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The Ringing of a Forge of Stars [Warhammer 40k/ Celestial forge V3||OC...ish]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Slider Zero, Apr 14, 2021.

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  1. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Maybe Alaya can nurture his mutilated soul so that he can recover. I find Emperor is a victim of huge trauma due to age of strife. If he was such a tyrant than he would have taken control of humanity before creation of Imperium. He plays more of a hands on approach all his life. Even after crusade he mentioned to leave imperium in hands of humans which is why he created Adeptus terra as long term plan. So just saying he is power hungry tyrant would wrong. A tyrant is not willing to suffer this much for so long any way or form.
     
  2. Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    yeah I gotta agree with that, the emperor imo definitely was majorly traumatized from the age of strife. As soon as slaanesh was born and the warp fuckery was blown away he immediately started the imperium project.
     
    souvikkundu likes this.
  3. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    There is no perfect choice there. Compared to having humanity he considered mutilation of his soul valid way to migrate overall damage. You have to remember there is no overall central authority and xenos like orks are emerging. Compared to damage done to his soul he considered a chance to save humanity is better cost benefit wise.
     
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  4. ATP

    ATP Versed in the lewd.

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    Then he should conqer Galaxy in the name of himself as Avatar of Mechanicus god.Better then burn churches,pray to computers - becouse every world with churches,computers and population smarter then 10 IQ must rebell.
    If he did so,then there would be no problems,and at least Lorgar would remain loyal.

    Not telling population about Chaos - good,not telling his sons who was affected by Warp - suicidal.If he said his sons,then i bet most,except Fulgrim and Angron,would remain loyal,too.
     
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  5. Extras: Omake 1 -
    Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    Omake:

    Alaya looked at Atham’s corpse, it’s jaw wide as if screaming out in agony. She sighed, such wasted potential he had. Before she left she sensed a child, glowing gold in the rafters jump down behind her

    hello there

    the two custodies acted on instinct to defend her- a worthless gesture but a kind one

    Ah Star Child… you are a bold one. I’ve been expecting you

    a moment of silence was pierced by the two chuckling

    Sighing, the Star Child’s face harden and looked at Atham’s corpse

    he was a tired, broken and old man… all of us perpetuals who lived through the Old Night broke, he out of all of them the most. Hearing and seeing the fates that awaited untold trillions without the ability to lift a finger… will we be punished for our inaction during the Old Night as well?

    we? Ah in the rafters hundreds, maybe a thousand total translucent figures stood eyeing her, in shadows countless glowing pairs of eyes looked curiously, and Celestine appeared behind the Star Child holding up a halo- much to the Star Child chagrin.

    Was the theatrics really necessary?

    no

    It seems you still have some of his pride then.

    less my pride and more that of what my faithful attribute to me. But back to the question, before we where cast out or dislodged throughout the millennia we where- and still are him” The glowing child turned towards the golden throne, running a hand over a cable, lost in nostalgia for the briefest of moments

    You are no longer him, made by him, parts of him… but you have changed be it from survival or kindness. A living ship of Theseus how… peculiar.

    you speak yet you do not say, are we to be punished or are we innocent of crimes he- we committed?

    Fool, think if you where to be punished then you wouldn’t be here

    I didn’t know if you cared for theatrics as much as we did, traveling to each of us one by one and laying us to rest for good

    So you all gathered here together- not the brightest move. Ironic as your a walking lightbulb

    a light chuckle came from the Star Child who looked up to the ceiling, a beautiful fresco painted. Closing his eyes he turned his head down and looked at Alaya

    we could run, but it would do us no good.

    sighing Alaya looked the child in the eyes

    If you desire to be punished so much for crimes you have repented for… then this will be your punishment: I will grab every shard of Atham and you shall be reborn, remember his sins and strive to always be better, to not break again.

    after a moment of silence the Star Child spoke.

    very well… we accept this geas.

    sticking out her hand, the various translucent turned to golden dust followed by the countless pairs of glowing eyes.

    Celestine glanced at her wings as they faded, expecting to go with them

    fear not Celestine, you are still needed” the Star Child spoke to her a smile crossing his face as he faded to golden dust “as much as I hated religion, I can’t help but feel it’s ironic we’re going to pull a Virgin Mary

    Alaya holding a glowing orb in the palm of her hand looked at it and gently pushed it into Celestine’s Womb.

    ”I don’t know how to feel about being a mother” spoke Celestine bewildered and now with a hand above her womb. “I also don’t know how to react to losing my wings…”

    worry not child you’ll find raising him easy, I can guarantee it

    ”yeah- oh she left already” she turned to a custodian, “announce my pregnancy and the emperor’s reincarnation, I’m sure chaos has- pun intended spread across Sol with The Emperor’s dying scream”

    Alone Celestine looked at her stomach and though, her child, the emperor… needed a new name. How about Seth?
     
  6. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Interesting Omake, though a lot of assumptions are made about things and how they happened. Still, here's a threadmark nontheless.
     
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  7. Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    sorry if they contradict your canon
     
  8. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    ...We seem to have a misunderstanding here.

    The entire point of Omake is to be extra. It' literally the name. You did not have to adhere to anything of my canon, just write what you thought would work for you.

    I only pointed out the parts I found off because of the parts of the canon I am using for things. Remember, WH40K is notoriously inconsistent with canon, especially when it comes to the Emperor. There are easily at least four different interpretations of his actions before, during, and immediately after nearly every major event in 40k, and you can bet your ass they all contradict each other. Doesn't stop them from being Canon, though.

    In any case, your Omake is more than approved, and I not only invite you to write more if you choose, but also invite anyone else who wants to write stuff to take a crack.

    Who knows...you just might like it.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 22
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    The Speranza had arrived at its interim destination only a few hours prior, hoping to get a better look at the forces that had plagued their journey, and seemed to propagate even now amongst Humanity, before seeking out Holy Terra.

    And Harry could only think to himself that it was the Emperor’s own blessing that they did so.

    The System was known locally as First Fall, and it was one of the many relay worlds that would be used as supply points and repair stations between Terra and the rest of the Imperium. Under normal circumstances, the light of the Astronomican would be almost blinding to Navigators as they sought out their destination, which would in turn require more focused and shorter jumps to compensate for the lack of vision. The upside, of course, was that being this close to the Astronomican meant that the Warp was usually a gentle stream compared to the wild and roiling wakes that could be found within the maelstrom.

    Unfortunately for everyone involved, this was anything but a normal circumstance.

    The planet below was in utter pandemonium. Reports of massive amounts of chaos worship and heresy everywhere, innumerable numbers of psykers suddenly forced into the open, even entire witch hunter cabals suddenly erupting in psychic light for absolutely no reason and almost immediately being put to the Emperor’s Mercy…or at least attempted to do so, as whatever was causing the effect was also pointedly refusing to allow anyone to die from it.

    Well, except for the many, many people of the hives below who found themselves breaking out into massive, unsightly mutations and aberrancies without any warning, each one a clear indication of not only chaos taint but how deep and to whom their allegiance was sworn to.

    That many a chaos worshiper had been found in places of high authority and prestige, in the ranks of those who were believed to be beyond suspicion, was damning. Hell, even within the Emperor’s Own Inquisition, much to the surprise of the masses (who were deliberately kept unaware that Inquisitors could even be rogue) could be found numerous tainted ones. It was nothing less than total chaos, and it was generally agreed by all parties onboard Speranza that they wanted nothing to do with it.

    Especially because nearly all of them were still dealing with their own awakenings and transformations.

    Amongst the Sororitas onboard, it was Sister Mariel who was by far the most pious of the lot, and she was downright adamant that it was the light of the Emperor himself shining on them and awakening them to what they could truly be. The other Sororitas quickly agreed, to no one’s surprise, and even a few of the mixed bag of Van Saar remnants bought into it wholesale, mostly because there was nothing else that actually made sense.

    Harry openly laughed at them all. “Trust me, this is somehow Green’s fault. Don’t ask me how or why, but I am certain that this is his fault.”

    Somehow, maybe, this did not erupt into an inferno of declarations of heresy and other cries of defamation. In this case, it was likely because Harry was the one most used to the mess that followed his friend around, and had been openly disdainful of the Imperium as it stood for some time, even to the Sisters.

    The small bit of good news to come out of this mess was that the injured members of the crew were now recovering at exponential rates, and those of them who were in critical condition before were rapidly approaching full health. This included one Amos Barrugends, who was none too pleased with his circumstances.

    And he had made a point of tracking down his nominal subordinate for answers. Who he located in the mess, going about the process of eating.

    “Well, Cain? What the hell is going on? And don’t tell me you don’t know, you are far too entangled into this mess to not know something.”

    Again, Harry could only laugh. And it was a good laugh, too. Amos, for his part, was forced to sit and grumble while Harry got it out of his system.

    When he was finally finished, only then did he bother to explain anything. “Well, Green ended up locating a full and uncorrupted STC after the shit that went down in the Hive. Local Chaos cults didn’t agree with his having it, and even managed to get a full-up daemon involved, for what it was worth. Fallout from that got the Sororitas involved, they got their hands on some goodies that Green’s Techpriestess whipped up, and we had a more or less front-row seat to everyone and their grandma moving to stop the STC from getting off planet.”

    The smirk on his face should have been declared illegal. “They failed.”

    Amos took a moment to process the incredulous turn of events. “And how does this pertain to the rest of us suddenly gaining such…abilities recently? And from the Emperor himself, it felt like?”

    Harry shrugged. “No actual idea, but I can guarantee that Green is involved somehow. Weird things happen around him.”

    He took a bite out of a piece of fruit, a delicacy onboard a ship at the best of times. “You get used to it, eventually.”






    The Guardsmen of Cadia knew their duty. Knew it to be the one true calling of every son and daughter of their proud world, to stand and fight against the hordes that even now sought to break them and unleash the tide of chaos upon the universe.

    And yet they stood tall, unbowed and unyielding as the forces of Abaddon the Despoiler threw themselves at their lines time and time again.

    Now was another one of those times, won by blood and sacrifice for the glory of the Emperor and the Imperium. Men and women died in the trenches and fighting holes of their positions, in the armored vehicles, and elsewhere as they made sure that the traitor scum paid for every last millimeter of land that they took. Lakes of blood were shed that the chaos filth knew the truth of things: that there would be no easy day here, no victory for the heretic today.

    Or tomorrow.

    Or the next day.

    It was during one of those assaults that something changed.

    Commissar Anton Grauser barked orders to his charges, encouragement and ‘encouragement’ in equal measure as he felt necessary, though he counted himself fortunate that the latter was seldom, if ever, necessary of late. Cadia, as always, produced the finest guardsmen in the Imperium, and none yet were able to stand against their might.

    “Come on you dogs!! The Heretic advances, MAKE HIM PAY FOR IT!!”

    His men responded with murderous intent, cutting down the oncoming horde of cultists with ease…and yet more were coming. It had been like this for hours now, the near ceaseless waves of cultists and even some traitorous guardsmen swarming their lines, trying to breach their defenses. Thus far, no attempt had succeeded…and yet the tide was unceasing.

    And his men were equally unceasing, much to his shock. Not a man had flagged under the waves of enemies, and not a man had fallen to enemy fire. In fact, their marksmanship was better than ever, their weapons chewing through the heretics with ease that was only deserved of the enemies of Man.

    The Commissar would have questioned it, given it thought that maybe, maybe, it was something to worry about, but he had been fighting for over twelve hours now and had little time or patience to waste with unimportant thoughts.

    A cultist managed to, by sheer luck, get close enough to engage in melee…and quickly found itself riddled full of holes by his own laspistol, and then summarily cleaved clean through by his service cutlass.

    “See, Lads!! Watch as the Heretics fall on our steel!! Make them weep rivers and oceans of blood for our planet!!”

    His men howled a battle cry that shook the oncoming heretics to their core.

    And not one of them noticed the combined glow surrounding the men as they held their line against all comers.

    They were far from the only ones, as the guardsmen of the planet surged with newfound might, stamina, and purpose.

    The accounting of the day would turn out to be an especially gruesome one indeed…for the heretics.

    Of the defenders, not a single man planet-wide would fall that day, an event that would be attributed to miracle and the Emperor’s Grace.






    The Craftworld of Biel-Tan was in uproar.

    As the surge of power raced across the galaxy, borne on the light of the Astronomican, the Farseers and fate-weavers of the Aeldari suddenly found themselves stumped as the Mon-keigh, the very fools who knew nothing of the true threats of the galaxy, were unexpectedly empowered beyond anything that had been seen in the history of the Aeldari people. That it also completely shattered the plans and machinations of the greatest among their number was seen as an even greater insult.

    Perhaps most damning of all was that whatever force this was acting upon the Mon-keigh, it completely ignored everything and everyone else.

    Including the Aeldari themselves, much to their ongoing envy.

    After all, was it not they who were the true masters of the galaxy? The ones who saw further and did more to stymie the oncoming encroachment of Chaos, the awakening of the accursed tombs of the Necrontyr, and far, far worse still?

    It was this scene that greeted the survivors of the disaster that was Necromunda, fresh from the webway after escaping the now Warp storm-wracked world. Questions plenty were asked of those who were there, answers demanded from those who potentially knew anything of what had gone down, and more importantly if this was connected to the strange automaton creature that had recovered one of the old Mon-keigh STC machines.

    For young Marasin, none of this mattered. He just wanted to return to his family…or what was left of it, after the mess on Necromunda. Not that anyone would listen to him, if they knew the truth. They barely were willing to give his mother the time of day as it was, and she had been assigned to the place!!

    No, it was best if he stayed hidden as much as possible, especially considering his maman’s circumstances…lest it become known what she had done.

    As it was, she was already in enough trouble with the powers that be.

    An unwanted mental nudge from the craftworlders around him was deflected with ease as he maintained his concealment. Sure, being physically hidden didn’t do much on a craftworld, with the Aeldari in general being powerful psychics all, but it still made him feel better.

    And more to the point, it hid the more obvious signs of his heritage…which was now all the more important as the great will worked her way around the galaxy, empowering her children.

    Including him. Especially him.

    Oh yes, he knew of her existence and what she desired. It was impossible for him not to, not after she had all but reached out to him personally and granted him his birthright as a son of Man.

    Not once had the fact that he had also been a son of the Aeldari ever come up, and if anything she seemed amused at the fact. She did not call him monster, abomination, or any number of other things that would have marked him for extermination in the Imperium and derision and scorn at best among the Eldar proper.

    His mother had agreed wholeheartedly in that regard, often venting her frustrations on him at the inability of either side to actually see one another, let alone properly talk. Something about a combination of enforced ignorance on the part of the Imperials meeting the complete and absolute Arrogance that was the Aeldari. Because of course only the Aeldari had the vision and strength to save the galaxy from the threats that plagued it, proof to the contrary be damned.

    Even as the previous wave of energy, the Force itself, had reached out to them, offered them a place and a choice when before there was none…and the Eldar had rejected it as beneath them, as they were masters of their own fate.

    But now?

    Now it could no longer be ignored. The strength and will of Humanity could no longer be dismissed as the flailing of children before their elders, as the fools who styled themselves masters of the Eldar had claimed. (oh, his mother had gone OFF on that particular rant…)

    And the horror of the situation was that he was living proof of what was possible, now. Now that the Will had awoken, and had reached out to her children.

    Marasin could only grin, as the light of his soul shone clearly around him. The screams of frustration of the Bitch that Thirsts were pure music to his ears as he listened to the realization of the chaos god that there was an Eldar soul that was forever beyond its reach…nevermind that that soul was also human, and far, far stronger as a result.

    ‘I wonder what will happen now? Now that the house of cards that is the Eldar is tumbling down?’

    A sensation of connection bloomed in his mind, as he was drawn to several distant sparks of light throughout the galaxy, every last one of them being cradled in the Lady’s light.

    Marasin could only grin at the implications.






    The two of us dashed across the lunar surface, practically dancing across the landscape as we moved along.

    [Come on, catch me!!!]

    And playing the entire time.

    Currently, we were in the middle of an impromptu game of tag that had evolved from the race that we had held earlier. The two of us were rushing about, completely carefree of any and all worries as we chased each other, our objective of reaching the Pytheas moonbase temporary forgotten.

    Mio was being particularly elusive, dodging around my various dives and rushes with a careless grace that was only offset by the peals of laughter at my attempts. This, along with the blatantly lewd stream of thoughts and emotions she was throwing at me, only spurred me on ever harder.

    Honestly, we really found the place by complete accident. Pytheas was situated inside a rather large crater, the vast majority of it shielded from view to the lunar surface proper, with the exception of the main control tower and what I thought might be a setup for a Mass Driver system of some sort. The crater itself was mostly exposed, with only a central section domed off and protected against the lunar atmosphere (or lack thereof, considering). Considering that I had tackled Mio all but directly into the dome itself in our play, I was surprised I only noticed all of this just now.

    Of course, the vent fans for the crater (and wasn’t that amusing to see) were broken and leaking atmosphere and spraying moon dust into the protected zone. I took a moment away from focusing on Mio, who was currently squirming quite deliciously in my arms, to take a quick look inside through the clear glasslike material, and saw quite clearly the horde of Typhon moving about below us, many of which that seemed to be shifting to approach us.

    It was with a great regret that I steered Mio back on task, and away from her (very successful) attempt at seducing me. [Well, I think that we have a bit of work to do before we can play some more, honey.]

    Mio, of course, pouted. Cutely. [They can wait. I need you first.] She punctuated this with an extremely sensual motion that practically had me on fire with need.

    But, alas, we had to clear out the Typhon first before I could properly scratch that itch.

    The battle was short and uninteresting. Sure, the Typhon were out in drives, and there was a new variant that the local databases referred to as a Moonshark to deal with, but at the end of the day we were simply entirely too strong to deal with now that we didn’t have to worry about a space station breaking under the strain of our power, let alone people being adversely affected by the same. Even the Nightmares mixed in with the lot, which were of the severely upgraded variety that I had fought in the Talos Reactor space, were spiked and punted with little fanfare.

    If anything, the bigger story here was that somehow our overall power had skyrocketed. Again. The one semi-saving grace attached to it was that most of the gain was purely psionic, likely related to us having to fight off the Apex alone, but the bleedover into the rest of our skills was beginning to highlight some issues that would need addressing.

    For one, the mass growth in psionic potential had caused a commensurate spike in chakra potency and a similar (if significantly lesser) boost to capacity for some reason, which in turn impacted Aura reserves and potency, which splashed all over fucking everything with a degree of craziness that could only be allowed because it was literally the manifest soul…you get the idea.

    Worse was that the process had completely shot a lot of the fine control stuff that I was used to doing, simply because of the enormity of the boost. My best guess is that it would take months to get back to where I was in that area, and Mio potentially even longer, as she still had the normal issues associated with being a goddamn dragon. Just about the only light in that tunnel was that I had already known and developed a series of high-level control exercises that were part of my normal training routine, and could easily rework them for the new tolerances with little effort.

    That being said, Pytheas was a mess, and that was just judging from the crater space alone. There was random junk spread all over the place, most of the unshielded electronics were on the verge of failure for various reasons, and the few places that did have some kind of control or power interconnection were in extreme disrepair.

    The fact that the bare few Harvester operators (and wasn’t that a novel idea that needed to be deployed Earthside) that weren’t corrupted were starting to run down said a lot, really. Especially as the Harvesters themselves were built to some rather intense standards in regard to durability.

    I marked places for needing general fixes and upgrades for later. There were a distressingly large amount of them.

    Moving through the base’s areas told a story all too familiar to me: The Moonworks, which was a combination mining facility and heavy machinery shop, was about what I expected in terms of grisliness, with the requisite bodies everywhere, signs of sabotage and betrayal, and the multitude of Typhon being a pain in the ass. Pytheas Labs was even more of a bloodbath, complete with the unethical and monstrous experimentation on living humans going down, along with a rather idiotic move in playing with fire: what the research notes called a ‘Mimic portal’, which was supposed to be a form of transport via a type of teleportation? Couldn’t figure it out, but I do know that someone had used it at one point or another.

    That the live Typhon that were being studied had broken containment and run amok was to be expected. Honestly, I was somewhat surprised that they had managed to work out suitable containment for the stronger forms that held for so long.

    Oh no, it was the Crew Quarters that really got me. Bodies everywhere I was used to, Typhon everywhere was a nuisance at best, but it was what we found when we made it to the Director’s office that was the shocker.

    The base’s Director, a one Ms. Riley Yu, was dead. I had expected that much.

    What I didn’t expect was the cause: somehow she had been hooked up to some kind of neural transfer device, and from the looks of it the feedback from the machine had been responsible for killing her.

    Except, even a casual look at the tech involved made it clear that my hypothesis was impossible by design. Meaning that someone had intentionally made a point of killing her off. But why, and what end did it serve to do so? It confused the hell out of me.

    I felt Mio nudge against my mind to draw my attention to something. There was a ‘ghost’ of some type moving around, clearly trying to do some kind of data backup procedure. I watched as she–and yes, I could tell now, that definitely was a she–moved quickly to stuff as much of the operational and experimental data into an Operator of some kind, after which she then sat down in the very chair that Ms. Yu had died in.

    And I got a front row seat to watching as some sick kill switch program engaged and made certain that Riley never made it out of the facility.

    A quick check of some leftover security footage showed that there was apparently a spy of some type moving around and doing dirty work that may have been responsible. According to the log, she likely used one of the escape pods to get out of dodge.

    The part that got to me, though…was my complete lack of empathy for either of them. As much as I wanted to feel bad for Riley, she was still overseeing the brutal and sickening experiments with the Typhon involving ‘Volunteers’. And if anything, Pytheas’ experiments were worse than those on Talos, lacking the requirement to actually look good for the camera like the Station did.

    On the part of her would-be murderer, I felt even less, not knowing for what purpose she struck out or to whom she served, as she clearly had an agenda revolving around that Operator that had been loaded with the experiment data. Likely an extreme case of corporate espionage, but still.

    [Satori. There is no shame in not feeling for those who have dug their own graves.] Mio spoke to me, directly addressing the root cause of my problems, as usual. [They are long since beyond our help or influence. Their mistakes are their own. As are their fates.]

    She was right, of course. I knew she was. But even then, I couldn’t help but compare myself to an idealistic standard and say that I should be better somehow. No matter how illogical and unfair I was being to myself, I still could only feel that my dismissal of their fates as deserved was going too far.

    It would be something to think about, later on.






    It took about four hours to do a full-clear of Pytheas of all Typhon organisms, and with the place cleaned up of any Xenos influence, Mio and I got to work.

    First and foremost, the Base was a wreck and a half, and needed upgrades and retooling at every step. We both took the opportunity to utilize a few extra Ideas that we had been sitting on for some time, mostly as proof-of-concepts, like the combo Recycler/Fabricator setup we were playing around with. Alongside, the base was getting some severe upgrades to both general aesthetic and structural integrity as we moved along, and even getting a bit of an expansion as well. The central command tower (such that it was) in the Crater got the most of our attention, seeing as it was the hub around which everything else was built, but everything got a major touch up.

    We’d also created a memorial of sorts, having gone out of the way to cremate the remains of the remaining personnel and bury them beneath the simple plinth we had erected to mourn their loss. This was my idea, mostly because I was still of the impression that even if they were all in on the madhouse that was happening down here, none of them deserved to be eaten by aliens.

    That being said, after giving them their resting place, I moved on and never once looked back.

    “Alright, we got the relays done, most of the computing systems are upgraded, new mainframes all over the place and a nice central computer core buried underneath the command tower to manage it all. We missing anything else here, honey?”

    Mio was reading off of a checklist that we had drafted up in the all of four hours it took to redo the majority of Pytheas to a proper safety standard. Considering that this was phase two of our upgrade plans, it made sense.

    “Nothing on my end, and I know nothing on yours. Upgrades to Pytheas labs to change it into something that isn’t horrific is next on the list, and then we can get into dealing with Moonworks later.” or finish dealing with it, at any rate. There were still a lot of things that we wanted to get finished up with the base, but first and foremost was our current pet project: a proper communications array.

    Mio finished setting up her end of the system and quickly returned herself to her ‘Designated Proper Position’™ at my side. We had just finished up a relay that should theoretically allow us to punch a signal all the way out through the Oort cloud with minimal signal degradation on either end. Better yet, if the other side was using the appropriate communications gear, they could reply with minimal delays between transmissions.

    I stood next to the control panel, a slight anxiety working its way through my body. If this worked…we could find out what happened to the rest of the escapees. Hell, we could probably find out what happened to the ones that had to have been dragged off of Necromunda with us.

    Or, if my hunch was correct, we could actually get a signal out to that ship drifting on the system edge, which I believed to be ours.

    Mio physically nudged me, and I could feel warmth and encouragement being directed my way as well. It was enough to break my ennui and actually hit the button.

    Startup was, for all that it was a bit of a marvel of engineering, a dull and uninteresting affair. Power draw was nominal, the system remained stable, the anti-tampering had successfully fried a technopath that tried to get too close (which reminded me to get something together for a full sweep of the moon itself later on). Everything was working just as it was intended to…including the beacon frequency that had just lit up everything even thinking about looking at the moon with a notification of a new transmitter.

    A few adjustments had me sending out a general signal to the outer edge of the system along the same course that I had first picked up the active sweep from. If anything, I had hoped to receive a reply back within about a day or so.

    So the sudden connection that we got was a bit surprising, especially since it came with video. Live video, at that.

    And on the viewscreen, there was a Small Green dude in an orange Spacesuit, clearly working at getting a stable comms signal. He looked up, and it was with a nice bit of amusement that I watched Bob Kerman partially panic at the signal resolving itself, only to then look at the camera.

    He blinked for a few moments. We stared back, amused grins on our faces.

    Eventually, he seemed to break out of his trance. “Hey, JEB!! We got a Signal! It’s the Bosses!”

    Jeb rushed into view a moment afterwards, looking slightly haggard for all that it had been maybe fifteen hours since I’d picked up their sweep. Maybe he wasn’t sleeping?

    “Boss! Glad to see you alright. Was worried for a moment that we would end up losing you somehow.”

    Mio and I chuckled in grim amusement. “Well, you weren’t wrong. I ended up on a space station with Mio that ultimately tried to eat us.” I stopped for a moment to buff my nails against my suit. “We flipped the bullshit and instead fried the creatures responsible.”

    Why, yes, I am just a bit smug about surviving Talos, and allowing for people to escape as well.

    Mio took over while I was busy humble-flexing. “Right now we’re on Luna, specifically the Moon of Sol III for you guys who are new to this. We basically took over a base that had been overrun by the same bastards as the station, and did some repairs and upgrades after cleaning house. How about you guys?”

    Judging by the frowns on both of their faces, I suspect that they had some bad news.

    “Well, it’s good news and bad news with this, boss.” Jeb replied. “Good news is that we have enough provisions to make it for at least a month without issue, and more besides in case of emergency. The bad news is that we might end up stuck here that long for the ship to finish doing its thing and then repair from the crash jump that I did to get out of system from that weird shit.” There was a noticeable shudder through both Kerbal’s forms at that. My guess is that they nearly got swallowed by the warp storm.

    Bob continued onwards. “The Ship itself is mostly fine, but until the process completes, we are drifting on auxiliary power. Nobody wants to risk firing up the main drive for actual power in case of something going wrong, mostly because we have no real clue how things work here.”

    OOF.

    What Bob was describing was a very nasty catch-22 in the situation regarding maintenance of a new-build ship. Namely, you have the competent crew to do the fix, but A) the ship itself is beyond the expertise of your best people, and B) even the manuals are incorrect. The normal solution to this problem, relying on institutional knowledge, is pointless because of the new-build status and the general system novelty factor.

    Meaning that the poor Kerbals legitimately had no clue that the reason it was taking so long for the process to complete was because they had denied power to systems. In fairness, it was likely for a really good reason…at first. But then it would get to the point where the issue would have corrected itself, been corrected by the crew, or generally had been worked around, and nobody knew what to do from there because the ship was even now changing under their feet.

    Still, the solution was obvious, at least to me. “Bob, I’m going to make a recommendation that you are free to ignore. Restart the main reactor, please.”

    Bob gave me a harsh look. “We are unsure of what, if any, effect a restart at this time would cause.” Jeb stood next to him, nodding along in agreement.

    “That being said…it is likely that the ship itself will prevent a restart if it becomes an issue. I will let Bill know to get on it.” Cue my personal shock that they were willing to go for it.

    Jeb was still nodding along, now with an eager, almost vicious smile on his face. Apparently, some of my shock was clear enough for them to see. “Don’t be so shocked, boss. We all know the risks of being up here. Hell, this is what we live for. The risk is well worth it if you think it’s good.”

    Bob had opened up another communication window and was conversing with poor Bill, who had the unenviable task of running the Engineering department of the ship. The discussion window flicked over to the main screen as the discussion finished, and Bill was quick to pounce.

    “Alrighty then, Green. Tell me more about how this engine is supposed to work, so I can be satisfied that we’re not about to kill ourselves up here.”






    It took about two hours for the basics of operation to be imparted to Bill, during which time I walked him though a bit of a crash-course in reactor management. It was not made any easier by the fact that the ship itself was seemingly making great inroads into doing some interior modifications to ensure nothing like the crash jump could cause any more major issues.

    This, of course, modified the hell out of everything I knew about the reactors and even the engine systems themselves, often leaving me in the position of having to make wild mass guesses as to what was going on at any one time. Which was super fucking annoying, as I had personally designed both the particular setup of Mass Effect Drive and the recently dubbed Etherwave Reactors (the concept mana/photonic hybrid reactors, finally brought to something approaching usability).

    Let me tell you, watching your own tech mutate beyond your own understanding is not a fun experience.

    Eventually, though, we’d managed to get enough of an understanding and confidence in the system to be willing to do a Reactor start. This may or may not have involved Mio screaming at the Kerbals over a vid link (“Will you stupid fucks just DO IT ALREADY!?!”) and a not insignificant amount of owed favors on my part, but we got them to start the Reactor back up.

    And nothing happened. Which took everyone by surprise, as even Valentina was expecting something to go boom somewhere. It was another three hours before we were all satisfied that Murphy had been given his due, and would trouble us no more this activity.

    Reactor start was perfectly normal, everything was in the green, and estimated time until full conversion and repair was dropping like a stone. Better yet, they now had motive power to try and make it back in-system to pick the rest of us up, or at least to set down and check out our nice moonbase…which would now need a spacedock. Fuck.

    Well, we were doing remodeling anyway. Might as well make a proper spaceport while we were at it.






    Mio had taken the project to renovate Pytheas completely to heart, and even now she was pushing forwards with a gusto that surprised even her.

    Didn’t stop her from basically tearing the entire base apart at the seams and doing rebuilds practically from the ground up. Crew Quarters got revamped, both to accommodate a more friendly atmosphere and to be far more comfortable to those who actually had to stay there, which necessitated a bit of expansion to the structure that was easily accomplished with all of the spare materials hanging around.

    Moonworks was harder, but that place was meant as part of the Helium-3 mining operations anyway, and wouldn’t need much in the way of major improvements aside from general safety and efficiency, which she placed onto the back burner.

    No, it was the Pytheas Labs that garnered her full and near undivided attention once she became aware of just how horrendous the place was, both to normal senses and supernatural ones. The ghosts of the volunteers that had been abused against their will lingered still, and the echoes of the Typhon somehow clung to the place like a particularly nasty fungus.

    Her cleanup efforts spared nothing.

    The results spoke for themselves, really. Pytheas labs had now been expanded into a brand new and improved Research and Development center, complete with several technologies that the labs did not have access to, as well as a connection to a small manufacturing and testing area that her Satori had jokingly named the Proving Grounds. Of the original, Typhon-oriented research material there was nothing left, save three items of note: the first was a piloting connectome for programming Neuromods, and one that had likely been used in an escape attempt somewhere. The second was an experiment, the Mimic Portal, that had been left more or less live and neither of them were sure what to do with it.

    It was the third that had temporarily stalled her efforts to render her new moonbase into a proper home.

    Satori, of course, was hovering around her with his usual curiosity brimming at the surface. “So, what is it, exactly?”

    Mio shrugged, her own relative confusion clear. “The notes called it a ‘psychostatic cutter’. I haven’t been able to find much about exactly what it is just yet, but based on the name alone, I think it’s a psionically-enhanced blade of some sort. It’s not that big of a deal, but it did catch my interest.”

    Mio waved an arm over at the machinery of the Mimic Portal, now safely disconnected, and moved out into the crater area, and particularly into a very nasty killbox. “And then there’s this thing here, which I don’t trust at all but also don’t wanna trash in case it’s important somehow. Other than that, the renovations to the labs is going well, thank you.” The last part was spoken very sarcastically, though she knew that her mate took no offense to it. By now, that was just a part of their game, really.

    Satori looked over at the construction efforts that they were laying down with speeds that would terrify normal people…and without their frames, to boot. “So, when’dya think we should call the upgrade process a done deal? Right now, we’re kinda just turning the place into a bit of a house, you know…”

    “And this is a problem? We cleaned up the mess that Transtar left in here, we are rebuilding it to suit our needs, I say we get to call the place a home. They don’t like it? Too bad.”

    She knew all too well the feelings that her smiles instilled in him. What she very carefully tried to mask was just how devastating the same from him was to her. Already she could feel her arousal spiking and the familiar ache of need echoing…

    That man was going to drive her crazy one of these days, just from gestures alone, and she would love it. Fortunately for her, that day was not today.

    “So. since this is now our new home, wanna get the place set up properly? There's some things I could use your input on, after all–”






    It was now the second day of our current sojourn on the moon, and we had expanded the old Pytheas base into a full complex that spread out all around the crater itself, as well as beneath the lunar surface outside of it. We were actually joking around about expanding to one of the other craters as well, maybe creating a proper lunar city while we were at it, just to tweak Transtar’s nose in general.

    Of course, that would have to wait for us to finish actually upgrading the base first. Especially since after the first wave of upgrades and remodeling had gone through, we started getting downright inspired about certain things.

    Mio had decided to test out a particular variation on the old Transparent Steel concept, except using a material that was significantly stronger, something along the lines of an exotic Titanium alloy if I remember correctly. So far, her results were promising, but slow as all hell, even with the fabrication technology of Transtar to the rescue…which she was not using. Something about wanting to get things right first before going ham with the fabricator.

    For my part, I was busy working on a series of experiments in what was now officially the ‘experimental computing’ wing of the labs. The basics of it involved me reviving some pretty novel forms of old computing tech from the 1980s that I thought I could push to the limit. The first was an experiment in improvements to magnetic storage methods, which tended to keep shockingly well under even general care, despite the otherwise slower access times.

    The second, however, was something that I had only heard of in passing on a computing-related chat board years ago, and had forgotten about until now: actual, no-shit holographic storage. And sure enough, there was some old cypher warrior here on Pytheas who had a cache of old computing memorabilia and peripherals, including one of the older holographic drives.

    Now, the technology was very much immature even for it’s time. For one, while the data kept supremely well in all but the most extreme cases and the access and read times were insane, especially for 80s tech, the main issue was the fact that the format was initially only capable of WORM (Write Once, Read Many) operation, and even as the tech advanced the best that could be done for rewrite operations required the drive to be wiped clean due to the process involved in doing so.

    The other major issue revolved around the actual write times as compared to total storage capacity, which was abysmal. While data could be written to the drives at a cheery 20 megabytes/sec, that speed was only for the absolute latest iteration of the drives…which could hold well over 300 gigabytes of data.

    In the early 2000s.

    In any case, the first was an idle curiosity project that I was undertaking mostly because of the abundance of magnetic storage up here on the moon, and the second because I was pretty sure I could solve nearly all of the major issues with the holographic storage pretty easily.

    My current setup involved a series of tests to determine the best material for use as a storage medium in the first place, and so far it was looking like a variant of Silica Quartz was winning based on what I had available. Most of the second and third stage testing had completed already to resounding successes, and was only awaiting my selection of a final material to work with.

    It was for this reason that I was very aware when Watts decided that he needed my attention on something important, and immediately pulled me into a mindscape.

    Unlike the last few times this had happened, I was more than aware of my own power and faculties and could maintain my perspective without slipping into the ‘dream haze’ that was characteristic of our earlier meetings, which I appreciated greatly.

    The constellations of stars above me that represented the Forge of Stars radiated with an intense light, and I could easily see the various nodes that had been activated with my own eyes, their light shining down upon me and filling me with warmth. I paid no mind to the fact that the forge itself wasn’t even a fraction lit, the myriad abilities and skills still slowly gathering power.

    Watts remained his usual self, and chose to remain silent for this part, instead gesturing towards a…guest(?) of sorts. The person was tall, taller than even I was, for that matter, and a noticeably earthen skin tone. The only thing that really stood out about him, aside from the clothing that I thought was vaguely Egyptian inspired, was that he literally had a bird head, though I could not place the type.

    He was also semi-translucent, as if he was not really all here.

    He seemed to notice me as soon as I noticed him, as he immediately perked up and began speaking. “Ah, there you are. It would seem that you are the one that has been chosen to carry the legacy forward, child.”

    He reached into a satchel that he held at his side and pulled out a series of notebooks, which he then motioned towards me. “I will entrust unto you these, to do with as you see fit. Please try to take care of them, they took me some time to acquire.”

    Watts remained silent, and it was with a note of startlement that I realized why.

    After all, I had only named my freaking Valkyrie Core after him.

    Thoth, the Egyptian God of, amongst other things, Magic, Wisdom, Science, and the fucking Moon was apparently entrusting me with his personal notes on something. And as much as I was flattered that the God would deem me worthy in any capacity for such a task, I was busy looking for a catch of some kind.

    Which, of course, he noticed, and somehow smiled at me in approval and respect, despite having an Ibis’ head at the time. I chalked it up to God and moved on.

    “Don’t worry. It’s just my notes on some things that I felt important enough to catalog on various subjects. They will likely be useful in your endeavors as the master of your forge.”

    Well, it was hard to argue with that kind of logic, and he was right: the notes of a literal Deity would be very useful to me in my further explorations of both technology and magic alike. Thus, it was with a solemn bow of respect that I accepted the charge of keeping Thoth’s notes.

    And, of course, that is when things went…not quite wrong, but well…let’s just say that Murphy got his revenge.

    As I most definitely could hear the crashing, screeching sound of something impacting against the pocket dimension that housed the Hangar HARD.

    All three of us immediately looked in the ‘direction’ of the Hangar, only to find that a confused Mio had popped into the Mindscape as well, trying to find out what had happened, and was looking in the same direction.

    And all that we could tell was that there was now something extra in the hangar itself, that I would assume was Thoth’s notes…wait a minute…

    Mio was faster. “Just what the hell was in those notes of yours?”

    Thoth chuckled. It was a friendly chuckle, at least. “My notes. I admit that the entire set is a bit…disorganized, and is in need of some categorization, but they are all there.” He took a moment to nod to himself. “In any case, that is all I had for you. I wish you and your lady wife the best. Farewell!”

    Thoth left quickly after that, his translucent form vanishing completely as he did so. Watts turned to me with a grimace.

    “The things I have to put up with…anyway, yeah. That right there is going to be an issue, and ‘digesting’ it is going to take a bit, even with it being a kind of mega-packet, so to speak. Fortunately, the guy was nice enough to let me properly integrate his stuff into the forge, so it’s not all bad.”

    And sure enough, I could see one of the stars in a particular constellation burn brighter, it’s power slowly flowing through the rest of the whole. Several others had also chosen to activate at that moment, likely as a result of my initiating the integration process for the notes. I wasn’t complaining, at any rate.

    Mio stepped next to me as we watched the spectacle and majesty of the whirling heavens as we were bathed in their light. I absently wrapped an arm around her, which she reciprocated by leaning into my touch as we just enjoyed the moment.

    “Oh yeah, one more thing before you two head back. I looked into the thing with the Force, and apparently something or someone else stepped in before it got too horrible, but there are likely to be outside consequences. Don’t be surprised if things start changing beyond what you expect.”

    “Now, if you will excuse me, I have an extremely hot wife that desperately needs a good dicking down from her hubby, so I’ll be on my way. Do enjoy your honeymoon, now.”

    We both nodded our agreement, and Watts turned to leave.

    “Oh, and before I forget: congratulations.”

    Of course, we paid it no mind, as we were enjoying the moment before we were gently ejected from the mental landscape, and I was once again back to my project.

    Then again, Watts did have a good idea, there, regarding things to do with thirsty wives…






    Mio grumbled to herself as she went about her newest project, which had been interrupted by that damned horndog of a husband of hers deciding that her time was better spent elsewhere, like on his cock.

    And because her man couldn’t keep it in his pants, she had lost nearly ten hours on her project.

    Nevermind that she did not once complain, reject him, or say anything even remotely looking like the word no. Nor the fact that she had been wildly enthusiastic in both her consent and enjoyment, that she had been openly egging him on to do exactly as he had done since they had gotten here, or that she had systematically made sure that he thought of her exactly as he did now. In fact, completely ignore that she had been tripling and quadrupling down on making it blatantly clear that she was fair game for him at ANY time, or that she was an even bigger pervert than she had finally ‘corrupted’ him into being (openly no less, at least with her).

    No, she still got to complain about his libido taking front and center because she wanted to complain. That, and it kept her thoughts focused away from her own libido screaming out to her that the job was not finished.

    ‘Fine then. Interrupt my projects? See if I let you sleep tonight…’

    Anyway, her own libido and it’s implications aside, her current project for the Moonworks section was to do a general refinement of the mining tools and helium-3 extraction equipment, as well as do general cleanup of the place just because. So far, it was tedious but satisfying, leaving even the mining areas in a neat and orderly fashion for her to set up for the next phase of her master plan, which was to begin tunneling out to a location suitable for a small spaceport or at least a dock of some kind that the Rising Phoenix could use.

    Honestly, she liked the name. Felt somehow that she was doing justice to the old crew of the Awakening Will by acknowledging the reborn nature of the ship.

    That it got her mind off of the things that Satori had done to her during their last session was very much a needed bonus, because otherwise they weren’t going to get anything done.

    As it turns out, being extremely powerful psychics with several layers of mental and spiritual bonding tends to lend itself to some interesting techniques, one of which had sparked as an idea in her Satori’s head and had led down their latest rabbit hole.

    Somehow that crazy man had had the idea to plumb her psyche while she was too busy cumming her brains out and had systematically gone after every last one of her mental ‘imperfections’, as it were. Every insecurity, mental scar, traumatic memory, all of them drowned in the utter ocean of love and support he poured inside, even as he scooped out the lingering pain and trauma and all but flushed it away.

    Even now, the benefits were astounding. Her mind had never felt more clear, and the benefits thereof were so numerous that even trying to list them was an exercise in futility. Hell, even her very soul felt as if it was well and truly freed for the first time in ages.

    It just felt right.

    And it was taking an increasingly great deal of her quite prodigious willpower to not march right back to him, pin him down, and return the favor. In fact, now that she thought about it, she had never been this horny in her life. And yet, every check, every even slightly usable scan that they had for such things indicated that there were no adverse presences or things trying to corrupt them from within. Just two people desperately in love and more than willing to indulge in each other completely and utterly.

    A moonshark put in an appearance directly to her side, only to immediately be cut down by a burst of magic before it could even begin its attack

    ‘Well, except for those, anyway.’

    Mio grimaced. The Typhon infestation was gone from Pytheas proper, but there were enough of the more annoying types spread out across the lunar landscape that she would not have been surprised if they were attempting to form another nest somewhere away from prying eyes…and seeking bullets. It was something that they were considering options for dealing with without the entire mess turning into a game of whack-a-mole.

    This meant that the occasional bigger Typhon creature would try to put in an appearance to annoy them at inopportune times. Hell, they had tried at least twice during her last cuddle session. It was almost as if the Typhon were afraid or something…

    The thought alone was enough to elicit a snicker from her. ‘Of course they should be afraid. After all, they are no longer the dominant life form on this moon.’

    But back to her tedium project. After all, the sooner it got done, the faster she could corner her husband…






    I have created a monster.

    Mio had completely flipped the table on me last night, and the resulting bout of lovemaking had left me without sleep, likely just as she had intended. Worse, she had taken my odd, instinctual fumbling at mental healing, refined it to hell and back within the all of twenty minutes I wasn’t paying active attention to her while fighting my own libido, and had then unleashed the result upon my own mind and all the issues therein.

    All I know for sure past a certain point was that I had been crying for a bit somewhere in the middle of that. I didn’t have a good track of when or how long, just that it happened and coincided with Mio working me over the same way I had helped her.

    The rest of the night (and most of the morning, for that matter) was lost to us engaging in some super degenerate mind-to-mind sex complete with handholding. It was perverse as all hell, and we loved it.

    And then I had to get up and deal with the other issues of the day.

    For one, the spaceport that we wanted was not going to build itself, and the Phoenix, despite having a pretty good set of construction tools on hand, was not equipped to finish the job on its own, even if we were willing to go that route.

    Second, and more concerning, was that the Typhon up here were getting downright uppity about being a nuisance, and clearing them off of the lunar surface was going to need to be a priority.

    Third was a bit more insidious. Mio and I had both noticed the uptick in our respective libidos, and despite both of us wanting to wave it off as a non-issue, the fact of the matter was that Chaos had a vested interest in trying to find loopholes on us. The resulting checks for corruption and/or influence supposedly came back clean (which meant that we were okay to use magic again without potentially killing ourselves), but I was not above doing other checks all the same.

    Thus, the current instance of silliness that I was working with: rigging up a long-range scanner to search out and detect Warp activity of any kind. With luck, it should locate whatever was amplifying the local warp influence and acting as a relay for the tumors. Perhaps, even, it could help locate wherever it was that we actually reentered realspace proper…or if we even did so at all.

    To that end, I had adapted one of the sensor designs used for long-range space probes into something that could work as a ground-based platform, and then loaded it with as much warp detection technology that I was currently aware of and could actually fit. Then, for good measure, I built two more, meant to be deployed in different areas on the Lunar Surface for a bit of triangulation.

    Deploying them was going to be a different matter, though…unless…

    “Oh. Yeah, that can work.”

    I’d need to wake up Mio, Though. No way in hell she would want to miss this, and she’s better ant the protection blessings anyway…






    “So. you want to modify the entire concept of the Operators to use as a kind of mobile platform for not only cleaning up Luna, but also deploying your new sensor arrays without losing time.”

    Mio, despite my misgivings, was not as annoyed as I’d expected at being awakened. Even better, she agreed with my sentiment that the tracking would be worth the effort, but also wanted to include dome deep space radar satellites out in the asteroid belt or on Mars or something, just in case. Designing them would be on her, by her own request.

    But first, we were going to do the complete teardown and rebuild on the Operators as they were currently designed and envisioned.

    “So, I take the AI systems, and you get the chassis?”

    Mio pouted. “But I wanted to do the exterior stuff. Been a while since I designed a new servitor.”

    “And yet we are not designing servitors, but Operators.” I joked back, laughter clear in my tone. “Besides, the whole gothic skull aesthetic is so overdone…”

    Yes, we were back to bickering at each other again, even as we completely dissected an unused Operator for data and knowhow.

    The frame was uninteresting except for the thruster jets and miniaturized (and thus low power) nullgrav tech, which could likely be scaled up to a great degree and used elsewhere. Power supply was meh, being little more than a battery pack inside the frame itself, despite the overall capacity. There was a bit of leeway with the normal Operator frame for modification, but for the most part it looked like the design was created more to be easy to manufacture and repair than for anything about proper usability.

    And Mio still refused to let me win. “I still say we go with the heavier armor package and start adding all kinds of stuff to them. Doesn’t have to be a Servo-skull, but it’s skull something good.”

    “Sure, we can do that…for the fourth and fifth iterations, maybe.” I fired back. “At least let’s get the basics out of the way before we start overreaching, alright?”

    “But we already know how to do this stuff! We can just use this to build the chassis we want now and not worry about the iteration process except to fix errors!”

    The fact that Mio was winning this argument was annoying, but only just. Besides, she was missing the point.

    “And where is the fun in that, honey? Is all you want to do just build things at the absolute best possible without any thought, or do you want to actually play with the technology a bit?”

    “But getting the chassis out of the way lets me get to work on the interesting parts!!”

    Yeah, we were going to be at this for a bit…






    The argument was still ongoing, even after we had basically split the difference and just made separate prototypes for our specific systems and started playing with what we wanted. The gravity system was interesting to us both in many ways, especially because of its low power draw, and the thruster system that piggybacked onto it was something that I wanted to look at as well, as it was potentially a source of reactionless thrust, despite the current incarnation still needing an exhaust.

    The part that we both tore into the hardest though was the AI system, or rather VI system considering how limited the systems were. Honestly, Morgan’s upload tech was better overall.

    None of this deterred us in the slightest in upgrading it to the gills and back and then some, along with adding in some things that we had been working on along the side.

    Honestly, at this point we were doing it just because it was fun to poke at each other rather than anything like an actual disagreement.

    Still, we had accomplished an objective of sorts and had reworked the technology within the operators into a system capable of seeking out and destroying any and all Typhon on the lunar surface, and even in some of the caverns below. The system itself was rather barebones by the standards we normally work with, being selected more for ease of use and construction rather than anything actually good, but the end result was still more than acceptable.

    The final product was a departure from the standard Operator chassis, mostly because we had no need to use the flying suitcase look to make things work right. It bore some resemblance to the Tau drones in that they had a noticeable dome shape attached to them. The difference was in the addition of a second dome on the ‘underside’ of the frame itself, and that the domes were littered with varying maneuvering thrusters based on improvements to the original operator design.

    That was about where the changes ended, though. The central body was a blocky thing, basically a square frame maybe an eighth again the size of the old suitcase setup, complete with better power systems and sensors. We’d left in the assistance modules from the other operator types, as well as a reworked version of the manipulator arms, which would allow for this type to assist any personnel it happened to find along the way if needed.

    The big change, of course, was armament. We had taken one look at the laser system installed on the old ‘security’ operators and basically laughed, then gutted it and added in some real firepower. The new central array housed a small variant of the guardian laser with enough capacitors attached to make repeat firing not be a headache, and had an additional three ‘pop-out’ laser systems repurposed from the guardian scout’s own weapon along each side, with full angles of attack along the axis that it covered. Mio had made a point of ensuring that the ventral laser ports could be used in forward attack as well, despite it not being needed in the slightest.

    The final touch was to the command and control systems, with a link back to the central command post that we had set up and enough bandwidth to actually be worth the effort in doing so, as well. This allowed for the VI systems onboard to collect data from their encounters and adapt to the tactics shown by the Typhon as they progressed, which would be a plus. It also was a bit of an inoculation against a Technopath attack, as the remote connection could be used to regain control of the systems in the event of being compromised.

    I, personally, had a silent chuckle at the fate of whatever stupid thing tried to backhack the new Operators to the source, thinking to take full control. All I’m saying is that it was not going to end well and that was it.

    The finalization of the design let us move onwards to cranking out as many of the things as we wanted to use, which turned out to be a lot. Naturally we got tired of just tooling things by hand for no fucking reason after the first few hundred or so, (and we argued about it the whole time, of course) and after a bit of thought, we ended up repurposing some of the old operator dispensers for the task, though we had to modify the apertures to allow for the larger overall frame to exit properly.

    Now, the Operators were busy sweeping the moon for any trace of Typhon materials and eradicating it as they came across it. Fortunately, the upgraded sensors included our customized versions of the psychoscope, which allowed for a lot of leeway in identifying actual Typhon instead of missing things.

    This pushed us back to bickering more about the uses for the technology while finishing off the mini-spaceport that the Phoenix would be using once they got back in. of course, with both of us working at it, it took no time at all to complete, and more arguments ensued until we finally decided to just cut the crap and screwed each other silly like we’d actually wanted to do instead.

    And I couldn’t help but let the thought pass through my mind that for once, life was good.

    It would not be even a week before I was cursing that statement.






    In the depths of space, a ship crawled along, desperately clawing its way through the void. The hull showed clear signs of having only just barely escaped an absolute disaster of some epic proportions, and yet still the craft lumbered along purely on sublight power.

    Within, the majority of the crew and it’s altogether entirely too precious cargo were cradled inside emergency stasis, having locked themselves down in order to prevent any more disasters of the nature that had befallen them.

    Unfortunately, the ship’s Navigator was not one of those people. And the things he had seen coming from the place that he did were nothing short of terrifying in the extreme.

    Entire planets outright eaten by the all-consuming cloud of locusts that feasted on any and all biomass that they could get their hands on, innumerable and completely unceasing in their assault. Worse, he could feel the sheer, ravening hunger coming from the mind of those beasts, the all-encompassing need to consume all life that was backed by an utterly alien will. It was all he could do to focus on the task ahead of him.

    Fortunately, there was a small boon in this field: an unexpected wave of power coursing through the warp while they had still been within its depths had…changed him, somehow. No longer was his sight clouded and muddy, and no more did his third eye constantly bombard him with the horrors of the Immaterium that only he could see. Instead, it seemed as if his mind had expanded somehow, granting him clarity of both thought and sight within the warp, all the better to accomplish his grim task.

    And it was a grim one indeed. It had seemed that, aside from whatever those things were that had consumed the worlds they had come from, the forces of chaos themselves were out in full force to make sure that even this one lonely ship never ever reached beyond to the greater galaxy. Entire shoals of energy blockaded their path forward within the warp, and the few paths that were available to move forward were choked with daemons awaiting the feast to come.

    It had been a desperate struggle to break those lines, a battle unlike anything that he had seen before. Many of the fleet that had managed to escape with them had perished here, at this bulwark, and others still were cast adrift int the warp to be devoured and corrupted by the daemons at their leisure.

    Only three ships remained, each one carrying the same precious cargo that the rest had died to defend. And even now he was not sure if the odd hunch he’d gotten had been proper to follow, as they trundled along…

    Following this hunch gained from the altogether strange and yet familiar power that had freed him from the clutches of the warp’s madness, he had directed the last ships towards an odd fluctuation within the empyrean that had then deposited them in this unknown section of realspace, and which had then just as swiftly sealed itself behind them, trapping them wherever they had been. There were no features or landmarks here, nothing at all except for the empty, cold black of space, with the exception of one direction, which they were now travelling towards: a single, ever brightening star that he felt would ultimately be their salvation.

    The Navigator spared a thought for the rest of the crew as he piloted the ship on a course with its destiny. He, of course, would not survive to see the end of the journey, but with luck and, dare he say it, a bit of hope, his charges would.

    Considering that they were all that remained of a proud and loyal culture that had nearly fallen to those damned locusts, that was all that he could ask.

    From a place unknown, he felt the gentle caress of an equally gentle spirit, its very presence seeming to tell him that his sacrifice was both brave and just, and would not go unremembered.

    He cared not for such things, though his weary soul eased at the insinuation that he still could save them.

    Hopefully, wherever they ended up would be a better place for them all…








    Okay, this chapter itself did not fight me so much as the outside perspectives did, and a lot of it had to do with my personal circumstances along with needing to deal with the particular brand of bullshittery that is the Eldar.

    Worth noting that the story is going to slightly slow down from here, as we move into the second proper arc, mostly due to the background, and a bit more to give me a chance to adjust things around.


    Oh yeah. Before I forget.
    I do not want to hear a GOD DAMNED WORD About Marasin. AT ALL. You know who you are, and you know DAMN WELL why this is here.

    DON'T.

    In any case, please feel free to share your opinion, and thank you for reading.
    Perks for this chapter are a bit unique, as I had my fellow writers Xolsis and Fourmyle (who is also my part-time editor and beta reader) roll some perks alongside my own. It’s something of a tradition at this point to watch and laugh at the scaling power effect of some of the more broken perks when we do roll for them, and is a bit amusing on the discord.

    In any case, the perks here are denoted by who rolled them among the three of us.

    Me:
    -One-Man Assembly Line (XCOM) (600CP)
    You really liked playing with building blocks as a kid. Now that you're all grown up, the world is your playground. Your knowledge of construction and engineering is unprecedented, and making a jet engine from spare parts over a weekend is your idea of fun.
    (A/N: Freebies for this jump will be collected later.)

    -Notes of Thoth (Kane Chronicles) (400CP)
    When Thoth, the god of writing, knowledge, and magic was young, he traveled to the far eaches of the Duat, researching the natures and mechanics of those regions, as well as the spirits and gods that called those places home. His field notes - and the many powers and dangerous spells that resulted from them, later became known as the Book of Thoth. By purchasing this, you gain a collection of his notes about the nature of gods, spirits, and other dimensions and planes of existence in this setting, which could be used to invent many of the spells the Book contained for yourself. Post-jump, these notes will update to include the local versions of such things in new settings.

    Xolsis:
    -Plowshares from Swords from Plowshares (Warhammer 40k - Squats) (100CP)
    You might have noticed most of the best Squat vehicles and weapons are repurposed mining and industrial equipment. This is no accident, for not only do such things have to be tough, they are intimately familiar to operators and engineers alike. You have a particular genius for weaponizing civilian technology, and finding constructive industrial uses for weapons.

    -Lost Art (Generic Video Game Developer) (600CP)
    You are now an expert of the lost art, the art of code efficiency. Any code and software you make will now be far more efficient, using up far less resources for the same results and running significantly faster than most standard code. Your game would normally be 16GB and requires 8GB of RAM? Now it uses half that, at least. Game causing lag and crashing because too much is going on? Not anymore. Whatever you code, it'll run fast, and it'll run well.

    Fourmyle:
    -Blacksmithing: Zen Master (World of Warcraft) (300CP)
    Smith various melee weapons, mail and plate armor, and other useful trade goods like skeleton keys, shieldspikes and weapon chains to prevent disarming. Blacksmiths can also make various stones to provide temporary physical buffs to weapons.
    At this level you've mastered everything from basics to advanced. Additionally you've expanded your knowledge of the profession beyond the mastery of both basics and advanced stuff to complete understanding of it. At this level you're on an even playing field with the top 1% of your profession. Should you write down your knowledge it would easily be considered a work of art in that field.

    -Master Smith | Ahzidal's Apprentice (Elder Scrolls Skyrim SB) (800CP)
    Master Smith (400CP)
    So, how many iron daggers did this take to get? Regardless of the answer to that question the results have surely shown themselves to you and everyone else. You're a master of smithing and the working of metal, forging weapons out of Glass and Ebony is well within your capacity, and even Daedric items may be forged with proper equipment and materials. Your craftsmanship is nothing less than perfection and your opportunity to grow is great as well. Given times you may yet forge tools, weapons and armor that rival even the likes of Daedric artifacts.
    Ahzidal's Apprentice (400CP)
    The art of spellcasting has more to it than just flinging fireballs and screaming about UNLIMITED POWER as one electrocutes their enemies. The arts of Enchantment and Alteration stand as testaments to this fact, enchantment in particular stands as a powerful, yet indirect system of magic and when it comes to this branch and the operation of it only the Dragon Priest Ahzidal is your equal. Like him you've collected vast knowledge pertaining to the various magical bases of the Mer, whether it be the ancient runes of the Ayleids or the process of harmonizing the seven natures of metal. This craft extends far and wide and with it even a mere band of 500 warriors could be given equipment powerful enough to fell a powerful race of spellcasters like the Falmer, or in other, more simple words your enchantments are legendary. You could perhaps go even further, runes are simply another language, and if understanding them allows you to use them, then perhaps even others like that of the Dovah might be as well. This is lore based Daedric artifacts which includes shit like instant kill weapons or key that can conceptually unlock anything. Or a sword that stole power from a daedra and flew a floating city of soul warriors into mundus. Pretty much all major Daedric artifacts are conceptual even if they are nerfed for the game.
    (A/N: I am specifically Ignoring Freebies from this jumpdoc)

    -Fingers of the North Star (Cave Story) (200CP)
    You have a natural talent with machinery, and this extends to firearms creation. You can disassemble, analyze, and reassemble any projectile weapon you come across, and you have the ability to create unique, one of a kind guns that utilizes odd and esoteric technology. You also gain a free 'stamp' you can apply to any weapon you create, to show it's your work. Upgrading existing weapons is a breeze as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
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  10. Slayer 10321

    Slayer 10321 Versed in the lewd.

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    Tzeentch, the Black Library and the Grey Knights must be screaming blood murder since the sum total of their collected knowledge (and even more beside that) has been compressed into a single book. They must also be so jealous.
     
  11. ImmortalEmperor34

    ImmortalEmperor34 Making the rounds.

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    Another great chapter although with them renovating the moon base I can’t help but wonder if it will escalate to the point some one will say that’s no moon
     
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  12. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Is Emperor still sitting on his Throne? Or Alaya just Puppeting his Body?
     
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  13. Acolyte

    Acolyte Know what you're doing yet?

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    So he can do shadow excreations now.


    Yeah get fucked chaos, all of your demons are getting true killed.
     
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  14. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Figured I'd do some replies before getting to the rest of the day.

    I will admit that this had not occurred to me when I first rolled the perk (and subsequently gave it a minor and thematic nerf). The fact that Satori now has access to his own personal Black Library is indeed something that everyone will fucking hate. Especially those who tried to gate access.

    Also, it's not a single book. It's several. As in The Infinite Library several. Organizing it is going to be a pain in the ass, but it was thematically appropriate for the sheer amount of knowledge that it currently contains.

    Luna will indeed remain a moon, even if Satori is aware of the Death Star jokes and is willing to indulge just for the memes. Besides, he can build better on his own by inflating a few asteroids and attaching suitable propulsion...

    I am deliberately not addressing this yet, for my own personal reasons. As I have mentioned before, the situation regarding the Emperor is complicated, and a lot of that complication comes from the fact that the fucker is in effect essential to the continued operation of the Imperium as a whole by keeping the Astronomican lit. There are other factors that go into it, but I will address those later.
     
  15. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    When she took Emperor does she also Collected all the shards of Emperor?

    Is Magnus freed? What happened to his shards?
     
  16. Kris-71854

    Kris-71854 Not too sore, are you?

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    So the Navigator and his ship looks to be from a timeline that the Nids ate everything in. So was he from Mio's timeline or somewhere else?

    What's left in space that the locals had? I'm not familiar with the setting, but our MCs seem to have trashed what the locals had then are taking over the moon. There won't be any of these local aliens when they are done. I can easily see them setting up a system to scan every planet, asteroid, and comet in the system. You know just in case.

    Hmm, they likely are horny as she needs to get knocked up ASAP. Nothing to do with the tumors. It's Gaia being reborn.

    Thoth’s notes is a fun perk. Um, it has what the WH40K Old Ones knew about magic in there. That should be able to put the Black Library to shame.

    Notes of Thoth (Kane Chronicles) (400CP)
    When Thoth, the god of writing, knowledge, and magic was young, he traveled to the far eaches of the Duat, researching the natures and mechanics of those regions, as well as the spirits and gods that called those places home. His field notes - and the many powers and dangerous spells that resulted from them, later became known as the Book of Thoth. By purchasing this, you gain a collection of his notes about the nature of gods, spirits, and other dimensions and planes of existence in this setting, which could be used to invent many of the spells the Book contained for yourself. Post-jump, these notes will update to include the local versions of such things in new settings.

    I just skimmed through the perk list. These are the existing settings that he could get info on right now:

    Fate/Legends Japan Land of the Rising Sun
    D&D Eberron
    Generic Naruto Fanfiction
    RWBY
    World of Warcraft
    Touhou
    Smash Up
    Youjo Senki - Saga of Tanya the Evil
    Phantasy Star Online
    Touhou Forbidden Hermit
    Dune
    Bayonetta
    In Another World With My Smartphone
    Final Fantasy XIII-2
    Ravenwood
    Dungeon Keeper Ami
    Ars Magica
    Ragnarok Online
    Atelier: Arland Trilogy
    Star Wars - Darth Bane Trilogy
    Make a Wish
    Fate/Legends - Garden of Avalon
    Kane Chronicles
    Elder Scrolls Skyrim SB
    Cave Story

    He basically got the STC version of magic. Except in this case no AI to read through it and put things together. Massive unsorted database notes of all those settings.

    nature of gods, spirits, and other dimensions and planes of existence in this setting, which could be used to invent many of the spells the Book contained for yourself

    Actually, I was it's more info on the supernatural section. It could be used to create any of the spells from the settings, but doing any of that would still require lots of effort.

    I don't think that it's a dangerous as it first appears. He doesn't just know everything in it. He does have digital access to it all due to another perk. Due to that, he could read through it much faster. He has those int boosts so likely could understand vastly more of them than many others.

    Still it would be like trying to design the webway after being given notes about the four Tumors, the Old Ones, and the Ctan. Could it be done? Maybe. It would still take lots of time, effort, and resources though.
     
  17. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    The Navigator is from a 40k universe, not going to lie there. As to where, I will not elaborate and will humor any speculation on the part of my readers. the only hint I will give is that it is related to things that the Tyranid have traditionally eaten out of existence.

    On Thoth's notes: I was aware of the extent of the insanity...to a point. And then it got pointed out to me that Satori now has the equivalent of the Black Library, plus everything that the Inquisition/Grey Knights know, plus all of the lost information from the libraries of Prospero before the fall...and more.

    Needless to say, if word of this ever gets out Satori is going to be hunted down by EVERYONE in an attempt to gain access and/or destroy it.

    EVERYONE.

    Also, the messiness was deliberate on my part to alleviate some of the sheer power the perk possesses. Normally I am not one to nerf perks in this fashion, but the way I did it was thematically appropriate in many ways, so I ran with it.

    The moonbase was the site of the Pytheas Labs of the Prey:Mooncrash expansion. Satori and Mio have simply refurbished the place and removed the pest problem that the old tenants left behind.

    as for the surrounding space: It's slightly complicated and will be addressed next chapter in detail, but the one thing they knowis there is Talos I (as the station Self-Destruct was not triggered, nor were the improvised Scuttle charges Satori set). I will note that Talos currently has a bunch of excess Typhon goop floating around it due to the dead Apex and all though...

    As for the general horniness levels: Your theory is sound from a certain point of view. Whether or not it is true is another matter. :)

    So, I actively went and looked for anything related to the Shards of the Emperor that was actually stated in canon and not just fan-theory. I even asked around in the various lore stations...and I got jack and shit. For now, I am leaving this as unresolved. I do have a reasonable solution to the mess involving the Emperor (and the time bombs he's sitting on) but for now I will not be focusing on it.

    Regarding Magnus, his situation is a bit more complicated. needless to say, Alaya addressing it is going to take some doing, and right now she has other things on her plate.
     
  18. wildredlifer

    wildredlifer I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    So what about the living Sons of the Emperor the living loyal ones I mean the Chaos slaves can rot.
    So what effects will the Force and Alaya have on them?
     
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  19. Bear_Mint

    Bear_Mint The LewdBringer. The Ass Ponderer.

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    >Eldar getting their shit kicked in and getting knocked down a flight of stairs.
    Nice :V
     
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  20. Extras: Fragmented Emperor Example? (from Inquisition War trilogy)
    souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Time twisted.

    Time shifted.

    Time was, and was not.

    An eerie silver power flowed through Jaq, as though he had invoked it by those words. The power used his mind as its conductor. He sensed how the time stream itself was being negated and annulled.

    Some psykers of the highest level could distort time thus. Not Jaq, hitherto.

    Never Jaq.

    Yet now...

    Was he possessed?

    By no daemon, certainly. But by the shining path itself. To his senses that path now appeared to be the track of a phosphorescent arrow through twisted geometries. The arrow had accumulated a charge at its point until that point could transfix the fabric of time itself, pinning time temporarily like a moth with a needle through its spine...

    ‘Run, now!’ cried Jaq.

    Did he and his abnormal family flit like hummingbirds which seem to flicker directly from one point in space to another, passing in and out of existence? Afterwards Jaq believed they must have darted thus – across the static, time-stopped Chamber of Glory, past the frozen Companions, and through the Titan Archway between the motionless menacing colossi. And still the lustrous arrow impaled the tissue of time.

    THROBBING PIPES RIBBED the walls of the vast throne room beyond. The muscles of the room were thick power cables feeding stegosaurian engines. The air was spiked with crisp ozone and bitter myrrh, and ointmented with balmy, somewhat greasy fragrances. The holiest battle banners, icons and golden fetishes flanked the arena of dedication where psykers were soul-bound. Squads of Emperor’s Companions who guarded that vast hall, a mob of tech-priests ministering to the machinery, a gaudy Cardinal Palatinate and his entourage, a red-robed High Lord of Terra and his staff – not to mention great clusters of astropaths, chirurgeons, scholastics, battlemasters: all were motionless.

    The immense, soaring, tube-ridged throne resembled some fossilised, metastasised sloth crafted by some mad master of the Adeptus Titanicus. And it seemed to Jaq, though he did not know whether what he saw was true, or mere delusion instilled by that same psyker-dream, that this enormous, sacred prosthetic device, more precious by far than any gold, framed the wizened, mummified face of the God-Emperor.

    Who looked not; though he saw through eyes of the mind, saw far beyond his throne room and his palace and the solar system. Who breathed not; yet he lived more fiercely than any mortal, enduring a psychically supercharged life-in-death.

    ‘WE ARE CURIOUS,’ came a mighty, anguished thought which itself transcended time.

    ‘WE HAVE FOLLOWED YOUR INTRUSION INTO OUR SANCTUARY, OUR ANTRUM AND ADYTUM.’

    ‘My lord.’ Jaq sank to his knees. ‘I beg to report to you before I am destroyed. I may have uncovered a major conspiracy—’

    ‘THEN WE WILL STRIP YOUR SOUL BARE. RELAX, MORTAL MAN, OR YOU WILL SURELY DIE IN SUCH PAIN AS WE ALWAYS ENDURE.’

    Jaq breathed deeply, slowly, stilling the panic that fluttered under his ribs like a trapped bird. He surrendered himself. A hurricane roared through his mind.

    If the story that he had thought to relate were a tangled forest – and if each event in that story were a tree – then within moments all the leaves were stripped away from all of the trees, denuding them to bare wintry twigs, to a raw basic life without the foliage of memories.

    He was drained of his story; that was sucked from him in a trice, all of those leaves whirling into the mind-maw of the Master. Jaq gagged. Jaq drooled.

    He was an imbecile, less than an imbecile.

    He was less than a new-born baby.

    He neither knew where he was, nor who he was – nor what it even meant to be a someone.

    The inquisitor sprawled. All that was known to his body was distress, the gurglings of the guts, breath and light. Light from afar.

    ABRUPTLY, ALL MEMORY flooded back. On that instant, each leaf sprouted anew to recloak the forest of his life. ‘WE HAVE PUT BACK WHAT WE TOOK AND TASTED, INQUISITOR’

    Trembling, Jaq regained his kneeling posture and wiped his lips and chin. The previous moments were a hideous limbo, unknowable, immeasurable. He was Jaq Draco again.

    ‘WE ARE MANY, INQUISITOR.’ The voice boomed in his mind almost gently – if gently was how an avalanche would sweep away a doomed village, if gently was how a scalpel might strip a life to the bare aching bones. ‘HOW ELSE COULD WE ADMINISTER OUR IMPERIUM—’

    ‘AS WELL AS WINNOW THE WARP—’

    ‘HOW ELSE?’

    The Emperor’s mind-voice, if that truly was what it was, had dissociated into several voices, as if his great undying soul co-existed in fragments that barely hung together.

    ‘SO DOES THE HYDRA THREATEN US?’

    ‘IMPERILLING OUR GREAT AND AWFUL PLAN TO STEER HUMANITY?’

    ‘DID WE OURSELVES DEVISE THE HYDRA?’

    ‘PERHAPS IN A PART OF US, SINCE THIS HYDRA PROMISES A PATH?’

    ‘SURELY A MALEVOLENT PATH; FOR HOW COULD HUMANITY EVER FREE ITSELF?’

    ‘THEN WE MUST BE MALEVOLENT TOO. FOR WE HAVE EXPELLED OUR SENTIMENTALITY LONG AGO. HOW ELSE COULD WE HAVE ENDURED? HOW ELSE COULD WE HAVE IMPOSED OUR RULE?’

    ‘YET BY VIRTUE OF THAT WE ARE PURE AND UNCONTAMINATED BY WEAKNESS. WE ARE GRIM SALVATION.'

    Beside Jaq, the squat twitched as if he had heard himself named. At that moment did the voice resonate within the abhuman? Jaq felt that he was listening to a mighty mind-machine argue with itself in a way that no Imperial courtier had perhaps ever heard, and that no High Lord of Terra even suspected could occur. Were Meh’Lindi and Googol aware of the voices in the way that Jaq was? Or was he imagining it all, caught up in some warp-spawned delusion, yet another twist in this labyrinthine conspiracy? He sensed the fabric of time attempting to tear free, and guessed that not much longer of this strange stasis remained.

    ‘NOTHING THAT SAFEGUARDS HUMANITY CAN BE EVIL, NOT EVEN THE MOST STRENUOUS INHUMANITY. IF THE HUMAN RACE FAILS, IT HAS FAILED FOREVER.’

    Maybe Jaq was too young by hundreds, by thousands of years, and his intellect too puny to comprehend the multiplex mind of the master who was forever on overview, whose thoughts battered in his mind. Or maybe the master’s mind had become chaotic. Not warped by the Ruinous Powers it surveyed, oh no, but divided amongst itself as its heroic grasp on existence ever so slowly weakened...

    'WHEN WE CONFRONTED THE CORRUPTED, HOMICIDAL HORUS WHO ONCE USED TO SHINE LIKE THE BRIGHTEST STAR, WHO USED TO BE OUR BELOVED FAVOURITE – WHEN THE FATE OF THE GALAXY HUNG BY A THREAD – WERE WE NOT COMPELLED TO EXPEL ALL COMPASSION? ALL LOVE? ALL JOY? THOSE WENT AWAY. HOW ELSE COULD WE HAVE ARMOURED OURSELVES? EXISTENCE IS TORMENT, A TORMENT THAT MUST NOURISH US. EVIDENTLY WE MUST STRIVE TO BE THE FIERCE REDEEMER OF MAN, YET WHAT WILL REDEEM US?’

    ‘Great lord of all,’ whimpered Jaq, ‘did you know of the hydra before now?’

    ‘NO, AND WE SHALL SURELY ACT IN DUE TIME—’

    ‘YET SURELY WE KNEW. HOW COULD WE NOT KNOW?’

    ‘ONCE WE HAVE ANALYSED THE INFORMATION WITHIN THIS SUB-MIND OF OURS.’

    ‘HEAR THIS, JAQ DRACO: ONLY TINY PORTIONS OF US CAN HEED YOU, OTHERWISE WE NEGLECT OUR IMPERIUM, OF WHICH OUR SCRUTINY MUST NOT FALTER FOR AN INSTANT. FOR TIME DOES NOT HALT EVERYWHERE WITHIN THE REALM OF MAN. INDEED TIME ONLY HALTS FOR YOU.’

    ‘WE ARE AN EVER-WATCHFUL LORD, ARE WE NOT? DID YOU HOPE TO GAIN OUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION?’

    ‘HOW ELSE SHOULD WE SOUL-BIND PSYKERS AND OVERVIEW THE WARP AND BEAM THE ASTRONOMICAN BEACON AND SURVIVE AND RECEIVE INFORMATION AND GRANT AUDIENCES ALL AT ONCE, UNLESS WE ARE MANY?’

    ‘AND YET STILL WE MISS SO MUCH, SO VERY MUCH? SUCH AS THAT WHICH GUIDED YOU HERE.’

    ‘OUR SPIRIT GUIDED YOU.’

    ‘NO: ANOTHER SPIRIT, A REFLECTION OF OUR GOODNESS WHICH WE THRUST FROM US.’

    ‘WE ARE THE ONLY SOURCE OF GOODNESS, SEVERE AND DRASTIC. THERE IS NO OTHER SOURCE OF HOPE THAN US. WE ARE AGONISINGLY ALONE.’

    Contradictions! These warred in Jaq’s mind just as they seemed to coexist in the Emperor’s own multimind. Was another power for salvation present in the galaxy, unknown to the suffering Emperor – concealed from him, though somehow partaking of his essence? How could that be?

    And what of the hydra? Did the Emperor truly know of it or not – even now? Might he refuse to acknowledge what Jaq had reported to him?

    The Emperor’s voices faded from Jaq’s mind as time tried to stretch back into shape. Grimm tugged at Jaq’s sleeve.
     
  21. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    It sound like Emperor scattered into shards after all.
     
  22. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    *reads Omake*
    *blinks*
    *threadmarks anyway*
     
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  23. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    It is a Quote from Inquisition War trilogy by Ian Watson. Just to show canon example of Shards of Emperor.
     
  24. ATP

    ATP Versed in the lewd.

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    is Thoth ghost? if so,could another god ghosts help SI?
    About Eldar....i almost pity them.Well,not Biel - tan,they deserved all bad things that could happen to them.

    P.S it would be funny if now smarter Eldar start seek humans to marry.Author,send me cute Banshee !
     
  25. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    I am assuming you are speaking of the God. And no, he is not a ghost. He was just there in a minimal capacity as a form of guest courtesy, as it was Satori's Mindscape (even if Watts shares the place along with Mio).

    As for the Eldar...well, they would have to get over themselves first. Remember, the actually smart Eldar are the ones who already have halfbreed kids ^_^
     
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  26. Extras: Omake 2 - Force and Consequences
    Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    In a long forgotten sector of the Segmentum Obscurus there lies Planet Wide Nexus of the Darkside of the Force.

    On this planet lays ancient ruins destroyed not solely by time but also war. Only the hardiest of plant life has barely eeked out an existence, but a singular bad season could kill even the most lively of plants.

    in a cave on this dead world, two small brilliant suns shown in defiance, upon closer inspection one would realize these where not suns, but eyes.

    gleaming a malevolent yellow even though the cracked lenses of a Venerable Dreadnaught stood Rylanor the Ancient of Rites. Rage and Hate wafts around him, only held back by unyielding Pride and Honor.

    for the first time in Ten Millennia they spoke.

    I’M COMING FOR YOU FULGRIMit whispered, and the world shook with power. Rylanor’s Rage and Pain granting his newfound powers near endless strength.



    “Log GFX-1 the average human has around 2500 of these microscopic life-forms per cell, attempts to artificially induce a increase has resulted in extreme rejection and even death”

    “Log GFX-6 further research indicates that these M-IDIs may posses Sentients, and are not Symbiotic as first theorized”

    ”Log GFX-8 Examination of Epsilon and Delta Psykers indicate that M-IDI Count increase dependent on Psychic potential. Unknown if Rubric Marines gained M-IDIs”

    “Log GFX-9 Examination of Blanks… it’s hard to describe what I saw. To put it in summary, the M-IDIs where “inside out”, beyond that none of my current understanding of biological and alchemy can explain what I saw. Further Research needed”

    “Log GFX-15 The M-IDIs are fighting back, it has Manipulated Clones into destroying important work for the New Man project. But I am hopeful as during the chaos a sample of M-IDIs fell into a Sample of The Blight and seems to counteract it”

    ”Log GFX-19 I was wrong. It seems I was manipulated by the M-IDIs they seem to have some sort of probability manipulation, not absolute but can “nudge” things into playing out however it Wants”



    Ahriman sat in meditation, thinking over all his current knowledge of the black library, that is before he felt a all powerful force wrap around him before he could even defend against it.

    quickly casting dozens of spells to analyze what happened came up with worrying knowledge, and perhaps more importantly what seemed to Be a path of being his own master free from Tzeentch’s clutches for for nothing in return except to fight against his slaver’s rule.

    It was a Deal too good to be true, yet in the pit of his stomach he knew it was the best choice? Or was it? But the last time he didn’t think logically and acted on emotions… he need to research this before he accepted the power, yet he must not let his slaver know that he knows that they know- spiraling that’s what it wants you to do, to get lost in schemes like the Alpha Legion.

    carefully ever so carefully he touched this new pool of power and slowly ever so slowly tested the waters as the saying goes… and it’s promising, he’s free of the slaver’s gifts- no it’s still another master, one that may not be malevolent and scheming like a hydra mimicking an ouroboros eating it’s infinite tails with its infinite heads, but this new master if he accepts is subtle, quite and all encompassing… yet not absolute it’s chains are far easier to break then Tzeentch’s… good so very good.
     
  27. Threadmarks: Chapter 23
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Across the Imperium, things had been in a state of rapid flux since the assault on the planet of Necromunda, so very close to Holy Terra. The most noticeable of these changes was a massive and undeniable awakening of some kind involving psykers and related powers across all of humanity, which also had the strange effect of tossing otherwise hidden subversive elements into the light of the Emperor, that they may be cleansed and granted His Mercy. Yet more found themselves inexplicably made more by the second portion of this strange phenomenon, a trait that seemed to be simultaneously the blessing of the Emperor himself and an awakening of the inner talents of the wielder.

    However, there were also other events transpiring out of the public eye. Events that could, and very likely would, shake the very imperium itself with the implications.

    Such was the case of a certain Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

    The revelation of a massive find on Necromunda in the form of a Holy STC had shaken the Mechanicus to the core, and had launched possibly the single greatest operation undertaken by the Mechanicus as a whole since the close of the Horus Heresy. The massive undertaking to secure such a find was arguably what had ultimately caused the creation of the warp storm that currently shrouded Necromunda even now.

    However, it was the even greater revelation that not only had the STC been recovered, with minimal damage to both the hardware and the precious data within, but that a second, significantly more advanced STC, this one complete(!!!), had been delivered to them by the Custodes as a result of their own undertakings…

    Truly, it was the greatest of days within the Mechanicus.

    It was even more so for the Ancient Archmagos Biologis known as Belisarius Cawl, for within these STC lay the keys to not only complete his grand work, but to improve upon it even further than he had imagined.

    And to think, that the knowledge contained within was not only being archived on Mars, as it should be, but also surreptitiously spread across the galaxy to other Forge Worlds as quickly as the signal could be transmitted via the Mechanicus’ special communications relays. Cawl could only smile in glee and triumph.

    Even now, the knowledge within was being used to perform complete overhauls and rebuilds of entire forges on the martian surface and even below, as the Mechanicus worked to return themselves to proper compliance. From what he had heard, even the Golden Throne itself was being attended to by the most trusted of Archmagos, long-needed repairs and maintenance being performed now that the knowledge of how to do so was within their grasp.

    And the forges themselves were not idle. New patterns of weaponry were rolling off the assembly lines as quickly as they could be manufactured, each one seemingly more deadly than the last, and matched only by the other wargear rolling off of the lines as fast as they could be pushed.

    The dawn of a new age for mankind had come at last. Now, all that remained was to finish his work, so that the guardians of this age could take their proper place…

    The Primaris Project had been a work of nearly ten thousand years on his part, an undertaking vast and incredible by all accounts for any of the Mechanicus, let alone one such as he. And yet he had persevered, for the work was far too important to be left incomplete.

    And now, he had the tools that he had only wished he could have had before he had begun the work, all delivered to him by the providence of the Omnissiah himself. For this, he would offer his thanks.

    The new tools had massively accelerated his timetables, even as they allowed for incredible refinements to the new Primaris Gene Seed and the methods of expression. The improved Primaris Marines would be even stronger than ever, many of them exhibiting variants of the traits of the Primarchs that the gene seed was based upon.

    For some, this was a boon beyond price, and a thing to be celebrated for all. However, for others…there were checks put into place for those yet Loyal Chapters who were descended from a traitor Primarch. All checks came back not only clear, but pristine, as if the Emperor himself had reached a hand into the final process of the making. Even now, as he did the final checks of his work, he could see the changes wrought by the hand and power of the Emperor of Mankind, as expressed through the recent waves of energy flowing through the Astronomican. The gene seed was somehow strengthening itself, refining out the would-be imperfections and impurities, even as it carried a power that could only have come from the Emperor’s own hand.

    It was truly a sight to behold, even to his ancient eyes.

    And the weapons that these new champions would carry would be even more devastating, as would be their armor and equipment…all thanks to the newly discovered STC.

    Cawl Allowed himself a moment to reflect upon the greatness of the Emperor’s work and of Humanity as a whole, before returning to his task.

    After all, there was now plenty of time to produce even more geneseed for the birth of the Primaris Marines…






    Alaya found herself in a bit of a quandary with regard to dealing with the thing that was referred to as the God-Emperor of Mankind. Mainly, it had to do with the fact that the bastard was stuck in his seat, holding back all manner of horrors from engulfing Terra as a result of the fallout of his own hubris and pride.

    Unfortunately, this left her in a bit of a bind, as simply leaving the home planet of Humanity to be devoured by the swarm of daemons that even now tried to push through the gates of what was meant to be the Human Webway was unacceptable, regardless of the fact that the newly awakened and enhanced Custodes were more than capable of the task of holding the line. It was just not something she would allow.

    The second problem was related to the first: Humanity relied almost entirely upon the Astronomican to guide their way through the warp as a means of interstellar travel, and removing the God-Emperor thing from the chair would only serve to extinguish that light, which, along with removing the polestar for all those yet within the warp itself, would just as easily remove the subtle protection that the Astronomican projected across the Imperium proper. And this was without getting into the issues of what it would take to attend to the swirling mass of hatred and malice that had been festering within the corpse of what should have been a perpetual being.

    The Astronomican issue was…technically fixable, but it would basically be forcing her children into an age without the light of their Emperor to guide them. And as much as she had faith in Humanity as a whole to survive and even thrive in these circumstances, the death toll for doing such a thing would be catastrophic.

    On a galactic scale.

    As such, she was hunting for alternatives to just turning the lights out and forcing everyone to adapt, despite the fact that they had the means to do so. There was no need to add more randomness and insanity to the galaxy just because she was impatient.

    Basically, for all that the fucker needed exactly what she had delivered to him as quickly as possible, the second-order effects were proving annoying to deal with. Under normal circumstances she would simply reach into the Throne of Heroes and summon out one of her Counter Guardians to hold the line while she fixed things, but that option was beyond her, simply because in this world the Throne of Heroes was bereft of any and all who would answer the call.

    She was sorely tempted to call back her Father from the odd little rift that he had fallen into, that he might work his own magic upon the situation, but that was a last resort. As it stood now, she could maintain the current status quo more or less indefinitely without issue, and most importantly without the sacrifices of psykers daily, which was a far cry from the constantly failing mess that the Corpse had been set up in.

    Alaya could not help but pout. There was at least one semi ready-made solution, but she could not implement it because the damned shards of the fool’s souls were spread far and wide across the galaxy, many of them within or a part of the souls of those fallen to his enemies, no less. The few that were available right now were nowhere near enough to actually do anything but be drained to a husk by the monstrous machine that kept so much of the Imperium running…

    A strange feeling caught her attention. It was faint, as if only just awakening from slumber, but she recognized it all the same: there was yet a Heroic Spirit within the material world, and they had answered her demand for a solution to her problems with their awakening. Though…

    Alaya found herself extremely curious as to who, exactly, this spirit could have been to have survived the purge of the history of man and the effective deletion of the heroes associated with mankind’s mythos. It would have taken something that was charged not just with a singular culture’s worth of myth, but the sum total of humanit–

    A flash of realization struck her, and she found herself suddenly smiling wildly at the implications.

    Oh, yes, that one would do juuust fine.

    She took a brief moment to grant her pity to the enemies of this last Heroic Spirit. They had no clue what was coming their way…






    It was now day five of our lunar sojourn, and things had changed drastically around the base as we moved to adjust them to our liking. The place now had a much more homey air to it, instead of the faux-cheerful corporate bullshit that was the previous branding. Many of the base’s utilities and core infrastructure had been upgraded to standards that were “appropriate for a Magos’ work environment” according to Mio.

    As a result, the two of us had finally gotten around to actually getting back into the Hangar to check on things inside, especially as there were no longer any Typhon around to potentially sneak in.

    And what they had found inside was…actually kind of weird.

    For one, there were several notable additions to the equipment present in the Hangar proper, including several oddball setups that I had no clue what the hell were supposed to be. Another thing was that the new stuff was just kind of strewn all over the place without any real rhyme or reason to it, almost like it had been chucked inside in haste as things were going down.

    And then there was the rift in space that was just kind of there.

    “...I am assuming that the spatial rift leads to where Thoth’s notes hit the Hangar.” Mio’s tone was drier than the Sahara, and I could tell without looking that her expression was just as flat.

    I could only nod my head. The damage to the local space looked like it would resolve itself into something appropriate in due time, but for now it was a bit of an eyesore. I made a mental note to check it out after reorganizing the rest of the mess. And it was a right fine mess, too.

    There was an entire section over near the workshops that had been hastily kitted out as a form of gantry for what could only be described as a steampunk power armor of some kind. I recognized it as the most basic possible form of the Magic Gear, or madogear as they were generally referred to in their origin land. Honestly, the concept was interesting to me mostly because it was completely based on mechanical knowledge and a bit of magic engineering to make it work properly, which was definitely a plus with anyone who wanted to delve into the concepts.

    The other messes aware a bit more annoying, though. One was a giant pile of mixed parts, technical manuals, and other related gear haphazardly strewn into a corner with no real rhyme or reason to them whatsoever, and which would require some significant sorting out to actually figure out what went where and why. Then there was the odd (and noticeably neater) pile of equipment that looked to be related to chemistry in some way or another, though one of us would need to check to be sure.

    And then there was the other elephant in the room, namely the odd cottage-thing that seemed rather eager to be used and was absolutely thrumming with power to my senses. Worse, I thought I actually recognized the general shape and purpose of that one, too.

    The problem, of course, was that, like everything else, it was sitting practically dead center of the mess that had sprawled out in the hangar proper. I couldn’t help but sigh out loud at the thought of the amount of effort that we would need to put in to get the place back in order, and that was before we went and took a look at whatever mess Thoth’s notes had taken the form of.

    I motioned to the mess. “So, before we get started, anything you have to say about this?”

    Mio rightfully gave me a gimlet glare at my bland attempt at humor.






    Cleanup was tedious and annoying. As it turned out, the notes crashing into the hangar had dislodged a bunch of other things from their proper places and left even more messes for us to clean up before we even got to properly sorting out the other stuff. I was honestly surprised that the place was still intact, considering what some of the mixtures and materials were capable of when mishandled.

    Still, the (initial) cleanup had been completed within mostly decent time, which left us sorting through the mess of junk and materials that had been strewn about. And for the life of me I could not find a clear pattern to any of it.

    “So...this is supposed to be some kind of advanced computer terminal? Why does it still use tape drives?” Mio grumbled from her section of the pile. I could only grunt in agreement, as I was thinking the same thing. Some of this stuff looked to be from some kind of retro-futureish setup that would not have looked out of place in an 80s anime. Worse, it was mixed in with other stuff that I swore up and down came from an outright galactic civilization of some kind. And worse, this stuff was old. I was getting a good but of impressions from handling the pieces, and what it told me of what could have been done with them was considerable.

    Too bad that it was all junk parts. We would be better served recycling everything here, honestly…that, or feeding it to the resource warehouse to get better stuff out of it.

    Either way, after the hours of cleanup for the minor crap (and logging the technical manuals that had been present into the electronic database) we could finally get around to dealing with the cottage of doom.

    Said cottage of doom was, actually, nothing like what either of us expected. Inside was a complex amalgam of pipes, pathways, and other assorted engines of early industry all arranged around a central core structure of sorts that seemed to be the main focus of the place. Even a cursory glance told me that the arrangement of everything was very much slapdash and ‘where it will work’ than anything actually planned out, which may have had something to do with potential efficiency issues…though something told me that things were fine as they were.

    Instead, I walked towards the obvious central station of the assembly, vague memories of those who came before telling me of the intended purpose of the place. And honestly? I couldn’t be happier.

    After all, this was an Alchemical setup pulled pretty much straight from the dawn of industry proper.

    “I see you plotting over there, mister. Tell me, what is this?” Mio asked, the curiosity clear in her tone. I was actually surprised that she didn’t just plumb my mind for the details–oh. She wanted to hear my voice.

    Very well, I could accommodate her on this. “If what I’m thinking is correct, this setup here is a complex alchemical cauldron of the kind used in the Kingdom of Arland. This, along with a bit of experimentation and some know-how, will allow us to perform rather complex alchemy as we see fit for little cost to us. Hell, I think that we might be able to refine the setup even further than this if we choose to, and possibly integrate it into some of the other stuff as well.”

    Mio perked up noticeably. “What kind of alchemy are we talking about here? The old pseudo-science stuff that predated proper chemistry? The quasi-magical crap that gets thrown around as an alternative to proper magic (and that I am sure we have some notes for that somewhere around here)? Or is this something else entirely?”

    I chuckled. “Alchemy of this nature is more akin to a science in its own right than anything else. It’s more a form of natural magic that is not dissimilar to chemistry than anything else.” I ran a hand over the various pipes of the system, the functions becoming clear to my mind’s eye. “Honestly, this is technically better than proper chemistry in many ways, as you can mix and combine things that would otherwise not be possible using this setup, and all for a little bit of ambient mana from the environment, no less.”

    Mio hmmed to herself, leaning into my shoulder. “Which means that a few of the alloy composite projects I have been working on might be better solved in here, then?”

    I cradled her with a free arm. “But of course. Who knows, We might be able to come up with even more insane super-materials just because.”

    Oh yes…we had a lot of work cut out for us.






    The knowledge of having a blatantly powerful alchemy system like the cottage setup (which a late report from Watts confirmed was from a variant of what I would recognize as an Atelier game) caused us to reconsider certain things within our inventory as far as special materials. For one, we suddenly had theoretical access to a lot of otherwise special materials and substances that required some very specific manufacturing processes to properly form, like the various versions of Adamantium used in Astartes and Custodes Power Armors. This was even more important because the Resource Generator was oddly specific about what it did and did not have available at any one time, and most of the really good stuff took too long to generate in any usable quantities. This would help to alleviate that a fair bit.

    Second, there was suddenly a whole heaping subsection of goodies and substances that could be formed for use by others or even ourselves. One thing I do remember is that most Atelier games had you start out with mere potions and other simple things like that, so the possibilities were effectively endless if we went in on it.

    The third was a mixture of the first two: with the ability to mix and match the way that alchemy allowed, there was the possibility of being able to create potential supermaterials based on the properties of things that had been blended. And this style of alchemy was notorious about being extremely friendly with using quasi-conceptual ingredients with ease.

    I strongly suspected that this would be a very popular location for not only us, but the Kerbals as well once they got back, if only so that everyone could experiment to see what they came up with. It also was the reason I was currently in the secure storage section for volatile materials, looking over the various special substances that were currently in stock and ready to use.

    And the dread material Originium stared me in the face.

    I had sealed the stuff away for good reason. Even though it was an awesome energy source and actually a damn good conduit for various forms of ‘physical’ energy, the stuff was downright virulent if left uncontained in any capacity. Granted, there was a very blatant note with this batch (that even now was flashing in my vision because shenanigans) about this particular batch and the future replacement batches being perfectly safe to both handle and use, but…you do not shake the wariness. Not after being burned as hard as I was.

    I had nearly been killed by this stuff once. I was not about to give it anything less than the utmost in respect.

    That being said, it was also a prime material for use in any form of synthesis mixing that I wanted to do, simply because the potential payoff of such a mix was incalculable. Of course, if I wanted to be fair, the potential horror factor of a mix would be equally possible, and I had already noted that this stuff was very similar to Tiberium in many ways…

    In any case, a more thorough examination of the substance was now in order, if only to assess suitability for use later. Especially because one of my new knowledge sets was getting accessed by a magical auto-index ability I had picked up during the mess onboard Talos and was pointing out that, treated properly, Orginium would make for a superior base material for a synthetic Khyber…Crystal…

    Oh fuck. THAT’S what those spare parts were about.

    Revelation of my knowledge of the technology of a certain galaxy far, far away aside, It was still a good idea to do a better lookup on the stuff. And on myself, now that I thought about it, as my ‘cure’ for Oripathy was more akin to a compromise with the inevitable than anything else. Needed to make sure that it would not cause complications later on.

    Grabbing one of the cases with a bundle of the stuff, I headed for the infirmary.






    “So, why the sudden interest in our health? Discover something that might be abnormal about things?”

    Mio was currently setting up a deep scan for her beloved in order to gain a better picture of the effects of recent events on his body. She personally suspected it also had something to do with the case of originium that he had brought along (which was currently being scanned by another device nearby), but for now refrained from plumbing his mind for the answer, as was her usual custom.

    “I wanted to check something out that occurred to me while I was grabbing stuff to play around with mixing.” Satori replied. “I was wanting to get a second opinion on that fix I implemented for my oripathy, for one. Also would be nice to get a new medical baseline for records purposes and such before I accidentally mix up a Super Soldier Serum or something…”

    Mio giggled at his antics, but finished the setup process and stepped back from the bed that Satori was currently lying on. “Alright, everything is ready. Anything I should be looking for?”

    Satori shrugged. “Dunno what we’re supposed to find, but here’s hoping it’s good. Impeller coming down…and ready for scan.”

    “Scan Initialized.” Mio replied. And watched as the data flowed in…huh. That was interesting.

    “...I think we should have done this a lot sooner. I’m seeing things that I never thought possible, really.”

    Satori blinked in confusion, and seemed to do a minor shrug from his position on the bed. It wasn’t enough to disrupt the scanners, but from what she knew of the tech (which honestly needed an upgrade) it was a near thing. “So…I take it you are seeing something that is outside the norm, then?”

    Mio allowed a small hum of assent, everything else being totally engrossed in the data. “Yeah. There’s a lot of stuff here that I wasn’t expecting to see, especially since our respective core partners tend to keep us in mostly good shape.” She took a moment to pull up another screen with even more data on it. “This, however, is a pretty good set of new baselines for how much you’ve changed from the standard Human template…which is interesting because it means that the database still recognizing you as being Homo Sapiens.”

    She heard her husband’s light chuckle. “Just not with the extra Sapiens part, eh?”

    “Something like that.” Mio replied, still buried in the data. “The reason why this is odd, though, is that most of the human…err, mutative archetypes…” She barely suppressed a wince at the statement, but pressed forward anyway, “are usually noted as an entirely new subgenus of the Homo line. For example, The Space Marines are officially recognized as Homo Astartes. This here…this has implications that go a bit beyond what I want to think about right now.”

    She decided to shift tacks from the uncomfortable topic for now. “But there are other things that i’m getting as well. The scan is noting the originium in your blood and tissues rather clearly, and even noting the patterns it’s taking, mostly being guided by your nanites. The structures and support forms are rather extraordinary. I am noticing that the originium itself seems to be sticking to your bones for the most part, though, except for some very specific concentrations around critical organs and such. Honestly, looking at it now, I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have some kind of adaptive nanite system like the type we share could actually survive this level of…infection is the only real word I can use, here.”

    “For that matter, even the nanites are modifying themselves as we speak.” Mio pulled up yet another window, overlapping with the rest seamlessly. Hard-light and holograms can be fun, sometimes. “I’m seeing a lot of really odd purpose-built modifications here. Some of these nanites are closer to actual biological cells than anything actually machine at this point, while others are pushing closer to the other end. And all of them seem to be adapting to handling different energies and then fusing them into a whole. These ones here,” She shoved a screen in Satori’s face, so that he could see for himself, “are adapting to your chakra, for example. And then these over here are working with your ambient mana, and so on.”

    “And then there’s the batch that is sitting in your head and running your rather vastly improved brain meats. The nanites here are arguably the most complex, but the changes…some of these are super recent.” Mio frowned for a bit, scrutinizing the data before her. “I think that this might be an adaptation to our recent psionic power boost, but I’d have to give it a better look to be sure. Right now, I can only say that these particular nanites are changing themselves in a unique manner compared to the rest.”

    Mio sighed. “And that’s not counting the other stuff that are side effects of having energies like chakra in the body. Your microbiome is changing up a bit as well, what with the new critters floating around in your bloodstream. They seem to be feeding off of at least one energy source, but I can’t say which one. They are actually kind of beneficial, now that I’m looking at it.”

    She felt more than saw Satori’s attention focus at the mention of the new organisms, and shifted his screen to show him the details. As she expected, it was but a moment before he seemed to recognize the phenomenon.

    Satori began to chuckle softly. “Heh. Guess the old theories about the Force and how it works are holding up a bit.” a minor poke through their link directed her attention to the organisms in more detail. “These here? They are known as midichlorians, and they are one of the most surefire ways to detect a Force sensitive individual. There was a theory that they themselves were an origin point for the Force proper, but I am rather glad to see that this is not the case here. Instead, I think that they are feeding on the ambient energy aura that results from my connection to the Force. Of course, the actual side effects of having a new piece of fauna attached to a microbiome is something to study, but for now it’s harmless.”

    Satori levered himself off of the exam table and began to stretch a little, which, as much as she appreciated it, was totally unnecessary except to show off. “Alrighty then, you wanna take a look at the data here, first, or get your own exam in beforehand?

    Mio stopped to consider it. “Well, I–”

    Their intended conversation was interrupted by the sudden chiming of an alarm, signalling that the deep-scan on the originium itself had completed. Both of them rushed to the station involved, and quickly began to peruse the results.

    “...okay, this stuff is actually a lot more dangerous than I thought it was, and yet also far, far less, which is kind of weird.”

    Mio found herself agreeing wholeheartedly. Satori had told her little of his fears regarding the strange material, aside from a vague reference to a similar mineral that was supposedly even more dangerous, but she’d had plenty of time to gather intel and make her own judgements. And she prayed to the Omnissiah that she never, ever ran into this “Tiberium” substance under any circumstances whatsoever.

    Originuim, though? For all of its similarities to the demon mineral, it was actually quite useful when properly managed. Hell, the fact that it could even be properly managed in the first place was nearly a miracle, especially seeing as how it took extended exposure to the stuff in order to actually contract oripathy in any form whatsoever, unlike this tiberium material.

    The mineral was also both highly energetic and an oddly powerful focus for quasi-mystical energies of most types, which is probably where the original practitioners for the various originium arts began, at least before the skills themselves became more innate to the users as a variant of inner energy. Still, the results were promising for many things, including potential refinements and mixing.

    A crash echoed from outside the Hangar, catching their attention and breaking the moment of discovery. It was actually quite curious as to what the cause was, as by all rights they should be the only things alive on Luna.

    And yet…beyond the door back into the wider world, she could feel…life? Something that shone brightly to her senses, now that she was even remotely aware of it. And it felt both oddly comforting and strangely…mischievous?

    It took even less time for the two of them to exit the hangar’s space and return back to the moonbase proper…and the sight was extremely confusing. There were bunches of what appeared to be little girls in themed maid outfits actively cleaning up the few messes that they had avoided dealing with, along with some actively hanging extra decorations and what she found to be some rather tasteful, if amateurish, art. There was even a trio in the makeshift kitchen area, which had been the source of the noise they’d heard.

    Overall, she could count at least thirty of these creatures (and she somehow knew they weren’t human, even without a scan of any kind) within their erstwhile home. And every last one of them stopped cold the instant they stepped back into the base, each staring at them with looks that ranged from anxious interest to barely suppressed panic.

    Despite herself, Mio felt the sudden need to crack a joke.

    “So…guests, then?”






    Mio may not have known what was going on, but I was entirely too much of a nerd to have missed the hint, and this just so happened to be one of my fandoms.

    Though, why the hell the base formerly known as Pytheas (rename pending) was now full of…moon fairies? (one of the fairies nodded an affirmative at the thought. I very deliberately did not question it) Yeah, moon fairies doing here, not necessarily on the moon, but inside of my goddamn base?

    Mio’s attempt at humor did very little to defuse the tension in the room.

    Guess I had to do something after all. “Alright, which one of your girls is in charge of your group? Need to get some things cleared up real quick.”

    A series of quick glances among the fairies told me much, but just as quickly one of the kitchen team stepped forward. “I’m Elizabeth, and I guess you could say I’m the closest thing to being the leader of these guys here. As for why…well…we felt you nearby, and were curious. Past that? It’s just fun.”

    I quirked an eyebrow. “But…why the maid outfits? I appreciate the help and all, but it’s not like I actually asked, and this is certainly not a paid job.”

    Elizabeth shrugged, and I distinctly heard a few of the fairies giggling to themselves. “Well, we kind of decided on our own that you are now the boss, so here we are. Besides, not all of us are from around here. A few of the girls came up from Earth too, just to hang around, and we’ve just kinda ran with it, yannow?”

    Elizabeth did a midair curtsy to me, and many of the others followed suit. “So, boss. Whatcha need next?”

    “Aside from a better explanation?” the flatness of my look was nearly legendary, and poor Liz folded like a house of cards.

    “Alright, alright!! You two are radiating this really, really good energy, and it feels awesome to be around you, almost like you are a walking extension of nature or something.”

    My look increased in severity.

    “...and…you might, maybe kind of haveavisitorcomingsoon–”

    “Alright, stop. I think I got it now.” and I really did, as odd as it sounded.

    Liz wasn’t lying about the whole ‘feels like nature’ thing. I could tell just from a quick peek into the girls’ heads, which rather unusually for another thinking being, were completely and utterly defenseless to my gaze, and intentionally so. The amount of trust these fairies were willing to just outright hand to me was kind of ridiculous, but I could ask further questions later on.

    No, right now, I had to worry about the visitors that were scheduled to show up soon. And considering the source of the fairies, I had a suspicion I was about to get trolled.

    “Close, but not really. I’m just a taxi this time.”

    I only barely did not startle at the sudden appearance of our newest occupant, who was, as per her usual custom, hanging out of one of her gaps. Mio, on the other hand, had already tried (and failed) at least three times in that same instant to eliminate the surprise element, to no success.

    Sorry Mio, but Yukari Yakumo actually is that good, and likes to be a nuisance. We are not getting rid of her that easily.

    I turned to the trolling yokai with as neutral of an expression as I could manage given the circumstances. “And what, exactly, are you playing taxi for, especially considering that getting here must be annoyingly like actual work for you?”

    Yukari giggled. Like, an actual, literal giggle. “Oh, just someone who was interested in meeting you regarding that interesting little ability of yours. She should be arriving shortly.”

    By which she meant that my newest guest was being delayed for drama factor, because Yukari worked like that. I merely gave a slight nod and moved to one of the refurbished couches in the lounge, taking a seat. Mio, despite her visible confusion, followed my lead. One of the fairies quickly moved to deliver drinks (tea, unsurprisingly, but the variety was unfamiliar to me) to everyone present.

    And then I received the second shock of the day when none other than Eirin Yagokoro walked through a gap and took a seat opposite my wife and I, the table holding our refreshments rather suddenly upgrading itself properly and a seat appearing from nowhere as if it always belonged.

    Despite this, I (somehow) visibly showed no reaction aside from a quirked eyebrow, which I muted slightly by taking a sip of the tea. (Odd flavor, but actually kind of good, though it was nothing I’d ever had before. I’d probably have to pester the fairies for the recipe. Mio seemed to like it too, from her mood suddenly improving.)

    Knowing of Eirin and her perception, she was likely not fooled, but at least allowed me the pretense of being unruffled by events, for which I was silently grateful.

    “I will open, then. I’ve decided to have a quick chat with you regarding a few things before that forge of yours ticks over again.” Eirin began. “It’s just a few questions in regard to what, exactly, you plan on doing with your abilities.”

    I nodded. That seemed fair enough, and I had a suspicion of what was coming down the pipe that she felt the need to appear personally. “Alright. And your questions…?”

    Eirin smirked. It wasn’t a malicious thing, but the triumph was clear to see in her bearing. “Oh, you have already answered them, really. Amazing what a little medicine can do when prepared correctly, yes?”

    I blinked, wondering about what the hell she was on about…and then looked down at the fucking tea. Because of course she would use that as a vector for whatever the fuck she was doing.

    And yet I still felt strangely calm about the whole matter. I ascribed it to whatever the tea had in it.

    “I do apologize for the deception, especially with me abusing guest privilege, but it was kind of necessary for my little prank here. The medicine I mixed into your tea was a little something that should help you adjust to that interesting mineral you have trying to devour your body, along with a few things that would let me see your general intention. Nothing too harsh, overall.”

    A massive block of knowledge hit me just then, and with it came a great deal of understanding of what had just happened. Eirin was not lying in the slightest about the medicine’s effects, though she had omitted that there was a conditional element to it that would have reacted…poorly if I had been tainted in any way by Chaos or similar.

    It would seem that she was taking precautions against undue influence in many regards…and considering that I had apparently had the very skill and experience of someone of her caliber–or someone trained by her personally–it made perfect sense.

    Still was annoying as hell that she had to do it so underhandedly, but when dealing with Chaos, most countermeasures are worth the risk. That being the case, however…

    “So you somehow think that just because you were being cautious, it removes your infraction? Sorry, but that isn’t how this works, in any context.”

    Mio, being the wonderful person she is, decided to twist the knife. “Especially since, as you yourself have stated, you openly violated guest rights when we made a point of at least an observance of our own host duties. Besides, if it was that much of a major issue, you could have just asked.” She made a point of drinking even more of the tea offered, just to sink in the point even more. “So what exactly am I supposed to do with you, since you oh so graciously made an unprovoked attack on my husband?”

    The expression that came over Eirin’s face at that moment was absolutely marvelous to behold. I got to watch in real time as the vaunted Brain of the Moon realized that she had just pissed off not only a fox who was more than capable of being vindictive as all hell, but his extremely territorial wife who just so happened to be a goddamn DRAGON.

    The sudden outburst of uproarious laughter distracted us all from the building tension in the room, and we all turned to see that Yukari had all but fallen out of her own gap and was desperately gasping for breaths due to the sheer force of her laughter. I merely motioned to the Gap Yokai as an example.

    Eirin had the decency to blush, even in her muted horror.






    In the end, things got (mostly) resolved, primarily due to both myself and Mio wanting to repay the admittedly good prank with another of equal magnitude instead of escalating. That this meant, among other things we’d set up, that Eirin’s tea was surreptitiously spiked with a rapidly concocted additive that would make the revenge we sought clear as day was just the price of doing business.

    As much as I respected her desire to not have her skills passed off to a spawn of Nurgle, there were lines you did not cross.

    Though I wish that things had ended there, Yukari made a point of noting that that particular visit was not merely a courtesy call.

    “So, as much as I wish this was just me trolling for a bit, there are some things that I felt you needed to be aware of before things get out of hand…well, more than they already are, anyway.”

    By now, we’d mostly relaxed and had been relatively good naturedly poking at Eirin as part of our revenge plot. Yukari mentioning actual business caused me to sit up straighter, however.

    “Coming from you, I suspect that this is a bit more…involved than a standard incident” My tone made it clear that I was expecting zero games on this. “What are we dealing with?”

    In response, Yukari pulled out a goddamn holoprojector of all things, and set it on the table. It quickly activated, showing a globe of the Earth as it stood now. I made a note of several areas shaded in angry and alarming colors even before she started explaining things.

    “For one, the Earth you are looking at is in the middle of a nasty case of Kitchen Sink syndrome. In a nutshell, there are several areas of concern and annoyance making themselves known on the planet proper, ranging from mutations due to proliferation of that crazy super-mineral you have bonded to you, to literal outright devil invasions of varying stripes.”

    My jaw most certainly did not hit the floor at this declaration, and Yukari did not ignore it to continue raining bad news. “Then there’s the oncoming alien invasions, the many flavors of corruption running rampant, a currently minor Typhon outbreak that is thankfully being dealt with by your friend Morgan, as she landed nearby the epicenter, and what I think is the beginnings of an outsider cult of some kind. And all of this just from what I saw when I took a glance at the planet looking for you, by the way.”

    I regained enough control of my senses from the sheer shock at the shitstorm we were walking into to make sure that Mio was firmly planted at my side, and ensured she stayed there with an equally firm arm wrapped around her waist.

    I was not a moment too soon, as she was already struggling to escape my grip. I quickly pulled her into my lap and wrapped her up in my arms, further locking her from moving.

    Of course, she was not amused by my antics. [LET ME GO!!]

    [Not until we hear everything, Mio. THEN we can rush in like idiots to fix things.]

    Unfortunately, this logic did not deter her in the slightest. [We can learn more after we’re en route. Right now we are wasting time, dammit!! LET ME GO!!]

    [WAIT.]

    This continued for at least a few minutes. Yukari was kind enough to let us argue it out for a bit mentally and for me to (mostly) calm Mio down from rushing off to smite the interlopers on the planet until we heard everything.

    Once we had settled down, she continued, her expression showing a not insignificant amount of sympathy to us both. “Like I said, those are just the problems I noticed when I was looking to meet up with you, The issue I was meaning to warn you about is a bit more important.”

    The holoprojector switched to a display of a towering suit of armor. I recognized it as originally being a rather rare mark of Terminator armor, but defaced and corrupted to extremes that nearly made me wretch. The occupant of said armor was even worse to look at.

    “This…individual was noted to have been close enough to the area to be of concern to everyone on the planet below. While I have no idea of what his heraldry represents, he is clearly a follower of the plague-bearing asshole. His being here is nothing good for this world.”

    Fuck.

    I looked at my wife. “Plague Marine?”

    Mio shook her head. “Not directly, no. the marks are wrong. She’s right about him being a devotee of Nurgle, though. Only their ilk ever are corrupted to that level. In a way, we are fortunate. That could have been Khorne down there, and we would have a lot more issues.”

    I turned back to the image, and looked closer. “Any chance of a double-fake?”

    “I don’t think so. The Inquisition was tight-lipped about it, but the various chaos factions tend to have some rather severe infighting among the different factions, depending on which of the tumors they worship. A Khornite will not willingly work with a Nurglite without a damned good reason, and impersonating one even less so.”

    A thought occurred to me, and I turned back to Yukari. “How exactly did this particular zit manage to get here, anyway? I was under the impression that even we were only here by pure happenstance, if that. A literal Chaos Marine, let alone a wannabe Champion, showing up is very much out of pocket.”

    Yukari shrugged. “I’m looking into it, but I suspect that you will have better results on that front than I will, even with my power.” I mentally translated as ‘I don’t want to deal with this, and you are available, so it is no longer my concern.’ It sucked, but the Gap yokai had her own concerns, and I was both available and amenable to solving the issue.

    “Oh, don’t worry, we will certainly take care of the Traitor.” Mio all but growled out. I nodded my own agreement instead.

    Yukari took that as her cue. “Well, then. That’s about all I have for you. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.” a gap formed behind her, and Eirin stepped inside after a small bow in our direction. “If you are ever in the neighborhood and willing to visit, please do drop by. I’m always welcoming to guests, after all.”

    She turned to leave, but stopped just before she stepped into her portal. “Oh, and don’t worry about the Fairies overmuch. They volunteered to stay here with you, and I see no reason to refuse them. Also, I suggest doing a thorough check before you head planetside. It will save you some issues. Farewell!”

    And with the annoyingly powerful (and lazy) Yokai gone, along with her add, things were calm again. Mostly, anyway.

    Mio immediately broke my hold on her and rushed to an airlock, forcing me to tackle her and use magical binds to stop her from rushing off on her own. And then she started breaking those, so I had to add in my tails to the mix as well.

    “You said wait until they told us everything. They told us everything, so now we can go, right?”

    I tightened my grip on her even as she squirmed free of the first set of bindings. “And Yukari also suggested that we do our fucking homework before just rushing in like idiots!!”

    The second set of bindings broke, and I was forced to resort to some rather extreme methods to keep her occupied. Namely, attacking the base of her tail and her horns at the same time. It was only mostly effective. “Seriously, Mio, what’s gotten into you? You are normally not this reckless about combat! Why the hell are you suddenly so hotheaded?”

    Mio struggled for a bit longer before slumping in my embrace, releasing a sigh of frustration. “Fine. I’ve been anxious ever since we got here, waiting for the other show to drop, something else to come along and destroy the little bit of peace that we’d found here. Now that it has, I want it gone as soon as possible, so I can get back to being your sexy dragon wife instead of an Imperial Techpriestess on the warpath. That, and…it’s Earth. The motherland, the cradle from which mankind emerged. That planet being in any form of danger is unacceptable to me on general principle.”

    I nodded, shifting to stroke her hair instead of the horns. “I get it, honey. Red cape and bull, and all that. That doesn’t mean that we can just skip the workups and recon that need to happen first, so we know what the hell happened. Remember, doing it wrong only makes things worse in the long run, honey.”

    Mio nodded, though she made no move to extricate herself from my grasp. In fact, she actively began wriggling herself deeper into it.

    I took the hind for what it was, and got to handling her stress. The Fairies notably made a point of being elsewhere while we bonded.






    As it turns out, Yukari showing up and doing an info dump was, in fact, her trolling, as the scanner that we’d set up a few days ago had finished its initial sweep just before the Gap’s appearance, and had pretty much the exact same things to say about the situation on the ground, just with varying levels of detail compared to her.

    Notably, the two biggest problems already had boots on the scene and active. The originium spread was being investigated by multiple agencies of the various governments involved, while the devil invasion was being dealt with on the ground by forces unknown. It helped that the devil incursions were significantly smaller than the originium outbreaks, which were themselves actually quite minor as far as total surface area of the planet was concerned. Hell, there weren’t even any patches near or in bodies of water, for fuck’s sake!!

    That was the good news, though. The bad news was a bit more complex.

    For one, there were multiple, and I mean multiple, dimensional anomalies and/or outright rifts just sitting there in the open planetside. Nothing that we had up here had the resolution to even attempt to scan inside, or they were being blocked by the nature of the anomalies themselves, but the point remianed that they existed and were bad news. Hell, 95% of the Originium outbreaks could be traced back to one of those anomalies in the first place, so there was a chance of solving that issue before it became a problem right there…but the other issues were going to be a pin in the ass to deal with.

    And not all of them were actually planetside, for that matter.

    First major issue: the earth itself had changed drastically, with entire new landmasses somehow merged into the existing area, and the planet itself increasing somewhere between a quarter to a half again in size as a result. This, as can be expected, was causing untold amounts of issues as everyone scrambled to update the maps and try to adjust to the new normal.

    Second was space-related: that alien invasion that Yukari mentioned was indeed on the way, and it was coming in force. Estimated based solely on my limited resolution scan had the fleet in the range of hundreds of ships, easy. That, and something about the emissions patterns bugged me, like I should have recognized them for some reason.

    The third one was related to that trace I’d wanted regarding how we got here in the first place. As it turns out, once again, Yukari was telling us things that we would have found out within minutes had she not interfered. The additional data attached to it had cleared up some things, and added a few questions to the mix as well.

    Somehow, we were either still within the Necromunda warp storm, or were so far into the deep warp that regular space could not even be properly described.

    Or something else. Getting a proper read on what the fuck was going on was getting weird, and I would probably have to crack more than one book to get actual answers. Needless to say, we weren’t in Kansas by a long shot, and needed to act appropriately.

    The last was back to the planet, and had resolved a question about why this particular world and/or space almost right off...while also giving me a headache at what I would have to be dealing with. A headache that I doubted that even all the knowledge imparted upon me as the second Brain of the Moon could help with.

    Because sitting in orbit around the newly enlarged planet of doom and horror was a particular creature. One that looked very much akin to an angel, if you didn’t look too closely, but with a grand multitude of wings instead of clothing, and being a fucking near-indestructible construct instead of something that could just die normally.

    Because of course that particular hellhole had to get mixed up in this mess, and now I had to deal with a fucking Kaiju wannabe from the mind of a nihilist.

    Potentially more than just the fucking troll bird too, if the rest of it’s setting was dragged along with. Which, considering the ball of fire moving across Saharan Africa at the moment, I had to assume was the case.

    Mio took one look at the situation and summed it up about as well as I could have myself.

    “Fuck.”

    Yeah, we definitely had our work cut out for us.









    Oh. Look. Narrative Payoff. Now just to shift things forward.

    There will be some other things happening as we move forward, but consider the mini-vacation over with for now. Now we enter the calm before the storm.


    -Brain of the Moon (Touhou Forbidden Hermit) (600CP)
    Did you study under Eirin? Like her, you can make a drug to perfectly cure any possible disease, make drugs that could manipulate the Dream World, and likely produce even more fantastical effects. This does have a few limitations, you cannot create a drug that does the impossible, you can’t cure something you do not know or understand, and you cannot make drugs without base ingredients. Perhaps if you found someone who could manipulate eternity itself you could even replicate the Hourai Elixir. This does not come with any raw materials, but you will also find ways to substitute the raw materials of other worlds for anything you could have found here.

    -Seamless Construction (Endless Space) (400CP)
    You might not be able to design the perfect ship, but you certainly could build one that is good enough. Given enough resources and the proper blueprints, you can build ships that would rival that of the Endless, cast as a single, cohesive whole. Even if you build it with mundane methods, it still ends up being nearly perfect, not a single design flaw or construction error in sight. This also applies to things you build that aren't spaceships.

    -They Will Prosper (Marvel Magic) (200CP)
    Being able to make fantastical tech that can compete even with magic is all well and good, but is it really being put to optimal use if you're the only one directly benefiting from using it? You will find you have a knack for scaling personal technology to a larger size. Turn a personal shield into something that can protect an entire city or make your particle gun into a weapon of mass destruction. Of course, just because you can figure out the logistics behind increasing the scale of your technology doesn't mean you actually have the resources to make these plans into a reality -- and you can bet increasing the scale by a large degree will see a comparative increase in the cost of resources.

    -Weapon Modifications (Archer) (100CP)
    You design and modify weapons with flair, creativity, and skill.
    –Phrasing (freebie)
    You gain the ability to easily bait people into making sexual innuendos.
     
    Let, preier, Acerrrr12 and 70 others like this.
  28. ImmortalEmperor34

    ImmortalEmperor34 Making the rounds.

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    That was an excellent chapter thank you for your hard work
     
  29. souvikkundu

    souvikkundu I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Is there a reason why Alaya can not take back Emperor's Shards? Or Summon Surviving Loyalist Primarchs?

    Is Various Geneseed Flaws are fixed among Current Marines? Is Geneseed implantation rate increased?

    Is Void Dragon still Sealed? Can Alaya not seal Webway Gate or Deal with Void Dragon?
     
  30. Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    Wait so what’s all the fandoms that are attacking Earth? I got Worm, But where do devils come from?
     
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