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Thread: Maybe I'm a Lion (KnK/Prototype Crossover)

  1. #21
    Gimme ur loot ZidanReign's Avatar
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    Fuck.

    Those all the words I can say right now comprehensible to understand above the weird sounds coming from my mouth right now.

    Good Show, Mah Boi.
    There's nothing fucking here bruh, look elsewhere.

  2. #22
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors FlameStrike's Avatar
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    Ohshit! Araya is making his move. The counter force is really going to mess up his plans big time here. Also I almost feel sorry for Alba. In canon he gets eaten by a monster puppet thing, and in here he gets eaten by an infected origin awakened monster human. It seems like being horribly killed is his fate despite his skills with magic.
    Go check out some awesome fan fiction!
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/forumdisplay.php/5-Fanfics
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph.../FateStayNight
    Because the remaining ten percent is worth dieing for.

    Fortissimo EXA//Akkord:Bsusvier, Magi locked in a deadly battle royal. Sounds familiar right? Familiar and AWESOME.
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread...eo-Walkthrough

    Pokemon FC: 3067 5409 2765

  3. #23
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six R.Lock's Avatar
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    I have just seen spoiler. I don't give a shit, though.
    Ahem, I'm still in the middle of second chapter, but I'll read this madness. Definitely.

  4. #24
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Flere821's Avatar
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    Oh wow. Am I mistaken or is the runners of Lio actually lions? Nrvnqsr Chaos, this guy might actually be able to eat you up...
    Quote Originally Posted by Elf View Post
    Elf, dealing fanfic crack for Beast Lair since 2007.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radiantbeam View Post
    Elf: Crack Dealer. Story at eleven.
    'Fae is Foul' - My SAO/ZnT Crossover fanfic (SB Thread) (FFN Link)

  5. #25
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Yep! Instead of tendrils and suchlike which Mercer uses to consume people, Shirazumi doesn't fuck around. He manifests lions out of his body, and eats people with those, Nero Chaos-style.
    ちょう
    もく


  6. #26
    The Raging Fantastic Magnum Fancy Face the First's Avatar
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    That's fucking awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by food View Post
    Karna would totally sympathize with Shinji.

    "Bro, your family does not want you either? We will show them, by killing everyone."
    "Nukes, nukes everywhere."
    [*ruby=text on top]text on bottom[/*ruby]

  7. #27
    Asshats don't cease when they die but after folk forget what made them fun LunarLegend's Avatar
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    My lack of familiarity with Prototype notwithstanding, I rather like this.

    I'm finding Lio quite sympathetic here, in a monstrous, antiheroic sort of way. He's reminding me of the philosophical rebel, fighting against society, itself a system as potent as the Counter Force and just as pervasive. He's disgusting, yes, but not without an oddly admirable sense of self-assuredness and pluck, fighting off the onset of his own madness any way he can.

    I feel I should go & play Prototype before I finish this fic, but so far - me gusta!

  8. #28
    Gimme ur loot ZidanReign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    Yep! Instead of tendrils and suchlike which Mercer uses to consume people, Shirazumi doesn't fuck around. He manifests lions out of his body, and eats people with those, Nero Chaos-style.
    Do you realize how many times I had to change my pants after reading that?

    PLENTY.
    There's nothing fucking here bruh, look elsewhere.

  9. #29
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    It's 3 AM. I've been writing flat-out for the past three hours. But it's finally done. A new update - now almost twice the length of the previous updates. Why twice as long? Because I needed to fit twice as much stuff in, that's why. In structural terms, you should probably consider everything up to this update the prologue. This is where the story really starts, or (as my outline notes say), "Shit Gets Real".

    Let's not screw around. Hop to it!

    ----------------------------------------------

    It's raining heavily by the time the helicopter sets in at Nerima General Hospital. The near-continuous barrage of raindrop impacts on the concrete rooftop reduces every sound emitted from further than ten metres away to a dull, continuous roar. There's fog setting in, and visibility has dropped to around half a kilometre in every direction. All things considered, Captain Blackrow couldn't have asked for better conditions to run a covert CASEVAC in. The fewer people who can see and hear the helicopter, the better. Fall in Japan, he thinks. Gotta love it. There's a flash of lightning off in the distance, throwing the interior of the HH-60M Black Hawk into sharp relief. Thunder rolls in about a second and a half later.

    “It's go time. Ellison, take point.” Four gas-masked soldiers nod in unison. The Black Hawk's door is opened, and they step out onto the rooftop. The men under Blackrow's command – Ellison, Newell, Salvado and O'Hara – are all hardened pros, veterans of Special Ops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan; you name it. Blackwatch has a thorough screening process for its recruits – sourcing them from Delta, Force Recon, DEVGRU; elite units through and through, no-one can deny – although understandably it's an unusual process in that marked tendencies towards excessive use of force and the presence of sociopathic personality traits are not considered automatic failure conditions. That's a matter of practicality more than anything else. Blackwatch is not, after all, your ordinary Black Ops unit.

    “Rooftop clear.” Ellison's voice over the radio has a strange, fuzzy element to it, a kind of low-pass-filter effect; it's an artefact of the state-of-the-art digital audio encryption system Blackwatch uses. Anyone nearby who happens to be listening in on this frequency will hear nothing but static. “Proceeding to entrance.” He makes a beeline for the double doors to one side of the rooftop. As a rule, hospitals tend not to keep rooftop entrances locked – the reasoning being, if a patient's coming in via helicopter, their condition is obviously serious enough that you simply don't have the time to waste finding the key. Blackrow signals the team to stack up on either side of the door. The rooftop is covered with water to a depth of about a third of an inch, and their boots cause splashes as they walk.

    “Sideline, confirm ECM status, over.”

    “Copy that, Oxide. ECM is...active. Security cameras confirmed down in all sectors. You're good to go, over.”

    “Roger that. Oxide out.”

    Blackrow signals to Ellison.

    “You're up.”

    “Sir.”

    Carefully, Ellison eases one of the doors – raised about an inch and a half above the rooftop, as if in anticipation of its poor drainage situation – open. The rain should cover any sounds made, but it's better to be safe than sorry. In a crouch-walk, he moves inside, keeping watch down the corridor, and holding the door open while the rest of the squad move in. The floor near the entrance is a large, smooth square of waterproof rubber. Once they're all inside, they pause for a few seconds to let the water drain off their gear.

    “Stairwell should be the next left turn off this corridor. That'll take us down to the basement. Keep low, and don't make any sudden movements. Some of the staff might still be around.”

    “Copy that.”

    Crouch-walking in single file behind Ellison, the squad moves slowly down the dark corridor. Fortunately, there's no-one awake on the fourth floor, so they're able to make good time towards the stairwell. The pervasive noise caused by the heavy rain outside is a double-edged sword; it removes the audio footprint caused by the squad's own movements, but also makes it harder to detect the movements of whoever else might be in the building. If they turn the corner and run straight into one of the hospital staff – or, God forbid, a patient – the ROE give them no choice but to incapacitate. Each man is equipped with a Taser in addition to their usual loadout for just that purpose. There's another crash of thunder from the storm outside. Ellison reaches the left-hand turn to the stairwell, and leans around the corner.

    “Clear.”

    Blackrow signals to Salvado, who takes up a position on the far side of the left-hand corridor, keeping watch on the hallway in the other direction. Ellison proceeds towards the stairwell, followed closely by Newell, O'Hara, and Blackrow last. Once they're all on the stairwell, safely concealed below the line of sight of anyone walking down the corridor above, Blackrow calls Salvado back to the squad. Slowly, taking care not to expose more of his head than absolutely necessary, Ellison takes a look down the stairwell.

    “Stairwell, clear.”

    The squad begins the five-story descent that will take them to the morgue, located on the first basement floor. Once they're there, it'll be a simple task of locating and extracting the corpse of Patient Zero – the poor bastard who got himself caught standing right next to the bio-bomb when it went off. The higher-ups probably want him first to study, then to incinerate and conveniently forget about if anything which even smells like an oversight committee gets within a mile of Fort Detrick. It might not have been what he planned to do when he got up this – no, yesterday morning, but like it or not, that guy's body is now Blackwatch property.

    “Third floor, clear.”

    Another flash of lightning outside, with thunder rolling in about a second later. The storm's getting closer; judging by the delay between lightning and thunder, it won't be long before it's right overhead. Blackrow doesn't envy the pilots. The staging area for this op is Yokota Air Base, about thirty klicks away out in the Western suburbs. If the weather gets any worse, their flight back to regional Blackwatch HQ at Okinawa might have to wait until the storm dies down. That could be a worry. Biohazard gear or no, Blackrow doesn't want to spend any more time babysitting a BLACKLIGHT-infected cadaver than is absolutely necessary. He's been with the regiment long enough to have heard the horror stories about Two Bluff, Arizona. And they say that BLACKLIGHT is an enhanced version of that strain, he thinks.

    “Second floor, clear.”

    “Got lights on downstairs. Keep it tight.”

    “Roger that.”

    As in most hospitals that ostensibly operate twenty-four hours a day, the lights on the ground floor are kept on more or less permanently. Fortunately, this seems to be a slow morning for grievous injury and disease in Nerima Ward, so there are no patients or staff wandering the corridors. Even more fortunately, the reception area, which is staffed, is out of the stairwell's line of sight, thanks to the whim of an unknowingly-benevolent hospital architect. The squad takes special care to avoid making any sound as they round the corner that will take them an additional story downwards. The human brain employs some truly spectacular pattern-recognition algorithms, and even with the storm outside filling the hospital with footstep-obscuring white noise, there's still a chance that some sharp-eared receptionist might hear something.

    “Basement, clear.”

    At last, the squad steps out into the main corridor on the basement level. According to the briefing, the morgue should be through the double doors at the far end of the hallway. The path towards it is lit, albeit not as brightly as the ground floor; only half the fluorescent tubes are kept active, to save electricity. Blackrow signals the squad out of their crouch-walking posture. They move down the corridor as a unit – Ellison and Blackrow taking point, Salvado watching their six, and O'Hara and Newell sticking to the sides of the corridor. They have about fifty metres to walk.

    But then-

    -they stop.

    Blackrow gives the signal – a clenched fist, raised vertically – and the squad freezes instantly. Turning to each of the men, he holds an extended finger over his mouth (well, where his mouth would be if the gas mask wasn't in the way) in the universally-recognised 'shush' gesture.

    Nobody makes a sound.

    And then, they hear it.

    It's quiet. So quiet, in fact, that if the rain outside had been as loud as it was on the above-ground floors, they'd never have heard it. Nevertheless, there it is.

    A low, husky purring sound.

    It's simple to tell just by hearing it that no domestic cat could make this sound – it's far too deep; a baritone rather than a tenor or soprano, to use a musical analogy. You'd only get purring like this from one of the large felids – a leopard, perhaps, or a tiger...

    ...or maybe, a lion.

    “The fuck is that says Ellison.

    “Sounds like it's comin' from down there.” says Salvado, motioning down the corridor.

    “Something's not right here. Weapons hot.” orders Blackrow. Anyone can tell that that isn't the kind of sound you should ordinarily hear in a hospital, and part of the Blackwatch modus operandi is that when the situation departs from the ordinary, it's always better to be armed than unarmed.In unison, all five men take hold of the submachineguns strapped to their backs – reliable German-made H&K MP5 models, integrally suppressed and chambered in subsonic nine-by-nineteen millimetre rounds; a configuration for covert use in urban environments, with the logical bonus that you can use them indoors without ear protection and not go deaf for ten minutes afterwards. There's a general unfolding of stocks, unsafeing of safeties and turning-on of laser designators for a second or two after this order is given.

    The purring sound continues.

    Five red dots appear on the set of double doors leading to the the morgue.

    “Ellison, O'Hara, take point. Right-hand side approach.”

    “Roger that.”

    The two men make a beeline for the side of the corridor opposite to the one the stairwell adjoins. O'Hara crouch-walks while Ellison remains on his feet, making sure to keep their lines of fire focused on the door ahead of them. Cautiously, they begin advancing down the corridor. Newell, Salvado and Blackrow cover them from the left-hand side of the corridor, keeping their sight lines firmly on the left-hand side of the door to avoid sweeping the two point men.

    Forty-five metres remain.

    Forty metres.

    Thirty-five.

    Thirty.

    Twenty-five.

    Once Ellison and O'Hara pass the twenty-five metre mark, Blackrow orders Newell and Salvado to proceed similarly along the left-hand side of the corridor. If there is something unpleasant waiting for them in the morgue, the plan is to have the squad stack up on either side of the doors, throw in a flash-bang, then breach and clear. Recovering the cadaver takes priority over stealth, so they'll need to double-time it back to the helo before the hospital staff even work out what's happened.

    They two in front are only fifteen metres away.

    Ten.

    Five.

    Two.

    And then...

    ...the purring stops.

    Tap.

    It's almost as if the rain outside has receded to the edge of measurability. To the members of Team Oxide, that single 'Tap' was the loudest sound in the world. It's the impact of something hard on a tiled concrete floor. Not something large, like a brick or a hammer. It's more like...a ceramic pot being placed on the floor with a slight lack of care. And yet, that isn't quite right either; the sound had another element, a kind of rough scraping noise, as if it something hard was placed on the ground, dragged across it for a short time, then lifted off-

    Tap.

    -to be placed back on the ground again. It's getting closer, Blackrow thinks, and it's true; the sound is louder than it was the last time, just as if whatever inside the morgue is making the sound is slowly making its way towards the door that leads to the main corridor. I know this sound, he thinks, or at least, I've heard something like it before. But where?

    Tap.

    Ah, he realises. That was it. The Sudan. '99. SEAL Team Six. HVI recovery mission. Fucker had holed himself up in an abandoned school way out in the middle of nowhere. Tiled floors, just like here. The mission was a bust. He was dead by the time we got there. But it wasn't the Sudanese who got him. No, he remembers, when we came to extract him, there was barely half of him left. Dumbass left the doors open, and a lion got in there, and ate him alive. And when we came to pick him up, the lion was still there...yeah, that's where I heard it. That noise...that's the sound of a lion walking on a tiled floor...

    Tap.

    But that's completely fucking nuts. This is Japan. You'd never even find a lion outside of a cage in a zoo, let alone in a hospital basement.

    TAP.

    This last sound – the sound a lion's extended claws make upon impact with the ground when walking on a hard surface – contains a certain note of finality to it. Sure enough, there's no follow-up 'Tap' immediately afterwards. There is a lion behind that door, thinks Blackrow, I don't know how, and I don't know why, but of that I am absolutely certain. From the sound, it doesn't seem like it can possibly be more than a metre or two behind the door.

    And then-

    -it makes its move.

    It happens so fast, he can barely perceive it.

    The lion – or if not the lion, then something – launches itself through the right-hand door to the morgue. The metal right-hand door. Without slowing down, it lunges for Ellison – the nearest to the door – who takes aim with his MP5 almost on instinct. He doesn't even manage to pull the trigger. In barely a fraction of a second, the lion's jaws – seeming almost to dislocate and open impossibly wide, like those of a snake – close around Ellison's head, and bite down. It isn't severed cleanly. The soldier's gas-masked head is pulled, ripped, torn off, blood fountaining from the carotid artery, the crushed remnants of his upper vertebrae now exposed to the open air. And then, almost as quickly as it appeared, the lion vanishes back through the hole it created on the way out. All this takes place in the space of around a tenth of a second.

    For a brief moment, the squad is stunned, frozen in place by the sheer unexpectedness of what just happened.

    That moment doesn't last long.

    “WEAPONS FREE!”

    Four SMGs. Thirty rounds to a magazine. Seven hundred and fifty rounds per minute. In under three seconds, a hundred and twenty subsonic copper-jacketed nine-by-nineteen millimetre rounds slam into the stainless steel double doors separating the corridor from the morgue. Even low-energy rounds like these can do serious damage to a structure like that with a sustained volume of fire. Many of the rounds penetrate through to the other side, and about half of those which do violently impact with the lion-shaped amalgamation of flesh currently chewing on Ellison's head.

    It is not enough.

    The right-hand door falls off its hinges, slamming into the floor with a loud clang. Their magazines dry, the four men double-time their reloads. New magazines. Green-taped. Supersonic. Hollow-point ammunition. Taking aim at the gap in the doorway, they wait for the smoke and dust from the previous barrage of bullet impacts to clear.

    “HaHAahgahaAHAA....ahHhaAagGhhHHha...”

    When the smoke clears, Blackrow can hardly believe what he is seeing.

    A figure that is both human and inhuman. A figure that is in the shape of a human, yet is not one.

    A face, eyes empty and dead and utterly without empathy or humanity, the colour of dried blood.

    A right arm, shredded to pieces by the barrage of nine millimetre ammunition, yet, before his eyes, repairing itself.

    A left arm, or rather, that which exists where a left arm should be: a hulking amalgamation of flesh, ranging in colour from bloody red to dark brown, gently throbbing, dripping blood and saliva, and which at its extremity, forms itself into the head of a lion, black and red, a larger-than-life sculpture in compressed and refined human tissue.

    And a body-

    It's made of lions.

    Beneath what remains of a blood-drenched set of surgical scrubs, the flesh of his chest is like the surface of a pan of boiling water, roiling, turbulent and chaotic. And out of the chaos emerges, first the head, then the forelegs, then the body, of a lion, equal in size and colouration to the one that exists at the end of his left arm. But it is unstable, and collapses, folding and compressing back into the chaotic pool of dark flesh comprising the figure's chest, and yet even as it does, it is replaced by another, and another, and another after that-

    “HaahGghAagGkhHHhihiHihiKHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

    The voice laughs, a high, screeching, shrieking hyena-like cackle, and Blackrow notices that the voice is coming not only from the figure's human mouth but from the mouths of the lions as well, the lion on his left arm and the chaotic sea of lions within his chest.

    A lesser man would have lost his mind from the fear and horror induced by the mere sight of that creature.

    A lesser man would have thrown down his weapon and fallen to the ground, crying and screaming, despairing in the knowledge that there was nothing on earth that could save him now.

    A lesser man...

    ...would never have made it into Blackwatch.

    “Gentlemen...”

    “Captain?”

    He looks around at his remaining squad – O'Hara, Salvado, Newell, and himself. Each of them knows that there's precisely one way to get out of Blackwatch, and that's in a coffin. For Blackwatch, a KIA isn't a tragedy – it's a rescheduling of the inevitable.

    So why the fuck not?

    “...your service will be honoured.”

    “FUCKIN' A!”

    Four charging handles on four H&K MP5s snap forward as one, and Round Two begins.

    A flesh-rending torrent of gunfire pours into the creature, as the supersonic hollow-point rounds tear and eviscerate its entire body. But even this can only slow it down. Its regeneration is too swift, its damage resistance too high. In less than a second, there it is. The lion's head on its left arm lunges for O'Hara, the same motion which tore through a steel security door like it wasn't even there.

    There's no way he can avoid it.

    There's no way he can escape it.

    The lion's jaws open wide, and-

    -they close around O'Hara's outstretched arm.

    An outstretched arm holding an primed White Phosphorus grenade.

    “GO! NOW!” he screams. They are his last words. A second lion, manifested from the chaotic sea of flesh in the creature's chest, tears a huge chunk out of his stomach, trailing blood and intestines from its jaws as it compresses itself back into formlessness.

    Blackrow, Salvado and Newell don't need to be told twice. Pulling a flash-bang grenade from his vest with one hand, he signals them to retreat. Walking backwards towards the stairwell, one shoots while another reloads, maintaining a continuous stream of fire down the corridor.

    And then, the grenade goes off.

    The creature's left arm just explodes – it spontaneously dissociates into a starburst of burning chunks of flesh, coating the corridor's walls, floor and ceiling in a fraction of a second. Blackrow doesn't wait for it to recover from that – as it almost certainly will. He removes the pin, and tosses the flash-bang grenade. Immediately as he does so, he leaps back and ducks behind the corner where the stairwell connects with the main corridor. He had to cook the grenade – a risky technique, certainly, but in this situation five seconds is simply too long to wait. And, sure enough-

    BANG.

    The corridor is filled with white light. The creature gives off a sound like an animal howling in pain. Sounds like that'll slow it down for a bit. Only three flash-bangs left. Taking another in his hand, Blackrow begins double-timing it up the stairwell.

    “Sideline! Spin-up. Now!”

    “Oxide, what's your-”

    “I don't have time for this! RIGHT FUCKING NOW, SIDELINE!”

    “...Copy that.”

    As he rounds the corner on the ground floor, Blackrow tosses his second flash-bang down the stairs. It's a well-aimed shot, and it bounces around the corner and back down into the basement corridor.

    BANG.

    There's no time the check whether or not it was effective. Right now, every ounce of his strength, every fiber and sinew of his body, every thought in his mind is entire concentrated on getting back to the helo at all costs. They're not equipped for this. This is an opponent that needs to be dealt with at a distance.

    He's on the second floor now. He can hear Salvado and Newell's footsteps, not far ahead of him. Lightning crashes, outside the windows. The storm's right on top of them. And then, he hears-

    -a roar.

    A vicious, aggressive, and utterly inhuman roar.

    The roar of a man-eating lion.

    And the sound of something faster than any human and yet impossibly heavy running at full bore up the stairs.

    Without even stopping to think, Blackrow primes and throws his third flash-bang. There's no time to waste.

    BANG.

    Any pretence of stealth has been abandoned. Things being what they are, they'll have to level the entire fucking building to kill that thing – and even then...

    Blackrow takes his last remaining flash-bang in his hands. He's on the third floor now. Only one more to go, come on, come on, comeoncomeoncomeon-

    There's a sharp pain in his leg, causing him to stumble and fall onto the tiled floor. He doesn't need to look behind him to know what it is. Removing the pin from his last remaining flash-bang grenade, Blackrow, turns and looks the lion – now chewing on his right ankle – straight in the eye.

    The lion lets go of his ankle, opens its jaws wide, impossibly, inhumanly wide, and-

    BANG.

    The lion takes Blackrow's head in its mouth at the exact moment the grenade detonates. For the lion, the experience is a total sensory overload. With sharper eyesight and enhanced hearing compared to any living human, the effect of an anti-personnel weapon intended to incapacitate and subdue is magnified threefold. It's like staring into the centre of the sun.

    “AAAAAAAhGGAHAHHahAAAAaAaaAA!!”

    The creature's left arm, still repairing itself from the WP grenade explosion, loses all form for a second, retreating momentarily into a chaotic mass of flesh from which it slowly restores itself.

    The loss of sight is no matter.

    The loss of hearing is no matter.

    This is a creature which can operate on sense of smell alone – with a hundred thousand years of hunter-killer instinct sourced from one of the natural world's most perfectly optimised killing machines on its side, the amount of things which can evade its perception is close to none.

    It takes less than five seconds for it to fully recover. The flesh on the creature's legs ripples and folds around itself – a reassignment of muscular tissue dedicated to increasing movement speed by as much as inhumanly possible.

    And then, it starts to run.

    * * * *

    The helicopter is fully spun up and ready to take off by the time Salvado and Newell burst out the door onto the rain-drenched rooftop. Sideline must have really pulled out all the stops; they'd need to have skipped every single one of the pre-flight checks to get spun up that fast. Running hard through the pouring rain, they cover the distance to the chopper's open side door in about four seconds.

    “What about the rest of the squad?”

    “We don't fuckin' HAVE a squad any more!”

    “The Captain?”

    “If he ain't through that door in the next five seconds, we are taking off, no matter what!”

    While Salvado's shouting at Sideline, Newell's undoing the clasps on an impact-hardened equipment container stowed on one of the Black Hawk's empty seats. No-one can accuse Blackwatch of being unprepared. Boy Scouts of America, eat your heart out, thinks Newell as he lifts the lid. The Mark 14 Multiple Grenade Launcher, designed to USSOCOM specifications by Milkor of South Africa. Six rounds. More than enough to kill anything that moves.

    Newell is barely halfway through loading it before that thing bursts through the doors and out onto the rooftop. There's no time to speak, and barely enough to think. He'll have to make do with the three rounds he's already loaded. He snaps the MGL shut, takes aim, and fires.

    BOOM.

    The explosion rocks the rooftop. It was a risky move, and Newell knows it – at this range, the HE rounds are Danger Close for the helo. The MGL was meant to hit targets five hundred metres away, not fifteen. The creature is thrown back violently, straight through the doors it came out, at such a speed that the glass insets shatter and the doors hang off their hinges at a precarious angle.Sideline doesn't waste any time. The Black Hawk is in the air within thirty seconds, orbiting the rooftop at an altitude of about a hundred metres. Newell flips open the MGL and loads the remaining three HE rounds. There are only five left in total now. What I wouldn't give for an M134 right now, thinks Salvado, taking aim at the rooftop with his MP5. Experience has shown it won't do shit, but it's better than nothing. All the two soldiers can do now is sit in the helicopter and wait. It doesn't seem likely, Newell thinks, that it's the kind of thing that would go down just from a single HE round.


    * * * *

    And then, there is an 'I' once more.

    'I', who was once drowning in the chaotic sea of my own Impulse, raise my head above the surface and breathe fresh air for the first time in what seems like days.

    But...

    ...who am 'I'?

    'I' try to remember-

    Web Of Intrigue – Awasuke Hayashibara

    “-Ughh...Hello?”

    “Doctor Hayashibara? This is Doctor Ashitake at Nerima General Hospital. We have a patient in the morgue here with an...unusual condition, which we believe requires your expertise-”



    “-He's lying. If you look carefully at the directionality of the markings on the bone, you can see that the assailant actually stabbed her not twice, but three times. We didn't notice because the wounds were right on top of each other.”

    “What? But that's...well, I'll be damned. I'll call the inspector and tell him he's got the wrong guy-”



    “-So, how are things between you and Sayako?”

    “They've been better.”

    “She still wants a kid, huh-”

    Web Of Intrigue – Kenji Ashitake


    “-Incredible...I've never seen blood behave like this before. Ashitake, what's your opinion?”

    “All I can think of is some kind of genetic condition. More than that, I really can't say, Doctor Sakurai. Blood isn't my area of expertise-”



    “-So as far as I can tell, you're concerned because you think your career isn't advancing, am I right?”

    “It's not that; it's just...ah, I don't know. Can we talk about something else-”



    “-I got the scholarship.”

    “Well done, Kenji! I'm so proud of you-”

    Web of Intrigue – Joshua Ellison


    “-This is a covert retrieval – snatch and grab. We go in fast, and we get out faster. Am I clear?”

    “Sir, yes sir-”



    “-Listen up, son, and you'd damn well better listen good; there's no place in the Corps for a fucking psychopath like yourself. If this offer hadn't come in from the DoD, I would have personally seen to it that you'd have spent the rest of your god-forsaken life rotting in a cell in Leavenworth for what you did.”

    “Well, too bad for you then, I guess-”



    “-I'm tellin' you, man, this is fucked up. He gives the order, and suddenly we're the ones being called war criminals? Fuckin' bullshit, man.”

    “Guess that's just how it goes when you've got an uncle at CENTCOM-”

    Web of Intrigue – Andrew O'Hara


    “-Oh, come on. Not even the Old Man would actually FIREBREAK central Tokyo. He'd never get Presidential approval.”

    “If the situation escalates to that point, he might not need it. That's what you don't understand, man-”



    “-I'm not gonna lie to you, O'Hara – this unit is a dumping ground for the craziest bunch of cutthroats, shitkickers and psychopaths this side of a Tarantino film. You sure this is the right choice?”

    “Absolutely, sir-”



    “-you know, and it had occurred to me before, O'Hara, but joining the Marines because you wanted to 'blow shit up', as you put it, is probably not the ideal mindset to have, know what I'm sayin'?”

    “I know what you're saying, I just don't care, that's all-”

    Web of Intrigue – Samuel Blackrow


    “-With all due respect, sir, how are we supposed to find one bomb in an entire district?”

    “It does bring the phrase 'needle in a haystack' to mind, doesn't it? To be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn't even bother trying to find it before it explodes. Just wait until you hear something go 'boom', then clean up the mess-”



    “-This is a promotion, Blackrow. We checked to see who fitted the dead man's shoes, and it looks like you're Cinderella. I hope you like the weather in Okinawa. Dismissed.”

    “Sir-”



    “-Why the FUCK did you OK the airstrike, Blackrow? We had friendlies in there!”

    “What, the local Muj? Don't give me that shit. Half a year from now, those guys would have been OPFOR, and you know it. Al-Rashid's head on a platter is worth more than a hundred of them on our side-”

    “Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!”

    My voice sounds strange. Unfamiliar. It takes me a while to work out why.

    It's because it's mine.

    'I' remember marrying Sayako Kiba on a cloudless day in Hakone on the third of May, 2004.
    'I' remember graduating near the top of my class at Tokyo University with a degree in Internal Medicine in 2003.
    'I' remember lasing Taliban strongholds for airstrikes with the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan in 2002.
    'I' remember the first time I ever heard the name “Blackwatch”, from a grey-suited NRO spook in the back of a car in Arlington, Virginia.
    'I' remember leading a four-man squad into a Japanese hospital in the dead of night to extract a potential BLACKLIGHT infection vector, when, without warning-

    I try to suppress the urge to vomit. I can't. But nothing comes out. For there is nothing in my stomach that is not already on the outside.

    But even so, I force myself to remember.

    Before I was any of these people, before I was Hayashibara or Ellison or Ashitake or Blackrow or O'Hara, who was I?

    “How unfortunate. You lack one last step in being a lion.”

    “one last step in being a lion.”

    “in being a lion.”

    “a lion.”

    “Lion.”

    “Lio...”

    I choke. On what, I'm not exactly sure. Blood, maybe. I'm bleeding a lot.

    “Lio...Shirazumi...”

    And there it is. I see it now, in all its forms; I see it scrawled at the top of my school worksheets next to yet another ninety-plus percentage points; I see it neatly written on the inside covers of my textbooks, both the much-thumbed and dog-eared Chemistry book and the almost-new English book; I see it typed and printed a third of the way down the sixteenth page of my high school's student directory.

    Four characters. Six syllables. Lio Shirazumi.

    And then, for the first time in three years, for the first time since that stiflingly humid July night three years ago when what society calls the “homicidal maniac”, Lio Shirazumi, came into being, for the very first time since then-

    I remember who I am.

    I remember everything.



    I was never anyone special.
    I was never going to be anyone special.
    Like millions of other people in this country and billions of other people on this planet, I was going to have been born, been raised, lived, grown old, and died, all without ever having once left the 'box'. The 'cage'. The prison with a thousand names – 'society', 'the human condition' and 'common sense' being the best-known examples.
    And if I had never met Shiki Ryougi, that is as far as that line of thinking would have gone.
    But I did, and that was that.
    For a short time after the beginning of my second year in high school, my world was divided cleanly in half, bisected straight down the middle:
    A half belonging to Shiki Ryougi, who was living proof that there was such a thing as an existence wholly removed from the 'box';
    And a half belonging to Mikiya Kokutou, who demonstrated to me that there was something to be said for staying inside the 'box'.


    But, I realise now, there was never any question as to which half would eventually prevail. The Impulse, I have discovered, is like one of those optical illusions where you have to find a shape hidden in a mess of randomly-shaped tiles. Just looking at it, it's difficult to find, but once you know where it is, you see that it was always there, from the very beginning. I didn't know; I couldn't have seen at the time; but there was something else inside the 'box' with me, something which wanted nothing more than to recapture the freedom it had once enjoyed; a dim and half-forgotten memory of a time before the 'box' even existed – before history, before myth, before language, before civilisation itself:

    An endless, grassy plain under an endless, brilliant sky, stretching out to the horizon in every direction, removed from any trace of human influence or artifice.

    And how could the dull, uninteresting world inside the 'box' compare to that – an idealised fantasy, further removed than anything else in the universe from a world which could not allow itself to be both happy and mundane?

    “...idiot...” I say to myself.

    Yeah. I was an idiot, wasn't I? Even by sixteen-year-old standards, and God only knows sixteen-year-olds are some of the biggest idiots you'll ever meet. Even now that my memories of that time have returned, I still can't recapture the thoughts that were going through my head between August 2005 and February 2006. I was on a high. Euphoric. I was out of the box, and every day was like a waking dream – the colours more vivid, the sounds and smells sharper, and the world so much more beautiful, that even if I had become fully aware of the insanity, my feelings would have only intensified. Shiki Ryougi had rejected me, but Souren Araya had shown me the path and the door at the end of the path which put me firmly on the outside of the box. It didn't even matter to me that I was just a pawn in his greater plan concerning Ryougi. It didn't even matter to me when he pronounced me a failure. At that time, I fully embraced the Impulse, and was freed from the cage.

    Unfortunately, the price of freedom was steep indeed.

    When Shiki Ryougi fell into her two-year coma, it was like losing half of myself. The waking dream of those six months ended, just like that. I finally came down from the high. And when I awoke from the dream, when I dragged myself, coughing and spluttering, from the chaotic sea of the Impulse-

    -I didn't know if I was a human who had dreamt that he was a lion, or a lion dreaming that he was a human.

    The first six months after that were the worst six months of my entire life.

    I was terrified. I barely ate. I almost never slept – I was too afraid that when I woke up, I wouldn't be 'me' any more. And every day, every single day, it got harder. I stuck to the rooftops. I often went weeks without even looking at another human face. It made me sick to my stomach. Just sitting around, doing nothing, living from day to day, just waiting for the inevitable breakdown – and it was, most assuredly, inevitable – to occur...it's the worst kind of life to live. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

    That was when I understood what she had meant, all those months ago, when I first told her how I felt:

    I don't like weak people.

    It seems laughable, now. Obvious in the clarity of hindsight.

    In the face of an inevitable degeneration which could only bring death and pain to myself and those unfortunate enough to be near me when it happened, I lacked the strength to accept death, instead possessing only the weakness that clung onto life even when the situation was clearly hopeless.

    Under Ryougi's logic, I should have put an end to my existence right there and then.

    But now...

    “It wasn't...”

    ...I'm glad that I didn't.

    “It wasn't a mistake...!”

    There was hope for me after all.

    I can be saved.

    I'm not going to lose myself in the roiling sea of beasts, like I've been afraid of for the past three years.

    I'm not going to die a pathetic creature who couldn't find it in himself to survive outside the box.

    If twenty years of being Lio Shirazumi isn't enough to hold off the weight of my past lives...

    ...then I'll add some more.

    Twenty-nine years of being Kenji Ashitake.
    Forty-six years of being Awasuke Hayashibara.
    Twenty-eight years of being Joshua Ellison.
    Twenty-six years of being Andrew O'Hara.
    Thirty-five years of being Samuel Blackrow.

    And if those still aren't enough, then I'll add some more again.

    The rules have changed.

    Whatever happened to me after that bomb went off has given me the power to fight back against the Impulse, in the most brilliant and ingenious way I could have possibly imagined. It turns the fundamental concept of the Impulse – 'consumption' – against the Impulse itself. The more I consume, the more memories I acquire, and the weaker 'Consumption' becomes. How many will I need to consume before I become fully human again? There's no way of telling. But that doesn't matter to me. Just the fact that it's possible is enough. Just the simple fact that there is hope for me is enough.

    “That's why...” I say, standing up uneasily, my movements still uncertain, like I haven't moved for days. I look at my arms and legs, as if to check that they're all still there. Somehow, my clothes are back, as well. Best not to think about that. I stare straight down the corridor, straight at the broken double doors where the rain's being blown in by the wind, and in my mind's eye I picture the helicopter, the HH-60M Black Hawk currently orbiting the hospital rooftop, and aiming out the open side door through the rain, Salvado and Newell, at least one of whom is armed with a Milkor Mk. 14 MGL. I analyse the situation, turning it over in my mind from every angle, from the perspectives of three combat-hardened Spec-Ops veterans and two medical professionals, and I decide-

    “...there's NO WAY IN HELL I'LL LET YOU WIN!”

    I sprint for the door leading to the rooftop, covering fifty metres in just under two seconds. The phrase 'world record' pops into my mind from somewhere, but I dismiss it just as quickly. There's no time for distractions. Those guys want to kill me? Let 'em fucking try! In the last eight hours, I've been blown up twice, dropped ten stories onto a parked car, dissected, shot over a hundred times, burned alive by white phosphorus, flashbanged four times at point blank range, and still I'm coming back for more! Not because I'm some mindless fucking animal who doesn't know any better! Because I'm a human! Because I'm a loser who only had one friend in high school! Because I'm a failure who ran away from his problems instead of facing them head-on! Because I'm a fucking idiot named Lio Shirazumi who never knows when to quit! Because loser or not, failure or not, idiot or not, NONE OF THAT FUCKING MATTERS!

    “WHO THE HELL-” I shout, ripping one of the double doors fully off its hinges as I run past, so fast that the pouring rain feels like a torrent of red-hot ball bearings on my skin, and still I push on, the steel safety door cutting a swath through the rain like a machete through undergrowth. I have less than a second before they react by firing the MGL. That's all the time I need.

    Junctioning cerebral functions...

    If I have the minds of five other people inside me-

    Accelerating reaction times...

    -it's only logical that I should be able to think and react five times faster!

    Matching musculature to nervous system...

    With five times the muscle-mass-

    Reweighting full-body awareness...

    -I have five times the muscle volume as well!

    Tissue reconfiguration complete.

    So, with that in mind;

    BLACKLIGHT – WHIPFIST – ENGAGE.

    “-DO YOU THINK I AM?!”

    Time slows to a crawl, the raindrops lazily making their way to the ground without a care in the world. The flesh of my left arm is changing – reforming, just like Samuel Blackrow remembers, just like the red-and-black mass of amorphous flesh they saw in the basement. The hand that held the door is now a talon in triplicate, a claw forged from dense, compressed bone, embedding itself inches into the steel door. The arm that once held the hand is now a spiked whip of flesh, thirty metres worth of elastic muscles and tendons, no longer bound by any known laws of conventional anatomy, human or animal. I raise the door above my head-

    -and throw it into the air.

    Through the rain, I can just make it out – the approaching shape of the forty-by-forty-six millimetre high-explosive round. The position is estimated, the calculation is performed, and the timing is established to within milliseconds, for milliseconds are all I have to spare.

    I have it.

    I violently, forcefully strike down and forward with my left arm, sending the whip and door attached hurtling through the air in a circular arc-

    -slamming directly into the grenade mid-flight.

    BOOM!

    The pressure wave from the explosion clears a spherical hole in the sheets of torrential rain. There's no time to admire it. This was a distraction, planned from the moment I ran out here. For when the men on the helicopter observe this, who will they see leaping off the rooftop towards them, through the cloud of superheated gases-

    -but Lio Fucking Shirazumi, grinning like the idiot he is?

    I'm not going to hit the helicopter. It's too high. My trajectory will pass under it. But that doesn't mean I can't grab it now, does it? Sure enough, the claw is hard enough and sharp enough to find purchase even on the steel underside of the Black Hawk. My momentum carries me forward and under the chopper, swinging me around to the opposite side, where a well-timed retraction of the whip's musculature-

    Now.

    -delivers me exactly where I wanted to go. Between the top of the fuselage and the main rotor blade, there's about half a metre's worth of clearance, and in that space, there's the transmission assembly which not only drives the main rotor but also is the only thing physically attaching the main rotor to the fuselage itself.

    When my claw latched on to the underside of the helicopter, that established an axis of rotation along the Black Hawk's longest axis, so now that I'm retracting the whip, the law of Conservation of Angular Momentum means that the amateurish karate kick I'm angling towards the transmission assembly will be delivered at upwards of a hundred kilometres an hour.

    And that, as it turns out, is all it takes.

    My foot connects, and its impact on the transmission assembly knocks the main rotor out of balance – and when something that heavy spinning that fast gets out of balance, it's not something you want to be remotely associated with. A horrible noise akin to the crunching of gears emanates from within the helicopter, which starts belching smoke from its engines. Looks like the impact of the claw might have caused some internal damage of its own. That Black Hawk's not long for this world, and neither are the people on it. I decide to abandon ship (or helicopter, as it were) before it starts spinning out of control.

    Crunch.

    Sixty metres. Even with the changes afforded to my body by the Impulse, a fall like that would have killed me. Hell, a half of that distance nearly did, a couple of hours ago. But now...it's nothing to me. I even reflexively landed on my feet, like a cat. (I guess there are a few parts of the Impulse worth keeping, after all.)

    As the Black Hawk crashes and explodes into a fireball behind me, casting the street in a flickering yellow-orange glow for a few seconds before the rain extinguishes it, I think to myself that this is what a Lio Shirazumi no longer held back by common sense is truly capable of.

    I took down a helicopter in unarmed combat.

    Holy fucking shit.

    So...

    ...what do I do now?


    What a question to ask.

    I know exactly what I'm going to do now.

    Find him. Kill him.

    I know where he'll be.

    The devil with a human face who is responsible for my Awakening.

    Ohgawa Apartments, Kayamihama. Just where he's always been.

    His other pawns have long forgotten him – even Ryougi herself. Revenge will be mine alone to take.

    “Souren...Araya!”


    ----------------------------------------------

    Firstly: You cannot imagine how much I was looking forward to writing this bit, from the very beginning.

    Yes, Web of Intrigue targets! Because it simply wouldn't be Prototype without them.

    Lio at the end here is enjoying a classic Prototype moment: karate-kicking a helicopter. Which is an actual thing, that you can do, in-game. In fact, I'm not exaggerating when I say that everything Lio does here is either possible or a logical extension of something that you can actually do in-game.

    I didn't want the Blackwatch team to get curb-stomped like redshirts always do in these kinds of stories, so I had them actually succeed in holding off Blacklight!Origin!Shirazumi, temporarily at least. Blackwatch is, after all, composed of badasses par excellence.

    The TTGL reference Lio makes is intentional. People with no social lives to speak of (i.e. Lio Shirazumi) tend to watch a lot of television, and considering this story takes place in 2008, it's entirely possible he saw TTGL.

    Also, direct copying from OpenOffice.Org to the Advanced editor screws up some of my formatting. Got to find a work-around to that somehow.
    ちょう
    もく


  10. #30
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    I have never played Prototype. I am here for Ryougi eventually showing up.

    And this is bloody awesome, keep writing.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  11. #31
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors crystalwatcher's Avatar
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    My favorite part was him spitting out lions.
    End of an Empire

    Quote
    "I think you just failed... quite spectacularly if I say so my self. Idiot." -I forget who said it originally.


    Badass Side-Step



  12. #32
    Gimme ur loot ZidanReign's Avatar
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    Lio channeled Kamina.

    Fuck, everything is gonna die.
    There's nothing fucking here bruh, look elsewhere.

  13. #33
    Never quacked for this Kyte's Avatar
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    Nero Chaos, eat your heart out. BLACKLIGHT Lio'd have you for breakfast. This is perfect.

    Apart from Gurren Lagann, I see Sanae and that dude who dreams he's a butterfly.
    I also get the impression the squad names were references. So are the project names. Is WILDFIRE the one from the Andromeda Strain?
    Also some F/SN callbacks. Or maybe I'm looking too much into things.

  14. #34
    This is amazingly awesome. I'll be following it with much interest.

  15. #35
    The Raging Fantastic Magnum Fancy Face the First's Avatar
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    Fuck yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by food View Post
    Karna would totally sympathize with Shinji.

    "Bro, your family does not want you either? We will show them, by killing everyone."
    "Nukes, nukes everywhere."
    [*ruby=text on top]text on bottom[/*ruby]

  16. #36
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyte View Post
    Nero Chaos, eat your heart out. BLACKLIGHT Lio'd have you for breakfast. This is perfect.
    Thank you.
    Apart from Gurren Lagann, I see Sanae and that dude who dreams he's a butterfly.
    Well spotted! In addition to Kamina, Shirou and Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zi (369-286 BC), Lio is chanelling Sanae "No Longer Held Back By Common Sense" Kochiya.
    I also get the impression the squad names were references. So are the project names. Is WILDFIRE the one from the Andromeda Strain?
    Well, that would be really awesome, but I'm afraid not. I just picked the squad names at random. As for the projects, FIREBREAK is the only one mentioned in the original game. WILDFIRE and FIREWALK I made up. I can't tell you what FIREWALK is (spoilers) but I can tell you that WILDFIRE is best described by the "Nukes, nukes everywhere" line in Fancy Face the First's sig.
    Also some F/SN callbacks. Or maybe I'm looking too much into things.
    Lio activating Whipfist was meant to evoke Shirou's Tracing. Also the "It wasn't a mistake...!" line.

    I guess you could also draw a comparison between Lio having his left arm severed, getting a replacement, and doing cool stuff with it, with Shirou's situation in HF. That's about the size of the F/SN references.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardBear
    I have never played Prototype. I am here for Ryougi eventually showing up.
    She will. There will be a katana, and there will be a fight. That's all I'm saying. :P
    Last edited by Dullahan; April 9th, 2012 at 10:24 PM.
    ちょう
    もく


  17. #37
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Flere821's Avatar
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    As I read this, my responses stayed in the range between "HELL YEAH" and "HOLY SHIT!" - this is probably one of the best fics I've ever read, good job
    Quote Originally Posted by Elf View Post
    Elf, dealing fanfic crack for Beast Lair since 2007.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radiantbeam View Post
    Elf: Crack Dealer. Story at eleven.
    'Fae is Foul' - My SAO/ZnT Crossover fanfic (SB Thread) (FFN Link)

  18. #38
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors FlameStrike's Avatar
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    Goddamn that was some pure undistilled awesome. A friggen body made of Lions. BLACKLIGHT Lio is one hell of a force to be reckoned with. I really liked the whole BLACKLIGHT vs Lio fight. It really made the Blacklight people feel professional like they should be, instead of some random mooks. The web of intrigue entries really added depth too. Keep up the good work! At this point I can even see Lio taking Araya down. Heck, Ryougi herself would be in deep trouble. I wonder how Lio would react if she ended up "killing" the "people" inside him though. Lio diluting his origin with other people was also a good touch.
    Go check out some awesome fan fiction!
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/forumdisplay.php/5-Fanfics
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph.../FateStayNight
    Because the remaining ten percent is worth dieing for.

    Fortissimo EXA//Akkord:Bsusvier, Magi locked in a deadly battle royal. Sounds familiar right? Familiar and AWESOME.
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread...eo-Walkthrough

    Pokemon FC: 3067 5409 2765

  19. #39
    So if Lio consumes a magus does he gain their circuits?

  20. #40
    吸血鬼 Vampire linkhyrule5's Avatar
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    Possibly.

    ... Oh dear god. For the sake of the world, I hope Ryougi doesn't get consumed, because MEoDP + Blacklight + Origin is not a good combination for the rest of the planet.

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