The ship shudders uncontrollably. The engines are blown. The crew- most of it- are dead, killed when the bridge lost compression and the emergency fields ceased to function. The few surviving crew, as well as the passengers, are rushing toward the escape pods, Flashing lights leading their way.Messages flicker through your head- the ship's few remaining computers churning as they force messages into your head. Your enhancements- wetwork, genetic, and cybernetic- find themselves calculating responses, multitasking perfectly.There's no computer leading the passengers to their ships. The Primary Mind is destroyed already, and the software it would use in an emergency is similarly destroyed. All that's left is the only Human Computer at his station- the one who's there to check the AI's doing it's job right. The 'mutie' who ended up with the longest, shittiest shift of the day. The thing that the pureblooded scorn, due to its short lifespan and lack of human appearance.You.You're the only crewmember remaining. You're the only one still at your station, plugged into the computers through the shunts in your spine and jack in your tail. You could escape. Unplug everything, make a break for it. The ship's map is glaring in your mind. You know there are escape pods remaining. You could rush out and get to one in time.But that would mean leaving the innocent passengers on this liner to die.Another shockwave hits the ship, and it shudders. More of your systems wink out of your perception, the damage overriding some of the emergency forcefields. You're losing pressure through some important hallways and chambers. Moving at the speed of thought, you urge the system to slam shut as many blast doors as you can, and divert most of the power through the few emergency fields remaining. Even then, the ship's infraspace generators implode, and the ship's capacitors begin to drain.The fields will fail in a moment, and the only hallway you have to the nearest pod will lose pressure.But there's still a few passengers remaining. A few men and women. The passengers who'd avoid you or call you names as soon as they see you- just like the rest of the high-class passengers this cruise-liner once held. You could just leave them. Unplug. Run to your own pod. They won't have time to get there, not before the next shockwave.Unless you give them a different path. You reach deep into your own hardware, and change a few settings. The world seems to slow, and you feel something pop in your skull, and you search. Your mind boils over the options those strangers have, poring over the ship's intact parts, and after half a minute... you have a solution.
>>4304828The passengers stop, panicked, when the laser turrets slide out of the ceiling. But you turn the turrets toward the west corridor, and begin to blast away. A few rooms over, the mechanical arms in the engineering bay begin sparking as you jack manually into them- there's no software for this. You rip some plating off the wall, and slap them over some hull breaches. Something goes pop in your skull again. More turrets- begin firing, flash-welding the plating over the hull breaches in that hallway. Elsewhere, blast doors and vents open, sending breathable atmosphere down into the empty rooms.The passengers realize what's happened, and in slow motion, they run through the hole in the wall, following the new emergency lights you'd set up. You reset your enhancements, but the damage is done. Soon enough, they're out of the ship. Safe. You sit back, relaxing as the power- and thus the last emergency forcefields fail, cutting you off from your last chance at survival. You smirk, closing your eyes.And then you open them. There's still one chance. It's a stupid one, since you're headed directly for an exploding spatial tear, but it's an idea. You climb out of your chair, stumbling, slightly, but the door to your pod has lost power. You don't care- you rip it open with your talons, and run for Medical. The alarms blare, and the hallway is dark, but you run regardless. You're swaying, dizzy, and your nose won't stop bleeding. You wipe it, and you put your multitasking to use, sweeping your tail side to side- it helps you keep your balance as you run, even if you don't have the instincts to move it.The door to medical gleams brightly in your eyes, and you run straight for it, ignoring the hissing and sudden thinness of the air around you. You take a deep breath, and run into the door. Medical has its own emergency generators, but you'd been tapping that for more power for the fields. You're not sure if they're still set to power the now-destroyed forcefields, but you hope... As you run into them, ID over the sensor, the doors hiss open obligingly, and you run in- straight for the cryopods. Twisting your tail around your ankle, you jump, grab the edge of the pod, and flip yourself into the chilled fluid with quite a splash. Wasting no time, ignoring the crushing feeling in your lungs, You pull on the mask, dangling weightlessly in the pod.You're normally not able to activate a cryopod from the inside, but you press your hand against the glass, where the controls are on the outside. You force a signal through the glass, and the cryopod's control system pops and sparks. A second later, the pod pushes gas into your lungs. You take a deep breath.Outside, in space, the ship- the Cruise Liner Daedalus- breaks apart, tumbling into a spatial rift- a tear in space from which no space-faring vessel has ever returned.The last thing you feel before losing consciousness is another shockwave.
>>4304837Elsewhere, you open your eyes. You're cold, freezing really, but the fluid around you- yellowed and murky- is draining, and the fluid- a medical mix made specifically for this- dries instantly, allowing precious heat in.You see a human looming over you. Male, brown hair. Wearing some kind of brown shirt held together by old-fashioned twine. No polymers or metamaterials. Must be a new fad.You can't see much- the outside of the cryopod is covered in thick dust, and he'd only smeared off the bit around his face."Taa! I were writ! Kaa deed sea 'release'! Laydah iz wakun!" He calls out, voice muffled by the glass the pod is made of. You place it as an odd dialect, complete with an exotic accent, but it has its grounds in english- as was his odd enunciation of the word 'release'. You blink up at him. He brightens, grinning, this time to you. "Taa, laydah."You hear some murmuring further away from the cryopod, while your enhancements recharge. You lose most of the meaning there, but that's only a matter of time. You funnel the few odd words into your linguasofts, and they begin doing their work.Someone begins unscrewing the hinges on the cryopod, rather than opening it by the controls, and then they tear it open.Three figures. The brown-haired man, only now you can see something you could only call a 'junk laser' on his hip, like it's been put together by a dozen different parts by someone who had no idea what they were doing. A smaller, blue-haired girl- probably dyed- wearing a black dress and shawl, and a bunch of jewelry around her arms. Finally, in the back, you see another mutie- only his modifications don't look designed. He's bigger, and bulkier than he should be, but you see no practical or aesthetic use to the chunks of black stone growing out of his skin. Nor do you see the cybernetics that would support his bulk, or even medical ports to supplement his dietary needs. He's holding a sharp metal weapon tightly- it looks like some plating that had been cut down and sharpened. The weapon must be heavy, but the mutie's strong enough to hold it casually."Sea? Were writ abit daa laydah," The brown-haired man says excitedly, and your linguasoft finishes calculating the drift based on the words it had heard so far; You suddenly recognize his words as if they were your native language. "I just had to plug in the power source and press 'Release' on the artifact's screen. It was some kind of health artifact, I think. And now she's awake!""Can she even understand us?" A girl's voice says, "If she's from an artifact, she might speak the old language...""Uh..." The brown-haired man turns to you, and speaking slowly, he speaks genuine english. "Available recognize this unit's voice? Password?">  In their odd dialect: "No, I understand you just fine. Who are you three?">  In proper English: "I am Human Computer Kassa, crew of the Daedalus. Where is this?">  Blink and pretend you don't understand, gathering information.
>>4304840>>  In proper English: "I am Human Computer Kassa, crew of the Daedalus. Where is this?"sup exabutt?
[X] In proper English: "I am Human Computer Kassa, crew of the Daedalus. Where is this?" [X] Switch to their odd dialect: "But I understand you, yes. Your English is horrible."
>>4304840>>  In proper English: "I am Human Computer Kassa, crew of the Daedalus. Where is this?"
>>4304840I'll support this >>4304849
You gently pull yourself to your feet, brushing off your Computer-pattern Jumpsuit, known affectionately as the Plugsuit. An arm folded behind your back, thick scales scraping against your plugsuit, you stand up straight. You whip your tail from side to side, and look around. You certainly are in a cave, but there's a few chunks of metal alloy, and a few broken and smashed cryopods. It looks like they'd dug out your cryopod, and plugged it into a crude reactor of some kind. You're not familiar with the technology- it seems like someone stuck some jewelry into a dynamo. It's whirring loudly, and vibrating hard in its frame- spinning frightfully fast."I am Human Computer Kassa, crew of the Daedalus." You say, in proper english. "Where is this?"The brown-haired man frowns, parsing that, while the other two begin chattering."She mentioned 'Daedalus'. Do you think she's one of them?" The larger mutie says."She's too fleshy for that." The girl responds. "She's alive. I can feel her soul."The man frowns for a little bit longer, struggling to find out what you said. A moment later- "Cave. Corona. Damage Detected. Uh... Gigabytes download Jeric City."You sigh, and speak up in their dialect. "But yes, I can understand you. Your English is horrible." Notably, the word 'english' translates to something like 'the old tongue' or 'dead language' in theirs.The brown-haired man's eyes widen. "Wait, really?! You can understand me? I-I'm Jak. Were you asking where you were?"You slowly nod, and he grins. "Well, we got chased in here by some Purist bastards, and we found this treasure cove hidden away here. Betcha those purists didn't know this was here, or they would've already bombed this place. We're a few days' walk from Jeric city, if you know where that is. This is Maelan, and Obsidian." He gestures to the blue-haired girl and the big guy, in turn. "Uh... This is the world Corona, if you're from space."You blink. Treasure cove? Artifacts?It sounds like you're in a land of primitives, who've stumbled across the ruins of the Daedalus. By the state of the ruins, you're sure you've been in cryosleep for an outrageously long time. A hundred years or more. While you suppose someone else would be sad, it's somewhat freeing. At least now you've slept through the rest of your term with the navy. Even if you get back to civilized space, you'll be protected by the Van-Winkle laws and get to keep your enhancements."An honor to meet you." The blue-haired girl says, bowing low.Obsidian just looks you over appraisingly.> Ask for information. "What did you mean when you said I had a soul? What are these Purists? Jeric?"> Nod and pretend you understood everything- you expect things will be obvious soon.> Something else entirely.
>>4304878> Something else entirely.Ask what year it is and get to calculating how much interest we've got on our savings account.But really,> Ask for information. "What did you mean when you said I had a soul? What are these Purists? Jeric?"
>>4304878how do I get the hell out if this planet?
>>4304878> Ask for information. "What did you mean when you said I had a soul? What are these Purists? Jeric?"All of that and>"What year is it?"
>>4304881>That's implying you had any money in your account in the first place. "Do you mind if I ask some questions?" You ask."You just did." Obsidian says. "Go ahead, miss, uh, Kassa." Jak responds."So." you curl up atop your cryopod, an act that makes Jak flinch with a strange sort of revulsion- like you're being too careless with something priceless. Which you suppose you might be, at least to him. "We're trapped in this cave by the Purists, right? Who are they?"At your expression, Jak turns to the blue-haired girl. "Maelan? Pretend she doesn't know anything. Start from the basics. I think she might be from a really long time ago.""It's a religious faction whose official name is the 'Lightbringers', and they worship the Ley- the source of Color in this world." Maelan says. "Among their beliefs is one that Artifacts of Daedalus- the old devices- is an evil influence, meant to bring us to ruin. They can be very violent, especially to a supposed 'heretic' like myself.""There are seven of them." Obsidian says, and you catch a glint of the black buildup on the inside of his mouth too. "Jak only has two shots in his artifact left, and I'm tired from fighting.""Right. A religious conflict," You say, nodding. "Is this city- Jeric- affiliated with them?""Yes and no. They have a shrine there, but the laws in Jeric prevent them from damaging people's property- or hurting them. It's a pretty big city. I grew up there." Jek says, with a grin. "Half of it used to be made out of some alloy scraps that fell from the sky, they say, but the Lightbringers hate that idea.""I see." You say, and turn to the blue-haired girl- Maelan- again. "What did you mean when you said you could feel my soul? You seemed afraid that I was 'one of them'?""Ah." She says, quietly. "Obsidian was worried you might be a tool of.. well, Prima. A beast that controls evil artifacts. Sets them upon people. But it can't control people, no matter what the Lightbringers say.""What year is it? How many years since the Daedalus crashed?"Jek frowns. "I'm... not sure. What's the old language word for that?"You think about it- most of the words he's used have been computer terminology, so he must have learned from some datapads or the like. "Date?" You ask. "Date Time? DD-slash-MM-slash-YY?"He thinks about it, and then nods."Yeah, I remember. There's a four-digit number that stays the same most of the time, and then a bunch of other numbers, but those change every day or every like, twenty days, right?" "I just need the four-digit," You say, nodding.He tells you.You feel like something punched you in the gut.Five hundred years. You've been out for five hundred years.>Continued!
>>4304948 You've been out for as long as the Imperium even existed. You knew the cryopods were advanced and long-lasting, but you didn't know they were *that* good.The ground rumbles, slightly, and you see flickers of light from the cave's only exit."Oh, shit." Jek says. He runs, and leaps behind a rock. He draws out his junk laser, and points it out toward the cavern's entrance. "The purists are here, oh joy."You look around- you don't want to get caught in a tussle from some religious nutsos. You notice a small crack in the rubble, and your slitted, light-sensitive eyes can see the glint of light inside it- and peering closer, you see the latch of a hatch entrance- into the Daedalus's airshafts. Even if it broke up in the atmosphere when crashing, you might be able to escape or hide there.Obsidian slowly gets to his feet, and lifts up his sharp chunk of alloy- like a weapon. It looks like he plans on fighting with it. Which means that these lightbringers must not be carrying advanced technology, if melee attacks work. Do you really want to get caught in so much bloodshed so soon?> Hide in the hatch, and leave the primitives to their own fights.> Help your rescuers in the fight. With your enhancements, you have superhuman perception and reaction speeds- and your talons were made for slicing through alloy, literally.> Lead your rescuers to the hatch, and hope all four of you can get in before the religious nuts find the cavern you're in.
>>4304951> Hide in the hatch, and leave the primitives to their own fights.
>>4304951>[x] Lead your rescuers to the hatch, and hope all four of you can get in before the religious nuts find the cavern you're in.Let's GTFO. The primitives can come too.
>>4304951>> Hide in the hatch, and leave the primitives to their own fights.
>>4304951> Hide in the hatch, and leave the primitives to their own fights.Their war their problem.
You don't hesitate. While the three primitives are preparing themselves for a fight, you find yourself heaving aside a few rocks, squirreling in and underneath them toward the hatch you saw. You wrench it open, and see a good dozen feet or so of intact vent before it curves sharply upward. Without a second thought, you slither inside, crawling forward as quietly as you can.While you climb through, you can hear combat going on outside of the hatch. The tell-tale sound of some lasers firing, and a man roaring in anger. Metal clashing, and what sounds like prayer.You start crawling up the vertical turn, and you can see glints of light through the hatch on the other end- it'd been dented out of its frame. You try to wrest it open, and it takes quite a bit of strength to push it up and out. When you finally get it done, you climb up- and you can see more cavern. But from here, you can see the outside. You can hear birdsong, see green blades of grass, and blue sky.Standing at the entrance is a man in a white dress, with a shawl that looks much like Melan's. You creep through the darkness, sure he can't see you- with his human eyes, they can't have adapted enough to see you with how deep you are in the darkness.The sounds of the fighting below seems to slow, and then stop."Brothers?!" The man calls, after a few moments of silence. "Are you victorious?"After a wait of a few moments, the sounds of Melan quietly sobbing echoes through the hatch."... I'm sorry." Jek whispers, quietly. "But we have to go. We'll have to leave him behind for now.""Brothers?!" The Lightbringer guarding the entrance calls again. He frowns, and reaches behind himself to pull out a strange object- it looks like silver, twisted into a tangled, unnatural shape, covered in gems and jewelry. He whispers something, and you smell the distinct scent of ozone.The crystals begin to gleam, and the Lightbringer's expression turns grim. The light in the gems grows brighter, and he looks like he's wielding the device as a weapon- and now he's holding it at the ready.> What do you do?
>>4305005The primitives helped free you from the cryopod, the least you could do is take down this 'Lightbringer' for them.
>>4305005Kill this one without being detected, take his stuff and go.
>>4305005[X] Kill the guard, then let the primitives know they way is clear for now.
Did it occur to no-one that the "primitives'" fight is also ours, by default, considering the "lightbringers" would kill us on sight?
You creep forward... and then as soon as you're enough in the light that the Lightbringer can see you, you burst into motion.The man stumbles back, raising his weapon. It flickers with light- and then a torrent of flame blooms out of it, like he's carrying a goddamned flamethrower. You dive behind a boulder, aborting your charge, as the fire rages all aroundf you. A moment later, it's stopped, and when you risk a glance at the lightbringer again, he looks somehow tired. Drained, almost."Heretic! Servant of Prima!" He roars, and reaches into a pouch. He pulls out a gaudy silver ring, the ruby set insidie gleaming with power. "You'll never destroy the beauty of color!"You respond by rearing back and whipping a rock across the chamber. It misses him, but hits the other end- and when the Lightbringer responds with another gout of flame in that direction, you get up and run toward him. That odd device- whatever it does- doubles as flamethrower. You send yourself shooting forward, and while he's squinting at the light, he doesn't even see you.Your body twists, tail whipping around you, and you send a foot straight into his skull. His head bounces off the pavement, and then goes still.He's absolutely covered in jewelry. Gems of various kinds, bracelets, even that twisted flamethrower-thing. you find yourself ripping his robe off of him, and ripping it into a few scraps, making a quick ad-hoc satchel out of it. It's more like a giant burlap sack you're throwing stuff into, but you'll call things what you want to call them. Your satchel is full of things you'd taken from the Lightbringer when you see Jak and Melan carefully wandering up the cavern entrance. Jak is limping, and Obsidian is nowhere to be seen."I'm... happy you're okay." Jak says, quietly. He looks depressed.Melan doesn't even look at you. The two of you walk past, toward the exit of the cave. Obsidian is nowhere to be seen.>Going to take a bit of a break to take a bath, but I should be back shortly.> "Where is Obsidian?"> Go with them. They may be hurt, but you do owe them for saving your life.> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship.
>>4305052[X] Go with them. They may be hurt, but you do owe them for saving your life.
>>4305052>> "Where is Obsidian?"Damnit, just found this and anon already buggered up our first encounter
>>4305056Are you surprised?
>>4305052>> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship.
>>4305052> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship.The debt is paid. Let's gtfo.
>>4305059I wouldn't call that "a debt paid." Besides, you want to wander out into a mostly-unknown and almost certainly hostile world with no guide?
>>4305056Ill throw in my support for >>4305055 as well>>4305059You got one of them killed and thonk the debt is paid off...
>>4305052> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship.
>>4305052>Go with them. They may be hurt, but you do owe them for saving your lifeLet's NOT be a piece of shit.
>>4305052> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship.>>4305063Not intending to stay with no guide forever, but just got here and it seems this bridge is burned. Better to start fresh and find people whose friends we didn't kill by inaction.
>>4305064Neither Intelligence nor perception are your strong suits, huh?
>>4305052> Go with them. They may be hurt, but you do owe them for saving your life.You're a fuckin cyborg, not inhuman. They saved your life and one of their friends is dead. At least get them to town.
>>4305092It's not burnt yet, just damaged, I think.
>>4305092>>4305103alright fuck it we do owe themswapping to > Go with them. They may be hurt, but you do owe them for saving your life.
>>4305052> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship.No we do not owe these primitive scavengers anything now. We can find better guides later.
>>4305052>Go with them. They may be hurt, but you do owe them for saving your life.Plus we let Obsidian die.
>>4305119Aside from them freeing us from the Cryopod and answering our questions. Awfully nice of them. You do know what bring nice means, right?
>>4305119Aside from, arguably, making amends for basically abandoning them to fate, they are mostly-friendly (if a little less now because of said abandonment) folks. Nothing's saying we have to stick with them long term.
>>4305052>... I fell asleep in the bath, sorry for the delay.>Go With Them: Winning at 6 votes.The two begin to walk, Jak limping, and after a few moments, you scrabble down into the tunnels again. It's simple enough to find your way around- your sense of space is excellent- and you find your way back in the cryopod cavern.And there, among the corpses of five of the so-called Lightbringers, you see Obsidian, lying on his back, eyes half open.He's burned, badly, and he seems to be missing an arm. He's pretty badly wounded, unconscious. Something ripped open his abdomen, and burned out what there was. He would be bleeding out, if it weren't for the fact that the wound had been cauterized shut, and whatever kind of mutie he is, he's a robust one."Heh. The Daedalus girl." He wheezes, barely conscious."... they just left you here?" You ask."No choice. Nothing can heal me like I am, not even an artifact," He says. What a hardy creature, Obsidian is. he's still conscious. Shock would knock a normal human out. But with those wounds... If you had access to a fully-intact medical suite, perhaps you could do something- but you don't. You just have a bunch of cryopods, and most of them damaged. "Best they get going before any more Lightbringers come looking, eh? S' my job to make sure they live. I don't think you'd understand.""You'd be surprised." You say. You'd made the same choice, only five hundred years ago. And perhaps the same idea could save him too. You grab one of the cracked cryopods, and begin dragging it closer to where Obsidian lay. Your omnitool finds itself neatly in your hand... and you get to work.===By the time you reach Jak and Melon again, they're more relaxed, Melon having recovered from her crying. Jak is still limping, though, and the two seem to be heading into a forest. It's a bright day out, and the wind is howling. A long, ribbon-like streak of the planet's ring orbits overhead, and the sun's light shines through, sending a rainbow cascade through the sky."Kessa. You're back." Jek says. "Did you want to come with us?""I am," You say. "For now, but-"At that moment, something behind you ruptures- and a loud explosion echoes through the forest. Everyone- except you- looks back toward the cavern, where they watch the entrance slowly tumble inward, burying the entrance.You smirk- You can't help it. A planned detonation ended up exactly as you wanted. Your scans of the cave, its 3d architecture..."Obsidian! Do you- Is he-" Melon asks, cutting herself off as if she doesn't want to know the answer.> The Truth: "He'll be in Cryosleep undisturbed until we can return with a medical suite. The Lightbringers won't find him now."> You don't want to get their hopes up. "I don't know. Could it be that power generator exploded?"> Change the subject. "Where are you headed next? In fact, could you tell me what you're currently trying to do? Other than scavenging, that is."
>>4305052>> Let them go on their own path. You go on your own. Preferably aboard a starship
>>4305157[X] The Truth: "He'll be in Cryosleep undisturbed until we can return with a medical suite. The Lightbringers won't find him now."
>>4305157>> The Truth: "He'll be in Cryosleep undisturbed until we can return with a medical suite. The Lightbringers won't find him now.">> Change the subject. "Where are you headed next? In fact, could you tell me what you're currently trying to do? Other than scavenging, that is."Meh. I hope we ditch them after seeing them safely return.
>>4305157>> You don't want to get their hopes up. "I don't know. Could it be that power generator exploded?">... I fell asleep in the bath, sorry for the delay.classic exabutt
>>4305168Is there a particular reason or do you just not like people?
>>4305173Our goal is to escape this planet and return to our world. They will only slow us down. And I don't think they would be so kind to aid us in our endeavor now. Now why are you so attached with them?
>>4305157> You don't want to get their hopes up. "I don't know. Could it be that power generator exploded?"
>>4305179Hmm. I suppose I see where you're coming from. I don't necessarily agree, but I do understand. I feel it is worth pointing out that 'our world' is /gone./ We are sufficiently far "out of time" that even if the Imperium is still around it's going to be largely unrecognizable.
>>4305179>Unknown planet, unknown culture, religious war, people of our kind killed on sight, technology regressed to the point it's basically a myth>Obviously we can escape the planet on our own! We don't need anyone's help! We'll make a spaceship out of sticks and dung and fly away! And we'll do it in a day so we won't need food, shelter or protection!Listen to yourself, anon.>>4305157> The Truth: "He'll be in Cryosleep undisturbed until we can return with a medical suite. The Lightbringers won't find him now."
>>4305157> The Truth: "He'll be in Cryosleep undisturbed until we can return with a medical suite. The Lightbringers won't find him now."> Change the subject. "Where are you headed next? In fact, could you tell me what you're currently trying to do? Other than scavenging, that is."
>>4305157>The Truth: "He'll be in Cryosleep undisturbed until we can return with a medical suite. The Lightbringers won't find him now.">>4305179Lemme put this in terms you'll understand, Anon.APES. TOGETHER. STRONG.
"He'll be in cryosleep undisturbed until we can return," You say. "The Lightbringers won't be able to find them now."Melan stares at you, confused for a moment."Cryosleep. You mean, frozen like you were?""It's not normally a good idea to do it when you're injured, but it was an emergency," You say. "If we get our hands on a medical suite, we can return, excavate his cryopod, and get him back on his feet."Melan's eyes go wide. "You can do that?""It's a long shot. But it's more chance than he had." You say-And all of a sudden, Melan is touching you. Her robes are snagging on the scales on your arms, and the sudden human contact sends you into a small panic. She's wrapped her arms around you, hugging you tightly. Jek, for some infernal reason, joins in on the physical contact- a simple hand on your shoulder. You freeze, your tail lashing wildly, while you wait for them to let you go.It's warm."... So, uh..." You trail off, at a loss for the first time since you woke up here. "Where are you guys headed next? In fact, could you tell me what your current goal is? Other than scavenging, that is.""W-we're on a holy mission." Melan says, looking back at the cave where Obsidian lay. "Not so much 'holy' as the right thing to do." Jak cuts in."Prima. The cursed will that controls all the evil artifacts. We're... We're trying to fight it. Destroy it." Melan says. "Just you?" You ask."... Everyone else is too scared." Jak cuts in. "The steel walkers are too strong. Their lasers don't have limits. They can just keep going, forever.""Walkers?"Melan reaches into the depths of a pouch on her hip, and pulls out a small bit of jewelry. More of the strange technology on this planet. She whispers at it- a voice command- and you see a hologram slowly begin to form. It's a familiar sight. A Terminator-pattern disposable soldier. The shade of metal is a bit different from what you're used to, and the hologram doesn't have enough fidelity to read any serial numbers, But unlike the rest of the tech you've seen on this planet, this thing looks clean. New. Almost... fresh off the assembly line.Like they can build your level of technology casually. Perhaps enough to get off-world."You're hunting someone who controls these things?""It's not a 'someone'." Melan says. "It's a spirit. If it has a body, we don't know where it is. But the spirit can move between artifacts. It's been plaguing humanity since we first hatched here."You expect to succeed?" You ask.Jek just smirks. "I'm the best artifact user in the world. I'm pretty much fluent in the old tongue, and I got your frozen crayo-paw open, too.""We've both been touched by the Ley." Melan says. "Me more than him, but... we're good enough to fight, and the steel walkers only recognise sight and sound and heat. We both know how to use Color to hide ourselves.""We just needed to get enough Bits and artifacts to face a chance when we find Prima's real body." Jek says.>  Response?
>>4305179>Our goal is to escape this planet and return to our world.What? Since when?
>>4305257How long's our tail and why does an advanced cyborg have a tail.
>>4305257....so to summarize, a hostile AI of some kind has access to a reasonably-intact manufactory and blueprints for disposable troops, and they want to find and destroy (or, one assumes, otherwise disable) it.Or alternately an automated factory is churning out said troops with problematic IFF settings.
>>4305257>"... I think I need a very long history lesson. Starting from when humanity first arrived on this planet.">>4305270We're also a mutant.
>>4305257>>  Response?"I can think of a better use for this Prima."
>>4305270>Most of your cybernetic enhancements are brainwork only. The rest are genetic, given to your ancestors generations ago. Rather than a cyborg, it's more accurate to call you a 'Mutie', slang for a heavily-genetically-modified human that usually require extensive chemical and cybernetic care after birth. You're a draco-pattern mutie. Originally designed for survival on a rocky, low-grav world- hence the claws, thick scales around the arms, and the tail- the Imperium noticed something unusual. Draco-pattern muties, after generations on your homeworld, have developed unusual neurology that's perfect for augmentations and datajacks. Even baseline draco-patterns have almost savant analytical abilities. You got offered a good job to finally get off your shithole of a world, and they promised to give you all sorts of enhancements.>You just didn't expect the baseline humans to be such xenophobic assholes about it.>The tail's a good five feet long- about as long as you are tall. It's not strong enough to lift your bodyweight (though you're much lighter than most humans) except in low-grav, but you've hung from it before without problem or discomfort.
>>4305293So we look like a big lizard? Cool.
> Sounds like my best plan right now is taking out this rogue ai and stealing his factory.
>>4305257>This Prime needs some digging done in its value function.
>>4305314>>4305314>More like a person with big lizard parts. Mostly around the arms/shoulders and lower legs, since that's where the thickest scales are, but you've got patches of scales down your body."So, to summarize, a hostile AI of some kind has access to a reasonably-intact manufactory and blueprints for disposable troops," You say. "And you want to find and disable it.""... What?" Melan asks."Yes." Jak responds. "That's basically it. Is 'AI' the word for evil spirits where you're from?""It's a fake mind," You say, dumbing it down for them. "It inhabits a special kind of artifact and can control others within range. Whatever this Prima is, it needs someone to dig into its value functions, if it's hurting people. It's not evil-- just broken.""Do you know how to fix it?""Probably." You say, not entirely certain. "I could try, if I can get there. In fact, if I can get there, I can definitely think of a better use for it than just destroying it.""... Like taking control of it?" He asks, eyes seemingly sparkling."Yes," You say. "That's exactly what I'm thinking."Legally, it would be salvage, since nobody owns it- and hasn't for over five hundred years, it sounds like. The three of you walk through the forest, and eventually Jak leads you to a small clearing, where you see a large, quadrupedal creature. It's covered in a thick carapace, almost insectoid-looking. Six eyes glance at you, and then go back to looking at empty space. The creature looks placid, despite its size. It's wearing a harness of some kind. Wood and twine bound to it, with a few beads of jewelry dangling from its neck, and a carriage is hitched behind it."This is our mount. It's called a Karam." Jak says. "Only people who can use Color can control it, since it kind of... eats Color.""So, we're heading to the city, first." Jak says. "With Obsidian... indisposed, I think we might want to stock up. Then we can go after another treasure cove I think I found.. And, um, Kassa, if you want to leave when we get there, you can...""I think I'll work with you two," You say. "But first... I think I need a very long history lesson. Starting from when humanity first arrived on this planet.""Yes." Melan says. "We fell from our star-eggs, after the stars deemed us unworthy to live among them. We landed, and emerged from our eggs, a lost and berefit people. As we walked among the gods, all of our needs were met by our great artifacts. The artifacts we had weren't many- the only things the star-eggs granted were that of tree and grass, plant and food. We ate, and grew, and discovered the Daedalus- the great mother of our star-eggs. With it, we discovered Prima- and the only thing that saved us then, was the Ley. It gave us the power to fight back, and to hide. Centuries passed, and many things were forgotten. Some worshipped Daedalus. Some worshipped the Ley. And others, still, sacrificed themselves to the Prima. And that's where we are today.">Continued!
>>4305376"That's rather summarized.""I only know the mythology. If you're asking about City-states, like Jeric or Methul, I don't know how those got started. Or how governments work, really. They didn't speak of it much in the Lightbringers.""After the chaos of starfall and Prima's invasion, people decided to work together and made a bunch of rules." Jak says. "But people made different rules in different communities. That's it, really.""I see," You say. "Can you explain what this Color stuff is?"Melan points up, toward the planet's ring."That is the Ley. Or as some call it, the Lux." She says. "It is Color manifest, the spirits of Color. It descends upon us, giving us Color to use to live. It whispers to us, telling us things about the world that our eyes cannot see.""So... It's a drug?"Melan frowns. "I showed you the Color before." She reaches into her bag and pulls out the jewelry she had used to generate the hologram. The gem is slightly duller than before, like the color had leeched out of it. The color... Hm."It fills our souls as the Ley's light shines, and we can put that into these crystals. The crystals shape it for us. With it, we can create fire, create light, or create shields of force.""May I?" You ask. She hands the gem to you, and you peer closely at it. It's just wrought silver and a some silicate- maybe quartz crystal, instead. It doesn't seem like an advanced technology. You reach into the white satchel you'd made, and pull out the flamethrower-device. It looks the same, only with many more crystals- and each of them are similarly drained."How do you use it?" You ask."If you've been touched by the Ley, you channel your Color into it. It's... hard to explain. When you're touched by the Ley, you can...feel your soul. You just... push it in."Curiously, you touch the gem, using the contact pads in your fingertips to make electronic contact with it. Nothing seems to happen. You overclock the enhancement a little, and your finger sparks- but still nothing happens. Whatever this technology works on, it's not electricity."I've been working on making Color work with machines. I built a power source..." Jek says, proudly. Then his expression falls. "Except I left it back there. shit.">  That's about all you have for questions. It's time to get some food, and then a nap. It's been 500 years since you last napped in the middle of the day, so you deserve it.>  Fiddle more with this 'Luxtech', see if you can figure it out. You do have a computer in your brain after all.>  Keep chatting. Get to know these humans on a personal level- since they apparently don't have any problems with a mutie like you, maybe you can make friends.>  Something else as you approach Jeric.
>>4305383[X] Keep chatting. Get to know these humans on a personal level- since they apparently don't have any problems with a mutie like you, maybe you can make friends.
>>4305383>Fiddle more with this 'Luxtech', see if you can figure it out. You do have a computer in your brain after all.If this is actual magic that would be a trip.Also, fill Melan and Jek in on what the Daedalus and Sky-Eggs were.
>>4305383>Alright, I'll be taking a bit of a break from the quest for now. I should be back to it later tonight, though, and if not that, tomorrow morning.
>>4305383> Fiddle more with this 'Luxtech', see if you can figure it out. You do have a computer in your brain after all.
>>4305383>  Fiddle more with this 'Luxtech', see if you can figure it out. You do have a computer in your brain after all.>  Something else as you approach Jeric.I guess it was worth it after all to eject everyone out of the Daedalus. You're welcome for that by the way.
>>4305383>>  Fiddle more with this 'Luxtech', see if you can figure it out. You do have a computer in your brain after all.
>>4305383You begin fiddling with the various stolen pieces of 'Lux' technology, doing what you can to figure out how it works. You even bring your tail up to your omnitool, touching the metal contact in the tip against the omnitool's ports. With a small spark, you're jacked into the device, and you begin scanning the lux-tech.But at the back of your mind, as the Karam trundles onward, you're thinking about what Melan said about the 'star-eggs'. Their description sounds like escape pods. And if Daedalus is the mother of those pods..."So, those Star-eggs." You say. "Do the stories say anything about what they looked like?""Round, and white, like eggs." Melan says. "They spit blazing fire from one end, pushing them toward this world."It's all but certain then. Everyone here is a descendant of the people you saved. Which would mean- it only could mean this Prima, with the linguistic drift... It could only be the Primary Mind, the central AI for the daedalus."So they were the Daedalus's escape pods." You say, finally. Both of them turn to you. "The Daedalus was a starship. Something went wrong, a spatial tear opened up, and everyone evacuated the starship on those escape pods.""... Like a lifeboat. Only in space instead of the sea?" Jak asks, and you nod."Yes." You say. "I guess it was worth staying, after all."They blink at you, uncomprehending, but you don't explain. Instead, you turn to Melan and ask her if she can help you by pouring Lux- the energy of 'Color' into some of the gems.When she does, your omnitool notices something strange- When charged, the gems gleam different colors. Some red, some blue, and some yellow, even when the crystals seem to be made out of the same precise material, as far as your omnitool's sensors can tell."How do you activate it?" You ask."You make a prayer to the Ley." Melan says. She touches one, gently, and murmurs.A second later, the white gem blazes brightly, and the wind blows harder around you, the air being pushed by no visible force. Your Omnitool isn't sensing anything- no forcefields, kinetic generators, no impulse signatures- it's as if the air spontaneously decided to move.You scratch your head with your furthest knuckles, claws folded into your palm, and grumble to yourself. This doesn't make much sense. Why would this technology function like this? It defies explanation. Nothing makes sense. There's no wavelength, no energy buildup, just exotic phenomena with seemingly no source. For all you know, it's actually genuine magic.>  Maybe it is. For all you know, the Ley are real spirits who grant powers to people.>  Of course it's not. Everything has a scientific explanation. We just don't have the knowledge.>  You're not sure- You'll keep an open mind about it.
>>4306333[X] You're not sure- You'll keep an open mind about it.
>>4306333>>  You're not sure- You'll keep an open mind about it.
>>4306333>  You're not sure- You'll keep an open mind about it.I recall something going pop in the character's head during the destruction of the starship. Was the popping due to being disconnected to failing and destroyed systems aboard the ship, or due to other factors such as cybernetics damage?Humor them. Make a prayer to this "Ley" and see what happens. Maybe it's some sort of psychic alien thing.
>>4306378>That was some cybernetics damage. You effectively 'overclocked' your enhancements to a point where they were burning out. Such a thing heals on its own, over time, but I wouldn't recommend doing it again anytime soon.
>>4306333>  Of course it's not. Everything has a scientific explanation. We just don't have the knowledge.
>>4306333>You're not sure- You'll keep an open mind about it.
>>4306333Do they know how to work the stuff we stole of the priest?
>>4306333>>  Of course it's not. Everything has a scientific explanation. We just don't have the knowledge.
>>4306333>  Maybe it is. For all you know, the Ley are real spirits who grant powers to people.
>>4306333>  Of course it's not. Everything has a scientific explanation. We just don't have the knowledge
>>4306333>Every time, I start writing a post, there's always that last-minute vote that changes the balance.>Also, I'm sorry I didn't mention it would be a while before the next post. My work-week just started, so I usually won't be around between 9-6 PST.For now, you put the Lux-tech aside. It's starting to hurt your head, but you'll figure out how the science behind it works. You just need stronger sensors. For a while, you relax, watching the planet roll by. The trees are simple terran fare. The grass is the same, too, but there are signs of true alien life here and there. Rocks wreathed in strange pulsating 'veins,' breathing slowly. Four-winged creatures that look somewhere between reptilian and mammalian, using their wings as limbs to cling to branches. Iridescent purple grass- more like a field of tendrils- that reach out toward you, their colors shifting between blue and red. Other sights still defy explanation- Large crystals, hovering three of feet in the air, locked in place through some kind of physical phenomena you can't discern. "Say, do you know how to use this?" You ask, and pull out some of the Lightbringer's belongings."Yes," She says. "Most of those are simple focuses, but that one..." She glances at the luxtech-flamethrower. "That one is princely. I could use it... but I prefer not to use the Color of fire.""If she's calling it princely, you could probably sell it for quite a bit of jink." Jak calls from the front of the carriage.You raise an eyebrow. Your linguasoft must have missed that word. "Jink?""Money. Credits." He says. "Neither of us are the sort who like burning people alive, and that's what that focus is for. It's solely a weapon, and it's one neither Melan or I will use, So it's probably best to find someone to take it off your hands. If you like, I can probably get rid of it for you. I'm sure you could use some money of your own, too.""And some clothes." Melan says. You turn to her, frowning, and she points to where it says 'Daedalus' over your heart. "It's not that your silver suit is... indecent. It's kind of obvious that the suit itself is an artifact, and that might get attention. Un-unless you want that sort of attention, I guess."You're fond of your plugsuit. Not only does it keep you clean and comfortable no matter what temperature it is, It's also one of the few signs you earned your position on the Daedalus. That you passed- exceeded- every single test you'd been given, and you'd forced professional fashionistas figure out how to make a mutie like you look good.And it does make you look good. Emphasizes the few curves you have, and it's layered with armored plating. Most of all, it makes it much easier to jack into devices.You're keeping the suit- you just might get something to wear over it. But as for the Luxtech...> Jak can sell the flamethrower, and some of the luxtech you don't think you'll use.> You're keeping it for studies... and maybe a rainy day.> Something else?
>>4307075> You're keeping it for studies... and maybe a rainy day.hahaha fire yes
>>4307075> Jak can sell the flamethrower, and some of the luxtech you don't think you'll use.The suit stays. A cloak will suffice. Can we examine the "Artifacts" they have? Perhaps there is a user error to them that they don't understand. The Plasma Cutter for example.
>>4307075Scratch that>>4307083Lets make the world burn. We can sell some of the other stuff to buy a cloak.
>>4307075>[X] Jak can sell the flamethrower, and some of the luxtech you don't think you'll use.Flamethrowers are situational weapons at best.
>>4307075> Jak can sell the flamethrower, and some of the luxtech you don't think you'll useSome QMs post vote cut offs, might be handy to use if it starts bothering you more
>>4307075> Jak can sell the flamethrower, and some of the luxtech you don't think you'll use.Anons wanting to keep the flamethrower like we even are able to use it. Hah.
"The suit stays," You say. "A cloak or something to wear over it would be a good idea, though. As for this device... You can sell it.""I'll make sure you get a good deal on it." Jek says, putting it in his pouch.The day grows long, and the three of you find yourselves making your way down a mountain range, the wagon sitting precariously as its Karam trundles down the steep path. Jak is barely seeming to control it, only now and then tugging on the harness. The rocky area reminds you a bit of your homeworld- only you doubt the chunks of rock here are sharp enough to slice through most polymers if you're not careful.But from this vantage point, you can see the rest of the world. For the first time, you see it open up before you, spread out for your examination. You can see the city from here- It's a large, bustling town, built atop what looks like half of one of the Daedalus's cargo bays. From here, you can see how crowded it is. The streets are all built close together, and you're sure most of it is above-ground. Purebloods tend to prefer being able to get to the sky, after all. You can also see rivers, leading into the ocean, and from there, the setting sun. "We'll have to camp here tonight," Jek says. "I don't want to get too much closer to Jeric- it's a bit dangerous, with all the cutthroats around there. But at least where nowhere near the Lightbringer's shrine either, so we don't have to worry about them stumbling over our camp too. Rocky terrain should keep the Steel Walkers away too. They're not as good on steep hills, usually.""How can I help?" You ask.With Jek's hard work and Melan's teaching, you find yourself learning how to pitch a tent, and Melan starts a fire while Jek goes out hunting. Eventually, he returns with the corpses of a few of those four-winged lizard-mammal creatures, limp. Dead."I found dinner! Wing-rats."For a moment, a sense of revulsion washes over you, seeing a once-living creature turned into food. Meat is an important part of your diet- but you'd been able to make do with cloned meat. But after Jek strips the creatures and cooks them on the fire, you find yourself with a handful of greasy, stringy meat. With some hesitation, you chow down.After dinner, you lay on your back and stare at the sky. The stars are almost entirely dim, with only the planet's ring being center stage. It seems to take over the night sky. As you lay back, staring at the sky, you're struck with a sense of scale you hadn't quite felt before. The sky seems bigger than it should, closer than it should. It's strange. The last time you felt like this, it was your first training mission in space. They took you all out, to show you the scale of the universe, and the stars seemed so glorious then. But now, you're trapped here, on this small planet, where the stars themselves are being hidden from you."Jink for your thoughts?" Jak asks, as he's kicking out the fire. "Seems like you've got pretty deep ones right now."> Response?
>>4307339Tell him that you're thinking of your training days and how you went out to the space for the first timeYou wonder what happened in half a millenia, what will you find if you get out to the stars again? Will you like it? Does the Imperium even exist any more?
>>4307339This world is either a great abnormality among the other worlds colonized by humanity, or too much has changes in the last five hundred years I have been in stasis. A backwater rock with an almost fantasy theme, but magic does not exist.
>>4307339"I stayed behind on the Deadalus as it was dying, to ensure as many got off as possible, and fully expected I would die with it. Instead now I find that those who did escape it have turned to squabbling and fighting amongst each other and I will likely never be able to get back to where I belong, in the bridge of a starship. I feel trapped here, and question whether my sacrifice was worth it."
>>4307339Wondering what could have happened to the primary mind to make it behave like this.
>>4307465"I stayed behind on the Daedalus as it was dying, to ensure as many got off as possible, and fully expected to die with it." You say. "And then I come out of stasis to find that the survivors have turned to squabbling and fighting amongst eachother.""I- I'm sorry." He says, not quite comprehending. But it's okay."Worst of all, I might not be able to make it back where I belong," You say. Though you're not entirely sure where 'you belong'. You thought it might've been in space, on a starship, but the rest of the crew always made you feel like you weren't wanted there. You think it might also be in a cyberpod, surfing the extranet, but that, too, feels strangely disconnected from the world. You suppose you were still looking, back on the Daedalus, at least until your tour was up and the Imperium decided you'd paid your dues for your enhancements. You were planning on going to your homeworld after that, checking in on your hometown, and you weren't exactly sure what you'd do beyond that.You suppose you'd planned to figure it out along the way. but all of a sudden, through one night of cryosleep, you're suddenly there, unprepared, with no idea what to do."This world is a great abnormality," You say."Why do you say that?""The ring, first off," You say, pointing to the Ley, above. "They're exceedingly rare among planets this size.""How do you know how large the planet is?""The gravity. It's a little higher than my homeworld, but a little below standard. So it's smaller than most colonized worlds," you say. "And the animals, those are strange too. Those wing-rats? They're not terran. But they seem adapted to the terran trees and plants created for human habitation. Same with most of the native wildlife I've seen. Normally the alien ecosystem is completely dominated by the terran ecosystem, or vice-versa. But that doesn't seem to be happening here."Normally, even eating it would be a sign of heavy modification- but with the wetware in your digestive system, it's not so surprising.The idea is so staggering that you check your enhancement's database for genetic engineers, in case one of them modified some of the creatures to work better alongside humanity after the crash. There are some- enough that it wouldn't be impossible, especially if they had the tools they needed, but...Your eyes widen, and every thought blanks in your mind.You see it, just beyond the ring. Deep in the stars, but you can't quite tell how far away it is, but it moves slowly across the sky as the planet turns.>Continued!
>>4307570You forgot your name and trips there buddy.
>>4307570God damn it. Every time.
>>4307587I just now realized our folks are very much dead by now unless longevity treatments like in Shadowrun or Warhammer exists here.
>>4307570The Spatial rift is still there, open wide. Staring down at you, like a malevolent eye- purple and red, but the deepest black in the core. It's unsettling on a fundamental level- a churn in your gut.It's still there. A Rift like that- most usually generated by an infraspace generator imploding- usually collapses within minutes, if not hours. But five hundred years later... It's preposterous. Impossible. If it's close enough it can be seen, then... The shockwaves should have torn this planet apart. The rift itself should have fed off the system's sun, siphoned everything away. Distorted the orbits of every celestial object in the system. But you've got two moons, orbiting Corona- something easily disrupted on a planetary scale.Nothing here makes sense.But eventually, you fall asleep, out in the grass, on an alien planet that resists categorization.===The morning wakes you, sunlight pressing into your eyes as soon as dawn breaks. Low-light-adapted eyes are a kind of hell, sometimes, but at least you're not on a spaceship that's kept lit at all hours anymore. It takes a few moments to get your bearings. When you open your eyes, you see Jek and Melan already awake, packing up the camp. You push yourself awake, and wipe down your plugsuit with a damp cloth, and do the most basic maintenance on it before the three of you continue on your way.The city of Jeric itself is just as crowded as you'd thought it would be. The crowd itself parts around your Karam and carriage, almost respectfully, but you note nobody else has a similar mount, or similar jewelry. Melan's clothing seems unusually well-kempt according to most of the people here- they're not exactly wearing rags, but Melan's thick dress has a kind of quality that you don't see most people in the crowd wearing."This is the City of Jeric!" Jak says, cheerfully. "This is a trading city. It's somewhat of a crossroads for civilization, so everyone can be found here. So, where first?""Home," Melan says, and Jak nods.The three of you wind through the streets, until you're under the large, rusting shell of the Daedalus's cargo hull. There, nestled in the corner, is what looks strangely like a church- an old, stone building, the walls slightly collapsed, but hastily repaired with wooden planks.Once you walk in, you see something you've only seen in vids- a bar. As you walk in, you see a few others, sitting around and chatting. A woman lays behind the bar, leaning up against it, half asleep."We're back!" Jak calls."Where's Obsidian?" The woman behind the bar asks, perking up. She's tall, unusually so, with black hair and a glare that seems inherently built into her expression. "And who's this?">I'm off to work, so I won't be back for a while, but until then...>  Let Jek explain>  Introduce yourself.
>>4307587On the plus side, it's much less important this time, because there's a user ID!
>>4307597>[X] Let Jek explain
>>4307597>>  Let Jek explain
>>4307597>  Let Jek explain
>>4307597>  Introduce yourself.
Let's be honest, the way we would introduce ourself would Raise Questions.
>>4307604>Alright, now that I'm back from work, I'll get straight into writing the next post! So I'll call the vote here, and we'll let Jak explain.>I keep confusing Jak/Jek is because I'm an idiot and keep confusing the two. But if anyone asks, it's totally a dialect pronounciation thing. Or Kassa's linguasoft is glitching. Or something.
>>4307597You cross your arms, and turn to Jak. He smirks."This is Kassa, Human Computer." He says the latter two words in proper english, "of the Daedalus."He'd emphasized 'Daedalus', as if to communicate something, but it goes over your head. The bar goes silent, and the people who were sneaking glances before are looking at you openly. Despite wearing one of Melan's borrowed shawl, it's not entirely hiding your plugsuit, and it's a little uncomfortable to be scrutinzied so closely.But this isn't the first time. You'd silenced classrooms by walking in before, so you react the same way you did then- you cross your arms, and plaster on a smirk- as if daring them to say something about it.The woman walks around the bar, looking you over. At least this time nobody's telling you that the class for lizardfuckers were next door. But after a tense moment, she speaks."So this is your little frozen fairy, eh?" The woman asks. She holds out a hand. You take it, gently, trying not to claw her with any of your sharp edges. Sarah squeezes tightly- as if trying to assert her dominance- but then freezes and brings her hand back as she scrapes herself against your scales."Yep." Jak says. "Kassa, this here is Sarah. She's working with us. You know, on the mission. In fact, everyone here is, pretty much.""All under Jak's capable leadership. Not to mention he's bankrolling the thing," Sarah responds, and then walks over to Jak to sling an arm over his shoulder. "Was there any problems with the Prince's men?""Just some lightbringers. Though only a few of them were touched... Could be they were the prince's men in disguise, but I don't think so."You turn to Melan, and the smaller girl just shrugs. She leans close."Jak's in some kind of clash with the some wealthy merchant prince, I think," She whispers. "I don't know all the details. I'm... kind of new here.""Merchant Prince Rashaul," Sarah clarifies. "It's an economic conflict. Jak's got money, land, and heritage. Rashaul has nothing but a bunch of rich Purist supporters, and wants to expand his powerbase. Jak's pretty public about his political leanings, so Rashaul can toady up to his Lightbringers more by acting against Jak.""Oh, politics." You say, sarcasm heavy in your voice. "Joy. My favorite thing.""Did your politics have assassin where you came from?" Jak asks.You think about it- but you doubt social media counts, so you shrug."Well, ours do," He says, grinning "But it's not that important. I just have to check my food before eating it. Hey, Sarah, can you do me a favor?""What do you need?""I've got to go down to the market. Any chance you could show Kassa around?""Around the bar, or the city?"He just shrugs. "It's up to you.""I could..." She says, and eyes you again.> "Sure, let's go."> You doubt it's because you're a mutie, but... "What is your problem with me?"> "I was hoping to just sit and chat with Melan more."> The Obligatory Write-in Option.
>>4308197> "Sure, let's go."
>>4308197I still want to take a look at the Plasma cutter
>>4308197>"So this is your little frozen fairy, eh?"Wait a second, did they have preexisting knowledge about us?
>>4308197> The Obligatory Write-in Option.If Jak is a mini merchant lord, then is Sarah a noble or something too?
>>4308197> You doubt it's because you're a mutie, but... "What is your problem with me?"fite me
>>4308349how much you bet she thinks lizard girl is pretty?
>>4308197> You doubt it's because you're a mutie, but... "What is your problem with me?"I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that no one explained where Obsidian is.
>>4308197>> "Sure, let's go.">>4308278they had to bring a power source to power our cryopod, so I'm guessing they made more than one trip
>>4308251>I'm honestly not sure what you're referring to.>>4308197"Sure, let's go." You say. "Right." She says. "Let's go, then."With a casual gesture, she leads you through a door behind the bar, and you find yourself in what you can only call a junk shop- It's full of all sorts of technological gadgets, most of them looted from various parts of the Daedalus, others still constructed using primitive materials- like the work of the earliest colonists. It looks like they never got a fabricator working, though- or if they did, it didn't last long."This is Jak's favorite playhouse. Full of artifacts and broken junk, mostly." She says. "We've got part of a steel walker around somewhere, too- some of it's been stolen from Prima itself, some of it was found or bought, and still more was taken out of the hands of some Lightbringers before they could destroy the lot."You look around- There's not a lot here that's useful, but it's at least got a lot of parts for repairs. You could probably fix up Jak's old laser rifle, with some time here."So, is Jak some kind of merchant prince himself?" You ask, turning over part of a mechanical arm. No love or care could restore it- the servos are burned out."Yes and no. His pa is, but Jak's not even in the line to inherit. Sixteenth son or something. He just got himself some seed money to get all this started. Enough that come election-time, if Jak wanted, he could put himself on the council. Better that then this gods-awful Prima hunt he's so determined to go on.""You don't agree with stopping Prima?""All this artifact-hunting is making him good money." Sarah responds. "Why he insists on trading it all for weapons so he can kill himself in a fancy way is beyond me. If he really wants to do good, he should just sit back, kick up his feet, and save up enough to fund an entire army to send into hell. Just because he's Touched he thinks he should save the world by himself."After a few moments, she turns away and scoffs."... Do you have a problem with me?" You ask, after a moment."I don't dislike you personally," She says, her expression softening for a moment. "But we spent a lot of time, a lot of money, and too many lives finding that treasure cove. All based on a story about some frozen fairy from space. And all they brought back was you.""You knew about me before they found that cave?""Of course. You don't just trip over artifacts every day. People tell stories about a weird cave they found. Parts fall out of the sky every few years, someone spots it, they tell a friend, that friend tells another, or whatever. It takes effort to piece it all together. And as far as I can tell, an extra pair of hands and a tail don't balance out for what we spent. Unless that suit can fly or something."> Shrug and continue the tour. You don't need to defend your own existence.> "Does it change anything if I could tell you how every single artifact in here works?"> Something else.
>>4308476>> "Does it change anything if I could tell you how every single artifact in here works?"
>>4308476> "Does it change anything if I could tell you how every single artifact in here works?"
>>4308476> Shrug and continue the tour. You don't need to defend your own existence.Lets keep our cards close to our chest for now.Don't need rumors spreading... yet.
>>4308476>> Shrug and continue the tour. You don't need to defend your own existence.
>>4308476> "Honestly, I'm not particularly impressed with what you've made of yourselves while I was 'frozen', either, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.">"Unless it's my suit. You shouldn't try to take that."
>>4308476>Jak only has two shots in his artifact left, and I'm tired from fighting.Fix that> "Does it change anything if I could tell you how every single artifact in here works?"> Something else.Let's fix things.
So I'm guessing the magical spirits are keeping the rift in check until however many thousands of years it will take to dissipate it, and the Primary AI is on orders to maintain some kind of status quo to keep the spirits happy.
>>4308476>Since I'll be pretty busy today, this is likely my last post for today."Does it change anything if I could tell you how every single 'artifact' in here works?"Sarah's expression shifts- she looks intrigued, but still wary. "Oh?""My society is the one that invented all of this," You say, arms spread, "And among my other duties, before I went on ice I was also technician.""Prove it." She says."I don't owe you anything," You respond- but you reach out and grab at the mechanical arm anyway. "This is a mechanical arm from one of Daedalus's engineering bays. The servos that allow the arm to move have been burned out. It looks like someone tried forcing power into it at a too-high voltage, bypassing the control software entirely.""Anyone can make up words," Sarah says. You cross your arms and stare at her. After a few minutes, she reaches through the pile and pulls out a personal computer. The dataslate looks old, but someone had kept it clean over the years.. "Get this working instead."You look it over. You reach through some of the junk, and get to work. After a while, it blinks and turns on, waiting at a login screen, owned by one Security Officer Abel Violet. You hand it back.She takes it, frowning, and then eyes the daisy-chained mostly-dead batteries plugged into the dataslate."Fascinating," she says, and taps on it a few times, somehow familiar with dataslates. After it buzzes angrily at her a few times- the 'incorrect password' noise, she hands it back. "Can you get past this display?"Your tail whips up, and you touch the metal tip to one of the dataslate's ports. It sparks, and you jack directly in. You don't have a cyberpod for your plugsuit, but you're good enough at hacking that you don't need a full-dive. After a short while, you're able to pull up the keyboard's buffer, and luckily enough, it still had the correct password in the logs. You punch it in and hand it back.Sarah stares at it. "... did you know this 'Abel'?" She asks. "Back before you were frozen?""Never met him." You say, shrugging. But he was probably an asshole- most of the security force was."Yeah, you might not be a lost cause after all," She says."Glad to know I'm allowed to exist." You say. "So, this whole group is trying to defeat Prima?""... This whole group is Jak's group," She says. "People who owe him debts and are working it off, follow his ideology, or people who want to join his suicide mission.""Which of those three are you?" You ask."The first," She says. "You got lucky, running into Jak first thing.""And his ideology?" You ask. "What is that?""That we should stop worshipping the junk from the past, and learn how it works instead, and work to create our own artifacts instead, so everyone can have their own. The useful ones, to make clean water from ocean water, or heal wounded people, not the weapons. The Ley's been helping him make devices that work on Color, but not everyone can use color."> Response?
>>4308735>That sounds like a good ideology to follow>Does anyone have a problem with it?
>>4308735>Sounds like an ideology that'll outlive him. People don't change quickly.>But it's one I'll have to support as long as that giant rift of death is in the sky.
>>4308735Sounds like his worked out that all of this is just a tool to be used and not to be hed above us.
>>4308735>And people disagree with this? The knowledge that built this technology is your heritage.
>>4308735It's kinda sad and funny that theres people who dont want that.
>>4308735>"Huh. I can't say Jak struck me as the type to hold a debt over someone's head... Too naive, you know?">"By the way, you wouldn't happen to know about any medical equipment hidden away here? Uh, I can try to describe what it would look like if that helps. I'd like to see if i can put enough together to fix up that Obsidian guy."
>>4308781>I can't say Jak struck me as the type to hold a debt over someone's headWheres the issue in that?>"By the way, you wouldn't happen to know about any medical equipment hidden away here?How would Sarah even know what to point at if she didnt e en know what more than half the things in here did?
>>4308786Wouldn't hurt to see if anything rings a bell if she was given a vague description, would it? Worst that can happen is nothing.And it probably also wouldn't hurt to discretely mention that the guy isn't dead. Her question was totally ignored, so she must have assumed the worst by now.
>>4308815>And it probably also wouldn't hurt to discretely mention that the guy isn't dead. But he was never dead. Just in stasis.
>>4308820Exactly. But all Sarah knows is he didn't come back and that her question about his whereabouts was ignored, so the logical assumption from her perspective is that he's dead. Unless Exa just skipped over (that is, forgot) the part where this is explained to her.
>>4308823But doesnt Sarah know that hes still alive? What else would she hug the MC?
>>4308837That was Melan, not Sarah. Melan is the blue-haired magic-using girl that was on the mission with Jak and Obsidian. Sarah is the grumpy girl we've just been introduced to.You've been speedreading too hard, bro. You need to slow down a bit, /qst/ doesn't move that fast to begin with.
>>4308476>[X] "Does it change anything if I could tell you how every single artifact in here works?"
>>4308735>Alright, I'm off to work! Should be back in eight hours or so."And people disagree with this?" You ask."Idiots, mostly. Some people think artifacts are a gift from a greater force. The Purists- the lightbringer faction- believe that anything even closely related to Prima is just as evil as it is. And while some of the merchant-nobles want to be able to produce artifacts, they're less... altruistic about it.""Of course," You say. People stay the same, even in an entirely different culture. You begin picking through parts, keeping an eye out for anything that could be made into an adhoc medical suite."Say, do you happen to know about any medical equipment hidden away here? It should look something like a bed or a chair, only with a bunch of arms like these connected to it.""... I think I remember seeing something like that, but not here. Not one of our junk rooms, either. Why?""I'm hoping I can put enough stuff together to fix up that Obsidian guy." You say. Your causual mention of him attracts Sarah's attention."So he's not dead?" She asks, and you nod. She relaxes."Injured badly," You say. "He took a mortal wound, so I put him into stasis. He's a frozen fairy now, and we can thaw him out once we have the right stuff to heal him.""Right," She says. "If I see one of those, I'll make sure to let you know." You nod, and she gives you a small smile. You go back to arranging some of the junk."So, I can't say Jak struck me as the type to hold a debt over someone's head..." You say."He's not." She responds. "It's my choice. He saved my life, so I'm helping him. So are a lot of people. He's... a good person to follow. A good person in general."After that, Sarah shrugs. "Let's keep going."She leads you through the rest of the building, but none of the other rooms are anywhere as interesteing- there's a few bedrooms, one unclaimed one you can claim for yourself, if you so desire, and a room full of maps. They're not all the same- each map has some slight changes, and none of them have the useful amount of detail you're used to. The room's full of notes- looking at a few, you can tell they're trying to pin down where 'meteors' landed, and collates rumors of artifact coves or spots where chunks of the Daedalus may have fallen. It looks like a lot of work, and notes where Jak had sent out a few scouts to various locations.After the tour, you find yourself sitting at the bar again, relaxing, while Sarah returns to serving drinks to the few people hanging out. Maelan is curled in one of the corner booths, her focuses spread out on the table in front of her, while she reads from a small book- mouthing the words aloud.>  Go speak to Maelan>  Wait for Jak to return>  Keep chatting with Sarah
>>4309812> Go speak to Maelanask about how they hide from walkers. The mechanics of how they fool sensors might be a hint to figuring out how to detect Color.
>>4309812>  Keep chatting with Sarah
>>4309812>Go sit across from Maelan and observe her weird "magic" prayer stuff -uncomfortably intensely- in order to look for clues as to how the crap that works. If she tries to break the silence, ask about >>4309825One way or another, we will find an explanation for all this "color" and "ley" stuff. After all, it can't possibly be actual magic, because magic isn't real.
>>4309812>fiddle with the color tool things. See if we can figure out the trick to utilizing them.
>>4309825+1>>4309873probably to do with the space anomaly that threw us here, it's likely we're not gonna get a lot of detailed info about it until we find some good long range sensors
>>4309812You find yourself sitting across from Maelan, in her booth. She doesn't look up to you- she almost entirely ignores you, in fact. You wait there for a few minutes for her to notice you. It's not that she's focused on her book- she looks up now and then, to an empty spot in the air- and then she looks back down to her book, murmuring to herself. It's a little hard to understand, but it sounds like she's talking to someone, rather than just reading aloud.Eventually, as you watch, the focuses seem to gleam one-by-one. Maelan's eyes close, and you feel something wash over you- a presence, like someone hanging over your shoulder. You look, but you don't see anyone. You fumble to pull out your omnitool, and pull up the sensors-And There. Finally, you detect it, jacked into the sensors. A minor presence, wafting over the table. The densinometer is detecting more in the space above the table than just the standard air mix, but something denser. Some exotic material- particles too small to see, but moving in a cohesive mass. Just a handful of particles, no more than ten thousand or so- but floating in formation in the air. Tendrils of the same density and consistency is reaching down, touching each of the gems- leaving portions of itself behind, since the mass is slightly smaller when it's done. From there, Maelan gently touches the gem, still murmuring, and the focuses begin to glow.The mass begins to whorl, contorting itself in the air above the table between you, and the mass goes completely still. You get the strong feeling- You're definitely being watched by something.The tendrils reach out, slowly, as if to touch you- it's moving with an alien intelligence, something you can't interpret. The mass hesitates- and before you can do anything, the cohesive mass splits apart, filtering out through the cracks in the building- under doors and through open windows.A moment later, Maelan's eyes open."Oh, I'm sorry." She says. "I didn't notice you there.""Um, well, I had some questions," You say, a second later. You'll have to look at the data you just picked up when you have some time. "I was wondering how you could hide from walkers.""Oh! Um," She reaches out and gently touches two of her larger focuses, before giving you a small smile. They're complex assemblies of silver, carefully wrought into the shape of a bracelet of snakes- or perhaps brambles- with three gems in their core. "These are the focuses I use. This one can wrap light around me, so people and things can see what's behind me. If I do it right, It makes it look like I'm not there. This works on most walkers, but not all of them. Some of them are smarter. For the smarter ones, I can use this other one. This one creates a kind of... bubble around me, and it stops heat from leaving. Sometimes, the Walkers's eyes can see heat, somehow.""So, you turn invisible and prevent yourself from coming up on thermals." You say."I... I suppose, yes." She responds.> Response?
>>4310773"That's smart. Although I wonder if some of the walkers can detect electrical signals."Then give her a brief rundown of what we just saw
>>4310773>stops heat from leavingisn't that dangerous to you? You can't keep that up forever.I'm also wondering what that bubble is made of, if the walkers can't sense it.>I thought I felt something, just now. It was there, it left a little bit of itself behind, and it left.
>>4310773Ask her if she can do more magic. We have a sensor array that can now detect this so called "colors." We're onto something. If no colors come then that confirms our suspicions. What exactly was she doing before we came?
>>4310773Aha! Nanomachines, daughter!>Are there any walkers that can still see you?Maybe some of them carry terahertz radars
>>4310773>"Do you make these focuses, or do you just... find them?"
"That's smart," You say. "But isn't that dangerous for you? Wouldn't it get hot?"Maelann frowns. "I'm not sure. It doesn't seem to get that hot at all.""Interesting," You say, "Are there any walkers that can still see you?""Not really," She says. "I think they know something's around, since they start searching, but they haven't seen me.""Do you make these focuses, or do you just... find them?"Maelan goes quiet, and looks away."They are made," She says, a moment later."By craftsmen?""It's... hard to describe." She says. "But you could say I made these two myself. The rest have been made by other touched. Most Touched can make them. You just need silver, some crystals, and... the Ley."You wait for her to elaborate, but she just looks away."Can you tell me more?" you ask, finally."... Um, most focuses don't have a purpose. The small ones, like this one. It just holds a certain kind of Color, and with the right mental image and prayer, you can do a lot of things with it. The bigger ones, with multiple crystals... Those are harder to make, but more focused. They work almost on their own. Like with these two, I couldn't show you pictures like I could with a normal focus."You look down at the assembly of focuses again. Most of them do seem rather simple- rings, or charms, with small crystals inset. It's only the two bracelets- the 'heat bubble' and 'invisibility' focusues that look significantly more complex than the rest."Could you show me some more magic?" You ask."Yes, I can." She says, and holds out one of the simpler focuses. As you watch, your sensor picks up on a cluster of heat in the air above it. A moment later, the a flame sparks into existence, held suspended in the air. It's fascinating- You're not even sure what's burning, if anything. It's a fire without a flame. Your sensors don't notice anything but the heat- even the air doesn't seem to be reacting much. It's certainly not taking in any oxygen. It might even be a kind of really hot hologram... or something. Like a bundle of heat held in place somehow, with only the appearance of a burning fire?A second later, the flame winks out, and Maelann smiles at you."That device lets you see more than your eyes, doesn't it?" She asks, gesturing to the omnitool mounted onto your plugsuit. You nod."I thought I saw something with it, a while ago. While you were reading your book." You say. "It left a little bit of itself behind, in your focuses, and then it left.""Y-yeah." Maelann says. "They... weighed you, and you were found wanting. I'm sorry.""That was the Ley?""It was my Ley." She says."You have your very own?"She freezes, as if scared to respond."I shouldn't talk about that. They have secrets."> Any more questions?
>>4311019Fair enough.>A warning, then. My device was able to see SOMETHING, and I've been asleep for hundreds of years. If there is someone out there making NEW artifacts, those two foci won't be enough to hide from them.>Either Prima is closer to a mindless beast following a cycle of orders, or places near its heart will have much more observant walkers.
>>4311019>"No wonder they, if they is the proper term to describe this Ley, don't care for me much then, if they're so fond of their secrets. Don't tell me anything you don't think you should, then. I won't be offended." >"Do you actually communicate with them, then? With words?"
>>4311019>"I shouldn't talk about that. They have secrets."Then could you bring your Ley here so I can speak to it?
>>4311056New as in new and innovative, or new as in made off an assembly line using an existing template?>>4311132You think its possible we could speak with this Ley thing?>>4311019I want to add on if it would be possible to speak to the Ley or through proxies if need be.
>>4311538technically, it would only require a slight adjustment to AI>if detect Color>>do wide sweeping laser>>check surroundings for bloodIt doesn't have to work all the time, but it can certainly do some damage.
>>4311538>You think its possible we could speak with this Ley thing?The Ley probably doesn't want anything to do with Kassa, either because of her enhancements, her mutations, or her being too nosy.But, since it seems to be intelligent, if any level of communication is possible, it would be good to establish boundaries. If our attempts to understand it is causing offense, or even harm, well... communicate that however it is able and we'll respect that. The Ley doesn't have to like us if it doesn't want to, but it would be nice to at least not make an enemy of it.
>>4311578I'm not worried about making enemies of the Ley. We'll cross that road once we're able to initiate dialogue with it.
>>4311560hell could probably use short range radar for let detection if the bots have them
>>4311019"Do you actually communicate with them?" You ask, leaning forward. "With words?""N-not with words," She says. "It's... It's more than words. The day I was Touched, we... made a deal. A binding. I can't say much more than that.""Is there any chance you could bring it here so I could speak to it?"She shakes her head."The Ley can't talk. They don't understand us." She says. "They don't see the world like we do. They use their Touched to see our world. It's part of our Binding.""But they understand your prayers?""They understand the shape of my soul," She responds."I see." You say, frowning. "Though, you should be aware that with my sensors, If I was able to see the Ley, then those Walkers might be able to do the same thing. My artifact is old, and they might be making better ones."She nods. "We've been careful. The Walkers haven't been able to see us yet.""Then again, Prima might not even know to check for that kind of thing, if it doesn't know you can turn invisible.""Could we.. perhaps try it?" She asks. You nod, and she winks out of sight. Perfectly invisible. You'd seen cloaking systems before, but this one is perfect. Your other sensors can pick her up fine, though."Can you see me?" She asks."Not with my eyes," You say, impressed. "But I can sense your heat and density.""Alright then, I'll activate the other one too."A second later, she vanishes not just from your thermal sensors, but from everything. You pore through your omnitool's settings, and try everything you can think of- every kind of sensor you have access to- and you just simply can't find Maelan.Strange then, that your sensors can barely pick up the Ley, but can't pick up any evidence of active luxtech."I can't sense anything." You say, finally, and Maelann reappears, a small smile on her face."Good." She says.The door to the bar's entrance slams open, and Jak walks in, a stuffed bag on one shoulder and a small pouch in the other."Kassa!" He says, cheerfully. "I got your focuses sold, and picked up some clothes for you too. You might not be in on all the latest fashions, but I got you some stuff that won't stand out, that you can wear over your suit.""Thank you," You say."And this is the jink you got for selling that focus," He says, handing over the pouch. "It's a few thousand."You pull out one of the coins and look at it closely. Slightly startled, you can see that it's got the symbol of the Imperial Credit printed on the side."More than I thought I'd get, really," He says. "But that's enough to live on for a year or two, if you need it. Not a lot when it comes to artifacts or focuses, but it's a lot when it comes to food and rent.""Thank you." You say."... So..." He says, looking somewhat anxious. "What do you think? Of what we've started here? Do you, uh, want to join us?">  I'm in.>  I've got conditions.>  No thank you, I have more important things to do.>  Something else?
>>4311753>  I've got conditions.I'd like to learn more about these Ley entities like Maelann's. It seems those are required to utilizing these color things? Can we sell the smaller color things we got off the priest or just give them to someone? Can I see your laser rifle for a second?If we encounter a Walker, i would like an opportunity to interface with it.
>>4311753 I've got conditions.I get to tinker with anything i wantI get paidAnd when we get to take down the big bad prima i want to at lest be given a chnace to fix it befor distroying it.Il help fix up stuff you got and start on a book explaining all this stuff uses and how to make them.Ask about the jink and y it hows that stamp on it.Also no one tuches my tail
>>4311753>  I've got conditions.> - I would like to try repairing Prima before resorting to its destruction.> - I would like to be supported by reasonable accommodations, or a stipend that I might support myself.> - I would like to be of service by acquiring, re-purposing, and repairing artifacts salvaged from the wreck of the Daedalus.> - When it becomes feasible to do so, I would like to build a structure that will enable me to study the anomaly that shattered the Daedalus.This quest reminds me pretty strongly of the Safehold Series so far.
>>4311753>>  I've got conditions.>Anyone here has to answer questions I have, and if it makes them uncomfortable then that means I'm asking you>I hold no responsibility for what my tail does to people who sneak up on me at night>At some point, I'm getting your help to deal with the giant rift of death floating in space above us that caused the Daedalus to fall to this planet.and >>4311829
>>4311753backing >>4311829except drop the tinker with anything request
>>4311753>"Apparently I'm now 500 years into my military contract, so as far as I'm concerned I don't owe anything to anyone. So no contracts, no debts, no guilt, none of all that! I'm not a soldier, or a servant, and I'm definitely not loot! But since you seem like good people, I can be a friend."
>>4311753"I have conditions," You say."I was a little afraid you'd say that," He says, but he's being facetious, according to the growing grin on his face."I will be getting paid, of course," You say. "As well as reasonable accomodations- room and board, the like.""Of course," He says, with a nod."I'll need information from your people. I'm still new to this society, so if I've got questions I want them answered.""That's just common sense," He responds. "Having you walk in blind is dangerous.""If we get to Prima or access to a working Steel Walker, I want a chance to interface with it- even if that means we have to build me a new cyberpod.""I don't know what that is," He says, still grinning."It's an artifact. A complex one. I'll need every computer we get our hands on and then some, even if we've got to rip them out of datapads. I've got the programming up here, so that isn't a problem," You say, tapping your head."Hm..." He pauses a few moments. "How's this for an offer- I can pay you in artifacts. Mostly the parts we can't use, but if you can piece it all together into something working, it's yours.""I'll buy those parts from you with coin," You respond. Jak's a shrewd negotiator, but giving you scraps and calling it 'pay'? Fuck that. "And if I fix something for you, I expect to be paid for it.""... Deal," He says."Finally, if I'm able to reprogram a Walker so it fights with us, that's my property.""... I'm not sure I can agree to that." He says. "Mostly because it's all of us who are at risk if we face a Steel Walker. People are putting their lives at stake to fight them. If someone dies trying to pin one down so you can reprogram it..."You sigh. Too good to be true, after all."But if you do that, then we can decide- either you'll get paid for this 'program' Walker, or you can buy it from us at a discounted rate. You'll basically be getting 'half' of the walker, and either pay for the other half, or get paid for the other half. And you'll be working with us anyway, so you'll be commanding them even if they technically belong to my group." He says. "But if you stumble across a Walker on your own, then I guess it would be yours. That should be fair."You respond to his grin with a hard glare- something you won't step down from."If I stop Prima, then Prima is mine." You cut in.He sighs. "I'm... not sure that's possible. But if we get to that point... yes. You'll be doing so much for the world that you deserve it.""Finally, I'm not signing a contract. I'm not being locked into helping you forever. If I say I'm out, then I'm out. I spent the last 500 years locked into a military contract with the Imperial Navy, and now that I'm free, I'm not going to be a servant again.""Deal." He says, and holds out a hand.> Any other conditions?
>>4312491"Hm..." He pauses a few moments. >"How's this for an offer- I can pay you in artifacts. Mostly the parts we can't use, but if you can piece it all together into something working, it's yours."When you say we, do you me me in addition to your group, or just your group? Because I can assure a majority of the thing we find I'll have better odds or repairing tha. You will. Like the servos in the prosthetic. Depending on if it was you or some other guy, it probably could had been made operable before they bricked it.I'll also charge in appraisals and diagnostics, in exchange for currency, favors, and certain agreed upon artifacts. Teaching you how to properly operate the more advanced machinery would require knowledge that we dont have the time for, and cybernetics this world is decades, maybe centuries too off from.
>>4312491can't think of anything really important, I guess.
>>4312491>> Any other conditions?Yeah, he has to promise to forgive us for seeming ungrateful. Eventually. Doesn't have to be right now if he can't.
>>4312678As a joke or seriously?
>>4312761Why not both?Considering Kassa would still be an ice cube if not for him, you could easily argue that she already owes him. All these demands can definitely look pretty bad from the others' perspective, you know? But from her perspective, scary alien world is scary, gotta protect self.
>>4312503+1, these sound alright. Don't want to sound any more uptight than we already are
>>4315957>Sorry, work's been kicking my ass. Gimme a bit to recover and I'll start the next update.
>>4316213"No, that's everything," you say, and settle back in your chair. "Perfect!" He says. "For the most part, if it's okay with you, I'm planning on having you come with us to some treasure caches, since you know what's most immediately valuable. And then when you have free time, you could fix up whatever we might have in the artifact room. Does that suit you?""Yeah, that sounds good," You say. "Sorry if I seem ungrateful. I've just been screwed over before.""No, it's perfectly fine," He responds, "I understand. You don't have your bearings yet. In fact-" He rummages through his pockets for a moment, and then turns to Sarah, behind the bar. "Toss me the keys!"She does so, aiming for his head, but Jak catches the bundle of keys, and begins pulling one out, untying the thread, before handing it to you."Here. It's one of those rooms back there- the one on the left, next to the artifact room. Nobody's stayed there in ages, so it might take some cleaning, but you've got more than enough space. Feel free to do whatever you want to it. Give it a coat of paint, cover the ceiling in some crazy Artifacts, whatever you'd like.""Thanks," You say. He just gives you a nod and a grin, and then gives Maelann another nod and smile, before going to the bar to chat with Sarah. Whatever they're talking about, it's pretty obviously in code. Before they can get too into it, you tap his shoulder with your tail."Hm?" He asks."You mentioned earlier that your laser was low on charges," You say."It's out, now." He says."But it's still got power? If you can make a generator, then you have power, right?""Yeah," He says, uncomprehending. You can't think of a laser that needs more than just electricity, so you hold out both hands."Give it to me, I'll take it to the junk room and see what's wrong with it.""Sure," He says. He unstraps it and hands it to you. You take a quick look, and then take it into the junk room. Finally, some real tinkering.You sweep a few casing parts off of the workbench, pull your Omnitool from the pouch on your plugsuit, and you clamp it onto a nearby cable- this one hanging from the wall, which itself is clinging to the ceiling. It's another Luxtech power generator, this one only half-filled with Lux, slowly growing dim. A much cleaner version of what Jak had set up in the cryopods. While your omnitool charges, you wipe down the workbench and begin examining the laser rifle.>Continued!
>>4316355>>4316355Ignoring the wooden components, and the trigger mechanism, which seems to operate correctly, you take a look at the lenses. While they're clean, they're not vacuum-sealed. Dust could get in and ruin the lens. In fact, you're surprised they're still as smooth as they are. You look over the laser cavity, and quicklky discover the problem-They're using gas-based lasers, but the chamber isn't sealed perfectly. The laser charges, it pumps, and the laser powers through, but each time, the gas leaks slightly, as the sudden burst of heat loosens whatever kind of sealant they're using. There's a valve for injecting more, but you're not sure what it used to be filled with. You jack into the omnitool, which is still plugged in, and open the valve directly over the chemical sensor. You snort. Carbon Dioxide. Primitive. But you can see why they'd use it. They don't seem to have any precision technology, and most of the mix used is pretty easy to come by. Most of the other alternatives might be too hard to get their hands on, or to maintain. You look around at the junk around you, and you find the machine they're using to re-fuel the lasers. It's a tall canister, looking somewhat like an over-engineered waterheater, but the pressure dial on the side looks like it's running low. Not completely out, but enough that each blast would be expensive. You're not even sure how this society would produce more, really.You think about the tools you have, and the parts you might have around. It's not a lot. No fabricator, no precision equipment. Just an omnitool- with it's extremely basic functions- and your own two hands.But still, you may as well get this done.> Work hard on making it work, and making it work right. More expensive, resource-wise, but infinite as long as it has power. You have the parts right now, but it'll be the last of the Neodynium in the junkroom for a while. At least the lenses will be vacuum-sealed too...> Do what you can to secure the laser cavity, better this time, so it doesn't lose nearly as much fuel when fired.> Something occurs to you- What if you used the gem from a Luxtech focus as a laser? You're sure that when charged, it's some kind of 'excited' state, but is it the right kind? Drag Maelan into the junkroom and recruit her assistance.
>>4316381> Do what you can to secure the laser cavity, better this time, so it doesn't lose nearly as much fuel when fired.If fuel is the limiter, are there enough parts for a second, experimental luxtech laser?
>>4316381>[x] Do what you can to secure the laser cavity, better this time, so it doesn't lose nearly as much fuel when fired.
>>4316381>> Do what you can to secure the laser cavity, better this time, so it doesn't lose nearly as much fuel when fired.For now, that'll have to do. Assuming that proper materials are hard to come by, one laser is probably not what we should use the last of them on.And Luxtech is SUPER CREEPY, i would rather not rely on it unless it's our only real option. Imagine if the fuel in your car was intelligent and just suddenly decided it doesn't like where you're driving? Hell no!
>>4316381>> Do what you can to secure the laser cavity, better this time, so it doesn't lose nearly as much fuel when fired.
>>4316381> Something occurs to you- What if you used the gem from a Luxtech focus as a laser? You're sure that when charged, it's some kind of 'excited' state, but is it the right kind? Drag Maelan into the junkroom and recruit her assistance.
>>4316381> Something occurs to you- What if you used the gem from a Luxtech focus as a laser? You're sure that when charged, it's some kind of 'excited' state, but is it the right kind? Drag Maelan into the junkroom and recruit her assistance.SCIENCE
>>4316381> Work hard on making it work, and making it work right. More expensive, resource-wise, but infinite as long as it has power. You have the parts right now, but it'll be the last of the Neodynium in the junkroom for a while. At least the lenses will be vacuum-sealed too...
>>4316381>Do what you can to secure the laser cavity, better this time, so it doesn't lose nearly as much fuel when fired.We can work on the rest after getting more materials.
>>4316381>> Work hard on making it work, and making it work right. More expensive, resource-wise, but infinite as long as it has power. You have the parts right now, but it'll be the last of the Neodynium in the junkroom for a while. At least the lenses will be vacuum-sealed too...
>>4316381>[X] Work hard on making it work, and making it work right. More expensive, resource-wise, but infinite as long as it has power. You have the parts right now, but it'll be the last of the Neodynium in the junkroom for a while. At least the lenses will be vacuum-sealed too.
Alright, I'll be working on the next update now!
>>4316381You pull out the entire laser cavity, and begin stripping parts out from the piles of junk behind you. It's not difficult, but it is rather time-consuming. Eventually you put together a rather simple plasma furnace. In an ideal world, you'd have all sorts of custom controls- pressure configurations, temperature control, ion excitement coils, everything. But you'll have to make do by plugging your omnitool into the thing and using the old gas-pumped laser cavity to focus the optics. Using a laser to make a laser.Well, using a laser to turn all of this junk into something useful.For the next hour or two, you spend some time mind-numbingly doing busywork. Taking a random piece of junk, stripping it out into its basic materials. You end up with a few nice little piles- a bunch of rubbers and polymers on one side, a few metals on the other, circuitry in a third pile, and exotics in a fourth. It's the last two piles that are lacking- it's not nearly enough for your purposes. At this rate, a cyberpod is a long while away.However, after the last spool of polymers come out of the furnace, clinging to the rod like cotton candy straight out of the machine, you set it on the side, evaluating what you do have. You bite your lip, and get to work. Thankful for your heat-resistant claws and scales, you're able to reach into the furnace, carefully moulding the polycarbide. You're no fabricator, but you do have enough precision for this. You piece together a few large loops of metal, and once you have them mounted in your furnace, you have the omnitool shove a great deal of power in there. You don't have the software or computing power to run the magnetic field automatically, so you find yourself having to jack in and do it manually- it's kind of like doing intense meditation and a great deal of calculus all at once, while also balancing on one leg.After a few precarious minutes, the loops are done, the metal's molecules restructured to deal with the pressure you'll soon put it through. With that done, you pump up the furnace's heat, and begin wrapping layers of polymer around the loops. The loops are keeping the rubberized material open, while the polymer tries to shrink under the heat and pressure in the furnace. What you pull out a few minutes later is an airtight rubber canister, with tough crystal lenses and conduits poking through the material- just enough to excite the gas and focus the optics through.By the time you finish putting the laser back together, Jak comes into the junkroom, where he freezes, eyes wide at what you've done.>Resources are now graded on the following scales from 0-5: None, Sparse, Poor, Moderate, Rich, Abundant. By refining most of the junkroom, you have gained the following (not counting what you're using to work on the rifle- all of that's already been subtracted)>Polymers: Poor (2)>Metals: Moderate (3)>Circuitry: Sparse (1)>Exotics: Sparse (1)>But there's more to this post- Continued!
>>4318013You'd taken apart pretty much everything in the room. Spools of rubber sit on a shelf, while ingots of various metals are piled up against the wall. Exotic materials are in their own chambers- all vacuum-sealed, to keep them as safe as possible, while circuitry is on another shelf.The Generator is no longer strapped to the roof, so precariously. You have it sitting on some cloth bedding, so the thing's vibrations don't resonate through the rest of the room- probably why he had it hanging up there in the first place. You've put together some more power conduits, and strapped them along the walls- just futureproofing the room for when you have more machinery in there."... I was not expecting this," He says, eying the half-deconstructed furnace you're currently leaning over. You'll need another laser weapon to run the furnace any more than you have- until then, you'll jusut have to borrow Jak's rifle."This place was a mess." You say."Er, what happened to most of the artifacts?" He asks, a little worried."There weren't any." You say. "Those weren't artifacts. They were junk."He frowns. "I'm sure with a little work, they could've been fixed...""Trust me, they couldn't." You say. "Everything I could have used, I did. The rest is either on that shelf, or I broke down into raw materials.""... Right." He says, sighing. He looks pained by the loss. "And, uh, my laser?"You reach out behind the furnace, and pull it off the workbench, and hand it to him. He eyes it critically, especially the laser cavity and vacuum-sealed lenses, but after a few minutes, he grins."This looks so much better. A lot more like what the Steel Walkers use." He says."This one won't run out of gas," You respond. "At least, not nearly as quickly. In an ideal world I could've made you a real laser rifle, but we don't have enough parts. Not enough exotics, at least.""... Right." He says. "Anything the cryopods would've helped with? Should we have brought those with?""No, those cryopods are basically just big glass canisters now," You say. "The only use for them was the medical supplies, but I used the last of those to put Obsidian into stasis. It's not worth digging those up right now, I don't think.""... Alright," He says. "I actually came in here to ask you if you wanted to come with us on a mission tomorrow.""Already?" You ask."There's rumors of a Steel Walker scouting out the mountains near Prima's land," He says. "I know you don't have that 'cyber pod' yet, so we can't convert it, but the less Prima knows, the better. So Sarah and I were going to go track it down, if it really exists, and take it down.">  "I want some time to relax. I only woke up yesterday, after all.">  "I was hoping for some time to explore the city, before leaving it on another adventure.">  "Of course- I want its laser weapon to finish the furnace, now that I can't use yours.">  Something else?
>>4318027>  "Of course- I want its laser weapon to finish the furnace, now that I can't use yours."> "But just to be sure, tell me about how you plan to take it down."
>>4318027>  "I was hoping for some time to explore the city, before leaving it on another adventure."We may be able to get some tech on the cheap if the locals don't know its real worth and undervalues it.
>>4318027>"Of course- I want its laser weapon to finish the furnace, now that I can't use yours.">  Something else?"And maybe it'll have some useful information if I can jack into its memory banks."
>>4318027>  Something else?What in the way of supplies do you have to subdue it?>Polymers: Poor (2)>Metals: Moderate (3)>Circuitry: Sparse (1)>Exotics: Sparse (1)Is there enough here to make a railgun?
>>4318027>"I'll watch. Depending on how they work, I might be able to turn it off without a fight. But we don't have the medicine we need if I get injured. If I get hurt, I stay hurt."
A thought: our next project after the furnace is complete should be making a scanner that can scale up with the amount of power we can feed it that gives us an idea of where more active parts are.
>>4318027>  "Of course- I want its laser weapon to finish the furnace, now that I can't use yours."
What if replace the laser lens with a magic gemstone
>>4318027>  "Of course- I want its laser weapon to finish the furnace, now that I can't use yours.
>>4318027It's been about a week and this quest feels super fucking deadman this makes me sad.
>>4328967>I'm sorry, I've been pretty busy. I swear I'll get back to it when I have time. Most likely after work today, unless today is an exhausting one.
>>4328967Its an Exabyte quest, I think the longest one lasted 3 thread.
>>4329337Sorceress went over 100, and I think the cyborg one did too, although the name changed in the middle. A couple of the others were in the high 80s.
>>4329499I'm thinking about another questmaster then? Mily mistake ñ.
>>4329499>Technically, the cyborg one was two seperate quests. One was just a sequel.>But that was back when I had time to run 7 hours a day, and back on /tg/ when a thread would last less than a day- a single /qst/ thread can last weeks. My life's in a very situation now, so it's hard to get back into that same gear.>>4318027>Regardless, I'm working on the update now!
"Of course," You say. "I want its laser weapon to finish the furnace, now that I can't use yours.""The furnace would be that large metal construction in there, yes?" He asks."Yeah. It's needed to properly forge modern metals. Polycarbide Steel, mostly. It needs the right amount of heat, pressure, and electromagnetic fields. If we can keep the Steel Walker's head intact, too, I could use that circuitry to program it to keep the fields stable too.""So, metalworking, then?" He asks, conversationally."Anything your society has probably reforged has ended up flimsy and weak in comparison to it. I mean, we're not talking starship alloy- that stuff's basically indestructible, but I'm talking more mundane metals. Like your laser rifle.""Right." He says, looking at your improvements. "Well, is there anything you'll need before tomorrow?""Do you have any spare datapads? I didn't find a lot in here, so we're pretty low on computer parts and circuitry. I was hoping to find enough to build a... hacking suite, I guess you could call it.""We don't have any, other than people's personal belongings. they're kind of the most common artifact, but they're easily sellable because of that." He says. "That's where most of our funds come from.""Right, so that's got to wait." You say, and he nods."Well, it's getting late," He says. "I just wanted to see if you were interested before I head to bed.""Alright. Sleep well," You say, and he salutes, before leaving you alone in the workshop, which was once called the Junkroom.You look over your work, and you find yourself pleased. It was a lot of work, cleaning it up as you had, but all things said and done... you did well. You make your way toward the room now called yours, and get ready. You ignore the bed entirely, instead checking the rafters for stability. They do seem stable enough, so you begin looping some rope around, and making yourself a harness. Once that's done, you pull yourself up into it, loop it around your arms- just like your mother taught you, back on your homeworld. Of course, the gravity's a little heavier here, but it's still comfortable.While you lay back in your harness- more of a hammock, really- arms and tail dangling, you stare up at the ceiling.You're going to be facing an automated soldier tomorrow- A robotic machine of death and destruction, sent out by an AI with unknown goal and aim, and all you've got is a plugsuit and your enhancements.You need to think of a way to fight. You were trained in combat, of course, as part of joining the navy- but your training was basic.> Rely on your enhancments and training.> You could create a pretty useful mass accelerator... (-1 Circuitry, -1 Polymer, -2 Metals)> What if you jacked into yourself? With your enhancements, you could program your own body to react with superhuman reflexes... It's a little dangerous, but it might be worth it.
>>4330492>Review the local weapons. You won't always be able to choose > Rely on your enhancments and training.what to use.
>>4330492> What if you jacked into yourself? With your enhancements, you could program your own body to react with superhuman reflexes... It's a little dangerous, but it might be worth it.Go big or go home
>>4330492> You could create a pretty useful mass accelerator... (-1 Circuitry, -1 Polymer, -2 Metals)This is called Daedalus Quest. We build things. Spending a few more resources now to ensure we stay safe enough to keep building things past tomorrow is well worth the cost!
>>4330357>My life's in a very situation nowI know that feel, bro. I know it.
>>4330492> You could create a pretty useful mass accelerator... (-1 Circuitry, -1 Polymer, -2 Metals)>Also review local weapons
>>4330492What about a simple mag-fed rifle? Gunpowder isn't that hard to make. With all the electronics you could even make something like an ETC cannon and use thermally stable caseless rounds. It would be a lot less resource and power intensive.
>>4331371We'd need a chemical lab for that, as well as raw resources. For a coilgun, we only need a power source and metal junk.
>>4331381You wouldn't need too much, just a source of heat, enough glassware, and some simple reactants. A bit of hexamine and you treat it with nitric acid and acetic acid and you get RDX. But I guess it depends on what's available and if this is more like a medieval world with pockets of technology or more industrialised
>>4331371What would need to make gun powder and of what quality? What gun caliber? Wouldn't you need a machining station to make the parts and rifle the barrel properly? Don't get me wrong I love my shootas, but maybe we can try that after we acquire enough "Artifacts" or salvage.>>4331647Plus a mass accelerator sounds cool as fuck.>A bit of hexamine and you treat it with nitric acid and acetic acid and you get RDX.The biggest issue is finding any of that in this sort of society. Considering Jak's wealth it's a wonder why he didn't have a firearm instead of using the laser rifle. I hypothesis that they haven't discovered gunpowder yet, and have mostly been crippled inspiration wise by the Color/'not magic', or rely on artifacts for range weaponry. Crossbows and bows are probably a thing though.
>>4331662I typed out a big response to your questions outlining why going with a 'conventional' firearm would be better then I realised I didn't care.
>>4330492Half-asleep, you close your eyes, and hang there, suspended in the gravity of an alien world. You weren't originally the greatest Human Computer the Daedalus had. You didn't have a lot of talent in programming, or designing, or even making repairs to important systems. It didn't come naturally to you. They used you only due to the specific design of your brain- your 'mutie' biology- made it much cheaper to Enhance you the way they did.If you had to gauge yourself, your greatest talent is just sheer stubborn persistence. You doggedly stomped through every test, every class, every hour of exhausting training, chewing through years of study that had killed lesser men and women, and you refused to be scored second, not even once. The geniuses and talented ones- they casually slipped through, putting in barely any work for their results. You killed yourself by inches for yours.Somewhere, behind your eyes, your enhancements tick on. You find yourself puzzling through old blueprints. You don't have access to the whole database, sadly- that was lost with the cyberpod- but you're able to delve into your enhancement's old data-buffers, for the last several sets of blueprints you'd downloaded, and you put them into permenant storage.It might be something based on your mutie brain, you don't know, but a few years after your Enhancements, you stumbled across something. Your brain and your Enhancements are one and the same. It's not a computer built into you- it's just another aspect of you, only this part you can modify. And as it grew into you, you could modify more than just the cybernetic- but the neural, as well. At first you did it to send yourself to sleep. Then later, to not need sleep nearly at all. Then to pick up skills faster- just imprint them deeper into your consciousness. Soon enough, those talented and those geniuses fell behind. And you raced ahead.Your fingers twitch, triggering engrams you'd trained yourself into, controlling the software without consciously jacking in. Slowly, you begin piecing together parts of several blueprints. The design is a little wonky, but in your current state, your enhancements adapt for that, repairing the data based on your own intuition. The blueprints adjust themselves, a mass-accelerator taking shape in the simulation program. Your subconscious is smarter than you are, more talented- so you give it full reign, and begin to dream.===The next morning, you open your eyes to see a brilliant, shining light, hovering in front of you. An aura of gleaming power washes out around it, like the wings of some strange bioluminescent butterfly. Something shapeless, that you nevertheless define as a 'face', for some reason your enhancements don't recognize, seems to be looking at you.Your eyes see it... but your omnitool doesn't.The Ley, a living rainbow, smiles down at you.>We'll put the thread to an end here! I'll start the next thread when I have more time.
>>4339279>Oh, and here's a picture I've been working on for Kassa. Using Artbreeder for these.
>>4339532Fucking sweet bro
>>4339279>The Ley, a living rainbow, smiles down at you.Oh. That's a little surprising. Here I've spent the entire thread treating it as some sinister unknowable force that we were going to constantly be on edge with. That said, alien entities that watch you sleep is still pretty horrifying.!
>>4339279thanks for running!
>>4339279when will we know you'll continue?
>>4339709>Well, I do have a twitter- @Futureexabyte - But I should be starting another thread early on thursday, if things turn out as I plan.
>>4339532That's a cute finless fish you got there.>Using Artbreeder for theseThanks, would've asked what you used to make these portraits.