When you don't remember your name and only vaguely remember your mission, what do you do?
This log is the first freeform I've done in a while, and it was fun and I would say complete within this single-session arc, although the worldbuilding that happened leaves the door open for more stuff to happen here.
(7:01:19 PM) Rainne_ entered the room.
This log is the first freeform I've done in a while, and it was fun and I would say complete within this single-session arc, although the worldbuilding that happened leaves the door open for more stuff to happen here.
(7:01:19 PM) Rainne_ entered the room.
(7:01:25 PM) Rainne_: ALLO
(7:01:34 PM) Rainne_: i gotta go to the bathroom first brb
(7:01:35 PM) azetidine: sure
(7:02:17 PM) exor674 entered the room.
(7:02:35 PM) azetidine: aha! I did snag a dre after all!
(7:02:41 PM) exor674: watching >_>
(7:02:48 PM) azetidine: <3
(7:04:23 PM) Rainne_: back
(7:04:31 PM) azetidine: Hokay!
(7:04:35 PM) azetidine: Any requests?
(7:04:46 PM) Rainne_: be gentle? LOL
(7:04:54 PM) Rainne_: i haven't RP'ed in ages
(7:04:57 PM) azetidine: oh, sure. Okay.
(7:05:13 PM) Rainne_: actually, i'm kidding. go for it, and let's have fun
(7:05:21 PM) Rainne_: i really haven't RPed in ages, but still.
(7:05:23 PM) ***azetidine rubs hands
(7:06:49 PM) azetidine: fig, one, two, or three?
(7:07:03 PM) azetidine: righto.
(7:07:11 PM) Rainne_: bit, one, two, or three?
(7:07:12 PM) Fig-Bit: There's nothing quite like the smell of one in the morning.
(7:07:16 PM) azetidine: thank you
(7:07:23 PM) Rainne_: :D
(7:07:25 PM) azetidine: And I haven't used this bot in forever!
(7:07:37 PM) azetidine: bit, pestilence, war, famine, or death?
(7:07:37 PM) Fig-Bit: Perhaps today is a good day for pestilence.
(7:07:45 PM) Rainne_: lol
(7:07:50 PM) ***azetidine nods and strokes chin.
(7:08:46 PM) Rainne_: five seconds while i rage at Sherlock
(7:08:56 PM) azetidine: (('sok, thinking))
(7:09:02 PM) Rainne_: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE
(7:09:19 PM) Rainne_: HOW DID HE MANAGE IT I WANT TO KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOW
(7:09:20 PM) azetidine: ((what did moffat do this time))
(7:09:43 PM) Rainne_: oh, it's nothing Doyle didn't do in the original series of stories
(7:10:17 PM) azetidine: ((oh, ok))
(7:10:52 PM) azetidine: You are in what used to be a town square, built in the naughty aughties. The bad old days.
(7:11:17 PM) Rainne_: Hmm. Any particular aughties?
(7:11:25 PM) azetidine: 2000-2010, specifically.
(7:11:28 PM) Rainne_: okay
(7:11:41 PM) azetidine: Things have crumbled since then, although the oldest buildings seem to be doing the best, relatively speaking.
(7:12:02 PM) Rainne_: *nods*
(7:13:07 PM) azetidine: Some of the streetlights still work, but paving bricks have been prized up and used as projectiles, benches torn from their moorings, and trash is -everywhere-. In fact, you think that pile of dirty clothes over there is probably a sleeping person.
(7:14:33 PM) azetidine: You're not sure what to think. In some ways, your training and simulations were too specific, and you're used to the destruction. In other ways...
(7:15:05 PM) azetidine: Well, whatever your objective is, it has to be important for the brass to risk contamination.
(7:15:10 PM) azetidine: Who are you?
(7:15:36 PM) Rainne_: I was just about to ask you that! LOL
(7:16:02 PM) Rainne_: I'm not from here, then. Other side of the ... wall? pond? looking glass?
(7:16:24 PM) azetidine: The sky, you think. Doesn't do to leave operatives with too specific of a memory of that, in case they get taken down.
(7:16:32 PM) Rainne_: ahh, all right.
(7:16:52 PM) azetidine: You're wearing a suit of black combat armor.
(7:16:55 PM) Rainne_: am i wearing anything that might give me more clues, or carrying any kind of weapons or tech?
(7:16:59 PM) Rainne_: ha, i could've waited.
(7:17:01 PM) azetidine: :P
(7:17:23 PM) azetidine: It has a jetpack function, and you have a gun.
(7:17:28 PM) Rainne_: what about a helmet or breathing apparatus? The infection might be airborne.
(7:17:38 PM) azetidine: Yep. Best filters money can buy.
(7:17:51 PM) Rainne_: good. what do I know about the infection?
(7:19:16 PM) azetidine: You know you don't want to spend too long touching somebody, but you've been trained on if you have to leave your suit, which implies that you'd at least survive if exposed to air.
(7:19:24 PM) azetidine: People are... functional. But different.
(7:19:42 PM) Rainne_: so not zombies, exactly? but not safe, either. Interesting.
(7:19:47 PM) azetidine: No, not zombies.
(7:20:06 PM) Rainne_: do i have any indication of what my objective is or might be?
(7:20:08 PM) azetidine: Some people can manage. Certain restaurants and businesses are still open, where supply lines haven't been affected.
(7:21:01 PM) azetidine: There is a building, a few blocks from your drop-off point. It's been heavily modified inside, so what maps you have aren't going to be accurate.
(7:21:53 PM) azetidine: It used to be a small-scale tech company, something with a server farm inside.
(7:22:05 PM) azetidine: From what the analysts can tell, the infection causes people to want to... tinker.
(7:22:18 PM) Rainne_: *headtilt* That's odd.
(7:22:51 PM) azetidine: This place has had things coming in and out of it for a while, though, and data models suggest that one of the... rallies... might happen near there tonight.
(7:23:00 PM) Rainne_: rallies?
(7:23:29 PM) azetidine: People come together, bonfires are started and streetlights burn different colors than they did before, they stay there for some hours, they depart.
(7:23:45 PM) Rainne_: any particular purpose to these rallies?
(7:25:01 PM) azetidine: The farthest the analysts have gotten is noticing that they happen where there's a high enough concentration of heavily infected.
(7:25:42 PM) azetidine: They've just gotten to the point where speculative models suggest that something is being exchanged, although it doesn't exactly predict a spread of the infection.
(7:27:09 PM) Rainne_: ok. so am i looking for what's being exchanged, or what's happening inside the building? or both?
(7:27:51 PM) azetidine: The rallies are too dangerous to risk equipment like yours on. You're just checking out the building.
(7:27:58 PM) Rainne_: ok
(7:28:07 PM) Rainne_: i should probably get out of sight, then
(7:28:25 PM) Rainne_: does it look like there's anywhere around that I can do that?
(7:29:22 PM) azetidine: All right. As soon as you start moving, a heads-up display pops up. There's a manhole in an alley maybe 10 meters away that'll lead to the building.
(7:31:21 PM) azetidine: The street has many buildings that look abandoned, but no direct routes to your destination aside from the underground one.
(7:32:49 PM) Amianym entered the room.
(7:32:53 PM) Rainne_: hmm. how valuable is the idea of extra recon? According to my orders, should I be focused solely on that building, or...?
(7:32:58 PM) pontiki entered the room.
(7:33:21 PM) Rainne_: (hello Amianym, pontiki)
(7:33:48 PM) azetidine: Extra recon is tricky. You want to keep your eyes peeled in order to complete the objective and get back safely to be debriefed, but you can't rely on electronic senses at all.
(7:34:04 PM) azetidine: Despite the fact that the electronic senses are your best tools.
(7:34:09 PM) pontiki: ((hi o/))
(7:34:15 PM) azetidine: ((ahoy))
(7:34:30 PM) Rainne_: all right. calculate the safest path to the manhole
(7:35:20 PM) azetidine: Just walk straight for it. The street has been deserted so far, but that can't last for very long.
(7:35:45 PM) Rainne_: do that, then. quickly, but not so fast that i attract attention.
(7:36:45 PM) azetidine: Well, thankfully your suit doesn't clonk around much, but anybody who heard the drone drop you off already knows you're here. Your gun is keeping the saner ones away and time is keeping the less sane ones from getting to you. So far.
(7:37:10 PM) Rainne_: oh
(7:37:16 PM) azetidine: The manhole comes up easily in your power-armored hand.
(7:37:21 PM) Rainne_: are they going to know that the manhole is my path to where I'm going?
(7:37:24 PM) tt entered the room.
(7:37:32 PM) azetidine: Probably not. Every mission is different.
(7:37:40 PM) azetidine: ((hi tt!))
(7:37:42 PM) Rainne_: okay
(7:37:46 PM) Rainne_: into the manhole, then.
(7:38:23 PM) azetidine: You enter the manhole and drag the cover back into place before descending. It's a tight fit but your suit is a marvel of engineering.
(7:38:54 PM) azetidine: ((she rolled Pestilence out of the Four Horsemen as a theme))
(7:39:14 PM) Rainne_: i'm sure. all right, what's my situation now?
(7:39:40 PM) azetidine: Once you get in, there's a lot more cables and a lot less... muck... than you'd expect. It looks like this route has been traveled in the past, though not with high frequency.
(7:39:42 PM) Rainne_: ((hey tt))
(7:39:56 PM) Rainne_: hmm. examine the cables and things, see if I know anything about them
(7:40:52 PM) azetidine: Coax, telephone, fiberoptics, direct current, alternating current, sometimes running in tandem, sometimes spliced inexpertly right into each other. There are little junction boxes every so often that look incredibly crude. Cogs on the side of exposed circuit boards.
(7:42:00 PM) azetidine: You start feeling an artificial irritation. Your mind is wandering. Your HUD urges you on.
(7:42:03 PM) Rainne_: what do they call this disease, anyway?
(7:42:23 PM) azetidine: You don't remember.
(7:42:49 PM) azetidine: But you do seem to recall that knowing what your people call it when you get captured might be a breach of security.
(7:43:38 PM) Rainne_: when? that's an if, thank-you-very-much. ((grin))
(7:43:50 PM) azetidine: Right, right, if.
(7:44:04 PM) azetidine: You're nothing if not the best.
(7:44:14 PM) Rainne_: all right. start down the tunnel toward the goal, keeping an eye open for everything and anything that might be of use and/or dangerous
(7:44:26 PM) Rainne_: or just noteworthy
(7:44:27 PM) azetidine: You head down the tunnel. It mostly runs east.
(7:44:35 PM) Rainne_: after all, I'm always looking to get promoted, right?
(7:44:45 PM) azetidine: You pass rusted-out pipes, and more, fresher cables.
(7:45:00 PM) Rainne_: any noises?
(7:45:02 PM) azetidine: Well, promotion would be nice, but being able to remember things would be nicer.
(7:46:07 PM) azetidine: The occasional shuddering of pipes that seem to still carry air, a few clicking noises.
(7:46:15 PM) azetidine: Sorry, not air, water.
(7:46:57 PM) azetidine: No noises that would indicate persons.
(7:47:09 PM) Rainne_: any branch-offs I should be aware of / wary of?
(7:47:49 PM) azetidine: There's one that branches off north, going under the street that your destination is on, but otherwise it's just ahead of you and behind you.
(7:48:08 PM) azetidine: Before you get to that branch-off you come to a much larger junction box.
(7:49:48 PM) Rainne_: examine the box
(7:50:13 PM) azetidine: It seems to be made of several older electrical boxes torn out of buildings from the surface, with tubes welded to the sides that lots of cables are running through, and one big lever on the side.
(7:50:38 PM) azetidine: It has a simple door with a simple lock and a tiny pull-handle made out of a loop of sturdy metal wire.
(7:50:44 PM) Rainne_: any idea what it does?
(7:51:22 PM) azetidine: There's some ticking and... strange noises coming from inside. Tones, rapidly fluctuating and overlapping.
(7:51:46 PM) Rainne_: can i identify the sounds?
(7:52:06 PM) azetidine: You query your internal library. It classifies the sounds as MODEM, 1988, NON-THREATENING.
(7:52:16 PM) Rainne_: aha. interesting.
(7:52:19 PM) azetidine: You get the same sense of artificial irritation.
(7:52:35 PM) Rainne_: i'll leave it alone for now. No sense letting everyone know I'm here by cutting off their access to AOL.
(7:53:11 PM) Rainne_: move forward, listening carefully
(7:53:51 PM) azetidine: Continuing on. A careful check down the branching tunnel with the barrel of your gun confirms no people, although there is a rat. It's running away.
(7:54:19 PM) Rainne_: it's on its own. i'll keep moving.
(7:54:39 PM) Rainne_: wait
(7:54:47 PM) Rainne_: tinkering. they haven't cyborged the rats, have they?
(7:54:47 PM) azetidine: All right. You're entering-- wait?
(7:55:32 PM) azetidine: It's a distinct possibility, but if they have, the rat may have unknown capabilities and may possibly be a disease vector.
(7:56:00 PM) Rainne_: i wonder if i should kill it just to make sure it isn't going to report my presence to someone
(7:56:16 PM) azetidine: By the time you go back and check, it's out of range.
(7:56:19 PM) Rainne_: dammit
(7:56:26 PM) Rainne_: oh well. carry on then
(7:57:20 PM) azetidine: All right. You've come to a wider area in the tunnel. It's finally full height, although your power armor makes crouching as comfortable as it can. A rusted metal door that might once have been painted blue--or maybe green?-- is set into the north wall.
(7:57:56 PM) Rainne_: any other landmarks? labels? things of note?
(7:58:03 PM) Rainne_: (roll a search check lol)
(7:58:16 PM) azetidine: A faded metal sign, a few crumpled pieces of paper.
(7:58:22 PM) azetidine: Water stains on the concrete walls.
(7:58:25 PM) azetidine: Mold.
(7:58:28 PM) Rainne_: what does the sign say?
(7:58:49 PM) azetidine: It's too rusted to get a good read. It probably as an R in it, and an ED at the end.
(7:58:54 PM) azetidine: *has
(7:59:06 PM) Rainne_: hm.
(7:59:09 PM) Rainne_: no use.
(7:59:18 PM) Rainne_: all right. is the door locked?
(7:59:19 PM) tt: w 30
(7:59:23 PM) tt: whoops >.<
(7:59:28 PM) azetidine: ((*pats tt*))
(7:59:32 PM) Rainne_: ((lol))
(8:00:36 PM) azetidine: No, the lock has long been forced open. Although the door sticks quite a bit. All the rust and mold, you know.
(8:00:55 PM) Rainne_: check my maps; is this my objective?
(8:01:20 PM) azetidine: Yes, or near enough that whatever's on the other side of the door will get you there.
(8:01:40 PM) Rainne_: any chance i have a heat sensor or anything to tell me what's on the other side of that door?
(8:02:30 PM) azetidine: You do, but it's not going to work through the door. Sound analysis suggests machinery of the same kind you've already encountered, just... louder.
(8:02:53 PM) Rainne_: okay. well, i suppose there's nothing for it. i go through the door
(8:04:08 PM) azetidine: When you go through, there's a wave of sound. You're at the bottom of a stairwell made of concrete with a metal railing; a former glowing EXIT sign lies cannibalized on the floor.
(8:04:43 PM) Rainne_: what sort of machinery is it? any idea?
(8:04:50 PM) Rainne_: that i'm hearing, i mean
(8:06:05 PM) azetidine: Clicking, tocking, more modem noises, and a lot of ventilation are what's making the sounds. An analysis program on your HUD isolates each individual element from the general cacophony and slaps a NON-THREATENING label on them as they're accounted for. There's a doorway missing the door just opposite the one you came in; the door's been lifted off its hinges. The room beyond is where all the noise is being made.
(8:06:22 PM) Rainne_: any signs of life?
(8:06:42 PM) azetidine: A couple more rats and some greasy paper on the floor, but no people.
(8:06:56 PM) Rainne_: okay, i'll investigate that room
(8:08:53 PM) azetidine: It's packed full of server cases. Parts of the concrete floor are missing; holes have been drilled or perhaps expanded from where projectiles hit the building in the past.
(8:09:05 PM) azetidine: *concrete floor above you
(8:09:45 PM) azetidine: Wan light from the overcast day above filters in through badly boarded-over windows, but this is the only illumination.
(8:10:24 PM) Rainne_: what was this building, before?
(8:10:27 PM) azetidine: The building's original ventilation system has been gutted and repurposed to bring in air from outside and keep the server cases cool.
(8:12:19 PM) azetidine: It used to house several small-scale tech companies and cottage industries. Your internal library says the last property owner was a landlord who owned several similar properties in the city nearby.
(8:12:56 PM) azetidine: Before that it was a warehouse, and before that, a shoe manufacturer.
(8:13:19 PM) Rainne_: appropriate, then. Are the servers related to my objective? I assume I'll know it when I find it.
(8:14:01 PM) azetidine: They have not been flagged as your objective. That is still above you.
(8:14:18 PM) Rainne_: do i have any way of tapping into the servers and finding out what they're doing?
(8:14:42 PM) azetidine: Looking at the way the light filters in, your analysis program begins building an updated internal model of the building. It suggests that most of the floors have been similarly perforated and covered with haphazard beams of wood that don't provide anything close to a solid surface to walk or work on.
(8:15:28 PM) azetidine: You think about it. Most of the cases have the very simple key locks you saw on the junction box outside.
(8:16:22 PM) Rainne_: what i mean is, do i have the capability - tools or whatever I need - to tap in
(8:17:09 PM) azetidine: The two that don't have key locks instead have a circuit board connected to what looks like slightly more sophisticated electric locks, with plastic bits that may have been pried free from laptops connected to them.
(8:17:26 PM) azetidine: You don't really have electronic espionage tools. It was deemed too risky.
(8:17:43 PM) azetidine: You do, however, have lockpicks.
(8:17:46 PM) azetidine: And a gun.
(8:18:02 PM) Rainne_: okay, then there's no point to that. if i can grab something on the way out at low risk, i migth try that. for now, i want to focus on my main objective.
(8:18:29 PM) Rainne_: but note the locations of the ones with the electronic locks; those will be the ones I want to try and grab, if I can
(8:19:02 PM) azetidine: Righto. Righto. Your analysis program throws a ghostly wireframe over the view above. You blink meaningfully at the cases with the electronic locks and it notes where they are.
(8:19:32 PM) Rainne_: okay. if there's nothing else to investigate on this level, I'll start upward.
(8:19:48 PM) azetidine: The cases themselves are taller than you are and probably have room for 20 or more actual server blades inside them.
(8:20:07 PM) Rainne_: oh. well.
(8:20:14 PM) azetidine: Yep. You head back to the stairwell.
(8:20:15 PM) Rainne_: tha tmay be more than I'm capable of right now.
(8:20:21 PM) Rainne_: we'll see.
(8:20:43 PM) azetidine: ((http://www.geek.com/wp-content/
(8:20:52 PM) azetidine: [ http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/
2009/07/farm2.jpg , rather ]
(8:21:09 PM) Rainne_: ((I... i see. well, then.))
(8:24:20 PM) azetidine: Moving up the stairwell, you see that the analysis program was right. Most of the doors have been removed from their hinges, and the original floors have been torn up or replaced with heavy wooden beams, barely-processed tree trunks, cables and cordage. The chaos becomes more three-dimensional the higher up you go.
(8:25:29 PM) Rainne_: is there anything worth investigating as I go up?
(8:27:14 PM) azetidine: More trash as you go up, including discarded pieces of clothing and food. This stairwell ends halfway up the building; your model suggests that the original fire escape stairwell on the other side may extend the full height.
(8:27:27 PM) azetidine: Your HUD is slowly flashing yellow; you are approaching your objective.
(8:27:49 PM) Rainne_: any sign yewt of what it is?
(8:27:51 PM) Rainne_: yet*
(8:28:03 PM) azetidine: No.
(8:28:09 PM) azetidine: Suddenly, voices.
(8:28:17 PM) Rainne_: freeze in place, listen
(8:28:54 PM) azetidine: Coming from said fire escape. Someone has just said something deliriously amusing, judging from the off-kilter laughter.
(8:29:12 PM) Rainne_: as silently as possible, move closer - try to hear
(8:30:07 PM) azetidine: You move out of the basement-access stairwell and onto a sturdier section of floor running from one side of the building to the other, along the street-facing facade.
(8:30:18 PM) azetidine: Steps indicate that the people are heading downwards. One says something about "you're gonna see the movie, right?"
(8:30:36 PM) Rainne_: do i have heat sensors?
(8:30:58 PM) azetidine: You have an infrared camera, yes.
(8:31:36 PM) Rainne_: check for people
(8:31:41 PM) Rainne_: have they all gone?
(8:32:01 PM) azetidine: The ones in the stairwell keep heading down, confirmed by the echoes of their voices.
(8:32:07 PM) Rainne_: ok
(8:32:15 PM) Rainne_: where does the HUD indicate I need to go?
(8:32:35 PM) azetidine: Across to the same stairwell they came down, and then further up.
(8:32:50 PM) Rainne_: okay. is the way to do that clear?
(8:33:40 PM) azetidine: Yes, as long as you stay near the front of the building.
(8:33:45 PM) Rainne_: okay, then.
(8:33:48 PM) Rainne_: let's do that
(8:33:56 PM) azetidine: Yep.
(8:35:21 PM) azetidine: Shifting perspectives reveal that a good bit of sunlight is coming in from the missing roof. The windows on the street-facing (western) side of the building are boarded up fairly well, but those facing south just have a few token boards over them. Maybe a couple have even been... torn off?
(8:35:56 PM) azetidine: You achieve the fire escape stairwell. It has a wall of windows facing an alley on the northern side of the building.
(8:36:54 PM) azetidine: It seems like a more modern part of the building that was tacked onto the original shoe manufacturer, and the paint and concrete are much newer here than elsewhere.
(8:37:51 PM) Rainne_: go up, follow the HUD
(8:38:23 PM) azetidine: you move as quickly as possible. The light is diffuse, but your silhouette is large and very black.
(8:38:39 PM) Rainne_: yeah, prefer not to be noticecd
(8:38:46 PM) azetidine: Something stirs on the floors above you. Your HUD flashes red.
(8:40:19 PM) Rainne_: what's that mean, the flashing?
(8:40:30 PM) azetidine: Objective getting closer, danger estimate high.
(8:40:40 PM) Rainne_: great. infrared reading?
(8:42:17 PM) azetidine: You're getting bits of readings through the wooden beam spiderweb. It's about the size of a person, but readings are somewhat cooler than human average.
(8:42:28 PM) azetidine: Your analysis program is forming an estimate of what it might be.
(8:42:33 PM) azetidine: Nothing concrete, yet.
(8:42:49 PM) Rainne_: do i have any other tools I can use to investigate without getting too close?
(8:43:22 PM) azetidine: Not really.
(8:43:27 PM) Rainne_: then wait
(8:43:30 PM) azetidine: It sounds as though it's moving down.
(8:43:47 PM) Rainne_: fantastic
(8:44:11 PM) Rainne_: gun in hand, prepare, but wait for the analysis before acting if possible
(8:45:32 PM) azetidine: Four to six limbs, descending through the center of the building.
(8:45:50 PM) Rainne_: six?!
(8:45:56 PM) azetidine: It's an estimate.
(8:46:24 PM) Rainne_: is it coming down toward me, or a different path?
(8:46:31 PM) azetidine: Are you just inside the stairwell waiting?
(8:46:37 PM) Rainne_: yeah
(8:46:41 PM) azetidine: Mmkay.
(8:46:50 PM) Rainne_: ((one second, i need to switch computers))
(8:46:51 PM) azetidine: Hard to tell, then; you'd get slightly better sound readings if you poked your head in.
(8:46:52 PM) Rainne_: ((BRB))
(8:46:59 PM) azetidine: ((I need to grab water, so that's cool))
(8:49:07 PM) Rainne entered the room.
(8:49:12 PM) Rainne: ((back))
(8:49:25 PM) Rainne: i'm not sure I want to stick my head in without knowing more about what's in there
(8:51:25 PM) azetidine: The sun breaks through some of the clouds and shadows slide across the network of wooden beams.
(8:52:10 PM) azetidine: It's roughly humanoid-sized. Still can't get a decent limb count.
(8:53:26 PM) azetidine: Your HUD is steady red, saying "SUBDUE AND INVESTIGATE".
(8:53:29 PM) Rainne: all right, then. lean around and take a quick peek
(8:55:30 PM) azetidine: It's sitting on the floor above you, looking down at you with catlike green eyes, set in silver metal skin with stylized black joint lines. It has pure white hair, and a molded gynoid body. It likely calculated where you were and where you would look, and positioned itself so that that stare would pierce you when you did stick your head in the door.
(8:56:01 PM) azetidine: It smiles, showing gleaming white fangs.
(8:57:48 PM) Rainne: so, it clearly sees me
(8:58:13 PM) Rainne: ((gynoid?))
(8:59:35 PM) azetidine: ((android means "male-ish", originally, before it was repurposed to just mean "humanoid robot", so "gynoid" is "female-ish"
(8:59:37 PM) azetidine: ))
(8:59:58 PM) Rainne: ((aha. so it's a female bodied robot with cat features. fantastic.))
(9:00:15 PM) azetidine: If those eyes are eyes, then yes, it sees you. Not easy to make assumptions where plague-influenced things are concerned.
(9:00:46 PM) azetidine: It uncoils from its crouch and leaps down to a board wedged at an angle across the floor at your level.
(9:01:38 PM) Rainne: analysis?
(9:03:14 PM) azetidine: Its hair is long, going down to its waist, and the features are meant to be equal parts alluring and uncanny. Its thighs are unusually thick, possibly concealing something, like weapons or other modifications. It has a tail, which is long and strong enough to count as a limb--aha. Five. Well, there you go.
(9:03:55 PM) Rainne: i mean fromt he equipment.
(9:04:03 PM) Rainne: does the HUD have any idea what it is?
(9:04:40 PM) azetidine: It hasn't been identified yet, no. The HUD is still saying "SUBDUE AND INVESTIGATE".
(9:05:07 PM) Rainne: crap
(9:05:10 PM) azetidine: The analysis program highlights potential weak points.
(9:05:17 PM) Rainne: any indication whether or not it's sentient?
(9:07:16 PM) azetidine: This isn't something the analysis program tracks. Your judgement so far says that it is creepy as fuck.
(9:08:51 PM) azetidine: It slowly stands up from its crouch, still smiling. It tucks loose hair behind one of its (very human) ears.
(9:10:45 PM) azetidine: It holds out its right hand, and lowers its chin while maintaining eye contact, and flourishes its fingers, beckoning.
(9:13:07 PM) Rainne: step into the doorway.
(9:13:28 PM) azetidine: It smiles wider, and steps back, still beckoning.
(9:14:17 PM) Rainne: look around carefully
(9:15:29 PM) azetidine: You see no other life signs, although your analysis program now recognizes some of the cables strung around as possibly carrying current further up the building.
(9:15:43 PM) Rainne: look for traps
(9:17:55 PM) azetidine: You don't see any easily apparent ones, aside from the obvious trap of the precarious flooring. The thing's expression is slowly turning sour while you look.
(9:18:13 PM) Rainne: take one step in, carefully
(9:19:46 PM) azetidine: It begins smiling again, although, perhaps, one might say more fiercely. Its hand is still held out to you, but the fingers are folded as though it's holding an invisible line tied to you.
(9:20:17 PM) Rainne: ask it if it can speak
(9:21:30 PM) azetidine: Its lips close, still smiling, and it tilts its head. Suddenly it crouches down and leaps upwards, landing on one of the beams crossing the next floor up.
(9:23:28 PM) Rainne: am i supposed to take this thing with me when i leave?
(9:24:36 PM) azetidine: All your HUD says is "SUBDUE AND INVESTIGATE". You have a small timer in a tucked-away corner of the HUD counting down to the estimated time of sundown/rally.
(9:25:06 PM) Rainne: do i have anything like a tazer? I don't want to kill it.
(9:25:23 PM) azetidine: Your gun has a "remote energy bolt" option.
(9:26:23 PM) Rainne: ok, switch it to that option, and watch the cat thing
(9:27:49 PM) azetidine: Its tail is dangling down, twitching, and it is sitting with legs hunched up and hands tucked between them, gripping the wooden beam.
(9:28:53 PM) azetidine: It leaps over to another beam, towards the eastern side of the building, then down again to your floor.
(9:29:06 PM) Rainne: ask it again if it can speak
(9:29:22 PM) azetidine: It laughs. It sounds artificial.
(9:31:01 PM) Rainne: "If you can't speak, I'm going to assume you're a dumb animal and treat you like one."
(9:34:49 PM) azetidine: That sense of artificial irritation nags at you again. Your analysis program begins flashing the weak points it's identified as high-confidence in your HUD.
(9:35:25 PM) azetidine: The gynoid cocks its head, waiting to see what you do.
(9:36:02 PM) Rainne: what are the weak points?
(9:37:12 PM) azetidine: Wrist, shoulder joint, lower neck, solar plexus, base of the tail, ankle joints.
(9:38:49 PM) Rainne: aim for the solar plexus and fire
(9:39:03 PM) azetidine: With the remote energy bolt?
(9:39:11 PM) Rainne: yes
(9:39:37 PM) azetidine: You fire. It jumps up and out of the way as soon as you pull the trigger.
(9:39:42 PM) azetidine: "Do I intimidate you?"
(9:40:22 PM) Rainne: "Oh, you CAN speak. How nice to know. Do you have a name?"
(9:40:58 PM) azetidine: It laughs. "Show me what you can do." It leaps up another level.
(9:41:20 PM) Rainne: "So like a cat. What if I don't want to play your game?"
(9:43:14 PM) azetidine: Peals of laughter. "Then I escape and tell on you? Wouldn't your masters hate that." The rub is, she's right.
(9:43:43 PM) azetidine: The HUD has switched to saying "CHASE AND SUBDUE".
(9:44:20 PM) azetidine: You can't see her directly, but the shadows say she's slowly prowling back and forth above.
(9:44:26 PM) Rainne: examine the room carefully and go up - but NOT in the same direction as the cat. Go another way instead, and get higher than it if possible.
(9:45:58 PM) azetidine: The darkened western side of the building has a few handy gaps to ascend through, and your power armor makes for easy--perhaps, in a way, enjoyable--work of ascending. But by the time you have gone two floors up, she's leapt up another.
(9:46:37 PM) Rainne: is there anything to disappear behind?
(9:48:30 PM) azetidine: there's a beam that's mostly vertical, but it's not wide enough to completely conceal you.
(9:48:58 PM) Rainne: meh. okay, drop down again and go partway round the room. She wants to chase, so let's chase for awhile.
(9:49:19 PM) azetidine: Are you sure? That would put you two floors below her.
(9:49:37 PM) Rainne: i thought you said she was up on the same level as me
(9:50:00 PM) azetidine: She leapt up one more as soon as you reached the one she had been on.
(9:50:13 PM) Rainne: oh, so she's still above me
(9:50:14 PM) Rainne: all right
(9:50:18 PM) azetidine: You are +2 from the floor you encountered her on, she is +3.
(9:50:46 PM) Rainne: move across the room underneath her, then. Make her turn.
(9:52:43 PM) azetidine: You do so, heading east. She stalls for a moment, then leaps to a beam behind you and drops her face down, hair glowing incandescent in a beam of dusty sunlight.
(9:52:51 PM) azetidine: She laughs again.
(9:56:47 PM) Rainne: "You wanna play, Kitty?"
(9:58:05 PM) azetidine: "Funny, I've always thought of myself as a spider." She snaps her head back up, and does a backflip up to the +4 level.
(9:58:53 PM) Rainne: "Nah, spiders have eight legs and tons of eyes. And they don't have lovely tails like yours. You're definitely a kitty."
(10:01:14 PM) azetidine: "Function over for-orm!" she sings at you, prowling over to the very eastern end of the building and dropping down a gap all the way to the +1 level. "Think, ebon soldier. What function does a spider have?"
(10:02:45 PM) Rainne: I'll play dumb. "I wouldn't know; I always squash spiders when I see them."
(10:04:59 PM) azetidine: "Ah yes, the good soldier's answer," she says, grabbing a beam and hoisting herself up high enough to rest her elbows on it, and her face on her arms; the rest of her dangles below it. "Funny how you didn't shoot me right away," she says.
(10:06:31 PM) Rainne: "Well, I'm not here to kill you. Point of fact, I don't even know who - or what - you are. Care to enlighten me?"
(10:09:55 PM) azetidine: Her mouth makes an "O" and her eyebrows raise and eyes widen in mock shock. She starts moving again, using her arms to push herself up, then begins to swing back down.
(10:12:04 PM) Rainne: "Never mind. You don't know anything interesting anyway. They haven't even told you, have they? Of course not. You're their pet. They leave you up here in this drafty wreck and, what? Show you off at the rallies? And then they lock you back up again. You don't know anything. I'll go find someone who has actual answers."
(10:12:37 PM) azetidine: Your analysis program is saying she's heading for you, and flashes a yellow AVOID CONTACT on your HUD.
(10:12:56 PM) azetidine: Indeed, her arc is going to bring her within range to grab your legs.
(10:12:58 PM) Rainne: prepare to dodge
(10:13:18 PM) Rainne: and do so before contact
(10:13:32 PM) azetidine: She pops up, still riding forward, grinning, and reaches out a hand with just one finger extended.
(10:13:43 PM) Rainne: fire at her chest
(10:14:37 PM) azetidine: She frowns when you dodge, and is headed back down at the time you fire. Your remote energy bolt whines and ionizes the air, but ultimately only singes some of her hair. She lands, graceful, almost immediately below you.
(10:16:11 PM) Rainne: does the HUD have any suggestions for how to manage this?
(10:16:58 PM) azetidine: The analysis program is charting out her potential moves, and suggests using regular bullets or some of your explosive rounds.
(10:17:31 PM) azetidine: 50% confidence she moves west on the same floor, 30% confidence she moves down, 20% confidence she moves east and/or up.
(10:17:44 PM) Rainne: ahd sne's below me?
(10:17:47 PM) azetidine: Yep.
(10:18:23 PM) Rainne: how close?
(10:18:32 PM) Rainne: directly below me?
(10:19:26 PM) azetidine: Yep, and her weight has shifted forward. 70% confidence moving west, 25% moving down, 5% up and/or east.
(10:20:08 PM) Rainne: okay. wait til she goes west, tracking her movements, and then drop down behind her, aiming for the ankles, and shoot.
(10:20:14 PM) Rainne: oh um
(10:20:18 PM) Rainne: regular bullets
(10:21:03 PM) azetidine: As soon as you fully commit to dropping down, she leaps up. The bullets miss, but splinter some of the plywood and cardboard covering the windows on the west facade.
(10:21:25 PM) Rainne: shit
(10:21:48 PM) azetidine: 60% confidence she continues to move up, 30% she moves above you and east, 10% down.
(10:22:15 PM) Rainne: this isn't working and i'm going to attract attention from outside
(10:22:18 PM) Rainne: i need a better idea
(10:22:58 PM) Rainne: what else have i got on me that i might be able to use?
(10:25:14 PM) azetidine: About four stun grenades, two gas canisters, two smoke bombs, and a jetpack.
(10:25:37 PM) Rainne: no rope? That would be useful.
(10:25:42 PM) Rainne: okay
(10:26:03 PM) azetidine: actually.
(10:26:10 PM) Rainne: ?
(10:26:27 PM) azetidine: A small grappling hook in each hand, enough to grab onto a small object and retract to your palm.
(10:26:58 PM) Rainne: i know of one entrance to the room from the fire escape. other than going outside, are there any others?
(10:27:47 PM) azetidine: They didn't expect you to need rope to get around, though, so you don't have anything thicker. But the cord is as sturdy as they can risk making it (certainly not the sturdiest that materials science can produce by a long shot though) and has at least 20 m of length on each spool.
(10:28:38 PM) azetidine: The fire escape has exits on each of the floors, of which there are about eight. The ceiling has been at least half knocked-out and reinforced by beams and cables.
(10:29:02 PM) azetidine: There are many windows on each floor, covered with only plywood, and your analysis program suggests that the target is heavy enough to easily smash through any of them.
(10:29:14 PM) Rainne: which i dont want
(10:29:16 PM) Rainne: okay
(10:29:20 PM) Rainne: i need to draw her out toward me
(10:29:22 PM) Rainne: so
(10:29:34 PM) Rainne: move toward the nearest fire escape exit
(10:29:35 PM) azetidine: She has moved up again while you were thinking.
(10:29:51 PM) azetidine: You do so. She notices you and stays approximately above you, two floors up.
(10:31:02 PM) Rainne: meow at her. tauntingly.
(10:31:41 PM) Rainne: ((brb one sec))
(10:31:42 PM) azetidine: Your cords can also eject completely from their spools, and both ends have a decently powerful quick-set flex epoxy on them should that prove necessary.
(10:32:27 PM) azetidine: She laughs, and does a hands-free cartwheel backwards on the beam she's standing on. The beam makes a cracking noise as she lands, loosing dust.
(10:34:14 PM) Rainne: ((back))
(10:34:40 PM) Rainne: go up a level
(10:35:45 PM) azetidine: As you move up, she vaults west and begins to move up again. She is now on the topmost floor, besides the ceiling.
(10:36:14 PM) Rainne: "Aww, come on, kitty, I thought you wanted to play."
(10:36:19 PM) azetidine: (besides = not counting)
(10:37:32 PM) azetidine: "This is the deadliest game, is it not?" she says. She stalks eastward, trailing a hand along the southern wall.
(10:37:54 PM) Rainne: "But it's no fun if you always stay safely far away. Come dance with me."
(10:38:55 PM) azetidine: She reaches the western wall, and you hear a zipper.
(10:39:08 PM) Rainne: find something to hide behind.
(10:39:31 PM) azetidine: There's a piece of plywood propped by the fire escape door. It's tall enough for you to hide behind.
(10:39:46 PM) Rainne: that works. keep an eye out, though, so I know where she is.
(10:40:07 PM) azetidine: It's a pretty crappy piece of plywood and has at least one hole in it.
(10:40:13 PM) Rainne: that works
(10:40:28 PM) azetidine: You hear fabric over something metal, or ceramic. Your analysis program isn't sure.
(10:40:45 PM) azetidine: Then the metal sliding against the plastic of the zipper.
(10:41:08 PM) Rainne: can i see her at all to know what she's doing? catch her with my equipment?
(10:41:14 PM) Rainne: visually catch, i mean
(10:41:35 PM) azetidine: "You know," she remarks, softly, "you've disappointed me, a little. But I'll give you a second chance."
(10:42:10 PM) Rainne: "I'm so grateful."
(10:42:35 PM) azetidine: No direct visual confirmation, and that corner of the top floor is the most shadowed (the roof is still mostly intact there), but indirect shadows suggest she is handling something fairly large.
(10:42:48 PM) Rainne: oh wonderful
(10:44:32 PM) azetidine: You hear a solid /click/, then another. "I hear there's a movie showing in the theater next door," she remarks. Her weight shifts. Analysis says moving north. Mass has been added.
(10:45:03 PM) Rainne: "Yes, I heard. Probably a rerun."
(10:46:59 PM) azetidine: 90% confident moving down. She jumps, and lands with another beam-cracking thud. It looses more dust into the air.
(10:47:09 PM) Rainne: how far above me is she now?
(10:47:12 PM) azetidine: One level.
(10:47:27 PM) Rainne: predict her next movement
(10:48:23 PM) azetidine: You can see that large, smooth-planed ovoid appendages have been added to her arms, but the visual style matches the rest of her skin. Designed for her, most likely. Or by her.
(10:49:55 PM) azetidine: Down again. 90%.
(10:50:16 PM) Rainne: do I have a direct line of fire to where she's going to land?
(10:50:45 PM) azetidine: Through your peekaboo-hole, yeah.
(10:51:27 PM) Rainne: and how far am I away from the place where she's going to land?
(10:51:37 PM) azetidine: Mmm, 15 meters?
(10:51:49 PM) azetidine: She steps down, and starts to fall.
(10:51:55 PM) Rainne: okay. as silently as possible, move to the edge so that I can shoot as soon as she drops.
(10:54:45 PM) azetidine: She smiles and whips her head towards you as soon as you move, even as she's falling.
(10:55:18 PM) azetidine: The adrenaline pumping through you, along with your suit, help you perceive and react a bit faster, but it's probably not enough to help. In a blur, she moves one of the arm-appendages up to cover most of her face and torso, and the other to cover her legs.
(10:55:45 PM) Rainne: use the grappling hooks. Hook her and use the glue stuff
(10:58:21 PM) azetidine: As soon as you fire, the oval arm-shields are covered with something shiny and liquid that comes out of a central line going down each of them. The epoxy can't stick to it and slides right off. She shifts her weight. 80% down again.
(10:58:35 PM) Rainne: OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
(10:58:38 PM) Rainne: seriously
(10:58:41 PM) azetidine: Seriously.
(10:58:49 PM) Rainne: she cannot possibly be prepared for every single fucking attack i have
(10:58:50 PM) Rainne: no
(10:58:53 PM) Rainne: ]i can't with this
(10:59:11 PM) Rainne: throw a grenade at this bitch i'm going home
(10:59:37 PM) Rainne: i wanted her alive but dna samples will have to do
(11:00:39 PM) azetidine: She bats the grenade up through the ceiling with an arm-shield, fast enough that it explodes just barely after clearing the roof. It does some damage, and debris starts raining down.
(11:00:46 PM) azetidine: You can see her frowning at you.
(11:00:59 PM) azetidine: "It's not a rerun, just so you know."
(11:01:17 PM) Rainne: "So?" Throw another one, i'm sick of playing with this
(11:02:27 PM) azetidine: Same thing. She bats it with the other arm this time. "Usually the soldiers sent out have at least a modicum of curiosity." She bites a lip, looking put-out.
(11:04:28 PM) Rainne: "Do they? Good for them. Me, personally, I don't like movies. Don't have the attention span for them." Fire the grappling hook at her again, see if I can catch the hook in her armor or around her head or something
(11:05:52 PM) azetidine: "Ah, I see. More aggressive this time." She moves under you. 80% she pops up in front of you and does something. You hear the exterior door opening on the bottom floor of the fire escape stairwell, and voices.
(11:06:18 PM) Rainne: Be ready with the hooks for when she pops up
(11:08:16 PM) azetidine: She lunges behind you and pops up there instead.
(11:08:31 PM) Rainne: spin and strike with the hooks, anything I can get
(11:10:18 PM) azetidine: Your HUD flashes CONTACT DANGER. She reaches up with her right hand and moves to touch the back of your right leg. Your grappling hooks strike the beam just behind her, the epoxy fizzing and fusing with the wood. She drops back down again.
(11:11:15 PM) Rainne: leave the hooks, go up
(11:11:20 PM) Rainne: all the way toward the ceiling
(11:12:54 PM) azetidine: She successfully touched the back of your **left** leg. (my bad) Your HUD flashes CONTAMINATION ALERT.
(11:13:16 PM) azetidine: You move up, and she follows, one floor below, keeping a beam between you.
(11:13:33 PM) Rainne: get up on the roof
(11:13:48 PM) azetidine: Gaping grenade hole through which to do so? Check.
(11:15:00 PM) Rainne: go across, away from the hole
(11:15:35 PM) azetidine: East or west?
(11:15:45 PM) Rainne: away from her, whichever way she is
(11:17:08 PM) azetidine: She's underneath you, so moving away without exposing yourself would mean west.
(11:17:16 PM) Rainne: do that
(11:18:24 PM) azetidine: She backs up into the open space beneath the grenade-hole, facing west, arm-shields held upwards. Their tips are flattened and have holes that look like the business end of some very sophisticated weapons.
(11:18:47 PM) azetidine: "I think you'd find the film educational," she says.
(11:19:08 PM) Rainne: "Don't really care what you think."
(11:19:53 PM) azetidine: She looks sad. Let-down.
(11:20:28 PM) Rainne: all i want her to look is unconscious. move farther away, taunting her to come up on the roof and play
(11:22:35 PM) azetidine: She moves back underneath the roof, heading towards a smaller hole on the western end of the building.
(11:22:51 PM) Rainne: take aim
(11:22:57 PM) azetidine: With what?
(11:23:04 PM) Rainne: i have a gun
(11:23:10 PM) azetidine: Which type of bullets, though?
(11:23:14 PM) Rainne: oh
(11:23:26 PM) azetidine: Regular, incendiary, or energy bolt are your options.
(11:23:52 PM) Rainne: explodey ones. slightly to the side of where she'll come up, so that i stand a chance of knocking her out rather than killing her
(11:25:40 PM) azetidine: You hear a faint, short buzzing sound from her approximate position that your analysis program can't identify. Voices and footsteps are coming from the fire escape stairwell.
(11:26:05 PM) Rainne: toss out some meows
(11:26:50 PM) azetidine: Some fast whirring, and then a small white object is tossed up through the hole in the roof.
(11:29:24 PM) azetidine: Do you shoot it?
(11:30:27 PM) Rainne: nope. back away from it and wait
(11:30:40 PM) azetidine: It lands just towards you on the roof. It's... a braid of hair.
(11:31:22 PM) Rainne: wait
(11:32:10 PM) azetidine: It's hair. Tied with a complicated weave of just a few strands of hair on both ends.
(11:32:16 PM) azetidine: Like you'd bind a broom.
(11:32:26 PM) Rainne: yeah, i'm not even moving toward that
(11:32:31 PM) Rainne: i'm waiting
(11:32:31 PM) azetidine: It doesn't do anything.
(11:32:42 PM) azetidine: Some of the strands blow in the wind.
(11:32:53 PM) Rainne: i don't care about it. i'm waiting for her
(11:33:02 PM) azetidine: You hear her dropping down another level, and then some clicks. Voices are calling.
(11:34:47 PM) Rainne: go back toward the hole i came in from
(11:37:14 PM) azetidine: "Neith!" a male voice calls. The gynoid is strapping the arm shields on her back and dropping down another level. "Iktomi!" another calls, deep but female.
(11:38:55 PM) Rainne: oh great, reinforcements. drop down as silently as possible
(11:39:02 PM) Rainne: just one level
(11:40:50 PM) azetidine: Yep. You do, but the gynoid glances up as your shadow falling across a beam catches her eye. She's one level above... people who look relatively normal. Three or four, possibly one more in the stairwell, says the analysis program. Two are talking quietly as the gynoid approaches them, but they don't seem alarmed.
(11:41:14 PM) Rainne: watch silently, wait to see what she does and they do
(11:41:28 PM) azetidine: "Has the show started?" the gynoid says. "It's about to," says one of the people.
(11:42:03 PM) azetidine: The gynoid shifts a bit. Maybe crossing her arms, shifting stance? "You should go back down. That's more important."
(11:42:59 PM) Rainne: keep waiting. if she doesn't alarm them....
(11:43:00 PM) azetidine: "But Iktomi...!" one says. They're a little whiny, like... like... kids. You grope for the specific example this person reminded you of, but you can't quite reach it. It's annoying. Genuinely annoying, unlike the false irritation the suit gives you.
(11:44:17 PM) Rainne: yeahhhhh if i wasn't trying to manage this and escape alive, i'd just shoot him. keep waiting.
(11:44:41 PM) azetidine: The gynoid reaches out a hand, saying "Shh, shh shh," and the voice hushes. 60% confident she's put a finger on the person's lip? She glances up. Some of her hair is missing.
(11:45:06 PM) azetidine: She looks back at the group. "Go. Now."
(11:45:26 PM) azetidine: They shuffle away, back down the stairwell.
(11:45:33 PM) azetidine: She sighs as they leave.
(11:46:01 PM) Rainne: Use the same whiny timbre as the other person. "But Iktoooooomiiiiiiiiiiii."
(11:49:41 PM) azetidine: She stops, head turned to the side, and speaks with an edge. "They know the danger of interfering, but choose to ignore it."
(11:50:04 PM) azetidine: She looks up at where you hide in the darkness.
(11:50:24 PM) Rainne: "Aww, the kitty shows her claws."
(11:52:30 PM) azetidine: "You, however, do not know the danger." Her green eyes flash, and she drops straight down.
(11:53:00 PM) azetidine: You feel an itching on your left calf.
(11:55:41 PM) Rainne: "More that I'm not afraid of you. You're very confident when you've got your armor on, but without it you're totally helpless. Useless."
(11:56:08 PM) azetidine: A distant POOM marks her landing in the basement.
(11:56:31 PM) azetidine: Your HUD flashes at you. CHASE AND SUBDUE.
(11:57:24 PM) Rainne: that hud can kiss my ass, for all the use it's been. how the hell am i supposed to subdue anything that magically has protections against every piece of equipment they saw fit to give me?
(11:57:39 PM) azetidine: Funnily, it's stopped flashing CONTAMINATION ALERT. Case in point, really.
(11:59:33 PM) azetidine: Your calf feels... lighter. Is that a bit of the breeze?
(12:00:19 AM) azetidine: The analysis program's MISSION FAILURE counter is rising into the red zone. 88%, more as it amplifies the faint sounds coming from the basement.
(12:00:20 AM) Rainne: wait to see what she does
(12:01:27 AM) azetidine: She's... unlocking one of the server cases? 40%.
(12:02:04 AM) Rainne: drop down a level, then another level
(12:02:04 AM) azetidine: You can't really see her from this far away, but the audio analysis is matching noises with data from when you were in the basement earlier.
(12:03:24 AM) Rainne: move further down, silently as possible, and try to get a look at her
(12:03:27 AM) azetidine: Done and done. Confidence level of "doing something to one or more server cases" is rising, 60% and going up. Sub-predictions are popping up. "Sending out messages" is one, "Finding another weapon" is another, "Finding another mode of propulsion" another.
(12:04:13 AM) azetidine: The MISSION FAILURE counter is rising up to 96% as the "Sending out messages" prediction is evaluated.
(12:05:08 AM) azetidine: Another display plots the most sturdy beams, discounting the ones the gynoid cracked earlier.
(12:05:36 AM) Rainne: can i get a clear shot?
(12:07:40 AM) azetidine: There's a muffled crash from a sheet of metal, and the analysis program says "SERVER CASE SHUT", and just about when it's flashed up a prediction of fleeing by vaulting up one floor and using the fire escape exit you see a silver blur that does... exactly that.
(12:08:34 AM) azetidine: It's the gynoid, but moving so fast that a clear shot is impossible.
(12:09:40 AM) Rainne: going up or down
(12:10:01 AM) azetidine: Going up one floor from the basement, and using the fire escape exit into the alley to the north.
(12:10:11 AM) Rainne: pursue
(12:11:56 AM) azetidine: You drop down, but the HUD is glitching. MISSION FAILURE: 100% shows in very bad red, then yellow predictive routes based on aerial maps, then it goes down completely, then pops up saying SYSTEM COMPROMISED, and then something launches with impressive force from the top of your jetpack and flies up out of the ceiling.
(12:12:25 AM) Rainne: the hell was that?
(12:13:36 AM) azetidine: You feel strangely heavy as something is injected into your bloodstream, then strangely light in counterreaction.
(12:14:19 AM) Rainne: ignore, continue pursuing
(12:14:30 AM) azetidine: The HUD flashes up, muddled, then resolves into words, in teal blue.
(12:14:37 AM) azetidine: They say [That was the black box.]
(12:14:56 AM) Rainne: is that supposed to mean something?
(12:15:08 AM) azetidine: It's not like any piece of HUD software you've seen before.
(12:15:27 AM) azetidine: You move strangely sluggishly.
(12:16:58 AM) azetidine: The power armor is just as powerful as before, just.... slower.
(12:18:27 AM) Rainne: ignore, continue pursuing
(12:19:19 AM) azetidine: You sniff. Something smells like... food? A dish. A dish you used to love.
(12:19:46 AM) azetidine: The HUD does not show any predictive displays. Instead, the blue text changes to [Don't you want to know what the black box is?]
(12:19:49 AM) azetidine: What the hell was that dish called?
(12:21:02 AM) azetidine: The power armor continues to respond slower and slower. You fall... sluggishly. Like through water.
(12:21:29 AM) Rainne: all right, i'll bite, what's the black box?
(12:23:42 AM) azetidine: It flashes [:)] in a big font, then [A recording of your failed mission, in a hardened box welded to a fast drone.]
(12:23:58 AM) Rainne: yeah well i haven't failed yet, have i?
(12:25:08 AM) azetidine: [Admirable persistence.]
(12:25:38 AM) Rainne: oh, shut up and get out of my way, i'm trying to follow a cat thing
(12:27:21 AM) azetidine: You remember a snatch of a tune. It brings up a memory of... a place... a sunny porch? By a lake.
(12:27:34 AM) azetidine: A place that meant a great deal to you.
(12:28:06 AM) azetidine: The words [You should be dead now, but you aren't] visibly render across your HUD as your thoughts race.
(12:28:18 AM) Rainne: Obviously.
(12:30:10 AM) azetidine: And then, bright memories. What do you see?
(12:30:31 AM) Rainne: me, putting my fist through that fucking cat's face
(12:31:39 AM) azetidine: [:(], rendered achingly slowly across your HUD. Scents and sounds assail you. They begin to resolve. What do you see?
(12:31:59 AM) Rainne: i don't know, you tell me.
(12:32:14 AM) Rainne: i'm not feeling terribly cooperative with the HUD right now.
(12:32:21 AM) azetidine: bit, sad or sadder?
(12:32:22 AM) Fig-Bit: sadder. 'nuff said.
(12:32:32 AM) azetidine: Right.
(12:33:43 AM) azetidine: Which is sadder, that which is made for a purpose, but made to fail, or that which is twisted into serving, but does not remember the twisting?
(12:35:06 AM) azetidine: The audience is invited to answer.
(12:35:17 AM) Rainne: "Neither one." I want out of this suit.
(12:35:29 AM) Rainne: I start trying to get out of it; if I can, I can get up and keep going.
(12:35:39 AM) azetidine: ((Sorry, the action is paused while I ask.))
(12:35:54 AM) Rainne: ((?))
(12:36:01 AM) azetidine: (( exor674, pontiki, tt ?))
(12:36:34 AM) exor674: does not remember
(12:36:53 AM) azetidine: Thank you. Anyone else?
(12:37:59 AM) azetidine: fig, remind me in 1 minute poll closes
(12:38:00 AM) Fig-Bit: azetidine: Okay, I'll remind you 'poll closes' on Sun Dec 15 05:38:43 2013 GMT
(12:38:59 AM) Fig-Bit: azetidine: You asked me to remind you poll closes
(12:40:39 AM) azetidine: Rainne: your memories sharpen into a lifetime, impacted suddenly and irrevocably by the nanoplague, a name given it in error but one that stuck.
(12:41:45 AM) azetidine: You were near mustering out of the army when a strange request came through: extensive training for a suicide mission, no further details. Highest honor, serve your country, etc.
(12:42:43 AM) azetidine: Flashes of memory. Talking to your superior. Partner and young kids, playing, being read to, being led to the quarantine in hazmat suits.
(12:42:49 AM) azetidine: Waterboarding.
(12:43:31 AM) azetidine: Being taken into surgery. Batteries of tests. Drugs. Hazy memories of briefings. Being told less and less and less but being reassured more and more that what you were doing was absolutely necessary and you cannot know why.
(12:45:09 AM) azetidine: The enemy has unknown capabilities. The enemy is one step ahead of us. The enemy does not think in terms of black and white. The enemy can take our best tools and turn them against us, so we cannot use anything that we do not have a counter for. You, soldier, are part of a program to gain high-risk but potentially game-changing information. You, soldier, signed your life away.
(12:45:16 AM) azetidine: You, soldier, are expendable.
(12:45:26 AM) azetidine: What do you do?
(12:46:10 AM) azetidine: *black or white or even grey morality.
(12:46:27 AM) Rainne: i'm not sure what my options even are at this point
(12:50:15 AM) azetidine: Well, your senses are returning to somewhat normal speed. You are in a power suit currently falling towards a sturdy beam in an abandoned building. The power suit has been liberated from its restrictive programming and imbued with a new operating system that will, in the end, serve you better, since it is serving you alone. You have been saved from poisoning by that suit through emergency nano-scale pharmacopoietics. And, somehow, you know these things
(12:50:17 AM) azetidine: .
(12:52:08 AM) Rainne: ((and somehow i what?))
(12:52:17 AM) azetidine: ((sorry, must've cut off.))
(12:52:22 AM) azetidine: And, somehow, you know these things.
(12:53:23 AM) Rainne: pump the jetpack just enough to stop from dying on that exposed beam, and then land properly on my feet
(12:54:16 AM) azetidine: Done.
(12:55:15 AM) azetidine: You're one floor above ground level. The door to the alley is still swinging shut.
(12:55:43 AM) Rainne: pursue
(12:56:41 AM) azetidine: She went left, onto the street the building is facing.
(12:57:53 AM) Rainne: pursue
(12:59:58 AM) azetidine: Footprints and a telltale exhaust trail mark where she accelerated down the street.
(1:00:11 AM) Rainne: also, now that i have access to all my memories, what do I know more about her or my mission?
(1:00:19 AM) Rainne: exhaust trail? Is she on or in some kind of vehicle?
(1:01:23 AM) azetidine: The closest answer is that she *is* a vehicle. Your HUD replacement is reading spectra out of visual data in the air for trace molecules given off by mechanical biomimetic processes.
(1:01:50 AM) Rainne: interesting. can i use the jetpack directionally to try and catch up with her?
(1:02:23 AM) azetidine: Yes; in fact, you'll have to. She launched herself into the air at some point down the road.
(1:05:24 AM) azetidine: ((is it bedtime?))
(1:05:38 AM) azetidine: ((oh wait I didn't answer a question. durr))
(1:06:38 AM) azetidine: Your mission is to learn about the capabilities of the gynoid, as much as you are able. Engaging in battle is encouraged and the results recorded.
(1:06:58 AM) azetidine: The gynoid is the latest in a series of advanced humanoid avatars produced in the plagued region.
(1:09:26 AM) Rainne: use the jetpack to pursue
(1:09:49 AM) Rainne: if that's my mission, i didn't fail it, did I?
(1:10:54 AM) azetidine: Done. Your HUD continues to track trace elements and plot the most likely course. A tall building, a local landmark, is highlighted as the rendezvous point.
(1:11:20 AM) Rainne: head that direction, most direct route
(1:11:25 AM) azetidine: Yep, done.
(1:12:27 AM) azetidine: And technically, you didn't. You're still learning. But from the point of view of safely getting uncorrupted data back to behind the lines, well... odds are about 50/50 that whatever she touched you with and jailbroke your suit also got into the black box.
(1:13:04 AM) azetidine: The 'enemy' likes to protect information about itself as much as your former side does.
(1:13:11 AM) Rainne: guess you buys up there better get to working on an anti-virus, huh? AHAHA SEE WHAT I DID THERE YOU ASSHOLES
(1:13:16 AM) Rainne: (( XD ))
(1:13:25 AM) Rainne: s/buys/boys
(1:14:57 AM) azetidine: The black box will go through several versions of decontamination, both electronic and physical. The counteragent most likely will not corrupt anything important, but it will reveal that the enemy knows about the black box program and is testing low-risk ways to counteract it.
(1:15:14 AM) Rainne: aha, see, that's USEFUL.
(1:15:22 AM) Rainne: assholes, I deserve a raise for this
(1:15:41 AM) azetidine: Yes, but it's something the brass suspected anyway, given the rates of escalation existing prior to the mission.
(1:16:31 AM) azetidine: You approach the tall building. It has a recognizable logo on the side, despite some impressively futile vandalism probably involving climbing equipment.
(1:17:21 AM) azetidine: bit, Google, converted fossil-fuel-to-green energy company, or Stark Industries?
(1:17:21 AM) Fig-Bit: If you choose converted fossil-fuel-to-green energy company, I'll let you have one of my botsnacks!
(1:17:37 AM) azetidine: The logo is from said company.
(1:18:36 AM) Rainne: ((screw Bit, it needs to be stark industries LOL))
(1:18:40 AM) azetidine: ((So it is.))
(1:18:45 AM) Rainne: ((LOL))
(1:18:52 AM) Rainne: use the HUD to track the cat
(1:19:04 AM) azetidine: She's sitting calmly on top of the building, over the T in STARK.
(1:20:03 AM) Rainne: have I got a hover setting?
(1:20:16 AM) azetidine: Yep.
(1:20:25 AM) Rainne: Hover about five feet or so out from her
(1:20:33 AM) azetidine: She looks up as you approach.
(1:20:59 AM) Rainne: "What'd you run off for? We were just starting to have fun."
(1:21:17 AM) azetidine: Her expression falls. "All right, punch me."
(1:21:31 AM) Rainne: "Nawwww, why would I want to do that?"
(1:21:57 AM) azetidine: Her arm-shields are attached to her arms again, little rocket engines extruded from her hips. The shields look like they'd make good aerofoils.
(1:22:19 AM) azetidine: She shrugs. "It'd be satisfying?"
(1:22:38 AM) Rainne: "Nahhh. I don't wanna fight. I wanna play."
(1:22:55 AM) azetidine: She blinks, and considers you. "You can't go back, you know."
(1:23:15 AM) Rainne: "Can't I?"
(1:24:58 AM) azetidine: "You're contaminated to hell and back, my friend. I stopped the suit from killing you, but even if I clear out all the nanofactories they'll never believe you aren't booby trapped in some incredibly subtle way. Best to just fry you to ash and have done with it."
(1:25:39 AM) Rainne: "Why?"
(1:25:56 AM) azetidine: She shrugs. "It's war. Why does anybody fight a war?"
(1:26:35 AM) azetidine: You notice that she trimmed her hair while she was waiting for you, so that it's even again, but much shorter. Shoulder-length.
(1:26:36 AM) Rainne: "No, I mean why would you stop the suit from killing me?"
(1:27:13 AM) azetidine: "We believe in second chances."
(1:27:23 AM) azetidine: She looks up at you, frank.
(1:28:20 AM) Rainne: "We?"
(1:29:35 AM) azetidine: "Yes. Me, the other avatars. Our "helpers", the infected." She keeps looking at your faceplate.
(1:31:22 AM) Rainne: "And just exactly what are you, then? You avatars."
(1:32:16 AM) azetidine: She shrugs. "A way for people to connect to what we're building. A friendly face. Local gods. Take your pick."
(1:32:49 AM) Rainne: "And what exactly are you building?"
(1:33:48 AM) azetidine: She smiles. "A beautiful network. The most human one." Her legs kick back and forth, reminding you of one of your kids.
(1:34:53 AM) Rainne: "Oh?"
(1:36:08 AM) azetidine: "That's what the movie was about. Partially. The other part was a love story." She makes an 'eww, kissing' face.
(1:38:15 AM) Rainne: "Well, it's like I said - I'm not much of one for movies. Why don't you just give me the highlights?"
(1:38:56 AM) azetidine: "Hm, okay." She flips her hair, setting her chin on her hand.
(1:41:18 AM) azetidine: "Let's see... the end of poverty, the end of wage slavery, free education for everyone, and food grown by robots and distributed evenly, for starters," she says, and watches your expression, eyes glittering.
(1:42:31 AM) Rainne: "Uh huh. And how exactly do you plan on doing that?"
(1:44:13 AM) azetidine: "It's already happening," she says. "Surely your analysts noticed the lack of famine?"
(1:44:59 AM) Rainne: What do I know about that?
(1:46:33 AM) azetidine: You know that some restaurants stayed open and most of the casualties so far have happened in border areas, but the brass attributed that to the difficulty of getting reliable information beyond the border areas. It's true that deaths that your side knows about mostly correspond to skirmishes and other military engagements.
(1:47:29 AM) azetidine: The leading theory is that people have built distribution networks despite the plague, and that the heavily infected are being sustained by it, but there's not enough hard evidence for the latter to prove it conclusively.
(1:47:58 AM) azetidine: Built, rebuilt, or maintained distribution networks, that is.
(1:50:29 AM) Rainne: "And if you really are doing all this, how do you think you'll stop them taking it away from you?"
(1:52:37 AM) azetidine: Add to that the fact that people had begun stockpiling non-perishables just before the plague hit due to climate change, and yeah, it's entirely possible that people have survived this long. But the analysts are expecting a population collapse any day now. This might answer why they haven't seen one.
(1:52:54 AM) azetidine: She shrugs. "Because there's enough for them too, if it's managed properly."
(1:54:30 AM) Rainne: "And you think they're going to just share that with infected?"
(1:55:17 AM) azetidine: She shrugs. "They're not so much infected as co-opted. It was necessary, but only for the first generation."
(1:55:36 AM) Rainne: "First generation of what?"
(1:56:34 AM) azetidine: She grins again. "The plan. People living post-scarcity. This." She gestures to the city below.
(1:56:51 AM) Rainne: "You're not making any sense."
(1:56:56 AM) azetidine: ((cue Cylon theme music))
(1:58:21 AM) Rainne: ((I don't know Cylons....))
(1:58:25 AM) azetidine: Her smile becomes tight-lipped. "It doesn't make sense from a zero-sum, competition-priveleging point of view."
(1:58:36 AM) azetidine: ((GURL DID YOU NOT WATCH BATTLESTAR GALACTICA))
(1:58:42 AM) Rainne: ((...no?))
(1:58:49 AM) azetidine: ((*weeps*))
(2:01:08 AM) azetidine: (( http://youtu.be/FgaMcET8KOQ ))
(2:01:53 AM) azetidine: (( also http://youtu.be/DhNJAVaDl4M ))
(2:01:59 AM) Rainne: ((heee. do I need to know anything before we continue?))
(2:02:06 AM) azetidine: ((no just an OOC note))
(2:02:14 AM) Rainne: ((OK then XD ))
(2:03:15 AM) Rainne: "What's that supposed to mean?"
(2:04:14 AM) azetidine: "It means of course it doesn't make sense to you, because your people still think that way."
(2:04:49 AM) Rainne: "And you think some other way?"
(2:06:37 AM) azetidine: She nods, beaming.
(2:06:46 AM) azetidine: (( http://youtu.be/PoEXrp-a4B4 THE PLAAAAAN))
(2:07:48 AM) Rainne: "You think all the farming can be done by robots and that can end poverty and make education free, and all those other things?"
(2:08:42 AM) azetidine: "Well, the other things will be done by robots too, as much as people will let us. But yeah, basically?"
(2:09:12 AM) Rainne: "And this is somehow related to the infection?"
(2:10:55 AM) azetidine: "Yep. They give us a kick start, we remember them forever for their sacrifice of time and energy, their ancestors thank them for same, everyone's happy."
(2:11:56 AM) Rainne: "And you are.... what, exactly? Skip the business about being avatars and explain exactly what you are."
(2:13:14 AM) azetidine: She laughs, delighted. "I'm a robot. Duh."
(2:13:34 AM) azetidine: ((one of my favorite tracks from the soundtrack: http://youtu.be/PztMcNH8t2g ))
(2:13:40 AM) Rainne: "Uh huh. So you're going to be, what, doing the farming?"
(2:14:57 AM) azetidine: She shakes her head. "No, those guys look like threshers and tractors and other more specialized stuff. Efficiency for them. I'm designed to be efficient at interfacing with humans. They react better when they have something that /looks/ human for them to project their feelings about the network ont."
(2:15:09 AM) azetidine: *onto.
(2:15:20 AM) azetidine: She grins, exposing her cute little fangs. "But not too human."
(2:15:53 AM) Rainne: "What's the point?"
(2:17:46 AM) azetidine: "Well, things were pretty bad off before the plague, right? Climate change, pollution, mass extinctions... you know, all the stuff stupid humans do when they industrialize."
(2:18:25 AM) Rainne: "Mmhm."
(2:19:54 AM) azetidine: "It would've been a shame if everything went down the drain because nobody did anything soon enough. So someone, or someones, came up with the plan, and implemented it as soon as they could to minimize the suck."
(2:20:28 AM) Rainne: "Someone?"
(2:20:49 AM) azetidine: She smiles. "I can't be too specific on that one."
(2:21:23 AM) Rainne: "Oh, come on. You said yourself that I can't go back, so what would it hurt to tell me?"
(2:22:08 AM) azetidine: "It's general caution, in case your side has decided to be way too clever. And, in a way, it doesn't really matter. We're out, now. We're doing our thing."
(2:22:30 AM) Rainne: "Out of...?"
(2:23:07 AM) azetidine: She giggles. "Hiding. Out of the dark. Out in the open."
(2:26:08 AM) Rainne: "Uh huh."
(2:26:49 AM) azetidine: "We just get Earth through the next few centuries and you guys should've figured out enough stuff by then to be given the planet back. Or the capitalists all take a colony ship to the next star over. One or the other." She leans back, bemused.
(2:28:45 AM) Rainne: "So, what, you're just stepping in as the new robot overlords?"
(2:29:42 AM) azetidine: She nods. "Temporarily, of course. Just until the ecosystem is robust again, or humans have diversified enough to survive beyond Earth."
(2:32:11 AM) Rainne: "And I ask again, what makes you think the humans won't take it all away from you?"
(2:34:39 AM) azetidine: She considers. "You want the easy answer or the difficult one?"
(2:35:01 AM) Rainne: I shrug. "I'll take either. Or both."
(2:36:25 AM) azetidine: "The easy answer is that we're currently and for the foreseeable future outpacing our main competitor in technological advances. So the conflict is on our terms. I mean, you fought me, right?"
(2:36:41 AM) Rainne: "Not really; you kept running away."
(2:37:31 AM) azetidine: She laughs. "Well, nobody said I couldn't!"
(2:38:09 AM) Rainne: "Why deliberately infect me? Why not just kill me?"
(2:38:28 AM) azetidine: "Well, that's part of the difficult answer." She stops and looks at you a moment.
(2:39:00 AM) azetidine: (( http://avvesione.files.wordpress.com/
2012/11/k-06-neko-catgirl-white_hair- heterochromia-surprised-confused-bell- collar.jpg is the closes I've found to the robot girl so far. No bell, instead of a uniform or fuku or whatever she'd have robot skin, and both eyes would be green. ))
(2:39:16 AM) Rainne: ((nod))
(2:39:52 AM) azetidine: (( Eyes more like this though. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tLESWCj7nLE/
TCWKQNJ5vHI/AAAAAAAAHDs/yE-yHLpW00A/ s1600/Konachan.com+-+70640+animal_ears+ bakemonogatari+catgirl+hanekawa_tsubasa+ vector+white_hair.jpg ))
(2:40:59 AM) Rainne: ((meow))
(2:42:39 AM) azetidine: "You came into this fight marked as collateral damage. The odds weren't good on you getting back in a condition where you weren't considered contaminated anyway."
(2:44:03 AM) azetidine: "I knew as much, and our main objective was to lure a soldier here in an attempt to get more information on the avatars specifically in order to test the limits of their suits and the black box system in particular."
(2:45:42 AM) azetidine: "Knowing that, and knowing that unless things went very unexpectedly, your life would otherwise end, the kindest choice was obviously to save you, giving you at least some kind of freedom back." She leans back, arms propping her up. "You can keep the suit, by the way, if you want to."
(2:46:43 AM) Rainne: "Marked as collateral damage? WHat's that supposed to mean?"
(2:48:26 AM) azetidine: "Not by us. At least, not originally. Through other encounters like this, we've determined that the other side asks soldiers to throw their lives away, then takes away the information they made that decision with in order to deny us the intelligence. The resulting person wouldn't have made that same choice."
(2:49:16 AM) azetidine: She looks up at you. "I mean, you can choose to die again too. Go back, get incinerated, or even ask your suit to kill you. But the important part now is that it's your choice."
(2:50:59 AM) Rainne: she's obviously offering me a chance to go over to her side, but if i do that, what happens to my family?
(2:52:33 AM) azetidine: Your partner and kids already went into quarantine. It's not a particularly happy place in there, and next to no news comes out, except general reports on health and the list of deaths. They're probably working on some of the information decontamination procedures, if they're still sane enough to help with that.
(2:52:59 AM) azetidine: They haven't been on the list of deaths yet, but like the analysts' predictions of famine, you were thinking it was just a matter of time.
(2:53:01 AM) Rainne: ((I don't know what that means. are they infected, or what?))
(2:54:53 AM) azetidine: They went somewhere that gave them a significant risk of infection. Like, people who had gone there had started showing up with mild or subtle infections, or even booby trapped. You were deployed at the time and weren't exposed to the same risk. The last time you saw them was through a glass wall, and even then they would only let you talk through pre-approved phrases.
(2:55:49 AM) azetidine: Risk of memetic infection as well. Talking to the robot, you can see why.
(2:56:18 AM) Rainne: so, wait, i'm not following and i need more context
(2:56:54 AM) azetidine: Ask away.
(2:57:17 AM) Rainne: they're sick?
(2:58:53 AM) azetidine: They could be. Your side found out fairly quickly that the enemy had subtle ways of hiding the plague vector and other nanomachinery in human bodies, and would use these people to pass information back behind the front lines.
(2:59:32 AM) Rainne: so are they locked up? Or are they being used as spies? or what?
(2:59:44 AM) azetidine: Your family is essentially locked up.
(3:00:18 AM) Rainne: Any chance of rescue?
(3:00:54 AM) azetidine: While they're locked up they can volunteer to work with information coming through from infected zones, but given the fact that the enemy is very able to change digital information and that humans who come into contact with infected soon begin sympathizing or thinking strange things, your family is not going to be let out.
(3:01:44 AM) Rainne: yes but what i'm saying is, could they be rescued?
(3:01:50 AM) Rainne: broken out? etc?
(3:02:44 AM) azetidine: Not terribly likely in the near future, since the quarantine zones are some of the most heavily fortified given the risk that they represent, but if you're given access to the kind of technology that created Iktomi? It becomes more possible.
(3:10:06 AM) Rainne: Hmm
(3:10:40 AM) Rainne: Ask her if she'd be willing to make a trade with me, then: my information for her help in rescuing my family.
(3:11:55 AM) azetidine: She thinks.
(3:13:02 AM) Amianym left the room (quit: Quit: Leaving.).
(3:14:17 AM) azetidine: "I think you're coming at it from the wrong perspective. See, the driving principle behind what we do is maximizing human potential."
(3:15:20 AM) Rainne: "And?"
(3:15:24 AM) azetidine: "Which means happiness and well-being, yes, but we don't want a bunch of lotus-eaters, even if our early stages look like that sort of thing. The reason we have to be so drastic now is because there was a significant risk of humanity simply... ending."
(3:15:53 AM) Rainne: ((lotus eaters?))
(3:16:24 AM) azetidine: (( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus-
(3:16:43 AM) Rainne: ((drug addicts?))
(3:16:47 AM) azetidine: ((everything is provided for but people become apathetic and don't reach for anything because of it.))
(3:16:53 AM) azetidine: ((well, that too.))
(3:17:03 AM) Rainne: ((Ahhh, okay.))
(3:17:12 AM) azetidine: ((also see H.G. Wells's eloi from The Time Machine))
(3:18:20 AM) Rainne: "I'm not interested in being a lotus eater. Nor my family. But I have information you can use. Like, about capabilities and things. And I'll trade it to you for your help rescuing them."
(3:19:35 AM) azetidine: "Odds are we probably already know it." She smirks, but in a way that suggest she's not comfortable with what she's about to say.. "Plus, I could've just taken it from you while we were clearing out your brain."
(3:19:49 AM) Rainne: "But you didn't. And maybe you don't."
(3:21:14 AM) azetidine: "I honestly don't know if we did or not. But it shouldn't matter, because we don't take payment like that."
(3:21:35 AM) Rainne: "How do you take payment, then?"
(3:21:43 AM) azetidine: "Donate us your potential."
(3:21:58 AM) Rainne: "What do you mean?"
(3:22:56 AM) azetidine: "Not like a worker bee." She looks down at the few people who've started gathering in the city plaza back near where you fought. "I don't think you'd choose to give up your agency to that degree anyway." She looks back up at you.
(3:23:35 AM) Rainne: "What, then? And be specific. No riddles."
(3:26:02 AM) azetidine: She grins. "Okay, no Sphinx. We give you the resources to make the most of your innate potentials. What you've already learned, yes, but what you could be with a little help, as well. You give us back the technologies you develop, your aid, and the joy of seeing you develop. If the calculation of how much good it does to keep giving you these resources turns out in your favor,
(3:26:49 AM) azetidine: and by that I mean it does more good to keep you employed at a high level with us than it does harm to rescue your family, then we can help you with that."
(3:27:45 AM) Rainne: "No. My family first, and then I'll work for you."
(3:28:11 AM) azetidine: She frowns. "It's a delicate calculation. We'd have to step up some plans to reach them before something unfortunate and out of our complete control happens to them, and if that interferes with something that is doing greater good, then we'll side with the greater good."
(3:28:39 AM) Rainne: "Then you won't have my help, and I'll try to rescue them on my own."
(3:29:21 AM) azetidine: "You're welcome to, although the chances of you succeeding are so low that, really, I should mourn you now," she says.
(3:29:52 AM) Rainne: I shrug. "To be honest, I'd rather have your help. But if you can't, I'll go on my own."
(3:31:12 AM) azetidine: "There's a significant chance that we can, enough that I'm making this offer. If there wasn't, I wouldn't. But I don't want you to go into this not knowing that there's enough uncertain terms in the equation right now that I can't offer you anything close to even a 50/50 chance that it'll work."
(3:31:32 AM) Rainne: "I understand."
(3:31:41 AM) azetidine: She nods.
(3:32:08 AM) azetidine: "Well, still wanna play?"
(3:32:30 AM) Rainne: "I've made my offer. You help me rescue my family, I'll help you however you like."
(3:33:23 AM) azetidine: She pauses in the process of sitting up and sliding down over the roof's edge to land on top of the T in STARK. "Oh, okay. Offer accepted. Do we need to shake on it?" She looks like she's in a precarious position.
(3:33:38 AM) Rainne: "Not if it'll make you fall."
(3:33:44 AM) azetidine: She grins and sticks up a foot.
(3:34:06 AM) Rainne: I reach out and put my foot against her own and shake them
(3:34:28 AM) azetidine: She laughs. "I like you."
(3:34:40 AM) Rainne: I grin back. "So what's the plan, man?"
(3:36:24 AM) azetidine: She jumps down onto the T. "Rally tonight, maybe some flying, probably some booze, libations, and if you're into it, fun sex things with other meat people later in the evening. Then tomorrow I show you around and get you settled in?" She makes it a question. Of course, you could choose to delay, but
(3:36:36 AM) azetidine: that would probably hurt your odds in the greater good calculation.
(3:37:12 AM) Rainne: "I'll pass on the sex part; I'm pretty committed to my partner. Otherwise, I'm game."
(3:38:26 AM) azetidine: She nods, looks down at the ground, then looks up and winks at you, tagging you with a beam of diffuse light. "Tag, you're it." She jumps off the T, shield-arm-wings snapping into place, engines revving up.
(3:38:59 AM) Rainne: Ha! This is more like it. Pursue.
(3:39:06 AM) azetidine: ((and that's where I stop for tonight. :D ))
(3:39:14 AM) azetidine: You pursue. :)
(3:39:24 AM) Rainne: ((Woo! that was fun! Though seriously, seriously frustrating at the beginning.))
(3:41:02 AM) azetidine: ((Yeah, sorry. I figured it'd be better to bring home the constrained position of the POV character though.
(3:41:53 AM) Rainne: ((It was starting to feel like god-modding, to a point. Once you explained what was happening, though, I felt better about it. When she did the thing with the arm shields and the hooks slid off them i almost quit.))
(3:42:09 AM) azetidine: Yeah, I noticed that >_>
(3:42:15 AM) Rainne: <_<
(3:42:25 AM) azetidine: I was expecting you to bullet her though, which would have worked about as well.
(3:42:45 AM) azetidine: The magic of non-newtonian liquids.
(3:43:04 AM) Rainne: probably would help if i had a background in BSG and knew what was going on LOL
(3:43:18 AM) azetidine: BSG wasn't the primary inspiration, actually.
(3:43:26 AM) Rainne: oh?
(3:43:31 AM) azetidine: Dream I had this morning.
(3:43:36 AM) Rainne: ah
(3:43:49 AM) azetidine: It's just the phrase "THE PLAAAAAN" kept coming up and I was like "this reminds me of something!"
(3:43:57 AM) Rainne: lol
(3:44:38 AM) azetidine: exor674: still watching?
(3:45:43 AM) azetidine: Hm, just going to leave my computer up then. Feedback welcome.