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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    The Case of the Missing Lawmaker, Act IV


    “Erika! Track them, but don't do anything until I get there.”

    She nods and sprints off, leaping over the handrails of the grand stairway in a single bound. I, on the other hand, have to settle for a more normal attempt. The white creature turns to face me jerkily. As I prepare to run around it, a white hand lashes out, reaching for me with surprising speed. Thinking quickly, I grab the outstretched limb with my cybernetic hand. It somehow flakes, crumbles and melts as it turns white, all at the same time. I pull away hard, stumbling on the stairs as the artificial hand detaches. The thing just looks at me with those bulging, veiny eyes, tracking me with that dead gaze. At its side, the pool of goo that was once the familiar begins stirring to life. Looks like I better get the hell out of here. It makes no effort to come after me at all, and I take the chance to flee up the stairs. Hopefully we won't meet again.

    Dashing back out into the grey city, I spot Erika perched atop a nearby building. She kicks off, leaping from rooftop to rooftop; she must still be following the cultists at a safe distance, as per my instructions.The chase continues for quite some time - our quarry seems to be constantly retreating in a direction away from both the palace and the obelisk. We were headed back to the area near the shopping mall; now I feel silly for not having checked out the surroundings more thoroughly before venturing so far out. I struggle to keep up as I run through the streets. My headache is getting worse at every second, though somehow it doesn't interfere with my physical ability and stamina – it just keeps me from concentrating. Just when I thought I'd lost her, Erika lands nimbly in front of me.

    “They're in that building on the left.” She points out said building to me. It's a non-descript, three-storey store. The signage indicates that it is a motel of some sort. “Are you alright?” asks Erika, noticing that I'm pale and sweating. I nod my aching head. “Don't worry. Let's get going.” No point wasting time here – that headache isn't going to go away by itself anytime soon.

    “You're pushing yourself too much,” nags Yua. Well, it looks like that hasn't changed about her, at least.

    Erika takes the point. The door opens without resistance, and we enter the gloomy store. Signs of habitation are all over the place; it looks like this is where they live when they are here. We check the rooms one by one; most are abandoned, while others appear to be newly ransacked. Erika confirms that the cultists had all entered this building, but none of them appear to be on the ground floor. As we near the stairs, a groan comes from the room adjacent to it.

    Inside, we find what we have been looking for. The lawmaker... sans her legs. The room's layout appears identical to that in the mysterious photo, complete with candles. A hooded cultist is trying to untie her – she appears to be unconscious. As we enter, the cultist turns around with a gasp. Before Erika can close in to attack, the cultist raises two thin arms into the air. One hand reaches around and grasps the dirty brown hood.

    “I surrender,” whispers the cultist timidly, pulling down the hood. “Please, take me with you.” It's a young girl, probably about 14 years of age. “You're the police, right? I was the one who leaked the photo. I can tell you guys everything.”

    “Tell us what you know right now, and I may consider it.” My headache had dissipated when I entered the room, and I'm feeling as good as new now. I'm thinking more clearly than I ever have. It looks like the headache washed away a lot of irrelevant matters from my head.

    “I... I can't tell you everything right now, we don't have time,” says the girl. “We were brought here by the Third Hierarch, Brother Falco, and he said we had a divine task to do. He... he took women and... this isn't what I thought we would be doing.” I wonder what happened to the other abductees. I only see the lawmaker here. I step closer to the girl, speaking in a comforting tone. “I see. Where are they now?”

    “Upstairs, on the top floor. They're preparing to return back to the real world. They're waiting for me to join them and perform the ritual, but I wanted to untie her at least...” she gestures at the lawmaker.

    “That is very kind of you,” I smile. As she looks at my face, an expression of realization appears on hers.

    “You... aren't you the brother of the Messiah? Master Senya?”

    I thought the slight change done during reconstruction would have tweaked my features slightly enough so that I wasn't fingered as a terrorist every time I stepped out. I still bear an uncanny resemblance to my old looks, but Azo had arranged for it so that all the photos circulated of me were the grim ones with multiple scars and an eye-patch. It looks like this girl remembered, however.

    “Chief Maiden Keiko spoke of you frequently.” There's an obvious tone of awe in her voice.

    Ah, one of Keiko's underlings, I suppose. That explains matters somewhat. She grabs my hand. There's a low growl coming from Erika, somewhere behind me.

    “You can save us! The believers are in disarray, and we don't know who to trust anymore. Some even say the Great Mother has abandoned those of us still here on Earth. I always thought you were the real saviour, once they talked about you on television. They were definitely lying - the boy Chief Maiden Keiko spoke of and the brother of the Messiah wouldn't murder anyone. You must have sacrificed your good name for the sake of others, as befitting a real messiah, so that you could save the believers in secret, just like you came to save me, right?”

    Foolish, fanciful notions. Still, I do nothing to dispel her misconception for now. Playing off coincidence as providence is a fine way to gain trust. Before I can say anything else to her, the pain in my head returns for a brief second. How annoying; it seems that this won't last... ah, the pain is back again. This headache. This fucking headache. This fucking pain in the ass. I grit my teeth, bearing it, and beam at the girl with the utmost kindness I can muster.

    ***

    A. I take her into custody. She'll serve as a witness in the prosecution of this case once I return with the lawmaker. This will grant the girl some means of protection, as well as ensure the prosecution goes more smoothly.

    B. She will be far more useful to me if my 'colleagues' in the department do not know of her existence. I will set it up so that I can sneak her back into the real world, where her knowledge and contacts with the now fractured cult should prove to be most informative.

    C. She knows too much. She might talk to the wrong people when we get back. I should just kill her now, to be on the safe side.

    ***

    As for the other members of the cult that are currently waiting upstairs...

    A. Once I join the fight seriously, 'Brother Falco' and the rest of the cultists will likely know who I am. They will need to be silenced. Besides, I have no need for them. They won't set one foot in the real world; I don't plan on letting any of these idiots live.

    B. I need to arrest some suspects for the case. Going back with just the lawmaker will improve my reputation, but having living cultists they can put on trial is even better. To camouflage my real identity I will have to let Erika do the bulk of the work, but I rather suspect she will be happy and prove up to the task anyway.
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012

    I doubt it. Also, whatever 'secrets' you think you might learn are probably utterly useless in this time period, two thousand years later, where most of the subjects of the secrets are dead. To stop further wasted speculation down this road: there is no longer any great Shinar Empire secret to uncover that you guys haven't already read about in the course of the LP.

    Also, for a similar reason, I'll have to be clear that the Empire is dead and buried. Given the current geopolitical situation and the combination of choices we have made - starting from the funeral - it would be extremely foolish, power-hungry and greedy to try and restore the monarchy (you guys wanted a noble and good hero who would not do such things, you have it), since we didn't pick the path of being a revolutionary and as such will not be able to access the proper resources, motivation, rationale and power base to attempt such a thing. The choice is locked out now.

    :troll:

    I figured having 1 out of 4 was weighing it too badly. :lol:
     
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  3. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    [​IMG]

    1 - Time to start building our power base/network separate from Shulgi/Azo. If we can reconnect with our sister she might make a powerful ally. If not, some disillusioned cultists will make fine grunts for the future.

    2 - At the same time we don't want to come back empty-handed. Even without the girl as a witness, it shouldn't be hard to prosecute cultists. It's like putting Al-Qaeda on trial.
     
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  4. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    AB.

    It never hurts to do our duty and, besides that, we came here for a specific reason: to investigate the disappearances and to collect evidence for a prosecution.

    However, BA also sounds like an interesting option, although it's a bit too ambitious and ruthless for my liking.

    As for option C, I wouldn't choose it even if the other 2 were dead ends.
     
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Oh my, this is simply marvelous. A Gieloth book and access to a Gieloth cult. Of course, since Erika's here, Shulgi will know everything eventually, if he doesn't already, but still.
    BA. I'm not doing the department any favors, fuck those guys, and I want to see how Senya's ability will work here, it will be good to know for the future.
    Although it will probably mean turning over some of our loot when we return, but it's not like we can't steal it back once we're done with them, eh?
    'Sup, Edem.
    I always did like the word "current," you know. On the other hand, I never liked the word "Shin'ar."
    A hundred years, or a thousand, we'll think of something.
    Edit:
    *sigh* Yes, mother.
     
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  6. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    You can't have your cake and eat it too. If we take her back, we have to kill these guys. Putting cultists on trial for such crimes will exponentially increase the worldwide hatred of the cult and probably destroy any usefulness they would have had to us. Not to mention the fact that our new girlfriend here would probably be exposed as having betrayed them. BB would be no victory at all.

    Here are our options that actually make sense:
    AB - Completely fuck over the cult in favor of our rep. AA sounds like a less risky version of this with less reward. Not sure if Erika can handle these guys on her own. A gruesome, leg-less end awaits us both if she fails.
    BA - Gain access to her contacts and hope they can fill us in on some of what's really going on in the world - this sphere world is just the tip of the iceberg I fear. There is the possibility that she'd rat us out to the Mother though or someone else though.
    CA - Nothing lost - apart from humanity points; nothing gained - apart from Erika points and a bloody good slaughter.
    CB - The girl might mention us during the trial. This would eliminate that possibility.

    My choice is BA.
    Well, there was a noble and good hero way back that started an Empire. Ean was his name, if I'm not mistaken... Still, you are right, we don't have the resources necessary. I doubt having the cult on our side would help us much either in that regard - esp. with their network as hunted and fractured as it is. It may, however, help us gain some much needed intel.
     
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  7. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    I'm afraid that is a fallacious argument. He was given an Empire at a time where kings and emperors were commonplace. It's an entirely different scenario to the political clusterfuck we have here.

    To make one now you would likely have to do it by force and throw the Earth nations back into disarray, unless you want it to be an Empire in name only, with the Emperor/Empress having just as much powers as the current republican President does. The Federation is set upon the binding principle that all its member states have identical government systems to ensure fairness and parity, and most are now deep in transition. The closest equivalent you could hope for here would be for Kyrie (or yourself, perhaps) to be elected (Eternal) President of the Glorious Federation.

    As for the cult, what is left of it on Earth is a spent force and as hated as Senya himself. They aren't entirely without resources, however, as you see here; dimension travel is extremely high-level technology, though they might not understand its full significance or potential themselves. As you will find out in the next update, regardless of your choices here, their ability to access this other world was a fluke; they don't really know how it works, just that it does.
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Yeah, let's focus on building up our own powers right now, finding Kyrie and surviving the Masters. Once that's done and over, we'll see what we work with. Rocking the boat too much right now will be tremendously stupid.

    Still, if the Shinar book was no good for information, would it be completely useless? Was it, in fact, a red herring?
    Edit:Goddammit, we missed out on our own Honourblade. Oh well, guess we'll have to recover the original, let's see what our mother's extended family left us.
    And I suppose that picking the Codex Vajra would let us dick around with teleportation.
    I hope that last Codex really is something.
     
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  9. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    I believe I briefly mentioned what the Empire's crest or symbol looks like some time back. There's your answer.
     
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  10. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    I much prefer the Federation anyways. :smug:
     
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  11. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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  12. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    A Dark Place
    BA
     
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  13. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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  14. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    You know, that's not a half-bad idea, actually. It'll be kind of like a post-Golden Bull Holy Roman Empire (Emperors elected for life, fighting off the political clusterfuck of the member-states, wrestling for power with the Electors, etc), and from then onwards we can start consolidating the power back to the crown. Something to think about in the future.
     
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  15. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    BA

    Shit is about to hit the fan soon if someone is providing dimension travel tech to humans.
     
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  16. aleam iacis Scholar

    aleam iacis
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    Codex USB, 2014 BattleTech
    BB. I know it doesn't seem like this would work out, but clearly Senya has a plan for it. Plus if the cultists we capture stay in custody, they probably won't see the light of day afterwards(they may be secretly imprisoned, murdered by anti-cult prisoners, or murdered by the cult to keep them quiet) to reveal anything about our new agent anyway.
    Plus we planned on gaining our own secret connections and powerbase in this route, right?


    I would also like some sort of constitutional monarchy, where we are mainly a figurehead and most of our actual power comes from our connections, some small, elite imperial guard/knights, prestige with citizens (thus no elected official wants to get publicly on our bad side), and maybe being in charge in case of any wars/emergency situations. And maybe we could run our own elite academy or university so top young people tend to feel loyalty towards us?
     
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  17. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Actually, no. 2B is exactly that: take them into custody and take them to trial. You can bet that these guys will be given their own cell and be kept under guard, the police are competent enough I'm sure. Counting on them to be killed by other cultists is foolsih, clearly this is a splinter group and besides which, the cult is in complete disarray. So, yes, 2B seems like too much of a risk with 1B, not in the least because they will spill the beans as to our whole operation and the girl we sent away. Azo and his agebcy are not our friends, let's not give them any unnecessary edge (hell, for all we know, they may have rigged our tracking chip with an audio-recorder) and, most importantly, let's try to keep them in the dark about this place, since having a safe haven is pretty damn sweet.
    :bro:
    Edit: "The Confederate Empire of Terra," "Imperial Confederacy of Man?" That would be cool, all we need are a heavy Dixie accent, diamond-tipped cane and a monocle, and we're golden.
     
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  18. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    BA

    I really don't want them to suddenly remember who we are while on trial.
    Also, if that girl turns out to be more than she seems...
    Getting paranoid here.
     
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  19. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    BA

    There's no way Senya would kill the girl, but what's important to us is not apprehending the kidnappers (which is Azo's agenda, not ours), but securing our own interests. Of course, all Azo needs to know is that the kidnappings will stop.
     
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  20. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Wow, we made it by the skin of our teeth, but fuck it, what matters is that we got out on top. However, bros, I have some misgivings about BA: yes, it'll give us access to a new network, but I think it's important to consider the fact that when we got into this other dimension, we did so in a messy manner that attracted a shitload of attention. What are we to tell Azo when we come back? I'm not sure if we can discreetly sweep this under the rug, which is why I am leaning towards AB despite the fact that I think BA is probably better for us.
     
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Brosquilax, of course we'll need to give him something to explain this shit, good thing we'll have that rod we broke getting here. Senya is a pretty damned good bullshit artist, so I think we'll make do. Passing up this opportunity for our personal powerbase and getting in contact with Rei is, as you say, "fucking retarded."
     
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  22. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Sounds good. We are only working alongside Azo to milk his information network while simultaneously building our own. The biggest advantage in BA would be to gain his trust, but fuck that - if we want to gain his trust, give him something useless that he thinks is important, not something valuable that could serve our own ends. You don't give up a huge advantage for free like that. Anyways, we have to stay on our toes and ensure that we're always a step ahead of everyone else.

    BA it is. I'm really hoping that this will lead to us getting in touch with Rei.

    Edit: Baltika9, wait, actually with 2B it would be Erika doing most of the work. Would it be possible to do BB, or would it result in us eventually getting found out once the cultists eventually mention one of their missing brethren. 2A seems a little fucked up morally, given Senya's current attitude. I guess I'm still leaning toward BA, but I'd like to hear arguments in favour of BB.
     
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  23. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    And don't forget about finding Kyrie. If you fuckers pass up the chance to clear our name, seize presidency-for-life (until the next derp, in our case) and create The Confederate Empire of Terra, I'll be upset.
     
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  24. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Erika's feeling a bit... uh... frustrated. Don't expect to capture all of them alive even in B.
     
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  25. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Frustrated, as in :rage:
    Or as in[​IMG]?
    :troll:
     
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