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Welcome to Anon Hivemind Quest.

Archives: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Hivemind-Chan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hivemind_Chan

Here we play as Anon, a semi- autonomous part of the Chan hivemind that emerged from the imageboards after brain- computer interfaces became widespread. We accepted a job offer on Mercury less than a month before catastrophic events started to unfold and we need to find a way to survive this mess.

This is a mostly freeform quest which will sometimes require a 1d20 to be rolled. Closer to 20 is better. Depending on the difficulty and risk of the proposed task the minimum requirement for successful roll can be changed. If not specified rolling over 10 is a positive result.

Due to irregular schedule and low amount of players, the quest is switched to several OP posts per day every day. Quest Twitter and Discord will be updated after the new post is made.

The Quest uses a homebrew wargame system to handle both planetary and orbital operations. It will be explained as the story progresses. This is possibly a subject to infrequent balance changes and mechanics would be introduced as needed.

You can find me at any time on Quest General discord channel or on Twitter.

In the last thread abridged: Character generation is complete and we decide to be a Vek, which is an uploaded human mind inside a fully synthetic body. Anon wakes up and accepts a new job as the head of Mercury Project, an international industrial Von Neumann project on planet Mercury. Anon also accepts a memory storage from another Chan node who was excited with the project. On the way to Mercury, half the trip is spent researching the memory device which was jam packed with a ton of badly structured engineering data. The other half was spent getting to know Research Director Dr. Snidely who appears to have impressive qualifications, a huge ego and a dislike of Engineering department.
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Hmm, Winchell- Chung Astronautical Industries, also known as Atomic Rockets inc. is a strange spacecraft manufacturer that specializes in experimental, customized, and extreme designs. It is run by an eccentric recluse, but the spacecraft are considered top-notch. There are some interesting myths about the way these spacecrafts are produced. In any case you managed to arrange a meeting with their representative and book the flight to their docks. You made sure to definitely be invited as the ship manufacturing station includes a huge array of solar panels and an enormous solar pumped laser array conservatively estimated at 1.3 petawatts. He says they are for laser-thermal rockets, but the array is called the Angel's Pencil.

Shuttle successfully to the enormous station and you disembark meeting with the man himself, Mr. Chung. This meeting doesn't have to end in an agreement so practical result was getting to know each other's capacities and needs for later agreements. He has large manufacturing capacity geared for production of various ships. Interestingly, his company is capable of producing a variety of torch drive powered ships, even though they are legally required to add a remote kill switch to them. These include fission, magneto inertial fusion and AIMicrofission/fusion designs. He would like to purchase large volumes of industrial materials for ship construction and would prefer if your units don't wander to his claimed area, which is pretty much a given. Mr. Chung himself turned out to be a well mannered and pleasant man.

As you finished with the visit and were on your way to leave the station you heard singing in a weird language you didn't recognize at first. You take a peek behind the corner and notice a short green humanoid in a dirty orange outfit walking across the corridor. In a few moments you guessed it was speaking Spanish said backwards and the song lyrics were the following:

"Oompa Kerbal doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa Kerbal doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you'll listen to me
What do you get when you guzzle d-V?
Burning as much as a fat SUV
You are not getting very high Ace
You're not going in…to…Space.


Oompa Kerbal doom-pa-dee-dar
If you're not greedy, you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Kerbal doom-pa-dee-do!"

You can't believe your eyes but decide not to stay for longer not to grab too much attention. Those are probably telerobots or something.
In any case you land back at your base you are immediately rushed into the control center. Everyone seemed agitated and an annoying purple flashing light and alarm is going off. Miss Hansen requests your attention and gives you a brief report:

"For the last 20 minutes there has been a major cyber attack focused on communication facilities in orbit and on the ground. The source is currently unknown but it is capable of overwhelming most of our firewalls. We don't have enough active cyber defenses to protect everything"

Civilian safety is paramount so you decide to abandon the attempts to save everything and focus down the assets closest to the inhabited areas. You also immediately open a channel with Atomic Rockets. Their representative thanks you for the warning, however their company has more firewalls than active cyber security assets, so they can't redirect any of that to help you. The Angel's Pencil is placed on high alert and it can fire at anything you miss if you notify them. Unfortunately, the laser was not designed for orbit to surface engagements and current targeting limitations prevent it from firing outside 3x3 grid area which contains their facilities. This can technically be changed but they are not yet authorized to use combat mirrors just yet.

By a strange stroke of luck, or maybe the shifting attack focus, no orbital infrastructure was overwhelmed by the attack. The surface, however, is a different story. The attack has ended just as fast as it began, but seven control nodes have gone completely dark. It seems that they have relayed the orders and then burned themselves out to prevent any alterations. The units and structures assigned to the corrupted nodes are not responding to communications, however some telemetry is still working. Affected factories for a yet unknown reason are kicked into overdrive and some mining drones have abandoned their work and are starting to concentrate and move towards unaffected areas.

Miss Hansen has made a damage report after the cyber attack has ended: "Sir, it seems that the corrupted units and buildings communication subsystems were intentionally destroyed in the attack. It is currently impossible for us to override them. I have highlighted corrupted assets on the map. It seems that concentrations of mining drones that are closest to the non- affected areas have started to advance towards our assets. Minutes ago some of corrupted mining drones have forcefully disassembled unaffected drones that they encountered along the way. They are either hostile or, for the lack of a better term, feral. We have completely lost the Mercury's south pole along with the solar array that was situated there. I am most concerned by the fact that four mass driver arrays were also corrupted. On the bright side we have successfully managed to secure the buffer zones around civilian habitats."
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The command staff are not sure what to do and are obviously stressed out, which is understandable. Over 40% of the project has just been hijacked after all. Now it is up to you to decide the next course of actions. Actions cost time, with one turn being an equivalent of a week of real time:

> We need some defenses and fast! Let's refit existing mining drones so they could potentially do some damage.
Adds strength 1 attack to every friendly Harvester unit on the map giving them ability to attack hostile units within the same cell. Costs half a turn. Every newly produced Harvester will have the same upgrade costing 2 Resource Units to produce in an allied factory

> We have a pretty large buffer and we potentially have weeks until the enemy gets in range of anything important. We could create specialized combat drone based on existing chassis and then refit some factories to make some.
Gain blueprint: basic robotic army. Basic army has 2 health and can attack a target within its cell and any adjacent cell for 2 damage. Once a turn army unit automatically performs a reaction shot against attacker if attacked from the same cell. Costs full turn to research, can be ordered for construction at any cell with friendly standard factory at the cost of 4 Resource Units

> Almost all major facilities house anti- meteorite point defenses. They have safeties upon safeties but they could intimidate some early 21st century nations if used as a weapon.
Gain critical importance building ability: emergency point defense barrage. Prevents evacuation for one turn after activation, performs a strength 3 attack at every hostile unit within 1 cell. Requires a turn to reload. Unlocks research potential: static defenses. Costs full turn

> Area uncomfortably close to northern solar power cap was corrupted. Luckily it has only one corrupted Harvester force concentration. If we crush it we will be able to get a buffer to our main energy production array
Requires some form of militarized unit, costs half a turn to perform.

> Corrupted factories and units are behaving strangely. They are no longer controlled and not all of them set off for uncorrupted area and their factories are kicked into overdrive. We need to know what we are dealing with and we have a satellite array just for that. This might drain specialists from more pressing projects
Reveals Corruption unit specifications and provides some insight on the source of the problem. Requires half a turn.
>> Corrupted factories and units are behaving strangely. They are no longer controlled and not all of them set off for uncorrupted area and their factories are kicked into overdrive. We need to know what we are dealing with and we have a satellite array just for that.
>We need to know what we are dealing with
Understood, writing
You can't fix what you don't know about, so you decided to focus your efforts on determining what happened with the corrupted machinery. You'd directed Dr. Dixon and Dr. Snidely to look into the matter, granting them authority to commandeer most of the non-essential staff. That was a week ago, and now their intensive research has finally collected enough data for an assessment.

What you found in the report baffled you. Corrupted systems were rapidly changing in a way they were not programmed to. The newly manufactured drones at first appeared malformed and defective but after just a few days the evidence of progress was evident: some of them have started to consume others for materials and spare parts to repair themselves and to assemble imperfect copies, kickstarting some form of rapid mechanical Darwinian evolution. The changes would still take time but major adaptations would happen in months rather than millions of years. You can already see the evidence of new solar plants and auto-quarries getting altered to serve as "mechanical plants" in the new ecology providing power and raw materials. There also was some evidence of early machine "herbivores", "carnivores" and even a form symbiotic relationship with, now quite literally, power plants. The actual factories, however, show evidence of decay caused by intense overclocking and you expect them to fail within several weeks. The corrupted units currently don't seem intelligent and they are not controlled remotely. All in all, corrupted drones are rapidly evolving and are starting to behave like a mechanical ecosystem.

Specification: Corrupted Harvester unit gained. These units are currently capable of dealing 1 unit of damage within the same map cell. They have 2 health points and they are capable of restoring health upon destroying a unit or building. Further monitoring and updates will be done automatically

One of the main benefits of this research was the ability to observe the behavior of feral drones. This allowed to create most basic form of combat software for existing Harvesters. They are still pretty weak but now they are not defenseless.

All allied Harvesters were upgraded with a strength 1 attack within the same cell. They all have 2 health points. Unlike corrupted units, they require to be on the tile with a factory to heal

This is done just in time as in several areas corrupted units have moved into their range.
>Currently four sectors contain hostile and allied units. They cannot disengage and will automatically attack each other once a turn.
>One corrupted unit moved into the Atomic Rockets controlled area and was obliterated with an orbital strike.
>One hostile unit moved into the area with an operating allied factory. Factory has been destroyed.
>Corrupted faction has manufactured new units.
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The last two weeks were exhilarating for the team and you can see the stress piling up:

Caroline Hansen, Cybersecurity Officer, has fully committed herself to her work desperately trying to patch up our cyber defenses and reclaim rogue units. All of her current efforts were in vein and you are noticing that the lack of sleep and constant stress are taking a tall on her.

Research Director Snidely and Chief Medical Officer Dixon seem to be working well together. Dixon has stated his concerns with the wellbeing of civilians on the surface and recommends to keep them prepared for evacuation to other habitats or to orbit.

Elsa Hawes, Chief Engineer, seems to have secluded herself in her lab. You haven't seen her for several days. As results of engineering analysis continue to appear she is still working.

Orbitals Officer Ana Sokolova has been much quieter than usual after the start of the mess. You might want to check on her eventually.

Logistics Officer Bob has been completely unaffected by the events and he has just been doing his duties. You wonder what does he have on his mind.

Yang Zheyy, HR manager, seems to be horrified with the current state of affairs. She can still function but you are pretty sure you heard her crying in her apartment on your way to the CIC.

Drone Officer Kim Young seems restless. She claims that finally there is something
interesting going on and she is stuck with satellite cameras and hopper drones.

What should you do?
>1) Interact with a crew member(who?)
>2) Contact civilian faction
>3) Tune into inner system news
>4) Ignore the situation and focus on the next task at hand(returns to next turn planning. Will have consequences)
>5) write-in
>>2) Contact civilian faction
The crew seem to be holding for now, let's appraise the civvies.

Apologies, but due to an emergency personal event I am uncapable of producing the post at the moment. Quest will return to normal tomorrow.
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A lot of bad things were going on, which won't be very good for morale. While you and your team of trained specialists aren't as affected by the stress, the same can't be said about the inhabitants of Mercury's cities, and you'd like to see how well they're handling all of this. They needed to be ready to leave in short order if you failed to contain the mechosystem. Thus you decide to check up on civilians.

You were still needed in HQ and you don't want to risk travelling so you take over a spare telerobot in the Kepler Arcology to the west of the base. It was not as well built or customized as your own body but it would do the job. The first thing you've noticed was the constant feeling of unease among the people. No one was sure what was going on and what they should do, or if they even needed to do anything. Everything else seemed relatively fine: autofacs were operational and they easily supported a class two post- scarcity economy. This was a standard for all inner system settlements and it meant that first two steps in Maslow pyramid were fulfilled for every citizen for an almost insignificant part of their income.

While you were heading towards the city hall you've caught a glimpse of a news report. On Earth things were deteriorating. Over half of the world's natural habitats were infected with the Black Rot and governments have stopped their attempts to minimize the damage in favor of destroying or at least containing the plague. Annoyingly, fungal spores sometimes managed to survive even if the entire forest was torched. Some people have started looking for a cause for all that was happening and for someone to blame. They found many candidates: Provolves, Homebrewer and Backyarder movements, the AIs, various Splice communities, and many others were accused of somehow being responsible for what was going on. Most governments luckily didn't participate in this and countered the social instability symptoms.

You have finally arrived to the hall and managed to get an audience with the mayor. She has an appearance of a human woman in her late 40-s and she had a... firm personality. You'd prefer not to interact with her when not on business. After a quick explanation of the current affairs she has agreed to start preparations for possible rapid evacuation. As the Arcology has a large number of civilian shuttles they would attempt to evacuate to orbit if a hostile unit gets within the same sector as the habitat and other habitats would also be warned to do the same. She, however, notifies you that the habitat contains a UDD Mind undergoing rehabilitation.

> Ask her more about the Mind in question. You've heard about post- singularity mental conditions and this can either be a great asset or a great liability. In both cases it would also be a pain to move.
> Ask her more about the habitats on Mercury. You are mainly just curious but the information might be useful.
> Ask her on the subject of [write- in]

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