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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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    Closing voting. Quick update incoming.

    A - 6
    B - 5
    D - 2
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Case of the Cursed Songstress, Act III


    Half a kilometer up in the air, the view of Kyoto is breathtaking. 100-floor skyscrapers are not uncommon in the heart of the Higashi capital, where space is limited, and in the night they appear as glowing pillars lighting up the sky with a rainbow of colours. Further in the distance, a long, thin thread of light stretches up far into the atmosphere; in fact, it would extend into space – that is the Higashi space elevator.

    “It’s… pretty,” whispers Yua. She’s drawing her visual input directly from my eyes now – not surprising given the extent to which she has been integrated into my sensory systems as a passive observer, thanks to the neural-digital interface.

    “That’s right, I haven’t shown this to you before, have I?” I muse. “We’ve never been to one of the towers after I made you. I think the highest building we visited together was that little bank near our house? Fifty metres, was it?”

    “You’re mistaking me for my predecessor again,” she replies, irritated. “We are different.” Somehow, I’ve recently started to doubt that, but I just say, “Yes, of course.”

    I look around the Yamaten restaurant. It certainly looks expensive. The concept is that of an open-air garden – the customers sit around low wooden tables that are separated from each other by make-shift divisions formed from shrubs and rows of flowers. A stream burbles through the garden, circling around to end in a pond. It looks like there are real fish within. The lighting is dim, provided only by lanterns set up by each table, but the moon is bright in the cloudless sky tonight. I can see it clearly if I look up; the ceiling and walls consist of panels of variable opacity glass and tonight they have been set to full transparency, showcasing the clear night sky. It is rather more expensive than plastic with similar capabilities, and usually only in use by establishments that are concerned with the perceived value of the material; there are people who would refuse to eat at a place with plastic. A few people with more money and sense tried building houses out of it, but it didn’t catch on.

    Living in a glass house has its drawbacks.

    I shift my weight. When Naim said he only reserved places for two, he wasn’t kidding. There’s no place for me to sit, unless I were to rest my arse uncouthly on the pebbled ground. It’s not that I’m not tempted to do that, but glances from the servers in my direction make it clear that I shouldn’t. I content myself with standing behind Qin, keeping an eye and a ear out, and my mouth shut. She is discussing the shoot with Naim; it’s progressing slowly due to all the troubles plaguing the set.

    “Have we any leads on all these accidents?” he asks.

    She shakes her head. “No, the key grip can’t find anything wrong. He says that it’s just unlucky.”

    “Well, I don’t believe in curses, and neither should you. There must be someone stalking you. Aren’t you getting letters from some creepy fan? Could he be behind it?”

    “I don’t know,” she sighs. “I just want it to stop. I’m starting to get nightmares… I think I’m seeing and hearing things from the stress sometimes.”

    “That’s unfortunate.” Naim gives her a sympathetic smile. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. I really do want to see this film completed. For her memory, you know? You remind me of her somewhat. They chose well when they cast you.”

    “Thank you, Sir Naim. I did meet with her, once, when she came aboard the Spirit of Adventure. I suppose you could say the princess was the reason I decided to enter show business.”

    “Oh? Please do continue.”

    “She was just… well, how do I put this… stunning? She was a person that shone brightly. She sang a song to us and it just touched all of us deeply. After that, I told myself that I want to be someone just like her. Someone that can inspire hope in the hearts of the people.”

    I successfully hold back a snort of laughter. Kyrie, shining? The only time I can remember her doing that is when she messed with a little bioluminescent contraption I had been building. Her forehead was shining for a week after that.

    “Ah yes, you would have seen her there.” Naim gives a heavy sigh. “By the way, did you know that the director is still insisting we keep the character of Hoshikawa in? Why bother, when no one wants to play him?”

    “Ah, that’s right! He was on board the ship too, wasn’t he?” Qin suddenly perks up, interested. “What was he like?”

    Naim pauses, thinking of what to say. After a while, he replies, “Reckless and insubordinate. I suppose he had his talents, in a way, but he would have made for a poor soldier. I don’t think we ever got along.”

    “Hm, that’s a pity.”

    “Why would it be a pity? Because of him, she left me,” remarks Naim absent-mindedly.

    “Well, can you imagine the mindset of one of the worst traitors in history, or how his target must have felt when he stabbed her in the back? Was he utterly ruthless, or did he feel conflicted about it? It would take an excellent young actor to portray the character convincingly.” Qin turns to address me. “How about you, Kurou? What did you think of Hoshikawa? You met him too, right?”

    Great. Just great. I carefully keep the impassive expression on my face.

    “What do you mean?” asks Naim.

    “I introduced the both of you earlier today, right? Weren’t you two shipmates? I thought it strange you didn’t say anything to him, nor he to you.”

    Naim’s brow grows dark with suspicion - it seems as if he's seeing me in a new light. “I don’t know of any Higashi crew members named Kurou who served with me.”

    “You wouldn’t have remembered,” I reply calmly. “I was running errands in the kitchen.”

    He doesn’t seem too convinced. “I do not like it when people claim to have served aboard the Kaguya-hime in order to take advantage of our achievements.”

    “I have, and that is the truth.” For a brief moment I’m tempted to remove the sunglasses and stare the nitwit in the eye.

    “Maybe you can take off those shades while you are in here, Mr. Kurou. I would like to get a good look at you.”

    “It is part of my dress code, Sir Naim. I am afraid I cannot comply. I am sorry if I offended you, Sir Naim, but I was never the type of person your good self would ever notice.”

    “Your impudent way of talking reminds me of someone.” He grits his teeth, getting irritated. I hope I haven’t overdone it. This is not the time and place to reveal my identity, not when I don’t know what he will do if he finds out.

    “No fighting, boys,” says Qin crossly.

    “Sorry.” I apologize quickly and shut up, but Naim just continues glaring at me.

    At that moment, the server comes with a plate of sliced raw fish, interrupting us. Looking at it, I can tell that it was carved apart with a knife of the finest quality. There are seams of marbled fat running through the pink, fresh meat, and it appears to be both tender and firm. My stomach grumbles slightly in protest; I haven’t had anything to eat the whole day.

    Halfway through their meal, Naim gets up. Giving Qin an apologetic smile, he excuses himself. “I need to head to the washroom for a while. Could I borrow your bodyguard for a while? I have things to ask him.”

    I stare at him from under my shades. “My place is with Ms. Kawano.”

    “Oh, I insist.” He leans in close to me and hisses in my ear. “I need to talk with you… Hoshikawa.”

    It seems that he realized who I am after all. I curse silently as I look at Qin, who shrugs and waves me away. “I’ll be fine. I won’t die just because you leave me for a couple of seconds, but come back soon!”

    “Yua, have we obtained control of the cameras yet?” I had surreptitiously extended a thin tendril along the walls while standing there, having spotted the unobtrusive security cameras on my way in. Progress was slow, as I kept having to remake it after the stretched tendril snapped repeatedly from the tension, but finally I made it.

    “Not all of them – the connection is weak, but I’ve managed to access the feed.”

    “That’s sufficient for now. Keep an eye on Kawano and let me know immediately if anything out of the ordinary happens around her. Work on getting full control of the cameras as well as the rest of the Yamaten's systems in the meantime.”

    “Roger that.”

    I nod, turning my attention to Naim as if I had been considering what he said. “Only for a while. My duty is still with Ms. Kawano.”

    “It won’t take long,” he says, though he seems worried about something.

    As he leads the way to the toilets, I notice one of the wait staff staring at me. I recognize her almost immediately and I freeze in my tracks for a moment. Of all the places in the world. That’s… my sister. Chinatsu. Judging from the uniform, she’s working part-time here, and it seems that she has identified me by sight. Well, I’ve lived with her for… what, 6 years? It wouldn’t be surprising. I also knew there was always a high risk of running into her or my parents when I returned to Higashi - I've prepared the words I have to say should that happen. She doesn’t come towards me, however – her eyes just track me as I head towards the toilets.

    I sigh; my problems just doubled.

    “Yua, keep an eye out for her too.”

    “Roger that.”

    Once we are in the washroom – the ceiling is opaque here – Naim wastes no time before grabbing my collar. He shakes me strongly enough for my sunglasses to fall off. “What are you doing here? Are you insane? I almost didn’t recognize you. If Kawano hadn't said anything...”

    I look around, making sure there is no one in here before I reply.

    “I am working as Ms. Kawano’s bodyguard. It is as you see.”

    “You expect me to believe that? What are you planning?”

    “I’m planning to keep her safe.”

    It’s true – of course I’m planning to keep her safe. Seeing no falsehood in my eyes, Naim lets me go and walks over to the sinks. He stares into the mirror, looking at my figure reflected within it. He seems to be undecided about something, a torn and haunted expression growing on his face. He lets out a heavy sigh, finding his determination.

    “It might be a blessing in disguise that you appeared before me, Hoshikawa. There are things I need to clear up with you… things I need to put an end to,” he mutters.

    “What do you mean?”

    “What if I told you…”

    He takes a big gulp of air, gathering the courage to press forward.

    “What if I told you that she… Kyrie was alive?”

    ***

    A. I tell him that I already know that. I don't mention why and how, of course, but he should know I haven't idly wasted my time.

    B. I express my surprise at the news. Clearly this is a shocking turn of events, one I would have never predicted.

    ***

    1. I claim that I am not interested in doing anything about her. I'm not about to recruit him to my cause. I can track Kyrie down myself; that is why I had signed up with Azo after all.

    2. I ask for his assistance in finding her. If he knows she's alive, he probably has a good idea as to her whereabouts, if not her exact location. This is information I can't pass up.

    ***

    C. I attack him, subjugate him, and begin my interrogation. I will pry the knowledge out of his brain by force, even if it leaves him a scrambled, drooling invalid. He was a fool to ask me that question, and the less people who know my real identity the better. Well, I suppose the good thing about having an unidentified cyber-terrorist on the loose is that I can always get away by blaming any suspicious acts on the mysterious criminal.
     
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  3. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    B1 or A2 - whatever gets the most votes
     
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  4. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    I'm tempted to A2 or C. How much of a dick do we want to be to the knight of dicks?
     
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  5. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    A2
     
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  6. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Well, I still see Senya as a good-hearted person, and even if Naim's not necessarily to be trusted, he seems to believe Senya is.

    A2
     
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  7. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Ahh, screw it. Evil fuck option it is. Voting C

    Let's be Cassius Dio, but with a waifu!
     
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  8. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    A2 C
     
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  9. ScubaV Prophet

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  10. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    *sigh* Now, 2 more people know our identity. That's 3 now including "Qin". Worst secret agent evah.

    A2


    C - Let's let Senya's innner badass come out.
     
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  11. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    Who called him Thesus again?
    This is at the very least a trap.
    C. Murder Murder Murder
     
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  12. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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  13. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    Flopped to C. Why did he say "Because of him she left me."? Was she with him at some point after the staged death? I smell a rat named Theseus.

    Edit: And besides that, I rather like the idea of playing the badass version of Senya we saw earlier.

    Edit2: If C doesn't have the votes then B2.
     
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  14. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    Flopping to B1.

    This guy isn't to be trusted. No need to kill him, however.
     
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  15. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Fuck that shit. Flopping to C. For fuck's sake, this guy might not be what he seems.

    Now that's just plain retarded. If we're not trusting him, let's brain-rape him. At least we'll gain considerable knowledge this way, meaning the whole idea of getting involved in the movie won't be just a one big waste of time.

    Give me one good reason for not brain-raping him.
     
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  16. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    Just that we are perfectly clear: Killing Niam now is killing a possibly innocent person, that on top of that to some degree is dear to Kyrie and might be a great ally, on the basis of a gut feeling.
    I am o.k. with that.
    But do not act surprised if the next update makes us drift even further into derangement.
    We are basically killing him "just to be sure".
    (And if we do I hope the Idol is Jack. Now that would be a glorious.)
     
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  17. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Other than what Zwist said, it's important to note that our derangement also causes a certain lack of self-control: it's very telling that we don't remember putting together the Lothal plan, nor did we really have any control of ourselves when murdering the cultists. Another reason: Naim is a pawn in a much bigger game and he could (potentially) be a great ally. Also, what the fuck are we going to tell Azo? We can't exactly continue on with our mission to find Kyrie and to determine the Empress and Relius' plans from the inside if we return telling him that we turned the world's biggest movie star into a drooling vegetable. Think ahead, goddamnit.

    You guys are buying into Lambchop's whole "NAIM IS THESUES!!!!" nonsense, which I always thought was bullshit from the beginning because the analogy doesn't really work. I seem to recall Lambchop19 being pretty goddamn gung-ho about stabbing Kumare in Chapter 3 of Ean's saga just because he might have been Shulgi. Well, he was wrong then and I am pretty sure that he's wrong now.

    And who's fault is it that Naim knows about our identity? It's Qin's - if there is someone to really be wary of, it's her. She instigated this whole thing:


    I believe that our best option here is A2: we should take the leap of faith here. We may have had our problems with Naim, but he let us go when he had no reason to and I don't believe that he is truly loyal to the Empress and Relius. I think that he is a powerless pawn in his situation, and he's just trying to make the best of it, and I don't think that this is an elaborate plot on his part to fuck with us and deliver us into her clutches. I mean, Qin was the one who brought our identity up in the first place, not Naim!

    B1 I think is too conservative and I don't see how holding out on him will help our long-term goals. He knows who we are thanks to Qin already, we might as well just be straight with him and tell him what we're after. I think C is a terrible idea because it'll push Senya's dark side to the forefront, but also because it will cause a huge mess and possibly cost us our position with Azo - we can't keep doing gung-ho cowboy shit like this all the time.

    A2
     
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  18. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Hints:

    Interestingly enough, Esquilax is partially right about this not really working as a Theseus analogy. See, Theseus stabbed Ean because he didn't know what was going on. In this scenario we find ourselves in, the positions are reversed when it comes to Kyrie: we are the ones who doesn't have sufficient information, while you can expect Naim probably knows more than we do. This means that the choices have to be considered not only in terms of the amount of information that it nets us, but also how Naim might interpret our choices given the extra knowledge that he has. Why would he tell us that Kyrie is alive?

    This also means that there is a possibility that we are the Theseus if we ram our tentacles down his throat in a restaurant washroom on the off chance that he might not be placing our welfare as a priority... but sometimes paranoia is justified too, for our own safety.

    I will say this, though; we have the resources to pin the assault on Cyber Jack and get away scot-free should we choose to...
     
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  19. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    Uh, I wasn't actually sure he was Shulgi, but I knew he was up to something. Pretty sure I wanted to brain-rape him, not stab him. Turned out I was right and the king of Egypt got killed in his sleep. Had we brain-raped him, we'd have gotten that info and been able to prevent it.

    And my Theseus "analogy" isn't an analogy. I'm characterizing Naim as Theseus as far as his personality and behavior goes. Not in that the situations are at all similar, but that were Naim put in a similar situation, he might make a similar choice to Theseus'.

    Also, we won't be returning and saying that we turned anyone into anything. We'll say the cyberhacker, Jack did it - like it says in the choice. :smug:
     
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  20. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    Bros that don't want tentacles rammed down their throats, shouldn't be dicks to the protagonist all the time. Just say'n.
    :mhd:
    edit: And, btw, we are the only ones allowed to grab collars, Naim. :tentacleshepard:
    :incline:
     
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  21. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

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    Also, if I could triple post a moment, let's really consider what treave just said.

    This choice is about information:
    What Naim gives us is dependent upon how we choose. C obviously get's us the most info and without the possibility of deception. B1 Get's us next to nothing, so I'd recommend against it.
    A2 has the possibility of giving us a lot of information, but I believe there is a high probability that Naim will...alter it somewhat in an attempt to use us for his own ends. I think that that is the entire reason he's telling us. Whatever Kyrie's situation and whatever Naim's motives, Naim has a goal he is unable to achieve on his own. He intends to use us to further his objectives and you can bet our well-being isn't going to be a high priority, as treave said. Maybe his goal is to rescue or save Kyrie somehow. Maybe it's to become the new president of the Shinar. We won't really know unless we either wait and possibly get manipulated or jack his brain and find out now.

    (Also, for the record, I think B2 is a better alternative to A2 because it makes it more likely that he'll let some of the truth slip in an attempt to convince us Kyrie lives. It'd also keep him off guard.)
    This is one of those choices where it's better safe than sorry. We'll find out who's side Naim was on once we know what he knows - along with a bunch of other useful info, no doubt.
     
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  22. Esquilax Arcane

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    Nigga please, he didn't know shit, we wouldn't have gotten a fucking thing. All he knew was: "convince Runi to kill me at Heracleopolis", so don't try to spin it like you had a crystal ball all along. The issue there was that we left Memphis undefended to go attack Astarth, giving Astarth a window to set up the assassination. Also, I meant stab him with Ean's brain-raping sword, but really it's the same thing. My point is that you are trying to draw a connection between two different scenarios where it just doesn't work, and you have done this by trying to compare Naim with Theseus time and time again.

    How is Naim (supposedly) having a similar personality to Theseus relevant at all? What are the implications of it and what does it have to do with the choice at hand? Not sure if I'd agree with the comparison either, but whatever, I don't feel that it's relevant.

    Regardless, this is the crux of the matter and what we ought to discuss:

    Okay, so there are a few reasons that he might be telling us that Kyrie is alive:
    1. He's looking for an opportunity to fight against Relius and the Empress, but he's powerless because he's really just a glorified grunt who got labelled as a hero. He has little real power, but he's working from the inside and needs help.
    2. He's in cahoots with the Empress and this is part of his plot to bring us in.
    If you bros have any other ideas about why he might be telling Senya about Kyrie, I'm all ears. However, considering that there is some definite mysterious power behind Relius' apparent resurrection and the Empress' rise to power, I doubt he can do a damn thing about it himself. Let's do some quote-mining to see how trusty Theseus Naim is:

    Okay, so he received all the glory for our mission so that the Empress could discredit us, which sucks. But his reaction is weird: even though he's at the Empress' side and he's gained a ton of status from working under her, he seems conflicted and unhappy with what he's doing. Then, to top it off, he gives only a half-hearted effort to stop us (I am fairly certain that Jean and Naim could have stopped us given that Naim was in an Onuris frame and ours wasn't even calibrated, even despite the huge skill difference) and lets us go. I'm not saying that it's 100% proof that he's totally on our side, but I do believe that we can work together and that at least in the short-run, he won't do anything to jeopardize us.

    Quite frankly, we ought to be more concerned with Qin than we do with Naim.
     
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  23. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Great point about B2: if we play dumb and act as though we desperately need his help, he might reveal himself to us. This is a great way of safely figuring out if he's lying to us: we'd be able to figure out if he's telling us some bullshit or the actual truth. For instance, if he says something along the lines of "only the Empress and I know Kyrie's alive" we'll know he's full of shit, because obviously Relius and Julius both know that she's alive.

    I might flip to B2, but I am inclined to believe that Theseus is on the level here: it was Qin that blew our cover, and he responded to it exactly as she hoped he would.

    You're underestimating his usefulness. Naim is still a high-ranking individual who is close to the Empress, he'd be quite useful as an ally. Also, more importantly, I don't like the idea of Senya indulging his psycho alter ego. It'll be taking the easy way out, and you're not acknowledging that there's going to be a price to pay here that's going to affect Senya. Basically, you're looking at the situation and thinking that it'll be completely positive for us.
     
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  24. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Has Esquilax led us astray before? Listen to reason here. Brain-raping Naim "because he's Theseus!" seems retarded to me. :M
     
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  25. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    Azira, yes he's led us astray. As long as we're talking about Egypt, recall that he wanted to stay and fight as an alternative to going with Nabu. That would have made us Marduk's body for the next 1000 years - edit: oh, and gotten us buried under a mountain for for something like 2000 years too, iirc.
    You're the one with the spin, bro. Just how do you know that's all he knew again?
    Right. We trusted the guy that was obviously up to something instead of jacking his brain like we should have. Also, what about the poisoning of the water supply? What about the other agents in the court? If he was dead by brain-rape and we even had an inkling of what was going on it'd have been better than taking his advice.
    Still, didn't want to do that. Messy. I wanted to be able say the guy had some sort of attack and collapsed.
    Nope. That's you right now. :M
    So his character isn't relevant to whether or not we decide to trust/work with him? Come on, Brosquilax.

    That situation tells us nothing for certain. Our skills were extremely superior to his. Maybe he didn't realize our mech was uncalibrated and feared going toe to toe. Maybe he let us go because he knew Kyrie would never forgive him for killing us. Maybe he didn't have the heart to do it after we saved his ass so many times and wanted to let us go so that he wouldn't have to feel like he owed us anything. Could have been a million reasons. I'd like to believe the guy is bro, but his constant looking down on us (even when he didn't realize it was us) let's me know that it's not in his character to give a shit about anyone but himself and his own desires. Maybe not to a Dio level, but he's still a selfish prick.

    As to the situation with Relius, yes, it's more than he can handle. Maybe he wants to clear Relius out so he and Kyrie can be together. Who cares. The point is, it'd better to have all his knowledge of the situation while not having to work with someone who doesn't place a high priority on our well-being, doesn't like us too much and is suspicious as hell.
     
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