Okay. Tom has died of the plague and risen as a zombie, so we can get this show on the road. Ground rules:
All poses go in replies to the original post, not in replies to its descendant comments -- use the 'Post a new comment' link right there or at the bottom of the OP and the bottom of the page, in other words, rather than any of the 'Reply to this' links. OOC comments can go anywhere as long as they are in some manner flagged as such. I will move poses that wind up in the wrong place.
Pose order is based on number of initiative dice:
Far Tripods, Near Tripods, Severian
Andy, Anna, Christian, James, Wren
Please observe it. Speak to Tom or me if you have some burning urge to pose out of order. Make a quick post to this thread if you would like to skip a round or a number of rounds. Because we have several entities with identical initiative pools, there are two groups who act more or less simultaneously; members of these groups may pose on a first come, first served basis. No other dice manipulation will be happening unless explicitly requested by a player, and possibly not even then.
When last we left our heroes....
Four of the tripods are arrested immediately: one stumbles under Sterope's assault, one stops when Dee's pitch rock makes everything go dark, and one loses an apparently vital part to Christian's arrow and is dragged off-balance by its own morningstar. The fourth has come under the attentions of Christian's golems and appears unsure as to what to do about this. There is some shuffling-about in the ranks as several tripods must move to avoid their fellows. Three of the ones not so affected step forward, however, squatting to half their original height as they do. Their morningstar apparati rotate into new positions, under the cockpits, and then telescope downwards so that they spin at ground level.
Anna pushes herself upright after a few moments of just kneeling there and panting, and picks up the lacrosse stick that wasn't under her hands a few moments ago. Then she picks up the plain pottery cannister of green slime that she made earlier, drops it into the webbing of the stick, and launches it straight at the glass observation ports on the nearest tripod.
Wren finally seems to decide it's time to shoot, and does. It doesn't mean she does it well though. Her continuing, uh, narrative sounds suspiciously like 'fuck fuck fuck, the monkey banging crackwhores...' but it's hard to tell for sure.
Having explained what he intends, John manifests a sling of his own, and snatches up one of the exploding rocks to aim at the nearest tripod. A far cry from his usual method of attack, but it'll have to do.
Whatever the second harpy finds inside the cockpit of the tripod she attacked, it involves flashes of red light and she doesn't seem to like it much. She wheels and flaps away, screeching, but only to steal, in a tremendous rush of air from her wings, one of the rocks; she does a flyby of the injured tripod, and flings the rock inside. James flings open the door of the lighthouse and takes the steps down three at a time; when he gets halfway down he just jumps off. When he's certain he hasn't broken his ankle or bitten the black thing he's holding in his teeth in half, he runs toward Andy.
Anna's goo slams into the glass; the jar breaks, the glass does not, but the slime coats it. Wren and John make dents in another two which do not fall. The tripods behind the fallen and halted ones march on past their comrades, morning star wheels cutting a path in front of them. They press in from both sides of the island, slow but steady. There's a whining, whirring noise and some red lights coming on and off on some of the mounted cannons, and several of the machines facing the crew stop in their tracks as teapot-sprout shapes protrude from below the main helicopter-cockpit like glass facing. The rest don't seem to be targeting anybody in particular, but trying to create an inescapable circle of whirring bladed death.
Wren lets go another spate of unladylike cursing as the approach of the giant Ginsu wheels of doom leaves her with time to do nothing but grab the snowball shooter and get the hell out of the way, her pile of rocks becoming a necessary sacrifice. Sprinting closer to the lighthouse, she calls out a warning to Archie, just to make sure the little familiar doesn't get any ideas about pilfering what's left behind when no one's looking.
Still in that place of surprising calm, Christian hops back and away from the path of deadly danger, deftly demonstrating derring-do. He fits another arrow to his simple bow and lets fly at the nearest of the tripods' glassy bits.
Christian's meditation-induced sense of calm does not prevent him from remarking, "Ow. Fuck me," when his bowstring manages to catch on his ring finger and yank it viciously.
James grabs Andy's elbow briefly when he comes up to him, partly to make sure he has Andy's attention and partly because James has a lot of momentum and somebody's got to deal with it. He pockets the thing he was holding in his teeth, which appears in the moment it's visible to have been that little receiver he's always waving around. "How much paradox have you got on you?" he says over the general hubbub, rubbing his hands together like -- well, a bit like they're covered in cat hair and he's trying to consolidate it into a ball.
Anna scrambles backwards into the relative safety of the rocks, cradling the glue rock she had dropped into the basket, since she had to leave the others behind. When she finds a spot she thinks she can balance on, she lets fly with the rock again, trying to make a sticky spot on the joints of one of the tripods.
The angel moves to interpose itself between one of the thrashing tripods and the island, blocking with its riot shield and then swinging the machete over the top of the shield to try to cut the whirling mace off the thing.
The rock Anna is standing on gives way just as she lets fly with her projectile, and the glue rock sails harmlessly off into the water as she has to scramble to keep her balance.
Christian's finger snaps, but his meditative state is so powerful, the pain hardly phases him, despite his cussing. Meanwhile, John's attack on the tripods coming at him is spectacular - the rocks slam into its hull and legs, exploding in well-timed bursts of fire. It slows down a little, but keeps going, for now - they can only take so much abuse, and they basically can't dodge any of it. So it's pretty clearly bad news when those teapot-spout protuberances start spitting cold green fire right about now, freezing everything in a three-foot radius below, as the tripods attacks lumber again into life.
Anna misses her target entirely, and Dee lets loose with his sling on the same tripod John attacked, managing to take out a chunk of hull, exposing what looks like circuitry inside. The angel fells several tripods in one swoop, and the total still moving is now about thirty, with maybe half, all on the occupied side of the island, spitting freezing greenblue fire from above.
And John manages to impress even himself. Gray eyes wide, he continues that measured retreat...trying to gauge the distance so he can bring down that tripod with another rock, without getting blasted.
Wren continues to channel her inner pirate by keeping up a constant, muttered stream of invectives as she finds a place that is, for the moment, out of the line of fire. Without her ammo, the rock shooter is useless until she produces more, which leads her to switch it out in favor of the snowball shooter. Sighting in on the closest of the tripods, she fires... er, snows? and swears a little louder, maybe for good luck.
Anna comes down off the rocks in a sort of slithering slide and then palms another rock into the basket of her stick. "Pelo grace do Deus," she mutters, cradles the stick twice across her chest, then snaps her arm back and pivots the stick across like the halfback she was.
The angel just starts scything through trumpet-nose things on tripods, since it would appear those are what's doing the actual -attacking- at the moment, and it was built with the idea of defending in mind.
Andy turns from James to call out, "Christian!" and gesture, then says to the nocker, "Paradox? I - I'm not sure, why? Not very much. Tim would have plenty, of course, as usual. I'm beginning to think he incurs it merely by existing at this point." He sounds completely serious about this. He's forgotten that as far as James knew, he wasn't supposed to be all cozy with Mr. Hart at all. "What kind of awful idea have you got?"
"I'm not in communication with Tim right now," James says, and gives up rubbing his hands together in clear irritation, having failed to acquire the cat hairball of his dreams. He takes the receiver back out of his pocket; it's beeping more or less continuously, mostly not comprehensibly, and he beeps back with his left hand. "Also, I don't think I could touch him if he were, and touch is probably a good idea for this. Don't try to slip me the tongue again, now is not the time." He takes Andy's hand and closes his eyes, then turns his face toward an uninjured tripod.
Christian's finger may not bother him much from a pain standpoint, but it's not acting quite right for him, which he discovers when it winds up on the wrong side of the bowstring when he tries to draw it again. He's broken fingers before, and recognizes it. He tosses the bow aside; Andy's call catches his attention, which suits him, because he was about to retreat to find somebody to wrap his injured finger to the one next to it, anyway. He hurries over to Andy and James.
Dee goes after the same tripod as John again, hoping to finish it off, and lets loose with his sling. Meanwhile, Archie flies around chiming and resupplying everyone's rock supplies. He seems to have a hidden stash somewhere.
John's attack blossoms fire and his tripod grinds, but presses on still, looking a little unsteady now. Wren's snowball shooter pegs the legs of the nearest tripod, and something odd happens: the snowball seems to stick to the legs, keeping their shapes, just hanging there. Meanwhile, Anna's glue hits a joint this time and her tripod stops with its leg in mid-air. The angel is just mowing them down, two at a time it seems, and a number have diverted away from their press (though without breaking the ring of no escape) to push in on the angel instead. His massive shield protects him from most of their blows, though he does show signs of wavering under them. A few tripods near him stop and begin to extend their fire-spitting spouts.
Andy looks startled by all this, and, with a helpless look, turns to Christian on his free side. "I can fix it for you," he says, "or you can fix it for yourself. You look like you're in the right state of mind for it. Sit down and think about the bone. Get a really clear image in your mind." He turns back to James. "What /are/ you doing?" Just about now, Dee's rocks hit he and John's tripod and it finally grinds to a halt.
"I do not like the look of that," Wren states flatly after seeing the snowball stick, setting the snowball shooter aside. "Archie!! Ammo!" The request made, she backs up a few steps and holds out her hands, concentrating on manifesting a stick similar to Anna's.
The tripods advance, slowly orienting towards targets now. Their massive legs begin to climb up the rocks, spitting fire and swinging sharp blunt death from above.
If Christian weren't doing the zen battle meditation deal, he'd probably tell Andy he's crazy. Sit down and think about it in the middle of a battle while everybody is under enemy fire? In fact-- "I'll do it standing, and quickly," he tells the Chorister and brings to mind a picture of his finger's bones in the same way he would a Making.
Fresh ammo in hand, Wren makes another dash to avoid the advancing front line, her swearing finally abating. When she stops, she carefully stuff her ammo into the bodice of holding to free up her hands, and starts working on manifesting a stick similar to Anna's.
Anna scrambles out of the way of a tripod that seems to be bent on her destruction, dodging and weaving and trying generally to just avoid getting smacked by cold or by fire. Unlike Wren, she is not swearing, but her lips are pressed together in a thin white line, and she's squinting hard. She finally comes up with another globe of something - she's really not sure what it is, concentrating is hard under these circumstances, drops it into the basket of her lacrosse stick, and fires randomly before trying to find a place she could get away from them.
The angel continues carving his swath of destruction through the tripods, leaving devastation in his wake. Anna looks a little green around the gills at the effectiveness of the thing she's had a hand in making.
"Anna, more glue. I want to try and limpet-mine one of them," John states, hurling one last exploding rock, as he tries to evade the oncoming tripods. Anna's angel gets a quick glance. Why didn't I summon up something like that?
"Oh, /shit/," says James, who has been concentrating hard while Andy was talking to Christian, and, while Andy is still partway through the 'doing' portion of his question, leans in as though he's changed his mind about that tongue thing. Lucky for Andy, before he can connect there is a golden flash between and around them, which seems to be centered around their mouths, but it's so bright it's hard to tell. James drops the receiver, draws his freed arm back, and convulsively flings a handful of bolts of the same searing, sun-colored lightning at the mechanical army, then steps violently away from Andy. "That, apparently," he says shakily. Sterope spirals out of the way of a bolt, and both harpies swoop in to finish off a crippled tripod.
Dee dances a little to one side to get a better positioning, swinging his sling at a slight angle as he does so. "Archie, more rocks," he hisses just before he flings this one at an appropriate target and picks up his last piece of ammo to drop into the sling.