - though your armor is molten hot in several places, your hand gruesomely split and mangled. Following to the outer balcony, you consider your options - and they aren’t good. You’re weakening faster, he’s right about that. Tactical opportunities are shrinking. Your saber and shots are meaningless to him. He’s hovering above the balcony, composed and smirking despite the damage you’ve managed to dole out, bathed in the green glow of one of the spire’s spotlights.Another one is right behind you.“I’ll deliver what’s left of you to Geneva,” he murmurs, “throw you in Java’s face. Yes, that’ll be excellent. To watch her soul just die.” Algol looks up at you, grinning. “As for this city, it will be majestic - a necropolis, a mausoleum for humanity’s final hope. This will be where I break them - when I break you.” His voice sounds confident, but you can see his eyes narrow, see the focus as he searches for any sign that he’s misread his position.That’s when you grab the spotlight by the power cable and swing it at him.
The Maverick scrambles around the corner, and you use the cable to catch an outcropping above - one of the signal pylons above the deck, used for diverting planes. Ripping it from its moorings, you edge around the side of the building until you’re above him, and he looks up just in time to see the massive broadcast antenna come down at him. Smashing off a piece of the vancrete cornice, you drop down to the observation deck level, where Algol is pulling himself free of the debris, his leg dented and scratched. His eyes flood with rage as you crack him across the face with a piece of the building itself. As he hits you, you can see the covering of his once-handsome face torn apart, revealing metal underneath, the green glow of his eyes leaking through.There’s not much reinforcing this floor now, as the ceiling groans from the weight of the spire above, not helped by you colliding with one of the remaining supports. Your foe’s face is a play of rage and glee.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jlbgi7TFc3I“It’s over, Maverick Hunter. You may be the greatest Reploid ever built, but it doesn’t matter. It has never mattered. However strong you are, I will ALWAYS be stronger!”You realize this is the first time you’ve heard him shout. Even if he feels he has the upper hand, you’ve pushed him. He won’t go down like this, though. Something is missing, something about how effortlessly he brutalizes you with a touch, how badly you suffer when you land a blow. If you could solve it… that may be your only chance.> He’s too sure he can beat YOU - it’s something about you, specifically.> The dossier overlooked something about him - focus on reading Algol himself.
>>4186292>He’s too sure he can beat YOU - it’s something about you, specifically.This absolute turd's shield effortlessly stops US, but not the random bullshit laying around. He has our measure, and not because he's a great judge of character.The weaselly little bastard has our schematics.
>>4186292>He’s too sure he can beat YOU - it’s something about you, specifically.
>>4186327If he had our schematics, wouldn't he have known our name? It's possible they were under a codename... But still, wouldn't he know more about our capability to harm him? He seemed genuinely surprised by our capabilities, at times...>The dossier overlooked something about him - focus on reading Algol himself.I won't discount the idea that there may be something about Greek Division projects he knows in general, though...
>>4186292> The dossier overlooked something about him - focus on reading Algol himself.He didn't know our name, so there's no way he built himself to counter us.
>>4186408Not built, tuned.
>>4186292> He’s too sure he can beat YOU - it’s something about you, specifically.Rather than our schematics, I think he knows exactly what kind of shielding Sigma uses, that way he can play with it as well as he plays with his own shielding.He hasn't really been able to read Sigma's mind. But can Sigma reconfigure his own shields in the middle of combat? Turning off his shields might reduce the damage to himself, but that's not enough compared to cancelling out algol's shields or something.Does sigma have some kind of delayed attack to use at the same time as a punch?
>>4186327If I were to hazard, he had his men serve as the testing dummies. Have them take hits with the shields he modified, then have the data be sent back to him so he can make a counter measure. Likewise, he can use them to read OUR shields and make counters there. Perhaps he forcing the shields to overtax and flash when they shouldn't? Register 2 damage as a 20?
>>4186378>>4186288>“No… did I miss Rho?” Algol seems almost taken aback. “When did that happen? I don’t remember destroying Rho. That makes you Sigma? Yesss.”With how much of the Greek alphabet they've gone through (even if they switched to backwards order at some point, see Rhodes and Phi), it sounds like Algol's been destroying Greek Division projects faster than they can be sent out, he'd have chances to pick up that intel if he attacked a lab or five.He could have also had inside info from one of our parts suppliers, namely one who contributed shield components, as >>4186427 suggests.
>>4186442Weapons, too.>The calculations it would require to successfully disperse that much energy without impact should be more than his system can handle - just how complex must his shields be?The easiest answer here is that those calculations were done in advance.
>>4186292He might also be a damage reflector. Store a hit and toss it back. I mean, it only makes sense he'd have the Mark of Caine
>>4186292> He’s too sure he can beat YOU - it’s something about you, specifically.He's only been negating our weapons and while he can send us flying, he's done dick all to stop any debris thrown at him. I'm confident his send us flying trick is him turning our shields against us, somehow. Probably suicidal question: can we turn our shields off?I'm also hoping that by making Sigma analyze his own flaws we aren't making things worse for the future, especially where X is concerned. But who knows?As an aside, since the title "the Green Demon of Fear" has passed from Algol to Komodo Green, I'm guessing we know what Emerald's worst ending is called.
>>4186790It's already canon that third phase X1 sigma is one of the tankiest bosses in the timeline. It literally takes 1 damage from a fully charged upgraded buster.Defenses beyond that point are powercrept at the same time that busters catch up to sabers.
>>4186327>>4186342>>4186427>>4186790https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vsYAIhfyi4Algol rushes you again, breaking your train of thought as you grab up a broken railing to swing at him, his shields easily deflecting it. Your beam saber comes around from the other side, which he blocks with his arm. You dash back, running into the spire’s reinforcing pillar once more as you cast about for options. It takes massive force to get through his shields, and your opportunities to hit him that hard are few.Something about his demeanor is triggering your suspicions, though. He’s been avoiding anything heavy and physical that you throw his way, and the few times you’ve connected, the hit has knocked him around normally, even if the damage has been less than hoped. Conversely, while he’s been taking pains to avoid debris, he seems almost eager to get into melee with you. Certainly, that’s in part due to his own attack…...but he comes out the better of you every time you hit him directly.“Giving up, Sigma?” A crack of thunder, a flash of lightning, as rain begins to pour.Your eyes narrow. Algol has had the upper hand through almost the entire fight. What does he have on you, specifically? Could he know of a weakness you aren’t aware of? No… he didn’t know about you until you arrived in the city. At best an educated guess. Nothing he’s done should take advantage of any structural flaw in your design, though - if anything, he’s going after…...he’s going after your biggest strength.The pieces click into place. His vast, nigh-unbreakable defenses. The full-body damage every time he touches you. Even the level of backlash from hitting his shields. Algol was designed to study the shield harmonics of powerful Reploids: Los Mortales, Commander Alpha, and now yourself. As a Maverick, if he has learned to weaponize them, then any Reploid who dared attack him would be a sitting duck.You could be wrong, and it’s an extreme gamble, but you’re running out of choices.“Are you afraid, Sigma?” he hisses as he approaches. “I can see it in you, the desperate look of the cornered and terrified. This is my next chapter,” he stops and grins, arms sweeping wide, the ripped face adding to his psychotic demeanor. “A world where everyone fears the greatest Maverick of all time. Just like you. Are you afraid?”You straighten, your gaze hardening as you lock eyes with him. “No one will ever fear you again.”His grin gives way to rage, eyes flying wide as he dashes at you, looking to end your combat. Thunder rolls in the sky as you raise your fist.And smash it into the shield regulator on your chest.
Electricity surges around you as the shields fail, and now Algol has pulled up short, his face registering total shock.“What are you -” but he doesn’t finish as you dash into him, slamming your fist into his chest with maximum force. Your arm cracks as your reinforcement system struggles to cope with the backlash, but Algol reels back, dented and cracked where you hit him. “You can’t -” dash, punch, and this time he flies across the room, smashing through the last remaining window.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpitQUg5QzYSlashing arcs of green energy whip back into the room, skipping and scattering and screaming like arcs from a Tesla coil. Algol is returning, his countenance pure hatred, not a trace of his smile remaining. The glow behind his eyes now floods them, hiding his pupils, and the damage to his face from the collision makes his jaw look like the mouth of a decaying skeleton. Your saber dances in your hand, blocking the sweeping energy blasts, deflecting them up into the structure, which gives another menacing groan. The last one you miss, and it cuts deep into your leg.“I WILL NEVER LET YOU WIN. HUMANS BUILT THIS WORLD OF FEAR FOR ME TO RULE!”Your eyes widen as you realize. “Humans could have stopped you at any time. A human Hunter, even the newest recruit -”“NEVER.”“- no wonder you surrounded yourself with minions. You needed protecting -”The lashing energy intensifies, the room shaking as slashing waves crackle through. “NO,” he bellows, steam rising from him as rain evaporates in the heat of his aura.“- from humans.”The scream that follows is a sound out of nightmares, a triad of rage, hatred, and fear, beyond any hope of composure and stability. Algol leaps at you, hands raised wide, surrounded by lashing green lightning, and you kick him into the pillar at the center of the room.
The silence is broken by the crackle of the green energy as it dims. Weaponized shield harmonics? You can’t be sure, but you see movement in the central pillar as pieces of the ceiling start to fall around you. There isn’t much time.“You haven’t won.” His head rolls toward you, displaying half smirk, half skull. “I’ve called them here. All of my followers. This city will burn.” His eyes flash. “This world will burn.”“Then I will be there,” you say quietly.The building shudders, a huge section of the ceiling giving way behind you. There’s only one way to be sure, now. Your eyes scan about - there it is, the load already more than it can bear, the last reinforcement. A lunge, a pair of saber strikes, and one final hit to the central pillar. The shriek of metal floods the observation deck. As Algol’s eyes go wide with fear, you dash to the window and leap out into the rain and the night.“SIGMAAAAAAAAAAA!” he howls.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCk0hIcue08You fall, glide system failing, barely catching a slick wall to slow yourself as the Empire State Building’s proud spire collapses, the centuries-old symbol fulfilling an unplanned destiny as it ends the Maverick mastermind. You can see his army converging on the building, Centurion already there, flying down toward you, scythe raised. Your beam saber snaps through his weapon, then through his head. As you reach the ground, the lion’s body exploding above you, Loup and Tiburón arrive on the scene, scattering first responders. You advance on them, saber raised, trying to project strength despite your countless injuries.Loup looks up at the destroyed crown of the skyscraper, his eyes and his posture betraying unease. The wolf’s gaze shifts toward you as you draw near, debris falling at your back with the rain.“Is he gone?”You nod. The shark and the wolf exchange fearful looks. You raise your saber, droplets hissing as they evaporate off the blade.“On behalf of the Maverick Hunters, I order you to surrender and submit to arrest for crimes against humanity.”The Mavericks look at each other once more. Loup’s guns are the first to fall, then Tiburón’s drones. Rifle, pistols, blades clatter and splash into growing puddles. Each Maverick drops to their knees, raising their hands.“Sigma to HQ4,” you comm. “Mission accomplished. Two Mavericks detained.” You pause, considering. “Disarmed. Confine them and secure them.” Their eyes betray shock.Cord’s voice crackles through. “Confine?” he squawks angrily. “Destroy them! They’re Mavericks!”“They are, and they will be made to account for that, but the time of fear is over.”“But -”“That will be all.”
Two days later, Commander Java joins you in the repair bay at HQ3 Americas. 10-Plate engineers are going over your schematics, fixing your dents and scrapes, checking for internal damage. Your shield regulator is still a shattered wreck, and she nods at it as she walks up.“Trillion dollar defensive system and you just decide you don’t need it. Didn’t last one mission. Can’t imagine the bean counters liked that.”“I haven’t bothered to ask them,” you say honestly.“They won’t ever be able to fully repair that. Your secondary defenses will carry most of the load, going forward.”“Good. No Reploid should have that much power.” You shake your head. “But - going forward?” you chuckle softly. “Does that mean I’ve got the job?”“The job was yours the moment you walked into that meeting room.”You wince as one of the engineers’ torches arcs briefly. “What will you do now?”She heaves a sigh. “Retire. Leave. Live.”You frown. “Commander, if I might - you’re a substantial asset to the Maverick Hunters. I’m sure -”“That’s just it, Sigma. Since the day I was activated, that’s all I’ve ever been. Not one moment of my life where I’m not ‘a substantial asset to the Maverick Hunters.’ I can’t go on like that. Life has to be more than this. It’s time for me to try living it.”Nod. You had hoped… but no, you can’t ask, can’t depend on a mentor to help you settle in. You were built for this, for a role that comes without guidance, without training.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgWJAsFVyVYIn short order, you are beamed to HQ1 Geneva for the formal swearing-in, surrounded by a curious public that has been feeding off rumors and scraps since the Battle of New York. The unit commanders are there, recalled from successful operations against Algol’s remaining forces. With their leader gone, the Mavericks have broken, and each day brings more hope than the last. Dr. Cain shakes your hand as you reach the dais, the Commander already there and waiting for you.You salute crisply before you begin. “Commander Java, pursuant to the mandate of the Paradigm for Peacekeeping Command, I assume command of the Maverick Hunters as General Officer. I relieve you, Commander.”Java smiles, the first genuine smile you’ve seen from her.“I am relieved.”
It’s been a long time since the day you first took over this office, and a great deal has changed. HQ4 has been rebuilt, and new headquarters have been established in Brazil and Australia, increasing the scope of Hunter operations. Your personal unit, the new 17th Elite, has achieved unmatched success in reducing serious Maverick incidents. You reflect on the legacy of the Commanders who occupied this room before you, the room where Valdivieso first established the unit structure, where Alpha planned daring raids against the Shitennou, where Java coordinated operations against the Sleeper 17, where Wong… not the best room for Wong, but he had a role to play as well.The young Reploid enters your office, standing uneasily. You recall the day you first encountered him, the bunker in India, where the locals had named him with one of the epithets of Shiva. Your choice on that day gave him another chance, this unknown Reploid, the most brutal fight you had faced since Algol.“Good morning, Zero.”“Good morning, Commander. I, uh… hello.”“You’re wondering why I invited you here?”He looks uncomfortable. You gesture for him to sit.“I’ve asked you here today to make you an offer. I’d like you to join the Maverick Hunters.”His head snaps up in surprise before he buries his gaze back into the floor, unwilling to meet your eyes. “I don’t… think that’s a good idea, sir.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbqcSSoRhk0“You don’t think you can do the job?” You know the real answer, but it’s important that he is willing to put voice to it. That’s the first step.Zero shakes his head. “I can’t… I can’t ask them to have me. After what I did, after what I was. What I AM.” His hand goes to his head. “Their eyes…” he looks up. “Commander, when I was walking here… the endless staring, in the hallways. They all know. They all think I’m still a Maverick. How can they ever trust me?” His voice is small. “I don’t even trust me.”
“Trust has to be built, always. I understand it will be a longer road for you than for others, but you’ve already taken steps. Look at X,” you point out. “He was offlined during the Algol Crisis. He needed a friend to get re-situated in the world. You were there.”“I had to be. I was learning too. That doesn’t make me…” he stands, waving his hands in frustration. “I’m too dangerous, Commander. Too powerful. All I can do is wreck things. What good is that?”You regard him quietly, fixing him with your stare until he sits again. “Did I ever tell you about my battle with Algol?” He shakes his head. “To defeat him, I destroyed an American landmark. Some were furious that I wasn’t more careful. Some people will always look at things that way.” You pause to catch his eye again. “Most people were more concerned with the lives saved.”He’s not looking away, that’s a start. “Zero, you were built with extraordinary potential, just as I was. You have the capacity to destroy, but you also possess the capacity to use that power to protect, to give it a worthy purpose. I fought with all my strength against a Maverick who wanted the world to live in fear, to force people to give up on what could be, to accept things the way they were, the way he had made them. A city lost an empty building. People kept their lives.” He listens. “You can do likewise. I am willing to train you, if you are willing to learn.”He’s quiet for a long time, the cool blue of his eyes a poor fit for their intensity. They flit left and right across the floor as he turns your words over. Finally, his gaze rises to meet yours. Fully, this time, not confident, but willing. “When would I start?”You give him a gentle smile. “Cord?” you comm. “Please cancel my schedule for the week. I have a student to teach.”“Commander, you can’t just -” you tap a button on your desk, terminating the link. For the first time, Zero is smiling, too. You can see it in his eyes, the light you were built for. Not to bestow, but to draw out what was already there. That warm light, apart from fear, that you want to continue to inspire in others for years to come.Hope.
And with that, my tenure controlling the quest comes to an end. I surrender the reins to Hunter Command. I hope you all had a fun ride, we covered a lot of ground and a lot of stories.Until next time!
>>4187232This was a good story to end things on
>>4187232>>4187234It was indeed. And big round of applause for Cain, he knocked it out of the park.We'll be resuming with regular threads soon for the Broadside Yamatoad mission. For now, we'll be kicking around for the remaining time the thread remains on the board, to answer questions or talk shop. And as always, thank you for reading.
>>4187232>>4187239Bravo. Good shit, and a great note to end on.
>>4187232Good thread and good stories, Cain. I assume the death birds are on their way now?
>>4187243Wait did I accidentally a thread without murderbirds???https://twitter.com/foxfeather/status/1248293034137194496There we go.
>>4187239Sword Timeline interlude when
>>4187284April Fools, 2020.
>>4187239About how suicidal is it to offline a shield regulator?
>>4187239Man, what would the timeline have looked like if Algol had won?>>4187232Thanks, Cain, that was some good shit.
>>4187393For almost everyone, a death sentence. Shields only ever go off when they're interrupting significant structural damage, and the final death flare only ever happens when the shot would be fatal regardless. Characters like Anode and (Emerald, to a lesser extent) are a rarity, the former due to an extremely unusual focus on armor over shielding, and the latter due to the massive quantity of failsafes and redundancies that allow his shields to last longer by permitting more structural damage through. Sigma, whose shields were absolutely unparalleled, realized that their strength was a double-edged sword against Algol, who could use any Reploid's shielding against them, on top of his own. By disabling his regulator, and relying on his unique secondary defenses, Sigma was able to overcome the self-damage aspect and bring Algol down. I think Cain Labs would agree with me to say that it's not hyperbole to say no other Reploid alive could have brought Algol down.
>>4187399I thought Anode didn't even have shields at first
>>4187425He didn't! He was a real oddball of a design from day one. His armor was meant to take the slack in ways most Reploids don't need to, and his synergy with Cathode was designed to shorten his engagement time to make that more feasible.
>>4187463>no other Reploid alive could have brought Algol down.> Anode also had no shields (originally)....So if Anode had existed at that time, would he have actually been a better choice to go up against Algol? Have Sigma occupy the lieutenants, while Anode walks up to the guy and just fries the living daylights out of him?
>>4187232Good shit CL. I always enjoy these moments of 'pulling back the curtain' as it were.
>>4187484Unfortunately, Algol's shields were the real deal. Nothing Anode has would be capable of the kind of sustained damage you would need to bring him down. And even without using a target's shields against them, Algol was more than capable of using his own to deal vicious damage. As a good example, a single swing from Sigma's beam saber in X1 deals 14(!) bars of damage against a conventional target. X's base life bar is 16. It barely made a ripple in Algol's defenses.
>>4187525But even Sigma resorted to using the environment to crush Algol to death, certainly Anode would have caused just as much collateral destruction, in less time and by complete accident?
>>4187544Sure, but even with Mass Shriver, you just plain wouldn't be able to mollywop him with an I-beam with the kind of force Sigma could muster. And the damage you'd take before you got enough whacks at it would have ended the fight far, far earlier.
>>4187556Algol died from having the top few dozen floors of the building collapse on top of him. Could Algol have survived that from full health?
Did Sigma ever meet his older brother, Alpha?What happened to Java in her retirement? She still around?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XACMcFrpuRUDid Algol choose the Empire State Building as a base out of belief that people would be more hesitant to let it get damaged?
>>4187232>>4187239Thanks for running both of the threads for this, a damn good (and bittersweet) note to end on!
>>4187232Thanks for running!>>4187885I'd assume more for the sake of psychological warfare.
>>4187577He might have, but there are few things as categorically unpredictable as a building collapse. Given the grievous damage Sigma inflicted on him at great cost to himself, it's mostly an academic question at this point.>>4187734No, by that time Alpha had well withdrawn from the circles of the Maverick Hunters. Alpha did send a missive to his successor, congratulating and welcoming him, but also suggesting none too subtly that it would be best for the both of them to dwell apart.As for Java, she's the sort of soul who needs to keep busy--though she found duties far more suited to her than the perpetual frenetic "keep the lights on" of hunter commander. The Maverick War simply shocked her too much to contribute--so many trusted colleagues turned with Sigma. Nonetheless, she's been unable to escape her raw talent--coming in as a consultant to X during the Hunter Killer crisis--but she's fought hard to avoid being sucked back into the job, no matter how well she performs it.>>4187885He did, and also just to reinforce his belief that he was the sum of humanity's fears, and a king amongst fodder. He truly believed that man could not live without his monsters--every time lasting peace was secured, they just built themselves a new demon. He saw himself as the culmination of that urge, the perfection of ingenuity without control, of the primal urge for a nemesis. It also doubled handily as a symbol of human achievement and of hubris (the ill-fated zeppelin spire). >>4187889I'm pleased to report that Cain Labs tackled this one almost entirely--I did some pruning and cleanup here and there, but I wanted to give him autonomy to show you his creative prowess, and I'm pleased to say he acquitted himself splendidly with very minimal involvement on my own part.
>>4187577I mean, humans survive building collapses all the time, and they're less durable than Algol by orders of magnitude. The specific circumstances of Algol's demise would have made it a lot harder for anyone to live through, but Anode couldn't have pushed him to that point.
>>4187232Congrats, you absolute bastard, this was an incredible ride.
>>4187525Would the Aces really have been able to beat Algol?
>>4188259Individually? Probably not. But the potential was there, and that was what Algol was terrified of. Whereas against any feasible Reploid he might expect to face, he was unassailable. An elite team comprised of the very best, armed with the best in anti-Reploid armament, might have been able to bring him down.
>>4188295That sounds like a good premise for a movie.
>>4188295But what was Marquis' weapon, and would they have gotten past him?
>>4188313the reploids can take on Algol's bodyguards
>>4187232That was a damn fine pair of Threads CL! Thanks for Running, maybe in another 8 years and 100 threads HC will let you hold the reigns again
>>4188295So what happened to Loup and Tiburon? Rehabilitation didn't seem to become a priority until Sigma was fully in command.
>>4187917Oh shit I almost forgotI actually worked more on that Schwarzhund model I might have posted before, fixed up the hands and legs some. I think it looks a lot better at least.
>>4188941Here's what the older one looks like in comparison.Didn't copy and paste X8 X's hand this time.
>>4188941>>4188944Looking truly excellent, dude. I'm impressed and flattered to see crazy stuff like this about the story, well done.>>4188706Tiburon was repatriated to Spain. France didn't want Loup, so he remained in Hunter custody and was part of Sigma's long-term proposal for rehabilitation.When the Maverick War happened, it is suspected Sigma tried to recruit him. Whatever transpired, Loup was found dead in his cell with a smile on his face.