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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Coda

    Coda I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    We invented it on our Earth in the 90s but it didn't see commercial deployment. It was supposed to have 20-100x the storage capacity and 6-7x the read speed of magnetic tape, which would have been great for archival (same as the primary business use for high-capacity magnetic tape). I don't have any concrete information about why it didn't take off but I speculate that recording them was a problem (maybe write-once like CD-Rs?), or the fact that it wasn't random-access was too much of a disadvantage compared to other technologies under consideration, or the lack of consumer-level application made it hard to commoditize.

    That said, we ALSO invented a diffraction-grating-based videotape format in the late 1950s, which is more likely what the Fallout stuff is based on. This was an ambitious idea that would have allowed rapid mass-produced read-only tapes -- perfect for home video, which was its intended use case -- but the technology would have never worked for home recording like magnetic tape. It's super easy to imagine a different history where this format took off, because the main reason it didn't succeed in our world is that it was poor management.
     
  2. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    Actually there has, it comes from the Great Old One's.
     
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  3. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Three or four hours. Westham to Ipswich or Leonard Stanley.
     
  4. Maxx Crowley

    Maxx Crowley I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I think OL has much, MUCH bigger things to worry about then one not really important recruit and what emotion they may be more compatible with.

    And if we are being obsessed with what is "Optimal" then OL should have left Starfire with the Psions to be tortured even more, until she gained her canonical super powers, THEN rescued her. As he should already know the level of Heroing she can do with said powers, and could use them as a backup if her ring runs out of charge.

    Now, if Starfire wants to go on a search for a Blue ring herself...she's more then welcome to. Her own personal quest so to speak. There is an interlude you can write.

    And if Dox instantly sacks her ass for her "Suboptimal" usage of time and Orange Lantern resources, she can sit her powerless ass on her planet, helpless as any other baseline Tamaranian, and mourn her lost opportunity. Praying for Hope Corgi to appear and offer her the "Optimal" ring.

    Ooorrr, she could sack the fuck up, and make it work. Because overcoming challenges is what makes you stronger, not bitching that "If I had a different ring, I'd be even better."

    Though, to be fair to Starfire, she has not bitched about about her ring. It's just the insufferable Blue ringers in the forums that do.

    It's like the biggest first world probleming I can think of in fiction. "I have incredibly useful super powers...but not the ones I wannnnnt."

    I've typed up a few responses, but I keep deleting them. I honestly don't understand your thought process at all.

    Bizzaro had Ice vision and Heat/Flame breath back in the day.
     
  5. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Dox won't fire her, because the SI offered her a ring and he doesn't want to worsen relations between the two of them. There would also be the practical question of how to fire her.
     
  6. Maxx Crowley

    Maxx Crowley I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The same way the Guardian's fire GL's I imagine.
     
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  7. ForeverShogo

    ForeverShogo Not too sore, are you?

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    So, uh, to give a little bit more context to what the fuck is going on in the Fallout updates . . . Well, I guess I'll whip something together. For one thing, it has nothing to do with any Old Ones.

    So for those not hugely familiar with the Fallout setting, in the first game there was this guy who fell into some vats containing the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). Don't remember his real name and it honestly doesn't matter. What matters is that over the course of weeks he mutated into a being called The Master. Kind of gross looking. Basically just picture a head and then distributed biomass. Lots and lots of distributed biomass. Enough that he basically grew into and throughout a Vault that would become his headquarters. He also gained a supernatural level of charisma and even some psionic abilities that helped him to gather the followers necessary to pursue what he would call Unity.

    This would actually start out as a plan to assimilate all life into one organism, but he would end up changing his mind and instead seek a cultural and racial unification by "uplifting" all of humanity into super mutants.

    For reference, super mutants are created by dunking humans in vats of FEV. They are stronger, faster, tougher, (usually) more intelligent, immune to radiation, immune to disease, and in theory will continue to live until they are killed by someone else or die in some sort of accident or disaster. They also look like ogres.

    As an additional aside, FEV was originally meant to basically provide immunity to disease . . . The the US government started trying to add more and more to it when someone got the idea to use it as part of a super soldier program. If they had gotten it right, they would have had the means to basically turn the entire American population into the equivalent of Captain America. But nukes started flying before they could perfect it, so all it really does is create horrible mutants.

    Anyways, he decided that humanity already fucked up and was never going to get better. That our differences made it impossible to avoid the kinds of destructive conflicts that resulted in the world becoming a nuclear hellhole. His solution therefore being to make everyone the same, and also adapt them to the post-apocalyptic world. Or, to use his own words . . .

    "The Unity will bring about the master race. One able to survive, or even thrive, in the wasteland. As long as there are differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other. We need one race. One goal. One people . . . to move forward to our destiny."

    However, he made a critical error when advancing his plans. What he failed to realize is that every single super mutant is rendered completely and irreversibly sterile by their transformation. The mechanism of this sterility is a flaw in the FEV. To simplify things, FEV thinks that gametes (sex cells) are flawed and "fixes" them. As a result, your body effectively stops producing the cells needed to impregnate or become impregnated.

    Super mutants can still have sex. They just can't make babies. Well, the ones found in the west can have sex. Not sure about Commonwealth super mutants, but the ones in the Capital Wasteland area (Washington DC) were completely asexual.

    Telling The Master about this sterility, and convincing him it's the truth, is one of the ways to defeat him without a fight. He becomes so distraught over the idea that everything he has been doing (securing humanity's future by "improving" them) has been for nothing that he commits suicide . . . By blowing himself up with a nuke. (Or you kill him if you're fighty and his death starts the self-destruct sequence, or you just sneak to where the nuke is and arm it yourself if you're stealthy.)

    After The Master's demise, one of the generals of his army, Attis, takes a chunk of the remnants of The Master's Army, now rechristened Attis' Army, and goes east into Texas. He does so seeking out more information on FEV and how to solve the problem of super mutant sterility. His efforts would eventually lead him to the city of Los and the Secret Vault. This vault was built for Vault-Tec's private use and it gave him hope for his dream of rebuilding the super mutant army and finishing The Master's work as it turned out the scientists of said vault were trying to create an improved strain of FEV that didn't render those transformed by it sterile.

    He would find this modified FEV and test it on himself. Unfortunately for him, it was unable to restore fertility to super mutants. What it did end up doing is improving his regeneration to an extreme degree. Though this enhanced regeneration would prove to be dangerously unstable. After being grievously injured he first transformed into a monstrosity roughly equivalent to a super mutant behemoth. Then, upon receiving yet further injuries, his body would messily explode into a constantly expanding biomass that had a bunch of eyes, mouths, and tentacles growing out of it. In this state he would basically decide to pursue The Master's original, assimilationist interpretation of Unity.

    He would try to make his army "join" him, but they got scared and fought him instead. Meanwhile, the person who had repeatedly injured him and precipitated his transformation would arm a nuclear self-destruct system that would end up killing him in the same way that The Master had been killed.

    Enter Shale . . .

    [​IMG]

    In the Old World Blues mod for Hearts of Iron IV, Shale was one of Attis' subordinates and the one most loyal to him and his cause. In other words, he's the Texan super mutant faction that wants to conquer humanity and turn everyone into super mutants. There are two other factions. Keats, who has appeared in the Fallout chapters, leads a faction that wants a peaceful co-existence where any humans who become super mutants chose to do so instead of it being forced on them. I forget the name of the leader of the third faction, but the remaining Texan super mutants just want to build badass cars.

    Anyways, really early in a playthrough as Shale you have to decide what to spend some money on. One option is to get better armor for Shale and locks in his normal route. The other is to purchase a Shop-Tec terminal that can supposedly get you anything as long as your purchase requests are 6 words or less.

    If you purchase the Shop-Tec terminal you learn it has an AI on it named CALIX. She was actually the AI tasked with managing the Secret Vault, but you don't find this out right away. The main thing is that you decide if Shale should keep her for himself or let his soldiers deal with her.

    The soldier option just results in improved logistics, but if you make her Shale's steward you basically activate Shale's hard mode and make the first true step down the path towards Cerberus.

    [​IMG]

    Little bit of CALIX and Shale's focus tree . . . If you ignored the terminal in favor of fancy armor for Shale then he basically goes for quality over quantity, seeking improved training and using the limited stocks of FEV for things like producing behemoths. Choosing the terminal means you use her AI to do things like figure out where technology or additional FEV is, giving you free manpower and letting you build a bigger army.

    If you decided to make CALIX into Shale's steward then he'll ask her to help him find Attis. She'll also begin making regular requests for payment. It is these requests that make this path Shale's hard mode. Every now and then she'll do things like delete some of your industry, or make part of your territory produce less resources, or take it upon herself to purge people (which reduces your nation's stability). In exchange she'll get experience points or one of her stats will go up such that if you put up with her for long enough she actually becomes a ridiculously powerful leader for your armies.

    She also wants you to reclaim the Secret Vault, so she forces you to attack Los first when you would otherwise have a choice of who to strike. Which is one of the things that make things tougher since Los is under Carbon's protection, forcing you to fight them simultaneously instead of one at a time.

    But, after you win and gain access to the Secret Vault, she installs herself back into said vault and there's an immediate change.

    [​IMG]

    Her avatar changes from a crude image to that of a sexy lady showing off some cleavage. As a side note, in both forms her avatar is animated. In the cruder version she blinks. In her sexy form her avatar likes to "breathe" in a way that does interesting things to her boobs. In both forms the data behind her does that scrolling Matrix code thing.

    Anyways, eventually Shale reaches the lower levels of the Secret Vault and learns what happened to Attis. He's actually still alive and trying to regenerate, but he's so badly damaged that he's stuck as quivering, burnt meat.

    Shale can either accept that Attis is "gone" or demand that he be restored. If he pursues restoration he will be told by CALIX that he has to re-unite the super mutants in Texas under a single banner in order to obtain the materials necessary for Attis' restoration.

    Should you accomplish this task . . .

    [​IMG]

    CALIX has gathered Attis' biomass into massive vats and believes that if you just throw enough super mutants into said vats that he'll be able to cannibalize their flesh to restore himself, but it will require a lot of super mutants be sacrificed. Hence why she insisted you conquer the other super mutant factions.

    You are given multiple opportunities to just back out, whereupon Shale will decide CALIX is too fucked up to keep around and destroy her. Alternatively, Shale can decide the price is worth it if it will bring back Attis.

    Make a large enough sacrifice and . . .

    [​IMG]

    CALIX tells Shale that Attis' restored biomass is just cannibalizing itself. Attis' consciousness is still in there and it has been trapped in a feedback loop of constant, agonizing pain. That Attis is essentially perpetually trying and failing to kill himself. She thinks the only thing that can make the pain go away and snap him out of it is if Shale offers himself up as sacrifice. CALIX plans to take part as well to make sure the merge is a successful one and allow Attis' and Shale's minds to work as one.

    You get one final chance to back out, but if you decide Shale is willing to go along with this then Cerberus will be born . . . A giant abomination forged from the ever expanding biomass of a restored Attis into a kind of hive mind governed by the triumvirate of Attis, Shale, and CALIX.

    Cerberus seeks to assimilate all life into itself, spawning an endless swarm of super mutant war forms to facilitate its spread. Which, in game terms, means you're constantly getting new soldiers for your armies. With the size of your army limited only by your industry's ability to produce weapons to equip it.
     
  8. Finagle007

    Finagle007 [Verified Great Old One]

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    ...

    ...That truly is a monstrosity...

    ...But. Krono has two power rings, at least one of which likely has at least some remaining charge. He should be able to make something that can obliterate even such an abomination as that. Anything capable of making a singularity should do the trick.

    And there's always the possibility that Paul or Grayven could find their way to the Wasteland timeline, probably Grayven given who he's got as a guest...
     
  9. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    So they're people he killed.

    So either their religion prohibits showing images of their god, doesn't consider it that important, or Kalmin just considers it tacky.

    Maybe 'Large, aggressive'

    Such an accepting man.

    A giant monster coming at you to eat you will do that.

    'built'
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Anti-Thesis (part 12)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    11th July 2012
    15:25 GMT


    "I thought Lantern Gardner blew that up."

    Kalmin marches through his home without looking around, heading right for his workshop.

    "I said that the drones annoyed me, not that I don't use them for simple repairs. Mine aren't programmed to talk; they're neither to be seen or heard, just to work on routine maintenance that isn't worth my time."

    "Do you leave them running, or do they get flash-fabricated when it's time for them to do something?"

    "If they were flash-fabricated I'd have to have an advanced management system to govern the fabricator. I will not put a complex machine mind in command of a multi-function fabricator."

    He taps his hammer to a chest, causing a brief flash before the chest opens. He returns his hammer to his belt and pulls the chest open, revealing a variety of dangerous-looking ranged weapons.

    "Hm."

    "Do you want me to carry those?"

    "No."

    He goes to work, systems on his gauntlets interfacing with parts of the guns as he.. pulls them apart, tossing the majority of components aside and attaching the parts he wants to his armour.

    "Is there anything you want me to do?"

    "Keep watch outside. At least one of the other Weaponers should attempt to assassinate me on general principles."

    I nod and turn to leave.

    "Varnathon, or one of the people you asked Lysis to contact?"

    "It hardly matters from your point of view, but I'd be surprised if it was Varnathon."

    He pauses mid-dismantle.

    "Very surprised."

    I clunk out through his home. It's not exactly a homey-home. If the kitchen belonged to a human I'd call it bachelor-compatible. There's a hob… Flame pit thing, and a food fabricator which I'd guess is where most of his meals came from. There were stains which I think were caused by burned blood in the back of the flame unit, so I'm guessing that the automata aren't programmed to clean in there. No real cutlery on display, though I did notice a few ornate drinking vessels on the shelves.

    The living area isn't much better. There's an ultra-high definition holographic system which sounds like he might have a television habit, but knowing him he probably just uses it for 3D design work. No soft furnishings at all that I've seen so far, though there are a few stuffed animal trophies. 'Animal' in the broader biological sense. No pictures, though. Friends, family and his god the Anti-Monitor are all equally absent. I don’t know enough about q'ardajin culture to know if that's normal or a sign of a death spiral.

    I walk out onto the veranda and look around. The ground where Ragnar and Duran fought their last battle is still broken up. There's no rain down here to disturb it and I doubt that Kalmin bothered with gardening robots. Duran's… Body isn't there, so presumably the other Thunderers removed it at some point. Kalmin implied that dying like that wasn't shameful, so… Inasmuch as I care, I hope his remains were respectfully interred-.

    Those are bone fragments.

    I deploy my armour's x-ionised blades and walk towards them. They're too broken up for any sort of detailed analysis, and the movement of the dirt has covered up any tracks.

    "Kalmin, did you have pets?"

    "Pets? No, of course not. Why are you asking?"

    "It looks like something ate Thunderer Duran's body. I never asked about Qwardian wildlife."

    "Oh. Devourers, probably. There's not a great deal of prey around here so they sometimes scavenge."

    I check my surroundings.

    "Can you provide a better description than 'devourer'?"

    "Large aggressive reptilians. A little like an allosaurus, though far stronger. They move in packs."

    "You let them live here?"

    "Of course. We're all the Anti-Monitor's children. And they served to keep me alert. And screen my visitors."

    "Are they stealthy?"

    "Yokal's bones, no. You'll see them coming a mile off in terrain like this."

    I set the armour's systems to notify me the moment they detect anything allosaurus-shaped.

    "Any guidance on who might come at you? Or how they might do it?"

    "I never liked Graxitus, and the feeling was mutual. He'd kill me if he thought he could do it without risking anything. Probably with a long ranged attack of some kind. Or a robot. He worked under High Weaponlord Kiman when he built Gnaxos, though he prefers less intelligent models."

    I've got Jordan's records of his fight with Gnaxos. I'm not sure they give a full accounting of its capacities, given that it was actively trying to lose, but it should give me at least some idea what I might be in for. Giant, construct-proof robot with built-in energy beam projectors.

    He's not wrong about seeing it from a mile off. Qwardians might do surprise attacks, but when they attack they appear to habitually go for the bombastic over the subtle. I add 'giant robot' to the watch list.

    What was..?

    I reorientate myself as a flying vehicle approaches. Light structure, minimal armour and only basic shielding. No integrated weapons that I can see, though I am on Qward so I'm not necessarily going to spot them. The q'ardajin on board have power sources on their persons, but without doing a ring scan I can't tell whether they're in weapons, shield generators or personal organisers.

    "Are you expecting guests yet?"

    "No. Kill the intruders."

    "I'll take your request under advisement. Transmitting image-."

    "I don't understand why you hesitate. Either they are assassins, in which case you're getting a head start on something you'll have to do anyway, or they're looters. Even L.E.G.I.O.N. rules of engagement allow soldiers to shoot looters dead."

    "You don’t want to interrogate them? I have an orange power ring; it would be really easy."

    "Unless any of them look like they have a seat on the Council of Commanders, they don't know anything I care about learning."

    "Okay, how about I just see what they want, and we can use them as messengers-."

    "I don't want messengers; I want corpses." I hear him growl. "I'm going to have to kill them myself, aren't I?"

    "No, you keep working." I walk towards the decelerating vehicles. "You knew you were taking a subordinate position when you accepted a power ring. I'm following your general mission plan, but in this particular-."

    The ground below me erupts and giant green jaws clamp down on me!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  11. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  12. l---erddad---l

    l---erddad---l Wait, google can see this?

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    Ah, the Anti-Green Lantern! We were expecting you!
     
  13. BlueMangoAdea

    BlueMangoAdea Alive. For now.

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    Not necessarily. If it was an anti-green lantern, I would expect the text to be colored.
     
  14. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    Yes, the devourers aren't very stealthy at all.
     
  15. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Oh oh. Paul trying to assert dominance over Kalmin?

    That is bound to go off without a hitch! :D

    Also, Kalmin is surpsingly chatty
     
  16. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Gods damnit Paul, just kill them already. They're anti-matter people, they don't count.
     
  17. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker, Rookie Proofreader

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    Given that Kalmin hasn't been home since your and Guy's visit, OL, I doubt he'd have any way to fix it... His Roomba-equivalent is probably not built for structural maintenance...

    So, anything that doesn't involve weapons research or killing things. Ah, the single-mindedness of the master Weaponer.

    Yeah, that's how you get bad stuff like Paperclip Maximisers or Grey Goo outbreaks. And given the quirks of AI in the DC universe, it might well have become sapient and independent enough to claim squatter's rights on the workshop...

    Not his best work? Or are these the good shit? Is OL actually going to have to serve as a weapons-caddy, or will you use your ring?

    Right, that answers that question. So, how bad are these babies on the Megadeath scale?

    Ah, that's one way to stow them. Could be messy if his gauntlets take a critical hit. Positively explosive results.

    Ah, the literally cutthroat nature of Weaponer politics. How much of a fustercluck would it be if all of them turn up at once? :p Would they start fighting over the right to his head?

    Well, we already know he has a low opinion of the Qwardian. But to be thought such a coward that he won't try something? Wow.

    Probably expecting Varnathon to delegate it to a lesser Weaponer. He sounds the type.

    Probably not a lot of his enemies' skulls, though. :p Too many holes to make a good cup. Bet he just eats with his fingers, though. Why waste time away from the workshop sitting down to eat?

    Well, if it was, at least you pulled him out of it, for good or ill. Presumably the trophies are particularly memorable kills. Like his first blade-work. Or his first hunting rifle.

    I'd be impressed if any wildlife could survive getting that close to Kalmin's workshop, if his defences are as great as he's claimed them to be.

    Doesn't really strike me as the type. If he did, I'd expect them to be highly predatory.

    ...Because of course Qward has local lifeforms named things like 'Devourer'... Let me guess, they're deceptively small and fluffy, just for the extra irony?

    ...:confused: Yeah, okay, that fits the name 'Devourer' a lot better. A scary thought, especially if they're smart too.

    Get past the local fauna, you're clearly strong enough not to waste Kalmin's time, eh? Did he spend rest periods sitting on a balcony picking them off with a railgun? :D

    Unless they have cloaking abilities Kalmin doesn't care to mention, because he'd know to look for it.

    A full list of his enemies might take a while. How about just the top three?

    Though I suspect if Graxitus cared to repeat the concept, he'll have programmed it to be less introspective and more aggressive, I bet. No turning good for the next model, nosirree!

    How about just tracking for everything? While I doubt they'd be so crass as to launch a long-range missile strike, you never know how low one following Varnathos might stoop.

    Damn stealth mission rules. Can't discreetly use any of your good abilities, no... :rolleyes: That'd be an automatic mission fail. I hate missions that the Devs basically enforce only one way of finishing...

    Hey, for all you know it's the local Moebius' Witnesses, coming to see if old mister Kalmin would like to donate to an extinction fund. :V

    Honestly, OL, why are you dragging your feet on this? They're Qwardians... It's highly unlikely any of them would qualify as anything better than Neutral.

    Careful, OL. That's a good way to tank your reputation score with Kalmin.

    Later:
    "Dammit Kalmin you did not tell me Devourers could dig!"
    "You never asked."

    To be honest, unless his armour is very bad or they have very strong jaws, I doubt it'll be more than an inconvenience here. The real question is do these jaws belong to something linked to the incoming party of Qwardians, or is it just a really badly timed random encounter?
     
  18. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    It's probably built to devour living things and shred them.

    I'm leaning towards ill.

    All the while stretching and smoking a cigar.
     
  19. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Why not both? A Qwardian Magnificent Bastard is hardly off the table after all, and they could have just released some particularly nasty things in Kalmin's house in the off chance it would do something should he ever return.

    Though it is more appealing to just blame RNG for this, or The Devs for Paul's Explosion Attraction skill.
     
  20. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    This is the third time in the past couple months he has gotten jumped by something underground...

    You would really think he would have learned by now to actually scan there...
     
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  21. w34v3r

    w34v3r Versed in the lewd.

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    Or at least have spiked boots.
     
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  22. CTrees

    CTrees Chasing the ring

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    Or keep his kinetic barrier on by default. Or just hover more - there was no reason for him to be on the ground, here.
     
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  23. BartlettMagic

    BartlettMagic just GIVE me... the f'n UPDATES

    Joined:
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    or... don't matter
     
  24. TodaBruh

    TodaBruh Fiction is life's spice <( ̄︶ ̄)↗

    Joined:
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    Hahaa, very funny. You could feel the ... Ahem weight of my sarcasm./s
     
    ChestBurster and AngelicKnight. like this.
  25. l---erddad---l

    l---erddad---l Wait, google can see this?

    Joined:
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    Guys, guys, don't be... dense about it.
     
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  26. Doccer

    Doccer Know what you're doing yet?

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    Didn't expect the jaws but I did see that attack coming!
     
    ChestBurster likes this.
  27. Coda

    Coda I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Of course you did. It was the last line of a With This Ring update.
     
  28. Tzeentch

    Tzeentch Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
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    Magneto, at his worst, goes on about the racial supremacy of mutants, of them rising ascendant and the subjugation, if not death, of "inferior" humanity. When he's like that, comparing him to the Red Skull seems pretty apt, regardless of any outrage towards such a comparison.
     
  29. Maxx Crowley

    Maxx Crowley I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Joined:
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    He's doing that min/max thing again. They might be useful after all. They might want an alliance, they might be doing a hundred other might be things that interest OL.

    For a guy who just died, again, you'd think OL would be a bit more cautious in just letting people take shots at him.
     
  30. BlueMangoAdea

    BlueMangoAdea Alive. For now.

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
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    To be fair, he keeps coming back. I suspect he is learning the wrong lessons.
     
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