The Zen and Fury in Healing

Anything you might want to try out that doesn't temporally or thematically fit the serial should go here. This is an ideal space for all your what-ifs and might-have-beens, as well as for your average silliness.
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IamLEAM1983
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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

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Herbert could obviously sense part of Marius' trepidation, to which he replied with another dark smirk. "Rest assured, my friend; I've no intention of helping him turn a corner, as it were. Those Pitspawn who could turn it have done so already: we have vaguely vulture-like Envy Thralls hobbling about like Henson's Skeksis and painstakingly sussing out personal boundaries, property and accountability, and we also have Gluttons now forced to dine on a world with fundamentally limited resources. The Vices are not as they were under the Goat's auspices, and those who have heeded the call to adapt are in the midst of it. Our poor friend the Keeper is a holdover who would not look too fondly upon any attempts to win him to our cause; I referred only to the notion of mollifying him as a means of gaining an advantage."

He steepled his fingers together. "You will have your brawl, but I am not one to leave him in optimal conditions. I've no desire to interfere in your ability to trounce him, but as for his Ego... That is what I reserve the right to scar."

Shen Long nodded. "So we duplicate a segment of Vlastos' own soul to serve as a false olive branch... The required hardware is over two hundred years old, at this point, and I doubt Archibald has kept an ERD on hand, being a simple end-user for his original armature."

Allocer raised a finger. "Er, what's an ERD?
- Etheric Registration Device," supplied Wormsworth. "The machinery exploits the arcane functionality of a curse to essentially etch grooves of a sort into the superficial layers of a person's soul. The resulting registration marks allowed extraction specialists to avoid any mishaps during the soul's final transfer to a phylactery."

The bigger demon nodded. "So you wouldn't be giving a chunk of Vlastos' soul away or even cloning it, but you'd be giving Grish the impression that he could use those marks to yank him out of his own body remotely. You'd be faking a Sword of Damocles over Vlastos' head.
- Correct," nodded Herbert, "all so our friend enters this much-vaunted bout with a little too much confidence.
- And how do we make sure Grish can't just head back to the Pit after receiving this gift, and yank him out anyway?"

Walt smiled. "I see where this is going... Unfortunately, you'll be down one-co-conspirator, seeing as I obviously can't let Allocer assist you. Prison time is what it is, after all. The initial measurement phase for the ERD could go as planned, but if some of the styluses are slightly misaligned before etching, you'll achieve a decent forgery. It'll probably even read as genuine during the initial indexing, but Grish won't be able to effectively locate and grab hold of Mister Vlastos' soul," confirmed the angel, as he nodded to the vampire. "Being who he is, he'll want to use the small radio relay these machines included, to try and unmake you right in front of you. He wouldn't just wait at a console, obviously - not when a fight is expected."

The blond-haired angel shrugged. "The one problem is getting hold of an ERD that's in working order. Etheric registration is an out-of-date procedure, seeing as etheric digitization is error-proof and tamper-proof at the firmware level. Duesenberg keeps an ERD at its in-house museum, but it's behind shatter-proof glass and miles of latticed wards only a Throne could skip through. There's a ton of other ERDs we could reach using Angel Time, but we're obviously not authorized to let any living being travel backwards in time. God's edicts only allow for blank spots in Time during catastrophes, as it were, and you won't like them."

The Philipino angel shrugged back. "According to Gabriel and Lucifer, the only spots we're allowed to take mortals to are terminal events - events so final that not even a vampire from 2026 needing to forge a registration plate for his soul could modify. God's got no problems with you guys traveling along the timeline like tourists while we serve as bus drivers, but you can't be allowed to create major branches. I don't have the whole jargon, but God feels like She's not equipped to handle more than our reality."

Wormsworth pouted lightly, a puff of air exiting his lips. "I see very little that could be so final as our own incursions, except perhaps for the Blitzkrieg and a few terrorist attacks of note..."

Walt nodded. "Neither of us can help you, officially, but you could always ask Raguel. He's always keen on skirting the rules. He could transport you to anywhere where an ERD machine could be interacted with without affecting History, suspend you sometime before calamity strikes and also restore real-time electron flow. You'd have your footprint of Marius' innermost being in a jiffy, and all you'd need would be a nicely obsequious meetup before the fight."

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TennyoCeres84
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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

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Aspasia listened to the discussion revolving a potential brawl and the workarounds they suggested, then glancing over at the vampire. "You could still have your brawl with Grishnakhal, but with some compromises. Would that work for you?" she asked, tilting her head.

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Karl the Mad
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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

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The Noise purred happily as Marius' desires were met, and he smiled gratefully at them. Then a thought occurred to him and the smile shifted to a more thoughtful expression. "Would a more modern version of the same technology not work just as well? It would be easier to find and easier to use, I'd think. Unless the technology itself is obsolete and something different is in use today, something that's harder to make false phylacteries with."

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IamLEAM1983
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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

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To that, at least, Allocer had an answer. "Etheric digitization is hard to fake, for obvious reasons, but terrorists adapted once they realized you could effectively hold the file of someone's very soul hostage, in exchange for a few, what, million bucks... I don't have training in that department, but I know transfer protocols like Alkaev's essentially put out a certificate of authenticity on that person's soul. That's been put in place largely to avoid armature-napping cases, or make them difficult. I don't know if Archie's transfer station survived - you'd have to check at Brenner's - but appending a valid checksum to Vlastos' soul could be done..."

Shen Long caught the ball. "It seems you doubt of this Grishnakhal's understanding of what this prize would imply..."

The city's former administrative officer blew a raspberry of obvious concern and shrugged. "He's a demon, I'm a demon - we're sort of partial to the whole glowing, green Eldritch crystal container aesthetic. Handing him a piece of paper with some hexadecimals on it and telling him to figure out how to work a computer to use them feels... complicated. Even an authenticated printout won't impress him as much as the impression that he could crush the soul of the man who almost ended the world. It's a matter of exposure, basically: I could've been won over with that kind of gift because I'm, well, more modern - a bit like Herbert, here. Him, though? He's oldschool."

Herbert tapped his cheek with one hand and the other lightly caressed his cup's handle. "From hexadecimals to the old guard's magic-imbued compensation mechanics... Hm; I suspect one of the Squids could effectively jury-rig something convincing out of raw data, as smart as they are..."

That made him think of something, and he quirked an eyebrow at Vlastos. "I seem to remember you being quite astonishingly verbal in their tongue, back when our dear Warlock's tower needed some sprucing-up. We could always outsource, what with the Void Weavers' signatory for the Accords being a short car ride away, now - but you're already capable as it is... Do you think you could manage it?"

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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

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Aspasia scratched her ear. "I remember seeing your handiwork after we returned from helping Azazel. That was quite impressive, Marius. I think you would be just as capable with that as you were with the infrastructure of the Tower," she commented.

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Re: The Zen and Fury in Healing

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"If there's one thing Shield taught me, it's that men who almost ended the world are a dime a dozen," Marius remarked, rolling his eyes at the self-deprecation. "But making a copy of my own soul, eh? Hm..." They seemed to think he could handle it, at least, and it would certainly get him closer to his desired rematch.

If you could do it once, you could do it again, the Noise purred. Think what else you could do with false pieces of your soul... all the people you could fool...

"...it would be worth a shot, at least," he went on after a moment of consideration. "What would I have to lose, anyway? I'm pretty sure my real soul is a bit tattered right now anyway."

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