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845350 No. 845350 ID: a6af03

Previous Chapter : https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/820992.html
Disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/106228.html
Expand all images
No. 845351 ID: a6af03
File 151079548507.png - (29.51KB , 600x600 , 5-1.png )

You are…
No. 845352 ID: a6af03
File 151079553426.png - (94.95KB , 600x497 , 5-2.png )

Taking fire.

Two on the third floor, you’re pinned down.
Unknown number of assailants inside.

For this mission you are assigned callsign “Ghost”.
Echo took a hit to her chestplate, setting off a shieldpack charge. She’s wheezing pretty bad and is leaned up against the cruiser next to you while you assess the situation. The vehicle rocks slightly as another potshot thunks into it.
No. 845353 ID: a6af03
File 151079556222.png - (67.67KB , 600x451 , 5-3.png )

Word comes in over comms, recon spotted targets attempting to set up a railgun. A weapon like that would easily punch through your cruiser’s light armor. Someone either needs to neutralize that gun or you need to move out of its field of fire.
Echo says she’s ready to move but even with pain dampeners on she will probably be slowed.
Two other agents nod to you from behind their vehicle: Cricket and Zombie. The four of you are fast response enforcers: shock troops ill equipped to take out an entrenched opponent. In an ideal world, you would have been able to breach the compound and secure the targets before they could organize a defense. Unfortunately someone smelled you coming and until a heavier response team arrives, you’re on your own.

Current mission assets:
3 talon smgs
1 reaper combat rifle w/ underslung grenade launcher
2 tactical cruisers (partially disabled)
4 stunprods
2 breaching charges
4 shieldpacks
6 concussive grenades
2 smartfog grenades
1 high altitude support drone

Mission objective:
Secure and extract reNu company assets (2) alive.
Neutralize or capture insurgent agents.
No. 845355 ID: 33cbe7

How high altitude is this support drone? Is it an eye in the sky or can it swoop down to carry a smartfog grenade payload into that gun nest?
No. 845358 ID: 3ce125

Looks like Annie is dreaming. Memories of battles long past. "Ghost" "Echo" "Zombie"... all allusions to things coming back after they're gone. "Cricket" seems out of place here, why is that?
...I wonder if we should really be helping them. Well, I want to at least see who the targets are.

I don't think that's a good idea. If the drone comes down it will get shot at.

It kindof looks like you could use the cars as cover to go around the side of the building where there aren't guns pointed at you. Obviously some covering fire would help for the dash. It would also help if you could move the car in front closer to the car behind it.

After that I'd use breaching charges on the wall of the building to enter it.
No. 845359 ID: 094652

Throw a smartfog grenade in front of you, then use the drone to take out the marksman while they're focused on the fog.
No. 845361 ID: bb78f2

New Mission Objective Desert with Echo
Fuck this!
No. 845455 ID: 94bef7

Maybe "Cricket" alludes to the fact that its often something you hear but not see from the dark of night. A sound effect of crickets sounding(?) is often used to signify silence from an audience (perhaps the silence of there being none, or are already dead). According to Wikipedia, cricket fights are a thing. In Brazilian belief, a cricket is an omen of death, illness, or money.

Cricket also happens to be a lighter brand, but I doubt it has any significance.
No. 845462 ID: c88e6d

Utilize underbarrel grenade launcher to put a grenade through that window. You will die if you take a hit from that gun.
No. 845468 ID: 22faaa

have the person with the rifle suppress the gunner in the window so the other three of you can push to the to the building.
The UBGL would be ideal to at least stun the guy in the window and give you the opportunity to suppress.
No. 845494 ID: 1e7aa8

Who has the rifle? That person needs to get a concussive grenade into that room while the other three provide covering fire.
No. 845496 ID: 2fe26a

Smartfog the machine gun nest with the reaper rifle and advance on the building under the cover of some concussion grenade booms.
No. 845560 ID: d36af7

Launching a grenade toward the railgun is a good idea, but it should be smartfog, not concussion. Hacking is a better way to confirm that the railgun's out of commission (maybe even capture it intact, which would be super handy for the rest of this mission), might let you tap some cameras in there and get precious intel, and fog definitely won't kill anybody you're being paid to bring back. Concussion might.
No. 845592 ID: a6af03
File 151088952140.png - (106.98KB , 600x600 , 5-4.png )

You try not to think about the significance of your callsigns. You’ve heard that they’re randomly generated but you’ve never believed it.
You send Zombie orders and give everyone a countdown to move. She stands back a from the personnel carrier a few feet and lobs a grenade into one of the windows with the reaper. You pick up a distant curse just before sound cancellers cut in to muffle the thunderous concussion wave.
No. 845593 ID: a6af03
File 151088952744.png - (122.05KB , 600x400 , 5-5.png )

Instantly the four of you launch into action: breaking from cover and pushing forward. Cricket and Zombie vault the low barrier around the building while you cover Echo’s advance. Cricket slaps a breaching charge against the wall and shouts “CLEAR!” before the shaped explosive punches through.
No. 845594 ID: a6af03
File 151088953276.png - (95.15KB , 600x437 , 5-6.png )

Dust and glass crunch under your boots as you sweep through the opening, the rest of your team filing in behind you. You stand in a large foyer, open to the second floor and scattered with overturned furniture. The force of your ingress sent chandeliers tinkling and raining crystals, which pop erratically against the floor in ones and twos. A large open crate lays discarded in the middle of the floor.

You peer through the dust with your IR scanner, picking up two warm bodies already on the floor and a third behind a desk. Sonics are still trying to unscramble all of the noise, but detect movement from the elevator shaft.
No. 845595 ID: 3ce125

Hmm, could any of these be the targets you need to capture? Well, first priority is to get in and take control of the viable cover in the room. Yell at the one behind the desk to show their hands, and assuming they aren't hostile you can stun prod them and take positions around the elevator to ambush whoever comes out.

Hmm I bet you could smartfog the elevator to take control of the doors.
No. 845596 ID: 33cbe7

Shoot them all. Arrest any bystanders later for obstruction of justice!
No. 845606 ID: 91ee5f

Shoot the chandelier above the guy behind the desk to drop it on him!
No. 845608 ID: c88e6d

Order the person behind the desk to stand up with their hands in the air. If it's an insurgent, shoot them. If it's someone we require, don't shoot them.
No. 845617 ID: d36af7

Shoot some holes through the unoccupied half of the desk. Croucher might be easier to ID while they make a mad dash for harder cover, or might freeze in a panic and buy you time to close the distance with minimal risk.
No. 845620 ID: 22faaa

Make sure to identify your targets before engaging. We don't want to harm the objectives or bystanders if it's not necessary.
No. 845649 ID: bfdaf0

Good idea. Flush the guy out of cover.
No. 845654 ID: 094652

Shoot them all in the legs, search for equipment, then direct them to the nearest underwatched exit. Get to the next area quickly.
No. 845866 ID: eecdf5

Consider that your existence is that of a vat-grown enforcer-class slave, designed to enforce your masters' will upon other slaves.

What do you think of this? Do you resent your fate but have no other way to live, or do you feel such things are not worth considering?
No. 845867 ID: eecdf5

Or, do you LIKE IT
No. 845873 ID: a6af03
File 151103093859.png - (73.02KB , 600x521 , 5-7.png )

You put a three round burst into the table and command “Hands in the air and stand up slowly!”
There’s no response so you fire a round into the chandelier. Fragments of glass rattle against the tiled floor and a pair of hands fling a pistol aside. “Alright! Alright, I’m coming out!” A shaking figure emerges and you turn off your IR to run him through the ReNu asset database: no match. The two prone figures shift and groan.
“Echo, Cricket; secure these three. Zombie, I want fog on that elevator.”
No. 845874 ID: a6af03
File 151103094258.png - (70.67KB , 600x522 , 5-8.png )

They snap into action, Echo covering the targets as Cricket zip-ties and tapes their arms. Zombie pops a nade agains the far wall and smartfog billows into the foyer.
“I want that elevator on hold till we get eyes inside!”
“Patching in now...”
A small security feed pops up on your HUD, revealing the squat shape of a defense drone. Must be what was in the crate. Makes sense to use the elevator: they still haven’t made one that handles stairs well. The elevator is well sealed, so its unlikely the smartfog will be able to breach it and attack the drone, bit at least its locked in for now. You shrink the camera feed into a corner and set it to alert you if anything changes.
No. 845875 ID: a6af03
File 151103094540.png - (114.47KB , 600x600 , 5-9.png )

There’s a banshee-like electrical scream outside. One of your personnel carriers suddenly caves in and is thrown across the parking lot: they must have got the railgun up and running. Should take them a minute or two to build up enough charge to fire again. You need to find a way up there to neutralize that gun before the secondary response team can approach.
No. 845877 ID: 600f38

Can you kill power to the elevator?
If you can hold it in place then you get above it and force the smartfog through the emergency escape.
No. 845887 ID: c88e6d

Have the elevator go to the floor below yours without stopping, force the doors and climb on top. Disable or subvert the drone then move up to the floor the railgun is on via the elevator shaft.
No. 845888 ID: 3ce125

You could get the smartfog in by opening the doors a crack, or fully opening them while none of you stand in the line of fire. Then you could use the elevator to get back up there, but stay out of sight while the drone goes in first.
No. 845889 ID: 0d45a9

Are the doors bulletproof / can you shoot the door to let the fog in? What'd be neat is it you could subvert the drone via smartfog, then send it up to the floor with the railgun and let it go to town.
No. 845890 ID: 1e7aa8

As nice of an idea as this is, part of our objectives are to secure a couple of very specific people. Turning the railgun nest into a slaughterhouse may cost us the VIP's.

I'm all for subverting the drone though. If we can do that, we should have it secure the ground floor for us.
No. 845917 ID: d36af7

Tell the guy who surrendered to go outside, climb on top of the remaining cruiser, and sit there quietly until further notice. You don't care if he gets blown up, but the folks with the railgun probably do, and minimizing further damage to your company car would be nice.
No. 845920 ID: 33cbe7

If the doors aren't bulletproof, we shouldn't stand in front of them because that works both ways.
No. 846521 ID: a6af03
File 151122403927.png - (117.34KB , 600x451 , 5-10.png )

You check on the Elevator. Currently its sitting in between the first and second floor. The mech inside looks around curiously, whoever is piloting it must realize something is wrong with the elevator. You tell Zombie to kill power to the shaft, locking it in place while you assess the situation.
Working with Echo, you pry the outer doors open and peer up into the darkened elevator shaft; your helmet compensating for the low light with a grainy green filter.
If this were a zero G ops you’d have brought grappling guns, but fortunately you’re able to utilize a maintenance ladder to allow you to climb up above the elevator. You step on it and it sways slightly. With the power out, you can’t check the security feed, but tread carefully to keep from alerting the drone.
You eye the emergency access hatch, wondering whether it would be a worth it to deal with the drone now, or just ride the elevator up to the top floor.
No. 846523 ID: 3ce125

Engage the emergency locks so it stops that swaying. Then line up the team to breach the second floor at the door.
No. 846536 ID: 33cbe7

Deal with the drone now. Its guns could be able to swivel upward, and you'd have nowhere to dodge. Shall we use the second smartfog grenade?
No. 846615 ID: 600f38

Smartfog it. If you can take control then you can let it loose on the railgun.
No. 846900 ID: a6af03
File 151131717949.png - (157.25KB , 600x544 , 5-11.png )

You lever up the hatch a few inches, prime your second smartfog grenade and roll it into the carriage. Within seconds, the room fills with nanites, worming their way into the drone’s armor and assembling themselves into tiny antennae. It takes a bit longer to hack into its controls but its a fairly old machine; using outdated software with known security exploits.
Idly you wonder how these guys were able to get tech like this at all. It seems odd that a group of clone smugglers would be this well armed. You make a note on your mwlission status to question the detainees about the source of the weapons.

Once you establish a connection with the drone, you restore power to the elevator and send it up to the third floor. The door slides open and the robot immediately comes under heavy fire. Bullets clatter against its forward armor in furious bursts, a few ricocheting up through the roof of the car. You pick out targets with the drone’s targeting system and return fire; the guns roaring like thunder in the tiny compartment. Twin bursts of fire tear through the soft cover of office walls, downing two combatants. When the smoke clears and spent brass stops rolling, you hear footsteps running in the opposite direction. Voices are yelling, but even with sound dampeners, your ears are ringing too much to register what is being said.
No. 846901 ID: a6af03
File 151131718386.png - (69.17KB , 600x462 , 4-12.png )

You assess your situation: One of the drone’s cameras is out and its armor is compromised in several spots, but it is otherwise operational. You look down and see that one your legs is leaking a thin streak of blood: must have caught a ricochet. In the confined space, your shieldpack was unable to respond without the compression wave squishing you flat. Still, its a nonvital injury; your pain dampeners kick in and you slap a field suture over the wound.
No. 846902 ID: 3ce125

Okay, cool. Put the drone in front of the elevator then exit. Use it for cover while you send the elevator down for the other two. Or maybe they can climb up, whichever's faster.

Advance through the second floor with the drone, take out hostiles and ID any nonhostiles.
No. 846950 ID: 094652

Lay down extra suppressing fire with the drone while you climb down, then split up. Use the drone to distract while you set up traps and ambushes, then have the drone retreat. They'll realize the distraction and search for you in the opposite corner, at which point you ambush them with what you've built. Have the drone catch up and hunt down any stragglers.
No. 847657 ID: 22faaa

drive the drone out of the elevator so you can drop down behind it and use it as cover
No. 847787 ID: 3abd97

Do you have anything to bind the injury with? Even if it's a non-vital hit, you might as well slow the rate of blood loss.

>what do
Using the expendable drone as a forward scout seems prudent.
No. 847842 ID: a6af03
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You send a command to the drone and it trundles out of the elevator, scanning left and right. The sensors pick up a blip of movement an instant before a flash fills the camera. A screaming metal thunderbolt streaks down the hallway and your helmet registers a “signal lost” error as the robot is erased from existence. There's a rumble from down the hall as the projectile punches through the far wall.
Oh yeah, they have a railgun...
No. 847843 ID: a6af03
File 151157072524.gif - (84.73KB , 504x600 , 5-13.gif )

You patch through to Echo and signal her to join you on the roof of the elevator. You ping Cricket and Zombie but get no response. You check their helmet cams and get a glimpse of movement before you lose the signal.
No. 847849 ID: b1b4f3

Oh fuck is that a Sam clone? You may be in trouble. Time to sneak around and recon the second floor to see if you can take out that railgun without being spotted.
No. 847855 ID: 33cbe7

Alert central command, Old Sam has neutralized response team.
No. 847876 ID: c88e6d

Inform them that another Sam clone has gone berzerk and that you are the only survivor of the current team. Request reinforcements.
No. 847882 ID: 91ee5f

Looks like you're all alone now.
No. 847886 ID: 22faaa

we have no idea if that's a sam clone. but we know it's some kind of badass :P
No. 848048 ID: 56e50f

Backup is already on the way. Are they equipped to handle a force that took out your team? If not, alert them they will need more support. If so, you need to survive while also trying to take out that rail gun and that odd assailant.
No. 848061 ID: 15a025

Who's helmet cam was it that got a small blip of movement?
No. 848125 ID: f693a0

well thar's good and creepy, you just saw a ghost.
i don't suppose you recorded that for a better look?
No. 848448 ID: a6af03
File 151191553973.png - (64.83KB , 600x552 , 5-14.png )

“Zombie? Cricket? Report...” You hear an unfamiliar quaver to your voice. You clear your throat and try again but get no response. Echo joins you on the roof of the elevator. Underneath the helmet you can tell that she’s just as worried as you are. No one should be able to take out two Repo men without someone noticing, so who was that person?

“Command, this is Ghost. Reporting loss of signal from two of our operatives due to unknown enemy actions. What is ETA on secondary response team?”


“Working to disable railgun, will update once status changes, hold response team until then.”


Currently you still have
2 talon SMGs
3 concussive grenades
2 stunprods
1 breaching charge
2 shieldpacks
1 high altitude drone.
No. 848451 ID: 33cbe7

Seek vent shafts leading left. It's a confined space, but a shieldpack isn't going to do much against an anti-material railgun. Split up so they can't hit both of you at once. You take a grenade and the breaching pack, Echo takes two grenades, split the rest evenly. Attempt to accomplish your mission separately: delivering an explosive payload to disable the railgun.
No. 848472 ID: 2d1231


Your breaching charge is probably the only thing direct and angry enough to take out a railgun, unless you find its power source.

Do we have a floor plan of the complex, or better yet, a building schematic?
No. 848473 ID: 56e50f

Split the supplies, but do coordinate with Echo to take control or disable the rail gun.
No. 848683 ID: a6af03
File 151200577477.png - (122.59KB , 600x493 , 5-15.png )

You divvy up your remaining resources and bring up a sonic map. Looks as though there’s an access panel above you that leads into a maintenance hallway above the third floor. You lever up the hatch and creep into a narrow room packed with humming capacitors and winding cables. You and Echo head in separate directions, looking for a way to disable the railgun.
No. 848684 ID: a6af03
File 151200578103.png - (127.94KB , 597x600 , 5-16.png )

If its using the local power grid, stopping it might be as simple as killing the power to the building. Tracing the conduits away from the capacitors brings you to a person sized mesh cage marked with high voltage warnings. Behind the locked door you see a row of breaker panels tied into the building.
No. 848726 ID: 33cbe7

Shoot fusebox.
No. 848733 ID: 830fb7

Stun prod it to overload the capacitors.
No. 848736 ID: 600f38

Oh, good! It's a breaker panel!
The cage is a giant molly-guard. and faraday cage.
It's not electrified or anything, if that was your concern. That would be extremely counterproductive. They only want people who know what they're doing to cut power or, more dangerously, reset a tripped breaker.

There's probably a knox box nearby for emergency services, but the lock is crap and the frame is laughable. If you can get some leverage you can just pry the door away from the frame near the lock to pop it out - a crowbar would make it easy, but you can probably do it by hand. The breaker box might also be locked, but since it's inside a cage they probably haven't bothered. Not that a breaker box is made of anything all that much stronger than a soda can, and can easily be pried open as well.

Assuming the cage is locked.

If you can't immediately tell what circuit the railgun is on, then start tripping breakers from highest to lowest amps until it dies, ganged breakers first.

This is a bad idea that is more likely to cause injury than succeed.

This is an extremely bad idea that would successfully kill both the gun and yourself. Also possibly the building via fire.
No. 848757 ID: 3321a3

Have you tried hacking the mainframe.
No. 848772 ID: e24b91

Break in and shut everything off.
No. 848795 ID: 22faaa

Disable the breakers as per >>848736, but please don't shoot anything or blow anything up. you'll hurt yourself and give away your position.
No. 848815 ID: fb3a23

Alert Echo. Have her ready to go low light and drop the fools around the gun as soon as you cut the power as noted in >>848736
No. 848870 ID: fe7355

This feels a little too easy. How much time did the defenders here get to set up before your team's arrival? Enough that they could have trapped this cage lock or the breaker panel?

The lock is likely flimsy, meant more to keep idle randos from sticking their hand in their and tripping the building's power. A solid yank on the mesh door might pull it open. Failing that, levering a screwdriver or other prying lever in there should work. Just a solid piece of metal you can slip in between the door and its frame.

...Actually, wait. The better option would be to get a stick or pole and push it through the mesh cage to push the breakers off. That way anyone coming back this way to flip them back on would have to contend with a locked cage, which will delay them.

However, don't assume that cutting the building power will disable the railgun. It may have a secondary power source, such as a portable capacitor bank, good for at least one more shot. You or Echo need to get eyes on the railgun to confirm it doesn't have alternate power before giving the green light to the secondary response team. Radio this to Echo right before cutting the power, then catch up with her to advance towards the railgun's position.
No. 848874 ID: 2fe26a

Shoot the lock out and kill all power to this floor. It's not like they would have taped a sign saying 'Railgun Feed' to the fusebox... would they?
No. 849419 ID: 15a025

Tell your partner power might be going out soon and to ready a flashlight or other light source. Then blast that fusebox.
No. 849426 ID: 7d3184

Sure, shooting the fusebox would kill whatever fuses you hit, but you can't reliably shut down that railgun without getting everything.

If the conduits coming out of the fusebox are plastic, and the surrounding materials are unlikely to catch fire or direct energy towards you, it might be best to stand back and shoot those, rather than messing around with the cage and the box itself.
No. 849457 ID: d36af7

If you've got nightvision and the targets probably don't, all the local infrastructure is working against you. Forget the lock, just shoot out the cables leading to the junction box... after checking to be sure overpenetration won't hit anything you're being paid to bring back alive, of course.
No. 849458 ID: d3dca7

i'm telling you guys, i know a ghost when i see one and that was definitely a ghost. like, actual ghost, not ghost as a codename.
in fact, from known prior ghost behavior i can predit that Echo will be the next target.
No. 849545 ID: a6af03
File 151232038093.png - (99.85KB , 600x506 , 5-17.png )

You pull at the mesh, and with a few well placed kicks to the supports, you find just enough leverage to open it.

You check the breaker box and send a message to Echo: “Going dark, standby.” She pings you an affirmative and you get to work.
No. 849546 ID: a6af03
File 151232038418.png - (60.33KB , 591x600 , 5-18.png )

The heavy switches snap one after another as you power down the building, piece by piece. You flip a final breaker and kill the lights around you, causing your helmet to switch to low light. You send a communication to HQ: “Building depowered, standby for update.”

Echo reports in: “Found the target, got three working on it. Two armed.”
No. 849549 ID: dc986c

Does this mean at least one of the clones is still in cryo-sleep? How resilient are these chambers?
More importantly, how more resilient are they when compared with the living bodies outside?
No. 849584 ID: 3ce125

A grenade should handle those fucks.
No. 849657 ID: 22faaa

You should flank around the railgun while echo approaches it from the other side. Use a grenade to flush out the gun crew and guards, and clean them up with SMGs when they run for cover. Fragmentation grenades would have been better, but concussion will have to do.
No. 849664 ID: ce5991

Go loud.
No. 849841 ID: a6af03
File 151243554521.png - (102.47KB , 600x441 , 5-19.png )

You message Echo: “Hold position, wait for my signal to engage.”
She sends you confirmation and you take off down the hall, following your helmet’s map to her last position. You detour slightly to set up a flank and get into position, cracking a door to peek out on the unsuspecting targets. You and Echo do a quick confirmation and you send the signal to come out guns blazing.

A concussion grenade rolls out of a nearby doorway and lifts the railgun crew off their feet. You shoulder the door open and throw yourself into the fight, your talon strobing the hallway with flares of exploding cordite. Your helmet outlines the boxy shape of a weapon in someone’s hands moments before you cut him down. Echo expertly neutralizes her target and shoves the third, unarmed, target to the ground with her boot as he tries to stand.
No. 849842 ID: a6af03
File 151243555109.png - (76.70KB , 600x562 , 5-20.png )

You check what they were working on, confirming that it is indeed a man-portable railgun. It appears they were attempting to switch it over to a portable capacitor for power before you arrived. You send a message to HQ: “Railgun secure, second team you are free to approach.”

HQ sends you a TEN FOUR and you nod to Echo as part of a job well done, booya.
No. 849844 ID: a6af03
File 151243555632.png - (68.88KB , 600x511 , 5-21.png )

She nods back, then suddenly looks down as she is pulled off her feet and dragged down the hallway by a thin cord.
No. 849846 ID: 3ce125

Dump the railgun out the window so if you get taken out by the unknown hostile, they can't get the gun back up. Then warn the incoming team about the mystery, and run after your compadre.
No. 849869 ID: 3abd97

Intercede before you lose Echo. If you have to leave the railgun, ruin it with a grenade.
No. 849880 ID: 33cbe7

The mission comes first. Chuck the railgun or its battery out the window before chasing Echo!
No. 849884 ID: 22faaa

Make sure to disable the railgun and inform HQ that something is taking out your team members. See if Echo can detonate her shieldpack or use something to dislodge the cable.
No. 849887 ID: 91ee5f

Drop a grenade next to the railgun and chase after Echo!
No. 849913 ID: e24b91

Grenade or bullet the railgun. Then save your teammate.
No. 849917 ID: ac62b5

no time for the railgun, there isn't anyone around to use it right now anyhow.
save your teammate right now or you'll be left alone until reinforcements arrive.
No. 850006 ID: e22f69

Quickly ruin the railgun with your Talon, persue Echo and spew what's left of your magazine at where that wire leads, if you can.
No. 850012 ID: 42bd01

Fire it first if you're going to dump the gun out the window. Something undesirable might happen if it hits the ground fully charged.
No. 850013 ID: fe7355

Mission priority comes first, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything from your position. Quickly ready a concussion 'nade and throw it so it bounces off the wall into the hall where Echo is being dragged to possibly catch whoever is dragging her. Then neutralize the railgun with a point blank Talon burst into its control module or down its barrel before pursuing Echo.

Get Echo's helmet cam on your HUD, display sonar detection and activate tracking on her radio signal. Realize that chasing directly after her down the hall very likely will be into a enemy trap. Instead go through a side room to where she was being dragged.
No. 850198 ID: a6af03
File 151261420678.png - (78.34KB , 600x414 , 5-22.png )

You break into a flat-out run; your boots slipping on loose shell casings and forcing you to catch yourself. You throw a concussion grenade behind you to disable the railgun and feel the pressure wave carry you forward as you give chase.
No. 850199 ID: a6af03
File 151261421077.png - (63.19KB , 600x523 , 5-23.png )

Echo disappears around a corner and you hear the burst of an automatic weapon. Her’s? You can’t tell.
You throw your back to the wall and change your mag out in one smooth motion.
No. 850206 ID: e24b91

Check Echo's camera and see if you can get any idea where they are. Chuck any nonlethal stuff you have at them. Otherwise just head out and pray.
No. 850207 ID: 33cbe7

It was hers. Old Sam has not been seen or heard using firearms. If she's not firing, she's out for the count anyway. Can you check her helmet-cam or do anything to open fire on her position without exposing yourself?
No. 850249 ID: 06b61d

Perfect setup for a trap. Check her feed, if it's dark, she's gone and you need to alert HQ.
No. 850258 ID: 00db72

Check her cameras and get another grenade ready.
No. 850291 ID: a97b52

hey, any mirrors or a way to look over the edge of the wall without getting shot?
No. 850499 ID: 9d4af9

Can you get a floor plan on your HUD? Optimally, we shouldn't follow directly because we could be ambushed easily. See if you can flank.

Also, how are you doing on ammo/munitions?
No. 850667 ID: 15a025

Update HQ on what's going on. Then try and see if Echo's camera is still on?
No. 850826 ID: a6af03
File 151294886634.png - (67.16KB , 572x600 , 5-24.png )

You switch over and check Echo’s helmet cam: no signal. You swear.
Wait, there’s something there... not her signal, someone else?
Was someone watching you? How’d they get in? If your system was compromised then…
No. 850827 ID: a6af03
File 151294887076.png - (61.48KB , 600x469 , 5-25.png )

There’s a roar from downstairs, interrupting your train of thought as the heavy response team makes ingress. From the sounds of it, they drove their armored assault transport straight through the wall. Oh god, they could be walking right into a trap!
No. 850828 ID: 3abd97

Alert teams immediately that comms may be compromised. Maybe if heavy responce knows there's a trap, that will be enough.

You won't be able to get there in time. Your priority is still Echo. Gotta rescue your squad-mate, or confirm that she's down, and deal with whoever snagged her.
No. 850847 ID: 33cbe7

I think they just ran over the trap.
Don't go down to meet them, they can and should be shooting everything that moves. What's the state of your primary objective?
No. 850863 ID: e95cec

Report on comms and that Echo has gone silent.
No. 850892 ID: e24b91

Report that comms are compromised and you are going dark. Search for Echo.
No. 850981 ID: e6994f

Eveeything here

You have to get to Echo.
No. 851126 ID: 1e7aa8

Alert the response team they may be walking into a trap and that you are going after echo, who has gone dark.

Then go dark yourself and relocate immediately instead of going after echo.

time to hunt the world's most dangerous game, killer bird clone!
No. 851132 ID: a6af03
File 151304666858.png - (110.66KB , 600x465 , 5-26.png )

“Abort! Abort mission! We’ve been compromised! Do you read?” You yell into your helmet and in response a burst of static echos back. You try several times but something seems to be scrambling your comms.
No. 851133 ID: a6af03
File 151304667426.png - (95.25KB , 421x600 , 5-27.png )

“Fuck this...” You turn the corner, weapon drawn. “Echo? You there? Come on, we’re bugging out, let me hear you...”
The hallway is empty and dark; you try to boost your night vision but it futzes at you, sending a blur of chromatic aberration over your viewfinder. You step forward cautiously and your foot grazes against something.
No. 851135 ID: 33cbe7

Hit the deck!
No. 851141 ID: c88e6d

Dodge forward, something's behind you. Echo is dead.
No. 851172 ID: 3abd97

Hostile, directly behind your right shoulder, I think.
No. 851179 ID: 600f38

Consider the following:
Your helmet is compromised.
Everything you see, including visual light, is a processed data stream.
You just kicked something that's not there.

Dodge to the side and remove your helmet. Its best use right now is as a projectile weapon.
No. 851180 ID: 3ce125

Take off your helmet.
No. 851181 ID: a97b52

i told you man, i warned you about ghosts!
No. 851200 ID: 8a204b

The tech you rely on is now a liability.

Time to go au natural.
No. 851251 ID: e6994f

Take off helmet as you dodge, throw it at assailant.
No. 851396 ID: a6af03
File 151314087203.png - (37.37KB , 600x317 , 5-28.png )

Your helmet clunks against the ground as you stumble back. Eyes adjusting, you finally spot the slumped body of Echo, a pool of blood seeping from her neck.
No. 851397 ID: a6af03
File 151314087525.png - (62.67KB , 600x589 , 5-29.png )

“Son of a-“ Something moves and your gun snaps up, waving vaguely into the shadows. Instinctively, you take a step back and thump into someone. A knife flies to your neck and hovers there.

“Hundreds of years of combat experience and you people still can’t resist a Trojan horse.” Someone breathes in your ear.

Realization hits you, “The drone...”

“Got it in one. Nice of you to let us in like that. You people are so confident in your tech; makes you predictable.”
No. 851398 ID: a6af03
File 151314087955.png - (312.35KB , 546x600 , 5-30.png )

A figure steps forward, their face shrouded by a hood. “If you’re done here, we need to move.”
No. 851399 ID: a6af03
File 151314088490.png - (97.02KB , 600x584 , 5-31.png )

Another person steps into view from behind you. She's carrying an agent helmet; a coil of wires runs from it to their bulky looking neurocollar. “Nearly done, shame about that last one. Full set of tactical data from a Repo-squad would have made a nice find.”

The one with the knife growls, “You shouldn’t have let em get a shot off then...”
No. 851402 ID: 3ce125

Okay, sure, there's a knife to my neck, but I still have a gun. I will pull the trigger before I bleed out, and there's no helmet to make me miss.

Let's make a deal: nobody else gets shot and nobody else gets their throat cut. We both walk away, with information gained on both sides.
No. 851404 ID: 3abd97

You've lost. There's no way to complete the mission, and no hostile action you can take against the opposition that will not result in your death, even if you injure or kill some of them in the process.

Surrender. Burdening the enemy with a prisoner, and biding your time for a future opportunity to present itself, is your best option.
No. 851406 ID: a633c6

It looks like only the one with the knife is armed. Know any martial arts that'll save your neck, no pun intended?
No. 851411 ID: 600f38

"Ok, I surrender. I'll tell you anything you want, but please try to save Echo - the one on the floor.
Partially severed carotid artery. She'd have just lost consciousness, but for the next few minutes she's not beyond saving. Styptic patch and blood transfusion kit, in our field kits.
I won't hold it against you if you fail, but please try."

"I don't know why you would have expected otherwise. We're cloned soldiers stuffed full of memories. Memories picked by people so in love with their tech they think cloning soldiers and stuffing the same memories in their heads will give them a balanced fighting force. I'm sure we've called them out on it many times, but obviously none of us are going to inherit memories of THAT."
No. 851413 ID: e24b91

shoot wolf then hoodie
If you have any way to disable pain, do it.
You have 3 seconds before you loose consciousness. Focus. Don't panic. Make it count.
No. 851418 ID: 16e583

Grab knife with one hand open fire with the other.
No. 851419 ID: 33cbe7

They should really include some sort of feedback failsafe in these helmets in case they fall into enemy hands. Some self-destruct charges would make for awesome death headbutts too!
Shoot somebody as you go down. Preferably the hooded one.
No. 851423 ID: 830fb7

Throw them off with "just do it already" while getting closer to the blade, then pull your head back into a head-butt when they start to take the blade away, grab out one of your stun grenades, pull the pin and take it from there.
No. 851424 ID: 91ee5f

Try to bluff them!

Tell them that if your entire team dies, then all of your bodies have been rigged to explode! So if they kill you, then everyone dies! And even if they don't kill you, you'll just kill yourself! Either way, you'll take them with you!
No. 851426 ID: fe7355

Analyze the situation. The tactically sensible action from the knife weilder's position should have been to slit your throat the second they could, not hold you here for a chit-chat while the clock ticks down on the response team catching up to them. And especially not to say what they did, or show who they are, which you would carry back to a debrief. They might have made a tactical error or are just gloating, but the most likely reason you aren't dead is that they want you alive for some reason. And whatever that reason is, is one where you won't be getting back to ReNu to tell what you've seen and heard here.

From what the gal wearing the neurocollar said, they were scraping tactical data from your team via neurocollar, probably direct from your brains as well as out of your helmets. You're alive possibly because they want to stick your helmet back on to finish that job. Alternatively, they might use your compromised helmet to have another of their group take control of your body via neurocollar, possibly to walk you right up to the response team with a bomb on your back. But it's also possible they'll use it to walk you out of here for capture, where they can neuro-scan you and scrape your brain for everything they can get.

The conclusion is that if they want you alive for their purposes, then you can not let them have you alive. Choose a course of action that will most likely end your life while causing the most damage and hindrance to them and their plans. Once your throat is slit, you will have only a few seconds before you will be unable to act, so make them count.

You still have your Talon SMG in hand, finger on the trigger, so evaluate what targets you could most likely hit within those few seconds. Also consider turning your gun on your own shieldpack and triggering it so they are caught in the blast. It's no claymore mine, but it'll still hurt 'em. And could you drop your gun, grab a concussion grenade, pull its pin and toss it upwards before you bleed out?

They won't let Ghost walk away with intel on how they compromised the agent team's helmets, nor anything else she's seen and heard here that will come out in a debrief, so they won't cut a deal.

Talking is not a free action here 'cause they know the heavy response team is breathin' down their necks. Besides, a clone agent wouldn't say any of that. Echo is expendable, same as Ghost and same as every other clone agent.

Hoodie potentially has a shieldpack under her clothes that would soak a shot, but the gal wearing the neurocollar isn't wearing enough to adequately obscure a shieldpack, so she probably isn't wearing one. Priority fire on her.
No. 851434 ID: 8a204b

You're clones. By definition you're expendable.

Don't you have an implanted bomb in the event shit like this happens?
No. 851466 ID: 600f38

You're right. A clone agent probably wouldn't say that.
That's WHY Ghost should say it.
No. 851478 ID: 1e7aa8

If you've got any kind of training in hand to hand combat, now's the time to use it and disarm the thug behind you.

either that or switch with old sam.
No. 851503 ID: 56e50f

What does your training say about this situation? Now ask yourself, what do you want out of this situation?
No. 851506 ID: 600f38

That's stupid.
Ghost has the same training as every other Repoman. That did the other Repomen no good.
This isn't some random group of thugs. They have very clearly done this before, and are able to predict behavior. The solution, then, is to invoke the memories from the overwritten clone and do anything BUT what your training says.
No. 851536 ID: de6d84

Be a burden as a prisoner.
No. 851557 ID: 7759c3

you have a knife to your throat, it's time to bargain. maybe they're interested in a double agent
No. 851573 ID: bb78f2

Just keep quiet. There's nothing you have to offer them and struggling will most certainly get you killed.
No. 851588 ID: a6af03
File 151321079596.png - (82.60KB , 547x600 , 5-32.png )

“If you know what I am, then why am I still alive? Don’t you know we’re expendable?” Your finger wraps itself around the trigger on your talon as you try to stretch this out.

The hooded figure steps closer, “I know, I was just... I need your help.“

A callous laugh erupts out of you. “Why the fuck...” real, genuine confusion dripping from every syllable, “would I help, you? What are you? Mercs? Thieves?”

The figure ignores this, “I’m looking for someone. Chances are that one of your... iterations will make contact with her at some point. I need for you to pass along a message.”

“Oh? What’s that?” You sneer.

“Tell her: I’m coming for her. That I am alive...”

“And how do I find this person?”

She pushes back her hood, “You’ll know her when you see her...” Her eyes sparkle in the dark like windows into a clear, blue sky. The woman looks at you with such... sorrow, such pity, that bile rises in your throat. How dare she; looking down as if you were some dumb beast of burden? Your finger twitches on the trigger and you quietly thumb the weapon into full-auto mode.
No. 851590 ID: 3ce125

What is the current date?

Also obviously don't just shoot everyone. These are high value targets, aren't they? Ones your company would prefer to capture alive? That's your actual job-- to capture, not to kill. Remember your duty, abandon your emotions. Negotiate something in return for your cooperation. You came here looking for two people, ask them to give you one of them.
No. 851592 ID: 094652

"Alright, fine. I promise that one of my respawns will tell your dainty little sister that we WERE ALIVE-"

Open fire.

No. 851593 ID: 3abd97

>How dare she; looking down as if you were some dumb beast of burden? Your finger twitches on the trigger and you quietly thumb the weapon into full-auto mode.
Gonna repeat myself: having to escort a live prisoner hinders them more than having to leave your dead body. Surrender. Allow yourself to be disarmed.

They exploited blind spots in your clone line's tactics. You want to stop this from happening? You need to live, so future clones will learn from the mistakes made here. You can stop this from happening again. So your sister's sacrifices weren't in vain. The intelligence you can bring back if your survive is worth more than going down in last stand.

Do. Not. Pull. That. Trigger.
No. 851608 ID: c88e6d

This plan is intelligent. Do not allow vital memory data to be destroyed.
No. 851645 ID: de6d84

Supporting this.
No. 851667 ID: 50f2f1

Also, she's sorta right. Your creators and employers do treat you like an expendable "dumb beast of burden."
Like a disposable assassin.
It's kinda fucked up.
No. 851668 ID: 600f38

Also, the only way you could provide that message as a memory is if you make it back alive.
Thus they are not intending to kill you.
No. 851674 ID: 33cbe7

Fire. Command already has copies of your squad's tactical data, don't they? What you recorded is evidence enough for your future sisters. Let them remember you for your commitment to ReNu's mission by your legacy.
No. 851679 ID: ad60eb

Don't pull that trigger.
No. 851692 ID: a97b52

opening fire here is not the logical course of action. calm yourself soldier.
you are expendible, yes, but you are also expensive. there is an easy, low cost way to get out of this alive. do not fuck it up with useless emotions.
No. 851695 ID: 7e6b7c

Say you'll do it only if she does something for you and when she asks what say "Save us" then grab the knife with your free hand and open fire on the smug tech bitch.
No. 851731 ID: 2fe26a

It was a setup. You're expendable to her as anyone else. She killed your sisters to make you the sole survivor. She'll tag you, then send you back to corrupt the template.
They're turning you into a time bomb. You must go off while they're still holding you!
Don't let them corrupt Annie.
No. 851778 ID: 600f38

Please stop trying to retcon our favorite birdbutt out of existence. D:
No. 851783 ID: 2fe26a

Not your Annie. The Annie.
No. 851800 ID: c9f5a7

Hold yourself back, don't pull that trigger.
No. 851896 ID: 69c8aa

Sam better say something convincing soon, cause right now, you know what you gotta do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dVKMla1LAY

please say something convincing Sam I like Annie
No. 851911 ID: 91ee5f

>please say something convincing Sam I like Annie
Lucky for you, neither of them are Sam or Annie. They are completely different people from Sam and Annie.
No. 852197 ID: 52ef26

Just fire.
No. 852198 ID: a6af03
File 151346293805.png - (110.80KB , 528x600 , 5-33.png )

“If I'm going to send this message, that means you need me alive, right?” You flick the safety on, securing the Talon before dropping it.

“Alive is a pretty broad definition... “ The knife wielder insinuates, “We’ve already lost some good people today.” The woman with the eyes waves her silent.

“Yes. I’m sorry about your... sisters, but this is the only way we can think of to reach the person I’m looking for.”

You fold your arms, “And why should I help you? I’m just a tool to you; you’d just be using me like everyone else does.”
No. 852199 ID: a6af03
File 151346294982.png - (62.58KB , 600x525 , 5-34.png )

She pauses and struggles with this, “I... I know... I know more than you can imagine.”

There’s a rumble from downstairs that shakes drop tiles loose from the ceiling. “We might want to wrap this up.” comments the one with the collar.

The lady with the eyes leans forward anxiously, her hands clasped as if protecting something precious. “Please, I’ll- I’ll...” She implores, mentally searching for something to offer you: a disposable soldier.
No. 852202 ID: a6af03
File 151346301431.png - (101.40KB , 535x600 , 5-35.png )

Her eyes light up, drilling into you with such impish delight that you recoil. “I’ll give you information. Not for ReNu, this is for you.” She steps within arms reach and gazes up at your face.
“Your name... Is Annie. Annie Woad.”

Your head reels as disbelief and curiosity wrestle for control of your tongue. You manage an “Uh-“ just as a gout of fire roars from down the hall.
No. 852203 ID: a6af03
File 151346302256.png - (98.19KB , 600x467 , 5-36.png )

“Time to go...” The collared merc drops the helmet at your feet and picks up the Talon. You feel the knife leave your neck and the person behind you brushes past: another wolf, powerfully built and standing almost as tall as you.

The three of them march into the dark in a business-like fashion. You hear the rustling and stomping of the response team behind you. As they leave, the woman turns back. She gives you one last glance, a silent apology etched on her face.
No. 852204 ID: a6af03
File 151346303765.png - (1.12KB , 600x600 , 5-37.png )

And then she's gone.
No. 852215 ID: 600f38

Ok. You're able to move.
Get out your medkit. Put a patch on Echo's neck to stop the bleed, then use an IV.
You probably don't have a bag of saline, but you definitely have a transfusion kit. Fortunately you're the same blood type.
Her heart may or may not have stopped yet. Check for a pulse, then apply chest compression.
No. 852220 ID: e079ab

That could have gone so much worse.
No. 852230 ID: 094652

... Your mother's last name is @#$%ING 'WOAD'?!


[Incoherent rambling]
[One internet search back at base later]

Oh wait 'Woad' comes from the latin phrase 'wod' which means @#$%ing angry okay sure cool but you're totally changing it to 'Woadaz' because it sounds like "Roadie Badass".
No. 852235 ID: 3ce125

Time to wake up, Annie.
No. 852250 ID: c9f5a7

...Open your eyes.
No. 852272 ID: 15a025

Asses the situation for a moment, and find out what all the noise going on up there is about. If it's your team you can probably afford to relax for a second and think about what just happened.

If it's not, try and retreat.
No. 852325 ID: e1c8f7

Just who
No. 852367 ID: 40aceb

Rise and shine, Miss Woad. Rise and... shine. Not that I... wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. The right name in the wrong time can make all the difference in the world. So, wake up, Miss Woad. Wake up and... smell the sasses... (with apologies to HL2)
No. 852496 ID: de6d84

Analyze what's happening around you.
No. 852804 ID: a6af03
File 151373858628.png - (1.12KB , 600x600 , 5-38.png )

No. 852805 ID: a6af03
File 151373859561.png - (128.72KB , 600x564 , 5-39.png )

“You okay?” You open your eyes, a child of indeterminate age and gender squats on their heels, sitting at eye level to better inspect your prone body.

You sit up, sore after being kicked around by your older sisters. You wince and check a scrape on your elbow, which bleeds down your scaly forearm and stains your feathers.

Another kid, smaller and nervous looks on from a distance, “Sam, come on! You’re not suppose to talk to them!”

“Why not?” The kid cocks their head at you as if examining a strange insect, curious and unafraid. Their strange blue eyes examine your injuries with clinical dispassion, “They’re hurt.”

The other kid’s ears droop as they cast a glance around the playground, “Fine, but don’t be surprised if you’re the one who gets hurt...” They wander over to the pixel wall, currently displaying relaxing forest scene, and look over their shoulder at you anxiously. You’ve seen these two around, its hard not to in a small “school” like this.
No. 852807 ID: 33cbe7

Bite cat.
No. 852813 ID: 600f38

"No, but I will be. I don't think I'm allowed to not being ok."
No. 852817 ID: 3ce125

Tell her you're fine. Soldiers have to get used to pain.
No. 852827 ID: bb78f2

You're alive, and you're coming for you.
No. 852828 ID: 189472

Shrug it off. "Yeah I'll be fine..."
No. 852863 ID: 8b4668

>indeterminate age and gender

Nonsense; its age is cute and its gender is cute. Nothing indeterminate about that.
No. 852873 ID: a97b52

“Tell her: I’m coming for her. That I am alive...”
No. 852883 ID: 38f35c

She’s probably who you were told to deliver the message to.
Let’s just hope it’s worth it.
No. 852886 ID: e1c8f7

"Instead of gawking, how about you get me a bandaid or something?"
No. 852916 ID: 2d1231


Those blue eyes are pretty familiar ...

Wait, that's the cat from Coxwette and Nate in the background ...?
No. 852964 ID: a97b52

...nnaahhhh, you're probably overthinking things.
No. 852975 ID: 3abd97

Frown and tell her you're not sure you've ever been okay.
No. 852982 ID: de6d84

"...I don't know."
No. 852985 ID: c9f5a7

Respond with being unsure yourself.
No. 853239 ID: a6af03
File 151390869235.png - (121.71KB , 574x600 , 5-40.png )

You cast a sideways glance at your two older sisters, wary of any perceived sign of weakness. You cup your hand around your bleeding elbow, “I’m fine. Just... get me something for this...“

The kid hops back up on their feet and scurries off. You take a moment to assess your injuries: mostly just bruises and scrapes but it looks like their talons caught you in a couple of spots. While you’re encouraged to sort out minor conflicts through these constant acts of aggression, causing actual bodily harm is frowned upon. Whether intentional or not, the holes in your skin serve as expressive punctuation marks in a savage daily existence.
No. 853240 ID: a6af03
File 151390876360.png - (106.08KB , 600x578 , 5-41.png )

Moments later the kid comes back with a couple of ice cubes and a washcloth. They take your elbow and hold the cloth-bound ice to the wound, you wince and try to draw away. They hang on to your arm, addressing you with the confident authority of an eight year old “Hold still. Trust me; I’m a doctor.”

The kid’s friend rolls their eyes, “Saaaaam. Come on, you’re not a doctor!”

Sam ignores their friend, repeating “I'm a doctor.” They take the opportunity to take a closer look at you, assessing your injuries. Never one to enjoy being singled out by others, you yank your arm back and hold it to your body. They offer you the icepack and after a moment of hesitation you accept it, “Why’d they beat you up?”

You think about it, unsure yourself. Among your sisters any minor transgression or weakness is an indictment, resulting in swift acts of mob justice. Whatever you did, it was one of an infinite number of infractions you police among yourselves every day.

Sam's intense blue eyes bore into you. Something about them rubs you the wrong way, like an itch at the back of your mind. You glare back at them but find eye contact hard to maintain for some reason. "I dunno..."
No. 853247 ID: 33d4be

Well gosh if you don't know what you're being punished for it's not going to be very effective as a punishment, is it? Violence has to have a purpose and you have to be sure it's actually accomplishing that purpose.

Maybe turn the question back by asking "Why help me". Say, can you not tell whether this is a boy or a girl? Maybe you should ask.
No. 853268 ID: 2ab55b

Maybe they don't have a reason. Maybe they're just hyper-aggressive jerks.
No. 853271 ID: 1e7aa8

Is there anyone that you can report your injuries to? Or is that just going to cause MORE problems for yourself?
No. 853289 ID: 32cd1c

Maybe it would be good to have some friends around here. Talking to Sam is probably a good start, if that's something you want to do.
No. 853295 ID: 3ce125

Isn't it somewhat of a weakness to let the other soldier clones dictate your actions?
No. 853314 ID: e1c8f7

Don't let your sisters see any of this. The more you get roughed up, the more of this kid you'll see, which will look bad. If you're going to talk to her, do so out of eyesight of them.
No. 853315 ID: 3abd97

>“Why’d they beat you up?”
*Shrug* Frustrated maybe? There's not a lot we can do but get in fights.

>Sam's intense blue eyes bore into you. Something about them rubs you the wrong way, like an itch at the back of your mind.
"She's coming for you. She's alive."
No. 853319 ID: 094652

>Wby are your sisters obsessed with targeting you
There's something wrong with you. The fact that it's so small and negligible makes it even worse; the corporation analysts might not pick it up but your sisters can, and it irks them to no end that no matter how hard they try to point and explain, they simply can't. Maybe it's the quarter of an inch your hips sway further than your sisters. Maybe it's because you react to the word 'blueberry' with a mild chuckle. Maybe it's because the other kids want to play with you and not your sisters, no matter how much fake cleavage they show off.

Nothing you can do but defend. Just tell the teachers to increase your guerrilla tactics lessons and apply thoroughly.
No. 853362 ID: bb0dae

You're gonna fare better with allies. Since your sisters aren't gonna help you, let's make friends with those two.
No. 853446 ID: a6af03
File 151401113564.png - (64.62KB , 459x600 , 5-42.png )

“Maybe they don’t need a reason? Maybe it just ‘cause I was there..” You huff, “Why? What’re you helping me for?”

The kid looks down, uncertain for the first time as they arrange their words, “It’s... just that... they’re your sisters, right? And they’re always getting into fights...and... I don’t know anyone else here with brothers or sisters... So I was just wondering if all sisters are like that...” One by one they drop their questions like stones in a well; curious, but with the careful knowledge that something dangerous might lurk below.
No. 853448 ID: 33cbe7

Every sister, without exceptions. We are all part of the same whole.
No. 853449 ID: 3abd97

>“It’s... just that... they’re your sisters, right?
I guess. It's not like... we do sister stuff. Whatever that's supposed to be.

>So I was just wondering if all sisters are like that...
I... don't think so? Or I hope not. I don't think there'd be a special word for it if it was like this everywhere.

>curious, but with the careful knowledge that something dangerous might lurk below.
Well don't go realizing that fear. She helped you, she doesn't deserve for you to beat her up if she says the wrong thing.
No. 853450 ID: 094652

"Well, they're all like that to me. Does that count?"
No. 853453 ID: 830fb7

"Some of them treat their family like this (outlines injuries) but not all of them, we are all shaped by our experiences after all and some of us just act out due to desperation/fear of what might happen. If we all acted and/or reacted exactly the same way none of us would ever live for long. Some are violent yes but not all of us, some are kind, just because we all follow the same pattern doesn't mean we are all the same."
No. 853454 ID: e1c8f7

"They probably think they're making me tough. I won't speak for them and you shouldn't talk to them anyways."
No. 853496 ID: b1b4f3

Tell her that your situation is not normal.
No. 853568 ID: bb78f2

In all fairness, we're encouraged to do this to each other. Tomorrow, I will probably do this to another sister. It won't be because I hate her, or despise her, but because its what we do. It's not what all sisters mostly do, I know its what we do. You don't have to worry about that, even if you had a sister, you'd treat each other differently then we treat ours. Honestly, its tough to call each other sisters. We just look alike. That doesn't mean anything. If one of my sisters died, I'm not even supposed to shed a tear, and I wouldn't anyway. It's just the way things are. Its not sad. Its not happy. It's just what it is.

Thanks for the help.
No. 853569 ID: 33d4be

"Well, brothers or sisters are just people who are a lot like you, right? I'm a fighter, so my sisters are fighters, and we fight. You said you're a doctor, and you help people, so if you had brothers or sisters, they'd be doctors and help people too."
No. 853598 ID: 990975

We're made for fighting
No. 853633 ID: 32cd1c

All of your sisters are like that, but only because you were made that way. Other people? who knows.
No. 853649 ID: 7ab1fe

you have no idea if all sisters are like that, but you do know that you are in a different situation.
you and your sisters are groomed for a purpose, and the best way the caretakers found to get us there is by encouraging this mentality of conformity out of fear and have the sisters enforce it themselves.
that's so specific it can't possibly be the general case that all sisters are like this. this situation was engineered.
No. 854187 ID: 5e9133

"Hopefully not."
No. 854406 ID: a30024
File 151452211261.png - (84.76KB , 600x484 , 5-43.png )

You shrug, “It doesn’t mean noffin. They hurt me today, I hurt them tomorrow, doesn’t matter. Nobody messes with us ‘cuz we’re fighters. Nobody else here’s got that.”

You look back at your sistren, a few of them clearly sizing the mystery kid up for trouble later. “Look, some of us... we’re not nice. Just... watch out.” You thrust the washcloth back into the kid’s hands, making it look like a shove. They glance down at the bloody bundle and then up at you with confusion. You hesitate as you turn an unfamiliar word around in your mouth, “...Thanks...”
No. 854407 ID: a30024
File 151452211757.png - (99.85KB , 600x600 , 5-44.png )

You turn your back and rejoin your sisters. They acknowledge you by not acknowledging you; one big happy family. A few snarky comments are thrown around about the kid with the weird eyes, and you scoff and chuckle along with the group. There’s a grim malice to the ribbing, like the growls of predators who can see you limping but aren’t hungry yet. You watch from the corner of your eye as the kid rejoins their friend at the pixel wall, doodling on the touchscreen and talking in hushed tones about what they heard. The two of them cast anxious glances in your direction, the rabbit closing some kind of app when they notice you looking.
No. 854412 ID: 3abd97

Not much to do but wait it out. If you approach them now, all you do is draw your sisters down on them.
No. 854421 ID: 28cb85

Somebody's up to no good!

Now to find out what and how to get in on it without alerting your sisters or the authorities.
No. 854435 ID: e1c8f7

Don't look, you'll only put them at risk. Find yourself a spot to sit where you to side eye them without making it look obvious.
No. 854438 ID: e54266

Of course we want to get involved with the other kids, but we need to ditch your agro sisters first.
No. 854461 ID: 51d5a4

Dammit! We owe her, which means that we got to bail her out when, cause its not gonna be "if", they get into trouble for... whatever it is they're doing.
No. 854489 ID: 2d1231


So begins Bucky's descent into realizing that the internet really IS for porn.

... In all seriousness, I think we owe blue-eyes a favor.
No. 855206 ID: 50d32d

Yeah, can't go treating the cat like trash, because you owe her... previous... revision? Her mother? Do you even know who you were, when you saw her last? Why don't your sisters remember the cat? They're all the same as you... right?
No. 855635 ID: a30024
File 151493836676.png - (78.62KB , 600x388 , 5-45.png )

You turn away and pretend not to notice, deciding to distract your sisters with bits of overheard information.
“I heard they’re gonna start putting us on time trials next month...”
They snort, “You think you can keep up, shorty?”
Having just taken a beating, you decide not to risk mouthing off. Instead, you attempt to project an air of cool confidence. The others seem to think this is funny. “You know what they do with you if you don’t make the cut right? They cut their losses; make a fresh start. No sense in wasting time on a failure, right?”
You can tell they’re trying to rattle you; to provoke an outburst so they’ll have reason to give you another beating. At least the other kids are momentarily forgotten as your sisters posture over the expectation of passing the upcoming physicals. A lot of it is bluster, inwardly they’re all worried about the same thing: failure.
No. 855641 ID: d887c0

"Speaking of failures, did you girls know they record it when they kill one of us? It's true. Then they sell the footage off on the black market. Isn't that gross?"
No. 855642 ID: 28cb85

Guess you'd know all about that.
No. 855646 ID: 3abd97

Don't provoke them, you'll just get pummeled again.

"Then I guess I won't fail."
No. 855734 ID: 56e50f

"I'll be fine. We'll all be fine. Just another day, really." Divert any attention away from any individuals, yourself included.
No. 855735 ID: 33d4be


"I heard when you don't make the cut, they don't kill you, they sell you. A living body's worth more to some people than a pile of dead meat, right? Good for testing weapons on. If you're lucky."
No. 855779 ID: d25fe8

(just stay silent, see what happens I'm curious how thay will react. you don't have to say anything)
No. 855783 ID: 33cbe7

No. 856261 ID: a30024
File 151513062797.png - (119.60KB , 600x600 , 5-46.png )

You opt to remain silent as your sisters chatter. Having not provoked a reaction from you their interests wander.
“Do you think they’ll have a zero grav course?”
“They better: all that grav ball has to pay off some how.”
“Yeah seems like a waste, like we’ve got better things to do...”
You really don’t but you nod along anyway. Grav ball’s not so bad: a kind of zero-g dodgeball. You and your sisters are practically forces of nature on the court, but have trouble working together. You suppose the game is supposed to encourage teamwork but something about your sisters just ruffles your feathers. Still, against a bunch of uncoordinated kids, grav ball usually ends up being a one sided slaughter. Its one of many reasons the other kids steer clear of you.
No. 856262 ID: a30024
File 151513063398.png - (62.51KB , 600x346 , 5-47.png )

“Hey, maybe this means they’ll start us on combat training...” The three of you look at each other with shared concern. You all know what that would mean: more installment sessions.
That means memories: stronger, more violent memories. Even now its not unusual to wake at night as the ghosts of long fought battles trickle through your mind. None of you like to talk about it, but among your “family”, its the one experience that binds you all together. While all the kids here are the product of intrusive memories, you and your sisters are being forged into child soldiers.
Hmm... memories...
Something in your head sparks: a flash of blue in the dark.

The moment of familial understanding passes as your sisters’ shake off the feeling: only a fleeting show of weakness. They declare that they’re going to go get a drink and march off towards the cafeteria, neither expecting nor caring if you follow.
No. 856266 ID: 33d4be

Hey, that memory reminds me that kid's eyes. Or is it supposed to be the other way around? Well, your sisters are gone. Maybe if you go talk to that kid again you can get a bit more of it. Flashes of blue in the dark doesn't sound like a combat memory.
No. 856279 ID: 50d32d

Child soldiers? Really? They're giving you so much elite training though! They're gonna invest all that into a soldier who they don't expect will make it past puberty?

Maybe what you mean was that you'd get trained as children, but only thrown into battle in your prime, peak maturity. Or is there some conflict so terrible, they ran out of adult soldiers and can't afford to wait?

Anyway I don't have any advice, except... don't hate your sisters. The more you can empathize with them, and see where they're coming from, the less they'll be able to hurt you and tear you down. They're just trying to do good, and don't understand that picking on you isn't good.
No. 856312 ID: d6a009

“Tell her: I’m coming for her. That I am alive...”
No. 856346 ID: 3d2d5f

Maybe if there's no one watching you could go back to the kid from before. I mean, it's not as if you have anything better to do, and someone who's apparently not trying to fight with you over everything might be... nice?
No. 856374 ID: e1c8f7

You're alone, right? Maybe you can go see that cat again. She was.. alright.
No. 856560 ID: 8b4668


Try to remember that flash of blue. Is there something you're supposed to be doing right now?
No. 856615 ID: a30024
File 151527404149.png - (96.62KB , 600x436 , 5-48.png )

You nonchalantly walk to the far wall and do a circuit of the room, casting a wary eye around to see if anyone is watching. Most of the kids would rather pretend you’re not there, just in case you decide to take out frustrations over your recent beating on them.

You trail your fingers over the pixel wall as you walk, prompting the interactive display to simulate a breeze and stir the trees. Or, at least that's what you’re told. Somewhere in your memory banks the idea of a tree registers but you’ve never seen one yourself. Similarly, you have trouble processing the concept of a gentle breeze; the few times you’ve been outside, there’s only been a screaming wall of wind that threatened to rip your feathers off. Whatever planet you’re on, you doubt there are magical forests anywhere.
No. 856616 ID: a30024
File 151527404697.png - (127.26KB , 600x542 , 5-49.png )

You make your way around the room until you’re standing behind the kid, “Sam”, and their friend. The rabbit is engrossed in a small interactive window as Sam watches over their shoulder, both oblivious to your presence. You lean forward, “Whatc'ha doin’?”

The shocked rabbit immediately falls over and gasps, “SHIT-!” You look on impassively. None of the adults seem to care if the kids swear and, thanks to memory implants, most of them have a pretty good idea what they mean.
No. 856617 ID: a30024
File 151527405006.png - (127.17KB , 600x534 , 5-50.png )

The kid looks at the window and then at you, weighing whether to try and close the app again before hanging their head in resignation. You look at the screen: inside is a simple set of directional and zoom controls. A corner of the app is partitioned off, displaying a windy, ragged skyline glittering against a night sky. The frame is zoomed in on a flat, well lit expanse and, as you watch, a small, fierce light breaks free of gravity in a rush of acceleration. It soars out of frame in an unstoppable upward trajectory.

Sam delicately explains, “Bucky wanted to watch the spaceport. There’s an unsecured camera we found that can see the edge of it...” She looks back at the screen, “He..he, can name most of the common ship designs. Sometimes he can even guess where its going...”

The rabbit keeps his eyes low, flushed with embarrassment. You could, with a word, have this gap in security repaired and have him punished. He braces, glumly, for you to strip away this tiny freedom.
No. 856622 ID: 50d32d

Better execute them a couple times, just to be sure.

No wait can you see the ships taking off? That's so cool!
No. 856623 ID: 3abd97

>You could, with a word, have this gap in security repaired and have him punished. He braces, glumly, for you to strip away this tiny freedom.
Sure, but what do you get for it? A tiny scrap of approval until one of your sisters beats you up over it? There's no point.

>a small, fierce light breaks free of gravity in a rush of acceleration. It soars out of frame in an unstoppable upward trajectory.
>he, can name most of the common ship designs. Sometimes he can even guess where its going...
What was that one?
No. 856629 ID: d887c0

Holy crap, that's a cute bun. These kids seem alright. If they're getting up to mischief, then you want a piece of the action.
No. 856631 ID: 0d45a9

Sure, it's a security hole, but it's not like the kid can actually do anything with it. Let him have this scrap of freedom.

This, ask what ship that was. It'll show you're not gonna ruin his shipwatching hobby.
No. 856638 ID: 86eb65

What would you gain from turning him in?

If he can get a outside feed from here what else could he do? This could be a kid worth making a friend. Or at least a minion. Plus he is a cute little thing.

Just think about it. If you are nice to him maybe he will help you get access to feeds that you want to watch. Or help you hack other neat things later.
No. 856644 ID: 3ce125

That seems pretty harmless and also cool.
No. 856645 ID: 26e6ae

“So, what else can you do with this little security gap you’ve found?”
No. 856646 ID: 7ab1fe

why would you do that?
to feel power over someone weaker? that's dumb. you must be better than that if you're to win against the adults. don't let them turn you into something awful. something less than a person.
No. 856676 ID: da1652

face it. they've been nicer to you in the last 20 minutes than any of your sisters, or the adults, have. even in those memories they put in your head.
No. 856689 ID: 15a025

Sit down and enjoy the secret show with them. Maybe you'll learn something?
No. 856719 ID: 39a82b

>Sometimes he can even guess where its going...
How? Seriously that's some impressive shit but how do you know if he's right?
Also first chance you get play with his ears.
No. 856771 ID: 1d703d

>he can name most of the common ship designs. Sometimes he can even guess where its going...

That'd be pretty impressive if it's true, let's put that to a challange, what model is the next one and where is it going?
(Not that we could tell if he's right or not, I just think it's interesting, and I'm curious.)
No. 856783 ID: 91ee5f

>He braces, glumly, for you to strip away this tiny freedom.
(whispering) "Well? Don't just sit there staring at me, close it before someone else sees it!"
No. 856793 ID: e1c8f7

This seems harmless. Even if you don't have an interest, it shows you aren't going to oust him immediately.
No. 856798 ID: 7ca1ec

ask him about the one that just launched
No. 856921 ID: a30024
File 151538895534.png - (80.77KB , 600x493 , 5-51.png )

“What about that one: the one that just left? Where’s it going?” You point back at the screen, demanding he demonstrate…

Bucky picks himself up off the thin carpet and gets to his knees. He backs up the footage and watches the spark take off several times, “I-its a courier probe. Huh, you don’t see those make landfall that often. Must've needed maintenance...”

You stare at him with blank curiosity, prompting him to explain: “Its an unmanned probe, they use them to send data between systems.” He clears his throat and continues, “You can’t send data through a pinch field 'cause of the, um… I think they call it Kass distortions? So colonies send a ship up with a bunch of data and stuff and they jump it back and forth between systems. That one probably services Vector or Quetza…"
No. 856932 ID: d887c0

"Neat. You're pretty good, kid."
No. 856976 ID: 364e51

“Meh, not like you can actually do something with this in here. Just don’t make it so bloody obvious your doing something wrong next time and there shouldn’t be a problem.
No. 856990 ID: e1c8f7

"You know you can't make a speep about this to anyone else, right? They'll gladly report you and have the security patched. You have to be careful, kid. You need a lookout."

Maybe you could fill the role when you have the time?
No. 857017 ID: 2d1231


That bun's a wizard ...!
No. 857021 ID: 33d4be

"That's handy. If you can't send data through a pinch field, does that mean a pinch field could be used to escape detection? If any sensor info could get through you could use it for some kind of communication, yeah?"
No. 857043 ID: 7ab1fe

cooool, where did you learn all that?
No. 857061 ID: cb517d

Such a nerd ;-)
No. 857434 ID: a30024
File 151554361965.png - (121.73KB , 600x600 , 5-52.png )

“Huh, neat... This distortion, could it be used to escape detection?”

He shrugs, “I dunno, its all up here...” he taps the side of his head, “I pick up some of it but there’s a lot of noise.”

You nod, sounds consistent with implanted memories. You eye the security display: two other thumbnails indicate unsecured cameras, refreshing once every several seconds in gritty chunks. “Is that how you were able to do this?”

He nods “Yeah, I don’t think they expect anyone to access it from here.”

You fold your arms and clack your beak “Well, you’re doing it all wrong.” He flinches inward, bracing himself. “You need a lookout. The wrong person spots you and who knows what they’ll do to you? You’ve both heard the stories, right?”

Sam and Bucky nod. Every once in a while you see a kid in a collar, the kind they use during the installments. Kids say that they can do things to you with it: hurt you, turn your arms and legs off, make you see things. The kids wearing them walk through the world as if it were made of glass: never making a move or saying a thing out of place, lest they draw the wrath of an administrator.

“I could do it!” Sam smiles.

“No offense kid, but I spotted you right away.” You look around with a casual air, “How about this: if I see anybody coming, I’ll throw something at you to let you know.”

They exchange a worried glance. “What? I mean, I’m not gonna hit you! Just, you know, so no one suspects.”

Bucky, who seems to know how these things goes, asks, “And what do you get out of this?”
No. 857436 ID: 33d4be

"Someone to watch and tell me if I'm in trouble. And information. Anything that could give me an edge. I'll tell anything I can that'll help you, too. Speaking of information: blue eyes, you a girl or a boy or what? Your eyes remind me of something. I remind you of anything?"
No. 857438 ID: 6780f5

Someone who doesn't beat the shit out of me for interacting with them?
No. 857463 ID: 3abd97

>“And what do you get out of this?”
*shrug* Something to do besides fighting with my sisters?

Besides, you'll owe me.
No. 857465 ID: bb78f2

... i get to touch your ears
No. 857467 ID: 3abd97

Oh that's good supporting that. Fluster that bun.
No. 857469 ID: bfced3

Something in rabbit kids head is telling him how to do that with the cameras.

Something in my head is telling me to do something with you “Blue eyes”, not sure what yet but it’s something.
No. 857470 ID: 6780f5

Yes, this. Changing my vote to this. Absolutely this.
No. 857476 ID: 56e50f

"Honestly? Something to do other than fight with my sisters."
Feel free to admit that you wouldn't mind hanging out with them or that he is kind of cute.
No. 857480 ID: 28cb85

You're up to no good and I want in.
No. 857484 ID: 52ef26

Both of these have my vote.
No. 857489 ID: 3ce125

An advantage over your sisters is the number one priority, as that equates to survival.
Socializing with these two dweebs seems like a good second priority.
No. 857529 ID: cb517d

Point at Cat: "I owe her."
No. 857534 ID: 830fb7

say something like "so you weren't paying attention to what she did? I kind of owe her for the help, its just this is what I thought of in return but if you don't want my help I'll just leave you alone then."
No. 857577 ID: 5bcfe7

also, for future reference, stop looking over your shoulder like you're doing something you're not supposed to. and if when i got to you you'd have pretended the vid wasn't important, acted like you don't care if i see, i'd have ignored it.
if you're gonna do shady shit, you're gonna have to be more subtle.
No. 857729 ID: 2d1231


Friends who aren't shitheads like our "sisters."
No. 857737 ID: a03802

I owe you pair one. least I could do is throw something at you.
No. 858180 ID: 7ab1fe

yeah, you gotta be more subtle than that if we're going to get out of this place without getting caught.
No. 858267 ID: 15a025

No. 859084 ID: 65d1d7

Everyone I know on a personal level so far sucks. Hard.
I thought I should find a nicer crowd, you guys seem very alright.
No. 859128 ID: 600f38

No. 859513 ID: a30024
File 151632318222.png - (93.99KB , 549x600 , 5-53.png )

You shrug, “I need some kind of edge. I heard that there’s some kind of test coming up and if you guys can give me that advantage, then maybe I can make your lives easier for a while. Besides...” You tousle his ears; they’re soft, extremely so. “I kinda owe you one, and you guys seem alright.”
No. 859514 ID: a30024
File 151632318765.png - (62.45KB , 600x436 , 5-54.png )

You share a glance with Sam, and those eyes spark a memory for a second. You try to hang onto it but it slips through your fingers like fog. You realize that you're staring and try to turn it into a smile; its totally not creepy.

Despite your less than stellar social graces, they agree to help you out, though aren't quite sure what they're looking for.
No. 859519 ID: 3abd97

Social interaction achieved!
No. 859521 ID: 85f8f7

Trouble. You know what that looks like. You, well, taller- your sisters. Adults and kids looking to get brownie points with said adults
No. 859527 ID: 3ce125

Hmm... maybe they can keep tabs on your sisters? If one of them finds out something you want to find it out too.

Alternatively, they could take the direct approach and try to hack into something to get information on the test itself.
No. 859747 ID: a30024
File 151640819645.png - (95.86KB , 600x590 , 5-55.png )

“I want to know what they’re up to; you know, my sisters. Keep an eye on ‘em. And let me know if you see anything weird from the admins. See if you can find more of those cameras too, inside the facility...”

The kid nods and hurriedly closes the application as he hears the main door open. One of the administrators steps in with a datapad and a friendly expression.
He raises his voice, “Alright everyone, lets liiiine up. We’ve got a work assignment for you all and then we’ll have lunch. Sounds good?”

A kid raises their hand, “Are- are there going to be any, um, sessions today?”

The worker checks his datapad, “Mmmm nope, nothing scheduled for today. Not sure what we’ve got lined up for the afternoon yet, but no memory transfers.” The kid looks noticeably relieved and steps into the growing line of children.
No. 859748 ID: 56e50f

Hm. This doesn't concern you, does it? Tell the kid to close shop. You don't want the attention of the others.
No. 859750 ID: 3ce125

Line up like an obedient little tot. Ask what kind of work you're doing.
No. 859751 ID: a1b43d

before we go to wherever else we’re going we should tell the cat and rabbit to never try to find us themselves, we will come to them. They wouldn’t want to accidentally get the attention of our sisters instead.
No. 859752 ID: 3abd97

Maybe give a sign to your new allies and then move off. No sense in letting one of your minders see you're acting differently.
No. 860313 ID: 130855

I don't think this is for us. Lets get to what ever it is that we're supposed to be doing so no one inquires as to what just went on.
No. 861491 ID: a30024
File 151684454471.png - (76.61KB , 600x426 , 5-56.png )

You fall in line with the rest of the kids, the other two following along casually. You mutter to them, “Don’t make seem like anything’s different; I’ll come find you. It’ll seem suspicious otherwise.” You don’t turn your head, but take their silence as understanding.

The kids line up with a minimum of shoving and follow the administrator through a winding series of hallways. He brings you to one of the workshops in the facility. You’re made to sit down on a long bench in front of a worktable, next to an open bin of parts.
No. 861492 ID: a30024
File 151684454891.png - (100.64KB , 600x428 , 5-57.png )

One of the problems, you’ve learned, with raising a bunch of clones is exactly what to do with them 90% of the time while they’re developing. Schooling them seems counterproductive when its all going to be erased in a couple of years, but it helps to train some motor skills and muscle memory. So a portion of your day is devoted to simple, repetitive tasks that someone is obviously paying pennies for you to complete: folding clothes, assembling toys, packing boxes.
The administration usually puts on something mindless and kid safe while you work: today is a selection from season 30 of Space Specter. Its bearable, but the writing quality has really gone downhill.

You reach into your parts box and start pulling out materials, finding among them something you’ve never seen before. Its rectangular, white and flat: some kind of card. The texture is... similar to cloth, but not...
No. 861495 ID: 33cbe7

Is it tasty?
No. 861514 ID: 8cb228

Examine it closely, see if you can puzzle out what it might be used for, or at least what it's made out of, whether it's machined, or how to describe it?
No. 861521 ID: 3ce125

No. 861525 ID: 22d3a4

It's paper!

It's also yours now!
No. 861526 ID: 90f3c0

Is it blank? Check both sides for writing.
No. 861551 ID: 3abd97

Smuggle it out with you when playtime is over. Maybe the nerds can tell you what it is later.
No. 861583 ID: 130855

A business card?
No. 861754 ID: e1c8f7

If it doesn't go with the rest of the parts, it's yours now. Put it aside and make sure no one else sees it.
No. 861886 ID: 600f38

Commonly used on Earth as a semipermanent way of inscribing information in a way that is not detectable through conventional means.

The only way your wardens could have found this would be if they opened the box and searched it by hand.

On a space station far from Earth, paper would be extremely expensive. It would be far cheaper and no more detectable to burn a message into a plastic sheet. The only reason to use paper is if the sender is from Earth, and wants you to know they're from Earth. They must also be hoping you'll understand that this piece of paper is very important, because they clearly went to great lengths and great expense to make these points.

There's no point in doing so for the sake of deceiving you, so anything written on the note is worth trusting - even in the worst case scenario, the contents of this message can't make your situation worse.

In short, it's contraband someone on the outside is trying to get
No. 861922 ID: fe7355

It's paper, specifically heavy card stock. Flip it over and see if anything is written on it then slip it into your pocket. If you don't have pockets, either slip it under your leg and palm it when you get up later or slip it into your collar to fall inside your one-piece jumpsuit to retrieve later.
No. 862147 ID: a30024
File 151702329762.png - (67.39KB , 600x432 , 5-58.png )

You bend the card slightly, testing its limits. It develops a slight crease where subtle layers pull away from each other, revealing a fibrous structure. You turn it over, on the reverse face are printed a hexagonal barcode and three letters: ANE.
You say the letters quietly to yourself and you feel as though a door that had been closed somewhere creaked open slightly. You get the intense sensation that the letters are important somehow but you don’t understand why. You check to see if anyone is looking before slipping the card into your coverall, where it nestles close to your feathers.

You quickly get back to work, assembling whatever useless gadget the administrators have tasked you with. Its mindless busywork and when its done you can’t help feel as though you’ve wasted a chunk of your life, which is essentially the point.
No. 862148 ID: a30024
File 151702330184.png - (104.02KB , 600x566 , 5-59.png )

After that, as promised, you’re taken to the cafeteria for lunch.
No. 862173 ID: 3ce125

Get some food, then outwardly, bully those two nerds. Privately, ask if they can read barcodes.
No. 862180 ID: 9d4af9

Ask Bucky if he can identify the logo on the card next time you can discreetly talk to him.
No. 862213 ID: 90f3c0

Ignore the cat and rabbit for now and eat. Show them the card later, when there are fewer people around.
No. 862263 ID: 094652

Well at least it wasn't Space Specter: Vector to Vector or *shudder* Ophelia Parrotgirl: Prosecutor On The Stand.

Think about it; your company is called ReNu, but it sounds like 'renew' it's a marketing gimmick. So this might be a company name abbreviation that sounds like Aneh. Whatever that means.

Sit next to them. Pretend to bully by sucking bucking's cranium. And then stuff Sam's tail in your shirt. Among other weird things.
No. 862265 ID: a633c6

Tell them where to sit, you have things to discuss.
No. 862274 ID: e1c8f7

Shoulder check the bun, when they turn around, quickly tell them to find you but don't you stop moving. Find a table far from the others.
No. 862525 ID: 15a025

See if Sam and Bucky want to sit with you for lunch. Maybe tell them about that card you found?
No. 862659 ID: 2bcb0c

We actually like those nerds, so don't do anything to hurt them.
No. 862692 ID: 7ab1fe

>Pretend to bully by sucking bucking's cranium. And then stuff Sam's tail in your shirt. Among other weird things.
you've never bullied before, have you. it looks like everything you learned about bullying you learned from Please don't bully me, Nagatoro

ANE? ANEH? ANNIE? who knows.
is that barcode thing common? any way to scan it without it going to some random unknown link?
No. 863395 ID: a30024
File 151736450804.png - (85.77KB , 600x324 , 5-60.png )

You grab a tray and shoulder past them. “Far corner. Got something to show ya.” You mutter before inserting yourself in line between a couple of random kids. They know better than to complain about you or your sisters.

You sit down in the corner of the room and brood over your food. Its nutritious but bland, flavor and texture being the first things sacrificed when it comes to space cuisine. The two kids from earlier sit down a couple of seats away.

Not looking at them, you order them, “Drop your spoon.”

The rabbit looks at you cockeyed, “What?”

You lean in, “Drop your spoon on the floor. I’m gonna pass something to you.”

The kid sighs and you hear a clatter near your feet. You reach down casually and pass him the spoon, tucking the card along with it.

“What’s this?” You hear.

“Dunno. Was in my crate. Thought you might know.”

He passes it to the cat, who eyes it critically, “Its paper...” they say. Despite your attempts to remain cool and natural, your head perks up. “You sure?”

The rabbit shrugs, “Her memories go back further than mine. She’d be the one to ask.”

You’ve heard of paper: something made of dead trees. You have no idea what it would be doing here though. Its the kind of thing rich people use as a sign of wealth, not something you leave in a box for a clone to mess with.

Sam looks at the reverse side of the card. “Dunno what ANE stands for. Or the barcode. You’d need a camera of some sort to scan it.” Something about those letters, specifically her saying those letters makes your memory twitch again. You grumble with frustration and the two of them back off a bit.
No. 863403 ID: 56e50f

Hey.. what's your name?
No. 863434 ID: 3abd97

You could share and tell them it's giving you memory twitches and you don't know why.

Maybe the bun could read the barcode with something?
No. 863485 ID: 130855

Well don't just sit there looking like a grumpus! That's not very inconspicuous!
No. 863556 ID: 85fe92

"I'm getting memory twitches. Try saying it with different pronounciations and inflections and emotions. Maybe some generic phrases?"
No. 863659 ID: a30024
File 151745119691.png - (49.74KB , 428x600 , 5-61.png )

You mumble, “Sorry. Its just... those letters are important somehow. I can feel it. I need to know what they mean.”

Bucky scratches his head, “Well, to do that we’d need a camera...”

Sam nudges him and he follows her eyes upward.
Mounted above you is a glossy, black, plastic pimple containing a security camera.

He thinks for a minute as a smile spreads slowly across his face, “Yeah, that’ll work. If we can get a still frame off of a camera, I should be able to clean it up and read the barcode. It’ll have to be a pretty good image though, might have to hold it pretty close.”

“Won’t they notice someone holding up a card covered in metadata? If we get spotted, they’ll know something’s up.” Sam reminds him, chewing a spoonful of something grey with grey sauce on top.

Bucky nods, passing the card back to you under the table. “Yeah, we need something to distract them while we do it. Then I can find the frame were looking for in the stored footage.”
No. 863662 ID: 130855

Go incite a food fight somehow. Flip some tables or something.
No. 863664 ID: 6c2cf5

Go pick a fight with your sisters somewhere else, we don’t want to bring attention to the same area as these kids while they prepare to scan the card.
No. 863674 ID: 3abd97

Right. Hold on a minute.

Time to go punch one of your sisters!
No. 863692 ID: a7f739

A food fight compounded with a fight between the birds. Very distracting.
No. 863715 ID: e1ff73

It truly is a terrible future where Doritos are actually seen as Food.
No. 863763 ID: d36af7

Set up the hack first, make a physical distraction later. Make sure you're the only ones who get a good look at that card.
No. 863771 ID: e1c8f7

Short of tap dancing on the tables, you know how to rile up a bunch of kids. Your sisters should not be involved. Blindly chuck your food in three different directions. Food fight time.
No. 863792 ID: 8ccac6

Deck someone with your tray.
No. 863801 ID: 6780f5

Starting a food fight would definitely by out of the ordinary for one of you, and would get the wrong kind of attention afterwards. You beating the shit out of one of your sisters on the other hand... It would have the added benefit of getting some kind of revenge.
No. 864365 ID: a30024
File 151770715336.png - (69.32KB , 600x308 , 5-62.png )

“A distraction? Easy, hold this...” You pass him the card again and step up onto the table.

“Wha- Now? Oh-okay?” He stammers, but you’re already gone.

You vault off the table with glee in your heart and mayhem in your mind. For a brief moment, you’re 100% in your element. No worrying about weird memories. No concern for mysterious kids. Just you vs the world.
No. 864366 ID: a30024
File 151770715709.png - (30.71KB , 271x600 , 5-63.png )

Bucky watches the scrum, open mouthed. “Hooooly shiiiitttt.”
Sam has to nudge him to remember his mission. He hops up on the table and, standing on his tiptoes, flashes the card in front of the camera for a few seconds. He hops down and pretends nothing happened while the sounds of tables being flipped and chairs being thrown echo throughout the cafeteria.
No. 864367 ID: a30024
File 151770716085.png - (119.03KB , 600x562 , 5-64.png )

After they pull you apart and send you back to the classroom, you sit against the wall, panting. “Heh, worth it. Even if we don’t find out anything.” Sam sees to your many scrapes and wounds to the best of her ability, applying some topical antiseptic she picked up somewhere and stopping the bleeding with sterile strips. “Hey, here ya go.” You hand her a present: a tuft of feather from one of your sister’s crests. Yours haven’t come in yet, so it feels good to take a sibling down a notch.
No. 864380 ID: 3abd97

>giving her a present
Aw, how sweet.
No. 864386 ID: 15a025

Nice job getting back at your sisters for earlier.
No. 864412 ID: 9dfb8d

Take a minute to bask in the afterglow of combat.
No. 864459 ID: 6c2cf5

Nothing left to do but wait for bucky to come back with whatever he found.
No. 864460 ID: a633c6

I'm thinking it's about time you bring up your memories of her eyes.
No. 864461 ID: 6780f5

Are you proposing the nice cat lady with your sister's crest? That's so sweet!
No. 864550 ID: 56e50f

Sweet, sweet victory. Hanging out with these two has been fun. Maybe this will become more of a permanent thing?
No. 865286 ID: a30024
File 151796677469.png - (91.27KB , 600x459 , 5-65.png )

“You guys are keeping a lookout right?” Bucky asks, scrolling through camera feeds; looking for the right one.
“Don’t worry, no one’s gonna mess with us after that performance...”
You look back at the strange-eyed cat tending to your wounds. Unsure of how to bring it up tactfully, you just ask, “Hey... Sam, right?” She nods. “Your friend said that you remember further back than him... Do... do you think you remember anything about me?”

She looks a little stunned, blinking those huge blue eyes a couple of times, “N-no? I don’t think so... I don’t think we even know your name, right?”

You shrug, “Most of the time they just call me shorty, or runt or something. We don’t go in for names...”

“What? Everybody’s got a name, right? I mean, we’re clones and all that but... we’re still somebody.”

“Yeah, maybe you are...”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing. Forget about it.”

“O-okay, why’d you want to know?”

You shrug again, “Just a feeling. Like I met you a long time ago... I dunno...” You turn those letters around in your head experimentally, trying to unlock the answer. The effort leaves you slightly frustrated, and no closer to the truth.

The rabbit’s head pops up, “Found it! Just need to scroll back and find the frame...”
No. 865294 ID: 91ee5f

>”Don’t worry, no one’s gonna mess with us after that performance...”
Why did you say that?! You’ve jinxed it! Now someone is definitely going to mess with you! Especially your sisters, since you stole some feathers from one of their crests!

Speaking of which, your sisters are right behind you!
No. 865299 ID: a633c6

Siblings inbound stay frosty.
No. 865302 ID: b1b4f3

I see your sisters in the background. May have to fend them off.
No. 865303 ID: b27006

Kick bucky to make him close the window and start harassing sam!
No. 865396 ID: 8cb228

No random violence against our new friends!
No. 865397 ID: b27006

It’s not random violence, it’s so our sisters don’t get suspicious we’re hangimg out with these kids
No. 865425 ID: 600f38

Notice your sisters.
Glare at them. Lick Sam without breaking eye contact with your sisters.
That's a way to send the message "This is mine. You leave them out of it, or I will fuck you up."

Not that they can do much to Sam or Bucky anyway - these two are clearly more valuable to your gaolers than a couple of combat drones.
No. 865479 ID: 8cb228

Then do a quick, "Play along, I need you to sell it as real!" and pull your punches!
No. 865633 ID: a30024
File 151805201882.png - (112.62KB , 600x428 , 5-66.png )

You spot movement out of the corner of your eye and react instantly. Bucky is surprised, to say the least, to suddenly be shoved against the wall and hear your voice in his ear, “Stay put, sorry about this.” You turn on Sam and push her to the ground with a closed fist, hoping to make it look like a punch. She looks up at you with confusion before noticing your sisters. She makes a show of nursing her chest and groans.
You glare at the onlookers, daring them to act. They snort and turn away; content that the status quo is being maintained. They’d probably like to take another shot at you, but would rather wait until you’re not expecting it.
No. 865636 ID: d887c0

Wait until your sisters are out of earshot, then apologize to your new friends. You didn't want to do that, but if your sisters knew what you were doing, then all Hell would break loose.
No. 865639 ID: 3abd97

...I'm a shitty friend.
No. 865661 ID: 2efe4b

Keep up the pretense for a moment, until you're sure they're not paying attention again.

Tell Bucky to try find a replay of that fight you were in, so if you're interrupted again he'll have it ready for you to pretend that's what you wanted out of him and Sam.
No. 865683 ID: 8cb228

Keep acting for a little bit longer than you think you're being watched or heard, just in case, then apologize and help them up. Then see what they have to say about the sorts of things they found.
No. 865722 ID: 56de11

Look at the pose rabbit boy is in. Ain't he cute? Stupid sexy bunny.
No. 865737 ID: e1c8f7

Keep your bravado up. Point at the screen and tell Bucky to show you what you want to know. Be sure to wink at him while you do this.
No. 865777 ID: b27006

Keep this up for a little while and if your sisters haven’t left then we should probably leave and join them. Sam and bucky should be fine and it will get too suspicious if we spend too much time near them.

Nah, that would give the impression these kids are doing something and not just getting harassed because they were near us. We need to draw suspicion away from them while they scan the card after all.
No. 865784 ID: 6780f5

If your sisters do leave, you really should apologize and kiss it all better.
No. 865956 ID: 66b5eb

That was close. I'm sure Bucky and Sam understand that you gotta do what you gotta do, but apologize to them anyways when you can.
No. 866482 ID: 15a025

Help Sam back up once no-one is looking.
No. 866616 ID: a30024
File 151838220756.png - (73.08KB , 600x345 , 5-67.png )

You wait until your siblings have lost interest before reaching down to pick up the stricken Sam. "S-sorry about that. Are you okay?"

Sam beams at you, "Yeah, nicely played." She seems fine but nevertheless you feel kind of shitty about shoving her.

Bucky groans and picks himself up, "Ugh, we've got to get a better system than that…"

"Yeah, sorry again. How're you doing?"

"Could be worse. At least they didn’t hit us." He shrugs.
No. 866617 ID: a30024
File 151838221001.png - (75.01KB , 700x532 , 5-68.png )

"Hang on, let's see what we got…" He enlarges the frame, crops out everything but the barcode and pulls the image file onto the desktop. He opens up a second app and drags the image into it and a moment later a window opens with a logo on it depicting a tree sprouting from the familiar shape of a neuro-collar. The text underneath reads: Acorn Neuro-Engineering.
No. 866618 ID: 7ab1fe

click news.
then try products.
No. 866620 ID: 6780f5

Smooch the catte and bunne, you fool.
No. 866622 ID: d887c0

Products and News.
Down the rabbit hole.
No offense, bunny.
No. 866634 ID: 56e50f

Are these guys the manufacturers of the neuro colors that this place uses?
No. 866637 ID: b1b4f3

News is good, so is Support.
No. 866647 ID: cdb7be


Okay so just caught up with this after being away for quite a while, and I'm kind of itching to point out that the current circumstances don't really make sense. Firstly, if you've seen Salt (2010), you'll be aware that when kids are brought up specifically for the purpose of becoming spec ops/agents, they are done so in -complete- isolation from other kids not involved with the program, to prevent compromising interactions specifically like what's happening now. Secondly, the kids not involved with the spec ops programs are often going to be the future representations of billionaires etc, and they aren't going to knowingly agree to have their future bodies exposed to anything near as hostile as these developing spec ops kids are amongst themselves.

Anyway, I'd say we should at least skim everything as this is literally an information portal to the outside world, but as there's potentially a time pressure if someone comes, we should limit heavy focus to News, Products, and Investment Opportunities. While skimming over Support and Join the Team we should also scour for an address and maps in case they're present.
No. 866664 ID: cdb7be


*Also we really need to delete that footage of Bucky holding up the card, but even then there's the issue of there just being a jump cut in the footage either side, which I don't know what to do about. Maybe just sustain the last frame before the cut for a while to imply that the camera froze due to vibrations from the commotion, but even then I don't really see how commotion on the ground could affect the ceiling that much.
No. 866693 ID: b055fc

Why do people like you think works of fiction are proof of how things work in real life? Things work one way in Salt, things work a different way in The Sunfish.
No. 866701 ID: cdb7be


I guess I don't really know what your (Toxo) standards of realism in a quest are, for example in this case the balance between the satisfaction of a positive outcome vs the satisfaction of something being reliable and convincing. Disclaimer: I absolutely LOVE your stories Toxo, you are unquestionably one of my favourite artists/storytellers on this site, I guess I'm just kind of passionate about fantasy and the significant potential for immersion it brings when it has a really strong foundation. Also forgive me if this would be better suited to the discussion thread.
No. 866713 ID: cdb7be


It's more looking at it in terms of base logic/game theory, as in the things that are logically transferable in all fictional situations

Yes I get that I'm probably being too stern but I guess I've just had quite a stressful few months and have only just come back to quests
No. 866768 ID: 600f38

Join the Team is in bold. Go there.
This page is a facade. It's likely that this is extending you an offer, and since your current track is death by brain overwrite that makes the unknown a better offer by default.
No. 866898 ID: cdb7be


Actually slightly unrelated question, I'm assuming there are going to be dozens of Annie clones resident in this facility, not just the three we've seen so far (otherwise that would be a pretty meagre task force right?) What is the distribution of military clones to regular clones?
No. 866903 ID: 9c7d17

Let's call support and see how we can sabotage the entire projekt.
No. 866999 ID: 66b5eb

'suppose products is probably what we're looking for, if this is some kind of promotional card.
No. 867649 ID: a30024
File 151866556775.png - (109.91KB , 559x700 , 5-69.png )

“I-is this connected to the outside?”

The rabbit blinks at the screen, slowly placing one word after another, “I... think... so...” His head snaps up and turns to you and Sam. “We can get a message out! We could ask for help!”

“Try support...” The window flickers to a help page listing a number of driver update downloads as well as some friendly looking links to FAQ’s and hotfixes. Bucky quickly swipes the a handful of files, downloading them and dragging them to the “forest” where he hides them behind a digitally rendered “tree”.
“I’d like to take a look at those later. Maybe there’s something in there that we can use, some kind of fault with the collars...”
At the bottom of the page is an option to connect to a live help system. The three of you eye that link warily: not sure of who it might connect you to, or if they’d be sympathetic to your plight.
No. 867654 ID: b1b4f3

That would get you in touch with an employee of the company. You need to know more about the company before you can try any social engineering, and you can bet your ass that nobody willingly employed by this company is going to be sympathetic enough that they'd risk their job to help you, so you can't be honest either.
I'd say not to try live support just yet.
No. 867655 ID: 499d93

Yeah let’s not risk it because if they aren’t sympathetic then they’re gonna get a good look at all our faces.
Go take a look in products to see just what they’re selling.
No. 867702 ID: e1c8f7

System Admins are probably already wondering why data traffic spiked in this area. Those downloads are likely a smoking gun now. Paranoia check. Any cameras around?
No. 867741 ID: 600f38

Join the Team.
No. 868295 ID: cdb7be


Ah, yeah if they've got good security the only way to get information about where you are would be through talking to them directly, which if through voice or video isn't really going to be an option (unless with voice you can convincingly make yourself sound adult). If you can talk without being identified then you could carefully press for information, otherwise it's probably best to leave it for now.
No. 868304 ID: 15a025

Check out investment opportunists and join the team. We might be able to remotely make some cash to hop off this place.
No. 868757 ID: a30024
File 151909316466.png - (27.37KB , 600x303 , 5-70.png )

“Try ‘Join the team’.” You point.
The link leads to a splash page written with insufferable corporate enthusiasm, detailing the company’s hiring needs.

Here at Acorn, we’re always growing our team! We’re looking for experienced applicants in the field of neuro-information engineering and technology. Benefits include discounts towards approved Installment Plan providers!
The page goes on to list a number of bullet pointed skills and education requirements. The general tone is that unless you happened to have invented the very first neurocollar and defined the field of study from the ground up, you somehow fail to meet their standards.

Below that is an empty field where it asks you to fill in your name before continuing.
No. 868758 ID: b1b4f3

Well, the card lead you here. ANE was on it, so turn that into a name. Uhhh... ANNIE?
No. 868818 ID: ceab96

try Bucky's name, he at lest knows how these things work, ya?
No. 868824 ID: 499d93

Uh, okay maybe we shouldn’t give it any names just yet.
At least not until we know a bit more about the company. Just check through the other parts of the site for now.
Also check to make sure no one is looking at us.
No. 868848 ID: 9d4af9

Put in Fake McFake :3 I don't think there is much to be gained here... putting in ANE could be some kind of code though.
No. 868867 ID: 760851

i don't know about this. anyone reading will by necessity be ok with the whole collar/installment plan thing. if you send a message, even an anonymous one, they'll be able to find which terminal it was sent from and probably fix whatever it was bucky did.
i am against.
No. 868881 ID: 600f38

No. 868901 ID: e1c8f7

I'll be honest, I don't know who to go for. Bucky and Sam's names have weight to them, but they're also risky because they're famous in their fields. It'd be suspicious to the person reading the application if this giant in the field just applied to a non-administrative job.
No. 868913 ID: 887a2a

More info first, then we can decide on a name to use
No. 868955 ID: cdb7be


Uhh, maybe Simon Rentford or something? As long as you remember it really. I don't think using a high profile name, let alone one that is already registered in the program would be a good idea xD We aren't trying to *actually* get hired here, I wouldn't have thought that'd be possible anyway. We just need as much information as possible from them before they actually need to see us.
No. 869223 ID: 555f33

If this is going to happen, ANE is as good a choice as any. I'd recommend looking through the other pages before committing to interacting with this though.
No. 869557 ID: a30024
File 151934648845.png - (109.36KB , 700x500 , 5-71.png )

“Try ANE.” You suggest. The rabbit types it in and submits it. The screen flickers.
Hello ANNIE.
Welcome aboard.

The window freezes and blocky artifacts crystallize onscreen. You hear an the kids around you squeal with confusion as the whole pixel wall blurs and erupts into static.

“What did we just do?” You feel panic rising in you as somewhere an alarm starts to scream.

“I think we just opened a backdoor for someone!” Bucky backs away from the wall, “What... what do we do?! They’re going to know it was me!”
No. 869561 ID: b1b4f3

We hope that whoever we just helped is going to get us out of here, is what! Where's the nearest exit?
No. 869562 ID: 2efe4b

Well, "Annie", someone was expecting you, or someone with that name. You'd better find out what someone with that name's allowed to do and hope it's useful to you.

While that's being done, you need a diversion. And maybe it can double as something to turn big trouble for you into a lesser amount of trouble for everyone.

No. 869566 ID: 600f38

Pull him into a hug.
"Bucky, I know OpSec. Nobody will know unless you tell them, because there won't be any real evidence left behind. They'll either nuke everything, or nuke everything and then leave a false trail. No logs, no footage.
It's ok. Relax. Everything is fine."
No. 869570 ID: 2aab51

Gotta make this count then...
No. 869571 ID: 3abd97

>they're going to know it was me

Important, because we have a very limited window to cover his tracks, or pin the crime on a patsy.

Or alternatively, we need to take advantage of this hack to try and escape or something similar. Although you guys don't look very prepared for that yet.
No. 869692 ID: e0d57e

The name it spat back wasn't what we entered, someone was expecting us. Or me.

How will they know it's Bucky? Is it possible to clear the trail? And if not, time to fuuuuuucking bail
No. 869709 ID: 56e50f

They won't know unless there's cameras in this room. Either way, you should make ourselves scarce. Take your friends and start walking. You don't need to know where you're going, but you need to look as confused as everybody else.
No. 869717 ID: ceab96

Follow it as far as you can, you either get something out of it now or never.
No. 869916 ID: 15a025

No point in stopping now. Everyone's probably aware we just did something, might as well see how far this can go.
No. 870055 ID: 9d4af9

There's no reason you shouldn't be able to come back to this backdoor later, if you can escape undetected now. Best make yourselves scarce.
No. 870812 ID: a30024
File 151987094075.png - (87.97KB , 700x500 , 5-72.png )

You look at the mess made of the wall and come to a decision, “Run!”


“Let’s run! If someone’s hacked the facility, they might not be able to lock it down!” You charge towards the exit, two kids in tow. You throw your weight against the door and it struggles to lock for a moment before slamming open.

You turn to them, “Which way?”

Bucky struggles to think but Sam points to the left, “That way.”

“You sure?”

She hesitates, “I think so... judging by the camera network.”

“Come on then!” You grab her by the hand and race through the corridor. Behind you, the sound of several dozen kids realizing that the door is open fills the hallway. A stampede of small footsteps and excited shrieks follow close behind you.
No. 870821 ID: 14581c

Now start a bunch of commotion, then find somewhere sneaky and lay low. Preferably somewhere with a computer terminal. Then, when all of these kids get cleaned up, you can slide right back into line. No one will even know.
No. 870824 ID: 56e50f

It might be too late for act like we didn't do anything. This might be our chance to get out of here.

Keep running. Follow Sam's direction.
No. 870828 ID: b1b4f3

If anyone tries to stop you, beat them up.
No. 870850 ID: 094652

Stay with Sam, do NOT follow the crowd, they will get caught.
No. 870863 ID: 555f33

Continue following Sam's direction. Don't worry about the other kids. As long as they don't get in the way, if they want to follow you it couldn't hurt.
No. 871143 ID: e54266

No. 871477 ID: 15a025

Stick with Sam and Bucky. Try and separate yourselves from the incoming crowd.
No. 871520 ID: b0879a

No. 871810 ID: a30024
File 152029749937.png - (105.73KB , 588x600 , 5-73.png )

You let Sam take the lead as she traces through hallways, following the network of security cameras. A couple kids trail behind you, but the group quickly starts to scatter.

You pass glitched out displays, and flashing alarms, pausing at intersections while she pieces together her mental map.

An adult comes out of a doorway ahead of you. His eyes are wide with panic and he’s speaking into an earpiece. He catches sight of you and starts to voice an objection which turns into a groan as you land several kid sized punches to his gut and groin. He doubles up in a world of private pain while the person in his earpiece loudly demands to know what is happening. Bucky looks worried, but Sam beams at you with pride, “Nice going!”

You run on, having to deal with a few adults as you thread your way through the facility. Most of them seem pretty unsure of how to attack a kid, and go down quickly. One of them has the sense to grab you by the arm, but you use that leverage to swing your legs up and give him a face full of talons.

“ How big is this place?” You shout, trailing behind Sam.

“Shouldn’t be far now!” She turns a corner and pushes open a heavy door. The three of you stand... outside.
No. 871811 ID: a30024
File 152029750469.png - (180.50KB , 700x500 , 5-74.png )

The wind tears at your clothes in a solid torturing wail, the sky is lead-grey and bleak. In the distance you can see the atmospheric barrier blocking out the horizon and protecting the glittering lights of the colony, one of which breaks away in an impossible climb into space. The only thing between you and the colony is a fence. You hurl yourself at it, threading your fingers trough the mesh and pull heaving gasps of thin air into your lungs.
No. 871814 ID: 3abd97

The colony isn't far enough. They'll find you there.

Gotta get to the spaceport, and help Bucky steal a ride.

Of course, first we need a way over or around this fence.
No. 871817 ID: 91ee5f

There’s someone behind you and to the left!
No. 871823 ID: 6b1136

Well, that looks like a ReNu agent on the left. Sorry kids, nice try.
No. 871833 ID: b1b4f3

Look around for a gate.
No. 871858 ID: c8ffa1

Quicly lift sam or bucky over the fence (whoever is stronger) and deal with the ReNu guy while they pull the other up.

Maybe pray for a miracle? Cuz you’re gonna need it if you all want to escape.
No. 871884 ID: e1c8f7

That fence is meant to keep people out. Climb and watch for the barbs!
No. 871891 ID: 555f33

If you take out that guy you can use his clothes to cover the barbs a bit. Probably should focus fire on him anyway.
No. 872059 ID: 2d1231


Probably not much cover out in that field, and trying to run when you can barely breathe isn't going to get any of you far.

Bucky's been watching this vista for a while, right? Maybe he or Sam might know a better route to safety.
No. 872065 ID: 8335a2

No. 872243 ID: a30024
File 152046832946.png - (123.30KB , 500x700 , 5-75.png )

“You two, start climbing!” You hear the scuff of a boot behind you and turn, ready to dish out another ass kicking. You feel a cold snap race through your veins as a figure out of your nightmares steps forward. Its bone-white mask assesses you dispassionately, the wind sweeps its coat-tails behind it; flapping like heavy, dark wings. You see its hand reach for something.
No. 872245 ID: 10c408

You've got no cover to hide behind. Whatever it is the figure is going for, don't let give them a chance to use it. Charge them!
No. 872246 ID: 33cbe7

You should wait to see if that's a taser or a baton before engaging. If there's no cover, you can at least try to stand between her and your friends.
No. 872247 ID: ca332d

Surrender. There are some fights it's best not to take...
No. 872249 ID: 2efe4b

Hm. That's the kind of suit your... "older sisters" wear, isn't it? But, doesn't their figure seem a little odd? The hips are a little small, I'd have thought.
No. 872260 ID: 0e2ebe

This doesn't feel normal. This isn't a guard, and why would a single soldier seem to be waiting here? I don't know if it's safe, but charging is the wrong choice. Wait for them to act first.
No. 872263 ID: 0d45a9

Bit odd that they watched you instead of attacking. Cautiously circle towards your right, their left, so if it is a weapon they're drawing you can rush them relatively safely.
No. 872265 ID: b1b4f3

Stand between them and your friends. Be prepared to delay them as long as possible. Rushing in won't accomplish much here.
No. 872297 ID: 39a82b

"You have something you want me to deliver?"
No. 872339 ID: 122eb4

Can't let everyone get caught now.
Seriously, you can't allow this to happen no matter what.
Your fucking soul depends on it, the souls of your first ever friends depend on it you can't let this happen!
No. 872354 ID: c92184

Close range but don't engage. You want to be in the best position should a fight break out. This may not be a fight.
No. 872358 ID: 83a36f

You can't close range fast enough for it to matter if they were going for a weapon.
They're not acting with urgency, nor are they acting to stop you.
They met you outside the facility, and were here when you arrived.
They clearly intended to meet you here, but don't have a weapon drawn.

Conclusion: They are part of this plan, and have no desire to stop you. It may be one of your older sisters, but her orders don't involve preventing your escape.

Suggested course of action: Relax, and ask what they have for you.
No. 872382 ID: 3abd97

>“Tell her: I’m coming for her. That I am alive...”
If this is one of your older sisters, and she's prepared for a fight, I don't see you taking her. Only real chance might be deliberately saying something that pings a memory to distract her. (Assuming that memory is old enough that she has it too).
No. 872418 ID: e1c8f7

"We're leaving. You can come too."
No. 872683 ID: a30024
File 152064983098.png - (123.45KB , 600x622 , 5-76.png )

You stand your ground, keeping yourself between the Repo-man and the others. You hear them shout something, and you take your eyes off the soldier for a second as you respond, “Go! Don’t worry about me!”

A grappling hook flies past you and wraps its claws around Bucky. A quick tug on the line pulls him off the fence and drops him in the dirt.
You hear Sam yell his name. He shouts back “Keep climbing!”
No. 872684 ID: a30024
File 152064984381.png - (110.29KB , 700x542 , 5-77.png )

You snarl and lunge at the opponent in a blind fury. They casually dodge out of range and swing around with a punch that practically spins your head off.
No. 872715 ID: c8ffa1

This guy knows how you fight better than you do, try to fight as unpredictably as possible.
I.E. fake outs, throwing dirt/rocks, fighting dirty etc.
You aren’t gonna win fighting how you we’re trained that’s for sure. Also try to get the grappling hook from her when you see an opportunity, it could make escaping a lot easier.
No. 872717 ID: bb78f2

You haven't unlocked your potential girl. You never fought for your life before. Think about what loss means...

No. 872719 ID: 10c408

Okay, he or she is bigger than you and experienced.

SO, FIGHT DIRTY. Kick/throw a whole bunch of snow at his helmet and then go in very low. Use your talons and beak to try and tear through the suit.
No. 872731 ID: 776273

You're use to getting the shit kicked out of you, this dumb ass probably hasn't felt pain in ages.
Remember that repo-douche is mindless and fighting under orders but you, you are fighting not just for your life and freedom but for that of you friends.
So FIGHT, grab hold of they and use talons on femoral artery.
Acquire new grapple gun.
No. 872746 ID: e1c8f7

You have talons, use 'em! Weak spots are the neck, insides of legs and arms! Dig into muscles and bite fingers!
No. 872778 ID: 3abd97

Kick 'em between the legs.

Or you're short, a punch would work too.
No. 872795 ID: 19dd52

Cut the cord or knock the grappling hook away from them! Make sure Bucky gets out!
No. 872858 ID: bd798e

That's like fighting yourself, just that the other one is tougher and bigger than you and has tons of equipment. Not something you can win under any circumstances. Only thing you have that your opponent doesn't would be the two nerds.
No. 872888 ID: 15a025

Sink your talons into them.
No. 873517 ID: 8a122e

This person is you, but older, stronger, faster, better equipped, and more trained. There are some fights you just can't win.

First thing to do when you're in a hole is to stop digging.
No. 873675 ID: a30024
File 152107348011.png - (250.40KB , 700x753 , 5-78.png )

Your head still spinning, you throw yourself at the taller opponent with a fury born of desperation. Your talons come out and scrape against reinforced plates sewn into the repo-man’s clothing. You manage to score a few cuts where the armor is weak, but the soldier fends off your slashes to the groin and femoral artery.

There’s a flash of blue from above and the attacker staggers as Sam lands on their shoulders. An unearthly shriek comes out of the cat, her claws digging into the sensitive collar around the Repo-Man’s helmet. The adult reaches up to pull her away and you press your attack, gouging everywhere vulnerable. They stagger backward out of the range of your talons; unsteady but standing.

They lurch suddenly as Bucky grabs a hold of their flapping coat and swings his whole weight on it. Faced with the three-pronged assault, the Repo-man goes off balance and their feet go out from under them.
No. 873677 ID: d887c0

No. 873678 ID: 094652

No, knock her out! If the company outfitted her with a heartbeat sensor linked to a detonator, you're dead. Besides, you can interrogate your hostage. Maybe they'll even try to run from the corporation before they can get remote detonated for being compromised; good, you need a distraction or directions to the nearest spaceship.
No. 873682 ID: 33cbe7

Now it's your turn to spin her head off.
No. 873694 ID: 56e50f

They're off balance, knock them down! Don't let up, jump on them and slam their head into the ground. Tell Bucky to get that grappling hook and wrap it around their neck.
No. 873696 ID: 8602d7

Tear off the helmet and go for their eyes!
No. 873699 ID: c8ffa1

I don’t think these unarmed and mostly untrained children are capable of knocking out anyone. Just get the helmet off and slash the eyes, that should be enough to incapacitate her then you can make your escape. Also, take away any equipment she has. The grappling hook will be very useful with our escape as well as whatever else she has.
No. 873700 ID: 19dd52

Fuck up the helmet/collar, take the hook and any other weapons and FLEE. Make her stop and waste no time in doing it, reinforcements are probably on the way.
No. 873705 ID: 555f33

Knock her over and go for the helmet/eyes plan and for her throat. Depending on how that goes, the grappling hook is a great idea.
No. 873706 ID: b1b4f3

Choke her out and steal her stuff.
No. 873714 ID: f3fe9b

Grab the leg or hold her legs together and force her off balance. It'll be an easier fight when she's on your level.
No. 873716 ID: 673a8c

I never realized repo men were such pushovers! What happened to the smg wielding badasses from earlier?
No. 873724 ID: 10c408

If you get someone on the ground it no longer matters WHAT you weigh in comparison to your opponent.

Oh, and let's not forget that there's only one of her and three of us.
No. 873881 ID: 555f33

Plus, desperation takes a lot of people by surprise.
No. 874213 ID: 15a025

Yell to Sam to go for a neck snap!
No. 874412 ID: d286e4

We can't have them call for backup, try if you can take their helmet off.
No. 874644 ID: a30024
File 152160017070.png - (142.07KB , 500x700 , 5-79.png )

You stand over the fallen Repo-man as they struggle to throw off their tiny attackers. Your foot arcs down, looking to bury your talons in their throat.

Before you can land the blow, a sudden shock races through your nerves and overpowers your muscles. Agony piles upon agony as the Repo-man’s stun rod pours its charge into you, shutting down your attack. You land in the dirt and mindlessly try to stand, driven by pure fury, before being hit again by the taser.
No. 874645 ID: a30024
File 152160017467.png - (113.53KB , 700x500 , 5-80.png )

You cast a dizzy eye around you; the kids try to run but another agent tackles Bucky while a third corners Sam. They’re dragged off screaming for one another: they yell for you but don’t even know your name. Your gaze is drawn to the glitter of the city, watching as a fierce white light roars up into the sky and off into space.
No. 874646 ID: a30024
File 152160018341.png - (125.86KB , 663x700 , 5-81.png )

Next thing you know, you’re in a dark room, facing a mirror, and questions hammer you through a loudspeaker.
“How did you escape?”

“Who contacted you?”

“Where were you planning on going?”

“How are the others connected?”
No. 874647 ID: 56e50f

"We're just kids looking to get out."
No. 874648 ID: b1b4f3

Doors opened, we ran through.
Contacted? As if. Opening the doors is hardly communication.
Away from here. No real plans.
Just some kids. Don't know them very well.
No. 874650 ID: d887c0

"Go fuck yourselves."
No. 874651 ID: 90f3c0

Contacted me? The doors where open, many kids where running. There was no plan.
No. 874664 ID: 600f38

"Everything went screwy, the doors opened, everybody ran. Most kids went one way in a meat-clot, I figured they'd be caught and went with a smaller group."

"I can honestly say I ain't gotta damn clue what you're on about. You're always watching us, right? You know damn well I don't know shit about anybody trying to contact me."

"Any-fucking-where else. Every kid here knows how this ends - some old shitter with tons of cash and zero decency brain-rapes us and wears our corpses like a suit. Starving to death under a damn bridge is better than dying a memory at a time in your death row."

"You mean those two kids? Shit, let me spell it out for you since you're so damn oblivious.
My sisters? Utter monsters. They're soldiers surrounded by kids. They know they're fucked, so they get their kicks proving who's the toughest.
They push around the other kids and keep 'em all scared of us, but I'm the kid sister so I out-and-out get my shit kicked in on the regular.
Those two? They treated me like a person, so I've been keeping 'em safe best I can. You know, like you can't fucking be assed to do.

Since you're here, you know what kind of person wants to be around a bunch of kids who are gonna get brain-wiped? I wonder when people will notice your shitty HR is tainting the merchandise. Might want to look into that."
No. 874668 ID: 10c408

"Wasn't much of an escape if I got caught."
"No one did."
"Anywhere but here."
"They helped me, I helped them. Then we did something stupid and ran for it."
No. 874669 ID: 8a55a9

All I know is what happened. Opportunity knocked.
No. 874685 ID: 5434dd

The doors opened. No contact, no plan. I grabbed the two nearest kids and told them to come with me.

Treat this like a debriefing. Short to the point answers that don't actually tell them anything and don't actually lie.
No. 874784 ID: 8a3ef2

"No one contacted us!


We just ran into each other."

All true :3
No. 874797 ID: 3abd97

Has your training or memory implants included any preparation for resisting interrogation? If so, you should probably do what they trained you to do instead of answering, at least initially.

I don't doubt they'll get you to talk (to an extent) eventually, but in a weird sort of way it would show you're acting the way they want you to.

The most important thing to keep concealed is any information regarding the card you found and Bucky used to hack things. Second priority after that might be to downplay your connection to the other two (easier, since you barely know them). Information aside from that you can afford to let slip, even if you make them work for it.
No. 874857 ID: 555f33

If you ever get into a position where you might let something like the card or that you like the other kids at all slip, switch to insulting them. A repo-man taken down by children? Hilarious. It'll probably suck for you, but you need to keep that option for escape as long as possible.
No. 874870 ID: 5c3123

Answer no more than the absolute minimum they ask for, with unrelenting malicious literalism.
>“How did you escape?”
>“Who contacted you?”
>“Where were you planning on going?”
>“How are the others connected?”
No. 874876 ID: 094652

"@#$% you, @#$% you, @#$% you, aaand suck my hot dog hole."
>Hot dog hole. Clarify. NOW.
"I have a hole between my legs, and it's easy to pull apart, and when you give me hot dogs I put the meat part between my legs and it feels good."
>*revulsion gagging and general semi-humored disgust* YOU WILL ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. NOW.
"The answers you really want are right in front of you. Literally. I mean, you have my inventory on your desk, right? Do some detective work with the net. It's your JOB. Your job is not 'torture children and smile happily when they turn into mass-murdering psychopaths'. As for the other questions, just write 'outer space, because it was far enough to go dark from ReNu' and 'The only kids who wanted to talk to me about anything BUT combat'."
No. 874883 ID: 8a204b

>“How did you escape?”
Fuck you.

>“Who contacted you?”
Fuck you.

>“Where were you planning on going?”
Fuck you.

>“How are the others connected?”
Fuck your mother.
No. 875119 ID: ceab96

"I am going to kill all of you someday"
No. 875230 ID: 990db6

>“How did you escape?”
"I didn't." (If the interrogator wants more: "Doors opened and I followed.")
>“Who contacted you?”
"If somebody was trying to get a message to me, they failed."
>“Where were you planning on going?”
"I figured I'd just figure that out once I actually escaped."
>“How are the others connected?”
"I figure they just both had the same idea as me."

If they don't know anything about our activities, then this tells them nothing. If they monitored the whole thing and are just testing us, then none of these answers can be easily used against us.
No. 875242 ID: 555f33

Ah, she probably shouldn't even tell them a contact exists. The less they know about how it worked the better.
No. 875318 ID: 15a025

Seconding this.
No. 875759 ID: a30024
File 152228428257.png - (106.23KB , 700x674 , 5-82.png )

You shift in your seat and squint your eyes against the glare of the all white room.


“The door was open-“


“I don’t know-“




“They were convenient-“

There are a battery of more questions. Questions are asked again but slightly different, like actors in different costumes. You remain dispassionate, succinct, neither evasive or helpful. They might as well be talking to the chair. By the end you feel worn and exhausted, like you’d been folded on an anvil seven- eight times. A dull, red anger suffuses your body; a controlled, bated, ruby of fury burning within your chest.

Before they let you go, a voice thats modulated, but different from the others, speaks in a statement rather than a question.
“You nearly took down an agent with the help of two untrained children... There aren’t many at your age that could manage that... We will be watching your development with interest.”

With that said, a man in a white coat enters the room. He sets down a kit of some sort and takes out a syringe. You struggle as he grips your arm and gasp as the needle fills your mind with fog.
No. 875760 ID: a30024
File 152228429224.png - (32.90KB , 588x700 , 5-83.png )

Someone shakes you and you grasp at your consciousness with clumsy fingertips. You slowly key in on the frequency of the waking world and focus. Something blue hangs in front of you
No. 875763 ID: 600f38

Hug shadow.
No. 875765 ID: 56e50f

"Who did you say you were again?"
No. 875766 ID: f9d2b4

They probably brought your unconscious body somewhere they can watch when you wake up, in case you give something away while you're still confused. Be on guard. Don't give too much away.
No. 875768 ID: b1b4f3

Which waking world? Are you on the Sunfish now?
No. 875782 ID: 10c408

Reach out with your hand towards the figure accidentally touch her boob.

No. 875784 ID: 3abd97

...your eyes are pretty.
No. 875793 ID: caf1de

totally on purpose grab her boob
No. 875879 ID: 094652

Go even further and SUCK IT.
No. 875902 ID: 8cb228

This, except maybe squeeze a hand as you cry.
No. 876287 ID: 15a025

Ask where you are?
No. 877408 ID: 07a312
File 152297700382.png - (87.98KB , 700x516 , 5-84.png )

You reach for the shape in the dark. It drifts away but you feel someone take your hands.

“Its okay. You’re okay. Easy...” They say.

“Whrr um I?” You manage. You look around, but feel the world spin dangerously as you swing your head.

“Back in the girls dorm. You’ve been out for a while. They’ve been bringing people back in ones and twos. Not sure what happened to Bucky.” You manage to identify the shape as the girl from yesterday, Sam. You struggle upright and she lets you rest your weight against her...

You feel something welling up inside you, as though your heart were made of glass and you were watching cracks spread across its surface. Pain, frustration, despair, your instinct tells you to lash out and hurt something. Another, deeper feeling tells you to hang on to this person who’s shown you compassion and empathy while the storm of emotion consumes you. A strange, wordless sound comes from you, as though you were a monster who had forgotten how to cry.

Sam holds you, letting your anguish wash over her. In the morning, when you awaken from a sleep you don’t remember succumbing to, shes holding you still.
No. 877409 ID: 07a312
File 152297700807.png - (123.25KB , 700x500 , 5-85.png )

When the two of you enter the common room, you see your sisters cornering someone: Bucky. One of them has his hand, holding it, forcing it towards the pixel wall. As it gets closer, you see the pain and fear rising in his face. You realize what’s happened: he’s wearing a collar.
No. 877414 ID: 600f38

Sneak up on your sister unobserved. Kick the back of her knee to bring her down. Use a claw to slice the back of her jumpsuit from bottom to top so it hangs loose and impairs her mobility - if you 'accidentally' cut too deep, that's fine.
Use the other claw to grip her neck.
State very clearly "No games. These two are off limits. If you hurt them, I will kill you."
No. 877415 ID: d887c0

Stealth Takedown X2.
No. 877422 ID: 71a608

Your sisters don't usually mess with anyone but each other, do they? Seems like a bad idea. These kids are the future property of some very wealthy people who've invested a lot.

Say "Sure you want to damage the goods, girls? Someone paid a lot for that boy. They say we might remember a few things, after." That's a bluff on the last bit but it sounds like the kind of rumor that would go around the kids here, since they'd want to believe it.
No. 877424 ID: 3abd97

I assume the collar is a punishment. It's supposed to hurt him in he uses the screens, so naturally your sisters are being jerks.

Go kick some feathery ass. They've got their backs to you, and their hands occupied, exploit that.
No. 877432 ID: b1b4f3

Surprise attack them. Don't even bother giving them an explanation. They'll just think it's random violence.
No. 877434 ID: 8a55a9

Clock their heads together.
No. 877441 ID: bb78f2

You two, enough rough handling the produce.
Do I need to remind you there's only ONE clone per customer, and how difficult it is to create another?

At least in comparison to us. We're easily replaceable. HINT. HINT.

Honestly, that collar could do terrible, permanent damage to him. They shouldn't have put it on HIM of all people. If his predecessor were to discover the abuse his eventual body was put through, oh, imagine the torture he would love to put you two through, either when he takes over, or perhaps before.

(FYI, I'm talking about pretending Old Bucky is a super high up, I don't know if he is for real. I don't know if the Annie's can tell each other apart. You ALSO almost killed a repo man, so you might have serious cred and threat among them even if they figure out who you are.)
No. 877475 ID: 10c408

Time to establish a pecking order

you and your friends > everyone else
No. 877478 ID: c73fcd

That’s some nice feathers they’ve got on their heads...
Rip them off.
No. 877480 ID: e1c8f7

Hey! He's yours! Bug off, you found him first! Pry them off him.
No. 877496 ID: 49f4e8

Let's run this shit.

Don't say anything unless you take them both down, but if you do make it exceedingly clear you will rip the beaks off of anyone who tries shit with your new coconspirators.
No. 877499 ID: 2d1231


Woo-hoo, back to realspace -- WAIT SHIT.


Oh look, two weaklings who can't even fight unless it's against something that can't fight back.

I think it's time we remind them of the necessity of their training. But let's begin by getting their attention on us to give the bun some time to escape.
No. 877551 ID: dbf422

These guys are nothing special. You and Sam can take them in a straight fight, though a sneaky start would make this easy.
No. 877750 ID: 15a025

Show them who's top tier around here and falcon punch them.
No. 877751 ID: fd257c

I feel like I have to ask the rest of you why you suddenly believe Annie can take her sisters two-on one, or why it's a good idea to overtly reveal your attachment to these two non-birbs to them when we were hiding it before. We don't know if that's obvious to everyone yet.
No. 877752 ID: 600f38

Because they don't see her, and it's pretty easy to kill or seriously injure somebody who is unaware.
No. 877753 ID: b1b4f3

Answer to the first one is element of surprise. Second answer: we really shouldn't. Better to make it seem like random violence.
No. 877844 ID: 8a204b

Deliver coordinated beatdown with your feline ally, grab bun possessively and decree that only you are allowed to touch his fluffy bunny tail.
No. 877928 ID: dbf422

It's not two on one, and because we don't have to admit anything. They're picking on someone weaker than them, that makes them pathetic enough to beat up even if we didn't know him.
No. 878016 ID: 4c3395

Being so close to freedom and than having it stripped from you by what was essentially yourself you're a compound of multiple emotions, none of them pretty. Time to take care of your rage. Heads will roll.
No. 878137 ID: be6b7b

stop your sisters. your new friends are more important than fitting in
No. 878247 ID: 07a312
File 152342252527.png - (130.33KB , 700x500 , 5-86.png )

You stalk towards your sisters, brimming with fury. One of them looks up to register your approach. She opens her beak to say something, but your hand launches out, grabbing a handful of her face. She manages a startled noise before her head is slammed against the wall in three savage punctuation marks. She slumps at an unnatural angle as you let go, laying beneath a floret of broken pixels. You note, with dispassion, that she’s still breathing.

You turn wordlessly to your other sibling, who staggers back still gripping Bucky by the arm. “Wh- what the hell’s gotten into you, runt?”
No. 878248 ID: 600f38

Give her a death glare and keep walking towards her.
"Him and the cat had a chance to get away. They came back for me instead. We fought and bled together.
They're off-limits. You touch them again, I kill you."
No. 878249 ID: f6b57a

>still gripping Bucky by the arm

Yeah, don't say anything, just physically inform her of the fact she just lost the right to use that arm for...however long it takes to heal from being snapped in two.
No. 878250 ID: b1b4f3

"Combat training."
No. 878251 ID: 10c408

Tell your other sister she has five seconds to stop being an idiot and let the bunny go.

If she says anything, start counting and move closer with every announcement.
No. 878252 ID: 8a55a9

Who you calling 'runt'?!?

pow, right in the kisser.
No. 878253 ID: f6b57a

You all talk too much. We'll make them MUCH more scared if we just violence all over them with no explanation. They'll get the picture in due time if this doesn't make it obvious.
No. 878254 ID: 600f38

A fair point.
Break the arm that's touching Bucky, and slam her into something until she stays on the ground.
No. 878257 ID: e1c8f7

Those two have done more for you in the short time you've known them than your sisters have in your whole life.
No. 878269 ID: 13f2f5

You're next.
No. 878271 ID: 830fb7

This is good but it would be good to at least say something so they will fear touching them again. Maybe just say something like "Punishment", One word that will instil fear yet show that if they even try to touch your friends there in for a world of hurt.
No. 878272 ID: 53bc09

If you say anything, just say "Mine."
No. 878289 ID: dbf422

"The usual."
No. 878294 ID: d887c0

Break her fucking beak.
No. 878301 ID: 6780f5

Clearly you need to whisper kick her beak off.
No. 878329 ID: bb78f2

All I see is weakness, get into shape.
No. 878330 ID: 5c3123

"Nobody gets to hassle that nerd but ME!"
No. 878331 ID: 025e66

Just say "Keeping you from being IDIOTS", maybe let them think about what you might mean by that. If they push, tell them the adults let you/your sisters fight because that's what you're for, but the rest of these kids all belong to people who are rich, powerful and completely ruthless, and pulling this kind of shit with them is asking for trouble that you don't want rubbing off on you by association.
No. 878426 ID: c66305

No. 878430 ID: 600f38

Violence is the only language they understand.
No. 878434 ID: f2183d

A broken arm is message enough
No. 878549 ID: ceab96

Start stomping
No. 878767 ID: 15a025

Payback time, here's your check.
No. 878871 ID: 07a312
File 152381550394.png - (148.01KB , 700x500 , 5-87.png )

You march forward, blazing with a wordless fury. Your older sister falls back as thought pushed by a physical presence. You know that she’s used to intimidation and the use of force, but nothing in her young life has prepared her for seeing murder in her own sister’s eyes. She’s off balance, unsure of what to do.

She tries to keep the squirming rabbit between herself and you, lashing out with a kick. You see her telegraphing it miles away. Catching her leg, you yank her her off her feet and she lands on her back. She stares up at you with fear in her eyes and tries to shuffle away, “What are you doing? You’re one of us!”
No. 878873 ID: 600f38

You still have a grip on her leg, right? Swing her around and smash her into the wall.
Then drop her and make sure Bucky is ok.
No. 878877 ID: b1b4f3

"No, I'm a soldier. You're a bully."
No. 878881 ID: 6780f5

One hand on her foot for leverage, the other on her knee to keep it from bending, twist and dislocate.
No. 878882 ID: 8a204b

Time to break out the cliche "I am NOTHING like you!" line.
No. 878885 ID: dccc88

"Yeah. And when did that start meaning anything good?"
No. 878886 ID: 3abd97

>“What are you doing? You’re one of us!”
So fucking what? That's never helped me when I've been on the back foot.
No. 878887 ID: 92c2d5

"Am I?"
No. 878891 ID: 852407

"And what good has being one of you ever done for me?"

One hand on the knee to keep it from bending, put a little of your weight on the foot you are holding until you are sure she's not playing up her meekness for an opportunity. Make sure she doesn't try to hook her ungrabbed leg around your ankles, or draw it back so she can kick you away.
No. 878892 ID: 801fce

No. 878902 ID: cdb7be


Wow, some people really want to be be as ruthless in this situation as possible don't they? xD Like what's the point of having the capacity to make friends when you're going to disproportionately maim others in front of them (they're just kids too) 'for them'?

Yeah something like "I'm not one of you" then if you have the leverage pick her up and swing her into the wall. If they're not used to someone being this violent in this stage of their training then they'll probably collectively decide to back off.
No. 878914 ID: b7a158

"Never stopped you"
No. 878915 ID: 10c408

"The bunny and the cat have been MORE on my side in hours than you and the rest of my 'sisters' have been for years. LEAVE!"
No. 878926 ID: bb78f2

I'm simply doing what I was taught.
I'm seeing weakness.
No. 878930 ID: bfbb40

Make it about the birds, mentioning the cat or the rabbit just paints more of a target on them. We just got done denying that they are important in an interrogation, let's not immediately undermine that.
No. 878934 ID: d887c0

A dislocated knee should get the message across.
No. 879023 ID: dbf422

Since when were "we" so weak?
No. 879028 ID: 10c408

That's hilariously naive of you to think that they bought that. To wit:

1: they have actual footage of Annie starting a riot while Bucky showed the card to a camera.

2: The three of them immediately started working together After the riot was over.

3: we attacked and took down SEVERAL adults on our escape attempt after the backdoor was activated.

4: we announced, in full view of a repo-man, that the other two should escape without us before trying to fight said repo-men.

5: Before getting sedated after interrogation, we were told that we'd be watched with "great interest".

6: We just woke up only a few minutes ago and have immediately put one of our sisters in the infirmary

Sooo we can either claim that we're on the up and up despite all that we've done and hope that everyone buys it after the unsubtle escape attempt that was caught on camera, corroborated by eye-witness accounts and three helmets cam OR we can double down on our actions and not be a flaky, awful friend to sam and bucky.
No. 879041 ID: 85f500

I'm so beyond you it stopped being funny. No need to keep your weak ass around.
No. 879050 ID: 9c2d0c

If their surveillance was perfect, they wouldn't have NEEDED to do the interrogation. They have hundreds of cameras and hundreds of children to watch 24/7. They may not even be paying close enough attention to tell we are the SAME bird in all those instances. No need to make it easy for them.

Besides, there is a wide gulf between the FACILITY knowing we like the cat and bun and our SISTERS knowing it. They already torment us for fun, not offering those two up as another target IS being a good friend.
No. 879070 ID: 10c408

It hasn't been established to be "hundreds of children"

I'll give you that they probably don't have perfect 24/7 surveilence but they don't NEED that, just cameras on auto-record that they can check later.

Only reason that we probably aren't wearing a collar ourselves is that it wouldn't be as effective a deterrent on us as it would be for bucky.

And as for our sisters... You plan, is what, exactly? Not intervening while those two sadists force bucky to zap himself? That ship fucking sailed man. No half measures, they're gonna figure it out no matter what we say/do so we might as well instill some fear into the one that's still conscious.
No. 879072 ID: 91ee5f

Break her leg.

>No half measures, they're gonna figure it out no matter what we say/do so we might as well instill some fear into the one that's still conscious.
I agree.
No. 879096 ID: 852407

Let's not potentially freak out our new friends who might be a little sympathetic to other, albeit awful, juveniles who are just in the same situation as you all are.

Make her cry uncle and promise to never mess with your new kin ever again.
No. 879099 ID: 91ee5f

>Let's not potentially freak out our new friends
We just repeatedly slammed our sister’s head into the wall in front of both of our new friends. It’s way too late to be worrying about trying to not freak them out.
No. 879115 ID: 852407

There is a difference between a reflexive dynamic entry when a cute lapin could be getting badly shocked, and breaking someone's leg to send a message.
No. 879128 ID: 600f38

Yes. The message changes from "I will stop you if you do this" to "If you do this, I will make you regret it".
That's a subtle difference, but an important one.
The first, they know they can pick on Sam and Bucky as long as they stop before they go too far or you aren't around to stop them.
The second, they know that even if you don't catch them in the act you will hunt them down and extract your pound of flesh.

Slam her into the screen. They'll kill her if you break her leg;if they kill her, then she won't learn nothin'.
No. 879188 ID: dbf422

I'm in support of the giant swing.
No. 879191 ID: ef77f6

Don't break leg, but threaten it.

Make her cry, and beg, and apologise, and promise to not fuck with us again, or else we'll break her.
No. 879214 ID: d6f08f

Who cares what happens to her, or us, or anyone if we break her they can just make another.
No. 879217 ID: dbf422

Still a living person, still potentially unique. We're angry but we're not like the people who made us.
No. 879226 ID: 237a79

Yes, but it'll make for another effective threat to her.
No. 879329 ID: dbf422

Someone brought up the possibility of broken people getting disposed of. Operating under that assumption, breaking her will not threaten her, as she will be too dead to care. If that's the case, any breaking we do is cruel AND pointless. And I'm done, just pointing it out more clearly.
No. 879394 ID: 50599e

She hurt the bunny, she gets no mercy.
No. 879397 ID: 600f38

This isn't about mercy. This is simple pragmatism.
If we start killing or crippling other kids then they'll dispose of Annie.

It's a delicate balance. We want them terrified of Annie without doing anything that would bring the hammer down.
No. 880558 ID: 8d3803

This one is off limits now. Ya follow?
No. 881361 ID: 07a312
File 152495417959.png - (90.65KB , 700x294 , 5-88.png )

You feel your feathers settling, “I’m nothing like you. You’re weak.” You haul back and swing her leg like a hammer, dragging her body behind it. Your sister manages a shriek before her whole body is slammed against the pixel wall and the breath is pummeled out of her.
No. 881362 ID: 07a312
File 152495418409.png - (94.45KB , 700x529 , 5-89.png )

You hear the hustling of heavy footsteps behind you, and a moment later you’re hauled away to face the mirror again. You scowl at your sour- faced reflection, no longer recognizing it as yourself. This time there are no drugs, no chair or handcuffs; you’re forced to stand as a digitally mangled voice reprimands you for the outburst. When describing your actions back to you, you can’t help but sense that the voice is impressed. It seems more upset about the damage to the wall than your siblings, stating that they’ll recover.

”We have taken a special interest in you. You WILL be brought into line, is that clear?”
No. 881363 ID: e1c8f7

Give them nothing.
No. 881364 ID: 600f38

Say nothing. They can question your methods for keeping your sisters from harassing the other kids when they do their damn jobs and keep your sisters from harassing the other kids.
No. 881369 ID: dbf422

Lie: "Crystal."
No. 881370 ID: b1b4f3

Apologize for the damage to the wall. You'll be more careful about that next time.
No. 881371 ID: 094652

"... Why haven't you murdered me."
No. 881372 ID: a10c98

"I understand your statement."
No. 881373 ID: 8a55a9

No. 881375 ID: bb78f2

I AM the LINE!

No. 881389 ID: 3abd97

Punch your reflection
No. 881392 ID: 2d1231


We're getting real tired of looking at ourselves. Show us your face.
No. 881393 ID: 8a204b

"I hope you like a challenge."
No. 881402 ID: 15a025

Punch your reflection.
"This line's closed."
No. 881412 ID: b7a158

If your "line" means letting shitty people to shitty things right in front of me, we're going to be having this same conversation again.
And again.
And again.
No. 881416 ID: 0e2ebe

Speaking of lines, these ones are going to get us punished unnecessarily hard.
No. 881430 ID: 28c242

Flip reflection the bird, go find your friends, punch whoever tries to stop you.
No. 881434 ID: f61912

No groveling.
No. 881438 ID: 2007b6

There's no such thing as a one-way mirror, just glass with brighter lights on one side. Press your beak up against the wall, shade your eyes with your hands, and you'll be able to see right through.
No. 881440 ID: f236d2

It's the future

And it's not grovelling if you're actually lying through your beak, but I already know I'm outvoted.
No. 881442 ID: 064d5a

Keep quiet for now. Don't give them anything.
No. 881458 ID: 49a43b

So to them you're special, and they're gonna nix that by making you fall in line. Ask the voice if it hurts to be that stupid.
No. 881467 ID: cb24d7

Laugh at your own face. "If you really think that, then you're even dumber than I thought."

"The next time anyone fucks with my friends, I'll be breaking a lot more than just some wall, is THAT clear?"
No. 881469 ID: ee43ea

Whatever defiant badassery you say next, make sure to lean forward to make yourself seem even more threatening - but in truth use it as a way to try and peer through the glass.

Maybe also comment that you know they fear you. They're hiding from you, and for a reason.
No. 881542 ID: 19dd52


We're no good to the others if we're too openly rebelling.
No. 881544 ID: 10c408

Agreeing with this. If we piss off whoever is on the opposite side of the glass we're not going to be able to keep the others from picking on bucky.
No. 881548 ID: 600f38

"I admit to some uncertainty. My actions were, in my understanding, clarifying and enforcing the line.
Could you clarify what I did, exactly, that was out of line?"
No. 881553 ID: cb24d7

We'll break them if they try.

They will soon learn.
No. 881554 ID: 3cc68c

I feel that line's already been long crossed. They're not so stupid as to buy it, and they will be keeping a close eye on us anyway.

Might as well remain defiant and not back down. See where we can take this.
No. 881556 ID: 3cc68c

"Show me your face, coward."
No. 881558 ID: d7e1fb

Going with this.
No. 881646 ID: dbf422

And yet they're stupid enough to let defiance go unpunished? I'm not expecting them to believe she's suddenly obedient, I was just hoping they believed she isn't so far gone they need to use a heavier hand. She's going to face a lot of shit, but why she does is the important part
No. 881687 ID: 10c408

Gonna take us to SOLITARY FUCKING CONFINEMENT or the shady cloning facility equivalent thereof!
No. 881688 ID: b1b4f3

I think it's possible for her to dial it down some at least, without compromising her happiness or those of her friends too much.
No. 881711 ID: dbf422

That'd be nice.
No. 887618 ID: 7816e7
File 152816073417.png - (52.25KB , 446x700 , 5-90.png )

You glare silently at your own reflection, feeling your stomach turning over with each passing moment.

The voice repeats its question, “Is. That. Clear?”.

You rip your gaze away from the mirror, “Crystal...” You get the sense that, while you’ve impressed them, if you plan on surviving, open rebellion would be pushing it.

They send you back to the common area. Everyone else is gone: judging by the time, they’re at lunch. You sit with your back against the wall, underneath the starburst of damaged pixels and listen to your stomach growl.
No. 887619 ID: 7816e7
File 152816075805.png - (77.64KB , 700x500 , 5-91.png )

Eventually you hear the murmur of young voices and, not eager to see their faces, you duck back into the dormitory, where you sit with the lights out.

There’s a knock at the open door and the girl, Sam, steps in cautiously. As angry as you’ve been at the situation, you just sag on the mattress; barely registering as she sits next to you. There’s a crinkle of plastic as she pulls a slightly squashed protein bar out of her jumpsuit and offers it to you.

“Glad you’re back,” Sam’s voice is quiet and full of concern, “We were scared they were going to take you away, or...” The sentence goes unfinished and trails off into nothingness.

You take the snack and hold it in your lap, hungry but unable to bring yourself to eat. “What does it matter? I'm a monster...a nobody. I don’t even have a name.”

A gentle touch makes you flinch, but a warm hand envelops yours. Soft fingers thread between your brutal, scaled digits and a shuddering sigh rips itself out of your chest in an uncontrollable wave of emotion. “You’re not a monster. You are whoever you want to be...” Her eyes float in the dark, staring into you and for a moment you’re haunted by the smell of smoke and sound of gunfire. “Who are you?”
No. 887657 ID: b1b4f3

"I feel like a soldier, but I'd rather be a rebel."
No. 887660 ID: cfac00

Your friend, i’d hope. The website called me annie didn’t it? Let’s start with that until we figure it out.
No. 887673 ID: d003a8

How's the bunny?
No. 887675 ID: 10c408

"I don't know. Some measly kid who isn't a total sociopath among the meek and the violent.
No. 887682 ID: dbf422

A trained killer. But I'd rather just stay with a couple of people who like me enough to tell me I'm not monster. Do whatever. Just not alone.
No. 887711 ID: b38f01

I don't know. Not yet..
No. 887811 ID: 3abd97

>“Who are you?”
Afraid. Whoever I'm supposed to be, she scares me.
No. 887812 ID: 7816e7
File 152824573048.png - (27.24KB , 700x287 , 5-92.png )

You start to mumble something about being a killer and a soldier. She places her hand on your cheek, gently but with an intensity that makes you feel as though you’ve been slapped. Your beak is swiveled until its facing her and once again the past blurs itself with the present: its dark, you smell fire, everyone else is dead, there’s only you and her. Those eyes, burning with a ferocity that could melt steel, carve their way into you.

Who are you?”
No. 887816 ID: bb78f2


Annie, I get it, ok, geeze.
No. 887817 ID: d887c0

No. 887818 ID: b1b4f3

Remember your name. Annie Woad.
No. 887826 ID: 3abd97


Then sit there shell shocked and kind of confused.
No. 887831 ID: dbf422

No. 887832 ID: 56e50f

A messenger. My name is Annie and I have a message for you. She's coming. She's alive.
No. 887835 ID: 05ff2f

...You remember. You remember a name, told to one of your nameless neurological ancestors by another, older Sam. A name lost and returned. A gift from her to you.

The gift of your name.

Your name is Annie. Annie Woad.

You are Annie Woad, and you remember a message from that Sam meant for this Sam: She is alive, and she is coming for her.
No. 887846 ID: f213a4

You deserve a name,and you have one. Tell her.
No. 887860 ID: fb00d1

"...Annie sounds good. Let's go with that."
No. 887866 ID: e3e99e

"A victim of a dead woman's PTSD, apparently!"
No. 887869 ID: dbf422

Oh right! Yes, don't forget the message.
No. 888034 ID: c01f48

We got some kinda name, might as well use it.
No. 888399 ID: 15a025

No. 889350 ID: 3114bb

ahhhhh this is really good when is there going to be more i just binged the whole story
No. 889456 ID: 094652

"I am a hole in the Woad. I need to be filled."
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