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The Multiverse

Setting

Dank, dark, and all together unpleasant. The first thing to hit is the stench, wave after wave of putrid air. It's unclear if its from the huddled, sickened masses, or the hissing steam that rises from unseen vents. Either way it smells like death trapped in a can, and for good reason.Image
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The Slumwalks

Once a bustling section of the Undermarket, the Slumwalks became neglected, and then abandoned under the march of progress. It earned its name from the rickety catwalks the homeless made.

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The Slumwalks is a part of The Undermarket.

1 Places in The Slumwalks:

7 Characters Here

Rembert Kaulen [15] Always stuff broken around here. I unbreak it.
Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul [7] The path to defend mankind is strewn with blood
Doctor Buzzkill [1] A brilliant yet crazy doctor who is obsessed with bees and the flowers they polinate (Yes, its weird)
Lucy Monica [1] A Lovely Irish Woman That Has Came From A Cruel Family.. No She Wants To Start Over After Her Tragic Events In Her Childhood...
Ty Yamasen [1] Ty Yamasen
Apan Sudrosi [0] One expects those like myself to shepered the flock.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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  1. Feel free to join, they've got clear markings of city workers on.

    by lil_kreen

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Two civil engineers walk through the mess of older tunnels that represent some of the oldest parts of Wing city. All the broken-down tubes and half of them not even in use anymore. The maps were a mess and even worse in the slumwalks. The damned moles walling off or redirecting whole sections to put buildings there then abandoning them afterward. Rinse, repeat, redocument our maps when something breaks, and repeat. My bud, Oswald Auer, is manning the navigation pad. We have two drones running around the place mapping ahead to get to the point of the water main break. The network was pretty hardy in this city so it was a massive pile of interconnected valve and pumping stations feeding the city but it could only take just so much punishment. There was a vertical descent here someplace that just dead-ended.

"Rembert!", Oswald called over, "Drone 1 says this whole section has listed downward by 5 degrees. that's why all the waste water is flowing the wrong way. There must be a waterfall somewhere down below through a wall. Drone 2 says it's... crawling inside a small bubble moving inside of sand. What the?"

"Call it back," Rembert groans, "broke like everydamnthing else is right now. Besides, I think I have a light on our problem conduit. It fucking broke off and slammed into the lower subsection."

Rembert shined his spotlight on the shattered spar. There was a hefty chunk of the ceiling broke off and it must have piledrived the reinforced conduit throwing a section at the lower floor twenty meters or so below. This one conduit break was the only interruption in a trunk that stretched power across the city. It had to go back up so there was at least power to the pumps in the lower subsection or everything would start to flood. There were moles down there and while he hated them changing shit he didn't want them to drown. They had to have went to earth when those shadows attacked.

Oswald came further up the access tunnel beside Rembert and looked over the utility maps of this area. He taps the schematic screen with glowing orange lines everywhere. The gesture pointed to the large tunnel to our left where a red bubble indicating an observed wall around the drone. The drone itself clambered across a wall in what it saw as a moving large black pocket. I aimed my spotlight down there but saw little with the power blown to shit.

Rembert sighed through comms, "It better not be more of those fucking shadows. They've wrecked enough stuff today."

Oswald shook his head, "Nah, the imperial guard said the shadow dragon pulled out but there might be some tainted civilians around. Not more floating black shit. The lidar prolly just broke. It's still motile, maybe it's just a cable issue."

Rembert waved his hand dismissively, "I'll check him out when the drone shows up. Jjust have him head over to the other side."

Oswald had forgotten that they were given the motility exosuits for something other than carrying things. Rembert taking two quick steps and vaulting the chasm to the other side was a reminder that blew other concerns out of his mind. The schematic pad fell limp at his side until Rembert touched down with a thud of wet stone.

"Rembert! YOU CRAZY BASTARD!", Oswald yelled, "There's a fuckin' crossing 10 meters down!"

Rembert gave Oswald a friendly finger heading backward to the manual routing access panel, "Not gonna nice the landings if we don't practice sometimes, tubbs!"

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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It was a rather unassuming piece of metal and concrete inside the Slumwalks, partially hidden under a pile of trash and other debris.

it was there for the Drone, or perhaps for the two Civil engineers to find should they pay enough attention to their surroundings.



It was set inside concrete wall, between a crumbling tunnel and a support pillar, the soft patina of rust covered the metal door that was roughly ten feet tall by five feet wide. The concrete didn't seem to match the aged brick of the surrounding structure either, if found, there was no discernible markings, as rust and corrosion from the damp dark environment hid any markings on the hatch.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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Oswald wasn't jumping anydamnwhere much less in a half-broken tunnel with some of the ceiling missing. He double timed with a whirr of motors down to the crosswalk checking it for integrity before the whirr of motors and boot thunks on metal signaled him crossing. It was like having someone else run for you as long as he didn't run out of power anyhow. It didn't take long for Oswald to arrive where Rembert was already checking a power conduit panel. He had the aux power cable into it so it didn't have power on its own.

Rembert nodded at the somewhat portly Oswald, "'Bout time! There's weird redirects in this area and the trunk line is getting bled off. It's not bad enough to cause transformer issues at either end but there's got to be a power shunt somewhere. We'll have to trace the line."

The legged maintenance drone crawled across the side of the large access tunnel down to them bright lights atop it glowing. They didn't really have armor or anything but he used combat frame motors when he could get his hands on them. They booked around pretty quick.

Rembert pulled up his nav pad to make contact with the drone, "I'm not humping over that broke-ass canal! Hold on now. The lidar's in the drone's working again I'll have it crawl around the trunk to compare underground schematics."

The drone diverted with a hop up to the trunk and made a preliminary scan. The nav software rapidly registered a gigantic hole in the tunnel wall near a support column after checking it against the registered schematics.

Oswald poked at it with his fingers and zoomed in before showing Rembert, "Like this? We have a new rat hole."

Rembert made a weary sigh. Somebody built a house and plugged into the damned trunk line again. They'd be lucky if turning on the lights didn't set everything on fire. Best to find the split and patch it out.

"Yeah, buddy. Looks like we're going caving. Hope we don't set ourselves on fire.", Rembert closed the panel door and took out the aux cable. The panel light vanished and they humped it up the stairs to the trunk catwalk to where the lidar spied the edge of a new tunnel.

Head-lamps,low-light imaging, and cheap FLIR cameras were a necessity to find hot wires in this line of work. Despite the dark draining all color out of the place the overlays helped them find the odd doorway where the drone caught a sideline on it.

They vaulted over a small gap from catwalk to the old stone walkways where a new door was installed. Heavy thing too.

Rembert made a weary shrug saying, "Cover me with the sidearm, eh?"

He thumped hard on the door with a metal fist calling out, "OI! Public works! You're tapping a goddamn trunk line without a proper split!"

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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The sound of the metal was heavy, yet it's alien iridescent hue made it even more a mystery. With each pounding of the armored fist, the sound echoed through the sealed passageway.

There was no response, whoever constructed this door was either inside and ignoring them, or they weren't there at all. The electronic keypad that secured the entrance was no longer functional, and obscured by slime and moss that was slowly creeping over the concrete.

On the door itself, there was a large wheel, with the electronic keypad nonfunctional, the magnetic locks had de-energized which meant that corrosion, and rust were the only things keeping this large door shut.

If they chose to open it, the corrosion would likely break away rather freely, the sound of groaning metal followed, exposing a long hallway, roughly fifty meters in length, and lined with conduits, inactive fluorescent lighting, and peeling white paint, along with the occasional brief spark.

At the end of the hallway was an elevator, peeled grey paint and rust, and just adjacent to the elevator doors was another door with a ladder symbol, and strange yet familiar blocky engraving over the door itself.



The elevator door panel also bore similar strange blocky writing near the button to call the elevator, along with a faded, and worn metal sign bearing a strange stylized phoenix, and more blocky writing.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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Oswald's nav pad beeped as the other drone completed its sensor patrol and reconnoitered with its companion. As Rembert took out a projection mutlitool to pry at the keypad and inspect the door Oswald hackles began to rise. Rembert's banging against metal set off his nerves as the screen indicated on lidar again that the drone was in a small spherical pocket of sand. This time the drones could see each other just fine. Oswald held up the nav-pad as a wrist light tried to peer back down the tunnel. Low-light met an undulating inky cold surface pocked by the weak light of a single grey spark.

Oswald batted at Rembert with his visor up verifying that there wasn't an ounce of juice pouring through it. This place was damn old and probably the only reason the console saw the anomaly was because there wasn't even a single light bulb running off the land above this part of the trunk. The hell did someone build down here?

The constant batting at the back of his head finally got Rembert's attention as well as his ire, "WHAT! THE! HELL! D'you want!? I'm workin' on it!"

Oswald as tubby and, shall we say, unadventurous as he was wasn't easily spooked, It was Oswald's whisper that got Rembert's rapt attention, "Rem! We need out of the fucking tunnel! The lidar's not down there's some big shit down here still sitting on top of the drones! I think it sees us!"

When he turned his helmet light off immediately after and switched to pure IR low light Rembert started to really worry. Oswald pulled out a damn bolter from his maintenance pack. Probably looted and repaired hope he had ammo too. Thing would probably still break him and his exo-arm if he tried to fire it full auto. Thank the Emperor I guess.

Rembert pounded his gauntlets together twice to trigger it to dial up the strength level. Tended to strain the motors but there was a wheel on this thing. He gripped the metal and pulled hard the screech of rusted and wet innards moving in complaint raked hard on his nerves. Oswald didn't have much to say but pound at rust clasping the frame together as he turned.

They got the door open with a grind as Oswald's straining voice piped up again with a collective whine of their exosuit motors, "Drones are clearing, Rem. It's comin' this way!"

Oswald had a remote view up on his hud and one firm eye on the bubble. They both squeezed into the ragged-edged door as a wet rumbling, munching, noise made its way ever closer. Even the walls seemed to quake and move as they got to the other side of the door with a loud bang of alien metal. The inside was slightly easier to turn than the inside and Rembert finally found his voice.

"Fuck," Said the stoic lead engineer, "Why's this city always got to have this weird shit! And there's sparking here. Well that answers one question."

The voice of his pudgy companion came through heaving breaths, "SPARKS! WHAT? What do we care about the electric for!? What the fuck is that outside!? How do we even get back!? What the hell is this place?! Is it even safe here?! How screwed are we?! Got more questions for ya, hope you like 'em!"

Rembert was the first to stand up though furtively, "Aw, you get me the nicest things, Oz."

The response from the portly fellow limply staring was a mixture of temporary safety, incredulity, amusement, and exhaustion, "Fuck you. So much. In all the ways that thing can."

Rembert's breathing eased as he stepped into business to keep his mind at ease, "Well we're not going out there and there's power in here. Maybe we can find an active data line. Somebody took a lot of pains to build this place even as much to crap it's gone. I don't recognize the script on all the consoles. Who knows what built this place."

Oswald struggled to his feet, "Why not. No reason delaying when it could always get worse."

"Then let's see how deep hell goes, oz, someone left the lights on." Came the reply with a thumbs up.

Oswald muttered, "I'm gonna need a vacation if we live through fixing this busted-ass city."

There was a certain peace in working on a task though Oswald kept looking backward toward the door. Nothing was beating its way in but the nav pad link to lidar said the thing was in the tunnel right outside. Connection was getting spotty but the data still came through. As Rembert tried to pry the elevator door open the tubby Oswald tried to open the other one. Who knows if there was anything on the other side so they used their multi-tool prybar on the doors. Rembert remembered to put down his visor with a hiss of the filtration seal. Sewer gas was a bit of a problem who knew what was behind the doors.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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Both the elevator, and the secondary door complied with the attempts to pry them open, whoever built this place didn't pay a lot of heed to the security protocols, opting instead to rely on it's concealment and the large blast door to keep whatever prying eyes from stepping inside the facility.

The elevator doors opened up to reveal an elevator, secured firmly in the shaft with emergency brakes, activated when the power failed, but the presence of the two individuals, the attempts to open the doors triggered something deep within the facility.

Computrons began their initial boot sequence, commands were sent across a few intact lines, and the entire facility shuddered, which emanated as a deep and powerful growl of metal, earth, and concrete.

Long dormant fusion cells expended their energy in a sudden jolt, turning a reactor that had been dormant for decades.

A split second later, several of the fluorescent lights came on, illuminating their hallway in a brilliant glow, there was a pop, a shower of sparks, and a hum behind them, magnetic locks engaged and the door was firmly sealed once again.

The brakes of the elevator disengaged, and the elevator aligned into position, with holographic buttons flickering in the strange alien text.

The secondary door opened to reveal a spiral staircase that descended deep underground, there was evidence of flooding, but the water was rapidly receding.

Whoever built this place was deliberate in it's construction.

With the exit cut off, they could only go deeper.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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They both backed slightly into the room as the lights flickered on and the giant stone facility flared into life. They looked at each other with a nod, the building took a beating and still kept ticking. Working utilities meant lines to follow which made tracking down centers of operations a hell of a lot easier. The question was given the state of the place, was anyone even here?

"Power? Well, no going back. This could be a busted-ass back door." Said Oswald, taking a long moment to stare at the door as the lights went on and the door clamped shut.

"No shadow monster getting in either, Oz, " Reminded his compatriot, "but if there's someone else in here hopefully they don't shoot first. We're not here to sack the place. I'd guess if some reactor came on whatever's causing the line loss just started backfeeding. Could be bad. We need to find the generator and see how it's hooked up."

"You say that like we didn't just wander into somebody's damned skunkworks," Said Ozwald as he walked to the elevator, "Do we even trust this thing to work after sitting here rusting for fuck knows how long? I mean, the other way's stairs."

Rembert thought for a moment while looking at the closed coffin-like box with helpful, unreadable, labels, "Stairs. I'm not putting a foot in that rusted thing who knows what's even at the bottom of the shaft. I also know neither of us are paid enough to know xenocomputing."

Oswald hunkered down in front of the holographic display, peering at it. Couldn't make heads or tails of it and he definitely didn't pack a damned unknown alien tech interface kit. Suppose they might end up having to improvise if the rest of the place wasn't as compliant. Oswald stood up, "Well, best get walking. It's a long way down. Check the rebreathers in case we end up submerged."

Rembrant nodded, "As fraidy as you are, Oz, you've got a point. Hope this whole place isn't flooded though. Shit, we don't float either."

Oz led the way down the stairs every lamp lit to see what was going on in color. the IR camera was a monochrome and things that'd kill you tended to hide. He poked at the nav pad and pushed it to local and set the recovery beacons as the drone connections were getting spotty if they hadn't already from losing connection. Whatever was out there didn't seem to care about eating them.

Oz called back, "Well this fraidy cat intends to live long enough to retire! and I'm the only reason you'll ever live that long!"

Rembert chuckled as he headed down the stairs. Oz was right. He pulled a small quadracopter and tossed it into the air to hover. Cheap shit, easy to replace, but no fancy lidar just a remote camera.

"Here, scout ahead I've got like two more they're small as hell," Rembert called up. Oswald was already sending the drone ahead looking for whatever new monster he figured was going to eat him. The man's nav and schematic skills were on point however pudgy he was.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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At the bottom of the stairs was a small circular room, with a single door that had appeared to have been submerged for some time, however the pumps had engaged, and all of the water within the facility had been pumped out.

If they opened the door, a few inches of water washed in, and a brightly lit hallway, with a few lights out greeted them, the hallway was several meters in length, lined with cargo boxes embossed with the same alien script, along with two tattered flags at the end of the hallway.

There were six doors, three on each side, and the elevator doors at the end of the hallway, along with their access door to make a total of eight doors. There were signs above them denoting where they led too, all of them in the alien script.

Along the walls were lockers, many of them open, with their contents spilled all over the floor.

Perhaps it was the contents of the lockers that would shed a clue as to who built the facility. On the floor of the hallway were various personel effects, but a majority was clothing, specifically tactical gear, complete with patches and rank insignia.

There were even a couple dog tags strewn about, a similar phoenix motif embossed on a largely corroded piece of metal.

But the flag was a telltale giveaway to who built this place, to anyone familiar with the conflicts nearly a hundred years prior, it was the flag of the United Aschen Empire, whom have neither been seen, nor heard for decades.

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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Oswald whizzed the drone ahead down the circular stairs plodding down the stairs without hesitation with something to tell him what's coming. That Oswald didn't wobble while doing both always amazed Rembert. Sure wasn't that coordinated the rest of the time. A good nav man was hard to find and Oswald could trace through a schematic with the best of them. Rembert was the one who actually knew how to fix damn near everything.

Rembert smiled, He was the muscle and Oswald was the scaredy little brains. The usual divide of the paired civil engineer teams. As they both arrived at the circular room Oswald manually scanned the room with his suit hardware and Rembert looked at the intakes to the pumps that clearly vacated the room. The lower sections were very well-kept for a place that was clearly so old. He guessed by the scum that inevitably grew in submerged places that it'd been a lifetime since anyone walked these halls.

Oswald broke the calm, "Hey, this door's the only way out. The lower sections just scan as intakes. I don't see any obvious access panels this place is built like a fortress! You know, it kinda seems familiar. Too many people trying to take over the city to pick it out."

Rembert stood up and put a hand on the door, "Have to keep going then. We'll probably connect with the elevator through there. By the looks of it I think we're alone in here, Oz. Unless somebody's ignored this place for a damn long time."

The two took opposing sides of the door setting their boots on firm footholds. With some elbow grease, a good footing on the grate, and their prybars the door was convinced to open despite the concreting of decades of bacterial muck. As their boots took on water the assisted rebreathers flickered on for a moment before with a wave of one hand they shut them both off. Filters were always active to lock down on methane or hydrogen sulfide and such things. The rebreathers were exhausting though at least this gen didn't run out very quickly.

"How's the air in here, Oz? Rembert asked, "Are we getting circulated air or burning it out?"

Oswald poked at an augmented reality UI projected on his arm where the suit hardware controls were. It took a moment but he started a sampler in his pack. There was so much water vapor in the air it had to take a long-form test. Rembert would have to wait.

"Few minutes to run. I think we're at least sucking in air from somewhere though. Air pressure didn't go down.", said Oswald.

Rembert started carefully prying at a cargo box to see what was inside. Better idea of what kind of stuff they might expect here would be nice. At least folks didn't generally keep dangerous things next to the lockers.

He looked around at the detritus as he carefully worked a cargo edge, "Hey Oz, see if you can find access cards or something in the lockers."

The nav pad went about moving the small drone as nav software took pictures of objects. Oswald picked up a few dog-tags and looked them over. Filing through the lockers he saw all the military gear and flags at the end of the hall. Kind of tattered but the layout of this place sparked his memory, "Hey, Rembert, isn't that the flag of one of those gigantic empires that went missing? These guys sure aren't bandits! I hope this place doesn't have a security AI. Or at least that it don't care to shoot at city IFF."

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Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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While the Aschen Empire was quite advanced, they had an inherent almost superstitious mistrust of artificial intelligence. Thus there was no security AI present to ambush the poor civil engineers.

But the facility was run by simple computers, sensors, and other equipment to keep everything running smoothly, and the test of time was a testament to the durability of Aschen technology. Fresh air coursed through the facility as old ventilation fans slowly came to life, the churning of pumps, filtration systems, and electrical transformers bathed the otherwise silent complex with a low hum.

Behind the door directly across from them, was a deuterium-tritium cold fusion reactor, which had been on standby for decades, now hydrogen plasma coursed through it, breathing life to the facility.

Old barracks were in the next room, deteriorated mattresses on bunk beds filled the room with the musty aroma of decaying fabric, mold, and mildew.

The room across from the barracks was an armory, Disruptor rifles, fusion cells, Impulse weapon systems, and all sorts of rather potent Aschen weaponry lie strewn about, coated in filth, and gunk, likely entirely nonfunctional.

Next door to the armory was the Bifrost room, an otherwise empty room with a large platform in the center, and decaying, dilapidated control consoles surrounding it.

It was the final room, across from the Bifrost hub that housed a dark secret, experimentation gone awry, or something more sinister.

A self contained stasis pod slowly began to come to life, hissing and churning as it started to bring it's occupant out of stasis, whatever this was, the Aschen were conducting experiments in secret, before something prompted them to abandon the facility.

The stasis pod hissed even louder, and then it opened up, it's occupant pushing themselves through the layers of unconsciousness.

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Rembert nearly dropped his omnitool until white knuckles kept a firm grip, "Ashen, jiminy fuckit it's the Ashen! No wonder the trunk is acting up on the live side! This must be one of their old bunkers right on top of it!"

Oswald didn't exactly have a firm grasp on the Ashen but the name made him a little grey inside his helmet from what he did remember. Maybe the thing in the sewers wasn't quite so bad. Could they get get out the door they came in though?

Both spoke at the same time, "WELD THE DOOR CLOSED."

Both men hurriedly dropped what they were doing and unpacked a plasma cutter case occupying a third of their backpacks. The case had a retaining cable in case they dropped it as well as the umbilical. The suit capacitors could charge enough energy to sustain the torches for a fair while and the dual-processed high volume air pump kept it in shielding gas. The micro-fusion generator wasn't anything imperial but it got the job done with capacitors to store the energy.

They both hustled out the stairwell door hurriedly unpacking their plasma welders on the wet floor. They started pushing the door closed as tight as they could with a grunt and white of motors. Knelt on either side they'd chip away grime with the omni-tool then start the 30,000 degree plasma welder to try and pinhole weld the frame to the door.

Plasma welders at this amperage hit the supercaps hard and it still would take the longest 30 seconds of their life to do half a foot of weld distance. Enough to keep the doors shut.

"What about the elevator?!", Oswald asked while the plasma torch threw bright white light against the frame and door surface.

"Screw the elevator, one thing at a time! We can try disabling it up top!", Rembert replied even a little worried himself. The suits might not have enough juice in the caps to get them up stairs at a hurry.

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Character Portrait: Tidus Khaine Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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There's no telling how long he had been in stasis, but darkness was starting to give way to light as the stasis pod opened up.

Strength slowly started to return, as his previously dormant nano-machines began to churn to life. At this moment, his eyes slid open and he hefted himself off of the stasis pod, all eight hundred pounds of pure biological power.

The sound of a plasma torch crackling against metal filled the room, as with the smell of ozone and the stench of molten metal, Tidus had to act fast, as it seemed whoever tripped the base's systems to unfreeze him was also trying to weld the door shut.

"Not today." Khaine muttered to himself, before springing into a full run across the room, and into the door, his body impacted the metal with a deafening thunk, reverberating through the entire metal door and into the concrete hallway.

He cocked his fist back and landed a punch, denting the metal, he cocked back again, and landed another punch, inhuman strength working to further his goals.

Bloodied, and his knuckles bruised, he pulled back for another punch, impacting the door, and then growling.

He briefly scanned his surroundings, spotting a disruptor pistol sitting in a small locker near the corner of the room.

Grabbing the weapon, he loaded the fusion cell, and then charged the disruptor pistol, firing a single shot at the door.

The round impacted the door, sending a plume of smoke and a shower of molten metal, he fired again, and again, jackhammering the door with disruptor bolts until the cell was discharged, but the door was now glowing a bright orange, it wouldn't be much more and Khaine would be free of his prison.

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The door erupted in deformation as something damned huge wanted out. They both let go of the torch grips and the woosh of air-pumped plasma stopped. Each backed away from the door dragging their plasma pack closer by the cord.

Oswald was the first to swear loudly, "FUCK! It's not going to hold! I knew there was gonna be something horrible in here! Why can't we find shorted split wires to fix in these places like engineers in normal fuckin' city!"

Rembert found his brain as the door started heating up from weapons fire on the other side, "Shut up and run!"

Oswald forgot the bright red Wing City PWA branded minidrone entirely. It just kept flitting about taking pictures of things in the hallway. Rembert nearly forgot to put the plasma torch away before trying to run anywhere. They both nearly collided at the stairwell door following each other out at top speed. Plasma packs in their hand they clomped upward through the spiral starecase with the loud whine of basic power assist exosuits. These things weren't built for speed but it let engineers keep a dead run up stairs if they had to! The suits started to overheat toward the top as Oswald put his hand on the wall to catch his breath and recycle his rebreather.

Rembert hot-footed it back over to the door changing profile to plasma cutter. He didn't know if he had enough time before whatever was in that room broke out but he didn't want to be in a closed coffin when it did! Oswald staggered over nearly hypoxic from the exertion under the rebreather that engaged with the plasma cutter. They were both feeling it but Rembert was in a lot better shape. Adrenaline kept their lungs pumping hard and they didn't have the energy to talk. Oswald re-engaged the rebreather and started cutting at the other door hinge above Rembert. They had no idea how long it would take, couldn't understand the door controls to work them, but it was their only way out. On each of their backs the giant hi-vis labels of the wing city PWA department much like the one their drone bore.

Below them the small red PWA drone flit around autonomously as an unintelligent drone completely incapable of alarm. It fit in one's palm and would happily click a picture of anyone stepping into the hallway. It was a robot built on motion sensing slaved to Oswald's nav pad.

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Character Portrait: Tidus Khaine Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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The engineers likely weren't cutting the door for more than thirty seconds, and with the plasma torch pumping into the hinge, the hinge didn't seem to want to give, the energy from the plasma was pulled in, and redirected into the entire door surface.

A gruff voice spoke behind them, though, almost in a mocking yet sarcastic tone.

"Those hinges are Kanvium laminate, your torches aren't going to cut them." He said, lighting a rather large cigar, before flipping his lighter close and taking a drag, blowing a wisp of smoke into the hallway.

Tidus moved rather quickly for a man of his stature, his naked body adorned with cybernetic implants, various surgical scars, and solid musculature. The blood that was oozing from his split knuckles was a brilliant red, with an almost iridescent silver hue, reflections given off by the massive concentration of nanites in his blood.

Almost mockingly, Tidus keyed up the holographic pad, entering a series of commands resulting in several audible, yet strained clunking sounds coming from the door.

"These blast doors can take a direct hit from a nuke, your torches won't do shit to them." He added, turning to face Rembert, and Oswald.

"So, who the frak are you? You're not IIA, you're not Imperial Navy, why the frak are you in a top secret Imperial military outpost?"

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Character Portrait: Tidus Khaine Character Portrait: Jinhai Character Portrait: Rembert Kaulen
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They'd not even noticed they weren't getting anywhere as much adrenaline was going through them. Oswald, being still a wee bit hypoxic from extended duration and heavy exertion under a rebreather just plain passed out after the mild panic attack when Tidus talked. While the plasma torch stopped when the safety was released it hit Rembert's helmet with a thunk.

"Fuckdamnit!", Rembert yelled at door then spun around suddenly having to catch Oswald dropping his own torch.

Rembert tapped the small emergency release and the rebreather system hissed as it disabled. Their reflexes were trained for field emergencies not combat. Rembert looked at Tidus and finally remembered to cut his own rebreather off so he could think straight.

He didn't quite shout but Rembert did speak a mite loud while his own adrenaline was still pumping, "Wing City Public Works!"

"We're here because the main business center trunk line is damaged and something was putting an unhandled draw on the supply side of the trunk!", He said while calming just a bit even with the ozone-laden air.

Questions and quieter rambling thoughts of an engineer came in with oxygen, "The place was off we were here to sever any draw. The isolation sheathing is fucked on most of the line after the seismic event it probably can't take the EM thrown off whatever's powering this place. Even if it's not spliced in. The damned lights weren't on and the whole place was flooded where the hell did you come from? Nobody's seen an Ashen for a hundred years at least!"

A small drone came with a soft *Weeeen* noise up the spiral staircase finally catching up after finishing and Oswald moved out of range. When he didn't offer a hand to land on it set down on the top of Oswald's helmet.

Oswald started to regain consciousness, still a bit delirious, as Rembert pushed him against the door, "Hi little birdie! I thought the Ashen guys were smaller? Is the shadow monster gonna eat us now? Oh, we're still inside. Fuck."

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Character Portrait: Lucy Monica Character Portrait: Ty Yamasen Character Portrait: Doctor Buzzkill
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#, as written by Gundo
Lucy and Ty finally made it. Although, it was not much to look at. It smelled terrible. Ten times worse than the Wing City alley ways. And there were barely any lights. Gave the place an edgy feel to it. And it was dead quiet. Lucy yelled, "HELLO!" Ty nudged her sharply. "I advice caution here." Footsteps were heard just in front of them. "Now..." It was a very puny voice. Weak. A small thin man, with yellow skin (Lucy figured she was hallucinating). "You two must be the ones meddling with my plans..." Lucy laughed. "Meddling? What are we the Mystery Gang?" Ty took him seriously though. "Yes. And I am very curious as to why you are stealing toxic plant-!" "And why would I tell you these things? You are clearly not worthy of my information." He crossed his arms. He had a clean white lab coat that swayed at his feet. "Not at all." He narrowed his eyes at Lucy, who was still dying of laughter. He held out a palm, and a swarm of insects poured out of the darkness and pelted them. Lucy held out her hands, and froze the bees like she did at the garden. "That is really just an old trick at this point." The man didn't look surprised. "I have been monitoring you lately... Lucy Monica." Lucy stopped, her gaze hardened. "Who are you?" "A man who likes to... keep an eye on his enemies. Smart to keep your enemies close." He said, tapping a gloved finger to his forehead. "Smart indeed." Ty sighed. "You better tell us what you plan on doing, or you will receive-!" "Nothing but the cries of women and children as I unleash my weapon upon the city." Ty closed his mouth quickly, and unsheathed his sword. In return, the little man clapped his hands, and men on all sides began to pour out of the darkness, all had those wrist gauntlets. "Not even one with your talents could take on this many." Lucy decided it was worth a try.

She punched the ground, freezing it over, and forming icy obstacles that blasted up from the ground, throwing people into the air. The small man was now nowhere to be found. Lucy wasn't paying attention. She socked a guy in the chest, freezing him to the ground. She kicked another's legs, sweeping them, and throwing them face first into the ice. She felt a gauntlet smash her face, and crack her nose. She fell to the ground, sliding on her own ice. Ty was easily keeping up with the first wave of them, slashing them down and parrying their unsheathed blades. Until one got a hold of his hair while another pelted him in the stomach, until he collapsed. He coughed up blood, then passed out. Lucy got up slowly, and threw up her arms, forming an ice shield just as a blade smashed against it, pushing her farther away. She held her hands up. She felt her energy sap out of her from the tips of her fingers until an armada of sharp spikes of ice formed over her, all threatening to fire at the mass of thugs. And they did. Then there was the quiet again. They were all sliding on the ice, with the spikes firmly implanted into their masks and arms. Lucy couldn't keep herself up for long though, as she fell to the ground. She used up too much energy in one spell. And then she was out cold, just like Ty.

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul
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Sybil was frustrated by this new world but understood why Myrkul hadn't been prepared for it. It knew how to capitalize on its native environment but without the Black Storm. Once she'd heard they managed to implode the damned thing due to corruption she started the Jinhai making another under a city they already had some protective forces in. The slumwalks was an older deeper part of the city and displacing some of the moles that tried to set up shop in its forgotten places wasn't hard. The Jinhai scoured all life and air from the places then rebuilt them to her specifications. Construction was still on-going but one couldn't get in without passing through the Way or being a psyker enough to knock on the 'door' so she could let them in through it. Her Way gate was one particularly pernicious to not-itself or things not explicitly recognized by Sybil to pass. At least until she had more forces staged here.

She needed to build another ex libris to get structural psimass where they needed it from Genesis and more of the patterns that tech marine sent down. Quiet things of focused war, those marines. But to build his construction of defenses in far flung locations or parts for his research was constrained to lugging vaults half way across the city at low speeds down to her. As it was there was another Vault making its way across the city as her Vault was already at half-mass making more manifestation beacons for the techmarine.

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul Character Portrait: Dread Pirate Captain Blackheart
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#, as written by Sepokku
"Darling," the synthesized voice of Omnia woke Blackheart from his slumber. "My scanners are detecting a large energy signature emanating from The Slumwalks. It might be worth checking out ~" Her sentence ended in a giggle, her avatar raising a gloved hand to her mouth to stifle the would-be giggle. The Captain pulled himself out of his bed on the ship, a bottle of rum falling to the ground and shattering as he did. A nanite swarm cleaned the mess almost as soon as it was made, and the Captain hurriedly threw on his clothes.

The Captain's Frigate, The Bleeding Heart, was docked at port; and generally too large to efficiently maneuver Wing City, so he was instead on a smaller cruiser, escorted by four servitors of varying sizes. The mechanical monstrosities were currently on auto-pilot, being controlled by Omnia, and Blackheart was enjoying exchanging witty banter with her as she pretended to be four different people. "Well boys, let's get to it then. George, how's the wife been?"

The cruiser touched down, and the Way Gate stood before the Captain, two servitors on either side of him. "What are your orders sir?" Their synthesized voices barked in unison. Something about the Gate seemed off, and the ex-Pirate's shadow writhed and coalesced into a dog. "Fufufufu," The Quasi-real shadow dog seemed to laugh. "It might be trapped." Blackheart glared down at it, and with a swift kick to the dog's would-be ribs, the shadow dispersed into it's proper form.

With a casual shove, the Captain shoved a servitor through the portal and watched it violently shudder and explode. "Omnia, there's something shielding this gate, send me another five servitors" Omnia chirped back, via a neural uplink. "Yes, my love ♥"

Blackheart concentrated on the Gate, his shadow writhing and pulsing as he did. A tiny voice in his head, the demon Bezalel, shared an idea. What if we re-create this Way, and pass through that one instead? "You can do that?" The Captain responded in shock, seemingly talking to himself. I am older than the ground you walk on child, I can do many things. With a bit of power, and a little guidance from Bezalel, Blackheart opened a Quasi-real shadow of a Way, and the remaining three servitors took a defensive formation in front of the Captain, and stepped through the Way.

"Yeeellllooo, anyone home? I come, more or less in peace."

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul Character Portrait: Dread Pirate Captain Blackheart
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The psychoportation network was a passive system and the walls did fracture to the will of the umbralkind. Without a core gate the network hadn't an Id to defend itself with. The main difficulty as it stood was breaking in without being noticed. The tunnels were rarely unoccupied for long or too distant that others would not notice a change in topology. There was a distinct impression of passing two sets of four large swirling grey eyes. None too approving either. The perimeter had several sixteen-many Jinhai organized to carve out and shape extradimensional space for the new psi-forge. They kept the tunnels of the nearby sewers from listing in spacetime while the interior was fabricated to fill the void.

The outer layer was the first built and no void in it but that one stood on dead soil with empty pale trees of carbon structures. Though each looked like one that ought to be quite live with leaves that did breathe they served merely in whole as an apparatus of the interchange. Everything here, as good as a non-euclidean outer layer could define 'here', was an exercise in extra dimensional interfaces. This one designed more aggressive than the last. If one looked up at their tips the sky they joined with those of the opposing floor on the opposing side of the space. There was no sun in the distance but any piercing light from some hundred meters away where a captain looked back at himself in the distance of an insulating monosurface. Only the face was the subtle kind of mirror inversion one's mind would easily notice. Somewhere along that range one would see oneself though not always exact. At his current location he'd the shadows brought with him but shortly away from the quasi-real Way gate they appeared to die entirely within the muted glow.

The 'trees' were branches of a sensory construct that sampled the proxy space surrounding the inner layer. A simple creature easier to writ robust looking for curious abnormalities. None more curious than the captain and his umbralkind. A rustling complain creaked progressively from tilting leaves near him. Haze rising from the soil from the environment. That luminescent fog curls inexorably closer eager to excise a shadowy cancer ignorant of the humankind it was bound to.

At least until someone halted the protective layer's objection to the shadow creature given the offer of the Humankind it lived in. Several small pyramids shot from the ground nearby then raced about the area to take positions. Sybil phased in from the interior with several loud stumps from all directions. Turrets seen creeping forward in the proxy layer as a very tall humanoid figure walked closer. Some pointing toward him from a floor position behind a copse of trees that would otherwise put it out of view if not for the ceiling overlap.

She wore no boots but did wear a heavy blue brigandine apron of some fluidic metal. Auburn hair framing an expressionless burnished face with ratios of beauty arranged to specification by the calculations of an exacting overmind. The sides of her hips at each side of her apron had no evidence of clothing on her faintly bronzed skin though the faint glow marks of hot metal spatters badly losing a war of regeneration on her surface said it little mattered. As she closed the distance trees more small pyramids appeared from foliage and moved entire trees as much as the cooled metal fell away from her too then vanished.

Faint silvery patterns shone on her face as the silvery eyes of the first predator glare, "I do not make peace; I make war against all Aetherkind. What do you want, Humankind? While you are permitted in the fringe the Living Emperor does not take kindly to unknown persons drilling into his forges. Especially not one bound to Umbralkind. If you're looking for the humankind once here we built them a suitable space nearer to the surface."

The shadow might recognize the patterns as true names of strong shadows, demons, undead, and angels alike. The names of their immortal beings now nothing more than a marker. Souls broken and dismantled the hollow names could rise no more.

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul Character Portrait: Dread Pirate Captain Blackheart
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#, as written by Sepokku
The man's shadow flared and moved around him, ignorant of prevailing light conditions.Nice place they got here, might make some good servitors out of these... things. Blackheart waved a hand in front of his angular face, as if to dismiss the notion. The demon was always thinking errant thoughts in the Captain's head. "Omnia, are you getting all this?" Static emanated from one of the servitors speakers, a garbled voice coming through. "Yeah, *crackle* it just litt-*crackle* static filled." The servitors were Necromantic abominations, outfitted with cybernetics, and made from many corpses sewed together.

"That's a shame, we'll have to export your personality next time, I think you'd love it in here. A spectacle of Magitech at its finest." The man stepped forward to examine his surroundings more thoroughly, boot-heels crunching slightly on the soil. The light dimming near his way was interesting to note, but he wasn't perfectly sure what to make of it, nor particularly concerned. A different servitor from before chirped out of it's speaker in Omnia's synthesized voice. "Ye-*crackle* taking samples *crackle* can for study." The Captain approached a nearby tree, and ran a black gloved hand over the bark, ignoring the fog that rose from it.

Someone's noticed our presence. They seem... whats the mortal word here... peeved. Ehehehehe... Bezalel's laughter resounded through Blackheart's head and he was slightly disoriented until Omnia's words brought him back to reality. "Oh em gee ~ *crackle* do you se-*crackle*-is? Well wo-*crackle* the trip. Going *crackle* make many advances." A woman phased in, the servitors stood in staggered line, making full use of their recording equipment to capture as much of the spectacle as possible for Omnia back on the Frigate.

A low whistle pierced the lips of the Captain as he admired the Giantess approaching him. The demon sounded in his head, Oh... Oh my... Her tattoos are quite tacky. Though, there's a few good ones on there, ones that deserved their quaint little fate. The demon's host could make out two or three true names of angels but didn't understand what the demon was getting at with 'tacky.' Is she wearing summoning sigils? His idle thought left as quickly as it came, and he re-adjusted his tricorn to look up at the newcomer, and her curious machinery.

The woman's speech pattern was interestingly unfriendly, however it became downright offensive. "Whoa! Wait, wait, wait. I am NOT bound to this FILTH! It's bound to ME!" For emphasis, he slammed a fist against his chest, creating a jingling noise as his concealed weaponry jangled together. "And I'll have you know, that in Wing City, it's traditional to greet your neighbors when they move in! The welcoming committee knocked," he waved an idle hand to the servitors in reference, "and it seemed like the door was open. So I came in, to say hello. Give a little to get a little here Miss! I doubt you bothered to note your presence with the proper authorities, cause i don't know if you know this, but 'The Living Emperor' isn't the proper authority in Wing City. So how about we start over? Hi, I'm Ex-Pirate King Captain Blackheart. You appear to have newly arrived on this... planet?"

Omnia chirped in, her voice coming from each servitor simultaneously creating a choir of a feminine voice. "The second squad of servitors have nearly landed and are ready to join you Captain ♥" To which the Captain responded, "No, no, no. Things aren't going to escalate here. Keep them on standby."

With that he stopped to remove his tricorn, the trinkets tied to it rattling as he shook it out and pretended to dust it off. "Therefore, it seems to me, making enemies would be against the wishes of this 'Living Emperor'? These creations of mine are loaded with explosives, just putting that out there. I doubt either of us wants to deal with that kind of, kaboom." His arms splayed wide, in an 'exploding' motion. "Is this Emperor your God? My God is the almighty currency." With that, Blackheart snapped his fingers and the Servitors produced HardLight shields, assuming a defensive posture around their master. "Perhaps we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement here. You seem to have scientific advancements and slash or organics I could use, and I think your little abode here is lacking a certain something." Bezalel giggled manically, a voice that could be heard audibly. "Kekekekekek, making a deal with the devil, are we?"

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul Character Portrait: Dread Pirate Captain Blackheart
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The gathered dust material was a quasimatter under active control of the demiplane. It reacted badly to containment by exomatter the patterns destabilizing to a luminous sludge and vapor. Luminous fog however actively evaded the prodding glove of a humankind dust of point-patterns circling instead by irritation of umbralkind in vicinity. The bark itself a psionic mirror playing back the tainted patterns of umbralkind it sensed in vicinity in voluminous detail.

Her eyes narrowed as shapes ambled through the trees, "We do not often react with hostility but your creature is bound loosely enough for us to consider you tainted. It will go no further even with your badly rekindled suicidal servants. Your impostor gate must be excised, however. I can see to your sudden egress internally when necessary."

Silver eyes considered him for a moment, "I am Sybil, forgemaster mada of Myrkul's Vein. Jinhai has rekindled enough of the city government they leave us alone and do not seek entrance. Much our limited first batch after breaking the bulwark by a shadow dragon. Then by demons. Then the shadow dragon, again. Then by humankind's internal strife. We do not care to involve ourselves in civil affairs or give out cookies to neighbors. The government's loss of servitors has dropped an order of magnitude since the facilities were constructed and lower infrastructures rebuilt. Myrkul's Vein serves Humankind as a whole not just the Living Emperor."

She looked at the shadow creature walking around as the gate behind them shuddered. Jinhai busily chewed away the vicinity of planar fabric it attached to from outside. Ground searing back together the gate's space warping away in a painful direction. The creeping fog did much the same to animate shadows. A caustic muted light of defensive construction that slowly disjoined eddies of shadow as its parts replicated into all available space. A hunter-seeker artifice that upon an encounter with shadowstuff disjoined and ground it down to vent the resultant digested aether away from the pocket dimension.

Dead eyed glowing celestials and a few slack-faced devils wandered closer to the murky location between trees. They moved fluidly but without their own agency. Just an apparatus for Sybil to control, now.

She raised a hand to halt them, "I'd be happy to give you the knowledge to learn how to excise this umbralkind's free will if you have the means to execute it. Aetherkind can also be made into mindless servitors for Humankind. As they all should be. Seeing as the umbralkind is tethered down it can't very well escape the procedure. Hollow eyes of an aetheric lobotomy would suit it quite well in submission to a humankind."

She gestures to a celestial's face nearby as porcelain in movement as color, "We do not serve deities or demons. Adolefactus dethrones and dismantles their diadem once contained. Nor do we care for money. We have our own resources. Amassing yours implies a preference between you."

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul Character Portrait: Dread Pirate Captain Blackheart
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#, as written by Sepokku
The giantess was being, uncooperative to say the least, which was a foreign concept to the ex-Pirate. Usually people feared him enough, or at least were easily enough coerced with a bit of bluster, to make these sorts of dealing easier. He especially wasn't used to being called 'tainted' and the word was slightly upsetting. The way she was protecting the deeper corners of the vault certainly wasn't helping to dissuade him either.

"No cookies? So I came all this way for nothing?" Blackheart barked a laugh, taking his flask out of his inner coat pocket, and taking a long hard swig of the liquor within. "As far as civil affairs go, well.... Here I am. I'm afraid it's too late for you to try to keep out of it all now. The energy signature from this vault is, pardon my french, fucking massive. You're attracting ALOT of attention here."

Bezalel chimed in, out loud, much to the Captain's chagrin. "Shadow dragon? I wonder what would happen should we tear a rift to the Umbra? Do you think there are many umbralkind that bear a grudge against you? The Aether spilling into this Vault would keep your hands full long enough for us to poke around, do you think? Blackheart just sighed, thinking about just how loosely bound the demon was.

Omnia's voice crackled through one of the servitor's speakers, "Darl-*crackle* gate close-*crackle* reinforcements?" Soulless husks of Devils and Celestials approached, and the Captain clicked his tongue. "Naah, it's all fine Omnia. If it comes down to it, I think Heaven and Hell would make more suitable reinforcements."

Though Bezalel was unruly and rather annoying, the knowledge of past events, rituals, and secrets that it possessed were invaluable. "Sorry love, my living shadow may be an ass, but he's my ass. I'm afraid I like him with his own independent agency. As for binding extraplanar messes, I have it quite on lock, and find them more useful with their own minds so I've not the need to micro-manage. I'm terrible at that, can barely manage myself really." The Giantess that claimed to serve no deity, but also called herself the Forgemaster of Myrkul's Vein was really starting to cause issues.

The Captain produced a container of silvery flecks, a swarm of medical-grade femtite machines capable of dismantling and re-building matter at a quark level, eyeing them as he spoke. "Sybil... Did you know your name stems from ancient prophets from a world far from here? An Oracle at Delphi or something or other. Divine Counsel, it means... For someone who shuns divinity, you sure seem to be heavily tied to it... It is said Sibyl's only authority comes from God, from a Deity." The swarm buzzed in its cage, reacting to Blackheart's neuralink, as he continued to talk. "Time is money, and my time isn't cheap. I didn't come to this city for my health. I came here because this Vault registers almost throughout the entire gods be damned planet, and I'm not leaving empty-handed."

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Character Portrait: The Lord of Decay Character Portrait: The Bubonic Fraternity
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Deep in the belly of the Slumwalks an infection had begun to fester, unbeknownst to even the Guild that called it home. Though the Walks were supposed to be a safe haven for the disenfranchised, a last, welcoming stop for those thrown away by the merciless world above, in the end it was no different than the surface it so loathed. Medical care was non-existent, hygiene was the providence of rich men among paupers, and unless you worked - stole from the Topside till your pockpocketing fingers bled - safe food didn't exist. Illness was an inevitability for the lost, and wayward souls trapped inside the feotid city, and once one of them became too sick to work, and too bloated with disease for "pleasant company," they were exiled. Driven out by force even, if it was deemed "necessary."

For all their pomp, and grandeur the Lucky Men were nothing but cutthroat profiteers. At least to those damned to other side of the Pus Sluice.

Behind that massive, rusted gate laid a much different world. Comprised entirely of six different sewer tunnels there were no houses, no structures beyond the occasional ragged tent, and the filth never ceased. Pus, bile, excrement, and rotted flesh mixed freely to coat every inch of every surface with a crusty layer, all set to the backdrop of the agonized screams of the dying. Left abandoned, and forgotten the people inside had been sealed away to decay until there was nothing left. No hope, no chances, no happiness, no life.

Until recently that was. For The Lord of All was merciful, and his gaze never strayed far from his children. Even in their ignorance.

Change had swept the Catacombs, as they were called, and it was spreading faster than a clensing fire. All through the waste-strewn miles a new idea clamoured, carried from one sick man, woman, and child to the next by the Bubonic Fraternity. Where these men, and women clad in the masks of ancient doctors, with skin so gaunt it stretched over their bones like a dessicated, leathery hide was unknown. All that mattered was that everywhere they went, and everyone they touched was healed.

Not "cured", but healed, and made hole.

Weeping sores exploded under their careful minstrations, bubos swelled, and guts distended, but all that truly mattered was the pain. The horrific, maddening pain that afflicted the lost, and damned sometimes for decades ceased in their presence, and in the wake of their pilgrimages. The strange symbols they imparted, the vile prayers they accepted in lieu of pay, and the ever rising tide of mutations were small prices to pay to laugh again. Even the tiny, feculent Imps that capered about during their sermons had come to be accepted in short order as tiny harbingers of a better tomorrow.

The larger, darker things that crept further in the recesses however were still given a wide birth.

Men, at least they seemed, in corrupted armour stalked the deeper halls, twisted cyclopion stewards at their sides stopping to categorise the muck. Flies the size of basketballs made their nests in the long putrid remains of those who weren't saved in time, and even larger, sanity-rending creatures took the the air. Not a single soul dared venture that far into the darkness for fear of the Corpulent King, and his Court.

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Character Portrait: Mada 'Sybil' Myrkul Character Portrait: Dread Pirate Captain Blackheart Character Portrait: The Lord of Decay Character Portrait: The Bubonic Fraternity
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Sybil shrugged as the immaterium shifted quietly looking about as the misty forest agitated. A bad sign as the machine was more sensitive than herself to warp creatures. They tried to perturb the natural framework of reality just by existing. This synthetic monosurface far more obstinate a machine. The city needed a reinforced locale given how often these umbralkind loosed horrors for minor irritations or just murder for mild amusement.

The creatures stopped their advance as she just stared impassively, "My name was written on my urn. I don't care why the humankind named us that way we serve the Living Emperor by way of our Overbeing. Not the deities of Celestialkind. We're aware of how much this place attracts demonkind from the last one built before I arrived on plane. This time I had them correctly build this layer absent natural dimensional constructs. I leave the reality unconstrained and interfaced for politeness and to not be constantly resolving discontinuities cleanly."

She pointed at the sample, "Like what happens if synthetic planespace under maintained interfaces to natural ones enters the natural in an isolated natural glass vial."

One eyebrow raises at the portal slowly bending out of reality, "Speaking of. Jinhai, just format the remaining gate and vent the natural matter at the other end. There's been a warp shift and those filthy Chaos things aren't getting in. Exponential elemental layer resistance to interface proxies, close all native ingress interfaces, and destroy and reinitialize any altered zones not the current visitors."

A one-sided response to a query she added, "I'm aware of the resulting discontinuity."

The elemental planes iteratively turned bleak and too-smooth as servitors went to work. A short squall of ticking under this reality's nature observed in ceasing its passing of contact to the plane without. Natural energies still came but there was soon a distinct impression of reuse like recycled air's metallic taste coming from the shadow plane now as natural forces were 'reused' from a common pool. The faster one drew the harder it became to draw more as the pool no longer refreshed from without.

The remaining door blinked out of existence its locale in reality replaced in whole from a set image instead. Roughly cut native threads of reality detonate the leeward portal in the sewers a bleeding gash melting the bricks for tens of meters then searing itself shut. Inside such a thing far more regulated as footsteps in the dirt were quietly replaced with the original pattern of reality in a blink of energy at a rough polygonal bounding volume writing an interface. The flickers grew smaller along their path as ever smaller perturbations were unwritten.

Her steel-colored eyes moved but a little more than her face by narrowing them, "Fine, humankind. I have things to do and there's a disturbance in the warp. I don't have access to the Imperium's weaponry designs yet so what do you even want? I don't hold parties or have brunches with guests. I have things older than you and your pup to deal with similarly inclined to pillage, destroy, and maim and a forge that is not done yet even if I can still make some things. I will translocate you and your servitors across the boundary to a suitable location when you leave."

Apan Sudrosi has arrived, coming from The Undermarket.