>Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44759233/
>General Pastebin: pastebin.com/u/TaskForceKaz
You’re not sure how many days have passed. At least two weeks, you think. All of the pain and cramps and aches are all blending together to form an incomprehensible mess where time ceases to have meaning. Weekends, weekdays, holidays. There is nothing here in Camp Cocytus but Crunch Time.
Sun up, it’s back to the daily grind with everyone else, punctuated only by the brief respite of boot camp chow. Sun down, and you stumble into your cot, feeling as if you’re half-dead. Sometimes, you question the decisions that lead you here. Sure, you don’t regret joining, but it’s really taxing you to the limit.
With that said, for all your internal and vocal bitching, you can definitely feel yourself getting stronger.
Prior to your arrival, you couldn’t run faster than a seven minute mile. Now, you’re at about five-thirty and still left with plenty of energy to spare. And though you’re still unable to fully complete one hundred push-ups, one hundred sit-ups and one hundred squats without taking at least three breathers (Fitz and MacKay are able to do it with only one), you’re still able to finish that much, at least.
You aren’t anywhere near Fitz or MacKay, but you’ve managed to keep ahead of Brady and Victoria, who have also made great progress since their arrival, especially Brady. Both of them can keep up and complete the exercise, albeit within a slightly longer time-span than yours.
And the best part? Alger’s negativity seems to have faded away to dry humor and the occasional snark.
>You gain a + to Combat rolls!
Today, it seems like your commander’s planned something different. The five of you are all dressed and ready to go for another hard morning of calisthenics. But from the table with COMPs that Alger’s got laid out in front of you, it seems like you aren’t going to be watering the ground with your sweat.
For now, at any rate.
“Today, we’re gonna be doing a ‘live-fire’ exercise of sorts with these,” Alger says as you gather around the table. Holding up one of the devices, he continues, “These are what most agents of the Task Force are gonna carry during combat operations. Gauntlet-based COMPs are more durable than your standard ‘Smartphone’ model.
“Each of these COMPs have been personally assigned to you, and will only respond to your DNA. Aside from storing demons, they also function as well as the latest smartphone you can imagine. Calling, web browsing, health monitoring and many more things. For now, I want you get accustomed to the weight. For those that were able to negotiate with demons during your initiation, we had them stored here until your arrival. Why don’t you bring them out now?”
You strap on the Gauntlet, moving your arm as you adjust to the weight. The screen lights up and a display interface flashes to life. One quick tutorial later, and you press the icon that says ‘Demons’ and move right next to a familiar portrait. But as soon as you hit the ‘Summon’ button…
You don’t have any time to react before a burst of pixels leap out of the screen…
…and tackle your right in the face with an incredibly tight hug.
“I missed you so much!” Pixie cries, clinging onto your face as tight as she can. “They said that you were going to have to get stronger before we would meet again, but three weeks is too long to wait! Are you okay? Have you been eating enough?”
>Not just bonding with a demonic spirit of misfortune that forms a parasitic fusion resulting in the appearance of a demon with the heart of a human.
Move pixie to our shoulder and pat her head with a finger.
“Itsh nish ter se you too…ifsh I culd shee,” Is the only thing able to come out of your mouth. You’re not exactly lying either. Your eyeballs are somewhat being pressed into your sockets.
Realizing that you’re unable to talk, Pixie unlatches herself from your face and hovers in front of you with an embarrassed, yet excited look on her face.
“Yeah, I’m okay for the most part,” You answer her, giving one of your prize-winning smiles. “Even with this demonic training from hell, I’ve been doing good. It’s hard work, but it’s really paying off.”
She smiles and hovers over your shoulder. “Glad to hear it! You look stronger, too!”
“Damn straight I am.” You gently pat her on the head. “Now we’ll be able to kick more ass in the future.”
She titters with undisguised glee and delight.
“Just as excitable as ever, it seems.” The old Knocker finishes his introduction to MacKay and gives you both a bow. “It’s wonderful to see the both of you in much better circumstances than the last time we met.”
You give him a nod, and are about to reply before the sound of Alger clapping his hands returns your attention to him. “Now that you’ve all been…reacquainted,” he says with a wry smile. “It’s time to explain today’s drill.”
With an arm gesture that sweeps out to encompass the entire forest region, he continues, “These woods are infested with low-level demons, and us instructors have taken the liberty of using a special attract chemical that make’s ‘em more liable to come out of hiding.”
Well that doesn’t sound ominous at all. Everyone seems to react differently, either in anticipation, slight worry, or a mixture of the two. It’s hard to tell. Brady’s poker face has definitely improved.
“Today’s assignment is to negotiate with hospitable demons and kick the stuffing out of the hostile ones. You’ve reached the minimum threshold expected for recruits to be in some danger, but not anything life-threatening. But just in case, your Gauntlets will let me and the other staff members know if you’re in some real deep shit.
“You’re only gonna be allowed to carry machete’s or knives. No guns until we actually get there, and the risk of hitting someone is too great for a group exercise.
Knowing your past experience with guns and the accidents they cause, this is probably for the best. Fitz seems to think so too, and nervously twitches her foot in response.
Alger continues, “You have the option of either splitting up into two-man teams, or you can head off by yourselves for this exercise. Just try to get back here before noon with either some demons in your COMPs or experience in your belt.”
You should probably…
>Team up with [X]
Is this the club we got from the demon in the hospital? If so, then this.
>>Team up with [X]
We should probably split into groups with one demon user in each group until the others get a demon. Then we split off.
Also, Pixie for Waifu. Pixie a best.
Pixie can heal us so we are a little more self sufficient than the others. The others though should go in pairs until they all get demons.
Fitz and Victoria
MacKay and Brady sound good?
Rolled 1, 1 = 2 (2d2)
I don't mind either which way, and I'm not sure if MC here should be deciding the ENTIRE party composition.
that said, this is a rare opportunity to safely negotiate without already having a demon. Might be good experience for some people.
But seriously thats fine, Adrian has no disposition to any ideology so everything is free game!
You walk up to the table and grab the nightstick-looking thing. From a few practice swings, it seems to be lighter than what you would expect of something that has a metallic sheen, but hits harder and doesn’t seem to dent against a nearby tree trunk.
It’s no Kobold Club, but it’ll do. You nod in satisfaction as you slide it by your belt.
Brady decides to broach the subject. “So…teams? It’s more fun – and less dangerous – if we stick together.”
“We need to be able to handle solo operations on our own,” Victoria argues, trailing off as she points at a few members of the group, “But seeing as how three of us don’t have demons…and two of us are more combat proficient that the others…”
“I’ll head off alone,” You say. That gets everyone’s attention. “The rest of you can get an even split in terms of combat experience and demons. Pixie can heal and deal damage, so I should be fine on my own.”
Fitz snorts. “I get ya,” she says with a smirk. “You didn’t do so hot against me or MacKay in the exercises, so you’re gonna be hot stuff in the demon summoning, negotiation and all that shit, huh? Yeah, I can definitely get that…”
You roll your eyes. “Yes, that’s totally it. How’d you know?”
“Because I’m a fuckin’ genius, is what,” She laughs before sobering up with a frown on her face. “Just don’t push yourself too far, okay, sawbones? Don’t make us call out another flatbed to drag you back to base.”
“That was only once…but you got it. I’ll be careful.”
>There are two paths that fork into the forest.
>Which way shall you go? [Left/Right]
>Roll d100 + 30 for Encounter.
The only good Law Demons are usually end or post game. We honestly should focus more on Neutral Demons until we get the ability to fuse the good shit.
But in the end, you can use any demon no matter the alignment.
After giving everyone a heartfelt “good luck and see ya later”, you decide to take the left-most path into the woods.
If it weren’t for the fact that Alger’s having you walk into a literal hotzone for demonic activity, you’d take a little bit longer to enjoy the scenic route. The sight and smell of old growth, unhampered by the progress of civilization, calms your mind and takes the stress off your back.
Here, you are unconstrained by the ties of modernization. The lifeless grey jungle of steel trees and concrete structures are nothing like this. Mankind was not meant to spend their years in artificiality, surrounded by false materials and unnatural items.
This is the Earth in its most natural state: the feeling of moist soil yielding to your footsteps, the ambient noises of birds, bees and other forms of life that go on unseen to the naked eye. And the sweet scent of hyacinths on the wind…
You pause, shaking your head. Your mind briefly wandered for a bit there. You check your COMP. Ten minutes of being in a trance. That’s idiocy that could get you hurt, or killed if you were on an actual mission.
Your diligence rewards you. From out of the brush, a shape comes charging through the undergrowth, snapping past branches and unflinching before the thorny bushes. It comes to a stop before you, hooves pawing the ground and staring at you from…its two horse-like heads?
“A human,” the creature snorts, facing you with what could only be described as a combat stance. “Wandering through these woods where demons gather. You must either be a fool, or a strong warrior. I wonder…which one are you, to stand before a mighty Centaur?”
>You’ve never heard a demon use this type of speech before.
>The demon seems interested in you.
>“I want you to become my demon.”
Huh. You wouldn’t have pegged the demon standing in front of you as a centaur. But, you shrug. At the end of the day, a demon is still a demon.
Honesty is the best policy…most of the time. At any rate, you may as well state your intentions before just blindly attacking. “I want you,” you say with great deliberation, “To become my demon.”
The centaur’s stare doesn’t change, but its chest rumbles in what could loosely be described as amusement. “I see…Devil Summoner, are you? Seeking to entreat me into joining your group. If you wish for the honor of my company…then prove yourselves in the heat of battle!”
With a mighty neigh that echoes through the neighboring trees, the demon charges. It's horns are lowered and aimed directly at your chest.
>Roll d100 + 10 to Dodge.
>You will go next after Centaur.
>Will you Attack? Y/N
You resist the urge to call out “Olé!” as you step to the side and successfully avoid the horns by a wide margin. Arrogance is the highest step before the long way down. Best not to get a swelled head while in a combat situation.
Still, you just dodged a charging Centaur. That's gotta earn you points towards getting a certified "bad motherfucker" degree.
As the demon stumbles to a stop, you run alongside its flank, and bring your club down on its exposed backside.
>Roll 1d10 + 4 Damage.
Your club makes a satisfying WHACK as it smashes into the Centaur’s backside. It makes a sort of pained noise between a shriek and a neigh as the demon staggers under the weight of your blow.
The weapon comes away, revealing a nasty discoloration of the skin. That’s bound to leave a nasty mark.
“Pixie," You shout, backstepping swiftly out of the range of the hooves, "I need you to…”
“Hit him with Z-”
“Hold your strike!”
You pause mid-way in the middle of your command as the Centaur suddenly interrupts you. With a slight shudder, the demon stands up and gives you a looking-over. After a few seconds, it snorts in what you think is approval.
“That was indeed a mighty blow you landed upon me,” It declares, rubbing it’s side with an errant hoof. “Have your demon hold your spell, Devil Summoner. You have proved your worth as a warrior. I will join your company for as long as you would have my services.”
>“Welcome to the team.”
>“…hit him with Zio.”
You lower your club and raise a hand towards Pixie. She nods, and dispels the ball of lightning that had been charging in her small hands.
Smiling, you flash your Gauntlet at the Centaur. “Welcome to the team.”
The Centaur bows in a dignified manner before proclaiming in a proud tone of voice: “I am Centaur of the Yoma race. So as long as you raise your weapons with the full strength of your convictions, I will support you.”
There’s a burst of noise from the COMP as it scans the demon standing in front of you. After making a chirping noise, a laser breaks down the demon into a stream of data and sucks it inside of the machine. Data flashes across the screen as it analyzes the demon within it.
> + Centaur (Lv. 1)
> --Race: Yoma
> --Alignment: Neutral
> --Personality: Aggressive, Prideful
> --MP: 19
> --Ice Magic/Weak to Electricity
> --Moderate Physical Abilities
> --- Bufu (Weak ice spell, 20% Freeze to one foe) [3 MP]
One whirring later, and the Centaur appears at your side, in full hale and health. “Let us be on our way, my liege.”
>Roll d100 + 30 for Encounter.
>We didn't critfail an encounter roll!
>At your current level, you can only control two demons at a time.
>You have filled 2 out of 8 (2/8) available demon slots in your COMP.
That encounter took…you check your COMP. Only five minutes. There’s still quite a long way before you have to report back to Alger. So, you decide to continue down on the beaten path.
“So…quick question.” You ask after a comfortable minute of silence.
“What is it, my liege/master?” Pixie and Centaur ask at the same time.
“…don’t take this as too odd of a question,” You hesitantly speak, “But is it at all possible for humans to learn magic?”
Pixie tilts her head. “Well, it depends on what you mean by magic. Some humans have magical techniques that go back way into the days when demons used to be more commonplace. These are the kind of folks that made demon-hunting kind of their day-to-day living, but their magic is different from ours. There’s sealing magic, teleportation magic…”
“There are certain clans within humanity that can learn the magic of demons, if that is what you are concerned about,” Centaur rumbles, rolling right past an indignant Pixie. “However, it is due to their heritage and ancient bloodlines that they are able to learn and wield our powers as one of our kind would do.
"Unless you come from such an illustrious line, or have been exposed to magnetite since your birth…it is unlikely for you to be able to wield magic in a conventional manner.”
>“…you said ‘conventional’. What about unconventional?” [Continue discussion]
>“…shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up.” [Back to searching]
>>“…you said ‘conventional’. What about unconventional?” [Continue discussion]
Is it possible to make Half-Demons? Particularly ones that are Cool, Stylish and everything in between?
Centaur makes a low noise. “There are demons that will offer a fraction of their power to humans in exchange for something precious…one’s soul, a lover, a valuable object…essentially a Faustian exchange of power, and one that tends to have very negative consequences in the long run.”
The corner of your mouth twitches. Yeah, that’s something that doesn’t sound too healthy.
“There are also rare cases of possession among the more spectral kinds of demons…although it would be more accurate to say that the demons are wielding the power while wearing the flesh of the human as one would a vestment.”
…you quietly remind yourself to ask MacKay to read up on exorcism rituals.
You can see the gears turning in Pixie’s head before she picks up right where Centaur left off. “My people have a legend among us. In a distant land, one of my cousins is said to have traveled with a half-demon who was able to learn and use magic like a true demon. But here’s the thing: he was once human! The myth isn’t too specific about it, but the verses and stanzas make reference to some kind of parasite that grants powers. Maybe it’s symbolic, maybe it isn’t? Never got a full explanation for that…”
Being a medical student, you try to broach the subject of actually copulating with demons to produce natural-born half-demons…but wisely decide not to. Who knows how Pixie would react? On top of being too damn lewd, you don’t have any interest in the byproduct of sticking it in the demonic aside from a purely scientific curiosity.
You like your women without horns and hooves, thank you very much!
A piercing cry suddenly breaks your train of thought. You quickly search for the source of noise. No less than fifty feet away from you, a creature with the wings, talons and head of an eagle and the body of a lion gorges itself on the flesh of a freshly slain deer.
But seriously ask our demons about this guy, if they think he'd be down with joining us.
>You like your women without horns and hooves, thank you very much!
I can't help but notice you didn't say wings.
>Take cover and ask our demons what gryphon demons are usually like
You’re fairly sure that you’ve seen enough movies and read more than enough books to know what kind of monster that is. But just to be safe, you decide to consult your compatriots under the cover of the undergrowth before making a move.
“That is indeed a gryphon, my liege,” Centaur lowly remarks. “They are simple, but proud creatures. What they lack in actual intelligence, they more than compensate in power and agility in any sort of combat. I would recommend extreme caution.”
Pixie looks like she’s about to be sick at the sight of deer innards strewn across the forest floor, but swallows her bile and whispers, “Looks like the big fella is hungry. Maybe we should wait for him to finish his meal before talking to him. It’s your call though, Master.”
>Wait for the Gryphon to finish its meal.
>Approach it while it’s midway in its meal.
Who knows when you’re going to get another chance like this? You decide to wait for the gryphon to finish its meal before approaching it with an offer.
But it doesn’t look like the big guy is in any hurry. Apparently, it likes the taste of venison to the point where it makes chirping, warbling noises as it swallows the meat down its gullet. It’s definitely taking its sweet time to enjoy the meal.
You time it, occasionally moving to ensure that your legs don’t fall asleep. Forty minutes for the beast to tear the last hunk of meat from the deer carcass before it collapses to the ground with a content humming noise.
“Okay, let’s go now,” You whisper to the rest of your party. With nods, they follow your lead into the clearing.
The gryphon raises a lazy eye towards your approach. “WHO ARE YOU?" It belches out in a surprisingly high-pitched tone of voice. The smell of bloody meat wafts from its beak, and you resist the urge to gag. "ME NEVER SEE HUMAN LIKE YOU BEFORE. WHY YOU COME NOW?”
>You’ve never heard a demon use this type of speech before.
>The demon seems interested in you.
>“I want you to become my demon.”
“I…” You pause for a moment to clear your throat from the iron stench of blood, “I want you to become my demon.”
The gryphon raises its head a little higher. “DEMON SUMMONER, YOU? WANTING ME TO JOIN?”
“Yes,” you say, quickly coming up with a response to hopefully augment your persuasion. “I approve of your taste in meat. Venison is a top class meat, worthy of one who would be my ally!”
“YOU LIKE DEER MEAT?” The demon slowly stands up and shakes the dirt from its wings. “YOU LIKE DEER MEAT SO MUCH…THEN YOU JOIN DEER IN STOMACH!”
With a speed that doesn’t compliment its bloated stomach, the gryphon lunges at you, clawing at you wildly with its deadly claws.
>Roll 1d100 – 10 to Dodge (-20 for Failing Negotiations)
Demons be random, yo.
You somehow manage to avoid getting scratched by the talons, which is a miracle in of itself given how you could feel them slicing through the air. Good Christ, given their length, you would not want that kind of weapon sinking into your flesh. That’s at least a good three to four inches.
That’s gonna leave a mark, body armor or not.
Maybe you shouldn’t breach the subject of venison with these kinds of demons. You quietly shove that tidbit of information into your mental library before taking a swing at the gryphon. The nightstick races towards the outstretched body…
>Roll d100 + 10 to hit.
…and misses by a very close margin. The fucker twitched, and the weapon went over it by a damn two inches.
Ah well. At least you have Centaur and Pixie to rectify your mistakes. (Hopefully) With a very bloody vengeance.
“Centaur, Pixie,” You command, stepping back out of the range of the gryphon’s beak and claws, “I need you to…”
>What should Pixie use? [Zio/Rakunda]
>What should Centaur use? [Attack/Bufu]
"Use Zio, Bufu! Now!"
"Understood/Got it!" Your demons cry out.
The air becomes cold, and filled with ozone as both of your demons release their attacks. A bolt of lighting arcs towards the gryphon, who screeches as tendrils of electricity race along its body. It doesn't seem terribly hurt, but the shards of ice that lacerate its skin seems to provoke a very pained reaction.
"ME KILL YOU ALL!!"
The gryphon lunges towards Pixie, but it's too slow to land a hit. She gracefully dodges, giggling in a derisive manner. "Too slow for me, featherbrain!"
It doesn't seem to have an adverse reaction to either of the elements, but you can tell that it's terribly wounded.
>You have the opportunity to attack.Y/N?
>If Y, Roll d100 + 10 to Hit.
Ooooh, yeah. That’s definitely a hit. A real nasty one at that judging from the gash you opened up on the bastard’s face. A pained warble escapes from the gryphon’s throat before it collapses onto the ground, wings, limbs and tail twitching violently as its blood leaks onto the soil of the forest.
But how hard did you hit it? It had to have been a nasty shot. You decide to keep a close eye on it for any signs of higher cognitive function aside from involuntary reflexes.
>Roll 1d10 + 4 Damage.
Much to your amazement, the damn thing’s still alive. Its eye twitches as it desperately tries to track the movement of your group, from the hulking steps of Centaur to the aerial maneuvers of Pixie.
“Should we finish it off, my liege?” Centaur asks, raising a hoof above the demon’s neck. It is too weak to do anything except squirm pitifully in a futile attempt to escape. “I can put it out of its misery in a single, decisive blow.”
You hold up your hand. “No. I want to try one last thing. If it doesn’t work, then you can kill it.”
The demon nods in ascent and parts before you as you knell beside the fallen gryphon. It looks at you with a bloodshot eye, with all the weariness and acceptance that this is the fate of the weak, and that the rules of nature dictate that events have to be this way. Survival of the fittest and what-not.
Instead, the eye marginally widens in surprise as you extend the COMP towards its face. “You have two options right now,” You mutter. “You can get in this device, join me and live. Or I can have my centaur snap your neck like dried firewood. The choice is yours, gryphon.”
>Roll d100 Social + 30 (Intimidation bonus)
The demon nods frantically. “Y-YESSSSSS…” It warbles, spitting globules of blood out of its beak before continuing. “WANT TO LIVE…JOIN DEVIL SUMMONER…BE VERY LOYAL...PLEASE…”
It satisfies you enough. “Then hold still…”
The COMP scans the demon with its laser, and after the usual procedure of whirs, beeps and clicks, the gryphon dissolves into stream of data and is sucked into the Gauntlet. A flash of light accompanied by a tiny DING indicates that the creature has been fully processed by the machine.
> + Gryphon (Lv. 3)
> --Race: Beast
> --Alignment: Neutral
> --Personality: Aggressive, Simple
> --MP: 23
> --Nulls Force/Weak to Gun
> --Moderate Physical Abilities
> --- Bouncing Claw (1-3 hits of Weak physical damage to one foe) [4 MP]
>You have now filled 3/8 available slots of demons in your COMP.
You take a deep breath, sigh and dust off the dirt from the hem of your fatigues. "Well that went well," You address your demons.
Two new demons within the hour. Alger's going to be pleased. With that said, you've still got an hour left before noon.
>Continue searching for demons.
>Make your way back to base.
And with that, I think we can call it a night. Good session guys. I'll use the votes to set up the into to the next session...whenever that is. Either tomorrow or Thursday.
>>Continue searching for demons.
Put Centaur into the COMP, pull Gryphon out. Then use Gryphon as a loyal land mount.
Pixie can ride on our shoulder or fly beside, whatever she prefers.
Current limit is two out at a time. The stronger you get (i.e. higher level), you will be able to control three demons at a time. No more than that though, but don't expect controlling three demons at a single instance to be anywhere near your current level at the moment. That's a long way from now.
Most likely not. Standard fare SMT has demons of all shapes and sizes that fit into one active party slot. Even big ones like Ancient of Days and the f*cking Shadow of Masakado. What >>44852502 said.
Still on the first cycle, thread 3. Been super busy trying to get back into the dorm for the next semester, but I've been immensely enjoying what I've read so far.
That might get tricky if you're in a fight and Fitz and Victoria both summon Queen Titiana. For the most part, the members Division 4 are going to adhere to a certain theme when it comes to using demons in battle to avoid such an occurrence where you have Devil Summoners summoning duplicates of VERY iconic gods/demons.
Victoria might have a predisposition to Fairy and Femme, and Alger might have a preference for Brutes. MacKay likes Divine/Avian, and Fitz likes Jirae. Just tossing a few random ideas out there.
With that said, I think it's time to hit the sack.
Gonna archive in 20 minutes.
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Don't forget to vote for the previous threads on suptg.
Hope y'all have a good night/morning/day/afternoon wherever you based anons are.