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> IC: Reclaiming the Void
Thanee
post Apr 20 2012, 04:03 PM
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While Papa is probing the firewall for possible weaknesses to exploit, he notices an incoming call from a number he hasn't seen in his display for the last couple weeks.

It's Siren calling. When he answers the phone call, her familiar voice greets him.

"Heya! How's things going? I've got a couple days off and I've followed your P2. Looks like you've been very busy, too. Oh, and I have this little problem with my firewall. You see, there's this new music portal, and you know how much I love music, but it just won't let me on there. There's always some message from my firewall about my connection being shut down for security reasons. Something about a spoof-something. But really, security reasons? I mean, what bad things could possibly happen when you want to listen to some music, huh? Anyways, you are so way ahead of me in this stuff, so I thought maybe you could spare a minute and have a look-see? If it fits into your busy schedule, that is?"
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Redjack
post Apr 20 2012, 05:00 PM
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The bass heavy sound of March of the Battle Trolls echos around the large blue smurf as he sprinkles a light coating of magic dust around the firewall. The invisible shield around the node is nearly flawless. A yellow'ish bird flutters nearby; neon blue numbers on his breast display a clock. Damn glad I didn't get cocky and just try to thump this thing on the fly.

A squirrel makes its way in front of the electron wizard, holding an acorn. Reaching down with one hand, Papa touches the acorn, while his other hand continues to spread dust on the invisible barrier. He listens to the message from Siren. He then cocks his head as he finds the right type of crack. It is no wider than a hair, but unlike a few others he found, this crack goes down to the foundation. He smiles and strokes his virtual beard. Looking up at the yellow bird, he frowns at the time it took.

Ever paranoid, he moves the van several blocks away, re-spoofing both the van and his comlink in route.

"Siren. Girl, how are you? Things have been pretty crazy... gonna get crazier. We should meet. Physical possession is always easier for cleaning up possible infections. I'm heading out to the Hahn Free Market later today; in San Bernadino at the moment. Where are you?"

He then quickly realigns his loaded programs and steps towards the crack. Stepping sideways, he becomes 2 dimensional and slides into the crack...
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Buddha72
post Apr 20 2012, 05:14 PM
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Olethros begins to run towards the spire making sure to pace himself with the others so they stay together.
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Thanee
post Apr 20 2012, 05:51 PM
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Siren continues the phone call with Papa.

"Yeah, that would be cool. Hope you can tell me something about that crazy stuff. Right now I am in Santa Monica, but I have my car here, so no problem getting somewhere. Hahn Free Market you say? Just say when. An hour or two in advance would be great, so I can actually make it in time."

Papa recalls, that Santa Monica is where Siren lives... normally. Though she was looking into getting a nice little flat in Downtown recently under one of her IDs.
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BishopMcQ
post Apr 20 2012, 06:30 PM
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Papa

Sliding through the crack, you find yourself standing in a cloud of electronic noise. None of the data appears legible and your analysis returns gibberish. The noise grows louder with each passing second.

Questers

Moving quickly, you close the distance to the spire. In the reflection from the bowl, you can see harpies and other monstrosities appearing in the sky overhead. All around you, the horrors of the void reappear.

As you get nearer to the spire, a man stands surrounded by eight demonic forms made entirely of blood. He's a mirror-image of Uetz, with war paint matching the standard-bearer.

"Come brother, it is time to climb to the top of the spire. You must perform your duty and I perform mine."
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Redjack
post Apr 20 2012, 07:01 PM
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The smurf begins to squirm, immediate deactivating his spoof then running his decrypt. As the seconds pass like hours, he grimaces. Amateur mistake.
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Saytr
post Apr 23 2012, 12:39 PM
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Brock took note of all the scary crazy and doppler twin of Uetz popping out at them made him question just about everything he knew about life as a normal mundane troll. I sigh of relief came as uetz and Ollie strarted talking about getting to uetz home plan which seemed from the sound of it to be a more majestic and not so bloody and deathly place which would be a nice change of pace. Brock held his hammer tightly and kept up with the other ready to barrel charge anything that came at them to slow them down.
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BishopMcQ
post Apr 23 2012, 02:16 PM
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Papa

Slowly, the system comes into focus, the digital noise fading into the background. The node has a generic interface sculpting. File archives are represented by a long archive of books, autonomous programs are rough geometric icons. One of the programs is holding a book, scanning data rapidly.
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Redjack
post Apr 23 2012, 06:00 PM
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The meat body breaths a sigh of relief and the bio-monitor feed into the VR HUD shows his heart rate and respiration lowering. Inventory node perhaps?

With the stealth program running, Papa Smurf looks more like his Predator variant, blending into the background of the node. Looking through the reading glass on the end of his pudgy nose, he looks for the user accounts. Time to figure out the security landscape.
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Redjack
post Apr 24 2012, 09:50 PM
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Spotting the tell-tale signs of an alarm, Papa grimaces. He pulls the paint brush from his belt, ink already blotted on the brush. Brush in hand, he edits the system alert to a false positive from some spam and issues a cancel on the alert from the firewall.
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BishopMcQ
post Apr 28 2012, 11:53 PM
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Papa

The adjustments appear to take hold and the klaxons around you fade away. There are no visible changes to the system or programs deactivating. It doesn't appear that IC programs were launched.

Questers

The spire has a rough texture and easy handholds. Brock and Ollie set a swift pace, climbing up the rocky surface. The yellow-striped warrior climbs easily as well, surrounded by the blood spirit coterie. One of the spirits takes Uetz by the arms and begins to lift. The warm blood flows upward, pulsing a counterpoint to Uetz's own heart.

Atop the spire, an obsidian altar rests. Straps made from the braided intestines of unknown monstrosities, show blood stains of long use. Channels are inset into the altar to guide the flow of blood. The spirits gently strip the jewelry and clothing from Uetz's reflection. He lays upon the altar and the straps are tightened.

"Perform the ritual, priest." A distant voice rolls across the wind.

All around the spire, winged horrors circle in anticipation.
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JxJxA
post Apr 30 2012, 04:44 PM
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"No," he says resolutely.

Uetz looks at his counterpart.

"Not until you tell me what madness this is."

And perhaps not even then...
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BishopMcQ
post Apr 30 2012, 07:04 PM
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Questers

"I am the chosen of Tezcatlipoca. My time is done, now I must be sacrificed to fulfill my obligation and save the people from Cipactli's wrath. It is fitting that the priest of Quetzalcoatl do this. All that is created by the others, you destroy. When my lord made the sun, you destroyed it. When Tlaloc became the lord, you smote him. There can be no creation that your lord does not rule in the land of men. There are other worlds than these and other truths, but still you come and call to your lord, extending his demesne. If you cannot do this thing, the maidens will take up the burden."

The man lays his head down and closes his eyes. He takes a deep steadying breath, and lets it out slowly.
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Redjack
post Apr 30 2012, 08:29 PM
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Back in the mundane world, the team's hacker breaths a sigh of relief in the fact that he may avoid being sacrificed this day. Praying that his ruse is working, he assigns his analyze frame to watch for changes in the system that denote either heightened security or heightened scrutiny. Meanwhile, now understanding that his is in a com, he strarts working to determine who the owner of the com is and what access & subscriptions the user has.
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JxJxA
post May 1 2012, 03:50 AM
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"That is a twisted lie. With Xolotl's aid, he braved Mictlan and risked the wrath of Mictlantecuhtli to retrieve the bones of those lost in the Fourth World. With Cihuacoatl's help , he gave of his own blood to restore humanity's life and give rise to the people of the Fifth World. He granted my people the gift of maize, the knowledge of astronomy, and the skill of crafting. Despite the need for sacrifice, he opposed the taking of humans and asked only for the lives of hummingbirds and butterflies. Only extremists believed that he needed human lives to continue the cycle, and I do not stand those misguided few.

"To say that you need a priest of Quetzalcoatl to perform this rite is an insult to him and the Serpent's Feathers, but what should I expect from a minion of Tezcatlipoca, the Enemy of Both Sides? Perhaps your master still fumes after Quetzalcoatl stripped him of the First World's rule."
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Buddha72
post May 1 2012, 04:27 AM
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Olethros looks around the peak and seems to be deep in thought, almost disconnected from the scene playing out before the him. He opens and closes his hands without thought as Uetz explains his reluctance to do what is being asked of him.

"Enough."

He moves slowly but with purpose to stand before the prone reflection of Uetz. His voice is soft and firm as he speaks.

"You brought us here to help you recover your sister in spirit made flesh, lost and banished to this place deeper within. I respect your beliefs but this place is formed by the entirety of your tradition - all practitioners help create this place including ones that travel darker paths to power than the one you seek now. My kin know this reality and I have long since accepted my place and my station. Let me do what my nature can accept."

He calmly draws the knife from the bowl and raises it over his head.

"Your time is done and I release you. The cycles continues and our journey can continue."

He plunges the knife into the heart of the prone figure with a look of reverence and respect.
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BishopMcQ
post May 1 2012, 07:07 PM
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Papa

Scanning through logs and data files, you find the tell-tale signs of a SIN. Ludmila Soren, licensed contractor for Watanabe Security Consulting. There are corollary documents, sundry licenses, and travel papers for an extended business trip in the PCC. The PAN is actively subscribed to  pair of touch gloves and AR glasses.

Your search is interrupted when your analyze program alerts you that an active trace is running. It identifies the agent you previously noted analyzing data files as the source of the trace. 

A new process begins on the system, a text editor.
// hello thief.
// looking for something?

Questers

As the knife bites into the chosen of Tezcatlipoca, the spirits merge into a solid wall of blood. The heart blood of the sacrifice runs along the altar, seeping into the channels. It pools in depressions and flows down to the undulating wall of crimson.

Some of the blood flows across Olethros' hands. It runs into the wound, as if driven by a concerted will. The wound seals itself and strength flows through the fighter's muscular frame. 

As the sacrifice releases his final breath, a woman's voice seems to come from his lips.

"Regaining your mantle lies in returning that which has been stolen from us."

The wall of blood closes into a dome, blotting out all light. The darkness slowly gives way to tree branches in a lush jungle. All around you, the colors feel brighter, smells are stronger, the sensation of the fabric on your skin clear as when you first are dressed.

A monkey resting in a tree over head looks down. "You should not be here mortals, this is the land of rest for those who have passed beyond. These are the rewards for true service to our gods."
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Redjack
post May 1 2012, 08:10 PM
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The scathing wound in Papa's pride does not slow him down. As the end user is caught up in typing the message, Papa moves at the speed of thought that comes having his brain hot-wired to the matrix.He unloads the ice and deletes trace program results. As the user finishes typing, he unsubscribes the user's AR gloves, copies off the personal data (SIN, licenses, access codes) and logs off.

Once out of the node, he puts the van in motion, leaving the area at a normal pace. He waits a few seconds for the data transfer to finish then re-spoofs the access ID of his com.
<<@Siren [Papa] My schedule just opened up. Wanna meet now?>>

Time to find another out of the way place to re-spoof everything and change the van's appearance... again.
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JxJxA
post May 2 2012, 02:10 AM
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Uetz bows reverently to the monkey speaking to them.

"We apologize for crossing into your realm. My name is Uetzcayotl Tlaloc, a follower of Quetzalcoatl and Nahualli. These are my companions, Olethros and Brock. We are dwellers from the tomb of rock and water, but we have come to Tamanoachan to rescue my twin sister. She is a spirit and denizen of this realm, but crossed the veil that separates our planes to come to my aid. She was banished back to this plane in battle, and we have come to rescue her.

"We would be grateful for whatever aid you can offer to send us on our way. Her name is Quauhtli."
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BishopMcQ
post May 2 2012, 04:42 AM
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Papa

You slowly drive away. No sirens or alarms go off. Driving through town, you take the time to change the van's appearance, sweeping the tracks away.

Questers

The monkey turns his head sideways as if knowing the words, but their meaning was wrong.

"There is no creature here that requires rescuing. This is Tamoanchan, and the realm of Itzpapalotl, grand-matron of the one you serve, but there are none kept here against their will.

"Your journey here, is to take Quauhtli back? What need is so great and pressing that you must wrest her from her well earned sojourn?"

As the monkey speaks Quauhtli's name, your vision blurs for a second. All of you see a wide valley, untouched by civilization, stretching out below you. A river cuts through it, with distant mountains. Movement. A creature scurrying out from under trees to get water. Distance blurs past your vision in an instant, as you dive at speeds you've never dreamt of. The reflection of the water shows a large, golden eagle--claws stuck deep within a lizard almost a meter across.

Your vision snaps back to where you are standing.
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JxJxA
post May 2 2012, 05:05 AM
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Uetz looks up confused at the monkey.

"My sister called for me in the physical realm, and so I set out with my companions to bring her free her from the effects of her disruption. While we are not bound by blood, we are entwined in spirit. I am her compassion, and she is my courage. Together, we are Precious Twin.

"I seek Quauhtli's aid as we have been informed of a creature from the metaplanes that seeks to disrupt the balance of existence. This creature is known as Locket, and she is hunting down relics of the past and power. We have been asked by the one known as the Huntsman to oppose this Locket.

"If you know where she is, I would speak with her. We passed through another's realm, and I have not felt her presence since then."
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Saytr
post May 2 2012, 10:18 PM
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Brock stood in the metaplane watching Ollie kill Uetz image on the rock and now a talking monkey he was so lost in what this place was and what it meant to have a true understanding of magic. He made a mental note to research some of the names they all mentioned to better understand it so if he ran into anything resembling it he would at least know what he was facing slash dealing with. Brock listened to the other two talk to the monkey which only perk more questions which he knew he would probably never truely understand. Being the mundane meat of the three he let the other two do all the talking and kept a defensive posture next to the other two constantly watching for danger.
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BishopMcQ
post May 3 2012, 08:53 PM
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Questers

"Come with me, I shall take you to her."

As the monkey speaks, he jumps out of the tree on to Uetz's shoulder. The jungle closes behind the pair suddenly, separating the Aztlaner from his companions. A voice come from behind Olethros and Brock.

"He shall stay in these lands for a time, until the Quauhtli is prepared to leave. She has earned her rest and shall not be forced out of these lands by mortal hands."

A beautiful woman with living tattoos of butterflies on her skin stands there, in traditional Aztec garb. Looking closely, her fingertips end in sharp claws belonging more to a large cat than a person. The butterflies' wings have sharp edges like obsidian knives.

"Return to your lands and travel here no more."

You find yourself laying on the grass in front of the small house you met the team at before. The van from the driveway earlier is gone. Your commlinks register with the local network, notifying you that several hours have passed. The odd whistling noise and pressure in your ears is gone. The rift appears to be sealed.
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Saytr
post May 3 2012, 10:12 PM
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Brock gorggy from sleeping on grass and loosing the amount of blood he did looks around noticing the van is gone he figures Papa is probably gone. <@Papa[Brock]"hey chummer you headed back our way anytime soon, Uetz was lead away by a monkey where ever we were and Ollie and I were booted."> Brock looks around and hides his weapons from plan sight laying in the grass with a grenade launcer strapped to him and a Large hammer in his hand didnt send the right image to the neighborhood he didnt think.
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Redjack
post May 4 2012, 03:46 AM
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Papa runs analyze on the data he's downloaded, just to insure he's not downloaded a nasty surprise with it, and lays in a travel plan for the Hahn Free Market.

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