The author is conflicted about including this in his canon. Nevertheless, he wishes his readers a happy Thanksgiving.
The Great Library of Alexandria burned for seven days and seven nights, and in so doing unleashed ten thousand curses, with many more destroyed. It had been said to hold a copy of all the evils of the world, and many of it’s blessings, though few of those were recovered. It’s passing marked the fall of the Great Age of Egypt, and the Philosophers faded into memory soon after. The Archivists did not all perish, far from it, but of all the lesser repositories of which they had charge none could match a fraction of the completeness of the original, try though they might, and many said that the most terrible curse released in the fire was not war nor plague, but forgetfulness. Certainly, the Republic of Greece did not benefit, and the Roman Empire fell soon after, raided by the lightning-men of the North, repulsed by the Celts who slung enchanted stones, then finally turning their swords against themselves. India, for it’s part, mostly adapted to the curses, and drew great strength to fight them when necessary. Few curses made it through to China, and in time become natural, adapting to the flow of things. Such was the great strength of that land, and also the great weakness. Fewer still reached Russia, and such may explain their great resilience, having few things to contend with besides their environment and themselves. In the other direction, Africa was mostly untouched. Few things could corrupt that holy land, and fewer still could tame it. Some places became worse, for sure, but any man who could survive there knew how to entreat spirits, and few of those would stand the intrusion. In the wake of these great upheavals, wars were fought, techniques developed, and technology advanced. A new empire was formed by the Teuton tribes, who gathered the remnants of many cultures and conquered the western reaches, forming the area known as Europe...
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Name: Excelion 04 NRV
Aliases: Ultraheavy Combat Unit 04 Model C (Production), (real name unknown)
Age: 14-26 (specific pilot unknown)
Affiliations: Excelion Project (Schwarzland Division)
Clearances: B (roughly equivalent to Indigo), Azure (temporary, issued for her visit to the NAC)
Equipment: Production Model Excelion 01 (Heavy Forcefield Projector, Psychic Interference System, Rapid Fire Beam Array, Grief Core, Subspatial Storage Compartment), Heavy Assault Carbine
Super Mode: Crimson Titan
Appearance: A vaguely feminine figure in bright red armor. The armor is highly segmented, and none of the bands are more than a quarter foot wide, although some of the plates are slightly larger. The only exceptions to the red color scheme are the sets of four yellow glowing spots in cross patterns on the outside of each shoulder, the lower throat to upper ribcage area, and two overlapping on the upper back. These spots are particle beam projectors, and will autotarget based on several criteria, such as distance, presumed threat level, or the likelihood of an accurate hit. They will also attempt to intercept incoming projectiles. All these options can be toggled, but not particularly rapidly, generally making this unfeasible in combat. She also carries a large, somewhat boxy gun, the barrel of which is about half the width of her forearm, and the same length, with the handle positioned almost squarely in the middle.
Character Notes: Well trained. Visiting the NAC to demonstrate the Excelion Model C, a very versatile support model, and probably years ahead of the others in reaching a production worthy design, due to the removal of the arm cannons. As the pilot has not removed the suit since reaching the country, her identity is uncertain, but the blueprints for her model suggest that she’s wearing the female variant of the exoskeleton and the list of potential candidates is fairly short. She brought the full complement of weapons designed for her Excelion, but only has the assault cannon out at the moment, as her onboard method of accessing her storage requires enormous amounts of power in exchange for being easy to mass produce.
- Charge/Parry: Unit NRV lifts up its arms, palms outstretched, and produces a semispherical set of interlocking amber forcefields (six octagons, eight squares, eight hexagons). The forcefield panes grow thicker and more solid as she reinforces them, and block from all directions although they are weakest where they are touching surfaces. The automatic beam projectors cannot fire while the forcefie. If directed, the forcefields will focus and reinforce one direction, although hits to the forcefield will automatically redirect effective focus away.
- Charge Attack:
- No charge: NRV strikes out with both her gun and open palm. Designed to push opponents away, as she’s really a long range combat character.
- Partial charge: The forcefield panels separate and push outwards. Fairly low damage, but highly concussive. Range and damage depend on charge. Jump over an opponent or corner them against a wall just before release to slam them into, and possibly through, said surface, as well as much better damage.
- Full Charge: The forcefield panels expand rapidly outwards, although the panels remain the same width, and only separate after reaching a thickness equal to a quarter of NRV’s height. Damage is on the low end for a charge shot, but it can launch both opponents and debris slightly further and significantly faster than Makoto’s whirlwind.
- Super Mode Activation: NRV’s forcefields reach maximum power, and are then hit hard enough to overcharge some of the panes. The combination of damage and excess energy fully awakens the Grief Core, as it is designed to, and NRV activates Crimson Titan mode. Crimson Titan creates bright red forcefields over its entire surface, at the cost of no longer being able to project the larger amber ones. It also has the ability to access it’s stored arsenal, at combat useful speeds, without a focus chamber, and general supercharged strength and firepower, including that of compatible weapons attached to it.
- Main Attack: NRV aims her weapon, the Assault Cannon by default, and uses it. Other weapons can be unlocked by various means, and all available weapons can be accessed from Super Mode. The following weapons can be accessed from her Super Mode from the outset:
- Arc Spear: A long, red spear, with a plasma cutter on the end instead of a spearhead. The tines are curled slightly around each other, allowing a remarkably compact head. Excellent damage, best range for a melee attack short of lunges, as it extends slightly further than the other spears, but lacks good knockback capability. This deficiency is partially fixed in Super Mode, where the arc does several times the damage and forces opponents slightly backwards.
- Heavy Particle Cannon: A large white cylinder with a small blue lens on the end that fits over NRV’s arm. More a sniping weapon than anything else, it does slightly more damage per hit than the Assault Cannon but has half the firerate. Absolutely no knockback, beam is nearly invisible under most circumstances, requiring careful observation as it hits to trace. Super Mode more than triples the damage, leaves the firerate alone, and makes the beam attempt to propagate through cylindrical forcefields, doing slightly less localized damage to them and creating a “piercing” effect if successful. Less useful in most circumstances than the Assault Cannon, as this is a more a somewhat gun heavy fighting game rather than a third person shooter. May or may not be based on CHS’s arm cannons.
- Guided Missile Launcher: Essentially a handheld version of standard Excelion rocket launchers, it has a slightly lower fire rate and projectile speed and significantly better homing capabilities. Super Mode increases damage, fire rate, projectile speed, and roughly triples durability as a side benefit, at the cost of making the projectiles glow bright red and become therefore easier to track.
Unlockable weapons include a copy of Hannah’s knives, a sword, a version of Nemesis’s mines, and a pair of knuckledusters.
- Psychotrope Move: NRV devotes power to her Psychic Interference System. Originally called the Electronic Warfare Array, this move scrambles bomb triggers, partially hijacks any kind of automatic homing attack (such as Hannah’s rockets, Makoto’s dolls, or Grace’s charge attack), and interferes with most characters’ senses. Degree of effect ranges from projecting simple decoys to outright rewriting command parameters, based on time spent, type of target, and proximity.
Final Analysis: NRV is highly versatile, and remarkably simple to use effectively. Unlocking all her weapons, especially the mines, takes her from mid tier crutch character straight to top tier battlefield control, and prove to be most of the challenge in mastering her abilities. Her real strength is easily generally understated because of this.
Aliases: The Stolen Excelion, Markail’s Triumph, The Lost One, Project Aikane
Age: 16 (four since her integration with Excelion Unit 02 Version 0.23 Model B)
Affiliations: Project Camlann, Friedrich Markail (creator, deceased), United Sanctan Empire
Clearances: (None, detain on sight if possible), #4%6}7^92[0?; (Ultraviolet), Medium (Sanctan equivalent to Indigo, actually)
Equipment: Prototype Excelion Model B (Twin Rapid Fire Particle Cannons, Heavy Repulsive Forcefield Generator, Psychic Interference System, Omnikinetic Flight Rack, Grief Core, Heavy Abrasive Force Bomb Launcher)
Super Mode: CHS Excelion
Appearance: A gunmetal grey robotic figure. The armored lenses over the eyes give off a golden glow from within. Besides the relatively simple, rounded armor the hands glow a yellowish amber gold, and the standard Excelion “cuffs” have six large semitriangular fins evenly spaced around them, at least partially for cooling when extended in armcannon mode. Close inspection reveals breaks spaced between the fins so that the barrel can expand when in use.
Character Notes: Aikane is an artificial energy being who was placed in the stolen prototype Excelion Model B (CHS). Due to her new body, she can move, and is stronger than a normal human, albeit without the cumulative strength from an enhanced body on the inside. The main feature missing from the prototype was the ability to handle the fully activated Grief Core, as the original plan was to summon a larger, more durable suit significantly larger arsenal should it activate. Instead, most of the suit disappears, but the second suit was never completed due to storage constraints, and does not show up. A massive power supply suddenly becomes available, however, which Aikane uses to stay in the same shape as “she” was inside the suit. As her body is essentially one contiguous forcefield, and very few pieces of the original suit remain, she is very, very durable, extraordinarily light, and the fly at ridiculous speeds as a result. Aikane in her default form is a semispherical, massless forcefield that requires far more energy to maintain structure and solidity than to contain in a shell, hence why she was used as the pilot despite the lack of impact bracing. She does have access to some parts of the unfinished second suit, including the addition of a Sanctan HAFB Launcher, although they are incompatible with the main suit.
- Charge/Parry: CHS creates a glowing yellow sphere around her body. It is thin, hollow, and slowly grows more opaque as she charges. It is also quite fragile, and only particularly effective at repelling things when released, another side effect of incomplete technology. It’s primary purpose is energy containment, and it was designed to let an Excelion awaken pretty much at will, which seems to have only failed due to the Grief Core requiring stress to activate. It still becomes one of the most rapid and reliable methods of awakening, as she can feel the through the sphere, and almost any hit will produce enough stress to awaken it. CHS will also heal while it is up, at a rate depending on the charge.
- Charge Attack:
- No charge: CHS punches. Can be used with both hands in rapid succession, doing significant damage over time, and can be used to keep opponents from retaliating easily.
- Partial charge: CHS releases her containment sphere, doing moderate damage and redirecting away anything it comes in contact with. Quite useful as an active defense, and often turns opponents around, allowing sometimes ridiculous combination attacks.
- Full charge: CHS releases her containment sphere, launching herself away from any solid objects and potentially turning herself into an explosively rebounding projectile. Lasts about three seconds, minor control of trajectory is possible.
- Super Mode Activation: CHS is curled up inside the fully opaque sphere, which connected enough for her to feel and see through. The sphere is then hit, cracking, and the pain is severe enough to trigger her Grief Core. The inner body reinforces massively, most of the outer armor is banished, unable to effectively handle the new energy flow and now extraneous, and the omnikinetic trajectory manipulation pylons extend and allow flight. Which is good, because her body is almost massless, and therefore can’t really walk. Due to the massive energy source, she can also afford to prepare high energy projectiles in a storage timeline rather than make them on site, reducing containment problems.
- Main Attack: CHS aims one of her armcannons and fires, dispelling her forcefield hand to do so. Large yellow beam, one second delay between shots, alternates arms to double firerate if possible but they are programmed not to fire simultaneously, both because the beams interfere with each other if they get too close and because the partially active Grief Core isn’t quite sufficient to power both at once. Runs on similar principles to the Heavy Particle Cannon, and sacrifices stealth for firepower and a degenerative conical propagation effect.
- Psychotrope Move: CHS had a prototype Psychic Interference System, which was mostly replaced with an updated Sanctan version. Due to the more effective, if less space and material efficient design they used, they were able to offload most of the processing components to her storage timeline. This increased her range drastically, as well as gave her significantly greater control, at the cost of greater individual crack time. Sufficient exposure can even let it affect humans directly, although the sensory distortions it produces in that case are quite limited and easily interrupted.
Final Analysis: CHS is an unholy terror, if she’s allowed to get going. While her parry is difficult to master, it is one of the strongest in the game, and once she’s destroyed all the cover in the area there isn’t much than counter her, as her main attack at least partially bypasses most parries. Her charging also heals her, and while she isn’t exactly fragile to begin with. Plus, her Psychotrope Move is almost perfectly designed to counter field control characters, and does allow some measure of stealth. As an attrition character, she’s nearly unmatched, and her Super Mode is among the most mobile and devastating, but constant pressure from early on, while difficult, is generally enough to finish her.
Posted by Horatio Von Becker at 1:53 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Angelica Fletcher was a very bored young woman. Well, not exactly. More that she was constantly infuriated, to some degree, by the strange and stupid people around her. It expressed, usually, as dissatisfied, only slightly abrasive, and not even terribly obvious arrogance. Sometimes, however, it got to the point that she would do something that most would call regrettable at best, such as paralyzing a foster parent, or flooding her orphanage with homemade mustard gas, and this was why she was currently fleeing some annoying people with handguns and far too many questions. She had made her way across the city, stopping frequently, and taken to wearing a gasmask and hat to delay recognition. This exceedingly clever ruse was probably starting to become counterproductive by the time Robin’s bomb went off, but at that point the authorities had other things to worry about. By the time they recovered, she could have been several cities away, and as she did not show up again this was generally assumed to have happened. Very few people seriously considered the idea that she would hide in the fallout area, and of these, none of those with much inclination to chase her realized that she knew how to survive inside…
Strike Nine was more of a side project, really. She’d decided to make an android, and so she had gathered some large pipes and some sheet metal for housing, some small motors, and the engine block from a small car, and had welded half of it together before realizing that the laptop she had been intending to use for a control system would overheat too quickly, even stripped down. Deciding that a custom frame would actually be easier to keep effective, she made her way across the neighborhood to the abandoned factory that had formerly produced custom vehicles...
Posted by Horatio Von Becker at 1:44 PM
Friday, November 7, 2014
The author is deeply apologetic. He found out on Thursday that he had to attend a funeral, and did not get to this in time. Real pity, too, as he's had this ready for several days. Please forgive the very, very early draft, he doesn't have time to edit right now. Enjoy the first known major divergence point in between our universe and the Awesome Normal one.
Once, there was a school. And in that school, there were often many people. Each gathered into their little cliques, and most were satisfied, although few were happy. But one day, one group went too far, and pushed someone they should not have. This was not so uncommon, but the reaction was. And that reaction changed history, to a greater degree than one might have predicted. She nuked her high school, with herself, and her tormentors, inside.
Of the footage that she broadcast of the event, very little made it out. She had acquired a full ton of chemical explosives, and although she had mined sufficient uranium from near the foundations of her house, her setup did not have the precision required to make it go critical. She merely detonated the building and a nearby gas line, spreading radioactive waste across several neighborhoods, and probably causing the chemical leak in a local factory with the shockwave. The factory had been shut down for remodeling, and half of the earthquake measures were down as a result. One of the smoke drums, mandatory thanks to the factory’s proximity to the suburbs, was nearly full when it came loose from its moorings. Further safety measures failed due to its tap being open for draining at the time, and the resulting toxic gas cloud incited a rapid evacuation and contributed to the entire district being condemned and walled off. What little video was transmitted to the police department is transcribed as follows:
(Several seconds of blackness. The words Chem Lab B Cam 4 are faintly visible in white in the upper right corner. A cloth is pulled away from the lense, revealing a girl, tentatively identified as eighth grader Robin Underwood, already turning away. She is wearing a labcoat, and in her right hand is a small gray box with a large red button and a long black cord which leads under the table behind her. Faintly visible on the button is the word STOP in white block capitals, presumably taken from an emergency shutoff. There are large black bags against all visible edges of the room, although they don’t look terribly out of place on first viewing. There is unusually clear audio, seemingly because she is using a microphone plugged into the local sound system, although she does not appear to be holding one. The doors open, and four girls walk in, then stop.)
Centermost Girl (believed to be Brianna Callen, a popular girl and apparent leader of the group): Why are you here? I thought you’d learned your lesson.
Robin: You made it clear that you wanted me gone. “If it were me, I’d have killed myself,” was it? I decided to do it with a bit more… Heh. Flare. (She holds up the repurposed emergency shutoff, and gestures to the bags.)
Leftmost Girl, closest to the camera (probably Claire Vermont, a known compatriot of Brianna’s): Hey, hold on, don’t do anything hasty!
Robin (ignoring her): You hear about all those school shootings, and it all seems so stupid, you know? Small scale. Only work because people are idiots. I always told myself I could do better. That if things got to that point, I would make it impressive. Always wanted to see if I could make a nuke. Probably can’t, but there’s enough explosives here to wipe the school off the map, at least. A small victory. And I got to see your face. Any last words?
Brianna: Stop it. This was a pretty good prank, I’ll admit. But it’s time to stop. Go home.
(Robin grins and shakes her head.)
Robin: Bye.(Brianna lunges at her. Robin presses the Big Red Button. One of the bags starts to explode, and the screen shudders and goes static, then dark.)
Posted by Horatio Von Becker at 8:03 PM