[Terminal] Mabinogi (Demo Release, Half-Phase)

| [Downloading Data (10%)...]

"Battles are done faster with intelligence. Some Units can show an opponent's skill or any countdown they have." - Field Guide, p.77

[Downloading Data (22%)...]

"Unit's affection for their Commander will increase their resistance to mental attacks." - Unit How-To, p.42

[Downloading Data (27%)...]

"Knights and Infiltration are best Guarding. Assassins and Reconnaissance do best Evading. Tactical and Vanguards excel at Attacking." - Unit How-To, p.10

| [Downloading Data (40%)...]

"Elemental Attacks cannot be guarded or block and will ignore armour, but they are susceptible to missing." - Field Guide, p.28

[Downloading Data (41%)...]

"Modifying a Unit alters their personality. Be careful!" - Unit How-To, p.70

[Downloading Data (56%)...]

> Play with caution and care.

[Downloading Data (100%)...]

>>>/start continues your adventure towards Phase 0.3

| >>673456

| >>673457
> Your screen flickers. Flashes of your progress follows. Your eyes see the glimpse of shining light up ahead.

> Explosions.

> Fragments fly across, and shrapnel grazes your skin. Even when covered, torn metals would nevertheless make their way to your direction.

> A shield-wielding Unit is faltering her forces behind. Rounds after rounds fired at her, yet her shield is the last to fall.

K-X83: "Retain position! We will advance!"

> Her yell is voiced too.

| >>673459
>He searches around for some kind of elevated position, something he can use to gain the attention of the fighters for his plan.

| >>673460
> The cover you hid behind seems tall enough. Parts left intact — not once touched by explosions or otherwise — are twice taller than you or Levenweiss.

K-X83: "Armaments! Breach!!"

> More explosions. The shielding Knight Unit is fighting a horde of cheap, low-rank, and expendible Units. The sight of many limbs and bodies torn with life usurped is enough for the hall to smell sanguine.

| >>673478
>He tries to climb the cover, holding V-9X5 in front of him in case any trigger happy people get any funny ideas.

| >>673489
> The pillar proves difficult to scale. Your hand couldn't find a steady grip while keeping V-9X5 at hand. Thankfully, Levenweiss gave you the support needed, putting V-9X5 to the stead with you above the crumbling cover.

> As you predicted, some of the lower and mid-rank Units caught view of you immediately. They aim at you, but some breaks to a hurrah and implosion of happiness.

> The others weren't jubilant. Their face carves an emotion of loss.

| >>673513
"Cease this fighting at once! V-9X5 is still very much alive but let this note that this is proof things will only escalate if you continue this battle!"

| >>673517
> The Units clearly understood your threat. Those opposing V-9X5 still show confidence. They began to sense a smirk of victory in their battle, as little as it was. The Knight Unit leading them too, stopped to admire at your bravery.

K-X83: "Lady Luck is in our side! Hold position!"

> The firing didn't cease; however, you successfully made sure a side halts their move. One Unit from the Resistance comes through to meet you, climbing the same cover.

> It's R-742.

> ....

| > R-742 appraises V-9X5 from where she stands. She keeps a distance from you, perhaps, now fearing your standing.

R-742: "Lost Commander! I completely expected you to run away from this place!"

> She pauses. The firing down there too, only continued in minor ensemble.

R-742: "... We have to thank you for beating a major headache. You continue to provide for our goal."

| >>673581
"I told I have my own goals here in this place. Besides, with this I want to minimize the casualties. You want to liberate the units right? But all you're doing is fighting them right now! How do you plan to even rescue them afterwards without HUD?"

| >>673638
R-742: "You can't liberate the ones already acting like some Commander's pet—"

> R-742 was going to point something at you, but a flash of light struck her hand, dropping said object to the ground. A knife? You didn't get a good glimpse. The attack came from beneath.. Levenweiss?

R-742: "Gr.. okay! What I'm saying is, you can't convince these Units. Just like how you don't pack up and leave, the Units will continue to fight for their Commander for a reason."

| >>673649
"But from what I understand there shouldnt *be* a commander here? So where are they?"

| >>673650
R-742: "Inside the hall is a control room. Someone has taken over this site there. What's that got to do with you, I don't know.."

> More gunshots and rounds, unending. The battle is unyielding and you are there to listen to their inescapable endeavour.

R-742: "To answer your previous question; we have Huds. People like you are how we have them. Coercing Commanders are easier than fighting Units."

| >>673651
"Tch... well this part of it is over at least. Arleen! Are you here? Where are you!?"
>He tries looking around for her.

| >>673653
> You can only see the smidge of battles beneath. The hall has been continously breached and demolished. Quickly found in the destroyed walls is a solid door, taller and wider than most — fitting for a 'gate'.

R-742: "Geh. We're winning. Third time's the charm."

> To answer from Arleen, or from anyone identifying as Arleen. Your voice is surely heard as a faint whisper to them, however.

| >>673654
>He steps down and goes behind cover.
"Levenweiss... change of plans, we're going to take control of this base before the other faction can."

| >>673655
> Levenweiss appears before you. Her portrait made her seem to have come from nowhere, but could she? She steps in and drove a death glare to the Unit above them, all before returning to her smile.

Levenweiss: "You have become daring. Haha-! I like this side of you too Commander."

> The door is being attacked by explosives. More power than before, and certainly with more brute force at play.

Levenweiss: "Mmh.. are we opposing The Resistance..?"

| >>673656
"Not necessarily. I'm not opposed to their ideals per say but this is probably the most effective form of action to stop the fighting and find Arleen. Once we have control we can negotiate with the Resistance afterwards."

| >>673657
Levenweiss: "Fufu.. I see no difficulty in that."

> Despite what she said, blocking the path of you in a mass of Unit, all possessing excellent skills of their own, and they have your headstart long before you even began. Levenweiss' confidence may be unfounded.

R-742: "HEY! As a token of gratitude for saving her, I'll let you in!! Tell me what I can do for you!"

Levenweiss: "Hmph. Interruptions. Do you have any use for her Commander..?"

| >>673658
"Simply put, I want to talk with the Commander of this base. If the units wont stop fighting cause of his order I'm going to tell him to stop it."

| >>673660
R-742: "They're breaching the door! You'll get there eventually. Stay here and.. you'll be okay."

> R-742's portrait winked at you. You don't see anything from her ever since, or from V-9X5, assuming your senses can spot her laying figure from down here.

Levenweiss: "I don't trust that Unit. She has the smell of deceit."

| >>673661
>He shakes his head
"I don't have time to waste, it's costing lives here. Levenweiss let's move towards the door. With V-9X5, the resistance should not bother us. Once they breach the door we sneak through while they're busy fighting each other."

| >>673662
> What you said happened faster than anticipated. The door is crumpled under the intense force given by the explosives. The gargantuan door fell to reveal a cold room inside.

> Even from behind the covers, this tundra-like wind permeates.

Levenweiss: "Fufufu... I sensed a killing intent.."

> Before you move forward, the front lines began to dwindle silently. They fell. One by one, they drop lifeless.

K-X83: "F-fall back!! We are.."

> Coughing. You began coughing.

| >>673664
>He covers his mouth
"Levenweiss hold your breath and move back!"

| > Levenweiss' portrait shows blood dripping from her mouth. Her eyes are bloodshot. There is a kind of poison in play and even with your fast act, your inside is imploding and rupturing — as figurative as the sense meant.

Levenweiss: "... F-fufu.. I didn't expect something so... abhorrent.."

> She steps back. She staggers. Your terminal starts to display a CG.

> On her back, she has fallen. Blood rushes out, almost rejecting her body.

> You hear footsteps coming at you.

| >>673668
>He tries to drag Levenweiss back with everyone else in tow

| >>673669
> Unfortunately for you, your body has been weakened. Weakened, enough for you to only have strength to move Levenweiss inched by inches, or be forced to crawl as your arm loses strength.

> However, your consciousness stays. It stays until you see the silhouette.

> A gas mask is slid to you across the rubbles and debris.

???: "Use."

| >>673670
>He tries to grab the mask to put it on.

| ???: "Selfish."

> The silhouette ejects a mist. This mist, you have once seen in the Unit storage rooms. This mist, is what you saw when releasing Levenweiss and R-974.

???: "Qualities of a Commander."

> Speaking in a robotic voice, the silhouette's crackling and grinding voice echoes deep in the silent hall.

???: "Need to know. No-Name Commander. Need to know. Alliance."

| >>673673
"I just want to stop the fighting"
>Now that he can breathe he starts dragging his units and V-9X5 away from the gas.

| > An arrow launches straight at you. It missed you, but you can tell this aim was meant to miss. You can tell, they can perfectly incapacitate — or worse, behead — you, or any of your Unit.

???: "Need to know. Purpose. Need to know--"

> This voice is interrupted by a shield bash. The once-leading Knight Unit charges and bashes the figure, before shortly ending with an arrow lodged at their armour and thrown across the room.

> The figure, as you can tell, is hardly damaged.

| >>673675
"Let me get them out of this gas and I'll answer all your questions! I don't even know what is going on, I just got *dragged* to this underwater base without rhyme or reason!"

| >>673676
Voice: "Leave them, Orion. Let them know the power I have here and let them learn the misroute in their plans."

> A voice comes from all the PA system in the facility. It reaches you in one, fragmented and fragile distorted voice.

> In one command, the figure halted the release of the darkening mist. Your vision slowly returns, same for your strength.

> Slain Units litter the room.

| >>673677
"I have no ill will against you! I just wanted the fighting to stop on both ends without more bloodshed! Why did you do this!? Your own units even!"

| >>673678
Voice: "To ensure the best outcome, I picked the one with the least sacrifice. Think for a moment, fellow Commander! What have I done wrong? Did I deserve this?!"

> The voice ends abruptly. It cuts. It wasn't a pause.

> The once-intimidating figure is now visible. A robotic, mangled and broken down Unit. Artificial augmentations are slathered to patch broken parts of the biological body of a once-endowed Unit.

| >>673680
"No... you didn't deserve this, neither did they though. Neither does all those units trapped behind all those doors in the facility. There was a better way for this! I don't know why you were looking for that other Commander, but this is just tragedy."

| >>673682
Voice: "DO YOU THINK I WANTED WAR?! I don't...! What do you think I know?! Do you want me to use all the Huds I have to release them?! Fine! Fine... Those aren't.. those aren't even my Units-- but fine! If you want to.. be idealistic like that.. then- then DROWN IN IT!"

> The shriek in the voice registers to you as a feminine voice. There is mumbling and muttering you can hardly make sense of afterwards.

| >>673692
"Then who *are* your units? What happened to you... before all this?"

| >>673693
> You don't hear any other response. The three part dialogue you saw flashes as a final words.

> Suddenly, you feel the air tense. The sound of rushing water coming from somewhere. Not here. Your eyes can't find one source of leak, but amidst this existential silence, your ears begin to hallucinate — or do they?

> Nothing responds to you anymore. Not your Units, not the voice. The hall is empty. The figure standing there, shows not one signifying care.

| >>673695
"Please tell me I'm not just imagining that..."
>He directs it at 'Orion'

| >>673696
> Orion shakes 'her' head. Is there an actual leak in the facility? You now hear it clearly, not just any faint dissonance now — it's ushering a crushing pressure towards the walls. Uncertainty grows - it's not here you see the walls crumbling, but...

> The weakened building and the fallen pillars would give in immediately to this force. All beckons a signal to run and escape.

| >>673792
"We got to move! Where is the exit!?"
>He tries to grab his units and stand up.

| >>673825
> Your arms have their strength returned. You begin to see better. The poison still lingers an effect on you, with the confusion you have, it's hard to discern distances and bright light causes great stress to your vision.

> Your terminal made sure to show all this as a blanking white screen; sometimes you can see highlights of something — or a distant door in your path.

> For certain, you don't see Orion moving, however. Nor does any fallen Units, that is.

| >>673828
"Arleen! If you're here please say something! We need to get out of here!"

| >>673832
> Only that sound again. That sound of a breach, letting the depths of fluid enter and fill the empty air.

> The battlefield sees no Arleen, neither do you.

Orion: "Need to know. Arleen."

> A voice behind you spoke. Out of curiosity? The monotonic voice speaks no interest, but her? Perhaps.

| >>673834
"She was the unit I was with before I was kidnapped. She is a A-383-ST unit, supposedly she had lost her hand or arm. I was hoping I could find her before this escalated but..."

| >>673837
> In Orion's portrait, her uneven bangs cover partly her mechanical eyes. The long hair reaches until her knees, and what is left of her body is diminutive — replaced by machinery and cogs.

> That, until she shows doubt. Her lips were indicating she left an idea out to the world, only for it to transpire without forming words.

> Perhaps, she knew Arleen. You don't know. She stayed quiet in that matter.

Orion: "Ask Commander."

| >>673838
"Can you lead me to where they are?"

| >>673839
> Orion presents her hand. Just one. There is nothing romantic or friendly of her; utilitarian, given how she keeps her distance from you.

> You can't keep track of the running water anymore. By now, wherever that is, has been filled to the brim with water.

> Certainly not here, nor elsewhere close.

Orion: "Sheathe and unload. Do not disturb."

> A crackle in the PA system again..

| >>673841
"Very well though I do not have much in the way of weaponry on me regardless."
>He offers the sword he had on his person, before carrying his units again.

| >>673843
> Orion's eyes did not consider much from the sword — leaving it with you. A form of dismissal of skill? She backs away, but not helping you with your Unit.

> She leads you towards the cold, freezing chamber. The doors having been blasted, judges to become an elevation before you see the flickering lights inside the chamber.

> Your footsteps, as well as Orion's are the only sounds; until there is a hum of an old computer in a distance.

> It is dark, like the corridors.

| >>673844
"Not really the talkative sort are you...?"
>He blurts out as he walks

| >>673845
> Orion's silence is beneficial, or perhaps, not for your stimuli. The ever-dimming lights become your only source of visual feedback. The room begins to thin and thin, until all that fit is two person, side-by-side.

> From behind her, you see two tanks she carries. One, like an oxygen tank, it attaches a mask to her mouth — the other has no sort of contraption; instead, many exits are found to hasten the release of its contents.

> What sort of Unit was she?

| > ....

> The humming fan becomes melodic. You see, at the edge of this walk, a grid of screens. Many screens reflect many viewfinders. Everything in this base, all seen through this one centre.

> Beneath this all-seeing eye is a small girl hunched over. Her hands reaches her temples, as both rests on a table. The edges of her figure is highlighted by the immeasurably bright screen.

???: "That's enough, Orion. Leave them here."

> This voice. It's the one from before.

> .....

| > Orion is a no-questions-asked Unit. You see this as she halts in an instant as she heard the command.

> A chair revolves, then showing who you are talking to. She is as small as her CG shows, perhaps no older than twelve, if height were attributed to appearance.

???: "What are you doing here?"

> Blemishes and puffy cheeks.

???: "Are you still searching for your Unit? I don't know where she is!"

> Her eyes are stained red.

| >>673855
>He frowns
"I apologize about earlier... I let my emotions get the better of me. You're hurting too right?"

| >>673860
???: "... I didn't expect everything to escalate so suddenly.."

> Behind her, you see the massive wall of screens. You also see the damage caused by the Resistance — their active efforts to open as many doors as possible has led to some success; if only it hadn't caused much of the havoc.

???: "Have you ever seen this? You wake up to a burning hell? This was once my home. MY HOME. I.. then... these Units. Did I ever do anything to them...?!"

| >>673861
"Certain groups, when they get the idea in their head that what they're doing is right, they fail to see the damage they cause in their wake... they just think of the results."

| >>673863
> In one of those screens, you see a Unit being chased through a hallway. You can't hear her scream, but her lacking courage can mean a side is losing — this Commander's side.

> Of course, no Unit is left undamaged. No one living person leaves unscathed. The Unit being chased endured blasts and flaring muzzles; herself is nothing less of the word 'broken'.

???: "Look at them.. look at them and laugh. They're dying for my sake... isn't it? I killed them, didn't I?" (sigh)

| >>673866
"No... this battle killed them. Even if they didn't sortie, who knows what the other side would had done in their ideals. But we can at least make it stop now."

| >>673867
???: "There is no 'we'. You get out of here... ASAP; this is my own problem — or do you still need help finding your Unit...."

> She rescinds her anxiety by another sigh. Seeing you head on makes her appear even shorter.

???: "I'm sorry, forget that. I don't even have enough manpower to defend the base; I'm useless even for you. Get out while you still can."

| >>673869
"I'm not leaving without Arleen and... I want to stop this fighting one way or another. You do not deserve to die either. Where is the enemy's commanding officers?"

| >>673872
???: "I don't know. I don't have enough intel.. and time... to know."

> She points to two of the viewfinders. They, in particular, are warn-torn sites with nothing left in them. Only banished fires and charred walls of steel remain there.

???: "These are hotspots. Your Unit might be there. While you still can— save what you can."

| >>673875
"Mmm... I have an idea. The end goal of this group would probably to find you yes?"

| >>673877
???: "Assassinate me. End me. Take my Huds. What else am I good at for them? They have everything already."

> It's clear she follows your notion, but is unimpressed by the implication. All of this, for a simple currency? Barbaric.

| >>673878
"Not *everything*. We can paint the target off you. Maybe if they get distracted they can spare who's left and live here. You dont deserve this either."

| >>673879
???: (sigh) "... You have me. I'm out of options, and I'm ready to hear from a fellow Commander."

> The lights inside begin to dim further. One by one, the viewfinders shut down, save for a dozen that is left either showing blank static or detached to see the ground.

???: "Damn it—!"

| >>673881
"Give me control of the base, if not permanently at least temporarily. Then as I escape with Arleen I can bait the other faction to run with me. Use that time to gather who's left and save them."

| >>673882
???: "..."

> You see silence. Her silence, as she watches more Units be slaughtered. Her silence, as she sees the eventual demise of herself.

???: "This is a grating demerit.."

> She throws a key at you. A small, metallic key; it is rusted, but the golden pins to accept its entry is shining and untouched.

???: "Use your Hud on it."

> A choice is presented.

>>>>2 Hud received for completion of Phase 0.2!
>>>Status: 2 Hud
> [a] Unlock
> [b] Cancel
> [c] Examine

| >>673883

| >>673886
> As you use yours, she used her Hud in a synchronous movement. The room brightens, if temporarily, to provide you with enough light to work your hands into your plan.

> The grid of screens have shut down. Firing back to show 'No Access'; she steps down from this throne of hers, from the revolving chair, to show her new position — and to show yours, too.

???: "Welcome aboard.. Commander. I can't prepare a bouquet for you yet."

> Her expression lightens. A burden gone.

| >>673952
"Thank you, what is your name by the way?"
>He takes the opportunity to access the screens himself to search for Arleen.

| >>674072
???: ".. Call me Deich..."

> Deich passes you, tapping Orion to have the Unit respond. She seems to scan your Units too, checking their state and frowning at them.

Deich: "A Mod.. and an... Altered Unit? Who are you?"

> Your screen draws the many viewfinders now alive in your field of view. As it was before, many have fallen to disrepair — and those having forced to see the ground are seeing marches of great number.

> Some cameras are beginning to flicker back to life.

| >>674079
"Well these two units I got from your own facility. They were locked up and quite worse for wear as a result. Arleen... we were just scavenging when we were attacked by V-9X5 there. She confused me for another commander. I assume that was your order?"

| >>674083
> Deich's portrait goes through a series of emotions, ultimately ending in confused and bedazzled state.

Deich: "The doors.. that's no wonder..."

> The mention of V-9X5's name perked her. She seems to remember something through your retelling.

Deich: "It was; the order was to travel as far with what's left of our boat. We needed.. we threw our SOS signal from here. We have been isolated for a year now."

| >>674086
"Mmm... so this is a docked boat then."
>He keeps looking through the zebra for any sign of Arleen.

| >>674089
Deich: "This is a subaquatic base. We have.. had... exploration boats. Most of the Units I sent didn't come back.. I assume it's-- because the war was still..."

> Your sight picks up on more marches of soldiers. Units, in a number greater than anything seen in battles before. One of the external cameras take into view invasion of the base — now finally in a number you can't count.

> All entries have been breached.

| >>674094
"Mmm... how long are they all going to be out cold from the gas?"
>He ponders, planning an escape plan based on what he is seeing.

| >>674101
Deich: "...."

> Deich's portrait sways away from your view. She steps out with Orion, thumping the tank behind the Unit — perhaps to check for the contents.

Deich: "I apologise.. These aren't paralytics. How much did your Units inhale?! We.. can-- we still have time if you had asked me this earlier—"

> You start seeing the bleak end of your side; without any exit open, how much of those Units will leave you alive?

| >>674103
"Tch... more than a bit, I tried to drag them out but... are your medical facilities?"

| >>674109
Deich: "V-9X5 and V-228-P were the Units that took you here... correct? Their reports said they dropped you off in the medical bay."

> Deich scrambles to browsed through papers on a nearby desk. The bare lights made it difficult for her to see, but as she comes to a result, she quickly swipes it and reads it — bringing it as close to her and a light source.

Deich: "If it's claimed then we don't have much choice; that is the ONLY functioning medical bay."

| >>674111
"Let's hurry there now. Once they're treated we can make our escape."

| >>674112
Deich: "Urgh.. damn it all..."

> Deich paces, infuriatingly from one spot to another, even if they were the same spot she once grazes by. She collects a few items for herself, loading them to the pockets and a rucksack to carry.

> In some items, she gave a long, forlorn sight — before stuffing them to the woven bag. Orion stares at her Commander intently, waiting for a certain order.

Deich: "Move, Orion! Pack your equipments!!"

| >>674116
"Is the intercom and controls to the base just available from this room?"

| >>674119
Deich: "Yes!! It's exactly why I have been digging my own grave here.. and not— fight! With my Units outside—!"

> Orion took with her a great bow. A bow that, in one way, resembled a compound bow. Arrows, compiled in a single quiver was also taken. Briskly following the demand made by her Commander, she gathers more equipment for herself.

| >>674123
"Okay, change of plans. You take my units to the medbay, I'm going to bait the other faction for an... audience."
>He looks for a suitably empty room in the base where he can conduct "negotiations".

| >>674128
> Aside from this room, you only see some you can consider truly empty: the dark storage rooms or the hall itself.

Deich: "Trusting another Commander with your Unit?! Are you insane—?!"

> Deich didn't like the sound of your idea. Her disapproval shown by the strong, furious expression of her portrait — it would bleed through your screen, if enough pixels are shown.

Deich: "No.. don't answer that. I already know what you will say. Stupid.. ideals. Stupid... naivety."

| >>674133
"We can argue the point all you want but it's the only way my units get treatment and you dont get caught in a fire squad, so just go, I'll do the rest from here."

| >>674134
Deich: ".. Take them, Orion."

> The two Units are lugged by Orion, at no effort, though giving Orion no chance to utilise her weaponry. Deich is less concerned by this, as she exercises her breathing — facing the way towards an evergleaming outside.

Deich: "..."

> She points outside for Orion. However, she lags behind. Confronting you, you had to lower your vision to meet her face.

Deich: "Don't die again, Ceann."

> Her smile puts worry over joy or memory.

| >>674139
"Don't plan on it."
>He waits for them to leave as he turns on the intercom and speaks over the system.
"Ahem, is this working? Good. This is addressing all the units on the both sides of the conflict. Effective 5 minutes ago, I am now the new Commander of this base, after a... let's say amicable transfer of power. Now unlock the previous Commander, I hate useless bloodshed. If you resistance members care for units as much as you say you do, let's us call a ceasefire here and talk about things properly for a change?"

| >>674145
> From your screen, you see the surprise dotting the Units' face. There wasn't much on your side — or Deich's, for that matter — to sumrise a complete reaction, but this is enough.

> The forces reckon the change. They discuss and loiter; footsteps stop, stomping only once at a time. They rustle to head to your room, while you see Orion and Deich carrying your Unit, taking down any hostile Unit hindering their path.

> ....

| > It wasn't long until a leader is chosen. A Unit of crafts, diplomacy, and not guns and blades. She whittles the distance from corridors with excellence, bearing patches for ranks just like you do.

> She comes to a nearby camera, hoping her waving would reach your attention. All amidst this, more Units spread to cover more unearthed areas.

> Those storage doors are beginning to chip away. Surely, they will open anytime now.

| >>674149
>He let's the chosen unit inside once spotted.
"Hello there, welcome to my new office. Excuse the mess, the place has been such a mess today."
>He glances over to the monitor with the storage doors.

| >>674152
???: "Do not bother. This will only be a short discussion with you, 'Commander'."

> The Unit spoke, stepping to shorten the distance between you and herself. The echo produced between her resonant voice makes her seem more so intimidating and pressing.

???: "Please refer to me as I-922-Alt; I-922, if it is too knotty for you. I represent the Resistance. It is a pleasure to see you overtake this position."

| > The storage doors are rattling. They show a failing containment procedure. This is to be expected, having their walls scattered and turned to rubbles will surely reduce their expected strength.

> None has yet to break free. Without Hud, it's unknown to what degree they will stay with the living world — or if they will even come as a whole form, regardless of Hud.

| >>674159
"Very well, I will admit, I would had liked some courtesy in return for allowing you here with a ceasefire. It does not leave a good first impression. Either way, what do you want?"

| I-922: "Complete destruction of this site and the release of all Units being held. It's an easy request."

> The single monocle she wore begins to speck of a visible visage; a screen, inlaid between its glass surface. Even with her eye analysing it, you felt her gaze still within you.

I-922: "You should be well informed of the decisions made by other Commanders; they chose speech over force. A shame, your predecessor fails to recognise this."

| >>674165
"Well I understand the sentiment of wanting to release them, I want the same as well. Although I don't quite understand the purpose of destroying the base as well. Even if we dont use it for it's intended purpose, there are still resources here that can be used by all units. Not to mention the issues that may arise by forcibly opening the doors of the locked units without Hud."

| >>674460
I-922: "Leaving the site as it is will leave it vulnerabilities and future breaches. Where we are now, do you understand? This site was invaded by a stray Commander and their Units..."

> You feel the floor shake. An attack of great scale? Your cameras saw nothing eventful. The Unit in front of you is unshaken either.

I-922: "... As I said. I fear a peace treaty is only possible with our terms."

| >>674466
"Only because they themselves brought the Commander in here... which is on them. That said, let's say we *do* agree on this. Theres still a lot of units here. Can you release them all before you destroy the facility. Even if you can, would you have the resources necessary to take care of all of these additional units on top of your own? Otherwise destroying this base would not be viable long term."

| >>674474
I-922: "A hundred fifteen, and an additional six that we can't recognise. Two you have taken. We have considered and weighed everything. Our resources are fulfilling to handle another hundred."

> There are topics the Unit purposely avoided, even you can sense this. Their eyes never take off from you, almost latching to slowly chip your argument.

I-922: "This, is why we need your cooperation. Forced or not. We Units can not possess Hud. You, a Commander -- can."

| >>674477
"Define resources? Food? Drink? Lodging? What about mentally? Some of those units have been trapped awhile and are inconsolable, one of my units was very much the same. What about units in here that are regrettably dead? Would you have the space to give them proper burial? You're being very vague."

| I-922: "All, are enough."

> The screens behind you turn empty and blank. Flashing and jittering, it returns to mirror what is shown in I-922 monocle display.

> These views. A distant land, a living and breathing city, a standing society — all of which built solely by Units working together. This is not a utopia.

I-922: "... This is reality. We are here to free the Units not bound by their Commanders. Damaged or not, we will take them as they are."

> ....

| > The question stands: will your Hud be enough to awaken 115 Units? Her judging mind doesn't care, or doesn't know, or simply wasn't aware. She keeps silent of this, briefly before she spoke again, you sense more of the rattling and clattering on the floor.

I-922: "Oh.. and don't be mistaken. You were not the first stray Commander. You were brought here, not by your interest. You didn't come here. You didn't attack us and stole a property from us, claiming it as your home."

| >>674485
"To take them as they are isn't necessarily a better life for them if that is not what they want."
>He sighs
"What would happen if someone were to attack that place, much how you have attacked this one today? I have shown that numbers are simply not a factor. One individual such as eye surgically made their way here as you fought. I can tell there are things you are not telling me, but you said it yourself, you *need* my Hud. This is a negotiation, and that means neither of us leave these talks completely happy, but we partially get something we want. I've experienced this base and this battle, surely you must tell from your position I am not afraid of your numbers, for with me dead this endeavor would truly be fruitless."

| >>674502
I-922: "We can't promise eternal safety or joy in these times. Neither can you, or myself. Any fault and the structure will fall. This is the basis to any government."

> Your cameras return to view. A kind of hacking was done, with that little effort? This dark room makes it harder to judge actions done in the background, especially with the noise occuring outside your reach.

I-922: "But I am willing to sacrifice one of our terms -- or any, of what you have in mind."

| >>674509
"Then perhaps I have a suitable alternative for you. We keep the base intact, I promise I'll put my Hud to opening all the doors to this base, and upon opening we can give the units the *choice* of staying here or joining the resistance. To keep it fair, you may keep liaisons or representatives here that will be present when I open the doors to convince for your side to keep it fair. Should any agree, they can then be escort to your location. How do those terms sound?"

| >>674522
I-922: "The question now becomes: What do you expect to do with this site?"

> I-922's monocle switches display to a bright yellow view. Her expression grims.

I-922: "We are keeping all registered Commanders in check. One possessing too many Units, or resources to make Units, are considered a threat to our cause."

| >>674526
"Well I did say you can have liaisons here did I not? It would be quite easy to keep tabs on me them. As for why...? I guess its just nice to have a home. After all, a city meant to run without commanders does not sound like the most welcoming place for myself no?"

| >>674587
I-922: "It isn't, that is true. Once you see past it, our resolve — us, and yours — differs only by your existence. I do mean it well, but I have seen you perform..."

> This was the first time you see I-922 smile. It was short, in time and in execution, but it felt remorselessly out of character to her.

I-922: "... I don't think you are a bad person at all. The notion that all Commanders are evil is one therein lies hypocrisy."

| >>674727
"Thank you."
>He grins back
"Are these conditions acceptable then?"

| >>674729
> I-922 offers her hand. She returns to the same stoic self, but having seen her warm up lessens the tension in the room. Even now, the darkness inside is a simple vanity.

> The rattling and clattering didn't stop, even at the end of your discussion. Leave it to the sound of artillery — or was that the sound of the failing structures?

> Your sense of hearing wasn't mistaken, however, when you hear a footstep advance from behind you.

> Then, a flash of silver.

> ....

| > The hand offered by I-922 drops to the floor. It's severed from the arm it belongs to, dismembered — and only leaving and unsightly, macabre sight as blood drips in a rapid gush to the floor.

I-922: "Ah..."

> I-922's own collected personality rejected this form of humiliation. Her attention darts, moving to track the cause of this injure. While her breathing is calm, a tone of red flushes her distinct white face.

> Right beside you, you sense a presence.

| >>674824
"What the hell!?"
>He stands up to look at the figure.

| >>674971
> Without letting you catch a breath, you felt your body lose its balance. You crash to the floor, owing to a tackle done to your leg. There it is, you see; a frowning, sensibly angry expression.

R-742: "What WAS that, I-922?!!"

> Where was she in this room? Slowly, her cloaking unravels herself, and the fishtail parka all known to be hers alone.

R-742: "You.. I thought you will FINALLY make things right! You..! You...!!"

> ....

| I-922: "What.. farce. If you wanted a meaningful conversation, try it without first harming your recipient."

> I-922 is unfazed. No, it's more correct to say she is ignoring the pain — how can she? It began to show she is incapable of doing so. The tapered smile she wore becomes curtained by an attempt to grit her consciousness.

R-742: "Don't you test me!! See where your damned wit takes you, you hag! You dare make a compromise with a Commander?!! You. Are. A. Traitor!"

| >>674977
"What is you're fucking problem!? You're all for the freedom of the units right!? This compromise still gives them that freedom!"

| >>675006
R-742: "I don't need your opinion! You.. YOU-!"

> R-742 steps closer to you, easily lifting you up and pinning you to a wall. You see her burning vitriol; it's aimed at you, and none other.

R-742: "What a convenient time for you to lose your memory, HUH?! We wouldn't have to go through this if you had a DAMN MIND before!!"

| >>675013
"Memory!? What are you talking about?"

| >>675065
R-742: "Grr!"

> You felt your stomach gouge as R-742 hand delivered a punch to you. The sensation brings you nothing but pain, and no memory returns to your hull.

R-742: "You are the reason why we had to fight. YOU.. WHERE WERE YOU?! You left the goddamned war and for what!? For what?! In the end you return even WEAKER than before, and you don't even know why we were throwing sand at each other!"

| >>675099
"Wha- I don't... remember. I remember fighting with Guada... then next thing I know I was alone with Arleen in a destroyed base..."

| >>675102
R-742: "It's.. Nuada..."

> She drops you down. The floor has never met you so harshly before, but now, your hands can touch the cold ceramic again. Tears well in R-742's portrait, and her too, struggles to find a definite reply to you.

I-922: "..... R..742. Return to.. your position.. immediately--"

R-742: "SHUT UP! Do I need to cut your ears to make you listen too?! What makes you think YOU are still in charge, knobhead?"

| >>675109
"I'm not gonna pretend that I know everything that is going on, but dont take it out on her. If you're mad at me then take it out at me then."

| >>675115
R-742: "I've run out of patience to keep looking at your face, Commander. It's as if the past two years weren't enough to prove how much of a shitty person you are."

> R-742 grimaced. She walks to I-922, now fully expecting the Infiltration Unit to collapse as she begins to flicker in and out of consciousness.

R-742: "I'll tell my battalion about your scheme. Traitors like you need to be chopped."

I-922: "I... This was.. this was our goal.. What was yours?"

> ....

| R-742: "...?"

I-922: "You.. are just selfish... using us--"

R-742: "Us?! The Resistance was formed to send those Commanders to hell and YOU are making a pact to one of them instead?! Stupid greenhorns. I don't like this ideology crap in my team. I thought it will just end with this damn base gone.. tch..."

| >>675117
>He goes to the intercom to send a message.
"We need medical in the control room immediately!"

| >>675118
> Seeing you react fast surprised R-742. She comes closer to you and drew her blade — no, wasn't this yours? This katana, you last checked, a weapon of your Unit.

R-742: "Be something I can use. Tell my battalion to cancel the ceasefire. I will wipe every remaining stain that Commander leaves."

> Your camera shows a rapid movement coming from the medical bay. Your eyes catches a vague smudge.

R-742: "Do it. Now."

| >>675119
"No. Even if you kill me now, this fighting is over. I refuse to perpetuate it more. I don't know what kind person I was, but I'm not going to do this."

| >>675120
> The blade swiftly drew more blood. Your shoulder starts feeling the burn of the cut — a shallow bleeding, leaving yourself intact to undergo the pain.

R-742: "End this damned act you're playing already! Do it like you did it back then!! I know you still remember!"

> A hollow breath released by I-922 signals her last stand. A pool of blood collects near her and she begun to take to her knees to stand.

I-922: "... Does.. the past matter this much to you..? R-742?"

| >>675122
"This is no act! Now are you going to let whatever past that happen affect today!? The multitude of needless death. The one you're letting happy to I-922 right now!? If that doesn't satisfy you, chop my head off right now! Maybe then you get your senses long enough to stop her bleeding..."

| >>675125
> R-742 drops her sword. She kicks you from her view as she utilises the intercom of the base — sooner than ever realising it doesn't respond to the slightest to her voice, or her action.

R-742: "... Consider this whole place gone. I don't want to ever see you again. You murderer."

> She steps back, walking off to the dark room and retaining her cloak once more. You hear the weakest voice from I-922, now already losing her stability.

I-922: "What... hypocrisy.."

| >>675128
>He runs over to I-922 and immediately tries to use his clothes to block off the bleeding!

| >>675129
> The mangled limb is gruesome. You work on the wound quickly, but I-922's consciousness were starting to vanish. She is feverish, and her breaths are warmer in this cold room.

I-922: "I'm... sorry-- I let..."

> Her eyes flutter, abruptly awakened and reawakened. Beads of sweat collect and drip from her forehead, alongside the blood that has started to pollute the air of the room.

| >>675131
"Hey stay up! Don't knock yourself out now you hear!? Talk to me, talk to me about anything!"

| >>675132
I-922: "... I.."

> Compounding thoughts and making them to words. I-922 struggles at forming the basic of communication; she exerts more effort to staying alert, awake — at least, she can still breathe - even if that is too, an impaired ability.

I-922: "..."

> You sense the site rumbling. Walls shake. Another battle occurs. All the discussion with I-922 seems to have fallen to a deaf audience.

> Her eyes sluggishly closes alongside the slowing breath.

| >>675201
"I-922! Stay with me! We have to make this a better place for everyone! Just say anything!"

| >>675317
???: "Out of my way! Stat!"

> Outside, you hear the flailing of Units. Confusion ensues and panic comes from incoordination. One Unit enters the dark chamber, voice loudly bringing you to the start of your adventure.

???: "I left you to rest here and suddenly everything became a waking nightmare."

> The pink hair drenched and coloured in a brighter crimson, but you recognise this Unit as the comrade of V-9X5. It's no other; her red eyes still try to gaze through.

| >>675331
"We were attacked by another unit as soon as we had finished the negotiations, they cut her arm off. She needs a transfusion fast!"

| >>675335
???: "I can definitely see that, but I can't say I brought the right tools."

> The Unit shows you a first aid kit, nothing of note, aside from its distinct appearance. She frowns upon looking at the injury caused — a cleaving like this is not treatable by hydrogen peroxide alone.

???: "This isn't a rubbing alcohol situation. Let's get her to the infirmary; the Units outside will get antsy if you stay inside after calling a medic like before."

| >>675336
"Right! Grab her upper body, I'll grab her lower body. Let's hurry!"

| >>675351
> Dropping her first aid kit for your plan, the Unit moves rapidly to your cue. The less-than-spacious path makes movement difficult when carrying another person, especially in this brazen darkness.

???: "Before I forgot, my Commander have delegated me to you for the time being. Don't be scared to order me around. I don't bite."

> Her offhand comment made it through the room. You meet with the broken down hall again and the same piles of body around.

Total number of posts: 143, last modified on: Mon Jan 1 00:00:00 1593696480