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File: breaker-77 wanted v2.jpg (212 KB, 551x306)
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>OOC Intro where?
https://pastebin.com/dM8rHRkT

>PLANET: NEW SEOUL
>LOCATION: INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT 5
>CURRENT OWNERSHIP: CONTESTED
>WARNING: LIVE FIRE COMBAT DETECTED!
>COMBATANTS: PEOPLE'S FREE STATE, HEISTERS
>WARNING: PROMETHEAN HEISTERS SPOTTED!
>CIVILIANS ARE ADVISED TO LEAVE THE AREA!
>POLICE RESPONSE STATUS: INBOUND
>WARNING: PEOPLE'S FIST TROOPERS SPOTTED!
>CIVILIANS ARE ADVISED TO LEAVE THE AREA!
>REPUBLIC OF TERRA RESPONSE: INBOUND
>THE AREA IS UNDER POLICE LOCKDOWN!
>STAY IN YOUR HOMES!

Cutting through static, a single voice communication is heard. It's setting up for a two-way call, between two members. A few traces later, it's using Heister encryption. Easy to crack, impossible to track. They don't care who hears, just that the listener can't spot them. Especially not this crew, who has taken to fighting the infamous People's Fist, a vat-grown army of clone troopers directed by a psionic network. A fierce firefight has torn through New Seoul's Industrial District 5, as greedy gunmen take on grown killers for spoils known only to the combatants.

“Breaker-77, you read?”
“Chains, why are you being so formal?”
“Because I don’t know how much of this is getting through, so I just said your whole name.”
“Okay, and why don’t you know how much of this is getting through?”
“Because well,”

There was the sound of gunfire, metal impacting metal, and a hiss from Chains’ teeth.

“You need a hand?”
“No, I’m just perfectly fine!”
“Fine, just keep your head down and I'll be right there. It'll be like you didn't blow our cover!”

The AI known as Breaker-77 booted up its body, and the sensors began to pulse with a gentle hum. All the information came back, and reported that his hiding place was flanking the forces that were pinning his maker.
>1 / 2
>>
As planned, the Crew had pushed the People’s Free State soldiers into a warehouse. The building was filled to the brim with the mark, Project MENTIOUM prototypes which the Fist had smuggled in to try and keep Republic ground forces at bay. Breaker-77’s body was concealed near a dumpster through some tricky maneuvering of a garbage-retrieval drone and the weaponry was being held by the People’s Fist. Breaker kicked a foot out, and his metal crate jettisoned a panel directly into one unlucky People’s Fist Trooper. The human-offshoot screeched something in Dutch before the robot was engaged. With a few quick strikes to the temples and a snatch of the weapon, the Trooper was disabled and the gun was firmly in Breaker’s hands. He squeezed the trigger, and a three-round burst killed the Trooper. The kill was evidenced by the molten metal that ran down the creature’s exposed neck: slagged neural implants to prevent reverse-engineering.

Breaker-77, in his human-sized body, sported a mask that looked as if it were a demon. Behind it, the machine’s facial servos cranked into a smile. The mask smiled as well, and Breaker raised the stolen weapon at the cluster of People’s Fist. He had a few options, but at this point it was just picking the one he felt was most stylish.

>Sprint at the People's Fist, pushing the mechanical body to its limits.
>Stay tactical, hold cover and advance slowly to ensure minimal damage is sustained.
>Ask for Chains’ input, teamwork makes the dream work as they say.
>>
>Stay tactical, hold cover and advance slowly to ensure minimal damage is sustained
>>
>>2196975
Writan
>>
>2196975
>Stay tactical
Charging in headlong would certainly look cool, but that’s what all robots do these days. Well, “all” being a relatively misleading term. Breaker-77 was one of the few that were piloted by an autonomous AI, and keeping this body in top-shape was hard enough.

The other Troopers were trying to adjust their formation. There was a great amount of disagreement, and then one voice rang out. The others silenced immediately, and they reformed instantly. The rest of his crew finally entered visual, with one particular crewmember charging. Brandishing a massive hammer, Beast took to the fray.

“Beast! That one!” Breaker highlighted leader of the Troopers on his crew’s HUDs.
“I think I know what a leader looks like, thank you,”
“Yea, and you know that killing that one will make the peons start bitching at each other?”
“They’re… Okay, that explains a few things.”
“What?”
“I’m hearing what they’re saying, and -sensing- what they’re talking about with my psionics. They don’t speak with nouns. But don’t worry, I’ll teach ‘em one,”

Beast took on a hazy purple glow and swung his Devastator Assault Hammer. As psionic energy within it discharged, a deafening sonic boom from impact stifled the screams of the Troopers, who began to scatter. The leader howled, and Breaker’s stolen weapon clicked in response. He watched as the Troopers were suddenly firing better at Beast...

The bullets were curving.

“Beast! The leader-! The bullets are homing in on you!”
“Oh?! They are?! GOOD. Bring the pain!” The energy barriers around Beast surged in intensity, as he began to dance his way through the Troopers. One Trooper threw its gun away, and ripped its face mask off. It began pounding on its chest like a gorilla, and a thick green smoke left its mouth as the lower jaw split to the sides. Pumps on its back lit up, and its arms expanded in size.

>Let that one try to solo Beast, pick off the mooks.
>Pick the nasty one off, leaving Beast the mooks
>Quietly move into the warehouse to flank
>>
>>2197094
Quietly move into the warehouse to flank.
>>
>>2197136
Locked, we're writing
>>
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>>2197094
Quietly move into the warehouse to flank.

Beast would be more than capable of handling them himself.

“I’LL FUCK ALL OF YOU!” Beast exclaimed, and the deafening blasts from the Devastator accentuated the warcry. The others of the crew joined in the fight, and the freeform element of this plan was able to get in for the truly key work.

A window had been broken by a piece of shrapnel, and it was a trivial matter from that point. While searching for cover he lost all track of what was happening outside. He’d hit the fucking jackpot, and in this warehouse held one mysterious device.

It was jet black, with green accent lights completing floating geometries that dazzled the eye. Breaker had seen one or two of these before, and they were the data cores that ultimately led to the creation of his body, and a specialized weapon he’d used to crack the nastiest vaults in the Confederacy: The Vault-Cracker Laser, a focused energy weapon. Humans had struggled to develop this for centuries, but these datacores held secrets that would make cutting-edge human science look like a child’s chemistry set...

“Breaker!” Chains shouted, snapping the machine’s focus from the floating artifact, “The cavalry’s here!”
“Shit, the fed?!”
“No, the ice cream man. Of course it’s the fuzz! People’s Fist are pulling back, making a hard exit. Soon it’ll be just us and the popo. I need you to drop the suit!”
“I don’t think you want me to drop that suit right now, especially not at those coordinates!”
“And why the fuck not?!”

Breaker looked over the room once more, beyond the datacore laid a vehicle weapon that was suspended in a stasis pod. It had various security measures in place to keep it concealed, but not enough of them. From cursory scans, it could easily pass as an upscale of the Vault Cracker.

>Reveal your findings, taking up the airwaves and risking this find getting out
>Keep your motives hidden, argue that the suit would do better to land on your position
>Call the Crew into the warehouse proper
>>
>>2197216
Keep your motives hidden.
>>
>>2197259
This
>>
>>2197216
>Keep your motives hidden, argue that the suit would do better to land on your position
Can we explicitly say that it's not something that should be said over Heister encryption, and to trust you on this? Since we seem to have been working with this team for a while, and to be aware of the limitations of our encryption, do we have a preset code phrase for this?
>>
>>2197216
Thirding keeping secrets close to heart.
>>
>>2197259
>Keep your motives hidden.

“That’s because of the…” Breaker trailed off, his hands eagerly cracking the security measures in place to encapsulate this weapon. If he could crack it, he could drop the mech here and…

“Look, is it going to keep me alive if you do whatever else?”
“It’s... “ Breaker struggled, but then an idea clicked, “Trust me. Remember the Casino?”
“Yea, I remember. Is it like the bartender bot?”
“Exactly like the bartender bot.”
“Then surprise me, in only a good way.”

Breaker moved onto his task with glee: the security measures were surprisingly easy for what they were guarding. These were next-level prototypes in this warehouse, least of all was this massive laser cannon. It… Breaker began to read into the schematics of the weapon. Details, notes, the lead engineer’s opinion on iced coffee, everything. There was something that kept popping up in the records and various files he was pilfering for passwords, hints, and even leads for follow-up jobs.

The weapon was designed for BJORNSTAD Mk3, which was what the XRXES-1 was. Considering the XRXES-1 was stolen from the casino, Breaker was baffled by the fact that he was finding new prototypes recommending the use of various subsystems that the XRXES-1 just didn’t have. Were…

They’re making more of the BJORNSTAD suits, and weapons like this one are the proof. They could be on every manufacturer world, all that’s needed is to have someone connect the dots just like the clues to that fuckin’ crypt world that he still couldn’t shake his feelings over, as if he was manipulated by something to get to that point, to connect those dots. A puzzle he’d always been meant to solve, and he hated it.

This wasn’t a fated puzzle, though. This was something very mundane, very much in Breaker’s control explicitly.

“We’re gonna need to talk about this later,” Breaker spat.

The moment was here.

>Call XRXES-1 on Breaker’s position
>Wait for the crew to get into the Warehouse and take the time to copy the files down
>>
>>2197514
>Wait for the crew to get into the Warehouse and take the time to copy the files down
This seems terrifyingly important.
>>
>>2197514
>>Wait for the crew to get into the Warehouse and take the time to copy the files down
>>
>>2197557
>>2197526
Writing in
>>
>>2197526
>>2197557
>Wait for the crew to get into the Warehouse

“Everybody, get inside. If the fuzz are waiting to deploy, this is going to be a fuckin’ show. Let the People’s Fist go, they can get dealt with by the Republic goons some other time, on someone else’s dime.”


“Gang,” a familiar and smoky voice entered their comms, “I’m picking up some ships coming in that are identifying as the Forward Line. The Republic’s engaging the Free State ships freely, knocking them clean out of the sky! New Seoul’s branch of the Republic Army is mobilizing assets.”

The Informant. Breaker muted the channel, but Chains continued to talk to him. Most of it was beyond Breaker’s purview, as the physics involved in subspace travel were a few notches above what the machine cared to learn. On Breaker’s mind though, the implications on these files ran deep. There was a series of connections and ruins that started going active after the… Incident.

The press called it the Bank Robber’s War: a disastrous First Contact scenario where Breaker and the Promethean Heisters were the sole reason Humanity came into contact with not one, but two alien races at once. The ensuing skirmish put humans at odds with “The Guardians of Olympus,” the race that created the datacores like the one before him, and “The Holy Proktari Empire.” Breaker’s experience with the Guardians was limited, his only real interaction having been a panicked scream of “you’ll never take me alive!” before opening fire on them.

He’d known their language, mapped out a route to one of their tomb worlds, and all that was assuming they were extinct. They weren’t, and Breaker was reasonably alarmed. The Proktari, though, the only contact with THEM was throwing one of their warriors into an abyss.

The gang entered the warehouse, and immediately they became mystified at the sights.

>Elaborate off the comm-lines on what you’ve found
>Let all this loot tell the tale for you
And
>Call XRXES-1 now
>Wait for the police assault to hit first
>>
>>2197692
>>Let all this loot tell the tale for you
>Call XRXES-1 now
>>
>>2197692
>Let all this loot tell the tale for you
>Call XRXES-1 now
We've got what we came for.
>>
>>2197726
>>2197861
Writing it up
>>
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>>2197726
>>2197861
>>Let all this loot tell the tale for you
>>Call XRXES-1 now

“This is like the bartender,” Chains whispered.
“I like this one,” said the short, plucky woman known as ‘Speedy.’ She plucked a random hard drive from the wall, pointing at some heart stickers on it. “What?”
“I have to say,” said the fourth man on the crew, Bojack, “I’m kinda curious just why the Project Mention has one of these cores. Thought they were supposed to be top-secret?”
“Project MENTIOUM.”
“Whatever,”

Beast walked straight up to the data core, his experience with a previously obtained one making it far too easy for him to scoop it up. The core disassembled into a swarm of cubes that rearranged on Beast’s right arm. It left a gap for his hand to be exposed, so he had full range of motion. He loaded a few grenades in his launcher, and shrugged as Bojack and Speedy both stared.

“What? You don’t remember when- Oh yea, you weren’t there.”
“I was!” Bojack insisted, “And when we found them on the Emperor Arms job.”
“Oh yea,” Beast laughed, “I just remember taking on that horde of shields on my own.”

Breaker simply nodded to a screen, leaving it open just long enough for Chains to glimpse what was there. He nodded quietly, letting the others enjoy their brief respite.

“Standby,” Breaker-77 huffed, and a marker appeared on the HUD.

With a series of muffled thumps followed by the crashing groans of metal, a massive mech knelt in the center of the warehouse. Breaker-77 cancelled the subroutine that operated his throwaway body, and as it went limp the BJORNSTAD MK3 Armor System known as XRXES-1 stood up. Twisting around to face the massive cargo container, Breaker snatched the massive laser weapon from its restraints and synchronized it to its systems.

WARNING: UNSTABLE ENERGY WEAPON PROTOTYPE!
WARNING: VENT HEAT SINKS REGULARLY
ENGAGE HOSTILES AT MEDIUM RANGE

”This is the police! You are ordered to stand down!”

( 1 / 2 )
>>
>>2198110
“Gang, I’ve got getaway inbound! You just need to weather this storm!” Sensors picked up dozens of bodies on the other side of the walls. Breaker reached his hand out, placing Chains gingerly into the cockpit of the mech.

From where Chains and Breaker sat, the two quickly came to the conclusion that this data was of the utmost importance. If it led to more breakthroughs like the Vault Cracker, they could make even more of a fortune. After all, loot that begins to work for you is much better than loot you just hock at the first convenience. The Informant didn’t even know what all was pulled in, either, so the Crew could take this and run it alongside whatever crazy schemes he had in mind.

Chains mused that the Informant needed to go, and that the Informant had way too hard of a job. Chains felt the guy needed a vacation, and would happily help him… Take a leave of absence.

But, Breaker focused on the task at hand. This data was easily going to get obliterated before it all finished transmitting to the server farm back at the safehouse. The police were probably being paid to go the extra mile on collateral damage, in hopes of maintaining the secrecy behind the BJORNSTAD Mk3 program. The files in there not only suggested that the BJORNSTAD Mk3s were going to continue, but that the Manufacturer Clans as a whole were on the precipice of being able to mass produce these energy weapons, instead of the handful of prototypes in this warehouse from one Clan.

“Well,” Beast said, stretching his legs out some, “What’s the plan?”

>Task the Crew with protecting loot exclusively, Breaker taking the fight outside
>Task Breaker with protecting the loot, the Crew pushing outside
>>
>>2198125
>>Task the Crew with protecting loot exclusively, Breaker taking the fight outside
>>
>>2198178
Writing
>>
>>2198178
>Task the Crew with protecting loot exclusively, Breaker taking the fight outside

“You all lay low and avoid pulling cops in here,” Chains began.
“Because we’ve got a bit of testing to do!” Breaker finished.

The pair had synchronized a tad too well over the past few jobs. Through the course of several heists like this, the XRXES-1 had created a neural link between human and AI that lasted even when they weren’t plugged into the neural interface. At times, they wouldn’t even realize they were doing the same thing.

Chains was particularly offended that the research on the matter stopped there. He intended to write a book on it when he retired, and the limitations on charging him with crimes had been reached. If there was a better way to go legit, Chains couldn’t think of one.

The mech scanned the wall, and found one notable humanoid figure: a large suit of power armor. The thing was easily seven feet tall, about three and a half feet wide, and was extremely stocky. What better example was there?

Breaker and Chains both thrust the left fist of the mech through the wall, snatched the power armor from its position, and crushed it as they simply walked through the crumbling wall. Small arms fire lit up the exterior of the mech, which responded by flinging the deceased Emperor Arms Mercenary Commando to the ground. The police spotlights shone directly into Breaker’s viewport, and Chains felt a migraine coming on.

”If you do not stand down, the Republic Forward Line will deploy assets to bring you in! For your safety, we are ordered to inform you that this will extend to Drop Trooper support!”

“Drop Troopers? You’re gonna need more than that,” Chains taunted.

>Retaliate to the small arms fire, keeping the weapon at optimal ranges
>Test the upper end of the weapon’s range on the airpower
>>
>>2198397
>Test the upper end of the weapon’s range on the airpower
>>
>>2198397
>>Test the upper end of the weapon’s range on the airpower

Sho flies don't bother me.
>>
>>2198471
>>2198429
I like it. Roll me 2d100; one is for the bluff to the cops, and the other is to land a hit.
>>
Rolled 1, 37 = 38 (2d100)

>>2198501
Rolling.
>>
Rolled 19, 85 = 104 (2d100)

>>2198501
>>
Rolled 27, 26 = 53 (2d100)

>>2198501
>>
>>2198671
>>2198897
>>2198983
Fun rolls. I'll get a write-up posted shortly. Will be taking the results from >>2198897
>>
>>2198471
>Test the upper end of the weapon’s range on the airpower
>>2198897
>Rolled 19, 85 = 104 (2d100)

There was a chatter on the police comm-line, mostly of them discussing how obvious the bait was. They didn’t even get corrected by the Clan representatives, from what Chains could gather. Breaker was too frustrated that the bluff was called to truly care.

”Don’t focus on the mech, split the forces, and we can take them out here!”

“Gang, deep breaths!” the Informant almost shouted, the worry in his voice apparent.

Breaker snapped attention back to the forefront: the airpower. He leveled the weapon, and realized as he aimed that he hadn’t the foggiest notion on how to aim it. Chains took over, simply going with ‘gut feeling.’ With a single pull of the weapon’s massive trigger, a straight line of thick plasma sailed to the gunship. Releasing the trigger in surprise, the beam ceased while the remainder continued to travel. It poured through the cockpit, slagging it with ease. Molten metal was flung in every direction as the ship spun out of control, thrusters failing and receiving wild inputs from destroyed avionics. Sputtering, slammed into a street and did unspeakable damage to the pavement.

“Shoo, flies, don’t bother me” Chains muttered as he sprayed more of the gunships down in a similar fashion.

Sensors went wild, and a target lock had been acquired on the mech from some kind of missile launcher. With a quick lock on, Breaker was able to determine its source. He swung the weapon’s muzzle around and vaporized the heavy gunner without a thought. Above, the sky was alight with searchlights and the fires of a fleet battle: the People’s Free State engaging the Republic of Terra made an adequate backdrop for this heist.

“Chains,” Beast called out, “If you have the time, we could use some kind of diversionary tactic!”

>Push away from the warehouse, trying to find the command center or some equivalent
>Fall back to the warehouse, risking more collateral damage
>>
>>2199244
Fall back to the warehouse.
>>
>>2199244
Any other high-value targets close by that we could engage? We should have some awesome tactical sensor suite to prioritize targets for us in the mech.
>>
>>2199247
>Fall back to the warehouse.
>>2199566
>Any other high-value targets close by that we could engage?

Writin' and will incorporate an overall sensor sweep
>>
>>2199247
>Fall back to the warehouse.
>>2199566
>Any other high-value targets close by that we could engage?
((Well... Now that you mention it...))

“Diversion comin’ through!” Chains shouted with some glee. The mech turned on a dime, leaning forward to the point where it needed to stabilize itself to continue the sprint.

”What in the Hell is that thing!? Did it just… It moves like it’s human!”

“Chains,” Pulsing out the sensor suite, Breaker picked up a single reconnaisance drone, “I think we’ve got eyes on us.”
“An Informant drone?”
“No, worse. Beast’s lady-friend.”
“She’s here too? I thought we’d lost her?”
“Well, you know how break-ups get. They don’t get much better when you break up because your boyfriend ended up stealing the prototype mech a SECOND time.” Breaker took aim on the drone, and zapped it. The metal didn’t even make it to the ground, having slagged instantly.
“I mean, it was going to be scrapped,”
“No, it wasn’t, we assaulted the Martian Republic outpost stole it with guns blazing.”
“I can tell myself whatever I want!”

Beast and the Republic Enforcer had one of the most violent relationships in history. A certified Republic of Terra Juggernaut, the Enforcer focused her psionics into the arts of Pyromancy and Psi-Assault. Effectively, she was able to take the damage and dish it back out plus her own strength. There was a brief window where the Crew was enlisted in her service, as a means of getting away from their extensive criminal record. Of all the cops they’d dealt with, the Enforcer was probably the only one Chains was really scared of.

WARNING: ATMOSPHERIC ENTRY VEHICLE DETECTED!
CAUTION IS ADVISED!


“Uh… Gang? Bad news. Real bad fuckin’ news, there’s a new target coming down, and I’m not sure you’re gonna like their ride!”

A rippling series of explosions started in the stratosphere and tripped every alarm sensor in Breaker’s suite, alerting him the incoming projectile would have landed square on top of him and Chains.

(1 / 2)
>>
>>2200008

XRXES-1 engaged thrusters and found its way back to the warehouse, where Beast sent a Republic Marine flying through the wall. He charged after the body in time to see a very unwelcome sight:

HOSTILE BJORNSTAD MK3 PROTOTYPE DETECTED!
DESIGNATION: AME-1
ARMAMENT: MJOLNIR PSI-ASSAULT AMPLIFIER
ARMAMENT: SPREAD-SHOT ASSAULT CANNON


”The Enforcer has landed! All forces, clear the way!”
“Oh, honey,” a feminine voice entered the comm-line, “If I expected to find you here I would’ve brought flowers, instead I’ve just got this!”
“Oh, baby,” Beast whispered in awe, “I ain’t got flowers but I’ve got somethin’ pretty stiff for you,”
“You always knew how to PISS ME OFF!”

The AME-1 swung its hammer on the ground after Breaker, who spun left and raised his rifle. It appeared that AME-1 was indecisive, but as the hammer reeled back Chains concluded that, like him, the Enforcer had an AI helping her along.

“You know you love me!”
“First, I’m gonna disable your annoying robot friend, his hackerman, and then I’m gonna beat you senseless for leaving me like that!”
“Baby,” Beast pleaded, firing his grenade launcher, “You don’t need to destroy my friend’s car, you can just talk to me!”
“TALK!?” she screamed, launching forward at Chains and delivering a stunning blow of the hammer. Sensors rang out, and Breaker couldn’t help but stagger to compensate for the shock, “I’LL TALK WHEN I PUT YOU BACK IN YOUR FUCKING CUFFS!”
“We’re already getting cuffs out?” A series of explosions went off on AME-1’s back, and she turned around to produce a shield in her left hand that absorbed the explosions, “Shit, this is the fastest we’ve done the deed. I should’ve stolen you a mech, too, I’d be able to retire a happy man!”

>Try to match AME-1 in melee combat as is
>Switch Chains out with Beast, trying out a link with Beast
>Try and goad the Enforcer into engaging Beast on foot

(2 / 2)
>>
>>2200046
>Try and goad the Enforcer into engaging beast on foot
>>
>>2200151
>Try and goad the Enforcer into engaging beast on foot
Writing up the response
>>
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>>2200151
>Try and goad the Enforcer

“Beast!” Breaker called out, “You still think you could take her on foot?”
“What?!” Beast shouted, “I could easily take her out on foot, remember the casino job? She didn’t even stand a chance!”

The AME-1 stopped, slamming its hammer down onto the ground. The cockpit opened up, and the Enforcer was inside with a face that would’ve intimidated a charging bull.

“Hold me, bab-” she charged in a bolt of light. He caught her in a bear hug, throwing her to the ground before brandishing his hammer. Immediately she was on her feet and revving up her gauntlets. The gauntlets worked much like Beast’s hammer, detonating stored energy with a tinge of flame to indicate her own powers.

AME-1 lifted its own hammer from the ground, and took a combat stance. The two charged in unison, with the AME-1 making a leap while the Enforcer simply made lunging uppercut.

“You take care of the mech, I’ll handle my-” Impact cut Beast off again as he was juggled into the air and launched through a catwalk. He slammed into the pavement below, “I was gonna say boo, but hits like that make think wife!”

The AME-1 landed the impact on the XRXES-1’s cockpit, dragging the mech to the ground. Breaker instinctively grabbed the hammer, and Chains lifted the energy weapon into the torso of the opposing mech. As the energy weapon began firing, the AME-1 produced its energy shielding.

“That field...” Chains shouted, “I’ve got an idea. Think you can keep it distracted for me?”

>”No, this one’s probably able to tango with me,”
>”If you’re fuckin’ quick about it!”

The mech engaged its own thrusters and backed from the deadlock. It swung the hammer at Breaker’s legs, and he barely jumped over them.

”I AM MORE THAN CAPABLE OF HANDLING YOU, BREAKER-77.” the AI within AME-1 spat, ”YOUR PILOT IS OF NO CONCERN TO ME.”

In conjunction with previous choice:
>Try to zone out the AME-1
>Hold it in deadlocks like before, trying to slip the plasma cannon past its defenses
>>
>>2200403
If your fucking quick about it.
Try to zone it.
>>
>>2200416
>If your fucking quick about it.
>Try to zone it.
Writing up
>>
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>>2200416
>If your fucking quick about it.
>Try to zone it.

“Be fuckin’ quick about it!” Breaker hissed. Breaker disengaged from the melee with a spinning backpedal, in the brief moment that Breaker put his back to AME, Chains jumped out. Breaker finished the spin, dropping to a knee and firing the energy weapon. Using alt-fire, the beam split into a cone. AME was forced to brandish her shield, which the scanner suite was calling a “BUCKLER” system. She advancced through the fire.

Backpedaling was the exact opposite of what Breaker enjoyed doing, but considering the scenario it was the best call. He had no way of handling that hammer constantly swinging into his face, nor could he outdamage the Buckler. However, at this range, there was flexibility. He watched Chains slide into a small parking garage, and fired his weapon at AME’s legs before she could turn to see that. She dropped low, shielding the vital leg servos.

Good, keep that up.

As she passed, Chains leaped from a piece of cover and landed on top of the hostile mech. It stopped, reaching at him. Breaker covered her cockpit with the plasma, and Chains promptly laughed as he leaped from AME with a prize. The mech staggered backward, holding the Buckler up too late to block it all. Taking advantage of it, Breaker charged to provide Chains an easy embark. Climbing up his arm, Chains snuggled up in his chair and resumed his neural link.

“Okay, I don’t know what I stole out of it but I think it’s a battery? Should stop the shield thing from working. There’s even a slot for one here… Awesome! I think we can make this battery power something,”
“Replace the missile launcher?”
“Oh yea! We have one of those don’t we? How’s our energy output?”
“We can online the whole missile rack.”
“Yes… Good.”

With another salvo of the beam weapon, and it was clear the Buckler was depleting as it took damage.

>Rush to finish it off with a close-up salvo of missiles to its face
>Continue to zone it off
>Send Chains out for another pass on AME
>>
>>2200766
>Rush to finish it off with a close-up salvo of missiles to its face
>>
>>2200827
>Rush to finish it off with a close-up salvo of missiles to its face
Last one before bed, I'll be back tomorrow afternoon.
>>
>>2200827
>Rush to finish it off with a close-up salvo of missiles to its face

“All systems green,” Chains muttered, “You know what to do.”

Breaker put the weapon on his back, sprinting full-speed. Snatching a vehicle from the street, he skid to a stop just long enough to fling it into his opponent. It swung the hammer over, knocking the vehicle out of the way, but being wide open for Breaker to do a jump-kick. AME fell on its back, and weakly attempted activating the BUCKLER system.

Easy pickings, as Chains snatched its arm off and slapped it across the mech’s face.
”YOU-” the mech wasn’t even allowed final words as Breaker threw both arms back. Four missile pods protruded from the mech’s central component, and each one vomited explosives. The explosions caused the mech to convulse, right up until the reactor was hit. After the prototype exploded, Breaker secured the BUCKLER.

“Upgrades,” Chains chuckled.

“And that,” Beast’s voice broke an otherwise eerie silence, “Is why I love you!” The sounds of psionics warping the gravity of the area echoed poorly in the comm-line.
”The AME unit is down! I repeat, the AME unit is down! Enforcer, if you hear us-”
“DID YOU JUST SAY THAT?!” the Enforcer shouted, overtaking Beast’s monologue. As Chains and Breaker returned to the warehouse, Beast swept the hammer at her legs, knocked her over, and slam the weapon next to her skull. He fell to one side, and began laughing.

“Gang?! The getaway’s here!” the Informant shouted as a blue and green striped freighter swooped in low, “Get on and get out of there!”
“And you’re gonna deny me this wonderful bonding opportunity?! Dammit, Informant!” Beast shouted.
“You leave her there, the cops won’t tail us! I’ve bought us the time to get the loot and- Progenitor’s balls, Beast, is she conscious?!”
“No- Oh. Shit, she is.”

>Have Breaker personally oversee the haul
>Get the XRXES-1 put away in safety while the crew handles the loot
>Get the Hell out with what you’ve got now
>>
>>2201184
Get the xrxes 1 put away in safety while the rest of your team handles the loot.
>>
>>2201197
Alrighty, I'll get a post up tomorrow after class. Tomorrow I'll do a deeper dive on the backdrop lore, and work answers to any questions into posts.

Feel free to ask away if anything's unclear, by the way. I will happily explain anything about the choices, or even about some of the finer plot points.
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>>2201197
>Get the xrxes 1 put away in safety while the rest of your team handles the loot.
(1 / 3 )

Beast, Bojack, and Speedy began moving the heavier loot with a practiced precision. Beast took a moment to ensure the Enforcer was actually going to survive, before removing her gauntlets and taking a set of cuffs off her belt and placing them around her wrists. The look he had was caring, serene, and a complete turn-around from the faces he made mere minutes ago.

Breaker mused that human relationships would never be sensible to him as the XRXES-1 docked into the makeshift repair station onboard the ship. Chains disembarked, joining the crew as they handled the loot. Breaker’s permanent body onlined from private quarters onboard the ship, and surveyed the damage.

“Chains,” he spoke over the comm-line, “Make sure we get every bit of data in that warehouse,”

COMPILED FOOTAGE ENDS.

”Brynjolf, you’re shitting me.”

The projection faded, and an empty room faded in from the hologram. It was featureless, with floating drones buzzing about to tend to various projections.

“I am incapable of defecating, sir.”
“They got out with everything?”
“Negative. At least twelve percent of the property is estimated to have been destroyed.”
“But did the planetary police force get into the warehouse?”
“No.”
“Then how did they lose the gear? Not even the Enforcer got in. And she’s probably the only person who was able to get close!”
“It is an estimate from Project MENTI-”
“Of course they say that. They’re not wanting to admit they had a high security warehouse cleaned off like it was nothing, and that they weren’t sitting on energy weapon technology for this long. What’s the cover?”
“The current cover story is that the thermal lance techno-”
“They are not sticking with thermal lances, are they?!”
“They appear to be.”
“Progenitor’s…”
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>>2203771
>fitting music meme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv1DT94it8I
( 2 / 3 )

At his desk, sat a man who dragged both hands down his face. He had an empty bottle of whiskey that lay on its side, its contents long lost to habit. Beside that, an overturned lowball glass holding down stacks of paperwork several inches thick: dossiers and starmaps all bundled together with a madman’s design. On a wall opposite the window that he looked down from, was a network of pictures and thread. At the center was a single picture, a black silhouette with a typical white question mark drawn in it.

The Informant? was written in red next to it, but the Informant had a line leading to another picture: a schematic for the BJORNSTAD MK3 Prototype, XRXES-1. “BREAKER-77!!!!” was scribbled next to it by a violent fist. The man removed the outdated blueprints and repalced it with a photograph from the New Seoul heist. Underneath was a news article he’d printed out, written by a fringe source dedicated to the Cult of Man’s Fire.

PROMETHEAN HERALDS RETURN!
The daring scoundrels who stole Prometheus, the brave crew that brought the source of our flame back to Human hands amidst the assault of alien forces on His tomb, have returned! They bring with them now a powerful new flame, wrought in the forges of the alien! Do they herald a new age? Or are they simply the greedy, unaware of the greatness they bring?

Another was placed beside it, making a more secular analysis:

BANK ROBBERS STRIKE NEW SEOUL
In a daring raid, the Heister crew known as the “Promethean Heisters” assaulted a Project MENTIOUM warehouse in broad daylight. They were identified by their infamous mechanized walker, the stolen XRXES-1. The prototype, originally stolen from the former Captain Ricardo del Estrella during the Milburn Casino Heist, was rumored to have been recaptured during the Bank Robbers’ War. In spite of these rumors, it is now apparent that the Heisters kept what they stole.
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>>2203778
( 3 / 3 )

The man turned to a small pillar by his desk, one that had scoring marks from just about everything in the room. The form of a small Viking appeared in amber lights, and the figure leaned forward on a circular shield, projecting various points of interest on a starmap as it droned on. Data poured in from a myriad of sources, including the status of recovery for the Enforcer, who Leone Reid had managed to woo to his way of thinking with a single bet.

”If he doesn’t come in peacefully at the sight of you, I win and we pool our resources to bringing them in.” She shook on it then, which was as good as a blood-oath for a Republic Enforcer.

Plopping down in his chair and leaning it back, he stared at the uniform that denoted his rank and purpose, musing gently on his place in this whole ordeal while he grasped around his desk for his badge.

FACTION CHOICE:
>Black Scribes Seeker Corps, private eyes that are free to take on their own cases and confiscate criminal goods to further the investigation. Political animals at their core, Seekers are afforded the highest training money can buy in any form of combat they desire. They often prefer stealth, tactics, and operating in small teams of four to six when in the field, consisting of a tight-knit retinue.
>Republic of Terra Enforcer Division, high profile Judge Dredd-types that are fully within their right to use maximum lethal force on wanted criminals. Have the ability and political clout to grant Republic Citizenship to criminals who serve under them, as well as take on the role of judge, jury, and executioner for those that don’t. Restricted in combat training, which eschews stealth for the ability to supplement their training with further aid from the Republic’s armed forces at will. Rarely keeps the same staff between operations, as the ‘staff’ is a liason of whatever unit is attached to the Enforcer.
>>
>>2203829
Black scribes seeker corps.
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>>2203841
I'll let this one sit for a bit before continuing, but I am bookmarking the vote.
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>>2203829
>Black Scribe Seeker Corp
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>>2203841
>>2203924
Two for Black Scribes Seeker Corps, so I'll get to writing. Good choice!
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>>2203841
>Black scribes seeker corps.
>>2203924
>Black Scribe Seeker Corp

Finally reaching his badge, Leone looked at it with only minor disdain. All Seekers choose their cases, but are unable to withdraw from a case until it’s closed. This wouldn’t be an issue if the case were easy, but then again it wouldn’t have captivated him otherwise. If the targets were easy, and the rabbit hole any shorter, he wouldn’t have been half as fulfilled. The allure of being the one to crack the case, the ‘one good guy’ in a movie about hardened criminals, it all brought Leone to the same end.

The Black Scribes seek out individualists with skills that make them stand out. Generally, they are psychologically screened and placed in small, familial groups that are tasked with a single objective: Cells. These objectives could be anything from “observe” to “incite a rebellion,” but the end-goal is always the same: the safety of the common man.

The Seeker Corps was a little different. It is to the discretion of the Seeker who becomes a part of his Cell. Up until recently, Reid was a solo operator. Now, however, he had recruited the Republic Enforcer to his ranks as a temp. He needed to build on this, however, as the stakes were rising constantly.

The Promethean Heisters were something of an enigma: their initial crimespree was entirely erratic, hitting targets seemingly at random and making contacts across the Confederacy that didn’t make any sense. Beyond, of course, the fact that they were planning for something big. Before the Bank Robbers’ War, Leone had managed to pull some strings and get planted on the Republic of Terra’s Forward Line when the Heisters hit the Milburn Casino, and stayed there for months after. (Case File Unlocked: “The Milburn Heist” https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ksDu6RxZPWXTEgze5007dhh-eZXWaCB8UFmA-bzZ1Ao/edit?usp=sharing) It was on that deck he stood when humanity’s worldview changed forever.

The Promethean Heisters had, on that alpine planet, proven to the Confederacy and perhaps the galaxy at large (nobody knew how far the Proktari and Guardian empires truly stretched), that they were capable of just about anything. With a stolen mech and the audacity of heathens, they plundered an alien crypt and found a human body in cryostasis. That much, Leone had the clearance to know.

Brynjolf spoke of an alert: Heister activity on the edge of Confederate space. It met all the requirements Reid needed. He snatched his armor out of the display case, put it on, and draped his overcoat on. His weapon was by the door, and he almost broke into a run.

>CHOICES ON NEXT POST
>>
>>2204496
COMBAT STYLE & BACKSTORY CHOICE
>SKYBURNER: a member of the infamous Skyburner’s MC, Leone is a powerful psionic that professes a martial art unique to the MC. In combat, he ignites himself and creates a blade of flame that scorches the world as he soars like a phoenix. His reputation provides benefits to dealing with criminal elements, especially if he is seen in combat, on top of an iconic suit of powered armor and assault rifle.

>MARKSMAN: a former Republic Marine, Leone earned distinctive service medals during his Federal Service where he operated as a sniper. The loss of his left arm to a Plague combat form earned him a medical discharge with full benefits, but the Seeker Corps sent an envoy shortly after. The prosthetic operates exactly as a normal arm, but can be upgraded. He’s got guts, but his true skill comes in his marksmanship. Provides benefits to dealing with Republic citizens, as well as a personalized eight-shot revolver from Duke Firearms & Accessories.

>MATRYOSHKA DOLL: a former spy for the chaotic Matryoshka, Leone enjoyed a powerfully addictive life of sex, drugs, and heavy EDM in the Xaoc system. A rare breed of Electromancer and Entropist, Leone’s Techwalker talents made him an easy fit for the Seeker Corps when combined with the parent disciplines. The abilities to hack his way out of anything, conjure lightning, and even manipulate a target’s fear response are all dwarfed by the Techwalker’s signature: teleportation along powerlines. His work for the Matryoshka earns him random benefits, along with an extensive network of information to draw from as needed. Operates with a marksman rifle from Project MENTIOUM that grows more powerful as he employs his abilities.
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>>2204585
Matryoshka doll.
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>>2204699
I'll let it sit a bit more, this is a pretty big choice so another vote or two and I'll start writing up.
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>>2204585
>SKYBURNER
>>
>>2204699
>>2205074
oh shit son
>>
>>2205074
>>2204699
A roll off will do. Higher wins.
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>>2205203
...

D100. Roll a d100, and the higher of you two wins.
>>
Rolled 24 (1d100)

We Russian now.
>>
Rolled 86 (1d100)

>>2205203
>>
>>2205219
that was for SKYBURNER
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>>2205217
>Rolled 24 (1d100)
>>2205219
>Rolled 86 (1d100)
The dice were feeling more space biker, unfortunately. I'll write up the response shortly.

>>2205223
It tracks tags by IP, so I can track who is rolling for what haha
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>>2205224
YOU KNOW IM NEW TO THIS
>>
>>2205074
>SKYBURNER

Reid took a moment to eject Brynjolf’s data chip and place it in a slot on his helmet before equipping it. Leone’s uniform incorporated the Project MENTIOUM Phoenix Mk7. This enabled the signature tricks and techniques of a Skyburner, such as limited flight capabilites. Snatching the assault rifle from the doorway, he sprinted to his bike and mounted it in a blur of motion.

In minutes, he was in his personal frigate and engaging his FTL drives, with Brynjolf integrating with the systems to create a more fluid control of the vessel. A few jumps along the hyperlands and one use of Warp Tunneling, all placed him at the designated coordinates in Republic space. The space battle was happening at a hyperlane entry point, with a massive freighter being assaulted by several smaller craft. A lone battleship seemed to oversee the smaller craft, engaging some kind of ECM that kept the freighter from moving. Small point-defenses were engaged, occasionally taking down a boarding craft. These weren’t the Prometheans, they were too many. The heist wasn’t focused the way theirs was, and their leadership wasn’t involved. Leone knew exactly how to handle that.

“Freighter, identify yourself.”
“Oh thank the Progenitor, it’s a Black Scribe ship! We’re a contracting company, currently hauling food and construction supplies to New Baghdad! Please help us!”
“Can you maintain your current condition?”
“We’re taking boarders at virtually every deck!”

Something didn’t sit right. The Heisters have cargo scanning technology, it’s easily available at a commercial level. Why would they be hitting humanitarian supplies? They were cutthroat, but they weren’t that cruel.

“I need you to be honest with me,” Leone said, “What is on your ship that they want so bad?”
“I’m telling you, it’s just humanit-”

A small explosion vented atmosphere towards the control center of the ship, and several boarding craft darted towards the explosion.

“Are you going to help us or not?!”

Leone ran a quick scan of the battleship: it was minimally manned, mostly operating with automatons. The live crew was engaged on the freighter, and seemed to be taking orders from the battleship itself.

”Black Scribes vessel? This is the Lone Digger Heister Battleship, and I’d like to parley with you for a moment. Aboard that vessel is something very important to us. If you’ve any sense of self-preservation, I’d highly advise you leave us to it. We have kinetic artillery lined up on your vessel, and are primed to fire on command.”

While the kinetic artillery could easily be outmaneuvered by Leone’s frigate, especially with Brynjolf’s assistance, why were they trying to get him to just leave them alone?

>Engage your own cargo scans, holding position until fired upon
>Beeline and board the battleship, cutting to the chase
>Swing the ship under the freighter and fight off boarding parties
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>>2206338
>Engage your own cargo scans, holding position until fired upon
>>
Engage your own cargo scans
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>>2206363
>>2206443
Writing up now
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>>2206363
>>2206443
>Engage your own cargo scans

Leone ran his own scans, not trusting what either party was saying far enough to throw them. He was a relatively strong sort, could probably throw them all pretty far, but he couldn’t throw them across a cargobay and that was the kind of trust he needed for either side to convince him.

CARGO SCANNING IN PROGRESS.
“Hey! What are you doing?!” the freighter asked.
“Simply verifying your claim,” Leone said, “You don’t have a problem with that, do you?”
“This is our priva-”
Reid squelched the transmission by broadcasting his own to the freighter’s PA: “If this really is cargo for humanitarian efforts why would you resist my scans?”
“Black Scribes vessel,” the Battleship joined, “If you are thinking about contesting our loot for even a second we will fire!”

Understandably, everyone was a little testy.

The scans came back positive on just what Leone expected: construction materials, a few instances of mechanized construction equipment, heavy excavation tools, and the thing that Leone knew would spark off a conflict anywhere it went: an alien datacore. It matched the profiles of what the Promethean Heisters were after, and these small-fry Heisters were likely trying to get on their superiors’ good side. Well, they chose a bad day to get caught.

“So, ladies and gentlemen,” Leone “That’s a fascinating set of construction equipment you’ve got there. As a Skyburner, and a Black Scribe Seeker I’m confiscating this equipment. I’ve got a personal project that could use it.”

”A Seeker!?” the freighter’s captain shouted.
”A Skyburner!?” the Heister captain screeched.

Gearing up into his personal strike craft, Reid had a simple choice. How would he handle the engagement? The kinetic artillery on the Battleship was charging, the captain screaming on open channels to “knock the Skyburner out of the black” and the Freighter’s comms officer was panicking to his commander that a “Seeker can lay claim to the whole ship!” Both were true statements, and gave Reid a simple choice.

If he assaulted the Heister battleship, he could easily take in the criminals and cash in a fat bounty on the side. However, if he boarded the freighter and made a stand there, he’d etch his name into Heister memory for years to come, and be able to either quietly take the Datacore or weasel it out of the crew when they didn’t have the Heisters engaging them.

>Assault Battleship, cutting the head off the snake and making the Freighter your kill
>Defend the Freighter, leveraging your goodwill to take the datacore peacefully
>>
>>2206572
Assault the battleship.
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>>2206572
>Assault Battleship, cutting the head off the snake and making the Freighter your kill
>>
>>2206590
>Assault the battleship
>>2206600
>Assault Battleship
Writing out now.
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>>2206590
>>2206600
>Assault Battleship

This was the easy part: assaulting a battleship. The Freighter was overall disabled, so all Reid had to do was take out its crew and he could hold the freighter hostage until they handed over the datacore. Finding out what was in these things would make Reid’s job notably easier, as he could start figuring out the puzzle the Prometheans-

He almost called them Prometheans. Those were the infamous heroes of the Pre-Promethean Era, the ones who rebuilt society by hand. There was a brief pause, one that almost got him obliterated by some kinetic artillery, where he wondered if he was starting to admire the Promethean Heisters in a similar fashion as he looked to the saints of the Cult of Man’s Fire.

Never really a religious man, Reid always was drawn to the stories of the Prometheans. They were the ones who founded the Skyburners MC, and immortalized the arts the MC swore by. Namely, those of the Phoenix-Chaser, which Reid was drawn to. As he switched the frigate’s controls to Brynjolf, he boarded his personal strike craft: a specialized fighter with a stylized asteroid on each of the forward weapon ports. It was fashioned after an old Pre-Promethean machine, but the motorcycle was brought up to space-travel standards. Speeding from the cargo bay, he swung the thrusters about and rocketed himself into an exposed fighter bay. Leaping from the speeder, he caught flame and drew the blade: the low-gravity environment of the fighter bay enabling him to stay afloat much longer than he would in a one-g environment.

The crew in the fighter bay began to panic, as they rightly should, and the suit’s thruster packs engaged to send him flying directly into deck with a burst of flame. Each swing sent a line of flame, leaving untold havoc in its wake. The crew’s defense teams started to line up into a rough firing squad, gunfire flaring out his armor’s shield systems. He leaped up into the air, flinging the flames down upon them. Reid had a moment of self-reflection, where he wondered what they saw in their final moments. Did they see the beauty of the Phoenix, in that final moment did they enjoy the glory of their demise?

He hoped they did, because there wasn’t a lot of them that were going to write home about this encounter.

He blew through a bulkhead, and found himself in the cargohold. From there, it was apparent the boarding craft were loading with more Heisters, these ones wearing heavy-duty power armor and wielding heavier weaponry. Swinging the flames at them, it was apparent that Reid was more than capable of taking down the jury-rigged suits. These had to have been the freebooter suits of power armor that were becoming prevalent as the Promethean Heisters were working on the body for Breaker-77.

Another thing that the Heister faction overall developed thanks to the Prometheans- Promethean Heisters.

>Charge to the control deck
>Destroy each of the boarding craft
>>
>>2207144
>Destroy each of the boarding craft.
>>
>>2207660
Writing up between Dark Souls bosses, it'll be up shortly
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>>2207660
>Destroy each of the boarding craft.

The true threat to the freighter was the boarding parties, because unlike the systems of this battleship, Brynjolf couldn’t take them over. He charged through one wall, deflecting a Heister suit’s fists with an upswing that brought him to the ceiling of the boarding craft. His claymore’s swings created a cross of flame that launched forward, landing into the crowds of Heisters.

They fell around him, their ash choking the air. He reveled in the destruction, and moved about the craft as a bird of prey. Each smite with his sword brought the flames closer to him, the world glowing orange. Man’s Flame would burn brightly, and these foolish heathens would-

There he was again, going on a religious rant. He needed to avoid doing that, the claymore shone brightest as his emotions ran highest. Should the flame ever turn blue, he’d risk melting through the bulkheads of the ship and venting atmosphere.

He blasted through the roof of one boarding craft, and swooped down through the roof of a second one. This one held explosives, and so he launched several strokes into the back of the craft before drilling up and away from the explosion. As they rocked the cargobay, he heard a familiar voice.

”Leone, you always were a hot head, weren’t you?

He spun around, seeing a boarding craft burst into flames as a missile entered through its hangar. A Black Scribes boarding craft filled the gap, punching a cone of metal through the rubble before folding back and revealing a boarding party of one: Erin.

“Erin,” Leone spat as he shed a Heister’s attack with a sledgehammer. He was slipping at the sight of her already: He’d let his feet touch the ground long enough for the Heister to land a blow on his own weapon. The flame began to drift into white, his emotions running somewhat wild.

Pyromancy was a tricky psionic discipline, as it required a cultivation of emotions that would run wild on their own while needing control. A Pyromancer had to handle themselves just so, or their fires would burn too bright and begin to consume their source. Passion was a double-edged sword, to bring the metaphor close to home. As a Psi-Assault, a psionic was able to embrace wild abandon to fuel their powers. They would create barriers with barely a thought, and these barriers would increase in intensity as the destruction climbed.

( 1 / 2 )
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>>2208046
( 2 / 2 )

As a Phoenix, he married the two artforms. His emotions would run wild, and the destruction would climb. This would cause a cascading effect on his powers, no doubt playing into the reputation he’d had his whole life, and one that earned him a rival in the calm, collected Erin Visini. As a Cryomancer, she drew her powers from control and inner peace. Opposites tended to attract they both discovered, but life pulled them apart.

Despite the torrid affair they had after Boot Camp, it fell apart for reasons neither of them could really explain. She was a member of his retinue for a while, but she decided to don the title of Seeker on her own and take on her own jobs. She was far less minded towards bringing in people, she was more of an assassin. Some Seekers took on kill contracts, enjoying with a degree of sadism the hunt that often came with chasing criminals down. Where Reid would stop at nothing to bring the Promethean Heisters in, Visini would carefully plan their demise and execute it without nearly the attachment required to fully appreciate who they were, what they were doing, and the impact their endeavors had caused.

In short, a near-literal example of the Fire and Ice metaphor existed between the two. She took on a powerful strut from her boarding craft, being charged by a Heister armed with a knife. She swung her hand to the side, freezing him to the wall before drawing her own weapon: a Duke Firearms & Accessories Eastwood. The shining revolver spun to her palm like it was fated to be there, she fired once and a Heister that was charging Leone vanished. He spun, swinging his weapon as he took to the air on a small group coming from the command deck.

“There’s fuckin’ two of them?! Take them out!” blasted from the speakers overhead.

BACKSTORY CHOICE:
>”If you’re here to take this from me, after that night on Venus where you left, it’s on.”
>”Well, last time we saw one another was when we were taking down that corrupt Magistrate, it’s nice to see you again!”
>”Just like old times, right? Whose turn was it to buy the hotel after this? Mine or yours?”
>>
>>2208073
>”Just like old times, right? Whose turn was it to buy the hotel after this? Mine or yours?”
>>
>>2208115
Writing
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>>2208115

“Just like old times, right? Whose turn was it to buy the hotel after this? Mine, or yours?” Reid asked with a laugh. The pair had kept a rather amicable relationship, with a running gag being that at the end of a conflict they would share a hotel room and a few… Other things. He spun the sword along his side as she smiled, and her voice took on a low, sultry tone.

“Just like old times, winner takes all,” she leveled the hand cannon to her right, firing a round that took out a Heister that was charging through an opening door. His head vanished, and she held her left hand over her chest to conjure a layer of ice, “I’m after the same thing you’re after, and I intend to take it!”
“You’re after…?”
“The captain of this vessel, obviously! He’s worth a lot of crystal, and I intend to bring it all in. I mean, you can tag along…”
“How are we splitting the loot, then?”

Reid didn’t feel like letting her in on what he was actually doing, nor did he feel like clueing her into the idea that he was going to hold the freighter hostage. That would be easier to explain in the moment, or better yet just gloss over it while they discussed where to share the night.

“I was thinking…” She fired a warning shot at Reid, “Something a little more hands-on,” and she began to laugh.

Reid stayed to the skies, swinging out lances of plasma with each swing. As he did so, Erin began to raise spires of ice to catch each lance. The room’s temperature dropped dramatically, and the pouring of more Heisters began to make even more hazards to count on. Dealing with Erin freezing the place was one thing, doing so while being shot at from all angles was another. In a twirl, he’d sent a band of flame at the level needed to suppress any Heisters that could find cover, and enkindle the ones that couldn’t. After a few spires were erected, there was a much lower ceiling that forced him to the ground. He slammed the sword into the ground, finding that he couldn’t get to Erin from the air.

He’d have to either burn through it to hit her, which would give her enough time to dodge, or try and fight her on foot. He simply floated inches from the icy floor and carved through the mists and with wild abandon, trying to restore the devastation he’d been ensuing before. The sound of gunfire had all but ceased as the icy ceiling finished.

“Erin, you know this doesn’t have to be like this,” Reid said into a commline they had set as their private channel.
“Of course it doesn’t, but it’s going to be. We’ve not talked in a very long while, and I’d like to see if you kept your skills sharp! C’mon, first to checkmate wins!”
She was always annoying when she had a point to make.

>But, that’s what he liked about her. [Push to check]
>The games were always very tiring. [Wait for her to make her move, holding a guard]
>Foreplay has no place in public. [Try to reason with her]
>>
>>2208674
Foreplay has no place in public.
>>
>>2208720
Getting a reply in now
>>
>>2208720
>Foreplay has no place in public.

“Erin, our foreplay’s not something others need to see!” Reid pleaded, and as Erin launched herself along a spike of ice he simply blocked the blow and threw a counter-attack that equated to a warning shot. She flipped back, skidding her feet along the ice before platforms met her feet to stabilize her. She looked rather defeated.

“Why not though? They wouldn’t understand it as foreplay, anyway,” she said, firing the hand cannon once more. Reid spun his blade to shed the bullet, effectively concealing the fact that his shields were flaring out and at a low capacity. Energy arced from his body, betraying that fact to anyone who knew where to look, “You’re about to lose, aren’t you? Is that why you want to do this later?”

Of course she’d think that.

“No, I’ve got a fine grip on the situation, it’s just that there’s something far more important going on here, that is relevant to my case.”
“Well, what’s relevant to mine is bringing the captain in dead or alive. Whatever happens after that is fine by me, even if you want to get the-”
“No, we’ll discuss that later!” Spinning the weapon to alternate his stance, he stared her down with a fiery determination. He hoped it would discourage her from pushing this issue further. He circled her, engulfing himself in a low glow in order to keep himself warm as his armor’s temperature regulators started to choke.

She didn’t seem to hesitate, however, leaping in and making another attack at Reid’s left. He swung the blade down, severing her connection to the massive ice spike she rode in. As it fell to the floor, she laughed.

“You looked so scared! Fine, we’ll figure this out later, but I fully expect to get the bounty. That’s my price tonight, deal?” Reid was relieved, to say the least, as she poked his nose, “You’re very warm, and I like that most about you. Now, I’m about to turn this little cavern I’ve made into a spike ball, be ready for a lot of gunfire.”

The ice roiled, warping in impossible fashions as Erin’s free hand twisted and formed into various gestures. She smirked, and winked. As icy shrapnel filled the air, Reid leaped into the air and watched like an angered god as the foe filled his view. His compatriot slicked the ground they sprinted across, and Reid flew through them with ease. A hot knife through chilled butter, the destruction was a brilliant display of opposites clashing on a common foe. The combat became controlled, with each burst of flame extinguished the moment its victim fell. The chaos scored little of the ship, which preserved it as much as possible. She probably intended to sell the ship, which in all honesty would’ve been just fine to Reid.

As the pair cleaved and smote their way to the bridge, he felt that he missed the times when they were together on operations like this.

>Ask how she’s been
>Compliment the Cryomancy
>Ask who this captain is
>>
>>2209112
Compliment the cryomancy.
>>
>>2209122
Writing
>>
Sorry guys, I passed out mid-writing and stayed that way till about ten minutes ago. I was halfway through, so the post won't be much longer.
>>
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>>2209122
>Compliment the cryomancy.

“You’ve come a really long way since we last did something like this,” Leone observed. Truth be told, she’d improved in much of the ways that he used to exploit in their duels, which wasn’t a small feat. He was once able to write a book on the tricks he could use against her, and she couldn’t ever figure it out. But, now she was not only much more confident in her powers but she was eager to rub it in his face that the book wasn’t applicable anymore.

“I’ve been practicing, and had my Second Awakening recently. Feels so much better, having hit that point,” she let out a low chuckle, “As I’m sure you can relate.”

Reid could understand quite well: Grade Delta psionics were people whose Psi-Node continued to develop beyond a certain threshold after the age of six, which was when most psionics had their first Awakening. These Awakenings were often prophetic dreams that mixed in visions of the future with a rough tutorial on one’s powers. Each psionic was born to a different inclination of powers, which gave them an idea what Disciplines they were fated to know. As an example, Reid’s first Awakening was a vision of soaring through the skys of a burning world, relishing the beauty of the scorched world below him. As a child, he was told it meant he was to be a powerful Pyromancer. This led to restlessness, as no Pyromancy school sought after the glorious flight of a Phoenix.

Until the Skyburners came into play, however, and showed him the fury of a Phoenix. The Black Scribes made a point to recruit him immediately after a Cell on the colony Coloris observed his freelance hero work: the utter and violent destruction of a Plague assault force. The bodies of the necrotic horrors made particularly bright embers, he was told after the fact.

“Yea, I can relate,” Leone replied with his own muted chuckle, “How did your Second Awakening go?”
“I probably should’ve died.”
“That… Progenitor’s balls, what happened?”
“We were about to be vented out of a cargobay as we were chasing down some pirate captain much like this one. In a panic, I realized the only way I was going to save the crew was go beyond any safety I’d ever known to freeze the bay doors shut. I froze about fifty cubic feet around me and held the doors shut while the others in my Cell held the line.”
“That’s…” Reid couldn’t see where the impressive feat that-
“I held that for two hours, and almost froze to death.”
“Oh, shit,”

( 1 / 2 )
>>
>>2209643
Cryomancers were known to freeze themselves solid all the time, using a technique they called ‘Cryostasis’ to encapsulate themselves. Though this normally lasted minutes at a time, due to the fears of freezing themselves solid. A Cryomancer pushing the limits of their endurance for hours would easily eat at one’s resolve, and push them into the Psi Terror that would easily trigger the Second Awakening. Leone’s Second Awakening was triggered by the Skyburner Initiation, where the only reason people survived the birth of that Phoenix was the people knowing it was going to happen. The Skyburners were used to Second Awakenings occurring during their beat-in rituals, and had just the things necessary to protect them from the destruction. Didn’t make it any less dangerous, however.

“That’s pretty impressive,” Reid spoke as they approached the entrance to the bridge, looking to Erin as the bridge sealed with emergency locks. The Psi Terrors that caused their Awakenings couldn’t have been more different, but there was a duality there that he felt needed comment on. He almost burned everything around him to cinder, and she almost turned herself into an ice sculpture that captured the fear of death.

”You’ll never get past this! I’ve got seventy-two armed men trained at that door, the moment it comes open, I’ll have the both of you dead! Two more notches on my rifle, and a notable increase in my prices!”

Prices?

>Play for information
>Blow straight through the door with the Phoenix Burst
>Give Erin the honors
>Tap into that Duality

( 2 / 2 )
>>
>>2209646
>Tap into that Duality
>>
>>2209646
Tap into that duality.
>>
>>2209755
>>2209710
Gotta run an errand then I'll get this scene written up.

TIL not to put your phone on towel racks
>>
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>>2209755
>>2209710
>Tap into that Duality
( 1 / 2 )

When two humans cooperate for a decent enough amount of time, they often begin to synchronize in strange ways. It’s seen more often in couples, or work partners that have worked together for years. It could be due to adjustment, or just learning one another’s habits, as far as non-psionics are concerned.

That was the unspoken theory, until psionics became a prevalent factor of human life. For every ten humans, four were psionic of any degree. Erin’s eyes took on a bright blue glow, and her free hand was flung out toward the door. It began to take on the dazzling appearance of a frozen bubble, and Leone lifted himself from the ground. He nodded to a vent, and Erin’s right hand spun the massive Eastwood revolver into a hip-holster before she raised that hand at it. It filled the input vents with freezing cold air, which Leone counteracted with raw heat funneled into the output vents. As they did so, he conjured flames that would lick at the walls and score the bulkheads.

Psionics were all capable of a limited extent of telepathy, however only a certain school was able to handle fully fluent telepathy that extended conversational information. Those like Erin and Leone were capable of only sending impulses, vague ideas, and emotions to one another. He felt a strong degree of self-control coming from her, reigning in a fiery passion that he was able to wear freely. He understood at once why she was eager to test herself: she wanted to see him at his most visible, his brightest flame. She wanted to see if she could reign in that passion that would sympathetically well within her at the sight of unshackled power.

Most Disciplines encouraged reigning in their emotions, Cryomancy and Electromancy were the most intensive of them in that regard. Pyromancy, however, encouraged letting loose. Especially the arts of the Phoenix and Hellion, which fed off the destruction they caused which generally cascaded to limitless devastation.

”See boys?! They can’t get through this! They’ll fall on one another before they break those doors!”

The bridge was, by now, a roiling mess of temperatures. The pressure was changing dramatically, and moisture was undoubtedly filling the upper levels of the bridge. Battleship bridges were massive, sometimes being as tall as twenty feet. This would create a large enough environment to wreak havoc on unprotected humans and cause erratic shifts of pressure that would be similar to diving underwater or climbing in altitude. They would be experiencing various forms of depth sickness, some of those with weaker constitutions already falling unconscious.

”What in the Hell is goi-”
(cont)
>>
>>2210466
( 2 / 2 )

Breaking silence, the door buckled, cracking in a way that mirrored the layer of ice that had coated it. Only a close observer would have seen the moment the door was frozen through. As Erin flicked her left hand back, Leone charged. Her armor unfolded an EVA helmet around her head, equalizing pressure around her in a way his Phoenix Mk7 by default. The atmospheric equalization forced Erin to brace, but Leone used his thruster packs as well as his own burning will to overcome it. His sword turned a bright white, and each slash created a lance of plasma that cremated its victims. Some souls were missed as the Phoenix swooped on its prey.

Without missing a step, Erin Visini resumed an alluring strut through the bridge. Some men who had withstood depth sickness well enough charged her, weapons bared. She froze one solid, and with a flick of her wrist shattered him into trillions of pieces of shrapnel with the stretching of her fingers. Stalactites formed from ceiling, stabbing behind cover and creating mincemeat of those who had the sense to stay behind cover. The ice spread by contact, frozen bodies shooting off further tendrils of ice in a way similar to fire spreading.

When psionics became linked together in such a way, their arts blended in ways that could easily have created an artform of violence. Of all the human languages that had attempted to capture beauty, few had come close to capturing the purity of a union between psionics. As Reid flitted about, destroying the Heisters that stood in his way, Visini slowly and cooly ensured that the destruction did not cease behind him. A Phoenix leading a blizzard that created a blinding display of destruction that both could revel in.

I think, Visini chuckled to herself, I’m gonna buy the hotel this time,

The captain drew his own weapon, seeking to bring the Phoenix down. He fired a pistol fruitlessly as the Phoenix landed and drew in its wings. Attempting to fire again in a panic, the pirate found his torso frozen solid, and the ice expanded to immobilize the rest of him. The rim of the ice cage pointing daggers at his throat, he whimpered and stretched his neck as thin as it could get.

“So,” Reid huffed, recovering the breath he’d lost to his joyous laughter his suit had concealed, “Are we turning him in or sending proof of death to the brass?”
“I think he’s worth more alive,” Visini responded, “But not conscious.”
“What? Wai-” the captain shouted, and Erin leaped at him to deliver a blow to the back of his neck. Surgical, and delivered without so much as an increased pulse, she was simply moving along a predetermined path to her ultimate goal. Reid walked to the consoles of the ship, and she snatched his sword arm. The weapon fell to the ground, fading a tinge of blue as she brought their lips together.

Savor the moment, and:
>Tell her you need something from the freighter
>Then savor some more
>Try to recruit Erin
>>
>>2210507
>Then savor some more
Don't want her thinking you're there for anything else but the captain.
>>
>>2212835
Writing up
>>
>>2212835
>Then savor some more

Reid worked his hands to her hips, and sent a message through his neural implant to have Brynjolf secure the frigate to the battleship. It was taken, and that was that. The freighter could squirm a little longer, as he swung Erin about to put them on a command console. It was behind the captain, who was too unconscious to even see it, but still. A privacy issue was a privacy issue, and speaking of privacy issues…

A feigned grasp, a tricky slip of the hands, and Reid was able to manipulate the controls of the battleship while… Reconnecting. The ECM stayed in place, and the noises of the freighter struggling to surrender was squelched. Surreptitious, she’d never know what he was doi-

Tapping into the duality had its benefits. Reid picked up on Visini’s urge to lock him to the controls of the ship. He caught the handcuffs, and threw them across the deck. She made a sheepish grin, but in all honesty that was the cutest thing Reid had seen her do all day: the apologetic smirk. He wore his intentions on his sleeve, and she had picked up on the fact that there was more to this than some random pirate captain. She leaned over him, trying to get on top. But no, Leone was far too bright of a flame at this point to let that happen.

After one long, drawn out kiss that pulled the breath from his lungs so forcefully as to cause pain, he realized Erin was dying to resolve this elsewhere. His ship would do, he realized, and she laughed as he put his forehead to hers with a gentle touch. Compared to the explosive demonstration of his passions before, this was as tame as a note passed in class. But it felt so… risque.

“Alright, you’re the ECNS Low Rider, and you know what I’m after. Surrender it now, and you’ll be free to go,” Reid spoke, drunk on the psionic high of being so entwined with Erin.
“We’re not following, Seeker, we-”
“The data core.”

There was a moment of silence, even Erin was stunned. For the first time since they met, her emotions were laid bare and completely uncontrolled. Pure bewilderment. What datacore? she was stuck thinking, the thoughts stopped entirely on that. He flickered an image of the alien cores, and she was entirely captivated.

“Just come and get it, we’re hocking the equipment and dropping this goose chase.” Goose chase? What could they have to be chasing right now?

Erin’s hand gently caressed Reid’s back, snaking along to his collarbone and holding at about the shoulder blade.

>Case first, fun later. Get the artifact personally, inquire onboard the freighter
>Oblige Erin, taking your pleasures after quickly grabbing the artifact and making way to your own ship
>>
>>2214406
>Oblige Erin, taking your pleasures after quickly grabbing the artifact and making way to your own ship
>>
>>2214853
>Oblige Erin
I'll get the update up after class!
>>
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>>2214853
>Oblige Erin

Reid knew what he was about, and he was about it. He spun on a heel, his overcoat flicking about as he did so. He gestured to the target of the bounty, and with all the authority he could muster marched to his frigate. He disembarked from the Heister battleship, and mused that he could easily take it. His conquests were nearly limitless today: he was the killer of dozens of Heisters, probably bringing in an untold bounty as Brynjolf scanned over the combat footage his helmet recorded, he won a datacore from under them, and he was about to get away with probably one of the best scores he’d had in a while.

As the ship hot-docked the freighter, Reid boarded with his assault rifle visible. The captain of the freighter did everything but bow as he led Leone to the core, gracious to have it out of their hands. The cargohold was ravaged, and an unfathomable amount of crystal was lost to the boarding parties. The crew glowered at the Seeker as they saw him walk about. Were he not wearing his armor and bearing the assault rifle in his left hand, they probably would have attacked him, which as the high from Erin wore off he realized that he was starting to exhaust his psionics for the day.

He needed a square meal and… Alternative relaxation.

As he neared the datacore, his authoritative air faded into a slow and awed stagger. His arms went limp at his side, and he had to put the rifle on his back. His hands gravitated toward the core, but he held the hand back. Something whispered to him, on a wavelength just beyond what he was capable of fully comprehending. The whispering seemed to want him to take the device by hand.

“Seeker,” the captain said, “We’ve got a drone we’ll entrust to you so that you can take this… Thing. We’re afraid to touch it, some of the crew says it gives ‘em the creeps.”
“Gives them the creeps? What for?” Reid walked closer to the device, taking a small drone that was placed in his outstretched hand by the trader.
“They’ve been havin’ weird dreams. They see numbers and symbols and such that don’t make any sense to them, seeing various star systems, that kind of junk. We found it floating on an old asteroid we were mining, and they’ve been havin’ nightmares since. I haven’t had anythin’ of the sort, so make of it what ya will.”

>Grab the datacore, let it do what it did to Beast
>Employ the drone, who knows what Beast is exposing himself to
>>
>>2215470
>Employ the drone, who knows what Beast is exposing himself to
>>
>>2215632
Updating
>>
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>>2215632
>Employ the drone

Fighting back the urges, maintaining some control for the first time all day, Reid activated the drone and watched as it buzzed along. He pointed to the artifact, and the small drone created a small field that lifted the artifact with some sluggishness to demonstrate the weight of the device. Placing fingers to where his ears were, he communicated to Brynjolf about the drone and the digital handshakes followed in such a way that Reid could forget about it.

The artifact seemed to stop buzzing once it was within the field, though. The Seeker hadn’t realized that there was even a buzzing until the artifact was contained within the field, but as he turned away it struck him. He looked about, convinced someone nearby was trying to screw with him. He couldn’t find anything concrete, but the dirty looks from before continued. Each of the crewmembers seemed to have a dirty look about them, scowling and reaching for whatever tools were on hand. They were performing repairs, salvaging gear, looting weapons, whatever they could to try and recover the losses they endured.

A gathering of them stood between him and the airlock that linked to his own ship. They held various power tools, and were led by the trader-captain. He stood with his arms crossed, and squinted. Were Reid not wearing the Phoenix armor, the group would’ve seen his eyes roll.

“You did us dirty, attacking the battleship while we were under attack. You could’ve saved us a lot of heartache, a lot of trouble, and a lot of money if you just came to our defense. Ain’t you Black Scribes s’posed to be the saviors of the commonfolk?” spoke the trader-captain.

Seeker Reid, Brynjolf interjected, It would appear that they are planning to harm you. Seeker Visini is requesting I tell you to “hurry the fuck up.” Her words.”

Truth be told, the Black Scribes would have the general public believe that they would have bent over backwards to help the traders, but Reid knew that these were wanna-be Heisters that got hit by the real thing. They were no-good at their core, not really “the common man.” They’d posture at it for as long as they could, however, eager to get some moral high ground on the Seeker. They knew that a dead Scribe was worth a lot to certain people, and a live one could get them all sorts of loot. He imagined that they intended to, after doing him in, sell the datacore.

As if they knew what to do with it, he smirked.

>Handle the situation with some charisma [REQUIRES ROLL]
>Seal the deal, let’s boogie! [COMBAT]
>[SPECIAL UNLOCK] Killer Queen
>>
>>2216087
>Killer queen
>>
>>2218986
>Killer queen
excited writing
>>
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>>2218986
>Killer queen
”Honey,” Erin’s sultry tone poured into Reid’s ears, and the sound of her revolver spinning on her trigger-finger created an uneasy silence, “I’m waiting, do I need to tell your friends that you can’t play?”
One of the crew turned to face her, and he was instantly coated in a layer of frost. A curse barely exited his lips, and the crew parted almost immediately. The trader-captain stood dumbfounded, his jaw hung low. The Cryomancer held her hand out, palm facing the ceiling, and curled her fingers in for Leone. He happily obliged, and the crew of the ship was locked in place. He walked past her, and heard her chuckle as he did so. She put an arm on his shoulder, and he stopped to look back as she draped over the Phoenix. The airlock closed, and all was well.
“Now,” she laughed, walking to the bridge of the frigate with Reid, “What is so special about this datacore?”
“This datacore is the kind of technology the…” Reid was almost so excited to have someone ask about it that he would have blurted everything. He squinted his eyes, smirked, and wrapped an arm around her waist as he began to take off his battle dress, “Why are you so inquisitive? I thought we had a previous arrangement?”
“I don’t see why you can’t tell me,” she giggled in a manner most seductive, “You’re going to be unzipping that outfit for a little while.”
“You have a fair point,” he whispered just loud enough for her to hear, “This suit does have a lot of zippers. I think it’d be faster if you helped me.”
“Only if you tell me about the data cores.”
>Clue her in, she’s going to give you more than enough to warrant it
>Request a mutual deal: She join the Cell, and see the case through
>Refuse her outright
>>
>>2221529
>Request a mutual deal
>>
>>2221918
Rolled over to see this; I keeled the fuck out. Will get this update in after my classes, I'll shitpost the discord when I'm back.




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