Tales of Redemption

Deacon

By IzaneBricks

I’ve met a rather motley crue made up of a Borg, Crazy, Mechanic, Mage, and ex-Soldier. There is no question that these are the people I have been tracking since Hope Springs. The Cyber Knight recently left their group before I made contact…perhaps some sort of disagreement? It is of little consequence. He will not escape your justice by my hand. These men will pay for the atrocities they have committed; you need not worry my Lord.

I have infiltrated their group by attaching myself to the mage via a money debt. They have accepted me with little resistance. We have taken a job to investigate a borg chop shop in the town of Eido and it’s surrounding area which led to a house fire apparently caused by a ghostly “white bison”. I suspect there is idol worship in the town, but they will have to await judgment as the matter I am dealing with is of far greater importance.

Following that lead, we ventured into the forest until you appeared to us and advised us that we were looking in the wrong place. It must have been grave importance to have revealed yourself to those unworthy of your presence. Forgive my impertinence for I do not wish to question your grace.

While we awaited further orders from Teir 22, we looked into the bounty on “Mad Dog” Gunthrie. The others deemed it too dangerous. I believe that the “Mad Dog” is not guilty of what he has been accused of. There is something fishy about the E-Light guard and I wonder if it is a front for something more sinister.

Lord, you are my savior and I shall not want. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. Guide my hand to smite your enemies and strike down your foes.
I am forever your loyal servant.

Amen

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Crosslog Entry 6
Cross Operator
Nathan Cross

the video screen comes on and for the first time in several weeks, Cross has a grin on his face. Holding in one hand in front of the camera is some unknown part for something, which he’s currently admiring to some degree

“Nice to have at least a half a bit of luck roll my way for once. Seems ever since I got pulled in with Drew and his knight friend there, ive been bouncing from mess to another without hardly anytime to get stuff done. Now normally that aint no nevermind to myself, but i like to have a day or so before some durn fool comes shootin’ at me for whatever reason. Still, cant say this hasn’t turned up a small amount of profit for me.”

leans back in the chair and puts the device down

“Seems after while we were waiting for our business to conclude in Edo, we got ourselves a job to head up north and basically deal with some problems those folks was having with monsters or somesuch. We head up north only it werent monsters, or maybe it was and those damn fools deserved it. Still, got in during a fire and we tried to track down what started it, which according to them was a Glowing White Buffalo. With the monsters round these parts, cant say i be all that surprised about it. Still, we was paid to take a look and during our investigating, got point back at the burning house, or at least what was left of it. Damn macabre lookin’ chop shop for cybernetic and bionic parts. We found em out and the townsfolk were gettin mighty eager to have us all on out of there, bout then that lizard lookin’ fella Jim from the cookhouse in Edo showed up and advised us all to head on back to the fella we got the job from in the first place, let him know what was goin on. Gentlemen goes by the name of Vince, seems like the decent sort. Told what we knew and he paid us. Works just fine for me.
"course i left out the part about the run in with them north bugs. seems they was hunting the little bastards that got let out of the rift by Groc’s hole in the ground. damned if i care though, one bug’s as good as another when youre scrapin it off the bottom of your boot. Also we figgered on checkin out a bounty while in Edo. ‘cept i got me a feelin about the folks offerin the bounty. not that it wasnt right or whatever. personally i dont rightly care about a gentle’s politics or his business. long as theyre offering payment, i go where i go. course like i said, i had a funny feelin like if we followed through, the ones offering such a hefty price wouldnt be. and from what i could tell, werent any member of the black market round to tell em otherwise if something went wrong. so i was willing to let it lay. rest of our little fun group decided to get themselves some R&R anyway, while i was busy finishing some patches on the Outrider and the APC we picked up at the compound a couple days back.
“damned if i know who started it. prolly either that whacknut Hastings or that curious preacher, but not more’n a couple hours after they started out, they came running back yelling about getting shot at. Hell, Hastings jumped up into the Outrider still carrying a dead body.”

cross stays quiet a sec thinking about something

“Yeah, its his fault. still, morning comes round and i meet up with this other fella jim. yeah, another one, and he’s the one i made arrangements with for trade and parts. Got most of what i need now. Just need to find me a place, a town or something where aint no one shooting at me for a week or so, and i should be ready to head down south to Kingsdale. yeah, last i thought about it, Old Bones might be the place to go. Maybe even stopping outside the imperium and selling off that SAMAS and getting those cyberparts i been wantin’. dont rightly know what im gonna do from there.

“Guess we’ll see what comes, wont we?”

Cross leans back and doesnt bother touching anything as the camera shuts itself off

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Sir Joshuah's Journal Entry #9

Sir Joshuah Malley

We’re just outside Edo in a parking lot gathering our berrings. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up. I miss the days of traveling alone on the trail with the occasional companion. In those days I didn’t have to worry half as much as I did about the “right” of my actions. There was no way the few of us could have helped so many. In an effort to make ourselves useful, we began to investigate the ruins…until we were attacked by the Helicopter. Drew took some heavy damage, but he’ll survive. He’s strong.

Once it was taken care of and we turned our attention back, a group of mysterious men in chrome SAMAS landed and asked us to stay out of their way. I wonder who they are. They did not seem malicious, but rather interested in taking care of their task and nothing else. Were they looking for someone? Grok perhaps? They deserve further investigation. I wonder if the others have seen such a thing before.

Sometimes I ask myself, “Why am I here” and the answer comes “to ensure the orb does not fall into the wrong hands.” It’s late now, I better get some sleep.

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Hasting - "Diary of a Madman" Entry #2
Hastings

Hastings

He rides silently in the passenger seat of the outrider. Well, no, that is a lie. He is currently humming a children’s song while juggling e-clips in the passenger seat of the outrider, but to Hastings there isn’t any noise. He saw them today. Among the wreckage, among the ruin. They were following him, he was sure of this now. Fire was their weakness, but all he had were his swords. Yes, when they got to Edo, that is where the chauffeur said they were going, he’d have to invest in some fire.

They must have been the ones who called down the fire from the sky. And yet there they were among the ruins feasting on the thousands of dead bodies. He was terrified! Had he been alone he was not sure what he would have done. “How could the others just walk past them?” He wondered in his silence. They must not know what they are. They must not be aware of the dangers. Thinking back it was all so clear now. They controlled the world, they were always there behind the scenes, behind the power, pulling the strings. No, he must not tell the others – they could be working with them.

He pauses his rendition of “I kill you, you kill me” (those were the lyrics right?) to let out a sigh. Eventually they would kill him, he knows this now. They will take him out, but not before he takes out as many of them as possible. They would all suffer, they would all burn.

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Crosslog Entry 5
Cross Operator

Nathan Cross

video screen turns on as Cross drops down into the eat in front of the camera, wearing the helmet of the Juicer armor he patched up. Taking the helmet off, Cross rakes his fingers through his unruly brown hair, hair and face streaked with sweat stains from having worn the armored helmet for so long. Then scratches at the beginning of a beard before looking into the camera and taking a deep breath. The haunted and tired expression plainly evident as the Operator takes a few moments to compose himself. Shifts and pushes the pulse rifle slung over his shoulder out of the way, finally deciding to take it off and put the damned thing down to the side.

“I fix things. I go where i please, do what i want and keep to the road so aint no one who can tell me otherwise. ‘Swhy i left the ’Stique. Got my share of killing bugs and firefights out of my system, even ran into a few magic men and psi-stalker types out near Tolkeen. I get it into my head to deal out a little self righteous justice, and seems someone else had it in mind to blast that sunnuva bug Groc themselves. I mean a big GORRAM LASER FROM SPACE blew up bad boy Groc’s little hidey hole! and what’s more, seems the bastard survived it. Seems i just cant bring myself to care no more about that right now. We barely got out of their with our hides intact. Hell, that there fella Drew lost one arm and blew up most of the other. Damn knows what else is broken and blown up. My Outrider near blown to damnation.”

Cross calms down and looks back at all the equipment and junk lying around the cargo area of the Outrider

“We pulled ourselves into this little place called ‘Edo’. Seems it’s got its share of Coalition bugs crawling through the city, but aint nearly bad as some of the other places i been of late. Damn Magic Zone. Cant wait to offload this stuff and make my way to a real city where we dont have to put up with this… well, guess there really aint a place where we won’t run into some damned unnatural insanity. Times like these, the CS seem almost reasonable. Weren’t for all the magic running rampant, seems our world would almost be liveable.”

“Only good things to come out of this were we picked up another vehicle. A northern gun APC. Decent model took some damage, i can fix ‘er up. only question is whether or not the rest of them are gonna wanna keep or sell the blasted thing. Works either way for me, long as i get what’s mine. Don’t know what these folk are doing, but soon as im able, im gonna head on up to Old Bones. Even the long way round shouldnt take a week to make it on up there. I make it up there, there’s a couple of docs willing to do the work i need, might even be a few folk with some work for a mechanic.”

Cross picks up the helmet and looks in the visor and sees his reflection. Winces at the mess his face has become and looks back at the sink

“Gonna wash my face before we head into town. But ill be damned if im gonna be wandering around through anywhere with Dead Boys without my helmet on. Hope there’s a decent hotel here.”

The operator starts to get up, then makes a note of something in his toolbag, pulls out the device that he’d been studying for too long, the thing everybody had been chasing the group for

“Ive studied this thing from stem to stern. Something to do with a killer satellite, and i watched a big beam of death come down out of the sky for someone else who wanted it. Not to mention th long line of dead people because of this thing.”

Cross puts the globe down just out of sight of the camera, backs up as he stands up and pulls out his Laser pistol sidearm and pull the trigger three times in rapid succession, shooting the device. Satisfied he reholsters the pistol and sits back down.

“Biggest thing isnt wondering who gets it, but if someone should get it. And ill be damned if im gonna let someone else get that thing.”

a tired and weary Cross flicks off the camera before heading out to find a hotel with a nice, soft bed to sleep in.

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Johnathan Reily Logbook Entry #3
Johnathan Reily

Johnathan “Trigger” Reily

recorder on… <click>

<crackle> as i record this I’m speeding my way into a compound formerly owner and occupied by a miscreant named Grok. This facility has been layed to waste by a beam of energy so potent, it could not have come from planet side. my traveling companions have stated that large ki<crackle>alite could have been the cause…There are injured and dying that need attending to, priority 1.

Equipment may be salvageable but time is of the essence, by my accounts the coalition wont be long in getting here, and i don’t want to have to face them down and “explain” to those fu<crackle> what happened, priority 2

The beam’s devastation produced a rift in which thousands of bugs escaped. The bugs have fled and are of no immediate threat, priority 3 <crackle>

recorder off… <click>

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Hastings - "Diary of a Madman"
Hastings

Hastings

Today had been boring. Driving in the rover hadn’t been that exciting and the brief chase through the woods had barely given Hastings a chance to stretch his legs. He was happy to finally be at the compound, not so much out of a need for revenge, though from what he heard of Groc, Hastings would have no problem slowly killing the man. No, Hastings was damn bored and wanted some fun. He waited idly while the rest of them ‘planned and plotted’ his hands stroking the gun he was holding, his blades carefully stashed about his person.

Then it had happened. The sky opened and let forth a wave of destruction the likes of which Hastings had never seen. From the stunned silence of those around him it appeared the others had never witnessed it before either.

Hastings watched the laser beam play across the field with an almost childlike face of amusement. “It is dancing” he thinks to himself as the light darts lightly across the ground twisting and spinning with no determinant course, like a man made tornado causing a random path of utter destruction. Then as suddenly as it had appeared it was gone, the flames left behind to continue the destruction with their own dance, not the graceful swirl of the laser beam, but more of a steady marching band plodding across a field with occassional flourishes and twists as the flames are buffeted by the wind.

His lips draw down into a frown, not so much at the disappointment of the wanton destruction taking place before his eyes, but at the fact that the pretty laser beam is gone. He lets out a sign and glances at the party around him taking in their assorted facial expressions like a connoisseur of human emotion. He doesn’t see much, masked horror mostly. The borg as usually doesn’t have much to read, and Cross looks pissed as always. He shrugs and turns back to the carnage.

He is rewarded by the beginning of another light show. The sky crackles and dances with strange lightning as the Rift begins to open. He’d only seen leylines a few times in his life and in his travels and never actually seen the openning of a rift. Around him he hears whispered curses, and he feels the mood of despair. He watches again with bemusement as the sky morphs and the clouds part, not revealing the sun, but a strange world. The lightning is blotted out as the creatures begin to spill forth. There dances are at least more entertaining than the fire, as they scurry from body to body devouring flesh of both the living and the dead. The borg next to him begins to fire and Hastings thinks this isn’t a terrible idea.

He takes off his rifle and begins to focus in on targets. A bug here, a bug there, a half eaten human now and then (hey it is a mercy of sorts). His head swivels left and right and a faint giggle escapes his lips as he shots target after target. His gun pivots towards the forest edge and picks a squirrel of a branch before knocking down a few more bugs. Perhaps today isn’t going to be so boring after all.

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Drew's Mental Logs #4
Andrew Logan

Begin internal diagnostic. Focus on left arm.

Hope Springs was a fiasco. The villian got away. The townsfolk chased us out. My bike was destroyed. Found out Nickel is a mage. Left arm is not right.

Internal diagnostic still in progress.

We part ways with the dogboy. He was badly hurt but still functional. Declined to join our troupe.

No unusual radio activity detected.

Internal diagnostic completed. Excessive stresses placed on left arm. Additional stress could cause fracture. I frown. This was not good news.

Arrival at camp. Trent was seduced into magic by a mage. My family is ruined because of a mage. I am what I am today because of a mage.

Nickel is a mage.

I walk up to Nickel and let him know what I feel about him. Josh asks me not to end his life like I should. I respect his wishes and comply.

I keep thinking of that mage Lars. And his face when I hit him. And Trent’s betrayal. I spend the rest of the night trying to determine if I did something wrong. Every path of disaster keeps coming back to meeting that mage. I did nothing wrong, despite Trent’s final words to me.

Morning arrives. We move out. Armor is damage but functional. Weapons are reloaded. I match pace with Cross’ Outrider. We head towards what we believe is Grok’s compound.

A robot patrol attacks us. We defeat them. There are humans directing them. One gets away in a helicoptor. Others are captured. They provide little information.We strip them and leave them behind.

Everyone spends time arguing over how to change the plan. I decide to scout ahead. Cross is angry at me leaving. Good. Maybe he’ll spend less time talking and more time acting. He asks me to stop before reaching the compound. I comply.

Exactly 30.0 miles are travelled. Estimate this spot to be 10.0 miles from the base.

Brodkill are present. They are burying something. I try to stay hidden. They spot me and advance. instead of attacking they talk to me.

Universal translator searches… language found. Translating from Eruo now.

The monsters tell me the creature riding warrior women we have seen previously are robots. I radio this information back to the group. They act as shocked as I feel over both the info and the fact that the brodkill communicate with me. The monsters leave. I check what they were burying. Some kind of rapidly decaying body. I quickly re-bury it.

I do some minor scouting. Discover nothing unusual. The crew takes 22 minutes to reach my position.

With the group arrived we move closer to the base. At the edge of the forest we spot it. The weather is getting bad. Nickel warns us of an impending Ley-Line storm.

I hate magic.

The monster riding women who are robots are attacking the base. There is a device of some kind on top that glows before being destroyed. Then it happens.

Holy shit.

Just like Cross predicted. A giant laser beam comes from the sky, destroying everything it touches. Many people appear to be dying. I am too stunned to move. The beam cuts a seemingly random path of destruction and death through the Earth.

I can hear the screams and pleas of the dying.

The robots leave. The survivors are picked off by bugs that emerge from a sudden Rift. I shoot at the bugs. They die but there are too many. The bugs disperse.

We are left to stare at the carnage left behind. We could not make a difference during the events. Can we now?

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SIr Joshuah's Journal #8

Sir Joshuah Malley

It started off well enough with a simple plan. Cross had rigged up two of the recovered robots to work under his control. We would send them in advance for recon and to disable the headbands. We would then move in during the confusion and find those responsible for the crimes against humanity.

If only things would go as smoothly as they do on paper. First, we came under attack from a couple robots and soldiers who were not on a normal patrol route. They were easily dispatched (although the helicopter got away), and Cross was able to extract information about the camp from them. Unfortunately, our approach was no longer a surprise.

Drew ran ahead to scout, but ten miles to the camp he came into a clearing where he was spotted by Broodkill. Lucky for him they were more interested in running away from something rather than killing. He radioed us to relay what he had learned, but we could hear a battle ensuing behind him. I was worried he may have gotten himself into trouble, but as we approached we realized something bigger was going on here.

The ladies on the dinobots were attacking the complex. So much for the plan. Suddenly something felt wrong as I watched the dome in the complex glow and fade. Like a finger from God a solid pillar of light reached down and touched the earth.

As the white fire from the sky cut through the camp like a surgeon’s knife in the care of a madman, I felt a little bile in my throat at the sheer awesome display of power. The light lasted for only thirty seconds, but never have I seen so much chaos in my lifetime. Approximately a quarter mile away, I was helpless to assist the escaping masses. What could I do? To add insult to injury the deaths amplified the leyline storm culminating in the opening of a Rift.

Like a mouth, the Rift opened and drooled black figures into the compound. There must have been thousands of them. The rift closed and as they emerged from the ruins, I felt their hunger as if it were my own — a pain deep inside. No other emotion emanated from them…just pure unrelenting hunger. The survivors still on the outskirts of the city were devoured by the “bugs”. Drew opened fire on the black bugs as soon as they appeared in the field, and following his lead I joined him. It seemed as if the gunfire was making them keep their distance from us, and before we knew it, all the bugs had vanished into the forest.

After witnessing those events, several questions come to mind:

What the hell is Grok doing that would incite such an ruthless attack? We learned that the dinoriders are not human, but rather robots. Who do they work for if not Grok? Is what happened here the same thing that happened to Columb? What would cause the Broodkill to be so scared? Is this the power of the orbs?

In any case, if we want to check the ruins, we had better get a move on. The beam probably acted like a beacon and this place will be swarming with Coalition very soon.

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Sir Joshuah's Journal Entry #7

Sir Joshuah Malley

I knew the people out to get us were bad, but I did not realize they would go to such lengths! Wendell’s daughter was murdered…and they made her do it. Using a mind control device, they made her pull the pin while Duke tried to rescue her taking them both out. Groc and his men have committed an unforgivable sin, and they will pay a grave penance for it. We must not lash out in anger or rage, but rather keep steady and thoughtful. He is a powerful enemy and we’ll need to work together to bring him down.

The lizard man Hastings and Drew sensed disturbs me a little. Is he friend or foe? Hastings said he’s been around us before, sometime in Dayton and Cross is of the mind it is not the same lizard man we released in Middletown. After what happened in that cave, I always thought something would come of it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

We were sidetracked by the sound of wagons approaching. Gene and I made our way down the road to scout it out. Something was off about them, but they seemed harmless. They had a brief conversation with Drew before moving on down the road. Not too long afterwards, a lone man came walking back. He said his name was Nickle and that the caravan had been attacked by enormous beasts. Everyone was dead. Dangerous beasts such as these should not be allowed to roam and attack freely along the road. We left Cross, Gene, and Wendell behind while the rest of us went to vanquish the beasts.

They stood little chance against us. Drew headed back, Nickle and Hastings salvaged the horns, and the three of us headed over to John and buried the bodies. Once we were all back, it seems Cross had salvaged two robots from the wreckage and had located the general area of the camp that was controlling them. We stayed the night at the camp and in the morning, headed in the direction with Cross in the lead. It will take us a day or two to reach it if nothing gets in our way.

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