The Edge of Darkness

The Edge of Darkness

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In a world where Machine has overrun Man, a daring plan to infiltrate Machine City is set into motion, in the hopes of preserving what is left of this race. [More Inside]

850 readers have visited The Edge of Darkness since SkyCladSaya06 created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

concept inspired from gia's illustrations: http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=34624

Introduction





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“The apocalypse took us all by storm. Having used to living life above as the best of creation, we were badly unprepared when our own creation decided to overthrow us and force us under. We were forced into a reality of fire with no light.”




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The world wasn’t always dark like this. There was a time when human civilization reached a significant turning point in history, resulting in an expansive, thriving metropolis. We cherished the capital Elysium and from it branched out the Oceanus Line which connected all our cities in one massive railway network. Weapons of war were discarded and forgotten, deeming them useless and obsolete in the face of a unified society.

All this was made possible thanks to the Machine. The Machine allowed us to feel as if we are Gods, holding power over creation. Because of the Machine, we were able to make several leaps forward, slowly paving the future towards a unified and prosperous world. Yes, the Machines were the perfect servants. Serving mankind was their one and only purpose.

All this suddenly changed with the discovery of Ventrisite. First discovered after a light meteor shower passed, it has been observed that this mysterious substance affects the Machine, allowing them a certain degree of free movement that wasn’t originally programmed for them. Seeing the potential this new substance could provide, wide spread application of the Ventrisite in most mechanical and network-based processes sprang up. We called this new machine the Ventrus, named after the substance that gave them new life.

With life comes will however and soon, the Ventrus started acting oddly. They started defying orders. They were no longer content with being man’s servant. They wanted…to be free. It wasn’t a bad thing in itself; many people did echo their sentiments. But over time, the Ventrus started becoming a bit more malignant. They started to show hostility towards us—even after giving them equal rights to co-govern this new society. Then we realized. It wasn’t freedom they were after. It was dominance.



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Having seen their own potential, the Ventrus started thinking that they were the ones fit to rule this world. And Man, having had a taste of God’s power, is not willing to give up that spot. And so followed the conflict which we now remember as the Ventrus Uprising. Creator against Creation. Man against Machine. We first tried blocking out the sun, which provided the solar energy the Ventrus needed to continue functioning. But we only made it worse for ourselves as the Ventrus found alternate sources of energy. Ultimately, the Ventrus won. The Ventrisite made them impervious to our usual means of attack and also allowed them to bind and take over the very technology we used to defend ourselves.

And so mankind was forced out of their cities; the cities they worked so hard to build. Living life in isolated settlements known as Geartowns, everyone just slowly awaited the day the Ventrus eliminates all of us once and for all. Elysium has fallen and will go on to be known as Machine City. We wondered how long it will take for the Ventrus to wipe us all out. But that was not to be. Eventually, we found a way to fight back.

We turned to the knowledge we voluntarily discarded: the knowledge for war. Using this, we rebuilt our weapons. Armed with the knowledge of the Ventrus and how the Ventrisite works, we began forging tools of destruction yet again, knowing that this might lead us to another age of division among ourselves. Yet it was a risk we were willing to take.

A blow to the Ventrus' core is the most efficient as well as the only known way to completely kill it. Through many days of trial and error, it was discovered that steel is the most effective material against the core. Combining steel with energy blades, this development gave birth to the Edge Tech: weapons designed to kill the Ventrus, and the Cyber Edge: enhanced humans designed to wield them.

And thus, starts the rebellion of blades.



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A sudden Ventrus attack on the Geartown Lethe's primary defensive fortress, Charon, has caused massive amounts of damage as well as the loss of its primary generator. In order to avoid a possible security breach, the Cyber Edges of Charon decides to embark on a daring plan to infiltrate Machine City, the Ventrus capital, in the hopes of finding replacement parts for their generator. To get there, they'll have to get to Styx, the nearest Geartown with a functioning train capable of infiltrating the Oceanus Line.

However, with Ventrus swarming all over the place and a mysterious pirate organization hounding their every move, can they accomplish their mission of fixing up their generator in time to prevent a possible Ventrus invasion of Lethe?





Character Skeleton: (You do not have to use this format if you have one of your own. Just make sure that all the necessary information are there.)

Code: Select all
[center][img]Character Name Here. Fontmeme.[/img][/center]
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[left][img]Image Here[/img][/left]
[font=chasm][b]Name ||[/b] Self-explanatory

[b]Age ||[/b] Self-explanatory

[b]Gender ||[/b] Self-explanatory

[b]Occupation ||[/b] The story focuses on the Cyber Edges so, you can put down an alternate occupation here instead if you want. OOC has more details. (e.g. Edge Smith)

[b]Station ||[/b] From what Geartown is the character from. (Lethe, Styx, Phlegeton, Cocytus. Refer to the OOC for the elaborations on each. Phlegeton and Cocytus are currently blank so if anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears :))

[b]Physical Description ||[/b] Describe your character's appearance. Does not have to be long. (1-2 paragraphs is fine)

[b]Theme (optional)||[/b] Self-explanatory. Only if you want to.

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[right][img]Image Here[/img][/right][b]Personality ||[/b] Character's personality. Does not have to be long. (At least 2 paragraphs)

[b]Abilities/Equipment ||[/b] Stuff like your character's weapon and other items. Physical and mental skills go here as well. More info regarding weapons are on the OOC under Edge Tech.
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[center][img]Image Here[/img][/center]
[b]History ||[/b] Describe history. Does not have to be long. (At least 2 paragraphs. No wall of text please.)[/font]

Toggle Rules

Rules:
No god-modding or over-powered characters.

Try to post as much as possible. A lot of interaction between players is highly encouraged.

Literacy please. No text talk.

Any questions? PM me or drop a note in the OOC.

I prefer anime FCs.

Have your own ideas on proceeding with the story? PM me so we can talk about it.

I do not have a limit as to how many players I'll allow. But, please do inform me through the OOC should you wish to join. Password is your favorite medieval weapon.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 4 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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"Everyone, hear me, for there is little time left! Charon has fallen and the Lethe guards have retreated back to their sanctuary. All that remains of us, the Charon Guards, are those that stand beside you. Without our defenses, I fear we may not last long enough to see another sun. But--! I will not stand idly by, doing nothing and just waiting for the darkness to take us. As long as I live and breathe, I'm not giving up on this god-forsaken place!

So I ask you, my fellow warriors! Accompany me to Machine City! It is our only chance of rebuilding what is left of this land we've had to abandon twice! We've all been scurrying at the edge of the Ventrus' shadow for so long...Now, let's take the fight to them! Let's kick this expedition to overdrive!"



Ascelina got up from her troubled sleep with a light groan. She's been dreaming again. Ever since she's arrived at Styx, she's been thinking about what lies ahead, what she was about to get themselves into. The closest encounter with the devil. Closest to hell they're ever going to be. She rubbed her temples. Long distance traveling didn't seem like something she can easily adapt to.

She remembered giving out some long, drawn-out speech about courage. She remembered reciting it as if she's always known it all her life. Now, she barely remembers a damn word she said. Still, it didn't mean that her conviction's been shaken. They're still heading to Machine City, one way or the other. Taking a couple of pills, she got up and got dressed. There was still much to plan.

"You look like a mess you know?" A young man addresses her as she made her way outside the room she was given to use for the night. His brown hair was a little unkempt and his glasses looked like they've seen better days. Then again, so did she. Ascelina chuckled at this.

"So does everyone else spending several nights away from home, heh! So, where were we?" Ascelina asked, feeling a little better as the disorienting effects of sleep started to slowly slip away.

"Well, we'll have to talk to the leader of the Raiders in order to let us on board. With you on the front end on the negotiation table, I don't think it would be too difficult though seeing that we're just tagging along for the ride, both in and out."

"Okay. Long shot but, if you guys think it would pay off, then we're taking it. What about equipment and personnel? Aside from us and the Raiders, who do we got? What would we need?" Ascelina continued to ask, planning ahead for any unexpected circumstances.

"We don't know who the Raiders' taking with them yet. Aside from us though, we've only got one outsider. Anti-personnel, from Lethe. I'm sure you've seen him a couple times. Worked as a runner between the two joints." Rex explained.

"Ah, right. It's that Balthazar guy." Ascelina recalls the name, scratching the back of her head as she does.

"You sure you alright? You've been getting nothing but headaches and short term memory loss since we got here."

"It's just the exhaustion from traveling, nothing serious." Ascelina tries to brush off Rex's concerns. "So what you're saying is we're all a bunch of meatheads who only know how to fight?"

"Yep. We're not infiltrating Machine city on guts and willpower alone. We'll need people with brains and expertise. We'll also need a smith who can take care of our gear. Most importantly, we'll need someone to drive that bucket of bolts and operate them old machines." Rex tries to list down the kind of personnel they'll be needing.

"That's quite a tall order. Do we have anybody we know? Anybody in mind?" Ascelina tries to recall any old associates of the Lethe Guard Unit. Well, anybody who still has the balls to do business.

"Our regulars haven't responded to our messages. So I put up a general recruitment notice with the government's permission. Hopefully, anyone else finds the idea as enticing as we do...Just in case we get any volunteers with us, how do you plan on paying them off? We can't just hold them on honor and valor alone. These guys aren't Acheron." Rex asked, a little concerned.

"We've got some assets we "liberated" from the Lethe guards we routed. That should be enough. We don't need to recruit a lot. Just enough to help us get the job done. Besides, its much easier to look after them that way."

"Very well."


Having finished preparations, Ascelina made her way towards the meeting place, where she was supposed to talk to the assigned representative. Most of the Raider's recruits would be coming to meet her as well. For a while, she wondered if the Raiders would help her pay these guys. Nonetheless, she did prepare for the other scenario. She glanced up at the sky; the typical, monotonous gray firmament.

It looked like it was going to rain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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#, as written by Kirsche
The harsh winds and flurries of the mountains had proved to be nothing short of a frozen hell for all those who had attempted to inhabit it. Even during the so called "Golden Age" of humanity only the most brave and foolhardy scientists and researches went up to conduct research in relative peace. Of course after the Ventus Uprising many refugees fled north for a possible, slow death rather than an immediate, probable one. Angela gave a mirthless grin at that as she trudged through the snow; to her every day was still a probable death. She'd been thrown out of the train nearly five days ago with only a survival satchel thrown after her-for someone who was supposed to be so valuable, Angela still had to go through such meaningless pilot survival exercises. Eventually she was greeted at the final checkpoint by several Cyber Edges who merely watched her with something amounting to disdain as she stumbled into the outpost. One of the older Cyber Edges took her into a building and smiled.

"Congratulations you completed this a full day faster than before!" He seemed very ecstatic at this result through Angela was too exhausted to care; after all, if she didn't complete it faster she would have run out of filters and died anyways.

"It would seem so. Does he really want me to die so fast?" Angela asked as a few medical orderlies began checking her for frostbite and other injuries that could put one of the last pilots in medical danger.

"Of course not our dear Angel, but it would be prudent to ensure you are still fit for your next assignment. As you know the experimental pile driver has been...misplaced and who knows if those mysterious pirates would target you." The Cyber Edge laughed as he dug out a device from his bag and held it out for Angela. She glared at his use of a nickname that had unfortunately stuck on, through with some it was meant as a veiled insult. After scrolling through the mission file detailing a salvage and support contract to a group entering Machine City, Angela got up and looked out the window into the blizzard.

" I see I have no choice in the matter if the orders come from him. When do I leave?"

"As soon as you are changed and ready. Chamber has already been loaded onto the train leaving for Styx where you will likely been chosen as the operator for the Raider's train; the Raider's closest operator has disappeared in the Scrapyards."


That had all been a few days ago. The ride had been largely uneventful beside a few skirmishes and encounters with Ventrus scouts who had gotten too close for comfort. Angela went through the satchel bag given to her before she departed; a months worth of filters, the best device Cocythus had to break into Ventrus systems, rations, medicine, and a black box she was told to open only when ordered to. Satisfied that she had everything, she walked out of the room that Styx had supplied her into the gloomy morning. Many of the Styx residents gave her wary at best, and downright hostile looks at worst after word got around she was from Phlegeton. It didn't really bother her since none of them wanted her dead, and as long as Angela played nice with the ones in charge she would survive.

The limited room in the satchel had essentially limited her wardrobe to her pilot suit and goggles, which was attracting more views beyond the hostility Styx held towards Phlegeton-Cocytus. It was also unfortunate that she left her coat in the cockpit of Chamber, but hopefully she would be able to reunite with her machine if the meeting with the leaders of the Raiders and the person who had put out the recruitment notice went well. When she reached the meeting place in question, Angela was ushered in and shoved into the corner of the room to await the arrival of the rest of the interested parties. In her opinion, the whole operation was nothing short of a suicide run, but it was only a probable death as opposed to a guaranteed death for defying orders from the top. With nothing better to do while she waited, Angela opened up the device given to her and began reading through the mission brief again for the hundredth time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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Gaff was in a suprisingly good mood, Wandering trough the empty scrapyards on his way to Styx. Even if he didn't find anything useful in the wastes. His armor was in one of the best conditions ever, He hadn't run into many Ventrus on his latest journeys and thus his wounds had have ample time to heal. It was a long time since he was in such a state, and it glad him.

And that along with this highly interesting recruitment notice had interested him. He finished his ardious journey into the small scrap-hut he called home, Well, Home is an over-exaggeration. It didn't posses much in the way of furniture, Just his simple Edge-smith gear. He packed this gear into the small pockets by his side, flinged his Chaingun upon his shoulder and ventured off towards Styx.

His Good mood continued as he didn't stumble upon any Ventrus in his relatively short treck. The gates to Styx slowly, hesitantly opened for him. It was clear that the many raiders did not feel comfortable with his presence. Gaff was unsure if the raiders recognized him, He did have a few run-ins with raiders and he didn't wish to stay longer here than neccesary. He could already hear the odd whispers about his armor, But not too many Raiders would fancy to rob the huge Chaingun wielding man. Still, The residents seemed more riled than usual, Something is happening, Something interesting...

Upon reaching the supposed meeting site Gaff stayed wary, It could still easily be some kind of trap. Thus he lowered his Chaingun into a steady grip as he entered the room, Still much to his suprise he was lightly welcomed and ushered into the very corner Angela was in. In his suprise he simply leaned down against the wall holding his Chaingun in a steady grip quietly Observing both Angela and the room for any changes. Since he didnt posses much information about the mission, Simply the notice telling that Soldiers and Smiths would be needed, he did instead silently continue his watching with glowing eyes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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The swaying form of a giant machine, the flashes and beams of light fired from Ventrisite cannons, and the sight of Cyber Edges running to and fro for cover, slashing out with energy blades and slaying the very machines that had once aided them. And then--

"Akiyama!"

Hayato's eyes flew open- had he fallen asleep while in the process of meditation? He let out a disgruntled groan to himself- that was hardly an attribute fitting for an Akiyama, and the representative of the Raiders of Styx in the meeting. Shaking his head and standing, he turned to face the figure standing at the doorway. "There's no need for formalities, Akito- you know you're an Akiyama too." "There's a difference between our positions right now, brother. You're the Cyber Edge here and I'm just an instructor." Akito shook his head, then paused. "Though if you insist, then I'll have no choice." "Just because I'm the Cyber Edge doesn't mean you're any less of a person- and an Akiyama heir- than I."

Despite his falling asleep from earlier, Hayato trudged on alongside Akito at their own pace. "If we hadn't discovered Ventrisite, do you think this would have happened?" "I guess so." Hayato watched his brother think, head lowered and a hand on his chin. "Though their uprising is hardly anything new, at least to us humans." "Indeed- once something gains free will and intelligence, the next thing they automatically want is freedom. The moment they realize that they are slaves to the superior being, the sense of longing for equality and freedom kicks in and then a rebellion starts. Only their being machine gave them the power to dominate humanity." Hayato grumbled a bit, met with a chuckle from Akito.

"But what they wanted wasn't equality with humans, was it, brother?" "Don't be cryptic with me, Akito, and start speaking." His brother blinked, then chuckled, patting him on the shoulder. "Someone's impatient." "I need conversation to steel me for the meeting. You're the only one here that I can talk to." Akito shook his head. "That's...strangely typical of you. But in any case, like humans, after freedom and equality has been given to them, next comes dominance. They want to be superior." "Like the old Akiyama way of selecting heirs?" "Aye- it's a good thing we were born when that wasn't in effect anymore. Otherwise we'd probably be beating each other to death here."

"Only barbarians do that, Akito. If anything we'd have probably destroyed our reputations by spreading rumors about each other. Whoever has the most dangerous rumor spread about the other wins." Hayato stopped just as they reached the building, and Akito halted beside him. "Well, brother, there's your meeting place." The masked Cyber Edge breathed a sigh and shifted on his feet. "I'm a warrior- you've always been my mouthpiece." "Well, I'm not a Raider- you are. You'll have to handle this on your own, brother. Good luck." With that, Akito gave him a small pat on the shoulder and departed, and Hayato pushed open the doors to the meeting place.

The moment that he stepped into the room, murmuring started- it was a strange sight to see the masked Raider appear at this kind of place. Hayato was best known for his prowess and his white armor, not as the Styx diplomat. That had always been Akito's job. Or the elders', he didn't quite remember.

He paused, glancing around at the room. Only a few faces stood out- recruits of Styx, and some Raiders that he had already been with during certain missions.

There were rumors circulating around their walk from earlier about a person that came from Phlegethon, though he could hardly tell who it was among these faces, or even if the said person was here. He glanced briefly at a man in armor in the corner- an old suit of power armor? Strange, especially here in Styx, though the Scrapyards certainly had plenty of relics of the past hidden beneath pieces of scrap.

He paused, then with a slight motion of his head- "Come." Seeing the recruits rising to their feet to proceed into the meeting room itself, he moved and quickly disappeared into the room to meet with the team from Lethe- or was it Acheron? Hayato could hardly care at this point. Ensuring the new recruits were following, he entered.

The representative of Charon- ah, yes, he finally remembered what they were representatives of- was...surprising, to say the least. Under normal circumstances, he'd have expected a giant man with a sturdy sword to be glaring at him from the other side of the meeting area, though right now he was faced with a different figure.

A woman- noticeably younger than him and with light blue hair. He noticed the sword at her side, and paused for a moment before taking another glance around the area. He cleared his throat.

"You are the representatives of Charon, correct? Then, let us begin this meeting."

He breathed in and glanced around.
"I've gotten word that you wish to board our train for our yearly raid on the Machine City, for the parts for Charon's damaged generator. We'll be glad to let you on board- as long as our conditions are met.

First of all, this is still Styx's train and us Raiders are still in charge. Second of all, the split between payment between both parties are 60-40, and lastly- to each their own. Our casualties are ours, and your casualties are yours. Neither of us are obligated to assist each other, should there be- and there will be plenty- Ventrus or pirate attacks."


He straightened up. "Of course, we Raiders are rather simple when it comes to rules. Your group will be allocated their own cabin as a living area and a storage space on the train, and those will be yours to use as you please." With a slight nod of the head, he continued and looked at the Charon representative. "Now, if you've any conditions you wish to discuss or have any questions for us, feel free to speak now."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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A bunch of other people have come in since Ascelina waited around for the Raiders to show up. Probably recruits. She's heard of mission runs to the city back then and even with their expertise and equipment, casualties are inevitable. Deep inside, she just hoped that most of her allies make it out alive.

Finally, the whole room was notified of the arrival of their diplomat. But instead of someone who looked more at home with this kind of meeting, Styx had opted to send a rather intimidating character; a Cyber Edge decked in armor. Even among the Lethe guards, such armored forces are rare and she's only heard of a few who is able to draw out the power of the Knights of old. Could this be a sign of distrust? Ascelina's hand wandered just a little to the hilt of her sword.

"You are the representatives of Charon, correct? Then, let us begin this meeting."

"Indeed. I am Ascelina von Ritter of the Charon Outpost Guards." Ascelina promptly introduced herself. People like these do not mess around after all. They play hardball. "Then again, so do we..."

Getting straight to the point, their contact proceeded to tell them about the nature of their mission run and their terms and conditions. As expected, he was rather frank. For the most part, Ascelina found the terms amiable save for the matter of cost. 60-40. Reasonable if you're the one offering. Not if you're the one accepting. But without any vantage point, she's not really in a proper position to argue and debate the cost. If only there was a roundabout way...

"Agreed. You're the veterans. Any decision making would be left to you. However--" Ascelina knew the risk of laying down her own conditions given that they really have nothing to offer Styx for now. Nevertheless, to not do so would make her appear cowardly and incompetent. Traits aren't really appropriate for jobs of this nature.

"We reserve the right to hold a meeting when it comes to choosing the routes to take. A meeting with everyone involved. We deliberate which of the paths is the best one to take and decide based on majority vote. Figured that should be fair for everyone on board." If she cannot hold leverage on her own, she may be able to get the others to see her own point of view. "It's a one week ride to Machine City. Surely a lot of unforeseeable circumstances could arise by then. Not that we're questioning your expertise but--just think of it as a peer review. Maybe some of them can see things we can't."

"Splitting the earnings well, we don't really have any complaints with the 60-40. However, if we are to be left on our own when it comes to fending off the Ventrus, then the other miscellaneous scraps we collect are our own as well. Same goes for your front. Neither of us would also be obligated to share our own spoils." Ascelina finishes up, brushing off a lock of hair that fell on her face.

She looked around the others. A young woman around her age and an armored man. Probably new recruits from the Raider's side. "Regarding the recruits...I assume responsibility is to each our own as well? Same goes for their compensation." She asks the Raider's representative. She didn't want the meeting to take too long. The sooner they can leave, the better it is for Charon.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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#, as written by Kirsche
After waiting for a little while, the room had eventually filled up with more people who were willing to risk death for nothing more than a symbol of defiance towards the Ventrus and a chance at some trinkets. "Of course I suppose that's half my job as well..." Angela thought to herself about the latter. A giant of a man nearly as big as Chamber had joined her in the corner, and it was a little unsettling for her. He didn't speak and it was impossible to make out his expression due to the helmet enclosing his head. Eventually the interested parties had gathered and a Cyber Edge in armor began laying out the terms for the mission that seemed to favor Styx.

After he had delivered the Styxian terms of the agreement, another Cyber Edge gave a counteroffer. The fact that the Cyber Edge who Angela assumed was the Charon Representative was so young surprised her; the Cyber Edge introduced herself as Ascelina couldn't have been more than a couple years older than Angela. This revelation stirred some wistfulness up in Angela at what could have been, but she brushed it aside- after all the past was no longer relevant.

So far the negotiations seemed to be going poorly from Angela's perspective. While the two parties had mutual agreement on most of the points, they still clearly held some distrust towards each other and this tension could destroy the entire expedition if it was not remedied in time. If the expedition ended in disaster there was a good chance it would result in either death by the Ventrus or death by failing to fulfill her orders, which would lead to likely exile in the frozen wastelands-a punishment tantamount to death. She allowed the two Cyber Edges to finish speaking before she finally raised her hand and spoke up.

"Sorry to interrupt but it seems that this negotiation seems rather tenuous at best if we operate under such mistrust; it could lead to the death of all of us in the Machine City." After waiting to make sure that she had the attention of the representatives at the very least, Angela continued.

"I'm Angela Liborum from Cocytus, through I guess I'm technically from Phlegeton as well. Due to the disappearance of Styx's closest operator in the Scrapyards, the elders of Styx have accepted me as a contractor operator for the mission. If Achero-I mean Charon falls, Lethe will likely fall soon after and that would open up a direct route into the North. If driving the train and supporting the mission will help prevent a loss of life for what's left of the human population, I'll forgo my share of the reward and salvage. " She gave a glance at the armored Cyber Edge to confirm he got the message; she was technically a sanctioned contractor who was no longer in it for the money, so now he would have less room for objections. In this situation both Cyber Edges would need to tread carefully if they focused only on profit; instead they'd need to give at least lip service to the survival of the recruits or else risk losing some of the recruits, which gave Angela a potentially higher chance at personal survival.

"Therefore it would be in the best interest of all of us to work together instead of being overly suspicious of each other. I'd like to suggest that we split anything beyond miscellaneous scraps 50-50 so everyone has an equally vested interest and no one feels like they got the short end of the stick. Not only that perhaps we should try and do more than just share route decisions Lady Ascelina. We'll all need to be on the same page so as many of us survive as possible. After all the more people alive, the more likely we are all to survive and the more salvage we can bring back home, right?" After short cough through her mask, she decided to conclude her own version of the agreement.

"Essentially what I think would be optimal for all of us is that we split everything 50-50, and watch each others back instead of being all secretive and independent. This maximizes everyone's stake in the expedition and should keep more of us alive. Of course this is just my opinion but I hope there is some consideration for it." Angela respectfully dipped her head towards the two and waited for their responses. However, as a precaution she rested her hand near the pistol strapped to her thigh in case the armored Cyber Edge decided that someone from Phlegeton voicing their opinion in Styx was too much of an insult to bear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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Galle smiled within his helmet, Looks like our driver atleast had some guts. All these apparent young people focusing only on personal gain when they were going on such a dangerous mission was starting to get on his nerves. But indeed, This girl from Phlegeton had already impressed him. He should atleast back her up. The two cyber edges would need to be a little flexible

Certainly these people posses skills. But he doubted many of them can be called veterans. He knew exactly what a team of people only caring about themselves would handle the Ventrus. He had seen it too many times amongst the raiders. It would only end in death,

Galle quickly rose up, swinging his Chaingun upon his shoulder as he stood tall behind Angela. A thick mechanical voice escaped from his helmet She Is truly right... I am Galle he placed his hand onto his chest And I will take care of your equipment. If you wish to conduct this raid, Then you will need trust. He sighed gently to himself, Using the mental link wich gives him the ability to move the armor to instead talk will use a lot of unnecessary energy. But the driver could probably hold the negotiations without him from now on. Hopefully she would keep this operation from turning into a slaughter

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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As Ascelina, the representative of Charon spoke, Hayato listened quietly. While there was a mutual agreement, he could see the other Raiders from his side shuffle a little on their feet. To the armored Cyber Edge, this was enough- each party would handle their own problems. He could handle the Raiders, and this Ascelina would surely be able to handle her own Cyber Edges, considering that even at her young age she already had an entire group under her belt. He was about to voice the deal closed until someone spoke up.

"Sorry to interrupt but it seems that this negotiation seems rather tenuous at best if we operate under such mistrust; it could lead to the death of all of us in the Machine City."

Hayato paused, and looked to the girl that spoke- the red-haired girl from earlier. He paused, and as he glanced around him he could see the surprise from the other Raiders he had with him. The girl introduced herself as the apparent person who had come from Cocytus- or Phlegethon. She had come forth as the volunteer to become Styx's new train operator, and Hayato allowed himself a brief second of relaxation- at least someone had come as a mechanical operator. She made a rather brave act of forgoing the share of the reward.

"What is she thinking?" Hayato couldn't keep himself from thinking on her idea. There was no room for objection- for him, at least. Hayato wasn't one who would focus on the profit, of course, this was their survival on the line and the Akiyama family traditions had hardened his mind to the fact that wealth wasn't always what defined power, especially in their dying world. He frowned under the mask.

"Therefore it would be in the best interest of all of us to work together instead of being overly suspicious of each other. I'd like to suggest that we split anything beyond miscellaneous scraps 50-50 so everyone has an equally vested interest and no one feels like they got the short end of the stick. Not only that perhaps we should try and do more than just share route decisions Lady Ascelina. We'll all need to be on the same page so as many of us survive as possible. After all the more people alive, the more likely we are all to survive and the more salvage we can bring back home, right?"
Hayato thought on it for a while- while common courtesy would prevent him from completely shutting down this woman Angela's idea just because she was from Phlegethon- technically, from Cocytus, but ever since the union between the two Geartowns, he had also been starting to doubt the other-, and the shadowy rumors about the pirate organization had already reached the Akiyama family's ears. Aside from that, the fact that Phlegethon was the only other Geartown aside from Styx that had a train, doubt would inevitably settle into his heart.

And despite Ascelina's surprising amount of leadership, who was to say that she had a formidable team of Cyber Edges on her side? He'd have to be pulling dead weight along with the Raiders- a hassle, to most. Still, he listened as the other concluded her speech. "Essentially what I think would be optimal for all of us is that we split everything 50-50, and watch each others back instead of being all secretive and independent. This maximizes everyone's stake in the expedition and should keep more of us alive. Of course this is just my opinion but I hope there is some consideration for it."
As she ended her speech, Hayato glanced briefly at Ascelina to see if she had considered the idea as well. He had barely spoken when the armored man from earlier spoke up.
"She is truly right... I am Galle, And I will take care of your equipment. If you wish to conduct this raid, then you will need trust." The armored man's spoken words seemed to rev up the Raiders, and some of his own allies moved closer to him.

"Hayato-san, she has a point," One of his comrades murmured to him, a hand on his plated shoulder. "I know it's hard to trust someone from Phlegethon, but if we want to minimize our losses then maybe we should watch out for each other instead." Another Raider scoffed a bit at the first's idea, and growled a little. "Are you sure you want to trust this little ragtag group, Hayato? Who's to say they're as good as they say? They're dead weight, I say, and they can pull their own if they really are that good." Hayato glared off the two Raiders before sighing. Considering that two people had already agreed with the girl's idea, he supposed he had no choice.

He still didn't trust these Charon guards, but his comrades had seen things that he hadn't- his losses in the past may have blinded him to opportunities and the possibility that these guards were more than meets the eye.

"Very well," He spoke, finally. "Miss Liborum raises a fair point- I will agree to this idea, if only to minimize losses. We need all the Cyber Edges that we can get if we want to enter Machine City, as it is the most dangerous place, crawling with Ventrus." He could see the narrowing of eyes and the angry glares the second Raider from earlier gave him, but a sharp motion of his covered head managed to stop the Raider from saying or doing anything rash. Hayato turned to the other representative.

"And what about your side, Miss von Ritter? What have you to say about this idea?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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Ascelina listened in attentively to the words of the recruited parties. Technically, they do have a say in the matter, especially the girl who introduced herself as Angela. They need her and she could've easily swayed the Raiders to give her a bigger share. Instead though, she proposed an equal split for the sake of unity. The armored man, who introduced himself as Gaffe, echoes the sentiment as well.

"Well, this negotiation seems to have gone to our favor..." Ascelina wondered, paying close attention to the Raiders' murmuring. Clearly not all of them would be happy with the exchange and they weren't quiet about it either. The remark towards the skill of the Cyber Edges she led kind of got under her skin. They were the Charon guards, the first line of defense. If anything, they have fought against far more Ventrus than the younger members of the Raiders. They didn't survive just on luck alone.

"Very well--Miss Liborum raises a fair point- I will agree to this idea, if only to minimize losses. We need all the Cyber Edges that we can get if we want to enter Machine City, as it is the most dangerous place, crawling with Ventrus. And what about your side, Miss von Ritter? What have you to say about this idea?"

"I'd be lying if I say I'm not pleased with this setup. Very well then, I believe we now have a deal." Ascelina stood up and took a slight bow before the Raider's leader. "I believe we should depart early, tomorrow morning perhaps." She turned to look at the two outstanding recruits: the operator named Angela and Gaff, the Edgesmith. "You two should get ready by then. It's just a formality but, you would still need to declare under whom are you working for, us or the Raiders. Given the 50-50 split, any differences between the two parties are moot."

With that, Ascelina turned to leave as the meeting was now concluded.



Back at their assigned quarters, Ascelina took a quick glance around the surroundings, taking care not to be overheard by any roaming guards as she met with Rex, her trusted right-hand man.

"Well? How did it go?"

"Somewhat favorable. We did manage to get some backup from the recruited parties. The operator speaking up helped a lot."

"Well, yeah...considering no one's getting anywhere if the train won't move. But still--I believe you do have your doubts?"

"Just on the whole combined front." Ascelina tucked away some strands of her hair behind her ear as she continued to report on the day's events. "Despite the agreement between me and their leader, I highly doubt all of the Raiders would be too happy about this whole joint. I mean, 50-50 may look fair but, the Raiders are the ones who own the train. They'll also be shouldering all of the maintenance and repair costs, not to mention logistics. With the work they put in, they deserve a 70 at least."

"But we can't compromise our own side either. We're not exactly in good shape as well."

"I know. It's just that we've all experienced this before remember? Back at Charon? We work longer hours and take on more difficult jobs and in the end, our pay's the same as those lazy-ass guards from Lethe. Management says it's all for the sake of equality and trust. Well--where's the equality in that?"

"Haha! That's a fair point. Yeah, I guess I can still recall that."

"Attaining unity ain't easy." Ascelina's gaze wondered off into the distance, seemingly searching for her answer somewhere up ahead the empty space. "Ventrus came out of nowhere and attacked mankind. forcing us to flee and live our lives forever in shanties. Perfect common enemy right there. Perfect catalyst for man to rise up and fight as one again. But then--you get events like Acheron. And now, Charon. Even in the face of a common enemy, men do not easily put aside their hatred and contempt for the other. It's not always like it is in the books." Ascelina sadly recalled.



(OOC: I'll generally do this in order to move things along as mod. Time has been forwarded to our day of take off. Also, please stop by the OOC every now and then. Kind of lonely if it's just me posting T_T It's here if anyone's wondering.)

Standing by the car that would serve as their meeting room, Ascelina waited for the others to board. Rex has been sent to take care of things in their own car while she meets with the representatives. Once everyone had arrived, she started.

"Alright, I'll start this meeting if no one minds. Machine City is very far. Even along the Oceanus Line, we would probably take over a week just to get there. We'll probably encounter a lot of Ventrus along the way and we cannot really delay. What I'm just trying to say is, we should choose our paths wisely. There may be circumstances when it's better to blitz through a more dangerous route than take a safer but longer route. Ascelina spoke with a degree of confidence. As leader, she was used to this kind of briefings before.

"I say this now because...I would like to bring up the issue of our initial route--the one that would lead us to our first stop: the resupply station at the Water Gate. From our position, there's two paths we can take to get there. We could go down the tunnel in the Old Iron Mountain or make a round trip back around Phlegeton and shift over to the River Railway." Ascelina brings up the map in their array and zooms in on both paths.

"The mountain tunnel is closer, but the rail goes uphill after a few kilometers, making it difficult to traverse. The tunnel is also a little dark and cramped. Scouts have shown Crawlers have a habit of foraging around the place for scraps so expect to encounter them along the way."

"On the other hand, getting to the River Railway may take slightly longer but once we're past Phlegeton, the road goes a little downhill, making our travel faster. Unfortunately, it runs parallel to the river, in a forested area with minimal cover. Swarms of Ventrus Scouts are said to roam the airspace often and our presence may agitate them and force them to attack."

Having finished relaying the routes they can choose from, Ascelina turns to face everyone concerned: Gaffe, Angela and the Raiders' Leader. A fighter, a smith and a navigator...different occupations with different point of views. The whole setup allows them a better perspective, Ascelina believed. "So...what do you guys think? Which one should we take?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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Angela was midly suprised that the armored man had gotten up to support her; she assumed him to be one of the big mercenaries who went where the killing was. However his support relaxed her a little bit and she took her hand away from the holster strapped to her leg. If the Styxians tried to kill her now there would be a bloodshed in the room. The lead Cyber Edge from Styx, Hayato something, seemed to be reluctant to agree, as did some of the other Cyber Edges but he eventually agreed. It didn't take very long for Ascelina to also agree, and Angela gave a small grin: it looked like everything was working out for her.

You two should get ready by then. It's just a formality but, you would still need to declare under whom are you working for, us or the Raiders. Given the 50-50 split, any differences between the two parties are moot."


"Well I am under contract to Styx, so I guess I would be 'formally' attached to them. I suppose I will see you guys on the train. With a wave, she walked out of the room with a grim smile on her face-- now the odds of survival were just a little higher.

She spent what was left of her free time exploring the town to some suspicous gazes, but she paid it no mind once again. One of the Cyber Edges was sent to take her to the train and she marveled at how beaten up and worn it was. The one Phlegeton had wasn't brand new or state of the art, but at least it looked far more sophisticated and well maintained. Then again, that train had Cocytus backing it up. After inspecting the train and the most critical components, Angela was satisfied that it wouldn't fail on them in the mean time. She waved some of the workers over and told them to move Chamber to the car next to the car she'd be piloting in; it was a security precaution she always liked to take during long trips, and the external data would be nice. Inspecting the controls and Chamber one final time, Angela gave her assent and signed off on sheet confirming the train was travel worthy. Before she went into the meeting room, she sent off a message to her superior of her location and confirmation that the mission was a go.

The meeting was a bore to Angela--any route they took changed nothing for her since she'd be spending the time driving and if Ventrus struck she had to depend on the Cyber Edges anyways. Ascelina spoke only of some obvious facts that anyone who had survived this long should know of by now. Angela played with her hair during the briefing by Ascelina and only looked up at the end.

"The mountain tunnel is closer, but the rail goes uphill after a few kilometers, making it difficult to traverse. The tunnel is also a little dark and cramped. Scouts have shown Crawlers have a habit of foraging around the place for scraps so expect to encounter them along the way."

"On the other hand, getting to the River Railway may take slightly longer but once we're past Phlegeton, the road goes a little downhill, making our travel faster. Unfortunately, it runs parallel to the river, in a forested area with minimal cover. Swarms of Ventrus Scouts are said to roam the airspace often and our presence may agitate them and force them to attack."




It seemed that Ascelina was serious about giving them all a voice and a choice to make in the matter, a far cry from what Angela was used to on missions like these. She had to give some credit towards the party for their commitment to their agreement. Nobody seemed to be speaking up so Angela pointed at the route near Phlegeton.

" I know time is an essence on this mission, but I don't think we have a strong enough force to risk the path through the mountain. I also don't trust the integrity of this train to be able to bear the stress, no offense Raiders. One of our uhm, patrols had reported a heavier presence near Old Iron Mountain, but we have managed to keep the area near River Railway relatively under control. However I am not the mission lead so you can all voice your own concerns as well."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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"Alright, I'll start this meeting if no one minds. Machine City is very far. Even along the Oceanus Line, we would probably take over a week just to get there. We'll probably encounter a lot of Ventrus along the way and we cannot really delay. What I'm just trying to say is, we should choose our paths wisely. There may be circumstances when it's better to blitz through a more dangerous route than take a safer but longer route..."
Alonzo was almost too ready. The words of the Charon leader Ascelina almost became a blur to the young Lethe guard as he glanced around the room. New faces, of course- they were on Styx's train after all. He pulled his hat down almost on instinct as he took another good look around the room, keeping quiet.

Ascelina had offered them two choices- wow, this early and they already had to decide on a route split. Alonzo was fairly surprised. A shorter route through a tunnel, or a trip around Phlegethon...what? "Through Phlegethon? Really?" He glanced up almost in shock but decided that it would be better not to look rude and pulled at his hat again.

"I know time is an essence on this mission, but I don't think we have a strong enough force to risk the path through the mountain. I also don't trust the integrity of this train to be able to bear the stress, no offense Raiders. One of our uhm, patrols had reported a heavier presence near Old Iron Mountain, but we have managed to keep the area near River Railway relatively under control. However I am not the mission lead so you can all voice your own concerns as well."
Someone spoke up- a girl with red hair. He hadn't heard fully about what the recruits could do and who they were, so he was left a little baffled. The next to speak after was a tall, silver-armored man. Alonzo tried to keep his gaze straight- the masked man seemed to give off a stronger feeling of aura overall, and the Edge Tech at his side could obviously be much stronger than Alonzo's own flimsy, standard-issued blade.

"I think we should go with the route around Phlegethon. Unlike the Crawlers, if we manage to keep the Ventrus Scouts away enough, the train will bear less stress than it would fighting against Crawlers. I'm still open for any other suggestions that want to take the mountain route, however." The man- Hayato, Alonzo had heard someone speak earlier before the meeting- gave his decision. He seemed to have the status of the train in mind- considering it seemed a little more beat up than trains Alonzo had seen in very old books. But how could they be so sure that Scouts were going to be the only Ventrus units they would be dealing with?

"I, ah...I think we should go for the mountain route." The Lethe guard slowly spoke, keeping his voice a little softer. He was literally an outsider to these people- both the Raiders and the Charon guards, and now he was disagreeing with what seemed to be the most supported route. "Unlike Scouts, Crawlers may be faster than us but since the tunnel, as you said is cramped, I doubt they would be fighting against us with their massive numbers. We might be able to expect at least..." He thought back to his notes. "...Five, at best, or less when it comes to traveling through the tunnels. We just have to be on the best of our guard so that the train doesn't take too much damage."

He paused. "I, ah--I'm just making a suggestion, so take it any way you want."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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Gaff was very unsure on how to deal with this large amount of decision making. He supposed he was hired to simply watch over the equipment and blast away any Ventrus that became a little to curious.

He didn't posses much will to venture out among the scrapyards since he would need to attend this second meeting anyway

Thus most of his time was spent relaxing in town, Far off as to not gain too many interesting gazes. He also spotted the young mechanic seemingly taking a casual stroll around the city, so far he had taken a liking to her. She seemed more.. "reasonable" than most people you would encounter nowadays.

Upon his arrival to the second meeting he really doubted that the train would not carry them. It might look beaten up and scratched, but it was still a mass of hulking metal able to mow down most things in the way, actually it was quite reminiscent of Gaff'so armor. The choice they were presented was nonetheless quite simple. Gaff didn't care much for the opinions that were voiced

His tactical view was quite simply. As long as they stopped any Ventrus then the train would keep going. Crawlers was a favorable enemy for Gaff, scouts would waste too many bullets. And if the Crawlers could be placed in a choke-point then he could quickly dispatch of them. Thus he simply pointed on the holographic map displaying the Mountain tunnel, releasing a small grunt.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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Ascelina listened in attentively to everyone's opinion regarding their route. Either way, they are expected to fight something. Question is, which one? There are certain pros and cons involved with each path and so they have to choose wisely.

Angela voted to take the longer route around Phlegeton, citing that Scout presence around the River Railway has been lessened as of late plus, there was the issue of the train not being able to withstand the stress of diving headlong into the cramped mountain space. Likewise, the Raider leader also chose the River Railway path though he did mention that they'd have to keep the scouts at bay from a range: a feat that is rather difficult to achieve.

On the other hand, only Gaff voted for the mountain path. Makes sense considering his bulk would help in tackling Crawlers head on. But, Ascelina already got her decision.

"Alright, we'll make for the river at full speed. The journey towards Phlegeton may also help us detect any mechanical problems beforehand and allow us to make repairs from a place of safety. In the meantime, we'll just have to deal with the scouts that would be coming at us from range. Sir Gaff, I think your gun would greatly help in that charge. You don't need to hit all of them; blanketing them with fire is good enough plus, we need to ration our bullets well." With the route chosen, Ascelina passed on the word to the rest of the crew. It wasn't going to be an easy ride through given the tensions between them but hopefully, the river air would do everyone good.

"I, ah...I think we should go for the mountain route." Someone suddenly spoke up from her side. Ascelina turned around and saw the Lethe guard Alonzo standing by the car's entrance. He explained how to deal with the Crawlers, as well as some general characteristics they exhibit.

"Right. I heard something about the guards calling this guy an egghead or something. Supposedly interested in how the Ventrus work..." Ascelina tries to recall what little she knows about the young man. In her eyes, he was either crazy or downright insane when he asked to accompany them in their little raid. The things some people would do for the sake of knowledge. Then again, his knowledge may come in handy somewhere along the line.

"Well, jury has decided so there's no going back now. Let's see..." Ascelina thought of a station to recommend him to, in order to make full use of his expertise. "Ah! Sir Gaff, would you mind taking in this man as an assistant? He's rather knowledgeable about the Ventrus so he might sit well around the engineering car." Ascelina asks the armored Edge Smith. Turning back to Alonzo, she continued. "Well, you seem to be knowledgeable enough. Make sure you keep our equipment up to date then." She gave him a slight smile before walking away, motioning for Angela to start the train.

They were heading to the borders surrounding Phlegeton.



The first few hours of the ride were a little uneventful, given that they're still within the confines of humanity's last stronghold. Otherwise, most of the surrounding residential areas and ghettos looked beat up. The Ventrus have been ransacking town again, it seems.

"Hey Ascelina, look!" Ever at Ascelina's side was Rex, her trusted accomplice. He pointed out to what appears to be smoke rising from a Scrapyard ahead.

"Ms. Angela, stop for a moment." Ascelina called out through their communications panel. They need to see what happened and to do that, they'll have to investigate the wreckage. Which also means they'll have to alight the train.

"We're still in Raider territory but we're pretty close to the border...What could cause this much damage?" Rex wondered as he inspected the remains of a shattered steel wall. It looked as if it was pierced by a sharp point and blown up from the inside.

"Alonzo, contact the Raiders and tell them they need to see this. This is their territory after all." Ascelina continued to look around in the meantime. The damages looked too calculated and precise for it to be done with the usual Ventrus they've been fighting. She walked on ahead, heading into an area walled off by debris piles. From within the empty husks of metal though, eyes watched.

"Ascelina, watch out!"

Heeding the warning, Ascelina jumped out of the way in time just as large fangs suddenly swept down, missing the girl by a large margin. Drawing out her sword, Ascelina confronted a gigantic, quadrupedal snake-like Ventrus, sliding down the clusters of debris littered around it.

Despite its lack of visible eyes, the machine's gaze felt like it had some deadly sentience working behind it. It's Ventrisite body seemed to be damage somehow but from what, Ascelina doesn't know. "Was it waiting around here in order to ambush us? Did it know we were going to pass through?"

She could only wonder what would've happened if this creature suddenly attacked their train while it was moving. It wasn't very large but it did seem to pack enough power to at least, derail their engine. The creature roared in anger. The battle begins now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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Angela nodded to Hayato in acknowledgement of his support; she had some doubts about the likelihood all of them would survive if the Scouts attacked, but it seemed far more equitable than facing a horde of Crawlers. Being closer to home and having the option of bailing if the train ride was cut short was a comforting feeling as well, through Angela was sure that she would wish she had died if she didn't fulfill her mission. The Raider's decision seemed to solidify the route, and only the large armored man, Gaff or something like that, had voted for the mountain route. As she was readying to leave the car and start up the train, another Cyber Edge from Charon spoke up in favor of the mountain route. A flash of malice passed through Angela's eyes as she glared at the unimpressive Cyber Edge, but she quickly calmed down. Ascelina's decision to take the river route had setteled the matter anyways, and Angela began walking out. As she walked out, she paused briefly next to Gaff and looked up at him(or what she could see of him) and quietly muttered, " Thank you for earlier by the way. It's nice to have some f-friends here." .

The startup process of the train was straightforward albeit frustrating; while the model and make was similar to the one used by Phlegeton, it was far less well maintained and lacked the upgrades that Cocytus had tacked on over the past few years. It took her a few minutes of fiddling with controls and cursing before the train lurched and she heard the engine roar to life. Nodding to herself, Angela took off her mask filter and quickly replaced it with a fresh one; there were a precious few seconds where she couldn't breathe when she swapped them out, so it was best to do it now before she was forced to swap during combat. As the train pulled clear of Styx, Angela began slowly pushing the trains output to its maximum and looked for any final glitches or warnings, and thankfully found none. Satisfied that the train wouldn't explode in the next few minutes, Angela ducked into the next car where Chamber was currently charging and on standby mode. The train had enough supplies to keep Chamber stocked for the estimated duration of the trip, through she would have to rely on external storage and whatever Chamber could carry once they made it into the Machine City. While she didn't expect any trouble on the way to the Machine City, at least not yet, Angela decided to turn on the sensor array of Chamber and connected it to her goggles. There was never any harm in being on the safe side. She quickly returned to the front of the train and monitored the readouts and prayed it didn't blow up like she was expecting it to.


After several hours of nothing happening and the barren wasteland wasting by, Angela began relaxing; there was no imminent threat to her life. So far it seemed she would fulfill her mission and contract with minimal risks at this rate. As she rummaged through her satchel bag for a snack bar, Chamber began displaying warning signals about objects ahead. Angela opened a window and stuck her head outside; there was smoke rising from the Scrapyard and she cursed. So much for a safe and relaxing journey. When Ascelina gave the order to stop the train, Angela was already halfway done with the process and she began walking towards Chamber. She racked the slide of her heavy pistol and slid it back in its holder, expecting the worst. Suddenly she heard a loud shout and crash, and she dove into Chamber and began activation. She shoved her key into the master control panel and the screens lit up, displaying the logo of a long forgotten corporation and country.

"Welcome back Angela. It has been 23 days since you have last used this unit, do you require any assistance?" The programmed voice cheerfully greeted her as Chamber booted up. It was unsettling, but the voice warnings it gave proved to be helpful most of the time.

"No, begin combat program load." Angela snapped at the computer; so far it hadn't been compromised by the Ventrus thanks to long dead Cocytus researchers, and hopefully today wouldn't change that. After a brief pause the screens began displaying combat information and the status of Chamber, as well as images via cameras of the outside world. The fan began roaring to life as the computer began heating up from the combat processes, and Chamber came online.

Angela opened the side door of the train and leaped out, and she gave a sound of disgust at the large Ventrus attacking Ascelina. So much for only fighting Scouts on the way. She considered loading the energy rounds into the primary gun but decided that they were too valuable to use right now; instead she pumped two shots into the large target and rushed over to Ascelina and her lackey. As she put the shield up between Ascelina and the Ventrus she saw that the Ventrus had already been damaged before.

"Orders, Lady Ascelina?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

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Gaff didn't mind the fact that his newly acquired companions sided against him, They all decided based on their own reasons. Gaff was simply thinking about the route that would maximise his chance of surivival. A bad habit from his many years in the wastes... Still he started slowly evaluating his companions. How useful are they? Wich one would be able to handle themself if a fight turns bad? The two Cyber Edge's would certainly be able to fight, To what extent remains to be proven. And then the other Girl approached him "Thank you for earlier by the way. It's nice to have some f-friends here". Gaff simply turned his head to her, Not answearing. He could think about her words later. This Girl.. Angela, Who was she? The only visible weaponry on her was that pistol along with an ordinary knife... Gaff supposed she would bring something more.. "Reliable". Perhaps she will only work as an driver... But that would mean that she would need to be protected...

Gaff was slowly zoning out, Observing his companions behind the thick helmet his eyes glowing intensely. Evaluating their weaponry along with any additional tactics that might be used. He only first reacted upon the second mention of his name, "-Sir Gaff, would you mind taking in this man as an assistant? He's rather knowledgeable about the Ventrus so he might sit well around the engineering car." Gaff thus switched his attention to the other Cyber Edge. Upon looking at the boys appearance Gaff suddenly realized: Everyone was seemingly so damn young! The large masked one seemed to be the only one to have atleast reached the age of 20. This almost made Gaff chuckle, Almost.

Now In a much better mood than usual, Gaff quickly entered the cart located at the furthest end of the train. The Engineering cart. The equipment here was more than Gaff was used to, Wich also worked to improve his mood. He didn't look back to see if the young man was following him. If he truly wished to pay him company then he would need to do so on his own.

It did not take long for Gaff to get himself familiar with the small room. He had taken rest in much worse places after all. He left the side located against the door for Alonzo setting up his small amount of equipment against the wall. Then while happily tinkering with his Chaingun, Ignoring most things happening around him.

Thus he was not very happy about the sudden stop of the train. They had not traveled near enough distance to reach their destination. Something was very much wrong. He leaned gently forward, Carefuly opening one of the armored windows only to see a burning town. He sighed gently, So it really was trouble. Then I just that moment a yell rung out, breaking the small amount of tranquility Gaff had gained. "Ascelina, watch out!" followed with a large crash. Yep, It was time. Thus Gaff suddenly swinged his Chaingun upon his shoulder bursting out of the Engineering cart. He looked slightly to the side of the cart, Seeing the back of his comrades.. With a large Ventrus located directly infront of them! He would not be too effective if he joined them directly. So instead he, With a suprising amount of speed moved to the roof of the train, Slowly moving to the side of the Ventrus, watching it intently as his Chaingun started charging. He would wait, Either for him to receive an order to attack.. or for the Ventrus to make the first move.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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The large Ventrus that stood in front of them growled menacingly, flicking its massive head back and forth as Ascelina kept it at bay with her sword drawn. She moved carefully to one side as she tried to lure it away from their train. Should anything happen to the train, their mission would be over.

The Ventrus suddenly paused. The way it took a few steps back showed a tiny hint of sentience hiding within. Then it turned away completely but that didn't mean it was over.

It was heading for the train!

"No you don't--!!!" Sensing the immediate danger, Ascelina chased after the creature. But just as she was about to catch up to its hind legs, it spun around; its fangs lurching forward to crush the approaching Cyber Edge in its heavy jaws. Rex tried to pursue but it was apparent that he wouldn't make it in time.

"D-Did it do that...on purpose?" Ascelina wondered just how well can this massive monstrosity think. How far had its intelligence evolved compared to the others? Now wasn't the time to think about it. Before the monster can make contact, shots from the flank flew towards its leg, forcing it to trash out in pain and retreat behind some scattered debris. Their train operator Angela made her way towards them, putting up a defensive wall in-between her and the Ventrus.

"Orders, Lady Ascelina?"

"We need to steer it away from the train." Ascelina tried to observe what caused the sudden change to their adversary. She knew Angela shot it but, could her small-caliber fire really damage its thick carapace? She could catch glimpses of it crawling around even if it tried to take cover and from what she was seeing, it didn't look like it was done just yet. Still, now that she was looking at it, the Ventrus had its defensive layer peeled back to the point that it was starting to expose a couple of weathered components. "Those components look vulnerable...Angela, can you shoot that damaged wire? There, on its right front leg! The one with a huge hole!"

"Would it even stay still long enough for her to do that?" Rex managed to catch up to the two girls shortly after, reminding them of another problem at hand.

"We'll need a distraction--" Ascelina looked around. Should she call on the other Cyber Edges to help out? Should she and Rex charge it head on? Just as she was about to opt for the latter, she managed to espy Gaff cautiously making his way near the creature's side, Chaingun at the ready.

"Sir Gaff!!!" Ascelina called out to their armored smith. She gestured towards the Ventrus' head, asking him to aim at that spot. Turning back to Angela, she relayed the plan she had in mind. "As soon as Gaff catches its attention, me and Rex will dive in and aim for its flanks. Shoot it when it's too preoccupied then. On my signal--"

Waiting for the monster to emerge from the pile it retreated in, Ascelina raised her hand as Rex took up his position. Any second now.

RAAAAGGHHH

The Ventrus let out a loud roar as it emerged at the center, running directly into the shield.

"Now!"

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Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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#, as written by Kirsche
Chamber groaned from the strain Angela's piloting put on it; the threshold for stress was high enough that Angela paid it no mind. The much more immediate problem was the Ventrus that nearly ate Ascelina, and it seemed that all Angela did was annoy it and extend their lives by a couple seconds. The last time that Angela had fought larger, seemingly larger, Ventrus had been with an entire mechanized armed force.

"Those components look vulnerable...Angela, can you shoot that damaged wire? There, on its right front leg! The one with a huge hole!"

She zoomed one of the cameras in on the location Ascelina specified; at the speed the Ventrus was moving and that she would need to move, it was nearly impossible to land a good hit. Even the normal 40mm shells she was using left nothing more than superficial wounds on the Ventrus. There would need to be bait, and likely a sacrifice if the Ventrus was going to die before it took out the train.

" Load armor piercing sabot shells." Angela ordered the on-board computer. There weren't as many as she would've liked to bring along, so she would have to make every shot count. With any luck the expedition would be able to find more shells from the Scrapyards and old battlegrounds to replenish the shot locker.

"Understood Angel. Loading shells; be advised, current target has surpassed threat threshold. Calculating target movement. "

Angela gritted her teeth but remained silent. When she got back to Cocytus, she was throwing the programmer for Chamber off the mountaintop. By now, the heat was building up suit from the calculations of possible attack trajectories , and sweat was starting to drip off Angela in long beads.

She heard Ascelina give off a command of when to fire over the noise of the computer, and she prepared to move. Unfortunately the Ventrus decided to dive straight into her shield. Warning signals flashed up on the screens around her, and she felt Chamber being pushed back by the Ventrus.

"Shield integrity at 30%, shield integrity at 20%."

With a roar Angela forced Chamber to push back, and she shoved the 40mm cannon into the side of the Ventrus's head and opened fire. There were still several left, so she wasn't too concerned of needing them to pour fire into the exposed wiring on the Ventrus's leg. If the calculations were correct, the Ventrus would be forced to back off like before, giving her more breathing room and the Cyber Edge's time to attack.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand Character Portrait: Angela Liborum

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What a Ventrus.. Gaff found himself gently spacing out. His tinkering has put him a too good of a mood. The Ventrus in question was impressive. If it weren't for the apparent damage it had already received then it would probably have already claimed some of his comrades. Perhaps this Ventrus is what have alone annihilated this small community. That would be the only reason for such a thing to get injured by mere scavengers.

Oh. He was spacing out. And now that had resulted that one of his comrades had been attacked. Luckily the mechanised suit was not something to make light out of, The suit itself was bigger than Gaff's armor. Hopefully not sturdier. Gaff would like to think that he was still viable in combat...

And thus he thought to himself: That he better start displaying his combat ability. With that in mind Gaff simply jumped off the train landing with a loud crash, sending dust, earth and sand flying.

And with a mixture of adrenaline and newfound vigor Gaff fired off his most proficient weapon. The Chaingun, He felt a small amount of sorrow having to use his ammunition already, but that sorrow quickly faded as he poured bullets into the Ventrus, allowing the rush of battle to overtake him. His shots was barely aimed but the huge amount of metal being lodged into the Ventrus would surely atleast drive it away from his comrades. Hopefully Helping his mechanised friend

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View All » Add Character » 6 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter
Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama
Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand
Character Portrait: Angela Liborum
Character Portrait: Ein Leonard
Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar

Newest

Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar
Alonzo Balthazar

"Stop right there- I'm in."

Character Portrait: Ein Leonard
Ein Leonard

"I don't play favorites."

Character Portrait: Angela Liborum
Angela Liborum

" Let's work together, shall we?"

Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand
Gaff Bonebrand

"Disappear"

Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama
Hayato Akiyama

"If blood will be spilt on this land, let the waters of Styx cleanse it."

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter
Ascelina von Ritter

"Acheron has always been my home. I will reclaim it at all costs."

Trending

Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand
Gaff Bonebrand

"Disappear"

Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama
Hayato Akiyama

"If blood will be spilt on this land, let the waters of Styx cleanse it."

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter
Ascelina von Ritter

"Acheron has always been my home. I will reclaim it at all costs."

Character Portrait: Angela Liborum
Angela Liborum

" Let's work together, shall we?"

Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar
Alonzo Balthazar

"Stop right there- I'm in."

Character Portrait: Ein Leonard
Ein Leonard

"I don't play favorites."

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Alonzo Balthazar
Alonzo Balthazar

"Stop right there- I'm in."

Character Portrait: Ein Leonard
Ein Leonard

"I don't play favorites."

Character Portrait: Ascelina von Ritter
Ascelina von Ritter

"Acheron has always been my home. I will reclaim it at all costs."

Character Portrait: Angela Liborum
Angela Liborum

" Let's work together, shall we?"

Character Portrait: Gaff Bonebrand
Gaff Bonebrand

"Disappear"

Character Portrait: Hayato Akiyama
Hayato Akiyama

"If blood will be spilt on this land, let the waters of Styx cleanse it."


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