Root and Branch.   Posted by Terradyne.Group: 0
Terradyne
 GM, 113 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 21:36
Root and Branch
With the Eldar signalled, there is only time to wait, sitting beside the only person you know to not be possessed. While it is unlikely that many - perhaps even any of your people are so afflicted, the lack of physical signs is a troubling one, and it removes one of the most obvious ways of determining who is safe and who is not.

Worse is the fact that she had passed other screenings. Whether this was simply due to not being possessed at the time, or some ability that the daemon possessed is hard to say, but not for nothing is Tzeentch known for his underhanded ways.
Agrona
 player, 35 posts
 Crowned Champion
 Priestess Queen
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 22:31
Root and Branch
It is by no means the first time that Agrona has had to root out vermin from the Eye, but when Maya warns her that there may be greater powers in play, she accepts that the situation is fundamentally different.

And she knows that other forces are coming to crush the humans. A rather great deal of them, which lends credence to the theory.

Thus it must be handled properly.

First alerting Fionn to ask her to channel a greater part of Lileath. The greatest part.

Even a greater daemon of the Serpent would do well to fear a goddess who saw the future of sixty million years.

Herself, she draws in Shadows, and she hears in her mind the Aspect giggle. Her black wings drink the light until they too fade away, all hidden beneath endless darkened veils. In her hand she holds her sword, and her armour is fit for heroes.

Around assembles priests and seers for battle against the Warp. Donning arms and armour from the grandest armoury. The treasures of a lost age.

To complete the ensemble, warded suits and what Force Weapons are at hand. It all forms a host to show all enemies of Finashwych the consequences of such a direct challenge.

And then, silent steps. Wardings and Shadow cloaking this army from the warp. It would be best if the enemy falls before it knows what even happens.

Actions:
-Integrate Shadow Aspect and pick up Agrona's panoply including a warding suit. Layer on the stealth magic while still on the Craftworld. Go scout out the Academy for daemons in cooperation with Maya.
-Have Fionn integrate Dreams and prepare to absolutely murder and eat any greater daemon punks that think they have a chance. Keep her very quietly on standby.
-Gather up as many Eldar Psykers preferably with some combat training and give then +5 equipment, Force Weapons and warding suits (there should be enough for at least 30, probably at least 100 of them), and have them show up with Agrona and surround the Academy in squads, ready to pile on any daemons.
Maya Adderson
 GM, 67 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 22:43
Root and Branch
"Glad you could make it"  Maya nods as Agrona shows up--having a good understanding of the timing involved in this business, and saw to it that she would be invited into the medical bay, where Jocasta was being treated.  "This is the one who was possessed, I don't know how it happened, but I cast the creature out--problem is, I don't know if it was working alone or if it had company.  I'd like your assistance in healing what can be healed, and seeing if we can learn how this happened in the first place"
Agrona
 player, 36 posts
 Crowned Champion
 Priestess Queen
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 19:20
Root and Branch
"Whatever can be done to help her, we will do. Though if she was possessed for long, I fear that her situation may be grim, at least in the short term." Agrona replies, taking the hand of the human girl.

Her senses are dulled through the wardings, but they will suffice for the moment.

"I would dearly like to throw my power into healing, but for the moment I fear such might simply reveal my presence. If she is stable, at least for now, we should begin searching for foes. We may give thought to healing once the root of evil has been ripped out with fire and sword."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 68 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 19:22
Root and Branch
"Let me do the heavy lifting, you just instruct me on how to figure this out without damaging her further. I'm already a known factor."  Maya cracked her knuckles and moved forward, unshackling the strength of her Will.
Agrona
 player, 37 posts
 Crowned Champion
 Priestess Queen
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 19:30
Root and Branch
"Very well then. We will focus on triage and wait with more complex healing. The soul can be... delicate. First, I will explain the procedure such that you can interject if there are actions you are unsure how to perform. I will then monitor and assist your execution of the instructions. Please do not ask too much of the theory, there may be elements I cannot yet explain."

Instruction roll for teaching Maya psychic surgey in ten minutes: 19, unknown bonuses

This message was last edited by the player at 19:45, Tue 15 Sept 2015.

Maya Adderson
 GM, 69 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 19:40
Root and Branch
"Give me a moment to prepare myself"  Maya closed her eyes, raising her hands above Jocasta as she focused, removing all unneccessary thoughts, and overclocking her awareness to the immediate time in the future, to learn what Agrona had to offer a moment before she offered it.

And when her eyes opened, they were glimmering with an inner Light

"Then let's begin"

Successful Precog Check for +2 to the next roll
SEVENTEEN, my good friend has returned!  27 before bonuses, 37 if we simply double

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:41, Tue 15 Sept 2015.

Terradyne
 GM, 115 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 22:47
Root and Branch
The human in front of you is different from most of her kind; not as clumsy or as weak as they, and her mind is far stronger still than even most of the Eldar - at least those that do not dedicate much of their lives to such.

Combined with a formidable intellect, she seems to comprehend your instructions with surprising ease, working on the problem in ways that you had not quite expected.

Her actions are not quite what you might have done, but in that there is always the potential to learn new tricks, even if some of them are dependent upon the mind that produces them. The human mind and the eldar, as similar as they might seem at times, are still quite different, and what works for one does not always work for another.

Still, you have taught her well, in this brief few minutes of time. An able student, certainly, but also a surprisingly effective teacher.

***

You start the process, piecing the shattered fragments of her consciousness together, under the careful supervision of Agrona. Though the process is foreign to you, it is not outside your ability to implement.

Her instructions are clear and precise, even with how complex they may be. With the aid of your precognitive efforts, you gain insight into the instructions, a second part of your mind working on the more complex segments for moments longer than it might otherwise have to digest them.

In the distance you feel the great psi-crystal light up as you focus on the task at hand, an odd aid, often difficult to control, but when it is in the right state, an invaluable one.

However basic the repairs were meant to be, however simple a triage it should have been, the situation rapidly evolves far beyond that. Sections of shattered memories come together, splinters of thought seamlessly reverting into true memories. You follow associations, placing them back into their proper places, her mind knowing how things should be, just lacking the tools and the will to enforce it.

You carry on for what seems like hours, the curiously timeless nature of the warp extending it onwards to infinity the further you draw on it. In this second of both infinity and no time at all, you piece her mind back together, from dust and fragments into a whole crystal. Each fragment adds more of her self back, until her mind and soul are as good as new. Possibly even a little better, as bizarre as the thought might be.
Maya Adderson
 GM, 70 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 22:50
Root and Branch
"And...  That should do it"  Maya stepped back with a final survey of her work.  "Thank you for your assistance here Agrona, this could have gotten tricky without your advice"

She looks Jocasta over then, surveying her physically even as the mental damage was restored.  "You doing any better then?"
Agrona
 player, 38 posts
 Crowned Champion
 Priestess Queen
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 22:57
Root and Branch
"A superb performance on your part. You thoroughly exceeded my expectations." Agrona admits freely.

"It will be interesting to review the details later, but do not forget to act swiftly. The creature surely noticed your skill as well, should one exist. We must move quickly."
Terradyne
 GM, 116 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 23:07
Root and Branch
She stirs, eyelids fluttering as she awakens from the brief coma. "Yes, actually." she says, trying to push herself into an upright position. "What just happened?" she asks, shaking her head as she tries to clear the mental fog on waking.

"Wait, I remember..." she shudders. "That thing. Something got in to me, when I was out in the colony. It...used me." the blood drains from her face as she starts to sweat. "I can't remember all of it, but it wasn't fun."

For a moment she looks more puzzled than afraid, eyebrows twisting with questions. "But how did it..." she stops, thinking even as she shivers, before the answer comes to her.

"Reid. He promised to meet me out there, for...something." she says, with a slightly embarrassed cough. "And then...I don't remember exactly what happened."

She sighs. "Sorry I can't be more help. I think I felt what you did, so thank you for that, Councillor." she pauses. "And, uh, thank you too...Majesty?"

However little help she may think she has been, it has been more than you had before. Harold Reid, third class psychic, is one of your lower-powered students. Ambitious in his own way, but never too focused on any one task, he drifted from program to program, before settling in on the advanced track, to make the most of his abilities.

Jocasta wouldn't have been a match for him, certainly, but she shouldn't have gone down too quickly, not without alerting someone else to the situation. There is clearly more here, but you suspected as much already.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:11, Tue 15 Sept 2015.

Maya Adderson
 GM, 71 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 23:10
Root and Branch
"Reid?"  Maya nodded.  "Right, we'll look into it.  You go get some rest, we'll make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else."

She turned to the side, as one of her drones brought the Staff of Forgotten Stars over to her, which she took hold of with a crackle of energy.

"If we move quickly, we might manage to catch him flat footed, let's move"

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:10, Tue 15 Sept 2015.

Agrona
 player, 39 posts
 Crowned Champion
 Priestess Queen
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 23:21
Root and Branch
Agrona laughs silently at the honorific.

"Call me Champion, child. I shall not demand such grand titles from one not my subject." She says, clearly smiling despite the helmet and obscuring shadows.

"Go to one of my priests, child. Let them take you to the Craftworld. The enemy might still have left traps in your mind we could not find. However nowhere in the galaxy shall be safer for you than in Finashwych. We shall not be long."

"Now, lead on, Maya. I will be keeping Fionn updated on the situation as we move."
Terradyne
 GM, 117 posts
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 15:21
Root and Branch
"Champion, then." she says, nodding. "I'll do as you say."

She hops up, surprisingly spry for someone who came within moments of utter soul-death, before heading out under escort with your priests. Hopefully she will be safe, there, no latent traps or links to the creature that did this. At the very least, she will be far away, and behind many wards.

***

Tracking down Reid is not easy. A quick check of the personnel files shows that he left this morning, about three hours before you started looking for anything wrong. Presumably he managed to divine that something was going to happen, though hopefully the lack of any warning on the wards means that he doesn't know much about what was going to happen.

According to the foyer records, he reported that he was heading to Hab #3 on personal business, but he's already pushing the limits of what could be reasonably expected of that, even on foot. There are a few ways of trying to track him down, but most of them are going to be either slow or fairly obvious.
Maya Adderson
 GM, 72 posts
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 15:55
Root and Branch
"Speed is the key"  Maya considered.  "But that doesn't mean we need to be terribly obvious about it either."

The sole advantage that Maya had is that it was unlikely that Reid--or a creature possessing him--would know the exact form the danger would entail.  Divination was good, but it didn't create evidence where none existed, you needed to know what to look for in order to gain useful data from the nonlinear potentialities of the Warp.  She had moved quickly after all, but that didn't mean he wasn't preparing or activating a contingency plan just in case.

"I need to requisition a platoon of the prototype LORDs"  She sent off.  "Send them to.."

She quickly ran up an estimate of where she'd be at the time they arrived--a good midpoint between Hab #3 and where she was now.

"They need to come in fast and quiet, I'll let you know if they need to meet up somewhere closer."

Now, she just needed to figure out where Reid had run off to.  While he may have said he was going to #3, that didn't mean he was above lying to set any potential trouble on a wild goose chase.

Fortunately, perks of living in a surveilliance state.

"I need access to the visual records from sector 2-131 to 3-101, Access code 4291766A, send them to my datapad ASAP"  She sent to the administrative center, then settled herself in the car and set it on autopilot to #3.

"You have any suggestions?"  She offered Agrona while she reviewed the surveillaince logs, offering a seat just before it got underway.
Agrona
 player, 40 posts
 Crowned Champion
 Priestess Queen
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 18:37
Root and Branch
"These are good decisions." Agrona says as she settles in the seat, carefully holding her somewhat oversized sword such that it does not touch anything. She would prefer not to damage Maya's car.

"If he proves elusive, Fionn might attempt her own predictions. She is better than him at this, but moving in the material world is safer. Harder to track without effort that might reveal him. Perhaps adding in something in orbit though... I will ask Fionn to check if there are any Finashwych vessels close enough."

"If you can grant me special permission, I might also mobilize some of my gendarmerie, or even the Guard. The news will ripple slower through your society. I, after all, have no need to justify myself, while you... well, a fait accompli seems reasonable, under the circumstances?"

"I will have transports brought to Fionn and the priests regardless, that they might converge swiftly on our position."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 73 posts
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 20:48
Root and Branch
"Still need to be discreet, but I'll vouch it--no more than a squad I think, any more would draw attention in itself, and give him an avenue to attack us through it"