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  1. - Top - End - #1201
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird is the Word]

    Of course Ducktales references count as birdthought.

    So.

    First comes the the steel cuff bouncing off the side of the NORMAL BIRD's head.

    Or...

    Head-like region?

    That thing is really a mess.

    Either way, the mostly innocuous attack serves to throw it slightly off balance. That allows for a follow-up LASER BEAM to hit it dead center in... umm... somewhere. Probably. As Jade suspected, the fact that the weapon is a new thing Jade had fashioned herself seems to cause it to be extra devastating, searing a hole through the entity and filling the air with the scent of burning incense.

    Then a grenade explodes in it.

    Geeze, it isn't doing so hot.

    Now it responds in kind. Spreading too many wings and too many gears, it releases a blastwave of BIRD POWER that reverberates outward before collapsing back in on it. Everything old, everything broken, everything discarded, all the garbage in the room flashes into a flock of bird-shaped missiles of energy that go flitting toward the NORMAL BIRD.

    It is a veritable bullet hell.

    Except the bullets are birds.

    Being struck will increase the victim's BIRDNESS, though in chaotic, jumbled, and potentially incapacitating ways.

    Good luck!
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  2. - Top - End - #1202
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    Default Bird is the Word

    Jade projects a shield from her foot-glove around herself. It protects her, but it's getting both dimmer and more bird-shaped by the minute. "That's a great idea, but no. And it's miles away, so I don't see how it would help." She suspects the answer though, although she's still not sure how it would help.
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  3. - Top - End - #1203
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    The magpie is hit by the bird, and changes. Her whole body, from beak to tailfeathers, changes to a dank, clammy-looking grey, the mutations growing from it quickly being absorbed back into it and smoothing over. The magpie retains her shape, though she falls over, and lacks any obvious features, such as eyes, nostrils or anything else.

    It's probably quite disturbing to witness, as the half-elf draws upon her doppelganger ancestry to keep her form stable. It also leaves her unable to assist in beating the bird, although since her only weapon is a pickaxe, she was quite limited in what she could do anyway.
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  4. - Top - End - #1204
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird]

    Aviene whips off her poncho and flails it around, tangling up the enemies with reckless efficiency even as the protective sheet is assimilated. It's fine; the birdening doesn't make it super heavy, and Mama Cucco made sure she was proficient in Birdkind in case she had to lead just this kind of swarming assault. "Cu-keep blocking them! Each bird that reaches the anomaly probably heals the boss, co!"

    It's at this point that a lucky/unlucky bullet collides with her mask. Now infused with BIRD, the goggles' electronics crack through the inner lenses and try to peck her eyes out. Aviene rips off the twisted headgear and throws it to the ground, revealing a face that's... well, I suppose you'd describe it as birdlike, if it was already understood that you were describing a human-ish face being rendered in a weird monochrome art style. It's hard to tell whether she's covered in feathers or whether her brows are just like that.

    The heads of two starlings poke out of the destroyed mask and start reciting incoming text messages.

    "*chrrp* Aviene! Try using the cards! A normal-size bird should fit on one! *whiiwhiiwhii*"
    "*bweeeooop* Even if they don't, you might be able to release a key item. *___ *ssswheep*"

    Now there's an idea. Aviene braces herself for a wave of bullets that used to be a pile of crumbs in the corner, then draws a hand of empty captchalogue cards and snatches them all up. Of course, these energy birds are hardly containable physical entities. They each merge with their card from the inside, pop out of her deck, and unfold into a chicken. Given her aforementioned proficiency, this would be perfect if she hadn't already decided that throwing birds at a bird god was a bad idea. As such, she just uses her proficiency-slash-psychic troll powers to make the loyal cuccos fly around defending the team from more bullets, which should at least buy them all some time.

    Next, she retrieves the card containing Jade's armor. Just to be sure, she tries ejecting it, predictably to no effect. A passing bird bullet then collides with the extended card while she's examining it, also predictably.

    The bird-card-armor combination clatters to the floor, twitching. What will happen?
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-21 at 11:00 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #1205
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird is the Word]

    The poor elf-magpie-dopplgeganger just huddles up on the ground and does her best to not die here.

    Thankfully she has help!

    First from Jade's shield and second from Aviene's quick thinking! Whipping the PPE around intercepts quite a few bird-missiles, which cause BIRD to grow from the clothing. But that also means those missiles don't hit our heroes OR reach the Totally Normal Bird. In even more quick thinking, inventory cards are brought to use! Which means... the room is now full of chickens? The chickens being struck, likewise, causes spontaneous and potentially debilitating growths of BIRD but at least it isn't smacking our heroes around.

    Oh no then Jade's armor card get BIRD'd.

    The card hits the floor, twitches twice, and bursts open to release the Athena armor. If Jade had been wearing the armor it probably would have weathered the bird assault quite well. After all, it was something created by Jade. But at the moment when it was hit? It have been scavenged by Aviene and it simply didn't have the conceptual resilience it needed.

    As a result the armor released looks... almost organic. White and grey and feathery. Complete with a bright orange gull's beak on the helmet. It immediately begins flopping toward Jade in a bid to latch onto its creator.

    Then the bird missile storm ceases.

    Our heroes weathered the assault no doubt they'll be home free now!

    "Decay and become one with the garbage. Become food for Ashpothel's awakening," the Normal Bird declares before blasting a wave of entropy at our heroes.

    Okay maybe not.
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  6. - Top - End - #1206
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    Default Bird is the Word

    "You!.." Jade says angrily, but she's busy running over to the armor. "Maybe I can still salvage it." She tries to wrap her wings around the birdified armor. It's definitely aware enough to try to come to her, its creator. But is it here to kill her or to help her? She takes a gamble and sheds the hazmat suit, letting the armor crawl over her. And it changes shape, wrapping around her and matching her build, covering her wings in armored feathers, lowering a beaked helmet over her head. Miraculously, the systems power up. "Yes! It still works!" But it is a bit weird. The suit is alive now, and responding to her a little differently. As a result, she ends up caught off guard by the entropy attack. "Awk!" She squawks out in pain and staggers towards the bird as aggressively as she can muster.
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  7. - Top - End - #1207
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    The wave of entropy forces the magpie out of the rippling mass of clammy grey skin, returning to the magpie shape with arms left. She squawks and cackles a laugh as she hops away, trying to get away. There's nothing she can do here, really, except get in the way and maybe die. That's not something she wants to do, so she's trying to off.
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  8. - Top - End - #1208
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [The Word]

    "I -w-hat? -W-ho cu-cares! Just take it, co!" Aviene sees the boss telegraphing its attack and holds up her giblet-covered poncho as a defensive measure. "CUCCOS! IN FRONT!"

    The entropy wave washes over the tanking army, wilting feathers and turning excess feet into skeletal vestiges. Some chickens stumble and hum weakly, rendered gray and gamy by the temporal tempest.

    "*twee* Become as... Oh! OH! That's it! Gorjek, start your art thing over!*chrrble*"
    "*tiktik* We don't need the exact opposite of a bird, we need- *CHRK!*"


    The goggles rattle and collapse as the entropy dissolves it into a pile of dried bones and powdered glass. No more hints from the peanut gallery.

    "So -w-e'll need some some cu-kind of de-trashification, co?" Aviene wonders aloud. Her meat shield screams and melts into something you'd find in the smelliest grocery store dumpster. "I might ha-v-e something for that!"

    The former Knight of Life tries to remember the leftover equipment she had from the game that brought her to Skyside. Grenadekind is a weird weapon type, requiring a lot of careful resource management but making up for the cost in versatility. For a Life player, that versatility often comes in the form of healing grenades. Anti-explosions. To name the ones she has on hand: Egg Descramblers.

    She draws a couple of the goofy order-bombs from her strife deck. Seeing that Magpie seems to have healed herself, she tosses one Jade's way, hopefully resetting her to a relatively-functional state while Aviene decides which piece of endgame equipment would best answer the boss.
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-23 at 11:04 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #1209
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird is the Word]

    The magpie flees toward the exit! She manages to get out of the reactor control room without much trouble, but there is definitely quite a bit of BIRD to dodge. As she makes her way back toward the casket chamber she may notice that the BIRD LIGHTS are growing in intensity. This is likely concerning.

    Jade, meanwhile, staggers aggressively toward the NORMAL BIRD! The bird does not seem terribly concerned by this action. It reacts by blazing with power, lightning crackling across its feathers, before releasing some good old force-lightning style crackling energy at Jade. Maybe she is aware enough to get out of the way this time? Also attacking the NORMAL BIRD rather than being threatening at it may help resolve the battle.

    Also?

    Jade gets a healing egg-bomb tossed at her.

    That will probably help with the beating she just took from the entropy wave. Might even help with the lightning-strike, too.

    "Accept your fate," the NORMAL BIRD commands. "You believe your lives are worth living. You are wrong. Become garbage and feed Ashpothel. Become one with what is greater than yourself. Be feasted upon by BigBird."

    Our heroes probably shouldn't take the NORMAL BIRD's advice.
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  10. - Top - End - #1210
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    Default Bird is the Word

    Jade is back on her feet thanks to the healing grenade, just in time for the lightning bolt. Good thing her suit is insulated... Oh wait. It's now partly made of decidedly more conductive techno-organic birdflesh. But she whips up a shield of light, which blazes brightly against the crackling electricity. "Squaaaaaawk!" she cries a battle cry as she flaps her wings to get off the ground (the suit in its current state luckily doesn't hinder her flight) and blasts another beam of light at the bronze bird.
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  11. - Top - End - #1211
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    The magpie does notice the increase in bird light, and looks around for any clue as to how to stop it. When she spots the winch that lowers the lid, and the mutant growths sprouting nearby, she'll head up there and start pulling on it to lower the lid onto the casket. She briefly considered smashing it with her pickaxe to break it and make the lid drop, but it could bounce and then they'd be worse off, or jam and break so it couldn't be lowered. This is risky, because she's stood next to the aviagenic light, but also safest because it should be guaranteed to close Bigbird away.
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  12. - Top - End - #1212
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [The Word is Bird]

    Aviene successfully ignores the bird god's command as she cycles through the weapons cache that is her silly card-based gaming abstraction. She stops to consider one card in particular. "Huuum! Perfect!"

    The Bankbuster. A very expensive Light- and Luck-based item that never really gelled with Aviene's playstyle. She forgot that she still had it, but she may have finally found its perfect use. What better to ward off a lover of trash than with an explosion of treasure? Plus, she technically made it herself with fancy punch-card alchemy, which apparently gives bonus points in this situation. She draws the gem-encrusted money grenade and hurls it into the anomaly.

    Then she sees Magpie climbing over to the core, unarmed, which could be a problem for several reasons. She psychically tells the team of aged cuccos to go help her out, but flags down one in particular to place an item on its back. A potent last-ditch status-ailment-inducing grenade, slick and peach-colored and strangely heavy. The cucco huums and loyally skips off, intent on delivering the weapon to Magpie to be used at her discretion. Cucco will not fail the mail!
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-23 at 12:05 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #1213
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird is the Word]

    The wheel crank is, of course, the manual closing mechanism. But near it, since power has been restored, is also a large red button depicting the open casket with arrows indicating inward. AND it is lit up now! It's subtle red glow is inviting. Cranking the casket lid shut would take quite a bit of time and risk being pecked at by the BIRD growths nearby. But if our hero just ran over and mashed the close button she would be able to dive out of harm's way without getting harassed too much.

    Oh!

    And then a chicken arrives carrying an explosive of some kind. That might be useful for something?

    What's it going to be?

    Meanwhile, a cash bomb is hurled at the NORMAL BIRD and explodes violently! It's rocked by the attack, metal feathers and several beaks and gears blasted loose. It really, really didn't like that. It also doesn't like several wings getting carved off by Jade's laser feet. The creature is hobbled now. Clearly and obviously injured. Power crackles around it, but it only fizzles. Unable to invoke its Spheres this turn, it decides to do something else instead. Something it had been loath to do due to the confined environment.

    It's back splits open, components rearranging and locking together, until a rather intimidating bronze weapon has assembled itself. Emotion seems to roil around it. Hatred and fear in equal parts. Then with a dull *THUNK!* it spits a clashing, swirling mass of raw thought into the middle of the control room.

    Where it promptly detonates.

    Those within the blast-radius (including the NORMAL BIRD!) will find their minds assaulted with harmful psychic static and overwhelming terror. It might cause them to flee from the source of the attack or simply curl up in a ball and try to hide.

    Given that the NORMAL BIRD can't run from itself it is doing that last one. Just curled in on itself into a tiny trembling ball of feathers.
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  14. - Top - End - #1214
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird is the Word

    Jade is caught within the fear blast. The human part of her wants to fight. But the seagull part is squawking and trying to flee. After a moment of indecision, she fires again at the cowering bronze bird. If she can just kill it, it won't be able to stop them from blowing the reactor.
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  15. - Top - End - #1215
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    Magpie takes the grenade, and... Well, finds she lacks clothing to attach it to. So she holds it, and presses the button. She sticks around, to make sure it's actually working and she doesn't need to work on the wheel. If something goes wrong, she's ready to work the wheel anyway.

    When the fear bomb hits, however, she runs. She was running before, and she's running now. She's still holding the bomb, too focused on escape to let it go- or use it.
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  16. - Top - End - #1216
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird is the Word]

    Truly, this feather-headed bronze idol is a false god. It knows not the true meaning of BIRD. If it did, it would not have made such a grave mistake.

    "Huum... Huuum... Cu-CCOOOOOOO!"

    Somewhere along the road between the dig site and Skyside proper, a corporate chicken farm is under red alert. Seemingly out of nowhere, its entire stock has suddenly started flipping the PECK out. Birds thought too fat and drugged-out to even move now strike at their cages and rush for the doors, flapping and crowing wildly.

    Aviene rushes the cowering NORMAL RAVEN and bicycle-kicks it all the way across the control room. Her talons haven't grown enough to burst her boots and rake it apart, but her flapping and kicking muscles have puffed out to Liefeldian proportions, including a comically unreasonable thigh gap. If the NORMAL RAVEN doesn't wake up and do something about it, she's going to keep it pinned in the corner, pummeling it into oblivion. If the thing does do something about it, the cavalry is on its way.

    Only a fool drives a Cucco to its breaking point.
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-23 at 09:58 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #1217
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird is the Word]

    Another searing burst of light rips through the bird.

    But that is the least of its worries.

    It proceeds to be pummled to BITS by Aviene's merciless avian assault!

    This bird has got KICKS!

    And this other bird that is ostensibly normal? It sure doesn't. It gets absolutely STOMPED. With all the damage it has taken thus far this chicken-based fury is simply too much.

    Rather unceremoniously it kind of... comes apart.

    Honestly it looks bizarre. Little triangular fragments of it flash to bright yellow before vanishing one bit at a time, revealing nothing below. Almost as if it were nothing more than a hollow polygon mesh and nothing more. Within a few scant seconds it is completely gone. At this point there is nothing stopping our heroes from rigging the reactor to blow.

    Meanwhile!

    The magpie slaps the CLOSE button, causing the casket to begin sliding shut! Then she runs the heck away. Who can blame her?
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  18. - Top - End - #1218
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird: The Word]

    A buff Aviene's tiny-toothed mouth hangs open, panting. Somewhere far away, a thousand chickens plop down outside the farm's security gate and sit there staring at the guard like nothing had happened. The guard scratches his head and is startled to realize that he's grown a big rooster waddle up there. He must have spotted Magpie on the back of the scooter as it drove by.

    "Cucc-okay!" Aviene says, finally. "Is the self-destruct still going, co?"
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-23 at 10:50 PM.
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  19. - Top - End - #1219
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird is the Word

    "Just making sure, yep!" Jade turns and starts running (as well as someone with seagull legs can, "Let's get the fwaaak out of here!" As soon as she gets into a space where she can, she spreads her wings to fly.
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  20. - Top - End - #1220
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    The magpie is running. She drops the pickeaxe to lose weight and go faster, but she's still not stopping. Just running.

    She's not likely to stop any time soon, either. She'll feel a pang of jealousy if Jade flies overhead. Especially if Aviene is able to join her in the sky.
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  21. - Top - End - #1221
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [BirdWord]

    Aviene has no such flying ambitions. Card-chickens scatter away from the tunnel entrance as she books it out of the compound and hops on her garish red scooter. Jade's fancy armor can probably keep pace with the vehicle. When she catches up with Magpie, she invites the fleeing arm-bird to hop on to better outrun the catharsis.
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-24 at 08:01 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #1222
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird is the Word

    Jade actually isn't using the suit to fly. It doesn't have that capability. She's flying under her own muscle power, and as a result, the scooter quickly outpaces her. "Hey, wait up! She tries to get a hold on the scooter before it gets too far away.
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  23. - Top - End - #1223
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    [Bird is the Word]

    Our heroes are about half way back to Skyside when the earth roils under their feet. Should they look behind them they'll see the distant mound bulge upward roughly twenty five feet, plums of vaporized water blasting from the surface along with geysers of earth. It lasts for only a few scant moments before collapsing back into itself, leaving a crater in the earth where the facility once was.

    And then?

    Something really weird happens.

    An object, if you can even call it that, is launched out of the middle of the crater and lands at the side of the road near our heroes.

    Or... well.

    Saying it lands really isn't accurate.

    Mostly since it is just hovering there roughly a foot off the ground.

    It's... a shape. No, not a shape. More than a shape. Piercing gaze, crushing will, roiling emotion, and the stillness of death-like sleep. Something like an eye. Something of great power.
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  24. - Top - End - #1224
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    The roil underfoot knocks the magpie over; on the ground, she can't fly over it and she's not looking back and didn't see it coming. She'll stand up quite quickly, before turning and looking back where she came from and tilting her head. She watches the... object... as it flies through the air. After it lands, she approaches and looks at it curiously. She reaches out to it, without touching it, to see if it has any effect on her hand and arm.
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  25. - Top - End - #1225
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [WordBird]

    Being birds, the team of three is light and aerodynamic enough to ride the scooter easily if perhaps uncomfortably. Aviene has to slow down when the ride suddenly gets all bumpy and a spooky projectile homes in on them.

    "Huuum? No-w- -w-hat?"

    Aviene drifts to a stop, letting the riders get a better look at what she can only assume is BigBird's eye. Her first instinct is to captchalogue it as a piece of loot and/or a test sample, but it's probably too big and too alive for that right now.

    "...think it's jealous that it didn't get a grenade?"
    Last edited by Dr.Gunsforhands; 2020-10-25 at 05:11 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #1226
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird is the Word

    "What is that, its eye? Its heart? Considering that we aren't getting even more feathery, it's probably not immediately dangerous, but I don't trust it." Jade looks it over. About how big is it? Could she fit it in one of her sample containers? "I doubt we could destroy it, not if it survived that blast."
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    [Bird Was the Word]

    Reaching toward the Icon has no effect on the magpie. She will have the oddest intrusive though. She could take it. All that she needs is both proximity and intent. For now, she has only proximity.

    Our heroes speculate over what the object could be.

    Part of the monster?

    That doesn't seem right.

    It isn't radiating dangerous levels of BIRD. Instead it is merely hovering there a few inches off the ground.

    As for the size...

    That is a difficult question to answer. It couldn't be large, could it? Small enough to pick up and put in a pocket, right? Or large enough to be the centerpiece atop a pillar? Or if you gaze at it too long large enough to swell until it fills the whole horizon and you can see nothing else?

    From a distance it looked enormous. But maybe not so up close?

    Maybe it doesn't have any physical size?
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  28. - Top - End - #1228
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird's the Word

    She could have it, couldn't she? And it's so shiny. Very shiny. Something tells her she shouldn't, but it's shiny. And she was a burglar long before she became a magpie. She ignores the remnant of suspicion, as it's not making her more bird, and reaches out to take the Icon.

    Jade or Aviene could try to stop her, though. If they want it for themselves, but I believe she's closer since she didn't get a ride on the scooter.
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  29. - Top - End - #1229
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meowmai View Post
    [The Latest Pawtector 2 (I'm all out of puns okay)]

    Elizabeth's line of thought was more about how she felt she rather provoked the whole 'being held at knifepoint' thing by chasing Fidelia around for what turned out to be completely no reason. Though then again, she perhaps drawing a knife on her was a bit excessive, at least in her eyes. She was still taken aback by Fidelia's apparent willingness to help her out after everything that had just unfolded though. Normally she might be very suspicious about further hidden intentions from the knife wielding stranger, but in this situation she couldn't think of any plausible secret agendas that would make sense.

    Well, she might as well make use of the stranger's generosity. "Well... if it's no trouble then, I, uh, would appreciate that help. A lot. Um. And sorry again about the whole... stalking and chasing you thing... you said your name was, err, Fidelia? Am I right? I'm not the best with names." Especially when at the time of the name-giving she was still more worried about being stabbed than keeping the woman's name in mind.

    Elizabeth Hackerson and the Knight of Knives

    "I don't have any, uh... things to do today, so it's not any trouble." Jenette's off on a mission for VIGIL, and she's already given Romero his daily walkies. Fi was actually just heading out to grab a snack and maybe see if any of the merchants had a cheap Magtendo DS game or two.

    "Yes, Fidelia. Nice to meet you, miss...?"
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    If it'll keep you from linking that abomination ever again, then fine. You're evil enough. You win.

  30. - Top - End - #1230
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    Default Re: Skyside 6: Return of the Cheddar

    Bird is the Word

    "Don't touch that! It could be..." Oops, too late. Jade hopes nothing bad is about to happen. "... dangerous."
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
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