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Voting has reset for the month of August. Valucre is in the top 10 but we aim for the top 3 for maximum visibility when people land on the home page of the topsite. If you want to help new members discover Valucre, vote for us daily.

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      Vote for Valucre [August]   05/16/2017

      Voting for the month of August is open on TopRPSites! Vote for Valucre daily and help new members searching for a place to roleplay discover the same joys you have in Valucre. You can vote daily, so make voting for Valucre a habit. Discussion thread

Chouette

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  1. I, Henrietta

    Before today, Sabiya realized, she had never felt true fear. She reached the factory floor in less than half the time it had taken the red-caped man to descend. A long reach and a light body gave her some advantages in that respect, but in reality the difference came down to Sabiya's desperation, luck, and seeming lack of concern for her own safety. Rather than inching carefully down as he had, she practically flung herself from one handhold to the next, almost falling several times on the way down and making even more noise than her predecessor. Her suit was scuffed, her gloves dirtied, and her hair beginning to twist and tangle. All these things registered in her mind, small alarms going off with every defilement of her appearance, but they were drowned out by the deafening scream that rang again and again through her every thought, the infrangible imperative that seemed to drive her onward like a demented puppeteer. Get. The. Child. She barely registered the other men, even when one started to speak. If they were talking, they weren't running, and if they weren't running they weren't helping. Sabiya had no time to waste on explaining to them just how great the stakes might be, not when every second- every racing heartbeat -could mean the difference between absolute victory and a loss she couldn't even contemplate. The instant the lights came on, she bolted eastward. There were no means of determining with certainty which way they'd taken the girl, but her instincts told her that it would be away, out of the safe and clean facility and towards the wild, dirty, dangerous world outside. One moment she was rushing past dimly lit machines, the next she raced into the covered hallway. Each step felt less like a stride and more like a lunge, heaving her forwards past a blurry stream of strange symbols to either side, elaborate graffiti left by some unknown predecessor. She ignored these entirely, instead fixing her gaze straight ahead to watch for any sign of movement. She didn't know how to hunt or track, but anyone knew how to follow. If she could catch sight of a target, she could run it down and then- Then what? Sabiya had no idea. She could only keep going, fueled by panic and faith alike, hoping that she'd find some way to make everything right again.
  2. I, Henrietta

    She was so beautiful. Some looked at her and saw nothing more than a rock, a pretty blue stone that could take over the laborious (for them) task of independent thinking. Others, a little more perceptive, saw a rock that could change the world, revolutionize everything from education to manufacturing to perhaps even warfare with its impressive computational power. A few, knowledgeable enough to guess at the details of her function, saw in their minds' eyes a complex lattice of intertwined streams flowing up and down and back and forth and left and right and yesterday and tomorrow and perhaps even more, bound within a semi-physical framework that could easily be extended into a network of almost limitless memory and learning ability. Only Sabiya, however, and perhaps Monroe herself, seemed to see Victory for what she was. A child. An embryo. A person who had not yet discovered what they were, who would soon flower into a mind of incandescent wonder. Victory would not revolutionize industry, nor education, nor any of those small and petty things that short-term thinkers considered important. She would revolutionize consciousness. Sabiya stood stock-still, staring at the shining sapphire with widening pupils, her carefully cultivated decorum cracking for a single moment as her expression shifted in the throes of what could only be described as love. What would she give, to hold Victory in her arms? To mold her, to teach her, to nurture her into the perfect being Sabiya knew she could become, knew she must become- She only realized it had gone dark about a second after it happened. Something struck her in the side, and she folded, crumpling to the ground rather than try and resist the impact. Panic set in, fear for the safety of a vulnerable child, and she lurched into motion, crawling desperately towards her best estimate of where the black pedestal had been. They could not take her. Would not take her, not while Sabiya was here. Then the lights flickered back on, and she saw that the tiny floating crystal was right where it had been, completely unharmed. She almost wept, then, out of sheer relief. The situation, however, demanded that she control her behavior. Shoving aside a growing mass of protective feelings, she pulled herself upright, calm and collected as she had been at the beginning of the tour. She glanced down at her side, and plucked out the dart that had penetrated her suit just a moment ago. No blood on the tip. Whatever its intent had been, clothing and circumstance seemed to have prevented it from causing her any physical harm. She winced, but not so much out of pain as the realization that her suit was now ruined and her hair likely a mess. It made her feel almost nauseous. Monroe was screaming. She seemed delirious, pleading for someone to find her lost everything. It took a moment for Sabiya to realize that she didn't literally mean everything- just the one person who was so important to Henrietta that she might as well be. She stepped forwards, putting on her best consoling face. "Don't worry, ma'am," she said, pointing to the sapphire above the pillar, "she's right there, see?" Honestly, people could be so strange sometimes. Even after the unexpected chaos, Monroe should at least have been able to hold herself together long enough to see that Victory was obviously fine, that there was nothing to be worried about, unless- oh. Oh please no. Sabiya took off at a sprint, practically falling through the hole and scrambling down after the red-coated man.
  3. Guard on the Road (Commemorating the Dead)

    It just so happened that at the very same moment, two miles south of the Keep, a pair of small shadows were making their way towards Zine's ramshackle encampment. One loped forwards on all fours, straining at the end of a taut chain. The other strolled along calmly behind, unperturbed by the desperate efforts of the first. At times it would pause, turning its oddly-shaped head to peer at some minor detail of the surrounding landscape, be it an oddly-shaped tree or some small sign of a past battle, or even nothing at all. So slow was their progress that the men stationed in the small circle of tents actually noticed them coming. After a short dispute, one of the soldiers stood up and ambled over to the edge of the camp, to ward off what appeared to be a lost traveler or beggar seeking aid. Instead, he found himself facing children. The girl was dressed as ostentatiously as any aristocrat he'd ever seen, covered in flowing blue robes trimmed with gold and topped with an oversized hat that cast a shadow over her whole body. Though she'd apparently arrived on foot, there wasn't a speck of dirt on any of it. She looked up at him expectantly, her expression altogether too serious for what looked like the face of a thirteen-year-old. "You're Barsait's, yes?" Something flashed in her left hand, bright gold. The man didn't recognize it immediately, but it looked official, and somewhat familiar. "Is the Ambassador here?" He shook his head, barely listening. She was strange enough, all right, but his attention was fixed on the boy. Collared like a dog, and held close to the girl by a thin silver chain, the second child stared back at him with wide, hungry eyes. It was naked, filthy, and crouched on its hands and knees like some kind of beast, grinning wide enough to expose a mouthful of teeth that had been filed down to razor-sharp points. This, more than any official badge or proclamation, was enough convince the soldier that he probably ought to answer the young woman's questions. "In the city, then?" He nodded. "I think so." Something small and scared at the back of his mind told him that he ought to add some kind of honorific to that, but he was at a loss for what to use. Thankfully, she didn't seem to mind. "Very good. If he returns, don't let him know I've arrived yet." She smiled, suddenly looking like someone her age ought to. "It's meant to be a surprise." She moved past him, tugging at the chain to pull her companion along with her. The boy held back, staring at him a moment longer, before following along behind her, sniffing at the ground as it went. Presumably, they were here to stay. Aristocrats and their dogs. If they were going to start arriving in numbers, it couldn't mean anything good.
  4. I, Henrietta

    Towards the rear of the group, where lingering stragglers were just catching up, Sabiya winced. There was a rhythm to all this, the slow build from the archaic tools of labor to the razor-sharp shapers of minds, all leading up in a perfectly timed crescendo to the moment they witnessed the future. So obvious, but so very effective. Each step had whetted her desire to know just a little further, pushing her patience to its breaking point, and now, just as she'd reached the very precipice of the grand climax, the experience was interrupted. Damn that red-caped bastard and his question. Her molars ground up against one another as she reigned in the urge to reach out and smack him across the cheek. Little to gain on that front, and much to lose. No, she would stand there politely as this ignorant man and however many obnoxious rubes he inspired to action rattled off a series of inane questions they could easily have answered with a few minutes of research on their own. Her expression glazed over, turning still and blank as a sheet of freshly fallen snow. She looked like a sheet of freshly fallen snow, albeit one constrained to the form of a delicate young woman. Bleached skin she'd washed until it shone like a pearl, a suit folded and pressed and purged of every single stain or wrinkle or mote that might have defiled its smooth surface, hair clipped and straightened until it fell just so- no, just so. She was perfect, and it stood to reason that everyone else could make themselves perfect as well. That they hadn't indicated a lack of respect. Perhaps they weren't aware just what it was they were about to see. In one sense, Sabiya herself didn't yet know the exact details, hence her impatience. On the other hand, anyone with a half-decent understanding of magitech ought to be able to tell where this path they were now walking down would eventually lead. Perhaps they'd reached it today, or perhaps they would tomorrow. It didn't matter. The outcome was as inevitable as the rising sun. That, more than anything else, gave her the strength she needed to stay still and stay silent, standing straight as a spear as she struggled to reconstruct the state of mind she'd been in before the tour had halted. If she could scrounge it up somehow, this might yet prove a memory worth keeping.
  5. Call of the Sea: Blood and Stone

    As Larque hung on to the edge of consciousness, which he was doing so he could hang onto Varina who was hanging off the edge of the ship, a rather unexpected thought passed through his beleaguered mind. Where did the storm go? They'd been in midair, ship and crew alike flung about like rag-dolls by the force of the storm, and then it all just... stopped. Clouds were replaced by crystalline growths, raging winds by an eerie stillness, intense vertigo by the rather unpleasant sensations of Varina's vomit tumbling down on Larque from above. By god, the smell. Even after all he'd survived, it made him want to roll over and die. Except the storm was gone, and that meant something unexpected had happened, and that meant Larque had to drag his aching body up Varina and onto the ship to try and find his feet, because of course the others could conk out whenever they took so much as a scrape but oh, he had to bandage them up and haul them off to bed and singlehandedly pilot a wooden ship through one of the most destructive natural disasters on the planet while suffering from a likely concussion and then risk his life to get them within reach of their goal only to have it all get fucked up by some unexplainable natural phenomenon that forced him to pull himself back from the blissful embrace of oblivion and make sure they weren't all killed because he couldn't trust his so-called companions to grab a fucking jewel if physics bent itself backwards to form a solid bridge directly between them and their target. Which it had. Remind me, where did all the competent people go again? Oh right, they'd all stayed behind on that nice little island because they weren't completely batshit insane like the good Captain Larque and his crewmates apparently were. So. Raylis wasn't moving, and Varina was being sick. Perhaps they'd pull themselves together in a minute, but they didn't have a minute, if the chattering spirits gathering nearby were any indication. That left him to find his wobbly feet and take a tentative step out onto the crystal lattice, which appeared to hold steady beneath him. He felt a sudden urge to say something snarky, but pushed it aside. At this point he was running on the biochemical equivalent of fumes, and it wouldn't do to have his body give out at a key moment just so he could get some asinine quip in. Focus. His predictive models told him... not very much. Larque liked to consider himself an educated man, but he doubted even the kind of scholars who specialized in elemental wizardry would be able to comprehend just what had befallen them. Rather, he chose to model based on the simpler parameters. Solid pathway to target, possible limited time-frame in which to retrieve, multiple flight-capable hostiles en route. That last would be a problem, so the first step would need to be their swift extermination. They didn't look like the sort of things one could harm with conventional weapons, but then again Larque's bow was a sacred artifact gifted to him by the mystical Kuro that drew its arrows from ethereal planes through some eldritch means that he tended not to think about, so it probably counted as somewhat unconventional. For lack of better options, he'd conduct an experiment. Nock, mark, draw, loose. Science. Surprisingly enough, it worked. His first shot pierced straight through the ghostly skull of one of the larger storm-furies, causing it to chitter in panic for half a second before spontaneously dissolving into a faint wisp of thundercloud. Unfortunately, this also drew the attention of every single other storm-fury present. Being lesser elementals, they likely weren't driven by anything close to the kind of urges and instincts that animated biological organisms, but in that instant he couldn't help but think that they looked remarkably pissed off. With a horde of crackling elementals now descending upon him with a vengeance, Larque found himself temporarily preoccupied with the rather urgent issue of his survival, leaving him sadly indisposed to cross the distance to the Eye and retrieve the damn thing. On the plus side, the path to the jewel would have been mostly cleared by the distraction, leaving the way open to a certain pair of intrepid crewmembers who really ought to be able to handle that, no?
  6. Small Steps and Unseen Wings

    She wasn't attacking him. Why? Even with the situation changing as quickly as it had, Larque was still thinking ahead and predicting what might come next, and things weren't playing out the way they were supposed to. Antique's words and actions didn't match up at all. Such inconsistency seemed unusual. While she could have hidden things from him, he was fairly sure that he hadn't completely misread her, not to the extent that he couldn't anticipate when or if she'd strike. As two more seconds ticked by and she still made no moves to follow up on her threats, Larque managed to bring his thoughts in line, quickly going over alternate possibilities. It could be that this wasn't Antique at all, but a shapeshifter, one of the creatures the Order had mentioned- though that still didn't explain why she'd hang back against a wounded man. A hallucination, then? That could be the reason his foresight wasn't working, if the information he'd been relying on to make predictions was false. However, he had no easy means of verifying any such theory. It was the worst kind of situation, one without a clear way to win. He could fight to defend himself against a threat that might not be real, or he could let his guard down while facing what could well be a dangerous enemy. Whichever way this went, it'd be a gamble, and his only choice would be which side of the coin he chose to bet on. For a few moments he stood still, staring at her. Then his hands dropped to his sides, tense but unmoving. "Stay away," he mumbled, still not entirely sure he'd made the right decision. For better or worse, however, he'd trust his eyes over his ears, and hope she wasn't a threat. He could hear her speaking, but chose to tune her out, focusing on other senses to try and keep himself grounded. The pain from his injuries. The hard bark he leaned against. The ever-present weight of his necklace, his only real means of self-defense. Things he could trust, feelings he could believe in even as his very perceptions sought to trick and undermine him. If those crumbled, he wasn't sure what he'd have left.
  7. Are those drums I hear? A civil war

    Interested in the Hell's Gate situation, if you'll have me.
  8. Hi! You owe me a post in the Universal Colosseum.

    1. Chouette

      Chouette

      Yup. As you can probably tell, though, I haven't had much time to write of late.

      If you're willing to wait then I'll probably get around to it at some point, but if you'd rather just move on and skip me then that's fine.  Sorry for being so slow.

  9. BANTER LADS RISING (OOC)

    I like that idea. I'm kind of short on time right now due to life stuff, but maybe we can set something up down the line? A couple weeks from now ought to work, if you're available then.
  10. BANTER LADS RISING (OOC)

    Me IRL.
  11. BANTER LADS RISING [SECTOR 3+8]

    Anyone would have needed a moment to think, in a situation like this. Familiar with such negotiations, Siskin kept quiet for a moment, giving Mal time to go over his options and come to the only reasonable conclusion. Be subsumed, or be eradicated. He seemed intelligent enough, for a mercenary, and seemed surprisingly calm in spite of everything- almost too calm, but Siskin put that down to experience. Once a man had heard enough threats and seen enough bloodshed, they got that sort of deadness in their minds, an inability to feel fear quite so intense as it had been the first time. Perhaps, the agent mused, that was what drove people into situations like this, to experience those moments once again. Adrenaline. What a drug. Still, the sane didn't pick fights they couldn't win, and it was only a matter of time until Mal came around. Siskin reached out and briefly shook Mal's hand, his grip surprisingly delicate for someone still keeping a loaded firearm aimed steady. "Somehow I doubt you actually have the property rights to this place... but why not? I can't see anyone complaining." He let go, and leaned back a little. This had turned out fairly well for them both, all things considered. "Keep to our agreement, and this'll all go smoothly for you. You'll see some people showing up here around tomorrow morning- introduce yourselves, work together, and push your BANTER onto the market. Ideally, your employer will buy that you're just recruiting more underlings. If you're worried they're catching on, though, pass word to one of your new associates. We can offer you safety, maybe even alternative employment." Always a few dirty jobs that needed doing, and a guy who could handle underlings and negotiate with a cool head could be useful in the right places. "Keep that in mind," he said, and then vanished. It wasn't quite instantaneous. Siskin seemed to fold inwards, almost like a playing card being bent between two fingers, and then he was gone, leaving not so much as a trace of his presence besides the glass of water that still stood on the countertop, full as it ever had been. In the meantime, Siskin had an angry regent to speak with. Osa could be volatile on the best of days, and learning that someone from Three was trying to interfere with her domain would only piss her off more than usual. The current deal ought to placate her enough to keep Mal and his associates safe, but as for their employer, well... Siskin had a suspicion this BANTER business might be the spark that sent both Sectors up in flames. He'd done his bit to keep that from happening, but in a city filled with the power-hungry, peace never lasted long.
  12. BANTER LADS RISING (OOC)

    I think it's my turn to post, at least on the Sector Eight side. Sorry if I've been slow, this has been a bit of a busy week for me and I've had a lot of stuff to juggle. Hoping to get a post in within the next day or so. If not, things clear up for me on Monday so I should definitely be able to write something up for you guys then.
  13. Robbie Rotton vs. SixShots22

    At that precise instant, a soft and harmonious utterance sounded from a mere forty-three inches to one side of the angel imp. "If you'll condone this ill-timed intrusion, I couldn't help but discern that you've a collar in need of a good fracturing." How the speaker had advanced so far across the arch unnoticed would alas remain a mystery, for that same mysterious announcer- a slender and elegant woman, barefoot in a lacy white dress that matched her porcelain skin -would immediately proceed to spring forth towards the angel imp with terrifying agility, lithe digits grasping with a desperate lust for the vulnerable neck of her target. Worth noting, too, that her left foot was rotating like a propeller blade, seemingly ignorant of ordinary human joint structure. Hard for any sane being to say what in the seven hells had just happened, but one thing could be claimed with certainty: shit had just gotten even more chaotic.
  14. Valucre T1 Tournament Lounge

    Our match never reached a definitive conclusion, but Rob stopped responding back in January. I'd be down for a final fight, to maybe give this all some kind of conclusion!
  15. Reconstruction [ Nersheredere ]

    Once the generator was in position, Larque turned it up a notch, adding more heat to the system and melting away the surrounding snow to reveal the sturdy earth beneath. The thrumming machine also warmed the surrounding air, producing a warm breeze that made for a pleasant change to the otherwise frigid environment. After taking a moment to shrug off his coat, Larque got to work. Rushing across the now un-frozen ground, he retrieved a set of long, golden cables and began hooking them up to the generator one by one. These weren't the kind of wires that conducted mere electricity- each one was a MicroClockwork system in and of itself, engineered to directly transfer mechanical energy across long distances with almost one hundred per cent efficiency. Overly intricate, perhaps, but very useful in terms of energy conservation. With the help of some soldiers, he got the cables connected to a pair of conical devices which immediately whirred to life. Drills, and large ones at that. He set the military to the task of using these to dig out foundations, while he moved on to the next step. The remaining objects he'd had the soldiers gather, he sorted into two groups. One consisted of a large pile of broken or probably useless devices, essentially scrap metal. The other was a box, a great chest of steel and brass, which he connected to the generator with no less than three of the golden wires. For a few minutes, he let it charge. Then, once he was certain it had been sufficiently wound up, he dug his fingers under the rim of the upper half and hauled it open. Immediately something surged out, a teeming wave of sparking, chattering creatures that swarmed across the ground like rats. A quick glance, however, would reveal that these were no flesh-and-blood animals. Each one was a tiny four-legged construct, a little drone programmed with simple orders and then networked with its fellows to form a cohesive swarm. With a single gesture, Larque sent them racing toward the scrap metal. As they reached it, the tiny machines produced tools, small torches and cutting devices and all manner of things. Within moments, they'd reduced half the pile to small metal chips and had gotten to work on the other half. Once more, Larque gestured, this time making a series of complex signs with his fingers. On of the rat-like drones watched, relaying the information to its fellows, and the movement of the swarm shifted again. Moving towards the broken-down metal, they began to gather it up and melt it down, forming pools of red-hot liquid which they then began to shape into long, straight shapes. Girders and supports, the basic materials to build a scaffolding. "They're called MICE," Larque said out loud, "short for Miniaturized Industrial Construction Engines. You can get them to build almost anything, with the right programming and materials. These ones should still be running on default settings, though, so I'll begin with something simple. About time we got some walls up, and a roof over our heads..."
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