So as I woke up this morning I learned a fellow I knew had died. We weren't close, but he was a proofreader and a good guy. Those were his qualifications--he would come on to IRC, and he would proof things for people, myself included. I'm not going to let it stop me from writing (putting aside that it seems contrary to what a critiquer would want, what in the hell right do I have to wallow over someone else's tragedy?), but I wanted to try to give him some small thank you for years of service, volunteered freely.So thanks, Ofri. I wish I'd spent more time at your help desk.Prior Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/26172792/Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Maverick%20Hunter%20QuestThe IRC: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com, #MHQThe Twitter: https://twitter.com/HunterCommandYou are Anode, maverick hunter, and you still want to do that stint in Vienna.
Part of you is just curious, and it gives you a little bit of time to get yourself in order before you head back out into combat. Probably.But before that, though, you need rest. Even if you don't feel all that tired, you know your energy balances better than most, and you're about due for a recharge within the safety margins hunters leave. Your room is, mercifully, pretty well cleaned up from that party by now. It's not really your top priority any more (though you do make sure all the movies are in the right cases), and you reason you'll have plenty of time to finish tidying up later. Or, you won't, and you'll have bigger things to worry about, right? ...Right. You're pretty bad at this "remain upbeat" thing. Whatever, nap time. You climb into your charger--then after a moment's consideration, climb back out, lock the door, and hop back in. Peace of mind, right?Your rest is fitful, unfortunately. You don't have nightmares, but you keep finding yourself waking up and drifting back off. After a few cycles of this, an indicator tells you that you're good and topped up. Four hours, this time.Good enough. Let's go find Frog and ask him about taking that patrol. You grab a fistful of leftover snacks for breakfast as you step out the door...[ ] Ask Frog if you can take the Crossmore on a shakedown run on your patrol.[ ] Forget the Ride, just get hold of him and go.[ ] Eh, you're not sure you're up for a patrol anymore anyway.[ ] Other?
Oh gosh this is unexpected, damn shame im just going to sleep>>26526029>Ask Frog if you can take the Crossmore on a shakedown run on your patrol.
>[ ] Ask Frog if you can take the Crossmore on a shakedown run on your patrol.
>>26526029>[X] Ask Frog if you can take the Crossmore on a shakedown run on your patrol.Good a time as any before we inevitably give it up to Eighth Armored.
>>26526029>[X] Ask Frog if you can take the Crossmore on a shakedown run on your patrol.
Double-heads-up: There's a hell of a thunderstorm rolling in, so if I vanish that's why. And on the subject of vanishing, someone wants to meet up some time tonight and his time is at a premium. I'll go and do that if I can, but if I do, you can be sure I'll be back and writing again tomorrow, I promise.>>26526150>>26526246>>26526406>>26526605You head off a hunt around base for your commanding officer by giving him a call over comms--good thing, too, he was heading for the central room to get back to Vienna himself. You meet up with him there."I'm glad you caught me," Frog says, sounding visibly relieved, "I'm leaving with about three fires left to be put out. If you can handle Vienna for...oh, six hours? I can take care of some things that desperately need taking care of.""I think I can manage that, sir," you reply. "Glad to hear it.""Hang on," someone croaks, and it isn't Frog, "I'm coming with you."It's Dodo, and he looks like hell. Slouched, eyes unfocused and bleary, but awake. And grinning."You feeling all right, Dash?" Frog asks. "Yeah, yeah. Never better. Got a night to unwind and I'm feeling it, but I'm ready to get back in the game.""If you say so," the CO says hesitantly. "You'll have Anode there if you need anything."It goes unspoken between you and Dodo that you're the reason he's such a mess in the first place. "Actually, sir," you add, "I wanted to ask if I could bring something else, as well..."He gives you a look somewhere between apprehension and a prisoner awaiting the headsman. "And that is?"You shrug noncommittally and totally hope he falls for it. "I figured now was a good time to put the Crossmore through its paces, see how it handles a long trek."
>>26526783He frowns. "Anything on the boards that looks like it's going to need it?""Not unless you think it can fly or swim," Dodo notes, paging through active targets. Frog taps his chin while you try not to let a pleading and/or manic grin break through your features and sabotage this for you."...Yeah, all right. You might be asked to give a writeup on its handling for the techs.""Excellent, thank you sir," you beam, spinning on your heel to head for the hangar."And, Anode?" You turn back to look at him. "Don't break it."----"Don't break it," Em and India plead in unison."Why does everyone keep saying that?"They both stare at you critically."...Fair enough. I won't break it, okay?""I will need to get endo just to cry reploid tears if you do," Em says. "Reploid. Tears.""Me, I'll just kick your ass," India adds."Oh, come on," you ask, hopping into the cockpit, "What's the worst that could happen?""Argh!""Trust me, everything will go just fine, no surprises--""Gah!""--And then I can go back to my girlfriend. We're getting married now that she's expecting a kid, let me show you the photo!""Stop tripping death flags!" Indy snaps. "I didn't know you cared." You wipe an imaginary reploid tear from your reploid eye, chin trembling as you're overcome with emotion. And sarcasm."I don't give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut, but god damn it, if you blow up that armor before I get a chance to use it, they're going to have to invent new war crimes to charge me with on top of all the old ones.""You heard her, Em," you intone gravely, rising off the ground as the Crossmore warms. "She's going to pose as a medic or pretend to be a dead body.""How the hell did you get Frog to agree to this?" he marvels quietly."Simple," you reply as you tromp out toward the pad. "I saved all my crazy for you.""He's learning," India murmurs. "I think we're proper fucked, Emerald."
>>26526793----You meet back up with Dodo, who's taken the time to freshen up a bit and look a little more presentable, and is currently tapping his arm at the beamin pad. "So who's in charge? We're both Lieutenants.">Why do we need to know who's in charge?>I've got this. You could probably use a break.>You've toured Vienna before, right? All yours.
>>26526805>You've toured Vienna before, right? All yours.Defer to seniority and all that.
>>26526805Unless you want it flip a coinalso check if its a two headed coin can never be sure
>>26526805>You've toured Vienna before, right? All yours.Assuming Dodo's sober.
>You've toured Vienna before, right? All yours.
>>26526913He probably flush the nanites before any mission. Still, he looked like shit. He might not feel like it.
>>26526877>>26526913>>26526934"I'll follow your lead," you say, "prior experience and all that. Assuming you're all right, anyway.""I'm fine, honestly," Dodo reassures. "I mean I hurt like hell, but I wasn't kidding when I said I was feeling good. I don't get to unwind very often.""Yeah, I just finished a spell of that myself," you admit. Even on crappy rest, it's amazing what time to process (and imbibe) can do for you. "I feel like I'm back in tip-top scare-my-comrades form.""Hah! Good to have your priorities straight," he replies. "Ready?""Yessir." With that, he hits the button, and sends the two of you on your way."Eh, save the sir, commanding or no," Dodo replies as you reach your destination in an eyeblink, "Never really cared much for rank. Speaking of, let's find whoever got left in charge of the detail."You stride out of a large tent erected around the beamin pad and out into the sunlight as a pair of guards snap to attention with a salute. "How are we supposed to that?" you ask.Dash grins. "Simple. We find the one who looks like they've done the most and slept the least."Vienna is a city, but it looks like an action movie come to life tore through here--and, a few weeks ago, you guess one did. Many of the buildings are damaged, a great many windows shattered or cracked, with hairline cracks running through the buildings themselves. You don't see any major faults, but then you guess by now most or all of the buildings too damaged to repair have been brought down. On the ground level, around you, what seems to have been a park is now a full refugee camp. Tent after tent after tent after tent dot patchy grass that footsteps have worn through. To one side you see a larger pavilion with a large red cross emblem, and to the other what looks like a food line. A bored-looking reploid is giving out bottles of water beside a sign that announces HAVE YOUR TICKET CARD READY in several languages.
>>26527455Sure enough, in a tent about the size of the beamin site, you find a haggard-looking Steel Beret, woefully overworked and outclassed by the demands the post has put on him. He tiredly salutes you as you step in."Sirs," he says. "I trust you're my replacements?" You detect no small amount of hope in his voice. "That's us," Dodo replies, "at ease. Commander Frog will be back around midday. How are you holding up?"He sighs. "Well, there have been three fights over the water rationing and at least one demonstration protesting the hunters' unlawful occupation of sovereign territory. Coffee?"You both decline. "So what needs doing?""Paperwork, reading through reports of grievances and complaints, and organizing the expansion of the hunter cordon," he explains. "Let me show you." He walks over to a standing display with an old-school paper map. "Basically, we're doing this in threes. After our first city-wide sweep, we started going down to individual blocks with a fine-toothed comb. First, we clear out any traps or hostiles, then we do a coordinated search for survivors or refugees, then we plan demolition or clear the rubble. Most of the demo's done, but we still need to fully secure the city before we're done here. That takes time, and it gets more dangerous the further out we strike from the refugee camp."Dodo taps the map on a red square, next to a filled one beside it. "Then I guess we'll start there. Pull back a squad of your boys and post them here. We'll do their sweep.""Good to hear," the Beret nods wearily. "A few more bodies will help calm down some of the tensions here."
>>26527472Dodo trots out, and you slowly wheel the Crossmore to follow. "I never caught your name," you add almost as an afterthought."Yeah, and no offense sir, but I hope you don't," he replies. "I'd really rather not have it come back up because someone thought I was doing a good job here. I'd prefer being locked in a room with an S-class over this post.""Been there," you reply, "even commissioned, it's not that great.""I'll bear that under advisement," he replies, "but it'll be a relief going back just the same."Can't argue with that, you suppose. You emerge back into the strong sunlight and catch up with Dodo."We'll take along some equipment and then do the threestep," he says. "Once we know a sector's clear we'll send in some 'loids to do the cleanup. Any questions?">?
>>26527481We're looking for ambushes and Maverick attacks, right? Any signs to be aware of around here? Trip wires, organized barricades, what?
>>26527481Has it improved much since your last tour here?
>>26527481So what area are we doing first?>last post from me for the day, since my second day of work in 5 years starts in an hour.
>>26527553And how many hostiles do you usually find clearing an area like this?
>>26527572Hey, good to hear. My beer-bro finally landed a job too. I'll raise one to you tonight if we meet up.
>>26527481>"How many hostiles are left? And there was mention of traps, how sophisticated are we talking?"
>>26527481How weapons free are we on this? I mean, could there be non-maverick survivors hiding out or traped?
>>26527690That's the idea.>Route Mavericks.>Rescue survivors.>Demolish wreckage.
>>26527553>>26527555>>26527572>>26527585>>26527625>>26527690"A bunch, actually," you say. "I don't actually know what level of involvement this op is.""It's not really an op, or a mission," Dodo explains. "It's just a patrol.""Yeah, but we're looking for...mavericks? Ambushes?""Mostly as a formality, really. Gotta give the mavs credit, they know how to cut and run. Most of what we saw was active but pinned or damage mechaniloids, occasional stragglers who got separated from their groups. One or two pilots from that armada who got shot down.""Anything to look out for? What did you usually run across?""Not much of anything. Just look for things that stick out. I'm honestly not expecting to run into any resistance, and if he was, that Beret would have warned us. Keep your eyes open, but we'll be fine.""What about traps?""Mostly stuff we found in the opening days, and a lot of damaged buildings going down. We should have just about all of them. Simple stuff--rigged up on the run or during battle to guard their backs. It might damage me, but you could probably walk through just about anything still left without a care. Just a guess, anyway.""Part 2 of that sweep plan was looking for survivors, right? There might be refugees?""Yeah. We were as thorough as we could be, but we still make a point of hitting every sector in detail. We still pulled one or two out every day when I was last here. Mostly bodies, though." Mm."On that note, how's it look since then? Better?""Yes and no," Dodo mulls it over. "Better in some ways, worse in others. I think they're just plain tired of seeing armed reploids ushering them around and keeping the peace, and I can't say I blame them. We're coordinating with UN and international aid corps, but patience is wearing thin, especially with the rationing."
>>26528208"So where are we headed first?""Thisaway, to the North," Dodo says, pointing down a (mostly) clear street. "You got that bundle of gear?""Yeah," you reply, patting the heavy satchel he'd tossed up to you. "What's in it?""Stakes, cord, scanning equipment, first aid, a small amount of water and food if we happen to find someone. Stuff like that. Once we clear a sector, we cordon it off, scan it, and then bring in a pack of 'loids to do demolition--under guidance--and clear rubble. Last I heard, we're using an old quarry for that. Probably more like a landfill now.""What about buildings?""If one's gotta come down, we can call in specialists, but otherwise, same deal. Most of them have either fallen on their own or already been taken care of with controlled demolition."Your walk has taken you far along--most of the city's been cleared by now, but the lack of population on the cleared streets is...unsettling, to say the least. The hunters evidently haven't done more than get some utilities up and running (under guard, of course) and have forbidden re-habitation of the city until the sweep is complete. You can see why that would upset the citizens--it's been weeks. You're started out of your musings by, of all things, singing. From Dodo. In Russian.What is it with you and Russian?>Strike up a conversation. You still barely know the guy.>Let him sing.>Other?
>>26528217>Strike up a conversation. You still barely know the guy.Nice song. What's it about.
>>26528217>Strike up a conversation. You still barely know the guy.What song is that?
If there's a discernible chorus, try to sing along. Even if you butcher it, it'll be fun, and Dodo doesn't seem the sort to go all music nazi.
>>26528266>>26528274>>26528342You try to pick out a chorus, and you do catch some repetition, but by the time you think you have a handle on when to muddle along the song's over. Dodo catches your gaze and grins sheepishly as you speak up. "That was interesting. I didn't take you for the type."He shrugs. "Everyone's got a hobby.""So what was that, anyway?""Russian song," he shrugs again."Well yeah, I got that. What was it?" "It's called Katyusha. I've got a thing for those--marching songs, I mean. I just picked up enough to sing it, I'm sure the pronunciation was mangled.""Hey, don't sell yourself short. I liked it. Marching songs, huh?""Yeah. I dunno, when you're a parcel delivery mascot turned fast attack expert for the infantry specialists, it just seems kind of fitting.""Working with being a flightless bird, or something?""Har-har. Something like that, I guess. Everyone's got something that calls to them. What about you and your movies?"You look out over the lip of the Crossmore, listening to its steady one-two, one-two of its lifted and dropped legs. "Hard to explain. Partly just tradition from my folks, but there's something kind of compelling about it, you know? Old storytelling.""I think I get that. I'm just comfortable on the move, you know? Otherwise I'd just be taking over for that poor Beret back there. Marching's kind of been my life."You grunt in something approaching understanding as you examine the cityscape.It still feels like some hand just reached down and scooped all these people up and whisked them away. You keep expecting the stereotypical old newspaper to blow through the empty street intersection you've reached, but there's no litter. Just a few pebbles here and there, some disturbed pavement where something fell or exploded, and looming, empty skyscrapers throwing the last echoes of the Crossmore's footfalls back and forth.And then, you hear scrabbling. Faintly, but it's there.>Check it out.>Leave it lie.
>>26529055Check it outAs if there was any other option
>>26529055>Check it out.Only proper answer. Leave no stone unturned.
>>26529055I don't know guys, maybe we should let someone else handle->Check it out.
>>26529055>Check it out.Notify dodo of course.
>>26529081>>26529141>>26529371>>26529398You hold up a hand. Dash nods, having caught it too, motioning to a side alley. "Refugee?" you ask over comms."Maybe," he returns. "You first, you've got the ride."Sensible enough. You're not gonna be running anything down in this anyway, and besides, that'd be Dodo's job. You advance, trundling ahead with painful sluggishness, or at least it feels that way.Even over the sound of the Crossmore's mechanisms, you make out quickly-stifled profanity in a language you don't speak.In the alley, pressed against the wall are two scruffy-looking humans. Between them, they are lugging what looks to be a large 3D projector screen. A quick look at the hastily-assembled scaffolding and the open window above helps tell the rest of the story."Ah, yes," Dodo says, trotting up behind you. "I somehow had managed to forget the best part of this posting. Looters."A quick look tells you neither are armed, or at least not with anything that's going to give you pause."Yeah, what about it?" snaps one in heavily-accented English. "Not your jurisdiction, not your problem. Move on, lackey.""Ah, yes, see, here's the thing," Dodo replies. "Until we hand the city back over, it IS my problem. Why don't you put that back where you found it?""Try and prove it isn't mine." Dodo takes another step closer. "Why don't you put that back where you found it?" he repeats, enunciating slowly.The looter drops his end of the expensive furniture, sending it crashing to the ground as his surprised friend struggles in vain to hold it aloft for a moment. Something sensitive shatters within and rattles about inside the screen. He looks warily between you and his loudmouthed friend, who provides a smirk and an "Oops."
>>26529988"Bad move," Dash says softly."What are you gonna do about it?" the looter replies, squared for a standoff. "Not your problem. Not your town.""You just made it my problem.""What's the big, scary maverick hunting bird going to do?" he taunts (Jesus, dude, are you trying to catch a beating?). "Not a 'roid. You can't do a thing.""I think you'll find I can," Dodo replies evenly, continuing to step forward with a steadily growing menace you didn't know he could pull off. Even the brash thief looks a bit perturbed. "Can, and will.""Hunter abusing a human civ," he replies, stabbing a finger at him. "Maybe you're the maverick. Maybe they look into that when I complain.""Oh you poor, stupid bastard," your partner returns, circling around to the other side of the alley opposite you. "You have no idea what we're authorized for, do you? We can be deputized, dipshit," he spits. "And put you under arrest.""...Try it. Try it and see what--" He turns and snaps as his friend tries to frantically dissuade him in the local dialect, and you don't need to speak it to know he just told him to shut up. "Try it and see what happens. Dare--dare you."You look back and forth--you've seen Dodo irritated before, but right now, he's out-and-out pissed. You can't say you really blame him, given this shitlord's attitude, but if he's not careful, he could make a very big mistake.How do you want to approach the situation, before it boils over?>Follow Dodo's lead. It's still his game.>You can talk a big game. Intimidate the punk into standing down.>Put the asshole under arrest. Handle this by the book.>Some people just need a good asskicking to learn their lesson.>Other?
And while you decide how to tackle Heckle and Jeckle here, it sounds like I'm off to meet that friend of mine.Again, tomorrow I'll write more, though it might be with a hangover. Feel free to throw any questions or comments in and I'll get to them when I can.
>>26530007Let's play good cop to Dodo's bad cop."He'll do it, man. Just stand down, and come along peacefully."
>>26530007>Follow Dodo's lead. It's still his game.>Put the asshole under arrest. Handle this by the book.Tempted to go either good cop bad cop or bad cop CRAZY COP but either is terrible. Especially since we had the eye of sauro- err the gaze of suspicion placed upon us.
>>26530007>You can talk a big game. Intimidate the punk into standing down.No need to have this shitlord talking about how a pair of hunters roughed him up. The people are already getting sick of MH presence as it is.
>>26530007>Follow Dodo's lead. It's still his game.>Put the asshole under arrest. Handle this by the book.Playing good cop in a giant experimental ride armor can do wonders for kowtowing criminals. They already jeopardized their loot, and getting manhandled by a ride armor can't be fun.
>>26530007>Follow Dodo's lead. It's still his game.>Put the asshole under arrest. Handle this by the book.>You can talk a big game. Intimidate the punk into standing down."Dodo you don't want to get your hands dirty. If they don't want to do it the easy way then you can leave them here with me your buddy, Anode. I'm sure they have heard about me and my missions. now do you want to be arrested or do you want dodo to take a walk looking around for more looters while he leaves you with me" With a giant smile and a wink at Dodo
>>26530247Too much, I think. That's also not really following Dodo's lead at all; that's taking the lead.Come to think of it, using our reputation like that is probably a _really_ bad idea. This guy doesn't think ahead; if he actually believes we might Do Something To Him he's going to do something panicky and stupid.Also, anything this guy says after we arrest him is going to get lapped up by the yellow press. Also also, we're about three spits from a riot.> Follow Dodo's lead -- play 'good cop'."Hey, take it easy, 'kay? I could do without any more dead humans on my record for a little while."
>>26534129Might provoke a worse attack.
>>26535458I agree wholeheartedly. >>26534129 Actually has an even better chance of setting him off.> [X] My vote if for just blocking out whatever he says and arresting the guy. As far as I can tell that is within our jurisdiction so let's just do it. This guy seems extremely anti-reploid so we cannot give him any ammo to use.
>>26530048What happened with Pac-Man X?
>>26536440From what I understand it is still going.
>Put the asshole under arrest. Handle this by the book.Book 'em, Anode!
>>26538708This I suppose. No time to get crazy when we are out of our normal purview.
Morning, folks. Lost power sometime during the night. Give me a bit to get my head on straight and we'll go with Book 'Em Dannode.
...Damn it, they threw out my coffee.Okay, as of this writing it looks like arrest over following Dodo's lead/good cop.>>26540751>>26538708>>26536084>>26530247>>26530171>>26530112You find yourself oddly calm about this. Yeah, he's a total shit, but you're in a position of strength here. Putting aside the walking colossus of death you're piloting, you're an A-rank maverick hunter, for Christ's sakes. Even Dodo's a B, meaning he's not exactly helpless. No, this guy is probably trying to bait the two of you into making a bad move on him."Dodo," you say calmly, "I've got this.""What?" snaps the thug, "What have you got?" He dissolves into a stream of insults you don't understand as you wheel the Crossmore and steadily tromp over, looking down at him as its shadow falls across his face. You can see he's scared, but standing his ground nonetheless. It'd be impressive if he wasn't just such an asshole about it.So, you make things easier on him and dismount. Lightly hopping down, you land beside the human as the Crossmore reverts to a security standby.And that's when he snaps a blade off his belt and slams it into your arm.
>>26544316He was going for your hand--nasty, and softer, or at least it looks that way--but you catch the motion and raise your forearm, blocking his strike. Without really stopping to think about it, you grab his wrist with your off-hand and pull with, not against him, yanking him into his stab. On his own all you'd get is a nick in your armor--with your greater strength driving the thrust, the blade shears off the hilt, bouncing theatrically off your chestplate, up onto the Crossmore's, and unceremoniously back to the ground at your feet.You let go of his arm and give him a gentle, friendly pat on the shoulder as he looks down numbly at his shattered knife."Lesson one. You can't really put a price on life, but around seven figures went into making me strong enough to throw and catch miniature plasma balls without harm," you say calmly, letting him back away. "Lesson two, what do you, me, and that broken screen have in common?" He looks up at you dumbly--his friend has wisely chosen to distance himself from his acquaintance. "We're all easily traceable. We can find out who bought that screen by the serial number. You, we can get a blood sample, find out if you have a criminal record--and given you just tried to shank someone made of stronger stuff than that building, I would say 'yeah, you probably do.' And us? Hunters keep a lot of records. Odds are good I could testify with footage.""You--you--" he stammers, his English worsening as he grows more panicked. "...two against two! Your word and ours! You tried to take!"You look behind you at the Crossmore, then at the rickety scaffolding they used to make their theft. It chooses then to shed a platform, clattering hilariously to the ground. "Yeah. Caught us redhanded, you did. So," you continue, pointing a finger as Dodo folds his arms, amused at your handling of the situation. "You're under arrest. Are you going to come quietly, or do I have to give that beautiful piece of machinery behind me a test run?"
>>26544331----Unsurprisingly, they go quietly, though Tweedledee, genius that he is, makes a run for it and gets himself tackled to the dirt by Dodo, who takes off like a bullet (or perhaps a cannonball) after giving the stupid bastard a few hundred feet of windup. He spends the slow walk back to the camp cursing and howling slurs against you, mostly in his own language, though you can't say you've ever had someone call you a scraphead before. Really? You and Dodo hand them off, give a brief accounting of what happened, and hand off the broken remnants of that knife ('exhibit Aaaaayyyy~' you trill as the perp grinds his molars to dust), and a few Berets take them into custody. That done, you and Dodo return to your real job--watching for mavericks and sweeping a sector of the city. "I'm impressed with how you handled yourself back there, kid," Dodo says. "I was a bit pissed, but then I realized he really couldn't do anything to hurt us," you shrug."Not always true, you gotta be careful about that. I've seen some real nasty 'home defense' stuff for anti-reploid weapons. Gotta face facts, when your given 'roid probably has the brute strength to break someone's neck, people--humans, I guess, mostly--get kind of nervous.""...Do you ever sort of feel that way, being a B-rank? Like, if you stumble into an A or an S or something?""Ehh, kinda," Dodo admits. "Having Tanker around has sort of helped me get over that. Plus, I can always cut and run.">Really? Tanker makes you feel safe? THAT Tanker, with the pneumatic jaws and the high-pressure water cannons and the giant robot shark thing.>So what kind of anti-reploid weapons can you make? Is that a widespread... thing?>How about you? You took that guy's attitude pretty badly, I was worried for a minute.>Other?
>>26544340>How about you? You took that guy's attitude pretty badly, I was worried for a minute.Not like we've seen Dodo in action, so we don't know his track record or modus operandi when it comes to operations.
>>26544340>So what kind of anti-reploid weapons can you make? Is that a widespread... thing?-so what should we look out for while we are out here?>How about you? You took that guy's attitude pretty badly, I was worried for a minute.
>So what kind of anti-reploid weapons can you make? Is that a widespread... thing?>How about you? You took that guy's attitude pretty badly, I was worried for a minute.
>Really? Tanker makes you feel safe? THAT Tanker, with the pneumatic jaws and the high-pressure water cannons and the giant robot shark thing.Really?
>>26544389>>26544487>>26545111"So what kind of improv weaponry are we talking about?"Dodo scratches his nose--well, beak. "All kinds of stuff. I remember the first one I saw was something like a car battery wired up to an electromagnet spike. Stupid, really, you'd have to wear the thing as a backpack, but I guess it makes people feel better. I remember hearing something about a buffer-inverter or something like that--they were calling it a spike-spike, since it'd only work once and short out a city block. Last I heard, it was still pretty much unfeasible. Then there's stuff like ceratanium knives, they're not that uncommon. Usually too heavy for a human, but a lining usually works. You can wire up a civ buster pistol to fry the coils and put out military-grade damage once.""All of that sounds pretty far-fetched, though." That said, you're pretty glad that glint of steel was just that, and not currently embedded in your forearm. That said, probably the best place for it--you have two busters and nothing critical there."Just saying, it's out there, and not terribly hard to make if you're paranoid enough. Scramblers, burst-discharge, they all kinda fall along those lines. I'm probably forgetting one or two big ones, I can forward you a thing when we're back in Geneva.""In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes open for anyone wired up like a ghostbuster, I guess," you shrug."Hey, just remember not everyone's built as tough as you," Dodo reminds you. "These are serious threats to civvie reploids, and a few of them could probably give me a bad day.""Speaking of bad days, that guy really seemed to get under your skin," you note. "I was a bit concerned, there."He waves it off. "Eh, I had it under control. Still, he was hitting all my buttons. Bit of Small Man Syndrome, I guess, and it kind of hits close to home."
>>26545932"Yeah?""Some dick profiting off a ruined city while we're run ragged trying to clear it and get it back off our hands? The people calling us tyrants and despots while we're stretching our equipment thin trying to make sure they're safe? Yeah, I've seen this song and dance before. Both sides of it, before and after the hunters. And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a leech.""Fair enough." Your talk's carried the two of you to your destination. You toss Dodo a few things from the pack and he starts setting up small tripods. "Ultrasonic stuff," Dodo says, "It'll help pick out faults in the buildings, if we missed any, pinpoint stuff under rubble." It all sounds pretty fancy, but in the end, there's exactly nothing in this city block. Just a scattering of broken road, building, and rubble. You turn over a small piece of scrap vaguely like a fin as Dodo finishes running a cord across the boundaries you've excavated."What's that old salt about war? Lots of boredom and a few brief flashes of panic?" you ask over comms."Yeah, but we're not at war," Dodo responds in person as he blazes past, finished roping off the cordon. It's pretty fun to see him in action, you have to admit."Sure feels like it.""Trust me," he replies, voice dopplering off and returning to comms, "if we were in a maverick war, you'd know."Frog asked for six hours, and you end up giving him seven. After the excitement with the looter, it's all just boring and rote. Find a block, secure the block, rope off the block, send in the 'loids. On to the next one. All part of the job, you guess. Finally, though, you're done--or as done as you're getting today."I'm going to stick around," Dash says, "at least for a while. Frog's on his way, I want to get caught up on what's about to get dropped on his lap so I can help him out with it.""Damned decent of you," you note as you step back onto the pad.He shrugs. "Someone's gotta do it. Safe travels, kid."
>>26545943You're midway into bidding him the same when you warp out and arrive back home. A panel indicates that you're back on active roster. It looks like it's time to get back to maverick hunting. Anything to square away first?
>>26545956Is there a pool around? We need to figure out how our lightning does underwater.
>>26545998Good point. Let's see how rated we are for aquatic ops before we go fishing.
>>26545956Write up the report on the crossmore before we do anything else. This was a shakedown run.
>>26546152Can't forget that, either. Then again, we didn't give it too much of a test. Just kinda walked it around.
>>26546016Are we sure we don't want to take on Solstrike?Electricity and water are a bad mix, generally, but flying types are weak to electric types.
>>26546460As long as you're going to be advocating realscience over pokeymans, I should remind you that air is actually a fairly strong electrical insulator. Water, on the other hand, never achieves the "pure H2O" state it would need to become a strong insulator - even if you distill it, the freshly purified water will see a small but significant portion of its molecules automatically exchange hydrogen atoms, forming OH- and H3O+ which act as the necessary ions for electricity to be conducted.Also, we don't have that much to fear from our own electricity. We were built to soak that jazz up, remember? The only time it backfired on us was when we tried to eat all the energy in a fucking anti-satellite laser's power unit.
>>26545956Underwater testing. Find out how the flash-freeze misericorde handles when submerged.>>26546460Meh, Solstrike will probably fight out in the open, so not much of a chance to build up charge in combat. The other weapons should still work underwater, so losing the electrical attacks there isn't that debilitating. Either way, we're taking on a Maverick who's in their element and highly maneuverable.
>>26546792True but the water's conductivity may screw up our range or precision also we can do some testing of our other equipment like the misericorde
>>26546460知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必殆 Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time.Even if we do go after Solstrike first knowing how we function underwater can't hurt and might even help if something funky happens.
>>26546975Who knows? Maybe there's some mer-reploids to meet.
Gonna guess we're opting for test first? Also, stand by, Cain Labs is battling the beast called work.
>>26547296You mean like Merti/Martei from the X manga?Pic related.
>>26547340Yeah, let's make sure we actually function underwater before going after an aquatic Maverick. Also, submit that Crossmore report and get it back in the garage.
This post brought to you by having two drastically different and irreconcilable ideas for what happens when you use the misericorde underwater. Sorry for the long-ass wait.>>26547340You stop and go over what you know before you commit to one mission or the other. Electricity, they told you, shouldn't be an issue--one of the many offshoots of encapsulation tech--the same reason confined energy, like plasma and sabers and such work underwater, though under increased strain. Your zaps should be completely hydroproofed, though your victim, probably not so much.Your misericorde, though...The labs are empty, but you find a long-forgotten sink and basin in there. You're about to ignite the misericorde when Em breezes in. "Yoooooou don't wanna do that," he greets."What? Why?" "Because that thing is the mother of all hack jobs. It's a reinforced civvie saber turned hi-beam with a bunch of maverick DNA shit I barely understood in there." You look at him, shaking water off your hand. "...So?""Well, there's a chance that it could work just fine. Or..." he picks up the saber and points at the emitter assembly. "Or the pressure field could encapsulate the water, which would rapidly mix with the nitrogen, which would boil and expand, and then cause an underwater explosion, which would short out the emitters and explode backwards.""...Well, fuck.""I told you this thing was a bitch, man," he says apologetically. "I'm not at all happy with it. I mean, the field's designed to displace air to pressurize, and only 100% pressurization will keep the LN from expanding. And even if it did that, the second the containment broke on impact the LN would flashboil, and you'd just make a big cloud of expanding nitrogen in the water.""So, best case it fogs the shit out of the water, worst case I lose my saber and my hand?"He nods. "Yep. ...Sorry."
>>26548360"What about my lance, d'you reckon?""Ought to work fi--wait, 'do I reckon?'""Answer the question, cityboy," you drawl slowly."Dammit, I thought you worked all the crazy out of your system. It'll be fine, but if you're smart you'll treat it more like a hi-beam down there. Water is very demanding on even the best sabers. Slash and stow, and give it a good few seconds between ignitions, don't overtax the batteries.""Lucky you found me, I guess.""I was in the hangar as soon as I heard the Crossmore was back, just missed you.""It's fine! I didn't even crush a human with it!" Em stares blankly at you. "...Kidding. I was kidding!""I don't know, I don't wanna know," he murmurs. "I'm just glad you didn't wreck it. Or your saber. Or yourself, I guess." "Speaking of the Crossmore, though, I guess I should give my impressions?"He shrugs. "Just write up a memo. I'm gonna try to make a hi-hi-beam.""...Why?"Em's turn to wheel around and grin wildly at you with the same manic intensity you usually inflict on him. "Because I CAN, motherfucker!"You leave the saber enthusiast/fetishist to his work and think about your impressions of the Crossmore. It handled well enough, but slowly. You didn't take it over much broken ground, but it climbed rubble without complaint and without slowing down much. It felt like a slightly more cumbersome, if better-armed, standard ride armor. You didn't testfire the weapons while in action, but the techs would know whether its powerplant could support locomotion and weapons at the same time better than you would.>Any recommendations to include?
>>26548360>>26548372So it's best to leave the misericorde at home unless we can remote trigger it in the water and either cause a fog or an explosion, at the cost of our coup-de-grace saber. Fun.>Crossmore recommendations?Give it a serious stress test and shakedown. Our patrol wasn't enough to give a proper appreciation of its capabilities, to say nothing of its longevity. It's slow, but it's maneuverable, so it's a start.
>>26548372Might want to recommend the Crossmore for more heavy lifting/defensive duties, it seems able, but not a flanker.
>>26548793That too. This isn't exactly a fast Ride.
Art for this update by our own Deculture, and commissioned by a friend of mine. Big thanks to both for making it happen!>>26548481>>26548793>>26549145You find that, plain and simple, there isn't much to say. You're sure they already know that the Crossmore moves at a brisk trundle at best, but you do add in it had little trouble navigating the (slightly) adverse conditions you put it into. That said, you make sure to note that it experienced light field duty at best, and if there's anything in doubt, it should be given a more rigorous test run before relied upon. From what you saw, though, it should handle things quite well. ...With that filed and out of the way, you return, after what feels like months, to your job--your main job. The two remaining dossiers await you.>Solstrike Saetos (insufficient data, A- to S-rank)Menacing and powerful, this Eagle-type maverick has killed three officers of the 7th Air Cavalry alone. Until now Command has been unable to locate his base of operations, though at the cost of an entire forward Recon team, his location has been placed on a mountain in the Himalayas. Crossreferenced reports indicate a high number of missing persons reports and disappearances in the surrounding area, corroborating. Combat records have shown that he is very cunning, and knows how to play to his strengths. Do not engage by air.>Splashdown Skipjack (B-rank)Multiple coastal cities have suffered attacks on islands in the Pacific. 6th Marine has traced the activity to the site of a decommissioned research lab, and scans indicated power to the facility. Investigation revealed a sizeable maverick presence underwater, which the Marines have deployed to contain. Meanwhile, the pattern of targets has suggested another attack is imminent. The attacker, Skipjack, is responsible for torpedo attacks on shipyards and civilian liners. He is fast and maneuverable in the water, with considerable strength and a penchant for attacking on the run.>SELECT TARGET
>>26549835>Solstrike SaetosLet's do this shit.
>>26549835>>26549866Solstrike is where the tears begin to flow. But if we do him now, our last one should be a walk in the park.
>>26549835>Splashdown Skipjack (B-rank)call Tanker, ask if he's in the mood for some aquatic ass kicking
>>26549835>Solstrike Saetos (insufficient data, A- to S-rank)I'm feeling adventurous. Plus, if you do the hardest question on a test first, the rest will be easier by comparison.
>>26549900>our last one should be a walk in the park.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dAUYAg8mAQ
Right, I want you all to know that you just made Cain Labs's night.And on that note, I think I'm done for now, possibly for the thread. Suddenly not feeling too hot, and if we're going for Solstrike, I want to make sure we're ready to do this right.And CL wants you to know that >>26550018 nailed it perfectly.Questions, comments, futile pleas?
>>26549926He'd take a look at the rank and probably laugh at us.
>>26549835WoahThat is some fancy ass artwork
>>26549835Who's the one in the bottom right?
>>26550449Seven. (Note the Japanese kanji for "seven" on the shoulder.)
>>26549835Oh god, who is the guy in the back?
>>26550449>>26550461>>26550470>>26550480That's Sev, yeah. Gotta say, I really like how it came out. It's a different style than typical X fare, but still captures every character.
>>26550510I do believe that's Grach.
>>26550514I absolutely love it.Who drew it? Any plans to colour it?
>>26550625Deculture, who does Magical Girl Noir, drew it.
>>26550514Yeah, couldn't stuff the whole roster on or he'd still be drawing.>>26550625We do, in fact! And what >>26550651 said; Deculture's pretty damn good at what he does. Go give him a look. I just spent like nine hours catching up on him after stopping for FF5FF.
>>26550705>>26550651No kiddingGuess I know which quest I'm reading next.Thanks for running, HC. I always look forward to MHQ, even more so now that it has official artwork
>>26550791No problem. And hey, don't forget ELK. I wouldn't have gotten much of anywhere without pictures to back it up when Wolfspider threatens to wear you.
I was banging my head against the desk back after wolf-spider because people went with using his upgrade on our sword instead of the super-coolant for the busters... and now we're going to face the guy who it was stated we want good busters in order to fight?Not that our busters are bad but they've had to few upgrades. We're supposed to be a generalist and we're becoming melee oriented. I'm not against Solstrike but I would prefer to get the super-coolant for our busters first. Speaking of which how much would that cost?
>>26551597Honestly, you've done more to upgrade your range game than your melee. Remind me to throw the character sheet back up.As for an LN buster-coolant system, it would depend on a few things, but it wouldn't come cheap. You'd still need to order a second copy of Wolfspider's data, first and foremost.
>>26551597Most of our upgrades so far have been straight V-Wes or Busters. The only upgrades put into Melee have been Wallaby (Lance) and Wolfspider (Misericorde).Ranged we have Blackout Rockets, the Sniper Laser, the Shield blast, the Wire and Rapid fire semi-charge shots.
Question from a MHQ newbie here... Have we, at any point, thought about making something like a Beam SHIELD?You know, like the Gundam F91, or the Victory Gundam? We have phase tech, so that'd make such a thing viable, right?That, and it'd contribute more to the whole "knight with the fuckhuge lance" image we have going.
>>26552967Since our lance acts like our shield, we don't really need to carry one.
>>26552967It's been suggested in the past. As technology stands right now and considering our needs, beam shields are too inefficient and better replaced by other things.
>>26551786>>26551842*Facepalm* Right. My mind usually labels anything with limited ammo, at least when there's a weapon for use that has unlimited or ridiculous amounts of ammo, as being either a weapon to only use very sparingly, if at all. Like only using the Sniper Laser on a slow enemy for the Armor Piercing or for Sniping.And I do know that we've upgraded our buster... just... I don't know. I guess the super-coolant called to me.