Floor B23 - South Sector 5 - Operation Earthcalm.   Posted by Gatekeeper.Group: archive 1
Kilani Sorune
 player, 64 posts
 Chosen of Battles
 "Can't we all get along?"
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 13:01
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Kilani flinched, and she glanced back as Jedevra let out a cry, her eyes widening in a moment of shock as she watched Kestral strike. The bow in her hand shook, then fell to the ground, abandoned.  Rushing to her, Kilani knelt, and glared up at Kestral. "We really are... monsters." she whispered, rushing to pull her healing supplies from the kit at her side, strapped across her chest.

While the stunned soldiers looked on at the result of the clash,  they were unprepared for the rumble, then the upward shattering of earth as Gibhari rammed through the surface at an angle, leaving a climbable pathway for those who had followed him as he landed  amidst the solders. "Kilani!" the Mole-God called out, drawing anxious stares, before Kilani lifted her head, her jaw set firmly as she stood. "Peace Forces! Think about your title and then decide whether you'll continue using that weapon or not! I order a retreat, right now! Someone has to stop this. I can't treat everyone, so think about whether you are prepared to die for this fight or not!"

She looked up to Kestral. "Call your soldiers off, and be gone! You've all done more than enough damage."

[Private to GM: Motes Tracker!
13/13//13
00/26//35
04/05//05
13m toward Anima so far
06/07 Willpower

10m Committed: War, Melee, Presence -1 Difficulty for Unit Rolls
06m Committed: Prior Warning, caste mark
05m Committed: Optimistic Security Practice: +3B/+3L/+3A Soak, and anytime someone with Essence less than my Compassion (5) tries to take an action that would harm me, the Action fails unless they spend 1 WP.

My Anima Effect is now up, also, and Kilani considers everyone an ally right now, since she's trying to put a stop to the fighting: All people take one less level of damage from incoming attacks within 30 yards of her.

Let me know what rolls and relevant stunt to use. She's trying to stop the Shock Matrix and stabilize Jedevra, but this is just a single action, and I think they love dying levels per minute? so she has time aplenty to get her Wound-Mending Needles to help the issue. Can you tell me how many levels of which kind of damage she's suffered? Mending the Bashing might be enough to get her out of Dying, and it's cheaper and easier.

Gibhari
45/50 Motes
4/5 Willpower
]
Immaculate Kestrel
 player, 45 posts
 Pretty In Pink
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 17:03
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
"The right of the oppressed, of course, Jed-Jed. You couldn't possibly think that we'd all just lie down forever, would you? There's a sun up there, you see, and the Dragons have been keeping us holed down here for ages, and the Sun's so very impatient now it's sent little bits of itself down here to help, you see, the Sun and the Moon and the Stars and now it's the entire Sky that's come into ground, do you know? You've trapped the sky beneath the earth, but of course we'd go back in the end. It's only lo-gi-cal." Slap. Immy pauses, frowning, and hits the lolling head again, watching it flop lifelessly onto its other ear. Blood gurgles softly from the raw wound in her neck. "Aw. No reply for me, Lady Jed? But I was just beginning to enjoy myself. You don't even have the courtesy to be properly dead, either; no, you just have to go and faint on me, so I can't even just watch you die all properly."

She crouches, a tiny pink figure splashed with luminescent reds, and pokes apathetically at the Dragonblooded's limp form. "But you're already dead, aren't you, Lady Jedevra?I haven't killed you, oh no, but you are dead already. Your blood's dripping out like a little, little river, and no one's going to save you at all. Everyone who already died out there; at least they died with someone else, y'know? You, though; you're going to die alone, and I'll spit in your face when you're done." Slowly, she dips a finger in the pooling blood, and sketches a small symbol on Jedevra's brow. "In fact, I think I'll start now, too. How does that feel, Lady Jed? I've just consecrated you to the Sun, and I don't think He'll be happy with you when you see Him. Maybe then you'll learn what being hunted is like, wouldn't you? No Dragons to protect you, and nobody but every last Sun-child you've ever killed. Maybe they'll kill you again, and then you'll just be reborn, just like us. A thousand deaths in a hundred years, and you'll still be you when they're done."

The pattern continues, a twisting line of half-remembered shard-memories of holy writ and sacred text, sprawling across the fallen commander's face like a bloody mask. "And one day, I'll die to, and I'll be right up there with you. Hunting you. Across every last century I can find in this beautiful, beautiful world. I'll even pray for you, if you want; we'll have to keep up your strength, after all, or it wouldn't be fun for anyone involved, don't you think? You'll need to be able to run, like we always had to run, and maybe even fight a little, at the end; just enough  to remind people who you are, who you were, before a little Kestrel killed you in a sad hole in the ground. It's almost funny." She wasn't crying, was she? No, of course not. "Funny."

And then Kilani comes in, shouting and... and stuff, and that was what that was that was a healer's kit? But... but the girl wasn't collared anymore, she had to know, what... what was she doing? Healing her? Half-reflexively, she swats at whatever she had brought to hand, sweeping the beginnings of the treatment onto the floor. "You--the collar's off you, you have to feel it, it's like life and freedom and power all jumping into you how can you not know why are you trying to help her? She's one of them!" The sword is up again in a flash, balanced inches away from Jedevra's throat and neatly removing the head of the Dragonblooded commander. "Do--you... she still has some command over you? Is that it? She had more than the collar in you, was it? That's--that's why you're being compelled to help her--they, they broke your mind as well, they almost did that to me, that's why, isn't it? All the nights and the blood and the, the little whispering words, everywhere, all the time always. That. That's why. Right?"

This message was last edited by the player at 17:04, Thu 17 Sept 2009.

Yaishin Higura
 player, 165 posts
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 18:49
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
At the intersection, Higura continues to lead the soldiers in their march - the debacle with Jedevra having apparently caused a commotion big enough for him and the workers to take advantage of it. Higura can already sense the shift in his soldiers' attitudes, the jubilation and the elation that comes with their first glimpse of victory... And this is something that worries the Doctor. After all, this is how frenzy starts. Unchecked, this could change in an uncontrollable wave washing over the enemy soldiers, reducing them to blood and ashes in the morbid celebration of their win.

"The enemy panics." Higura announces to his troops, to some cheers and applause. As their leader, however, his expression remains calm and focused. "Thus, we must remain doubly calm, workers and children of the Earth District." The doctor speaks, turning behind himself momentarily. "That is why we must remain doubly more in control. Remember what we have said before - you are soldiers, not butchers. We shall use these skills to break the enemy's advantage and take a bargaining position with them, but we are not there to summarily execute them. Show you have the high moral ground!" With the words, the Doctor looks ahead, at the frantic and confused enemy line. Now is the time.

Pointing his sword ahead, Higura continues his mental count, seconds ticking away until the mole god emerges and shatters the ground, initiating the pincer attack. Perfectly on cue, the sound of the ground splitting comes to his ears, and the Doctor fulfills his part of the plan, dropping his sword downwards in a powerful sweep. "Now!" He shouts, before running ahead to lead the charge himself.

Leading the assault, Higura makes certain it accomplishes the goal it is supposed to. Uncertain and panicked without their leader, the enemy forces are this close to breaking. This attack will finish the task, robbing them of their will to fight once and for all. The run towards the enemy line is accompanied by the loud shouts and screams of the workers, their pent-up feelings and the accumulated adrenaline finding release in this one hallowed moment. Fearless, undaunted, they run straight for the enemy without pause nor hesitation, a veritable manifestation of their will to be free - an incarnation of their own liberation.

With a thunderous clash, steel meets steel as weapon blows are exchanged and the two lines collide, powered and bolstered by the appearance of Ghibari leading the second detachment of workers from behind the line. Pushing through the Peace Force line on his first charge, Higura quickly looks around while defending against blows, looking for a suitable place for him to stand. Settling for a pile of debris that will allow him to project his voice above the din, the Doctor quickly sidesteps and dodges, scampering up the small uneven mound to make his announcement.

"Peace Forces assigned to this Operation." He calls out above the din, as the workers work to maneuver themselves in a complete pincer position according to the plan. "I am Doctor Yaishin Higura, and I speak for the children of the Earth District, workers and citizens who have been birthed from its dusty womb. This is their home, their birthright - and they will defend it with their lives if they must. You were assigned to this Operation, but you do not have to die here. Like these workers, you have homes waiting for you... Elsewhere."

"These men and woman are standing for their very right to live for themselves. If you truly would deny that right to your fellow citizens, then step ahead - but be warned that these people will not give up their rights so easily."

"I ask you to stand down and leave these premises, and you shall not be harmed. I know your leader spoke these words and I know you understand that it meant something completely different. But these people have no need for your blood and extermination. Like the bird will risk its life against much bigger predators, they are only concerned with protecting their nests and defending themselves, not to kill their assailant. All who give up the fight will be spared. The Chain of control and hatred ends here."

Higura lifts his chin then, trying to ascertain that the charge remains in control. "Leave this place. Return to your homes, and remember what you have learned here. You should only fight for what is dear to you, never because of orders who come from above. Weigh in what matters, and know that it could be taken from you one day like it was threatened to be taken from this people. These people might have done something that earned them the ire of the powerful few - but remember this: they are your brethren, not your enemy."
Saina Nanaret
 player, 227 posts
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 21:20
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
The lieutenant that looks upon the Bitch Queen with dread is already marked for death. Whether he dares to lift his spear to her or not, she is upon him with a howl of delirious triumph. She is a Lunar predator, the Usurpers' conqueror! The dragon-spawn and the mortals in their sway would fall at her feet and worship her, or die by her hand!

In her mind's eye, her jungle kingdom burns dry. Towers of gold, silver and gemstone crumble to the ground, coated with the blood of her children. Her warhost below lies cut like wheat against a reaper's scythe, scattered to the winds.

No more!

And Rana swings her serpent staff like a segmented club to crush the lieutenant's helmet, pulping the insides like a overripe fruit. Without missing a step, she falls upon the next armored fighter who dares wield the Essence of the Dragons against her. Where she strikes, her staff finds its way into the most brutal impact points, striking the neck and joints where armor lacks padding, shattering ill-prepared visors and collapsing breastplates right into the bone!

But what is this? She feels hesitation ripple through the gathered soldiers, affected by the demise of their leader, the confusion among their ranks and the rebel forces surging to the perimeter. Her attention is caught by Kilani as she speaks to the soldiers, glowing blood-crimson. Are they losing their will to fight already? Would they dare run from me?

Ranavalona snarls, whirling about, bits of gore and bone sliding off Sixth Coil's steel and silvered surface. Must she always be content to hunt those who do not fight back?!

Then... she hears a voice, penetrating the haze of fury that fills her. A familiar voice, a soothing voice. She remembers a man who once defeated her and calmly showed her mercy, though she spat and swore at him for doing so. And every time after, when he gazed at her with kindness, sought to temper her rage and school her in how to wield it! You are not worth this. Senseless killing is beneath you, proud Queen. As is a senseless death.

Nanaret remembers, and drops to her haunches to watch the soldiers warily, listening to him speak...
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1335 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 22:14
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
The soldiers of Burning Feather also listen. They hear Kilani's pleas, and the Shock Matrix continues to waver. One by one the crackling streamers arcing toward the ceiling begin to deactivate.

Not all of them stop, and not all for the same reason. Officers argue with their soldiers not to listen to the words of a free Celestial. Others insist to abandon the Matrix to save their Winglord, or themselves. Let the Industrial Sector become a no man's land, they should protect their own!

But it is too late for Jedevra. Her neck slices cleanly under Immy's blade, the blood-consecrated head rolling aside, as useless as an ornamental gourd.

Higura's charge follows immediately afterward. The workers under Gulda and Rivanto, the Freerunners under Irjin accompanying Xurizu and Talia, smash through the weak-willed soldiers at the perimeter. They hardly put up a fight, struggling simply to survive, to regain their bearings as their well-laid plan falls into shambles. Though the rebels are encouraged to break, but not execute, not all of them are so disciplined; soldiers still die, and some workers as well, trampled underfoot by those that follow. No Freerunner emerges unscathed from the chaos at the intersection.

By the time Higura clambers up the debris to beseech the soldiers to leave, the Shock Matrix - their latest innovation of war - has already fizzled to a minimum. There simply aren't enough remaining to uphold the shock charge. Soon enough, there are none. The Burning Feather soldiers attempt a tactical retreat that becomes a stampede as cold reality sets in: their leader has fallen, and they stand against no less than four uncollared Celestials, and probably more.

A smaller subset of soldiers do not run, though they do not fight, either. They remember Kilani, and worry for her safety, Anathema curse be damned. But only a few dare step forward while the pink-haired terror stands with her, drenched in Jedevra's blood. They have seen what Immy's blades can do against their best.

Kilani and Kestrel are left facing one another with the dead Winglord's body cooling between them.



OOC: The battle is more or less over so we're out of tick count and can post more naturally. XP coming shortly!

Also, Jedevra's equipment, in case you are interested, includes a Pectoral of Resplendent Speeches, a set of Transcendent Phoenix Pinions, her custom Dragon Armor and a custom weapon, the Blaze Lance (also has a daiklave attachment, that attaches from the base of the lance to form a double-sided weapon). Her armor has all three Hearthstone slots filled.

Later, will post other spoils of war and the # of soldiers that remain loyal to Kilani.
Ledaal Xurizu
 player, 213 posts
 No Moon Lunar
 Sorcerer and Test Subject
Fri 18 Sep 2009
at 10:03
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
As the Winglord falls and the Shock Matrix fizzles out, Xurizu allows himself to relax a little.  He doesn't relax himself completely, trying to keep an eye on both Kilani and Kestrel, as well as on the retreating soldiers. This rout would be trouble, that's for sure.  Whether it would be more trouble for them or the masters of Five Coils remained to be seen...

Xurizu advances with the workers, hanging back a little from the front, until they reach level with the line of soldiers.   He breaks off, to go over to one of the sprawled members of Burning Feather, picking up his modified Shock Pike to examine the mechanisms more closely.
Kilani Sorune
 player, 66 posts
 Chosen of Battles
 "Can't we all get along?"
Fri 18 Sep 2009
at 14:16
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Kilani stared. Her eyes were wide, features pale as she  could do nothing but watch Jedevra's attacker. That small girl  was far too strong, the pink hair and cute face hiding such wild brutality.

Tears, on the girl's face, as she spoke.  Kilani was overwhelmed, eyes lowering to her hands, having dropped  even her medical gear when smacked away by the girl. They were shaking, shaking far too much to shoot or treat anyone, as she saw Jedevra's head roll, and the body fell between them.  Kilani took a weak step back, glaring at Kestral. "Y... You don't understand... you couldn't possibly understand... You're a monster..." she whispered, eyes wide, staring at her. "W... we all are..."

This time, Kilani was the one with tears, welling in her eyes and streaking her face quickly. She was trembling still, wiping her face on her sleeve. "S-Stay away..."
Immaculate Kestrel
 player, 46 posts
 Pretty In Pink
Sat 19 Sep 2009
at 18:23
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
And she's crying she's crying why was she crying but she knew what to do in times like this; so she side-steps (neatly, gently; she likes her boots, after all, and she didn't want to get them bloody, not now, there was so much blood all over already she didn't want something else on the laundry list, especially apparently since the whole Level was out of damn soap) the  no-longer-a-Dragon on the floor (and a bit of her mind goes oooh, shinies!, but the rest of her push it down first) and grabs hold of the shining Celestial, pulling her backwards into a tight, bone-crushing hug.

"Shhhhh. Silly. Shhhh." And Irjin had told her about cases like that, right? Collared who'd been collared for so long they kinda forget about who they are, and become so used to following instructions that they feel kinda lost and frightened when all that control's taken away. She didn't quite understand why anybody could be like that, because how could anyone get used to wearing a collar she didn't know, but 23 had said that that was because she had been kinda grown up before her collar got on and because she'd escaped before too long had passed, and because she'd been just waiting for her revenge all the way down the line; and because she was a little bit cracked, a little, and she knew this was almost true. But it wasn't something she wanted to be, it was something that just happened, and she was kinda happy that no one really minded at all.

"Shhhh." And she begins to hum something, an old, nostalgic tune, whispering of soothing winds and sleeping rivers, her arms still holding the crying girl tight around her middle. (Bits of her, of course, whispered that she had to hold her, and to hold on tight--with what she'd said just now, she probably wanted to run back to the soldiers, and that'd just get her captured again and collared and she couldn't possibly let that happen, right? Not after all this had to happen to set her free, and then she'd never ever ever realize there was anything besides the kennel in her mind.) "It's ok. It's ok. Even the Shock Matrix is down now, right? The Peace Force surrendered, so nobody else has to die now, right?" And, overhead, the bright, lightning web had crackled to a stop. "We won."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:27, Sat 19 Sept 2009.

Saina Nanaret
 player, 228 posts
Sat 19 Sep 2009
at 20:20
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Nanaret gradually returns to her senses. Her quickened heart begins to slow as the fury releases her, and the Bitch Queen recedes to lurk in the shadows of thought, her wrath tuned down to mutters and hisses.

The Changing Moon tries to regain her bearings, seeing several soldiers fallen around her. Their gunzosha armor is crushed or caved in at strategic points, their bones broken into odd angles, skin purpled and sinew pulped by brutal impact wounds. Fortunately, Nanaret is not weak of stomach, but she does not relish in killing quite as extremely as Ranavalona would, nor is she so driven by pride or revenge. She looks upon the soldiers, remembering only vague impressions of their deaths, and thinks: She is my monster; I bring her back to the world.

Now, Queen, you are sated. Be still and sleep. Battle is done, everyone safe. Higura is safe. Her chest stops feeling so tight, her taut muscles relax into restfulness. She wipes Sixth Coil clean of gore and blood, then folds it into a compact shape and goes to join the others.

Nanaret's steps are unhurried while the remaining soldiers flee and the rebels start to regroup. Approaching Higura, she notices Xurizu examining the Shock Rods, and nods. He would be more knowledgeable in such things than she. Then she sees the scene down the street - Jedevra's fallen, beheaded body, and the two girls. Pink-hair... and collared one? But not collared any more.

She gazes up to Higura, directing his attention toward Kilani and Immy. Then she continues on, across the street toward them. "You are all right?" she asks, rather uselessly, then looks at Jedevra's corpse. "Is better like this... even should the Dragons show you kindness, they still wish you in a cage. Sometimes fight is all that people listen."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1339 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sat 19 Sep 2009
at 21:06
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Xurizu takes a closer look at the Shock Rods. Unlike the usual factory made Shock Pikes, which are made primarily of ironwood with green jade nodes, these are made completely of metal alloy similar to the ashigaru and gunzosha armors the Peace Force soldiers wear. The spear head is less of a spear than a spiraling cylindrical shape ending in a point, something like a unicorn's horn, and made of blue jade with orichalcum tracery.

The point is still much more blunt than a normal spear, making it not much better than a staff in combat, but as Xurizu has seen, the power of the Shock Rod is not in close combat. It is capable of ejecting a long range lightning blast, rather than a simple force blow like the original, and is also equipped with a network interface module which allows it to sync with other Shock Rods to create more powerful effects. As it is made for use by mortals it also has an internal battery, activated via a switch, which will drain from the stored power rather than the wielder's Essence if necessary. However since the Shock Rod requires much more energy, the integrated battery makes the entirety heavier than one might expect simply by looking at it.

This is as much as Xurizu can tell of the Shock Rod without having the time and proper equipment to take it apart. It is enough that he could wield one himself if he wished - despite the jade and orichalcum involved it is possible to be used without attunement, though with attunement reduces the cost of Shock Blasts and Shock Matrix powers.

Most of the fallen Burning Feather soldiers are found with a Shock Rod - as well as one spare cylinder in case of burnouts. Their armor is First Age quality Gunzosha armor.



OOC: Stats for any piece of equipment given by request, or if you decide to keep it! I forgot to mention that Jedevra's armor has integrated Shield Bracers (as per Sentinel Defense Force armor); these can be detached, if you just want the Bracers.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:11, Sat 19 Sept 2009.

Gatekeeper
 GM, 1341 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 21 Sep 2009
at 08:32
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Meanwhile, the laborers-turned-rebels raise a great cheer in the wake of their victory, thrusting their fists or weapons toward the ceiling. Some go so far as to shout epithets at the retreating soldiers, throwing rocks or bricks or whatever they can snatch as the mighty Burning Feather scatters away.

Irjin and the Freerunners' reactions are not quite so extreme, though they join in the shouting, patting each other's back in congratulations and relief at one another's safety. Not everyone made it through, and there's just as much mourning as there is jubilation. Even more so, the Freerunners and especially their leader are quite aware that this is only one victory out of many that will be needed to achieve freedom from the oppressive Council.

While Nanaret moves away, Irjin stops next to Higura (and within earshot of Xurizu). "This is a great victory for the Industrial Sector, but it may not last if we let ourselves get too lax with victory, or too zealous. For now we should try to clean up and, hopefully, secure this area. I assume you and your companions are still interested in meeting with Free?"

Talia joins Arashi, Klaxon and others in starting to pick out the injured from the dead. Hopefully they can either stabilize them immediately, or drive them to an infirmary where they can get more specific care.

At the same time, a group of workers led by Gulda notices the remaining soldiers gathering around Kilani (and Immy, still holding onto her). They march forward, most still armed with makeshift weapons, until the embracing girls are surrounded by a half-circle of Peace Force soldiers on one side, and a half-circle of armed workers on the other. Nanaret is caught between the two groups as well.
Kilani Sorune
 player, 67 posts
 Chosen of Battles
 "Can't we all get along?"
Mon 21 Sep 2009
at 13:51
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Far too shocked by Jedevra's horribly messy death, there was little that Kilani was able to do anything about Kestral coming around behind her. As she was grabbed by the arms, then pulled into her embrace, her Satchel of Medicine fell from her grasp to join the bow at her feet. Pulled back so tightly, a whimper escaped the frail girls' lips as her back was pulled against Kestral's form, her lithe frame tensing and struggling to escape. But there was no way -- she was weak and too shaken to think out her struggles, and as the sense of being captured joined with her shock and fear the welling tears in her eyes broke into streams.

Kilani seemed in a dazed panic, struggling to break free, her tears making everything a blur as she struggled uselessly. But she was already tired from the battle, and broken from failure.  With a helpless cry she went limp in Kestral's grasp, head falling back against the taller girls' chest, eyes clinching shut. The trembling in her body, and her whimpers  stilled as she shut out , left with Kestral's calming hum. Even the tears began to slow after a few minutes and her red eyes slipped slightly open again, turned up, looking slightly behind her to Kestral, full of confused anxiety, as if she expected to be killed at any moment - or perhaps was wondering why she was alive.

-----

Slowly, Gibhari, covered in dirt and with the effort of boring through the earth approached the circle, brushing aside several stunned Peace Force soldiers as he moved toward Nanaret, speaking firmly as he watched Kilani giving up. He kept his vice somewhat low, though. "Will she be safe...? Is she hurt?"
Saina Nanaret
 player, 229 posts
Tue 22 Sep 2009
at 13:14
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Nanaret frowns at Ghibari's question, not because she is displeased he asked it, but because she is wondering the same thing herself.

She keeps her serpent staff folded in a non-threatening position, looking at the two groups encircling her, Kilani and Immy. "We done fighting now, yes? Maybe better all us put weapons away." And to make an example of herself, she slips her folded staff into its backtube, her hands empty now. "Now all you do same." Her eyes flash from dark to a startling yellow as she glares around at the soldiers and workers.

Then she answers Ghibari directly, "I can speak for people I know. Higura, and Talia and Xurizu. Irjin and Freerunners. I know they mean no harm. Freerunners have saved many Uncollared. I too would protect her. And Immy not want harm to her either, see?"

(OOC: as for equip I will probably take a Gunzosha armor, not sure what else. No one wants the phoenix pinions or the pectoral?)
Immaculate Kestrel
 player, 47 posts
 Pretty In Pink
Tue 22 Sep 2009
at 13:47
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Crunch crunch crunch crunch

"Don't come any closer, please. I just said nobody else was going to die, and I prefer it when I don't have to lie to people." She smiled, and her blade hissed softly, Jedevra's blood boiling away from its golden light. "I could, I suppose, knock you all unconscious, but then she'd get all upset and jealous and wonder why I don't love her anymore, and then I'd have odd dreams of my sword fighting over me with a club. Which would be very weird." Pause. "Although it'd be kinda interesting, too, because I never quite had anyone fight over me before, and Jewel always used to say that a girl should experience it at least once in her life."

"But where was I? Oh. So if all you Peace Force people would just kneel down and drop all your weapons, I'll be very, very thankful, okay? And so will you, too, later, because you'd be still alive, and I wouldn't have had to kill anyone, too, because otherwise Irjin will have to yell at me about doing overkill and broken equipment and how prisoners could be a valuable asset and stuff. I'm certain he won't mind if one or two of you won't missing, though, right? Because I bet most of you know what each other know, so there's going to be a lot of repetition around, and one or two lost copies isn't going to hurt anyone. Except probably the copy, but that's just too bad, then." She beamed. "It's better than losing people from our side, after all, and the longer you hold on to those things the more I become convinced you still want to fight me, you know? Or at least the other half of the circle, and I like them. But I didn't really like you to begin with, and since then you've been shooting me and massacring people at things."

And then... the.... girl on the roof? Um. Other Celestial. Name. Nana-thingy came over, and, ooh, she looks like she'd been busy, too. Celestials tended to be busy people, didn't they? "Um. Although I think our side can not drop theirs until they drop theirs first, right? Because it'd be kinda silly, otherwise, if we win the whole battle just to get killed now."

This message was last edited by the player at 13:51, Tue 22 Sept 2009.

Saina Nanaret
 player, 230 posts
Tue 22 Sep 2009
at 14:33
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Nanaret sighs, glancing at Immy with those strange yellow eyes. "These few soldier remain here though they know they beaten by us, their leader dead at their feet and their allies run off. Truly only fools should wish to fight more now."

"Besides... I can fight just as well with no weapon at all." She flexes her fingers and the finger-joints crack audibly in quick succession. Then she shrugs (with another pair or loud pops from her shoulders as she rolls them up and back). "But maybe you are right. Peace Force first. Hurry up now."

After a moment the dark-skinned Lunar adds a belated, "And my name... Nanaret. Also Free Celestial who wish to stay free." She thumps her fist on her breastplate over the heart. She thought she'd given it before, but gives it again anyway at least for Kilani's sake.
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1344 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Tue 22 Sep 2009
at 15:08
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Gulda Marin appears to be in agreement with Immy. "That's right. We're not disarming until we know you red-armors are surrendering," the workers' de facto leader says boldly. The redhead with the blue bandanna still hefts a fuel bolt launcher that would tear through even a heavily armored man at point blank. Beside her stands Rivanto, and surrounding them in a phalanx are at least twenty others whose names Immy has yet to hear, wielding their hammers and pick-axes, heavy chains and pipes.

The spokesperson on the other side is a surprisingly young man with short cropped dark hair. With his visor up he looks a touch more human, but few can forget that he and the other soldiers arrayed with him had once held those Shock Rods and fired. Whether truly willing or not, whether believing in their lack of choice, they still allowed that travesty to happen, and the sin of the innocent dead is upon them.

This young man doesn't appear to have any fighting spirit left in him. His shoulders sag as he explains for all the soldiers. "We didn't run, for Kilani's sake," he says, and at that moment Kilani recognizes the man. He is Solemn Edge of 2nd Talon 1st Scale 5th Fang. Next to him is Mist Opal, of 2nd Scale 4th Fang, and close by Aron Delsus who asked about Kilani's sister. She knows these people. Many of them are soldiers that showed her kindness before, or have at one point or another earned Jedevra's wrath.

Solemn Edge continues, "We had to make sure Kilani would not become a scapegoat for following Jedevra. She's a gentle girl. Maybe too much so. If she'll not come to harm, then so be it." Only then does he kneel down and rest his modified shock pike on the ground. The others who still hold weapons do the same, though not all of them without hesitation. "I am prepared to be a scapegoat in her place."
Yaishin Higura
 player, 166 posts
Wed 23 Sep 2009
at 02:39
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
"She will not." Comes Higura's answer. The doctor steps in proximity of the talk, after having ascertained the health of some of the wounded along the way, and organizing his 'troops' so as to leave them in complete control of the perimeter. He makes certain to brush Nanaret's arm as he comes closer - a gesture that perhaps holds meaning only to her - before stepping closer to the spokesperson shaking his head softly.

"I will ensure that she does not. I too, spent my time serving those who many would refer to as 'the enemy'. And I too realizes that 'the enemy' is only an appellation that makes it easier for he who wields a weapon when it is time to take a life. No side is faceless, however. That I can ascertain. This girl will suffer no ill will - I will see to it personally."

Higura looks at the surrendering troops, and nods quietly. "You are courageous to remain here, even when your comrades flee in terror. This speaks volumes of your desire to help this girl - Kilani, you call her. This shall not be forgotten." Higura nods, and, in a perhaps shocking gesture, extends a hand to the man to get him back to his feet - a clear sign of peace.

"There will be no more scapegoats. No more blood. Enough was shed already. Those who had a price to pay already paid their dues - no other payment will make sense. There has been enough chaos and desolation here. Take your comrades and your subordinates, and return to your home."

"Leave this place. I promised earlier that those who surrendered the fight and left would not be harmed - this was not a lie. But before you go, I would ask one more thing out of you. One more thing out of all who saw what occurred here today." Higura looks at Solemn Edge, then extends his glance to the others around him. "Remember."

"Soon enough, news of what occurred here will spread. Jedevra's death will be made public, and as I am certain you are well aware, facts will become distorted by the propaganda machine. So I want you to take a good look around you." The doctor gestures around him, at men and woman, dirty and bloodied, fearfully trying to cling to the liberty that was so hard won. At the homes and streets ravaged by battle and war. At the faces gathered around, human faces, ordinary men and women who would never a picked a weapon in their lives if they didn't feel they have been backed into a wall.

"I want you to take a good look and to keep that memory close to your heart. I want you to remember this when words spread that bloodthirsty, unruly citizens led by heartless demons rose arms against the peace forces. I want you to remember this when every attempt is made to demonize these people, to demonize myself and my brethren, and I want you to recall what you have seen and felt here. I want you to remember these faces, and I want you to realize that some day, they might be your faces, and that of your families, when your words or your beliefs have earned the ire of those who pull the strings."

Higura nods one last time, and take one step back. "Now, you can leave. Return to where you came from. And remember what you have seen today."

"Always."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1345 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Wed 23 Sep 2009
at 02:55
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Gulda looks shocked, downright scandalized at Higura's words. She interjects almost immediately, hardly allowing him to finish his speech before waving her arms in protest. "W-what?! We're letting them go? You must be joking, sir - I have no idea who you are, but we've captured these men. They've done us wrong, and they need to answer for it!"

Solemn Edge, meanwhile, hesitates between Higura's benevolence and Gulda's ill-controlled rage and the glimmering golden blade Immy still clutches, though cleaned now of Jedevra's blood. Finally, he rises slowly, keeping his hands palm up, showing them to be empty. "I think you misunderstand us as well," he says, taking a deep breath to settle himself. Clearly his nerves are jumpy from this uncomfortable situation, from the clashing opinions and ideologies, and what fate the choices he and his comrades have made will bring. "Your words are well spoken, but we do not wish to go back. We have nowhere to go back to."

The other gathered soldiers, no more than twenty or so, nod in agreement and glance at one another nervously.

"What you want for us," and Solemn Edge gazes into Higura's eyes, "is to return to living a lie, where we cowardly cover up our eyes to the sins we commit and continue to convince ourselves it is good and right."

The woman next to him with pale blue hair shrugs helplessly. "It'd be safer for us to return, we're not expecting charity here. We'll be prisoners as best." She doesn't state what she thinks the worst is, but her face looks grim. "But that's how it is. We're done with being the fearsome weapons of the council. So punish us. Or kill us. Whatever you wish."

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:59, Wed 23 Sept 2009.

Yaishin Higura
 player, 167 posts
Wed 23 Sep 2009
at 03:07
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Higura's expressions shifts slightly as the man speaks, but he does not protest. He closes his eyes, nodding silently, until the interjections are over.

"Miss Gulda. Let me put it this way - will you capture every weapon these men and women left behind and punish them for their masters' deeds? This is the reality you are facing, here. Someone, above us all, is using all of us as pawns in their great schemes. These men and woman did not choose their cause - they were weapons, just like the swords or spears we use."

He turns back towards Solemn Edge, regarding him and his people carefully before turning back towards Gulda. "You hated the control the Head of the Coils exerted over you, did you not? You hated your powerlessness, and you have hated it for years, I suspect. And yet, you did not act for a long while still. Something happened that made you want to take arms, to change your lot, to break free of your chains and say 'no more'. Well, it is the same with these people, here."

"If you truly have nothing but hate and contempt for your fellow prisoners in your heart, then go ahead, let yourself be consumed by it. But realize that somewhere down the line, this makes you one step closer to the oppressive forces you combat."

"Look at then, Miss Gulda. Look at them carefully. They are neither monsters nor demons. They are men and woman, just like you. And they are men and woman that would rather stay here and help you in your fight than return to their comforts and their lies. They cannot forget what occurred here."

"They are men and women trying to break free, just like you are."
Kilani Sorune
 player, 68 posts
 Chosen of Battles
 "Can't we all get along?"
Wed 23 Sep 2009
at 03:21
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Kilani finally brought up an arm, and wiped the crimson sleeve of her  robe across her face, blinking her eyes wide. They first latched onto her Familiar, then looked to the soldiers who had gathered. Shifting in Immy's grasp, Kilani firmly made it clear she wanted to stand on her own, taking a weak step away from  Kestral.  "N... No...." she spoke softly, looking to Solemn Edge.  "I won't see any more hurt...." she spoke softly, looking out to everyone, the small girl reaching up to wipe her eyes, where tears still flowed. "I... I am... alright..." she reassured them, then looked down, hand brushing against her neck.  It really was... gone now.

Kilani turned her eyes to Higura, then back to Solemn Edge briefly. "They... want to stay with me..?" she asked, biting her lip anxiously. "I... I don't... know where I will go or what I will do now... " She looked down. "But.. but I don't want to see anyone else hurt..." she murmured, shaking a little. "I... Is there anyone who is in need of care... I... I could  make some of this right that way..." she offered softly.

Her feet beneath her swayed, leaving her unsteady and clearly overwhelmed by everything that had happened. Looking to Kestral, then, and turning half-around, she looked up at her, her expression hard-to-read. "S-So...  will everyone... please stop hurting people now? Let's... make everyone well now.  The fighting is over..."

[Private to Immaculate Kestrel: Kestral might be able to tell that Kilani is too exhausted to be working on treating anyone, and she's also overwhelmed being surrounded by people and such. She needs fresh air and rest, and  doesn't look like she's going to get it for herself.]
Immaculate Kestrel
 player, 49 posts
 Pretty In Pink
Thu 24 Sep 2009
at 17:20
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Tch.

...sigh. Silly, silly, silly people. Peace Forcers didn't become Freerunners that easily, did they? Nor did anyone else, really; Irjin and his side always made sure people were who they said they were, and joiners-up tended to stay joined or very, very dead. She knew. She helped. Although Irjin still wouldn't let her watch during some of the louder performances, which was so very unfair, because sometimes they were people she found out, too, but then she'd be chased out of the room because she was, what, too young when she'd probably seen more than half of them combined.

(Irjin chased her out of the softer ones, too, but she didn't mind those quite so very muchly. They never seemed to do much of anything but cry.)

But oh well. They'd dropped their weapons, and they were on their knees, and then the other Freerunners would take care of it when they got back to base. One of the base. Bases. So one problem solved, or almost-solved, anyway, unless they were all hiding extra weapons somewhere and stuff. The other problem...

"Ok! We'll start with you, then!"

Humming softly, she grabbed hold of the younger girl's hand, and pulled her off in search of Irjin. "...and you obviously need some rest, you're, what, you look like you're almost out, just how much Essence have you been using, really? Anymore and you'd collapse on your feet. You can't treat anyone if you're falling over--um, well, ok, I suppose you could, but then it wouldn't be very much a good treatment and all, because you'd be too tired to do anything right and end up sewing fingers on toes and that kind of nonsense. It'd be like trying to..."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1351 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 24 Sep 2009
at 22:34
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Gulda looks at Higura, a scowl simmering on her face. "Maybe they really do feel sorry. But I'm not so much of a fool just to let them off so easy they can walk around free." She glares at Solemn Edge and the others. "If they want my respect then they gotta earn it. And I for one wouldn't be kind about it, after we laborers worked our fingers to the bone to arm them, only to have those weapons turned on us!" There are general murmurs and nods of assent among the workers.

Until recently, Irjin has been coordinating the gathering the wounded and separating the bodies (even the dead soldiers' corpses are treated with respect, under his watchful eye; the last thing anyone would wish is for them to return in undeath.) Weapons and armor have been stripped from the bodies of the Burning Feather soldiers, and placed into a pile.

It turns out Irjin is already walking Immy and Kilani's way. He stops next to them, but address the others first. "I applaud your sentiments, Doctor Higura. And Gulda, I understand your anger more than anything. However, though I don't imagine we will torture them, we will have to err on the side of caution. These soldiers must be restrained, and questioned. The Boss himself will want to see them. Gulda Marin, you and yours have earned much more than that, should you choose to join us officially." From the sudden spike of excitement among the laborers, it seems that they're all but thrilled by this prospect.

As ordered, some of the stronger bodied Freerunners come toward the subdued soldiers with long lengths of ropes and chains: Lucky Break, Crank, Basso, and Heldra, binding them one by one while Jambiya and Rampuri snatch their weapons away and put them in the pile.

Irjin smooths down his lapel, crimson stained as it is. It is strange to see a beastman so well-dressed, but spattered with blood. "I should add that the Freerunners' agenda is not to rule outright. Our first purpose is to liberate the Earth District. As we speak, a group of free Celestials breaches the base of the Inner Temple, while our best diplomat gathers allies in the City. We will soon rally together under the banner of Free, citizens and Celestials, and join their fight at the central column."

"For now, rest while you can, and prepare." Finally, Irjin looks to Immy and the exhausted, formerly collared Kilani. He addresses them personally, his wolfish face weary with a touch of sadness. "We have another safehouse set aside. You'll have time to recuperate before the Boss arrives and we can plan our offensive into the column."



OOC: Well, my next post will likely close this thread. The next part for your group will possibly be more of an 'intermission' until Perian's thread completes (hopefully soon!)

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:41, Thu 24 Sept 2009.

Ledaal Xurizu
 player, 214 posts
 No Moon Lunar
 Sorcerer and Test Subject
Fri 25 Sep 2009
at 12:21
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Xurizu moves over to Jedevra once Kestrel and Kilani move away from her.  He kneels in the blood and dust that were the remains of his and Kestrel's attacks on her.  His brow furrows as he studies the remains.  Between them, they'd certainly made a mess of her.  He starts to study the armour she is wearing, and the hearthstones embedded in it.  As he works, he listens to the sounds of the miners and the ... now ex? peaceforce, and the others.

If you're going to kill them, you have to kill me.  There's more blood on my hands than most of the Peaceforce here together.  Yet you accept me because I am not mortal any more?
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1365 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 1 Oct 2009
at 14:12
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
Xurizu is unperturbed by the sight of Jedevra's dead, torn up body. His systematic analysis of the Hearthstones embedded in her armor might have been more noticeably creepy, if Immy hadn't already surpassed the comfort levels of most in the vicinity. This ought to be suitable for the King Cobra, though, who is used to working in solitude.

In the end he is able to identify two out of three. The first is a major Fire Aspected hearthstone, a Candent Carbuncle, which makes any weapon the hearthstone bearer wields burst into flame and cause significantly more damage, as well as increases defenses versus fire damage. The second is an Air Aspected stone, a Gemstone of Surface Thoughts, which functions much as its name, whispering the surface thoughts of any target within a certain distance to the bearer's ear. [Private to Ledaal Xurizu: It requires a (Perception+Awareness) roll, though.]

As for the final stone, all Xurizu is certain of is that it is an Earth aspected stone, but its actual function eludes him. One can only hope the group will find the Manse it belongs to somewhere in this District. In any case, knowing the function alone does not convey use of the Stone, one must attune to the Manse it generated from.
Gatekeeper
 GM, 1375 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sat 3 Oct 2009
at 10:25
Re: Floor B23 - South Sector 5, Operation Earthcalm
In a couple hours time the former riot zone has been more or less reorganized, firmly in the hands of the worker class. It is uncertain yet how long their impromptu hierarchy will last, once the euphoria of triumphing over the Peace Force has faded. But for now Gulda Marin is considered a leader among the laborer class, and the Freerunners and Celestials their stalwart allies.

The dead Burning Feather soldiers (along with their leader, now stripped of all her equipment by Xurizu) have been placed in a mass pile next to one of the largest air vents in the Sector. Here their bodies would be torched and their spirits sent upward, the updraft of smoke and ash serving as yet another warning to the higher districts: the laborers of Earth are no longer tamed and well in hand. They will fight, and they can win.

It is arranged for the deceased citizens to be brought back to their families, for individual ceremonies, or if they wish it, a larger ceremony held a bit later in the day. In the meantime, the last of the wounded and equipment are brought by chariot, hand-drawn cart, or carried by hand to the next nearest Freerunner safehouse. Irjin Edgestrider invites the Celestials to join the Freerunner-worker union gathering there, in anticipation of the arrival of "the Boss" to the sector.

Free is still expecting to meet them personally, and is very excited at the prospect... or so he claims.



OOC: Will continue in 'Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, South Sector 5' when I reopen that thread.

Artifacts claimed
- Higura: Blaze Lance, Gunzosha Armor
- Kestrel: Red Jade Daiklave
- Kilani: Phoenix Pinions
- Nanaret: Gunzosha Armor
- Xurizu: Gunzosha Armor, Shield Bracers

Jedevra's Dragon Armor, Hearthstones still unclaimed. Still more Gunzosha Armor and Shock Matrix Rods available, they will be kept in storage for PCs to claim if they wish.

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:30, Sat 03 Oct 2009.