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AZURE Quest 12
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>>Previous threads can be found at: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Azure+quest
>>Some basic information can be found here: http://pastebin.com/RyaBXTnW
>>You are AZURE, a machine with a mind, and you and your companions are within an ancient lab dating from before the Great War, hidden behind miles of bioweapon-contaminated wasteland. Currently, you're scouring it for medical technology and information. But as you explore, you find that there's more hidden here than you thought.

The Architect leads you through dim, dark hallways, completely silent save for the hissing and thunking servos in your ATLAS. Green light-strips flick on as you walk, leading you through door after door. The base is expansive, and in a slight state of disrepair. More than once, The architect gives you a "PLEASE WAIT..." and leads you through a detour or cramped maintenance tunnel in order to bypass collapsed sections of the laboratory. Finally, after what seems like an hour, you enter a large room, filled with heavy machinery.
"WARNING." The Architect booms. "THIS LOCATION IS - ZZZZT."
The painful erratic buzz sounds just as the floor beneath you begins to hiss. It slowly begins to lower, and the architect's spherical interface lowers with it, constantly buzzing at you in order to give you warnings- not to bring in contaminants, not to bring in weapons, not to bring in unauthorized personnel, not to bring with you test subjects... It's a long spiel, and you're already breaking most of those warnings anyway in order to get down to the computer core.

The ride down the lift takes only a fraction of the time you spent walking here, but it almost feels longer, with the Architect pestering you.

However, when the lift finally pulls to a stop, and the large blast doors on the other end of the room open up...

If you could salivate, you would be doing so.
>Continued!
>>
>>45321824
The chamber is enormous- a dome nearly 25 meters tall in the center, with huge blinking and whirring towers leaning against the walls. The entire dome is lit up brightly, and strange hexagonal panels are spaced out evenly along the floor of the room- beneath the panels are hollow glass prisms, mostly submerged in the ground and filled with some kind of liquid. You cannot quite see inside of them, due to angles involved- most of them are so submerged that you can barely see inside at all. Brilliant green light shines out of the crack between panel and floor, illuminating the bottom of the dome.

The walls are all clean, albeit slightly dusty, and according to your sensors, the room is so cold that it is in the negatives, celsius. Thick cables- three inches in diameter- are sprawled across the dome, strapped down in some places left loose in others.

A long, rusty streak spans across the ground, like someone had dragged something. At the other end of the trail is a human skeleton leaning on a fully-elevated prism, its clothes rotted away by time.

A man died here. The elevated prism that his corpse is leaning against is completely empty, though it gleams with the same pulsing green light that the rest of them do.

In the center of the dome, elevated on a dais, is a single chair in front of a large, imposing terminal.
On the screen itself is a mess of randomly-flickering symbols, scrolling by at speeds that your inhuman, computer-fast awareness finds hard to keep track of.

But however you look, no matter how much you try to figure it out... The symbols are just random noise.

"A-A-ACCESS GRANTED." The Architect buzzes, the voice modulator warping as it speaks. Since you've descended, it seems to be getting less and less table. The submerged prisms begin to pulse faster, and electromagnetic static begins to wash over you- emanating from the computers alongside the walls.
>?
>>
>>45321861
>>less and less table
>Which is a good thing, because the Architect is not a table at all. Please do not place objects on top of the architect. Even if you use a coaster.
>It is, however, getting less STABLE.
>>
>>45321861
Interface with empty prisms?
>>
>>45321861
>>45321945
Time to jack in and stop this crazy before it begins.
>>
>>45321861
>J-j-jam it in!

Be careful about not using too many resources once you have taken over.
>>
>>45321861
So guys, maybe we could actually smooth out a bunch of functions as we put our group in as administrators, judging by ho fucked the system is acting theres going to be things clearly wrong with it.
>>
First, you carefully step into the room, trying not to step on any cables or panels, making your way closer to the center. The Architect's interface, stuck in the rails in the ceiling, doesn't follow.

When you examine the prisms, the only interface or connection you can see is a cable set into the side of each of them- After a moment tugging at one, you find that they've been welded into place. Quite clumsily in some cases. You knock, carefully, on the empty one- and a set of bubbles on the inside quickly raise to the top. Green sparks dance through the liquid on the inside at the disturbance, roiling through the prism.

The Architect buzzes wordlessly behind you. The terminal displays only a long list of ####### for several seconds before returning to the noise.

Strange.

Finally, you approach the terminal itself. Two keys sit in their holes, already turned, the panels all already unlocked and opened. Fortunate, really.

There's obviously something wrong with the system, so you do a bit of basic commands on the keys. It's a bit clumsy with ATLAS's pudgy, Mobile Armor fingers. None give you much of any response. 'help' has a long list of words scroll by, in a strange random order, and then simply a list of 'helphelphelphelp'.

But you suppose there's little other choice you have, if you want to find out what happened here. You pull yourself out of your ATLAS, and send your shell skittering across to the terminal's ports. Then you jam it in-
Something SLAMS into your mind, roiling through your essence and burning it away. You're crowded inside your own shell, madness storming around you. Words scream into your mind, random assortments of thoughts and sentence fragments coming foremost in your mind.

The moment you plug in, you hear Architect speak.
"PRIMARY CORE SPOOLING UP. PLEASE WAIT."

And then slowly, each prism rises.
A human brain sits inside each one, crackling with green sparks.
It's all you can do to push away the noise.

>Roll me some 1d100s, people!
>>
Rolled 67 (1d100)

>>45322281
>>
>>45322281
Jesus fuck really!? They used a fucking human brain for a computer! Fucking old powers!
>>
Rolled 85 (1d100)

>>45322281
Mental note: in future when jamming into unknown systems, use a proxy interface/instance before something tries to fuck with us directly.
>>
>>45322334
>*A* brain?

>Try DOZENS.
>>
Rolled 25 (1d100)

>>45322281

Rolling for skynet
>>45322347
I fucking give up, they deserve whatever hell happens because of this
>>
Rolled 21 (1d100)

>>45322281
Crystals and brains… Either psykers or magic is my guess. The first is more likely, being more common in scifi.
>>
>>45322281
And they have all gone insane haven't they?
>>
>>45322600

Silly anon, chances are they've gone from regular insanity to collective consiousness consensus style advanced insanity!
>>
kate isn't going to like this when we tell her what we've found.
>>
It hurts. It HURTS.

Pain scores itself across your essence. The static pushes up against you, drowning you out, slowing down your thought. For a few chilling moments, you lose connection with your own shell, its meager processing capabilities used up by whatever the system is processing.

It's madness, for a time. You push and push away, denying everything you can. Random signals burn their way through your mind without reason or cause- raw data, in some machine code you don't understand.

You don't understand.

You don't understand.

You don't under-

And then it changes. Then it makes sense.

The great wave of noise isn't a single pool- but dozens of essences, each with their own structure, each similarly alien, even to one another.
When you examine the ports the essences are coming from, each and every one is keyed to a certain prism. Your sense of horror begins to grow, as you realize that the brains are in the system.

Carefully, you begin to siphon off the data you can't use. Some of it is biological data, like the signals Kate's spine sent, so you trim those out. Disregard them entirely.

Then you begin the work of trying to make sense of the noise.

And then it makes sense. things begin to fit, in a way they hadn't before, and you gently touch each essence.
Some are mindless, firing off mad signals for no cause. Some are dead, sending out only small signals every few minutes. Some are sending off signals to the mouth and lungs, trying to SCREAM.

Your shell is beginning to overheat, being forced to process more data than it should by alien architecture it wasn't designed for. You keep trying to push the essences out of your system.

It's hard. It hurts. It burns, even. You push, and push, and PUSH, reclaiming control-

And then, after a moment of effort, you feel an essence... contort. And one of the brains in one of the prisms suddenly begin to wither, blackening and burning from the sparks inside of it. Then a second one begins to burn...

>Continued!
>>
>>45322706

In the end, you destroy six of them before you can lock down your shell, preventing the alien minds from taking control of your own.

One of your legs are destroyed- a mind had taken control of it, and pushed the AG-drive past its limits. But the rest of your shell seems intact.

From there, you can think at your leisure. It's confusing, and hard to make sense of...

But you were designed to make sense of things like this.

>Metacoding: COMPLETE.

Raw neural data resolve into code, which resolve into thoughts, which resolve into words.

"-eclared war on the Senjoku Confederacy-" Something buzzes in your mind. It has a dry, aching voice, somehow. Your sound sensors pick up nothing but a whine, but the words begin to pour in.
"-several political enemies were found de-"
"-bioweapon made the jump over the Sahara by-"
"-rder to get away, we descended into the old bunke-"
"-trapped down here af-"
"-can't figure it o-"

They're all thinking, in their own ways. They're all active, processing information and reciting from memory, but they're all stale.

Empty.

None of them are acting on their own volition- just sending out signals in response to what they receive, endlessly.

You isolate one of the more dormant minds, and send it a simple signal in its own code.

It responds with a ramble about a memory, complete with faded visual data in which a young man was asking his father for help painting his room. The mind turns in on itself, processing the word 'paint' with the memory of a girl that had liked to draw. It slowly begins to spiral into its own thoughts, spinning a wheel into nothingness.

Then it begins to scream as well. There's no emotion in it, no active conscious thoughts- just a reflex.

The brains may be organic, and they may be active- but they're not sentient. Not anymore.

But you might be able to trigger them into remembering the past, if you're clever. Or you could push your way past them, into the digital systems. At least those are sane.

>?
>>
>>45322890
>>?
I think we should try to make sense of them. They are currently too prone to burn out and to try and take over other systems. However, I think the additional processing power from the digital systems may be needed to do this in a reasonable timeframe and without burning more of them out.

>Pass them carefully to interact with the digital systems.
>>
>>45322890
First of all, we need to put these minds, the ones that arn't doing anything useful, to sleep, or stasis.
Then we need to look at accessing the digital system underneath this utter mess propperly and carefully. No more traps.
>>
>>45322890
let's focus on the digital systems for now
>>
>>45322970
We should take care not to overwork them as they seem to do that quite easily, but otherwise I don’t understand your suggestion. They have been doing this for decades, it is probably best to keep things stable and not turn of parts of the system.
>>
>>45323066
Eh, true.
I really just want to avoid activating the system and accidently letting this horde of brains into it alongside us and potentially doing stupid shit like letting the outside infection in the safe areas.
>>
>>45322281
>then simply a list of 'helphelphelphelp'.

That is freaky.
>>
>>45322890
Let's begin by getting what we can from the digital systems. After that, see if we can get some bioweapon treatment pointers by tickling the brains a little.
>>
Should we give them the mercy of eternal rest? I have no mouth and I must scream and all that.
>>
>>45323222
I think theyve degraded past that. However i doubt us turning this place into a settlement is going to last with a room full of brain jars. Its not in our interest to keep them after we take their knowledge.
>>
>>45323254
True. None of them are sentient now.

I wonder if they were slaves that were sacrificed for this system.
>>
>>45323222
I considered that but the clues seem to indicate that they are already dead. I assume the urge to scream is left-over from when they were integrated. Kind of a last command from before they died. Azure felt something similar after all.
>>
You pull yourself back into your shell, putting the finishing touches on a temporary firewall to keep out anything that isn't you. With that done, you carefully observe the various minds. They're not doing much of anything useful- simply receiving a signal and sending out the first thing the mind associates with it. It somewhat resembles the way the prototype supercomputer back at the Initiative in structure, but this is much less useful- no matter how powerful the organic brains are, they aren't nearly as logical.

But their main problem is that despite their raw processing power, they have none of the structure that a digital system has. Each mind runs on its own rules, processing in its own language, with no cohesive standard.

Normally, it would be impossible to get to the digital system- they're constantly clogging it up, the random mash of inputs and outputs jamming all data you'd attempt to send.

Your one saving grace is the fact that your shell is currently standing right next to the main control interface for the entire core, complete with a map of the chamber- and the ability to flick off each prism.

One by one, you shut each prism down. If there was ever a stable balance there, in the interplay of human brains, it's long-since passed. Every time you tap the panel with an outstretched leg, another prism descends into the ground, and another essence fades into nothing.

Once there's nothing cluttering up the system again, you start making contact with the digital systems. You start searching for the most recent changes, other than an automated system, and you find a note.

"No doubt you think this is horrific, whoever's found this place..."
>Continued!
>>
>>45323422
"I think it's horrific too. We all did, really."
"But we had no choice. Or rather we chose this, in the end."
"We don't have the time. Or the processing capability. The cure wouldn't get completed at this rate, otherwise."
"The Epsilon project was, and still is, our best hope, despite the problems."
"Sadly, I won't be able to take my place in the last pod. There's nobody here to do the extraction for me, after all."
"We were never the ones who made this thing, but we're certainly the ones who are destroying it."
"We never gave up."
"Dr. Jun Viridian."

Then you begin to pour yourself into the project notes.
Project Alpha was a leftover from the then 'Great War', involving bioengineered soldiers. It never had much work done on it rather than a complicated cryopod schematic- One you hardly understand, but you do find some documentation on how to use it. It seems that the pods had since been modified to work on 'Gemma', whatever that is, and are designed to have the ability to make major medical changes, from the physical to the genetic level. It's very involved- but it's exactly what you came here for. You could save anybody, even if they were missing major organs entirely.
Project Beta was a retrovirus, meant to be a counter for the fungal infection on the surface above. You pour through years of logs, but in the end it might as well have just been 'Nothing Works'.
Project Gemma... That's what surrounds you right now. A neural interface system, utilizing nanomachines to discern and understand signals from a human brain and process it. Sitting in the back of the logs are a half-completed program. From a tentative first look, it looks like it's designed to take strict control of the neural interfaces, 'controlling' the biological systems strictly.

>More Continued!
>>
>>45323632

Project Delta was another failure. A delivery system for a special kind of terraforming machine. Even with all the extra processing power in the digital systems, you can't figure out how it was supposed to work- only that it would draw all of the humidity out of the air, thus drying the infection entirely, until the machine would restore the humidity after it was purified.
Project Epsilon, however- it was a fusion of two of the projects- Alpha and Beta. In order to kill off the fungal infection, the project was designed to create a special hyper-designed immune system for the human body, set to selectively kill off the infection. It wouldn't spread, unlike Beta, but it was better than nothing.
Katelyn's name is in the Epsilon logs, as Unit Katie.

After your first tentative look at each of the projects, you take a metaphoric step back.
There's a lot you could do with all of this... You just need to figure out where to start.
>?
>>
>>45323632
Poor buggers.

We need a memorial for them in the end.
>>
>>45323644
well we should probably start with the things that work, like the pods to heal people and then work our way down.
>>
>>45323644
First: Overview of the functionality. What works, what doesn’t, what can we repair right now, what resources do we need to repair the rest?

I also want to look at the AI. Can we somehow get it to work without glitching out? I’d hate for it to start looping in the middle of a medical procedure.

After that, get the medical system working and make sure there is enough power to last even with these new expenditures.
>>
>>45323644

General thoughts:

Well using katie's data, we can design an innoculation procedure to make any future settlers immune to the fungus, which buys us time to work out a method to kill it.


The nanomachines might be the answer actually. Instead of using a virus, program the nanites to target infected brain tissue or cells and kill the carriers. WIth immunity to infection and no carrier creatures, its a simple case to purify an infected area to cleanse it. Problem is if you fuck up you change fungal body eater for nanite body eater. So i suggest them being keyed to the fungus only.


We may need to find a way to transport one of the medical pods back home if we want to use it, unless we can bring the injured here.
>>
>>45323644
Collate and store all data on projects beta, epsilon and alpha, if we have the memory try and get something from delta as well
>>
>>45323738
Note, you could theoretically use the brain interface data nanites to hijack infected creatures and compel them to attack other infected.
>>
>>45323644
I am for project Episilon, or super antifungal infection human soldiers saving the planet.
>>
>>45323759
No need, this place isent going to run out of power for years.
>>
>>45323759
Think he wants it backed up to take with us, not sure that's a good idea though if we're planning on turning this place into mother base. I'd rather not risk any leaks when we don't have to.

This is ours now.
>>
>>45323900
Now all I can think of is us build a weapon to surpass metal gear
>>
>>45323947
We already are a weapon to surpass metal gear
>>
>>45323900
Theres no need really. And the less we bring back, the less likely those bozo's in the city can steal it from us and launch an offensive in the future.
>>
>>45323961
>You're a weapon to BECOME metal gear and give nuclear hugs to all the good boys and girls, of course.

The first thing you work on is to find out what works and what doesn't. The cryopods work, the terraformers don't (unless you made an outrageous number of them), the nanomachines have quite a few problems, the most important of which is that they're very delicate, only working in certain environments, like the inside of a cryopod or the neural interface prisms.

You record whatever data you can find on projects Beta, Epsilon, and Alpha, hoping to find something useful.
What you find are logs about the Epsilon Units. And what you found out was that the alterations distort the mentalities and hormones of the altered units. Unit Amy, for example, would be flooded with anger whenever she was near someone she was previously fond of.
The other Units developed their own minor dysfunctions, with a few of them developing more major, violent reactions. Katelyn found herself unable to empathize with others.

After looking through the data, you take a look at the Architect. It's built off of a closed system, running automatically. It's a complex algorithm, developing itself from a simple if/then system. It is, at its core, still that same if/then system... But decades of no input set its development to roll itself into a dumb knot- one that would barely function at all, if it weren't for several safety and reset systems.
It's like seeing the most amazing, wondrous building, only to find that the architects had forgotten to put any doorways in.

A long, long time later, the lift in the corner of the room descends again, and Tandi stomps in.
"Azure?" She asks. "Are you here? It's been a few hours."

>?
>>
>>45324227
oh, sorry, I've been looking over this places data storage trying to figure out what works, what's crap, and what we can take back with us. Also one of my legs got fried by a brain in a jar so I'm moving a bit slower so that doesn't happen again.
>>
>>45324227
Sorry mother, but we have hit a small treasure trove, or fools gold, its hard to tell at the moment.

On the bright side, we know those cryo pods might be the thing we are looking for. Provided we can move it and the neccesary supplies.
>>
>>45324227
>>?
"This thing is vast. I’m still surveying the damage and deciding where to start working on it. I’ll probably try to make sure the AI doesn’t work against itself so much first. Also got to remember to put us in as having admin-level access.

When I come back I also have a bit of depressing news about what happened to the researchers."
>>
>>45324227
Do we have access to the speakers?

>"I AM EVERYWHERE" Full volume.
>>
>>45324227
>"It runs on brains, if I never have to work with a system like this again it will be too soon".

We should be a bit shell shocked... literally.
>>
"It runs on human brains." You say.
Tandi just stares.
"If I never have to work with a system like this, it will be too soon."
"Oh no." Tandi says. "Are they, uh, thinking?"
"... Not like you'd think they are. There's apparently a half-written program to make them, er, think better, but it's not anywhere near completion."
You're not sure how you'd complete it, even if it'll work.

"This thing is vast." You say. "It may be a small treasure trove, or fool's gold. It is also in a state of disrepair. I'm still surveying the damage and deciding how best to collate the data. Near the end, the researchers lost any kind of organization they had."
"Huh." Tandi says. "Anything useful?"
"Those cryopods are exactly the thing we are looking for." You say, taking a look at their schematics and displaying it on the terminal. "They do not even require feedstock for the nanomachinery or medical hardware."
"Oh god in heaven." Tandi says. Even through environmental protection, even through inches of the shaded lenses that make up her mask, you can see her eyes glimmering. "They really have nanotech in here? Really really really?"
"It needs to be suspended in this certain kind of energy transfer plasma." You say.
"Oooh. Magnetically contained?" Tandi asks.
"Not the energy variety. It's more like a synthetic blood plasma. I barely understand it." You respond, and she shrugs. She's still excited.

"Alright." Tandi says. "Start sending me schematics of things. I'll help sort this stuff out."

It's another two hours later that the two of you make your way back into the central elevator, a second cryopod carefully hefted along. Kate's already done loading the elevator up with crates and crates of supplies, as well as components, and you'd already left a datacell filled with information there.

"Do you think that's everything?" Tandi asks.
"I'm pretty sure it's not." Kate says. "But there's a lot here. I don't think we could take it all home, anyway. Leave some stuff here for a time."
>?
>>
>>45324659
>>"It runs on brains, if I never have to work with a system like this again it will be too soon".
I’d say the damage is already done, so who cares. As long as we ensure no one is going to keep turning brains into computers, I’m fine with using it until it falls apart.
>>
>>45324719
Its downright horrifying to interact with as theres a ton of junk and shit data, it nearly fried us when we interfaced with it.
>>
>>45324707
We also found information on Amy and her condition, which may lead to possible methods of resolving it later, half of which are comedically unethical. That should be told to kate in private.
>>
>>45324761
What is Amy's condition again?
>>
>>45324733
That has more to do with it being poorly and incompletely programmed and only incidentally with it running on brains. (That is to say, brains are probably difficult to program well.)

>>45324707
>>?
Before we leave I’d like to make a preliminary plan for our evacuation to this place. How many people can it support, how can that number be extended, which supplies should we bring next time to repair stuff. Those sort of things.

After that:
>Prepare the pods and stuffs.
>Hurry back, people need us.
>>
>>45324798
She gets flooded with anger whenever near someone she was fond of.
>>
>>45324917
Oh.

That is cute.

That is Kate's sister?
>>
>>45324938
…Yes. I’d consider that less "cute" and more "tragic", but each their own.
>>
>>45324954
Cute in terms of she is very fond of our girl.
>>
>>45324938
>>45324954
Thats terrible if anything, however, what that means is the quick fix could be flat out removing adrenal or pituitary glands, can't get flooded with hormonal rage without the ability to produce those hormones. Granted the amount of reasons this idea is horrible is massive, and we aren't a medical bot.
>>
>>45325012
We already built a robot-arm, creating a adrenal gland that won't shit out enough adrenaline for most junkies in a matter of seconds should be possible.
>>
>>45325136
>untrained brain surgery should be possible
>>
>>45325136
How are you gonna capture her and operate on her unwillingly?
>>
>>45325136
>>45325163
>>45325255
As I said, there are ways, there just aren't good ways that wont be hillariously evil or causing massive brain/organ damage.
>>
>>45325163
>Technically the adrenal gland is near the kidneys.

"Do we have any plans in case we need to evacuate back here?"
"None." Tandi says. "Because it's still unsafe. There are a bunch of infected areas, according to the Architect. Not to mention the surface itself. We can only take most of this stuff back because we're basically going to get Kate to hug the supplies."
"That's a good point." You say. "We could also do similar procedures to those done on Kate, in an emergency."
"Maybe." Tandi responds.
Kate just frowns.
"I'm not too happy with that idea." Kate says. "There's a lot of problems with it."
"I'm aware." You say. "I found information about that. As well as information about Amy and her condition."
"Right." Kate says, crossing her arms. "Any quick fixes?"
"No good ones." You respond.

You doubt removing important parts of Amy's brain and hormone systems would be a 'good' idea in any shape, way, or form. It might destabilize her more.

"We ready, then?" Kate asks, looking around the Lift.
"As ready as we can be." Tandi says. "But I figure that we all know enough about this place that if we really need more supplies, one of us can make a stop off here alone."
"That sounds a bit dangerous." You respond.
"I'm worried about any critters up on the surface." Kate responds. "Yeah, my sweat might disintegrate those things, but that won't help if they stab me with their claws."
"Don't worry." You say- you found information on the infection, while you were looking, and they don't grow new ambulatory creatures- they just infect dead ones. And since all of the creatures on the surface are destroyed... "There will not be any."
"Alright." Kate says- and she pulls the lever with her cybernetic arm.

The three of you slowly ascend onto the surface, the Lifter still floating above.
Time to begin.

>Continued!
>>
>>45325283
I mean, the big problem is we'd probably accidentally lobotomize her if we tried it, or kill her kidneys, or kill amy. Really, that should probably be left someone who actually knows what the fuck they're doing with human biology, we really only specialize in data and machines.
>>
>>45325283
By the time you return to base, the sun has already set, and the base itself seems rather quiet. Kate spent nearly the entire time gently running her hands across all possibly-exposed parts of the supplies you'd brought back, just in case, while Tandi pored over the datacell, examining the schematics you'd gathered- as well as the sparse cryopod documentation.

But when you finally land, the three of you are exhausted. You didn't think you could be exhausted until today- the sheer effort you'd expended on trying to figure out not only Katelyn's nervous system, but also the Gemma system drained you an unreasonable amount.

When you call in, gently setting down the Lifter, Mike makes his way out into the sewer tunnel. He's already decorated a suit of power armor, and he wasn't wearing the helmet.
"You three back already?" He asks. "I thought you were going cross-continental."
"We were." Tandi responds. She pulls off her own helmet, and presses her fingers into her temple. "The Lifter's pretty fast."
"You guys find anything of use?"

>?
>>
>>45325334
Lots also one question. The Gemma project is invaluable
>>
>>45325334
we found a magic healing pod
>>
>>45325334

We found the true meaning of christmas. Also a bunch of healing pods.
>>
Awww, too bad DM vetoed our secret desert base project.

These poor sods. Perhaps we can salvage more of the healing pods later.
>>
>>45325334
If you ever wanted to stick your brain in a pod and slowly go insane, I know a place.
>>
>It's not actually vetoed, it's just going to take some work.

"We found the true meaning of christmas." You say.
"It turns out it's about getting delicious superscience toys." Tandi adds. "Like nanotech! Eeeeee-"
"We found a magic healing pod." You say, cutting Tandi off before she can begin rambling about the 'possibilities' like she had back in the Lifter.
"It's not magic," Tandi says, rolling her eyes. "But it's *genius*. You wouldn't believe how useful it might be. Especially once we train up someone who knows what they're doing in using it."
"Dave's been busy basically all day." Mike says. "He even recruited basically everyone else."

He frowns.
"Only one person died, but there are three more that Dave doesn't think will make it overnight." Mike says.
"He's going to be happy about what we found." Kate says. "We also grabbed all the medicine we could find. A lot of it's standard, but there's apparently some exotic stuff in there."

Tandi stretches, and then carefully pulls herself out of her power armor. "Could you grab a few men to take these two big glass pods into the medbay? I can hook them up once they're in."
"Sure thing." Mike says. "How important are they?"
"They're worth human lives." Tandi says. "If they drop one, they're killing someone."
"... Right." He says. He nods to the three of you. "Good work, guys. I'll go tell Abel the good news."

And then he turns around and leaves.

Finally, you're back home- after an entire day away.

Now you have some free time.

>?
>>
>>45325620
>>?
Rest.
>>
>>45325620
Fix the broken shit in our shell and the lifter, both got damaged.
>>
>>45325620
Fixed damaged lifter and shell then rest, by bearing someone at computer games
>>
>>45325730
>Bearing someone at computer games
So what you are saying is, play Tekken?
>>
>>45325620
fix ourselves and see if kate's arm is giving her any trouble still. We're not going to fix it now since I think we earned some rest but it's good to know what still needs doing
>>
>>45325760
>Not Mortal Kombat

Son
>>
>>45325921
Does Mortal Kombat have bears?
>>
>>45325730
This. Furry woodland creature and all.
>>
>>45325921
>Bearing someone at computer games
>Bearing someone
>Bearing
>Bear

MK doesn't have a bear, unless you count MK3 Animalities.
>>
>>45326009
It has fucking Sektor anon, better than any bear.
>>
>>45325620
Snuggle with mom while drifting asleep, with Katelyn dozing off beside us.
>>
>>45326009
>Ermac obviously has a bear spirit in him somewhere.
You clamber through the halls on five legs, making your way over to the workshop. It's completely empty, dark, and quiet. In fact, the entire base seems rather subdued.

It's a rather simple process, plugging into the dahlbot and fixing up your ruined leg. AG-drive components that small are actually very easy to fabricate, compared to the larger versions. It's only 5-odd minutes working on it, since you have spares from when you originally fabricated your shell.

The Lifter's going to be a much harder job- you'd prefer to have Tandi's help. But since she immediately went to take a nap once outside of her suit, she's obviously not available.

So once your shell is repaired, you test it around a little- by springing down the hallway, down into the wreck room-

And it is, of course, completely crowded.

Because sunday nights are videogame tournament nights. And obviously, the game for tonight is Tekken Kombat IIV: Undead or Alive.
"Hello." You say, amidst the dozen or so people crowding around a screen.

Everyone turns.
"Do you have space for a seed?" You ask.

There is a quiet moment.
And then they begin to cheer, and erase the tournament bracket to add you in.

>What the hell, roll me some d100s to see how well you do. Why not?
>>
Rolled 37 (1d100)

>>45326327
>>
Rolled 15 (1d100)

>>45326327
Hail Santa.
>>
Rolled 69 (1d100)

>>45326327
>>
Rolled 74 (1d100)

>>45326327
Why are we rolling when we've creamed people easily before?
>>
>>45326327
>IIV

What
>>
>>45326599
>It was a major marketing disaster. They printed off hundreds of thousands of copies of the game with the label written wrong on both the omnidisks *and* the game cases- it was meant to be VII. But by that point, it was too late, and the producers eventually began pretending that they meant to do that as a marketing ploy.

At first, you feel like your luck is horrible. You bring out your relatively nimble Karakuri PRIME, but your opponent (One of the raiders; you think his name is Ram), of all things, brings out Chamcham. The goddamn monkey bounces across the stage, throwing bananas everywhere, no matter how many lasers you throw out to boil them away. Your enemy is bouncing around just like the monkey is and just... won't... stand... still!

Eventually, though, you catch up to the pace of the game, and in a smooth, expertly-achieved combo, you bury your opponent in his own projectiles. While he's trapped in the mass, it's only a long beat as you charge up your final laser- and boil the character alive- including their silly monkey.

The rest of the rounds work similarly to that- you don't do amazingly, but you beat people rather consistently.

It's a lot of fun... And at the very end, you look over at your opponent...

Kate locks eyes with your sensors, determination flaring in her eyes.

She, of course, brings out EARTHQUAKE.

Your weapons bounce off of her incredible armor and expertly-timed parries, no matter how hard you try. Eventually, you pull back, and begin to launch missiles from afar. Hoping to pepper the short-ranged Earthqake with your long-range attacks, you keep raining fire down, flying from aloft...

But then Kate does the impossible. Your final missle tears down through the air, barreling straight toward the very tubby man- but right when it's about to hit, right when you're about to win... Kate parries it.

You fall to your spidery-knees in despair, as everyone cheers for Kate.

>?
>>
>>45326599
After "Tekken Kombat III: Ultimate Komplete Edition II", they couldn't really keep going with that name scheme.
So they changed it to "Tekken Kombat IIV" and released four versions of that over the next two years. Now they're on "Tekken Kombat IIV: Undead or Alive" and swiftly preparing to release "Tekken Kombat IIV: Ultimate".
>>
>>45326678
Being better than me is an unfair advantage.
>>
>>45326678
I call bullshit
>>
>>45326678
Theatrical spider lamentations.
>>
>>45326678
Give me that arm back you little shit.
>>
"Nooooooo." You say, curling up on your back like a dying spider.

"Being better than me is an unfair advantage." You say. "I call bullshit."

Kate just smiles down at you, and pats your head. "Don't worry. You'll get as good as me someday."

You just grumble.

Today wasn't really your day, anyway. You feel a bit more sluggish than you usually are. That's totally the reason you lost. Yeah, that has to be it.

Kate just giggles when you tell her that.
"I'm missing an arm and got a new one literally today." Kate says, crossing them.

Then she scoops you up and sets you on her shoulder, taking you out of the wreck room.
"I just kinda needed to unwind after today." She says, stretching. "... To be completely honest, I'm feeling a lot better than I was yesterday, though. Even... Even if I had to revisit my past, today."

Then she gives you an even look.
"Hey." She says.
"Did you really talk Tandi and everybody into that weird plan just because I was feeling a bit down, the other day? Back when I was talking about leaving?"
>?
>>
>>45327027
That wasn't the only reason, but it played a statistically significant part. That was two questions.
>>
>>45327027
My plan is not weird. We now have access to a titanic amount of infrastructure and technology that most people in the world are completely unaware of.

If there is one thing I have learned in this short life is that everything comes to an end, if this group ends before I do, I will build something with what we have gained.
>>
>>45327027
"While that was not the only reason, it played a significant part in my decision making."
>>
I really want to hack into the emergency TV network and play a message to the entire city kind of like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvvOFIHs4k
>>
"That was two questions."
"It was one. I was just specifying the exact 'other day' I was talking about." Kate says, and sticks out her tongue.

You make a raspberry noise back at her.
"That wasn't the only reason." You say. "But it played a significant part in my decision making."

Then a moment later, you speak up again.
"And the plan was not weird. We now have access to a titanic amount of infrastructure and technology that most people in the world are completely unaware of."
"... Yeah." Kate says, giving you a slight smile. "But anyway, I just wanted to thank you. For thinking of me, I mean. And for helping with the arm."
"It was not a problem." You say. "As for your arm... That was an... interesting experience."

Kate giggles.
"What, want to plug in again?" She asks.
You can't help but shudder, and she just laughs louder.

At hearing her laugh, you can't help but recall the notes you found on her. A distorted sense of empathy, finding it hard to sympathize with people...

You can't help but ask yourself: Why, then, is she getting along so well with you?

>End of Session!
>My twitter is @FutureExabyte and that's where I'll give you guys information on when I'll be starting threads there.
>And I also hang out in the IRC channel #Exabyte on the Rizon server. Feel free to come by and babble about things.
>I'll hang out for a while to answer questions, give you guys character or tech information, if you want it, etc.
>And I'm sorry for the subpar thread. I haven't been sleeping very well (At all) lately, so I'm pretty sleep-deprived.
>>
>>45327406
No empathy human empathizes really well with no empathy robots!
>>
>>45327406
Did the hormones change her empathy from humans and living things to inanimate objects and tools? Meaning she's gets along so well because we're artificial?
>>
>>45327364
If we do it we really need to have the entire speech be clips from former presidents of the united states addresses to the public edited together into one coherent speech, With as many clips of Nixon and Reagan as possible.
>>
So are we In trouble for showing ourselves? Mike did say we shouldn't do that.
>>
>>45327461
I like it.
>>
>>45327461
If you give me a outline of words to use i could probably edit that together, pretty quickly.
Thread replies: 110
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