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This game of Multiworld Madness has grown too large for me to handle. What would you have me do?

Muster up remaining strength and complete the current chapter. Bring the game to a logical close, then reboot it.
- 32 (37.6%)
Same as 1, but a whole new game will be started instead, still Multiworld, but no longer Madness.
- 8 (9.4%)
Get just this last turn done and reboot the game. No point wasting energy if updating takes so long.
- 31 (36.5%)
Get the last turn done and start a new game project.
- 14 (16.5%)

Total Members Voted: 85


Pages: 1 ... 407 408 [409]

Author Topic: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Parts 1 and 2, out of ~4.  (Read 337075 times)

Sean Mirrsen

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Update on the final update: The story arc is done, putting the currently completed narrative and the summary together gives me a happy 35 kilobytes, so I'll break the post size limit after all. ;D

I've also got about six or seven full-page illustrations to make, plus two mini-comic strips for reminiscence segments about events you don't know of.

And to top off the (not very) delicious irony, today my mother decided that sushi would make a fine addition to the birthday party menu. Yes, I've been having rolls today. There really couldn't be a better time to post some, but, alas. Just one or two more days I think, and it'll be done. At least, I really really hope it'll be done. Now that I finally found the whole collection of Battletech novels in English, I should be able to overcome some of my dictionary troubles. I've been literally writing myself into a corner at some points.
Logged
Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Sean Mirrsen

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Since such need was brought to my attention by EOTistatron, I announce it here. The thread for Multiworld Madness II has been opened (for some time now), and all current players are welcome to (re)apply.

Multiworld Madness II will start at the exact same moment that Multiworld Madness is closed with the final update.
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Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Sean Mirrsen

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Latest news on the update: 44 kilobytes. Growing steadily. Good news: I've finalized the list of images I want to do for the update. Bad news: I somehow ended up with 19 drawings in "to-do" status. I'm doing both the narrative and the drawings in parallel, so I'll probably have to skip some drawings if they're not started by the time I finish the text.
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Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Sean Mirrsen

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Long time no news, heh.

Well, if I found anything new out about myself, it's that "can't be creative on demand" extends to cover my own demand as well. Which, frankly, sucks.

It's not like there isn't progress, but it's not happening fast enough. Which is why I've decided that I won't be doing any such silly things for the second Madness, if/when I do ever manage to start it. If I can do narrative, I'll do narrative. If I can do pictures, I'll do pictures. No time for either - individual actions will do just fine. Keeping the flow going seems to be a much better focus than keeping the high quality consistent anyway (though no reason to go from one extreme to another, heh), and writing a coherent narrative without knowing beforehand whose perspective to write it from is kind of a chore.

While I'm on that - seeing as this final update will be huginormous anyway, perhaps you'd like me to break it apart a little? Show that it's not all vaporware, so to speak. I've got most of the original "last turn" complete, with pictures even, so I can post that for you to read while I sort stuff out for the next piece.

On the other hand, I do periodically return to already "finished" text to touch up some phrases (I have terrible problems finding words - I've even put thesaurus.com on my speed dial), and having the whole thing posted together might be better...

Or am I just worried about meeting some sort of unestablished quality standard too much?
Logged
Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Zako

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Hey, whatever works for you is fine with me. If you are having a lot of trouble with this, how about breaking it up into parts and posting those parts as they are done?
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Sean Mirrsen

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As much as I don't like acting on the opinion on one voice (and a few dozen silent concurring observers)... sure, let's do it this way.

Please note though, the illustrations were done over a long period of time, and in several different methods, so the quality and designs are pretty inconsistent. That's not to mention my persisting inability to draw normal-looking faces.
Logged
Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Sean Mirrsen

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Battlefield (outskirts)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.


   After the clanner was properly pinned and roughed up, the fight was more or less over. This didn't stop Kashyyk from venting his frustration on the poor bastard, and the last things the Clan pilot saw were a pair of glowing red eyes, and a clenched iron fist flying toward his face at what seemed like a significant fraction of the speed of sound. A fountain of dust mixed with blood and bits of bone erupted from the point of impact, as Kashyyk's arm went elbow-deep into the ground, passing through the clanner's head like it wasn't there. The sheer brutality of the attack made even Neo wince. The effect didn't last, though. Within moments, Frelock's attention was on the wounded Rooster, Neo went scarce, and all Kashyyk was left with was a headless body, a hole in the ground, and a pronounced lack of interest for either of those things. He felt it was about time he changed something about that. Leaving Frelock to his own devices, Kashyyk picked a direction he thought was good, and started forward at a brisk jog. Somewhere out there, laying in wait of his arrival, were items of vast cosmic importance. Better known simply as "Loot".

   Unbeknownst to Kashyyk, Neo shared at least that part of his thoughts. When the fight ended, he slinked away and briefly considered just finding a good place to loiter and enjoy the strange sun on this world, but thought better of it. There were obviously other things to do, better suited for getting him and the rest of the team out of this desert in the middle of nowhere. Neo wandered for some time, trying to figure out what he wanted to do, until he finally came to a familiar landmark. A hill, flattened and smoothed by a powerful explosion. A string of wrecked machines in the glassed plain, still slightly smoking. "Andrea's Furnace. What the hell happened to that guy, anyway?" he mused, as he made his way to what was left of the convoy. An idea was slowly forming in his mind. "Transport. We need a transport. If one survived here, it should survive even with us at the wheel." He slowly walked around the wrecks, most of them too charred to even think about repairing, but a few vehicles at the tail end of the column were a little luckier, if still badly mangled. All except one. Standing in the shadow of a big flatbed, a tiny four-seat ATV survived the radiant hellfire with almost cosmetic injuries, the most prominent of which were half-melted tires and thoroughly boiled plastic on everything including the dashboard and seats. Whatever weapon was mounted in the back wasn't very lucky either. Now this looks promising, Neo thought. Let's hope the driver was kind enough to leave the keys in the lock. Neo smiled. "Well, were you?" The man in the front seat was returning Neo's smile with the charred remains of his bare skull.



----------
Battlefield (camp)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



"I'm telling you, this is an IFF module, and it does NOT go where you're trying to shove it!"
"Well it's not going to connect with the knee joint servo control like you want it, what the hell are you thinking, LASD?"

   The quarreling has gone on for nearly an hour, and the pile of parts seemed to make no progress towards becoming a finished product. Qwer'Ty firmly believed in his superior intellect - which he, really, had every right to - and LASD firmly believed in his intuition, which was screaming at him every second time they tried to fit any two parts together. To say the assembly of the odd device wasn't going very well would be a masterpiece of understatement. And it had started so well...

   After Qwer'Ty had had his ration-induced sleepwalking nightmare, he and LASD began the slow process of figuring out what parts he'd unwittingly salvaged, and from where. Many turned out to be from the wrecked truck they rode on, some more from the large pile of unused pieces left over from the dismantled Ebon Jaguar mech. Some, disturbingly, turned out to have been pried loose from the nearby Fusion Engine's cooling circuit, though Qwer'Ty assured LASD it'd have no consequences on its safety... unless somebody tried to fit it into a mech again. There was also at least one powerpack from an Elemental armor, as well as a collection of parts that once seemed to be a Small Laser, but neither LASD nor Qwer'Ty could say that for certain. When they identified everything they could, the process of assembly began.

   It was the small things that were really the problem. Qwer'Ty had a faint, blurry, but fairly solid idea of what this was supposed to be, and the general frame of the device was completed rather quickly, forming a vaguely bipedal structure that was either an exoskeleton or a robot's endoframe. But when it came to fitting the bajillion individual components into this frame, everything went to pot. Unmatched - by anyone present at least - in electronics, LASD would not back down from his opinions on the device's construction, while Qwer'Ty, with his intellect and a foggy vision of the end result, considered his opinion to be superior. He'd probably tell LASD to just stay away, but he really needed the tools, and LASD refused to lend his toolbox unless his ideas were followed. Any more of this exchange, and the whole thing would have ended in disaster.

   Thankfully, that was not to be. An invisible force sent both of them to the ground, pressing down as a commanding voice boomed from above. "Stop this quarrelling at once! Seriously, you people call yourselves teammates?" LASD and Qwer'Ty looked up. In the sky above them, surrounded by brilliant green light, was a translucent robed figure. Squinting against the green sun, they rose up and watched the figure descend. And then they both tried to punch it in the gut, but were stopped by another invisible force. Frelock wasn't easy to hit. He stood in his field for a few more minutes, listening to intricately woven expressions his teammates threw at him as they vented their frustration, then raised his hand. "Okay, stop. Enough. You two were at it for half an hour, and I just had to step in. What's up?"

   Exhausted just enough to pause for breath, LASD and Qwer'Ty found enough patience in them to explain. Frelock nodded. "Uh-huh. So, what is it you're trying to build?" "That's the whole thing, Qwer'Ty replied, we don't really know. We want to build it and see where it goes." LASD flailed his arms around expressively, still holding a 2" wrench. "Yes, he says he's got this 'vision', but that's not gonna do good unless it works, right?" Frelock pinched the bridge of his nose. That kind of reasoning was fine and good until you actually tried to make it work. It seemed that despite being brought together and enduring what they have, they were still far from being a team. Some friendly advice was in order.

"Okay, so you don't know what it is, and can't decide who knows better how to make it? That has got to be to dumbest argument I've heard so far, but it's alright. I got a solution for you. Just do it in sequence."
"Wh..what do you mean?" LASD and Qwer'Ty asked almost in sync.
"I mean," Frelock continued, "pick one way and keep going. If it doesn't work, you can try again, but at least you'll get something done - AND spend less time doing than if you're arguing." He raised his bubble and touched off the ground. "Since it seems Qwer'Ty is the one with the idea, he should have a go first. Try it. Trust me. Work as a team for once."

   Though Frelock was far from being officially decided as the team leader - yet - his words had a tendency to have weight. Partly because of charisma, partly because he was the team's most experienced healer... partly because he had a better grasp on combat telekinesis than others. Whatever the cause, Frelock's reasoning was unanimously accepted, and LASD handed Qwer'Ty his tools. Assembly was underway at last. As he watched, Frelock pondered the significance of his words. 'Work as a team for once.' He had no idea why, but that phrase felt like the most significant thing he'd said since this adventure began.

----------
Battlefield
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



   Soaring in the partly cloudy sky, his wings spread wide, cool wind rushing past his near naked body, Rooster felt at ease. And in pain, but that was passing. After his reckless divebomb attack on that clanner - which missed, adding insult to injury - he would've been stuck in a hospital for the better part of a year in any normal world. Fortunately, whatever world they were in, it wasn't too normal. After Frelock fixed up his bones, he needed only a few minutes of regeneration to be ready for action again. But by that time of course, there was no more action. Nobody to fight, nothing to do. Rooster wasn't keen on feeling bored, so he decided to fly. It was a pretty flight so far.

   For all its blandness on ground level, the planet was fairly neat from the sky, even if the air was much too thin. And there were the mountains of course, huge plateaus that almost defied the imagination by their height and breadth. Rooster knew what they were now. Janna had briefly mentioned it while they travelled. The valley they were standing in was actually Kurita Prime, a long-disappeared ocean. The mountains in the distance were the continents of old, rising for many miles up. They were very far away still, but Rooster could see that they went higher than he could fly without starting to feel short of breath. The air must be nonexistent on those continents now. Whatever happened to this planet, it had to be a very drastic event to leave it as it is. Almost no water, scarce plantlife, no indigenous animals - or so few that they must be nearing extinction. And there'd be one less now, Rooster thought as he saw Boksi's giant bat swooping down and grabbing at something on the ground. Life was unfair sometimes. To him too, it seemed, but he didn't want to think about it. He looked at the ground. Down below, his teammates and friends were going about what passed for "daily lives" in this universe. After the hectic events of the past few hours, disaster following disaster, this seemed like a nice change of pace. For a while, nothing else happened, which was just the way Rooster wanted it.



----------
Andrea's Furnace
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



   Kashyyk strode defiantly through the empty desert, his face as firm as only a face of metal can be. Something had to be around here, and he would find it! Clearing a hillock, he saw the familiar landscape of Andrea's Furnace, which would get his heart pounding if his heart had any business pounding lately. Being made of iron and steel had its advantages, but it made determining his emotion state a fairly difficult process sometimes. Unless he was angry. That state could be clearly seen. Trying to persuade himself he wasn't still feeling angry at anything, Kashyyk ran down the hillock and looked around. Every square inch of soil in the vicinity seemed to have been turned into some kind of murky glass by the searing heat of that enormous explosion. It was a fairly dull sight all in all, but to Kashyyk it held something special, something he almost didn't think he'd find again. Smiling, he stooped down to pick it up. Even though the might of what amounted to a small nuclear weapon was thrown against it, the tough little leather bag had endured it all. It looked very worn and badly singed, and yet it still held together. But its contents were gone. It was probably best that way, Kashyyk thought, those grenades would surely ruin the bag if they cooked off in this heat. With the empty holdall again on his shoulder, he moved on towards the blasted string of vehicles in the distance.

   Reaching the remains of the mercenary convoy, Kashyyk focused again. There was something important here, something that should have survived in the blast, at least partially. He cycled his vision modes through most of the electromagnetic spectrum, until he finally spotted what he hoped to find. Hidden under half a meter of glassed soil, visible only in faint reflected X-Rays, there was a pile of weapons. All kinds of weapons. Back when Stirling's Fusiliers were more than a passing memory, Neo managed to "obtain" a whole crate of military gear. Now half-melted and buried, this crate had partly shielded its contents from the blast, and Kashyyk had high hopes for what he might find there.

   Unfortunately, as the next ten minutes proved, the hopes were too high. The weapons still absorbed enough heat to be distorted, and some of the ammunition had cooked off, destroying their containers and rendering any firearm dependent on them useless. Still, all was not lost. Amidst the unusable or ammo-less hunks of metal, there was still one that could serve its purpose. A large assault rifle with a rugged look and a curved magazine, its paintjob ruined by searing heat and several nearby ammo explosions, seemed to defy the laws of physics by its durability. Kashyyk immediately recognized the shape. Though it was much larger than the original, the style and design of a Kalashnikov were unmistakable. A plaque above the grip read "Avtomat Kalashnikova AK-969", followed by a serial number. It almost felt like a joke, finding this here, but there was no point complaining. Kashyyk slung the gun over his shoulder, then picked up its spare magazine and two full boxes of 9x69AP rounds, and put them into his bag. The day was already looking to be damn good.



   Suddenly, he noticed movement near the wrecks of the Fusiliers' truck convoy. Could someone still be alive here? Readying his newly acquired weapon, Kashyyk ran, quickly but carefully, to investigate. Someone - or something - was picking through the nearby wreck, seemingly not noticing his presence. Kashyyk approached slowly, careful not to let himself be seen, trying at the same time to catch a glimpse at the face of the creature. Suddenly, it spoke!

"I can hear ye shuffle, metal man, those ears aren't just for show, y'know."

   Confused, Kashyyk stepped closer to get a better look.

"What the... Neo??"

   The strange figure stepped away from the truck, and suddenly swung itself backward! A large pile of tattered grey fabric shreds scattered itself to the faint wind, revealing a sputtering Mii'Ari underneath!

"Gyah! Pfuh! Damn this stuff! What d'they make these tents of, underwear?" Neo looked up to see Kashyyk's confused expression. "I was jus' searching for some tools when this stuff fell on me from up there - he pointed at the remains of the truck's tent frame - couldn't be bothered to shake it off. Say, can ye help me for a bit? I need to loose a few nuts."

It took a little more explaining, but eventually Kashyyk complied. A few minutes later, the two of them were walking towards Neo's ATV, each carrying - or in Neo's case, rolling - a large wheel taken from one of the trucks. With a little ingenuity, brute strength and metal fingers, the ATV's two melted tires were quickly replaced, and its new set of wheels arranged as to be symmetrical. Having slightly larger rear wheels didn't make much sense for a 4x4 setup, but with such a profound scarcity of options - and tires - there really wasn't a better way.

Their task complete, Kashyyk and Neo celebrated their successful finding of another vehicle with a friendly marksmanship match. Random pieces of debris were set on a rock outcropping to serve as targets, and the duo took turns firing at them.

After half an hour, the match finally ended. It was a tie.



----------
Battlefield (camp)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



"Alright! We're almost there. Now, fit the power pack... carefully... aand done! Ta-ferkin-Da!"

   Qwer'Ty breathed a sigh of relief and stepped back to look over his creation. The original humanoid frame was now adorned with layers of armor and electronics, its hands ended in spiked fists, its legs could make it run at 50 mph, on its shoulder was a small laser. And it was hollow.

   LASD walked around the standing suit of power armor, looking over it with a critical eye. "You really think this thing'll work?"

   Qwer'Ty was somewhat tired, and completely not amused. "You still can't get over it, can you? Alright, I know a fun way to find out. Step aside." He pulled off the access plates, and determinately began slipping into the suit. It turned out to be far harder than he anticipated, but with a little work, and a little help from LASD, Qwer'Ty finally made it in.

"Okay LASD, how does it look?"
"Looking cool from out here. How's it working?"
"Don't know yet. Wait a sec, I'm still starting it up.

   In a moment, the change was visible. Running lights lit up in many places, illuminating the machine like an aluminum christmas tree. The shoulder-laser came to life and began rotating ominously, as if seeking a target. Finally, the suit of armor took a step forward.

   Immediately, LASD realized something was wrong. The movement was neither fluid nor mechanical, as you would expect from a suit of power armor - it was jerky, erratic, as if two powers struggled for control of its limbs. His concern was raised to alarm when he heard Qwer'Ty's strained voice from inside the suit.

"Uh, LASD? I've got a problem. Remember how you pieced together a control assisstant AI for me? I think it's decided it doesn't need a pilot. At all."
"What? What's it doing?"
"Don't know, don't care, but I'm afraid if it starts running I'll find myself a few limbs short. I'd appreciate it if you helped me here."
"Arright, can do. How do I shut it down?"
"You can't, the powerpack's on the inside. I need you to cut its control feeds so it can't move. Hurry, I'm getting tired in here!"

   LASD immediately grabbed his toolbox and began working. The suit's external plating turned out to be impossible to bypass, and after a few minutes of hard work it was mostly reduced to its consituent parts. But Qwer'Ty was freed. He still saw it fit to berate LASD for needlessly going overboard with the disassemblage, but only lightly so. It did, after all, save him considerable pain and suffering. Walking up to LASD, Qwer'Ty handed him the rest of his tools, and pointed at the disassembled machine. "OK, smart guy. Your turn."



----------
Battlefield (outskirts)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



   Jay Kayell was frustrated. It had only been five minutes since he's been trapped in a collapsed underground cavern, but they were five very long minutes, and he still couldn't figure out where the headlight switch was in his armor. And to top it all off, his hind quarter felt like he was sitting in an oven. Of course, his jumpjets had to overheat and give out right as he was passing an underground cavern. And the cavern just had to collapse on him. Though in retrospect, it was still his fault. He could have chosen a less dangerous way of trying out his new armor's capabilities than being a showoff and pirouetting around on jumpjets. And now he was stuck underground, shovelling rubble with his only articulate "hand", and nothing but his jumpjets to provide lighting. His armor's backside was probably red-hot by now. Jay briefly wondered whether trying to blast his way out with a rocket or laser would be a good idea, but decided against it. After all, both weapons were used to kill things much larger than he was, and using them point-blank in an enclosed space was probably a good way to earn a Darwin.

   Several minutes later, Jay Kayell was finally out of the crevice, breathing heavily and trying not to think of his backside. To his complete lack of surprise, everyone wandered off to do their own things while he was down there. 'That's so nice of you people. Go team!' he thought to himself. Looking around, he caught sight of the robot samurai, arduously practicing his swing nearby. Jay Kayell suddenly felt like punching someone, and this was the perfect opportunity. "Hey, Korora!" The metal warrior paused for only a moment to say "Yes?", and resumed swinging. Jay approached, menacingly grasping the air with his powered claw. "You want some real practice? I don't think the air puts up much of a fight to you." Korora stopped, turned, and looked at Jay with his best robot-face impression of an amused look. "You want to fight me, Jay? With what? Even if we go hand-to-hand, you're still handicapped. Not to mention left-handed." Jay Kayell smiled. "No worries, I can take care of myself." He'd already spotted a fitting weapon amidst the remains of the Ebon Jaguar, and quickly jumped towards it."I hate to be blunt with you, but if you want to so much as put a dent in me, first you'll have to join my club." With that, he hefted a large piece of endosteel structure ending with some sort of joint, and easily brandished the improvised bludgeon with his claw. "Shall we begin?"

Logged
Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Frelock

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Re: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Part 1.
« Reply #6127 on: August 30, 2011, 12:55:21 pm »

Beautiful, Sean.  "Work as a team for once."  It's funny 'cause it never happens...

Definitely worth the wait, and it makes me excited for the other 51%
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Sean Mirrsen

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Re: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Part 1.
« Reply #6128 on: August 31, 2011, 10:10:53 am »

(This is the second half of the original "last turn", slightly shorter. It needed only a few images done, the other parts will have more of a delay to them)

Battlefield (camp)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



"What in the name of theoretical physics is this?!"

   Qwer'Ty was at a loss for words, and for a while had just stood there, making feebly articulated gestures. He had decided, at Frelock's insistence, to leave LASD to his own devices for some time, avoiding conflicts as he was reconstructing the broken-down contraption they were trying to build. Qwer'Ty made a mental note to thank Frelock later. Conflicts over this would have been inevitable.

   The previously humanoid frame was now bent over, still bipedal, but resembling an animal more than a human. A long segmented tail, ending in a sharp flat spike, served as a counterbalance to the armored horizontal torso. A pair of short arms ended in claws, and the shoulders carried a small head with a long snout, in which sat the muzzle of a small laser. Two long handlebars protruded from the back of the head, resembling horns. Qwer'Ty blinked, and had to concentrate his thoughts before he could address LASD. "You are... building a legged motorcycle?"

   LASD stood up, holding a mess of electric wiring in his hands, and turned to Qwer'Ty. "Well, I'd call it a mechanical horse..." He gave the contraption a critical look. "Actually, more of a mechanical dinosaur, but yeah, a legged personal transport nonetheless." LASD began fumbling with some electrical components concealed beneath all the wires he'd been holding. Qwer'Ty gesticulated furiously, mouth agape as he tried to form a coherent sentence. "What.. How.. WHY in the seven nuclear blazes of Hell did you even begin to think something like this would be a good idea?!"

   "Well, mostly -" LASD began, as he tried to squeeze the mess of wires into a small opening in the machine's side "Mostly, I just thought it would be very, very cool. Now I know you people didn't have dinosaurs in your history, but they're fairly attractive things for us humans. Mechanical dinosaurs with lasers in their heads just about top the scale. I'd always wanted to have one, so this was a perfect opportunity. Now, don't look at me like that, Qwer'Ty. And put the wrench down, please, I'll need it later. There's more than that." He finished digging around inside the robot's bowels and reached back for a piece of armor plate. "That AI module I made? I can't get it out of the system. Either we keep it, or we lose all electronics in this thing."

   Qwer'Ty raised his eyebrows, which mostly amounted to him opening his eyes wider than usual. "So, you decided to keep it." LASD nodded. "Yep. And I thought, if we can't keep this thing under strict control, maybe a looser approach will work better? Something like the trainer-to-animal relation." Qwer'Ty's face showed a moment of enlightment, which immediately turned into a concerned frown. "Yes, that makes sense. Remaking it as an animal could make 'taming' it a more natural process. But I'm not sure how intelligent that AI you made is. What if it's too smart?" LASD finished fitting the armor plate into its place, and was now hunched over a scattering of various mechanical parts. "I thought of that, but if it wasn't smart enough to outsmart us on the first try, I wouldn't expect much from it on the second. Also, controlling an AI is much easier when you're outside of it. And when it can't fire its lasers by itself."

   Qwer'Ty sighed, then smiled. "Oh well. You win. Let it be a robot dinosaur. I'll just make sure you add a rear seat."

   The two of them working together, Qwer'Ty and LASD finished building the machine in mere minutes. It was slumped to the ground in front of them like a sleeping beast - which, in all fairness, it could very well be considered to be. LASD was still making some final final adjustments, but Qwer'Ty had already called Frelock back to the site, to see the activation of the creature, and, should something go wrong, help in detaining it.

   "So, this is what you finally came up with? Interesting." Frelock was rather intrigued. "Are you sure it can't use the laser on its own?"
   Qwer'Ty waved his hand. "Relax, you can be sure of that. We routed all control lines through the switch in the handlebars, it can turn the head but won't be able to fire." He continued, absentmindedly stroking the metallic "neck" of the machine as he spoke. "I was against it at first, but now I see that it's a pretty ingenious design. Sure, it won't provide any real defense, but with weapons we're up against, any defense on this scale won't really matter. What it has is mobility and autonomy, and if its intellect is sufficient to be trained even basic commands..." Qwer'Ty paid little attention to what his hands were doing, and by the time he noticed the sudden movement, it was too late. The sleeve of his uniform had caught the ring of the little ignition key he had himself insisted on installing, and when he tried to pull it free, the key had turned. Neither LASD nor Qwer'Ty had time to react.

   The mechanical dinosaur suddenly stood upright, paused for a fraction of a second to give Qwer'Ty a quick glance, and then bolted. Despite inheriting its forward-jointed legs from the humanoid frame, and lacking digitigrade feet, the creature was surprisingly nimble. And its freedom was but a few seconds away when it was suddenly lifted off the ground by an invisible force.

   "Whew. That was close." Frelock hovered himself closer to the ground, straining to keep both his and his captive's bubbles intact. "LASD, next time you want to build yourself a pet that can go zero to sixty in three seconds, please, start with a leash. If it made it any further I'd never be able to keep the bubble up." He brought the creature closer to Qwer'Ty and LASD, who only just recovered and were hurriedly assembling some sort of restraint. "Can't blame it for trying to run though. If I didn't know we have no other choice but to face our enemies, I'd prefer running away myself. What were those numbers again, LASD? A hundred 'mechs?" LASD looked up. "Last I remember, the Fusiliers mentioned a hundred and seventy. Bound to be less than that now." Frelock nodded grimly. "Yeah, we took out four ourselves. And it was no easy victory. I can't imagine what we'll do against a hundred." Qwer'Ty stood up, holding a pair of supersized makeshift ankle-cuffs. "Well, I suppose we'll just need a plan. We don't really need to destroy them all, do we? But we've got time enough to think of that later." He handed LASD a half of the cuff set. "We've got a restless lil' dinobot to train first. Bring 'im down!"



----------
Battlefield (outskirts)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



   "Face it Jay, I beat you fair as can be." Korora attempted to contort his face into a smile, without much success. "You'll need a lot more speed than that to beat me and the Ashcraver." Inside his helmet, Jay Kayell rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure. Face it, in a serious battle your sword is useless. Haven't you heard of 'bringing a knife to a gunfight'?" Korora flourished the Ashcraver, and swung it into the sheath on his back with one quick, perfect motion, without breaking stride. "I'm not completely harmless at range, you know." He pointed at his pauldrons, each holding a rack of LRMs. "Besides, I'm a weaponsmith. What's to stop me from making a gunblade?"

   The two of them walked back to the remains of the destroyed truck, engaging in friendly banter for the first time since they woke up on the floor of that metal cube. The earlier events went on too fast to have a chance of enjoying a talk, and this protracted lull in the action offered ample opportunity for that. Jay Kayell felt - disturbingly, as he admitted to himself - that such a turn of events was no mere coincidence. That, for whatever reason, these events were purposefully engineered to elicit this exact response. Were they being tested? He could not tell. His thoughts were interrupted when Korora caught sight of something moving towards them.

   Not bothering to think, Jay Kayell launched himself into full offensive mode, leaping on jumpjets towards the enemy. A lone vehicle approached, kicking up a trail of dust as it sped along the landscape. Jay set his sights on the vehicle, his marksmanship instinct guiding his aim as he raised his right arm and prepared to fire.

   Suddenly, something caught his leg and yanked him out of the air. Jay Kayell landed flat on his armor's front, his body rattling inside the powersuit built to Clan Elemental standards. It took him a few seconds to get his bearings and roll over to see his adversary. It was Korora. "What the hell man?" Jay was understandably angry. Korora shook his head. "Jay, the tactic of 'shoot first, ask questions later' isn't going to do us much good." He pointed at the approaching vehicle again. "Especially if you're about to shoot at someone who's not our enemy." Jay Kayell grunted, and stood up. Korora folded his arms across his chest. "Jay, I can see you're upset because you lost, but do try to find a more practical outlet."
   
   The vehicle, a small all-terrain four-seater, skidded to a stop right next to them. To Jay and Korora's considerable surprise, Neo was the one driving. Given his track record of handling vehicles, it was something of a marvel he'd made it this far. Kashyyk rode shotgun, though in his case it was a misnomer - he carried an assault rifle. Together, the four teammates continued forward at Jay's walking pace, until they finally arrived at the battlefield site by the wrecked truck.

----------
Battlefield (camp)
Bay of Kurita Prime
Wayside V
Time and date unknown.



   Within fifteen minutes, most of the team was back together. Frelock, LASD, Qwer'Ty and Janna had all appeared at the site almost at the same time as Kashyyk, Neo, Jay Kayell and Korora made it there. Whatever tension there still was disappeared quickly as LASD's new mechanical pet, now unanimously accepted as "Dynabot", showed off its capabilities. For a few merry minutes, the troubles were forgotten, and everyone got to watch a game of cat and mouse between a robot dinosaur and a humanoid cat - with the latter, naturally, being the mouse. The heavy swooshing of Rooster's wings wasn't heard over the many voices cheering for one or the other participant, and so his sudden and rapid arrival caught most by surprise. With a loud thump, the winged humanoid landed amidst the team, holding a barely-conscious body in his hands. The body groggily proclaimed "Thanks, man!", at which point it was abruptly dropped. Frelock disengaged his bubble in the air, not bothering to glide six feet to the ground. He dropped, touched the ground running, and was crouched over Zako before Rooster had a chance to stand up. "How is he? I've forgotten all about him after that fight. He doesn't seem hurt.." Rooster waved his hand. "Don't mind him, he's just been unconscious. He'll live. What's important is that I've spotted a vehicle approaching here, fast, from far away." Jay Kayell smirked, holding his helmet in his claw. "Yeah, I've seen it too. These two were riding it." He pointed at Kashyyk and Neo. "Almost shot 'em."
   Rooster shook his head. "No, no. I've literally seen it a few minutes ago, and it's not going to be here for a few more. And it's huge, if I can see it from so far away." The tension returned. The question, Who Could It Be, ran through everyone's minds. But LASD had the answer. "If it's large and fast, it's probably the transport. You know, the one I contacted some time ago. I caught their comm wave on the Rad-Man and asked for a pickup. Guess they've finally made it here."

   The tension remained, but now the team had used it as motivation and sprung into rapid action. Within two minutes of hard work, the battlefield was cleared of all traces of the team's existence, the various 'mech remains and Elemental corpses were thrown into believable positions, and most of the team members hid behind the wreckage of the truck. Dynabot utilized his recently learned "play dead" subroutine. Thinking it was as good an idea as any, Korora did likewise, while Jay Kayell posed as the "only survivor" of the Elemental point. Somewhere nearby, Boksi was on guard as well - at least, if he hadn't driven the others' psyche to hearing his voice at inopportune moments. The vehicle, a large transport hovercraft, made a slow, ponderous turn as it approached Jay's position. It slowly decelerated, moving at the speed of a speeding steamroller, and creating much the same impression. As the craft's hull inched forward, occupying more and more of Jay's view, the mighty battle armor suddenly seemed alarmingly tiny. Jay took a step back. Tension rose.



   With a mighty sigh of compressed air, the hovercraft descended to the ground, letting the violent duststorm raised by its lift engines subside. One minute passed. Two. Three. Nobody came out. Carefully, watching for any movement of the craft's two machinegun turrets, Jay Kayell approached. No reaction. He heard a slight clanging sound from the metal ladder in front of him - it had to be Boksi. Deciding that it's do or die time, Jay Kayell fired his jumpjets and leaped onto the flat of the hovercraft's hull in front of the control cabin. Through the thick armor glass he could see everything inside, there was no place for a human to hide. And yet he saw no one. He heard Boksi's surprised grunt. The cabin was empty.

   Suddenly, the dust-clogged loudspeaker near Jay Kayell's foot came to life, shouting in a voice coarse like a raven's cry. "Surrpri-ise!" The pair of turrets swung up toward Jay's torso and opened fire, spewing forth a torrent of high-caliber bullets! Luckily, he was quick on his feet. Rolling down from the roof, he barely dodged the hail of machinegun fire, and was out of the turrets' firing arcs before they could retarget him. The coarse voice returned, sounding upset. "Dammit! Lucky Clan bastard! See if you can dodge this!" Immediately, the lift engines roared to life, raising the hovercraft off the ground and filling Jay's sight with dust. Not intent to stay and see if the armor can protect from being bumped by a forty-ton hovercraft, JK jumped away and turned around, ready to dodge anything else the pilot might try. Wait a second, he thought, [/i]why would he call me a '[/i]Clan' bastard? Something's odd here. The hovercraft's turrets whirled around and opened fire again, forcing him to dodge again.

   Guessing that things aren't getting any better, Korora got up. Something was definitely wrong if Jay and Boksi couldn't already take the 'craft for themselves, and the risk of the crew calling for backup really didn't sit well with him. Though way larger and much heavier than Korora, the hovercraft was still a better match for his strength than Jay's. Ashcraver still sheathed, Korora jumped towards the vehicle, covering the distance in three strides. He lunged and thrust his hands against its frontal armor, digging his fingers into ferrite plating and holding the 'craft in place. "Surrender!" he boomed. "You cannot win! Resistance is futi-ah!" Not letting him finish, the pilot - wherever he was - reacted with inhuman speed. Ducted drive jets spun around towards Korora, and ten tons of combined thrust threw him back as the hovercraft went into full reverse! But instead of pressing the attack or retreating, the hovercraft suddenly stopped. The roar of the lift engine tapered off into a dull whine, and the air cushion deflated just enough to lower the machine to the ground. No voice came over the speaker - suddenly Korora realised that in smashing his hands against the hull he'd smashed the little thing as well. The pilot seemed to have realised it too - the hovercraft lifted up, slowly manuevered its cargo bay doors toward Korora, and powered down. Boksi's voice sounded from the ground nearby. "Not sure what's up, but it seems he now wants us to go in. What did you do, mecha-man?" Korora shrugged. If the design of his face could permit raising eyebrows, he'd do that as well. "Made him realise he can't win? I've no idea. Go back to the others and get them to come here, but keep alert! I don't want any casualties if I'm wrong about this." Boksi gave an affirmative grunt and a trail of faint footprints sped off towards the wrecked truck. Jay Kayell approached Korora. "So. What do we do now?"

   Korora thought for a few seconds before answering. "Well, we should probably try and get in. Can you open that door?" He pointed at the large double doors of the cargo hold in front of them. Jay gave them a quick look. "I think you could do better here, big guy. But just on the off chance we might need them, maybe we should keep these big ones intact? I'd hate to break the only door large enough to haul your mighty steel behind through. Is there any other entrance?" The pilot must have heard the question, and before Korora could answer the hovercraft's lift engines started up again, lifting the machine up as it slowly turned its starboard side towards them. In the middle of the hull, connected to the cabin by a sturdy catwalk, there was a large airlock-like door. Korora pointed at it. "There it is, I guess. Want a lift to it?" Jay, remaining silent, boosted onto the catwalk with his jumpjets, turning around in midair to face Korora before he landed. He waved his laser-arm. "I can lift myself, thanks." Korora managed to pull off a smirk. "Showoff." He walked up and leaned onto the hovercraft as the rest of the team gradually assembled nearby. Frelock floated above, projecting a force bubble between them and the hovercraft's machineguns. Jay was having some trouble with the door. "I can't operate the door in this suit!" he shouted in frustration. "If that guy wants us to get in so much, why can't he just open up?" Korora leaned closer. "I can lend a hand if you want. We don't need this door intact, right?"
 
  JK could take a hint. With a single powerful stab of the claw, his left hand had entered the hovercraft through a previously unnoticed hole in the door. A second later, the whole thing was ripped off its massive metal hinges and thrown down. Frelock frowned unappreciatively as the metallic hunk bounced off his telekinetic barrier, but Jay took no notice and was already making his way in. The smaller passage was obviously not built for an Elemental armor, but Jay eventually managed to crawl through, leaving a large gash in the ceiling where the corner of his missile pack tore through it. Ripping another, similar door off its hinges at the inner end of the airlock, Jay could finally look into the cargo hold. The scene he saw inside was fairly gruesome. A uniformed body of what he assumed was a young Clan technician lay on the floor by the far wall of the bay in a mangled heap, blood still oozing from several torn wounds and gathering into a rather unsightly dark pool - though Jay would be the last person to call a pool of blood "unsightly". The wall itself had a prominent depression in it - a bloody depression, as if a body had been violently smashed into it. Three guesses to who that was, Jay thought. Tucked into a corner near the main double-door loading hatch was another bloody heap, this one looking much less like a corpse and a lot more like a well-tenderized steak. The floor and the ceiling of the chamber had a curious curve to them, indicating the tremendous magnitude of the force that had pushed against them from within. In light of everything here, including several miraculously surviving lightbulbs, the man sitting on the floor, leaning his back against the loading hatch, was fairly easy to identify. And not just by his unique attire, though the suit of handcrafted bone armor was a dead giveaway. There was simply no man, on this planet or in this universe (save maybe Frelock), who had such expertise in combat telekinesis. Jay Kayell unlocked his helmet, took it off, and smiled at the man. "Hey, Gantolandon. I'd wondered where you disappeared to. Long time no see."

Logged
Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Zako

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Re: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Parts 1 and 2, out of ~4.
« Reply #6129 on: August 31, 2011, 11:30:29 am »

OH SNAP! I totally forgot about him! Glad to see he is doing well. And I am a broken mess of a man once again. Sigh...
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Dermonster

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Re: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Parts 1 and 2, out of ~4.
« Reply #6130 on: August 31, 2011, 11:33:13 am »

It probably shows how long its been since I have no idea who this guy is. Oh hey accidental italicizing.
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I can do anything I want, as long as I accept the consequences.
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"Dammit Derm!" - You, if I'm doing it right.
Moved to SufficientVelocity / Spacebattles.

Zako

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Re: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Parts 1 and 2, out of ~4.
« Reply #6131 on: August 31, 2011, 12:39:39 pm »

He's an old player who basically disappeared off the face of the earth, at least where this game is concerned at any rate. He made that armour himself and basically was like frelock but more offensive in nature. He could do a bit of healing, but was really more of an offensive type of character. He hadn't posted in so long that we all basically decided to just leave him and do our own thing.
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Sean Mirrsen

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Re: RTD - Multiworld Madness! Final Update: Parts 1 and 2, out of ~4.
« Reply #6132 on: August 31, 2011, 01:24:31 pm »

He wasn't posting here because he's been in a separate game session run in PMs. The next part has a brief-ish section that describes what he's been up to all this time.
(also, in case you don't remember how he can run the craft from the hold, one of his powers is remote electronics manipulation through conductive surfaces)
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Multiworld Madness Archive:
Game One, Discontinued at World 3.
Game Two, Discontinued at World 1.

"Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe's problems are the world's problems, but the world's problems are not Europe's problems."
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India
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