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Frontiersmen: WELCOME TO THE MACHINE (edited version)

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Mar 7th, 2016
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  1. < Edited version. Less grammatical mistakes, more coherency, more memes (nah), more D/C's by Alstann. >
  5. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Ultima King has called on the Frontiersmen for a matter of grave importance through an astral projection. The ghostly form opened a portal to each available member, leading them to his home on Kingsgate! The team finds themselves stepping through the shimmering golden gates and onto a fog-shrouded cliff high above a rolling, violent sea. Before them stands an imposing structure of aged wood and stone. A set of double doors closes off the sanctuary just waiting for someone to knock!
  9. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: The miniature figure stood before the giant set of doors before him. They were much bigger to him since he had been shrunken down. He just looks up at it. "Is there a doorbell around here?"
  11. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism flinches and tries to hold her hair still against the wind. "He couldn't have ported us inside?"
  13. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: As her experience so far with the Frontiersmen so far has been firmly grounded in SCIENCE (albeit some very weird science), Amaris is a bit uncomfortable with the whole supernatural demi-plane thing. She fidgets nervously, "Is this a bad time to say I don't believe in magic? This is just more alien-mind shenanigans, right?"
  15. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Stepping through the portal, Watchman found himself on the cliff, slightly disoriented due to his inexperience with the supernatural. As the feeling passed, he made his way in front of the structure.
  17. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer was traveling back to Earth from a Star*Guard base when he received the summons. Dropping out of FTL, his staff floats back to his back and attaches before he blasts through the portal. He comes to rest near the group, "Hello Archerfriend, Amarisfriend, Smallfriend and... ladyfriend whom I don't know."
  19. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She whispers loudly to Starlancer as she walks to the door, "'Ladyfriend' means something else, amigo."
  21. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "Jordan Shaw," she sneers when she overhears Uplift, "but I'm also known as Prism."
  23. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Hey, hi, hello.--Is someone gonna open the door? It's kinda cold out here." Particle Man is the smallest of the group. He cannot open big doors.
  25. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer knocks on the door, "MAGICFRIEND!"
  29. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Almost as soon as the door is knocked on, it slowly creaks open! The team catches a brief glimpse of a figure before... a large, shaggy black dog steps through. It sits in front of them and gives an expectant bark before turning and heading in. Looks like it wants them to follow?
  33. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer follows the dog into the building.
  35. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Watchman. Couldn't really introduce myself before, Starlancer." The archer narrows his eyes at the dog, hesitantly following it with the rest of the group.
  37. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She had turned to introduce herself to Prism and jumps 30 feet into the air when the dog barks, "Ohmyjesus~ Okay, calming down now. Let's go inside."
  39. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Particle Man waddles on in so he could follow the dog, but takes flight shortly after entering, "Geez, it's just a dog," he says over to Uplift. "It wasn't a dinosaur or something."
  41. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism follows slowly, scanning the surroundings as they walk.
  45. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The inside is rather grand, decorated with flowing tapestries and grim-faced statues. Paintings show portraits of important (most likely mystical) figures or scenes of battles with various monsters and otherworldly beasts. The dog doesn't give them a lot of time to take in the sights however, moving right towards a flight of stairs and towards an open door. From inside they can hear chanting... words in a tongue most likely unknown to the others. There's an electric feeling to the air the closer they get. The dog barks again, giving them a look before darting through!
  49. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "This reminds me of a time on Zahleer." He, as always, doesn't elaborate beyond that and starts acting like a tourist looking at all the interesting things along the way.
  51. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "On what?" he asks Starlancer, "Nevermind.--Does anyone else hear that?" he remarks after hearing the chanting. He doesn't stop following the dog though. He knew where he was going.
  53. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Uplift gawks right along with Starlancer, "How does he afford all this? Or is it just magic?" She pauses and looks at the group when they reach the new door, "He sounds busy, we should go?"
  55. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The dog, as if understanding Uplift, pokes its head through the door and gives another sharp bark at her!
  57. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Nonsense! He asked for aid!" Starlancer burst through with the dog, "Hello, magicfriend! We arrive with new dog friend!"
  59. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "We're not leaving," he says to Uplift. He made his way to the door before taking a lucky step out of the way before Starlancer burst through the door. He made his way in afterwards.
  61. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "Well, he invited us," she says as she struts on through.
  65. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The room inside is large and round, mostly cleared except for a stone circle in the center with four robed statues overlooking it. In the circle is a glowing crystal sphere set in a waist-high metal stand. The chanting cuts off as Ultima King turns to his guests. "Welcome to Kingsgate. I'm sorry I couldn't bring you directly in, but I have a few spells going right now and didn't want to risk disrupting them." He hovers away from the sphere and gestures for them to take a look. "I'm sure you're curious why I brought you here. Look. It will give you insight." The dog takes a seat outside the circle, giving a big yawn. King gives it a critical look, but seems more intent on the sphere and their mission.
  69. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Particle Man decided to land nearby, but he ends up landing by the dog. He just wanted to pet it. It's a dog, how could he resist? He does look up at the sphere, not letting his full attention be pulled away, "I did wanna visit here, but I guess the tour can wait next time."
  71. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Seeing as how they weren't going anywhere anytime soon, Amaris decided it was best to get things over with, "Okay, I'll look at your globe thingy."
  73. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism twirls her hair idly and watches the crystal.
  75. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman walked towards the globe, intent on getting a closer look.
  77. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer happily walks up to the globe and looks at it.
  81. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "There will be plenty of time for tours later," King clears his throat. Inside the orb there are multiple twinkling lights. Some brighter than others. Outside of these lights, in the darkness, is a deeper darkness that constantly creeps closer. "Like the physical multiverse, there are many realms that exist on a higher plane. I don't want to give you too much unnecessary information, but there exists in these higher planes other realms. They are part of the natural order. And they are under threat as much as the lower planes." He gestures to one of the lights and the image seems to get closer. The light is slowly fading. "This is... the Machine. A plane created by human ingenuity. It should not be fading."
  85. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Um, when you say 'created by humans', do you mean we built it? Or imagined it? And why is it fading?"
  87. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Have you tried putting new batteries in this Machine?"
  89. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Hm. There's something amiss then, King?"
  93. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "'Imagined it', is a good way of putting it..." King nods. "It formed in response to human ingenuity, specifically mechanical. It's fading because it's in danger. My scrying orb alerted me to this problem early, fortunately. To threaten a higher realm like this... something powerful must be behind it. Something taking advantage of the entropy created by the damage being done to the physical multiverse. If it were to be somehow destroyed or damaged... It could have a lasting effect on reality."
  97. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "But how? I thought it was imagined. imaginary things can't hurt reality can it?"
  99. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism ponders Particle Man's question. "I don't know...imagining 'President Trump' hurts my reality..."
  101. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Maybe like a kid's game? Someone imagined the floor was lava."
  103. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "You are aware of psionics? Mental energy theory? If not, it's enough to know that its destruction could cause a powerful psychic backlash."
  105. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "What's your take on the situation, King?"
  109. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "Someone is taking advantage of the energy created by the destruction of weaker multiversal realities to find a way to strike at the higher realms. I believe this is a test of sorts. Someone is seeing how far they can take this. What kind of damage they can cause. If The Machine falls... it will lead to the destruction of more of these realms. It has the potential to weaken the Natural Order... and further weaken the bonds that hold the Multiverse intact."
  113. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Then we shall protect this Machine!"
  115. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "That sounds pretty bad, but do we keep that from happening? Do you know who's even doing it?"
  117. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Uplift blinks, totally and utterly confused, "Look, I'll just follow your lead here."
  119. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "Not yet. It has the markings of one of my foes, Lord Nowhere... but I haven't been able to confirm. The problem with the Machine is that, well, I'm not allowed there. That means I'll have to rely on you to go in and handle it."
  121. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "I'm curious to know why you're not allowed in that realm."
  123. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The dog makes a noise, almost like a laugh, and King gives it another look. "That is a story for another time, I think," King says, sounding a bit embarrassed.
  125. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman barely hid a smirk.
  127. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism speaks in a lofty voice, clearly zoned out. "We've all been 86'd from somewhere."
  129. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Did somebody lose a bet this time?"
  131. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "...parking ticket?"
  133. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "I am unsure of this '86' in this context..."
  137. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "We can discuss it later," he says more firmly. "For now, I'd like to ask you if you're ready to go. It will be dangerous... but the Machine isn't malicious by any stretch of the imagination."
  141. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "I'm as ready as I'm going to be."
  143. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "On your lead, Ultima King."
  145. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I might have to use the bathroom at some point...but I'm good!"
  147. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "I'm assuming imaginary realms don't have Starbucks...but I'm ready."
  149. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: King nods and raises his hands. A small hole opens in the ground and what looks like a model of an impossibly complex machine rises. Gears, steamwork, electronics, watchwork... It's a dizzying display. "Join hands. Stare deeply into the Machine." He raises his hands and they glow with an otherworldly light. The dog lays down, watching quietly. It seems mostly uninterested.
  153. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Imagine a realm full of Starbucks. It could happen." He unshrinks himself after speaking so he could actually do what King asked. "Hope nobody has cooties."
  155. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "They're not contagious."
  157. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "That didn't translate either, but I assume it's a disease."
  159. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman joins hands with the other Frontiersmen at Ultima King's command.
  163. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Once the team does as asked, King begins to chant. They find themselves drawn deeper and deeper into the model, the droning voice and intricate complexities seeming to make the world fade. Each second they discover new parts, new ways that the Machine works. There's a rush as the world seems to fade, and the team finds itself on a mechanical landscape. All around them, there's the hum of working machines... like what they've seen in the model on a grander scale. It's somewhat difficult not to get lost by the disorienting view.
  167. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She turns slowly to Particle Man, "Did we shrink?" Because, obviously, he is the expert on small stuff.
  169. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: His attention is caught by, well, everything else around them. He doesn't even look at the others. "Huh? Nuh uh. I don't remember shrinking."
  171. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "It must be a trance of some sort. We should be careful."
  173. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Either way, there is someone here that needs a good ol' whoopin'!"
  175. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Yeah, but where do we even go? Look at this place!"
  179. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: As they become adjusted to this world, the team notices that there are mechanical insects crawling over the machinery, replacing gears here, tubes there, installing what look like circuit boards! This doesn't seem out of the ordinary for this place.
  183. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "So...and I'm just wondering out loud here....why did the magic guy send a team with no other magic people to a magic place?"
  185. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "'Cause he couldn't come, and we only have the one Magicfriend?"
  187. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Yeah, okay, well... I guess I'm just nervous is all. What do we do from here?"
  189. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I just wanna point out that this place doesn't really look all that magical. It's like we're inside a giant clock or something."
  191. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism is in awe of the grandeur. "It's magnificent."
  193. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Do not worry Amarisfriend, we shall kick the butts of all the bad guys." He pats her on the shoulder.
  195. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "I'm hoping King can still give us guidance in this realm."
  197. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Me too."
  201. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Fortunately, guidance comes to the team. Just in a different form. A clean white robe rises from the ground, a mechanical skeleton filling it. The metal insects quickly scurry to it, building onto it and stretching a metallic 'skin' over it. It ends up as a ten foot tall humanoid figure that looms over them. "Speak. Why do humans come to the Machine."
  205. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "We took a wrong turn on the way to the liquor store."
  207. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer raises his hand, "Not human."
  209. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "We were sent here because someone is trading to make this place disappear? Oh, and we want to stop that from happening. Obviously."
  211. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "What she said." He points to Uplift.
  215. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The... robot(?) pauses, glancing to Starlancer. It looks back to the others. "Restated. Why do mortals come to the Machine?" It pauses to take in the answers. "The disturbance. A destructive force in the Machine. It can not be tolerated. But it is hidden. It is within the Machine. It is the Machine. Impossible."
  219. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer raises his hand again, "Not sure if I count for that either."
  221. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: " can sense this thing that's out of place? How do we stop it?"
  225. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The robot looks to Starlancer. "All beings are mortal. In the end." It gestures around itself. "Sense. Feel. But it's wrong. Impossible. Part of the Machine." It seems confused. It shakes its head and points to a spot in the ground. Another, more humanoid robot rises from the ground, constructed by the insects. "Muse. Aid them." The humanoid machine gives a pleasant, but nervous smile and replies in a singing voice, like steam and chimes. They can understand it though. It wants the team to help it help them! It gives the impression of seeking and searching in its voice as it points towards high, mountainous bits of machinery that jut from the landscape. Go higher?
  229. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Okay, show of hands, who cannot fly on their own?"
  231. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "This all seems very cryptic," he said, gazing up at the mountain of metal. He raised a hand in response to Uplift's question. "We'll have to go up then."
  233. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Muse slowly raises its hand.
  235. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM wasn't paying quite attention. His eyes were still checking their surroundings here and there. He looks at the ones raising their hands and raises his, "What're we raising our hands for?"
  237. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer holds out his hand, causing his staff to fly into his hand. He floats up, "I can carry one of you if needed."
  239. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism begins to fly upwards and looks down at the others expectantly.
  241. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She sighs at Particle Man and snaps her fingers, causing him, Muse, and Watchman to rise into the air along with her. She lets Star and Prism lead.
  243. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Particle Man wasn't going to complain about getting a free ride. He gets to be lazy. "Hmm. Who wants to play hide and seek?--Wait, I guess we kinda already are."
  247. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Muse's mechanical eyes widen and clutches its robes as they rise. From the higher perch, they can see steam and smoke from parts of the machine. "Hidden. Here, but part of the Machine," a skeletal face built into one of the walls intones. "Impossible." The Muse is more helpful, its singing voice suggesting whatever the problem is is likely hiding. Probably in a smoggy area or in one of the mechanical valleys! In the distance are several likely spots.
  252. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "There's a lot of places to look though. Should we split up?"
  254. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Floating due to Uplift's gravitational powers, Watchman says, "Might be more efficient that way. Anyone object?"
  256. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "I am fine with this, friends."
  258. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism shrugs. "On with the show?"
  260. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Maybe. PM, I know you can fly, so you're on your own. If someone wants to take Watchman or the Muse, I'll go with the other."
  262. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Booo. I wanted a free ride. Star should take Watchman though, so you can keep the Muse safe."
  264. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Come, Watchfriend! We shall storm the burning fields or... smoggy peaks."
  266. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Right. We can quickly search both areas this way. We're on comms if you find anything." He walks over to Starlancer.
  268. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM suddenly glows in his glorious blue aura when he turns his flight on, "I'mma go explorin'. Call out 'SPRINGROLL' if you got anything!" He doesn't explain why he says that and off he goes.
  272. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: As the team scatters, they get to see more of the Machine. It largely seems impossible, interlocking gears working in harmony with devices that seem to run on nuclear energy, hooked into devices that burn coal. Everything works in a kind of incredible harmony though despite this. The further they move in though, the more places they uncover that their 'troublemakers' could hide in. The Muse laments to Uplift that the Machine is nearly limitless, always being built. How could you find anything in that?
  276. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She bites her lip and looks at the Muse with concern, "So it works like a regular machine, just way more complicated. Could someone have installed bad softwhere? Or built on some faulty attachment?"
  278. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: After splitting up and adventuring on his own, a thought came to him and he speaks over the comms, "Hey guys? What happens if we all get lost? Did anyone spot a landmark?"
  280. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Oh, good call, PM."
  282. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "I see some gears."
  284. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: As he is being transported by Starlancer, he uses his visor-integrated domino mask to scan the area for landmarks. "Nothing yet."
  286. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "No one get lost, then."
  288. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Easier said than done! I don't even remember what direction I came in."
  292. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Muse considers this a moment, then sings that that would make sense. Something taking over the Builders without destroying them. Something subtle. A virus maybe? Part of the Machine. Not part though. Impossible. The skeletal avatars words make more sense. The Muse's singing voice suggests that a destructive force wouldn't be an agent of change. It would be static. A lack of change in the ever-changing landscape...
  296. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Speaking on the comm, Watchman says, "Uplift, anything to report? The Muse is with you after all."
  298. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Huh. Okay guys, if we're looking for landmarks, try and find something that is *not* changing. The Muse says that would cause problems with the machine since it is always building new things."
  300. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism waits to see where everyone else goes before wandering off in her own direction, occasionally attempting to echolocate.
  302. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Hm." The archer continues to scan the area, but for something that fits Uplift's description. "Something that kills ingenuity..."
  304. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Flying around, searching for anything of note, "I spy with my eyes something... bronze."
  306. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Is it a gear? I see a lot of those."
  308. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "It is, smallfriend!"
  310. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Do I win a prize?"
  314. (5:40:44 PM) GeneralFreedom: In the distance, the Frontiersmen would see something... it blends in with the environment, but there's definitely something wrong. The power sources are all the same thing, some kind of bizarre crystal contained within glowing tubes. In the center of this is what looks like an infernal engine belching smoke and steam. It looks like its held into the ground by claws attached to hefty duct work. The Builders in the area move slowly, deliberately. Lacking the enthusiasm the team has seen in other places. The Muse seems horrified by this, its chiming voice filled with fear.
  318. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "I have a kernesh orb I got while I was getting my suit repaired. Would you like that, small friend?" He is totally paying attention.
  320. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Um, anyone else seeing the evil-looking engine thingy over there? It doesn't seem eco-friendly."
  322. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Starlancer, focus." His visor picks up the energy from the crystal which prompts him to zoom in for a better look. "Got a visual on it too."
  324. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I have no idea what that is, but--I think I see it. Is that what we're looking for?"
  326. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "It's our best lead so far. Let's check it out, gang."
  328. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Action time!" He kicks it into high gear, blasting quickly over to the area with Watchman in tow.
  332. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: As Starlancer gets closer, he seems to activate some defenses set up by the odd Builders! Rows of clunky-looking cannons rise from the landscape and begin spewing blasts of pitch black energy! The Muse sings to Uplift, telling her that the engine being built must not be allowed to fully awaken!
  336. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She slows her advance so as to keep the robot lady safe and get a better view of the field, "Okay, it's gonna shoot us. Also she says we can use violence and destroy it. So everybody do your thing."
  338. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "I shall block, you shoot!" He says to Watchman, aiming the staff in front of them and forming a barrier to hopefully stop or deflect the attacks.
  340. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "On it," he said, his bow already out and ready to go. In a quick move, he attempts to fire a couple of low-intensity explosive arrows in order to disable the cannons.
  344. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Starlancer (and any other Frontiersman that gets in range) would find that the blasts are catastrophically powerful. They impact the barrier with incredible force! Whoever built this wasn't screwing around!
  348. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism shifts into her invulnerable form and just runs straight at them. "Finally, a good scrap!"
  350. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Particle Man could definitely see, and probably hear some of those blasts going off. PM heads on in to catch up, not having encountered the cannons yet, "Be careful!" When he does get in range to engage, he shrinks himself down so he could maneuver around and be a more difficult target for the cannons to blast.
  352. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Uplift uses her superior agility to dodge out of the way of the blast rather than try to bend its path. She pulls Muse closer to her for better control and picks up speed as she flies toward the engine.
  356. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Muses's mechanical eyes click as they open wider and wider and it clings tightly to Uplift! Prism would find her invulnerable form tested by the destructive mystical energy of the cannons but manages to push through and crash through a battery while Watchman's arrows take out a handful. On the ground, the Builders don't seem too concerned by this sudden activity. But there's something else stirring. Mechanical figures tainted with roiling black sludge that sticks to their forms! They aim smaller cannons at Uplift and the tiny glowy form of PM, trying to blast them out of the sky!
  360. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: A faint white glow flows down the visible skin on Uplift's arm as she reaches out toward the engine and lightens the effects of gravity's pull. The radius becomes larger and larger, probably sending workers and soldiers floating off into the air or at least making their job that much harder. She holds the Muse with her other arm and ducks into a barrel roll to avoid incoming fire.
  364. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Rather than going forward, PM simply drops out of the sky like a sack of bricks to avoid being blasted. He catches himself after dropping several feet then returns fire!
  366. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer does some evasive maneuvers trying to get closer to the workers, so Watchman can arrow them.
  368. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism sprints around punching stuff, grinning wickedly, and tries to redirect the cannons' blasts away from her allies.
  370. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman continues to fire more arrows at the remaining cannons, knowing he's soon to run out of that type of arrow. "We need to end this fast."
  374. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The cannons and the mechanical constructs don't seem especially sturdy in relation to their powerful weaponry, clearly meant to destroy things quickly rather than engage in prolonged conflicts. The Builders not caught in the gravity do their best to repair and build more cannons and even those forced to float struggle and twist as they try to continue their work! The goopy constructs do their best to fight back despite losing their ground, shooting destruction blasts wildly! The Engine roars, building up power as the fight rages around it... The Muse's song sounds more like a shrill whistle as it shuts its eyes tight.
  378. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I wish I had bigger lasers." PM maneuvers around, dropping low when he needs to. He's being very careful about not getting hit. One of those blasts could probably turn him into ash. The tiny hero doing his best to keep more of those cannons from being built. "How far in do we gotta go?"
  380. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Uplift, what's the Muse saying? I need more info about the area before I can figure something out." He says, firing another arrow.
  382. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: His staff magnetizes to the armor, and he holds a free hand out to blast a gamma ray at the machines.
  384. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: It sounds like the Muse is saying that the Engine needs to be destroyed but it's hard to tell through the panic and already existing translation issues. It's not exactly being helpful right now.
  386. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: She yells back through the comm, "Look I don't know, she's just whistling really loud. I think we need to keep blowing this up."
  388. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "Sounds good to me!"
  390. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Engine itself seems to be empowering the machines around it, feeding their destructive power. The Builders and defenders can't seem to keep up the pace though. The huge Engine begins clicking, a few switches on it flicking themselves. The energy flowing through the nearby tubes starts to intensify.
  392. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Alright. Starlancer, see if you can get me closer. Prism, try to get as close as you can while amping up the destruction. PM, keep distracting. Uplift, I need more power from you."
  394. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "I love a man who knows how to take charge." Prism slams the ground, sending a violent sonic tremor along it, hoping to clear a path between her and the engine.
  396. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "On it!" The little hero does what he's best at and keeps blasting those blue particle beams at unfinished cannons while trying to blast away any that hadn't been touched yet.
  398. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Uplift makes a pass on the engine and comes back around as she continues to focus and expand her control. She makes every effort to make it damn near impossible for the machine and its workers to continue to function, reversing the flow of fuel and magnetizing moving parts together.
  400. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "I can do closer!" He lets another gamma ray fire off before retrieving his staff, powering up the shields to max and diving down towards the engine. "CHARGE!"
  404. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The machines start grinding to a halt, their mechanisms halted and strangled by a lack of fuel. This makes them easy targets for the rest of the team! The Engine clicks and struggles to power up, fighting back against Uplift's powers as if it were a living thing! Unfortunately for it, its defenders are dwindling and the corrupted Builders are getting caught in the crossfire! The more aggressive members of the team should have no trouble getting close with the damage being done.
  408. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman braces himself as Starlancer charges forward to the engine. "Steady!" He attempts to scan the device, hoping to find its weakest points. "I wonder how this even got here."
  410. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Imagination?" After landing next to the machine, he'd attack any turrets near it before bringing up a barrier between him, Watch, and the main forces, "Close enough for you?"
  414. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Engine isn't nearly as complex as the rest of the Machine, but it's very similar. It's got plenty of weak points that are visible now that the counteroffensive has cooled somewhat. It also helps that the few remaining cannons don't want to target anything too close to the Engine, forcing the remaining goopbots to try and rally to its aid.
  418. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman nodded in response to Starlancer, aiming his bow at the Engine. "Alright, cover me. Prism should be nearby to help." He walks closer, attempting to examine the device up close.
  420. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Amaris starts to become sluggish and immobile as she really puts some muscle into literally grinding this machine's gears. Her veins are bright white and humming with energy. The gravitational field no longer pulls things up, it begins pulling metal and fluid in entirely different directions. Things might get dicey for any allies too close.
  422. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: The goopbots wouldn't get too far, at least the ones in his line of sight. Those were his targets next, and he aims those particle beams for them to fire and keep them from getting closer.
  424. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Jordan places her hands on the ground and starts to vibrate, effectively liquefying the ground under the goopbots in an attempt to slow their advance.
  428. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Engine is practically coughing and sputtering now, still trying to pull in energy as Uplift does her damage to it! The goopbots are made into sitting ducks by Prism and PM is easily able to pick them off while they try to respond with their portable death rays! Watchman finds he may be able to destroy the Engine once and for all as inspiration floods his mind, brought on by the own divine machinery it sought to mimic. Hitting it just the right point right now would cause it to go into a catastrophic meltdown... The Muse looks to Uplift with concern, but sings encouragement to her. It knows what she's doing is working.
  432. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer keeps the barrier up to cover Watchman.
  434. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman aimed an arrow at the engine, focusing for a moment before the divine inspiration enters his mind. "Get ready!" After a few seconds, he lets go of the bowstring and fires the arrow toward the engine. "Starlancer, get us out of here!"
  438. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Chunk. The arrow slides through a gap in the Engine's structure, hitting something inside with a satisfying noise. It sits still for a moment... then begins to tremble and rumble violently, almost tearing up the ductwork attached to the ground! The Muse echoes Watchman's sentiment in its worried song.
  442. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Roger!" Starlancer grabs Watchman and rockets upward at superspeed!
  444. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: And that was PM's cue to turn around and head the other way. Nope, nope. He wasn't going to be heading towards the direction of destruction.
  446. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism watches the arrow with interest, still protected by her impervious shell and in no major hurry to leave. "Nice shot."
  448. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Hearing that it's time to boogie, Uplift thrusts her hands forward, sending her and the Muse jetting back and away from the machine at high speed. All of her gravity hijinx around the area comes to a halt, probably causing many things to suddenly fall to the ground.
  452. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: As mechanical minions and bits of Builders fall to the ground, the engine suddenly comes to a halt. There's a horrific grinding as the color seems to drain from the area around it and it detonates, obliterating everything around it and leaving a massive hole that seems to drop away into nothingness... The Muse gives a soft, almost surprised whistle.
  456. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Oooh! That was pretty."
  458. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman let out a relaxed sigh, folding his compound bow as Starlancer gets him out of there. "Nice work, everyone."
  460. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Yeah...good job. Uplift is gonna need some downtime real soon."
  462. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism staggers to her feet and sighs as she examines her half-singed costume. "I have got to stop doing that..."
  464. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Once PM gets enough distance from the engine, he turns around to take a look at the explosion and falling bits of machinery, "We fixed it then?"
  466. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Muse claps its hands excitedly, its song congratulatory. It appears happy with the work the team has done.
  468. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "No, we broke it. But I think that's what was needed."
  470. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Same difference!"
  474. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: Nearby, a shimmering golden gate appears on the ground. Though the Muse looks it over with mistrust, the team will recognize it as one of King's portals.
  478. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: Starlancer offers his fist to Watchman, "I have been informed that this is a satisfactory gesture for completing an assigned task!"
  480. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Revealing that he really does have the ability to smile, he does so and bumps his fist with Starlancer. "You'd be correct. Let's get out of here, team. Looks like our job's done."
  482. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism makes her way over to the gate. "Is everyone alive?"
  484. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: The miniature hero flew over towards the gate then waved at the Muse, "Guess we're going home. So long! Hope things get better. We'll be back if you need help again." After that he zips on over to enter the gate, "Nope. I'm a ghoooost," he says as he enters the portal.
  486. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Looks like it. What about you?" He asked, noting her singed attire.
  488. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: Prism looks herself over. "A little worse for the wear. It happens."
  490. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman nodded to her in response before walking through the portal.
  492. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Uplift waves goodbye to the nice machine people, "Yeah, I'm alive. Just need to take it slow."
  494. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Goodbye, Machine friends! If ever in need of help, please don't hesitate to call on us!" He heads back through the portal.
  498. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: The Muse waves and sings a happy song in goodbye. The rest of the Builders don't seem to care either way. At least the Muse is happy! Through the Portal, Ultima King waits. He hovers before his scrying orb, legs crossed. On a bench that looks out of place in the room, because it was dragged there, lays a woman with messy hair and sharp animalistic features dozing peacefully. "Congratulations," King says without turning. "I saw that the Machine was made safe once more."
  502. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Yup!--And please don't tell us we've been gone for ten years. That'd be horrible."
  504. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "It wouldn't be the worst thing. That insipid Kardashian show would probably be over."
  506. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: Amaris's tired brain forgets about the mission but makes a two + two connection, "Is your dog a werewolf?"
  508. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman regarded the laying woman with suspicion before speaking, "The team did a good job, King. That I can assure you."
  510. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: King chuckles. "Only a few hours. You're fortunate that the flow of time between this world and the Machine is so stable." He lands and steps away from the orb. "She is Barghest. My houseguest." He looks up to Watchman and nods. "I expect nothing less than the best. Our job is to safeguard the multiverse after all."
  512. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Oh." She nods as if that made sense.
  514. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Oh. Oooooh. So that's her," he says this as if implying there were something going on between the houseguest and King.
  516. [NU VU] Prism@whitequeen: "I think that's illegal in most countries."
  518. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: King coughs roughly at what PM is implying and taps the scrying orb. "This wasn't the last time this would happen. I delved into the astral world while you were gone on your mission. There is more coming. And much worse... Much, much worse..." he mutters, turning back to the orb. "You're all welcome to stay here. If you need to rest..."
  520. [NU VU] Starlancer@Keioseth: "Because the possible destruction of all known existence isn't bad enough?"
  522. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman brought a hand to his chin, pondering. "There's something you're not telling us."
  524. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "How bad are we talking here?"
  526. [NU VU] Uplift@Realsorceror: "Um, yeah, a nap sounds awesome. You guys can keep talking about doom and stuff."
  528. [NU VU] Ultima King@GeneralFreedom: "I'm not all knowing. Even with my scrying orb, there is only so much I can see," King sighs. "Give me time... I will know."
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