28th_Stab_Wound OP t1_j5uax3s wrote

oooh i like it! like this a lot! considering they speak English and are in a 3 man layout i'm assuming its a british vehicle so i was imagining a Valentine going sicko mode.

couldve benefited from some tactical paragraphing, having it all in one line is kind hard on the brain. otherwise, I like it!

Correction: this would only apply to early Valentine variants as later variants had a 4 man crew in the form of Cmdr, Gunner, Loader and Driver, where as the 3 man one had the Gunner and Loader as the same guy as the 2-pdr's shells were light enough to reasonably allow that.


28th_Stab_Wound t1_j2bwhqd wrote

Nocktour, a moon orbiting a rogue planet between stars. It is doused in pitch blackness, and in any other circumstance its entire surface would be covered in its frozen oxygen atmosphere, however volcanism caused by tidal forces from its parent body creates hotzones that sometimes stray into habitability.

Glaciers of frozen atmosphere make their slow advance through massive planes of lost seabed and mountains that were once the continents. Rumour has it there are survivors of the planet's original ecosystem left in these migrating hotzones. They may not be too happy to see any would be strandeds.

I'm sorry I don't really know any songs to fit this setting. I don't really know any songs that fit this vibe unfortunately.


28th_Stab_Wound t1_iy9ayn6 wrote

"Why do you keep me around?" I remember him asking me. He had tears in his eyes, streaming from his black eyes like fountains. I put down the greatsword I was sharpening and looked down to him with assurance.

'Because you're our Ranger, a damn good one at that!'

He looked up at my face with a embarrassed smile, then wrenched it away.

"Me? Good? Please, Andy, I lied about my rank to the others, but I told you! I'm just a shitty E- with a shotgun, with armour I bought secondhand off some drunkard in a tavern! I just, I don't feel like I'm doing anyone a service. You guys don't need me at all..."

He clasped his gloved hand on the dangling necklace around his throat as a few more tears flowed from his eyes. The necklace was a gift our Rogue, Maxine, had gotten for him for the Winter Festival last year, when he was still new to the team.

'But we need you, Michael,' I assured him, 'for what lies ahead, you must be there. And no matter what your level is, I vow to get you through, and so does Khan and Rivian, and especially Maxine.' I couldn't help but chuckle about Maxine. The Rogue was a lot more like Michael than she let on, and a lot closer than he realised as I shot a grin at the flustered flitting of an invisible tail in the room.

The next day was it. What the last eighteen months had been building up to. Our quest to defeat the Draconic Tyrant of Kherremia was at last, about to adjourn. I remember seeing that boy, scared stiff in the arena as the gargantuan form emerged to face us. It was ironic, actually, his firearms were best equipped of all of us to pierce through the beastly king's scales.

We were doing so well when I watched it happen. A blast of sickly purple mana, then a ghastly scream as Michael was suddenly hit. He staggered, that matte black gun in his hand held as tight as he could hold it as he looked up toward the Tyrant with a rage burning hotter than the fireballs thrown our way. With a bloodcurdling cry he charged at the dragon, weapon blazing with shot after shot of enchanted bullets taking more and more out of the weakened Dragon King, when at last the Tyrant had dropped dead. I saw Michael do a final fist pump like after every victory of battles past before collapsing in a cloaked Maxine's arms.

Even after his death, the Tyrant could never have been content to go down so easily. It was a fact I had kept to myself. The old legend was that any who should strike the Dragon Tyrant down would be cursed to find themselves his next of kin. In truth it had been my plan at first, the day I recruited that sheepish, silvery haired Ranger, to let him take the final blow and bear the curse in a weak body to make containing him easier. But the boy grew on me, on all of us. Even if he was at first a subpar fighter, the morale benefits were better than a Bard could boast, and raising our spirits became his prerogative, even as his combat ability grew far beyond the 'E-' rank when this adventure began... I am ashamed that my original plan has come to bite me so.

I watched it play out in the inn room we rented until I could watch it no longer. Maxine stayed in his room for all of that fateful night. She was stronger than I was, to see him through it. I didn't have to tell the others for them to realise what had happened. We, for all our power, could do little as our friend and compatriot lost himself. I felt less like a Paladin and more like a petty Murderer, the robbing of Michael's humanity only showing that my claim of virtue and justice was just a sham. Where was the justice for him? I would ask myself in my worst of moments that night. You brought him here, you let him do it! This was your plan, come to its horrible fruition!

We all stepped into the room that morning to see Maxine, uncloaked and crying over the bed. Michael's groans and gasps were something no longer human, like a stirring beast had emerged where our friend had once sat. No! my mind screamed. There he sits! In the accursed image of the Tyrant himself, yes, but with the mind and soul of our friend! You will not abandon him, such is your duty. But what shall you even do? What can you do?

'Sir, what do you say we do?' Khan asked, mirroring his thoughts. The Orcen fighter, usually never without his aggressive persona, was somber that morn. We all were. Then Maxine exclaimed with a glimmer of hope in her voice.

'He's awake! Oh by the Gods, Michael!'

The three of us were not so jubilant at his awaking. He was nigh unrecognisable then. He was covered in the same crimson scales of the Terrible Dragon King, his face morphed to match it. Nascent wings had burst through his clothing and horns as black as night were growing from his head. Still, his silver hair still sat atop his head, holding onto him for dear life. He opened those eyes again, and for a moment I believed all would be well. That everything would just go back to how it was. Then he hissed, not in anger but fear, recoiling from the bed and hurtling into the darkest corner of the room with flap of his wings.

Maxine's tail fell. I did not blame her. I placed the armoured gauntlet of my right hand upon her shoulder, looking to her staring at the floor, as the thing we insisted was still Michael crouched in the corner, eying all of us with slitted gaze. In a moment of weakness I considered it. It is shameful that it even reached so far forward in my mind. I considered putting him out of his misery then and there when I clasped my greatsword tight.

I watched as she approached, and I prepared to stop her, to pull her away like she was going to touch a fire. But still I was paralysed. She reached out to the dragon in the corner, as it desperately wriggled to avoid her. With tears in her eyes, she clasped the necklace still around his neck, fiddling with the iron plate at its centre like dogtags. I watched her slowly let it fall from her claws as she sobbed but inches from the dragon. At last I had found the strength. She had said her goodbyes I suppose. I tightened the grip on my sword as I began to raise it.

Then I stopped. Maxine looked up to find herself firmly in Michael's arms. A tear rolled down the transmogrified boys face, as the new geography of his face tried its best to smile. The only sound in the room was Maxine's tail excitedly thwipping against his leg.


28th_Stab_Wound t1_ixafxas wrote

If it's any consolation, we have a handful of suspects that the last salvo of investigators went through. They're tough nuts to crack, and all a tad... eccentric, but I'll give you the dossiers we have.

  • Rhea Correl lives nextdoor to the victim, she's the one most suspected first. Hot headed, and impulsive, works at the local construction company, has a number of rose bushes that her friends claim she 'likes to throw at people she doesn't like.' I was expecting her initially, but she was out of town during the week of the death. No real motive either, she was very good friends with him with no evidence of a falling out.

  • Johnathan Overton, he's got the motive but none of the means. He was a coworker with the victim but was fired in the past week for sexual harassment. He's been noted as especially vindictive and has a history of assaults. Apparently his actions were reported by our late friend, so that has some potential. He denies any involvement with the murder and doesn't have access to anything that could do this sort of damage, at least not that we know of.

  • One detective took a shot at probably our weirdest character; Hamlin. No last name was provided. He lives in the floor above the victim and is a reportedly a pathological liar. He sells novelty animal claw gloves in the neighborhood. Claims no involvement with the victim but according to his sales record he sold a pair of gloves to the victim but was not paid back. He can be described as eclectic. We weren't able to get much out of him.

That's all we got. I trust you'll get this one cracked, Whitman. You're our best shot at this one, and besides, you've dealt with weirder, right?


28th_Stab_Wound t1_ix9ne6l wrote

A man was found dead last night with thoroughly strange injuries. His torso, especially the back of it, had large, jagged gauges in them all perpendicular, like rows of thorns had ripped at him. His lungs were found filled with a solidified substance, not dissimilar to concrete. Most striking of all was the almost complete pulverisation of the pelvis bone. It gave the boys who found him quite fright. The front door of his apartment wrecked, window smashed with glass shards on the street below.

We're assigning this case to you, after it's defeated our top investigators.