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TerroirNoir's "Cable Channel of AE!" Reviews. Part 2.


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And yes - the fact that Colleague flies makes the exit very reasonable for an escort mission with this much danger around. If you really love having her alongside - you can even summon her if you do a little more work for Wyvern via Sgt. Schorr. 🙂 

 

 

Hammers of Justice: Colleague

Hammers of Justice Summon: Colleague

You upheld your agreement with Colleague and paid her as agreed at the conclusion of your work with the Hammers of Justice. She rewarded you with an opportunity to call her on an untraceable, discardable cell-phone, which will summon her to assist you in battle for 5 minutes. You can only have one cell-phone number for Colleague at a time. You must be level 30 or higher for her to take your call. If you become a villain or a reinforced villain, she will not answer your call until you switch to at least a neutral alignment. If you have already summoned Second Measure or Network, you will not be able to summon Colleague until they depart.

Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Dev's Choice:  All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 | Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54 The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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Oh and you fought Crey VP Juan Fernandez wayyy back in 3.1 when you freed The Doctor from the Crey facility in Eden. 

 

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Next is dealing with the Crey VP, Juan Hernandez.  He's answered the alarms and arrived to find the Utopia Complex in chaos, partly destroyed, infested with Gaians, and so on.  I bet he's not going to get a holiday bonus this year from the Countess.  I'm just guessing now.

And there he is!

 

 

screenshot_221026-19-42-44.thumb.jpg.11450719f4e90ff361f5eac175e847eb.jpg

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  • Dev's Choice:  All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 | Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54 The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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10 minutes ago, Ankylosaur said:

And yes - the fact that Colleague flies makes the exit very reasonable for an escort mission with this much danger around. If you really love having her alongside - you can even summon her if you do a little more work for Wyvern via Sgt. Schorr. 🙂 

 

 

Hammers of Justice: Colleague

Hammers of Justice Summon: Colleague

You upheld your agreement with Colleague and paid her as agreed at the conclusion of your work with the Hammers of Justice. She rewarded you with an opportunity to call her on an untraceable, discardable cell-phone, which will summon her to assist you in battle for 5 minutes. You can only have one cell-phone number for Colleague at a time. You must be level 30 or higher for her to take your call. If you become a villain or a reinforced villain, she will not answer your call until you switch to at least a neutral alignment. If you have already summoned Second Measure or Network, you will not be able to summon Colleague until they depart.

Now if I knew that before, and had done that mission, then summoning her to help rescue her could have been interesting!!

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4 minutes ago, Ankylosaur said:

Oh and you fought Crey VP Juan Fernandez wayyy back in 3.1 when you freed The Doctor from the Crey facility in Eden. 

I have been meeting a LOT of people in the last however long!  LOL. But I do refresh myself on where I've been actually.  

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1 hour ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

60 missions of madness, @Ankylosaur!  And more to come!  Do you sleep?!!

 

Definitely kept me busy during Covid lockdown! And now it's on the verge of a bad habit.  (I'm working on an unrelated series in my head ATM.) 🙂

 

 

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Verdict.  Well, this has to be a BIG verdict, because it's not just the end of this arc, but the end of this entire string of arcs.  Individually it works well as an arc of two halves.  Cannot fault it on that.  Great stuff. 

 

Congrats on completing the whole thing! So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

 

You are the only one who has seen it through in its post-Aeon-Strike-Force-and-new-Gold-Brickers form. The ending is a little different (originally King Midas and Guido did win independence for the big island, but like you, @Darmian and @Take One both thought that a bridge too far. I really do value feedback! 🙂 Then I thought about how Warburg is faring as a renegade and William Langston would not want that for his city. He wants commerce to flow after all. So I guess he also dupped Warburg into helping him, but only to stay under Arachnos in the end.)

 

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Overall the entire plot came together very well. If I had any complaint, then maybe it could have been shorter! And I wasn't entirely sure of Manticore's motivations, but he is near Vigilante so there's that.

 

It's definitely long and such a long journey needs a BIG change-the-game kind of ending. I went in with a loose plan and kept seeing opportunities to add to it instead of parsing out ideas into other series. My plan was a little too loose and subsequent series have benefitted (I think?) as I have planned them out more from the beginning.

 

It also got a little streamlined when I pulled out some mobs (ConDev and Revenants) but did not get shorter since the missions were built so some threads may be longer than needed.

 

Its length is also why both All that Glints and All that Glows are only three arcs each. Even though they have the same core enemy group, they are separated out from one another with distinct plots and through lines.

 

Manticore's motivations are maybe a dash questionable, but you have been with Wyvern the whole time, so felt obliged to include him. One thing I still think I might do is squeeze in more clues about Dr. Aeon really being Dr. Egon and all the horrible things he did - its sort of presumed he's an enemy of Langston, rather than giving you reasons to dislike him. Can also make it clearer that William was supplying Arachnos/Recluse with their tech in the early days after his coup when he took the Isles and therefore has a pre-standing relationship with Recluse too.

 

 

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Next up from @Ankylosaur is All That Glimmers 2.1: Death in Light Astoria.

(Having no 1.1 and so on threw me for a bit there!)

 

 

As to numbering, it's odd - no question - but it's the best I could come up with to represent forks in stories and chunks of the story. Way back in 1.x you had a few mentions of "Story forks." These clues point you to the other related series that fork off of 1.3.

 

I did what I could to help people visualize it in my signature. Have considered renaming the intro to All that Gleams to pair with the epilogue.

 

Because the forks are after the intro, they start in the 20s to be natural follow-ons from 1.3.

  • 2.x is 20s-ish,
  • 3.x is 30s-ish and
  • 4.x is 40s-ish. 

 

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However, all that said I'd definitely recommend it to others to run this entire thing and really get a feel for the thing, because even playing and commenting like I have been, I've still left SOOO much out. For various reasons. Brevity, not wanting to spoiler stuff (that's a biggie!) and also being wary of my upload limits!  Yeah, go play this, folks! Have fun with it!

 

Thanks so much! And you've answered a big big question - was it worth it in the end? Glad to hear it was at least enough to recommend! It was super-fun to put together (even through its many reworks for new characters) and I hope you had as much fun playing it!

 

The other series don't have the big re-write this one had to accommodate the release of new mobs, new maps, and ret-conning in things. Hope you enjoy your journey into my take of the magic side of the post-praetorian story in All That Glimmers just as much!

 

And thank you again for playing through all of these @TerroirNoir and documenting your journey. It's been wonderful to look through your lens, to follow Engineria. It's a real gift and I very much appreciate it.

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Dev's Choice:  All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 | Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54 The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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Arc 12 from our second author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews i@cranebump's Mobius 4: Dempsey's Hard 8.

 

Mission 1: Open. Engineria hasn't been in touch with the Wards for several months.  Or they haven't been in touch with her.  Assumptions are they've been busy.  However now Paula Demspey has assembled a team to deal with things once and for all.  She's pissed off. (She should talk to Madame Maven, they'd either hate each other or take over the world!)

 

So, this Dis, leader of the Chalikar nasties. She appears and vanishes.  Like a Great White shark terrorizing a beach.  So we need a bigger boat.  This is the boat. We're going to do the smoke and mirrors thing.  Do what she's expecting us to do AND do what she isn't expecting, at the same time.  Need to know only.  So, looks like I'm not a liability. And here is my team.  I say MY team, but not really mine.

 

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So, time to get the ball rolling! Holoemitters on so we don't look like us!

 

So, in the spirit of NeTKO (Need To Know ONLY) I'm dropped off at a Crey facility to do some comms piggybacking.  Let's hope for the best.  

And once in I set up a signal so Hans Lobart is TP'd to me.  No, I don't know why.  We'll see.  Parker says he's around nearby. Nearest free space.  Well, they can't TP him into something solid.  I hope.

Ah, there he is.  And he's attracted attention already.  What part of covert mission is he not understanding?

 

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I wonder why he's here.  Apart from being on of "The Five" that is.  And that NeTKO protocol is going to bite me later, I'm sure of it. Come on then, Lobart.  Yes yes, sehr gut. Come on.

Now, we have to locate some sequencing schematics.  In here maybe?  Let's try that.  Be prepared for alarms, Lobart.  So, I locate the data and then Lobey here is to cause a diversion of some kind.  Oh, I have a bad feeling about this.  Ok, I've gone into missions before not knowing a lot, mainly because I couldn't keep track of all the jargon used, but...never mind.  Let's carry on!

 

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Ok then, this is Doc Buzzsaw's research on resequencing!  Ah, Buzzy! I'll kick you in the head next time we meet. If that's an option anyway.  So, time to find Bin 64, where this data is securely stored.  Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Ok, we open a safe.  Not what we're looking for!  And what the hell are these things? Locksplitter?  What now? some kind of robots.  Also, Lobey, you are NO help!  I mean no help!  At least get out of the line of fire!

 

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Now there's a thing you don't see very often. Hmmm.  Ok, time to check the rest of these safes. 

 

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We run into some Crey neutralizer people. And I neutralize them and their device.  Again with the not helping, Lobey.  Ok, yeah, diversion later. Gotcha.

AH, more of these robot things!  They are nasty nasty nasty. Kinetics Repel on and drop an Ion on them.  (I've only just learned how to do that so it's very useful!)

 

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And off to the final hackable device.  Where I hope we find the files we need.  And bingo bongo bogo!  Here they are!

 

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And we're out.  

Paula Dempsey won't answer questions about what the Mobius Strip is.  She does however "accidentally" leave a file on my desk (I have a desk!  Well, yes, I do, but now I have another one!) And I have a few days to read it.

INTERESTING!

After all the reading I get filled in on some of the other stuff.  The feint was another team visibly looking for Teknique. That covered me grabbing Buzzy's stuff and someone else pilfering some data on the device Annika Arnold used to treat dementia. Both the dementia device and the original device Buzzy based her stuff on were made by Gressman.  It's all going in circles!

 

[Mission 1 = I did not know what was going on!  ROFL, but that was the entire point and I appreciate that.  Lobey is a mystery all by himself, too.  Great start. Looking forward to the rest]

 

Mission 2: Bid. So, we have the lost consciousnesses of Annika and her grandmother.  Both deceased but still mentally inside whatever Dis is. And Dis is more than just those two.  (Oh, now MY head hurts!) And all of them/those(?) are, along with their minions, tied into the Gressman machine that Buzzy was looking at.  And there's a further link, all the way back to Galaxian!  (Where's my medal, Freitag?) Galaxian and his lieutenants all suffered a form of time madness, like Engineria had. And all had contact with the machine at some point. So we need our own machine. 

 

Looks like I'm going to see Buzzy again. 

And she's been "improving" her minions.  Because of course she has.

 

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But tooling around the corner I link up with Willie Sullivan.  Some day, girl, you and me are gonna have a chat about what happened to you.  Some day.  In the meantime. yeah, RI can be kinda grim.  It has its charms though, if you know where to look.

 

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Ok, who the hell are you?  Plutoniman?  Plutoniman.  Well, you're as equally surprised to see us as we are to see you.  Well, not exactly equal because we got the drop on you, capice.  So stay down.  Also. threatening ME with radiation is pointless.  Not unless you have a LOT of it.  Maybe you do.  Too late for show and tell now though, sleepy time!

 

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What was that Plutoniman was saying about there being no truth to the rumors that the rifles would explode or something?  Heh.  Too bad for that guy.

 

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But we find Buzzsaw and have a chat with her.  She's washed her hands of the whole resequencer thing.  Seems you need a very particular substance to power the overlays, and she doesn't have any.  I'm welcome to check the specs. Yoink and thanks, Buzzy!

 

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Once we get back to Paula we get the old debrief.  Lab folks start poring over the schematics and that'll take a little while. In the meantime we have a lead on Teknique's actual whereabouts, so that will be our next port of call.  Plus I have more Mobius Strip reading to do.

 

[Mission 2 = Great little mission.  In fact I've deliberately left out things because I don't want to spoiler them for players.  Just some great touches that made this one shine. Excellent stuff]

 

Mission 3: Raise. It's time to make our move, says Paula Dempsey. Well, spit it out.  I've got itchy feet here.  Lobart spotted some auto generated comms traffic emanating from the Rogue Isles, some ancient Arachnos training bases where they're holed up. So that's where we're going.  Me and the gang.

Back to Spider Land!

 

Lobart does some techno wizardy and shorts out CCTV or somesuch, while the rest of us are done up in Arachnos togs via holoemitters.  Lovely.  I suppose we could just wear REAL Arachnos...nevermind. Some of that armor looks heavy.

 

Soldiers of Dis.  Man, how do vills keep getting minions?  I mean what's in it for them?  And these guys are more fanatics, worse than those NewsAnon were promoting!

 

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But I deal with them after a little while and meander along looking for Richard Cory, wherever he's secreted himself.  Oh, now that's odd.  Wonder why they built it that way?  Well, mine not to reason why and so on, or however that goes. Into the valley of death rode the 599!  (My horse stalled)

 

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Oh hell, got caught flatfooted there!  And lookee!  I'm on god damn fire.  I thought I'd got beyond that a while ago.  Seems not.  Right, down you go my Soldier friend.  I am not having scorch marks on this nice armor.  No siree.

 

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Now what do we have here.  Oh well that's interesting.  It's Milos.  Remember Milos?  Yeah, well this is the real one.  He's a bit groggy so slap a fast TP on him and boot him out to a med bay.  (How many more of my team aren't "real"?)

 

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Ah, Cory. There you are.  Right, let's get to wrecking this place.  Quikling is looking for Teknique?  Man, that gal has some issues, which is sad because I really liked her.  Also, gimme a hand with this fire, m'kay?

 

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Ok, we find Teknique before Quikling does, and ...CORY!  Oh, he's dropped her.  How am I supposed to talk to someone if you keep doing that?  YOU have anger issues, my friend.  Seriously now.

 

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Teknique says there's a kid here called Aaron.  AARON?  Did I not rescue him?  Like I thought he was dead and then rescued him accidentally later?  Was he grabbed AGAIN?  Or is this another Milos thing?  Might need to talk to Henry Ruegad after this.

 

I was not joking when I said you had anger issues, Cory.  You just put that guy into the damn wall!  I mean come on now.  Oh, ok, fly off and ignore me, what do I know, I'm not one of "The Five".  Yeah, I'm reading the history.  Grim. However there's grim and there's being vindictive.

 

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Oh hell, it's Galen.  Well, last time we met I was a lot newer at this job.  Now I've got new togs, and some new tricks up my sleeve.  Wanna see?  You ain't gettin' a choice!  Time to unleash that anger, Cory!  THIS is a target for it. BOOM!

 

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And done.

Ta ta Galen.  Been waiting a while to do that.

And we collect Quikling.  No idea what he's saying.  But we move on and take out some comms and then go looking for the kid.

 

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After getting a message from Lobey telling us that the shields are back up, we hammer down on a shield generator before wading our way through a pile of Soldiers of Dis to get to Aaron Ruegad.  And he seems to recognize me.  So he WAS kidnapped again?

 

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Lobart pulls us all out via TP while Spectral Sorceror leaves an illusionary force behind to confuse the surviving Disians.  Disians?  Is that a word?

 

Back with Demspey. Milos and Teknique are in recovery.  And the Disians(ha!) have been putting her and the boy through all sorts of tests.  And it IS the second time he's been taken.  No need to chat to Henry to see if he has a Stepford Child in his home. 

Now it's time to get some rest.  Pep Becktrees has a place for us to hole up in Kings Row.

 

[Mission 3 = Lotta fun!  A helluva lot of fun.  More plot advancing and more action too.  I'm deliberately NOT revealing what's in my Mobius files because honestly, I don't want to spoiler it because it's just great. Good stuff all round]

 

Mission 4: Call. Several hours later in a dingy warehouse (way to go, Pep!) we're all sleepy and getting info dumped by Paula.  Arachnos, supplied with comms details by the Wards, have been shutting down Dis's operations across the Rogue Isles.  What do we get from that?  24 hours grace to do what we like in the Rogue Isles, and that is hit her main base.

 

And we have it pinpointed and we're going in!

 

First things first, I meet with Cory.  And for once I'm not the one on fire!  Come out of that, Richard.  No, over here.  Get out of the damn...nevermind, follow me.

 

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Yep, these beasts must be taken down for good.  You said, Angry Man.

We have remote detonation devices (BOMBS!) to plant and we need to clear the place to stop anyone preventing us setting them off.  Simple, no?  No, never is, is it?

First one set.  And we move on.  Oh, there's Lobey.  Howdy, Lobey!

 

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Lobey, you're busting my chops here.  Trolling, yeah?  I seriously hope you are.  Anyway, let's get a move on and shake a leg, huh? I see Cory is basically ignoring you.  Hang on, are you talking to Cory?  Nah, you're both Fivers.

 

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Moments later we link up with Quikling.  Hi Quik. Nope, still not getting a word of it.  Oh, there's someone else here?  Ah, Spectral Sorceress!  Yeah, nice job on the illusions last time.

 

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We get the rest of the bombs planted and there ahead of us is Dis!  And she's looking particularly peeved I think.  Time to call in Buddy to give us a helping hand I feel.  Buddy, weird alternate folks, weird alternate folks, this is Buddy.  Don't get him killed, he's a good guy to have at your back.

 

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Oh now that's just....Ah! (You and Richter need to get a room together, Dis!)

Either way, we're clearing out THIS place of your infestation!  Oh yeah.  Bring it!

 

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And then we get jumped, and not by Dis's Soldiers either. WHO THE HELL ARE THESE GUYS?  Hard core supers intent on murderizing all of us!

Oh hell. And they proceed to do so.

 

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And I'm down.  And so are the others by the looks of things.  With Ivory Ophidian standing over me and Buddy.  Buddy will port back to PPD, and I'll mediport out of here and hope for the best while the others are in hospital recovering.

 

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Ah. Snag.  The mediporter signal has bounced and I'm still in the facility!  (Fortunately I appeared in a cell that Cory had shot the door out of earlier)

 

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Well, I have a few tricks still up my sleeve and in my utility belt.  Envenomed daggers, Plasmatic tasers, grenades...and a summoning amulet for a replica of Statesman.  Gotta use them fast though, those ambushers will have tracked me and will be on the way to finish me off!

Ok, Marcus (can I call you Marcus?) let's get to it!

 

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What happens next isn't pretty, for our foes.  Marcus here draws lightning from the heavens and BOOM.  Yeah.  Boom.  Ashes.  (How the hell did Darrin Wade kill the real one?  I mean really.)

 

Then I just drain the comms, set off the bombs and we are done.  Apart from one final message to me (fame!) from Dis.

 

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And then we're done.  At least as far as I know.

 

Several days later, talking to Paula Dempsey, she tells Engineria that the team is formally disbanded.

The threat from Dis, while not ended, is majorly weakened.  It seems those supers we meet were actually pulled out of the Strip like the Five, and if she can pull people out, can she make any of us vanish into it?

For another time.

Take care, Paula. I need some PT now.  And to visit Buddy with grapes.

 

[Mission 4 = Great ending. Plenty of mystery and plenty of "oh!" moments to keep it all firing. Wonderful.]

 

Verdict. Well, this is definitely one for the books!  There's so much going on that I can't tell you, because SPOILERS, but I'm itching to do so.  Yeah, I could have spoiler texted it but...it's better you see it yourselves.  So play this, go with the madness and watch the story unfold around you.  Kudos to @cranebump for tackling part of a meta in a fascinating way.  Well done! The entire run, from Ordinary People to the end of Mobius feels very organic, like you're actually falling into adventures that open up into a bigger, weirder world. Yeah, play them all!

 

Next up from @cranebump is The Bleed 1: Insecurity Measures.

 

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @Darmian's The Cassini Division.

 

 

 

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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Lobart is supposed to stay put.  He will then deliver text about putting programming into place that uses nanites to make bots from local resources. He NEVER followed in tests. Not once. I set him as a non-combatant. When you receive his “transmission” about him having issues with some of the bots he shouldn’t be standing right next to you!  
 

AAAAAAGH! GD AE! Why? Whywhywhywhy?

Edited by cranebump
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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following under "cranebump."

LONG FORM: Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. Mobius [in progress, projected 5parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit.  The Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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4 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

Now there's a thing you don't see very often. Hmmm.  Ok, time to check the rest of these safes. 

 

screenshot_221119-13-48-01.jpg.e228192ea5fe32ed9e8086d2db1ff278.jpg

 

ROFL.  No, you don't!  I'm assuming that's from Gravity Propel.  I hope!  Otherwise Crey have some odd work practices.

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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8 minutes ago, Darmian said:

ROFL.  No, you don't!  I'm assuming that's from Gravity Propel.  I hope!  Otherwise Crey have some odd work practices.

Or they've been working with the Goldbrickers!  See, Golden Roller upgrades every few model years...and repaints his old car...and, yeah, this theory isn't really holding up to careful inspection. 

 

Sometimes a junked-out car is just a junked-out car.

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On 11/19/2022 at 4:22 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

What was that Plutoniman was saying about there being no truth to the rumors that the rifles would explode or something?  Heh.  Too bad for that guy.

 

screenshot_221119-18-56-56.thumb.jpg.4723ac15da1c393791e112e72ca93b0f.jpg

 

HA!  Brilliant!  

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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5 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

I'm just going to say, @cranebump, one of my fave characters, and it's purely a feeling sort of thing since she has a minor role, is Briggs-Hughes.  Love her!

I think I originally wanted a "what if Willie survived?" character, and so brought her on board (but then brought back Willie anyway). Ended up tying her backstory in with KR's Ron Hughes, just to keep her grounded in The Row. She was sort of a throw in, but somehow ended up reappearing. It's like she was a guest star in a series that they just kept bringing back until, there they were (sort of like my favorite DS9 charcter, Garak, though, you're right, Briggs-Hughes isn't a major player...well, yet).:-)

 

Skullia, whom @Darmian mentioned, had nearly a full character arc behind the scenes in the original Mobius. She was one of the "vendors" in Buzzsaw's "business." Got arrested, then recruited to help out in Dempsey's Hard 8, and ended up being redeemed as a hero (as mentioned in a blurb in the denouement of the original series). If I ever go back to Ordinary People, I might consider dropping her in there and maybe somehow incorporating her, but I feel like that story's gone forever with the rewrite. I still have the character on the roster, though! And after this is done, I figure I'm due for another Row story of some kind (if I can think of any).

Edited by cranebump
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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following under "cranebump."

LONG FORM: Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. Mobius [in progress, projected 5parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit.  The Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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On 11/19/2022 at 4:22 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

How the hell did Darrin Wade kill the real one?  I mean really.

He somehow got hold of a Plot Weapon—the most deadly device ever known!  (Even in the hands of second-rate bit player of an NPC.)

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Arc 12 from our third author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @Darmian's The Cassini Division.

 

(Caveat. I have played these before but never reviewed them.  Although it has been a while, considering the number of other AEs and stuff I've been getting through!)

The Cassini Division is subtitled "(Imperial Power, Ch. 7)" which means it is meant to follow on directly from @Darmian's "Bridge of Forever (Imperial Power, Ch. 6)" and that follows on from "Project Phoenix (Imperial Power, Ch. 5"

 

Mission 1: Into the Void. One week ago Engineria (Praetorian version) was summoned to a meeting with Praetor Sinclair.  Engineria has been inducted into The Cassini Division, a covert unit tasked with crossing to Primal Earth and performing acts of sabotage, espionage and assassination.  Typical Chimera fare you might say.  But not to his face. Chimera is convinced that Mr. G is either behind or deeply involved in the disappearances of Powers Division members.  So we're going to deal with that too.

 

Faced with a rebuilt Cassini Crystal, that we retrieved earlier, I'm handed a dossier detailing what I'm to do and then I place my hand on the crystal.  With some eldritch power I'm thrown across the dimensions into Primal Earth. My mission? Check the dead letter drop with intel left by Recall (yeah, he's been "recruited" too). Seems I have to find a missing PD member called Icer.  And kill her.

Chimera does not mess around with his instructions.

 

screenshot_221121-23-02-58.jpg.4c2083979b49706f44e6c659f27f3011.jpg

 

Ok, I'm in a darkened facility in a place called Shark Head.  Primals are odd.  Shark Head?  I wonder does Riptide know about this place.  

Man, this place is grim.  I mean it's darker than the frikkin Underground!  And these Arachnos are everywhere. Weird scuttling spiderbot thingies and these red clad murderers, who either stab you, try to blind you or use some sort of psi power on you.  Well, a little of the old radiation laser eye beams helps a girl out in many of these situations!

 

screenshot_221121-22-46-07.jpg.3ff705e701346b6dba973e77df302cad.jpg

 

Right, according to Recall I have to access the Security Response Console.  And then find Icer AKA Jennifer Kerrin, and take her out.

Several more spiderbots later I find it. (@Darmian these nav instructions are useful! "Access Security Response Console [First Floor]")

 

screenshot_221121-22-49-49.jpg.f36eef57237651530b37474602283b57.jpg

 

No log of Icer here but there is mention of her handler, Nightwidow (Nightwidow?!) Cassia.  She's nearby and has her own guards.

And there she is!  Well, that was a fast response time!  Hoo boy!

Mad Emperor?  Ah, be thankful you don't live in Praetoria, lady!  That'd get you a visit from the Seers at the least.  At the most?  Who can say.

She's tough, as are her guards, but I fight her off and take her down.  She gives away Icer's location too.  So time to find that traitor.  I mean I'm assuming she's a traitor, why else would Chimera order me to kill her?

 

screenshot_221121-22-50-09.jpg.2736a1d6445702f4c0a569908ee6f494.jpg

 

And there's Icer up around one of the darkened corners.  She looks pretty angry about something.  Then again I suppose she'd expect someone to come after her, I know I would in her shoes.

 

screenshot_221121-22-53-18.jpg.f2d33915394888f833fa71d94e3b53dd.jpg

 

JUST LIKE THE REST?  What?  How many other Cassini Division teams has Praetor Sinclair sent here already?  I mean I'm not actually going to ask him that but, you know. Gotta wonder!

 

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Icer is tough, and those floating bot guard drone things are hell on a girl's armor. (I'll get it upgraded at Rita's when I get back home)

Scott?  So she's been in touch with the Resistance!  Here or in Praetoria though?  And who's Basilisk?

But her ice powers while dangerous are outmatched by my radiation powers (and heavy drops of green inspirations!)  There's a passkey on her corpse for a wall safe.  I'll look for that, and this Basilisk guy while I'm here.

 

screenshot_221121-22-53-51.thumb.jpg.4c4e96168252c0f7887bc8bc7bc689dd.jpg

 

I find Basilisk and the safe in the same room. Handy. And he's a prisoner it seems. So when Icer said she refused to kill him did she mean she actually refused to kill a prisoner?  Rather than you know, fight and kill him?  I drop his spidery friends and he makes a run for it, shouting that "Chimera will reward you for this".  Well that was peculiar. Ok, let's see what's in the safe.

 

screenshot_221121-22-58-57.jpg.2ca8853f099945914074cbd42e9c0757.jpg

 

The safe has a hand written ledger full of names.  Some of them match the ones of Sinclair's list of missing PD members. That's a yoink then.  Time to signal my return and go home to Praetoria. My mediporter has been locked to the Cassini Crystal so that drags me across the dimensions.  It's a bit like being seasick while runnning.  Ugh.

 

Praetor Sinclair is waiting for me.  I get the usual "Report" and he waits while I fill him in before unwrapping everything like some sort of mad chess master. The names in the ledger will be sent to Recall for further tracking and elimination. He's interested in the Nightwidows too. Says something about their fighting style is familiar to him.  But the last one, Basilisk, that grabs his attention.  Well, he also managed to grab this Basilisk too somehow.  I was too busy killing spiders to see how.  Presumably he had ME watched too.  

Basilisk is interesting because Sinclair knows for a fact that the real one is dead.  So is this a clone or a Primal doppelganger?  Either way I'm told to wait for my next assignment.

 

[Mission 1 = There's a hell of a lot going on in what's actually a really small mission!  I love the flipping of the in game Portal Corps missions, with Praetorians going to Primal this time. Good stuff]

 

Mission 2: Divide and Conquer. The Cassini Division is bigger than Engineria and Recall and has been carrying out assassinations and renditions of missing Powers Division agents and Resistance members found in Primal Earth, along with those aiding them.

Now Praetor Sinclair calls Engineria to cross again to Primal Earth and sabotage a cloning facility in a place called Mercy Island. This is all part of Sinclair's plan to eliminate Mr. G's influence.  While he and his agents move against Mr. G in Praetoria, the Cassini Division will be eliminating Mr. G's resources in Primal. Chimera believes Mr. G may be supplying Praetorian tech to Arachnos.

 

Well, time to warp through the dimensions!

And straight out of the gate I'm meeting Arachnos and their spiderbots! This place is crawling with them.  Ahem.

 

screenshot_221122-12-23-05.thumb.jpg.719817662e710c622efb402ad52fddd9.jpg

 

Right, that's them dealt with.  Now to find a facility data core, and after that there's a Commander Narius to deal with according to Recall's dead letter drop message. Ah, there we are.  Now then, what's in here? Oh great.  5 positions premarked by Recall where explosives can be planted, and I have to REMOVE Commander Narius's hand(!) so as to access a palm print reader later on.  Gruesome.

 

screenshot_221122-12-23-22.jpg.b670c6b3ed7805e8e2fd34af7e4666a2.jpg

 

And there he is. The man himself.  Ok, this is going to be interesting. And you were warned about us?  About me?  Looks like Chimera may have been right about Mr. G's involvement in all this.  Well, gruesome or not then it's necessary to protect Praetoria from these people.

 

screenshot_221122-12-39-50.thumb.jpg.9b930d7cd509a72618108e5ba82d89ff.jpg

 

Ah, robots?  What robots?

 

screenshot_221122-12-40-16.thumb.jpg.b6bbbaaaa9b018413f98793a91e0a4df.jpg

 

Well I drop Narius and cut his hand off.  I'm getting rid of that thing as soon as I use it on the palm reader!  Souvenirs are nice, but I'm not keeping this one!

Oh, THESE robots!  More confirmation of the Mr. G theory.  I don't have time to worry about theories right now though!  BOOM!

And scrap metal is what you all are now!

 

screenshot_221122-12-40-33.jpg.ab94d5d82e7df1d85bb94179e1eded7b.jpg

 

I find the security hub and use Narius's hand on it. Need to access the elevator to get to the site to place the explosives.  And mention of a prisoner taken from a tear in reality!  Basilisk? Something for the Praetor to mull over.  Ok, on I go.

 

I move further along, destroying some cloning tubes as I do so, before getting the elevator to the next level.  Time to plant some bombs. Ok, Recall, why did you mark this spot for a bomb?  It's a bit peculiar to be honest.

 

screenshot_221122-12-44-54.thumb.jpg.a59738e53c8b27e0ffc8c7b6aa2625c0.jpg

 

I deal with roving security and plant the last bomb before checking one final security console.  The mystery prisoner is no longer a mystery. He's been designated "Basilisk". I knew it!  Hang on, being transferred TODAY?

 

Time to report in. Hit the interdimensional mediporter and back I go!

 

Chimera seems pleased.  Well, I suppose he is.  It's hard to tell.  He doesn't seem angry at least.  Cloning pods destroyed, data stolen and facility destroyed.  All good.  The prisoner thing interests him.  He gets Transmuter to examine the time stamp and it seems my trip to the cloning facility happened BEFORE I took out Icer!  Ok, time travel!  Weird. He's going to think on that and summon me later.

 

[Mission 2 = Another mission crammed with information all over the place. It really feels like I'm playing "just" the next set of arcs in the Praetorian Loyalist in game missions.  Great stuff indeed.]

 

Mission 3: Doppelgangers. The Cassini Divison has been busy, with more rogue Powers Div agents and Resistance members rounded up for elimination or questioning.  I'm assuming plenty eliminated AFTER questioning too. Chimera is bearing down on the Mr. G angle, even though most of those questioned claim no knowledge of him. Some claim to have been sent to Primal Earth by Marchand, and to have met the Emperor when they crossed.  Chimera doesn't believe that at all.  It's ludicrous.  The Emperor? He has a good point. 

He tells Engineria she'll be delighted to hear there's another cloning lab to clean out.  Hooray! 

 

I cross over and into a full blown attack on this place by someone who isn't me!

I can hear Recall.  Something blocking our mediporters he says. He didn't make it out in time after dropping off my dead letter.  I'd better find him.

 

Wing Talon Agents for something called Wyvern. (Alternate senses tingling!)

 

screenshot_221122-15-57-41.jpg.85d242d9d542423cf42f4c998f1c8aca.jpg

 

I shut off a security console and check the CCTV.  Arachnos being attacked by these Wyvern, who seem to be overrunning the place!  Ok, let's look for Recall in all this smoke and debris.

Found him. He's a bit woozy but otherwise seems ok. Mainframe you say.  On the list. On the list.  Come on.

 

screenshot_221122-15-59-19.jpg.a056e08eddefb0677f49568eb6c16470.jpg

 

Cloning devices ruined. Base on fire.  Wyvern are doing most of our job for us!  Nevertheless they're in our way, so we remove them. Recall is using some sort of psionics and boy do they pack a punch!  Plus little old me has her radiation blasts, so down Wyvern go.

 

screenshot_221122-16-01-38.thumb.jpg.beba187147d94117720dc06bfd4b7f29.jpg

 

Man, they've really done a number on this place.  Looks like we're going down a level, Recall.

 

screenshot_221122-16-04-09.jpg.ea8b51c47a93bec0df9ef457eb4f2008.jpg

 

We fight our way through and get to the Mainframe, and Recall heads away to sort out our escape.

 

screenshot_221122-16-10-27.jpg.1393192ca15ec7219e80ba145116b95a.jpg

 

There's only a partial copy of data on the Mainframe.  Looks like Arachnos were actually shutting this place down, so less troops I reckon.  There's a mention of Mr. G.  that'll please Chimera, along with details of a fridge with clone tissue specimens.  That'll be a yoink then. Hmm, current base commander is dead and their passkey is in the hands of Gorgon, the Wyvern leader.

 

And I find Gorgon.  And I have no idea what he's talking about other than he doesn't know who I am or where I'm from.  So Wyvern know less than Arachnos then.  I don't know if that's a good thing or not.  Maybe?

 

screenshot_221122-16-12-14.jpg.3b6ce90b95987dbe745f59f984c5b8bc.jpg

 

Holy hell, this guy is tough.  I mean tanky tough.  He's not outright killing me but he can really take a punch.  I'm trying to wear him down, all the while being shot by arrows from the sides!  Arrows!  

Who the hell is Protean?  Not me, bub. Looks like you wouldn't believe me anyway.

 

screenshot_221122-16-12-38.jpg.6ef9e6962cfae1ff1157c1505334ceb6.jpg

 

But I take him and his companions down in the end and then catch my breath.  Ah, Recall is back from freeing up the mediporters, and brought some friends.  Let's go help him out.

Wait what?  Who did you say???

 

screenshot_221122-16-13-59.jpg.8cf8f23726cb0cca9bc4260a4b32b245.jpg

 

Ok, time to face off against Chimera I suppose.  Along the way we find the fridge with the clone tissue material and pocket that for later.

Ok then.  How do we want to do this, Recall?

AH! Spoke too soon!  They've seen us.  What the hell hit me there?  I think Recall is the only reason I'm still alive right now, whatever power he's hitting them with! Also, abomination?  That's not misinformed, that's just rude!

 

screenshot_221122-16-15-37.thumb.jpg.5e9c85a21e94c458d74796d87212f350.jpg

 

We're actually HELPED (helped!) by an attacking squad of Arachnos agents who turn the fight into a three way thing. Recall proceeds to psi murder the Arachnos guys while I drop Chimera!  (His companions were taken out by the Arachnos)

 

And then a little more revelation, or possibly confusion!

 

screenshot_221122-16-16-47.jpg.950f034bce0b0f3d8cf33535869aa89a.jpg

 

Then me and Recall mediport the hell out of there and back home to Praetoria!

 

Praetor Sinclair seems unsurprised at the mention of Gorgon and Chimera and Manticore, like he already knows who they are.  interesting. He has a plan.  He'll call me when it's ready.  

 

[Mission 3 = Well, that was atmospheric as hell.  The burning lab map is a great map.  Recall not getting out in time was a nice touch, as was his return to help at the end.  Everything moving forward.  Excellent.]

 

Mission 4: Poisoning the Well. There's trouble with the Cassini Crystal itself. Sinclair informs me that Transmuter thinks the crystal was probably damaged in the War on Magic, and it can't be fixed. So this thing has only a few uses left, which means the Cassini Division hasn't got long to wrap up this thing.  Well, that's my read of things anyway.

Chimera says merely shutting down Mr. G's operations on Primal Earth isn't enough, we have to turn Arachnos against him. So we're poisoning the well. Transmuter has managed to configure the crystal so we're traveling to before the last attack. I'm going to plant evidence that incriminates Mr. G as an ally of Wyvern, so it looks like he's behind the attack on the Arachnos lab that I was just in.  Ah, time travel hurts my head!

 

So, (a) shut down CCTV and security, (b) plant the fake evidence, (c) perform the fake raid, (d) plant bodies (retrieved from the last raid, or the raid that hasn't happened yet I mean!) and (e) No witnesses.

Ok, Cloclwork on the premises.  Need to eliminate those. Shut down CCTV and Recall is bringing the bodies.  

 

And a mainframe.  Details on many Resistance members and how to eliminate them, including Calvin Scott.  Seems Mr. G is arming Arachnos with lost of intel.

 

screenshot_221122-19-05-03.jpg.90226cfb75108e2d2b1a551c6203a390.jpg

 

Some more Clockwork intent on frying me with electricity get what's coming to them.  And then I shut off the CCTV live feed, and plant the bogus evidence that will be found later in this fake raid by Wyvern. The log on greeting is for a Ms. Baker.  

 

screenshot_221122-19-09-09.jpg.883ef59521c74daa76817de956dcdff8.jpg

 

You know, you'd think metal things sneaking up on you would make more damn noise!  Blasty blast, Ms. Clockwork!

 

screenshot_221122-19-10-48.jpg.b86cfb9607275bdd372e9948ede77df4.jpg

 

And then I run into actual Arachnos!  JEEZ LOUISE!  This guy just cut through my armor!  I'm near gutted!

 

screenshot_221122-19-11-41.jpg.b934cc60cb7e396a1b7035caf9ad5e16.jpg

 

I stagger out of that fight (literally, stunned and no Break Frees left) and catch my breath.  Then I "attempt to steal data" from a mainframe and obviously botch what I'm doing.  So far so good.

Ah, there's Recall, with friends.  Good point though, I'll find where their data goes after I drop your new buddies.

 

screenshot_221122-19-13-17.thumb.jpg.6cae6f4026140bd7a76e3cefaad74a3a.jpg

 

Right, let's get to it, Recall. Yeah, in a minute. I have to do the thing about the Clockwork visual data first.  Ok, done.  Let's plant these dead Wyvern agents and get out of here.

 

screenshot_221122-19-13-52.jpg.03f4d4af1f500d390d6a1c606044c8ac.jpg

 

Ok then!  That's our false flag mission accomplished. I hope.  Recall and Engineria mediport back to Praetoria.  We'll find out how we did.

 

Chimera as usual is putting it all together.  Arachnos should now purge itself of Mr. G's influence and involvement.  And the Ms. Baker is Tami Baker, Chimera's personal secretary!  Someone recommended to him by Mr. G years ago.  (Personally, I'd have fired her a while back but I stay quiet)

Sinclair tells me to prepare for my final mission to Primal Earth.

 

[Mission 4 = Ok, this one was a different sort of fun.  I loved the playing with the timeline and the planting of evidence.  Nice plot there]

 

Mission 5: Driving the Nails Home. Ok, things are not looking good for the Cassini Crystal. When Engineria arrives it's covered in a coat of what looks like ice! Well, Transmuter did say it had been damaged.  Looks like these are the final voyages kinda thing.  Have to make them count. Anyway, Chimera says they've been monitoring the fallout from my actions and Arachnos have expelled Mr. G from almost all of his footholds that they know about in the Rogue Isles on Primal Earth. Transmuter (have to meet that guy some time!) has pinpointed one of Mr. G's last holdouts in the sewers of the Rogue Isles.  I'm to meet Recall there and finish things.

 

Once more into the breach and all that I suppose.  So I place my hand on the crystal and warp across the dimensions to Primal Earth.

And Recall has got himself captured.  He's normally pretty efficient so this is unusual.

I dispose of the Clockwork around him and the energy trap holding him fades.

Yeah, let's do it. (There's a man who does not want to be here.)

 

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No, Recall definitely does not want to be here!  But we soldier on through this miserable place.  Compared to this, the Underground in Praetoria is luxurious and clean!

 

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Ok, who the hell are you? There's that name again, Protean.  And what the hell is Rikti tech?  Oh, he just runs off.  Well, that's one Arachnos guy out of our hair anyway.

 

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Ok, we fight our way through several more Clockwork, bigger and tougher models appearing along the way. Then I shut down the activation signal for them. So no further Clockwork can be called to attack us.  Intel here says Tami Baker is on site organizing the withdrawal.

 

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And there's Tami Baker.  And Tami Baker. And Tami Baker.  This is not going to be fun at all. Another of Chimera's pets...or Protean's?  Looks like Mr. G has trouble keeping friends!  Though with three Tami Bakers it also looks like he can just make more.

 

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Keep hitting her with the psi, Recall!  She just pulled out a sword and I'm going to get gutted!  This is not good at all!

 

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Oh well that's frikkin great.  Arachnos have joined the fight too!  Ok, the reason they've joined the fight is because of what we did, but let's not quibble about that right now, ok?

 

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Double whammy!  I take out the main Tami Baker and go down to gunfire from one of the others.  Gimme a moment, Recall, I ain't abandoning you.  No mediporter out this time, we're finishing this together!

 

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There we go.  Time for a little Return to Battle. I mainly don't use it but it's nice to have it tucked into the old utility belt all the same.  And there's that stolen Rikti tech that the Makarios guy talked about.  Probably the portal Mr. G used to escape back to Praetoria.

 

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Ok, looks like this is actually the end of the line for Recall.  You know, all in all he wasn't such a bad guy.  I kinda liked him.

Best of luck, then.  

 

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And then I turn my attacks on the portal thing and bring it down in a haze of radiation blasts.

Time to go home to Praetoria.

 

Returning home the Crystal shatters moments after I pass through it.  Lucky!  Praetor Sinclair seems unconcerned.  He's all about the Mr. G plot.  With access to Primal Earth almost ended for him, Mr. G will have to reconsolidate here on Praetoria. And Chimera is going to pursue him here too. That'll be my next job. As for Recall?  Chimera isn't that worried.  According to him Recall just wants to be rich and have an easy life, so anything he does on Primal Earth will probably be criminal and screw up them.  Capturing him again is low priority for us.

Until the next mission.

 

[Mission 5 = This is a small map but thematically perfect.  Again so much info packed into it.  Just great. Loved it.]

 

Verdict. Wonderful arc.  Loved the flow of it and how it all fitted together.  I'm tempted to try to build a little map of when the missions ACTUALLY occur in relation to each other on Primal Earth, as opposed to how we experience them from Praetoria.  And a great middle section in a trilogy of arcs.  Kudos, @Darmian.

 

 

Next up from @Darmian is The House of Gaunt Saints.

 

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @Ankylosaur is All That Glimmers 2.1: Death in Light Astoria.

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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So I visited Rita in Imperial and got my suit upgraded.  It's a bit sleeker now, and I like the color trim better.  So I took a shot with the current boss! 

 

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Then I took a shortcut back to where I needed to be via Studio 55, and look who I found!  It's the mystery guy I meet in Bridge of Forever!

 

screenshot_221122-00-15-33.jpg.27c0d42489facc6d76e7819772a88fc7.jpg

 

 

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15 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

Oh great.  5 positions premarked by Recall where explosives can be planted, and I have to REMOVE Commander Narius's hand(!) so as to access a palm print reader later on.  Gruesome.

How does that work with an Arachnos Spider soldier, anyway?  Are their hands not armored?  Are the gloves (gauntlets?) easily removable?  And how would tarantulas authenticate?  They don't seem to have hands anymore.  And what about Mu Mystics?  Aren't their arms and hands bound up?

 

You'd think there's be better authentication method for a faction with a spider fetish!

 

(No criticism of the story arc, @cranebump!  Just some musings on how designing systems for Arachnos must be challenging.  I bet Aeon could tell some stories...)

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4 minutes ago, Zhym said:

How does that work with an Arachnos Spider soldier, anyway?  Are their hands not armored?  Are the gloves (gauntlets?) easily removable?  And how would tarantulas authenticate?  They don't seem to have hands anymore.  And what about Mu Mystics?  Aren't their arms and hands bound up?

 

You'd think there's be better authentication method for a faction with a spider fetish!

 

(No criticism of the story arc, @cranebump!  Just some musings on how designing systems for Arachnos must be challenging.  I bet Aeon could tell some stories...)

That's @Darmian's arc 🙂 Well, we see plenty of Arachnos with bare hands as far as I remember, so the gauntlets must be removable. And Narius was a Bane type, so no issue with tarantulas and floaty Mu guys! 

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18 minutes ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

That's @Darmian's arc 🙂 Well, we see plenty of Arachnos with bare hands as far as I remember, so the gauntlets must be removable. And Narius was a Bane type, so no issue with tarantulas and floaty Mu guys! 

Please direct any criticisms of any arc to @cranebump. He deserves it for those GD timers!:-)

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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following under "cranebump."

LONG FORM: Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. Mobius [in progress, projected 5parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit.  The Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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17 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

Well, that was atmospheric as hell.  The burning lab map is a great map

Yeah, I have a great fondness for that map.  It can be tricky to make work thematically but I think I managed it there. Hang on, I have my own screenshot from when I tested it ages ago somewhere.  Recall appeared out of the flames and nearly scared the hell out of me when I was turning around!

 

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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Arc 13 from our first author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @Ankylosaur's All That Glimmers 2.1: Death in Light Astoria.

 

Mission 1: Drums on the Coast. So today I'm meeting Anna Palatine.  She's a leader, or ex leader, not sure on that, of a group of Praetorian survivors of the war.  Until recently they were housed on an island but now they've proposed a plan to reclaim Dark Astoria.  Or the Astoria peninsula as she calls it.  Hell on Earth is what I call it.  Some say Spook Central, but that's Croatoa! She says Faerun of the Legacy Chain gave her my name.  Oh, I remember him!  And the whole demons in Cap thing.  Shesh.  Giant walking balls of fire everywhere!

 

Anyway, despite Mot being banished, it seems the Banished Pantheon themselves are reappearing.  Sort of walking across the seabed from Striga.  That's crazy.  So, time to investigate what's going on.

 

Off to Light Astoria then!

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You know, it's beautiful here but it's gonna take a lot of work for anyone to actually make a go of it living here.  At least that's my take on the thing.  What do I know though?  

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So, there's Green Coralax and Blue Coralax, and over there a Red Coralax hybrid.  Coralax aren't normally seen outside of the Rogue Isles.  I think I saw some when I was in Striga.  I'll have to check that, as I wasn't particularly looking for them or anything.

 

Ok, Red Coralax, what's with you? End the noises?  Ok, seems your tribe have a reason to be here, one I don't understand but something is causing you distress.  Noises.  I wonder is it all the drumming from the Banished Pantheon?  Nah, that can't be right.  I mean how loud would it have to be, for one thing?

Ok, stick a pin in that for later.

 

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Taking to the skies and doing a quick fly over, I can see Coralax, Devouring Earth (and I imagine the refugee Praetorians will not be happy about that!) and Banished Pantheon types.  Just acting as if they owned the place.

Oh, There's a guy called Kurut'hu!  Let's investigate him.

 

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A sacrifice?  If'n you mean me, my bony friend, you are sadly mistaken!  I'll fry the remains of your dessicated skin off you before that happens!  Also. Mot's agent will return?  Well that's more than ominous!

 

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A state of being is it?  Well, you have fun with that philosophy, I'm just gonna stick with my mediporter if it's all the same to you.

And of course a bunch of his friends run...shamble at me, intent on dismembering me. 

And I fry the skin off THEIR desiccated bones!

And this Shaman isn't so good with directions.  He's got a map in his leather pouch.  (I hope that's leather and not human skin!) Leading to somewhere called the Summoning Cave.  

 

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Ok, let's report back to Anna Palatine and fill her in on this little excursion.

Anna thinks, oddly enough, that the increase in Pantheon zombies means that her people are making progress and the Pantheon feels the need to stop them.  So are Anna's people getting close to something they shouldn't?  Like that cave maybe?

She's also not incredibly bothered by the Devouring Earth like I thought she would be.  Claims her people have wards to keep them out.  Ok then. 

 

[Mission 1 = A simple smart start to the arc.  Nice atmospheric feeling.  Excellent]

 

Mission 2: The Spirits Still Whisper. Anna says the Coralax mention of noises signifies a threat that was known on Praetoria as the Drowner of Worlds. On Praetoria the analog to the Rogue Isles was destroyed by Merulina.  None of that explains what's going on here. Anna could bring in the Midnight Squad but this part of Astoria has been ceded to the Praetorian refugees so they're handling it themselves, that being the Carnival of Light. So, with that background it's up to Engineria to investigate the summoning cave.

 

Ok. Let's get to it then.

 

Well, this looks like the spot.  Creepy hoodoo totems a go go.

 

screenshot_221123-19-43-14.jpg.6096e4c224ac35413f387f7979904502.jpg

 

And...oh damn it. Trapped in rock by, what is he?  An Avalanche Shaman?  Great. Well, rad blasts all round for you and your minion.

So this is the Banished Pantheon summoning cave then.  Looks like I'm definitely in the right place.

 

screenshot_221123-19-43-34.jpg.b7c1627bc925b941dab678560b7336ff.jpg

 

And I take down a few more of these walking skeletons as I make my way through the tunnels.  Oh hello, you're not one of the Banished Pantheon.  What are you?  A Harbinger?  Ok then, Yanna.  Yeah, it WAS the map.  Scold you for wanting vengeance?  Vengeance on who? I mean who exactly?

 

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Wait what?  Didn't help you to save your world?  So you're Praetorian?  Also, that's not how I remember the war, although I was too new as a super to take part in it.  Your lot invading us is how it went as I recall.

Waitaminute! Save OUR world?  What's going to happen to our world?

 

screenshot_221123-19-46-24.jpg.13bdfecf2079f2eca9bbb259f095f83e.jpg

 

And down you go! 

And what's this?  Books.  Can't read them but the Dick and Jane illustrations show summoning of a huge monstrous man, or maybe a man?  Not good.  Just stick that in my pocket.

 

screenshot_221123-19-47-56.jpg.6058f8995d63a2c76db9609117c4e3d5.jpg

 

And up ahead is someone doing a summoning!  Well, I think it is.  Whatever it is it's getting stopped now.  BOOM!

 

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And that's that dealt with. Bits of rubble everywhere and all the energy dispelled.  Great.  Time to get back to Anna Palatine.

 

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Anna is pleased the ritual was stopped but she knows the Shepherd(?) and Harbingers. And Prophetess Yanna seems like she was known personally to Anna. The trouble is the Shepherds who were previously "shepherding" folk to safety from Armageddon, now that they're here, think that they should be shepherding folk to one.  Well, that's just great.

 

[Mission 2 = Another brief mission but stacking on layers of detail as we go. More in the actual contact chat but I don't want to spoiler stuff for people!  Good stuff]

 

Mission 3: The Shadows Stir. Anna says she knows of the Shepherds, in fact at one time she LED them, but she doesn't know them under the Harbingers name and what that might mean. She also doesn't know what the contest is about [@Ankylosaur, did I miss a clue in the last arc because I don't know anything about a contest either] Anna wants me to visit her in Light Astoria so we can get a handle on who might have defected to the Harbingers.  There's a few others I should see too. Desdemona, who has a waaay too complicated history for me to get my head around.  Seems she's two people but one is a mask?  Ok then. Candlestick and Nadia should be around too, as is Noble Savage, who leads the Folorn. 

 

So, I wander in to Light Astoria, and my it's bright.  Well, it's NORMAL bright, which is very bright for Astoria.  No weird fog either like in the pre Mot days.  And then there's the sound of fighting.  Trouble.

 

There's Anna, all wrapped up in green smoke and thrashing about in mid air.  I drop her captors with some well aimed rad blasts and free her.  Seems like she's not the only one to get this treatment, all the major players have been targetted.

 

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Across the street from us I can see Candlestick, in a similar bind to how I found Anna.  We fight our way to him through plenty of Banished Pantheon.  Holy, is that a FACE I can see in the smoke? IT IS! (I hadn't noticed that when actually fighting!)

 

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These guys just keep coming!  I mean another gang hopped over a nearby fence to join in the fight.  Hang on, Candlestick, we're a comin'!

Anna just lays into them with some sort of dark smoke power or something, while I'm popping rad blasts.

 

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We get through them though and manage to free Candlestick.  He's obviously in a bad mood now.  Can't say I blame him.

 

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Shortly after that we meet up with Desdemona/Vanessa (not sure which one I'm speaking to) and she promptly summons some demons to aid us.  Ok, that's novel and new to me.  I know some heroes do that but I don't know any, until now I suppose. 

We move on as a group until we see Noble Savage ahead of us, and just beyond him is Nadia.

As our group gets bigger rescuing each new person is that little bit easier.

 

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Then we reach the central area, where the Carnival have set up their tents.  Big Tops?  Is it only a Big Top if it's a circus?  Never mind, that's not important right now.

 

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We fight our way through another bunch of Harbingers and Banished Pantheon, and it gets into a sort of free for all, especially when a snow storm seems to appear.  As if by magic!

 

screenshot_221123-22-01-47.jpg.c1395d90086cd3bd677fa84d25941908.jpg

 

And then there is their leader, or at least the leader of this current raid on the Carnival of Light.  Both attacking and cajoling.  Trying to seduce the CoL members to join them and forsake the lives they are trying to build here and instead choose...the same plan that Tyrant had?  Seems a mad choice to make as far as I can see.

 

screenshot_221123-22-02-37.jpg.ef44985c3ee7b4764f684e0238600d98.jpg

 

Mulichai falls before the combined might of our group, and Desdemona (or Vanessa?) deals the last blow to him.  For now this raid on Light Astoria is over. Time to go have a quiet talk with Anna Palatine.

 

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Anna is I think a little depressed.  It seems the binding magics used on them needed personal items from each victim to work, which means that former friends supplied those.  Yeah, that's a bummer.  That would really be a gut punch even more so than the outright attack in some ways.

As to other things?  The books in the cave, the ones I found but couldn't read? Yeah, Nadia had a look at them.  The monstrous human figure is Adamastor!

Oh frikkin hell. 

 

[Mission 3 = Fun (by now "patented") @Ankylosaur introduces the cast mission 🙂 It's a wonderfully apt map for the Carnival of Light too, but also not TOO big as an open map, so you don't spend ages wandering and looking.  Good stuff there as the plot unfold further]

 

Mission 4: The Haunts Of Past Gods. Anna tells Engineria that Nadia has consulted the Loas, and that Adamastor will be summoned in Moth Cemetery. That's getting handled by Desdemona though.  Anna wants Engineria to tackle the Harbinger base itself. Most of them should be in the cemetery so the infiltration may be easier than a full on siege/assault thing.

 

Ok, over to an abandoned building in an area of Astoria not yet reclaimed.  Good place to hide I suppose.

 

Ah, they're more aware of our comings and goings than Anna thinks!  Harbinger of Drowning?  That sounds terrible.  Are they announcing it like, well like a harbinger or whatever, or causing it?  Never mind. I've stirred them up and they're coming for me!

 

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I deal with that guy. And then run right into a Gorrun, Harbinger of Death.  That seems a bit more all encompassing that Drowning if you ask me, sort of like next up the ladder in management.  I wonder does that run up through Banished Pantheon members and then to Mot itself?

And then there's this one, the Harbinger of Destruction.  Another member of the middle management of misery! Like I own the world?  What is it with you lot and wanting everything to be miserable?  I mean what?  Will that make you weirdly happy or something?

 

screenshot_221123-22-17-14.jpg.e666c9f2e25442200a1ff6a497002993.jpg

 

I drop them and their acolytes and move further along and then overhear the following.

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Looks like Desdemona and her team have walked into a trap!  I need to deal with this joker and get back to Anna and warn her about what's happening!

Looks like this is time to call Buddy Cop in.  Buddy, we have a job to do.

 

screenshot_221123-22-19-10.jpg.89f77689fbf5a4abb1caab0bdf092129.jpg

 

This one has plenty of back up but with Buddy alongside me we get them dealt with.

Checking a pinboard on the way out to see Anna Palatine, we find details of a Doomsday contest. Which group can summon a thing that can destroy the world!

 

Back with Anna she's horrified. Desdemona and her team were definitely in over their heads and are probably facing way more than expected. Anna is going to consult a scryer and get back to me.

 

[Mission 4 = Nice little deviation from the main plot, wrapping some loose ends up and then looping back in. Good!]

 

Mission 5: The Old Gods Rise! Bad news.  I knew it! Desdemona' team was overwhelmed and captured!  On top of that the Banished Pantheon are on their way here to attack Anna's people.  We have to divide our resources.  Engineria is going to go to Moth Cemetary and rescue the others while Anna organizes the defence of Raimi Arcade.

 

Well, all in then!  Off to Moth Cemetary to see what's what.  Or What's Mot?

Never mind.

Hell, this place is frikkin huge!  Time to do a little fly around and see if I can spot my friends.

 

screenshot_221123-22-23-18.jpg.cf7bac4ee4fee241dfe27e40430530ab.jpg

 

First I see is Noble Savage.  I pull him from the green vapor that suspends him and we rescue Mistress Alliana, one of the Carnival of Light. That's 2 now.  And then further along we see Nadia herself, surrounded by a horde of Banished Pantheon.  The 3 of us wade in and get her back. But she has bad news. Adamastor has been summoned and he's here somewhere!

 

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After that we retrieve Walt, one of the Folorn, and Candlestick (hello Candlestick!).  We're still missing 2 of the First Team though and Adamastor is here. Or rather down there!  I'm not crazy, I'm going to swing around the high side of the cemetery and look for our people before we even attempt to tackle that monstrosity!

 

screenshot_221123-22-40-29.jpg.b0a7ff61c57243fdbc5630693bf4eea9.jpg

 

Skirting along the top and then sliding down one of the slopes let's us rescue Cali, a former citizen of First Ward.  She's not even a super, so in my book she's already braver than any of the rest of us.  Going to try to keep her alive at least.  Lastly we need to find Desdemona herself.  And when she gets out she'll be in a bad mood.  Demons will be summoned!

 

screenshot_221123-22-44-01.jpg.051207739d81815ccdba8863b14a5357.jpg

 

There's Desdemona!  The 7 of us over run her captors and free her.  As foretold (I'm a scryer!) she's not in a good mood.  And yeah, demons.

So there's 9 of us (I gave Buddy a call, he wouldn't want to miss this!  PPD officer fights Adamastor. His service record must look pretty strange by now actually!)

And there's the big bad himself.  Ok team, let him have it!

 

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And we let him have it.  He goes down and seems to slide bodily into the earth, leaving no trace behind after a few moments.  A tough fight but we had the numbers and power to prevail against him.  At least for now.

 

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We get out of that miserable place and head back to Raimi Arcade.  There's no mention of the Harbinger attack from Anna Palatine so it was either repulsed entirely or they didn't arrive once they saw what me and the team were doing in Moth Cemetery.

Anna is (a) pleased but (b) still worried.  Still worried because the summoning of Adamastor was only one of the plots the Harbingers were involved in.  When the Harbingers mentioned gods, they definitely meant plural!

 

[Mission 5 = a great "collect the team and defeat the monster" mission in a very atmospheric map.  And the map has enough enemies so that the team (especially when smaller) can be overwhelmed.  A little bit of thought is definitely needed.  Rushing in and attacking Adamastor solo is not recommended.]

 

Verdict. Well, after the long haul that was Glitters, we're on to Glimmers. (And for those who are confused as to the 2.1 naming, @Ankylosaur explains that the initial 1.1,1.2 and 1.3 of Glitters acts as prequel to this before you branch off, so theoretically I could have alternated the two but I needed some coherency in what I'm doing! Ok, great start. Looking forward to the rest.

 

 

Next up from @Ankylosaur is All That Glimmers 2.2: Drowning In The Vigilant Isles.

 

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @cranebump's The Bleed 1: Insecurity Measures.

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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On 11/21/2022 at 11:53 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

Looks like Mr. G has trouble keeping friends!  Though with three Tami Bakers it also looks like he can just make more.

Mr. G makes his own fun.  And friends.

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Arc 13 from our second author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is  @cranebump's The Bleed 1: Insecurity Measures.

 

Mission 1: Magical Fission. Security Chief Hausser has sent out an all call alarm across Independence Port.  So Engineria responds.  Like, you have to, you know? Seems the spooks in Croatoa, all the Redcaps and the whatnots in their continual quest to pull Salamanca into some sort of spirit realm, have unleashed beasts of some kind in IP, up in the north. Aurora Borealis is currently there dealing with stuff but she would appreciate any help she gets. So get to the address given, it's a warehouse, and lend a hand.

Nice to have a simple mission after all this!

 

Off I go!

 

As soon as I get inside, I receive a message from Hausser saying Tsoo, Family and Council are all converging on my location.  So heads up!  Tsoo, Family and Council?  Oh yeah, because they're answering the call too obviously.

 

Well lookee here, all three groups nice and cozy. What's a girl to do but, I dunno, "arrest" them?  Arrest them I think.

 

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Up ahead we have another cross pollinated bunch of vills, and they're around a struggling Tsoo who doesn't seem to want to join their team. Submit?  What in the hell is going on here?

Well, I free him and he says that he and his brethren were drawn to this place against their will.  It was the shame of serving alongside the Council that snapped him out of his trance or whatever. He has to inform his elders and he runs off at high speed. It takes a LOT to frighten one of the Tsoo now that I think of it.

 

 

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I continue my investigation.  Oddly enough around the corner I find a Council werewolf type.  And not hostile.  In fact he's really interested in this strange static storm thing that just hangs in the air.  Not sure what that is.  A spirit? A doorway?  Moving further along I find another one of these things.  I can't seem to affect them so put a pin in that and keep going.

 

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Redcaps!  And they've been in a fight already, but won it seems.  Well, that's a pre-existing condition, my tiny friends, so it'll cost you.  You bet!

 

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Damn it, I hate Redcaps.  They're tiny and nasty and tougher than you think and they swarm over you, and fill you with arrows. DIE!  Just frikkin die already.

Ok then.

On I go.

 

And there's a Council leader, an Archon, spouting stuff that's almost like the usual fascist nonsense that they come out with but there's still something off about it, especially when his companions are Family and Tsoo!  I drop him and them, and as he lies there he seems confused about how he got there.  More hypnosis shenanigans, or the magical equivalent I presume.

 

screenshot_221124-17-29-41.jpg.00252c2a9d9b85fb7fb6a18840784397.jpg

 

Looks like the Tsoo have the same issues as the Council when it comes to voluntarily being here.  Then again, the Resistant Vessel already told me that, doh!

And when I take out this guy, as I'm taking him down, he says "Away brethren! Away family! Leave these vessels to their fate" and THEN he seems as confused about how he got here as the Archon was. Definite possession of some kind. Waitaminute.  Who is "HER"?  And what have they succeeded at?

 

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And then there was one.  So Tsoo, Council and Family.

Ok, NOT Family. Weird.  I think I know this guy!  That's Shockstorm!  Why is he here and not on Nerva?  Never mind, he's trying to kill me so I'll worry about his GPS coordinates later!

 

screenshot_221124-17-36-52.jpg.5beb89355d6c6e0b6d84c8a586251d31.jpg

 

A creates a storm, that combined with MY Kinetics Repel (slotted for Knockdown via Sudden Acceleration) causes more trouble for his ally than for me.  So, BOOM, Shocky. BOOM I say. And down you go.

 

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Having dealt with Shockstorm, and boy he'll have some explaining to do when his mediporter scoots him back to Longbow, I move in further.  Lots of boxes around, containing records for a Coldwell family, dating from the 1900s it seems. 

And then this.

 

screenshot_221124-17-41-14.jpg.e48db06453453c0d808e6ff787efbf44.jpg

 

And finally, I meet the Conjuror. She just ignores me and runs off!  I mean what now?  Ok, time to go talk to Hausser about all this, maybe he has some idea on what I found.  Was Aurora supposed to be here or elsewhere I wonder?  Probably elsewhere.

 

screenshot_221124-17-40-12.jpg.934ee4d93a4367e9d77b711fe975d38e.jpg

 

Hausser latches on to my descriptions of the storm things and calls them fissures.  Sure, why not. Outside his area of expertise so he'll call in the experts to examine them.  Meanwhile there's another thing to deal with if I'm willing.  Well, I've come this far haven't I?

 

[Mission 1 = Interesting start! People are not who they seem, and the enemy is probably Redcaps, because everyone else seemed possessed and they weren't. And as for that Conjuror?  Mystery!  Good stuff]

 

Mission 2: All in the Same (strange) Boat. Hausser has a big and immediate problem. and thanks to the ongoing situation I'm the only asset he has that is capable of tackling it. There's a fully loaded cargo ship, the Pyramis,  heading straight for Bell Point, at a high speed. The last transmission from the ship mentioned Redcaps and Tuatha and tears in reality, and that's probably WHY it's not headed to the shore at high speed.

 

Ok, time to get out there.  Fast little boat to intercept and get aboard! Stop the ship.  Rescue any crew obviously but stop the ship.

 

I board the ship and make my way below.  And there's one of those tear or fissure things.  Different color this time.  I wonder does that make a difference somehow?  No time to ponder, stuff to do!

 

screenshot_221124-21-59-59.jpg.302c34c8f1694734641ae4b217307f1e.jpg

 

OW.  I mean really OW.  The ghost things around this fissure are gawdamned nasty.  Can't move. Held. Ok, struggle free and vaoprize them with radiation blasts.  Back to whatever hell you came from!

 

screenshot_221124-22-00-59.jpg.0ff03fcd5773443857ad1c0dfd575520.jpg

 

Oh man, these things are frikkin everywhere!  It's like trying to fight evil fog! But fight I do and move further into the ship. I've managed to seal up 4 of those things by now.  Can't see anymore for the moment. Right, crew to find!

 

screenshot_221124-22-02-43.jpg.dc4dcb6484d360907d00b72945882e5d.jpg

 

And there's one of the crew!

Hang on, Engineria's a comin'! (And frankly hoping not to be perforated by Redcaps and their hateful arrows)

Ok, I suffered mild perforation, but, and I hate saying this, I've had worse encounters with Redcaps.  I hate to say it because ANY encounter with Redcaps is bad.

This crew member is clearly confused, though I don't think he was possessed like those I met in the warehouse.

 

screenshot_221124-22-07-29.jpg.78ed8713bef25bd7e68d9a3d4750d209.jpg

 

Another crew member freed from the little menaces and ...well, look at him go!  He's got the fear in him that's for sure!

 

screenshot_221124-22-09-37.jpg.2c72f453134556f898b0a7ff27125a09.jpg

 

A final crew member freed and I run into a full blown fight between the Tuatha and some Redcaps.  Now, I should have just let them duke it out between them, but it seems neither side like me, so not much choice in me being involved in this.

 

screenshot_221124-22-10-43.jpg.80ba539b2bd2ad305847b8ce64da4bae.jpg

 

Still the issue of shutting the ship down though.  And I hope it loses enough forward momentum to be safe after I knock off the power.

Ok, first of 3 power plants and shutting off now.

Done.  And then the final two and get off this boat.  Hopefully the coast guard can take over now.

 

screenshot_221124-22-11-32.jpg.871c19dd6f1609a4370f897dbfbd12ce.jpg

 

Returning back to Hausser he seems relieved. He better not hug me.  

The magic experts are almost done on their examinations so can I come back for an update and we'll see where we go from there?  Sure, course I will.

 

[Mission 2 = Deceptive mission!  Seems a set of simple objectives and then it gets nasty.  Loved it.]

 

Mission 3: Spare Cheng. Hausser hasn't just been relying on the magical people to explain things, he's been poking into who that Conjuror person was and why they were interested in Blackstone Shipping from the 1920s.  Laura Brunetti, who was helping with this, says talking to Dr. Cheng might shed some light as he was around then.  He was?  How long do some people live?  I mean some supers are hella old, yet don't age, but come on now!

AND he had some connection to Blackstone too it seems.  As did the recently deceased Darkvine, a Midnighter whose real name was Ross Coldwell!  Ok, so it seems not everyone lives to be ancient yet unaging.

 

So, go meet Cheng.  Last seen having a convivial tea with Julianna Nehring, No biggie.  Get the skinny from him and get back here for updates.

Tea he said.  He didn't say it was tea in SALAMANCA!  So that seems hella suspicious to me, tea for 2 in Croatoa.  

 

Looks like Cheng has unwanted company.  No sign of Nehring however.  I'll search for her when I've dealt with this.

 

screenshot_221124-22-14-00.jpg.35421afbaefc3bdbc2fd8754598bdafc.jpg

 

Yeah, yeah, snap out of it, man!  Where's Nehring?  Hang on, I need to ask you about Blackstone.  Come on, wakey wakey!

 

screenshot_221124-22-15-17.jpg.53ca7265d88c41bdcdfbd1dfcdcff04d.jpg

 

Wait, what?  Nehring seduced you?  Oh, whatever is possessing her did.  Well, I'm not sure what to say to that other than "that poor woman".  And she pulled a warding spell from your mind and is going after the Archive?  What Archive?  ARGH.  Talking to the addled is like trying to get a toddle to find their shoes!  ARGH!

Stay here.  Or leave.  Just don't follow me.

 

Ok, more fissures but weirdly stable, and their "guards" are not attacking me.  Strange.  Wonder if that has anything to do with Nehring's spell use?  I thought she was a journalist for the Paragon Times or something?  

 

screenshot_221124-22-16-08.jpg.1a15b108f4cc87d7141b4b7891954766.jpg

 

Well I found Julianna Nehring, in full blown talking to her "Mistress" mode.  So, possessed I suppose, as Cheng said.  Definitely hostile to me though!  Let's see if she's willing to talk.  I sense not.  And that's not even one of my super powers!

 

screenshot_221124-22-17-44.jpg.07eebd76189291e51ead966644e1a8a2.jpg

 

A lackey of Cheng's?  I only just got here, missy!  And it shows that you don't have access to the real Nehring's memories, since I assume she'd know a little about Cheng.  I assume.

 

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And I knock her out and down she goes. Trying to get a sensible conversation out of the post possessed is tough.  It's apparently all fragments and images, ans searching for analog words to describe alien things. Its master.  Yet OTHER YOU spoke to a mistress.  Interesting.

 

screenshot_221124-22-18-42.jpg.112e7d8cc21ea1010bd670973b67c59e.jpg

 

And then I run into the Conjuror again.  It's not a violent meeting, she's just sick of the sight of me apparently, and the feeling is now mutual, and just vanishes!

After than I check on the archive and all seems well. Time to get back to Hausser.  I mean I was only meant to gatecrash a tea appointment after all!

 

screenshot_221124-22-25-25.jpg.e97836a297fa2daa11022dcdceb31b8d.jpg

 

Hausser is relieved both Cheng and Nehring are ok (I didn't rough up Nehring too much).  Cheng is pretty riled up though and instead of filling us in on details of Blackstone Shipping, he's demanding we go to the Rogue Isles. Though it IS connected to the Conjuror, so there's that.

 

[Mission 3 = Fast run through mission. Giving a feel of an organization (Hausser's) under stress to fill in the gaps in super powered events and not having the budget!  Plenty of intel peppered throughout to carry the plot.  Good stuff.]

 

(@cranebump, is there a clue missing at the end clickie?)

 

Mission 4: The Oakes-Boc Incident (pt.1) Hausser has had a long chat with Cheng, and Cheng wants us to find a guy called Bocor. It's connected but Cheng hasn't come clean on WHY Bocor needs to be found.  Hausser is starting to get frustrated, though from Engineria's POV that seems to be his ground state.  I mean he's not as overtly grumpy as Freitag, but who is? Hausser tells us that latest know reports on Bocor's whereabouts are (a) the Rogue Isles (oh great, love that place) and (b), more particularly in a running firefight with the strange creatures we've already encountered. Arachnos has also responded to the firefight, so a 3 way fight is very likely.

 

Arriving in the Rogue Isles Engineria discovers that several local vills are apparently working, or more likely possessed, for the Conjuror person that is such a thorn in our sides by now.

 

Let's get to it!

 

And Arachnos have already identified me as a threat!  Well that's not good.  And those Night Widows can really put a crimp in your day.

 

screenshot_221124-22-30-34.jpg.45b36e0183f09e6f0b9166e6863de55e.jpg

 

Ah, not good!  Not good at all!  Every foe I could see is gone.  Gawdamn Spider Mistressess and their Blinding ability!

 

screenshot_221124-22-31-29.thumb.jpg.28278a1df0588fc970dfaa7951d13de6.jpg

 

Thank heavens for Irradiate, as an area effect it helps even when I can't see.  And the thing I couldn't see was a hell of a lot closer than I remembered it was from the last time I HAD seen it!

 

screenshot_221124-22-32-09.jpg.0903aac2772a8edb172f1d54dbe5e483.jpg

 

Ok, I got lucky there, really really lucky.  And it seems that this vill has no idea where he is or how he got here.  However, one down, more to go on my way to finding Mr. Bocor and whatever is really going on in all this madness.

 

screenshot_221124-22-32-43.thumb.jpg.6a52de6cb7916b9dbb0ddb64cde3d737.jpg

 

And unfortunately sometimes your luck just runs out.  This possesses vill had some back up in the form of a spirit thing that just held me while the vill punched my lights out.  OW.  So, mediporter on and this time I'm coming back with Buddy.  Two can play at that game, mister!

 

screenshot_221124-22-39-07.jpg.3620021d5c8795755fab2de9bf0890dc.jpg

 

What?  Where are you?  Save it.  Possessed or not you're still a vill to me, so shut your trap and stay outta our way. I'm sure you got teased in middle school too, but shut it.

 

screenshot_221124-22-41-30.jpg.068988256624560a1df04e392f5dc411.jpg

 

This last one is pretty nasty with her swords, cuts here and there and everywhere!  I may need to buff that out of the armor later.  But Buddy and me take her down.  I'm sure he has the urge to arrest her but we don't have time for that now.  Gotta keep moving.

 

screenshot_221124-22-42-35.jpg.3f888327fd5ac7f5c45f8fc423e0913a.jpg

 

There's a brief detente between us and Arachnos as we have a delicate chat with a Fortuna Utath.  Manhole, huh?  Right.

 

screenshot_221124-22-43-45.jpg.d99de3f20745b3efc3b6da31873a024a.jpg

 

I radio Hausser and he says I'm the operative on site and pretty much do what I gotta do.  So I'm jumping down a manhole in the Rogue Isles into who knows, what, and Arachnos reinforcements are on their way, and neither me nor Hausser still know how Bocor is involved in this, other than he ain't working for them.  Seems to be fleeing from them actually.  So, Bocor is still top of the list!

Soon as I move some of this rubble, down I go.  Be alert Buddy, I might need you later.

 

 

screenshot_221124-22-45-16.jpg.b17a5b624b990af4d1ce475e449738d6.jpg

 

And in I go.

 

[Mission 4 = a nice rolling fight mission across the (in)famous Tunnel map.  Plenty to do and find, and very mood setting.  Nicely done]

 

Mission 5: The Oakes-Boc Incident (finale) Hausser tells me that their sub can't avoid Arachnos patrols indefinietely, so at best I've got 45 minutes to find Bocor or I have to pull out.  Simple as that. Well, no pressure at all then. Buddy is on call if I need him, so on I go. It's likely that Utath reported our position, I mean why wouldn't she?

 

Oh, sewers.  Well what did I expect climbing down a manhole?

Oh hell yeah!  Looks like the cavalry is here!  Hiya, Aurora!  Let's get this done! And Longbow?  Ok then, this rainy day is getting a rainbow!

 

screenshot_221124-22-47-59.jpg.4ff9ac72ea406ef3deca420690f65cff.jpg

 

I don't know why Aurora isn't more famous.  I mean Penny Yin (and she's lovely and all) got drafted to the majors but she's only a kid, no experience.  Raw talent sure, but Aurora here knows how to fight, to lead.  Whatever.  Positron's business I'm sure.

Yeah, you didn't like that, did you, Ms. Spider? Also, I've said before, these female Bane soldiers are hella tall.

 

screenshot_221124-22-49-36.jpg.af04d4eb1e9915f483bc0caa5a043afd.jpg

 

There's our man!  And I've mentioned it elsewhere, there IS an evil face in the green smoke!  I wasn't imagining it.

 

screenshot_221124-22-52-16.thumb.jpg.6f481ab9fea2f968778debb101c088f2.jpg

 

And there's a whole cluster of these spectral tear things in this room too.  So some bad juju is going down in here.  Ok, let's go get Bocor then.

 

screenshot_221124-22-52-32.thumb.jpg.f697c65243de948c0cde34a592c966f4.jpg

 

We proceed to free Cheng from his captors and wrench him out of the mystic smoke, or whatever that green cloud is.  He's not in the best shape, wobbling on his feet and muttering about a tether being broken.

 

screenshot_221124-22-53-04.jpg.50b93f48b041fafd49a60eb3635061ee.jpg

 

Ok, Bocor, snap out of it, eyes front!  We have company and they want you and I don't intend to give you to them, so you need to help me with that, got it?  Good.  Let her have it!  Sorry Utath, all's fair in thing and whatsit, ya know?

 

screenshot_221124-22-54-11.thumb.jpg.6730cde4a14e5950cfad5deca13cd805.jpg

 

BOMBS?  BOMBS?  Oh, they flying drone type things?  Oh I hate those!  I soo hate those.

 

screenshot_221124-22-54-18.thumb.jpg.b690017a57e18cf7f6059df82ce594ba.jpg

 

We manage to survive the bombs (mainly by me spamming Kinetics Healing which heals Me AND the others, so that's useful) but Utath is currently sideways down ruining her nice Arachnos uniform by lying in sewer water.  Rather her than me though I've done it often enough.  

Bocor's dark magic stuff helped out too, seems he's capable in a fight after all.

 

I examine the array of weird urns around this place, spaced out as they are between the spectral tears.  All but one is filled with a black substance, and that one is doing it's own thing.

 

screenshot_221124-22-58-48.jpg.799630827be866fd69fc04cd223fabb7.jpg

 

Me and Aurora drag Bocor to the exit so we can rendezvous with the sub.  I'm assuming the Longbow guys can make their own way out.  Time is still counting down for us to get outta here. Yeah, I reckon you'll get a chance to speak to Cheng, but we need to speak to YOU first, Mr. Bocor.  Now scoot!

 

screenshot_221124-22-55-29.jpg.4c86df7fc9d4501fc16ff1ad0ed15570.jpg

 

Hauser is out of the loop now.  Aurora is taking over this investigation.  And you need to clean up your act, mister.  You're a good guy and all, but I am this close to reporting you.

 

[Mission 5 = tense second part to the Part 4.  Some great running fights through the sewers.  Nice back up from Aurora, and loved the Utath angle. Nice.]

 

Verdict.  Well, this entire arc acts as an intro I think, to something bigger, especially with one of the Vindicators taking over the investigation from Hausser, a "mere" security chief.  Looking forward to the rest of it.  Great fun.

 

Next up from @cranebump is The Bleed 2: De Pulvis Rediit (From the Dust Returned)

 

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @Darmian's The House of Gaunt Saints.

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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