Arctic gusts roared past the gleaming steel buttresses of Metamind Tower 14, Floor 42, belying the quiet focus of its inhabitants. Within, the chief warmind of the Steel Collective analyzed the reports streaming in from his Doppelbot spy network.
The Demara-worshiping netherscales have lost their goddess’s blessing, causing them to fall to infighting among the naga clutches. The poisonous yeti malice mongers have abandoned them and are now making lighting raids in the eastern outposts, with Arrachtor-summoned elementals and even the once gentle leafkin spotted among their bands of corrupted forest spirits and insects.
Shard powered armor remains an unrealized advantage as the Grove Queen rebuffs all diplomatic and “tactical” attempts to acquire enriched deposits in the upper Deepbranch marshes. The Infinity Warden and his sycophantic sage escorts have been spotted consorting with the queen and her plant and tuskin servants, Saint Nuada included.
The splinter cult, Forgeheart, continues to accumulate disenfranchised faithful from the Great City’s quarters. Ironbeard embraces a messianic role, as the “Breaker of the False Anvil”. His prophets spread the news of the “forgespark within”; even the Aerial Squadron commander, Uriel Ironwing, has abandoned its post to join the cause. Clearly, the unmanned battlements and dwindling stock of armaments no longer matter to the former “Hammer of Anvillon”. Rumors also intimate that Ironbeard preaches of Nekrium monstrosities that would prey upon the faithless– Cyrus the Merciless Grimgaunt, Iniog the Carrion Demon, the Lichmane Drakes– as a means of keeping his flock in line.
Ghox pursed his gray lips; his quartet of metamind servitors continued to operate their workstations as their leader silently considered the situation at hand. Tactics, logistics, and acceptable losses flashed through the Paragon’s mind.
*A gray mist silently billowed from a crackling nether portal*
In crisp, calm tones he ordered, “Send the Twenty-Third Frontline Squadron under Infiltrator Crux to assassinate the Umbruk raid leaders. Keep alert for any of the Arrachtoron “lightning titans” and pray we are past the leafkin’s spawning season; even our justicars cannot contain them.”
*Ash-gray claws birthed from the violet world-tear as the portal swiftly grew on size*
“Send Commander Drix to negotiate a resumption of work duties with the “Forgeheart” cultists Hopefully they are not truly consorting with Nekrium monstrosities. As for Nova..”
Azure lightning surged through the war chamber, enervating Ghox and his minions. The metaminds’ weakened limbs hurled them to the floor as a Tarsian demon skittered from an adjacent hall, jet-black claws scratching grooves in the steel flooring as it approached the Paragon.
Ghox fought his shriveled muscles, stretching for a beam pistol holstered at his waist, as the chuckling demon pierced his flesh with its talons and lifted him into the air. The demon eyed the cerulean fluid leaking from its meat-puppet’s wounds with a nightmare smile and whispered broken-glass words into its target’s ears, “The Great Xerxes wishes to see you you, but first we have some fun.” With its free claw, the Tarsian “patron of torment” casually snapped Ghox’s upper-right wrist, grimacing delightedly at the metamind’s spasms of pain. “That was but a taste, worm. You don’t need to see what’s coming next…”
Icy, black fluid splashed in Ghox’s eyes, gumming his already-clouded eyes. He felt himself sinking downward into darkness, but was shocked to find himself still alive in the seconds that followed. His vision cleared to focus on a luminous blue fist, jutting from a gaping hole in the demon’s chest. It retracted from the wound, reaching out to grasp him and raise him to his feet.
Its owner, one of the console operators, was sheathed in a flickering forcefield; similar to the telepathic film exuded by all metaminds, but significantly brighter and, apparently, more impactful. At his feet, lay the outstretched, heaving forms of the other operators; they grasping his ankles, visages of concentration etched on their faces.
Ghox, heaving for breath and cradling his shattered third wrist, pondered this development. Telepathic force weapons. Strength in Unity. A missing piece to the puzzle?
He coughed bloody sputum and whispered, “Operator, you have granted us great insight. It is time we made you a commando.”
(Chronicled by MagaFortOss)
Greetings, Forgeborn! I’m Wendell. You may remember me from such articles as “Killin’ Killion” and “Matrix Warden: An Analysis Using Heirarchical Inversion Theory”. If you do, hello from an alternate universe!
Metaminds featuring Ghox, Metamind Paragon and Drix, The Mindwelder is one of the classic decks from the early days. It fell by the wayside as more powerful decks came to prominence, but the archetype has received a boost recently with the arrival of G.S.F. Commando. Here’s my take on a modern metaminds deck.