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  1. Squidge was quiet, thinking over what was being said. This 'legion' could potentially lie low, she thought. Help refugees, keep peace in an area as long as that area wasn't too close to the Coalition States, or too aggressive about expanding. After the costly victory over Tolkeen, the Coalition would be looking to rebuild quickly to keep the Federation from getting fancy ideas. They were definitely the next big thing though. Prosek's armies had, they believed, perfected their anti-mage tactics against Tolkeen. They'd feel emboldened to move on the Federation. And she'd already seen what the magisters of the Federation were experimenting with. How serious was she about all this? Did she want to find a safe nook and curl up and hope to let the storm pass her by? Or did she want to go into those winds and rains and try to...what? Hold it back? Stop it altogether? Or maybe just try to get as many other people through it as she could. The ex-Coalition psychic looked over at Phere and caught her eye. A moment later the psi stalker felt the familiar feeling of telepathic contact. What do you think?
  2. "That was a pretty good summary, Phere, you did fine," Squidge reproves. She then looks at the newcomers, the 'legion.' "I was an interrogator," the psychic says, and quickly adds, "Not torture. Telepathy. For awhile, I bought the state line about how the evictions and purges were to protect people. But...the thing about living another person's memories is that it's really hard to see them as 'not people' after that." She shakes her head. "For awhile I went on, because if I got information then they didn't necessarily get remanded to another unit for other kinds of interrogation, but in the end...I couldn't justify it. For every legitimate threat my unit went after, there were dozens of people who's lives we ruined, or just took away. As long as I was part of that, I wasn't protecting anyone, no matter how...nice I tried to be about it." "So! Phere and me are trying to get a new start. Like she said, we only just met these others but they seem like decent people..." The psychic eyed the towering dark knight for a moment, then shrugged. "Decent enough."
  3. Squidge quickly held her hands up at head level to show they were empty. In her case it wasn't more than a symbolic gesture...but symbols had real power. "Guys, look, blood's a little high after a fight, but we're not enemies here. The Federation of Magic warped this piece of a hive in. We came to get rid of it before the xiticix claimed the area and wiped out the town here. That's it. Whoever you are, whoever you're with, I think we can agree that's a mission accomplished, right?" She hoped that Phere was right in her analysis. She herself hadn't seen the SAMAS arrive, and looking at the suits she didn't immediately spot standard ID numbers or unit markings, but the Coalition did have some somewhat 'irregular' units that might not have been held to the standard regs on that kind of thing. Especially the ones that operated on the fringe areas. The idea that a merc company could acquire and field that many cutting-edge flying power armor suits from the Coalition was a bit unnerving in itself, truth be told.
  4. "Three...minutes?" Squidge blurts. "I was hoping for a remote detonation or...alright, lets go. Everyone move! Back the way we came!" She started hustling back into the hive, trying to keep the twists and turns straight as they went. Three minutes never sounded so short!
  5. Squidge frowned a little, working through the idea. "I think it'd be pretty hard to make a power suit reactor into a bomb. There's gotta be something else. I guess I figured someone might have brought grenades or something..." She searched the weird resinous walls around the queen, but nothing really jumped out at her as being especially destructive in a wide area...
  6. "The safest way to do this would be some kind of timed blast," Squidge says quietly, as if their spoken words could alert the queen. The telepathic hum of her jamming was buzzing constantly in her skull...an ongoing slight distraction that she couldn't wait to be rid of. Was the amplifier device getting warmer or was it just her? "Or remote detonation if we have what we need for it. We could set it up, then be out of the hive before she goes up."
  7. "No, I think you've got the right idea," Squidge said, rubbing her temple. Prosek's hairy balls, is THIS what the Federation was reduced to? She guessed the idea was that the Coalition would be able to exterminate each hive fragment, ensuring that it wouldn't be a threat to the Federation later...but at enough of a cost that it would put the Coalition at a disadvantage. But if even one of those hives wasn't exterminated, for whatever reason... They really were insane. "I guess it'd be too much to hope that he didn't teach anyone else how to do it. At least it seems like the technique is dangerous. They won't want to do it if it kills the mages casting the spell. That hopefully buys us some time." She looked up and down the eerie, resinous passageway. "You about done there, Firanis? We need to keep moving."
  8. Squidge stared, momentarily horrorstruck by the idea that this man had someone been built into the hive by the xiticix. On second glance though that didn't look right. The wall didn't seem new enough...it had marks of wear on it. Add that to the way this thing had just appeared out of nowhere... "Who are you?" she asked. "What...do you two know each other?" She looked at Adam, trying to suss out some recognition from him, even if his armor made such a thing sheer guesswork.
  9. Squidge got her climbing kit out from that trusty old Northern Gun survival pack and hooked the clamp up to the rope Phere and Firanis had set up. She started working her way up after them. She wasn't as quick about it as the more athletic ones, but she hadn't gotten through Psi-Bat basic training with no skills whatsoever. Even so, she was breathing a little hard when she pulled up near the top. "You don't get full hives this far south," she said, unhooking from the rope and clearing space for whoever was coming up next. "They forage down from Old Canada, but the spread of their territory is slower. I know there was some concern...scientists were theorizing that hives made in warmer climates might be more active. More aggressive. Hard to tell though, what their native climate is like." She brought her laser rifle up into her arms then and checked it to make sure the lights were green and the safety was off. "Once the Queen knows we're here, I don't think any amount of telepathic jamming will keep them from coming back. We'll have to be fast."
  10. "Here goes." Squidge winced and followed Tamika's instructions, causing the crystal to light up from within and emit a piercing, high-pitched whine. She gasped at the sensation in her brain, but managed to keep her focus. Anyone with telepathic sensitivity would feel a titanic wave of meaningless telepathic 'babble' wash over them from her efforts. Random fragments of thoughts, memories, images, emotions, all clashing together into a kind of psionic white noise that drowned any other kind of telepathy in the vicinity out!
  11. Squidge accepts the 'booster' gingerly, with a dry-throated swallow. Not all mages were crazed psychopaths, but this was still magic. The power of the Rifts. The power that had annihilated almost all of her entire race, and plunged the world into a roiling sea of misery and darkness from which it had yet to emerge. And she was going to use it with her brain. She looked at Tamika apologetically and started to ask, "This isn't... Ugh, nevermind. Sorry. All right, I'll see what I can do about the psychic jamming. Lets get this started before they decide to attack the town or something." With that, the psion swallowed her fears and forced herself toward the chunk of hive that poked incongruously from the middle of a crop-field as if it had sprouted from the ground there. (OOC - Will begin the jamming when she spots Xiticix emerging.)
  12. Squidge thought about it. She didn't really know how to 'cloak' or hide psionic signatures from sensitives...but...if they really used psionics to detect people, that might be a kind of passive telepathy. If it was, couldn't she maybe 'jam' them by just broadcasting really loudly? It'd be like trying to listen to someone over an air horn, or see past a searchlight. Of course...they'd know exactly where SHE was, in that case. She nodded slowly. "I can give it a try. A lot depends on stuff we don't know about them, but I'll do my best."
  13. "Steady," advised Squidge warily. "The smell of the dead ones'll be getting to the hive any second now. Could be a lot at once. Phere, d'ya smell any in there? They're supposed to be psychic. Should be able to get a scent." She had her trusty Wilks laser rifle ready, but that was mostly for show. She had a far more devastating weapon at her disposal if more Xiticix showed themselves.
  14. Squidge was taken aback by Kensie's transformation, and only her helmet spared her the indignity of openly gaping at the sight. She'd really reconsidered the whole Coalition stance on aliens. Most of them were just like other people in their minds at least, and the ones that weren't could be dealt with on a case by case basis. But...things like that. Dragons that could wander around, looking like anyone else and then suddenly just burst into giant monsters. That made cold sweat bead on the palms of her hands. Maybe Kenzie was all right. Maybe this was all right. But what about the ones who weren't? Then again, is that so different than a mage? Or a psychic? Hell, you don't even have to turn into a giant monster to kill people in the middle of town. She licked her lips and tried to shrug the urge to fight or flee off. They'd be needing that kind of firepower to deal with the hive anyway. Trust had to start somewhere. The psychic made her way to the Rambler as its engine whined to life and she clambered in after Phere. "Remember, drive a ways past it. Let them see us, and follow us away from the town before we start riling them up."
  15. Squidge looked up in alarm, which only abated a tiny bit when she saw who had followed her. She was just closing her armor's clamshell cuirass over her shirt and getting it sealed correctly to what the Dead Boys liked to call the 'codpiece.' Or more...colorful things, sometimes. As she listened to him she started getting the arms fitted and sealed. Ugh, this was so much easier when it was on the loading stand! Maybe Phere was right about just wearing the stuff all the time. "What I need of you," Squidge repeated, basically just buying time for her brain to catch up with things. "Okay. Xiticix. Xiticix. They're hostile dimensional aliens, non-supernatural though they've got, uh...class three psionics? But some are stronger." She looked up, trying to remember the briefings she'd looked at, a thousand years ago or so it felt. "They take over their habitats completely, building city-scale hives from some kind of resin they excrete and natural materials in the environment. Okay, right. That's not useful right now." The psion finished getting her armor on and hefted her helmet. "They can fly. They're physically more powerful than an unaugmented human, and they have pretty burly psychic powers, basically. Their weapons hit hard, and there's usually more of them than they let on. Oh, and they like to mark targets with a kind of...pheremone spray that attracts more. We should circle around the hive fragment to draw them away from town, engage at range, force them to come to us. Once we've thinned out the soldiers that were in that fragment, we can close in and use explosives to breach it...then mop up." She nods at the Rambler. "So pile in and make some room for Phere and me."