God have mercy on your soul. You're gonna need it.
>Ornithomimid: Use Drill Peck.
Having the highest speed among the participants here, you go headlong into the fray with your famed DRILL PECK.
You deal significant damage to your foe. It never saw it coming.
>Caveguy: Throw everything you can at... whatever that thing is.
Here is where you have to show that you mean business! Worm monster? More like worm food!
You fish out something from your pack to chuck at it with a force to be reckoned with.
You pick a ball of sticky-stuff as the ammunition for your volley.
You wind up the swing and let loose with the force of a thousand trebuchets. It stands no chance of evading your slowing attack. Once this baby makes contact, your opponent will know the pain of getting wrapped up in the devils tangling web.
It seems your attack backfires and you prove unable to throw the sticky ball.
You waste one turn attempting to throw the thing before giving up.
>First Herald: Suffer damage from surrounding forest fire.
It seems the worm shares the pains of caveguy's interruption, albeit in a much more literal sense.
While the fires raging outside aren't intense enough to penetrate the behemoth's thick, almost gelatinous hide, the serpentine extension that infiltrated your hideout seems to possess no such natural protection.
It takes minor heat damage and wastes a round recuperating.
Maybe this could be your lucky break if you take advantage of it...
You don't really have a great deal of comfort when it comes to your name. It brings up bad memories to think about it. You also don't have a rank of any notable kind. You don;t have any organizations to report to or secret societies to enact plans under. For the most part, you're on your own.
You suppose not having *something* to call yourself by is distracting enough though. For this reason you'll give yourself a new title.
You will the call yourself The Curator.
>Curator: What's in that fancy book you stole legally obtained through completely legitimate means?
Ah. Well this book here doesn't really have any significance to you.
It was just that you had to be sure nobody else would be getting their hands on it past this point. It's served as the catalyst you needed it to and you don't want it overstaying its welcome.
Even so, you suppose it wouldn't hurt to take a slight gander at its contents. It's not like you don't already know what's written in it.
"After my extensive detailing on the restrictions that have been put in place, both by nature and by the multitude of governing powers that be, I feel that I must inevitably mention the people currently in power, of whom it would do me (and any who read this) well to both greatly fear and revere.
Those who could be seen as having a governing hand in the society in which I reside are those who have been gifted (or in the opinion of some, cursed?) with the crowns that reside atop their heads. I possess little in terms of acute expertise on the individual histories of these people as I have not laden myself with the task of historian, but of researcher. Regardless, it must be conveyed that, while only a few of these influential people have direct dealings with society at large (with the remainder pursuing their own mysterious goals), every single one retains a great deal of power, bestowed upon them from some as of now unidentifiable source of energy that dwarfs every other that has been discussed in this book thus far.
But I digress; The most interesting mote of interest I have managed to uncover in my investigations is exactly where the crowns have come from. The primeval force that preceded this society’s genesis, and realistically the genesis of all cumulative societies, is of course known to be the Adversary*.
But what if I were to say that, before its supposed demise, the Adversary of legend purposefully delivered itself to a chosen few?
That the crowns that reside upon our leaders' heads were given to them, not by chance, but with purpose?
Would it be conceivable to believe that the crowns act as a collective vessel for this ancient being? The thought disconcerts me thoroughly but recent developments in my various studies have all pointed to this. And of this, I feel it prudent to say that of everything I have revealed thus far and with the exception of a few things that will follow in chapters XI and XIII, this and what will follow on the next few pages may be some of my most dangerous revelations thus far. I hope I can convey the extent to which I put myself at risk to deliver this information to the patient eyes of you, my dear reader. The mere fact that you possess this tome is thanks enough.
(* I feel it necessary to iterate here that the other major force beknownst to us is not relevant in this particular speculation and should you contest otherwise, I would advise you save any particular theological inquiries for Chapter XI where I go more in depth on the topic)"
See? Nothing of any import.
Hell, half the information in the book isn't even relevant yet because these societies mentioned haven't even formed.
Ah well. This book was useful to somebody. Now it's just a matter of letting all the pieces fall into place, be it the next few hours or the next few million years.
You've got time to kill.
Ah, it seems you have a call.
You don't typically receive many calls due to the fact that no phones or really any conventional electronics have been invented yet aside from the tech you've made yourself.
What lost potential? The potential to be completely and surely obliterated in this thing's presence?
Yeah you aren't really shedding any tears over THAT lost potentiality.
>Curator: Examine the broken entity or fallen god, whatever you call it.
You don't know for sure exactly what massive being could have struck down this ancient entity, but you know one thing.
Whatever the circumstances were, it probably wasn't a fair fight.
Really, the fact that this being lies before you dead is an incredible anomaly in and of itself, but that doesn't mean you didn't expect it. You've seen this sort of thing happen before (if very rarely) and it is crucial to what you intend to do. Though just because you were pretty sure doesn't mean you were completely sure.
The important thing is that it's dead. Or at least as dead as it can be.
You've been holding onto this book for a bit now, though as you've already said it's served its purpose as a catalyst.
Now you have to ensure no one else gets it before it's needed.
You don't want to risk causing any weird time shit to happen. Not on your watch.
Ok you don't have a watch, but you do have a clock built into your suit's HUD which is close enough really.
>Curator: Take responsibility.
What a damn shame.
Well now to figure out what to do about this corpse...
>Caveguy: Experience the wondrous new surroundings you now reside in and express your jubilance at your survival of the fall.
Oh god everything hurts and is spinning.
>Caveguy: Experience incredible head pain.
You just feel horrible after that crash. It's nice that you're alive and all, but you wish you weren't feeling so utterly beat over the head.
Your head is killing you.
>Caveguy: Pass out.
Your head trauma overwhelms you.
You lose consciousness.
>Caveguy: Wake up?
Your head is still killing you.
Where are you? Is this some sort of dream?
What is THAT?
>Caveguy: Take a look at "THAT".
You are very unsettled by the thing standing before you.
>Caveguy: Try to understand what that... Thing... is.
You don't know what that thing is.
It seems to be wearing the crown you have with you, or at least a similar one to the one in your possession. Unfortunately you've never seen something like it before so you don't really know what to make of it.
It unnerves you.
Oh dear god.
It seems that the thing before you was not its final form.
What's it doing with its arm?
It's kinda rearing it back almost like it's going to...
>Caveguy?: Reveal yourself to be Aaron A. Anderson.
That doesn't really sound right. That sounds more like you want to be at the top of lists and the first to be called on in high school attendance. You don't recall that being one of your talents so it probably isn't that.
>Caveguy?: Be Charles Garrison.
That... kinda sounds right? Part of it does at least. You aren't sure if it's the front or the back though. Whatever.
You will, at least for now, refer to yourself as CHARLES GARRISON.
It seems that you are having DIFFICULTIES REMEMBERING THINGS after a recent tremor. You wonder what could have caused it? Aside from that you seem to be recalling certain personal affinities for MECHANICS and LAMPS. They both seem to be equal in importance to you, though your second affinity is likely not a priority of other people. God your head is such porridge right now, it's just abysmal.
>CG?: What is that odd machine/box?
Your memories are returning to you slowly but surely.
The box in front of you is a power station you think. It should have not only power breakers for the area you're in but it should also have minor manual overrides for the power flow to nearby electronics and rooms.
Though it seems to be locked, you get the sense that it isn't really locked. You have an unsubstantiated hunch about this...
>CG?: Act on hunch.
You give the box a healthy thwack and the door pops open with ease.
Now you have access to the juicy innards within.
You are getting the ever increasing inclination to believe you may be some sort of world class engineer. Or maybe just like a minimum wage mechanic or something.
One or the other.
>CG?: Investigate juicy mechanical innards.
You decide to gauge what is going on in here so don't accidentally flip the wrong switch and violently kill yourself.
It seems that the power flow is shut off for some reason, despite the lights in the room being on. They must be wired to a different system. But what system is this one wired to?
Opening the fuse box panel you can tell that this box powers two rooms directly and two utilities directly. You have no idea what each is specifically and in fact you can only see two fuses still intact. One of the fuses is missing and the other must have short-circuited when the tremor happened. You can't really tell what each does what until you flip the power switch.
>CG?: Note that one fuse is missing and one is broken.
Well yes, you do think those two factoids were readily apparent upon opening the fuse box.
Though you do have to wonder why the fuses are like this. You can understand one shorting out, that happens often enough to be excusable. Though you aren't sure why exactly the ELV fuse is missing.
Was someone replacing it before you got here but didn't get around to the replacing part of the job? Or could someone have removed it because someone didn't want this particular circuit to be closed? You aren't sure and that troubles you a bit.
>CG?: Replace the ALRM circuit with one of the other fuses. They probably aren't important right?
You aren't really sure what any of these circuits are for. Maybe if you had some sort of CIRCUIT GUIDE for the facility you're in you would be able to identify all these random wires and fuses.
Regardless you decide to replace the busted ALRM fuse with the SCT3 fuse. You don't really know why you are prioritizing one circuit over the other when you have no idea what any of them are actually supposed to do, but whatever.
The dumber your actions the better the potential payoff will be probably maybe.
>CG?: Try replace ELV before you kill yourself.
The ELV slot kinda weirds you out to be honest. You just aren't too sure why it is as empty as it is. Is it important? Will powering it cause some terrible and unpredictable chain of events to transpire?
You aren't sure and you are kinda scared to find out. You think you'll go ahead and leave it be until you're more sure about its purpose.
>CG?: FLIP THE SWITCH YOU ABSOLUTE MADMAN.
You go ahead and flip the circuit switch, re-enabling the power flow. Maybe now you'll be able to see what these circuits actually do.
"-ARROWS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FACILITY #12 IS NOW IN BUILDING-WIDE EMERGENCY. PLEASE HEAD TO THE NEAREST APOLLYON-CLASS SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. THE VARROWS CORPORATE DIRECTORS HAVE BEGUN TAKING APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO ENSURE FACULTY AND FACILITY SAFETY. REMAIN CALM AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. THIS MESSAGE WILL NOW REPEAT. VARROWS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FACILITY 12# IS NOW-"
Maybe you hit your head a little harder than you thought...
>CG?: Try replacing ELV this time; you've got nothing better to do at the moment.
Yeah why not, fuck it.
You switch the fuse from STR47 to ELV.
You go ahead and restart the power again, this time with no immediate consequences. Thank god. Hopefully this actually does something constructive.
>CG?: Search the fuckin room.
There... isn't really anything else to search for in this room?
What you see is what you got and there ain't all that much here.
>CG?: Maybe you should just leave already. There isn't really anything else to do here, at least not immediately.
Yeah you think you've exhausted the things you can do in this room short of blowing up the power box and electrocuting yourself to death.
You think you'll just head to the exit and maybe find some more concrete answers as to where you are.
>CG?: Head down hallway.
You walk down the hallway for a little while with little to note.
Finally it seems you stumbled upon something slightly noteworthy.
If your hunch is right, these are some industrial-sized maintenance vents. There's likely a room nearby with relatively complex machinery nearby that has these vents here to offer a space for repairs and maintenance in a discrete manner.
You are becoming increasingly convinced as time passes that you are in a service hallway or maintenance tunnel of some sort. If you wandered around here a while you would probably find your way to the main facility as opposed to these back alleys. Maybe that's where the exit leads.
>CG?: Examine industrial vent.
This vent seems to be extremely sturdy. You doubt you would be able to break it down if the need arose. Luckily there is a small panel here for opening and closing the two vents here, so you can spare your poor meat fists the pain of punching pure steel shutters.
>CG?: Satisfy curiosity and crack open the vents.
Yeah why not.
Maybe there will be something useful stowed away in the secret hidey-hole here.
You haven't seen anything. The implication that you could have ever seen anything is a scandalous statement that only the worst dregs of society would even dare insinuate. Besides that you now in fact remember you are blind. A slight blunder on your part to only recall this now, but no one is above small mistakes, even good men like you.
If anything the situation is somewhat funny. Oh what a goof you are! Ha ha ha...
You are getting the fuck out of here as fast as physically possible.
>Finely Dressed Brute: Bust through the wall vent like Kool-Aid Man.
>CG?: Rapidly acclimate yourself to the new perilous situation you find yourself in.