The Endless Wilds

Case's Journal, Final Entry

whole crew cept al is dead. got attacked by high men. all my weaponry gone, but we took their ship and paid mr smith a visit. halliwell was getting fucked. seems the wilds are acting up now, all over the world. its as if they know whats going on and theyre throwing themselves against our walls in one final push. all in. picked up kovacs and we are on the ground now, spiral’s up ahead. linda was gonna come but everyones kinda pissed that she killed cohete. they dont get that smiths behind it all.

but im kinda tired of all that. in all the shit thats happened i realized something. no matter how much money you have, the links themselves dont give a shit. money sits in your bank account just as easily as it spirals down to earth in a flaming airship. money aint never been faithful. and neither really has linda. not that i can blame either of them. we all gotta look out for ourselves. i guess the only really dependable thing i’ve ever had is the 15mm. everything i put it to, it succeeds. every task i give it, it completes with unthinking precision. as we walk towards the downward spiral, i find myself grateful for those things that have stayed faithful, even as i go to what will most likely be my death. theres the 15mm, but theres also those that walk with me. we all want to get out of here alive. i know i can count on them to throw everything they have at whatever stands in our way.

i just hope that it will be enough.

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Case's Journal, Part 6

went shopping. spent most of my wealth on weaponry, including that rocket launcher that nero once tried to steal. man, if they could see me now. millionaire spending it all because hes aint sure hell be alive in a week. really livin the dream.

been trying to keep it cool, though. talked to the captain of our ship, seems trustworthy. seems to be more part of the cohete crowd than the mr. smith crowd, but who fuckin knows.

speaking of cohete, turns out hes jacob. kokoro found the proof of that back in the jungle, surprised she kept shut about it this long. also, cohete/jacob, the captain (al), and that kovacs guy were all on the expedition that picked up the eye in the first place. which makes them way old. not sure what this changes, and it looks we are meant to stay in the dark – found cohete dead in his chambers, something climbed through the window and shot him with his own gun. crew looks clean, too. either a pretty damn good agent or, well, for some reason i aint rulin out mal’s friends from the capitol. shame bout cohete. i never really understood him. still dont know what he was after, what he was planning. maybe he just wanted to bring the eye back to ghet all along. all i know is that hes somehow another piece in this fucked up puzzle.. not that i expect to ever see it completed. i dont give two shits about the goddamn puzzle. im supposed to be in halliwell, sippin drinks on a patio with linda. instead i’m dropping 30 mil on rocket launchers and flame-throwers. heh. well, at least it’s exciting. i can be thankful that no matter how bad shit gets, i’ll always have adrenaline.

it’s hard to tell over the noise of the ship, but it sounds like there’s something coming from outside. be right back.

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Missed Opportunity
Kokoro, Ramen Noodles, WTF

Well, yesterday certainly stirred up my curiosity regarding the mysterious Mr. Case to the umpteenth degree. After shooting some baddies and saving the bold (but silly) Vaquero, the team and I headed back to Haliwell to discuss matters over the eye.

This is where shit. Hit. The. Fan.

So, you see, someone needed to guard the eye while some other seemingly lesser errands were played out, and I being the artifact connoisseur that I am quickly volunteered for this noble position. Case expressed that he would stay as well, but at the last minute changed his mind and followed suit with Kraehee (spelling?), Vaquero, and “Mr. Cohete.” I decided that instead of pissing over the missed opportunity to question Case some more, that I would instead do my best to keep my mouth shut about the precious eye by shoving my gullet full of Ramen noodles. And boy, am I ever bloated now!

The team took forever. I don’t know where the robot went, but he was gone too. I spent my free time trying not to talk to others and practicing how I would announce to the team that Cohete is actually Jacob, varying the stresses of certain syllables and various finger pointing gestures, but nothing seemed to satisfy the gravity of this announcement in my rehearsals.

Fifteen Ramen bowls later, the team showed up again, only to tell me that they discovered a ton of new information, a lot of which directly addressed Case. Then, to make matters worse, the magic robot flew away to question the elusive Mr. Smith on his own, while I had to wallow in my distended stomach of sloshy starch and MSG. I didn’t want to let the team know, but if I hadn’t of been on the verge of charfing up a dog’s breakfast, I would have cried I was so disappointed.

Let’s hope for better in the coming days, as well as the biggest deuce of my life.

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Case's Journal, Part 5

looks like linda and i are still on a bit of a break. did i mention i saw her. and mr. smith. and linda’s got… powers. and i’m going to go save the world and get the girl.

but seriously. unless i hit my head back in the jungle awhile ago and the past few days have just been a beta-addled dream. which might be the case but whatever, at least i got to see linda. she says things have changed. they have. i’ve made more money than either of us could imagine. told her i had enough. but she was being cagey, weird. maybe mana twisted, i dont know. somethings off. gotta get her away from all this, away from mr. smith, gotta get her fixed up.

first, need to give that god back its eye. because it turns out the wilds are consuming the world and thisll take em out for good. saving the world.. dont know what i believe, but i know the only way im going to learn more about linda is if i do what mr. smith says.

being a pawn never used to get to me. in the past i never needed to know who i was getting hooked, who was paying me, who i was killing. i just needed a procedure and a reward. now, though… never before has my insignificance put me in such a fucked up position. i always knew that my employers might off me after a hit just to keep things quiet. but working for mr. smith, healing a god, saving the world… it’s all so much bigger than i am and i feel like if i get stepped on, no body’s gonna notice or care. i feel like if giving an eye back to a god is gonna level everything in a 100km radius, mr smith wouldnt really feel the need to tell us. i guess that could be the paranoia talking, but i think i got reason for thinkin things are a bit fuckin suspicious. mr. smiths got the whole city under this thumb, whole armies of agents, and he chooses to send us. me. maybe im not so insignificant as a i thought. or maybe im still in the jungle with a fuckin dent in my head.

see, guy like mr. smith, he’s untouchable. on a whole nother level, literally. looks down at everyone from his tower. everything is below him. i’ve always dreamed of having a place up high like that, someplace that i could look down on halliwell from. but mr smith, he would always be higher, an unattainable peak. no man aspires to eclipse a god.

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Plot

Kovacs tries to settle the score, his hired guns fail

see Ura, the Dragon

back in Halliwell

pay some debts

drink some booze

see Mr. Smith

the Wilds are getting stronger; take the Eye to Ghet and weaken their hold on Maat

a game is played to a stalemate

the quest has begun

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Ura!

Ura, Skylord and Oldest of Dragons

Mallory: “It’s just a big sky… whale… bee.”

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quick session summary

got money from shipwreck

almost fell into huge whole

fought ninja-sniper robots from the Capital

made it out of the wilds back to a small trading town

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//OBSERVATOR 12 REPORT 32/4555/23

//system start
//bandwidth:low:stable
//code *********
//encryption: TRUE
//key signature: VERIFIED
//decryption: TRUE
//execute command:
+ report
+ report+descrip
+ report+descrip+projectionoftarget

//targetsubject: MALLORY CONRAD, DR, MPS; designation: TRAITOR/ARMED/DANGEROUS/FLEEING

//begin report
//date 32/4555/23/90:32:0101
//…
//…

//TARGET ENTERED UR-GROVES ~1HOUR BEFOREEVENT 12”
//TARGET ACCOMPANIED BY 4 (FOUR) HUMANS [type:industrial:type:ARMED/THREAT:MODERATE]; 1 (ONE) PROTO-SAPIEN [type:‘sidhe’:type:ARMED/THREAT:MODERATE]
//TARGET MADE CONTACT WITH MANA-FORM [type:untyped:type:UNKNOWN/THREAT:EXTREME]
//CONTACT RESULT: TRADE/INFECTION OF ADOLESCENT FEMALE HUMAN/RESULTS UNCLEAR/ [suggestion:contain adolescent female for study]
//…
//…
//suggestion: pending review
//pause
//…
//suggestion review: approved on premise [REDACTED]
//resume
//…
//…
//LOGGED: TELEPORTATION EVENT; 2.574km NNNE 12. (degrees)
//TARGET AND ACCOMPANIMENT ENTER STRUCTURE CODENAME [none]
//codename assignment?
//…
//…
//codename assignment: AR-78-“LUCY
//resume
//…
//TARGET ENTER STRUCTURE CODENAME [AR-78-“LUCY”]
//LOST VISUAL OF TARGET
//THERMAL IMAGERY REVEALS TARGET MOVEMENT THROUGH STRUCTURE; see map supplement 73265zz4
//THERMAL IMAGERY LOSS OF TARGET
//STRUCTURE BEGINS COLLAPSE; ELAPSED TIME 52seconds
//BEGINEVENT 12”
//RESULT: STRUCTURE 86% DESTROYED
//TARGET LOCATION: UNKNOWN
//FISSURE CREATED; DEPTH: UNKNOWN
//ENDEVENT 12”
//END REPORT
//END REPORT
//…
//…
//…
//transmission end

“Should we take him now? The event was catastrophic, he’s likely to be disoriented and weakened.”
“Yes. Send the order.”

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Case's Journal, Part 4

at the ship, about to head in. ran into some weird stuff. first kraehe got lost, somehow. she wandered off and we set to find her, but we were going in circles. rather, forest was putting us in circles. eventually we found her, and something that she had met: a young girl who lives here, probably a god, or at least something unknown and strange. it agreed to take us to the ship, but asked for something in return. took something from each of us, something within. kokoro gave a chunk of her antlers, apparently contains a bit of her life force. del tigre gave his mustache, kind of hilarious but he was pretty shaken up. cohete lost a year of his life. bold, not sure how i feel about that. and mal gave her a song, clever guy. anyways, i see my chance to shake this goddamn craving, which im beginning to realize is interfering with my free will and thought. dont have time for that shit so i go to give her my derms, but she rejects them, instead reaches in my head and takes something out, something bad. said i had cancer. from the beta? fuckin hope not, because she didn’t take the addiction. about to take some before going into the ship. one last dose couldnt hurt, at least i hope not. because the betas a fuckin necessity, at least for now. its gotten bigger than me and ill need to fuckin sort that out, but not now. guess i shouldnt worry too much though. might not surive the next few hours.

oh, yeah. kraehe gave her ability to love or something. got stuff in return, but not sure what. i guess i can see how a teenage girl like her might wanna get rid of love, especially if theres more to her past than shes told us, but still. i guess i feel sorry for her. because she probably has no idea what it is like.

[The next entry is written a the telltale jittery hand]

still alive. betas in me. got time for a quick entry. so cohete just paid us 200 fuckin mil. split just between tigre, krae, cohete and i, others dont care. unbelieveable. so 50mil. goddamn. life pretty different now, thought i was only gonna get a few thou and was mainly in this just for something to do and to get out of the city. now theres opportunities that before i could only have dreamed of. 50 mil could do a lot for me. pay off my bounty. get linda back.

get linda back. just gotta stay alive, i still need these guys to get me home. shouldnt be a problem though. sharp as a goddamn razor right now.

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Case's Journal, Part 3

[The next entries are written in a shittier, more strained hand than normal.]

few hours ago mal gave me an injection of something. feelin better now, thought id write. following events took place only about an hour after the last entry.

had been feeling fantastic, a few minutes of ecstasy after killing the god. suddenly we discover a group of men walkin through the village. we hide in a shed an do fuck all. kraehe goes and takes a look. kokoro takes a look. they say they got a sidhe on a chain. i thought they were slavers, passin through to loot the town. don’t blame em. beta bouncin around in me, i gotta get myself a look. but i fuck up, door creaks and we get showered in bullets. i miss my shot and then the sidhe fuckin lands on me, think it probably broke all my ribs, big gashes too from the claws. thats the thing – sidhe wasnt so much a slave as it was an attack dog. chain was placating it. if that door hadn’t of creaked, the beast could’ve been ours. anyways, beta takes the edge off, keeps me lucid for the next few minutes as we surrender. leader of em was kovacs, knows cohete, has some kind of past with him. tells cohete that hes a fool, that the mission will fail. had learned earlier that cohete is some kinda researcher of these old myths. faith starts to drop, i start to realize that the mission might be a pipe dream. but what the hell am i gonna do. kovacs mentions that he’s got a mission for us in a couple months. im interested, but hes a skeevy fuck who looks like the type whod compare the cost of my services against the size of my bounty. truth is, cohetes a good find and i should stick with him. just hope he doesnt turn out to be a bumbling dreamer bent on lost legends. would be a waste of good talent.

back to my ribs. i remember feeling the injury burnin through the beta like hungry flames on an oil drum. soon the hard edge of the pain hits me, just as i get hit with morphine. and that’s basically the whole week. stumbling through the bush, following whoevers in front of me, either in a fuzzy haze or in the sharp stabbing pain, the morphine fantasy vs the reality of a shattered ribcage. i owe the others, really wouldnt have blamed them if theyd just left me in the village. well, im a mess but i can still walk, can still shoot. proved that yesterday. lay an ambush with kokoro for some deadly territorial beast. oddly, it was similar to doing a hit in the city. tree branches instead of a rooftop, trail instead of sidewalk. was good working with a spotter, though not quite the same. not sure its something id like to get used to, probably not. but a necessity here. kokoros got sharp ears and eyes here, where all i see is green and all i hear is the constant noise of insects and birds. got me thinkin, guess that im the city version of that kind of skill, since kokoro seemed fuckin lost in back in halliwell, just like i am here.

wreckage of the ship came into sight awhile ago, so at least that exists. just hope that, even if it isn’t the eye of a god, we find something in there. probably would have been satisfied with the journey itself if it wasnt for the injury. now its like im lookin for some kinda validation or compensation for it. yeah, i’ve been bitter. realized that its probably cause i havent hit the beta in the past week, tempting, but theres no way my body couldve handled it. the morphines been doin the trick, anyways. still, something inside me is wantin the beta, cigs arent doin it for me either. think ill use before going into the ship, something tells me ill want to be sharp in there. cant wait.

morphine had me talkin the other night. they were about victories and they asked me if i had any of my own. with a smirk i told them about the start of my career. yeah, real big victory. well, it was what it was and it was good for a time, i cant deny that. everyone’s seen the picture of linda by now. told them it was just porn. also repeated that im just wanted for the gun. dont care if they believe me, at least it shuts them up. dont know why im being so cagey. i guess it just comes down to the fact that it just aint their fuckin business. fuck me if they arent making it damn hard to forget, though.

headin off. hope to get to the ship today. got the 15mm assembled and im carrying it, even though its hurting like hell. still, got a feeling that ill want it on me. if that dying god really did come from the ship, i hate to see whats inside

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