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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Do we even have a fix on her location still? She might have moved from her cell." Brazen comments while moseying towards the suits for the others. Though not before double checking he had enough batteries himself and replenishing the two slugs he'd used.

  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    That's a very good point. "Star Chaser, have any of the station ponies reported seeing the targets?"

    "Chrysalis could be anywhere or anypony, but our targets can't change forms."

    Spoiler: OoC
    Show
    We're on a rescue mission for the elements here. D:

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Rose grabs one clip of SJA and one 9mm for her pistol.

    "Just gotta be cautious. Changelings could impersonate them to trick us into 'rescuing' the wrong ones."
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Quote Originally Posted by userpay View Post
    "Do we even have a fix on her location still? She might have moved from her cell." Brazen comments while moseying towards the suits for the others. Though not before double checking he had enough batteries himself and replenishing the two slugs he'd used.
    "It wouldn't be much of a cell if she could just leave," Star Chaser says, "Her cell is specially designed to ensure that others can come and go but she can't. Magical and technological security. In order to get out, she'd need the key from around the warden's neck. So long as he's still out of her grasp, she's not going anywhere. The others though..." She spends a minute or so going though her collected information. "Right. Well, we know that Rarity at least is under Chrysalis' control. She was spotted in Module 3 trying to negotiate with the inhabitants there on Chrysalis' behalf. I can also confirm that the other three are, in fact, free from their cells. Joy. Have fun you four!"

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    After some struggling and careful adjustments for those unused to wearing vac-suits, the EDF travels to the damaged part of the ship. It is very damaged, but with some careful maneuvering and planning they manage to get outside the Philomena without venting the whole ship.

    The tram-car waits for them, hanging right at the end of its ruined rail. There is no air inside, but the artificial gravity is working. Once inside, those without experience in zero-g don't need to worry anymore. There is some hilarity getting there, but nopony goes flying off into space, fortunately. Once there, Love hacks the controls and reverses its course back towards the Core Module.

    Down the tram descends towards the lowest point of the ship, all other routes having been destroyed. It re-enters the broken tunnel that at one point stretched all the way from the center to the second prisoner module. It narrowly skims by the twisted metal which gapes jaggedly like crooked teeth. The EDF has officially entered Tartarus Station.

    The tram soon approaches the station. It enters a narrow tube that, once all cars are safely inside, seals itself and fills with oxygen. The clear, Plexiglas sides give the four ponies a panoramic view of the loading docks, a decently large room the size of a small, family home. The 'platform' where their tram rests hangs in the air and is sealed off from the rest of the room. A security gate meant to stop prisoners from trying to escape blocks it off from the stairs. The gate is currently locked.

    That is all very interesting, but it is not what first catches Harrier Squad's eye. Down below, at the base of the stairs, a small army of corvids waits. Against them stands one pony, dressed in the black, leather armor with a blood-red version of Luna's cutie mark emblazoned on his chest. His bat-like wings are spread wide and a spear rests easily couched under one foreleg. His mane is black as the corvids' feathers. The corvids are all armed with rifles, grenades, and all manner of modern weaponry.

    The moment air floods into the tube, sound quickly follows it. The harsh laughter of the corvids assaults their ears. "Out of the way, bat!" the one in the lead cackles, "What're ya gonna do? Wave your walking stick at us?"

    The pony grins. From the distance, Harrier Squad can't see anything particularly unusual about this. "Last chance. Turn around. Leave. I'm getting hungry."

    The doors to the tram slide open with a muted warning to remain seated until the guards give orders to rise.

    One of the corvids decides to take matters into her own claws and fires her rifle. It strikes the batpony dead in the forehead, an excellent shot. He falls backwards. The corvids howl with laughter. And then, he sits up again. "Foalish birds!" he calls, "I will teach you to fear my princess's night!" Then, his form becomes a living shadow and nightmare. Moving like fog, he surges towards the first line of corvids and tears into them. Their bullets and lasers pass through him harmlessly, but they are not so fortunate. It's not going to be a fair fight.

    "That's...that's Crow Lock," Star Chaser says with a squeak, "Good luck!"

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    While zero g is still unsettling for the stallion the addition of mag boots to Brazen's equipment is enough to give the illusion of solid ground underneath him. As well as allowing him to serve as the anchor point for the others.

    "Well that doesn't bode well." Brazen comments dryly as the horde comes into view. "Nor that..." When the pony's immunity to conventional weaponry is aptly demonstrated. Though there is some small amount of fascination in watching Crow Lock work. "Don't think we've got anything that would work against him if this fight is any indication. Try to sneak past or wait till he's done and parlay?"

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Well, he still seems somewhat loyal to Princess Luna. Maybe we can parley his help in her name?"
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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "I concur. Although I suggest we be prepared for negotiations to fail."

    Sniper Scope began removing his vac suit. He briefly entertained the notion of disappearing in order to set up a sniping position, just in case Crow Lock wasn't interested in discussion... but there did not appear to be time to hide the vac suit before the battle ended.

    "Star Chaser, if I can ask another favor, is there anything in his file that might aid us?"

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The blanket of shadow moves about the field like lightning, shredding through the corvids like a hot knife through warm butter. Very quickly, the wiser ones stop trying to fight and decide to flee instead. They make for the doors, abandoning their comrades to the vampire's wrath. None that fall into his grasp escape.

    "He's the only prisoner here by choice," Star Chaser offers hopefully, "Um...He's been around for a long time. A really long time. Like, before Luna turned into Nightmare Moon. Uh...he likes reading. Recently, he's taken an interest in developmental psychology. The warden's notes say that he is civil, an excellent conversationalist and storyteller, and reminds her of her grandfather. Er, so long as you're not physically in the same room as he is. All their conversations took place through thick glass. One of the guards made a mistake of entering his cell and had to take a trip to the hospital afterwards. He's not very good at...restraining himself."

  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "I picked a bad time to leave my armored turtle neck behind." Rose watches the vampire tear up the corvids.

    "So... maybe love should talk to him, given he's not gonna get much more than 40w out of her."
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  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "I don't like the idea of sending Love in alone though... Star Chaser, what's his effectiveness against battlesuits? " Brazen tries to think of a way to handle Crow Lock should things take a turn.
    Last edited by userpay; 2017-07-15 at 06:35 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Well, his alternate form is a sort of mist, so if you sealed yourself off like you were in space, I think you'd be safe. His cell was a vacuum-sealed room and he never escaped it, so that's worked in the past. You sure about this?" Star Chaser asks.

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Non. But it is the least we can do for a fellow soldier." Sniper Scope paused and changed the pony of address. "Princess Luna, have you any opinion or advice? Of all, you should know him best."

    Hopefully, answers would come quickly. He wasn't certain how much time they had left.

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    For a moment, no reply comes through. The only sound is Crow Lock's laughter and the corvids' panicked cries. "Harrier Squad, this is Central. Princess Luna's not available right now, so--"

    "I am perfectly 'available', commander," Luna's voice is cold as winter and sharp as icicles, "Didst thou think I would flee in the face of mine own mistakes? That I was not strong enough to admit them?"

    "P-princess! You're back..."

    "I never left." There is an awkward pause. "Crow Lock was once my most devoted paladin, back when that was still common practice. He fought against Sombra in our initial battle with him. Out of cruelty and spite, for the dark king knew Crow Lock was dear to me, he placed my knight under a curse. Sombra thought to turn my own second against me and Equestria, thus gaining a powerful new pawn. But even transformed, Crow Lock loved Equestria and me too much. He is a monster, that nopony denies. But somewhere inside of him,
    my knight still holds the monster by a leash and directs its rampages against our enemies.
    "

    "He could prove an ally, but do not put too much stock in him. He is a creature of evil, one banned and burned by my sister's sun. As such, were he to draw near the Elements, he would falter. They are incarnations of virtue, he of vice. And evil always flees when good comes in force to face it."

    The corvids that have not fled or fallen are growing increasingly few and far between.

  15. - Top - End - #285
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "We don't need him helping us with the elements, we just need him to help keep things in check. Or at least not stab us in the back." Brazen grunts. "Heck he could be invaluable if we hit corvid space but ah do want to keep him away from the ponies and changelings. Rose, Sniper, keep your suits on ah think. Wait till the fights done and he calms down an then Love and ah can try talkin to him."

  16. - Top - End - #286
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    Love tries to peak over the window toward the blood bath below. What a job to be volunteered for. Not that she cares too much, her only complainant is that she didn't get the cool points for volunteering herself. "If this goes bad I don't want a rescue attempt. Just let me go down. All of us don't need to bite the same bullet."

    "But, before I head down there. I want to be clear on what our goal is out of this talk. I need a stake to drive forward."
    Last edited by Elbeyon; 2017-07-16 at 04:12 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #287
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "I think if we let him know our intentions, perhaps Lock could just keep this area secure for us in case we need to come back?"
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  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    She nods. "Him staying here may be for the best. I don't want too many ponies to get hurt."

    Love looks to the others for their input.

  19. - Top - End - #289
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    "Thank you, Princess, I apologize for any forwardness." The apology was more for the sake of the individual than the status. He had no regard for royalty.

    ---

    Sniper Scope reversed his actions and began reassembling his vac suit. He hated the confines, but understood the other's point. Although if negotiations failed, he wasn't certain what help he would be. He could hardly move in the wretched thing.

    "I agree. At a minimum, we propose a truce: we stay out of one another's way. If he seems agreeable, then perhaps he would be willing to guard this area in case of our return."

  20. - Top - End - #290
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    Brazen shrugs. "Guarding sounds well enough, though hopefully he'll be fine with just disabling non-corvids. Sure you don't want me going with you?
    Ah think my armor will keep him out.
    "

  21. - Top - End - #291
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    Love nods again at the group. "A non-aggression or defense pact. Got it."

    Her hoof goes to her chin when Brazen questions her. "Simply put. I don't want you to get hurt when you can avoid it. I've got my comms and my wits. I won't turn you away from my side though. Do what you think is best."

  22. - Top - End - #292
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    "He was contained behind thick glass. That makes me pretty sure he shouldn't be able to get past my armor. Much less ah'd feel better if one of us were with you, and ah can get you out in ah jiffy if things go bad at the least. Sides, what's the point of this armor if ah can't protect my teammates. " Brazen states firmly as he swaps out the slug in his shotgun for a flare round.
    Last edited by userpay; 2017-07-16 at 09:20 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #293
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Alright, well, you two get out there and we'll back you up from... here, I guess?"
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  24. - Top - End - #294
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "As best we can." Although who knows what that meant. Sniper Scope continued: "Although, Brazen, I highly recommend you allow Love to do the talking."

  25. - Top - End - #295
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    When the blood shower turns into a bath a.k.a when the fighting stops Love will try to get them into the same room as Crow Lock.

  26. - Top - End - #296
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The last corvid makes a break for the train. Never mind that there are very clearly four members of the Equestrian military on it, Crow Lock is between him and all the other exits. He slams his claw repeatedly on the button to open the outer door and squeezes in the instant it's wide enough. He then slams on the button to close the door. At the last second, spear rams in between the doors. With a "Please keep clear of the doors. You are preventing the doors from closing", they open again.

    Crow Lock materializes, standing on his hind legs with his spear held at the ready. The corvid opens fire. A second later, with surgical precision, Crow Lock cuts him down. The vampire looks around and, seeing no more enemies in the immediate vicinity, relaxes and bares his fangs. He drags the corvid out of the airlock and, in a few moments, the last corvid is no longer bleeding on the floor. Crow Lock turns, pulls out a hankerchief, carefully wipes his lips, smooths his hair, and adjusts his uniform, and then turns to Harrier Squad. "You are not griffons," he shouts through the barrier, "So you are either changelings or members of the Royal Guard. But the changelings that could have come from that direction already fled to join their queen and I doubt you would allow me to taste your blood in order to confirm your identities. So let's proceed on the assumption that you are servants of Equestria."

    He draws himself up and squares his shoulders, like a general addressing his troops. "Paladin Crow Lock of her Her Majesty Luna's Night Guard, at your service. Might I have the honor of your names? And, if you feel so inclined, it is terribly inconvenient to shout this loud. Perhaps you could come out and we could have a more civil conversation?"

  27. - Top - End - #297
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    Love turns to the group with a straight-faced emoji and then starts making her way out to the vampire.

    She mutes herself in the group call. Her voice now only projects locally. Once she passes the button airlock she'll clear her throat and say, "You're not full yet? What were you satisfying? Your hunger? Addiction? I can't fill that hole. I'm an android possessed by a pony. I don't think my bits are to your taste."

    "Ah, excuse me. Where are my manners? I am Partial Charge. My companions call me Love. This behind me is Brazen Hoof. It's my pleasure to meet you." She sticks her hoof out to him. "Your name precedes you, Paladin Crow Lock. I feel like I've caught you at a disadvantage. Let me remedy that."

    "My companions and I are part of the Equestrian Defense Force, a new branch. We were sent here after Queen Chrysalis escaped her cell. Currently, her efforts have sent the station suborbital. She threatens Equestria with her actions and whatever she may be planning."

  28. - Top - End - #298
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The stallion's expression twists into a pained expression. "You misunderstand me. For now, the monster is satisfied. He has gorged on the blood of Equestria's enemies and now sleeps. For the moment, I am myself again. However..." He looks Love over with a curious expression. "I was unaware technology had advanced quite this far. Curious. I am glad to make your acquaintance, Miss Charge." He bows elegantly, with all the grace of an ancient noble from a fairy-tale. "And I am at your service. The enemies of Equestria and Luna are mine."

    He rises with a coy smile. "I admit, I know something of the situation. An envoy of the Queen freed me from my cell and bragged about her...exploits. I fear I cannot confront her directly. Were she to take my mind, as she has with many others, she would wield a power far too terrible to imagine. The monster would run rampant without a leash and I cannot allow that."

  29. - Top - End - #299
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    She acts back to his pain. "Forgive me. I meant no offense. It was a simple curiosity that gripped my tongue."

    "Your awareness has succeeded you. This is my unique ability alone." Probably. "A genetic deviation, expressed through my pressure-pot upbringing. I'm sure many would love to advance technology to such a point by harvesting my brain. I enjoy a good introspective peek once in a while myself." The talking is easier - she'll try to perform a proper curtsy back. Thank goodness for all those vampire video games.

    "Your efforts are commendable. I understand the logistics of your struggle. We'll do what we can while you do what you can. I wish I had more time to spend getting to know you better, but the EDF must hurry. If you could help the Guards regain control of this station Equestria would once again owe you another debt. Queen Chrysalis isn't the only threat here and now."

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    "I will not hinder you. My intention was to prevent the corvids from reinforcing their position upon that ship, and it seems that purpose has now been accomplished." He gestures to the carnage around him. "I will remain here and ensure that only loyal soldiers pass this point. In return, promise me something."

    His face loses any hint of affable calm and becomes deadly serious. "This station is not what it seems. A prison, yes, but something else. From my cell, I only have my suspicions but I can confirm that their efforts to 'cure' me have been circular, evasive, and completely uninspired. I fear a conspiracy. I do not know if this incident was part of a plan or merely an accident. But it has presented me a singular opportunity to do something I have long planned." He slips a narrow notebook out from his coat and hands it to Love. "If you are loyal," he says, "Present this only to Princess Luna. Do not read it. Do not show it to anyone outside this room. Only to Luna. Am I understood?"

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