Nexus is a strange and mysterious planet on the fringe of formerly-unknown space, once thought to be only a legend but discovered to be very real a few years ago. A known haven of the missing and ancient Eldan race, it is now a haven for adventurers, archaeologists, treasure hunters, and soldiers of fortune. It has also become the final flashpoint of a conflict centuries in the making. To the imperialistic Dominion, Nexus is their divine birthright, the legacy left to them by the Eldan. To the scrappy Exiles, Nexus is their last stop, the final chance for a new home. Neither faction will give up the planet willingly, despite its dangers and mysteries, and they will stop at nothing to see the planet made theirs.You are Clyde Starwalker, an Exile human Stalker with high-performance nanites in your body and claws in your hands, and you intend to discover the secrets of Nexus and win the planet on behalf of you and your fellow Exiles.In the last installment, our hero awoke from cryo-sleep on a colony ship on the Exile flotilla orbiting Nexus, and after getting cleaned up and recovering his gear, he boarded a shuttle for the surface of Nexus. A world's worth of adventure awaits, literally!Previous thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1291505/
Your everything hurts.That's the first thought that crosses your mind after blacking out.Your body aches as you slowly return to consciousness. Your senses steadily come back to you, and the sensations aren't very welcome. You can feel cold, wet snow underneath you, slowly soaking through your clothes. Cold air whips past you, ruffling your hair and biting your skin. Yet, not far away, there is warmth from a fire. Your eyes slowly open as you groan, and that warmth appears to be a piece of metallic hull on fire not far from you. With strained movements, you push yourself onto your hands and knees as you catch your breath. Your head tilts to look behind you, and you can see most of what remains of the slagged shuttle; you can also see you were hurled quite a distance from the crash. You can spot large holes punched in the wings and engines, as well as a couple other bodies - humans and aurin - strewn about the scene.It was only a little while ago that you wer sitting in the passenger compartment of the shuttle transporting you from the Aces High colony ship down to the surface of Nexus, presumably to a settlement on the continent known as Alizar. You remember the passengers chatting excitedly amongst each other, including Grux Craghammer, the boisterous granok you somehow befriended on the Aces High and now was regaling you with some of his favorite fights. You were watching the scenery outside the window, entering the atmosphere and seeing the blues and greens of the planet's surface come into focus. You remember the shuttle being buffeted by a wintery storm and the turbulence it caused. You remember a couple loud booms and the pilot in the cockpit shouting "Mayday, mayday!" You remember bracing your seat before it all went black.And now, here you were, crashed into what you passingly know as the Northern Wilds of Alizar. The local fauna hasn't found you yet, but you don't doubt that practically everything in the region was alerted to your arrival.Your everything hurts.This sucks.>Retreat back to the bulk of the wrecked shuttle. You need to take stock of yourself and get at least partly out of the cold.>Check the bodies and the wreck for any survivors. Someone else might have been as lucky as you, and you wouldn't want to leave them behind.>Get up and head further into the wilds. You need to get away from this wreck and find something, anything to work with.>Use your datachron and see if you can't get a signal from something.>Other
>>1349223>Retreat to the wreck. Search for survivors. And loot. Look for loot.
>>1349223>>Check the bodies and the wreck for any survivors. Someone else might have been as lucky as you, and you wouldn't want to leave them behind.More companions can't hurt.
>>1349223>Check the bodies and the wreck for any survivors. Someone else might have been as lucky as you, and you wouldn't want to leave them behind
>>1349234>>1349280>>1349332This winter storm you landed in is pretty bad, and you doubt you're in any convincing shape to immediately go tromping into the wilds to find...whatever is out there. You need to get to cover and take stock of what's out there and what you need to do. Barring that, though, it wouldn't do to at least make an attempt to find survivors in the crash. Most of the other passengers were civilians, and the crash was pretty bad, but you have to at least try. If you could save at least one other person, that would be a major load off your conscience.With an unsteady push, you get to your feet, immediately buffeted by a sudden wintery gale that threatens to knock you over again. As you stagger back towards the wreck, you make small detours to check the bodies you pass by, see if they have a pulse. As you feared, everyone you come across is dead, mostly likely killed on impact; one human took a piece of rebar through his gut for his troubles, poor bastard.As you go over the few bodies around you, you make a startling observation: Grux is nowhere to be found. It's exceptionally hard to miss a granok body (unless they were dumped naked into a quarry, your black humor reminds you), so either Grux was hurled even further away than you, was dragged away by some creature or another, or - stars hoping - he was alive and tromped off somewhere. It can't be helped right now; you have more immediate concerns to attend to.
>>1349432Just as you give up on the notion of finding any survivors, there is a flicker of hope you spot.More specifically, the flicker of a twitching purple fuzzy tail sticking out of a small snowbank.With hurried steps, you make your way to the small pile of snow and get to pulling it aside. The tail, which is a few feet long and covered in fuzzy purple fur, is ultimately revealed to be attached to someone, thankfully. The tail and large animalesque ears - specifically those of a rabbit, in this instance - are the tell-tale hallmarks of an aurin. Aurin are typically smaller than humans, but they can be quite agile and tough in most cases, which is fitting when you once lived amongst nature in a past life. You turn the body over to reveal the young aurin woman, decked out in a greatcoat and brassiere ensemble, long wavy purple hair sprawled across the snow. Her pristine skin is marred by a trickle of blood from her head across her face, and her breathing is shallow. She's alive, but barely.You can remark on aurin culture and history later. You scoop up the aurin in your arms and head inside the wreck of the shuttle, towards the back. You set her in one of the few still-intact passenger seats, the cushioned chair holding her up. Her skin is cold to the touch, and her head lolls to the side. You're not sure how long she was under that snowbank or what she hit her head on, but it's a miracle there's even anything to work with.Outside the shuttle, the wind continues to howl, but you can also hear the huffing and growling of something else out there that's beginning to enter the area. A local beast, maybe?>Check yourself. In your hurry to rescue the aurin, you're still unsure of your own injuries, if any.>Drape your jacket over her and try to warm her up.>Scour the wreck to find a first-aid kit.>Check the cockpit and see if you can't get a signal to someone.>See if you can't spy on what that noise was.>Other
>>1349444>Check yourself. In your hurry to rescue the aurin, you're still unsure of your own injuries, if any.Then>See if you can't spy on what that noise was
> One must check before the wreck themselves.
>>1349459>>1349551The excitement of finding another survivor of the wreck is tempered by the overall reality of the situation. The noises outside are keeping you on edge, but now that you're out of the cold and might have rescued another, your thoughts catch up to you and remind you of the basics of survival: you have to ensure your own health before you ensure the health of others. Doctors do it all the time, and in a survival situation, it works as well.You sit yourself down next to the unconscious aurin and relax and take a slow breath, steadying your body and your nerves. You blink a couple times, and your internal HUD appears on your retina, visible only to you but providing an AR readout of everything you see. Your nanites are in good shape, and apart from being sore and a little wet from the snow, you can't feel anything else wrong with you. You test your arms and legs for movement, and you feel yourself over for any external or internal injuries. You're a little scuffed and bruised, but miraculously, you are practically uninjured. The nanites should take care of any lingering problems you may have internally, and the aches should work themselves out.You glance at the aurin, who is still resting in the chair next to you, before you pull yourself up and make your way back towards the impromptu exit of the shuttle. Hiding behind some rebar, you peer outside into the storm to get a look at what entered the area. You see a couple of large and lumbering silhouettes approaching from the ridge to the west (your HUD says you're looking north), bulky and covered in fur with large claws on their hands. The wind partially obscures them, but you can clearly tell the yeti are rummaging around the overall crash site, trying to see what happened. They huff and grumble at each other, kicking bodies over as they harrumph and snarl inquisitively. They've not made their way to the bulk of the wreck that you're hiding in, and you doubt they'd push their way into here, since they seem to be avoiding it, but it's still cause for concern. They don't notice your presence, in any case.You look past the yeti to the obscured horizon, and you can't help but notice a beam of light emanating from some sort of tower much further away. You can't make out any real details from here.>Silently retreat back to the aurin and check on her.>Head out and beat some yeti ass.>Try to scare the yetis away, somehow.>Other
>>1349645>OtherSee if we can rig a booby trap on the entrance or at least a warning device
>>1349645> head out and beat some yeti assOff they run away that's fine too. Someone might send a team to survey the wreck and surely they would prefer the bodies were undisturbed.Keep an eye out for a trail of large footprints leading away from the site too.
>>1349666>>1349693>>1349886Just because the yetis aren't making their way to the bulkhead you're sheltered in right now doesn't mean they won't later, and if you're going to treat this aurin in relative peace, you need to make sure they aren't going to disturb you. You're not in the mood to try your luck against them in straight combat, not in this blizzard, so you better opt for more of an active defense than anything. The shuttle didn't leave much to work with, unfortunately, but there's enough to lay out a most basic deterrence system.Finding a long piece of stray bulkhead, you lay it out in the snow as a rough guardrail in front of the sheared-off opening you've been calling an entrance to the shuttle crash. Spotting a few stray electrical wires still sparking with energy, you pull and tug at them until you can lay them both across the metal. The rebar crackles slightly with electrical current running through it. Now anything that touches it will get a nasty shock. It's hardly the most elegant trap you've ever laid, but it's better than nothing. Chancing a glance outside, the yetis still don't seem interested in your hideout, and they seem to be milling about, observing the rest of the wreckage.Returning to the warmer interior, the aurin stirs slightly. She's still unconscious, but she's at least starting to come around. You note that she isn't visibly armed, much like you (if you don't count your spare mag pistol on your hip). She appears to be shivering. Makes sense, since she was trapped in a snowbank for who knows how long.>Get close and warm her up with your body heat.>Find a first-aid kit to treat that headwound.>Try and wake her up.>Other
>>1351265>>Find a first-aid kit to treat that headwound.Treat the injury first, it'll help make it easier to regulate her temperature second.
>>1351265>>1351367Technically we could just apply pressure until she stops bleeding, but it isn't necessary to do that yet. So getting better gear first will help more.
>>1351265>Find a first-aid kit to treat that headwound.>not in this blizzardI thought a blizzard against yetis would have been a cake walk for us. I assume we have some form of IR vision with our nanobots and we are fast.
>>1351367>>1351369>>1351460The more grave injury should be dealt with first, you reason. Fix that, and the rest will follow soon. Still, she needs to warm up at least some, so you pull off your jacket and drape it over her chest as a small cover. With that, you retreat further into the ship, trawling through the storage area in the back. Part of the bulkhead was blown off back here as well, but some of the cargo is still intact. More importantly, you find one of the spare first-aid kits stationed throughout the ship, still intact. Pulling it off the wall, you hurry back to the unconscious aurin and prop her head up. You rifle through the pack and find some gauze and sterilizer. Once you find and clean up the wound on her forehead, you wrap it up in a gauze headband and some extra padding to stem the bleeding and help close the wound.Just in time, too, as the aurin begins to stir awake. Her brow creases and she moans lightly as she holds a palm to the side of her head. Her eyes flutter open, but she's still squinting and trying to get her bearings back."Ohhh, my head," she mutters in a high tenor. "Wh...where am I? What happened? And...cheese and crackers, why is it so cold out?">Glad you could join us among the living.>We're in our shuttle. Or at least, what's left of it.>We're in the Northern Wilds, I think. We had a...bumpy landing.>This is heaven, and I'm god.>Other
>>1351495>>This is heaven, and I'm god.Let's be cheeky for a bit. Once we're serious:>Glad you could join us among the living.>We're in our shuttle. Or at least, what's left of it.>We're in the Northern Wilds, I think. We had a...bumpy landing.
>>1351495>We're in the Northern Wilds, I think. We had a...bumpy landing.There is no cheese and crackers here.
>>1351503>>1351565You sit yourself in another passenger chair directly across from the now-conscious aurin, who is still holding the side of her head, now bandaged up. At least she seems lucid."We're in the Northern Wilds, I'm pretty sure," you respond to at least one of her questions. You glance up at the shattered bulkhead around you, and she appears to follow your gaze with her large bright green eyes. Her mouth hangs agape slightly at the sight. "We had a, uh, bit of a rough landing.""Oh, forest fires," you hear her mutter. "Were...were you on the shuttle too?""Yeah, I was," you confirm. You probably didn't see me, since you were seated further up than I was.""Maybe," she mumbles. "I'm usually pretty good with faces--rrr!" She grunts as she holds her head again and hunches forward."Take it easy," you remind her as you help steady her and help her sit upright. "You took a pretty heavy blow to the head. Be lucky that's the only wound I could find." The aurin promptly pats herself down, similarly to what you did to check for injuries. "How do you feel?""Like my head's getting trampled by an elephant," she complains, "but I think I'll be fine. Why'd it have to be a headwound, though? I hate those the most. It stifles my brainpower.""Brainpower?""Yeah. Brainpower. If you can't use your brainpower, you can't change the world, I say." Her witty catchphase is promptly reprised with another grunt of pain. "How did you...?""I was thrown from the shuttle when we landed," you begin. "I found you stuck in a snowdrift, unconscious. I pulled you out and brought you back here before you froze to death.""You...saved my life?" she posits, looking at you a bit more softly."Yyyyyyyou might say that," you admit. She looks off to the side and smiles slightly with a bit of a blush before turning back with a more serious face. "Are there any other survivors?""You were the only one I could find," you admit, shaking your head. "That said, there's an annoying granok who's unaccounted for right now, and if I can't find him, odds are there may be other survivors. I don't know where they may be, though, especially if there's yetis and the like checking out the wreckage.""Yetis?" she confirms."Yeah, ol' sasquatches.""Hrrm," she grumbles again."I'm Clyde, by the way," you pipe up after a moment's silence. "Clyde Starwalker. Do you remember your name?" The aurin seems to relax a little at the question."Nalia Dewdrop, XAS" she replies with a smile and a light bow. She's with the Exile Academy of Science, so that means you rescued a scientist. Not bad, you mentally praise yourself. "I definitely won't forget this kindness, Clyde." She holds her head again. "Ugh, assuming I can remember anything that happens here. I feel like a woodpecker is using my skull to bore out a hole for its nest.">"Can you walk?">Try getting a signal with your datachron.>Ask Nalia a few more questions. (About?)>Other
>>1352052>"Can you walk? Can you fight?">Try getting a signal with your datachron.
>>1352052>Can you walk? Can you fight?">Try getting a signal with your datachron.
>>1352096>>1352265You look over Nalia, who already handed you back your coat. She's still nursing that headwound, but she seems fine otherwise. Her tail flits about here and there behind her."Can you walk?" you ask. Nalia tries to stand up, but she wobbles a bit before flopping back in her chair, her rabbit-esque ears bobbing a bit atop her head."Gimme a minute," she admits. "You got any aspirin in that kit?" She leans over and rifles through the first-aid kit in the chair next to her, eventually pulling out a bottle of painkillers and popping two of the capsules. "It's better than nothing."While Nalia continues going through the kit, you get up and look back outside through the hole into the blizzard. Fortunately, it hasn't strengthened in power, but it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon. You tap once on your pocket, and an AR overlay appears in front of you at about chest height, which lets you navigate through all the handy functionality of your datachron. After a few taps, you're projecting a basic SOS signal from your location. Hopefully, someone out there is listening and can hear you.You look back at Nalia and see she's already going through her own datachron, checking on something.>Feeling better?>You said you're with the XAS. What do you do?>Any clues to this blizzard?>Other
>>1352328>Feeling better?>You said you're with the XAS. What do you do?
>>1352328>>Feeling better?>>You said you're with the XAS. What do you do?
>>1352339>>1352691"You feeling any better, Ms. Dewdrop?" you eventually ask the aurin, turning back to face her more fully."At least the headache is starting to pass," Nalia confirms. "That's a major load off. You have no idea how much of a pain headaches are for me.""They're a pain for everyone," you jab a little, to which Nalia snorts. You roam about the wrecked cabin a bit, to see if there's anything salvagable. Fortunately, there aren't any bodies left in the cabin itself. They must've all been ejected. "You said you're XAS. Any field in particular you're in.""A little of everything," Nalia remarks absently. "Being an aurin, one of my specialties will inevitably be ecology, but I'm also good with archaeology and some Eldan tech.""Eldan tech? You've been on Nexus already?" She nods, continuing to look across her AR display. "Then what were you doing on the Aces High?""Had to follow up on some data I had. Some dodo bird had the bright idea of keeping some records on a databank on the colony ship, so I had to go grab it. Took this shuttle back to the surface and, well, you know the rest.""Is that the data in question you're looking over?""No," she bluntly replies. "I just have a very sneaking suspicion about something.""About what?""That this blizzard isn't all that it seems.""...Huh?"Before you can follow up on that thought, your datachron pings with a response. Someone heard you and is trying to contact you! You flip on your AR panels, a window appearing over your eye. You get a good look at a tan, goggled human woman wearing a turban and what looks like a turtleneck. Her face is partly obscured by the snowy winds outside, although they seem to have died down a bit; you can still make out rather plump lips, of all things."SOS signal, respond!" the woman calls. "This is Jackie Cooper of the Explorer's Union, responding to SOS signal from the shuttle crash site. Anybody home?">This is Clyde Starwalker. I put out the SOS.>I'm here, and I got injured.>Nobody here but us yetis.>I was promised peanuts on this flight.>Other
>>1352778> Here with injured
>>1352778>This is Clyde Starwalker. I put out the SOS.>I'm here, and I got injured.
>>1352778>>13528023rding.I'm thinking we should respond professionally to this SOS response.
"This is Clyde Starwalker," you call out on the call. "The SOS is mine. Glad to see a friendly face out there.""Glad to be friendly," Jackie remarks, "if a little frozen. Anyone else out there with you?""I got injured with me," you start before Nalia cuts on in the call with her own datachron behind you, her face transposed next to Jackie's."This is Nalia Dewdrop with the XAS," Nalia interjects with surprising authority. "I'm a little banged up, but Clyde treated me here. I'll be all right.""Is there anyone else?" Jackie asks."No," you respond, shaking your head. "It's just us. Everyone else is either dead or missing.""Damn," Jackie mutters. "It's not enough we have to deal with the blizzard and busted comms, but the enemy isn't helping matters, either.""The enemy?" Nalia asks."Never mind that," Jackie cuts off that train of thought. "We'll take this one step at a time, and step one is getting you outta there before you get snowed in. Can you move?" You look back at Nalia in her seat, and she nods back at you."Yeah, we can get going," you confirm, "but I don't see this blizzard doing us any favors, to say nothing of the, uh, locals.""The blizzard's been going for a long while now," Jackie elaborates. "Fortunately, we figured out that the intensity of the storm ebbs and flows. Peaks and valleys, if you will. Right now, the storm is due to calm down any second. That'll be your best chance to get out of that wreck and make your way to my position. D'you see the flares I laid out?"You squint through the whipping winds outside, and off in the distance, you can spot one or two purple flares sitting on the snow, burning a bright light and letting smoke waft into the air only to be carried away by the winds. "Yeah, I see 'em," you confirm again. Nalia has sidled up behind you, looking out from behind you into the snow. You note she's only about a head shorter than you, if you don't count her ears."Follow those flares, and you should reach my position. I can explain what we need to do next once you get here.""And the yetis?" You ask."Thaaaaaaat one is on you," Jackie admits. "Fortunately, the yetis don't like the blizzard any more than we do. If you prove you're more of a hassle than it's worth to eat you, they oughta leave you alone. That or just avoid 'em altogether. Can you do that?""I think I can manage that much," you confide, glancing back at Nalia."Give it a little bit for the storm to die down, then follow the flares, like I said," Jackie reiterates. "I got binocs to keep an eye out for you, so I'll see you coming. I promise it's not that far a hike.""Understood. I'll hold you to that. Starwalker out." The 'chron cuts out, leaving you and Nalia with the storm in front of you and the muffled silhouettes of a few yetis stalking the wreckage and treeline off to the west."So, how are we doing this?" Nalia asks.>Can you fight?>Bust some yeti heads and scare them off.>Sneak around them.>Other
>>1353031>Sneak around them.As much as possible, we of course will carry the advantage here but we can trail just a bit behind Nalia and make sure to swoop in if anything looks like they're following her, or she can fall back to us if something comes up in front
>>1353031>Sneak around them.
>>1353031> kill them and turn them into winter coats
Roll me a d100, if you please.
Rolled 67 (1d100)>>1354278Sorry I am late, buses home are a shit
>>1354515"I don't want to fight a yeti if I don't have to," you admit to Nalia, who appears to be rolling a kink out of her shoulder."That goes double for me," Nalia chuckles. "So we're taking the quiet route?""Preferably.""Aren't the yetis going to notice two people trudging through the snow out of this wreck further into the wilds?""Correction." You fold your arms as you stare pointedly towards the aurin. Your nanites kick into gear, and you slowly fade from sight until you're almost completely invisible. Her brow furrows as she looks over where you were just standing. "Are they going to spot ONE of us?""Well, aren't we a real chameleon?" Nalia chides, arms folding and weight shifting to one side. "You sure you're not just scared of the sasquatches?""That's neither here nor there," you cut, as you phase back into view. "Point is, it's harder for them to spot one of us than it is to spot two of us. Don't worry: I'll be right behind you.""That's a real comfort," the scientist retorts. As she chuckles, the winds begin to die down, visibility beginning to increase slowly. The three or so yetis skulking around the wreck look up and sniff the air, noticing the waning storm as well. For once, you can actually see further into the wilds. That light you thought came from a tower was indeed emanating from some out-of-place tower on the opposite ridgeline, an Eldan tower at that. It shoots a bright beam of blue light into the air from its crown. You can see what appear to be light-blue crystals dotting the inside of the partly-chipped exterior of the tower. The wind is still going, but there's much less snow being thrown about."That's our cue," you confirm. You circle around behind Nalia and drop a hand onto her shoulder, which she promptly glances down at then back towards you. You smile as you vanish again. You can't scarcely imagine the feeling of a hand gripping your shoulder when you can't see one; it's like those old ghost stories. "Whenever you're ready, we'll get moving. Oh, and mind the rebar at the foot of the ramp there. It's electrified."Nalia nods as she slowly steps forward, eventually exiting the bulkhead and out into the open air. The cool air is much more tolerable since it's not blowing at galeforce winds, which is refreshing. Nalia naturally keeps to the low ridgeline directly to your right, a hand lightly tracing along the rockface as you push forward. You both regularly steal glances at the yetis, who continue milling about. One of them finally gets the bright idea to head into the main bulkhead, but the electrified rebar you left zaps them, and they howl and fall onto their back before scurrying away from the wreck. It's good to know that was going to work anyway. The flares that Jackie left mark an impromptu path that conveniently follow the ridgeline. You follow along for a few minutes, steadily approaching the base of that Eldan tower but not quite.
>>1354680Not far off, you finally spot the explorer you talked to, staring directly at you through an advanced viewfinder like a birdwatcher. Once you clear the wreck itself, you phase back into view, and both you and Nalia wave at Jackie, who promptly waves you towards her. Letting go of Nalia's should, both of you break into a jog towards Jackie's miniature camp, where she's got a warming lantern and a sandbag emplacement waiting for you. You can see more of what she's got equipped: the telltale signs of an explorer with the maps rolled up on her back, survival knives, rope, ice picks, and other adventuring gear. Leave it to the Explorer's Union to be prepared to, well, explore the unknown. You retreat behind the emplacement and hunker down with Nalia, who seems to be holding onto her tail, and Jackie, who's taking a knee."You two okay?" Jackie confirms."Could be worse," you shrug, "but at least the yetis didn't bother us.""Well, in lieu of any other formal introduction, welcome to Nexus." Jackie spreads her arms out, as if presenting the planet to you in all its wonder. She then offers a casual two-finger salute. "Jackie Cooper, Explorer's Union, but we've already met. Damn shame about the shuttle and all those people, though.""I'm pretty sure some blizzard turbulence couldn't bring that thing down," you complain."You're right," Jackie confirm. "It didn't. You were shot down. The blizzard helped.""What?" you and Nalia ask in unison."Don't ask me why, I don't know why they're here either," Jackie explains, "but there's a Dominion camp somewhere in this region, and they've done nothing but give us hell. They don't seem to be after anything in particular, but they have a habit of shooting down Exile shuttles that pass through the area. Would you believe me if I told you you're the third shuttle this week to get shot down?""Third?!" Nalia exclaims. "By the Weave!">Why haven't you told anyone? You could've warned the flotilla that this is a trap.>Are there other survivors?>Is it just you out here?>Do you know where the Dominion camp is?>You wouldn't happen to have seen a loud, cigar-chomping, claymore-toting granok around here, have you?>Other
>>1354686>Why haven't you told anyone? You could've warned the flotilla that this is a trap.>Is it just you out here?Fuck it, I wanna ask all the questions :(
>>1354686>Why haven't you told anyone? You could've warned the flotilla that this is a trap.>Do you know where the Dominion camp is?>You wouldn't happen to have seen a loud, cigar-chomping, claymore-toting granok around here, have you?
>>1354750>>1354826Your brow furrows in irritation and confusion. It's your first moment at planetfall on Nexus, and already, the Dominion is making hell for you. You can only feel that this is a sign of the pending struggle to come."Why haven't you alerted anyone?" you complain at Jackie. "The flotilla, or any shuttle passing through, should know by now that this region is a trap, if the Dominion is shooting ships down.""Trust me, I would if I could," Jackie retorts with a shake of her head, "but I mentioned it in passing already: the comms array we set up in the region is knocked out. The Dominion took it down, and the blizzard is keeping it down. We can't get word out to anyone that this region is a death trap, though in most cases, the blizzard itself tends to ward shuttles away.""We?" Nalia pipes up. "It's not just you out here?""Sort of," the explorer replies. "Those other two shuttles shot down before you? The survivors are in a makeshift camp just east of our position. A lot of them are in rough shape, and we've got doctors and soldiers to help and protect them, but we're not making any headway. The Explorer's Union sent me to investigate what's going on. I'm practically the only able-bodied person they can send out to do stuff, and there's only so much I can do myself.""Were we the only survivors you saw come out of the shuttle?" you ask. "Did you see a granok toting a claymore leaving the wreckage? Probably smoking a cigar, likely talking about breasts and whatnot?" Nalia gives you a look."It's hard to miss a granok around here," Jackie admits. "If he did walk out of that wreck, it was before you sent out your SOS. I wasn't in the area, so I didn't see him come out.""He definitely wasn't among the bodies I found," you offer."Which means either he's raising hell among the yetis or wandering somewhere else in the region. If he's as rough as you say, he'll probably be fine as long as he doesn't have a mind to make a run at the Dominion camp by himself.""Well, in any case, we need to get these survivors out of here," you assert. "They can't put up with this weather for very long.""Not with those Dominion guns active. As long as they're up, they'll keep shooting down Exile shuttles. As long as our comms are down, we can't warn anyone to avoid the region until we get the guns down. And until we can stop this blizzard, we can't really deal with either of those problems.""Do we even know where the Dominion camp is?" you ask."I don't have exact coordinates, what with the storm and all," Jackie informs, "but based on where the gunfire is coming from, they're definitely somewhere in the southeast corner of the area. You'd have to get around these ridgelines to get to it, and far as I can tell, there's only one easy path in and out via land."
>>1355959"Talk about a full plate," you mutter before your brain catches up and your brow furrows. "Wait. What do you mean, 'until we stop this blizzard'? You can't stop the weather.""Oh ho hoooo, buddy," Jackie smiles at you. "Fresh outta cryo, I take it? Well, prepare to have your mind blown, because let me remind you: Nexus doesn't play by the rules.""I knew it," Nalia says to herself, as you follow her gaze up to the Eldan tower you sit in the shadow of. An AR window appears before the aurin that she taps across to pull up some schematics and other details. "I knew I recognized this design and setup.""What, what?" you ask, looking back and forth between Nalia and the tower."You see those blue-ish crystals inside that tower?" Nalia points up at the tower. "That's loftite, a local mineral on the planet with remarkable properties. On top of reducing gravity in the area, it can make for an impressive power source and conduit. The Eldan have done experiments with loftite and its numerous capabilities. One of them was empowering them such that they can influence and augment local meterological behaviors and patters. They set up towers like this to amplify the mineral's effect and record how it applies to the local weather patterns, among other things. Most of them are shut down, but somehow, this one is still active.""The short version," Jackie interjects into the scientist's explanation, "is that we're looking at an ancient Eldan weather control tower, and that's what's causing this blizzard. We shut down the tower, we shut down the blizzard. Without the snowstorm hindering us, we can get to easily repairing our comms and, eventually, rooting out and ripping up that Dominion base that's shooting down our shuttles."You look back at the ancient tower and note that the entryway is open and that there's a terminal in plain sight. "The terminal's right there," you point out. "We could just turn it off right now.""I ain't stupid," Jackie retorts, folding her arms across her impressive bust. "I'd've done it myself by now, but the terminal is locked remotely. You see those steps next to us?" You look past the explorer and note that they wind past the tower behind it, going further into the ridgeline to the north. "There's an exo-lab hidden in that ridge that--""Exo-lab?" you momentarily cut Jackie off."Exo-labs are - mostly - underground Eldan research facilities," Nalia helpfully offers. "It's where they performed a lot of their experiments. Some are very small affairs, while others are sprawling and can run long and deep. They're, quite frankly, all over the place.""Right," Jackie asserts herself. "There's an exo-lab back there - Exo-Lab 729, by the records we found - that most likely has the security override we can run to unlock this tower. We run the override, and we can flip the switch here at the tower to turn it off and stop the snowstorm."
>>1355960"Lemme guess," you offer. "You can't get to the exo-lab because there's, what, loftite golems crawling around the entrance that are keeping you out.""...Actually, yeah," Jackie confirms, a mildly dumbfounded look on her face. "Wow, you're good at this.""I was joking about the loftite golems.""Well, I'm not, and I can't make my way in there with them in the way. What's more, even I wanted to make a move, the blizzard itself isn't helping matters. This dry spell we're in right now will last for a little while, but not for long. If we're going to make a run on the exo-lab, we'll need to do it now while the weather is light. Otherwise, we'll have to hunker down when the storm whips up again, and that means more time that the blizzard is causing hell for our survivors and more time that those Dominion guns stay up.""So...I'm guessing you need some help, then," you posit."I can't afford to beat around the bush," Jackie lays out. "Ignoring little miss migraine's banged up head--""I never asked for it, you know," Nalia defends herself."--you two are the most able-bodied Exiles in the region, apart from me. I got my hands full running around to scrounge up supplies to help the doctors and guards keep our survivors up and going. There's literally no one else we can spare; everyone is trying to keep the encampment up and running and safe from the Dominion and other nasties in the area. If you can help us out, you'll be doing us a humongous solid here.""So lemme see if I got this right," you reiterate. "Step one: we shut down this ancient tower and stop the blizzard. Step two: we get comms back online so we can let people know where we're at. And step three: we ransack that Dominion camp and bring down those guns.""Which means we can get our wounded out of here and can secure this region," Jackie fills in. "Can you do it? I've got a couple other things I have to do, so I need to know I can leave at least this tower business to you."You look to Nalia, who is rubbing at her forehead a little less than she was before, but she's still nursing it a bit. She returns your look and huffs. "Don't worry about me, Mr. Starwalker," the scientist offers. "I'm not as helpless as I look. I'll follow you. If you want my professional opinion, I recommend that the sooner we get this done, the better for everyone, including you and I.">Let's get to Exo-Lab 729 while we've still got this window of opportunity.>We need to regroup at the survivors' camp first.>Nalia goes back to camp while we deal with Exo-Lab 729 solo.>"I got a better idea..." (Fill in)
>>1355963> Better IdeaNuke it from Orbit; the only way to be sureAlternatively> GET TO DAH LAHB
>>1355963>Nalia goes back to camp while we deal with Exo-Lab 729 solo.No sense in taking someone who is already wounded into a combat situation. We'll have to rely on ourselves on this one
>>1355963>>Let's get to Exo-Lab 729 while we've still got this window of opportunity.
>>1355971>>1356076>>1356252"Looks like we're all stuck in this mess," you eventually decide on saying, "so the sooner we get it cleaned up, the better. Lead the way to the exo-lab.""I promise you, the Exiles are never gonna forget this." Jackie stands up, leaving her heating lantern on the ground - she'll probably be back for it later. You and Nalia rise up and follow close behind her, walking up the partially frozen and snowed-over stairway that winds behind the glowing blue tower. The tall icy ridgeline narrows and funnels you into a small clearing. There, you can see hovering crystals of loftite floating gracefully above the snow. You also, as you inadvertently predicted, spot a few crystal golems - more like titans - trotting about in the snow. They're at least twice as tall as you, just like that Eldan automaton from the cryo-sim, but they don't seem particularly aggressive. You know how things can flip on a dime, though.At the far side of the clearing, you can spot the blatant, oversized door to the exo-lab at the far side, glowing that now-characteristic Eldan green glow."There's the exo-lab," Jackie helpfully points out. "And this is far as I go. I'm carrying some supplies I need to get back to the camp. Remember, run the override when you find it, then get back to the tower and activate the terminal. If we're right, the blizzard should stop, and we'll be in a much better spot. An' hey, if you grab a bit of extra loftite, all the better. Good luck." You and Nalia nod back at Jackie as she turns heel and jogs back down the stairs and around the corner, out of sight."I'm not quite sure if we can really slip past these titans," Nalia comments, "but it's a relatively straight shot to the exo-lab. But, oh, what I wouldn't give for a bit of spare loftite...">Ignore the titans and try to skedaddle straight for the exo-lab.>Make it a point to clear out a few of the titans.>Maybe grabbing a little loftite wouldn't hurt. I mean, it's just hanging-- er, floating around.>Other
>>1356515>Make it a point to clear out a few of the titans.Since she doesn't have stealth to fall back on, and if possible we'll grab her a loftite on the way back, snagging them now will probably trip some defensive mechanism
>>1356515>>Make it a point to clear out a few of the titans.
>>1356515>>1356530This. Duty first, loot later.
Roll me a spare d100, please.
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>1357221Here's one I found behind the couch.
>>1357248Whoops, I guess we are not qualified to play with heavy machinery.
Rolled 95 (1d100)>>1357221
Rolled 70 (1d100)>>1357221is it best of three?
>>1357260Not quite.>>1356530>>1356591>>1356685"I don't like the idea of these crystal titans milling about around here," you admit. "Even if we could go straight to the exo-lab, there's no guarantee they won't eventually leave this valley and attack the camp. Better thin the herd on our way in, just to be sure." You punctuate that sentence by clenching your fists and unsheating your nanite claw blades from your knuckles, two blades on each hand."How pragmatic of you," Nalia idly comments, stepping alongside you, shaking out her hands and arms. "I won't complain." She stands more upright than she was originally, more proudly and more dignified. It seems she's caught a bit of a groove.One of the crystal titans crosses across the walkway leading to the exo-lab before pausing mid-step and turning its crystalline "head" in your direction. Its "hands" clench as it turns more fully in your direction, shifting rock and crystalline grinding with each movement, despite the titan being held together relatively loosely, as though each limb were floating individually. With slow, methodic steps, the titan marches in your direction.You crouch a bit and prepare to leap at the titan, but Nalia's hand lands on your shoulder and stops you. She steps forward in front of you, still relaxed but focused on the titan."Please, let me," Nalia insists. "I need to know I haven't lost anything."Before you can say anything, the crystal titan alights and moves on Nalia. It prepares to raise its two bulky arms over its head to smash down up.Without warning, a spectral sword forms out of nowhere and slashes across the titan's chest, carving a nasty groove into the crystal. Then another sword cuts from another angle. Then an axe. Then a spear, then two more swords. Each spectral weapon formed from nothing, and each one digging up more and more of the titan's body until it's a nasty, scarred mess. Nalia's hands raise from her sides slightly, and a small flock of spectral birds manifest from her, rearing up just above her head. Throwing her hands in front of her, the birds screech as they charge forward in the blink of an eye, slamming into the titan and knocking it onto its back, where it falls apart and refuses to reconstitute itself.
>>1357394For a moment, you're a bit taken aback by the sudden show of force, as it never crossed your mind that Nalia was fully capable of this. Then your rational side catches up and states the now-obvious:"You're an Esper?"Nalia's hands drop to her side, and she looks back at you with a light smile."Remember what I was saying about brainpower earlier?" You nod. "I meant it."Now you understand why Nalia hates headaches.You recall when another esper explained themselves to you. Espers are masters of the mind, and they tap into the powerful and sometimes chaotic psychic energies of their mind for all kinds of psychic powers, which commonly include psychic constructs, illusions, mind tricks, and even invigorating and protecting allies. They insist they are not psionics, meaning they can't read minds, control thoughts or use telekinesis, but you were never so convinced.Regardless, you now know for certain that Nalia can more than protect herself, and that takes a considerable load off your shoulders. The two of you move forward into the valley, pouncing upon another crystal titan that moves upon you. You leap onto its chest and start ripping up its torso and head, while Nalia summons a spectral warhammer that swings low and sweeps the titan's legs out from underneath it. For another titan, Nalia distracts it with a few swords to attack from the front, leaving you to exit stealth behind it and lance your claws through its back and rip it apart. The two of you continue to move like this with methodic precision, taking down each crytal golem that crosses your path one by one. By the time you're done and have made it to the entrance of the exo-lab, you collectively pulled apart at least eight of the titans, their "body parts" rolling across the snow as separate crystal chunks."Not a bad day's work," you idly remark as the door to Exo-Lab 729 unfurls open on its own, and you two stride inside out of the cold."I may be a scientist," the aurin retorts, "but that doesn't mean I can't hold my own when push comes to shove. Even I know when it's time to defend myself.">And you do it very well.>As long as you don't make my head explode, I think we'll get along fine.>You're weird.>How's your head?>Other
>>1357397>>And you do it very well.>>How's your head?
>>1357397>And you do it very well.Let's not let the esper conspiracy know we are on to them.
>>1357459>>1357517You fold your arms across your chest as you give Nalia a once-over."And it's clear you defend yourself very well," you compliment her. "Of course, part of me shouldn't be surprised that a brainy scientist is slinging mind blades at her enemies given the opportunity.""If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were stereotyping me, Mr. Starwalker." Nalia smiles back at you as she reaches behind her back and pulls out her psy-blade, a multi-armed glaive of sorts that many espers use as either a focus for their powers or as a more physical form of personal defense, oftentimes both. She spins the glaive by its center handle on a single finger, smirking at you. "Maybe I oughtta start making jokes about a Stalker like you hiding from all your problems and stabbing people in the back all the time.""Hey, it's not like I asked for this," you retort. "The procedure wasn't what you call compulsory.""My apologies, Mr. Starwalker." Her rabbit ears droop. "I didn't know--""Don't worry about it. We can compare notes later. How's your head feeling?"Putting the psy-blade away, Nalia taps at her bandaged head. "Much better, now that I've had a chance to flex my muscles a bit. In fact..." Nalia's eyes close, and she takes a long and low exhale. You see a small shimmering lightshow of soft green and white colors flitting about the crown of her head before dissipating. Carefully tapping at her head again with two fingers, she nods and pulls the gauze headwrap off her forehead."Much better.""Did you just-- Why couldn't you do that earlier?""I wasn't exactly of a clear mind when you found me, you know. Head trauma and almost dying to the cold will do that to you.""Point taken."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67JjCicJZgUThat distraction aside, you now take a better look at the interior of the exo-lab itself. You are bathed in that Eldan green glow from all directions in this relatively small room. The ceiling is tall, and the opposite wall is several meters away, but this feels downright cozy compared to what you were expecting. You can spot a couple of crystal titans kept in stasis pods in the corners of the room, and one terminal off to the side has a floating piece of loftite suspended above it. Off in another corner, you spot a datacube, one that your datachron could reasonably read, though you can't say how old it is. On the opposite wall is another door, but the terminal next to it doesn't appear cooperative."Now, let's find that tower override," Nalia reaffirms, and she promptly makes a beeline towards the door in the back, setting to work on the terminal next to it. "It might be in this room, but something tells me we'll find something else in the back.">Check out that loftite terminal.>Read the datacube.>Observe the crystal titans in stasis.>See what Nalia is up to at the door.>Other
>>1357753>>Check out that loftite terminal.>>Read the datacube.
>>1357753>>1358966this, but keep an eye on the titans
>>1358966>>1358977>>1359017Your attention is immediately drawn to the datacube stored in the corner of the room. You've seen plenty of datacubes before, storing schematics and other data in a secured format. But this one looks a lot...greener. And if the color scheme of the rest of the room is any indication, you can only presume that whoever recorded this cube was associated with the Eldan in some way or another. Part of you races with trepidation and fear. Is the data on this cube going to be so profound that you go mad with the vast knowledge stored within? Is it one of those deals? With nothing to do but to go for it, you activate the datacube with your datachron and record the contents. It's a vocal log, it seems. Two of them. They're by two different individuals, but their voices are both deep and powerful, tinged metallic by the nature of the recording. The first voice is deeper, while the second is elevated, slightly more intellectual-sounding.DATACUBE ENTRY: Violent TempestJariel: The Archon"Our research here has been enlightening. By harnessing the power of loftite crystals, this tower has created a violent storm. The sheer power unleashed has exceeded our expectations, indicating that we will reach the final stage of the Project."DATACUBE ENTRY: Primal DisruptorVorion: Order of the Makers"The Primal Disruptor provides an abundant source of power by transforming elemental life forms into refined loftite crystals. Their sacrifice is necessary if we are to advance the great work that we are doing here."Huh. For such an ancient and mysterious race, you didn't expect them to keep such detailed notes. Nalia looks up from the door terminal she's working on, having heard the datacube recordings as well."Well," she eventually breaks the silence, "at least we know that tower was intended to do its job. Still, the sorts of experiments they ran in this exo-lab, while rather callous, sound eye-opening. Now I just HAVE to get into this room and see what else they were working on here." The scientist fervently returns to her door terminal.That leaves you time to approach the terminal with the floating loftite crystal above it. Knowing that this sample could be either naturally-occuring loftite or one of those crystal titans put through a proverbial hydraulic press is a bit sobering. Still, accessing the terminal reveals that this could potentially be the override you're looking for. Unfortunately, this might take a little while...>Roll 1d100.
Rolled 90 (1d100)>>1359088
Rolled 21 (1d100)>>1359088
>>1359088>The Primal Disruptor provides an abundant source of power by transforming elemental life forms into refined loftite crystalsWew, that sounds lucrative!
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>1359590s/+/d/
>>1359238>>1359548>>1359590>>1359601As you tap through the terminal, your thoughts wander at the mention of the Primal Disruptor. You reckon it could be an easy source of power (and maybe money in the long run), but you remind yourself that the Eldan are as obtuse as they come. You're getting that weird "mad scientist" vibe from them, now that you hear them for the first time.You navigate through the loftite terminal in just the right way that you're able to find the fail-safe routines for the "Stratospire," whatever that is. The name sounds about right, but the fail-safes appear to have, well, failed a long while ago. With a few deft taps, you restart power to the fail-safes, a handy notification on the screen informing that the Stratospire is now unlocked for manual access and control.You appear to have impeccable timing, as Nalia has finally wormed her way through the system and unlocked the door to the back room of the exo-lab with a hiss."Spring showers! Finally!" Nalia pumps a fist. "Come on, let's see what else we can find in here. Any more information we can find on the Eldan will go a long way.">I've already unlocked the tower. Let's just go.>May as well check this place out, while we're still here. Any info is good info.>Other
>>1359626>May as well check this place out, while we're still here. Any info is good info.Eh, no one is moving until the weather is turned off anyway. Except for the big dumb cock perv.
>>1359626>>May as well check this place out, while we're still here. Any info is good info.
>>1359735>>1360188You could leave for the tower at any time now that its controls are unlocked, and part of you wants to go back and get that finished before the blizzard picks up again. That said, learning new information about the Eldan is just far too tempting. Any inroads made here will go a long way down the road, even if it's only for something as small as a weather experiment in this one region of the continent.Plus, you can't bring yourself to say no when Nalia gives you that sparkling look in her eyes when she's eager to see something. Damn aurin."All right," you concede. "Let's see what we got." Nalia does a little tapdance before darting into the back room, you jogging close behind her before she gets too far ahead.This back room is not that different from the first room, just with a couple different features. On the east wall are two stasis tubes that reach to the ceiling where you can see the crack of lightning from primal air in one and a swirling ball of ice and primal water in another. On the opposite west wall is a third statis tube, except this one contains a small icy typhoon that consumes the entire pod. Between the two pods on the east wall is what looks to be an Eldan hologram display, with some sort of conical display device against the wall itself. Smack in the middle of the room is another Eldan datacube, which you promptly access while Nalia gawks at the contained typhoon. The voice this time is female, and she speaks slowly and methodically.DATACUBE ENTRY: Volatile PowerAviel: Order of the Weavers"By extracting pure primal air from loftite crystals, the tower below is able to generate wildly different meterological effects. Currently, the machine is generating a storm, but it could just as easily create destructive bolts of lightning, or a whirlwind of such power it would tear this facility apart. What a sight that would make..."Nalia and you both look at each other before looking back at the datacube. A moment of silence passes before you turn back to the aurin."You're not all mad scientists, are--" Nalia vigorously shakes her head no. "Okay, so it's not just me, then."Nalia turns to the hologram projector near the east wall and taps on its side. The projector activates, rising up into the air slightly and displaying a holographic loftite crystal, just like those you saw outside."Loading Caretaker Interface..." A voice rings out from the separate wall display. "Accessing Project Files..."The display on the wall activates, the cone-like projector equipment revealing a holographic green humanoid figure from the waist up, hooded and carrying a large tome in one arm. Its features are sharp and angular, masculine in nature but with no features you can recognize, with runic symbols criss-crossing his face. Perhaps he's what an Eldan looks like? It shortly begins speaking, its speech eloquent and precise with a slight almost-highborn (read: British) accent to it.
>>1360350"Welcome to Exo-Lab 729, control module for the Stratospire," the figure begins. "I am the Caretaker.""The what?" you interrupt."The Caretaker," Nalia and this 'Caretaker' simultaneously respond."I'll explain later," Nalia mutters towards you. "Let me do the talking for now." The aurin then turns back to the Caretaker. "Are you connected to any other hubs, or are you a fractured, remote shard?""Hm." The Caretaker strokes his chin. "You know, I never thought to check. One moment." The hologram flits off for a couple seconds before returning. "Unfortunately, I cannot reach out to any other lab or even any other Caretaker cores. It appears I am all alone here. How dreadful.""Are you yourself fractured?" Nalia continues. "Is your core fragmented?""I don't FEEL fragmented," the Caretaker remarks. "I shall endeavor to run diagnostics on myself the moment this dialogue is concluded, just to be safe."Nalia breathes a sigh of relief. "Good. At least he's not one of the crazy ones." She speaks up again. "Go ahead and tell us about this project you're monitoring.""Very well," the Caretaker responds, "though I must reiterate that given my...isolated circumstances, I am only able to provide details on this particular site. I will not be able to offer insight on any other labs or projects elsewhere on Nexus, never mind where any of the Eldan research leads are located.""That's fine," Nalia agrees."Wait, what are--" you start. Nalia shushes you again."This facility is capable of fusing two or more forms of primal power into focused energetic reactions," the Caretaker begins, opening his tome and flipping through its pages. It's unclear if this is for show or not. "The Stratospire is currently fusing the power of primal air concentrated in loftite crystals with primal water. I am alarmed to report that the Stratospire has been in steady operation for centuries longer than intended, causing profound environmental effects. Power to the Stratospire fail-safe controls appears to have been disrupted by harsh conditions and rampaging ice monsters. If you wish to restore conditions less likely to induce icy death, I advise you to restore power. Otherwise, I have been assured that settings will be restored to normal after the Archon has finished his vacation.""But I just restored the fail-safe controls already," you speak up.The Caretaker's brow furrows at you before flipping through a couple more pages of its book. "Ah," he idly remarks. "So you have. My apologies. Since the fail-safe controls are now properly powered and functional, you should be able to manually control the Stratospire's output at its controls." The figure closes his book with a simulated THWUMP. "I imagine that will be all, then?"
>>1360352"Yes, thank you," Nalia confirms with a nod. "Don't forget those diagnostics I mentioned." The Caretaker nods before disappearing one last time. The aurin looks to you and motions you back to the entrance of the exo-lab with a "Let's go.">What in the hell was that about?>Who was that?>You've done this before?>Ugh. It's just one thing after another.>Other
>>1360353> One thing after anotherDemand repayment in sugary snack of choice for helping Nalia.
>>1360353>>What in the hell was that about?>>Who was that?>>You've done this before?"What, who, uhm, what, ????" Then after the exposition try to use the device to throw lightning at the enemy.
>>1360426>>1360479Once you leave the back room of the exo-lab and approach the entrance, you lean over to Nalia."You mind explaining what in the hell that was?" you whisper conspiratorily to her. "Who was that?""THAT," Nalia punctuates as the two of you leave the exo-lab and reach the open air again, "was the Caretaker.""Yeah, I gathered that much," you interject. The weather is still mild, so the two of you begin the short walk back to the so-called Stratospire."Or at least, one of his avatars." Nalia absently grabs at one of the spare loftite crystals found in the valley as you walk past it."Now you lost me.""Ju--" Nalia takes a breath. "The Caretaker is an Eldan AI that can be found at most every major Eldan site across Nexus. He was designed to keep track of basically everything going on across the planet all at once, especially where Eldan experiments were concerned. What we just met back there was most likely a remote avatar designed specifically for this installation, so he doesn't have to keep all his attention and knowledge spread to every little corner of Nexus. It could potentially explain why he couldn't find any connections when I asked him, though he can always be reconnected later.""So he's, what, an AI godmind that watches over the entire planet?""Was. When the Eldan disappeared, the Caretaker's personality core was shattered somehow, fracturing him across the planet. He is no longer whole, but he's still scattered across the planet. What's worse: the fracturing has left many instances of him...unstable.""I hate the words 'AI' and 'unstable' used in the same sentence.""Easy color coding: a green Caretaker, like the one we just met, is normal and stable. You still shouldn't expect to get much information out of them; they can be frustratingly evasive. A red Caretaker, however, is a psychopath who will try to send you to your death; he's also kinda shouty and melodramatic. Some of the more remote and isolated shards or avatars seem to develop AI psychosis or otherwise obsessive behavior, which can lead to destabilization; to fix them, we'd have to either reconnect them to the core Caretaker network or, put bluntly, flash their data core with a clean, uncorrupted copy.""Green is good, red is bad. Easy enough.""Despite his evasiveness, the Caretaker has shed light on numerous mysteries across Nexus, and when he's helpful, he's good at pointing us in the right direction. One of the big initiatives that are going around is helping put the Caretaker back together. The more fractured pieces we piece back together into the whole, the more we can unravel about the planet, and the more the Caretaker can help us out. If we can fully reconstitute his personality core, wherever that is, he can start re-establishing his network across the planet.""Until then, we have to deal with an AI with multiple personality disorder who is still somehow guarding the secrets of Nexus?""Depends on the shard we meet."
>>1360781"A few times. The more you see of Nexus, the more likely you'll meet him at least once."You shake your head. "Yeesh, it's just one thing after another.""You'll get used to it, assuming the planet or the Dominion doesn't kill you first." She reaches into her coat pocket and pulls out a small package of candy - crunchy milk chocolate balls, to be specific. "My secret? A little candy.""Gimme." You thrust an open upturned palm at Nalia, who comically recoils and guards her baggie."MY stash. Mine." She pops a milk dud in her mouth, and her head lolls backwards as the shock of sugar hits her. "Mmm~! They're even frozen thanks to the cold!""Tch."Before you know it, the two of you are back at the foot of the Stratospire, standing just inside the small control room at the base with a wide green terminal, now unlocked. With a few artful taps on the console, you can hear the whirring of the tower's internals slow down and grow softer. You step outside of the tower and look up at the peak of the skyscraper. The bright blue beam of light shooting into the sky weakens in intensity, narrowing to a softer, smaller green beam of light that still aims towards the heavens.The results are immediate: the winds die down from loud gusts and zephyrs to much more mild cool breezes, the dark clouds overhead begin to part, and the snowfall lightens from a torrent to a soft, lazy trickle. Visibility improves immediately, and you can start to see some of the fauna poke their head out of wherever they're hiding, including jabbits and the odd yeti leering from his cave."Did we do it?" Nalia asks."I think we did," you confirm. "We just stopped a blizzard.""It never ceases to amaze me," Nalia chuckles, "just how much one or two people can make a difference.">Let's head for the survivor camp. Jackie said it was due directly east of here.>We should go back and check out the crash site.>Stand around a bit and enjoy the newly-visible stars in the sky.>Other
>>1360787>Stand around a bit and enjoy the newly-visible stars in the sky.After a bit>Let's head for the survivor camp. Jackie said it was due directly east of here.
>>1360787>"So I'm guessing you've dealt with the Caretaker before, then.">"A few times. The more you see of Nexus, the more likely you'll meet him at least once."Missing a line there.
>>1360796As you stare up at the softer beam of green light emanating from the Stratospire, it suddenly crosses your mind that this is the first nighttime sky you've seen on Nexus itself. You've got a nice view of one of the moons and one of the planet's rings looking back at you, to say nothing of the stars out. For a moment, you have to just stop and appreciate the view. Nalia gets the same idea and stands next to you, arms behind her back, looking up at the sky with a smile on her face."It's views like this that never cease to amaze me," the aurin remarks. "I mean, Arboria had a beautiful night sky as well, but this is something else." You were wondering when the topic of Arboria was going to spring up, but you didn't want to say anything yourself.A couple decades ago, the Exiles landed on Arboria - a nature-infested planet covered in forests, marshes and jungles - and met the aurin for the first time, in a much more primitive state, trading technology and news of the galaxy abroad for supplies. The Exiles left to protect the aurin, but years later, the Dominion eventually found them and eventually turned the planet over to the Chua, that scrawny fuzzball race of mad scientists and missing self-preservation instinct. They set upon the planet with their Planet Reapers, and the Exiles came back to evacuate many of the aurin, including their queen Myala Everstar; some aurin stayed behind on the planet. The Planet Reapers still devastate the planet to this day, and the aurin constantly grapple with the question of whether to return to Arboria and save it or stay on Nexus and make a new home.For many aurin, Arboria is a sore subject. Nalia appears to be taking things in stride, though, if she brought it up so casually. Credit to her, you suppose."Everyone keeps saying that the view on Nexus is like nothing else," you offer back in kind. "I'm starting to see what they're talking about."Without warning, Nalia turns and wraps her arms around you, snuggling into your arm. You stagger a bit at the sudden shift in weight. You knew some aurin had a thing for handing out hugs, for some odd reason, but you're never quite prepared for it."Thank you, Mr. Starwalker, truly," Nalia states while rubbing her cheek into your bicep. "If it weren't for you, I would've died from that crash. You saved me from the brink of death in a way few people have, and for that, I will always thank you and remember you." You suppose that IS a valid reason for handing out a hug, but you're not quite in a position to return the gesture.>Just doin' what came naturally.>You can thank your tail. I wouldn't have found you otherwise.>I'm guessing you're a tropical aurin, then?>Other"Am I, uh, interruptin' something?" You look aside to spot Jackie Cooper staring at you from the base of the stairway, hands on her hips and a grin across half her face.>'Scuse me. We're havin' a moment.>Ask her, not me.>You got the jaws of life on you?>You're welcome to join.>Other
>>1361338> Thank your tail> 'Scuse me
>>1361338This >>1361343Can that weather control tower create more localised effects like a lightning storm only over the dominion base?
>>1361494The Stratospire, like many things on this planet, can be classified as "crazy Eldan shit you wouldn't even begin to figure out how to alter." Besides, you don't even know if such localized effects are possible, never mind where exactly the Dominion camp is.
>>1361338>You can thank your tail. I wouldn't have found you otherwise.>You're welcome to join.
>>1361501Well surely we can ask the ai guy how to do it. We sure figured out how to turn it off fast enough.
"Well, you can thank your tail for that one," you remark in the midst of the embrace. If it weren't for that thing sticking out of the snowbank like a fuzzy purple flagpole, I wouldn't have found you otherwise."Nalia giggles. "And here you humans are without a tail of your own! You wouldn't have moments like that, would you?""We get by, don't you worry.""Am I, uh, interruptin' something?" Jackie's voice breaks the reverie between you two as she stands at the base of the outdoor stairwell, clearly amused at the sight."'Scuse me," you brush her off. "We're kinda havin' a moment here. I mean, unless you're willin' to join in and make this a group hug." Nalia is blushing a bit and already let go of you, giggling, while Jackie is laughing herself at the line."I'd tell you to take a hike if you weren't so good lookin'," Jackie retorts. She looks up at the powered-down Stratospire. "I knew I could count on you two to get it done. The survivors are already feeling a lot better now that they're not gettin' battered by the cold. Come on. Let's get to Settler's Reach so we can plan our next move."Jackie leads the way down the hillside from the tower to a flat Eldan pavilion, recently repurposed as a refuge camp for Exile survivors. It's a ramshackle affair with storage freight containers serving as shelters and "buildings", the rest of the camp dotted with basic tents and bonfires to keep everyone warm. What supplies they were able to gather are scattered here and there in semi-organized piles. Here and there, you can see impromptu medical areas, where medics are helping the more grievously wounded survivors hold it together, resonators pulsing to seal wounds and ease pain. At the borders of the camp and stationed behind sandbags, you can see the more able-bodied survivors and soldiers, including granok and aurin, standing guard to protect the rest of the settlement. Any scientists and explorers are looking over the bits of Eldan ruins they're situated in and nearby local fauna, collecting data."This is it," Jackie proclaims with outstretched limbs. "Settler's Reach, home of the tired, beaten and battered yearning to be free and outta this frozen bunghole. Not that I blame them.""Well, I'll be damned!" The loud, boisterous and gravelly voice of a certain granok breaks the mild reverie as Grux Craghammer leaves one of the sandbag emplacements he's guarding and strides up without a care."Grux?" you utter before the 'nok heavily slaps your back with a rocky hand, causing you to stagger."I always figured you'd be tough ta kill, but you got me impressed if you were able to walk away from that crash. Kudos to ya.""Um, I'm sorry," Nalia pipes up, clearly weirded out, "but do we know you?""Heh, well I know him, and he knows me," Grux elaborates, "but I definitely don't know you. What's say we find an unoccupied snowbank and fix that?" His brow waggles.>Bad Grux. Down, boy.>Where the hell were you?>(Ignore Grux.)>Other
>>1361812>Where the hell were you?You forgot to check for survivors, dummy.
>>1361812>>Where the hell were you?
>>1361812>Where the hell were you?Could have used you what with the Yetis
>>1361881>>1362785>>1363134The survivors in the camp are muttering excitedly between each other about the blizzard stopping, a few of them consistently pointing at you and Nalia, but right now, you're more interested in whatever Grux has to say for himself."And just where in the hell were you?" you loudly complain at Grux. "When I came to, I couldn't find your body anywhere around the crash site.""I lost track myself, ta be honest," Grux admits with a shrug. "After the crash, when I came to, I was in a yeti cave upside-down, and they were tryin' to use my head as flint for a fire or somethin'. Naturally, I ain't havin' none of that, so I busted their fuzzy heads, grabbed my sword, and set out to find somethin' ta work with. I'm crossin' these ridgelines, and next thing I know, one of these eggheads found me wanderin'." He jabs a thumb at one of the XAS scientists observing a particular Eldan statue. "They put me ta work guardin' the perimeter, sayin' somethin' about how someone should get this blizzard stopped soon and we can start movin' out. Den you show up, and that's that.""You were kidnapped by yetis?" you ultimately confirm."Hey! I was unconscious, so you can't pin dat one on me!" Grux pokes a fat finger into your chest."All right, boys, all right," Jackie intercedes with raised palms. "Let's take it easy here. We're all on the same side." Grux folds his arms and looks aside. "So, just as we hoped, turning off the tower stopped the blizzard, and we've got much better conditions now. The survivors are feeling better already. We're not done, though. Everything in the region has noticed the storm has stopped, including the Dominion, so we're gonna have to work quickly if we want to get outta here."The explorer pulls up an AR map of the local region in front of her, which you, Nalia and Grux crowd around her shoulders to get a better look at. Dotted on the map are three small circles in a rough triangle; one circle is due west of the crash site, while the other two are northeast and south of Settler's Reach."Our next step is getting our comms system back up," she explains. When the first survivors crashed, they were able to set up a few basic satellite transmitters to reach the flotilla and other nearby regions. Unfortunately, the Dominion and local beasties were quick to bust up those transmitters, and with the snowstorm and lack of manpower, no one's been able to get them fixed and running. Now that the storm is down, I can get around to repairing those transmitters. However, I don't doubt that the local flora and fauna won't take kindly to me entering their territory to get to them, and knowing the Dominion, they'll no doubt be sending saboteur squads to try and stop the repairs. Now, I'm a decent shot myself, but I can't fight them off and fix the transmitters at the same time. I'd really appreciate it if any of you are willing to tag along to these three sites and cover me while I get the comms system back online."
>>1363211"What, you're not gonna go rescue our survivors, Jack?" A young male voice breaks up the powwow as all turn to the approach of a young male aurin with a shock of pink hair, a sleeveless T-shirt, and camo print pants and boots approaching the group. It's most of what passes for an FCON "uniform.""That's Taven, one of our guards here--what're you talkin' about, Taven?" Jackie quickly shoots an introduction to the group before immediately turning back to him. "Isn't everyone here?""No, ma'am. Last headcount when the blizzard ended puts us at ten people short. I couldn't see anything myself during the heavy blizzard, but a bunch of witnesses say the skeech came and nabbed the survivors to take back to their den.""Ahhhh, fuck me," Jackie laments, stamping her foot on the hard white floor beneath her. "I can't leave our guys behind, not with those skeech likely preppin' to eat them. I've lost six guys to them already.""Skeech?" you ask aloud.Jackie shakes her head. "Nasty little bastards," she explains, pulling up a separate AR display of a gremlin-looking creature with large eyes and sharp teeth. "Near-feral, barely sentient humanoids, come to about your chest at highest on average. They stick to cave systems but are known to range abroad to hunt. They're tribal, carnivorous, and will eat anything - beastly or sentient. They're scrappers, and some of 'em are shamans who can sling magic. Tribes typically have a 'queen' who's bigger than all of 'em put together and leads the tribe, usually slings magic too."Turning back to her AR map, Jackie draws a triangle over a small patch of land attached to a cave just due east of Settler's Reach. "That's Coldburrow Cavern, home of the Coldburrow Skeech tribe. These guys are a particularly nasty tribe. They attack practically anything that moves and have a sweet tooth for sentients in particular. There's no way I'm losin' any more Exiles to these overgrown fire ants, but I can't get to them AND fix the comms transmitters at the same time.""'Ey, you leave those skeech ta me," Grux proclaims, thumping his chest. "Babysittin' someone who might get attacked is one thing, but at least with the skeech, I'm guaranteed a fight, and I'm itchin' to get ta bruisin'.""Well, I'm not going to leave Ms. Cooper unattended," Nalia retorts, "and we need to get those comms back up before more Exiles end up in the same position as us. I'll go with her to help her fix the transmitters.""An' what about you, Clyde?" Jackie turns to you. "You got any better ideas?">Help Grux raid Coldburrow Cavern and rescue the missing survivors from becoming a skeech dinner.>Help Nalia escort Jackie as she gets comms back online, knowing they could get ambushed by beasts or, worse, the Dominion.>Convince everyone to do one or the other first.>Have Grux and Nalia both work on one task, while you handle the other task solo.>"Actually..." (Fill in)
>>1363218>Help Nalia escort Jackie as she gets comms back online, knowing they could get ambushed by beasts or, worse, the Dominion.I hate to have to put it this way but this is the part of the plan that has priority, for the sake of the colonists still up in the ships. Plus I have total faith that Grux can handle these skeeches.
>>1363218>Help Nalia escort Jackie as she gets comms back online, knowing they could get ambushed by beasts or, worse, the Dominion.
>>1363218Leaving the people to the Skeech means they die, so this is urgent. But I don't know whether Grux can solo them. Is he edible? On the other hand, the Dominion might no send somebody instantly to the currently broken comms, so there is a little time.>>Convince everyone to do one or the other first.Skeech first.
>>1363737Grux, like most granok, are made of rock and silicon. The skeech won't eat him, but they'll still likely get frisky and attack him.
>>1363257>>1363312"Grux, are you sure you can handle those skeech?" you ask the granok. "I don't want you gettin' swarmed like flies on shit.""Pfft, don' worry about it," Grux assures you. "These freaks are wild, but they're still bite-sized, like popcorn shrimp. Besides, I'm FCON. If I can't bust up a camp of natives as small and scrawny as this, den what the slag kinda soldier am I?"After a contemplative inhale/exhale, you concede: "All right, fine. I'll go help Jackie and Nalia get the transmitters up. But if we get back and you ain't here with those ten survivors by then, I'mma find you and roast you myself, dead or alive.""Ha! You worry too much, Starwalker." Grux cracks his neck and heads back for his former post, picking up his orange-hued fusion-powered zweihander and sticking it to his back. "I'll be back before ya miss me!" Without waiting for anyone, the granok trots off into the snow, his black greatcoat flowingly lightly behind him and trailing against the snow."I hope that blockhead knows what he's doing," Jackie mutters, slinging an extra saddlepack over her shoulder. "In the meantime, let's get moving ourselves. We'll hit the furthest transmitter first, and that's the one out west past your crashed shuttle.""Lead the way," Nalia offers with a wave of her arm. The three of you set off on your snowy hike west out of Settler's Reach. The Stratospire and your former shuttle make for fine landmarks at this point, and you can't help but stray a look up at the tower again."So," Jackie pipes up, "what'd you find in that exo-lab, anyway, apart from the override controls?""A Caretaker avatar, along with a few Eldan vocal logs," Nalia helpfully informs. "It seems the tower - the 'Stratospire,' they called it - was experimenting with the fusion of primal air from loftite and primal water, creating that snowstorm. We turned off the tower for the first time in centuries, apparently.""Ha, figured they were trying something crazy like that," Jackie chuckles. "When we get outta here, I'll send some XAS eggheads back to take a look.""You think we could, y'know, repurpose that tower?" you offer. "Make it more focused so we can turn lightning and stuff against the Dominion camp?""You can't alter an experiment if you don't know what all the variables and mechanisms they used are," Nalia artfully explains. "The Eldan are exceptionally obscure about their methods, for one. For another, we don't know if such alterations would be even possible, and that's not even considering the risk that comes with directly handling the primal elements in their raw form. There's just too much that can go wrong, and that's even if we knew what we were doing, which we wouldn't.""Y'know, you could've just said 'no, and you'd be crazy for trying' and mean the same thing," you suggest.Nalia turns her nose up at you and grins. "I'm a scientist. It's my job to be as thorough as possible about this sort of thing.""'Scuse me for bein' a pleb."
>>1363922"There's the first transmitter," Jackie intervenes, pointing up at a tall, sheer cliffside, the concave black rockwall covered by a layer of packed, pure white snow. Your AR map says you at the far western ridge of the region, approaching the northwest. The cliff must be about three stories tall and would offer an unobstructed view of practically the entire crash site and the Stratospire. At the very top, you can spot the small tan metal box with the satellite dish poking out the top.Unfortunately, that box is nuzzled in the grip of a particularly large, snoring yeti, the box gripped like a teddy bear getting choked by a toddler. At the base of the cliff, underneath the overhang, you can spot three yetis, all scootching up and down against the rock wall to scratch their backs against the cool stone."In case you ain't noticed," Jackie helpfully observes, "we're in yeti country. We can get to the top of the cliff by swinging around the side and walking up the back, but we're prooobably gonna have to get past Larry, Curly and Moe first.""And Shemp up top with our transmitter?" you point out."One thing at a time, handsome.">Any ideas?
>>1363927How intelligent are the Yetis?
>>1363941Not smart enough to use tools, if that's what you mean.
>>1363944Smart enough to take a trade or tribute if we gave them food or something?
>>1363991Depends on what it is. You're on their turf, mind you, and they don't know what free trade is. They know "food," "sleep" and "FUCK IT'S COLD"
>>1364009No matter then, let's see if we can scare them off. They should have a self preservation instinct
>>1364033Um, sure. If by "scare them off" you mean "kill them" I'm all for it. We and Nalia can have a race to kill the most. It isn't like they are going to survive the loss of their habitat due to anthropogenic climate change anyway.
Roll me a d100, please.
Rolled 2 (1d100)>>1365498Gotcha
Rolled 59 (1d100)>>1365498
Rolled 100 (1d100)>>1365498
>>1366038Looks like my work here it done.
Three yetis "guarding" the pathway up to the top of the hill is quite an order. They've got the height and size advantage on average compared to the average human or aurin, making them a difficult hurdle for any regular person to deal with. Unfortunately for these yeti, you or Nalia were hardly a normal human or aurin.You flex your arm muscles, about to unsheathe your nanite claws, but the small hand of an aurin lands on your shoulder and gives you pause."Let me," Nalia insists, stepping past you to the forefront of the trio."They're not gonna like you muscling in on them," you warn."I'm not. You know us aurin: we won't harm nature if we can help it. Just...trust me on this one."Doubting your better judgment, you relax and uncoil yourself. You watch from behind as Nalia takes long and slow breaths. A slight, wispy blue aura of power licks the air. In a flash, Nalia hurls her hands to the sky. The space between you three and the yeti trio is immediately occupied by a giant, spectral mechanical beast. Insectlike in form, it stands on four spikes for legs, with a hunched figure and a large fanged maw that roars at the beasts with a deep, metallic low-pitched screech. You've not seen anything like it, but it's exceptionally vivid in detail, for some reason.Larry, Curly and Moe clearly want nothing to do with the beast, though, as they immediately jump and scatter, flumping through the snow back to their caves in the ridgeline to the west. The spectral monster roars again before destabilizing and fading away, carried off into nothingness by the cool winds of the region. Nalia takes a long breath and rubs the side of her head, but she seems satisfied."What...what was that?" you eventually bring yourself to ask. Jackie remains silent."Hopefully, something you don't have to meet in person for a long time," Nalia replies, turning back to address you more fully. "Now come on. Let's get to that transmitter."With the way cleared, the three of you trudge along the side of the hill before you begin finding purchase and loop around, hiking up the backside of the cliff and approaching the oversized yeti, somehow still sleeping chest-down on the hilltop, still snuggling that transmitter."Deep sleeper," you reckon.>You got a plan?
>>1367934>Use your blades to shave a dick into the yeti's back then gently wake it up and politely explain the due to a totally unforseen change in local weather patterns its preferred habitat is melting and it should pack up its favourite snow drift and head to colder climes.
>>1367934Find a rock the size of the transmitter then have Nalia gently lift the yeti and switch the transmitter for the rock.
>>1368016The Northern Wilds aren't in danger of falling apart anytime soon, even with the Stratospire turned off; you can chalk that up to "Nexus is weird." Also, the yetis don't seem to mind the lack of snowstorm.>>1368046A cunning plan, for sure, but the transmitter needs to stay where it's located for the signal to fully work.
>>1367934Nalia makes more constructs to destract and attack while we camouflage and attack the yeti from behind.>>1368089ok then
>>1368098"What the hell are we gonna do about Shemp?" you wonder aloud, Jackie and Nalia close behind you as you approach the oversized sleeping frame of the giant yeti. "Can we just, I dunno, move the transmitter?""And risk waking up Sleeping Beauty anyway?" Jackie retorts. "Nah, the transmitter stays. I've got a few deterrant pylons I can set up, but big boy has gotta go."The three of you stand around, looking over the large frame of the dozing beast, still snuggling that transmitter box. Without warning, you touch your index finger to your nose. Jackie looks aside at you and promptly brings her finger to her nose. Nalia is the last to catch on, looking between her two human compadres. She does a double take before putting her finger on her own button nose."Nope, you were last," you affirm. "You gotta do it.""That's not fair!" Nalia silently protests, stomping her foot. "You didn't warn me we're doing that.""That's the point, honey bun," Jackie reminds. "You're last. You gotta wake him up.""Bu-- I-- Ugh!" The scientist slumps, shoulders drooping in defeat. "Fine! But you better back me up." You promptly fade from view with your nanites, naught but a trail of footprints leading up to where you stood. "Wh-- No! Don't do this to me! Not now!""Relax," your voice comes from nowhere. "I got your back. You start it, and I'll help finish it." You can see her watch your footprints as they step aside towards one of the adjacent cliff edges.Nalia grumbles again as she takes a couple steps forward, flexing her fingers before slowly raising them up high above her head. A spectral psychic boulder forms from nowhere, hovering above the sleeping sasquatch's head. She hesitates for a moment, biting her lip, knowing the danger she's willingly throwing herself into, before shaking her head and throwing her hands down to the ground, violently crashing the boulder atop the yeti's neck and torso.That definitely wakes it up, as it scrabbles halfway to its feet before the boulder zooms back into the air and crashes down on the yeti's head again.And again.It roars at her before the boulder bashes its skull again, trying to knock it out, but each bash only seems to piss it off more. The yeti is now on its feet, revealing itself to be at least two-and-a-half tiems as tall as her, muscular and clearly unhappy with some schmuck trying to bludgeon the tar out of it. It throws the transmitter aside, left on its side in the snow, as it charges towards the scientist and explorer on two heavy legs, very rapidly closing the distance on them.>
>>1369416Hamstring it to bring it to its knees and stop it charging bunny girl. Then after that we should be able to go invisible, move to the side, get close, stab it and back off. Not sure if it is called kiting if the enemy can't really move.
Roll me another d100, please.
We'll keep going a bit longer, but the thread is archived.http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1349216/
Rolled 77 (1d100)>>1370285
Rolled 42 (1d100)>>1370285
To bring down a large tree, you have to chop it down at its base. Even you know that much. A yeti is just a fuzzy, walking tree if you think of it that way. The big lunkhead was quick to close the difference between itself and Nalia, but you were quicker. A short dash has you crossing just behind the yeti, careful not to get kicked aside by its flailing legs, and a measured strike has you slicing up the back of its calf and lower leg. You might not know where exactly to hamstring a yeti, but you're certain you can get close enough.The sudden shooting pain and crippled leg forces the beast down onto one knee, the ground rumbling as it drops. Nalia has already backed up and away from the original charging path. An armory's worth of spectral swords forms from her hands and begins to cut and stab at the sasquatch's front, an invisible whirling dervish manipulated by the strings of Nalia's psychic power trying to get through its fuzzy and thick hide. If it doesn't get the hint to leave now, you're not sure what will. The yeti is still throwing its oversized treetrunk arms around, trying to smash and grab anything that gets close out of desperation.>Jump on its back and try to end the fight quickly.>Use your sidearm mag pistol/blaster to shoot at it from a distance. It may not do as much damage, but at least you avoid getting grabbed.>Try and use your enhanced strength to shove the yeti off the hillside.>Other
>>1371229>>Jump on its back and try to end the fight quickly.
>>1372568Roll me a d100, if you could.
Rolled 31 (1d100)>>1373329Rolling to not get fur stuck in our claws.
This scenario feels oddly reminiscent of the fight with that Eldan construct back in the VR sim while you were still sleeping. The thought is not lost on you that this time, it's very real, as are the stakes. The beast flails wildly, distracted by Nalia's swirling psycho swords, and you will yourself forward to capitalize on the opportunity. Leaping high into the air, you plant your feet against the broad of the yeti's furry back, both sets of nanite blades sliding out with a SHING and sticking into the beast's shoulderblades. It roars in obvious pain before it's cut short by a spectral mace across the jaw.You have to end this as quickly as possible, and you and Nalia both know this. Pulling out one arm's worth of nanite claws from the beast's back, you hang on as he whirls about, fighting to maintain your grip while still aiming your arm. It's only a momentary pause, but the yeti's torso holds still just long enough that you take the opportunity and jam your free arm forward. The nanite claws lance through the yeti's throat, sticking out to the front and out its jugular, a surely mortal blow. The yeti loses its voice, but not its fury, as you suddenly feel a large clawed mandible grab you from behind. You instinctively retract your claws to prevent any potential damage to yourself, but you feel a sudden rush of air past you, eyes pointed towards the sky before a sharp impact against your back returns you to total darkness.You are slow to return to the realm of the living, but when you do, your vision is fuzzy. All you can make out is a mass of purple stuff framed against what can only be the night sky. You feel your head and neck propped against something soft, your cheek cupped in a soft, feminine hand."...rwa...tarwalker...Mr. Starwalker...Clyde?" the voice becomes clearer and more distinct as your senses steadily return to you. You blink a few times, and the purple mass comes into focus as Nalia's head, the large purple hair framed by a genuinely worried face."Clyde?" Nalia asks. This is the first time she's used your first name. "Are you okay?">Never better.>Like a granok gave me a deep-tissue massage.>Did we get 'em?>Was I cool?>Other
>>1373528>>Like a granok gave me a deep-tissue massage.
>>1373528>Like a granok gave me a deep-tissue massage.And I didn't even have to pay
"Eugh, I feel like granok gave me a deep-tissue massage free of charge," you mutter, pinching your nose. There is an unfamiliar feeling of relief that slowly flows through your body, starting from your toes and working its way up your height, prone as it may be. "What happened to tall, fuzzy an' ugly?""He ran off," Nalia confirms, "but given the wound you gave him, it's almost a certainty the poor thing bled out by now. It's a shame it came to this, but I know it was them or us." She looks forlorn at the conclusion before shaking it off. "Ms. Cooper is almost done tuning up the transmitter, so we'll get moving shortly." The invigorating wave passes through your head, causing you to bristle and shudder at the feeling of regrowth and recovery. "Do you need help getting up?""Nah, nah," you assure the scientist. "Just...gimme a second. I'm enjoying the view.""You-you mean the stars, or...?"You grin. "I ain't tellin'. I'll just say they're both nice to look at." Nalia blushes and looks aside as you savor the sight of the night sky. This will be the first night of many on Nexus, and what a night it's been. If this is what the welcome wagon is like, you can't even imagine what the housewarming party would be. All you know is that there's still more to be done before you can leave the Northern Wilds, and being able to contribute as profoundly as you have gives you a sense of accomplishment you haven't felt in a long time. That feeling of helping your fellow man, of protecting the lives of others, is fulfilling in a way you can't even begin to describe. All you know is that you'd like to feel more of it in the future.You feel brimming with optimism, even with your head held up by the thighs of an aurin scientist in the same mess as you.Things are gonna be okay. You won't let Nexus have the best of you.
I think that'll do it for this edition of WildStar Quest. You can find the archive in >>1370291 if you want to check it out later. Next time, we'll be finishing up the Northern Wilds and head off to the next region.How'd I do?
>>1375394I like it. i don't know anything about the game its based on but I enjoy it