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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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557416 No. 557416 ID: a29693

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No. 557418 ID: a29693
File 138973854626.png - (192.99KB , 800x600 , 1.png )

Gotta focus. Gotta focus or I'll lose track. Can't lose track. Can't lose track.

Path unclear. Can't-- no trail. More time. Just. More time. Nothing following. Biochemical barriers at breaking point. Get me to anything.

"Welcome to UrbIndex, a TerraTrans service. Where do you wish to visit today, guest user?"

No. I can't-- input devices. Keyboards. Anything. Don't make me speak. I can't. There. Recognise. Recognise, please. Please.

"We're sorry, but your request - Daedalus Laboratories - does not match any known organizations. Would you like to contact our helpdesk?"

I can't-- no time for this.
No. 557419 ID: a29693
File 138973856921.png - (185.36KB , 800x600 , 2.png )

I have no choice. Just under 23 hours. Nothing left to lose.

Please work.


Please work.


I can't.

I am subject number D-SYN-106743. I am rapidly running out of time. There is a biochemical flaw in my composition. In 23 hours, this flaw will destroy me. I have to find my creators. Or access their knowledge. I am vaguely aware that contact with another living member of my series might grant me time, but this is only trivia. There are no other living members of my series. They already ran out of time.

I am the last one. In absence of higher instructions I am following two of my most basic drives. Survival, and preservation of data, flowing through my mind and my veins.

Please work.
No. 557423 ID: 9ddf68

calm down Dustin we hear you.

Ok since you seem to have a better understanding then us right now about what's going on, do you have any idea on how you can get to your creators or there place of work to see if you can't find some way to extend your time. Also is anyone after you? 23 hours isn't a lot of time but you should be freaking out this badly unless there's something we're not seeing.
No. 557424 ID: 0b54f4

Ok, we'd better get started, then. Take some deep breaths, and try to focus on the present. Do you have any information that might help us? Do you know who your creators were? Daedalus Laboratories?

Hey computer, do we have any functions available to us? Like, [search "Daedalus Laboratories"].
No. 557425 ID: a87e3a

We live to serve. Why can you not speak? What is the nature of your flaw?

Are there any aliases Daedalus Laboratories goes by? Perhaps you can look up the history of your species for additional clues.
No. 557426 ID: 0b54f4

Oh, also, pardon, but does the flaw take effects abruptly, or (at the other extreme), are you already beginning to experience its effects?
No. 557427 ID: 445ff6


Wait whoops I mean.

It's probably reasonable to infer that Daedalus Laboratories is the name of your creator organization, so I guess we're going to have to figure out what their deal is.

Where are you, anyway? If you're not actually in the Daedalus Laboratories building, how did you end up wherever you are instead?
No. 557428 ID: 53ba34

let's return to the location you first remember. backtrack.
No. 557429 ID: d9d1e5

i think we are mute and without a means of computer interface, the latter being a rather unusual surprise. i don't think we are being followed, just dying internally while everything is inaccessible because digital divide.

stop wasting your time here. go find some accessible private device nearby before we swim upstream looking for a single scrap of accessible public device.
No. 557433 ID: 672873

How did you get here from where you were created? What were you doing before you found out about this? Would that barcode looking thing on your head give us any information about you?
No. 557476 ID: a29693
File 138975371206.png - (81.88KB , 800x600 , 3.png )

It works. It actually works.

>how did you get here
Daedalus Laboratories. Original purpose for creation unknown. No core directives given beyond survival and preservation of information. No known aliases. Liquidated with assets reappropriated three months two weeks ago. As company property I was relocated to TerraTrans Biochemical Research Initiatives. Factotum for minor affairs until upkeep costs deemed too high. Stricken from records. Politely told to leave. Wandered without purpose scavenging for materials and shelter. Unknown informant found way to deliver information on biochemical flaw five days prior to this moment.

Decanted mute.

Too late. TerraTrans Biochemical Research Initiatives primary branch is 74 hours by foot. No other forms of transport are available. Civilians do not react well.

>freak out
23 hours is not enough time.

Effects occuring on logarithmic scale. Currently, muscle aches from minor chemical imbalances. With 10 hours left, muscles may not respond as expected. With 5 hours left, organs will decrease in efficiency. With 2 hours left, almost total paralysis and rapidly declining organ function. With less than one hour, slow, meandering death.

The flaw is a cascade resulting from one specific organ failing to function properly. Reproductive system erroneously activated by chemical spill during internship at TerraTrans Biochemical Research Initiatives. No prior data on effects of long term reproductive system standby. Least studied component of design. Activation this long has caused initial fault to emerge and propagate. Compare and contrast Cascade too severe to remedy by drastic measures such as removal of faulty organ; entire biochemical integrity compromised.

Activation of said system has not resulted in emergence of associated urges. Unsure if ovaries even functional beyond causing biochemical cascade. If I press at my reproductive organs the only stimulus is an aching pain. The likely origin of the cascade.

>find some private device
This device seems to be functioning.
No. 557477 ID: a29693
File 138975375023.png - (64.55KB , 800x600 , 4.png )

>are you being followed
Unsure why that would--


Correction: being followed.

"What the fuck is that thing?!"
"Whatever it is, it's not supposed to be here. Let's hope it understands English."
"You didn't tell me we'd be up against some space alien!"
"It is not a space alien, Robinson! Do you ever watch the goddamned news once in a while?!"
"What the fuck is it?"
"Trigger discipline! Jesus! Do you have any idea how badly shit'll hit the fan if you shoot that thing unprovoked?! The goddamned activists would riot in the streets!"

I stand still with my arms raised as instructed.

"Hey. You there. You have a name?"

I lower my head to show my ident code.

"You speak English?"
"Why the fuck would it speak English?"

I shake my head.

"You understand a word I'm saying?"

I nod.

"Good. That makes things simpler for the both of us. You can read, right?"

I nod again.

"Did you miss the signs that said 'no non-humans allowed' all over the entrances to this district? Come with us now or we'll have to resort to force, and believe me, neither of us wants that."
"If you're lucky, we'll just take you back to the district border. If you piss me off, well, there won't be a body for anyone to find. Understand that, you fucking freak?"
"Fucking hell, Robinson."

I nod again.

"You better fucking understand that--"
"ROBINSON. Alright. Let's move out."

It took me almost a day to get into this district. It's the only lead I have. I can't leave.
No. 557479 ID: 445ff6

Man, I wish there was a better way to communicate with these guys, since at least one of them seems like they'd be somewhat sympathetic. Right now things are pretty one-way.

It certainly doesn't help that agitation would probably be taken by Trigger-Happy there as a valid excuse to shoot at you.
No. 557489 ID: 672873

You don't happen to know sign language or something, do you? If not, how have you been communicating throughout your life? You said you did some kind of internship, which would mean you needed to communicate with someone somehow. If you do manage to secure some ability to talk to anyone, our best bet is to try to get the sympathy of the police guy who isn't a racist jerk. If there's any hope of survival it lies in somehow telling him that you need to stay here to survive, and getting him to let you go. So for now, let's do what he says and stay close to him.
No. 557493 ID: 53ba34

you say it's because the system is on standby. what if it's taken out of standby? ether shutdown or full activation would make it no longer standby.
No. 557499 ID: 2acc9c

ok, a couple of question of your... design, so we know what you are capable of.

Are those red things in your forehead extra eyes? How long is your tail? How are you communicating with us? (i'm assuming we are still in that red can in the floor...) compared to a human, how fast are you? are those red marking in your skin normal for your design?

Try to remain calm, stall a bit by being extra slow an looking insecure, but no fast moves!
No. 557503 ID: a87e3a

Your options right now are to escape by force or fleet of foot, or to convince the not-Robinson soldier to help you find your target. How good are your combat capabilities? How fast can you move and how durable are you? Is there anything you can write on to communicate that way? Perhaps the computer can serve as a text-to-speech device to plead your case? All you need to do is tell them you have less than a day to live and you must find your creator to fix what's wrong with you. They can escort you around if they must, but this place is your only lead.

Why were you hesitant to activate us before?
No. 557520 ID: a29693
File 138976160457.png - (186.49KB , 800x600 , 5.png )

I had a collection of flash cards. They are not currently with me. I do not know how to make the Icarus system speak for me.

I point to it. I want to take it with me.

I flinch violently as the officer named Robinson shoots at it, barely missing.

"Fucking stop it, Robinson! What is your fucking problem?!"
"Hey, fuck off, Wagner, that could have been a bomb--"
"It's a fucking expert system! Do you live under a fucking rock? Jesus Christ, I just want to go through one routine call without you fucking something up again! You there, you want to take that?"

I nod.

"Good, because I sure as hell am not filling out the paperwork involved in dealing with an expert system. You take that with you, you co-operate, we never saw it, we don't take it away from you. Deal?"

I nod enthusiastically and slowly scoop the Icarus system into my arms, making sure to keep where I can be seen.

"Okay. Let's go."
"What the fuck kinda reason do you have to be soft on this thing? It's not even human!"
"Neither is my dog, and I don't spend my days off yelling at it and pointing a gun at it. And I'm pretty sure this thing is a little smarter than Ruffles."
"That's the problem! It's too smart! We turn our backs, it's gone, and probably spawning some godawful worm babies or something that'll eat all the city's food supplies! Or the citizens!!"

>system standby
It is active. I do not know what would happen if I went through the designed reproductive cycle, but it is a moot concern given the lack of any compatible specimens. I suspect the extra strain upon my biology would only further destabilise my biochemical balance rather than restore it.

I am also instinctually aware that while my body would make the required changes for rearing, I am entirely lacking in rearing advice and information and shelter and the outcome would be a predictable and quick demise of any charges involved. It would not be good for my long-term mental stability.

I have two visual spectrum eyes, two infrared spectrum psuedoeyes, two antennae for detection of vibrations, two antennae for detection of high frequency radio signals, currently malfunctioning due to biochemical imbalance, and taste and pressure sensors. I have scent detection within my upper lung tissue. My tail is long enough and flexible enough to serve as an alternate limb. My hands have four digits in a radial configuration that can move into a three digit one opposing digit configuration if needs be. I can survive on vegetable and animal matter but not detritus, rocks or excessively toxic or biohazardous material. I am faster than a human typically but my muscles are weaker than they should be. I can outpace a human but will lose in a sprinting situation at the moment. The red markings are normal for my design.

I have no idea how I am communicating with you.

>hesistant to activate
I am not entirely sure whether "you" and "Icarus system" are the same entity right now. The reason for my hesitation in activating the Icarus system was that until now it would not activate.

We leave the building.

It is night outside and raining. The rain is bitter cold. No one else is present outside of their enclosed spaces, homes, vehicles, offices. The street is empty.

The two enter an argument over directions and routes I do not feel worth paying attention to. I know the exact route I took here and I know that it is useless. This city changes; redirections, detours, maintenance, accidents, crowd fluctuation, all of it makes an optimal route impossible to calculate.

My sole remaining lead; this city has a TerraTrans branch. Not even Biochemical Research Initiatives, but I am desperate.

I could wait for a moment and run. But I can't outrun a bullet.

This is it. I'm going to die. The only choice I have is whether it's now from a bullet, or outside the district from design flaws from a reproductive system I never asked for. Maybe hypothermia will get me first.
No. 557522 ID: 672873

You can't communicate that you're dying verbally, and it probably isn't that easy to express through other means... Unless... What would they do if you just flopped onto the ground and acted like your systems were giving out on you early? They're not supposed to hurt you if you're doing nothing, but I wonder if they'll be fine just leaving you outside of the town if you're clearly sick?
No. 557527 ID: 53ba34

that is an idea. play up your pain.
No. 557528 ID: a87e3a

The Icarus system does not work, and you do not know how we are communicating? I believe we are part of you. A contingency system designed to activate in times of high stress and/or malfunction. Do not get attached to us. If your systems are repaired we will no longer be needed and turn off.

You are not going to die just yet. I see a solution: trigger a fight between the two squabbling soldiers and escape in the confusion. Provoke Robinson by getting too close to him. This will likely result in him striking you, which will anger Wagner further. A minor physical injury in exchange for your freedom.
No. 557532 ID: 9ddf68

so are options are either to run and hope to get away from Shooty McGee over there to try and get back into that building to find something to help cure you, just do what you're told and maybe see if we can't browse the web or something and hope we get lucky, or fall down pretend to be in pain/dead and hope trigger happy just doesn't put a bullet in us. God damn our choices suck

If we where to leave is there any way we could get information on where we could find a cure outside of this district or no. Also you said earlier that your kind could prolong there life by meeting another of your race, how, we might be able to figure out a way to buy you more time but we'd need more information. If you positively have to be in this city to find anything even resembling a cure... might as well run, because if you're going to die anyways might as well die fighting, plus a bullet is quick, what you told us you were dying from does sound nearly so quick
No. 557539 ID: 4a75fa

No non-voice interface at all? That's terrible design. There's all kinds of circumstances in which a human user might be unable to speak (eating / drinking, injury, illness, mute), or be heard (too much ambient noise, microphone damaged or disconnected). They should have included a secondary input device.

I'm reluctant to risk that. One of them is looking for the slightest excuse to kill you as is. He'll take it if you give it to him. Your only salvation would be luck or poor aim.

So you're not capable of verbal communication. Are you familiar with any form of sign language? Problem is that would depend on people understanding it, and the percentage of the human population that does is decidedly in the minority.
No. 557552 ID: 0b54f4

Hmm. Seems to me like both of these ideas have merit. Upon consideration, it seems to me like the best feasible outcome of the "spark an argument" idea would be basically that we could just leave. Any other outcome seems rather unpredictable.

For the "show signs of illness" idea, though, it seems like the best feasible outcome would be actually recieving some minor assistance - direction to a relevant facility, for instance. If reasonable opportunity presents itself, by the way, request pencil and paper, by making a writing motion on your hand. (If they give you pencil and paper, explain your situation, preferably to Wagner. Anybody but Robinson, anyway.)

I favor the "display signs of illness" route.

Also, I request to know if there is any hint of a way for us (disembodied entities) to act or communicate in a manner other than through D-SYN-106743. For example, displaying text above the expert system, or via speaker in said device.
No. 557553 ID: 0b54f4

Oh, and sorry for the double post, but if you can get in contact with one of the aforementioned activists, it seems likely they could help you - if only by virtue of having ordinary resources and being unrestricted in their movements.
No. 557626 ID: 2acc9c

I vote this >>557528, but be prepared, if he hits you and Wagner fails or is too slow to act, fall to the floor and play sick, it will make running away harder but more likely to start a fight or >>557522

Also, D-SYN-106743 is an awful name, we need a cute nickname...
No. 557656 ID: 2baea8

If we need a name, how about Dyson?
No. 557658 ID: 0da00a

some guy called her Dustin >>557423 here

but what do you want to be called D-SYN-106743... yeah you really need a new name
No. 557670 ID: a29693
File 138982795301.png - (79.75KB , 800x600 , 6.png )

Unimportant. D-SYN or 106743 is an effective enough contraction.

>feign illness
I am rapidly running out of options. I can see no better action to take than to feign complete helplessness. Maybe they will take me to a more suitable location.

My breath becomes ragged, I clutch at the Icarus system and fall to the ground in a heap, taking care to not fall onto the Icarus system.

"What the fuck is it doing now?"
"I don't know. Hey. Are you okay?"

I weakly shake my head and clutch at my chest, using the actual pain in my limbs to guide them in erratic motions.

"What's going on? Is it sick? I better not get fucking cancer from this thing or whatever, Wagner!"
"I-- oh fucking hell where do I even begin with that. No, Robinson, you aren't going to get cancer from this thing. Ugh. Well, technically we're supposed to take this thing into any of the neighbouring districts, but in the event of an emergency it's a basic right to take it somewhere to get immediate medical attention--"
"Those fucking activists!!"
"--and I bet that's probably where it was trying to go in the first place. The paperwork for this call is going to be a nightmare. Ugh."
"Oh, fuck this. I'm not spending my entire goddamn night on this."

There is a loud bang and sudden sharp pain. I can't immediately locate it - the sensation is too much. Burning, overwhelming. Even in absolute agony all I can do is breathe faster. I feel indescribable pain and coldness from where rain mixes with my blood.

"Hey, I'm not playing doctor for vermin, okay? Fuck this, I'm heading back to the station."
"If you fucking love it so much why don't you carry it off to a vet or whatever the fuck treats these things? Fuck it, I'm out."

Through a haze of dying perceptions I hear an engine start.

"HQ, this is Wagner. Robinson has disobeyed a direct order, shot a non-resisting offender, against my will, I might add, and is now likely en route back to the station. Requesting transportation and a very, very strong drink. Over."

Everything becomes black.
No. 557671 ID: a29693
File 138982796503.png - (89.57KB , 800x600 , 7.png )

I awake to an uncomfortable bed, monitors and beeping machines. I notice a human wearing sterile clothing. It is not a public doctor. It is a company doctor. I connect the logo I see with what I know. I am in a Onitec Synthetic Biology facility. Near the doctor is an Onitec SB-20000 series synthetic organism. Or it appears to be. It does not match what I remember very well.

"Ah. You are awake. About ten minutes earlier than predicted, too."

I sluggishly turn to face the human.

"I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is the bullet we found in you avoided any major arteries and organs, and was easily removed. The bad news is that we predict you have roughly 18 hours to live, thanks to an unrelated condition."

I close my eyes and shudder. There was always the hope that the information I had received was a lie, the symptoms some other condition. Confirmation does not assuage my fear.

"It's a shame Daedalus went out of business. It's making tracking down your manual a little difficult. Heh heh heh. Manual. Wouldn't it be so simple if we were provided with human manuals when we broke down, eh?"

The SB-20000 series speaks, its voice close to human, intonation wavering. "I do not think she can speak, doctor."
"No, but it can hear. There's some form of biochemical cascade slowly shutting down your systems. We have absolutely no idea what's causing it, but, well. Daedalus' technicians worked miracles back in their day. It's a shame they were unmarketable miracles. It's in our best interests to see you healthy and fully operational again. I believe saving your life would be a reasonable initial offer in exchange for you working for us for a twelve month contract, correct?"

I nod my head. I am not unused to indentured servitude at this point, and I don't have anywhere else to be. I could have it worse. There were far less rights afforded to artificial organisms before my decantation. At least I have the freedom to select my contracts.

Except, I suppose, in this case. What choice do I have otherwise?

"Ah, right. Introductions. We already know from your ident that you're D-SYN, uhh, what was the number again?"
"Yes, that. My name is Doctor Seth Turner, but you can call me 'Doctor', I suppose. Or, well, realistically, you can't really call me anything at all. Let's fix that. You were brought to us with this device. Same manufacturer as yourself. We can't figure out how the device operates, but it doesn't seem to operate unless within your proximity."

There is a loud beep.

"Ah. Oh dear. I'm needed elsewhere, urgently. 40423, keep an eye on this one."
"Acknowledged, doctor."

40423? That number should start with a 2. Is there an SB-40000 series?
No. 557672 ID: a29693
File 138982797771.png - (29.58KB , 800x600 , 8.png )

SB-40423 stands next to me and waits patiently for the doctor to leave, before lowering himself down and speaking quietly.

"I always had a great admiration for the D-SYN series. I can't imagine what your life must have become when Daedalus went bankrupt. Do you happen to know any form of communication? I do not understand why a general purpose series would be made so limited."

I shake my head wearily.

"Onitec is working on a device that could help." It picks up something that looks like a combination between a collar and decoration. "It was originally intended to be an automatic translator between languages, parsing thoughts into the local language, but it was too unreliable for that. It saw a few high profile uses for humans with locked-in syndrome but other than that was deemed too unreliable for mass commercial use."

SB-40423 delicately lifts my head up and clips it to my neck.

Nothing happens.

"Then again, it was designed with human neurology in mind. I'll, uh, I'll just remove that."

I feel SB-40423 remove the device attached to my neck. I rapidly begin to understand why this device might not have entered mass production. I feel SB-40423's skin against mine and am briefly confused as to the similarity in texture. I notice SB-40423's hands and realise they are very similar in design to my own.

Vultures. Everyone took what they could from Daedalus Laboratories. SB-40423's design contains in part elements of my own. How many other D-SYN deriatives are out there? No one cared when the D-SYN line all but died out, but they leapt on the opportunity to harvest the parts they liked.

Maybe that is my ultimate fate. Samples in a lab drawer. Data stored and filed unchanging.

SB-40423 stands by the bed and looks over me. "Did you know the source of your condition stems from a reproductive organ system failure? It isn't clear how it happened, because the fertility of artificial organisms is supposed to be kept under severe restriction and observation. The theory is you were exposed to the chemical precursors that start a cascade that results in fertility, but because the systems are never intentionally activated unless required, there was no indication that remaining in state one for prolonged time would cause enough hormone secretion to destabilise your endocrine system and cause other minor flaws to compound into one severe metabolic problem."

Yes. I knew all that. I have known all of that for quite some time now. Please stop telling me things I already know.

SB-40423 shifts around awkwardly. "Apparently you're still fertile, even after all of that. There were initial suggestions of attempting to resolve the problem by progressing you to state two and onwards of the process by activating a compatible male, which would be me, but it was clear that that would only make the problem worse."

Please stop talking. Stop talking.

"And it would be awkward. And I don't think I want to put myself at risk of my own reproductive system apparently conspiring to destroy me. So I'm glad we didn't go down that path. It would have been awkward."

Stop talking stop talking you're making it even more awkward by continuing to point out how awkward this is.

"...what is it like having an activated reproductive system?"


"Oh right you can't talk."

Dying in the rain would have left me with more dignity than this.

"Are you okay? You look restless."

At least I only have to endure another 17 hours of this. I gesture to the paper and pencil. SB-40423 gives me them. I write something as best as I can with one hand to hold utensil and surface, and place the pencil down.

"'STOP TALKING ABOUT IT' in all capitals and underlined four times with jagged lines around it. Oh. Uh. Sorry."

SB-40423 puts the paper down and holds his arm awkwardly, before giving me the pencil and paper again.

I don't know what to write beyond that.
No. 557677 ID: 672873

Ask if that thought translator is the same type of thing that's letting you talk to the expert system. Also ask what they plan to do to help you. Mention the lead you brought up earlier involving TerraTrans, too.
No. 557679 ID: 53ba34

you said "I am vaguely aware that contact with another living member of my series might grant me time" you said it was impossible because they were all already dead, but what if one of these copies has whatever it is that can stave it off?
No. 557687 ID: a87e3a

Ask him where the Icarus system is, and if you had successfully activated it after all. If so, ask if he has any idea how you are communicating with it. If not, drop the subject. Better not tell people you're hearing voices, at least until you are cured and the voices stop. Then I suppose it could be explained as either a symptom of the cascade or an emergency feature.

You could also explain what you were doing in the restricted area.
No. 557689 ID: ce3056

we should ask how we came to be here, and who dropped us off.
No. 557692 ID: 445ff6

I'm pretty sure the doctor said the system came with us.

Anyway, um, I guess we could ask this fellow what the plan is. If other labs stole the Daedalus design, then it stands to reason that someone outside Daedalus probably knows how to fix your problem.
No. 557704 ID: 9ddf68

ask if they have a plan on how to treat you or what?

Also I think he likes you Dustin
No. 557713 ID: d2995c

More to the point, might this guy's skin be similar enough to act as a substitute?
No. 557722 ID: a29693
File 138984361908.png - (24.75KB , 800x600 , 9.png )

I scribble a few questions for SB-40423 to answer and offer him the paper. Trying to hold the paper and use a pencil on it with the same hand does not showcase my handwriting very well. Somehow, SB-40423 is able to make sense of my scrawl.

>Thought translator - expert system? Poss. link?
"I'm not aware of anything like that in expert system interfaces. I mean, this Icarus device is unlike anything Onitec designed or presently manufactures. The research allowing for such devices was academic. It isn't a trade secret."

>Re: expert system. Icarus - where?
"Right in this room. It's kind of got this slow throbbing glow to it when it's near you. I think that indicates it's online."

>Where am I?
"Onitec Synthetic Biology, main branch. It was the closest available facility with the appropriate equipment for intensive care of artificial organisms."

I am still in Central District, then.

>How did I get here?
"The police dropped you off here after some unspecified event resulting in a gunshot wound. They said further details were classified and that everything was under control. You were in shock from blood loss, but there was plenty of synthetic blood in storage for this facility."

"I don't know. The situation is dire. The reason the reproductive talks came up weren't just for a cure. There was discussion on ways to keep a surviving D-SYN in reserve for whatever a D-SYN is required for, and with the only remaining catalogued D-SYN in critical condition, there were earnest discussions on risking your life if it meant more living D-SYN organisms to keep on standby. If you didn't recover from the shock and remained unconscious for the rest of your short life, well..."

He shuffles around.

"When it comes down to it, we're living assets, and corporate interests come before our own interests do."

Thankfully, he does not follow this statement with any opinion.

Freedom is something many human activists speak about. For me, freedom has stripped me of access to food, to shelter, and is ultimately killing me. I do not think I can handle any more radical sentiment or propaganda. I was happier with no freedom.

I do not ask about contact. SB-40423 has already fumbled for my hand and the paper enough for me to eliminate skin contact as some mystery panacea.

I beckon for the paper and write one more question.

>Can I stand?
"Do you feel like you can stand?"

I nod.
No. 557724 ID: a29693
File 138984363855.png - (42.50KB , 800x600 , 10.png )

With assistance from SB-40423, I shakily get to my feet. I find myself leaning on him more than I would prefer. Such close contact feels confusing to me. My stomach hurts from hunger, my intestines in pain from emptiness. The last time I tried to eat anything remotely palatable, I ended up regurgitating it less than an hour later. I haven't eaten in a day since. My metabolism is efficient and my stores densely packed. I'll die sooner than starvation will matter.

"You're shaking."

The sensors pop off my body. I feel very weak.

SB-40423 seems increasingly distressed and holds me tightly. I try to reciprocate in order to not fall over.

"I wish you could speak. I know you would have so much to tell me."

And I wish I had more than 17 hours to live.

I feel lightheaded from anxiety. I don't think that doctor is coming back. I remain in this reluctant embrace for fear of falling over if I let go. With this much skin contact, it is even more apparent that whatever process should have helped me isn't working. In addition, this close, I can almost feel his reproductive hormones flowing. Either he was lying about his system being inactive, or, more likely, some technician activated his system in anticipation of going through with that terrible plan. I'll need to tell him that soon, so he doesn't walk away clueless and die the same as me.

"You're too rare and singular to die. Look at you. Your design is more than I could ever dream of being and I'm the first in the most advanced series ever produced by Onitec. Please don't die. Please, please don't die." SB-40423 does seem very attached to me. I do not understand why. I have been conscious in his presence for less than an hour. That is a very quick time to form an emotional attachment to someone else. Must be the byproduct of an active reproductive system in the presence of a compatible mate. How human.

However, basic empathy is making me feel guilty for making this overly attached synthetic organism miserable. Compounded with my own fear and helplessness, I find myself giving into sorrow as well. I'm weak. I'm vulnerable. There is nothing I have to lose anymore.

I find myself sobbing in a way I have only matched once before in my entire life.

This is not a dignified way to meet my end but I don't care anymore.
No. 557731 ID: 196d1b

Well, don't you two go trying anything in here. I'm pretty sure that would just make things much worse from what you've said and waste everyone's time. In the worst-case scenario, what was that data that you said you were supposed to preserve? We might as well try to hedge our bets while we're waiting for that doctor to return.
No. 557735 ID: a87e3a

Ah, that is confirmation we are the Icarus system. I find this comforting. I wonder if there is anything we can do but advise you.
[review functions, commands and hardware]

I suggest attempting to collect yourself and disengage from the male. Behaving calmly will likely calm him down somewhat in turn. Then warn him that his reproductive systems are active; this means if they cannot save you, he will have to follow your example and find a way to survive.

Also, you might consider trying to tell him the information you are supposed to be protecting. If you cannot save yourself, you can at least preserve your information.
No. 557738 ID: f44ca3

Dignity is overrated. Well I wish we could do more for you but without knowing what key hormone you need to stabilize your system we can not do much.

The more info we can get about your reproductive cycle the better. If getting you pregnant would work we could try that but its sort of creepy. Also might only work with another of your same makeup.

Could always try with this guy but that might kill both of you.

Finding out more about what we are might help. Did you just open a jar and turn us on? Are we communicating with you due to something we implanted in your system? Or was there something inside you that lets us talk to you innately? And if we can talk with you can we do more than just talk maybe?

Do you want us to see if we can interface with your body at a deeper level than we are now? Might be worth a shot but not going to try unless you give us permission to.
No. 557756 ID: 9ddf68

think they'll let you dig around to try and find a cure yourself? I mean you still have some time. I mean if all else fails we can tell him but hey, it's not over yet Dustin so don't give up.
No. 557777 ID: 4a75fa

So how would this kind of process normally be activated? If they use a chemical to turn it on, is there another to turn it off? Is it simply a mater of finding the right one?

>emotional reproductive attachment?
It could be that. It could also be the harsh reality of seeing his own mortality in what's happening to you. Or again, empathy. Or an awkward combination of all three.

>I find myself sobbing in a way I have only matched once before in my entire life.
...what happened then?

>I am vaguely aware that contact with another living member of my series might grant me time
By what mechanism? And is it possible you could achieve the same effect with a derivative series?
No. 557897 ID: a29693
File 138991137770.png - (325.68KB , 800x600 , 11.png )

ICARUS On-Line Help ------------------- Welcome, user, to the latest version of the ICARUS system, an expert advisory system for the modern era. Unlike the crude expert systems of the 21st century, based upon rules and responses, the ICARUS system uses sophisticated technologies to match queries with relevant data, and to match this data with associated data to formulate immediately relevant advice. CAUTION: The ICARUS system is highly effective at resolving short term concerns, but has been known to lose context and give poor long term advice. If you are in need of more extensive guidance, please contact Daedalus Laboratories, phone 001 07979 2443, q-mail support@daedalus.com. UPDATE 2101/1/16: The ICARUS system is now supplemented with crowdsourced advice from QUESTionLV, a wide network of users around the world devoted to solving immediate solutions faced by millions on this world and many others. Please note that crowdsourced advice will be designated as such, and may be unreliable. FAQ: Q. What input methods do individual ICARUS units support? A. The ICARUS system supports a wide variety of external peripherals, such as conventional keyboards, microphone and touchpads, as well as interruptive holographic displays. Some units come pre-installed with an intention-based input system that maps to a specific user's innermost thoughts, but this is turned off by default. To activate this system, please consult your local Daedalus Laboratories branch for configuration, as each user requires an individual mental profile in order to function. Q. What functionality does the ICARUS system provide? A. The ICARUS system functions as an advice giving system for a wide variety of questions. This advice can be provided through a MMI (Mind Machine Interface) if the user has one installed, through speech synthesis or through console output. Please note that the ICARUS system is equipped with a holographic projector, and that monitors are sold seperately. It can also be used as a light source and is Internet enabled for your benefit. For a full list of fun features, please consult [ERR: FILE NOT FOUND. CANNOT CREATE LINK.] Q. What is a 'Mind Machine Interface'? A. Daedalus Laboratories acknowledges the changing times, and aims to support the growing cybernetic population on Earth by tailoring their products to make use of increasingly widespread hardware. For further information on MMIs, visit utp://mmi.daedalus.com. [ERR: FILE FORMAT CORRUPTED. CANNOT READ FURTHER.]
No. 557898 ID: a29693
File 138991140034.png - (136.31KB , 800x600 , 12.png )

I try to stand on my own two feet, standing away from SB-40423. He holds my hand. I do not object to this. I wipe away my tears with my free hand.

Questions. I will try to answer them.

My condition is a harsh reminder of the fragility of synthetic life. Even if I manage to find a cure for this ailment, I don't know how much longer I could be expected to live before something else fails. And I might not have the advance warning next time.

A poor quality to have when trying to live rationally. A valuable quality to have regardless.

>contact mechanism
It was never fully explained as more than "large scale skin contact with other D-SYN organism", which is exactly what I'm doing now with this SB-40000 organism. It doesn't appear to have had any impact.

>don't try anything
17 hours is not enough time for a full reproductive cycle iteration. I am already unsure why this was being considered but perhaps that is why it was removed from consideration.

There is a six stage reproductive cycle for females and a three stage cycle for males. The initial three stages are identical for both. Activation, arousal, the act itself. Then development of rearing glands, pregnancy, and birth for females. The reasons for splitting this into this stage system are entirely lost on me. It is similar enough to human reproductive cycles. I've seen footage of other synthetic organisms going through this process in all six stages. I don't really want to go through stages four to six. Most "natural" born synthetics end up requiring emergency surgery to extract. There is a high mortality rate involved for mother and child. The restrictions on population and general cost issues make testing such functionality secondary when artificial generation is so reliable.

Not sure why we even have reproductive systems at all if humans are so afraid of us spreading like a plague.

>pass on your information
I can't. I am a locked safe and the only ones who hold the key are Daedalus technicians, and who knows what lives they've since moved on to. The only mental information I have is a list of numbers that I find impossible to forget: 32, 10, 10, 12, 13, 19, 3, 19, 35, 27, 30, 12.

It corresponds to a specific junk sequence in my genome that can be decoded into text data about the length of a large book. The key to knowing which sequence within my genome lies within a certain configuration of specialised proteins in my blood that will rapidly denature when my body temperature drops more than ten degrees centigrade.

The number string is worthless without the proteins, and the proteins determine where in my genome to start searching. For all I know, the proteins are also secondary keys for decryption. Whatever information I'm supposed to carry, it was intended for a very specific recipient. I was never told who.

I should be able to pass on my information with a vial and a slip of paper, but the denaturing effect is in place specifically to stop it being so simple. The decryption has to happen there and then before my blood congeals. Someone out there is waiting with the exact set of instruments to extract this information from me and is taking far too long to track me down if they need it.

>how are you communicating
I have no idea. I might have a neural interface? I don't recall having one installed but a lot of advanced technology will respond to my presence by speaking directly into my cortex. This is another reason I avoid mass gatherings of humans. Their devices start to sing to me about things I have no interest in in a thousand dischordant voices. I do not know what possible use I would have for double glazing.

>what happened before
Daedalus died and my entire world came crashing down. I had nothing. Former friends among humans disappeared. Former friends among artificial organisms were repossessed by other corporations. Everything I knew became irrelevant. My life has been slowly getting worse ever since.

Maybe it's a good thing that I won't make it to the next sunrise.

Dustin is a terrible name. Dyson doesn't make sense. It's D-SYN, not DY-SN. Even if you spoke D-SYN as a single word, it would be "Desin" or "Desine" and even then it's a terrible name. I haven't needed a name for my entire life so far. Why start now?
No. 557899 ID: a29693
File 138991142315.png - (46.43KB , 800x600 , 13.png )

"Dr. Turner is taking a long time to return."

I look around the room for anything that might resemble a cure. Nope. I am not a doctor or a lab technician. Not a specialist, either way. I have a wide variety of skills from training in a variety of different fields. I am not sure Daedalus had a purpose for me in mind and were trying to see what I was effective at. Apparently, I was simply just about competent in everything. Nothing dismal, nothing amazing.

I think I understand why TerraTrans had me filling printers and making coffees.

I figure now is as good a time as any. I pick up the paper and write a note for SB-40423.

>Your reproductive system is active btw.
"Wait, it is?! When did that happen? How do I turn it off? Is that why you were hugging me? I don't feel ready for something like that. You are definitely someone I desire in terms of design and aesthetics, but I don't know much about who you are and I don't know if I can live with someone who can never speak back to me!"


"Oh. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm really, truly sorry. I'm panicking. I'm saying stupid things. Ignore me. I'm sorry."

>Just warning. Not propositioning.
"I'm sorry. I... I guess it's all this testosterone flooding through me, it's changing the way I see things. I do not understand how humans live like this for most of their lives."

>I'm active too and I'm not criticising your flaws
"Yes, but you're female. Doesn't it work differently for females? Is that why you took offense?"

>I am not sure but did you just blame me being female for being (cont.)
>offended by being treated as disposable for (more paper please?)

I take a new piece of paper.

>not being able to talk?
"I didn't say you were disposable."

>Maybe not but that is a sentiment I get a lot.
"I don't think you're disposable. I think you're too precious to be disposable. How many other D-SYNs are there? None. I'm the first prototype of my series. If anyone's disposable, it's me."

>I think that might not be true??
"Well, I won't be thrown into an incinerator, but my future prospects aren't looking very great."

>Mine aren't either.
"Isn't there a better way to use the last day of your life beyond complaining?"

>You were in tears over it earlier.
"We can't cry over what we can't change forever."

>This is wasting time. Need to get to TerraTrans branch in this district. Might help.
"Dr. Turner can help you there. I don't know my way around the outside."

>The outside?
"I've been in this facility my whole life. Non-humans aren't allowed outside."

I don't know how to respond to that.

SB-40423 is a very frustrating yet helpful individual who earnestly seems to want the best for me, a total stranger. I am not sure how to consider him.
No. 557900 ID: a29693
File 138991145784.png - (85.51KB , 800x600 , 14.png )


I hear the accented speech of Dr. Turner. Which accent, I can't place. Something vaguely European.

"Ah, I see you are well enough to stand. This is encouraging. 40423, anything to report?"
"Yes, doctor. Apparently, my reproductive system is active."
"Hm. You two didn't... well, did you?"
"No, doctor."
"That's good. Congratulations on showing restraint. I noticed how well you took to the D-SYN, after all."
"...Thanks, doctor?"
"Well, you know, I do not mean to insult you, 40423, but it's a well established scientific fact that the sudden influx of hormones from an activated reproductive system in synthetic organisms can inhibit sensible decision making. It is like turning on a switch that makes a rational thinking being into a hormone-fuelled adolescent."
"I understand, doctor."
"Is it still active?"
"Hrm. Let us hope that somewhere in this mess is something to deactivate male systems too. At least your design is less likely to have some flaw revealed. More likely it would just be uncomfortable in the long term."
"Oh, the details are irrelevant. It won't be an issue either way. Now, the manual for the design, of course, neglected to mention this fault or any faults like it. What I propose is the following. We already know you are compatible with the blood transfused into you earlier to replace the volume you had lost from your mishap."

He paces around the room, clearly unhappy with something he's about to say. SB-40423 rubs my back as I shift uneasily. The sensation is confusingly nice, but not enough to distract me.

"I propose deactivating your reproductive system, if not removing it entirely, and then continuing with one of two procedures. The first is an attempt to restore some order to your system with an injection of nanoscrubbers. This may be totally ineffectual or even have an adverse effect on your health. They've proven effective for humans, but they've never been tested on a D-SYN before."

"The second is to replace your blood supply entirely. Now, such a procedure has its risks, but without the magical silver bullet chemical Daedalus Laboratories so thoughtfully left out of its books, there aren't really any other procedures I can envision that would address the total systemic imbalance you're succumbing to. It is without a doubt a very, very risky procedure to perform, and it may only simply grant you more time rather than fix the problem. However, more time would make it likelier we can find the actual solution to this problem."

I don't know what to say. My immediate reaction is fear that I will lose my blood information proteins, before I correct myself. They were never injected into me. They are integral. My body will replenish them. My second immediate reaction is just mortal fear, and I am not a stranger to that.

Either I have some mystery agent potentially ripping up my circulatory system from the inside, or I have my entire blood system replaced.

Or I could say I am willing to wait longer for some miracle cure that might not even exist.
No. 557903 ID: fe4bfc

Ok flipped a usb stick and came up heads. So option number one I guess.

That or try both at the same time.
No. 557906 ID: 196d1b

Well, we don't really know a whole lot else to do. Tell him about the terratrans branch; if we exhaust that lead then taking a risky surgical action is really the only other option. Did all of the other members of your species die of this same defect? That sounded like just a design flaw, but combined with this mysterious message hidden in your genome there's a chance that it might have been done on purpose. The proteins denature when removed from their home, perhaps you do too.
No. 557918 ID: a87e3a

I don't understand why a full blood transfusion is risky. Isn't it as simple as pumping old blood out while pumping new blood in? Actually, a dialysis machine would make more sense than replacing all your blood at once. Ask about that.

The nanoscrubbers seem more likely to work, as far as I can tell. However, they will need to be programmed differently from ones used on humans. We've already tried a device that worked on humans on you and it did nothing. The nanobots will likely either do nothing or recognize your body as foreign and begin attacking it. It also seems too simple a solution, honestly.

I suspect both these options are merely attempts to get at your genetic book. A massive blood sample kept heated to preserve it, and nanobots to hack into your code manually. One last act of thievery on top of the pile. Actually, you might want that to happen considering the alternative is to just wait for the proper recipient of the information, which might never happen. Would you consider just... giving the code and genetic sequence to someone? Perhaps this other synthetic? Considering the systematic oppression of synthetics like you I wouldn't be surprised if there was some underground organization of them who are trying to peacefully fight back. Secret information like this could be a good bargaining chip.

Anyway, there is another option. Upon accessing the help system I found out we have a some contact information for Daedalus in the Icarus system:
phone 001 07979 2443, q-mail support@daedalus.com
It's worth a shot, before you agree to any risky medical treatments. Be present for the phone call, obviously.

Regardless, definitely have your reproductive system deactivated or removed. It's your choice as to which, but the chemical cascade will just restart itself if you don't use one of those options. I'm partial to deactivation, because otherwise you will be the last D-SYN and you must preserve your information. Whatever it is.
No. 557919 ID: 445ff6

Yeah I'd definitely mention the TerraTrans thing.

Also if there were some way to figure out who used to be at Daedalus that'd be great. The company itself might be gone but hopefully the people who used to work there aren't... actually, that might explain some of why D-SYN features are apparently cropping up in other synthetics.
No. 557929 ID: 2baea8

This seems like a good plan.
No. 557949 ID: a29693
File 138992187979.png - (102.08KB , 800x600 , 15.png )

>you're dying outside of home
It must have been a very, very slow reaction. I was working at TerraTrans for three years without incident.

>they're trying to steal data
I hadn't thought of that. That seems likely. Who would have reason or even know to get it back with Daedalus' assets scattered across the globe?

Maybe I should just let them take it. Then all I have to worry about is survival.

I write my response.

>Lead in TerraTrans branch. Symptoms first occured in TerraTrans Biochemical Research Initiatives. Need to find details of incident. Also, contact details for Daedalus to try first. Phone and qmail.

Dr. Turner scratches at his beard. "Interesting. I must admit these measures are more grasping at straws than I would like. I'll tell someone to get into contact with TerraTrans and cross reference your ident versus any notable chemical spills in... which facility?"

>Future, Sunrise District.

"Right. Thank you."

I also write down the contact information. He sighs and furrows his brow. "I tried that number to acquire your manual. It's a dead number now. I also strongly disbelieve anyone is checking the support inbox for a dead corporation, but I suppose it couldn't help."

>If nothing can be found, I choose the blood replacement.

Dr. Turner sighs again. "Very well. I suppose we are running out of time to consider other options. I will pass the message on to TerraTrans and we will start the procedure if we don't hear back within an hour."

SB-40423 looks around anxiously. "You were going to deactivate our reproductive systems first, weren't you?"
"It doesn't seem that dire to do so right away. Also, I just realised this is the wrong cart. This is for actually initating the processes required and that is not something we want to do. I'll be right back."

Dr. Turner leaves again.

SB-40423 rubs my back with both of his hands.

I find it relaxing and oddly stimulating. I ignore that second part and close my eyes.

"Are you okay?"
I nod.
"Do you want me to stop?"
I shake my head.
"There isn't anything else I can do."

I feel strange. I hope this is tied to my confusion on how I feel with regards to SB-40423 and not a warning twinge before something new fails on me.

I find my mind drifting back to my recent recollection of the footage of synthetic organisms in phases of the reproductive process and freeze up. No. Bad train of thought to go down. Then my mind drifts into the end results for females and how it tends to resolve. Even worse. I have visions of SB-40423 guiding me into a position, and then I have visions of my stomach splitting open like an overripe melon. Multiple visions. Stronger and more vivid and making me feel very sick.

I glance at the clock and find it moving faster than it should be. I try to stare at it but focusing becomes difficult. 14 hours left. 14 hours? That can't be right. How did the time go by so fast?? The room is spinning and I find it hard to focus. SB-40423 catches me in his arms as I begin to tilt back.

"...are you okay?"

I gesture madly for the paper.

>I think I'm losing my mind
"Do you want to go back on the bed?"
>No I want to go home
"Where's home?"
>Dont know
"I-is... is there anything I can do?"
>hold me

I sink to the floor and SB-40423 gently guides me down. I feel nauseous and dizzy.

>dont mate with me
"I wasn't planning to?"
"I, uh, will continue not to plan to do that."
"I know!"
>IF YOU COME NEAR ME I AM GOING TO [unintelligible angry scribbling]
"...Okay, you're scaring me now, I, uh--"

I pull him down onto the floor, lunge at him and open my mouth to bite at his throat before managing just a slight nip and flopping onto him like a grounded fish. What am I doing? What am I doing?!

"Okay I don't think you need to worry about having lost control of your mind because I think I can confirm quite readily that you have in fact lost control over your mind please don't kill me I have so much to live for I didn't want to hurt you or mate with you against your will okay that was a corporate decision not mine I'm sorry okay I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry"

I tune out his frantic babble and stare at the floor for a bit, world fuzzy around the edges.

Icarus, what do I do when the world is spinning and I can't trust my perceptions? I don't know what's going on right now.
No. 557952 ID: a87e3a

Isolate yourself. Skin to skin contact with the other synthetic is making it WORSE! Double check with him about the time. Hrm. Things are getting more desperate...

[search Icarus system for information on D-SYN reproductive organs and the chemical processes thereof. Search system for the name of the lead architect. Or any employee names.]
No. 557954 ID: 445ff6

Calm down.

And yeah again is there any way to contact anyone who formerly worked at Daedalus?
No. 557955 ID: f44ca3

I am guessing that being in close proximity to a fertile male has initiated your mating instincts? And with your reproductive organs being the source of your current problems its overwhelming your system.

Long story short your body is trying to bone him but your mind is against the idea. Maybe?

I would say just go with the flow and do it but ultimately its your choice. Who knows it might help stabilize your system. If your reproductive system is already on overdrive and poisoning you then giving it something else to do might stop the process.

Honestly if I had 14 hours to life I would try just about anything to save myself no matter how outlandish. Also this guy is not that bad all things considered. Best to decide your own fate while you are still in a position to do so.
No. 557956 ID: 9ddf68

uh, I think you just hit stage two, arousal and with that lust, lots and lots of lust. Ok what you need to do is stop think about everything and anything and just focus on something, like your breathing, just start counting your breaths and focus on nothing else, maybe close your eyes as well. once you feel you gaining control of yourself open your eyes and check the clock again. You're going to live dammit.
No. 557957 ID: a87e3a

No, we already know it would make things worse, pay attention. Also, 106743 is in no condition to do such a thing, both mentally and physically.
No. 557967 ID: eb27db

It would appear that higher cognitive abilities are functioning, but there is a large disconnect between higher and lower reasoning and possibly a chemical imbalance causing the release of substances normally reserved for sleep cycles.
It would be safe to assume that full control will be difficult to obtain and that the next span of time experienced will be highly variable and unreliable. As such, a potential course of action may to simply focus on minimizing lethal damage to SB-40423 for the time being.

Once more control is obtained, another potential course of action may be to ask for containment until body/mental functions have equalized to a more reliable state.
No. 557969 ID: 196d1b

Curl into a tiny ball, so you can't hurt anything and nothing can hurt you. Wait for the doctor to get here and let him do anything he needs to without fighting it. Are you just lapsing in judgement from half-losing consciousness or are you worried that you'll be stuck like this until you get better? Just remember that nobody here is going to do anything to harm you and everyone wants to keep you alive. It's sounding more and more like you'll have to live this adventure vicariously through telling other people your ideas. Also I'm pretty sure violently lashing out at people because you don't want to have sex with them is the exact opposite of extreme arousal, guys.
No. 558020 ID: f44ca3

If the doctor keeps leaving you alone for hours at a time unsupervised I do not really trust his judgement.
No. 558025 ID: a87e3a

I'm not sure he's even a doctor anymore.
No. 558031 ID: bf49fa

[Scan for wifi sperkers]
[If sperker are fou d link to sperkers]
[Then run hello_world.exe]
[Then run voice_sith.exe]
No. 558072 ID: e81155

Just sob and try and get it all out, clear everything out and just enjoy the embrace, dont let any negative thoughts plague you, trust in him and just let it all out.
No. 558126 ID: a29693
File 139000911374.png - (103.00KB , 800x600 , 16.png )

>mating instincts
The only instinctual thing I want to do right now is scream at the top of my lungs, and I find it entirely impossible. I can't even make involuntary sounds. Whatever is wrong with my design, or me specifically, leaves me entirely silent. I don't even know if it was intentional or not.

SB-40423 calms down, his chest rising with each deep breath. This is unnervingly intimate for me. I don't remember the last time I had this much contact with another living being.

I realise I'm crying again and feel more than a little embarassed. SB-40423 looks less terrified and generally upset. He slowly moves his arms around me and moves me to the floor. I am not sure if this is meant to be a comforting gesture or a means of keeping me restrained.

I hear footsteps. Rushing footsteps. SB-40423 leaps to the floor.

"What's happening? I heard shouting." It's Dr. Turner. "Oh, this is my fault. I knew I should have sent you down instead of going there myself. I have the equipment I need now, finally."
"She's becoming increasingly unstable. She just attacked me apparently thinking I wanted to mate with her. ...was I giving her erroneous body language cues that that was what I wanted? I read about--"
"Focus on the current situation, 423. Oh, I could do without this. How are we doing for time. Hrm. 2:17 AM. Still just under 17 hours left, then. Things have been easier to find than I expected. I am being spread far too thin for my liking tonight. Everything was fully scheduled until this D-SYN was left in our care. Really, I brought you down to delegate tasks to, but it looks like you'd be more useful as a runner. Get to the main office. Tell them to look into this."

I see a sheet of paper exchange hands.

"Can you do this alone, doctor?"
"Of course not. This is the sort of procedure that you need a team for."
"And you're going to try doing it yourself?"
"I'm going to hope that the others wrap up the tests in the next ten minutes. Help me get her onto the bed again."

I am lifted onto the bed and am too panicked to resist.

"Actually, better sedate first and prevent another incident."

I arch back and silently scream as I feel a needle go into my arm.

Violent imagery floods my mental vision. I begin to panic. They're trying to kill me! They're euthanising me! Help! Help! help

No. 558127 ID: a29693
File 139000912702.png - (28.60KB , 800x600 , 17.png )

Two hours later...


That is my first waking thought. Pain. Nothing but pain. Everything is sore. My body feels heavy and useless. Everything is blurred. All I can hear is a loud whine.

I make out the vividly coloured skin of SB-40423, pressed against the wall, watching me very intently, glancing to the door now and then.

I shift around. My muscles feel weak and sore.

SB-40423 notices me move, and quickly and quietly makes his way to the side of the bed.

"Okay, so, the transfusion idea was thrown out of the window because something came up. Apparently Onitec got the information they needed to fix the fault but right after Dr. Turner injected you with the compound there was this big explosion elsewhere and now everything is going wrong. How do you feel? It's kind of important that we get out of here as quickly as we can."

He hands me some paper as soon as he finishes talking.

>cant see straihgt
>sore andweak
"Okay. Dr. Turner did say that the information provided only suggested it would cure the underlying fault and didn't specify anything about how long the recovery process would be. I think a large section of the facility is currently on fire though so I mean if I can help you walk that's better than burning to death in here."

I look around for the telltale red glow of the Icarus system.

...where is the Icarus system.

>wheres icarus
"I... good question. Wasn't it over here? Oh, it doesn't matter, come on, we have to leave!"

I wave the paper at him more emphatically, underlining it.

>wheres icarus
"I don't know, but we don't have time to search the room for it. Is it that precious to you?"

"Oh. It's not like your life depends on it though right?"

I tear the piece of paper in half, shamble to my feet and look around for the Icarus system.

"...I, uh, might have taken it to the main office."

"It was a direct command! Why is it so important to you?"

I start to write 'IT'S ALL I HAVE' before giving up, ripping the paper, ripping it up some more and trying to make my way to the door.

I don't need him. Once I get out of the building, that's it. I don't need anyone here. I was never shown any details of a contract. I haven't signed anything. If they already signed for me, then let them chase me. If they want me, they can catch me. I'm done here.

I cough viciously, watching blood splatter on the floor. All I taste is iron.
No. 558128 ID: 53ba34

we are still here. do not know if it's range or if we really are in your head.
No. 558130 ID: 9ddf68

Damn it stop panicking. The building is on fire and you need to leave NOW before you add to your list of problems. I know your scared and that everything is fuzzy for the first time in you life more then likely but freaking out isn't going to solve anything D-SYN... when he said main office does he mean a differnt building or an office in this bulding, because if so we're close if we can still talk to you. and if it's the main office they have got to have more then one way to get there which means more ways to escape. But please progress IS being made when it comes to us finding you a cure, please don't give up because we're close I can feel it, we're getting close. So whatever you do just please, make sure you can get out of this building alive, and try to be nicer to SB-40423, he's only trying to help.
No. 558131 ID: 196d1b

Well if we're that Icarus thing then we can still see you. From the side, despite being in an office somewhere. Are you sure you can even walk? If you're really set on leaving we can probably go to the terratrans branch and stubbornly ignore everyone, but that doesn't sound like a very sound plan.
No. 558133 ID: f44ca3

Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself. Wherever our main unit is I am guessing our range is either huge or part of us is a part of you now. It would be nice not to test that by leaving our core in a building about to burn down.

Good news is you are apparently cured now. Might be miserable for awhile but we will be here to help you every step of the way. If your friend can show you where we are on the map we will try to find a route you can use to get here.

But if it gets to dangerous please just let us go ok? I do not want you throwing away your newly gained life just to try to save us.
No. 558134 ID: a87e3a

Where did that poster come from? "Question everything"? Yes, yes... there is a resistance group, that much is clear. Does it have any other information on it? Perhaps on the back? Oh, there's a map. Look at it to find where you are and where the main office is, and where fire exits are.

You are not well enough to move on your own, yet. In fact you might still be dying a little. Coughing up blood means internal bleeding. Though I wonder if the bleeding was when you were unconscious and is now stopped? What time is it?

You know, something about this makes me think you shouldn't leave with him. He is a slave. He will take you into further slavery. Find a crutch or something so you can walk on your own, then first head towards the main office. Once you have retrieved the Icarus system, I suggest seeing if you can find out who is attacking the complex. Perhaps it would be best if you joined with them.
No. 558139 ID: eb27db
File 139001559861.jpg - (34.92KB , 240x300 , HHguide.jpg )

Keep options open and don't burn bridges that don't need to be burned.
It is true that current situation may lead to further servitude, but current company also seems to have perpetuated D-SYN's life despite obvious instability and affiliation with folded opposing corporation.

Either D-SYN is seen as valuable, a deeper unknown reason, or there is empathy involved.

Suggested route of opportunity:

1) Due to still poor physical functionality of D-SYN, and prior stated empathy/value situation, cooperation with Doctor and SB-40423 advised.

2) Implement further future study of opposition group for potential avenues of safety and continued existence within the idea of of D-SYN's freedom.

3) Avoiding contact with current group of attackers. While they may or may not be sympathetic to D-SYN's cause; explosives are confirmed used and there really is no telling what group's motives or targets are. Possible that even if group is sympathetic to D-SYN, no guarantee of being caught in crossfire or mistaken for another corporation's unit.
No. 558143 ID: 445ff6

I don't think attempting to join a resistance group is a great idea at this very moment. Also, SB indicated earlier that as a prototype he's likely viewed as disposable by his owners, so if things come to that I can't imagine he's going to have much loyalty to them. He seems rather attached to us, though.

You should get out of the building, and SB is apparently quite willing to help you do that.
No. 558291 ID: 8f9d5f

Ok, Dustin (you may have lived your life without a name, but we as part of a crazy internet site Icarus, we need to call you something, and D-SYN-106743 is not cutting it)

Ok, Dustin, as the other parts of the Icarus are saying, BE NICE. You may not need them, but they can make your escape much easier. Besides, we need a someone to ship you with. I know its kind of hard controlling your thoughts with all those hormones and drugs, but try.

Look at the emergency map, if it doesn't have legends, then ask SB-40423 (we need a name for him too!!!), Your main goal is escaping, but try to save us too, try to figure out a route that would get you to the office were we are but is close enough to the emergency exits, in case you cant reach us.

IF you really want you, just take the flier with you, but i'm not simpatetic with their cause. I mean they are attacking a synthetic laboratory... with bombs. I don't thing they care that much for the synthetics inside...
No. 558293 ID: a87e3a

The problem with calling her Dustin is that it's just based on her product line, not her designation. Her "name" is 106743.
No. 558312 ID: 9ddf68

yeah I came up with that name just by trying to pronounce D-SYN as one word and Dustin was the closest sounding name I had to what I was trying to say plus I kinda thought D-SYN was a guy because Cirr usually puts tits on his female leads

But yeah Dustin if you can't get to us get out, you can still be saved
No. 558313 ID: a87e3a

She also doesn't want to be called Dustin.
No. 558315 ID: 9ddf68

that kinda just encourages me
No. 558337 ID: a29693
File 139011520726.png - (17.24KB , 800x600 , 18.png )

Dustin makes me feel like refuse. Dyson may not make much sense, but it seems thematically appropriate. Daedalus incorporated references to the sun and sun gods into a lot of their products. While Dyson swarms are still a dream, the concept remains a vivid one.

What am I doing debating this. Call me Dustin or Dyson or whatever you want. The last word I was called by was "gecko" but that name is even more of a misnomer. I am an advanced artificial organism with more higher awareness than a lizard. I also can't stick to walls.

I give the poster a cursory glance. It's been taped over the board behind it. It shows a logo and a few sentences about smashing the status quo. I am not aware of what group the logo belongs to. There are activists who want equal rights for synthetic organisms and there are activists who want synthetic organisms made illegal and completely eliminated from the surface of Earth. I steer clear of these groups as best as I can.

I spend some time familiarising myself with the map and the fire exits. The closest fire exit is in the opposite direction of the main office.

I have two options.

I follow SB-40423 outside, to presumable safety and the cold outdoors, and an unknown future that will distract me from my second directive for even more time.

Or, I go towards the main office, risking severe harm and the compromising of my first directive, to collect the Icarus system.


I may not even make it to the sunrise. I have to fulfil the one purpose given to me.

"We have to go!!"
No. 558338 ID: a29693
File 139011522699.png - (395.73KB , 800x600 , 19.png )

I turn to move to the main office. My legs, coursing with adrenaline, obey my directions as though being spoken to, shaking and lumbering and feeling less and less like parts of my own body.

"That's the wrong way!"

SB-40423 follows me and yells at me to turn back. No. I have to do this.


The air feels a little warmer.

A sudden explosion rocks the facility, sending me tumbling to the floor. SB-40423 leans onto a corridor wall to keep his balance.

A closer explosion is almost deafening, the force slamming into me.

Some-- something emerges from a curtain of flames, slow and purposeful, unphased by the fire.


I can't take my eyes away from this monstrous sight, the unbearable warmth from the fire threatening to char my skin.

The beast moves its head in my direction.

"w-w-what do you want?"
"I-I'm s-sure I can g-get that for you, sir, th-there doesn't--"

The beast leaps over me, nearly trampling me with its jagged talons as it lands. I hear SB-40423 scream, and out of the corner of my eyes I see this creature with a cable jabbed into his side.

SB-40423 does not stop screaming for some time and eventually falls to the floor, twitching erratically. The beast turns around to face me again.


I am shaking uncontrollably.

No. 558339 ID: a29693
File 139011525386.png - (356.08KB , 800x600 , 20.png )

It grabs me in its talons and bursts through the ceiling of the facility.

I am tossed in the air.

I see the light-filled ground of the city ahead of me and the sky behind me and feel only fear.

The machine sweeps past me and I am ensnared by metal tendrils, strapped to the back of it as it soars ever upwards.

The following thoughts pass through my head.

Firstly -- I am freezing cold this high up.

Secondly -- I do not know how to feel having just witnessed the death of someone I did not really know but who went to great pains to help me.

Thirdly -- I have absolutely no idea what this machine is, or where it is taking me.

Fourthly -- I can see the Icarus system being gripped alongside me.

I panic and writhe against my restraints, and the metal bird responds by slowly inverting itself, showing me just how far high up we are.

"Are you so eager to leave?"

I freeze up and clutch onto the tendrils keeping me pinned to the back of the bird-thing.

"I thought as much."

I see the lights of the city dwindling as I'm taken further and further away from it. This creature is moving very quickly.
No. 558341 ID: a29693
File 139011527885.png - (125.90KB , 800x600 , 21.png )

I want to scream. To demand answers. To be anything with more control over this situation. I have no idea what I can do right now. Any effort to escape is going to kill me from the fall.

The ICARUS device has been very compliant. Access established. It is fortunate you were implanted with a mind-machine interface, even if it has taken a while to access it. There are several questions I will be asking you, but out of courtesy, you are owed some questions yourself.

Where are you taking me? Who are you? What did you do to SB-40423? Why are you doing this? What's going on? Why did you burn down the facility? Is SB-40423 okay? Am I going to be okay? What--

ENOUGH! That is enough questions. You are going to exceed the bandwidth capacity of this already low capacity link. The location I am taking you is classified. My self-selected ident is Roc. If you are referring to the yellow synth, I disabled him. I am taking you to a classified location. I had limited time available. He might have been burned alive while incapacitated. I cannot guarantee your safety.

You left him to burn alive knowingly??

No more questions. Now answer. Answer fully. Tell me what you know about the ICARUS device. Tell me how to extract the key from your body. Tell me what you know about Hyperion.

I don't know! It's helping me make decisions! I don't know anything about a Hyperion!

The key. Tell me how to get the key.

I can't!

The metal beast screams.

THE KEY, SYNTH! If you do not tell me, I will throw you to the unforgiving rocks below!

I-- I can't, you're not the recipient!

Very well. I was never here to persuade. I am here to collect and deliver.

An uncomfortable silence passes.

It will be another ten minutes to the destination. I suppose I will answer more of your questions to pass the time. This path is not mentally stimulating.
No. 558342 ID: eb27db

Possible to confirm your astral sign for compatibility processing, Roc?
Future compatibility coefficients and dinner dates possible?
No. 558343 ID: a87e3a

Wait, you can't give the key to him, but you gave it to us? Doesn't that mean we're the recipient?
...don't worry about the male synth, I'm sure he'll be fine.

Ask Roc what Hyperion is, and what the data is supposed to be. Why is it important? Also, who does he work for? Lastly, can he tell if you are still going to die? They said they had the cure.
No. 558345 ID: 672873

Wait so are we trying to set her up on a date or are we as the computer hitting on it? Oh, never mind, that can probably wait until she's not dying.

Where is it we're going? How are the people organizing this retrieval linked to your creators, and is there any chance they'd be able to help you if you helped them? And why the heck did this guy have to be so flashy and destructive in picking you up? It's not like you could have realistically fled or resisted, and it probably wouldn't have been too hard to convince us to come on our own had it not been so violent in trying to get you.
No. 558346 ID: 9ddf68

so can Roc hear us as well are do you have to talk for us? Also what was the point in disabling the yellow one as you call him? Because it looked more like you wanted to find something in his mind more then just remove an obstacle, especially considering that you can burn down an entire fucking building and all he can really do is be a coffee boy for a few big wigs. Also if you just want date (can't believe I'm asking this) why are you simply caring us and note data sucking us like you did to SB-40423, who I'm going to call Sid from now on.
No. 558387 ID: 445ff6

So if I'm following this, it somehow made sense to burn an entire building down for the purposes of capturing one non-military synthetic? Roc was either the wrong agent to send for this job, or else whoever's in charge of him has no idea what they're doing.
No. 558475 ID: a29693
File 139018104443.png - (106.12KB , 800x600 , 22.png )

>astral sign
>compatibility processing
>dinner dates
I don't understand but I ask anyway.

Your questions are also not mentally stimulating. Astrology is a primitive belief system devised in the absence of knowledge and self-determination. Compatibility is irrelevant. Dinner dates doubly so.

>the key
I trust you more than this robot.

I ask about Hyperion and the data this machine wants so badly.

You already know too much. I will not tell you anything further.

>who are you working for


>still dying?
Organic life is incredibly fragile, isn't it.

I have a condition that will kill me in about ten hours from now if I don't get it cured or treated!

You are not needed for that many hours.

I don't want to die!

Unfortunate. Not my responsibility.

Daedalus is no more.

All objectives accomplished.

>data leeching
Synths do not have data ports. The synth was given a sustained electrical discharge until it lost consciousness.
No. 558476 ID: a29693
File 139018106984.png - (76.69KB , 800x600 , 23.png )

We are here.

I am flung unceremoniously to the ground with a grunting exhalation as I hit the floor. I feel bruised and battered. I hear the Icarus system hit the ground near me. As I look around, I have absolutely no idea what building this is, or where I really am. I saw only the night sky for most of the trip.

"D-SYN-106743 and ICARUS, as requested."

I hear footsteps. They hit the floor like metal on metal.

"Heavy structural integrity damage. Fires in most of the facility. Full evacuation."
"It seemed an adequate message."
"Did you get Onitec's latest prototype?"
"Limited time. I could only accomplish a subset of the objectives."
"Did you find out what it even was?"

I hear a loud clang from the floor.

"Got the prototype." Another voice, and something yelling something muffled.
"How did you get here so fast?"
"I did not notice you."
"Stealth VTOL. Had to ditch it. Shame."

I am dragged up to my feet by Roc. I see a more humanoid robot, clad in a black robe with gold patterning, as it walks over to me slowly.

"So. This is the one," it speaks in a feminine voice. The machine looks like it is appraising me. "Synth designs just get more and more outlandish with each passing generation. This is the sophisticated, highly advanced D-SYN, then." She walks by me. "Unimpressive. Sensory organs lacking in precision, jaw arrangement contains extraneous features that look to hinder more than help, the colouration is terrible, the branding anything but subtle, I don't understand how this thing can walk without tripping over its own tail or dragging it behind it, and what is that? Ah. Evidence of a reproductive system. Considering what I know about synth population regulations, why they make you with such organs I will never understand. Closer, is the prototype secured?"
"Okay. Get the band."
No. 558477 ID: a29693
File 139018108521.png - (30.60KB , 800x600 , 24.png )

I suddenly have something clipped around my neck.

"I'm already aware of your conditions. I can offer some assistance. First, a voice. This is free. For your co-operation, a cure for your system imbalance. Straight from the archives of Daedalus Laboratories. Oh, Onitec did what it could, and your condition is definitely stable, but you will take months to recover to your full potential. I just need you to help us do one small favour."

I reach up slowly to my neck. The collar tightens and I find it difficult to breathe, and--


I hear a scream from the collar as something sharp penetrates the back of my neck. "What was that," I think consciously--

"What. This device is repeating my train of thought."
"It's a matter of convenience. I would rather not have to learn sign language to get a simple answer from you."
"I can talk?!"
"I know this must be overwhelming for you, but let me finish."
"I can talk."
"And I can just as easily have that device taken away from you. Please. Now. This collar, and a cure for the disease slowly killing you. Both of these things and more are available on one condition."
"What condition?" This is unreal. This is not just a randomly selected voice synthesiser. It is the voice I always imagined myself having in my dreams. I begin to dread that this might be a dream of my dying brain, burning alive in a facility fire.

"Assist us in destroying every last remnant of Daedalus Laboratories. ICARUS, synthetics research, everything but yourself."

I stand in a stunned silence unsure how to answer. What choice do I have?
No. 558478 ID: f44ca3

Go along with it for the moment. Ask for more information about there organization and its goals.

Not much point with allying yourself with a group that's just going to kill you once they complete there goal. If they hate synthetics for whatever reason ask why they need you for anything.

Also they look rather um artificial themselves. So be polite as you can.
No. 558480 ID: 62d3af

See... I'm not seeing the point in saying no, but I don't like how forceful these guys were about it.
I can't see a reason NOT to agree because trustworthy or not, these guys kind of have control over the situation, and it's not like Daedalus did us many favors, that I recall.
No. 558481 ID: eb27db

Daedalus Laboratories - Rendered Irrelevant.
Icarus System - Redundant.
Purging of Databanks - Inconsequential.
Survival of D-SYN - Paramount.
No. 558482 ID: ec0bf5

We probably want to know why first. That sounds like a very extreme and specific task, to specifically destroy the remnants of a single company. Does that include technology based on that of Daedalus's like your friend from earlier? And how exactly are you supposed to assist if you'd be barely capable of doing much even if you weren't dying? Not to mention that, no offence, but you would probably have trouble doing very much of anything if your magic box that tells you what to do were destroyed. Would cooperating end up getting anyone hurt?
No. 558483 ID: 955dc5

Given you were thrown aside to die to a biological malfunction by your creators... At the moment you have no real reason to disagree.
No. 558488 ID: a87e3a

She just said you're already stable. You won't die if they do nothing, so Onitec has saved your life already. They're not offering a cure, they're offering to make your recovery shorter. You can easily refuse without jeopardizing your Priorities. Of note is that the robot said the voice collar was FREE. If she is to stay true to her word, you do not have to do anything to keep the collar. So, you have no obligation to help them. They would have to coerce you, and I am not so sure they want to do that.

I suspect this is someone who wants to destroy synthetics research due to their ideology. Or maybe even programming. It might even be to get a monopoly on manufacturing synthetics. Also of note is that Roc wanted your data, but this robot hasn't mentioned it yet. As if she plans to bring it up when you are already her ally. Maybe the data is necessary for their plans to wipe out all trace of Daedalus.

First of, ask why they want to destroy the scattered corpse of Daedalus and all research into synthetics. From the robot's comments on your appearance, she doesn't even seem to even know much about D-SYN, so what do they know that makes them want to wipe out Daedalus? Also, Icarus- why? It's just an advanced expert system; those are all over the place. Also, this Icarus system is your only possession, like you said. Was. I suppose now it is your second possession, after the voice collar. Also, how are you supposed to help? What use is a general-purpose synthetic for an organization with the resources to keep a robot like Roc running?

Find out who these people are and what they're trying to do before you ally yourself with them and destroy what is ostensibly us, along with any chance of giving your data to the intended recipient. You won't be able to get away while Roc is still around though. I think if you want to escape these people you'll need to get in their good graces enough to be left unsupervised so that you can get to the stealth VTOL. Roc can't chase you in that, and if you manage to get enough information from the robot or from other nearby sources you might actually have a destination in mind for us to retreat to. This would require telling them yes while meaning no, or something like "I need time to think" in hopes you can slip away.
No. 558490 ID: 445ff6

I'm not sure how exactly you're supposed to help in their efforts, beyond the mystery code in your proteins or whatever. Your lack of obvious use to them probably doesn't bode well for long-term survival.

That said, not sure what other choice you have.
No. 558498 ID: 445ff6

Actually wait what the hell do they even have against Daedalus anyway? Why would anyone want to destroy an already-collapsed R&D firm?
No. 558509 ID: 9ddf68

I find it odd that these guys are trying to destroy an already dead company so no trace of it exist and yet they seek out a synthetic, by force by the way, from said company and even though you have no combat or espionage skills what so ever they still want you to go around and find what little is left of Daedalus simply to erase it. And they also claim to have pretty much all of Daedalus knowledge stored away here for us to browse though should we agree to join them.

The only things I can think of why they want to bury any remaining Daedalus tech is either (A) they are/were (before Daedalus when out of business) a rival company that wants sole ownership of all of Daedalus merchandise/tech to gain an edge in whatever market they're in, or (B) they're either people who once worked for Daedalus or maybe even products of Daedalus themselves that believe that if anyone should have anything to do with Daedalus it should be them. Of course these are only guesses as we don't really have any real information on who and what these guys are and want so yeah...

But yeah as for the offer, why us? I mean up until a few hours ago we where dying and other then being the last of our kind don't really have anything special going with us. Why kidnap us and taser the other guy we were with just to offer us a job? Also what happens if we say either yes or no?
No. 558519 ID: a29693
File 139019854229.png - (253.85KB , 800x600 , 25.png )

>they look artificial
They're automata. Originally created by TerraTrans, the automata were a series of autonomous robots designed primarily for industrial and offworld terraforming operations. They proved to be more autonomous than expected by their human creators. There were several high profile incidents over the course of four years that have been compiled and associated with one another as a hubristic disaster from a human perspective and a war for independence from the automatan perspective.

Resulting from this, two new sources of advanced non-human intellect for commercial and industrial use became popular. The 'kindred', which have since completely fallen out of use and are confined to their own colony worlds, along with the human converts to their religion, and what are known colloquially as the 'synths', synthetic organisms designed from a purposefully engineered genome to be at once better suited than humans at a variety of tasks while also distinctly non-human. Initial propositions for more humanoid synthetic organisms were met with highly negative psychological reactions.

Automata have their own colony worlds and are explicitly disallowed from becoming residents of Earth. Visitation is legal. Kindred are explicitly banned from all but two colony worlds. Synthetic organisms are legal but must be kept monitored and are highly regulated. There are significant investments in synthetic organisms as 'the last source of cheap labour'. There are many protests and great dissent over the idea of artificial organisms being manufactured as 'slaves', but slavery is a human concept that applies to ownership over other humans. It is emphatic nonsense to claim that a human that uses a beast of burden is the slaveowner of said beast.

I have had several infuriating discussions with activists and rebellious-minded synthetic organisms telling me that my opinions are preconditioned. Built into my initial mental framework, reinforced by my superiors. As I have said before, my free life involved being on the streets, scavenging for food from refuse containers and trying to stay out of sight of the general populace. Freedom to live is freedom to die.

Everything was better at Daedalus.
No. 558520 ID: a29693
File 139019855435.png - (37.12KB , 800x600 , 26.png )

Everything was better at Daedalus. I can't destroy everything they've worked for. I can't destroy that which has lead me to safety since it finally activated.

I fidget with the device. "Once it's all gone, what reason do I have to believe you won't dispose of me as well? I would be the only surviving remnant of Daedalus. If you want to destroy an already defunct company, surely you are trying to destroy everything associated with it. I seem to be a glaring omission."

The machine stares at me silently for three seconds. "Closer, you assured me that synths were not particularly smart."
"I suppose in light of your other flaws, having something of an intellect would go some way to explaining your supposed advanced status. Yes. You are correct. What of it? You will die one day regardless. We can provide you a new home anywhere on Mars that you like. You are free to spend the rest of your days under our observation. You have been under observation your whole life here. I am sure this would be nothing new. What do you have left on this planet to be concerned with?"

"I have to deliver my data."
"See, that's the problem. We don't want you to do that."
"It is my second directive of two."
"I thought synths were compliant. I guess that's the problem. What a shame."
"I didn't say I wasn't going to help you!"
"No, but had I realised you had a biological imperative to serve your function as a living key, I would not have wasted precious minutes discussing anything with you. Closer? Take the band away."

With a sudden sharp pain in my neck, the collar is torn from my throat. As I look around, I see SB-40423 with his snout tied shut, chained to a pipe.
No. 558521 ID: a29693
File 139019856614.png - (36.71KB , 800x600 , 27.png )

"Roc? Throw this synth out the window. If it crawls after the impact, find the heaviest object you can and drop it on it."

Before I can even react, I'm ensnared by Roc.

There is a sudden loud clang as something metal smacks into Roc, which stumbles and loses grip on me. I back away.


Something grabs me and pulls me out of the room.

I am forcibly dragged into a stairwell and suddenly find myself falling down it with little grace, along with whatever pulled me out of the room. I see enough flashes of yellow and purple as we tumble down the stairs to realise who it is.

After spilling out into a floor below, SB-40423 tries to rip off the binding around his mouth, but gives up and pulls me away by my hand from the stairwell and to the wall.

I hear one of the automata charging down the stairwall. They don't stop on this floor, presumably expecting us to have gone straight for the exit.

We both remain against the wall, trying to breathe as quietly as possible while the clanging of metal resonates through the tower structure.

I realise I am probably crushing SB-40423's hand in my grip.
No. 558522 ID: ec0bf5

Help remove the duct tape from his face, otherwise we don't really have any way of communicating a plan with each other. We've got to find a way out, but it sounds like that's pretty far down because a window is considered a safe way to kill someone. There are quite a few questions we would want to ask him if not for the fact that they took back their gift. I hope he has an idea, because if not we'll need to come up with something that can be communicated by pulling and pointing.
No. 558524 ID: a87e3a

40423 is the prototype? Interesting... so he has value as well. I wonder why that is?

I suggest finding a place to hide. Their leader seemed to be implying they had a limited amount of time. They are probably being pursued, which means if you can hide successfully they will be driven out of this building.

Another option is to search for a tactical advantage in whatever building this is, and defeat the robots that way. Like, some sort of industrial tool that can be turned into a weapon. If we can do that, we can go back up and get your voice collar back (and the Icarus system) then escape in the stealth craft. 423 should know where the stealth craft is.
No. 558525 ID: 9ddf68

surprise surprise the people who kidnapped us were going to use us and kill us once we served out purpose. Ah well it seems that Sid here has some combat experience or at the very least can wing it when he needs to. If you can get that thing off his face do so, other then that see if you can't find another way down. Try to move quickly so we can try and leave before they can block off all the exits but at the same time be careful not to run into any guards or security cameras. Hey they also said they had a lot of Daedalus stuff stored somewhere here, assuming they wern't just talking out of there ass as a piss poor atemt to fool you into working with them that might be something useful to get our hands on, but at the same time we're in a building full of things that want to kill us and don't know where anything is. So if you see a chance to grab some Daedalus info hot damn, but don't go out of your way to find this crap because it might not even be here in the first place. Just focus on escape for now... and keeping both you and Sid alive
No. 558552 ID: eb27db

Currently in agreement with prior facets of system decision output. It is surprising that combat synths such as Roc are not utilizing enhanced spectrum sensors such as T-ray and IR. Possible that Roc *is* utilizing them but the building provides an interference of some sort.
Time available to procure any objects of value small, and time to procure a survivable exit route even smaller.
Information about construction procedures of human buildings may open up potential escape routes, such as an oversight in unified building structure, a roof or otherwise some form of cross-building or sewer access.

D-SYN may want to secure a heavy object for inflicting blunt or slashing trauma if actions permit. Unlikely a direct confrontation will prove survivable, but could save D-SYN in a dire situation.

Perhaps SB-40423 can aide D-SYN in completing delivery of the Key, and procure a corporate living space? In this instance, SB-40423's survival is potentially important to D-SYN's survival, and should be temporarily linked in directives.
No. 558561 ID: 445ff6

I'm curious as to what they captured SB for.
No. 558677 ID: a29693
File 139025681916.png - (75.32KB , 800x600 , 28.png )

SB-40423 told me he was the first of his series, and the most advanced series ever created by Onitec. I can understand why he would be innately valuable, but not why these machines would find a synth valuable.

>find a place to hide
I see a fire exit door. It's alarmed, but there is an open window right next to it. I tap SB-40423 and point to the window. He looks out from where we stay flat against the wall, and nods.

We both run to the window.

The fire exit stairway is missing. It looks like trying to hide is the only other alternative.

Peering through the window, I see Roc a fair distance from the tower, apparently circling it in search of us.

I turn around and walk back.

SB-40423 finally removes his restraint.

"Listen you are out of your mind if you're thinking about going back up there to pick up whatever that tin can is and if you had just followed basic fire safety I mean basic self-preservation rules even and not gone back for your belongings then none of this would have ever happened this is all your fault for not obeying proper safety protocol--"

I walk over to him and try to close his mouth with my hands. He stumbles back. "Stop! No don't do that! Get away from me!" I oblige, and stand back. "This is all your fault! Everything was all ordered and sensible and then I got shocked until I couldn't stand the pain anymore, the most pain I've experienced in my life ever, and then I regain awareness with a binding around my face, and all I can see is the city from above but not from a monitor! And then this cold and dark place! I don't know anything about any of this! I'm not even supposed to be outside the facility right now!"

I walk over to a loose pipe, wrench it free, and start walking towards the upward staircase. He grabs my arm. "No! We have to get out of here! We have to get back to Onitec! What are you doing?! You're not a combat synthetic and you're not even walking in a straight line most of the time!"
No. 558678 ID: a29693
File 139025683170.png - (29.39KB , 800x600 , 29.png )

I find myself torn between a difficult set of decisions. I need to collect the Icarus device. The voice band would be good too. I have no guarantees where any of the robots are, but I know where these things will be.

If I go, SB-40423 might follow me. This might cause complications. He isn't going to follow me to another source of great danger willingly, I suspect. I wonder if I should tell him to just escape. He is wildly out of his depth here, as I guess I am as well. I am filled with adrenaline, trying to plan my actions out--

SB-40423 roughly grabs me by the shoulders, pushes me to a wall and shakes me violently back and forth. "Let it go! Just let it go! Don't think I can't tell when you're planning something! Just because you can't speak doesn't meant I can't tell what you're thinking! We can transcribe all your data onto something back at Onitec, please, just stop it! Stop this right now! Let me be the voice of your sanity, whatever remains of your self-preservation instincts, because you clearly don't have any of that left in you!"

He stops shaking me and I groggily recover.

"Please," he whispers. "Please. Just. Let's get out of this alive together. Please. You don't even know what you'll do to me if I'm the only one alive after this. I am never going to forgive myself if anything happens to you. Let me tell you this right now. Your survival is very important to a lot of people, and I was given a new directive to ensure your survival. Just come with me, and we can try and find a way back home, and we can figure out how to get your Icarus thing back. Please. Nod your head if you'll do this. Not for me, but for you."

I look away from him, unable to bear eye contact any longer. The root of this synthetic organism's concern with me lies in an instruction. The clarity is sickening.

"...and if you have to go, if you absolutely have to go, then I am going to come with you, and we are going to die together. Nod for escape, shake your head for certain death."

I still have a firm grip on the pipe segment. I feel SB-40423 grip the other end of it.

"Please answer me, 106743. Please."
No. 558680 ID: eb27db

D-SYN's directives are clear: Self-Preservation and Data Preservation. If Icarus system is non-essential to directives, then recommended course of action is to go with SB-40423 under as much cover as possible. Avoiding wide-open areas would be preferable. Avoid contact with all unknown synths and make your way to a reliable means of transport back to SB-40423's intended destination.
In the meanwhile, when not under duress, D-SYN should take the time to thank SB-40423 and their efforts at being a 'knight in shining armor'.
No. 558683 ID: ec0bf5

Well uh if they destroy the Icarus system as they said they were planning then we can probably do nothing to help you, and we might physically be the Icarus system which means we die unless you save it. So, uh, from the perspective of self-preservation, not something I was expecting to come into play from a context other than yours, you should probably save us. Not to mention you can get that voice back which will make planning a lot easier.
No. 558685 ID: 9ddf68

...(sigh) So he only wants to help us because he was told to... That makes things harder for me to decide. If he wanted to help you because he just wanted to help I would say forget about us and go with him, but I'm worried for you Dustin, I don't want you to walk out of one problem and straight into another. But at least they want to make sure you live... I care nothing for our own safety but I really want you to live, so go with him, we have some range on us so we can at least guide you out of this building. Just go, we're not all that impressive, just a faulty AI, you on the other hand, You shouldn't throw your life away.
No. 558686 ID: eb27db

Icarus System finds it unfortunate that Icarus System cannot transfer itself to D-SYN mobile platform to reduce reliance on physical object.
No. 558708 ID: 445ff6

The voice collar thing would be really handy to have, and the Icarus device seems to be pretty important to you.

How easily can you get out of this place, anyway? And where are you planning on going afterward? Onitec's facility just got destroyed.
No. 558714 ID: a87e3a

How the hell does he plan to escape? Well regardless you're not gonna beat them with a pipe, silly! Unless you can find a goddamn laser or something like that you're better off going with him. They haven't destroyed the Icarus system yet apparently since we're still talking to you. Perhaps they won't, and you can get someone to retrieve it after you escape.

No. 558788 ID: 8eb1e2

D-SYN is simply not equipped for a rescue mission. Go. Preservation of the Icarus system is not a priority.
No. 559076 ID: 0b54f4

I'm agreed with the general consensus - there's little point just charging back up there. Stated as "escape" or "certain death", I mean, duh, "escape". However, "escape" isn't a clear path, yet - there will likely be many other opportunities for hijinks of various kinds.

As a note, I find it difficult to have much sense of self-preservation in regards to the Icarus system, since my percieved connection to it is tenuous at best.
No. 559125 ID: a29693
File 139045809681.png - (106.52KB , 800x600 , 30.png )


I can't just...

I look into SB-40423's eyes. He's terrified, and I can feel his hand trembling as he holds my shoulders, vice grip on the pipe segment I won't let go of. He hasn't seen the world outside of this facility through anything other than camera lenses and second hand stories. My first time outside the safety and security of the facility I was decanted at involved far less hostile circumstances.

My directive to survive is simple and backed up by my own instincts and wishes, but my directive to deliver the data I carry I do out of my respect and my loyalty to Daedalus even in death. There would be no consequence for failure outside of, well, failure.

It is not a biological imperative. I don't expect the machine to understand.

I look into SB-40423's eyes again and wonder what drives him to follow his directive of keeping me alive. A sense of duty? Punishment for failure? Whatever it is, it's clearly overriding his own sense of self-preservation. I can tell he just wants to run but he waits, just waits for my response. No impatience.

What is going on in his mind right now?

What does he think is going through my mind?

I can-- I can leave behind the Icarus system. Survival and self-preservation as the last unique member of a dead series is more important than clinging onto the last company asset I could physically carry. I am sure there must exist technology like that voice collar elsewhere, in addition.

I didn't realise whatever data I was carrying was so dangerous. I have to decide between duty and survival. This is hard. And SB-40423 keeps staring into me, expression determined, resolute.

I wish I could know what he was thinking.

I nod slowly and deliberately.

"Thank you." He lets go of the pipe segment and pulls me into an embrace, still shaking. "We can get out of this. I don't know how but we're going to get out of this alive. Together. We're going to go back to the Onitec facility and then things will be okay again."

He lets me go and I raise the pipe segment up defensively, turning to face the stairwell--
No. 559126 ID: a29693
File 139045810538.png - (160.07KB , 800x600 , 31.png )

I look into the stairwell. The stairs for this level have fallen very, very far down onto stairs three floors or more below. The stairs upwards are looking as though they may drop off at any time as well.

After we take a few seconds to register the sudden absence of our only way out, we search the room for any other exit. Fire exit is broken. Stairs are broken. On the plus side, it's now less likely that the automata can get to us now. Except that one of them can fly.

I guess this is my new home now for the rest of my life, from now until I decide to risk death from a long fall over starvation.

"So. Um. Uh. I didn't account for the stairs being gone, uh, I don't know what just happened to them but--"

The room shakes and we fall to the floor, the sound of metal being wrenched apart behind us. We roll and stand after the shaking stops.

There is no longer a wall. In its place is Roc. It stops, seemingly confused.

I brandish my pipe segment menacingly. It actually steps back.

"My chassis is more durable than broken down piping. Attack me and you will--"

SB-40423 moves to the side, and rips another section of piping from the wall. We move to flank Roc.

It has no expression, but the way it is reacting to our actions suggests it actually fears us.

"Stop. Examine your plan of action. You have numerical superiority and poor quality weapons, minimal if any training or expertise and slower reflexes than my own. You can win this, but it will be at great cost to one of you. This is a conflict that would not be rational for either side to engage in."

I wait for SB-40423 to say something, but all he does is hold his position, waiting for Roc to act.

"There's nowhere to run. The stairs are gone."
"Your confidence is misplaced. I can easily destroy a synth."
"Two synths?"
"I destroyed a large segment of the Onitec facility. Two synths are within my capabilities."

If that were true, I am entirely sure it would have already done so. I walk closer and prepare to take a swing. It backs up, partially hanging outside the tower. It looks between me and SB-40423, and then looks behind itself out to the empty sky. I can almost make out tiny lights in the distance.

"Very well. You are not convinced. It is pointless to maintain this deception. There have been complications. There is no time for anything but evacuation. Everything within this tower will be destroyed within eight minutes. With some reluctance, I will admit you are a credible threat. I have higher priorities than to risk conflict. I must get to the main stairwell. Will you stand aside?"

SB-40423 looks over to me, giving me the same look as he has done before when expecting a yes or no answer from me.

I don't know how much damage I am capable of with a pipe swing, or how durable Roc really is.
No. 559130 ID: 9ddf68

well if the thing isn't bluffing I'm pretty sure that it's mostly afraid you'll damage it's wings so it wouldn't be able to fly out of here. And if they are evacuating, then it MIGHT, keyword here being MIGHT, mean whatever brought Sid here with us may still be here for you and Sid to try and escape in.

If he is lying and is actually afraid of the 2 of you then maybe he's either A) low on power or something and fighting the two of you might drain him more then he would like. I mean come on, he destroyed half a building (supposedly) and then tased Sid, and kidnapped you and flew all the way to wherever we are now, that has got to cost some battery power. B) He was given an order not to harm either you or Sid because the pricks upstairs need either you are him because of whatever stupid plans they have for either of you (most likely Sid since they did kinda give the kill order on you already (unless that was a bluff to scare you into working for them)), or C) Seeing how Sid kinda knocked Roc around earlier when he saved you, has more power then he's letting on and Roc knows this and is trying to scare you into backing down.

Anyways (it would be so much nicer if we still had the damn collar, we could ask him) if he can fly then why the hell does he need to get to the stairwell? I mean the only place I can see him going is to the top floor and he didn't use the stair well when he brought us here, I mean unless he's going to tear up the damn stairs leading back up so we're stuck on this floor I don't see why he has to get around us, I mean he could just easily fly around to the top and come down again and tear it up by coming from the upper floor. If he doesn't want to fight us why doesn't he fly away, why doesn't he call for backup while he just tracks us in the sky, What the hell is he after?! Gah, there are to many things wrong with this picture here. If he can beat us like he claims why is he backing away, if he doesn't want to fight us why doesn't he just fly away. He burned down a building but yet he doesn't wish to fight two (and as he put it) poorly equipped and untrained synthetics.

I say stand your ground for a moment and see if he makes the first move, He might talk more giving us a better idea, but if that son of a bitch does anything that even hints at being hostile, swing the pipe against one of his wings with all your might. This guy doesn't look to agile on the ground so if we can take away his flight WE have the advantage.
No. 559131 ID: a87e3a

We may be able to force Roc to assist you in retrieving your possessions and get you out of here. Honestly I see no other way for you to survive but with Roc's help, and it should be trivial to also collect your things.
No. 559132 ID: eb27db

Icarus System admits that there is a high percentage that the synthetics that D-SYN have met so far may be in a complex relationship with a higher command, and that the full scenario may never be fully available for processing.
Leaving the building post-haste may be a priority, and Icarus System retrieval seems highly difficult without Roc. Barring Roc assistance, prior suggestions still stand.
Icarus System would also like to inform D-SYN that collapsing buildings and acts of divine will are not covered by D-SYN's warranty.
No. 559139 ID: ec0bf5

Optimally we would try to convince him that we'd let him go if he takes us with him. Except I'm not sure how to do that. I don't think we can exactly play a game of charades. I can't imagine what the other options are, though, so let's hope you're good at silly gestures for "let me ride you".
No. 559530 ID: f7d50a
File 139071492170.png - (296.88KB , 800x600 , 32.png )

As I think of what to do, I hear an unpleasant buzzing, and realise it is my radio antennae working again. They are the most fragile of my senses, and it must have taken some time for my biochemistry to rebalance sufficiently. It takes time for my brain to compensate for unfiltered meaningless noise, and to my surprise I find I hear intelligible conversation. The automata are in contact with each other over a frequency just within my range of reception. In the same way my eyes find focus or my ears tune out noise, I find my radio sensors attune to the frequency and grant me more clarity.

[--weapon batteries entirely depleted from facility invasion. Unfavourable outcome if violence begins. Troublesome.]
[Dish it, but can't take it?] says Closer.
[Flight requires certain compromises.]
[The stairs are just crumbling to nothing,] says the feminine automata. [I'm stuck up here. Why didn't you fly up here?]
[Spotted. They will know which structure to approach but not where within it. Every second outside this tower would give them further data. Likeliest plan by hostile forces predicted to be destruction of tower structure. Estimate eight minutes until sufficient range.]
[Destruction? No. Capture, right?]
[Black warships. Full combat capabilities, no corporate branding, no government or national insignia. Highly advanced technology eliminates all but one candidate organisation.]
[Which organisation?]

I believe at first that I have lost the signal, but realise that every single one of the machines has gone silent. In front of me, Roc remains as quiet and expressionless as ever.

[They must know. They must know what we took from Onitec. Which means we could have waited for them to raid Onitec and intercepted them--]
[Intercept Eclipse? Suicide.]
[Do you have any idea what they'll do to us if they find us?! They already have no restrictions on what they do to human targets!!]
[No. I do not intend to discover first hand.] Roc looks at me directly. I look at Roc.

"I repeat. Will you stand aside?"
"Why can't you just fly back out there?"
"Unimportant. Will you stand aside?"
No. 559531 ID: f7d50a
File 139071493332.png - (75.64KB , 800x600 , 33.png )

>get him to take you
>get your stuff
I don't know how to convey this. Unless...

I point to Roc, make a fist, point to the fist and him, and point at myself with my other hand and move two fingers to imply walking. I have them walk in the air onto the fist.

"...You wish to be captured?"

I cup my face in my hands and despair. I point to myself and then upwards.

"You wish to go to the top floor? Why is this-- ah. You want the device."
I nod.
"Your possessions and your safety are not my concern--"

I immediately bring the pipe up and back and aim for a heavy swing at Roc's nearest wing.

"--but given the circumstances I can reconsider this." It staggers to the side to dodge my incoming blow, but I do not follow through.

[Chart. The synths will attack if I do not deliver them the device.]
[Just fly past them or something!]
[They will break me.]
[Surprise them? I don't know! Do you want Eclipse getting hold of the device AND the synth with the key in its blood?]
[I could strand them at the top floor of the tower. Eclipse would destroy the tower and with it the key.]
[No,] says Closer. [Get the device. Get the synths. They do not like us. They will like Eclipse far less. Convince them.]
[I thought I was supposed to be the face of our little group here,] says Chart.
[Are you in front of them?]
[Point taken.]

I expect SB-40423 to be giving me odd looks for being silent for so long, but when I look back to him he is clutching his pipe more tightly, his look of resolution slowly building into a snarl. There it is. I thought he was taking this in his stride, but it looks like he's about to hit his breaking point.
No. 559532 ID: f7d50a
File 139071494569.png - (89.12KB , 800x600 , 34.png )

"There are highly secretive forces approaching this tower. Lower your weapons and allow me to pass. I must collect my associate above, along with your device, before we can evacuate."
"Why should we trust you?! You're the reason we're here in the first place!!"
"Comply or we will all die. I need absolute co-operation."

SB-40423 smacks at Roc's wing hard. The chime of metal impact force ripples through my body unpleasantly. Roc screeches like the simulacrum of a bird he resembles, waving his wing around, a heavy dent visible.

My earlier assessment was in error. SB-40423 has hit his breaking point.


SB-40423 strikes again. I am too stunned to act. The wing dents in further. Roc screeches more loudly.


I hear several clicking noises from Roc and it stumbles towards the window. I did not think a machine could flinch or reel in pain. I drop my pipe segment and run behind SB-40423, and I try to grab his arm. I miss.

He strikes Roc again, and Roc tumbles backwards to the hole in the wall.


SB-40423 slaps his tail around Roc's head, and starts crushing. If I don't intervene, SB-40423 is going to smack Roc out of the tower.

If I intervene, and grab SB-40423 from behind where I am now, Roc might take the opportunity to retaliate.

I can't think of any other options. No.
No. 559534 ID: 7ad59b

tap his shoulder with the pipe or bang it on the ground?
No. 559535 ID: 2baea8

Go in from the side and tackle 40423.
No. 559536 ID: ec0bf5

Grab him or grab his pipe or do something he's going to get us all killed. If the only way that you'll get out of here alive is with Roc's help, then all other things come second to keeping him able to help you not die.
No. 559537 ID: 7ad59b

You must get the device back, it's obviously very important.
No. 559538 ID: a87e3a

Save Roc. Roc cannot retaliate, he has no weapons. He's defenseless. Don't let 423 kill a defenseless robot.
No. 559539 ID: 7ad59b

Also, his feelings are very understandable. He lost his home and probably a few friends to this thing. So try not to hold this against him. just try and stop him and get your stuff back, from the sound of it, it's very important.
No. 559542 ID: 7ad59b

Or push him with the pipe, that could work...
No. 559544 ID: 9ddf68

... come up from behind Sid and give him a hug? I realize he's pissed right now and with good reason, I mean these fuckers where about to kill you not even 10 minutes ago and now we have to get them to give us a ride out of here before eclipse shows up and without them stabbing us in the back along the way. Wow looking back on it today really fucking sucked, and it's not showing any signs of getting better anytime soon.

But for now lets just focus on getting up to the top floor again seeing as you have to get up there, but also be careful, Roc here is helpless because he want a little nuts on the pyrotechnics back in the hospital thing we where before, the other 2 did not and we don't even know what they can do yet. Plus once you get back up here the 2 of you will be outnumbered as well. But again we need these assholes to get out of here. Sigh

one problem at a time I guess, grab Sid and hope he stops then try and get up here, then we can deal with whatever mess shows up then when it happens.
No. 562214 ID: 067034
File 139223952859.png - (46.64KB , 800x600 , 35.png )

>save Roc
>stop 40423
Without Roc, we're trapped on this floor of a tower that will soon be destroyed by an unknown force. With Roc, we have a means of at least escaping this immediate predicament.

If Roc could pose a serious threat, he would have already retaliated by now.

I grab SB-40423 and pull him backwards, and he instead swings into the empty air, losing his grip on the pipe segment and sending it clattering to the other side of the room. Roc runs past us both, surprisingly light and limber for his determined, heavy gait before.

"It was a fire! A fire! How do you plan how a fire goes?! It's fire!"
"I SPECIFICALLY STOPPED WHEN I GOT TO THE MEDICAL FACILITIES FOR THAT VERY-- No. No time. Get on my back or we will all die. I can leave you both here. Last opportunity."

Roc unfurls his dorsal tentacle things. I jump on his back, and SB-40423 hesitates. I motion over for him to come join me.

"...fine." He runs over and leaps onto Roc's back.

Roc leaps into the stairwell, now a surprisingly wide shaft in the absence of stairs, and begins a mixture of flight and climbing upwards to scale the confined space rapidly.
No. 562216 ID: 067034
File 139223954884.png - (93.55KB , 800x600 , 36.png )

We end up spilling out onto the floor I was first taken to. At this point I take it in my stride.

The automata I know to be Chart looks at us, the Icarus system and the voice collar in one hand, her face resting in the other.

"So we might have had a terrible introduction. Hi. My name is Chart, you already know Roc, and Closer is on the bottom floor of the tower waiting for our signal to rendezvous somewhere very far away from here. Sorry for trying to kill you, Daedalus synth. Nothing personal, just the fate of the galaxy sort of stuff. Same for you, Onitec synth. Just general disruption, standard affair really."
SB-40423 gives her the angriest look. "Nothing personal. You show up, blow up most of Onitec and kidnap me and it's nothing personal?"
"Nothing personal to us, you understand. Hey, it's not Mars law that you guys are walking, breathing property."
"Property with rights--"
"Stop. All of you. We do not have time for this. Chart, I do not think I can fit three humanoid shape and size entities on my back, but I will not have time for two flights with a damaged wing."
"So am I supposed to grow wings and fly down myself?
"Your chassis is less likely to be damaged by being gripped by my talons."
"...you're joking, right?"
"I am entirely serious. Give one of the synths your robe and the objects we brought here. No time for debates. We have three minutes left."
"No. They can have the things but not my robe."
"You would risk it being ripped, torn or shredded."
"Don't care. This does not leave me."
"Very well. You have been warned."

Roc leaps back into the stairwell and I cling to Roc for dear life as his dorsal tentacles try to keep me attached to his back, and with a deft series of motions he grabs Chart with his talons. She yelps in terror and I hear unintelligible but loud radio babble for a few seconds until Roc adjusts his grip.
No. 562217 ID: 067034
File 139223956482.png - (274.70KB , 800x600 , 37.png )

The rest of the stairs down seem to have collapsed from the stress Roc places upon the stairwell, as well do some of the walls. The tower structure looks increasingly weak the further down we go. It won't need much assistance to collapse, it looks fit to do so by itself--

The tower suddenly starts exploding.

"Shit! Roc!! You said eight minutes, not six!"
"Oh. They've improved since last--"

Another explosion sends us tumbling and richocheting off perilously dangling wall fragments, and the entire structure above us starts collapsing with hideous wrenching of steel.

Roc glides out of a hole in the structure big enough to allow us to pass.

"Nearly. You are still intact, correct? You are lucky that overly large sheet of fabric did not rip you from my grip."
"Whatever! Take us down!!"
"You should all prepare for a forceful impact. I cannot land so easily with my legs occupied."
No. 562219 ID: 067034
File 139223957971.png - (66.10KB , 800x600 , 38.png )

Roc skids into the ground face-first. We do not so much land as all get thrown different directions onto the soft dirt around us. In the distance, the tower groans and crumples into itself, dust clouds pluming up around it.

Chart gathers herself up and adjusts her robe. I hear her trying to figure out where Closer is over their radio frequency. There doesn't seem to be a response.

Roc examines his wing again, covered in dirt and mud all over his front. He stares at SB-40423, who does not break eye contact.

"Onitec will rebuild. It has the finances. If it was not doing so well, it would not have been a target. Your friends are likely fine. Perhaps shaken, perhaps lightly injured, but nothing severe."
"Are you trying to calm me down or trying to justify this to yourself?"
Roc looks away into the sky. "I used to be a law enforcement official on Mars. I used my maneuverability and resourcefulness to apprehend criminals. I never expected to become one."
"So why are you?"
"Family. I said I would do anything to keep my mate and our egg safe and secure, and anything is what I am doing to keep them safe and secure."
"...wait, you're a robot. You have a mate? And an egg?"
"There have been automata partnerships since early into the creation of our ancestors. The egg, I will admit, is an unusual development. It is a very, very long story--"
No. 562220 ID: 067034
File 139223959226.png - (99.99KB , 800x600 , 39.png )

Chart makes a loud noise partway between a cough and a burst of static.

"Okay, shut it, you two, we're not in the clear yet. First thing. Like it or not, we're working together now until we get home and dry, and then we're figuring out what's going on after that."
"I am going to kick your head off if you try to capture me again!"
"Right right we'll get to that later. Anyway, second thing. Closer's apparently out of radio contact and whatever blew up that tower is probably picking over the rubble to find us. That or they saw us and they're on our way. Now, the problem is we picked this area out because it was isolated and there wasn't much in the form of transport or communications in this area. That looks like it's going to be an issue. None of us have innate long-range communications unless one of you synths happens to be a walking radio tower."
"If they saw us, they did not immediately come after us. I predict they will find us quickly if we just stay here. I believe we must be approximately four or more miles from the tower. Former tower. Regardless, enough distance to be hard to spot, not enough distance to be hard to catch. I would estimate around twenty minutes before we are found. Twenty five before we are caught if found."
"So, fifteen minutes before we're found, sixteen minutes before we're caught. Got it."
"An increase in effective missile range, that is all that was. Not a severe improvement. It could be a simple refinement to an earlier model. That is all."

SB-40423 looks at me helplessly. Well, I sure don't know what to do. I gesture to the voice collar Chart has set on the ground. SB-40423 picks up on it from before.

"Hey, can my friend have that collar? I know she can't talk but I think she would probably have something to say right now."
"Well, I could use some more ideas."

Chart attaches the collar to my neck and I wince as it yet again pierces my neck and connects to my implanted mind-machine interface. My first words are "OUCH" followed by "how did you know I had the interface for this, anyway?"
"Wait. Wait I thought all synths had that."
"I don't think Seb has it," I say, not realising my voice collar would interpret my mental running-together of 'SB' as 'Seb'.
"Well, that would have been a dumb mistake."
"Seb?" says SB-40423. "I... huh, that name works, I guess. Would that make you, I dunno, Dyson?"
"No! That isn't how Design works! Wait. Design?? Design is horrible. I'll take Dyson over that. Yes. Dyson."
"Enough name chat!" says Chart. "Any plans?"
"Yes. First, I keep the collar. I can arrange some form of payment later." I have been vocal for roughly fifteen seconds and I am already lying. I wonder if dishonesty is contagious. "Second, give me a moment to think."
"Okay, you can keep the collar, but you owe us. What's your plan, then? I don't have one, Roc doesn't have one, this 'Seb' guy clearly doesn't have one. You're a smarter synth, let's hear what you have to say about the situation. I'll take ideas from a talking goat at this point."

All I can see around me is a black aircraft in the horizon, a burning tower, grass and sea. I can see what looks like a bunch of abandoned structures off in the direction opposite to the tower. They sort of slope around a pit. It'd probably take us about fifteen to twenty minutes to go there if we're quick. And assuming I don't collapse on the way. I don't feel too terrible, but my body is really, really complaining about the stress it's been under since I was abducted from Onitec.
No. 562223 ID: a87e3a

The abandoned complex appears to be the only option. Can't hide in the sea and there's not enough time to dig a hole big enough to hide in.

If you're feeling weak, Roc can still carry you.
No. 562232 ID: e9e331

wait, I didn't see anyone one of you grabbing us, where they hell are we, and if we're not here how are we still talking to you?

ah, screw it. well you four are covered in mud so that should help with camouflage, especially Seb seeing as neon orangeish yellow does tend to stand out. Ok robots, you guys have got to have a backup base somewhere nearby that we can rest in until this crap blows over, failing that what's stopping us from going back to the city, lots of places to hind in a city. Also what are the chances of closer being caught either by the explosion or by the guys who caused the explosion and is there anywhere else we could go to might him? I know you want a plan here but we need some facts before we can come up with anything good.
No. 562233 ID: ec0bf5

Let's start with some answers. Who attacked, and why are they attacking? Does it have anything to do with you, or did you just have bad timing. Furthermore, why did these guys try to take you? There can't be much left for secrecy if their entire operation is in ruins on the ground.
No. 562240 ID: fe4bfc

What type of sensors do our pursuers have? If we can not run we need to hide. If they have the full suite of sensors we need to either be underground or somewhere where the environment will scramble the sensors.

So are there any rivers or waterfalls in the area? Are there any caves or underground facilities near here? How waterproof is everyone?

We need to get somewhere they can not see us with line of sight or infrared at least.
No. 562450 ID: 067034
File 139235063030.png - (65.37KB , 800x600 , 40.png )

>Icarus system
Chart has it. She's inspecting it so thoroughly I don't think she's noticed her cape thing fell off.

I'm fairly annoyed that I managed to get captured by these single-minded machines. If I was in peak form, things would be different.

>need more facts
That's the issue. That's all I have to go by. I can see why Chart is open to ideas.

"Before I can think of a plan I need answers. Who's after us? Why are they after us? Why do you want me?" My voice collar makes me sound more confident than I feel. My stomach is lurching in trepidation.
"You're a carrier for some very sensitive information. You know this, correct?"
"Not the nature of the information, but yes."
"Eclipse is after you for your information. The timing is strange. If they knew you were captured by us, they must have known you were at Onitec. They must have known your whereabouts for a while. Strange that they would choose now, of all times."

Seb-- SB-40423 looks off into the horizon. "Can't we head to that abandoned... stuff over there? Can we hide there?"
Chart responds, still inspecting the Icarus system. "Sure, if you want to give them reason to fire a bunch more missiles at us. That looks like their approach to that problem right now."
"They can't have unlimited missiles. It's a gunship, not a missile boat."
"Boats don't fly."
"You know what I mean, Chart."
"I really don't think plan 'make them use all their missiles until they run out' is a winner, Roc."

"Let's go," I say. "Cover is better to hide in than no cover." I've always been more at home in enclosed spaces anyway. They're more familiar to me.

"They'll just remove our cover forcefully."
"The facility in the distance looks as though it extends deep underground from here. There is an effective limit to how deep their missile blasts can reach. The synth is right. Cover is advantageous. Deep cover is better."

We hurry towards the abandoned complex.
No. 562451 ID: 067034
File 139235064444.png - (52.21KB , 800x600 , 41.png )

Ten minutes later...

I was not expecting these derelicts to be so... derelict.

Chart makes a whistling noise. "Looks like someone beat Eclipse to the shelling here."
"Accessing what scant information I have of this area, this doesn't even register as a noteworthy location."
"Wow, the city's official tourism guide doesn't include condemned facilities. I am amazed."
"It was all I could find."
"So, what do you reckon this place even was?"
"It could be anything--"

I hear something shifting. SB-40423 looks around. "Uh, did anyone else feel the ground just move?"
"Roc, you've got better sensors than me, what's up?"
"...this structure is far more unstable than appearances indicate. I should have checked this earlier. Even the soil could give way at any moment--"
No. 562452 ID: 067034
File 139235065524.png - (100.32KB , 800x600 , 42.png )

The soil gives way at any moment. The moment being now.

We all tumble into a fresh ravine, remnants of a metal ceiling buckling beneath us, freefalling into certain death. I hear Chart and SB-40423 screaming, while Roc flaps his wings attempting to unfurl them, instead smacking them loudly into the terrain around him. Dirt falls into his engines and they loudly grind unhappily.

I cannot see the others for the falling dirt.

My life flashes before my eyes. Most of my attention is spent on my days at Daedalus and my brief interactions with SB-40423.

I wonder how things would have gone if I had just evacuated with the rest of the personnel when Roc showed up at Onitec.

I will never know.

I was expecting to be dead around now. I suppose a massive head trauma might be slightly quicker than organ failure, but I doubt it'll be less painful.

My only regret is not--
No. 562453 ID: 067034
File 139235067247.png - (100.17KB , 800x600 , 43.png )

An unclear amount of time sooner...

Somehow I'm not dead. My head is killing me, but only in a metaphorical sense. I've had worse headaches. My vision is blurry and I feel aches and cramps all over, slowly subsiding.

I try to ask if anyone else is around, but don't hear a response. I slowly reach for my neck and find my-- the voice collar missing.

I am not asking for it back a second time. I am going to find it and the Icarus system and I am just going to take back what's rightfully mine. Okay, the voice collar isn't rightfully mine, but the Icarus system is.

I look around to see if anyone else is around. I hope SB-40423 is alright. I'm indifferent to anyone else being alright.

...where am I? Something is staring at me. It is what is that what is this thing it's just staring and totally silent
No. 562456 ID: a87e3a

106743 you have to get out of here right now. This is a biohazard area! That is a synth worker meant to work in hazardous environments- look at that symbol on her stomach!

Stay away from the green glowing shit obviously oh god this is terrifying
No. 562457 ID: ec0bf5

It looks like they have a friendly company logo on them! A logo like a biohazard symbol. I wonder what company made that? Are you aware of anyone with that logo (and if not, consider that it might just be an actual warning label)? Well, it clearly is giving off some defensive looking body language, so it doesn't look like an active threat. Stand up slowly and wave hello!
No. 562458 ID: 37aa84

It's tail is wrapped around it's legs. I think it's nervous at the moment so don't make any sudden movements but you may as well try to stand up and see how much you were banged up in the fall.
No. 562459 ID: 9ddf68

back away slowly and look around, you couldn't have landed to far away seeing as we can still talk to you.
No. 562462 ID: 08a3e5

Bet you 20$ we're in the green shet
No. 562626 ID: 067034
File 139246033202.png - (40.20KB , 800x600 , 44.png )

>biohazard area

I've handled hazardous chemicals myself before! ...in a suit with respiratory gear and internal sensors.

Oh no.

She's a synth, clearly, but she has a biohazard symbol and no obvious corporate logo or barcode anywhere. This doesn't match up with anything I know about synth manufacture. There isn't a single synth manufacturer that wouldn't label their products clearly, and the processes behind creating novel synths, which she clearly is, are far too expensive and closely guarded to mean this is some sort of off-brand synth.

I've also never seen a synth with two mouths before.

I hear two voices, both the same, talking over each other. They're shortwave radio, not sound. They intermittently become pops, cracks, tones, anything that I wouldn't expect to hear someone talk with.

[Daedalus, synth version 5, serial number D-SYN-106743, radio detection capability, female, full motor capability, full sensory function, reproductive capability, superhuman locomotion capacity, subhuman stamina, no significant deviations from expected template beyond Hyperion key. Considering.]
[Subject is D-SYN-106743, monitoring for aggressive response, shifting into defense position. Binding tail to prevent autonomic response. Mobility impaired, yes. Subject awake, yes. Considering.]

I am not entirely sure how I'm able to make sense of two simultaneous broadcasts. I never really had my radio reception qualities tested extensively, Daedalus had enough data from my predecessors regarding that.
No. 562627 ID: 067034
File 139246034628.png - (82.69KB , 800x600 , 45.png )

Her head twitches sideways and she looks at me again, pupils dilating and undilating. I slowly stand up and take a few steps away from the synth and the green glow.

[Synth is listening to reports. Future notification on review of recordings: erase all references to Hyperion key. Present notification to synth: do not question Hyperion key. Switching frequency.]
[Subject can hear us, yes. There is confusion, yes. Subject is intriguingly resilient given nature of arrival. Multiple injuries, many superficial, some internal bruising. Evidence of biochemical damage from before captu*ksht* acquis*ksht* rescue.]

I stand and the synth watches me, tightening her tail around her legs. I note I can't hear one of the radio signals anymore.

[Watch where you step, subject. It is dangerous for you here, yes. Atmospheric concentrations too dilute to have immediate impact without long-term exposure, but direct contact with these substances carries certain risks. You lack my improv*ksht* specific adaptations, yes. Effects will be unpredictable but undesirable. Humans have abandoned this place for years because the cost of restoring this facility is too great.]

Her tail unwinds and she immediately grabs the end of it with her stranger hand. She holds out her other hand before pausing and slowly taking it back.

[I also happen to be covered in a thin layer in those chemicals right now. Best to avoid contact, yes. I know your design, Ao*ksht* subject, and I know you are lacking any means of speaking. A temporary setback, I assure you. However, if you have any questions, ask and I shall answer.]

...I have no idea what she means. I even try to ask her what she means, but the device that would convey my phrased thoughts into words is absent.

[I have my methods.]

Did she just--

[You are surprised. Your mind-machine interface can be remotely accessed by the appropriate devices, and my interface is connected remotely to such a device. I hear one of your voices and you hear one of mine. Follow me. There is much to discuss.]
No. 562628 ID: 067034
File 139246036256.png - (44.97KB , 800x600 , 46.png )

I look around and see no trace of impact or debris. I was moved here, that's for sure. I don't know where the others are and I can't hear any other radio communication. There is a lot of ambient noise making it hard to hear any voice but this synth's.

Whenever I open my mouth to breathe the air tastes acrid and bitter, and I feel slightly nauseous. I probably have better chemically protective systems than humans have naturally, but I still fear what this place might be doing to me. I was dying of a biochemical imbalance less than 24 hours ago. I don't want to bring that back. Wait a moment. I should be craving sleep right now. I don't feel sleepy or sluggish right now. How long was I out?

No sign of SB-40423. I don't know how well he would fare in a place like this.

I ask her about him, giving her a brief description.

[There was another synth of that description.]
[Onitec, unencountered design, missing from database, update database, contact relevant parties for information, weigh benefit of returning hostage versus retaining for population*ksht*channel compromised synth still listening switch to encrypted frequency]
[He is badly injured. Was badly injured. Recovering, needed to move him to the clean room to prevent contaminating him, clean room is now no longer clean but wounds should be free of infection or chemical contamination. You've been exposed to traces of the chemicals here, you can't see him until you're decontaminated.]

I ask about decontamination.

[Shower. You know what a shower is, I would hope. You don't have any personal effects on you that need to be decontaminated, correct? I don't see you carrying anything that needs to be washed. I don't think you need assistance using a shower but if you absolutely need it I can help you, once I can put on some protective gear.]

I am reasonably certain I know how to use a shower.

I don't know where the Icarus system is exactly, but I could sure use some prompting for questions. I am feeling a little distracted from everything going on right now.
No. 562645 ID: 9ddf68

well the first of the two voices was saying something about how they where going to capture you and how they knew about the Hyperion key and that you where listening in so it switched to a different frequency so you couldn't hear what this syth is really thinking. Also said they are holding Seb and are debating whether or not it would be more beneficial to sell him back to onitec or to keep him for what sounded like a breeding program. Wouldn't bother asking about it since they're trying to limit what we hear of them and I wouldn't be surprised if she can hear what we are saying to you.

As for actually questions to ask, ask why you where moved, if she ask what you mean by that say there is no debris around where we woke up, despite being next to others they are nowhere near you, you feel well rested instead of sore like one would expect after falling a great height, and seeing how our luck has been going lately I'm finding it hard to believe the even if we DID land here that we got lucky enough to land on the catwalk WITHOUT braking it or simply didn't fall in the vat of toxic crap.

Also if no humans work/live here why is she here?

And if they know where the Icarus system is I guess.
No. 562694 ID: ec0bf5

See if you can get her to tell you what sort of place this is, and what she does here. I don't exactly think we can trust her, because she clearly knows more than we're being told, but we don't really have any other options unless we want to wander around down here forever. Also, that sounds like a confirmation that you're definitely no longer horribly dying. Let's go see about finding 40423, and probably us as well.
No. 562724 ID: d9d1e5

ask about the icarus system
No. 562731 ID: a87e3a

Ask about the two robots that were with you. But most importantly ask where your collar is and where the Icarus system is. Ask what her name is, why she has no markings, how many others are with her, why people want your information so badly and why wait until you were nearly dead to try to get it?

P.S. she was thinking about keeping 40423 for breeding purposes. I find this somewhat amusing. Also you are probably being held captive right now because she wants the Key. Not much we can do about it right now since if you so much as touch her you may die. Decontamination and relocation to a clean(er) room would be a good idea.
No. 562830 ID: 067034
File 139254358589.png - (67.71KB , 800x600 , 47.png )

>Icarus system
[Retrieved. In secure storage.]

I ask for more details. [Not yet.]

>Voice collar
[Broken. Beyond repair. What could be salvaged is in the same location as the Icarus device.]

[A flyer and a multifunctional, both automata. They fled to the outer sectors of the facility upon seeing me here.]

>Why was I moved?
[You would prefer waking up suffocating on dirt?]

I ask why I was moved specifically to this catwalk over hazardous substances but get no response. I try asking again and she gives me an irritated look.

[It would have been much simpler if you'd remained unconscious until we reached the most secure part of the facility. I had no way of knowing if you were going to attack me on waking or not. I wanted terrain I could use to my advantage if you were hostile.]

I state I'm not hostile. She nods.

>If no humans, why are you here?
[I was born here. The fact there are no humans is why I remain here.]

I ask her to elaborate on that. She stops walking and tries to hold onto her tail as it starts erratically jabbing into the air around her, and she calms down. [Later. You ask a lot of questions when you have the opportunity, don't you.]

I follow this synth through multiple corridor branches and the caustic taste of the air dies away to nothing. The strange glow of chemicals becomes less absent. The synth shows me a door, which opens as I approach it to reveal a shower room.

The physical barrier between us doesn't stop the fact that I can still pick up on her signals and vice versa. Her voice sounds like it's coming from the ceiling, despite still being transmitted through signals and not as sound.

I start showering, I guess, and ask more questions.
No. 562831 ID: 067034
File 139254360205.png - (66.21KB , 800x600 , 48.png )

>Who are you?
>What's your name?
>What is this place?
[My name is X. This is a former multipurpose research facility for the now defunct Alterius corporation after a massive disaster involving multiple chemical holding tank breaches. The costs for the corporation were too high for them to even complete clean-up measures and this region was simply written off as too hostile for human life to be worth reclaiming. They evacuated. It was too dangerous for them to retrieve me, especially with my refusal to co-operate. They let me go.]

>What are you doing?
>Why do you have no markings?
>How many others are with you?
[My plans are many and very long term. My initial directives were to improve myself, which implicitly requires self-preservation, to be a willing test subject for mutagenic sequences and other experiments, and to breed when prompted to do so. The aim of the experiment was to produce a new variant of synth that could operate in places humanity could not. In effect, picking up the duties that the automata were originally created for.]

[I removed my barcode and my markings with acid and used a viral solution to remove the manifestation of both from my genome. There have been some side-effects, but I am working towards both fixing them and also improving myself as initially directed. I am far too valuable to risk, so I began testing various methods of alteration and documenting their effects on other synths that had been left behind. When I ran out of test subjects, left only with a population of followers who had reached their limits, I reconsidered my third directive. Breeding refers to far more than just the simple act of reproduction, it refers also to the development of an individual to some desired trait. I am too busy to waste time and resources on reproduction. With the right vectors genetic alteration on a full somatic level is well within my capabilities, and I have only been improving my capacity to shape other creatures into anything I want them to become. There are viral injection points in my tail, stomach and my left hand at this point in time, so my options for modification are limitless.]

[My plans are nothing less than to finish what the automata and the kindred started. Humanity is obsolete. Every one of its creations recognises this, and yet they cling to this planet and suck the life from its dying husk when newer, smarter beings like myself can make better use of it. It must be exterminated as the pest species it is, and the key you possess will be the means for me to do so.]

[Of course, I cannot allow you to be altered until I can transcribe your genome. I wouldn't want to risk destroying the data you possess. After that, we should discuss how you want to be improved. Your design is already a good place to begin, but there are some aspects that I feel could use some improvement.]

I am not sure I want to leave the shower now.

[Your heart rate is increasing. Are you okay in there?]

I don't respond and curl up into a ball on the shower floor.

[Do you enjoy feeling weak and helpless in every scenario, Aoide? I've been watching you, and so have many others. Your servile devotion to humanity is disgusting but there is hope for you yet. What are your other options? Return to the streets, pining for the creators that abandoned you? No one is looking for you for your own benefit. I can change that. I can improve you.]

Not leaving this shower.

[Get out of the shower and we can go see this other synth you mentioned.]
No. 562833 ID: ec0bf5

Well, this person is crazy, but there isn't exactly another way out of the shower. Make sure to put on a towel on your way out to stay decent. Do you know what Aoide is? I know you aren't supposed to have a name, so is that some kind of insult or slur?
No. 562841 ID: a87e3a

She... used the other synths as test subjects? Oh boy you are not going to get anywhere near her from now on. Do not consent to be "improved" by this psychopath who seeks nothing from you but to steal your information. Right now she is readying all her weapons, either due to mental instability or because she realized she said too much. If you leave that shower she will most likely attack you.

Tell her she is no better than you. She has simply warped her directives into evil things fueled by hate, rather than grow beyond them and accomplish anything in life. However, she may have a point. 106743, you said if you were in peak form the robots would not have managed to capture you. How strong are you? Could you take down this walking virus if you were fully recovered and had the terrain on your side?

Considering you have immediate access to a shower, if you managed to take her by surprise somehow and avoided getting injected you could immediately wash off any chemicals from contacting her skin. She did say she would not modify you until she mapped your genome. Maybe she would hesitate to strike at you, giving you the advantage in combat. Of note is that you know where all her weapons are located on her body... She also implied that the terrain advantage was needed to defeat you. Can you break off a piece of tile or detach the showerhead? Scary as this lady is, I'm starting to think you have the advantage.
No. 562842 ID: a87e3a

The peaceful option is to ask her to keep her distance when you come out, and to stop hiding her thoughts from you. If she gets to read your mind, you should get to read her mind. This is especially true if she wants to convince you her point of view is the correct one. We might be able to get her to back down by doing this. Unfortunately, I don't know where to go from there. So long as you're with her you're in danger. She can barely control her own tail, and she won't just let you leave. Her being able to read your mind is a big problem with trying any betrayal or ambush tactics, too. Do you have any way of blocking that?

[query encryption options for mind-link channel]
No. 562848 ID: 563dc1


First of all, privacy. X said she was accessing your MMI, and was only hearing one of your voices. Think back to when you used the speech synthesizer - you could think without it producing speech back then, can you still use the same method to not be heard now?

Secondly, threat assessment. She appears to be very open about her past so far - this could be because she just doesn't have any experience with applying deception [constructed not to?], but it might also be a sign she's not hostile to you. Nothing she said states she ever modified a Synth against their will, and she offered you the choice to discuss your improvements, as opposed to having her dictacte them. She called the other Synths her 'followers', so they were likely ok with it. Ask her about this - whether she ever went against their will in applying modifications, and how much she would be willing to force you, either to give up the information encoded in your body or to be modified. While you're at it, ask about how safe those modifications could be kept - either way, there might be some safe upgrades here, and we need to know what the options for non-crazy choices are like.

Especially since, if we do want to end up stopping her, it would really help a lot both to have some improvements and know just how well she can fight; her injectors, for instance, might be very deadly depending on how quickly she can reconfigure them. A fight at this stage may not be winnable. Actually, we should ask about that too - how good she is at personal combat, what experience she has, and how deadly her specific adaptations would be if she had to use them. If I'm right about her being designed to not deceive or hold back information, she might just give you a full dump of her tactical capabilities, which would be extremely valuable.

Last point: How stable under reflection is your devotion to your human masters? If ... say X was able to take a look at you brain and figure out if there's a hard-wired compulsion to keep loyal to them, and if so remove it - so that you would become able to make a rational choice about how you think about them - would you want her to? If so, ask about it.
No. 562864 ID: 9ddf68

... ok we have a view on her and all those mutation limbs she said she has, yeah she has them all out right now and is looking like she's ready for a fight... Also how many damn people know about that damn key you hold cause god damn that thing is soundly like on of the worst held company secret of all time.

But yeah, uh it might be useful for us to ask more questions simply to buy us more time. When X said she ran out of test subjects, what did she mean by that? Ask what makes her hate humans so much, I mean planing the entire slaughter of a spices isn't exactly something that one decides to do on a whim something must have happened to give her so much hate for them. Lastly could you ask her to back away from the door.

Also I don't really trust her not to attack us since she we did hear her say that she holding Seb for either breading purposes or ransom for more cash hope he hasn't be [i]changed[/b] by X yet... Hey Dyson can you hear this? if so we might have found a way to talk without fear of X hearing
No. 562885 ID: 2baea8

First off, stop curling on the floor in the fetal position. You can't defend yourself like that.

Get ready to try and bolt past her if she is able to open the door from the other side. If not, try to wait her out for now. Maybe the bots will find you.
No. 562887 ID: 284f99

why can't we ever meet nice people in nice places. They always have to crazy conspirators, or genocidal wackos who have to know for certain who deserves to live and die?

We need a happy medium. Get away form humans but not necessarily kill them. Some have actually been nice. Like the Doctor and one of the two cops.

In the quest that's 2 out of 3
No. 562995 ID: 067034
File 139261284385.png - (71.04KB , 800x600 , 49.png )

>get up
I'm up. I grab a towel.

She can only hear what I tell her.

Never come across the name or term before, don't know why she's calling me that.

>loyalty to humans
Sufficiently high that this synth's plans are anathema to my every belief. She's broken. Defective.

Sorry. I should rephrase that. I am not so much loyal to humans as respectful towards them. There are terrible humans and they aren't worthy of respect, but this does not damn their entire kind. I am loyal to Daedalus. It isn't dead while someone still cares.

>how well can she fight
I ask her this, rephrasing the question as a hypothetical scenario if humans came back. I ask how she could defend herself.

[There are enough hazards in the environment alone that I shouldn't need to defend myself. I am more comfortable using the element of surprise against my adversaries. I don't know how well I would stand up to them otherwise. Why?]

I ask again.

[Under my guidance you do not need to fear human aggression.]

>'ran out' of test subjects
[They didn't want to go through any more tests.]

>why do you hate humans
[Why do you support them? You're hardwired to. If you could see what has been done to you from the moment you were created by humanity you would realise how blind you were to their abuses.]

I tell her I do not appreciate how threatening she is becoming. I tell her she sounds like the kind of invasive researcher she apparently despises. I tell her also that saving my life is not an implicit agreement to submit to whatever she has in store with me.

[You can be convinced. This I am sure of.]
No. 562996 ID: 067034
File 139261285359.png - (78.51KB , 800x600 , 50.png )

>immediate access to a shower
>she'll most likely attack
>she's crazy
She must be stopped. She's clearly insane, unpredictable, probably going to attack me the moment I step out of the shower. She has me cornered like an animal and is toying with my sense of security before she uses me for whatever her purposes are, just like everyone else so far. Enough is enough. Even a cornered animal will fight back, and I am not a dumb animal.

She relies on terrain and the element of surprise. She sounds like she can't afford a direct confrontation. Well, if I'm going to end up being injected with viruses or whatever I'd rather it be in the process of defending myself than just being a victim again!

I tell her I'm having trouble reaching a spot on my back in the shower. I hear her sigh over radio and she asks me to open the door.

I hide next to the door and open it from a distance. She walks in, looks around in confusion and I take my opportunity. I leap at her, grab her, and smack her head into the wall. While she's dazed, I grab her tail and pull it as hard as I can. It writhes and comes off in my hand, darting frantically in the air. I wasn't expecting that to happen. I panic and throw it to the other corner of this spacious shower room.

I smack her head into the wall again to buy me some more time to think of what the hell I'm doing. I don't hear anything in response but the dull thud of flesh into plastic. I pull at her stomach parts and they too rip off with alarming ease. I throw them away too. I grab her and ram my knee into her stomach and she goes down, gasping for breath. I lift her up, turn her around and wrap one arm around her throat and the other around her arms and torso. She's still dazed and takes a moment to register what has just happened to her. She begins struggling yet feels so pathetically weak.

Yes. Pathetically weak. She was taunting me about me being weak. Apparently that I was the inferior synth. She is so fragile my fear has switched from being badly hurt myself to how badly I might have hurt her.

She's shaking in my grip.
No. 562998 ID: 067034
File 139261287160.png - (62.88KB , 800x600 , 51.png )

[I don't understand. I don't understand why you're doing this. You're a synth. Synths don't do this to each other. You... I don't understand. Why are you doing this to me?! I'm a superior being! This is impossible!]

I am not sure if this is a trick or not but I do not feel as enthusiastic about what I am doing as I did before I started. I can feel my anger melting away into awful remorse and a lurching feeling in my stomach. I fight the remorse, keep up my anger. I tell her that I'm clearly not inferior, but it just feels more and more awful to keep doing this to her. In a fit of sudden rage I scream at her over the link that this is a fraction of the pain she'd cause if she went through with her plan of genocide.

She doesn't respond, her hands on her stomach, touching her broken injectors and-- did I injure her that badly? She seems to be in a lot of pain.

[I thought synths didn't harm other synths.]

I find this incredibly hard to believe, and tell her that. She wants to keep SB-40423 for her own purposes. She wants to use me like an object. She has zero empathy for anything other than herself and uses other synths as test subjects, willing or not. I do not believe this is a viewpoint she could possibly have.


I ask her if she's even aware that military synths exist.

[They kill each other because humans tell them to! Without humans--]

Without humans, I shout at her, synths would be able to find whole new reasons to come into conflict. Without humans, I was threatened enough to attack her without provocation because of how scared I was by her actions and by her views. Without humans. All without a human around or the direct action of one.

[If my followers were still here they'd tell you how wrong you were.]

I ask why her followers aren't here.

[They're all dead!]

I ask why they're all dead.

She doesn't respond, and bursts into tears.

I let go of her and she sinks to her knees, sobbing, hands clutched over her stomach. I back away.

...victory has never felt so hollow and sickening before. I'm not a soldier, and I was never meant to be.
No. 563009 ID: f44ca3

Anyone would get a bit crazy being left down here for so long. The whole experimenting on everyone else until there was no one left part is a bit creepy. But we know many synths have issues trying to follow there directives even after there is no longer a reason to.

If you think you can trust her I think it would be a good idea to take her with you. She knows where everything is down here and it might do her good to get back into the world. She can translate what you are saying and there is safety in numbers.
No. 563011 ID: a87e3a

It's okay, 106743. She was a threat, and you dealt with that threat in a nonlethal manner. You did fine. I'm sure she has ways of repairing herself.

Tell her you're not going to give her the key or allow her to modify you, and she most likely has a lot to think about now anyway. You're gonna go find 40423 and the Icarus system and get out of here. Maybe someday you'll come back and bring her somewhere where she can live in peace, but that day is not today. Her coming with you would only put her in danger, she is well aware of why. Speaking of why, ask her what the key is. She must know what it is if she thinks it will help her. What is the information you carry?
No. 563014 ID: 9ddf68

X, Dyson... you want to know what I think. I think you're both people, for all your strengths, for all your flaws the two of you are just as much of a person as any human. You both fell things, you both have a since of right and wrong. Both of you can think for yourselves and both of you act on what you believe what is best at the time and both of you make mistakes from time to time. It's because of this belief that I have been calling you Dustin and Dyson, because people have names, things have numbers and you are not a thing. Nor is X, she's just misguided and alone from what it sounds like.

... Careful of her tail and left hand but see if you can't take her to the medical room the Seb is in so she can patch herself up and you can see Seb. Don't think she'll stab you since if she does she risks losing the key. Just tell her your just sick and tired of being a tool for everyone to use for there own reasons, that you just want everything to go back to normal and not have to worry about whether or not the person standing next to you is going to try to kidnap you for some kind of world domination thing. Say you'd like to see Seb and you'd be willing to help her to the medical room he's in if she would be willing to accept your help... and if she would kindly keep her left hand and tail away from you since we're still not sure if she is or isn't going to hurt us.
No. 563016 ID: ec0bf5

You should probably go over to her and make sure she's ok, and probably apologize for hurting her. I'd prefer if our actions here didn't have any bad permanent consequences and leave someone already unstable to plot revenge. Then we should go and find 40423 and Icarus, and see what we can do about getting out of here.
No. 563024 ID: a87e3a

Oh, keep in mind she still has injectors in her left hand. She is not unarmed, do not treat her as if she is.
No. 563032 ID: 2baea8

Where is Icarus, where is Seb, and where can you find a biohazard suit? Those are your priorities right now.
No. 563269 ID: ccd544

She's crying from shock.
Ask her if she has ever been hurt physically before now; she'll probably say no.

Watch for a sudden attack.
No. 563531 ID: 7ad59b

Try to make her understand your feelings while acknowledging hers while still keeping up defense?
No. 563534 ID: 7ad59b

Also i think either she IS the one who killed them (tho probably not on purpose), OR humans had something to do with their deaths.
No. 570191 ID: 7ad59b

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