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StoryTime with Voc

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I'm just gonna turn this into my own little whatever thread for when I write something I have no intention of continuing or finishing.


So yeah, I've been typing this since 9 AM in an attempt to stay awake. So it may or may not be finished depending on if I add to it or not. It's really just a bnch of exposition, really. Hopefully it comes across with the same feeling that inspired me after I used Seventh Sanctum's Dragon generator to randomize some dragon types for me. It starts out weird because I was trying to make it character driven from the get go, but as you will see, that didn't happen.


Huzzah for fatigue, I guess.


So I guess this could be titled 'Rise of the Western Ilses' or something. Comments appreciated yadda yadda yaddazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.



As always, dawn came slowly to the Western Isles. The sun crept above the Crimson Pillars, the massive volcanoes that dominated the archipelago, though it would be hours before its warming rays would cover the sparse jungles and plains on the lowlands. The Pillars were sacred to the islanders, who, with their primitive ways, regarded the volcanoes as gods. The Main Landers, tall, pale humans who wore silver armor, saw them as great forges. Which was what led Emperor Magnus V to invade and capture the archipelago and use them against his enemies, but not everything was as it seemed. As the first mast of the Emperor's fleet came within sight of the islanders, they let out a great cry to their gods, a prayer to save them and deliver a crushing blow to their enemies. It did not go unanswered. As the main landers streamed off their wooden city-ships, a great, deafening roar came from the tallest of the volcanic mountains and a great shadow covered the Emperor's troops. Great lizards, some the size of ships, others no larger than a bear, spewed from the caldera and filled the sky in ominous cloud that blocked out the sun.


Then the Emperor, his troops, and the islanders heard it, a harsh female voice that hit them all like a great pressure wave. Magnus V was said to have fled to his quarters on the fleet's flagship, and locked himself inside. But the thousands of men, women, and children still heard it.


"These are MY lands. These are MY people. I have watched you pale-skins war amongst yourselves, slaughter and burn all that you cannot posses, and now you come here to do the same. I will NOT allow it. Leave now, or you shall know that which you have wrought so well amongst your kin."


And the Main Landers, in all their foolish glory, did not leave, and so they were punished. The great cloud of dragons swept forth and destroyed everything within reach. Only a lucky few made it into the island interior only to be slain by the islanders they had, moments earlier, been intent to enslave. The battle was over in minutes and only the flagship remained, hidden along the horizon, sailing at full speed back to the Emperor's kingdom. A great cheer went up from the islanders before falling strangly silent. Many of the ships, were still intact, and they islanders were compelled to board them and prepare for travel. They did not know anything about sea travel, or using sails, but they successfully did so within hours. One by one the dragons perched themselves across the stolen fleet, and without a word, the invasion of the mainland had begun.


The Emperor's flagship arrived home in Magnusburg two days before-hand, splintered and charred were the smaller beasts had strafed it for weeks. It was only then the Emperor emerged from his state-room, a gaunt, almost withered mockery of the strong-bodied man he had once been. He was moved to his palace as the surviving admiral and three generals began the weary march back to their own estates, spirits battered and crushed in the wake of the onslaught. Every ship the kingdom had, had been cannabalized or conscripted into service for the campaign. Nearly a third of Magnus's entire infantry and archer divisions had been deployed to help fully occupy and defend the isles, and left the home guard in a weakened state now that those men were forever lost. It would come as no suprise that, when the masts of their former fleet crested the horizon, there were celebrations at the brave souls who had survived and returned home, and that when the first of the dragons were sighted, the celebrations quickly turned to fearful riots.


The great cloud of wings and fire descended upon Magnusburg. When it lifted, two days later as the islanders were shoring up anchor in the ruined harbor, nothing except the palace stood above the ashen ruins. Thousands had died, and even more had attempted to flee across the countryside only to be corralled by a great wall of fire. with the help of the dragons, the islanders rounded the peasant and nobles up and herded them into the ships like cattle. This did not go unseen by the few guardsmen that survived in the palace, and when they approached the Emperor they found his charred corpse shrivled beneath the bedsheets in his chambers. Dying embers smouldered in the empty eye sockets and smoke curled from every orifice, as if he had been burned from within. Then the Voice spoke again.


"This land no longer belongs to the man Magnus V, and it's people no longer free. For your Emperor's greed and your men at arm's pride, I, the Dragon-Queen Vanaloth, claim this empire for myself. You shall become the slaves you so readily wished to take from my people, and from this day forth the lands of the West shall bow before the dominance of the Crimson Pillars or be destroyed."

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I remember when Fiona was alive.


She was a great place to live, big enough to be a city but small enough that urban development hadn't taken it's toll on the environment. She was a university town, and everyone had joined together to cheer on the sports teams when they played ball. Nature was abundant in the green parks, the tree-filled suburbs, and a small river flowed calmly around the eastern side of town. Crime had always been low for as long as I could remember, and life just seemed good.


My name is Fred Jackson. I'm thirty-seven, and worked for the city. I was the mailman.


It was just coming out of winter, and I was getting an early start to the day. My vehicle was a large van-truck, very different from the old boxes that we used to drive around in. It was long and wide, mostly enclosed... It had four pairs of tires, each as thick as a man's arms. They had to be, to support and keep the solar cells in place and roof-mounted panels from shaking loose. They took forever to warm p, though, and so I was in the city's underground motorpool, alone, when it happened. I was getting some wiper fluid out of the supply cage when everything started shaking and I could hear a roar coming from outside. The power flickered and died, leaving me in total darkness as the building kept shaking, and near the long powered door that led to the exit ramp, I could see the faintest line of white along the floor before it too, turned dark. The building slowly stopped shaking, the roar fading out and replaced by the deadest silence I have ever heard. I think I knew what had happened before I saw it with my own eyes, but it would be days before I'd know.


I managed to get the old gas generator running after taking it apart and putting it back together. Most of the lights had come loose and had fallen to the floor busting them all, but I had enough to see by. The stairwell was filled with rubble, and the elevator motor was burnt out, it wouldn't budge from the hanging postion the emergency break left it in. The only way out was the exit ramp, and I'd have to clear away everything from the door if I ever got my truck working again. But I was alive, and safe for the moment, and I relaxed as my survival instincts calmed down. That's when the realization hit me.


It was no big secret that America was hated by the other nations of the world for some reason or another. We had freedoms they didn't, an abundance of natural resources, national pride and a government we were proud of. Our army was still just as strong as ever, and we all paid our taxes and served our country when we needed to, and basic healthcare was now free to everyone. That didn't keep the world from saying we were selfish bastards that didn't deserve any of the things we had. The Mexicans and everyone south of hte equator hated us for finally getting control over the rampant illegal immigration along the southern border, and shutting down the drug trade by constantly patrolling and warrantless seizure and searching of property. It wasn't long before the drug dens were all rooted out in the inner cities, and neighborhoods that were infested with crime, disease and anarchy were slowly becoming good places to live. With no money, the drug cartels and military officials they supported into coup de'tats collapsed onto each other and those that didn't flee into the jungles were arrested, tried, and imprisoned.


The Arabs hated us for, well, everything. We lived evil lives, didn't practice Islam, shopped in malls and a million other crimes. The biggest, however, had to be our independance from oil. Once we had cut the cord and made the big leap into solar and fuel cell technology, the oil companies that refused to change started losing all the power they had held for decades, and corporate-funded terrorism had peaked at an all time high in Israel, Turkey, Kuwait, and other American allies in the Middle-East and Europe. Military regimes always tried to take power in the 'Nuclear Three': Iran, Pakistan and India, but they never succeeded or lasted long without oil money. Iran was actually becoming a decent place to live last I heard.


The Euros, aside from Great Britain, treated us with about as much respect as they always had. While their politicians greeted us with smiles and kind words, it was always 'the f*cking Americans' this and the 'fat, lazy cows' that, our wealth and individual prosperity ignited deep hatreds in the working classes in Eastern Europe, living under the shadow of Russian rule as the former Soviets crawled back into power. The Asians, aside from South Korea, China Japan, wouldn't even acknowledge us, despite the breakthroughs that had been made with former presidencies. With our help, the massive over-population issues, child labor, and food shortages that plagued China for so long were finally ended, and gave rise to a government that wasn't so intent of controlling everything about it's people. In Malaysia, the Phillipenes and North Korea, civil strife in the wake of China's reform sent those nations into civil war that they were only just coming out of. North Korea, it seemed would always be ruled by some despot, and the Phillipenes would never stabilize again without American involvement. Malaysia would come out less scarred than the other nations, and settle into a semi-democracy that let the police use deadly force against riots and the people enough of a voice to complain about it.


Africa, well, the last I heard, the Africans were still shooting each other and dying from AIDS in the thousands. The petty warlords that weren't concerned with trying to rule the entire continent were fighting off Arabs from gaining a foothold in their tiny empires and taking control.


How long did I stay curled up on the floor of the motor pool? I don't know. It was early morning, still dark out, when the nuke hit Fiona. I knew I couldn't leave anyway, I'd die from radiation poisoning from the fallout, if I wasn't already. I didn't know how thick the walls of the motor pool were.



And that's about it. Patriotized and most likely influenced by the 60 Minutes thing on tv last night about the drug trade, almagams of everything said about the Middle-East, some C&C Generals thrown in there. Oh, and a heavy sprinkling of Jericho and Fallout for flavor. And then I forgot to take it out of the over so it burnt to a crisp and had to be thrown out.

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Huzzah for 4 AM thoughts that turn into free verse poems.



I breathe deep the cold mountain air

Standing naked amongst the snowcaps

Beneath the endless sapphire sky

The ground below obscured by clouds

Great pillars of white waves


My skin shivers yet I feel no chill

I see these sights yet my eyes are blind

I am free yet I am confined

Standing here am I alone?

If only I could know the truth


Across the seas, across the earth

Through vibrant forests and endless plain

Over windswept hills, across roaring rivers of unknown name

Down city streets of steel and rock

These visions pulse at greater speeds


Silence now, nothing to see

An depthless black veil throw across my eyes

Clicking sounds, the scrape of metal

Coldness spreads from within me

I am numb yet I still feel


Blinding light, purest white

Giving way to faces blurred

The truth comes back and vanishes

Wake up they say, wake up

Yet I want to stay with the visions


Pouring rain, roaring thunder

Dark clouds fill the sky

I feel warmth beneath the freezing gale

Wrapped within, kept secret and safe

Yet I feel it all fading


Clarity invades my vision

Faces blurry become whole

I see my family, fraught with worry

Smiling to reassure

But now within reality


My memory is still at fault

Vague images of jarring jolts and flashing metal

Flashing lights 'gainst the night sky

I still dream of visions, yet feel nothing

Am I truly alive?


For briefest moments I was there

In places the whole world over

Ethereal yet fully whole

One with myself


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  • 7 months later...

And in some timeline, somewhere, in some alternate universe...




Symptoms include:


Blurred vision

Increased brightness of light sources

Imaginary loud noises, followed by light sources flaring in intensity

Chemical-like burn marks on the skin that increase with severity

Loss of infectious body hair

Rancid breath

High fatigue accompanied by slight fever

Possible delusional madness

Severe flaking of skin

Drying of muscle and sinew

Loss of consciousness and comatose-like state

Organ shutdown and decay


Post-mortem skelitalization


Virus has a 100% fatality rate at this point and time. Although preventive measures are being looked at extensively, only temporary preventive measures currently exist within a limited time range. Very limited incubation period, infected persons will begin to develop increasingly severe compound symptoms within one to two hours depending on individual immune systems. Those with very weak immune systems will begin experiencing symptoms at least thirty minutes maximum after infection.


Virus functions like a ?Gobbler? nanomachine. Taking many individual cells and injecting them with viral RNA, which then take over the cell and become the virus. This method of reproduction is what causes the skin rashes and burn-like marks upon the skin, these indicate massive viral populations whose growth can only be temporarily halted by intense sterilization of the affected area. Due to the outbreak and rapid reproduction of the viral organism, these measures are, as stated, temporary. Due to the nature of the virus, during all stages of infection, it is transmissible to other persons or surfaces.


After working through the outer layers of skin and flesh, the virus begins affecting muscle tissue and tendons. Due to the resiliency of these parts of the human body, the rate of infection in these areas will be much slower, although severe stiffening of the body is experienced. However, the virus is still spreading at an incredible rate and can only be contained in small areas. By this point and time the victim is usually comatose as their body begins shutting down. The virus will begin consuming bodily organs at the same pace once muscle tissue has been penetrated.


Total consumption by virus will take upwards of five to seven hours, again depending on individual health. Totally skelitalization of the body is the final result of virus?s effect on the human body. At this point the virus begins to hibernate or is spread to other individuals via air, liquid, or physical contact. Once all available cellular material is converted, virus will become dormant and eventually harmless.


Effective temporary counter-measures.



High body health.

Intense cleaning of visible affected areas with alcohol or other sterilizers

Fast acting medicines that help combat Influenza and other fever-inducing illness


As noted, there are very few counter-measures available at this current time, due to the extremely fast reproduction of the virus. The most effective course of action in a lab controlled environment is extreme isolation. As this virus is currently transmissible to apes, monkeys and other simian species, with a high probability of evolving to other species of animals once virus becomes pandemic. Of course due to the incredible risk the virus poses to life, no uncontrolled testing has been conducted outside of the facility.


Due to the high transmission rates of the virus, upon initial infection, local pandemic will become regional within seventy-two hours, given rate of contact between large numbers of persons. Regional pandemic has the possibility to become a national pandemic within a month. Time-table for international pandemic can only be theorized at this point, but it is expected that, once the strain evolves and begins affecting animals, that an international pandemic can be expected with three months of national pandemic.


As is apparent, virus is extremely dangerous to life should a public outbreak occur before proper preventive measures up to and including vaccines can be developed. At this point and time, no controllable strain has been developed.


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  • 5 months later...


The Sharax is an popular assault cruiser, capable of taking on capitals and heavy capitals at both close and long range. Utilizing both energy and missile weaponry, Sharax cruisers are often viewed as a mainstay of the Fleet, their durable and reliable hulls and power systems able to take large amounts of damage before being rendered derelict. Supporting two enlarged reactors, these seperate power cores allow for extended energy weapon combat. Two large missile bays sit in place of fighter bays, and the gutted main hull allows for more warhead storage than what is typically found on missile-capable warships.


Due to their low fighter coverage, however, Sharax cruisers must rely on the support of smaller ships or fighter coverage to avoid having their powerful weapons be whittled away by enemy fighters.




Firebird Strike Carrier.


The Firebird Strike Carrier is a combat capable carrier ship. Designed around the Sharax cruiser chassis, the Firebird trades firepower for the ability to carry and launch fighters into battle without having to sit far behind friendly lines. The massive 'wings' that give the ship it's distictive look and name serve the purpose of protecting the vulnerable fighter bays and main hull from capital attacks. The carrier is armed, but due to it's incread physical mass, most of the Firebird's power output is given to the engines and defensive systems such as point defense and shielding. Because of this, the carrier's weapon systems are sub-par, the reduced power input to the main weapon systems making the main energy cannons a lesser threat in battle.


Due to it's deep-strike fighter delivery capability, the Firebird is often targeted by enemy heavy capitals in order to maintain fighter superiority over the immediate battlefield. With it's lack of heavy anti-capital weapons, the Firebird relies on the support of two or more Tortoise support frigates to draw fire away from it.



These are just two of the four things I've created in DoGa. I've still got my very first thing I built, which was a starfighter (I was really suprised how good it came out because it was the very first thing I made with the program) and the afore-mentioned frigate (which was the second thing I made in the program and didn't turn out very well at all, but just had something that kept it from the garbage bin). Sadly I stupidly deleted the actual files for the fighter and frigate so all I have left are some tiny screenshots of them. I DO, however, have complete views of the above ships from every angle, so if you guys want to see them I'll post all of them here.


I'm pretty sure these won't be representative of my FT Vocenae ships, though. Well, maybe the cruiser.

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  • 2 months later...

user posted image


The Archer Missile Cruiser is a dedicated long range attack cruiser. An anti-capital cruiser, the Archer can deliver a massive warhead payload across the battlefield, which each missile capable of being independantly targeted. Sporting a somwehat bulky hull design, the Archer can withstand a barrage of anti-capital attacks due to it's heavier armor. Although the Archer has devastating long range firepower, it severly lacks in close range engagements. Armed with a single anti-capital mass railgun located on the underside of the ship, the cruiser has little topside defences. To attack with it's railgun, the Archer must turn to face it's attacker head on, or manuever itself to compensate for the very low tracking coverage the cannon has.


A typical attacking fleet will find it's Archers congregating near Firebird strike carrier staging areas, acting as combat escorts to the fighterless carriers while delivering their payloads into the battlefield.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

EDIT: Originally typed on my Droid phone, now edited for grammar and spelling.


"You're wrong!" She screamed as the two guards grabbed hold of her, "You're wrong about the colonies! You're wrong about the people! The corporations are evil! The monster you want me to be is evil! Let me go!"


The guards dragged her into the observation room that the executives often used towatch our progress, to see that their money was well spent, but the two-way mirror didn't darken as they entered, and I saw her thrown to the floor and the first of several rapid kicks to her stomach. I saw the shock and pain alight in her blue eyes and she screamed, a loud horrible wail that pierced through the walls, and I knew I remember that sound for the rest of my life.


They had spent a fortune trying to rebuild us, reshape us into the people we used to be. They had suceeded with me, but only fragments of her personality had returned to her new rejuvenated body. Her drive, her incredible intelligence, but the ruthlessness they desire, the cold heartedness, had been replaced with something they thought was horrible: kindness, innocence, a love for complete strangers and expeting nothing in return. Complete and total selflessness. In their desperation they had used me to try to change her on a more personal level, to use a strong bond of friendship and trust to rebuild the woman that had been lost.


And now, she was paying the price for my failures.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

I had a Transformers dream. Was this big battle at a Decepticon base, and Ultra Magnus (one of the Autobots from the original cartoon) was sacrificed by the US military to win. So after a tense standoff where he points a gun to the general's face only to be talked down by Optimus, Sam quits his job as a miltary specialist working with the Autobots and ends up being this broken down old geek with a failing marriage deep within America's defense perimeter. So after I get to watch this guy just send his life down the tubes and all the other broken old human team members become these horrible stereotypical nerds, this military advisor chick shows up and does all the sweet talk and promises to get everyone and especially Sam to sign back up.


But he refuses everything and he walks out of the building they're in, get the whole interior monologue thing going with how his life has failed and how he can't be anything without the Autobots, so right as the woman is getting into her car, he stops her and says he'll do it, and that they can just transfer whatever benefits he'll receive to his family.


Then we cut about a month or two later, and we're at this base in Alaska. All the team is assembled, re-trained and getting a walkthrough of one of the major perimeter defense bases that keep America safeguarded against the Decepticons while the rest of the world has been getting torn to shreds from the war and desperate measures being taken by other governments to prevent hte Decepticons from winning. They sit down in a briefing room about to go on mission when the base shakes from a nearby explosive strike.


Cut to the outside of the base, there's a column of smoke rising off a distant mountain, with the defenses coming online and getting ready to hold back a strike when suddenely this huge Decepticon appears right in the middle of the base. This Transformer is unlike any we've seen before, angled with ballistic armor plating in a wedge like shape, the four apparant quadruped Decepticon is packing missile pods, several rapid fire pulse turrets, and a big frickin' artillery cannon that looks like a railgun on it's back. Also atached to it are four of those leopard micro-bots from the second film that Soundwave launched on the NEST base.


It proceeds to tear everything up as the military chick yells out "It's a siegebot!" while Sam and the rest of his team run from the vulnerable building they were in. But the Decepticon's attacks scatter the team, and the Leopards round them all up except for Sam, wwho has to put his knowledge to the test, but before he is successful, several of his old team die horrible deaths.


Then I woke up. It's weird for me to have a Transformers dream because I'm been angered with how poor the current movies are when compared to the classic animated movie from my childhood (which, even without the nostalgia glasses on is still superior), and the second film angered me so much that I refuse to see Dark of the Moon. So yeah, I dunno whatthe rest of the dream would have entailed, but I was actually kinda enjoying it in all of it's desaturated gritty, Post Modern Warfare glory. The Siegebot appearance was actually one of the few times my dream has stopped just so my mind could go 'woah' at how cool it looked. I don't do it justice with my description of it.


I don't know how it ends, but given how messed up the rest of the world was implied to be during the war and the reliance on combined force of arms to support the Autobots, it was going to be some pretty great fighting since the dream didn't look like the Bay films, and more like Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Enemy at the Gates and Blackhawk Down.


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  • 1 year later...

i heard it again today

the slight moaning at the cabin door the scratching upon the metal

creening screeching a cacophnay of noise that i could not escape from

what does it want


more sounds today different than the constant prowling noises of a hunter looking for prey

a graon of fatigued metal and inhuman scream taht froze me in my place

god i cant even write this almost

i feel the hysteria coming on

try to sleep to the sound of teeth upon bone


silence today today only the rumble of the engines

i wonder if its sated or that it found who it was looking for

footsteps in the hall frantic whispering at my door

i want to leave with them but i cant



i was almost asleep when the screams started again

primal fearful voices so loud it was like they were in my cabin

they don't stop

why dont they stoop



screams and moans and butterfly bones

doorbells made of scratches


filthy smells fill this tomb

this horrible little box surrounded by unending agony and daeth



noose slipped light broke

alone in the dark with the monster

so tired


finally slept the dream of the dead

twisting shadows made of oils and ink given form only by a distant unwavering light

i cant reach it cant escape the faces leering at me



and then silenc

i forgot what silence souded like

its still there but no more screams

jst my breath, ragged, heaving


i realize how hungry i am


nothing to eat nothing to eay hungry hungry hungery hunray hungry


tried the sheets they eeded sauce

nothing in my stomach but rags

not sated

why is it so quiet


where are the engines




opened the door todayand saw nothing

more blackness

pitch black no emergenct lights no nothig

i swear i saw their faces

i slammed it shut


thought about worms today

slimy almost formless


theres a knock on the door two knocks

i said hello and the silence was over

screaming again almost like laughing




can't move from this spot

monitor light is the safest place

can't see it but hear it and all the voices

tears upon my face wet and hot runny nose heart pounding and chest tight

i think the door is open


can't sleep cant eat cant blink


no escape eyes in the dark glistening death in the monitor light


going to give in

hangng yawining fanged jaws all human and yet not

dead eyes dead faces dead everything



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  • 3 weeks later...

I hear the noise the sound of hope the ringing ringing of the bells


and all i can think of is that i'm trapped in this hell there is no hope no morning bells


echoing across the beach as seas of boiling blackened pitch froth around my feet


no golden light no sunshine breeze just crashing waves and a cold wind's shrieks


where is the candle burning bright to guide us through this darkened night


a beacon amidst the fog, forever extinguished, sorrowfully missed as curling black clouds fill the sky


a bright pale moon shines like a baleful eye as children burn and the whole world cries


oh why oh why do false gods die


silence now thundering, deafening, a whisper in the storm


as nothing moves beyond the moon and bedrock marks this airless tomb


as spirits drifting through the void cry this din this awful noise and wonder why it went all wrong


why they sang their hopeful song for nothing moves beyond the moon and nothing moves below it but dead dry earth and a people cursed


there will be no final morning


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  • 3 weeks later...

God, it feels like years since I just sat down.


Is this what it is? This...fading feeling? The dimming?


I'm so tired. All I want to do is...sleep.


Funny how you notice the little things you take for granted when it's all blurring at the edges.


The smell of the air. They undeniable tang of the ocean over all that...stench. Every breath is like moving a mountain. I can't help but wheeze.


I don't want to leave her, but I can't hang on. I can barely see her face, those tear filled eyes and that dopey hat.


Hurts to talk, but I have to tell her. Tell her what to do.








I tell her I'll miss her.


I give her a smile as she raises the gun. She's strong. She'll make it.





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  • 1 month later...

I can't get Pastebin to work on IRC, posting this here so I can link it later.


Team Name: SAMCRO

Team's Allegiance: Private contractor.

Fodder Available: x5 combat drones, x2 soldiers.

Fodder Equipment: Drone combat packages ranging from micro-grenades, small scale energy weapons, recon equipment. Soldier equipment includes low quality cybernetic augmentations, plus energy pistols and energy rifles.

Heavy Assets Available: x1 Chariot starship, x1 energy grenade launcher

Team History: SAMCRO is a hastily cobbled together team consisting of four private operatives. The history and identity of each operative is classified, operatives know each other only by a single letter.

Team's Interest in the Spirit of Man: Recon and data extraction. Secondary objectives are retrieving/capturing any unknown technology, command crew, or if possible, commandeering the entire ship.



Character 1's Name: Samantha Xerosi.

Description: Female. 5'5. 31 years old. Sandy blonde hair. Close cropped. Numerous scar tissue along the body from genetic and technological augmentation. Obvious increase in strength and agility over natural human due to augmentations.


History: Samantha Xerosi was lieutenant in the Imperial Republican Army for seven years before the Battle of Foer. During the battle, she disobeyed direct orders and abandoned her post to defend a convoy of Bavinese civilians as they made their way to the last evacuation point near the city of Abraham. Xerosi was left behind on Foer as she was unable to board or find any form of transport off the planet, and ended up becoming part of a smaller community located in the southern hemisphere of Foer. For three years she was forced to hide her identity from Huerdaen law enforcement while working hard and sometimes humiliating jobs on the numerous farms surrounding the community. Eventually, Samantha was able to barter her way off the planet, and upon her return to Vocian space, immediately arrested and court martialed for her actions during the battle of Foer. After being dishonorably discharged and her belief in the system broken, Samantha was recruited by mercenary group that offered her revenge against the system that she felt had horribly wronged her. Outfitted with basic and cheap cybernetic augmentations, Xerosi took part in the Owl Lake missile crisis, proving that her combat and leadership skills were far more capable than the rest of her group.


Samantha was given another round of cybernetic augmentations and given genetic augmentation as well, making her a much more effective weapon for her employers. Promoted to captain, Xerosi led several other successful terrorist operations against the IStaR government before her contract was bought by a private contractor. In the past several years captain Xerosi has performed several critical black operations for her employer, and now finds herself tasked with boarding a Huerdaen ship of previously unseen size.


Assets: Custom operational armor (powered), kinesis gloves, automatic energy pistol and assault rifle. Three energy grenades. Combat knife.


Powers/Vulnerabilities/Expertise: Samantha is a example of Vocian military training combined with top of the line and very illegal genetic and cybernetic augmentation. She is faster, stronger, and superior to the average non-augmented human. She is a capable soldier due to her military training, and her terrorist and para-military experiences have given her some skill in combat improvisation. Xerosi is a proficient rifleman, though she is less so with explosive weaponry. She often defers the use of such weapons to others who are more capable. She lacks pilot training for any sort of aerial vehicle, and will again defer the use of normal vehicles to others, preferring to lean on her marksmanship skills.


Her other weaknesses are largely internal. As the years pass and her anger at the Vocian government fades, she struggles to justify what she has become. Samantha's growing doubts of her actions have compounded her existing trust issues from her time on Foer, and has led to paranoia, knowing full well that she is being watched by her employer for any sudden changes of heart, having been the harsh hand of punishment more than once. Samantha is always prepared to shoot her own men at the first sign of betrayal, choosing alienation from her squad than having her loyalty to the mission put into doubt.


She feels trapped, and very alone in her plight.


Picture (Optional):


Character 2's Name: Oril Tavison

Description: Male. 24. 6'0. Dark hair, green eyes. Bulky, muscled. Aggressive. Same scars of genetic and cybernetic modification apparent on skin. Pale.


History: Oril is an example of a career criminal who went as legit as a criminal can. As a youth in one of the IStaR's corporate sector colonies, Oril quickly took to a life of petty theft to survive. The third son of second generation 'sustenance' miners, Oril was the victim of neglect, his parents often choosing to drown their sorrows in beer or drugs, leaving the children to fend for themselves. During the formulative years, Oril was cared for by his two sisters until his tenth birthday, when one was arrested for prostitution, and the other simply disappeared into the black market. He left his parents several months later, falling in with a street gang and being used as their police bait. His overall speed and at the time small size allowed him to escape police sectorlocks. When Oril was seventeen, the gang disbanded and Oril took the only job that his largely non-existent education could provide for him: mining.


The long, hard, dangerous labor of mining led to explosive muscle growth. This, coupled with a fiery temper, often led to vicious brawls both in the mines and in the bars, and eventually led to the company firing him, and having him arrested. After doing time, Oril was released back onto the colony streets, where he was recruited as a enforcer for a black market dealer. Eventually his contract was bought by a mercenary group who fitted him with cheap cybernetic augmentations and sent him to the core worlds, where he and several other mercenaries caused a government MAGLEV train to derail in the middle of a city, killing several hundred soldiers and civilians. Oril survived the operation, and others like it across IStaR space, until his contract was bought again, only this time, he received higher quality cybernetic and genetic augmentations, and found himself on a very small ship heading into deep space.



Assets: Custom operational armor (powered), kinesis gloves, automatic energy pistol and assault rifle. Three energy grenades. Combat knife. Energy grenade launcher.


Powers/Vulnerabilities/Expertise: He is faster and stronger than a normal human due to his augmentations, however Oril is also very prone to violent behavior that borders on the psychopathic. His volatile nature was only encouraged during his previous operations, and he has developed a certain skill with setting explosive devices, though he has little patience for accuracy. Capable driver.


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Character 3's Name: Calina Osvaros

Description: Female. 24. 4'9. Black hair, neon blue stripe. Ruby eyes (altered). Darker skin.


History: Calina was born in the Vocian core worlds, on the colony of Celeste to Marika and Gudar Osvaros, the owners of a very successful chain of hotels on the planet. She was, from birth, groomed for success and enjoyed a brief, if short, pampered life on the Vocian pleasure colony. She was kidnapped and sold on the black market at age eight, and tossed around like a rag doll to various owners for a period of seven years, before being rescued by law enforcement officials. Having been violated and abused for six years, Calina viewed herself as little more than a submissive slave, and underwent extensive psychiatric therapy. Calina was released back to her parents after two years, and they spared no expense in welcoming her home. Private tutors, lavish gifts and parties, everything that they could give to her, they gave to her, and eighteen year old Calina became something of a reluctant celebrity in Vocian media for a short time before fleeing a life that was, in her own words, smothering her just as much as her other life had.


Calina fled Celeste and moved to the harsh world of Larani, where she enrolled at the Jace Corvu university, though instead of Xenoarchaelogy or Geology, she was instantly drawn to flying. In four years Calina graduated at the top of her class and was instantly offered a job flying transports and shuttles for one of the mining corporations on the planet. Eventually her contract was bought, and Calina found herself flying a ship into deep space, carrying an armed crew.


Assets: Pilot, Chariot class starship. Kinesis gloves. Special cybernetic implant for increased flight performance. x1 energy pistol. EVA suit with protective plating (military grade).


Powers/Vulnerabilities/Expertise: Excellent pilot, though little combat experience past self-defense training. Calina still carries her childhood trauma with her despite the extensive therapy, and is often billed as a 'silent loner'. She speaks very little, and avoids physical contact with other people at almost all times when possible.

Picture (Optional):

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  • 2 months later...

Explain it to me one more time general.


The speaker was not an overly stubborn man when it came to matters of state but he had never had to formally declare war on a foreign nation before. He, chief justice kreia and the military trinity all sat in his private office in the vocian capital, months of planning and preparation coming down to this single moment.


The general sighed and nodded, his knees creaking as he walked across the room.


Operation aegir is to serve as a secondary front to the ongoing League UFA conflict at karthay. Its purpose is to split the enemy's attention and forces from karthay And secure a secondary route to the homelands should allied forces fail to secure the island. The primary focus is the far gone archipelago.


Rough post for rp.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The dirt crunches softly beneath my feet, brown, lifeless, cracked. Burnt earth. Pockets of snow dot the expanse, small drifts that until now escaped the wrath of the spring sun. The snowmelt would provide nothing for the ground, nothing would ever grow here again without help. In the distance the mountains rise under the clear and chilly sky, their snow capped peaks fading into the glare of the afternoon sun. There are no sounds of life in the air, just hte lonely howl of the wind as it gently rolls across the dead plains.


This is Turaan. My home.


Like all Tor, I bear witness to the injustices visited upon us by our so-called 'brothers', and the wounds left upon our home world by the shadow beings they unleashed upon us. I remember it so clearly despite the lifetime I have lived. Funny that I should return here at the end of it. I close my eyes for but a second and feel the weight of this dead world on me. I have no idea how I remain standing on the blighted plain as the memories rolled in.


We knew only of war and pain. Once we had conquered the elements survival became a secondary concern, all we had cared about were making the 'chosen' of the gods pay for stranding us here. The image of the marble temple in Torak'Cho and the urn that once held the sands of Azaad as a sign of the righteousness of our crusade, but even that holy place had not survived the coming of the shadows. Gilded suits of golden armor walking step by step next to the demons they had summoned from the Well of Souls. The drumbeat of war continued until every city on my planet had burned and the planet bled what little life it had into space.


Turaan died a slow, miserable death and we were scattered to the winds. Here and there we eked out an existence with what technology escaped the purge. No longer did we inhabit cities of marble that stood as a testament of how we defied the gods and the fate they had sought to impose upon us.


I remember carrying my son into the heart of a Nuvaka frigate while Torak'Cho burned in the distance and tears form around my eyelids. Suka my friend, your sacrifice saved my family.


Captains from what was left of our fleet had come to rescue us once it was clear the battle was lost. Some fled into space only to be lost, hunted like animals or simply disappearing into the void. Those that remained knew there was no escape. Suka and his men took as many as they could and sped the frigate away from the cities. The mountians became our home, and the frigate the womb from which our community had been reborn. It was a hard life as the shanty town grew from the frigate's hull as we were forced to face the brutal wilderness of our planet unprepared for the first time in any of our lives. My wife died only a year in, crushed by landslide. My daughters, frozen of simply gone. My son lost an arm to infection. I suppose that I should consider myself lucky to have made it to old age with my bloodline intact. The shadows that crept across our planet would always kill the men no matter the age and the women were either taken or left to die. The attacks were so specific that there was no question they came from the Chosen.

Just as it seemed like we were to be wiped out entirely, the shadows left and the Chosen and their ships left our skies. The Purge was over, but there was no hope of revenge. Our civilization had been too gravely wounded, our heritage all but destroyed. All we could do now was to survive.


I open my eyes and realize the sun has dipped for the horizon. Hours have passed. My joints ache from the vigil, and movement does little to ease their cries. Age has caught up with me, and I should have known better than to wander this far from the camp. It is dark when I return, the small fire illuminating the two tents that hugged the plain. A giant of a man sits with his back to the desolation as he feeds the fire with what tinder he can find. He holds his single hand close to the struggling flame, drawing what warmth he can from it. I smile to myself; my son has always been a fighter. I make my presence known before entering the camp's perimeter, and I am greeted with a thin smile and welcoming wave towards the fire. A thin figure emerges from my son's tent, wrapped in so many bundles of linen that I can barely make out my daughter in law's face. She hands me a small bit of dried meat before vanishing back inside the tent without a sound like a proper wife from the far gone days of yore. I nod to my son, and he begins to speak of the day's poor hunting, speculations on how much farther we must travel to our destination. I answer with muttered acknowledgements and rough estimates, there is not much more to say and we lapse into silence, chewing on the preserved meat.


In the decades that followed the Purge I had watched my son grow into a man, the loss of his arm never once preventing him from contributing from his duties around the village or from obtaining a wife, though her mother had been less than pleased when her daughter had revealed she had slept with the village 'cripple'. They had made a strong pair, her voice to his strength, though that had changed with time as well. Illness took hold, her body slowly dwindling away while horrible coughs racked her frail frame and tore at the lining of her throat. Though she survived, her voice never recovered and she had become a shadow of who she once was. She took to tradition when her body failed to regain it's former strength, and whatever words she had to speak we for the ears of my son only. Myself and all others were treated with a kind smile or a gesture, but I had not heard a word from her in well of seven years.


I watch my son finish his meal and go about finishing his tasks. He lays his hand on my shoulder and gives it a firm squeeze before ducking inside his tent. I am left alone on the cold plain as the fire begins to die. I stare up at the sky and try to make out the thin red lines of the nebula in the darkness.


We were on the plains for more than just attempting to find food. Actual hunting was a rarity, the delicate ecosystem that had survived the Purge would never recover and the only creatures that roamed the world now were vicious beasts, each a survivor of the holocaust, each a warrior in their own right. You only killed them when there was no other choice, there would never be another to replace him. Most food was preserved or grown in what little fertile soil there was left. Our village was lucky enough in that regard, but fortunes never last for long,. In the years that followed the Purge many of our people that could not find shelter had become raiders, looking to take what they did not have by force rather than work for it themselves. I often wonder if Seenah is still out there, a woman surrounded by a band of thieves that grabbed her while she was out among the rocks looking for herbs. I often wonder if my blood runs through the veins of a bastard, just now coming into his own among whatever counts as a clan among thieves and murderers.


I shake my head and tell myself to let go of that dream. Better to focus on the known than hope for a disgrace.


My son's wife was with child. IT was still early, but the signs were there. Given her earlier illness we were on our way across the plain to the one people that could promise a safe birth, the chosen. Three months ago a runner came to our village with the message. I cannot remember where he was from, or where he was going, but the message was clear: The Chosen have returned, not with fire and fury, but with healing hands and open arms. The Shadows were gone from them, and they spoke only words of peace.


Debate had filled the village, every adult had an opinion, some were in favor of risking the journey back to Torak'Cho, some were convinced it was a plot to finish us off once and for all. Some, namely the children, either wanted to go out of curiosity or stay out of fear of something they had known only through bedtime stories. My son and I had agreed that the village was safe enough until his wife had told him he was to be a father. I was informed upon the dawn that they were leaving, and I had no real choice but to follow. I would not let my son and my entire bloodline go out into the wilderness alone. Stong or not, one man is not enough to deter raiders, and so we made our preparations, said our goodbyes, and left. Maybe, gods-willing, this isn't a trap and we will one day see the village again, but the closer we get to the city, the more I realize that we will not return. Do I suspect treachery from the Chosen? Yes, but I also suspect that if they have come here in peace, to right their wrongs against us, then there will be no reason to return. If they can provide my family with a home safe from the elements, safe from starvation, plague or raiders, then I will make sure they give it to us, honor be damned.


The chill worms it's way into my clothing and I shiver in the dark. The night sky is filled with stars set against streaks of the nebula's crimson. the astronomer in me wants to remain awake, to view the stars where we once sailed in all their majesty, but tomorrow we must travel as far and as fast as we can. WE may have been safe today but fortunes can change so quickly, and I am a old man who needs his rest. I smother the last few embers of the fire with a clump of dead earth and crawl inside my tent, though shelter does little to keep the cold out. Another night on the plains I think and let the sound of the wind lull me to sleep.

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  • 1 month later...

The Last of Us Review.


The Last of Us is pretty over-rated. Generic plot and unlikable characters make this 'stunning emotional narrative' fall flat. The best part of the game that has all of that 'stunning emotional narrative'?


the first ten minutes of the game.


After that it just turns into your typical post-apocalypse grim dark crap that you've seen a thousand times by now.




Basically, the Cordyceps fungus somehow changes and is able to infect humans. Cordyceps is a fungus that has the ability to grow and control the brains of insects and forces them to do things like have infected ants crawl up leaves and stems and stay there until the ant dies and the fungus erupts into a spore sprouting body.


You play as Joel, who on the night the infection goes critical must flee with his family from Texas. Before the night is out, he and his daughter are shot by the desperate military. His daughter dies in his arms, and then twenty years pass.


The world is broken down, military quarantine zones where life is miserable, military controls everything and Joel is now some asshole of a smuggler that lives with some b*tch of a woman. A group called the Fireflies (see also: terrorists) who are blowing sh*t up in the Zones and demanding things like the return of politicians and sh*t.


After the tutorial level is over, you're saddled with Ellie, the girl you see plastered across all media related to the game. She's infect, but DA DA DA immune. How surprising. How original. How grippingly narrative. You have to escort her to, wait for it because this is original as hell, out west to some secret medical facility that might be able to produce a cure.


As is expected, Joel is against this idea because HARD ASS SURVIVOR MAN NEEDS NO ONE, but there's no choice as the people you're supposed to hand the girl off to are dead and the b*tch he was living with gets infected by a mushroom man's bite and makes him swear on her suicide bed that he'll take the girl and save the world.


After that you meet up with a fat half-crazy guy in a town full of traps and mushroom zombies (they should have just called the place RavenAmericaHolm (because no one goes there anymore). You get trapped upside down in one of his traps and have to shoot off a wave of zombies while the girl frees you, and eventually you escape, steall all of the fat man's stuff, and then go look for a car and the remain of the fat man's gay lover.


After that, you get some bonding (LOOK OMG THIS IS SO EMOTIONAL GUYS CAN YOU NOT SEE HOW EMOTIONAL AND BONDING THIS IS) before Joel and the girl are ambushed by your typical bandit clan and must escape their evil clutches.


And here, let's through a black guy and his little brother in here to show you that black people survived the apocalypse, and that they totally did not rip off Morgan and Dwayne from The Walking Dead. You run through some mushroom iinfected sewers, get seperated from the girl and the black guy and get stuck with his little brother and the typicla 'OMG TAKE CARE OF HIM OR I'LL COME DOWN ON YOU' dialogue, you fight through all the zombies before another forced action shooter sequence.


You then escape the sewers, drift through a neighborhood where the black guy comments on how he misses his barbeque (I sh*t you not), and then you play hide and sneak with a sniper before you kill him, take his gun and then fight off the remaining bandits from the last level before the whole area is swarmed with mushroom people.


During the cinematic where Joel talks about he and his brother riding Harley Davidsons across the country (BECAUSE OMG BACKSTORY EMOTIONS LOOK AT ALL THIS HUMAN INTERACTION AND DRAMA ARE YOU FEELING ANY CONNECTION WITH THE CHARCTERS YET) and the girl talking to the suddenly forlorn black kid (gee I wonder what his problem is why is he talking about the mushroom people and how he doesn't want to become one of them hmmmmmmmm) about what she's scared of but even though she's a kid she shows no fear whatsoever because RAWR SPUNKINESS.


The next mornin the black kid is a zombie because he was bitten, he almost kills the group, his brother has to shoot him and then offs himelf (because EMOTIONAL DRAMA WOW).


The game cuts to fall. You and the girl are out west. Somehow you manage to swim across a river that is roaring through a hydroelectric dam, and eventually meet up with Joel's brother who he had previously parted ways with on bad terms. HUGS and OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE ALIVE THIS IS NCREDIBLE' things ensue before all the good times are interrupted by SUDDENLY BANDITS BANDITS EVERYWHERE.


Joel tries to pawn the girl off on his brother who just moments before mentions he went back home to Texas and found a picture of Joel's daughter (because remember guise we must hit home how he's bonding with the girl and using her as a replacement daughter. The Firefly camp they're looking for is at the university of Colorado, and thus is the next location you have to venture to.


But the girl doesn't like this and steals a horse (because horses are only found out west in all post-apocalypse scenarios) and you have this idyllic little chase through the woods on horseback right into a bandit camp. You kill them, you find a ranch house that the girl ran to, we have another moment of bonding where the girl tells Joel she thinks of him as her dad and Joel goes f*ck OFF YOU AIN'T MY DAUGHTER yet they are interrupted MOAR BANDITS.


After you fight those off and return to the dam and the neighboring town which now has electricity, Joel tells the girl to give the horse she stole back to his brother and then they both get offered a home there before they ride away to Colorado.


At Colorado, things are all quiet. No Fireflies, no anything but GUISE LOOK MOAR BONDING before they find a tape recorder that says 'hay lol this all failed we were testing cordyceps on monkeys but it didn't work and now everyone is headed back to Salt Lake City but guise i really like this infected monkey i feel guilty for all the things i've done to him so I shall now set him frEE OH GOD HE BIT ME HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS HAPPEN DID YOU GUYS SEE THIS COMING BECAUSE THIS WAS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED OH GOD WHY'.


You are then attacked by bandits. Because the game has nothing else to throw at you. In a cutscene, Joel fights a bandit on a exterior walkway, the guardrail breaks and both go tumbling down. Joel is impaled on a piece of rebar (THE ULTIMATE ENEMY OF ALL LIFE) and has to be rescued by the girl.




It is now Winter. You play as the girl, you're hunting a deer and you're supposed to be oblivious to all the clicking and mushroom people sounds going on in the snowy woods. You finally kill the deer, but so do two other guys. You hold one of them hostage for medicine (because guys we totally don't want to reveal that Joel is still alive), and while his minion goes to get the medicine in exchange for the deer, you get ambushed by a army of mushroom men.


You fight through a sawmill, through another forced action-shooter sequence where the guy starts to really like the girl (not creepy at all guise) and eventually reveals that the bandits you killed at the university were his people and that his minion is back and has you at gunpoint.




You then give the medicine to Joel who somehow survived getting impaled and the massive blood loss and the weeks without medicine and go to sleep. You wake up in the morning to find BANDITS have tracked you back to the hideout ski resort town and you then use all the skills Joel taught you (because BONDING) to escape only to be caught at the very end by the creepy guy.


You then awake at his fortress town, find out they're all cannibals, piss the creepy guy who was trying to keep you from being chopped up off, and the scene cuts back to Joel who HAS AWAKENED IT'S A MIRACLE HUZZAH WE NEVER SAW IT COMING FROM A MILE AWAY and takes on a smaller group of bandits who now fear him above all else, captures two, tortures them for the bandit town location, kills both of them and hikes off into a snowstorm.


The scene cuts back to the girl who was about to be chopped up, he infection is revealed and the momentary pause allows her to grab a gun and kill one guy and escape from the creepy guy. She then runs about a snowstorm brutally killing the rest of the bandits before creepy guy traps her in a large restaraunt and you have to play Hide and Go Stab with him. At some point a lantern is knocked over ant the building catches on fire. You eventually jump on him and stab him in the neck a few more times before he runs himself and you into a fridge and knocks you both out.


The scene cuts back to Joel who has somehow discovered the correct town in the middle of a blinding snowstorm. He kills more bandits and sees the burning building where the girl is.


ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE SWITCH and you're back in the girl who is all groggy from being knocked out. you then have to crawl towards her knife while ominous sounds of the guy rousing come from off screen and right as she gets to the knife BOOT TO THE STOMACH MAN WHO DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.




IT is now Spring. They are both in Salt Lake City. Joel's character is now touchy feely while the girl is all withdrawn. They wander through the ruins, they talk about Joel's ORIGINAL DAUGHTER, and then find that all the giraffes escaped from the zoo. Cue the moment where you and the girl get to pet it and then watch as the herd moves along peacefully in a horribly overgrown area of the city while you listen to some bad piano music.




You then have to fight off a giant horde of mushroom people in their last appearance in the game. Hopefully you have discovered the flamethrower at this point and you can make them all angry and chase you before lighting all two dozen of them (including the boss level ones) up in flames. You then muck about in a flooded tunnel, you get trapped, the girl tries to save you, you both get sucked underwater but you survive and escape to see the girl all limp underwater with ominous music playing. BECAUSE NEVER BEFORE HAVE YOU FELT SO GRIPPED BY THIS CHARACTER AND NEVER BEFORE HAS THIS TYPE OF SCENE HAPPENED EVER.


You grab her, get to the surface, attempt to revive her and then get smacked in the head by a Firefly's gun. You wakt up hours later in a hospital bed with the leader of the Fireflies telling you that the girl was saved (SHOCKING OH GOD I THOUGHT SHE WAS REALLY DEAD) but that the only way to get the cure is to tear out her brain because that's where the infection has grown the most. Because even after twenty years of post-apocalyptic living there are still brain surgeons and geneticists and all sorts of crazy skilled people that can pull this sh*t off.


Joel, having turned the girl into his replacement daughter because of GRIPPING EMOTIONAL BONDING turns against the Fireflies, kills a bunch of them, finds the operating room (which does not look sterile or capable of performing brain surgery), kills a doctor because humanity can afford the loss, steals the girl back and makes a harrowing escape from the hospital to the car garage where the Firefly leader was somehow expecting him. Then there is the typical attempt at manipulating Joel to give the girl back to the Fireflies and the scene cuts to him driving.


BECAUSE GUISE OMG WHAT IF HE GAVE THE GIRL BACK OMG HOW COULD HE DO THAT I LOVE HER OH GOD ALL THE EMOTIONS AND LOOS AND FEELINGS OF BETRAYAL oh wait there's her voice oh good it's all okay now we have a flashback to Joel shooting the Firefly leader and dooming mankind to living with a terrible fungus.




Eventually they make it back to his brother's town, the girl suddenly brings up how she feels guilty about her surviving getting bit before the game even started over a in-game year ago and then asks if the lie Joel told her was true. He lies once again and tells her that it is and the camera zooms in and she says a resounding 'okay'.






Gameplay isn't as clunky as it was in Remember Me, but it's still not as fluid as it could have been. Crafting is largely a waste of time, health kits and shivs are the only things you're ever going to need to build as all the other items can be commonly found in the levels. Upgrading your weapons is pointless as well, I went through the game without ever having to upgrade any of them.


If you play the game as a shooter, as the mainly trailers suggest, you're going to be sh*t out of luck when you find yourself forced into your stereotypical action shooter segments.


You have to be stealthy. Most levels you're going to be crouching and sneaking around watching enemy patrol routes, waiting for that one moment where you can take the guy down without alerting his friends. This may take minutes, it could take upwards of fifteen, twenty minutes only to leave you f*cked because the game has decided 'oh, i think this shotgun guy should have the quickest reaction time of all mankind', knock you back and then shoot you all to hell. So then you restart from the beginning of the encounter and do it all over again.


The cover mechanics are also suspect. You won't always stick to cover properly, leaving you exposed and thus easily discovered. Even when you do stick to cover, you may not always be facing the correct way and the game won't always orient you to your camera position, leaving you with the choice of being of of position for a takedown or making you risk re-positioning yourself.


The NPC sidekicks the game sticks with you also get in the way. More than several times has my cover been blown or a take down ruined because the girl you're escorting suddenly has to be close to you. That could mean she's hiding under your arm because 'AW LOOK EMOTIONS FEEL THE EMOTIONS ARE YOU FEELING THEM YET' other times she'll just run out of no where and stand right in front of you when you're about to kill an enemy.


The NPCs themselves break the immersion anyway. When you're sneaking around, the NPC companions will run across the levels in plain sight and even into enemies, but nothing happens because the enemies are programmed not to see them. So while you're crouched behind a desk hiding from the guy with the shotgun or the mushroom zombie that insta-kills on contact, the girl or one o the other characters you run into will go right up and stand in front of them or some crazy sh*t. It's only once you engage in combat that the enemy AI starts detecting and engaging the NPC companions.


Don't even get me started on the impossibly long loading screens and the fact that manually saving your game can take three minutes because the game has to disable it's constant auto-saving.


Is it worth playing? Yes. Is it worth $60? No, once again this is a case where it's worth $30 or below.

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