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Proximity - Prologue 
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"Alright Penelope, this position is no longer defensible." Amber said," so I want you to fall back about 10 meters and find some cover. Then your going to cover me as i fall back. And we are going to leapfrog like that back towards who Im hoping is Jack and Tiana. Got it? Then move!"
Amber then scanned the far bank watching for shooters while she waited for Penelope to do as ordered.


Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:53 pm
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Instance 1 (Amber, Jean)

Penelope nodded as Amber spoke, preparing to follow her instructions. As the mysterious gunfire continued in the distance, the two of them ran back from the edge of the river. As Amber stopped to take cover and watch their rear, Penelope moved ahead to find another vantage point. However, before she made it far enough, a loud crash caused her to whirl around. A large cloud of dust had formed on both sides of the riverbank. Before it had even cleared, a hail of gunfire came from within the veil of sand, leaving Penelope barely enough time to duck for cover a few meters behind where her partner had hunkered down. Bullets struck the dirt and rocks around them both. As the dust settled, they could see that the three enemy proxies had crossed the river. A fallen tree bridged the gap between the banks. The trio continued to fire as they ran to find cover of their own.

"You girls should've taken our offer." hissed one of the proxies.

"This time you're mine!" Said the one that appeared to be the leader. All at once, Amber remembered why she recognized this voice. This was the hostile proxy she'd encountered when she first met Tiana.

***

"Well, ideally, I'd offer to let you join what remains of our group," Jack sighed, "but since you elected to kill me, I'm a bit hesitant to do that."

As he spoke, he was interrupted by a loud crash from behind him. He kept his gun trained on Jean's proxy as he quickly surveyed the map. The three dots that had been on the other side of the river had now somehow crossed over.

Ah, s***.

"Instead, I guess I'm gonna let you try your luck on your own here. Toodles." The man said. He quickly backed away from Jean until he broke line of sight, then turned and ran back to meet the others. Jean was left to his own devices. However, in his haste, Jack had unfortunately (read: fortunately) forgotten about the perfectly good legs Tiana had left behind.

__________
Instance 2 (Sven, Gideon, Adrian)

"Right, yeah." Cecil acknowledged as he kept moving.

"What are you doing!?" Cecil and Sven both heard a shout over their communicators, the source unseen. "Take him out while I've got him distracted!" Before they had a chance to react, however, they heard an electronic chime.

"Five minutes have passed since the last elimination. All remaining participants will now have their positions marked on the overhead map. Additionally, all communications from here on will automatically be broadcast to all nearby proxies. Happy hunting, and have a nice day."

"There you are." The proxy that had been attacking the pair chuckled before firing off a short burst into the brush.

"Augh, damn it." The unseen voice from before breathed in frustration.

"Wh-what should we do?" Cecil whispered to Sven.

***

Finn propped himself up against a tree, curling his proxy's legs as tight as possible to make himself difficult to spot as water dripped from his armor. He'd thought he was a goner for sure when his proxy was damaged in battle earlier. When someone had come by and offered to repair him, he'd thought it an incredible stroke of luck, but that hadn't gone over so well either. Sure, his proxy was whole again, but ever since then, he'd been chased by some pretty scary customers. Thankfully, he'd narrowly managed to give them the slip.

"Five minutes have passed since the last elimination. All remaining participants will now have their positions marked on the overhead map. Additionally, all communications from here on will automatically be broadcast to all nearby proxies. Happy hunting, and have a nice day."

"Y-you've got to be kidding me." Finn stammered, stunned by the cruel irony. He jumped slightly as he heard a voice right beside him.

"Ooh, that's rough buddy."

"No... how did-" Finn's voice was cut off as his proxy's neck joint was quickly severed. The culprit stood, an alert sounding as the proxy's body disappeared. He frowned slightly, not terribly pleased with his handiwork. Two more proxies came up behind him.

"There, see? No harm done." Rogue said, turning around as his colleagues approached.

"Nice work, as usual." mumbled Warrior. "But if I were you, I'd stop worrying about covering Cleric's hide and more about my own. You're still not off the hook after that stunt you pulled."

"What was I supposed to do, let you eliminate him? Fat chance."

"Oh, come on, Rogue." Mage griped. "We weren't actually going to hurt him. Just straighten him out a bit, y'know?"

"Yeah, sure." The young man scowled.

"Drop it, you two. That's in the past. Right now we need to focus on locating Cleric. He's too valuable a partner to lose." Warrior glanced at her damaged arm as she spoke. "And Rogue, you'd do well not to take your title literally."

***

"Ah, that's right." Adrian mused, placing a stub on his chin. "With just the four of us, we can all win here." The older woman simply crossed her arms. In the meantime, Cleric went to work replacing Gideon's arms, though he still held onto them. Permanently magnetized arms would be better than nothing if it came to that.

"I don't know." He said as he worked. "I'd just weigh you guys down. Besides, I think I'd do pretty well on my own. Nobody would want to kill me. Everybody wants a healer, right?"

"Five minutes have passed since the last elimination. All remaining participants will now have their positions marked on the overhead map. Additionally, all communications from here on will automatically be broadcast to all nearby proxies. Happy hunting, and have a nice day." 12 dots appeared on the map. There were four on the west end, and four on the east, as well as another set of four closer to the middle. However, one of those quickly vanished, its disappearance accompanied by an elim notification. The remaining three in that group then proceeded to move across the river in the direction of Gideon and company.

Cleric reached out, grabbing onto Gideon's proxy with his stubs, then brought his head module close. "HIDE ME."


11 cool dudes remain.


Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:57 pm
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"f***," Amber exclaimed," Penelope run!!!"
Amber then threw herself backwards and fired full auto at the approaching group. As she hit the ground she rolled and rolled until she was behind some kind of cover then came up to her knees and reloaded her gun.


Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:26 pm
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It took an insufferable amount of willpower for Jean to resist the urge to try his luck and shoot “Jack” while the man backed off, but he felt as though he were aided by some unstoppable outside force that stayed his arm while the knavish man crawled away.

Whatever.

Mr. Monterey seemed intent on rejoining the riverside scuffle he had run away from, and that suited Jean just fine. It seemed a highly illogical course of action, yes, but the mechanic wasn’t going to question it if it meant a higher chance of the combatants up north eliminating themselves. It was true that in his hurry, the coward had left behind his team mate’s legs, but Jean was completely uninterested in wriggling his way towards his opponents. Really, all he had to do was run; everyone else was clustered together, and it was unlikely that anyone under fire could spare a moment to go eliminate a far-off proxy. Content with his line of reasoning, Jean took a last sorrowful look at the pair of legs before heading south at the blistering speed of a cripple’s crawl.

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Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:44 pm
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"We fire."

Sven darts the pair behind a tree and takes aim at the firing proxy. His aim was above average but even he questions this shot, nevertheless...

"If I miss..."

...he fires.

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Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:12 pm
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Gideon sighed. It was a spot of luck to have finally found some friends, but this was as rag-tag an alliance as steel drums and Bach. It could work, certainly, but they would have to straighten out a few things before they put their virtual lives in each other’s hands. Thankfully, Cleric had already broached what would otherwise have been an uncomfortable topic himself - and swiftly, at that.

“Uh... listen, man,” Gideon started, pushing the mechanic’s mecha back a tad. “I’m going to give this to you straight as I can.” He paused momentarily, trying to be as tactful as possible. “I... don’t think you’re quite understanding the goal of this game. The idea - the only way to win, actually, is to, you know... kill other dudes. We’re at war here.”

Honestly, the drummer was baffled by how this contest’s basic concept had somehow flown miles high above this naive little kid’s head, or really why the guy was here at all if he wasn’t interested in fighting, but hey. There had been all sorts out in the parking lot. Gideon simply hadn’t expected any pacifists. He didn’t appear to want to hurt anyone, much less anyone that he might have been friends with previously.

Eesh,” Gideon thought inwardly. That was going to be even less fun to talk about. Still, there was nothing for it. It was a necessary conversation. He braced himself and continued. “And not to harsh your mellow or anything, man, but if we’re going to be a team, here,” he said, indicating Adrian and the as-of-yet unnamed woman, “and if all four of us are going to make it, then we’re going to end up sacking your friends at some point, yeah? Are you… cool with that?”

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Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:49 am
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Instance 1 (Amber, Jean)

"You're nuts, you know that?" Penelope responded as bullets whizzed by her hiding place. She tried to think of a way to get herself and Amber out of this mess, but with their grenades expended, there was little they could do to counter the raw firepower of three proxies. As if to punctuate the helplessness of the situation, a grenade came sailing toward her. In a small stroke of luck, the grenade bounced harmlessly off of the rock she was taking cover behind, but this meant that Amber was now exposed to it.

"Amber, your six!" Penelope shouted, though she didn't know what her ally could possibly do to avoid elimination. Leaving cover would be almost certain death, and staying where she was would also be almost certain death as well probably.

Suddenly, a torrent of bullets bombarded the enemy trio. One of them fell, motionless, as an elimination notice sounded. The other two reacted quickly, firing on the source of the gunfire even as they retreated to a more defensible position.

Amidst the skirmishing, Jack had circled around the enemy proxies and taken them by surprise from an unseen vantage point. They had been too preoccupied with fighting to see him coming on their maps.

***

Jean has managed to crawl 10 meters without incident.



8 left.

__________
Instance 2 (Sven, Gideon, Adrian)

The proxy's head snapped around to look at Sven and Cecil, as if suddenly remembering their existence. As they both fired, it quickly dove behind a stout tree, but not before several solid shots landed on its left arm.

"You're wasting your time, morons. You really oughtta be running right now." As the proxy spoke, it reached down to its waist and grabbed a grenade. After cooking it for a few seconds, he hurled it at the pair.

***

If Gideon didn't know better, he'd swear he sensed indignance emenating from Cleric's proxy. "Hey. I'm a doctor, not an idiot. Well, not a real doctor. I just stumbled upon a cool thematic niche. But just because I helped one guy who was completely defenseless doesn't mean I'm not cool with a few heads being knocked together. Especially if it's other people doing the knocking for me."

Adrian spoke up. "Well, you'd better get ready to- your knocking hand ready, because... Whatever. They're gonna be here soon. Any bright ideas?" Sure enough, the three dots were rapidly approaching their position.


Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:33 pm
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This uh... this could work. The trick to it was to not give up.

Sticking to his guns, Jean kept chugging along. If his map was any indication, everyone else was now involved in one big bullet-slinging jamboree; the elimination notices would start piling up soon enough.

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Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:07 pm
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Sven set down Cecil, and ran over to the grenade and sidearmed it back toward the source, praying it didn't blow up in his face.

Death never stopped me before, especially in a videogame...

...still could use some toast, though.

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Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:43 am
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"Amber, on your six!" she heard Penelope cry.
f***, Amber thought,f*** trapped
Just then there was a burst of fire and one of the enemy proxies fell dead as the others shifted their attention to the new source of fire.
Jack, you beautiful b****
Reacting quickly, Amber threw herself over the rock she had been using for cover, placing it between the grenade and herself.
s***, only one choice now
"Jack, cover me." Amber said. she then charged towards her foes, firing her rifle on full auto. When she was 5 meters out she produced her blade and threw herself at the chest of the nearest enemy.


Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:30 pm
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It was a great feeling, to be part of something again. They could do this. They could survive. They could win. Together. The question was how.

“Well, we know a couple things,” mused Gideon aloud. “We know where everyone is, and by the same token, everyone else knows where we are.”

“That would explain the trio of dots rushing toward us,” he added, glancing at his map. They were already worryingly close, and their pace had yet to slow. Gideon and company needed a plan, and quickly. “We’ll also all be able to hear each other over the comms once they get within range, which means we can’t rely on the element of surprise.” This was going to be tough. “Unless…”

The drummer’s eyes landed on Cleric. He was carrying enough parts to make a totally trashed mech look like new. In fact, with all the stuff he was carrying, you could practically make a whole new m-

Gideon’s eyes widened, and as he spoke the excitement in his voice was palpable. “Dude, I’ve got an idea. We’ve all got sensors, right?” He spoke ever more quickly as his machinations took form. “But what if we got these other guys to think that their sensors didn’t match up with reality?”

“Check this,” he said, pointing a nub at Cleric. “You’ve got a ton of parts there, man. I say, we set them up on that ridge over there to make it look like there’s a sniper on the hill. We’ll make it obvious, though, so they can see it. They’ll double check their sensors, wondering this guys isn’t showing up. That will be our chance.”

Gideon raised the barrel of his longsword and looked to the other two proxies to back him up. “I’m not much a shot at a distance, but I can wreck some shop up close. The dummy can use my gun.”

Turning quickly to face Cleric again he added, jokingly, “No offense.”

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Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:35 pm
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Instance 1 (Amber, Jean)

The two remaining enemy proxies took refuge behind a sheer rock wall. One of them leaned into the open to fire on Amber as she charged, but the other pulled it back to safety as Penelope peppered the area with bullets. All they could do was wait for Amber to arrive and engage her two on one. So they did. As Amber swung her dagger, the first proxy dodged out of the way. The second was caught by her arm and knocked a few feet away. The first proxy closed in and tried to grab her arm, wrestling for control of her knife. At the same time, he pulled out his own dagger and attempted to stab her as well, leaving the two grappling.

The second proxy regained its footing and tried to retaliate. “Get off of him!” She screamed, raising her longsword to attack, but Amber’s charge had knocked her out of cover. A bullet found its way into her head module from Penelope’s position. (yes there’s an elimination notice sheesh do i have to mention it every time i guess i do) “Only one left.” She said, moving up toward where Amber and the last enemy proxy were struggling. “Yeah, okay. We’re all here. We all saw it.” Jack said, climbing down from his vantage point as well.

The enemy proxy let out a whimper as Amber pinned him to the ground.

“Wait, wait!” He stammered. “Just- look, please don’t eliminate me. I’m not a threat to you anymore, okay? There are three of you. Add me, and that makes four. If we team up now, we can all come out on top!"

***

Jean crawled 6 meters before slipping and falling on his face, but through sheer force of will, he got back up and managed to drag himself another 7 meters for a total of 13.


Did I say 8 people were left? I meant 7. But one more died so now there’s 6 left.

__________
Instance 2 (Sven, Gideon, Adrian)

Moving as fast as his proxy would allow, Sven managed to bat the grenade away from Cecil. However, it detonated a split second later, the force of the explosion ripping through his right arm and knocking his proxy to the ground. In a burst of anger, Cecil rushed forward toward their attacker. He managed to take the proxy by surprise, lodging his dagger into its left elbow joint and wrapping his free arm around its neck.

“f*** nuisance.” The enemy combatant grumbled, attempting to throw Cecil off of him. The other proxy, still hidden in the brush, took this as an opportunity to attack. A split second was all it took for him to aim and fire off a burst. His opponent must have predicted this, because he quickly twisted his torso, placing Cecil between himself and the shooter. Cecil’s proxy took most of the bullets, though a few still found their way past it and into his legs. He wasn’t done yet, though. With the remainder of his strength, he flung Cecil’s proxy toward the bushes, followed by a second grenade. The hidden proxy tried to take cover from the grenade behind Cecil’s body, but to no avail. The lifeless proxy faded from existence with a loud chime, leaving him with no protection from the blast. “Damn i-” The explosion cut him off, followed shortly by a second elimination notice.

The enemy proxy’s leg buckled, and he fell to one knee, chuckling. “Hah, finally. Cheap three-on-one tactics are no match for raw skill.” He breathed. “Now who’s next.” He checked his map.

***

“Offense very much taken.” Cleric pouted.

The older woman spoke first. “I don’t think tha-“

“That’s not a bad idea.” Adrian piped up. “It could definitely work.”

“I agree.” Cleric chimed in. “I don’t have any head or torso parts, but we could substitute those with other pieces. At range, they shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

“Okay, sure.” the team’s surrogate mom sighed. “Whatever you’re gonna do, do it quickly.”

Without further ado, the group went to work on their makeshift scarecrow. They managed to finish it and find some good hiding places with moments to spare, Gideon now short a longsword. They had split into two groups of two, Adrian going with Gideon and Cleric with team mom.

***

“They’ve got a shooter on that ridge.” Rogue reported, returning to the cluster of rocks the group had hunkered down in. Warrior peeked out for a split second, long enough to identify the hill her partner had indicated. After a few moments of silence, she responded.

“No players are marked at that position. Possibilities?”

“Well, it’s not a glitch.” Mage said. “My map says that spot’s empty too.” Both of them looked back at Rogue.

“Yeah, same.” He spoke after brief hesitation. “Maybe that proxy somehow prevented itself from being tracked. We should proceed with caution.” Warrior’s eyes narrowed, but Mage cut her off before she could protest.

“Yeah, not likely. If you’ve been counting the kills, you should know that the remaining contestants match the number of dots on the map exactly.” The young woman smiled wryly, raising an arm with her index finger extended. The motion didn’t translate very well to her proxy, but from the smugness apparent in her voice, it wasn’t difficult to deduce the intent of the gesture. “More likely they’ve made a decoy out of scraps. Cleric’s supposed to be over here, right? It would be easy.”

“Come on. This entire game has been an exercise in absurdity. I wouldn’t mark anything as impossible at this point, and unmarked NPCs aren’t that farfetched.” Rogue argued.

“Your stalling isn’t doing him any good, you know.” Mage retaliated. “He obviously doesn’t plan to run. Why are you trying so hard to…” She trailed off.

“That’s enough.” Warrior sighed. “Rogue has a point. We need to be smart about this.” Without hesitating, she grabbed Rogue’s proxy and slung it into the open. He scrambled to his feet and prepared to take evasive action, but the ‘sniper’ didn’t budge. So it had been a trick. Before he could make a move, some of the concealed proxies leaned out of cover and trained their weapons on him. Instead of diving back behind cover, he raised his arms skyward, standing perfectly still.

“Crap, it didn’t work. What now?” Cleric groaned.

“Hey there.” Rogue said, loud enough for everyone to hear. “It has come to our attention that you have a friend of ours over there. We’d, uh… We’d like him back.”

Adrian and Team Mom watched the proxy closely, ready to fire at a moment’s notice, but the person talking to them didn’t seem to be a present threat. Cleric continued to cower in his little nook.

“Now I’m sure he’s already told you by now, but my comrades and I are basically huge badasses, and you don’t stand a chance. But, if you hand Cleric over now, we promise to go after the stragglers on the other end of the map before you guys, leaving you a few more precious moments of life. A good deal, no? What do you say?”

“Let’s ice him.” Adrian whispered.

“Let’s not.” Team Mom retorted, a compelling argument. “I’ve got an idea, I just need a minute.”

“It’s okay.” Cleric said. “I don’t want you guys to get eliminated because of me. I’ll go with them."

“Not happening.” Adrian shook his head. "We need to strike while the iron is hot, and also exposed out in the open and easy to shoot. Come on, Gideon, back me up.”

“Take your time.” Rogue yawned.


9 contestants remain.


Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:32 pm
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The chime of an elimination notification buzzed in Jean's ears as the mechanic dragged himself along. Had his proxy's head module been rigged to display facial expressions, a huge, jerkish, self-satisfied grin would have been on proud display for all to see. Well, except for the fact that no one could see him, because unlike all of those nitwits up North, he was far away from the action. As incompetent as his opponents obviously were, Jean knew that even they would manage to hit each other eventually, and they did. All was going according to plan. (that's plan in French)

Even so, Jean wasn’t going to get complacent and count his chickens before they had been shot and eliminated. Deciding that he had crawled far enough so as to be safe, he bunkered down behind a nearby outcropping, fired a few test shots at the ground to ensure that his Baselard was still functional, and began to wait. The excitement from his previous few encounters was starting to wear off, and his head began to ache as the adrenaline left his system. There was no way to tell exactly how much time had passed since this interminable virtual reality session had started, but judging by his growing hankering for some whisky, Jean figured that “entirely too long” was closer to the truth than farther.

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Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:42 pm
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I can't move it... this sim is terribly accurate.

The right arm shot, Sven had some trouble getting back up. But he does, and examines the damage on his arm before lodging his armblade in the shoulder and tearing the arm off entirely. "If it's entirely useless don't carry it." He checks the rest of him out, seemingly okay everywhere else. The voice and tone coming from the proxy nearest sounded all too much familiar. But that was not the impending issue; that was making sure he didn't get headshotted. He checked his map as well.

There will be an avengement tonight.

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Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:33 am
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The scarecrow hadn’t worked quite as intended, perhaps, but it had produced results. Specifically, a defenseless target in the middle of an open space. Nice.

Gideon couldn’t understand the reasoning behind the woman’s desire to delay the inevitable, and he was quick to say so.

“Guys, we’ve already decided which four are going to make it through to the end,” he argued. “We sack this dude now and it’s four – erm – three-and-a-half on two. We can take this easy.”

It was no longer time for games. Gideon’s crew had laid the trap, and it had sprung. Now was their chance to capitalize. Every second that team fantasy lived on was another chance for them to turn the tables.

Leaning over to Adrian, the drummer whispered: “Burn ‘im, Coffee Man.”

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Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:21 pm
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