Mystery of the Apkallian System

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by The_Angry_Goat » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:26 pm

always with the pointing of guns...MURDER THEM FOR THEIR INSOLENCE...oh fuck off...

"seems about in line with Daath policy at this point that you all would have no idea who we were or why we're coming," he added wryly to Smoke's statement
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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by That Kode Guy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:22 am

(kinda big-ish update)

"But that is strange," says Lazarus slowly. "For Rashid the General said that he contacted Uanna that a group of us would be approaching Uanna within 3 solar cycles on Shamash. Perhaps the message was misplaced?"

"We received no message," repeats the commander.

"Message or not, our business is to solve the abductions on Shamash. I, Kyraxa, and Rustahg came here originally for such a purpose, but the rest of them followed suit after we were set upon by the Judas," says Nexios. "We are also tracking one Petz, an enemy, who may be going around by the name of Prisma. Have you seen her?"

The Felidii give each other surprised looks, and then suddenly stand down, including the commander.

"A friendly purpose... well, it's nice to see someone still gives thought to the abductions." Now the commander looks troubled. "You may call me Maukh. Forgive our earlier menace, we are going through harsh times. Still..." he casts unsavoury looks at Koan and Calaveras.

"Well, we've tracked another bounty hunter of their group, Petz, to Uanna," says Casey. "And these two have been very cooperative in helping us find her so far. As for the Judas ship, we were ambushed on the way here. Our original ship was destroyed. We improvised."

"I see," says Maukh.

"Seems about in line with Daath policy at this point that you all would have no idea who we were or why we're coming," snarks Heddwyn.

"The Daath? You mean... ?" Maukh blinks.

"Are you new to your position? Perhaps you had only heard of us before, not seen," laughs Keldar. "Though I know that I have not seen you here before."

"I was promoted... without my consent," replies Maukh. "I actually cannot believe I'm seeing the Daath with my own eyes!"

"Don't stare too closely." Casey rolls her eyes.

"There are only three of us here at the moment," says Nexios. "The rest elected to stay on Shamash for now."

"It is well; three of you alone are enough to give me heart. Discounting you three and the... cooperative ones," Maukh says sarcastically, "am I correct that these are the new ones in place of the previous Eight?"

"They are indeed," says Keldar quietly. "One of them may hold a clue solvable on this moon alone. Heddwyn, can you please show him the book?"

Heddwyn does so, and Maukh stares at the empty pages.

"I am afraid I cannot gather meaning from blank pages," he replies. "Perhaps the rest of the moon is more knowledgeable."

"Nothing on Shamash could distinguish it, I fear," says Lazarus. "But it holds some meaning. You see, this one," he hisses at Koan, "could read the pages beforehand, before she turned face. Afterwards, the pages were blank to her too. Furthermore, no memory of it remains within her... or so it seems."

"It's true," Koan mumbles. She doesn't know why she can't remember such a thing.

"Ominous," Maukh is silent for a moment, then continues. "Getting back to our earlier subject, it is true that we have not heard from Shamash for quite some time, not since we received word that the Eight ventured off to solve the disappearances themselves. In any case, the idea of this Petz going around and doing as she pleases is very unsettling, as is the notion that we did not receive a message you have sent. I would take you to our own General, but things have become... complicated since the Eight left us."

"Complicated how?" says Rustahg.

"Well, he always keeps himself locked away these days, and all we've seen of him is when he appears on holo casts praising the Uanna's efforts. We know it's a ruse, however. I would say he is the most troubled out of any of us."

"And why is he troubled?" persists Rustahg.

"Why? Good grief, abductions have been happening here as well as on Shamash, you know. He blames it on himself that people are being taken away from the moon, and it's been showing. So many... so many are clamouring for him to do something about it, but I know in my heart that it's beyond his ability."

"Blame the Daath for getting us into this situation in the first place," snarks Brooke.

"We are in the same boat as Uanna's General," hisses Lazarus, eyeing Brooke menacingly. "Don't take pot shots at us for being unable to prevent such a horrific phenomenon."

"And don't make me bring up the whole random summoning thing again. Really, don't," mutters Heddwyn. Fucking hell, are they determined not to take the blame...

"I am able to bring you to our second-in-command, Abraxas," says Maukh. "However, he is very distrusting in these times. You could argue anyone on Uanna currently is, but he is a special case."

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Cha0sFerret » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:12 pm

Right, the abductions. In all the chaos, Casey forgot about that. The only people she's seen so far with the ability to randomly pull people from wherever have been the Daath. Her original suspicions about them may have been well-founded after all. A plan to figure this out begins brewing in her head... she may need the holy gun, as much as she hates trying to hold the thing.

Uanna's second-in-command is distrustful, so they say. Her eyes light up at hearing this. Finally, a skeptical mind! This might be just what she needs to get away!

"Sounds good. Let's go."

Time to throw the whole operation into chaos. With the truth, no less.

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by The Monsterworks » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:45 pm

Smoke's helpful. It even borders on chipper, Brooke muses. Who are you and what have you done with my Smoke? She follows quickly and catches up after a moment. "Hey," she begins, pausing to place a hand on her...comrade's shoulder. She nearly stumbles in the process. #oneleggedproblems. However, that doesn't stop her from closing her eyes and immediately thinking "stop!"

"Smoke," she says, "Is something going on? You're too...normal." After pausing for a moment, she adds, "I just wanna know if I can help. I think we might be on the same side here. I'm sick of all the obvious BS too."
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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Alexjh » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:46 pm

Kyraxa stands there looking kind of blankly at most of this exchange. She hears names she recognises, but doesn't really get the context at all. She's not really used to the decision making process - people do that somewhere else and pay her for what comes next. She sighs. She'll give this a go she guesses.

She makes most least subtle whisper ever to the other members of the party standing next to her:
"So..... these guys are Daath and are tough guys? And then are on our side hunting this "Petz" thing? And there are abductions by bad guys?"

Pondering this for a little longer she decides she's got enough of the gist.

"Good to meet you fellow foes of that one Petz! I am Kyraxa, Scourge of the Demonworlds of Mephistus I, II, III, V, VI, and VII, and only not of IV because they saw me coming and ran away! Tell me brave warriors, what melancholy besieges your second-in-command Abraxas? Is there any way to convince him of our sincerity - ideally through glorious battle with some kind of nere-do-wells?"

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Cha0sFerret » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:13 pm

Well, this is an unexpected turn of events. The time god who came just short of threatening to shoot her earlier wants out of this mess, too. Casey might not need to come up with a plan to work around her anymore. Everything around them is frozen - she must have stopped time to chat. Casey isn't entirely trusting of this, it's possible that Brooke traveled back to this point from the future to expose her plan and stop her. She talks slowly and stays vague, half expecting Brooke to rip her hand away from her shoulder in the middle of her talking.

"I don't trust any of this. They're putting up every red flag I know. I have an idea - no guarantee it will work, but at this point I don't see how it can make things worse." She leans in to whisper the last bit, just in case. "Play along, and we can get out together." Conveniently, this might feed into her main goal of getting onto Berthier's ship without the rest of the group nicely.

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by The Monsterworks » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:30 pm

Ugh! Brooke thinks, SO vague. She doesn't trust me. Totally doesn't trust me. She pauses. Would I if I were her? The one-legged woman already knows the answer.

"Okay," Brooke whispers reluctantly. "Just, don't go all Rambo, kay? And if you need me to freeze time, say 'presto', and if you need a rewind, say 'smudge'." Brooke grins stupidly as a thought occurs to her. "Those are our safe words, BB."

She prepares to open her eyes and feign a perfunctory request if Smoke has nothing else to say.
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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Cha0sFerret » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:37 pm

One one hand, Casey isn't excited by the prospect of running off with some weirdo who calls mission-critical keywords "safe words." On the other hand, said weirdo has a degree of conscious movement in a dimension that most people barely acknowledge the existence of. She'll simplify things a lot if she's trustworthy. A valuable tool, to be sure.

She considers just skipping out now with Brooke in tow, but as easy as that would be, it just wouldn't be satisfying. She's going to do as much damage as she can first, and she'll need to stay with the group a little while longer to do that.

"Just promise me you'll never say that again," she responds flatly to Brooke's last comment.

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by That Kode Guy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:54 am

-- UPDATE --

The party are taken by Maukh through a grand series of intricate walkways and paths - nothing like on Shamash. Before long, however, they are in a wide, open hall lined with military tech, computers, holo screens, and illegible lines of data. Many Felidii officers are walking across the hall giving details reports to other soldiers or superiors, but there is a seat near the back of the hall, occupied by someone immediately recognizable as a veteran soldier. He is even more distinguishable in regards to felines; his head looks almost identical to a Canada lynx, except he has a more human-like mouth and nose. But great scars and pockmarks occupy several places on his visage; a great chunk of flesh has been torn out of the space between his eye and ear. It's not a pretty sight.

He rises up as Maukh, leading the party, greets him.

"I have brought them, Master Abraxas."

"Whom, now?" Abraxas' voice would also have been rather feline, had it not been so gutteral.

"Those who landed in the Judas ship."

Abraxas eyes the party very seriously. "So you've brought those troublemakers, the Daath... as well as two of the Spectre Sisters we've cursed upon."

"Shall I let them speak?" says Maukh uncertainly. "They certainly seem to mean well."

"Yes, let's have it."

Nexios, Heddwyn, and Casey speak their pieces. The bit where they were attacked in space seems to get Abraxas' interest.

"Ah... so you've fought the Judas, have you?" he says.

"That's what we said, yes," replies Heddwyn, a bit irritably.

"Well you will soon find out that we have our own little, shall we say... 'problem' with them, ourselves," Abraxas scowls. "As for the abductions, if you do intend to solve them, I would be grateful... granted you are capable of the task."

"They are very capable," says Nexios.

"I will be the judge of that," snaps Abraxas, still scowling. "I will say, however, that it pleases me to see you have recovered one of the Eight."

Tiny Robert tries not to be seen.

"I wished to ask," says Laxarus, "about the message Rashid sent over to Uanna."

"We have had no message," barks Abraxas. "However I don't doubt that one was sent."

"There's also the issue of Petz, who might be going around flashing the name 'Prisma' to anyone who'll listen," says Benzine.

"She may not be as easy to coerce into aiding us as Koan and Cally-Anne have," adds Heddwyn. Calaveras gives him a dirty look.

Abraxas strokes his chin. "Very well," he says at last. "I will give you a number of choices, and you can go at your leisure to solve any of them. For I still am at ill ease to lay trust into anyone at first glance."

"And what would that be?" asks Keldar.

"Either help us solve the abductions..." says Abraxas. "...find this other Spectre Sister you have been hunting... or take back our moon's planet, so that we can study it more closely."

"Pardon?" says Rustahg.

"Uanna here is a satellite of the planet Enki, which we orbit," says Abraxas. "However, in recent times more and more of the Judas forces have pushed us away and are taking it over. They have not built any encampments as far as I am aware, but they have built several jamming towers, disturbing and/or blocking our frequencies."

"Perhaps that is why Rashid is unable to contact you properly," says Keldar quietly.

"Perhaps," says Abraxas. "However, every attempt we make to destroy the towers, the Judas appear out of nowhere and decimate our forces. There is a teleporter to the planet's surface, which the Judas have no knowledge of, to my understanding."

"These Judas guys sound like real party animals," Brooke snarks, though inside she's pretty sickened about the whole deal, and she still thinks everything about the situation is pure nonsense.

"So what good would we get out of the taking out the jamming towers?" says Casey, her eyebrow raising.

"Keldar already hinted at it," the reply is from Nexios. "We would regain direct contact with Shamash. It is plain to see that the Judas are trying to disrupt the balance between Shamash and Uanna."

"Are they anywhere on Uanna itself?" asks Electro.

"There are a few small groups on the run, which our soldiers can handle," says Abraxas. "They are nothing to worry about. For the moment, at least."

"So what about the General of Uanna?" says Benzine. "Where is he?"

"He..." For the first time, Abraxas' composure breaks a little, and he looks rather saddened. "He is not himself. No, I assure you it's no enemy in disguise," he adds, as many of the party's eyes widen. "However the loss of our people seems to have hit him in a place that made his confidence crumble. He designated me as second-in-command and now all he ever comes out for is to eat, stare out into the sky for moments at a time, then return to his quarters. I have tried to lead as best as I can in his stead."

Now his business-like attitude returns. "In addition to your choices, I can take you to an armoury if need be. Be warned, however, it contains many items confiscated from Judas prisoners and we don't bother with them."

Koan looks at Calaveras.

This whole deal seems completely wack...

I know... what do we do, Koanie? We can't rejoin our other sisters now, not after what Bertie did...

Of course not! Which is why we're going to stick with these guys, whatever they do.

Ugh, I'd rather not be withinin jeering distance of that half-demon asshole who keeps mispronouncing my name, thanks.

Pardon me, Calamari?


In a comical moment, Calaveras' eyes snap wide open. Heddwyn is standing right behind her, and Calaveras curses herself as she'd been projecting her thoughts not only to Koan, who was closest, but to Heddwyn as well, who was second-closest.

"All right, where do we go from here?" Benzine asks the obvious question.

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Alexjh » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:49 am

This conversation is far more to Kyraxa's liking - there was some stuff in here that was right up her alley.

"Noble Abraxas! I, Kyraxa, slayer of the Giant Sabre-toothed Bear God of Milton Keynes, will aid you in retaking the moon. They shall learn to fear my mighty wrath! Also, I would like to see this armory of yours - I shall need all your biggest and loudest weapons! Also, for that matter some detailed tactical breakdowns of your most recent battles and probably some other stuff after I see those. I shall aid you in retaking this moon - so Kyraxa Vows!"

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by The Monsterworks » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:44 am

Seeing how things are playing out, Brooke decides to rewind a bit: back to when she was preparing the ship for just about every eventuality that she could think of. Loathe as I am to admit it, those enhanced powers are coming in handy right about now. She makes one small but potentially significant change to her preparations and then lets everything play out just as it had before.

"Armoury sounds good," she chimes in. "I'm up for some kicking ass and taking names." She glances at Kyraxa and winks. "We'll see who can bag more Judas." IRL One-legged girl in an ass-kicking contest. Hehe.
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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Cha0sFerret » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:51 am

Casey takes a quick glance at Brooke and edges closer to her. Presto... she might need that one soon. She takes a deep breath and mentally prepares for the shitstorm that's likely to kick up in a few moments.

"Actually... I have a lead on the abductions," she begins. "Most of us in our group are abduction victims ourselves. Not from any worlds around here, obviously, we got dragged here against our wills by the Daath, supposedly to help solve the abduction crisis. Ironic, right? The thing is, the Daath are the only ones we know of who have the ability to pull these abductions off. Hell, I even personally watched them poof Brooke here into this mess, presumably from somewhere she'd rather be right now. All the evidence I have points right to them... and yet, I can't figure out why they'd do it to people here in particular..." She turns her head toward Nexios. "Maybe just because they can. Maybe some long-term bid for more power. Maybe - and perhaps most likely - on the behalf of some greater force?" She gets as close as she can to Brooke without it looking weird. The Daath don't like being called on their shit: better to be prepared to time skip out with her new best friend. "So, Nexios: why are we really here?"

Operation: Piss Off the Daath is off to a great start.
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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by That Kode Guy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:34 am

KYRAXA

To Kyraxa, Abraxas speaks. "That is well. Thank you." He barks at Maukh. "Take her down to the armoury."

"Yes, sir." Maukh leads Kyraxa back out the way they came. There is an elevator to the right of the main doors, which Kyraxa just barely fits in. They take it down some flights, where it spills into something of an identical armoury to the one on Shamash.

"This is our armoury." Maukh explains. "Simply, you speak a specific word to the computer, and it will generate 3 items for use. After that, the system soft resets, and you will not be able to get more due to the system recognizing your voice."

----

REST OF THE PARTY

Nexios' head flame turns purple. He doesn't need to have an expression; everyone around him can practically feel the guilt oozing from him. But before he has a chance to speak, there is a quiet chuckle. It's Keldar.

"The old argument," he says softly. "You join the ranks of many who are faithless in us, who say we delight in bringing ill news. And ill news is an ill guest they say." He chuckles again, yet the glint of his dark eyes can be seen, and those who see it lean away.

"Not to quash your theory or anything, miss," Abraxas butts in suddenly, "but if the Daath themselves are behind this, they must have contrived it well. It was a while ago, but I remember each of them in this very room before, doing what they could about the abductions while they we saw them happen. However," he growls. "None of them have made any possible headway into this since then. And since then, the Judas have come to bother us. What say you to that?" he demands of the three Daath members.

Nexios does not answer; instead, Lazarus replies, rather snappishly, "And what would you have us do? We are talking about something that stumps even the minds of the co-founders of Daath."

"I cannot fathom it," says Keldar. "But as my friend Nexios seems to be unresponsive at the moment... Smoke, I take it?" He chuckles darkly. "We have been honest about our intentions, now perhaps it is time to come clean about yours, since you seem to be playing the part of instigator?"

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Mystery of the Apkallian System

Post by Alexjh » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:29 pm

Kyraxa ponders for a while. This is going to be a lot of battle. Which is great... but trying to sum up what she needed with but a single word? Very difficult indeed. After a while, she strides over to the machine and yells at it

"ARTILLERY!"

That should do the trick.

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Post by Cha0sFerret » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:22 am

Casey smirks. They're dodging her question. Predictable, and it gives her all the confirmation she needs: the Daath are up to no good. It's not her problem, though - she has no personal stake in protecting anyone except Brooke, and that's only for as long as she's useful. At this point, she intends to sow as much discord as she can. A poorly-unified opposition will have a hard time slowing her down. It's just incredibly convenient that someone in the room is actually guilty of something.

"Awfully quick to deflect, aren't you? Let me spell out why your story falls apart for the rest of us who haven't realized this yet: if the two greatest minds and most powerful beings around can't figure this out, why should anyone expect a gaggle of random people to do any better? Your actions don't match up with your claims - you brought us here to help with something, all right, but not what you've led some of us to believe."

She feels the adrenaline rush that comes with calling a cosmic entity out on its bullshit. This is as close to spitting in a god's face as she'll ever get, and she knows it.

"But since you're so interested in honesty all of a sudden, I'll indulge you. Smoke's not my real name, but you knew that already. You probably know a lot more about me that you're letting on, and that you still let me live is incredible. I act on truths that nobody around me wants to acknowledge, and I've gained some... notoriety, as a result. I know I'm seen as the bad guy. People hate me. All sorts of people hate me, good and evil alike. There's always a common thread with them, though: greed. More money, more power, if there's a benefit to having more, they all want it, and they'll ruin lives to get it like they ruined mine. Right now, you're not looking any better than them. Makes me think this greed thing is universal." She's simmered into something of a collected rage. "You want to know my true intentions? Here you go: I end greed. I'm making sure nobody else will ever suffer like I did.

"Now, I'll ask again: why are we really here?"

Brooke is still next to her. It's almost escape time.

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