Art of Domination Thread 04

Art of Domination Thread 04
Art of Domination Thread 04
Please read this first before you go on:

Art of Domination began life on the mspaforums, which as of this writing still remains inactive. I’ve decided to quit waiting for it to come back and instead I will continue this adventure on

In the event that mspaforums returns, I will update this story on both websites and accept suggestions from both.

If this is your first time experiencing Art of Domination, then I recommend you check out the mirror, though it isn’t up to date with the latest posts before the mspaforums went into a coma:

Here’s a quick recap:


Here is also a dropbox link for almost everything I've made for the adventure before this point:

Quick tutorial on how things usually proceed:

Almost every update ends with a set of choices. If the phrase ‘Something else’ appears, players are free to add their own suggestion as to what the currently-controlled character should do next.

Every in-game week, the players get income in the form of Resource Points to use for building/recruiting new units for their invasion force.

With all that over with, let’s continue!


The Skyshadows fly away with the intel, and your Spec Ops encounter no problems getting the last bits of data before fully withdrawing.

Cpt. Selev: Commander, the Car of Destiny has been neutralized.

You: Any casualties on our side?

Cpt. Selev: None, ma'am, but there was one hell of an explosion.

[Image: NV4GrDG.jpg]

Cpt. Selev: The explosion itself was visible on camera though. I thought these things were based in psychics?

Feathers: Bacterial explosion, perhaps. It's possible that the resulting psionic outburst caused surrounding micro-organisms to spontaneously combust.

Rainhar: But they don't even have brains!

Feathers: Quite, but psionics affects all living organics on some level, even if they lack neurons. Whatever the Car of Destiny is made of, it's powerful enough to even affect brainless creatures.

Rainhar: Okay, pause for a second. How, exactly, DOES psionics work?

Feathers: Here is the simplest way to explain it: Organic creatures emit and receive a form of energy that can only be received by other organics. Potential energy and chemical energy can be converted into psionic energy, and can be converted again into a more tangible form once it is received by a living creature. Psionics can be detected by non-living things, but only because the transmission from organism to organism is lossy; a little of that energy can manifest itself into heat or sound.

Rainhar looks exasperated, but still paying attention.

Feathers: We don't fully understand why it works, but psionics affects every living creature regardless of whether they have brains or not. With sufficient power a psionic weapon can cause a creature's cells to ignite by overloading it with energy.

You: NOW you explain this?

Feathers: I only recently understood this after seeing a bit of the data your forces brought back. I had speculation on its mechanics, but not hard facts.

Rainhar: I have to ask this: Is there a unit of measurement for this stuff? Like, how much power would be enough to ignite people?

Feathers: In Region One, they measured psionic strength in Fikir. Fikir was chosen as it is Malay for 'Think', and to ignite a cluster of cells you would require at least 800 Fikir, far more than any ordinary human brain would be able to emit. For reference, an average human being, with full focus, should be able to generate between 10 to 16 Fikir.

You: So there might be a cluster of psychics just conjuring these Cars of Destiny up from thin air?

Feathers: Possible. Psionics can be gathered to form a visible weapon, but it must demand a lot of time and effort to create one. To conjure a weapon that can remain stable for a long time, especially so.

You shift your focus to the troops on the ground.

Grenda: Commander, the airstrikes hit the mark. The sword-portal thing sent one back but the rest wrecked him.

You: Is the General dead?

Grenda: Hard to say, Commander. There’s uh, a big, whirling, glowing vortex of-

You: Grenda, just withdraw!

Grenda: Right away!

You: Ghulls, how are we on the evac? Is everyone upright?

Ghulls: All soldiers and PMCs are accounted for, nobody's gone missing.

You: Okay, good. We'll have to end the operation here. If they got more Generals and Boss monsters, I don't want our troops to stick around and find out.

Rainhar: We should leave booby traps behind, though. Maybe post scouts to routinely check out what's going on.

Hawkeyes: We already got a bunch of bombs hidden under the snow and some debris. If they're planning on rebuilding these labs, it's not gonna be anytime soon.

Ghulls: We'll post scouts later after we've done the evacuation; right now the enemy is on high alert and they've sent more creatures to comb the whole region.

You: Good. Everyone, we’ll leave for now. Let me know if we find any more gaps in their security.


Operation Complete!

No casualties on our side

Items Recovered:

Databoxes (Sent to Processing)
Alone (Inactive)
Woman with Green Hair, the Murderhouse survivor (Unconscious)

Operation was a success, despite the surprise horde and the appearance of a hitherto unknown enemy. We were able to recover massive amounts of intel and were able to substantially hamper the enemy's research efforts in developing new weaponry.


WEEK 6, DAY 3, 08 33 hours

Dr. Ushah: Commander, we need to talk about the green-haired woman we rescued from the Murderhouse.

You: What about her?

Dr. Ushah: After thorough examination, we’ve all come to the conclusion that she isn’t human.

You: What do you mean?

Dr. Ushah: Her cells have no DNA. They LOOK like human cells, but under close scrutiny they’re not even organic.

You: The hell?

Dr. Ushah: That’s not all. If you give her cells an electrical shock, they actually change shape and texture.

You: Then what does this mean? She's a shape-shifter? Like Max?

Dr. Ushah: More than that, Commander. We analyzed her lymph nodes, and they're actually nanomachine generators. Tiny factories.

You: What do these nanomachines do?

Dr. Ushah: Frankly? Nothing. They're all malformed, either incomplete or with so many parts sticking out that they can't do anything. There’s more, though. Her brain structure is bizarre. Look at this scan of her brain.

[Image: tyX9dI7.jpg]

You: It... I'm pretty sure human brains don’t look like that.

Dr. Ushah: Yes, exactly. If we were to cut her cranium open, we would find a gel-like form instead of a proper cerebral cortex. Instead, it's a network of microscopic computers, all of it doing their best to behave like a human brain despite having a very different structure.

You: So does this mean she's an Autonomous Nanocolony Operative? Like we saw in the enemy’s files?

Dr. Ushah: Most likely yes, but a failed one. She cannot manufacture any viruses or other form of harmful bioweapons.

You: Is she conscious? Sentient?

Dr. Ushah: Yes. Give her ordinary clothes and she could pass for an ordinary young lady. She is fully aware of her status as an artificial creature, and claims she was specifically created to kill as many people as possible.

You: Is she hostile to us now?

Dr. Ushah: No, and that's part of why they considered her a failure. She was not convinced of their reasoning that the Saramis Alliance posed an existential threat to humanity. Since she was also unable to read the Art of Domination due to her nature as a nanocolony, they couldn't brainwash her either.

You: So, what, they just threw her into the Murderhouse?

Dr. Ushah: Not quite. The ‘house’ just appeared in her holding cell, and swallowed her up without anyone's intervention. They may have expected her to just die off. Oh, and with regards to the house's interior, the subject claims she has no memory of it. She does not know why her feet were severely injured and full of oak splinters, nor why she was suffering from dehydration and exhaustion.

You: Does she have a name?

Dr. Ushah: Emmy. No last name. They didn't give her a serial number or something like that because they wanted her to get used to infiltrating colonies. Having a name to answer to was meant to make it easier. The idea was that these operatives would be sent into colonies as stowaways and give the cover story of running away from Saramis soldiers. Then the nanomachine generators would activate once the subject is in the middle of a large crowd. Any dead skin cells on the epidermis would be re-configured and turned into a plague, spread by touch.

You: A walking virus generator.

Dr. Ushah: Right. Luckily for us, Emmy is co-operative and has consented to give us tissue samples. Though her nanomachines are defective, they are still very sophisticated and have opened up a new avenue of research. We’ve been able to come up with some useable designs and we’d like your feedback on which of these projects we should prioritize on.


(Select one. The project will be completed at the start of next week (Week 7)

1 - Healing-grenade: The nanomachines can be used to heal wounds rapidly, and we’ve come up with a design that would allow these tiny devices to be spread airborne and repair damaged cells. We need further testing and programming to make it capable of saving troops from critical condition without causing trauma or risk the creation of tumors.

2 -Gun-mounted Ammunition Factory: Meant to serve as an emergency device, the GAF can generate ammunition out of almost any material inserted into it. Stone bullets, bone bullets, iron bullets, all possible as long as the material is there. Though they will be less effective than our standard ammunition, it will give our troops a chance if they were cut off from supplies. It will also allow Spec Ops teams to operate for a very long time. In the future, we might be able to create one that can build simple energy cells for laser weapons.

3 - Poisonbane: A pill that can recognize poison inside a person’s body and prevent it from spreading further by surrounding the poison and forcing them out via the gut. Poisonous substances that traditionally have no antidote can now be countered. Might help us foil assassination attempts or installed on our Biochemical Attack Response Armor as filters.

4 - Blob Drone: Remote-controlled blobs with camera-orbs that can move through any hole that’s at least one inch wide. These semi-organic machines can serve as scouts by entering tiny holes as well as maintain surveillance by hiding in tiny nooks and crevices. They have no offensive capability but they are difficult to destroy without the use of fire or electricity.

5 - Cover Blob: The Cover Blob is able to block enemy projectiles and tests have shown considerable resistance to laser-based weapons. It can be ordered via electrical signals to move alongside a friendly unit. The cover blob can be installed onto vehicles and deployed when the unit is under fire, adding another layer of protection behind our energy-based shields. For infantry units, the Cover Blob can also be used to block off paths and create bottlenecks.

6- Synthetic Agent: The Synthetic Agent is our version of the enemy’s Nanomachine colony operative. Our version lacks the capability of manufacturing bioweapons, but has considerable shapeshifting capability. They can be used as decoys or spotters for our units. They can also be placed within civilian communities as spies. However, they lack sentience and require a living pilot to control it from afar.

RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
can't decide between 5 or 6
[Image: Iv0bTLS.png]
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Hmm. Would the Poisonbane be able to defend against those Pretender worms? We have equipment to protect our soldiers from them, but it might be good for noncombat operatives or to help civilian populations. (It could be useful for civilian populations in general.)

I can't see an immediate need filled by any of the other options, but maybe I'm forgetting something. I guess the laser protection offered by the Cover Blob might be helpful against the Triple-Cores.

Other than that, these mostly fall under "nice to have" rather than allowing us to deal with problems we've been facing. If we don't have a specific need (and maybe we do but I'm forgetting about it), I'd be inclined to go with Poisonbane for the potential benefit to civilians.

I guess the healing grenade falls under that category, too. Civilians don't really need to throw grenades at each other, but presumably we could work out other delivery systems for their use.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-22-2016, 04:49 AM)Dragon Fogel Wrote: »Hmm. Would the Poisonbane be able to defend against those Pretender worms?

Yes. Poisonbane can recognize Pretender eggs and neutralize them.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
We don't have a proper counter to pretenders once someone's infested, so I'm going to vote for 3. 5 would be nice to get afterwards as a better counter to lasers though.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Hi! I always meant to start reading this adventure, but there was so many threads to catch up so I kept it on the backlog. Thanks for that handy recap to bring me up to speed, but I still have some questions:

-What is the Murderhouse? Is it the destroyed research site for artificial life, and was it affiliated with the Terran Federation or Robert North?
-What's Car of Destiny?
-Where is Vora retreating to? What's her base of operations and what are the forces available to her?
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Okay, the basic answer to the first two questions is "the enemy makes some messed-up stuff".

The Murderhouse is an ordinary-looking house that appears out of nowhere, catches people inside it, and leaves them dead. Though it's not certain what happens inside, circumstantial evidence suggests it makes them run for a very long time. It appeared suddenly here and dumped Emmy out, we just happened to be on-scene in time to save her. We actually don't have any concrete evidence that it's one of North's projects; we know very little about it overall.

The Car of Destiny is a car that doesn't seem to actually exist. It drives through things and causes explosions? I may be misremembering, it's been a while since it was originally explained. From the most recent update, it seems to be a very powerful psionic projection.

Our base of operations is in Region 3. Troop details will have to wait for Mayu, unless someone else has been keeping careful notes and posts them here.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-23-2016, 03:15 PM)tronn Wrote: »-Where is Vora retreating to? What's her base of operations and what are the forces available to her?

A map of the planet:
[Image: Et4FBE9.jpg]

Vora's base of operations is in Region 3. Region 4 is also now under her control.

*An asterisk denotes that they are new arrivals sent by Lagantis.

Saramis Alliance Regular Army Troops

From General Madnas Kotoro Each battalion, saramis and human alike will now be provided with rapid combat vehicles (Sahela-9). The Sahela-9 has room for 6 people; 5 soldiers per squad and 1 passenger. More information on the Sahela-9 can be found in the Ground Vehicles Section of the Omni-Factory Production List.

Battalion 1 - Lt. Malino
Battalion 2 - Lt. Fadar
Battalion 3 - Lt. Kassar
Battalion 4 - Lt. Jagal
Battalion 5 - Lt. Marad
Battalion 6 - Lt. Hatak - Currently guarding Fortress Cyrano in Region 4
Battalion 7 - Lt. Lais
Battalion 8 - Lt. Zoko
Battalion 9 - Lt. Sivo
Battalion 10 - Lt. Varas - Currently guarding Fortress Cyrano in Region 4
* Battalion 11 - Lt. Magaro
* Battalion 12 - Lt. Habruk
* Battalion 13 - Lt. Veris
* Battalion 14 - Lt. Kando

Spec Ops 1 - Cpt. Selev
Spec Ops 2 - Cpt. Krad
* Spec Ops 3 - Cpt. Filis

* Commander’s Vanguard - Maj. Gordov

Saramis Alliance Human Army Troops

Human Battalion 1 - Lt. Mirrorsmith
Human Battalion 2 - Lt. Carve
Human Militia 1 - Sgt. Saval

Saramis Alliance Ground Vehicles

Volcano Tank - Sunshine
Volcano Tank - Lollipops - Currently guarding Fortress Cyrano
Volcano Tank - Rainbows
*Volcano Tank - Screamer

APC 1 - Boxcars
APC 2 - Ferryman
APC 3 - Taxi Cab
*APC 4 - Butler
*APC 5 - Splinter

All PMCs are awaiting deployment at HQ in Region 3. These ones were hired by Lagantis and were contracted to obey your orders.


Hawkeyes: Explosives expert and adept at trap detection.
Talbat: Assassin.
Ventica: Human Spy.
Leon: Human Spy.
Linesman: Cyberwarfare Specialist.
Kuroda: Cyberwarfare Specialist.
Grenda: Doomcat. Excellent at sudden strikes and assassinations. Shock Unit.


Naval Units

Armored Amphibious Carrier - Madhouse
Armored Amphibious Carrier - Swordvan

Needlefish Submarine - Dreamer
* Needlefish Submarine - Trophy
* Needlefish Submarine - Goalpost

Manned Air Units

Reaver Gunship - Lovebird
*Reaver Gunship - Blender
*Jester Fighter Craft - Cyclops
*Jester Fighter Craft - Talon

RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Thanks for the info!

Project #5 seems the most all-around useful so lets pick it. The others are nice, but all have only a specialized application.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-24-2016, 02:33 AM)tronn Wrote: »Thanks for the info!

Project #5 seems the most all-around useful so lets pick it. The others are nice, but all have only a specialized application.

Dr. Ushah: Understood. We’ll work on the Cover Blob right away.

Ghulls: Uh, Vora?

You: What is it, Ghulls?

Ghulls: I’m getting reports from Homeworld. General Lagan’s gone missing.

You: What?

Ghulls: He was leading an expedition to stop the corrupted members of High Command from wiping out the planet, but according to everyone on the ground… he’s vanished. He WON, but everyone says he disappeared into thin air as soon as they entered the enemy’s command center. There’s nothing inside anymore. Just… empty. He was trying to stop an Author in a saramis body from activating a Cosmic Organ.

You: Wait, Cosmic Organ? Are you telling me-

Ghulls: Well, according to Lagan and his followers, the universe is alive, and it has organs we normally can’t perceive.

You: So they’ve found it, then?

Ghulls: Yes, but both it and Lagan are gone. Nobody knows where they are now. The Author in disguise is missing too.


You are now Lagantis Primevex, and you are in very deep trouble.

[Image: CpvBaPD.jpg]

You have come face to face with Courage, an Author in saramis form. Even now you can sense menace and power radiating from him.

You are unable to move your arms or legs. Hell, you can't even feel them anymore.

Courage: Don't bother struggling. I've already shut off your nerves.

His voice reminds you of string instruments being played very badly and glass being smashed.

You: Why are you doing this? You’ve lost. The Cosmic Organ is not in your hands anymore.

Courage: You know, being an Author who loves tales of bravery and sacrifice, I also happen to know a thing or two about fear. I know what you're scared of, Lagan.

You're not afraid of death. You're not afraid of losing your family either. Well, there's a smidge of that fear, but it's not the biggest.

It's something deeper. Even more intimate. Even more personal, and I know what it is.

You're scared of becoming a complete monster.

I know you're terrified of the day you become addicted to that feeling.

That wonderful delight you get, the kind you only get when you know you've beaten someone beyond all hope of ever making a comeback. When you've ground your foe's hopes into paste. You love it. You LOVE watching hope shatter. You don’t just kick people when they’re down, you stomp them into dust and send their remains into the sun.

It's the reason why you wouldn't ever murder off an entire race.

Not just because you think it's morally wrong, but because you think that would be the first step into monstrousness. Putting people into despair or disillusionment is one thing, or so you say, but genocide is another.

As if the moment you cause the extinction of an entire civilization, you have crossed the bounds and can never come back.

You're scared that you will never redeem yourself, and then you will have no choice but to play the villain until you die. The fear that once you commit that sin, you will be marked forever and no one, not even your wife Vora, would forgive you.

The fear of becoming an all-devouring monster with neither compassion nor hesitation. A creature that would solve all rebellions with utter annihilation.

Am I wrong?

You say nothing.

His face is cracking open.

[Image: 7sPNVOx.jpg]

Courage: Doesn't matter whether you answer me or not. That was more of a... rhetorical? Hypothetical? Point is, I KNOW your fear, Lagan.

It's kind of funny, really, how it drove the decisions you made in your life.

You started sending little letters and gifts to Vora after she went through her tests for candidacy in Spec Ops, all the way back when she was a young, reluctant recruit.

The official line, the lie you tell everyone including yourself, is that she's 'crazy' in the same way that you are, obsessed with doing what's 'right' and 'just'.

The more shameless aspect of you just tells everyone you have a fetish for tomboys.

But the real reason is much simpler: She's stronger than you.

She was someone who could keep you in line. Stop you before you'd make a mistake.

Despite being only eighteen, her infantry combat abilities were off the charts.

Only above average in battlefield tactics, but that wouldn't matter much in a one-on-one duel.

She was one of the few people in the world who wouldn't break a sweat killing you, and you knew it.

A failsafe. An emergency stop button.

Granted, that's not all she is to you. At least, not anymore.

Still, kinda fucked up that you chose her mainly because she could end you before you become a one-man extinction event.

You: What. Is. Your. Point?

Courage: My point being that I know EXACTLY what you're afraid of. I know you're terrified of being turned into a monster, and I can make it happen.

You: Is that a threat?

Courage: No.

It's a promise.

[Image: OWJgf7R.jpg]

Time is short. Courage is focused on your head right now, and you can feel some control over your limbs returning. However, your head feels like it’s about to split open like his.

Make your decision:

- Use your massive mandibles to decapitate him!

- Shout “WAIT!”

- Fall backwards and kick him in the crotch!

- Fall backwards and roll towards the exit (The glowing… rectangle thing? You hope that’s an exit!)

- Get up and run to the exit!

- Punch him!

- Grab his head and tear it off!

- Shove your arm into his loop-face!

- Pull down his pants!!!!

- Something else!

RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
pull down his pants

psychological warfare at its finest
[Image: Iv0bTLS.png]
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Oof, what a time to be cut off from the archives. I feel like the renegade Author (whose name escapes me at the moment) gave us some sort of advice about dealing with Authors, but I can't remember what it was. (Criticize their work, maybe?) So I don't know if it would be useful here or not.

Unless we can get a reminder on that, I'm for rushing for the hopefully-an-exit. Definitely don't go shoving your arm in the loop, that's almost certainly a terrible idea.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-26-2016, 10:14 PM)Dragon Fogel Wrote: »Oof, what a time to be cut off from the archives. I feel like the renegade Author (whose name escapes me at the moment) gave us some sort of advice about dealing with Authors, but I can't remember what it was. (Criticize their work, maybe?) So I don't know if it would be useful here or not.

The renegade Author's name is Intruder, and his advice was that the only way to kill an Author is to make them believe they are NOT an Author. He described one sure-fire way was to make a drug that would render them incapable of remembering what's real and what isn't, then convincing them that they can be killed conventionally.

An Author's ability to manipulate organic matter is so strong that even they aren't immune to it. Imagine an 'omnipotent' being that accidentally wished that it wasn't 'omnipotent' and being stuck that way.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
If we're going for convincing him he's not an author, it may be more effective to convince him he's a pawn.

"Please. Whatever ideas they may have put in your brain, you're not really an Author. You're just a brainwashed Saramis footsoldier with a bunch of phony memories shoved in your head. Why would an Author risk exposing themselves when they can send someone else to do the dirty work for them? They know we can destroy them, after all."

And if he doubts that you can destroy them, tell him "well of course they wouldn't give you any memories about that, they've got no reason to let their disposable pawns think they're not invincible."

Of course, if he doesn't seem to be wavering at all, just run.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-26-2016, 03:05 PM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »pull down his pants

psychological warfare at its finest

No, pull down your pants, make him doubt everything he thought he knew about himself.

~psychological warfare woohoo~!
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Fair warning: this is not an adventure where ridiculous solutions are likely to work. (Unless, that is, they're ridiculous solutions with solid tactical reasoning backing them up.)
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-27-2016, 12:26 AM)Dragon Fogel Wrote: »If we're going for convincing him he's not an author, it may be more effective to convince him he's a pawn.

"Please. Whatever ideas they may have put in your brain, you're not really an Author. You're just a brainwashed Saramis footsoldier with a bunch of phony memories shoved in your head. Why would an Author risk exposing themselves when they can send someone else to do the dirty work for them? They know we can destroy them, after all."

And if he doubts that you can destroy them, tell him "well of course they wouldn't give you any memories about that, they've got no reason to let their disposable pawns think they're not invincible."

Of course, if he doesn't seem to be wavering at all, just run.

I'm with this, maybe add in some mumbo jumbo about how he's set himself up to fail simply be entwining himself into a direct confrontation with one of the key characters in the magnum opus something only a pawn would do. Basically if he's going to try and fuck with our head we gotta fuck with his harder.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Bah, can't read anything I'd normally be able to reference :\ Freaking mspa forums...

*AS I RECALL* authors become mortal and take risk of dying when they decide to enter the stories, which is why most only pull strings, or use a proxy like the guy with the sword through his chest that acts as an author's receiver.

I see no such thing here to indicate there's a proxy involved. So this guy is manifesting, and is therefore subject to being harmed.

I want Lagan to helicopter kick that ugly face through the rectangle. The inorganic material of his metal legs being what makes contact would hopefully prevent any harm that handling the author with organic material may incur.

This would also have the benefit of removing him from our presence so we can hopefully not be head exploded, should it not actually kill him.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(06-26-2016, 03:05 PM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »pull down his pants

You pull down his pants, and in a flash of madness and brilliance you slam your fist into his balls.

[Image: NJ5uOWZ.jpg]

He collapses onto the floor, making a noise that resembles a knife scraping against stone.

(06-27-2016, 12:26 AM)Dragon Fogel Wrote: »If we're going for convincing him he's not an author, it may be more effective to convince him he's a pawn.

You: If you really are an Author, then why does it hurt so much?

Courage: Wh…what?

You: Why the hell did you even give yourself a pair of balls in the first place? Or… did someone else turn you into this?

Courage: Ugghh- You imbecile, the disguise has to be perfect!

You: Okay but you’re telling me you gave yourself pain receptors too? You just scored an own goal here, buddy. That is, assuming it really WAS your choice… Maybe you’re a pawn after all.

Courage: No, no NO. Lagan, shut up and-

You: I think it’s far more likely that instead of the Authors being so infinitely stupid that one of them would actually show up in this dimension with an anatomy so accurate that it becomes a handicap, they’ve got an agent who thinks he’s one of them. Work as their mouthpiece.

Courage: I am NOT-

Despite his protests, his head is re-forming. You take it as a sign that he’s doubting his status as an Author.

You: I mean, what kind of a hack author puts himself in their own work? Courage, if that IS your name… are you sure your memories are real?

No answer.

You leave him on the floor, and walk towards the exit. You haven’t fully convinced him yet, but you’ve planted the seed of doubt. Perhaps that will be enough.

However, as you stand before the exit, you realize that your body is too big to fit through. You test it by putting a finger through, and a foul-smelling tentacle reaches out.

[Image: oOBri1u.jpg]

You almost pull your hand back until you hear a familiar voice. It’s Intruder, the Renegade Author and awkward ally.

Intruder: I’m going to kill him.

You: No. We can use him. We wait and let the doubt take him.

Intruder: I know what you’re going for, Lagan, but I am telling you we should kill him right now and prevent unpleasant surprises. If you insist on letting him live, then at least let me imprison him. We cannot leave him be and risk your plan backfiring.

You consider this for a moment.

- “Considering all the nonsense we’ve had to fight through, killing him might be the smartest option. All right. Do what you must.”

- “We’ll take him with us. Interrogate as best we can.”

- “No. We leave him alone. Let him come to us once he’s convinced.”

What do you say?

RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Hell. No. That's a fully powered author, no proxy stuff getting in the way, and hostile to us. It'll only be a matter of time before they think past the doubt we've placed on him, and it'll be nasty they he does. We need info, but we're not that desperate.

RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
>Dude's name is Courage, he'll pull through self-doubt in time. Better kill him while you still can.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04

> Kill. Death. Destroy. Murder.
[Image: Iv0bTLS.png]
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
"When you have the courage to stop being a foot note for their story, you can come find me and we will co-author an epic with the authors' corpses."


There's no reason to kill him. We're not a monster like they are just yet.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
Kill it, there's no point in letting an enemy run free seed of doubt or not.
RE: Art of Domination Thread 04
(07-13-2016, 01:11 AM)Teddypimm Wrote: »Kill.

Courage: You traitor!

Intruder: Am I really a traitor if I was never on your side to start with?

Courage: Your meddling will be the death of us all, whatever your real name is!

Intruder: We both know when you said 'us all', you just meant the ones in your Circle.

Courage: Have you no sympathy for us?

Intruder: No. Pity, maybe, but not sympathy.

Courage: Then at the very least, let me go home. Let me leave this smaller form behind, and I won't come bac-

Intruder: No.

Intruder tears out Courage’s heart, a ball of pure obsidian. Intruder holds it in the hand of a corpse he has hijacked earlier…

[Image: fVgPevO.jpg]

…and crushes it. Courage’s body spasms and dissolves into a sludge of organic waste. The stench is almost unbearable.

You: Is he- ugh, dead?

Intruder: Yeah. You die in saramis form, you die for real. It's the trade-off for the disguise.

You: I still don't understand your motive.

Intruder: I already explained it, you simpleton. I am jealous of the ones working on the 'Magnum Opus' and I want to do something no Author has ever done before.

You: I'm doubting that jealousy and pride are the only reasons. There's something more important at stake, isn't there?

Intruder: No, Lagan. I really am that petty.

You: Fine, if you won't tell me-

Intruder abruptly speaks with a different voice. It sounds a lot softer now. Not quieter, but more pleasant to hear to your own eardrums.

Intruder: Did you know Authors have bullies too, Lagan? We are all tasked to do essentially the same thing, and we're all made from the same parts, but some of us do it better than others. The elites. The over-achievers. And they never stop reminding everyone else that they're the best. Anyone they don't like becomes a pariah forever.

You: You were one of those pariahs, huh.

Intruder: I don't have any friends, Lagan. At least, not ones from my kind. For you, it looks like I'm causing trouble just for jealousy and malice. For me, it's my only way out now. When an Author is deemed unlikeable, they will never have anything sent to the Redactors and the Auditors ever again. Pariahs like me keep making stories, but as soon as an Elite sees it, they'll just erase it before it ever makes it to the next phase. Eventually comes death by starvation, because no one gives you any reward because they assume you did no work. A life of misery and a slow painful death.

You: You're dying?

Intruder: You could put it that way. Look at me, the ancient cliché portrait of the lost soul that desperately wants to do something spectacularly dangerous so they won't die a nobody.

You: All right, Intruder. I understand. So, Courage is dead, but we still haven't found the Cosmic Organ.

Intruder: Actually, we have, and it's trying to talk to you.

You: What?

Intruder: It recognizes you, I think. You should feel proud, it isn’t often that the universe itself bothers to pay attention to any specific person.

Without your permission, Intruder grabs your hand and you feel like you’re being pulled to someplace far away…


(Working on next update, should be done before mid-August 2016)