The Hunt Renewed

Nothing had gone exactly as planned and the seperation between what was wished for and what was reality was startling at best for the novice Net Op and Navi team.

But this situation was no where near the best.

Frightening might be better term, or maybe horror film-esqe...it certainly brought a few black and white images to Sophia's mind as she watched the scene unfold on the moniter over her bike, completely focused on the pet and the screen and the meager pile of chips in front of her.

"Egomorph! I'm so sorry!" Vasilia's hands couldn't stop, couldn't slow their frantic actions as she tried to keep ahead of the surging tide. If she had been able to stop, if she had the time to spare they would have been cupped over her face in an expression of horror as the logs impacted against the broken doll. The one she had promised to try to save, the one she had wanted to protect-

Something sharp and painful lodged in the witch-puppet's chest as she tossed herself over the railing. It wasn't fear at the fall, she wouldn't remember the pain from something like this anyways, no the fear was in the kernal of memory that was sprouting panic at the sight of the bodies sticking out of the White's nightmarish mass and the words being spoken. The panic was in her hand being engulfed, in the familiar way her name was called.

"Vasilia!"

The panic was in the fact that even with her limb torn from her body and the connections that let her control it being snapped she could still feel it.

The realization hit her as her shoes hit the pathway and she staggered, her intact hand groping blindly at the spot her other one should be. She could feel it, still, could feel the tacky slime sliding over and around her, dragging at the hard edges and corners of the gun-shape it had assumed.

"It stole your gun? I'm sending you another chip! Start running!"

Sophia's voice wass foggy and distant but the little puppet still tried to do what she said. The puppet staggered away from where she had landed, letting for once the hands beneath her feet guide her with their incessant tugging.

Left foot, pause, right foot, pause.

More ungainly than even her normal steps and so slow, too slow. The hands grew frustrated. They scratched and scrambled and tore at the smooth pathway until it began crumbling to dust and dirt.

"MOVE Vassie! I can't send you another chip- I don't know why! It says something about a limit but- oh! Because it stole the chip! I still can't log you out, you have to run!"

Vasilia came back to herself with a start. Sophia was worried and it was the doll's job to stop that!

"Und- under- I got it! I'll get moving!" She suited words to action and twirled on one foot away from where she had been standing with the faint hope of avoiding the deluge. She surveyed Egomorph's remains once more while something tightened in her chest and crushed out the sharp pain before, smothered it under cold and a flash of an image of her body laying there instead.

She turned and fled.

There was a machine ahead of her. Her angle of vision was all wrong, she didn't see or didn't register the Mr. Prog perched in the driver's seat. She saw only the possibility offered by something bulky enough to obstruct the path and keep the White away.

1) I can feel myself being eaten! - do nothing
2) Shadows' puppet -> Dodge +Self Slow nerf
3) Dodge + Self Slow nerf
4-6) Movement -> Toward

Active
Kick-Out! - 2-Hit Shield and Counter(Last Shield broken): 10 Wood + Knockback + Self Slow

Cooldowns
Kick-Out! - 1/2

Chips Used

CannonMode
RollingLog1
Halfway-dangling over the long drop, the pool flattened and clung to the edge with veins and clinging protoplasm. Every hand that had made it over the rail smashed itself into the ground; unseen beneath the road, the shell's dangling edge split open at the seams. White slithered from the cracks in a snakes-nest of tentacles, climbing the patchwork body's jagged ridges and looping back into its own mass like an abstract ouroboros, jettisoning the hollow deadweight as it went. The logs were already cracking and splitting where they'd stuck fast - ooze mixed with wood pulp into a lumpy, bubbling semi-solid that tried to form teeth even as the white pulled it down to feed on. Through it all, two tentacles wound slowly over their capture with something like reverence. Its Administrator quantified the weapon wrapped over it, yes - but the hand within, and its connection to the mind that moved it was the white's true prize.

One scraped open a hole and made its entry. It was not quick.

Egomorph was the last thing to be dragged over the edge. A few scraps of white fabric were all that remained of the little girl Vasilia had found just minutes ago, now floating in a lumpy pustule that looked like nothing so much as a tumour on Hex's surface. Wood pulp fused like mortar with the skin that stretched over her bubble, and then she was a tumour with writhing tendrils and too many mouths. The Conduit hung pristine and untouched, if slightly dimmer from the white's damaged connection.

[Command: replicate] Its connection damaged, Hex's voice sounded farther away this time. The pool seeped and spread, eating itself a foothold on the walkway. All it consumed was taken under and digested into more oozing white, which Hex fed right back through its window, bolstering slightly the pillar-like connection that clung to the Net's underside. The oozing pile and its tumour visibly swelled with yet more mass. Ego's halos steadied some, glow intensifying - her many mouths gibbered and gnawed at each other. [Command: activate] The voice sounded closer; Egomorph remained a writhing but immobile beacon to its master. The white seemed to suck the light right out of the air, flaring bloodily from within as the energy it processed from itself was in turn digested, and converted into yet more mass and might.

Pulsing arhythmically and brimming with red luminescence, static humming deeper than bone., a flailing mess at the walkway's edge, the white almost hurt to look at. This, along with the slow, savouring burrow of tentacles into Vasilia's hand, as it continued its dizzying motion a few seconds after it had found its foothold, was not unintentional.

It lunged. The hunt renewed, the cacophony resumed like it had never paused. Hands upon hands smashed the ground in her wake, split themselves to shards only to vomit out more skittering fingers. As it neared, more and more hands started reaching around the Navi as much as for her. The amorphous mass crowded the path, herding her to the edges. Shards of a trademarked smile leaked out in places - the white knew the scent of Mr. Progs well, knew them to be empty and tasteless compared to the rich wealth that lay in a Navi's cortex. It had little use for the insubstantial mouthful ahead or the device it drove, and it wanted them gone (it wanted its prey helpless, alone).

Amidst the tangle of hands, Vasilia's own was raised against her on the end of a long coiled tendril - over far too many seconds, it had burrowed all the way through, the sharpened tip slithering out the cannon's cracked barrel. For a moment it swelled up, wooden fingers splintering as pressure built inside - so much so that when the tentacle shot after Vasilia, the cannon blew apart. A small forest of little feelers rose from the pool to sweep up the remains, careful not to miss a morsel. The tentacle flew with the force of a bullet and all the mass it could fit behind the amorphous blow - if it didn't go right through, the force alone was liable to send Vasilia tumbling off the ledge, just how Hex wanted her.

Whether she fell or continued to run, the white's hunger-driven tunnel vision kept it following her all the same. It was all around Vasilia, a constantly moving blur of whipping feelers and pounding, stamping legs that would not stop spurting from the pool. It had tasted her spark, her mind, and the force she could bring to bear. Now it was wary enough to add this extra layer of unpredictable terror to its pursuit, and prepared to retaliate in kind.

A tentacle grew from the writhing white grass. Studded along its length were the splinters of Vasilia's hand, woven with veins into cruel thorns that even still reached out for the once-them. Something in <heartwood/fractal/familiar> signalled through the connection of hands to the white, a fragment of a passage of growth. As the thorned whip came down in a lashing storm, Hex sought out that dormant seedling of self-outside-of-self in Vasilia's core; reached out to touch it, feed it, make it grow and bud and flourish and blossom.

-Turn Summary-
*FastArmour [40 HP Casing over Ego]
E1. Command: Replicate [30 Healing, Hex & Ego; 2TCD]
E2. Command: Activate [Random Effect; 1TCD]
Possible Activations
1 - Hollow bodies rise from the pool, to be grifted on as disposable armour.
Effects: 2-Hit Shield (random ally)

2 - A cloud of crackling static bursts from the pool and settles over its creator.
Effects: 40 HP Barrier (random ally)

3 - Hex's pool is churned and agitated, seething with aggression.
Effects: Sig Chill (random ally)

4 - The pool directs its code to gather, corrupt, and rupture into a toxic haze of static that befouls all it settles over - even Hex itself.
Effects: Glitch 2 (indiscriminate target)

5 - Ego is pulled under. The pool lurks underfoot, feeling out its next target.
Effects: Burrow, Take Aim (Egomorph only)

6 - Hex or Ego begin moving erratically.
Effects: Haste (random ally)

7 - Tentacles rise from the pool, sensing, reaching out from every angle.
Effects: Accuracy Enhancement (random ally)

8 - A misshapen pile of sewn-together bodies is raised for cover. Upon its destruction, it bursts into a noxious slurry of energized matter, which is consumed by the white as fuel.
Effects: Summon 20 HP CorpseHeap (in front of random ally), Trap (When Destroyed): (15 Healing, random ally)

9 - The pool reaches out to eat at the terrain, growing stronger for the added mass.
Effects: Medium Cracked Terrain (random location), Strengthen 20 (random ally)

10 - Red light bleeds from the Conduit and surrounds Ego in a searing aura, damaging her but increasing her strength several-fold.
Effects: 60 Strengthen, Sacrifice 15 (Egomorph only)
1. Dodge onto Normal
2. Feint [FLANK]
3. CannonModeEffect: Adds +20 Null and Knockback to your Buster Shot Attack.
Accuracy: Buster Accuracy = A
Description: Your Custom Weapon vanishes, and is replaced with a Cannon. Your buster returns to normal when the chip effect ends.
Duration: Number of Uses equal to double your Rapid stat. Cannot be Broken.
Element: Null
Special: Overrides Buster. Disables Charged Shot.
Trader Rank: D
: Vasilia [30 Null {A}, Knockback aimed to push off walkway]
4. Movement [CHASE]
5. Dodge
6. Entry [80 Null {A}, Break, Glitch; 3TCD]
The moment of horrified showdown only lasted for an instant, before the reality of Hex churning, consuming and regenerating from Vasilia's attacks saw it expand and spread ever more vigorously. Red energy crackled across the conduit and what remained of Ego's presence, before arcs or garbled code and sticky whit mass burst like popped boils to spatter the walkway and Vasilia herself with their senseless screaming gibberish.

In the brief stretch where she couldn't act, however, the incomprehensible infusion of distorted code sent a shock through her – it wasn't pleasant, but it startled the navi in a more galvanising way. There didn't seem to be sense fighting this... thing... but she could still get away from it, surely. A tingling in her systems said it had to be so. A wash of rough, energetic healing washed across her, and though it wasn't necessary right now, she also felt a swell in her own magic, almost like it was responding to the danger.

The white mass came on, and Vasilia started to run, retreating back across the lower walk towards the rising path where the cleaning machine trundled towards them. Hex followed, seemingly unheeding of all but its desired goal. As Vasilia began to vault over the cleaning machine, Hex levelled the pierced and cracked remnants of her own weapon at her, releasing a heavy whit mass that one of Vasilia's protective boots kicked up to deflect at the last moment. The impact spun the with navi around, however, and she stumbled back from her perch, precariously to the edge of both the machine, and the entire walkway as a result.

“HEY! THAT'S DANGEROUS!” A bright, jovial announcement from the cleaner prog in the driver's seat likely went unnoticed by both Vasilia and the monster pursuing her. Vasilia tottered, trying to keep her balance as the mass of Hex's form chased and lunged for her, thick tendrils lancing out to break and pierce and claim her. In a last desperate twist and shift of her body, Vasilia's foot slipped and in a jolting instant the doll found herself beginning to fall.

The stabbing thorned tentacle slammed through the space where she had been, embedding itself into the guys of the large machine instead, which immediately began to twist and mutate, crumpling and expanding as long, random grows of metal sprouted up and grew out of it in chaotic directions.

“OH NO! OH DEAR! OH NO!” in the midst of the swiftly unrecognisable machine mass, a muffled voice called out, but Hex was already swarming over the point where Vasilia had fallen; it could see the puppet dropping away, towards the ground far below, and it would only need to fling itself after her to catch up.

As she fell, the aberrant sensations coursing through her shifted and combined into a powerful pulse, deep in her core; it felt strange, not entirely comfortable, or pleasant, but it offered her strength and power, if only she could work out how to use it.


-=The White=-
Hex: 155Hp [Normal, Edge of the walk, directly above Vasilia][2 Buster Charges]
Egomorph.SP: 31Hp [Casing: 40/40Hp][on Hex]

-=The Witch=-
Vasilia.Exe: 120Hp [Falling over Missing][A Hand Down: Only one wield slot available for remainder of fight][Kick-Out: 1-Hit shield + Counter][Glitch: SAS Soul (Indefinite)]

-=The Walk-Way=-
20% Normal
  • No effects.
[Branching walkway]
80% Missing
  • Permanent bottomless hole.
  • Doubles dodge penalties for bad RP.
  • EJO if you fall in.
[A large drop; falling will not necessarily result in EJOs, merely a change of battlefield, or potentially an end to the chase if enough separation occurs]

Glitch Log


SAS Shortcut (Positive Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a glitch in their signature Attack System which causes a more efficient and longer enduring function. Positive effects generated by signatures last for as long as this glitch does, unless their duration would already be longer. SPs and Navigators are treated as independent by this glitch; an SP whose navigator has allocated them personal signatures is unaffected if their navi has this glitch, and similarly an SP with this glitch finds only their personal signatures effected, without infecting their navi's. Lasts three turns, until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Growth Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary protective or restorative effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

SAS Soul (Positive Glitch): The victim's Signature Attack System briefly defies all code logic. Signatures have no cooldown and can all be used once per turn. Positive effects generated by signatures endure indefinitely (or until destroyed as usual in the case of defences), instead of their listed duration, as long as this glitch remains. This includes enhancements, such as Haste, body defences, such as shadow and multi-turn/action benefits such as regeneration effects. Any time the victim uses a signature with a beneficial effect on themselves, they spontaneously regenerate 10Hp. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.
Bodies. Bodies. Yet more bodies. It would be nigh-impossible now to count the faces as they flowed and gibbered over the edge, each one a tale cut brutally, horrifically short. Limbs crawled from the stream pouring over the lip of the pathway, over each other, over itself, after their quarry. Egomorph was passed from hand to foot to mouth to hand again, carried down the macabre waterfall to the spiraling point at its base. When the haloed lump had no more hands to carry it, Hex peeled open its shell and pushed at the oozing connection that bound them together. Yet more white was forced into the space between them, the tendriled ball pushed beyond what velocity the fall allowed, carried on a tide of writhing tentacles. Through its Administrator Hex reached out, many mouths gnashing with a madness that went beyond sentience or sanity.

Just as Hex reached in ways Vasilia could see, so too did it stretch in directions she could not. It still held onto the connection it had tunneled, deep through Vasilia's hand, reaching across space-that-wasn't-space to the body beyond. It could feel, in its unquantifiable way, the growth that flourished in <heartwood/fractal/familiar?> - were it conscious of such things, it might perhaps have found the budding energy pleasing to behold, in and of itself. As power welled in Vasilia's body, so too did something else: something that sought to unspool invisible feelers into Vasilia's chest; to rasp and scrape along her heartwood; to feed on the beautiful swirling growth she fostered.


It was reaching into Egomorph too - this, Vasilia could see, were she to look back at what plummeted after her, reaching to claim her before they even hit the ground. The entire hemisphere facing the Navi crumpled into itself, falling into a hollow that had formed at Ego's center and vanishing from sight. Hex's matter flooded through the oozing tentacles into the hollow, compacting on itself, consuming more and more and somehow more of its own mass. Strangely, the light behind Vasilia (were she facing it) seemed to shine brighter, pulled by Hex's density from the deep infrared shades into visibility.

Colours that didn't exist shone from the anomaly at Egomorph's core. The burning un-brightness ate at itself, hues fading darker and deeper, divorcing itself farther and farther from comprehension. Only Sophie and Vasilia would be able to say what they saw, staring into Hex's monument. To Sophie's organic eyes and brain, it might have folded so far into itself as to look like a strangely magnified patch of nothing, like a hole in the Net she could only look past, without seeing the thing itself. Vasilia's mind, conversely (uniquely) might instead force a memory into the space it occupied, or perhaps a sensation her body would try to feel as something tactile. The only universal descriptors one could fit the anomaly were these: it had no physical substance; it cast neither light nor shadow on the surrounding Net; it should have only occupied as much space as Egomorph's child-sized lump, but the longer one stared into it, the farther it opened up until it seemed to span from notional horizon to notional horizon; it, as was true of all that called itself Hexadecimal, hungered singly for the consumption of all things, and tore itself bodily through the Net to carry its endless mission forward. All other truths of the anomaly were unique to those who perceived it.

It was grim mercy that kept Ego from experiencing any of this. Forced from her own head to drift bodiless, bereft of awareness as part of the swirling white, there was nothing left of the broken china doll-girl in the amorphous, tumbling chaos. All Vasilia could see was Hex, its unholy birthing, and the Administrator it reached for her through. The Conduit halos burned, keening with a discordant, static-y howl that managed to claw at the ears and shake the bones in the same instance. Tentacles reached from the shards of Egomorph wrapped around the burning unlight, grasping with alien hunger closer, closer.

Not close enough.


It came at Vasilia like an ocean wave, starting before they even hit the ground and continuing for long-after. Tentacles and limbs reared from behind Hex's genesis, where they had never stopped tumbling over themselves to be the first to grasp hold. Veins sewed together great coiling boughs out of the amorphous surge, wrought from hands and ribs and anything it could reshape for clutching. The rest of the body followed after them, seeking to bury the whole grim ensemble, Vasilia, Egomorph and all, in a writhing, tangling tide of itself. Just as it reached forward, it dragged its own mass back in a circuitous whirlpool of flesh, diffusing from a swollen lump into a creeping, crawling thing that seemed to swallow the ground itself. Thin scouting feelers reached from its maw to swat at Vasilia's feet, provoking the retaliation it had seen of them. The implication was clear: it had Vasilia alone, now it wanted her soft, undefended.

The creeping white was swelling up again.

-Turn Summary-
-FastArmour [40 HP Casing around Hex]
1. Movement [PURSUE]
2. Throw Egomorph at Vasilia
E1. Movement [SNARE]
-Glitch Eater [Consume SAS Soul, Strengthen 20 (Hex)]
3. Synthesis: Egomorph [Glitch 10 (Contagious), Charge Burner x2; 5TCD]
E2. Grapple Vasilia
4. Attachment: Vasilia [Gravity, Freeze, Turn Delay (1 Turn): Hold, Self-Slow; 4TCD]
5. Buster Shot: Vasilia's Shield [15 Null {A}]
6. Buster Charge
Hope bloomed in Vasilia's chest as she fell, as her shields broke. Hope bloomed as Sophia crowed in triumph and slammed a chip home and Vasilia felt that familiar code take hold. Her magic gathered in the palm of her hand and she flung in as close an approximation to the ground as she could fall falling.

The horrible screaming mass of faces (was that one familiar? had she seen that hat before? what about that other face with the scar?) was chasing her, was changing and shifting and moving and reaching and-

Her body hit the ground and bounced once, twice, then stopped in a crumpled heap.

"Vasilia get up! Can you protect yourself with anything else? Another spell or- argh! All these chips are for attacking!"

A memory bloomed in her mind and her hand rose to her chest, particles of blue trailing after as she traced the square, the circle, the dot in the middle of it on herself. It blazed brightly, bright enough for her to see with horrific clarity the details on the thing pursuing her.

She couldn't escape completely. She wobbled to her feet to try and move away but she was so slow. Even the shadow hands grasping at her could not help and she felt a pang of foreign irritation. They could, they should be doing more but she wasn't quite sure what that 'more' was.

Something in her chest died. Something that had only just begun to sprout, something that had been green and warm and powerful. She staggered at the loss, her hands- her hand reflexively reaching for her emblem. Would Hex feel it twitch? Feel the aborted command as it died with the memory that to her that hand was as good as gone even if she could still feel it?

She could see the colors stretching out in front of her, the way they shifted and changed and she could not help but look back. She felt hair shift over her shoulder, felt a fierce determination and rage so hot she thought she'd burst into flames build in her emblem.

she remembered she remembered she remembered she remembered-

Her head split with the impressions. She was distant and close, then and now. Differences, so many differences some as fundamental as how her body worked and moved and was but there was similiarites. A similiarity.

It was constant.

Fear, a pleasant day ruined. (Rage, a victory snatched) Sophia was saying something (that woman was saying something) but she couldn't hear for the overlap

The chip was different.

There hadn't been anymore chips last time. With part of herself she drew, she marked the line in front of her and fire spewed out in a torrent as hot as ghost-rage inside her into the oncoming wave. Defiance and satisfaction alien to her flodded her limbs and she was a passenger in her own body, possessed by the fragment of memory she hadn't been able to open earlier that now stretched off into the vastness of a net where it connected with the ghost of herself.

No, not ghost. An echo.

The shadows shifted her, a token gesture meant to move. She symapthized she didn't She didn't want to be here anymore than they did but she would always stand and fight.

Another chip. The other her grabbed it eagerly, whispered in her ear how to aim. Two spheres of light and pain, two targets, one hand.

She flicked her fingers, sent the attack into the mass of the body as it closed around her.

Someone was screaming in her voice but she didn't know which her was doing it.

[b]Summary[b]
Action 1) CannonDamage: 60 + Knockback
Accuracy: A
Description: A decent sized cannon with a single shot.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E
@ Slow self

Action 2) Sigil of Defense: 20 HP Barrier + 20 HP Casing (1TCD)

Action 3) Movement == RUN

Action 4) HeatBreath1Damage: 80 + Medium Lava Terrain Change + Cone Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Blast up to 4 enemies with a cone of fiery breath. Changes terrain to Lava.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D
@ Hex

Action 5) Dodge

Action 6) ShotgunDamage: 50 + Spread 1
Accuracy: A
Description: A gun whose shot penetrates an enemy to hit another one directly behind it.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E
@ Hex & Ego

Chips Used

CannonMode
RollingLog1
HeatBreath1
Shotgun
Vasilia's vision was blotted out by the horrific mass that flowed over the edge of the walkway after her falling form. Rather than an easy escape, the pursuit simply shifted vertical as the veritable waterfall of terror fell after her.

Below, as they both fell, Vasilia managed to catch a glimpse of other buildings below, rushing towards them. A broad rooftop seemed the most prominent, covered in complicated and delicate-looking equipment. The fall was fast, maybe too fast, and the landing looked to be hard; Vasilia tried to slow herself with a blast of magical energy. Below her, something shattered with a rending, rupturing sound.

There was no chance to see what it was though; Even as her momentum slowed with a lurch from the blast's blowback, Hex only seemed to speed its descent, reaching out and ejecting more of itself downward ahead of its amorphous bulk. The remains of what had once been Ego were prominent in the extension that shot down to try to catch Vasilia, and a shape dominated by the red-glowing conduit wrapped onto her even as they struck the the ground.

Vasilia landed in a wet and jagged remnant of something that had once contained water; the slowing of her fall had set her a little off course to where Hex itself landed with a much more grotesque splatter, crushing delicate rooftop equipment under itself. The hunted navi raised more defences about herself, but it wasn't enough to free her form from the creeping, clinging, oozing code mass that bore no more resemblance to the friend she'd tried to make earlier. The feeling of it draining her was hard to bear, but the situation grew worse as Vasilia clambered up and began to flee across the rooftop; ahead, she could see a fire-escape, door open, but beyond that, it might only be a short extra jump to get down to the ground; an open plaza with many navis moving back and forth was just visible in the distance beyond; there would almost certainly be police naivs or others capable of helping her there... maybe...

Before she could get far, however, the conduit that still clung to her body, connecting her to the mass that was swelling again behind her, pulsed with fresh corruption, overwhelming itself and Vasilia both with incomprehensible feedback.

What remained of Ego experienced crackling, internal ruptures of energy, and the body itself grew unaccountably sensitive to them, redoubling the spikes of pain; lances of red crackling lightning arced from the conduit, striking at Vasilia's outermost defence layer, but even though it wasn't strong enough to compromise the field of protective magic, the magic failed all the same, crumbling away and unravelling. As the bolt struck, the conduit began to emit a new sound; music. a strangely upbeat, happy tune on folksy strings. It was entirely unfitting to the horror that was unfolding, but it was soon accompanied by a cheerful whistling that emanated from somewhere within ego's remains. What was, of Ego, was struck by the sensation that it would really be much better if they could just go to the beach. Everything would be okay, at the beach – there'd be smiles, and sun, and sand, and it would just be... good... if they'd all just listen to the music, things would be fine; couldn't they all just listen? Around the crackling conduit, the white mass of formless material began to replace its faces and limbs with ears; just ears. Ears of all shapes and sizes, but everywhere; so many ears, it was impossible to really see anything else. the cheerful whistling and music continued.

Vasilia felt the corrupt data pass to her en masse as well, filtering through her protective defences and worming its way into her being. The inescapable violation of it was hard to fathom, and she felt herself detaching from the situation, at least somewhat. Alreaydy struggling with the shadow of a ghost within her, Vasilia found herself seeing her body fromthe outside as she struggled with escaping the mass that was Hex; a few metres away, she could see herself standing and trying to run; see herself trying to wrench free of the ego-body that was holding tight to her; see it trying to invade her body with every creeping feeler and fleshy protrusion; she couldn't even really feel it as keenly as she would have, if it were her body; seeing ti from afar was... disconcerting. She could see her body covered in odd, mutating growths of its own, each of her remaining limbs becoming bumpy and uneven as her form toughened itself against attacks... it was... nauseating to see. It all seemed to happen in slow motion, from her perspective. Each step, each twist of the hand, head or body as she tried to get free. Everything seemed slower. The protective armour that her spell had created seemed to be starting to decay and crumble as well now.

Outside herself, sharing control of herself, with herself, Vasilia turned and unleashed a breath of fire back at the sense-defying mass of limbs and faces that pulled at her; the blast wave burned away some of its mass, scorching aberrant body parts that formed its ever-changing layers upon layers, but the creature seemed undeterred. It seemed to swell, before the abomination that was its ever-tumbling and reforming limbs burst out again in an effort to drag Vasilia to it, but the harried navi watched herself as she fought to keep pace where she was, avoiding the majority of its clawing, grasping extensions and pulling herself further away from its core. She attacked again, shooting two mroe points of light from her remaining hand; the clutching ear-mass that held her tightly took one ball of light, and the conduit was thrown off her as some of its protective ears were torn away, but the second ball of light didn't connect with the bulk of Hex behind her, too erratic was the shot.

Another feeler struck out even as Vasilia threw the pile of ears off her; her remaining boot saw it off with a sound kick, and for the moment, Vasilia was free of the entity's contact entirely.

Thrown to the ground as Vasilia backed off, the mass of listening ears that had previously been Ego felt the broken code within it shift and change, combining and mutating into greater and greater aberrant code structures; it began to regenerate as the energy tendrils lashing from its conduit became hungry coils, eager to strike, drain and feed. Its mass of ridiculous ears continued to listen to the soothing, up-beat beach music while the conduit whistled along.

Vasilia could feel the multitude of glitches running through her form struggling for dominance as some consumed others and the stronger ones evolved and grew; the feeling of separation from her body bloomed into a detached numbness; even more now, as she watched herself from afar, it was harder and harder to continue controlling her body remotely.

-=The White=-
Hex: 145Hp [Metal, Rooftop behind Vasilia][Strengthen: 20][Buster Charge: 1]
Egomorph.SP: 11Hp [Metal, Between Hex and Vasilia][Glitch: Elemental Reflux (Indefinite/Conditional)][Glitch: NC Flicker (2 turns)][Glitch: Fissured Growth (Tier 3) (Indefinite)][Glitch: Crimson Cascade (Indefinite)][Glitch: All Ears (Indefinite)][Glitch: To The Beach (Indefinite)]

-=The Witch=-
Vasilia.Exe: 120Hp [Metal. Rooftop ahead of Hex][A Hand Down: Only one wield slot available for remainder of fight][Glitch: Chip Limiter (Three Turns)][Glitch: Routine Override (Tier 3)(Indefinite)][Glitch: Lingering Numbness (Indefinite)][Glitch: Armour To Dust (Tier 2)(Three Turns)][Glitch: Overly Objective (Indefinite)]

-=The Walk-Way=-
80% Metal
  • Cannot be Broken or Cracked except with Geddon/PanelShot, cannot be Burrowed into.
  • Elec attacks: +100% Source Damage.
  • 100 Damage Aqua attacks: Change terrain hit to Cracked.
  • 100 Damage Fire attacks: Change terrain hit to Furnace.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Elec + Break.
[cluttered Rooftop]
20% Missing
  • Permanent bottomless hole.
  • Doubles dodge penalties for bad RP.
  • EJO if you fall in.
[Jumping off the side will take you to ground level]

Terrain is a rooftop not far from the ground; an open fire escape leads down into the building, while a crowded plaza is visible ahead in the distance

Glitch Log


Elemental Reflux (Negative Glitch): The victim suffers a backlash of elemental energy inside their body, which shifts wildly from element to element and grows stronger over time. On the first turn, the victim takes 10 elemental damage of their own element, or Fire if the victim is Null elemental. The damage increases by 10 each turn, and changes element at random. This damage is delivered on application, and then at the start of each turn, before any other actions occur (including passives). It cannot be reduced or mitigated in any way, but will be stopped by the Undershirt program. It is susceptible to being increased by the victim's elemental weakness if they have one. If the glitch ever deals 100 damage or more in one application, or if it triggers the victim's Undershirt, it is immediately burned out and removed. Otherwise, glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Reactive Form (Balance Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim's body becomes extremely reactive to changes in its integrity. They take an additional 10 points of null damage that cannot be reduced any time they take damage from any other source, however they also gain double the value of any healing they receive. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts three turn, until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Target Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary offence-enhancing effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

Fissured Growth (Balance Glitch): The victim gains regeneration, recovering 5Hp per action through this glitch. The glitch records how much Hp it has restored. If this glitch is removed, it immediately deals direct damage to the victim equal to half the amount of Hp it has restored at the time of removal. This damage cannot be reduced or mitigated in any way, but will be blocked by Undershirt/Second Chance. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity, and can tier up to a maximum of five times. Each tier beyond the first restores an extra 5Hp per action. At fifth tier, damage caused by removal of the glitch ignores Undershirt/Second Chance. If this glitch resolves out of combat, it does not deal any damage. Glitch lasts until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Spectrum Wash (Positive Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim is surrounded by a halo of energetic light. Once each turn, the energy strikes out to hit a random enemy with a bolt of random elemental energy. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts three turns, until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Damage Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary damage-enhancing effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

Crimson Cascade (Positive Glitch): The victim exudes erratic, crimson light which lashes out at enemies nearby. As a free action each turn, the energy attempts to strike any hostiles nearby, a number of times equal to double the victim's rapid stat. Each energy strike deals 10 null element damage, and the victim gains Strengthen equal to the amount of actual Hp the attacks deplete (Barriers etc., do not count). Glitch lasts until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

NC Flicker (Negative Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim's Navi customiser suffers a glitch that causes their installed parts to randomly shut off for brief periods. Each turn, every NC install that the victim has will have a fifty percent chance to stop functioning for that turn. Any part that fails to function on one turn will be immune to this effect on the subsequent turn. This glitch has no effect on SPs, though they do act as carriers. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

At The Beach (Neutral Glitch): Are you feeling, feeling, feeling like I'm, feeling-like-I'm-floating, floating, up above that big blue ocean; sand beneath our feet, big blue sky above our heads. No need to keep the stressing from our everyday life on our minds; we have got to leave all that behind!

All Ears (Neutral Glitch): The victim's body sprouts and changes to be come covered in ears of all different shapes and sizes. The ears completely obscure their form to the point of ridiculousness, but strangely, they don't have any actual impact on the victim's ability to function or perceive the world around them.

Chip Limiter (Negative Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a glitch in their battlechip system, which becomes partially become corrupted. They cannot use more that two battlechips per turn. Glitch lasts three turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Routine Override (Positive Glitch): The victim suffers an effect that bypasses the normal safety protocols in their battle routines, allowing the free use of actions and abilities normally requiring battle routines to be disengaged. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity and can increase to a maximum of five tiers. At tier one, the victim can freely refresh one used chip each round (though they can't use the same chip multiple times in one round lit this). At tier two, they can also use one subchip each round, as an action. At tier three, the victim's chips refresh automatically at the end of each turn. At tier four the victim change their subtype choices and installed navicust parts at the beginning of each turn. At tier five, the victim can use any number of subchips as free actions on their turn, and can choose to jack their navi out without consequence or needing to escape the battle first. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Overly Objective (Neutral Glitch): The victim suffers a perspective shift that causes their senses to relay information about their surroundings as though they were several metres removed from themselves, watching on. The glitch affects primarily the visual and aural senses; tactile experience is unaffected, creating a disorienting, but not debilitating experience.

Adaptive Mutation (Balance Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a mutability of their body which grants it the ability to resist damage. The Final damage the victim takes from any attack is reduced by 10. The effect is uncomfortable, alien and unsettling, however, and it makes it hard to focus beyond the unnerving sensation: the victim's accuracy and evasion are both reduced by 10%. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Cripple Catalyst (Negative Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary debuffing effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

Lingering Numbness (Negative Glitch): The victim suffers a creeping numbness of body, which makes it difficult for them to function in a coordinated manner. Melee and Slashing attacks are decreased in accuracy by 10%, and there is a 10% chance that any wielded gear will be automatically disarmed any time it is used or struck by an enemy. The victim's base evasion is also hampered by 10%. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity, and can increase to a maximum of five tiers. The penalties and negative chances increase by 5% for each tier beyond the first. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Armour To Dust (Negative Glitch): The victim's armour begins to degrade and lose function. At the end of each turn, the victim automatically loses any Layer 3 defences they might have active. A visual cosmetic effect accompanies this glitch, in whatever way is appropriate for the victim. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity, and can worsen up to a maximum of five tiers, and the effects are additive and cumulative. At second tier, the automatic layer 3 loss occurs both at the end of the turn, and also no more than two actions after any layer 3 defence is activated. Third tier causes all layer 3 defences to be destroyed automatically after taking one hit, though they still block overflow damage unless struck with the correct piercing type. Fourth tier causes all layer 3 defences to be vulnerable to take double damage and overspill from all attacks, as though weak to them. Fifth tier prevents any layer 3 defences from being applied to the victim at all. The cosmetic effect of this glitch progresses with each tier as well. Glitch lasts three turns, until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

SAS Shortcut (Positive Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a glitch in their signature Attack System which causes a more efficient and longer enduring function. Positive effects generated by signatures last for as long as this glitch does, unless their duration would already be longer. SPs and Navigators are treated as independent by this glitch; an SP whose navigator has allocated them personal signatures is unaffected if their navi has this glitch, and similarly an SP with this glitch finds only their personal signatures effected, without infecting their navi's. Glitch lasts three turns, until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Growth Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary protective or restorative effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

SAS Soul (Positive Glitch): The victim's Signature Attack System briefly defies all code logic. Signatures have no cooldown and can all be used once per turn. Positive effects generated by signatures endure indefinitely (or until destroyed as usual in the case of defences), instead of their listed duration, as long as this glitch remains. This includes enhancements, such as Haste, body defences, such as shadow and multi-turn/action benefits such as regeneration effects. Any time the victim uses a signature with a beneficial effect on themselves, they spontaneously regenerate 10Hp. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.
"Vassie!"

She was here, in front of the tangles of the White a mere jump from the crowds of people where safety might be sought (but she remembered the tide drowning the Prog and it was just a Mr. Prog but-)

and she was there, far away from where the fragment of her old-self sought. A false-self, a puppet parading in what remaind of her. She wouldn't care but The White would track her forever if it caught her scent and she couldn't have that.

And she was both and neither and above and around it all the out of place music, the tune that didn't fit the way she didn't-couldn't fit into this body anymore and she didn't want it, she couldn't feel-

"Vassie! Protect yourself!"

She adored the nickname. She hated it. It was a diminishment of all that she was, of all that she had done. But she hadn't done much, she was just getting started so it was perfect! It would grow with her and that was why-

The distant connection twisted, frayed.

"I will! Don't worry!"

There was never anything fluid amout her movements; not before and certainly not now. The excrescence all over her body hindered her. The space between her fingers marred by growth and mounds she didn't want. It was harder still with the way she could see the movements she had felt her way through so many times before. The glowing mark she drew, that she slapped to her shoes faded as it touched, its lines disrupted by the bumps and growths and a twist of anger rose up as the magic distorted and sprang forth ephemeral.

The shadows beneath tap-tap-tapped the tile as she tried to accomplish with one what normally took two. Her hand motioned around the aching gap of the other, its movements inferred the existance of a partner that moved in step with it but couldn't be seen. The motions circled, left trails of gleaming light in the air. A little circle, a pair of triangles. A marker, a target.

She threw it and up from the ground rose the shadows and hands. Up from the ground rose the swarm briefly putting its fears aside to grab and pull and [b]corrupt[b] and a faint trickle of petty glee echoed down the distant connection.

The witch-doll jerked, twisted to the door and moved in that direction. A plan, an intent, forced along the connection. It frayed further but the point was made, the plan seeded. They could not protect themselves but they could attack. They could strike back and the narrow hallway was perfect for limiting the foe's approach.

A stretch of the awareness of the connection and a further fraying and Vasilia knew all the options available again, knew the extent of disarray the puppet's body was in.

It would have to be enough.

"I need Shake, Sophia!"

There was a pause and something was said but Vasilia wasn't covered in as many ears and could ignore it as she chose. Could ignore it as she watched the body of fabric and wood turn back toward the White, toward the girl-thing that had been consumed.

She could ignore it, but she didn't.

"Here it is, be careful. The PET is acting really weird, I don't know if I can pull you out!"

The sole remaining hand gestured and a great weight dropped in front of the body. With a kick it was sent spining and twisting toward the White's bulk, a solitary hand rising from it's shadow to reach out claw corruption into form, to rip something contagious and hopefully debilitating into the foe.

The witch doll's body was moved, motions somehow smug and fearful at once as it attempted to escape further down the hallway.

==Summary==

1) Kick Out!
2) Charge time
3) Sigil of Gathering @ Hex
(Armour to Dust: Kick Out!'s shields will fail here if they havent yet.)
4) Movement -> Escape through Door
5) Shake1Damage: 90 + Wide Attack + Break
Accuracy: C
Description: Throws a dumbbell that slides through enemy lines for two turns. Can hit up to three enemies twice, second time having a 50% chance of hitting.
Duration: Two turns
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
+ Glitch + Contagious @ Hex
6) Movement -> Beyond the Door (hopefully)

Routine Override: Refresh all chips.
Armour to Dust: Any Tier 3 Defense fail here.
A Memory, Shared

[Server U-16Ø, Binary Interior]
[R&D Facility #10 - SciLabs]
[Before]

"Beach day!!! Beach day beach day beach day!" Nona's sprinting for the nearest shoreline the second the three of you are off the pad. Her new white dress would surely be caked with all manner of mysterious stains by cycle's end, but that's hardly a concern of the moment. You watch her shrink to a speck atop the silvery sands, while Aven'mutz exchanges a quiet word with the two acolytes running the transporter.The three are carbon copies of one another: gleaming, faceless, flawless avatars of Grandroot Themself. Your husband is newly ordained, and the shock of hearing his bassy voice from such a slight creature is still fresh enough to make you want to look around for him.

You're taller and broader than him, now. You're not sure you'll ever be used to that. Still, you can spot the minutiae that mark your man if you look closely: the set of his shoulders and the straightness of his back; the way he folds his arms like he expects them to be twice as thick around. It's reassuring to know which one to grab by the arm without having to listen, nevermind that both the other acolytes have women's voices.

The moment you pull Aven across the transporter's threshold and onto island soil, he goes slack. A breeze sets the trees to singing, loud and startling enough you almost the quiet, "Oh my..." as he looks up, and beholds the bubble-world of U-16.

There are islands in the sky. Rather, the ocean, Their ocean was the sky, after a fashion. The bubble drifts through Their depths, large enough for small landmasses to dot the round white sea. A small yellow star sits cupped in an unburning stone cradle at its centre, which spins in accordance with the cycles to give U-16 a mirror of the human world's day and night. Swirling clouds blanket the surface, calculated to evenly distribute that just-right amount of shade for when one's island paradise was getting a little too toasty. The horizon curves up on all sides, giving a curious sensation of standing in a colossal bowl - the horizon is far enough away to simply fade out of sight, far enough away that at night, the lights of the far side bouncing all the way across look like clusters of stars.

That's just what you've gathered from your eyes, your ears and the stories you've been told. Not for the first time, you wonder what it's like for Aven to be connected to it so completely, what he'd say if you asked him what he could see. The other side of the world, for all you know. He's volunteered little insight into his new perspective in the days since, but you can be patient for him, for this.

"Did you plan on spending your whole vacation standing there?" The playful words and your hand twining with his are enough to snap him out of the trance - it's not the first time you've had to. He gives you a small nod of apology-but-thanks, and then you're walking. Soil fades into sand underfoot; you take your boots off and relish the feeling of curling your toes into the fine grain. Nona waves to the two of you, slapping at the waves where they tickle at her ankles and shrieking with uncomplicated joy. The ocean cups her in a safe, shallow bowl even as it breaks well overhead to either side, cradling Their progeny as lovingly as her own parents. She flings herself forward and hugs the ocean back spread-eagle, even as it ruffles her short hair and takes care to stay out of her nose; she could not possibly be safer. Beside you, Aven makes a happy sound, like a faceless smile. You wave back.

You stop once you're just up the beach from Nona, patting the sand beside you. Watching Aven figure out how to make his avatar sit is both fascinating and a little heartwrenching. "Sometimes I miss your old body," you muse as he offers you his hand to hold. You study the fingers a moment: acolytes' fingers, the universe in the shape of a man. A beloved voice in an unfamiliar body...but familiarity would come in time.

Aven'mutz hums, following your gaze across the shore to where Nona plays in the sand. When he speaks up again, blithe as you please, you can hear that damnable smirk clear as day, nevermind you could no longer see it, "Truly? I can't say I expected to hear ambivalence from you, going off your words last night."

"Great Builder, could you not?!" you sputter - you can feel your face blush silver, even more-so when Aven'mutz fluid-shifts and reels you in for an obnoxiously close side-hug. You bat ineffectually at the tentacles, making his translucent chest rumble with laughter against your face. He seems to take this as an invitation to wrap the two of you up several times over and complete the hug. Giving up, you lean in and enjoy the cool daybed of his arms. Rivers of rootcode jangle in his chest like bells in a breeze.

"I do miss it, though. You've wanted this for so long, and you know I'll always support you no matter what. Still, you can't deny it's a lot to get used to." You prod at his chest, feeling rootplasm squish where there had once been broad, solid muscle. "This form is wonderful in its way, but...oh Aven, you were so warm and sturdy, and you gave such good hugs. It's hard not to miss that..." your thoughts begin to wander. Now it's your turn to leer, trying on the other side of playful, "...and your face was a lot more useful before."

"Ohhh reeeeeally?" His tone is an ear-to-ear grin, but Aven'mutz says no more, just lays back and lets the moment pass. A band has kicked up down the beach, playing something bubbly and bouncing. Human music, if you had to guess, but then your husband is talking again, voice low and thoughtful, "I just...the more I learned, the more I wanted, no, needed to do anything I could to help." You're surprised - you thought he was long past needing to justify his choice, but then for once in his life he doesn't content himself with a one-liner and keeps going, and that more than anything stills your tongue, "Grandroot Binary is so vast, and always growing. Even this far down, I can feel it, Dreisskr. It's like...like watching a forest grow in fast-forward, and it's always getting faster. There's more new growth today than yesterday, and there was more yesterday than there was the day before that."

There's nothing you can say to that, at least not yet, and anyway he seems incapable of stopping the words now that they've started to spill out. "Did you know, in our last communion with the Server Lab, one of the Superiors said our last census put our population almost on par with Earth's? They can barely keep track of us anymore, let alone Their outer limits. There's that much." He looks down at his hands, a relic from a life of binocular vision. You squeeze his forearms and try to imagine what else, how much else he's seeing, but he isn't finished, "It's on us now to make up the difference. The bigger Grandroot gets, the more resources the Server Lab need to maintain Them, the harder it is for the humans to communicate with us, the more attendants and acolytes we need to make up the difference, the bigger Grandroot gets...it's a cycle. A vicious cycle, and I don't know what's going to happen if..."

"Hey, hey." You can't take any more in, and have to give his arms a shake for the words to putter out. "Look at me, Aven, just - just at me. I know there's a lot but you - you can look away, right? You don't have to be all of it, you'll only lose yourself out there if you try - you have to know that if you're gonna do this. You're you, and you're here." You're talking as much with your body as your words, and your punctuation are fingertips ghosting over rubbery knuckles, and the stare he'd once told you had been what first set his mind ablaze with hold on. You don't need to see his eyes to feel his world shrink down into the space you inhabit. "I'm here. Your daughter's here. Please, my heart, be here with us too."


The white receded, rearing its stems back and up and flowering anew: crawling from its depths were ears with fingers, ears with toes, ears that gaped and ears that gnawed themselves to tatters. A village, a city's worth of skin and cartilage, sewn into a veiny tapestry. The unlight, having spread its taint to Hex's taste, had flourished now into an organ-like growth off the Egomorph-lump. Lung-like, the monstrosity started pulsing like a mockery of breath. Virtual atmosphere was pulled in and harvested, and with each exhale the Conduit started to echo with song.

Images, sensations slithered into one's ears and chest the longer one listened: a memory shared of toes curling into white sand; a warm embrace; a loving whisper 'be here with us.'



So too did it recede from out the Conduit. Bloody light flickered and died down to sparks as its fuel withdrew itself - the siren song dimmed but kept playing. Egomorph was flung back into her body, insensate, boiled for too long in Hex's cauldron. In a last desperate grasp for sanity, her awareness of self winked out. Didn't need to see what had become of her body; didn't need to feel her progenitor chewing the inside of her belly. She didn't need to be here for this, so she wasn't.

You closed your eyes instead, and let your head fall back against the sand. The lap of waves, the interplay of hot sun and cool sea breeze, the presence of others - others? For some reason you were expecting to see Vasilia, though you could not see her. Perhaps you were Vasilia, in this moment? Or was Vasilia you? It didn't seem to matter here. You looked up to the islands in the sky, hoping she could appreciate this beautiful place with you all the same.



A hand in yours. Familiar children's laughter, though you don't know from where. You look around for your daughter-

(Whose daughter? What was daughter?)



You - who were you again?

Where was this?



[Vasilia? VASILIA!]



"h̶́n͜͡n̕n̡ ̵-́ ̢g͘ḩ͘h͘ḩ͢͏k̶k̸ " Ego slammed herself into the madness and forced herself to feel. Boneless limbs flailed and snapped. Vasilia was close, far too close, her mouths were full of a sickening savoury-sweet taste it wanted more more more of she was an armless, legless tumour with too many so many faces and everything was moving but she couldn't stop it couldn't even move there was just too much her that wasn't her just more reaching white-

c̷á̧̛ ͟͡-̶͡ ҉̵n͘͟'̶͢͟t͝ ̕-̢ ͜st̴ ̡͠-̸ o͏ -͢ ̡̛͢p̷͞ ̵̀-̸ ̡̛͘i̧͠t͞ And it was all white inside her, she understood now, she was just - something to carry its brain around. Every syllable was a battle, when she only wanted to curl up and scream until it took her away because she was its brain, she was it was she was it was -. "̢̕i'̸̀͡m ͝-̸ ş͘͝ơr̀̀͡ ̵͢-̡ ͞͡r͟҉y͠"̴͡

Arms weren't working. Arms weren't arms, just coils full of hunger that wasn't hers, reaching in ways she didn't understand. Still, she fought to keep still. Even if it felt like trying to hold back the tide, water rushing past uncaring (over and over and over again), something wasn't letting her cave in. She would destroy herself trying, surely...but was that such a bad thing to hope for?

She just wanted it to stop.

It didn't.

Everything went white - Hex had lunged, through as much as around its puppet. The Conduit was inert; with triumph close enough to taste, there was no further need for thought. The ooze that had fed its cerebral access point was rerouted, repurposed to simply crush its prey instead. There were no tangling snarls or gardens of grasping hands this time, just a single misshapen cudgel of a mass, and all the force the surging pool could bring to bear.

All at once the obscenity was slurped back in. The hungry ocean feasted on its own offspring, bulging, bloating. Nothing was safe from consumption: the roof shingles, its own corpse-husks, even the atmosphere itself was caught on a waving carpet of tendrils and digested into more slurry. Another white pillar stretched tall, swollen full of wretched thoughtless intent.

She felt it fall. Heavier than the last one, it sent tremors through Ego's body that threatened to drown her voice outright. She might have been on the arm when it smashed down to the roof - it wasn't as though she could held it back if she was. There wouldn't be enough of Vasilia left for one of the white's trophies, if it got to her. "̹̻͈ͦ̇ͫ͛ͭ̋̔P̲̪͇̩̩̖̆̑͋͂ͅl̞̟̪ͨ̓͆̈́̊ͨ͐e̪̫̭̾̓a̮̟͉͓̮̥̠̒̑͂ ͓̬̀ͬ-̘͙̫̏̄ ͖̊̀s͉̈ͫ̔̍̒̋̃ė̥̜̮͎͖́͆ͮͯͅ,̀̈̔ͤ ̦V̗͓͛á͇͎̝̩̃̔ͅ ̯̼͉̠-ͦͨ͋ ̹̳̹̹̱̳͙͂ͧ̔̆̉̈́s͕̻͔̦̆͂͒i͙̘̦͙̖̹͎ͥ ͯ-̩̜͍̫̬̆ ̣͎̬̣͎͉̯ͥ̄l̒͂ͬ͂̅̾i͚̳̭̟̔ ̜̫̲͎̆ͦ͂-̠͐̾̽̋ ͚̖̯͈ͨ̾ͦ͐ͫ͂͗a̯̿̑̽̀̅ ̬̯̯̠̲͇̐̃͊ͬ͊̀̿.̟ͥͅ.͈͉̳̳̭̘.̞ͭ̏̎̆"̲̘̭̜̥ There was too much, just too much. It writhed once, twice more, and then -

- vanished.

Snapped back into the pool like a stretched rubber band, forceful enough to splatter the window into a low creep of ooze. She could feel, now, the white columns that stretched from the main body into this space. The skittering shreds belied what lay on the other side of that deceptive puddle: there was never going to be an end, not when there was a hungry white ocean <beneath/behind/below> leeching at the Net World one horrible hunt at a time, burrowing-

It was burrowing, Ego knew a second before it happened. In the last instant of quiet before the tide came back in, she called out to her friend.

"͞S̵̡͞U̸҉̶R͘͏̡ ̡-̡ ҉͢V̧̛IV̷̡̡E͘"̛͢

Like rust, like rot, it sank into the roof itself, and drank deep from its structure. Tunneling, tearing and gorging without heed, truss and beams were torn from their fastenings and devoured in seconds. The screech of tortured framework could be heard from blocks away - from inside the building, the noise was nothing short of apocalyptic.

And it rose, once more, higher and higher still, tipping under its own weight at its peak. A wave breaking without a sea, Hex made no move to send more appendages after Vasilia. They were past that. Now it just charged, throwing its entirety in her direction even as it tore the ground out from under her feet. Egomorph was screaming, but there was no way to hear her over the calamity. Whatever part of the building it had exposed would be flooded, all that lay within ripe for the taking, and at the epicentre of the madness was a little puppet that smelled of heartwood and fractals and something forgotten but familiar. And it was that last note, that tingling feeling of once-known the white desired more than any other, and it would render its prize down to pulp for another taste.






-Ḑ̴͌̋̊ͦ͂̈́̆͊̍̾ͯ̍̀͜A̴̴ͮ̓͗̆ͭ͐̇̋͟N̷̛̛ͣ̉ͯ̊̆̅ͦ̎̉̽̅͆̈ͭͩ̎͘̕Ģ̵̌͌ͬ̄̂ͣͥ͗͂͛̎̐̔͗͋̀̚͝͝E̶̸̛̐́̅̌͛̆ͭ̀̚͠Ȑ͋̒ͤͨ̏̓ͯ̋͝ ̸ͫ̈͛҉͢/̧̧̡ͩ͆ͨͥ͂͑ͫ́͐/̷̢̍͗ͯ̎̋̋̋ͬ̌̈̊̉ͬͫ̚͞ ̴̓̿̆̑͗̈͐̑̽̄̉C̶̵̡̈́ͧͥ̈̏͛̿̏͝O̡̿̀ͨ̏̊̊ͣ͊͌ͩ̓́̊͋̔̋̉͒҉̨͘N̑ͯ̽ͭ̀̕͠͡T̡̢͌̑̉̅͌̽ͯ͑ͦ̽ͦ̈́̉̀͟A̵̧̛ͥ̎̊ͥͥͫ̽̃̇̓̄̔͌C̴̸̒ͫ̋͋ͤ̋̑͝T̷̢̆̿ͥ̍ͤ̆̕͞ ̸̧ͬ̒͆̔̍͗̒͌̽ͭ́̃̃͌ͥ̈́ͨ͂I̢̛̿̾͊̒̐̃ͬ̒̍ͣͮMͩͫ͗͌̂͛̈ͩ̓̄̔ͦ̒̿̇́҉̴M̢͛ͧ̒́ͭ͒̕I̢̿͐ͫ̓͋̿̄̋͋̑ͨ̔̕͝N͒̀͗̍͑̀͝Ėͤͥͮ͟Nͦ̊̌̍̑ͨͭ҉̶̧̢̛T̵̵̷̵̑̿̊̅̓͐͂̀̒̓̌͌̔͋ͬ̂͋̚ ̶̴̨͒̇̌́ͨͯ͒ͥ̋̅̓́̈͘͞/́̇͑̔́͟/̡ͮ̓ͥ̇̅̅͂͐̚͢͡ ̨̔͋̿̑̊ͭ̓ͧ̂̊̿ͫͨͭ̀D̶̡̨ͦ̂̾͑̐ͮ̒̿̕Âͮ̅̽̂͌ͮ̾ͨ̅̕͞N̨ͧ͆̃͑ͬ͐̉̋̎ͫ҉͟G̛͗̋̓ͯͬ̈́ͣ̑̀̂̚͏̨E̽̒̏ͨͭͬͤ̌ͨ͊ͭ̆͆̈́̍ͧ̎̍̊҉́͞R̢̨̅ͫ̇͗ͦ̂͊̌͆ͨ̄̈̈͋ͫ̋̌ ̵̡ͤͤ̈͌́̋ͨ͂́/̶̸ͯ̌ͫͮͦ̑̕/̴͆̎̄̉͌̿͐͛̚̕ ̴̨͒̿̽̓̓͂̀̃̓ͯ̋͌̊̿̄͢͏C̡̛̔͑͊̋̊̅̾ͩ̿͏̵͜Õ̴ͪͩ͊͌͗̒̀̚̚̕N̨̨̢͆ͪͮͧ͘͜T̶̵̡͛ͦ̃ͯ̀͜A̵ͭ͊ͭ̈ͨ͌͘͘C̴̐̓ͭ̆̄́̚T̵̷̛̅̿ͯ́͑͋̓̄̀̆ ̄̅̍̐̑̌̿͐ͭ̑̚͘͘I̴̢ͯ͗ͭ̓̓ͬ͊̊̇̏ͩ́̆ͧ͂M̨͛ͯ̏͑̇̀̐̑͋͐ͪͥ̌ͯ̇͢͞͡M̵̡ͥͣ̿͆ͯͥ̆̆͜İ̽̂̈́ͣ̄͗̍ͤ̾̉̎̋ͬ̓ͦ͌̾̀͢͜͏̡N̴ͦͭ͂̿͑͒̅ͫ̓͆͢Ẽ̡̎ͦͯͪ̉ͮ̈͟͠N̷͑̓̓̒͑͊̏ͥ̊ͨͥͭ̚͘T̸ͣ̇͐͋̅́̽͊̇ͣ̾ͯͦ͛̒ͯ̈̋͜ ̡̀̓͒ͩͯͮͥ͒̽͐̓͛̈́ͥ/ͣ̈́ͦ̊͑̄ͧ͆̓͋ͮ̆̎̂́͝/̸͒ͣͨͨͤ̊̅̌ͥ͒̔̀ͪͭͣ̓͘͜͝͡ ̔̈̿͂ͩ͊̏́̈ͤ̃̌̈́̃ͦ̾҉̷͟D̏ͣ͆̃ͧ̒͂̉͏̧͝A̵̶͛̂̉̎̄̋̃̏͐̾͟Ņ̢͗̇̏̅͌ͧ̑͋̓̐̒͗͛͐͒͊̐̀̚͜͡Ǧ̶ͬ̎̀̌̔̀̕̕͢E̵̡̨̐͒̐ͯ̆ͯͧ́̚͜R̎ͥͤ͌̈̾҉̷͝-
-FastArmour [over Hex]
-Glitch Eater (indiscriminate target)
E1. Grapple Vasilia
E2. suffer Defend Hex
1. Half Charge Shot: Vasilia [60 Null {A}]
2. Buster Charge
- Apply Strengthen 20
3. Half Charge Shot: Vasilia [80 Null {A}]
4. Dodge
5. Assembly [Buster Charge x2, Large Broken Terrain under Vasilia, Self-Slow; 3TCD]
6. Charge Shot: Vasilia [120 Null {A}]
Somewhere amidst the out-of-place beach music and the strange sensations, while Vasilia struggled to escape and Ego suffered in between, the impossible mass that was Hex seemed to draw back – blooming and shifting with an unexpected hesitation, while a unexpected scene drifted in the oddly permeable space around their hectic chase; a quirk of the badly mutilated code of the space they were crashing through cast the images before everyone... and then, a moment later, the reverie broke, and hell broke loose again.

Vasilia found herself thrust back into her immediate here and now, her senses realigning within her body as a flash of something was torn from her and back into the churning white mass; the muted numbness remained, and the increasing dis-figuration of her wooden parts, but for the moment she was back with herself in her own head, at least. As she formed the sigil for protection once more, the slightly apart mass that bore Ego's conduit threw itself towards her again, desperately trying to cling on just as a battering-ram bludgeon of mass slammed forward, through the remaining shards of scientific debris, with enough force to flatten the puppet navi. The first hit was deflected, but it was clear that her sigil wasn't holding as well as it should.

All around them, shattering wood, stone and glass cracked over the still-playing music as what remained of Ego struggled to keep herself between Vasilia and the inevitability of the white. Trying to hold back the ocean only served to get in Vasilia's way, however, as the navi sought to give the corrupted creature back some of its own medicine. The grasping shadow hands reached and grabbed, latching only Ego's form and clinging tightly, pulling her along as Vasilia herself made for the fire escape. For a moment it looked more like two fleeing from one, rather than the other way around, but even as the code-breaking hands sank into Ego's conduit, the shadows flowed back along their tethered connection to the greater white mass as well.

Ego herself could feel the shadowy hands holding her tight and weighing her down, when moving was hard enough already, but there was more to it than that as well – they also seemed to be holding her up at the same time, keeping what remained of her form just above the glass-strewn ground without effort; for a moment it felt like, if she willed it, they might even carry her up and away from all of this. The stream of corruption that chased its way back to Hex itself washed across the monstrosity in a very different manner. As thought was discarded and intelligence was thrown aside, forgotten, all that was hex became sense and need, and then more, and less; senses narrowed, focused, brightened evened as they died... what need for sight, when its prey was right there, and it could be felt and heard and scented... what need touch, or scent or sound, when it could taste... and that taste was everything. The taste, the taste it needed, was all that remained; taste and the universe-devouring need to taste more.

Just ahead; that was where the lingering taste of heartwood and fractals fled. Hex surged forward, raw mass churning into the descending corridor behind Vasilia and Ego, on dragged by the other. Bolts of red lighting arced from the conduit as Vasilia rushed on; they arced off the metal housing of the door frame and the stairs, lighting up a narrow stairway that led down a dozen feet then doubled back on itself. Below, another door. Vasilia was able to descend, skipping part of the railing as she made for the lower door, but the corridor behind was filled as Hex came on like a flow, then a torrent, then a crashing flood.

For Hex, there was the taste of shattered glass, of broken stone, of water and of coolant, or iron metal and steel, and of old, dead wood. Not the taste it sought. Substance and matter, but not what would sate its hunger; it drove after the retreating taste, uncaring of anything else that might be between them.

The building rumbled, and spiderweb cracks began to spread out from the everywhere Hex's mass impacted. A glance back as Vasilia thrust the door open with her remaining hand; the zigzag stairs above gone, filled with white, and the cracks weren't just cracks in the masonry; code bled from them, as the data that made up their world ruptured and crumbled. Ahead, the panicked shouts of normal navis hurriedly jacking out before they got caught up in whatever was coming; an office space, benches and testing equipment, cubicles and terminals; a poster on the wall with a kitten hanging on a branch. Doors leading to other offices but where was down?

The other option drew Vasilia to turn back just as she burst into the upper floor, one hand drawing the sigils to send a fresh attack barrelling back at the only way her pursuer could be coming from. Sure enough it came on, tearing through the doorway and much of the upper wall as its body mass consumed everything it flowed over. Vasilia's attack was broad and forceful, and hammered back at her foe; the recoil seemed to slam the still-connected Ego back with it as well, as one set of tangled code warred against another and swiftly tore the space around them apart.

The floor of the building groaned as the network of widening cracks raced across it and the sea of Hex absorbed the heavy weight that had embedded itself in the mass. Dark lances of glitched code speared into the white substance, and again Vasilia got a glimpse of the aberrant code jumping back and forth between the monstrosity and Ego's conduit.

Hex seemed to only be growing more implacable and unstoppable as the broken code sank in and settled amidst the mass of flesh and form, though a keen eyes suggested that, whatever she was doing, Vasilia was making some headway towards driving the abomination back. There was only distantly the sensation of impacts and the taste of consuming all manner of things that were not the thing it needed to taste. That need was all that mattered; nothing else needed to remain at all.

Whatever was still present of Ego's ego felt the odd stillness fall across her again, though it was different this time. There was, impossibly, a tiny islet of calm from which to take in the horror beyond, and it remained somewhere in that part of the tortured girl that hadn't yet been corrupted, letting her know what to do, and when.

The moment ended as the building was filled with a warning creak. Hex drew itself up and lunged, driving the largest, most solid mass of its bludgeoning body back at Vasilia; the impact set her senses spinning as the fleshy substance was suddenly all over her, flattening her to the ground and trying to consume. Then, a deafening crash and a tearing sound, and suddenly everything was falling, tumbling, shattering and crashing against other broken pieces, all being torn asunder or devoured by the white mass. Vasilia landed with a painful impact, something rigid against her back, but not supporting her head or her lower body. Even the lingering numbness wasn't enough to shield her from the sudden bolt of pain that the hard landing solidified her awareness with. White was everywhere, on everything, slamming and thrashing about, but it didn't have her, not entirely, not yet.

Barely a moment to take in her awareness showed Vasilia what had happened; the broken skeleton of the office building loomed above her on four side, but the insides were gone collapsed, destroyed and devoured, leaving only a gutted shell that was itself laced with cracks and broken in places. At its core was Hex, white mass trailing from the walls down to a deep basement pit below the ground level. there should have been more material; there should have been more, but there was only hex, and the scattered remains of small debris. The white filled the basement, and Vasilia herself lay precariously above it, caught only by an outcrop of stone and steel that hadn't quite broken off. The doors and windows of the lowest level had all blown out, and shattered glass was everywhere, but it hurt to even move right now.

Not far from Vasilia, the body mass that could only be Ego's form drifted above the pit, still connected to the ocean of horror below, and still an inhuman mass of twisted flesh, too many ears, red-crackling conduit and the remnants of a dress... but drifting apart, a few feet and seemingly miles away from the churning, swelling, expanding mass below... and it was expanding, climbing, reaching, and coming for her.

-=The White=-
Hex: 65Hp [Broken, building basement][Strengthen: 20][Glitch: Sensory Fall (Taste) (2 Turns)][Glitch: Crumbling Touch (Tier 1) (2 Turns)][Glitch: Force Reroute (3 Turns)][Glitch: Neutral Plane (2 Turns)]

Egomorph.SP: 1Hp[Above Broken, Above Hex][Glitch: NC Flicker (1 Turn)][Glitch: Fissured Growth (Tier 4)(Restored: 30Hp)(Indefinite)][Glitch: Crimson Cascade (Indefinite)][Glitch: All Ears (Indefinite)][Glitch: To The Beach (Indefinite)][Glitch: Leaden Shadow (Indefinite)][Glitch: Ether-Step (2 Turns)][Glitch: Prescient Distraction (2 Turns)][Glitch: Warding Touch (3 Turns)]

-=The Witch=-
Vasilia.Exe: 1Hp [Metal. Ruins just above the Hex-basement][A Hand Down: Only one wield slot available for remainder of fight][Glitch: Chip Limiter (Two Turns)][Glitch: Routine Override (Tier 4)(Indefinite)][Glitch: Lingering Numbness (Indefinite)][Glitch: Armour To Dust (Tier 3)(Two Turns)]

-=The Walk-Way=-
20% Metal
  • Cannot be Broken or Cracked except with Geddon/PanelShot, cannot be Burrowed into.
  • Elec attacks: +100% Source Damage.
  • 100 Damage Aqua attacks: Change terrain hit to Cracked.
  • 100 Damage Fire attacks: Change terrain hit to Furnace.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Elec + Break.
[Jagged ruins of the building]
80% Broken
  • Not bottomless.
  • Reverts to Normal after a time, if no one is inside.
  • Doubles dodge penalties for bad RP.
  • 1-4 Movements actions to climb back out depending on method.
[Destroyed basement level of the building]

Terrain is the ground and basement floor in the remains of a large square building. The walls mostly stand, but the building is gutted. North from the ruins led towards the public plaza, south leads back into the maze of other tall buildings.

New Glitches

Sensory Fall (Negative Glitch): The victim suffers an almost suffocating level of sensory loss. All of their senses will shut off completely, leaving nothing behind. Only one sense (randomly selected) will remain unaffected by this glitch. This glitch has no hard mechanical effect, but should be played out by the victim as appropriate. Your moderator my decide to enact appropriate debuffs as well, or simulate them in combat calculations (such as imposing blind while sight is lost). Lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Crumbling Touch (Negative Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim's terrain changes decay rapidly. any terrain change the victim makes degrades into cracked terrain after one round, unless the change was already to cracked or broken terrain. This glitch is highly mutable and is prone to increasing in severity. At second tier, the victim's terrain changes decay at the end of the round they are created. At third tier, the terrain collapses into broken terrain one turn after it decays. At tier four, all terrain changes the victim makes decay immediately, and collapse into broken at the end of the round. At fifth tier, as well as the tier four effects, the victim creates small areas of cracked terrain around themselves wherever they move, which also collapse at the end of the round. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Force Reroute (Balance Glitch): The victim's body begins to reroute damage and power in reactive and cyclic ways. Any time the victim takes direct damage to their hit points, they gain strengthen equal to the damage that they took. Any time the victim gains Strengthen from a source other than this glitch, they take damage to their Hp equal to the Strengthen gained. This damage bypasses defences and cannot be mitigated, but is stopped by undershirt/second chance. Glitch lasts three turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Neutral Plane (Positive Glitch): The victim gains a naturalised form of planar adaptation. Any null elemental defence the victim gains acts much like a planar defence, as long as the victim is in contact with null elemental terrain. Specifically, null planar defences are not weak to break or impact. They have no elemental weakness, but do not halve damage from any source either. If the victim is not in contact null elemental terrain, null elemental defences remain and act as normal. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Leaden Shadow (Negative Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim's shadow, or similar aspect becomes heavy and clinging, clawing a them and weighing them down. The mobility and evasion bonus of all avoidances are downgraded by one category. That is: movements only grant as much mobility as a feint, and confer no evasion bonus, feints grant only as much mobility as a dodge, and confer only the evasion bonus of a movement, and dodges grant no mobility at all, while only conferring the evasion bonus of a feint. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or similar effect.

Ether-Step (Positive Glitch): The victim gains a lightness of step that functionally emulates the presence of Air Shoes, Float Shoes and Shadow Shoes. This also allows them to access the OmniShoes Custom Advance. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Prescient Distraction (Balance Glitch): The victim gains a calmness that allows a mild prescience effect, a the cost of personal focus. The victim loses their first action each round to a distracted daze, however, all actions they take have their accuracy increased by 2 ranks. this effect stacks with taking aim, and can surpass A rank. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Warding Touch (Positive Glitch): The victim gains a free allocation of processing capability that can be channelled into supporting effects. Once per turn as a free action, the victim may apply any one effect from the following list to a target of their choice: (15 Healing), (Status Cure), (1-Hit Shield), (20hp Barrier), (20hp Casing), (Damage Reduction 5, (1 Round)), (Strengthen 20), (NC Resistance (1 Round)), (Buster Resistance (1 Round)), (Folder Resistance (1 Round)), (Signature Resistance (1 Round)), (SP Resistance (1 Round)). Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.


Existing Current Glitches

Fissured Growth (Balance Glitch): The victim gains regeneration, recovering 5Hp per action through this glitch. The glitch records how much Hp it has restored. If this glitch is removed, it immediately deals direct damage to the victim equal to half the amount of Hp it has restored at the time of removal. This damage cannot be reduced or mitigated in any way, but will be blocked by Undershirt/Second Chance. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity, and can tier up to a maximum of five times. Each tier beyond the first restores an extra 5Hp per action. At fifth tier, damage caused by removal of the glitch ignores Undershirt/Second Chance. If this glitch resolves out of combat, it does not deal any damage. Glitch lasts until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Crimson Cascade (Positive Glitch): The victim exudes erratic, crimson light which lashes out at enemies nearby. As a free action each turn, the energy attempts to strike any hostiles nearby, a number of times equal to double the victim's rapid stat. Each energy strike deals 10 null element damage, and the victim gains Strengthen equal to the amount of actual Hp the attacks deplete (Barriers etc., do not count). Glitch lasts until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

NC Flicker (Negative Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim's Navi customiser suffers a glitch that causes their installed parts to randomly shut off for brief periods. Each turn, every NC install that the victim has will have a fifty percent chance to stop functioning for that turn. Any part that fails to function on one turn will be immune to this effect on the subsequent turn. This glitch has no effect on SPs, though they do act as carriers. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Chip Limiter (Negative Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a glitch in their battlechip system, which becomes partially become corrupted. They cannot use more that two battlechips per turn. Glitch lasts three turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Routine Override (Positive Glitch): The victim suffers an effect that bypasses the normal safety protocols in their battle routines, allowing the free use of actions and abilities normally requiring battle routines to be disengaged. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity and can increase to a maximum of five tiers. At tier one, the victim can freely refresh one used chip each round (though they can't use the same chip multiple times in one round lit this). At tier two, they can also use one subchip each round, as an action. At tier three, the victim's chips refresh automatically at the end of each turn. At tier four the victim change their subtype choices and installed navicust parts at the beginning of each turn. At tier five, the victim can use any number of subchips as free actions on their turn, and can choose to jack their navi out without consequence or needing to escape the battle first. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Lingering Numbness (Negative Glitch): The victim suffers a creeping numbness of body, which makes it difficult for them to function in a coordinated manner. Melee and Slashing attacks are decreased in accuracy by 10%, and there is a 10% chance that any wielded gear will be automatically disarmed any time it is used or struck by an enemy. The victim's base evasion is also hampered by 10%. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity, and can increase to a maximum of five tiers. The penalties and negative chances increase by 5% for each tier beyond the first. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Armour To Dust (Negative Glitch): The victim's armour begins to degrade and lose function. At the end of each turn, the victim automatically loses any Layer 3 defences they might have active. A visual cosmetic effect accompanies this glitch, in whatever way is appropriate for the victim. This glitch is prone to increasing in severity, and can worsen up to a maximum of five tiers, and the effects are additive and cumulative. At second tier, the automatic layer 3 loss occurs both at the end of the turn, and also no more than two actions after any layer 3 defence is activated. Third tier causes all layer 3 defences to be destroyed automatically after taking one hit, though they still block overflow damage unless struck with the correct piercing type. Fourth tier causes all layer 3 defences to be vulnerable to take double damage and overspill from all attacks, as though weak to them. Fifth tier prevents any layer 3 defences from being applied to the victim at all. The cosmetic effect of this glitch progresses with each tier as well. Glitch lasts three turns, until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

At The Beach (Neutral Glitch): Are you feeling, feeling, feeling like I'm, feeling-like-I'm-floating, floating, up above that big blue ocean; sand beneath our feet, big blue sky above our heads. No need to keep the stressing from our everyday life on our minds; we have got to leave all that behind!

All Ears (Neutral Glitch): The victim's body sprouts and changes to be come covered in ears of all different shapes and sizes. The ears completely obscure their form to the point of ridiculousness, but strangely, they don't have any actual impact on the victim's ability to function or perceive the world around them.


Past Glitch Log

Elemental Reflux (Negative Glitch): The victim suffers a backlash of elemental energy inside their body, which shifts wildly from element to element and grows stronger over time. On the first turn, the victim takes 10 elemental damage of their own element, or Fire if the victim is Null elemental. The damage increases by 10 each turn, and changes element at random. This damage is delivered on application, and then at the start of each turn, before any other actions occur (including passives). It cannot be reduced or mitigated in any way, but will be stopped by the Undershirt program. It is susceptible to being increased by the victim's elemental weakness if they have one. If the glitch ever deals 100 damage or more in one application, or if it triggers the victim's Undershirt, it is immediately burned out and removed. Otherwise, glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Reactive Form (Balance Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim's body becomes extremely reactive to changes in its integrity. They take an additional 10 points of null damage that cannot be reduced any time they take damage from any other source, however they also gain double the value of any healing they receive. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts three turn, until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Target Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary offence-enhancing effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

Spectrum Wash (Positive Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim is surrounded by a halo of energetic light. Once each turn, the energy strikes out to hit a random enemy with a bolt of random elemental energy. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts three turns, until combat ends or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Damage Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary damage-enhancing effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

Overly Objective (Neutral Glitch): The victim suffers a perspective shift that causes their senses to relay information about their surroundings as though they were several metres removed from themselves, watching on. The glitch affects primarily the visual and aural senses; tactile experience is unaffected, creating a disorienting, but not debilitating experience.

Adaptive Mutation (Balance Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a mutability of their body which grants it the ability to resist damage. The Final damage the victim takes from any attack is reduced by 10. The effect is uncomfortable, alien and unsettling, however, and it makes it hard to focus beyond the unnerving sensation: the victim's accuracy and evasion are both reduced by 10%. This glitch is highly mutable and can interact with other glitches. Glitch lasts two turns, or until removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Cripple Catalyst (Negative Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary debuffing effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

SAS Shortcut (Positive Glitch)(Mutable Glitch): The victim suffers a glitch in their signature Attack System which causes a more efficient and longer enduring function. Positive effects generated by signatures last for as long as this glitch does, unless their duration would already be longer. SPs and Navigators are treated as independent by this glitch; an SP whose navigator has allocated them personal signatures is unaffected if their navi has this glitch, and similarly an SP with this glitch finds only their personal signatures effected, without infecting their navi's. Glitch lasts three turns, until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.

Growth Catalyst (Positive Glitch)(Catalytic Glitch): The victim suffers a temporary protective or restorative effect, randomly determined, and taking effect immediately upon application. This effect lasts only until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, the Glitch checks for any Mutable Glitches in the victim's system. If none are present, the glitch is dispelled. If a Mutable Glitch is present this glitch interacts with that one, and creates a new, long-term glitch of a related nature to one or the other, or both. If the Mutable Glitch and the Catalytic Glitch are of different natures (Positive, Negative, Balance), the new form will be either Balance, or the nature of the Catalytic Glitch. If multiple Mutable Glitches exist, one is randomly selected. Glitch lasts only for the turn that it is applied.

SAS Soul (Positive Glitch): The victim's Signature Attack System briefly defies all code logic. Signatures have no cooldown and can all be used once per turn. Positive effects generated by signatures endure indefinitely (or until destroyed as usual in the case of defences), instead of their listed duration, as long as this glitch remains. This includes enhancements, such as Haste, body defences, such as shadow and multi-turn/action benefits such as regeneration effects. Any time the victim uses a signature with a beneficial effect on themselves, they spontaneously regenerate 10Hp. Glitch lasts until combat ends, or removed with Status Cure, Glitch Eater or other similar effect.
She was herself again. Was inside herself again. Her body was still numb, but at least it didn't feel like it was far away. The other presence in her mind was gone as well, had temporarily disappeared with a surge of how dare it how dare it howdarehowdarenotagain, please- when the White enveloped her and the memory crashed in.

Oh how she wished she ahd listened to Ego when the girl had warned her about the White.

Confusion: instead of looking at herself from far away she was seeing split. Fragments of words, of thoughts and feelings filtered through her consciousness and she was suddenly sure of the beach, of the water and the waves and the sand. There were words being spoken and she thought she said them, but they were less important than what she felt.

A strong sensation of belonging, of being. Of love, given and reciprocated. Warmth flooded her body from the hand in hers and she knew everything was good and safe and she was on the beach with her husband she was looking for her daughter she was-

She wanted to curl up, wanted to stay forever and never but there was something else. Something that burrowed into her, soemthing that didn't want to hurt but wanted her to move, to not join the -group? person? family? she couldn't remember- on the sand on the beach. It was a soundless discordant tone among the strains of music she knew she was hearing.

Something within Vasilia shifted in response to that request. The old and powerful presence that had been smothered before woke again. It used used the last of its connection to the puppet-witch to make a change, to imprint a desire to survive before it disappeared again and entirely.

A flood of tingling energy brought Vasilia further out of the haze she had been in. A voice she didn't recognize and a voice she did. A conversation just outside the edge of her concentration. What were they saying? She leaned toward the sound but there was another voice, the one she had wanted- to hold? to save? She listened as a voice cracked and broke and spoke. It was familiar beneath the breaking. It was a warning and familiar and it wanted her and there was another voice, trepidition and warmth associated with and a sense of wanting but she-

"Vasilia! Vasilia! Protect yourself! Vasilia!"

Being herself again hurt. Her missing hand ached with the memory of holding a hand, her feet told her they remembered sand but those missing sensations were fading. Pain was taking their place, pain and the fear and the knowledge that she was almost lost-

"A defensive signature move might buy you time."

[color=#CD7F32]"Okay, we'll try it! Vasilia! Use your Sigil!"[/colo]

There were two voices speaking now but there had been three and she was confused and she missed something but she shook her head. Sophia wanted her, needed her to do something. Vasilia couldn't let a Net-Op down again, Vasilia wouldn't let her Net-Op down. Again.

"Rrright! Sigil of, of, of Defense!" She didn't have to say the words normally but it helped now, when she was confused and torn and so tired. It focused the light at the end of her finger as she sketched the shape on her body. The light spread, solidified over her pieces without hampering her movement. It was a shell and a veil against the horror all around her but it was all she had.

"Chips confirmed refreshed, use this one, then this one!" A male voice, oone she didn't recognize. It wasn't Sophia's dad but Vasilia didn't have time to peer into the real world when the PET was shuddering under the load of the bugs and a chip was being loaded in.

"WoodPowder 2, Slot-in! Hit the bulk of that thing then get away Vasilia!" Sophia's voice trembled beneath the confidence she tried to project and Vasilia felt something in her chest swell in response at the familiar tones. The doll was herself again and she would do what she could for her Net-Op, would do what she could for Ego.

"Yesss, going now! Trample, Wood!" It was hard to talk, hard to get the words out without tripping on them, there was only herself to rely on to move her body now. She drew a leaf in a circle in front of her face and leaned her face towards it and blew with all her intent and her will that she could scrape up. A powder, sharp leaves, a gust of wind to carry it all burst from the shape toward the White all around her. A stream of pain for the mass (masses, she thought as she remembered the beach and the conversation while the details stayed stark and clear) as her attack changed the ground beneath her.

Vasilia moved in the wake of it. She twisted and struggled and tried to spring free, to flee away from the White all around her, aiming for a clear patch of floor where she could stand unhindered.

She didn't need to breath but her torso heaved with the effor of the movement, of keeping ahead of the physicallity of Hex and out of the tempting scene it had shown her.

"No time to rest, go for the elemental advantage!"

"That's going to be-! HeatBreath1, slot-in! Try to get away Vassie!"

Another chip, another flood of power but her hand hurt, the only one she had left. She couldn't keep this up. The witch-puppet lifted it anyways, drew the cyan flames in front of her and the circle around them. She aimed the way she had fired before, a dim hope of forcing the White back blooming in her chest.

"Rage, Fire!" Flames boiled out of the sigil, spilled and reached for the White and the path of greenery that the heat tried to consume to fuel itself. Tiles cracked and boiled along the path and Vasilia was reminded of the volcano, the the heat and Venusman and the pain that had awaited them there. She had made it through that, she would make it through this.

"Okay, see this light here? Your emeegency jack-out is available again! Whatever was blocking it before has cleared."

"Finally! You're almost out Vasilia, run! You won't fall to even an A-Grade horror monster!"

"Understood! Going!" She steadied herself then turned on her heel and fled. Any path was welcome as long as it lead away from the White. Any help was welcome as long it aided against the White. She'd scale the walls if she had to, she would fling herself from a window if she must.

===Battle Log===

*Routine Override lv4 Subtype choice switch Passive: Contagious -> Floating Point Error
Active: Hack -> Glitch Eater

Floating Point Error Stack: +8% difficulty to hit Vasilia (2% per glitch)
Action 1: Use MiniEnergy
Action 2: Sigil of Defense @ Self
Action 3: WoodPowder2Damage: 90 + Medium Grass Terrain Change + Confusion + Cone Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Blast up to 4 enemies with a cone of miasma breath. Changes terrain to Grass and causes confusion on contact.
Duration: Once
Element: Wood
Trader Rank: C
+5 Wood Damage @ Hex
Action 4: Feint - Out of Hex's grip
Action 5: HeatBreath1Damage: 80 + Medium Lava Terrain Change + Cone Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Blast up to 4 enemies with a cone of fiery breath. Changes terrain to Lava.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D
possibly x2 damage due to Grass Terrain from WoodPowder @ Hex
Action 6: Movement - Away