Memories of Warfield

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An amnesiac wardroid searches for clues to his identity in the violent realm of Warfield.  Will you fight by his side in this violent landscape, or stand against him for prizes and glory?

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Warfield is a wasteland, an endless plain of battle-scarred mud and rock, cratered by decades of constant, never-ending warfare.  This is the world where the Cartographer's Society first found Baxter.  At long last the robot returns to this blasted waste to seek answers about his lost identity.

Stepping through the portal from the City, Baxter studies his surroundings, assessing any immediate threats.  He is a massive and intimidating machine, standing seven feet tall and heavily armoured, with a massive plasma cannon mounted on his left arm.  His carapace is dented and battle-scarred, deeply repaired over the years, with the letters B-A-X-T-E-R stenciled over his chest.  If all goes well perhaps he can find out, at the very least, what those letters actually mean.

The Blasted Heath

The world of Warfield is ever-changing, but there are a few standard environs that are familiar to any frequent visitor.  Baxter has arrived in what is commonly called the Blasted Heath, a large flat field of hardened and cracked mud, interrupted regularly by massive blast craters blown into the landscape.  From somewhere far in the distance, there's a sound of irregular gunfire, and there's a fire burning just over the horizon, sending up a long plume of black smoke.

Baxter has only just enough time to get his bearings before an engine roars nearby.  Three weird dune-buggy vehicles, decorated with skulls and scraps of military uniforms, come rushing over the heath towards him.  Each vehicle is packed with shaggy, grey-skinned creatures clad in rags and loincloths, like cavemen on steroids.  They wave guns and fire wildly into the air, hooting savage warcries as they swoop down on the lone robot.

The battle droid doesn't hesitate, opening fire with his plasma cannon as the monstrous shaggies get closer.  It fires relatively slowly, and his aim isn't what is used to be, but when those plasma bolts hit they burst out quite the explosion!

Baxter's poor aim doesn't serve him well against moving targets.  He gets close to one of the buggies, throwing the vehicle and its riders into the air with a plume of dirt and ash, but the other two bear down on him, dodging wildly and firing their guns at the big metal target.  He's going to need help...

The Staff of Skyfall flares into light as Malms, clad in his battle gear, steps out from behind the massive wardroid. Baxter wasn't his usual sort of company on the field, but he suspected he'd do as well or better than any paladin or warrior at keeping attackers far enough away for him to do his work. Now it was time to get to that work.

Aether swirls around his hand and the head of his staff, a bolt taking on the aspect of fire and spreading that essence through his own aura before being hurled towards the closer of the two buggies even as the mage's second spell, this aether twisted and shaped just so, came streaking behind it, pulling the energy from his aura along with it in a sensation that never fails, even after years of using the trick, to draw a gasp from Malms.

The bolt, aspected mana, would release its energy into whatever it hit, heating metal red-hot or searing flesh, but the second spell was the heart of the attack. Between the two buggies racing towards them, the aetheric charge collapses onto itself, and for the tiniest moment, pure elemental flame exists in the material plane. Then, that pure flame transforms, as is its nature, into phenomena of the physical world - in this case, enough heat to turn air to plasma, which rapidly expands into a devastating explosion.

The shaggies are caught completely off-guard by Malms.  It seems likely they've never concieved of such a weapon.  The dune buggies go flying in opposite directions, one dramatically exploding before it hits ground again.  The surviving shaggies scatter, hooting wildly, not even stopping to pat out the flames wreathing their hairy backs as they flee into the dusk.

A single flaming tire rolls as far as Baxter before falling over with a dull thud.

Malms feels, however briefly, that something is watching him thoughtfully.

Baxter turns slightly, looking down (way down!) at Malms.  "Thank you," he says in a professorial voice.  His cannon has failed to retract properly, and he bangs it on the ground a couple times until it stops sticking.  "Unfortunately, that is probably the least of what we will see."  The robot glances up at the sky.  "I remember this world is not a peaceful place."

"No, it's not," Malms agrees, executing Tyrell's Inversion with a quick gesture. His aura, mostly (but not completely) stripped by the flare, changes from fire to ice, the better to pull aether in - that feeling of consideration suggests to him that waiting for his reserves to refill on their own would be foolish here.

He looks around as best he can, considering his height. "So, where to now?" he asks. "I can't see much from down here."

"Towards the center," answered a feminine voice.  "Direction doesn't much matter." 

Diminuative to Baxter, but towering over Malms, the figure was decked out in khaki fatigues and wearing combat boots.  She had a tactical vest on that was carrying little more than ammo and a couple of grenades.  She was armed with her a carbine, some sort of pistol strapped to her leg and a sizable knife that probably doubled as a bayonet, not that her carbine was really suitable for one.   

"B.A.X.T.E.R., I am K.E.I. Unit ZeroOne."  She looked over Malms Vovokosi.  "I don't know who you are, but please do not blow me up."

The exhorbiantly long luxurious purple hair she was known to have must have been braided up and wrapped around her head, because it was hidden under neather olive shemagh she was wearing.

"I assume you are here to help?" Baxter asks the strange woman.  "You will not be blown up so long as you do not intend to harm us."

The robot turns to scan the broken horizon.  "Warfield shifts, but explorers have identified several common environments that appear most frequently.  Unfortunately, their relative position to each other changes often, so it is of minimal usage for navigation.  This environment is called the Blasted Heath."

He looks back to his companions.  "We should not linger in the open."  He offers a hand to tiny Malms, not certain the little wizard can keep up under only his own power.

Baxter's warning is not misguided, as the sky to the east (if that is east) is suddenly lit up brightly by a red signal flare.  Someone else witnessed what became of the shaggy raiders, that much is certain.

"That's right.  You being here is the topic of all the gossip among the Cartographers."  She adjusted her headscarf to cover her mouth and nose.  "They rather like you, so a couple of them asked me to lend you my support."  

She looked up at the flare.   "Acknowledged.  Let's head for cover." 

Miles accepts the offered hand, and quickly scrambles up to perch on Baxter's shoulder, his staff slung across his back with the convenient grip pads built into his battle gear. "Thank you," he says. "I could keep up, but I hate not being able to see."

Baxter makes sure Malms is seated securely, then starts walking in the direction opposite the flare.  "I was first discovered in a region called Broken Stone.  I believe the nature of this world is such that, if we continue to look long enough, we will eventually find it.  So long as we can avoid further violent encounters."  He looks far ahead, craning his metal neck as best he can to study what looks like a distant copse of trees.  "I believe we should make our way towards the forest."

"I'll take point," Kei offered as she went ahead of the other two and trusting them to cover her.  She loped along like her legs were tireless springs, which in effect they were, keeping an easy pace that she hoped Baxter could match  without jostling the tiny wizard, keeping her automatic rifle at the ready. 

Spreading out would keep them from being an easy target for enemy fire should it errupt around them before they could do the same to supposed enemies.  Kei wasn't particularly worried about stealth at this point, still being out in the open, and right now she figured it was important to establish a rapport with her new allies; build camraderie.  They had to have her back, after all, and she would have to trust them with it.

A quick glance had told her that Malms did not seem to have a radio, so she'd have to just talk.  "B.A.X.T.E.R., what is it we're doing here?  It is my understanding that the people that come here on purpose don't usually have an objective other than seeking conflict."  Her tone was conversational, but tinged with wariness and she kept alert and on the look out for danger.  The quick pace she was setting didn't have any effect on her breathing or ability to talk.  "You seem to be on a mission.  Mind telling us about it?"  She included Malms in the conversation, trying to forge the identity of a unified group; attempting to bring them all closer together.

"I was found here," Baxter replies calmly, watching the horizon for threats.  There's a rather nasty plume of smoke in the distance, looks like something just exploded rather spectacularly.  "I am hoping to find any clues about my identity.  It is possible I did not come to Warfield alone, the first time, and there may be other material that could help identify my origins and purpose.  It is remotely possible there are even people who would know what I am."

"The Cartographers were offering good money to accompany Baxter, help make sure he came back," Malms comments from his perch, his gaze sweeping across the landscape. "And I'll confess to being curious about a world full of nothing but war - what gods or devils conspire to make it like this?"

His own aura has faded to the point of invisibility to one not gifted with second sight, but the Staff's aura still twists and writhes around it, potential waiting to be unleashed.

"I very much want to hate this place, but..."  She was afraid this was where she belonged.  The simplicity of not having to worry about all the niceties of society.  Just survival; seeing yourself through to tomorrow ...or death. 

It called to her and reminded her of her own past life on the battlefield.  Only then she marched across it in armored mechanized platforms or streaked by far above in various craft.  Right now she was running across the ground like a grunt.

"Anyway...  You can call me Kei, or just 'K' if you want."  She debated with herself on opening up to two strangers.  It was painful, but she reminded herself that these two were no longer strangers, but her comrades in arms.  "So, are you telling me that you don't have all your memories?  Maybe it's fate then, that I'm here.  I went through something like that before."

Not five minutes through the portal and I've engaged in two separate combat actions, and now a flare.

She takes wing at this point. Not wanting to head directly towards the flare, but with an intent to find out what is going on in that direction and in the process notes what appears to be two figures running and perhaps a third being carried. Given the hostile nature of this area pursuit seems like a poor idea.  So she opts instead to get in front of thier point man and make a distant landing, Kicking up a cloud of dust that was highly visible and at the same time make her a harder target should they also prove hostile.  

"I lack any data pertaining to my identity, purpose, or manufacture.  I have extensive data files on a variety of other topics, including military tactics and thorough schematics for a variety of weapons, as well as my own internal layout.  But I do not know who I am or who made me."

He freezes when the cloud of dust rises above, focusing his complex sensors on the landing individual.  His weapon hums as it charges, ready to fire if this proves to be another hostile.  "Identify yourself," he says in a loudspeaker voice, possibly deafening his poor companions.

The large figure descended and Kei took up a flanking position, rushing off at an angle to get out of Baxter and Malms fire-line and put the unknown entity facing two front.

"Do we engage?"  She was ready, raising her carbine, waiting for the first sign of hostility or orders from Baxter.

She wasn't certain her weapon would even be effective; they weren't the biggest bullets available and her short barrel reduced muzzle velocity and that thing looked heavily armored.   But she was willing to find out and was ready to be very annoying with ineffective bullets.
 

Well, they haven't opened fire the moment they saw me...

She kills her flight systems after one last pulse of thrust to push the dust away from her. With the dust dispersing she pulls her wings in tight, lowering her profile but also making her self appear smaller. On reflex both of her back antenna flip up, though she refrains from any sort of active scanning or radar. She might not be pinging but she's definitly listening for everything she can pick up.

In the same breath she flips her sword point down and presses it into the ground, deep enough to stand up on its own, but she keeps her shield at the ready. This all prepared she defualts the colors of her armor back to is white,gold, silver and throws in a toss of her head so that her hair streams out in the gust of air for a moment, one hand on the pommel of her sword. She strikes as much of a heroic pose as she can.

Now Let's hope they read this as a defensive posture and are infact not hostile.

She raises her own voice but keeps her tone steady, not forceful, but not backing down.

"My intentions are non-hostile, I am Tesala."

 

"Hold position until more data is available," Baxter instructs Kei.  "Target contact but do not fire."

Turning back to Tesala, he demands "State your allegiance and purpose on this world."

"My Allegiance is too my self and the Cartographer's Society via contract, My purpose is both personal intrest and gathering information for the Cartographer's" 

*she is maintaining her current posture for now*

Malms winces at the noise from Baxter's speakers, but he's been roared at by worse (he'd had to see a healer for tinnitus after defeating the Lady of the Winds). His expression is mostly hidden by his hood, but his attention is fixed on this new arrival, considering options should things all go to crap and fighting break out again. 

The thing looked tough, but the metallic look of its gear suggested that lightning would be effective, if it came to that...

Baxter immediately shuts down his cannon, and starts moving towards Tesala far more casually.  "We are also affiliated with the Cartographer's Society.  I was not aware there was an expedition contract currently open.  I am Baxter," he finally introduces himself.  "I apologize for my reaction.  We have already been attacked once."

Kei lowered her carbine and turned to look outward for people that might actually be hostile.

Baxter was lead on this, so she would let him handle any negotiations, though having someone that could fly would be a huge boon for scouting.