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1006567 No. 1006567 ID: b081a5

(Potential) Content warning: Sexual content, violence, drug references, expected high character mortality rate.
Another experiment using mechanics.
(Except this time someone else's with some significant alterations to make this work as a quest thread!)
Expand all images
No. 1006569 ID: b081a5
File 162751316516.png - (63.09KB , 800x600 , k1.png )

Dunra, our homeworld. To many other sapient species, a frozen iceball planet, perhaps, too cold for most.
To us, the criai, dwellers of the equator, home.

My kind, the Lazmihi, were and remain a tribe who viewed the material and the spiritual as one and the same. Invention, crafting, innovation, the refinement of process and artifice, these were what drove us. Through our works, we channeled something greater than ourselves, and we gave the spirits of the world new form and new focus to aid ourselves and themselves into yet further improvement. To our kind, life and artifice quickly blurred together, with a living being viewed as a pinnacle of complexity to which all our efforts aspired to reach, but could never fully replicate. We sought to better ourselves, and to maintain a balance in what we took from the world by what we gave back to it.

This could, of course, never have lasted.

The history of Dunra was fraught with conflict, and the greatest of the criai empires soon fell in a swift, brutally efficient revolution. From this turbulence was born the Bisushpi-Kin, a culture and a nation named for the legendary ice bird that, on death, would freeze solid into an egg, only to be reborn just as magnificient and ethereally beautiful as before.

And soon, the Bisushpi-Kin began to cast the zeal and fervour of the revolution that spawned them onto other cultures, and quickly became the empire they once claimed to despise. We, the Lazmihi, were viewed as dogmatic relics of a tribal past, or as technology cultists with dangerous obsessions. In their eyes, we were long overdue for integration. We saw the Bisushpi-Kin as violent, bloodthirsty warmongers eager to find those they thought they couldn't fight back, and we refused to let the Bisushpi-Kin crush all we stood for just to satisify them.
No. 1006570 ID: b081a5
File 162751317150.png - (155.38KB , 800x600 , k2.png )

But before a war between our cultures could emerge, it came from the stars.
A small tendril of a fleet of the interstellar Kiter Empire, discovering Dunra on accident.

To call it an invasion or a conquest would suggest we posed a threat. We were seen with the same disgust and disdain reserved for household pests, and slaughtered with similar ease. Many survivors organised and tried to fight back, but we faced terrifying power beyond our understanding. Waves of uncountable chitinous blades tore us apart. Titanic creatures with weaponry larger than buildings crushed us beneath their bulk. From the skies came incomprehensible blasts of psychic fury manifest in light and force, and from the stars came devastating megaton explosions launched with impossible precision.

We would later learn the force we faced were nothing more than guards. The Kiter had intended to install a signal relay on our planet, and concluded that our presence was potentially destabilising to their infrastructure. Our species' attempted genocide came from an alien bureaucrat calculating the existence of our kind as disruptive to scheduling.

Resistance was untenable. The Bisushpi-Kin fought to save Dunra, or, more accurately, to save what they could of it. We, however, fled as soon as we could. The Bisushpi-Kin never forgave us this act of cowardice, and while our planet burned, our ideological conflict came to its dire climax, all will for peace lost in the flames. Criai slew criai in an effort to keep what they had, and any hope of reconciliation died with them.

Dunra was no longer our homeworld.

Those of us who could fled to the stars, and we never saw the Bisushpi-Kin again. We do not know what happened to all of the criai who couldn't flee.
No. 1006572 ID: b081a5
File 162751317539.png - (247.75KB , 800x600 , k3.png )

But in our years of hiding, healing and restoring ourselves, we have learned of something new. Something that could change things. Something that could prove to the Bisushpi-Kin that their imperialist vainglory is founded upon delusions of grandeur. Something to give them pause.

A weapon. A weapon to fight the Kiter. A hidden weapon deep below the surface of a distant planet, so powerful and threatening to the Kiter that they long ago sealed it there, having failed repeatedly to destroy it outright. A rumour, yes, wishful thinking, perhaps, but a weapon so powerful scores of alien explorers, militants, xenoarchaeologists and others sought this planet, sending expedition after expedition to this mysterious world, Tarshun IV.

The legends say none ever return.

Our sacred mission is as thus. We will discover the truth of this world, and we are prepared to die to find it. We will give our own lives to protect those we care about and, in taking Dunra back from the invaders, we will show the scattered criai across the stars the depths of our compassion, or, at least for the most cynical, what we are prepared to sacrifice to ensure the survival of our kind.

The planet is hot, humid, filled with jungles, and a variety of alien flora and fauna. We have heard it referred to as a world of death, filled with life that seeks to sustain itself at all costs. Nature at its most vicious. We must prepare for the worst. We seek harmony in nature and balance in all things, but we are not foolish.

We understand we must prepare for blood to be shed. Our own, and others'. This time, things are different. Our own kin live in the shadow of fear and desperation. We are a chosen few. We will not run. For the Lazmihi, we cannot run.

For the Lazmihi. For Dunra. Above all else, for the criai.
No. 1006573 ID: b081a5
File 162751318285.png - (82.62KB , 800x600 , k4.png )

My name is Uli Shilta, Flock-Chief of the Argent Feather, and mission overseer. For better or for worse, I am in charge of this operation, at my own insistence. I know my limits. I'm no longer in my prime as I once was, but my strength and sense are still with me. A duller knife can still cut, with the right precision, and where it cannot cut, it can mark the way.
Those younger than me were more willing to train as sentinels and act as the eyes and hands demanded of the mission, and I could not let the learned elders and sages risk the volume of their wisdom and learnings on such a dangerous mission. Many of my peers had their families and students to worry about, and I... well, it was not a concern.

Simply arriving at the surface of this planet was not without losses. Our craft was met with a strike from an automated system as we entered orbit, and many of our supplies were scattered to the planet below. Almost the entire cargo bay was lost. We will need to retrieve them, as well as repurpose anything we come across.

The teachings of the Lazmihi caution against this callous, colonial worldview of natural resources as something to be exploited. If we are to survive, however, the most idealistic of our values may need to be reassessed for survival in a new, perilous context.

We still must remain vigilant not to succumb to viewing ourselves as above all other things, or else face the same all-consuming flame of pride that forced the Bisushpi-Kin to turn on their own kind.

Looking over the bridge readings, I see our five sentinels are all in good condition, currently being awoken from cryosleep. The process is complex, but I have full faith in the system spirits to awaken them quickly and safely.
No. 1006575 ID: b081a5
File 162751319464.png - (732.10KB , 1400x1400 , k5.png )

As I watch, Pavono approaches me. The Bisushpi-Kin would call Pavono and others like it utility drones, debase them as inherent slaves to criai superiority. Among us, Pavono is as much a person with rights as any other, and has served as an advisor of its own volition. Unlike many of our metal friends, it was not shaped by our hands but liberated from a Bisushpi-Kin vessel, after it tried to flee "decommissioning". We have a different name for such a process committed on a sapient being; murder.

Pavono struggles with the idea of personhood, due to core directives our most talented machine-whisperers can't change without practices too intrusive to consider. It has had increasing success overcoming them. Nevertheless, its deepest desire is to provide figures of authority with reports, and it is highly skilled in doing so. I do not even need to ask Pavono for its report. A slight nod in its direction, and its hovering body tilts towards me in acknowledgement.

"Esteemed Flock-Chief, I bring news. The reconfiguring of the Call To The Void has completed. The vessel will never fly again, but the seed has been planted. The Landing Pad, Bridge and Ship Generator are online. Supplementary life support systems are now active, and our surviving sentinels are being awoken.

"Our available resources are low and counts are being recalculated. If we are to survive on this hostile world, we must begin efforts to survey our surroundings and acquire additional resources as soon as possible. Preliminary scans suggest higher chances of material deposits deeper into the crust of this planet, but with ever increasing risk. This is also true the further out we explore on the surface. This world is fraught with perils.

"Please indicate which location we should explore once the sentinels are awake, briefed, and equipped."

[ NOTE: Options are indicated on the map. B4, C5, D5, E5, F4. The "D" values for each row indicate depth, which, as it increases, increases risk and reward. The "D" values for columns only apply to the surface, row 4, and as it increases, increases risk but not reward. Ties decided by author fiat. (Author fiat probably decided by a dice roll.) The field will be extended as necessary as discoveries are made. ]
No. 1006576 ID: a97209

Let's start simple. D5.
No. 1006577 ID: 730e76

B4 before anything else.
No. 1006578 ID: 736b7e

No. 1006579 ID: c8996f

We don't know how long we have before something inevitably goes wrong, we should maximize our resources as soon as possible, D7
No. 1006616 ID: 96c896

B4. Let's see what's in front before we explore elsewhere.
No. 1006904 ID: b081a5
File 162778412942.png - (48.87KB , 800x600 , k6.png )

- Exploration Result -

Exploring immediately outside the ship revealed a large supply crate with our markings and ident signatures.

Gained 10 Resources
No. 1006905 ID: b081a5
File 162778413032.png - (92.60KB , 800x600 , k7.png )


While exploring the surface of this world, an incredibly large native organism began chasing the exploration team.
The exploration team were able to keep the crate secure and escape, but the creature is advancing towards the ship.
Creature appears to be crushing native flora without any sign of difficulty, and appears to have a long, sharp-ended prehensile appendage whipping around with speeds that could likely cause significant structural damage to our structures, or ourselves. Creature appears to have some form of advanced camouflage based on shifting surface hue.

We are under attack by a native organism of noteworthy offensive capability.
Establishing defence protocols. Battle-Adjutant Shivoshi en route.

Battle-Adjutant Shivoshi is not completely repaired from the Bisushpi-Kin encounter. There is a minor possibility this may have compromised its judgement slightly.
No. 1006906 ID: b081a5
File 162778413293.png - (89.93KB , 800x600 , k8.png )

Flock-Chief. Battle-Adjutant Shivoshi present. Death to the Bisu-- Error. Apologies. Readjusting.
Imminent threat detected. Immediate threat neutralisation required. Destroy threat source.

Hostile analysed with a Statistical Threat Rating, or STR, of 20. Curren combined defensive forces rate at STR of 25.
Projected outcome of conflict favourable, with appropriate action. Favourable outcome: target destroyed, threat neutralised.

Explaining known rules of engagement:

- Our units deploy from the room they're housed in.
- A collection of units in a single room form a Troop, and will act as one. Splitting can be done at any time outside of direct engagement, but is not typically advised.
- A unit can move once per combat round.
- If our units are ever in the same grid square as an enemy, attacks will happen immediately. Attacks are once per round and simultaneous: damage dealt to and received from the enemy is equal to STR. (Example: A 5 STR sentinel versus a 15 STR creature will be completely slaughtered, and the enemy creature will be reduced to 10 STR.)
- Ranged units can, instead of moving, attack at an enemy up to 2 grid squares away, once per round.
- Enemy units will try to get to the bridge. If they reach the bridge, which is to say, us, and the bridge lacks defenders, mission success is compromised. It is imperative that the bridge be the very last thing to fall to increase probability of desired mission outcome over projected mission outcome in this scenario. Projected mission outcome in this scenario: everyone dies.

It will be difficult to destroy the Bisushpi-Kin if we are dead. Sorry. Achieve mission goal. Destruction of the Bisushpi-Kin is not the current mission goal. Yet. We can discuss this later.
No. 1006907 ID: b081a5
File 162778413657.png - (756.42KB , 1400x1400 , k9.png )

= Combat Starts =

Our Forces
[D4] TROOP: First Sentinels - 25 STR, 1 Movement, Ranged
- 5 x Sentinels (Rai, Tsi, Tiu, Sei, Nyi) - 5 STR, 1 Movement, Ranged

Enemy Forces
[B4] Alien Creature Type 1 - 20 STR, 1 Movement

<Rai> Contact! KILL IT!
<Sei> It's big-- oh no it's fast!
<Tiu> No faster than us. Focus.

Please advise: should our single troop move to a different position, or fire from where they are? The enemy is just in range. Suggestion: crush it utterly.
No. 1006908 ID: 6f511f

Shoot it! We need reinforcements because the next threat will either be greater in size or number and we barely handled one irate noseblade.
No. 1006909 ID: 094652

Just shoot the creature and see if the attack scares it off or it drops dead.
No. 1006910 ID: 96c896

Shoot it. We have the range advantage, and retaliatory damage needs to be avoided as much as possible.
No. 1006924 ID: 2aa5f0

fire at will boys.
No. 1006925 ID: 0326a8

Crush, Immediately.
No. 1006928 ID: 969209

- Ranged units can, instead of moving, attack at an enemy up to 2 grid squares away, once per round.
Would that work if we fire below us? Or below to the left/right?
No. 1006930 ID: 736b7e

Fire from where you are standing
No. 1006971 ID: 0fae41

Well we can’t all vote for the safe, sane, sensible thing.
Charge, boys! For glory!
No. 1007046 ID: b081a5
File 162794747756.png - (742.39KB , 1400x1400 , k10.png )

> Would that work if we fire below us? Or below to the left/right?
[ Adjacency is always based on cardinal directions. Ranged applies upwards and downwards. Ranged can, given a clear line of sight, affect diagonals, counting squares in adjacent cardinal directions. ]


The First Sentinels stay put and fire at will, as the Alien Creature Type 1 advances.
Alien Creature Type 1 sustains 25 damage, killing it utterly. The aggressive creature is pierced by multiple volleys of directed energy fire, shredding it and burning it. It drops to the ground before it can even set one foot on the landing pad.

<Sei> O-oh.
<Rai> That's... that's it?
<Tiu> This creature was too confident in attacking the unknown. See how overconfidence is rewarded. Do not let your guard down.
<Tsi> It was just an animal, though...
<Tiu> And if we did not have the advantage of range, that animal would have effortlessly killed many of us. Remember this.

Our sentinels are correct, Flock-Chief. The tide of battle can turn instantaneously. We were fortunate this time. Reinforcements are imperative.

:khashusivni-uli: "I'm happy none of us were injured, but I can't shake the feeling of dread that this is merely the calm before the storm."
:khashusivni-pavono: "We should seize this moment of calm, Flock-Chief."
:khashusivni-uli: "Yes. Foreman Munopa, please present our options."
No. 1007047 ID: b081a5
File 162794749781.png - (124.38KB , 800x600 , k11.png )

Greetings, Flock-Chief. I am Munopa, currently acting as engineering, construction and research oversight. Now that we have a moment, I'd like to discuss construction.

:khashusivni-pavono: "It occurs to me I neglected to provide an initial overview on our stockpiles."

Yes. Our current supplies are as follows.

RESOURCES: 30 (These are raw or processed resources that we can use for construction and assembly purposes. )
CREDITS: 20 (In order to request certain components or recruits from Lazmihi colonies, we require items of value to trade in return. They also have their own challenges to face. This has been abstracted into a credit system.)
POWER: 25 (Our initial ship generator provides 25 standard power units of ongoing generation. Rooms will have power requirements, and if this value becomes negative, rooms furthest from the Bridge will begin shutting down until the deficit is managed. Unpowered rooms are non-functional.)
FOOD: 5 (A prototype nutrient synthesiser from the ship will produce food for up to 5 units indefinitely, but we cannot support any more organic units than we have food. Starvation will result with insufficient food. Food use for personnel not included on the unit roster is not factored into this count.)

I'm aware one of the immediate concerns suggested by Shivoshi is reinforcements.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "Immediate reinforcements! Immediate!"
However, we are currently unable to house or supply any additional units at this time. The following problems must be remedied in order to start recruiting:

- We need more housing to keep our new recruits in.
- We are at maximum food capacity for organic units.
- We have no means of assembling new robotic recruits.

We do not need to solve all of these problems, but we need to solve some of them.
With this in mind, I will now present the options we have for construction.
No. 1007048 ID: b081a5
File 162794752232.png - (252.56KB , 800x600 , k12.png )


Some basic rules:
- We only have time and resources to build one room at a time, but we'll get it finished.
- We can only construct in a space that's clear and open, such as an empty surface space, upwards into the sky, or revealed terrain underground.
- We can only build adjacent (cardinal directions) to existing rooms.

Here's the catalogue of rooms we can build at the moment. More designs may emerge over time.


CORRIDOR - Free - 0 Power
Horizontal or vertical, completely empty but facilitates colony expansion. Can be built in terrain where many other rooms couldn't. Unlike all other rooms, these can be constructed into unknown terrain, as the automatic deployment presumably crushes whatever else was in said unknown terrain. Highly situational.

AIRLOCK - 5 Resources - 1 Power
Prevents the spread of gas and liquids that may be discovered during exploration. However, it takes a full combat round for units to pass through (both friendly and enemy) as they need to wait for the air to cycle.


EXPEDITION BAY - 40 Resources - 30 Power
Must be constructed on the surface. For a 20 Credits cost to provide personnel and gear, allows starting an Expedition on the surface. Expeditions can allow for discoveries of things far away from the colony, but are also incredibly risky and could simply vanish to never be seen again.

LANDING PAD - 20 Resources - 5 Power - Must be open to the sky
Must be constructed on or above ground. Allows recruitment of units. In the event the original landing pad is damaged, a back up landing pad would allow uninterrupted recruitment of units

SOLAR PANELS - 15 Resources - Must be open to the sky
Provides 10 Power. Each adjacent solar panel means the panel cluster grants an additional 5 Power. Two connected panels would give 25 Power, three would give 40 Power, four would give 55, etc. Recommended to build on top of other rooms.


BARRACKS - 15 Resources - 2 Power
A place for Sentinels to train and maintain their fitness.
Houses up to 5 Sentinels.
Unit: Sentinel (5 STR) - 8 Credits - Ranged. Flexible combat unit, trained in the use of directed energy bracers and shock-lances.

CREW QUARTERS - 10 Resources - 2 Power
A place for Coaxers to sleep and practice their unique art in their downtime.
Houses up to 5 Coaxers.
Unit: Coaxer (2 STR) - 10 Credits - Able to hack persuade certain objects and barriers that may be discovered during exploration. This is risky, and failure carries heavy costs.

CHARGING BAY - 20 Resources - 6 Power
Mechanical units need somewhere to recharge their cells.
Houses up to 2 mechanical units.
Unit: Protector (0 STR) - 5 Credits - Shielding. Fragile synthetics that can project a defensive shield worth 5 STR around their current square or adjacent squares. The Protector template is in active use by the Bisushpi-Kin. We can treat them better, though.
Unit: Lancer (10 STR) - 20 Credits - Ranged. Sophisticated upgraded machines with powerful ranged weaponry and durable mesh shielding. Appearance and structure very similar to criai, psychology indistinguishable. Lancer engrams transmitted from home colonies. The Lancer template of combat synthetics was rejected by the Bisushpi-Kin for being too much like criai. We treat machines as our own already and afford them the same rights, so this is not a problem for us.

SPECIALISED QUARTERS - 20 Resources - 10 Credits - 4 Power
Future projections suggest we may need to house units with specific requirements. Modular habitation units that can be easily tweaked depending on their unique occupants will help here.
Houses up to 5 units that can't be housed elsewhere.

XENOBIOLOGY LAB - 10 Resources - 2 Power
We can convince the alien nightmares we encounter on this planet to serve our own needs if we understand what they are, what they want, what drives them, and how to ask.
Food cost is 1 per 25 STR of the creature housed, rounded down.
Houses up to 1 defeated, treated, and subverted alien creature.


GENERATOR - 30 Resources
Produces 25 Power, but the risk of arcing electricity, or, worse, radiation leaks, means units can't be housed in adjacent rooms.

HYDROPONICS - 18 Resources - 4 Power
Provides 10 Food. Vital for supporting additional organic units.

FABRICATION BAY - 18 Resources - 8 Power
Allows the creation of mechanical units, automated security systems, and both active and passive defensive barriers.

GENETICS LAB - 25 Resources - 4 Power
Desperate times call for desperate measures. This could allow for experiments to unlock unexplored potentials in criai biology, but such meddling with the nature of criai bodies feels like we may be approaching some form of heresy. I won't tell if you don't.
Unit: Mutant (15 STR) - 20 Credits - Mutant. Must be housed in specialised quarters. Can be housed adjacent to a generator.

LABORATORY - 10 Resources - 20 Credits - 10 Power
A space to devote to research. For every 50 credits invested into the laboratory, we will ideally get a breakthrough, if everything goes well.

MEDBAY - 20 Resources - 8 Power
After combat ends, revive one organic unit or troop at full strength.

REPAIR BAY - 20 Resources - 5 Credits - 8 Power
After combat ends, pay half the cost of a mechanical unit/Troop to revive it at full strength. Unfortunately, machines do not heal as well as organics, despite our efforts.

AUTO-ARMORY - 50 Resources - 12 Power
A self-sustaining automated armory that constantly refines and adapts our weaponry to maintain par with ever escalating threats. Every unit room on the same floor as this room deploys with double STR. Any security systems on the floor can trigger twice instead of once.

SCANNER - 80 Resources - 6 Power
A deep subterranean scanner suite that would let us more efficiently cover more ground in the same amount of time we usually take. This would allow us to explore twice in one turn.
No. 1007049 ID: 736b7e

A hydroponics bay sounds like a good first option. E5 if we can explore and build at the same time, E3 if we cannot.
No. 1007050 ID: 0fae41

Well we can't afford mechanical units just yet... or organic units for that matter. We'll have to hope the next tile we explore has more resources. I'd want to put the fab bay next to or under the landing pad and then an airlock to protect both our spawning tiles, but that's thinking further out. Power is for later, maybe after we've built upwards to almost our limit. For now build hydroponics on D3.
Explore F4 next. Can your minds comprehend three-dimensional movement or will you have to climb over the top of the bridge?
No. 1007053 ID: 2aa5f0

Definitely need a hydroponics bay though I don't really care where we put it but we're already struggling for space so let's explore outside the area immediately outside our base and check out F4
No. 1007058 ID: e7e63e

I dig the XCOM vibe

Seems to me that F4 as well all of 5 will be critical to explore to secure for base usage.
F4 should be a priority for surface visibility, so that our ability to detect as well as shoot at surface hostiles from the bridge is assured. D5 should be a priority to secure the bridge from hostiles below.

It seems we are ultimately limited by our resources/credits, as we have zero ability to get more besides perhaps to explore. We should therefore be cautious with their use.
Research would be useful to maximize what we get out of the resources we have, but firepower is higher priority because if we lose our base the research itself is worthless. The Fab Bay would seem to provide tactical devices that may mitigate losses. Plus if they had the ability to produce trade goods for credits, that'd really up their utility.

>Unit: Protector (0 STR) - 5 Credits - Shielding. Fragile synthetics that can project a defensive shield worth 5 STR around their current square or adjacent squares.
If the shield is overwhelmed, does it have to recharge? If so, how much time does it take to do so? If 2 shields are up at a square, does the STR go up to 10, or are we limited to 1 shield per square? Does our troops' fire go through the shield?

Also, I forgot to ask before, a troop must select to attack OR move, yes? Or does it get to do both? Is there a limit to troop size? Or a limit to troops per room?
Lastly, if we destroy/repurpose a room, do we get some or all of the resources we used to build it? What about repairs?

>Produces 25 Power, but the risk of arcing electricity, or, worse, radiation leaks, means units can't be housed in adjacent rooms.
I take it our bridge is exempted? ;)
No. 1007061 ID: 96c896

Hydroponics, put it above the generator.

Explore F4.
No. 1007124 ID: b081a5
File 162803443081.png - (45.37KB , 800x600 , k13.png )

> Can your minds comprehend three-dimensional movement or will you have to climb over the top of the bridge?
[ Technically speaking there should be a door in the back of the generator room anyway, thanks for the reminder to make this actually visible! ]
> If the shield is overwhelmed, does it have to recharge? If so, how much time does it take to do so? If 2 shields are up at a square, does the STR go up to 10, or are we limited to 1 shield per square? Does our troops' fire go through the shield?
[ Shields replenish to full strength each round and will always reduce incoming damage by their stated amount. Overlapping shields are additive. Our troops can fire through the shields unimpeded, they're designed to work together. ]
> Also, I forgot to ask before, a troop must select to attack OR move, yes? Or does it get to do both? Is there a limit to troop size? Or a limit to troops per room?
[ For ranged units/troops, the choice must be made to shoot OR move. All units/troops will automatically attack if occupying the same space as an enemy unit/troop once per combat round. Troop size is not limited. However, each troop is based on the initial room they deploy from. ]
> Lastly, if we destroy/repurpose a room, do we get some or all of the resources we used to build it? What about repairs?
[ Repurposing a room refunds half of its initial cost and counts as that turn's build action. When a room is damaged, half of its initial cost must be paid to repair it, but any number of repairs can be made in a turn if they can be afforded. It does not serve its function while damaged. ]
> I take it our bridge is exempted? ;)
[ Despite appearances to the contrary, the ship generator is special and does not pose any threat. Somehow. Additional clarifying note: generators can be crossed without issue during combat. It's long-term exposure that's a concern, not short-term. ]

:khashusivni-munopa: Hydroponics built at E3. Accessible via an elevator in the Ship Generator room directly below. Anticipating expansion, doors have been added to allow linking to rooms in future.

We already have an expert on hydroponic cultivation now getting results from the facilities holding a coltato and a ridgecone. Wait, no, I've been informed these are the initial planting stock. I have to admit I do not know plants very well. Not these kind of plants, anyway. We didn't just bring seeds? Oh that's what's in the small crate.

I'm just going to go back to the bridge recharger. Good night, all.
No. 1007125 ID: b081a5
File 162803444863.png - (81.88KB , 800x600 , k14.png )

- DAY 2 -

:khashusivni-pavono: First, an update on our resources:
FOOD: 15 (5 used)

Hm. No, this is confusing. I'm going to start tracking food the same way as power: any available food is surplus not being consumed. If food hits negative, we can worry about starvation then.

FOOD: 10

Much clearer. The underlying point is that we can support ten more organic units. Well, excluding higher dietary requirements if we were to recruit native organisms. The point is out of the issues of a food deficit and housing deficit, we've addressed one of those. We still can't take on additional organic personnel without a barracks or crew quarters.

[ Sentinels and Coaxers also cost 1 Food in addition to listed costs. ]

Exploration consensus seemed clear, so I already briefed the exploration team to investigate F4.

I wonder what food tastes like.
No. 1007126 ID: b081a5
File 162803446199.png - (31.57KB , 800x600 , k15.png )

- Exploration Result -

:khashusivni-pavono: Exploring behind the ship revealed a patch of interesting stretchy vines. They're tough and also somewhat insulative, so we've harvested a respectful amount and left the remainder to regrow.

Gained 5 Resources

We also found some ancient alien artifacts. They've been here out in the open for a long time. We can't figure out what they're made out of, what they're for, and they're covered in absolutely incomprehensible glyphs and markings. Other Lazmihi colonies will love to figure that out, though. Honestly, so would we, but we're already stretched thin and lack the capacity to do so.

Gained 4 Credits
No. 1007127 ID: b081a5
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:khashusivni-pavono: Oh, something else discovered today while exploring. It doesn't warrant immediate action, but bears noting. After the explorers had returned with vine harvests and artifacts, about three minutes later they noticed they and the colony were being observed and got visual data of the observer. The subject fled almost immediately after being spotted.

They may just be another animal of this planet, but something about their reported behaviour and reactions speaks uncannily to me of a sapient mind. This could be first contact with an unknown sapient species. This, of course, could mean far greater danger than just wild beasts attempting to drive off intruders or thinking us easy prey.

:khashusivni-uli: "Hm. I don't recognise this species, but I was told this planet never had native sapients. It's possible they were transported here at some point in the past. I've heard of this sort of thing happening before. Powerful alien entities spiriting away alien populations into strange garden or zoo worlds. It would be one of the least strange things this planet has to offer if true."
:khashusivni-pavono: I could be rushing to conclusions. They could just be smart animals, and my criai biases just lead me to assume anything with two legs and two arms might be a person.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "You don't even have two arms or two legs yourself! Neither do I! This speculation is baseless and infuriating! Stop conjecturing about potential threats and secure more reinforcements!!"
:khashusivni-pavono: I suppose Shivoshi has a point. Munopa?
No. 1007128 ID: b081a5
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:khashusivni-munopa: Well, with exploration concluded and resources harvested, we have time to expand the colony again.
Construction list is as before. >>1007048

I've also determined there's a back door to the generator room. I tried to seal it shut, but I learned that it's part of the emergency escape protocols, and there's active systems checking for the emergency exit being obstructed that will fire if the door becomes inoperable in any way. Starting with shutting the generator down to prevent possible damage. It would be easier to just make a stronger door than try to remove it. Although I know preferences lie in reinforcements, I would just like to call attention to the Fabrication Bay again and its defensive options.

:khashusivni-pavono: "Hello. Resource count again."
FOOD: 10

"We can't afford a Fabrication Bay, Munopa."

:khashusivni-munopa: Well, a machine can dream.
:khashusivni-pavono: "I don't. I turned that off after six charge cycles in a row having the same dream about being surrounded by different cheeses, and being increasingly upset I couldn't eat it."
:khashusivni-munopa: Why cheese-- actually, never mind. It's not relevant.
:khashusivni-pavono: "Correct. Not only can I not eat cheese nor taste or eat at all, we can't even make cheese at the moment. We don't have a source of milk, either. Although, hmm. Criai are mammals, right?"
:khashusivni-munopa: We're resuming this conversation never. Construction orders. Please.

:khashusivni-uli: "Well if you ask permission and the individuals involved consent, and it doesn't interfere with your active duties, I'm willing to allow investigation--"
:khashusivni-munopa: Construction orders, Flock-Chief, I'm begging you.
:khashusivni-uli: "Of course. Yes."
No. 1007130 ID: 0fae41

Build cheese bay in E2.
...I have been informed we lack schematics for a cheese bay. Construct alien containment - that is, a xenobio lab - in B4. Explore the remainder of depth 1 until we achieve reinforcements, starting with C5.
No. 1007131 ID: 736b7e

We should build a xenobiology lab and get some big friends. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of strength to go around rounding up large alien wildlife.

Build a barracks on D3, hire 3 sentinels.

Explore A4.
No. 1007132 ID: 094652

Build the Barracks on F4, to protect the Generator.

Survey G4
No. 1007133 ID: 2aa5f0

do the vines keep giving us resources if we don't build anything on them or will we keep collecting resources even if we use that space? Would building a certain structure on them give that structure a bonus, like if we build a hydroponics bay on it would it give us resources & food or no? Because I want to build the barracks where the vines are but it they can be farmed I'd probably hold off on building anything there until we're not hurting for resources as badly.

Also the local looked like they move under ground so I'd like to explore any of the 5 spots under our base just to be safe. (as in c5, d5, or e5)
No. 1007134 ID: ed78f0

Meme artifacts. I am amused.

Explore is obvious. D5 to secure the area below the bridge.

Build is a bit tougher, because a captured local might give us details about the area (particularly threats) that may help us secure the area. However, that's IF it has the ability to do so. Plus, >>1007131 is correct. We're still too fragile to attempt a live capture. Barracks at D3. D3 because the ability to rapidly get troops to the bridge is of high value.

Also, would a structure at F4 disturb/destroy the flora there? If this truly is a deathworld, there is some slight worry that the flora may compromise the security of a structure there somehow...
No. 1007148 ID: 96c896

Can't build anything on F4, there are farmable materials there. Can we build structures above it without blocking its sunlight? Can we build overhanging rooms like that at all? Can we move rooms? Like, could we push the landing bay further out and build where it is now? Seems likely we'll wind up building rooms around it and it's awkward for things to land when it's penned in, isn't it? Does hydroponics require sunlight?
Build the barracks above the bridge.

Explore D5.
No. 1007168 ID: 36fc59

We can explore E5 next time and start building under the vines if it turns out to be necessary.

Given the way ranged combat works, I agree that doubling our available combat strength is the best current course of action, so build a barracks. I don't care where as long as it's not F4
No. 1007170 ID: 736b7e

Remember that we do not want to place living quarters adjacent to a generator. I assumed diagonal adjacency is fine but maybe I'm wrong about that.
No. 1007692 ID: e13b1d

Seconded. D3 seems like a good place for the Barracks.
No. 1008244 ID: b081a5
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>Remember that we do not want to place living quarters adjacent to a generator. I assumed diagonal adjacency is fine but maybe I'm wrong about that
[ The Ship Generator is, despite appearances, free from this requirement. Diagonal adjacency would be fine anyway. ]

:khashusivni-munopa: All usable plant material in F4 has been harvested and, based on current observations, it'd take a very, very long time for it to grow back. Harvesting was already mostly a side effect of clearing the terrain. The remaining vines can be moved out of the way of the potential construction site. I'm sure if the vines were going to cause more of a problem we'd have encountered it so far. My current hypothesis, as the acting head of research, is that maybe the vines are difficult to eat for most of the local wildlife. I think this analysis might be lacking. I also think that being in charge of construction, engineering and research might have been a responsibility too many.
:khashusivni-pavono: "Well, I'm currently in charge of general oversight, personnel, recruitment, administration, and other miscellaneous tasks, so I'm hesitant to take that one. However, I feel we ought to have a dedicated science lead."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "Just promote an explorer. No one combat ready, we're too thin on the ground there as it is. Why can't the Flock-Chief serve this function? I thought the Lazmihi were all about flat organisational structure?"
:khashusivni-uli: "I know this level of hierarchy is unusual for Lazmihi efforts, but this is not a standard colonisation effort. In the context of this mission, my role here is to make decisions at the highest and broadest scope available."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "That feels like a very Bisushpi-Kin way of operating, Flock-Chief."
:khashusivni-uli: "The Lazmihi are not strangers to formal hierarchy, Shivoshi. In times of crisis and urgency, there becomes a need for well-defined roles and responsibilities. Relatedly, I'm examining candidates for leading research. Pavono has compiled a very good shortlist."

:khashusivni-munopa: Good to hear, but back to my update. Barracks constructed at D3. The showers are being tested already. The sanitation gel pods in the bridge are functional but I think many of the criai here needed some way to cool down rapidly. This world's temperature is survivable short-term for criai, but long-term exposure presents overheating risks. Even our efforts to keep a cooler temperature in the base are being somewhat mitigated by the decreasing efficiency of heat pumps as the outside environment gets hotter. If this planet has a seasonal cycle, I hope this is as hot as it gets, or we might be in trouble.
No. 1008245 ID: b081a5
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- DAY 3 -

:khashusivni-shivoshi: A ship made it to the landing pad from the Jade Claw colony. We've recruited three new sentinels at a cost of 24 Credits worth of discoveries and curiosities sent back.
:khashusivni-pavono: "Ko, Oyi and Iti."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: Hm. Who is who?
:khashusivni-pavono: "Ko has pale blue markings, Oyi has purple markings, and Iti has green. Ko's personality profile indicates that she's fun-loving, secretive, and has a tendency to freeze up in tense situations, a trait she is trying to train out of herself. Oyi is bold and arrogant at times, but likes to bring out the best in others. With more experience, I see him being a great teacher, but perhaps overbearing. Iti is something more of a loner, quiet and reserved, but seems strongly motivated by something."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: That's good to know if I need to speak to them in person, I suppose. All three have an STR of 5. Oddly consistent. The resulting Troop of 15 STR stationed at D3 has not yet been named. Awaiting suggestions before I just default to Second Sentinels.
No. 1008246 ID: b081a5
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- Exploration Result -

:khashusivni-pavono: We excavated beneath the bridge. Composition of the surface substrate is largely silicates and unidentified decayed carbon-based organic matter, in keeping with what we'd expect of the surface of a planet with an active biosphere. Excavation beneath the bridge revealed a surprisingly untouched deposit of ores that don't typically naturally occur in close proximity to each other. This is strange. If it was caused by something artificial, we're not sure why the formations are so organic. The rock abruptly shifts with very little transition, but just enough transition that it doesn't look like someone dropped some different rock here.

Gained 6 Resources

There was, however, one clearly artificial item found during the excavation and mining. A black metal fragment that appears to have been torn out of a large structure, with trailing wires and what appears to be part of a pipe bend. Apparently hefty, but still light enough to be held in one hand. Red symbols appear to have been carved into it. A criai touching it reported that it felt very cold even though a sealed nanoweave suit, which should by all accounts suggest temperatures low enough to cause condensation or other similar phenomenon. One of the mechanical miners tried touching it and reported feeling no temperature difference, but a sense of sluggishness. Another explorer reported they had to stand at least three armspans away from it or they started trembling and feeling like they were being watched, and thought they heard someone unfamiliar say something about a potentate or monarch or something along those lines.

Well. I should say this is all very much past tense, because once the device fragment was freed from the larger structure, it appeared to go totally inert save for a strange red glow. The larger structure went completely inert. No cold or sluggish sensations, no strange feeling of being watched. This is a mystery for someone else to solve, probably. The material composition is probably the most interesting thing about it, according to Munopa. Very strange alloys.

Gained 9 Credits

Also, we heard... vague, indistinct sounds, coming from below. The rumours of the many, many other alien visitors to this world are sounding more and more credible. If we dig deeper, we need to be wary.
No. 1008247 ID: b081a5
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- Meanwhile, at the Bridge... -

:khashusivni-uli: Hm. That's interesting. A call incoming from Jade Claw. Oh, it's the Flock-Chief of the Jade Claw colony, Isiri Jadescar. She's the closest Lazmihi authority figure other than myself, even though the colony is a distance away that I can barely wrap my head around. The unpredictable duration of jump drive travel doesn't help.

:khashusivni-isiri: "Uli."
:khashusivni-uli: Flock-Chief Isiri Jadescar of the Jade Claw, this is Flock-Chief Uli Shilta of the Argent Feather.
:khashusivni-isiri: "Yes. I know. I know who you are, and I know who I am. I'm glad to see you arrived in one piece, some of us thought you were lost to us."
:khashusivni-uli: There were some difficulties. We have persevered in the face of adversity, though.
:khashusivni-isiri: "Yes. Yes, admirable. Yes. Mhm. Uli. I have a question."
:khashusivni-uli: Yes, Flock-Chief?
:khashusivni-isiri: "I can't help but notice that in the span of about three moons you've taken eight of the Jade Claw's finest most promising young warriors, at least a dozen other of our youngest and brightest and several of our best machine brethren for your efforts to colonise... what was it... the Glimmering Deathworld?"
:khashusivni-uli: Tarshun IV, Flock-Chief Isiri.
:khashusivni-isiri: "The legendary world that brings only sorrow and despair to all those who set foot on it, with an ancient and terrible power sleeping at its heart. That Tarshun IV?"
:khashusivni-uli: Yes. I thought I made it very, very clear what the intent was for the mission.
:khashusivni-isiri: "Mhm. Hm hm hm. Yes. Uli, what are your long term plans for this colony?"
:khashusivni-uli: Find the Khashusivni and defend ourselves from the Kiter. Reunite the criai with the promise of being able to drive the Kiter from our homeworld and make it ours once more. Live no longer in fear of the terrors in the night sky. Again, I did not hide any of this information from you, Flock-Chief Isiri. You were there when we were discussing it. You made me Flock-Chief?
:khashusivni-isiri: "Hm. Yes. I did. I'm afraid I may have not considered the ramifications of bleeding the best and brightest of the young and healthy adults of my colony. I'd just like to make it clear that, while we appreciate the things you send us in return, they're ultimately worth significantly less than the value of a criai life. The rate of new warriors you want, compared to the time it takes to, well, make them. There are only so many criai at all, to begin with."
:khashusivni-nopa: "I am unconvinced this entire venture is not against the principles of the Lazmihi altogether."
:khashusivni-uli: Machine-Shaman Nopa, I am honoured to--
:khashusivni-nopa: "Appeals to pride mean nothing to me and I have long found them distasteful. Explain your intentions."
:khashusivni-uli: Very well. I am taking all measures I can to minimise casualties in a hostile, unpredictable universe. But pure pacifism and inaction will not help us. I have learned, over and over, that sometimes action needs to be taken before your enemies arrive. But yes. I will not treat our shared people as just a resource to use. I promise you this.
:khashusivni-isiri: "Mhm. We will see, I suppose. If your promise means anything, you will evacuate your colony back to Jade Claw if things seem beyond hope. Thank you for hearing me out, at least. "
:khashusivni-uli: Of course.
:khashusivni-isiri: "Oh, also. I almost forgot. My daughter is expecting a child soon. Her mate was very, very upset about the idea of their child facing a life of hiding from unimaginable terrors and threats as he has done, and thought joining your effort was the right thing to do. His name is Iti. I spoke to him very frankly what I thought of his noble actions. The noble act of abandoning his pregnant mate to go off and die on an alien death world. If you find him in your colony, could you please make him reconsider?"
:khashusivni-uli: Yes. Of course, Flock-Chief. (Must remember to ask Pavono to look into that.)
:khashusivni-isiri: "Yes. If he refuses to come back home, and gets himself killed, please send back his body. If he dies I want to exile his body. Into a volcano. For putting my daughter through all this. She's already very upset. I also think he's usually a smart, resourceful sort, and I would also prefer his ingenuity not be wasted so tragically."
:khashusivni-uli: I, er, will do what I can.
:khashusivni-isiri: "I understand, of course, that it is absolutely not your fault that he thought your last ditch effort was worth putting his life on the line for, but I suppose, despite my reservations, many more of our kind sympathise with your cause. Personal and family matters aside, Nopa, you had something you wanted to say?"
No. 1008248 ID: b081a5
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:khashusivni-nopa: "Flock-Chief Uli."
:khashusivni-uli: Yes?
:khashusivni-nopa: "In my experience, when the loss of life becomes inevitable, there is historical precedent that machines are the first to be sacrificed. Promise me you will not see the living machines around you as more expendable than the lives of flesh and blood. Flock-Chief Isiri has your trust, and I trust in her wisdom. Do not let us down, please."
:khashusivni-uli: Of course, Machine-Shaman Nopa. I would have appreciated being told all of these reservations before everything the Argent Feather has been through so far, but I understand. This is not some flight of fancy, and I am putting my life on the line as much as anyone else is.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "Who are you talking to-- Oh! OH! NOPA! IT'S NOPA!! Oh wow, you were there! You must be, what, fifty years or more old? The first of the great warmachines! The Slayer of the Kiter Ess! I've read your battle reports over and over! That one especially, you took down the biggest thing the Kiter could bring to bear!! You inspired all of my greatest tactical decisions! I love your work!!"
:khashusivni-nopa: "...What?"
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "You should come here! We'd be amazing together! Your wisdom and knowledge of combat are unparalleled! I've heard your kill count is in the tens of thousands!!"
:khashusivni-nopa: "..."
:khashusivni-munopa: "Oh! Hello, builder! Sorry about this one. We're still trying to teach them how to not solve everything with violence."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "What?!! No! I'm not Bisushpi-Kin! Death to the Bisushpi-Kin! I'm not like them! I'm not!!"
:khashusivni-munopa: "Okay yeah sure come with me Shivoshi there's schematics to review. Right now. Come along. (Do not harass my builder any further. They are not proud of what they did as a soldier.)"


:khashusivni-isiri: "I wonder what the Bisushpi-Kin do to these poor things for them to keep showing up so eccentric."
:khashusivni-nopa: "Munopa did leave after all, I see. Uli, if you let anything happen to Munopa, I may find myself coming to the Argent Feather after all. In a very, very poor mood. With my old weaponry reunited with my body. To clarify, this is a threat."
:khashusivni-uli: Munopa is their own being who can make their own decisions, and I'm already a little tired of being held accountable for other peoples' bad ideas.
:khashusivni-isiri: "The life of a Flock-Chief is one of being blamed often for others' poor decisions. Good luck, Uli. You may continue to request assistance from the Jade Claw colony as you have been doing for now. Remember to stay true to the principles of the Lazmihi. Our people are our people, not our tools, our currency, or our weapons. War must always be the last resort."
:khashusivni-nopa: "Even then, war must only be fought if there is a chance of victory. In the face of certain defeat, flee. No criai who thought otherwise survived the fall of Dunra. Farewell, Uli."

The transmission ends, and I'm left feeling uncertain. We were far from experienced at space travel when the invaders came. For many criai, retreat wasn't even an option.
And here, on this world, with our colony ship now sedentary for the rest of its days, retreat may very well not be available to us.
No. 1008249 ID: b081a5
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:khashusivni-munopa: Well. That was something alright. Glad to see my builder is doing well, though. I should talk to them more.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "I can't believe the great warmachine Nopa is a washed-up husk of regret and sorrow now."
:khashusivni-munopa: Shivoshi, some advice. Insult my builder one more time and you're going to find some of your parts welded together that shouldn't be.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "I'll take that advice into immediate consideration goodbye!"

:khashusivni-munopa: Anyway, where were we? Right. Building list: >>1007048

:khashusivni-pavono: "Resource recap."


:khashusivni-munopa: That's it? That's all we have?
:khashusivni-pavono: "Yup."
:khashusivni-munopa: Alright. We need to figure out a way to get resources faster than this, clearly. We can make, hm, an airlock, I guess. Making an airlock might not be a bad idea, actually. Never know if we might accidentally mine into some horrible toxic gas pocket, or something like that. Or we can just build a corridor or elevator directly into a space we haven't explored. If only we had just a few more resources... ugh.
:khashusivni-pavono: "We could explore further along the surface? There might be more stuff out there. Also, from initial readings, it looks like the amount and value of raw materials seems to trend upwards the deeper you go into the planet, but that carries with it increasing risk. I've updated D6 to indicate its potential increased hazard as a result, but we can't shy away from deeper exploration forever. The Khashusivni are not just lying on the surface of the world, else they'd have been found by now."

:khashusivni-uli: "I can't help but wonder if we should re-examine that artifact from earlier for ourselves before we pass it on."
:khashusivni-munopa: I don't think anything good will come of it. At least if we send it away, whatever it was connected to will be a ways away. It creeps me out, honestly.
No. 1008254 ID: 736b7e

We probably should be saving up resources but an airlock does sound like a good idea for our initial dive underground. Put an airlock at D5.

Let's explore more surface: A4

I'm not creative; Second Sentinels sounds fine to me. Names would help more if they had different roles but it seems like both squads have the same equipment.
No. 1008255 ID: 96c896

The artifact's effect seems to relate to draining energy. Both thermal and electrical. I recommend reuniting it with the structure it was connected to, and excavating that structure (seems to be in E5) to see if we can figure out what it does.

Is the underground cooler than aboveground? Perhaps we can use the underground as a heatsink, or put our Criai living quarters there. Our machine units don't care about the high temperature do they? They could live aboveground fine.

An airlock seems prudent, put it in the excavated tile.
No. 1008259 ID: 2aa5f0

alrighty then, I guess have pavono speak to Iti since we said we would, explore A4, and uh... not sure if we should build anything this turn or not since we're kinda low on resources.
No. 1008261 ID: e13b1d

The artifact could potentially be related to the weapon. We should research it further.

First contact with the potentially intelligent native or colony survivor is also a priority task. If peaceful communication can be achieved, we can learn much from them. About gathering resources, and more.
No. 1008271 ID: 525fc0

I'd really like to have a biolab before we explore the surface further, to help deal with whatever we face. Especially if what we face has the ability to talk. Besides, meta-wise the surface is high difficulty compared to all of 5.
However, if we hit some sort of deadly gas that floods the bridge, we're screwed, so should we save up for a biolab? It's tough to say. I swear, we could avoid all this if we had gas detectors + gas masks...
This should settle it though. Do airlocks stop our firepower? Because if we build at D5, we'd either be way tougher or way weaker to subsurface melee troops based off that.
This complicates matters further. Robots should deal with gas easily, but our troops would probably be less overheated if they were housed subsurface. Ultimately, though, we could probably just improve our A/C if it got real bad.

Well, regardless, explore either to the left or right of D5.

Might be some sort of key item, might also be useless. E5 might yield clues? We could really use some sort of archaeologist or geologist. Maybe a metallurgist while we're at it...
Regardless of what we do with it, take pictures. Lots of pictures.

Also, if we require some sort of squad leader or staff officer for this hierarchy-of-sorts, Tiu seemed the most levelheaded.

>We need to figure out a way to get resources faster than this, clearly.
I'm all ears.
Get it? Because Criai have... I'll shut up.
No. 1008304 ID: b081a5

> Do airlocks stop our firepower? Because if we build at D5, we'd either be way tougher or way weaker to subsurface melee troops based off that.
[ House rule because the original rules are incredibly ambiguous on this. Airlocks can be shot through, but it will absorb the attack and immediately break them, rendering them inoperable for blocking hazardous substances. However, a broken airlock also can just be passed through like a normal room, given that if it can't block anything anymore it'll probably not be blocking creatures either.
It costs half the initial cost of a room rounded down for repairs to broken/damaged rooms, which would be 2 Resources for an airlock. As many rooms can be repaired at a time outside combat as can be afforded, and this doesn't interfere with the one new room per turn.
Some more tactically minded enemies may try to deliberately break an airlock as a result of this, but it still means they have to spend the time breaking the airlock to continue. ]

No. 1008305 ID: 736b7e

Oh yeah, I forgot to ask in my suggestion:

Shivoshi, any other notable warheroes? What do you think about military hardware? Can we get more cute snake robots? Who programmed you to blushu?
No. 1008335 ID: 96c896

Oh and we should try to convince Iti to go back home.
No. 1008381 ID: 9d5fd0

>Airlocks can be shot through, but it will absorb the attack and immediately break them, rendering them inoperable for blocking hazardous substances. However, a broken airlock also can just be passed through like a normal room, given that if it can't block anything anymore it'll probably not be blocking creatures either.
Absorb is a bit ambiguous, as that's almost as if to say it reduces damage to the target. However, based off the rest of that, my guess is that we do full damage to the target, but have to fix the doors. If that's the case, to build at D5 should be okay, as it will lower the odds of death-by-gas as we explore for further resources. They should offset the repairs, if we have to fix them. Hopefully, we'll rapidly get what's required for a biolab.
No. 1008399 ID: 0fae41

You're welcome to come visit the Glimmering Deathworld any time, both of you. We'll even pay for the return trip, if there is one.
Until we know exactly what we're destroying by building corridors into unexplored spaces, I'd prefer to hold off pm that strategy. Scanning equipment of some kind would be nice. Explore A4 to complete our surface map. Our sentinel units are ready. Once we explore A4 and G4, does more of the surface open up to exploration?
No. 1008557 ID: 6c886f

Wait a sec...
Where's the elevator from D3 to D4?
Without that, we lose the ability to rapidly gather our troops for heavy firepower.
It messes up the whole security setup!
No. 1031706 ID: 2f158e
File 165213458379.png - (104.94KB , 800x600 , k24.png )

> Absorb?
[ Yes, ambiguous, full damage is dealt to the enemy but the airlock is wrecked in the process and needs to be repaired. ]

> Where's the elevator from D3 to D4?
[ By default rooms will be connected to the room they were built from. If other connections are wanted they can be freely added or removed between battles. I'll add the elevator in but if people want to change how rooms are connected going forward, do ask. ]

:khashusivni-shivoshi: "There's all kinds of war heroes in my databanks from the ranks of the Bisushpi-Kin, blight that they might be now! Once, they were the very best of us! An age of heroes, of great feats, of Azei of the Dark, who made the Kiter fear the night, of the Ess-slayer Lui Suna, of the tactical genius of Poi Redscar--"
:khashusivni-munopa: "Okay we'll be here until we're rust if we let you keep talking. Don't encourage him, his knowledge of pointless military trivia is practically boundless. Especially for someone who claims to hate the Bisushpi-Kin as much as he does."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "The Bisushpi-Kin of the Great Revolution were a different criai-kind to who they are now! Now all they are is the very same thing they sought to destroy! Terrible! Terrible!"
:khashusivni-munopa: "Be careful. That sort of thinking is very much like them, isn't it?"
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "I don't know what you're talking about. Oh, right. Military hardware! So many great and powerful weapons, capable of massive yet controlled devastation to the enemy, like the snowbomb or the curvebeam generator and-- System error, please provide passcode. Oh. Oh, I guess I can't... what if I phrase it like System error, please provide passcode. CURSE YOU, BISUSHPI-KIN! YOU WILL NOT WIN SO EASILY!!"

:khashusivni-munopa: "Please put the welding torch down."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "I WILL HACK MY OWN SYSTEMS TO BYPASS--"
:khashusivni-munopa: "You will hack nothing, you have no idea what you're doing, give me the damn torch!!"

:khashusivni-pavono: "...I guess I'll step in, while you two are preoccupied--"

:khashusivni-munopa: "DROP IT! DROP IT!!"
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "HOW ARE YOU SO STRONG"

:khashusivni-pavono: "...so anyway this is Vomukha."
:khashusivni-vomukha: "Hi."
:khashusivni-pavono: "She's now our new head of research. She's a little shy. Fortunately research seems to be our lowest priority so she'll have some time to appreciate the responsibilities of the role before any kind of emergency, hopefully."

:khashusivni-munopa: "I'm not giving it back to you! It's not even your equipment!! Please let me do my job and get back to yours!!"

:khashusivni-pavono: "Any non-Shivoshi related emergency."
:khashusivni-vomukha: "Is this normal?"
:khashusivni-pavono: "I don't think we've been here long enough to know what normal is, but I'm beginning to worry the answer is yes."
No. 1031707 ID: 2f158e
File 165213464057.png - (22.69KB , 800x600 , k25.png )

:khashusivni-uli: "Pavono, I was asked by Flock-Chief Isiri to look into whether or not a certain new recruit by the name of Iti should be serving here."
:khashusivni-pavono: "Oh. Are they a problem?"
:khashusivni-uli: "I was just asked to make sure he absolutely wants to be here and not back with Jade Claw."

:khashusivni-pavono: Not sure why this is my department, but, well, apparently it is.

:khashusivni-pavono: "Ah, Iti, yes?"
<Iti> "Yes? What's the issue?"
:khashusivni-pavono: "I was asked simply to verify that you do wish to be here. Opportunities to go back home are rare as it stands, and this is an incredibly dangerous mission."
<Iti> "I know. I know it is."
:khashusivni-pavono: "Are you alright?"

He starts tugging at his ears and tears up.
<Iti> "No. No, I am not. I shouldn't be here, but what choice do we have? I wanted Vai to come with me but the Flock-Chief wants her in the inner circle and what say do I have there? The Flock-Chief was right, Vai would only be endangering herself here, but what can I do? This might be the only chance we get among the Lazmihi, no, the criai to spend our lives living instead of hiding forever! But I didn't want that to mean I never see her again... but I'd rather fight and die here than stay helplessly next to her and watch her die to another alien attack!!"
<Iti> "What would you do?!"

:khashusivni-pavono: I feel I was insufficiently briefed for whatever this is.
:khashusivni-pavono: "I am of course biased in favour of the option where we aren't one sentinel short, but the conflict you carry in your heart I fear may lead to hesitation at a crucial moment." That sounds like something Uli would say. "You must make your own decision. All I can do is advise, as is my function."
<Iti> "No. No, I will-- I will focus. For the sake of the mission. For the sake of the criai. We will survive."

:khashusivni-pavono: "Well, Uli, I did the thing you asked."
:khashusivni-uli: "Are we sending Iti back on the next supply ship, or are we not doing that?"
:khashusivni-pavono: "You must make your own decision. All I can do is advise, as is my function."
:khashusivni-uli: "So you have no idea."
:khashusivni-pavono: "Absolutely none, Flock-Chief."
:khashusivni-uli: "He didn't request to go back, then."
:khashusivni-pavono: "Nope."
:khashusivni-uli: "That works for me. ...Keep him out of active deployment where possible, just to be safe."
No. 1031708 ID: 2f158e
File 165213468546.png - (32.99KB , 800x600 , k26.png )

:khashusivni-munopa: Somehow, despite everything, I found time to do my actual damn job. We're less than a full week into this operation and it already feels like things are starting to fall apart internally, I swear.

Airlock constructed in D5. It's a bit of an odd design, involving an inner shell room that can be rotated while air is vented out or in depending on circumstance. Takes up an entire room in size, but nothing's getting past this. Well, liquids and gases aren't. Malicious entities are probably going to be able to figure out how to open the airlock.

Well, whatever. I feel more secure to have any sort of barrier between the bridge and the deep beneath.
No. 1031710 ID: 2f158e
File 165213477830.png - (135.83KB , 800x600 , k27.png )

- DAY 4 -

:khashusivni-pavono: No developments overnight or before exploration. A relatively pleasant morning, all things considered.

- Exploration Result -

:khashusivni-pavono: We excavated next to the airlock, below the old ship generator. Composition of the subterranean material remains consistent with what was found previously, but sadly with no trace of harvestable minerals. What we did find was something far more concerning.

A giant monolith with a strangely familiar symbol and large runes that appeared to be painted or printed onto the surface, in a language we've never encountered before. We don't really have any xenolinguists with us here, which in retrospect would have been a very good idea. It seemed inert like the other artifacts we found where we built the airlock, but as the exploration team got closer, well, the report is more frantic.

Apparently, more and more of the criai near the monolith started going into some sort of dazed trance and started walking towards the monolith, and everything seemed to become filled with a hazy red odourless mist. The report notes that after the incident there was no trace of gas or vapour or particulate in the atmosphere.

A couple of the exploration team sank to their knees and began chanting in a language they had no recollection or knowledge of previously, one of them passing out completely. All of them reported experiencing a phantom image of a contorted red serpentine form appearing above, in front of, and inside the monolith.
I had to double check that. No, that wasn't different interpretations, it was pretty consistently reported as being in at least three places at the same time, at least one a physical impossibility. And then it started whispering. Then, it just "slid away". No one involved can explain what that entailed, but it was just gone, as was the red mist.

I've compiled the overlapping fragments into the message it gave out as best as it can, but it doesn't make a lot of sense...

your endless struggle shall end, your penitence complete, only through great sacrifice
seek the red worm, find me in my hallowed ground, free yourselves in chains
I grant you <fragment missing>, I grant you release, you will find what you are looking for
come find me
only I may grant you absolution

I feel like we're missing some cultural context, because otherwise this seems absolutely like a bad idea we should not follow up on.

:khashusivni-vomukha: The most prominent symbol seen on the monolith is a worryingly close match to symbols seen in Kiter occupied territory. Insufficient evidence for any further conclusion.
:khashusivni-munopa: The monolith itself seems sturdy but we can relocate it if we want to build in the excavated area. Of course, some people might think it's cursed ground and not fit for habitation, but I'm sure the proper purifying rituals to appease any lingering spirits of bone or metal will clear that right up.

:khashusivni-shivoshi: "You people and your rituals. You want purification? Fire works well in my experience."
:khashusivni-munopa: "It's made of stone, Shivoshi."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "Plasma, then."
:khashusivni-munopa: "Dunra save me."
No. 1031711 ID: 2f158e
File 165213484497.png - (116.06KB , 800x600 , k28.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: The monolith wasn't content with horrifying us, I gather, as after it went inert, the floor of the cavern started to rumble, and what seemed to be natural stone parted seamlessly, revealing a deep, deep cavern, massive, unlike what we expected.

The cavern is barely lit by naturally bioluminescent fungi, but only barely. There's a great variety of flora and fauna in there but none of it seemed hostile to the explorers. Most of it fled. The fauna. Probably not the flora. Probably. However there is one notable anomaly, but I'll get back to that.

Speaking of the flora, we found some amazing substitutions for some of our common building materials. I'm sure Munopa will be thrilled.

Gained 10 Resources

:khashusivni-munopa: I'm pretty happy with that. Also, no issues with building in the caverns. No additional overhead required, really. Just need to relocate the wildlife first, and that's so cheap compared to moving all the materials into position to start with that it's effectively free.
No. 1031712 ID: 2f158e
File 165213487278.png - (291.47KB , 800x600 , k29.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: But yes, the cave anomaly. We found a glowing green pod covered in veins that appeared to be slowly throbbing. Also growing a webbing that seemed to be ensnaring and consuming local flora and fauna that didn't have the strength to escape it.

:khashusivni-vomukha: Our archives aren't complete but this is a strong match for Kiter technology. We don't understand it particularly well, given most of our information comes from the Fall of Dunra where intel gathering sharply became less of a focus. However, this matches the description of what appears to be some sort of convalescent transport pod that consumes local biomass to sustain itself and its occupant.

Similar pods were used to keep criai prisoners for transport into Kiter spires and other facilities, who were, of course, never seen again.
However, similar pods were also used to restore elite Kiter individuals back to fighting condition.
It's anyone's guess what's inside that pod.

I highly recommend we do not attempt to retrieve or open this pod without a xenobio laboratory, and possibly also a medbay. It will cost 1 Food either way to bring them in and keep them supplied, assuming we don't just want to starve whatever's inside.

:khashusivni-munopa: The principles of the Lazmihi state that taking prisoners is something that should only be done if they can be properly housed and fed. ...they also say that forced conscription is absolutely not permitted, and, if it is a Kiter organism in that pod, it's going to backfire horribly regardless.

:khashusivni-pavono: "Anything Kiter is an existential threat and an affront to the criai and must be immediately destroyed."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "No. We take anything Kiter captive, get information, and then they must be immediately destroyed. You have to ask questions first."
:khashusivni-vomukha: "I would like to study a Kiter organism, I have some theories I'd like to verify."
:khashusivni-munopa: "It's too risky. Let the pod stay where it is. The Lazmihi are not cold-blooded killers nor are we slavers."
:khashusivni-uli: "This is a pretty controversial manner. Well, sometimes, the principles of the Lazmihi must be... slightly bent for the sake of survival."

:khashusivni-munopa: "I'm pretending very very hard I didn't hear you say that out loud, Flock-Chief."
No. 1031713 ID: 2f158e
File 165213494267.png - (958.98KB , 1600x1800 , k30.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: System update. Here's the map. Resource recap incoming.

:khashusivni-munopa: Building list here: >>1007048
Well, we have more options, I guess. A crew quarters for coaxers, a xenobiology lab, a proper laboratory for our new head of research-- wait, no, we don't have the credits for the specialist materials for that. Darn. Well, that still leaves crew quarters or a xenobiology lab, I guess.

:khashusivni-pavono: "Ugh, coaxers. That reminds me, how's our cybersecurity?""
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "What cybersecurity?"
:khashusivni-pavono: "...that bad, huh."
:khashusivni-shivoshi: "Cybersecurity is for worrying about after not-cyber security. What are even the chances anything would try to hack us? All we've come across is some ancient ruins and alien lifeforms. We're the most advanced things on this rock, for sure!"
:khashusivni-pavono: "That we know of, sure."

:khashusivni-vomukha: Just a quick pointer. We can leave that pod be until we have proper facilities. If we try to open it now, the best place we have to do it is the airlock, which is directly below the bridge. If things go badly, that could be a swift end to the mission, the Argent Feather, and the lives of everyone here. No pressure, though, I'm sure!
No. 1031716 ID: c92a02

Time for a xenobio lab! A4 is still up for exploration, and now it is time to see about converting resources into progress. Research everything! You may have spoken too soon about research being low priority.
No. 1031717 ID: 96c896

I see no reason to open the pod yet. We don't have the required facilities.
When we do, here's how it'll go: if it's Kiter, we interrogate then imprison and study, or execute depending on how nasty it is(some Kiter things can't be contained reliably, nor can they be reasoned with... though it's more likely there will be a firefight in that case, not an execution). If it's non-Kiter then we offer employment or evacuation, and ask polite questions.

As for what to do next... construct a Crew Quarters to the left of the landing bay, for Coaxers. Could be a good idea for one of them to work on Shivoshi, so it doesn't have to hack itself.
No. 1031719 ID: 736b7e

We already wanted a xenobiolab and this pod is just another reason to build one. Build it at B4 and explore C5.
No. 1031721 ID: 2aa5f0

neat it's back.

As for what do. I say we should explore C5 just to fully explore everything around our base so we don't have to worry about anything attacking us from a blind spot. Also feel that the Xeno lab is what we should build next what with the egg and all. Plus we haven't really come across anything that needs to be hacked yet. Just wondering if we should put the lab in the monolith space since that way if we house something dangerous it would have to go through the airlock to get to the base or if we should explore C5 first and put the lab somewhere where we don't have to mess with the weird monolith room. Guess we could put it above ground as well but again, since the lab can double as a prison for dangerous xeno life probably better to put that somewhere where they won't be able to just have a straight shot for the bridge.
No. 1031746 ID: af9fcc

It's back? Huzzah!

I doubt anybody will get the reference but I'll make it anyway.
Difficulty 4 and 5? We'll need to be well equipped for those.
That monolith is annoyingly ominous. My guess is it's related to that tablet we found. Probably best to stay out as much as we have the ability to. Though I am curious what this "purification" would entail and what the expected effect would be.
Keep Iti, but have an eye towards replacing him once we have less of a credit shortage.
>Cybersecurity defense
Not a priority yet. Unless we encounter something mechanical, we've got more urgent issues. Heck, the monolith alone has me more worried about our wetware being hacked than our hardware given the effect it had on the explorers. Save the coaxers for after we have a xenobio lab and a fabrication bay, both of those have greater utility as things stand.
Well, that's a great segway. The xenobio lab was already highest priority to aid in potential first contact with the natives, should they be sapient, and now we have further reason to get it ASAP.
Now that we have the resources to build one, we should do so. E2 would put it furthest from the bridge, but B4 would segregate it from core structures should something go wrong, so B4 edges out E2.
Maximize containment, and rig it with lots of powerful explosives, for the likely scenario that it proves hostile. Even a kiter will fall to sufficient application of high explosives, and if we have to repair the lab, so be it. It'll be way less damage compared to what a powerful Kiter could do.
C5 and D6 are the last two locations before we have full visibility 2 squares from the bridge. Of those, the former is less hazardous.

Beyond that, we should probably save up for a fabrication bay. If it saves lives, it's well worth it because every sentinel we have to replace is 8 credits lost, plus eight additional credits to replace the loss. More importantly, every life saved is, well, a life saved.
No. 1031762 ID: 815672

We need food production up, let's expand on the surface to do that.
No. 1032052 ID: e13b1d

The criai who witnessed the vision at the monolith are fine now, right? If it only affects our forces on first witnessing it, there may be a use for the thing.

If we move the monolith outside, its memetic field might distract and reveal scouts and threats that approach the base. Even lower animals if they are susceptible. We could easily execute them while they are in the thrall of the visions.
No. 1032053 ID: e13b1d

We should then put the xenobio lab where the monolith was, I think. It separates the rest of the base from any contamination that gets loose in the lab by the airlock, and makes for easier transportation of the rescuee/captive without revealing our full headquarters.
No. 1032087 ID: f2320a

interesting lets see if it has some mental contaminant but using it as a defense mechanism is useful even if potentially losing it. hmmmm if we make a xeno containment lab we NEED to put it far away from the generator and stuff putting some distance between it and the generator, a armory must be proably on the ground floor due to it being the most likely way someone would enter the base AND the generator must be protected
No. 1032092 ID: 8dc7ba

I agree with this.
No. 1033620 ID: f2320a

i wonder if we are sort of stuck on this planet we are going to have too create troops our self currently our every loss is a greatone
No. 1033779 ID: 39d12c
File 165369759493.png - (16.12KB , 800x600 , k31.png )

:khashusivni-munopa: Xenobiology Lab constructed in B4, next to the landing pad. It should give us a tiny bit more breathing room if anything were to go wrong, which I'm sure it won't.

:khashusivni-vomukha: Please don't say things like that.

:khashusivni-pavono: This is a good facility to keep a single alien creature in good condition. Well, unless they're sapient. We'll need specialised quarters for the higher demands a sapient being will have. Not many sapient beings like being treated like animals, even well-treated animals, after all.
With that, I guess all that's left is to spend the night however we wish and see what tomorrow brings.
No. 1033780 ID: 39d12c
File 165369761879.png - (224.22KB , 800x600 , k32.png )

- DAY 5 -

- Exploration Result -

:khashusivni-pavono: We excavated the other side of the airlock. Nothing but rock. We double checked. Nothing but rock and dirt and no useful ores or minerals.

And then someone was found dead in the Bridge. Nyi of the First Sentinels. Damage consistent with a shock-lance blow to the back of the head delivered with enough force to kill instantly. But with the shock-lance's electric discharge disabled, which a skilled user would not leave off for an intended fatal blow.

Iti was the first one to report the death and he's, well, I'm considering whether to make the call myself to send him back to Jade Claw. Apparently the two were becoming quite fast friends. He's not taking it well. None of us are. The last place we expected there to be danger was inside our own base FROM OUR OWN PEOPLE. Sorry. Regaining my composure.

It's not clear who committed this heinous act, and although Iti's assigned shock-lance was found at the scene of the crime, I suspect it was because he wasn't training with it at the time.
There's no clear motivation for it to have been Iti, especially given he seems the most affected. From my previous interactions, while he seems relatively quiet and focused, in conversations he lacks any real capacity to hide his emotions.
So, not only are we looking at an unsolved murder, it looks like whoever it was was trying to frame Iti as well, or at least throw off the trail.

It makes no sense. It makes no sense. I've run through all the sentinels and their backgrounds, I see no evidence of motive. I've questioned the civilian colonists and they were all at their assigned stations at the time, corroborated by cross-references and camera footage. I've even checked and double checked Iti's background on a hypothesis that his entire personality and responses might be completely fabricated, nothing! Nothing. No sense.

:khashusivni-shivoshi: Munopa and myself are making sure all camera systems in the base are operational. No signs of tampering found yet. We will keep you updated.

:khashusivni-munopa: Nyi’s body has been returned to cryo for now. We can’t spare the time for funerary rites at the moment. Traditionally we would give her a proper burial and ceremony, as owed to all Lazmihi, but we can’t rely on breaking the ground on this world without unearthing some new terror. The cryo facilities were already extensive. They could hold our entire colony still, if needs be. If needs be.

:khashusivni-uli: A dark day, indeed. I fear this is but the first life lost. We must steel our resolve and continue nevertheless. For the Argent Feather, for the Lazmihi, and for all criai, we must continue.
No. 1033781 ID: 39d12c
File 165369765745.png - (46.04KB , 800x600 , k33.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: We have a few statements, recorded individually at separate intervals. Three wanted to give them, the rest didn't.

:khashusivni-iti: "I was, I was trying to just, just pace around, clear my h-head, and, then, th-then I found... sorry, hold on, hold on, one moment. Deep breath. Okay. I found her on the ground, and my shock-lance was next to her. I'm telling you, I have no idea why it was mine, but I rushed to her and tried to see if she needed help but she just wasn't... sorry, give me a second. I'm sorry. I should be more prepared to lose my comrades in battle, but this wasn't a battle. We were sharing stories again last night. She left a mate behind on Jade Claw. Just like me. This isn't right. It's one thing to die protecting your own, but this is... <trails off, inaudible>"
:khashusivni-pavono: After taking this statement, Iti broke down into tears and later exclaimed he was going to find whoever did this and make them pay. His strong sense of conviction would be admirable, but coupled with his emotional instability it makes a dangerous combination. I've already informed Uli that this may be a source of problems.

:khashusivni-sei: "Iti must have done it. It was his weapon. Why can't anyone see that? Are they too proud to see their own mistakes?? Oh this was a bad idea, I shouldn't have come here. I thought I could trust my fellow Lazmihi but so far I've seen bad omen after bad omen and all the things the spirits whisper to me in my dreams are just further ill omens. I thought this would be an opportunity to prove myself but we've just locked ourselves in our own tombs! Now I have to watch my front and my back!"
:khashusivni-pavono: A quick note. Sei is just like this, apparently. The other Sentinels assure me he's much more, uh, together in the heat of a battle.

:khashusivni-rai: "I think Iti's lost it. I think he's gone loopy. I have no idea how he even managed to qualify as a Sentinel of Jade Claw, much less make the cut to end up here in the most critical mission of our kind's history since Dunra. All he's been talking about is his regrets and his confusion and his blah blah blah blah and it is driving me to drink! Or it would, if we had any!! Clearly Nyi said something that set him off, she always was prone to saying things without thinking, and now he's so broken about it he can't accept the fact he killed her. It's not the first time I've heard of such a thing happening. Damn shame too. Nyi was twice the Sentinel he'll ever be."
:khashusivni-pavono: ...another quick note. Rai is also, apparently, just like this. She apparently has the social skills of a sledgehammer.

:khashusivni-pavono: I begin to sense a pattern with our Sentinels of being extremely skilled and, well, less... sociable, than others. Almost as if whoever was assigning us our forces was doing this on purpose.
Still, before I am too harsh, it is entirely the case that many of our most skilled Sentinels are still relatively green. Jade Claw has been relatively safe for decades. Perhaps this grim incident will remind them of the risks they face. Maybe more will begin to doubt, like Iti. Or maybe their resolves will strengthen, like... Iti, I suppose.
No. 1033782 ID: 39d12c
File 165369769466.png - (78.18KB , 800x600 , k34.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: As if this wasn’t enough to cope with, checking the camera footage showed something even more disturbing. One of the explorers part of the team who initially discovered the monolith, Akei, was found to be ritually scarring herself with unidentified markings (and some eerily familiar) in a corner of the Bridge, around the same time the murder occurred. A ghastly alibi, but an alibi. Stripped of all her exploration gear, she then left the base in a strange meandering way like she was sleepwalking. The last thing she was recorded as saying was "truth in suffering", which is not promising.

By the time anyone had realised, with everything else going on at the time, she was only visible to external cameras. One of the aliens we spotted before emerged from the bushes, and reacted aggressively to her presence. Strangely, it looks like the alien’s first reaction was just guarded curiosity, but as Akei got closer, the alien seemed to react with shock and then anger? This is perhaps projecting my own thought processes onto the unknown too much, but it looked like the alien wasn’t aggressive until Akei got close enough for them to notice something.
At that point, Akei put up no resistance as the alien leapt at her, grabbed her, and apparently started shoving her off into the distance while making loud sounds in a fast and rhythmic way. An odd mix of untranslated alien linguistics with short barking sounds, as best as I can decipher. Can't tell if it was anger or panic. Possibly both.

We have no idea what happened to Akei after that, given she left with no equipment, completely exposed to the elements. I sincerely doubt we’re seeing her again, so, another loss for the colony.

:khashusivni-munopa: We don’t currently have the facilities to run an expedition to find out what happened to her. But I suspect if the alien wanted her dead, she wouldn’t have been restrained and dragged off with no worse injuries than what she’d already done to herself.

:khashusivni-vomukha: The complex interactions and use of what appears to be language suggests sapience. Although possibly the change in behaviour was triggered simply by proximity and a feeling of territorial invasion. I’m not certain why that would result in the entity attempting to take the offender further into said territory. I need more data on these creatures! Uh, when that’s, um, appropriate.

:khashusivni-uli: I feel it would be optimistic folly to assume anything on this "glimmering deathworld" is friendly. I will notify both families of what has happened this day. I will not hold my breath waiting for this lost explorer to return.
No. 1033783 ID: 39d12c
File 165369772428.png - (0.99MB , 1800x1800 , k35.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: Map. Resources. Reduction of food requirements means we have one more food unit in the budget.

I won't lie. I'm shaken. This is not how I was expecting us to lose our first recruit. And then for someone in the exploration team to just wander off...
All members of the exploration team who went on the monolith mission have been returned to cryo immediately. We aren't taking them back out until a medbay is built to check for whatever possible physiological and psychological harm was caused to them.

We still have enough colonists not officially covered on the overview to conduct explorations, but I will do the exploration myself if I have to. I feel like throwing our hydroponics expert out into the wilderness might provide some unique insights, but it's likelier we'll just lose our master gardener.

:khashusivni-vomukha: We have a safe place to open the pod now. If that's. Um. Still seen a good idea right now. It'll cost 1 Food to support whatever we get out of it. Possibly more, depending, but 1 at minimum.

:khashusivni-uli: Well, Iti has personally told me he no longer wants to return to Jade Claw until he's found the culprit behind Nyi's murder. I’m also concerned that we haven’t ruled him out as a suspect entirely, much as I doubt his involvement. There are definitely sentinels on Iti’s side who find it offensive to suggest he’d do something so heinous after what he's said and done to be here, but tensions are high. Paranoia is beginning to build.
I have talked to Iti to at least persuade him not to try taking this matter into his own hands. The last thing we need is an emotionally charged vigilante trying to avenge a fallen friend. I can't help but feel like fate is dealing this troubled warrior a particularly gruesome hand. I've instructed our inner circle to keep a closer eye on him, suspect or otherwise.

:khashusivni-uli: Before all of this happened, the fact our nascent colony is so reliant on external forces for new members was also raised as an issue, but it’s not as if we can somehow make new criai in a couple of days. There were definitely enough willing to do anything to keep this mission successful, but I need them in active duty more than I need them becoming another thing to protect. It’s not even certain if this colony will survive the year, let alone the years needed to raise a newborn to adulthood.
:khashusivni-vomukha: I have ideas. But we’ll need a laboratory for me to consider them.
:khashusivni-munopa: Simpler machines can be assembled much faster than most organisms. But we still can’t afford a fabrication bay.

:khashusivni-munopa: Also it should probably go without saying but I am absolutely opposed to any effort towards relocating or otherwise using that monolith. I'd rather shatter the thing and pave over it.
No. 1033786 ID: e5709d

>Mind control has turned three of our spec-ops into goo

This is clearly turning into a battle of attrition, and we're losing.
Risk all or save none.

>What d-
We need resources. Don't care how. Start digging downwards, C6 and beyond.
No. 1033788 ID: 736b7e

We were in a bad place and have made no progress. Digging deeper is suicide. We need to secure more resources before making things harder on ourselves. Dig at B5.

We can afford the food cost, go ahead and open 'em up.

Build a fabrication bay at F4.
No. 1033793 ID: 96c896

Well I don't know how we're going to get 20 resources for the medbay. I guess we have to explore the surface some more.

Explore the tile next to the xenobio lab.
No. 1033794 ID: 96c896

We have 3 resources, the fab bay costs 18.
No. 1033795 ID: 2aa5f0

can we at least put the egg in the xeno lab?

As for what to do... well we can't really do shit. If I had to guess the three who found the monolith are probably the three who went crazy and we have no way to try and figure out what happened as we lack the resources to do anything and our on site personal are falling apart at the seems. Quite honestly it looks like we're fucked as soon as we began. Only thing we can do at this time is explore and hope that doesn't blow up in our face either.

I say explore A4. Because I'm sure the locals are hostile to us no if that one guy's reaction was anything to go by so if they decide to attack I would like at least a bit of for warning.
No. 1033831 ID: 815672

Digging underground has not done as much favors. Let's try our luck on the surface.
No. 1033835 ID: 667c26

I knew that monolith was bad news, but I didn't expect it to be this bad. I want that thing beyond destroyed. Shivoshi mentioned plasma? Do it. Then light the whole room on fire, purify it, pave it over with a corridor and purify it again just to be sure. Keep a security team on standby, I suspect our murderer will attempt to halt this.

Also, you're not considering a possibility as to why the native xeno was hostile. The markings our explorer made on themselves. My guess is they only became hostile when they saw at least one of the markings. I suspect they have seen those markings before, likely from other explorers, and know where it leads. Frankly, I don't blame the native if they kill the explorer if they're worried about a memetic hazard. However, if we are going to make first contact, we have to somehow assure them we are emphatically NOT aligned with the monolith entity, as they may now suspect we all are. Doing so has just made the list of priorities, because their actions show familiarity with this sort of... thing. This means that there is an offchance that have some sort of way to deal with subverted people other than "kill it with fire". More importantly, it's unlikely they are only familiar with this threat alone. Whatever insights they have into this world's threats will be beyond priceless.

As to the murder... I don't suppose we have some sort of sci-fi forensic analysis tools? You know, some sort of AI blood spatter analysis to make sure Iti's shocklance was the murder weapon? Fingerprint equivalent detectors for the murder weapon, maybe? Automated fur analysis to see if anybody's fur besides Iti's was on the shocklance?
Without that, all we can do is look for holes or conflicts in testimonies about who was doing what at the time the murder occurred. Say, do the principles of the Lazmihi prohibit autopsies?

>Medbay saves lives AND heals psychological injuries
That was number 2 on the priority list, now it's number 1. If we had one, perhaps we could have saved Nyi, as well. I'd prefer something more dedicated to wetware defense, but we'd probably have to get research going to even consider creating tools for that purpose.

Speaking of which, two questions.
First, was any of the explorer team robotic?
Second, if so, did any appear affected?
If the answer to either is no, we should consider adding a robotic element to our explorer teams, both to reduce the time it takes to raise an alert about wetware threats, and to physically drag our explorers away from such wetware threats. Assuming, of course, that we have civilian robots besides our advisors...

Better we know when it opens than have whatever pops out suddenly banging on our airlock with no early warning. Especially if we take precautions about containing the pod, like I stated here: >>/1031746

>Sentinels have social issues
...Makes sense that we'd be getting the black sheep of the sentinels. This is a high-risk mission, after all's said and done.

Finally, I suggest Uli give a speech. Everybody is shaken, and morale is likely low. Cohesion's probably fraying, and that could be as deadly as any hostile force. As leader, he must assure that we do not fall apart at the seams. Something along these lines:

"Today is a dark day. Not one, but two Lazmihi have been lost performing their duty to our shared mission. We all expected losses, but none of us could have been ready for them. Especially because one of them was caused by one of our own. I've no doubt we will all mourn their loss. Just as importantly, we will not forget. Both their lives, and what they gave them in service of. To that end, we shall have a monument placed in a public area with the names of all who have fallen, that their memory may be permanently enshrined. [pause] Now, in response to this heinous act by one of our own, there will no doubt be tempation to isolate ourselves, to act with fear and suspicion to be safe. Remember however, that we are Lazmihi. Unity give us greater safety than isolation ever would. There are no easy targets in a group of friends who are always together, regardless of time or place. [pause] Keep these words close to your [heart equivalents], and do not let the sacrifices of your fellows be for nothing. Thank you all for listening, and may we all succeed in our efforts."
No. 1033854 ID: 736b7e


I must have been reading power and mixed them up.
No. 1033886 ID: f2320a

its a overreaction destroying the monolith when all we need to do is cover it if it has strange effects we must research them, its very possible its not responsible.
also the murder victims body we should preserve them so we can launch a more fullscale investigation without decay getting in our way or restore them in the future, its possible some alien creature sneaked inside.
No. 1033889 ID: e13b1d

Given sapience and the fact they've been living here, I suspect the native recognized the markings. We should attempt to make contact the next time one is seen nearby on our external cameras.
No. 1033890 ID: 96c896

For the murder investigation, we must take statements from everyone. Find out what everyone was doing before the murder, during the approximate time, and after as well. Any inconsistencies should be examined for evidence of guilt.
No. 1033892 ID: e13b1d

I have another idea. Let's put off opening the kiter egg for now, not least of all because it requires exposing more of our people to the monolith to get to it.

We can use the xenobio lab as a makeshift forensics lab. Test for DNA from the crime scene and the murder weapon, test other shock lances as well not just our only suspect's. Take note of any weapons missing in the testing.

We should have all the technology we need for this in a bio-lab of any kind.
No. 1043610 ID: e4c230
File 166301662102.png - (109.70KB , 800x600 , k36.png )

:khashusivni-uli: My friends, it has been a grim day. We all knew the risks of our mission here, and two souls have been lost this day. They shall be mourned, and they shall not be forgotten. As they put their very lives on the line, it is important to remember the burden we all share, as the Argent Feather, as Lazmihi, as criai. We continue to investigate what has caused these tragic losses so that we may prevent more. But it is crucial to remember that we came here as one, and we will survive only as one. Do not let suspicion and paranoia fill your hearts, for these are our enemies' greatest allies. Do not sink into isolation and despair, for predators always seek easy prey. We are strongest together.

:khashusivni-uli: A memorial shrine has been scheduled for construction in the Bridge. If you wish to pay your respects to the fallen, you may do so at any time, and you are encouraged to do so. The spirits of Nyi and Akei will live on within the shrine and our memories.

:khashusivni-uli: Rest will not come easily to us this night, but we must continue. If the criai are ever to once again stare into the night sky with anything other than fear in their hearts, we must continue. If nothing else, for the sake of those lost, we must continue.
:khashusivni-uli: That is all. May peace return to our spirits.
No. 1043611 ID: e4c230
File 166301665421.png - (207.57KB , 800x600 , k37.png )

:khashusivni-munopa: Corridor constructed in E5. We can always repurpose the space later if needs be. I just took advantage of the fact the extruder-excavator machinery we have for corridor construction mostly churns through whatever it comes into contact, so the monolith should be in tons of tiny little pieces.

Well. It should be. I saw the thing flicker when the machinery came into contact and then it was somewhere else in the excavated space out of harm's way.

Then I tried moving down the corridor after it was nearly finished extruding and I felt a surge of dread so powerful I was considering sealing the corridor off with me inside it to prevent it from getting into the facility, because I was already a lost cause, I was for sure about to die, but I was so terrified all I could do was try to ineffectually grasp myself with my tool mounts. It was apparently a fleeting sensation but it didn't feel like it at the time. And there was a voice, a voice, it was so corrupted and garbled and filled with static I couldn't make out the words, but I could make out the laughter, the laughter didn't need words.

I want that thing destroyed so badly but it's not worth the resources investigating how to destroy something that apparently teleports if you try to break it. Maybe we can settle for chasing it off, but I still don't know if that's worth doing.

All I know is I didn't feel anything wrong after the episode except a slight fuzziness to my optics and aurals, when I got too close to it, and once the corridor hit the rock of the opposite cave wall even that dissipated. The corridor isn't especially shielded. I almost get the impression the monolith knows it isn't wanted and is hiding itself. I wouldn't be surprised if a machine-spirit equivalent lived in it, all the evidence seems to point to it. An extremely dangerous, violent one.

I'm not going to lie, I spent a lot of the construction deeply afraid for my own machine-spirit. I had this strange notion that if whatever in the monolith could get to me, death would be the better outcome. Anything better than letting it get to me. Anything. Rip out my tool mounts, stab them into my eyes, breach my chassis with broken wreckage, split open and spill forth my coolant and paint protective sigils-- ahem. Sorry. This isn't report material, this is a psychological wound I didn't bandage properly. Let me gather myself again. Sorry again.

:khashusivni-pavono: Wait. Sigils? Like the ones Akei did to herself?

:khashusivni-munopa: No, no, those ones I didn't recognise, but, sorry, I'm getting off track and I am spending the rest of my day very very far away from that corridor.

I don't like that monolith. I broke out of my charger cell early because I thought I felt it creeping into my systems through the charging port. Clearly just a nightmare, once I gained my senses and my composure, but I found it very, very hard to power down for the night after that. It's showing up in my nightmares and I don't know if it's my fear or if it's starting to pry into my very essence.

:khashusivni-pavono: Sounds like we have a conclusive answer on if the monolith affects mechanical sapience. I know Munopa is the most spiritual of us, being Lazmihi-built and raised, but I also do not regularly encounter Munopa fearing possession by hostile spirits.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: I grow to appreciate many of the principles of the Lazmihi, to my surprise, but your peoples' odd superstitions will never cease to confound me. Clearly this is just the correct and appropriate response to a potential security breach.
:khashusivni-pavono: I find I appreciate the metaphor of spirits even if I still feel conflicted about accepting their existence. Something about Munopa's report suggests he is not afraid of something as pedestrian as a hacking attempt. Maybe this will be the planet that makes a true believer of me yet.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: The professed existence of souls has always been used as a weapon against machinekind, historically. Just because the Lazmihi think otherwise does not make the entire concept offputting to me. We're all machines in one way or another. Our minds and memories can be saved, copied and restored. Find a way to measure a spirit and I'll gladly re-evaluate!
:khashusivni-pavono: I guess you aren't particularly religious unless firepower is involved.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: Just because you're right doesn't mean I'm wrong.
No. 1043612 ID: e4c230
File 166301671117.png - (126.37KB , 800x600 , k38.png )

- DAY 6 -

- Exploration Result -

:khashusivni-pavono: Exploration conducted in A4, on the surface next to the xenobiology lab. Surprisingly, not a lot was found but a rusted shut container of a mostly ferrous composition, half-buried. Excavation and unsealing revealed a collection of crystalline slates with intricate three-dimensional markings. Alien records or art pieces, we're not sure. Entirely useless to us immediately, but other Lazmihi colonies will no doubt love this alien information storage technology and attempting to uncover the secrets within. The exact structural composition seems to be some sort of crystalline lattice of a material we couldn't immediately identify. This may just suggest some issues with our own lack of research tools rather than the discovery of an exotic alloy. Regardless, we've made the decision to log all our readings and sell these off. The effort it'd take for us to understand what's going on here can't be justified.

Gained 10 Credits

No signs of the sapient aliens from before. The explorers were willing to search the area more thoroughly, but we found nothing.
No. 1043613 ID: e4c230
File 166301675689.png - (62.53KB , 800x600 , k39.png )

:khashusivni-shivoshi: Investigation into the murder almost hit a brick wall when I was suddenly visited by two of the First Sentinels, Sei and Rai.

They came to confess that they had, in fact, seen the murder take place. I couldn't get a straight answer out of either of them as to why they both jumped to implicate Iti instead of just telling the truth to start with, but as far as I could make out from their frantic babbling, they were both worried they were going to end up primary suspects and latched onto Iti for different reasons I could not care less about. For full disclosure, Rai wanted him sent back home out of some sort of jealousy that he had a home to go back to, and Sei keeps dreaming that Iti is next to die if he's not sent back. They were practically falling over each other to take full blame. I got sick of it and made it very clear I found both of them at fault anyway, and if they continued their inane prattle things would only get much, much worse for both of them. Things went more smoothly after that.

Whatever. Either way, both of them mentioned a member of the expedition teams, Aze, who has apparently vanished into thin air as I can't find him on any cameras or footage. Sei didn't see enough of the perpetrator to give a name, Rai caught sight of enough details such as build and fur colour and claimed Aze looked her straight in the eye before sprinting into her, knocking her to the side and vanishing into the generator room, of all places. I don't think these two have demonstrated particular trustworthiness with having already gone on record to lie to the inner circle, but I will place interrogating Aze at highest priority. When we find him.

As for Sei and Rai, I wish only that I could recommend immediate execution for the high crimes of wasting my time, lying to superiors, and forcing me to listen to affairs of the heart I lack the patience and organs to care about. I was built to convey orders to soldiers, not wrangle useless idiots. The only tactical engagement here is me versus the desire to self-detonate.

:khashusivni-pavono: Stop. Less of that, please. Sei and Rai are both criai with no surviving kin in Jade Claw. It's a long story. They've all but explicitly confessed to being terrified of being sent back to Jade Claw. Sei was worried he was going to be accused of being some sort of infiltrator, because Sei seems to be as paranoid and neurotic a criai can be while maintaining executive function. Rai just gives me the impression she has nothing to go back to, but, well, we're not risking our lives just to give misfit Sentinels something to do.

:khashusivni-munopa: I know none of you are particularly spiritually attuned, but trust me when I say something is different about Sei. How do I put this... Imagine all of us as little specks of light in the darkness. Something about Sei is brighter. I've overheard Sei talking about his dreams and there's an oddly high probability of things he dreams about ending up true. Largely incidental details, but all I know is the day of the murder, he was both fully geared up when no one else was, and also happened to be where the murder took place.

:khashusivni-shivoshi: It's easy to predict a murder if you're the perpetrator. With that information I have enough evidence to draw a conclusion for this sorry affair. Pavono, detain Sei immediately.

:khashusivni-pavono: No. We need all Sentinels ready to deploy at a moment's notice. I've asked Sei what his motivation was for being on the Bridge, and he told me he thought something disastrous was going to happen, but he didn't know what. He said he didn't feel like he'd be safe alone, so he talked Rai into being there with him, but she didn't take his warnings to gear up seriously. Rai confirmed all of this and says she herself believes Sei is attuned to the otherworld, but his predictions have such crucial details wrong he can't be relied on. Rai told me that Sei believed he was going to be murdered on the bridge, and was taking efforts to prevent it happening despite feeling compelled that he had to be in the right place at the right time.

:khashusivni-shivoshi: Ugh. Just send them both back to Jade Claw and get replacements. Iti too. I'm so sick of all this interpersonal drama among our rank and file. This is not how a soldier should operate. They especially should not be framing someone else to avoid punishment. This is insubordination and it threatens collapse of--
:khashusivni-pavono: Again, we are not the Bisushpi-Kin, and so kindly stop trying to enforce their traditions on us. Creating a precedent of any sort of disruption leading to you being sent away just inches us towards a culture of fear, and this type of transgression of trying to implicate others to save yourself becoming more commonplace. We need understanding and reconciliation, not dismissal and rejection. Why are you here, Shivoshi, if not for the failures of the Bisushpi-Kin approach?
:khashusivni-shivoshi: I-- You-- Fine. But I'm still not happy about this. You can't be a non-confrontational diplomat and an effective soldier at the same time, it does not work. Something has to compromise, and I'd rather it happen sooner than later. And this is a dangerous place! We can't afford to be so soft when our lives are always imperilled! What are you going to do to the culprit when you find them, tell them they did something bad and to not do it again??
:khashusivni-pavono: Immediate incarceration in a cryogenic chamber pending further discussion. Compassion is not the same as naivety. Do not equate the two.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: And are you going to gloss over the fact these two tried to implicate an innocent to avoid suspicion? What is that, if not naivety?
:khashusivni-pavono: A separate matter. One that can be dealt with after we've found our murder suspect, at the least. We can't do everything at once.
No. 1043614 ID: e4c230
File 166301683495.png - (134.15KB , 800x600 , k40.png )

:khashusivni-vomukha: Alright, now that the exploration and investigation reports are over, I, uh, have a report as well.
:khashusivni-pavono: That's... unexpected. What is your report on?
:khashusivni-vomukha: So I know the inner circle's consensus was that we should leave the kiter pod alone, but, uh, this seemed like such a perfect opportunity...
:khashusivni-pavono: What? It explicitly isn't! We have an unsolved murder investigation and a perpetrator possibly still at large, as well as a demoralised colony, this could only have been the worst possible time if the base was actively under attack!
:khashusivni-vomukha: Which it isn't, and so it seemed like if I didn't take initiative now, that pod'd burst and we'd get to find out what it contained as it came bearing down on our colony!
:khashusivni-pavono: We could at least solve one crisis before we introduce potential further ones!
:khashusivni-vomukha: Well, to avoid a worst case scenario, I requested Munopa install explosives into the xenobiology lab so we could pre-emptively shut down any sort of outbreak.
:khashusivni-pavono: YOU DID WHAT?!
:khashusivni-munopa: It made sense at the time! Can't say I feel exactly the same about it if it's going to encourage this sort of recklessness.
:khashusivni-vomukha: Discovery is always inherently dangerous! Let me finish. I went and extracted the pod myself with a few drone helpers--
:khashusivni-munopa: The construction drones are not intended to function outside of the base! They have extremely limited sentience and they're all controlled from a central mainframe!!
:khashusivni-vomukha: It was fine! You know, we should consider sending some of these drones on explorations. Anyway, I got the kiter pod and safely contained it in the lab.

:khashusivni-pavono: So what's the status of the pod?
:khashusivni-vomukha: Oh. I'm about to open it. I thought I should give my report as I was doing it instead of after.
:khashusivni-pavono: OPEN IT?!
:khashusivni-shivoshi: DETONATE THE LAB!
:khashusivni-vomukha: Ack! Quiet down! I can't make sense of so many of you at once!! I... oh, uh, well, that makes that decision easier.
:khashusivni-pavono: What decision. What decision, Vomukha.
:khashusivni-vomukha: Well the pod is, uh, opening itself...
:khashusivni-shivoshi: DETONATE THE LAB!!
:khashusivni-munopa: VOMUKHA IS IN THERE!
:khashusivni-shivoshi: WE'LL SOLVE TWO PROBLEMS AT ONCE! BLOW IT!
No. 1043615 ID: e4c230
File 166301690762.png - (85.37KB , 800x600 , k41.png )

:khashusivni-vomukha: Contained organism confirmed to be, uh, uhhh, I don't, uhhh... I don't recognise it.
:khashusivni-pavono: I'm going to resign from personnel management. It feels like every decision I've made so far has lead to the most dysfunctional inner circle and defense force I've ever seen. Uli can do it--
:khashusivni-munopa: Quiet for a second! Vomukha, what was in the pod?
:khashusivni-vomukha: Well, parts of it look like what I think is the kiter neno fi species, but I've not seen a morphology like this one before. It's like it's half-criai. I'm trying to scan it for more details...

:khashusivni-foamblood: *whistle click click whistle whine squeak*
:khashusivni-foamblood: *squeak click screeeech beep click scrape whistle*

:khashusivni-vomukha: Is it trying to communicate??

:khashusivni-foamblood: "Nothing? Alright, let's try local language candidate 001. Fleshweaver Foamblood 443 of Shadow Fleet tendril 6023 expeditionary group Leu-CAGATA-9, asserting appropriate hierarchical dominance under Kiter Empire concordance protocol 206 section 7 subsection-- oh who am I kidding, this is some backwater installation in nowhere space. And from the lack of any standard ident signals, either top secret or primitive. And automated, from the looks of things. Well well well well."
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Let's see now... Oh. Oh, I appear to be... hahaha... I appear to be detained! Oh no! Hahaha!"
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Hahaha, how simple this all is. Is this glass actual glass? Oh, it isss. Mlep-- Sure tastes like it, too. Oh that's adorable. There's at least eight different ways I could get through this and two of those are just with my body alone. Yes, this is a threat, whoever ends up reviewing this log. You are keeping logs, I hope. I'm not talking to myself for my benefit."
:khashusivni-vomukha: "Uh, uh, hi?"
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Oh! Talking servitors! What strange, fanciful frivolties. Hello, servitor! Do you have a name?"
:khashusivni-vomukha: "...Specimen appears in good health and, uh, humour, apparently..."
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Ah, what a shame, it doesn't seem to have the capacity to understand my words. Hahaha! Gravity repulsion, and yet such simplistic artificial intelligences, what an intriguing combination of technologies."
:khashusivni-vomukha: "I can understand you fine, I am, um, just, trying to take some notes..."
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Oh. Oh, you think you're studying me. ...Ahahahahahaha! You can try! What a wonderfully innocent machine mind! This is such a rare treat. I haven't felt this amused in so long! I was worried, little machine, deeply worried about what fate could fall me, far beyond the murky veil of prediction, but this is delightful. Servitor, tell me, tell me everything your study reveals, I'm so curious to know."
:khashusivni-vomukha: "I, uh, don't think that's, um, a good idea..."
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Oh, that's so cute! Keep your little mysteries, little servitor! Here, let me stand in the middle of your silly tube contraption so you can get a better reading. With your crude instruments you'll barely scratch the surface of my body's intrinsic complexity, but, oh well! Okay, that should be the last pod tube removed from my body, might as well just eat it, I am starving."

:khashusivni-pavono: Vomukha, you have no idea how severely you've endangered the entire colony.
:khashusivni-uli: I disagree. Vomukha transferring the pod to a secured environment was perhaps the best possible outcome we could have expected for its sudden activation.
:khashusivni-pavono: Flock-Chief, with all respect, it's inside the colony now!!
:khashusivni-uli: In the best possible place an external threat could be housed. Shivoshi, you have my permission.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: Yes, Flock-Chief. Vomukha, get out of the laboratory. Munopa, blow the laboratory.
:khashusivni-munopa: Wait! I've heard stories about the resiliency of kiter, I just think that'd make her mad rather than do much else. I didn't have that much explosive on me, it's mostly for excavation so I used less so we wouldn't blow up the entire room, or the entire damn colony! I was just expecting hostile native fauna! Not this!
:khashusivni-uli: If I remember correctly, this strain of kiter is also able to anticipate and predict the actions of the enemy with startling precision. Permission withdrawn, Shivoshi. Vomukha, keep reporting.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: You're going to risk the entire colony??
:khashusivni-uli: The enemy is overconfident. New weaknesses may reveal themselves very soon.

:khashusivni-vomukha: "I'm being called away. Please, um, don't, uh, break anything??"
:khashusivni-foamblood: "More errands to run for the little servitor! Have fun! I'll be right here. Glass. Ahahahaha. Don't keep me waiting too long! Please, by all means, send me one of your masters. I'd love to find out what kind of genius sophonts had the foresight to keep me contained and yet the arrogance to think a glass tube would somehow be effective. I'm so fascinated by this technological mishmash, there has to be a story to it. Actually, do keep me waiting! I want to get a closer look at this place. Don't worry your adorable little circuits over me, though, I will stay here for now and play your little game. Hahaha!"
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Oh, actually, I do have a request, if you'll humour me. This place is intriguing. If you build special quarters for me, I might feel inclined to help out! I'm not doing much else at the moment, and I don't particularly feel all too keen on reuniting with Shadow Fleet. It's a long story, little robot. I've taken the liberty of giving you the blueprints for a room I think your primitive makers should be able to fulfil without taxing their simple brains too hard."
:khashusivni-foamblood: “Or you can leave me in here, and, well. It might get boring. I don’t particularly like being bored, you understand. I might take it upon myself to see who’s in charge around here and file a complaint in person. It could lead to quite the shakeup in leadership! Ahahahaha. ...Yes, that is a threat to conquer this drab, dilapidated hovel of a base of operations. I feel it key to clarify this, I don't know how sharp your masters are. They think they can keep a kiter neno fi in literal glass, my expectations are not high."
:khashusivni-foamblood: "Oh! Bring back cleansing solvent, you'll have some broken glass to deal with later. Bye!”
No. 1043616 ID: e4c230
File 166301702515.png - (1.05MB , 1800x1800 , k42.png )

:khashusivni-pavono: I'm so exhausted. Here's our resource recap, while I think of whether or not to immediately demote Vomukha back to maintenance drone duty or not. And whether to send back three of our Sentinels, or not. One food use deducted while we have something to feed in the xenobio lab. Updating map with our force strength as well, as I feel it may be imminently relevant.


:khashusivni-munopa: I forgot to account for the pretty heavy power draw of the Xenobio Lab last time, with everything else going on.
:khashusivni-munopa: Also, building list: >>1007048
:khashusivni-pavono: A new Sentinel is 8 credits each, and we have 3 unoccupied housing slots. But hold on.
:khashusivni-pavono: There's something I didn't think to bring up because it didn't seem relevant until now.

:khashusivni-pavono: Early into the mission we arranged a trading deal with Frost Leaf, a smaller nearby colony that isn't that much larger than Argent Feather. They have very, very few criai, more machines than most, and a lot of sophisticated technology that was salvaged from Dunra. They're extremely unlikely to part with it, but what it has lead to is a surplus of construction-grade alloys and related materials. We can trade our Credits to them for Resources at a rate of 1 Credit to 2 Resources. Don't worry too much about the details of how the individual items tied to our Credits will get to the right place, I have methods. We can likewise sell our excess Resources to Jade Claw at a rate of 2 Resources to 1 Credit if we have a surplus of Resources.

:khashusivni-pavono: Let's hope there's still a colony tomorrow to receive anything.

:khashusivni-munopa: If we decide we want to go the route of appeasement of our new guest, a Specialised Quarters costs 20 Resources and 10 Credits. We can afford to purchase 18 Resources for 9 Credits, which will give us 21 Resources and 10 Credits. Just a little bit over what we need. At the cost of draining our resources and credits nearly completely. Still not sure how the blueprints turned up, we may have a cybersecurity issue.

:khashusivni-shivoshi: Initial reports from Vomukha and various threat detection and analysis algorithms pin the kiter organism at 25 STR if we just want to attack them right now. Or we can blow up the xenobio lab, damaging it but reducing that STR by some unknown amount. Hopefully all of it.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: A rating 25 STR threat can likely be dealt with but, presuming the enemy has ranged capability, we will be taking multiple casualties. The four members of the First Sentinels stand at a combined STR of 20 and the three members of the Second Sentinels at 15. By my simulations, we'll lose five Sentinels. More if we don't manage the attack correctly. The First Sentinels will deploy from the Bridge, and the Second Sentinels will deploy from the Barracks at D3 where they are housed. It might be possible to prepare and have both forces deploy from the Bridge and then launch the attack but we have no way of knowing if the enemy will not somehow immediately strike first. Against the Kiter we can't assume anything.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: Each Sentinel is 8 Credits. With 19 Credits we can get two more by tomorrow. If we're making the effort to strike first, I suggest hiring them now to replace the ones we'll inevitably lose.

:khashusivni-pavono: I can hear Sei screaming. Let me just check what that's about.
:khashusivni-sei: "...over, it's all over, all I can feel is something horrible and it's near, we need to prepare now..."

:khashusivni-pavono: I am deeply distressed that I can think of multiple reasons for whatever is causing that. And I don't know which one it is.

:khashusivni-uli: I've reviewed our options. Appease the enemy and deplete our resources entirely, or attack the enemy and guarantee the deaths of many of our Sentinels. The guiding principles of the Lazmihi are to defend ourselves but not to throw lives away needlessly when better alternatives exist.
:khashusivni-uli: Appeasing the Kiter does not work. It has never worked. Entire wayward colonies have been lost predicated on the assumption that the Kiter respond to diplomacy. They do not. The Lazmihi have not survived through wishful thinking and hope alone. We need to destroy this creature, and if stalling and great expense will prevent lives being lost now, for a clearer opportunity later, so be it.
:khashusivni-pavono: I think it mentioned wanting to help us?
:khashusivni-uli: We cannot trust the whims of a kiter creature if it is going to immediately change its mind and slaughter us all. These monsters scoured Dunra of every criai life. They cannot be trusted, and if we can't contain them, we must kill them. Now, or later.
:khashusivni-shivoshi: If we detonate the xenobio lab explosives, the probability of sentinel survival increases significantly. But regardless, sentinels will die.
:khashusivni-munopa: It would cost 5 Resources to repair the damage, but repairs can be made at the same time as new construction. The construction drones are very adept at multi-tasking and repairs take less time than the construction of entire new rooms. 5 Resources seems a small price to pay for survival, all told.

:khashusivni-uli: We could also, of course, ignore this creature's demands and let it stay in that room a day longer, and entertain the hope that it does not decide to kill us all while we sleep. I am not personally a fan of this option.
No. 1043619 ID: 0ac0fb

We have no idea how effective the explosives will be. Two or more sentinel losses are as or more expensive than just building the quarters.

It says it has no interest in returning to the Kiter. Its behavior expresses confidence in its superiority. I doubt its offer of assistance is meant to be a trick; if it wanted to kill us then it seems it would have just done so.

So build the quarters. C5. Or maybe E5, if you think letting it live with the monolith is a good idea.

Explore G4.
No. 1043622 ID: 515982

Hm. No, don't spend credits to give a kiter a clearer shot at your underbelly than she already has. What would additional build options do for us anyway with nothing to spend? Buy as many sentinels as you can, blow the charges and see who survives. You might almost break even on your current force strength! You need to arm up anyway if Sei's screaming is even partially correct.
Explore B5.
No. 1043623 ID: 15c72a

This is a rogue Kiter. A Kiter that's been disenfranchised from their fleet. Have you ever tried to negotiate with one? It's a very different situation from negotiating with active Kiter. They no longer have the same goals, after all, and a lot of Kiter are conscripts without true loyalty to the fleet or the Kiter's overall goals. I'm actually of neutral opinion on what to do with them, but if Sei is right then we're about to be attacked, which means this is the worst possible time to incur losses. That means, either leave them in there for a day, or build that room for them.

Quarantine Munopa for a few days. Everyone else that's been affected even slightly by the monolith has met a horrible end and/or sabotaged the base. Deliver batteries for recharging, as we need an air-separation layer for electronic security. Investigate the potential of using protective sigils to ward the base from the monolith's influence.
We may want to try to find those natives as a priority, since they seem to have experience dealing with the monolith's corruption.

Also, since we solved the murder, Iti should be willing to go home. I'm not sure why there wasn't a headcount immediately after the murder that would have revealed the murderer having vanished, but oh well, I guess nobody here is experienced in solving crimes.
Send engineers with a security squad to investigate the generator. Are there cameras at the exits that would tell us if Aze simply left the room and left the complex, or went into hydroponics? I find it disturbingly likely that Aze somehow merged with the generator and is going to use it to summon an enemy into our base.

Ask Sei for details. What preparations do we need to take, exactly? Which direction will the enemy come from? Follow our prophet's advice, even if that means building a barracks to house more troops.
No. 1043632 ID: 7588ee

I don't think it's viable kill the rouge drone when there's enemy our door step.
No. 1043746 ID: a8e9c3

This could be the second time we've seen a rogue kiter. perhaps even from the same detachment of the kiter, see salikai.

that being said, although the kiter are distrustful, combat in this instance is almost certainly a loss, if we can atleast dissuade them from going on the killing spree for now, then we can reinforce our numbers, build up security and then take them down. it's a risk and a gamble but it's better then taking a cripple to our already limited resources, short crew and compromised crew.
i recommend allow them special quarters, building out a bridge from on of our facilities or from the airlock, then build the specialist quarters from there, they'll likely understand our fear of their power and will likely appreciate the effort.

side note, perhaps reinforce the xenolab to handle higher class organisms if we ever get spare resources, xenonite glass might be perferrable.
No. 1043756 ID: 4286b4

lol, that kiter's personality is... interesting...

Whatever goals this kiter might have, or have had, destroying criai wasn't one of them, otherwise they wouldn't have ended up here. Indeed, the fact that they were exiled implies that they followed their whims more than their orders. So risk of hostility is lower than generally estimated for them.

To complete your mission, you'll need a certain type of information. Information that only a kiter, especially one of a higher rank such as this one, would possess. So from this standpoint alone, the reward outweighs the risk. They'll certainly try using you for whatever they want, but if in return you also get to use them, then that's fine.

>Against the Kiter we can't assume anything
The second reason why Appease should be the better option here would be, because the 25 STR is simply an initial report. It could very well be that they're hiding their strength and the number is much, much higher.

And lastly, well, a mysterious (and sexy) character would spice things up hehe

Anyway, trade credits for resources and construct Specialised Quarters somewhere. I guess D2.
Explore G4.
No. 1043857 ID: b5af9a

>E(5)vil monolith
Would purifying E5 help?

Sheesh, this does not feel like it's over, not at all. Feels awfully convenient that suddenly we have obvious evidence. Especially evidence from two suspects. Plus, it's eyewitness testimony with no corroborating hard proof. Does it fit? Loosely, but we're still short of a few key details like motive. Questioning coworkers of the suspect may show if odd behavior was exhibited or if there was a motive.

Well, explosives were a good call. Should have used additional explosives or explosives with extra power, though. Oh, also rigged 'em to go off if the glass broke. [expletive].

So. How to deal with this Kiter female. Quite bluntly, appeasement seems stupid. From a strategic perspective, we're looking for a thing feared by the Kiter, to be used to oppose the Kiter, so expecting one to help seems quite naive.
Plus, the first thing it did was to attempt to get comms to its superiors, so it still sees itself as part of the Kiter hierarchy rather than as a rogue. Of course, that's if these Criai are aware that Kiter do go rogue, otherwise it's pure metagaming.
However, because we're playing as ugh pacifists, attempting to find a peaceful solution via diplomacy is a thing. So, set up video chat - no need to be too stupid - with Pavono to see if a deal might save lives. Diplomacy may stave off its boredom, too. Secondary goal is to gather intel.
1) See if she knows where she is. Should she dislike the idea of a world feared by the Kiter, free passage offworld might work for both sides. Has the risk of the Kiter deciding we're a threat to be eliminated.
2) Figure out what her job here is. Perhaps if it has no risk to us, she could leave.
3) Figure out what we'd expect from her and what she'd expect from us if we built her a place. Services, resources, conduct, the basics. Frankly, though, if we hit this, a deal's unlikely, so...
Should diplomacy fail, that'll hopefully provide a Lazmihi justification for the use of deadly force. Detonate the explosives.

Eh, wait 'til we have a full 50 str force before we ship people off. We're too fragile.
However, have to see how diplo goes before fully committing. Should it fail, buy 18 resources for 9 creds for a medbay (pays for itself if it saves 3 lives, will also help with monolith issues) E2, plus 1 sentinel.
No. 1043878 ID: 94bc7c

Leaning in favor of immediate (explosive-supported) attack. Waiting gives the Kiter a chance to prepare countermeasures.

If we're going to build this Kiter their special room, I would build explosives into every surface where they can be hidden. Problem is, "this strain of kiter is also able to anticipate and predict the actions of the enemy with startling precision." I'd also be tempted to feed the Kiter to the monolith, but there's a chance it would just make the Kiter stronger.

Not many good options here. Is there some way we could just ask the Kiter to leave, and let the death planet take care of the problem?
No. 1043933 ID: dd15aa

I agree with most of this.

I'm in favor of allowing the rogue Kiter a chance to help. If nothing else, it likes to prattle on. Which means it could let slip some important information about the Kiter that would be valuable back home - we can just claim we found it in an information cache or something.

However, this also adds another layer to not sending anyone back. They could leak this information.
No. 1043939 ID: fe6a51

recruit the bitch-in-chief, we need a new breeder anyway
talk to her and tell her that you'll make that bedroom she wanted
also that there's imminent danger, so if she can use her prediction powers or whatever other fucking skills she's got, now would be a good time
can't really tell if Sei is screaming because of Aze, or the monolith, or due to kiter, but we can't afford a bad fight here because if Iti dies, we can forget about doing business with Jade Claw again
No. 1043941 ID: 63f5c9

so... what's the kiter room do? Is it at all useful if we manage to throw the new lady at something on this planet that's almost certainly worse than her?

She's only 5 power stronger than the tutorial beast, but unfortunately we kinda suck at the moment

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