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Spin Me a Yarn

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Marigold was getting used to being able to hear Tori without truly hearing her, and though he had grown accustomed to ear pieces of all sorts when it came to auditory tech...this felt a little more personal; as though her voice radiated from The Beach within his core directly into his ears. The doctor listening to her explanation of Server Z and it made sense that they would use a data storage facility for a technological marvel like The Sieve. Tori was indeed right that the guards were afflicted with more than just the common practices seen throughout Lagrimosa 'It is strange though...Kru'Gorah does not use chemical compounds; His tail has no stinger...why would he use chemicals now?His words speaking to Tori without his lips moving at all as he adjusted to the mental communication with ease. Marigold' focus remaining on the estranged sister nervously tapping the holographic keyboard. Mike's telling gaze grooming him to keep their suspicion to a minimum. He had portrayed these roles in the past quite well. His demeanor nothing but supportive as he let Mike take the lead. His eyes scanning the...deformities the interior of this place started to show...as though they had perturbed a hostile nest. Tori' own scan conjoining with Marigold' as they both saw that there was indeed a presence that surrounded the facility. the same sinister aura that stabbed at the hearts of man. It was the energy source they had both been tracking for their entire journey here. It was a maelstrom of viscus, harrowing torment; Tori seeing through the psychic barrier of terror that there were indeed foreign devices attached to the various support pillars. Marigold citing to Tori that they possessed the same chemical the two guards were struck with. 

The entire server was rigged to not only erupt in fire, but release toxins that would spread for several blocks and plague the citizens greatly. Marigold feeling a sense of dread and gravity that had been steadily building up to this point. The nurses confused at first before the only one that had spoke to him, spoke up once more. A bead of sweat escaping down her trembling features. It was the first time Mike and Marigold had experienced Kru'gorah' Terror Feast. Marigold only understanding traces of the demon's dreadful magic, and it was difficult to understand for humans due to it's unquenchable hunger for them specifically. The air heavy with crippling bloodlust, as though The Djinn had been starved. Marigold steeling himself from the overwhelming urge to run. It reminded him of Roen, of Raphael...of Dredge....Laughing Stock. His corporeal form being lost to such monsters. "Please...right this way" She said, turning heel and leading them down the corrugated hall. Marigold holding onto every shred of courage he had left and walked in pace with Mike. 

The fluorescent lights overhead flickering at intermittent times and creating a sickening strobe effect that etched visages of an endless segmented tail Looping around the hall as though it were a predatory animal watching them as they passed. The twins leading them down into A wider atrium where various doorways led further into the building proper. The meek attendant pushing open the doors ahead of them where a blacked out room could barely be made out. Marigold's interior lighting and eyes providing a soft glow. The room so thick with this dread that the twins were frozen in their shoes as their eyes looked toward the deeper dark. A light illuminating in the shadows...a flame emanating from a flip lighter. A paled and horrifically scarred face illuminated behind it as they watched him light a cigarette. Tori picking up dozens of ramped up heartbeats clinging to the edges of the room

"Some vork on keeping zem stalled" A thick norkotian accent rose from the dark, it's intent on the twins who were frozen in fear as The Terror Feast fed on them without mercy. Server Z illuminating behind them man and revealing his silhouette as the bright, pulsing lights of the holographic storage thrummed on. A far more sinister outline behind him. An endless tail encircling much of the storage as a demonic form could be seen in the server itself, somehow merging into it's banks. "I am here to make sure everyzing goes smoothly so I am afraid zat zis is as far as du vill go" The stranger spoke up once more, steeping forward and into the light that illuminated from the hall behind them. He was a lanky man of a short build, adorned in military fatigues and adorned in a dozen or so metal canisters all hanging off of bandoleers. The lower regions of his face obscured by a gas mask with terrible chemical burns decorating the rest of his face. A toxin pair of green hued eyes looking from Marigold to Mike with a cold contemplation. The cigarette being vented through the mask and billowing out the smoke in a constant stream. A pair of detonators in his hands as he waved his hands toward either side of the enshrouded space. A dozen or more hostage all lining the walls with A metallic canister strapped to their chests. Most of them as frozen as the twins were due to the overwhelming pressure Kru'Gorah' presence gave off, feeding off the fear his hostages were drowning in.

Spoiler

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"Make a move und it vill be Biazo all over again, eh Herr Commager?"

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Tori’s and Marigold’s datamining tandem was able to indicate the presence of vessels containing chemical compounds attached to the external shell of each tower Server Z possessed. While the towers themselves appeared to be created to absorb latent natural energies, something much more sinister existed about the foreign vessels attached to them. Before entering, while they followed the twins, the Stalwart Crystal emerged from Michael’s back and free floated out from the facility and up above Server Z to observe the towers and vessels.

There was a brief moment of thought to which Marigold was made privy by their connection where Michael considered sending Tori to observe the towers, but dismissing the notion as doing so would be the equivalent to ‘going in blind,’ and Kru’Gorah sounded just as worthy a foe as any to Michael so going in blind was not an option.

Following the twins down the conspicuously flickering corridor, Michael bore a stone jaw and an expression of unfearing sternness. His fists were clenched loosely, thumbs laid along the top in a professional military walk. Oddly enough, he took care to step over the fluorescently flickering frame of the tail any time it intersected with where his foot would land.

‘There’s something big ahead, sir.’ came Tori’s voice when the closed doors to the Server came into sight. ‘There is strong resistance to any technological or magical infiltration attempts. Cannot get a read on what is going on in there.’

‘Doesn’t matter, we’re going to find out,’ Michael’s voice echoed through their selectively shared minds in response.

As soon as the doors creaked open to the void, Tori sensed the incredible number of bodies and their state of distress. Michael sensed Kru’Gorah’s incredible pressure. It almost broke him in that first moment, almost made him stagger backward— almost— but he knew he must press into the physically resistant darkness. He sensed another. Marigold’s ambient glow would not suffice for Michael, nor would the lighter of Kru’Gorah’s lesser. Immediately Michael opened his palm and a small sun appeared, illuminating the whole room to a degree but especially him. From the sun Michael’s outline caught fire. He glowed gently, and alive in the subtle glow licked flames of spirit fire.

He wore a long-sleeved tan shirt and black pants with black combat boots. Besides his many pockets, he bore no suspicion or visible weapons. He now, however, showed just a twinge of fear in his expression; not for himself, but for all the others who could be harmed. As the Stalwart Crystal came upon the other towers, he would use this worry to analyze the potential scale for harm the vessels on the towers could do if they exploded. Despite trying his hardest to maintain a cool exterior, it still barely showed as the stake settled on his shoulders.

“Man, look at that guy’s face!” he said out loud to Marigold, a smile to break the tension. “I knew there was a reason I quit smoking.”

“Listen here you goblin fuck,” he pointed his hand at the smaller form behind the sinister beast. “I don’t know what you want with Hell’s Gate but I am here to put it to a stop. Go play in Reno if you wanna get off scot-free.”

‘He’s got remote detonators,’ came Michael’s mental voice. ‘I think, if I create the right frequency of light I might be able to block the signal from the detonators. I'll try it now. Any thoughts, Mari? Stay strong, man.’

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'Sir,' Tori's voice was colder than normal, if that was even possible. The AI did not exhibit actual emotion, but it did exhibit emulations. This emulation was that of graveness. 'The nerve gas could outpace my defusing processes. Continuing anyway.'

Despite the fact that total success was not a 100% likelihood, the Warmind knew that its commander would urge her to speed forth anyway. As little hesitation as could be shown in the face of danger was the most likely path to success.

While Tori worked, Michael shot forward. Marigold had idled for a moment too long, and so too had the sisters and their captors. Everyone had seemed frozen in the moment where the captors indulged in their surprise and the targets were expected to tarry in indecision, everyone except Michael. With unprecedented speed he moved forward, emanating a blinding golden aura that not only interrupted the signals but razed against the flesh of Kru'Gorah and his insignificant little minion. The djinn who thought himself great, but was only great enough to prey on the weakest minds— find the weakest point in the drapery of justice to poke through— would be battered against like a tsunami by Michael's eldritch power.

Just as a seed possesses the power of the thousands of trees before it, Michael possessed something generations older than himself.

'Vhat ze—" The wall of light submerged the entire room, engulfing the Frenchman henchman and evaporating his body in an instant. Kru'Gorah, however, was more insistent.

"You dare hold me hostage in my own room," it said, the skin on its cheeks growing red with the heat that assailed it.

"I dare," said Michael, a black ghoul, a specter walking forth in the crushing brilliance before Kru'Gorah.

As suddenly as Kru'Gorah had found himself being investigated, as crudely as he had invited holy death into his chambers, was as suddenly he found himself frozen in place by the unnerving heat. Holding both of his hands forward, positioning his feet just so that he could leverage as much energy into the strike as he could, Michael drew in the blaze that filled the room until it was but a node between the extended palms of his hands.

From somewhere hundreds of meters behind him the spear of the tail jettisoned down the pathway, through the nightmare illusion in which Kru'Gorah had thought Michael and Marigold captive, attempting to stab Michael in the back before he could dispatch its owner.

But it was too late.

A neon abyss, the beginning and the end, a tie-dye of black and white death super-erupted out of the young warrior clergyman. Kru'Gorah, the Frenchman, the entire west side of the chamber and a hundred feet of earth behind it would be shattered into seven zillion ashes. Marigold recoiled in cyborg fear, cried for his waning life as the very chamber in which they stood collapsed around them. 

When they emerged, Michael digging out of the dirt with his bare hands with Marigold behind him, it was with a tail.  The tail dragged, dragged, dragged out of the buried underground of Server Z's basement.

Their journey to Hyde would be cut short, its people saved and notified by Tori that this had been an act of Michael Commager. The dissemination of information on what had actually happened, how they were actually freed, might take years to occur— but all that mattered was that they were saved.

What came next was the rebuilding of Server Z and the finishing of its introductory project: The Sieve. Nearly finished, but with the mere defeat of Kru'Gorah holding off its creation, the Sieve was able to be born.

The Sieve:
A 20mx20m turbine that sucks up raw resources and converts them unto usable materials at either an individual or industrial rate. Server Z has distributed one to the boarder of the Wastelands and one in the Great Pine Barrens, both near Hell's Gate. It's an industrial, high speed 3D printer, and Server Z has immediately begun taking orders to make stuff for people if they bring in the raw materials. The Sieve is something any user can use. Hell's Gate has set a simple rate of  100 gold for standard size, 500 for XL. (Any living being will be visibly of paper composition. No attempts to render of them normal living creatures will be successful. These beings will be incredibly vulnerable to water..)
 

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Thread Summary:

Michael baptizes Marigold into the Gaian clergy as one of his Disciples. Embarking on their first journey together, Michael and Marigold seek to eradicate the demon Kru'Gorah who has taken over a server in Hell's Gate and uses it to project curses onto a nearby village called Hyde. Traveling to Hell's Gate and infiltrating the server, Michael and Marigold are able with surprising ease to neutralize the threat that is Kru'Gorah and his minions. From the rubble of Server Z's basement where Kru'Gorah had made his hovel, Michael and Marigold emerge with the creature's hundred-foot tail. Their liberation of Server Z allows it to finish its first project, the Sieve.

Consequences:

- Server Z needs to be rebuilt. Inside there may be secrets to Kru'Gorah's plan and pieces of the demon himself to loot.

- Citizens of Hyde are in disarray, they need a new leader.

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