Once an admiral in the Galactic Union, Gregor Loch Brunswick had fought in the War of Unification. He believed strongly in the cause, so when the Galactic Union was on the verge of surrender and his superiors ordered him to stand down, Loch disobeyed. He took his flagship, the Retribution, and assaulted a Sonitii warp gate. Loch believed that its destruction would turn the tide of the war in their favor and convince the GU to reconsider their surrender.
Unfortunately, Loch's intel had been wrong, and the warp-gate was not strictly military. It was also used for civilian transport, and its destruction resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents. Named a war criminal by both sides, Loch went into hiding and eventually found his way to the slums of Savior City, Callous Row.
|Please remember that events described in this article are roleplay and acting. Actions done in-character do not reflect on the actual person portraying the character!|
- 1 Origin
- 2 History
- 2.1 Mercenary Lazarus
- 2.2 Information is Power
- 2.3 Capture
- 2.4 Interrogation
- 2.5 Rescue
- 2.6 A Hero
- 2.7 A New Venture
- 2.8 Caught in a Cross-and-Fire
- 2.9 A Brief Respite
- 2.10 Kidnapped Sporecap
- 2.11 Vigilante Justice
- 2.12 A Quiet Morning
- 2.13 Murder on the Row
- 2.14 Exemplary Individual
- 2.15 The Truth about Lange
- 2.16 The Nkosi Scandal
- 2.17 Necromancy in the Row
- 2.18 Lange's Blitzkrieg
- 2.19 The Battle's Aftermath
- 2.20 The Coming of Retribution
- 2.21 Collecting Info on the Collector
- 2.22 Recruiting a Team to Save the Row
- 2.23 Dead Men Walking
- 2.24 Loch's Folly
- 2.25 The Hunt For Rook
- 2.26 Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fungus
- 2.27 A Brother Fallen
- 3 Traits
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Links
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
Gregor Brunswick was the son of an influential Corporate lobbyist. His father was an investor and backer of Quixote, having a massive interest in the future of energy use and in molecular manipulation. Due to the success of family ties and proper investing, the Brunswick family was well off, and it allowed, much to the disdain of his father, for Gregor to attend one of the Galactic Union's best Naval Academies. This began the long road to where he finds himself today.
Gregor never had much of a social life. He formed a handful of friends, mostly those who either followed him or shared his ideals. This wasn't to say he was disliked - he just never saw the use of empty companionship. He was colder and more calculating than most would think. This, of course, was probably due to his matter-of-fact upbringing. This allowed Gregor to focus on his studies and achieve excellent marks in his military education and training.
Once out of the academy, the freshly minted Ensign would go to serve aboard several naval ships, participating in peacekeeping operations, suppression of extreme civil unrest, and anti-pirate raids. He found himself commemorated many times, as he let little distract himself from his work and always sought to go above and beyond. By this time, the now Lieutenant Brunswick believed in nothing other than the Galactic Union.
With a small fleet section at his command, the then Lieutenant Commander Brunswick managed to hold off a Quixote naval assault on a Galactic Union repair and refit mega station located in GU fringe space. Due to the extreme nature of his aggressive defense, the GU personnel managed to evacuate and scuttle whatever ships could not be used to egress. Though a loss in territory, this was a success in preserving a battle ready force from a surprise assault.
Gregor Brunswick was quick to scale the military ladder due to success in the field - however his tactics were sometimes frowned upon. Nevertheless, he was promoted to his highest rank - that of a Senior Officer, the Commander of a Galactic Union Destroyer.
Many years later, the young Gregor was much older and had achieved much. He was a senior officer in charge of his own small battlegroup and the prized destroyer, the “Retribution”. It was around this time the Commander found himself involved in the war with the Corporations, choosing patriotism over family. His actions were instrumental where he was deployed in saving GU lives and buying time, though there was never a true, clear victory. This haunted the Commander, as he often blamed his lack of ability.
Towards the end of the War of Unification between the Galactic Union and its Corporate counterparts, most Naval admirals were ordered to stand down, as it was reported that the war had been lost. Senior Officer and Commander of the GU Destroyer “Retribution”, Gregor Brunswick, ignored this order, believing that if the Corporations ability to mass transport troops and arms from sector to sector could be crippled, the war could turn in the GU’s favor. Instead of heeding this order, Commander Brunswick took his fleet and assaulted the main Sonitii warp gate, deep in enemy space. The result was catastrophic, with heavy casualties on both sides. The surprise attack was successful, however the Commander had made a horrible mistake. Not only had he lost almost all of the ships and men under his command in the attack, the gate he destroyed was, unbeknownst to him, also used for civilian transports. Every civilian ship near or within the gate was destroyed.
Old man Brunswick
After his greatest failure and the destruction of his fleet, the heavily damaged Retribution was hunted down and swiftly destroyed after months of fleeting engagements and fleeing. Able to survive thanks to a loyal pilot and some remaining small cargo transport ships, Gregor fled his pursuers. Over time, he found himself alone and unable to continue the fight, due to the loss of everything that made him a leader. He realized he needed to lay low, maintain an alias, and rally people to his cause. He knew quite well that men could die, but an ideal... was eternal. And he found the perfect shitheap to do just that.
A freelance mercenary docked near the gateway spaceport in Callous Row and inquired about Loch's whereabouts. Dressed in corporate armor he raise immediate suspicion among the members of the Row, but managed to placate them by giving away credits as a show of generosity and good faith.
Loch approached the mercenary, who introduced himself as Lazarus (portrayed by Arcadum), someone Loch knew very well and recognized beneath his helmet. The two moved to a more private location, where they might speak more freely, and Lazarus warned Loch of a dangerous cultist named "Shara Nique" who was currently leading a cult organization called "The Shadowbats". He explained the organization was plotting something regarding a "Great Fire" that they would bring to Callous Row. Loch quickly realized that these men likely meant him harm and thanked Lazarus for the forewarning.
Lazarus also informed Loch about a bounty in the row, to the amount of ninety-thousand credits for the murder of Alfons, placed on him by the Atlantic corporation. Lazarus explained that he would not be collecting on it, but knowing that Loch himself was a bounty hunter, left him with the information to do with as he pleased. Loch later encountered Alfons face-to-face, but opted not to collect either, seeing no good reason to kill the boy.
Information is Power
Armed with this new information, Loch searched for the mayor, Coach Eric. He told the mayor about how he had been on the run for many years, as well as his newfound information regarding the cultists.
Loch shared his concerns about a possible connection to "The Hellbats" in the row, and Loch suggested using these revelations, particularly those of the potential looming threat, to unite the local slummers for a common purpose. Doing so would also serve to improve public opinion of the mayor, as his ties to the corporations had left Coach in a position of distrust among the slummers. He suggested using Rook, to their advantage, possibly due to his ties to The Shattered Legion, by giving him a target to focus oin without the need to get their own hands bloody. Coach expressed his skepticism, preferring pacifistic and peaceful options above all, though he agreed to give Loch's suggestion due consideration.
"The Shadowbats" that Loch had been warned of would later make an appearance in the Row, armed to the teeth. It came to light that they were, in fact, a splinter force once associated with The Hellbats mercenary company. The cultists came to Callous Row to capture Loch, and managed to do so successfully. In their wake, several inhabitants were injured, and among them, Jack was killed.
Soon after his capture, Loch found himself restrained in the depths of a nearby Shadowbats facility, where he was at the mercy of the Captain in charge of his questioning. The man, who did not identify himself, only revealed to Loch that he had been present during his attack on the Sonitii warp gate - and had lost people he loved to the former admiral's mistake. Because of this, the Captain was, to put it mildly, enthusiastic about the torture he had planned for the prisoner. The Shadowbats were after the old command code used on the 'Retribution' to activate certain subsystems. Despite the efforts of his torturer, Loch managed to convince him that he only had half the code - the other half, for security reasons, being given to another officer aboard his ship. Unbeknownst to his captors, he was in fact in possession of the whole code, but he stubbornly refused to give it up. He also managed to to keep mum on the whereabouts of Lazarus, and the people in Callous Row itself.
Much to the surprise of both The Shadowbats, and Loch himself, Rook and a band of slummers had infiltrated the facility and fought their way to where he was being held. During the fighting, the Shadowbat Captain was killed, and unfortunately, any information with him, lost. Greeted by the sight of his two good friends, Warren and Nash, Loch was helped to his feet, and escorted out of the facility, greeted by the gruesome sight of violent fighting on the way. Unable to stand on his own, Loch was supported by his two friends, and they made their escape through the front gates. Waiting out front was a small Quixote force, hired by Mayor Eric, to attempt a rescue as well. After a heart-pounding standstill, the slummers were allowed to leave, and evacuated back to the Row.
Soon after the Shadowbats ordeal, and his release from the Clinic, Loch found himself in a meeting with the Mayor, Rook, and Warren Crassus. Interested in why Loch was so important, Rook revealed he was a former Galactic Union infantryman. Bonded by this new revelation, the two began to speak in earnest about the current state of affairs, and what the Shadowbats were after. Upon hearing Loch was actually Gregor Brunswick, and Commander of The Retribution, one of the five most elite flagships used by the Galactic Union's navy, Rook found himself pleasantly surprised . He was well aware of the atrocity that took place under Loch's command, but he knew something pertaining to it that Loch himself was never aware of. Due to the ex-commanders actions at the Sonitii warp-gate, Corporation reinforcements were never able to arrive at Seras 3, and thus he saved around 2 million lives that would have otherwise been lost in orbital bombardment. Rook humbly suggests he wouldn't be alive still if it wasn't for Loch's choices. The two grew much closer than thought possible, and Galactic Union brothers were re-united once more.
A New Venture
Following his recovery, Loch spoke with the mayor regarding a new business he was planning to open up. Loch had purchased property rights in the Row, with the intention of supporting Warren's weapons manufacturing endeavours. Loch was hopeful that the business would provide the Row with an avenue for something they desperately needed: easy access to firearms and firearm repair.
Caught in a Cross-and-Fire
Coach and Loch encountered several people running out from the undercity seeking shelter, and found out from them that Quixote and Mars corporations were both intending on making an appearance in the Row for a skirmish for reasons unknown. When the corporations appeared and gunfire broke out in the street, Loch tried to convince the mayor to stay hidden for his safety, but was unable to convince him. Mayor Eric went out into the crossfire, protected by Conk with a large ballistic shield in an attempt to convince the two corporations to ceasefire. Loch, meanwhile, was inside the noodle shop with the other slummers, and spoke fervently of the mayor's efforts for their sake, despite their loathing of what the mayor represented. Shortly after the mayor was able to break the fighting, a fire elemental appeared in the Row, and Loch was at the forefront of those desperately trying to get everyone else off the streets and to safety. He oversaw rapid medical response when Becky was attacked and badly injured by the elemental, and thankfully she survived as a result. Afterwards, Loch offered to let Becky live with him to allow her a chance to get out of the shady motel she'd been living in, both as a way for her to live more comfortably, as well as in the interest of having her closer to the bank where she worked. He later extended the offer to her roommate, Bethany.
A Brief Respite
Following the events of the corporate firefight and the elemental attack, Loch was grateful for events on the Row to calm down for a bit. His shop with Warren, called "Southern Comforts" was finished, giving Warren a place to undertake his work freely. Nash even showed immediate interest, intent on placing an order with them in the near future. During this conversation, Nash also admitted to Loch that he used to be a member of the shadowbats - the group that had kidnapped Loch before - but left the organization before it had become fanatical. Later that day, Loch, Nash, and Warren went to the tea shop to relax together, and at one point they even discussed the possibility of bringing Nash in to work with them. As Nash and Warren began to discuss the finer details, Loch found himself feeling reminiscent, realizing how old he had become.
Later in the day, Nia encountered the trio, revealing to them that the Row's synthetics had been acting strangely. They'd all been seen heading toward the Grove, and later, they were seen standing in a circle near the incinerator. At the same time, Loch received a message from Rook's communications, wherein he'd detected a privatized corporate correspondence from Quixote, regarding Callous Row and its denizens. It hinted at their goal to obtain "mushrooms". Little could be discerned about that, but Conk was later seen by Loch acting strangely, seemingly inexplicably wrought with sadness. Shortly thereafter, Bo went missing. Loch investigated, and found that the last people seen with her were Rana. Talus informed Loch that he'd spotted Lange snooping around the undercity, and using some sort of override to access a runemage's shop to steal something, likely magical. According to the mayor, Rana, Lange, and Bo had been seen together entering the corporate offices in the bank, but only Lange was seen leaving afterwards. Loch and the mayor decided to investigate the Nirvana office, as Rana was associated with them and was staying there in lieu of official lodgings.
Later, Loch went to Becky to ask about any potential records pertaining to otherwise undocumented apartments owned by Rana or the Nirvana corporation, while Warren and the others searched the Nirvana office itself. There, they found signs of a struggle, and with the aid of Akeena, were able to pick up Bo's scent through the streets. They came to the entrance to the Row, and realized that whoever had kidnapped Bo had already left the area, most likely corporate. After some more investigations into who had taken her, Rook called for everyone to meet at the Grindstone, where he confirmed that Bo had been taken by Nirvana. He and the mayor had agreed to undertake a covert operation into Nirvana's HQ in the upper city. While Loch himself did not join the mission, he lamented the ones who did: Felix, Faye, and Alexander, hoping beyond hope that the three of them would not get themselves killed.
First thing the next morning, during which time the rescue operation to save Bo was to take place, Loch took it upon himself to take advantage of his ability to access the bank and search Nirvana's office more thoroughly. With Rana suspected as the perpetrator, he wanted concrete evidence, and needed to know if she'd been using an off-record safehouse to conduct her work. He discovered that Rana did, in fact, have an apartment, and it was right down the hall from his own residence. Stealing a residential access card from the mayor's office, Loch snuck into Rana's apartment with Warren, and after following a trail of clues and cryptic notes, uncovered records detailing payments sent from Nirvana to Lange for services rendered. This meant Lange was the most likely culprit, and while he didn't trust Rana, Loch was now convinced she was innocent, and may in fact have been investigating Lange, herself. When Loch and Warren realized they could not easily present this information without revealing the illegal means by which they found it, they decided to take matters into their own hands. With the aid of Charles, Talus, and the mayor, they were able to access the Quixote office. There, Loch discovered that Alfons' bounty had doubled to 180-thousand credits, and more frightening, the name of a man who had attacked Alfons earlier that day while he'd been disguised as Alexander: Kaiphus Lane, a man Loch had brigged himself during his time in the military. Kaiphus was a union defector, and one of the deadliest assassins Loch had ever known.
Keeping this information to himself, Loch and the others left the office, and managed to corner Lange in the main foyer of the bank. After a long discussion with him, the mayor, Rana, and later a miraculously rescued Bo, the young mushroom decided to put the blame on Rana, choosing to have her banished to the wastelands. Lange was allowed to walk free, much to Loch's chagrin.
A Quiet Morning
After Bo's rescue and Rana's exile, the Row found itself much quieter than normal, with less of the usual tension. Loch joined Charles and Warren, and learned that Nash had set up a firing range at the arena for people to practice. The three decided to go and relax there for a bit, and Loch admitted that this would be his first time actually visiting the arena. The three of them joked about firing at the hovering cars above to practice against a moving target. Overall, it proved a good opportunity for the three slummers to blow off some steam. Becky even came down to check out the noise and joined them for a bit of banter.
Later, Loch decided to approach Bethany about a concerning rumour: supposedly she was unable to refuse any command given to her. Speaking privately in her repair shop, she explained to him that she was a homunculous: an artificial lifeform. She'd been created by a former Talaris employee, and revealed the scratched-out sigil on her right arm to be a Talaris insignia. Due to the way she was biologically programmed, she is unable to ignore direct orders from anyone. Loch came to the conclusion that one of the new members of the Row, a man named Normal Flint, was likely a threat to her, as he was open about being a Talaris Asset Manager. Loch decided to use Bethany's inability to refuse orders to his advantage. He was still unconvinced that Lange was innocent, and he ordered Becky to keep an eye on Lange at all times, especially since Loch knew she frequented the undercity where Lange had been snooping about. He made sure to add in that should she feel as though she were in danger, to free and forget all about these orders, so as not to put herself in harm's way.
Murder on the Row
Loch was approached by a concerned Becky, and informed of a situation in one of the apartments. Warren had, for reasons unknown, ripped out the synthetic eye of a young boy called "5", who had been released from cryo at the clinic. 5 had been sent to kill someone a while back, likely forced, but was just a kid and had failed. A strange man with a flamethrower had come to the Row asking questions about the boy, likely intending to tie up loose ends regarding the failed assassination. Before anyone had time to process what was happening, the Row's PA system declared a corporate presence in the Row, and Loch went to arm himself, but by the time he returned to the apartment, the deed had been done: the man had broken into the apartment, and taken the boy's head off, leaving Loch feeling powerless. Warren and Lange had already taken off into the undercity to grab an unmanned dropship that had appeared, and took off in pursuit, managing to catch and kill the assassin. Loch suggested throwing the body into the incinerator to remove any trace of what had transpired, as much as he loathed the suggestion entirely.
Later that day, Loch found Bethany speaking to Norman about what had happened, as she had been in the room when the boy was killed and Norman was curious. Loch, standing behind the Talaris agent, quietly motioned for her to end the conversation, concerned for her being near the man. Later, in the clinic, Bethany asked him is she should hate Lange, since she was tailing him for Loch. He explained that one should never strive to hate. Hate is an absolute. Someone who wrongs you horribly one day, may later try their very best to be better. If they do, you must ask yourself if they are still someone you could or should hate. Bethany took it to heart, commenting how she felt Loch doesn't seem to her to be a hateful person. She seemed to take him as an example of what she should be in that regard.
The Truth about Lange
Loch spoke to Warren in Southern Comforts about the nature of the files Loch had found on the Quixote terminal. Loch told him that the bounty on Alfons' head had doubled, and of the deserter from his military days, how the man was heading to the Row to hunt Alfons. Since this information had been on the Quixote terminal, that meant Lange knew about both. The dropship Lange and Warren had found may have belonged to this man. Their conversation would be cut short by a knock outside the door of the shop by the Taxi-bot, who told them that their conversation was audible from outside, and Lange had been eavesdropping. Loch knew that this meant Lange was hunting Alfons, and would be making his move very soon. He and Warren hunted down Alfons to inform him. Loch suggested a way to keep him safe: stage an assassination where Loch would "kill" him, as Loch had been making his way as a bounty hunter. The Row would come after him, but Alfons could survive by faking his death. He would take advantage of the security cameras around the Row to make it look like he dumped something looking like Alfons' body into the incinerator. Loch had Sharborough shadow Alfons for the night, and they would commence in the morning, before Lange could have a chance to act.
The Nkosi Scandal
Early the next day, Loch caught Bethany and spoke to her privately, reminding her to keep vigil in her observations of Lange, reporting to himself immediately should she see Lange do anything suspicious. Loch then met with the mayor, and together they went to the clinic to check up on Alfons as he was hiding out, but Alfons expressed a change of heart: he did not wish to fake his death, and instead sought to try and reason with Lange, to convince him to give up on claiming the bounty. Loch, despite his own apprehensions about the half-baked plan, organized the others as best he could. Faye would take her hacked rifle and sit on the catwalk overlooking the area in front of the clinic as overwatch, while other slummers would fan out nearby to cover the area from all angles. The meeting would, ideally, happen outside the bank.
It was at this point that the mayor expressed thoughts about handing Alfons over to a corporation, in the interest of protecting the other slummers from getting dragged further into potential danger, and to potentially secure additional resources for the Row. Loch became infuriated by this, and made it very clear that he felt the whole reason the bounty was so small was that Alfons' father did not respect him. It was an insult. He explained that if Alfons could convince his father to drop the bounty, and work his way up the corporate ladder, the Row would have a very powerful ally long-term. Loch left the mayor with the understanding that if he tried to hand Alfons over, the ex-admiral would shoot the mayor himself, leaving the trust between them severely damaged.
Loch grabbed Alfons, Eros, Talus, Desmond, and Sharborough, and chose to move Alfons out of the clinic to the Hellbats' HQ, deeming the clinic no longer safe. Lange spotted them as they left, but went to the bank as they managed to shake him. With several people on overwatch, Sharborough met with Lange and brought him in front of the HQ to speak with Alfons. The conversation struggled, however, as Alfons was having difficulty swaying Lange's power-hungry mindset, and Loch stepped in from the shadows. He told Lange to consider the investment: let him live, let him climb the corporate ladder, and become worth even more. If Alfons was unable to provide him a better option, kill him then, down the line, when he was worth more. This was able to placate Lange, and he agreed to leave Alfons alone, but not before leaving Loch with an emotional wound: a harsh reminder that, for all of Loch's vigilantism, he would never be a hero after what he'd done in the past, alluding to Lange's knowledge about Loch's true identity.
Shortly thereafter, Loch received word that Lange had shot Cap and fled to the undercity, where Loch found him beaten and bloodied, surrounded by several magic users. He was knocked unconscious by R.G.-2, but before he could be killed, Loch stepped in and stopped them, having Lange brought to the clinic for treatment.
Loch returned to the Hellbats' HQ, where he spoke with Alfons in private. They discussed their options, and Alfons decided he would try to speak to his father and convince him to drop the bounty. If his father would rather see him dead, Alfons did not want to end up in corporate hands, and asked Loch to kill him. Loch agreed, but only as an absolute last resort. Loch told him to try and convince his father from a business perspective: make him see the boy as an asset, someone to keep alive and relied upon. Loch expressed his fervent respect for the strength of Alfons' character, and how far the boy had come since they'd first met. Loch then left to find the mayor to apologize for their divisive conversation prior, and to reconcile. Quixote arrived during this time, having been informed by Guidebot that Lange had been attacked, and extracted the operative.
Loch, Coach, Warren, Sharborough, and Alfons stayed in the Hellbats' HQ as Alfons connected a call with his father. A short conversation took place, and Alfons managed to convince him to drop the bounty for one day while the man considered his proposition. They scheduled a more appropriate time to talk further the following morning, and Loch gave the boy some inspiring words, that if it worked out, perhaps he could become a frontrunner in the fight to improve the lives of those in the row and beyond. After the conversation concluded the following day, with Alfons finally striking a deal with his father, Loch told Alfons that he'd risked as much as he could for the boy's sake, but that had to come to and end. He had to break ties with Alfons for personal protection, but expressed that he was proud of who Alfons had become, and believed in his future.
Necromancy in the Row
Loch found out from brief conversations with Norman Flint and Bethany that a number of boxes had been showing up in the undercity and at some shops, despite no orders being made, and some were saying the boxes may contain explosives. During this time, Charles arrived and informed Loch that he needed flashlights. He and some others had uncovered a covered-up entrance in the subway that they had all somehow missed, the words "Judgement Day is Coming" written upon the cloth covering the entrance. The inside of the tunnel was pitch-black, and Charles suspected there may have been people trapped inside that might require medical attention, which motivated them to investigate. After arming himself at Southern Comforts, Loch, Charles, and Akeena went into the new area, only to discover what they believed was an old quarantine zone. Bodies littered the ground, and numerous mannequins were set up in various places, made to look disturbingly like they were going about their day. Charles was reminded of a outbreak that had happened during a time before Loch arrived on the row. Further in still, they encountered several of the magic users trying to discern the nature of a glowing emblem on a wall, in a room filled with hung corpses. Something was very wrong, and Loch's distrust of magic, combined with his experience, set off alarm bells in his mind. He immediately moved to rush everyone out of the quarantine zone, but as they tried to leave, the bodies began to move, rising and attacking everyone. It quickly became clear that these creatures wouldn't stay dead if shot or stabbed, and Loch himself began to panic, quickly becoming mentally overwhelmed by the horrifying situation. Everyone thankfully managed to escape, alive but not unscathed. Loch was in a blind panic, and immediately sprinted as fast as his old body could muster. He went aboveground, screaming for the mayor, stopping for nothing else. He ran around nearly the entire Row before finding the mayor back underground near the Grove. After explaining what had been found, the mayor suggested zoning off the new area, but Loch was insistent they take no chances and just collapse the thing. He had no desire to leave this magic alone to fester. They were just about to re-investigate the quarantine zone to determine a course of actions when the PA system announced a corporate presence in the Row.
As Loch, the mayor, and a few others began to move out of the undercity, they encountered Quixote corporates and bots moving toward them, and the soldiers began shooting immediately, on-sight, no hesitation. They even shot at the mayor. Loch fled back into the undercity with the slummers, screaming for anyone and everyone he could see to find shelter. Loch ran through the undercity, and found an alternate way aboveground, but was badly injured by one of the bots during his escape. He managed to make it back to Southern Comforts, where Warren immediately got to work tending to a large gash in his arm, at which point the PA system flared up, and Lange could be heard demanding the Row turn over Talus or they would start killing. Quixote had attacked the clinic and taken everyone there hostage. Just as Talus was about to hand himself over willingly, Loch and the others got word that the hostages had managed to escape through other means, and the brief stalemate broke into fighting that spilled out into the street. Loch fled, fighting Quixote all along the Row, managing to stay one step ahead of Lange at all times. Eventually, the fighting died down, as Quixote moved into the undercity, and then left on a dropship. Moments later, the entire Row was rocked by a violent explosion. Magic users began to drop unconscious around them, and the entire undercity collapsed in. The subway entrance near Loch was his indication of such.
The Battle's Aftermath
Desmond grabbed Loch and carried him quickly to the medbay along with several others to be treated. There, Loch lamented not killing Lange when he'd had the opportunity prior, and when Coach came to check on him, he expressed, through laboured breathing, his surprise and concern that the corps were so willing to fire, even at the mayor. When Loch asked about what happened to Talus, Coach didn't answer. On the bed, Loch slowly told him of what had transpired, step by step. Loch also heard in passing that, during the fighting, Argen had been killed.
After Coach stepped away to check on some of the others, Loch's communicator started going off, with Talus on the other end. The living star had made it out of the Row and was in the inner city. Talus told Loch to make sure nobody was near his shop, as his arm was still in there, and once he got too far away, it was bound to blow. Talus lamented his inability to help, and prayed the two might see one another again. Loch told him to stay under the radar, and they cut comms.
The Coming of Retribution
After leaving the medbay, Loch and Coach went to Talus' shop, and found it safely exploded with nobody injured nearby. They returned to the bank to discuss recent events, during which time Loch's communicator received an unintelligible transmission. Figuring the issue was an issue with analog function, Loch left to find higher ground, and was approached by Nash who spoke of information gained from Sharborough regarding two ships above Savior City: one filled with Shadowbats, and the other filled with, of all things, undead. Nash speculated they may be the same ship, but couldn't be sure. At this point, Phil appeared before them, seemingly already away of what Loch was trying to do, and brought him across the Row to a high balcony, where Loch's communicator cleared up. He heard a voice he recognized from his military days, a man named Roderick, speaking to him, calling for help, and another voice speaking cryptically, talking of "the survivor taking the hand of the servant". Despite Coach's protests, Loch was stressed from the day's events and this only added to it. Without thinking, he grabbed Phil's hand, and the two of them suddenly found themselves pulled away, experiencing a vision in which Loch could see his old flagship, The Retribution, in orbit above Savior City, with a massive, cancerous growth pulsing on the side of the ship. Phil later explained that the voice was a patron of his, an otherworldly being trying to contact him. Loch couldn't grasp what role this "patron" played in what he had just witnessed. After coming back to street-level, Nash explained further that the information he'd gained about the ship sightings were from the Sonitii corporation, through Alex. They'd learned that the ship was on a collision-course with the Row, and they needed to come up with a plan to prevent even more disaster.
Collecting Info on the Collector
Soon after, Loch was sought out by Rook, who took him to a hidden facility belonging to The Shattered Legion, allowing Loch access to a database that might allow him to hunt down Kaiphus the Collector. He told Rook about what had happened to him, the vision of the ship, was trusted and got invited to become his "blood-rite second", which he accepted.
Faye had been attacked by the assassin Kapihus, and Rook was out for blood. Loch discovered that the assassin had a long history, but never made efforts to actually hide his jobs. The man never covered his tracks, but also never highlighted himself. He speculated that Kaiphus may have attacked Faye to get at Rook, but didn't understand why.
Recruiting a Team to Save the Row
With the knowledge obtained about the Retribution and the threat it posed, Loch, as its former commander, developed a plan: board the flagship, reach the command bridge, and guide it harmlessly to an uninhabited celestial body to be destroyed. Failing that, red-line the engines and blow the whole ship apart. To this end, he needed a team of people that were both trustworthy, as well as experts in an applicable skill set.
Loch spoke first to Warren, explaining all that had transpired with Phil the day before. The masked man agreed to the mission without a moment of hesitation, due both to his loyalty to Loch, and his firm belief in protecting the lives of innocent people. Warren added, however, the reason he wore a mask: he had a weak immune system. With the knowledge from Sonitii of a dangerous pathogen on the ship, if Warren was injured, he would be as good as dead. He gave Loch a verbal command that would trigger a self-destruct program in his helmet. Loch agreed, but only as an absolute last resort. He then approached Dagu for his unparalleled experience with ship engines, and Dagu agree to the mission without much argument. "I could die down here, or I could die in space. Might as well die in space." Loch found himself admiring how a creature so small could stare into the face of death and laugh so heartily.
The rest of the team would include Desmond as a fighter, with his A.I, Alex, as a compact decker. Faye also demanded to come, as she'd had visions pertaining to her real parents. In addition, Loch had received a vision from Rook's armor as a result of the blood-rite pact they had made, and Charles helped Loch understand the meaning of it: Rook had failed in his pursuit of Kaiphus, and could be dead. Loch knew that the Retribution had a planetary bio-scanner that could locate the orc, so Faye's involvement in the mission became solidified, as she feared for Rook's well-being, but could also act as a second decker. With his team organized, Loch turned to Sharborough and the Hellbats to organize equipment for the team, including airtight armor, weapons, and hazmat equipment. Shortly after, however, Loch was approached by Phil and Coach, who recommended R.G for consideration. As a synthetic, he was immune to the pathogen, and was a capable gunslinger and decker himself. The Retribution's system were so complex that having the extra help could prove valuable. The only limiting factor was space for the extra body. If someone could quickly re-engineer the shuttle they'd be using to accommodate R.G, Loch had no complaints about bringing him.
Dead Men Walking
As Loch finalized his team for the mission, he spotted several people sprinting down the Row. Eros explained that corpses in the clinic's morgue had begun to rise up and start attacking people, including Felix, Argen, 8, and Jack. After Kythus incinerated 8 in the streets, a mushroom was found among the ashes, leading those present to speculate that a fungal infection were responsible. When several living mushrooms suddenly appeared in the Row and began swarming people, everyone fled for the safety of the Dirty Diamond and barricaded the door. In addition, they soon learned that the undead from the clinic may have entered the ventilation network for the entire Row, which led Loch to call for people to start sealing up the building's vents. Thus, everyone on the Row was forced to take refuge in the brothel for the night.
When morning broke, the people of Callous Row left the Dirty Diamond to find the streets empty of infected. Loch and his chosen team immediately got to work with their mission preparations, and within a few hours, had left on their drop-ship to reach and board the derelict Retribution. A full account of the events of this mission is documented here:
The Hunt For Rook
After stopping the Retribution and arriving back in The Shattered Legion headquarters beneath the Grindstone, Warren told Loch not to take any chances. The team removed Warren's arm by superheating Desmond's sword to cauterize the wound. Patching him up as best they could, they returned to the street above. They had little time to rest, however, as the Row was immediately swarmed with giant fungal growths and undead monstrosities. Loch quickly realized that, since the fungus was growing out of the ground, it had to be originating somewhere beneath them. Despite the chaos overtaking the Row, Loch did what he could to organize everyone. The Hellbats would protect the non-combatants while the mages went down to the underground to find and remove the source of the fungal infestation. In the meantime, Loch took his team, save for Dagu and Phil, out of the Row to find and rescue Rook from the Astral Legion.
Upon arrival, Loch and his team were met with a grisly sight: bodies littered the hallways of the headquarters. Blood, mutilated corpses, and shell casings were strewn about, indications of a very violent and very destructive battle. As carefully as they could, they made their way through the complex, when they were attacked by something invisible. Sickening laughter filled the air around them as their unseen assailant toyed with them, and Loch recognized the voice. Kaiphus had found them. Darting in and out of sight, the Collector harried the team as they tried desperately to fend him off while pushing forward. They managed to escape him for a time, only to discover signs of the fungal infection here, as well, and several bodies missing where there were otherwise pools of blood. When they finally found the location the IFF scan had shown them, they were heartbroken to find Rook's body missing. In desperation, Faye checked a nearby security console and discovered footage of the orc being dragged away by the fungal undead, a strange emblem adorning them. With no further leads, the team started to make their way back out of the facility.
Kaiphus, however, had no intention of making their escape easy, and continued to attack them from under cloaking. Fae was the first to be attacked, as she was knocked out cold. R.G's new body had its legs blown out, and Alex's mobile console was damaged, knocking out its automated flight system. To make matters worse, Loch ran out of ammunition trying to fight back against both the undead and Kaiphus, and took shots to his own legs as well. With adrenaline keeping him barely moving, and the rest of the team's hands full with carrying their incapacitated allies, Warren and Loch turned to face Kaiphus alone, trying desperately to fend him off or kill him. Just as the situation was looking bleak, Charles, ever silent, appeared behind them and covered them while Kaiphus was attacked by undead. Thus, injured but alive, the team was able to escape the complex, but without Rook, the mission was a failure.
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fungus
While being treated in the Dirty Diamond by Dr. Universe, Loch overheard Giovanni mentioning that a heart similar to the one on the Retribution had been uncovered in the underground, and that the mages were trying to remove it, but had run into problems. Several of the people present had little to no sympathy left for the mages, who had shown themselves to be very insular, even within the Row's community, but Loch convinced everyone to agree to an ultimatum: the priority for all needed to be removing the heart of the fungus. To that end, those still able would grab weapons and go down to find the mages, and offer them parley. If the mages agreed to work with them, they would protect the mages from the undead while they got to work removing the infestation. If not, they would kill the mages to get to the heart, and Talus would use his own body as a weapon to destroy it (a suggestion Loch hated, but seeing no alternative, begrudgingly accepted). Thus everyone, including some non-combatants like Coach, followed Loch into the underground to find the mages and the heart. At the far end of the collapsed undercity, they discovered a path comprised entirely of fungus leading downward, and at the end they were able to locate the mages. Thanks to the efforts of Bethany, the negotiations went quickly and smoothly, and the mages agreed to work with them, much to Loch's relief.
Yet, events in the Row are never so kind or easy. Just as everyone was beginning to agree to work together, Cleo spotted several heavy undead armed with guns and chainsaws moving down a nearby hall toward them. Loch came to quickly discover that the magic users had, at this point, lost their abilities under unknown circumstances, and as such he and the other non-mages were forced into a dangerous melee, few of them armored at all, with these far more deadly undead. They were almost exactly like the powerful ones he had encountered on the Retribution. Loch fought hard, coordinating the efforts of the fighters present, putting himself physically between the undead and the terrified mages hiding just out of the line of fire. One of the creatures turned to him, screaming, forcing Loch back and filling him with bullets. Through pained gasps, Loch fell to the ground, unable to stand. Despite his injuries, he continued to discharge his pistol, trying his best to comfort the scared mages next to him, and when the fighting finally died down, those nearby rushed to his side, tears welling up in their eyes. Despite his protests, Loch was carried quickly out of the area, and back to the makeshift clinic in the Dirty Diamond to be treated, and despite his horrible injuries, he managed to survive.
A Brother Fallen
Though Loch had managed to live through the battle to save the mages, others had not been so lucky. While the majority of those that had gone down had returned injured and live, some few had not. One of them Loch learned from R.G, had been Warren. Cut down during the battle and left in the underground, Loch came to learn that Warren had died alone, and it shattered the old soldier completely. His facade crumbled, and the usually stoic and logical man that was Loch found himself overwhelmed. First in denial, he tried to leave to find Warren, but was stopped by Dr. Universe and Johnny. The doctor tried her best to console him, tried to convince him that he was a leader to the survivors, and that they needed him now more than ever. Loch had no desire to be a leader, and with the loss of the friend he trusted most in all the Row, he broke. Loch's heart went cold, and his mind filled with thoughts of vengeance. He would destroy this infestation, no matter the cost, and he would save Rook. He would not lose another friend, even if it killed him.
- Old Connections: Due to his part in the Galactic Union War, Gregor has a lot of old connections that know and owe him favors. Some connections that remain within the new corporations. While they are no longer loyal to the same cause, many are loyal to repay one last debt. Gregor knows that when he calls these favors in, he’d be burning them as a resource.
- Military Veteran: Having literally survived wars first hand, Gregor knows many ins and outs of common tactics and how the enemy communicates and deploys. If given equipment and a helping hand to figure out the new tech, he would be able to instruct someone how to connect with enemy systems and communications. The tech may change, but theoretically it’s doing the same sort of thing it’s always done, it just looks shinier.
- Corporate Deceiver: Gregor, from years of hiding on the run and involvement with less than preferred people, has become clever and adapted in ways of hiding in plain sight. He's well versed in forging IDs, mimicking security scans, and blending in with corporate entities thanks to his knowledge of his enemy.
- Rhabdophobia: Gregor has an intense distrust and fear of all things Arcane. He has seen life before it and life after its rediscovery, and the atrocities it has provoked. He will go as far as refusing healing magic even if his life depends on it.
- Old Dog: Gregor is an older human in his late 50s. He served throughout the fall of the Galactic Union and never once wavered. He was fit back in his time, however due to injuries he has taken previously he shouldn’t be expected to be straining his body with physical activities.
- Boomer Techie: Gregor loves old technology, equipment from even before he was born, and never really got used to adapting to the new age as everything continuously upgraded. He felt validated in his choice of tech during wars when his equipment seemed the most reliable, but now he struggles with even basic public VR communication systems without someone to do it for him or explain the process yet again.
- Infection-Resistant: Due to his overexposure to fungal spores during the events of Operation Retribution, Loch was at risk of becoming infected himself. His body's resilience, however, saw him develop an enhanced resistance toward infection instead.
- Gregor Loch Brunswick shares a very similar name to Mr. Brunswick, the actor portraying him, as well as the actor's usual alias, King Gregor Brunswick, who is a knuckles.
- Loch likes his meat cooked medium-rare
- Loch hates puns
- Loch's blood type is O-positive
- Loch's nickname is "Sherriff". He, Warren, and Nash are known in the Row as "The Cowboys"
- Warren frequently mixes up Loch's name with Lange's
- Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/mr_brunswick
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MrBrunswick
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mr__Brunswick
- S2 Collection: https://www.twitch.tv/collections/6i3Lpv7HPxYPaA
- Alfons hefty 90.000 bounty, will he collect?
- Loch asks pacifist Eric's thoughts on Alfons and Callous Row's future
- Loch suggests using Rook
- Phil and Loch, a vision of the ship