The Agency

Day 1 - Dreams and museums
day1

Woke up from a strange dream that faded even as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. Finding out I was late meant I could take a shower. Whatever it was it must have been a nightmare, I was in a cold sweat. Shower-

Cleaned up and ready to go, apparently there was a trip to the museum scheduled today. Having everyone’s eyes on me made me shrink back (tried to hide in the back), got chewed out by the teacher as well.

On the way there I caught flashes of the nightmare, mirrors, glass, and a terrible wracking pain in my arm, with hazes of black and red lightning coloring everything.

I grip my arm once before we stop to disembark.


Museum is interesting, it certainly seems to clash with the normal life as we know it. The fantastical besides the mundane. I was browsing around when I see it suspended, enshrined in lights. A hoverboard! in the gift shop.

A short talk with the shop keeper who’s still giving me the evil eye later and I find out it’s a prototype. Discretely checking out the defense systems shows it’s going to be hard to get away with this thing. My wallet is out too. With any luck this plan will work if I can get enough courage together to try to pull it off. As a minor there probably won’t be much that happens if I fail and get caught.


Fuck! WTH is going on? Shit’s happening, people, magic, goddamn. Gonna curl up and make a run for it. Thank god I got my hands on the board. Although now my arm- nevermind. I can’t even look at it. Maybe it’ll go away if I’m lucky. Fucking guy with a shotgun shot a kid.


Some guy just ran off through a door. I’m gonna piss my pants but if I stay here I’m sure I’ll die. That explosion before leveled the hall. Any closer and I’d be wiped out with the rest of the class. Have to make a run for it. Hope the board helps. OHS-


Pain-flickering out of consciousness, there’s some kind of force, something alive that seems to be growing, sapping at my strength- when my vision clears for a moment I think I see silver fishes and yellow fishing rods swirling around-


being carried somewhere- where are they taking m-


Shit. I listen to the shop keeper who turns out to be an agent whatever that means, and how we’re going to join, and train. He mentions other shit, but that office job sounds like it’d be nice. Away from the front lines, a nice cushy job where I’ll be safe. This might not be so bad. Not like I’m planning anything or doing much with my life as it is. Might as well try it and see how it goes.

I also notice the guy next to me. Seems familiar somehow – but there’s a discordant feeling when I get close to him. Don’t trust him, he was popular I think at school, and a jerk ass. With luck this is the last time I’ll be seeing him…


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Training - Grad Test

3 long years. I’ve learned a lot, seen a lot more than I bargained for back then. Sometimes I still get kinda ticked with how they could trick impressionable 14 years old like me and my training partner into this trainee thing.

And honestly I’ve only become more scared now that I know a fraction of the ways I could have died back then 3 long years ago.

As it is I’ve focused on stealth and agility, intelligence and reconnaissance. I’ve come close to death once already, and I’m going to do my best never to get that close again. The training and skills I’ve gained should help a bit.


3 years and inevitably I got to know my partner who I’ve trained with nearly every day for 3 years. Which makes it hard to figure out how to address him. Fagballs Shepard or fags. Christ sometimes I think I blank out in conversations because my mind refuses to believe that’s his real name. I mean he is a compulsive liar, even if he is charming at times. He’d have to be with a name like that.

Christ…


Today is our final training test.

We’re getting sent out on our own to a verse to deal with players. HQ hasn’t offered any info or help. It’s sink or swim now. And it all comes down to whether these 3 years of training was enough. I’ve snuck around the comps a bit and I’ve seen some of the shit that’s gone down in other verses, and other players. Shit is fucked up and goddamn scary. Time to test out my invisibility skills. fags can do the heavy lifting until we figure out -what_-_who the hell we’re up against.


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Grad Test - The sleepy town - and shadow ravens

We met some of the local color and boy is it fucked up. I’m slightly creeped out by the guy with the camera we met. Although the agency patch that lets us understand and speak languages interests me a great deal. I wonder where all this extra info is being stored, are they tampering directly with our brains? What kind of system did they give us and when did they find time to do it to us?

I don’t recall having a procedure during the 3 years, chances are it might have been something passed as a health check up or under something equally mundane.

Regardless I’ve decided to let Fags do most of the talking, opting for a more secure and covert investigation. A quick scout of the town/settlement reveals limited structures and hints at a relatively tiny population. No idea how they’re sustaining themselves although basic agriculture looks to be likely.

Strangely there doesn’t seem to be any hints of need or desperation, the buildings themselves are solid, one in particular is lavish, while the school is modern and well built.

The children seem healthy (maybe too much so) with several characters distinguished by their bright hair colors.

I plan to investigate further.


I was hurt and so I figured eating something might help. I took a lunchbox from the cafeteria but felt some guilt over it. Also there’s some kind of detective with unusually keen senses. His name is something ridiculous I think, but as long as I was staying under his radar I don’t care. With luck he’ll be too busy investigating Fags to notice the shadow slinking around.

Just the way I want it.

Overall though there isn’t any indication of what might be wrong or why we were sent here. Players from limited intel are destructive and loud. They enjoy power and the chance to demonstrate or mess with the structure of the worlds they visit. Whoever it is that’s screwing with this place is being low-key about it. Which points to intelligence and a certain level of cunning. That scares me too.


I followed one of the younger children, to see if I could enter one of the buildings to investigate further, possibly acquiring some kind of defensive weapon. Instead I’m confronted with a temple and some kind of psychic monster child who’s controlling time and space. I’d be less inclined to believe it if she didn’t see through my invisibility and… well it’s silly to say it but her Rika‘s eyes… they’re not normal. They’re old far too old whatever this kid has seen it makes me want to leave right away.

Then she mentioned she’s been killed, many times, but somehow this time it’s different. I’m not sure what she means anymore but whatever she’s talking about it’s scaring me shitless. If it weren’t for the fact that I need more info I’d have hightailed it out of here right away.

I wanted to offer her my protection, but honestly I’m terrified of whatever it is that could kill her much less protecting her from it. I’ll try to help, maybe Fags will have some idea of what to do.


We should leave. We should leave now. A frikken mutant shadow raven? WTF is that supposed to be? 3 years of training really has made a difference. Back then I would have ran away, but given how it could fly and it’s massive size I figured I’d better take it down while I had back-up. It worked this time, but there’s no guarantee we’ll always be this lucky. Lucky thing Fags had his Prog Knife. At any rate whatever’s going on here is something we need to stop or stay the hell away from.


Seem to have gotten stronger after the battle. I can feel a definite strength coalescing inside me. My body feels warmer. Also my wounds seem to be healing a little faster than before. What little energy I have seems to be replenishing at any rate. Curious.


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Grad Test - Lulls and Blood

Recovering after the battle. Somehow nobody noticed despite the sheer magnitude of the beast. Something is really wrong here.

Whatever it was, it dissolved into sticky black shadow substances when we cut/killed it. So much for getting samples to find out what it was supposed to be.

I return the Prog Knife to Fags. Going to look around some more and see if I can find out just what the hell is going on here. The Sonazaki Family seems to be the head house here. They certainly have the largest home. Also if I remember correctly they were the ones who offered to let Fags stay at their place. Very suspicious. I think I’ll stay under camouflage for this little outing.


I’m almost afraid of how well this was going. For a moment I thought I’d be caught but I overhead a conversation between the family matriarch and her family, something about festivals and outsiders – ominous.

Then there was a cellar and a cave. Seeing as it was getting dark I figured it’d be more dangerous with a cave, somehow I don’t have any light. Cellar is mostly empty except for a goosebump raising torture, blood and restraints. I almost bolt but there’s something on the desk.

I’m wary of holding it in case of traps so I load it onto the hoverboard. The case seems to belong to the umbrella corporation. Either someone was caught with this and tortured, or they were tortured because of the case, or something I haven’t thought of yet. Either way it doesn’t look like I should stick around. Once I exit the place I pack up and plan to regroup with my teammate.


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Grad Test - Delicious Guns and the death of a child

I’m leisurely cruising around on my board when I get a text message, it’s like a voice only i can hear, or the impression of text in my mind. I’m not sure, damnest thing is that I can clearly tell I didn’t think of it. It just pops into my mind fully formed.

Goddamn agency messing with my mind. Then gunshots and fags seems to be yelling for my help.

I want to run but I’m more afraid of being stuck here dealing this mess myself. I shiver and brace myself for going through the window.


That was terrible.

I know that’s what everyone says about getting shot, but a goddamn revolver round to the torso, bleeding out into a classroom, while my “partner” decides to play arts and craft with my blood is definitely not the way I wanted this to go down. On top of that we had to take out the detective. + we got a revolver. – we got a body to deal with that could wake up on us at any moment. Hurts just breathing now, although that quick healing – possibly some kind of early stage of regeneration is kicking in.

I nearly crapped myself seeing the wound, and I definitely blacked out for a second seeing all my blood.


Nobody saw that… it never happened. Anyway I headed off to the river to wash off my own blood. (yay) I come back to find fags toting around a dead girl and smelling like piss. I decide to ignore the guy who got me shot and played around with my blood so I can search the Detective’s car.

I find various shit, but it’s the files in his trunk that interest me. The report on quick inspection hints at some kind of relationship between the town, Umbrella Corp, and a player as a go between facilitating experiments in the town. This might have something to do with the freak monster we fought earlier, and I suspect the odd behavior of the blond hair girl in the phone booth.

As of now I want to get out of this town and regroup elsewhere. Fags will probably want to do something but I’m going to suggest we interrogate the detective somewhere far away. While the Sonazaki household has a interrogation chamber, I’d rather not get stuck there. We have car and fuel so let’s see if we can drive off while we get our shit together.

Also a visit by another psycho-child Rena a redhead just proves we should ditch this place. She’s sporting some changes as well, and she can see me. I thought this invisibility shit was supposed to work? So why is it every goddamn girl and their dog can notice me?

Frack…


Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. It looked like we’d break through and for a moment we’d get through the cordon. Now it feels like my bones are trying to travel through my skin. I’m in a tree I think, and I can’t make out what happened to Fags. All I know is there are a ton of cops, and they’re well armed. With luck they’ll put us together and we’ll keep our shit…

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Grad Test - Slime and Communications Break Down

We were captured and stuck in an interrogation room at the police building I tried to run into like a fool.

We lost the case but somehow managed to get away with keeping all our gear. I look around and notice a one way mirror which means we could be being observed. It should be relatively easy to escape but I don’t look forward to fighting the SWAT team or a whole police squadron. Also if the Detective was working with the police they might have more intel besides what we found in the folder about Umbrella and the town of Hinamizawa.

Either way I’m sure we’ll find out something if we stick around.


The door opens and our interrogator pulls up a chair. He questions us about the case, the player, umbrella corp, and whatever else he can think of. The idea of getting shot is unappealing and I quickly bend telling him what he wants to know. That and Fags is in a bad state. I’ve mostly recovered but unless we get him some kind of medical aid things could look dicey, especially if we do have to end up fighting our way out of here.

He makes note of our treatment of one of his associates, and then leaves upon hearing the connection with the Sonazaki household. That clears him of suspicion but we’re still in a dangerous situation.

We should start looking for our way out. I debate between using Fags as a distraction while I cut a passageway with the knife, when my partner takes the decision out of my hands. Using his super strength he attempts to muscle his way though the door. It doesn’t exactly work and the next moment I’m staring down the barrel of another guy. What is it with everyone shooting at me today?

And hitting… really not appreciating the hitting. Although it makes the twisting feeling in my stomach grow.

The blond chief from earlier has the case and that can only mean she’s in on this, perfect.

I ready up a swirling ball of chakra and air and charge…


She’s down now, apparently only human, so I pick up the case and the gun before moving on to help Fags out of the door. He looks pretty bad now, and with luck we’ll find something to patch him up with here.

I also got a note telling her to deliver the goods to the cave. Which means we should really head over there once we’re able. Willing to bet we’ll find the player there.

She apparently killed everyone else, accurate shot or surprise but the way everyone was taken down means she had help. Help that may or may not come to investigate if she doesn’t radio in or however it is they contact one another. Written note discounts the possibility of phone – possibly the coverage here is too bad, or not secure enough. I certainly don’t recall seeing a communication device on her…

Fags is looking for stuff in the medical cabinet, I take a cursory scan of the bodies and head up to the second floor cautiously.


There’s an armory with a card lock. Searching around doesn’t reveal anything so I take a quick run along the wall to see if there’s a window or other entrance. The roof offers nothing further and a message from Fags has me back in the corridor. He seems to have brute forced his way through the door and now we have partial access to the armory.

My danger senses scream and I turn around to notice some slithering worm shadow creature. The grotesque parody of the woman I killed earlier snaps back together before exploding into a disgusting mass. Fuck.


Fags charges ahead with a jury rigged moltov cocktail he threw together firing his revolver. He looks a lot better so he must have found something in the cabinet.

I should be able to trust him to take care of that thing, I’ll look for some more items in the armory (and give myself an excuse to stay away from that horror). If things do turn bad hopefully something in here will help us out. I use the Prog Knife on the largest locker and find some Kevlar Amour which is too heavy for me so I give it to Fags he should get more use out of it than I do.

I planned to get back to my partner but the continued sound of revolver shots means he should still be okay. Also I feel a bit weak in the knees, I close my eyes to steady my nerves and the image of the woman with the broken neck snapping into place, while black slugs explode out of her mouth comes back in shocking detail.

I snap my eyes open in a panic and curse when I realize I’m too scared to move. I clamber on top of my board and turn invisible, opting to search the rest of the armory instead.

Then I hear my partner shouting through our link to come help now. Something must have went wrong…


As soon as I can gather my courage I zoom back over to be faced with Fags on the ground covered by a mess of the diseased worms with the source crawling behind him. I keep my eyes trained on it too terrified to look away.

I need to both send it back and try to clear out the worms on my partner. The Kevlar armour I gave him seems to be keeping them from getting at him too much but either way he doesn’t have much time. I palm an incendiary grenade and throw it in a soft arc aiming for the monster behind him, with any luck and him being on the floor the blast shouldn’t do much more than singe the worms on top of him.

Behind there’s a terrible screeching cry as another monster dies.


The clean up is simple, another quick attack finishes off the monster that’s still on fire. Fags is a little burnt but he should be fine with time. Outside it’s started to rain. Just as I was about to leave (the flaming monster set part of the wall on fire) one of the children we saw earlier showed up.

Mion a girl with green hair and an air soft gun. She makes a run for Fags who shows off his street fighting skills with a perfect reversal. I try to incapacitate her and she picks up on the noise despite my invisibility. I dodge and before anything else can happen Fagskneecaps her with a bat. His super strength means her legs blow out and she shouts more insults and promises.

In the midst of it I catch that Fags is infected (which means I’ll have to watch my back around him now) and they want him as the sample. I still have the case which they don’t seem to know about (my existance at any rate, although they can tell someone else is there).

I try to put her out of her misery, she won’t be of much help we already know to go to the cave, and she’s bleeding profusely from her legs. Better a little mercy and be spared her crying and screaming. She seems remarkably pain resistant though, and I silently aim for the back of her head. Somehow her incredible senses notice even this and my shot goes wide hitting her in the stomach instead. Great.


I leave the building, the girl will be reduced to ash and the fire will conveniently obscure our tracks. I look for a car to get back to the town, only to find Fags has decided to bring her along with us, presumably for more information.

It’s damp and cramped, and the smell of blood and piss is prominent in the enclosed space of the car. I try to drive so we can leave, leery of being this close to someone capable of such brutality. What I see next only unnerves me more as he proceeds to threaten her verbally and with a lighter. Seeing it though gives me an idea.

I didn’t take time to think about it before, but I realize that if we do have her it might be useful to have a bargaining chip. I don’t know how important she is to the Sonozakis, but as a heir or descendant she could be useful alive. I take the zippo lighter I found and try to seal her gun shot wound, the broken legs beyond my abilities.

Fags seems to stiffen at this and I can’t tell why, he was the one just holding the flame up to her ear. I can still smell the burnt skin. It makes my stomach crawl and I repress the urge to throw up in the car.

He seems to be motioning me to go outside. I step outside to see what my axe crazy partner wants.


Sonofabitch sucker punched me. The only real surprise was that I didn’t manage to dodge it. I’ll chalk it up to underestimating him.

Through the haze of pain, and the sensation that my guts are trying to escape out my throat I feel the rain soak my clothes. I think I peed myself.

I hear a threat, fucker has the gall to tell me I didn’t back him up, and that I’ll suffer more of the same if I let him down again. My resolve tightens as I get up and I sprint off for the river. Fuck him and fuck this. I’ll go investigate the cave myself and finish this mission. He can find someone else who puts up with his bullshit.


It’s nearly dawn and I go to the landfill looking for a place to crash, I can’t trust anything in that town, as it is the landfill is already plenty dangerous. I’m too tired to care though and I crash in half a car hoping I’ll have more of a plan when I wake.

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Grad Test - Fire and The Final Frontier

I wake up slightly disoriented, but thankfully, in a place of my own volition this time. The rest is doing me good after running around for a whole day. I take a few more minutes to check the time and take stock of my surroundings.

Before I curled up for the night, I remember seeing some black bags, and a fridge. I carefully decide to investigate the fridge. Wary of what I could find (I have a few ideas, what with all the black plastic bags littering the landfill) I open up the sealed fridge and find another black plastic bag. It might just be my imagination… (or the fact that this is a landfill) but is there a putrid smell?

I open up the bag and bite down hard, focusing on the pain so as not to fall back or scream. In front of me lies the mangled body of Mion Sonozaki. The implications are frightening enough. It’s the same girl, the blown kneecaps are a dead give away. That means they found her, possibly killing Fags in the meantime, or recovered her and still had time to dispose her. Which means, whoever she and the blonde were affiliated with is still keeping tabs. There is a huge possibility that they’ve followed me, or are actively tracking me now. Hopefully the rain helped cover my tracks. The only problem with that hypothesis is that they would likely have found me by now, invisibility or not.

Or… an uncontrollable shiver.. they let me off because it doesn’t matter.

Either way our target, the player is one step ahead of us. I have to assume that for now, which means a sneak attack might be impossible.

Crap.


I stand there desperately trying to think of a plan. If I do end up fighting him… it’s likely I’ll be outgunned and outmaneuvered. I need-

An errant thought breaks through my ruminations. My partner butts in and I’m forced to listen via our telepathic (or whatever it is) connection.

It’s amazing, but I can feel the awkward silence even more than if he were here in person. (Some kind of emotional feedback from the link? Just what kind of machine did they load us up to?)

I won’t go into what he said but he apologized and I accepted on the condition that he never touch me again.

That settled, we share information and establish a plan. Somehow he’s stumbled on a cave entrance on the far side of the river, I assume the cave entrance in the Sonozaki household is linked up to that. On the off chance that the player, or responsible parties is making a break for it we might as well head off their escape routes. With luck we’ll join up in the cave and take down the player together.

Fags seems less than thrilled about this plan, I gather his infestation is getting worse. We have no choice though, the chance that the player could slip away while we meet up would be disastrous. I’m about to say more, but a scream nearby cuts off my reply and I drop the link heading in the direction of the scream.


It’s Rika. The blue haired girl with the incredible powers. I find a flock of crows pecking at her naked corpse, and I fire with the pistol to scare them off. At this point I’m past being scared of alerting anyone. Chances are if they could kill her, they’ll be able to take me on anyway.

She’s dead, last night while we were in the police station, they must have sacrificed her, like she had told me they would. Only the information that this has happened endless times before makes it better and worse. Worse, that this atrocity could be repeated so many times, no matter what the justification… the good, that she might be able to come back from this eventually…

I leave the body behind after a quick inspection of the temple for the killer, picking up a kitchen knife in the process. Then I contact Fags with the bad news.


He fills me in on bad info on his side as well. He started making headway into the tunnel and apparently ran into Rena who passed right by him. I sense he’s spooked and wary of continuing on by himself. I do what I can to reassure him that I’m on my way, and we establish a check in every 5 minutes so we can keep track of each other. Code word in place, I sign off and head to the cave entrance nearby. As I cross over the Sonozaki household border I am suprised to see Mion, or a twin of her at any rate. Same clothes, hair, everything. It could also be some sort of biological clone/experiment. I’m not putting anything past whoever’s behind all this.

I slip in unnoticed and make my way in the cave, cursing the need for a lighted match. Then again if Fags encounter with Rena is any indication… it won’t matter much if I’m discovered.

I hope.


A talk with the Agency operator was illuminating. We get medical aid as soon as we finish. Also we could have a scan of the area within the next 2 hours. The catch is we’ll get a lower assessment on our review when we get back (the unspoken promise that we get back at all). It’s a weird reminder that this isn’t our world. I can see in some ways the temptation of making a giant fucking mess in the world and just going back “home” with no care to the consequences.

I can also see how people could start getting pretty pissed off about it. Enough to start a war or at least raids.

I’m getting an inkling of why the agency needs to police people. I ask them if the scan can be called in at a later time and with the assurance that the offer stands for the next 2 hours I head into the cave.


It’s actually a surprisingly short tunnel leading up to a wooden padlock door. There doesn’t seem to be any traps so I open it and find a small enclosed space with a well. Scenarios of people drowned or left to die at a dry well spring up, and I push them back with effort.

A quick inspection reveals merely darkness and a short moaning whisper that’s frankly undecipherable. I drop the match I’m holding while lightning another one to see whether I can get down.

The match falls down a good forty feet or so and the floor is apparent, but so is the fact that the cavern below me is filled to the brim with worms. It’s a carpet of dark slimy death. Listening closely I hear the detective, he’s repeating his name, or something being delicious. I can’t tell. I wrestle over whether to try saving him, but I conclude chances are high he’s been infected or driven insane. I decide to put him out of his misery.

I take out the oil tank and pour it straight down into the well. Fire seems to be very effective and I quickly send another match down. There is the hissing of bodily fluids evaporating, screams, and the wretched smell of cooked meat. I offer a silent apology to the detective, and take another look down.

The worms are burning nicely, the whole floor awash in red flames. Now how to get down? I contemplate running along the well walls and the ceiling with my ninja skills. Then I mentally smack myself. All that effort when I have a hoverboard.

It’s tight, but soon I’m gently descending, sweating a little and doing my best not to inhale the smoke.

I really need a way of throwing my rasengan. I could probably burn out this whole cavern with a well placed blast of compressed air.


It takes a bit before the flames die down enough for me to inspect the room. The mass of worms have congealed in the tunnel exit. I take a moment to look at the detective I failed to save.

He’s an indistinguishable mass of ash and burnt meat and bones. My stomach rolls at the sight and smell, and I decide to exit as quickly as possible. Another transmission to my partner assures me that this tunnel leads to the open cavern he’s described. I charge up another blast of air hoping to clear the tunnel of all the burning worms.


The worms appear to be down for the count and I hover over to my teammate who seems to be holding up well enough. I look around for hints to the player or whoever the blonde was meeting.

And then…

Slow clapping reaches my ears.

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Grad Test - Subspace and Lies

I look around and almost swear. It’s the kid. The boy we met from the beginning. K1 and it all clicks into a place. Some goddamn perverted nerd went and made himself the center of a harem…

black leather collar

If we had taken him out then…

No time for hindsight anger. He talks about resets and 3 days and some kind of purge. As he describes the games he’s played and the horror he’s wrought I feel the growing urge to cap him. Or at least have him enjoy some quality time with my partner.

As he goes on though I begin to realize we’re on a deadline. There’s a goddamn air raid going off in a few more hours today. I duno what happens if we die but I’m guessing we stay dead. Not going to take chances with the Agency monitoring us and pulling our asses out of the fire at the last minute.

Just as our dialogue comes to an end and we begin to make a concentrated effort to paste his slimy ass to the wall he sics the slime monster on us.

Unfortunately it looks like the fire didn’t quite kill it and it’s reshaped and morphed into another perversion of life and death.

I look over to Fags who nods at me and we charge.


What follows is chaotic but manageable for the most part. Fags does alot of heavy lifting and some weird shit with his arm occurs. I think he looks alot better now. So apparently his arm has healing properties of some kind.

I get clipped at one point and now my boards looking a little sparky just like his Prog Knife. I can only hope we get our gear fixed somehow at some point. Fags gets in the killing blow and I exhale slowly feeling my body knitting itself back together. He looks a little bruised and battered but we both know we can’t take a break.

Our target is getting away.


The other tunnel leads into a garish love pad room. It’s stuffed with toys and plush dolls. We follow the tunnel until we get to the exit which leads back to the outskirts of the town. There should only be one place for them to go. I head to the temple with a heavy heart. Neither of us is in perfect shape, and although we held back some reserves we’re still a good meal and a night of rest away from fresh.

As we continue on we start hearing the drone of planes and sirens go off. It’s spooky and unsettling. I go to open the sliding doors only to find myself facing a girl. It’s Rena in a gas mask.

Actually, I don’t notice her first…the cleaver has all of my attention. She tells us she has to stop us for now, and that the time isn’t right. If we want to get past her we’ll have to defeat her…the cleaver is huge

I trade an increasingly familiar glance with my partner. It amounts to a nod and head jerk in her direction without being so overt. Or maybe I thought it to him…this mental connection can be useful I admit.

I go to steal the gas mask, partly out of selfish desire to protect myself, partly to open her up to a new weakness. Maybe she’ll trip up trying to get it back. I get piledrived and it’s like my stomach is up where my tongue should be. It was like getting hit by a car. I roll over weakly and take the mental gloves off. Any reserves will only be useful if we make it through this fight.

Fags rolls up his (metaphorical) sleeves and lays down the hurt. At one point he even disarms her and I get the mask. Even then she hits like she’s been modded. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out she’s had some umbrella corp serum injected into her.

The air sirens go off again as I leap at her.


Things are worse and I found that hard to believe after the fight with a girl we should have been able to snap in half in a few minutes. Fags pulls off some spectacular magic shit that I can’t even begin to describe. A phoenix came out and the fire that blasted her back revitalized us. I can’t even begin to say how much we needed that.

Now though apparently shit is getting real…

The villagers who are still alive are mindless zombies just outside the temple doors. We both head in and are faced with a whole other world. It’s a goddamn crystal palace right here in the temple. Stuff is hard, getting hit into it will do more than bruise. Keichii our target, the player is here as well. Rika a clone or reanimated corpse of her is on a throne dully gazing at us. Somehow or other he’s controlling her, augmenting his manipulation of this world.

We trade quips and he drops the avatar. It’s a fat guy, drunk with power and in this moment he’s even more hideous than the monsters we’ve faced. Then he pulls out two lightsabers and I feel a cold sweat break out.


Fags…

Fags…is awesome. I may not like the guy but you have to give him points for style. I mean on top of acquiring the cleaver and using it for his own, just..spock and yoda? That was cold.

I play the away game not quite eager to be skewered by lasers. The fight drags on and we seem to be wearing him down. I figure now is as good a time as any and initiate the concentration of power I’ve felt tearing and boiling for awhile now. My arm morphs and turns into a monstrous blade. I cut the guy and the floor and for a moment my mind blanks out feeding on the raw power and destruction. Then it fades and I’m panting and famished. He’s lost his glow sticks but apparently he’s still got something up his sleeve. I have no intention of find out what.

This guy needs to go down now.

I feel behind me another blast of phoenix fire and hope it’s enough.


I get brought back and the sun is shining and I’m still alive. Which is a win in my book.

Apparently he summoned… the star trek ship. I remember it briefly, panicking trying to get on the hover board to ride out the oncoming shockwave. I must have failed and it’s a shame because I would have loved to see what happened next. Fags tells me he cut the goddamn ship in two (which must have gone over well with the player), before going over to carve the target a new one.

After that the world was reset and here we are again.

We say goodbye to the kids with Fags pulling off another amazing verbal feat. That or kids are dumber after they get reborn…

Either way I pass the files and gas mask to Rika. Maybe it’ll be enough of a hint for her to survive the next cycle of this messed up world. Maybe not… Either way there’s a limit to how much we should interfere. I’m glad she forgot that creep but I hope she makes it out okay. Nobody deserves to die and be brought back forever…

Without looking back we leave the town into the portal and back to the Agency.


We’re not the most impressive figures but we’re promised a debrief and already with barely any ceremony we’re graduates, and en route to another world.

The sense though of exploration and the chance to see new stuff is exciting. We both agree and we’re dismissed to get cleaned up.

Reploids…where have I heard that word before?

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Domo Arigatou Mr. Roboto

No rest for the wicked.

Joseph the blonde with the shotgun shows us off, and carts us off to our operator. A pragmatic British man who bears a remarkable resemblance to one Alfred Pennyworth. Even has the same name. I decide to take it as a good sign.

Then we get to the computer hub and the feeling we’re going to get sued compounds. It’s the Batcave. Well more or less. If it were the real deal we’d have Batman up in our grill demanding how we got in.

As it is “Alfred” explains our next mission, another player hunt, and alludes to a larger invasion force going on that would be more of our concern if we were at a level to deal with it. As it is we’re going to be doing more “grunt” work from the sounds of it.

The armory which I think both me and Shepard were looking to tour is unavailable. Too busy servicing “real” agents unlike raw recruits like us. So it looks like we’re on our own for gear, whatever we scavenge in the next world will have to do. Still from brief notes it’s a technologically superior world which means we’ve got a good chance of getting something decent (anything being better than the simple clothes on our back).

With luck we’ll also get a chance to repair my board and Shepard’s prog knife.

Alfred continues our briefing telling us our mission parameters have expanded to erasing traces of foreign contamination, i.e. get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit or belong. Seems easy enough, but unless there’s some kind of memory wiper in our kit that I don’t know about…could make this harder than they think.

Either way it’s good to know we can contact Alfred when we need to, and with that we set off into the transport circle.


We land in a darkened alleyway terminator style. I assume that from the fire and echoes of thunder, plus the scorched ozone smell is a tip off.

We were a little hurt which Alfred chalks up as a minor kerfluffle with the transport tubes. My regeneration kicks in, and as it does I feel several other powers flare up. Somehow I can feel my soul resonating, growing…stronger, no brighter? I feel rudimentary knowledge of elemental magic fill my head. It’s an incredible rush and I can feel my energy reserves expand. I also suspect I got a mind boost because I’m seeing connections with random items more now. How to string things together and create stuff I shouldn’t be able to. With luck maybe that’ll mean more versatility dealing with the world. I take a moment longer than my partner as I deal with all the implications.

Something is seriously weird, there’s no reason why I should be able to cast magic, but I know I can right now if I wanted to. We should both get checked out when we clear this place. We’re… evolving or something, and it might be best to know why…or what we’ll become if we continue on…


As Shepard scopes out the ground, I make my way up the side of the building to get the lay of the land. I’m straining despite the city lights when night vision kicks in. Good old Alfred. Under the green filter I notice someone on the opposite building across from me. I recognize the blue armor and figure a greeting wouldn’t be out of place.

It’s a prodigious leap but I clear it landing with a barely audible sound still cloaked in shadows. It’s enough for the mechanoid though. Advanced sensors notice my presence, and I flicker back into the visible spectrum. It seems to have spooked him to have a “human” manage to sneak up on him.

He trains a buster cannon on me and I quickly put up a surrender position, followed by a hasty if rather vague explanation for why I’m here. I ask who he is and learn he goes by “X”.


Negotiations go fairly smoothly. I learn in addition that he’s a bounty hunter or reploid hunter of some kind. I gather he’s similar to law enforcement, responsible for catching rogue robots. There’s also a guild system in place which indicates it might also be along the lines of a government/mercenary group. Whichever it is X has agreed to give me and my partner a hand if we’re willing to scratch his back (so to speak).

I also hear about a “Zero” with a sword that sounds like bad news if we cross him.

I contact my partner with the good news and get info on a possible target in a store. I’m about to get him to my location so we can head on out when a flaming car screams into view.


We’re in this world for less than 15 minutes and already we’re fighting a mechanical monster. Well a spider at any rate. A spider that shoots lasers. Who makes this crap? X leaps into action – looks like he wants his paycheck. I stall on the roof taking stock. Shepard does a good job of staying inconspicuous, which is a good idea when it’s revealed the thing has a force field shield.

X seems surprised at this and I gather there’s not many shields that his shots can’t pierce. The spider meanwhile is letting loose in the city and while there are no panicking crowds it’s still getting out of hand.

I reach down and concentrate my new found knowledge to form a blizzard spell. Maybe this will immobilize it force field and all. It speeds with unerring accuracy and nails the spider in one of its legs. Good the force field either doesn’t respond to magic or ice.

This get’s X’s attention. Shepard takes this as his cue to join in and pummels the thing in it’s eye.

It shoots more lasers and I see X touch the ice causing his arm to shine for a brief moment before he fights on armed with ice attacks of his own.

I drop a silver ball that expands into my trusty board and jump off into the sky.
-———————————————

It’s over now. The fire spell I tried on it didn’t do much but the follow up cold blast from X causes it’s armor to splinter. The gaping hole in it’s chest from Shepard doesn’t help. One more blast of pure magical force causes it to fold up. I panic when red blinking and beeping emits from it’s remains.

Shepard though knows what to do, and bunching his muscles grasps the whole thing, lifting it up with a grunt before tossing it straight between the two buildings. X lets out a blast that’s hard to look at directly and hits dead on propelling the exploding bundle further out and it explodes shattering glass and raining down debris.

I sigh, so much for staying on the down low.


X is unnerved. He picks up on Shepards greater than normal strength right away and he seems equally uneasy with me throwing ice around. It looks like “his way or the high way” (with high way being powered shots from the blaster.)

Shepard doesn’t take too well to being threatened or interrogated which sounds to be our fate if we go along. X sends up a flare which causes a car to arrive. I’m not pleased with the welcome after what we did just now and I point out as much when I get into the car. My partner follows along and we drive off to the guild with a noticeably colder X up front.


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Megamagicman

We’ve been transferred to a train, possibly more direct route to the headquarters. X is watching over us with a powered blaster.

I find it strange that they’d risk us being thrown together with the populace. What I can only assume are robot civilians are watching us with interest. X seems to be some kind of celebrated hero of sorts. I observe the city and notice an industrial sector off to the side as we progress with incredible speed into the heart of the metropolis. A quick scan of the map tells me nothing, it’s digital and I have nothing to read it with.

My partner decides to hold up my end of the conversation prodding and poking as he knows best. During their conversation I do pick up something interesting. Along with getting a license we have the chance of getting partial or full robotic enhancements. I can feel the need for a more durable body and the idea of having converting weapons on hand so to speak makes me giddy.

I take the chance to requester a virus from Alfred – I figure if our operations are meant to eliminate contamination of the two worlds as much as possible then destroying data recordings of us (street cameras) would be for the best. To say nothing of the damage the players may have done in the first place.

Alfred tells me he’ll do what he can and offers a few more useful tidbits regarding my request. I sign off and tune back into the conversation. Another interesting fact – the windows are reinforced with live currents running through it. A new security measure? So a recent surge of attacks on transport? Or is it amping up security for whatever reason? I mentally calculate the chances of us taking him down and figure we have a decent chance if Shepard can throw X into a window. If nothing else I have confidence we could get away and regroup. I signal to Shepard and after another brief mental discussion he decides he wants to go to the guild. Chances are whatever we’re looking for will be there or we’ll have to go there for information anyway. So I nod and we pass into the station without further issue.

Suddenly I hear a voice talking to me and I know without knowing how I know, that the soul inside me is talking to me. The gist of it is disturbing and I fear that using the soul too much could mean it might take over eventually. If it does I fear it would be death to those around me. I talk back to it and it responds with a ominous promise to talk again soon. I do my best to mask my shock but I doubt I did a very good job. X notices but pushes no further.


The guild is a regal affair embodying the futuristic aesthetic we’ve seen in the city. It’s meant to impress and it does. A large building with several branches which I’m eager to explore if we can prove our innocence. The problem of course being to not reveal too much of our origins.

We’re lead to a glass elevator that takes us to the highest level. We’re herded into a pristine white office which becomes a backdrop to the towering figure in it. Green military style and bulky armor signals this as the head honcho by my guess. He’s got the whole general vibe and the way X deferentially treats him is another sign that he isn’t someone we should mess with.

He is cordial and polite humoring my partner with sincerity? We talk a little more and while we do he sends X away to keep the conversation private. That should have been our first warning. But because we both wanted to cooperate to utilize possible resources we kept talking. Somewhere during that time I started to feel tired. It takes a moment to sink in but I can tell that promises to see his “basement” means bad news for both me and my partner.

I signal to him and charge up a spell, with luck the walls haven’t been tested against magic and we can make our way out from here. Sigma seems concerned that we’ve lost our marbles but I can tell this is a trap.

The bolt of condensed magic hits and fizzles out on the ground without so much as a smudge. Shit.

I’m about to toss one at him and figure it’s useless. I do notice too late that his hand is glowing purple. I manage to shout a warning before the dizziness turns to full out darkness and I pass out without seeing what Shepard tries to do.


I wake up to Shepard and Sigma talking. That conversation occurs on top of the screams of three people in cots tied up to strange machines that seem to be pumping them of something. Whatever it is it’s bad news because they scream like someone’s harvesting their insides.

Sigma starts to talk like a movie bad guy explaining his capture and detaining of 3 players over 5 months. He’s been ripping magic and information from them to augment his own powers. That means we need to take out or retrieve the players and eliminate Sigma.

Shepard starts talking as he is apt to and I must admit even after all the fat ones I’ve seen him pull off this is his greatest masterpiece yet. The Salvation Army. The love of Jesus. I can almost feel his charisma increasing.

Which turns out to be a much tougher order than I imagined when he starts sporting glowing elemental balls of every kind. Guy’s got the whole rainbow spinning around him.

He goes on to tell us we should get ready to be batteries for him as well and Shepard tells me to get ready. I nod and as he rushes out I charge up a spell to be aimed at the machine. Praying that knocking out the drain bot will pull the plug on his powers… it fizzles harmlessly, and Sigma mocks us with the idea of setting a battle where we could even hope to inconvenience against him. Then I notice that Shepard while managing to get behind him has been hit by a third tier thunder spell. I swallow and use magic to turn invisible hoping that’ll give me an edge.

It’s dashed when a glint in his eye reveals he’s got a spell/tech for that as well.
Another giant ice spell later and I slip and fall on my ass. I barely manage to scrabble up to unleash another magical volley this time at the patient itself. Put the poor souls out of their misery. Then I get the reaction I’m hoping for. He actually moves to bat the magic away, which means they aren’t protected. Cocky bastard figured they wouldn’t need it.

I think of the virus in my kit and figure anything would be good now. I call out to Shepard to see if he can restrain him long enough for me to pull this off. It’s a tall order but somehow my partner manages to throw him down although the effort costs him quite a bit. Before I can capitalize Sigma gets up again.

Calling upon all my agility I bounce off the ceiling to land on his face. The virus Alfred gave me might be enough to shit Sigma down if he’s still more machine than anything else. The only control port in the room is the one under his jewel covered helmet and (thank god for Alfred the virus is transmitted via touch) I try to jab my fingers through. I’m stopped by the diamond hard material and he laughs some more. What follows is some amazing reflexes keeping me from being swatted like a bug, followed by an aerial dodge when he erects a barrier.

I scream for Shepard to ignore me and go for the players.

I’m in midair which is why I get to watch my shepard go to the center player, rip off his head, and punt it like a soccerball towards the iridescent barrier Sigma has erected. The death of the player pulls forth a pained yell from Sigma. Who is chanting up and charging for something truly fearsome. There’s only one more shot so in midair I call up my reserves and execute a flying kick that sends me across the room towards one of the two players. My leg connects and I feel the satisfying crunch of broken neck right before a thundering voice cries out “SIGMA DIMENSION

Then everything erupts in white…


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